15/08/2012 Newsnight


15/08/2012

With Gavin Esler. Why are there more jobs as the recession bites? Richard Branson on losing his rail franchise. And Ben Ainslie on what lies behind Team GB's success.


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Transcript


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Tonight, unemployment is down after nine months of a shrinking British

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economy. Does anyone know what's going on? With the Mayor of London

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telling the Government to stop pussy footing around on measures

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for growth, the Work and Pensions Secretary tells us their plan is

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the right one. The fact is that where he's wrong,

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Boris is wrong, is the Prime Minister and chancellor do not sit

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there twiddling their thumbs. Together with their colleagues such

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as myself, we are working on every way. Also a potentially big

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development on the LIBOR scandal. American prosecutors sumon three

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British banks for manipulating LIBOR. Is this the the start of a

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battle royal. Virning trains are out of the railway business. Sir

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Richard Branson is far from pleased and tells us it is the government

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that is off the rails. It is the standing that the same department

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officials who made the same mistakes with GNER and National

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Express are going down the same line with First Group and it's sad.

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The pride of Great Britain, Jessica ensis the Olympic champion.

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lessons of winning. We have a special report on whether some of

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the genius behind Team GB could translate to your birx or even to -

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- business or even to the Government. It is trying to be a

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true meritocracy, you get what you need on merit. We will ask our

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panel, including Ben Ainslie, UK Good evening. One of the basic

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school economics lessons is that when you have a shrinking economy,

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more people end up out of work. Wrong. Apparently. We have a double

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dip recession and the good news today was that unemployment fell

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again. We will hear from the Work and Pensions Secretary on his

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explanation for the puzzle and whether the Government really is

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pussy footing around and guilty of inertia when it comes to taking

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bold measures for growth. Before that, our economics editor joins me.

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It is a puzzle what is going on. all know the terms jobless recovery.

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But what we have at the moment is recoveryless jobs. Tens and tens of

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thousands of jobs being create indeed an economy that is that is

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shrinking, but increedingly rapidly. The Bank of England very

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pessimistic on every area. Pulling back on investment, back on exports

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and everything and yet jobs are there. It's made some economists

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think maybe think there is no recession. Recession let's be clear.

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The jobs created in the last three months were in London, a lot were

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self-employed a lot were part-time jobs, and when you dig into the

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deep detail of what kind of jobs those are, while it is great for

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the people who get them, it is not so great for the story of how we

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dig ourselves out of this mess as I Clocking off time at Britain's

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fastest growing workplace, yes, sorry everybody else, it's London.

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Over half the jobs created in the past three months were created here.

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It's a mystery really. The economy is shrinking, but the workforce is

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actually growing. It's made some economists doubt we are even in a

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recession. Others think it is the employment figures that are hiding

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something. What's going on? You can't mistake it. This month's

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46,000 drop in the jobless statistics is part of a trend. The

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graph peaks over the winter and is falling. But dig into the figures

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and there is a glaring trend. Over the same period 36,000 people

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became self-employed. It's not dark. It's not satanic and it's not a

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mill. It is part communications agency, part workplace for anybody

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who wants to hire T I started out as an inconcern in April 2012 and

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now I do everything from art direction, coming up with logoes,

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looking at colours. This route into the labour market is typical for

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many. I get paid, maybe I should get paid more. But you are not an

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employee?. No I am an independent, I was an inconcern and when I came

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back I am on a contract at the moment. So I come in and hope.

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Technically you are self-employed. Technically, though I don't think

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of it like that. Her boss was once senior manager at a major ad agency,

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the consultancy he runs now has a loser structure. We see everything

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we do as project base, where we work in very short moments of time,

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with very good people. This concept of working, no employees, no

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clients no employees is our headline, it allows us to bring the

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right people. Compared to a steel works this might seem nebulous, but

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this is the kind of business that is growing. But it is fuelled on

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extreme precariousness of labour, even for the highly skilled. We are

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about to commission an artist in Japan for a job for a guy in Leeds.

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We can do that because he is the right person to do the job, not

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because we are employing a lot of people that need to be paid. That

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liberation, taking down the walls and changing the relationship

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between employer and employee, where we work together, for a

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common objective, is the way the world is going. It is this kind of

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work, plus the Olympics, that the experts think have done most to

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reduce the jobless figures. We have moved from a jobless recovery, into

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a recession which is creating jobs, which is pretty strange. That's

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happened for two reasons: the first is a shift to part-time employment,

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and also people are shifting towards self-employment. So over

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the past two years, self-employment has risen by approximately 7%, and

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traditional employment, say, by a company for by the government has

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risen by only 1ers 1%. For the Olympics f today's figures reflect

