12/07/2012 Newsnight


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

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The first London Olympic fiasco. With a fortnight to the games, a


private security firm confesses they can't cope. G4S has let the


country down, and we have literally had to send in the troops. We will


ask the expert what has gone wrong, and we will reveal that the company


in question has struggled to manage sporting events in the past.


have asked for a living wage in the public sector. As you know, I think


this is a good and attractive idea. Good intentions in opposition, but


now he's in power, we will discuss his dirty laundry in public, as the


people who clean up after ministers are still asking for a living wage.


Please, I need a help from them, I need more money from them. Do you


think they can afford it? Why not, yes.


And have a century after one of the most dramatic nights in British


politics, Michael Cockerell considers the parallels for the


Prime Minister, and the pasty tax. The older people get their pleasure,


and I think we should get our pleasures. Do you reckon you are


being got at? Yes. What about you, ice-cream a half penury more?


think it is a dire bloody liberty. It can be disconcerting when you


see someone you don't expect. A word of warning, if you are lucky


enough to have a ticket for the Olympics, you might have your bag


search, or your Pepsi confis fated, not by a security guard but a


battle scarred squaddy. For the feel Olympic organisers and the


Home Office that is not all good, then.


It's supposed to be the nation's great global games, but it is being


protected by a private security firm now accused of letting Britain


down. And Newsnight has found that G4S has a track record of being


accused of falling short at show piece events. This morning's papers


were full of what was termed the farce of needing the army to bail


out the Olympics. In the Commons, Labour used their now familiar line


for Government failure. This really look like another huge Home Office


shambles. On Monday, the Home Secretary was asked specifically


about recruitment at G4S, and she said that the Home Office had put


in place a number of assurance processes to insure there is robust


security planning, we have been testing our plans authorisely and


are confident that our partners will -- thoroughly, and and are


confident in our partners, so confident two days later they


called in the troops. Theresa May said it was no shambles, but


acknowledged that the troubles from G4S had only just emerged.


received assurances from G4S until recently the gap in the numbers was


only crystalised yesterday. We have, as I said in my statement,


monitoring, taking place throughout the process of this contract, and


we have, obviously, been testing and challenging the assurances that


we have been receiving from G4S. week after chopping a great lump


off the military, the Government calls on a great chunk of the


military to save the day. One former army officer, now chairman


of an all-party security committee, told us, it had been obvious for


week, G4S wasn't up to the job. What I was concerned about was


there were a large number of people, there was a raw material, if that


is the right word to use, who were qualified to do the work, plane of


whom were already vetted, but -- many of whom were already vetted,


but the money offered was not enough to bring them forward in


numbers. First point. Secondly, there seemed to be overweaning


bureaucracy from the company to get the people signed up. So what you


are saying, from what we have heard, is G4S have bitten off more than


they can chew? I think they have got ambition mixed up with ability.


All day we have heard from people who bear that out. This man was


interviewed six months ago and been on a week's security course, but


still, no word. I'm sitting here, ready to go, ready to be a security


guard, and they are saying they don't have enough staff. They


haven't got the accreditation, I have asked them again and again,


please can I have a job, just get me the piece of patcher work and I


can do it, I'm -- paperwork, and I can do it. I'm ready to go. This is


an embarrassment for a company that bills itself as the world's largest


security firm. This is not the first time G4S has been ayes cuesed


of serious shortcomings around big sporting events. There was last


year's Wimbledon. Security is usually guaranteed by the low-key


presence of military personnel. But the entrance in and out of


Wimbledon is handled by G4S. It is this that gave rise to serious


criticism and an internal investigation by G4S after last


year's tournament. G4S confirmed the complaints had been included in


So the military already heavily involved in bolstering security,


are now effectively shoring up the whole operation. Patrick Mercer


says it is a bitter pill. I have to say, that if you want a force,


where when you snap your fingers that it jumps to it and does the


job properly and capably, then you have to have enough men inside the


force to do it. My old regiment, for instance, has just been told


that they wopbtd be getting their - - won't be getting their post-


Afghanistan leave, and most men are coming to do Olympic security with


their P45 in their back pockets, because a battalion from that


regiment will be cut. That isn't good for morale. Two weeks from


tomorrow the games begin, there is great stress that security won't be


compromised. The chairman and chief executive of G4S, with hundreds of


millions of Government contracts, will be summoned to the Commons


next week to explain what has gone wrong.


