05/12/2011 Newsnight


The programme hears first-hand testimony from rioters who took part in the summer unrest about why they took to the streets and turned to violence. Jeremy Paxman presents.

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They took to the streets, stoned the police, looted shops, set fires


and visited chaos on previously sedate corners of the land. Who


were the rioters of last summer? Their behaviour was criminal, but


ground breaking intensive research, shows there may have been more to


it. I actually warranted to burn the cars, and see it burn as well


like, because the police, like, from what I have been through my


whole life, police have caused hell for me, innit like. Looting fed on


greed, but when they talk about their motive, many disclose deep


politics. I love this country, however I hate the people who run


it. What lessons can and should we learn to listening why they say


they did what they did. Germany and France believe they


have agreed a plan to save the euro, so why have they been warned about


their credit ratings tonight. This year's riots, were the biggest


shock to this country in a generation. But who were these


people willing to attack the police and burn down parts of their own


neighbourhoods? The Government told us they were


criminals, that gangs were key, rioting was insited on Facebook,


but now the London School of Economics, and the Guardian


Newspaper, have questioned 270 of the rioters and discovered another


picture. A third of the rioters interviewed were unemployed, and


only a third admitted to a previous only a third admitted to a previous


conviction. Paul Lewis, who covered the riots


for that newspaper made the report, and there is strong language in the


film. The England riots were the first


bout of civil unrest in a generation. Thousands of people


took to the streets in towns and cities. The fires, looting and


clashes with police, gave the impression of a country at war with


itself. Four days of disturbances re-


resulted in five people dead, and more than 4,000 arrested.


Across England, homes, shops and residential streets were left


unrecoginsable. But why did it happen? This was not political


protest, or a riot about protest, or about politics, this was


commoner garden thieving, robbing and looting, we don't need an


inquiry to tell us that. decision to not hold an inquiry


into the riots, left a host of un'd questions. Four months on, no-one


seems to -- unanswered questions. Four months on, no-one seems to


know why the riots, that started here in Tottenham, took place. Our


teams of researchers have interviewed 270 people who rioted


in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Their testimony has


undergone rigorous academic analysis, giving an insiebgt into


why people took to the streets. You are about to hear their stories, in


their words. I was at a gig, I was just standing


outside having a cigarette, I was wondering why the crowd was


gathering. That's when I found out it was a protest about Mark Dugg an


being shot by police. Mark D Dugg an had been shot dead by police two


days earlier, rumours had led to thoughts that he had been


assassinated. Locals demonstrated at a police station. That was the


first I had heard that Mark Dugg an had been shot, and I thought, what,


another injustice by the police. Supporters of the family waited


outside the police station for a senior officer, who never arrived.


After three hours, patience ran out. Two police cars had been trashed, a


group of youths had pushed a police car into the road and put black bin


liners on it and set it alight. People were standing around


cheering watching the police car go up in flames. I was just standing


talking to other people, and shoved the other car on the road and put


black bin liners there, I leaned in and set it alight. Then a guy came


across the road and I stood back and watched the car go up. I stood


there excited, fu lock them, lock the scum bass standards, it was an


opportunity, I had never set alight to a police car before, and it was


just, lock it, join in. It was a police car, I know what they stand


for. I have been battered before, I now the injustices they caused.


Alex was not a hooded youth, a white man, in his 30s, from south


London. Within minutes, the image of the blazing car began


circulating on mobile phones and the internet. It wasn't just black


people, at the end of the day. It was the people from all backgrounds.


Young, old, even little kids were there. I was literally talking to


people I would never talk to in my life. People being nice and


friendly and chatting to me, handing me cans, handing me a


spliff, going, yeah, lock the police. No-one was talking about


rioting or looting. Nothing like that, we were all sitting there and


watching the police cars burn. It was like Bonfire Night on the high


street. But the party atmosphere didn't last for long. People from


surrounding boroughs poured into Tottenham, fires raged, police came


under heavy attack. Shops were ransacked. The police had lost


control. Police are calling for calm in Tottenham in North London.


When I was getting pictures on the news, they were just destroying


cars, they were within 10-20 feet from office, vandalising vehicles,


throwing bricks and the police weren't doing nothing. There was no


authority. It looked like we could have run of the streets. It started


going in a chain reaction, literally it started at one end,


and you know, the next valuable shop to go target, that was already


getting broken into. Everyone was helping each other,


holding up the shutters, carrying the short people inside. I saw


little kids there I was thinking, what? I thought, I want some money,


what? I thought, I want some money, I want some money.