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a short terms boost, get ready for the hangover. Over the short-term,

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the Olympic Games employed about 100,000 people. And for lots of

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those people their contracts are going to run out in September when

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the Paralympic Games finishes. Many of those people were comparatively

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young, and they are going to enter an economy where youth unemployment

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is running at 21%. There is no reason why the positive job stats

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might be ing a less whole some picture. Compulsory liquidation for

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businesses are at their lowest since the crisis began. For the

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economy to create 200,000 jobs in three months is good news,

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especially for those that get them, but economyically it is the tined

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of jobs that matter. If it really is the coffee bars and ad agencies

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and hair salons of London that are soaking up the unemployment, it

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would take a brave economist to predict that is sustainable,

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because this is the precare yat and they don't spend much. Precarious,

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low paid, part-time work can't on its own drive the recovery, let eye

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lone -- let alone rebalance the the recovery.

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We will hear from Paul in a moment. I caught up with the Work and

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Pensions Secretary at his office earlier today.

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Are you surprised that an economy which is shrinking is also creating

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jobs? It needs explaining, I think, and people will obviously want to

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look at these figures and set them against the state of the economy,

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but we have from the ONS the statement that we are in recession,

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but through that period of recession we have now got three-

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quarters of sustained jobs growth and the majority of those at full-

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time jobs, so there is a sustainable process. I am not

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forecasting ahead. It is great, down to the private sector, because

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they are the ones creating the jobs and that is robust, but the

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position we've got at the moment is the sport we are giving and what

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the private sector is doing is quite considerable. Bank of England

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is forecasting zero growth this year and the deputy governor saying

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unemployment going down is a genuine economic puzzle we don't

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understand? Who am I to question people as the economists from the

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Bank of England. Do you understand it? The reality is that they all

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seem to be taking a different angle on this. The only thing I can deal

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with is what we have right now and looking at it seriously, 201,000

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new jobs, a net position now if you look at the private sector, they

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have created since the election nearly a million new jobs, and we

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have essentially 630,000 more people in work than we had in 2010,

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those are the facts. No hidden figures. Surely, it is

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unsustainable to have an economy that is shrinking in the long-term

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and have more and more people in jobs, that can't add up. You have

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to get growth right. What the Government and myself and George

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Osbourne agree s we have to do more to get the economy moving, the

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economy needs to be growing at a faster rate. But what we are seeing

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from this, and it is important, this is telling us a very strong

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story about the strength of the private sector in the UK. Which as

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and when we get into growth, you will see a staggering increase and

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a good support from them, because they are in a difficult period

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creating jobs, so if with get growth growing in the economy

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economy, they should do well. help push ahead with that

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staggering increase, Boris Johnson says he wants you to stop pussy

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footing around, cut taxes, cut red tape, build an airport, get

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involved in big public spending projects. OK, I love hearing from

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Boris and I like talking to him a lot and he is a good mate of mine

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but there are some things that we have to also get in perspective. We

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have a debt ridden economy that we inherited, massively fuelled by

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deficit. Any government work its salt has to get that under control

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and that is what George Osbourne has been trying to do with some

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success. We know we need to be looking at all those things we can

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do to help in the short-term growth. There have been a lot of building

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programmes going on that are yet to come to fruition but will help fuel

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this. You are not pussy footing around?. I wouldn't use that term.

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The Chancellor is determined and is driving stuff and sometimes through

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bureaucracy things don't happen as fast as they should in government

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and that is another point he and I have been working on to break down

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the Prime Minister's determined to do this, we have had meetings about

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this, we are focusing on the things that should have gone through

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months ago. Boris Johnson is talking about institutional inertia

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in the Government. We will talk about reregulating the workforce,

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but inertia in the government, a serious charge and you are pleading

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gilingty? -- guilty. governments have to recognise they

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have to keep their foot on the accelerator when programmes are

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going through like capital programmes, but it is more

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difficult, if you have regulations and rules you can't ride roughshod

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over those. There's more to come. The fact is that where he's wrong,

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Boris is wrong, is the prils and chancellor do not sit there

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twiddling their thumbs. Together with their colleagues we are

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working on every way. If you take my area, the way we have been

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working to get young people back to work through the youth contract,

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work experience which Labour and the trade unions have attacked, we

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are gambling on young people, investing the money, these things

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are beginning to work. The praise the private sector for being an

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engine for growth and jobs. But it seems that quite a large proportion

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of this increase in employment is in the London area, and some of

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that may very well be due to the Olympics and the Olympic effect and

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that was major pump priming by a government in a capital project.

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Over half the employment statistics we see come from outside of London.

