17/08/2016 The Papers


17/08/2016

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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers

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With me are Jack Blanchard, Deputy Political Editor

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of the Mirror and Martin Bentham, Home Affairs Editor

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Welcome to you both. Let's just run you through the front pages as we

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have them. The Financial Times says the number

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of people claiming unemployment benefit in the UK fell in July -

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confounding post-Brexit predictions, While The Metro's front page

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is dominated by the jail sentence for Sarah Williams -

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the woman who killed the partner The Mirror also leads on that story,

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with a picture that shows Williams in the background behind her victim

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and her former lover, Universities that aren't up

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to scratch could face having their tuition fees lowered

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by the government, The Express says there's been a big

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rise in the number of EU migrants While the Guardian leads

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with reaction to a Conservative Party report

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into allegations of bullying. And the Times says Theresa May has

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axed some plans to cut down on junk food promotion because they may hurt

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the economy. So let's start, let's talk about the universities, in the

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Telegraph. For universities face losing fees and the perception and

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what a lot of students say is that teaching at some British

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universities is not good enough. I will believe this when I see it, the

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universities minister saying the government has passed legislation

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which allows universities to raise fees in line with inflation from the

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high 9000 figure they are at already, and he says they will only

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be able to rise if they excel and some universities might have their

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fees lowered if they perform badly. It's true some people do not think

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universities are delivering what they are paying for. Whether it ever

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ends up a university is told they have to reduce their fees, most

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people may hope they did but I will believe it when I see it. It might

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be some are not allowed to raise their fees further, which is

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different. It smacks of trying to sugar the poll. This is their

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headline the Tories want, badly performing universities could lose

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fees, but the real story is that almost every university will be

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allowed to raise its fees further from the sky-high level already. The

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thing about teaching at universities is, festers and tutors are not

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really vocational teachers, they are more interested in research and

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writing books than teaching. Although some of the measurement is

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spurious, I did a history degree where we had virtually no tuition

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because most of it is meant to be something you do yourself, you have

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a bit of guidance. But then what are you being four? You are paying for

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that expert guidance, you don't need to be spoon-fed, some subjects are

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more laboratory -based where you need to have that tuition, so horses

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for courses in the sense of the difference. The other thing with all

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this is that the theory that students are consumers and can

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choose, but you do to with university, you choose before you

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get there, you do your research that if it turns out not to be good it is

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too late, you cannot up sticks having paid your money. Do you think

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people are going to think twice about whether it's worth going to

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university if the price is so high and that teaching is not good? That

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has been the worry with this policy since it was first introduced by

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Tony Blair and since then fees have gone up. Since the Coalition

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Government did shoot the increase fees, we haven't seen that reduction

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in people wanting to go to university that you feel we will

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start to see that. Does it give the return it is supposed to? The size

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of the debt students have is astronomical. I thought we had seen

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the first signs that the numbers were starting to drop because

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previously that wasn't the case. Some people will be thinking is it

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worth it and some employers are now offering schemes for A-level

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students to go updating. It feels like every time they increased the

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fees they say this is the absolute limit until next time. Another story

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in the Telegraph about a blackout of our TV screens, the nation's TV

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screens will go blank next week to encourage people to get out and play

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sport as part of the official celebrations of Team GB. I hasten to

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add that this not include the BBC News Channel. This sounds like

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another story hard to believe but I presume it is accurate as they going

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to do it. This is ITV. It is an hour on Saturday, August 27. Were not

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quite sure what time. I assume it's in the afternoon but the idea of ITV

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's switching off its repeat of Colombo for an hour is going to see

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millions of people flocking into the streets to play hockey seems a

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little far-fetched. Maybe if they cancelled all the Premier League

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football matches that might get people off the sofa. It would be

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good if it did, it's a great thing if people go out and play more

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sport. We will talk about obesity later and clearly it is a good thing

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to encourage people to play sport, whether this will have an impact is

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a question. Hidden further down there is something less tangible,

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that instead of spending money on Team GB having a big open top bus

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tour, they will get lots of people into athletic centres and sports

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clubs to offer free sessions and try and get people don't and do sport.

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The Olympics have been fantastic, we have done well but do you think that

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makes a difference? Does that translate into getting people out

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and playing sport? Research after the London Olympics suggested it had

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not had that legacy, there wasn't a great take-up personally you feel

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inspired. But do you go and play anything? Not more than normal, I

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watched some of the hockey, the women have won, I have not returned

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to the hockey field. You should get back out there. I suppose people

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enjoyed this elite sport but it doesn't necessarily mean they can do

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it. It can open people's eyes to sports that otherwise would never be

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on the radar. Most people watch a bit of cricket or rugby and that is

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it, then you are giving this wealth of different sports that you can be

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inspired by. People get into sports that are relatively obscure and the

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rules are quite hard to follow but people just watch it in their

