03/09/2012 Newsnight


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

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Tomorrow we shall see what David Cameron can do to get some zip back


into his Government. Could the first planned reshuffle of his time


in Number Ten, also be his last before the election. Our political


editor is here. We are expecting jobs for a lot of


new MPs, and a healthy amount of women, could it be the line up that


keeps Cameron in power. Time to shake up the political


panel and see if the summer holiday has harpened their brains.


everybody needs to be asked. Politicians on both right and left


make idiots of themselves over rape. Why has this crime suddenly become


so contentious? We will hear from the feminist writer, Naomi Woolf.


When street protests brought down the Mubarak dictatorship, Britain


Prom my to do all in its power to chase down and return to Egypt


money the regime had stolen. A Newsnight investigation has


discovered a great chasam between words and deeds.


Why has Britain been so slow to trace the rest of the money?


Its apparent inaction proved by developments Newsnight was able to


obtain within minutes on-line. These are not good days for an


ambitious MP to drop his or her phone down the loo, ob to be


separated from it at all. The Government remuffle which has been


talked about all summer is finally upon us. Details are beginning to


emerge tonight. David Cameron has, of course, decided nothing to base


as winning the election will be a consideration. Unless he's suddenly


gone deaf, he must know there are plenty of his own backbenchers who


think it is way time he got a grip and changed direction.


First, tonight, our political editor looks at what they think he


ought to do. Politicians waited today for the


Prime Minister's first reshuffle. Promotion or demotion, but


certainly commotion in Westminster. Away from the hand wringing, hand-


me-downs and handbags were on offer down the road in south Kensington,


in auction, at Christie's, Margaret Thatcher's outfits went on sale.


Some of David Cameron's critics think her heir could do worse. This


reshuffle has to I a dress Cameron's twin problems of party


management and policy drift. Party management would suggest he recruit


some of those truer blue right-wing Conservatives to positions of


responsibility within the party. And policy direction would suggest


some of those radical ideas of both the new intake and actually the old.


Radical, right-wing, call it what you will, but many say the time has


come for those twin set and pearls. Today the pressure came from


someone with working knowledge of both Margaret Thatcher and David


Cameron. David Davis, Cameron's rival for the party leadership,


speaking at a think-tank, from Thatcher's day. When Margaret


Thatcher's Government stopped the steady decline of the British


economy, that decline, thought to be inevitable at the time, we


forget some of the apparently very risky things she did. So what


should we do about it? Let's start with the easy part, no new taxes.


And yes, Mr Clegg, I am talking to you. The Government actually needs


a coherent, long-term strategy for genuinely lower, flatter taxes.


He's in a really bad place. He needs a 7-10% poll lead to form a


majority Conservative Government after the next election. It doesn't


look like there is any chance of doing that on current trends. They


have to have a message of the kind of blue collar, northern, Midlands


voters, who Margaret Thatcher managed, at least in the Midlands,


to keep on her side for three elections. He certainly has to


listen to what some of the wiser heads in his party are he will


iting him. That means a radical recasting of the cabinet, getting


his whips' office in order in the Commons, and getting political


focus and direction into Downing Street. The Prime Minister is said


to be alert to all of this, and it is partly why this evening it is a


racing certainty International Development Secretary, Andrew


Mitchell, who ran David Davis's campaign, will move to become Chief


Whip. It is partly why ministers, like Northern Ireland Secretary,


Owen Paterson, Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, and the current


deputy fair chan, Michael Fallon, might all be in line for an


elevation. The Republican conventions in


America, and the democratic one this week are being watched, Young


Conservatives are wondering if their leader will take a leaf out


of Mitt Romney's book. He hired a young gun with controversial cuts


to the state in his back pocket. It was controversial there, but some


of our MPs have ideas similar. The Government is bringing forward


an economic development bill in the next few days. Much is its own work,


but some is heavily influenced by new intake Conservative MPs, a


chunk of whom are due for promotion tomorrow. Liz Truss, in particular,


is favourite, one of her ideas, already in the policy pot, is to


deregulate the lower end of the labour market. Mini-jobs, pioneered


in Germany, would exempt those from tax earning at least �300 a month.


