05/11/2012 Newsnight


05/11/2012

Jeremy Paxman in Washington with a look at the US Election. The UK government announces a new enquiry into North Wales child abuse.


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Transcript


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Hello from Washington. By this time tomorrow, we shall be about to

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learn who is to take on the Tennessee of the White House behind

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me, and the role of leader of the free world. Could Obama really lose

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Today The Boss, summoned the aid of The Boss. I stood with President

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Obama four years ago, I'm proud to be standing here with him today.

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Because he promised me a ride on Air Force One! His challenger kept

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on hammering home the same, unadorned, message. I know how to

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change the nation, how to get it back on course, how to create jobs,

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how to get a balanced budget, how to get rise in take home pay.

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mystery, of course, for a visitor to this country s how a man won

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such a resounding endorsement from the American people, could

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apparently have put it all at risk. What happened to this charismatic

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presidency to put it all on hazard, was he dealt a bad hand, or did he

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misplay it. In Miami, George Bush's brother seems confident he knows

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who will reap the benefit. numbers are up a bit, I'm pretty

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optimistic, that in Florida, at least, Governor Romney will win.

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Tonight, in London, after Newsnight reports, allegations of a cover-up

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in the North Wales abuse inquiry, David Cameron acts. I will ask a

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senior, independent figure, to lead an urgent investigation into

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whether the original inquiry was properly instituted and did its job.

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The former care home resident who now alleges abuse by a senior

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Conservative politician in the 1970s gives us his response.

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think it is excellent news. I just hope we are going to have an

:01:58.:02:08.
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investigation into the abuse, and not necessarily the inquiry.

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One thing this country isn't short of, is people who claim to know.

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They include cefalogical analysts, who believe the outcome was

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determined by an event last night. The Carolineer panthers, upended

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the red kins. You can call an election is whether the red skins

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win their match. In this case, it is Obama taking a bath. After the

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opinion poll has forecast the closest outcome in many years.

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Never before have so many people have to listen to so much tub-

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thumping or fawning, or have to endure a torrent of half truths,

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name-calling and bad-mouthing. It would, some calculated, take 345

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days just to watch the million television ads. Tomorrow is the

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moment of truth. And Mark Urban is here. Is it really as close as they

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are saying? It is very close in terms of how many votes each man

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will get, well within the margin of error of most polls. The American

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system is not a simple popularity contest, works through this thing

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called the Electoral College, that picks the President on the basis of

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delegate sent by the states. If we look at the graphic that sketches

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out what the two candidates have to do, we will see that President

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Obama is much closer to that Winning Post, in the middle. The

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white line, with about 243 delegates pretty much in the bag,

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from the called blue states, pictured on the left there. Mitt

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Romney has much further to go, with about 206. Even though he may be

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gaining ever more popularity in those states, it is not going to

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help him, unless he can dominate those 89 in the middle, the called

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battleground state. Even if Romney wins Florida, the one with the most

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delegates to the Electoral College, 29, that's still not going to do it

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for him. But if President Obama wins just two, Ohio, where he has

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been showing very strongly in the polls, and Virginia, where the race

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is closer, that would be enough to win him the election. That is why

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most of the pundits in this town think that President Obama is on

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course for victory. There has been a lot of nattering, indeed we

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perpetrated some of it ourselves, about the effects of the Hurricane,

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what are they? There has been some very interesting polling done

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around this in the last few days. President Obama, who, of course, in

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an attempt to win those battleground state, has been out

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there today, he has been in Ohio rocking the vote with Jay-Z, and

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earlier Bruce Springsteen. He looked very good, very presidential,

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co-ordinating the whole relief effort to the Hurricane, everybody

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knows that. Mitt Romney has also been out, trying to get the key

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votes in the battleground states on his side. He has been down in

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Florida, where the shots were taken. He had to effectively suspend

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campaigning for a few days at a critical moment last week. Some of

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the an all cyst by a respected political blogger here, said that

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over the past week the chance of an Obama victory has gone up from high

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70s%, to well over 80%. He as describes a good deal of that to

