10/11/2011 Daily Politics


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Morning. Welcome to a special programme today. The News of the


World is closed, but James Murdoch is back in Westminster. He's giving


evidence to the Commons as we broadcast. He started at 11am. He's


going to continue, we understand, until about 12.30 or even 1pm. We


are watching and we'll bring you all the highlights as we get them.


Interest rates on Italian bonds breached 7%. Germany tries to


scotch talk of a break-up but can the eurozone provide? Spending on


cancer treatment increased during the Labour years, so why are


survival rates still worse than other countries? We are will be


asking a leading cancer expert. Commerce, education and the - what


is the third one there? Let's see! Nobody helping him there. Rich


Perry has a senior moment in last night's debate, but is it possible


to survive the political gap? -- gaffe? All that coming up in the


next hour. We are extended today. It is all going to be pretty


uncomfortable for James Murdoch, who has been called back to


Parliament to appear again before the media Select Committee to


answer more questions about exactly what he knew and had he knew it,


about the extent of phone hacking at the News of the World. Over the


past few days, new evidence has surfaced about undercover


surveillance operations also carried out by the News of the


World. The committee will also ask him about inconsistencies between


the evidence that he gave in the summer, at the special hearings


that we brought to you live then, and the statements of subsequent


people who had worked for the News of the World. The red top may be


gone, but the headlines have continued to haunt the Murdoch


empire. Today, James Murdoch, son of Rupert, is back in the spotlight


at the Select Committee, who are asking him about developments since


July. This week we learned a private investigator was paid by


the News of the World to track the movements of more than 100 figures,


including Prince William, David Beckham and Boris Johnson and the


lawyers of the hacking victims. The committee are likely to ask did he


know about this? It is also likely they'll want to ask Mr Murdoch


about a letter they published in August from the pap area former


Royal Editor Clive good -- paper -- paper's Royal Editor Clive Goodman.


Back in July, James Murdoch said he didn't ask more questions about


hacking because Harbottle and Lewis said evidence was limited, but


since then the legal firm has said it provided very narrow advice in


relation to an employment claim and it did not provide News


International with a clean bill of health. Mr Murdoch's already been


asked by the committee again what he knew about the four Neville e-


mails, which appear to show a senior reporter at the News of the


World knew about phone hacking - something which Neville has denied.


In July, James Murdoch said he wasn't aware of the e-mail when he


signed off a payment for Gordon Taylor, but the denial was


contradicted by Tom Crone and editor Colin Myler. The committee


began questioning Mr Murdoch a short time ago. The chair began by


asking him about that Neville e- mail. Do you want to say whether or


not you still assert that you had no knowledge of the e-mail? Yes.


Thank you very much, Mr Chairman and to all the committee members.


On a number of occasions to Mr Taylor and his lawyers. The meeting


which I remember quite well was a short meeting and I was given at


that meeting sufficient information to authorise the increase of the


settlement offer that had been made, or offers, and authorised them to


go and negotiate that settlement. I was given no more than that.


Certainly evidence was described to me that indicated that the company


would lose the case if it litigated, but the nature of the full Neville


-- of the "for Neville" e-mail, any wider spread of evidence, none of


these things were mentioned to me including the detail and substance


of the leading counsel's opinion that had been sought by them and


received by them earlier. It was only sufficient information to


authorise them to increase the settlement offers that they had


already made. Even if it wasn't described as the "for Neville" e-


mail, were you made aware of the existence of an e-mail that


contained the transcript of voice Yes. I think this is an important


point to be very, very clear on it, if I may. The e-mail that is now


known as the for Neville e-mail was important for two reasons. On the


one hand, it was important because it was a transcript of voicemail


interceptions that were made on behalf of the News of the World and


that was seen as evidence and as sufficient to conclude that the


company would lose the case. There was another part of that e-mail


which was important, which was it was so-called "for Neville." And


that it named another journalist in that e-mail and that second part,


that importance, was not described to me in any detail or at all and


it was not described as the "for Neville." E-mail. No documents were


shown to me at that meeting or given to me or prior. It is now


your position that you weren't made aware of the existence of an e-mail


that was extremely damaging to your defence that nobody else was


involved? Yes, and I think as I testified in the summer to this


committee, I was made aware that there was evidence that the


transcript existed and it was on behalf of the News of the World. It


is double importance that it was that e-mail and also perhaps the


beginning of suspicion that other individuals were involved at the


News of the World was not described to me and the e-mail was not shown


to me either. Did you not see a copy of the e-mail? No, I did not.


