23/02/2014 The Papers


23/02/2014

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.


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The Sochi Winter Olympics have ended with a glittering closing ceremony.

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Russia ended against top of the medal table, 13 golds, two more than

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Norway. Hello and welcome to our look ahead

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at the papers. Joining me tonight is the senior political correspondent

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from the Daily Telegraph who has just dashed in from the newsroom and

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also the writer and political commentator, Joe Phillips. Let us

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have a quick sneak preview. On the front of the Telegraph it is

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reported that written is fronting an international package of aid for CF

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amid fears Russia will send troops. The Guardian is also looking at

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Ukraine and the offers of support Ukraine is receiving from Western

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governments. The Independent has a picture of the closing ceremony at

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Sochi this evening. Organisers featured a reprise of the Olympic

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rings blunder which happened at the Opening Ceremony. The express talks

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about a report which suggests millions more women will have to

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return to work because their pensions are inadequate.

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Ukraine still dominates and hardly surprising. Looking at issue is

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wider than Ukraine, let's start with the Daily Telegraph. A picture of

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the protester, armed with a baseball club. Very photogenic. The headline

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is, Britain offers cash to Kiev. This presumably is through the

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European Union or International Monetary Fund? That is correct, it

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is not clear how that will happen. They are doing their best to keep

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up. The EU are trying to draw the Ukraine towards the west of course.

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Ukraine itself and President Putin with some guns on the front page, he

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is trying to draw the country East. It really is on this edge, which we

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will Ukraine go and all eyes are on Putin. Why is Ukraine so important

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to the European Union and America as well? Absolutely, who blinks first.

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President Obama has actually been quite quiet and we're just waiting

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to see what President Putin does, if he does anything at all. He's as

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likely to go bear hunting. Of course it is a hugely important area. It is

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an east-west split and it is left over from the old Soviet bloc, part

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of the country wants to join the European union although I am not

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sure whether they actually want to be part of the European Union or the

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Sea future with Europe or the see Europe, like Balkan states, as a

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cash injection. You still have the pull of the Kremlin. So it is

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another fault line really. It is not just about President Putin, there

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are Russian speakers in the east of Ukraine who are loyal to Russia,

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strategically Ukraine is important to Russia, especially for its navy

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so on. President Putin is now flexing his muscles, there is talk

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of moving the Russian military. He looks on it as the breadbasket, it

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has the huge coast. Do you think that will happen? I think now the

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Olympics are over, he is biding his time while there I was on Sochi. It

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is ironic that the Olympics were being hosted by Russia a peaceful

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international event, and now there is talk of military intervention in

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Ukraine. It is a contradiction in terms. What is so dangerous, like

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the Balkans all that again, if you start dividing it up... There was a

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vote, they voted President Yanukovych out of power. There is a

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democratic wrap around the whole thing, that is very important. The

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UN did not allow the power vacuum to go out of control. It happened in

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the right order so President Putin cannot do much. The ousted president

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was saying it is mob rule, but it is not back because he was voted out by

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Parliament. The final act today was to retake the presidential home and

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give it back to his date. An awful lot of luxury items found there as

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there always are. On the front page of the Daily Telegraph, a story

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written by you? National insurance to be Renee and earnings tax. The

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government is coming clean about national insurance. -- to be

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renamed. It will go up every week. If you're self-employed it is 2%. It

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is more of a historic thing, the government is saying it is not

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really insured and is, it is a tax. We all pay it. It is imposed every

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year, there is no vote on it. I think it is the government saying,

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look it is a tax. It is being pushed by an ambitious Tory MPs, he has

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been pushing hard for transparency. George Osborne flag this in March in

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the budget. Now letting it be known that he is in favour, what do you

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think? I'm all suspicious of these things. On the face of it, it sounds

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sensible because we all know it is a tax but where will this leave the

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Chancellor? The employers contribution, the employee's

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contribution, I am sure there is more hiding in the small print but

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you have obviously looked at it. The Tories have been calling it a job

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tax while they were in opposition. In the long-term, if you pay 40%

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tax, you are paying 52% really. Anything which streamlines things

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has to be better. Let us hope... Let us move on to the Guardian and more

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on the Ukraine on the front page of the Guardian, the headline says

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spotlight shifts to the Kremlin. All eyes are on President Putin and his

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response. A lot of talk between love Ralph and John Kerry this evening.

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-- between Sergei Lavrov. The comments from William Hague are

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dramatic. There could be pressure to economics, they can do something

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with oil and gas, turn it on or off. There all sorts of ways the

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pressure can be quietly exerted on the country and that is a clear

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warning from a member of the security council. They are going off

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with their European policy tomorrow to try and talk to people. It gives

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President Putin great bargaining power because he knows the world is

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watching and Russia is a key player in so many things, not least Syria

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and other parts of the world so he can play games as well. It is none

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of his business of course. Of course, absolutely. So the same

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Azaz! Shall we have a look at politics close to home. -- same as

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ours. A fascinating day tomorrow in Scotland. Two Cabinet meetings

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taking place, the headline, Glasgow's East End, front line in

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the battle for Scotland. The reporter is saying that Glasgow's

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East End is the front line in whether Scotland should go

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independent. The Glasgow East End has traditionally got some of the

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worst poverty and lowest levels of health expectancy and employment

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prospects and crime and drug use so this is a battle ground for what is

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going on. It is a very good piece. The battle at the moment is being

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seen between Alex Salmond and David Cameron, but actually this takes it

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down to the real street level. You have to look at Alex Salmond and the

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SNP, they got elected beyond what they were saying about an

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independent Scotland on their domestic policies as well, which

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have been popular by and large. They have managed to deliver most of what

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they promised. If you come back to the voting, it will be people on the

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street who will ask, did they deliver for me? How much should be

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read into the recent fall on independence, which mentions if

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there was a referendum tomorrow it would be overwhelmingly voted to

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remain part of the United Kingdom? As you say, that Paul says the no

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campaign has 45% and the Yes Campaign has 37 so it is clear that

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the undecided are deciding. There is this third who want to go four it

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and it looks like the others are benefiting. Some see why go so

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early? That is a very emotional thing to talk about. The pound may

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disappear. Part of the reason for the Cabinet meeting in Aberdeen is

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because of the oil and gas subject. That could become a central issue.

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Time to turn our attention back to Russia, the front page of the

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Independent. I thought this had happened again! The mistake again,

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only four of the five rings of the Olympic symbol lit up. This was

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during the closing ceremony today, of course it was a mistake in the

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Opening Ceremony but it turns out this was just a bit of a laugh.

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Russian humour, isn't that great to see? It is the sort of thing we

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would do. For the Russians to do it, it is terrific. It is what my piano

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teacher tells me, if you make a mistake, play it again and it will

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sound right. A fantastic closing ceremony as well. Thank you very

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much. We have run out of time. You will be back at 1130. Thank you for

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joining us. Stay with us and we will have the latest at 11 o'clock on the

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latest developments in Ukraine. Court They sat me in the chair for

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ages. They said it was all right, but... Can I at least have a mirror?

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