13/09/2011 Newsnight


13/09/2011

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


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Transcript


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The crisis with the euro is as bad as ever it has been and tomorrow

:00:08.:00:12.

may come the critical intervention which could save it or sink it.

:00:12.:00:16.

As Europe's leaders get ready to teleconference their way out of the

:00:16.:00:18.

conference, which button will they press.

:00:18.:00:24.

I will be asking the German Government what they intend to do.

:00:24.:00:27.

Trades unionists are underwhelmed by the Labour leader. I do believe

:00:27.:00:32.

it was a mistake for strikes to happen last summer. Shame!

:00:32.:00:36.

continue to believe that. What is the state of the Labour

:00:36.:00:41.

Party's relationship with its pay masters.

:00:41.:00:44.

As Palestine appeals to the world for place at the UN what are the

:00:44.:00:51.

chances of success? Can scientific fact ever inspire

:00:51.:00:54.

the same affection as religious stories. Richard Dawkins goes myth

:00:54.:01:04.
:01:04.:01:08.

Good evening, the convention in news programmes is that rereport

:01:08.:01:12.

what's happened, but these are unconventional turbulent times, and

:01:12.:01:16.

frankly, we don't know what is going on. Something is up, though,

:01:16.:01:20.

with the euro. Rumours have swirled all day about the Greeks defaulting

:01:20.:01:25.

on their debt, big French banks in trouble, and the Germans

:01:26.:01:28.

manoeuvring towards some sort of operation that might save the

:01:28.:01:32.

currency, for now, at least. Here is the best guess of our economics

:01:32.:01:37.

editor, Paul Mason. There is rumours because the French started

:01:37.:01:41.

the day by announcing, briefing journalists, that they were going

:01:41.:01:44.

to make a big announcement about the future of Greece. Then they

:01:44.:01:49.

didn't. There will be something tomorrow. But there has been

:01:49.:01:52.

frantic private diplomacy all day between Greece, France, the USA,

:01:52.:01:56.

President Obama coming out and saying in public, Europe get your

:01:56.:02:00.

act together, you are pulling the rest of the economy down. It has

:02:00.:02:08.

all been occasion. Greece needs 8 billion euros, from the big bailout

:02:08.:02:13.

last May. The Europeans and the IMF decided it say unless you do X, Y

:02:13.:02:17.

and Z, you are not getting anything. This created the stand-off, going

:02:17.:02:22.

on for the last couple of week. It is coming to head, we have two days

:02:22.:02:27.

to do the deal. Meanwhile, bank shares are tumbling, specific EU

:02:27.:02:30.

banks looking pretty precarious. Tomorrow, they have decided there

:02:30.:02:35.

will be a teleconference between Merkel, Sarkozy and the Greek Prime

:02:35.:02:44.

Minister, Andropov, and boy, would all us economics - economists like

:02:44.:02:52.

to be in that teleconference. won't be press 1 for default and 2

:02:52.:03:00.

for austerity, there aren't many options beyond that. The French,

:03:00.:03:05.

Greek and German leaders will speak tomorrow knowing they are running

:03:05.:03:13.

out of time. Today, Germany's leader met Finland's leader to sort

:03:13.:03:20.

out a little local difficulty. The Fins are so worried Greece will

:03:20.:03:26.

default on the bailout, they want security from Europe. Just one part

:03:26.:03:31.

of the malaise of back tracking and indecision. To the wider world,

:03:31.:03:34.

Angela Merkel's message was, stop talking about a Greek default. She,

:03:34.:03:44.

of course, is worried about nothing else.

:03:44.:03:46.

TRANSLATION: We have to always consider that everything we do is

:03:46.:03:49.

controlled. That we know the consequences. Because otherwise we

:03:49.:03:53.

can very quickly have a situation in the eurozone that we do not want,

:03:54.:04:02.

and which will have very difficult consequences for all of us.

:04:02.:04:08.

Today, in Greece, the taxi drivers went on strike, and marched, over

:04:08.:04:13.

the weekend there have been riots. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, here

:04:13.:04:20.

pictured on a coffin, had to slap down an emergency 2 billion euro

:04:20.:04:22.

property tax, because EU negotiators threatened to walk away

:04:22.:04:29.

from talks on the next round of the bailout. For Greek budget deficit,

:04:29.:04:35.

it is on track to be 9.5% of GDP, worse than expected and worse than

:04:35.:04:42.

demand by the bailout deal, because Greek GDP is shrinking, but Greece

:04:42.:04:46.

needs 8 billion euros this week, the latest tranche of bailout money

:04:46.:04:51.

that is being held, without it, it only has money to pay its bills

:04:51.:04:54.

until October. Some believe the euro won't be out of crisis, until

:04:54.:04:59.

Greece is out of the euro. I think it is inevitable that Greece will,

:04:59.:05:04.

in due course, be ejected, or choose itself, to leave. You can't

:05:04.:05:07.

have a more coherent long-term solution for the eurozone until you

:05:07.:05:11.

have bitten that bullet and got the Greeks to leave. In July the idea

:05:11.:05:16.

of a Marshall Plan for Greece, modelled on USA to Europe in 1948

:05:16.:05:20.

made it so far as a draft EU declaration, the Brits got it

:05:20.:05:23.

removed. But now, senior German figures are behind the scenes,

:05:23.:05:27.

urging Germany to do just that. Rebuild the Greek economy, with

:05:27.:05:32.

German money. But it is not flavour of the month.

:05:32.:05:36.

The problem is, that once you come up with the big master plan to

:05:36.:05:41.

solve the crisis once and for all, the other countries, on the

:05:41.:05:45.

periphery, the Spain, the Italys or the Irelands, would have an

:05:45.:05:49.

incentive to just rely on French- German leadership and relax their

:05:49.:05:56.

own efforts to actually shape up. As Greece slides, Italy is drawn

:05:56.:06:01.

into the zone of danger. Italy and Spain are relying on the European

:06:01.:06:05.

