23/03/2012 Newsnight


23/03/2012

News analysis with Emily Maitlis. Alcohol, health and crime figures; Obama and the killing of a black teenager; and how Toulouse has changed the French Presidential race.


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Cheap alcohol causes criminal behaviour and chronic illness,

:00:08.:00:12.

expensive alcohol causes all those things to happen too, but not to

:00:12.:00:16.

poor people. Is it fair to target the drinking habits of one section

:00:16.:00:24.

of society. The fear of a drunken underclass has played pretty well,

:00:24.:00:26.

but resisted solution. Is the Government on the wrong side of

:00:27.:00:30.

Government on the wrong side of history.

:00:30.:00:35.

The MP, Eric Joyce, is under curfew at home after being convicted of

:00:35.:00:38.

drunken assault in a Commons bar, what does he think.

:00:38.:00:44.

Is race rearing its head in the US presidential campaign. Obama sets

:00:44.:00:50.

in after Mary Trevelyan School Martin is shot dead. If I had a son

:00:50.:00:57.

he would look like Mary Trevelyan School. How will the shooting s in

:00:57.:01:03.

France affect the vote. Will the arguments over the

:01:03.:01:13.
:01:13.:01:14.

killings in Toulouse simply deepen Good evening, dizziness, blurred

:01:14.:01:19.

vision, impaired judgment, symptoms of heavy drinking, or perhaps, you

:01:19.:01:25.

could argue, of a Government trying to rush out new poll on the back of

:01:25.:01:29.

an unpopular budget. The Home Secretary made a rare

:01:29.:01:33.

Friday Commons statement to announce a minimum price on units

:01:33.:01:39.

of alcohol, he was accused of trying to take attention away from

:01:39.:01:44.

the tax on pensions. Is there any proof it will cut down

:01:44.:01:51.

"binge drinking"? It is perhaps a step or two beyond

:01:51.:01:54.

the inner city drinking the Prime Minister had in mind when he put

:01:54.:02:00.

his name to today's alcohol strategy. But Hogarth's 1751

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painting of gin crazed Londoners was brought in to support the gin

:02:06.:02:11.

Act, and it prompted riots. It is a dilemma that politicians today will

:02:11.:02:15.

recognise. Whether to impose price regimes to persuade people to

:02:15.:02:19.

change their behaviour, or whether to leave people to make their own

:02:19.:02:24.

choices. THE SPEAKER: Statement, the Home Secretary, there is

:02:24.:02:28.

Secretary May. From her statement to the House

:02:28.:02:31.

this morning, there was no doubt where the Home Secretary, Thresa

:02:31.:02:36.

May, stands on "binge drinking". will put a stop to the easy

:02:36.:02:39.

availability of cheap booze blighting Britain for too long.

:02:39.:02:45.

This is a comprehensive strategy to take back our town centres from the

:02:45.:02:49.

drunken thugs and restore them to the law-abiding majority. According

:02:49.:02:52.

to this former President of the Royal College of Physicians, the

:02:52.:02:56.

recent evidence supports her position. Canada have had some

:02:56.:03:00.

experience of a form of amendment unit pricing in some of their

:03:00.:03:04.

provinces for years for beer. It has shown an impact on consumption

:03:04.:03:08.

also on harm. There is some practical evidence from Canada. Now

:03:08.:03:13.

the evidence linking price in general to consumption and harm is

:03:13.:03:18.

overwhelming, many countries have, for example, cut the price, as they

:03:18.:03:23.

did in Finland in 2004, when taxes were slashed, there was a huge

:03:23.:03:26.

surge in consumption and health harm and mortality. So the link

:03:26.:03:31.

with price is clear, minimum unit price, there is less practical

:03:31.:03:35.

evidence for, but the modelling is very strong.

:03:35.:03:39.

But however wise he makes it sound, is it possible there was some

:03:39.:03:43.

politics at play here. Labour think so. On the timing of the

:03:43.:03:47.

Government's announcement. Over the last ten years there have been only

:03:47.:03:53.

three Government statements on a Friday. On the Iraq war, on swue,

:03:53.:04:03.
:04:03.:04:03.

and on Libya. All involving national emergencies, what is the

:04:03.:04:08.

national emergency today. What is the national emergency that means a

:04:08.:04:10.

decision was made late yesterday afternoon to brief an important and

:04:10.:04:13.

serious strategy into the newspapers that meant a decision

:04:13.:04:17.

was made this morning to interrupt the budget debate and make an oral

:04:17.:04:22.

statement, the only emergency is that the Prime Minister and the

:04:22.:04:30.

