22/11/2011 Newsnight


Gavin Esler looks at neutering over-paid fat cat executives, the uprising against the military in Cairo, the hacking inquiry and the row about climate change.

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Tonight's stratospheric pay rises for top executives, pocketing 100-


times more than employees, as if living on another planet.


Strange British politics, one day they are a bunch of wealth creators,


the next, a bunch of leeches. Is it time to redefine the "fat cats". We


will hear why. We will hear from businesswoman, Nicola Horlick.Also


tonight. TRANSLATION: We haven't put one single bullet on the


Egyptian citizens. That's progress, but the people don't seem to


believe those promises in Egypt. At the hacking inquiry, we examine


how dodgy dealing and hacking of celebrities went beyond the Murdoch


press. When I appeared on Newsnight, I mentioned someone in a less than


flattering light, the next day the papers raking up all the old


tabloid stories about myself and Hugh Grant. And climategate two,


and new leak of e-mails from scientists on the eve of another


international summit. How damage ring they this time?


-- damaging are they this time. Good evening, President John F


Kennedy tackled the idea of great inequalties in earnings in the


United States, by saying a rising tide will raise all boats. What


happens now, as when in Britain, the tide is falling. One thing we


notice is real pay for most British workers is now going back wards.


But for top executives it has gone up 4,000% over 30 years, according


to the high pray commission. Is this just rewards, -- High Pay


Commission. Is this just rewards, or is the market system broken, and


can and will politicians do anything beyond reflecting public


outrage. In place like this, a decent suit


will cost you �4,000, a decent watch about the same. In London's


Bond Street, as we are approaching bonus season, there will soon be no


shortage of people who know how to make and spend money. But the


wealth disparities are getting bigger. If we take average pay last


year, and then see what cleaners, nurses, teachers, policemen, army


officers, civil servants and local Government chief executives were


paid, it all pales by comparison with the chief executive of the


average FTSE 100 company. The thing that shocks me most is the way the


top 0.1%, mostly company directors, have pulled away from the rest in


the past 30 years. In 1980 being a company director was a respectable


middle-class job, you got paid a decent salary. You were on


something like 13-times average wages. Now they have pulled away so


much they have had up to 5,000% increases over that time. They are


now paid in the millions. They are paid at 75-88-times average wages.


It was the Thatcher revolution of the 1980s that began the process,


capital controls were abolished, top raift tax cut. But rise -- top


rate of tax cut. But rising inequalties is not the only problem,


but capitalism is changing and nowhere more than under Gordon


Brown. With wages keeping track with growth in the 80s they nearly


did, and even in the 90s, 90% was reflected in wage growth. After


that it was a different story, Labour may have declared itself


relaxed about people getting filthy rich, but it was the intensely


average that did worse than before. My fear is that the British economy


has caught a bit of the American inequality virus. This man, former


adviser to President Obama, says it goes deeper than politics. In order


to understand this phenomena, you have to understand the obvious


point, middle-class families do not depend on their bond portfolio and


their shares of stock, they depend on their pay cheques. If their pay


cheques, adjusted by inflation, aren't going anywhere, which is


what is happening for the past three decades, then you have a


middle-class squeeze, it really follows. Some employeeers have


dised today's report, commissioned by Compass and JRF, the Government


has not. It is thinking about this hard. I want to see responsible


capital, that is what the vast majority of British business,


including the banking sector want to see as well. It is not right


that we have the situation that has been happening over the last decade,


where we have vast ex, extreme awards -- vast, extreme awards paid


to directors of companies. It is not good for the consumers eers,


the people who run the company -- consumers, the people who run the


company and the public. High pay is a political hot topic, with the


third bleak Christmas in a row coming up, it is not hard to see


why. When the financial crisis started in 2008, redistribution was


not high on the agenda. People were worried about the structure of


capitalism, the credit boom, now, after three years of seeing the


rich get richer, it is about the rich.


