28/10/2011 Newsnight


28/10/2011

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


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The richest continent on earth, Europe decides how to solve the

:00:11.:00:13.

Europe decides how to solve the debt crisis.

:00:13.:00:17.

And then hits China for a bailout. What will be the price of making

:00:17.:00:23.

Beijing Europe's lender of last resort. The Europeans are so weak

:00:23.:00:28.

that they have to beg China to ask for its contribution to the bailout

:00:28.:00:31.

fund, which I think is a bit humiliating. Is this a turning

:00:31.:00:36.

point in the rise of China, and perhaps the eclipse of Europe. Also

:00:36.:00:41.

tonight, top directors' pay source by almost 50%, the Prime Minister

:00:41.:00:46.

talk - soars by more than 50%, the Prime Minister talks about more

:00:47.:00:50.

transparency. Is that because the Government doesn't know what to do.

:00:50.:00:53.

Their first born would be first in line to the throne, boy or girl. If

:00:53.:00:58.

it is good enough for a Queen, why not good enough for Dukes, Duchess

:00:58.:01:08.
:01:08.:01:11.

and Lords and Laidies. We will hear from our gates.

:01:11.:01:16.

Anyone travelling in China in the past few years struck by something

:01:16.:01:21.

exorderry, the country managers to call itself a developing country

:01:21.:01:26.

and merge - manages to call itself a developing country and a

:01:26.:01:32.

superpower. The fate of Europe lies in the kapbdz of a communist

:01:32.:01:36.

capital. What will it demand in return, and how much are we

:01:36.:01:40.

witnessing a power shift in Europe towards Germany, while Europe risks

:01:40.:01:49.

being eclipsed by Asia. As China's economy powers ahead,

:01:49.:01:54.

old assumptions are being recast, and new relationships forged. Today

:01:54.:01:59.

the head of Europe's stability fund was in Beijing, looking for 70

:01:59.:02:04.

billion euros. That may be a lot, but it is less than a 30th of the

:02:04.:02:10.

foreign currency war chest that China has amassed through its trade

:02:10.:02:14.

surplus. The foreign exchange reserves of China go up every month,

:02:14.:02:19.

therefore there is a need for investment. And that is also my

:02:19.:02:24.

experience talking to the Chinese authorities, that they are

:02:24.:02:29.

interested in finding attractive, solid, safe investment

:02:29.:02:34.

opportunities. Across the EU there is a hunger for

:02:34.:02:38.

inward investment. This development on the whirr ral is being financed

:02:38.:02:42.

in part by Chinese money. If this is welcome in these times of

:02:42.:02:47.

recession, why should EU borrowing be any different. The Chinese are

:02:47.:02:52.

very careful about their public image. What they get in return for

:02:52.:02:55.

any assistance that they might give. Of course we don't know exactly

:02:55.:02:59.

what is being discussed in Beijing, but we do know, on past record,

:02:59.:03:02.

when the Chinese have made an investment, they will also raise

:03:02.:03:07.

other issues, like, we don't like that our currency gets criticised.

:03:07.:03:11.

We need market economy status recognition, they raise other

:03:11.:03:15.

issues that has been bothering them for some time, and this quid pro

:03:15.:03:19.

quo is very much in line with how they normally negotiate, I think,

:03:19.:03:23.

as they think about helping Europe, these other issues are likely to

:03:23.:03:28.

surface, so this is much broader than just the Chinese thinking,

:03:28.:03:33.

could I get the best return for my money. The Chinese leadership

:03:33.:03:38.

strings could mean ending an arms embargo, stopping criticisim of

:03:38.:03:41.

their trade practices and gaining greater access to European

:03:41.:03:46.

technology. For some Europeans that is too high a price. The most

:03:46.:03:50.

important trading partner of China is Europe, but I regret, in way,

:03:50.:03:56.

that the Europeans are so weak that they have to beg China to ask for

:03:56.:04:00.

its contribution to the bailout fund. Which I think is a bit

:04:00.:04:06.

humiliating. The perception of European weakness has already

:04:06.:04:09.

caused flack for Nicolas Sarkozy, as he returned home from this

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week's summit, he went on TV, insisting he had held his own with

:04:14.:04:19.

Germany and was not going begging to China. TRANSLATION: If the

:04:19.:04:23.