The Government will announce a further relaxation of planning


regulation, to galvanise the economy. Something many new MPs


have been pushing for. Another idea Hoveing into view, more air


capacity in the south-east, again a hobby horse of David Cameron's 2010


cohort, and something of a philosopher's stone, has gained


ambassadors in the cabinet, watch out for Justine Greening, she is


opposed to this. Of course the Prime Minister does not necessarily


have to tackle any redirection in the shuffle. MPs close to him, such


as Nick Boles would be in line for that. Whatever he does he has to do


with the Liberal Democrats, he doesn't have the freedom of his


backbenchers as he would like F growth is your number one think,


then you move David Laws into a business department, you have to


swallow your pride and give Vince Cable a big promotion, perhaps to


Home Secretary. I would like to see him offer to make William Hague


Party Chairman, which would go down very well with the members. He


listens to William Hague. tonight a remind eark at the


Paralympics of the -- reminder of the Paralympics of the Government's


challenge. The first boos we have heard in the Paralympics stadium.


Something else to set the scene a pledge Cameron made years ago, he


said by the end of his parliament a third of ministers would be women,


tomorrow may go some way to do it hope in the future that female


outfits aren't such an awedity. -- odddy.


We have our guests. We have allowed them to keep their phones switched


on in case the Prime Minister rings. You haven't had a call? No. Have


you had one? No, I must have blotted my copy book with the House


of Lords reform, I don't expect one. First off, why is this reshuffle


happening at all, other than as a reward for towedies? I think we --


toadies? I think we ought to recognise that David Cameron did


the right thing not to reshuffle when you in the media and others


were prompting him to. He allowed his ministers to settle in to


deliver the reforms, in welfare, education and healthcare. That was


the right strategy. If I was an observer of how people manage an


organisation, that is the right thing to do. We are to applaud the


Prime Minister because he fails to succumb to media tittle tattle, we


are supposed to applaud that are we? I'm applauding because he's a


manager people, he allowed his ministers. What is to be achieved


by the reshuffle? What is to be achieved by the reshuffle, is to


make sure where we need to move people, promote people, there has


been some fantastic backbenchers, you saw some of then on your list,


Truss, and others, who have done a lot of the thinking for this


Government, in the different plam fleds and think-tanks. You may life,


but look at the mini-jobs idea, the idea to allow all sorts of things.


There is talk that there is more talent on the backbenches than in


Government? That is probably true, we won't find out for some time, he


hasn't that many positions to fill. My concern is all the attention is


on IRA shuffle, and we ought to be thinking about a re-think. That is


my thing. Nothing will be achieved, simply by changing the personnel?


Not at all. I want a re-think about where we are going, how we are


going to achieve growth, how we are going to instill some demand into


the economy. Then you slot people in, who are capable of creating


those outcomes. But, of course, he's not actually a free agent in


this matter? He ought to be a freer agent than he has proved to be.


can't even reshuffle the whole of his cabinet, can he? Isn't that a


sadness? The liberals are a very small minority of this Government.


And many Conservatives believe that very often, too often, the tail has


wagged the dog. I would want to see a bit more strength, a bit more


leadership from David in that respect. Do you think that whatever


this reshuffle is, that it is going to result in a change of direction?


Absolutely not. If you look at what you have just been asking Brian


about, what is this Government delivering? We have capped welfare


at �26,000, that is a major step. We have tackled public sector


pensions, another major step. We have tackled tuition fees, another


major step. We didn't win the election outright. We are in


coalition, yet we have delivered at lot of Conservative manifesto, we


are going in the right direction, nobody said this would be easy.


This is a long, hard road. I would rather have a leader who is honest


with the public, and doesn't look at political expediency and winning


elections, but says it is a long road, we will go beyond this


parliament to try to fix the mess we inherited. This is what I'm


doing to do it. Setting out his programme. Looking at departments


that really need a change of personnel? The Treasury, the name


of the game is growth, the name of the game of the economy. You want a


new Chancellor of the Exchequer? have already said that. Other


departments? I would put George as chairman, he has two jobs, let him


concentrate on one, which is winning the next election, and


bring, I would bring in Philip Hammond into the Treasury. A man


who knows business, who has a safe pair of hands, and he's a good


economy i. Any other departments needing a kick up the back side?


