The Distiller

Tuesday 27th February, 2018

A much prettier version of this newsletter arrived in subscribers’ inboxes over an hour ago. Why not join the mailing list and get early access?

Good morning,

Brief overview:

  • Jeremy Corbyn clarified Labour’s Brexit stance in a speech yesterday. He promised business leaders that Labour would pursue “a new, comprehensive UK-EU customs union” after Brexit.
  • The weather and cancelled trains dominate much of the front page coverage today.

Outside of the headlines:

  • In a direct challenge to Fox, Comcast have made a $30.9 Billion offer for Sky (Wall Street Journal)
  • Russia-sponsored truce begins in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta (Al Jeezera)
  • Various UK think tanks were hacked by China-based groups last year (BBC)

The Daily Mail

Editor: Paul Dacre

Political leaning: Right / far right

Daily circulation: circa 1,490,000

Today’s leading headline: For pity’s sake, get on with it!
 The Mail picks up from its Friday coverage of its ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ campaign, imploring ministers to ‘get on with it!’. The paper reports ‘700,000 extra plastic bottles litter our streets every day’, although there have been pockets of success: ‘the number of plastic bags handed out at tills has fallen by 7 billion a year’.
Separately the Mail reveals that in a speech later today Boris Johnson will announce that throwaway plastic will be banned from the Foreign Office and British Embassies by 2020.

The Daily Telegraph

Editor: Chris Evans
Political leaning: Right
Daily circulation: circa. 393,000

Today’s leading headline: Rail firms ‘paid for failure’
 Passengers are forced to ‘endure cancellations and delays’ while ‘train companies are pocketing millions in compensation’, The Telegraph writes.
Anger has arisen among Tory MPs and campaigners over the revelation that ‘rail companies will receive huge automatic compensation payments from Network Rail for disruption to their services while passengers are given far less.’ Between 2011 and 2017 rail companies were handed more than £2billion in compensation by Network Rail for cancellations and delays to their services, while passengers received ‘just £187 million’.

The Times

Editor: John Witherow
Political leaning: Centre right
Daily circulation: circa. 446,000

Today’s leading headline: Fox attacks business over support for Labour
 The International Trade Secretary is set to ‘rebuke Britain’s largest business group today’ after they yesterday backed Labour’s new Brexit policy.
Liam Fox will move the dialogue away from Labour’s suggested policy of remaining in a customs union by emphasising new and exciting “trading opportunities of the future” that will not be available if Britain continues to simply identify “how much of our current relationship we want to keep”.

The Guardian

Editor: Katharine Viner
Political leaning: Left
Daily circulation: circa. 161,000

Today’s leading headline: Health alert as diabetes cases double to 3.7m
 A new analysis compiled by Diabetes UK has revealed that 12.3 million adults in the United Kingdom are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Guardian notes that since 1998, diabetes rates in those over seventeen have doubled largely as a result of rising obesity levels.

Nikki Joule, policy manager at Diabetes UK, told the paper: “We welcome the levy on sugary drinks that is coming in in April and the work Public Health England are doing, working with industry to reduce the sugar content of food and drinks — particularly those consumed by children — but we think that it needs to go much further.”

The i

Editor: Oliver Duff
Political leaning: Centre
Daily circulation: circa. 257,000

Today’s leading headline: Arctic blast hits UK

 The ‘Beast from the East’ hit Britain yesterday, bringing with it plummeting temperatures and a government request for the public to ‘check on elderly neighbours and relatives and report rough sleepers’. The i also mentions that there will continue to be ‘extensive travel disruptions’.

The Daily Mirror

Editor: Lloyd Embley
Political leaning: Left
Daily circulation: circa. 716,900

Today’s leading headline: Why won’t the doctor see me, Mummy?
 An asthmatic five-year-old girl has died after being turned away from a GP session due to being late. Doctor Joanna Rowe told Ellie-May Clarke’s family that she was too late for her session.

Financial Times

Editor: Lionel Barber
Political leaning: Centre
Daily circulation: circa. 193,211

Today’s leading headline: Rebel Tories’ Brexit alliance with Labour set to raise heat on May
 Jeremy Corbyn yesterday reversed Labour’s Brexit stance by promising ‘his party wanted the government to seek to negotiate a “new comprehensive UK-EU customs union” to ensure no tariffs with Europe and to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.’

The Labour leader also appealed to pro-EU Tories, asking them to put party politics aside and help create a positive outcome.

The Sun

Editor: Tony Gallagher
Political leaning: Right / far right
Daily circulation: circa. 1,611,464

Today’s leading headline: Great British Flake Off
 It’s another strained pun from The Sun today as the paper vividly recounts yesterday’s gust of snow: “Meltdown as snow blast looms’, ‘panic buying, transport chaos’!

Good luck out there.

Top trending stories from across right and left wing sites

A quick roundup of the blogs that help influence the online political discussion.

Guido Fawkes

Political leaning: Right/far right. The insider bible for Westminster gossip.
Views: 100–250 thousand views per day.
Top article: Piers Corbyn: “BBC are globalist Soros Nazi EU 4th Reich fake news filth” (link)

The Canary

Political leaning: Left/far left. Very pro Corbyn. Clickbait.
Views: circa 93,000 a views per day.
Top article: Disabled people say they’ve had it with the ‘violence’ of Universal Credit. Here’s why. (link)


Political leaning: Right wing
Top article: Our survey. Party members overwhelmingly oppose the Norway option. The majority against a Swiss model is less emphatic. (link)


Political leaning: Left/far left. Very pro Corbyn. Clickbait.
Top article: Timetable for the selection of new Labour Gensec (link)


Political leaning: Right/far right. Clickbait.
Top article: Farage: Labour Party of London elites has lost touch with the rest of the country (link)

Novara Media

Political leaning: Left/Pro Corbyn. Becoming more established.
Top article: Yarl’s Wood Hunger Strike: 120 Detainees Refuse Food in Protest Against Home Office (link)

Social Media chatter

On the left: There was significant anger over the revelation that one of the most vocal left-wing Twitter influencers is under investigation by the DWP after a complaint was made.

SKWAWKBOX covered the issue, claiming: “This is part of a clearly coordinated series of attacks on some of the most effective pro-Corbyn bloggers and campaigners. The SKWAWKBOX has been targeted, as have others.
Separately, UCL students went on strike to support UCU strikers. Owen Jones was pleased.

On the right: Leave.EU went on the offensive against Jeremy Corbyn. There was vocal anger from various Northern Labour voters who felt betrayed by their leader’s new stance on the Brexit affair.

The irony of Farage supporting Leave.EU calling Jeremy Corbyn was lost its audience.

And finally…

Article of the day: How Trump conquered Facebook — without Russian ads (WIRED)

Follow me on Twitter @sproggar to keep up to date with the latest nonsense being circulated online.

Share the sign up link on social media, or send this newsletter to a friend as a late (or very very early) Christmas gift.