11/03/2018 The Papers


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11/03/2018

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


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LineFromTo

firmly in his sights.

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Hello and welcome to our look

at the stories in the Sunday Papers

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with me are the Political

Commentator James

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Millar and James Rampton,

Features Writer at The Independent.

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Let's take a look at this

mornings front pages.

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And the Sunday Express leads

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on the theory that the ex-Russian

spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter

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Yulia may have been poisoned

by the contents of a parcel that

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went undetected in the post.

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The Sunday Telegraph says senior

government figures are leading

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a plan to ban Russian officials

involved in corruption and human

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right abuses from entering the UK.

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The Sunday Times claims

that since becoming

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Prime Minister, Theresa May has

received over £800,000

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worth of donations

from Russian oligarchs.

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The Sunday People leads

on an interview with a Russian

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defector who says Vladimir Putin

is planning eight more

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attacks in the UK.

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Of course, it's worth a reminder

that Russia has not yet

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been found responsible

for the Salisbury attack.

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The Observer reveals government

figures that show men

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earn almost four timemore than women

in Britian's highest paid jobs.

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And finally, the Mail

on Sunday headlines

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allegations of bullying

against a former executive

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of the One charity,

which was founded by Bono.

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The allegations have been denied

by the individual involved.

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So plenty to look at

this morning with many

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of the papers leading on Russia.

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Who wants to go first?

This is stuff

that if you read in a novel you

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might think is too far-fetched but

then you dig into the details of the

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story and it keeps spiralling out

more and more details emerging. The

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story in the Telegraph is about the

so-called act which they hope to

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bring into force which will bring

sanctions against Russian nationals

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accused of gross violations of human

rights and they hope to ban them

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from coming to this country and

freezing the assets.

It is named

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after a man who died in a Russian

prison cell after being beaten and

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in the United States they had the

original act.

Yes, it exists on our

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statute books and David Cameron has

said in the past he was regretful he

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did not enacted more forcefully.

There are many things he regrets in

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life and that is one of them!

Extraordinary the way this is

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spinning out in all directions. 250

security service officers in

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Salisbury, this is just the

beginning of the story, not the end.

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You know what happens, the editor

says find something on this. The

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papers have responded, they have

been able to find all sorts of

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different lines. The Sunday

Telegraph is amazing, this act,

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because it's against people who are

gross violators of human rights

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whose crimes include torture and

extrajudicial killings. These bands

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and assets freezes, should these

people not be in jail?

The Sunday

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Times have got a political line.

Yeah, another line about the

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connection between the Tories and

the Russians and this goes to the

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heart of the matter perhaps in terms

of response because there are claims

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its billions of Russian cash kicking

around in the country, can we afford

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to stand up to them if they did

this? It's not a huge amount of

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money, £820,000...

I would not mind

it!

Well, comparatively speaking

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it's not a huge amount but it's not

a good look, taking money from

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Russians.

They are under pressure to

give it back.

Which will only

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increase. The wife of a former

Vladimir Putin Minister paid £30,000

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last month to have dinner with Gavin

Williamson the Defence Secretary,

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that is not a good look! That is how

much...

It is underline how eyebrow

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raising, I will not risk any more

legal questions, also paid £60,000

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to play tennis with David Cameron. I

would want to be paid that amount to

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play tennis with David Cameron but

it indicates the extent to which

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there is an impression being created

that certain people are attempting

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to buy influence. They have donated,

Russian billionaires and lobbyists

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donating £3 billion to the Tories

since their return to government in

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2010 and it's not a good look. We

don't know the exact allegations but

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we know the impression it creates

and PR is everything in the modern

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world.

Going inside the Sunday

Times, perhaps as a result of these

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difficult questions, a story about

Cabinet divisions.

You can tell this

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is a big story because there's not a

huge amount of leaks in terms of the

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details of what happened at the

nerve agent might be but come to the

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Cabinet, the Sunday Times can find a

way to find out what is going on.

