14/06/2011 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.

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A year ago they knew exactly how to mend the health service, today they


accepted a better idea. Their photocall got up the nose of


one part of the medical profession. Why are we told to walk about like


this, I'm not having it, get out. Today Cameron and Clegg each


claimed credit for listening and backing off. I have been asking the


Health Secretary whether he hasn't made an awful mess of the


legislation. We get a second opinion or several from our


political panel. Following a postal ballot, the unions vote for the


biggest national teachers' strike in 25 years. Is this the opening


engagement in a protracted war in the public services. Citizen Smith


wakes up in a country without a Government. Welcome to Belgium. But


what's the President of Europe doing with a Rubik's cube. I hope


you enjoy your cube, many hours of private fiddling there.


Shrugering the pill, watering down the dose, choose your own metaphor


to describe what the Government did to its plans to reform the health


service in England today. The Health Secretary, of course,


maintains that the course of treatment he prescribed, remains


largely unchanged, but it is certainly a new approach to


introduce a bill in parliament and then rewrite it when you see how


much opposition there is. Labour called it a humiliation, and the


Liberal Democrats immediately took credit, they said, for improving


the bill. # The road is long


# With many a winding turn It has been quite a journey, since


these three ministers first agreed the health wide paper almost a year


ago. Andrew Lansley's NHS reforms were stress tested twice within


Whitehall, then presented to parliament. Then suddenly put on


hold last April. When Mr Cameron's coalition brothers, the Liberal


Democrats, publicly, and George Osborne privately, expressed strong


doubts. Today, after the wide ranging Field


Review, ministers announced big reforms to their reforms.


You wanted us to make clear that competition is not there for its


own sake, but to make life better for patients, done. You wanted us


to get specialists and nurse, not just GPs, on to commissioning


groups, done. You wanted us to join up the different parts of the NHS,


to put integration right at the heart of our reforms, again, done.


The first big change is that GPs will no longer be solely in charge


of the new groups that will commission most NHS health care.


The renamed Clinical Commissioning Groups, will now include other


experts, such as hospital doctors and nurses and lay people. Though


GPs will still dominate their make up. The significance of clinical


commissioning is the Government's response to the concern by hospital


doctors and nurses that they were being excluded and GPs were having


their place in the sunlight at the expense of other medical groups.


That has changed and also there will be patient and public


involvement, so a real move towards proper governance of the


arrangements. Will it make a huge amount of difference in practice?


It won't, devolution of budgets away from the Primary Care Trusts


to clinicians at the frontline of care. The second big change is in


the speed of the reforms. The new commissioning groups will now


assume their role, when they are ready, instead of the original


deadline of April 2013. Also relaxed, is the April 2014 deadline


for all hospitals to achieve greater independence as foundation


Trusts. That is a good thing in many ways, we don't want to see


that rushed or bad decisions taken, at the moment we have the problem


of Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities,


tending to almost implode, and we don't want a vacuum there, we don't


want to lose all the good-quality managers we will still need to help


run the NHS in the future. Perhaps the most controversial change


concerns competition. Competition will still be extended, but firmly


on quality, not price, and not as an end in itself. There will be


stricter rules against a market free-for-all, and cherry-picking by


private providers. And the new health regulator, Monitor, won't be


able to push competition so much. Such as compelling hospitals to


make operating theatres available to private firms. We need to be a


little more robust in arguing the case for competition, I think it is


a respectable case, and it is about providing more choice and more


effective use of resources. I think we do need to be a less on the


fence, competition is not a disease. There will be more competition as a


result of this bill amended? Eventually, yes. Significantly


there were hardly any complaints from the coalition benches in the


Commons today. Frankly, the politics of this bill now,


reasonably settled, the big question is whether it will make a


difference. Perhaps the only real note of dissent from the


Conservative side came from Edward Leigh, who asked how watering down


competition would help the NHS deliver efficiency savings of 4% a


year, in order to stick within its budget and cope with growing


demands. We would be surprised if it is possible to achieve a - an


improvement in the health service and financial control over a


difficult period, and implement the reforms at the same time. That is


massive ask when the organisation has been turned upside down and


management costs are being put back, the health service will do


incredibly well to get anywhere near that.


