23/04/2014 The Papers


23/04/2014

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. Presented by Clive Myrie.


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Champions League between high in Munich and Real Madrid. All of that

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and more, in Sportsday, after The Papers.

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

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bringing us tomorrow. With me are Jenni Russell, columnist at The

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Times, and Neil Midgley, media writer at the Daily Telegraph. The

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Express is leading on the search for the killer of Madeleine McCann. It

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claims that detectives are now ready to make arrests in the Algarve. The

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Telegraph is reporting on Bank of England figures, saying welfare

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reforms have riven up the number of self`employed, creating a new

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generation of entrepreneurs. The headline on the front of the

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Guardian is referring to the Metropolitan Police's hopes that

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Muslim and in might inform on family members determined to head to the

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war zone. The Metro leads on a court case involving a man who allegedly

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ran a ?5 million fraud scheme. The Times says a new union for classroom

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teachers is to be launched. The Sun has a picture of the Duchess of

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Cornwall, following the news that her brother has died after a fall in

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New York yesterday. That is also the lead on the front of the Daily Mail.

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The paper says the Duchess is devastated. We are going to start

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with the Telegraph. Benefits cuts lift self`employment, according to

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Bank of England figures. It is a good news story, isn't it? Well, if

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you read the Telegraph and you believed it, you would certainly

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think so. It is as if Britain has become a nation of people who are

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all starting new businesses. If so, wouldn't we all celebrate? They used

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to be claiming so much welfare that they had to have it, but now they

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are brilliant entrepreneurs, within nine months! Unfortunately, what the

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story is all about is, the Bank of England is saying that an enormous

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number of Britons are now self`employed, 4.5 million, and

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increase of 600,000 sinks 2010, so, one third of the new jobs created

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since 2010. `` since. If you go beyond this page, and I happen to

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have been writing about this recently, then the figures show that

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the self`employed are earning a great deal less than the employed,

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and incomes have fallen on average when to percent since 2006. So, very

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often, these are self`employed cleaners or construction workers or

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journalists who have lost their jobs, who are in fact finding work a

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lot more difficult to get. And self`employed is what you have to be

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if you have got a casual income and nobody is going to give you a job.

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It sounds great but it is not in reality. That is all true, but to my

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mind, it is better for people to be supporting themselves, even in low

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paid work, than it is for them to be on welfare. Both for them and for

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the state. I think people do have to get used to a certain amount of

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insecurity in their working life, that is just the world we live in.

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We no longer live in a world where you have a job for life, and a

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paternalistic employer and a fully funded pension scheme. There we

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would completely disagree, because you as a Conservative think that,

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and I as somebody more to the left think that the whole function of the

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welfare state ought to be to provide something of a trampoline, something

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to bounce you back into employment. It means that as happens in Sweden

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and Scandinavia, if you lose your job, then you get well supported in

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the temporary period between losing that job and finding another one.

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Clearly, if these people before that had to benefits, they were very well

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supported! There is nothing in this story which justifies this headline.

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Apart from the view expressed by the Bank of England. That is what

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justifies it. But actually, when you read what the Bank of England says,

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it is not borne out by the headline. It is not saying that actually this

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was cause and effect. Part of the rise in self`employment appeared to

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be a continuation of a longer term trend... It is possible that some of

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the increase had, about in reaction to benefit caps. Possible! Those are

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the words of the Bank of England, though. And only 38,000 families

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have been affected by the benefit caps, and the number of

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self`employed has gone up by 600,000. Neil, you have got a

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personal story, how has it been going for you, someone who is

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self`employed and making their own way in the world? Well, I hate to

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say, for me, it is absolutely fine at the moment. He is very talented.

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That is why he is on the programme! I do have a personal story, but it

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is quite unusual, because I am highly educated and I have a lot of

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experience in an industry, journalism, when people

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traditionally are self`employed. Freelancing is a thing. But if you

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are a cleaner, having to set up your own business, put leaflets through

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doors, then... Yes, I think it would be wrong to look at the stories of

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people like me. We should not be saying that people in very low paid

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jobs should be chuffed. Which was Jenni's point. It was, but even so,

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they are better off in low`paid jobs, for my mind, than they are on

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welfare. Staying with the Telegraph, Jenni, you have just said, you may

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be on the left of the political spectrum, but you now have an

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announcement to make to the 6.7 million viewers watching The

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Papers, no more wind farms if Tories win the election, and your

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announcement is? Well, this does tempt me to vote Tory, at least for

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a minute or two. What a brilliant idea. I think wind farms are

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blighting the countryside, and there is no evidence that they are any

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good at providing us with alternative energy. But if you are a

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self confirmed lefty, how come you are not green? I can be, but there

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is very little evidence that wind farms produce much energy. I was one

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of the first people to go and see a supposedly self`sufficient

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community, and he said the one thing which was a complete waste of time

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was wind turbines, which have only ever generated 15% of the energy

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which it was said they would. And we never have any way of saving the

