19/03/2012 Newsnight


The PM wants better roads. What do the killings at a Jewish school in France mean? What should the next BBC Director-General do? With Jeremy Paxman.

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The country's in a mess, the Prime Minister's solution to our creaking


infrastructure? Send for the shade of Isambard Kingdon Brunel.


There is now an urgent need to repair the decades-long degradation


of our national infrastructure, and to build for the future, with as


much ambition for the future as the Victorians once did. Does this make


sense? Who is the Prime Minister trying to kid. Will footing the bid


to bring back the old beast, the public-private partnership.


France mourns the killing of three children and a teacher at a Jewish


school. What effect are religious and racial prejudices having on the


elections there. He is one of the most colourful


politicians in America, leaving Congress, so he can marry his


boyfriend, and not be nice to people he disagrees with.


We talk to Congressman Barney Frank. Obey, obey.


The search is on for a new Director General of the BBC, which candidate


has the right stuff, who would want William Armstrong, Cherif Bassiouni,


Henry Bessemer and Isambard Kingdon Brunel, are now -- and now


apparently David Cameron, the achievements of the great Victorian


engineers, achievements that transformed Britain to the leading


power of the world, can be replicated in the 21st century.


They can, if we are to believe the Prime Minister. Today he was


talking about being part of a transforming generation himself. It


will be done by liberating the private sector, apparently. This


from our political editor. They shrank a journey time from


several days to hours, slicing through the country with new track,


laceing ravines with bridges, and building stations like palaces. In


more ways than one, those Victorians really knew how to make


an entrance. Can we ever climb such heady engineering heights again?


The truth is, we are falling behind. We are falling behind our


competitors and falling behind the great world-beating, pioneering


tradition, set by those who came before us. There is now an urgent


need to repair the decades-long degradation of our national


infrastruck tue, and to build for the future, with as - infrastruck


tue, and to build for the future with the same confidence as the


Victorians. The Prime Minister set out what he wanted to do about it,


use the power of the state to unleash the dynamism of the market.


Britain's infrastructure, such as roads, should enjoy the influx of


investment from private investment as those building this station Z


for some it was a speech for the charter of for privatisation, for


others it was what they had been waiting to hear. We will wait


forever for infrastructure we need, if we wait for finances to be in


the perfect conditions and finance it all out of public spending. That


will not happen in the short-term, in the short-term we have to build


up airport capacity, and improve train networks so they aren't so


expensive and congest, and we have to address congestion on the roads.


We need the Government to create the conditions in which private


investment can be leverageed to best effect, to compliment the


meagre resources available from the public purse.


The opening of a revamped King's Cross today is an example, the


Prime Minister said, of Britain getting it right. But victories


were few, and this failure, was in part, one of funding. Sovereign


welfare funds and pension funds could be levered in to improve


roads. If they make a road better they could make profit. To attract


serious investment, are the reforms enough? The reasons the Victorians


invested so much in infrastructure is they knew they could make money


out of it. For the Prime Minister the problem is with the planning


regulations it is harder for businesses. With the railways, it


is all very well saying the private sector can invest in them, but when


you have the Government saying you have to run commercially unviable


routes in rural areas, it makes it very hard for companies trying to


turn a profit. Some think the Prime Minister is


not going far enough, others think it will lead to road pricing, and


warn that is political no man's land? A lot of these things keep


coming round, road tolling does, if you want to raise more money, as


suggests, it is like a large PFI scheme, you pay slightly more over


a period. The political problem is if something is free today and it


will cost you tomorrow, if you fill your car up and it will cost �100,


there is a lot of resistance. That is why successive Governments


thought about it hard and it has fall bin the way side.


