09/04/2017 The Papers


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That is all the sport, now on BBC news here is Maxine with The Papers.


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


With me are the Home Affairs Editor for the Evening Standard Martin


Bentham and the journalist and broadcaster Rachel Shabi.


So let's look at the front pages this morning. We're starting with


the Mail. Boris Johnson's decision


to cancel his trip to Russia The Mail on Sunday


reports the criticism from the Kremlin as well as Liberal


Democrat MPs here. The Sunday Times says


Britain and America are preparing to accuse Russia


of complicity in war The Telegraph says Vladimir Putin


will be told to pull troops from Syria and withdraw support for Putin


in an age dish and it headed by the UK.


The Observer leads with a story about Len McCluskey,


the leader of the Unite union, who wants the Labour party


to investigate MPs who he says are plotting against him


about Eastenders actress June Brown - who plays Dot Cotton -


who's had eye surgery lasting 60 seconds -


that she says allows her to see again!


Let's begin. Most of the papers talk about the Syria- Russia situation


and what the allies will do about it. The Sunday Times splashes on a


piece by Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, setting out what


the forthcoming agenda will be which will be, as it says here, turning


the screws on the Kremlin, holding them responsible for every death


that happened last week because of this gas attack and saying that the


Russians must do much more to bring Assad to heal and bring peace in


Syria. That is the rhetoric that is coming out. Later this week the


United Nations is set to deliver a strong message, the question is if


the Russians will listen to that, it must be hoped that they do that this


is going on for a long time and it is not clear this will happen.


That's the thing. Now Boris Johnson says he isn't going. Boris Johnson


was due to go to Moscow. He has called off that mission. The theory


is, I don't know if that is true or not, but the working theory is that


the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to visit Moscow


this week and they have divided the workload in the sense that Boris


Johnson will be going to the summit this Tuesday to try to rally Western


support for this sort of US-led position on Russia while Rex


Tillerson handles the Russian side, I don't know if that is true or not,


some people have criticised Boris Johnson, saying he is clearly seen


as a liability, the fact that he has postpunk this engagement makes him


look like a poodle -- post-poll engagement. If you look at the front


page of the Mail on Sunday that is the headline! They call him a


poodle. It's a difficult one. The Kremlin is not easy to negotiate


with and is a huge supporter of Assad. Is a quote in the Observer


saying that this, the positive scenario of what happened last week


because the crucial question is whether the effect of America


showing military force in that area suddenly changes the dynamic and


makes the Russians listen more rather than less, because previously


they had just gone on supporting Assad ever since the previous


failure to carry out an air strike in the wake of a chemical attack,


the Russians have got ever more deeply involved, overtly supporting


Assad on the ground and so on, and whether this air strike last week


changes the dynamic and this Russian analyst in the Observer suggests


that it might. The Russians will see America as a serious player with


some weight, that's the positive part of it, the negative part is


that there's the risk of confrontation things getting worse!


That's what we have to see as the next week unfolds and the weeks


afterwards, as to whether Putin, who clearly believes in strength himself


and shows of force, response to someone doing the same. It is


interesting that, is it not, Rachel, that the USA has changed its tone on


Syria following this chemical attack. Speaking to Russian analysts


earlier today, they were saying that having gone from "We are not


interested in Assad and Syria, we are keeping everything inside the


United States" they have now gone the other way. Do you think that


will make any difference to Russia, the fact that the US has taken


action? Well. This idea, none of this would have been possible


without Russia backing President Assad along with other players in


the region, that precisely has been the tragic problem with the Syria


war, that it has been sustained in a deadly way by outside players on


both sides, so that any escalation on one side is met with an


escalation on the other side. And that has been the worry. And that is


why in 2013, President Obama decided not to go ahead. And if we look at


what has happened since the very limited US air strike in retaliation


for that gas attack, while Russia has amassed warships in Syria since


that happened, bombing has resumed in the area that was subjected to


that horrendous gas attack. And that is the worry. It is not like this


doesn't have consequences, and the consequences have to be calculated.


