15/06/2012 Newsnight


15/06/2012

Reporting on the last day of the Greek elections campaign. Will the markets panic on Monday morning? Plus, are country suppers a clue that our leaders are too posh?


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Transcript


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Greece decides its future, and perhaps the future of all of us

:00:12.:00:17.

across Europe. Is this the moment when the eurozone can be lost. It

:00:17.:00:23.

is already getting heated. With all the parties promising some kind of

:00:23.:00:26.

changes to the austerity package, will it be enough to see off the

:00:26.:00:32.

challenge from the far left. Paul Mason is in Athens tonight.

:00:32.:00:35.

The Greek Conservative leader tells his party, if we don't win this one,

:00:35.:00:40.

there won't be a third election, just chaos.

:00:40.:00:43.

Our guest also assess the impact Greece's decision will have on

:00:43.:00:47.

Britain, Europe and the world economy. Also tonight:

:00:47.:00:52.

Before we get on the proper business of the evening, getting

:00:53.:00:58.

chateaued beyond belief. The perils of being posh, as David Cameron now

:00:58.:01:06.

reaches the point where his lifestyle and friends reach a

:01:06.:01:16.

difficult point. We talk to our guests.

:01:16.:01:19.

Good evening, there is something a bit odd about a project involving

:01:19.:01:23.

more than 400 million of the richest people on earth, in which

:01:23.:01:28.

the decisions of handful in a tiny country matter so much. That is the

:01:28.:01:31.

way it looks tonight as the people of Greece prepare to go to the

:01:31.:01:35.

polls on Sunday. Ground down austerity, fed up with politics, as

:01:35.:01:37.

usual, and not entirely sure whether their voting would take

:01:37.:01:40.

Greece out of the yourier row, and even cause the currency and the

:01:40.:01:43.

world economy to collapse. Britain's former Prime Minister,

:01:43.:01:49.

Gordon Brown, warned today of a possibly chaotic exit from the euro,

:01:49.:01:55.

saying Italy and even France might soon need a bail out. Paul you have

:01:55.:02:00.

been there all week in Athens who will win, you must be an expert?

:02:00.:02:03.

Opinion polls are banned before the election. A lot of people in the

:02:03.:02:07.

world of banking in the last couple of days have seen and told me about

:02:07.:02:15.

private polls, who say New Demok on 30, Syriza, the far left, on 27,

:02:15.:02:19.

but margins of error there, quite crucial. That still leaves another

:02:19.:02:24.

40% of voters. But what will happen in this election depends first of

:02:24.:02:28.

all on the turn out, whether people who realise, this is it, this is

:02:28.:02:33.

the election that decides Greece's fate, and that they suddenly have,

:02:33.:02:37.

which they didn't realise before, a choice for a far left party that

:02:37.:02:40.

will take them out of the austerity and into the unknown, as we are

:02:40.:02:45.

about to see, whether people just turn out. Or, whether people, it is

:02:45.:02:49.

a were, the fear vote and Mr Samaras, the leader of the

:02:49.:02:52.

Conservatives has been playing on that fear all week, whether the

:02:52.:02:55.

fear vote just rushes, in larger numbers than the polls are

:02:55.:02:59.

predicting, to the Conservatives. We will probably get a decisive

:02:59.:03:01.

outcome. That is my feeling, I don't know which it is. There are,

:03:02.:03:07.

there is a minority of pollster who is say watch out for a Syriza

:03:07.:03:12.

landslide. But New Democracy had a big rally today, what about their

:03:12.:03:17.

leader have to say to the party faithful? He said if we don't win

:03:17.:03:20.

this, there will be so much economic chaos, we might not get to

:03:20.:03:23.

a third election. He didn't specify what would actually prevent Greece

:03:24.:03:27.

getting to a third election. But it is the rhetoric like that, that I

:03:27.:03:33.

think people are responding to. Mr Samaras said this is an election

:03:33.:03:37.

about the euro, we are in or we're out. Vote me and we are in, vote

:03:37.:03:47.

for the left and we are out. The left vehemently denies. That you

:03:47.:03:51.

can't overestimate how pro-Europe that far left Syriza are, they

:03:51.:03:55.

genuinely believe they can make Greece work as part of the euro, if

:03:55.:04:00.

they get some breathing space to do a much more radical, almost left

:04:00.:04:04.