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millions. Like anything, once you know about it it becomes more

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interesting and you understand the rules and the skill involved. And if

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there is a Brit involved, so much the better. Let's move on to the

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Financial Times, and they have a small story towards the bottom but

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this is about a tickets camp at the Olympics. An extraordinary story

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today that the head of Ireland's Olympic Committee, Pat Hickey,

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president of the Olympic Committee of Ireland, has been arrested in Rio

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wearing a bathrobe in his hotel room by police investigating illegal

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ticket sales, and a large scam. He has not been found guilty of

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anything yet but it is extraordinary and another worrying signs of the

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way the sport is being governed. We have had so many different problems

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with the Olympics. Also strange, the idea of ticket touts when we have

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seen a lot of empty seats. Who is paying sky-high prices? Somebody

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foolish, but there has been in the past various scandals where people

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have been given, this is an allegation, not proved, but there

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have been cases where people who had access to these free tickets had

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been handing them out to people for money and it's disgraceful if this

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is proved to be correct because we do want ordinary sports fans to get

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there. He was a member of the IOC until last week and it comes on the

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back of ridiculous boxing results and the empty stadiums, the diving

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pool going green, it has not been smooth running. But it has been a

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great games and we have enjoyed it. The Financial Times' Main Street is

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about, something confounding predictions, the fall in jobless

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claims and they say that confirms the forecast of jobs calls after the

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Brexit vote. Are you surprised about that? It says the unemployment rate

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is at an 11 year low. I'm not surprised that a lot of the doom

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mongering has so far not been proved correct. Clearly there's a long way

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to go and these are early figures, but some of the hyperbole coming out

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of that remain camp was nonsensical, we would end up in economic

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Armageddon, so it doesn't surprise me it is not as bad, but it would

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also be wrong to get too excited about early data when the real

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impact might take some time to be felt. I think that's right, there

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were two arguments before the referendum vote, that there would be

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a bad short-term impact and then a significant longer term impact, but

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so far we have seen some of the worst fears about the immediate

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impact have not been borne out at this stage, with the big caveat that

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this is one month's figures, for July, and better than expected, but

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there were plenty of bad signs if you look at what has happened to the

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pound. Not necessarily bad. If you have just come back from holiday. It

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is showing confidence dropping in various sectors and there is a gap

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between confidence, like people who say they are not confident in the

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education system but their child goes to a good school, and there is

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a gap between surveys and how people behave. Donald Trump has taken a

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knock, never a man short on confidence, but not doing so well in

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the polls so he has a new campaign team. It's been received in the US

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as a panic measure, the chap he has hired to lead his new team, Stephen

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Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, which has been

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Trump's main media cheerleaders, and very right-wing media organisation,

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it's been greeted with horror I a lot of conservative commentators. It

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is clearly not a good sign this close to the elections. Do you think

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it is slipping away from him? Recent events don't seem to have gone well

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for him but he has done all sorts of things that people would have

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thought using normal judgment they were catastrophic and he has ridden

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through those, so I wouldn't write him off but there was this attempt

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to make him more scripted, more responsible candidate and this

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appears to be a lurch back in the other direction, back to the

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original Trump. Just time to talk about what is coming out tomorrow,

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the government's long-awaited strategy on child obesity and our

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concern in The Express that it's all been watered down. That does seem to

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be the case, we were expecting tougher measures in this strategy,

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which has been hugely delayed, we were waiting months, it has been

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slipped out in August when no one in Westminster is around, which

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indicates how seriously the government is treating it. You were

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expecting tough measures and junk food, adverts, banning cartoon

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characters from selling junk food, none of that is in their and they

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have taken it out. Why do you think that is? A suggestion to May is

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worried about the economic impact. I don't know what is behind it, there

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has been a long-standing argument for the voluntary approach in

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respect of this and alcohol is the way to go, it does not seem to have

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delivered results and the test will be whether the firms can be

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persuaded to cut it in a voluntary weight otherwise we will have to

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make it more compulsory. One last story, also in The Express, Owen

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Smith during a BBC debate with Jeremy Corbyn, he talked about how

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Islamic State should be allowed to take part in peace talks. I agree

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with Jeremy Corbyn on this. Do you think it is crazy? It is interesting

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that Jeremy Corbyn did not answer the question that way, he has

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learned to be more savvy than that. Owen was involved in the Northern

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Irish peace process and seems to have been drawing on that when he

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made this suggestion but it has not gone down well and he was forced to

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clarify the comments, saying it would only ever happen if prices

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were to this associate themselves from violence... Which doesn't seem

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to be imminent! They also have the objective of siphoning off other

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states, it is inconceivable that could be a realistic consensus.

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Great to talk to you both, and good to hear you enjoyed watching the

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women's hockey. Jack Blanchard and Martin, many thanks to both of you.

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We will be back at 11:15pm for another look at the papers but now

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let's get a look at the weather.

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