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
With me are journalist Yasmin Alibhai Brown
and David Wooding, the political editor of The Sun on Sunday.
Tomorrow's front pages, starting with...
The Observer headlines on Labour's plans to increase income tax
for people earning more than eighty-thousand-pounds,
if Jeremy Corbyn becomes the next Prime Minister.
The Sunday Telegraph has that same story and also reports
that the European Commission's own lawyers say a suggested
100 billion euro Brexit divorce bill could not be legally enforced.
The Sunday Times - says the move is in a bid
to shore up Labour's core support - as a new poll suggests the party has
The paper - which is publishing its annual rich list -
also says Brexit has seen the combined wealth of the country's
The Sunday Express says - Theresa May is to unveil a set
of manifesto pledges - which will serve as
And The Mail on Sunday criticises a controversial drama to be aired
The BBC has defended the production as a "critically acclaimed
and fictional" play, which the Mail has described
Who shall we start with? Yasmin, The Observer, this seems to be the
election story at this early hour, Labour will fund spending by raising
tax on ?80,000 earners. A fair amount of detail of what they want.
There is, and if the party wasn't in such disarray, which it is, many
people would support, I would support it. I would support such a
move because in such a hopelessly economically divided country, and we
are going to talk about the people who have more money, bathing in
money, it doesn't make for a happy society. We have so many reports
telling us our children are more miserable, our health is worse than
countries which are more equal. The problem is, nothing is held together
by this team properly but is trying to sell itself and its policies.
This is Labour. I feel terrible saying it. Sticking with the policy
that they outline, ?80,000, for an awful lot of people they'll say
that's an enormous amount of money. But if you live in the south-east of
England and you've got to people working it's not. It's an
interesting figure. It's just a bit more than what an MP earns,
strangely enough. You mustn't cast any aspersions! The Leader of the
Opposition gets rather more. Of course. It's all about where you
pitch it. The Conservatives are clearly working out what they do.
The Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he needs more room, more
flexibility. You'll need tax-raising powers if he can but they want to
portray themselves as the party of low taxation. The issue is, there
will be 1.2 million people paying more tax. While this will appeal to
the hard-core Labour voter in working-class low-paid areas, there
will be people in the NHS such as doctors who will be earning more
than 80,000 who may think twice, and headteachers. I think if it was well
presented as something that was necessary for the NHS, for
education, a lot of us would go for it. 85%? 95% of us. We might only
problem is is that it's presented hopelessly inadequately.
Headteachers earn a lot of money, vice chancellors and a lot of money.
It's right they should pay, we should pay. But it's the top cream
that finds ways of not paying. It's interesting to me The Sunday
Telegraph front page have been same story very much, and their
headliners, labour tax to hammer workers, "A savage cash raid". We
all know The Telegraph is a right-wing newspaper but the wording
matters a lot now. Of course it does. They are focusing on the other
aspect which is that Labour haven't said what the tax rise will be for
people earning over ?80,000. I think the decision a lot of people will
make if taxation is an issue that helps to decide your boat, is when
the Conservatives come clean on what they are going to do about taxation.
Clearly they don't have a simple choice, they've got to do something
about giving the Chancellor money that he needs. One of the things
about Brexit that they are going to consider seriously, is that it
becomes a low tax economy for those who create jobs. One of the ideas
has been to do what Ireland did, which is lower corporation tax and
so on. How that fit with the need, as you said, for more money in the
coffers? One thing we haven't heard about is this thing about large
companies who avoid that. We've got to be careful who we mention because
some do and some surprisingly don't. But for the popular bit of politics
only a short time ago. Yes. And The Telegraph line is people earning
over ?80,000 will have made a success of their lives, some will
have clawed their way up to that level and feel, why am I being
punished for my success. That is one side of the argument that you've
also eloquently expressed the other side of the Ottoman. They will be
thinking, what about these huge organisations, multimillionaires,
who somehow have creative taxation accountancy, which helps them to
avoid paying anything. In the end you have to say, there is such a
thing as society. We all share a space. If we all contributed a bit
more, that space could be a much better space for us. How many
handbags do you need that cost ?30,000? How many? None, in my case!
Better ask my wife. LAUGHTER We talked about the Conservatives, it
different tact from them today but an interesting one about mental
health. It's on the front pages, it's a small story but it's quite
important. Theresa May, when she became Prime Minister, one of the
first things she did when she stood outside Downing Street in July was
said she wants to end the prejudices in our society. One of the
prejudices was against people suffering from mental health. What
she is announcing today, which is in the papers, is that she wants to
scrap the 1983 Mental Health Act, which is regarded by campaigners as
being completely unfit and out of date, an anachronism in fact. She
says it discriminates against people. Apart from that it will
reduce the number of people who are detained, sometimes often in police
cells. There is a disproportionate number of black and ethnic people
locked up under the Mental Health Act and she hopes it. That. There's
also other action being announced here, such as mental health first
aid as in schools. Some kids suffer from mental health issues at the age
of 14 because of things like cyber bullying and the workplace will be
forced to have mental health first aid is as well. All of this is going
to cost money. I recently spoke to someone from the Royal College of
psychiatry. Funding for a lot of these developments of young people
being distressed to the point of non-functionality, there is no
money. So it's no good our Prime Minister saying I want to do
something about it. It's good she's getting rid of this awful archaic
law, but where is the money to really provide the kind of services
every section of the population now need is to mark why are we so
mentally ill is a question which I think relates back to the terrible
inequalities that we've gone through and are living with now. The funding
issues needs to be answered. She say she will employ an extra 10,000
medical health medical staff in the NHS by 2020. Labour say that there
has been a reduction of 6000. I often wonder where these figures...