So now ministers and Treasury ministers especially, will be


waiting anxiously to see if this bill makes any difference. Whether


it achieves the substantial gains which Cameron, Clegg and Lansley


originally trumpets. Earlier I went to the Department of Health to


speak to its Secretary of State. Andrew Lansley, after these changes


take effect, will there be more or less competition in the NHS than


previously? The decision about that essentially will be for the NHS


commissioners, the local commissioning groups and so on.


What drives it is, in order to deliver the best care for patients,


how much patient choice they want. That is the essence of this. The


competition, the extent of competition is directly the result


of how much patient choice you want to give in the service. That's an


opaque answer to a pretty straight forward question. You said


previously that competition was the way to improve efficiency, correct?


Competition is way to increase quality. I think there are various


ways of delivering greater efficiency, through redesign of


services and developing the pricing system in the NHS. There may be


more competition after this rewrite? It is fair to say that we


are clear that patients, over time, will get access to more choice than


they have at the moment, for example choice for when they go for


planned surgery. We are looking for that. It will be phased over time.


By comparison in the draft of the legislation, will there be more or


less choice? The result of the changes we are making will actually


mean that competition and choice will be extended, but will be


extended probably over a more phased timetable. What about the


involvement of the private sector, it is about what one pound in


twenty NHS money spent in the private sector. What do you think


it ought to be in ten years time? have no plan for that. What about


an ambition? I have no ambition. Would you like it above a pound?


ambition is to deliver the best possible care for patients. If that


involves the NHS having an opportunity to provide services


rather than the private sector, that is fine too. You really


literally, honestly do not have a view? I have no plan. It could be


less than one pound in twenty? or more. It won't be decisions made


by me. Why would I want to have an ambition of a kind like that, if


I'm not intending to make the decisions that will result in that


outcome. Because you presumably have a vision for how the NHS can


be made to work better? Absolutely, it is not about transfering


services to the private sector, it is about giving everybody in the


NHS, through reform, the opportunity to deliver improving


services for patients. What about these commissioning groups of GPs,


they were supposed to be formed by 2013, by when do you hope


commissioning groups now to be formed? They will be established in


2013, but they will only take on the commissioning responsibility,


the actual bugetry responsibility when they are ready to do so.


is that? Some may want to do so before then, we will help and


support them to do. That many will be ready in 2013, if they are not


ready and not willing and able to do that job at that point. The NHS


comiinging board will step in and take the - Commissiong Board will


step in and take the responsibility. Why did you previously have a


deadline? We had deadline on the basis we knew we had to transfer


the responsibility into the hands of clinicians. We were always clear


if they weren't actually able to do so we wouldn't authorise them to do


so. Why didn't you ask them before the White Paper? We did. The


messages that came back is they did want to set up the GP commissioning


groups, but one of the message that is came back, once the Pathfinders


started to establish themselves this year, one of the message some


of them sent was we want to do this, but we don't think we will be ready


in 2013. Is this pat rn of producing White Papers and


legislations and then withdrawing and rewriting it one you will


continue with? I personally don't intend to. Of course you're not


really the one who counts in this, this is David Cameron who says he


can be held personally responsible, where does that leave you?


issue is, you asked the question, setting out in the White Paper what


the principles are, is what you do in a White Paper, the vision and


principle also support it. When we have introduced the legislation


this year, when you actually produce the legislation t actually


brings forward a lot of questions and concerns. What would you do,


would you say under those circumstances, well, look, the


implementation of this, people have concerns about this, we will just


ignore those, or do you say, well, OK f people have concerns, let's


stop, let's listen, and if we k let as improve. Some people might say,


if the rewriting, the redrafting, the recommendation, the


consultation can be accomplished in two months, what on earth were you


doing during the seven years you have held this brief? I have been


actually arriving at the point where we know we can reform the NHS


and make it much better. brought this duff piece of


legislation? To be fair the NHS Future Forum didn't say that, they


said they can improve it. didn't get it right first time, you


had seven years? Even you Jeremy are capable of improvement. We are


all capable of improvement? Legislation is capable of


improvement. The improvement takes place before you introduce it into


parliament? It doesn't actually there are many, most pieces of


legislation are improved in the process of scrutiny in parliament.


