Newspaper review: Varying views on child abuse report


Very different views of a children's commissioner for England report on the sexual exploitation of children emerge in Wednesday's papers.

To the Guardian, the study is "disturbing and at times horrific" - with its catalogue of "traumatic and violent sexual crimes".

Some highlight the use of the internet. The Daily Mirror talks of "Facebook rape gangs" who are "targeting vulnerable children at sickening house parties".

The Sun describes how the gangs provide "fellow perverts" with "sick menus", saying "paedophiles can browse at leisure for children to attack".

A much more sceptical view can be found in the Daily Telegraph.

It quotes senior government sources who describe the report as "hysterical and half-baked" - and fear the statistics are not robust.

When the papers turn to the Church of England, some don't know whether to laugh or cry.

The Times calls the decision to reject women bishops "a terrible moral and political failure", and says it was "a sad and shameful day".

The Independent says it was a "disaster".

The Mirror thinks the Church has made itself "a laughing stock".

Andrew Brown of the Guardian watched the debate in the general synod and says it was like seeing the Church "commit suicide".

He calls the speeches "a ghastly mixture of tedium and bad faith". At times, he says, it was as though he was on another planet where "light no longer travels in straight lines but spirals towards some terrible black hole".

In contrast, Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail enjoyed his day of almost mad speed-sermonising.

Unlike Parliament, he says, there were "no cheap shots, no heckling, no demagoguery", just "a decent crowd of folk trying to express beliefs without hurting opponents".

A letter to the Telegraph points out that the supreme governor of the Church is a woman - the Queen - yet it won't have women bishops.

There's fascination in the papers with the scale of the losses racked up by the fraudulent bank trader, Kweku Adoboli.

"In for a penny," says the Independent, "in for £1.4bn."

The paper says it wasn't even his job to make money - just to make sure he didn't lose any.

"At this," it concludes, "he can be said to have failed."

The Times says he was a "bright boy, filled with ambition", yet his addiction to gambling was such that, despite his pay of £360,000 and annual bonuses of a quarter of a million, he was relying on payday loans to get by.

The Financial Times offers a devastating verdict on his brief but costly career: "intelligent, articulate, charming, corrupt."

The Telegraph reports that a group of pensioners have resigned from their leisure centre gym in Kent - because they're fed up with the non-stop diet of motivational music.

The gym says most of its customers want to be regaled with such songs as Eye of the Tiger.

But David Richer, a retired postman and self-styled "old fogey", says: "Who wants a raving disco at 7am?"

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