An opinion poll for the High Pay Commission found almost three


quarters of people thought income differences were too large. Well


over half said ordinary working people didn't get their fair share


of the wealth, and almost as many laid the problem at the feet of


Government. We like to think that we have a very visceral sense of


fairness in this country. A lot of people would say that earning


enough to become independently wealthy in three to five years at


the top of one of our big businesss not fair. I think we can take


action on this, we don't have to be led by other countries. We have


gone too much in the direction of America, where pay has really


reached stratospheric levels. here's the dilemma, the coalition's


less than a week away from announcing its growth strategy. It


is being urge bid some in its own ranks to -- urged by some in its


own ranks to rip up the 50p tax rate and other measures, all in the


pursuit of wealth creation. But inequality has now arrived, in


its chauffeured Bentley, on to the political scene, that complicated


matters. We have Elizabeth Truss and Chuka


Umunna and Nicola Horlick to discuss this. People get really


wound up about it and politicians make a lot of statements but


nothing is done. It was not done under Labour and it won't get done


here? I don't agree with that. It doesn't talk about the impact of


business, the report, having rewards for failure or rewards


disproportionate to performance. Having pay incentives within


business doesn't promote good business practice. Brilliant


analysis, what bu what will happen? We have said a number of things,


pay and transparency is key. Business needs to be working in


partnership with the public. There are things in the report today, for


example, having an employee on the remuneration committee of the board


which would increase transparency. Also having companies publish the


ratio of the average paid employee to the person highest paid in the


business. There is a dire need for greater simplification of the pay


structures. I speak as a former corporate employment lawyer. In the


perspective of the company and the executive and society, being able


to better understand these things is crucial. The thing is, we need a


partnership of society and business working together. We need wealth


creation as well? Of course we do, they are interdependant. You need


there to be trust between the two, we need, of course, communities,


which feed businesses, employees and customers, but society needs


business too, which is creating those jobs. Is there a consensus


about this. Vincent Cable said this is unacceptable, we can't have it,


again, what can you do about it? think there is more consensus on


the problem than the solution. My view is we haven't seen enough of a


free market. We have had very heavily regulated markets. New


companies have not been able to enter, we haven't had enough


competition, that means companies have been able to make huge profits,


and pay chief executives more. you saying there is a market


solution to profound market failure, this is surely a failure? We are


83rd in the world now for regulation, 50% of our GDP is spent


by the state. I don't think you can say that's a true free market. The


other issue we have got. Just to be clear, you should think we should


keep our fingers crossed and hope the market will sort this out?


think we need more competition, in the banking sector, which has


become increasingly concentrated. We need to split up banks that are


too big, to ensure more competition. We need more competition in the


labour market. One of the things that has happened is we have seen


the development of an hourglass economy, so the number of high-


skilled jobs has gone up, and the number of mid--skilled jobs has


gone down. The last Government didn't prepare people for that, we


are 28th in the world for maths. Ed Milliband admitted we don't have


enough engineers or wolder, or people educate today do the jobs


now. How can you have a proper competition system if people don't


have an understanding of what the rewards are. We need a robust


competition regime, to argue there hasn't been a market failure here.


In the last year we have seen a 49% increase in the remuneration of


FTSE 100 directors, but only a 3% increase in profit. I agree about


the market transparency, that is making the market better. We have


seen Government introducing regulation after regulation that


stops new companies entering the market. I disagree. Shareholders


haven't a grip on this either, have they? You can blame shareholders


and also non-executive directors, they are generally the people who


sit on the remuneration committees that decide what pay is. Including


for themselves? In that report, somebody said, that this is, we


have been infected by what is going on in the United States. I think


that's true. Because we have got many companies now which are more


global, if you have got a large pharmaceutical company, which is


based in the UK, which is competing for top, top executives, with Merc


and Pfizer. This report is a myth that these people will disappear to


Dubai, they don't? The point is there are certain number of people


in the pharmaceutical industry who will take the top jobs, they are


not necessary British, we want the best person to manage the top


pharmaceutical company. You are competing in the international


market. This issue is not limited to the private sector. We see


organisations like the BBC, or Network Rail, giving out huge


salaries as well. It is not limited to the private sector. Yes, there


are issues about competition in the market, there are also issues in


quangos as well. How would you see the market correcting this system?