That is up to David, I have my own views. I wouldn't go that far. I'm


not overly happy with what Vince has done in business, that is up to


Nick Clegg, sadly. He can't get rite of Vince Cable, can he?


might change him for David Laws, who knows. Any other departments


crying out for a change, Department for International Development, that


is all we seem to know about? take Europe away from the Foreign


Office, and put that into the Foreign Office. Which departments


do you think need a kick up the back side? I think if you look at


where we have done well, we have done well in education, welfare, we


have done well in healthcare. These are areas we have done incredibly


well in. There are three areas you think you have done well in? Look


at the people in those jobs, look at the ministerial team that


supports the cabinet, and promote people accordingly. It is not for


me to sit here and speculate about which people he needs to move


around. There is plenty of talent in the party. The one thing I can


tell you is the Conservative Party, both backbench and front bench, is


buzzing can ideas and talent. David Cameron is watching, he has


the message of your intense loyalty, doubtless you have your phone on


silent, but it will ring shortly. Which Government departments need a


change at the top? If I was at the top I would have voted for change


in the House of Lords, I made my position clear to David Cameron,


and I held that position. All I would say is he's taking the tough


decisions, this is really hard, it is very hard to govern at a time


when there is no money around. are you shaking your head? Because


we still have �125 billion deficit on our annual budget. Government


spending is still increasing. We haven't cut the burden of the


overmighty state. These are the areas we need to start working on.


And secondly, we need to start putting some demand into the


economy, we need to create a greater sense of well being, and it


can be done without raising taxes. How many people like you feel like


you in the backbenches? More than you would think? I don't know what


I think. It could be you and a couple of drinking pals? I guess


you think we are a minority, I'm telling you more people than that


believe it is time for a sea change in terms of the direction of this


Government. Is that the way you read it? I am aafraid, I have great


respect for -- I am afraid, I have great respect for Brian, and he's a


great businessman. That means he's barking up the wrong tree! He holds


his position and robustly! decision of who keeps their job,


who should lose their's, and who should be given a chance to appear


on this programme defending the embarrassing U-turns he has made,


has been made all the more difficult, because some of the MPs


David Cameron wishes had never been elected are in his cabinet, namely


those Liberal Democrats. Our political editor is here. What's


happening? You suggested the Prime Minister might be watching. Of all


nights tonight he won't be watching. These are traditionally knock


tunnel activities. -- knock turnal activities, tomorrow people will


find out what jobs they have or haven't got. We know Andrew


Mitchell is not the international secretary tomorrow morning he will


be the Chief Whip. He's said to be a disciplinarian, he did run David


Davis's campaign. It would be the smack of whipping from Andrew


Mitchell. Everyone is laughing on that side of the table. We know


very little, we know how widespread it will be. There was a rumour this


evening that Michael Gove, of all people, because he's so tied into


his department, was being moved from education. I rang his people


to ask this, they said no, but they did have to check. It is incredibly


widespread, going all over the scale of Government. There will be


lots of new in take MPs, and it will be, they say, a fair few women.


This goes right down this reshuffle? Yeah. The key thing


about it is that, OK, there might be another one before the next


election, but if you want to be bedded in so as you can make a


difference before the next election, especially in the public's mind,


you probably have to be in Government now, not net next time


round. -- Not next time round. new political year coming, and


rouseed from hieb operation, our panel, snap, crackle and pop, knife,


fork and spoon, whatever they are, William Hague's pal, Danny


Finkelstein, Dickie Burnell and Miranda Green, the recovery adviser


to Paddy Ashdown. Is this reshuffle worth having? It is not actually


about changing the direction of the Government, but trying to make what


the Government does work. In other words, I don't think he wants


people who agree more with him in Government, like Margaret Thatcher,


he wants to make his policies stick and be implemented. The talk about


Iain Duncan Smith, he has reached the point where he has introduced


the reforms, it might be a different person you want to


implement the reform tos. You would change the welfare secretary at


this point, without necessarily changing the policies. You have a


lot of experience, you came into cabinet on a reshuffle didn't you?


