03/04/2016 The Papers


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That is all the sport for now, and now on BBC News, here is Govan with


the Papers. -- Gavin. Hello and welcome to our Sunday


morning edition of the Papers. former editor of the


Independent on Sunday, and Ian Birrell, associate editor


of the Mail on Sunday. The Observer's main story is a poll


it carried out on the EU referendum, which suggests


the Out camp is leading. The Sunday Express claims police


have been given six more months to find out what happened


to Madeleine McCann, who went missing from a holiday


apartment in Portugal The Mail on Sunday alleges


the Government overspent its foreign aid budget


by some ?200 million last year. The Sunday Times


carries an investigation and claims one doctor


has prescribed banned performance enhancing drugs to 150


well-known sporting figures. British aid to Tanzania is the


headline on the Sunday Telegraph, which suggests the Foreign


Office should suspend aid to the country, following


disputed elections in Zanzibar. And the Simpsons characters


Smithers and Mr Burns are pictured on the front page


of the Independent. Smithers is due to declare his love


for his boss, Mr Burns, Let's begin with what we have been


leading on, picking up from the Sunday I'm story, British doctor


claiming he doped sports stars, are you so prized by this? I am not


surprised by it. This particular doctor, it is quite interesting,


because the UK Anti-Doping agency had identified him a couple of years


ago, I think, but any investigation was quickly dismissed, and the


Sunday Times team have gone back to him. He has named names, and they


are not giving those names here, unsurprisingly, he has given 150


high end the sports stars. One wonders if a little bit of that,


because it was all undercover filming, was some that the sales


pitch for someone trying to attract new clients, I don't know. But given


that we have already heard about athletics, cycling, tennis quite


recently, there was a BBC investigation with Buzzfeed into


that, so it is not surprising that it was all focused on this one


doctor. I would like to see now a deeper and wider investigation. As


an editor, if you have got the names and know the names of these people,


which have not been published in the paper, and I noticed on Twitter some


people are saying, typical mainstream media, what do you have


to think about before you publish these names of presumably very


famous people? First of all, you have to think about what the lawyers


are going to say! They would say, do not publish those names, because


this is one person's word. It could be a complete fabrication, so first


of all you would go to each and every one of those stars before you


named them. They do seem to have gone to some of them. You say, this


is the allegation, what do you have to say? I don't suppose any of them


would be likely to say, well, yes, caught bang to rights. There is an


ethical issue, this is just one person's word, and these careers


could be ruined, the public would think they were true, so you have to


think through that as well. I am just surprised it has taken force


along for people to suggest that some people in the Premier League


are involved, because given the rewards, particularly in football in


this country, perhaps it is up rising it has taken so long. It is


not at all surprised in, but it is a great story, credit to the Sunday


Times for getting it, because I think the real scandal is that we


are seeing sport at the sport at the sport whereby the authorities who


are meant to be in charge of anti-doping, meant to be in charge


of regulating the game, have been basically allowing shady practices


to be going on, presumably because of the tide of money, but we have


seen it in athletics, cycling, tennis, football allegedly. I think


the authorities have behaved atrociously, because I assume of the


sums of money involved. And apart from the fans, if you were an honest


sports or woman,... That is the argument, and the UK anti-doping


authority, they are the people who have been called to look into the


big Russian scandal of doping, and so, if they were given information


about this doctor and did nothing about it, there are already calls


for the person who runs UK Anti-Doping to stand down or for


there to be an investigation, because it is not surprising, but it


needs to be rooted out, because there are honest sportsmen and women


who need this to be dealt with. If they knew about it for two years,


they should all be cleared out, none of them should be allowed to carry


on. Let's move on to the Mail on Sunday, a lot on foreign aid, quite


an extraordinary story, I will read a front page. ?172 million is what


we overspend on foreign aid last year by mistake as sneaked out by


the Government on Friday, another to keep Port Talbot plant alive for six


months. There are pages and pages of very detailed investigation into


foreign aid, a good story on page seven, despair for steelworkers, so


why are we giving ?9 million to Nigeria to help its leather tanning


industry? That is the context, hard times at home, giving money abroad.