I think Nicola is absolutely right, we need a clearer relationship


between the owners and managers in a business. What has been happening


is the managers have been getting the rewards, and the owners have


been taking the risks. How do you get that? You get that through


shareholders exercising their rights. Yes. Wait a minute,


shareholders own the business, there are examples in the past


where shareholders have taken action and been very successful. In


years gone by, it used to be the case that top executives had three-


year rolling contracts, and pension funds, systematically, at AGMs


voted against that, and it stopped. This ignores one thing, part of the


problem is there is a closed circle in some of these boards. It is a


cosy club. I completely agree we need to increase shareholders


engagment. There is a democratic deficit there. There is a


difficulty for us in a sense that two fifths of UK shares are held by


international investors, we have to work out how to better engage them.


I come back to the need for greater transparency and accountability,


Government has a role to play there working with business. Is Vincent


Cable closer to Chuka Umunna's view than you are? We need to empower


consumers. How do you do that without transparency? In the


banking industry we need to make it easier for consumers to change


their bank accounts to drive competition, so more banks enter


the market. Take I don't want regulators and Governments setting


people's pay, which is the thin end of the wedge that you are decribing.


This commission didn't call for that. Nobody called for that.


did call for workers to be making decisions about remuneration.


are definitely against that? I am against that. There are lots of


industries where there is plenty of competition where the companies


aren't that profitable, and the chief executive is paid a lot of


money. It is not about competition. What would you do, it does seem


some people must be uniquely undermotivated in chief executive


positions, because they get rewards that are completely out of step


with workers what would you do? would encourage shareholders, it


may well be the case that 40% of shares owned outside the UK. That


is the FTSE, it is not true of medium-sized companies and smaller


companies. That is a general figure for all companies, the FTSE is


higher. It is very high. How would you empower the shareholders?


shareholders are empowered. They don't use T They are not using


their votes effectively. What they need to do, and also, major


shareholders get the opportunity to discuss these things, with senior


management, at least twice a year. If you have a big shareholding in a


company. Often it is not a meaningful engagment. This


discussion I find bemusing because it is talking as if some how the


status quo is fine and the market will step in. It is definitely not


that. Do you think things have profoundly changed, in the good


times you put up with it as share horld or worker, but you don't --


shareholder or worker, but you won't put up with it now? I think


things are getting worse and the previous Government and its


policies face blame for that. Ed Milliband criticised the old rules,


they were rules invented by Gordon Brown in terms of regulation of the


economy. They absolutely were, when the going was good, Labour was


happy to take the money and they did. And now they say the rules are


wrong, you invented them. If you let me get a word in. I wouldn't


say that, I find this amusing that there is irony you get tapped from


the right for not just leaving it to the market, and you get by --


attacked by not doing enough in Government. One thing we put in


Government was legislation to implement the Walker Review, which


would have meant in the financial circumstances disclosure of pay in


bands. With remuneration you need to know what it is, the Government


put in legislation for. That you talk about our Government, but you


have been in power for more than 18 months, now is the time for action.


I want to see more competition. Recently I proposed more


competition in the bank industry. Would you agree with Vincent Cable


that something must be done, that might include some kind of


legislation, isn't he closer to Chuka Umunna's point of view than


your's? I think what we need is a change in corporate culture.


legislation? We need shareholders to be more active, and change the


ownership to management. legislation? That may involve


legislation about corporate structure, it certainly doesn't


involve the Government deciding how much people get paid. Nobody is


arguing for that? You are You are erecting a straw man here to win an


argument you are losing. The voice mail hacking scandal started, we


were confidently told, with one or two bad apples at one newspaper,


the News of the World, now as the Leveson Inquiry rolls on we have


gone from the bad apple theory to the collapse of the News of the


World, and into the Murdoch empire and other news groups. We have


tried to figure out how far the contagion has spread. Put these on


the tab. Steve Coogan argues that his talent and resulting public


profile does not justify intrusive investigations into his private


life. I don't want to see an erection. Right guys. Finished with


the Daily Mail. Arriving at the Leveson Inquiry today he revealed


how he has been at the end of some extraordinary attempts to dig dirt.