I came in when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, a new Government.


You have got experience in Government of reshuffles, what do


they generally achieve? Some of them annoy lots of people to no


great end. There is lots of easy ways of doing, that for example,


pretending people they haven't been fired, and they have been. They


turn up thinking they are envoy on clips to the Cabinet Office, and


they are not. If you are firing someone, you should be Hon e. What


they are about, I agree with Danny, is they are about making the


Government better, if they succeed. To do that you have to work out


where you want to get votes and score some goals, and put those


goal scorers, the Michael Goves, and you want the issue out of the


news, for us at one stage was social security, so you sent for


Alistair Darling. Here it may be that dealt, the Conservatives might


think we won't score points on it, let's take it out of the news. You


look for a politician who can gently take it out of the headlines.


Miranda, the Liberal Democrats have been having their own separate


reshuffle, will they? Yes, I think the reshuffle is much less


significant for the Liberal Democrats, because there are


relatively few at the senior level. We expect them to stay put. To have


David Laws back, something expected, would be very good for the Liberal


Democrats. It is a three-card trick rather than a reshuffle? It is


about party management too. It is, it is about having your strongest


people in the right place. ordinary civilian, what does "party


management" mean? It is about the authority of the people at the top.


That is slightly lacking, would be a polite way of saying it, over the


last few months. There is always violence where there are a lot of


young people, the Conservative Party has a huge in intake, it has


to be able to manage it. I think change in the whip's office,


everyone says Andrew Mitchell is a disciplinarian, there needs to be


subtle techniques used. You can't whip this Conservative intake in


the way you have been able to previous intake. You have to earn


the respect and loyalty of them. You want to maintain hope as long


as possible, when people lose hope, they decide to come on and say the


Government they are a member of is terrible. That is good, right?


you, but not for David Cameron. Someone who has been fired before


and behaved and come back, someone overlooked, suddenly plucked from


Select Committee obscurity, and suddenly everyone else not promoted


might think it could be them, if they behave better. And Gordon


Brown was very, very good at this. This internal detail of party


management, which just gives you those five or ten extra people who


will support you when the going gets tough. If there is the dissent,


I'm sorry? I think Danny is right to emphasise this idea of delivery,


this Government is at a stage where, now, it has to prove it is not just


about ideas. Obviously what your MPs were saying is all this


excitement about fresh ideas from the backbenches, but you also have


to show the things you said you were committed to do in 2010 you


have actually done, when you come to fight the next election.


reason why the delivery matters, is no-one has ever heard of any of


these people. When you move one person and swap them with another,


the general public unaware you have done t they don't know the person


in the job in the first place. There is no point in trying to


achieve freshness, since most of these details escape most people.


You have to achieve the policy objectives, that is what you are


after, getting a better Government. Cheryl Gillan, sacked, shock, no-


one responds, but he cannot, effectively, do what they were


saying over there, is change the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The


Chancellor of the Exchequer is his policy, isn't he? I thought that


was hilarious in the making up of their own Government, it was not


much of a guide. If David Cameron wants to change the economic policy


of the Government, the fundamental economic policy of the Government,


then it is worth changing the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If he


doesn't want to, and I don't think he does want to, he wouldn't want


to move his closest political ally out of the job where the two of


them can control the policy, if he doesn't want to change the policy.


So that's the reason why he wouldn't follow that advice. Brian


Binly, I don't know what he thinks the policy of the Government should


be, whatever it is, he thinks it should be different. In those


circumstance, of course it would make sense to change the Chancellor.


