05/01/2014 The Papers


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His press conference was just a few minutes ago. We are not proud of our


performance. It is a bitter pill to swallow but that is it. And coming


up, the Film Review. Time for a look at the front pages.


Thank you for joining us. Good evening.


Let's have a look at some of them now. The Independent has a


photograph of Eusebio, who has died. It also has a report on the standard


of care in the NHS. The Financial Times says that years of economic


uncertainty lie ahead despite the recent recovery. The Express's


headline is that tough new rules will be put in place to stop


migrants claiming money for family not living in the UK. The Daily Mail


says Downing Street is in turmoil over pensions. And hardfought


territory in southern Afghanistan will fall back into Taliban hands


when British troops withdraw this year. The Mirror says Doreen


Lawrence is furious following the removal of the detective leading the


investigation into her son's death. Let's start with the Daily Mail.


They have done some journalism of their own following David Cameron's


appearance on the Andrew Marr Show today. The result is that there is


turmoil over the old age pension benefits. Yes. I'm not trying to


belittle pensioners and benefits and essential things like winter fuel


allowance, free bus passes and television licences for people of


pension age, but it does seem to be the wrong focus. If the government


is looking at sweeteners to give the public in order to win votes in the


forthcoming general election, this is the right thing to do, but when


we look at the stories in recent weeks about one in ten young people


in the UK feeling suicidal, that is the population that we have utterly


failed, young people, and I find this focus on pensioners just a


little bit distracting and essentially a vote please. People


have been quick to point out that it degrades vote and its pensioners who


come out and vote. -- it is the elderly vote. That is why Labour and


the Liberal Democrats support similar pledges. But David Cameron


refused to be drawn on whether the Conservatives would cut back on


pension benefits like winter fuel allowance, bus passes and the


television licence. The Daily Mail says there is some confusion over


that. Downing Street says it is David Cameron's personal position on


that to safeguard it. That has always been the case. He has backed


these universal benefits and has refused to touch them for political


reasons. These universal benefits actually only cost about ?3 billion


maximum. They are not expensive. But it is madness that someone with an


income over ?100,000 per year should get a winter fuel allowance, free


television licence and a free bus pass. On a moral and ethical level,


it should be means tested. Even if you reform those things, you still


have so much to cover. Welfare spending is 25% of what the


government spends and half of that is pensions. In other words, you had


to look not just at these universal benefits but the mounting pensions


Bill. We have to get more people getting private insurance rather


than relying totally on the state. Later, we will be hearing from


George Osborne. According to the Daily Telegraph, he is preparing the


country for more cuts ahead and austerity measures even though we


are bouncing back, slightly, it seems. Osborne's blueprint for tax


cuts. The Chancellor is promising a permanently smaller state but it


says that the austerity programme must continue. We are bouncing back


because of austerity. No, we are not. It is the property boom. And


this is not how you get a nation back on its feet. Of course it is.


We are leading in car production. Manufacturing is up. In 15 years,


Britain will be the second largest Western economy aside from America.