Chinese, who have 60% of the worldwide reserves decide to invest

:04:23.:04:27.

in the euro rather than the dollar, why refuse. Afterall, there is

:04:27.:04:31.

nothing to negotiate. Our independent will not be affected in

:04:31.:04:36.

any way. Why shouldn't we accept that the Chinese have confidence in

:04:36.:04:42.

the eurozone and deposit part of their excess funds in our funds or

:04:42.:04:46.

banks. Inevitably, China's leaders see in Europe's current crisis, an

:04:46.:04:53.

opportunity. They want to move from the shadow of history, when the EU

:04:53.:05:01.

took a sort of very aspirational, idealistic attitude, used to some

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time lecture and hector China about internal issues, it now says we are

:05:07.:05:10.

equal, we are partners, we don't want that kind of relationship any

:05:10.:05:14.

more. We have had enough of it. The conversation between China's

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leadership and the western powers will continue at next week's G20

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Summit in France. This week's developments will put China in a

:05:25.:05:29.

strong position. Europe's begging bowl approach to China provides the

:05:29.:05:33.

leadership there with a great opportunity, to further their own

:05:33.:05:36.

long-term goal of a more equal relationship, with the developed

:05:36.:05:41.

economies of the west. Now that's part of a long historical trend, of

:05:41.:05:46.

course, of power moving eastwards. But that won't stop opposition

:05:46.:05:51.

forces in many European countries from blaming today's leaders for

:05:51.:05:55.

going to Beijing in such a craven manner.

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Have you seen really, that when the President of China went to the UK,

:06:00.:06:09.

or to France, or to Italy, he was told something bad about the

:06:09.:06:13.

Chinese attitudes, in relation to freedom of speech, have you seen

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recently any leader in the EU saying that China has some change

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to accept in its social policy, with regard to its own workers? No.

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No it has already begun. For the moment, China's leaders haven't

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agreed to help out. Like many others, they want to know more

:06:34.:06:40.

about Europe's latest bailout man. But few believe they will re-

:06:40.:06:44.

bailout plan. But few believe they will refuse, since Europe has made

:06:44.:06:48.

a point for eloquently than China ever could.

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I'm joined by Georg Boomgaarden, Ha-Joon Chang an economist who

:06:52.:06:56.

specialises in China, Pippa Mlmgren, economics adviser to George Bush,

:06:56.:07:02.

and Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at Oxford. How

:07:02.:07:07.

embarrassing is it for the richest continent on earth to go to chine

:07:07.:07:12.

that to help solve these economic prob - China, to solve these

:07:12.:07:16.

economic problems, why can't Europe or Germany solve it for themselves?

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We have a global world economy, in a global world economy, it is very

:07:22.:07:26.

positive and good if everyone in this global economy who can and

:07:26.:07:31.

wants to acts as positively where crises happens. It is a good thing,

:07:31.:07:35.

going to China saying, please, give us some money? It is not, please,

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give us some money, it is an offer to invest money. It is an offer to

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invest money, certainly into a region, which for China is also

:07:44.:07:47.

very important. We are the biggest client. This is certainly something

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very important. I think trade relations is not a game, it is

:07:52.:07:55.

normally putting both sides on a better level. Timothy Garton Ash,

:07:55.:07:58.

it is good for the world, it is good for China to be part of this?

:07:58.:08:04.

I think the ambassador has put magnificent spin on it. Look, the

:08:04.:08:07.

eurozone did, theoretically have another option, which is to say

:08:07.:08:11.

they will do it ourselves, save it ourselves, make the European

:08:11.:08:15.

Central Bank the lender of last resort, issue Euro-bonds,

:08:15.:08:19.

guaranteed by Germany, and have Germany fiscal discipline, but the

:08:19.:08:24.

fact is, across the eurozone, but the fact is, the German people

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didn't want that, they wouldn't let Chancellor Mercury do that, nor did

:08:28.:08:37.

the Greek or Italian people. That is - glp ska Chancellor Merkel do

:08:37.:08:41.

that, nor did the Greek or Italian people, that is why we are going

:08:41.:08:47.

with the begging bowl to China. It is a small milestone on the longer

:08:47.:08:52.

term with the shift from west to east. If he's right, it is easier

:08:52.:08:56.

for Angela Merkel to go to Beijing than the Bundestag, is that true?

