28/03/2012 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.

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Want your car's fuel tank topped up, brought in some emergency supplies?


We have, it is not what you expect to be told by a Government that


says there is no need to panic. How likely are fuel tanker drivers to


strike, and what is the sensible citizen to do? The greater the


extent to which people have fuel in their vehicles, with maybe a little


bit in the garage as well, in ag erry can, the longer we will be


able to keep things go. Have the transport minister and Labour's


Treasury spokesman filled up today. Discover the Ed Balls diet.


there, can we get eight sausage rolls, please? An entirely


spontaneous by Labour Party big wigs, to the pie shop. What does


pastygate tell us about the state of British politics. And this is


what the European authorities think work ought to look like, even some


Lib Dem ministers say the latest orders about working hours are


barmy. Germany marches to a different beat


these days, how does the most powerful nation in Europe feel


about the role of leader? Especially in light of its troubled


modern history. If I talk to my own father, he says we really have to


protect with, you know it is our responsibility, the European idea.


But if I speak to my younger cousin, she's 20, she's like, let them go,


it is too much money. Faced with what might turn out to


be a national emergency, Governments usually try to pour oil


on troubled waters. Don't panic, is the general advice, yet today,


couldn't fronted with a possible strike by oil tanker drivers, that


hasn't even been called yet, ministers seemed to say rather the


reverse, and by advising people to keep petrol ing erry cans in


garages, they brought down the wrath of the health and safety


business. I have family at home, two children


I never see because I'm away from home Monday to Friday. Only home at


weekends. I have a 16-year-old daughter, so I have not really seen


her growing up. I have always been on the road. Working.


David McCamon is a licensed oil tanker driver, his job is to


collect polluted run-off from garage forecourts, and take it away


for safe disposal. From his cab he has a clear view of an industry,


which he says, has changed for the worse.


It is hard to put a finger on it, really. Standards are slipping,


because everybody is out to make money. The quicker things get done,


the more money people are making. With things like that, it is more


safety than anything else, it should be adhered to. You think


drivers should be treated differently? Yes, treated better,


any way. Because it is the bottom of the


pile, that is the ones delivering all the fuel.


The dispute is not about pay, according to Unite, whose members


supply fuel to 90% of the UK's forecourts, 2,000 of them voted to


demand improved conditions, by highlighting poor training as an


issue, they are turning the focus on to safety, which, like the


supply of fuel, affects everyone. The drivers say it is all about


standards and safety and the way a growing number of them are being


employed is putting that at risk. They say it matters, not least


because as one of them put it to me, they are driving around in the


equivalent of a great big bomb. They are not alone in using


language that adds to a sense of looming crisis.


The Cabinet Office Minister's advice was to store fuel at home in


your garage. If you have got one, otherwise, presumptionably, get on


your bike. -- presumably, get on your bike.


This Government wants to avoid the travailing of Tony Blair's, when


blockades saw panic buying and disruption around the country. As


part of contingency plans agreed by ministers this afternoon, military


drivers are to be trained to keep supplies running. David Cameron


again told motorists to top up, but in an orderly fashion. There is no


need to queue to buy petrol. Of course people should take sensible


precautions, if there is an opportunity to top up your tank, if


a strike is potentially on the way, it is a sensible thing if you are


able to do that. If a strike goes ahead, there will


be seven days notice. But, on the forecourts, demand has been going


Figures suggest 45% more unleaded has been sold than usual, while


sales of diesel are up by 20%. It is not a comfortable time for


Labour, either. As its leader refused to condemn strike action,


called for afterall by Unite, his party's most generous donor.


don't want to see industrial action, it must be avoided at all costs,


the best way to make that happen is for the Government to tell both


sides to instruct them, to say you have to negotiate. That is what's


in the interests of the people of Britain, and that's what has to


happen. ACAS will now try to mediate


between the union and the seven haulage companies involved in the


dispute. Unite says the outsourcing of fuel distribution to smaller


companies has casualised the labour force, they are calling for


nationally agreed standards, pointing to a study which shows


Britain is falling behind. I think inevitably when there is quite big


changes in contract relations, and an awful lot of sub-contracting,


and complexties in that regard, then that produces safety in health


and safety risks and dangers to training. So have members of unite


got it right, then, they say the public are at risk? Well, certainly.


