26/09/2012 Newsnight


What does the world want from the Spanish budget? Nick Clegg's conference performance. Alexander Lebedev on a hooliganism charge. And are workers being exploited in swanky hotels?

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Tonight, is the deal that was supposed to save the eurozone


falling apart? With riots on streets in Madrid,


the Spanish Prime Minister says only market pressure can make him


take a bail out. Tonight thousands of ordinary Spaniards are once


again out on the streets of Madrid, ahead of tomorrow's austerity


budget. It could be the biggest economic and political test facing


the country since democracy was restored.


The biggest beast in the market for Spanish debt tells us how long the


country has got before it's forced into a boilout.


Newsnight investigates the treatment of hotel workers in the


heart of London. We are fighting for already three months, and still


it is not ending. That is ridiculous. I'm doing a really good


job, I want money for my job. Tonight, David Cameron promises to


hunt down Mubarak's missing millions held in Britain.


And at the Lib Dem conference. Admitting you can't, in fact, vote


blue, and go green, well, of course you can't. To make blue go green


you have to add yellow. Nick Clegg turns stand-up comedian, how long


will his party be laughing. Did the Lib Dems in Brighton rock our panel


of political experts. Good evening. In Madrid, clashes


between riot police and protestors, in Catalonia, snap elections


designed to be an effective referendum on the region's


independence. In Athens, a general strike. This was supposed to be the


month that the eurocrisis would be solved. But with the markets once


again in turmoil, Britain, once again, sees this crucial market, on


our doorstep, faced with the threat of disintegration. We will hear the


Spanish Government's latest austerity plan tomorrow. We're in


Madrid. Joe, what's happening? Good evening,


and welcome to just about 100ms in front of the Spanish parliament.


You cannot see it because there are about five rows of riot trucks


blocking the way. They are trying to prevent around 1,000 or so


protestors from getting anywhere near the build with the


announcement tomorrow. The young people here are incan Desant with


rage about the austerity they have had to endure and will continue to


be endured in the coming two years. Tomorrow that budget will arrive.


Tomorrow Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he would indeed go for a


bail out, if the cost of borrowing remained unsustainably high. It is


still unsustainably high, it hit 6% today. The markets aren't exactly


buoyed by the sight of violence on the streets of Madrid.


Spain is an angry place these days, its young people, hot blooded at


the best of times, are now boiling with fury. They are struggling to


find the future that was promised them. Half of them have no job, and


the other half are being asked to work longer and for less.


Over the last few weeks the cost of borrowing for Spain has been


falling in the wake of a deal with the European Central Bank. But that


has meant very little to ordinary Spaniards who have seen their cost


of living and their living standards plummet. So with


tomorrow's budget looming and cuts also looming, the anger that you


can tense on the streets in Madrid is bound to grow rather than wane.


That was in evidence today in Bilbao, as police used rubber


bullets against parts of the crowd. While in Madrid, some protestors


were baton charged. Tomorrow the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano


Rajoy, who has already raised direct and indirect taxes, is


expected to slash spending further, with the health services and


education in the firing line. Not having the possibility of


having a future, like finding work is impossible here right now.


vast majority of people on the streets tonight are calm and


peaceful. Most are middle-class and well educated. Social, rather than


trade union networks, are the driving forces behind the protests


this time of the We say that the democracy is kidnapped, it is


kidnapped because the people inside that building, they don't rule any


more. They don't have the power to rule, to change what's happening to


us. Things are ruled in Brussels. Ironically, it was a meeting in


Helsinki, rather than in Brussels that has driven Spanish borrowing


costs back over 6% today. The eurozone creditor nation, led by


Germany, appear to be unpicking a deal from June, about banking debt


and other debt. Specifically to help Ireland. This decision from


Spain and other counts effects us a lot more. The real problem for us


now, one of the main problems is financing. The protests are not


going to affect directly financing, unless people start to think we


have not got things under control. Spain is a young democracy, these


protests would never have been tolerated by Franco. But with


rampent debts, joblessness, and little prospects of growth, one


gets the sense that Spain is facing its biggest and economic threat,


since democracy was restored. Joining me down the line from


Madrid is Miguel-Anxo Murado a writer and journalist, and from


California, Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pimco, the world's largest bond


