29/03/2012 Newsnight


29/03/2012

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


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 29/03/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Forget the pumps, worry about the reactors. Is the real crisis that

:00:09.:00:12.

the lights are in danger of going out?

:00:12.:00:16.

Has Britain got an energy strategy, as the nuclear option unwinds, is

:00:16.:00:21.

time running out. It is disappointing, I won't

:00:22.:00:24.

pretend otherwise, there is momentum behind nuclear new build

:00:24.:00:27.

in the UK. Will it be the Government, consumer or environment

:00:27.:00:30.

that ends up paying, we ask the experts.

:00:30.:00:36.

We are already back in recession, says the OECD, should the

:00:36.:00:42.

Government be more worried about that than petrol cans and pasties.

:00:42.:00:47.

The three Musketeers were on the train to ask if an elected mayor

:00:47.:00:51.

would make a difference. Of all the cities Birmingham looks most likely

:00:51.:00:55.

to vote to get a mayor, they will get more powers if they do so,

:00:55.:00:59.

which powers. Should the UK add plea bargains to their armoury in

:00:59.:01:03.

the fight against terrorism. We have been speaking to the head of

:01:04.:01:08.

the FBI. The more I'm in the business I believe that sources and

:01:08.:01:18.

wires are essential to address terrorism.

:01:18.:01:21.

Good evening, at the petrol pump there is panic, at home higher

:01:21.:01:26.

bills. In the North Sea a leaking gas rig, and now plans for a they

:01:26.:01:30.

generation of nuclear power station lie in tatters, two companies have

:01:30.:01:36.

pulled out. The Government as attempts to reduce carbon emissions,

:01:36.:01:40.

while restructuring or energy consumption are looking for

:01:40.:01:43.

strained and contradictory already. Can you keep everyone happy and

:01:43.:01:49.

keep the lights on, or will someone pay a heavy price.

:01:49.:01:55.

In energy economics it is known as the trilemma, it is one of the

:01:55.:01:58.

thorniest issues facing the Government, how to secure security

:01:58.:02:03.

of our energy supply, at a price that supports the economy, without

:02:03.:02:07.

damaging our global environment. The elusive solution that provides

:02:07.:02:12.

a mixed energy supply, and reduced demand, that will keep Britannia

:02:12.:02:15.

afloat, without alienating the consumers, who have to pay for it

:02:15.:02:22.

all, through their bills. Hopes of a stable energy policy

:02:22.:02:29.

took a hit today, as two of the big six energy giants, pulled out of a

:02:29.:02:32.

joint venture to build new nuclear reactors in the UK, here in North

:02:32.:02:35.

Wales and Gloucestershire. The man who was Business Secretary under

:02:35.:02:39.

Gordon Brown, and who now works as a spokesman for the nuclear energy

:02:39.:02:43.

industry, conceded it wasn't a good day for nuclear power. It is

:02:43.:02:46.

obviously disappointing news, that both these companies have made the

:02:46.:02:50.

decision, on purely commercial grounds, and I understand and

:02:50.:02:56.

respect that, we do have two consortia still actively pursuing

:02:56.:02:59.

nuclear new build plans in the UK. That is tremenduously important and

:03:00.:03:04.

will be important for the UK going forward. Now we have to find,

:03:04.:03:08.

hopefully, a buyer for this particular consortia, the Horizon

:03:08.:03:12.

Project, so the plans in North Wales go ahead. It is disappointing,

:03:12.:03:15.

I will clearly not pretend otherwise. There is momentum behind

:03:15.:03:19.

nuclear new build in the UK. The Government is committed to ensuring

:03:19.:03:28.

that is maintained. So are we. For sale, then, the chance to build

:03:28.:03:33.

two nuclear tour plants. Any takers?

:03:33.:03:37.

Or is gas the answer? In his budget last week, George Osborne delighted

:03:37.:03:43.

the industry with incentives that might mean a new dash for gas.

:03:43.:03:49.

Gas is cheap, and has much less carbon than coal, and will be the

:03:49.:03:52.

largest single source of electricity in the coming years. My

:03:52.:03:56.

right honourable friend, the Energy Secretary, will set out our new gas

:03:56.:04:01.

generation strategy in the autumn. This week's gas leak on the he will

:04:01.:04:05.

began platform in the North Sea, is a stark reminer, as Britain taps

:04:05.:04:09.

ever more marginal energy reserves it gets harder and riskier,

:04:09.:04:12.

firefighting ships were on the scene today amid fears of an

:04:12.:04:15.

explosion. On shore, there is much excitement

:04:15.:04:18.

about shale gas, but they are still waiting for the decision from

:04:18.:04:23.

Government on whether extraction, by hydraulic fracturing, or

:04:23.:04:27.

fracking, can restart, after it caused two earthquakes near

:04:27.:04:30.

Blackpool. Here in a London hotel today, more evidence of the

:04:30.:04:35.

environmental part of that trilemma. Just this week the Government

:04:35.:04:38.

delayed a decision, that has already taken four years to debate,

:04:38.:04:43.

mandatory reporting, by business, of carbon emissions. Sustainability

:04:43.:04:48.

analysts, who have rated the carbon foo footprint of scores of FTSE 250

:04:48.:04:53.

companies, say that delay is already damaging Britain's

:04:53.:04:55.

competitiveness. Businesses will be reluctant to invest for the future,

:04:55.:05:01.

to invest in new technology, to invest in sort of operational

:05:01.:05:05.

efficiencies that are required, to see how they might transition to

:05:05.:05:07.

the low-carbon economy. They will be less likely to invest in

:05:08.:05:10.

research and development, and develop any products and services

:05:10.:05:15.

for the future. And therefore, potentially, not be as competitive

:05:15.:05:20.

as some of our other countries could be in this particular space.

:05:20.:05:25.