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It is not about going to the Bundestag or Beijing, it is about

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how far Europeans are able to be united, and strong Europe in a

:09:08.:09:12.

globalised world. We are on the way, this is not something which is

:09:12.:09:18.

already finished. I know we discussed it earlier, when you want

:09:18.:09:27.

to have a common policy on that, then you should never, never touch

:09:27.:09:32.

the incompetence of the ECB, this is an - independence of the ECB, it

:09:32.:09:36.

is an ECB decision, and if you don't do not do that you have an

:09:36.:09:40.

inflationary machine, this is tax on the poor. How is this going to

:09:40.:09:44.

be seen in China, what do you think they will l they want out of this

:09:44.:09:51.

relationship? At one level, this is not a big deal, because China has

:09:51.:09:58.

already bought quite a lot of European bonds. But it is a

:09:58.:10:03.

watershed in a sense that it is being turned into some kind of

:10:03.:10:08.

formal arrangement. I do not know exact whree what will change hands.

:10:08.:10:13.

- exactly what will change hands, but China does take on the attitude

:10:13.:10:17.

that they want a more equal relationship. Exactly what that

:10:17.:10:21.

would involve, would it involve discussions about exchange rate

:10:21.:10:26.

policy, or human rights, I don't know. There is one way of looking

:10:26.:10:29.

at it, they have already propped up the American economy, thank you

:10:29.:10:33.

very much, it has not changed what the Obama administration does or

:10:33.:10:36.

doesn't do, why should we worry about it? Absolutely, that isn't

:10:36.:10:40.

what is on the table here. What is on the table is an investment that

:10:40.:10:44.

is effectively guaranteed. It is not buying the bonds, if it were

:10:44.:10:47.

that simple they would just go out and buy them, they are available on

:10:47.:10:51.

the open market. This is a totally different deal. I think it is

:10:51.:11:00.

precisely Asim thee Ash says, it is - Asim thee Ash says, it is because

:11:00.:11:03.

the Bundestag doesn't approve and they can't inflate the Governments

:11:03.:11:07.

can't accept that, they have to reach to outside parties. Of course

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the Chinese were not wanting this deal, now it is on the table they

:11:11.:11:14.

are going to say we have some other requests, we would like to buy a

:11:14.:11:20.

lot of hard assets in western Europe, infrastructure, agriculture,

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all sorts of things, with a privileged price. It brings an

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income with implications. Also I think foreign policy does get sold

:11:29.:11:34.

in a Chinese direction. Meaning what, western medias will shut up

:11:34.:11:39.

about Tibet? Correct, and a number of issues. That shifts the dialogue.

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Does it permanently change it? No, but it shifts the dialogue. Do you

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think it will have that effect, perhaps not a revolutionary effect,

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but slowly the mood will change? have no doubt about that. That it

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will be slowly, slowly chipping away, market economy status, the

:11:58.:12:03.

issue of the arms embargo. Please don't invite the Dalai Lama, go a

:12:03.:12:07.

bit softer on human rights. And let me add one very important thing,

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which is there is one United States, but 27 states in the European Union.

:12:14.:12:19.

40% of Chinese direct investment is in southern and Eastern Europe.

:12:19.:12:23.

These are relatively weak, small economies. If it goes on like that,

:12:23.:12:30.

and it is likely to in the crisis, you get almost like something of a

:12:30.:12:33.

China lobby inside the European Union. One should not underestimate

:12:34.:12:36.

the potential for the power shift. That is a big problem for the

:12:37.:12:39.

European Union? I don't think at all, if you look at the decisions

:12:39.:12:44.

of Brussels, this is a very small part. You are absolutely right, the

:12:44.:12:52.

first element in it is the very big package giving leverage to the EFSF,

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this is the real big shot. Some spoke of Baz zook ka, I don't like

:12:59.:13:02.

- bazooka, I don't like the military comparisons. These are the

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so-called special vehicles, they are a very small part of it. There

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it is not between the Bundestag and China, it is between something else.

:13:10.:13:16.

It is between responsible investor, who is asked, and we have excellent

:13:16.:13:19.

experience with sovereign wealth funds, from the gulf states, China

:13:19.:13:25.

and others, it is not looking for money in circles which get into

:13:25.:13:31.

panic when just a pundit comes up and tells something panicky again.

