16/11/2011 Newsnight


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Confirmation of the bleeding obvious, the outlook for the UK


economy is only getting worse. Mervyn was knighted Sir Mervyn this


week, but there is nothing arising about today's growth figures from


the Bank of England. The outlook for growth of the world economy has


worsened since August. That is also true here in the UK. Where activity


could be broadly flat until around the middle of next year. We will


ask a Treasury minister to confirm whether they still expect to


eliminate the deficit in this parliament. In Europe, a very rude


message from Germany to Britain, on the proposed city City transaction


tax, pay up or shut up. It is poverty to you and me, maybe, but


it is money to vulture funds. How one of the world's poorest nations


may be made to pay millions to western scavengers. Is it fair that


your vulture fund sought $100 million from the Congo. How can


some of these people be running for President, when they wouldn't even


pass an interview to appear on Newsnight. REPORTER: You agreed


with President Obama on Libya or not? OK, Libya. I do not agree with


the way he handled it for the following reason, em, no, that's a


different one. As was predicted last night, today's unemployment


figures showed there are now over a million young people without a job.


Worse, the Bank of England believes the growth, which might create jobs,


is going to be much slower than previously expected. 1% next year,


not much higher than the chances of Mervyn King yodelling on the X


Factor. Worse still, it looks for likely than ever that the


Government will fail to meet its deficit reduction target by the end


of the parliament. The Government has repeatedly said there is no


plan B. In these circumstances, should there be?


'S got gloomer. -- he's got gloomier We are facing a difficult


time ahead. And gloomier. Every month the governor of the Bank of


England has been getting gloomier every month. Despite a new set of


glasses and a new Knighthood, Sir Mervyn wasn't cheered up at all. He


has halved his growth expectation for next year, now just 1%. The art


of growth forecasting isn't just coming up with the numbers in the


first place, it is explaining why the last set of numbers didn't pan


out. Despite the easier monetary stance, growth over the next few


quarters is likely to be markedly weaker than in the August


projection. This reflects the impact on the United Kingdom, of


the deterioration in prospects internationally, working through


weaker net trade, higher credit spreads, and the likelihood that


elevated uncertainty will cause businesses to postpone investment


and households to spend less. mer viing emphasised that all of


these growth forecast -- Mervyn emphasised that awful these growth


forecasts are based on -- all of these growth forecasts are based on


nobody knows on, the outcome of the issues in Europe. Adding to the


uncertainty with the Government's plans to deal with the deficit.


we outperform the impact won't be too bad in the medium term, it will


add to debt, it is managable within the Government's own fiscal rules.


If this is permanently lost output, that becomes more of a long-term


problem and potentially requires more long-term pain, in terms of


cuts and tax increases to balance the books. All eyes are now on the


assessment that the Chancellor is due to give to parliament in his


pre-budget report on November 29th. The same day that the office for


budget responsibility gives its updated forecast. In the meantime,


ministers are emphasising how, well, they will see if you can pick out


the word the business secretary wants us to take on board. We know


economic conditions are very difficult, and we have got a very,


very difficult inher taepbsance, very difficult external


circumstances, a period of difficulty, and difficulty in the


world markets. Why difficult? Remember the big row between the


parties about how fast to cut the deficit. This is the line that


George Osborne projected in his first budget. This less steep line


is the one Alistair Darling offered in his last budget as Chancellor.


