15/01/2014 The Papers


15/01/2014

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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football transfer news. And we will look ahead to Andy Murray's

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second-round match at the Australian Open. That is all in 15 minutes.

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

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us tomorrow. With me are the journalist known as the Fleet Street

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Fox, and Kieron Stacey, the political correspondent for the

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Financial Times. The front pages are already in, many of them. The Daily

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Telegraph is leading on the Lib Dem's party decision not to

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discipline Lord Rennard over allegations he harassed women

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activists because of insufficient evidence. The mirror is leading on

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William Roache's trial at Preston Crown Court. Onto the Guardian, and

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it says Labour will bring in more competition to high-street banks.

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The express is claiming scientists searching for a cure for cancer have

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made a major breakthrough. The Daily Mail says official crime statistics

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simply cannot be trusted. And the times says hundreds of teachers have

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been accused of having a sexual relationship with a pupil in the

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past five years. We are going to start with The Daily

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Telegraph, and a story that has dogged the Liberal Democrats for

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quite some time now. Click cowardice on sex case appear. This refers to

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Lord Rennard. -- Nick Clegg cowardice. Sticky yellow yes, the

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Lib Dem peer was apparently accused of harassing various activists. And

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there has been a police investigation which has found it

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does not have enough to proceed with. This is an internal Lib Dem

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enquiry led by a QC, and the only thing they have been able to come up

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with is that there has been a personal violation of space. He has

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denied all the charges but it seems incontrovertible. They do say there

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is credible evidence against him but not enough to be beyond reasonable

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doubt. He does seem to have been a bit of a sex pic, really. He has

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been unreasonable. OK, he has been a bit of a sex pig, but nothing as far

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as the police is concerned. Nothing that rises to the level of a

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criminal investigation and the Liberal Democrats don't think it

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warrants him to be kicked out of the party. It is just somebody who has

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acted in a terribly ungentlemanly fashion. But Nick Clegg and Tim

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Farron, the party chairman, have said they do think there is an issue

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here. They do things Lord Rennard needs to reflect upon his actions

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and issue an apology and they don't want him involved in the future

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developer and of the party. -- they do think. However, you does not

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appear to be reflecting on his actions and is looking forward to

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going back to work. -- he does not. The issue is, according to this Lib

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Dem report, that he violated the personal space of female activists.

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So he has been exonerated in a very muddled way. He has been exonerated

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from serious sexual offences but the Liberal Democrats are saying there

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is something a bit murky going on that you might not like, ladies, but

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there is nothing we can do about it. He doesn't want to apologise and

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we cannot make him. No sanctions whatsoever. So a member of a party

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who has acted in a way that other members think is unreasonable. So

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they have completely fudged it and made a mess of it. Where does Nick

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Clegg stand? I think Nick Clegg will brush it off and move on. Why don't

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think we will get any more allegations other than the ones that

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are already out there. -- I. And it is not in any one's interest to keep

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going further. That said, I think there is a wider problem here. And

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you do see instances, particularly of elder men in positions of power,

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abusing that power and abusing the trust. The trust of people who work

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for them and around them, particularly younger women. And I

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have sat there at a dinner, for example, where I have seen it, and

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an older senior politician essentially gropes a young female

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journalist under the table. And what was incredible about that, this

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stuff happens... You see it in various walks of life at various

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times but this man just seem to think you could get away with it.

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And in fact did get away with it. But you saw it. They did get away

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with it. You didn't lean across and say anything. It didn't feel my

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place to say it. Therein lies the problem. Women think they need to

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just not make a fuss. Other people think it is not my place, what is

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going on? But something is amiss. Something is not right in that

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situation and it should be everybody feels able to say something.

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Particularly in politics you have the culture of a lot of middle-aged

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men dominating the positions of seniority and power. That happens in

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a lot of workplaces but especially in politics, where there is a late

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late-night, boozy culture for a long time, though that is starting to die

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away. It can be quite an intimidating place for many women to

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work and you kind of think when women are brave enough to come out,

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these Lib Dem female activists, who have done so, put their names on the

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record and said, this has happened to me, and that must be a really

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tough thing to go through. I'd think anything the Lib Dems have said

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suggests these woman lying but what is difficult to say is how much this

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crosses the boundary and where does the boundary lie. The police made it

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clear the evidence wasn't there to reach the bar they had set for this

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to precipitate a Chronicle investigation, but where does this

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leave women and politics? -- reciprocate a criminal

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investigation. The Conservatives perhaps have looked at this more,

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possibly just in terms of policy. But is this the kind of thing that

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is going to put women of? Of course it is! You are not going to want to

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go to a meeting with pepper spray and protection! It puts voters off.

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And it puts people off wanting to join. Lord Rennard's job, when he

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rejoins the party, will be on the party committee writing the election

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manifesto. They do have a particular problem, the Lib Dems. They don't

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have a single female member. One of the things that has gone wrong here

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is essentially allegations went through a strain of different people

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none of who really got it, none of whom thought instinctively, we have

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to do something about it, this is woolly serious. They all looked at

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it and thought, somebody else can deal with this. -- really serious.

