13/05/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


13/05/2012

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by the communities secretary Eric Pickles to discuss growth and regulation.


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In the North East and Cumbria: They pride themselves for being at

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the heart of their communities but fewer of us are buying local

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newspapers. Should the Government step in to ensure their survival?

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2007 seconds

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Welcome to your local part of the show for the North East and Cumbria.

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Coming up: Can our local press survive in the

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internet age? We ask the owners of the Hartlepool Mail and the South

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Shields Gazette why they are moving some of their staff to Sunderland.

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My guests are Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith and Newcastle East's Nick

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Brown. It may not be much of a talking

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point in the pubs of North Shields or at the supermarket check-out in

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Middlesbrough, but the Government's plan to create a smaller and more

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democratic House of Lords will be one of the big issues at

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Westminster. But is it a distraction? What impression did

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the rest of the Queen's Speech make on voters? We gathered some views

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in Cockermouth. Dani did to concentrate on the

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economy, never mind about anything else. -- they need to. There is

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nothing making any great difference. It is not going to make a deal of

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difference to the man in the street. I am more interested in jobs and

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the economy to be almost. They have to do something good for the people.

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-- to be honest. The have got nothing in common with people from

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anywhere in the countries in the South East. It is just an absolute

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disaster. Even some Conservatives were not

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that impressed with the new legislative programme. James Airie

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is a county councillor in Cumbria. I am a bit disappointed. There are

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some good things in there that I welcome. There are some things in

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there that would cut bureaucracy and that is welcome. It was

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tempered a bit with some gives to the Liberals on parental leave and

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things like that. Some daft stuff in there, but there is not much

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meat on the bones. Let us talk about some of that now.

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Lord Inglewood, from Hutton in the Forest, is a hereditary peer who

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sits in the Lords, but none of us know for how much longer. He joins

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me from our Carlisle studio. Are these people right, is the

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House of Lords irrelevant? And no, they are not right. The problem

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that we face is not that things could be done that would improve it,

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because nobody knows what they are trying to do and how it relates to

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the rest of Parliament. Until that has been clear in the minds of

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people, it seems silly to suggest a reaffirmation of the House of Lords.

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What would you like to see happen? -- a wee formation of the House of

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Lords. I do not know what should happen. The difficulty is that the

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it seems to be no degree of consensus about what sort of

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parliament we want. Do we want a parliament where you have two

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chambers acting as a check and balance on each other, or do you

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want an elected chamber? Are you looking for a second chamber that

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is very much more like a committee of wise men revising and amending

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the House of Commons? In that case, you what to get people with

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experience and knowledge in it. There are two different models,

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either one would be acceptable. We have to decide what to do. The if

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they go down the elected route, would you put yourself up to - a

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prop for election? I have wondered about it. I might. I would be in my

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early 60s by the time the election came along and I do not know if

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that there would be a need for me to start. Maybe someone a bit more

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long in the tooth might be more desirable. Is this just going to

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get bogged down more by your colleagues? I anticipate that if it

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goes ahead it will turn into a circus. That is also the view of

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commentators. Thank you very much. Alan Beith, this is the big idea of

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your party. It was in the manifestos of all three parties.

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There was an interesting point made about age. There are more people

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under -- over 90 in the House of Lords then there are under 40. It

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is not the top priority of the Government. The reason it came into

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existence is to sort that the economy, and that was the first

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line in the Queen's Speech. But does not stop you getting on with

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the ordinary jobs. -- that does not stop you. Politicians love talking

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about these sort of issues. What will count over the next two years

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is how Ministers deal with the challenges in the economy, and that

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goes hand-in-hand with the process in Parliament, passing various laws.