But both are steeper than the latest Treasury average of


independent forecasters. If true, the Government will fail to achieve


an important economic target. for the Government becomes harder


each time these growth forecasts are downgraded. The Government will


not now, under most reasonable assumptions, reach budget balance


by the end of this parliament, so the really hard thing will be


likely to have to go into the next parliament with more public


spending cuts, more austerity. Prime Minister today was meeting


young high-tech entrepeneurs, some big ideas and fast from them would


really help. However, the big question, how to stimulate growth


quickly, without adding to borrowing. The Chancellor will have


a difficult judgment in the PBR, he's going to have some more gloomy


forecasts from his own independent fiscal watchdog. He has not got a


great deal of room for manoeuvre, he can't spend a great deal of


extra money if he's going to keep to his own fiscal rules. Within


that limited manoeuvre, how is he going to produce policies which


make a difference to growth. That is the challenge he has set himself,


that is a pretty difficult challenge for him to be facing.


answer coming from Liberal Democrats, is to use other people's


money, to pay for things like new houses. The thing at the moment is


that the pension funds are sitting on a very large amount of money,


which they are looking for long- term, secure place, and house


something an obvious place for that money to go. That and some of the


other infrastructure areas, road or rail, we can look to the pension


funds, who are basically coming to Government and say can you help us


spend our money. But, before we get too cheerful,


remember that these comparatively gloomy forecasts are predicated on


the worst not happening, on a eurozone meltdown being avoided. If


that all goes belly-up, all bets are off.


With us now are the Treasury minister, David Gauke, and the


Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna. Now, David Gauke, are you


still going to eliminate the structural deficit by 2014/15?


Government's policy remains that is what we will do. It is worth


pointing out why. We are seeing across all sorts of countries,


great problems because they don't have fiscal credibility. That is


why the likes of Italy and grease and now France are taking -- Greece


and now France are taking austerity measures. When asked are you going


to, you said that is the policy, that is not the same as you will do


it? That is what we will do. We stick to that commitment. And the


reason we stick to that commitment is when we see countries where the


markets don't have faith in the policies that they are going to


pursue. We see their long-term interest rates increase, and we see


some of the crises at the moment. The UK Government remains committed


to getting rid of the structural deficit over the course of this


parliament. You still expect to do it by 2014/15? If you look at what


the Bank of England said today, when they said that yes, growth


will be slow in 2012, but then they said above trend growth over


2013/14, that will be possible. Institute for Fiscal Studies, which


we saw in that report, which thinks you can't do it, they are wrong,


are they? What Paul Johnson said from the IFS is we would still be


able to do it if we saw strong growth towards the end of the


parliament. That is an if? That is what the Bank of England said today.


That is what you expect to do in 2014/15? We will ensure we get rid


of the structural deficit by the end of this parliament, it is by


having that commitment and credibility that we are not in the


mess that other countries are. it is working? That's not what the


consensus forecast says. It is what he's saying, he as saying by the


end of the parliament it will be gone? Very few people seem to think


that they will achieve this. Maybe they are all wrong? The


consensus forecast, all of these people say they will be borrowing


possibly up to �100 billion more than planned. The best way to


reduce your borrowing is to get growth back and getting people into


work. We have seen some incredibly tragic figures today. Over one


million young people unemployed. That doesn't just affect in terms


of your spending power, your monetary capacity, it affects your


whole sense ofself. The reason we are in that position, is frankly,


the economy hasn't grown, since this time last year. What had


happened since this time last year, is confidence nose dived. When that


nose dives, demand fall, that is why we are in the position we are


in. The question is, how bad does it have to get before David and his


colleagues decide to change course. How bad does it have to get? I have


to say that he's talking about how we get borrowing down. I'm talking


about growth. We don't get borrowing down by borrowing more.