investor, and a man with more than a trillion dollars invested in the


markets. Mr Murado, we are expecting Prime Minister Rajoy to


come up with some kind of new austerity package tomorrow, on top


of the 65 billion larged pledged, it is crunch time, isn't it? Yes,


of course, it will be another austerity budget, and actually not


just for next year, it will be for two years, as the mandate by


Brussels. Spain, at the end of this process, has to heed a very -- hit


a very, very difficult target, a deficit target of 3%. We started


this year at 8.9%, so just imagine how difficult it is, and in fact,


the problem is that we just learned today that Spain will not meet the


deficit target for this year. We will be actually wide of the mark,


maybe 7% deficit, for example. So it's been extremely difficult


indeed. And Mr El-Erian in California, Mr


Rogge, the Prime Minister, said today, if it gets too dear


borrowing for Spain on the markets, he will go for a bail out. How long


do you think it is before he has to do that. Before he's forced by your


industry to just basically go, cap in hand, and ask for the money?


should come now, he should go to the ECB now, and ask for it. For


the simple reason that already the interest rates are too high. And


it's just not just the interest rate on Government debt, it is the


fact that capital continues to leave Spain, the private economy


continues to implode, and oxygen is sucked out of all the job creating


machines. So he should apply, he should get support, and hopefully


he can crowd back in private capital. What if he doesn't.


Anybody who has had any contact with the Spanish political elite


knows they are telling themselves, they may not even need to ask. That


the European Central Bank's pledge to buy debt may have been enough?


Well, the pledge certainly has done a lot. In the sense that it has


lowered borrowing costs by almost 1.5%. But words are not enough. You


need actions. So, the borrowing rate will go back to 7% pretty


quickly if the Prime Minister doesn't apply for the money from


the ECB. The ECB will not disperse without an application from Spain,


and a "light" set of policy conditionality. Behind you we can


see scenes of relative calm, compared to last night, we can hear


the protestors chanting too. These are not just the usual suspects,


are they? This is a wide cross section of people we saw last night,


can the Spanish people take what is about to be thrown at them? This is


actually a hardcore group of protestors, probably representative


of a sector of the Spanish youth, it has to be remembered that there


is 50% unemployment among the young people. But, they probably don't


represent the wider Spanish public, which also resents the cutbacks and


the austerity. But demonstrates in a different way, more by sector,


say healthcare worker, teachers, they are already protesting in if


their own way. Well, they are not likely to take it very well, this


new as youturity package. As for what you were mentioning, the bail


out, well the reason why the Spanish Government is not making


the move, is, well, partly for political reasons, because that is


an original election ahead, and Mr Rajoy fears that he could lose that


regional election, it is a key election. If he demands, or asks


the bail out before that. There is the genuine belief that this could


be bad for the Spanish economy, if before that it is not solved the


way the bail out will work. If the bail out goes to the debt, certain


problems Spain has will actually become worse. What is your guess of


what they are doing to introduce tomorrow 0, a soft, papering over -


- is it a soft, papering over the cracks type package, will it please


the Germans, who want this to be a hard package? There is a police


charge going on now, I couldn't hear your question! What is the


nature of the bail out, we think Rajoy is putting to the parliament?


