07/05/2017 The Papers


07/05/2017

A lively, informed and in-depth conversation about the Sunday papers.


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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 journalist Yasmin Alibhai Brown

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and David Wooding, the political editor of The Sun on Sunday.

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Tomorrow's front pages, starting with...

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The Observer headlines on Labour's plans to increase income tax

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for people earning more than eighty-thousand-pounds,

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if Jeremy Corbyn becomes the next Prime Minister.

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The Sunday Telegraph has that same story and also reports

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that the European Commission's own lawyers say a suggested

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100 billion euro Brexit divorce bill could not be legally enforced.

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The Sunday Times - says the move is in a bid

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to shore up Labour's core support - as a new poll suggests the party has

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The paper - which is publishing its annual rich list -

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also says Brexit has seen the combined wealth of the country's

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The Sunday Express says - Theresa May is to unveil a set

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of manifesto pledges - which will serve as

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And The Mail on Sunday criticises a controversial drama to be aired

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The BBC has defended the production as a "critically acclaimed

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and fictional" play, which the Mail has described

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Who shall we start with? Yasmin, The Observer, this seems to be the

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election story at this early hour, Labour will fund spending by raising

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tax on ?80,000 earners. A fair amount of detail of what they want.

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There is, and if the party wasn't in such disarray, which it is, many

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people would support, I would support it. I would support such a

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move because in such a hopelessly economically divided country, and we

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are going to talk about the people who have more money, bathing in

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money, it doesn't make for a happy society. We have so many reports

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telling us our children are more miserable, our health is worse than

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countries which are more equal. The problem is, nothing is held together

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by this team properly but is trying to sell itself and its policies.

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This is Labour. I feel terrible saying it. Sticking with the policy

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that they outline, ?80,000, for an awful lot of people they'll say

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that's an enormous amount of money. But if you live in the south-east of

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England and you've got to people working it's not. It's an

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interesting figure. It's just a bit more than what an MP earns,

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strangely enough. You mustn't cast any aspersions! The Leader of the

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Opposition gets rather more. Of course. It's all about where you

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pitch it. The Conservatives are clearly working out what they do.

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The Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he needs more room, more

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flexibility. You'll need tax-raising powers if he can but they want to

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portray themselves as the party of low taxation. The issue is, there

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will be 1.2 million people paying more tax. While this will appeal to

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the hard-core Labour voter in working-class low-paid areas, there

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will be people in the NHS such as doctors who will be earning more

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than 80,000 who may think twice, and headteachers. I think if it was well

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presented as something that was necessary for the NHS, for

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education, a lot of us would go for it. 85%? 95% of us. We might only

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problem is is that it's presented hopelessly inadequately.

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Headteachers earn a lot of money, vice chancellors and a lot of money.

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It's right they should pay, we should pay. But it's the top cream

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that finds ways of not paying. It's interesting to me The Sunday

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Telegraph front page have been same story very much, and their

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headliners, labour tax to hammer workers, "A savage cash raid". We

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all know The Telegraph is a right-wing newspaper but the wording

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matters a lot now. Of course it does. They are focusing on the other

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aspect which is that Labour haven't said what the tax rise will be for

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people earning over ?80,000. I think the decision a lot of people will

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make if taxation is an issue that helps to decide your boat, is when

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the Conservatives come clean on what they are going to do about taxation.

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Clearly they don't have a simple choice, they've got to do something

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about giving the Chancellor money that he needs. One of the things

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about Brexit that they are going to consider seriously, is that it

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becomes a low tax economy for those who create jobs. One of the ideas

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has been to do what Ireland did, which is lower corporation tax and

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so on. How that fit with the need, as you said, for more money in the

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coffers? One thing we haven't heard about is this thing about large

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companies who avoid that. We've got to be careful who we mention because

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some do and some surprisingly don't. But for the popular bit of politics

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only a short time ago. Yes. And The Telegraph line is people earning

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over ?80,000 will have made a success of their lives, some will

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have clawed their way up to that level and feel, why am I being

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punished for my success. That is one side of the argument that you've

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also eloquently expressed the other side of the Ottoman. They will be

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thinking, what about these huge organisations, multimillionaires,

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who somehow have creative taxation accountancy, which helps them to

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avoid paying anything. In the end you have to say, there is such a

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thing as society. We all share a space. If we all contributed a bit

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more, that space could be a much better space for us. How many

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handbags do you need that cost ?30,000? How many? None, in my case!

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Better ask my wife. LAUGHTER We talked about the Conservatives, it

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different tact from them today but an interesting one about mental

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health. It's on the front pages, it's a small story but it's quite

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important. Theresa May, when she became Prime Minister, one of the

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first things she did when she stood outside Downing Street in July was

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said she wants to end the prejudices in our society. One of the

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prejudices was against people suffering from mental health. What

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she is announcing today, which is in the papers, is that she wants to

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scrap the 1983 Mental Health Act, which is regarded by campaigners as

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being completely unfit and out of date, an anachronism in fact. She

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says it discriminates against people. Apart from that it will

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reduce the number of people who are detained, sometimes often in police

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cells. There is a disproportionate number of black and ethnic people

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locked up under the Mental Health Act and she hopes it. That. There's

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also other action being announced here, such as mental health first

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aid as in schools. Some kids suffer from mental health issues at the age

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of 14 because of things like cyber bullying and the workplace will be

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forced to have mental health first aid is as well. All of this is going

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to cost money. I recently spoke to someone from the Royal College of

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psychiatry. Funding for a lot of these developments of young people

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being distressed to the point of non-functionality, there is no

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money. So it's no good our Prime Minister saying I want to do

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something about it. It's good she's getting rid of this awful archaic

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law, but where is the money to really provide the kind of services

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every section of the population now need is to mark why are we so

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mentally ill is a question which I think relates back to the terrible

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inequalities that we've gone through and are living with now. The funding

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issues needs to be answered. She say she will employ an extra 10,000

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medical health medical staff in the NHS by 2020. Labour say that there

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has been a reduction of 6000. I often wonder where these figures...