They always seem suspiciously rounded up. I'm talking about all
the political parties who do it. If there's been a big fall, you've got
to make up that shortfall before you stop recruiting more. But also,
various other things have been cut, where very high levels of mental
distress, like women's refuges. Where quite a lot of women who have
been abused is to find shelter and find a lot of therapeutic help.
They've been shut down across the country. No joined up thinking about
the needs that are there and how you fund them and do it properly. What I
think is positive about this is that mental health is being treated more
seriously by all politicians and a good thing that the celebrities have
done, a lot of celebrities, footballers, the Royals, they've all
come out and spoken about it. The stigma is slowly being removed and I
think that's good. If Theresa May is really going to do this, good for
her. It's made of the newspapers as well. The Mail on Sunday has it as
well. There's a spread in The Mail on Sunday and we've got it on page
two in The Sun. Let's move on. Yasmin, start off on the rich list.
You've already mentioned that you aren't in favour of ?20,000
handbags. Not necessary. Are you in a state of rage about billionaires
generally? Is fascinating, isn't it? It's not fascinating. Why are you
begin people? OK, you start up a company and you do well and that's
fine, it's capitalism, I have no problems with that. But the real
heroes of our country are those neurosurgeons who are saving lives.
Why don't we have a list our top doctors? Our top social service
workers? This concentration on the quite offensive amounts of money...
We have food banks growing around the country. I'm sorry, there's
nothing to celebrate for me here. OK, let's not celebrate, let's
report. Again, it's the Hinduja brothers who are always at the top.
They've increased their wealth by ?3.2 billion to ?16.2 billion on
oils, plastics and other things. They've opened a posh hotel in
London. The overall figures are quite fun. The fortunes have risen
by 14%, this has been fuelled by what is called the Brexit boom. This
is to do with in some way the buoyant stock market and also the
weaker pound. A lot of these multi billionaires have money invested
overseas. An interesting fact is that we now have 134 billionaires in
the UK. There were only 14 last year. That is a huge leap. There are
86 billionaires in London which is more than in any other city in the
world. And how much tax do they pay? And do they see the beggars on the
street, or they don't walk the streets? They can look at the back
of the Rolls-Royce. Not all people... There is a funny picture
on the front page of Adele where she is pretending to be this Catherine
Tate character. She likes disguises. She's made about ?125 million. I
remember a while ago when she didn't like the taxes she was having to pay
as her money went up. Actually, again, how many handbags do you
need, Adele? JK Rowling, ?650 million, Harry Potter wizardry
there. She still says she a socialist, interestingly. Some
people go down. Sir Philip Greene, there's a name. And Mike Ashley of
Sports Direct. There is a God! LAUGHTER It brings me onto another
thing, David, there are a lot of people who are very wealthy who
don't ever appear in this list. They make sure they don't talk to the
researchers, or the researchers can't find out. There must be a lot
of that about. There is. I disagree with you on this one. Oh David, no!
I'm not supporting them and good luck to some of them. I find it
fascinating reading the magazine because it breaks it down into the
arts, doctors, football, everything. Journalists don't seem to appear in
there! LAUGHTER We are more concerned about the Labour story on
the taxes, I think. Let's move onto a story altogether. It's in a couple
of the papers, The Mail on Sunday. Pride and plagiarism, no TV
historian, Lucy insists... What is this about? Lucy Worsley has written
a book about Jane Austen and there is a suggestion that she cut and
pasted it and tickled around with it a bit from another book... Paula
Byrne. They say all the facts are in there. Her response is that there
are a lot of books written about Jane Austen and all these facts are
common ground and she hasn't lifted it. The gracious Doctor Byrne is
saying, I'm not getting involved in this one. She says, the more books
about Jane Austin, the better the Jane Austen. Jane Austen has been
gone a number of years, there can't be much more new to say about her.
There can't. This is one of the dangers of our times. You can Google
anything and once upon a time you had to sit in the library, take a
book down and write your own notes in pencil in the British library.
Now it's all feeding into you. Sometimes I think it's quite easy to
forget it came through another source because it becomes quickly
part of the way you think. Quite a lot of authors have landed in
trouble by unconsciously almost filtering information that had
earlier appeared. It's a great drama, this unconscious plagiarism.
We get this in newspapers will be break an exclusive and put it
online, then it's cut and pasted into people's blogs, virtually word
for word, by people who attack the paper and say they don't like it.
Then they put it on their own websites in the same language. In
other sections of The Daily Mail, it does a separate review of Lucy
Worsley's book and it gives her four stars out of five. LAUGHTER You like
her, that's it!