16/10/2016 The Papers


16/10/2016

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

:00:16.:00:18.

With me are the journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

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and Dave Wooding, political editor of The Sun On Sunday.

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The Sunday Telegraph leads on disquiet among military chiefs

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at a secret criminal investigation into British troops accused

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of mistreating two Iraqis, themselves believed to be

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responsible for murdering two British soldiers 13 years ago.

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The Sunday Times publishes a hitherto unseen article written

:00:38.:00:46.

by Boris Johnson on why the UK should remain in the EU.

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The paper says it was written two days before the now

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Foreign Secretary came out in favour of Brexit.

:00:53.:00:57.

The Observer splashes on criticism of the Prime Minister's so-called

:00:58.:01:02.

obsession with grammars by the head Ofsted.

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The Express warns that thousands of chemists will close if spending

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cuts due to be announced this week go ahead.

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The Mail On Sunday gives its front page over to the SAS soldier who's

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facing murder charges after admitting shooting dead two

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or three fatally wounded Iraqis during combat.

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Let's begin with the Sunday Times. We thought we knew that Boris

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Johnson had written an article saying Britain should stay in Europe

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for coming out for exactly the opposite. Now that we have seen a

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bit, what do you make of it? We knew that he had written two, 14, one

:01:32.:01:38.

against. In no way, he is not like Donald Trump, but there is a kind of

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escaped man's fate that he has, so whatever he does he will always be

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adored. Because this is ridiculous, that two days after penning a very

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strong, his columns are always very strong, robust, enthusiastic, you

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can see his hair, and two days later he is going the opposite way. How do

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you trust this man to be a Secretary of State? It is an interesting

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question, here he is talking about Syria today, as the Foreign

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Minister, and he was in two minds about the biggest decision of our

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lifetime. It rekindles the thought of back to the day when this all

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happened, I was covering this story and it all happened over that

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weekend. On the Friday we were led to believe you would be supporting

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David Cameron and his people were telling us on the Saturday morning,

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he still hasn't made up his mind, he is going to decide on Monday

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morning. I called it and said he would back Brexit on the Sunday

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morning and he came out on Sunday afternoon and said he was. What is

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interesting about this piece as well, he argues it saying the

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economic shock, the new calls for Scottish independence, and Russians

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getting aggressive... Not the Marmite on the shelves! But

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everything else he got right. I love the phrase he talks about David

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Cameron coming back with a deal would be like Hercules, typical

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Boris! But it was of course entirely, entirely about Boris. That

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is the thing. He changes mind for reasons of ambition? I think he

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continues to have ambitions to be Prime Minister of this country.

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Sorry, but I laughed. It is totally unprincipled, actually. It is to do

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with Boris. He says that he wrote both articles as an intellectual

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exercise in putting down his thoughts and helping him to decide

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what he would like. I have to say that this piece doesn't really show

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a lot of enthusiasm for Remain, it concludes, yes, folks, the deal is a

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bit of a good but it contains the germ of something really

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good. I will muffle my disappointment and

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back the Prime Minister. So it is not a ringing endorsement. But the

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EU referendum was not a surprise and he has been in front line politics

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for years as well as front line journalism, so it is not as if he

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suddenly had to make up his mind about it, he could have made up his

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mind any time in the previous ten years because we knew we were moving

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in this direction. Also, how does Cameron feel? However you think of

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him, and a bit of me misses him at the moment, I really do, Mrs

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liberalism, but he was Boris Witten, seemingly doing this term. It also

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says in an article that he wanted to punch Michael Gove! Nobody could

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blame him for that! Moving on! The front page of the Observer, a story

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which will run and run for a long time, Ofsted's cheap saying Theresa

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May is obsessed with grammars, the school plan will hit standards for

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most, and is... There is a lot by Michael Wilshaw, it is quite a

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thoughtful analysis, quite a few weeks after the announcement at

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party conference, and he is right, he is right. Theresa May's two

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announcement on education were nothing other than giving legitimacy

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to totally are totally divided country. Grammars are divisive and

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she wants to expand the faith school sector as well. Has she never been

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to Northern Ireland? Has she never seen what this does to young people?