Is it a fig leaf or serious extra measures? Mr Rajoy, actually what


he wants is the bail out would be more or less along the lines that


were discussed by Mario Draghi recently. Nothing new? Nothing


particularly new in term of extra measures? Not really. You mean the


budget? ( loud bangs) Can you tell us the source of explosions we are


hearing gr your microphone? It is rubber -- We are hearing from your


microphone? It is rubber bullets, the police are charging right now


very close to where we are. (loud bangs) I understood you were asking


about the bail out or the budget. It seems like discussing the


political policy of the political economy might be difficult in the


situation you are in. I will go to Mr El-Erian for a moment. The


markets are signal, you know the price of those bonds signals, part


of that price, signals the is arek of a euro break-up, it is -- the


risk of a euro break-up, it is your job to put a price on that, what


chance to you give Europe staying 18 members in a year's time? In a


year's time there is a pretty high probability that the euro still


exists and the eurozone still exists, I'm less sure it will be 17


member countries. What your cameras are showing right now is an amount


of rejection by the population. Were you to go to Greece, there the


rejection is complete by the population, it is economic,


financial, social and political. I do not see if you extend a year's


time how Greece remains in the eurozone, because everything we


have just talked about, multiply that by a million, and you have a


very difficult situation in Greece itself. I'm not sure the population


there will tolerate just more of the same, because it hasn't got


them anything, nor does it promise them a loyalty at the end of the


tunnel. Mohamed El-Erian sitting in the HQ


of a fund controlling a trillion dollars, thank you, and Miguel-Anxo


Murado, in the middle of what looks increasingly like a developing riot,


stay safe, thank you very much gentlemen. Now, low pay, long hours,


hard physical work, that's what you might expect to find in the hotel


cleaning sector. It is an industry, in London at least, now, almost


entirely staffed by migrant labour. In 2009, Newsnight went undercover


to expose exploitation at one of the most expensive hotels in the


capital. That investigation ultimately led to compensation for


13 workers involved. This summer, with rooms packed out for the


Olympics, has the industry itself cleaned up the act? There is some


strong language in this, the first of a two part report on conditions


into the hotel industry, and how those conditions affect east


European and British workers. This report contains strong


language. It was the summer we will never


forget, a six-week party, all watched by a million visitors from


around the world. For London's top hotels, business was booming. Room


prices had never been so high. Everybody had to smile, and you


have toe, you know, welcome the -- to, you know, welcome the guests.


We have to show them, everything is perfect. But amid all the Olympic


euphoria, what about a different kind of visitor? The person hidden


away in the background, keeping the whole operation going? It was hard,


really hard, it is not like we can have excitement because it is


Olympic time, for us it was a really hard job. These are the


staff who clean the carpets, wipe the bathrooms and make the beds.


This is the story of their summer, of outsourcing, low pay, and claims


of exploitation, of new immigrants and disgruntled British workers.


had had a phone call to say that if the girls didn't like the way that


the company was running it now, that they could, can I swear? They


could fuck off! And not come back, because she would have a coachful,


or a mini-bus full of other people to take her place, to take


everyone's place. The Hilton Waldorf is one of


London's iconic five-star hotels, it was home to VIPs like Michael


Phelps this summer p and the main base for the Chinese Olympic


delegation. A package here, with top tickets to the athletics and


dinner, cost �3,000 a person over the games. This summer was also an


unforgettable one for many of the Polish cleaners working here. Just


two month before the Opening Ceremony, the hotel outsourced its


room cleaning contract, dozens of jobs were transferred across to a


new company, Jani-King, one of the largest in the contract cleaning


business. That transfer has caused serious anger, among many of the


cleaners at the Hilton Waldorf. Newsnight has spoken to five people


working there, and seen a letter signed by another 25. They say they


have been left worried for their jobs and out of pocket. Some say


they have been left with only a few hundred pounds to pay the bills


each month. I was so happy that I was working for the Hilton contract,


because I got good money, no problems, no nothing. Anetta


followed her husband to the UK in 2007, she has spent more than two


years at the hotel. Before that she was a primary school teacher near


Warsaw. She says the problems started when the first wage slips


arrived. First the agency changed the way cleaners are paid. Instead


of getting wages at the end of the month, they suddenly had to wait up


to seven weeks to get their full pay. This wasn't a one-off, it was


happening every month, leaving some cleaners hundreds of pounds out of


pocket. When I opened my payslip was really sur pryed, because I was


expecting �1,400, and I received only �200, so I was asking, but I


work, that was my hours, it was almost 200 hours on that, because


it was the Olympic time. And that was his answer, you are not allowed


the money now. You know, I have to pay my rent, it is not possible to


manage with �200. Jani-King says it did offer some employees short-term


loans to cover a gap in their wages. The workers, though, say this was


just a temporary fix, and the next month they faced the same problem


of the I was sitting in the office and I'm crying, because you know, I


call them again and again and again. Ivana has been here six years, she


sends the money here she earns back to her husband and two small


children in pole land. We are fighting three month, and -- Poland.