The fact is there are many countries across Europe. You will


be borrowing more than expected. Many countries across Europe taking


austerity measure, tougher than the measures we have had to take,


because they have no choice, because that is what the markets


require to have credibility. That is why we need to. So growth is low,


growth forecasts are lower, and you are the person that says the facts


may have changed but I'm not changing my mind? The facts have


supported what we have done. What we have said all the way through is


we need to be ahead of the market. Things have got worse, you were


supposed to be promoting growth and growth has got worse? If you look


at what is happening in the likes of Italy, France, Greece, Spain


will take austerity measures as well. The fact is, the UK is seen


as being a safe haven by the markets at the moment. Because of


the steps that we have taken, if we try to abandon that, if we say


we're not worried about borrowing, we will borrow more and more and


more, what will happen. There are more than a million young people


out of work at the moment. I have been to Chorley in the North West


of the country, which has seen its youth unemployment go up by 243%


since January. Are you seriously going to look all of these young


people in the face and say we're not doing anything, all of our


measures are working, there is nothing to worry about. Of course


we are looking to do what we can do-to-get growth. And there will be


measures announced in the autumn statement to that effect. Do you


really think that it would help those young people if we abandoned


getting our deficit down, if we said we're not interested in that,


that we can borrow our way out of this mess. Anyone who thinks the


recovery from this mess would be easy doesn't understand the scale


of the challenge the country faces. The way that you reduce your


borrowing is by having a plan that works. Getting jobs and growth back


into the economy. You say how to do this? We have a five-point plan to


do this, having a national insurance rebate. Can you remind us


how much this five-point plan of your's is going to cost? Over the


course of the parliament, over the course of the parliament we have a


�40 billion gap between ourselves and the Government. Because we


would, they would. It costs �40 billion? One year would cost �20


billion. If you bear with me, there is a �40 billion gap. Will it cost


�20 billion a year? Yes it will. Yes it will, VAT reversing VAT will


cost �12 billion a year alone. Under the figures you have


published today, you will be borrowing more than under our more


reasonable and responsible deficit reduction plan. In every single


area. According to the consensus forecast that your department


published today. That is clearly nonsense. How is it nonsense. These


are your figures. We are going through a difficult time, because


of the eurozone crisis. More every single year. This is nonsense.


Would you, if you were in Government, you would be wore


borrowing more than Alistair Darling claimed to. You claim it is


all to do with the eurozone, I quote the former Treasury secretary,


who said it is absolute nonsense to blame this on the eurozone crisis.


Are you saying it has no effect at all. Are you saying there is no


effect on confidence because of the eurozone crisis s that what you are


saying. Unemployment is lagging indicator, all of the statistics we


have had so far relate to the period before the eurozone crisis


had on the economy. Are you saying the eurozone has no effect on


confidence in the UK. It doesn't have any effect on your policy!


you're not going to do anything about it. You are ripping out the


foundations on which we could actually withstand the storm, if


and when it comes. The fact is, by having more credibility. By having


a clear plan to get the deficit down, the UK is not being sucked


into the crisis that we see in Greece and Italy. You have


published figures showing the deficit will be higher than you


said. You accept that, you will be borrowing more money that Alistair


Darling would have been borrowing if he stuck to his plan? I don't


accept that. These are your figures? The fact is the economy


has been hit by a eurozone crisis f Alistair Darling was a charl, there


would still have been a eurozone crisis. We haven't seen growth in


the last 12 months. If we followed the plan you advocated, the UK


would have been incredibly vulnerable to the type of issues we


have seen in Europe. The markets would have had no credibility, we


know our credit rating would have been downgraded. That is nonsense.


Our market interests have increased. Only one economy has grown slower


than this, in the G7, that is Japan who has suffered an earthquake.


can pick and choose which time period we will look at. I'm looking


at your time in Government. In 2011 we have grown as much as the US.


This is nonsense. If you look at projections we are growing faster


than the eurozone. This economy has grown by 0.5%. We will leave it


there, thank you very much. The British Government has been


accused by the Germans of thely nis crime of trying to look after


British -- henious crime of looking after British interests. The German


Chancellor said we wouldn't get away with t oh to be a fly-on-the-


wall when Cameron and Merkel meet on Friday. The issue is a financial


tax on all banking interests. Britain, home of the biggest


financial centre would bear the brunt.


When David Cameron goes to Berlin on Friday, he may not care to think


what they are saying about him in the beer halls, they may point out


while our Government is worried about the euro crisis it doesn't


want to pay like Germany is prepared to pay to sort it out.


