23/08/2014 The Papers


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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A British national living in Sierra Leone tests positive for Ebola.


It's the first person from the UK known to have contracted the virus.


Welcome to our look ahead to what the papers


With me are Matthew Syed, a columnist for The Times


and broadcaster and campaigner David Akinsanya.


The Observer says diplomats in Washington are considering


sanctioning air strikes in Syria ` targeting Islamic State militants.


The Mail on Sunday says the decision to fly home the British


charity worker, found to have caught Ebola, was


The Sunday Telegraph says data shows the number of immigrants who vanish


after being found with false passports is increasing


and that this doesn't bode well for any attempts to catch jihadist


The Sunday Telegraph is where we start. That story about border


controls in chaos. What do they purport to be revealing here? The


context is revealing. MI5 said that if a lot of the jihadi 's who have


gone to Syria comeback en masse, and there are 250 of them, they will not


be able to cope. What the Telegraph reporting is essentially the story


about our porous borders. 3527 immigrants and squandered after


failing border checks last year and only 846 were found. This is a


worrying statistic. 76%, 2700, remain at large. The potential of


brutalised young fanatics coming back from an area where they have


been desensitised to violence and probably motivated to carry out


atrocities, this is worrying. David, is it true that they seem to know


where the weak areas are? They talk about seaports handling coachloads


of visitors and also Eurostar. It is worrying that it is obvious where


the easy route. They use this term porous borders and you think, we are


an island and if we can't staff those borders then honestly I think


the general public just believe that `` they can't believe how we deal


with border control in America. When you go to America, you have to say


who you are. It is not clear how the system works because it sounds like


they are quite good at spotting illegal immigrants but then somehow,


they disappear. It is as if you are told we know you are illegal, and


along the road to where they are being held, they can run off. That


is exactly right. It is also mentioning that there is a good new


story on the statistics towards the end of the story. It says the total


number of immigrants who absconded after being stopped has fallen from


9262 in 2010 to 3527 last year. So the numbers have gone down. But the


proportion of people who are subsequently recovered has gone


down, too. It is that phrase subsequently recovered which need


more analysis. But we are seeing that Keith Vaz chairing the Home


Office `` the Commons home affairs committee says he will seek and not


explanation from the Home Secretary. So possibly we will hear talk in the


house about more resources. Let's stay with the Daily Telegraph


because there is a small article about British Christians forced to


hide their belief. This is taken from an interview given by the


former Attorney General Dominic Grieve. He is saying that there is


an aggressive form of secularism is taking place in the country. There


have been loads of things that have happened, people who are supposed to


be registrars who are refusing to take part in gay weddings, people


with guesthouses and British Airways as well, where... I mean, me


personally, I don't agree with religion being involved in


everything we do. It is an important part of my beginning, I went to


Sunday school and to church, but when you're talking about people's


human rights, I can see how the Christians feel they're being pushed


aside. I think this is ridiculous from a normally quite sensible


politician in Dominic Grieve. He is saying an aggressive form of


secularism, but we have freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and


he is comparing what he says is the intimidation of Christians with what


is happening to Christians in the Middle East where they are being


beheaded and murdered en masse. That is a frankly absurd comparison. We


have bishops in the House of Lords, an established church, and we are a


tolerant country. If secularists want to critique Christianity, they


are entitled. Christians can hit back and critique a fearsome. ``


atheism. It is in a man sticking his neck out. We know from the Tony


Blair and Alistair Campbell era, we don't do God, politicians stay away


from this topic. He is saying politicians should not be afraid of


doing God. But there will be people who agree or disagree. There is no


legal prohibition on politicians saying they are Christian or Jewish


or whatever. The reason Blair did not do it is because he thought he


would be intimidated, you thought you would lose votes. It is just


pragmatic. In America, they have a different view. Most of the


presidential candidate proclaim Christianity. They are affected to


be clear. I think it is dangerous where we have a powerful set of


values which are by and large tolerant and permit freedom of


expression, that must be expression for a jury `` atheist who disagree


with Christians. To draw a comparison with what is happening to


Christians in the Middle East is ridiculous.