One involved a journalist from News of the World, who phoned him about


an affair, and to offer him a deal. If I confirmed certain aspects of


the story, in return he would guarantee that the more lurid


details would be left out of the story. Yes. So I confirmed certain


details for him, and he gave me his word that the more embarrassing


part of the story, which I knew would upset my then wife's family


would be omitted. And after that, I received, my manager received a


phone call from Andy Coulson saying that they had recorded the whole


phone call and they were going to put everything in the newspaper.


Steve Coogan also argued that many celebrities are too scared of


tabloid reprisals to speak up. He says the Mail has been critical


after his appearances on Newsnight. All the Daily Mail are interested


in are the commercial interests, it is selling newspapers, everything


is based on who is shagging who, it is not about exposing corruption.


In fact, when I appeared on Newsnight, I mentioned Paul Dakerin


in a slightly less than flattering light, a an unwise thing to do. The


next day big story in the newspaper, raking up all the tabloid stories


about myself and Hugh Grant. It appeared to me, probably gone to


his office and sent a memo round saying if you want to throw dirt at


Steve Coogan and Hugh Grant, be my guest. In recent cases witnesses


have sought to throw the net wider, saying phone hacking was not


confined to News of the World. In the summer Newsnight revealed


allegations against the Mirror Group of newspapers, allegation


that is were denied. There have been whisper about the Sun and the


Daily Mail, that have been denied. How strong is the evidence beyond


the News of the World. If you look at the career histories of those


arrested so far, it appears logical the police may ask questions of


other newspapers. These three journalists worked together at the


News of the World, before that the Sunday People owned by the Mirror


Group, it hardly amounts to a smoking gun. Footballer Gary


Flitcroft believes his messages were hacked by the Sunday People


after two women tried to sell their story. I got a phone call off a lap


dancer I was seeing, and stated she was being offered �5,000, and if I


didn't pay her she would get it off the newspaper. There was no way the


two girls knew each other. It is a massive coincidence that the Sunday


People get two girls to happen. It doesn't happen. The only way they


could have got it was from my phone bill. Have you any evidence of


phone hacking or is it just speculation? No, it is just


speculation, they didn't know each other or live near each other, it


is a massive coincidence the newspaper gets two girls in the


space of two months. Yesterday Hugh Grant told his suspicions of a Mail


on Sunday stories his relationship with a plumy-voiced woman in


America, he says it may have been voice messages hacked between him


and a plumy-voiced friend. I can't see any basis for the story except


the voice messages. You haven't alleged that in the public domain.


No, when I was preparing the statement, going through all my


trials and tribulations with the press, I looked at that one and


thought it was weird, and then the penny dropped. I think it the


highest it can be put is it is a piece of speculation on your part


in relation to this? Yeah. The newspaper denied this yesterday,


saying the Mail on Sunday utterly refutes Hugh Grant's claim that


they got any story as a result of phone hacking. Then there was our


exclusive story in the summer. When Heather Mills told us she had been


contacted by a senior journalist in the Mirror Group, saying he had


heard a message left by Sir Paul Back then the Mirror Group denied


any knowledge of phone hacking saying its journalists operate


within the law. All in all, there is plenty of smoke but little fire


on the question of whether other papers hacked phones. That they


sometimes behaved unethically is far easier to prove.


