25/11/2011 Newsnight


Emily Maitlis asks is there really much difference between Labour and Tory when it comes to the cuts? And have the Egyptian generals split the opposition?

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Tonight the parties claim they are polls apart on economic policy, how


different are they really. Ahead of the autumn statement, we


discover the differences between Labour and the Government come down


to one third of 1%. Neither Osbourne or Ed Balls will ever


quantify, there are never figures because the bubble will burst and


we will see how close their plans are. We will ask economists and


entrepeneurs on the right and left if the politicians are thinking


radically enough. As Tahrir Square becomes the focus again of mass


demonstrations, we will look at the divisions opening up in Egypt's


opposition. An award-winning journalist tells us of her


sustained assault by police in Cairo. And who done it, with


parking rage on the south downs, we put Steve Smith on the case. The


big question in UK politics right now is how to achieve growth. Next


week's autumn statement may be under wraps, but the leader of the


opposition has called it the moment when it is proved the Government's


economic gamble has failed. Strong words, we decided it was time to


look at the differences between the parties on economic policy. The


results, as you might have guessed is mathematically waver thin, it is


about one third of one per cent of Gross Domestic Product.


We will hear radical thoughts from business and outside the sphere,


first, David Grossman. The way the politicians charge around you would


think they were contesting the whole pitch. Kicking the economic


football from end-to-end. Making for exciting, almost


exhilarating viewing. This week, again in the Commons, the party


leaders clashed over their supposedly, vastly differing,


economic plans. He was warned that his strategy of cutting too far and


too fast, wouldn't create jobs, he was warned it wouldn't create


growth, and he was warned he would find it harder to get the deficit


down. Isn't that exactly what has happened. Is there a single other


mainstream party anywhere in Europe, who thinks the answer to the debt


problem is more spending and more borrowing? If he's worried, if he's


worried about the level of debt, why is he proposing to add another


�100 billion to it. It is the height of irresponsibility. The


reason why people will never trust Labour with the economy again.


However, at a macro-economic level, the area of dispute is very, very


small. In the current financial year the coalition Government is


planning to implement a fiscal tightening, tax increases and


spending cuts, amounting to �24 billion taken out of the economy.


The Labour's Government -- Labour Government's previous plan was


cutting spending and tax is �19 billion, it is only a difference of


�5 billion. The UK economy is �1,600 trillion, the disputed


territory between the parties is �5 billion, less than a third of one


per cent. In football terms, it is like both teams are kicking each


other to pieces on a patch of ground four yards square. No wonder


it is hard to watch, Labour suggesting cutting spending by an


extra �5 billion will kill the economy stone dead. The coalition,


borrowing �5 billion more will raise bond rates by Monday morning.


You often hear about Freud's narcissism in politics.


language between Labour and Tories couldn't be more different.


Osbourne talks about austerity and the need for cuts, Ed Balls says it


is wild and crazy, harsh and deep. When you compare their plans,


Alistair Darling would have cut departmental spending by 2.2% a


year, what is Osbourne doing? 3% a year. Are we supposed to believe


there is a huge big difference between those two figures? Of


course not. You will notice neither Osbourne or Balls will ever actual


lie quantify, you never hear figures dropped in their rhetoric,


because the bubble will burst and we will all see how close their


plans are. Instead of a big battle over big numbers, you have


skirmishes over who has the best collections of schemes, funds and


plans to create growth. Today we saw the Deputy Prime


Minister unveiling what the coalition calls its �1 billion


youth contract, which, you understand, is vastly different


from Labour's future jobs fund, which the coalition cut.


Next Tuesday, the Chancellor will deliver his Pre-Budget Report. Many


are predicting lots more new funds, plans and schemes adding up to,


well, let's weight and see. The biggest story on Tuesday is likely


to be after the Chancellor has sat down, when the Office for Budget


Responsibility will give us its latest growth forecast. They will


say the growth prospects have pretty much evaporated, and we


should be settling down to a period of low growth and high debt, cheap


debt, but you can't spend your way out of a debt crisis. That is what


David Cameron is saying, but that is exactly what they are doing. Has


gone up by 51% in the parliament. What would Labour have done? It


would have gone up by 60%. Those figures are not different, George


Osborne is still stuck in the groove settle by Gordon Brown. As


he accurately said before the last election, that is a road to nowhere.


