Newspaper review: US budget brawl discussed


The US government shutdown after Republicans decided not to approve next year's budget generates much comment in Wednesday's newspapers.

An editorial in the Daily Telegraph maintains that the "true significance of this crisis is that it is symptomatic of how America has become, in many senses, ungovernable".

The leading article in the Times - underneath the headline "A Shameful Spectacle" - says "the fabled system of checks and balances has become all checks, and no balance".

In the Independent, Matthew Norman writes that the American constitution "dictates a duty to compromise... but even if President Obama sponsored the Deification of Ronald Reagan act, the current Republican Party would reject it".

The front page of the Independent has a photograph of a federal employee in front of the Capitol building in Washington carrying a large, hand-painted sign reading: "Do your job so I can do mine."

Battle lines

David Cameron's Conservative Party conference speech is also widely previewed.

The Times, Daily Telegraph and the Guardian all carry the same front-page headline: "Profit is not a dirty word, says Cameron."

The Times says the prime minister will mount a "passionate defence of big business" in his address.

In doing so, the paper claims, he will "contrast Tory aspiration with Labour's threats of state control".

The Guardian reckons Mr Cameron's speech is an "attempt to lay down clear battle lines for the general election".

In the Telegraph, Mary Riddell claims that Ed Miliband is dominating the Conservative conference.

"To the astonishment of his friends and enemies alike," she writes, "the Labour leader has shifted the centre of gravity in British politics".

Radio grilling

David Cameron's admission that he did not know the price of a value sliced loaf of bread makes the front page of the Daily Mirror.

"He makes sure his upper-crust mates are well-buttered," says the paper, "but when it comes to the basic necessities, he doesn't have a clue."

In the Times, Anne Treneman suggests the prime minister should have done his homework before he was interviewed on the radio as "it is basic journalistic sport that the best way to catch out a Tory is to ask them the price of a kitchen staple".

But there is sympathy for Mr Cameron in the Guardian where Felicity Lawrence writes: "It's always fun to enjoy the discomfiture of politicians, but there is no such thing as the price of bread any more".

And the Sun also comes into bat for the prime minister with its editorial suggesting that "Labour front benchers don't feed their kids value bread either".

'Great affection'

The Daily Mail is not taking a step back in its row with Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Mr Miliband said the paper was lying when it accused his late Marxist academic father, Ralph, of having hated Britain, but the Mail continues to stand by the original story.

"This is not just a personal issue... his father cannot be portrayed as an innocent private figure, irrelevantly dragged into the public arena," the Mail says in an editorial.

Other papers also cover the story with Ralph Miliband's biographer, Michael Newman, writing in the Guardian that "he clearly had great affection for Britain, despite all his criticisms".

Andy McSmith argues in the Independent that: "Patriotism takes many forms. You can love British culture and liberty and the beauty of these islands, while despising the way power and wealth is distributed."

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