17/10/2011 Newsnight


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Good evening. The violence in Syria looks increasingly like the early


stages of a civil war. Tonight we report undercover from inside the


most troubled city of all. Some days the Syrian army shoots on


sight on the streets of Homs. Yet the civilians still come out night


after night to demonstrate. These protests are taking place


every night in Homs, with apparently unabated enthusiasm,


which is impressive, not least because they have been going on for


seven months now, and so little has been achieved.


This, a makeshift A&E ward in someone's home is where the


casualties come, it is too dang us to go to hospital. TRANSLATION:


would go into hospital with a treatable injury to his hand, and


the family would be summoned to collect a body with a shot in the


head. He did break the Ministerial Code,


but what really happened when the defence skebt and his close friend


met the President - Defence Secretary and his close friend met


the President of Sri Lanka. We ask why politicians shouldn't


have their own advisors to balance the hand of the British bureaucracy.


One day, perhaps, electricity pylons will look like this, or this.


God only knows what we will be paying for the stuff then. But


Government's advice? Short it out for yourself.


Syrian Government troops killed at least 20 people in the city of Homs


today. At least we're told by local activists they killed at least 20


persons. There is no way of checking, because the regime there


won't let in independent witnesses. President Assad's mouth pieces


claim that the only violence in the country is coming from so-called


terrorists. But the unrest seems especially acute in the city of


Homs. So our reporter, Sue Lloyd- Roberts, smuggled herself into the


country in defiance of the ban to find out firsthand what is


happening. Now, as you're not supposed to be in the country, how


do you get? I don't want to giveaway too many secrets. I was


lucky enough to link up with a very intelligent and brave group of


activists, who, by using a number of cars, various disguises,


travelling a lot at night, a lot of tall stories at army checkpoints,


managed to smuggle me into the city of Homs. It was a very impressive


operation. And if these activists were able to win the Syrian


revolution, by virtue of their cunning and intelligence alone,


they deserve to. All the protestors are determined to keep their


demonstrations peaceful. So far it is mostly only the Syrian army that


have the weapons. I have been talking to members of my network in


Homs tonight, and the situation appears to be really dire. They are


talking about more than 20 fatalities, although that has yet


to be confirmed. And the use, for the first time, of helicopter


gunships. So things are deteriorating. But this is what I


Homs, the so-called capital of the Syrian revolution. Where, despite


the daily death toll, the protest continues.


But the tactics have changed. Most demonstrations are being held at


night, in an effort to minimise casualties.


And, as the only journalist here to view the protest firsthand, I noted


another significant difference. Back in March, when they began, the


protestors called for reform, then they called for the fall of the


regime. Today, as the name of each atrocity and massacre, carried out


by Assad's army and his thugs is called out, the crowd respond by


demanding the death of the President.


By hanging. These protests are taking place


every night in Homs now, with parently unabated enthusiasm, which


is impressive, not least because they have been going on for seven


months now, and so little has been achieved.


But this, I'm reminded, is not the point. TRANSLATION: I haven't seen


anything like this in my life. The old, the young, women, everyone


calling for freedom in Syria. This revolution will win.


I'm told to run as shots are heard, and soldiers are seen at the end of


the street. We should hide because when the forces attack, the first


thing they are looking for is a camera.


Homs was one of the first cities to join the Syrian uprising, when


thousands gathered in the main square to call for the lifting of


the Government's emergency laws, and for genuine democracy.


But the Government was not in the mood for listening.


Ahmed was a member of the military security, whose job it is to shoot


soldiers who refuse to fire on the protestors. He has since defected.


TRANSLATION: It was a genocide. I was there. The protestors had


started their sit-in, and there was a call for extra troops. I saw


soldiers who refused to fire on the crowds, because we used to lead


them. We were in the same tanks as them, and they were shot. I don't


know how many protestors were killed. But it was more than 300.


Because I was stepping over dead bodies. They threw the bodies into


trucks, and then used fire engines to hose down the square. It was


like a river of blood. Yes, there was a massacre. The army has


encirleled and attacked Homs ever since. I was take on a tour of one


of the most besieged parts of the city. My guide equipped me with a


fake local ID to get us past checkpoints and told me to pretend


to be his deaf, mute sister, which suited me fine.


