28/12/2016 The Papers


28/12/2016

No need to wait to see what's in the papers - Clive Myrie presents 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 the papers will be

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With me are Oliver Wright, Policy Editor at The Times

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and Katie Martin from the Financial Times.

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One store in particular we are looking forward to getting deep

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into. Guess which! The front pages tomorrow starting with the Times Up

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The Times leads with an investigation,

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alleging that Google is failing to remove anti-semitic content

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hundreds of adverts have been pulled from their site in response.

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the paper reports that the company stands accused of profiting

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The i picks up the news that George Osborne

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is to become the new editor of the Evening Standard.

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A poll for the Daily Telegraph finds that

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two-thirds of respondents think withdrawing from the EU

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is more important than holding the UK together.

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The FT leads on President Trump standing firm

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on accusations that the British spy agency, GHCQ, tapped to his phones

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New research shows drinking three cups of tea a day

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could cut the risk of dementia by half - that's on the Daily

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Guess who's front page that is! That's right, the Daily Express.

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The Mirror says that two bullets matching a gun

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owned by the Moors murderer, Ian Brady, have been found.

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Great British Bake-off bosses, over the signing of Noel Fielding as

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Let's start with this wiretapping or not of Donald Trump by GCHQ. The

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British intelligence agency. Trump stands firm on GCHQ spying claims,

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allegations transatlantic ties. Read a mile from the intelligence agency

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itself. We don't hear from GCHQ often at all, do we, directly? They

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don't like sticking their neck out, they are not the government

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department you can call up and say, we've got a comment about this, it

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doesn't work like that, but they've come out swinging on this one, they

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said the allegations from Sean Spicer and Donald Trump were utterly

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ridiculous. And should be ignored. So that's a no. But the allegations

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weren't directly from the White House? No, Trump was doing what he

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does best, which is watch cable TV and regurgitate it live on prime

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time, or get his spokesman to do it. This particularly was Sean Spicer

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who brought this up. The other point about GCHQ is not only do they not

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speak very much, but they certainly wouldn't speak without political

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approval so this will have gone to Downing Street and Downing Street

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will have approved the statement, which is really significant. The

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other thing is, this story has been moving around all day, it started

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off this morning suggesting they were apologising many Americans,

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saying they never intended to it. But Mr Spicer let it be known that

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actually the administration wasn't apologising at all. You appear to

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have a split between the national security adviser, McMaster, who

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talked to his counterpart in the UK today, and by all accounts did

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apologise. Then the other half of the administration say, no, nothing

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wrong, we're sticking with it. Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said this is

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completely outrageous, you can't carry on like this, can't have a

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president saying this stuff and can't have a press secretary going

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off on one in front of the press again in this fashion. Exactly, if

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they'd said it just once, maybe we could have somehow sorted it out,

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but it's this first rule of holes, just stop digging. They are not

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stopping. So the latest from Trump and Spicer, Trump is saying he was

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just repeating reports from a "Talented legal mind". This... Who

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hasn't checked the facts. It isn't the basis on which you normally

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throw accusations like this around. Sean Spicer is saying we don't feel

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like we have anything to apologise for. Some of the Republicans do,

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though, some of the people in Congress say its time an apology was

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issued. This is one of the big issues behind all of this, their

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esteemed Trump in the White House. There is a gap between team Trump

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and Republicans in Congress, some of his constituents will get a very bad

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deal out of Trump care, the replacement of the Obamacare medical

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provision. So that's sort of split, as well as splits with in the White

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House, split between the White House and Congress, it could get

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interesting. The other point is, the Trump administration, those close

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around it, want to keep this row about the Obama phone tapping going

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because remember when they brought it up, it's a diversion tactic from

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the other allegation doing the rounds about contact between the

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Trump administration and the Russians prior to the election and

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what was going on. In a way, as many smoke signals that go off in

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different directions, it plays into them. Muddies the waters all over

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the place. They don't want things to be clean. This headline, allegations

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of strain, strained transatlantic ties. Commentators we spoken to

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suggest that actually the intelligence agencies here and in

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the States know what they are dealing with and will continue to

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cooperate. Is the strained political rather than among the intelligence?

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I would imagine so, yes, the spooks, if you like, work closely together,

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but there will come a point at which Trump is throwing around accusations

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effectively against the UK Government, that we're not

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comfortable with. I do suspect there is very much a political split.

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Let's look at the Times, Google lets anti-Semitic videos stay on you

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Tube. This is an investigation papers carried out, advertisers

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revolt after Web giant's failure. This in particular focus is on

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anti-Semitic content. There are other accusations against YouTube.

