25/01/2014 The Papers


25/01/2014

No need to wait until tomorrow morning 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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Opposition Leader in Ukraine has turned down the post of PM. It was

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offered to him by the President after months of street protests.

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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 broadcaster Bonnie Greer and Nigel Nelson, who's

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Political Editor of The Sunday People. Let's have a quick look at

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some of the front pages. The Independent on Sunday looks at

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rising energy costs and explores the possibility of communities

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generating their own electricity with the help of government funding.

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The Sunday Express reports on comments allegedly made by Princess

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Michael of Kent in which she describes senior members of the

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royal family as boring. The front page of the Observer reports on

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comments made by former PM Tony Blair in which he argues that

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religious extremism has become the biggest source of conflict around

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the world. The paper also reports on President Hollande's private life

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after the French leader announced his split from long-term partner

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Valerie Trierweiler. The Mail on Sunday's front page concerns the

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conservative MP Aidan Burley and allegations about his behaviour at a

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Nazi-themed stag party at a French ski resort. The Sunday Times also

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reports President Hollande's split from his long-term partner. And the

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paper points to criticism within the Labour Party at a promise by the

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to re-introduce the 50p top rate of

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tax. The Sunday Telegraph takes up the same theme and says that

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Labour's former City Minister Lord Myners is also against the move,

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which he says takes the party back to Old Labour.

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Let's have a look at those stories in a bit more detail. Let's start

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with the Sunday Times. Everybody picking up on Ed Miliband's

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announcement, and Ed Balls sloop was an announcement of a higher tax for

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earners over ?150. It is people who donate money to Labour who are upset

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about this. There will be a row about this, because there is a shift

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in the party, and it is going a bit left. Some of the old socialist

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ideals are coming back. No longer is socialist a dirty word in the Labour

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party, as it was under Tony Blair. There is a bit of social engineering

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here, but the one point eight both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are being

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consistent on is that there is going to be a recovery, the people who

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should benefit should be the whole country and not just those people at

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the top. They have been consistent about this, and I think that is what

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is throwing the Conservative Party off. This whole cost of living

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crisis, the Labour Party has been able to make this a real doorstop

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issue. This is something people can talk about, and also the 50p tax is

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something people can talk about. We don't feel this, even if it is

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happening, the recovery, we don't feel it. And people don't feel it,

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so it is a very clever move on the part of the Chancellor, who has been

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slammed for the past few weeks, because he hasn't been saying

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anything. He has been sitting there silent, and suddenly he drops this

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bombshell in a very assured way, and has now scattered forces. The

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Conservative Party is not going to look good defending this, and

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anybody who is a Conservative Party strategist knows they are not going

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to look good. You not by that this. People wanting to come to London,

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the Hyannis that we need, it will put them off coming? That idea is

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old-fashioned. You see things on Twitter, talking about it not

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driving people away when Margaret Thatcher did this. People are

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different now, they use a term called rent seekers. They are people

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who want to live in their assets. This is a very stable country,

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compare to the countries many of these people are coming from. We

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don't know how much wealth these people are adding to the country. It

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won't put them. They won't be happy about it, but they won't be put off.

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The idea is that it could disrupt the recovery, which seems to be the

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line coming both from the Lib Dems and from the Tories. It is nonsense,

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you are talking about 1% of the working population, who earn more

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than ?150,000. The other question is, they are quibbling over figures.

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The government is saying it only raises about 100 million. Ed Balls

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said in his speech today that in the three years he was in place and the

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Labour, in the early days of the coalition, it raised ten billion.

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This could be a ?15 billion tax raiser. It is significant money.

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Let's move on to the next story. Would you pay ?100,000 to go into ?

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-- to go into space? Apparently, Richard Branson is collating $80

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million, on ticket money for this space tourist thing that has been

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going since 2007. They called it something like a high altitude

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bungee jump. You go into outer space, just, you are weightless... A

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lot of people have paid their deposits, and it was meant to have

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taken off in 2007, and it still hasn't. The latest estimate is

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Richard Branson saying it could go in autumn this year. The point is

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made that the only thing he has done so far is send a rocket into the

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atmosphere for 20 seconds. He has competition as well. Would you do

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it, Nigel? If I had ?100,000 I would do it. No way. You guys would go?