MPs from the new -- Fallen by the way side. MPs from the new intake


are more zealous than the Prime Minister. Private investment would


be part of a detailed blueprint to redesign the economy, not to


mention lower taxes and business. If we look at our European partners,


only three out of the 27 countries have a fully state-funded network,


they are Bulgaria, and Slovenia, this is the right way forward. We


could do more, I would cut corporation tax to 15%, send ago


clear signal that Britain is open for business. We need more tax cuts,


and deregulation, small companies need to employ younger workers, we


have a problem with youth unemployment. We can't rely on the


old infrastructure, built 100 years ago by the Victorians. Today it


will take at least 14 years for the first section of high-speed 2 to


open. Compared with the five years it took the Victorians to get the


first Inter City rail link from drawing board to track. The Prime


Minister has not got 14 years, nor five, but before the next election


he has just three years to engineer growth.


We are lucky enough to have with us the Conservative, Jesse Norman, the


economist and director of Prime Economic, Ann Pettifor, and the


entrepeneur and former Dragon, Doug Richard.


Don't you think motorists pay enough? Absolutely, they pay a


fortune. Why do you want them to pay more? The Prime Minister's


speech was not about that, if you read it. It was about not so much


charging, but within Government. Deciding whether you will put money


aside so that instead of paying for these things with an enormous


amount of PFI debt and overhang, you pay as you go. It is a new


system of financing infrastructure. Where will all the toll roads go?


If there are toll roads, which we don't know yet, they will go


wherever demand takes them. You are not suggesting me there isn't a


need for road infrastructure up and down the country. I was asking


where they would go? Where they are needed. They will, will they?


is the pleasure of having a new system of infrastructure that will


be financed by demand. We will come to how serious the Prime Minister


is about all of this in a moment or two. First of all, Doug Richard, is


this an idea that will work? think there is some uncertainty in


that, isn't there. The fact of the matter is, it really depends on the


competency of the Government to cut a deal that is effective. Do you


think that the Government is competent to strike a deal that is


effective? I think the Government has every opportunity to strike a


deal that is effective. The real question is, do they ask of private


industry to take risk that comes with reward, to the degree that


they ask, if they underpin the risk, the private industry gets a free


ride. What does experience tell but that? That is a rather leading


question. Government has not historically done terribly well.


is a rather sensible idea, if we can't afford out of the public


finance, then to get the private sector to make the investment, it


is a God thing, isn't it? First of all -- it is It is a good thing,


isn't it? First of all, I agree with the Prime Minister that we


need to improve infrastructure. We are trapped in this flawed notion


that we can't afford to investment in our infrastructure, and yet


today we are going to give the private banks and subsidy of �5


billion of tax-payers' money. Clearly we can afford some kind of


supsidies. But why not supsidies for those public services that are


vital to keep the private sector going?


This is an ideolgical commitment, then, isn't it? I don't think it is,


actually particularly ideolgical. It is really about trying to think


of more intelligent ways to finance infrastructure. We had PFI, that


turned out to be too expensive, too inflexible, and not very


transparent. This is trying a new method that doesn't create a huge


overhang of debt and allows things to be paid for as you use them.


are they so underwhelmed by your ability to deal with it, they are


hardly on the same side of the fence? I don't think Government is


a particularly good client, that is the lesson of PFI, you have to


improve the quality of clients sitting on the other end of it.


is crazy, right now there is a real big problem in the economy, that is


the lack of demand. And the Government is trying all these


wheezes to some how improve supply, but without addressing the big hole,


the big slump. You know, we may do all of these things, but if


customers are not going to use those roads, if drivers aren't


going to use the roads, because of oil price rises, and the cost, as


you say, will be daunting for drivers. That is why the Automobile


Association is against this idea already.