Central Bank, funded by Germany, to keep their own debts managable. But

:06:05.:06:10.

when Italy had to raise a new loan today t came at the highest-ever

:06:10.:06:16.

interest rate in the Euro-era, 5.6 per cent. Even at that price, China

:06:16.:06:20.

declared it would start buying Italian debt, though not, one

:06:20.:06:24.

suspects, out of solidarity with the Italian Communists. The euro

:06:24.:06:28.

got a decent lift out of this news that China was going to come in and

:06:28.:06:31.

buy Italian debt. Or there is suspicion that is it will, it was

:06:31.:06:35.

so short lived. I think really the market is now at the point where it

:06:35.:06:38.

is looking beyond what can we do to help Italy and Greece, to really

:06:38.:06:43.

the next chapter in this whole huge sorry mess.

:06:43.:06:47.

One idea gaining traction is for Brussels to create a new fund, to

:06:47.:06:51.

move tax-payers' money from the north to the south, modelled on the

:06:51.:06:56.

EU structural fund, but for euro countries only. Here is the

:06:56.:06:58.

advantage? Many of the schemes people have talked about in

:06:58.:07:01.

financial markets, seem to me to be non-starters, precisely because

:07:01.:07:04.

they are associated with the Germans taking on numbers in the

:07:04.:07:07.

thrillions of additional debt. The kind of thing which I'm talking

:07:07.:07:12.

about is numbers in the low billions of annual transfers. So

:07:12.:07:15.

I'm talking about switching mind set to thinking we can find a

:07:15.:07:19.

solution that works within the find of framework we already have,

:07:19.:07:23.

taking those things a little bit further. But that, of course s a

:07:23.:07:26.

long-term commitment, rather than a sticking plaster solution where you

:07:26.:07:31.

pretend the problem will all go away by the day after tomorrow.

:07:31.:07:37.

It But, time is important. Tomorrow's big teleconference means

:07:37.:07:41.

we are moving beyond the summit stage to crunch time for Greece.

:07:41.:07:44.

Paul s there any evidence that European politicians are about to

:07:44.:07:50.

have a wholesale change of mind? they do it will be a pretty big one.

:07:50.:07:53.

They have philosophically nailed their colours to the mast. That the

:07:53.:07:59.

euro, equals the EU, equals the internal market. Mr Romano, last

:07:59.:08:04.

week, made the claim, that without the euro, the internal market would

:08:04.:08:14.

fall apart in a crisis. It is a long way from that in seeing one

:08:14.:08:18.

member leave. You have started to see in Germany opposition

:08:18.:08:22.

politicians talking about default, and talking about it. You have also

:08:22.:08:25.

started seeing figures in the background of German politics

:08:25.:08:29.

saying we could do this Marshall Plan, we could draw a line under

:08:29.:08:34.

our post-war history by putting our hands in our pockets and saving

:08:34.:08:39.

Greece T will come down what-to- what the German people tell their

:08:39.:08:44.

elected - it will come down to what the German people tell their

:08:44.:08:47.

elected leaders to do. From all this back room activity, I can tell

:08:47.:08:53.

it is not far away. Here to chew this over from Germany, is Peter

:08:53.:08:57.

Altmaier, Chief Whip of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats,

:08:57.:09:01.

getting German MPs to vote for bailout. Joining us also is a Greek

:09:02.:09:08.

journalist, and here in the studio, Terry Smith, chief executive of the

:09:08.:09:12.

currency brokers. Mr Altmaier, do you know what will happen tomorrow?

:09:12.:09:16.

Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. We have a clear idea

:09:16.:09:21.

today what we have to do. The world economy is in a critical condition.

:09:21.:09:24.

It means we have a certain responsibility to be very firm and

:09:24.:09:31.

very clear about what we intend to do, and our aim is clear, we want

:09:31.:09:36.

to preserve the euro, we want to avoid recession on a worldwide

:09:36.:09:41.

scale. That means we want to keep Greece inside the euro, and we want

:09:41.:09:46.

to help Greece overcoming the crisis. But, of course, the Finance

:09:46.:09:51.

Minister, said, if necessary, Greece should be allowed to just go

:09:51.:09:57.

bust? The Chancellor made it clear that public talking about default

:09:57.:10:05.

is not a good idea. We have a mission under way in Greece, we

:10:05.:10:12.

will see whether Greece will make the required efforts to achieve

:10:12.:10:16.

more stability culture in a sustainable way, and we are

:10:16.:10:20.

prepared to help Greece overcoming the problems. We still think the

:10:20.:10:24.

best solution would be to avoid default. But this is something, of

:10:24.:10:30.

course, that has to be discussed and not publicly, but if the mind

:10:30.:10:36.

is clear to overcome the crisis. How do you think this will solve

:10:36.:10:41.

itself? I think Greece will leave the euro and it is going to default.

:10:41.:10:44.

I don't know what will happen in the meantime, but it is detail.

:10:44.:10:49.

Greece is running a higher deficit than planned, that will continue,

:10:49.:10:53.

nothing practical can be done to prevent that. The analogy I would

:10:53.:10:58.

give you is Germany is like a well- to-do parent that has allowed her

:10:58.:11:01.

child out with a platinum credit card, drawn on their account. And

:11:01.:11:06.

they will bankrupt themselves in the efforts to save Greece f they

:11:06.:11:10.

have the political will to do so. As a representative of this

:11:10.:11:14.

irresponsible child, why should the Germans keep on bailing out Greece?

:11:14.:11:19.

Well, first of all, I'm not a representative of the Greek

:11:19.:11:24.

Government. But, the problem is, I think, we are fixating a little too

:11:24.:11:29.

much on Greece. I understand that of course it captures the

:11:29.:11:34.

imagination and our imagination as journalists, but what we are not

:11:34.:11:37.

talking about is the other peripheral and not so peripheral

:11:37.:11:41.

countries like Italy that are in a lot of trouble. We are not talking

:11:41.:11:44.

right now about the structural and design problems with the common

:11:44.:11:47.

currency, and what we are not talking about is why we are doing

:11:47.:11:53.

all of this, and why we are doing all of this, is across the

:11:53.:11:57.

continent banks are undercapitalised, it is banks going

:11:57.:12:02.

bust first if Greece defaults. you think Greece is a special case?

:12:02.:12:09.

Yes, Greece is certainly a special case, in so far as the economic

:12:09.:12:13.

problems of Greece are much worse than in all the other countries

:12:13.:12:18.

concerned. There are problems with the banks, certainly in other

:12:19.:12:23.

