23/02/2014 The Papers


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


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


Norway. Hello and welcome to our look ahead


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


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


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


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


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


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


Ukraine and the offers of support Ukraine is receiving from Western


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


Sochi this evening. Organisers featured a reprise of the Olympic


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


about a report which suggests millions more women will have to


return to work because their pensions are inadequate.


Ukraine still dominates and hardly surprising. Looking at issue is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


strategically Ukraine is important to Russia, especially for its navy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Chancellor? The employers contribution, the employee's


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


President Putin great bargaining power because he knows the world is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


East End is the front line in whether Scotland should go


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


worst poverty and lowest levels of health expectancy and employment


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


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


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


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


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


independent Scotland on their domestic policies as well, which


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


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


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


read into the recent fall on independence, which mentions if


there was a referendum tomorrow it would be overwhelmingly voted to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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