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the Hurricane-effect. A lot of people think it has made the

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difference. We will see tomorrow. As Mark suggests, the biggest swing

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state of the lot is Florida. Obama took it last time, before that it

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was the key state in the face-off between George Bush and Dmitri

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Gorelov. The latest polls -- Al Gore. The latest polls show the two

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candidates tied. Laura Trevelian is there, who is going to take it, get

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off the fence? That is the million dollar question, if I was confident

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enough I would bet my house, I'm not going to. You can feel the

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tension here tonight. The two campaigns are really wrestling down

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in the mud for Florida's 29 votes in the Electoral College. I

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understand the early voting figures are in. The Democrats have a narrow

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lead, nothing like as big as it was in 2008. Remember all that chaos in

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2000 hanging chads and all that. Already you have Republicans of

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accusing dirty tricks and stopping turnout. It is down to the wire. We

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have been across the state, Tampa to north of Miami, where we caught

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up with the Obama campaign. Just a few hours left. Nearly 140

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million Americans can vote. But the result will rest with those who

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live in the 106 counties which switched from Republican to

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Democrat last time. No matter whether you are black or white or

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Hispanic or Asian ornateive American, young, old, rich -- or

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native American, young, old, rich, poor, you can make it here in

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America, that is what we are fighting for.

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The towns and cities that matter most have been inundated with

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campaigning. It is not about policies or issues,

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it is about hand-to-hand combat, fighting street-by-street,

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capturing every single last vote. At the close of this long campaign,

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it really is a numbers game. The architect of Barack Obama's

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spectacular rise from local politician to President claims the

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Democrats will win again. What will it hinge on in the end, who get the

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most of their coalition out here in Florida? There is no doubt about it.

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I think there has been this sense that it has been propagaged by the

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Republicans, that our base will be less motivated, I think they are

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highly motivated. In Mitt Romney is to win the White House, he must win

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Florida. They call this stretch of central Florida the highway to

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political heaven. Who whoever wins the territory either side of the I4,

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wins state. You have the I4 between Tampa and the Space Ghost. Whoever

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wins that the I4 quarter wins the state elections and presidential

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races. Jeb Bush knows a thing or two about

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winning elections. It is two Presidents in the family, he's

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tipped one day to run himself. Right now in former Florida

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governor is stumping for Mitt Romney. Florida has been a

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battleground state for so long that both sides are really good at it.

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Our side this year has the intensity on its side. The number

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of early votes on the Democratic side, relative to four years ago,

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where they had an incredible army of support, is down 70%. Our

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numbers are up a bit. So, I'm pretty optimistic that in flour

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dark at least, Governor Romney will win. In a bakery, just off the

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interstate, Jeb Bush is trying to make that happen. Crucially the

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voters are elderly women and white men. Crucially those groups have

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been shift to go Romney. Take Alex Rosemurgy, who voted for Obama last

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time of the I tend to identify more with Romney's moderate Republican

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beliefs than Obama's belief, particularly with regard to the

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economy. If the Democrats are losing white voters, they must get

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more his Spanish, female and younger voters on their side. This

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bakery turns out to be a cross section of the entire race. Who

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will the staff vote for? Obama. going to vote for Obama, that is

:09:59.:10:09.
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who I'm voting for. Welcome to the Caravana, a

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distinctly Hispanic way to get the vote out. They dance Porto Rican

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voters to the polls. Even though American is looking for diverse,

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and Latinos say they will vote Democrat, she's leaving nothing to

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chance. Ardour on the campaign trail is needed, when it is thought

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the coalition of minority voters has lost enthusiasm for the

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President. We understand that minorities in general are those who

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identify with the Democratic party, we are focusing on African-

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Americans and Latino. The women's vote will be important for us. In

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the I4 quarter, which is the battleground of all battlegrounds,

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we need to get the vote out. Mitt Romney made his final stop in

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Florida, his plea was simple. have one job left, that is to make

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sure that on election day we make certain that everybody who is

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qualified to vote gets out to vote. We need every single vote in

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Florida. The key word here is "qualified", in the fight to

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maximise turnout, Republicans are concerned about voter fraud. So

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watch out for legal challenges and the dreaded recounts if the race is

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as close as it looks. Floridians have been voting early,

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queuing round the block. I see lots of young folks, I see lots of

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ethnic voters. Local Republican randy Johnson watched in a

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reflective mood. I would have to guess that we are probably not 30%

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of this line. Does that surprise you, that Democrats still have

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enthusiasm for Barack Obama? does. It does. I think it probably

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surprises many people in my party. We don't quite understand it.

