06/02/2014 The Papers


06/02/2014

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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Olympics. Jamie Nicholls stole the show as he booked his place in the

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final of the slopestyle event. That is coming up in 15 minutes.

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Hello, welcome. With me, the deputy editor of the Guardian, and the

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former speech writer for Margaret Thatcher, now managing director at a

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PR firm. Let's begin with the daily express, reading on the weather, it

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says this weekend's storm is set to be even worse than the of October

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1987. The news that William Roache has been cleared of all charges also

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features on the front page. The Daily Telegraph reports that flood

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defences which could have protected the Dawlish train line were delayed

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so the Environment Agency could consider the impact of the work on

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birds. William Roache is expect King to return to Coronation Street, that

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is the lead here, it says the actor -- and the actor is also on the

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front of the Independent. And, the FBI will investigate hacking by

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blue-chip companies. Pressure on the Education Secretary to take more

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action against the practice of female genital mutilation in

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Britain, that is the Guardian's lead. And, David Cameron stepping

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into the Scottish referendum debate, he has pleaded with the voters to

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keep the UK together, says the Financial Times.

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Let's begin, very nice to see you both. Let's start with the

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Independent, the William Roache story, which is across several front

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pages. It is on pretty much every front page, an extraordinary set of

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circumstances, a clear verdict. The police and the prosecutors will be

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criticised whichever way they drum. After Jimmy Savile, they would be

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criticised if they did not prosecute, but now, are they being

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too hard? But when you have allegations being made, they have to

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be investigated. There is a difference between the level the CPS

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have to satisfy themselves about, slightly more than 50% chance of

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conviction, and what a jury has to do, which is beyond all reasonable

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doubt, and clearly, some cases will result in acquittal. The problem is

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the history of this, you are going back 50 or 60 years, no forensics or

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DNA, it just comes down to who's word the jury believes. Historical

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cases are notably difficult to prove, you had the element of

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celebrity, that is a difficult combination. William Roache has gone

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through an extraordinary ordeal, he was amazingly dignified, and that

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phrase no winners will stick, but it is slightly predictable and

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depressing, the criticism. The CPS says it has a duty to listen to the

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allegations, and it has got a duty to press charges if they think there

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is a reasonable chance of a conviction. What else are they to

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do? William Roache cleared, but rape convictions are poor still,

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historically. Yes, we have to be careful, though. We have to be

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respectful of the court, because unlike any of us, and the faster

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Daugherty of people watching this, we were not present in court, we did

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not hear the evidence, the jury did, they reached the decision, have to

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accept it. My point is, my company worked with Lord McAlpine, sometimes

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there is a bit of a feeling that once something has been said about

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something, it must be true. William Roache has got a very clear

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decision, it is very important that everybody respect that, but even so,

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we can agree that the police and prosecutors are in a difficult

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position. Some test it, the anonymity debate has risen its head.

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There was a CPS report, quite a detailed report from last year, but

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concluded that falls allegations of rape were very rare indeed. Let's

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have a look at the Metro. 81 years old, he looks extraordinary, the

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longest serving member of a soap, but on the anonymity, because this

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was part of the coalition agreement, where do you stand on something like

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that? David Cameron... It would not have made much difference, because

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William Roache is such a famous figure, there was going to be

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publicity. It is a difficult balancing act, because on the one

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hand, you want to Mitchell that people who have been subjected to a

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terrible crime come forward, but on the other, you do not want an

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allegation that can destroy somebody handing over their head at the stage

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before a decision has been made to prosecute. On balance, it was the

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right thing to put in the coalition agreement, but you will have people

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of goodwill and intelligence on both sides. William Roache was suspended

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from performing until the end of the case. Yes, this will not go away,

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because we do have the combination, the toxic combination, of historical

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and celebrity. We have several people who are awaiting trial, and

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at least three or four people on bail, so this will run and run.

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Let's move on to the Daily Telegraph, the flooding, the Prime

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Minister taking control of Cobra, Owen Paterson on sick leave, but

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this has become a political story now. Yes, the particular angle but

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the telly -- that the Daily Telegraph goes on, some members of

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the House of Lords said that the Environment Agency decided not to

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reinforce the sea wall because they had to consider the invitations for

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the local bird population. The paper's angle is unfair, because the

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implication is that the Environment Agency decided to be obstructive.

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The law says you cannot do anything without environmental impact

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assessments, which takes into account the impact upon wildlife,

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which is why it takes so long to build airports or doodling for

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fracking. The fire at agency have promoted -- the Environment Agency

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have rated this, but it is wrong to imply that some officials just

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decided that they were going to be obstructive, but now it looks like

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it would have made common sense. We have to review a lot of the laws,

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and the clear that protecting people and their livelihoods and property

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is more important than other considerations. Some might say it is

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optimistic they will get that track up and running in six weeks. A great

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cartoon here, what do you make of how the Prime Minister has waded

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in? 's we saw a new front man, Eric Pickles, who levels into the fact

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that it had been the wettest January since 1820, since George III was on

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the throne. I do not know where that came from. There are no records past

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1910, so where he checked that out from, I do not know, but it has

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become political, there are demands for David Cameron to go down there.