Social Democratic version of a growth strategy. So, you know,

:04:04.:04:08.

Greece's voters are being presented with a real choice, not a rhetoric

:04:08.:04:13.

choice. It is a real choice between two paths out within the euro. But,

:04:13.:04:18.

you know, the experience of being here all week, going to far flung

:04:18.:04:22.

village, ar meet -- and meeting people who have never met a member

:04:22.:04:26.

of Syriza, saying en masse, they are going to vote for them. This is

:04:26.:04:29.

something Greek politics hasn't seen, since the end of the

:04:29.:04:32.

dictatorship. And very briefly, Paul, how

:04:33.:04:38.

prepared is the rest of Europe f any one of these chaotic scenarios

:04:38.:04:42.

the one we end up with on Monday? Mr Cameron was teleconferencing

:04:42.:04:46.

this afternoon. They have cancelled the attendance of certain people at

:04:46.:04:50.

the Mexico G20, or they have postponeed it. They will throw all

:04:50.:04:59.

kind of things at t they will throw liquidity, Central Bank action. It

:04:59.:05:04.

is not really Syriza wins and everything going haywire, it is New

:05:04.:05:11.

Democracy wins and they can't rule. For the Greek middle-class, it was

:05:11.:05:14.

time tonight for one last drink before the unknown.

:05:14.:05:18.

For many people in business, business is frozen. There is little

:05:18.:05:25.

investment coming in, and credit is drying up. Beneath the laidback

:05:25.:05:28.

surface, mainstream politics are getting tense. There are no opinion

:05:28.:05:31.

polls allowed at this stage of the election. Many Greeks have seen or

:05:31.:05:36.

heard of, private opinion polls that indicate the Conservative New

:05:36.:05:39.

Democracy party, could get 30%. Enough, just, to beat the far left,

:05:39.:05:44.

and form a Government. But then, the problems start. Partly, because

:05:44.:05:48.

of the scale of the Greek crisis, partly, because of the

:05:49.:05:56.

peculiarities of Greek Conservatism. This is the party on which the

:05:56.:06:03.

hopes of Brussels and Berlin rest. New Democracy, getting ready for

:06:03.:06:07.

its final rally in Syntagma Sqare. Like PASOK, it is a party blil

:06:07.:06:14.

built on 0 years of two-party patrons -- it is a party built on

:06:14.:06:20.

20 years of two-party patronage. How does the party operate when it

:06:20.:06:26.

has to dismantle clientism? Necessity is a big teacher. Now

:06:26.:06:30.

there is not that much money to hand out, or positions in the

:06:30.:06:34.

public sector. There aren't going to be many hirings in the public

:06:34.:06:39.

sector. In order to maintain power, they cannot for more than a few

:06:39.:06:44.

months, they cannot depend on their old tricks. The worry is, without

:06:44.:06:50.

anything to offer voters but more austerity and pain, ND, will find

:06:50.:06:59.

it hard to rule, even if it wins. This is one of New Democracy's

:06:59.:07:04.

leading lights. In 2010 she was kicked out for supporting the

:07:04.:07:10.

austerity plan, which at the time, the Conservatives didn't want. She

:07:10.:07:16.

has rejoined and could be a new minister if they win. If New

:07:16.:07:19.

Democracy and their partners have the majority, by the people's will

:07:19.:07:25.

and in parliament, they are obliged to govern. If not, you don't have a

:07:25.:07:30.

democracy, you say whoever has 17% and wants to stop anything in

:07:30.:07:38.

governing Greece can do it. This can't be logical democracy. Let as

:07:38.:07:43.

be cheer what that means t means taking on the trade unions, who

:07:43.:07:49.

have prevented privatisation, and stopping the central problems in

:07:49.:07:53.

Athens, are you prepared to do that? If we want to succeed we have

:07:54.:08:00.

to. Many in the German political class want Greece out of the euro,

:08:00.:08:04.

what will you say on Monday to prevent that happening, to the

:08:04.:08:10.

