28/03/2012 Newsnight


28/03/2012

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


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Transcript


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

:00:10.:00:14.

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

:00:14.:00:18.

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

:00:18.:00:22.

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

:00:22.:00:26.

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

:00:26.:00:32.

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

:00:32.:00:37.

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

:00:37.:00:42.

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

:00:42.:00:50.

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

:00:50.:00:54.

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

:00:54.:00:58.

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

:00:58.:01:02.

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

:01:02.:01:06.

Lib Dem ministers say the latest orders about working hours are

:01:06.:01:09.

barmy. Germany marches to a different beat

:01:09.:01:13.

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

:01:13.:01:17.

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

:01:17.:01:21.

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

:01:21.:01:25.

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

:01:25.:01:30.

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

:01:30.:01:40.
:01:40.:01:41.

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

:01:41.:01:45.

be a national emergency, Governments usually try to pour oil

:01:45.:01:50.

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

:01:50.:01:54.

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

:01:54.:01:58.

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

:01:58.:02:05.

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

:02:05.:02:08.

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

:02:08.:02:11.

business. I have family at home, two children

:02:11.:02:16.

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

:02:16.:02:19.

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

:02:19.:02:25.

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

:02:26.:02:29.

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

:02:29.:02:35.

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

:02:35.:02:39.

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

:02:39.:02:43.

which he says, has changed for the worse.

:02:43.:02:50.

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

:02:50.:02:54.

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

:02:54.:02:58.

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

:02:58.:03:01.

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

:03:01.:03:06.

drivers should be treated differently? Yes, treated better,

:03:06.:03:09.

any way. Because it is the bottom of the

:03:09.:03:13.

pile, that is the ones delivering all the fuel.

:03:13.:03:19.

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

:03:19.:03:27.

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

:03:27.:03:30.

demand improved conditions, by highlighting poor training as an

:03:30.:03:33.

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

:03:33.:03:38.

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

:03:38.:03:41.

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

:03:41.:03:45.

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

:03:45.:03:49.

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

:03:49.:03:54.

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

:03:54.:03:59.

language that adds to a sense of looming crisis.

:03:59.:04:03.

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

:04:03.:04:09.

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

:04:09.:04:12.

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

:04:12.:04:18.

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

:04:18.:04:21.

blockades saw panic buying and disruption around the country. As

:04:21.:04:26.

part of contingency plans agreed by ministers this afternoon, military

:04:26.:04:30.

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

:04:30.:04:34.

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

:04:34.:04:38.

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

:04:38.:04:42.

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

:04:42.:04:46.

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

:04:46.:04:50.

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

:04:50.:04:55.

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

:04:55.:05:01.

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

:05:01.:05:07.

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

:05:07.:05:12.

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

:05:12.:05:17.

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

:05:17.:05:20.

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

:05:20.:05:24.

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

:05:24.:05:27.

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

:05:27.:05:31.

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

:05:31.:05:34.

happen. ACAS will now try to mediate

:05:34.:05:39.

between the union and the seven haulage companies involved in the

:05:39.:05:44.

dispute. Unite says the outsourcing of fuel distribution to smaller

:05:44.:05:48.

companies has casualised the labour force, they are calling for

:05:48.:05:51.

nationally agreed standards, pointing to a study which shows

:05:52.:05:56.

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

:05:56.:06:00.

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

:06:01.:06:05.

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

:06:05.:06:09.

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

:06:09.:06:14.

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

:06:14.:06:18.

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

:06:18.:06:24.

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

:06:24.:06:27.

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

:06:27.:06:31.

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

:06:31.:06:36.

European countries, particularly countries like Germany. Talks will

:06:36.:06:40.

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

:06:40.:06:44.

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

:06:44.:06:48.

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

:06:48.:06:55.

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

:06:55.:07:01.

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

:07:01.:07:06.

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

:07:06.:07:10.

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

:07:10.:07:15.

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

:07:15.:07:18.

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

:07:18.:07:23.

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

:07:23.:07:25.

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

:07:25.:07:30.

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

:07:30.:07:33.

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

:07:33.:07:37.

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

:07:37.:07:42.

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

:07:42.:07:46.

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

:07:46.:07:49.

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

:07:49.:07:52.

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

:07:52.:07:56.

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

:07:56.:08:01.

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

:08:01.:08:11.

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

:08:11.:08:18.

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

:08:18.:08:23.

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

:08:23.:08:27.

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

:08:27.:08:30.

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

:08:30.:08:34.

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

:08:34.:08:38.

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

:08:39.:08:42.

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

:08:42.:08:47.

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

:08:47.:08:54.

