22/05/2016 The Papers


22/05/2016

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


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

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With me are Eleanor Mills, editorial director of

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The Sunday Times, and Hugh Muir, columnist for The Guardian.

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Today's front pages: The Sunday Times leads

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with the much-delayed Chilcott Report into the Iraq War.

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The paper claims the report will deliver a 'brutal verdict'

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on senior government figures including Tony Blair.

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The Sunday Telegraph leads with the EU referendum,

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it says a government leak has laid bare a trade war

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The Mail on Sunday has a warning from high street bosses

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claiming prices will soar if Britain leaves the EU.

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It reports 12 million Turkish migrants will head to the UK

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The Sunday Times leads with the much-delayed

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Seven years on, it is meant to be released on July the 6th. We have

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got a really good read out of what we think is going to be in it.

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Basically, it's interesting because it kind of tells us what we already

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knew, that there were real problems around the intelligence and the way

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that it was spun, and the whole dodgy dossier, but it also paints a

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bleak picture of the lack of pace invasion planning, so we know that

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the British had big problems in Basra, and the Americans had to help

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us out. It is saying that actually the second half of the report, which

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looks at not what got us into war, but what happened while we were

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there, shows real problems within the whole UK administration of

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Basra, southern Iraqi, and that we didn't know what we were doing. We

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would like to pride ourselves that we did, so having got rid of Saddam

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Hussein, dismantling all of his structure was not a great idea, and

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these rather naive ideas in Whitehall that this was immediately

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going to be a peaceful transition to democracy did not help. Yes, that

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they would welcome democracy with flowers, but instability was what

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was left. Yes, people were nervous about seeing this report and they

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will be even more nervous now. Jack Straw was named as someone who would

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have a particular reason to worry and he was strongly criticised. That

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is part of the reason for the delay. Chilcott was forced to tell them,

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this is the kind of criticism you will encounter and give them an

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opportunity to reply. One of the problems as Alan says, a lot of it

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is going to be familiar to us, and it has taken so long, and you do

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wonder what the impact will be, given that we know the broad themes.

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There are villains here, we kind of note who they are, and we know what

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they did, so really the report will be on the majorly, but that will

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sack some of its impact. I'm not sure we are going to learn anything

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new. A fair point, but it does play into our reluctance to get involved

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in foreign adventures, the public's reluctance. If you break it, you own

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it, as Colin Powell just said, ... That is interesting. What we did not

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know about this report is what it is saying about the aftermath and how

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bad things really had got in Basra, and who is responsible for that. A

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lot of the argument about this report has been the general saying

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yes, this went wrong, but these were political decisions. We are implying

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that Jack Straw is going to come in for a much bigger troubling than

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people had expected. Things like Tony Blair has had to push a year

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out that he would support him in a ruck by backing military action, all

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of those kind of things we know, but it may be the granular detail of

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actually what a hash we made of it on the ground, that people will be

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light shocked by. The remit of this report was that he wanted government

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in the future to make better decisions, and a real tragedy of all

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of this is that we have left Iraqi where the whole of northern Iraqi

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has been overrun by Isis. The Americans got out of there very

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quickly. We decided it had all been a decided and we had messed it up so

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we were getting out, so we have created this nightmare dystopian

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chaos in northern Iraq and Syria, where people are dying in their

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hundreds and thousands. It'll be interesting how this moves us

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forward because as you say we have got into other ventures since then,

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and we haven't handled the aftermath any better. As someone once said we

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don't do nation-building. An Iraqi friend of mine says an Arab proverb

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says 1000 years of tyranny is better than one year of chaos. A depressing

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thought. The male is very interesting -- the Mail on Sunday.

