Newspaper review: Papers turn heat on energy firms

Papers

Fuel bills may be rising, but pictures in the Sun and the Daily Star show the deserted night-time offices of energy companies "ablaze with light".

"They must have money to burn," says the Sun. The Star thinks it goes to show that the big companies are "power mad" - "truly, the lights are on," it says, "but there's nobody at home".

The papers know what they think about rising fuel bills - but Sir John Major's call for a windfall tax has led some to revise their view of him.

The Daily Mirror calls him "the grey man of British politics" - but says his "explosive intervention" into the political argument has turned him into "an unexpected assassin for Mr Cameron".

The Guardian, too, reads his remarks as sending "a political thunderbolt into Downing Street".

But the Daily Telegraph points out that "Sir John is in close contact with David Cameron" and it wonders whether he was "flying a kite" for Number 10, testing public opinion.

The Times considers that idea too - but rejects it. The paper also rejects Sir John's proposal, saying extraordinary tax measures "may be tempting in the short run" but are "rarely wise" because they undermine the confidence of investors in Britain.

Bake off

Another jolt to received opinion can be found in the Daily Express. The paper's front page boldly declares that "eating fat is good for you".

Basing its article on the views of a London heart specialist, the Express questions the conventional advice that people should reduce the amount of saturated fats they eat to minimise the risk of disease.

A cartoon on the front of the Times shows a man at breakfast, reading a story that urges him to "eat more butter" and telling his wife that "middle-age spread is good for you".

Frances Quinn, "the shock winner" of the Great British Bake Off, is declared by the Daily Express to be Britain's new "Queen of the Kitchen".

Almost all the papers find the show irresistible. "Don't let its daintiness fool you," says the Independent, "the programme is a fearsome behemoth of popular television."

"Sponge cakes, sex appeal and icing sugar," exclaims the Daily Mail, "what a combination."

The Guardian gives space on its front page to one of the defeated finalists, Ruby Tandoh, to voice her concern that the "hyperbolic silliness" of "a programme about cake" could inspire so much "bitterness and bile", even "personal vitriol and misogyny", among commentators on social media and in the press.

Perhaps it is the mix of emotions which appeals - the Daily Telegraph comments that "if Premier League baking gets any more popular, next year could well be a bid by BT for the TV rights".

Old scores

David Beckham is felt to be on the receiving end of some, perhaps unfair, remarks in Sir Alex Ferguson's memoirs.

"Now that the power's faded," comments the Daily Mirror, "all that's left is settling a few old scores."

The Daily Star pays tribute to Sir Alex as "arguably Britain's most successful club manager, ever".

But it disputes his estimate of Beckham as someone who failed to fulfil his potential.

The Times itemises the former England captain's sporting record, his wealth and his place in world culture.

The paper observes: "What a terrible disappointment it must be to be David Beckham."

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