21/09/2016 The Papers


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


With me are Jack Blanchard, deputy political editor


of The Mirror and Hugh Muir, columnist for The Guardian.


Let's have a look at tomorrow's front pages.


The Telegraph reports that British troops who served in Afghanistan


could face criminal investigation over alleged abuse in the war


after an inquiry was set up by the Ministry of Defence.


The Mirror splashes on allegations that thousands of breast cancer


patients are being denied a crucial pill which costs 34p


The Times says MI6 is on a recruitment drive,


hiring hundreds more spies to fight global terrorism and exploit


The Guardian leads on the economy, saying that gloomy pre-referendum


predictions have been confounded by the initial post


The Express also reports on recent economic figures,


saying "Britain is thriving" after the vote to leave the EU.


The FT highlights divisions within the US Federal Reserve over


The Metro carries the the headline "King Con" on a story


about a fraudster who is believed to have taken


more than ?100 million from 750 firms.


And The Sun continues its coverage of the break-up of Angelina Jolie


Continues its coverage! That is going to go on for some time. The


Telegraph, Jack, Afghanistan veterans facing investigation into


Taliban claims and a lot of controversy over potential


prosecutions and the suggestion that former Iraq soldiers are being


treated unfairly as regards lawsuits and so forth. Afghanistan, too?


Apparently so. We have known for some time that the soldiers involved


in Iraq have faced investigation, the Iraq historic litigation steam


has been subject of a lot of controversy the quite the years. --


historic allegations team. The Telegraph says the Ministry of


Defence has set up a June in quarry into even older cases, some cases


even older, allegations against troops in Afghanistan. It is big


numbers, they are saying more than 550 allegations of war crimes in


Afghanistan are being investigated by the MOD, taking the total to 2200


cases across the two complex. It is a big deal involving a lot of people


with millions of pounds in investigations and people are


getting very upset. Some of the right-wing newspapers have been


campaigning against this for years. Tory MPs are quoted and former army


colonels who are upset that the scale of this is going on. But Hugh,


one can't ignore serious allegations, can one, about the


Armed Forces if there are allegations that they may have been


involved in activity that is less than suitable? Of course not, so it


is about striking the balance, isn't it? We woke up to Theresa May saying


she won't stand by while spurious claims are made against soldiers and


I think everyone agrees that you have to protect the soldiers because


we send people into harm's way. But at the same time, there is a


balance. You can't absolve them of responsibility if there is


behaviour, if they behave in a way they oughtn't. I think what


surprises one about this row and the number of cases is that there does


not seem to be a filtering system that everyone can be confident


about. If these were normal criminal cases then obviously, the police


investigate, they go to the CPS and they would decide whether or not


there is a valid case or whether it is spurious and that they would not


let it go forward. There does not seem, from what they are saying, to


be a parallel structure for these cases and so you then get into the


situation where cases that reasonable people might say should


not go forward seem to be going ahead. OK, the corollary of this is


the story on the front of the Daily Mail, 200 soldiers going to war with


MOD, hounded heroes plan to take top brass to court, soldiers handed over


incidents in the Iraq war threatening to take the MOD to


court. This is a very similar story but this is the soldiers fighting


back, if you like. They are grouping together and they have got their own


law firm and they are threatening to take the MOD to court for what they


say is harassment. I guess every individual case is going to be


different but if an allegation is made, presumably the MOD feel they


have to make some kind of basic investigation, which might be no


more than speaking to the soldier involved and it might not go any


further. We talk about large numbers of investigations but we don't know


how specific each one is and how detailed it is and how much risk


there ever was of that person being prosecuted. But the 200 soldiers


going to war with the MOD, presumably they believe they have


been produced or hounded or whatever, in a way that does not


want it? Again, you have to worry if they feel they have no option but


for them to go to the law as well. It seems that the way things are


panning out, the only people benefiting from this are the lawyers


who can take on a lot of cases. You wonder if maybe MPs should not look


at the structures involved here as to whether or not there is a way to


look at some of these cases, as I say, to sift out the spurious ones


but also to have some kind of protections for soldiers to ensure


they are not subject to dubious claims. Has the armed services


committee heard anything on this? It has been discussed in Parliament


endlessly for the last few years. It is a very big issue and some MPs


feel incredibly vexed about it. You can understand why. But I think at


the same time, we should be proud that we live in a country where we


do scrutinise these things. And there is the rule of law. And we


take it seriously because it does not happen in plenty of countries


and I don't think we should push back so far that we turn a blind eye


to things that happen in any conflict. Let's go to your paper


comes you, UK economy defies gloom after EU shock, it is just one day


of good news after another following the Brexit Road, at least following


the decision to leave the Union, Brexit actually has not happened


yet. You have hit the nail on the head because they are all looking


for signs as to whether the vote in June was a terrible thing or a good


thing. Looking at various indicators and the problem is they have been


going off in different directions. In an attempt to try to make sense


of it, we have this Brexit Watch exercise at the Guardian. We have


looked at various indicators and what it says is that there were


fears we would plunge into a post-referendum recession and that


does not seem to be happening. But there is a very good set of


indicators, consumer spending is strong, unemployment is low and the


housing market is holding steady. At the same time, the OECD, who were


quite worried about the immediate prospects, seem to be a lot calmer


about things as well. Government borrowing was slightly higher than


economists expected but again, nothing to worry about. So far, so


good but I think that is about as far as you can go at the moment.