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It is not all to do with the Olympics. A lot of the Olympic

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effect, such as the temporary jobs won't come through to the figures

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until next month or the month after, because these are June June figures

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we are looking at. These are before much of the Olympic surge. Of

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course there is an effect of Olympics in the longer term stuff

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but remember, most of these jobs are full-time full-time jobs, not

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par time. These are jobs that will go on beyond the Olympics. There is

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a problem that some people see in what are called zero hours

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contracts in which people have a job but are not told how many hours

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they will work or from day-to-day how much they will get paid. That

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is very hard for people, because at the moment, if they take these jobs,

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they may lose benefits. People who desperately want to get into the

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workforce and can't. Of course the good thing about this is I agree

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that that is a problem under the present system, which is a clunky

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ses roo system set up by the last government. The universal credit

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which comes in next year will hugely help here because it will

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cover every hour you work and because it will be real time, it

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will pick it up every month. If you change your hours as the months go

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by, we will pick it up and we will support you through that at every

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hour all the way up until you break free of the system. Yes, at the

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moment, some of those are difficult decisions, I accept that.

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accept it is a problem. Yes, but of course, sometimes when you are

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going into work you need to take that bit of a chance, you need to

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say this job will develop, it is worth the risk getting into work.

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But we recognise that, and we want to see jobs that develop people and

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dome with those people and to do that you need to have protections

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in place to make sure that unscrupulous employers don't get

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away with making life a misery for employees because they can. Of

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course we have to look carefully at this. It is all right for people to

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say get on and do it. We have made changes. These discussions will go

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on further and more will happen. But they have to be done in the

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context of what is good for the economy and still allows us to

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develop people in work rather than harming them. That is a balance the

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Chancellor and Prime Minister and myself and the Liberal Democrats

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all agree about. But there is more we can do.

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There is a development tonight in the LIBOR bank rate fixing scandal.

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Several banks have apparently been sumoned to appear in court by the

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What's happened is that the state level prosecutors of Connecticut

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and New York State have demanded that they produce evidence, we

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don't know what evidence, they demanded this two months ago, if

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they don't produce it, they can be penalised. What we think this is is

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that states are doing this on behalf of civil... A prosecution.

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No, citizens who have cases outstanding or about to be brought

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against these banks. Why might they be doing it, yesterday we saw the

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US regulator take $340 million from Standard Chartered and there is an

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element in America which is a lawsuit dominated society, of form

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a queue and these states have got to the head of the queue. One of

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one senior lawyer involved in one of these class actions told us

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tonight that this is the wars of injury -- walls of Jericho tumbling

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down. One of the banks who didn't want to be named said, they implied

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bring it on because it is one thing to be fined and prosecuted by

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states, by government, it is another thing to be taken on, on a

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lengthy legal battle and what you have to prove is person X lost

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money from LIBOR manipulation on day Y and in the American courts,

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good luck really. One of Britain's best known and

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most successful business figures is seething tonight over losing his

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real franchise. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains will not be

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running on the West Coast Main Line. They are being replaced by first

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group which is paid more and the Government says office more in

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terms of service. Sir Richard is very far from pleased. First to

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explain what's been going on here is Jo. This is a big row over a big

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train set. When you look at the map of the route involved, you can

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understand. It is basically the four biggest cities in the UK are

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embraced in the West Coast Main Line, London, Birmingham,

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Manchester and Glasgow. 31 million people, the catchment area for this.

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�5.5 billion has been agreed for that because it is very lucrative.

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But that is �750 million more than Virgin were prepared to offer and

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Virgin and the reason they are livid is because they are saying

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First Group who won the bid have overpaid, to the extent they may be

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bankrupt. Insanity was the word used. The market tends to agree,

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because if you look at the shares in the Stagecoach, which is half

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the owner of Virgin Trains, they were up 2% today because they

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didn't get the franchise, which means they didn't overpay. Whereas

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the other company, fruch frup, -- First Group, their shares were down.

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Tim O'Toole is the Chief Executive of First Group and he says he is r

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he is still upbeat and it is going to work out well in the end. We are

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going to be delivering a lot more capacity. We are going to put in

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new electric trains north of Birmingham. We are going to provide

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direct service to more places than available now, show Shrewsbury,

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Bolton, a number of other locations. We are also going to be redoing the

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interiors of the trains. Some people aren't a fan of them. We are

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going to do them. Are passengers going to notice a difference?

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will notice a change in livery. The trains are warn, they are getting

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newer trains later. They will be getting spruced up carriages, Wi-Fi,

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better catering, they might be getting less leg room because they

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are talking about squeezing more passengers on to trains and fares

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might be going up and this is on top of yesterday's fare increase,

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going up 6%. But I think the big winner is Her Majesty's Treasury,

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�5.5 billion over the next 13 years when they could use it.

