30/10/2016 The Papers


30/10/2016

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


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cricket, another wicket gone for England, Gary Ballance for five,

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England are 124-3. Now on BBC Sport, it is Gavin with the Papers.

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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to the papers.

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With me are Josie Cox from the Wall Street Journal

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and the Independent's economics editor, Ben Chu.

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The Observer leads with reaction to the FBI reviewing its investigation

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into Hillary Clinton's emails, with senior Democrats accusing

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the bureau's head of compromising its political neutrality.

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That story's also featured on the front of the Sunday Times,

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which also claims that Hillary Clinton's lead

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The Mail on Sunday criticises the BBC for a show

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which it says is available on the CBBC website.

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A novel solution for the country's housing crisis

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is unveiled on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph -

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it says the Government is to offer help to build

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While the People carries an interview with the mother

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of murdered toddler Jamie Bulger, who says she's living in fear

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Let's begin with what is clearly one of the biggest stories anywhere in

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the world, Hillary at war with FBI as a lead slumps, that is the Sunday

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Times' take on that, and the Observer has angry Democrats cry

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fowl with new probe into Clinton, what you make of this and the timing

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of it? The timing is very interesting, only ten or 11 days to

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go until the election, and this is very much in line with what we have

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seen so far in this campaign, very messy. I cannot run any campaign

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similar to this one being quite as messy and quite as full of lewd

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comments and insults being thrown around. This underscores what I have

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been saying for a while, this will not be about people voting for who

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they want to be the next president but people voting for who they do

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not want to be the next president, voting for someone to avoid the

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other person coming into power. And some people possibly do not want

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either of them, it has not been, what shall we say, given the

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standard of American politics over the last 200 years, some of the

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greatest thinkers, Jefferson and Roosevelt, this has not been a great

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election. Absolutely, and it hones in on the prospect of this being a

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lame-duck presidency, because, you know, the polls still predict that

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Hillary will take the lead on the day. The league is slimming down,

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but if she does get in, she will no doubt have to battle those trust

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problems. She has been criticised for being very closed, not very

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emotional, not being very trustworthy, not being able to be

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read by the public. That is a very good point, because actually whoever

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wins is going to face continuing investigations and scandals. We know

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Donald Trump faces a lawsuit about Trump University, which has

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allegedly defrauded people, we have heard about allegations of sexual

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misconduct and other things. And now these e-mails, and we do not even

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know what is in them. There will be huge damage done by this election,

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not only the way it has been fought, but the way the whole democratic

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system has been seen to be much messier and much dirtier than we

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would like. I think it is really interesting, this latest episode, in

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the sense that what we have had, the smears based on no evidence at all,

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the FBI director has not come out with anything that proves

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anything... Eat hasn't even looked at them. And yet Trump is saying she

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is corrupt, this is worse than Watergate, and yet somehow it is

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Hillary who seems to be on the ropes over this episode, when actually the

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disgrace is that he is trying and finding her guilty based on no

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evidence whatsoever, which is really in keeping with a lot of the

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campaign so far. The flavour of both the Observer and the Sunday Times,

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Hillary at war with the FBI, it does suggest that if she does become

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president, well, let's put it this way, the head of the FBI might not

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have a long career in that position, who knows? Because he has done

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something which is against the advice of the Attorney General, as

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far as one can establish. Absolutely, and the other thing

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about this story is that it once again highlights Hillary Clinton's

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highlights with her close political aide, the separated wife of Anthony

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Weiner, the disgraced congressman, who was involved in all those

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horrible sexting scandals. No doubt this is more ambition for Donald

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Trump's rhetoric. The thing about that, it is not necessarily the fact

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that matter in politics, it is the fact that, emotionally, there is

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something funny going on with the Hillary Clinton campaign, that is

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what many people take out of its - why has she not put all of these

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allegations to bed? Whether there is any equivalence between what she is

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accused of and what Donald Trump is accused of is another matter. I

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think this false equivalence is a very legitimate point, legitimate

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for the Hillary Clinton campaign and her supporters to bring it up,

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because as you rightly say, what is the evidence here? It is an FBI

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director, a former member of the Republican Party, saying, we are

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investigating, going against all precedent, against the advice of the

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Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, and then on the Trump side, with the

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sexual abuse claims, women coming forward to testify, actual evidence

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for people to base their judgment on. I think Josie is right, a lot of

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people are weighing it up on emotion, but if they looked at the