Particularly in terms of health and safety standards, but I should also


add that training in the industry any way could be much improved. It


relies an awful lot on long-term experience of the drivers


themselves. The training is very much poorer than that in other


European countries, particularly countries like Germany. Talks will


begin to keep Britain driving over the Easter break and beyond.


Whatever happens, the Government must prepare for the worst. And


despite being told not to panic, the concern is that motorists might


do the same. Upsetting supply as effectively as any strike.


Labour's Treasury spokesman, Chris Leslie is here. First let's talk to


the minister for roads, Mike Penning. First off, are people


supposed to have petrol in cans in garages they may or may not have?


No, because you can't store that amount of petrol or diesel. It was


a mistake the minister, he didn't understand the size of the can. We


are trying to get a common sense approach, if the strike goes ahead


we will have shortages, let as make sure people understand that. Right


now there isn't a strike? No there isn't, but the strike is likely to


happen. It is common sense that if there is likely to be a strike,


don't queue in the garage, but if you are passing the garage and you


are on a quarter of a tank, top up because there is not a strike now.


We will have seven days notice? Seven days is not enough to make


sure we have the facilities and amount of fuel we needing to


forward. It is a simple common sense approach. If the tarpbger


drivers are working now and we can fill tanks up in cars now, that is


a sensible way to go forward. Let's hope there isn't a strike. Why did


Francis Maude say what he said? was all fine but not about the


Gerry can. Did you know about it? Did you know what it was. Five


gallons in old money? He was saying don't panic, don't queue, be


prepared. The problem is you have created the panic, 45% increase in


petrol sales last night apparently. Where is the panic. I have been to


five petrol stations, including the one right outside the studios, one


person was filling up there, where is the panic. Have petrol sales


gone up 45%? Because we have asked people to take the common sense


approach, if you haven't a full tank top up. If the strike goes


ahead, use your fuel. If it does there won't be such a demand. One


car filled up outside the studios, I sat there for 15 minutes.


sample? I went to five. And all functioning? Absolutely. And they


were refuelled straight afterwards, during the night mostly. That is


the point we are making, they can be refuelled now because the tanker


drivers are not on strike. Key to this is no-strike. If they strike


the country will have a problem. Let's be prepared, in case it


happens. Shortage where it occurs is a consequence of the advice


given by your Government? shortage will be if tanker drivers


go on strike over pay, because suddenly this health and safety


thing has suddenly come up in the last few days. They are not


striking about pay? They balloted to strike about pay and conditions.


They balloted to strike possibly about a multiplicity of things,


some of which are opaque and some of which are not? Unite have not


been banging on my daughter door to talk about the -- door to talk


about the health and safety concerns they have. I have spoken


to them in the last month. You have had no expression of concerns about


safety? No, and I'm responsible for the tanker drivers' safety. In the


whole time you have been in office? They have been there on other


issues, but not this. The Labour Treasury spokesman is


here. Do you support Unite in this


campaign? Obviously there is a grievance between the employees and


the employers, and they have been trying to discuss it with each


other. I don't think we were in the situation of imminent strike, but


obviously it is a serious sensitive set of negotiations. My anxiety is


that we avoid a strike, I don't want us to get into stoking it up.


Do you support them in their anxiety? I think they have


obviously got concerns for health and safety reasons. But I'm not.


you support them? It is not a Labour Party issue, this is an


issue between employees and employers, in a particular sector.