:13:31.:13:35.

They go to IRA liable lender. go to a reliable lender, trying to

:13:35.:13:40.

get the Chinese perspective on this, am I right in thinking the average

:13:40.:13:43.

employed worker in Beijing earns less than the average unemployed

:13:43.:13:47.

person in the European Union. Et competitive question on the long-

:13:47.:13:52.

term - the competitive question on the long-term is going in China's

:13:52.:13:56.

direction? For one thing I'm not Chinese, I don't speak for the

:13:56.:14:01.

country. But I'm not as optimistic as other people about China's

:14:02.:14:08.

future. You know it has its own internal problems. There is a huge

:14:08.:14:14.

realistic bubble, many of the projects they launched with the

:14:14.:14:19.

2008 fiscal stimulus package are going sour, and there is a huge

:14:19.:14:23.

inequality growing. At the moment the economy is moving at a very

:14:23.:14:28.

high-speed, 9-10%, everyone is happy, when that stops, we don't

:14:28.:14:31.

know if China can continue on that. Doesn't that bear out the

:14:31.:14:36.

ambassador's big point, which is we are all in this together, like the

:14:36.:14:40.

world, China has a part to play and we shouldn't be frightened of it?

:14:40.:14:44.

Forget for a moment that it is China, every investor has to be

:14:44.:14:49.

scared about putting more capital into Europe. Why should the Spanish,

:14:49.:14:53.

Italians and Irish pay 100% of their debt, if the Greeks only pay

:14:53.:14:57.

half. We just did a haircut on the Greek debt. The pressure on the

:14:57.:15:02.

rest of the Europeans to implement a level of austerity that I don't

:15:02.:15:06.

think human beings can bear. We are going to see a lot of pushback. The

:15:06.:15:11.

politicians may say we agree to the austerity, the public won't agrow.

:15:11.:15:16.

They will say why should we pay if those guys didn't. The risk to the

:15:16.:15:20.

bondholders is immense. Forget their Chinese. Consider if it is so

:15:20.:15:23.

risky that you have to beg an investor, this is telling you

:15:23.:15:27.

something about the situation. is fair point, is it not? No it is

:15:27.:15:30.

not. I really beg to disagree. It is not a fair point, because it is

:15:31.:15:34.

very unfair to the different countries in Europe. Maybe over the

:15:34.:15:39.

Atlantic Europe looks like one, it is not. And Greece is a real

:15:39.:15:43.

special case and what is part of these decisions is isolating Greece

:15:43.:15:48.

from the others, because this was a very long-term, you had an increase

:15:48.:15:57.

in salaries, for example, 135% in the last 12 years, nobody had this,

:15:57.:16:00.

in Spain you had real estate crisis and in Ireland, Portugal is still

:16:00.:16:06.

developing, but all of them, Spain, Portugal, Greece and now also Italy,

:16:06.:16:13.

they are all on the good pass. One final area, how will Germans

:16:13.:16:18.

feel about this, we know the burden of history on everybody in Europe.

:16:18.:16:22.

What we are seeing this week is Germany is not just the economic

:16:22.:16:25.

motor but has to be the political motor of the EU, because nobody

:16:25.:16:29.

else can do it. Does that change the mine set within Europe and

:16:29.:16:33.

Germany in particular which you know - mind set within Europe and

:16:33.:16:36.

Germany in particular which you know well? Germany is Europe's

:16:36.:16:40.

central power, that is a reality for many years. At least since

:16:40.:16:44.

unification again, and particularly when it comes to economics. We in

:16:44.:16:49.

Britain or France can hardly object to the Germans pursuing their own

:16:49.:16:56.

national interest. But I think that we do ourselves no service by

:16:56.:17:01.

suggesting that it is all perfectly normal and actually it is just

:17:01.:17:04.

normal globalisation and indeed that the problem is solved. The

:17:04.:17:10.

eurozone has not been saved, we are not out of the woods yet, and

:17:10.:17:17.

Germany itself will be the first and, in many ways the biggest,

:17:17.:17:21.

victim of a failure of the eurozone. I think the crisis is still very

:17:21.:17:26.

much in action. The Chinese aspect is just a small part of it. Very

:17:26.:17:31.

briefly, ambassador, he is right, we're not out of the woods yet?