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

:08:54.:08:58.

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

:08:58.:09:04.

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

:09:04.:09:08.

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

:09:08.:09:12.

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

:09:12.:09:18.

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

:09:18.:09:22.

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

:09:22.:09:25.

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

:09:25.:09:29.

given by your Government? shortage will be if tanker drivers

:09:29.:09:35.

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

:09:35.:09:38.

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

:09:38.:09:42.

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

:09:42.:09:46.

They balloted to strike possibly about a multiplicity of things,

:09:46.:09:50.

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

:09:50.:09:56.

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

:09:56.:09:59.

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

:09:59.:10:03.

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

:10:03.:10:10.

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

:10:10.:10:14.

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

:10:14.:10:17.

issues, but not this. The Labour Treasury spokesman is

:10:17.:10:23.

here. Do you support Unite in this

:10:23.:10:27.

campaign? Obviously there is a grievance between the employees and

:10:27.:10:30.

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

:10:30.:10:35.

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

:10:35.:10:39.

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

:10:39.:10:43.

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

:10:43.:10:46.

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

:10:46.:10:49.

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

:10:50.:10:53.

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

:10:53.:10:57.

issue between employees and employers, in a particular sector.

:10:57.:11:02.

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

:11:02.:11:06.

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

:11:06.:11:10.

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

:11:10.:11:14.

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

:11:14.:11:18.

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

:11:18.:11:23.

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

:11:23.:11:27.

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

:11:27.:11:32.

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

:11:32.:11:35.

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

:11:35.:11:38.

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

:11:38.:11:43.

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

:11:43.:11:47.

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

:11:47.:11:52.

crisis caused because ministers were telling people to fill theirg

:11:52.:11:58.

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

:11:58.:12:01.

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

:12:01.:12:08.

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

:12:08.:12:11.

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

:12:11.:12:15.

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

:12:15.:12:21.

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

:12:21.:12:30.

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

:12:30.:12:34.

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

:12:34.:12:37.

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

:12:37.:12:43.

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

:12:43.:12:49.

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

:12:49.:12:52.

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

:12:52.:12:57.

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

:12:57.:13:01.

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

:13:01.:13:05.

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

:13:05.:13:09.

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

:13:09.:13:13.

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

:13:13.:13:17.

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

:13:17.:13:22.

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

:13:22.:13:26.

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

:13:26.:13:29.

apologising for that. Meanwhile, pastygate continues to

:13:29.:13:35.

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

:13:35.:13:38.

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

:13:38.:13:42.

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

:13:42.:13:46.

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

:13:46.:13:50.

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

:13:50.:13:57.

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

:13:57.:14:04.

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

:14:04.:14:08.

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

:14:08.:14:12.

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

:14:12.:14:19.

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

:14:19.:14:23.

station at the time. Since then there has been some

:14:23.:14:29.

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

:14:29.:14:31.

to investigate. It turns out that well known man of

:14:31.:14:34.

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

:14:34.:14:41.

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

:14:41.:14:45.

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

:14:45.:14:51.

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

:14:51.:14:56.

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

:14:56.:15:01.

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

:15:01.:15:08.

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

:15:08.:15:16.

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

:15:16.:15:21.

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

:15:21.:15:26.

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

:15:26.:15:29.

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

:15:29.:15:34.

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

:15:34.:15:37.

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

:15:37.:15:47.
:15:47.:15:48.

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

:15:48.:15:53.

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

:15:53.:15:58.

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

:15:58.:16:01.

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

:16:01.:16:04.

busy as the Prime Minister. It is perfectly understandable he

:16:04.:16:08.

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

:16:08.:16:13.

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

:16:13.:16:16.

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

:16:16.:16:19.

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

:16:19.:16:22.

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

:16:22.:16:27.

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

:16:27.:16:32.

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

:16:32.:16:37.

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

:16:37.:16:40.

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

:16:40.:16:44.

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

:16:44.:16:49.

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

:16:49.:16:53.

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

:16:53.:16:56.

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

:16:56.:17:00.

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

:17:00.:17:04.

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

:17:04.:17:08.

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

:17:08.:17:11.

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

:17:12.:17:17.

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

:17:17.:17:24.

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

:17:24.:17:29.

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

:17:29.:17:33.

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

:17:33.:17:39.

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

:17:39.:17:46.

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

:17:46.:17:51.

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

:17:51.:17:55.

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

:17:55.:17:57.

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

:17:57.:18:02.

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

:18:02.:18:05.

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

:18:05.:18:11.

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

:18:11.:18:14.

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

:18:14.:18:17.

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

:18:17.:18:21.

