05/11/2017 The Papers


05/11/2017

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


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That's all the sport for now.

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Now on BBC News, here's The Papers.

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Hello, and welcome to our look ahead

to what the the papers will be

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bringing us tomorrow.

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With me are Prashant Rao,

who's Deputy Europe business editor

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of the New York Times

and political commentator,

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James Millar.

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The Sunday Express says a crackdown

on the subsidised drinking culture

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in Parliament is to be launched,

in the wake of the

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Westminster sex scandal.

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The Sunday Telegraph says

Theresa May's aides 'sat on'

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allegations against senior

Conservatives.

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The Observer reports claims

about Sir Michael Fallon -

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who suddenly resigned

from cabinet last week.

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The paper alleges that a female

journalist told Number ten

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that he had tried to kiss her

in 2003 after a lunch.

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The Mail on Sunday leads

on allegations involving the Tory

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whip, Chris Pincher.

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The paper claims the Tamworth MP

made an unwanted sexual pass

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at the former Olympic rower

and Conservative activist

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Alex Story in 2001.

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In a statement Mr Pincher said,

"If Mr Story has ever felt offended

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by anything I said then I can

only apologise to him."

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The Sunday Times

details allegations dating back

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to 2008, that police found

pornography on the computer of one

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of Theresa May's closest allies,

Damian Green.

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Mr Green categorically denies

the claims which he says

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are unscrupulous and untrue.

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Let's begin, James Millar, let's

start if we can with the latest

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allegations about Sir Michael

Fallon, who resigned as Defence

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Secretary in the Observer this

morning.

When you see the latest

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allegations, there are so many

allegations to choose from, wordy

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start? This one is, yet, Michael

Fallon has resigned after it was

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alleged he put his hand on Julia

Hartley Brewer's knee. Another

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person has said that he did

something very similar with her. In

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both cases, the actual incident

wasn't that big a deal but it's a

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pattern of behaviour and the whole

problem is that people like, people,

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shall we say, do stuff like this to

women. And it builds up and builds

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up and that is the problem. It's not

necessarily the specific

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allegations, though in some cases

they are serious allegations and

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they are the problem. It's this

overwhelming sort of weight of

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allegations and the culture and the

attitude towards women.

Prashant, is

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there perhaps a sense of relief in

Downing Street this morning, that

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the claims are not worse's when that

comes closest to the prime ministers

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the one that about Damian Green,

before Secretary of State, which

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appears in the Sunday Times.

It is

so early days. I think caution...

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These allegations are still coming

out. We don't know yet. They could

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be worse, we don't know yet what is

to come out and it is important to

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say, of course, that one of the

problems with this whole thing is

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that there has not been a reporting

system in place that allows for

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these issues to come to light. And

so a huge flood of them are coming

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now because, you know, finally

people feel empowered and confident

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that they will be taken seriously.

But one of the consequences of that

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is that we don't know how much is

left in the system, how much is not

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been reported and is yet to be

reported. So I certainly wouldn't

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feel relieved in any part of

Government so I can't imagine anyone

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has any level transparency of what

has been going on for 15, 20 years,

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the duration of some of these MPs'

careers.

Regarding Damian Green, the

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allegation that police raided his

office relating to the Home Office,

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which he denied anything to do with,

they found pornography on a

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computer, not necessarily his

personally but a computer in use on

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his office.

These are all... As you

said, this but special fit a pattern

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comment about the weight of the

cumulative allegations. Whether

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Damian Green has issued this

statement in response, but it's kind

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of... Is obviously much more

serious, but it harks back to the

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expenses scandal where Everest hard

because the system has failed and it

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is incumbent on the entire class of

Westminster to look and try to find

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a way to fix this. -- everyone is

part because the system has failed.

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And that includes journalists. This

is an idea, the media are saying,

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look at these terrible politicians,

it's not just politicians. It is all

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industries, we're discovering in the

wake of the Harvey Weinstein thing.

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But particularly, you mentioned the

Sunday Times front page, most from

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pages are written by men, certainly

all the Sunday political editors are

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written by men, we are men sitting

around a table to give up this. On

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the front page, there's a picture of

the women who accuse Damian Green

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looking over her shoulder. I've

never seen a male byline picture

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where he is looking over his

shoulder. There is a culture thing

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here which goes very deep. I have

written a book cold The Gender

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Agenda about how we teach children,

how we approach them from a very

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young age and teach them about male

and female culture. It goes that

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steep, it just shows... How you fix

it, it's a big ask, think it's fair

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to say.