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24 hours to go, does Barack Obama's message of hope still resonate?

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Despite the economic turmoil and political division? Or will

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Romney's troops prove the more committed and enthusiastic? Watch

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this space. The cream of US punditry is here to

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tell us how the race stands on the last day of full campaigning. We

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have Tim Carney, from the Washington Examiner, the New York

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Times economic policy reporter, Annie Lowrey, and Time Magazine's

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deputy Washington bureau chief, Michael Crowley. The big mystery

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for a lot of visitors here, is how Obama, who swept in so triumphantly

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last time round, could, apparently, be at risk of losing the presidency.

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Just what happened? He inherited a poisoned chalice. Sometimes I

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wonder had he known about the economic catastrophe coming, would

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have wanted to run for President at all. It was a really hard time to

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take over. Republicans will say, he's had plenty of time to try to

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repair the economy, it has been four years, you can't blame George

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Bush any more. I think fundamentally this was a man who

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was curse today begin with, and still face as very high

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unemployment rate. He really will be fortunate to be re-elected with

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the rate as high as it is. What went wrong? Simply, the recession

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was much worse than people expect, and the economy is in a terrible

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state right now. There is some evidence it is improving. It is

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getting better. People are disappointed with the economy and

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it has tremendous reprecussions in this case. Is begs the question is

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this a presidency worth winning right now? A lot of people expect

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the economy to recover, that is why Obama would be upset if he lost. I

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disagree it was a mess he inherited. I have been focus on the suburban

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vote in Ohio and Virginia, a lot of people thought Obamacare turned

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them off, most people don't understand the content, but the way

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he pushed it through. It was a little heavy-handed, that turned

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off a lot of voters. Obamacare is something vaguely like the National

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Health Service in Britain isn't it, just for the benefit of anyone

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watching? It is one step in that direction. Can I just add. More

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people have axe sets to free healthcare, that is the basic --

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access to the free healthcare? Incidentally I think he's a victim

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of his own high expectation. He set himself up to fail for making such

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huge promises. It is a her receipt kal belief for some out here. --

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heretical belief for some out here. Let's talk about the campaign, it

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seemed ugly and devisive and fractious and bitter and bad

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tempered, what did you think? think the campaigns tend to be some

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what contentious in this country. Just bad-tempered. Times are very

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tough in the United States. This was a campaign unusually focused on

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policy issues, about the saving of the American middle-class and

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creating jobs. These were two men almost at odds on how to do that.

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And were making impassioned cases about it. Each was classically

:15:18.:15:21.

redefining what the middle-class was. They seemed to talk about

:15:21.:15:25.

different groups of people when they talked about "the middle-

:15:25.:15:29.

class", the fabled middle-class? American politics the middle-class

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is almost everyone. Its different groups of people or one immpossibly

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large group of people. It is supposed to resonate with everyone.

:15:36.:15:38.

The nastiness comes from the President, he bears a lot of the

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blame. He didn't have much of a record to run on for a lot of

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reasons, some which were his fault and some not. Right out of the gate

:15:47.:15:52.

he set out to define Mitt Romney as an unacceptable alternative.

:15:52.:15:56.

Knowing he was not likely to be re- elected on his own basis, and make

:15:56.:16:01.

Mitt Romney unacceptable. People say the referendum is on the

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incumbent, Barack Obama was about making it on the challenger, Romney.

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What would a Mitt Romney President be like for the rest of the world?