They are against anything that makes driving more difficult for


people in cars. Why are you shaking your head when Ann Pettifor says


that? Because she's working from a lovely, but very old fashioned view


of the world. The fact of the matter, to my mind the question is


not so much whether there is a demand for infrastructure, we agree


on that, the question comes down to what form of infrastructure do we


need. We don't live in a Victorian age. What we need is 21st century


rail board, and that is called Broadband, you need infrastructure


proved to create it. He is looking at the wrong kind of


infrastructure? We need infrastruck tue, we do need broad --


infrastructure, we do need board band. We have �3-�5 billion worth


of need over the next 20 years, it spans everything from broadband,


energy, transport, railways. You don't have to go far in Europe to


see, look at French roads, they are enormously much better that the


motorways than we are, other things we can do, smarter ways of doing


things. That is what the speech is about. They have space and land,


they have wide open spaces. roads, he has already told us the


toll roads will go where they are needed in this country, we will


have to wait and see. That is what you said? No I said the decision as


to where they went would be dependant on public demand, that is


a different things. We as drivers won't have a choice. We have a


Prime Minister who talked about the need for expanded airport xasty.


You read the speech, you have it there. He capacity, you read the


speech, you have it there, yet he exposed the expansion of Heathrow.


How can you believe in airport expansion and go against that?


Heathrow is not the only airport in the country. He talk about Gatwick.


Let's talk about other aspects of bona fides, the commitment to


Victorian values? Victorian values, in infrastructure were magnificent.


These were hard-headed, thoroughly practical, engineering vision rees.


Built with sweated Labour? That aspect is something that will never


be replicated, so is trampling over property rights. He's focusing on


the energy, the vision, the entrepeneurship, and the sense of


possibility. We should welcome that. The point is this, the Victorians


were wonderfully entrepreneurals, they had big ideas and built this


big infrastructure, ultimately it proved unviable. The railways were


nationalised in the 1920s? That doesn't mean unviable. Look at our


infrastructure in sewage, we are relying on that in most of London.


That was mainly built bli the public sector and the London --


built by the public sector, the London County Council.


castrated local Government. Successive administrations have


taken away power from local Government n way this Government is


correcting. What this Government is trying to do is create even more


private monoplies than we already have, we have a private monopoly in


energy. We the consumers, we the tax-payers are taking the risk, and


underwriting the private sector risk. That is completely confused.