I just went into a shop and I was like, it's already broken, this is


a jacket I don't have, and let me pick it up and take it. The people


we interviewed openly admitted they were opportunists, this was their


chance, in their words, to get free stuff. It felt like Christmas had


come early, just being able to take all the nice things that you want.


When you get a chance to put your hands on things like that, you feel


good. As the lawlessness spread across London, the impression


emerged of a city gripped by looting. The Government blamed


social media for the contagion. But the rioters we spoke to were not


using Facebook and Twitter. It was BlackBerry phones that were the


main tools for organising the riots. The private messages, known as


broadcasts and pings being shared along chains of friends, were


reaching tens of thousands of phones, not only in the UK. Me and


a couple of my friends were on holiday people were sending


broadcasts and a couple of my friends pinged me and told me what


was happening. The viral messages reaching Daniel, included images of


the burning police cars, and rallying calls for people to take


revenge for the death of Mark Duggan, they loss gave a list of


where to meet and when. As soon as I saw that, I was happy. For some


reason I just wanted to be there. I actually wanted to turn the cars


and see it burn as well. The police, from what I have been through my


whole life, like, police have caused hell for me, innit, like. We


all cut our holiday and came straight back to England.


I always thought to myself, when I was on holiday, there is a chance


like this never come again. I saw it as my opportunity, now was the


opportunity to get revenge. It wasn't even just the police, it was


the whole Government, everything they do, they make things harder


for us. They make it hard for us to get jobs, even when we do get


benefits, they cut it down, like some people are trying to change


their lives and go to university, and they are raising up the prices,


and then people can't afford university, so they go back to


selling drugs and stuff, and then you want to arrest them and say,


you don't understand why all of these young people are acting like


this. Really and truly, they are the reason why we are the way we


are, innit, and I knew if we get back to England, and we actually


damage, like, do a lot of damage to the point where forget all the


benefits they have cut off, they would have to pay twenty-times


worse than that. So we just our way of getting revenge.


We thought, OK, you want to financially hurt us, we will


financially hurt you by burning down buildings. I saw McDonalds get


set on fire, and then it was completely set alight. I have


petrol bombed it, eventhough it was set alight. I felt good.


Many of the people we spoke to travelled to more than one location,


they were searching for the disorder. Sometimes crossing the


city. When we first got there, we saw police, they had their shields


up, running. We thought, OK, they are on the defensive. So we just


started picking up bricks and bottles and threw it at them.


Locking bankers. It felt like Call Of Duty. It made


me feel odd as well, I knew it was somebody's mum or dad, I didn't


care, it was a chance to get revenge and I took it with both


hands. Our streets. It was a war. And for the first time we were in


control. We had the police scare, innit, there was no more us being


scared of the police. We actually had a choice of letting officers


off the hook, off seriously injuring them. I threw a brick at a


police woman, I saw her drop, I could have easily brick her again,


I didn't, because it was a woman. Scores of rioters said they had no


interest in looting. I wasn't there for the robbing. I was there for


revenge, innit. I will always remember the day that we had the


police and the Government scared. For once, they were living on, they


felt how we felt, they felt threatened by us. That was the best


three days of my life. As the riots spread across England, the


television pictures game the impression of mindless criminal --


gave the impression of mineless criminality. The findings of our


study found it to be more complex. Those involved said they felt like


they were taking part in anti- police riots.


When we came across a police car, it felt like we hit the jackpot. We


smashed it, we petrol bombed it, we thought we would violate, just like


they violate us. They arrest people for no reason,


they stop and check us for no reason. We thought, like I get, get


our own back. That's what we did. We enjoyed it, I felt no guilt,


nothing. I know it is only one less police car, I know when they come


back, just seeing their faces. I would have loved to have seen their


faces, to be honest with you. Obviously rioters might seek to


justify their actions after the event. But familiar themes kept


arising, unprompted by our researchers. Rioters repeatedly


expressed frustrations about their daily interactions with police. In


their words, they felt hasled, bullied, unable to walk down their


streets without being stopped and searched.


Me and my mum were walking home, my younger brother and a few of his


friends, who have been in trouble with the police for a while. But


they weren't doing anything, they literally just met up in front of


my mum's block of flats. The police get out and question my wror


brother and his friends, my mum said, why do you he need to talk to


him. They were so disrespectful to my mum, and my mum was polite,


she's not a rude woman, they pushed her aside, sort of thing. Then they


pushed me aside. And they took him into the van, and they beat him up


and broke his nose. Some people would say because he's a


troublemaker, that it is fair, but it is not.