Instead we are looking after the interests of the bloated financial


sector that caused the problem in the first place. If you listen to


the German ruling party, right now the whole of Europe is speaking


German. They don't mean we are speaking the language. What they


mean, is Germany, being the paymaster is making the money, and


setting all the policy. That is not a very welcome idea in the corner


of the continent where this bar is, not Bavaria, but the City of London.


A close ally of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has


accused our Government of acting selfishly, not least because it has


pledged to block the tax on financial transactions proposed by


the European Commission. TRANSLATION: The British are not


members of the currency union, but they are members of Europe. And


they also have a responsibility for the success of Europe. Our message


to the British cannot be to not look for one's own advantages


without being ready to make concessions. A tax on financial


transactions, sometimes called a Tobin tax, after the economist who


first proposed it, could be quite a concession. The so-called Robin


Hood tax doesn't look like it would rob that much from the rich. Just


0.1% every time a bond or share is sold, even less for other shares


and investments, that would raise 57 billion euro as across the EU,


and because most of those transactions are based in London,


the City would pay �40 billion. It is not just German politicians who


want a tax on financial transactions. The Archbishop of


Canterbury responded to the Occupy protests, and said he supported it,


and he agrees with the Pope and poverty campaigners. This could be


the most popular tax in British his treatment polgs show British people


are in favour of this tax, 2-1, that includes voters from the


Government. This would redistribute money from the casino in the City


to redistribute to poorer people. This isn't about slapping tax on us


but Britain making the right tax. The City says it would send


business abroad and tax revenues with it. It is worried Germany is


setting the agenda. London is most exposed, because that is where the


trade is done. Somebody is saying, from outside, what we would like,


we would like 35 billion euros from you in the UK, please send it to us


and we will decide how to spend it. The point is, it is not going to


happen, because the Government here has made it absolutely plain they


will veto it. We are very wary at the way it is proposed. If all the


world major financial centres agreed on this it might be


practical proposition, but just doing it on the basis of the


European area isn't practical. We have already seen what happens,


Sweden tried it unilaterally and they lost money. The sway the


Europeans are framing this, it is a tax on Britain to support the


European budget. We are not going along with that. German voters


don't like coughing up for other people's wasteful spending any more


than we do. If the euro stays intact it will be German not


British money supporting it. It will be more German influence, less


British influence, not just on the eurozone, but the whole of the


European Union. That could mean that the City finds that a Robin


Hood tax is only the first attack that it has to fight off.


European leaders say if Britain blocks the tax, they will still


impose it on the eurozone. That could lead to an ironic twist.


Business now done in Frankfurt will come to London, enriching the City,


at Germany's expense. Joining us from Berlin is Peter Altmeier,


Angela Merkel's Chief Whip in the German parliament. Mr Altmeier,


have you estimated how much this tax would raise? No, we have no


estimation made so far, we are in the beginning of talks in Brussels,


together with 27 partners and friends, on what we could do, in


order to respond to the growing demand of people for a better and


more efficient regulation of financial markets. The financial


transaction tax is one possible answer, and it is currently under


debate. Do you know how many jobs will be lost as a consequence of


the imposition of the tax? I don't believe too many jobs would be lost.


According to the European Commission estimates half a million.


There are people claiming that a lot of jobs have been lost as a


consequence of a misuse of high frequency trades, and therefore, we


believe, that this tax could deprivilege high-frequency trade,


it could make traditional trade form some more attractiveness. This


is why we are arguing in favour of this tax. And we are supported in


doing so by the European Commission in Brussels, and by many NGOs


worldwide. You accept this tax would affect Britain more severely


than any other country in Europe? No, this would certainly depend on


the details of such attacks, there is a proposal from the commission


that says the tax revenue should go to the EU budget, but I'm pretty


much convinced this is something that could be negotiated. I accept


the argument that London is an enormous stock market. By the way,


the EU commission's proposal does not consider the stock market


concerns, it stays every citizen in the EU should pay the tax. Then we


could agree that the tax money goes to the national budget of the


country's concerned, this is something that is discussed in


Germany as well. That is exceptionally generous of you, are


you saying the British charl doesn't know what he's --


Chancellor doesn't know what he's talking about? There is an on going


debate in the UK, as I have learned from this introduction on TV.