Chancellor have gone wobbley over the coverage of their budget.

:04:30.:04:33.

The evidence linking rising price and falling consumption may be

:04:33.:04:37.

stacking up. But on minimum price per unit, the experts can't look

:04:38.:04:42.

into history. They have to model how people might behave in future.

:04:42.:04:46.

Scotland has already said it will introduce a minimum unit price for

:04:46.:04:50.

alcohol. Though it may face a legal challenge on that from the drinks

:04:50.:04:55.

industry. The Scottish Government has consulted on what that price

:04:55.:04:59.

should be, and has asked the university of Sheffield to model

:04:59.:05:03.

the impact. Work from the team from January this year found that if the

:05:03.:05:10.

minimum price per unit is set at 40p, that would affect 45% of

:05:10.:05:16.

alcohol sold through off-licences and supermarkets. At 50p, 70% of

:05:16.:05:20.

the units sold would have to rise in price. We have learned that the

:05:20.:05:24.

coalition Government has now asked the same team to model the impact

:05:24.:05:28.

of different minimum prices for England and Wales. As they decide

:05:28.:05:31.

how low to go. But is this whole approach

:05:31.:05:35.

expecting too much of people. has always appealed to people in

:05:35.:05:39.

this country, largely because the weather is terrible, and life is

:05:39.:05:43.

quite tough. I think there is almost a class issue in this debate

:05:43.:05:46.

about drinking. Traditionally it has been people who have things to

:05:46.:05:49.

live for, other than drinking, who have tried to stop other people,

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who perhaps have less to live for, to stop drinking. There is an issue

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really about where pleasure comes in. If you have lots of possible

:05:57.:06:01.

sources of pleasure, you might be particularly tough on those whose

:06:01.:06:06.

pleasures are more limited. would all like as little Government

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interference in our lives as possible, we are not talking about

:06:09.:06:14.

an ordinary product like soap powder, we are talking about a drug,

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a psychoactive drug and a drug of dependance. We have legislated on

:06:19.:06:24.

seatbelts, tobacco, I think some legislation around alcohol is not

:06:24.:06:27.

just desirable, I think it is absolutely essential. In the past,

:06:27.:06:30.

those trying to curb consumption of alcohol sought religious backing

:06:30.:06:34.

for their cause, or pointed to the dangers for frackry workers. These

:06:35.:06:41.

days, for many, it is -- factory work. These days, for many, it is

:06:41.:06:46.

ill-health, that makes the case for cutting back. Will this prove any

:06:46.:06:48.

more convincing a reason to separate the British from their

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beer. We have a GP and Tory MP, not to

:06:55.:07:02.

mention a member of the Commons health select committee, an MP

:07:02.:07:07.

against minimum pricing, Eric Joyce, was forced to quit the House of

:07:07.:07:12.

Commons after a drunken punch up in the Commons. He's under house

:07:12.:07:17.

arrest at the moment. You can speak with real authority and experience

:07:17.:07:21.

about the problem of alcoholism. Bluntly, would a policy of minimum

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pricing have made a difference to you? No, of course not. With the

:07:26.:07:29.

experience of my own sins, if you like, the fact is middle-class

:07:29.:07:33.

people, and I guess I have to accept that I am one, will be

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entirely unaffected by this. This is a policy entirely directed at

:07:36.:07:41.

the least well off. That is why I think it is entirely unacceptable.

:07:41.:07:47.