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

:18:21.:18:28.

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

:18:28.:18:33.

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

:18:33.:18:38.

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

:18:38.:18:41.

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

:18:41.:18:47.

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

:18:47.:18:51.

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

:18:52.:18:55.

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

:18:55.:18:59.

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

:18:59.:19:02.

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

:19:02.:19:05.

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

:19:05.:19:08.

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

:19:08.:19:13.

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

:19:13.:19:17.

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

:19:17.:19:21.

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

:19:21.:19:26.

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

:19:26.:19:32.

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

:19:32.:19:36.

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

:19:36.:19:39.

the small businessman having a level playing field with the big

:19:39.:19:44.

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

:19:44.:19:47.

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

:19:47.:19:51.

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

:19:51.:19:56.

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

:19:56.:20:00.

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

:20:00.:20:03.

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

:20:03.:20:07.

ever been in one? What is significant is having this

:20:07.:20:17.
:20:17.:20:17.

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

:20:17.:20:21.

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

:20:21.:20:25.

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

:20:25.:20:28.

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

:20:28.:20:31.

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

:20:31.:20:37.

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

:20:37.:20:41.

stupid politically. That is the big significance. That the

:20:41.:20:44.

miscalculations, it was so predictable this was going to end

:20:44.:20:50.

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

:20:50.:20:55.

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

:20:55.:21:02.

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

:21:02.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:12.

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

:21:12.:21:16.

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

:21:16.:21:18.

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

:21:19.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:28.

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

:21:28.:21:34.

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

:21:34.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:44.

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

:21:44.:21:47.

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

:21:47.:21:51.

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

:21:51.:21:56.

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

:21:56.:22:02.

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

:22:02.:22:05.

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

:22:05.:22:09.

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

:22:09.:22:11.

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

:22:11.:22:16.

of this. Some of the European Union's rules

:22:16.:22:21.

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

:22:21.:22:25.

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

:22:25.:22:28.

considered judgment of the Employment Minister, Norman Lamb,

:22:28.:22:33.

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

:22:33.:22:35.

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

:22:36.:22:39.

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

:22:39.:22:45.

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

:22:45.:22:54.

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

:22:54.:22:57.

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

:22:57.:23:00.

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

:23:00.:23:10.
:23:10.:23:18.

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

:23:18.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:29.

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

:23:29.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:36.

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

:23:36.:23:40.

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

:23:40.:23:45.

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

:23:45.:23:49.

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

:23:49.:23:54.

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

:23:54.:23:59.

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

:23:59.:24:04.

obtained by Newsnight, the Employment Minister Norman Lam

:24:04.:24:14.
:24:14.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:33.

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

:24:33.:24:37.

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

:24:37.:24:40.

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

:24:40.:24:42.

Europe and find other countries that think the way the UK

:24:42.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:52.

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

:24:52.:24:56.

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

:24:56.:25:00.

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

:25:00.:25:03.

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

:25:03.:25:07.

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

:25:07.:25:11.

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

:25:11.:25:15.

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

:25:15.:25:20.

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

:25:20.:25:24.

the Working Time Directive gives minimum rights of workers to some

:25:24.:25:29.

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

:25:29.:25:33.

has given millions of workers in Britain four weeks paid holiday

:25:33.:25:36.

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

:25:36.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:47.

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

:25:47.:25:50.

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

:25:50.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:06.

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

:26:06.:26:10.

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

:26:10.:26:15.

of the ministers letter, risks infractions. Many other countries

:26:15.:26:18.

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

:26:18.:26:22.

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

:26:22.:26:26.

want to expend political capital fighting over an issue that has

:26:26.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:34.

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

:26:34.:26:40.

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

:26:40.:26:46.

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

:26:46.:26:50.

withdrew their objectives, she would address some Conservatives

:26:50.:26:53.

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

:26:53.:26:56.

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

:26:56.:27:01.

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

:27:01.:27:05.

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

:27:05.:27:09.

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

:27:09.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:19.

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

:27:19.:27:23.

lead the rebellion against European law. Called barmy ideas in

:27:23.:27:26.

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

:27:26.:27:31.

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

:27:31.:27:34.

servant desk bound for quite some months.

:27:34.:27:39.

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

:27:39.:27:45.

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

:27:45.:27:49.

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

:27:49.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:27:58.

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

:27:58.:28:03.

market works effectively. On the competitiveness council, where I

:28:03.:28:08.

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

:28:08.:28:12.

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

:28:12.:28:16.

can work together with other countries, arguing the case for

:28:16.:28:19.

more flexibility, I absolutely support the case for basic

:28:19.:28:24.