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We did ask to speak to First Group tonight but they are not available.

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I spoke to Sir Richard Branson via describe earlier.

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Why do you think Virgin lost this bid? I think first of all just to

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say, it is obviously disappointing for all the staff on the Virgin

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West Coast, who have done a fantastic job over the last 15

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years and turning one of the most dilapidated networks into one of

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the best networks in the world. We hoped we could take it the next

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stage over the next 15 years. But bidding system in the UK is a

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strange one in that as the incumbent we knew what we had to

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bid, we wanted to be realistic, we have never had a company go bust at

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Virgin. And we bid what we felt was the correct figures. It's taken one

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company, a bid, an enormous amount more, to rerail -- derail us and we

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hope the Government have not made the same mistakes that they made on

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the East Coast main line. Do you really think Government has not

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done due diligence, that the sums don't add up and can't work at that

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price? Let me quickly explain our background on this. On the East

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Coast we bid twice, and we were the runners up. We got our figures

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correct. GNER beat us once, they went once. National expression beat

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us on the other occasion and they went bust. The East Coast main line,

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from being a track that had more passengers than the west coast, now

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has something like 13 million passengers less, it's been a

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disaster. On this particular bid, the company that has won First

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Group, with First Great Western, they handed their contract back

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three or four years early to the government at a great cost to the

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taxpayer and they saved themselves an enormous amount of money at the

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end of that contract. We have just learnt today that their bid, our

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bid was ahead of them up to 2020 and just in the last three years,

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suddenly they have worked out they can give the Government another �2

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billion completely unrealistic figures for the numbers of people

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they are suddenly going to imaginically get in those last

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three years and even if they doubled fares they wouldn't be able

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to afford it. We are baffled that the Government have fallen for what

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seems to be a very similar trick, or a similar approach to what

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happened with First Great Western. Obviously Government knows the

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background to this. They have to maximise the take for the taxpayer.

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If they are offered a vast sum more it would look odd if they took a

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lower bid? The cost to government of taking the biggest bidders every

0:23:100:23:17

time is enormous. The cost to the taxpayer of GNER going bust and

0:23:170:23:21

national express going bust has been enormous. We would have been

0:23:210:23:25

running high speed fast trains on the East Coast main line, more than

0:23:250:23:29

30 million passengers on the East Coast main line if our bid had been

0:23:290:23:34

accepted and they hadn't gone for the highest bidder. And

0:23:340:23:38

interestingly, the other two bidders on the West Coast Main Line

0:23:380:23:43

who weren't incumbents bid something like 2.5 billion less

0:23:430:23:48

than First Group. First Group was a company that was struggling. It

0:23:480:23:53

needed cash flow in the short-term, and so it put in a bid where they

0:23:530:23:57

are not paying the Government a lot in the short term and right at the

0:23:570:24:02

end of the contract they are suddenly going to find another �2

0:24:020:24:09

billion of income. It is astounding that the same department officials

0:24:090:24:14

who made the same mistakes with GNER and National Express are going

0:24:140:24:20

down the same line with First Group and it's sad. I personally have got

0:24:210:24:26

lots of other wonderful things like space projects and exciting things

0:24:260:24:31

to do, but very sad for all the staff at Virgin Trains who have

0:24:310:24:38

done a magnificent job and created the best rail network in the world,

0:24:380:24:42

but certainly in the UK. You could sound like a sore loser? One could

0:24:420:24:50

sound like a sore loser. We didn't speak out when we were runners up

0:24:500:24:54

to GNER. We didn't speak up when the same thing happened to us with

0:24:540:25:00

cross country. And the people who took it over have lost money since.

0:25:000:25:04

On a fourth occasion we think it is important that the public know

0:25:040:25:11

what's happened. Is Virgin then now out of the railway business? If the

0:25:110:25:14

rules stay the same we are almost definitely out of the railway

0:25:140:25:18

business. We bid twice for the East Coast main line before, it costs a

0:25:180:25:26

lot of money, and although we would love to run it, if the rules are as

0:25:260:25:30

they are, I don't think we will waste our money bidding again.

0:25:300:25:37

Thank you very much. In the past hour Ecuador has

0:25:370:25:41

accused the British Government of threatening to storm its embassy in

0:25:410:25:51

London if Julian assang is not handed over. What is going on.

0:25:510:25:59

has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy since June, trying to avoid

0:25:590:26:04

extradition on rape claims which he denies. We are expecting a decision

0:26:040:26:14
0:26:140:26:25

tomorrow if on whether Ecuador will allow him political asylum.

