27/03/2016 The Papers


27/03/2016

A lively, informed and in-depth conversation about the Sunday papers.


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That is all your sport for no. No, though, on BBC News, back to Maxine

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for The Papers. -- your sport for now.

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Hello and welcome to our Sunday morning edition of The Papers.

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With me are Sian Griffiths, the education Editor

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With me are Sian Griffiths, the education editor

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of The Sunday Times, and Mike Walters, sports writer

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The Sunday Times leads with a call from Tony Blair to crush Isis or be

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faced with a terrorist attack in Britain worse than those in Paris

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Lets just have a look at that headline. There it is.

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Let's just have a look at that headline.

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The Mail on Sunday says convicted terrorists are being paid salaries

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using British aid money - the paper goes on to criticise

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the Government's commitment to spend billions on foreign aid.

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The Telegraph quotes one of America's top former generals,

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David Petraeus, who says a Brexit would weaken the West and raise

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The Sunday Express reports that after the terror attacks in Europe

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it's time for a fightback, adding that SAS squads are ready

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to fly in and protect any town in the UK.

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The Star on Sunday splashes on the news we have been covering

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this morning - that Belgian prosecutors have charged a man

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with terrorist offences, in connection with Tuesday's attacks

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The Observer leads with a warning from the Health Secretary Jeremy

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Hunt who claims that the NHS will face budget cuts if Britain

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And the online Independent on Sunday covers the England football team's

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3-2 win over Germany in Berlin last night.

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Let us get started. Plenty to talk about. Let's start with the Sunday

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Times and Tony Blair's warning. Sian, what do you make of it? A very

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interesting and dramatic article he has written for the Sunday Times,

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Tony Blair. In it he is calling for Britain to step up military action

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to crush Isis. Those are the words he actually uses, or, he says, we

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could be faced with a terrorist act of such size and horror it will

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result in many more victims than even Paris or Brussels. The message

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there is that not doing enough? That's right. He calls for an

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international rapid reaction force to be set up and there is quite an

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interesting statement he makes. He says eventually the terrorists will

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commit an act of such size and horror that we will change' but by

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then the battle will be much harder to win without mergers that

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contradict our basic value systems -- change our position. The story we

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ran last week about the terrorists possibly trying to get their hands

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on nuclear material... The whole thing seems very frightening at the

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moment and very alive and real and I think this story at the bottom as

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well, of the Sunday Times front page, saying we have 2000 extra and

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terror police onto our streets to protect us. I think there is that

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feeling that any major European capital is at risk at the moment.

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Everyone has to be ready. What do you make it back other, Mike? Some

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might say it is brave of Mr Tony Blair to intervene in this matter

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because in 2003 in collaboration with George W Bush it was Mr Blair

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who organised this invasion of Iraq, the followed from which created a

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vacuum for Islamic State or the forces from Islamic State to

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prosper, as they do now. Working for the daily Mirror, as I do, I am

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actually quite proud we were almost alone among national newspapers to

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oppose the invasion of Iraq. I don't want to give the old" we told you

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so. What, but something similar is happening in Libya as well where

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there is a situation following the removal of Colonel Gaddafi and Isis

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forces have been making headway there as well. I think it is very

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brave of Mr Blair to intervene on this subject. I don't think anybody

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will take any great solace from his warning that we might kop terrorist

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attack much worse than anything we have seen in Brussels or Paris so

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far. What do you think the Government view on his intervention

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will be? I seem to remember that the opposition, as the Conservatives

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were in 2003, supported the invasion of Iraq, so I would advise them

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against getting too holier than thou about it as well. There is no

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question that Isis poses the greatest threat to British security

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for generations and the problem is that rather than trying to keep

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external enemies at bay, if you like, the real risk is that they are

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already -- there are already cells within Britain looking to do serious

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damage and I think we need to address the enemy within, if I can

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use that phrase. Turning to the Observer, the man held on terror

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charges, talking about what has been going on in Brussels this week. We

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are beginning, I think, Sian, are we not, to get threads running through

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the Brussels and Paris and tax? A picture as well perhaps, a wider

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picture of what is going on -- Harris and Brussels attacks. Yes,