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You can leave me behind. That move on to the Observer. Extremist

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religion at root of 20th-century wars can according to the former PM.

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He is saying this again very publicly. The point is that Tony

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Blair spent most of his time with his Faith foundation. The idea is to

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find ways of bringing peace in areas of conflict where religion plays a

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part in the conflict. We are seeing it happening in Egypt, in Syria, at

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the moment. Not so long ago, it happened here in Northern Ireland.

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Tony Blair's argument is there is no point in going out there and try to

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find political solutions solely for these conflicts, we have two sold

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the religious differences as well. This is from a man who made Iraq a

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moral issue. Suddenly, instead of going to do whatever they thought

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they needed to do, this becomes a battle between and evil. Suddenly,

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Tony Blair set up a foundation that wants to talk about religion. This

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actually doesn't give you any solutions. He brings up a very old

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problem, but as far as I'm concerned he helped to create. We will be

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reading the conclusions of the report into that this summer.

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Exactly. We hope. There is a picture that of President Francois

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Hollande. What you make of this? Damaged politician? This is very

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difficult. My husband and I have a home in France, and it is very

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difficult to explain to people outside of France that the French,

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three things. Private life of a public politician is something they

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don't discuss, they really don't. So, it is possible for the President

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to issue a statement as a private person. The second thing is that

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there is no first Lady of France. This is something that has come into

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the public consciousness. There is no legal status at all, so she is

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his girlfriend, and she is out of the palace. And there is another

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thing, which celebrity culture. The French super invasion of privacy. --

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sue for. There is a big cultural shakeup in France. I find this

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privacy idea bizarre. I don't think many politicians would survive this

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year, would they? No, not in America either. It must be an issue of the

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character of their president, and what that is. In which case, how

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would he behave as a character? I would have thought his treatment of

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women must be an important part of that. Can we move on? We could have

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a whole debate on this, as much of the world is. Just back to British

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politics on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph. We are back to the

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50p tax rate. They have quoted the former Minister extensively. That is

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significant because he was a Labour minister under Gordon Brown. It is

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the first sign of the battle that will go on within the party about

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this. He is talking about it going back to old labour. He was very

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insulting to Ed Balls, where he turns around and says this economist

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would not pass a GCSE. He really doesn't like Ed Balls at all. He was

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part of the government that first introduced it. Doesn't it go back to

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what you said in the beginning? How much it Alistair Darling collect

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when he brought this in? There seems to be a dispute about that. Is it

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billions or millions? This is the question. Ed Balls is quoting

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figures that he says he has got from revenue and Customs, which are the

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latest figures, and he has come up with this figure of 10 billion. It

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is an awful lot of money, and even the groups who don't like to say

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that this 1% of earners over 150,000 actually pay a third of all the tax.

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So, the figure is a possibility. Over the next few days, you will

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have a load of figures being thrown around as they argue over them.

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Let's move on to the Independent. The headline is about the big six

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energy companies. This is an exclusive, but from what we can

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gather it involves government funding, -- government funding

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communities to create their own energy. I think it is a great idea.

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Some people can get money from electricity companies, by selling

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back to the grid. You can do it with wind turbines, solar panels... Some

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of the things that have happened before have been with wind turbines.

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At a village in Gloucestershire, the people they are getting ?300 off

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their electricity bills, and they are doing it by ?250 off the bill,

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and ?50 when they sell the extra electricity they produce back to the

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grid. But it is one group. They don't want a whole village full of

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them, just one is enough. I would have thought these would be awfully

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popular. I don't know if I would want wind turbines in my road. The

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Sunday Express, according to a royal, they are boring. This is

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Princess Michael of Kent. She called, she has described a divorcee

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from Bohemia. She has talked about how the older royals are boring, the

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new generation is lovely, Princess Diana was it, and basically just

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pushing her book -- thick. Thank you for bringing us through

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the papers. Coming up next, the film review.

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