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facts, it is pretty clear which way the balance would come out. A former

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director, Rudi Giuliani, a very prominent Trump supporter. Now this

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is interesting, Putin's trueblue Tory friends, it talks of various

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people, Russia's state funded apparatus of soft power is targeting

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British politics, it names the director of the Bruges Group group,

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whose first president was Margaret Thatcher. It talks quite a bit about

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the Bruges Group, what do you make of that? If you were an MP, or if

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you were in politics, you would be expected to engage with Putin,

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wouldn't you? Absolutely, but I cannot think we can denied that it

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makes for a good story, the way that it is presented, Putin has all these

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political connotations, he is a very controversial figure, so the

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headline is how Putin pulls the strings. So that is once again

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portraying him as this kind of puppet character, which makes for a

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good image. I think it is hard to make... It is hard to understand how

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influential this story is actually going to be, how much it really

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matters. I am not particularly familiar with these figures who are

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being discussed. Not exactly household names. Exactly, and it is

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not really clear how these groups would be in general relations

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between the UK and Russia going forward. I think what is

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interesting, the background to all this is we have got Nato reinforcing

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in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, extremely worried about the

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rumblings in Russia, the big aircraft carrier going through the

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Straits of Dover, we know what is going on in Syria, Ukraine remains a

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running sore that will not go away, Russia very sensitive about it. So

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that seems to be the big picture, that somehow we have got to engage

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with Russia, but at what level and how? I think that is right, the

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context is quite interesting, because the Bruges Group, one of

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these think tanks which is accused of getting too close to the Kremlin,

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was founded on the back of Margaret Thatcher's very anti-European Bruges

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speech, and the indication is that this has led them into the arms of

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the Kremlin, their Euro scepticism. They are so anti-Europe that they

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Russian allegation that Ukraine started the Rodeo by getting too

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close to Europe, that forced Russia to get involved, they want to see

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Europe in the worst possible light. Although Thatcher was this great

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anti-Communist Prime Minister, they were founded on the back of her

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hard-line views, they have been led into this... It is difficult to

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imagine that Margaret Thatcher would approve of going into occupied

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eastern Ukraine, that would be rather controversial, one would have

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thought, with anybody, which is the other part of the story. Absolutely,

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and the nature of the trips that are being funded by Russian officials is

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also very questionable. There is an extra added dimensions of political

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controversy in terms of Russian anti-gay policies. I think we're

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reading that Putin plays a weak hand extremely well! The Sunday

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Telegraph, hard Brexit will pave the way to trading riches, this is,

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again, we're about to go into the sunlit uplands of a great trade

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deal, or alternatively it is all going to be a disaster. What do you

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think of these stories? They are in every paper all the time. I think it

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is an interesting time, because clearly there are lots of factors

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which have provided momentum to the Brexit campaign recently. We had GDP

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figures out, stronger than expected, and we have had other reports coming

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out saying that the City of London, the UK is going to thrive under

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Brexit. And of course we had the Nissan story earlier this week,

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which was that Nissan had committed to build these two models in its

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Sunderland plant, securing 7000 jobs, so an endorsement of

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post-Brexit Britain, I suppose. So this, I think, is playing off that

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momentum and just creating a sort of prospect of what could be to come.

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That could be right, or it could be wrong. What basically this is is

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saying we need to get out of the customs union, this is a pressure

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group of the hardline Brexit crew, and they want to ginger the

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Government up to get out of the customs union. They say, if we

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don't, we can't make these free-trade deals with the rest of

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the world, like China, South America et cetera, because in the customs

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union you have to leave that to the EU. They have to get out to do those

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deals, they have to get out if they want Liam Fox, the international

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Trade Secretary, to have a meaningful role. This is saying,

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look at what we can get, but a question over whether they could do

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those amazing deals. I talked to Vince Cable this week, the former

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Business Secretary, now he said his assessment of the deal to do with

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Nissan, the reason they are there is that it implies we will stay within

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the customs union, because if no money has changed hands, what could

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be offered to a company like that? Yeah. We don't know, but it is clear

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that is the way he is thinking. The logic is impeccable, apart from the

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fact that he me has made it very clear that are red line is

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preventing free movement, and you will not get that if you leave the

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customs union, if you leave the single market. So I think his logic

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is right, but the politics may it unlikely that will happen. The

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question is, we have various key part of this economy we don't want

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to lose - car manufacturing, financial services, all things we

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want to boost, paving the way for trading riches, as the Telegraph