We are fighting three months and it is not fair, I want money for my


job, I do a good job. The problems continue, payslips show cuts in


hourly wages from one month to the next. Just before the Olympics, all


the room cleaners were told to sign this confidential letter, under old


Hilton management, they were expected to clean two rooms an hour,


now that rate was increase today three. In threatening language, the


letter said if the new targets were not met, disciplinary action could


follow. That hotel is five-star hotel, 20 minutes to clean the room,


never, no-one can do it. Just maybe you can make the bed, and clean the


bathroom, a little bit. And that's The cleaners say staff were


pressured to skip breaks and work overtime for no extra pay to meet


the new targets. But, this is about more than a few missed payments. It


is about a whole business model. Hotels are now routinely


contracting out tasks, like room cleaning to outside agencies. Done


correctly, companies in low-wage sectors say outsourcing can cut


costs, bring in specialist staff, and in the end, increase the


quality of the service. There are laws meant to protect working


conditions when this happens. In simple terp, outsourcing should not


be -- terms, outsourcing should not be used to change anything in the


terms of the cleaners' contract, including the wages they are paid.


This man represents clients from Wayne Rooney to Andy Coulson in the


working sector. In the low pay sector it appears individual don't


know their rights. In a case of foreign workers, there may be a


problem with English. Other there may be an unwillingness to confront


authority. In the coalition agreement, the Government said the


labour market should be competitive but fair. The danger is, critics


say, that aggressive outsourcing, in low-pay sector, like hotel


cleaning, can just encourage contractors to drive down wages and


working conditions. The majority of hotels in Crawley,


you will find near enough every housekeeper is European. But, could


outsource anything this way, also be pricing British work --


outsourcing in this way, be pricing British workers out of markets. A


veteran of hotel cleaning, she says she has seen wages and conditions


deteriorate. It has changed. They bring in a load of,am I allowed to


say, Bulgarian, Rumanian, who will work for that kind of money. They


will work from morning to night. Some of them don't even go home.


They say stay in the hotel. Stella was working until May last


year, when her hotel outsourced its cleaning contract, again, to Jani-


King. She was sacked. The firm says for misconduct, she says to make


way for younger, cheaper, eastern European workers. In the House of


Commons, last year, Stella's local MP stood up and used parliamentary


privilege to link her dismissal, and that of a colleague, to their


nationality. Mr Speak e recently I have been dealing with a case on


behalf of two constituents who were dismissed from their job with a


commercial cleaning firm called Jani-King, allegedly for being


British. Can we have consideration for a debate on discrimination


against British workers in this country. But Mr Smith's argument


isn't that firms like Jani-King are raceist, more than the terms and


conditions they now offer make the jobs attractive only to new migrant


workers. You can see it is a pretty cynical wage model, that some


companies are using. In that they not only are paying the lowest


possible wage, and therefore, attracting people coming into the


country often from economies where unemployment is even higher. But


also what they are doing is they are turning over staff very quickly.


So that they are constantly getting people at an entry level, again


they can only pay the absolute minimum wage that they feel they


can get away with. The answer, he says, is not more


regulation. But better enforcement of the laws meant to protect low-


paid workers like hotel cleaner. For Stella, though, the job hunt


continues. I feel bitter, I feel bitter, because I have been treated


badly by them. I have had it firsthand, my experience, what they


are like, what they want to do. They do want to get British people


out. And get more Bulgarians in. Because it is cheap labour. They


don't argue. But, there are signs that's


changing. Many of the eastern European workers, who arrived


almost a decade ago, now speak the language and know their rights. The


cleaners at the Waldorf, are certainly not afraid to confront


authority. Earlier this month, though, Ivana


turned up for work and was told to go straight back home, she had been


dismissed. The other senior cleaning staff have been told they


must now go through a selection process to keep their jobs. I feel


they will sack me. Because I'm, all of us are expensive for them. So,


they are going to just wait for that moment when they can sack us


from the work. And we know that, one day that will come. We are just


waiting for that. Many low-paid British workers were


making exactly the same complaint when the UK opened its doors to


Eastern Europe. Now it's these Polish workers who feel threatened,


exploited, worried, and above all, vulnerable.