Germans? I will say the Greeks have voted. That it is an incredible

:08:10.:08:15.

decision. Because the people are really, really suffering in Greece

:08:15.:08:20.

today. They made the decision, and now, we

:08:20.:08:30.
:08:30.:08:33.

are going to do our homework, but you must also stop making life

:08:33.:08:36.

impossible with all these different declarations every day. I will be

:08:36.:08:40.

very clear about it. For David Cameron, and the other euro leaders

:08:40.:08:45.

trying to handle the Greek crisis the options are clear but limited.

:08:45.:08:48.

A big Central Bank liquidity operation is expected, if the

:08:48.:08:52.

election sparks a market meltdown. Foreign leaders are pushing Germany

:08:52.:08:56.

for a clear signal, that it wants Greece within the euro, after a

:08:56.:09:00.

week in which it is giving signals to the contrary, and the in coming

:09:00.:09:04.

Greek Government needs a quick answer to its demands for changes

:09:04.:09:09.

to the austerity package. Again, Germany's rep on the ECB saying

:09:09.:09:15.

today, there could be no changes. New Democracy wants to renegotiate

:09:15.:09:19.

the bail out. Many of its core supporters want

:09:19.:09:23.

tax cuts, offset by cuts in public spending. But since the Spanish

:09:23.:09:28.

crisis began, the leverage of any in coming Greek Government is

:09:28.:09:32.

limited. I don't think Greece has that much of bargaining power. If

:09:32.:09:37.

we were the only danger to the world economy, then we would have

:09:37.:09:41.

huge bargaining power. Since there is dozens of dangers around, what

:09:41.:09:46.

Europe will do is build up its defence against any danger,

:09:46.:09:53.

including Greece. If we don't work with the Europeans to build

:09:53.:09:57.

defences with them, then we shall be seen as irrelevant, and at best,

:09:57.:10:01.

left out of the picture. It is, frankly, crunch time, not

:10:01.:10:05.

just for the Greek Conservatives, but for centrist politics across

:10:05.:10:08.

Europe. If they fail on Sunday, then there are many, both on the

:10:08.:10:13.

left and right of politics, who would see that as the signal for

:10:13.:10:23.
:10:23.:10:24.

the end of the Uri project. -- euro project.

:10:24.:10:28.

Antonis Samaras said if they don't make it this time, that will be the

:10:28.:10:35.

end of the euro, it is election rhetoric, but everybody knows it.

:10:35.:10:40.

To explore what impact the result of this election might have on the

:10:40.:10:45.

eurozone, Britain and the world economy, we are joined by George

:10:45.:10:51.

Magnus, Matthew Hancock, and Bettina Schulz.

:10:51.:10:55.

What do you think the British Government really wants out of this

:10:55.:11:03.

election? I think that a governing coalition, it is likely to be that

:11:03.:11:08.

n Greece, that supports memberships of the euro, but supports the bail

:11:08.:11:13.

out, so we can bring an end to the uncertainty. As the package made

:11:13.:11:17.

clear, it will require action outside of Greece, in return.

:11:17.:11:20.

that mean, I know British politicians say they don't want to

:11:20.:11:24.

be involved in party politics, that would mean, then, logically, if it

:11:24.:11:28.

was a Syriza-led coalition, that would be pretty disastrous in the

:11:28.:11:31.

British Government's point of view, whatever they say publicly about

:11:31.:11:36.

it? From my point of view, I think it is very difficult to see how the

:11:36.:11:40.

German public would support an easier and more generous bail out

:11:40.:11:44.

of Greece, if the Greek, the in coming Greek Government said they

:11:45.:11:48.

were not prepared to pay the price. The central dilemma in this, is the

:11:49.:11:52.

Greeks, broadly, want to stay in the euro, the question is, are they

:11:52.:11:58.

willing to pay for it, this weekend. And the German people want the euro

:11:58.:12:03.

to succeed, but many of them don't want to pay for the profligacy of

:12:03.:12:08.

the Greeks. If the Greeks vote decisively to say, yes we're

:12:08.:12:12.

prepared to do what is necessary, and lead to a New Democracy victory,

:12:12.:12:17.

then you can see a path through, with Germany saying that this is a

:12:17.:12:22.

necessary price to save the euro. That would get Angela Merkel off

:12:22.:12:25.

the hook t would be far easier for her to make some concessions to the

:12:25.:12:30.

Greek people, if it was a New Democracy group, and not Syriza?