There is no point, of course we want to see something as horrendous as a


chemical attack like this. Of course we want to see some kind of response


to that. It is a very human reaction. But it is not something


that should factor into a calibration as serious and as


dangerous as this. I just want to move on, it's a continuation of the


same discussion with the bombers backing new strikes. It is the point


Rachel made, the bombing continues. I suppose if you say that the


chemical weapons are a step too far, it's an arguable position, because


clearly those things kill people as these bombs have killed some people


in the last day or so, every bomb is likely to kill somebody. From that


point of view we can understand the argument but the world in general


draws the line at chemical weapons. If you calculate too much, as Obama


did, and do nothing, it doesn't help the situation necessarily. So I


don't think responding to this one thing means the whole problem will


be solved. If it were to happen again what would the response be? If


you've done it once...? That's the worry, it's right that chemical


weapons are a red line. There are lots of things that are red lines


that we have not respected either in Syria or elsewhere. But let's look


at what happened. In 2013 to an agreement was brokered by Russia


whereby Bashir al-Assad was supposed to get rid of his stockpile and his


capacity to generate more weapons. But clearly hasn't happened. And


Russia has known that it wouldn't. There have been 120 red strikes,


it's just as horrifying to be subjected to that so we don't have


any consistency and that is the problem. If you are going to have a


policy needs to be consistent and consistent throughout the Middle


East. Possibly although nowhere else is using chemical weapons at the


moment, is there? That would be the argument of the Trump


administration, that they have set a new tone, and the previous failure


of Syria to disarm is the result of the inaction before. Setting a new


tone is not diplomacy. Saying Assad must go, as they now say, is not,


what are you going to do them, who will replace them, how will you


broker that agreement? Look at what happened when we said that in Libya


and Iraq. Surely those are signs of what happens if you leave a vacuum


where there once was... A brief comment because I want to move onto


some other stories! The point is, by saying, do nothing, the example of


Syria... Right, I'm calling a halt! Let's move on. The Syria vacuum has


created a massive problem. We could discuss this for a long time, we


must move on now. Dirty tricks, Labour MPs accused of dirty tricks


in union vote, says Unite. Len McCluskey is up for reaction. He is


arguing, he is a big Jeremy Corbyn supporter and is claiming that the


right wing of the Labour Party, people like Tom Watson, the deputy


leader and so on, are backing his opponent in the election because


they want to oust him to get at Jeremy Corbyn, basically. He alleges


dirty tricks. We don't know the rights and wrongs of it. What does


that tell us about the closeness of unions and political parties? It is


a weird one, this. This is quite an interesting interview with Len


McCluskey in the inside pages. I think there is perhaps a more


interesting points than the sort of political stuff that has made the


front pages, which is how unions are going to respond and stand up for a


workforce in a workplace that is increasingly zero hours, contracts,


that sort of gig economy climate. It's possibly a more useful


conversation to the public. That this will get the headlines! The


right of the party of Labour will be saying, if you can't stand up for


things, you can't achieve things if you are not in power and that is


their argument, to save Len McCluskey's propping up Jeremy


Corbyn, to say that is heading for electoral disasters of the party


needs someone with a different approach. That will be their


argument. I'm going to jump over a couple of papers and go to the


Sunday express. This is interesting. Fly-tippers. They will be forced to


clean up, pick up litter, if they can be found in the first place!


Yes! Fly-tipping is a big issue. You can see it. Beside the road. Utterly


selfish. The story is exactly that, they are trying to do something


about it. The gimmick is that they say that these people will be forced


to clean up, if they can be caught first! They will have to be caught


first to clear up as part of community service. Unfortunately


there's quite a lot of control over what you can do, community service


and so on, how many of those people would actually do it is


questionable. Everyone would like it stopped, the question must be


educating people not to do it in the first place. Will it put people off


if they think they might get caught and have to pick up litter? No. The


other angle of this story apart from what you said is that the government


wants to stop councils charging to take non-household rubbish to the


tip. Which is the responsible thing to do when you have non-household


rubbish like loads of DIY materials and that kind of stuff. So that is


the argument, that if people knew that they did not have to pay for


that, then they would responsibly go to the tip. One of the charging


issues is to stop builders and commercial people taking stuff to


the tip. You can't go with enormous skip loads of things and say it is


all household waste! This is all-day YY! -- this is all DIY! On the other


hand, people have bins that they can put normal litter in and a lot of


people don't do that! I don't think this issue will go away because of


this. The final story, did you put a bet on the Grand National yesterday?


No. No, but a great story in the Sunday Telegraph of the golf widows.


I think it's fantastic. They are not really widows, they golf widows


because their husbands go out playing golf and they bought a horse


and it won. Two aspects to this story, one, it is encouraging if you


are busy and your wife or partner goes out and spends in this case


?30,000 each on a horse! They picked a winner, that's great! If they


spent ?30,000 because you were busy doing something else that is


alarming! Imagine if they did that every time you were busy. Although


it is a lovely story, very uplifting, I loved it and I loved


the picture. It is a great picture of the two ladies. Anything you'd be


tempted to do? By a horse with my spare 30p?


LAUGHTER What did they win? They won


?600,000. I might have that wrong. They did pretty well. They can


probably sell the horse now for more money. They could. They have won


all-round. On that note, while you are checking the numbers and


thinking of buying a horse I want to say thank you very much indeed for


coming to look at the papers. That's it for The Papers.


Keirin hello, yesterday just about everywhere enjoyed the warmth


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