The solicitor, Mark Lewis, represents some of those who have


been appearing before the Leveson Inquiry, and will give evidence


there tomorrow imself. Tim Lockhart is a former editor of the Scotsman,


and a lecturer at the University of Kent. There is a lot of speculation


and allegationings, there is no proof of any conat that stage --


allegations, but there is no proof beyond the News of the World?


news news were almost unlucky, because mull -- the News of the


World were almost unlucky because Glenn Mulcaire had written evidence


down. If we compare what was said by the News of the World at the


very beginning, there was also a denial. They ran an editoral, the


one bad apple theory, they didn't do anybody else. They told that


story, and they ran an editoral in addition which said, this was a sad


day in the News of the World's 164- year history. Of course, what we


have got to be very concerned about is whether or not there is a cover-


up in other newspapers. Look, all professions, including the legal


profession, have people who don't follow the rules. It seems very


unlikely that the News of the World was the only newspaper that had a


small core of people who didn't follow the rules who broke the law.


Eventhough there is no proof, but it is certainly worth looking at,


and there is a smell here, isn't there? We seem to be inventing the


novel legal precedent here of guilt until proven innocent. I think we


should reverse it and take the normal stance. There is not any


compelling evidence that journalists outside the News of the


World or News International's newspaper titles have been involved


in phone hacking. There are good reasons to believe that in the


current circumstances, any editor or newspaper group which issued


such an emphatic denial, as the one issued yesterday by associated


newspapers, could possibly be lying, would have to be a fool. Do you


accept then that what we may be seeing here, with the Leveson


Inquiry is something very important for those involved, very cathartic


for those involved, really harrowing stories, we heard some


terrible stuff today, but actually t may not change much? I don't


think that is right. It is innocent until proven guilty. You have a


difficulty that the press choose to report. So we saw Hugh Grant's


evidence yesterday, it was a selected extract of evidence,


people didn't look at the full statement, they maybe watched the


Hugh Grant show and saw the cross- examination of the small bit.


People have to look at the statements available on-line. They


can go through exactly what he said and look at the level of intrusion.


And then perhaps people are able to make a choice.


I don't think that any of the statements that were issued


yesterday by Hugh Grant give firm evidence that his phone was hacked


by any newspaper. But he would accept that himself, he would never


that this is the only logical way he thinks this -- infers that this


is the only logical way he this could have happened? We know there


are many logical ways of finding out what people don't want in the


public domain. It is persistent reporting. Is it Truth and


Reconciliation Commission where people are just finger pointing?


think it is a perfect storm. I don't think we would have had a


Leveson Inquiry, if Murdoch mur's bid for BSkyB had not coincided


with the disturbing behaviour, which included the hacking of koul


Dowler's phone. -- including Sally Dowler's phone.


-- Milly Dowler's phone. A -- A large number of newspapers,


broadcast journalists are being tarred with the same brush as a


small group of journalists in News International. Guilt by


association? I'm not sure that is right. You talked about truth and


reconciliation. I'm not sure we are having the full truth either. We


need to look at the truth, because actually what happens is we end up


losing another Sunday newspaper, or we end up losing a daily newspaper


because people don't tell the truth. They cover up things, and if it


would have come out, the big loser are the people who used to read the


News of the World. There was such a cover up that when it came out they


had no choice, nowhere to go, and the same will happen with other


newspapers. Do you think newspapers, all newspapers actually, do they


have a future, and particular lie the tabloids what will they do?


raise a -- -- particularly the tabloids, what will they do?


raise an important point. This is not the biggest problem facing


journalism. The biggest problem is most newspapers are nearly bankrupt,


the multimedia has completely undermined the advertising market.


We face a problem with the condemnation of tabloid newspapers


risks losing the only profitable newspapers in this country, while


not facing the reality if those newspapers were to die we would


have no newspaper press in this country. The Guardian, that exposed


this, is losing �100,000 a day, the Independent is supported by the


generousness of its owners, the Times is subsidised by the Sun. We


face a real crisis in British journalism, it is about economics.


A economics and this is a side show? It is and it isn't. If we


talk about bankruptcy, we have financial bankruptcy on one side


and moral bankruptcy on the other. We don't need to keep moral


bankruptcy alive. Why should we be subsidising it. How many phones


need to be hacked, how much information needs to be obtained


illegally. Remember what was once told in a reworking of the


journalistic cliche, climategate. It turned on e-mails from the


university of East Anglia, that looked at robust claims of global


warming just before an international climate conference.


