20/01/2014 The Papers


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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hearing from the British Olympians as they get kitted up to prepare to


head to Sochi. All in Sportsday coming up in 15 minutes' time after


the Papers. Hello and welcome to our look ahead


to what the papers will be bringing us tomorrow morning, with me our


political commentator Jo Phillips and James Rampton, features writer


for the Independent. We will have a look at the front pages, starting


with the fallout of allegations against Lord Rennard, which


dominates the Independent. The paper carries his photo above the


headline, I'm the victim! The Telegraph also leads on Lord


Rennard, the paper also says that fracking for shale gas may not begin


in the UK for at least another year. Exposure to sunshine can cut the


risks of heart attacks and strokes, so says the Daily Express. The


Guardian leads on Syria, saying officials there could face war


crimes charges as evidence has been found of killings.


And a number of high-street businesses are set to make their way


onto the stock market, says the Financial Times.


The suspension of the Lib Dem peer Lord Rennard dominates several of


the front pages, and we can take a look at them now. The Independent,


I'm the victim! Talking about the personal statement he issued today.


The Daily Telegraph claims Lord Rennard is trying to smear his


victims. The Daily Mail describes the turmoil as sex pest storm: Clegg


in crisis. What do you make of the mixture of coverage, Jo? It is


certainly not the sort of coverage that anyone in the Liberal Democrats


would want, that is for sure! I am awfully glad I'm not doing that job


any more! This is not good for the party. I think more worryingly it is


not good for politics. And I think it is, in some ways, I think it is


creating a culture, as all of us in the media do to a certain point,


creating such a storm that I think it is terribly important to make the


point that, actually, you know politics is and can be a very nasty,


dirty, ruthless, beastly business. It is not for the faint-hearted. But


the idea that women going into politics are going to be, you know,


systematically abused at Westminster, or anywhere else, is


simply not true. And I think... I know Chris Rennard, I worked with


him years ago, and I held him then, as I do now, in the highest regard.


The Lib Dems have handled this appallingly, marrying pomposity and


fast in a way that beggars description, and there doesn't seem


to be an end in sight. You have got two blokes shouting at each other,


Chris Rennard and Nick Clegg, and as the gap between them gets ever


wider, and the general public are thinking, do you know what,


politics, what is all that? There are other issues that are more


important. James? I'm quite interested that the Independent has


Chris Rennard standing in front of a Lib Dems poster saying, cleaning up


the streets, and it will take a long time to clean up the streets of the


Lib Dems at the moment, because they seem to be in turmoil. Loathe as I


am to say it, I agree with the Daily Mail, the first time I have ever


said that, it is the worst crisis that has faced Nick Clegg's


leadership. He really has handled this so badly, and one Lib Dem was


saying it is two blokes chucking grenades at each other, and when


they go off, there is a lot of collateral damage. A lot of people


get hand, that is what is happening. I think it is terribly


sad that what is a very serious case has become something much wider, and


because of the way it has been mishandled, has blown up into


something that is doing serious damage to the Lib Dems, and


particularly will harm them with female voters, I think. They would


think, this party cannot even deal with its own former chief executive,


why would I vote for them?! Going back to what you said, Jo, if they


have handled it as badly as you clearly both think they have had, at


what point should they have been doing things they have not thank you


my well, hindsight, of course, as we all know... That is what we are here


for! Hindsight and expertise, never getting our hands dirty! It should


have been dealt with and properly when the allegations were first made


several years ago. Now, I don't know the exact extent of the


allegations, and all I know is what is in the papers, the same as we all


know. But it seems to me that what happened is that it was not dealt


with. What I don't quite understand is whether the women who are at the


centre of this then just went away and thought, well, that is


disappointing, and something that happened to make them, if you like,


reignite their claims against Lord Rennard. But what seems to be


missing, Julian, in all of this, you know, since last year, almost


exactly one year ago this story first broke, but Nick Clegg and


Chris Rennard, who used to work really closely together as chief


executive and leader, having spoken. I heard that being acknowledged by


Nick Clegg on the radio this morning. I was astonished when I


heard that, and that some point these things happen, you know, there


is nothing good, ever, about allegations of sexual inappropriate


behaviour or bullying or anything like that. But we're not talking


about 15-year-olds, we are not talking about a very vulnerable


young women. We are talking about grown women in a cup environment.


