19/03/2012 Newsnight


19/03/2012

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

:00:10.:00:14.

infrastructure? Send for the shade of Isambard Kingdon Brunel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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elections there. He is one of the most colourful

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

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

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We talk to Congressman Barney Frank. Obey, obey.

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

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:01:24.:01:27.

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

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

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apparently David Cameron, the achievements of the great Victorian

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engineers, achievements that transformed Britain to the leading

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

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

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talking about being part of a transforming generation himself. It

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

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from our political editor. They shrank a journey time from

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

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

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

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

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

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competitors and falling behind the great world-beating, pioneering

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

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need to repair the decades-long degradation of our national

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

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

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

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

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

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investment from private investment as those building this station Z

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We need the Government to create the conditions in which private

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investment can be leverageed to best effect, to compliment the

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meagre resources available from the public purse.

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

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

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

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welfare funds and pension funds could be levered in to improve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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you have the Government saying you have to run commercially unviable

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

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turn a profit. Some think the Prime Minister is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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are more zealous than the Prime Minister. Private investment would

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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he has just three years to engineer growth.

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

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

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entrepeneur and former Dragon, Doug Richard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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question. Government has not historically done terribly well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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vital to keep the private sector going?

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

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actually particularly ideolgical. It is really about trying to think

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Association is against this idea already.

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They are against anything that makes driving more difficult for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Victorian values? Victorian values, in infrastructure were magnificent.

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

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

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

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

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

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were wonderfully entrepreneurals, they had big ideas and built this

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big infrastructure, ultimately it proved unviable. The railways were

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

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

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

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built by the public sector, the London County Council.

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castrated local Government. Successive administrations have

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taken away power from local Government n way this Government is

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

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

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

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underwriting the private sector risk. That is completely confused.

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

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

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

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

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

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need infrastruck tue, but I profoundly disagree we need to

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

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

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

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

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

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increased broadband, for both Governments have shown an increased

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

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

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communication, we need broadband communications and decent roads,

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

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number, you have a variety of different estimates, Government

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

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

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

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

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

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achieve some of that level of penetration. That is absolutely

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

:15:06.:15:10.

should be providing these. Precisely to stimulate all the

:15:10.:15:14.

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

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

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

:15:23.:15:27.

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

:15:27.:15:32.

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

:15:32.:15:35.

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

:15:35.:15:40.

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

:15:40.:15:44.

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

:15:44.:15:47.

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

:15:47.:15:52.

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

:15:52.:15:55.

looking at regulators that pretended to regulate, and we have

:15:55.:15:59.

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

:15:59.:16:03.

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

:16:03.:16:06.

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

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

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

:16:13.:16:17.

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

:16:17.:16:21.

when it broke, Fukushima was enormously compromised. That was

:16:21.:16:25.

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

:16:25.:16:28.

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

:16:28.:16:31.

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

:16:32.:16:36.

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

:16:36.:16:38.

of money. Three children and a rabbi were

:16:38.:16:41.

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

:16:41.:16:46.

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

:16:46.:16:50.

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

:16:50.:16:54.

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

:16:55.:17:02.

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

:17:02.:17:07.

events and sympathises with the families of the victims.

:17:07.:17:15.

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

:17:15.:17:18.

frenzied work undergoing at the moment is focusing on building a

:17:18.:17:22.

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

:17:22.:17:27.

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

:17:27.:17:30.

different cameras, before he disappeared on the motorway outside

:17:30.:17:34.

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

:17:34.:17:38.

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

:17:38.:17:44.

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

:17:44.:17:48.

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

:17:48.:17:53.

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

:17:53.:17:57.

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

:17:57.:18:01.

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

:18:01.:18:05.

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

:18:05.:18:09.

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

:18:09.:18:13.

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

:18:13.:18:17.

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

:18:17.:18:20.

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

:18:20.:18:25.

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

:18:25.:18:29.

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

:18:29.:18:32.

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

:18:33.:18:37.

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

:18:37.:18:41.

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

:18:41.:18:44.

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

:18:44.:18:48.

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

:18:48.:18:52.

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

:18:52.:18:55.

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

:18:55.:19:01.

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

:19:01.:19:07.

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

:19:07.:19:14.