Were you aware of the legal counsel's opinion that had since


been obtained? I was aware that leading counsel's opinion had been


obtained, but it was described to me as to do with damages and the


estimate of damages were the case to be litigated and lost. It was


not shown to me, the leading counsel's opinion, nor described to


me, the other things in the opinion that I know has been provided to


you, that were not to do with damages. Finally, there was - we


have since learnt from Farrahs that there was a previous meeting which


you had with Colin Myler for which Tom Crone supplied a brief at the


end of May. Do you remember that meeting? I think you are referring


to a note that Mr Piker Farrahs wrote, describing a conversation he


had had with Mr Crone. I have now seen this note, which I hadn't seen


before. In that note Colin Myler suggests or says to Mr Piker that


he spoke to James Murdoch. He does not say there is a meeting. He


refers to a conversation that he had with me that he alleged had


with me. We do not recall that meeting or conversation or


telephone call or what it might have been and as I testified, the


first substantive and only substantive meeting that I recall


in conversation about the matter was 10th June meeting with Mr Crone


and Mr Myler. I can't rule out whether or not he called me or got


me in the hallway or something like that, for a brief conversation.


claim that you didn't know the detail of what was going on in your


company, so do you think that internal evidence about phone


hacking for example, was kept from you? It's clear to me that in 2008,


for example, the information that I received around the Taylor case was


incomplete. It is also clear to me that in 2009 upon allegations


arising in a newspaper about the Taylor case, that the full extent


of the knowledge within the business or the evidence within the


business as well as at the - with the Metropolitan Police was not


made clear to me. That's something that I'm very sorry for. Who should


have told you about it? I think it's important to remember that


after the resignation of Mr Coulson, Mr Hinton brought Mr Myler in as an


outside person who had a responsibility and remit it both


clean up the issue and investigate the issue and move the company


forward and the newspaper forward in a way that made sure that these


things couldn't happen again. If he had known, if he had known, which


is an if, that there was wider spread criminality or evidence or


sufficient suspicion of that, I should think he should have told me


those things. After the arrest of Rebekah Brooks we were given legal


advice and prohibited from going down a certain route with our


questions, so can you just confirm to me that you have not been


arrested or you are not currently on bail and you are therefore free


to answer all the questions I'm going to put to you? I've not been


arrested or currently on bail. I am free to answer questionsened I


would like to. I should say, though, that to the extent that questions


relate to matters of criminal investigation or relate to


individuals that are currently arrested on bail or under criminal


investigation, that some of those things would be inappropriate for


me to answer. I understand that. You have said you have now read the


committee submissions from Julian Pike and Tom Crone, that is right?


The recent submissions, yes. would like to ask you a series of


questions about the documents for which I would be grateful for a yes


or no answer. Do you accept that Mr Crone prepared a detailed


memorandum concerning the Gordon Taylor case which he sent to Colin


Myler and Mr Pike? He prepared a mum dumb, but it was substantially


narrower and did not raise tern things in that memorandum that the


leading counsel's opinion raised. That is a critical point. That is a


question? -- yes? I would question your characterisation of the detail.


He did send a memorandum? Yes, on 24th May. Do you accept it was


prepared by Mr Cone and Colin Myler in advance of the discussion with


you? I don't know that. I would assume that is the case and


certainly some of the things were discussed with me in the


conversation with Crone and Mr Myler on 10th June. That is a yes?


Do you accept that the memorandum discloses widespread criminality at


the News of the World and were in Cron earbgs words were fatal to


your case and your position was perilous? Mr Krone did use the


words around the evidence being fatal to our case, but again, at no


point in that memorandum was it mentioned Mr Thurlbeck, with wider


spread criminality with respect to phone hacking and the crucial


details from leading counsel had been left out in the memorandum of


24th. That is a yes. I don't think it is. I think you are trying to


put words in my mouth. I think the memorandum was prepared. It did not


discuss those crucial elements of widespread criminality and


certainly did not mention those individuals involved. Do you accept


you met Colin Myler on 27th May to discuss the Taylor case? You have


said that you weren't sure whether it was a meeting, but you accept


there is a conversation? No, as I answered the chairman's question


earlier on, I am aware of the note of a conversation with Mr Myler.


