SubScribe: The front pages: three-day-old filly easily beats Formula 1 legend Google+

Wednesday 22 January 2014

The front pages: three-day-old filly easily beats Formula 1 legend

Health issues dominate today, from one schoolboy apparently killed by an Ecstasy tab to thousands of cancer patients apparently refused drugs that could extend their lives because of where they happen to live. 

The two Independent titles concentrate on a Kings Fund report that suggests patient care may be harmed by low morale among NHS staff - with the i stepping out to a greater degree than its big sister, both on the front and inside. The Express's daily magical cure is for once tangible - a box that sounds a bit like a TENS machine which sends magnetic pulses to the brain to ease pain. It has been cleared for use on the NHS for the treatment of chronic migraine  from today and is also available for rent.

Not that official approval for NHS treatments guarantees that pateints who need it will get it, according to the Telegraph.  It splashes on a report that availability of some drugs is - here it comes - a postcode lottery. An endemic and dangerous postcode lottery at that. In some areas one in three cancer and Motor Neurone Disease patients were not getting drugs that would ease their conditions.

The Mail leads on a boy who told his parents that he was off to a party and then went to a rave. Daniel Spargo-Mabbs, 16, subsequently suffered a heart attack and died on Monday. The Mail reports that Daniel had taken his first Ecstasy tablet at the rave, although of course there is no way of knowing this, and points to the growing danger of the drug whose death toll 'increased fourfold' in two years - from four in 2010 to thirty-one in 2012. Daniel's fate may be every middle-class parent's nightmare, but it is hardly symptomatic of a great national menace. The key point, of course, is the headline (as it should be), the routine farewell phrase cruelly turned on its head to haunt forever.

The Mirror is also gloomy about one man's fate - Michael Schumacher is still in the coma induced by doctors after his skiing accident a month ago. This is a standard 'what's the latest?'  follow-up built into a splash from nothing. The fading hopes are based on a quote from a doctor uninvolved in his case based in Bordeaux, more than 250 miles away from the hospital in Grenoble where the driver is being treated, and speculation on an Austrian website. And, to be honest, what they say only reinforces what many already think. Not the most informative piece of journalism.

The Sun's splash is also a bit of something and nothing. Roman Abramovich's white girlfriend Dasha Zhukova is photographed sitting on a sculpture chair in the shape of a topless black woman. The picture, taken as part of a photoshoot for an online magazine, upset all sorts of people who found it racist and demeaning. Ms Zhukova - who doesn't look exactly comfortable -  apologised and said she regretted posing for the photograph, and the website cropped the picture. The chair itself was designed by the Norwegian  Bjarne Melgaarde and is virtually the same as one of a white woman created by Allen Jones and shown in the Tate in 1969. No one has suggested the artworks are racist. The photoshoot was unthinking and shallow - but the lead to the country's biggest selling paper? Hmm.

And the picture doesn't even make the top three of the best images on the newsstands today. A newly shaven Prince Harry is bound to captivate, and Miriam Gonzalez Duarantez strides across the Telegraph in style, but nothing can beat the three-day-old bay filly on the front of the Times. But that's only to be expected. The foal, born at the National Stud in Newmarket, is Frankel's daughter.

Finally, the Daily Telegraph lost its editor yesterday lunchtime. The fact makes a page lead in the Guardian, a short picture story in the Independent and a nib in the Times. But I'm blowed if I could find it anywhere in the Telegraph. Odd that. Maybe I just wasn't looking hard enough. Happy to be corrected.

A mini review of the papers will be a feature of the new Sub-Scribe website, which should be alive and possibly kicking within the next couple of weeks.
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