:12:30.:12:33.

would be better for the German public to accept this especially

:12:33.:12:36.

when you see there are other countries like Ireland and Portugal,

:12:36.:12:39.

they have done their structural reforms and the savings. The

:12:39.:12:43.

population there is also in a very hard situation. But they stick to

:12:43.:12:47.

the deal, and they have fulfilled their obligations. I think the

:12:47.:12:49.

German Government and the German people expect this from Greece as

:12:49.:12:55.

well. I think if you have a constructive Government in Greece,

:12:55.:12:59.

that will support the euro, especially the deal, which was only

:12:59.:13:03.

made in March, we shouldn't forget this, it is a very recent deal.

:13:03.:13:08.

Then I'm very sure the Government will then renegotiate. Don't you

:13:08.:13:12.

think that Merkel may say, may think, actually being where we are,

:13:12.:13:19.

we would love to keep it all together, but if Greece went we

:13:19.:13:23.

wouldn't change that much, drawing a line in the sand with Spain and

:13:23.:13:26.

Italy and other countries? You have to be careful with this, it is a

:13:26.:13:29.

very big unknown. You could say the banks have basically written off

:13:29.:13:33.

the Greek debt, so the financial markets probably would be prepared

:13:33.:13:38.

in that way. But on the other hand, it would bakesically then create a

:13:38.:13:41.

different monetary union. different entitlement. Gordon Brown

:13:42.:13:45.

today was saying this could be a chaotic exit, we have had years to

:13:45.:13:49.

prepare for it, perhaps, but it could be absolutely awful on Monday.

:13:49.:13:52.

Where do you come down on this? don't think it will be awful on

:13:52.:13:58.

Monday. I think, for what it's worth, that the currency markets

:13:58.:14:02.

and capital markets and Greek equities and European stocks this

:14:02.:14:06.

week have actually put in a slightly cheery performance by

:14:06.:14:10.

comparison with recent weeks. Almost to the point where the

:14:10.:14:14.

market is kind of saying, on Monday morning, one way or the other, you

:14:14.:14:19.

know, the Central Banks are going to be there, the Bank of England's

:14:19.:14:21.

obviously with the Chancellor already announcing a major

:14:21.:14:25.

programme last night. �80 billion of soft loans to banks? It is

:14:25.:14:30.

thought that the central reserve is looking at things very, very

:14:30.:14:37.

carefully, and Mario Draghi, at the European Central Bank, said Europe

:14:37.:14:41.

is standing ready to help. In the immediate aftermath of the election,

:14:41.:14:49.

markets are expecting that if the outcome is really-and-a-half, --

:14:49.:14:54.

naff. You mean Syriza, it is what the markets think? In the scheme of

:14:54.:14:59.

things I'm not sure it makes a huge difference. Greece is going to have

:14:59.:15:03.

to default and then they make a big decision to do it in or out of

:15:03.:15:07.

Europe. Is this offering of soft loans to British banks, it is

:15:07.:15:11.

something the Chancellor can do, is it whistling past the graveyard, it

:15:11.:15:14.

doesn't really help, does it? would have needed this six months

:15:14.:15:18.

ago. I'm not sure why it was announced in the way it was

:15:18.:15:22.

announced, when it was announced. It feels a little bit panicky. But

:15:22.:15:27.

it may also be part of pre-emptive measures by the Government. What do

:15:28.:15:31.

you think the Treasury think. Presumably they are really worried,

:15:31.:15:34.

that is one implication of it? There is huge uncertainty about

:15:34.:15:38.

what happens, we have just heard that again in this discussion. No

:15:38.:15:42.

matter what happens in these Greek elections. I think what people want

:15:43.:15:46.

to know is, is the British Government doing everything we can

:15:46.:15:50.

to prepare here for whatever outcome there is. Even though that

:15:50.:15:54.

is limited almost by definition, because we are part of a much

:15:54.:15:56.

bigger jigsaw? We are part of a global economy, and it was

:15:56.:15:59.

interesting to hear Gordon Brown make the argument that the euro

:15:59.:16:05.

zone is damaging the UK economy. The cgs point is, are the British

:16:05.:16:08.

authorities, the Government and the Bank of England -- the crucial

:16:08.:16:10.

point is, are the British authorities and the Government and

:16:10.:16:13.