Neither he nor I recall that conversation. A conversation or


telephone call could have happened, but I neither accept nor deny that


it occurred. I have no recollection of it. The only substantive meeting


that I occurred on this subject was 10th June with Mr Myler and Mr


Crone. You accept in Mr Pike's note that Colin Myler believed there was


a conversation and that he relayed the message that you wanted to take


the view of an external QC before deciding what action to take? You


accept that that document exists? accept that the document exists,


but I don't think it says what you are characterising it as saying. Mr


Myler and Mr Crone had already instructed leading counsel at that


point and this is an important point. It was not me who told them


to instruct leading counsel. They had already done that. Mr Myler -


neither he nor I recall that conversation or what the


conversation was about at that point. Did you mislead your


committee in your original testimony? No, I did not. If you


didn't, who did? As I've said to you, or written to you and I've


said publicly, I believe this committee was given evidence by


individuals either without full possession of the facts, or now it


appears, in the process of my own discovery and trying to understand


as best I can what actually happened here, it was economical. I


think my own testimony has been consistent. I've testified to this


committee with as much clarity and transparency as I possibly can.


Where I haven't had direct knowledge in the past, since I


testified to you last time, I have gone and tried to seek answers and


find out what happened and where the evidence is and what is there


and that's what I'm here to do. it Mr Crone, a respected lawyer for


many years and in-house legal adviser who misled this committee?


As I wrote to you and I issued a public statement, certainly in the


evidence that they gave to you in 2011, with respect to my knowledge,


I thought it was inconsist tent and not right. I dispute it. You think


Mr Crone mislead us? It follows that I do. And Mr Myler? I dispute


it. Do you think Mr Pike misled us with his recollection of events?


don't have a reason to believe that, but nor do I have direct evidence


otherwise. The last time you appeared before us, you said that


the critical new facts as the company saw them only emerged from


the civil trials at the end of 2010, is that right? To my attention,


that is correct, yes. We know this is completely untrue and we know


critical new facts received by 2008, so who told you that it was only in


2010 that the company became aware? Well, certainly I became aware of


those critical facts in 2010, after the due process of the civil trial


had uncovered some of the police evidence in discovery by those


civil claimants. Who was it who told you? Previously, I received


assertions from Mr Myler and from Mr Crone that there was no new


evidence and that as you had received those assertions as well,


in 2009 and later. You also said that you sympathised with the


frustration of the committee and you said it was "a matter of real


regret that the facts could not emerge and could not be gotten to


my understanding faster." You now know that is untrue. It is a matter


of concern and I think what I have tried to describe earlier with


respect to how I think about what we can do differently and how we


can improve and what happened here, I think the amount of transparency


between what was known by certain individuals or at least what was


seen by them, and leading counsel's opinion and so on, if that had been


more transparent to me I think that would have been very important and


very helpful. It was not. That is a matter of great regret. The correct


position is that the facts emerged in 2008 and this committee was


mislead? The facts did not emerge. Certainly individuals were aware.


Leading counsel's opinion was there and the "for Neville." E-mail was


there. I was not aware of those things. Even if 2009, when a


newspaper made allegations about those things, the company relied,


and I testified to this fact and written to you, and I'll say it


again, the company relied for too long on repeated assertions and


assurances as to the quality and the rigour and scope of the


internal investigations that have been carried out previously and I


think relied also on the assertions and reassurances made publicly by


the police, who had all the relevant information that no new


evidence was found. Within 24 hours of the 2009 allegations, for


example. That is James Murdoch giving evidence. We can talk to our


reporter Vicki Young, who has been following that evidence. Is it


still the case that James Murdoch is essentially sticking to his


central claim that he was not made aware of the except of phone


hacking at the company and in fact it was kept from him? Absolutely.


He is effectively saying that he was kept in the dark. This is a man


who is fighting for his reputation and he's been accused either of


incompetence, or of a cover-up and he's certainly fighting for his


life, if you like, when it comes to his business and his reputation.


Interesting that he has said he has reflected on all of this and says


the company was wrong in the way it responded to allegations that they


were too aggressive and quick to deny things, because they just took


the view that these were all politically motivated allegations.


He said that really they should have heard the alarm bells more,


but interesting also that he's pointing the finger of blame and


specifically has talked about Colin Myler, the editor and Tom Crone,


the legal adviser, saying that they didn't come to him with evidence


that they had evidence that was circulating. When he was asked who


misled the committee, he said it follows that they did mislead the


committee. He says his own testimony was consistent, but he


says that some of the evidence was economical and he didn't have


direct knowledge, but he really did feel that the other two had mislead


Now we have that contradiction, but have we also learnt about a


conversation that was had with Neville Thurlbeck who claims Tom


Crone told him that James Murdoch had seen that critical e-mail?


was the fascinating moment where Tom Watson, the leading Labour MP,


who has been at the forefront of all this, said he wasn't going to


tell everyone this today but he now reveals that he has spoken to


Neville Thurlbeck and he went through a whole conversation he had


had with the former senior reporter. According to Tom Watson, he said


that Neville Thurlbeck was told by Tom Crone that that e-mail would


have to be shown to James Murdoch and in fact that Tom Crone came


back to him and said, "I did show it to James Murdoch." The problem


with this is that Tom Crone has been in front of the committee and


he said he didn't show the e-mail to James Murdoch so we have more


contradictions here. This is obviously continuing and the


problem is that there is no written evidence to back up any of this. We


are in a position where it is one person's word against another.