There is another climate conference coming up and, guess what, it has


happened against. We have been figuring out if the leaks add up to


much. What is in the e-mails? timing of this is clearly


significant. The latest round of international talks on climate


change begin on Monday. These 5,000 e-mails, involved some of the same


characters, the same period of time as that very first release back in


2009. What's important is that there are snippets of these e-mails


appearing on climate-sceptic internet sites. These have no


context, without that it is difficult to work out the true


meaning of the original e-mails. People will want to scour the


detail. Many of those I have spoken to this evening had not the chance


to do that. Clearly there is material here that people, who are


already suspicious about the science of climate change will sees


on. I think in particular exchanges where there are words used such as,


"spin", or "PR". We have a sample of some of those. There is one that


I spoke this evening to one of the key characters involved, there is a


high-profile scientist called Professor Michael Mann from Penn


University in the United States. He was cleared by misconduct last year


by his university over the climategate affair. He says the


exchanges show the back and forth of scientists wrestling with


scientific issues, disagreeing with each other, frank discussions that


are really important to the advancement of science. But I put


it to him that some of these e- mails clearly the scientists are


not just talking about science. They are talking about policy. And


how to deal with the media. And I asked him if that's territory where


scientists really should be getting involved at all. The attacks


against science gain the upperhand in the public discourse and in


considerations of policy. If scientists aren't there to defend


their science and defend themselves against these attacks. And


sometimes that means getting involved in the public discourse


correctly. Are there any other implications in this? I think there


will be calls for an examination of the details to see if there is


anything fresh here or it isn't more of the same. Three inquiries


have concluded that the British scientists involved in climategate


did not act fraudulently or manipulate data, but they urged


scientists to be more open with their data and how they interpret


it. There is one difference, there is a message posted at the same


time as one of these e-mails, where the person who has posted them is


saying that spending money on climate chaiank with exacerbate


poverty. The police have been interested and doing checks to see


if there are any more clues of who is involved in the original hack.


There are reports of Egyptian security forces going in hard


against protestors in Tahrir Square. Teargas has again been used,


according to a BBC correspondent on the scene. Protestors are speaking


of a second revolution. Nine months ago they were delighted when the


army, as a symbol of the nation, persuaded President Mubarak to go.


Many are doubtful about statements from the army chief, which commit


the military to democracy. We have this report.


Four days into what some are calling Egypt's second revolution.


The ragged encampment at the centre of Tahrir Square, geared up for


another demonstration today. Amid the tumult, a man whose story shows


how high a price some Egyptians will pay for democracy. This man


was a dentist, he will never practice again, he's blind e lost


one eye in January's revolution from President Mubarak's forces,


the other to the forces of the military prueling council two days


ago. -- ruling council two days ago. TRANSLATION: Police were trying to


enter the square, they were firing buck shots and teargas and rubber


bullets. We are defending the stones. I was standing on the


frontline and I was shot in my eye. As people gathered in greater


numbers to demand that Egypt's military rulers leave power


immediately, protestors were celebrating his courage. Losing the


sight of one eye, earlier in the year, why did you come back into


this incredibly dangerous situation again, most people wouldn't have


done that? For me, I stand before you in this square because I want


dignity for myself and the country. You must live free and with dignity.


It is not important to lose my eye. It is not important to lose


anything. We are standing for the sake of our dignity, and nothing


will make us go back. What dignity now means, at least to


those on Tahrir Square, is living under civilian rule. They waited


for an expected announcement about a handover of power by generals,


who they saw as liberators in the spring, then began to distrust, and


with the renewed violence of recent days, to hate.


One of Egypt's leading rights campaigners told me abuses this


year have sometimes been worse than under Mubarak. He has drawn up a


charge sheet against senior officers, he says were behind


orders to maime and kill in recent days. It is a shoot-to-kill policy.


