09/03/2017 The Papers


09/03/2017

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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Transcript


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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 Kate Devlin, Political Correspondent

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at The Herald and Peter Spiegel, News Editor at The Financial Times.

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Nice to see you both, waiting patiently so we can get on air! Now

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for the front pages, starting with the Guardian. It says that Theresa

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May is putting off the controversial rise in national insurance

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contributions for the self-employed until the autumn. The Times claims

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her decision to delay the measure would be embarrassing for the

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Chancellor who pledged not to show it difficult decisions on tax. The

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Daily Telegraph says the Prime Minister is refusing to back down

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and says she denies breaking a manifesto pledge not to raise tax.

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Conservative Party whips warned Mrs May that they did not have the

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numbers of MPs needed to push the budget measure through the Commons,

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according to the Daily Mail. The Sun also focuses on the National

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Insurance story and announces its own campaign: calling on the

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Chancellor to scrap plans. Theresa May could trigger Brexit talks as

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early as next Tuesday, says the express, after her trip to the EU

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summit. The head of the euro bank says the outlook for Euro growth is

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more optimistic. A and E waiting Times are the worst on record

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according to the Daily Mail, there is data on waiting time showing 85%

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of patients were seen within four hours in January and that is far

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below the 95% target. We will stop with the Ferrari over

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National Insurance. We begin with the Telegraph. Theresa May rejects

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breaking the Tory tax promise. The PM is defiant over National

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Insurance as she faces budget rebellion from 100 of her MPs. How

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is this not breaking a pledge, if they said they would not raise tax,

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and now they are? In the newsroom we watched press conference in Brussels

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where she tried to explain why this was not the breaking of a Tory party

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manifesto, I am not sure I understood it. I imagine most voters

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didn't understand it either. It was interesting if you look to the

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coverage of the different papers, how differently they played the

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press conference. The Telegraph focused on her defending of the tax.

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Others called is shifting of the date of the legislation and that it

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is underhanded. Everyone has a different view. The most interesting

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thing to me in the Telegraph story of the 100 Tory MPs ready to sort of

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defy her. We have an amendment here being prepared with 30 MPs signing

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on and that could have killed it. It seems only a matter of time before

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she has to make a U-turn. She did not close off that possibility. She

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left the door open that there might be a U-turn at some point. All of us

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in the media today had a slightly different view of where this is

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going and she didn't really help us in the press conference. Kate, you

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are nodding sagely. I agree with all of that. One of the things the

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Telegraph has rightly picked up on is her explanation about what had

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happened. It is important to remember that this is what happened

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after the general election so they are pointing to the small print

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three months after voters were told something in a manifesto, and she

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says no amendments or concerns were raised at the time and what she

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means by that is not by ordinary voters but by MPs in the House of

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Commons and it points to one of the problems which is why the Tories are

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here in the first place. When you have a weak opposition you have no

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one pointing out this kind of problems to you so you end up

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creating a storm for yourself and really having your own MPs becoming

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the opposition, and that is what we are seeing today. The Sun is in a

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campaigning mode on the same story. Fight fans can, we had a spite than

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man yesterday. They are saying, come on, grafters get behind us. It has

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been a terrible few days for Philip Hammond. His reputation as a safe

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pair of hands is very much in tatters. Just over this? I know it

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is important if you are self-employed and you will face

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these tax rises but is it really going to be his undoing? Tory MPs

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asking tonight one of the things she announced was that she was going to

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delay this and bring in a review, which they had announced, which

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would look at whether self-employed people could get more benefits,

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including parental leave, after they have a child. If you were in the

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Treasury before the budget surely you would have linked the two

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already so you wouldn't have to come up with this attempt to buy them off

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24 hours later and you would've thought through the policy to start

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with. The other issue, and what we have seen is the incremental, she

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has left it open a U-turn. David Cameron recognised these things

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quicker, he is to put his hand up and say, we need a U-turn, and

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killed the story quicker. He would not have had a campaign on the front

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page of the Sun. It is the Tory press who are coming after her. It

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is the opposition within her own party and the press that had

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supported her thus far that is coming out against her and the Sun

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has decided to campaign on this, one of the most conservative papers in

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the country, which tells you all you need to know about where it is

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going. The Times are not quite saying a U-turn yet, they are saying

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a blow to Philip Hammond is Theresa May backpedals on tax. We be talking

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about this earlier on, a small backpedal but it is about the

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timing. It is going to come in the autumn rather than in the spring. Is

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that backpedal, I guess it. Again at the last minute we were getting

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ready to set our front page and we thought it was more minor than the

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Times is but this is the problem with the story, everyone is making

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their own judgment on it but in any case none of it is good news for the

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Prime Minister. Know, and she got asked about in Brussels as well and

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she was there to talk about the summit, which we will get to. Let us

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look at the FT. A new Scots poll is seen as almost inevitable, it says.