0:26:250:26:31

It is a little known law we found out tonight about the diplomatic

0:26:310:26:35

consular premises act act. It says if the Secretary of State withdraws

0:26:350:26:40

his consent in relation to land, it ceases to be diplomatic or consular

0:26:400:26:44

premises. This seems to be reminding the Ecuadoreans by

0:26:440:26:46

bringing this law up that the British Government does have the

0:26:460:26:51

power to enter the embassy. The Foreign Office has confirmed it has

0:26:510:26:56

reminded Ecuador about this law. Very quick response from the

0:26:560:27:01

Ecuadoreans. Such a threat is improper of a democratic civilised

0:27:010:27:05

and rule abiding country. If this measure announced by the British

0:27:050:27:10

officials is inacted, it would be unfriendly and hostile and it will

0:27:100:27:16

force us to respond, we are not a British colony. Is there any

0:27:160:27:20

precedent for this happening? Entering an embassy is

0:27:200:27:29

diplomatically scene as beyond the pale. It has happened in 1979, the

0:27:290:27:34

the Iranian hostage crisis. It hasn't happened in the UK, or in a

0:27:340:27:38

western democracy. If this did happen, oppressive regimes could

0:27:380:27:43

use the same argument to go into the British Embassy. It is

0:27:430:27:46

difficult to believe that they will go ahead with a raid. It is perhaps

0:27:460:27:56
0:27:560:27:58

more like lie this is a bit of private sabre-rattling.

0:27:580:28:03

There's no doubt that individual effort, extraordinarily motivated

0:28:030:28:07

athletes and dedication helped win so many medals at the Olympics, but

0:28:070:28:11

would any of the organisational secrets behind Team GB help the

0:28:110:28:17

rest of us in business or in government or in daily lives. Times

0:28:170:28:22

correspondent Matthew Syed thinks there might be. Before we speak to

0:28:230:28:27

our guests, here is Matthew's special report on the secret

0:28:270:28:37
0:28:370:28:44

The London Games. Arguably the greatest in modern Olympic history.

0:28:440:28:50

The city is now moving on. Perhaps the most intriguing story of 2012

0:28:500:28:56

is how British sport has moved on. The pride of Sheffield, the pride

0:28:570:29:02

of Great Britain, Jessica Ennis is the Olympics champion.

0:29:020:29:07

16 years ago Team GB was an international laughing stock. Today,

0:29:070:29:13

it it is it is held up as a model for the rest of the world. What is

0:29:130:29:17

the inside story of this extraordinary transformation and

0:29:170:29:22

are there wider lessons that can be learned from Britain's sporting

0:29:220:29:27

miracle that can help us achieve world beating status in business

0:29:270:29:34

and education. Sport has a particular kind of

0:29:340:29:40

truth. You live and die on objective results, with no room for

0:29:400:29:49

spin or artifice. Perhaps no British sport has

0:29:490:29:56

achieved more astonishing results than rowing. They won nine Olympic

0:29:560:29:59

medals in London and they are gearing up for Rio in four years'

0:29:590:30:04

time. We are there for one another, through the hard times and bad

0:30:040:30:14
0:30:140:30:22

times. We are always there to help each other out. It is this ethos

0:30:220:30:25

the collective pursuit of excellence that has driven the

0:30:250:30:31

success of British rowing. But 16 years ago British sport had a very

0:30:310:30:35

different culture. Britain has had its best day so far in the Olympic

0:30:350:30:39

Games winning two more medals and the promise of a silver in the

0:30:390:30:43

men's tennis doubles. But the team's medal total could be the

0:30:430:30:49

lowest for 40 years. Not much has gone right for Britain in the

0:30:490:30:59
0:30:590:31:04

Atlanta 1996 where Team GB won just a solitary Gold Medal. Funding was

0:31:040:31:09

virtually non-existent and there was a widespread acceptance that in

0:31:090:31:16

the face of fierce international competition, deline was inevitable.

0:31:160:31:26
0:31:260:31:27

The fight back started in the some what curious decision by John Major.

0:31:270:31:31

Peter Keen, a cycling coach who would become Director of

0:31:310:31:37

Performance at UK Sport was one of the beneficiaries. When Lottery

0:31:370:31:41

funding came in in the '90s and opportunities came for people like

0:31:410:31:47

me to do this as a career, as a profession, rather than something

0:31:470:31:50

in my spare time, that was a life- changing moment for me and many

0:31:500:31:54

others in British sport, because you had the opportunity to try and

0:31:540:31:59

put into practice in a systemic way what you may have learnt from

0:31:590:32:04

working with one or two individuals. The new system was emerging that

0:32:040:32:08

would reef illusionise British sport and at its core was a so-

0:32:080:32:12

called traffic light system. Sports that failed to perform were shown a

0:32:120:32:16

red light and have their funding cut. Sports that succeeded were

0:32:160:32:21

given a green light and extra money. The competition between sports for

0:32:210:32:29

funding was unapologetically Darwinian. But this ruthless focus

0:32:290:32:33

on success went far deeper. Walking the shop floor is fundamental. I

0:32:340:32:43

like to get to know the younger athletes coming up. David Tanner

0:32:430:32:47

has been at the helm of British rowing for more than a decade.