:17:31.:17:35.

Chancellor has said it will take some time until the house is in

:17:35.:17:38.

order, that is correct about Germany. I don't share your view

:17:38.:17:44.

that this is still a very risky way, the point is to complete the

:17:44.:17:48.

incomplete monetary union. This is a democratic process, this takes

:17:48.:17:51.

longer than the market thinks. If democratic leaders have to decide

:17:51.:17:57.

it takes more time. That requires a fiscal and political union which

:17:57.:18:02.

the architects of monetary union thought should follow, but now the

:18:02.:18:06.

Germans and others don't want. will save that for another night.

:18:06.:18:09.

Thank you very much. Now, we are all in this together,

:18:09.:18:13.

apparently, but some people are more in it than others. While the

:18:13.:18:17.

talk in Britain is of austerity and inflation bringing real wage cuts

:18:17.:18:21.

that seem to apply everywhere, that is, except the top boardrooms,

:18:21.:18:29.

where directors are trousers much more than ever before. When salary,

:18:29.:18:33.

benefits incentive and bonuses are added together, FTSE 100 directors

:18:33.:18:38.

have seen their incomes jump by 49% in the last financial year. Chief

:18:38.:18:44.

executives aren't far behind. Their awards increasing by 4%.

:18:44.:18:50.

A study has found. The average salary for a top CEO stands at �3.8

:18:50.:18:53.

million. Compare all that, and you might just be tempted to do so with

:18:53.:18:57.

the average pay rise across the whole economy, and there is quite a

:18:57.:19:02.

contrast. It currently stands at a modest 2.5%. Eaten away by

:19:02.:19:12.
:19:12.:19:13.

inflation, which is more than 5%. I'm joined by Luke Johnson a serial

:19:13.:19:17.

entree pen your, and my other guest. You can see that people sitting at

:19:17.:19:21.

home think it is unjust, everybody knows their wages are going back

:19:21.:19:27.

wards in real terms, and directors getting paid more it seems wrong?

:19:27.:19:31.

find it very difficult that as Brits he always have to look at the

:19:31.:19:34.

negative side of things. Over the last two or three years every

:19:34.:19:38.

pillar of our society has been challenged, whether it be

:19:38.:19:44.

journalists, whether it be politicians, whether it be bankers,

:19:44.:19:50.

and the one pillar that has remained very much intact it is

:19:50.:19:57.

corporate UK, it has held us in good stead. It is quite inic when

:19:57.:20:03.

listening to the previous conversation - ironic is listening

:20:03.:20:08.

to the previous conversations is that taxes aren't high enough.

:20:08.:20:12.

bankers have behaved badly and others have behaved badly,

:20:12.:20:18.

directors have haid badly and are not showing why they deserve it?

:20:18.:20:23.

you look at corporate tax receipts, excluding the banking sector, I

:20:23.:20:28.

would say they are higher in October 2011 than envisaged at the

:20:28.:20:33.

beginning of the year. We live in a global economy. I reckon Luke would

:20:33.:20:39.

probably right now, 21% of FTSE chief executives don't have British

:20:39.:20:43.

passports. The last thing I want, as an investor in these companies,

:20:43.:20:46.

is to hear on Monday morning that the chief executive of one of our

:20:46.:20:52.

investors who is foreign, like Burberry, or Marks & Spencers, has

:20:52.:20:56.

decided to move to a culture that is less blame orientated. Is that

:20:56.:21:01.

fair, people at the top end will go where the money is? I'm not sure I

:21:01.:21:05.

agree. I think there is a bit of a myth that management talent is

:21:05.:21:10.

incredibly rare, and therefore has to be extraordinarily well rewarded.

:21:10.:21:14.