With a new question mark over any nuclear Rennaissance in the UK, and

:05:25.:05:30.

safety and environmental risks linked with any renewed dash for

:05:30.:05:33.

gas, Britain's cleaner energy companies reckon they have spotted

:05:33.:05:38.

a chance. Six of Britain's leading wind energy providers are launching

:05:38.:05:42.

a fightback, an ad campaign that argues wind power should play a

:05:42.:05:48.

larger part in Britain's future energy supply. They say that unless

:05:48.:05:53.

renewables play a bigger role, then the rush we are seeing for this

:05:53.:05:58.

kind of energy, petrol at the pump, will be echoed elsewhere in the

:05:58.:06:02.

system. With growing numbers of consumers desperate to get hold of

:06:02.:06:09.

gas and electricity that simply isn't on-line when they want it.

:06:09.:06:13.

Renewables are important, for our diverse tee, and for providing jobs

:06:13.:06:19.

for the next ten years. Renewables will lead to lower cost of energy

:06:19.:06:24.

for the UK consumer, because gas price also carry on increasing.

:06:24.:06:29.

rests on the shoulders of this generation to find a way through

:06:29.:06:32.

the energy trilemma, successfully juggling the economy, energy

:06:32.:06:37.

security, and the environment. Or risk handing the next generation an

:06:37.:06:47.
:06:47.:06:48.

energy system that doesn't deliver. We have Peter Lilley, the co-

:06:48.:06:55.

founder of the campaign Plain Stupid, and Tom Burke, who has

:06:55.:06:57.

advised three environment secretaries. Thank you for coming

:06:57.:07:02.

If we look, first of all, at the nuclear pull-out, does it leave

:07:02.:07:06.

Britain's energy strategy in crisis? It leaves the policy in

:07:06.:07:09.

crisis but doesn't leave Britain in crisis, because the policy, to a

:07:09.:07:12.

large extent, was based on a complete mistake, that we were

:07:12.:07:16.

running out of generational capacity, and we needed nuclear to

:07:16.:07:20.

fill that gap. Reality is we are closing down gas-fired power

:07:20.:07:23.

stations at the moment because there is not enough demand for them.

:07:23.:07:27.

So Britain is not in bad position, but the policy is in a complete

:07:27.:07:32.

mess. You mean we are fine without the nuclear power stations?

:07:32.:07:36.

don't need nuclear power station, even if you were very optimistic

:07:36.:07:39.

and started building a new nuclear power station some time next year,

:07:39.:07:44.

you would be in the middle of the next decade before generating any

:07:44.:07:48.

electricity from it. It was always a mistaken policy.

:07:48.:07:52.

Do you think that's right? Do you think the whole idea that we put

:07:52.:07:58.

all our energise into the new nuclear and that was a complete

:07:58.:08:00.

mistake? Theoretically the new existing nuclear power stations

:08:01.:08:05.

will be decommissioned, they may be extend, but they have decommission

:08:05.:08:09.

dates. Quite a lot of coal-fired stations will be illegal under

:08:09.:08:14.

European Union rules. Unless we will use less electricity we will

:08:14.:08:18.

need more xasty. The cheapest way is more gas, which produces half as

:08:18.:08:22.

much carbon as coal and oil. The only way you can meet carbon

:08:22.:08:27.

commitments, if you think it is important to reduce or eliminate

:08:27.:08:31.

carbon emissions and producing electricity that is nuclear, is the

:08:31.:08:38.

way to go. You say "if" we think it is important? You don't? I don't

:08:38.:08:40.

think it is nearly as important people do, I don't know the science,

:08:40.:08:46.

but I trained in physics, but the economics built up on the back of

:08:46.:08:50.

the carbon fears I don't go along with. We are back to fossil fuels?

:08:50.:08:55.

The fear is we are rushing towards a very gas-dependant future. We

:08:55.:08:58.

will end up with a huge amount of our electricity and heating coming

:08:58.:09:04.

from gas. Gas is hugely expensive, household energy bills went up by

:09:04.:09:08.

�175 on average last year. Almost all of that driven by gas. It is

:09:08.:09:11.

highly polluting, and most imported. It seems madness we would go down

:09:11.:09:15.

that route when we could make renewable energy the cornerstone of

:09:15.:09:19.

our energy strategy like Germany has. Renewables are way more

:09:20.:09:24.

expensive than gas? Not true. this country at this stage? Gas is

:09:24.:09:30.

the main reason why bills have gone up. And gas is hugely. That is a

:09:30.:09:34.

different point. Gas and fossil fuels have gone up a lot, that is

:09:34.:09:37.

the main reason bills have gone up. But if we were to switch to wind

:09:37.:09:42.

and sol la, then our bills would be much, much -- solar, then our bills

:09:42.:09:46.

would be much, much higher. That is not true. Why the need to subsidise

:09:46.:09:50.

them? Let's be clear of nuclear subsidies. You have to remember how

:09:50.:09:54.

bad this decision is for the Fukushima clear industry. What has

:09:54.:10:01.

been said, is even -- the nuclear industry is. It was said even with

:10:01.:10:05.

the subsidies it wasn't going to be economically viable. Let's clear up

:10:05.:10:09.

the fossil fuels versus renewables, this is key. Where would consumers

:10:09.:10:13.

get a cheaper deal going forward? Exactly, that is why Peter is wrong

:10:13.:10:17.

to say it is the only option. The key thing for consumers is to

:10:17.:10:22.

separate global energy prices and bills. The way to do that driving

:10:22.:10:26.

energy efficiency forward by demand reduction and running the energy

:10:26.:10:29.

system more efficiently, focusing on driving bills down. We have

:10:29.:10:34.

exactly the wrong priority in the current proposed reform of

:10:34.:10:38.

electricity markets, which will try to increase supply expensively,

:10:38.:10:44.

however you do it, instead of thinking how you do it. The fact

:10:44.:10:48.

Tom avoided answering the question gives the game away, renewables are

:10:48.:10:51.

far more expensive than fossil fuels. Do you think people will

:10:51.:10:56.

have to change the way they live? doubt very much, I think we are

:10:56.:10:59.

moving towards a situation where the price of gas may come down, we

:10:59.:11:03.

will switch to more gas production, that will happen to reduce the

:11:03.:11:08.

level of carbon emissions, it will reduce the costs. If we find we

:11:08.:11:12.

have large reserves of shale gas, as they have in the states.