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puts it. But you cannot keep making deals with individual sectors of the

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economy, there comes a point WEC advance cannot keep doing that. And

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you cannot set precedents and have double standards. That is what is so

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interesting about the Nissan story, because other companies will want a

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reassurance that their future will be secured. Another interesting

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story in the Sunday Telegraph, prefabs to solve the housing crisis

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- I do not know how many post-war prefab still exist, there must be a

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few, but there were meant to be a temporary solution, and we are

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talking about building 100,000. I think this is really interesting,

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prefabs to solve housing crisis. The number they are talking about is

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100,000, and we were talking about this before we came on. Is 100,000

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going to solve a crisis? It might make a bit of a difference, but

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surely the crisis is so much more widespread and so much more bigger

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in magnitude. That is a very fair point, the numbers do not stand up,

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if you talk about solving - it might help. 100,000 over the parliament

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they are talking about, and we have a 100,000 shortfall every single

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year, supply relative to demand, so Josie is right, this is not going to

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solve the housing crisis. The other point is that this is an old policy,

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it has been announced by Vince Cable and other ministers. They talked

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about this elution quite a lot. It is not in the gift of the gunmen off

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to provide this. They are not going to them themselves. -- they talked

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about this solution quite a lot. It is not in the gift of the government

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to provide this. It is a more intensive solution to the crisis, it

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is about ginger ring up the industry to provide these. Of the Government

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can grease the wheels. As you say, it may be a drop in the bucket. At

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the end of the story, it says these houses are designed to last for ten

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years! As we well no, that is usually beyond the length of the

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government! The Sunday Times, this is a very interesting political Zou

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Shiming story, ministers row back on disabled benefits curbs. I think it

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is in keeping with the tenet of Theresa May's approach since she

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became Prime Minister, trying to take some of the hard edges of what

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the coalition did on welfare, working families, those were just

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managing, as she calls them. The reforms were introduced by Labour,

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hardened up by the Conservatives, getting people on employment support

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allowance, getting them into the workplace, and Iain Duncan Smith had

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a reform where he would try to beef up the incentives by getting into

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work, but also cutting benefits for those who were deemed able to join

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the workforce. And essentially what they are going to do is keep

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encouraging people, remove the sanction of cutting benefits, or

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cutting them back to jobseeker's allowance levels. So it is not

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completely rowing back, but it is making them less harsh. Sort of

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kindly, gentler initiative, I assume that is the theme. I think this is

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about getting rid of the pigeonholing, it was assumed, if you

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are not in work, you are on benefits. If you are in work, your

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benefits will be cut, but we all know it is not like that. Different

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differs abilities require different support levels, and it sounds to me

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like this is more about a sliding spectrum than a pigeonhole. --

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different disabilities. Many of the papers can be summed up by the Mail

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on Sunday, UK boss of Typhoo warns of the disaster of leaving,

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humanising what we have talked about, the opposite of the upside of

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Brexit, the wholesale cost of tea might go up 50%, he is worried about

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it. We have had Marmitegate, now it is a storm in a teacup - the

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economics are simple, if prices go up, the prices in the shops will go

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up. There will be an effect, so people who import products like tea,

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they do not grow it on the slopes of North Yorkshire or Wigan! But it is

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an interesting point, Apple have raised the prices of their

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computers, saying the same things, so this may be the story of the next

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year. Economic is indeed very simple, it was Marmite last week,

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tea this week, it could be chocolate, meet or god knows what

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next week. Tea is attacking us where it hurts! I am afraid I am a bit of

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an addict, I suspect much of Britain is the same thing. But the other

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point is that there will be other economic advantages, things will

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settle down, who knows what will happen to the euro? It is true, and

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if the pound does not keep falling forever, this will be a one-off

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shock, may be very big, but it will not be going on for ever. This will

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hurt people, and it may make people think about the economic costs and

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benefits of Brexit, like you say, it brings it down to a household level.

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Petrol is the other one that is very sensitive, obviously it is to not

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naked in dollars, and the oil price has gone up as well, so we may be

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getting sensitive about billing of the car. -- the -- denominated. I

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believe Opec is still really the big driver there, that will be for the

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longer term, that will be more relevant than FX.

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That's it for The Papers, thanks to Josie Cox and Ben Chu.

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Just a reminder we take a look at tomorrow's front pages every

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Good morning. Fog has been the main hazards of this morning, and it will

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be tomorrow morning as well, this was sent in

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