04/02/2014 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. Presented by Clive Myrie.

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to you and the guys trying to get some of these people's power back


on. Hello and welcome to our look ahead


to what the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me, Neil Midgley


from the Daily Telegraph and the media executive Sue Douglas. Let's


talk about the Daily Telegraph, Sue Douglas - gay couples free to marry


after historic vote by MSPs. This of course is the Scottish issue of the


Telegraph. I am interested in what the minister actually said, Alex


Neil. He says, this legislation sends a powerful message to the


world about the kind of society we in Scotland are trying to create. He


said, a nation where the principles of fairness and equality are weaved


into the fabric of our society. That is a push for independence, isn't


it? It may well be. Probably they are latching onto anything. It is


quite a long stretch to make that into a cry for independence, I


think. I suppose, given that the law was passed in England last year...


Excuse me, I have got a bit of a cold tonight. Yes, the same thing


has been passed in England, but what he saying is, this is the kind of


land, this is the kind of fare, equal society, which we want. I am


not sure he is necessarily entirely in step with the people who are


going to be voting. Opponents of the law have been saying that public


opinion is out of step. Obviously, the Church of Scotland and the


Catholic Church in Scotland, both saying, as with the English


churches, that they will not conduct same-sex marriage is. I am gay so I


am in favour of this legislation, both north and south of the border.


But further down, it talks about, there were some amendments, for


example, trying to protect potential foster parents, trying to ensuring


in the law that those people would not be barred from a -- from


adopting or fostering. Those amendments, protecting those kind of


people were defeated. To my mind, we are going quite a long way towards


the thought police, if we start dictating who is and who is not


essentially a good parent, based on what their view of marriage is.


Also, that has very little to do with independence. These are big


picture stories which affect the whole country, and the moral tide of


the country, they are not really about how Scotland is, on its own,


going to lead, because it is not, as you have said. They are following.


The front page of the Scottish Daily Telegraph as well, jobs at risk with


Alex Salmond, say bosses. Fears voiced over the economic


consequences of a yes vote. Bob Dudley making his views felt today


on the independence question. It is quite ironic I think, because the


old chief executive of BP, Tony Hibbert, was an Englishman, who made


himself very unpopular in the US, being under the attic after that big


oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, they have brought in an


American and he is being underpin attic in Scotland. -- being


undiplomatic after that big oil spill. If I were Alex Salmond, I


would because in him, because I think the Alistair Darling campaign,


the no campaign, the -- the Better Together Campaign, but rape Britain


is better together... Hugh Pym -- Great Britain -- was actually


speaking to Bob Dudley about which pet's latest figures, and it just


happened to be quite an afterthought, 15-20 minutes into the


conversation, when this came up, and he was not reticent. You would think


he might have been a little bit more diplomatic, potentially, perhaps, in


what he said? Again, I think probably, what he was doing was


creating a great sound bite which has very little to do with


independence. Back to the point I was making earlier, it is much more


about the future of BP and about him as a spokesman for BP saying


something memorable, which I do not think anybody will remember. Do you


think so? Hugh Pym was saying, he was waiting for him to step back a


little bit, from what he was saying, but in fact, no, it all came out.


Great Britain is great, and all of the other issues, it felt as if he


had been thinking about it for a while. There is still a lot of oil


in the North Sea off Scotland, in which BP has interests. If there is


uncertainty over the currency and over the membership of the European


Union, then clearly those are big factors for big is this. We should


reiterate that there are lots of businesses out there who think that


going it alone is I will just throw that in. -- is a good idea. Prince


Charles went down to the Somerset Levels today, and said, the tragedy


was that nothing happened for too long. Yes, he said, there is nothing


like a jolly good disaster to get people to start doing something. Did


he say that?! Yes, he did say that. We are very good in adversity,


aren't we? We know what he means. Well, his views, presumably, on what


the Environment Agency has or has not been doing, are quite clear. His


opinions carry weight, but he does not have, even as you were


suggesting, Clive, the restraints on pen and tongue which the chief


executive of a large corporation might have. And he has come out and


said almost in as many words that a lot of people have been saying about


the Environment Agency. Chris Smith, who has not even been to Somerset


yet. Not in the last few weeks. Yes, during the crisis. Where are they


and what are they doing? So, do you think David Cameron, when he heard


these comments, went, oh, no. I do not know, but the line he could have


borrowed would have been, we are great when we pulled together. That


is why I imagine he was there, trying to give some sense of


coherence and community, we have got to deal with this together. He was


not down there just to slag off the Environment Agency. He is also a


farmer of course. He cares about the countryside and climate change and


all of the other things which people have talked about in this context.