But you have seen the way it can derail careers, and throw people

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off balance. The laws of economics suggest that at some stage, that

:07:51.:07:55.

the less able you are to afford that, the less it is going to hurt

:07:55.:08:01.

you, surely? It won't affect professional people, a change in

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the minimum unit price, won't affect professional people, it

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won't affect people on reasonable wages, it won't affect pub or club

:08:09.:08:14.

prices, it ont even affect, if I may say, prices in the House of

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Commons. It will only affect people who buy and consume primarily in

:08:19.:08:23.

supermarkets and buy the cheaper end stuff. It seems to locate the

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entire problem with drinking and anti-social behaviour with the

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least well off. I think it is abomb mid-able. Is it political? It is

:08:33.:08:36.

middle-class people saying we can do one thing, and all the less well

:08:36.:08:41.

off people we will blame them for all the ills of society, and locate

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the whole problem with the least well off, and punish the least well

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off. This has no impact on most people. It has no impact on people

:08:50.:08:54.

like me, and on my own behaviour it had no impact. Would you concede it

:08:54.:09:00.

is more often a problem for poorer people, who are less able to get to

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grips with "binge drinking"? not sure I would concede that. I

:09:04.:09:08.

have suspect and I have heard good evidence to say that there are many

:09:08.:09:11.

middle-class people seeking help and assistance for their own

:09:11.:09:15.

overconsumption of alcohol, and other drugs, and so forth. I'm not

:09:15.:09:19.

sure there is strong evidence of that. If we are beginning now to

:09:19.:09:23.

rely on provincial studies done in Canada as one example, which is

:09:23.:09:26.

what we seem to be hearing about, I think it is probably rather early

:09:26.:09:31.

to say what the outcome in terms of people's behaviour might be. Sill

:09:31.:09:38.

sofically, any policy -- philosophically, any policy that

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concerns themselves with the less well off while the better well off

:09:42.:09:47.

can crack on and do what they want. If we follow the Scandinavian model

:09:47.:09:52.

and raise the alcohol for rich and poor, across a range of alcohol,

:09:52.:09:56.

would you say that is something that should happen? I think what

:09:56.:09:58.

happens in Scandinavia, is that there is a much higher level of

:09:59.:10:03.

duty, it is more expensive, people consume much more at home. There is

:10:03.:10:08.

more home brew, and home distilllation in Scandinavia, how

:10:08.:10:11.

they socialise and behave is different. In the end there is a

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big difference between applying a higher level of duty, which is one

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argument, when you can put the benefits back into health and

:10:18.:10:23.

education, and simply requiring the shops to make a higher profit, that

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seems to me to have no, as it were, public merit, at all. You have

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heard the charges levelled at your Government, it is abominable, it is

:10:34.:10:38.

aimed at a tax put on the poor? completely disagree. This alcohol

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strategy is not just about pricing, it is about pricing, availability,

:10:42.:10:46.

marketing, it is about early intervention. It is also about

:10:46.:10:52.

actually mandating sobriety, and offering treatment. That may be a

:10:52.:10:56.

treatment that works better for Eric Joyce. But for young binge

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drinkers, we know they are sensitive to price. As long as you

:10:59.:11:06.

can get drunk for 68p as a young person, will undermine all other

:11:06.:11:09.

measures. It is not just about pricing but a whole package of

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measures, this is a fantastic strategy. The controversial one is

:11:11.:11:15.

about the minimum pricing, the Tories simply don't like it when we

:11:15.:11:23.

raise the bulling done club, that is now many in the -- Bulling don

:11:23.:11:27.

Club, but that is how many will see it, that it is OK to be drunk if

:11:27.:11:33.

you are wearing a white tie and so on? It is about taking away the

:11:33.:11:37.

ultra cheap alcohol. It won't make the pub prices more expensive at

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all. That is where it happens? It is the pub brawls. That is exactly

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the point. I disagree. What very often happens is people will

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preload on ultra cheap alcohol, the clubs and pubs sometimes get the

:11:51.:11:55.

blame, when people are already almost drunk by the time they get

:11:55.:12:00.

there. Is there anyone suggesting that is true? We know people

:12:00.:12:04.

preload. This free loading argument -- preloading argument, it has been

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put up recently so you can see the coherence of what Sarah has just

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said. Unless you introduce the preloading argument before people

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go out, it doesn't make sense to see violence in public situations

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as a consequence of cheap alcohol, because the unit alcohol is more

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expensive. What Sarah has said about preloading there is no

:12:24.:12:29.

evidence to show or research on that. 70% of people preload before

:12:29.:12:35.

going out on a night to the pub? know that as a consequence of that,

:12:35.:12:45.
:12:45.:12:51.

up to 78% of A&E admittance after 12.00 is to do with alcohol. That

:12:51.:12:54.

could be to do with alcoholic parents with wine, it targets the

:12:54.:12:58.

poor? It doesn't target the poor. We know that the heaviest drinkers

:12:59.:13:04.