TRANSLATION: Most of the time the city is under attack. Mothers can't


even go out to buy bread or milk for their children. People are


hiding in their houses, they can't go out. Buses are used to transport


the army. Even schools are attacked, and they are using some of them as


prisons for the protestors. They want our children to remain stupid


and uneducated. Look at the rubbish in the streets, this is how they


treat us. We have rats, but no water, electricity or communication


here. There is an army patrol ahead, we


have to go another way. He took me to meet Mohammed, one of


the soldiers, who was ordered to attack the people of the town.


TRANSLATION: When it came to here, we were ordered to kill everything


that moved, everyone who was walking in the street. There were


children, one of them called his friends who were playing in the


street to come into his house for safety. As they were crossing the


street they killed the boy and another six children. He told me he


had just defected from the army to join the opposition the day before.


TRANSLATION: Our orders were to kill the Syrian people, it was


never the plan to protect them from the armed gangs. Rather we were


being ordered to kill our own people, who, at the end of the day,


are our own flesh and blood. With the city in virtual shutdown,


there is nowhere to go. No wonder angry people spill out on to the


streets at night. At another demonstration, the next evening,


they had clearly been tipped off that the BBC was in town. The


posters were all designed for an international audience, and


expressed fury at Russia and China's refusal to back action


against Syria, and for continuing to supply arms to a murderous


regime. Members of the revolutionary


Council of Homs, may look like they are taking an exaggerated approach


to their anonymity. But it is understandable. Is Syria now close


to civil war? The regime is trying to push us to be involved in a


civil war. But, it will not succeed. We are aware enough of the risk.


The demonstrations, you can see the Muslims and the Christians, the


Sunni and others, marching together and shouting for freedom for all


people. So that our real enemy is the regime itself. On Friday, the


protest still takes place during the day, after midday prayers. The


protestors attempt to block off roads to delay the arrival of the


security forces. In a network of makeshift field hospitals, they are


preparing for the inevitable casualties. Doctors have been


arrested and tortured for helping gun shot victims. TRANSLATION:


normal thing would be to take the injured to the hospitals. To our


astonishment we found that when we did that, the injured were either


arrested or killed. A man would go into the hospital with a treatable


injury to his hand or leg, and his family would be summoned to collect


a corpse with a shot to the head or chest.


But these medical points are hopelessly inadequate. They have to


move once a week to escape detection, and they are desperately


short of the basics, blood bags, antibiotics and even antiseptic


wipes. TRANSLATION: Even in this place, at


any time, we are in danger of being broken into by the security forces.


About half of them suffer from head or neck wounds. We just haven't got


the means to treat them. No-one brought here with a head wound has


survived. That day, at the Friday protest, always the bloodiest, his


worst fears were proven. Security forces shot at men as they


tried to leave the mosque to join the demonstration. They risked


bullets as they ran. (shouting and gunfire)


Two men suffered severe head injuries and were rushed to the


field hospital. We followed them there. Their


injuries were too gruesome to broadcast and the doctors could do


nothing to save them. They were buried the next day. A


day in which another 13 were killed in the city.


Homs may boast the title of the capital of the revolution. But it


has cost them dear. Over 3,000 deaths in the Syrian uprising so


far, and many believe it has been much more, nearly half have been


from Homs. 30kms away, across the border in


Lebanon, sympathetic Lebanese have sheltered increasing numbers of the


wounded and defected soldiers, now in hiding.


Tens of thousands of soldiers are now believed to have left the


Syrian army. Those who can, have grouped together to form what they


call the Free Syrian army. This man, when ordered to shoot on un armed -


unarmed protestors fled. It is the real army, this Free Syrian Army,


consists of a lot of groups, separated among all Syrian places,


or sinnian cities, trying to protect - Syrian cities, trying to


protect the protestors from being killed on the streets. Weapons have


never been hard to find here in Lebanon, but this dealer showed me


how the cupboard is now almost bare. He's importing weapons, he says,


from all over the world. Where? And the price of Kalashnikov has


doubled from $1,000 to almost $2,000 over the last few weeks. Who


is buying them? Tran They are being bought by Sunni and Islamist -


TRANSLATION: They are being bought by Sunni and Islamists and being


smuggled over the border to Syria. Many are confiscated. For sure,


with the amount of weapons we are sending over there, there will be a


civil war. When demonstrations erupted in the


town of Rastan, just 15kms from Homs, a group of army defectors,


members of the Free Syrian Army, promised to defend the protestors.