The battle between the parties is always intense, sometimes angry,


sometimes hitting the shins rather than the balls. They don't argue


much on raw number, which in the grand scheme of things are only a


few blades of grass apart. Joining me now, with their ideas


for growth, Allister Heath, the editor of City AM, James Meadway a


senior economics from the New Economics Foundation, and Julie


Meyer the chief executive of investment group, Mariinsky capital.


If those differences are well so small, what kind of radical plans


would properly kick start the economy from your perspective?


needs fresh thinking, big stuff to really kickstart the economy, the


economy is asleep and needs awakening, the private sector.


Infrastructure spending, it is not enough to spend �2 billion, you


need tense of billions of investments all over the world.


Housing, let's build a new city and town. Who is doing the building?


The private sector, crucially. This has to be about bringing in private


sector finance. There is a lot of money around in the world economy,


sovereign wealth funds, in the Middle East and so on, this needs


to be attracted. They are not spending, that was the ideal


scenario for the Government. To get the private sector to do all the


spending and the building, they are not? That was the theory, they have


done nothing about t they have not changed the regulation or red tape.


They have not created schemes to attract global Government. The huge


pension funds have hundreds of billions to invest, they need to be


brought in. You say you change red tape and suddenly everyone starts


investing in building? I say yes, you do that and incentivise them to


come, they will come, build and create jobs. I have to disagree


pretty much entirely t hopelessly mischaracterises the type of


recession we are in, that is a recession of demand. A collapsing


demand from consumers and households, and particularly from


private investment, which has shrunk by �40 billion or more since


the recession started. It is now added to by the attempt by


Government to shrink its own spending in the economy. You need


to do the reverse. The alternative would be to simply reverse thaefrg


this coalition Government is now doing, when -- everything that this


coalition Government is now doing. In a recession, you don't decrease


but increase Government spending, you get out there and lead


businesses by the road and you get out there and create the economy


you want to live in. You end up like a south European


basket case? No you don't, you have to target the spending you want.


You think about the kind of economy you want to create, you want green


jobs and sustainable employment, you go out and make those things


happening. That is all done by Government debt, by borrowing more?


It can be done by borrowing, mobilising the resources of the


nationalised banks we do have, the Royal Bank of Scotland could be


used, it is on a fairly sound capital basis, it could be used.


You could turn the Green Investment Bank into something that can be


used. And the bond markets going through the roof that is not a


worry? The signal from the market is there is chaos and bedlem


everywhere else, and Britain looks like a safe haven. In comparison to


those on the verge of bankruptcy, or bankrupt? Perhaps if you are in


southern Europe, but Britain is a big, stable economy. It has a


significant public debt at the moment, it is not historically


especially significant, or internationally especially


significant. The problem son the growth side, not on the debt side.


You are trying to practically create a business on this economy


we are on, where there is virtually no growth? We support another 20 or


so businesses. I believe that society needs to be organised


around the entrepeneur, there is not one type of business, you have


established businesses, mature, then young, fast-growing SMEs, the


innovation agency has proven repeatedly 6% of all UK businesses


create 54% of all the new jobs. 6% are considered high-growth. Small


business, fast-growing business, is not a niche activity, it is


economic policy. We should give a hole bay on PAYE, national


insurance, to those SMEs and watch them take off. International


multinationals, Google, should pay more tax, they make an enormous


amount of money in this country and don't contribute to tax. That


sounds rational an enormous company like Google to pay more tax?


way is to get people to come to the UK, and make it a centre of


investment. We need to incentivise comes to come here. I don't agree f


we did your policies there would be an immediate debt crisis with huge


problems for the UK economy. We need to cut back on public spending,


reduce the side of the state, and unleash the private sector. Look at


southern Europe, you attack public spending and make the debt crisis


worse, that mechanism is kicking in this country. The only difference


in this country we have sterling and a lot of QE going on, that is


why the debt markets are OK. There is no difference? We have our own


currency, otherwise our own debt position is very bad, including


private sector debt, way too high. One way to cut public services is


to create a radically transparent public services in Government.