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They always seem suspiciously rounded up. I'm talking about all

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the political parties who do it. If there's been a big fall, you've got

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to make up that shortfall before you stop recruiting more. But also,

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various other things have been cut, where very high levels of mental

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distress, like women's refuges. Where quite a lot of women who have

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been abused is to find shelter and find a lot of therapeutic help.

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They've been shut down across the country. No joined up thinking about

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the needs that are there and how you fund them and do it properly. What I

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think is positive about this is that mental health is being treated more

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seriously by all politicians and a good thing that the celebrities have

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done, a lot of celebrities, footballers, the Royals, they've all

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come out and spoken about it. The stigma is slowly being removed and I

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think that's good. If Theresa May is really going to do this, good for

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her. It's made of the newspapers as well. The Mail on Sunday has it as

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well. There's a spread in The Mail on Sunday and we've got it on page

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two in The Sun. Let's move on. Yasmin, start off on the rich list.

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You've already mentioned that you aren't in favour of ?20,000

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handbags. Not necessary. Are you in a state of rage about billionaires

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generally? Is fascinating, isn't it? It's not fascinating. Why are you

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begin people? OK, you start up a company and you do well and that's

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fine, it's capitalism, I have no problems with that. But the real

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heroes of our country are those neurosurgeons who are saving lives.

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Why don't we have a list our top doctors? Our top social service

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workers? This concentration on the quite offensive amounts of money...

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We have food banks growing around the country. I'm sorry, there's

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nothing to celebrate for me here. OK, let's not celebrate, let's

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report. Again, it's the Hinduja brothers who are always at the top.

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They've increased their wealth by ?3.2 billion to ?16.2 billion on

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oils, plastics and other things. They've opened a posh hotel in

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London. The overall figures are quite fun. The fortunes have risen

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by 14%, this has been fuelled by what is called the Brexit boom. This

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is to do with in some way the buoyant stock market and also the

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weaker pound. A lot of these multi billionaires have money invested

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overseas. An interesting fact is that we now have 134 billionaires in

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the UK. There were only 14 last year. That is a huge leap. There are

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86 billionaires in London which is more than in any other city in the

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world. And how much tax do they pay? And do they see the beggars on the

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street, or they don't walk the streets? They can look at the back

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of the Rolls-Royce. Not all people... There is a funny picture

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on the front page of Adele where she is pretending to be this Catherine

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Tate character. She likes disguises. She's made about ?125 million. I

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remember a while ago when she didn't like the taxes she was having to pay

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as her money went up. Actually, again, how many handbags do you

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need, Adele? JK Rowling, ?650 million, Harry Potter wizardry

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there. She still says she a socialist, interestingly. Some

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people go down. Sir Philip Greene, there's a name. And Mike Ashley of

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Sports Direct. There is a God! LAUGHTER It brings me onto another

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thing, David, there are a lot of people who are very wealthy who

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don't ever appear in this list. They make sure they don't talk to the

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researchers, or the researchers can't find out. There must be a lot

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of that about. There is. I disagree with you on this one. Oh David, no!

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I'm not supporting them and good luck to some of them. I find it

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fascinating reading the magazine because it breaks it down into the

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arts, doctors, football, everything. Journalists don't seem to appear in

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there! LAUGHTER We are more concerned about the Labour story on

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the taxes, I think. Let's move onto a story altogether. It's in a couple

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of the papers, The Mail on Sunday. Pride and plagiarism, no TV

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historian, Lucy insists... What is this about? Lucy Worsley has written

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a book about Jane Austen and there is a suggestion that she cut and

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pasted it and tickled around with it a bit from another book... Paula

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Byrne. They say all the facts are in there. Her response is that there

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are a lot of books written about Jane Austen and all these facts are

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common ground and she hasn't lifted it. The gracious Doctor Byrne is

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saying, I'm not getting involved in this one. She says, the more books

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about Jane Austin, the better the Jane Austen. Jane Austen has been

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gone a number of years, there can't be much more new to say about her.

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There can't. This is one of the dangers of our times. You can Google

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anything and once upon a time you had to sit in the library, take a

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book down and write your own notes in pencil in the British library.

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Now it's all feeding into you. Sometimes I think it's quite easy to

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forget it came through another source because it becomes quickly

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part of the way you think. Quite a lot of authors have landed in

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trouble by unconsciously almost filtering information that had

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earlier appeared. It's a great drama, this unconscious plagiarism.

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We get this in newspapers will be break an exclusive and put it

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online, then it's cut and pasted into people's blogs, virtually word

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for word, by people who attack the paper and say they don't like it.

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Then they put it on their own websites in the same language. In

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other sections of The Daily Mail, it does a separate review of Lucy

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Worsley's book and it gives her four stars out of five. LAUGHTER You like

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her, that's it!

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