They held out against Government forces for a week. Before the


Syrian Army quashed the rebellion. The rumour is, that the survivors,


among the new army, are regrouping and preparing to defend Homs, a


possibility which the leaders here welcome.


The demonstration part of the revolution will continue peacefully.


But on the other hand, the operations of the Free Syrian Army


may increase more and more, to protect the people. So we have now


two lines going together simultaneously. The peaceful


demonstrations and the operations of the Syrian Free Army. The basic


duty of the army of any state is to protect the people. We will win, of


course, we see the victory in the eyes of the kids, women, elders and


all the young men Marching every day in the demonstration - marching


every day in the demonstration. We are sure of that. They are marching


again in Homs tonight, in a brave display in the triumph of hope over


seven months experience. They will carrying on telling Bashar al-Assad


to go, one protestor told me, even if he has to kill every one of them.


With us now my guest, who was shot last month, you may have seen the


interview when he escaped from the country. Feeda Kardous saw it and


was insensed by it, she's Syrian and lives in this country and


returns to Damascus every year. It looks from the report if things are


getting a lot worse? They are getting really worse. They want to


stop it and they will stop it in any way. They have got tanks, new


army individuals, and they are shooting at houses now. They are


arresting anyone under 60 years old. They are raping girls, taking them,


raping them so we will stop doing what we are doing, they are being


threatened about raping the girls in Homs. It looks as if your


country son the verge of civil war - is on the verge of civil war,


doesn't it? It is, if the free army, or the opposition, or the armed


rebels, they don't stop, and resort to dialogue, this is where the


country is heading. But you don't deny that most of the killing has


been done by the army and the Government forces? If that's the


case, what about the Syrian free army, what about it? Who is killing


our security, who is killing the army people, individuals, I don't


think so. I don't think so. These are people who were, as you heard


somebody testify there, they were members of the Syrian security


forces, ordered to shoot their own soldiers if they refused to shoot


demonstrators? They are claims. Everything to do with the


opposition now is all claims, to us, what we want is just we want the


country, we don't want a bloodbath, we don't want a civil war, we don't


want our children to get killed. We don't want you to get killed. We


don't want that. We only want to just have a peaceful transformation


to power. First of all, we have never had any sectarian problems in


Syria, in all our history. I beg to differ. Let me finish. We have


never had sectarian problems, if there is, the Government is trying


to do it. Why would they do it now. It went into all the Christian


places, it told the churches and the Christians that they would get


them next and said we did it. My friends are Christians, we have


never had any problems. You are a Christian too? I am a Christian.


What reforms, he has killed all the people, what kind of reforms can


this Government do? You have heard what they are saying on TV. This


started out as a campaign for reform in the Arab Spring, it has


gon gone way beyond that, you wouldn't see Assad doing any


reform? I was one of the people who went out. We were so scared to say


we don't want the regime. So we went out for Deraa, that is in Homs,


we went out and said we don't want the mayor. When the first bullet


came out, the first man to be shot, we just asked for the regime to


leave. No-one was scared any more. We thought well, we're not going to


live like this, we're not going to be treated like animals all our


lives. Go to any security place to try to get anything, see how you


get treated in there. It has been like this for 40 years. If you can


get to that security place. I'm talking about Homs, can you get and


walk freely in Homs? No you can't walk freely? I wonder why? Because


all the army and. All the army Danny? I'm sorry. Don't be sorry, I


have been there, they shot me, they shot three kids in front of me two


months ago, it is by the army and they have civilians with machine


guns standing with them, what does that mean, mercenaries? What about


the hospitals. The defected army? What about the arms that have been


smuggled to Homs? There might be. Individuals, all these arms. I tell


you something, if I was in their place, which I know they are not


doing anything right now, anyone wants to protect themselves. What


about the security forces, you are killing security forces. No, no, no.