I have seen my friends get beaten up in front of me by the police


officer. But what can you do, you can't turn around and say I will


write a statement or send off a letter. You never get a reply or


nothing ever gets done about it. Time and again the rioters we


interviewed complained the police did not treat them as equals, they


said officers were rude, impolite, disrespectful. It didn't matter if


they were in Liverpool, London or Birmingham, they felt it was their


chance to get their own back. my point of view, everybody just


wanted to fight with the police. There weren't no looters or anyone


robbing, there was just shops getting smashed up. Any excuse to


go wild, really. And then it is people who like being battered by


the police, and they want payback. Things likes that. Police may have


been the main target of the riots, but the complaints didn't end there.


The scrapping of the education maintenance allowance, the focus of


protests last winter, was repeatedly mentioned. It was part


of a bigger picture, people we interviewed felt they were getting


a raw deal from Government. They spoke of youth service closures,


rising unemployment, and cuts to benefits. Almost half were in


education. And some had taken part in the student fee protests. Did it


achieve anything, we had a protest the other day, did it achieve


anything? No, they will put the university fees up, they will make


it really hard for people to get anywhere in life. To get go from


what my sister paid, I think it was a grand in tuition fees, she's six


years older than me, I paid three grand, they want nine now. You have


tripled it once and again. And you expect everyone to just sit back


and take it on the chin. For them to cut away things like EMA,


learning grants loans and up the university prices means people


resort back to the same thing. love this country, however I hate


the people who run it. David Cameron has never experienced a day


on the street or a day jobless, or being on job seekers.


At the time the consensus was people were rioting without a cause.


But those we spoke to made this much clear, the riots did not


happen in a political vacuum. course there was a reason behind it,


why would it all kick off. It wouldn't kick off for no reason.


Four nights of sustained rioting destroyed parts of England's


suburbs. The response from police was swift and hard. More than 4,000


people were arrested. They would face harsher than usual sentences.


The Government's response has been what they have called a war on


gangs. At the heart of all the violence sits the issue of street


gangs. Our research has found no evidence to suggest gangs organised


the riots. If anything, the small proportion of gang members who were


present behaved in an atypical manner, across England, postcode


rivalries and gang hostilities dissolved for what was effectively


a four-day truce. You had different areas that had gang-related


problems working together, everyone put their problems away for that


week. They were able to get along, because we had one thing in common,


and that was to hurt the Government and the police. It wasn't really


gang-related. On those few nights of the riots, everybody united. I


think we all had the same feeling, we all had the common feeling and


we expressed it. For those whose lives were ruined by the riots,


that sense of unity will be hard to fathom. Rioters told us, they


regreted that parts of their own communities had been destroyed.


really didn't have to be there. I really didn't have to be there, I


have enough trainers as it is, and hats as it is. It didn't really


make a difference in my life. feel sorry for people who have


little businesses and that, I felt that was completely wrong, I


completely disagree with that. could have been setting fire to a


house that had babies in there, that is what made me stop. The fact


that I didn't want to hurt the innocents, but in way, that was


good, because as soon as I stopped bricking houses I went straight


into police cars, police officers. Even when rioters expressed regret,


they showed little remorse for their attacks on police. Setting


fire to the car, I don't feel guilty about it at all. I would do


it again. Hopefully there will be riots coming up soon. Why should I


respect them, if they don't respect me, for what reason, I would do it


again. I would probably do two police cars if I had the


opportunity, to be honest with you. Do you have any regrets? Yeah. But


that I didn't do more damage. I warrant -- wanted to burn down the


Time to talk to the minister in charge of the police, Nick Herbert.


Do you think it might have been wiser if the Prime Minister had


waited to establish the facts before saying it was all just


criminality and gangs? We know that three quarters of those who have


been brought before the courts did actually have previous convictions.