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This is the follow-up to our investigation yesterday talking

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about how Google was selling advertising off the back of some

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pretty nasty videos and getting money from the government, big

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brands, part of the story says a whole lot of people have pulled out

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and said they won't advertise. The other part of the story is the scale

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of you know, he'd videos. Particularly anti-Semitic hate

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videos. They found 200 videos in a quick search. -- eight videos. The

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interesting bit is they alerted Google to these videos, they took 12

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videos, reported them to Google, they should take them down in 24

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hours, they all stayed up. -- hate. Does Google have the technical

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capacity to monitor this? They would argue, not really. We've got to

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question that, I think they can remove stuff, it's whether there is

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the will, whether they want to invest the cost and the staff to do

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it. Is there an argument that for some people this is hate speech and

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four others free speech? But if you see this stuff in real life you

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might think that, but it's pretty poisonous. It's not just the

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anti-Mister Dick -- is not just the anti-Semitic stuff, there is

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homophobic material. The level of bile you can find on the Internet if

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you're looking for it is extraordinary. It's interesting

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we're at the point where the arbiters of what you should and

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shouldn't be allowed to say online art dominoes pizza, effectively,

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it's one of the companies whose agency is pulling support and

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Google, -- from YouTube and Google. They don't seem to take action

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without commercial impact. Quite hefty potentially, this company have

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asked one of the world's biggest advertising agencies, it says, it

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spends ?35 million each year with Google in Britain. Yeah, the

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question is how long they'll keep it up for, the real thing you have to

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look for. They always say they'll do it, but quietly a few weeks later

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they don't. Hopefully on this occasion they will insist Google

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changes what it's doing. And will bring back the advertising until

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they do. Shall we look at a story bound to keep you going for some

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time? Here it is on the i which couldn't resist it. Six jobs George,

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public and political world shocked after Osborne is appointed newspaper

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editor. We used to have two jags Prescott, now six jobs George. Were

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you shocked? Well, I think there's not many things that can bring the

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FT newsroom to a total standstill. The kick trolley on Thursday

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afternoon comes pretty close but this was a moment of genuine shock.

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Yeah, completely from left field, you know, George Osborne PCs to be

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Chancellor of the Exchequer. He's never been a journalist. He was

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turned down for a job by someone at the FT, Gideon Patmon. Times

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trainee, turned down by The Times. He wrote a column for the Telegraph

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for a while. But his credentials as editor of a regional but nonetheless

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major daily newspaper I think is reasonable to question. It really

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raises serious issues around conflict of interest and it would be

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one thing if a sitting MP... It would be interesting to hear what

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his constituents think. It interesting enough a sitting MP is

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in this position but as the paper points out he rakes in the 650 grand

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salary from Blackrock as adviser. Is it a reason other than envy to say

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he shouldn't do the job? Say there is a story about Theresa May making

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a mess of something, is he really going to have an impartial view? Say

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there is a story about Blackrock making a mess. Not that these

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companies have ever got into trouble before! Andrew Neil, who presents

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the Daily Politics for the BBC, we spoken to him and he says he think

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this is a perfect vehicle for George Osborne to take on Theresa May, from

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which he could at some point in the future mount a leadership bid. Is

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that really what he's about? I think it's pretty difficult, everything

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written in the standard will be scrutinised through that prism for

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the future. One thing that struck me is, who needs fake news when the

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real news is quite so bizarre? The other thing which is interesting is

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he's a man who made his name trying to cut the deficit but will have

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similar problems at the standard. From the proprietor of view it's

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quite a coup, isn't it, to get him? That'll be helpful to business,

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won't it? It is a coup to have him, a great person to reel in new

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advertisers and say, advertise with us. He doesn't get away from the

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fundamentals, that the standard relies entirely on advertising and

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it is falling. The Tatton seat under the reorganisation of boundaries? I

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can see how long-term he can stay in Parliament. There is an

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acknowledgement by Osborne's people they'll see how things go. Tatton is

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due to be abolished anyway in the boundary review, so in a few months'

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time... He doesn't start this job until May, at some point before then

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he might announce he will stand down, I think it's reasonably

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likely. He fielded a question today, whether being editor of the Evening

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Standard was compatible with being an MP. He said the Evening Standard

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is mostly edited in the morning and vote in parliament in the afternoon.

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So he can work from 5-11, send the paper to be printed, then go to the

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Commons? When will he have time to go to Blackrock? It's only four days

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per month. The other issue about the Privy Council as well, who have

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access to all sorts sensitive government information. Is it

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compatible with being a newspaper editor? No, I think it's fine for

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politicians to write newspaper columns, there is a long tradition

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of that, Boris Johnson in the Telegraph, Michael Gove in the

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Times. He gave that up when he became Foreign Secretary. Osborne is

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a backbencher to all intents and purposes. I think there was a

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conflict of interest between editing the paper, being the ultimate to

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decide what goes in, and being an MP for the governing party, whether he

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gets an ad Theresa May or not. John McDonough kindly treated to George

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Osborne offering to write a column for the standard about the latest