It doesn't if you are not going to change it. The rest of it doesn't


matter? It does put the emphasis on what the Government is doing for a


bit. And a lot of politics is about trying to make the media, and the


opposition talk about the things you are doing, rather than the


things that the opposition wants to talk about. At least for the next


few days, they will want to say X is moved to Y, because they want to


put an emphasis on standards in primary care in health. That is the


kind of thing which the rest of the time is very hard to get up. It is


a bit of dynamism, but most of all it is getting people who know about


a particular issue and who can score goals in those jobs, and


people who want to turn down an issue and score goals there too.


There is the larger problem, which is David Cameron's problem with his


own backbenchers, and this constant blue-on-blue attacks. There is a


major question mark over whether this achieve will achieve the sort


of changes, the whip's office changing that we're talking about,


and stop the backbench sniping, it is gradually weaken, it is death by


a thousand cuts of the Prime Minister's own authority. It has


been done to the Prime Minister, Iain Duncan Smith, and William


Hague, and now David Cameron. If they continue to do that it would


be very damaging. It is partly a question of party management,


partly it is a question for the Members of Parliament, and partly


it is a question for party management. In so far as party


management, you have to have the right chairman, Chief Whip and


strategy for dealing with the parliamentary party. That is a very


important part of the reshuffle, even though for the public it has


no interest. What will it do to the opposition, if the Government has a


reshuffle, does the opposition think they need a reshuffle too?


Quite often the leader of the opposition would delay their


reshuffle until they have seen what they are pairing up against. Ed


Miliband had a reshuffle recently that went well. I think they will


stick where they are. It gives them an opportunity to rejuvinate in a


few months time if they want. To I think they will stick where they


are. They have been pretty good at opposing in the last year, they


have given themselves a good mark on. That I think they would be


pretty happy with the team they have got. It worked perfectly well


last time, I can't see why he would bother to change. He would be


better to stick with what he has. If it doesn't make much sense of


refreshing the Government in terms of new faces, it makes less sense


to reshuffle. In opposition you have one researcher, and you have


no idea what the debate you are doing that afternoon, if you are in


the job a couple of years, at least you have done it once or twice


before. If you look at the trouble the Government is in, George


Osborne goes to the Paralympics, a kind crowd, and he is booed? When


you have no growth and mishandle aspect of the budget. You will have


that sort of trouble. Of It won't be saved by a reshuffle? No, the


thing that will save the Chancellor of the Exchequer is if his strategy


works, he believes it will. There is a lot of reason to agree with


that, but not everyone shares that view. We will see. If you are going


to change the strategy of the Government towards the economy,


fundamentally, you are going to move away from austerity, you can't


keep the same Chancellor. If you are going to, it doesn't make sense


to change the Chancellor. Obviously the Prime Minister doesn't intend


to change his strategy. Thank you very much.


Rape, it is one of those crimes which we all think we know when we


hear about it. Sexual assault is easy enough to define, and


improving police and judicial practices, has been one of the ways


in which society has tried to rectify an historic prejudice


against women. Suddenly increasing numbers of us are finding it harder


to explain precisely what rape is. Increasing numbers of us are making


excuses for male violence. No everybody needs to be asked.


legitimate rape, the female body...Once Upon a time, "no" meant


"no", now both left and right hear tones of ambiguity.


Allegations of sexual assault and rape against Julian Assange have


fuelled the debate. Not everybody needs to be asked prior to each


incertifictaion, some people believe that when you go to bed


with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them,


and then fall asleep, you are already in the sex game with them.


The Respect MP, George Galloway, has refused to apologise, insisting


the allegations since Assange weren't rape, as most people


understood it. Across the Atlantic, a right-wing Congressman, used,


what we thought was biology, to redefine the offence. If it is a


legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole


thing down. Let's assume that didn't work or something. Even


feminists are divided. The writer, Naomi Woolf was quick to pick holes


in the Assange case, claiming it to be a politically motivated witch-


hunt, despite him refusing to face questioning in Sweden. Woolf also


argues that his and he accusers should be denied anonymity. -- that


his accusers should be denied anonymity. Why has rape suddenly


become so contentious. With husband is the feminist writer Naomi Woolf,


author of Vagina, a new autobiography. Why is that becoming


so talked about, as an issue? Sexual assault, because there are


high-profile cases. It is clear, and now I understand this better,


when women make too many strides forward, rape and discourse about


rape is used to undermine them, call them into question. You have


two separate issues here, it seems to me. Your video introduced the


Assange case, just for the forward, I'm not saying those women should


be "unmasked", I'm saying it service rapists to have rape


prosecutions to be prosecuted under the cover of anonymity all together,


it gives impunity to prosecutor, let me give you statistics. The law


was changed in 1976 in order that woman would feel more comfortable?