Thank you. Since that, we can report that Tom


Watson finished up by asking James Murdoch if he knew the meaning of


the word "Mafia". James Murdoch replied he is not an afficionado -


that is an Italian word! Apparently, Mr Watson compares Rupert Murdoch


as a Mafia boss. Some people saying that he resorted to this abuse, Mr


Watson, because he hadn't quite managed to nail James Murdoch in


the forensic questioning. So let's see if we can do a bit better


without James Murdoch. We have got Paul Connew, Deputy Editor of the


News of the World and Steve Barnet, Professor of Communications at the


University of Westminster. We have now learned this morning that James


Murdoch knew of the Neville e-mail but did not ask to see it or to


understand its full contents. Knew that they had leading counsel's


opinion on the Taylor case which they had to settle, QC's opinion in


fact, but it didn't ask to see that either? Is that credible? It is


quite extraordinary. Having worked with Tom Crone, he would always


give you frank and candid advice, I find it hard to believe that he


wouldn't have shown it to him. He may not have done. Or that James


Murdoch should have asked for it? Indeed. James Murdoch came here


this morning knowing he was going to walk away, probably seriously


wounded, but as long as he wasn't fatally wounded, that was the


intention. The lack of forensic barrister amongst their members,


they didn't ask what would the motivation be for Tom Crone and


Colin Myler to withhold the full picture from James Murdoch. After


all, what this e-mail revealed, and what the legal advice revealed, was


dynamite under a crisis that could scupper the BSkyB deal - and in


fact did - damage the company's reputation. Why would they not have


been totally candid with the chairman? That bewilders me. What


is the answer to that? About whether it is credible or not?


why would Mr Crone and Mr Myler not give James Murdoch the full picture


unless, of course, you may speculate they had been told not to


give them the full picture because it would be better if he didn't


know the full picture? That is a very good conspiracy theory. Not


sure I would buy that. It is speculation? I personally wouldn't


buy that. James Murdoch hinted in part of his evidence where he said


it may not have been in their interests to tell me. If I have a


reputation as someone who gets rid of - someone brought up the word


"cancer" - they knew I would have taken drastic action, possibly


their jobs might have been on the line... There is also another thing


missing from this equation - the role of the person between Myler,


Crone and the chairman, the Chief Executive. Was she not involved in


any conversations? Max Clifford claims that Rebekah Brooks was the


person who negotiated a �1 million settlement with him over lunch. So


was that not run by James Murdoch? Perhaps it wasn't. In that case,


what the hell was going on there? When James Murdoch appeared in the


summer, he made constant reference to they had proceeded on a certain


course because of the advice of leading counsel, so it's a very


American way of doing things. American businessmen don't move


without leading counsel sitting by their side and advising. Doesn't it


become incredible, or inexplicable that when he's then being asked to


settle what turned out to cost them �1 million on the Taylor case that


they had leading counsel's advice and he didn't even bother to ask to


see it or read it? And therefore that raises the question - and I'm


surprised this wasn't put rather more starkly in the interviews -


was it not - even if we believe you, is this not frankly rank


incompetence? If you are there waiting for QC's advice, you have


suggested that is what we should be waiting for, what does the Chief


Executive do? You read that advice. You read it word-for-word. Is it


not suspicious that this leading counsel advice didn't just give


advice that you have to settle with Mr Taylor of the professional


Football Association, though it definitely did give that advice,


but it made it clear in the opinion of the QC hacking was rife? Exactly.


The problem here is the money, �1 million here, �700,000 there,


should have been less important than the widespread reputational


damage. For that reason, it is hard to understand why he wouldn't have


been shown that. We don't know if he was or wasn't. If he wasn't, it


is quite extraordinary. If nothing else, James Murdoch emerges from


this like a man lacking an enquiring mind. Why have these


points not been put directly to James Murdoch? Is this a proper


forum? Is this a good forum for this forensic interrogation? It's a


group of MPs - I think they have done a very good job. I think one


of the things this Select Committee has done is raised the issue and


raised Parliament's profile in a way that most Select Committees


don't. What it's not equipped to do is to have that kind of courtroom


forensic interrogation that you would get from an experienced QC.