That will be very, very unpopular. Stop glaring daggers at her, tell


us why you disagree with this analysis? We are bend ago great


deal of very important discussion to a very narrow, and some what be


a secure element of the larger discussion. Tell that to the


taxpayer? I am a taxpayer, I pay mine to two Government. I think we


need infrastruck tue, but I profoundly disagree we need to


focus on roads. I have an issue with the notion that we have a


certain amount of money needed that is gospel, in truth, we have


choices to make. If we increase, for example, I don't want to go on,


if we increase broadband, we decrease the need for the road


increase, decease transport needs. The experiments in Cornwall, for


increased broadband, for both Governments have shown an increased


economic benefit for those areas. come from Herefordshire, if you


could live there you would, the only problem is lack of


communication, we need broadband communications and decent roads,


that is part of the system. Of course it is not about some magic


number, you have a variety of different estimates, Government


taking advice on all different fronts. You need a system, inpex


pensive, sensitive -- inexpensive, and sensitive to demands. In South


Korea today they have a level of broadband to the average apartment


that we do not aspire until 2015. They have way in advance of that,


it is a precise point of this speech to try to get on track to


achieve some of that level of penetration. That is absolutely


right. These are basic needs for the economy, and the public sector


should be providing these. Precisely to stimulate all the


businesses that depend on broadband. That is purely an ideolgical point


too? It is not. Why not say it is up to the public sector? These are


natural monoplies, if you give them to the private sector they become


monoplies. In your world BT would not be privatised, no mobile


industry, we would be sit anything mud huts, that is crazy,


competition drives change. That is what will happen here, twof


restrain it in place, but we have to I -- we have to restrain it in


places, but we have to expand. are looking for private sector


investment in nuclear power in Japan, we are looking at Fukushima,


a private sector company that pretended it was regulated. We are


looking at regulators that pretended to regulate, and we have


a disaster. What happens, the Japanese taxpayer comes and bails


out this company. Never behind the destruction caused by the failure


of that private company. I don't think there was anything in David


Cameron's speech about building nuclear reactors? Let alone whether


or not it was the difference between private or public. It was


built on a faunt line, when it broke, Fukushima -- fault line,


when it broke, Fukushima was enormously compromised. That was


not a decision for private or public. There is expertise in the


private sector for this area, none in the public sec to you have to


deal with it, there is no money -- public sector, you have to deal


with it, and there is no money in the public sector. There is loads


of money. Three children and a rabbi were


murdered today, three soldiers were shot dead last week, and another


left seriously wounded. The same gun was used in all attacks,


according to the police. The absence of many facts, specktation


abounds, notably that France has some crazed racial extremist on the


loose, it has won -- the France administration has condemned the


events and sympathises with the families of the victims.


Is anything more known about the perpetrator of this attack? The


frenzied work undergoing at the moment is focusing on building a


profile of this killer, obviously they have quite a good picture of


how he operates, from one scene on Thursday they traced him on 40


different cameras, before he disappeared on the motorway outside


Toulouse. They know he's a local man, from the roads he uses, they


also know he's someone with considerable military training, in


the way he handles his weapon. They believe there could be a former


soldier. One line of inquiry tonight is focusing on three former


paratroopers at a local base, who were dismissed for links to far


right extremism. On Thursday, at the second shooting, an eyewitness


said she saw a tattoo on the face of the gunman. It just so happens


that one of these paratroopers they are looking for also has an


identifying tattoo on his face. This takes place in the middle of


an election campaign, doesn't it. An election campaign in which race


and immigration has been an issue? Yes, very much so. I think


everything that happens in France at the moment has to be seen


through the prisism of the election campaign. The President was here in


Toulouse today, as well he should be, given the shocking nature of


the attack we are talking about. I think this could go one of two ways


for him, if he or his men catch the killer in the next few days, well


and good, he's the man tough on law and order. The President who has


talked tough on law and order in the past. That will improve his


standing on the right, you would presume. There has been criticism


in recent days that he has veered to the right, in a cynical attempt,


say the opposition, to attract those votes from the far right.


Votes that have strayed from his party to the resurgent party. He


has said tonight in a speech from the he will Elysee Palace that he


will suspend -- -- from the Elysee Palace that he will suspend his


campaign. Now, in Paris, Jacques Myard, an MP


from President Sarkis's Union for a Popular Movement. In London is the


President of the Conference of the European -- Conference of European


Rabbis, Pinchas Goldschmidt. I suppose it is a rather obvious


question to ask, what has been the impact in France of the tragedy?


The nation is shocked. There is no doubt, you know. Everyone really is


amazed by this hate, this violence. I think this is, thought the


country, just -- throughout the country, just unique condemnation


of what has been having there. We don't know who he is, what is his


motivation. We know that we refuse such an act.


What do you make of it? A person doesn't get up in the morning, and


takes a gun and just kills three children. And a rabbi. This always


happens in a certain context. A person influenced either by the


media, or by the political climate, in his or her country.


Unfortunately what has happened over the last few weeks, in France,


has been a catalyst for what has happened today.


You think that this is taking place within a specific political context


and there is a degree, almost, of political instigation? It is no


secret that the extreme right in France, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has


brought up the issue of Parisians eating meat slaughtered by Muslims.


This issue has been furthered almost by mainstream candidates. So


I believe this kind of loss, which has been propagateed, not only in


France, but the laws against minute rites in Switzerland, the attempt


to ban halal and Kosher meat in Holland, creates an atmosphere of


intolerance. What do you make of this analysis? I'm shocked. I can't


accept it. Nobody knows what his motivation is. Nobody knows who he


is, is he a racist or a terrorist. I don't appreciate these speeches,


which is not the truth in this case. You are quite right, we don't know.


Just a second, what we do know, is that it takes place in the context


of an election campaign, in which your President has been making


specific allegations about immigration, about possibly


withdrawing from the Schengen agreement, and so on? The point of


immigration in France is a permanent topic, and not only in


this campaign. We ask the immigrants to really integrate and


respect the French law, and especially security and tolerance.