Every expense, every salary that the Government or any public


service that was put on-line, and shining a spotlight on things like


that would create a natural shrinkage. Whenever you put


scrutiny on something, nobody spends. You are not going to save


that much money by putting stuff on-line? People do not spend other


people's money. Private sector pay at the moment,


the figures out from ONS this week, this is tax money we are missing


out on by not chasing up in the private sector pay. You saw the


report there, do you think Labour is being radical enough?


remotely. The difference between the two parties, as the report said,


is essentially wafer thin at this point in time. It would be better


to have a Labour Government or a Labour Party that came out with the


kind of stuff that Ed Balls is at least hinting at last year, saying


we need to be radical about this, understand the macro-economics of


the situation, rather than flapping about chasing after international


corporations and trying to tweak tax regimes here and there. I say


the same for the current coalition and the opposition, they are not


doing enough, they need to be more radical. You want more green things,


I want fewer green laws. It has gone too far, all this carbon


reduction stuff has gone too far, this is a boom time policy when we


were rich and thought better things were to come. We are still rich.


Some people in this country are very definitely getting richer.


What would you do with taxes, what would you do there? Abolish the 50p


tax rate, that won't bring in any money. I would do exactly what


Julie was saying, I would do national insurance holiday for


smaller firms, cut national insurance contributions,


incentivise them to hire. What about minimum wage? I would


regionalise it, make it different in different regions so supply and


demand could be balanced out. People are frozen out of the Labour


market because companies are worried to hire. Absolutely, I


think let's get a lot of tax from the very wealthy, you don't do that


by increasing the percentage, you drop it and get the absolute amount


of tax revenue high. Most people realise if you drop the 50p to 40p,


the overall tax revenue would go up. These people should pay. There is


no reason why they shouldn't. It is a symbolic gesture. It may be


against every philosophical bone in your body, practically it could be


the right way to do it? Global the evidence is there to sustain the


idea T has been discredited since the 1980. There are dozens of


surveys. The marginal cuts we were talking about, that this will


release entrepeneurship and people will come running back. You can


change your country and nationality, if you don't believe that people


who create wealth can change our citizenship n two weeks, with the


good law, you are not living in the same world as I. There was a survey


out this morning saying the tax rate has made no difference to the


highend manager. The constraints the Government works in, none of


these ideas are something you could take to the electorate? A lot of


ideas can be taken to the electorate. We need more airports


in this country, we need to build them quickly. What about your ideas


for employee rights? I think the Government is doing some of the


right things there. I'm more concerned about the unemployed


getting opportunities and getting back into the work force, that is


where we need to change things. Last word, I think if we start


chasing after supply side solutions we are chasing entirely the wrong


direction, this is increasing spending, and doing tin tell gently


to build the kind of economy you want, a green, sustainable economy


for the future. Tens of thousands of protestors


have packed into central Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand Egypt's


military rulers step aside. They want the postponement of elections


due to start on Monday. Divisions are starting to open up between the


opposition groups. While some protestors want military rule to


end before parliamentary elections are held. Others, including the


influential Muslim Brotherhood, want the polls to go ahead as


planned. Days start bleery on Tahrir Square,


a springboard for revolution. For some it has also become a kind of


home. They camped out for three weeks until President Mubarak fell


in February, now they say they are camping out again until the


country's new military leaders follow him into retirement. The


generals who rule Egypt have made a substantial concession to the


people here on the square. They have said that they will be out of


power, completely, by the middle of next year. The trouble is, no-one


here believes the generals any more. In this shelter there is a cross


section of Egypt. Appropriately, this man, a hotel manager, is


trying to make things kosy. Then there is Doha, the flower seller,


the political analyst, and Mohammed, a leather tanner, Ahmed the waiter,


and Ashraf the international lawyer. What haven't you got? We haven't


got to change the system. It is the same system committing more crimes


than Mubarak. We have prisoners in front of a military court. Mubarak


didn't have all those prisoners, all through the 30 years.