Look I'm sorry. The army is being killed by the security forces, the


army is, you heard this, the army that is not shooting, I'm sure of


this 100%. What is it you fear may be the consequence of what's


happening? This is it, we're going to go into civil war, simple as


that. Simple as that. I'm 100% behind that. I know we're going to


go. If you tell me, or anyone else tells me that we're not going to go


to civil war, highly mistaken. Whose fault is that? Because we


wanted freedom. Let me say this, you have been living in Syria, you


know that I can't say the President's name in the street


freely, is that freedom. Can I have my word. I have been to Syria this


summer. I have been in a cab, OK, I'm Christian, I have been in a cab,


on the way back, when I got to my destination, I get the cab driver


he turned to me and he said, once we get to power, you're not going


to get to wear what you are wearing now. I have heard that ten times


now. Exactly, so what kind of freedom. It is a legitimate fear,


you don't know how this is going to turn out? No I don't. The Assad


regime is a secular regime? Can I try to explain something. All the


girls kidnapped are by cabs, all the intelligence cabs, they are


trying to make sectarian problems between us. In Damascus. I'm not


saying Damascus. I'm not saying that. In Damascus they are like


ants there, there is so many security forces. I'm sorry. Don't


be sorry, I'm telling the truth. You don't know how it is going to


turn out? We need outside help? would prefer a dictatorship? I want


reforms, Jeremy. I don't want dictatorships. Reforms over all the


bodies. What about the ones the opposition has claimed. Let's leave


it there. Thank you very much. Now, the Defence Secretary, who


resigned at the end of last week, did break the Ministerial Code, the


BBC understands the Cabinet Secretary delivered his report to


the Prime Minister this afternoon. It will be published tomorrow. But


he won't be making recommendations about the way ministers and


lobbyists deal with each other. Like political advisors, who have


spread like a rash across Government, lobbyists can be found


under most of the stones of Westminster. But did Adam


Werritty's actions amount to lobbying, if so, who were the


potential clients? Richard Watson has new evidence involving the


Government of Sri Lanka. It was a more gentile affair in 163


as the press waited for Secretary of State John Profumo, but they got


their man, after details of his relationship with Christine Keeler


emerged. The Government has seen high-profile resignations over the


years, but few could match the fall from grace of Liam Fox. The drip,


drip of allegations and detail proved too much on Friday. The


Government says tomorrow's official report from Cabinet Secretary, Gus


O'Donnell, will establish the facts. There is still no commitment to


publish details of meetings Adam Werritty had with other ministers.


The Government seems to be digging a deeper hole for itself. It has


given the inquiry into Gus O'Donnell, it should have gone to


the independent Patrick Moore. That is a mistake. Not publishing -


Philip Moore, that is a mistake. Not publishing the list. The lesson


of the Liam Fox scandal is transparency. Whatever you do is


put it out there, if not you will get caught and get into problems.


Will more light be shed on this encounter last year, when Liam Fox


and his unofficial advisor, Adam Werritty, met on private business


with the President of Sri Lanka in a London hotel. I found there has


been a lot of fear, even in London, about speaking openly about this


story, such is the power of the President of Sri Lanka. Who many


say has a poor record in human rights and freedom of speech. Given


that record, what was Dr Fox and Adam Werritty doing developing a


relationship with that man. This evening I spoke to a man who


may help answer that question. He has been a leading figure in the


United National Party here in Britain, which opposes the


Government of the President. He says during the civil war in 2009,


he helped arrange a meeting for a leading human rights campaigner and


politician based in Colombo with Liam Fox at port cull tis House. Mr


Fox was Shadow Defence Secretary at the time. - at Portcullis House. Mr


Fox was Shadow Defence Secretary at the time. So Adam Werritty gave me


this. It clearly says Adam Werritty, office of Dr Liam Fox MP, it has


the official Portcullis insignia on it as well? Indeed it does. I guess


you would have every reason to believe he was an official advisor?


Absolutely. I have no reason to think otherwise. Inside Portcullis


House, the two Sri Lankans were intent on talking about human


rights abusive, but they say Dr Fox was supportive of the President,


and was keener to discuss investment and construction.


wanted to talk about investment in Sri Lanka. He was enthusiastic and


passionate about some sort of investment programme, or venture he


had in mind. He wanted to talk more about investment than the other


issues which were undoubtedly the pressing issues at the time.


human rights abuses? Indeed. We are told the Sri Lankan Development


Trust was mentioned, which appears to be a vehicle for reconstruction


work, championed by Adam Werritty and Liam Fox. We were told the two


men were keen to identify rich Sri Lankans in the UK who might help


out. We spoke to an opposition leader in Sri Lanka and he said


Adam Werritty and Liam Fox were well known there. I met Liam Fox


We couldn't reach Liam Fox or Adam Werritty for comment tonight. Did


Adam Werritty's work amount to political lobbying? If so, it would


be embarrassing for the Prime Minister, who set out his stall


before the election. There is, I believe, another big issue we can


no longer ignore. It is the next big scandal waiting to happen. It


is an issue, that frankly, crosses party lines, and has tainted our


politics for too long. It is an issue that exposes the far too cosy


relationship between politics, Government, business and money.