the Bank of England doing everything they can to prepare. The

:16:14.:16:19.

programme announced last night had a minimum size of �5 billion a

:16:19.:16:23.

month, that will be necessary if everything goes swimmingly on the

:16:23.:16:27.

continent. It didn't have cap to the size f there starts to be bank

:16:27.:16:31.

runs and collapses on the continent, and that could be a consequence of

:16:31.:16:41.

what happens. We need to be ready to depend our country. Do any of

:16:41.:16:45.

you think it ra bit weird, in the middle of a conversation, 400

:16:45.:16:48.

million people, the richest continent on earth, and waiting for

:16:48.:16:54.

a hand of Greek vo voters to vote one way or another, with -- voters

:16:54.:16:59.

to vote one way or another, without it making much difference. It is an

:16:59.:17:05.

important point, Spain, this week, there is a package for the Spanish

:17:05.:17:10.

banks. I have a feeling the markets are looking even more to Spain. We

:17:10.:17:18.

might get one or the other outcome with Greece. We will get some form

:17:18.:17:21.

of a coalition Government, they have to do the negotiations with

:17:21.:17:24.

the troika. In the end Greece needs money, they need to capitalise the

:17:24.:17:30.

banks. They need the money, I think after all this big hype about the

:17:30.:17:40.
:17:40.:17:41.

elections, they will calm down and will try to do constructive things.

:17:41.:17:44.

Given the prospect that was raised by Gordon Brown about France and

:17:44.:17:48.

Italy and so on. If the problem was just about

:17:48.:17:51.

Greece, with respect to Greece, nobody would really care, because

:17:51.:17:56.

as you say, it is very small, it really is on the periphery of

:17:56.:18:00.

Europe. The trouble s of course, what Greece represents, and has

:18:00.:18:03.

done actually for the last three year, although the mood music has

:18:03.:18:07.

been getting louder and louder. What it represents is a systemic

:18:07.:18:11.

flaw in the way in which the eurozone is trying to work. It

:18:11.:18:18.

doesn't work. I wished it did, but it doesn't. And so, you can put a

:18:18.:18:22.

fire out in Greece, quite easily. And yet, it is not going to make a

:18:22.:18:26.

huge amount of difference. The problem, as was said, we know at

:18:26.:18:30.

the same time there are huge problems in Spain. That really is

:18:30.:18:34.

important, that could threaten bank runs as Matthew points out before.

:18:34.:18:38.

That is the biggest risk for next week is capital flight. That said,

:18:38.:18:41.

some of your colleagues wouldn't actually care that much if Greece

:18:41.:18:47.

went, or even if the eurozone were to shake itself apart? I'm normally

:18:47.:18:50.

the optimist in these sorts of discussions, but I think that the

:18:50.:18:58.

problem is much deeper than just a liquidity measure, and that solved

:18:58.:19:02.

by individual bail outs in individual banks, it is structure

:19:02.:19:05.

within the eurozone. Until they have essentially one economic

:19:05.:19:09.

policy, to cover the area of their currency, we are not getting to the

:19:09.:19:13.

end of these endless bail outs. And there are some who say let the

:19:13.:19:18.

whole thing blow, and we will get through it faster. But I think that

:19:18.:19:22.

misses the vital problematic ingredient, that is this is a debt

:19:22.:19:27.

crisis. If there weren't the great debts built up in banks and amongst

:19:28.:19:32.

Governments, then you could have a revaluation fairly easily. If you

:19:32.:19:36.

are Greek and you have a load of savings, and your neighbour has put

:19:36.:19:40.

them in a German bank, Greece leaves the euro, then you lose the

:19:40.:19:43.

value of your savings, but your neighbour doesn't, and Spaniard

:19:43.:19:46.

also watch that, and they will say, hold on, there is a risk-free

:19:46.:19:50.

option. Thank you very much for cheering us

:19:50.:19:55.

An American journalist friend of mine used to say that all American

:19:55.:19:58.

stories are ultimately about race, but all British stories are

:19:58.:20:01.

ultimately about class. This week we learned just how badly average

:20:01.:20:05.

incomes have been set back by the recession and inflation, we also

:20:05.:20:08.

learned that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, enjoyed country

:20:08.:20:12.

suppers in his constituency, with the former News of the World editor,

:20:12.:20:17.