This is what we ask from immigrants, who want to live in France,


peaceful low. I tell you one thing, that 99%, do want to live in peace


in France. So there is always, in a society, unfortunately, a tuney


society, a tiny minority, which really acts this way. What do you


say when a British person from main origin just explodes bombs in


London. This is the same thing, you are not mitigating with the general


speech of a campaign. So the general speech of the campaign


today is also the question of immigrants, this is a question of


security. This is a question of unemployment, and so on. So I


cannot accept what has been just said before by the rabbi. Jumping


to conclusions. You could also have mentioned the lunatic in Norway


that started shooting people, that wasn't the consequences of


political issues? Had I disagree. His big hero was Wilders in Holland.


It doesn't take place in the context, you can't attribute blame


to the whole of Norwegian society, or the whole Norwegian political


class? No, what I'm saying is that extremists are inspired by


political movements. Political movements which are more mainstream,


which makes statements. Which then legitimises certain


minorities or certain groups of immigrants. In every every society


you have extremists and unbalanced people. They take this


delepblgsisation, a step further. -- lepblgs lays a step further. --


legislation a step further. This national French citizen who killed


a few days ago a French soldier, who fought under the French flag,


whose only sin was that he was a Muslim. And Today he killed


children. D today he killed children. --


today he killed children, what unites both these communities is


they are Jewish, what unites these communities is the issue, the way


they behave towards animals, was raised in the national campaign, so


I believe there has to be introspection by the body of


loadership in France. President Sarkis did the right thing to go to


Toulouse. Do you accept there is a need for


introspection here? I always say it is the far extreme right guy. He


can be also someone coming from the, let's say, Al-Qaeda movement, the


ones who target to the French army and especially Muslim soldiers, who


are fighting in Afghanistan. And we have unfortunately imported also in


Europe. The nearest conflict, so we know there are a lot of


explanations which can match with what has happened. We don't know


what is really in his head. I will be very prudent, and I cannot


accept this kind of negative speeches by our dear rabbi. Because


I think that he jumped to the conclusion, we don't know yet. All


I know is the entire political classes contem, very clearly this


act. -- condemn very clearly this act. This is the only thing I can


say tonight, we are waiting for the judicial inquiry. The next fence in


the White Housele chase happens, as Illinois decides who it will take


on President Obama. Mitt Romney has a string in his step, but there are


months to go to the party conventions and the elections.


One of the great characters of American politics, Congressman


Barney Frank, will be bowing out in those elections, in a moment I will


get his reflections on US politics. There are some pretty famous


American Barneys, the department store, George Bush's dog, the


children's TV character, and then there's Barney Frank, who, in his


way, is every bit as remarkable as a talking pink dinosaur.


The cartoons are over, we're getting into the double feature.


Discussions of the rights of gay men and lesbians to equal treatment


rarely made the press. They were considered to be marginal issues.


As the first Congressman to voluntarily come out as gay, Barney


Frank was always going to get noticed. He has been at the


forefront of the struggle for gay rights. The repeal of the US


military's "don't ask, don't tell" legislation, left him visibly moved.


He plans to marry his long-term partner, his state, Massachusetts,


one of only six in the US, that permits gay marriage. The issue is


likely to be at the forefront of this year's presidential election.


The Congressman, though, is best known for his smart, sometimes


blistering rhetoric, never perhaps has a politician been so aptly


named. Been trying to have a conversation


with you, would be like trying to argue with a dining room table, I


I'm still waiting for a simple answer. I'm waiting for you to tell


me what I think. You are a public representative, I am a student.


Which allows you to say things that you don't back up?


It is, though, in seeking to limit the power of the banks, that most


people will know Barney Frank. Though some Republicans claim it


was he, and others like him, who helped inflate the housing bubble.