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In the case of the House of Lords, there has been a joint committee

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which has gone to considerable lengths, and there is a consensus

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that we need to not be a rival to the House of Commons, but a

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revising chamber. There has to be some kind of legitimacy. Every

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party has said that will supply in politics aside, what is the best

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Beach Boys that I thought Lord Inglewood -- Beach Boys, I thought

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that Lord Inglewood expressed in You could take the reform process

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that Tony Blair took for a word when he was Prime Minister and have

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an appointed assembly that is not ultimately a decision-making body

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to check and advise and revise what the House of Commons does. Why it

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would you prefer? I prefer the sex -- what would you prefer? I prefer

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the second option. As a member of the House of Commons, obviously, I

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am very protective. Let's move on from the House of Lords. What is

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there in the Queen's Speech that will make a difference and the

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lives of people that you represent? We never want to get into a

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situation which has caused so many people so much hardship where the

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big banks of this country are too big to fail. This is something

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events cable has pressed so strongly about. We are determined

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that banks will have to separate the gambling activity of the

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investment side. People see that as very valuable. People do not see

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much in the Queen's Speech. They wonder what will get the economy

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going. Passing more loss is not what they want. An effective

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government, it is not about whether you can pass more loss, most

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businesses like to have a few laws. What they wanted the opportunity to

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get on with economic stability, which the coalition is seeking to

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provide. This gives the Government room to concentrate on the economy,

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doesn't it? At in the Queen's speech was largely a displacement

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activity. Better I think the Queen's Speech. We have to -- I

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think the Queen's speech was largely a displacement activity. We

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have a tricky challenge but it could be met. There is a way to

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stimulate economic activity and lend money to businesses in our

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country and strengthen our tax base. What was laid out in the Queen's

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Speech would make it easier to sack people. But it would help them

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create jobs, wouldn't they? Howdahs sacking people help create jobs? It

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does not. -- How does sacking people help create jobs? It does

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not. This is what I have been saying to both governments for a

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long time. There needs to be a better understanding of whether

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they are up to the job. It makes it difficult to part with people. That

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is the message that has been delivered. Another thing that will

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help working families is trying to enable people to share out parental

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leave between both partners and reducing the tax on working

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families by raising the tax It is tough for local newspapers.

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Circulations have fallen dramatically in recent years, with

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advertisers taking much of their business online. It has forced some

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papers like the Scarborough Evening News to turn themselves into weekly

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publications. Others are shutting town centre offices or reducing

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staff to cut costs. Many fear a vital part of community life could

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be lost if local papers are forced to close. So is it time for the

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Government to step in to ensure their survival?

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For almost 140 years, this paper has been a part of northeast wife.

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The technology might have changed, but the because of the paper

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remains the same. -- A Part of a North East life. We still

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thankfully have communities in the North East and community spirit is

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still alive. Fewer people in the community are actually buying the

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paper. In the last year, the Sunderland ago has lost 10 % of its

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sales, and it is not alone. The Hartlepool Mail and the Newcastle

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Journal have all seen such elation fall by 10 % or more. It is not --

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circulation fall. It is not all bad. There has been an increase in

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people visiting the websites of newspapers. I am going to hand over

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money to actually read a newspaper. That means newspapers are having to

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change. The group that owns the Sunderland ago are ready Prince the

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South Shields Gazette in Sunderland, but now some staff will be moving

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to cut costs. The local offices will become smaller, but the

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company says it is not the beginning of the end.

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Investment in journalism on the ground in local communities, the

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investment in still having print projects, print projects are the

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most important things in the business. It is still there. It

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does not feel like a crisis. Yes, there are a few challengers, but

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there are some exciting things ahead as well. -- a few challengers.

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Local MPs are concerned that the papers are getting less local.

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sure that the editor and reporter has will continue to be at the

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heart of the shields community, but I think that the big sign above the

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Office sent a very bad message, and I will be talking to the council

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and the owners of the paper about what can be done. Local people who

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want a local newspaper are being let down by these big businesses

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and decisions are being taken about our local newspapers. Sometimes

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decisions about South Shields are made in London, and sometimes even

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in New York. There are some who -- there are some who think it is time

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for help, not criticism. The government has been considering

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putting traffic notices in local newspapers. Ministers should look

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creatively about what benefits and help and support local newspapers

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can be given. Local newspapers are very important to local democracy.

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Who is going to hold the MP for the council to account? We are still

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the organisation that has the resource on the ground to do that.