European countries as well. But mistakes have been made in Greece

:12:23.:12:27.

over a number of years, and this has to be repaid, it cannot be

:12:27.:12:34.

repaid in a short time, but what we need is a clear cut commitment from

:12:34.:12:39.

the Greek Government to change things profoundly, to organise a

:12:39.:12:44.

better administration, to privatise public enterprises. This is a very

:12:44.:12:50.

important gesture, we know it is not easy to do. But the monitoring

:12:50.:12:55.

Troika from the EU will report on this, and this will be the basis

:12:55.:13:00.

for the further decisions on how to proceed with the rescue package for

:13:00.:13:04.

Greece. Perhaps the leopard will change its spots, if it were going

:13:04.:13:13.

to do so, would we not have seen some evidence by now? Well, I'm, of

:13:13.:13:16.

course, not a representative of the Government, and I'm just the Chief

:13:16.:13:22.

Whip in parliament. My impression is that we are in a critical stage

:13:22.:13:27.

right now. There are so many are you mores, so many diverging

:13:27.:13:31.

interests in this debate and what we have to do is as politicians is,

:13:31.:13:35.

we have to be clear, and I come back to what the Greek colleague

:13:35.:13:40.

has said, the euro, so far, was a big success story, and we, as

:13:40.:13:46.

politician, should be aware, if one country would have to leave the

:13:46.:13:49.

euro, it could have devastating effects for the rest of the

:13:49.:13:53.

European Union, and therefore, we should consider very carefully what

:13:53.:13:57.

we are doing as the next step. What do you think the Greek

:13:57.:14:02.

Government will do next? Well, I mean, to be very honest with you,

:14:02.:14:08.

there is very little they can do. What they have been doing badly is

:14:08.:14:12.

adhering to those targets and implementing those reforms, and it

:14:13.:14:16.

is perfectly understandable that Governments and tax-payers who

:14:16.:14:21.

actually pay up, for these bailouts, demand results. What needs to be

:14:21.:14:25.

said, however, is as has been mentioned, Greece haz been

:14:25.:14:30.

mismanaged for so many years, that many of the problems are deeply

:14:30.:14:33.

rooted within the country and its economy. So reform is a little

:14:33.:14:39.

slower to come. And I would argue that evidence of the shock therapy

:14:39.:14:42.

Greece has been undergoing for the last year-and-a-half, is the

:14:42.:14:49.

recession the country is in. It is reaching 7.3% this quarter. These

:14:49.:14:54.

are unprecedented figures for a eurozone country. So, unfortunately,

:14:54.:15:01.

a big chunk of the Greek population are paying up. They are footing the

:15:01.:15:05.

bill for mismanagment that they did not cause, they are, in a way,

:15:05.:15:10.

asking for help, support, solidarity, so we can continue to

:15:10.:15:14.

enjoy all the benefits of the euro, and enjoyed across the eurozone, in

:15:14.:15:19.

Germany as well as in Greece. the meantime, Terry Smith, we have

:15:19.:15:25.

the prospect of this particular YuriGagarino50 Euro-crisis becoming

:15:25.:15:35.
:15:35.:15:40.

a big bank this euro crisis? If we support Greece it will mean all the

:15:40.:15:45.

other countries in the periphery, but ones who have similar debt

:15:45.:15:48.

problems, none of which are complying with the austerity

:15:48.:15:53.

programme, if it costs so much they will bankrupt Germany, if you don't

:15:53.:15:56.

do it, you are left with the problem that the banks in certain

:15:57.:16:00.

countries, most particularly France, have bought so much debt off these

:16:00.:16:04.

countries that they will be bankrupted. Whichever way you jump

:16:04.:16:10.

it will be very bad. What's going to happen? Greece will leave the

:16:10.:16:17.

euro and default, I don't think it will rest with Greece. That's a

:16:17.:16:21.

superficial and easy solution there, I'm sorry, but it is the obvious

:16:21.:16:26.

thing to say, Greece will default and leave the euro, you have made

:16:26.:16:30.

an eloquent and intelligent argument about the

:16:30.:16:32.

interconnectiveness of banks and economies across the eurozone,

:16:32.:16:37.

would it not be a concern for you what it would mean if Greece left

:16:37.:16:40.

the euro, setting a precedent for other countries perhaps in the

:16:40.:16:44.

future, to leave the euro, in the near future as well, and what the

:16:44.:16:48.

ramifications of such a thing would be for the global economy, having

:16:48.:16:53.

one of the main currencies of the global economy completely

:16:53.:16:58.

destablised. I go back to what I said. Hang on a skebgd second.

:16:58.:17:02.

There is no painless way out of this, whatever way you go will

:17:02.:17:08.

cause pain, the longer you leave it will be more painful. The longer

:17:08.:17:14.

you leave a child with a credit card, the worse it will be with you.

:17:14.:17:24.
:17:24.:17:24.

Hang on a second. I must join my Greek colleague. It would, in my

:17:24.:17:29.

eyes, some how be irresponsible to say the Greeks should leave the

:17:29.:17:35.

euro, no singer problem could better be solved if Greek left the

:17:35.:17:40.

eurozone. The amount of Greek debt in Europe would double, when the

:17:40.:17:46.

Greek currency would be devalued, rapidly. We could not help, as we

:17:46.:17:52.

can do it right now, and the second point is as soon as Greece would

:17:53.:17:57.

leave the eurozone, there would be an enormous speculation about the

:17:57.:18:02.

next candidates for default, this is something we have to avoid by

:18:03.:18:07.

building a firewall across Europe, we have to develop the instruments,

:18:08.:18:13.

the tools, in a tool box that we need, and for the time being, we

:18:13.:18:18.

should dare, as politicians, to be firm, and not to respond to

:18:18.:18:21.

speculation, but to do what we have announced and what we have promised

:18:21.:18:25.

over so many weeks and months. We will look forward to seeing what

:18:25.:18:29.

happens tomorrow then. The public don't seem to know much

:18:29.:18:34.

about him, but the trades unions do, to judge by today's reception of Ed

:18:34.:18:37.