Now, I don't think Parliament is an appropriate place to do that. But


we are missing that kind of probing. They don't have forensic skills.


are being asked to believe that when James Murdoch took over from


Les Hinton, they never discussed the Goodman case which resulted the


News of the World going to jail along with the private detective.


Having been an editor myself, it is not every day one of your


journalists goes to jail. That wasn't discussed and he never asked


Les Hinton about it. We are being asked to believe by his testimony


settlement without asking to see any of the documents, any of the


relevant documents? Exactly. There is something else, too. At the


Goodman-Mulcaire original trial, the trial judge expressed the view


this was only the tip of an iceberg, yet no-one was proactive about


doing anything internally to find out whether the judge was talking


off the top of his head or what the hell was going on. If this


committee is incapable - but what we know today - is incapable of


pinning James Murdoch down on these vital parts of his testimony, are


we going to get anywhere? Well, if you mean are we going to get to the


absolute truth about who said what to whom and who knew what, where we


might get somewhere is through the Leveson Inquiry where people are


going to be giving evidence under oath and will be subject to that


kind of interrogation. That's true. I do think that - I don't want to


criticise this committee too much because Select Committees - you


have seen them in action - they are not the appropriate place to probe


the forensic truth when frankly two people are saying you lied, you


lied, and they are accusing each other. James Murdoch's fate will


depend on three things: One is what this committee says in its report,


when ever that is issued. It may be more damning than their interview


technique. The second thing is the Leveson Inquiry. The third thing is


the outcome of any criminal trials. Right. The fundamental issue that


is at stake here - I want to finish on this. The reason why these


questions are pertinent is was James Murdoch involved in a cover-


up to settle with those who knew they had been hacking so that they


covered up the fact that it was far more widespread than the rogue


reporter defence. Do you believe he was? I believe there was a cover-up


which began before he was in that position as chairman. He continued?


I think he was involved in the continuation of it. Although the $1


million question is was he knowingly involved in that cover-up


or did he lack the inquisitive mind that made him ask the right


questions? Was he involved in the cover-up? We are being asked to


take his word against the word of one of his editors and against one


of his respected lawyers. I think given the choice, I know which side


I would fall. That is not James Murdoch? No. I think he has a


serious problem. Thank you. We will keep across this, Jo.


We will come back to it at the end of the programme. Unsurprising the


Bank of England has kept interest rates at 0.5% today. That isn't a


surprise. They are printing more money?


No. It may have to buy Italian debt!


The Italians will be grateful. The Germany they are 1.72%, in the UK,


2.17%. In Italy, the annual cost of borrowing has reached 7.25%. It's


an interest rate that is thought to be unsustainable in the long-term


as Italy would have to spend too much of its income servicing a huge


debt - �1.5 trillion worth of debt in fact. Angela Merkel has had to


scotch speculation that plans are being put in place for the break-up


of the eurozone. The Prime Minister warned a precarious situation we


are in. What is happening in Italy is a warning to any country, any


government, without a credible plan to deal with excessive debts and


deficits, that you need a plan and you need to stick to that plan if


you want to keep interest rates low so your economy can grow. But there


is another issue, too. The future of the euro. Italy is the third


largest country in the euro. Its current state is a clear and


present danger to the eurozone and the moment of truth is fast


approaching. If the leaders of the eurozone want to save their


currency, then they, together with the institutions of the eurozone,


must act now. The Prime Minister there. Let's get more on this from


the economist, Vicky Pryce. Italy has paid record rates to sell five


billion euros. Does this change anything for Italy? Absolutely.


It's obvious they are not going to be able to continue to finance


their debt. We have to remember that a lot of the debt they have at


present, which they are funding and repaying, is on much lower interest


rates so this is a development that's happened recently which has


pushed yields up significantly and the difficulty that Italy is now


having raising money. But of course, what they raised today was small


beer, really. Next year, they have over 300 billion to refinance. If


the markets have not stabilised by then, they will be in serious


difficulty. That is why everyone is looking at the ECB to buy more


Italian debt and try and sort of calm the markets down. That is what


I wanted to ask you. In terms of possible short-term solutions, the


one that you just outlined, the European Central Bank buying up


vast quantities of Italian debt, is that likely? Will the Germans allow


that to happen, do you think? will have to allow it to happen.