So there is absolutely no doubt that these were people who had been


in trouble before, and we know. Doesn't that say something about


those arrested, this is a broader sample? It is right to say it is


about criminality when you are talking about people on the streets,


looting, damaging the property and attacking the police. Nobody denies


it was criminality, and awful in many cases. Wasn't the most


striking thing there, the sense of alienation that came through, and


the particular focus upon getting back at the police who they felt


had been oppressing them? I actual low don't sop accept that the


police behave in that way. -- I actually don't accept that the


police behave in that way. There are particular cases discussed in


Tottenham being discussed in a different place. But elsewhere it


was much more about copycat action, opportunism. Looting, some of that


came about in your report. If we go back to the fact that three quarter


of the people who took part in this, or who have been brought before the


courts, actually had criminal records. The fact that they don't


like the police is hardly a surprise. Shock, horror, criminals


don't like the police. This is much broader research than simply those


people who appeared before the court. This is 270 people who


participated in the riots, some of whom, a very small proportion,


about 30 of whom may have been arrested and indeed convicted, the


remaining 240 of whom were not. Hold on, as you said, in the report,


the report itself said, a third hadn't been in trouble with the law.


It was interesting that your report put it that way. You could have


said that it meant that two-thirds had a previous conviction. It is by


their own testimony. In the same order as three quarters brought


before the court with a previous conviction, this research shows


these people were people who had been in trouble with the law before.


That is air own statements too. Do you think -- that is their own


statements. Do you think they are making excuses then? If you look at


the research and what people were offering as the reasons they did


things, including a dislike of the police and the Government. That was


very different to the reasons that the public gave for why they


thought it would happen. The public were saying. The public weren't


rioting? The public were pointing to other issues, including social


breakdown, family breakdown, the public were much more inclined to


say. It is the testimony of the rioters themselves? The rioters


were reluctant to accept responsibility, what they wanted to


do was blame others. With us now is the former Metropolitan Police


commissioner, Lord Ian Blair, David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, Liz


Pilgrim, whose job was looted and vandalised during the riots, and


Professor Tim Newburn, and a youth leader from South-East London. Miss


Pilgrim what did you make of it, given your shop was wrecked by


these people, what did you make of what you heard there? I think that


the police didn't keep control that night. Sure. But the causes, what


they said about why they were rioting? I think that, in Ealing


itself, it wasn't a political proprotest, it was definitely


people that -- political protest, it was definitely people who took


the opportunity to ransack my street, set fire to the building,


make people lose their homes. Somebody died that night. It is no


excuse, really, is there, David Lammy, for what happened. You are


the MP for Tottenham, you know xapd there, there is no excuse for it?


would want to emphasise the 20,000 or so young people in Haringey who


stayed at home, and the 240,000 people in the London Borough


ofHaringey who were frightened in their homes. I do think that the


cohort of people that the Guardian have spoken to are important, and


unless we look into their eyes and hear their voices this will happen


again. I do think when they talk about stop and search, it is


important to recognise in the most diverse constituency in the country,


that there is an acceleration between, particularly for Muslim


youth and for black youth, in stop and search, at this point in time.


The Government have changed the rules on that. Also we have a


Metropolitan Police with only 868 black officers and 32,000 across


the Met. That is an issue. Do you recognise that, Nick Herbert?


goes to trust. I completely reject David's suggestion and lay this at


the door of Government changing rules. We scrap the reform that


said that the police had to record a stop and account, actually the


Met have chopbs, as is their right, not to do that in London. We have


reduced a couple of the specific bits of information that have to be


provided on the stop and search form that still has to be completed.


Isn't it a point about how the police are seen, do you accept


that? I accept that by the testimony of the people involved


there, they say they disliked the police, I make the point again,


these are people in trouble with the police, it is not surprising.


The testimony that you heard there from people who took part in the


riots, you didn't, but you know people who did. Does it ring true?


I think definitely, I think it is a huge problem when it comes to


relationships between young people and the police force. I think the


fact that a lot of the young people were talking in the film about how


they hated the police and they felt they were mistreated by the police.


I'm a young person who has been through that situation. I have been


stopped and searched at least six people, and I'm one of the young


people contributing to making society better in our communities.


