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

Thursday 22nd June 2017

Good morning

Brief overview: Today’s papers largely cover the Queen’s speech, and it’s repercussions for May. Grenfell still remains in the narrative, as further incidents of incompetency from the government are revealed.

Outside of the headlines: It’s Ascot. Go place your bets and lose money like I always do.


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: Harry: no royal wants throne

Today’s Mail claims that Prince Harry has stated that no-one in the royal family wants to be king or queen, but that they will “carry out our duties at the right time”. More interestingly, the paper carries a headline that says “Fake news, the fascist Left and the REAL purveyors of hate.” This leads to page 16, wherein we find a spirited but completely delusional attack by Paul Dacre on the left and especially the Guardian. I will include exerts below.

Afterthought: Paul Dacre sits in his office, shaking with an all consuming rage. Sweat drips off his nose, into his full English breakfast. It slides down the back of his hairy neck, absorbing into the collar of his tailored shirt. He stares again at the cartoon published in The Guardian, punching the table with his hands. Through the red mist, images of immigrants using our NHS and leftie luvvies wearing vegan shoes swim in front of his eyes, filling his head. He shudders. He spits out the faeces he had been swilling around his mouth like Listerine, apoplectic with rage. He puts together a think piece, hits send, and throws his coffee mug against the wall. The mug, a gift to himself celebrating the oncoming success of Brexit, had been emblazoned with the caption “World’s Most English Dad”.

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: May warned of looming Brexit constitutional crisis.

Today’s Telegraph also covers the Queen’s Speech, and makes a note of her hat which many some pundits saw as a pro-Europe statement. The paper goes on to talk about Brexit looking less and less likely, as “Labour and Liberal Democrats threaten to derail” any exit plan in the Lords. However, the paper does strike an upbeat tone, stating that Brexit provides May a chance to “seize the initiative, dictate the narrative and make — not be drenched by — the political weather”.

Afterthought: I’ll repeat what I said yesterday: Brexit could be May’s legacy. Although the referendum was not called under her, she has inherited the ongoing situation. Following her train wreck of an election, May has a chance to finally scrape herself from the bottom of the barrel and to try and muster some sort of successful deal for the UK.

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: May facing revolt over Brexit laws.

Like many of the other papers, today’s Times covers both the Queen’s Speech yesterday and its fallout. Brexit dominates the agenda, as the paper warns that due to May’s weak position the chance of a successful Brexit is “in doubt”. The paper also covers May’s altered manifesto; large segments that proved hugely unpopular where removed.

Afterthought: Following “her election humiliation”, May has never fully recovered both generally and in the eyes on the right-wing press. Through a combination of both appalling advising and terrible leadership, she has further weakened herself as Britain approaches Brexit. As I’ve noted before, it’s worth keeping an eye on David Davis and Boris Johnson, both of whom are likely candidates to take over should May collapse.

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: One tower, 16 failed council inspections — then 79 died.

Today’s Guardian carries a damning headline regarding Grenfell. The paper reports that 16 checks on the tower “overlooked the use of rogue cladding” that allowed the fire to spread so rapidly. The incident also raises further questions as to how local council could have allowed this to happen not once, but on sixteen different occasions.

Afterthought: Grenfell has become symbolic for the neglect many buildings made for social housing have received under the government and austerity. Reports continue to emerge of other blocks in the UK being covered in the same cladding.

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: May clears decks for Brexit.

Today’s i also covers the repercussions of the Queen’s Speech yesterday, and May’s heavily edited and “discredited” manifesto. The paper notes that the Scottish Government has been flexing its muscles, threatening to “derail” the Brexit bill in a move that could cause a “constituently crisis”. Finally, Jeremy Corbyn stated that May is a PM “who has no authority”.

Afterthought: May’s failed manifesto continues to eat away at her. Following huge swathes of the manifesto being removed, May now faces even more criticism as her government heads largely unprepared into Brexit negotiations.

The Daily Mirror

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

Editor: Lloyd Embley

Political leaning: Left / far left

Daily circulation: circa. 716,900

Today’s leading headline: Tower victims ‘poisoned by cyanide’.

Today’s Mirror reports that the burning insulation during the Grenfell fire released a ‘lethal gas’ which may have contained cyanide. The paper reports that this may have caused more deaths, and that three victims are currently being treated for cyanide poising in hospitals across London.

Afterthought: Grenfell continues to dominate the narrative for some of the left-wing papers, who are using it as a chance to attack what they view as governmental incompetence.

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: Scandal-hit /Uber faces leadership vacuum after Kalanick forced out.

The Financial Times today covers the departure of Uber’s CEO and founder Travis Kalanick, who has left the company. Kalanick had been on hiatus following the death of his mother, and now has officially resigned following an uprising from company shareholders. Uber has been riddled with scandals over the last year, with accusations of sexual harassment and a frat like atmosphere dominating the conversation. The paper reports that Kalanick’s departure has left a “vacuum”.

Afterthought: We have spoken about the troubles facing Uber multiple times before in The Distiller. Today, the problems reached boiling point as shareholders, fed up with the falling share prices and constant scandal, forced Kalanick out. Let this be a lesson to Silicon Valley start-ups all over, who often foster poisonous atmospheres in the work place.

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: Striply come dancing.

Today’s Sun reports that a playboy model has been recruited as a dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, the hugely popular TV show.

Afterthought: Another day, another bum on the cover. The Sun has decided that political coverage is no longer worth it’s headline time, and instead returns back to the 1930’s were it feels most comfortable.


Scottish Papers

Daily Record

Owner: Trinity Mirror. Close ties to Scottish Labour.

Editor: Murray Foote

Political leaning: Left / far left although under Foote its allegiances have become more blurred.

Daily circulation: circa. 160,550

Today’s leading headline: I will slit your throat..

The Daily Record today covers an incident concerning a man who burst into his ex’s house and cut her, shouting that he will slit her throat.

Afterthought: Awful case, hopefully he receives a hefty jail sentence and she makes a full recovery.


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.

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