What I think was particularly important here, however, is it


wasn't parliamentarians that simply should engage, many of them did


with the legislation. There was an awful lot in the legislation that I


know, to be frank, was to basically to create a permissive structure,


saying to the GP Consortia, you will have to set out how you will


structure your patient-public involvement, and how you will


structure your relationship with other professionals locally, how


you will do these things A lot of people said we don't want to leave


it until then but want it set out now. Are you saying you took a


piece of legislation through parliament that you knew to be


defective? I'm not saying that. Thank heaven force the Liberal


Democrats then? I'm not saying that. I'm saying, what is clear is people


had concerns, some of them were on the basis of people who were makes


misrepresentations or misunderstanding. Some of them were


genuine. People who were come together, Pathfinder consortia,


around the country, local authorities, people who in


foundation trusts saying actually we think we can improve the


legislation, and put more clarity into how we will do these things in


future, if you engage with us now and spoened respond to this, and we


did. - and respond to this, and we did. If there was this was a


majority Conservative Government this would not have been changed?


We are not in that position. This was a good process Government. I


happen to think good Government is about listening to people and


coming together. When Paddy Ashdown says this is an occasion for the


Liberal Democrats to celebrate, an achievement in getting this


legislation rewritten, he's right, isn't he? It is not about anybody


winning or losing or celebrating or otherwise, it is about the


Government, the coalition Government, getting plans for the


NHS, modernisation of the NHS that delivers improving services for


patients. It is all about delivering quality for patients.


wonder why you didn't plan like that in the first place? If I can


do anything to deliver better care for patients I will do it. I will


take on my shoulders Mr Were things we could have done and changed


earlier. - there were things we could have done and changed earlier.


But what is important is getting the strategy ready for


implementation for the NHS. That moves us from the place where the


NHS was at risk for the future. Everyone knows the pressure ones


the NHS, to do nothing was not an option. To modernise the NHS in


this way, by engaging the staff and increasing the effectiveness of


their work, and putting them at the heart of the decision making, that


is critical to make that happen. Thank you.


This appetite for getting the Government to change its mind,


seems to be growing. Many of the men and women who teach our


children in England and Wales, won't be turning up for work in a


couple of weeks time. They are angry, or most of the minority of


them who bothered to vote in the ballot are angry about changes to


their pensions. Remarkably the normally easy going Association of


Teachers and Lecturers are striking for the first time in their history.


Other union leaders say it presses a summer of discontent. Why are


they striking? It is, as you say, all about pensions. The


Government's plans to reform public sector pensions generally, means


that teachers specifically argue that they are going to be seeing a


huge rise in, or drop in their retirement income. They will need


to work an awful lot longer to get t they say they will have to pay


for more the privilege. Teachers already in the second year of a pay


freeze, they say that higher contributions are not affordable,


and the Government is about to announce what those increases are.


I think what you are seeing is the teachers, if you like, get anything


their retaliation early. One leader says it is a shot across the


Government bough, they say they have already got a pension


agreement that insurance them against greater longevity, what the


Government's proposing amounts to nothing more than a tax on teachers.


What happened in the ballot? It was interesting, it involved the NUT,


and the normal low, moderate, mild- mannered ATL, who have never ever


voted for a strike before. They balloted between them 300,000


people, the overwhelming majority of those voted to strike, but, and


the Government will make something of this, on a very low turnout.


The strikes are pencilled in for June 30th. They are going to


involve independent schools as well. As things stand, if they go ahead,


thousands of schools will be hit across England and Wales, endless


parents as well. The Government tonight, someone in the education


department told me there is no silver bullet, they do not have


contingency plans to keep schools open, it will all come down to


individual head teachers on the day, thinking have they got enough staff


to teach the kids. Is the feeling this is an outrider


for a series of public sector strikes? It has all come about


because of the review by Lord Hutton, already reported,


recommending sweeping changes to public sector pension arrangements


to make them more affordable going forward. Talks are on going between


the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and public sector unions. Even


before they resume later on this month, just before the teachers go


on strike, already unions are talking about further ballots, more


strike action possibly affecting much of the six million members of


the public sector work force. the Government doesn't change


course the risk is that the whole of the public sector, all of the


unions in the public sector, will be engaged in co-ordinated strike


action. Which nobody wants, and which really won't do anybody any


good in the short-term. What's the Government planning?


Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister says the strike by


teachers is completely irresponsible, given that talks in


theory are still in play. But you can expect to hear a lot more about


legislation to stop the country grind to go a halt.


