17/12/2016 The Papers


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


With me are the Assistant Editor of the Times, Anne Ashworth


and Tony Evans, sports columnist for the London Evening Standard.


The Observer focuses on the Unite leadership battle,


featuring an interview with the man challenging Len Mcluskey


The Mail on Sunday leads with what it describes as the great


foreign aid freeze - saying the government has agreed


to halt new contracts after an investigation by the paper.


The Sunday Times says the head of the rail union behind this week's


industrial action has vowed to topple the Conservative


The Sunday Telegraph also focusses on the unions,


claiming Theresa May is facing pressure to curb their


The Express says the high street is heading for a record-breaking


Well, there you go. Probably a discussion we will be for another


evening. Let's start with the trades unions because that really seems to


be the dominant story of the papers tomorrow morning. If I didn't know


this was December 2016, I would think this was 1978. The whole


question of the union is dominating the front pages. We are going back


to language like holding the country to ransom, tough talking, somebody


needs to bring these people to heal. It's every single aspect of unions,


the power struggles at the top. This interesting story in the Daily


Telegraph -- Sunday Telegraph saying that Mrs May is being called the axe


but she is reluctant. The line in the piece says that it is not just


about Parliamentary time but that might not resonate with the public.


A crackdown on new restrictions? Yes, new restrictions. People say


that she should be banning strikes by essential workers. It seems that


she's not minded to do that because of might offend the just managings.


Tony, what do you make of this? Unions have never been weaker and


get we have this sort on them. It surprised me a bit but it does


deflect the problem of the economy and are not talking about austerity,


we are not talking about the banks bringing down capitalism in 2008. It


seems that there is a line which says that two form a Cabinet


ministers under Margaret Thatcher. Brexit has called a loss of division


and confusion amongst the Conservative Party and whenever the


Conservative Party frightens themselves, the anti-union group


will try and gain ground. I think we are seeing a lot of it here. There


is pressure on Prime Minister me about the unions running rampant.


This is interesting, that is the kind of other side of the coin, that


something must be done is what we would have heard in 1978. And here


we have a union saying the unions have to bring down the government,


the idea that the unions are an anti-democratic force, the enemy


within as Mrs Thatcher called them. It is interesting that you have to


strive to replace the capitalist system with a socialist order. One


wonders how many people in those unions actually agree with this?


What we are seeing on the front pages is what you might call the


French people, the hard left within the unions and I wonder if these


stories would be read by quite a lot of dismayed union leaders who do not


see this as the way to get what they need to get for their members? I


wonder if, dare I say it because we are all guilty of it and the work in


London and in the media, I wonder if this is all being seen through the


prism of the frustration of the Southern rail action which has been


difficult and bitter for all those affected but is not a picture of


what is happening elsewhere? There is nothing like a London tube or


rail strike to give the impression that we are on the verge of civil


war between the far left and the far right. The reality is... A transport


system in the capital has to run properly for the benefit of the


whole economy and I think that whatever we might think about how we


accomplish that, it is incredibly important. It seems to me that there


will be an awful lot of people queueing for trains on those


platforms who think that my job has changed radically, why can these


drivers not accept change? I think, given the systemic problems within


Southern rail, it's not quite as simple as blaming the unions. If


change actually leads to get -- danger for passengers, we should be


looking to keep things the same. It needs a proper analysis of what is


best for the transport system and I don't thinks Southern rail are in


the position to do that. The rhetoric that they are turning on


the employees hiding a lot of systemic problems. I don't want to


dwell too much on Southern, because people will be watching this and


thinking it does not affect their journey. But staying on the union


point, if we look at the Observer, this is quite interesting in the


context of the balance of political forces. Those figures influencing


the Labour Party. Because Len McCluskey, Unite union, one of the


biggest in the country, perhaps the one most robust as -- in support of


Jeremy Corbyn, he is effectively calling an election early. He didn't


have to call this election and decided if he calls it now, it is


suggested, he has a long enough term to carry up to the general election,


and the union can continue to play the role he thinks it should play.


There is no doubt that Len McCluskey is a man that people have to listen


to at the moment? The Observer is saying that the man who wants his


job, Len McCluskey, -- Len McCluskey's job, says that he is


Jeremy Corbyn's puppet master. The language was reversed in the 1970s,


but I'm not so sure about this story because essentially, this man who


once Len McCluskey's job will say anything. I don't know whether use


of emphasising Jeremy Corbyn's power within the Labour Party. I suspect


that Len McCluskey could stay in that position for 100 years and


still not get Jeremy Corbyn elected. Unfortunately. This is a spat


between two union leaders and frankly, it is one of the least


impressive fringe stories I've seen in the Observer for a long time. A


real in the Beltway story? A story of one man wanted someone else's job


who is going to be rude about it. The other side is that Unite


represents the biggest number of people, working people in this


country and it has got influence. It is involved in the industrial


disputes we are talking about, the baggage handlers at the airport. It


represents a variety of workers. There are people who will be


affected by what Len McCluskey does. I would have liked to see a few more


stories about Russia, about espionage, about hacking. This is


all a little bit parish magazine for unions.