And we see in the United

States, for example, increasingly a

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lot of this is happening in the

United States that women, people who

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have been harassed and assaulted her

final started to speak out. And a

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colleague of mine made a really

important point, which was that it's

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important when also journalists have

to face these accusations and people

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in the media, because these are the

storytellers of her political age.

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The people who define the narrative

arc politicians, in the case of the

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US president election, Bill Clinton,

we had men telling the story of a

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woman and so this matters. --

Hillary Clinton. So it matters how

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we comport ourselves in these

situations.

And there will be people

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watching us now he will say, look,

if this stuff was out there, if it

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was the common gossip of

Westminster, some of it, not all

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that, have journalists at

Westminster failed in their duty to

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be storytellers Kuzmenko is the

culture such that, we used to talk

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about the lobby system, stories were

given an attributable and

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anonymously to journalists as a sort

a trade-off between what you could

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report and couldn't encase all your

resources would dry up. I was asking

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a Hollywood journalists that well,

have we as a profession been

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complicit?

I, this week, had been

amazed after prime Minster's

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questions, they had the Prime

Minister smoke when an political

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journalists, and 95% of the people

at the tables were members of -- the

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Prime Minister's spokesman. I have

no doubt that if their World war

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women in the House of Commons, this

would not happen. Not on this scale.

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There would be by people doing bad

things, but it would be a different

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culture.

I was struck, perhaps most

of all today, I can't think of a

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previous occasion where one MP from

a little party has written an

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article about the behaviour, alleged

behaviour of another MP, and has

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done so because he says the whip's

office, which he complained to,

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hadn't acted on it in his view. I

don't want to get into the specific

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allegations, but it is striking.

It

is also striking because it is a man

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speaking, the men have a duty, we

have a different position, added you

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to speak up about these things. But,

yes, absolutely, it feeds into the

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Sunday Telegraph spot which is the

centre of mine, which is that the

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whips have known about the stuff and

have done nothing. I am not sure

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about that. The whips have known

about, shall we say, bad behaviour

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and then there is obvious that the

illegal stuff, I think the whips

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know the difference.

I think if they

had an allegation that somebody had

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raped somebody, you're pretty

confident they would act on it,

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because that is a political -- a

criminal matter?

I don't think we

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can say with any certainty but

traditionally, the view is that they

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would use things to get people to

vote the way they want to...

The

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little Black book they are alleged

to have! And you mentioned is the

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American, there has been the odd

congressional scandal, the use of

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pages, young man he worked carrying

messages around, there has been

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suggestion that congressmen have

acted inappropriately with them. Is

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there the same thing in that

institution as well, the sense that

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people don't have someone they can

go to? Is this a common problem for

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legislatures, political systems, to

wrestle with's

it is, if you think

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about it, the way that the House of

Commons is structured, I thought

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this was interesting that touched on

in BBC podcasts recently, this week

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in Westminster, this is a tribal

structure. There's a sense of us and

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them. There's a bigger game we're

playing here we should, you know,

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leave this aside for the bigger goal

which is getting into Government,

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passing legislation that will change

the country for the common good. And

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these things, it's fine, we will

sort it out, it'll be OK.

You don't

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wash dirty linen in public in case

it damages the party.

Exactly,

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loyalty to the party good behaviour.

What is acceptable in civil

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society...

Moving on to the express,

it talks about cracking down on it

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in their case, subsidised drinking

culture. But there's a more general

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point about, we have this meeting

tomorrow, little party leaders, in

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much of what you're saying, Prasad,

but that, we don't want to lose

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sight of the bigger picture, is

there a danger that the natural

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political tribal rivalries will make

it difficult for them to agree a

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common set of criteria that can be

used and actually applied and hand

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this over to an independent body?

Absolutely, achieving that is gone

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to be tricky, because as you say,

tribal loyalties. There is no real

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reason for them to work together

other than for the common good, but

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as you say, gaining advantage,

electoral advantage, they may not be

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inclined to do so. The set up a

parliament is so weird and I don't

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mean that their sale in a pejorative

sense, it is just odd, because staff

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don't work for Parliament, they work

for MPs. And lots of people work for

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parties. So here is the external

body they're going to be in charge

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of, will they be in charge of all

parties, all Parliamentary staff?

