15/03/2017 The Papers


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15/03/2017

No need to wait to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.


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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be

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With me are France 24 journalist Benedicte Paviot.

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And Steve Hawkes, Political Correspondent at the Sun.

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Tomorrow's front pages, starting with...

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The FT unsurprisingly leads with Philip Hammond's U-turn over

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national insurance rises - which it says it brings

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into question the government's ability to manage Brexit.

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That's also the top story in the Telegraph, which claims

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The Metro reports that Mr Hammond admitted the national insurance

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increase broke a Conservative manifesto pledge on tax rises.

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The Times claims it was the Prime Minister who ordered the U-turn.

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It also features the failure of the far right to top the poll

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The Guardian goes with the news that a dozen police forces have handed

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files to the CPS on the claims that some MPs may have overstepped

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spending limits during the last general election campaign.

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The same story in the mirror, 12 Conservative MPs are being

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investigated. The male features a story about Marine Alexander

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Blackman his murder conviction has been overturned. Only one place to

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start and it is what a couple of the papers called the humiliation of

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Philip Hammond. That is the headline in the Telegraph and the

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Independent. Is that how you see it, humiliation? Certainly embarrassing

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climb-down. Sadly climb-down within a week, whether he was ordered by

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the Prime Minister or not, here, we are, we have a government with the

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biggest challenge the Second World War. That is the handle -- to handle

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Brexit, and a Chancellor is seen as a safe pair of hands and he has the

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go back to the house and back down. And this is really highly damaging.

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Interesting to see the Telegraph -- Daily Telegraph talking about MPs

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talking about the fact that Philip Hammond is on probation and this

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rebellion means it raises the chances of future rebellions and

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leaves a ?2 billion hole in the balance sheet. And it ends this

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article by saying Mr Hammond tonight is increasingly isolated within the

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Government. So this is very embarrassing. Not just for him, also

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for the Prime Minister. Steve, the splits, is that how you see it's

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between Downing Street and the Chancellor on this and ten Downing

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Street forcing him into this U-turn? What worried and upset Tory MPs

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today was the incredible briefing in the Sunday papers. It was sheer

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hatred formers between Number 10 and 11, blaming each other for what is a

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chaotic week. Just such a bad day for the Government. We need a new

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definition for safe pair of hands. He was supposed to be stable,

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calming, spreadsheet cell, the detail man, and it is the biggest

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U-turn on any Budget. The Telegraph highlights that he did not, he was

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asked when did he realise it was a breach of the manifesto? He says, I

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think it was when Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC mentioned it. Laura said

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that was just a joke. That shows how out of touch the Chancellor is. One

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of the memories last week of the Budget was he was making a lot of

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jokes, amusing delivery. It has backfired now. Even today after this

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project U-turn, he is back making this sort of mistake and making it

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seem as though Laura was the first to spot this. Unbelievable. Look at

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the election spending, David Davis commenting that the Select Committee

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today, the effects of a hard Brexit, it is difficult. The saving grace is

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Jeremy Corbyn -- Jeremy Corbyn, he was dire. That is why this

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government continues to make these mistakes, there is not a credible

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opposition. Can we look at the cartoon, it is the last time this

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U-turn will happen in a spring Budget. Because there is not going

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to be any. Yvette Cooper made the joke, is this why you want to get

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rid of them because you are making such a mess of them? The Metro

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continue the same theme. Mr Hammond with egg on his face and possibly a

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slightly more brutal headline than the one we were looking at. They

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highlight the fact that Mr Hammond should have done his homework

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instead of writing stale jokes, that is the quote from Labour and John

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McDonnell, who also says Theresa May during the initial Budget statement

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had been guffawing like a seal. It is very core.! A lot of anger from

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the Labour benches despite what you are saying about Jeremy Corbyn about

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how the Government have handled this. Yes, because that was not

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translated and did not come across in their leader's way. You used the

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word "This evening, that is an open goal. Like a boxer, if he cannot get

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through a punch on something like this, referring to the guffawing,

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when the Prime Minister, usually very sure-footed and measured in her

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responses, when she was, her upper torso was shaking, I thought in

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these days of social media that somebody would put a fish on except

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chat and that would be used over and over again and it is unfortunate.

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You can laugh at one particular thing and it becomes you are

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laughing at everything, the opposition. There was the

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communication aspect of the Budget last week, the Chancellor and Prime

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Minister were laughing their way through it, slapping a tax on the

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white van man. So that is part of it, the communication was

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disastrous. Labour did not foresee U-turn on this, I would argue the

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mediated, and the Tory backbenches, this only happened after MPs saw

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Theresa May on Monday night and said, we cannot do this. And because

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her majority is not large, she could not have got it through the Lords.

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That is another reason. They put this out today, the Government

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decided to put this out before Yahoo, which is prime time for the

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opposition, that they thought so little of the opposition that they

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gave it 20 minutes before rather than putting it out at 6pm. Without

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notice, Jeremy Corbyn would have had time to launch a proper attack? They

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did not leak it at 6pm on a Friday, they put it out in front of PMQs.

