02/03/2014 The Papers


02/03/2014

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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preparations get underway for tonight's Oscars ceremony, with

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space thriller Gravity expected to scoop multiple awards at this

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evening's ceremony. Hello and welcome to our look ahead

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to what the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. With me are financial

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consultant Ros Altmann and Mihir Bose from the London Evening

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Standard. This evening we are going to start with the Express, which

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says the poor state of British pensions means millions of Britons

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will have to work until they drop. While the Mirror leads off with the

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crisis in Ukraine and claims it could lead to the price of gas

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rocketing. The Telegraph also plumps for Ukraine, nosing off on the

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warning from NATO that Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula

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"threatens peace and security in Europe". While the Independent has a

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dispatch from Kim Sengupta in the Crimea focussing on the defiance of

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ordinary Ukrainian people standing up to the Russian troops. Joyous

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Manchester City fans are on the front of the Guardian, which also

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carries a report about Labour's proposals for substantial changes to

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the oversight of the British intelligence agencies. While the

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Mail front page claims an NHS whistle`blower has been threatened

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with the sack after going public with concerns that a Wolverhampton

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hospital was fiddling its death rates. The Times also goes on

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Ukraine and the squeeze on army bases. Ukraine dominating many of

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the front pages, but we are going to start with the daily Mirror and the

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headline, new Cold War. I think they are saying we may get very cold over

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here if the troubles in Crimea end up cutting off gas supplies because

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this is quite a critical region, geopolitically. And of course gas

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prices in this country are already very high. Yes, you would expect the

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Mirror to go into that but the idea that we might have a Cold War

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reviving, certainly America versus Russia again, part two if you like,

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it is quite a serious proposition. While I was at Sochi a couple of

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weeks ago, listening to the Russian media, the parts I could

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understand, it was interesting to note how anti`American the line

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was, this feeling that America is our enemy and so on.

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Post`communism, you don't expect that and it was very evident. At

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that stage the president of the Ukraine have not been deposed so I

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suppose the rhetoric is increasing even more. Earlier and analyst was

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speculating there could be more of this to come. It does look like

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there could be a lot of instability over there. The nations want more

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autonomy, they want to be closer to the EU, and Russia perhaps feels

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that is a threat. I think the Russians see them as their family,

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their patch if you like. They haven't given up. The Soviet Union

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may be history but this is still part of mother Russia, that is what

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it amounts to. The Crimea was always part of Russia. This is a

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particularly difficult situation. And the vast amount of troops that

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have been officially announced, but more are thought to come in. British

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officials are now thought not to go to the Paralympics, and the Earl of

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Wessex has said he has cancelled a planned trip to the Paralympic

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Games. It does seem they might be pretty absent in terms of those

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representing. And given Vladimir Putin has spent $50 billion to

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create two separate villages. Onto the Express, and a subject near your

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hard because you are quoted, the Daily Express with the headline,

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pensions blow for millions, and the subheading 66% of people will be

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forced work longer. This is the result of a survey that has been

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done, showing that since 2012 the number of people planning to work

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past pension age has doubled. It is true that many people are happy to

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work longer but that is not the case for everyone and a big part of the

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issue is that people's pensions have not worked out in the way they would

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have hoped. Even those who have saved have not got enough pension

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and a lot of people have not got a pension at all so there is a real

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issue here and it is inevitable people will have to working longer.

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Last week we had the annuities news, and certainly pensions are headline

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grabbing thing. I think we should congratulate Ros for arranging this

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story! People were told if you invest X, you will get Y, and also I

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think people are living longer but most people are realising that when

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they invested money, they expected a pot of money and they could go off

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wherever they wanted to go and it is just not there. The industry should

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be called to task about the way they sold pensions. It was sold as this

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is what you will get, instead of this is what we estimate you will

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get. Quantitative easing has also driven down annuity rates which

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means you get much less pension so there has been a lot of bad news for

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pensions and I hope things will improve but I don't think this will

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be the last negative headline we will see. Do you think we will

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continue to see the pension age is rising? It is inevitable. It is not

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wholly bad news, if we are living longer either we have got to save

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more or keep working so that we keep earning, but you do need to be

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healthy enough to keep working and not everybody is so we need a proper

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national debate on how we can manage the ageing population. We don't have

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time for that right now! Onto the Telegraph, and an interesting story

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with the headline saying, Boris ` Islamists' children should be taken

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into care. He is saying these children are educated by their

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parents in such a way that they are likely to become terrorists all

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fundamentalist and in a way he is raising a question about how these

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children are educated or shaped at home and sometimes it is interesting

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to meet people who are very devout Muslims and talk to them about 911.

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I spoke to a sportsman recently and I was shocked to hear that he didn't

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believe it was the result of muslin and takes and the conversation

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became bizarre because you expect to say to somebody, obviously it was

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fanatics and expect them to condemn it, and he said, how do you know it

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was fanatics? He is saying that Muslim children who are radicalised

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by parents should be considered abused. If children are

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systematically exposed to pornography, they can be taken into

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care. If they are systematically exposed to other socially acceptable

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influences, they can be taken into care. It is very difficult, there is

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no easy answer. Social services are constantly having to draw the line.

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He is suggesting that there are situations where children are

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clearly being radicalised and nothing is being done about it. Onto

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the Independent, looking back at Ukraine, but its second story on the

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page is about target punters, not prostitutes, say MPs. As I

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understood the law, it was not prostitution that was illegal, it

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was living off immoral earnings. This is suggesting there are laws

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criminalising women and I don't quite know if the laws exist at the

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moment that if you live off immoral earnings that is illegal so I don't

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now how the sharpening of the law would take place. It to suggesting

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we should aim the full force of the law against punters. A strange word

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to use! It says that should be the aim. I think certainly targeting

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pimps makes sense, if you like those who are trafficking and

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prostitution. We should clamp down on them. As for targeting people who

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visit prostitutes, I'm not sure I really want to comment on that one.

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We will shuffle along to the Guardian in that case. Edward

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Snowdon again, Labour plans to overhaul controls over spy agencies.

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This is a very good story for this paper. It is an important story.

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What is being said here is that in the online age when it is so easy

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technologically to have all kinds of different forms of surveillance that

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in the past would have been much more difficult to organise, we do

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need to have some kind of boundaries, or to understand what

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the boundaries might be for what is allowed by the security services and

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what isn't. What Snowdon suggested is that there has been a freefall

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and there are no controls over what can be done. Labour are saying they

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want some kind of Parliamentary scrutiny or a committee of oversight

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that would enable us to know that we are not being targeted just at

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random. I think the problem is there is a committee at the moment but it

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is not open, and we have moved forward. There was a time when the

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man who headed MI5 was not known. Winston Churchill said democracy has

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to be protected by a bodyguard of lies. Where do you draw the balance

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between trying to protect the democratic way of life and being

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transparent about everything that is done to protect it? Thank you, both.

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We will have a look at the Oscars later. That's it for the papers this

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hour, so thank you to my guests. They will be back at 11:30pm for

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another look at what is making the newspapers tomorrow. Stay with us,

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the latest from Ukraine as criticism mounts against Russia, common at

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first `` coming up first, it is Click.

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Cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, Manchego!

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