09/12/2016 The Papers


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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the papers will bring us


tomorrow, with me, Robert Fox, defence editor of the London Evening


Standard, journalist and broadcaster, and your poor are you.


The front pages, let's overlook them. Starting stop the Christmas


gift card ripped off, the headline in the Daily Mail, which warns that


some store cards are expiring just six months after being pursued. The


Times also has a personal finance lead, claiming that people are being


unfairly charged hundreds of millions of pounds in credit card


fees. The Telegraph has an investigation into top-flight


British schools and it says are accepting 6-figure sums from


overseas parents desperate to secure a place. The Independent leads with


comments from the European Parliament chief Brexit negotiator,


British people could be given the chance to remain EU citizens. Rupert


Murdoch's tempted to take full control of sky television with a


takeover by 21st-century foxes on the front page of the Financial


Times. The scandal of our wasted foreign aid is the headline in the


express which says that ministers are under pressure to reveal


precisely how all foreign aid is being spent around the world. And


finally the eye reports on the Duke of York has taken the unusual step


of issuing a statement to deny claims of a rift between himself and


the Prince of Wales Cup the role of his daughters.


Let's begin, lots to talk about, shall we start of the seasonal


stories? The front page of the Daily Mail, stop the Christmas gift card


rip-off. This is specifically about gift cards, rather than about credit


cards. The report is...? The rip-off is that you buy gift cards because,


you know, some of us are quite lazy, and suddenly with only a few days


before Christmas, you think, what are we going to buy? And it looks


very handy. It is rip off, because, and we have all experienced that.


You go with your card, and then it is actually expired, because you


know, I mean, you know, the devil is in in the small print. But more than


that, there's actually a windfall for those retailers because you


never, if it has expired, you never actually buy things that are exactly


fitting the amount you have been given, so there's always a few


pounds for the retailer. More than a few pounds according to this. ?6


million a week they make. Quite extraordinary. So the Times has a


similar story, about credit cards. Yes, with PPI and so on, and


mis-selling, the credit card world were supposed to have cleaned up its


act, this is not much about credit cards themselves, it is retailers,


who charge you a premium. Whether it is online, particularly stores,


services, where, if you pay by credit card rather than debit card


or cash, it is 2%, 5%, and the Times has got occasions when it is 12%,


going up to 15%. Come on. Christmas would not be Christmas in tabloid


went if you could not write a headline about a rip-off. So, it is


Christmas. In Fleet Street. Or, what used to be Fleet Street. Let's move


on to a story on the front page of the Telegraph, cash for places a


scandal at top schools, and the Telegraph has done its own


investigation into a school which it says is charging... Well, it is not


charging, it is allowing parents to get places at this school if they


make a very substantial donation. And what is interesting is that the


story, sort of, the line, halfway down the piece, it suggests that


educational consultants, so, middling people, are facilitating


payments of up to ?5 million, to certain high-profile schools. ?5


million, extraordinary. It sounds mad to me. It is the going rate,


from what I understand. It has been going on for some time. Particularly


Southeast Asia, China, as part of a whole game of which there have been


many scandals, actually, I cannot name the protagonist, one was


murdered, for fear of libelling somebody. I don't want to get myself


as well of the BBC... I would like you not to name them. It is very


delicate, this, but it is a stock in trade. At my children to school


there have been donations, in the good old days there would be


donations and the donor was a benefactor and was not expecting a


return in kind necessarily, but this goes on at Oxford, Cambridge,


limiting damage, and so on, but now it is a business. And I think the


Telegraph is on to say -- onto something, there are agents, and


particularly from China, Southeast Asia, there are various countries


where these things, English private schools, the most noble of all time,


education is such a prize, that they put this money into it, what the


reaction is from the schools, I cannot go into. That is where we are


in trouble with the law. I suppose many people would not be that


surprised that you described a private school as a business, that


is what it is, but it is the scale of this, if the Telegraph is


correct, talking about ?5 million. It is funny that you are surprised,


it is not a matter for polite conversation, but I am not surprised


at all. And there is snobbery. Oh yes, status, get ahead time also. I


think they should be fined. The best schools are state-owned. You could


not get a place with money if you are the best... But you might have


to work harder. Of course. In France, there is a suspicion that if


you have to pay for the education, then you must be very bad at school,


but your parents have outside money. So, no, this traffic, this currency


of snobbery, it will get a lot of people, very rich people, in what


they think... Investing in their children's future. What they are


investing in is what the future social life... But probably not


there, you know, success in life. I suppose it does say something about


the reputation of British education, certain top private schools, that


people are willing to pay that sort of money, because I'm sure you can


get as good an education in France, but people are not sending their


children to your schools. It is about the mythology and the legend.


Buying into a club. Exactly. It is about education, but not only


that... Status. The Telegraph says this is an investigation. It will be


interesting to see how they pursue it. But how much we are interested


in it. Personally, I despise it, because I think it does point of


much bigger picture we have talked about, the discussion running this


week about whether you should have more free places at... That was


today. Our education is bedevilled by... The public/ private division,


and then you add this into a... The attraction for foreigners is the


English language. That is the strength of the English language. It


is the international lingua franca, to use Latin. This is what it is


pointing to. Shall we discuss Brexit? Cannot let an evening go by


without it. A day without it, cannot have that. The Times, the British


will be offered the chance to keep the EU citizenship. Not in the way


that you might expect. The detail is of course, individually, keeping the


EU... It will be quite difficult to the men. But it is an idea that


comes not from the British Parliament but from the former Prime


Minister of Belgium, who is Mr Brexit for the European Parliament.