What we are trying to do is say here is a snapshot of where we are at the


moment but it does not tell you where we will be in a few months'


time goes as you say, we not triggered Article 50 yet. Will the


sky fall in as soon as Theresa May prices the Article 50 button? I have


long do not making predictions in this game! As you say, so far it


hasn't happened but all of those predictions, as we were saying


before we came in, all of those predictions that were made about an


instant economic crash were made on the basis that David Cameron says he


would trigger -- said he would trigger article 50 the day after the


vote to leave the EU. That is what he said he was going to do. So all


the predictions suggesting everything was going to go wrong was


based on the fact we were going to leave, or the suggestion was we


would leave as soon as we lost the vote? That is what the Prime


Minister said he would do. He also said he was not going to resign. He


said a lot of things but obviously that hasn't happened and most people


are pretty glad because Britain needed a bit of time to get its


house in order. But that is going to happen probably early next year, we


are expecting it in January or February and at that point, there


will be some fluctuation, I would imagine. But I think the idea of


tracking this as it goes is a very good one. As you says, there are


many different measures of how the economy is doing. There are certain


newspapers who have been very keen to give a good reflection of how it


is doing since we voted to leave the EU. Nice to see the Guardian joining


them! It is too early to say and it is worth saying that the OECD has


still got a pretty grim economic forecast for Britain next year. It


reckons the Eurozone is going to have higher growth than we are in


Britain. It's not a catastrophe but it is pretty sluggish. But these


people are wrong a lot of the time. Indeed, and let's hope the economy


continues to motor. The Financial Times, Theresa May is pushed to


publish pay ratios. This is an interesting story, particularly


comparing Goldman Sachs and Waitrose. Before she took over, she


said she would have a Britain that works for everyone. Boardroom pay


and company pay was one of the things that she decided to focus on


and wanted to make sure that the differentials within a company were


not too huge, that the people at the top were not earning massively more


or outrageously more than the people at the bottom. And so, she promised


the figures would be transparent, that she would publish them. What


this story says is that there is a warning to her that if she does


that, she might not get the results she likes. The assumption would be


that banks, for example, would come out of this very badly, that the


ratio between those at the bottom and that would be very high in terms


of banks. What this is warning is that if you look at a company like


John Lewis, actually, the ratio might not be so good, there. The


rationale is that within banks, someone is being pay phenomenal


amounts of the top but also, in the middle, you have people being paid


very well. So the ratio was not so high whereas somewhere like John


Lewis, you have someone being paid a lot of money but people on the shop


for not being paid very much. That ratio figure might not tell us what


Theresa May hoped it would and might not give her the kind of political


leveraged, the ammunition she hoped for. But won't people understand


that there would probably be a difference between Goldman Sachs and


Waitrose, that you are going to have people who are on a lower salary,


much lower because they do a very different job in relation to many of


those people who might be above them in the pecking order of the company?


To some extent, yes, definitely although I would argue it is quite


outrageous that there is such a pay differential at Waitrose but they


and others are seen as more of a model company than Goldman Sachs in


the way they are set up. I was at the talk that Vince Cable, the


former Business Secretary gave the other day when he said some of this


stuff and he was quite scathing about this as an idea. He said they


looked at it when he was in government... Publishing the


figures? Yes, and he said the problem is it makes people like


Goldman Sachs lookalike bastions of virtue when no one would think that


was the. I suspect this is more about Theresa May trying to signal


she's doing something very serious about corporate pay than actually


doing it and frankly, the idea you can shame these guys and senior


women into reducing their pay rate is unproven, I would say. Symbols


are important but one of the consequences of the Brexit vote was


that Theresa May have to show all of those people who voted to leave that


she is on their side and things like this, clamping down on outrageous


pay is one of those symbols. All right. Apparently we are going to


get more spies because MI6 is hiring hundreds more in the war against


terror. Theresa May Lars Spies. We have learned that after six years of


having her in the Home Office! -- loves spies. She's a big fan of


spooks and to be fair, they seem to be doing a very good job keeping


Britain protected domestic league and better what we have seen in


other parts of Europe so I think there will be lots of public support


for this. I think it was announced last year in broad brushstrokes by


George Osborne but we are starting to see it filtering through, how it


will affect different services. It is a huge increase in the number


that MI6, 40% increase in the number of spies which is a massive increase


in manpower at a time when most of the public sector is being strained.


But I think people basically believe in this and think it is a good idea.


Very briefly, the Telegraph, Mark Zuckerberg is going to spend ?3


billion apparently getting rid of all of the world's diseases. Is that


going to be enough? ?3 million? One thinks not if you bear in mind in


January, the government and Bill Gates of Microsoft pledged ?3


billion to fight malaria alone. I can't see all disease being wiped


out with ?3 billion from Mark Zuckerberg. But I can see what they


want to do it but I'm sure there an altruistic motive as well, without


wanting to be cynical, God forbid! You work for the Guardian! Greg blue


when you hear about tech firms at the moment, you hear about


multinationals who are beyond the control of governments, worries


about their tax arrangements and things like that. This is the kind


of publicity that they need. Good news story, at least on the of it.


Thank you for joining us. Don't forget all the front pages


are online on the BBC News website, where you can read a detailed review


of the papers. It's all there for you, seven days


a week at bbc.co.uk/papers. And you can see us there,


too, with each night's edition of The Papers


being posted on the page shortly A full weather forecast


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