27/12/2013 The Papers


27/12/2013

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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position. We have news of Andy Murray's

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comeback match and the results of tonight's Rugby union games, or

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after The Papers. Hello and welcome to our look ahead

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to what the the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me are

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author Ian Leslie and media commentator Neil Wallis.

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The Telegraph leads with an attack on the RSPCA by the head of the

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Countryside Alliance, who says the charity has turned into a "sinister

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and nasty" organisation, more interested in animal rights than

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promoting welfare. It also has a photograph on its

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front page of David Cameron being berated by an angry victim of the

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flooding in Kent. The Times reports that the

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Government is determined to block EU plans to introduce new human rights,

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such as the right to marry. The Guardian leads with warnings to

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David Cameron, from what it calls a leading moderniser, that he is

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guilty of "pandering to UKIP prejudices" and championing a

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"negative and uninspiring" form of politics.

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The Daily Mail is concerned that Britain is now Europe's most

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overcrowded country. And it says Andy Murray will be snubbed in the

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New Year Honours list. The Independent has another flood

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victim confronting the Prime Minister, and on its inside pages, a

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call from the children's tsar for smacking to be made illegal.

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The Financial Times reports that borrowing costs have hit a two-year

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high, as investors are betting on a brighter economic outlook for 2014.

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And, there is more bad weather to come, according to the Express,

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which forecasts that wild storms and travel misery will ruin New Year

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celebrations for many of us. Let's begin and have a look at

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those. We will start with the Telegraph macro and that unusual

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story about the RS PCA being called a sinister and nasty organisation.

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What do you make of that? The head of the countryside Alliance has done

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an interview with the Telegraph where he sounded off at the RS PCA,

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The National Trust, and it sounds like he is quite angry at the

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moment. He attacked the RSPCA in particular for being an organisation

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which is now more concerned with animal rights than with animal

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welfare, more concerned about engaging in legal battles than

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actually making sure that animals are OK. It is a story I have not

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seen elsewhere. I think it is very important that we read out the name

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of this gentleman. He is General Sir Barney White Spiller. Sounds like

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something out of the Vicar of Diddley, doesn't it? He does

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basically have a serious point, because the RSPCA has becoming

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creasing the political. It has run two or three major court cases, and

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was absolutely lacerated eye a judge after spending I think in excess of

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?300,000 chasing a case involving fox-hunting. -- lacerated by a

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judge. It seems to have taken one of those terms whereby organisations

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decide they have to reinvent themselves to some extent. They have

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gone political. Significantly political. Having said that, General

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Sir Barney, as was pointed out, is lashing out at everybody. Basically

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anybody who lives further than Hillingdon or Croydon is regarded as

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a Neanderthal by the BBC, apparently. You are enjoying this,

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aren't you? I might repeat that. Rather unfair one country file.

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Apparently there is not enough on shooting on the country file

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programme. Do you think this will affect the RSPCA and fundraising?

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The membership of the RSPCA is descending at a heck of a rate but

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they are incredibly wealthy, so what they are doing is using some of that

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wealth that they have gathered over many years to try to reinvent

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themselves and become, if you like a left of centre countryside Alliance.

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It is a fairly dangerous way to go, I would have thought. I do not know

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if it is about being left of centre, but it seems campaigns based on

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legal action, as opposed to straight animal welfare. That is a new

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direction and does have its downside. Let's move on, on to the

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Independent, which has a front page about smacking. The headline is that

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the children's czar once smacking to be illegal. I am not a great

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believer in the state being allowed to tell us how to live the minutiae

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of our lives. I have two children. The idea of smacking them is apt

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warrant. However, it is a potential deterrent to children. -- I find the

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idea at the horror and. I do not think it is for the state to tell us

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what goes on in the family home. Child abuse should of course be

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cracked down on but there is many a mother watching this has lightly

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smacked their child's but on occasion, to hurry them along, to

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stop them misbehaving, or to get them on the naughty step. I trust

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the good instincts of the parents of this country more than some

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interfering woman called Maggie Atkinson. A former teacher. I would

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love to know if she has children. I have tended to find that when you

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actually have children your views about many of these issues are more

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roundly formed. I think it is actually a bit more complicated than

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you suggest. On the one hand, making the state interfere in people's

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private homes can lead to all sorts of worries and insecurities and

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problems and it is an invasion of personal freedom. On the other

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hand, if people are smacking their children and then they take it a

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little too far, how do they know where to draw the line? It has been

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going on for rather a lot of years, you know. We have been parents for

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many years. Generally, where there is abuse that is of significance, it

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should have been picked up earlier and should have been dealt with.