Rebekah Brooks. Mr Cameron has, of course, been called an "arrogant

:20:17.:20:21.

posh boy", by one of his Conservative happens.

:20:21.:20:25.

Do voters care if you are posh in times of austerity. We go in search

:20:25.:20:33.

of answers. She told me I couldn't go one of

:20:33.:20:37.

the ropes. Old Eatonians, country suppers, charm personified, these

:20:37.:20:41.

are scenes from a West End play, lampooning privilege, they are also

:20:41.:20:45.

words from a text to the Prime Minister. When Brookes's missive to

:20:45.:20:48.

David Cameron was revealed to the Prime Minister's aides, they

:20:48.:20:54.

shuddered at the perfect poshness of the patter.

:20:54.:20:58.

We don't know how he replied, we know he now l now be riled. This is

:20:58.:21:04.

man so shy of vaunting a guilded youth, had he to be cajoled into

:21:04.:21:08.

wearing morning suit to the royal wedding. Exactly at the same time

:21:08.:21:13.

on Thursday that the text message for inviting the Prime Minister to

:21:13.:21:18.

posh nosh, slightly different news came out, it was an analysis of the

:21:18.:21:22.

income distribution across the UK, it had bad and good news. Income

:21:22.:21:25.

inequality is down to its lowest level since 1997 when Tony Blair

:21:25.:21:30.

came to power. The bad news is median income, those in the middle,

:21:30.:21:34.

have also take an hit. They have shrunk by their largest amount in 0

:21:34.:21:40.

years. During the recession of 2008 and 2010, average household incomes

:21:40.:21:46.

held up as inflation fell and tax credits and benefits worked. Since

:21:46.:21:50.

then wages have been striped out by inflation. It will take until about

:21:50.:21:55.

2020 for the incomes of families to reach the levels they were before

:21:55.:21:58.

the recession, this is a decade- long squeeze. We also find that

:21:58.:22:02.

some of the actions of the current Government, while maybe well

:22:03.:22:05.

intentioned, increasing the personal allowance, they have done

:22:05.:22:09.

that by cutting tax credits. We know they have supported families

:22:09.:22:13.

over the last decade, less money going to this middle income to low

:22:13.:22:17.

group, is hurting them now. Dealing with historical trends most western

:22:17.:22:20.

Governments are dealing with, but they are not helping themselves.

:22:20.:22:24.

When, in the recent budget there were attacks on simple pleasures

:22:24.:22:28.

like caravans and pasties, though it has been reversed, damage was

:22:28.:22:31.

done, colourful emblems of a Government not getting it were

:22:31.:22:34.

produce. Now Downing Street has done polling, it shows there are a

:22:34.:22:37.

series of reasons why voters are worried about the Conservatives,

:22:37.:22:40.

number two is about the cost of living, and whether this Government

:22:40.:22:43.

gets it, number one is the Government being out-of-touch.

:22:43.:22:47.

people want is somebody who runs the country well, who runs the

:22:48.:22:53.

economy well, improves their take- home pay, better public services.

:22:53.:22:56.

The leaders don't have to be absolutely in touch with the day-

:22:56.:23:00.

to-day lives of people. But if they see politician who is are failing

:23:00.:23:05.

and who are out-of-touch. That combination can be toxic.

:23:05.:23:09.

The Prime Minister used to poll substantially ahead of his party,

:23:09.:23:13.

since the budget, around the first week of this graph, he has sufd and

:23:13.:23:17.

not yet recovered. -- suffered, and not yet recovered. Downing Street

:23:17.:23:21.

know they have a problem, that is why recently the Prime Minister's

:23:21.:23:24.

private secretary wrote to all cabinet ministers asking for policy

:23:24.:23:27.

to show they get there is a cost of living squeeze on. They have two

:23:27.:23:31.

problems in how they deal with, the first is money, for instance, do

:23:31.:23:35.

you go ahead with the planned 3p increase in fuel duty, due in

:23:35.:23:39.