Somewhere along the line, wouldn't you have just picked up the phone


and said, come on, let's sort this out? Now they are both in a position


that neither of them can move from. Nick Clegg said he had to keep a


distance, I have to go through the party process. With the juicy's


report, but I agree with you, Jo, even at the height of the troubles


in Northern Ireland there were secret talks, people talking to the


IRA from the government, and you cannot achieve anything in politics


without talking to those you see as your enemy. And Clegg and Rennard


have got to find, somehow, some form of mediation, a bit like Relate, go


to a counsellor to bring them back together. We have got to sort out


what to do with the kids and a Volvo, there is always a Volvo


involved! We must sort this out now, or else the marriage is going to be


destroyed, and the party will be destroyed in the process, and that


is a disaster for the Lib Dems. And at the root of this are claims that


these women have gone through some deeply unpleasant thing. If this


becomes a story about two blokes, which it is at the moment, that


removes their story and their dignity. It will put off female


voters. And lots of other people. On the other side of this, I do think


there are women, other women's issues, if you like, that are a lot


more serious, that all political parties need to be talking about,


and I think this is in danger of clouding those. Sticking with one of


the front pages, the Telegraph has other stories, including a reference


to the state of the British economy. IMF hails Britain as the


best in the West, that is the headline halfway down the right-hand


side. James. George Osborne will be lighting a cigar over breakfast, I


am sure he does not smoke, but metaphorically putting his feet up


and saying, I have done a good job. This time last year the IMF was


accusing him of playing with fire, they were quite trenchant in their


criticism of him. Today they are saying it is the fastest-growing


recovery of all, forecasts have been increased, 2.4% this year, up from


1.9%, paid only in October, that prediction. It is a big jump. I am


no Tory, but I have to say, these are very promising figures. As a


British person, I am delighted. It does make the political debate


fascinating, doesn't it? We saw a flavour of it at PMQs last week, in


terms of the cost of living against these figures now, and that is how


it will continue to play. Absolutely, and this is the thing,


if the coalition can win on the argument on the economy, that is


fine in the big boys' bit. But Labour are obviously pinching for


the cost of living, which Rachel Reeves has been doing the shadow


work and is, getting no coverage on the front pages certainly, but it is


very interesting, which is the one that resonates with the voters?


Probably Labour in reality, because it is much more relevant. But I will


tell you what I do like about this, Olivier Blanchard, like I know him


terribly well... A good mate of mine, too! Chief economist at the


IMF. But he was the one, as you said, George Osborne, he said he was


playing with fire. How very gallant of him to say that he was pleasantly


surprised, which in a way is an admission of, I was wrong! It is a


glorious understatement. Like a teacher saying I am disappointed!


Anti-fracking may not happen until next year. -- fracking may not


happen. It is not what was promised. 50 wells were predicted this year


but now the most optimistic we'll see one or two this year.


Environmentalists will be delighted. It is still highly controversial.


David Cameron says it could solve our energy needs for the next 50


years but I believe the research are in can -- the research is not


conclusive. Does it cause earthquakes in Blackpool? Hold your


horses, it is not such a bad thing if the pace is slow and we learn


more about this process. We were just told that it would be thousands


of jobs and millions of pounds, and local authorities could keep that


money, so it is not what it was cracked up to be. Or fracked up to


be! Now, the convention in Switzerland and who will go and who


will not. According to this, 11,000 dead prisoners in Syria. These seem


to have been ratified by a significant group of fairly reliable


people, reading this piece. Absolutely, an eminent group of


three lawyers, one the chief prosecutor for the special court in


Sierra Leone, one brought the prosecution in Liberia of Charles


Taylor. An eminent body is presenting this quite shocking


evidence. I will not go into all the detail because it will put viewers


off. Let's just say, some horrific thing happened to these people, that


is beyond doubt. You tell a share in, Georgia, beyond any shadow of a


doubt. -- mutilation and torture. It is another shocking indictment of


what President Assad's regime seems to be doing in that country. And


what on earth is the international community going to do with this? It


seems to have been going on for two or three years now and still these


apparent atrocities are happening and the international community has


not intervened. This may be something that takes people into


thinking we must do something. It seems like an absolute turning


point. It seems to be perfectly valid because the photographs were


taken by an official photographer who defected and smuggled them out.


You talk about intervention. It will not change the follow-up question.


OK, we need to intervene, but what does intervention look like? That is


what we have been talking about for three years. I blame George Bush.


Obama is terrified of intervening and causing another Iraq. That went


spectacularly wrong and is still going spectacularly wrong and so the


President does not want to do it again. But in the meantime, the


humanitarian issues? Yes, that is just why he doesn't want to


intervene. And now this gesture of Nicolas Anelka's a few weeks ago,


which we are told has caused West Bromwich Albion's is sponsored to


say thank you and good night at the end of the season. -- sponsor. I was


at Upton Park when he made this gesture. Did it inside a lot of


supporters? I did not notice it. I was more disgruntled by the goal. I


did not hear anybody talking about it. Nobody was asking what it was


all about. If we think the Lib Dems are bad at investigating, the FA can


take some beating! They have toured the Lib Dems how to do it, haven't


they? -- they have shown them how to do it. He is still being picked to


play. He might play tonight. The chairman of an antiracism campaign


is saying there should be disciplining. Why has West Brom


taken so long to do it? The vote will not be renewing their


sponsorship and I am not surprised. -- Zoopla. It is horrific and in


France it is causing controversy. So why is he still playing? I will just


phone West Brom now! Time has beaten us on this occasion. Thank you to


both my guests. They will both be back at 11:30pm for another look at


the stories making the news tomorrow. Stay with us. At 11


o'clock we will have further analysis of the political wrangling


following the suspension of the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard.


Coming up next, Sportsday. Hello and welcome to Sportsday. I'm


Sarah Stone. West Brom and Everton shared the points in Pepe Mel's


first game in charge at the Hawthorns.


World number two side New Zealand win netball's Tri-Series, after


England are forced into a last-minute change of


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