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budget U-turn. Apparently Nick Clegg is going to keep writing his column

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until he's told otherwise. So yes, the internal politics are going to

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be fascinating and if you look at the front of the i, the happy faces

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on the people of the Evening Standard are quite something to

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behold! Somebody is taking a photo of him in the distance, can't

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resist. Two stories in the Telegraph, Brexit bigger than the

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union. Another poll suggesting, this time, people think it is more

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important that we get out of the EU than holding the UK together. This

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is a really strange poll, they suggest two thirds of the people

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they questioned thought Britain's departure from the EU mattered more

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than stopping the UK break-up. If that's right it suggests a whole

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bunch of people who voted to remain in the referendum have completely

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changed their minds and for Brexiteers and want to get rid of

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Scotland. Don't care what happens to the union. If right, it's

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extraordinary. I have a few doubts. Doesn't it depend on the sample

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size? It's not huge number of people. I'd be fascinated to know

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how the question was phrased, exactly how many people they asked.

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It seems to be suggesting that people think losing Scotland is a

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price worth paying for leaving the EU, which leads me to wonder what is

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the controversy about the referendum in Scotland? Why block it, why be

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unhappy? If it's a price worth paying, we don't care either way,

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let them do it. It reflects a wider point regardless of whether it's

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right. A lot of people in England think, if you want to go, just go.

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There was a touch of that in the previous referendum. Numbers would

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suggest the SNP wouldn't necessarily win that referendum. But if you look

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at what the numbers were before the last referendum was called, the

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majority in favour of remain was far bigger. It entirely depends on what

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kind of deal and what the state of the relationship between the UK and

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EU is in 2019. If it looks like there is a prospect of a deal that

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would suit both sides, it's pretty implausible Scotland would vote to

:15:22.:15:26.

leave. If it looks like it'll be a hard and disorderly Brexit, the idea

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Scotland might not necessarily join the EU, but join something like the

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EA, countries like Norway, which are on the sidelines, part of the single

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market but they don't have to have the Euro, you can see how it became

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quite an attractive future. Let us look at this final story, Price

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curbs to give fair deal on energy. This makes the Conservative Prime

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Minister sound quite interventionist. Didn't Ed Miliband

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put this on a stone? Tell us what the story is, Katie. The story is

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there as a whole bunch of energy companies, the big six, in the UK

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over the past two or three weeks, they've all been raising energy

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prices for households by something like ten to 15% in some cases. The

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price of electricity, gas, all going up. Theresa May says she wants to do

:16:18.:16:24.

something about it, step in to control energy prices. This is

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pretty extraordinary when you consider this is exactly what Ed

:16:30.:16:32.

Miliband wanted to do a few years ago and was rounded on by the

:16:33.:16:36.

Tories, who said he was being needlessly interventionist in a

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private industry. Two things are interesting here. When Ed Miliband

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said that he talked to the Conservatives privately and they

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were worried because they felt it resonated with the public. -- didn't

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resonate. People around Theresa May say she's a different type of

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politician to David Cameron and George Osborne, she's much more

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interventionist, believes the state has a role to intervene in markets

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in a way which Osborne and Cameron were ideological utterly opposed to.

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They say, you're going to see a change, she has this idea of workers

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on board. -- on boards. In happened because people highlighted practical

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difficulties but her instinct is the state can intervene and I think you

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will see more of this, the devil will be in the detail, though. Huge

:17:24.:17:29.

practical problems, there will be a lot of anger and upset from energy

:17:30.:17:34.

companies. Some of they've done has been pretty poor but there has been

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so much scrutiny on them, some accusations against them are

:17:39.:17:42.

somewhat unfair. If the argument is that the market isn't working, have

:17:43.:17:48.

we just got too few companies to create the competition we need?

:17:49.:17:52.

People are quite reluctant to move around between companies even though

:17:53.:17:55.

it has been made much easier. It has been made much easier, I'm not

:17:56.:18:01.

having more would really help. It's a heavily regulated industry,

:18:02.:18:04.

expensive industry, but nonetheless they produce quite nice returns for

:18:05.:18:08.

their investors, so there is clearly something not quite right. I'm not

:18:09.:18:12.

suggesting Theresa May is heading in the wrong direction on this. This is

:18:13.:18:15.

very much in keeping with her initial speech she made in Downing

:18:16.:18:19.

Street when she took her position saying, I'm here to help people just

:18:20.:18:23.

about managing. People holding down multiple jobs to make ends meet,

:18:24.:18:29.

like George Osborne. It is very much in keeping with what she's been

:18:30.:18:33.

saying from day one, yet devil is in the detail. That's it from the

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papers, all of the front pages are on the BBC website.

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If you miss the programme any evening you can catch up later on

:18:44.:18:50.

the BBC iPlayer. Nice to see you both. Now it's time for the weather.

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