you are obviously, for give me, you are misinformed, the British


Chancellor, and his coalition partners have made it abundantly


clear they will not contenace this tax, because of the damaging effect


it will have on the British economy. There is no debate within the


Government about that at all. is a debate in the UK, if there is


a supposition of the Government, then it will be certainly explained


in one of the next ECOFIN meetings. That means there is no chance of


applying it to the entire European Union, and this would mean that we


would consider introducing it within the eurozone. That would be,


from a legal point of view, perfectly possible, you have argued


it could lead to a loss of money in Frankfurt, that would then go to


the UK, we think there are arrangements possible to make sure


that the money will remain in the country where the trade is made,


and the financial transaction is made, we do not believe so many


financial transactions would be moved to other countries. When your


colleague says that he's surprised that the British Government should


be defending the British interest, and you can't do that, and you


won't accept it, the Germans won't accept it, what does he mean?


that was obviously not a correct translation. He meant, every


country, of course, can defend its own national interest, that is what


all the countries are doing all the time. But in most of the cases we


are stronger when we act together on an international scale. We are


much stronger nationally when we come to common solutions at the


European level. This is the experience of more than 60 years of


European integration, and therefore, we still hope that we could


negotiate a common solution for everybody. If this is not possible,


because the United Kingdom would prefer to stay away, then it would


be up to the countries of the eurozone to consider whether they


could do something together. Good luck to you.


Thank you for joining us. The British economy may be in trouble,


but at least it is not in the state of some place like the Democratic


Republic of Congo, where the average worker earns something like


�30-�40 a month. Yet an investigation by this programme and


the Guardian has discovered that in American, so-called vulture fund,


is planning to extract a small fortune from the Congo. Previous


Newsnight reports on vulture funds that buy up debt cheaply and sue


developing countries for vast amounts, got the law of this


country changed. Is the vultures cannot now use UK courts. As we


report, they found a way round the ban by filing lawsuits in Jersey.


This report begins in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


We're heading out of the capital, Kinshasa. A kol letter ra epidemic


is -- cholera epidemic is sweeping the country. I'm driving to where


people are being treated. This is a nation recovering from years of


civil war. This is a cholera treatment centre, set up in


Kinshasa. They have already treated 8,000 cholera patients, including


this 11-year-old. TRANSLATION: had cholera, but now he's better.


It is simple, what's needed here is clean water. The question is, why


don't they have it? Here is what's happened, a financial speculator,


known as a vulture, has blocked Congo from receiving $100 million


owed to the African nation. He says that money is owed to him. In this


village, the British Government and UNICEF dug a well, at a cost of


less $2,000, they were able to provide clean warlter, cholera-free


water for 4 -- water, cholera free water for 400 people. That still


leaves millions of Congalese without clean water. The vulture


paid $3 million for the debt, he wants $100 million in return for it.


I asked the UNICEF what $100 million could do here? 200,000


children have their lives saved. Colour dollar 100 mill -- $100


million dollars, 200,000 lives sent. How did a New York vulture end up


claiming $100 million on a $3 million debt from one of the


world's poorest countries. The story began 30 years ago when


Yugoslavia built power lines for the Congo. They hadn't finished


paying for the lines, and Congo and Yugoslavia slipped into civil war.


100,000 died, as Yugoslavia split into seven separate countries, and


millions died in Congo. Some how, in all this mayhem, vulture


speculators obtained the right to collect that power line debt owed


by the Congo. The vulture paid $3 million, but wanted back more than


30-times that amount. I have come here, to Sarajevo, the centre of


another bloody conflict to find out how the vultures got their hand on


the debt. I have obtained information that the two key


players are these men, first, an American, Michael Sheehan, and


second, Bosnia's own former Prime Minister, Nedzad Brankovic. The


pylons for Congo were made here, at the state-owned company called


Energo Invest. The company once was the powerhouse of the Bosnian


economy. Now police are investigating how its assets were


striped, leaving the company in ruins, and thousands unemployed.