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Let's talk about the headline in the financial Times, to take it forward

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and is to raise doubts, they say, about the government's competence on

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all that is to come on Brexit and the negotiations over the next

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years, are we looking at a government, in your view, not the

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job? I can see how easy it is for critics of the Government, within

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the Conservative Party, within the Labour Party or what seems to be at

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the moment the most efficient opposition party, the SNP, might be

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tempted to think so. And the last paragraph in this front-page article

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is interesting because the FT is quoting I believe the Spectator and

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they say, this fiasco will be watched with amazement in European

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capitals if Theresa May caves under pressure, then her opponents in

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Brexit talks will apply pressure. This will be watched on the

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continent and is being watched, a report on this as do other European

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and world correspondence daily. This does not give an impression of a

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government that is in control. The last thing you can afford to do is

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to look like you are not in control when you have something like a

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Brexit challenge. This will give ammunition to those in the Tory

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party who have said to Theresa May that she needs a bigger majority,

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she needs to go to the country to win a bigger majority in Parliament.

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Talking to a Labour MP today, they said this is why she should have an

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election because she will face this problem all the time with a majority

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of 12. Go to an election. A Labour MP, grown-up politicians saying, go

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to an election and get a majority of 100 and this problem goes away. That

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is a Labour MP, but she did not going to do that. On Brexit, there

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is a point, this is history, Brexit is the toughest challenge since the

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Second World War for a government and I think a lot of people are

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happy Theresa May is there and David Davis, despite a bad day for him

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today, they will be worried if Philip Hammond is in the

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negotiation. When we get into Article 50, this will almost fade

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into the distance. Speaking of Article 50 and the Queen will give

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her a centre tomorrow. That trigger of Article 50 could happen at any

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moment even if we think it will not happen or we seem to have been told

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by Downing Street that it will not be until the end of March. You

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mentioned your own paper the Sun, an interview with Philip Hammond, what

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does he say? He wrote a piece and we campaigned for this U-turn, they did

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not think it would be this quick in a million years. Was it the sermon

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that when it? Of course! -- the Sun. Remember the 2015 election, it seems

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like a lifetime ago, the Conservatives said they were the

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Workers' Party, the party of aspiration, that keyword. We are the

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party of the workers, said David Cameron. And last week, the tax raid

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on a self-employed, the white van man. And Philip Hammond is saying in

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a grovelling apology, it is important, trust matters in

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politics, trust me now, there will not be another National Insurance

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rise this Parliament, we are sticking by this tax look. The key

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is, trust matters. Trust has been shattered today, the prime is the's

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trust in her Chancellor, MPs and the Government machine, and Rory Stewart

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was today defending this policy. As Andrew Neil got the message saying

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it was gone. That has to be rebuilt. A tricky time. Moving on to matters

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in the Netherlands. We have got those election results coming

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through the night from the Dutch election. There are quite

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interesting because the far right party of Geert Wilders not doing

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nearly as well as some people had predicted, Benedicte. That is right,

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what is interesting apart from what you said is the turnout was very

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high. And the time -- the time so as to thwart the will of a populist

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upsets that delivered Brexit and President Trump. That is interesting

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although one should note Mark Rutte has lost a quarter of his MPs. But

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we know that the Dutch election today, the French election, on April

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23 the first round and the second round the 7th of May and the German

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election are being watched carefully themselves and the knock-on effect

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they will have on Brexit. And for the future of the EU. Do you think

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the French will take note from this and it will affect France? I would

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not raise it in that way. I think the French are looking at what is

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happening and the campaign being dominated unfortunately by the man

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who was going to be the President, the frontrunner, charged yesterday,

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Francois Fillon. They are taking it all went, I do not think it will

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change somebody's vote. No. And we have got Yahoo, that huge hacking

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from 2014 and extraordinary story that the Americans have now indicted

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four people, two Russian spies, and they are saying allegedly, from the

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FSB, they are accused of working with criminals. So the Russian

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state, allegedly, working with criminals to hack an awful lot of

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people's Yahoo accounts. This story has been going on in the background.

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If you think about the Kremlin blamed for hacking the Pentagon and

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Theresa May and Boris Johnson have more or less accused them of being

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behind this coup in Montenegro. Boris this week said the Russians

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were behind this attempted assassination in Montenegro,

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incredible stuff, and where does it go? Boris Johnson goes to Moscow in

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a couple of weeks, which will be fascinating. It would be an

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incredible meeting with this as the backdrop. I have a French take. As a

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French voter, a couple of days ago, I got an e-mail confirming I am on

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the list of voters, telling French people abroad that exceptionally,

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they will not be voting electronically. Because of the very

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real risk of being hacked by Russia. That is extraordinary. Incredible,

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if someone like the Pentagon can be hacked and you think they might have

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a firewall, Yahoo as their business might have a firewall and we expect

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our own systems, how do they tackle this? It is a big thing post-Brexit

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we have to think about. Is it a threat in elections, in all

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countries potentially? Yes, I think this is now raising a lot of doubts

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and it is about elections, which is the biggest democratic exercise we

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can have in our democracies. But I think it is also about other things.

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Look at the reliance we accept about everything that is on the internet.

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People, criminals ganging up with possibly the FSB or someone else.

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Hacking. Russia and other state allegedly are interested in cyber

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attacks, the Chinese, the North Koreans. Computers and automation is

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now part of life. They talk about smart meters in every home and

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Artificial Intelligence. The Towcester can tell on you! Exactly,

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heaven forbid. Smart meters, they could be on the Kremlin. This lack

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of trust in politicians, the media, people's words and with social media

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this fuels mistrust. Thank you so much, as ever. That is it from the

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papers tonight. Don't forget, you can see the front

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pages of the papers online It's all there for you -

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seven days a week - And if you miss the programme any

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evening, you can watch it

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