We are coming back. It's not just housing. It's because we have got


our finances in order. We are already the second largest economy


but we have the most wealth inequality. Nobody is feeling the


benefits of any effect of the supposed economic recovery


statistics. George Osborne, not content with driving people into


poverty with low wages... He is convinced that things are getting


better. He wants to compound this even further by dismantling the


state. It's completely avoidable. These are ideological cuts. There is


no need for them. Not necessarily. Labour would have done exactly the


same. Just slower. That just means Labour is as spineless as the


coalition. George Osborne says that things are getting better. However,


the Financial Times says it is years of cuts that lie ahead. How much


more are people supposed to take. This is unsustainable. Just get the


government back to the size it was before Labour went on its spending


splurge. The government's target is ideological. It is to cut the


welfare state and that is ideological driven and unnecessary


stop it can be philosophical but it can also be necessary. We cannot


afford it! We have ?1.2 trillion... Rachel, isn't it a case that... Why


not chase tax evaders? We can do that as well. We have to have


austerity. We don't have to have austerity. This is not a fringe


view. Leading economists, leading businessmen. There are other ways


out of a financial crisis. This austerity is pure ideology. I'm very


happy as a Catholic to hear you say that the Pope is right on some. This


is a purely ideological view and you are presenting it as the law. Let's


agree to disagree on that one. The Times has a story that we mentioned


earlier, which is quite unique, compared to other papers. The


Taliban is poised to regain Helmand province after the UK exit. This is


regarding Afghanistan. 447 UK soldiers lost their lives in this


part of Afghanistan and many commanders say this is how to lose a


war as a good example. In which case, why did we go in the first


place? That is what the public is going to be asking. Not


unreasonably. Firemen very reasonably. Another indication of


how poorly it has gone is that drug production is up again. Under the


Taliban, one good thing that they did is eradicate the opium trade.


That is now back. One irony is that the wars on terror in Afghanistan


and Iraq is that they have had the opposite effect. They have actually


increased militants. There was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq before 2003, now


they have just taken over Fallujah. So these wars have not only failed,


they have had the opposite effect of what they set out to achieve. Do you


think that has effect did not just the British reaction but the


international reaction to Syria? -- affected. Of course it has. It is


not a position of impotence or being too frightened. It's a case of not


doing something because you have learned a lesson. But Syria is


different to Iraq and Afghanistan. The definition of insanity is to go


on repeating an action that hurts you. If we went on after Afghanistan


and Iraq, that would not be courage, that would be madness. Some patients


could be denied treatment because of overspending on NHS budgets. Doctors


have been forced to cancel a ?15 million fund to fast track the use


of new therapies because the NHS in England has spent too much of its


?12 billion budget for complex care. Recently, the head of the BMA said


that if the NHS was the country, it would not have a credit rating


because it is so poorly managed. This is a good example. You have got


to reform the system wholesale otherwise things like this will keep


on happening. This is a really hard story, isn't it? Cancer care, the


idea that people are not getting the best care that they could have and


that there is better care available overseas... There was something


recently about pancreatic cancer getting better treatment in


Germany. It's just horrifying. People should be allowed to shop


around. If you have the money, you should be able to go there and buy


those drugs. And yet on the front page of the Independent, the


headline is that NHS care is outstanding, according to serve


Michael Richards, whose job is to review every single NHS Trust in


England, and he says that he has come across fantastic care that he


feels deserves to be highlighted as well. Good. He has come across some


fantastic care. And it's almost certainly the majority of


hospitals. But recent reports into GPs found that one third of


surgeries were not up to scratch. Mid-Staffordshire Hospital. People


died. The point of the NHS is that you might get it right in the


majority of cases but when you get it wrong, because it's a health


service, people die. It's not good enough. But if you keep bashing the


NHS, people will be driven to cutting it into parts and selling it


off, which is what the government is trying to do. I'm fascinating about


why you think it's necessary to talk up the NHS. Negative headlines make


good news. But the curious thing about this headline is that it is


positive. You have to remember that this is a vocational job. They are


not doing it for the money. This is the Daily Mail. A story you are very


keen to do. Yes. Baldric goes to war against Michael Gove. This is coming


off the back of Michael Gove in the same newspaper attacking the way


that World War I is being taught in schools. He would prefer it to be


taught in a much more jingoistic term. Neocolonial, nationalists.


Yeah, yeah will stop upbeat. Then act this is embarrassing. We have so


many resources, historians, teachers, capable of providing a


really well rounded view of World War I, the arguments, the opinions,


the different takes, and instead we have Michael Gove promoting this


horrible, nationalistic war happy... It's like history for


insecure idiots. I admire him as an education Secretary and he has done


a lot of great things but this frightens me as an historian. I


don't care about his opinion as to World War I but the idea of an


education secretary saying that it's too left-wing and to promote an


alternative right wing take on that and that the state should impose


that on children and academics, that is actually frightening. That is


very frightening. I actually agree with you for a change. Thank you. We


will have more on the storms sweeping in from the Atlantic.


Almost 100 warnings in place. Coming up next - the film review.


Hello and welcome to the Film Review on BBC News. To take us through this


week's cinema releases is Jason Solomons. Jason, amazingly good


films out at the moment. Yes, and awards season


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