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Prices to soar if we whip the EU. Catastrophe on the high street. For

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giants of UK retail break silence. It has got stuff about Boris Johnson

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on page eight. Boris offers Number 11 keys to three MPs when he is at

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number ten. What is going on here? It is almost a special EU edition of

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the Mail on Sunday. You have got different angles coming at you from

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different sides. One may have chosen to give most prominent is too is, as

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you say, these high Street bosses, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks Spencer

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is and B, saying that if we leave the EU that will have a devastating

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effect on the economy. This is the camera crew remained strategy to

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say, never mind the romanticism of it, which is the Leave campaign main

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card, here are the hard nuts and bolts, this is what actually happens

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to the economy if you decide to make this decision. We have got a month

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of this to go, but I think the remaining campaign will focus almost

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exclusively on this because they can't read compete in terms of the

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romanticism and if we leave we will make Britain great again. They can't

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match that, but they can say, folks, think hard, it will cost you. Your

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mortgage, the country's economy is fragile. It won't be pretty, but it

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could be quite effective. This is project fear. Yesterday, George

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Osborne was saying house prices will drop 18%, now all the supermarket

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bosses are going to say ever they will get more expensive. The IMF is

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saying it is a disaster. I think there is a risk here that people get

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a bit sick of the doom mongering, and we have a lot of it is about

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whether we should join the euro or not, and if we don't join it it'll

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be a disaster. We had in Scotland around the referendum there, and

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there's a danger the public feel Banged Up Abroad the establishment.

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Of course these big businesses, being in the EU help them, but if

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you look at small businesses, they are less keen. They talk about the

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red tape and the amount of money it costs them. If you talk about the

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romanticism of the Leave campaign, that is also getting pretty grim.

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It's increasingly about immigration. All this scaremongering about

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Turkey. The cover of the Daily Express today. Yes, let's look at

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that now. 12 million Turkish people say they will come to the UK. Have

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they talked to all of them? This is a survey. They know them all

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personally. They are much more likely to go to Germany, in the

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unlikely event of Turkey joining the EU any time soon. Exactly. The level

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of debate on both sides is pretty pathetic. We have got a project fear

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going you are going to be skint, it is a disaster, and Vote Leave saying

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we are going to get swamped, these horrible phrases about the kind of

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people who will come here. And the Sunday express is really about how

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they are all criminals, murderers, they have higher rates of crime in

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Turkey, and all the students and unemployed are coming here. They

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have spoken to 2000 -- 2600 people, but to extrapolate that is 12

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million people arriving on our doors! Then there is a little thing

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from Nigel Farage. Their enthusiasm from the Germans or the French, and

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given away that Austrian politics are going today O'Groats really

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scary. There is always this assumption that if people can come

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to this country then they will. A lot of people will, but a lot of

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people won't. It is a big decision to move to another country. When you

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see a headline like this, it does its job, it attracts attention, but

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you really have to question it. I remember when he talked about

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Romanians coming here, the original figure was 29 million. That didn't

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happen either. The Blair government said yes we can open the EU to all

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these countries in Eastern Europe. I think they said it would be about

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40,000 people. It was more like 500,000 or a million, it has been a

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lot. I do think that people have rightful... That's because this is a

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great country! And London is a great centre and people want to be here.

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But it does not mean everyone wants to be here! When you get outside

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London, people are much more worried about it than they are in London. In

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London, we feel we are a melting pot, the whole world is in London

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and it is exciting, but out of London people worry about their

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jobs, they see their wages going down and they don't like it. The

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less familiar you are with immigration and how that can be

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great, the more worried you are about it. When the Leave campaign

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talk about project fear, will they talk about headlines like this? It

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is the other side of the coin. The level of debate is dire and we have

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got another month to go. The Battle of Britain on a 32 days to go, this

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is in the Mail on Sunday. This piece about Boris Johnson, there are some

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people quietly within the Leave campaign who think that he has not

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hit a lot of the right votes, that he is not the master of detail, and

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that the rhetoric has been wrong. What do you think? In a way, this is

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a little bit unsurprising. People who watched him as the Mayor of

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London, people who watched him closely won't be surprised at all.