:11:12.:11:15.

have conceded the main reason why bills have gone up is the price of

:11:15.:11:20.

gas. Why would you want to become more dependant on expensive,

:11:20.:11:24.

imported gas. It is less expensive than renewables, and there is a

:11:24.:11:27.

prospect, that we have large reserves of shale gas, which in the

:11:27.:11:33.

states is halving the price of gas. Exxon disagree, British Gas

:11:33.:11:37.

disagree, Deutsche Bank disagree, they all say shale gas is unlikely

:11:37.:11:42.

to bring down costs for consumers. We have seen it bring down costs.

:11:42.:11:46.

Your analysis depended on what you call more efficiencies, which,

:11:46.:11:52.

reading between the lines, means people using less energy, or

:11:52.:12:00.

insulating the loft? Do more energy efficiency and make better use of

:12:00.:12:03.

your generating capacity. households or a country? As a

:12:03.:12:09.

country. Not just as households, but businesses as well. We will use

:12:09.:12:12.

renewables, we are legally committed to generating 35% of our

:12:12.:12:16.

electricity from renewables. We are going to use gas, I have no problem

:12:16.:12:22.

with us using gas. Frankly, the Chancellor disagrees with both

:12:22.:12:27.

these guys, we saw it in the package, that gas is cheap. I don't

:12:27.:12:31.

know quite where they think it is such an expensive option. What is

:12:31.:12:35.

so frustrating s the Government have been bending over backwards to

:12:35.:12:39.

try to make nuclear work, offering all sorts of hidden supsidies, now

:12:39.:12:45.

the nuclear dream is falling apart, and all the time they could have

:12:45.:12:48.

been investing in renewable energy like other countries, this is a

:12:48.:12:52.

blooming global he industry, we are falling behind and not xoting with

:12:52.:12:54.

these countries, because the Government -- competing with these

:12:54.:12:59.

countries because the Government has put all their eggs in nuclear

:12:59.:13:04.

or gas. We have gone for two of the worst options as opposed to the

:13:04.:13:10.

obvious middle one? The idea you can run a modern economy on wind

:13:10.:13:15.

that blows sometimes and then not, and sun that goes in at night.

:13:15.:13:21.

Germany does it? It is reining back on its subsidies and it is only a

:13:21.:13:24.

small share. This summer the German Government is expecting to get 40%

:13:24.:13:30.

on some days of its total. On some days, what about the others. Let me

:13:30.:13:40.

finish. Sorry. 40% of its electricity some days from PVC

:13:40.:13:46.

polar alone. In nuclear capacity we lose 24% of it to unplanned outages,

:13:46.:13:51.

it is just as intermittant as solar. Even in Germany the sun doesn't

:13:51.:13:57.

shine at night. It is very important. I'm saying that is

:13:57.:14:02.

proving a point, which is you can't rely on it? He's not proving a

:14:02.:14:08.

point. The point is we have a grid that can manage losing 24% of its

:14:08.:14:13.

electricity, nuclear, without any problems, because you manage all

:14:13.:14:19.

the sources of energy on a grid are intermittant. I don't think any of

:14:19.:14:22.

us realise how steeply household bills will rise with gas. The

:14:22.:14:27.

Government stuck out a press release on Saturday before the

:14:27.:14:30.

budget, saying gas power plants could say at the current carbon

:14:31.:14:35.

levels to 2045, that is under the radar, that will be a huge cost.

:14:35.:14:39.

don't get the cost you are making. Why should gas be a huge cost?

:14:39.:14:44.

Because gas bills are going up, all the bills are going up? If you

:14:45.:14:49.

replace an expensive fuel by a more expensive fuel, they go up more.

:14:49.:14:54.

You can't pretend that these other sources of electricity, are less

:14:54.:14:59.

expensive, and still demand supsidies for them. By any

:14:59.:15:02.

calculation you have to have supsidies for wind, you need twice

:15:02.:15:09.

the subsidy of offshore wind. You even need subsidy for nuclear.

:15:09.:15:13.

Government has lost its appetite for renewables? The Chancellor

:15:13.:15:15.

doesn't seem to be very enthusiastic about renewables, the

:15:15.:15:19.

point is, he's putting his eggs into the gas basket, but his own

:15:19.:15:23.

independent advisers on climate change, say that for the UK to stay

:15:23.:15:26.

within our carbon budgets, that all three political parties say they

:15:26.:15:31.

support, then we have to have the power sector decarbonised by 2030,

:15:31.:15:37.

he wants gas plants operating with high emissions until 2045.

:15:37.:15:41.

The Press Pack was in full cry today, sniffing out which cabinet

:15:41.:15:46.

minister has or hasn't chowed down on a pasty, and which has or hasn't

:15:46.:15:50.

filled a Gerry can full of petrol. But humming in the background is

:15:50.:15:55.

the big story. This country's slow economic recovery. Today the

:15:55.:15:57.

Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development, the EOCD,

:15:57.:16:01.

predicted we are in a double-dip recession, given their record of

:16:01.:16:11.
:16:11.:16:13.

predictions, perhaps that was good news for George Osborne. Do you buy

:16:13.:16:18.

this? It is a dizzying array of predictions. What is puzzling some

:16:18.:16:22.

people in Government, they do take it seriously, but they are also

:16:22.:16:26.

looking at other indicators published after the OECD put their

:16:26.:16:31.

note out, which shows things are tipping up. The PMI is ticking up,

:16:31.:16:35.

and this service sector is going up. Very technical, but lots of people

:16:35.:16:38.

have been watching since January, that some of these figures going up

:16:38.:16:42.

north rather than south. The chatter, we even did on this

:16:42.:16:47.

programme, a film about "oh my gosh we have found some growth". There

:16:47.:16:51.

is beginning to be chatter more upbeat against the general

:16:51.:16:54.

background of gloom. More upbeat than before. Last September there

:16:54.:16:58.

were people in the cabinet who were saying these indicators are so bad

:16:58.:17:04.

we do need to look at Plan A minus. That is not true moment. If we were

:17:04.:17:10.

to get, in three weeks when the real figures come out, that real

:17:10.:17:14.

