17/02/2017 The Papers


No need to wait 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


With me are Lindsay Razaq, Westminster correspondent


at the Scottish newspaper The Press and Journal, and Kevin Schofield,


It's reporting that Britain's third largest company, Unilever,


has rejected a ?115 billion takeover offer by the American


The Independent leads with an exclusive report,


saying more than 600,000 patients could be denied access


to life-saving clinical trials after Brexit.


on Tony Blair's Brexit warning, saying he faced a backlash


from Labour MPs for fuelling the party's divisions before


The Times predicts the number of home transactions completed


in Britain will fall by 11% this year, the lowest levels


The Daily Mail focuses on planned sharp rises in business rates,


saying the increase will turn Britain into a "retail wasteland".


And the NHS features, reporting on a looming staff crisis as recruitment


struggles to keep pace with retirement. You were surprised Tony


Blair was not on that many front pages. I thought he would be on all


of them. He is on the front page of the Guardian, he looks like he is


praying. He knew he would spark fury. It was not just about Brexit,


it was about Labour. He admitted that, he said he knew there would be


a volume of abuse in response to his speech. But it has not just come


from the people who want to leave, Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith,


they have all come out saying that the will of the people should be


respected, but also there is criticism from Labour saying that


the timing of this is really bad with two by elections coming up and


it is unhelpful for Jeremy Corbyn. A couple of weeks ago we had Article


50 coming through the Commons and he backed that I'd ordered his MPs to


back it and not block it and this flies in the face of that. Not very


helpful for Jeremy Corbyn. The Guardian is focusing on the reaction


to the speech and he expected that reaction, he was almost saying,


bring it on. He picks and chooses his moments these days, not being in


the of British politics any more. So when Tony Blair enters the political


debate it is a big event and everybody wants to be there. He is


still a political superstar. He knew what he was doing and the best line


in the speech was probably when he is essentially blamed Jeremy Corbyn


and labour for Brexit, saying Labour was in such a parlous state. He says


he does not and people close to him have said to me that he does not


want to set up his own centralist party. Do you buy that? I do. I do


not sense there is much appetite. He is talking about movement. As a


political campaign, as a cross-party campaign to fight against Brexit as


opposed to setting up a whole new party. It is fraught with


difficulty, especially in our first past the post system. It is set up


as a 2-party system, so to break into is difficult. You can get 4


million votes and only get one seat, so it is very difficult to do that,


so the best he can do is influence the political debate from the


sidelines with like-minded politicians. Nick Clegg was one of


the first people to come out on Twitter to say he agreed with every


word that he said. He said similar things in the past. People like Nick


Clegg and Tony Blair have the EU in their DNA. They have met a lot at


meetings. Tim Farron as well. They have been discussing this for quite


some time. He also strayed into the Scottish independence debate as


well. I do not think he had to go there. He said the possible break-up


of the UK is on the table. I think he said the case for Scottish


independence is much more credible in the context of post-referendum


voting. Nicola Sturgeon commended him. He got some support. The Daily


Express put it quite bluntly, arrogant Tony Blair tries to block


Brexit. A new poll reveals an increasing number of voters are


demanding get us out of the EU. This is incredible. Yes, it is ICM,


respected pollsters. 68% responded to get us out of the EU now. That is


the big problem that somebody like Tony Blair has got. All the polls


that we have seen since the Brexit vote, none of them have indicated


there has been any change of heart by people. Now most people accept


it, regardless of whether they voted remain or leave. They accept that is


the result and they have to get on with leaving. There is no indication


out there that there is a massive clamour. He acknowledged that to be


fair. He said there was no widespread appetite for this, but he


said people should have the right to have an informed to say. It is by no


means scientific and not as scientific as an ICM poll, but I


discussed this with Ian Watson earlier tonight, when you go on


radio phone in shows, a couple of which I present, you do get people


who voted for Brexit who are very angry. They do not feel they are


getting what they voted for. They do not feel the white paper that was


produced was about the core issue of immigration. They still feel they


are being short-changed. They also feel it is taking too much time. I


speak to MPs who tell you that their constituents do not understand why


we have not left the European Union now. They think in a general


election you change government and it happens that day. Does it not


suggest, and this is not my opinion before you start tweeting, does it


not suggest the possibility that there are people who are confused


and they did not know what they were voting for? It looks like it needs


looking into. But you did not know what you were voting for at that


point. The Lib Dems have repeatedly said that the EU referendum was a


vote to leave and there should be another referendum on the


destination. He is saying the first vote was when people were not


informed and there are those who want to see it delivered


straightaway and as quickly as possible. Shall we move on to the


Daily Mail. It is our headline. It is talking about business rates and


business rate rises. My understanding is it is like council


tax for people who own shops and businesses. Essentially, yes. There


is a formula to the way it is calculated and there has been a


revaluation, the first one in seven years and it looks like that's small


to medium-sized shops and businesses will be clobbered in April when they


have to pay their bill. This has been a bit of a slow burn as far as


the government is concerned and it has almost blindsided them and there


is a real head of steam building up against these rises. For some shops


it is thousands of pounds, a massive increase in their rates, which they


will have to find from somewhere and they will have to make people


redundant or increase prices. There is a lot of pain coming and there is


a head of steam behind this campaign to get the government to try and


perhaps in the budget if the Chancellor can bring in some kind of


relief for the businesses which are going to be worst affected. They


cannot overturn the idea. The shopkeeper, a guy called Tom Innis,


a wine merchant in Monmouth in Wales has written to the secretary in the


Treasury and it is a strong letter. He is accusing the government of


being completely out of touch, stuck in Westminster, they do not realise


what the reality is like out there and the high street is on its knees


and shops are empty. Another interesting point to raise is that


from today the growth is much slower than predicted as well, there is a


downturn on what consumers are willing to spend. Exactly, I do not


know how the formula works, but it is slightly perverse and that the


larger businesses like supermarkets will see their rates coming down,


while smaller, less profitable businesses will end up paying more.