pay, on average, 40% less per unit for their alcohol. Of course, no-

:13:04.:13:07.

one is going to pretend that very wealthy people are going to be

:13:07.:13:12.

affected by minimum pricing. Just explain to us the timing, this was

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your own question a few months ago. Chloe Smith three months ago said

:13:18.:13:23.

would be against EU law. Three months later on the back of the

:13:23.:13:26.

budget, it is not against EU law? What is changing is the

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commissioners have made it clear, where this is a proportionate

:13:29.:13:32.

measure, that will address an urgent pressing health need, it

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would be acceptable. I'm really encouraged. I think we could just

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continue to stick our heads in the sand, as the Labour administration

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did, and cosy up to the drinks industry, or we can say we take a

:13:43.:13:49.

package of measures. This isn't just about pricing, this is about

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availability, giving communities powers to address problem premises,

:13:52.:13:58.

it is looking at how we make sure people stay sober but offer them

:13:58.:14:01.

treatment. It is an exciting range of policies. When you hear the

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Government talking now about the sense of responsibility to people,

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I'm wondering on a very personal level, whether you regret the first

:14:10.:14:20.

drink you had? The fact is, I'm responsible for my own behaviour.

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As everyone, you give education and advice, they make their own call,

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if they choose to smoke or drink alcohol that is their call. The

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worry I have about the Government's position now, and Sarah, who I

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absolutely accept she has the right intentions. The worry is, it looks

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like the Government wants to take the right of making personal

:14:41.:14:45.

decisions away from people. That is wrong. Do you think your own

:14:45.:14:49.

problem is more in control as a result of whatever steps you have

:14:49.:14:54.

taken since the punch-up. It is your choice, you said it is your

:14:54.:14:58.

choice to do what you want. There qums a point for many people that -

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- comes a point for many people that you don't have that choice at

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all. Are you still in control of your own choices? Yeah, I think so.

:15:09.:15:12.

Something cataclysmic happens when you have a bunch of personal

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decisions to make, I have too. I think as far as generalising out to

:15:16.:15:21.

public policy, it really is a business of Government to give

:15:21.:15:24.

people advice, help and assistance, but not to say to them we will make

:15:24.:15:28.

the a decision for the least well off, you may no longer do this. We

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will put it out of your ability to afford, that seems amoral if not

:15:33.:15:39.

immoral. My son would Someone Like You Mary

:15:39.:15:47.

Trevelyan School, a powerful, personal -- my son would like --

:15:47.:15:54.

look like Mary Trevelyan School. He said the shooting of Mary Trevelyan

:15:55.:15:58.

School Martin, shot by a local watchman, should prompt national

:15:58.:16:03.

soul searching. Was he right to get involved in a case that was is

:16:03.:16:08.

becoming a passionate debate about race in America. The death of Mary

:16:08.:16:13.

Trevelyan School Martin, gunned down by a neighbourhood watchman,

:16:13.:16:19.

who wasn't prosecuted as he claimed self-defence, has sparked outrage

:16:19.:16:24.

across America. Rallies have been held across America to shout for

:16:24.:16:29.

justice. In Florida, a law known as Stand Your Ground, can prevent a

:16:30.:16:33.

criminal prosecution when deadly force is used in self-defence.

:16:33.:16:37.

There have been mounting calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman,

:16:37.:16:42.

who opened fire on the teenager in a quiet Orlando suburb. For weeks

:16:42.:16:46.

the US President remained silent on the subject, to the frustration of

:16:46.:16:50.

many. When his words finally came today, they were powerful,

:16:50.:16:55.

condemnry, and invoked his own black family. My main message is to

:16:55.:17:05.
:17:05.:17:07.

the parents of treftrf Martin. -- Mary Trevelyan School Martin, if I

:17:07.:17:12.

had a son he would look like Mary Trevelyan School Martin. Was he

:17:12.:17:16.

right to get involved in an argument where these sensabilities

:17:16.:17:20.

are highly felt. Was President Obama's timing right, was the

:17:20.:17:30.
:17:30.:17:32.

intervention unsense ry, we have a TV host commentator, and other

:17:32.:17:38.

other guest. It is good to be able to speak to you. Armstrong Williams,

:17:38.:17:43.

when you look at the facts of the case, a young man going to visit

:17:43.:17:47.

his father in a gated compound, unarmed, carrying a drink, shot

:17:47.:17:52.

dead, and a guard not even charged or followed up for this? It is

:17:52.:17:59.

obvious that the Sanford Florida Police officials did not stand up

:17:59.:18:06.

to their responsibilities. There is no way, even with the Stand Grour

:18:06.:18:12.