With us now, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and


Lecturers, who you have just heard voted to strike today, Bousted bou,


the Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, Graham


Stuart. How does harming children's education do any good for your


members? I have met hundreds of members up and down the country


over the last four week, and they don't want to strike, the last


thing they want to do is take this action. They believe, and I have


heard this from teachers who have been in the profession for years


and years. Who joined ATL because they didn't want a strike. They


believe the current proposals will be so damaging to the profession,


that they are far more damage to go children's education than a one-day


strike. So children's education will be damaged if they don't


strike? Absolutely. It will be less damaged if they do strike? We have


tried everything to get our case across to the Government without a


strike. Yes, what our members are saying, yes, if if we don't strike


there will be more damage. This has nothing to do with education, it is


all about money? Money is important to teachers. What this is about is


the future of the profession. Let's just go three years in advance. We


have new teachers starting to teach, who have debts of �40,000 or over,


who will be expected pay 10% of their salary into a pension, they


won't be able to afford to do so. You accept the public finances are


in a real mess? Yes they are. Clearly it is as plain as a pike


staff, what are you suggesting, teachers lose jobs? This isn't


about the public finances. It is? The Teachers' Pension Scheme, at


the last valuation was not in deficit. And in 2007, we negotiated


changes which meant that new teachers worked longer and we paid


more. If the teachers' scheme was in deficit, the only people who


would pay would be the teachers. These reforms are not about the


public deficit. The reason that unions like this are emboldened,


because they have seen the Government bend the knee already to


the BMA and other vests interests in the health service, that was a


mistake, wasn't it? I wouldn't necessarily say that. The key point


here is the one you put to Mary at first, who will we look after, the


interests of teachers and their pensions, or the children. I think


many of your viewers tonight will wonder why formerly moderate unions,


why the negotiations are still going on, it hasn't ended. Why


aren't they sitting down with Government looking for solution,


not putting shots across the Government's bough in this


situation. I know Mary and my goals are to do the best for the children


of this country, do you set the example of throwing your toys out


of the pram and march out of the classroom for stay and sort this


out. People know the Government is in a mess because of what we have


inherited. Is public opinion on their side? I think the public will


have a lot of sympathy. People are being asked to pay for more less


for longer. That is pretty tough, except the big picture is a quarter


of us will live to be 100, most of us will live into our 80s. The


numbers don't add up. Mary knows that. We negotiated in 2007, as a


result of those negotiations teachers will work to 65, our


pension contributions increased, if there is any more to pay for


longevity, we have agreed to pay it, not the employers, out of teachers'


salaries, the Government hasn't done an evaluation of the scheme,


it is overdue by a year. This business of walking out of


negotiations. We have been in negotiations with the Treasury


since February, it took five months to cup up with a paper. We have


asked eight questions about the paper and how they have done the


calculations and they can't tell us that. The reason is it is badly


written and worked out. Any expert will tell you that. We want actual


figure about where the fund is, in deficit. You sound angry? We have


never voted for strike action in 127 years, with 83% yes in state


sector and 83% in the independent sector. Remind us what proportion


of your members voted at all? voted. Many MPs will be glad for


the 36%. They are not that angry? Many of those didn't vote really


don't want to take action, but they are angry. 64%, two-thirds of them,


effectively, didn't even bother to vote? The ballot laws in this


country say it is a majority, it is a big majority, many Members of


Parliament will be very glad stkwhr. It is a big majority of a maul


amount of your numbers? For ATL that is a significant result.


is an obvious solution to this, change the law as proposed by some


of your own members? I hope we don't go down that line. I believe


in the professionalism of teachers. I believe it is a fantastic


profession, the impact of teaching has reprecussions on the lives of


children. You don't see doctors, lawyers and professionals going out


on strike, and Mary's union has never done it before, to do it now


when we are in the state we are, rather than sitting down, as


passionately as Mary does, with the Government, arguing the points, in


the studio like this. We have either got to put the pensions of


teachers first or the education of children, I hope Mary would join me


in always putting the education of children first, not the individual


pensioner. I have offered Michael Gove any time. This can be solved


simply, take the 3% pensions' tax, which won't be going into the


pension. It is a tax on public sector workers, beyond a two-year


pay freeze, at a time when the wages haven't gone up at all. Take


it off the table and we will go to the proper negotiations Ts not our


position there needs to be no changes. We want to know is the


scheme in deficit, and a paper about the rational of the changes.


We don't want to wait five months for it. We want the figures and


facts, if you won't give them to us. She's arguing sympathetically,


these are reasonable requests? are, and they need to be made over


the table and publicly. We don't want to see professionals going out


on strike and putting at risk the welfare of our children.