Liam Fox affair has nothing to do with lobbying, a former Defence


Secretary and his friend, it wouldn't have prevented the Liam


Fox afar or discovered it. It is completely irrelevant to the Liam


Fox affair. When politicians are naughty and get caught, they blame


lobbyists. It is about time politicians got their own house in


order and stopped blaming other people. Tomorrow will bring the


official verdict on Liam Fox, the BBC uns he will be judged to have


broke - understands he will be judged to have broken the


Ministerial Code and it will have been judged that it right he has


gone. But the question is about his relationship with Adam Werritty and


whether this scandal will force a look at the lobbyists and the work


of advisors. With us is Matt Hancock and Lord Butler, Cabinet


Secretary and head of the Civil Service for a decade, until 1998,


serving Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.


Matt Hancock, why do MPs need all these hangers on? The question is


it about lobbyists or others? Advisors? I think political


advisors can help a lot in Government, to help make sure that


when a Government is elected that they can drive through the reforms


they want. We are not talking about huge numbers. But we are talking


about a minister having a few people around him who he can rely


on, who share his political agenda, which is, afterall, a good thing.


We want people who want to improve the country to be running the


country. This shouldn't be necessary, if we had a decent Civil


Service shouldn't they? The Civil Service is one source of advice. I


never thought the Civil Service should have a monopoly of advice to


ministers. My view has always been that ministers should get advice


from as many useful sources as possible, some politic ka and some


non-political. During my career I worked harmoniously with special


advisors, outside advisors, as long as they were giving useful advice


to ministers, and there was a transparent debate, and the Civil


Service wasn't being cut out, that was great. But this is about what


you didn't call, but which was called sofa Government, isn't it?


don't think it is, actually. The problem about sofa-Government, is


the problem was there wasn't the all the resources being brought in.


There were small groups without using the resources Civil Service


could provide, good papers that couldn't be provided to the cabinet.


That was my criticism. Don't you worry that what this Adam Werritty-


Liam Fox affair reveals, is it is still going on? I think what this


shows is that there are two very important things. First of all,


have advisors, but don't use them as way of bypassing the Civil


Service. Let's work together. The second thing, of course, is, that


the status of an advisor ought to be clear. If the status isn't clear,


and if particularly you don't know how that advisor is being financed,


then you are running a great risk. You risk a conflict of interest.


What lesson do you draw? I think that transparency is the most


important lesson, and in the coalition agreement it says that we


should have a register of the lobbyists and trast transparency. I


think that's the - transparency. I think that is the key lesson, when


you're trying to run the Government, you ought to be very open about how


you are doing it, as well as about the goals that you are trying to


pursue. It is absolutely key, isn't it, that the taxpayer knows what


lobbyists ministers are meeting, what they are discussing, and that


there is an independent witness there taking proper notes? If there


are, we talk about lobbyists in this way, but remember this is also


about how to consult on the best future of Government policy. Let me


give you an example. The British Horse Racing Authority, you might


call them a lobbyist, they actually work extremely hard for the


betterment of a sport that millions of your viewers will enjoy. So,


having those sorts of contacts is crucial for a Government, for any


politician to have a feel for what's happening on the real world.


You are constantly telling people on this programme you have got to


be more in touch, and so, being able to have those sorts of


conversations is important. Let's be transparent about it. There is a


register, which we have been promised, since long before the


election, by your party, still not in existence? It is in the


coalition agreement, and I don't know whether you have noticed, but


in the last year-and-a-half, there have been an awful lot of reforms


going on and things going in through Parliament. Are you


confident about the way that lobbyists deal with ministers?


providing that is transparent. you feel it is? I don't think it is


sufficiently yet. No, but I can think of examples, like Matthew can,


of where lobbyists produced information that was really


important in our international negotiations, which ministers


didn't get from the Civil Service. So I wouldn't...Why Are the Civil


Service so purrblind? The Civil Service can't know everything.


is not the impression you always give? The man in Whitehall doesn't


always know best. We have to have a humility about this, and there is


expertise and perspective that can be brought from outside Government.


And it should be. Provided that you can avoid conflicts of interest.


