The Telegraph online leads with Revealed: The one in nine schools where English is not first language. The article recants the following Department of Education statistics:
In more than 200 schools nine in ten pupils do not speak English as their mother tongue, with children speaking as many as 14 different languages.
Across England, the number of pupils who have English as their second language has risen by a fifth to almost 1.1million in the past five years.
There is a table listing the “worst” and they are mostly inner city boroughs of London, Birmingham and northern cities, but also Luton and Hillingdon. It includes a quote from Douglas Carswell:
He said: “Up until now immigration has been all about economics, but we need to start talking about the cultural impact too. We can’t hold it against an individual wanting to come to this country on behalf of their family, but are we doing all we can to integrate and assimilate?
“It’s time for a national debate about the impact of social cohesion in Britain today. I want to make sure that we create first and second generation Britons.”
No other papers appear to carry the story, but the Independent has a different “exclusive”: Michael Gove sacks Ofsted chief Baroness Sally Morgan. This reports that:
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, is to dismiss Baroness Sally Morgan, a Labour peer, as chair of Ofsted, the schools inspectorate.
Mr Gove has decided he wants a fresh face at the watchdog, The Independent can disclose. Her three-year term at Ofsted, which was due to end this month, will be extended to the autumn while a successor is found but she will not be given a second spell.
Daniel Hannan has a Telegraph leader entitled Labour supporters admit it: taxes are to punish the rich, not to raise revenue. His article analyses the mind-set of voters behind the figures of a YouGov poll:
Sixty-nine per cent of Labour supporters would want a top rate tax of 50 per cent even if it brought in no money.
Envy is an ugly and debilitating condition, but it seems to have an evolutionary-biological basis… the 69 per cent of Labour supporters, explain that emotion “on moral grounds”.
Meanwhile The Guardian dwells on Labour’s relationship with the Trade Unions in: Ed Miliband’s Labour-union shakeup to ‘let people back into politics’. This quotes the Labour leader:
Ed Miliband pledged to “complete unfinished business of the past 20 years” as he unveiled sweeping reforms designed to recast Labour’s historic link with the trade unions and allow wider participation in the party’s leadership and other internal elections.
In an interview with the Guardian, the Labour leader said his proposals were designed to “let people back into our politics” with the promise that the party would create a new breed of registered supporters and affiliated members for a minimum fee. But he acknowledged that the reforms also amounted to “a risk” because they have the potential to see a big drop in annual funding by unions as the number of union members automatically affiliated to the party falls.
And talking about unions, the Daily Mail headlines the lifestyle of the RMT Boss: High life of Bob, the lobster-red baron: With his members set to bring misery to commuters this week, rail union boss Crow escapes to sip cocktails in Rio sunshine
The Independent has a story on “Anne McIntosh deselected by local Tories in blow to David Cameron’s power”. The strains in the Conservative Party as their voters leach away is now showing in more than one constituency (after other selections/deselections):
David Cameron’s authority received an embarrassing blow last night as Tory grassroots activists voted to oust a sitting female MP at the end of a bitter reselection battle.
Anne McIntosh, one of only three women to represent the Conservatives in the north of England, lost an acrimonious campaign which saw allegations of misogyny, dirty tricks and cronyism fly between warring groups in the affluent rural constituency of Thirsk and Malton in North Yorkshire.
The Telegraph looks at hospitals facing widespread financial problems, and staff cuts in “Scale of NHS financial crisis revealed amid looming staff cuts”. This reports that:
Board reports covering all 145 hospital trusts in England disclose that 44 per cent expect to end the year in deficit – with a combined “black hole” of more than £330 million between them.
Senior NHS officials said organisations are struggling to cope with pressures on Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments, with hospitals recording their highest ever levels of emergency admissions in the run-up to Christmas.
The number waiting more than two months after an urgent referral has soared by 20 per cent since the Coalition took over.
More than 50,000 people have faced such long waits for chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery since the 2010 election. A quarter of a millions have waited a month or more.
And another story in the same paper on teeth: A&E treatment for teeth soars by 400% in just TWO years ‘because patients can’t afford dentists’ which reports:
The number of people going to A&E with emergency dental problems has risen from 3,505 in 2010/11 to 14,527 in 2012/13 – a four-fold increase
This is putting more pressure on already overstretched A&E departments
UNISON says the trend has been caused by the cost of dental treatment as, with the rising cost of living, many people simply cannot afford it
The Independent has this story: Living in mixed communities ‘makes people feel British’ which has an interesting take on multi-culti:
People from ethnic minorities are more likely to feel British if they live in mixed communities rather than being surrounded by neighbours of their own background.
The most comprehensive study of community cohesion in the UK ever conducted has found clear evidence of the positive impact of integration.
The Guardian has an exclusive on: Inside ‘Billionaires Row’: London’s rotting, derelict mansions worth £350m which says:
A third of the mansions on the most expensive stretch of London’s “Billionaires Row” are standing empty, including several huge houses that have fallen into ruin after standing almost completely vacant for a quarter of a century.
A Guardian investigation has revealed there are an estimated £350m worth of vacant properties on the most prestigious stretch of The Bishops Avenue in north London, which last year was ranked as the second most expensive street in Britain.
The Guardian has an article high up in the pecking order on the defeat of the Immigration Bill: If I win general election there will be EU referendum in 2017, says Cameron. This reports that:
Downing Street unveiled plans to overrule the House of Lords – through the rare move of invoking the Parliament Act – after Labour and Lib Dem peers killed off a private member’s bill that would have authorised an EU referendum.
The move by No 10 came hours after François Hollande threw a hand grenade into Cameron’s EU plans by warning that an EU treaty change was not a priority for France.
The Express reports a “benefit scandal as most families get more out than they pay in tax”. The item says:
Some 52 per cent of homes in the UK received more in total benefits than they paid in total tax in 2011-12, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
“Total benefits” take into account both direct cash payments and the “benefits-in-kind” that households receive from the state through services such as free education and free health care from the NHS.
The picture remains shocking even when benefits-in-kind are stripped out. More than 37 per cent of British households received more in direct cash benefits, such as state pensions, than they paid in tax.
The campaign against fixed- odds gambling machines has widened out to a broader issue as reported in the Mirror that: Town hall chiefs call for powers to stop spread of betting shops that ‘blight’ high streets.
A poll earlier this week found 52 per cent of people wanted fewer betting shops… The Local Government Association wants councils to have the right to block licences unless bookies can prove a new shop would not have a negative impact on the community. It comes amid a massive increase in betting shops.
And finally, an update note from Farage on Friday in the Express:
It’s funny isn’t…Ukip are looking good for a Euro Election win in May and all of a sudden there’s an Immigration Bill being “debated” to grab headlines in the Right-leaning papers.
Just as with the threatened bombing of Syria, that country’s Christian refugees, and the regaining of powers from Brussels, it’s Ukip which is the party pushing the agenda.
Just imagine how much difference we could make with MPs in Westminster!
Elsewhere in the papers, no mention of UKIP though, but, from the UK General Election blog, the UKIP website is the most popular in the UK now:
Last months rankings in brackets, each link is to the ALEXA page for the party not the parties website
1 (2) UKIP 3,790
2 (1) BNP 4,895
3 (3) LABOUR 4,920
4 (6) SNP 12,440
5 (7) LIBERAL DEMOCRATS 13,363
6 (5) CONSERVATIVES 14,638
We have heard that over three-quarters are first-time visitors. Is this because there are a lot of new visitors to the site, or that not many return?