0:32:470:32:53

want to be the best sport in the world in rowing and we are. We did

0:32:530:32:56

that in Beijing, we have done it now. If you see the guys here, when

0:32:560:32:59

they are doing their training pieces, they will shout for each

0:32:590:33:05

other. It is ease yes to say that, but in some cases there are people

0:33:050:33:08

that might be trying to take your place in your boat, but they will

0:33:080:33:18
0:33:180:33:20

shout for each other. The benchmark is does what you are doing make ts

0:33:200:33:25

boat boat go faster, but it is a question asked and people feel

0:33:250:33:29

accountable for what they contribute to the programme. It is

0:33:290:33:36

trying to be a true meritocracy. You get what you need on merit. The

0:33:360:33:41

whole approach to funding starts with understanding what every

0:33:410:33:46

athlete needs in terms of coaching, in terms of facilities, the

0:33:460:33:49

resources you have to have. What we have tried very hard and well

0:33:490:33:57

continue to work on, whatever tough The success of British athletes at

0:33:570:34:00

2012 has been extraordinary. It's probably fair to say the elite

0:34:000:34:07

sports set up in the UK is now the envy of the world. But what of the

0:34:070:34:10

wider story, what are the lessons we can learn from the success of

0:34:100:34:15

Team GB when it comes to the broader economy. To business and to

0:34:150:34:22

our national culture itself. Zlt leaders of British sport from David

0:34:220:34:26

Brailsford have very different personalities but almost identical

0:34:260:34:33

values. They define their objective and then deconstruct it. Every

0:34:330:34:36

facet associated with success is examined from science to nutrition,

0:34:360:34:41

to the colour of the lockers in the changing rooms. It is called the

0:34:410:34:45

science of marginal gains and its application extends way beyond

0:34:450:34:51

sport. Businesses are interested in what's happened here and when they

0:34:510:34:55

look at the structures and metrics that lie behind the measures we

0:34:550:35:00

have been talking about, I think that traces to the very origins of

0:35:000:35:04

this approach. Which is the difference between a successful

0:35:040:35:09

athlete and a less successful one. Every training practice and every

0:35:090:35:14

drill, the successful athlete is thinking how do I improve on that,

0:35:140:35:22

what would change if I tweaked this. It's that constant self-

0:35:220:35:27

reinforcement that lies at the heart of all expert performers and

0:35:270:35:35

they are never satisfied. heroes of the London Olympics have

0:35:350:35:40

enthused the nation and provided a template for success that

0:35:400:35:43

transsends the field of play, but perhaps their most profound

0:35:430:35:50

achievement is far broader. The current obsession with celebrity

0:35:500:35:56

culture is encouraging the idea you can be somebody without doing

0:35:560:35:59

something. They offer a powerful corrective. They have achieved

0:35:590:36:07

excellence not overnight through years of dedication and sacrifice.

0:36:070:36:15

Self-discipline. Having a structure in which to achieve your ambitions,

0:36:150:36:20

working with other people. It is much more long lasting than the

0:36:210:36:27

self-gratification which I do recognise. This philosophy of

0:36:270:36:32

marginal gains has applications for us all. Those old-fashioned values

0:36:320:36:35

of opportunity, hard work and endeavour are as important for

0:36:350:36:40

success in life as they are in sport. As London moves on, perhaps

0:36:400:36:50

that is the most powerful legacy. Ben Ainslie won his fourth Olympic

0:36:500:37:00
0:37:000:37:03

Gold Medal last month to add to his silver from 1996. Liz Nicholl is

0:37:030:37:06

Chief Executive of UK Sport. Are there some secrets you are

0:37:060:37:09

particularly proud of that have turned people who could have been

0:37:090:37:13

losers to winners this time? don't think it is rocket science in

0:37:130:37:18

terms of how the high performance system in the UK works. At its

0:37:180:37:22

heart it is about having a really clear goal and really focusing all

0:37:220:37:28

the resources that you possibly can behind the achievement of that goal.