The really important thing with lobbyists is neither the minister


nor the civil servant, to whom they have access, should get any


personal gain from the access which they have. How do we guarantee


that? Only by transparency, that is the way it has to be done. You were


just saying we haven't adequate transparency? That is one of the


lessons to be learned from this sort of episode. Dramatic action is


being taken to cut the soaring cost of people's energy bills. That is


not the headline to emerge from the talks between the Government and


companies that provide gas and electricity. Anyone who has paid a


bill recently will know how expensive energy has become. And


the regulator predicts massive profits for suppliers. The


conclusion from the meeting, if you want your bill to fall, it is up to


you. On the admittedly outside chance


that you think that the biggest problem with Britain's energy


supply is the shape of the pylons. Well, good news, there has been a


competition to come up with some new designs. Some interesting ideas,


some clearly getting a bit carried away. For most people, though,


there are other, more pressing energy problems, like, well, the


size of the bills. The first problems with energy bills, though,


is the sheer complexity of the tarrifs.


The Government wants us to know it's on our side. So it held an


energy summit today with the energy suppliers, telling them to get


their acts together. The agreement reached was, well, a bit


predictable. So much so it had been printed on posters already.


should be checking to see if we're on the cheapest tarrif, we should


switch if not. And taking the opportunity ahead of this winter,


to really make sure that we are insulating, so we can save money.


Those are messages that all of the participants have been able to


agree around, not everything is agreed. I do think we have a very


substantial measure of agreement. You only have to come here to the


energy hall at the Science Museum to see generating power has always


been a powerfully complex business. But many experts believe our modern


problem, trying to understand energy tarrifs and which supplier


is best for us, is actually not the problem, it is a symptom of the


problem. The problem itself is an energy market that no longer works.


There is, in these circumstances, you know, a desperate attempt by


politicians to think that some how they can magic low Erbils, the


answer is, in the short run, apart from forcing companies to do things


they don't want to do, there is very little they can do. But what


politicians could do and should do is to provide a framework in which


the market works properly. That is precisely what is missing now, and


that's what they should pay their attention to. Ed Miliband agrees.


He knows a lot about energy, he used to be Energy Secretary. But,


since leaving that job, and taking on the job of leader of the


opposition, well he's also taken on the view that the energy market is


rigged. The Government's job is to say


we're going to reform the way the market works, we are going to make


sure we end this rigged market, once and for all, and we have a


fairer deal for consumers and a more transparent energy market.


Frankly I think the Government is just engaging in warm words.


energy market wasn't supposed to be like it is now. When it was


deregulated in 2000, we had 21 electricity and 19 gas suppliers,


all bucking for our pounds. Now, though, it is down to just six


companies, supplying both fuels. And it is not just the number of


energy companies that's dwindled, they have changed. They now


generate their own splie supply. In the jargon, their vertically


integrated. It is extraordinaryly difficult to price open the


mechanism of this particular market, to find out whether the prices the


energy companies charge are anything like fair. It is certainly


possible, through leg mit get accounting mechanisms to show


profit in different parts of the supply chain. That means energy


companies can say to consumers, we are not making money as a retail


business, but they can say to investors, look how buoyant the


balance sheet is as a generator. It is about the impossibility of get


to go the heart of what these energy companies are make and


because that is not fashion and the market cannot be trusted, we have


to have prime ministerial summits to sort it out.


So, let's see, we have got to insulate the loft, shop around for


the best deal, ministers have to redesign the energy market. Is


there anything else we should be doing? According to some, the most


important thing, is to abandon targets for cutting greenhouse gas


emissions. The Government is committed at present to cutting our


C02 by 80% by 2050. One Downing Street report estimated this would


cost each consumer �300 a year in more expensive energy. The total


investment needed is somewhere between �100-�200 billion. The


Chancellor is worried, he thinks it might hurt business, as he told


this year's Conservative Party Conference. But Britain makes up


less than 2% of the world's carbon emissions to China and America's


40%. We're not going to save the planet by putting our country out


of business. Let's at the very least resolve that we are going to


cut our carbon emissions no slower, but also no faster than our fellow


countries in Europe. Politicians need to think hard before embarking


on what is a very costly way of achieving very little by way of


emissions reductions, and putting those burdens on customers, who as


I say, may just simply not be able to pay.