There is no solution in the short- term, until you do something


radical with the stability fund and raise the amount of money it has to


be able to intervene. The ECB will have to act also as lender of last


resort. There will be serious problems with Italian banks. We


have to bear in mind Italian debt, if you added everything together


that Greece owes, that Portugal, Ireland and Spain together owe, it


is less than what Italy owes. So it is a big problem and it's the one


issue which is spooking the markets that since the agreements back in


July for the bail-out fund, there hasn't been any real detail coming


out in terms of how it is going to be increased. The other option is


the break-up of the eurozone, whatever the Germans are saying


publicly. It seems to be a real option. Do you think that now could


happen, that Italy and Greece are pushed out of the eurozone? That


would be very unlikely. The repercussions for the whole of


Europe will be significant. Frankly, imagine having Germany and France


on their own? They are very different economies. But the euro


has stayed reasonably well because of the periphery countries so


Germany will have a very uncompetitive exchange rate. That


is a very simple thing if you look what the banking system is going to


do. It is a disaster. Thank you. We are joined by the chair of the


European Parliament's committee on economic and monetary affairs, the


Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles and the Conservative MEP Matthew


Hancock. If the eurozone continues down this road, how bad will the


recession be next year in Britain? It's a very serious problem that we


can see in the eurozone. The European Union growth figures out


this morning highlighted that this... Tell us them? This is a


serious problem. Well, they were forecast rather than the absolute


figures. Sure. We know the OECD has forecast 0.3% growth for the


eurozone next year. That was before either events in Greece or Italy


overtook that forecast. What do we think it will be? Well, look, I'm


not a forecaster. You mentioned the forecast. What are they? You can


remind me of the actual figures at the end of the programme. I have


seen them. I don't precisely remember them. Let me go back to


the more general point. Yes. Which is as things are heading now, the


eurozone is undoubtedly heading for a recession. If there is a


recession in the eurozone, how bad will the recession be in Britain?


Well, I don't accept the premise of your argument that there will


necessarily be a recession here. What I do accept... Even if there


is one in the eurozone? We have been on this programme many times


and we have talked about how serious the knock on consequences


would be from a break-up of the euro and from the lack of


confidence. The "credit crunch" of the banks losing money because all


of the government bonds they own being worth less than they were is


very serious and that will have a serious knock-on impact here.


me ask Sharon Bowles, you must - I'm surprised he doesn't accept it


- you must accept if the eurozone goes into recession, we go into


recession? The world goes into recession. Yes. The last time I


looked we were part of the world! So I don't think you can single out


the UK and say that we are going to survive when everybody else doesn't.


This is very serious. That is why minds have been so exercised about


it at G20. It is why the Chancellor and the Prime Minister are so


exercised about it. Steps that the Government has taken have made us


stronger in terms of our banks and everything. Unless we manage to get


a solution and we are in this situation now that there is only


one unpalatable to many countries solution which is the ECB. You mean


by that... That kicks the can down the road too. You are saying the


European Central Bank should start to act like a bank of, a lender of


last resort and buy Italian debt? Well, buy it big time. Right. Have


you spoken to Mrs Merkel about that? The Germans won't accept this


at the moment. Some Ministers that I have spoken to think that well in


another three months they will, I don't think the markets will give


them three months. Do you think Germany is being dragged


reluctantly in this direction? it is something the ECB could do by


a majority decision. They may have to make that step, bold though it


is. It is not the kind of step the ECB is happy to take without near


unanimity but they may have to. We are in times where there is no


other alternative. Either we have the big blow-up now, or you delay


it in some way by ECB intervention and have time to do some other


measures at leisure and hope that you find some way from stopping the


blow-up that will happen in another ten years because we haven't fixed


the problem. We now have an Italian crisis whereby it looks - the


Italians got their debt away this morning, it was a small amount, as


Vicky Pryce said, but they had to pay through the nose for it. It was


only year debt. They had to pay 6% interest rate for one year. That's


2% lower than yesterday. That was for ten-year bonds, not for one-


year bonds. You pay higher... the one-year bond yesterday was 8%


and today it was 6%. This is progress of sorts. This is getting


the debt away and you don't pay as much but it's still a lot. If it's


going to need a bail-out and there is no bail-out fund, which there


isn't, and if nobody wants to buy their debt which they don't and the


ECB won't, what happens? It's - if governments can't finance what they


owe and what they are spending, then you are in a serious situation


because they don't have the money. Of course, governments all have


short-term cash at hand to get through from day-to-day. As Sharon


says, you can't keep kicking this down the road forever. The irony is


that Italy's primary deficit, that means the deficit before they pay


all their interest costs, actually is zero. They don't have a deficit


if it weren't for the massive interest costs they are paying.