That is a huge problem. With the stop and search it is a major


problem with the slips, that was one way to make sure if we thought


we were treated wrong bit police we could follow that up. The fact it


is scrapped, and the police are saying go to the police station to


get a slip about what is going on, everything is prolonged. There is a


lot of young people who have been faeked, and there is a lot of young


people -- affected and there is a lot of young people who are in


situations where the police has treated them wrong and they don't


know where to go to sort it out. Were you surprised by what you


found? I was a little, at the outset I thought that the subject


of policing would come up. I thought some of the issues of


whatever we want to call it, alienation, and so forth, would


have come up. I was surprised by the strength of it and the


frequency we heard it. We heard it in every city we did research and


across the demographic, men and women, young and old. Do you think


they were making excuses? Yes, in part I think they were. One cannot


deny that certainly some people that we spoke to were undoubtedly


trying to rationalise away some of their behaviour. Nonetheless, I


think the care with think the research was done, the care with


which the analysis was done, leads us to feel that the frequency and


very hemmence we heard was not just a rationalisation and something we


have to take seriously. I agree with Nick Herbert, it is an


excellent piece of research, as I would expect from the LSE, it has


the least surprising result, I don't want to sound like Blackadder,


the American Indians were found not to like General Custard. People do


not like police, because this is the group that they are most in


contact. I'm pleased with the fact that 73% of those rioters were


stopped and searched last year, the right people were stopped and


searched. Are you saying there is no problem? There is always room


for improvement. The fact is the police service in London has driven


crime down year after year since 1993. One of theishs you will end


up with is a -- issues you will end up with, is a group of people who


are entirely, with the difficulties they have over employment, over the


EMA, a lot of anger is there. can't stop just because you look


like, or where you are from. Nobody is suggesting here that people are


being stopped and searched, there is nothing racial in these riots,


this is about the group of people, who I think Tim will recognise, as


the phrase that criminologyists have used for a long time, called


"police property", these are the people, if I took you to a police


station or a prison, you would find three quarters of the people there


with previous conviction, you would find three quarters of the people


have educational needs. They are terribly badly educated, but...The


Point about the police is they deal with the symptoms, the political


part. You don't make anything of the political analysis? I make a


huge amount of political analysis. These are a group of people who are


the most deprived in the country. We need to help them, we need to


actually get right behind the educational processes. They are


being helped by the police, they are being beaten up by the police?


They are not being beaten up by the police. You are saying those people


are lying? You have to recognise a context in which over 300 people


have died in police custody, and not one police officer has felt the


force of the law. You have got to recognise the force with which


there are communities in London, who feel that is a grave injustice.


Of course, in the context of knife crime, it is understandable that


there is stop and search, but it needs to be intelligence-led, and


it is very difficult, if police cannot tell the difference between


a young man that is on the way to the gym, wearing a hoodie, and a


young man wearing a hoodie who is has a knife. Has the problem we


have with the Met in London. Nobody should be stopped on the grounds of


their ethnicity, that would be wrong. That is happening. We know


there is similar deprivation in Sheffield n Bradford, on Tyneside n


Glasgow, Edinburgh. They didn't riot there. These people who took


part in all of this, they are not the victims. The victims are people


like Liz, whose property was damaged. We know that, we watched


on our television screens, people walk out of shops with armfuls of


goods, people walking away with plasma TVs. People who lost their


moral compass. And we should take care not to lose our's, and think


actually there is any kind of excuse for this behaviour. There is


not. What do you think has gone wrong, your shop was looted?


Totally trashed, smashed, everything pulled out. What do you


sell in your shop? Baby clothes. That was looted. Some of which are


aspirational brands, some of which are hand made knitted booties.


did they do to it? They completely ransacked it, smashed everything up.


Stole everything they could carry. Walked out on to the reen and


dropped things. -- The green and dropped things. When you think


about what happened, what do you think has gone wrong in our


society? It is so complex, and it gets me really, really upset,


thinking that there isn't an answer, there's the fact that people feel


they have no future, that there is no consequences to their action,


that there really is no moral guideline for them any more. There


is no hope. And I think that we're all to blame. It's schools it's the


police, it's society in general. We all try to aspire to certain brands


and. You are playing the individual's concerns, this is an


individual judgment, and the collective norms of behaviour


changed during the riots, obviously, but each action is the consequence


of an individual decision, isn't it? Yes it is. Can I just say as


well, it is very poignant in that film that people, some of them


regreted their actions. And that it was that moment. Some didn't?


there were moments I think when people just got caught up with what


was happening. We can't just brush everybody with the same statement.


