Newspaper review: Papers react to Royal Mail sell-off


The Guardian's main story is what it calls "the great mail sale" - for the paper the news that shares in Royal Mail are more than seven times oversubscribed is fuelling criticism that the price is too low and "reviving privatisation fever last seen in the 1980s".

According to the Daily Mail, the political sensitivity of what it calls "the stampede" for shares means the final decision on who gets them could be taken by the prime minister.

The Daily Telegraph sees it as the latest sign that British politics as a whole "has a ring of the 80s".

The sale of Royal Mail is reviving hopes of a return to popular capitalism - something it believes should be embraced, though with some caution as well as optimism, it says.

For the Daily Mirror, though, it is a case of "wealth lost in the post" - it accuses the government of short-changing taxpayers and "asset-stripping a part of our lives".

Immigration move

The Independent leads with what it calls the landmark British study into potential treatments for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders.

For the paper's health reporter, Charlie Cooper, while nothing is certain yet, "when leading lights in the field speak of possible 'turning points' and 'history' it is worth sitting up and paying attention".

According to the Times, the findings are seen as a powerful challenge to conventional approaches to treating Alzheimer's, with independent observers reacting with excitement to the researchers' claims that a cure could now be "within reach".

The Sun gives a broad welcome to what it calls the government's flagship Immigration Bill, which it says "finally backs up the talk of cracking down on those who live here illegally", but says it is a major disappointment for campaigners that plans to restrict GP care have been "ditched".

For the Daily Telegraph, the legislation is "the government's response to the rise of the UK Independence Party and growing unease about immigration".

But the Independent argues that a new survey shows the public are sceptical of the need for new rules.

Landing guide

"Maddy cops e-fit breakthrough" is the front page headline for the Daily Mirror which says British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are ready to release an image of a new suspect.

It is also the lead story for the Daily Express which says detectives plan to release the picture in the next few days as part of a major appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

Finally, the story of what the Daily Telegraph calls a "rookie pensioner's emergency night landing" appeals to almost all the papers.

"Hero? I was just holding the joystick" is the Daily Mail's headline, quoting John Wildey who landed a light aircraft at Humberside airport at the end of what it calls "70 minutes of terror" after the pilot collapsed.

For readers wishing to prepare for similar emergences, many of the articles include handily labelled pictures of an instrument panel - and there is even a "how to land a plane" guide in the Independent.

For the Daily Mirror, the tale of the man it calls a modest hero is "a soaring reminder that pensioners can reach for the skies".

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