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our paper today has a very detailed account of the attack in Brussels

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and the bigger picture. Who are these people, who are these

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terrorists? Where do they come from? Also looking at perhaps did the

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Belgian security and the Belgian police bungle, I think that is the

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word we used, there are kepts to kind of find and track down and

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intervene in this at a much earlier stage? The story on the front page

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of the Observer names, I mean, it goes into this and says the Belgian

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prosecutors have charged this man thought to be the third man at the

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airport, the man in the hat. He has been identified as Faycal Cheffou, a

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self-styled journalist already trying to radicalise asylum seekers

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coming into the country, so I think who was carrying them out, the links

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with the Paris attacks, and the failings as well by the security

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services and the police, not just last week, but going back, you know,

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probably for years, in dealing with the situation. I think also, Mike,

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just in the comments from other countries, president Obama saying we

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have to do more, other countries saying we have to help the Belgians.

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It uncovers a picture of perhaps everyone has not been very cohesive?

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Barack Obama told Belgians in his weekly radio address that the

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Americans have their backs, which is very comforting. The Belgians would

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probably be a bit more reassured if the Americans had their front and

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both flanks as well, but as you say they does not appear to have been a

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lot of cohesion or joined up thinking in the EU generally about

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the fight against terrorism and every time there are one of these

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atrocities like in Paris in November and Brussels last week it brings

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that lack of cohesion into rather more starkly interview, doesn't it?

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Let's move on. The Brexit, we can get for which met. The NHS is now

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under threat. Wire-mac, would you start with that one? This is the

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warning that the National Health Service

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will face budget cuts, falling standards and an exodus of overseas

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doctors and nurses if the UK leaves the European Union. I don't not

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about you, Maxine, but I am already bored of people using Brexit as a

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hobby horse to warn this or that might happen. We will have another

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three months of this, the vote not being until the end of June on

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whether we stay in the EU, saw another three months of this. Mr

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Hunt cites a series of economic service from the CBI, the London

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School of economics and Oxford economics, evidence of the adverse

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impact of Brexit on the UK economy and the Government's ability to

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stick to the high levels of funding for public services. Call me

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cynical, but I wonder if that is the Health Secretary getting his excuses

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in first. Do you think actually, Sian, that the normal person in the

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street, all of us who will have to vote or have the opportunity to vote

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in this referendum, do you think people actually know what the issues

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are, given we keep getting these screaming headlines? I think people

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are welded, quite honestly. When it comes down to it, and I was thinking

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about this, what would sway me, and I guess it would be if I could see

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convincing evidence we might lose jobs, you know, if we went one way

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or another, or the economy would be very badly affected, but, you know,

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people are making such claims on both sides it is very hard to decide

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who you are going to kind of except, and I think every Sunday now we are

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having stories from both the Leave campaign and the Remain campaign in

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the Sunday papers dominating the agenda. There is another one here in

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the Sunday Times this morning, saying that two business leaders are

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supposed to have signed this letter saying, you know, they wanted to

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leave the EU, apparently, you know, they don't think that at all. The

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whole thing just seems like confusion and I think the punter on

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the street, yes, quite confused. It has become a bit of a political

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cliche, hasn't it? For one party or another are one campaign, for Brexit

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or to stay in Europe, to produce this list of business leaders who

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have allegedly signed up to their viewpoint, when as it transpires in

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some cases nothing could be further from the truth. Let's move on to

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education, Sian, your territory, primarily. I have the Sunday Times

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or beside me. Two stories here but let's start with this one, teachers

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threaten strike over the academies plan. This is the story we were

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running highly yesterday and also today because of the teachers' union

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meeting this weekend. It is not the first time we have heard teachers do

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not like academies, or the first we have heard that Government does like

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them, so what is going on? It is the teaching union conference this

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weekend, traditionally over the Easter weekend, so the NUT is

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meeting and so is the other big teaching union, so what is going on

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here is that a week ago the Government issued a white paper and

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the white Paper contained plans which the teachers have been

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absolutely furious about to turn all of our schools, all English schools

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come into academies, which means another 15,000 or 70,000 school

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can you briefly ex-plain what an Academy is? At the moment most of

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our schools are controlled by local councils -- 15,000 or 17,000

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schools. Local councils have quite a big say in teachers' pay and so on.