You have alluded to what is happening in the United States and


let's move across the front cover to that. That curious photo of Donald


Trump, not the most interesting photo where seen of him but it is


allowing us to talk about job taking waiting to task about missing drone.


Basically he is saying you stole it, give it back. In a week when he


misspelled unprecedented in a magnificent manner. This also allows


the Observer to put the Strictly picture on with the minimum of ease.


You can just lied it out under something more newsworthy. But there


is a Christmas tree in the background, so there is something


seasonal. We are now looking forward to job's misspelling of


unprecedented becoming the norm. But he is determined to take on China


for the moment. Until he gets bored of that. Massive risk. Massive risk


for the moment, but he made back down on this. Total reversal of


American policy, moving away from Russia. We all know about the


Russian involvement in the American election and Putin's ablation ship


with Trump. And now going to the Chinese bogeyman. It plays well with


the rust belt where steel from China has had a huge impact. You can see


the impact of it on the campaign Trail in those states that have had


their industries hollered out over the last 30 years, but when it comes


to actually delivering, confronting China, presumably there are real


practical difficulties. Not least the amount of American debt that is


owned by China. It could pull the plug on certain parts of the


American economy without difficulty. We need to be careful taking Donald


Trump to literally. During the campaign, what people said is that


people taken too literally, but they don't take it seriously. We are


still in the habit of taking him to literally. Is posturing. He knows


where the interest of his own business are tied up. In a lot of


the products for his businesses are made in China. He will not find them


and he is doing sabre rattling to show you is a tough guy. Very much


posturing for when the real negotiations start after the


inauguration. It will be an interesting time to observe American


politics. Fantastic, in a perverse way. What do the Chinese say, the


curse of what living in interesting times. Interesting stories, we know


what we will end on but let's talk a bit about this story about cold


showers being to blame for the right in Birmingham prisons. On the face


of it, most of the country will think, cold showers, they should


have those everyday. The reality is that prisons have been outsourced to


private companies that have been run down and this is the straw that


broke the camel's back. We risk serious unrest. The problem is no


one knows whether prisons for punishment or rehabilitation. We


model along in between. We have too many people in prison and we should


be thinking about getting people out of and people who get into prison


should be in conditions that could make them come out and go straight.


This is a plumbing problem, aren't we supposed to retraining people in


prisons to give them the skills that will help them to be rehabilitated


and return to the workforce when they get out? This brutalisation is


no way connected to real and irritation which is supposed to be


the Mission statement of the company who runs this prison. Is there an


argument that it is quite convenient for the public authorities and


politicians of all used to say that these people can't run a well store


when the problems of resource related and also about the way that


the prison estate has been managed over a long period when it was in


the public sector? This is one of the big questions we will have to


ask ourselves? What do we want prison to do? Do we have to many


people in prison? What happens to them when they come out and how do


we think, as a civilised society, we should treat prisoners? A lotta


people would have an opinion on this and would probably not veer towards


brutality and cold showers. Prisons should always stay under government


control. Railways are another. But the prisons, certainly.


Let me end on the story we have all been talking about on BBC News.


There is a swelling of pride in the news that Ore Aduba and his dancing


partner have one city come dancing. There was a feeling of Ginger Rogers


and Fred Astaire this evening. It was lyrical, there was something in


it for everybody. This is a great light entertainment show and


everybody has found something to love in it. If it gets people


dancing, it would be great. I thought part of a BBC presenter's


job was being able to dance! We call this bit over there the catwalk,


interesting -- interestingly. We are going to get Ore Aduba in. We have


somebody dancing yesterday afternoon. Look up that one on the


BBC website because it is quite a sight. I wish I could do what this


man has done. Congratulations to him and to Ore Aduba and maybe bringing


back the days of when we had proper dance floors. And people did dance.


You're like me, you weigh disco man. Maybe we should dance like that


again, it would be a great thing. We will practice our steps for the


papers in one hour's time. Thank you to Tom and Aaron, we will


see you again with the stories making the news at 11:30pm. Coming


up next, reporters.


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