Do you think they should call off the strike threat? I think there is


obviously the specter of that. I think the key thing is...You


stating the blindingly obvious, I'm asking you what you think, do you


think they should call off the strike? I think they should get


around the table, set a date for ACAS, and solve it rationally. We


don't need ministers stoking up the particular issue, as they did this


morning. Stop changing the subject, I'm interested in what your party


thinks about a strike threatened by people who basically pay for your


party's existence? I don't think this is about party political


funding. I think this is about whether there is a dispute that


will escalate. Of every �10 the Labour Party receives, �4.20 comes


from Unite. You don't think it has anything to do with it? Today is a


crisis caused because ministers were telling people to fill theirg


errycans, I think it was a serious error, with the greatest of respect


to Mike, it should have been Francis Maude here this evening


explaining publicly why he made that error. Apparent low he's now


said that it was a mistake. I haven't heard him say that. I'm not


sure if the public have as well. Naturally they heard a minister


telling them fill yourg errycan and they went dout and did that. And


there is all sorts -- a cans, and they went out and did that. There


is a strike imminent in the process. We need to avoid a strike so get


them all around the table. don't think the strike threat


should be called off? Of course I. Do it is for both sides of the


parties to get it done. Are you aware of the safety concerns the


tanker drivers have? This is not something we have been discussing,


it is a dispute between a set of employees and employers, they have


a disagreement, they need to sort it out. There might be a set of


issues, they are driving around �40,000 worth of fuel in tanker.


There could be serious risks, I want them to sort it out. We don't


want a strike that will cause harm to the economy or the wider public.


The minister himself tonight has not been on the airwaves saying why


he made the mistake and the bungle he did, this is a serious situation


caused by his own mistakes, he should have been on here


apologising for that. Meanwhile, pastygate continues to


take its toll, last night the CEO of Greggs, the bakers, was here


accusing George Osborne of being out-of-touch, because of his


decision to levy VAT on things like pies and sausage rolls. The row


dragged on to the Prime Minister today. He claimed to love Cornish


pasties, and claimed to eat one several months ago. The national


afederation of fish friars, who pay VAT, stuck in and supported the


Prime Minister. Ed Milliband and his top team stunted up a visit to


grex, and there is growing disquiet in the Conservative Party is it


makes them look like people at sea when asked to eat something other


than game pie and oysters. I love pasties, I bought one in Leeds


station at the time. Since then there has been some


confusion over the Prime Minister's comments. We asked BBC's Look North,


to investigate. It turns out that well known man of


the people, our Prime Minister, likes a Cornish pastie, he says the


last one he had, he got here in Leeds Station, from the West


Cornwall Pastie Station, there is a problem with the story, there


hasn't been a shop here for five years. Do you know where we could


buy a Cornish pastie? Greggs. there one in the station? I don't


eat them. Do you know where you can get a Cornish pastie from? There


should be one here. We are trying to find out where to get a Cornish


pasty in the -- pastie in the station? I do believe it is closed


down now in the station. With us to help delve into the


political meaning of a hot or cold pastie is Labour's John Mann, and


the Conservative, Nadhim Zahawi. Can you help us any further on the


precise location of the Prime Minister's last pastie purchase?


Jeremy, as busy as the Prime Minister is, being whisked around


the country. You will forget which platform. Do you think he paid for


it? I don't know. I can remember the last time I bought a pasty, it


was in Cornwall, last summer, I last went into a grexr Greggs last


Saturday? Good for you for rembering t I bet you are not as


busy as the Prime Minister. It is perfectly understandable he


doesn't know where he bought the last one, I suggest he was making


it up? I don't think he was making it up. If you are as busy as he is,


being whisked around the country, you have a pasty, you wouldn't


remember which station you have it in, at the time of the day.


Somewhere up north, they are all the same aren't they? That is not


true. At the end of the day, I have to tell you, my local fish and chip


shop is pleased that there will be a level playing field. They have to


pay VAT on their product, why shouldn't Greggs pay VAT on a hot


product. What is the deeper significance of pastygate? I think


the big significance is that it was predictable. I knew what the


reaction would be before I asked the question. I'm amazed. You are


the famous person who asked George Osborne when he last had a Greggs


pasty, that was yesterday? suspected he wouldn't know, because


he hadn't done. Why does it matter? Why it matters is not whether


George Osborne eats Greggs pasties or not, but it shows how out-of-


touch the top of the Conservative Party is in not realised how


vulnerable they would be on this issue. And not least because, of


course, they don't have a coherent policy. You can't put VAT on


pasties in this way. You support VAT on bacon butties, though, don't


you? I support common sense. The reason, seven Chancellors haven't


done this. From a common sense point of view, can you tell me why


you support VAT on chicken wings, hamburgers, bacon butties, but not


on Cornish pasties? Because with pasties and other pasties, cold


foods aren't VATable. Hot foods are, but pasties, when heated cool down.


