07/02/2014 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.

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have had a second appeal rejected against the suspension of their


striker Andy Carroll. That is all in 15 minutes after The Papers.


Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be


bringing us tomorrow. With me are Kevin Schofield, Chief Political


Correspondent for The Sun, and Peter Conradi, The Sunday Times Foreign


Editor. First, let's whizz through some of the front pages.


The Independent, like many of the papers, focuses on the floods, with


the headline, "An unnatural disaster".


The Daily Mail leads on the weather too, reporting on calls to spend


foreign aid money on the flooding crisis.


Mortgage costs is the lead for the Financial Times. The paper says


borrowers are rushing to secure cheap loans, fearing an increase in


interest rates. It's back to storms with the Daily


Mirror and their headline, "Stormaggedon".


The i also leads on flooding, reporting on David Cameron's visit


to the Somerset Levels. The Daily Express warns readers to


stay safe during the expected weekend storms.


The Telegraph shows head of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith,


being scolded by a Somerset farmer over the flood response.


And the Guardian leads with a photo of the four-ringed Olympic symbol at


the opening of the Sochi Games. The snowflake didn't melt into the fifth


ring, as planned. I am sure Vladimir Putin was delighted! Good evening,


gentlemen. It is difficult, because this is a conveyor belt of storms,


ongoing flooding. There are only so many times you can say, flooding


crisis, more weather on the way, so the imagination has set in with some


of the headlines. Starting with the i, Cameron wades into row over


biblical flood. For those in the Somerset levels, it probably does


feel biblical. Well, it just seems endless. We have seen in the weather


forecast that there is more awful weather to come. Literally, the


Prime Minister wading into the row today. It was a carefully


stage-managed appearance in Somerset by the Prime Minister, in and out


quite quickly, not meeting any angry residents. That was left to Lord


Smith, who is on the front page of the Telegraph, getting a bit of a


dressing down from a local farmer. I am not sure who his PR advisers are,


but for him to turn up and not at least offer some kind of an apology


was quite incredible. We will move to the Telegraph in a moment, but


staying with the i, David Cameron has defended staying in London,


saying he is better off leading the COBRA meetings, making decisions


here, rather than being on the Somerset Levels. Do you think he has


played it right? I think so. There is a limit to how much time he can


spend walking around sodden ground in his Wellington boots. I think it


is important to make an appearance, as he has done. But I think people


want to see him back in London getting on with his job and


coordinating the work from there. You mentioned the Daily Telegraph


and we can look at that now. A very downbeat head of the Environment


Agency, Lord Smith, getting a telling off from one of the local


farmers. As we have seen from our correspondence this week, a lot of


farmers in that community have had their businesses ripped apart. They


have had to move their livestock. Is his job on the line? I think so. In


this day and age, we always look for some kind of scapegoat. We in the


media are probably guilty of that, I think. But in this instance, the


buck does stop with him. He has been in the job since 2008. There is lots


of criticism that there has been very little preparation leading up


to the current bad weather, and since it set in several weeks ago


nothing has been done. You can't totally blame the Environment Agency


and Lord Smith for what is unprecedented weather. I suppose


they are supposed to plan for all eventualities. You try planning for


the weather in this country! That is true, but we had a succession of wet


winters. They have got a lot wetter. This particular winter is


exceptional, but I think there is a sense that they have been slow to


react and he is the man who should, I think, accept his fair share of


the blame. He also fell into a classic trap. He was asked if he is


proud of the work of his agency and he cannot say no, but the minute he


says that it is used against him and it is a gift for headline writers.


Many homes have been saved, as David Cameron pointed out. Yes, but many


others have not. It is those people, you can understand their anger,


particularly farmers whose livelihood is a risk and is being


washed away. But you do want to ask who was his PR adviser who


encouraged him to stand there. You would think the first thing he would


do would be to hold up his hands and show some level of apology. It is


reminiscent of Gordon Brown being ambushed by the woman he accused of


being a bigot. There were shades of that. Let's move on to the Daily


Mirror. It is a staggering headline, really. We were talking


about this earlier, before we came on air, this millionaire's home,


which you can see in the top right of your screen, where he built his


own flood defences which are just about holding off the water around


his home in Somerset yesterday. The wider picture on the front page of


the Daily Mirror, showing more storms to come. It is just


relentless. If you live in Somerset and wake up tomorrow morning to this


front page you will just think, this is never going to end. It is a


pretty stark satellite image and it speaks for itself. There is another


huge storm coming our way. It is quite a remarkable picture of the


house which has been cut off. He spent ?1 million, apparently, making


this house. And he also has ?10,000 of his own money to build his own


defences which, until now, appeared to be working, but who is to say


that will not change? Do you think this could be the start of seeing


some more serious investment in flood defences, modernising many of


what are described as Victorian defences, particularly on the coast?