-- women would feel more comfortable? The upshot is 6% of


reported rapes, that is a small fraction of all rapes, ever get


convicted. But that's what I really want to stress. Are you expecting


women to be willing to testify in open court, with their full


identity disclosed, in a case which may or may not be successful?


isn't what I came here to talk about. But I do think, like many


feminists, that rape shouldn't be stigmatised any differently from


any kind of assault. Just like we expect, allegations of beating


someone up, or allegations of fraud, to have both the victim and the


perpetrator stand up and say this happened, that's what justice is.


And more importantly, it stigmatises women, ultimately, and


allows impunity. It allows impunity for rapes and prosecutors, here and


in Sweden. The reason I know there is something very corrupt about the


prosecution of the Assange case, I'm not talking about the women now,


we don't know enough. Is it is so profoundly different from, and I


have worked with rape victims for many, many years, from the way rape


is prosecuted for any other victim in Sweden. Right now in Sweden, it


has the highest rape rate in women, the lowest prosecution rate,


Amnesty International says Swedish rapists enjoy impunity, there are


600 women in Sweden waiting for shelter from vicious assailants and


their children. When I called the Stockholm Government police hot-


line, there is no answering machine. The idea this is a typical


prosecution. Nobody has suggested it is a typical prosecution, but


why shouldn't one prosecution go ahead if the crime is alleged, just


because various others haven't gone ahead? There should be justice for


rape victims, but it should be a single standard of justice. It


insults the thousands of rape victims in Sweden, let me give you


an example, when I called the Rape Crisis line in Stockholm, which no


reporter seems to do is call the people in the frontlines with rape.


They said that in Stockholm the most common kind of rape is exactly


like the Assange case, they meet a man on-line, go to his apartment,


consensual sex turns non-consensual, the volunteers said that is exactly


the kind of scenario that the police won't prosecute, because the


woman is not considered "clean ". There isn't a single standard for


prosecution here. This is such a deviation from the way most rape


victims in Sweden are dismissed, disregarded, I think it is


insulting to rape victims. there grey areas, George Galloway


says if you get into bed and have sex with them, and wake up the next


morning and that person is attempting to have sex with you,


without you having said yes, is that rape? At that point, if you


are not fearful, or frightened of violence, you say, no, and that is


a clear communication. Is it rape? You need to get consent, that is


the law. You need to know you don't have consent for it to be rape, and


there has to be a broken social contract. The law is you have to


know you have active consent. is no ambiguity about this? This


situation? Rape is rape? Look, it is very important for women, and


men, who feel like they are being assaulted, to express they have a


lack of consent. Absolutely, categorically. I think that's


critical. Can I just pivot to something more important, we can


spend all day talking about grey areas. More important is why are


women being raped, why does society disregard it so much? I know the


answer now, which I didn't before I did the research in my book, which


has a chapter on rape, which goes right to this question. It turns


out there is a lot of new cutting- edge data, which is astonishing on


what the vagina does and what it is for. It is not just a sex organ,


but there is a brain, vagina connection, which neuroscience is


documenting it is one neurosis them. What happens to the vagina happens


to the brain. On a positive note, when a woman is well treated and


respected sexually, I'm going somewhere important, it boosts


dopamean and other toxins in her brain, which leads to sense of


connection, creativity, and other good things. On the dark side, it


explains so much misogyny, when you traumatise a woman's vagina, in new


ways that have been undocumented previously in recent years, you are


traumatising her brain, even if there is no violence. We saw


earlier legitimate rape, Neanderthals think of legitimate


rape as rape where there is violence and a threat of violence.