In a statement, Jani-King has said it has taken all legal measures


with the contract at the hotel. It claims all cleaners will be trained


to work more efficiently, and denies any staff will automatically


be made redundant. It has apologised for any inconvenience


caused with regard to their salaries. Hilton said that


outsourcing is one part of its business model. And all its


suppliers must comply with existing laws and conditions of employment.


It says Jani-King will now review staffing at the hotel, but, the


agency remains a key supplier. In the second part of our series,


Jim Reid investigates the loopholes employment agencies use to hire


migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria. Just a copy of the


contract for my records. Can you bring records downstairs. That's


not a contract. That is a provision of the service. But just to have it


for my records. You can't have that one darling. You will be pleased to


know, later in the programme, we are trying to go back to Madrid, on


the developing situation there. You heart the start of a rub bet bullet


fussilade in the middle of the interview. Earlier David Cameron


finished speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New


York. He flayed the UN for the inaction over Syria, saying the


blood of slaughtered children there was a stain on the UN's reputation.


And during a spirited defence of the Arab Spring, he announced a new


initiative in London to trace the millions of dollars Egypt's


President, Hosni Mubarak, is said to have salted away here. While on


the subject of stolen assets, we have a responsibility to help these


countries get back the stolen assets that are rightly their's.


Just as we have returned billions of dollars of assets to Libya. It


is simply not good enough that the Egyptian people continue to be


denied these assets, long after Mubarak has gone. And today I'm


announcing a new British task force to work with the Egyptian


Government, to gather evidence to trace assets, to work to change EU


law, and to pursue the legal cases that will return this stolen money


to the rightful owner, the Egyptian people. You have been investigating


the story, what is the background to this? Immediately after the


Egyptian revolution in February of last year, Britain promised to do


all it could to try to trace the billions of dollars suspected to


have been stolen by the old regime, and hidden abroad. But very little


action followed, about �85 million worth of suspected asset was frozen


in London. That was already 40 days after the revolution. And a BBC


News night investigation, and BBC Arabic investigation a couple of


weeks ago, found some really obvious assets that had apparently


been completely overlooked by the UK authority. For example, a very


substantial house, just off Knightsbridge, the main London gom


of Gamal Mubarak, also a company very associated closely with him.


This is what an expert in asset recovery had to tell you about that.


There you are, you have an active business through which he was


trading. You might have thought that the company would have been


added to the list of entities, affected by the sanctions, that has


happened. Why do we think the British Government has moved now?


What sources have said is removing an irritant in anglo-Egyptian


relations. There has been a meeting between David Cameron and Prime


Minister Morsit has been an irritant for a long time. There was


legal action launched against the UK back in the spring. It is hard


to believe, as part of our investigation, the Foreign Office


said to us they thought Britain was already doing all it could. It is


quite hard to believe this apparent change of heart isn't part of the


really big impact that the British investigation, our investigation,


particularly the Arabic version, had in Egypt, I think it was really


embarrassing. What is likely to happen, what is the task force,


what will they do on the morning they start? Exactly, we still don't


know. The Foreign Office say details are partly to be worked out.


Really I think it is about some kind of co-ordination between all


the different agencies that are dealing with this. We are talking


about the police, the Treasury, the Home Office and the Foreign Office,


it is the multipolicity of organisations, and lack of co-


operation, that has been so frustrating. I think the problem is


the proof will only come in the question of what further assets


actually are frozen, so far Britain has set the legal barrier, the


burdenen of proof, very high. We don't yet know whether that will


change. Thank you very much. Today of the final day of the Lib


Dem conference. Nick Clegg made a speech lasting 38 minutes, in wit


three most used words were "country", "people", and for some


reason, "half" as in half time or wait for the second half of the


Government. Allegra Stratton had to be draged kicking and screaming


away from this riveting experience, with half time analysis in a moment.