That is the problem. That is why there hasn't been VAT on them in


the past. Because what is the temperature, in what conditions. It


can't be done. That is what's been proven in the past. That is why it


is extraordinary it has been done this time. You think what this is


really about, is class, don't you? It is that they don't get it, how


the majority of the British people live. I think that's a fundamental


weakness. They don't seem to realise that they don't get it.


Which is an even bigger weakness. You see, when you look at this, you


put it in the context of the Prime Minister that goes out riding


horses with Charley Brooks and his wife, and has dinner for people for


�250,000 in his little flat in Downing Street, it looks terrible?


What John would love it to be is a class war thing. It isn't a class


war thing. I can tell you why. My local franchisee of Subway, when he


toasts a sandwich he has to pay VAT on it, because it is above ambient


temperature. They have made the argument to HMRC and lost them in


the courts. The idea here is that we try to close some of these


loopholes, because actually it makes a difference, at the time of


the day, so we have a fair playing field. Greggs, the CEO yesterday,


they are a big company, they can afford to come on your show and


have big lobbyists working for them. The little chippy in Stratford, or


the franchisee of a Subway, doesn't have the same ability. The idea


that we are doing this because of class is nonsense. Don't you read


the papers, this is on front page after front page after front page?


Because it suits the agenda. What is the agenda? Horses, �250,000


dinners, these must be a bunch of toffs, it is not true. It is about


the small businessman having a level playing field with the big


guy, the supermarkets having to charge no VAT on a hot chicken


versus the chippy in my constituency who has to charge VAT.


That is the agenda. It is about fairness, not about class warfare.


John would love it to be about that, but the millionaire Ed Milliband


walked into Greggs for a photo shoot. Just before today when was


Ed Milliband last in a Greggs? haven't a clue. Do you think he has


ever been in one? What is significant is having this


reputation already for being a bunch of outof touch -- out-off-


touch toffs, they reinforce it by picking on Greggs, pasties and


caravans. That is really significant, the people who are the


biggest users of Greggs, are the very people whose standard of


living is going down at the moment, who are suffering. This idea we are


all in it together, picking on them at this time, is particularly


stupid politically. That is the big significance. That the


miscalculations, it was so predictable this was going to end


up like it did. When you put it in the context of these remarks about


people. Francis Maude didn't advise people to go and get their


chauffeurs to fill up their ka, when he talks about g errycans in


people's garage, and thinking that people know what the can is, and


has a garage, it shows they are out-of-touch? He made a mistake,


and I don't disagree that one should go careful in the language


one uses about these things, actually it is unfair to start


painting it as being a class war. I know where John wants to go with


this, because he's comfortable with it. His problem is the millionaire


Ed Milliband is the exact opposite of who John is trying to paint. The


photo shoot will be seen through as opportunism of the worst kinds. To


stand in front of Greggs and do a photo shoot when you are a multi-


millionaire from London. Multi- millionaires are allowed to go to


Greggs? The opportunism of it, getting on the bandwagon and doing


it for the day because you had the CEO of Greggs here. I lout we all


loved a pasty, it seems one or two don't. That is the Government's


real problem. They need to get real, it is to our political advantage


they are not. That is why the moment is significant. They are not


getting at this stage, Ed Milliband is getting some real confidence out


of this. Some of the European Union's rules


about when and how people should be expected to work for a living are


barmy. It is not a headline from the Sun or Telegraph, but the


considered judgment of the Employment Minister, Norman Lamb,


interestingly, Mr Lamb is a Liberal Democrat, this is not the usual


adjective you hear from the Liberal Democrats about the European Union.


