18/03/2017 The Papers


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18/03/2017

No need to wait until tomorrow morning 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 Jason Beattie, head of politics at the Mirror,

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and Tim Shipman, political editor at the Sunday Times.

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in a moment we will find out the correct way to make a scone.

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The Express features the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

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who saw their visit to Paris overshadowed by the Orly airport

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The paper says the royals "continued defiantly with their programme".

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The Sunday Times also pictures the Duchess of Cambridge,

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but its main story is that alleged rape victims will be spared

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under new reforms announced by the Justice Secretary.

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The Mail goes it alone with a controversial call

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from a retired doctor for women to be able to terminate a pregnancy

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The Telegraph says new evidence has emerged over claims

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that a pregnancy testing drug has been linked to birth defects

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And the Sunday Mirror has an exclusive interview

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with George Michael's personal medic,

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who says the star knew his death was near.

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We are going to start with the Sunday Express an exclusive which

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tells us that we may not be faraway from a snap general election.

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Perhaps. This is a very interesting mineshaft because we've all been

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talking to MPs who think it might be a good idea to have a general

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election. The Tories are in a bit of a mess with perhaps going to court

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over breaking the spending limits during the campaign. Nicola Sturgeon

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is calling for a referendum, we have evidence as a result of the budget

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that the government is finding it difficult to do anything because

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when ten or more Tory MPs object things don't happen. So there are a

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lot of people around the Prime Minister who would like to have a

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general election. The Express says they have been text between senior

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members of the party, suggesting let's go for it on the fourth of

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May, let's declare Brexit on the last week of March and go for it.

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One problem is that the one person who still doesn't agree with this is

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the Prime Minister Theresa May. She is a pretty determined lady.

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According to the people I've spoken to she is still absolutely adamant

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that she isn't doing it. But this is an interesting development that

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people high up are beginning to talk about quite seriously. Hold on a

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moment, aren't we bound by fixed term parliaments? We are. Introduced

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by David Cameron to strengthen the durability of the coalition means

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that if she wants to hold a general election she has to go to MPs and

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two thirds of them have the vote in favour of calling an early poll.

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That's not impossible. I think it would be difficult for Labour to say

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no, partly because it would look on that they would have an election

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when the Tories can say, these people didn't want you to have a

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vote. Labour would have to pretend that they are in a position to win

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over the general election. It may look unlikely at the moment but they

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have potential. That's a technicality. The more difficult

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thing for Theresa May is what is the benefit of going alone? As Kim said,

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-- Tim said, she doesn't have on mandate and that came up when Philip

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Hammond had to do the reverse -- reversal... Yes, it would be useful

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to say, this is what I am standing on, a parliamentary majority that is

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far too thin. But she has Brexit coming up and she has two years of

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difficult negotiations. If they break down, that's when she will

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have to say, this is my plan for Brexit. The EU are not accepting it,

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I am going to put this to a vote. Who else is going to benefit? The

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Lib Dems? They are back up into double figures in the polls and seem

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to be ahead of Ukip. If you look at local council by-elections they are

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winning seats off the Tories and Labour, so they are doing OK. It is

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their Spring Conference this weekend and they are beginning to try and

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say some interesting things about how you might bring together some of

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the moderate Labour types and be Remainer Tories and then into

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something that will appease the hardliners. What the Tories are

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worried about is they think voters punish parties who are in it for

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themselves. the Sunday Telegraph. Philip Hammond faces mutiny from

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Brexit ministers. They don't think they are well equipped for the job

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they have to do. Yes, after months of telling a day have all the staff

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and they have the finest negotiators possible, now we've got the free

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Brexit departments, we have Boris Johnson and Liam Fox and the

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department of national trade and the department for exiting the EU. They

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all say they don't want the 6% budget cuts they will impose just as

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the entities negotiations. Beyond that, there is an element of the

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Brexiteers ganging up on an already weakened Philip Hammond. Why would

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they want to do that? Because Philip Hammond is the last true Remain

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around the table. It sounds like the title of an epic novel, The Last

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True Remainer. It could be like the last of the dinosaurs! They see him

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as the block for getting the Brexit they want. The phrase is Brexit

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blocker. He isn't effective blocker as he was a fortnight ago, because

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he has been weakened, but this is a tiny bit, if one was going to be

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cynical, like an attempt to weaken him further. I'm told there were

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Brexiteers getting together last week who had a WhatsApp group and

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they were sharing their thoughts and the instruction went out to certain

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backbenchers to "kill Phil", which is demotic. It is the first time the

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Brexiteers have really agreed on much for some time, but they all

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agree that they think Philip Hammond is wrong about Brexit. The Times.

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Jaws or is born scuppers second jobs for MPs -- George Osborne. How so?