First, the highlights. For 30 month Lib Dem foot soldiers have endured


cruel elements, looking out from inside Government they have been


pitched to the right and left, and unable to fix on the horizon.


Although they can't see how, their loader today told them where he


wants them to get. From the middle of this parliament and the middle


of Government, by 2015's general election, Nick Clegg wants his


party firmly in the middle of the voters' view. The trouble with this


being in the middle thing, is illustrated by my very crude


profiling. Apologies for doubtless offence about to be caused. He is a


mate of Gordon Brown's on the left. She's on left and proud of it.


I'm not sure but wouldn't be surprised. He's Clegg's PPS, he


will say whatever is in the speech. We are wileing away time waiting


for a speech so important, that Nick Clegg apologised for an error


seven days ago, so people would concentrate on the speech and not


mutter on it. He wants to drag them to place philosophically where they


are not now electorally. We are an hour from when Nick Clegg tells


them they want to re-think their image. This is Joe Grimmand, he was


on the centre left. That is how most people see him. There is David


Lloyd George, Nick Clegg would get some sucker from him, and that is


who Clegg often quotes. Another one, Asquith, this is a help hadful


phrase, "neither to the left nor to the right, but keep straight on".


We found a Cleggite, what is going on? I take all sorts of abuse from


friends and colleagues, because everybody is tellsing me they are -


- telling me they are finished. I don't think they are. There is a


problem, if you have suits in the north but saying you are a party of


the centre and in coalition with the Government, you are handing all


the seats in the north back to the Labour Party? When people Israelise


what the liberal contribution to the economy has been, all the


people reduced from paying tax, I think, the students are better off.


He wants to shake his hand, others don't. There are constituents


outside the south-east where Labour is strengthened. A dash for the


centre ground has stopped that. A gamble that it mitochondrial not.


The taxing wealth and unleashing income might help tackle the


spectrum. This man doesn't quite accept the definition. You are


centre right not centre left. are a liberal progressive party.


better go, or I will end up on the stage.


The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.


Conference, I tell you this, the choice between the party we were,


and the party we are becoming is a false one. The past is gone and it


isn't come back. If voter want a party of opposition, a stop the


world I want to get off party, they have got plenty of options. But we


are not one of them. APPLAUSE. Le


There is a better, -- there is a better, more meaningful future


waiting for you, not as a third party, but one of three parties of


Government. He turned deficit reduction,


opposition to which has driven Liberal Democrats into labour's


arms, into an argument of social justice. So to those who ask,


incredulously, what we, the Liberal Democrats, are doing cutting public


spending, I simply say this, who suffers most when Governments go


bust. It would be the poor, the old, the infirm, those with the least to


fall back on. And caricatures for his opponents, both ace lunatic


fringes. The -- both as lunatic fringes. The truth is only the


Liberal Democrats can be trusted on the economy and relied upon to


deliver a fairer society too. My experience, if you are being


attacked by Liam Fox from one side, and Ed Balls on the other, you are


in the right place, by the way. A speech placing him firmly in the


liberal tradition, a proud intellectual tradition, the problem


is turning into votes, enough votes in the right part of the country,


votes that are right at the front of the coalition cuts. If the


economy doesn't turned around, it is dark times ahead for the Lib


Dems? The crucial part of going into Government was to sort out the


economic mess. It is really important that we are able to show,


as we will be able to in 2015, that we have turned the corner and got


the economy growing again, and we have made a massive step in


reducing the huge levels of borrowing that we inherited from


labour last time round. The economy coming right, and then


the next bit too, strategists think the way to realign politics will


take a generation. Economic recovery will not be swift either.


The problem for Lib Dem MPs is they don't have that long.


What were they trying to do both there and throughout the week?


have a really interesting argument, which we talked about on the


programme bf. Wealth taxes rather than income -- before. Wealth tax


rather than income taxes. It is fascinating philosophy and politics.


