26/10/2012 Newsnight


With Gavin Esler. Has the Savile scandal exposed our attitudes to child abuse as out of date? Are the Eurosceptics all talk? And will Berlusconi get jailed?

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26 days later, we're still talking about Al-Assaf, with police and


charities reporting a big increase -- Saville, and charities and


police reporting a big increase in reports of abuse. Are we re-


examining old attitude towards the safety of our children. Charlie has


reminded me I shouldn't go off with people I don't know. If 1970s ideas


about childhood seem niave, are we any less deluded today. Child


protection experts will try to answer. As the Conservatives edge


closer to a referendum on Europe, Newsnight discovers even if the


European Union budget is frozen, our contribution will still go up.


We will debate whether our future now lies in splendid isolation.


And, media magnate, Italian Prime Minister, bunga bunga enthusiast,


could Silvio Berlusconi's career take another turn, to jail. America


have a Commander-in-Chief, we have a disillusionist chief. We wasted


18 years. Good evening, if anything good can come out of the mess that


surrounds Jimmy Savile, might it possibly with a change in attitudes


in this country, about how we regard the safety of children, and


vulnerable young people. The police and charities have said many more


people have come forward to talk about allegations of abuse, often


going back years, and walled it a watershed moment. Charlie and I


were in the park. Then this man came up and said would I like to


see some puppies. In the 1970s, when this Government video was made,


it wasn't just children who needed warning about sexual abuse, our


whole society of ignorant. Or some would say, at least partly in


denial. The main threat to children, it was believed, came from


predatory stranger.. Rare monsters like Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.


we are talking about sexual abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, the cases


that went to court, the children that were abused that we became


aware of, in terms of sexual abuse, were of very small number. I


remember as a social worker and managing teams of social workers,


over a period of two or three years, three instances where children were


talking about sexual abuse and we were talking about that. A social


worker with a piece of paper that said my children were taken off me


for 28 days. In 1987 the Cleveland scandal led to discussion about the


problem. Highly controversially more than 120 children on Teeside


were taken away from their families as suspected abuse victim.


Meanwhile, in America, police were learning lessons from pioneering


academic research into abuse. They began specialist training that was


later copied in Britain. I went to Scotland Yard in 1989, and took


over what was then the Obscene Publications Branch. At that time


there were two officers dealing with paedophile cases out of 16. I


very soon made the decision that I wanted to change it into the


paedophile squad. Because there was no point in trying to persue


prosecutions against people publishing pornography, it was much


more important to protect children. We were seeing a lot of child


pornography pass through. And so, bit by bit, I changed it to such


that all of the officers were dealing with child abuse inquiries.


Today, it is estimated that around one in five children in Europe are


victims of some form of sexual violence. It is thought that in 70-


85% of the case, the abuser is known to the victim. The police


recorded 17, 727 sexual crimes against children under 16 last year.


There is still a lot we don't know. I have no doubt at all, no doubt at


all, that 2,300 children with child protection plans, is a significant


undercounting and underidentification of the number


of children and young people experiencing sexual exploitation,


and sexual abuse. It is almost bound to be so. It is a very


difficult issue for children to talk about, and to declare. It is


hidden by the people, the perpetrator, so there is no reason


to believe that we are identifying, at this point in time, most young


people and children are experiencing sexual abuse.


Legislation to protect children was strengthened by the murder of


Victoria Climbie by her guardians in the year 200. The aim, following


an inquiry, was partly to get better co-ordination between


agencies. In some cases the opposite may have happened. Yorking


together is vitally important in cases of child abuse. But


unfortunately since the Leming report on the Climbie affair,


police and social services have drifted apart, because the report


recommended that the police should get on with arresting people, and


social services should get on with looking after families. And where


as before we actually worked in the same offices, that's not so today.


This is vital work that you should work together, because, social


services will have probably a mass of information about families that


they have been trying to help. And the police will have a mass of


information about something else, you have to put them together.


went and told mummy, and she said we had been very good. Even harder


than safeguarding young children in families, is coming to grips with


the sense of sexual exploitation of older children, sometimes by adult,


sometimes by other children. A survey last year suggested one in


six children aged between 11-17 have experienced sexual abuse. But


it is estimated that more than a third of abused secondary school


aged children don't report their abuse. Our reporting systems don't


necessarily immediately accept what the child is saying. So you could


have a 13 or a 14 or a 15-year-old involved in sexual relationships


with adults, and is saying that they are choosing these


relationships, and it is possible that professionals would accept


that, and wouldn't challenge it. If you have a young person who is


saying they want to have these sexual relationships, if they don't


understand it as abusive, it is very difficult for the professional


to start to work with the child to engage with the nature of the abuse


that's happening. Hello, would you like to play


football with me? Don't you realise you shouldn't talk to people you


don't know. Don't talk to strangers! That was still the


message even 20 years ago, we know now that preventing abuse isn't


nearly as simple as that. Could be more be done and what


could be done. With me is my guests, the former head of the see ops, the


on CEOPS, the on-line protection service. Is this a watershed with


the reports of abuse? I think it is a real positive we are talking


about it, and we are starting to understand more, this real


imbalance of power between children and people in powerful positions.