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He has six of them now. He has six jobs. Lots of MPs do something on

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the side. Some are qualified lawyers or they have EADS -- business

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interests. What we are revealing tonight is that there are lots of

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different watchdogs and investigation committees and they

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all pretty much do -- restrict things further. What these Tory MPs

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are discovering is that by going off and earning such colossal amounts of

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money and doing quite so much in-depth time-consuming work, Mr

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Osborne may be spoiling the party for all of them. He personally is

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facing God knows what and Iain Duncan Smith, the former leader, has

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been on another WhatsApp group, they are at it everywhere! He is

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comparing George Osborne to Gordon gecko, from Wall Street, greed is

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good, look at this. I was told by someone from GCHQ that the use of

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WhatsApp because it is about the most secure form possible. All that

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means is that the spy agencies and anyone else can't break into these

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messages. When there are 40 odd people on a message stream, it

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doesn't take too long to four -- on up someone and share the jokes. It

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is about the money George Osborne is earning? If he was and earning any

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money for these jobs would it be a problem? Some Tory MPs are going, he

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has all our jobs now. It is a very difficult area to police. For

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example, some MPs occasionally like to do a bit of journalism. They can

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write for papers like the Sunday Times and get paid for it. Very

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rarely, actually. Do you want to stop them doing something like that?

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Do you want to stop someone like Alan Johnston writing books in what

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he says is his bedtime? So it is and that they want to outright ban all

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jobs but they get paid handsomely, three times the average wage to do

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this job. They think George Osborne doing all these jobs diminishes

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their job. He makes it looked like something you can do in a couple of

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hours a day and for them this is a noble calling, for some of them.

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They are also worried he will go into the tea room or to the

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committee and write down what they are all saying and stick it in his

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newspaper. He might not put certain negative things about people in the

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papers and put negative things about people like the PM in the paper.

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Small story, page 26, moving along now! The second story on the Sunday

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Times. Rape returns to be spared court or a deal and this will be

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pre-recorded cross examinations, so that a witness or an alleged victim

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wouldn't have to be there in court. Potentially facing the person who is

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accused. That's right. This is Liz Truss's big announcement. There is a

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big deal coming in on Monday. -- Bill. She is saying that they've

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trials this with child sex cases, where the victims give evidence on

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camera. They are cross-examined, but the judge can limit the amount of

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time they have to undergo cross examination and the type of

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questions that are asked. They have been cases in the past where they've

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been asked about their past sexual history and often that is regarded

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as inadmissible by the judge, but quite often what will happen in a

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courtroom is that the defence lawyer will ask it, they will rule it out,

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but the jury has heard it anyway. In these cases the incentive to do that

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is low because if it is inadmissible if simply gets cut out of the

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videotape and never gets played in court and what they've done with the

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trials that they've done is that this speeds up the number of guilty

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pleas by people and stops the victim having to go through a situation

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where the evidence is very strong and the defence will back off, you

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get an early guilty -- guilty plea and you save time and save trauma

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for the victim. That's been criticism for many years, the trauma

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witnesses have to go through. I think if anything it will make it

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less arduous and sometime a horrific process. Let's look at the Observer.

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It said the Guardian, but it isn't! There must be somebody who can send

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it across! Secret tape reveals the mental to seize control of Labour.

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This is the momentum of the group... The people who helped Jeremy Corbyn

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become leader. What's the plot? The head of Momentum has been recorded

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suggesting that the head of Labour's biggest backer, who is up for

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election in April, if he gets re-elected, which now seems likely,

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then he could, and I have to emphasise this is good, he could

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affiliate with Momentum and that would mean a lot of money or be pro

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Jeremy Corbyn. What's interesting here is we've got drama on top of

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melodrama on top of infighting, which is so Byzantine. But we've got

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these personal fights going on between Len McCluskey at his old

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former flatmate, Tom Watson. It are at loggerheads -- they are at local

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-- loggerheads. Tom Watson is determined to stop Len McCluskey

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building Annie Power. To the extent that he is back in the rival. We've

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got that drama and then we've got this big drama of Jeremy Corbyn at

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some point having to stand down and they are desperate to make sure that

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before he goes they get their left candidate in place, which again the

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border at in the Labour Party are trying to stop. We have this big

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drama and these personal fights going on as well.

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Momentum have all the people and United have the money. If you bring

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them together you can change the rules of the leadership election so

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you need far fewer MPs to get on the ballot paper. If you do that, there

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is a hard left candidate on the ballot paper every time and that is

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how they get a stranglehold on the Labour Party going forward. That is

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what this is about. Fascinating. Stopped repressing Cornwall. --

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stop. Do you feel oppressed by the English? I don't think so. We just

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want our talents and skills all around the area... People don't

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appreciate our spirit. We know how to make the best tea. The Devonians

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might not get this, put the cream on top after. I wouldn't put cream on a

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pasty. This is upsetting, but we need to finish. It was nice to see

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you. We have run out of time. Coming up next, The Film

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