The main slogan now, "the people demand the fall of the marshall",


Field Marshal Tantawi, who finally announced this week that


presidential elections will be held by next June. It was previously


implied it might take until April 2013. This retired general says the


Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, never intended to hang on to power,


it is just bad at communication. 1th of July, for sure, I can assure


you, under any circumstance you won't see them any more. How bad


has the last week been for the army's reputation? Very bad. First


of all they were taking positions a bit late than the right time to do


it. Not pensioning the road map, which I think is really a corner


stone, people were waiting for that and they didn't mention it, where


and how, they didn't mention. People were waiting it for a long


time. These people blame the army, not just for setting out a


timetable for democracy, but also the shooting of 30 protestors this


week and the beating and teargassing of many more.


TRANSLATION: We want a national salvation Government with wide


powers. We want the release of prisoners and swift trials of those


responsible for the violence, from the lowest to the highest official


involved. We want an independent fact-finding committee to


investigate what happened. He's from a fundamental Salafi party.


It wants strict implementation of Sharia Law. But those from the


Muslim Brotherhood aren't here en mass. Their leaders have accepted


the army's timetable, in what many here see as a betrayal.


brotherhood are going to lose substantial numbers of seats in


parliament. People who were expecting to vote for them, are not


going to vote any more. Because they got betrayed at Tahrir Square.


They didn't support them, so they won't support them at the


parliament. Tonight I found one Brotherhood candidate, out


campaigning for parliamentary elections due to start on Monday.


Why wasn't he on the square today? We had a very good signs and


information that some of the powers and forces that are against the


revolution are trying to cause some sort of chaos in the square, making


use of current events, in order to post fon pon the elections.


postpone the elections. That is why as the freedom and justice party we


decided not to join in big masses. Hasn't the army succeeded in


dividing the opposition? I don't think they did, we believe it is a


short-term misunderstanding. We are willing to take this on our


shoulders, because we care more about the overall interests of the


country. The main thing is to have the elections going on. To have the


process completed, then we can move safely and peacefully into


democracy. Here, away from the square, there is still anger at the


military, but many now want to move on. It is the long-term social and


economic future of Egypt that worries them most.


What future will they choose? We will begin to discover next week,


when they hope they will be able to battle at the ballot box, not just


on Tahrir Square. Joining me now, the prominent


Egyptian journalist, who was assaulted by police, after she was


arrested on Wednesday. Thank you for joining us. I can see your arms


are pretty heavily bandaged there. Talk us through what happened?


Wednesday night I went out on to the frontline, between protestors


and the security forces on Mohamed Mahmoud Street. Riot police came


over on to our side of the barrier. The people around me managed to get


away. The riot police cornered me and beat me viciously with their


sticks, my arm and hand was broken. They sexually assaulted me as they


took me to the Interior Ministry, I had hands all over my body it was


awful. I was detained by the Ministry of Interior for five hours,


then military intelligence for another five to six hours. And


finally released with my hand, I said get me a doctor because I'm


really suffering. No medical aid, I was released after 10-12 hours.


Your's wasn't a specific case, how widespread do you think this was?


My case is by no means unique. A spokesperson from the Ministry of


Interior today tried to suggest this was an isolated incident. By


no means. What happened to me is just the tip of the iceberg of


police brutality in this country. The reason we started the


revolution on police day was to protest police brutally, nine


months later it continues. As you heard in the news report, almost 40


people were killed in the past week. Hundreds, thousands have been


injured. Police brutality continues, and now accompanying it is army


brutality. When this Egyptian general admitted that virginity


checks are being carried out on women. What was the justification


for that? The sexual violence, the sexual violence I encountered is


not unique to the security forces, eventhough the army who had me for


five hours apologised for what happened with the police. The army


staff sexually assaulted women when they had activists in custody, and


subjected them to these horrendous sexual assaults. At first they


denied at the happened and called the women liars. Finally when they


conceded they subjected them to the awful assaults, they said these


were not girls like your daughters and mine, these were bad girls who


spent the night in Tahrir Square. It is a horrendous example of


patriarchy, that permeates all levels in Egypt, it is that which


we launched our revolution against, it continues through Egypt. Instead


of being symbolised by Mubarak, who we got rid of, it is symbolised by


Tantawi and the generals. We replaced one Mubarak with 18 mubs,


we must be free of military rule, that is why we came to the square


today. You describe a proper breakdown between the relationships


between people and the army. Is that repairable now? No, I believe


it is beyond repair. It is nine months, and most of the


revolution's demands have not been kept. People are continuously


losing trust in the supreme Military Council. The supreme


Military Council made a whole bunch of promises they haven't kept. We


recognise that it is not the army and the people that are one hand.


