22/03/2014 The Papers


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Duff has died at the age of 84. He worked with 16 world champions in


his career, including Frank Bruno and Joe Calzaghe.


With the are my guests. We can start with the Sunday Times. They say the


Conservatives are now neck and neck with Labour in the opinion polls,


after a positive reaction to the Budget. It prompted some Labour MPs


to criticise Ed Miliband's performance. The front page of the


Independent has a picture of the stand`off at that military base in


Crimea. The main story about a scientific breakthrough in energy


technology. The mail says an inquest has heard allegations that the TV


comedian groomed a teenager who later killed himself. And the


Telegraph says Islamic law will soon be enshrined in the British legal


system and guidelines for solicitors on drawing up Shari compliant Wills.


We start with the Sunday Times. This story that Tories are now neck and


neck with Labour. This article will have us believe we've got Labour in


disarray, the Tories thinking and outright majorities on its way. Is


that the true picture? As we will discover, the headline is so often


not quite what it seems. Although there is no doubt that this is a


pole, you grab pole for the Sunday Times, which put the Conservatives


just one point behind Labour. I think for the last, oh, it's been


ages they've been stuck. So it's not insignificant. It is very


significant, except it is only one point. What is significant is what


people are saying within the Labour ranks, some of whom are quoted, some


of those mysterious figures. It all comes down to presentation. Although


the subheadline says knives come out for Miliband, what it is saying is


they are urging Ed Miliband to stop waffling, to use clear, simple


language, to talk to people on the doorstep in language they


understand. I think the fact that all of these quotes are saying the


same thing, it's not about policy its presentation. It is quite an


interesting story. He is never going to have the Tony Blair factor. He is


not a man with jazz hands and a neat turn of phrase. He's a great


character but he's not Tony Blair, nor would he want to be Tony Blair.


This is bad news, this poll. At this time in the electoral cycle, you'd


really be thinking in terms of ten or 12 points ahead. He's been


hovering around seven or eight points ahead, so that's not great in


the first place. To be so close is not good at all. Two things have


happened. First of all, George Osborne's Budget. That has affected


it hugely. The second thing is, and this is some of the criticism there,


not so much the clear language, they've got to find the language


they need to use. They've lost the argument over the economy. It would


seem that people do accept that austerity was necessary, that we are


pulling out of recession, recovery is on the way, people now believe


that, they believe they're going to be better off. Of course, what the


Budget did was take away some of the elements of Ed Miliband's second


tier, the cost of living crisis. He's had a bad week in the sense the


Tories have had a great week. It might be this poll will be reversed


by next week, but those elements have caused this. One of the


criticisms is his lacklustre performance in the Commons in


response to the Budget. But it is terribly unfair because... The


opposition don't get to see the Budget, they are having to guess.


Given that, most of the public think, OK, it's tough but we


recognise we've got to do it and things are generally improving. What


have you got left to say? You can be a showman, saying this that and the


other, and hope that that is what happens. But what they are now


saying is they agree on the pensions changes. They should have said that


straightaway and then moved onto something else. They are saying he


needs different people around him, a reshuffle of his writers. Yes. We


know the Westminster world long enough that quite often it is those


advisers, some of whom will be quite young and enthusiastic, who perhaps


aren't listening, haven't got that new ones, that year to the ground.


Some of this criticism isn't new. You have John Mann, the Bassetlaw


MP, mining constituency. He is saying we don't want this hamster


language, we want the language of real people. Now the Independent on


Sunday. Their main story is about energy. I want to focus on that


picture, reporting on the seizing of that Belbek base in Crimea. We have


seen today this ramping up of the military force Russia in eastern


Crimea. Yes. It's quite a stark and rather startling photograph. The


Independent is always very good on its photographs, sometimes you don't


know what the story is but the photographs are amazing and it's


very clear what is. These are armed troops storming the Belbek base


yesterday. It's the last key Ukrainian installation in Crimea.