0:37:280:37:32

That is what every athlete does, every Olympian does because they

0:37:320:37:37

want it and Ben has been driving for that Gold Medal at every

0:37:370:37:42

Olympics. He will be looking at the technical and tactical requirements

0:37:420:37:50

around his own preparation, so the system here is about the multiplier

0:37:500:37:55

effect, when you have all the athletes doing the same thing, and

0:37:550:38:00

then across the system, when we look at UK Sport, we fund 47 sports,

0:38:000:38:04

Olympic and Paralympic, and we are investing about �100 million a year

0:38:040:38:07

and all that investment and all the resources are all focused around

0:38:070:38:13

what is going to make each one of those athletes able to achieve

0:38:130:38:18

their very best at the games. you try to pick winners, you

0:38:180:38:23

channel more where you think it will do most good? Peter in that

0:38:230:38:28

interview talked about a meritocratic approach, so we focus

0:38:280:38:32

on sports and athletes that can produce medallists at the next

0:38:320:38:38

games. Our investment is all about that. We have - we will make those

0:38:380:38:42

tough calls, because if you are investing in success, that has got

0:38:420:38:48

to be your top priority. Ben, congratulations again. Going back

0:38:480:38:52

to 1996, you have seen a few changes. What effect has it had on

0:38:520:38:58

you and other athletes? I was very struck by talking about critical of

0:38:580:39:01

your team-mates, and your competitive with them, but you are

0:39:010:39:07

in a time. That's right. My first Olympics in 1996, it was a a

0:39:070:39:13

totally different story. The senior level sailors I was racing against,

0:39:130:39:17

were holding down part-time jobs and sleeping in the backs of cars

0:39:170:39:20

or camping at the international events. These days we have so much

0:39:200:39:26

more support and it does come down to teamwork and people. The The

0:39:260:39:29

funding has to be right but you need the right talent and you need

0:39:290:39:33

the right coaching and staff to support that. Do you need to also

0:39:330:39:38

be open to criticism, for other people to say you didn't do that so

0:39:380:39:43

well? Yes, as a sportsman you have to be completely honest with

0:39:430:39:47

yourself and those around you. You can't hide from the results

0:39:470:39:52

ultimately. You have to take the criticism, you have to always be

0:39:520:39:55

looking looking on how you can improvement the hardest thing is

0:39:550:39:59

not getting to the top, it is staying there. How does this

0:39:590:40:02

translate to business, a lot of people would like Team GB in a

0:40:030:40:07

different way to work, but would it work? I think it does. The top

0:40:070:40:13

businesses already know this. A picks ar movie is put together with

0:40:130:40:17

absolutely with this philosophy of marginal gains, every scene is gone

0:40:170:40:22

over. They don't ask whether it is good, they say what would make it

0:40:220:40:27

better. Tesco's, the pricing, marketing or Amazon, they are they

0:40:270:40:34

are doing something called alpha beta testing, tweaking the pricing

0:40:340:40:38

or positioning. That way of thinking is very familiar to UK

0:40:380:40:45

Sport. When it comes to organisations and when it comes to

0:40:450:40:49

government, we find it harder to follow these examples and there are

0:40:490:40:56

a couple of reasons. One is a cognitive bias called loss aversion.

0:40:560:41:01

When something isn't working we want to double dounl, we want to

0:41:010:41:07

keep going and going on, give more money and maybe it will work next

0:41:070:41:12

time. The second obstacle is we almost take it for granted with

0:41:120:41:15

sport, we know ultimately what success looks like and that is

0:41:150:41:20

often not true with public policy. To give you an example, in

0:41:200:41:23

education, my daughter's school a couple of years ago, sent out a

0:41:230:41:27

note to parents and said we are going to change the way we teach

0:41:270:41:30

literacy, we are going to change the way the children are seated,

0:41:300:41:37

streamed, change the books. We said that's great. Why? What are you

0:41:370:41:41

hoping to achieve and is there any evidence and are you going to test

0:41:410:41:45

it, is it going to make the children perform better or love

0:41:450:41:50

reading more, why? And this is very, very common. And the answer came

0:41:500:41:55

none. They didn't understand why that was a relevant question, they

0:41:550:42:01

formed an opinion this would be a good change. I don't think that you

0:42:010:42:06

get away with that in Team GB. wouldn't this year under the new

0:42:060:42:10

management as it were. Do you see it translating to business, do you

0:42:100:42:14

business talk to you and say how do you do this? We have had visitors

0:42:140:42:20

into UK Sport to look at our mission control process, which is

0:42:200:42:27

very simple. We ask every sport we invest in to have a performance

0:42:270:42:30

management approach, and a review three times a year. We ask them to

0:42:300:42:36

look at their athletes and tell us how they are doing in a health and

0:42:360:42:40

well-being. Examine their system and how is that performing and

0:42:400:42:44

their coaches and be self-critical and tell us what is working and

0:42:450:42:49

what is not working. We ask them to look at the climate and culture.