Miliband at the TUC conference, plenty of them don't much care for

:18:38.:18:41.

what they know. Plans will be laid for what I suppose is called a

:18:41.:18:45.

winter of discontent. As the unions try to organise strikes protesting

:18:45.:18:49.

against public spending cuts. The unions effectively gave the junior

:18:49.:18:52.

Miliband victory over his brothers in the race for the Labour

:18:52.:18:55.

leadership. When he told them today that strikes over public sector

:18:55.:19:03.

pensions were a mistake, they jeered him.

:19:03.:19:05.

Every politician wants to be loved, right?

:19:05.:19:10.

Better by far to get cheered in happy adoration, than face a

:19:10.:19:18.

barrage of angry cat calls. The unthinkable happened, they

:19:18.:19:21.

booed him. Ceausescu was dumb struck, well, not necessarily, not

:19:21.:19:28.

if you are this man, in front of the TUC conference. It is our job

:19:28.:19:30.

to...Tho They are not. They are not continuing.

:19:30.:19:34.

A few boos from the unions wouldn't have hurt Ed Miliband's feelings

:19:34.:19:40.

today one little bit. It was proof, say his supporters, that he's no

:19:40.:19:46.

union puppet, no Red Ed, he is, they say, distinctly, his own man.

:19:46.:19:53.

There are times when you and I will disagree. You will speak your mind,

:19:53.:20:00.

and so will I. But, our link is secure enough, mature enough, to

:20:00.:20:03.

deal with disagreement. Because the relationship between party and

:20:03.:20:08.

unions, for me, is not about romance, or nostalgia, it is about

:20:09.:20:14.

respect and shared values. What drew the heckles, well, firstly, a

:20:14.:20:17.

condemnation from the Labour leader of the recent public sector strikes.

:20:17.:20:23.

So I fully understand why millions of decent public sector workers are

:20:23.:20:27.

angry, but while negotiations were going on, I do believe it was a

:20:27.:20:30.

mistake for strikes to happen last summer.

:20:30.:20:37.

I continue to believe that. Shame. But what we need now is meaningful

:20:37.:20:41.

negotiation, to prevent further confrontation over the autumn.

:20:41.:20:46.

Mr Miliband didn't win many friends in the hall by praising non-local

:20:46.:20:51.

authority-run schools. Let me just tell you, let me tell you about my

:20:51.:20:55.

experience of academies, I have two in my own constituency, they have

:20:55.:20:58.

made a big difference to educational standards in my

:20:58.:21:02.

constituency, that is my local experience. I'm sorry people say

:21:02.:21:06.

"shame", I care about the kids in my constituency, and they have made

:21:07.:21:10.

a big difference, it has made a big difference to kids in my

:21:10.:21:14.

constituency. Critics of the link between the

:21:15.:21:17.

trades unions and the Labour Party sometimes fail to appreciate is

:21:17.:21:22.

that it was actually the unions that set up the Labour Party in the

:21:23.:21:26.

first place. To better represent their interests.

:21:26.:21:30.

However, what supporters of this link can sometimes not quite grasp

:21:30.:21:35.

is just how bad it can look to the increasingly large proportion of

:21:35.:21:39.

the British population who aren't in a trade union.

:21:39.:21:44.

Labour Party strategists worked out a long time ago, you can't actually

:21:44.:21:48.

win a British general election by simply tailoring your message to

:21:48.:21:53.

the people who come to an event like this.

:21:53.:21:57.

One Labour Party report has identified the commuter belt around

:21:57.:22:01.

London as crucial, if Labour wants to regain power. But here,

:22:02.:22:07.

according to polling, voters have a particularly hostile attitude to

:22:07.:22:17.
:22:17.:22:36.

unions. When asked, for example, if . The author of that report is the

:22:36.:22:40.

Labour frontbencher, gartreth Thomas. One of the concerns I

:22:40.:22:46.

identified in the pamphlet I wrote is the concerns some in the

:22:46.:22:50.

commuter belt, some of those in the swing voters who were concerned

:22:50.:22:53.

about the way trade unions are operated. That is what Labour has

:22:53.:22:56.

to take into account when we consider our appeal to the

:22:56.:23:00.

electorate going forward. Changing perceptions for Labour

:23:00.:23:05.

might prove difficult. The most recent figures show that the unions

:23:05.:23:11.

gave Labour over 90% of its money. And a new study budgets that the

:23:11.:23:15.

unions had a huge influence on Ed Miliband's election as leader of

:23:15.:23:20.

the party, to the point where, according to academic, it couldn't

:23:20.:23:24.

have been considered a free and fair contest. We don't really know

:23:24.:23:27.

what would have happened under another set of rules. Ed Miliband's

:23:27.:23:32.

team might have fought a different campaign. We do know, and we can be

:23:32.:23:37.

fairly certain, is these features of the electoral college are

:23:37.:23:40.

problematic in the way they operate. They look back to the days of union

:23:40.:23:43.

block votes. That is why we are talking in the research about

:23:43.:23:48.

reinventing the block vote. The way the unions operated gave them the

:23:48.:23:51.

capacity to shape the result in the kind of way they would have done in

:23:51.:23:54.

the past. Tomorrow it is expected that the big public sector unions

:23:54.:23:58.

will announce that they intend to ballot on strike action for later

:23:58.:24:03.

this year. If the strikes do materialise, well it can only put

:24:03.:24:08.

further strain on Labour and its links with the unions.

:24:08.:24:12.

The leaders of the big unions affiliated to the Labour Party,

:24:12.:24:18.

Unison, Unite, the GMB, couldn't drag themselves away from the

:24:18.:24:21.

Congress in central London to be here tonight, but shadow Business

:24:21.:24:27.

Secretary, John Denham could, he's here. Can you support strikes this

:24:27.:24:30.

winter? The important thing is to look at the issues people are

:24:30.:24:34.

arguing about. We know people don't go on strike unless they have real

:24:34.:24:38.

concerns. On the other hand it is rarely the most important question,

:24:38.:24:42.

whether Labour supports the strike. What we need to look at, with

:24:42.:24:45.

public sector pensions for example, is why hasn't the Government got a

:24:45.:24:49.

proper negotiated deal. You think these changes are wrong? Will you

:24:49.:24:52.

support strike action this winter? If we think the changes are wrong

:24:52.:24:57.

and we think the Government isn't negotiating properly, we will say

:24:57.:25:01.

so. I won't get dragged into a secondary issue about whether

:25:01.:25:04.