They have this difficulty where the people who are their voters right


now are turned off already. And to get them back, even though the


argument might make sense to some voters on the left, they are


already hurt and in anguish and won't come back. They are trying to


make this argument which is they have green policies and education


policies, and they have this income tax, wealth tax switch. But they


have offended and hurt so many people it is impossible to see how


their numbers will add up. For me it is a weird mismatch of


interesting philosophy and policy. And then there is this terrible


numbers for them. You have to give them credit for having stuff you


can get your teeth into. Everyone is laughing, but, equally, it is


just fiendish on the doorstep. it riveting for you as a


correspondent? You know, we have some light relief, that no-one can


explain. But "Liberal Democrats for Romney"! Was it riveting, party


conferences are a dying animal, and this was an example of an animal


twitching. Anything else? I have a present for you, it cost 35p at the


start of the week by the end it was �5. I thot you could write another


book about it. It is -- It is a Vince Cable, "I am a pleb" badge.


The on going ridiculous row about Andrew Mitchell of there, and lots


of correspondents leaving to go to London. Joining me now are Baroness


Lara Morgan, Tony Blair's right hand in Downing Street, the


journalist, Miranda Green, who used to advise the Liberal Democrats,


and Sean Worthh, who until downwas special adviser to David Cameron.


Mirand -- Until June was special adviser to David Cameron. Miranda,


do you think it went well? thought he did well in the


circumstances. It was said that they have they were overshadowed by


the Mitchell plebgate affair. I thought this week was a circling of


the wagon, the polls are desperate for Clegg and party. It was an


inward looking week. The speeched today, some of the imagery was


amazing, "we the Lib Dems are the burning building", we are engaged


in national renewal and party renewal. From raised earth position,


is basically what he was saying. I think it was a very serious speech


about the predicament the party and the country is in. This theme of


resilience being a vir due, I think that is quite a good mess -- virtue,


I think this is a good message for him. Tough give him credit for


still being standing. He looked as if he had made some head way. We


had head bangers being described on the platform from coalition


partners. Having the aphrodisiac effect on sacking workers. We can


imagine how it is going down on the membership, on the leadership and


the machine how will it play? you look at Clegg's speech, I


talked to a he had lo of delegates at my first--- to a lot of


delegates at my first ever conference. There was Tory bashing,


and it was in good tumour, there was a joke about Boris and Dave, a


few gags. I thought he gave a very workman-like performance, in term


of the coalition partner, he can't be seen to be having a go at the


partners in Government. It is smack in the middle of a fixed term


parliament, effective low, it will just communicate fractious --


effectively, it will communicate fractious divisions in a Government


that isn't getting on with the tough job that he actually is


talking about. There must absence, that Conservatives watching that


live on rolling news -- a sense that Conservatives watching that


live on rolling news, that we are feeling the pain and look at them,


is there an element of Tories locking at them and saying, at


least we're not the Lib Dems? thought Clegg did a speech that


showed signs of real improvement for the liberals. He stops talking


about weird stuff like the alternative vote and constitutional


reform, and all these strange lrd issues. -- Lib Dem issues. He talks


about growth, schools, jobs, he had a very tough message for Labour.


That was the key thing for me. He clearly had to communicate


differenciation from the Tories. Ownership of some key policy areas,


and start moving on to issues that people care about. Ten out of ten


for substance, delivery as I said not setting the world on fire.


Sally Morgan, there is a huge sofa in Ed Miliband's office, is he


tonight cowering behind it after watching the speech? I couldn't


have thought so, it is indicative that you came to it so late tonight,


and it didn't lead the news. That is a pretty big problem, I thought


what was interesting about the speech is it was the Deputy Prime


Minister speaking to the country. I think it was what he should have


done. It was correct. He didn't tickle the tummies in the hall very


much, which is what Vince Cable and others were doing this week. He was


trying to talk to the country, but I don't think they are listening.


That is the real problem. It is a risky strategy for Labour to go on


hoping for two-and-a-half years that the country goes on not


listening, and despising Clegg over the issue of the student fees and


the turn around. It wouldn't take much for, the 10% lead Labour has


got, to drop back and for them to turn up again. Are Labour aware of


it? I think the Labour Party will be mad if they sit around and are


complacent. I don't think they are complacent and I don't think think


people are stupid. I can remember being involved with the Labour


Party when we have had large leads before elections and not won


general elections. People have long enough memories to realise you


don't win elections by watching others fail. There is a very clear


subtext to the whole speech as well. Which is let's differentiate


ourselves from Tories in fairness and labour on the economy. There


are nasty characters and we choose we can personify that. Fans of The


Thick Of It, will identify these as The Twiners, how long can they get


away with the inbetweeners strategy? It was very interesting


also this announcement that Paddy Ashdown, my old boss, would come


back and fight the next election. Or be in charge of fighting the


next election. What does that tell us about where they think it is


going to be fought? This is the point we made many times here,


which is the Lib Dems can't go back to the territory they fought on


before. They can't go back to the same old messages. But, pady is a


very respected fighter, he will give the party half of the fight.


They do need to think very, very hard about this position, they


can't divorce themselves from their coalition partners going into the


fight. On the other hand they need to look distinctive.


Differenceation is one of the worst words I have heard it is worse than


maths. They have to talk ahead in a way people will understand.


For the Conservatives, how will this play. The fill love kal --


philosophical distance, is this a new tone, is Clegg 2.0 what we are


going to see for two years? If it is, it will benefit them. Two


things struck me, one of the fact that they ignored the strange Lib


Dem obsessions and they focused on stuff that really matters to people.


The second was, as I said earlier, I didn't think the speech set the


world on fire. But where it did get good was where he got passionate


and angry. He is communicating that he is standing up on key issues,


that will be their strategy for the longer term in the parliament. What


was key to me, just coming back to the Labour position, is he really


had a go at Labour on the economy. But very careful not to say


Miliband, he attacked Balls, he has to keep the court open for the


prospects. Is Balls quaking in his boots? I wouldn't say, it is part


for Labour to start putting forward a stronger alternative next week.


Plenty more where that came from in the party conference season. Right,


Before we go our team in Madrid said after the police shot at the


crowd with rubber bullets the crowd dispered. We play out with the


voice of Andy William, who died today at the age of 84. Whose


unmistakable sound once cauldron nald Regan to call him a national


treasure sure. This is why they call it easy listening.


# I need you baby # You want a lonely nationwide


# I love you baby # Trust in me when I say


# Oh pretty baby # Don't bring me down I pray


# Oh pretty babe # Now that I found you


# Oh pretty baby # Trust in me within I say


Good evening, we have had some very disturbed weather. Severe flooding,


nasty storms across England and Wales. Continued through the


evening overnight as well. Still with us first thing across southern


and eastern areas, local flooding in that. Thursday is looking like a


dryer and brighter day. Morning mist and fog for the rush hour.


Scattered showers in the afternoon. It is not all all together dryer


picture, it is dryer than it has been. Nasty showers through the


evening and overnight, but clearly away first thing in the morning.


The mist and fog clears away. More sunshine and a scattering of


showers. It looks dry compare with the south west and also across


Wales with just a scattering of showers here and there. Fairly


gentle breeze, but coming down from the North West, not a particularly


warm direction. There are showers over the saturated ground of


northern England. Not great news, and through the Midland flood


warnings as well. A number in force. For Northern Ireland and the


western Scotland, cloud overhead. The eastern side of Scotland seeing


the best of a sunny weather. What about Friday, we will see a band of


cloud and rain initial low, and sunshine and showers, a and brisk


winds, gales later, they will blow for cloud in across the southern


part of the country. Not as windy on Friday, but a few showers around.


Can the Spanish budget soothe Europe's investors?

The world's biggest bond trader tells us what his tribe are looking for in Spain's imminent budget. And how one of Britain's media magnates wound up with a hooliganism charge.

Presented by Paul Mason.

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