Let's turn our attention to the Observer, their main story,


to launch air strikes on senior ices territories in Syria. Dominating the


news this question about where do we


engage in Syria. The White House seems to be saying they may be ready


to think about military action there. I think there are big


questions as to whether or not to incorporate with President Assad.


After what was a stand`off with Isis, there is now serious conflict


between the de facto Syrian government and the Islamic fanatics.


And I thing it is a really difficult judgement about whether or not one


colludes with a dangerous and iniquitous dictator who has been


responsible for thousands of deaths in order to get rid even more severe


and dangerous enemy on the one hand, or one the other hand, we don't want


to have anything to do with either of you but we will go into Syria and


bomb Isis from there anyway. The Times had a leader today saying that


corporate `` collaboration with President Assad would be terrible.


Others have a different view. What changed our foreign policy towards


Isis was the effect on public opinion of the beheading. That


change the context. And even when you read this, you see that already


these people are using vehicles and things that well provided for people


who we thought were good. And now, all of a sudden, the roles have


changed again. A lot of people were saying at the time of going into


Iraq that this would open a can of worms. And it really has. The more


you think about this... People say President Obama is being weak, but I


think you thinking rather than rushing in rather `` like we did


before. I agree. The situation is so complicated in the Middle East.


Saudi Arabia, the oil, how it interacts. All of it is so difficult


to understand that any political policy will have myriad unintended


consequences. I agree that you have to pause but there are consequences


of inaction as well. And I think you are absolutely right, understanding


the context is important but if you wait to long, that can have very


profound effects, too. We will talk more about this through the evening.


At the bottom of the Observer, Ed Balls is quoted as saying Scots


would have to join the euro. We are ready for a big week in Scotland and


the suggestion by the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls that joining the


euro would be the least bad option for its economy if adverts for


independence. Seconding the idea that sterling is out of bounds.


Again, it is one of those arguments that you can see politicians


positioning themselves. I don't know whether it will be OK for them to


keep the pound. They say that they are a part of it and they created


it. But if they are not going to get the pound, then the euro will be


their only other option. What is great about their first debate was


when Alistair Darling punctured the cell certainty of Alex Salmond which


is considerable. Is there a plan B? Andy Reid struggled to come up with


an answer to that. `` and he struggled. I think it is uncertainty


that is dominating a lot of the fears about independence and I think


that Ed Balls saying that the pound is not an option, it just cost more


doubt. I think it is more likely that they will not vote to go


independent, I hope so. The final debate tomorrow, so we will keep our


eyes on that. The mail have gone very big on the


news that the UK has its first Ebola infection. They say a British


charity worker, their top story, UK Ebola alert as infected medic to fly


home. The Department of Health saying this story is pure


speculation and they haven't given much detail about this person. They


have not given details, they have said it was a medic. I read in here


somewhere that the government, that it has come from the top, and people


have agreed that he can come back and there will be no problem to


people in society. And that'll be the fear. I am sorry, I care about


this man, but I care about the other 392 people in Sierra Leone who have


been affected and I care about the fact that how it is funny that the


doctors have managed to get two doctors cured with tested drugs by


ZMapp, and those drugs have run out now. Aren't you concerned about the


other people? Foreign people who get taken back to their own countries


stand a better chance because they know poverty and health care in


these West African countries is not good. So I hope they will come up


with something that is going to work for all those people.


Back to the Sunday Telegraph, why I it is a kidney to a stranger. This


is a psychologist who decided she would give away one of her kidneys.


I love this story. Wonderful. Isn't it great to hear a story of true


altruism. She says, she has decided not to have children and she thought


if I'm not going to create a live, why not help save one. True altruism


and a great counterbalance to all the doom and gloom around us. It


beautiful clothes there. We ended on a high point and we will get back to


the doom and gloom in an hour, I'm sure! Thank you, Matthew Syed and


David Akinsanya.


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