Those who argue that housing prices are now at the point of a bubble,


seem to me to be missing a very important point. Homes that are


occupied, may seen an ebb and flow in the prois at a certain


percentage level, you will not see the -- price at a certain


percentage level, you will not see a collapse like when people talk


about a bubble. As this ad shows, Barney Frank,


drew a lot of criticism from his political opponents, none managed


to unseat him. For his decision to stand down, means that American


politics is losing one of its more entertaining characters.


Earlier I spoke to the Congressman from Washington.


Barney Frank, what do you think is going to determine the outcome of


this election? The economy, if you economy continues on the upward


path it is now on, then I think it is very likely President Obama will


win. I think the right ward movement of the Republican Party in


such a disorderly fashion edged to that. But I believe unless


something drastically negative happens, that is not foreseen now,


that derails this recovery we have begun, thaen President Obama will


win. You have seen -- Then President Obama will win. You have


seen Mitt Romney up close, why is he being driven to the right?


of all, he's man of no conviction. He doesn't appear to have any


particular issue to which he is deeply attached. What has happened


is the Republican Party as a whole has moved to the right. Exactly why


I'm not sure. But the Republican Party in America today is the most


right-wing, ideolgically, unified entity, pretty far from the centre,


that we have ever seen in America. It is extraordinary. You see in the


house of representatives where a mainstream Conservative is being


frequently repudiated by a right- wing caucus that won't co-operate


with him. You see this extraordinary movement to the right,


unlike anything we have seen in America politics. Romney moves


easily with no convictions to weight him down. What is baffling


for us, is why is this happening? Part of it may be the media, we


have this issue in America, I don't know if it is true elsewhere, where


the most active people in our political element live in parallel


media universes. The white and left-wing are getting very


different sources of information, and they very reinforcing. Let me


ask you about a liberal matter, David Cameron, a Conservative Prime


Minister in this country, has endorsed the idea of gay marriage.


He wants to see it happen in this country, can you ever see President


Obama endorsing such a thing? it is nice to see Mr Cameron giving


the Lib Dems something, certainly they haven't got a lot out of that


alliance. I ges this is one of the things they get a wedding present,


as it were. President Obama is moving in that direction. Earlier


this year he took a very important step on behalf of gay marriage. In


America marriage is not delayeded by law, state by state, we have had


this terrible law on the books saying even if state allows


marriage the federal Government won't recognise it. That is the


major obstacleing in terms of denying benefits. The President


repudiated that law, and went to the same things saying it is so


constitutional he won't defend it in court. He is clearly moving in


the right direction. Electoral considerations are a factor. I


expect before he's through being President, he will have endorsed


the idea of siem-sex marriage. are planning to get married and


leave politics. How is life going to change? I do plan to leave


Congress, I plan to do a lot of reaching out. I won't do any


fundraising, won't have to march in any more parades. A highly-


overrated activity, I must tell you, if you are a politician. I will


have more time, I expect to spend a lot of my time talking and writing


about issues. To some extent doing the fun politics not the stressful


parts. Will it be a relief not trying to persuade people to vote


for you? Absolutely. I am not by nature Mr Congeniality. And the


need to be nice to people, of whom I really do not think very much,


goes away and I will not miss it. Barney Frank, thank you.


The most powerful, certainly the most visibly powerful job in


British broadcasting is up for grabs. Mark Thompson, one time


Newsnight producer, before it all went wrong, has finally named the


rough date of his departure from the Director General office. The


headship of the organisation will be filled by someone chosen by the


BBC Trust after the Olympic Games. There is plenty to do.