We have a model that is policing by consent, and it seems to me that


the absence of policing, right across London, led to a situation


in which that ethical and moral decision, that individuals have to


make, and account for themselves, was allowed to be at large. This is


the failure of the police on certain nights? In successive


nights. If they kept control on the Saturday night it wouldn't have


escalated. What do you think has gone wrong in the society? Nobody


is born a criminal. To just say that a lot of the people who


weren't part of the riots, they were reoffenders, you have to ask


why did they reoffend in the first place. A lot of those people are


not being helped when they are showing the symptoms of needing


help, wherever that may be, in the education system, if it when it


comes to the relationship between the police and the young people,


something needs to be done. What has changed within our society is


nobody really wants to take the rap for what is going on. I think when


it comes to young people, a lot of young people do ask for help, it


may not anybody a verbal conversation, at the same time a


lot of young people show symptoms that they need some type of


interaction. A lot of people tend to point the finger at young people


and say they should be responsible for their actions. We are not doing


this out of nowhere, we are learning it from people we saw on


tell ves, the bankers the politicians, the police officers.


There is no respect anywhere, is there. It is white collar crime,


but because they are wearing suits is it OK for them to get away it.


Just baulk young people weren't very organised and wearing hoodies


we should condemn them. If the justice system is putting some


people away, they should be treated with the same brush, no matter a


young people or politician. Young people took that on board t may not


be on a conscious level, but a sub conscious level, that if they can


do it, then we can get away with it. Not awful them were young.


Offending should always have consequence, a white collar


criminal or those in anti-social behaviour. We need a system that


sends those clear messages. One of the things that happened after this


disorder is the criminal justice system responded with unusual


certainty in dealing with people. It sent the right message, actually.


Some of them may have got it. is true, what is it going to


achieve by banging people up? you are saying, that exemplary


sentences should not have been handed down, those are matters for


the courts. I completely disagree. You have to send that signal to


people that the behaviour is not acceptable. I don't know if simply


trying to brush these people aside is the right way to do it. None of


it should stop us doing the all the things. Restorative justice is very


important. There is an important distinction, it is not to say, of


course when people break the law, in the most extreme ways there


should be punishments. It is wrong to shift from that to thinking the


criminal justice system is the solution to the problems we face.


Nobody is saying it is. And actually. That is what you were


saying just then, it was. I was saying that offending has


consequences and whether you are a white collar criminal or somebody


on the streets, I don't think, by the way, that people who were


looting at the time thought they were doing so because of expenses


scandals or City scandals. Young people are getting arrested and put


away, and by the time they are coming out it is 19, everything


they need to turn them into an adult and turn them into a help to


society they are not getting the chances. Reform of the penal system,


I agree it is not enough. Ian Blair, one question, Liz has already


raised this question, and so has David Lammy, and it is commonly


held, the police failed to act quickly enough. You weren't there,


none of us was taking commands then, or giving commands then. But now


the talk is, of issuing the police with water canon, and if necessary


plastic bullets, is that the answer? If that is the answer it is


the wrong question. Neither of those tactics would have been any


use in these riots. Plastic bullets and water canon are designed to


keep people away from a particular place, they use them in France and


all the rest of it. To try to chase rioters moving quickly around


London with that kind of equipment would be nonsense. What I want to


contribute, one further point, which is the concentration in the


Guardian today about the police, is an answer about the symptoms.Y, the


police could have done better and they should been there more quickly,


and better intelligences, and Liz's shop should not have been ruined.


But the answer lies much further back in who this group of people


are, they are the same group of people sitting in prison now, with


poor educational standards. have made that point. It is


terribly important. Surely other people might say the police are a


lightning conductor for a problem clearly identified by rioters and


observers as being them and us. police are engaged with this group


and will go on being engaged with this group forever, that is what


policing does. It does it every country in the world t deals with a


group of people who behave in a criminal form. If the Government


wants more robust policing, then I personallyam concerned -- I


personally I am concerned. latest news in the euro seems to


have convinced those who move the markets, for now at least. Nicolas


Sarkozy and Angela Merkel agreed today they need a new treaty n


which those who break the rules sufferam penalties, they want a new


bailout fund. Within hours the rating agency, Standard & Poor's


told the eurozone countries that they could lose their blue chip


credit rating as early as Friday night, if their plan doesn't work.


First, they failed in Brussels, then they failed in Cannes. For


months the EU has been like an endless advent calendar, where it


is always winter but never Christmas. Summit after summit as


failed. Today, in Paris, Europe's leaders may just have opened a


window on the future. The German Chancellor arrived in Paris, with a


plan, and once she got President Sarkozy behind closed doors, and


after some give and take, the French backed the plan.