Is part of it, do you think, thatm so of the taboos have been broken


and we are talking about it more openly, and people in various


organisations have realised they have a responsibility and will be


held to account eventually? I think that is clear. One of the positives


and the potential for this to be a watershed is the way victim, I hope,


are perreceiving the manner in which this is being dealt with by


the police and other agencies. They are being encouraged to come


forward, the messages are right that victims are received


sensitively. We have become too focused on the BBC. The BBC, and


some people might not like me saying this, they are cupable by


regard of being complicit in act or omission, but actually, Jimmy


Savile probably groomed the BBC in the same way as sexual predators


groom all the people around them, as well as their victim, to protect


their offending pattern, so they can carry on doing what they do.


You can see it in churches and other individuals who have a


supervisory role, are groomed to believe that the person who is


committing these offences couldn't possibly do it. This is a good


moment in time to reflect on some of that messaging. Reflecting on


that, and also, we heard there, this question came up in the


Climbie affair and so on, about how joined up various authorities are,


do police speak to each other, NHS, social workers and so on. What is


your sense of that picture, it any better than it was 20 years ago?


is certainly better. But what we can't get away from, and every time


a child dies, a we have a review of what happens, one of the issues


that comes up again and again communication. The way we


communicate with each other. When you do the reviews after a child


dies, after I do, all the information comes together when it


is too late. When you look at the piece of the puzzle you think why


was that child left there with all the information, the answer is,


nobody has the complete picture until it is too late and the child


has died. Is that partly because it is sensitive information, you don't


want everybody to know about it, what is the problem then? Part of


the problem is the way that different professionals work. It


can be surely the logistics of speaking to people. You have a


health visitor who is part-time, a social worker who is part-time, a


police officer who has been to the house who is uniform police, trying


to get those three people to speak to each other can be difficult.


Speaking to a teacher it can be as fundamental as that, it is also


people within the wider community and organisations within the wider


community, don't realise their responsibility. If you have a


concern about a child, you need to talk about it. You need to contact


your local authorities. It is always better to get it wrong and


err on the side of caution than leave it too late. I don't know if


you feel that the lessons of the last month. Even crimes people


thought they got away with 20 years ago they might be arrested. If the


perpetrators are watching the TV programmes they might be nervous.


They are panicking every time there is a knock on the door and a car


drives down the street. If they were offending 30 years ago against


children, I'm willing to bet they have been offending in the 30 years


that followed, that is the critical issue here. We start with historic


child abuse, very often and in lots of case, the nature of offending


bi-sexual predators is they will be offending today, that is why it is


so important that victims listening continuing to come forward and


engage with the police and charity, and provide the critical


information that means they can turn this on its head. They can


play a part in saving people from suffering what they have suffered.


But do you agree, to a certain extent, with what Joanna was saying,


which is the bureaucratic habit of not actually communicating with


other bureaucracies, is still quite a problem, it may have got a bit


better? Following the murder of Holly and Jessica in Soham, the


review looked at the police not having systems to share information


probably, the Climbie review highlighted we were making


improvements but not as good as it should be. One of the problems is


at a Governmental level, if you look at the previous Government,


they had created an independent adviser on child protection to


Government, someone who could stand apart and provide that critical


independent advice thafps Sir Roger Singlton, that is gone, that is a


pity, that was the high-level strategic approach improve


throughout child protection organisations. We need improvement.


Is there more of it now, or are we more sensitive to it, there is more


coverage in the media or more reporting, or are there more cases


of child abuse? There are more cases, is it because we are more


aware of it or there is more of it, we don't know the answer to that.


We must stress that a victim coming forward, that victim is never, ever


responsible for the abuse done to them. Perpetrators will always make


victims feel responsible. Particularly with sexual abuse,


where children are groomed and sexually abused, they are made to


feel responsible for what has happened, they don't realise until


they are much older what is happening to them, they are never


responsible for what has happened. This is really important that


victims have the courage to come forward if they can. In recent


years Conservative leaders have always had problems over Europe.