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Abuse that leads to the stories of which we have read far too many has

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generally gone on complete the under the awareness, shall we say, of

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social services and so forth. My basic belief is that I trust most

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ordinary people to live their lives and know how to bring up their

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children. On that bombshell, we moved to the Times. This is an

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interesting story, the headline, ministers to block right to marry.

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This is a dispute, somewhat arcane, a legal dispute between our

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government and the EU. The EU has this Charter of fundamental rights

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that it is trying to introduce into UK courts. The last Labour

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government secured an opt out from it and this government is pushing

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back. I am not sure of the legal ins and outs of this. What I think is

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important is that this is part of the political climate around the

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run-up to the European elections in May. I suspect this is a story that

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has been very much pushed by the government, showing that it is tough

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against EU, because so much of the argument will be about the EU. That

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headline about the EU and Britain has been going on and on. There is a

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theme through quite a lot of the papers in different areas where you

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touch on this issue of EU interference in the way we live our

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lives here. Actually, I agree, I would have thought this is a godsend

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for the government, for UKIP, and if there is a way to prod people in

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this country it is to say that the EU is going to interfere even more

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into their lives or the British way of life. There is a big reaction

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against it. Every poll shows that the British public resent it, do not

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want it. I do not even know what the right to marry means. It is not

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really explained in this story. Unless it is on the inside pages. It

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sounds a little legalistic. There are a variety of things mentioned.

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Guarantees of housing assistance. Guarantees of fair working

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conditions. There are 52, I think it says, no, 54 extra human is that

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they want to impose on us. I just don't think it is for them to

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interfere. I never elected a load of Eurocrats in Brussels to run my

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life. You elected governments that decided to Elektra presented tips to

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do so. The last time anybody had a vote on whether or not to stay in

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Europe was actually in 1960, I think, and I was about 17. I doubt

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whether most people watching this TV programme have actually used a vote

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to say, yes, I want to stay in Europe. It will be interesting

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whether we get to that stage. It looks like we will do. Maybe. I can

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see this has lit the spark. Let's go in the direction of the Guardian.

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What is our story that we are going to talk about? This leads from the

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last story. This is about a modernising Tory, the part of the

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party that David Cameron came from, criticising him for being too right

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wing on immigration. He says, stop pandering to UKIP prejudice. This is

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really an internal Tory party dispute and Cameron will probably

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think it is good news to be criticised from the left of his

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party, because this is all part of the climate of opinion leading up to

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the European elections, where there will be a lot of jostling for

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position in terms of who is the most right wing on immigration.

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Renegotiation before referendum possibly. One of the things that did

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amuse me about the Guardian's presentation of this, describing him

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as a leading moderniser. I am not known for being left of centre and I

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am interested in politics, but I have never heard of this

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organisation, Bright Blue. I am not sure he is such a major figure. The

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head of this organisation seems to be again doing Mr Cameron a great

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big favour. Vote bright blue to go green, was it? Onto the Daily Mail.

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A story of a very different kind. This is about this worryingly

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crowded island. Not that different. Again, more and more front pages

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which are in varying ways about immigration. This is about England

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being overcrowded. Figures secured apparently by a Tory MP that show

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that we are becoming the most overcrowded major country in Europe.

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One of the things I like about this story is that this MP, if you look

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upon the website they work for you, it turns out that he owns 28 houses.

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That is a matter of public record, which he has declared as an

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interest. So you can see why this MP would be very concerned about too

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many people. That might be a tad harsh. It also says four times as

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many people will soon be in the UK as in France, and twice as many as

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Germany. They are talking about the number of people per kilometre.

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These are House of Commons figures, based on data from the UK and EU

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statistical agencies. What it says is that when Labour came to power in

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1997, there were 374 people living per acre, per square kilometre,

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apologies, in this country. It is now up to 411, since Labour open the

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borders. It is predicted, in another 25 years, that it will go up to

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something just under 500 per acre, per square kilometre. You have to

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understand and accept that that is a lot of people. The question is, why

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do they want to come here? Because they think this is a growing

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country, presumably, and there is a great safety net that they do not

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seem to find in Germany or France, where they could have gone. But an

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interesting side issue is that earlier this week there was a report

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that said we are going to grow, our GDP will be the biggest in Europe,

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partly down to population growth. Thank you very much indeed. They

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will be back with us at 11:30pm for another look at the stories making

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the news tomorrow. Stay with us on BBC News, because coming up next, it

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is Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday. I'm

:14:50.:15:04.

Mandy Henry. Coming up: Malky Mackay becomes the sixth Premier League

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manager to

:15:07.:15:07.

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