It is Interior Ministry police, it is the same strategy of killing a


few protestors so the rest of them can go home. Obviously it has


failed, just like it failed in January. He thinks the military has


deceived itself about the popular mood. Now we are under a Military


Council whose members strongly believe that eepbl they are


patriotic and that -- only they are patriotic, and that those who


oppose their policies are the enemies within, with an external


agenda, aiming to destablise Egypt. In their mind and in their


narrative they distinguish between the protestors filling Tahrir


Square and other cities now, and those in the same place as January.


They think the January protest was a justified uprising against


injustice, where as this protest is an attempt to destablise the


country. When the head of the armed fores, Field Marshal Tantawi,


finally appeared on TV this morning, he confirmed how offended the army


felt by the demonstrations against it. TRANSLATION: Some people have


tried to entice us to provocation, we put up with injuries and


criticism, however, we didn't give in to these attempts. We are


keeping our restraint. The Government supported us in all of


this. But as the crowd waited outside in the square, he told them


what he believes most Egyptians want to hear, that there will be a


clear timetable for a transition to civilian rule. Tran To carry on the


transitional period with the co- operation of the Supreme Council of


the Armed Forces, to commit the holding of parliamentary elections


on time. To elect a President of the State before the end of June


2012. The Armed Forces represented


through its Supreme Council does not seek power. So what did they


make of that on Tahrir Square? think this is not enough. I saw a


rewind of Mubarak's speech, I think this is a deja vu of what happened


on January 25th. I think it is fine, but an apology is needed for those


who died in Tahrir Square. Everybody needs an apology.