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He is thinking of his PR advice, just after Christmas, he was

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harangued on TV, and nightmare PR pictures emerged, so the man who is

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going down there tomorrow is Chris Smith, the boss of the Environment

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Agency, and he will get a warm reception, one would imagine he is

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equipped with a couple of bodyguards. He is a Labour peer. And

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a former cabinet minister. He always struck me as a city dweller. He is a

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very nice man. The wide issue, I was an MP in Cumbria during the foot and

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mouth crisis, and it took them in a long time to react to something

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which happened 300 miles away from London, and a lot of people in the

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West Country are thinking, if this had happened in the Home Counties,

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the reaction might have been faster. You said that the last time there

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were floods in Oxfordshire, his constituency, he was in Rwanda. How

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much damage did that do? It seems a long time ago, there was a short

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honeymoon for Gordon Brown, a lot of people said that David Cameron was

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in big trouble. He has had a problem with flooding fulsome time, it is

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difficult for any government. It has taken them a long time, too long,

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but UKIP are strong in the West Country, they will make a lot of hay

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out of the fact that, again, the government have got billions to

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spend on overseas aid but they did not have the millions that would

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have made a difference. It is naked opportunism. I am not saying it is

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not, but it is an odd given that will have traction. It made it, but

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we should address some of the more central questions, why did we build

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homes on areas judged to be at high risk of floods? That seems to be

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pretty barmy. A great story for the daily express, it is chiming with

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what is happening. Yes, . At they like to lead on the weather pretty

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much every day, and today it is topical! Two of their most favourite

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stories, house prices as well, but there is no royal story. They always

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have weather stories, but they were saying it would be one of the worst

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winters for years before Christmas. I think they do that before every

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Christmas! If you predict enough, you are right eventually. Worse than

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1987, we had better check that with one of our forecasters. Coronation

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Street on the front as well, Bill Roache leaving, cleared of all

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charges. Let's go to your paper, Paul, a great picture on the front,

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the opening of the Sochi Olympics, one of the Russian dolls and a

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snowboarder on top. Now, you want to go to the house price bubble, just

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to the right hand side of the mutilation, FGM story. Yes, this is

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an extremely interesting piece of well-developed reportage. The

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headline is that Hackney has seen the largest growth, 11.6%

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year-on-year growth in house prices, against a national average of 5.4%.

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The reporter here has been out looking at first-time buyer flats

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and came across one for ?300,000 in a state of disrepair, two bedrooms,

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not with any windows, absolutely appalling. At the same time, rents

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are going up as well, and the voices of people trying to get on the

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property ladder are ones of utter despair. Actually, when you think

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about it, ?300,000 for a starter flat in Hackney, the sort of deposit

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you would need for that, even on the national average, is going to be

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huge, isn't it? The Government was trying to address that with the help

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to buy idea, but the underlying question that we have to ask is, I

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am sure Hackney has developed an awful lot, but many people would say

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who know London's history, it is not the area you would expect to be the

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epicentre of a house price bubble, not regarded as the most attractive

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part of London. Is this sustainable? Can we have dropped the prices in

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the heart of the capital so completely out of line with average

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earnings? Can at last? Something that was put to the Chancellor the

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other day. So completely out of kilter with anyone outside of London

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as well, the regions, the disparity is very difficult. We are running

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out of time, another hit of these papers in an hour, one last story on

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the Telegraph, which one were we going to go with? It was the smoking

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ban, another good story about the pillow which stop snoring, we will

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about that later! I think we will do that later. Let's do the smoke ban

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in cars carrying children. That is quite fun, though, snoring! We have

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not got the graphic, they are busy making it now! They are not going to

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do it in 15 seconds. Tell us what this story is. At the time that

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there is a Parliamentary vote coming up on a proposal that there should

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be a ban on parents smoking in their own cars with children in the

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back-seat, there are hundreds of health experts who have written to

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the British medical in support of this idea. We know that the Health

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Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, came out in support himself quite recently.

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People are talking about civil liberties. I thought the pro-smoking

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lobby was represented solely by David Hockney. Ken Clarke? Forest

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have popped up here, saying they regard it as inconsiderate, but you

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know, you have got to let people smoke in private places. I suppose

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there is a difficulty about enforcing it. You cannot smoke in

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company cars or vans. The precedents that people may be worried about is

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that if you establish in law that it is an offence to smoke in the

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presence of children in a car, doesn't it logically follow that it

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should be an offence in your own home? Is that where we want the law

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to go? Do we want inspectors knocking on the door saying you

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appeared to have children present when you are smoking, that is an

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offence? There are difficult balances to be struck here. We are

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all clear it is a serious condition that needs to be looked at

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particularly when shall not involved, but I don't think we want

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to have too many people who have an excuse to interfere with people's

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private lives. Libertarians versus... Maybe they can smoke

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electronic ones, who knows? All right, thank you both very much

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indeed, Paul Johnson and Dan Collyns. That is our first look at

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the papers, we will be back at 11:34 a second look, we will try to get

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the pillow story for you! -- 11:30 for a second look. At 11 o'clock,

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the latest from Belfast, where a major incident has been declared for

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the young people who have been affected by drugs and alcohol.

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Coming up before that, time for the sports news in Sportsday.

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Hello and welcome to Sportsday, I'm John Watson. On the way this

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evening, the England and Wales Cricket Board refuse to explain the

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reasons behind ending Kevin Pietersen's international career.

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Jamie Nicholls steals the show for Team GB as the Winter Olympics

:15:57.:15:57.

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