The Distiller — today’s UK headlines, summarised and analysed.

Tuesday 15th August 2017

Good afternoon

I’m back. Apologies for the long absence, I’ve been walking in America and I’m now working as a bartender for the Edinburgh Fringe. Life gets busy.

Brief overview: Today’s paper cover a range of issues, from Trump and Charlottesville to Big Ben.

Outside of the headlines: The hunt continues for members of the far right who violently assaulted a black man during the weekend at the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville. North Korea remains in the columns, as the two world leaders with the frailest masculinity size up against each other in a nuclear dick measuring competition.

Cartoon of the day: via Ben Jennings


The Daily Mail

Owned by: Daily Mail and General Trust, owned by Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere

Editor: Paul Dacre

Political leaning: Right / far right

Daily circulation: circa 1,490,000

Today’s leading headline: Death knells for common sense

Today’s Mail picks up on the story of Big Ben being silenced for four years due to health and safety concerns for workers. The paper states the bell has run “for more than 150 years … through times of war and peace”.

Afterthought: A comparison between the Luftwaffe and Health and Safety summaries clearly the level at which this is a non-issue.

The Daily Telegraph

Owned by: Telegraph Media Group, owned by Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay

Editor: Chris Evans

Political leaning: Right

Daily circulation: circa. 460,000

Today’s leading headline: Backlash over the silencing of Big Ben

Today’s Telegraph leads with the news that Big Ben, the clock tower in central London, is to be silenced for four years to protect workmen. The paper presents this as a foolish decision, and notes various “MP’s protest” at the planned closure.

Afterthought: A non-story, and another case that of people trying to make a fuss about the world becoming more “health and safety” obsessed.

The Times

Owned by: News UK, Rupert Murdoch’s company.

Editor: John Witherow

Political leaning: Right

Daily circulation: circa. 446,000

Today’s leading headline: EU could block trade deals for three years

Today’s Times chooses to cover Brexit news, stating that although the current state of affairs is a ‘victory for Hammond’, the Chancellor, the EU could move to block any trade deals over the next three years. Hammond has won the cabinet battle for a business, or soft, Brexit.

Afterthought: The battle for soft versus hard Brexit has been raging since the day of the results. Whilst today it may appear Hammond has taken the edge, who knows what negotiation joys tomorrow and the upcoming months holds for us.

The Guardian

Owned by: Scott Trust Limited, run by a board with a policy of non-interference.

Editor: Katharine Viner

Political leaning: Left

Daily circulation: circa. 161,000

Today’s leading headline: ‘Racism is evil’, says Trump 48 hours after fatal violence.

Today’s Guardian slams President Trump for his delay in condemning the white supremacist gathering this past weekend in Charlottesville, which results in one terrorist death and two accidental fatalities. Trump has been vague about criticising any of the far-right groups involved, and laid blame on both sides being violent.

Afterthought: The man continues to make a mockery of the office, and embolden racists. A truly pathetic human.

The i

Owned by: Johnston Press, whose CEO is Ashley Highfield, significant ties to the BBC

Editor: Oliver Duff

Political leaning: Centre

Daily circulation: circa. 264,000

Today’s leading headline: Revealed: the plan to avoid chaos on the day after Brexit.

Today’s i also covers Brexit and its fallout, as the government publishes the first part of its ‘long awaited’ blueprint for Britain’s withdrawal from the European union.

Afterthought: It’s hard to feel as though there is any sort of plan when it comes to Brexit whatsoever. We just stumble feebly into the void. At least it’s nearly Christmas.

The Daily Mirror

Owner: Trinity Mirror. Its chairman is David Grigson, formerly the chief financial officer at Reuters

Editor: Lloyd Embley

Political leaning: Left

Daily circulation: circa. 716,900

Today’s leading headline: So vulgar (even for you, Sir Greedy)

Today’s Mirror attacks Sir Philip Green, the ex-BHS boss, for his excessive champagne fuelled partying.

Afterthought: Nasty man, nasty photo, nasty story.

Financial Times

Owner: The Nikkei, which is based in Tokyo.

Editor: Lionel Barber

Political leaning: Centre

Daily circulation: circa. 193,211

Today’s leading headline: Learndirect faces collapse after Ofsted blasts training record

Today’s Financial Times reports that the UK’s biggest adult training provider may be facing collapse after a dismal Ofsted performance. Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. The company failed the tests, prompting private investors and equity firms to withdraw millions from the company.

Afterthought: As any GCSE student could tell you, don’t mess with Ofsted. The report was damning, and may cost Learndirect dearly as investors pull out at a rapid rate.

The Sun

Owner: News UK, owned by Rupert Murdoch

Editor: Tony Gallagher

Political leaning: Right / far right

Daily circulation: circa. 1,611,464

Today’s leading headline: 20mph cyclist kills mum & says it’s her fault.

Today’s Sun reports on the story of Charlie Allston, a cyclist who hit and killed a mother of two on his bike before going on to blame the victim for the crash.

Afterthought: Viral content from The Sun, notable lack of coverage of white nationalists elsewhere.


Final Thought

News shouldn’t tell you how to feel. The news should present facts, and allow you to formulate your own opinion. Regardless of your political affiliation, try and read beyond the headlines that most of these papers push on you, from the left and the right.

If you enjoyed this, why not reach out to me on twitter: https://twitter.com/sproggar

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