Is this when David Cameron has to take long-term leadership over this?


I think you are right. There has been a succession of mistakes. Not


just by him. I suppose it is bound to happen, he is blaming labour for


not doing enough during the 1990s and the last decade. The rivers were


not drenched, so they were more prone to flooding -- they were not


drenched. They have to try and find the money to make sure this kind of


thing does not happen. The Daily Mail is one for you, Peter,


suggesting we should spend foreign aid on British victims of flooding,


rather than foreign victims, often of flooding, in countries like


Bangladesh. This is a huge budget, in ?11 billion. Is this a case of


where perhaps charity should begin at home? It is a difficult question.


Being cynical, you would say this prince together two of the Daily


Mail's favourite subjects, the floods and the iniquity of foreign


aid. -- the iniquity of foreign aid. There are arguments that you could


spend the entire foreign aid budget at home, or you could spend none of


it. It is a question of looking at flood defences, the economics of


flood defences, and finding money within the money we spend at home


and diverging it to more spending on floods. I think they are bringing


together two completely separate things. It is another example of


UKIP forcing the political agenda in Britain. Nigel Farage, UKIP leader,


said yesterday that this should happen. At the time, it did not get


much of a pick-up, because you always expect Nigel Farage to say


something like that, but now it has become more mainstream. You have


Conservative MPs, nervous about UKIP, making the same call. You can


understand where it is coming from but I think it would be a


controversial thing. There is no prospect of the Prime Minister doing


it. Flooding is going to become political in the weeks ahead. There


are some other stories on the front pages. Let's go on to the financial


Times weekend. The rate fears prompt a rush to fixed mortgages. Many


people worried about mortgages and interest rates going up, and many


people very happy about it as well. If you are a pensioner on a fixed


income, relying on savings, the prospect of ink -- interest rates


going up is probably quite pleasant, but if you have a mortgage


it is scary. We were told by the Bank of England governor, Mark


Carney, last year, he introduced this idea which was supposed to calm


the markets and make us be reassured that interest rates would not go up


quickly. Unemployment has come down so fast that there is now a major


concern that interest rates will go up. I suppose it causes other


problems because if people are making money out of savings they are


less bothered about spending it. That is another thing the government


want us to do, to go and spend money. But I suppose it will settle


house prices in some areas. It will dampen them down. Such low interest


rates in the last few years have been extraordinary, and we'll got


used to them, which is dangerous, because they can only go up. The


fact they are going up is a sign of economic health, that the economy is


recovering, and it will be a bit more painful for those who have


mortgages. But they will have a bit more disposable income. I am a play


it safe guide! Fixed rate. They probably won't be such good deals.


Just staying with the FT, we have a picture there of some of the


fantastic scenes from the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic


Games. The most expensive Olympic Games ever to be staged. This was,


hopefully, Russia's time to get back at the critics, really, and show


them what they were made of. But it is such a huge cost. This is a real


prestige project. More than ?30 billion. An enormous cost. A huge


amount of Russian prestige is resting on it. We've had the first


hiccup, one of the rings not lighting up properly. Probably will


not be the last. The boycott, the controversy around it... It's not


going as smoothly as it could've done. We can show that. It's on page


seven the Daily Mail. A lot of our BBC correspondent there, some of our


coverage team, were tweeting it earlier. You can see what was meant


to happen. One of these snowflakes was meant to become the fifth Ring


of the Olympic symbol, and it just didn't happen. Somebody is going to


be in trouble tonight in Moscow! We can afford to be a little bit smug,


given how successful the Olympics in London were, so we can maybe laugh a


little bit. But on the scale of things that could go wrong, that is


not the worst thing. It was a very enjoyable is ceremony to one. -- to


watch. Yes, with opening ceremonies, the bar is always raised. London,


Beijing... It was spectacular. I think we can forgive them that


little hiccup. A huge global audience for the Olympics as well.


Is there as much enthusiasm for it as with other Olympics? It is never


as big as the Summer Olympics, but with all the controversy that


surrounded it this time around... Who remembers the last Winter


Olympics? Was it thank you the? And we have all this again when the


World Cup goes to Russia, and there will be more controversy. It will be


fascinating to see how they handle it. President Putin will be hoping


it passes off without incident. My favourite line in the coverage was


that Prime Minister Medvedev apparently fell asleep during the


ceremony! It is a long flight, and a huge time difference. You will be


back at 11:30pm. But for now, thank you very much to our guests. Join us


later. Still to come on BBC News at 11pm,


more on the floods afflicting the south of England. David Cameron


visits one of the most worst affected areas of Somerset. Coming


up next, it is sports day. Hello and welcome to Sportsday.


Here's what we have for you tonight. The World is welcomed to Sochi, as


the 22nd Winter Olympics are


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