You could hear everything before? The Prime Minister was looking ever


so slightly today like a double glazing salesman. He wants to


emphasise insulation and competition. But it may turn up the


heat on the Government. At this point you want to hear the


Government say why it won't intervene to stop spiralling prices.


And the Energy Secretary did agree to sit on that chair in our


Westminster studio, as you can see it remains ungraced by the


ministerial bottom, who cancelled about 20 minutes or so before it


was due to happen. However the shadow Energy Secretary, Caroline


Flint, is less of a shrinking violet, she's here. You are not


seriously maintaining there is some way of cutting people's energy


bills, other thant mechanism suggested today? I am suggesting


there is way energy bills could be cut. We could be making demands on


the energy companies to reduce or postpone their prices. Why did'nt


you do that in Government? Interestingly, back in 2009, we did


negotiate with the energy companies to keep prices lower for the


800,000 low income households, that was in force up to March of this


year. We also had various other ways to keep prices down. But the


fact is, prices are going up. Even though wholesale prices are going


down. The honest person, as your leader, Ed Miliband is an honest


person, he said there is no low- cost option? We can't necessary


completely manage prices, but we ask the question, why is it, in our


country, something like 80% of people, aren't on the tarrif that


does the best deal for them. That is precisely what the Government is


suggesting today, find out? Government are saying go tomorrow


and switch. The problem when customers have tried to switch,


they have found they are not given the right information, and they


have been mis-sold packages that don't give them the best deal.


would do it for them? We have said, as well as more pressure on the


energy companies, we have a simpler tarrif system, we have 400 tarrifs


increasing year-on-year. Let's bring it down to one standing


charge set by Ofgem, and unit prices so we can all see which


energy company is offering what to us and we can make a decision that


is clear and fair. You accept that green policies do put up the cost


of energy? It is interesting about this, Jeremy, I wanted to look at


where green investment figured into the price. Actually, investment in


renewables by the energy companies is only 5% of their overall price.


So the idea that some how the price of green energy is causing these


huge price increases, I don't think it is fair, and thril I don't think


it is sustainable. But if we really want cheap energy, we would put up


a lot of gas power stations wouldn't we? We have to think about


our commitments to climate change. So that means more expensive energy,


obviously? It means we have to have a fair and transparent pricing


system, which we don't have. We have to invest in renewables, in


the last year we have gone from third to 13th place in investing in


renew nls. So we can use - renewables, so we can use less


energy. Like China and other countries, if we don't invest, as


George Osborne is suggesting, we won't be a world leader, and create


the jobs that need to be part of a new economy. You do think it is


fine to bankrupt Britain to save the world? No, I think it is


recognising new forms of providing energy. We can't rely forever more


on the existing forms of energy. It is about creating more investment


in our economy, more jobs, to get us actually on the right track back


to restoring our economy. So the honest politician would say, this


is going to be painful, for a good while to come? No, the honest


politician will say to you, there is something fundamentally wrong


with our energy market. The tarrifs are complicated and people can't


choose the right deal for them. There is misselling going on. The


transparency of data, so we can really be clear about the price


these energy companies are buying and selling energy for, is not


transparent. Also, we have six big energy companies, who basically


control 90% of the market, that needs to be opened up, that is what


Ed Miliband has within talking about.


- - been talking about. - - been talking about.


On the newspapers now. Some GPs are restricted services


because of the behaviour of That's it for now, the news


machines fleet for homing pigeons of news has begun its journey here


Hello there. A cold front is crossing the country. Guess what,


it is introducing much colder air. The front will clear the far south-


east early in the morning. We are in a run of chilly north-westerly


winds. It there will be sun shy, but it won't help temperatures much.


Showers rattling into the North West of England, some getting into


the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire air. Most of East Anglia and the south


having a bright afternoon. 12-13 is the best temperatures. One or two


showers racing across England, but few and far between. Mo of the


showers north across the UK. The north and west of Wales will catch


the sharpest showers. Over the my ground of Northern Ireland, the


showers will be wintry at times, temperatures 9-10.


Certainly, the number of wintry showers over the Highlands could be


a covering of snow. The more eastern parts of Scotland staying


dry. The showers continuing into the night, it will be a pretty cold


night nationwide. Many other north western parts of Europe will have a


chilly few days, with blustery showers. Berlin staying mostly dry.


Head for the south and east of Europe, down to the Mediterranean


if you want sunshine. It is fine and dry and warmer as well. Back


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