To forecast how heavy the political weather is going to be after


today's news of strikes, and desperate NHS reassurances, we turn


to our sun lit panel of Danny "wrap up warm" Finkelstein of the Times.


And Peter Hyman. Time for what the anyoney's in the Met Office call a


significant weather moment. It almost dig fis to say the


Liberal Democrats stepped in. Both parties were involved in reversing


it in the House of Commons. It was a good thing to do. There is a


general view never do a u-turn, because that is what Margaret


Thatcher said. That is she didn't want to turn from a bad policy to a


worse one. This is a good policy. You are saying come back the way


you came, a slight deviation as from Lansley later? To put


legislation to the House of Commons and then realise you have to change


it is inevitably a u-turn and not dignified. It is still the right


thing to do. The Tories have come into line with your policy.


neutralised the NHS to have a "hug a nurse" policy. I think this is a


question of Cameron's judgment, why did Cameron let Lansley run away


with a policy that no-one thought was the correct strategy. What has


happened now, which I think is very damaging for the health service, is


the politics have caught up with the policy. People have realise


thasd no-win policy, and have - realised that it is a no-win policy.


The commissioning idea they have doesn't work. Before we go on with


the legacy, Olly Grender, marvellous achievement for the


Liberal Democrats you would say! That is the line you would like me


to pursue. That is the line of Paddy Ashdown and various other


Liberal Democrats. Bearing in mind they voted for this legislation?


And kicked up a big force in March. Why did they do, that didn't they


know what they were doing? As you know a lot of people tend to go


through the lobbies not having seen the detail. They agreed with the


broad principle but didn't read the detail. They vote for things they


don't know about about? They agreed with the principle of what it was


about, when it came to the detail, particularly about competition in


the NHS they listened to the party conference in March. The biggest


problem we have not discussed, there is �20 billion of savings in


the National Health Service, and now that these have been so


publicly discussed, the reforms so publicly discussed, people will


attribute closure that is will happen, happening for savings


reasons for these reforms. That is really bad news for the coalition


Government. The NHS is a serious problem for the Government.


Certainly for the Conservative Party, because it is linked so much


to the changed image. There is more political fall-out, I thought he


was broken, nah an unsustainable position? A golden opportunity for


the Labour Party. It should be a golden opportunity for the Labour


Party. I fear as yet they haven't been in the health service debate


at the moment? It has been an extraordinary week, last week the


Conservative Party, they did fear what would happen when they did


this pause. Really the Labour Party managed to drown it out with a


story about Ed Balls's new box and Ed Miliband's speech, it was an


extraordinary performance. I agree. They have had a lot of open goals


this week. It does back to the sense of Ed's strategy and


performance. I think they are the fundamental question is what is


this leadership for. At the moment we can say he's not hitting hard


enough as opposition leader. He would be on the front foot for if


he was on the other stuff as well. To be fair for Ed Miliband,


allowing him a certain period of being leader, it is typical of the


Labour Party, to kick so quickly after they have elected. No-one is


kicking, they are asking what he's doing. They have set an exemplary


record in looking after useless leaders? The difficulty is there is


an expectation of him. Being the third party in terms of interest to


people is a very difficult position to be in. What is your reading


collectively, we were talking earlier about teachers' strikes.


There is a whole wave of public sector strikes, threatened, in one


way or another. What is your reading of the public mood on these.