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Romney doesn't have a core set of beliefs, he has an approach to

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topic. He goes ahead and tries to be systematic, he's a moderate at

:16:21.:16:26.

heart. What he wants to do is not laid out by any ideology, in the

:16:26.:16:31.

way that gub was, or to some extent, Obama is. On foreign policy s the

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third debate made a lot of people less worried about him, people were

:16:36.:16:41.

afraid he would be too hawk irk, he seemed very measured in that --

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hawkish in that way, he seemed measured. What do you think?

:16:47.:16:50.

times Romney's rhetoric was very tough. Some of his senior advisers

:16:50.:16:57.

were throwbacks to the Bush years, when there was an interventionist,

:16:57.:17:01.

pro-democracy American foreign policy. In the debate he tempered

:17:01.:17:05.

it. You were more likely to see American support for an Israeli

:17:05.:17:10.

strike on Iran or American strike on Iran, if Romney is President.

:17:11.:17:16.

You would see a Democratic push in the Middle East for Romney. More

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aggressive I would say. Will an Obama second term be different to

:17:20.:17:25.

the first term? He will face the huge fiscal challenge the United

:17:25.:17:28.

States will have. He will have to work with Congress that will be

:17:28.:17:31.

divided, to solve that problem. After that, Congress has not

:17:31.:17:38.

changed in the last four years, it remains absolutely at loggers, it

:17:38.:17:42.

is not clear he will get nearly as ambitious legislation through as in

:17:42.:17:45.

the first. Tackling issues like immigration, but really it will be

:17:45.:17:49.

about taxes, and about spending cuts, and either President Romney

:17:49.:17:53.

or President Obama, that will be the first and major thing. At least

:17:53.:17:58.

in the early terms of either's term. I was hoping we could avoid talking

:17:58.:18:01.

about the fiscal cliff that people are talking about here. This is a

:18:01.:18:06.

real serious crisis in the public finances, due to hit January 1st,

:18:06.:18:09.

which means big tax hikes or spending cuts. Either of them will

:18:09.:18:14.

have to deal with it? In the most recent crises like this, the

:18:14.:18:17.

Government shut down debate followed by a death-sealing debate

:18:17.:18:21.

like we have had in the last four years. It looks like no solution,

:18:21.:18:26.

then they kick the can down the road, putting it on to a later date.

:18:27.:18:31.

Nobody wants to go over the cliff or come up with a solution, I'm

:18:31.:18:34.

confident they will do that again. It won't be a crisis? It would be

:18:34.:18:37.

if they dug in their heels and stopped anything from going through.

:18:37.:18:40.

It becomes a crisis, it seems to me, when the global financial markets

:18:40.:18:44.

start to lose faith in the United States. That is really the deadline.

:18:44.:18:48.

I think it is possible we will punt and punt and punt. There is not, it

:18:48.:18:51.

is puntable, for a while longer. The question is s and people

:18:51.:18:55.

disagree about this. It is "puntable" for a while, that is a

:18:55.:19:01.

kicking term, isn't it? It may be, we the blames differently here. I

:19:01.:19:04.

don't know how it will be interpreted. It means you can delay,

:19:04.:19:11.

fundamentally, to make it clear, my sense is we could delay for a while

:19:11.:19:14.

longer. Let's hear from someone who knows?

:19:14.:19:23.

There is this deadline on January 1st, where spending cuts come in

:19:23.:19:27.

and tax rises. The economy remains very weak. The question is, it

:19:27.:19:31.

looks like there will be a second trigger, some kind of tax reform,

:19:31.:19:34.

but when will they create that deadline for themselves. How much

:19:34.:19:37.

will they spook financial markets before them then. You have seen

:19:37.:19:43.

foreign Governments, the IMF, the OECD say please don't crater your

:19:43.:19:49.

recovery, because it matters for us too. Crater your recovery, we will,

:19:49.:19:53.

right, let's get off the fence on this question of whether they are

:19:53.:19:56.

all really here under false pretence. Is it as close as people

:19:56.:19:59.

are trying to suggest. Or is it just that people like you and

:19:59.:20:03.

pollsters and everybody else has to justify their existence? No race is

:20:03.:20:06.

ever over. We say, in American football we have a saying, that's

:20:06.:20:12.

why they play the game, on Any Given Sunday someone can win.