We asked to speak to G4S, to LOCOG, to the Home Office and the Ministry


of Defence about the last-minute changes, no-one of made available.


We asked if they could send a soldier, and they hung up! Let's


ask for Tessa Jowell, Lord Carlyle, the former head of the army, we


hope soon will join us. Is there not an argument for saying, there


may have been a problem, it has been sorted, let's get on with the


games? We should say that, and we enjoy the games. The fact it has


been sorted is no thanks to G4S, or robust contractual arrangements.


All the work that people like Dame Tessa have done to prepare what


will be a wonderful Olympic Games, are beginning to be affected by


this kind of criticism. I hope those who are guilty of the


failings will be called to account. This morning I heard on Radio 4


countless e-mails being read out, from people who are actually


employed by G4S, who are not being told where to go, or what to do.


That is totally unacceptable. Thank heavens for the British services.


Tessa Jowell, would you buy a used car from G4S? They certainly


haven't emergeded from this well. I think that what happened --


emergeded from this well. What happened is they went into a sort


of denial, not admitting to the scale of difficulty they were


having. In the scheduling of the people that they were recruiting,


hence these no-shows at a number of the venues. Have you heard whispers,


is it behind the scenes chatter? But I do think that, you know, all


these e-mails, and I think we have all been getting them today, from


people who have signed up to be considered as volunteers with G4S,


they should all be looked at. And in a way, what is needed now is a


very quick audit of G4S's performance and capability. I


absolutely agree with Lord Carlyle that the right thing is to bring


the army in, the soldiers in. I was out at the Olympic Park today. They


were being deployed around the place. Conducting themselves in a


very dignified and effective manner. I am not concerned that the games


won't be safe and secure. I think that we will get to that at the


opening ceremony, in two weeks time, by a route that we wouldn't have


wished. With this hiatus with G4S. This audit you are talking about,


what form should that take, how quickly should it happen and to


what end? At this stage it has to be very speedy. I think it is worth


getting a measure of the degree to which these claims about the poor


performance of G4S, by people who have been writing into media


outlets, and Members of Parliament and so forth, are tested against


the G4S systems. That can be done quickly now. But obviously, there


has to be a proper postmortem. I think that will have to be after


the games. My main concern now is that the solution is put in place.


I think the Government have come forward with that proposaled today.


We support that, and I think that puts -- proposal today, we support


that and I think that puts an end to it.


It seems yesterday and today a lot of people involved in the periphery,


the underlings works for G4S knew about the problems. The people


organising the games and the Home Office had no idea? Yes, of course


it is a matter of concern the fact that the company have been called


to a Select Committee next week will begin to provide answers to


those questions. At this point, at an Olympic Games, it is the most


complex and demanding logistical exercise in peacetime. And the


focus has to be knitting together, every single part of that complex


operation. That is why the Government's decision today is


right. I think we do need to know from LOCOG why they put so many


eggs in one basket. G4S are far from the only large security firm


in this country, there is a real question about the tendering


arrangements that were followed here. I hope the public are not


going to be made to pay for these mistakes. General Lord Dannett can


join us, could this have happened if the army was organising the


games from the start? That is a very broad question. It is worth


going back, if you have a moment to 2005, when London was first awarded


the games. I was the Commander-in- Chief, the land commander at the


time, we asked very politely of the Government what our role would be


in the games. We were told pretty unequivocally this would be a


civilian-run games and the military involvement would be pretty small.


As I have heard a comment made, about the biggest logistical demand


placed on a nation for a very long time. We have some experience in


doing that. So, it is unhelpful, Dame Tess was right to say let's


leave it until after the games to have a bit of an inquiry. The


important thing is to make sure we have a safe and successful games to


celebrate and be part of. The Armed Forces are hugely committed to it,


now 3,000 more are committeded, so be it. A bit disa-- are committed,


so be it. A bit disappointing for those who thought they were on


holiday, never mind, they will get on with it, we will make the games


very good. There are issues. I think the size of the task was


understatemented, and maybe it could have been -- underestimated,


and maybe it could have been done differently. That is for after the


games. Let's put our backs into the game, and the soldiers and airmen


will do that. We are looking forward to it. Who do you blame for


this problem? I'm not in the blame game F I'm absolutely honest, look


-- if I'm absolutely honest, looks at the games in Canada and


Australia, the games have always relied heavily on the military. It


would have been fairly obvious this would have come about at some stage.