Ten years ago, the state-owned company was being run by Mr


Brankovic. He became Prime Minister, but had to quit after he was


indicted for corruption. Drew Sullivan and his team at the Centre


for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo, are the one that is took


down the Prime Minister. It has cost him his job as Prime Minister.


How? The Government bought this apartment for $240,000, and said he


didn't need it and he bought it off the Government for a low price.


much did he pay? $800. $800, so wait, the Government paid $240,000,


a week later he picks it up for $800. Is that considered corruption


here? Well they indicted him for it. Brankovic was indicted, but the


case had to be dropped last year after all the paperwork


mysteriously disappeared. But at the same time as Mr Brankovic was


buying state property on the cheap, he was also talking about the old


Congo debt with a culture. This is the man, Michael Sheehan, familiar?


He's the first vulture we exposed back in 2007, the man who called


himself after a James Bond villain, Goldfinger. # Goldfinger


Newsnight exposed how Goldfinger squeezed millions out of Zambia, it


turns out he also targeted Congo. In 2001, he signed a deal with the


Bosnian Brankovic's people, to see if he could get a cut. A


transaction was more than suspect. Time to see the cops, this is the


office of the chief of a the financial police. We obtained a


police report, never before made public. It says Brankovic secretly


arranged to sell Goldfinger's friends the debt, for just $3


million, and this was a crime. Was it illegal for Brankovic to sell


the debt off to the vultures? TRANSLATION: Of course it is


illegal. That's why we filed a criminal complaint. This crime is


abuse of power. We have identified the criminal intent, the elements


of the crime, and who did it. why would Brankovic do this, what's


his motive? TRANSLATION: We ask ourselves that too. Every crime has


a motive, did you find any evidence of a motive? TRANSLATION:


something is worth 100,000 euro, and you sell it for 15,000, you


tell me what's happening there. Brankovic is convicted, can he go


to jail for this crime? TRANSLATION: He must, he should go


to jail. Vultures swooped on Congo in its


darkest hour, as it descended into civil war. One week after


Goldfinger got his hands on the debt, the President was


assassinated Six other nations invaded Congo, and millions were


dead. So there was no real Government of Congo and no-one to


argue Congo's case when the vultures sued. So they were easy


prey for the vultures, vultures like to hunt in packs and work


together. Goldfinger slipped the Congo debt to his friend, in return


for a commission of $500,000. Then, the story switches from Congo to


the real heart of darkness, New York City. Home of FG Hemisphere.


FG attempted to grab the diplomatic buildings of the Congo, but a judge


said, no. As American courts started to resist the vulture's


demand, they began to go after any company, anywhere in the world,


that traded with Congo. China refused to let them sue China


Railways, Britain brought in a new law after we exposed the vultures.


But they found a loophole, in a surprising place. They realised the


law doesn't apply in places such as Jersey and Guernsey, places often


seen as tax havens, and where lots of money is held. They realised


there was money there held by Congo, they have sued for the $100 million


in Jersey. They have won that case. Congo has appealed to the Privy


Council in London. Little hope there, the law is the law.