"R" recession, that won a massive boom for the op session, at a time

:17:14.:17:18.

when this Government -- opposition, at that time when the Government is

:17:18.:17:23.

not having a great time. This graph gives us a longer view of the

:17:23.:17:29.

history of how quickly we have out of recessions, or economic gloom in

:17:29.:17:30.

of recessions, or economic gloom in the past. We are the lower blue

:17:30.:17:35.

line, I can't really make it out, maybe the viewers can a bit better,

:17:35.:17:40.

this is because of the pace Which? We are deleveraging at the moment.

:17:40.:17:45.

This is the particular -- with which we are deleveraging moment.

:17:45.:17:48.

This is the particular debt we had going on, and undoing that debt

:17:48.:17:53.

will take a long time. The economists we will set on to that

:17:53.:17:57.

in a moment. Bringing you back to the political point, it would be a

:17:57.:18:02.

blow to the Chancellor if it were true, but would it alter his

:18:02.:18:08.

policies? No way. That was brief. You don't think it will change at

:18:08.:18:14.

all? I think this is has all been about the bond markets, it if it

:18:14.:18:18.

became that serious and find way to signal to the bond markets that

:18:18.:18:21.

they were doing what they said all along, they would have done it last

:18:21.:18:26.

September. They knew this period was going to be choppy. Mervyn King

:18:26.:18:30.

said it was a zig zag year, and it is proving to be.

:18:30.:18:39.

I'm off again. The British economy, is it a soft pastey roll or sausage.

:18:39.:18:45.

We have Ann Pettifor, who wrote a paper on the economic consequences

:18:45.:18:48.

of George Osborne and my other guest. Does it feel to you, Ann

:18:48.:18:53.

Pettifor, like we are in recession? It feels as if we are bumping along

:18:53.:18:56.

It feels as if we are bumping along on the bottom. I'm not sure the

:18:56.:19:00.

OECD have got this quarter right, we haven't even our own number. The

:19:00.:19:03.

fact is whether or not they have got it right, we are not recovering,

:19:03.:19:06.

we are stagnant. The Government talks about the economy being

:19:06.:19:10.

stable, it is just stagnant, and it has been since the summer of 2010.

:19:10.:19:15.

Why do you think it is taking so long for us to recover? This is not

:19:15.:19:19.

a typical recession. Normally when you go into recession from a boom,

:19:19.:19:24.

poplg are flush with cash. We went -- people are flush with cash. We

:19:24.:19:34.
:19:34.:19:35.

went in with Governments borrowing cash, including oun, individuals --

:19:35.:19:38.

own, individuals borrowing money, and when the banks go bust before a

:19:38.:19:45.

recession you get a different outcome. What is historically named

:19:45.:19:50.

as a depression, the debt deflation makes it hard to recover. The fact

:19:50.:19:54.

is our Government is focusing on public borrowing, that really isn't

:19:54.:20:02.

half as serious as our private debt. I think it was shown, it is the

:20:02.:20:05.

private debt not deleveraged. We are the most indebted nation on

:20:05.:20:11.

earth. The private sector is more indebted than Japan. Who is that?

:20:11.:20:16.

The banks, private firms, corporations, households. In the

:20:16.:20:19.

United States they have started deleveraging that, paying down or

:20:19.:20:24.

foreclosing on their debts by 15%, we haven't. So people are burdened

:20:24.:20:28.

by this debt, dumped on us by the banks, in the credit boom, and

:20:28.:20:33.

nobody is doing anything about it. But the focus is entirely on

:20:33.:20:37.

something else, which is the public sector debt. It is very ironic that

:20:37.:20:40.

Gordon Brown talked about us importing this problem from America,

:20:40.:20:43.

it was America where it all started, and now they have decoupled from us,

:20:44.:20:47.

and they seem to be on the road to recovery and we are not. Where did

:20:47.:20:51.

that come from? That is because Gordon was talking nonsense.

:20:51.:20:55.

they encourage a fiscal stimulus and spent money? I think policy

:20:55.:20:59.

response, America has always had a more flexible economy than us. They

:20:59.:21:03.

had more willing employees and people moving more, naturally their

:21:03.:21:08.

housing market is not the same as our's. It doesn't have, outside the

:21:08.:21:12.

major centres in New York, land doesn't have a great value, it

:21:12.:21:16.

finds a clearing level more easily than in the UK. We didn't import

:21:16.:21:19.

the problem from America. This was a problem across the developed

:21:19.:21:25.

world, in the west, where people basically, our debt grew, far more

:21:25.:21:28.

rapidly for a large number of years, than our economic growth. It was

:21:28.:21:32.

fuelled by debt. We were not unique in that, neither was America.

:21:32.:21:35.

is because our finance sector is out of control, and the Government

:21:35.:21:39.

is not doing anything to restrain the finance sector. The finance

:21:39.:21:46.

sector is still about speculative lending. It is not about investing

:21:46.:21:49.

in infrastructure, energy efficiency, investing in the things

:21:49.:21:56.

that will create jobs. The whole austerity problem is completely

:21:56.:22:00.

misplaced? It is misplaced because all the other sectors are crippled

:22:00.:22:04.

by debt, they are not able to invest and spend, that leaves only

:22:04.:22:08.

the Government. There is no growth, and actually. What would explain

:22:08.:22:12.

there is no growth. Because we are not investing in the places where

:22:12.:22:17.

people can actually:? If you have too much debt to begin with at

:22:17.:22:21.

every level. We agree we have too much at the public and private

:22:21.:22:25.

level. We don't agree with the public level. I would. What was

:22:25.:22:28.

said about the bond markets is absolute rubbish, that is what the

:22:28.:22:32.