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

:28:24.:28:28.

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

:28:28.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:37.

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

:28:37.:28:43.

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

:28:43.:28:49.

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

:28:49.:28:51.

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

:28:51.:28:55.

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

:28:55.:29:00.

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

:29:00.:29:07.

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

:29:07.:29:10.

case for a more flexible application of the Working Time

:29:10.:29:14.

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

:29:14.:29:19.

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

:29:19.:29:25.

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

:29:25.:29:29.

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

:29:29.:29:33.

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

:29:33.:29:39.

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

:29:39.:29:43.

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

:29:43.:29:47.

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

:29:47.:29:50.

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

:29:50.:29:55.

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

:29:55.:29:59.

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

:29:59.:30:02.

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

:30:02.:30:05.

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

:30:05.:30:09.

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

:30:09.:30:13.

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

:30:13.:30:18.

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

:30:18.:30:23.

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

:30:23.:30:26.

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

:30:26.:30:30.

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

:30:31.:30:33.

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

:30:33.:30:38.

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

:30:39.:30:44.

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

:30:44.:30:48.

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

:30:48.:30:52.

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

:30:52.:30:58.

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

:30:59.:31:03.

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

:31:03.:31:06.

address the problem of ever growing burdens on business, then

:31:06.:31:10.

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

:31:10.:31:13.

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

:31:14.:31:18.

task. The German Chancellor told her

:31:18.:31:23.

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

:31:23.:31:27.

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

:31:27.:31:32.

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

:31:32.:31:36.

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

:31:36.:31:43.

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

:31:43.:31:47.

Security Council. It is hardly surprising since Germany wrecked

:31:47.:31:52.

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

:31:52.:32:02.
:32:02.:32:03.

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

:32:03.:32:09.

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

:32:09.:32:14.

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

:32:14.:32:24.
:32:24.:32:28.

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

:32:28.:32:31.

Merkel meeting another Prime Minister, Tunisia. Given the

:32:31.:32:35.

lessons in history, Germans are extremely cautious about their use

:32:35.:32:40.

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

:32:40.:32:48.

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

:32:48.:32:52.

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

:32:52.:32:57.

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

:32:57.:33:05.

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

:33:05.:33:11.

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

:33:11.:33:15.

that. As Germany showed throughout the

:33:15.:33:19.

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

:33:19.:33:25.

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

:33:25.:33:30.

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

:33:30.:33:35.

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

:33:35.:33:39.

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

:33:39.:33:43.

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

:33:43.:33:46.

just behind me is Wittenbergplatz underground station, a charming

:33:46.:33:54.

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

:33:54.:34:00.

commuters miss it, the places of horrors, listing concentration

:34:00.:34:06.

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

:34:06.:34:10.

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

:34:10.:34:14.

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

:34:14.:34:18.

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

:34:18.:34:26.

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

:34:26.:34:33.

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

:34:33.:34:37.

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

:34:37.:34:44.

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

:34:44.:34:48.

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

:34:48.:34:55.

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

:34:55.:35:00.

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

:35:00.:35:05.

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

:35:05.:35:15.
:35:15.:35:20.

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

:35:20.:35:24.

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

:35:24.:35:28.

of the new and different. Everything is in flux.

:35:28.:35:32.

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

:35:32.:35:36.

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

:35:36.:35:39.

group in Germany that feels very positive and optimistic about the

:35:39.:35:47.

future. Germany is indeed in flux, Europe's

:35:47.:35:51.

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

:35:51.:35:58.

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

:35:58.:36:02.

discussions about culture and politics, and today with Newsnight,

:36:02.:36:10.

on whether Germany really can lead in Europe.

:36:10.:36:16.

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

:36:16.:36:25.

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

:36:25.:36:29.

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

:36:29.:36:34.

can be a collaberative thing, working together with all European

:36:34.:36:41.

nations. How do you feel about Germany

:36:41.:36:47.

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

:36:47.:36:51.

to not appear so strong internationally, and I really hope

:36:51.:36:55.

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

:36:55.:37:02.

here. For a glimpse of how a new Germany

:37:02.:37:09.

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

:37:09.:37:15.

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

:37:15.:37:21.

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

:37:21.:37:29.

in extraordinary propaganda films, including Triumph Of The Will.

:37:29.:37:34.

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

:37:34.:37:39.

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

:37:39.:37:48.

latest, a thriller, The Fourth State.

:37:48.:37:51.

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

:37:51.:37:55.

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

:37:56.:38:02.

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

:38:02.:38:07.

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

:38:07.:38:11.

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

:38:11.:38:16.

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

:38:16.:38:20.