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Generation after generation? I think this is a really important response,

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and it is not political, it is actually very thoughtful. But it has

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huge political ramifications, and you could say when Theresa May made

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that speech, some people said, this is moving onto Ukip's territory, she

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is trying to see them off, you could have been arguing this for a long

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time, whatever the merits of grammars or otherwise. They are

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popular among parents in areas where they want them, and I think where

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they went wrong in the presentation of this, she is not returning to a

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grammar school system, she is moving the law which bans new grammar

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schools from being set up in areas, there are about 160 at the moment,

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so there will not abolish them, nor will they bring them all back. What

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I think is more interesting in this, Sir Michael Wilshaw addresses what

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she isn't doing, talks about the skills gap. A very interesting

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point. Vocational training is really poor in this country and there are a

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large number of pupils who need that training. And I also think that

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turning polytechnics, some of which were brilliant, into universities

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was just a really silly idea. But we are in a country, unlike Germany,

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where the class system looks down on the vocational education, and until

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we can change that, until we admire our plumbers in the same way that we

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admired journalists, said... Do we?! Hundreds of thousands of young kids

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will tell you do want to be journalists, because they know. This

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is linked in a way to immigration, why do we need Polish plumbers,

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because we don't have enough British plumbers. One of the reasons people

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come here is because they have skills, we have a skills gap. There

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is a big gap in the education system. If we had grammar schools

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for purely top academic kids, technical schools and a selection of

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four or five different types of schools that catered for the needs,

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more or less tailor-made to the kids' needs, that might be a better

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system than a two tear... We have to get rid of some of the snobbishness.

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But I don't know whether, at the age of 11 or 12, a child's potential has

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been reached and he or she can be defined. Some are late developers.

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We have to change the whole of our society before this can work but it

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is a really important piece. Let's move on to the Labour Party, which

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we haven't talked about for at least 15 minutes. Corbyn accused of

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creating a safe space for anti-Semites. This is very damning

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because the report suggests that actually the Labour Leader has been

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at best ineffective and incompetent in dealing with anti-Semitism within

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the party among a small number of people with very vile views. Yes,

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there were two Labour MPs in this committee, Chuka Umunna and David

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Winick were there, and I'm sure it does need to be taken seriously.

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Where I do disagree with the kind of going for Shami Chakrabarti, who

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wrote the report, and in a sense going for Corbyn, I feel a bit

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uneasy about it because increasingly I have to say whenever I write on

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Israel I am accused of anti-Semitism. It has become much

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worse in the last two or three years than ever before, ever, ever, and

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you can't mix those two. So I think, I do totally believe that the

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committee was being fair, but at the same time the way certainly the

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press has covered it, which is kind of billing for Shami Chakrabarti,

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who is criticised... But it does look a bit odd to produce an

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independent report and then suddenly go to the House of Lords, that looks

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very odd? And the other thing the report mentions, they ask Shami

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Chakrabarti to explain when she was first offered the peerage, and she

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refused to answer those questions to the committee, which leaves a cloud

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hanging over the whole question of why she was offered a peerage, why

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she produced a report which cleared Labour of any blame for the

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pernicious anti-Semitism. I have known Shami Chakrabarti for a very

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long time, I just don't believe she is capable of that kind of very

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British kind of corruption. But if you won't talk about taking the

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peerage, it looks bad. It looks bad, but I don't believe some of the

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accusations are fair. But the big story here, that is part, but the

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big stories Jeremy Corbyn's alleged weakness in getting to grips with

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something. Which is true. The phrase they use is failing to tackle the

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Bishop forms of anti-Semitism in the party, allowing a six space within

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Labour for anti-Semites too strong. We have seen on the Internet, they

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now use this phrase, as the report points out, Zionists, which has

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become a euphemism for Jew hating, effectively. The lines have been

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blurred between criticising the state of Israel and criticising

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Jews. It is blurred and we need to become more clear.