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

:19:14.:19:24.

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

:19:24.:19:29.

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

:19:30.:19:35.

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

:19:35.:19:38.

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

:19:38.:19:42.

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

:19:42.:19:48.

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

:19:48.:19:55.

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

:19:55.:20:00.

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

:20:00.:20:04.

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

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motivation. We know that we refuse such an act.

:20:09.:20:14.

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

:20:14.:20:19.

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

:20:19.:20:25.

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

:20:26.:20:35.

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

:20:35.:20:39.

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

:20:39.:20:42.

has been a catalyst for what has happened today.

:20:42.:20:47.

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

:20:47.:20:54.

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

:20:54.:20:59.

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

:20:59.:21:09.
:21:09.:21:12.

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

:21:12.:21:16.

This issue has been furthered almost by mainstream candidates. So

:21:16.:21:24.

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

:21:24.:21:31.

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

:21:31.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:44.

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

:21:44.:21:54.
:21:54.:21:56.

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

:21:56.:22:01.

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

:22:01.:22:05.

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

:22:05.:22:09.

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

:22:10.:22:15.

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

:22:15.:22:18.

specific allegations about immigration, about possibly

:22:19.:22:24.

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

:22:24.:22:28.

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

:22:28.:22:32.

this campaign. We ask the immigrants to really integrate and

:22:32.:22:36.

respect the French law, and especially security and tolerance.

:22:36.:22:42.

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

:22:42.:22:49.

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

:22:49.:22:55.

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

:22:55.:23:02.

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

:23:02.:23:09.

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

:23:09.:23:15.

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

:23:15.:23:19.

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

:23:19.:23:21.

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

:23:21.:23:25.

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

:23:25.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:37.

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

:23:37.:23:42.

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

:23:42.:23:49.

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

:23:49.:23:53.

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

:23:53.:23:57.

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

:23:57.:24:05.

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

:24:05.:24:08.

political movements. Political movements which are more mainstream,

:24:08.:24:16.

which makes statements. Which then legitimises certain

:24:17.:24:22.

minorities or certain groups of immigrants. In every every society

:24:22.:24:27.

you have extremists and unbalanced people. They take this

:24:27.:24:36.

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

:24:36.:24:40.

legislation a step further. This national French citizen who killed

:24:40.:24:44.

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

:24:44.:24:48.

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

:24:48.:24:57.

children. D today he killed children. --

:24:57.:25:00.

today he killed children, what unites both these communities is

:25:00.:25:05.

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

:25:05.:25:10.

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

:25:10.:25:20.
:25:20.:25:22.

I believe there has to be introspection by the body of

:25:22.:25:26.

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

:25:26.:25:31.

Toulouse. Do you accept there is a need for

:25:31.:25:40.

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

:25:40.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:50.

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

:25:50.:25:55.

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

:25:55.:26:02.

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

:26:02.:26:04.

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

:26:05.:26:10.

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

:26:10.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:19.

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

:26:19.:26:25.

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

:26:25.:26:28.

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

:26:28.:26:38.
:26:38.:26:39.

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

:26:39.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:47.

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

:26:47.:26:51.

months to go to the party conventions and the elections.

:26:51.:26:55.

One of the great characters of American politics, Congressman

:26:55.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:08.

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

:27:08.:27:11.

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

:27:11.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:24.

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

:27:24.:27:32.

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

:27:32.:27:36.

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

:27:36.:27:41.

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

:27:41.:27:45.

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

:27:45.:27:49.

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

:27:49.:27:54.

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

:27:54.:27:58.

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

:27:58.:28:03.

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

:28:03.:28:08.

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

:28:08.:28:13.

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

:28:13.:28:17.

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

:28:17.:28:21.

blistering rhetoric, never perhaps has a politician been so aptly

:28:21.:28:31.
:28:31.:28:31.

named. Been trying to have a conversation

:28:31.:28:36.

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

:28:36.:28:46.
:28:46.:28:47.

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

:28:47.:28:52.

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

:28:52.:29:01.

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

:29:01.:29:05.

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

:29:05.:29:08.

people will know Barney Frank. Though some Republicans claim it

:29:08.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:19.

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

:29:19.:29:25.