:20:12.:20:18.

will win? I would give Obama something like 4-1 odds to win.

:20:19.:20:22.

Romney could win, but it would be shocking. It is coming down to

:20:22.:20:27.

confidence in polling in states like Ohio and Virginia that remain

:20:27.:20:33.

very close. Gut instincts? It looks like now it would be harder for us

:20:33.:20:36.

to have a President Romney or President Obama. This is above my

:20:36.:20:42.

pay grade. I don't know how valuable the gut instinct is, the

:20:42.:20:50.

polling shows a clear picture, it is more a epistobale, very fancy

:20:50.:20:55.

word, puntable, I spoke to some Republicans who sound awe

:20:55.:20:59.

thefrpbtic, and spinning and sounding in good cheer, they are

:20:59.:21:06.

sounding effective. The polls did worse in 2008 and

:21:07.:21:09.

2004. Even the geekiest of the election

:21:09.:21:13.

geeks won't attempt to claim that this election is up there with what

:21:13.:21:16.

happened four years ago, when Obama won the presidency. That was seen

:21:16.:21:20.

as a transforming event. Not just because it took a black man to the

:21:20.:21:25.

White House, but because of what he himself promised. What happened? We

:21:25.:21:34.

have taken the measure of his time in office. Hello Chicago, tonight,

:21:34.:21:40.

because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining

:21:40.:21:50.

moment, change has come to America. Change, so many candidates for the

:21:50.:21:54.

White House have promised it. amazing many American voters still

:21:54.:21:58.

believe them. Perhaps they yes or no for somebody who can transcend

:21:58.:22:02.

the grid lock and systemic deadlock of Washington politics, in order to

:22:02.:22:06.

bring about something really meaningful. How has President Obama

:22:06.:22:14.

done? Few politicians would have relished taking the helm, in the

:22:14.:22:17.

midst of global economic crisis. From the outset, Barack Obama knew

:22:17.:22:21.

that he would be judged primarily which what he could do to breathe

:22:21.:22:27.

life back into the US economy. We know the challenges that

:22:27.:22:32.

tomorrow will bring, are the greatest of our lifetime. Two war,

:22:32.:22:40.

a planet in peril. The worst financial crisis in a century.

:22:40.:22:45.

answer came in an $800 billion stimulus package. It was old

:22:45.:22:51.

fashioned job preservation, with some new policy twists. Among the

:22:51.:22:57.

economists advising the new White House team was jar rad Bernstein.

:22:57.:23:02.

The first time the economic team got together was mid-December 2008,

:23:02.:23:10.

it was snowy and dark in Chicago, and dreary, the discussion was

:23:10.:23:14.

really about just how deep the economic recession of. At the time

:23:14.:23:18.

we didn't have the data to know how very deep it was. Our sense was

:23:18.:23:26.

this was a serious downturn. Could it deliver meaningful change fast

:23:26.:23:31.

enough? If he don't have it done in three years, it will be a one-term

:23:31.:23:35.

proposition. The effects of bailing out the economy, unemployment may

:23:35.:23:39.

not have got dramatically worse, but it hasn't got much better

:23:39.:23:43.

either. Still hovering around 8%. The President said himself, and I

:23:44.:23:49.

will quote him, "I gestion there weren't enough shovel-ready jobs".

:23:49.:23:57.

What it did, a lot of the money, the $800 billion, was money for

:23:57.:24:03.

union work. A lot of the union work was not work ready to be done.

:24:03.:24:06.

was reform of the healthcare system that offered the President his best

:24:06.:24:10.

chance of changing the lives of most Americans, and breaking

:24:10.:24:16.

Washington DC's gridlock. It will make coverage affordable

:24:16.:24:19.

for over 30 million Americans who do not have it. 30 million

:24:19.:24:26.