They do pay these massive costs. That is like saying Washington DC


is a safe city if you don't include the murder rate? If they get a grip


on their borrowing costs and if they have a plan to deal with their


deficit, get competitive, and also having a government and a Prime


Minister would be... Getting competitive might be the problem


with the growth rates being downgraded again? I think what's


being said, and it is true, they are more like an island than a


Greece in the sense -- more like than Ireland than a grease in the


sense they do have a big industrial -- Greece in the sense they do have


a big industrial base. They will be able to take a precautionary loan


from the IMF but it would have to be bigger... A lot bigger than the


IMF has resources. That would only be a putter on a measure until the


eurozone could make some more Is it British Government policy,


with the backing of the opposition, has it been to call for greater


fiscal union within the eurozone? Is it also our policy, or do we


have a view of whether that union should be with a pareed down


eurozone? I think as it stands now is the safest for our economy,


because any country would have a huge implication for our economy if


they left, so a stable eurozone is the best thing for our economy.


that what David Cameron said he is trying to put "an emergency brake


on a tighter eurozone."? He's always been very clear that they


need both to deal and resolve the Greek situation and to have a


credible plan to deal with their firewall. I know all that, what I'm


trying to establish is, does he want a - why is he against a


tighter eurozone, because many economists will say it doesn't


matter what fiscal union you have, if the eurozone contains Greece it


ain't going to last? It's a question of whether they will do


some caucusing and deal with other things and whether you are going to


have caucusing on the single market and of course the UK is very


against that and indeed - Do you think there should be a tighter


eurozone? There needs to be in the sense of to do with the fiscal


union, but you have to make sure it doesn't have negative spillover.


Does it not make sense if you are going to have a tighter fiscal


union, that it's among countries that are sympathetic in their


economies? Not necessarily. There are parts of southern Italy that


are very uncompetitive compared to northern Italy and they were in the


lira for ages and think of the deep south of the United States. But the


Italian Government was making massive fiscal transfers from Milan


to Sicily and the Germans will not. It implies the transfers. That is


the only way to work. You have put your finger on the reason why.


didn't know I had done that. It is. The only solution is so tight that


it's a transfer union as the Germans have always feared. That's


why I'm wondering whether the club med countries can still be part of


it. One of the reasons given by the Government for their overhaul of


the NHS in England is that Britain is the sick man of Europe when it


comes to cancer treatment, with survival rates that compare badly


to others, but Labour say that argument has been demolished by a


report published this week. Adam's been investigating the row over one


of the most emotive issues in politics. David Cameron launching


breast can sear awareness month recently. Britain is good at


fighting that disease, but doesn't compare well internationally when


it comes to other types of cancer. One of the reasons given for their


re-organisation of the NHS in England. We have been part of an


international benchmarking exercise for some years now and we lag at


the bottom of the league table when it comes to the best performing


countries when it comes to cancer survival rates. The only area where


we are closing the gap is on breast cancer. The others we are improving,


but not as well as others. He's talking about this data, published


in the Lancet last year, which shows that when it comes to for


instance, colon cancer, Britain is last among these countries when it


comes to the percentage of patients living for five years since


diagnosis. This is a very complicated area, where there is


disagreement about what should actually be measured. For example,


the paper was published this week, which looked at the number of


people dying from various cancers, rather than the number surviving.


It found a very different picture. Perhaps the most exciting finding


is that compared with other countries, looking at the ten major


western countries, we have reed our deaths more than anybody else --


reduced our deaths more than anyone else. He also found that the


billions spent on cancer by the last Government were spent far more


effectively than in other countries. That casts doubt on the coalition's


claims, according to this former Health Secretary. They have claimed


that poor cancer services justify this dangerous upheavel of the


Health Service. I'm afraid one of their arguments has been utterly


demolished by this research. Government disagrees, saying death


rates are a crude measure and don't tell us much about the performance


of the NHS, but where everyone is agreed is whatever statistics you


study, things would improve massively if the public were more


aware of cancer symptoms. The subject of a big campaign to be


launched in the new year. Joining me now is the leading cancer expert,


Professor Karol Sikora. Can we just get back to whether Britain is the


sick man of Europe in Thames of cancer survival rates, because we


had two very conflicting accounts there. What is your view? How do we


compare? My view is it is still the sick man of Europe. Huge resources


have been pumped in and we are still at the bottom of the pile,


but it has improved, but it has improved in Europe as well. Another


expert tis says that we have improved the most -- specialist


says that we have improved the most recently. The death rate is the


totality of the situation. They go down if less people get cancer and


that's what has been happening. It takes time to reduce cancer, but


it's working. Lifestyle, trying to make people do healthier lifestyles.


The other very interesting fact that didn't come out in your shots


there, was if you look at the one- year survival and compare it to the


five-year survival, Britain is really bad. Five years not so bad.


What that means is people are presenting late. They are coming


when the cancer has already spread. Isn't that the key, that's not to


do with the amount of money or the amount of treatment that has gone


in, it is what Adam mentioned, we just don't go to the doctor early


enough when we have got a lum or rash? Or there -- lump or a rash?