Government is saying. We don't depend on the bond markets for our

:22:33.:22:36.

borrowing, but the Bank of England. The Government boroughs from itself

:22:36.:22:40.

at a very low rate of interest. The Bank of England has financed the

:22:40.:22:44.

Government's deficit since 2010. it is that easy, why don't we just

:22:44.:22:48.

let the Bank of England print enough money to pay off all our

:22:48.:22:52.

bebt debt and we will be free tomorrow. We are not asking the

:22:52.:22:55.

Bank of England to print off money to pay debts, we are asking the

:22:55.:22:58.

Bank of England to give the Government the finance it needs to

:22:58.:23:01.

spend. There is a difference between spending on welfare

:23:01.:23:04.

benefits and on infrastructure and investment, which nobody is doing.

:23:04.:23:08.

Least of all the Government. policy terms, does what the

:23:08.:23:12.

Chancellor laid out in last week he is budget, make our recovery

:23:12.:23:17.

easier? I don't think it does. wouldn't call it a budget for

:23:17.:23:21.

entrepeneurs? I would suggest nothing can. When you get in this

:23:21.:23:26.

position there is no magic way out. In the 1930s, we didn't sit back,

:23:26.:23:35.

we didn't sit on our hands and say. John MaynardCan, he's work was not

:23:35.:23:40.

published until 1961. The point is, we didn't sit on our hands and

:23:40.:23:44.

allow unemployment to rocket upwards and output to slump, and

:23:44.:23:51.

businesses to go bust and families to go bankrupt. John Maynard Canes

:23:51.:23:56.

didn't publish his work until 1936. I would like the Government to

:23:56.:24:00.

spend not on welfare but infrastructure, which would create

:24:00.:24:04.

the income to restore the banks to stability.

:24:04.:24:07.

Today, the minister responsible for encouraging more councils to have

:24:08.:24:12.

elected mayors told Newsnight that he hoped they would one day be more

:24:12.:24:16.

powerful than cabinet ministers. It seems a more attractive proposition

:24:16.:24:21.

than being a member of Ed Milliband's shadow cabinet, Liam

:24:21.:24:26.

Byrne said he would quit to run for mayor in Birmingham, if they

:24:26.:24:29.

decided they wanted one. Will public figureheads make any

:24:29.:24:33.

difference, and will they have any real powers to change things. Our

:24:33.:24:38.

political editor and her infag teeingable producer have been in

:24:38.:24:48.
:24:48.:25:02.

You heard of the Great Train Robbery, this is the great train

:25:02.:25:06.

givaway. We are travelling to Birmingham with three of localisms

:25:07.:25:09.

real fans, they will explain to people what they will get if they

:25:09.:25:19.
:25:19.:25:22.

vote for a mayor. Grb if they vote for a mayor.

:25:22.:25:26.

The three mayoral Musketeers, are confident of the Prime Minister,

:25:26.:25:32.

and the original architect of how mayors could work, Peter Clarke who

:25:32.:25:37.

has nursed it through, Michael Heseltine, and Lord Donaldson, who

:25:37.:25:44.

has championed mayors, and -- Lord Adonis, who has championed mayors.

:25:44.:25:48.

I did what powers would they get? What would Birmingham demand if

:25:48.:25:55.

they get an effective leader. Alex Salnond does not wonder what

:25:55.:26:00.

Whitehall will do for me, he thumps the table and says this is what I

:26:00.:26:04.

want. We need those people in cities. The City Council of

:26:04.:26:07.

Birmingham has a budget of �4 billion a year, it has

:26:08.:26:11.

responsibility for 400 schools and huge other responsibilities.

:26:11.:26:18.

not give the powers to elected councils, why not why one

:26:18.:26:21.

charasmatic figure? That is the view of councils, the situation is

:26:21.:26:25.

not broken, why fix it. The situation is not fine, there are

:26:26.:26:31.

not leaders who are nationally known, there is a situation of one

:26:31.:26:36.

of compromise, loaders emerge from discussions behind closed doors,

:26:36.:26:40.

every decision goes to endless committees. The result is Whitehall

:26:40.:26:44.

has a virtual monopoly of decision making. What do you say to cities

:26:44.:26:48.

who look like they are not interested in this exercise? There

:26:48.:26:52.

is only one referendum in a city so far, London, huge majority in

:26:52.:26:56.

favour. Who in London would turn the clock back now and not have a

:26:56.:27:00.

mayor? Virtually nobody. A city that wants to get left behind, what

:27:00.:27:05.

can one do about it, if they opt to be left behind, that is up to them.

:27:05.:27:09.

People will make their call on whether or not they want to travel

:27:09.:27:13.

with Lord Heseltine, when there are referendums in ten cities, up and

:27:13.:27:18.

down the country, on the 3rd of May. The Institute for Government, asked

:27:18.:27:28.
:27:28.:27:32.

YouGov if there was any appetite 37% didn't know or care. Then the

:27:32.:27:35.

institute asked a question intended to bring out whether current

:27:35.:27:45.
:27:45.:27:53.

council leaders were big figures in Despite such polling results, there

:27:53.:27:57.

is still considerable dissent. sounds exciting to have a Boris and

:27:57.:28:00.

Ken contest, but in practice, politicians are not perfect people.

:28:00.:28:04.

We have checks and balances, but people don't do exactly what they

:28:04.:28:09.

should do, and there needs to be a checks and balance. The idea of

:28:09.:28:13.

giving somebody total power for four years wrong.

:28:13.:28:23.

Sir Thomas at wood here is cet did -- credited as one of Birmingham's

:28:23.:28:28.

earliest MPs. Here they hope future mayors will be more powerful than

:28:28.:28:31.

cabinet ministers. Choosing one directly elected guy means it is

:28:31.:28:36.

the people who chose what happens. There is one person identified, it

:28:36.:28:39.

diminishes the significance of councillors, they don't like it.

:28:39.:28:42.