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It's a remarkable story because

apparently Theresa May has slapped

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down Boris Johnson for suggesting we

need to be hard against the

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Russians. Of all the things Theresa

May might have told Boris Johnson to

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shut up about in recent years she

chooses this? I think most people

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would back him and say yes we need

to stand up to the Russians.

It is

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puzzling on the face of it, does the

story illuminates why she might do

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that?

It seems to be indicated that

a lot of ministers are briefing that

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they are proceeding Theresa May as

being weak and lacking leadership

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and it plays into the idea she has

been limp, to use their word in the

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past, apparently she may well thwart

a full enquiry into the death of

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Alexander Litvinenko who was

allegedly murdered by Kremlin

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foursomes in 2006. Nerve agents

don't come off the shelf and puts

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this says. There are only a handful

of agencies in the world capable of

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creating this agent which has left

traces apparently in a restaurant,

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maybe even in graves and ambulances,

an extraordinarily powerful agent

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and you do not get it in Boots

another great coat is that we cannot

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have people in the middle of England

threatened by Silent assassins as if

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it's OK on the borders of England!

Not in Salisbury!

That's not fair.

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The serious point behind that is the

public are really going to start

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putting pressure on?

Totally, I

think this is outrageous. In a way,

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I think the fact it is Salisbury

brings my bridge as it is because

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it's a cliche but it's a very

beautiful, historic city and the

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cliche would be you would not

expected to happen there. Dreaming

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spires, William Golding wrote a

story about the warranty expired...

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Is there not some John Le Carre

action down there?

There is no. GCHQ

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is not too far away. However, it is

a terrible cliche but it's the last

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place you'd expect it to happen,

walking through a shopping centre,

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something we all do with great

frequency and it happened,

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apparently and its impacted on many

people. The poor policeman who says

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he does not seems up as a hero

rushed to help them, one of his

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relatives said he ran towards the

danger Ancelotti admire that person.

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He was seriously ill in hospital and

we will hear the diplomatic

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ramifications I hope. Just see where

it spends next.

Is there anything

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the papers have failed to get to?

Whodunnit is the obvious one.

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Everyone is suggesting it is Russia

but we don't know. It seems it's so

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obvious it's them but then why have

we not find the smoking gun?

I was

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on a press trip with some Russians

when the Malaysian airliner full of

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Dutch people were shot down over

Ukraine and we heard in this country

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it was definitely Russian backed

forces in Ukraine and the Russian

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journalists said of course the CIA

did it. It may be an Russia they are

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seeing it as the CIA doing it to

smear us and add to the idea of

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anti-Russian sentiment in the West

which has a lot of traction in

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Russia.

Were to leave that there

are, there are other stories in the

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paper. The crunch some numbers from

HMRC on highly paid men and frankly

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less highly paid women.

It's a good

Sunday story I think because this

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will be huge in the next few weeks.

Big companies have to report their

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gender pay gap so this will really

kick off in the next few weeks. The

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Observer have got ahead of the game

with this one. It's a fairly blunt

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instrument I would suggest, figures

on how many people earn more than

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£100,000, 681,000 men. Those earning

over £1 million 7000 the maximum

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10,000 men.

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Further down the story is the more

interesting stat that male taxpayers

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had a median income of 25,000 and

the few milk and butter 20,000. That

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is a shocking gap at the average

level, a £5,000 gap at quite a

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low-level and that makes your eyes

pop out, you think how is that

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happening?

And that does not include

people who do not pay tax and that

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tends to be women because they have

all law paid work. Have they

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reported this story or have they

just got ahold of numbers, I don't

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see many exciting quotes?

It runs

out of steam fairly quickly and the

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continuation but...

Will this do?

It

is a big story, it's shocking, the

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question is when we get these

figures in the next few weeks what

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will be done about it because it is

undoubtedly going to show huge pay

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gaps and of the ones we have had so

far, the bosses tend to say that is

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because women work part-time and

work on the shop floor, not the head

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office not understanding that the

problem.

Or they are pushed out for

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demanding pay rises.