They broke my hand. It is the people and the people on the one


hand and the police and military together against the people. When I


was in custody, I asked one of the military men, why are you at war


with the Egyptian people. This is how we feel in Egypt they are at


war with us. We will not let them hijack our revolution. For many


people watching it, it is almost incomprehensible, that something


they thought had the start of a really positive new beginning, with


the end of Mubarak's rule and all the rest of it. What really went


wrong with that first stage of the revolution, do you think? I believe


what went wrong is the military took over. Egypt should never have


been under military rule. One of the main demands of the revolution


is Egypt falls under civilian rule. The military portrayed itself as


the guardians of the revolution, some people wanted to believe that


was the case. But from the very beginning, these virginity tests


you mentioned, they happened in March. A little over a month after


Mubarak was forced to step down. So many of us from the very beginning


had very little trust in the military. Some Egyptians wanted to


trust them, but that trust has definitely been whittled away at.


Thank God so many people came to the square they see the military


needs to step aside. 1234 Here is a little tale of


frustration from "middle England". Vandals armed with explosives have


embarked upon a dangerous campaign of blowing up parking metres in


Lewes on the Sotuh Downs. It is the second time the wave of metre-rage


has hit the historic market town. Officials are offering a reward of


�250 to anyone who can help stop the pavement anarchy. They have


been down to East Sussex to work You know what they say, it is


always the quiet ones. Lewes is a charming little town, but also


distinctly characterful, as the estate agents put it. Someone has


been going around blowing up the pay-and-display machines, 14 of


them in the past few weeks alone. And the cops, not to put a fine a


point on it, are baffled. Have you been able to build up a


psychological profile of this individual or group? We haven't


gone that far, I would suggest they don't like the parking system.


could be a sign. Have you even come up with a nickname for this person


yet? We haven't gone to that much trouble yet, I'm afraid, I don't


think we are likely to. If our viewers think of one, you are not


interested? By all means if they want to think of one, I'm sure they


can think of a few. Something about this case got the


old juices going. We spent the afternoon gum-shoeing


around Lewes, and searching for clues. Did someone want to stop us


finding out the truth? Impossible to tell.


All I know is someone has been blowing up these babies with


fireworks. They call them rook- scarers down here. The damage has


cost �30,000 and counting. And no- one has seen a thing, not even the


CCTV. So many machines have been tampered


with, there were fears of a shortage of metres. Maybe of panic


parking, people queuing up and rationing introduced. So far it


hasn't come to that. In fact, some say the attack on the parking


machines doesn't come as a surprise to them. Lewes is maybe a


particular place people may be rebelling against such things.


haven't necessary got sympathy women this, no-one thinks this is


right. But I can understand why a lot of people, and there is a lot


of people in Lewes, if you were to introview them, that are very


against -- introduce them, that are very against the parking


restrictions we have here. They make a big deal out of


fireworks night in Lewes, with extraordinary, some say macarbre


effigies. The place even produced the crazy world of Arthur Brown,


who had a hit with a song. This is a town with gun powder in its blood.


Lewes and fireworks go together, and have done, for many years. In


this town it could be anybody in possession of fireworks. What has


happened in Lewes is something nobody can condone. It is a


combination of the skill and the will to do something, to destroy


parking metres in the way they have been. We have a very, very strong


bonfire tradition, there are a unusually high number of people in


our town who have a lot of skills with blowing things up. It is a


town full of pyromaniacs, is that what you are telling me? It is not,


it is far more complicated than that.


Tonight the police remain on the trail of the firework enthusiast


putting the pay into pay-and- display.


Now the front pages of tomorrow's That's all tonight. In a moment the


review show will look at a new film about Marilyn Monroe, and a long


lost novel by Jack Kerouac. Before we go, George Michael has had to


postpone the rest of his concert tour after catching severe


pneumonia, here is something to cheer up many fans.


# Well work ain't your back # When you let them know


# You are more dead than alive # A 9-5


# Get yourself # Get out of this house


# Are you a man or a mouse # You pretend not to hear


# Get some space # Get out of this place


# Wham balm # I am the man


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