It probably would have been better if it had come about sooner rather


than later. I can fully understand the desire to make these friendly


games, civilian-led games, with a soft face on it. 2005 was well


before the crash of 2008, all before a lot of things that have


happened. But, we are where we are now. And all I would say is, given


that we have got large number of soldiers, sailors and marines


involved in the games, I'm going to go as a punt Tory one evening in


the Olympic Park, as I'm -- punter to one evening in the park, as I'm


sure many people will be. When you see the soldier, airmen and marines


checking your bags, remember some of them could have been on leave,


say thank you to them for contributing to make this thing a


great success, which it will be. Thank you for dressing so smartly


for the programme and thank you. Tessa Jowell, it is not just this,


I hate to be gloomy here, and it is important to look ahead


optimistically to the games, but we have problems on the M4, one of the


main routes that athletes will be taking into London. That won't


reopen until Monday at the earliest. Reuben to go get thely bee geebies


about this? If you are involved with a project of this scale of


complexties you have that every day, you hope by having the heebeeje,


bies, and living in a state of preoccupied concern about it, you


get things right. The most important thing is to stay on top


of the detail. We are way beyond broad-brush ambition. What I hope


is in Downing Street there are regular meetings, pulling together


the contribution of the 19 Government departments, that those


meetings are held regularly and with discipline. Could be bra


should be meeting now -- Cobra should be meet now. In order to


address these kinds of issues, when they arise, to foresee those that


may emerge over the next few day. I guarantee there will be more


problems. Thank you very much. Think of it as Mrs Overall meets


Yes Minister. Last night across Whitehall, those two worlds


collided, in a most discreet way, that Sir Humphrey might approve of.


The people who clean for nine secretaries of state, clean the


ministerial desks, as usual, and then left behind a letter, asking


for more pay. When the Government's maxim is make work pay, are the


salaries of these night shift workers too low to make it so.


Allegra Stratton investigates. It's a brave employee who asks


someone for a pay rise. It is even braver when that someone is a


Secretary of State. On Wednesday, across the sprawling


complex of Whitehall, the people who clean for nine secretaries of


state spruced up their ministers' desks and left behind a letter. A


letter asking for something called the living wage. At �8.30 it


recognises that life in London is dear. The politicians are not


obliged to pay this, but increasingly employers are doing it,


KPMG, aviva, the Mayor of London, and Whitehall's neighbour,


parliament. Irene is about to deposit a letter, this time on the


Chancellor's desk. He will get it tomorrow morning, definitely.


are confident? Yes. How are you feeling about this? So good.


has been talked through it by the campaigner she works with from


London Citizens. It talks about some of the pressures you are under


in your job, how you were supposed to get a bonus, but if you turn up


late they cut it off. Irene is talking there about the wage paid


by her boss, the Treasury's cleaning contractor, they believe


it is generous, �7.80 an hour, pumped up to �8.30 with an


attendance allowance. She doesn't agree with that. Irene looks after


her mother, has five kids and nine grandchildren, she does two shifts,


one in Guy's Hosptial starting at 7.00 and another at night in


parliament. Letter in hand, she's heading into work. This Portuguese


ainggol lan father of two, has just handed in his letter, and is


heading home to his ten-year-old. I'm doing everything cleaning-wise,


carpets, rubbish, dusting. Everything enside. It is not fair


to pay me �6.95, because I work so hard. He begins his day at 5.00am


in the Cabinet Office, where he cleans the Deputy Prime Minister's


rooms and also another minister's, that of Reggie Maudling. He then


turns in an extra -- Francis Maude, he puts in an extra shift at the


weekend in Downing Street, he's paid less than the national minimum


wage. It is dusk on Wednesday, and over the last 24 hours letters have


been placed on the decks of secretaries of state across


Whitehall, -- desks of secretaries of state, across Whitehall. The


Government's key welfare reform is being in work will play, now those


who -- pay, now those cleaning for the secretaries of state say it


does pay, but not enough. Irene confirms the deed is done. You put


the letter in? Yes I did. Did you get any grief? No. It is sitting


there, ready for him in the morning. Yes. What did your friend or


colleagues say? They are cool, everybody is happy.