August. If you don't, it costs a huge A money. The other is one of

:23:39.:23:43.

experience. The cost of living debate is something that we all

:23:43.:23:48.

experience bs, it is a very brave Prime Minister --, it is a very

:23:48.:23:51.

brave Prime Minister who says he will do it and manage it and

:23:51.:23:56.

doesn't deliver. It gives the Government worse head winds than

:23:56.:24:00.

their predesos sors, voters going to the next election will be poorer

:24:00.:24:06.

than at the last. Harold Macmillan, you never had it so good, 1959,

:24:06.:24:12.

Margaret Thatcher on a revive year of tax cuts and economy, 1993, Tony

:24:12.:24:16.

Blair, his second landslide in 2001, four years in Government, rising

:24:16.:24:19.

living standards. David Cameron won't be able to seek relax on that

:24:19.:24:26.

platform. There are global trends at play. Cost of living going up is

:24:26.:24:32.

driven by the cost of oil, food costs are uncriesing, those are

:24:32.:24:35.

difficult challenge -- increasing, those challenges are difficult for

:24:35.:24:42.

the Government to manage. You can be heartless, but not

:24:42.:24:46.

hopeless. That is the pollster McIsm. It may be that the cost of

:24:46.:24:49.

living can't be significantly reduced, electorate may anybody a

:24:49.:24:52.

mood to blame the previous Government F the current lot show

:24:52.:24:57.

they are at least trying, posh, with a lower case "p", might not

:24:57.:25:02.

matter. Owen Jones wrote a book called

:25:02.:25:04.

Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class Chavs, and is writing

:25:04.:25:09.

a new book on the British establishment, and our other guest

:25:09.:25:14.

went to state schools in Ghana before completing his degree at

:25:14.:25:16.

Oxford. None of this is secret about David

:25:16.:25:22.

Cameron, he has a house and we know he is well off and part of the

:25:22.:25:27.

Bullingdon club. He was elected by the voters, they don't care?

:25:27.:25:32.

Tories, despite the election being handed to them on a plate, a

:25:32.:25:36.

woefully unpopular Labour Government, they only got 36% of

:25:36.:25:39.

the vote. Boris Johnson got elected again, just as posh as David

:25:39.:25:44.

Cameron, in a city like London, predominantly Labour. There are

:25:44.:25:48.

specific London issues, in that particular election, it was a

:25:48.:25:52.

personality contest. Class doesn't matter? It do you don't have to be

:25:52.:25:55.

a conspiracy therapist to think that the Conservatives are the

:25:55.:25:58.

political arm of the wealthy. One poll in March had two-thirds of the

:25:58.:26:01.

population thinking that the Tories were the party of the rich. The

:26:01.:26:04.

reason the Conservatives could not win the last election, was because

:26:04.:26:08.

they cannot win in working-class areas. In the way they once could

:26:08.:26:16.

in the 1950, under the one-nation politics. No wins in working-class

:26:17.:26:21.

areas? That is completely misguided. Politicians shouldn't be prisoners

:26:21.:26:25.

of their background and background isn't destiny, I don't think I

:26:25.:26:28.

would be on the programme, brought up by a single mother, three of us

:26:28.:26:32.

on her own in Ghana, and then here, having been born here. Voters

:26:32.:26:36.

understand the same thing applies to David Cameron. You know, it is

:26:36.:26:40.

not his background that we should be judging him by, he has had a lot

:26:40.:26:44.

of difficulty in his own personal life.'S Out-of-touch, that is the

:26:45.:26:48.

damaging thing? Does get it? I think there has been a lot in David

:26:48.:26:53.

Cameron's life that shows he gets it. More importantly. Hold on a

:26:53.:26:57.

minute, this is something, you told a story about cycling to work, for

:26:57.:27:01.

example, where we now know he does a lot of horse riding at weekends

:27:02.:27:05.

with friends, country suppers, that is a completely different planet

:27:05.:27:09.

from which most British people live? Whether you are born wealthy

:27:09.:27:13.

or in difficult situations, you can have values that show that you care

:27:13.:27:18.

about people who are less fortunate than yourself, and you want to help

:27:18.:27:21.

them. The bigger issue is competence. And David Cameron's

:27:21.:27:26.

polling did very well when he stood up and vetoed the Fiscal Compact.

:27:27.:27:30.

Just stick on this issue, Ed Miliband, David Miliband, I have a

:27:30.:27:38.

list of them here, Ed Balls, Tommy Cooper, Ruth Kelly, all red PPE at

:27:38.:27:42.