Teachers do vote, and those being asked to pay more money into the


pensions won't be very happy. You start losing, however people are


not very sympathetic to other people's pension rights to start


off with. Particularly when they are paid through tax-payers' money


and they don't like strikes. I suspect the politics won't work out


for the public sector unions who go on strike. We will work out


actually, Governments are always lucky if they get to fight fights


rather than the other side. It is not a fight the Government want at


the moment but it could end up better. What goes on in some


aspects of the private rather than public sector, I'm sympathetic


enough as a teacher saying we didn't cause the financial mess,


why are the public sector taking the pain of that. It was left to


this Government when they came into office. It is the fault of the


banking industry and then the crash. It is obviously ridiculous to say


public servants created the mess, it is certainly the case that


increased public spending on things we ultimately turned out not to be


able to afford. Something has to be done about it. It is a bit of a red


herring to links this to the long- term deficit. Lord Hutton was


brought in to solve it, it was identified as a problem by Labour


well before the structural deficit. Your reading of the public mood is


what? Of course this will be issues, particularly when you look at


inflation and cost of living for key workers, thats where it comes


into play. That is why it is critically important that the


coalition Government looks at ways of taxing people looking at tax


threshold. Solving long-term public sector pensions is something that


the last Government was attempting to do. It has to be done, doesn't


it. Which way do you think Labour will go on the strikes, Lord Hutton


is proet moing the reforms, Labour can't really oppose promoting the


reforms, Labour didn't oppose them or support them. Again I go back to


the big picture, the trouble is there is a picking at overall


rather than a specific strategy. Labour's credibility on the economy


is the fundamental task over the next four or five years. The Tories


have successfully rubbished them, they have to rebuild. That isn't


having individual policies. It was the fact that is rubbished them, to


be honest. We can debate that, they haven't a strategy on this. We saw


in the David Miliband's speech, the beginnings of a strategy emerging,


which I think Ed Balls would do well to learn from. If you have


that overarching framework, then these other things fit into it,


otherwise you don't have the credibility. I think from


yesterday's speech, you get a sense that Ed Miliband has the potential


to recognise that, but held to hostage by Ed Balls. He's still


carrying a torch over there! Are we in for a summer of


discontent? When you are reducing real incomes of real people, there


will be industrial action I don't think the Government can win that


battle, and I think they - I think the Government can win the battle


and win the argument, people see the need for reform for pensions.


Prior to the general election, all three of us said, very tough times


ahead, for whoever gets into power. That would have involved industrial


action, and I think that would have been the case whether it had been


Labour, majority, Conservative majority whatever. I would make a


different point, there is a whole series of issues where the quality


of policy making and decision making in this Government is under


question. Cameron, partly because of the weakness of the opposition


is getting away with murder, he's floating above the Government,


letting others like Lansley and Ken Clarke get into trouble with this.


Cameron isn't abreast with the detail. Law and order and


immigration they are running into trouble on that? They need to get a


grip on how policies are made and Cameron's involvement. A lot of the


u-turns are having got a grip realising they didn't have a strong


enough centre and getting a stronger centre. These produce u


turns, but better outcomes. I like a scenario, where even mistakes are


made and people are left in their job to put those mistakes right. I


think that is very different, that is good thing, that is something we


would do in normal working practice, we would make somebody put it right.


Come back again soon. In a better world, the clearing up


of rubbish wouldn't be something we expected councils to do, because


the citizens wouldn't leave rubbish lying about. In David Cameron's Big


Society, we would all organise ourselves to such task. We have


delegate the it to Stephen Smith, who is supposed to be investigating


how other countries do it. To Belgium, if you can look at that


country where they have managed well without a Government, they


have just had volunteering day. Previously on Citizen Smith:


In Gloucester we had a royal weteding street party, I helped


arranged, or didn't prevent. Thanks to a course on organising in David


Cameron's Big Society. What a swell party it was.


I said there was too much eggnog in that punch. WTF, hang about, I know


where this is, I'm at mini-Europe in BEEP Belgium.


# We must all stick together It's a special day in Brussels. A


day when people are encouraged to volunteer to cloon up their city.


Now that sounds like the big "big society", some say - the Big


Society, some say Grandad, I wanted to find out, - La Grande Societe, I


wanted to find out are they on to something, and would a day like


this work back home. The Mannequin Pis wears the proud uniform of the


city sweepers, how do we know? There was a leak!


Shiny new stop cocks are curtesy of the city fathers. Soiled frontages


are a thing of the past. If you look at our pavement, we have


cobble stones, they are very beautiful but not very smooth. They


are difficult to clean just with the broom. You need to have water


under pressure to make sure you can take the cigarette butts away.


Unfortunately a lot of the dog owners let their dogs pee on the


flower spots. Even human doss that from time to time. It is your own


fault, you have a statue of a young boy relieving himself? That's right,


that is what my Russian guests said yesterday. He said when he saw


someone doing, that he said he must imitate your most famous site.


Citizen Smith, moderate or good, becoming poor.


On Volunteer Day in Brussels, all types take part. Lending a full


majesty of the Belgian crown to the occasion is Princess Astrid, she's


meeting charity workers at these stalls, but not meeting journalists.


You probably thought like me they had bicycling royalty here or


segwaying, but we can't interview Princess Astrid to get her views on


litter collecting and that kind of thing, it is shame, I have been


working hard on my conversational waloon. Would they have treated


Belgium's favourite soon, Tintin in the same way, he was a reporter you


know. There is plenty to see and do in Brussels, still.