It might seem part of a campaign hopelessly out of place in an page


of austerity, Irene and seven fellow letter leavers and countless


other cleaners, among the six million people on salaries less


than the minimum wage, believe they are pushing at an open-door.


have asked for a living wage in the public sector. As you know, I think


this is a good and attractive idea. Government, afterall, is the


biggest employer in the country, where it leads others will follow,


and fairness could begin to be hard wired into the pay scales up and


down the country. It was Boris Johnson who implemented the living


wage, throughout the Greater London Authority. That was David Cameron


during the 2010 general election. Since, Whitehall has made little


progress. Irene's department, the Treasury, has made the most stren


strenuous attempt, though she doesn't believe -- strenuous


attempt, though she doesn't believe it is enough. In April this year,


64 cleaners put a letter on the desk of the Work and Pensions


Secretary, over an hourly rate 3p over the minimum. Afterwards he


told others that he was sympathetic, Despite Duncan Smith's recent


commitment the Government would find a solution, a Government


find a solution, a Government With all letters deposited,


campaigners assembled to hand out flyers to civil servants, they


gathered in the building, where before the 2010 election, David


Cameron raised the question of a -- the prospect of a living wage. Two


years later it remain as tussle that pits Boris Johnson and Duncan


Smith against others in the party. In the meantime it is cheek by jowl


with the policy makers, the cleaners at the corridors of power.


Let's talk more about the living wage with our guests now.


What would you say to Irene and others in that report who want a


living wage? Everybody wants a living wage. Clearly, and I'm all


in favour of employees going to their employers and asking for


higher salaries. Turning you were and saying I think I'm more


productive than you're paying me for, put my salary up. Of course


that should apply between cleaning staff and skaegts, it applies right


across the economy. I don't find -- skaegts, it applies right across


the economy. I don't find the herp "living wage" helpful. You would


earn more than the living wage? in the top 5% of earners, much more


than the living wage. Let as say my wife was earning �5,000 a year,


that would be technically below the living wage, but added to my income.


There are horses for courses. Bringing up a family on a cleaner's


wage, that is very difficult. If it is an add-on to partner earning a


decent sum of money, it less important that is a living wage.


you have a cleaning job and no family, and visa versa? I wouldn't


say that. That is what you mean? That is absolutely not what I mean.


I think people need to make their own decisions with their own


finances. I think it is perfectly reasonable for cleaning staff and


all other staff in the country to lobby their employers for higher


increases. My slight concern is here that we seem to have taxpayer-


funded campaign, looking at take pair funded cleaning staff, talking


to taxpayer funded politicians about their overall salary. No


wonder as a taxpayer I face a higher tax bill. What do you say to


the argument that which heard put forward in the statement in the


report, that a living wage could take people out of work? Before I


start, can I just pay tribute to the hard working cleaners who


appeared in that video. These are mums and dad who is have two and


sometimes three jobs. The step they took to leave the letters on the


desks today, these are voices not always heard. They are out for a


living wage, and I believe their struggle is possible. In response


to the comment from the Cabinet Office, we are not arguing for a


change to the statutory minimum wage. We are arguing that employers


who want to do the right thing, like the mayor, Aviva and KPMG, can


do better than the minimum, and make sure people don't have to work


two and three jobs and can look after their families. What about


employers who cannot can I Ford the living wage? Our plan is not, that


we are approaching the Government. Oh Government can afford it? They


can for two reasons, it is a comparatively smaller budget, there


are 2,000 cleaners white happen. But moving to the living wage saves


money on tax-payers for tax credits, when the private sector companies


move to the living wage, they are taking some of the responsibility


for low pay away from the taxpayer, and moving the burden back on to


the employer. We are saving in the long run?


are not saving money in the long run. My concern here sfpbt so much


for the people in the work force. - - isn't so much for those people in


the work force. There are those just scratching a living. My


concern is for b the people who can't enter -- those people who


can't enter the work force, they are priced out of the market. That


is my concern. If we are going to have a situation where cleaners in


Whitehall are paid �8 plus an hour, at the expense of the tax-payers,


when private businesses, like the one I run, could afford nowhere


near that. I'm afraid we are pricing people out of the labour


market. That is why we have a million people unemployed in it


country. We are not getting them the first step on the ladder.


are not forcing any business to pay the minimum wage. It is a voluntary


idea. David Cameron says it is an idea whose time has come and Boris


Johnson is putting it across the capital. These are massive


companies. If David Cameron in that clip said, where the Government


lead, others will follow. If the Government lead and pay the living


wage, more private sector employ ys will go to living wage, and the


taxpayer would save money and Kleiners more in their pockets.


would -- Cleaners more in their pockets. You would do away with the


minimum wage wouldn't you, how low is too low? It is difficult to say.