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And this is talking about cheap

booze, again, most workplaces don't

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have a couple of pubs in the

basement. But MPs, as it stands,

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giving sitting hours, have to be

there in the evening. They don't

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have to go there and drink but

grown-ups can go there in drag, they

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don't have to be put in some sudden

crash until it is time to vote! --

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grown-ups can go in there and drink.

But becomes manager with any

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legislature is power. That is a huge

part of it.

Let's move on and away

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from the Westminster sleaze into

something that some might say is a

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surprisingly important story, rather

buried away, and this is on page

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Hopp, sorry, six and seven of the

daily Mirror this morning.

We have

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Gordon Brown's book coming out in a

couple of days and there is except

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here where the former Prime Minister

talks about the decision-making in

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the lead up to the Iraq war.

Officer, the seminal decision of the

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time he was in Government. I would

say certainly. And so Gordon Brown

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makes the case that there was a

particular reports that the US

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Government declined, did not hand

over to the Brits in the run-up to

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the war would would have influence

with their not at least he would

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have decided to favour invading

Iraq. So this is interesting,

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because Gordon Brown is, think we're

a stage now where we're going to

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start reassessing his legacy, it's

about a decade since he famously

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could have called the election,

could have delivered him another

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five-year term in office and didn't.

And so now we can step back and

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think about, who was Gordon Brown

the Prime Minister? At the time, it

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felt like there was all this

difference between him and Tony

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Blair, the Blairite umbrella. But

you look up parliaments today and

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the true party tearing itself apart,

Jeremy Corbyn. -- the Tory party

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turn itself apart. Gros it almost

makes you started. They weren't that

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difference but we magnified it.

There was at her in small

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differences. But the same thing. And

Iraq was one-stop Gordon Brown was

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the second most powerful person in

Government and by a further close

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margin. That was certainly the

narrative. The whole idea that one

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report would have changed mind about

invading, I find a bit questionable.

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It's fascinating he does not dump on

Tony Blair. He could have...

He says

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we were tricked and he says Tony

Blair was trip. He is not saying,

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Tony Blair knew about this and lied

to the Government and led us all

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into work, he says, we ruled trick.

He says, can't be certain but I

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believe this report contained this

information that would have

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suggested that actually, the

American intelligence was not

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absolutely rock-solid, it was mostly

inference based on assumptions that

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were made in the intelligence

community and they built one

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influence on an assumption and

before you know, you built up

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impressive body of evidence but

isn't. But it is also striking that

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he takes Blair's side on this and

says, there was no secret conspiracy

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between Blair and Bush, Blair was

out of the loop.

Is is an

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interesting type in the book to, it

will be interesting to see held did

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received. He will get an easy ride

in the mirror but he left office as

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probably the worst Prime Minister

post-war, and now Cameron Orr Maher

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mixing it up down at the bottom of

the league table! -- Cameron and

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Make. -- Theresa May.

The Sunday

Times, you're talking about gender

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stereotyping of children, young age,

whatever happens to drilling nursery

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rhymes into them from a young age?

It is interesting, I certainly find

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that I can't remember nursery

rhymes, it's about 20 or 30 years

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since you had them and you suddenly

remember them again. The chief

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inspector of schools, of Ofsted, she

doesn't say this but the story says

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that youngsters would rather play

pepper pic iPad games and find out

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what happened to Doctor Foster. A

couple of things, one, it's not

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either or. IPad games are not

necessarily bad. Second, Doctor

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Foster fell into a puddle, it's

pretty grim! It's probably better

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for some children stop more

sophisticated emotional connection.

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Prashant, do you have a favourite

nursery rhyme?

And I do think, not

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one comes to mind. But certainly,

it's not black-and-white issue, yet

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alone exactly like we did in the

70s, 80s, 90s. Medical science have

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moved on, we do things differently

in the hospital, when it in the

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school as well? It seems a bit

strange to move on in this the

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starter.

Were of the things we would

perhaps have had in common is Sesame

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Street, the songs on Sesame Street.

I can't remember now. Have you got a

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favourite nursery ran?

Maybe if they

build it into you at school... Temm

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says Michigan's learners.

And they

are all gruesome, nursery rhymes.

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Jack and Jill, Jack Trax his head

open, doesn't he? Their horrible!

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Prashant and James, thank you for

joining us for the paper review.

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Just a reminder, we take a look

at tomorrows front pages every

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evening at 10:40pm here on BBC News.

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