This new neuroscience shows that any rape, which always has fear, is


traumatic to a woman's brain and body for years. Lasting harm


changes the system, constellations of systems that seem unrelated to


the original rape. Thank you very much. The people of Britain are, we


are told by our Government, thrilled that Egypt has moved from


dictatorship to a former imperfect democracy. Yet our Government


doesn't seem to be putting its money where its mouth it is, or


rather it is not putting the money stolen by the dictator where its


mouth it. Once a self-respecting clep toe maniac has everything


sorted at home. Everything small men equipped with toenail extractor,


he seeks a bolt-hole and shelter for his loot, for Hosni Mubarak,


that is what London offered. We don't seem to be in a rush to track


it all down. They wanted bread, freedom, but also their money back.


Reports of the tens of billions of dollars their dictator, Hosni


Mubarak, and his friends, had allegedly stolen from Egypt, drove


the revolutionaries on Tahrir Square last year, into a white heat


of fury. After revolution, Britain was one


of the first countries to propose freezing that wealth. Exciting


great hopes in Egypt. We have also received a request from the


Egyptian Government to freeze the asset of several former Egyptian


officials. We will, of course co- operate with this request, if there


is any evidence of illegality or misuse of state assets, we will


take firm and prompt action. But a year-and-a-half on, not a


penny has been returned. Egypt, is so angry, it is suing


Britain. A country, it now believes, is willfully concealing its


billions. TRANSLATION: We are in Egypt, but


our money is in the UK. How can we get it back if Britain won't co-


operate? Mubarak's billions, they believe, are somewhere here. It


is no secret that London is one of the places that the Egyptian elite


most likes to keep and console their wealth. Yet the UK has frozen


a mere �85 million worth of asset, linked to Mubarak and his


associates. Is that, as many believe, a fraction of the ill-


gotten gains hidden here. If so, why has Britain been so slow to


trace the rest of the money. Its apparent inaction proved by


documents Newsnight was able to obtain, within minutes on-line.


Those clues led us through one of the Egyptian elite's favourite


haunts, London's Belgravia, to assets the UK authorities have


either ignored or failed to discover 28 Wilton Place,


conveniently around the corner from Harrods, was the much-loved London


home of President Mubarak's younger son, Gamal, Playboy, businessman,


deputy head of the ruling party. His name was prominent on the list


of Egyptians, whose assets were frozen last year. But this very


substantial asset, worth about �10 million, wasn't subject to that


order. The Land Registry title shows it belongs to a firm in the


tax haven of Panama. The reason, perhaps, there is no reference to


any freezing order, though the sanctions should apply to any


property the named individual benefits from, regardless of the


legal ownership. Just around the corner, the former office of


Medinvest Associates, an investment company, belonging to a Cypriot


firm Gamal Mubarak was involved with. A company's house document --


Companies House document, easily available on-line, shows it


dissolved itself in February last year, it operated 11 months after


sanctions were imposed. Tim Daniel, one of the City's


leading asset tracers, is astonished. He is a lawyer, who


hunts down dirty money worldwide. He helped Nigeria recover millions


stolen by its dictator, Sani Abacha. What does he make of the documents


from Gamal's former company, Medinvest Associates? Whoever


lodged the stock has put a note saying in addition to the two


axiveties, the software company et cetera, they were also involved --


activities, the software company et cetera, they were involved in


providing credit to financial institutions. There you are, you


have an active business, through which Gamal was actively trading,


you might have thought that the company would be added to the list


of entities affected by the sanctions. That hasn't happened.