Do I hear a

reference to someone's book coming

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up?

In October, yes.

Let's move on,

going to the express.

Yes, they're

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what you call it, the budget? The

mini budget? It will get some sort

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of strange shorthand I am sure when

it happens. We are a told it's going

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to be a fairly minor event, it's not

going to be a big budget yet the

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Chancellor is doing around in TV

studios and telling it fairly

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heavily with this suggestion that

gross forecasts will be up and there

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might be an end to austerity. We

have heard this before suggesting

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public servants will get a higher

pay rise and then it hasn't happened

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so I don't know what he's up to if

it really is going to happen or if

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he will disappoint people again in

which case you might find himself in

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a spot of bother.

This is one of the

Chancellor who said there were no

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unemployed people in the country

which makes me suspicious. It

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reflects that every single story has

to be viewed through the prism of

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Brexit because he might say there is

light at the end of the tunnel today

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but who knows what will happen in

March next year and beyond when the

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economy could fall off a cliff if

certain hard Brexiteers get their

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way that's going to happen.

That

would be contested by them.

Guess

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they may well but if some were

contending we go to WTO rules I

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think all the experts and I know we

don't believe in experts any more,

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passing the economy would suffer.

Some people say it will be brilliant

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and we will have billions! Kill Max

Orrin a! Take your pick of the

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the Mail On Sunday.

I saw an Irish

comedian the other day and he said

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if there was a referendum in Ireland

90% of Irish people would vote to

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leave Bono. He is deeply unpopular,

something to do with the order of

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sanctimony he radiates while there

are still possible questions over

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some of his tax arrangements in

Holland. There is just a whiff of

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hypocrisy.

This is more off the

charity story.

It gives it more heft

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that they can put his picture and he

can be in the headline but the meat

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of the story is shocking because

there are allegations and executive

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of his charity in inverted commas

pimped out an employee to an MP or

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attempted to. To try to get some

leveraged.

That is a truly shocking

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allegation.

Bono is not technically

involved but you can stick his name

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on it, it feeds into this whole

charity shame and bullying and

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sexual harassment and everything but

it's absolutely horrific, some of

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the stuff, if it is true it is

terrible. There is also a racial

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element because its people based in

South Africa and the suggestion is

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this would not have happened in

London or Washington but the bosses

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when they are just Africans. So that

another layer of horror.

After Oxfam

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and Save the Children and Unicef, is

this the end of this story?

I hope

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so because I lament the fact people

have used it, particularly the right

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wing, as a stick to bash charities.

Tories talking about lefties

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involving charities and everything

charities do particularly in the

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developing world is and if matters

certain right-wing people and this

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is just another way of seeing

do-gooders do not know what they are

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doing and they are messing up but

no, most of them are doing a

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fantastic job and helping people

less fortunate which has got to be

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supported. We cannot suddenly say we

want nothing to do with it.

But they

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had to live bar use. Talking of

that, Mother's Day or do we call it

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something else?

I don't really

understand it because my mum is the

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best so why is everyone else...

THEY

TALK OVER EACH OTHER

I don't

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understand that. Let me rip into

this one, Mother's Day card school

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gender neutral. According to the

introduction of this retailers are

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introducing the use of the M word to

make the day more transgender

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exclusive but there is nothing in

the story to back that up. What they

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are doing is introducing new cards,

two mums are better than one, happy

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you day, making it more inclusive

which is a nice and good thing.

One

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of the messages is bad, thank for

being the most amazing mum. That's

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an extraordinary development, even

ten years ago let alone 30 years

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ago, that would never have happened.

The fact that is being done by

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mainstream companies I think is

brilliant.

Happy story to end on, I

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will let you go and celebrate your

mothers, your father is, your youth,

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whatever way you want to put it.

Thank you both for coming in.

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That's it for The Papers

this Sunday morning.

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Don't forget you can see the front

pages of the papers online

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on the BBC News website.

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It's all there for you -

7 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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later on BBC iPlayer

Thank you to my guests.

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From us all.

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Goodbye.

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