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The idea of an academy is that instead of being run by the local

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council Europe run by a charitable trust. Headteachers have a lot more

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autonomy over things like how much to pay their teachers, whether to

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make the school day a lot longer, even what to teach in terms of the

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curriculum, so it is a lot more independent, more autonomy for

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headteachers, that is what an academy is. The teaching unions hate

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it, although they don't see this very often, because they will lose.

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If all schools became academies national pay and conditions for

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teachers would go, bang. I think that is why the teachers are

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absolutely determined to oppose it but I think it is not just teachers

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who are determined to resist this plan. Parents are pretty fed up with

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it as well, I think. Interestingly, Conservative councillors do not like

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it either. We have had a number of leading Conservative councils coming

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out over the last few days saying, no. Might this be a U-turn? I think

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the idea, certainly Christine blower at the NUT this morning, very keen

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to build a coalition against the idea of forcing every school to

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become an academy over the next few years and defeating it -- Blower. I

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think they would like to see a U-turn like this on disability

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benefits. Can I say I remain to be convinced on whether it is a good or

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bad idea but I remember reading in the Conservative election manifesto

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about turning every school in two -- I don't remember seeing anything

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about turning every school into an academy. Correct me if I am wrong

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but I do not receive it. I would like to move on to the other story

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in the Times. The colour of ink used by teachers... I will defer to the

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education expert! It is just so sweet. Yesterday at one of the

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teaching union conferences Nicky Morgan actually criticised

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ridiculous rules about the colour of pens used to mark childrens' work. I

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and the education editor of the Sunday Times but I had no idea that

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teachers do not use red pen any more to Mark childrens' work because it

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is seen as aggressive, so schools are encouraging teachers to use

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green ink for a very positive comments and pink ink to say

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anything critical. Has a consultant or something been brought into the

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get this? I think it goes back. Teachers have been saying it all

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goes back to some guidance school inspectors gave which presumably

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comes from some report, but the poor teachers, these bulging pencil cases

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with all the coloured pens, having to member the different colours of

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the time. Yes, usually a highly paid consultant for these things with...

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But we would miss the red pen, wouldn't we, Mike? Of course, but a

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colleague of mine in sport told me that in a study of footballs'

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peripheral vision, so they can spot team-mates on either side of them,

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red and yellow are apparently the two most striking colours, the

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colours you spot mostly, out of the corner of your eye. But obviously

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aggressive as well! Sign and have never interpreted one colour to be

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aggressive or passive, but when I got red in my homework, and there

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was plenty of that, I am afraid, is that you don't have to go looking

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for it. You sit up and take notice. The Son. England and -- and the

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story on England and Germany. That makes you sit up and take notice, in

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the Sun? 2-0 down last night and they came back to win 3-2.

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Unfortunately they do not win a trophy, only a friendly, but it was

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not just the result, and the fact they came from two goals down to

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win, but the manner in which they played that was so encouraging. I

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would point out that England have a pretty good record in Berlin, not

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much against Germany as a nation, but in Berlin. Going back nearly 80

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years, there was a game ending the 38 that became the because the

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England team gave the natty salute before kick-off. Nobody remember is

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the score, so I will tell you, England won 6-3 -- Nazi summit. When

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we have had a 5-1 win as well? Yes, in Munich. And all in context, this

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fantastic young team coming through, is that what it is about? Lets not

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get carried away but, yes, the team last night was Prine am -- primarily

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a dynamic and youthful team. As I say, it was not so much the result

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but the manner of the performance that was encouraging. It was a good

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day for English sport because England's cricketers reached the

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semifinals of the T20 as well. Sian, are you a football fan? No, but I am

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looking forward... I should say that I support Arsenal because one of my

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children supports Arsenal but I don't know anything like what Mike

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just said but I am looking forward to the boat race this afternoon

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which is on the front page of the Sunday Times which has a nice

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composite of the female rowers. And Italy to enter. Thank you both for

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coming in today. And don't forget we will take a look at tomorrow's front

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pages later on, as we do every evening on BBC News. For now,

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