Difficult for embarrassing? last people I want to judge are


politician, they almost certainly get thisth wrong, they set the


minimum wage. If an employer wants to pay �1 an hour and somebody


wants to work for that, is that all right? Yes, people do voluntary


work, is that all right? A lot of people work in Oxfam shops for zero


pounds an hour, are we banning that. Is voluntary work OK? At the


present rate you are crowding out small businesses from taking the


lead. The Met Office is wary of forecasting more than a fortnight


ahead, astrologers might predict a year with some degree of certainty.


You have to admire the people at the Office for Budget


Responsibility, who stepped forward today with figures for the state of


the British economy, 50 years from now. You will find in their report


the predicted budget deficit for 2051, 52, will they ever be


realised. What lies just grond beyond visible. One of the jobs of


the -- beyond visible, one of the jobs of the office for budget


responsibility is to keep a look out for long-term trends.


Troiing to gaze far into the distant future -- trying to gaze


into the far distant future is always difficult, just ask the Met


Office. The OBR have a difficult job, they can only factor in known


unknowns, everything else, well it is not in the model. Even so, there


is plenty there to worry us. For a start, the population is


ageing. Over 65s currently make up 17% of the population. In 50 years


time they will be 26%. That means health spending, state pension


costs, and social care costs are all heading north.


These figures show that the reform that is we made, the very


controversial reforms we made to public service pension, are not


just delivering continued good quality pension force public sector


workers, but benefit to the taxpayer, reducing the cost to the


taxpayer by 40% over the next few years, that is worth �440 billion


worth of savings over the 50 years. These predictions are far beyond


the event horizon of normal politics. But Labour says it is


never too soon to get on the right track. People look at the


statistics and say in this financial quarter, does it matter


that you have shrunk an economy by 0.4%, but cumulatively, if those


add up, and we end up with the double-dip recession going on for a


long period. That is a serious hit to the capacity as a economy to


afford those decent services. The Chancellor has to wake up and


realise, unless he does something now about jobs and growth, we will


lose out as a society as a whole in the long-term.


The other side of the balance sheet is pretty worrying too in as much


as you can get worried about something that may or may not


happen in half a century's time. Not only is spending set to rise,


the OBR predicts that tax revenues will slide. For a start, transport


taxes will fall, as cars become more fuel efficient. And North Sea


oil revenues will dwindle. Total revenues will be down 2% by 2061.


That loaves a fiscal gap of �66 billion. Does that mean more cuts


even now? No, the report should not be taken to apply to the


substantial fiscal consolidation in the pipeline should be made bigger.


The question for the politicians is where should that money come from,


over the long-term? If you look back over the last 50 years or so,


what you see is some of the at the same time things you might see


again over 50 years. The cost of health has risen a great deal.


Interesting to look at what has paid for that? We have cut spending


on defence very dramatically. We have cut spending on housing


dramatically, and support for industry almost down to nothing.


Those budgets don't exist any more, that is the interesting challenge


for what we do in the future. We have kind of chopped all the


budgets which have been used to fund social security and health.


What budgets will we chop next? The prediction business is a tough


gig. Who would have thought, for example, that a group of musicians


who played their first performance 50 years ago tonight would still be


around today. What will life be back in 2061.


Let's leave the last word on the dangers of forecasting to Keith.


I'm lucky to be here, man. It is amazing. Earlier I spoke to the


chairman of the Office of Budget Responsibility, Robert Chote. How


confident are you about your forecasting? Needless to say, over


a 50-year horizon, there are colossal uncertainties around lots


of these projections. It is difficult, but it is not to throw


up our hands and say not to do it at all. Rather than with weather


forecasting, the challenge is knowing whether it will be hotter


today than in ten days time, it is difficult to ask the question over


50 years. Both difficult but for different reasons. For 50 years


forecasting, we might ask an astrologer for that, might we?


