26/12/2015 The Papers


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Hello and welcome to our look at the morning's papers.


With me are the broadcaster, Anna Raeburn,


and Robert Fox - the Defence Editor for the London Evening Standard.


The Observer has a picture of the flooding crisis -


showing a street submerged in West Yorkshire - and reports that


The Sunday Express leads with the flooding - calling it a


"The Day Britain went under" is the Mail on Sunday's take


on the same story - the paper reports that Britain has been hit


The Human Rights Act is holding back British troops in Iraq


and Afghanistan, according to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon,


Meanwhile claims on the front page of the Independent on Sunday...


That The Conservatives are set to, as the paper has it, "attack local


democracy" by banning councils - from divesting themselves of


And the Sunday Times says a Knighthood due this week for David


Cameron's election chief, Lynton Crosby, is set to spark controversy.


Welcome to you again. There are a lot of pictures around, the mail


says it all in the shares. This is the best picture because it shows


that this is no longer, not that it was ever good, but not happening to


small isolated villages but it is happening to bigger cities and it is


totally devastating something it is flooding to a level that we have not


seen. It is so widespread and it does raise the question about what


we should have had in place as a plan. I've listened to people from


the various departments that they have been quicker off the mark but


the damage has outweighed anything that has been in place that could


have anticipated this. That is the case. Going on, we have seen the


papers and they have got details that some of the people have left


their homes, torrential rain it is awful. The climate is changing. That


is the real problem, isn't it? This thing is ongoing but they are on the


fourth warning. Not that is the centre of gravity, but you are


rightly saying it has got to Manchester, York and this is


big-time. I wonder how we are prepared in terms of first-line


response as we call them. It is supposedly happening in other major


area. Will people know what to do? Distressed animals, which is a huge


problem in the circumstances. Other countries have lived with chronic


threat. 80% of the Italy is seismic, that is honourable to earthquakes.


With almost any other major European ally, of course United States,


because the way our armed forces have been hollowed out, there just


aren't the numbers to do it. They say that people can volunteer, but


they are nowhere near achieving their target. This is a warning. We


are going to need the human as well as the physical resources because


this is going to happen again and again. The stories inside are all


about people's homes being wrecked. It is the most terrible thing. It is


a repetitive terrible thing. They will use their -- they will lose


their homes, their businesses but they will be grateful for their


lives, limbs and pets, but it will take a very long time to sort this


out. And dare I say, it will cost and bottom money. And eventually,


the insurance companies will say that they cannot pay out to


everybody and that will create yet another problem. The Independent on


Sunday, don't tend to go for things elsewhere, but this is intriguing.


The Tories planned attack on local democracy. This is an investigation


done from an old friend of mine and he has been looking into proposals


and plans from mission control to stop local councils choosing where


they place or don't place things like investments into pension


funds, in what they regard as an ethical or antisocial organisations.


Remember in the past, the withdraw funds from South Africa and the


particular case now, and this is following Foreign Office advice, is


that they have been withdrawing funds and holding them back from


investing in anything to do with Israel connected with the West Bank


settlements. The Foreign Office advice is not to do it because they


are risky. Now, the proposal is that they are going to withdraw these


powers, that is, fiscal choice in a crucial area from local authorities.


They are terribly libertarian government is actually building up


big government in Whitehall. Traditionally conservatives coming


back to Margaret Thatcher and they don't like local authority very


much. Surely there is a point that it all local authorities go around


deciding on their investment choices, but their own Preferment in


the way they dish out their money. Lotta people might find that odd.


Shouldn't everybody be following a central policy? That is the idea of


the central policy. This is about 70 million people in a country are not


going to be governed by one set of ordinance or organisation. Is can't


be and it isn't. -- it. Why shouldn't we have different


authorities making different decisions if those other decisions


that their members are comfortable and happy with always presuming they


know about them. The other the that track the art -- the other thing is


about preparing to slip through Parliament and unprecedented curve


on councils to make them do it without having any debate about it.


It is just got to become an act of law. That is the way relations are


put in. I do think she is right. 2016 is going to be where devolution


is going to come up. If it goes a certain way, Scotland will


immediately go for a referendum. Once you get the Scottish people


involved, the question raised by old friends, that Simon's point about so


many areas of the North feel disenfranchised is absolutely right.


We're not governing and we cannot go on governing a country of 70 million


as if it is just over 40 million. The Sunday Telegraph, Minister


suspend Human Rights Act. Michael Fallon has some very strong opinions


about this. He argues that there is a strong case for suspending the


human rights law when sending forces into action overseas. He says we


don't need these ambulance chasing British law firms, it is not only


expensive, but it inhibits the operational effectiveness of our


troops because they start to worry about whether they will end up in


court or not. You know a lot about this, Robert. Is it true? To British


troops worry about legal action? It sounds doubtful but it is an


important issue. They are more concerned with the wall will be the


person closer to the rear. The kind of people that I'm not supposed to


say who will be operating in those areas as we speak. There will only


be a few dozen. They are up for it because it is their job and they


believe it is a duty and they hope that their commanding officer, the


chain of command should protect them. Actually, I hope that Michael


Fallon has not been properly quoted here. As he is quoted, he is being


grossly oversimplistic about this. Yes there are the end of this


chases, yes they do cost a lot of money, but things do go wrong. The


case of because -- the case of the young recruits. They do have a human


rights, Mr Fallon. They are taking up an awful lot of time and money?


Yes, they do. That is what he is getting at. He's getting at a


European Community, that the Prime Minister says he would like to take


a view on and this is a nice convenient to flag up and say we can


be out of this. I think this is true, -- too, located. We can't tell


them that they are not cobble. They are -- culpable. This is all about


the plight. Christians in the Middle East and the rise of the Islamic


State. They have written a lot about the ethics of war and they are very


experienced. What do we have here fresh and blue particularly in


Syria. What has happened to the Christian minorities, and there are


tiny splinters of this where they made at the gander opportunity of


this. It should always be remembered because it is just about the only


village on planet Earth that still speaks the language of Jesus


Christ. These people have been absolutely rolled over. The people


we do not hear about enough of the Christian Palestinians who are a


minority of the Palestinian. They have a horrible time. These are MPs


calling on... They talk about the persecution of Christians in Syria


is genocide. Somebody should be culpable for it. Does it make a


difference at all? I think we will disagree here but go on. I think it


will say some into the world that this may be now a minority religion,


but it is a religion like all other religions, held dear. Therefore,


nobody should be simply killed because they are different. Robert?


I think the facts on the ground so, -- complicated. We heard about the


breakdown and we have hundreds militant group. You hear from


conferences about a peace plan if only for groups can get together. It


is not about four group. It is the brutal realist of me that has


travelled as part of the world the nearly 50 years is that these people


are regarded as people who get in the way. That is the thing we need


to think about what we can do about it. Thank you very much for joining


me this evening. That is it. Coming up next is reporters.


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