Your Ground law in Florida -- Stand Your Ground law in Florida, a court

:18:12.:18:17.

must decide if you have actually killed inself defence, just to

:18:17.:18:20.

believe George Zimmerman to say how he was able to receive the injuries

:18:20.:18:23.

and how it happened, and for the police to believe him and not

:18:23.:18:25.

question whether he was lying or not. And for Mary Trevelyan

:18:25.:18:30.

School's body to lie in a morgue for -- Mary Trevelyan School's body

:18:31.:18:36.

to lie in a morgue for three days, that is a travesty of justice. When

:18:36.:18:39.

you speak about the President it is another issue, when the President

:18:39.:18:43.

says this could have been my son. It could also have been his son

:18:43.:18:47.

when you have the thousands and thousands of young blacks every day

:18:47.:18:50.

every week, and the statistics are growing in the inner cities in the

:18:50.:18:54.

United States. Either one of those cases he could speak out on, or he

:18:54.:18:57.

could have spoken out when those rare cases where black kids killed

:18:57.:19:03.

white kids, a part of his humanity is diminished. For the President,

:19:03.:19:06.

that is why he has an Attorney- General, I can understand why he

:19:06.:19:09.

spoke up. It would have been my preference for the President to

:19:09.:19:12.

discipline himself and not to come in on this case. He was wrong to

:19:12.:19:16.

take the lead on this one, to speak out. He could have left this to his

:19:16.:19:22.

Department of Justice. Why does he have to vofl himself with something

:19:22.:19:26.

like -- volume himself, with -- involve himself with something like

:19:26.:19:30.

this, when it is going to involve an issue of race? First of all, I

:19:30.:19:35.

think the President has spoken on all of those occasions, he has been

:19:35.:19:40.

very vocal about his positions on how the black community is lacking

:19:40.:19:46.

in education, and the young people are dropping out. He is up front

:19:46.:19:52.

about that. He has been condemned about it a few times as well. I

:19:52.:19:55.

think it was very important for him to actually speak up on this, first

:19:55.:19:59.

of all, he was asked a question by a reporter, secondly, at this point,

:19:59.:20:04.

this has become a national issue, and if he wants to be evasive about

:20:04.:20:09.

this, especially now that the Justice Department is involved in

:20:09.:20:11.

the investigation, would be completely irresponsible of him. I

:20:11.:20:15.

think the way he approached it was perfectly fine. He made it very

:20:16.:20:22.

personal, he spoke about it as a father, he spoke about it from a

:20:22.:20:24.

perspective of not just a President, but for somebody who actually cares

:20:25.:20:28.

about the community at large. I don't think he made it a race issue

:20:28.:20:37.

in the end. I think it would be disengineous for anyone to say he

:20:37.:20:43.

did so. -- Disingenious for anyone to say he did so. It is not a race

:20:43.:20:47.

issue? When the civil rights movement only protest and march

:20:47.:20:52.

when a young black, that has been killed by somebody who is white, or

:20:52.:20:55.

Latino, when they don't ever protest when it is the other way

:20:55.:20:59.

round, how can you not say race is not involved. It is not just the

:20:59.:21:02.

President. You know, I admire the President for speaking out, I can

:21:02.:21:07.

understand him speaking out as the CEO of our country, but still,

:21:07.:21:13.

these are issues that happen every day. And I would challenge the

:21:13.:21:17.

commentator to name one case, like this, where it is not a high-

:21:17.:21:20.

profile case and there is not a lot of pressure, where the President

:21:21.:21:24.

has spoken out. I'm saying the President must protect his

:21:24.:21:27.

integrity and the voice he has as a voice of reason, as a voice of

:21:27.:21:31.

fairness. This is not a race issue, this is a human tragedy, but many

:21:31.:21:36.

people will say privately that he spoke out because of the hue of his

:21:36.:21:43.

skin. I would hate for them to think so. This is a strategy, but

:21:43.:21:45.

his Attorney-General, and his wife Michelle Obama could have stepped

:21:45.:21:50.

out and spoken to the nation about this tragedy, and immore the

:21:50.:21:55.