Labour supports a strike that hasn't even happened. Ed Miliband

:25:04.:25:08.

said the changes are wrong? What he said last summer is he thought the

:25:08.:25:12.

strikes were wrong. He said the way the Government is going about it is

:25:12.:25:16.

wrong. He says there is case for change in pension, but it needs to

:25:16.:25:20.

be properly negotiate. Our role, as the Labour Party, is not to start

:25:20.:25:25.

saying, oh yes, we will or won't support a strike, it is to say let

:25:25.:25:28.

as have proper negotiations between the Government and the unions.

:25:28.:25:32.

There are real issues here for working people, and real issues

:25:32.:25:35.

about pension that is have to be sorted out. The answer to the

:25:35.:25:38.

question, will you support strikes this winter, is, you haven't

:25:39.:25:43.

decided yet? Answer to the question is what we will do is focus on the

:25:43.:25:47.

real issue that affects working people, and the best way of

:25:47.:25:50.

resolving it. The worst thing that can happen. You think that is

:25:50.:25:54.

leadership do you? The worst thing that can happen is for everybody to

:25:54.:25:57.

say what really matters is whether Labour is for origins a strike.

:25:58.:26:01.

What really matters is getting the right result on the issue. That is

:26:01.:26:04.

where we should be, and that is where we will be. When Len

:26:04.:26:10.

McCluskey of Unite, talk about civil disobedience is that

:26:10.:26:15.

legitimate or not? We wouldn't countenance anything outside the

:26:15.:26:21.

law. You would be against civil disobedience? Anything outside the

:26:21.:26:26.

law we are against. We are not against lots of different

:26:26.:26:29.

organisations getting involved. Everybody has to conduct themselves

:26:29.:26:32.

inside the law in this country, otherwise you are in a terrible

:26:32.:26:36.

state. The legal strike you are still undecided about? It is not a

:26:36.:26:40.

matter of being undecided, it is a matter of saying that is not the

:26:40.:26:44.

big issue of the this is a hugele cha eng facing the country, what do

:26:44.:26:48.

do you about public sector pensions, it is of huge concern to millions

:26:48.:26:51.

of people. What the Labour Party says about strikes isn't the big

:26:51.:26:54.

question, it is getting it sorted out. The big question, this is

:26:54.:26:58.

really all about the cuts, isn't it, that is what it is really about?

:26:58.:27:02.

The cuts is a wider issue, it is affecting man public services.

:27:02.:27:05.

Miliband said not all of the cuts would be reversed? That is true.

:27:05.:27:09.

Which ones wouldn't be? What we have said overall is the deficit

:27:09.:27:12.

reduction, the Government wants to get rid of the deficit in three

:27:12.:27:18.

years, we think it should be halved in four years, there is tens of

:27:18.:27:23.

billions of pounds of difference in what we think is a sensible rate of

:27:23.:27:28.

deficit reduction. We won't have a total alternative spending plan, it

:27:28.:27:31.

is impossible. We are honest to the unions, can he can't say every cut

:27:31.:27:35.

should be resisted, there would be no cuts. I just asked you, sorry, I

:27:35.:27:40.

haven't made myself clear, which cuts would not be reversed? You are

:27:40.:27:45.

asking us to go through a list of different things. Just give us two

:27:45.:27:49.

or three? In my area of responsibility I have made it clear

:27:49.:27:51.

that higher education would not have been free of all cuts, but it

:27:52.:27:58.

wouldn't be the �2.8 billion cuts the Tories did. If it was there -

:27:58.:28:04.

if there was a cut in line it would not be the same. How many billions?

:28:04.:28:07.

If you took it in proportion it is well under a billion. That would be

:28:07.:28:10.

in line with the other public spending cuts. We have also said

:28:10.:28:14.

that some of the adult training budget wouldn't have continued

:28:14.:28:18.

under Labour. If you go across the Labour Party every single person,

:28:18.:28:22.

and I'm not going to construct a huge alternative budget here,

:28:22.:28:27.

Jeremy. Why not? In opposition you can't. He made a public pledged to?

:28:27.:28:30.

In opposition you can't construct an entire alternative budget. What

:28:31.:28:35.

Ed Miliband said today. It is hard to know what he believes, that's

:28:35.:28:38.

all? What he said honestly to the unions, of course there would be

:28:39.:28:42.

cuts under Labour, not the same as the Tories, but not enough to say

:28:42.:28:46.

to the trade union movement there would be no cuts. Isn't the traud

:28:46.:28:50.

of the - isn't the truth of the matter he's embarrassed by the fact

:28:50.:28:54.

that the trade unions gave him the leadership of your party? He's

:28:54.:28:57.

proud to have the support of trade union members, not bosses, but

:28:57.:29:02.

members to get elected. He wants to see, as he said today, a country in

:29:02.:29:06.

which trade unions...What Portion of trade unions voted in that

:29:06.:29:14.

election? A disappointingly low percentage. 4%? A lot of the debate

:29:14.:29:17.

about the future of the Labour Party is how the three million

:29:17.:29:21.

individual trade union members who were entitled to vote, who didn't,

:29:21.:29:24.

become more active in the party. Everybody recognises that is a

:29:24.:29:27.

crucial part of refounding the Labour Party. So that people who

:29:27.:29:32.

are very often giving money to the Labour Party, through their

:29:32.:29:34.

voluntary donations, but who don't participate in any other way, are

:29:34.:29:40.

much more part of our future. There is fascinating diplomatic

:29:40.:29:46.

confrontation looming at the United Nations in New York. That and the

:29:46.:29:50.

grumbling appendix of world politics, the Israel Palestine

:29:50.:29:55.

issue has been overshald shadowed by upheavals in the rest of the

:29:55.:29:58.