It has no bigger fans in British politics, than people like Nick


Clegg. But the bigger question is whether Britain can resist this


barmyness. Our political editor reports. At the Lib Dem HQ they are


a hard working lot, tapping away. They very much want to keep things


that way. But on a Wednesday afternoon in March, we would all


rather be doing this. This would be enjoying the weather, bureaucrats


on the continent want to make sure we don't miss any leisure, even if


it costs business more. Shooting the breeze and relaxing must be


safeguarded too. So they are proposing a series of rulings they


want imposed on minutes tes in October. Employees that fall --


ministers in October. Employees who fall ill on annual lead, can claim


additional leave to make up for it. Annual leave on maternity leave


should go on to the next year's leave. The EU Directive is time


spent on call is working time, even if someone is asleep, all of this


costs money. One Lib Dem minister is not happy about it. In a letter


obtained by Newsnight, the Employment Minister Norman Lam


The hard working minister says he can't enact something he thinks is


barmy, this Government has talked like this before, and so far, not


done anything about it. This week it is about to change. Officials


have been tasked with drawing up a strategy, they have to go around


Europe and find other countries that think the way the UK


Government does. If none of this works, by September, well the


minister is serving notice that the UK will just ignore these diktats,


like Sweden did before us. This delights the Conservatives. It is


great Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem minister, is pushing for reform in


Europe. He's really doing exactly what David Cameron wants and what


Tony Blair before him wants, which is liberalisation and reform in


Europe, and making sure we don't get yet more regulation and


restriction. Regulation to some, but cherished rights to others.


Government are making a mountain out of a mole hill, the fact is,


the Working Time Directive gives minimum rights of workers to some


paid holiday, to rest breaks and not excessive hours each week. It


has given millions of workers in Britain four weeks paid holiday


entitlement, many didn't have that before. So I think it is a good


thing, and people should celebrate it. But this extra step by the


European Court, if you are sick and you are on holiday, that you are


entitled to extra holiday, I can see some employers will think that


will be a problem. It is not a problem if they manage is right.


The Prime Minister managed a bit of recreation today in the garden at


Number Ten, but despite the jolly japes, his Government say they mean


business in flouting these new directives, even if, in the words


of the ministers letter, risks infractions. Many other countries


get away with ignoring these rulings, but is there anything to


be done about it? They could fight it, the question is whether they


want to expend political capital fighting over an issue that has


limited impact on the UK. If they expend political capital on this,


they will have less available to use when it comes to an issue that


does have a significant impact on the UK. Although the German leader,


Chancellor Merkel, promised a koind of quid pro quo to the UK, if they


withdrew their objectives, she would address some Conservatives


concerns. There is nothing the Germans can do, they are not


pushing for an extension on the Working Time Directive, that is


coming from the commission and other states. It is not within the


German agenda to do this. Liberal Democrats are the most pro-


European of the parties. Now they are deciding Europe is becoming too


creative for making law which it has no mandates. Now with the Lib


Dems joining forces with the euro- sceptics, Britain has decided to


lead the rebellion against European law. Called barmy ideas in


definitely barmy weather, and a new push to do something about them.


But it is a new push that may keep many a minister and their civil


servant desk bound for quite some months.


Norman Lamb is in our Norwich studio now, are you willing to risk


prosecution, if necessary, Norman Lamb? This is a strategy we need to


win allies, the fact is, Europe is changing. There are many countries


out there that take a similar view to the UK, that we need to be more


flexible, that we need to focus on growth, ensuring that the single


market works effectively. On the competitiveness council, where I


sit, we have a group of like-minded nations, which have a similar


agenda there. I want the same thing on the Employment Council. If we


can work together with other countries, arguing the case for


more flexibility, I absolutely support the case for basic


employment rights, I support the case, of course, for paid holiday.


