17/12/2016 The Papers


17/12/2016

No need to wait until tomorrow morning to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.


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

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

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

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Not Monday, I am clearly a day out. The rioting was Friday, today's

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Saturday and these are tomorrow's newspapers.

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The Observer focuses on the Unite leadership battle,

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featuring an interview with the man challenging Len Mcluskey to head

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

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foreign aid freeze, saying the government has agreed to halt

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new contracts after an investigation by the paper.

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

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industrial action has vowed to topple the Conservative government.

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The Sunday Telegraph also focusses on the unions,

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claiming Theresa May is facing pressure to curb

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

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The unions and in particular, the rail unions. This is a blast from

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the past, a braille -- rail boss threatening to bring down the union.

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Threatening environment, people taking increasingly difficult

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positions. In the papers today, the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph,

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the pressure on the government to take on the unions. We are seeing

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that the strikes are not just about pay conditions and safety, they are

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about bringing down the Tory government, which I and not against.

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This in flames it. The situation has become increasingly... In the Sunday

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Telegraph, pressure from conservative MPs that go back to

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Thatcher ministers. Former ministers in her government now putting on

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pressure today. Putting pressure on Theresa May. We are moving in that

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way. Are there areas in which you would think that is acceptable? No,

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I don't think so. One of the things in Britain, for the best part of a

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century, pay and conditions improved for the right to strike and you take

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it away, it is a dangerous game. I am surprised with the huge emphasis

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on the front pages about unions. It is like they all rang each other up.

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There are so many other stories around. Let's not get ahead of

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ourselves, it is not 1978, not the winter of discontent. If you are a

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southern rail user it is aggravating and there will be hold-ups at

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airports. But it is not a general strike. An industrial strike of the

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1970s. The idea that politicians from former governments are trying

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to tell the Prime Minister this is what she should be addressing

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amongst all the other problems is, frankly, battling. The economy is in

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trouble because of many reasons. We have austerities, the banks, 2008,

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nearly brought down capitalism, lots of problems we should be worrying

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about. Frankly, the battle with the unions is not a big issue. The

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unions have spent years watching their membership diminished. They

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have seen their influence in politics and arguably the workplace

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diminished for different reasons. Changing contractual reasons, many

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reasons why it has been difficult for them. Suddenly, if they read the

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papers to -- tomorrow, they might think they matter. It is

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extraordinary but it is 1970s, bringing down the government. And

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then Mrs May being asked to crack down on the unions. The headline of

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the Telegraph, unions run rampant. That suggests there is more than

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just a strike on Southern Rail and possibly two days of action at the

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airports over Christmas. The impression is, not quite the enemy

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within but, people would think, where is this happening? Holding

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society to ransom and frankly I have not got the ransom note yet. It is

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very interesting, they don't bring out why they think Mrs May would be

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resistant to any legislation against strikes. Do you think she will be?

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She seems to be attuned to be ordinary person, middle Britain and

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there is some suggestion she feels that will be curbing important

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freedoms. I don't know what is on her mind but it seems to be she has

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some kind of sense, we do have the right to withdraw our labour. That

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is a crucial... Fundamental freedom. She will not be saying what the old

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guard may be doing, she doesn't want them pushing her around. You have a

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new Prime Minister who is uncertain on the way forward, who is

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ambivalent about Brexit and there is a bit of nervousness in the

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government going forward. The Tories trying to take advantage and make a

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move. I must say, I think there are other things happening. Iama bit

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baffled. We were shocked Aleppo was not on the front page. Lovely photo

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of the Prince of Wales and his mum. Very striking picture, beautifully

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lit. Gorgeously taken picture and the front-page picture is very

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important. A lot of time would have been taken to make sure they got the

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right one. No doubt they will ... They have all three are gentle

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winners of Strictly. Quite clever. The Royal Family to sell papers. We

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will move on to the Observer. The photograph, maybe not as spectacular

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as the Strictly photos or as regal as the royal one, but the man who

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will be the leader of the free world, in one month, no wonder he

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has something to smile about in front of the Christmas tree in

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borrowed. He will not give up on the thing of the missing drone. He wants

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to get, criticise China, prod them, he would like to work them up into a

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furious. It is a lot of sabre rattling. Do you think they

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understand that and say, it is OK, let him have his head. They do this

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stuff. We shouldn't worry. The fundamentals of our relationship and

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position, we don't have to worry about this guy. I think they would

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be very good about not taking him too seriously. He is posturing

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before he gets into power, playing to his power base. When it comes

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down to it he will need to be friendly with us. They will say, you

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want trouble, we will pull all the debt. It is interesting

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repositioning American policy to be anti- China and soft on Russia.