I think people are entitled to object, when they see bosses of

:21:14.:21:18.

public companies, these are companies that individuals are not

:21:18.:21:22.

founded, they are simply employees, executives, who have worked their

:21:22.:21:30.

way up the hierarchy, and they are being paid 100-200-times what the

:21:30.:21:35.

bottom ranking employees are paid. There is an argument to say that is

:21:35.:21:39.

disproportionate. You know boards could do something about it and the

:21:39.:21:44.

shareholders, if they felt strongly about it? I agree, it is

:21:45.:21:48.

disappointing that pension funds and insurance investors, ultimately

:21:48.:21:53.

owned by small, individual shareholders, with pensions, aren't

:21:53.:21:58.

objecting more strongly. I accept that we have to compete on a world

:21:58.:22:04.

stage, but for principally UK businesses, to be paying huge

:22:04.:22:09.

increases such as these Stade tisics suggest have been, in a time

:22:09.:22:16.

when ordinary hard-working people are getting zero increases, it will

:22:16.:22:23.

clearly offend. Do you accept there is a problem? Do we get our money's

:22:23.:22:26.

worth? I think it is popular policing, I think this house is in

:22:26.:22:28.

order. And Luke knows the environment very well. The

:22:28.:22:36.

institutions of London, who did get a bad rap over encouraging balance

:22:36.:22:40.

sheets in banking, if somebody is not doing their job they will be

:22:40.:22:47.

hard as nails. GlaxoSmithKline make �8 billion a year, their board is

:22:48.:22:56.

paid a seventh of what Manchester City's squad will be paid. I don't

:22:56.:23:05.

think comparing footballers is not a good comparison? Man City is 12

:23:05.:23:10.

people, Glaxo has been built up over decade, quite a lot of people

:23:10.:23:15.

can do the job the board are doing. The trouble is you have inside,

:23:15.:23:20.

institutional capture by corporate executives, you have the agency

:23:20.:23:24.

problem whether it is too big a difference between investors and

:23:24.:23:27.

managers. They are not entrepeneurs who are risking their homes, and

:23:27.:23:31.

who are going to use their personal credit card to meet the monthly

:23:31.:23:35.

payroll if the business isn't succeeding. Their downside is they

:23:35.:23:42.

lose their job. Their upside is they get paid �10 million, up to

:23:42.:23:47.

that, a year. Is that right? There is a toughening up on institutions

:23:47.:23:51.

particularly with the criticism they got with the encouragement of

:23:51.:23:54.

banking culture going from advice to sales, and Scottish institutions,

:23:54.:24:01.

such as Standard Life, seen to be very supportive to what happened at

:24:01.:24:05.

Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS, came under a lot of criticism. That

:24:05.:24:08.

had merit. This is slightly more varied, people will go where the

:24:08.:24:13.

money is. Corporate UK, excluding the banking sector, is one of the

:24:13.:24:22.

things we can waive our flag on. There are changes to the way the

:24:23.:24:26.

monarchy works. Bringing changes to centuries of traditions. The

:24:26.:24:32.

principle change concerns the first born. Future Monarchs will be able

:24:32.:24:36.

to marry Roman Catholics, and the first born child can inherit the

:24:36.:24:46.

throne, whether a boy or girl. When list Beth II was crowned in -

:24:46.:24:51.

Elizabeth II was crowned, it was absence of a brother that secured

:24:51.:24:57.

her the role. As early as the 1960s, we are told, civil servants thould

:24:57.:25:04.

the rules inaxe crownistic. Whether or not it is the imminence

:25:04.:25:08.

of a new royal heir, following this year's wedding, that has prompted

:25:08.:25:13.

it, change t appears, really is happening.

:25:13.:25:17.

Presided over by the Queen herself, the 16 Commonwealth nations at

:25:17.:25:24.

their conference in Australia have agreed to ind the rule of male prim

:25:24.:25:34.
:25:34.:25:34.

Mo beginure, meaning William and Kate's first born will take the

:25:34.:25:40.

throne. One further anomoly, the ending of this rule won't

:25:40.:25:43.

automatically apply to the aristocracy, some traditions remain

:25:43.:25:47.

very much in the era of Downton Abbey. So, if this is some kind of

:25:47.:25:54.

progressive move, why shouldn't it apply more widely to aristocratic

:25:54.:25:59.

titles. I'm joined by my guests, Tony Benn renouncing his title in

:25:59.:26:05.

1963, the first person to do so. On the male ascension, you think it is

:26:05.:26:10.

a good idea, removing it and making it open to girls? I think it is

:26:10.:26:14.