The whole thing seems a terrible mess and the government will have to


sort it out quickly. The government is arguing it will be better for


most and worse for a few. They are arguing some people will do better


and they are also arguing that this system needs to be brought up to


date with property prices. That is the point they were making. We were


quite surprised when we saw the headline in the Daily Mail. Why are


they splashing the views of one shopkeeper, but when you read the


letter, it begins, what a pity you have not got out into the real


world. It is quite a compelling letter. The Daily Telegraph, new


rebellion over the rates. It looks like it is not just going to be the


public business owners that will be fighting, there will be some


political comeback. You see a bit of cross-party agreement in this


article between three influential people from three different parties,


taking a similar line on it. It is mentioned in this story, which we do


not see in the Daily Mail I don't think, that this will not just


affect businesses, not the private sector, but the NHS will be affected


as well because it owns premises and it has to pay these rates as well.


It is not just businesses. The knock-on effect is what we end up


paying for goods and services. It will be and inflation is already


starting to creep up. A lady was on the telly earlier on and the


estimates were that her business rates would go up from 20,000 up to


40 7000. The only way is to pass that on to your customers. An


interesting story on the front page of the Telegraph. A warning over


street names. I know there was a Jimmy Savile Street in Scarborough,


but there seem to be a few of them and it has raised concerns over


other street names. There are hundreds of pathways, street names


and plaques named after Jimmy Savile. There is some advice from a


Local Government Association, which is incredible. You have to look at


the top of the page to see whether it is not April the 1st. Councils do


not name a street after people just in case in the future at some point


it turns out they are paedophiles or involved in some other unseemly


behaviour, or criminal activity. Where do you draw the line? You draw


the line by saying we will never do it again. And you end up with a town


with street eight, street B, street C. Marcus Jones is the Minister for


local government and he says it is a nice way of honouring heroes. It is


a good way of recognising that people have done something special.


The idea that you would bring in a blanket ban because of just in case


seems ludicrous. A sledgehammer effect. Darren Dodwell, the leader


of Dagenham and Barking Council, he said they would have probably


thought twice about Trafalgar Square! Or Nelson Mandela straight.


What does it take to change the name of the street? Scarborough Council


were very quick to get rid of Jimmy Savile Road. We are looking at the


FT. There are a lot of fantastic business stories around at the


moment. Unilever's snub to craft Hinds. You have found an interesting


story on the front page about the pound cawing, the future of the


pound chorion. This is David Cork again, the Chief Secretary to the


Treasury. We cannot keep him out of the papers. He is not focusing on


business rates, he is saying that people will have to spend their ?1


chorion is, the current style... They are great to save. They have


worked it out that there are ?433 million worth of ?1 coins that are


not in circulation, they are down the back of the city, in the piggy


bank. We do not have any in our house. I am a bit rubbish at change.


I just tend to leave it everywhere, so I have got one of those barrels


you have in the bottom of your wardrobe and if I found ?1, it is in


there. We have now got to read our piggy banks to keep the economy


going. It is about half ?1 billion. Children like saving ?1 coins. They


could start saving the new style 12 sided ?1 coins. The current style is


very easy to forge, so they could do that. The saddest thing is you have


to go into the piggy bank to get a few quid because you cannot find it


anywhere else. I cannot believe I am reading it. It is good that kids


need to save their hard earned pocket money. If you have got anyone


pound coins, start spending them I suppose. That is one of the stories


in the FT tomorrow. Much more about Unilever in the FT. Let's move the


times. It dedicates front page, or nearly all of it, to the Olympic


champion hockey players who are receiving the OBE and the MBE at


Buckingham Palace. It is a very different and almost uplifting


story. Maybe we needed it. The honours system gets a lot of


criticism, quite rightly, because it is used by Prime Minister is to


reward cronies and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and taint the


whole process, but this is thoroughly deserved. The Olympics


was incredibly successful for Team GB and Kate and Helen were also part


of the surprise gold medal winning women's hockey team which beat


Holland in the final. It was a dramatic game. It is nice to see


people being rewarded. It is very uplifting, which is something we


need right now, there is a lot of doom and gloom will stop Kate has


retired, what a lot of hives to go out on. I remember watching the game


and we went to penalties, so it was very exciting. They are also


married, so it is a great day for them. Kate said she wanted to be a


PE teacher when she was at school, but she said this was like being in


a movie it was so exciting. I think they are dubbed hockey's golden


couple. A great day for both of them. It is uplifting in terms of GB


women's hockey. It was our first Olympic gold medal and they have


done a lot for the sport. A lot of people around the country will be


getting involved. We have got to leave it there. Thank you for coming


in. You can see the front pages online on the website.


It's all there for you, seven days a week, at bbc.co.uk/papers.


If you miss the programme any evening, you can watch it


Thank you, Lindsay Razaq and Kevin Schofield.


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