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

:29:25.:29:31.

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

:29:31.:29:35.

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

:29:35.:29:39.

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

:29:39.:29:46.

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

:29:46.:29:51.

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

:29:51.:29:55.

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

:29:55.:30:02.

politics is losing one of its more entertaining characters.

:30:02.:30:05.

Earlier I spoke to the Congressman from Washington.

:30:05.:30:09.

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

:30:09.:30:16.

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

:30:16.:30:22.

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

:30:22.:30:26.

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

:30:26.:30:33.

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

:30:33.:30:37.

something drastically negative happens, that is not foreseen now,

:30:37.:30:42.

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

:30:42.:30:47.

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

:30:47.:30:51.

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

:30:52.:30:57.

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

:30:57.:31:01.

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

:31:01.:31:05.

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

:31:05.:31:11.

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

:31:11.:31:16.

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

:31:16.:31:20.

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

:31:20.:31:26.

house of representatives where a mainstream Conservative is being

:31:26.:31:30.

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

:31:30.:31:33.

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

:31:33.:31:40.

unlike anything we have seen in America politics. Romney moves

:31:40.:31:46.

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

:31:46.:31:49.

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

:31:49.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:58.

the most active people in our political element live in parallel

:31:58.:32:00.

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

:32:00.:32:05.

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

:32:05.:32:08.

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

:32:08.:32:12.

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

:32:12.:32:17.

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

:32:17.:32:23.

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

:32:23.:32:27.

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

:32:27.:32:30.

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

:32:30.:32:35.

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

:32:35.:32:44.

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

:32:44.:32:48.

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

:32:48.:32:51.

this terrible law on the books saying even if state allows

:32:51.:32:57.

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

:32:57.:33:01.

major obstacleing in terms of denying benefits. The President

:33:01.:33:05.

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

:33:05.:33:09.

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

:33:09.:33:13.

the right direction. Electoral considerations are a factor. I

:33:13.:33:18.

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

:33:18.:33:22.

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

:33:22.:33:30.

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

:33:30.:33:39.

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

:33:40.:33:45.

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

:33:45.:33:49.

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

:33:49.:33:53.

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

:33:53.:34:03.
:34:03.:34:04.

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

:34:04.:34:08.

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

:34:08.:34:14.

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

:34:14.:34:20.

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

:34:20.:34:26.

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

:34:26.:34:30.

The most powerful, certainly the most visibly powerful job in

:34:30.:34:34.

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

:34:34.:34:38.

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

:34:38.:34:43.

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

:34:43.:34:50.

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

:34:50.:34:54.

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

:34:54.:34:58.

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

:34:58.:35:08.
:35:08.:35:10.

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

:35:10.:35:15.

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

:35:15.:35:18.

arrived as the corporation was reeling over the Hutton Report,

:35:18.:35:21.

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

:35:21.:35:27.

the Iraq war. Relations with the Tory-led

:35:27.:35:31.

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

:35:31.:35:35.

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

:35:35.:35:45.
:35:45.:35:48.

the license fee. What would Thompson and his critics

:35:48.:35:54.

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

:35:54.:35:59.

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

:35:59.:36:03.

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

:36:03.:36:07.

capital was expended over relocating staff and programmes

:36:07.:36:12.

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

:36:12.:36:18.

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

:36:18.:36:22.

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

:36:22.:36:25.

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

:36:25.:36:28.

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

:36:28.:36:37.

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

:36:37.:36:46.

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

:36:46.:36:51.

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

:36:51.:36:58.

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

:36:58.:37:02.

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

:37:02.:37:07.

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

:37:07.:37:12.

democratic significance. And that its three greatest responsibilities,

:37:12.:37:18.

is the origin nation of British programmes, investing in original

:37:18.:37:21.

British programmes, secondly, original British talent. Bringing

:37:21.:37:24.

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

:37:24.:37:28.

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

:37:28.:37:35.

information. The Voice is one of Mark Thompson's

:37:35.:37:40.

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

:37:40.:37:45.

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

:37:45.:37:55.
:37:55.:37:56.

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

:37:56.:38:00.

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

:38:00.:38:07.

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

:38:07.:38:11.

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

:38:11.:38:15.

