26/12/2015 The Papers


26/12/2015

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

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With me are the broadcaster, Anna Raeburn,

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

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The Observer has a picture of the flooding crisis -

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showing a street submerged in West Yorkshire - and reports that

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The Sunday Express leads with the flooding - calling it a

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

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

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The Human Rights Act is holding back British troops in Iraq

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and Afghanistan, according to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon,

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

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

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democracy" by banning councils - from divesting themselves of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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problem in the circumstances. Other countries have lived with chronic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the insurance companies will say that they cannot pay out to

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

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

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

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

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and plans from mission control to stop local councils choosing where

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

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

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

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

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that they have been withdrawing funds and holding them back from

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

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

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

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

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They are terribly libertarian government is actually building up

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big government in Whitehall. Traditionally conservatives coming

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

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

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deciding on their investment choices, but their own Preferment in

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

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

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

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

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

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authorities making different decisions if those other decisions

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that their members are comfortable and happy with always presuming they

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

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about preparing to slip through Parliament and unprecedented curve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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many areas of the North feel disenfranchised is absolutely right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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expensive, but it inhibits the operational effectiveness of our

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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village on planet Earth that still speaks the language of Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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breakdown and we have hundreds militant group. You hear from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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