American people to do better. We -- implore the American people to do

:21:55.:22:01.

better. We cannot tolerate these kinds of incidents anywhere. Do you

:22:01.:22:05.

think something has changed today, do you think he has gone from being

:22:05.:22:08.

an American President to a black American President? Of course not.

:22:08.:22:12.

That would be just an absurd thing to say. I would ask the commentator

:22:12.:22:16.

on the other end exact low the same question, that he has not --

:22:16.:22:20.

exactly the same question, he has not talked about a single issue

:22:20.:22:24.

where somebody was murdered in this fashion, of any colour, and the

:22:24.:22:28.

police department refused to file or even arrest that person, before

:22:28.:22:32.

they start to lay blame and talk about Mary Trevelyan School

:22:32.:22:39.

Martin's tragedy as something so specifically racial, I want them

:22:39.:22:48.

Mary Trevelyan School -- I want them to about the law and how that

:22:48.:22:52.

came about, the President was extremely restrained, it was the

:22:52.:22:56.

right time to speak about it, if not the same gentleman criticising

:22:56.:23:01.

him today would say he's not saying anything about it. The President

:23:01.:23:04.

doesn't have to make a statement about everything, that is not his

:23:04.:23:08.

job, but now the Justice Department is involved, he waited until the

:23:08.:23:12.

state of Florida refused to do the right thing, that includes the

:23:12.:23:19.

state office. That is when he got involved. Another country where

:23:19.:23:22.

race may play big in elections around the corner is France, after

:23:22.:23:26.

the shooting of three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children, by

:23:26.:23:29.

a militant Islamist, the President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy,

:23:29.:23:35.

has appealed for unity. The country has a new far right candidate,

:23:35.:23:39.

Jean-Marie Le Pen n a country where the National Front has

:23:39.:23:46.

traditionally done well. How might this play out politically.

:23:46.:23:51.

The names of the three children and four adult, shot dead by a single

:23:51.:23:58.

killer, rang out in Toulouse's main square today.

:23:58.:24:02.

This simple ceremony, a way for the people of the city to show they are

:24:02.:24:12.

standing together against the hatred behind the murders.

:24:12.:24:15.

TRANSLATION: These events don't raise any question about diversity

:24:15.:24:19.

in France. People will now realise that stigmatising a religion, can

:24:19.:24:25.

only lead to something terrible. The tragedy has led, inevitably,

:24:25.:24:28.

for demands for greater security. But the socialist politicians who

:24:28.:24:36.

run the region, whose national leader, Francois Allende, is a

:24:36.:24:41.

front runner in the French presidential election, are keen to

:24:41.:24:46.

play it down. TRANSLATION: There is no doubt these events add a

:24:46.:24:50.

dramatic addition to the presidential campaign, we must

:24:50.:24:54.

remain calm and not allow them to become too important. In the face

:24:54.:24:57.

of the tragic events of the last few week, all mainstream

:24:57.:25:00.

politicians are calling for university. That is what the people

:25:00.:25:03.

on the square want. The problem is, particularly during an election

:25:03.:25:08.

campaign, everyone knows there is also an undercurrent of concern

:25:08.:25:13.

about immigration, and too much diversity that can't be ignored.

:25:13.:25:17.

The prevalence of halal meat in some areas of France, including

:25:17.:25:21.

this Muslim district of Toulouse, became an issue at the beginning of

:25:21.:25:24.

the campaign. The Islamic method of slaughter was questioned not only

:25:24.:25:29.

by the far right National Front, but also by politicians of

:25:29.:25:33.

President Sarkozy's centre right party. To the bemusement of many

:25:33.:25:41.

people here. TRANSLATION: We grew up with halal meat, we can't change,

:25:41.:25:45.

I don't know why halal meat has got mixed up in politics. They are like

:25:45.:25:51.

little boys in the Government, they obvious low don't feel very well.

:25:51.:25:55.

Now, in the -- obviously don't feel very well. Now in the wake of the

:25:55.:25:59.

killings, the line from Sarkozy supporters is slightly different,

:25:59.:26:04.

not against diversity, but against extremism.

:26:04.:26:07.