wasn't enough for the Tahrir Square people, they thought it wasn't


enough for them. They didn't satisfy, his speech wasn't that


strong that could fulfil their needs. They will still be here and


stay until more of their demands could be accomplished or be heard


from Tantawi. Here on Tahrir Square, where I can still feel the teargas


in my eyes, where tempers have risen and risen in recent days,


most aren't satisfied by the Field Marshal's words, but this isn't


Egypt, and the promise of a clear transition for a democracy, may


play differently in other parts of the country. Here on the banks of


the Nile, anger hasn't subsided, beyond there is a yearning for


order and stability that the generals hope will work to their


advantage. We were hoping to talk to the


Egyptian novelist and activist, Ahdaf Soueif, who is in Cairo,


apparently there is some problem with the line. We hope to get


through before the end of the programme. Let's have a look at


tomorrow morning's front pages, A member of the financial stability


panel hits out. This comes after, as we were reporting earlier, this


great disquiet about the disparity of pay in this country. The Tahrir


Square protests are on the front page too. The Egyptian general's


pledge fails to quell new Tahrir Square's protests. And the Thomas


Cook, the big business story domestically, their shares plunge


domestically, their shares plunge 75% amid fresh talks on the debt


burden. The Mail, and a few of the papers


have the same story, a damming report into home help for the


elderly, which finds neglect so appalling some wanted to dry. The


cruelty of the careless. Thousands of elderly people being abused and


neglected in their homes by the staff meant to car for them. In


some cases treatment is -- care for them. In some cases the treatment


is so bad that frail pensioners have been left wanting to die. It


comes after studies exposing the shocking standard of care for old


people in hospitals in care homes across the country. The Telegraph


has the same story, the elderly abused by their carers. It also a


story about David Cameron in �140,000 land deal with a lobbying


boss. On my copy here the print is We join Ahdaf Soueif, the Egyptian


goflist and actist, she has been -- novelist and activist, she has been


in Tahrir Square all day. We heard the military leadership promise


they don't want to hold on to power and there will be presidential


elections next June, why isn't that good enough for you and the


protestors? Because we no longer believe them. Because we have been


through this before with them, and before that with Mubarak, where


things are promised and then they don't happen. If anybody had any


doubts remaining after their performance over the last nine


months, what they have done over the last three days should put an


end to that. They have been killing people, they have been gassing


people. Tahrir Square has been gassed as we speak. Alexandria,


people are dying there, and in other parts of the country. So, you


know, actions speak louder than words. We don't believe they will


let go of power. All the evidence, it is too detailed to go into here,


but the evidence in the detail of their proposals for the coming few


months, show they don't intend to leave. Just to be clear. Are you


saying, we have been reporting the protests in Cairo, are you saying


they are elsewhere in the country, Alexandria, Suez and upper Egypt


too, is it going on in other places? Alexandria, Suez, Aswan, it


is everywhere. Haven't some things changed though for the better, you


know, many exiles have gone home, there is a degree of press freedom


and so on. I suppose what I'm saying is there no way you should


be more patient about this, do you think? No, absolutely not. I think


we need to save ourselves and get rid of them. We vpblt had exiles


from Egypt -- we haven't had exiles from Egypt, people have always been


free to come and go. We have a sense of press freedom, that has


always been here. That is not because they haven't tried to shut


it down. They have. State media has been just as bad, and playing just


as unpleasant and treacherous a role as they have in the time of


Mubarak. The one thing that has changed for the better is because


we had the revolution in January and February, we believe in


ourselves. And people have broken that barrier of fear. So they


detain people, they torture them, when they come back on the streets


they are back in Tahrir Square. What has changed is we know what we


want and we know we can get it and we believe in ourselves. Do you


think you can get it without more people being shot in the streets


and being teargased, there may perhaps be more bloodshed? This is


the terrible thing. We thought, on the 11th of February, when Mubarak


stepped down, that we had already paid a pretty big price. Obviously


that wasn't enough. We are paying a bigger price now. But the thing is,


if people back down now it is the end. We really might as well not


have done anything and back to the old regime. At some point very soon


it will all start up again and more people will be killed and more


people will die. It is everybody's choice now. There is no backing


down. The military have to go. Right, but of course the history of


the country has been since 1952, they have been at the centre of


power, in slightly different ways. So 60 years of their military


mystery, I'm just wondering what you would expect them to do over


the next month or two, that would persuade you to return home to wait


for the elections? They need to hand over power, to a civilian body.


Whether it is a civilian Government or whether it is a civilian


presidential council, it is quite clear, really, that the names are


thank are put forward, everybody knows what they are. There is


absolutely no reason why they shouldn't do that tonight. There is


no reason why they shouldn't do that tomorrow. With full powers.


Then they should put themselves where they belong, the military


should be at the service of the country, and they should work under


a civilian Government. We need them because we don't have a police


force at the moment. So we would need the military to redeem itself,


if you like, by continuing, by starting to look after our security,


until such a time as we can get a police force back working. That


really is the only thing they can do. No rhetoric, no words. I'm


sorry we are running right out of time. Thank you very much for


joining us from Cairo. That's all from Newsnight tonight.


Tomorrow night the boss of British Gas will be here live, with Jeremy,


to debate the rising cost of energy bills, it might be worth turning


It's chilly out there. In fact, a touch of frost developing across


the southern half of the UK later on. Fog patches around too. Here


the best of the sunshine through the day. Further north it will be


cloudier, with rain around for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Mid-


afternoon fine enough across most of the Midlands, a bit of patchy


cloud, after the chilly start temperatures rising. The winds not


strong, pleasant, a glorious November day across many southern


counties of England, lots of blue sky with a crisp feel to things. Up


across Wales there will be a gradual increase in cloud,


particularly across more northern areas, maybe the odd spot of rain


for Snowdonia. It will be windy afternoon across Northern Ireland,


a lot of cloud, outbreaks of rain, particularly to the west of Belfast.


Western parts of Scotland too will see some outbreaks of rain. To the


east and the maint tains and later in the far north we should be dryer


and brighter. A bit of a north- south split on Wednesday, with most


of the rain across the north, things turning dryer for a time on


Thursday, it will be a gusty wind. That will offset the mild


temperatures. Further south mostly dry on Thursday, some sunshine,


again temperatures some what higher than they will be on Wednesday.


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