Monday sense, I don't think it was a bad idea in fuedal times, if the

:26:14.:26:20.

head of the family had to be a male, he also had to have a lance or a

:26:20.:26:24.

sword or a horse and ride. That was a sensible then. That is where it

:26:24.:26:30.

all came from. The need for protection. Now a female can

:26:30.:26:34.

protect the family with a computer et cetera, quite as well as anyone

:26:34.:26:39.

else. And female Monarchs have not done too badly, as you have written

:26:39.:26:43.

yourself in the past? Exactly. If people list the great Monarchs of

:26:43.:26:50.

our country, let's face it, no-one would leave out Queen Elizabeth I,

:26:50.:26:56.

it might well include Queen Vicoria. It is common sense. One should not

:26:56.:26:59.

get into a state of thinking it should always have been so. Now it

:26:59.:27:02.

should be so. Do you think it is a good move,

:27:02.:27:07.

this is progressive, is it? Well, it removes discrimination against

:27:07.:27:13.

women, which still exists, for example, Church of England won't

:27:13.:27:16.

appoint women bishops, there was a struggle to get women the vote and

:27:16.:27:20.

so on. If we are talking about the function of the head of state, and

:27:20.:27:25.

if you take the function of a Monarch, whether a man or a woman,

:27:25.:27:28.

they have enormous power, they appoint the bishops, the judges,

:27:28.:27:33.

they can dissolve parliament and so on. And I give you one example

:27:33.:27:37.

which occurred to me, in order to be a member of parliament you have

:27:37.:27:44.

to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. And I thought about it,

:27:44.:27:48.

and realised that I didn't owe my allegiance to the Queen, but to the

:27:48.:27:52.

people who elected me, to the people who selected me as a

:27:52.:27:56.

candidate and to my conscience. Therefore, in order to be an MP I

:27:56.:28:01.

had to tell 17 lies under oath and that is the question, why, if you

:28:01.:28:06.

are going to extend the right to women, why shouldn't you extend the

:28:06.:28:10.

right to everybody, by having an elected head of state. That's

:28:10.:28:14.

another point. But I wondered a slightly more limited change but

:28:14.:28:20.

still a big one, would be to extend it to the aristocracy in general.

:28:20.:28:25.

Am I right in thinking you would be the Earl of Longford, because your

:28:25.:28:29.

younger brother inherited the title? Yes, my one of four brothers

:28:29.:28:35.

inherited the title. He doesn't use it, as a matter of fact. Something

:28:35.:28:39.

that Tony Benn will understand. I have to say that I spoke to him

:28:39.:28:42.

this morning and said I was coming on the programme, and he said, oh

:28:43.:28:47.

God, are you going to say you want to be countess of Longford. I said,

:28:47.:28:52.

no, I'm not, because you don't use it, what I'm going to say, if I'm

:28:52.:28:57.

anything, and don't let's be sexist, don't you agree, I should be Earl

:28:57.:29:02.

of Longford. But as a matter of fact I don't want to be Earl of

:29:02.:29:06.

Longford either. Politicians haven't bitten this particular

:29:06.:29:12.

bullet, they are not going to extend it to the aristocracy.

:29:12.:29:20.

don't believe to the hereditary titles, if I went to the dentist -

:29:20.:29:26.

and he said he's not a real dentist but his father was I would move

:29:26.:29:29.

dentists. I think democracy is the most important thing. When you

:29:29.:29:34.

elect a member of parliament, you actually employ him. When I was an

:29:34.:29:40.

MP, in my constituency, every one of my constituents was my employer.

:29:40.:29:45.

And they could put me there, and get rid of me. So I was kept very

:29:45.:29:50.

much disciplined by the knowledge that I represented them. That is

:29:50.:29:56.

the basis on which I believe that society should be run. Isn't this a

:29:56.:30:01.

good move, isn't this move to say that the first born child of Prince

:30:01.:30:04.

William and Princess Catherine, should be the Monarch, this is a

:30:05.:30:10.

good move, isn't it? I personally amin favour of an elected head of

:30:10.:30:14.

state. I'm just discussing, isn't it a good move, a common sense move,

:30:14.:30:19.

a modern move, are you not in favour of it? I'm not in favour of

:30:19.:30:22.

discriminating against women at any purpose. But if you ask me whether

:30:22.:30:31.

I think the head of state should be by-election or by inheritance, I'm

:30:31.:30:36.

in favour of election. On that note of near agreement, thank you very

:30:36.:30:42.

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