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

:38:20.:38:24.

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

:38:24.:38:28.

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

:38:28.:38:33.

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

:38:33.:38:36.

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

:38:36.:38:41.

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

:38:41.:38:45.

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

:38:45.:38:49.

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

:38:49.:38:53.

every generation or so, was usually, war.

:38:53.:38:56.

We and the new generation of Germans face another German

:38:56.:39:00.

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

:39:00.:39:06.

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

:39:06.:39:11.

It is obvious that memories and memorials are absolutely

:39:11.:39:15.

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

:39:15.:39:19.

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

:39:19.:39:22.

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

:39:22.:39:26.

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

:39:26.:39:29.

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

:39:29.:39:35.

with that. At least for now.

:39:35.:39:40.

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

:39:40.:39:44.

understands perfectly the dilemma of German leadership. A woman,

:39:44.:39:47.

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

:39:47.:39:50.

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

:39:50.:39:57.

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

:39:57.:40:01.

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

:40:01.:40:08.

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

:40:08.:40:13.

word in anything less than a whisper.

:40:13.:40:23.
:40:23.:40:26.

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

:40:26.:40:31.

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

:40:31.:40:34.

last for Germany? This piece represented a characteristic

:40:34.:40:40.

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

:40:40.:40:44.

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

:40:44.:40:48.

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

:40:48.:40:52.

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

:40:52.:40:57.

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

:40:57.:41:01.

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

:41:01.:41:06.

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

:41:06.:41:12.

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

:41:12.:41:15.

sense that the German people will grow into this leadership role

:41:15.:41:22.

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

:41:22.:41:27.

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

:41:27.:41:35.

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

:41:35.:41:39.

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

:41:39.:41:45.

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

:41:46.:41:53.

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

:41:53.:41:56.

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

:41:56.:42:00.

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

:42:00.:42:04.

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

:42:04.:42:08.

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

:42:08.:42:12.

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

:42:12.:42:15.

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

:42:15.:42:18.

particularly when as the German defence minister said to me the

:42:18.:42:22.

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

:42:22.:42:28.

divided. Most recently there was extremely interesting poll, about

:42:28.:42:32.

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

:42:32.:42:36.

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

:42:36.:42:41.

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

:42:41.:42:43.

do you actually think that your country does everything better than

:42:43.:42:47.

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

:42:47.:42:53.

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

:42:53.:42:59.

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

:42:59.:43:09.
:43:09.:43:11.

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

:43:11.:43:15.

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

:43:15.:43:19.

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

:43:19.:43:25.

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

:43:25.:43:27.

profound problem with the prescription that Germany is trying

:43:27.:43:31.

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

:43:31.:43:35.

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

:43:35.:43:41.

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

:43:41.:43:44.

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

:43:44.:43:49.

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

:43:49.:43:54.

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

:43:54.:43:57.

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

:43:57.:44:02.

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

:44:02.:44:08.

German unification, because Chancellor KHol, did precisely the

:44:08.:44:12.

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

:44:12.:44:18.

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

:44:19.:44:25.

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

:44:25.:44:29.

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

:44:29.:44:34.

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

:44:34.:44:37.

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

:44:37.:44:41.

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

:44:41.:44:45.

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

:44:45.:44:48.

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

:44:48.:44:53.

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

:44:53.:45:00.

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

:45:00.:45:04.

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

:45:04.:45:08.

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

:45:08.:45:12.

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

:45:12.:45:17.

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

:45:17.:45:22.

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

:45:22.:45:26.

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

:45:26.:45:30.

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

:45:30.:45:35.

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

:45:35.:45:41.

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

:45:41.:45:44.

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

:45:44.:45:48.

actually bought his pasty in Liverpool, rather than Leeds.

:45:49.:45:58.
:45:59.:46:26.

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

:46:26.:46:36.
:46:36.:47:02.

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

:47:02.:47:05.

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

:47:05.:47:09.

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

:47:09.:47:11.

Scotland, the north coast of Northern Ireland, and perhaps

:47:11.:47:14.

developing around the Irish Sea coast. But overall, northern

:47:14.:47:19.

England, again another sparkling day, temperatures inland reaching

:47:19.:47:25.

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

:47:25.:47:28.

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

:47:28.:47:31.

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

:47:31.:47:35.

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

:47:35.:47:39.

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

:47:39.:47:42.

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

:47:42.:47:45.

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

:47:45.:47:50.

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

:47:50.:47:55.

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

:47:55.:47:59.

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

:47:59.:48:02.

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

:48:02.:48:07.

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

:48:07.:48:13.

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

:48:13.:48:18.