The Mayor of Birmingham will be a more significant figure than

:28:42.:28:48.

members of cabinet. It will be a hugely political post. If you have

:28:48.:28:52.

somebody sitting there as Mayor of Birmingham, a household name, and

:28:52.:28:55.

won an election across the second largest city in the country, you

:28:55.:29:01.

are not in a position to say no to them. If the Prime Minister says

:29:01.:29:07.

you may have a God case we won't give you power of the welfare

:29:07.:29:12.

budget -- a good case, but we won't give you power of the welfare

:29:12.:29:15.

budget? The Prime Minister has said the mayors will sit around the

:29:15.:29:20.

table with him twice a year, and they can put the case. If you are

:29:20.:29:26.

at that cabinet meeting and the mayors are united in demanding a

:29:26.:29:29.

certain set of powers, I'm sure they will come out and talk to you

:29:29.:29:33.

and other broadcasters, I think it would be very difficult for a Prime

:29:33.:29:37.

Minister, unreason below, to be refusing powers that ought to be in

:29:38.:29:41.

the hands of cities and mayors. Those in Government Des operate to

:29:41.:29:44.

see a new platoon of mayors across the country, know this is probably

:29:44.:29:49.

their last chance in a generation to pull it off. Somewhere like here,

:29:49.:29:53.

Birmingham, is a poster child for the policy. People here are up for

:29:53.:29:56.

it. There are places like Nottingham and Wakefield, where

:29:56.:30:01.

they are slower on the uptake. If you are in Government and pushing

:30:01.:30:07.

this policy, you want a number of cities to go to it so mayors become

:30:07.:30:12.

the normal, not an oddity. Which new powers to wrest away from

:30:12.:30:15.

Whitehall will be up to these new politicians. Central Government

:30:15.:30:21.

doesn't yet know what cities like Birmingham will take back. The head

:30:21.:30:26.

of the FBI has said Britain should follow the US lead and allow

:30:26.:30:31.

terrorists to make plea bargains. It claims it can help for the

:30:31.:30:33.

capture of other terrorists through the information they yield. Would

:30:33.:30:38.

it lead people to say what they thought prosecutors wanted to hear.

:30:38.:30:41.

From an ethical perspective should we choose national security over

:30:41.:30:47.

natural Jews is it T Pips Taylor, who has catch -- justice.

:30:47.:30:57.
:30:57.:30:57.

Peter Taylor has been in America watching the spies.

:30:57.:31:01.

America's domestic Intel against service, the Federal Bureau of

:31:01.:31:04.

Investigation, has a history of running human sources, often wiring

:31:04.:31:08.

them to make secret recordings. more I'm in this business, the more

:31:08.:31:13.

I believe sources and wires are absolutely essential to address

:31:13.:31:17.

espionage, and terrorism and the like. It is adapting that long

:31:17.:31:22.

history of using sources and wires to threats of today that have been

:31:22.:31:26.

the challenge. The FBI has one particular tool in its armoury to

:31:26.:31:30.

counter terrorism, that is used far more liberally and extensively than

:31:30.:31:36.

in the UK. It is called, a plea bargain, a process in which a

:31:36.:31:40.

suspect agrows to co-operate, in return for a much shorter -- agrees

:31:40.:31:43.

to co-operate, in return for a much shorter sentence. The question is,

:31:43.:31:48.

would the UK benefit from adopting a similar system. For us, in the

:31:48.:31:53.

area of terrorism, it is an essential tool. To have a system

:31:53.:31:57.

whereby there is an incentive to provide information.

:31:57.:32:04.

At their headquarters, in Virginia, the FBI use role playing exercises

:32:05.:32:09.

to train their special agents. We were given rare access to see how

:32:09.:32:14.

they are taught to turn and recruit sources. And how to use a plea

:32:14.:32:18.

bargain as an incentive. Do you want me to get information. I tell

:32:18.:32:21.

you what I want to do, I want you to hang out with the same people

:32:21.:32:24.

you have in the past, and do the same things you have always done.

:32:24.:32:30.

But just, under direction from us. If I do what you are asking, what

:32:30.:32:34.

about these charges? I can't promise you anything, but, I want

:32:34.:32:38.

to help you out in every way I can. I want you to help me out in every

:32:38.:32:43.

way you can. It is a give and take relationship. So you are saying,

:32:43.:32:49.

you could keep me out of prison? I'm saying I'm going to try.

:32:49.:32:52.

anybody finds out I'm doing this, there is a lot of people who will

:32:52.:32:59.

kill me, you know that. Woods Clive Woodward trains the new recruits to

:32:59.:33:03.

- Martin Woods trains the new recruits to plea bargain, but to

:33:03.:33:08.

use it carefully. The best way to recruit someone is to hold

:33:08.:33:12.

something over them. As was played in today's sin Nair yo. You have a

:33:12.:33:16.

criminal charge over someone -- scenario, you have a criminal

:33:16.:33:20.

charge over one you have leverage over them. People think

:33:20.:33:23.

interrogation is finger pointing, screaming, they don't expect

:33:23.:33:31.

someone to be emtheyic and sympathetic to their cause --

:33:31.:33:36.

emtheyic and sympathetic to their cause and come with honey. That is

:33:36.:33:43.

what we teach in our training sessions. One of the most useful

:33:44.:33:48.

people in the war against terror was a young American Muslim, who

:33:48.:33:53.

would eventually agree to a plea bargain with the FBI. He openly

:33:53.:34:00.

boasted before a television camera. When Americans come in with the

:34:00.:34:04.

mind set to clean, my Muslim brother and sisters, I will kill

:34:04.:34:09.

every American I see in Afghanistan. Mohammed Babar had helped set up a

:34:09.:34:13.

terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, attended by many

:34:13.:34:19.

British would-be Jihadists, including this man, Kazi Rahman.

:34:19.:34:23.

can't wait to see British soldiers on the battlefield and see them run,

:34:23.:34:27.

I'm happy to kill hem. Is Two years after the interviews, Mohammed

:34:27.:34:32.

Babar flew back to New York. Remarkably, even this fiercely

:34:32.:34:35.

committed Jihadi, could be induced to become a human source.

:34:35.:34:40.