Arab world. The Palestinians want to be recognised as a state and are

:29:58.:30:04.

going to try for it. The Israelis are horrified and want their US

:30:04.:30:11.

sponsors to fight for them. September brings the world's club

:30:11.:30:16.

of nations to New York. This year's general assembly opening promises

:30:16.:30:22.

to be an unusually fraught affair. The club house is under renovation,

:30:22.:30:26.

and there is bitter division over an application for membership. So

:30:26.:30:30.

it looks like we are about to witness the biggest United Nations

:30:30.:30:35.

drama for many years. Opponents of the Palestinian strategy argue it

:30:35.:30:40.

could tip an already inflamed region over the brink and into war,

:30:40.:30:43.

and it will bring about a confrontation between the United

:30:43.:30:48.

States, the biggest done nar to the organisation, the UN, and it could

:30:48.:30:52.

endanger hundreds of millions in humanitarian funding currently

:30:52.:30:57.

going to the Palestinian Authority. By pushing their case to be full

:30:57.:31:02.

members of the UN, the Palestinians have sought a greater role on this

:31:02.:31:04.

world stage. They could get additional political and legal

:31:04.:31:09.

rights out of it too. That has brought American political heavy

:31:09.:31:15.

weights out in opposition, people like Colin Powell. Ultimately it

:31:15.:31:20.

will have to be a peace process that provides a Palestinian state

:31:20.:31:25.

that is prepared to live side-by- side in peace with Israel. Does the

:31:26.:31:30.

vote coming up at the UN on Palestinian independence help or

:31:30.:31:33.

hinder? My initial reaction is I don't see how that helps the

:31:33.:31:38.

process. And so, I'm not sure if that is the side thing to be doing

:31:38.:31:42.

now, if it doesn't help the process. If it doesn't bring the two sides

:31:42.:31:47.

closer to one another, to begin negotiation, I'm not sure how

:31:47.:31:51.

helpful it is. The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has been

:31:51.:31:55.

driving the UN membership bid. It offers him a chance to take his

:31:55.:31:59.

place with world leaders. But it also risks large amounts of US aid.

:31:59.:32:04.

So why do it now? There is the big sense of frustration within the

:32:04.:32:07.

Palestinian political classes, as well as the general at large. Add

:32:07.:32:13.

to that, the second factor, the Arab Spring, and the demand by many

:32:13.:32:18.

Arab citizens for their Governments to be more active, to show result,

:32:18.:32:22.

have really created a situation where Abbas thought he needed to do

:32:22.:32:26.

something significant, it seemed the UN rout is the only available

:32:26.:32:31.

at the moment. Supporters of Israel, predictably enough, are opposing

:32:31.:32:36.

the move? The best outcome, the soft landing, is a better-worded

:32:36.:32:41.

resolution, a resolution that can enable us to see that there are two

:32:41.:32:46.

states in homeland for the Jewish people and Israel's democratic

:32:46.:32:50.

citizens, and a homeland for the Palestinians, but it is done

:32:50.:32:52.

through negotiations and mutual respect.

:32:52.:32:56.

Nobody knows exactly what strategy the Palestinians will pursue. But

:32:56.:33:01.

there is an underlying recognition that a move in the Security Council,

:33:01.:33:05.

triggering a US veto, might not be in either side's interest. The US

:33:05.:33:09.

and Israel, if they can, will still stop this vote, but it is likely to

:33:09.:33:13.

go ahead, and it would happen here in the general assembly, where the

:33:14.:33:18.

Palestinians can usually expect a large majority. They will craft

:33:18.:33:21.

their diplomatic language carefully, possibly acknowledging the two-

:33:21.:33:26.

state solution approach to the Middle East. And accepting a status

:33:26.:33:32.

below that of full national state ranking here. All the tension then

:33:32.:33:37.

will swing to the Middle East and what happens the day after.

:33:37.:33:41.

The weekend storming of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo shows the

:33:41.:33:47.

pressures now upon leaders in the region.

:33:47.:33:50.

At an Arab League meeting in the city, the Turkish leader has argued

:33:50.:33:54.

for a tough line on the UN vote. TRANSLATION: Recognition of a

:33:54.:33:59.

Palestinian state is the only way forward, it is not an option, but

:33:59.:34:02.

an obligation. We should all support the rightful and legitimate

:34:02.:34:06.

struggle of the Palestinian people together, and with all our might,

:34:06.:34:09.

God willing, before this month is through, we will have the

:34:09.:34:12.

opportunity to see Palestine at a very different status at the United

:34:12.:34:16.

Nations. Some fear now that the UN drama

:34:17.:34:20.

could shift the dynamics of the Arab Spring. With all those

:34:20.:34:25.

demonstration that is have been going on in Cairo, and Damascus and

:34:25.:34:33.

elsewhere, so far the US has not an central. After this, the American

:34:33.:34:37.

veto or strong American opposition, that anti-American sentiments will

:34:37.:34:42.

come to the forefront. As a by- product of this, it will become

:34:42.:34:46.

more difficult for Arab Governments that want to co-operate with the

:34:46.:34:50.

United States to do so. As delegates convene for the

:34:50.:34:54.

general assembly, all sides are using brinkmanship, how the

:34:54.:34:59.

Palestinians will push their case to upgrade their status here, is

:34:59.:35:04.

still unclear. But even those who support their bid accept that its

:35:04.:35:08.

effects will be unpredictable, and it could easily produce a crisis in

:35:08.:35:14.

the Middle East. What are the Americans going to do?

:35:14.:35:19.

Well, what they are doing is trying to forestall this at the last

:35:19.:35:24.

minute. Diplomats here had been expecting that as early as this

:35:24.:35:27.

evening a Palestinian draft resolution would appear, or

:35:27.:35:30.

possibly tomorrow, they would then show their hand, where they go in

:35:30.:35:34.

the Security Council, or the general assembly route, exactly

:35:34.:35:37.

what kind of language were they using. The Americans have announced

:35:38.:35:41.

this afternoon, in order to get ahead of that, that two envoy,

:35:41.:35:47.

