29/05/2014 The Papers


29/05/2014

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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mid`fielder and Andy Murray breezes into the third round in the French

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Open in tennis. Hello there. Welcome to the look

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ahead to the papers tomorrow. With me, David Davies and Anne

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Ashworth an assistant editor at the Times. We start with the Express. It

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is saying that UK doctors are winning the war against high blood

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pressure. The Government is hiring debt

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collectors to chase hundreds of thousands of people whose tax

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credits were overpaid, according to the Independent. The new Chief

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Executive of the NHS has told the Daily Telegraph that there must be

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more treatment of patients in the local communities. And the Metro is

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reporting that members of a drug gang who lived a luxury lifestyle

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have been convicted by a court but ordered to pay ?24. While the

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Guardian claims that there is new doubt over Scottish party

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calculations over possible future earnings from international

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companies. We start David with the independence

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independence. A photograph there of a thoughtful looking George W Bush

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and the man with his back to us, that, we assume is Mr Tony Blair.

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That was at a NATO summit in Prague 2001. Two years before the Iraq war.

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We know that all of of the correspondent, the private

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correspondent between the two leaders will not be made public in

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the Chilcot report. And the reality is that the Chilcot report is very

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unlikely now to be published until after the general election, 2015. Of

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course it was initiated by Gordon Brown back in 2009. So an

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extraordinary period of time. Yes, the Independent has it here on the

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front page but I have to say to you, journalists will always, you know, I

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was one of them, absolutely publish, publish, publish. We should know.

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The Chilcot Inquiry should know. The problem with this, at one level, is

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that there are two people in the conversation. There is a man called

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the President of the United States. I have to tell you that when you go

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around the world and the British demand that this should all be

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published, in America a lot of people say, excuse me, there were

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two people in a private conversation, maybe you British

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don't regard it as private, we do. So, in the future, if this was

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published, and my instinct is why has it not been published? The

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reality is who is ever going to talk in confidence to a British Prime

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Minister again? Anne that is rail politics, and certainly Whitehall

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have made it clear that no American President will trust us again if we

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publish these. But the families? They are not happy. The phrase

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quotes and giveses, ie snippets of the conversation, ie everybody

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mentioned in it will be able to have sight of what could be written and

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then further reduced. They are not satisfied. They feel this is not

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enough. They thought that the Chilcot Inquiry would be a

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investigation of the conversations and the deliberations leading up to

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the war. That is what we were led to believe.

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The word whitewash has appeared on one paper, it has not even been

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published yet. And what about the word gives. The

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gives? Who is going to give the gives.

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What does it even mean? Yes. That is the real problem. But this was

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always the potential flaw of the inquiry.

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There are, to go back on the first point, there are suggestions that

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the Prime Minister is hoping it could be published before the

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general election. They are hoping to get it out by the end of the year.

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But it could go on and on. And those criticised will have the

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chance to answer Chilcot, how long will it take? He is hoping to speed

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that up. We will see. Exactly. Now, continuing with the Independent, the

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debt collectors hound the poor estover `` the poor estover tax

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credits, what is this about? The HMRC has made mistakes and people

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pointed out that they are receiving the wrong amount, and then the

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taxman says don't worry, they are right. Then HMRC decides that the

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wrong amount has been paid out and they are hounding these people for

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the money, reclaiming goods, calling them, texting them in a great deal

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of distress. It seems that if the mistake by HMRC and the person has

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pointed it out, I cannot see how the money should be reclaimed.

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And who are these people? They are private debt collectors, hired by

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HMRC, phoning the people, targeting them. Some of those targeted say

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that they feel harassed and frightened. Who is monitoring the

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activity of the private debt collectors, that is the question I

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would like answered. We are paying for the operation as taxpayers. I

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think we should be told if it is being done properly.

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There should be oversight of what is going on. But Iain Duncan Smith, and

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those who support the benefit changes, who want the Welfare Bill

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to come down, they would say look, we have to do what we can to get

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this money back. Also, we want to know if people who

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have money that is now due under tax avoidance schemes to be revealed how

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will they be chased for the cash? Will they be having people nothing

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on their door? I am playing devil's advocate. There has been a debate

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about reducing the Welfare Bill. It could be argued that the people who

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know how best to do this in chasing up those people who perhaps are over

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or have been deemed to have overclaimed or paid too much,

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whatever, that you need experts, independent experts who know what

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they are doing. People who know this field. And the suggestion could be

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that is what is happening but they are getting out of control? I am not

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questioning that if the money is owing it should be repaid but

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chasing people who cannot pay is that worth anybody's money? It is

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not worth the effort. And how it should be done. It is how it is

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done. This is the key.