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There is a picture that of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister,

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with Theresa May. How close can they get to saying there will be a

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referendum, without saying it? I think this is a very good story

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because what it points to now is where the row is happening and the

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pace of how much this debate has changed in the last couple of weeks

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is frenetic. Now the row is becoming about when, about the timing around

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when you can have a referendum and whether you can have it before or

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after Brexit. We have a front-page story with the former Scottish

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secretary, the man who was in charge last time the Scots went to the

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polls about this, and he is saying it would fail one of the tests from

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the last time, one of the three key tests, and he is saying it wouldn't

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be legitimate to holder before Brexit. That is something the UK

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Government also suggested last week. Yes, they need to make sure we were

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out of the EU before it happens, but if you run a second referendum we

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have to be sure of your numbers? The numbers are close but they still

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point to a defeat. The reason we thought this was an important story

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is exactly why you said it, the question of whether it is gone, and

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now it is a question of when. We have the source is very close to the

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Prime Minister and they see that Nicola Sturgeon is pushing for a

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referendum before Brexit but they want to push it to 2019. Right now

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basically Downing Street has decided this will happen and she has set all

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the signals there will be a second referendum can we delay it long

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enough to make it harder? If you have a referendum while you are

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still in the EU there is a vague chance you never leave, whereas once

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you're out, trying to get back in again, with the Spanish opposition

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such as Catalonia and the thought of joining the euro it, it all becomes

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more complicated. In terms of actual independence for Scotland if Britain

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is out of the EU but Scotland, more people in Scotland voted to stay in

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the EU, Willie not Gareth and I is the independence vote? It will

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galvanise some people, but there was an interesting strain of the

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Independent state and you could tout rise them as wanting to be

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Independent from both the union of the United Kingdom and the union of

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the European Union so there is this kind of question mark about whether

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if you take out the people who voted for Brexit, are the SNP representing

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the 45% anymore hasn't gone down to 27%? That is interesting. The other

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thing we have learned in the last few weeks is that it is Northern

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Ireland now as well as Scotland. This is even more complicated for

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them because suddenly you are seeing a surge in national support because

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people are worried about a hard border and what has been for 20

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years rather free-flowing economic zone. It is going to become even

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ever harder for her in the couple of years. Let us look at a different

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story, NHS crisis, A has the worst month on record. This is waiting

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Times for patients to be seen within four hours. 85% were seen in that

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target time in January, which is short of the 95% target. Hospitals

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are being told they have more money so they should sort it out. This

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story will not go away for the government. You feel for them, they

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are between a rock and a hard place. We have an ageing population of

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people are showing up the hospitals will often and it is almost like a

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permanent winter now and we used to long lines just in the winter but

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now statistic show it will continue into the warmer months. There is

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just no more money. There is nothing that can be done. A lot of people we

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talked to in the Treasury said that they thought that some of the

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initial money that they gave up front under David Cameron would

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carry them through this Parliament and at least there would be no

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crisis until the next Parliament, whipped is clearly happening now as

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it is speeding up and they do not have the time and they have to find

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the money from somewhere back as we learned from the budget row, you

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raise taxes on anyone and it will be a problem. Where will you find the

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money to fund the NHS? This will be an even bigger crisis for the

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venture in the coming months than any of this stuff that we're talking

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about. The Health Secretary has been saying today at a conference that if

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we give you more money for health and social care, to get people out

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of hospital when they are better, to support them at home, it eventually

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will come down the pipe and he's going to say he wants results. He

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will say that. The problem is the buck stops with him and I think that

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is where the public very much as. I think it is quite a difficult one.

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It is difficult to blame front-line doctors and accident and emergency

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departments. The ministers don't blame them, do they? On a population

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basis everybody realises there is a problem, when you are a patient

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coming up against, talking to doctors, the sympathy does not lie

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with the government, and that is the problem they have. Let slip of the

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Times. The picture story taken at the Memorial to those who served in

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Iraq and Garristown. There is Tony Blair in the middle, looking rather

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grim faced. A man apart, it says. Beneath Prince Andrew is finding

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some to laugh about a rather sombre occasion, which is a rather jarring

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comparison, but rather discomforting moment for Tony Blair. A lot of

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people say you should not have shown up, which is probably the wrong

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call, but he has become a rather tragic figure. It was interesting

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his speech last week when he came out and talked about trying to

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reverse Brexit. He has clearly tried to repeatedly reinsert himself into

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the political process and for ever he will be tainted by this. Even

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people who respect him as a competent just believe that he is

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now so tainted by this legacy of the war that any thing he says on

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Brexit, he's the wrong guy at the wrong time and he has no credibility

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and it is actually a very moving photo for that reason. It shows him

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isolated and whether it was just a moment in time where he wasn't

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talking to anyone but it does tell the story of a barn at a place in

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his career now where he is politically isolated because of the

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legacy of the war. You can understand why the picture editor

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picked this. It is a man who is dammed if he doesn't and if it

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doesn't as well. Were he not to be there he would have faced a lot of

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criticism as well so there is just no right answer on a lot of things

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if you are Tony Blair. Now for the Guardian. Cover prams against

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pollution. A lot of stories of late of the levels of pollution in

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cities, particularly London. Parents are now being advised to cover up

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their prams, particular school run. I moved here from another country,

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one of the other options I had was to move to China but my wife said it

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would be too much for our kids with the asthma and bronchitis but now we

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have to worry about it in London! It has gotten rather unsettling that on

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the walk to school you have scientists and health experts

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advising that you should cover the pram. My kids are older now and they

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are not in a pram but it is unsettling and these things are

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showing that they are causing rising levels of asthma and bronchitis in

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children in London has become one of the most polluted cities in terms of

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particular its and the things that children are breathing in. And as a

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new arrival to this country, it is rather unsettling. This has been

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going on for years. We have been walking to school with kids in

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pushchairs and heavy traffic. What this might encourage people to do is

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not to put covers on their prams but to get in their cars as they go to

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school. That could make it even worse. Yes, you may indeed. Thank

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you very much. We got through quite a few there. A surfeit of national

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insurance but I'm sure we have not had the end of it.

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Don't forget you can see the front pages of the papers online

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

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And if you miss the programme any evening, you can watch it

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