Or there isn't a downstream process. If you are thought to have cancer


and the GP makes the diagnosis and sends the patient under the two-


week rule and they are processed rapidly, but the other sector of


patients, the 56% that don't present that way, they are stuck


and waiting in a queue for a biopsy and it could take six months before


the diagnosis is made. Public education, what are the symptoms


and fast tracking. The public health campaigns have worked,


smoking has dropped and maybe diet is a potential problem in terms of


obesity, but what about the Government's NHS reforms? Do you


think that will have an impact on survival rates? Most of us have


been around for many years and we don't understand the reforms. What


is it they are trying to do? It seems to be a hotch-potch of


interventions. Some people think it is privatising the NHS. There is no


doubt that the reforms do make sense. The difficulty is that we


are at a time when we are cutting the budgets of most hospitals by


10%. The reforms, the GP commissioning, that would help?


think so. You think it would have an impact on survival rates, but


taking the money out, that is not? What we have got already is


postcode prescribing for cancer drugs and for access to high


technology, such as modern radiotherapy. Even to teams of


surgeons that are very good at dealing with something. They have


to be lucky and go to the right referral path, or you have to have


the knowledge. You are saying the coalition's reforms are not going


to have a positive impact overall on cancer survival rates. What


about spending on drugs? It's a fudge. So much is spent on the NHS,


but NICE approve the drugs, but then there is a new drugs fund, 200


million, so what tends to happen, the patients that are educated and


know about the drugs get the doctor to fill all the forms in, to get


the committees that decide to approve the drugs. It is not - it's


a recipe for complete postcode nonsense. Everyone is going to get


different types of services in what is a National Service. We all pay


the taxes and expect the same. A much better way is to come up and


instead of trying to fudge it, this is are the drugs we can afford and


these are the ones we can't. Everyone gets the same. Although,


the spending, the figures show, they are much lower here on cancer


drugs tan places like France. If we spent a bit more, wouldn't that


make sense? 200 million wouldn't probably cover it. Half a billion


would. Then we would be up to France's level. That is probably


not contributing to the higher death rate from cancer, the higher


death rate from an existing cancer. Can I just ask you, you did the


assessment of Abdel Baset Ali al- Megrahi. He is still alive. How has


he managed to survive, two year laters or more? He's been on


experimental drugs. Including one that was developed in the UK and


it's not available on the NHS, which is quite ironic. Isn't it. He


has survived because of drugs that we can't get here? My opinion


wasn't taken into account by the Scottish Government. Nine doctors


looked at it and they all said three months. They were using


standard NHS practice in Glasgow in 2008. Thank you very much.


We'll return to the main story - while we have been on air, James


Murdoch has given evidence to the Media committee and as we mentioned


earlier Tom Watson was rebuked by James Murdoch for his description


of News International. You must be the first Mafia boss in history who


didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise. Mr Watson,


please, I think it's inappropriate. Mr Chairman. Vicki Young has been


watching the evidence session for us. Someone has just tweeted saying,


"James Murdoch is currently on your screens appearing in a sequel. I


have no idea what anybody did last summer." Is that fair? James


Murdoch wasn't impressed with the description there of his company,


he says, bound by silence and the code of silence, according to Tom


Watson. There is an element of different people's recollections


and accusations and we are ending up in a position where it is one


person's word against the other. James Murdoch is fighting for his


own reputation, willing to point the finger of blame. He was saying


that Tom Crone and Colin Myler gave misleading evidence to the


committee. He says his own evidence has been consistent and he says


that's not the case with the the others and he says they have been


misleading and their evident has been economical. We have a position


here now where people are fighting with each other in order to get the


blame off themselves, I guess. there any killer question or set of


questions that lead people to believe that James Murdoch was


involved in a cover-up? I think what is interesting is the picture


that he's painting of himself, of why he didn't seem to know the


truth. He says that he was in charge of this huge observation and


-- organisation and it covered Asia and he relied on executives and he


claims he was kept in the dark. He says it was the scale of the


business, so he relied on the people, that he didn't know every


single detail and still the matter over how much he knew about the


documents circulating that seemed to suggest that tacking was more


widespread. He says quite simply that he just wasn't given the full


details out of all of that. Tom Watson, Labour MP, saying today


that he himself has spoken to Neville Thurlbeck, the former


senior reporter and he apparently says that Tom Crone, the legal


adviser, did show documents to James Murdoch, even though Tom


Crone in the committee says that he didn't. You can see the committee


could go on for a long time. We'll have to leave it there. The


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