Tel us why the paper has devoted so much space to this. What is


interesting is that the paper is focusing on the idea not just that


aid is a flawed concept, which is my personal view, but the fixed target


is a nonsense. This beset by Professor Angus Deighton, a Nobel


Prize winning economist, the man who devised the metrics for measuring


global poverty, pointing out the stupidity of having a fixed target,


how it is about us, not them, about making politicians here look good,


but not about helping. Otherwise, why would you have a figure that


goes up and down depending on British growth. The paper has tapped


into something with readers who saw the speed at which they signed this


e-petition that the paper has launched, to get a debate in


Parliament on this. There is clearly very strong public anger, and it is


right, I think, when you see things going on. You picked out the leather


industry, but if you read the detail, you have someone working on


a scheme that had ?91 million across various industries to boost


industries in Nigeria, and one person is quoted saying that Chi


went in, and the only Nigerians were the drivers and the people making


copy, and it was full of white Europeans who had flown in at great


expense to give workshops. -- making coffee. That is the sort of thing


that gets people annoyed, money going to the Palestinian Authority,


who is then funding prisoners who are convicted of terrorism. There is


an interview with a British woman who was appallingly attacked and


stabbed, I think it was 13 times, she had to play dead while they


tried to stab her through the heart. She is not surprisingly furious that


her own country is funding the authorities which are giving these


people who did this to her, these terrorists, ?9,000 a year. This will


strike a chord with a lot of people. It does, and all of the examples


that Ian has given, they are heart-rending, they do inside anger,


because they sound completely unjustifiable. But I would say, I am


not a complete scorched earth on foreign aid, and for instance in


Pakistan, if the money is being used corruptly, that is a bad thing and


needs to be investigated. But that money is earmarked for schools in


Pakistan, which particularly for girls is an important issue. The


foreign aid we do give it something like 0.08% of our gross national


income, so even though the numbers are huge, proportionately it is not


the most enormous thing that we do. To be fair, it is 0.7, ?16 billion


by the end of the parliament. I am seeing damage being done in the


world of disability, because the Government was cutting disability


benefits, saving ?12 billion. Yet we are giving away ?16 billion abroad.


