At least six of the British Army’s most highly skilled generals have walked away from the organisation in the wake of government defence cuts. With the size of the Army about to be cut by a fifth to 82,000 personnel, the generals have cited a dramatic loss of morale in the service and the perennial problem of poor kit provisions as triggers for their departure. It is also reported that Army middle management are severely disillusioned by the changing shape of the organisation. Described by the paper as some of the “leading thinkers of their generation”, the leavers include Iraq war veteran and former SAS commander Major Gen Jonathan Shaw, widely regarded as the “brightest of his year”.
“Too much cost; too much bureaucracy; too much meddling in issues that belong to nation states or civic society or individuals.” They were the reasons cited by prime minister David Cameron in a weekend newspaper column for a radical rethink of the UK’s relationship with Europe – and a possible referendum on that very issue. However, the Guardian reports that Tory Eurosceptics are still far from satisfied with Cameron’s stance. Former Cabinet minister John Redwood has implied that Cameron was wrong to say in the column that the UK should wait until the euro crisis has blown over before ringing any significant changes. “We would like to get on with it,” he said, “and I think we know already what powers we would like to get back.”
Independent on Sunday
Court documents filed by US investors have accused Bank of England leadership of failure to act over a burgeoning LIBOR scandal as far back as 2007. In a scoop, the Sunday Indy reports that, during a Money Markets Liaison Group meeting that year attended by representatives from financial institutions and national treasuries, questions were raised over the LIBOR system’s integrity. However, the lawsuit claims, Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker – who was present at the meeting – failed to take those queries any further. The implication is that the latest high-profile banking scandal could have been headed off at the pass around half a decade ago.
Dame Helen Mirren took her acceptance of a lifetime achievement award in the Czech Republic as a chance to encourage more women to pick up the directing megaphone. “Things have moved on [since I made my early films],” she said at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, “but as far as I’m concerned, they haven’t moved on enough. I don’t know how many female directors are presenting their films in this festival. I very much doubt that it’s 50%.”
Andre Villas-Boas has been signed up as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, on a £16m pay deal, in his first club coach position since a torrid spell at Chelsea in which he failed to establish a rapport with the players. The paper speculates that he could be handed a substantial transfer fund to bolster the squad – something that may help him repair his reputation following the Chelsea misadventure.
News Corporation mega mogul Rupert Murdoch has unwittingly confirmed that the showbiz bent of his tabloids really does reflect a personal interest in celebrity lifestyles, following a tweet in which he commented upon the imploding marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. “Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop,” he counselled his followers. “Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people.” It emerged from the en masse deciphering lab of the world’s media that Murdoch was in fact referring to Scientologists – not Cruise and Holmes – as the nefarious group in question. Murdoch later added that Mission Impossible star Cruise was “number two or three” in a “very weird cult”.