Over six months he told the FBI everything. What he had done, who

:34:40.:34:44.

he had trained with in Pakistan, and the attacks they were planning.

:34:44.:34:48.

Mohammed Babar was to prove a human source that Intelligence Services

:34:48.:34:53.

dream of. He was critical, he's an individual

:34:53.:34:58.

who had both the access and capability to get into groups that

:34:58.:35:03.

simply would not have exist without him. In return for a much shorter

:35:03.:35:06.

sentence, he agreed to co-operate and reveal everything. Instead of a

:35:06.:35:12.

life sentence, he served just five years, and is now at liberty. Such

:35:12.:35:16.

dramatic reductions are typical in America. But, for many in Britain,

:35:17.:35:20.

such deals raise the uncomfortable prospect of seeing convicted

:35:20.:35:26.

terrorists walking free. The director of the FBI believes

:35:26.:35:31.

MI5 and the British police stand to gain an intelligence windfall,

:35:31.:35:35.

should plea bargaining operate as it does in America. He points to

:35:35.:35:39.

the hundreds of convicted Islamist terrorist prisoners in British

:35:39.:35:43.

jails. Whose heads are full of vital intelligence. Which they are

:35:43.:35:48.

unlikely to divulge, unless they are given an incentive to do so.

:35:48.:35:53.

think my brothers and sisters in the UK, don't have that same access

:35:53.:35:56.

to intelligence. Do you think the UK would benefit from doing the

:35:56.:36:03.

same? I do. If they had access to the information in the head of a

:36:03.:36:06.

number of persons who have been arrested over a period of time, as

:36:06.:36:10.

to where they went for their training, whether it be Pakistan or

:36:10.:36:13.

some place else, who was involved in the training, what other plots

:36:13.:36:18.

were in training. They would be a benefit to those agencies to have

:36:18.:36:22.

access to those intelligences. Britain has reaped huge benefit

:36:22.:36:28.

from the FBI's plea bargain with Mohammed Babar. In 2004, in an

:36:28.:36:32.

operation code named Crevice, British intelligence secretly

:36:32.:36:36.

filmed a suspect in a lock-up, checking the fertiliser stored for

:36:36.:36:42.

a massive bomb. The suspected targets included a nightclub and a

:36:42.:36:45.

shopping centre. The man under surveillance was the leader of a

:36:45.:36:50.

British terrorist cell, and had trained in Pakistan alongside Babar.

:36:50.:36:54.

As part of his plea bargain, Babar gave evidence in open court,

:36:54.:36:58.

evidence that proved critical in the conviction of five members of

:36:58.:37:03.

the cell. All were given life imprisonment. It prevented the

:37:03.:37:08.

people who were being charged with that crime from claiming that they

:37:08.:37:12.

were just opportunists that they were momentarily enraged by

:37:12.:37:15.

something that had happened in the world. It showed how they had been

:37:15.:37:19.

training and planning and preparing to mount a terrorist attack here in

:37:19.:37:24.

the UK for quite a long time. Kazi Rahman was arrested for

:37:24.:37:30.

attempting to buy weapons and sentenced to nine years.

:37:30.:37:33.

Babar has also given evidence against terrorist suspects in the

:37:33.:37:40.

USA and Canada. So, if plea bargaining can be so

:37:40.:37:46.

successful, why don't we adopt the American system? In America the

:37:46.:37:49.

prosecution and defence reach a formal agreement and then put it to

:37:49.:37:54.

the judge, with a recommendation on sentencing. Which he can accept or

:37:54.:38:01.

reject. By contrast, in the UK, the prosecution and defence can

:38:01.:38:06.

encourage the judge to take account of the defendant's assistance. But

:38:06.:38:09.

they can't make a specific recommendation on sentencing. So,

:38:09.:38:13.

unlike in America, the accused has no clear idea of what he will get

:38:13.:38:17.

in return. For many years it is something that

:38:17.:38:21.

those of us involved in law enforcement, here in the UK, have

:38:21.:38:26.

been wondering whether there might be some movement on. If somebody is

:38:26.:38:30.

going to be asked to really compromise the rest of their life,

:38:30.:38:33.

in terms of potential safety and security, there has to be something

:38:33.:38:38.

in exchange. Do you think we should do plea bargaining as in America.

:38:38.:38:41.

think we have to be hugely careful, there is the risk of people giving

:38:41.:38:45.

false evidence in exchange for a discount on their sentence. That's

:38:45.:38:52.

something we have to be vigilent about. If we could find some way of

:38:52.:38:56.

offering something more in exchange than we currently have, which is

:38:56.:39:02.

actually very little, then I think that could only be a good thing.

:39:02.:39:07.

Tentative steps have been made towards American-style deals, with

:39:07.:39:10.

the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act of 2005. But, there is

:39:10.:39:14.

still a long way to go before Britain benefits from the wealth of

:39:15.:39:20.

intelligence potentially to hand. Director Muller's words will

:39:20.:39:23.

probably fall on welcome ears at MI5, Scotland Yard, and the Home

:39:23.:39:33.
:39:33.:39:34.

Office. You can see the first part of Peter Taylor's new series,

:39:34.:39:40.

Modern Spies, on BBC on Monday night. We have the Conservative

:39:40.:39:45.

Party MP, Patrick Mercer and Keith Vaz here to argue it out. They know

:39:45.:39:53.

how to spend their Easter break! We are grateful chaps. You heard from

:39:53.:39:59.

the head of the FBI saying the UK would benefit, if there was even

:39:59.:40:02.

the remotist chance this could foil terrorist plots in the country, why

:40:02.:40:06.

wouldn't you chance it? You have to be very careful, exactly as Peter

:40:06.:40:09.