further short walk, prompted by another very simple web search,


brings me to a third asset that has escaped the freeze, linked to


another prominent Egyptian on the sanctions list. This Companies


House entry, shows the wife of Mubarak's Housing Minister, was


able to register a new firm at this address, seven months after the


freezing order against her. We find, interestingly, this company, was


authorised on the 1st November last year. The sanctions list was put


out in March last year. That's extraordinary, somebody on the


sanctions list, months after the sanctions list comes out, is about


to open a company? Register a company. I mean, you know, one


wornders if any questions were asked at the company -- wonders if


if any questions were asked on the companies registering, about how


are you opening another company. This lady was a resident here in


Chelsea. What is the reason for the inaction? One problem is that it is


not always clear in Britain who is responsible for tracing stolen


assets from abroad. Or what should trigger such action. When the


Treasury freezes foreign assets, it is up to the banks, and other


financial institutions, to implement the order. They were


heavily criticised last year by the Financial Services Authority, for


of theen failing to do so. Further police -- for of theen failing to


do so -- often failing to do it. It sometimes only comes from mutual


legal assistance, from those requesting the recovery. They have


to be specific. Is the UK, which has all the expertise and resources


to trace money, simply using the law as an excuse to do nothing. Not


even to freeze funds, which should require a lower burden of proof,


than confiscating or returning them. On the Nile, they can't understand


why Britain's asking Egypt, recovering from decades of


dictatorship, to provide the leads in this investigation. Why it is


parrying Cairo's many requests for help, with demands for more


information. Britain, citing data protection laws, won't even tell


Assem al-Gohary, responsible for recovering stolen asset, what money


it has already frozen. Now he's taking the UK Government to court


in London, to try to find out. TRANSLATION: The British Government


is obliged by law to help us. But it doesn't want to make any effort


at all to recover the money. It just says, give us evidence. Is


that reasonable? We are in Egypt, how can we search for money in the


UK? Surprisingly, there is another country that is certainly stirring


itself to implement those agreements. A country where you


might least expect movement to recover ill-gotten gains, a country


burdened with a terrible reputation for concealing them. Switzerland,


long known for the discretion of its bankers, is the perfect place


for dictators and tycoons to squirrel away their assets, and it


is now trying to reinvent itself as a model of financial integrity. As


a world leader in the hunt for dirty money. Switzerland's federal


Government, a traditionally weak institution, is using all its power


to change the country's image. also published a communique, a


press release...Its Chief agent in the struggle is this man from the


Foreign Ministry. Immediate low after President Mubarak was


overthrown, on the 11st February last year, he activated a decree,


freezing the assets of the dictator and those around him. 37 days


before Britain and the rest of the EU took a similar step. I was


sitting here, when I heard the news that President Mubarak had left his


palace in Cairo, I had a phone call with the President of Switzerland.


Because she had the power to freeze the money that may have been here


in Switzerland. And we could then act within half an hour, the money


was effectively frozen in Switzerland. Within half an hour of


Mubarak leaving his Presidential Palace? Yes, within half an hour.


Since then, Switzerland, with more than 20 investigators on the case,


has doubd the amount of money frozen here. On the day Mubarak --


doubled the amount of money frozen her. On the day Mubarak fell they


froze �270 million in asset, that has risen to �470 million. In the


UK, �85 million, no increase since last year.


The Foreign Office, says it is doing what it can to help Egypt.


But UK law is different to Swiss law, and there are many legal


problems. We have a duty, both to the people who are ostensibly own


the money, as well as to those who are pursuing it, we have to make


sure that proper legal processes have been gone through, so that a


decision ultimately made is just and right. We will trace and return


assets wen when it is legally right to do so. -- when it is legally


right to do so. We have no vested interest in doing anything else.


The Government said it can't help if the necessary Government from


Egypt isn't available? We have been proactive in trying to help the


Egyptian authorities what they need to do to identify and find things.


But recovering Egypt's stolen wealth, isn't only just about


justice, it is about development. The revolution hasn't ended the


country's festering social inequalities. But Mubarak's


millions might. Every day they ask me, are we getting back our money.


Is the west going to steal our money and keep it in their banks?


Britain says it is doing a lot to support Egypt's fragile new


democracy. It is the largest foreign direct investor in the


country. But that doesn't solve the issue, they say, here of promises


not kept. We are disappointed by Mr Cameron, we are disappointed by our


Government also. But we think that Mr Cameron can do a lot for us. If


they have the political will to do it, they will help us. And if they


don't have the political well, they will use this -- will they will use


this legal procedures and so on to do nothing. That's about it for


tonight. Almost all of tomorrow morning's newspapers have the


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