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

:38:15.:38:20.

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

:38:20.:38:25.

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

:38:25.:38:29.

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

:38:29.:38:35.

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

:38:35.:38:41.

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

:38:41.:38:45.

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

:38:45.:38:49.

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

:38:49.:38:53.

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

:38:53.:38:57.

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

:38:57.:39:02.

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

:39:02.:39:06.

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

:39:06.:39:10.

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

:39:10.:39:15.

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

:39:15.:39:19.

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

:39:19.:39:27.

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

:39:27.:39:32.

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

:39:32.:39:39.

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

:39:39.:39:44.

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

:39:44.:39:54.
:39:54.:39:54.

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

:39:54.:39:58.

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

:39:59.:40:01.

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

:40:01.:40:04.

for the license fee, incredible value. The best broadcasting

:40:04.:40:08.

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

:40:08.:40:11.

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

:40:11.:40:15.

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

:40:15.:40:21.

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

:40:22.:40:27.

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

:40:27.:40:33.

fatastically politically correct. By this inbred, liberalism, that

:40:33.:40:37.

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

:40:37.:40:41.

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

:40:41.:40:46.

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

:40:46.:40:51.

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

:40:51.:40:55.

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

:40:55.:40:59.

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

:40:59.:41:03.

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

:41:04.:41:07.

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

:41:07.:41:12.

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

:41:12.:41:16.

broadcasters would say thank God for the BBC

:41:16.:41:20.

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

:41:20.:41:24.

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

:41:24.:41:32.

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

:41:32.:41:36.

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

:41:37.:41:41.

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

:41:41.:41:44.

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

:41:44.:41:49.

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

:41:49.:41:52.

Can you possibly survive when people are watching television in

:41:52.:41:57.

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

:41:57.:42:01.

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

:42:01.:42:06.

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

:42:06.:42:13.

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

:42:13.:42:21.

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

:42:21.:42:26.

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

:42:26.:42:30.

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

:42:30.:42:35.

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

:42:35.:42:45.

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

:42:45.:42:52.

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

:42:52.:42:57.

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

:42:57.:43:01.

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

:43:01.:43:07.

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

:43:07.:43:10.

correctly. Unless the BBC is clearly serving vast numbers of

:43:10.:43:15.

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

:43:15.:43:22.

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

:43:22.:43:26.

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

:43:27.:43:35.

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

:43:35.:43:41.

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

:43:41.:43:47.

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

:43:47.:43:52.

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

:43:52.:43:55.

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

:43:55.:44:01.

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

:44:01.:44:08.

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

:44:08.:44:13.

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

:44:13.:44:17.

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

:44:18.:44:22.

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

:44:22.:44:27.

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

:44:27.:44:33.

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

:44:33.:44:38.

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

:44:38.:44:43.

business stuff. Jo it is important to make

:44:43.:44:48.

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

:44:48.:44:53.

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

:44:53.:44:56.

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

:44:56.:45:01.

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

:45:01.:45:05.

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

:45:05.:45:09.

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

:45:09.:45:16.

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

:45:16.:45:20.

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

:45:20.:45:24.

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

:45:24.:45:29.

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

:45:29.:45:35.

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

:45:36.:45:42.

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

:45:42.:45:49.

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

:45:49.:45:55.

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

:45:55.:45:57.

for a backbench member of parliament, that is what they

:45:57.:46:02.

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

:46:02.:46:07.

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

:46:07.:46:15.

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

:46:15.:46:20.

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

:46:20.:46:25.

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

:46:25.:46:35.
:46:35.:47:10.

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

:47:10.:47:14.

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

:47:14.:47:20.

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

:47:20.:47:24.

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

:47:24.:47:29.

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

:47:29.:47:34.

across southern most counties, even here temperatures are above average

:47:34.:47:37.

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

:47:37.:47:42.

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

:47:42.:47:45.

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

:47:45.:47:51.

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

:47:51.:47:55.

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

:47:55.:47:59.

breezy. A strong wind persists across northern Scotland. The

:47:59.:48:04.

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

:48:04.:48:08.

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

:48:08.:48:12.

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

:48:12.:48:17.

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

:48:17.:48:23.

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

:48:23.:48:26.

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