Loopholes and all. But there is one hope for Congo, before the vul s --


vultures can swoop in and grab the cash. The Jersey Government has


brought in a consultation considering the law. I'm heading


out there next week to talk with the Government and meet with


concerned citizens pushing for the law to be adopted. If it is passed


in time, before the final appeal, then the $100 million for the Congo


could still be saved. If Jersey doesn't act, instead of the $100


million going to the Congo, the poor nation's money will end up


here, and 300 Calab Avenue in Brooklyn New York, the address of


the vultures' fund, FG hams fear. It seems to be a garage. FG's owner


is Peter Grossman. Hello, do you think it is fair your vulture fund


has sought $100 million from the Congo. I do. For a debt you paid


only $3 million for. That is not true. We had seen the Bosnian


police documents that said Mr Grossman's company had paid $3.3


million for the debt and it was illegally sold to them. Do you know


the transfer of the debt to you was called a crime by the police, are


you familiar with that? No I'm not. I'm not familiar with it, I'm not


beating up the Congo, I'm collected on a legitimate claim. The $100


million is better for you, rather than UNICEF who thinks the money


could save 200,000 lives. This guerrilla journalism doesn't work


for me. Back in the Congo, school kids are


waiting for their school to get clean water. Maybe even desks or


chairs. What's your favourite subject? Mathematics, and French.


This is Congo's hope, this is Congo's future, unless, of course,


the vultures snatch it away. The former speaker of the US house of


representatives, Newt Gingrich, has admitted to taking money from the


mortgage company, Freddie Mac, owned by the US Government. He said


it was for strategic advice. He demonstrated why the Republican


party needs a Washington battery hen like him, as its candidate for


the presidency. Increasing numbers of Americans seem to agree that he


might be the man for the job. Mind you, after the comedy performances


of some of the other hopefuls, you can almost see their point. This is


a vintage season for pratfalls. Live from the Reagan Library.


man who wants to be President is either an egomaniac, or crazy, said


the great Republican, and President, Eisenhower. He's still right, six


deck taids later. Ladies and gentlemen the Republican candidate


for President of the United States. Rick Perry is floping, Mcihelle


Bachmann is fading, and the less said about the Herman Cain


phenomenon, the better. What is it about the grand old party. I don't


even know who this woman is. First off, Herman Cain, previously best


known as the boss of Godfather's Pizza. A man of multiple talents.


Imagine there's no pizza But geopolitics isn't one of them.


OK Libya. Um, I do not agree with the way he handled it for the


following reason, um, no, that's a different one. That video comes on


top of other displays of his grasp of policy details. We won't go into


details of other alleged grasps. Nor his Chief-of-Staff's taste for


blowing smoke in his latest campaign video. Together we can do


this, we can take this country back. # I am American


# One voice # United we stand


Then there is Rick Perry. What you find are some values that are


branded in my heart. The ho-down- loving, Clint Eastwood figure, in


more ways than one, reminiscent of the last Texan export. There is an


old poster out west that says "wanted dead or alive". The general.


And the Prime Minister of India? The new Prime Minister of India is


uhhh, no. Maybe it's something in the Texas


water, here's Perry on big Government. I would do away with


the education, commerce, and let's see, I can't, the third one I can't,


sorry. Oops.


Putting your foot in it is an equal opportunities opportunity. Mother,


moose hunter, maverick. Sarah Palin's CV didn't include


geopolitics either. You can actually see Russia from land here


in Alaska. She turned out, not exactly, a policy wonk. I will try


to find you some and I will bring them to you. Winsomeness winds over


wonky every time, but it costs. Mcihelle Bachmann, once the Sarah


Palin of the day, has reportedly gone through six chiefs of staff,


five press secretaries, five legislative directors and three


communications directors since winning a seat in Congress in 2006.


It is from the smoldering ashes of these whispers and brain freezes


that Newt Gingrich has reemerged. Years inside Washington mean he can,


at least, claim to know which way is up. There are still others in


the race for the Republican nomination, but it is November, and


the Prime Minister rees are now only weeks away. Glrb the primaries


are only weeks away. We have our guests with us now.


