Newspaper review: Papers cautious over growth figures


No-one is quite sure how to mark the fact that the economy did not, after all, slip into a third recession.

As the Sun says, "it's not the sort of news that gets people dancing in the streets".

A cartoon in the Financial Times shows a man sharing the glad tidings with his wife - "Hey!" he beams, "we're flatlining".

For all that, says the Daily Mail, "the unrelenting gloom over Britain's economic prospects has lifted".

George Osborne, says the Daily Telegraph, "will have been turning cartwheels in his office". At the same time, the paper remarks that the economy "is still in the intensive care ward".

The Independent thinks "the woes of the economy may be easily enumerated" - but "an effective remedy" for them is a different matter.

"Mr Osborne's strategy has any number of flaws," it says, "but the notion of an easy, debt-funded Plan B is a fiction."

That may be why the economics editor of the Guardian suggests that Mr Osborne "is off the hook - for now, at least".

Regulatory system

Some papers have taken the unusual step of placing adverts in their own pages to set out the case that "the newspaper and magazine industry" is arguing for "independent, self-regulation of the press"

The statement, in an open letter to the leaders of the main political parties, appears in the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Sun.

It sets out their objections to the regulatory system being proposed by the government and opposition, and summarises what they see as the advantages of their alternative.

Few questions of policy unite those great rivals in the tabloid market - the Sun and the Daily Mirror - but this does.

Both endorse the industry's proposals which the advertisement describes as "the product of months of careful thought by editors, publishers, ministers, civil servants, and some of the country's leading lawyers".

The Times has a report, from Anthony Loyd, about what is thought to have been a nerve gas attack by the Syrian regime on civilians in Aleppo.

The husband of a woman and child killed by the gas tells the reporter he has nothing left, and cannot even go home because he cannot clear it of the lethal chemicals.

The Independent reports that American diplomats are determined to remain very careful about exactly what happened before deciding what, if anything, to do in response.

Painful encounter

When a pedestrian and a bus collide, the story often has a sad outcome but not so in the case of rugby player Danny Cipriani.

The Daily Express explains that his painfully close encounter happened in Leeds "during a 14-venue pub-crawl with team-mates in fancy dress".

"Cipriani ran straight into a moving double decker bus," says the Daily Star, and the vehicle ended up with a shattered front window, dents and scratches.

The Sun says the player escaped with just cuts, bruises, and possible concussion.

As ever, the papers enjoy the Turner Prize shortlist. The Daily Mail judges this year's to be "the most barking yet".

Its picture shows the work of David Shrigley, a stuffed Jack Russell holding a sign that reads "I'm dead".

The Independent sums up the work in contention as "jokey fluff and flummery for the most part".

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