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Ideal with these guys a lot. There is no suggestion there is sexism or

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that this is endemic in the party. It is sometimes difficult, I guess,

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as a man just to understand instinctively how or why a lady in

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that situation can feel and possibly where the boundaries. I am sure the

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party has learned a lot. We're going to stick with the Telegraph. Anchor

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bonuses. This is the time of year where all those bankers are rubbing

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their hands, salivating. -- bankers' bonuses. Tuscan yachts,

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except for! Rubbing their hands! But we are angry because we own half

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that bank. Yes, nearly all of it. 80%. And George Osborne can, if you

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want to do, simply say no to whatever their bonus is. -- if he

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wants to. They are going to say, please can we pay bonuses up to two

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times their salary. That is a significant amount, particularly

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with senior staff. But there is a very good reason to have bonuses,

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which is that in good times, do give hefty bonuses and in lean times you

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take the bonus of way and you manage to keep people in jobs, so rather

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than pay people a lot of money and then have to sack them later, it is

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a push on. But it is the level of bonuses. It depends what your salary

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is. Two times your salary if you are on a quite moderate one is not so

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much. It is the whole package. How much is the whole package? That is

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the question. If you are paying somebody ?1 million there is a good

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case for saying 500,000 of that should be salary and 500,000 of that

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is a bonus. That is entirely sensible. But why do they have to

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get a bonus at all? No other industry, really... We don't get

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paid bonuses. And then told, you have done well this year. We don't

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have the same swings people in the city do. The problem in the City is,

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they haven't taken the bonuses await in tough times. Oh, pull them! But

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we are only just coming out of the recession we were in. We are talking

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about bankers who are potentially earning ?1 million getting a ?2

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million bonus. As you say, Kieron, it might seem OK to pay them in the

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good times but we're only just coming out of a really bad economic

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slump. It might be doing well for some people, the economy, on paper,

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but it is not doing well for others. They are struggling a lot. It is

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terrible, terrible PR. If we had a serious banking crisis only just,

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and banking wants to continue with public trust, they cannot have this

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tin ear for the public mood, saying, well, we need to have twice as

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salary. They need to change their payment systems and convince all of

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us they have changed their ways, but, then again, does it matter?

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Because we cannot cope without the banks and they can do what they

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like, to some extent. Let's go on to The Guardian. Should the banks be

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broken up? Is that the real way to deal with this? More smaller banks,

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so therefore you don't have these five monoliths who can dictate

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everything? Well, the issue previously was the energy companies

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and that didn't work, so why don't have a lot of confidence in Ed

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Miliband giving them this morning -- this warning. -- I. Part of the

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problem is it is already happening. This is something Europe is doing.

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But it doesn't come in for another year and the Government is fighting

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this in the courts, so it may never happen if they win? I think it will

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happen, we're just gearing up for that. Part of the reason RBS will

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have to ask for this is because the EU laws allow you to ask for leeway.

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On the Labour policy, this is something that governments always

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say, they want more competition in the market, and the reason that

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things are not going well in the energy market for consumers is the

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lack of companies. Running a bank is not easy, you need a lot of capital.

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It is not a free school! All right, OK, let's stay with the Guardian,

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apparently the Austro-Hungarian Empire's decision to declare war on

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Serbia in 1914 had nothing to do with the start of the First World

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War, apparently! Thank God for the Guardian, bringing the news right up

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to date, up-to-the-minute, illustrating their front page like

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that. This is what Franz Ferdinand's family say, by the way.

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The First World War was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz

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Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, and one of his descendants are said, it

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wasn't our fault, you know, guys, we didn't start this mess! The Guardian

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has finally got around to reporting it 100 years on, fair enough, it is

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the centenary year for the start of the war, but what is interesting is,

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further down in this copy, he says, the descendants says, this was

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already happening, it was in the starting blocks, the assassination

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was the blue touch paper to light the inevitable conflagration of the

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First World War. He says, if you have to blame someone, the greatest

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blame would lie with nationalism itself, which was really which

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started the First World War in terms of the Serbian-Bosnian conflict,

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Austria, Hungary, Russia, Britain and Germany, nationalism, and a

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couple of weeks ago Michael Gove was doing what? Banging the Nationalists

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drum, saying it was our finest moment, a great British achievement.

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I am more prepared to listen to Franz Ferdinand's many times over

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grandson saying nationalism is a bad thing. Not the band, not the pop

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group, by the way! But you might be a little bit sheepish this year, and

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in fact over the next four years, if you are related to the Ferdinand

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family! They are out there doing interviews. I think this is a

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brilliant piece of journalism! Who goes up to their news editor and

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says, do you know who I really want to interview?! I want to hear the

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pitch! I have got a really good story! It is a bit old, we have done

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it before... My news editor would say, if it is not new, it is not

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news, and this qualifies. Let's just throw the Guardian in the bin!

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Thanks for that, you will be back in an hour for a look at some of the

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stories behind the headlines here on the Papers, but stay with us,

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because at the top of the hour we will be looking at the decision of

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the Prime Minister that he is not going to allow bonuses that go

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beyond the overall bonus pot four, certainly, RBS at any rate. We will

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bring you more on that at the top of the hour, but now the time for

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Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday, I'm

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Karthi Gnanasegaram. The headlines this evening: The 99th goal of the

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season for City puts them into the fourth round of the FA Cup after a

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5-0 win over Blackburn.

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