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It is not the principle but how it is done that is extremely important.

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OK. On to the Guardian. New doubts over Scottish wealth, David. More

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figures this week. Everyone is confused. I suspect that the SNP are

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confused as much as the UK Government are confused.

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What to believe? And for the people who have to make the vote? Anne will

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give you a better version of what I can give you of what this is about.

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But we are going to get, you will have more and more of these figures.

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The "yes" and the "no"... It is hotting up, even our side of the

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border, you can see how this is hotting up. I just observe it. I

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worry that you are not going to have an overwhelming result we are yes,

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or an overwhelming "no". I think that is a dangerous situation.

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I think it is interesting. They are not trying to win the battle over

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the referendum on hearts and minds anymore. It is not about what it

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means to be Scottish. It is what it is worth to you to be Scottish. We

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are under an onslought of statistics. Douglas Alexander has

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one figure, Danny Alexander has another. And it has been pointed out

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that Scottish whiskis either UK or overseas owned, that the profits

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could flow elsewhere. They are saying don't look at GDP, look at

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GNI, that is a better measure of what all of this is worth to the of

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a Raj Scot. On that basis it is less than Alex Salmond is estimating. I

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am not sure if we are somewhere in the great debate about who owns what

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and what it is worth to the Scots, if we are comparing apples and pears

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but I think we should prepare for more of this. It is obviously how it

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has been decided that this battle will be fought, through the pockets.

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It is really extraordinary. It will be fought, through the pockets.

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It is really extraordinary. has been a radical shift this week. The

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feeling that you have to quantify to the Scots voter as to whether how

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much it is worth him or her to say "yes".

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Does it feel that is the wrong tactic? Well far from an Englishman

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who has had a few run`ins with the Scots at some football, to tell the

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Scots how they ought to be campaigning but Alex Salmond made a

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statement saying: Scotland is one of the wealthest countries in the

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world. More prosperous per head than the UK, France and Japan. I am sure

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he can sub`Stan sheet that claim. `` substantiate that claim but I am

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sure that in some ports of the `` parts of the world it woman come as

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a surprise. Part of the problem is that it is

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not clear how much oil is there in the seas off Scotland.

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It is easy to say it is running out quickly but for others to say that

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the reserves are there. For the technology to be able to get it

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there. Even the whisky is not there, it is

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80% overseas or UK`owned. But they are paying taxes, employing

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Scottish people to get it made. But still we are having a marc #k0678 ``

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microcosm debate here. This is interesting. I like this story. The

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sex and the drug trade has added to the GDP figure. The economy is doing

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well, partly because of the sex and the drugs trade in the United

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Kingdom. This is interesting.

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This is about the way that they managed to calculate how much drug

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dealing and the heat and the electricity required for its

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production. Making a bit of grass! Yeah, how

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much is being spent on that, how much is earned in prostitution, how

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the figures are collated, we are not told but... We have been told. If we

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are to believe the stories we have to be told.

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But significantly, GDP. How did they get this data? That is what we would

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like to know. What I love is: As economies develop

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and evolve, so do the statistics that we use to measure them. Now

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that is, it says obviously that they have been deliberating as to whether

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or not these unsavoury hidden economy trades should be included

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and they have decided yes, if there is enough money made it.

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There are specific figures. We are told according to the estimates,

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that there are 60,879 sex workers in the UK in 2009. There are more

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today. The ONS needs to tell us more about exactly what records it is

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keeping. It is coming from a combination of cannabis, cocaine,

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ecstasy and amphetamines. And these people do not pay taxes. I can spot

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a Nigel Farage line in this story. The move brings us into line with

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the European rules. It is all their fault! I forget now the state that

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has just legalised the sale in the United States. Maybe it is Oregon.

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They have made a fortune in taxes. One wonders if this kind of

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information might add grist to the mill of those who believe that you

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should have the state make some money out of this. Or have the guys

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at the ONS been watching the box set of making bad and thinking, there is

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money in a bad substances! It must drive you mad looking at these

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figures all day. It is an extraordinary thing. We are going to

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leave it there. David, you will be beer back in another hour to look ``

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you will be back in an hour to look at more of the stories. On BBC News,

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we will be reflecting on the disappointment of some of the

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families of soldiers who died in Iraq at the news that the full

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details of letters and correspondence between Tony Blair

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and George W Bush ran wide Britain went to war will not be published.

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Now, time for Sportsday.

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