Dennis Ross and David Hale are going to the region. I think the

:35:47.:35:50.

point is to stop the Palestinians introducing their draft before

:35:50.:35:54.

speaking to the envoys, even if they can't stop it, they can slow

:35:54.:35:57.

it down. They are trying to buy time, and if they could they could

:35:57.:36:01.

stop the vote going ahead. If they fail to do that, just simply trying

:36:01.:36:06.

to make the terms of any resolution less problematic from a US

:36:06.:36:14.

perfective. So Israel is looking pretty isolated? Yes, it is

:36:14.:36:19.

striking that until comparatively recently Israel relied on tacit or

:36:19.:36:24.

sometimes even explicit diplomatic support from a number of Arab and

:36:24.:36:26.

regional countries, which were considered to be supportive, pro-

:36:26.:36:32.

western, if you like. Turkey and Egypt, are the key regional players,

:36:32.:36:36.

that have suddenly shifted position in this. The desire to meet public

:36:36.:36:41.

expectations that have been raised by the Egyptian revolution, is now

:36:41.:36:44.

driving a lot of policy pronouncements from Egypt and

:36:44.:36:48.

turkey. They are each trying, if you like, to put themselves at the

:36:48.:36:51.

head of popular feeling in the Arab world. This is one of the reasons

:36:51.:36:55.

why it is such a dangerous cocktail and why the Americans could become

:36:55.:36:58.

very exposed diplomatically if they are seen to shoot this down here at

:36:58.:37:03.

the UN. Give me the child and I will give

:37:03.:37:09.

you the man, St Francis, the founder of the Jesuit movement is

:37:09.:37:15.

said to have said. Religious movements around the world try to

:37:15.:37:18.

shape the impressionable finds with fables and stories, how the world

:37:18.:37:24.

began, how the first humans came and what rainbows are. The world's

:37:24.:37:26.

most celebrated atheist, Richard Dawkins gives a counter blast of

:37:26.:37:30.

fact. His new book, The Magic Of Reality, aims directly at children,

:37:31.:37:34.

teaching them how to replace myth with science. It is illustrated by

:37:34.:37:38.

the graphic artist and film director, Dave McKean.

:37:38.:37:41.

Of course, no-one really believes that it would be possible to turn a

:37:41.:37:45.

pumpkin into a coach, but have you ever stopped to consider why such

:37:45.:37:49.

things would be impossible. You probably haven't, because from

:37:49.:37:53.

our earliest years we learn to suspend disbelief.

:37:53.:37:59.

And that, apparently, is also how we condition impressionable brains

:37:59.:38:07.

to absorb religious hog wash. the creation myth of the Hebrew

:38:07.:38:12.

tribe of the desert, the God Yaweh created light on the first six days

:38:12.:38:15.

of his creation, but not the sun until the fourth day, where the

:38:15.:38:19.

light came from on the first day before the sun and stars existed,

:38:19.:38:24.

we are not told. Knocking down the scientific accuracy of millennia

:38:24.:38:29.

old stories isn't very hard. Rainbows, earthquakes, the origins

:38:29.:38:35.

of humanity, the origins of the universe itself, are all explained

:38:35.:38:39.

in ways that a 10-year-old might follow, but a five-year-old might

:38:39.:38:45.

not. According to the modern version of the big bang model, the

:38:45.:38:48.

entire observable universe exploded into existence between 13 and 14

:38:48.:38:52.

billion years ago. Some scientists will tell you that time itself

:38:52.:38:57.

began in the big bang, we should no more ask what happened before the

:38:57.:39:02.

big bang than we should ask what is north of the North Pole. But there

:39:02.:39:06.

in lies Richard Dawkins' problem. Even with him setting them up as

:39:07.:39:10.

aunt Sally's, the myths remain the better stories, carrying an

:39:10.:39:14.

imaginative charge that makes nonsense easier to understand than

:39:14.:39:19.

fact. Fairytales of whatever world religion retain an untarnishable

:39:19.:39:24.

beauty, more easily followed by a small and impressionable Tasmanian

:39:24.:39:30.

child, for example. A God called Moin ee was defeated by a rival God

:39:30.:39:35.

in a terrible battle up in the stars. Before he died he wanted to

:39:35.:39:41.

give a last blessing to his final resting place, he decided to create

:39:41.:39:47.

humans, but he forget to give them knee, he absent mindedly gave them

:39:47.:39:51.

big tails like kangaroos. They say the devil has all the best tune,

:39:51.:39:55.

but the religious elders have most of the best stories.

:39:55.:40:01.

Richard Dawkins is here, you seem to implicitly believe in this, or

:40:01.:40:05.

explicitly believe that rationalism is some how disadvantaged, do you

:40:05.:40:10.

really think that is? Nor am I knocking myths, I just think that

:40:10.:40:15.

science is better. Better stories I deny that the myths have the best

:40:15.:40:20.

tunes and the best stories. deny it? Yes. I actually think that

:40:20.:40:24.

science is so spellbinding. What have you got that beats the story

:40:24.:40:30.

of the kangaroo? Evolution. taking evolution, you really think

:40:31.:40:34.

that your version, you are very clear account of where our

:40:34.:40:39.

ancestors came from, which ends up in a not very attractive looking

:40:39.:40:43.

fish 185 million generations ago, as opposed to the creation myth in

:40:43.:40:47.

the Bible, that God takes a handful of dusts and breathes life into it,

:40:48.:40:51.

takes one of Adam's ribs and creates a woman. You think your's

:40:51.:40:55.

is more poetic? No question about it, absolutely. It is wonderfully

:40:55.:41:00.

poetic, when you think about it, here we are, we started off on this

:41:00.:41:03.

planet, this fragment of dust spinning around the sun, and in

:41:03.:41:08.

four billion years, we graduemly changed from bacteria into us, that

:41:08.:41:13.

is a spellbinding story. Do you accept that it is slightly more

:41:13.:41:17.

difficult for a child to comprehend? That I'm not sure about.

:41:17.:41:21.

It is conventional not to teach evolution until a later age, I

:41:21.:41:27.

think it could be taught at a younger age. But 185 million

:41:27.:41:31.

generations, that is a difficult thing to get your head around as a

:41:31.:41:34.

child? You have to employ careful strategies to do that, but I think

:41:34.:41:42.

it can be done. Now, nobody believes that Lot's wife for

:41:42.:41:45.

example was really turned to a pillar of salt, and you soon grow

:41:45.:41:49.

out of belief in Father Christmas and the tooth fairy, are you saying

:41:49.:41:52.

these things should never be taught? No, I'm not actually. There

:41:53.:41:57.

is a great value in training the imagination to be imaginative. So

:41:57.:42:01.

children love to make believe, for example, I did myself, I'm sure you

:42:01.:42:05.

did. It is a wonderful part of growing up, to play games of make

:42:05.:42:13.

believe. And part of it is comfort, isn't it, if you are told, I don't

:42:13.:42:17.

want to get too much into religion. If you are told you are a unique

:42:17.:42:21.

creation and made in God's image and loved, as opposed to the

:42:21.:42:26.

scientific image that you are a receipty insubstantial speck in the

:42:26.:42:31.