But it has suddenly, over the last, well, even over the last 12 hours,


it seems to have got a lot more violent. You sort of wonder, what is


Putin's game, where is this going? I don't find this a surprise. But if


you've got... We've gone through various stages here. Putin is with


Crimea, it is now part of Russia. It seems to be the next logical step


would be to make sure you don't have any Ukrainian troops in it. I can


understand what is going on. The worst side of it is the West is


totally impotent to stop any of this. So what will happen, and let's


hope it happens without too much bloodshed, is Ukrainian troops will


be taken out of Crimea, Russian troops will be in there. Then


perhaps we can calm down then. We will talk about Ukraine later. Let's


turn our attention to the Observer. It's not their main story, but


pension reform raising a Care Bill threat. A suggestion coming from the


Joseph Rowntree Foundation, saying that there's a risk if cash in your


pension for the Lamborghini lifestyle and don't go for the


annuity, you may find yourself open to a large amount of costs for your


care in old age. The Lamborghini bit first of all. It costs ?186,000.


Most average pension pots are about ?25,000. What they are talking


about, this idea... We need to see the detail of these pension


reforms. The idea that the charities are talking about here is if you


blow all of your money first off, don't expect free social care later


on. I don't quite understand this because I would have thought anybody


could blow their money, whether they've got an annuity or whatever.


The idea is if you need social care, that is what you will get. So


the idea that you will certainly have to try and find the money from


somewhere else and you haven't got it seems to me and possible.


Obviously, if you have an asset, a home, you will have to sell it to


provide for care in old age. Again, it's a story where the detail. We


were pondering this. It doesn't make sense at all because at the moment


there is a cap, around ?22,000, on savings. Up to that you get free


social care. But it's all based on this ill informed decision. It is


terribly patronising. The idea that the Tories were criticised for


having the bingo and beer poster, but this is frightfully patronising.


This idea that older people don't know how to deal with their money.


The Sunday Telegraph now. Their main story, Islamic law is adopted by


British legal chiefs. This is a suggestion that there's been advised


that out to solicitors on how to draw up Sharia law compliant Wills.


Once again we have a headline that slightly misleading. It's not


Islamic law that is being drafted into British law. They are talking


about a sharia law compliant will. All of us have the right to make our


will and decide who we want to leave our assets to. Sharia law will will


be no different from that. The difference there is it would be


drafted in the mosque, and that would then be accepted as a legal


document. I think it's going too far to suggest that suddenly Islamic law


is now going to be a part of British law. But the suggestion is that


lawyers and society in general might be twitchy about laws that come in


that somehow deny women certain right of inheritance and so on. Yes.


Ground`breaking guidance produced by the Law Society, high street


solicitors will be able to write Islamic world that deny women an


equal share of inheritance, exclude unbelievers, prevent children born


out of wedlock or adopted children. As Nigel says and as we all know, we


can do... Anyone of us can decide to leave all of our assets to the cat.


People do what they want. I think the problem is it's about


challenge. Hidden away in here is the guidance, it goes on to suggest


that the Sharia law principles could potentially oval rule British


practice in some disputes. I think that is where there may be the


nitty`gritty... We are in a different ball game should that


happen, yes. Let's return to Ukraine. They are reporting what the


Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has had to say about Putin, saying


he has been bullying, after the annexation of Crimea. Saying,


essentially, that the EU must stand firm. But there's a multitude of


positions in the EU. The idea of sanctions wrapping up seems to have


got to a certain rampant and no further. At the moment, we are in


the heat `` we are impotent. The answer from William Hague is that


Europe must invest in fracking. On the other hand, we are seeing that


they are in this terrible tangle. So many of the European countries want


to take this big stands, make a moral decision on what they are


doing, but we are so tied up we were almost I need. We can bring in


travel restrictions, to guide sanctions against a dozen people, or


however many it is, but it is not actually making any difference. He


is a belief. We will be back on 60 minutes to have another look through


some awe of the papers. Do stay with us. At 11.00pm we'll have more on


the crisis in Ukraine, as Russia tightens its grip on Crimea.


Hello and welcome. I am Zeinab Badawi. From here we send out


correspondence to bring you the best stories from across the


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