It also happens to be open day at the European Council building.


Isn't that monsieur Monsieur Van Rompuy, do you like interesting


facts about TV, he has never given an interview to Newsnight, up until


now. What is your best time on that Mr President, your best time for


the Rubik's cub? It is as complicated as the eurozone. It is,


we're from BBC television. That's nice, lovely, could we have


a quick word for the BBC? Not on the news. Not on the news, just


about Volunteer Day, Volunteer Day here in Brussels? Yeah, yeah.


is all I wanted to ask you about, is it a good thing, everybody


voched in picking up litter, keep - involved in picking up litter and


keeping the streets clear. can't have a society without


volunteers, people depend only on the public authorities. The free


choice and engagement and enthusiasm of people is key for


having a sound society. Do you think you have the Big Society in


Europe, I don't know if you have heard of the phrase of Mr


Cameron's? It is a long-term project. I hope you enjoy your cube,


many eyes of private fiddling there. Thank you.


There is even a build-your-own- scare crow competition. We toured


the tattered termillions with MP Emma McClarkin. Are Belgians better


at being citizens than we are, or the same? It is not for me to cast


about saying who is the best citizen in the European Union,


whether Belgian or Britain. We as British people like to take


responsibility for our actions and we foster that spirit. We are


better? I would say we are fantastic. There is nothing we can


learn from our friends over here? There is lots we can learn in lots


of different areas, the Big Society is one of those areas to grow and


learn from other people. They have a secret weapon here, reserved for


people who make a mess of the place, or allow their pets to. Here he


comes now. Any second now. # Like a bat out of hell


# When the morning comesle It is a motorbike with a vacuum


cleaner attached. This baby can go from nought to slurry in the blink


of an eye. Have you any special power can you use a Taser on dog


owners if they foul the streets? TRANSLATION: Absolutely no power.


People are sometimes gobsmacked, some of them think about what they


are doing. Others not at all. But I have no power to apprehend people.


You're like the Mad Max of dog poo in this country, there is no other


way of putling it? Not really, in a certain way I suppose so. My


friends respect me too much to give me a nickname.


It's all very well laying on an anti-litter train, what if people


don't want to get on board. I can't say I have seen too many volunteers


cleaning the streets today. I expected to see people picking up


rubbish, but I haven't seen that much? TRANSLATION: In some parts of


town, there were locals, along with 300 of our cleanliness ambassadors


cleaning pavements. Not so much in the centre of town, but lots of


shopkeepers joined in, it was a success. Do you think people in


this country are more interested in helping the society than perhaps


British people? No. I don't think so. Really? TRANSLATION: It is very


difficult to change people's mentalties, Belgians and people


living in Brussels often have anti- social reflexes, what we are trying


to do with this day is change people's mentalties to respect


their environment. David Cameron may be tempted to try


a Volunteer Day at home, if so he might also like to borrow an old


Belgian adage about making a A movie by Newsnight.


The end. That's all tonight. We have had


enough cautionary tales about the perils of who you can trust in


cyberspace. But now the Ministry of Defence is warning its servicemen


and women to be careful what they disclose to their friends and


family when they whroing or tweet. In the war on terror d when they


blog or tweet, in the war on terror, careless talk can cost lives.


careless talk can cost lives. we are.


I hope you enjoy Tuesday's sunshine, the weather is on the slide. A


scattering of showers moving in from the west during the course of


the day. Pretty hit and miss, brighter spells inbetween. The


ever-present risk of the odd shower. A lot of cloud around, certainly


more than there was on Tuesday. Any brighter spells, temperatures doing


pretty well. High teens, possibly low 20s, to be aware that the rain


will never be too far away. A few brighter glimpses, difficult to


nail down exactly where, the hope that most of us will see as useful


dryer and brighter spells, the cloud will thicken again and bring


the threat of further showers. For Northern Ireland, after a rather


cloudy start, things should improve here, with some of the best of the


sunshine through the afternoon, lifting those temperatures up to 16


or 17. For Scotland most of the showers staying to the west of the


hills have had a chance of saying largely dry further east. Looking


into Thursday, more of the same, a scattering of showers, decent


brighter spells across the more northern parts of the UK, perhaps


some heavier showers for a time further south. Temperatures easing


down, that is trend continuing through to the end of the week.


Thursday's picture again is a messy one, isn't it, one area of shower


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