A great man, actually. He has had this idea for, you know, 40% of the


British population, who did not vote for Brexit, and to feel European,


and perhaps that is a solution, for them, I mean, I have a look to


British friends, with some ancestry in Europe, and they are asking for,


you know, the Germans, for some passport, or the Irish, so that


might be a solution, except, individually, I mean, how will it


work? This has actually been brought forward, according to the Times,


partly because of the vote in the Commons this week. Yes, I think the


various parties are having to reveal their positions and I think the


former Belgian prime ministers really onto something here. It is


interesting that it has come from Europe and Polmont. Because there is


such a thing of solidarity, people with a common experience, called


work experience. Myself, half my family is Dutch. My children can


carry on as EU citizens, I cannot. And yet I have worked half my life


there. For the last 51 years, every year I have done some work in


Europe, I have a second language, and the idea that Brexit means


prevail over 48.5%, that kind of prevail over 48.5%, that kind of


light and dark, Manichaean division, it is complete nonsense. What is so


notable is that the Brexit supporters, or their flag-bearers,


their standard-bearers, soon-to-be getting more shrill by the minute,


because the whole question looks so complex, and cannot be done in the


timetable laid out, as we will hear with the next story. It will not be


able to be done in two years. Let's move on to that, actually. This is,


you talk about the flag-bearers, well the official flag bearer, David


Davis, Minister for Brexit, talking about a transitional deal, a sort of


buffer period. He is saying that he has no interest in that. Well, you


may not have any interest in this by British companies and actually the


British people have a stake in it, of course, there must be a


transition period. What is very funny is that he said, oh, I don't


mind being kind to the EU. I would rather the EU was asking for a


transition period, but he's never going to ask for it. It is British


companies, the Bank of England, the major British banks, they need it.


So I agree with that EU representative quoted by the


Financial Times, saying that, David Davis is completely diluted. Under


British politicians have not got a clue. What is curious about this is


that David Davis does not, in a sense, seem to be against a


transitional period, he just seems to be against asking for it. He is


against begging for it. It is very hard to see what he, Fox, Johnson,


and Theresa May, to an extent, are really for. They are going to have


to reveal the plan, particularly when we have the Supreme Court


decision, they will need to talk about what the legislation will have


to be if legislation there has to be. They have to reveal a plan, that


was the point, that came out... The word around Whitehall is, would you


believe it, it is either Norway minus, an associate of deal with


Norway, or Canada plus. Work out what that means. But how long does


it take to do a trade deal? That is the kind of period we are talking


about. That is what the city is so worried about, with people like


Davis, Fox, Johnson, they think they are lightweight. They don't think


that the people in the civil service are lightweight, but supposing you


and do, at a stroke, this has been in the heavy papers for the past two


weeks, the European Community is act of 1972, then you go... You push it


over the cliff, with a whole raft of human rights legislation, and human


rights that are invoked, and this does not seem to be considered. As I


said, this black and white... You get people demonstrating because


they think it is primarily about immigration and how to stop it. The


minute you say, we are no longer members, of the EU. Apparently


there's a third option, Norway minus, Canada can plus, and Turkey


meets Switzerland, another option that about, also quite deluded as


well. The Times, a story about severely traumatised young people


who have escaped from Mosul in Iraq. And the sort of things that they saw


well under the Islamic State regime. We need to talk a little bit about


that. Some background, this was written by a wonderful reporter, a


great friend of mine, and I have been nasty places with him, Anthony


Loyd. And he has an extraordinary, insightful story, because he went to


the refugee camp, one of the biggest ones outside Mosul, receiving


refugees, 81,000 have fled from this place of battle, and what they are


finding, the Unicef people, is that they number in the thousands of


young children who are just addicted to violence, rage, because it is all


that they know, because of the traumatic scenes that they have


witnessed inside Islamic State controlled Mosul. People being


beheaded, tortured, and the particular case of a young boy, a


four-year-old, who just hits his sister all the time, his mother does


not dare let him go out to play, and the psychiatric damage, the


psychological damage, is absolutely enormous. So if you think that is


happening emotional, just imagining what is happening in Aleppo. It is


unbearable to read. But it is one thing that is really key, and so


poignant, not only this terrible atrocity, but also people and the


Islamic State are obliged to watch. And you have got big screens,


erected at marketplaces, and that combination between the lack of


humanity, basic humanity, and also the entertainment, it is an


unbearable article. Very chilling. Let's move on to our final story, on


the front page of the Telegraph, along with a big photograph, the


Duke of York, denying a rift with his older brother, unusual, for a


member of the Royal family to come out with something like this. It


seems to be... I mean, there is a recurrent theme. Prince Harry, taken


to Twitter. They have taken to Twitter to do it. We have got to


have our Christmas pantomime and the Royals are saying, move over


Simpsons, we are it. I don't think they see it that way, but anyway, I


suppose what is interesting is if you want the papers to lay off his


family it has had the opposite effect, because what do we see? It


is on the front page. He did not have a cool PR man saying, look,


this is not right way to go about it. It will be interesting to see if


tactics change. Thank you both much indeed. You can see all of the pages


online on our website, where you can read a detailed review of the


headlines. It is all there for you seven days per week, BBC .co .uk/


papers. And you can see us there also each night in addition been


posted on the page shortly after we have finished. Thank you both very


much. Goodbye. Good evening, once again it has been


another mild day for the time of year across the country, but also a


day of contrast, we had quite a lot of cloud around, and some rain, in


North Wales today, pretty dismal, not


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