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energy that they make. So, you still have to have the back`up supplies

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from orthodox energy supplies. But this is not just for lefties like

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Jenni, is it? It is shoring up your base, this is for those Tory voters

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who might be worried about, I don't know, UKIP, for instance? Yes, this

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is heartland Tory stuff and it comes at a time when the Tory led

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government is pushing through HS2 as fast as it can, which is going to

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lose at a lot of votes in the Tory shires to the north and north`west

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of London, as they cut through the Buckinghamshire countryside. The

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Tories do need to do something, I think, with that heartland vote, to

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say, we are still on your side in the countryside. But perversely,

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this announcement is made on the same day that the Tories have

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announced that you cannot stop people fracking underneath your land

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in the countryside by saying they are trespassing. Anybody who likes

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is going to be able to tunnel under your field, and I would have thought

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that would make people even more angry than the wind farm issue.

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Front page of the Guardian, optimism in industry at a 41 year high. Yes,

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a very odd story for the Guardian. You think the Guardian always talks

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down the nation?! No, but it is obviously a good news story for

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George Osborne. And this is going to be, the nub of the story is that not

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since 1973 has there been a higher level of optimism among

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manufacturers. So, it is plus 33, things are going to get better for

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them in the years to come. Well, firstly, that is very good economic

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news, and it is also good news for George Osborne, who has been saying

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that he is going to create a balanced recovery, and the recovery

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this time around is not going to be just built on debt and on the

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housing boom. And there is still evidence that George Osborne has

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been busy in the creating debt and a housing boom `` busily creating. But

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the fact that manufacturing now seems to be on the up will take yet

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another arrow out of Ed Miliband's quiver. Jenni, if the economy is

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doing so well, and manufacturing, which is actually only 10% of the

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economy, but the service sector figures are also pretty good as

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well, if that is doing well, then people's actual real wages could go

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up? Well, yes, they could. But the problem with the recovery is that

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all the official statistics show that it is the people at the top who

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are going to get most of the benefits from the recovery. In other

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words, whatever the recovery will be, it will be very unequally

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distributed, and that is shown by the Government own own projections.

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I think this story is significant because it might actually say George

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Osborne's political career, and if it carries on, could make an

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enormous difference to whether or not the Tories win the next

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election. So far, the boom has been based entirely on debt and housing,

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and everyone has pointed out that if it continues, it is unsustainable,

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because people are running down their savings in order to spend,

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because real wages have not gone up. And the Government has been waiting

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in a furious of not understanding about why companies will not invest,

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because it has needed them to invest, otherwise the recovery is

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going to run out of steam. These are the best figures since 1973, and we

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know what happened the next year. Moving onto the Express. Camilla is

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devastated, as brother dies in fall. He died in what looks like a really

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freak accident in New York. Yes, this is the kind of thing which you

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expect to happen on a ski slope and not a pavement. When I first read

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it, I thought perhaps he fell off a balcony, but apparently he simply

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slipped on a pavement and injured his head so badly that he was dead

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within a very short space of time. What can you say about this? He led

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a very colourful life, he was romantically linked with many famous

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women. Including Caroline Kennedy. He had an amazing life, and a

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fantastic conservationist as well, by all accounts. Anyway, let's go to

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the Telegraph. Atheists urged to be tolerant? This is a story which is

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running about whether Britain is a Christian country. It has an

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established church. Nick Clegg says it is flaming the obvious that

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Britain is built on Christian traditions. I think we are all

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agreed that Britain is at its heart a Christian country. In its

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constitution, Britain is a Christian country. The Queen is the head of

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the established church. That is not what a lot of people say who do not

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go to church. That is where the different shades of argument come

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in. And now there is the argument about whether people of different

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faiths are offended, the question is what the atheists should do.

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Apparently, the atheists are being to gung ho in expressing their

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views. Secularism is increasingly, as you point out, the order of the

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day in the country at large. I am an atheist and I think it is a

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statement of fact that Britain is a Christian country, not just because

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of its traditions but because of its history. We have been arguing over

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the Christian religion in this country for 2000 years. I live a

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mile away from one of the oldest Saxon churches in England. It has

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been there for more than 1000 years. It is through beautiful. The fact

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is, this is a country where its literature and history and the

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landscape is shaped around the quarrels of the Christian faith. But

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do you as an atheist need to be more tolerant? I am very tolerant of the

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Christian faith. I do not see what this argument is about. The quarrel

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I have here is with this letter which says the Church of England as

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an established church had fostered liberal values in Britain for

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centuries will stop soon after Henry VIII founded the Church, Mary was

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burning Protestants then Elizabeth was doing the same for Catholics. I

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do not know much about our liberal values in that sense. We have

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arrived at them now but that is not what we fostered. Thank you. You

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will be back in an hour to look at the stories in tomorrow's additions.

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There will be more on the fact that injuries and file and figures are

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down for the UK. Now it is time for Sportsday.

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`` injury and violence figures.

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