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He is great entertainment and he adds great gaiety to our nation in

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terms of politics, but when has been a hot political issue to address, he

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has never been that good at doing it. It really was a risk making him

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the figurehead of the Leave campaign in the way that they have. There are

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several flaws. One of them is that Boris must always be Boris, so it's

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difficult for him to address a political subject in a sober way. In

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some ways, this is quite a sober argument. Boris almost takes the

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schoolboy throwing the stink bomb in the room approach, and that was

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never going to work. I think the wheels are coming off that as well,

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this does not look good for him. Him offering the Treasury job to three

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different MPs. What they are actually saying is that with all the

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shambling and the messing around, a does not look very statesman-like.

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Some senior Tories come out, like Michael Heseltine, what he is saying

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about the Hitler project unifying Europe last weekend showed a total

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lack of John O'Groats and the limerick about the Turkish

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president. It does not feel very statesman-like. Boris is funny and

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he is great, he is jolly company, but this is serious and he does not

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really seem to be making the transition to the politician that

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can reach parts other can't reach, the Heineken Boris. Someone who

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looks capable of being a leader. And that is a problem. The problem is he

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is brand Boris and he makes the cut relation that he is to Sirius and he

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will damage Rand Boris and he needs that for the future. It's

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interesting that the latest conservative survey, which had put

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him ahead as toys of leader, now put him behind Liam Fox. It is Willie

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not working. -- choice of leader. For me, one of the most interesting

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stories, students back back on freeze reach. Most students support

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a ban on people speaking offensively on campuses. What did you make of

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this question mark what is going on in our universities? 76% want

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speakers who they don't agree with, what they term offensive, they want

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them banned. We said earlier, what about Galileo, suggesting the Earth

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microbes he would have been banned. All Martin Luther. The whole point

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about university is to make everyone think about ideas that they they

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find unpalatable and to argue them out and to use rational debate and

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discussion to say, I may not agree with you, but this is how I demolish

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argument. Also, the whole point about free speech is that you may

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hear things that you find offensive, that is somebody else's freedom to

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say it. So the idea that the place where somebody goes to expand their

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mind becomes a place where nothing offensive can ever be mentioned is

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appalling. We need a campaign for real students! I don't mind the fact

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they object to a lot of this stuff, but what real students do is to get

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the speaker come and then give them a really hard time. Exactly! You

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note there may be a picket outside, or someone with a bucket full of

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rotten fruit, but that was the point of it. It is not like in our day! It

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is this health and safety culture gone mad. Is this the generation

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that have been brought up in such a coddled way that they feel that

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their human rights are offended if somebody says something that they

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don't agree with? It is ready worrying and narrowing. The Times

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had a front-page story this week about students at a certain

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university being forbidden for throwing mortarboards in the air for

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a photograph because they could be injured, but they could pretend to

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do so and they would photo shop them in. But isn't that all about what it

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looks like and not what it is? That's another thing. The other

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story is a school bans whistles as to offensive or aggressive soap

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schools can't blow a whistle at the end of break time because pupils

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find it scary. The world is a tough place. There is a lack of confidence

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in some places, universities don't have confidence that their students

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can adapt and deal with this. And students don't seem to have

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confidence in themselves. There were people who said Donald Trump, his

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views many people disagree with, should not be allowed to come to the

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United Kingdom. He could be the president of the United States. It

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would be interesting to see who wants to ban him then. You can't

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lock yourself in a cupboard with earphones on saying, I can't hear

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you, none of this exists. It is pathetic and not grown up. This is a

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point where they are meant to be spreading their intellectual wings

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and trying to understand things. We are going to end up with the Sunday

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Times Magazine. Young attractive educated female and single, she

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relents the man drought. Yes, women now outnumber men at British

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universities. By the time they graduate, there are 29% more women

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than men. This young woman is writing about what that means in

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your 20s when there are so many less men who might be the kind of people

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that might end up as your long-term partner. It is called assault if --

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she has written a very good piece about that, and I think there is a

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kind of irony in all these women who have done so well, and now they find

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themselves slightly marooned. We call it left on the shelf. This is a

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blatant plug because I am editor of the magazine, but it is a really

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good piece! So there are no attractive plumbers? Opposite track.

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There are fewer male students, beware the alert mortarboards. It is

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all the girls faults! It is all gone mad. Thank you, that is it for the

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papers.

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