The fact is, the European Court is extending these rights, there is no


democratic mandate to do it. you this is a very, very important


principle, clearly. I repeat the question, are you willing to risk


prosecution? I have made it clear that I think that we should resist.


Interestingly, according to the commission's own report, let me


just finish this point, according to the commission's own report.


With the greatest of respect, you haven't answered the question, I'm


asking are you willing to risk prosecution? What I'm saying is the


UK should resist these implementing of court rulings, and argue the


case for a more flexible application of the Working Time


Directive. I understand that, but if it comes to prosecution you are


willing to take that risk are you? The risk is of infraction


proceedings, what has happened with a decision way back in 2003, over


how we treat on-call time. The decision then was if you are asleep


n a hospital, that counts as working time. There are about a


dozen countries that still, a decade on, haven't implemented that


ruling. Let's remain calm about this, and argue the case for why it


is absolutely in Europe's interests, and the interests of employment,


that we get greater flexibility here. Europe has to earn a living,


and we have to be able to compete with emerging economies in Asia and


south America, and we cannot simply keep adding burdens on business.


understand what you have said now and what you said in the letter,


but just to be clear about this, does your party leader support you


in this position? It is very interesting, actually, Nick was


mentioned in the report, but Nick has long argued the case against


ever more regulation. He wrote a familiar flet about it. He also


believes you shouldn't implement these regulations? I have kept his


office informed throughout all of this and talked to Vince as well.


Our view is we have to get real on the Working Time Directive. It is


part of the coalition agreement, there is a clear statement in there


that we should work to create more flexibility. He also thinks these


regulations are barmy does he? my word I have used. It is my task


as the Employment Minister to lead the case, in Europe, for greater


flexibility on the application of these regulations. If we don't get


that in Europe, then the risk is that Europe sinks. Europe faces the


greatest economic challenge, for decades, and if we don't start to


address the problem of ever growing burdens on business, then


employment suffers, and the most vulnerable suffer along the way. So


we have got to tackle this, and there are allies out there, in this


task. The German Chancellor told her


country's parliament today, that they absolutely had to get on with


ratfying new rules managing the budget. It is about setting an


example, hardly anyone in Germany disputes the country's leadership


role, since it has by a long shot the wealthiest economy in Europe.


But it is people like France and Europe have the seats on the


Security Council. It is hardly surprising since Germany wrecked


Europe twice in the past century, that Germany is tentative in world


affairs. The German military on the march in the heart of Berlin, just


as you would expect, with pru, precision. Germany has given birth


to a new country, Europe's most powerful democracy, 20 years after


unification. We were invited to look at the honour guard for Angela


Merkel meeting another Prime Minister, Tunisia. Given the


lessons in history, Germans are extremely cautious about their use


of power, and are uncomfortable with the idea of German leadership


in Europe. It is the "F" word. would always steer clear of a term


like "fuhre", if necessary, we would say "leadership", yes, in


English. You would rather say that than in German? We even have, you


see, I have a daughter who is a member of the Young Davos Group,


they are the young leaders, not the young fuhres. Because you can't say


that. As Germany showed throughout the


Arab Spring, they may be an economic giant, but desperate never


to be seen as a bully, Germany often plays the political Pigmy in


world affairs. As they think about their place in Europe, wherever you


go in this most modern country, the past is not really history, it is


never past. This is Berlin's poshest shopping area, this is one


of its poshest stores, KaDeWe, rather like Harrods, I suppose,


just behind me is Wittenbergplatz underground station, a charming


place from the 1920s being refurbished. So the side of it, so


commuters miss it, the places of horrors, listing concentration


camps and extermination camps. It says we are always to remember this.


The conductor and pianist, Daniel Barenboim, a Berlin resident for 20


years, says as a Jewish man he admired Germany for coming to terms


with the past, but wonders is it time to leave some of the guilt


behind. Having come to terms with the past with the Nazi period in


Germany, there comes with that almost a rejection of their own


cultural heritage, they don't want any more to hear about the German


way of playing, the German way of producing the sound. The famous


dark German string sound et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, they want to


internationalise themselves. Which I think is a pity, I think culture,


especially in the 1890s, and a larpblg chunk of the 20th century -


- large chunk of the 20th century, the different cultures in Europe,


have very nationalistic elements. Flux FM is a radio station run by a


pair of German entrepeneurs, they play a mix of music, but are keen


of the new and different. Everything is in flux.