0:42:490:42:53

The difference over the last four years has been that the sports

0:42:530:42:56

trust, that we are not trying to catch them out here, we want to

0:42:560:43:00

help them, we want them to win, everybody wants them to win. They

0:43:000:43:04

are willing to put up their hands and saying we are not doing well

0:43:040:43:07

here, we need help here. The great thing about the system now is,

0:43:070:43:10

because we work across the sports, if there is a problem with one

0:43:110:43:16

sport, it's been addressed in another sport and we can match that

0:43:160:43:20

problem to that solution. Where does money come into this? Look at

0:43:200:43:26

the athletes who train, the boxers who train so hard, who would do it

0:43:260:43:30

for nothing, but shouldn't do it for nothing, because if money

0:43:300:43:35

helped it, the England football team would be scoring goals and not

0:43:350:43:40

having penalty shoot-outs. It is only one part of the equation, but

0:43:400:43:44

you have to have the money to have the right equipment and coaching

0:43:440:43:47

and development. But that only gets you so far. You then need to use

0:43:480:43:53

that in the right way. That is where UK Sport offer a lot of

0:43:530:43:57

assistance to the different sports. But they each take their own

0:43:570:44:01

responsibility to manage that funding properly and use it in the

0:44:020:44:06

right way to get the results. wonder if you feel managed because

0:44:060:44:12

you have been doing it for a long time. I have a good relationship

0:44:120:44:17

with our Performance Director, Stephen Parks. We get on very well.

0:44:170:44:23

No, the sailing team are fantastic and allowing the sailors to decide

0:44:230:44:27

the direction of their own programmes and they provide the

0:44:270:44:30

funding and of course if the results don't come, people ask

0:44:300:44:34

questions, but it's worked very well. I notice Roy Hodgson was

0:44:340:44:37

saying England could learn from Team GB, but maybe money up to a

0:44:380:44:43

point is fine, but perhaps many of the footballers run it more like a

0:44:430:44:46

business than sports people, in other words the money has a

0:44:460:44:53

negative effect. Yeah, it is clearly possible to be paid too

0:44:530:44:58

much, to be over motivated, to be distracted by this. The thing about

0:44:580:45:02

money is it is useful up to a point. There is only so much to go around.

0:45:020:45:07

The question is how are you going to use it effectively. I think what

0:45:070:45:12

UK Sport have done is constantly ask is this going to make the boat

0:45:120:45:17

go faster, is this going to make the athlete run faster or jump

0:45:170:45:22

higher. What we don't see often enough in most public policy is

0:45:220:45:26

this focus of we are going to introduce a new offender

0:45:260:45:31

rehabilitation scheme or new policing tactic. Whether it work,

0:45:310:45:37

how will we evaluate whether it works. Can we come back in five

0:45:380:45:41

years' time and say we thought it was a good idea, tested it out and

0:45:410:45:45

it turns out it wasn't. I would be delighted to see politicians do

0:45:450:45:50

that but I don't think that comes naturally to them. Are you going to

0:45:500:45:56

be back in four years and even better? I am not sure about that.

0:45:560:46:01

The next project is the Americans cup, that is really about teamwork.

0:46:010:46:06

So four years' time, 2016, it would be great to see the team do just as

0:46:060:46:09

well as they have done this time round.

0:46:100:46:19
0:46:200:46:21

The Duke of Edinburgh is in hospital. Boris on the runway,

0:46:210:46:26

demand for action for leadership aims.

0:46:260:46:31

The Telegraph has more places for bright students at elite

0:46:310:46:37

universities. The Mail has a �35,000 cap on care bills. That is

0:46:370:46:47
0:46:470:47:13

That is all from us tonight. Good Good evening. We have had some

0:47:130:47:17

miserable weather through Wednesday. That lies to the north of Scotland.

0:47:170:47:20

Heavy showers follow coastal gales through the night. It will be a

0:47:200:47:30
0:47:300:47:36

With some lengthy dry spells we will see the temperatures into the

0:47:360:47:40

mid 20s but a breeze will drive the showers in sharely frequently

0:47:400:47:45

across the south-west of England, Wales as well, with longer spells

0:47:450:47:47

of rain returning to Northern Ireland and brushing close to Wales

0:47:480:47:52

by the end of the day. There are further further warnings out for

0:47:520:47:57

rain over the coming few days. Heavy showers around just about

0:47:570:48:00

anywhere. More across the north- west highlands than we have seen

0:48:000:48:07

today. But with some sunshine in between, pleasant spells as well.

0:48:070:48:12

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

Why are there more jobs as the recession bites?

Richard Branson on losing his rail franchise.

And Ben Ainslie on what lies behind Team GB's success.


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