Miliband's 'No EU poll' pledge and Tim Berners-Lee's web 'Magna Carta' call

Ed Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband uses the Financial Times to effectively rule out holding an in/out EU referendum, should his party win power next year.

And while he talks about Brussels being "at a low ebb" and in need of reform, he writes that his party's position is clear: "We strongly believe Britain's future is in the EU."

The FT notes that Mr Miliband has said he would consider a referendum if any treaty change to accommodate greater eurozone integration had knock-on effects for Britain. It says this "cautious policy" will be welcomed by many business leaders but leaves the Labour leader open to attack from critics who say he's running away from public opinion.

For the Independent, the stance "draws a clear dividing line" between the party and the Conservatives ahead of next year's election and "could boost the prospects of a Lib-Lab coalition", given it brings Labour into line with the Liberal Democrats.

The Sun describes as a "fudge" the pledge to hold an in/out vote in the "unlikely" event of a plan to transfer more powers from Westminster the Brussels. "That will never happen," says its editorial column, adding: "Vote Tory if you want a say over our future. Vote Labour if you don't."

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Dinosaur or charmer?
Bob Crow

The Daily Mirror marks the death of Rail, Maritime and Transport union boss Bob Crow by describing him as a "true working-class hero". At the other end of the political spectrum, the Daily Express accepts he was "a real man of the people". Its writer Dominic Midgley says: "The man so often demonised as the commuters' public enemy number one was, in person, a twinkly eyed charmer."

Lonely hearts

Generic image of bride and groom

There's good news in the Daily Telegraph for those of us not blessed with film star looks. The paper quotes research suggesting personality is more important than appearance when it comes to finding a bride. While "sparkling wit and charming repartee" give a man a 30% better chance of walking down the aisle, men deemed physically attractive were less likely to wed, it says.

Meanwhile, the Times has some advice for members of both sexes: "When you reach your fifth sexual partner, stop - you may have found Mr or Ms Right." It quotes a survey suggesting that the number of previous sexual partners is as important as either a sense of humour or good looks. It found that one in four people believe their ideal other half should have had no more than four previous sexual relationships.

The Daily Mail's Leo McKinstry delivers a harsher assessment, describing Mr Crow as "addicted to strike action" and "a throwback to the dark days of the 70s". The writer adds: "His hard-left dogma did not sit comfortably with his love of the good life. Crow... was paid £145,000 a year [and] enjoyed fine dining in top London restaurants." Meanwhile, the Sun says the union leader had "plenty in common" with one of his enemies, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: "The hide of a rhino, as hard as nails and driven only by his convictions."

In the Telegraph, former GMB union official Dan Hodges writes that "posthumous plaudits" from opponents like London Mayor Boris Johnson and transport boss Peter Hendy are "in danger of giving the impression that Bob Crow was universally loved and admired. Which is something he would have found amusing." Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell captures this, sketching Mr Johnson staring at the bowels of Hell and turning to the prime minister to say: "I didn't always see eye to eye with Satan but he always fought tirelessly for his beliefs."

The Independent's Dave Brown has Mr Crow ascending to heaven on an Underground escalator, having daubed "LEFT" over the "Please stand on the right" notice.

Peter Brookes, in the Times, sketches him shouting "Everybody out!" to the angels, while the Telegraph's Adams has him with a celestial throng around a brazier, bearing placards reading: "Stop Devilish hours". Similarly, the Daily Express pictures him telling God: "The angels want a review of their pay and conditions."

In its obituary, the Times remembers him being accused of being "a dinosaur" by the BBC's Jeremy Paxman: "'Yes, but they was around for a long time,' Crow quipped."

For Boyd Tonkin, writing in the Independent, Mr Crow was in reality "a modern unionist" who used "small-scale, hi-tech unionism" to build the RMT's power. However, the writer says it packed a "much feebler punch on the high seas", adding that newspapers would seldom give him credit for having campaigned to extend the UK minimum wage to foreign-flagged ships in domestic waters.

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Origin of the web
The NeXT Cube

The Guardian marks 25 years since the world wide web was proposed with an exclusive interview with its inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who tells the paper a "global constitution - a bill of rights" is needed to ensure the "open, neutral internet we can rely on without worrying about what's happening at the back door".

Something to shout about

Three West Ham fans in an otherwise empty stand

Silverware may have been in short supply at Upton Park or Craven Cottage in recent years but at least West Ham and Fulham fans have retained their sense of humour, according to the Times.

It says the Hammers topped the league for witty terrace songs from the past decade, quoting a survey which found the funniest chant to be: "His name is Rio and he watches from the stand." Sung to the tune of Duran Duran hit Rio, it was aimed at their former star Rio Ferdinand when he was subject to a ban on playing.

Fulham fans were runners-up with their twist on Dean Martin's That's Amore: "When you're sat in row Z and the ball hits your head, that's Zamora."

He's referring to corporate influence and government spying, says the paper, which reports that his plan for a Magna Carta would enshrine the principles of free speech, privacy and responsible anonymity.

Inside, the paper charts the history of the web, including the rise of blogging, online media, Twitter, WikiLeaks and - in recent years - increasing government attempts at regulation.

The Independent pictures the now-obsolete computer, a "humble black box" called the NeXT Cube, on which Sir Tim created the web. "The only hint of its importance was a tattered white sticker with the warning: 'This machine is a server: DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!'," it says.

"There was no initial grand ambition to emancipate the world through freedom of information for all," the paper's Jonathan Owen notes. "The beginnings were much more mundane - an attempt to improve communication between the thousands of scientists involved with Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research."

Meanwhile, the Sun's consumer editor Daniel Jones describes how an "idealistic invention turned into a monster" by investigating the Dark Web - an area of the internet it says is populated by drug dealers, child abusers, hitmen and hackers.

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Lunch boxing
Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam Gonzalez-Durantez sit an eat with pupils during a visit to Lairdsland Primary School in Kirkintilloch.

The Daily Mail follows up Tuesday's front page about Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg's pledge to provide free school meals to pupils aged four-to-seven in England having been described as a "fiasco" by some headteachers, who lack facilities to put it into practice.

A pupil writes in a maths exercise book

"Dim Sum Brits," is how the Sun describes a state of affairs that sees teachers being drafted in from Shanghai, China, to improve maths standards in English schools.

If pupils are struggling, their parents aren't much better. The Daily Telegraph reports that a survey has concluded "half of adults cannot do simple sums".

The Daily Mail reports that charity National Numeracy is leading a drive to improve the situation, and prints questions from an online test it's encouraging adults to take.

It quotes a former adviser to Education Secretary Michael Gove as saying that officials were only given an hour's notice ahead of the policy announcement.

The Independent sees the "coalition food fight" getting personal, with claims that Mr Clegg was warned the plan was a "bad gimmick" based on "junk calculations". These were rubbished by Lib Dem Schools Minister David Laws, who described them as "complete and utter balls", it says.

The paper quotes National Association of Head Teachers vice-president Gail Larkin as saying: "This policy was a nice sound bite and took us all by surprise. It just wasn't thought through."

In its editorial column, the Times describes the pledge as a "dog's dinner" which reveals how "coalition politics can lead to poor policy".

It adds: "The consequence is that £1bn of public money has been committed to a scheme that requires schools to reconfigure their kitchens and canteens."

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Making people click

Daily Mail: Did pilot commit SUICIDE? CIA boss says it is one theory agency is looking at as Malaysian police say they are carrying out psychological profiles of everyone on plane

The Times: After Yalta, we can't betray Ukraine yet again

Financial Times: The spectre of eurozone deflation

Telegraph: China's shadow banking grinds to a halt

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