Today saw the first ever debate in the House of Commons on leaving the


European Union. Instigated by Tory backbenchers. The party appears to


be edging closer to the possibility of a referendum. One thing David


Cameron has been very clear on, is he will not accept an increase in


the EU budget, threatening to wield the British veto. Even so, could


the British contribution go up. Germany cleent tell, Belgium


waiters and the British upstart that is not me. Imagine walking


into this room and pick ago fight with these continental types, there


would have to be a really good reason. The last time the Prime


Minister picked a fight with the Europeans, the famous veto of last


December, it made him very popular with Les Anglais. When the Prime


Minister heads to the continent in November, he clearly wants another


brawl in a brasserie moment. The Government's current position is we


don't accept any real terms increase in the European budget.


Newsnight has seen figure that is we might be presiding over exactly


that, even if the Prime Minister vetos current arrangements and gets


what he wants. We have information that shows over the next seven


years that Britain's contributions to the budget will go up by as much


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 147 seconds


as two billion euros. A molt that contributions to the EU, including


the UK, and benefit the states that need it.


The centre left think-tank, the IPPR, will soon call on David


Cameron not to veto the budget, but instead Britain should give up its


dearly cherished rebate, for accepting a reduction by up to 25%.


This would target the commonkg cultural policy most, and it would


mean our hosts today, France, would be the biggest loser. Meanwhile


away from the kind management of the bassry in Petit France, to the


moment where the euro-sceptics had their moment. For half an hour MPs


debated whether Britain could withdrew from the EU We are drawing


to the point where Britain leaving the EU is no longer thought


unthinkable. It is a legitimate point that is starting to go


mainstream. Membership of the European is in the national


advantage of the British people, in terms of what it gives us, through


trade, through market access, through attracting foreign direct


investment, and through increased diplomatic leverage over foreign


and security policies. The hoaxy cokey over Europe


intensifies this year, if those vote against the Prime Minister


over the budget offering. We have the head of business for


New Europe, and the Conservative rp, Mark Reckless, was one of the


sponsors of the bill heard today on the EU. Even if there is a freeze


in the budget, our contribution still go up, how will that go on


with colleagues? It is extraordinary, last surgery I did,


I had had a number of police officers coming in. They were


saying why when their pay was frozen, why were benefits being


increased by inflation? I found that difficult enough to explain,


without trying to explain to them that, while their pay is frozen,


the EU should have an inflationary increase or more. That's guaranteed


and its budget can only...It unacceptable to you? To be a member


of an organisation where the budget can only ever go up, or as William


Hague says in terms of powers, it is always powers being taken from


the nation states to the European Union, and never being returned,


that is democratically unsustainable. Unsustainable, and


not very popular, you would think? There is obvious lie a problem with


the EU budget. The interesting thing is so many people in this


country, when asked how much they think we contribute to the European


Union, they will say something along the lines of 20-25% of our


GDP or national income. Reality is it is about 1%. It is not as much


as people think. The idea of it going up, our contribution going up,


even if it was frozen in the budget? The commission isn't going


to get 5%. The big challenge for David Cameron and British foreign


policy is, if we veto it, it will go up in 2014 by 2% any way. That


is a reason to negotiate. That is what we should be doing. Picking up


the point in the film, when you were elected a couple of years ago,


of the idea of leaving Europe bonkers? I think it was more on the


fringes of politics, where it now seems to have come to the


mainstream. If you look at the polling of this, there has been a


fairly consistent trend of ignoring "don't knows", a fair margin of


leaving the EU and becoming an independent country once more. That


feeling is breaking through into parliament. How will that go down


in the business community? I think the business community is obviously,


by and large, in favour of our membership of the European Union,


because it is so good for us economically. That is what we are


really talking about here. Leaving the theology to one side for a


moment. This is about people's jobs and growth. The debate has changed


over the last couple of years. But the reality is, people have an


opportunity to vote for a party that would take us out of the


European Union, and when it matters, people don't vote for UKIP. They


got 3.1% in the last general election. I think that when it


matters, they won't vote for what UKIP represents, if there were to


be a referendum. I'm trying to think, you were talking about


police officers and other constituent, but if you had to go


to businesses in this country, or the Prime Minister had to go to


businesses in this country, and say we are the Conservatives, the party


of business, we would like to get out of Europe and it will cost you,


that will be a hard sell, won't it? What Douglas's debate did today was


it opened up the issue of what would we do if we come out of the


EU, all the law passed over the last 40 years, what will we keep


and look at, and say what can we do better for our country. You have to


get there, not only do problems with the Prime Minister and others


in parliament, but even the business community, which is


broadly supportive of your party, one assumes, you will have


difficulty there? The same point can be made with the money. Last


year our contribution to the EU was �19.5 billion. That is about the


same that is spent on the whole of police anything this country. If


you say to business, the worse, I think we will get a Swiss-style


free trade relationship and we should trade freely with the whole


world, not just a declining part of it. Even if you had to pay the


common tarrif for exports from here to the EU, that would cost between


�6-��8 billion, you would have enough to half the corporation tax


bringing it to Irish rate. That would be tantermount to economic


self-harm. If we were to leave the EU. If you take one very practical


example, it is useful to look at it in terms of people's jobs. About


700,000 people in this country are employed in the automotive sector,


50% of cars we make in this country go to other E United States F we


were to leave the -- EU. If we were to leave the EU we would pay 11%


tarrif on cars. The idea that the Government would pick up the tab is


fanciful. Fanciful? It is not going to happen? To compare the size of


the numbers, the cost Philip is talking about is tiny, compared to


even just the amount we pay in the budget. I don't think that is right.


If you talk to Japanese car companies, they will say we are not


going to stay if you leave. We have to leave it there.Y about that.


For years Silvio Berlusconi has kept all of Europe entertained and


amused, the man who saw himself as "the Knight", made Chancellor


Angela Merkel laugh and grimace, in his bunga bung party were an


experiment in social mobility, bringing together actors and


politicians and, it seems, prostitutes. He's been sent to jail


for the crime that finally nailed Al Capone, is this a conspiracy s's


claims, of left-wing journalists, and journalists. I spoke to the


Italian writer of an Italian paper, I asked how, after all these years


of finally trying to prosecute him, they finally got him on tax evasion.


Can I rephrase your question, how is it Berlusconi got away with it


for so long. How is it? We don't know. Sometimes maybe he was not


responsible. We have to accept that. But it is a fact that legislation


has been passed by the Government, when he was in Government, by his


own majority in parliament, helped the statute of limitations to kick


in sooner. Many of his prosecutions were cancelled because of statute


of legislation. Now he's out of Government and it happened, four


years, but he won't go in jail. won't go in jail. This is it, isn't


it t he has excellent lawyers, limitless funds, he's an elderly


man, he will never serve time in jail? To be honest I don't think


the lawyers and the money matters here. Not even politics. I think it


is a fact that now he can appeal, and the Italian justice system is


unfortunately slow, so it can take another two or three years, then


again he can appeal to the Supreme Court. Again he's going to be over


80, he has his parliamentary immunity, he will try to get back


into parliament as a senator, I imagine. If you put all these


things together, you won't see Berlusconi in jail. You say he will


probably run again for the Senate, look at it from here, his political


career must be over, isn't it? should be over. On Wednesday he


said he won't run again for Prime Minister, which was a little


unexpected. Because now he's polling numbers that are very low.


He's giving up something he doesn't have, therefore, popularity, and a


chance to win. But, don't forget that the Italian electoral law


allows any party to put anybody into, we call them block lists. So


if his own party decides to have him within the party list, there is


nothing the voters can do. would you sum up the Berlusconi


years, then, looking back at it. What has he achieved for Italy,


apart from obviously cheering us all up with some of his antics?


Maybe he cheered you all up, he didn't cheer us up. But how do I


sum up 18 years? It is like a show of magic lasting 18 years. It is a


long time. We are now back into more prosaic Prime Minister dealing


with the economy. But basically, it was, you know, I'm in America,


Americans have a commander in I have ch, in Italy we have an


illusionist -- in a Commander-in- Chief, in Italy we have an


illusionist-in-chief. Where does this leave the centre right


politics, is there a big gap in the post-Berlusconi period? Berlusconi


said he would like to see primaries in the centre right, they do have


primaries now within the centre left. That is a good development,


in a way. I'm worried that this conviction will bring the clock


back to where he was, like people shouting about persecution, by


magistrates and political motivation and all that. I think


the centre right in a way has already discounted Berlusconi, and


they are going forward. I think it is good news. There is a lot of


deJay have you in what we are hearing and seeing in the last few


hours in Italy. Some how Italians are tired. I mentioned this magic


programme with the magician, a programme that lasted 18 years. 18


years a long time. You might like magic shows, but 18 years too long.


Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you.


Newsnight review is up next. Is Daniel Craig the best Bond since


Sea Connery. We will debate is it the end of men. We will discuss


women behind and in front of the camera in a Saudi film that breaks


boundaries. That's it for us tonight. The tireless one is back