So I think will be his visit puts him very much on the front pages.


Let's go on to the Independent. This has the continuing battle in Syria.


The battle for Homs. Patrick Cockburn is the only western


journalist, according to the Independent, witnessing the latest


eruption in the city, as the flash point of the civil war continues, it


says. We have been inundated with pictures like this. It becomes


almost unreal, unless you have those personal stories of someone being


found in the debris. It's very undisturbed -- hard to understand.


When you look at to picture like that, the complete destruction for


-- of a city that has survived for hundreds of years. Some of the


buildings have literally been standing for hundreds of years, and


look what we have done to them. But it is almost background. We don't


take enough notice any more, and I think it needs those personal


stories to bring it home. Are we in the media doing enough to bring it


home to the public? This is a great piece of reporting. The movement in


the tectonic plates is happening at governmental level, of course,


between the Americans, Russians, French, British, the Syrian regime


as it stands, the Syrian opposition... We are between two


sets of Geneva talks. The Russians say that the Syrian regime will


indeed come to the next round of talks, whether or not there is an


agreement. It's very difficult to report on what's really going on in


those discussions, because they are going on between half a dozen


people. Also, what is going on in Syria is not isolated. People are


trying to get over the border into other countries. It has been


spilling over into the Lebanon, and what is happening in Beirut now is


significant. There is car bombs and people dying all the time in Beirut


at the moment. That whole area is becoming difficult, and what we do


about that isn't just peace talks. This is a real seismic change,


tectonic plates clashing. It has to be said that the peace talks did


reach the conclusion that women and children were supposedly able to


leave the city, though the menfolk have to sign in register before they


leave. As a result, not many have left. Let's go onto the Mirror. This


is an interesting one. Osborne plans to cut top rates of tax even more.


Over my dead body, says Danny Alexander. Some are saying, I've got


no problem with that. Probably both coalition parties! He's not the most


charismatic politician, Danny Alexander. The two coalition


parties, given that we now have a fixed term parliament and we know


when the next election is, May 2015, in a way we didn't have previously,


the battle lines have been drawn between coalition parties as much as


they are between the Tories and Labour. It means the coalition


parties are in an uncomfortable position, where they have to govern


together, yet set out their stall for the election campaign. What


Danny Alexander stirs here, he will oppose any move by George Osborne to


reduce the top tax rate of 45p in the pound. The extra revenue raised


by the extra 5p in the pound is very small. Yes, what are we arguing


about? It's almost like squabbling over minor things. Are these the


major issues in the economy? Its symbolism. The Lib Dems want to keep


a higher tax rate to indicate that they are bashing the rich, because


it is the fault of the rich that we had the recession in the first


place. The Tories, if they are being real Tories, would say, in order to


have economic growth, first, you need greed, and you pick -- and you


need people who want to get rich. They will only get rich if they


don't pay too much tax. Isn't this all confusing for the voter? The


member of the public, seeing two parties in the coalition squabbling


like this when they are supposed to be running the country? That's


right. The high ground is, in the end, trying to be divisive about


rich and poor and the haves and have-nots. In the taxi on the way


here, I was talking to the taxi driver and saying, what has happened


now is there are more people... . The social divide between the haves


and the have-nots is probably greater than it has ever been, and


that is the greatest story. Squabbling about 5p, that isn't


going to affect very many people, is evading the issue. We can continue


this all night. We will continue in an hour's time. Banks for that. Stay


with us on BBC News, because at the top of the hour, 11pm, we will have


much more on the storms that are hitting south-west, and the fact


that lots of people that don't have any power. The lines have come down,


causing a lot of problems for many people. Now it's time for sports


day. Hello and welcome to Sportsday.


The headlines tonight: Is it all over for KP? Kevin Pietersen is


dropped for England's one-day tour of the Caribbean and the World


Twenty20. Michael Laudrup becomes the


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