TRANSLATION: France and Germany are the two big economies of Europe. To


take the risk of us spliting, is to take the risk of exploding Europe


and the euro. The deal they are working on shapes


up like this, there will be legally-binding commitments to


balance the books enshrined in national institutions. With --


constitutions. With automatic sanctions for those with deficits


above 3%. The long-term bailout fund for Europe, the ESM, will be


brought forward, launching in 2012, but it will no longer try to impose


losses on the banks. It will all be done through a new treaty, with or


without Britain. There is the clear beginnings of a long-term deal here.


But it is being done for a short- term reason, the leaders need to


convince the European Central Bank they are prepared to impose


discipline on southern Europe, not just once, but forever. If they can


do that, the Central Bank itself may do what it has never done, act


as the lender of last resort, and begin buying up the debts of those


sthriken countries. What the an -- striken countries. What the


analysts are looking for now is action in the short-term, and some


big money. I don't think it will succeed in being a circuit breaker,


on its own. You will have to see a number of other measures announced


on Friday, for this solution to really be found. I think you will


have to see another bailout groing programme announced for Spain and


Italy, include -- bailout programme announced for Spain and Italy. You


will have to see the ECB stepping in some way. I don't think any are


actual solutions but they will buy some time, if EU leaders can agree


on them. On the markets the impact was


immediate, the Italian Government's effective cost of borrowing slumped,


it had been well above 7% after Cannes. But it fell below 6% today.


Now comes the tiny problem of selling the whole deal, first to


the French. I don't think the French are in very much in favour


of handing over more sovereignty to the commission in Brussels. However,


a solution must be found. The crisis to be resolved very, very


quickly. It depends, again, how it is done. The French are very much


in favour, traditionally, to regulation, and if they see that


the markets can be tamed by political leadership, I think they


will be in favour of it. Once the French are squared, there is the


Brits, we know David Cameron's position. On the referendum, our


approach is very simple, we have legislated now, so it is impossible


for a British Government to pass power, from Britain to Brussels,


without asking the British people in a referendum first. That is the


legal position. We have made that vitally important change. As Prime


Minister, I'm not intending to pass any powers from Britain to Brussels,


I don't think the issue will arise, but the British people should know,


there is an absolute safeguard if power goes from Britain to Brussels,


they have to say so first, and quite right too. What if a 17-


nation treaty changes the balance of power, Merkel and Sarkozy made


it clear today they would not be asking for Mr Cameron's rubber


stamp. For the past six months the eurocrisis has been essentially a


political sis, solvable by a decision making, even if people


don't want to make decisions, now six months of indecision have


created a world economic downturn, and Britain is being dragged into


that. This is how one Italian minister felt as she voted through


a new round of austerity last night. And well she might, the ratings


agency S & P threatened to downgrade the whole eurozone,


reminding them that while they have been dithering, growth has been


disappearing. We will probably see debt restructuring in Italy and


Spain. The influences of that on confidence, the financial services


industries and lending is huge, and will cause growth to contract.


there nothing they can do to stop that? No, I don't think there is,


unless they draw a line under the crisis. Unless they can cut rates,


talk down the euro, provide stimulus in the eurozone, I don't


think they could find growth. they don't do a deal on Friday, the


European calendar becomes a bit fraught, Italy needs to sell two


big piles of bonds before the new year and up to now, nobody is


buying. One slip there, and the whole mood of confidence goes out


the window. Paul is here now with more on the


warning tonight from the credit creating agency, Standard & Poor's.


-- credit rating agency, Standard & Poor's. Germany and France agree to


save the euro and risk getting their credit rating downgraded.


Within hours, S & P have said that the there is a 50% of chance that


the whole of the eurozone gets downtkwraided, the six triple A


ratings would be lost. That would make the bailout fund, based on


that money, impossible to do. They are saying you have a mixture of


political indecision, there is a credit crunch in your banking


system, and in the case in France you have your sums wrong on the


buing budget deficit. Who are these people? All they exist to do is to


say if the bonds are tripping A or not, are they risk-free or not. It


brings the medicine methed out to Greece and Italy -- meted out to


Greece and Italy potentially to France, maybe someone wants to get


rid of the French Government. likely is today's deal to stick,


and where does it leave Britain and other non-euro mebts, the former


banker Joe Johnson, and the -- my other guest are here. Why is this


deal going to work better than the other deal, all the arrangements


exist? Yes they do, the only reason I can think that this should be


make a difference is Angela Merkel is -- should make a difference, is


Angela Merkel is talking about institutions and looking more in


charge, and might be able to get more out of her own parliament at


home. She always looked like she was running after the last


financial market panic. People in Germany got very upset with her.