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The Sun On Sunday, page 14, not good enough, Theresa. Why did you do this

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to the nice lady with that nice shoes?! At least this article is not

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about the shoes, because it is Lord Bell, a close adviser as we know to

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Margaret Thatcher, and plans for Brexit, fail, grammar school row,

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fail, U-turn over Hinkley Point, fail, too timid to doctors, fail.

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This is somebody who has served the Conservative Party but does not

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think much of the new leadership after 100 days. Pretty much saying

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her 100 days in the job on Friday is not Margaret Thatcher, some will say

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that is a good thing! One of the things he says is that she is trying

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with this Britain that works for everybody, her mantle, trying to

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please everybody but may end up please nobody. She is trying to

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seize the middle ground, he thinks she looks more middle-of-the-road.

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The two main criticisms is that she is not outspoken enough. If she came

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out and explained her policies, like grammar schools and Brexit, people

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may go along with her, but she is keeping a lid on everything which is

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creating a vacuum in which people like Yasmin and I fill it with

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comments and pundits and opponents get involved. Mind you, Lord Bell,

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Margaret Thatcher is dead and gone, she is not coming back and we should

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stop this hankering after a period... Margaret Thatcher was not

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for Brexit,. Does, she never wanted to leave Europe, so why would you

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even think we would want to listen to Lord Bell? I was surprised that

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he effectively said she could communicate better, because he is a

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communications expert! Finally, to show we are not alone in

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having rather odd politics, the Independent front page, Trump's

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women, we meet the female Republican standing by their man. Yasmin has

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just come back from the United States, I don't see you in the

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picture! I was hugging him at the time! I suspect you weren't! But I

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am not blonde! Ruled out on medical grounds, not blonde enough! What do

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you make of the women who stand by Donald Trump after what we have

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heard? I know, it does make me wonder, what does he have to do?

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What does he have to do... Don't suggest something, please! This man

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cannot beat the leader of, I don't think it is the greatest nation in

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the world any more, but certainly the most economically powerful,

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militarily powerful nation in the world. I cannot explain it. But then

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I think, for example during Brexit, the low nations became very

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anti-immigration, and I can't explain that either. I don't

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understand, but it is happening. Maybe it is women who like the rough

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guy, I don't know. An American friend pointed out to me that under

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general employment laws in the United States, if he were to apply

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for the job as, I don't know, a janitor or somebody working in a

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supermarket, he possibly wouldn't get the job if some of these

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allegations were known about somebody looking for a very low paid

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job. Yes, I think a lot of people will go in there holding their

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noses. He is doing so well partly because of the dislike of Hillary

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Clinton. She doesn't appeal to people either. That is the key,

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isn't it? I think November D8, most people who vote, many millions of

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people will be holding their noses when they put the cross in the box.

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I met a lot of young people because I was doing a lecture tour at

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universities, and they are utterly depressed about this because they

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are very civilised about these values, they have grown up thinking

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this is wrong. They don't like either candidate? They are just very

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ashamed of what Trump represents. It was interesting, someone from

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Republican families but they feel a sense of shame. It is surprisingly

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you seem to be right that many people will vote holding their noses

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but the nation which produced John F Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, whatever you

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think of their politics on either side they were great figures, and

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they have two people that nobody is particularly keen on except those

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close to them. There are some areas, I think Florida was one, where they

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are neck and neck. But his popularity has fallen in the last

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two or three weeks. I believe if you can't fall out of love, if you were

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ever in love with Donald Trump, after the stuff we have heard, then

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nothing is going to convince you, so I think his vote will be quite hard,

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with the people who still support him now. We will see. Thank you both

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very much. Our thanks to Yasmin and date.

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Just a reminder, we take a look at tomorrows front pages every

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