Newspaper headlines: Citizenship 'chaos', Golden Globes and Miliband's speech

Home Office failures to carry out proper checks on citizenship applications don't go down well in the press.

The Daily Telegraph quotes Alp Mehmet, from pressure group MigrationWatch UK, calling it "totally inadequate", while the Times describes the situation as "chaos". The i, meanwhile puts the blame at the door of Theresa May, saying she "fails citizenship test" as Labour accuse the home secretary of trying to "bury" bad news, saying she'd held on to the report for three months.

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The Times recounts the tales of two failed asylum seekers who - having arrived in the 1990s - remained in the UK illegally and were still eventually granted the right to a passport. Similarly, the Daily Express tells of one man who fled his homeland after killing someone and, despite admitting what he'd done, was granted citizenship after "the caseworker did not bother to look in his paper files".

"This failure to conduct proper criminal checks on immigrants is putting the safety of the British public in jeopardy," the paper complains.

A graph in the Daily Mail shows how the number of applications has risen over the past decade, while the percentage refused has dropped. Alongside it, the paper explains the "rules they're dodging" and points out that the process of gaining a British passport is a "huge money-spinner" for the Home Office.

The Daily Telegraph says that while ministers have made efforts to toughen the immigration regime: "So long as basic good practice is overlooked and elementary mistakes are made, efforts to improve policy will be undone - and the public's confidence eroded."


Golden wonder

Headline-writers enjoy the string of British contenders for the Golden Globes - the awards doled out by Los Angeles' foreign press corps - with most focusing on the nominations of Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne for best actor.

In a reference to the roles that earned their nominations - Cumberbatch as wartime codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, and Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything - the Guardian describes the "brains of Britain" going head to head. For the Times, they are the "golden geeks", while the Telegraph labels them "Britain's bright young things".

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However, they aren't the only ones in the mix and the Telegraph lists no fewer than 17 home-grown nominees, including David Oyelowo in the best actor category for his portrayal of Martin Luther King in Selma, and best actress nominees Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike, for The Theory of Everything and Gone Girl respectively.

Its film critic Tim Robey reckons it's "an invasion to be proud of, even if it ends up falling flat". He fancies the odds of a British best actor but writes: "Although there is a good spread of British actress mentions, none of them looks like super-strong bets to win."

While these awards are usually seen as a signpost to the Oscar winners, the Independent's Geoffrey Macnab sounds a note of caution: "The Globes tend to be more offbeat and adventurous than the Academy Awards... so don't expect quite so many Brits on the Oscar shortlist next month."


Ed's case

The papers run the rule over Labour leader Ed Miliband's speech on the economy, with the Daily Mirror celebrating his vow not to borrow to fund election promises. "Never again can David Cameron and the Conservatives claim Labour does not have a plan to eliminate the deficit," it cries. The Guardian's Martin Kettle reckons the speech "pivoted intelligently between centre-ground credibility and defending the interests of the core vote", although he says Mr Miliband will have to fill in the "large omissions" on details.

However, Philip Collins - in the Times - says the speech was "three years too late". He writes: "Mr Miliband gave yesterday a speech for the first time which, as this stage in the political cycle, he should have been giving for the tenth."

The Independent reckons Labour are right in their assertion that cutting as quickly as the chancellor intends "would be likely to suppress growth and therefore tax revenues". But it adds: "It is a paradox, then, that Labour has so little fiscal credibility with academic economists or with the wider electorate. Yesterday's speech was a belated but constructive attempt to close that trust deficit."

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He certainly hasn't won over the Sun, however, which complains that Labour's policies are "still a mystery" and translates what Mr Miliband said into "what he meant" - such as "fewer cuts, more debt". Nor the Mail's sketchwriter, Quentin Letts, who describes the Labour leader's "credibility deficit". He writes: "He said 'we want to get the deficit down'. Down might mean just a tiny bit. It might mean a lot. It is, for the politician, deliciously vague... This was like the world's fattest man promising to give up Pringles. At weekends."

"Does Mr Miliband really expect the country to take this bunkum seriously?" complains the Telegraph. "If Labour intends to slug it out toe-to-toe with the Conservatives over who is to be trusted most with the economy, there can only be one winner," it argues.

Still, as the Financial Times reports, economists are complaining that no party has given enough detail on how to "repair Britain's public finances".


My, my, my

Calls from a Welsh politician to ban Tom Jones's classic hit Delilah at rugby matches for "trivialising the idea of murdering a woman" lead papers to run-though other controversial hits.

The Sun recalls Peter, Paul and Mary's Puff the Magic Dragon - banned in Singapore because it was thought to refer to marijuana - and a Devon primary school's bar on John Lennon's "anti-religious" Imagine, among others.

Meanwhile, the Mirror goes in search of "pop's dodgiest lyrics" and finds references to underage sex and vibrators in Donovan's 1966 hit Mellow Yellow, "a stalker's charter" in Every Breath You Take by The Police, and the suggestions of a spiked drink in Dean Martin's Baby, It's Cold Outside.

Harry Hodges, in the Daily Express, explores why songs have ended up as terrace anthems, suggesting that Deliliah has been a Stoke City favourite since a pub landlord asked travelling Potters fans to sing something without swear words. It reportedly happened to be the next song on the jukebox. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles was adopted by West Ham fans in honour of a local schoolboy player, Billy "Bubbles" Murray, who never actually turned out for the club, the writer adds.


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