Newspaper headlines: Jeremy Corbyn's Trident plan, Blue Monday and Lord Bramall 'witch-hunt' apology call
A "bombshell" is how the Sun describes Jeremy Corbyn's suggestion of retaining the UK's fleet of Trident submarines, but sending them to sea without nuclear missiles.
The tabloid explains that his "peacenik plan" aims to "placate unions fearing thousands of jobs will be lost by his desire to scrap the deterrent". It gives a nod to Cold War terminology by suggesting the idea "destroys [the] final trace of Labour credibility in 15 minutes". One academic quoted by the Daily Telegraph describes the suggestion as "patently daft", and likens it to "building a canal under the English Channel".
While the Sun's front page superimposes a photograph of Mr Corbyn atop a missile to declare him "off his war head", cartoonists also have fun at the Labour leader's expense. Pugh, in the Mail, imagines a ship's lookout telling a fellow sailor: "It's a Trident submarine - they're telling us to turn around or they'll pull some very scary faces..."
Morten Morland, in the Times, pictures Mr Corbyn's face on the sail of a submarine as it launches a red flag reading: "Bang." Meanwhile, the Telegraph's Adams re-imagines Trident as the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, with the Labour leader shouting from a porthole: "Who are you calling yellow?"
A Times editorial describes Mr Corbyn's idea as "a strategy which preserves all the cost of Britain's independent nuclear deterrent, without preserving the benefits". It says the lifting of sanctions on Iran - in exchange for putting its nuclear ambitions on hold - proves the "disturbing, frightening, yet undeniable truth that nuclear weapons make for a powerful diplomatic tool".
However, in the analysis of the Guardian's Richard Norton-Taylor, the claim that Britain needs a nuclear arsenal to retain its status is "questionable". But he suggests there would be better ways to appease unions than commissioning "four new Trident subs with nothing to go in them".
He writes: "The navy needs more conventionally-armed submarines and surface ships - more relevant, many military figures argue, than long-range Trident-based nuclear ballistic missiles in dealing with current threats, including terrorists, pirates, and international criminal and drug cartels."
The Independent says Mr Corbyn's idea is defensible, agreeing that replacing Trident is "difficult to justify in a world where our most immediate threats come not from Russia or North Korea but from [Islamic State extremists] and al-Qaeda". However, it says there might still be a case for it in an unstable world.
Meanwhile, the Mirror suggests that a willingness to think outside the box is both one of Mr Corbyn's most attractive yet riskiest traits. It adds: "If we had stuck with conventional thinking, we'd still think the world was flat."
- "Shun runners" - one in six "lazy" Brits have done no regular exercise for at least a decade, reports the Sun
- "Is that the fire service? I've lost the key to my chastity belt" - both the Italian woman involved and firefighters in the Veneto region "were said to have been extremely embarrassed", reports the Telegraph
- "Bird brains" - a quarter of primary school children cannot identify a robin or a blackbird, according to a survey quoted in the Mirror
- "People don't need any more furniture, says, er, Ikea" - the flat-pack giant's "green guru" predicts a "circular Ikea" where you can repair and recycle products, reports the Times
How should I feel?
"It is," says the Daily Express with the merest hint of relish, "officially the most miserable day of the year". Even dogs are sad, according to the Sun, which quotes research suggesting that one in four of the animals suffer from depression.
Thankfully, however, several publications offer tips to emerge from Blue Monday - as it's been dubbed - with a smile. The Express blames our supposed misery on "post-Christmas finances" and quotes a price comparison website representative suggesting: "One way to alleviate the January blues is to take steps to save money, such as shopping around for the best deals on insurance, energy and credit cards."
Contradictory advice is available in the Daily Mirror's "21 ways to survive Blue Monday" which recommends you "hit the sales" and urges "go on, book that holiday". Not everything costs, however. Taking a brisk morning walk, performing a random act of kindness, ditching social media and listening to happy music are all recommended.
Also on the Mirror's list are "meet a mate tonight" and "go to bed early and fit in some nookie while you're at it". It's unclear whether readers should attempt both on the same day. The Sun, meanwhile, lists 10 things to give readers "grinspiration", including England's test series win over South Africa's cricketers, cheaper petrol prices and a £68m jackpot in Tuesday's Euromillions jackpot.
Psychologist Linda Blair restricts herself to five tips in the Daily Telegraph, recommending taking in natural light, exercising, smiling, being grateful and practising altruism. She writes: "You can choose to believe that today will be grim and depressing - and that's what you'll look out for, so that's what you'll find - or you can choose to believe that it will be a nice day, in which case you'll be more likely to notice the high points."
Similar advice comes from the Mail, which declares the secret of happiness to be: "Learning to love being stuck in a rut." Oxford academic Paul Hannam advises: "Make happiness your top priority and commit to choosing happiness over wealth, power, status, approval, control and security. Ditch those grand plans and make small, incremental changes instead."
What the commentators say
The Daily Mail's front page ramps up pressure on London's Metropolitan Police to apologise to Lord Bramall over a raid on his home, given that officers accept they cannot back up claims he committed child sex abuse with evidence.
"Now say sorry to hounded hero," reads the headline, a reference to the former Head of the Army's Military Cross and service in the Middle East, Malaya and on D-Day. Its editorial describes an "atrocious paedophile witch-hunt" sparked when 20 officers "spent 10 hours raking through private possessions and documents".
Having described the allegations as "credible and true", police now say there is "insufficient evidence" rather than saying the claims were false, the Mail points out. It adds: "Lord Bramall was a victim of police overreaction and prejudice and deserves not only a full apology but a public exoneration." The Sun agrees, arguing: "He has been smeared by the country he spent a lifetime working to keep safe. An apology is the least he deserves."
The Times describes a "grudging" letter that ended the police investigation. It says Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse "blamed the press, writing that 'the impact of this investigation will undoubtedly have been increased by the media coverage'," and pointed out that the force had never released the peer's name.
For the Independent, this "shameful case... is only the latest in a lamentable catalogue of police failures and cover-ups". It points to relationships between officers and journalists exposed by the Leveson Inquiry, the deaths of Jean Charles de Menezes and Ian Tomlinson, and "the morass of Andrew Mitchell and Plebgate", all in recent years.
However, Boris Johnson writes in the Telegraph that police don't deserve abuse and reminds readers that it is not so long since Jimmy Savile was "thought to be a national treasure". He says: "Imagine if it turned out that they had gone soft on the Field Marshal, just because he was so well-connected."
The London Mayor continues: "Why should Field Marshals get an apology, and not everyone else?" The answer, he says, is that: "Lord Bramall's very fame and distinction have helped to make things not better and easier for him but much, much worse. If he hadn't been Lord Bramall, the papers and websites would not have given the story so much of the publicity that aggravated his distress."
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