In Germany wouldn't it be great to have a name or independent radio


network that actually has the name and is addressing this emerging new


group in Germany that feels very positive and optimistic about the


future. Germany is indeed in flux, Europe's


in flux, this radio station is proving a huge success to the flux


generation. There are frequent news bulletins, phone-ins, and


discussions about culture and politics, and today with Newsnight,


on whether Germany really can lead in Europe.


Hello, how are you? I'm totally fine, how are you. We have our next


listener, Hermen. How do you think Germany can lead in Europe? I don't


think we want to or have to lead politically on our own. I think it


can be a collaberative thing, working together with all European


nations. How do you feel about Germany


leading in Europe? I feel like Germany is being modest and trying


to not appear so strong internationally, and I really hope


that it stays that way. Ifrpblgt we have to make a quick break right


here. For a glimpse of how a new Germany


might be growing from the flux of the old, I went to Berlin's cinema


post product house, founded in 1911, one of the oldest in the world. In


cutting rooms here, Hitler's protege showed the fuhre himself,


in extraordinary propaganda films, including Triumph Of The Will.


One of Germany's most creative new wave of film directors, Dennis


Gansel, director of political films, is previewing a trailer for his


latest, a thriller, The Fourth State.


For Gansel's generation, the horrors of the past must never be


forgotten and repeated. But guilt mustn't hold back younger Germans


from playing a wider role in Europe, and the world.


Is it possible, do you think, to really move on? Yes, if you speak


to people who are 17 or 18 years old, they don't feel this shame any


more, they don't feel this guilt any more. They would say, you know


World War II is so far away, as for your generation it is as maybe


World War I, for us it is a new generation, we are living in the


edge of Facebook, YouTube, don't tell us anything about


globalisation. If I talk to my own father he says we really have to


protect, it is our responsibility, the European idea. But if I speak


to my younger cousin, she's 20 right now, she's saying let them go,


it is too much money. For at least 150 years Europe has


had to come to terms with some kind of German question. The answer,


every generation or so, was usually, war.


We and the new generation of Germans face another German


question, what role for this great economy and solid democracy. When


simply paying the bills for Europe is not a sustainable answer.


It is obvious that memories and memorials are absolutely


inescapably in modern Germany, it is hardly surprising, therefore,


that the core of German foreign policy, since World War II, has


been to have no problems with the neighbours. If the consequence of


that is that German politicians sometimes have to take a back seat


when it comes to leading in Europe, most Germans seem to be content


with that. At least for now.


One of the reasons Angela Merkel is personally popular, is that she


understands perfectly the dilemma of German leadership. A woman,


conservative and cautious in a system full of checks and balances,


she's exactly the opposite of bolder German leaders who risked


and lost everything. But 80 million people in Europe's


strongest economy, and 500 million Europeans, will some day have to


come to terms with fuhre-shaft, even if nobody wants to say the "F"


word in anything less than a whisper.


We have our guests. We have Miss Merkel. No not that. I


would love to be that powerful! so sorry. How long will this role


last for Germany? This piece represented a characteristic


British misunderstanding of Germany, for us it is always mention the war,


it is always about the Nazis and Hitler. It is not what it is about.