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Reagan, the axis of evil but the new axis, Russia and America. An

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intriguing thought. We move from Donald Trump two and international

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issue important back home. -- onto an international issue. Critical on

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something David Cameron did, the British budget going to foreign aid.

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They are investigating and have suggested there are examples where

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the money has been poorly used, at least the supervision of how it is

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spent is poor. As a consequence, some of the projects have not

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deserved it. I think there will be a great deal of relief, the money,

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finally scrutiny as to how it is spent and if it is going to worthy

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projects. The new argument this week as to whether a better way to spend

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some of the cash would be on care of the elderly. I think this is going

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to be a massive debate, issue in the new year. Is our aid being used

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properly, buying the influence it should buy, that is a crucial aspect

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of giving aid. There is a real risk when you get into that debate, the

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criticism that has been made of Priti Patel, a stronger relationship

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between the money spent on aid and the benefits of purchasing power,

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particularly ahead of wrecks it. We give you money, in return you by our

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stuff. That is not necessarily the best way to measure it. I think that

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might be true but people feel we are cash-strapped as a nation, we are a

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great philanthropic and charitable nation but want value for the money

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we spend overseas. It is an increasing sign of British

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isolationism. Wrecks it, spend the money here, that is fine but will it

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get spent here? The reality is we would hate for it to go to the

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begging bowl barons as the Daily Mail calls them. It is a sign that

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country is becoming more in chiller and I don't think it will benefit

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Britain long-term. You think whatever we might see as a benefit

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here, the perception of the outside world is negative. Back to the

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Sunday Times. We talked about unions. We can ignore that and talk

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about prisons. This is an interesting headline. Cold showers

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triggered jail riot. A depressing story, life was so bad. It was a

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fairly small thing, they couldn't get a hot shower. They are banged up

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plumbing goes, it is midwinter. It plumbing goes, it is midwinter. It

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always goes midwinter! It comes to the heart of what we think prison

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should be about, is it about rehabilitation or is it putting

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people in, more and more of them and not attempting to think we need to

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turn these people once more into decent members of society.

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Privatising prisons is madness. There is talk, Northumberland's

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prison is on a knife edge and problems elsewhere. We could be

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getting into a period of prison riots. It has been outsourced, the

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prisons. Money has been withdrawn from it. And there is no coherent

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policy. Abhi trying to punish them of all rehabilitate them? If we want

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to punish them, give them cold shower was but we are spending so

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much money on reasons and people come out and commit crimes again. It

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appears to be a your your relationship. We need to make sure

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people don't go back to prison after being there. Some businesses should

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be government controlled and prisons is one of them. I wonder if we are

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coming into a broader debate, aid and prisons, how our taxpayer money

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is spent, whether the strategy is right, whether it is piecemeal, no

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thought out doctrine behind the prison system. And I wonder whether,

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how this can be accomplished, by what means we could no if we are

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getting value. It was easy enough to bail out the banks, of course. One

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to ponder and we will ponder it by thinking about the photograph on the

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front of the Sunday Times. Lovely photograph. When you talk about the

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quality of colour photography in the newspapers these days, the vividness

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of Joanne Clifton's dress, she and our colleague at BBC News, Ore

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Oduba, have won Strictly. This picture, it exemplifies the Ginger

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Rogers and Fred Astaire quality that Ore had in his dancing, the moment

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of pure joy that dancing should bring. A tribute to a great light

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entertainment show that it should bring joy on what is a very dark and

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miserable time. I think you and Anne can replicate the picture over here.

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Would we have a few minutes more before we have to go to De Film

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Review? And there you go, he did. I suspect in a few minutes he will say

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he never looked back. Thank you very much.

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