Everybody loves to catch up on the iPlayer. So here's another chance


to see the career of the BBC DJ. The BBC rank and file have been


following Mark Thompson, more or less willingly, since 2004. He


arrived as the corporation was reeling over the Hutton Report,


which criticised the BBC's coverage of the intelligence background to


the Iraq war. Relations with the Tory-led


Government appear cordial now, the Murdoch empire is the new media


bogeyman. Some analysts believe the BBC was bounced into a poor deal on


the license fee. What would Thompson and his critics


consign to room 101. Probably threats to niche radio stations,


including six music, which sue the now reprieved channel's surge in


popularity. Some critics might say a lot of political and other


capital was expended over relocating staff and programmes


around the country. Then there were prank phone calls by hugely well


paid stars. As well as a crocodile of BBC managers paid more than the


Prime Minister. On the down side Mark Thompson seemed to have been a


bit slow to realise there was going to be public reaction to the level


of pay, once the credit crunch had happened. They seemed to be a bit


slow to react to that. The levels of pay of top executives.


Those who had hymn-marked Thompson - - like Mark Thompson say he has


overseen well watched programmes. In addition, polls show the BBC is


popular and trusted. So what does the new DG have to do?


The next director-general needs to understand three very, very


important things, that the BBC of enormous, cultural, economic and


democratic significance. And that its three greatest responsibilities,


is the origin nation of British programmes, investing in original


British programmes, secondly, original British talent. Bringing


forward the next creative talent from the next generation. But most


important of all, to be a trusted and reliable source of news and


information. The Voice is one of Mark Thompson's


parting gifts to the BBC audience. Sometimes it feels like TV is just


one big talent show. Now one of the biggest gigs of all is up for grabs.


With us now is my guests. You have actually written your own job


apgaigs of your manifesto for the job -- application for your


manifesto for the job, what would you do? Have nothing to d with Sir


Peter basiljet, the man behind Big Brother and a highly discredible


person. I would hope the BBC would have fewer people and fewer


stations and go upmarket a bit. The reason for that is I think it has


drifted from the raison d'etre, from the BBC, which is to do things


that other broadcasters don't do, and take it back to the ideals.


that ever going to be rauner? It is not an uncommon view? -- a runner?


It is not an uncommon view? That is going to happen, if you go too far,


you lose the raison d'etre for the license fee, it depends on the fact


that the BBC is popular with broad appeal. The new director-general


needs three things, to articulate a clear strategic vision for the


organisation, he needs to restore the self-confidence of the BBC, and


fight its corner. This is a world brand. This is a popular much-loved


British institution. And most lefson, it should be much ease --


Leveson, it should be much easier to do that. What is your sense of


the job? It is not a job I want, unlike qent tin. I don't know if he


does want it? I'm serious about it. You would have done it very well in


1920, it is a much harder job to do now. It is a tricky thing to defend


the license fee. However it is still very goodle value, �2.80,


less than a pint a week. I wonder if we are making aic about


assumption here, Mark Thompson will have -- a big assumption here, Mark


Thompson has been there eight years. The next one will serve to 2020,


will the BBC still be around. will be more discussions at the end


of the year about the charter review, there is a strong argument


for the license fee, incredible value. The best broadcasting


organisation in the world. Lock at the other countries and value for


money. That case needs to be remade, and he have generation. The BBC


should be making it. It needs a change in governance in order to do


it proper low. It makes it harder to justify itself. I'm a right-wing


supporter of the BBC. It shoots itself in the foot by being so


fatastically politically correct. By this inbred, liberalism, that


Andrew Marr has identified, and being well off the public opinion


on things like Europe. That is what drives right-wingers like me mad. I


fear that the BBC has lost the Conservative Party on that. On the


other hand, a lot of people are enjoying BBC programmes, I'm not


here to talk about political bias. Some of which you may have made?


make programmes for all broadcasters. What I'm grateful to


the BBC for, you can make the programmes you can't make elsewhere


with them. You get the option to make the best kind of programmes.


The BBC raises the standard for the industry generally. The other


broadcasters would say thank God for the BBC


There are big in their offering. The coverage of the law courts is


lamentable. This is something the press no longer does, the printed


press has given up on reporting of the law courts. That is an ar why


where the BBC could -- that is an area where the BBC could jump in.