TRANSLATION: Immigration in France is nothing new. But we have a much

:26:08.:26:13.

more serious problem now, it is a problem of radical, fundamental

:26:13.:26:17.

Islam, which is shaking the foundations of the Republic.

:26:17.:26:20.

But the National Front doesn't hesitate to put the two issues

:26:20.:26:24.

together. TRANSLATION: I think there is a

:26:25.:26:28.

link between security and immigration. There are homes and

:26:28.:26:34.

suburbs where young men may explode in violence. There are networks.

:26:35.:26:38.

The question for an editor on the leading regional newspaper, will

:26:38.:26:44.

the killings force Nicolas Sarkozy to turn back to this issue? He will

:26:44.:26:48.

be compelled to talk about immigration, because public opinion

:26:48.:26:55.

wants a real debate on that, because they are very -- they see

:26:56.:27:02.

that some process of French integration had failed. I think

:27:02.:27:09.

French people want to have a debate, but a real balanced debate. Nicolas

:27:10.:27:14.

Sarkozy has eaten into the lead since January, when the challenger

:27:14.:27:21.

typically led by 57% to 43% in the second round of voting. That gap is

:27:21.:27:28.

down to 46%. Crucial will be how National Front supporters vote in

:27:28.:27:34.

the second round. Current low, 50% of them will vote Sarkozy, to just

:27:34.:27:43.

11% for Hollande. 39% are undecided, enough to tip the election. Tragedy

:27:43.:27:49.

could have mobilised all these electors of the National Front, and

:27:49.:27:56.

maybe they will have a natural leaning towards the French

:27:56.:28:02.

President, Nicolas Sarkozy, because he summerises, and embodies all the

:28:02.:28:09.

notions of security and the country needing a leader in these kinds of

:28:09.:28:12.

situations. But appearing to benefit from a

:28:12.:28:17.

tragedy is something no mainstream politician in France wants to do.

:28:17.:28:21.

In racing the issues of security, and inter-- in raising the issues

:28:21.:28:25.

of security and integration in the coming weeks, President Sarkozy

:28:25.:28:29.

will have to tread a very fine line, to avoid alienating as many voters

:28:29.:28:32.

as he may attract. Last night here on Newsnight we

:28:32.:28:36.

broke the news from a leaked report, that the welfare-to-work company,

:28:36.:28:40.

A4e, had paid back thousands of pounds to the Government after

:28:40.:28:46.

uncovering thousands of fraudulent claims. Tonight more details.

:28:46.:28:50.

The report we broke last night did reveal, across the country,

:28:50.:28:55.

evidence of fraud, irregularity, and risky claims by A4e. So much so

:28:55.:29:00.

that they could only be sure of 70% of cases, that they had claimed for

:29:00.:29:05.

the right amount of money, if they should have claimed for any. Today

:29:05.:29:10.

what we have moved this on to is this, the DWP, the relevant

:29:10.:29:12.

Government department, is now certain it never received the

:29:12.:29:19.

report. We know at the time they were told

:29:19.:29:22.

no serious issues were raised. Why it is important, is the DWP only

:29:22.:29:28.

got it yesterday, but weeks ago it asked for all relevant information,

:29:28.:29:33.

why didn't it get it. More interestingly, pouring through the

:29:33.:29:36.

parliamentary records, we noticed this audit, subject to the report,

:29:36.:29:41.

was made public in October 2009. A4e said we are doing this, looking

:29:41.:29:47.

at the work of the top 20 people, ready by October 2009. What did the

:29:47.:29:51.

DWP get, what did they get if they didn't get this, what did they do

:29:51.:29:56.

about it? We asked the Government to provide us what they actually

:29:56.:30:01.

got. Surprise, surprise, they have said no. But the whole future of

:30:01.:30:07.

A4e depends on what they actually submitted in October 2009.

:30:07.:30:12.

Coming up in a moment, we're in Glasgow with tonight's review show.

:30:12.:30:16.

We have got lots of new offerings from several literary heavyweights,

:30:16.:30:21.

we go back to Treasure Island with Andrew Motion. Recreate a silver

:30:21.:30:26.

swan with Peter Carey, go wild with Ben Okri, and discover the The Man

:30:26.:30:32.

Emily Maitlis presents in-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, including alcohol, health and crime figures; Obama and the killing of a black teenager; and how Toulouse has changed the French Presidential race.


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