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That somehow needs to be protected but we just have to be very careful

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about editorial independence. Decade after decade, newspapers

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have had to move with the times. The question is, without extra help,

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are they now set to become just a part of history.

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We have the chairman of Cumbrian Newspapers with us. Is this an

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industry that is dying a slow but inevitable Bath, Lord Inglewood?

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do not been so. -- inevitable death. I do not think so. The challenge

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for a local newspaper companies is that the news is not transmitted in

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a different way, and we are in the middle of a revelation and it is

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making it very difficult to see where we will end up. I do not

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think we are going to move into a world where there is no demand for

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local news and consent and where people are not prepared to pay for

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it, but the whole business model that we had known for many years is

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changing. Things are exacerbated by the fact that we are in the middle

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of a recession. Do newspapers need help from the government or is it

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up to them to find a model that works? There is an VAT rating on

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newspapers and I think it would be a mistake if that was removed.

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Having said that, and we look at this in the House of Lords, we did

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not feel that in the United Kingdom, with our political traditions, it

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was appropriate for correct government -- for direct government

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intervention. Having said that, it is important that the tax regime

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does enable newspapers to be able as they evolve. You do not what

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taxation to be the cause of the collapse. Thank you very much. Sir

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Alan Beith, this has changed the way things are working in Berwick.

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Are you confident that the Government is committed to keeping

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papers like this open? We now own the newspapers in Berwick. They are

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very important to us. It looks as though each of the newspapers is

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reasonably secured, but as Lord Inglewood says, we are in a

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changing world. Quite a lot of younger people are choosing other

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media to get their information rather than newspapers. How fast

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that there will go, we are not quite sure. I think the paper

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newspaper has quite a future for some time. I think we should not

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get into a situation where the government has to subsidise

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newspapers to encourage them to read them rather than social media

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because that leads to a very unhealthy relationship between the

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government and the press. Art local newspapers en essential part of

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life in Newcastle? Yes. I may have had different views when I was

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younger but I do now think that a free press is very important to a

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parliamentary democracy. These are private sector businesses and they

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have to adjust. They have to adjust... Respect my age! They have

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to address changing trends in the market place. You cannot order

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people to buy newspapers and you cannot order people to advertise

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what newspapers. They perform an important local function and they

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are things that the state should do. Statutory advertisements should be

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put in local newspapers. Adding Lord Inglewood was quite right to

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mention the -- I think Lord Inglewood was quite right to

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mention the zero rating on printed material. He could do the same for

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printed material that he does for food. We should argue an exemption

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for local newspapers. For they are often the bottom line, local papers,

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aren't they? They are not going to produce money from activities some

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other place in the world to pay for it newspapers that people do not

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buy. The newspaper has got to be a viable product that people will buy

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and the staff of the newspaper has If local news is your thing, you

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will not want to mix what is coming next. - Never miss what is coming

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next. It is the 60 -- you will not want to miss what is coming up next.

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It is the 62nd update. 5,000 people have signed a petition to cut

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library hours. Durham County Council is trying to keep 11

:53:16.:53:26.
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Civil servants have taken strike it -- strike action on Thursday in

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protest at changes to their pensions. The eldest person in my

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unit will have to pay about 70 % more. Spree six factories are going

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to be shut -- where there is six factories are going to be shot.

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Entries are paid for two and fashionable end attributes are paid

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You are one of the successors as Newcastle MP. House and have gained

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a figure was he? Ted was very well thought. He was Chief Whip to

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Harold Wilson in 1964 and he has left an account of those times in a

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book. The book not only shows you just how skilfully he managed a

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very difficult job, but also the fundamental decency of the man

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shines through. We're going to have to be brief. You have spent some

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times in the Commons with him. was one of the old school.

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Courteous, dignified and passionate about education in our region.

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Thank you very much. That is all from us. Check out my blog. Why not

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Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by the communities secretary Eric Pickles to discuss growth and regulation, plus he speaks to the Labour MP, Chris Bryant about the latest from the Leveson Inquiry and hears how two leading economists would get Britain's economy growing.


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