17/08/2016 The Papers


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


With me are Jack Blanchard, Deputy Political Editor


of the Mirror and Martin Bentham, Home Affairs Editor


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


have them. The Financial Times says the number


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


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


is dominated by the jail sentence for Sarah Williams -


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


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


and her former lover, Universities that aren't up


to scratch could face having their tuition fees lowered


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


rise in the number of EU migrants While the Guardian leads


with reaction to a Conservative Party report


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


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


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


Telegraph. For universities face losing fees and the perception and


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


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


universities minister saying the government has passed legislation


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


headline the Tories want, badly performing universities could lose


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


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


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


really vocational teachers, they are more interested in research and


writing books than teaching. Although some of the measurement is


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


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


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


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


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


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


this is that the theory that students are consumers and can


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the first signs that the numbers were starting to drop because


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


makes a difference? Does that translate into getting people out


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


wearing a bathrobe in his hotel room by police investigating illegal


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about, something confounding predictions, the fall in jobless


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News, which has been


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


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


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


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


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


thought using normal judgment they were catastrophic and he has ridden


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


to make him more scripted, more responsible candidate and this


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


indicates how seriously the government is treating it. You were


expecting tough measures and junk food, adverts, banning cartoon


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


let's get a look at the weather.


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