There are different drivers in the changes in public finances over


that time arising and worrying about where they will go in five


years. For things like the movement of demographic bulge, flu the age-


distribution of the -- through the age-distribution of the population.


It is worth thinking about the potential implications of that,


even if there are huge uncertainties about where we will


be in five months or years time. you look at the short-term, two


years ago you were predicting growth of 2% plus in 2012 we are


nowhere near that. The growth predictions were wrong in 2010 in


October, you were overoptimistic about rebalancing the economy to


exports, and overmisting on the out put gap. It is no wonder the people


on the Treasury Select Committee were asking what the point of the


OBR is? You are always in the situation where people because they


didn't work out the last time, will then challenge you. That is the job


we are tasked with, if the Government trying to set policies


that have a lagged effect on how the policies and public achanges


will perform. You have to take that judging as best you can where


things will go in the future. One of the additional things is you are


not even confident about where things have been in the past.


are back to the astrology question, aren't we. What do you think when


you get the forecast wrong? I think you look at them and say what do we


learn from why this is gone wrong. Do you get better at it? You get


better at understanding why things have changed. Do you know what your


hit rate is? We have only been in existence for a couple of years.


The errors on our forecasts for the public finances are lail smaller


than the errors when done by somebody else. I wouldn't rest an


enormous amount on that. You need to judge these things over a longer


time arising. As you have emphasiseded you are marvellously


independent from Government, but David Ruffley questioning you last


year, complaining that you got the forecast wrong, said this was


serious, as the Chancellor's reputation is riding on how good


your forecasting is. Are you conscious of that, and do you


believe it is true? I think the Chancellor, if he's sensible, is


going to say. If he's sensible? Chancellor will sensibly look at


the forecasts and say this is the best view they have. But we know


that forecasts are uncertain. is your thinking on if now? That is


outside our remit in terms of where we are doing forecasting for this.


You can do a forecast for Newsnight, a Robert Chote forecast? I could do,


but I'm not going to. I think we have to watch and see


how this is going to evolve by the time we do our next short-to-medium


term forecast, which will accompany the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.


He as an Aquarius by the way, they are unpredictable, apparently.


The good news for David Cameron, is he isn't the first Conservative


Prime Minister to find himself in a bit of an economic pacemakerle. The


bad news for today's -- pickle. The bad news for today's cabinet, is


were David Cameron to follow one of his hero, ministers would be out of


the job. Harold Macmillan took an axe to seven of his cabinet, in the


now famous Night of the Long Knives. This is Michael's take on what we


can learn from the events of 1962. The political scene in July, 50


years ago, has a familiar look today. Harold Macmillan, the Eton


and Oxford-educateded Prime Minister, like his modern-day


counterpart, was accused of presiding over a dysfuntional


Government that performed a series of U-turns. Both men's troubles


begun earlier in the year in a controversial budget that had


brought in a tax on unpopular snacks. When was the last time you


bought a pasty in Greggs. pastygate 2012, children's sweets


and ice-creamgate, 1962? What does it mean, it is threatening the ice-


cream? It is not fair the older people get their pleasure, we


should get our pleasures. reckon you are being got at? Yes.


What but, ice-cream, a half penny more? I think it is a dire bloody


liberty. Harold Macmillan decided something dramatic had to be done


to restore his Government's fortunes. Exactly 50 years ago,


this building, Admiralty House, was the setting for the Night of the


Long Knives. On Friday, in July, 196 it r 2, the Prime Minister


sacked a third of his cabinet, clulding the Chancellor of the


Exchequer, in an unprecedented act -- including the Chancellor of the


Exchequer, in an unprecedented act of political butchery. I have


always been fascinated by the story, tonight I will be drawing own the


film I made some years back, when I talk to some of the key figures


from that notorious night. Very few of whom are still alive. I have


come to Admiralty House, which was the home of the Prime Minister,


because Number Ten was being rebuilt. To reassess the drama and


join the lessons fored today the Prime Minister, the fan of Harold


Macmillan. The Orpington by- election, where the liberal won the


solid Tory seat, was the first of the body blows for Macmillan, they


had introduced austerity policies to revive the economy, but they ran


into the rocks. Macmillan, previously known as Super Mac,


feared for his own political survival. One of his most serious


colleagues, Lord Hailsham, left Admiralty House, after delivering a


blunt message to the Prime Minister. I did feel very strongly that he


was losing his grip a bit on public opinion and the party in general.