Cosmos, one is comforting, one is slightly alarming, isn't it? One is

:42:31.:42:34.

false and one is true, and it is rather important to whether it is

:42:34.:42:38.

alarming or not to get what is true. You can make up any number of

:42:38.:42:42.

stories that are comforting, but the truth has some value as well.

:42:42.:42:48.

But you accept the force, the imaginative force of comfort?

:42:48.:42:52.

wouldn't stress comfort, I accept the imaginative force of certain

:42:52.:42:57.

myths, and I throw in the juddaiyo Christian myth along with the myths

:42:57.:43:02.

of the Tasmanians and so on, I genuinely think science is more

:43:02.:43:07.

exciting and more poetic. They perform a social function too,

:43:07.:43:11.

particularly the religious myths, in that they tend to make us, as

:43:11.:43:15.

societies, hang together. You don't believe that, do you? It is

:43:15.:43:21.

certainly, the basis of our culture, and our legal system? It is true

:43:21.:43:25.

that historically religions have been the basis of our culture, but

:43:25.:43:31.

it is also true they have been the basis of plenty of things not very

:43:31.:43:34.

desirable. As for comfort, once again, I think I would come down to

:43:34.:43:38.

what is true, and say what I would really value is the truth rather

:43:38.:43:42.

than what is comforting, and the truth rather than what necessarily

:43:42.:43:48.

holds societies together. This book is intended for children what, 11,

:43:48.:43:55.

12? 12 and up to 100. All adults. Why can't you introduce children to

:43:55.:44:00.

reality at a younger age than that? I would love to do that. Maybe my

:44:00.:44:05.

next book will. This book was field tested down to about eight or seven,

:44:05.:44:10.

and they got it with help from teachers. I would like to think

:44:10.:44:15.

that parents could perhaps read bits of this book to seven-year-

:44:15.:44:19.

olds, and 11 and 12-year-olds I hope will love to read it

:44:19.:44:25.

themselves. This is the equivalent at an entire metaphysical level to

:44:25.:44:27.

telling children that Father Christmas doesn't exist, isn't it?

:44:27.:44:32.

I think that the truth is wonderful, I think the myths are fun. The book

:44:32.:44:40.

is full of myths. Which is your favourite myth? I like the one

:44:40.:44:45.

about Dromadena, it is very abusing, some of the Aztec ones are very

:44:45.:44:51.

funny as well. Do you find any of them personally affecting, you

:44:51.:44:55.

think, gosh what a wonderful story? Genesis is, as a story, as a myth,

:44:55.:44:59.

yes. And I mean, as long as you don't think it is true. The trouble

:44:59.:45:05.

is 40% of the American people think it is literally true. They probably

:45:05.:45:09.

think Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt as well for that

:45:09.:45:12.

matter. Do you really care that there are a lot of stupid people

:45:12.:45:17.

around? I do, I really do. I care that children are being misled by

:45:17.:45:21.

those stupid people. Why? Because I think that children deserve to know

:45:21.:45:25.

what's true and what's wonderful about the world into which they

:45:25.:45:30.

have been born. It really is true, and it really is wonderful, and it

:45:30.:45:36.

is such a crying shame if children are denied that by ignorant and

:45:36.:45:39.

stupid adults as you have described them. Richard Dawkins, thank you.

:45:40.:45:43.

Tomorrow morning's front pages now. The Financial Times here has a

:45:43.:45:47.

picture of Angela Merkel and the news that apparently she's going to

:45:47.:45:51.

try to suppress all talk that the Greeks are going to default on

:45:51.:45:56.

their debt. The independent has more on phone hacking, I think.

:45:56.:46:06.
:46:06.:46:13.

That's it. The British artist Richard Hamilton died today at the

:46:13.:46:17.

age of 89, he produced some terribly well known paintings,

:46:17.:46:22.

sculptors and kolages, and known for a long time as the father of

:46:22.:46:32.
:46:32.:47:06.

Still quite windy out there at the moment. The winds died down further

:47:06.:47:09.

overnight, and light winds in the south tomorrow, with the spells of

:47:09.:47:13.

sunshine, it should feel pleasant here. Cloudy skies across northern

:47:13.:47:18.

England, particularly to the west of the Pennines, where there will

:47:18.:47:21.

be light drizzle. In the east not a lot of sunshine. Clouding across

:47:21.:47:25.

Lincolnshire and parts of the Midlands, after a sunny start. Much

:47:25.:47:28.

of East Anglia and the southern counties of England will have a

:47:28.:47:31.

fine day. Spells of sunshine and the winds lighter than they have

:47:31.:47:35.

been. It will feel a bit warmer. Sunny spells across most of South

:47:35.:47:38.

Wales, and North Wales will see a change through the day. Clouding

:47:38.:47:42.

over with some rain trickling southwards through the Irish Sea.

:47:42.:47:47.

That rain is pulling away through Northern Ireland, after a damp

:47:47.:47:50.

start, sunshine here through the afternoon. Brighter too across

:47:50.:47:53.

central and southern parts of Scotland. In the far north it will

:47:53.:47:57.

be wet and still here very windy. The winds will start to ease by

:47:57.:48:02.

Thursday. In fact, Thursday promises to be a fine day for much

:48:02.:48:06.

of the country, an autumnal feel, it will start cold on Thursday

:48:06.:48:09.

morning, there will be some mist and fog patches. They should clear

:48:09.:48:13.

and Thursday then will bring most places some spells of sunshine.

:48:13.:48:17.

Certainly for the majority it will be a dry day. After that cold start,

:48:17.:48:19.

temperatures eventually in the sunshine reaching the mid-to high

:48:19.:48:22.

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