Why does do these gaffs happen? think there is an amount of


preparedness that hasn't been taken. Those things happen. Sometimes we


underestimate, as political people, we underestimate just what will


happen if we do have a gaffe. You repeat them over and over again, it


was a slice of the candidates, you repeat them over and over again,


they really never die. That is one of the things, we underestimate the


power of that gaffe as the media plays it over and over again. We


underestimate the responsibility that we have to be prepared for


these debates. When you're unprepared for the debate, those


kinds of things happen, but also, I think, that there is an


understaipgs of the power of just being out there, that overexposure


to the media. These candidates want to go to the grass roots. Do they


matter? Yes, calling it unpreparedness is selling it short.


The reason Perry couldn't remember the third thing he wanted to


eliminate in the Government is because he doesn't care, he


memorised things. These things should be so deep in your soul when


running for President you don't forget them. They are throwing out


red meat to a certain kind of supporter. They are not thinking


about what people care about. People care about corporate


ownership of our elections, not about destroying the Department of


Education. Does anyone think there is too much education going around,


is that really the problem. Do you think there is also an element,


perhaps, of some more statesman like Republicans staying out of the


race this time? I don't think so, what we have seen is a field of


really people who are able to carry this banner and to go up against


President Obama. I think that we have some good talent, I just think


that we have got an overexposure problem here with too many people


being critical, rather than actually saying to these people


thank you for stepping up and being patriots. Is over exposure when


people find out you are wrong, is that what it means? No over


exposure means that when you have too many debates, especially a good


debate is not necessarily good television. What we have here in


America is good television, rather than good debating. We really need


to let these folks talk about the things, the issues that really


matter, our homes, our jobs, the price of gasoline that goes in our


car every day. Those are the things that the American people really


want to hear about and what is happening is 30-second soundbites


in the debates. I agree with you, every time these people speak is


when these things come out. When Mcihelle Bachmann said the founding


fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery, eventhough the founding


fathers had slaves. She expects us to believe that Washington looked


out his front window every day and went "why won't you leave!" it is


preposterous they expect us to believe this stuff. Part of it is


the appearing to be human. I wonder in this job if you want someone who


can simulate being a normal human being, or someone who is a normal


human being, it is an unnatural thing to want? It is not natural at


all. I think what we have here is the first fully railised reality


show campaign for the presidency. These are a stage full of bubble-


headed Gibraltar-twits, it is aamazing. Even the stuff that


aren't gaffes, not believing in he have illusion, it is amazing. And -


- he have illusion, it is amazing. If I was up there with many cross-


eyed hot dog salesmen I wouldn't believe in he have illusion either.


It is very easy for someone to stand on the outside of this


process and make fun and mock and make a joke out of it. It is hard


to be real when only given 30 seconds. One of the candidates only


got 86 seconds of air time in the last debate. It is difficult to


when you are trying to get a point across in that short time.


Quit gander at some of tomorrow morning's front pages. The Guardian


goes with the awful economic prospects after the Bank of England


That's it for now, a select few citizens tomorrow will be able to


spend the evening in the company of Emily Maitless, before she puts on


Most of us will see sunshine eventually tomorrow. First thing,


it could start off pretty grey. The rain easing from North West


Scotland. We will see sunny spells developing across most of England


and Wales. Rain may return to Northern Ireland later on. Sunny


spells for the afternoon across most of northern England and the


Midlands, temperatures up to 13 in Birmingham. Parts of East Anglia


and the south-east will stay glum. Late sunshine in London, we may


reach 14 Celsius. Sunny skies for most of the day across the far


South-West of England. In Cornwall the breeze Ince crease and cloud


spilling in. Elsewhere across Wales dry and bright, sunny spells


throughout. Some sunny spells across Northern Ireland early on,


grey here with wet and windy weather spilling in for the


afternoon. Some rain trickling back into South-West Scotland. Northern


Scotland starting damp. Here it should brighten up by the afternoon.


More rain to come on Friday, across parts of western Scotland and


Northern Ireland. Even so, with the wet and windy weather it will be


mild, temperatures above average. Much of England and Wales will be


dry and brighter were we get the sunshine. Temperatures on Friday,


may well reach 15 degrees. A brisk breeze growing, cloudy skies and


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