I'm giving you an area that the BBC could pick up some of the public


service stuff. Let's talk more about the license fee mechanism,


you say there will be an argument about whether it survives or not.


Can you possibly survive when people are watching television in


so many different ways on so many different device, much of it among


young people? This is why it has to be doing things that other


broadcasters don't do. You have support this tax as a right-winger?


I support the idea of the BBC. You have to wrench it back, pair it


down -- pear it down. On BBC 3 there was a great show called Our


War, about soldiers in Afghanistan, made from their own footage, it was


a fantastic programme. I think one of the very important reasons that


BBC is there, is because it introduces a whole new audience to


public service broadcasting. Will you defend Snog, Mario Avoid, Sun


Sea and Suspicious parents. I'm not here to defend the BBC. BBC Three


I'm talking about. There is fantastic comedy on BBC Three, it


is the place where new comedy talent gets an airing in this


country. To take Ben Bradshaw's argument, if I understood it


correctly. Unless the BBC is clearly serving vast numbers of


people you can't justify the license fee. That is a reasonable


argument, I'm a bit of a captain blyth here, I don't care about the


-- Captain Blyth here, I don't care about ratings. My argument is


really good programmes and a return to elite imism will bring it in.


agree with qintism and -- with you. Although Mark Thompson said there


would be no salami slicing, we need a clearer strategic vision of how


big. Asking the big questions, what should the BBC be doing. It is much


easier to make the justification from there about the license fee.


It is easy to say all of this, and when you look at the mere


suggestion that the Asian network be cut and other channels and it


runs. It needs an outsider, none of your telemates, and someone who


comes from the liberal London outsiders, but it is someone who


comes in and says you have to change. The new chairman of the


trust gets this, he's not a member of my party but he gets it. They


will ensure it. The job needs to be broken up, so


there is an editor in chief, to do the other stuff. I'm bad at the


business stuff. Jo it is important to make


programmes people actually want to watch. You seem to be defining


quality as shows that you approve of. My personal definition of


quality is shares that a wide range of people enjoy and think areed


good. That is what the BBC delivers. You are a ratings waller. It is not


just that, ratings are important, you are in newspapers, if people


don't buy your paper they are not enjoying it? The BBC not a


newspaper. That is the great danger. I think the BBC is in the business


of making the best possible programmes it can make. If it makes


the best possible programmes people will watch them? We haven't talked


about the salaries, and the BBC salaries. I'm not going to mention


you Paxman. You don't know. They are well out of kilter.


person you are so critical about it, Peter did raise it in the


interviews. Saying they were slow in coming to that. The VG can't be


paid the same as Mark Thompson? That man over there gets �56,000


for a backbench member of parliament, that is what they


should be looking at. You are running a global organisation with


60,000 people. You have to pay them a proper wage. It is highly


imbowlic you need to bring it down. It really needs a bloke from


Hereford? It hope help. To leave you on an elevated note as


witnessed from the International Space Station, NASA has just let us


see what the astronauts saw. A much cloudier night tonight means


it is nothing like as cold as last night. First thing there won't be


the chill in the air, no unshine either. Skies will brighten after a


damp start, turning destroy and fine across Cumbria. In the north-


east temperatures hitting the teens. We always keep a bit more cloud


across southern most counties, even here temperatures are above average


at 10-14. Sunshine here and there, particularly to the east of the


hills. To the east of the moors and the mountains, in Wales they could


see sunshine, temperatures really jumping up in the sunshine. Where


it is cloudy on the west coast, temperatures will stick at 10-11.


Eastern parts of Northern Ireland will be having some fun, dry and


breezy. A strong wind persists across northern Scotland. The


outbreaks of rain should fizzle out. In the far north-east temperatures


could jump up, up to 189 in Aberdeenshire. Wednesday sees more


of the same, most places dry, one change on Wednesday, perhaps a bit


more sunshine returning to southern most counties of England. North-


east Scotland will see the lion's share of sunshine on Wednesday.


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