Oxford. They are hardly the people you are write beg in your book,

:27:42.:27:46.

they are not working-class, it is not working-class Tories are a rare

:27:46.:27:50.

speeshee, but working-class politicians are a rare species.

:27:50.:27:55.

There is crisis in this kourpbgs only 7% of us went to a private

:27:55.:27:59.

school, not either of us. A third of MPs did. Less than one in 20 MPs

:27:59.:28:02.

come from any form of unskilled background what sort. Increasingly

:28:02.:28:06.

you have MPs who have never had a job outside the Westminster bubble.

:28:06.:28:11.

But it is more of a problem with the Conservatives, infamously, 22

:28:11.:28:15.

out of 29 members of the cabinet are privately-educated millionaires.

:28:15.:28:19.

It looks like a Government from the 19th century. The key point is this,

:28:19.:28:22.

we shouldn't keep people's backgrounded against them, we are

:28:22.:28:26.

prisoners of our upbringing, we have no control over it. The key

:28:26.:28:29.

test is who does this Government stand up for. This is a Government

:28:29.:28:35.

who slashed the autop tax, and is attacking workers' rights. Let's

:28:35.:28:39.

take the IFS numbers showing inequality has come down. Real

:28:39.:28:43.

wages have also gone backwards? of the biggest reasons for that is

:28:43.:28:47.

that the wealthy are actually not earning as much as they used to.

:28:47.:28:50.

That is not true. What we will see by the end of the parliament, as

:28:50.:28:54.

far as austerity is concerned, the well off are going to bear the

:28:54.:29:01.

biggest brunt of the problems. is utterly farcical, take the

:29:01.:29:05.

Sunday Times rich list, looking at the 1,000 wealthiest people,

:29:05.:29:09.

quarter have donated to the Conservative Party. Their wealth

:29:09.:29:13.

again surged this year, last year their wealth went up by a fifth,

:29:13.:29:17.

the year before by 0%, the biggest. It is boom time for the top,

:29:17.:29:21.

economic crisis for the rest. you see this as the core of the

:29:21.:29:24.

issue for the next election, the question of whether we are all in

:29:24.:29:27.

this together, or we are dividing Britain along these lines? You have

:29:27.:29:31.

put your finger on it, out-of-touch is a lazy way of criticising

:29:31.:29:36.

someone you disagree with, who you think is better off than you.

:29:36.:29:40.

an issue for the next election? is not, Labour should be very

:29:40.:29:44.

careful. Out-of-touch is being used as a substitute for having a

:29:44.:29:47.

credible alternative plan. I think the next election will be about who

:29:47.:29:51.

has got the right plans to get Britain out of this mess and build

:29:51.:29:54.

a brighter future. You are absolutely right, there has to be a

:29:54.:29:57.

coherent alternative, it is lacking, from Labour at the moment. But what

:29:57.:30:01.

you have to face is this, it is a long-term trend with the

:30:01.:30:03.

Conservatives, every time the Conservatives have won a general

:30:03.:30:11.

election, since 1955, has been a -- the fact is the reason Tories will

:30:11.:30:14.

not win is because they are not able to win working-class voters

:30:14.:30:17.

like they once did. We will find it out at the next election, thank you

:30:17.:30:20.

very much. In a moment the review show and

:30:20.:30:24.

matter that is in Glasgow. On tonight's show we will be

:30:24.:30:30.

delivering our verdict on Rock of Ages, that is the movie musical for

:30:30.:30:35.

which Tom Cruise learned to sing. True Love, a drama series on BBC

:30:35.:30:39.

One where David Tennant and Billie Piper improvise their lines. The

:30:40.:30:44.

new novel, Park Lane, and an exhibition of Invisible Art, we

:30:44.:30:48.

will have live music from Amy McDonald, do watch.

:30:48.:30:52.

That is all from Newsnight, we will have more from Paul in Greece on

:30:52.:30:58.

Monday. We wanted to leave you with a Streisand effect, when you try to

:30:58.:31:06.

ban an image, you make sure more people see it. That didn't stop

:31:06.:31:15.

Buute council from banning matter that Pane from photographic --

:31:15.:31:22.

photographicing her school dinners and commenting. Many, many hits

:31:22.:31:29.

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