When she started talking about grand bargains and treaty change


and fiscal and stability change, the way she is handling the crisis


has shot up. That might help in having to get the bailout funds


going, getting more money from the IMF. Of course, it is broader than


just Germany, the proposal is there be a new treaty? Yes, but that is a


very long-term thing. They are talking about having this treaty.


It is March, not that long-term? treat change in Europe has ever


gone that quickly. -- no treaty change in Europe has ever gone that


quickly. There is no reason to take it seriously then? The treaty


change is long-term any way, it will not change the eurozone. This


is part of a package that is politically necessary to convince


the ECB that it is safe to intervene in the markets. They


don't want to do the dirty job of telling the Italians to cut their


budget. They don't want to act as the lender of last resort but first


resort. They have played it back to the politicians. You're nodding


very loyally? I think she's right. The fiscal factor is one part of a


multistep solution. The S & P reaction illustrates the fact that


France and Germany don't have credibility when it comes to


enforcing fiscal rules. I was a Paris correspondent in 2005 they


were the original sinners, they broke the rules. So this fiscal


pact needs to be reinforced and in a number of ways. We need to have


collective borrowing mechanisms, we need to see the EFSF, financed by


the ECB, or we need to see euro bonds tpwheerbgsd proper commitment.


What about the question -- we need to see proper commitment. What


about the treaty change, a lot of people in your party would see it


as a great chance to repatriate powers to Britain from Brussels,


would that help? There are commitments to repatriateing


certain powers, the Working Time Directive, that is in the coalition


programme for Government F that opportunity arises, David Cameron


will pursue it. We already look completely marginal, don't we. For


something that is so intergral to our economic well being, the


British are more or less not using? That is not true, our voice is


powerful and heard and appreciated there. It is not fair to say


completely marginal. If a treatyo goes ahead, Angela Merkel says she


-- treaty goes ahead, Angela Merkel says she's easy about all 27 or the


17 and others who want to come in, and Britain is not part of it, they


are able to stitch up all sorts of things not in Britain's interests?


You are thinking of potential attacks on the City of London. I


think Britain needs more self- confidence and say let's win each


market on its merits. George Osborne did that to fan it is


particular effect in Brussels last weekend with the financial taxes


act, that was clearly against British interests and he


successfully batted it off. Do you share the confidence? It is the


right way to go. Britain should really spend its political fire


power where its interests lies, that is keeping the single market


whole and free. Making an intelligence argument on financial


services and regulation of financial services in Europe. Not


when, at a time when the Europeans are defending the euro, which is an


extension interest of those countries that are in --


existential interest of those that are in there. And not as the


British Prime Minister and go I'm talking about the European Working


Time Directive, that will not go well there. We can't get those


powers back? Perhaps at this time I wouldn't use that vexing moment in


Europe to talk about something that is narrowly in the interests of


Britain in Europe. What do you regard as this vexing moment?


Government has been supportive for further progress towards fiscal


union, the fiscal pact is something that George Osborne and David


Cameron have been pushing for solidly for the past three months.


It will be very much welcomed. Thank you very much. Some of


We have learned more about how seriously or otherwise the


Government takes austerity today. David Cameron is planning to double


the amount of money spent on the ceremonies for the Olympics next


year, total is now �81 million. The last time London hosted the


Olympics, the whole games cost less than three quarters of a million.


Competitors brought their own towels, and the highlight of the


opening ceremony was the release of several thousand pigeons. That is


several thousand pigeons. That is austerity, good night.


Winter has arrived, that's for sure. It is an icey night. Particularly


across more northern parts of the country. The Met Office has issued


a yellow warning to naebgt. Icey services around, with the showers


Some showers getting into parts of the Midlands, East Anglia and the


south-east too. Rather more cloud around, with the greater chance of


the odd shower. Plenty more dryer weather out there. Showers for


South-West England, temperatures seven or eight. It will be tempered


by the breeze. Not exactly warm out there. To the ee of the hills


across Wales, probably a -- to the east of the hills across Wales,


probably lengthier dryer spells. After an icey night a cold day.


Showers turning widespread as we end the day. Snow across Scotland,


fewer showers before tomorrow night, we will see snow spreading across


Scotland. Across northern areas sunshine as well. A big change in


the weather on Thursday, wet weather also spreading across


southern areas on Thursday, temperatures temporarily bouncing


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