Newspaper review: Papers reflect on Syria aftermath


There is considerable further reflection on the aftermath of Thursday night's Commons vote against Britain taking part in military action against Syria.

The Daily Mail homes in on remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry who described France as America's "oldest ally".

It calls it a "stunning snub" to Britain and says Mr Kerry appears to have forgotten the anger a decade ago at France's refusal to support the Iraq war which, it says, led to the French being satirised in the US media as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys".

And on that point, the Matt cartoon on the front of the Daily Telegraph has two Parisians chatting, one says to the other: "The British are just a bunch of tea-drinking surrender monkeys."

The Sun believes that by voting to rule out even the possibility of responding to a crime against humanity, the House of Commons has "shamed our great nation".

But the Independent argues that it would be "cock-eyed for Britain to become involved in a foreign conflict simply to defend our own international influence".

According to the Daily Express, Britain will no longer be seen as anyone's poodle - and those who think the vote will result in us losing international esteem and influence have got it wrong.

Nobel Prize

Much of the front pages of the Guardian and the Independent are taken up by a picture of Seamus Heaney who has died at the age of 74.

Paying tribute, the Guardian describes him as "a poet among the greatest of our era, a man who radiated integrity and deep kindness".

The Independent speaks of the "luminous clarity of expression" which won him the Nobel Prize.

He was the possessor of incomparable gifts and impeccable instincts. The Daily Mail salutes him as "the humble heart-throb of poetry". "With his majestic warmth and twinkle in his slanting eyes," it says, "Seamus Heaney was a man who exuded kindness and warmth".

The nanny state has just got dearer, according to the Financial Times.

It reports that thousands of families in the UK will have to start paying money into a pension scheme - for their nannies

The paper says it will add another burden for parents who already experience some of the most expensive childcare costs in the world.

It reckons the cost will be about £340 a year when the scheme is introduced in 2015, rising to more than £1,000 by the time it is fully rolled out in 2018.

Commuter disruption

The Times says care organisations in Japan are appalled after a rail company sued the relatives of a 91-year-old man with dementia who wandered onto the track and was instantly killed by a train.

Four of his children have now been ordered to pay the equivalent of £47,000 in damages for the disruption to commuters.

A fifth child was acquitted of any responsibility as he lives in Germany and played no part in his father's care.

The family's lawyers say the unprecedented judgement is likely to lead to more families in Japan putting elderly relatives into old people's homes.

Finally, "Gareth Bale is a sublimely gifted young man," says the Daily Mirror, "but by any standards £86m is an enormous amount of money."

By planning to sell him to the eurozone, the paper says, Spurs have managed a spot of successful "quantitative easing" - possibly the "best Bale-out of the year".

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