People were, all of us were, extremely concerned about the


continued failure of Government poll iscy in one field after


another. -- policy in one field after


another. We brought Harold Macmillan's grandson, Lord Stockton,


back to Admiralty House, where as a youngman he had seen -- young man


he had seen how his father faced up to the sea of trouble, that began


with the ice-cream tax? grandfather didn't eat any of those


things. But he became very conscious, because all of his


grandchildren complained like mad. Particularly my cousin Anne, rather


fond of an ice-cream or two. I think he was conscious, if you like,


his, up till then, his magical grasp on the thing, had begun to


slip. He was losing his grip, in a sense. We were obviously in for a


reshuffle. To give the Government a fresh look, Macmillan decided to


start his reshuffle, by getting rid of his Chancellor, Selwyn Lloyd.


The two men had long been the closest of political allies. Indeed


Macmillan who had his own country house, had let Selwyn Lloyd live at


Chequers with his dogs. The young Jonathan Aitken, later notorious,


was a firsthand witness to the Night of the Long Knives, as the


work experience special adviser to Selwyn Lloyd. The only reason I


ended up with such an interesting job was pure nepotisim. Selwyn


Lloyd was my Godfather. He loved Chequers, he was there virtually


every weekend, thanks to Macmillan's generosity. He took his


dog, a great feature of Chequers weekends. Selwyn Lloyd was


blissfully ignorant of Macmillan's intention to replace him in a big


cabinet shake-up. Which he planned with his deputy, Rab Butler, his


long time rival. The essence of a reshuffle is surprise, but Butler


leaked the plans to the Mail. And Macmillan became convinced it was a


plot to unseat him, by Butler. grandfather didn't ever trust Rab


Butler, he was always a bit suspicious of him. Rab was someone


who liked to play both sides of the fence, if he could. He certainly


wouldn't have gone into my grandfather in this room or any


other room, and said, Harold, the game has come for you to go.


Last night he lost control of his party. Macmillan was facing a rob


blem familiar with Cameron today, party dis-- problem familiar with


Cameron today, party disloyalty. There were call from MPs for the


Prime Minister to reassert his political authority over his


cabinet. After the Mail leak, Macmillan felt he had to move fast


and implemented the reshuffle quick low, otherwise he would look weak.


Selwyn Lloyd was summoned to Admiralty House to be told he had


had become an unperson? The picture I got was a very upset Macmillan, a


rather more upset Macmillan than Selwyn Lloyd, though obviously he


was very upset at losing his job. And the whole thing being a kind of


rather botched affair. Grandfather was an actor, a supreme actor n


many ways. He probably would have genuinely shed a tear for what he


was doing for an old friend that he admired in many ways.


There would have been a lot of aspects to those tears. I didn't


want to upset and replace him. I thought that in the thing we were


moving into, the thing I might call the new economic situation, which


we have been discussing. We wanted a less tired mind.


I felt he was not creative any more. I think he said he thought I was


tired out. I personally didn't feel at all tired. I thought things were


going rather well. After Macmillan had forced the Chancellor to walk


the plank, a further six cabinet ministers met a watery end at


Admiralty House. The heads of the ex-ministers were soon removed from


Madame Tussauds. Macmillan said it was him who felt the pain? It was


the heart burning of these changes, comes from the man who has to make


them. It is not your favourite moment, being resented by the


victim, who is not deeply resented by those who would help to take his


place. A week after the Night of the Long Knives, Macmillan went


from Admiralty *House to an away day with the captain of Chequers,


where Selwyn Lloyd had left his black Labrador to be looked after


the staff. When the members stood for an informal photo they were


left with a dog with an a name. started sniffing around the


trousers and whining, everybody started to feel embarrassed as this


dog was so obviously unhappy at his missing master. Macmillan effected


to ignore the dog, but for the Prime Minister, whom the sat


teirists had Chrisened "superMacbeth". Macmillan never


recovered his political authority. 50 years on, the latest Tory Prime


Minister is contemplating his reshuffle with the Government in


turmoil. The key lesson to draw from the events at Admiralty House,


the more you are going to knife in a single night, the more the public


Before we go, the BBC Wormed *Service made his final -- BBC


World Service its final broadcast today. The corridors empty and the


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