Clarke has said, he has a lot of experience in counter terrorism

:40:09.:40:14.

work. I'm not in favour of the further Americanisation of our

:40:14.:40:18.

legal system. We have two different systems, our's works very well, it

:40:18.:40:23.

is an issue of guilt or innocence. Once you start to make it into a

:40:23.:40:28.

shade of innocence and guilt, it becomes very difficult. I think

:40:28.:40:32.

that though there is examples of information being helpful, it isn't

:40:32.:40:36.

a consistent set of examples. I think we need to be very careful

:40:36.:40:41.

indeed. And very careful means, don't do it? Keith's making good

:40:41.:40:45.

point, but all I can say, it wasn't called this or anything like as

:40:45.:40:49.

formal. I saw this in Northern Ireland on endless tours over there,

:40:49.:40:52.

when we managed to turn someone, when we managed to arrange

:40:52.:40:57.

something with the judge, which was the exception, rather than the rule,

:40:57.:40:59.

it was inevitably useful. Not necessarily because of the

:40:59.:41:02.

intelligence we received, but because of the very important

:41:02.:41:07.

message that it sent to his, they were all men in my case, to his

:41:07.:41:10.

colleagues. So the psychological whistle-blowing really?

:41:10.:41:14.

psychology of it, to the rest of the terrorist networks, here is

:41:14.:41:17.

someone in police or military custody, and they are singing, they

:41:17.:41:22.

are coughing. What are they saying? What do the victims say to that,

:41:22.:41:27.

look at this case, a man who should have been serving a life sentence,

:41:27.:41:31.

having five years and then being free, a terrorist? Absolutely. It

:41:31.:41:35.

is unpalatable, I accept that, it is difficult to make people, the

:41:35.:41:40.

public, understand exactly what's going on. The points that I'm

:41:40.:41:45.

making are very seldom referred to. The fact that once this individual

:41:45.:41:48.

is in custody, here we are, he has done a deal. What message does that

:41:48.:41:53.

send to his colleagues. The message is, he has informed, he has told

:41:53.:41:57.

people what is going on, he's a liability. Patrick has huge

:41:58.:42:01.

experience, not just in Northern Ireland but in counter terrorism.

:42:01.:42:05.

There is a but coming! The problem is s as he knows in a

:42:05.:42:10.

trial like the Supergrass trial in Northern Ireland, �4 million of

:42:10.:42:16.

tax-payers' money, Robert and Ian Stewart walked free, and 12 people

:42:16.:42:21.

were able to go off. It is sometimes used as a threat. We had

:42:21.:42:25.

interesting evidence from David Birmingham to the select committee

:42:25.:42:32.

on extradition, what he said was he pleaded guilty because he knew if

:42:32.:42:37.

he didn't there was a sentence of 300 years coming his way. He

:42:37.:42:42.

believed the only way to deal with it was plead guilty. Prosecutors

:42:42.:42:47.

are lazy too, they don't have to produce as much evidence, and there

:42:47.:42:53.

is a danger of false evidence. these things have to be balanced

:42:53.:42:57.

out much the points made are well thought out. Particularly with

:42:57.:43:02.

Islamic fundamentalists, who are on the point of killing hundreds of

:43:03.:43:05.

thousands of people. That changes things, particularly when someone

:43:05.:43:09.

has been arrested very early in the commission of an alleged crime, it

:43:09.:43:15.

makes it a whole different ball game. There is a hypocrisy, if you

:43:15.:43:22.

look at how we have profited any way, from plea bargaining in the US,

:43:22.:43:27.

Operation Cef Crevice, -- Operation Crevice, we are the happy

:43:27.:43:30.

recipients. We should continue to be so. Without offering anything in

:43:30.:43:33.

return? It is different judicial system, you have already started to

:43:33.:43:39.

have it in serious and organised crime. You have the Goodyear

:43:39.:43:43.

directions, can you go before a judge and say you will plead guilty,

:43:43.:43:47.

and your sentence is known to you before the matters proceed. If you

:43:47.:43:51.

have a situation where you are able to, in a sense, manipulate the

:43:51.:43:55.

system, you could be giving all kinds of information out, which

:43:55.:43:59.

won't necessarily be information that is going to be helpful. It is

:43:59.:44:03.

such a powerful tool, many of us, you and I discussed it on the home

:44:03.:44:07.

affairs commit year, several times, it is such an important thing, it

:44:07.:44:10.

it is one of the conclusive things you can do to a terrorist. As I say,

:44:10.:44:13.

not just the individual whom you may or may not sentence, but the

:44:13.:44:18.

message it spreads to all colleagues. You have been trying to

:44:18.:44:21.

get this considered for years. The Home Office is very resistant to

:44:21.:44:24.

this, do you think you can change their minds? I don't think I can

:44:24.:44:29.

change anything. If men and women of reason get together, and I

:44:29.:44:33.

persuade people like Keith Vaz to support me, I think we can. I think

:44:33.:44:36.

Patrick is moving in a direction, and the Government is moving in

:44:36.:44:41.

this direction, but we need to be very, very cautious indeed. What we

:44:41.:44:45.

don't want to do. What is your starting point? There are already

:44:45.:44:53.

starting points, the Goodyear directives and the way we deal with

:44:53.:44:58.

queens' evidence, they are all there. If we get the whole of our

:44:58.:45:05.

criminal justice system overtaken by plea bargains, 87% of -- 97% of

:45:05.:45:10.

convictions in America are done by plea bargains, my worry is you

:45:10.:45:14.

start with counter terrorism and then to other aspects of law,s a

:45:14.:45:22.

slippery slope. If anyone will convince them, Captain mers will do

:45:22.:45:28.

it. Reduced in seniority, Major, if you like. Let's take you through

:45:28.:45:33.

the papers, on the front of the FT, you have our top story, the setback

:45:33.:45:43.

Also interesting, George Osborne to challenge Labour on spending, and

:45:43.:45:46.

challenge Labour to match a detailed coalition programme of

:45:46.:45:50.

cuts, stretched into the middle of next parliament. In the Times, a

:45:50.:45:56.

fuel crisis made in Downing Street. The owner of a store in Bournemouth

:45:56.:46:03.

carries his last six gerrycans to sell to motorists. Entrepeneurship

:46:03.:46:13.
:46:13.:46:25.

That's all we have time for tonight. Today the Bluegrass musician, Earl

:46:25.:46:32.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS