03/10/2012 Newsnight


03/10/2012

What is the future for Britain's railways? Plus, Kofi Annan on Syria, and where does red conservatism now stand? Kirsty Wark presents.


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Transcript


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Tonight, amidst chaos in the Department for Transport, should we

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re-think the way the railways run in Britain. With the runnaway cost

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to the taxpayer of at least �40 million, the award of the west

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coast rail franchise is on hold. We ask Government what on earth has

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gone wrong. We are joined by the opposition and the train operators

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too. Tu,y shells Syria tonight, after a rocket launch from Syria

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kills five people. In an exclusive television interview, Kofi Annan

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issues a stark warning of where the conflict could go without UN action.

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If the security council is not able -- the Security Council not made to

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come together and work together, we are in a really hopeless situation.

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Also tonight, the man who dreamt up the philosophy of the Red Tory,

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launches a massive take on David Cameron's red credentials. Phillip

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Blond is here along with former policy adviser to David Cameron.

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We're in America hours ahead of the first presidential debate.

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Tonight the wonks of Washington, along with 60 million potential

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voters, will be tune anything to see their presidential candidate

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goes head-to-head, is this Mitt Romney's last chance to prove he is

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the man for the job. Good evening, the words "they

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couldn't run a piss up in a buffet car" spring 0 mind. Three civil

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servants were persuaded today over the West Coast Mainline deal, which

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has been scrapped, at a cost of at least �40 million, and the fate of

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a further two thirds rail franchises, due before the next

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election, are in serious doubt. Is the whole tendering process flawed.

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The last time the West Coast Mainline Khan fries was up for

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grabs, it was 1996 and we were -- franchise was up for grabs, it was

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1996 and we were all trainspotting. The then Government chose Virgin to

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operate Britain's most lucrative rail franchise. Speed forward to

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the last August, there is a Tory- led Government pulling the levers,

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receiving an angry letter from a Richard in the Virgin islands,

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saying passengers would suffer if the Westcoast franchise was award

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today the First Group, two weeks later the Government did just that,

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much to Richard's chargrin. We have heard our bit was ahead of them up

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to 2020, and in the last three years, suddenly, they have worked

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out that they can give the Government another �2 billion,

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completely unIsrael itsic figures for the numbers of -- unrealistic

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figures for the numbers of people they will magically get in the last

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three years. Even if they doubled fares they wouldn't be able to

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afford it. We are completely baffled. The soon to be ex-

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Transport Secretary backed the process to the hilt. It is a robust

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and fair process, the whole point is to make sure it is not politic

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sized and handled fairly for all the bidder. Even when the new

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Transport Secretary arrived, the fourth in three years, he too chose

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to support his troops. companies went to huge amounts of

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effort to try to win that bid. It was judged fairly by the department,

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and it is our intention to proceed with the bid that the first of --

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that Firs have made, I'm content -- first made, I'm content with the

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way the contract was reviewed. Today he was forced to make the

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kind of humiliating apology for those self-same civil servants,

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rarely seen in British political circumstances. What is what has

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happened is unacceptable, deeply regretable, and of course, I

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apologise. We have made a big mistake, as far as the department

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is concerned, and the people who have put bids in have done nothing

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wrong. He has ordered two independent reviews into what went

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wrong, the fruits which have will be heard by the end of December.

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What actually went wrong during the tendering process? When Virgin

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Trains were told they were losing the franchise, they sought a

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judicial review. What that did is it forced Government lawyers and

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senior civil servants to examine in great detail exactly how the

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tendering process had been worked out. What they discovered was

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nothing short of a schoolboy error. Inflation had been completely

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omitted from the calculation. Over one year it may not be much, but

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over the 13-year lifetime of the franchise, it could have amounted

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to tens of millions of pounds. So now the whole franchising process,

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which was itself overhauled when the coalition came to power, has

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been shunted into the sidings, as two urgent and independent reviews

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into this shambles get under way. Up to now, companies wishing to run

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train services in Britain, were required to set aside a much larger

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sum of money to repay the Government if they could no longer

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afford to run the franchise. This happened on the Eastcoast line two

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years ago. First said it would set aside �155 million, Virgin said it

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should be three-times that amount. Apart from making both rich and

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poor, what does it mean for the wider structural issues in Britain.

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This is bad for a Government who want to make private investor --

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investments for the country. These are people who could go anywhere in

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the world and invest in any industries in the world. We want to

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get them here. They have to trust there is an administration that is

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competent that they can deal with. That the policy risks and

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regulatory risks are reasonable over the period of the contract,

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which is quite a long time. This doesn't help build confidence.

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So with one rail line nationalised and four on hold, many people

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believe that since the franchise system began, almost 20 years ago,

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profits have been privatised, but risk continues to be borne by tax-

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payers. There is always the key issue about

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whether risk was really transferred to the private sector. The

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Transport Committee is in the middle of a major review of the

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rail system, you think we will be looking at what options there may

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be. It is essential that the public do get value for money, and that

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the taxpayer does too. But it is also the case that rail has become

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increasingly popular, more people use the rail, more goods travel by

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rail, but the cost is too high and the fares are too high. It

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certainly is a shambles, a shambles on the West Coast Mainline, and

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potentially a shambles for the system. But we do need the results

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of those investigations and to question those results, before we

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can come to firm conclusions. So, a cash-strapped Government is

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now paying out �40 million to all four companies, who bid for the

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west -- West Coast franchise, and it could face more claims from

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First Group. The passengers will have to wait longer for a change in

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services and for the Government's reputation to recover.

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Where should the finger of blame be pointed? It is really hard to tell.

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Independent analysts I have spoken to say you can't really credible

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place the blame at Justine Greening's door, these sums are too

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complicated for the Secretary of State to comb through themselves.

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They breakdown the cull paability in the Civil Service, --

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culpability in the Civil Service, there are three suspended, they may

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lose their jobs. If turns out the bidding process was beyond their

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capability, then you bring in ministers, the people who devised

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the system, then you come to Teresa Villiers, now promoted to Northern

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Ireland Secretary. Having said that what is interesting, is you have

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Conservative MPs who are saying Justine Greening should take the

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blame for it, you have the cabinet responsibility, it was on her watch,

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and the discrepancy between the first bid and the Virgin bid, was

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so huge, she should have asked for other numbers. We have the Times

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front page here, they are running a suggestion, the Times say they

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understand, so it is not sourced, they say they understand that

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Greening learned of a blow to the bid in the week before the cabinet

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reshuffle. We have been talking in the office about this evening, my

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sources don't think it is credible. The other things to think about is

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Patrick McLoughlin who has her job, went to the Transport Select

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Committee last week and kept to her line. Why did he do that. Was she

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allowed to do that, if she knew. What damage will this do to the

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whole coalition franchising policy, what they did is they changed

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existing franchising rules and made a new franchising system? It is one

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of the first things when you speak to sources in Government today, it

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was one of the first things, that is not going anywhere, franchising

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as a philosophy is the only way to do it. They say it was a state

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mishap, it was Government civil servants getting it wrong, going

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more in-house rather than out-of- house is mad. I would imagine it

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will turn up massive bits of fine tuning. There is a problem for the

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Government. It is the day after the leader of the opposition has had a

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lot of fun saying the Government is incompetent, a shambles is a word

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we have heard a lot. Then this happens, it is bad timing and

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embarrassing. Earlier I spoke to Simon Burns, a new minister in the

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Department of Transport, in fact, after the reshuffle last month,

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they are all new ministers at the Department of Transport, bar one

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Liberal Democrat minister. Simon Burns, the Government was warned

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about this two months ago, it has taken until the day before court to

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put your hands up, why? What happened was is Sir Richard Branson,

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after the decision of made, sought to pursue judicial review. And at

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that point we, obvious low, had had to look at what had happened --

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obviously, had to look at what had happened, the franchise, ministers

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did this. We were assured everything was done robustly and

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correctly. Ministers looked at the figures? No, ministers working with

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civil servants, were assured by the civil servants, who did the work,

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that everything had been done robustly, had been done in keeping

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with the arrangements for the franchising, and so, we took the

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view that there was no justification for the judicial

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review, initial low. Then, of course, as we a-- initially. Then,

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of course, when we approached the time for a court hearing, more work

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was done. Work that should have been done earlier? Work done prior

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to the announcement of the decision. It was flawed work. It took lawyers

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to find out what people in your department should have found out?

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Yes, because we did not know it was flawed. All through the long

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franchise process, ministers were being advised by civil servants who

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were doing the work, ministers kept seeking assurances, that it was

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being done in the correct way, that everything was working to the right

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arrangements, they received those assurances. On that basis, with the

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advice they were given, they then took decisions. We have got, you

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know, all the ministers bar one have been shuffled on very

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conveniently, if you look at Teresa Villers and Justine Greening is an

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accountant, she was saying it was robust. Does the minister not have

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a duty to say to civil servants, it is not going to be Virgin, it is

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going to be First Group, that is a big change, let me see the figures,

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if you are an accountant? I can assure you everything was done,

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ministers were constantly seeking assurances and information that

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everything was being done to the proper procedures, and those

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assurances were given. You have a situation where the Institute of

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Government talks about the fact that the Department of Transport

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has taken 20% cuts in man power, these are highly complex franchises,

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the problem is you have cut the feet from under the civil servants

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and now they are taking the rap? don't agree with that. Because we

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have some very fine civil servants in the department of the transport,

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they work extremely hard. But three of them have been suspended? They

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have, in the light of what has now transpired. You have two inquiries

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to look at this, if I can give you two names here, Ed Smith, and Sam

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Laidlaw, they are leading the inquiry into the flawed process?

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They are looking into what happened, what went wrong and why it did.

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This is an independent inquiry, but they are non-executive directors on

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the Department of Transport board, would they not have signed off on

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the deal? No, it was signed off by ministers. So, wait a minute, the

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non-executive board of which these two men are members, had absolutely

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nothing to do with the signing off, or even looking at who would get

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the franchise? The ultimate decision on it was taken by

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ministers. One final question, the model for costing for the high-

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speed service, you are sure that has been worked out, without flaws,

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so there haven't been any civil servant errors in that? What I have

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said, is the method, the methodology is not flawed, it is

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the way in which it was used. it been flawed in the high-speed

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rail? But we have this inquiry, the Brown inquiry to look at the whole

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area of franchising, what went wrong, and where we can learn. Of

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course, that will cover the whole realm of network and implications.

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The high-speed rail, the costings for that, based on that model,

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because they may have had a problem with inflation and so forth, they

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could be wrong? No, because the methodology was not wrong with the

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franchises. In terms of the high- speed rail costs, how do you know

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the right figures have been put in? Because I am confident that is the

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case, because it has been looked at time and time again, by, not simply

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the Department for Transport, but also HS2 itself. Minister, thank

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you very much. Here to discuss all this are Tom

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Smith, the chairman of the Association of Train Operating

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Companies, and veteran of several franchise negotiations mark Wallis

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from the Institute of Directors, and from the Labour Party

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Conference, we are joined by the shadow Transport Secretary, Maria

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Eagle. Maria Eagle, first of all, you heard the minister saying every

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check and balance of made by ministers, everything done that

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could have been done was done? just don't think it is good enough

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to put the blame on civil servants, and there are matters arising now

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in the newspapers where there are suggestions that Justine Greening

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knew there was a problem with the franchise before the reshuffle. I

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think we have to get the facts out there now. We need to hear from

:15:39.:15:43.

ministers who knew, what, when, was the Prime Minister aware of the

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problems before he decided to remove all of the Tory ministers in

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the Department for Transport, or was he not. We need to hear from

:15:50.:15:53.

him and get to the bottom of this, as well as looking at what is

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technically going to be done to put this right in future. Let's lock a

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bit of that, first of all, from the point of view of the taxpayer, the

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taxpayer we know will pony up �40 million to the four different

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companies. The Government has shown itself to be less than competent,

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how do we know that the taxpayer is not going to have to come up with a

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lot more money before this is over? It is a bad error that has been

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uncovered today. The Department for Transport has quickly moved to say

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they will look into it, and find out what has gone wrong. It is very

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important not to get too gloomy about it, because the reality is

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Fran chietsing, in which private companies -- franchising, in which

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private companies bid for the right to run services, has been very

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successful over the years since it has been introduced. It has

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overseen improvements in trains and stations, and a growing number of

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passengers, to record levels. you buy the ministers point of view

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that it is nothing to do with the Government, all to do with civil

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servants? That has come to come out of the review that will come out in

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the next month. They will look at that in great depth. What decisions

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were made and at what level must whab we learn from that. On the

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immediate question of what happened on December 9th, the Government can

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either put it over and run the service itself or Richard Branson

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can do it, what is your preferred option? I'm going to try to look at

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it from the point of view of passengers, who use the service.

:17:26.:17:30.

I'm conscious there is a large on- line petition in support of Virgin,

:17:30.:17:33.

what it suggests to me is passengers would like continuity

:17:33.:17:36.

and Virgin running the services rather than an artificial change to

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a short-term option. Maria Eagle, would that be your view too?

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don't think it is possible, if there is going to be a

:17:43.:17:45.

refranchising of this, for the department to favour one of the

:17:45.:17:48.

potential bidders against another. They might open themselves up to

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even more litigation. So I think it would be sensible, and we would

:17:53.:17:58.

support this, for the not for private profit Government-owned

:17:58.:18:02.

company that currently runs East Coast, and returned last year

:18:02.:18:06.

almost �200 million to the taxpayer, to step in and run this line whilst

:18:06.:18:09.

this is sorted out. Is this a stocking horse for

:18:09.:18:12.

renationalisation, if you were in charge, would it be? With the

:18:12.:18:16.

amount of money, at least �40 million poured down the drain over

:18:16.:18:20.

the last evening. We don't want to do something that will make it

:18:20.:18:23.

likely that even more litigation may succeed against the Government.

:18:23.:18:27.

It is prudent not to choose one over the other, when there is

:18:27.:18:32.

potential for this process to be rerun. What does this say for the

:18:32.:18:34.

whole franchise procurement policy of this Government? It doesn't say

:18:34.:18:38.

we need to renationalise the railways. The idea the Civil

:18:38.:18:40.

Service make a mistake, therefore the Government should start running

:18:40.:18:45.

all the railways, is a bizarre logic. More troubling it says that

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actually the skills in Whitehall simply aren't there to negotiate

:18:48.:18:51.

and properly run these processes, at the moment. And we have seen

:18:51.:18:53.

these problems, not just in the Department of Transport, but also

:18:53.:18:57.

in the MoD with commissioning, and the NHS database, and the lessons

:18:57.:19:02.

still haven't been learned from business yet. If you were looking

:19:02.:19:08.

to pick up an airport contract, or a nuclear contract in Britain,

:19:08.:19:11.

would what happened today affect you, do you think, or would you

:19:11.:19:15.

just think this is a blip, it has been an accounting error, they

:19:15.:19:17.

forgot inflation and got the passenger numbers too high, it will

:19:18.:19:21.

be OK? This is undoubtedly something that will impact

:19:21.:19:24.

negatively on Britain's noble reputation. We already know there

:19:24.:19:28.

is too much uncertainty on the future of airport xas a nuclear

:19:28.:19:34.

power stations, we need to raise this money and this will deter

:19:34.:19:40.

investors. Can I clarify something Maria may have misunderstood. When

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I talked about should happen on the 9th of December, I mean it should

:19:45.:19:48.

be agreement reached with Virgin on a short-term basis until another

:19:48.:19:51.

competition is held. Clearly there has to be a competition. I don't

:19:51.:19:54.

think it would be helpful. She was meaning you shouldn't favour one of

:19:54.:19:58.

the potential bidders by giving them an extension? That bid is over.

:19:58.:20:03.

The franchise, the services have to continue in some way. Until the new

:20:03.:20:09.

competition is held. Talking about a complete rebuilding process, for

:20:09.:20:13.

the West Coast Mainline, we are talking about delaying the next

:20:13.:20:16.

three franchise options, we are talking about a full examination of

:20:16.:20:22.

the system, as Mark Wallis says, it doesn't look good for British

:20:22.:20:28.

industry? It is essential the two reviews are conduct. That it

:20:28.:20:32.

engages with everyone with a state in franchising, especially our

:20:32.:20:37.

members who bid and run the franchises, and they come to clear

:20:37.:20:40.

conclusions that restore confidence in the way the process is run.

:20:40.:20:45.

Would you be calling for a review of the franchising overall, or

:20:45.:20:49.

indeed transport generally? Yes, I think that the flawed franchising

:20:49.:20:53.

process that this Government have designed, and implemented, this was

:20:53.:20:58.

the first one they tried to tender, it does need to be looked at, in a

:20:58.:21:03.

wider sense than the review announced by the Transport

:21:03.:21:06.

Secretary. We need to see what lessons can be learned for the

:21:06.:21:10.

future, we need better value for money for passengers. I think

:21:10.:21:13.

ministers and the Prime Minister have got questions to answer here.

:21:13.:21:18.

The Prime Minister said when he was in opposition that ministers should,

:21:18.:21:22.

that presided over systematic and serious performance failures in

:21:22.:21:26.

their department, should be held to account. And they should not seek

:21:26.:21:28.

to shuffle off responsibility. There is a direct quote, that is

:21:28.:21:33.

what we seem to be seeing today. They have been reshuffled off?

:21:33.:21:37.

have been reshuffled off, but the new transport ministers have also

:21:37.:21:41.

given assurance this was a proper and robust processes. There are

:21:41.:21:43.

many questions the Prime Minister and ministers, and previous

:21:43.:21:47.

ministers in the department need to answer. We're not hearing those

:21:47.:21:50.

answers tonight. In terms of looking at it from a business

:21:50.:21:57.

perspective, if this drags on, what we are talking about here, Tom

:21:57.:22:01.

Smith saying they have put in place -- it is impertinent that the two

:22:01.:22:04.

inquiries proceed quickly. If this drags on and there seems to be

:22:04.:22:08.

problems with the high-speed rail issue, then what will the damage

:22:08.:22:14.

be? The damage grows the longer this lasts, and the uncertainty is

:22:14.:22:20.

the real harm to Britain's reputation. If we are uncertain of

:22:20.:22:23.

our future, if companies can't be sure when they put in an

:22:23.:22:26.

application that if they win they win and if they lose they lose,

:22:26.:22:30.

where will we be in five years to replace more national

:22:30.:22:34.

infrastructure. NATO ambassadors are meeting tonight, following a

:22:34.:22:37.

Syrian mortar attack into Turkey that killed five people. In a major

:22:37.:22:43.

escalation, a few hours ago, Turkey retaliated, firing artillery units

:22:43.:22:47.

into Syria. Just before we came on air, the US Secretary of State,

:22:47.:22:52.

Hillary Clinton, gave this statement. We are outraged that the

:22:52.:23:00.

Syrians have been shooting across the border. We are very regretful

:23:00.:23:06.

about the loss of life that has occurred on the Turkish side. We

:23:06.:23:10.

are working with our Turkish friends, I will be speaking with

:23:10.:23:18.

the Foreign Minister. To discuss what the best way forward would be

:23:18.:23:25.

I will discuss that later. This also comes down to a regime that is

:23:25.:23:28.

causing untold suffering to its own people, solely driven by their

:23:28.:23:34.

desire to stay in power. As Hillary Clinton said, this came as at least

:23:34.:23:38.

31 people were killed in Aleppo, and dozens more injured in a series

:23:38.:23:42.

of suicide bombs. I spoke to Kofi Annan earlier today, in an

:23:42.:23:46.

exclusive TV interview, he told us the conflict coin flame the whole

:23:46.:23:51.

region, and said, -- could inflame the whole region, and said if the

:23:51.:23:53.

Security Council didn't pull together the situation could get

:23:53.:23:59.

much worse. I was speaking to him about his memoir marking his five

:23:59.:24:04.

decades at the UN. Kofi Annan said he has spent his life seeking peace

:24:04.:24:07.

across the world. Pressing the flesh with world leaders and

:24:07.:24:12.

working in intractable conflicts. His work won him the Nobel Prize in

:24:12.:24:15.

2001, the committee said he received it for a better organised

:24:15.:24:19.

and more peaceful world. But his career has been punctuated by

:24:19.:24:23.

failures. The Rwandan genocide that tok place in 1994 was committed

:24:23.:24:28.

whilst -- took place in 1994 was committed whilst Annan directed

:24:28.:24:32.

peacekeeping operations, in what was one of the worst genocides in

:24:32.:24:37.

living memory, 800,000 Tutsis were murdered. Kofi Annan admitted after,

:24:37.:24:41.

he realised after the genocide that there was more he could have and

:24:41.:24:45.

should have done to sound the alarm and rally support. He also

:24:45.:24:52.

described the massacre in veb nieceia in the Bosnian war, derb

:24:52.:24:58.

Srebrenica, that occurred in the Be Your Own Bossia war was not good

:24:58.:25:04.

for the United Nations. He look -- Bosnia was not good for the United

:25:04.:25:07.

Nations. He claimed the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam

:25:07.:25:12.

Hussein was illegal, and said the decision to invade Iraq should have

:25:12.:25:15.

been made by the Security Council and not unilaterally. Recently he

:25:15.:25:21.

has been working to end the bloody war in Syria as UN-Arab League

:25:21.:25:26.

envoy, he had a six-point plan for Syria intended to bring an end to

:25:26.:25:31.

the fighting. It was never fully adhered to by either side. He quit

:25:31.:25:34.

the role saying when the Syrian people needed action there

:25:35.:25:39.

continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security

:25:39.:25:42.

Council. It looks as if the inaction is set to continue in the

:25:42.:25:46.

UN he leaves behind. This afternoon I met Kofi Annan in

:25:46.:25:52.

London. What are you most proud of in your

:25:52.:25:59.

50-year career at the UN? Well, I think making it to the top, without

:25:59.:26:02.

really expecting to get there. Because no staff member had had

:26:03.:26:08.

ever made it to the top. The organisation always looked outside

:26:08.:26:14.

for a leader. But once I was in I was extremely pleased with the work

:26:14.:26:21.

we did on the millennium goals to fight poverty around the world.

:26:21.:26:24.

David Cameron addressed the General Assembly, the blood of these

:26:24.:26:28.

children, and we know again today that there is 31 more dead in

:26:28.:26:32.

Aleppo, that the blood of these young children, in Syria, is a

:26:32.:26:37.

terrible stain on the reputation of the United Nations. I hope when

:26:37.:26:43.

Prime Minister Cameron says it is a blot on the reputation of the UN,

:26:43.:26:53.

he is saying, in shorthand, it is a blot on our reputation, we have

:26:53.:26:56.

made mistake, not the bureaucracy that is the UN. With the members of

:26:56.:27:03.

the Security Council, we know that Russia has been supplying hardware,

:27:03.:27:09.

ships, engineering parts for Sadek, we understand, we think -- Assad,

:27:09.:27:11.

we understand, we think the Americans are supporting the

:27:11.:27:16.

training of the FSA in Turkey. This is the Security Council supposed to

:27:16.:27:19.

be doing nothing to inflame the situation. If the security is doing

:27:19.:27:23.

that, why should anyone believe the UN can fix things? You are right

:27:23.:27:28.

that the divisions in the council really hurt the search for a

:27:28.:27:33.

solution. That was one of the reasons I resigned, as you know.

:27:33.:27:39.

But I think the challenge is to overcome those divisions. To get

:27:39.:27:42.

them working, I tried at the beginning they came together, they

:27:42.:27:48.

supported the six-point plan, but it was not sustained. If the

:27:48.:27:53.

Security Council is not made to come together, or find a way of

:27:53.:27:57.

getting them to work together, then we are in a really, really hopeless

:27:57.:28:01.

situation. And Syria will descend further into

:28:01.:28:05.

war? It could get worse, it could get much worse. It could affect the

:28:05.:28:09.

region. How do we solve the problem? As I have said, my choice

:28:09.:28:15.

is that it has to be a political settlement. And if the

:28:15.:28:19.

militarisation or intervention in my judgment will make the situation

:28:19.:28:24.

much morse, in my opinion. We raise the issue that Syria will not

:28:24.:28:28.

implode, but possibly explode, and beyond its borders. Bringing in the

:28:28.:28:34.

whole region. What do you foresee happening if Syria explodes?

:28:34.:28:38.

think the neighbours will be drawn in. Already we are seeing thousands

:28:38.:28:44.

of refugees going into Jordan, some are in Lebanon, and they are in

:28:44.:28:51.

Turkey, Iraq is worried with cross- border Jihadist elements coming in

:28:51.:28:56.

across the border. So, the whole region could get inflamed. Do you

:28:56.:29:01.

think now the only solution is for Assad to go? There is no doubt that

:29:01.:29:07.

he cannot stay, you cannot kill that many people and remain

:29:07.:29:11.

legitimate. That is not the solution, that is maybe part of the

:29:11.:29:17.

solution. What happens when he goes? We need to make sure that the

:29:17.:29:21.

right institutions, the security forces work, that you don't get

:29:21.:29:26.

into a chaotic collapse, this is part of the problem. But do you

:29:26.:29:31.

think, with hindsight, that when you took up the role for Syria, you

:29:31.:29:36.

should have been, as it were less even-handed at the beginning,

:29:36.:29:42.

should have just said right from the get-go, Mr Assad, you have to

:29:42.:29:46.

leave? That is not a negotiator's role, I was brought in to try to

:29:46.:29:53.

bring the parties to the table. As you have yourself indicate, even

:29:53.:29:57.

the big powers have not been able to do that. For the mediator to

:29:57.:30:03.

walk in and think he can do that, he would be dreaming. In your book

:30:03.:30:10.

you talk about the genocide in Rwanda. You say that the world

:30:10.:30:20.
:30:20.:30:20.

failed Rwanda. Is there a way you think you yourself failed Rwanda?

:30:20.:30:26.

Maybe, I could have shouted louder. As I indicate in the book, we made

:30:26.:30:31.

lots of attempts to get troops we didn't get. Maybe I could have use

:30:31.:30:35.

the press more. At that time the UN was media shy. In fact, the only

:30:35.:30:44.

person who spoke to the press was the secretary-general. I was the

:30:44.:30:48.

under secretary-general, I think we were too timid about engaging the

:30:48.:30:57.

press. Now I know better how to work with the press. But when

:30:57.:31:02.

General Delere sent the memo saying it looked as if there was a

:31:02.:31:08.

massacre ahead, and the memo went back with your signature and saying

:31:08.:31:12.

do nothing, tell the ambassadors of the other countries. Do you regret

:31:12.:31:17.

that now? No, there was a situation in the organisation when you put

:31:17.:31:23.

things in context, we just had the disaster in Somalia, which led to

:31:23.:31:27.

the withdrawal of thousands of peacekeepers. We were worried that

:31:27.:31:31.

if they got in there, and they were confronted in the same manner as

:31:31.:31:35.

Somalia, that would be the end of that mission, and you wouldn't have

:31:35.:31:40.

troops on the ground to do anything. Is there a danger that nobody

:31:40.:31:44.

actually can finally take responsibility. It is such a

:31:44.:31:49.

complicated messy thing. I'm finding you don't want to talk

:31:49.:31:52.

about him, that he kept everything close to him, and you a different

:31:52.:31:58.

approach. The point is nobody fess up when there are mistakes? First

:31:58.:32:03.

of all, there two were two major reports, by, one of them, I

:32:03.:32:07.

commissioned, the other one, the General Assembly commission, on

:32:07.:32:12.

Rwanda and Bosnia and Srebrenica, in particular, where we laid out

:32:12.:32:16.

the failures, our mistakes and others, I apologised on my own

:32:16.:32:20.

behalf, and on behalf of the entire organisation. Thank you very much

:32:20.:32:26.

indeed. David Cameron was casting around

:32:26.:32:31.

for big ideas to kick start a new kind of, and kinder Conservatism,

:32:31.:32:37.

he alighted on the ideas of Phillip Blond. Red Tory Boy, who gave The

:32:37.:32:42.

Big Idea society Tory clout, was a One Nation Tory too. Now he is

:32:42.:32:45.

disillusioned, his plans for relocalising the economy,

:32:45.:32:48.

recapitalising the poor, and remoralising the market, have

:32:48.:32:52.

turned to dues dust in the hand of David Cameron, if his words. In an

:32:52.:33:00.

article for the Guardian tomorrow, he says Ed Miliband is The One Show

:33:00.:33:10.
:33:10.:33:12.

man now. -- is the One Nation now.

:33:12.:33:18.

He said Tories should be Red, being associated with policies normally

:33:18.:33:22.

associated with the left. Now Phillip Blond claims he is

:33:22.:33:25.

disappointed and disillusioned with the direction David Cameron has

:33:25.:33:29.

taken. Disillusionment with the Cameron project from someone like

:33:29.:33:32.

Phillip Blond, will that worry David Cameron, or is it something

:33:32.:33:39.

he can shrug off? I don't think he can shrug it off, Phillip Blond was

:33:39.:33:43.

associated when Cameron was at its peak, as one of the biggest cheer

:33:43.:33:49.

leaders. He came up with the incredibly potent expression called

:33:49.:33:56.

Red Toryism, the media found him a fascinating figure, he became an

:33:56.:33:58.

important part of the Conservative Party for David Cameron was

:33:58.:34:03.

different and changing. If David Cameron looks like he's losing a

:34:03.:34:07.

supporter like that, it is not good news. But he was never as central a

:34:07.:34:13.

figure in the Cameron project as perhaps some presented. So it's far

:34:13.:34:18.

from a serious or a fatal blow. Big Idea society was David

:34:18.:34:22.

Cameron's big idea. Introduced rather late in the 2010 election

:34:22.:34:27.

campaign, that left many baffled. Phillip Blond fears it has been

:34:27.:34:31.

quietly dropped now as an idea, particularly since its champion

:34:31.:34:36.

inside Downing Street, Steve Hilton, has left. There were widespread

:34:36.:34:42.

reports that he was frustrated at being sidelined. Is Phillip Blond

:34:42.:34:48.

right, has David Cameron abandoned, if you like, his earlier enthusiasm

:34:48.:34:52.

for devolving power down to communities, and squandering this

:34:52.:34:55.

opportunity to reshape Conservatives? Not at all, it is

:34:55.:34:58.

very much happening on the ground. If we lock at what is happening in

:34:58.:35:01.

Dover, with the people's port project, to take over the port of

:35:01.:35:06.

Dover, we are expecting a decision in the next month. Schools changed

:35:06.:35:10.

into academies and being able to control their affairs much more

:35:10.:35:14.

effectively than through departmentss and local authorities,

:35:14.:35:17.

and also the experience of the doctors being able to take more

:35:17.:35:22.

control over the NHS. They know more about their patients than

:35:22.:35:26.

centralised NHS in Whitehall. I think that is a really positive

:35:26.:35:30.

thing about this Government, that has been devolving, decentralising

:35:30.:35:34.

across the board. Phillip Blond believes there is already evidence

:35:34.:35:37.

that Labour is moving on to this territory, that David Cameron

:35:37.:35:42.

should be worried, that in his conference speech, yesterday, Ed

:35:42.:35:45.

Miliband delivered a similar message to the one the Prime

:35:45.:35:49.

Minister had once articulated. Is that something to worry David

:35:49.:35:53.

Cameron, if Ed Miliband becomes a convincing voice for this kind of

:35:53.:35:58.

idea? The Conservative Party cannot afford to be complacent, the

:35:58.:36:02.

Conservative Party need to ensure it is not just the party of

:36:02.:36:04.

economics, but also the party of compassion. But I think most people

:36:04.:36:09.

know the Labour Party has a heart, and Ed Miliband hasn't addressed

:36:09.:36:12.

the fundamental Labour weaknesses, which people are not sure that

:36:12.:36:16.

Labour have quite the head, the understanding of how to run an

:36:16.:36:20.

economy. The understanding how to make things work and repair the

:36:20.:36:27.

mess that Labour left behind. Ed Miliband gave a good speech this

:36:27.:36:32.

week, but his problem is not that Labour is seen as caring, but it is

:36:32.:36:36.

whether they are seen as competent. I have got to know Philip and Hayes

:36:36.:36:40.

work a little bit over the past few years, while I wouldn't say I agree

:36:40.:36:43.

with everything he has said or everything he and his think-tank

:36:43.:36:47.

are going to say. You can say that again. Although the Prime Minister

:36:47.:36:52.

has more to worry about right now than one disappointed think-tanker.

:36:52.:36:56.

Phillip Blond's criticisms will be in theed. And ahead of the party

:36:56.:37:00.

conference next week, will have the capacity to wound.

:37:00.:37:05.

Phillip Blond is here, along with Sean Worth, former policy adviser

:37:05.:37:08.

to David Cameron in Downing Street, and who now works at the at this

:37:08.:37:12.

tank Policy Exchange. Aren't you just acting like a bit of a spurned

:37:12.:37:17.

roufr? Goodness, what a thought -- Lover? Goodness, what a thought,

:37:17.:37:22.

not in the slightest. Rather I'm acting for a vision I believe in,

:37:22.:37:27.

and I think the majority of the British people believe in. And if

:37:27.:37:31.

we want a Conservative Party that spweeks to the majority, and

:37:31.:37:35.

doesn't -- speaks to the majority and doesn't do minority politics,

:37:35.:37:41.

it has to speak to its One Nation tradition and element. The

:37:42.:37:47.

sacrifice of that appeal will condemn the Conservative Party to a

:37:47.:37:49.

permanent minority. Conservative Party with a permanent

:37:49.:37:53.

minority because they didn't follow through? The implication here is

:37:53.:37:58.

that the Government has some how lost the reforming zeal, the social

:37:58.:38:03.

vision. That is exact low what Philip is saying in the article? --

:38:03.:38:07.

exactly what Philip is saying in the article? Look at the policy and

:38:07.:38:12.

fronts of reform, they are the most radical and far reaching since the

:38:12.:38:17.

Second World War. That is an objective fact, not just my biased

:38:17.:38:20.

opinion. In terms of what is popular with the voters. I look at

:38:20.:38:26.

this, I don't look at this as an issue of dropping a social agenda,

:38:26.:38:30.

I look at it as a Government in mid-term. This particular period in

:38:30.:38:35.

the electoral cycle. You focus on issues like jobs, and growth,

:38:35.:38:40.

because you know that. If you throw it away, Phillip Blond seems to be

:38:40.:38:45.

seeing, and the expression you are using is re-tokifying the Tory

:38:45.:38:50.

Party, that is an important point? It is not that I disagree with this,

:38:51.:38:55.

some of the policies are radical, I would like them to be more radical.

:38:55.:38:59.

If Dover does get its people's port, brilliant. It is very clear from

:38:59.:39:03.

the outside and inside that the Government has lost its central

:39:03.:39:06.

focus and its central focus has to be a vision. You organise your

:39:07.:39:10.

party and policies. It is OK when you are in opposition, someone like

:39:10.:39:14.

you in opposition gives them the big overarching report, but then

:39:14.:39:17.

the reality is they have to get the deficit down, that is what they

:39:17.:39:21.

have to see as their primary concern? What has happened, this is

:39:22.:39:26.

a great tragedy, is means have eclipsed ends. Deficit reduction is

:39:26.:39:30.

a means, but to what end. Until the Government can rearticulate and

:39:30.:39:33.

give a vision, at the moment they are not offering a positive account

:39:33.:39:37.

of the type of world we want, and the type of world we need. And the

:39:37.:39:41.

strength of Ed Miliband's speech as he did that, and the shame is

:39:41.:39:45.

that's Cameron's territory. What I would like is Cameron to move back

:39:45.:39:49.

and give us the vision that will give a majority.

:39:49.:39:53.

First of all, on Ed's speech, it was great, it was a brilliant

:39:53.:39:56.

speech, probably the best he has delivered. But it didn't have a

:39:56.:40:02.

great deal behind it. There was a lot of excitement, from a press

:40:02.:40:06.

pack that want a battle of ideas. You are not going to get policy

:40:06.:40:11.

this far out? This is my point about where the different parties

:40:11.:40:16.

are at different parts in the parliamentary cycle, Ed Miliband

:40:16.:40:19.

needs to communicate vision, and Cameron needs to look at the

:40:19.:40:23.

voters' top priority, and they have to focus on those things. Of course

:40:23.:40:27.

there is a social mission. I think, unfortunately, that is completely

:40:27.:40:31.

wrong. The great shame is that Number Ten has lost the policy

:40:31.:40:35.

vision. It has surrendered it to departments, the Treasury is more

:40:35.:40:39.

powerful than Number Ten. believe he's in hock to George

:40:39.:40:43.

Osborne? I don't believe that, it is surrendering policy issue to the

:40:43.:40:48.

Treasury. What has happened is what they like is a cacophony of voices

:40:48.:40:51.

in Number Ten, many different versions, but you can't deliver

:40:51.:40:54.

like that. Successful Governments need clear principle and need to

:40:54.:40:59.

ensure that every part of Government follows that principle.

:41:00.:41:02.

There isn't a clear principle at the moment, what type of

:41:02.:41:05.

Conservative is David Cameron. We need to hear that, we need it to be

:41:05.:41:09.

a Conservatism. He's not a red Tory? He needs to be if he wants to

:41:10.:41:16.

win a majority. Does he? If it is a question about what do people want,

:41:16.:41:19.

I don't think The Big Idea society was top of the list. Let's be

:41:19.:41:23.

honest. I'm not opposed to it, I believe in the vision of changing

:41:23.:41:27.

the nature of the state. I think actually towards the election,

:41:27.:41:31.

there will not be a stronger focus on the social. What I would say is

:41:31.:41:35.

that there are really important reform agendas, as I mentioned

:41:36.:41:42.

earlier, they probably need to be turbo charge that doesn't mean you

:41:42.:41:47.

have lost sight of any social vision. Incertainly and external

:41:47.:41:51.

people think the Government has lost its way. It has done that

:41:51.:41:55.

because we don't have a defining vision from the centre that can

:41:55.:41:59.

structure the rest of policy and departments. It is not clear what

:41:59.:42:09.

sort of Conservatism we have. Is it austerity or 20th century poverty.

:42:09.:42:14.

People don't ask the kind of past you have, they say do you share my

:42:14.:42:19.

value, are you focusing on the things I care about. Jobs and all

:42:19.:42:25.

that? The trouble is, Conservatism is now actually creating

:42:25.:42:32.

economically clash with cash in a huge way. We are creating monoplies

:42:32.:42:36.

and cartels, let's have a radical Conservatism that distributes power

:42:36.:42:41.

and property to all. That is what the Prime Minister needs to convey.

:42:41.:42:45.

In the early hours of the morning on the other side of the Atlantic,

:42:45.:42:48.

the US presidential election will finally catch fire for millions of

:42:48.:42:54.

Americans. Denver hosts the first of three live televised 90-minute

:42:54.:42:58.

presidential debates, for the first time President Obama and Mitt

:42:58.:43:06.

Romney come face-to-face. Romney goes in trailing in key states, but

:43:06.:43:09.

the debates can make-or-break a candidate. In this election how

:43:09.:43:13.

important will these debates be? Very, very important if you are the

:43:13.:43:17.

host broadcaster, I suspect. CNN is talking like it is Christmas. They

:43:17.:43:21.

are expecting 60 million viewers for the presidential debate tonight.

:43:21.:43:25.

And every commentator, everyone you talk to, is saying it is crunch

:43:25.:43:29.

time and it will be the most important thing. Newt Gingrich has

:43:29.:43:32.

said this is the most important moment of Mitt Romney's political

:43:32.:43:36.

career. You have to take a step back and say, for Newsnight viewers,

:43:36.:43:42.

these aren't exactly debates in the spirit we know them, they are

:43:42.:43:47.

staged. Here are the commentators talking about having to watch with

:43:47.:43:55.

reptile brain, people not listening out for content or spotting policy,

:43:55.:44:00.

these are gaps and things to be talked over for years ahead. People

:44:00.:44:06.

remember the moment when depush senior glanced at his watch, just -

:44:06.:44:13.

- George Bush glanced at his watch, when they had gone to see an

:44:13.:44:18.

unemployed woman. That showed the difference between an engaged

:44:18.:44:21.

Democrat politician, and someone aloof as if he didn't have time for

:44:21.:44:24.

it. Those things are important to watch. Really, when you talk to

:44:25.:44:29.

people, eight out of ten of them said they have already decideded,

:44:29.:44:35.

they know which candidate they are backing, and they don't. Sorry.

:44:35.:44:40.

that case, what does Mitt Romney have to do to rescue things?

:44:40.:44:45.

sense is, if he does badly it is all over. If does OK, it is

:44:45.:44:51.

probably still all over too. He has to come out, reemerged and

:44:51.:44:55.

reenergised. In that unfortunate phrase of his wife, he has to come

:44:55.:44:59.

out unzipped. He has to be more specific, he has a 59-point plan

:44:59.:45:03.

for the economy and another five- point plan, yet no-one understands

:45:03.:45:06.

what he would do. He has talked about being anti-Government, and

:45:06.:45:10.

brought in Paul Ryan, yet there is very little mention about moving

:45:10.:45:13.

away from we are welfare and Government dependency, when he was

:45:14.:45:18.

talking in the Florida convention. Has to put the specter of the two

:45:18.:45:24.

numbers to rest, 47% and 14%. Why did I pick those out? Because 47%

:45:24.:45:28.

is in the tape, the number of voters who would never vote for

:45:29.:45:36.

them. 14% is the amount of tax he pays, it isn't a lot at the moment,

:45:36.:45:41.

but it isn't very presidential. He needs to make people want him.

:45:41.:45:51.
:45:51.:46:19.

That's all from Newsnight tonight, I will be back tomorrow, until then

:46:19.:46:29.
:46:29.:46:30.

good night. Hello, it will be a cold night

:46:30.:46:34.

tonight, close to a frost in many rural areas. We start bright and

:46:34.:46:38.

sunny for the most part in the morning. A scattering of showers

:46:38.:46:42.

near the west coast, a few wandering inland during the day.

:46:42.:46:47.

Very hit and miss, not as dry. Not as wet in northern England as it

:46:47.:46:50.

has been today. Light showers in the afternoon. A God chance of

:46:50.:46:55.

staying dry, showers not amounting to much in the Midlands, or East

:46:55.:46:58.

Anglia, south-east should be dry. With the winds lighter not so cold

:46:58.:47:03.

in the afternoon. The cloud increasing and the sunshine turning

:47:03.:47:07.

hazy in the afternoon. Not that many showers, most in the morning,

:47:07.:47:12.

a few may linger around the Bristol Channel, and possibly across Wales

:47:12.:47:15.

as well. This should be some sunshine too. The showers arriving

:47:15.:47:19.

in Northern Ireland could be sharp, but they are late in the afternoon,

:47:19.:47:23.

really, a scattering of showers in Scotland, some sunshine as well.

:47:23.:47:33.
:47:33.:47:45.

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