04/02/2014 The Papers


04/02/2014

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. Presented by Clive Myrie.


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

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on. Hello and welcome to our look ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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adopting or fostering. Those amendments, protecting those kind of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alex Salmond, say bosses. Fears voiced over the economic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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uncertainty over the currency and over the membership of the European

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The battle for Homs. Patrick Cockburn is the only western

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journalist, according to the Independent, witnessing the latest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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buildings have literally been standing for hundreds of years, and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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reach the conclusion that women and children were supposedly able to

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

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

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

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

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

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charismatic politician, Danny Alexander. The two coalition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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day. Hello and welcome to Sportsday.

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

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

:14:04.:14:08.

Twenty20. Michael Laudrup becomes the

:14:09.:14:09.

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