People say it is a small sum, but it is not a small sum of other people's


money. Let's look at Pakistan, that shows the whole problem, which is


you pour money into a place which is badly run, when no-one in Parliament


is even paying taxes, and you give them free money of the scale that


Britain and America is giving to Pakistan, and it takes away the


incentive for them to actually set up a proper taxation system and


deliver decent public services themselves. That is the whole


problem, it gets to the core of it, you can look at a nice school funded


by British aid and say it is wonderful, but you are undermining


the democratic development and fuelling the very corruption which


creates the state. The counterargument to that, it is not,


let's be nice to people, it is sometimes that this is hard


politics, this is about buying influence in places like Pakistan,


Nigeria and elsewhere, and that may be unpalatable, because people think


they are doing good, but the idea is very realpolitik. And Justine


Greening, the minister responsible, her defence is, and I think you made


some good points which I agree with, but Justine Greening says, and this


is a real hard politics thing, a real project pier type thing, we are


trying to deal with problems where they exist, rather than waiting for


problems to come to us, which is a very veiled message. I wonder what


she has in mind as I cause a macro frankly, it is not helpful, they


should look at these examples and deal with them. -- I wonder what she


has in mind(!) The final word on this. They have got this fixed


target to throw money at the door, they have to find ways to spend the


money, and all they are doing is exacerbating the problems they seek


to... I have seen this all over the world, in Africa, Asia, the


Caribbean. The problems we are feeling and contributing to, rather


than solving. It is interesting, and my piece, I have done a comment


piece in here, and I understand that George Osborne was asked at a


private dinner, why are you doing this, and he said, simply, to keep


the charities off our backs. That is a pretty pointless exercise. The


headline says it is the fear of Bob Geldof, that is one of the things in


the Mail. Page one of the Telegraph has the other big story, by British


to save our steel, ministers tell local authorities. This is very odd,


because is our industrial policy for a major strategic industry to tell


local councils they have to spend more money on steel than they


otherwise would do? They already have a strategy for doing that,


councils and the NHS. Councils and the NHS are two of the most cash


strapped, needy areas in our society, so it is completely


outrageous for the Government to say to them, can you sort out this


rather embarrassing perception problem we have at the moment? ?300


billion worth of infrastructure projects which will take place in


Britain over the next five years, and that sounds like a big amount of


money, that sounds like enough to keep Port Talbot going, all the


steel to build new classrooms and operating theatres and everything


else. Well, if the steel that is coming from China is a tiny fraction


of the price, it would be very difficult for a local authority to


spend the money on British steel and then go into the red, not be able to


complete. And close the library! Or cut back on services for local


disabled people. To save the British steel industry? It is completely


wrong-headed. Is this a bit of thrashing around? It is difficult


for any government to sort out. It is a difficult situation where they


are struggling to control the agenda. They have looked a bit off


the pace on this issue, and it is the last refuge of the scoundrel,


almost, to say, by British, please, please! People should buy the best


steel available at the best price, and the guv Mata should be more


honest and point out that the fact that British steel is not


competitive. -- the Government. They should help the steelworkers, but


there is a perception problem, Sajid Javid was not around, they did not


have any meetings with Tata Steel, and they want to get a headline out


of it, they want to deal with it. Young whole Ski-Doo Brexit, usual


health warnings here! -- hold key to Brexit. I am sceptical about the


polls, because the most detailed shows that happen next remain is


probably ahead. The interesting thing they packed the Leave picked


up on is the difference between young and old. -- shows that Remain


is probably ahead. They know the generation coming through is


comfortable with the European ideal, comfortable with travelling to


Europe, and despite the obvious problems of Europe, whether


financial or the immigration issue, you have this generational change,


and it is like the last gasp... Where it is now or never. If they do


not get it now, it is less likely, and the other dynamic is that old


people are more likely to vote, and this is a problem. And as we know


from polls in other countries, referenda in other countries, people


are more conservative if they are undecided, stick with what they


know. David Cameron gave an interview to the Independent on


Sunday pointing out that voter apathy will be the biggest problem


for the Remain campaign, because if people do not vote, as we saw with


the Scottish referendum, it was very close because of voter apathy,


because people thought, we are all right as we are, I don't need to do


anything about it. This is a super generalisation, but young people are


less likely to go out and vote, so even though it is a last hurrah for


the Leave campaign, they do need to engage the young people who perhaps


are aware of this but do not feel that their voice needs to be heard.


I wonder if people who are Remain voters will stay at home because


they are more relaxed about it. That is a problem. The other interesting


thing in this story is the stuff about Jeremy Corbyn, where it shows


that the public do not know where he stands on it, which is pretty


amazing for the leader of the main opposition party in a referendum on


such a big subject for the country. The public do not know where he


stands, and that is very telling, an indictment of his stewardship. Do


they know that Alan Johnson is the main voice for Labour? Is very


popular within the party. Is the greatest leader they never had. The


strife in Labour has taken a back-seat with all the other news


going on at the moment, but there is still a problem that Jeremy Corbyn


is not comfortable with this, no-one knows where he stands, so he has


got... We have got a minute and a half left for the Sunday Times, they


welled in saying the rise of women drive is meant to change sex. She is


a great star of things, is she having a laugh? This comes after the


Ian McEwan story, and we are seeing elderly authors having problems with


the emerging world of identity politics and social politics,


struggling to understand what is happening. But equally, it is


obviously a silly thing she said, the headline about men changing sex


because women have won the Battle of the sexes. Underneath it, she is


saying some quite interesting things about why we need role models


anyway. It is not entirely frivolous, although she has got the


headline she wanted by saying something silly. Also, we do see a


lot of elderly authors struggling with issues coming through now.


Transgender politics is a huge subject, on EastEnders, we have at


Caitlyn Jenner, it has informed the debate about sexual politics. This


lack of understanding leads to this sort of headline, with, the greatest


respect for Fay Weldon as an author, but as a commentator and sexual


politics, she should be quiet. On that note, thank you! We will take a


look at tomorrow's front pages every evening at 10:30 and right here on


BBC News.


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