What it is actually about, Germany, the Germans after unification said


we want to be a normal country, we want to go on making Mercedes,


machine tools, exporting them to China, being rich and free, being a


greater Switzerland. That is their problem with leadership, they don't


want the leadership role, which monetary union, the eurozone, has


forced upon them, because they are the biggest economy. Is it your


sense that the German people will grow into this leadership role


forced upon them? I think they very much do. As much as I agree with


you, in a way a typical British misunderstanding of Germany, I do


not agree that Germany cannot envisage a greater leading role. I


certainly think that Angela Merkel does envisage a role. I think, to


an extent, thatest mo of the European nations do not just --


most of the European nations will not come to see that. The fiscal


compact goes towards the direction of integrated Europe, that is a


very bold and not at all compromising vision. It is about


time that the other European countries catch up. I didn't say


Germany couldn't come into a leadership role, I said the German


public opinion, the Germans, are very reluctant to take the


leadership role. Therefore, it is a difficult task to bring Germany,


particularly when as the German defence minister said to me the


other day, you say leadership and you mean money. I think it is


divided. Most recently there was extremely interesting poll, about


patriotism in general. One said how proud are you about the history,


and Germans said only 25%, only one in four Germans is proud of our


history, in Britain and France so much more. But then they were asked


do you actually think that your country does everything better than


other countries, and 70% of Germans said question. Far more than in


Britain and France. I think that very much shows a change in the


opinion in Germany and with Germans nowadays. There is a growing


feeling that we, and I slightly am suspicious with that, because it is


slightly self-righteous, but in a self-righteous way, we can show the


rest of Europe what to do. everybody can be Germany, otherwise


Germany couldn't be Germany, where would German exports go. There is a


profound problem with the prescription that Germany is trying


to impose on the rest of the eurozone. That is not necessarily


the kind of leadership we want to see. I couldn't agree more, the


leadership really would come in, not in Germany showing the rest of


Europe how to be another Germany, you are absolutely right. That


cannot work and that is wrong economics. But the leadership of


the German Chancellor really would have to come in to talk to her own


people, and to explain far, far better than she has done so far,


and I think that is the one thing. It is interesting comparison to the


German unification, because Chancellor KHol, did precisely the


same thing, brilliant in foreign policy, he took on leadership there


and managed the reunification going ahead. But he totally lacked, or at


los there was a big problem in -- lost, or there was a big problem in


internal leadership. We are still suffering that, east Germans are


still pitched against west Germans. Coming from the time when Khol said


it will be fine and everybody will be better off. Seen we will have a


leader that comes neither from east or west but simply Germany, that is


going to be a different sort of person, isn't it? Absolutely. I


think Germany is growing gradually into the leadership role. It is


unfortunate it has come through the crisis of the eurozone. But Germany


will always have this problem, even if it were not for the Nazi past,


Henry Kissenger said Germany's problem is too big for Europe, too


small for the world. It is a critical size, not big enough to be


like the United States, but it is too big just to be one among others.


So German leadership will always be quite difficult. Which might not be


any more the case if you really go into that integrated Europe, that


Angela Merkel is envisaging. I have to say, in a way I dread this


vision, I think it brings with it all kinds of problems, not least


about democratic deficit. I think that is another point where really


far more leadership is required. Some breaking news, while we have


been on the air, Downing Street have made clear that David Cameron


actually bought his pasty in Liverpool, rather than Leeds.


Pasties are all over the front That's all for tonight. Until


Hello, we are going to see some changes with our weather for the


weekend. But for Thursday, think more of the same. A chilly start


and plenty of sunshine. There will be more cloud across western


Scotland, the north coast of Northern Ireland, and perhaps


developing around the Irish Sea coast. But overall, northern


England, again another sparkling day, temperatures inland reaching


21 degrees. Further south we could hit 22 or 23. Hazy sunshine in the


Midland and southern counties, more of a breeze across parts of


Cornwall. Breeze from the north or North West means the coasts of


Wales will be a little bit cooler, the south coast could again see 21


or 22 Celsius. Lots of sunshine here, as there will be across most


of Northern Ireland, but we will see a change on the north coast, a


cooler day here with much more cloud. The same goes for the


western most fringes of Scotland, even a spot or two of the drizzle.


For much of the central belt, much of the north-east will be fine and


sunny. Increasing amounts of cloud on north western areas. As a result


temperatures won't be anything like as high. In the south, temperatures


could be a little bit low on Friday, but essentially another fine day,


with more fringe sun hien to be had. That area of -- spring sunshine to