Americans. Healthcare countdown, and Democrats tell us they are

:24:26.:24:30.

making changes to the bill. package they called Obamacare,

:24:30.:24:33.

combines patient, employer and Government funding, to extend

:24:33.:24:38.

healthcare to tens of millions. But it also triggered a bitter battle

:24:38.:24:48.
:24:48.:24:53.

But they didn't stop the President, even if the full plan requires Mr

:24:53.:24:58.

Obama to win re-election. Victory really looms quite large, relative

:24:58.:25:03.

to some of the details that got hammered out in negotiations with

:25:03.:25:07.

opponents, you have to understand that in American politics reforming

:25:07.:25:11.

the way we provide and deliver healthcare has been a goal of

:25:11.:25:15.

Presidents for decades, literally decades. The fact that the

:25:15.:25:18.

President was able to get that over the legislative goal line will

:25:18.:25:23.

almost certainly be an important part of his legacy. Let's resist

:25:23.:25:30.

the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettyness,

:25:30.:25:34.

and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. President

:25:34.:25:39.

Obama, can you hear America now. Once the Republicans regained

:25:39.:25:42.

control of the house of representatives in 2010, funding

:25:42.:25:45.

the Government theself became increasingly fraught. Leaving

:25:45.:25:49.

unanswered basic questions about spending and taxation.

:25:49.:25:55.

If the President were to be re- elected, we have crisis right on

:25:55.:26:05.
:26:05.:26:06.

the horizon in January, be it on tax, he is questation, dramatic

:26:06.:26:09.

dsequestation, and drat dramatic tax cuts signed into law. His feet

:26:09.:26:14.

will be in the fire. The President himself seems to recognise his

:26:14.:26:19.

failure to foster a less adversarial relationship with

:26:19.:26:23.

Congress. If you ask me what is my biggest disappointment, is we

:26:23.:26:28.

haven't changed the tone in Washington as much as we would like.

:26:28.:26:31.

You don't bear responsibility for that? As President I bear

:26:31.:26:35.

responsibility for everything, to some degree. To those who would

:26:35.:26:41.

tear the world down, we will defeat you. President Obama wound down one

:26:41.:26:45.

foreign war, Iraq, and gained public approval for it. But he

:26:45.:26:51.

ramped up another, Afghanistan. He considered it the "good" war, but

:26:51.:26:55.

he increased involvement there at huge cost, and for quite

:26:55.:26:58.

questionable benefits. Indeed Afghanistan might have been much

:26:58.:27:02.

more of an issue in this election, but for a particularly successful

:27:02.:27:07.

raid into Pakistan. Good evening, tonight I can report to the

:27:07.:27:11.

American people and to the world, that the United States has

:27:11.:27:16.

conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-

:27:16.:27:21.

Qaeda. But what of foreign policy in its less violent forms? The

:27:21.:27:24.

administration tried to reset relations with Russia, Iran, and

:27:24.:27:31.

the Muslim world, more generally. It stood clear of Syria, and

:27:31.:27:38.

attracted Republican criticism for abrogating leadership. Part of the

:27:38.:27:42.

Obama administration is tackling issues that are profound, even

:27:42.:27:46.

historic, and having an expectation that they could be addressed and

:27:46.:27:52.

resolved, in four years. Few of the issues that Obama has confronted

:27:52.:28:00.

realistically, could have been resolved in one-term. The President

:28:00.:28:04.

and his supporters have adapted their narrative. Re-election, they

:28:04.:28:09.

say, is necessary to consolidate the gains of the first term. Be

:28:09.:28:14.

that in healthcare or overseas. It's not a bad argument, but it

:28:14.:28:18.

does suggest that the President's first term has hardly transformed

:28:18.:28:28.
:28:28.:28:30.

politics in the way many hoped it would.

:28:31.:28:34.

My guest was in the room when many of the key decisions of President

:28:34.:28:40.

Obama's first term were made, in his role of chairman of the Council

:28:40.:28:46.

of Economic advisers. Voted funnyiest celebrity in 1979, he's

:28:46.:28:52.

Professor of Economics in the Booth School of Business, he joins me

:28:52.:28:55.

from there. Do you think we expected too much from President

:28:55.:29:01.

Obama? Probably a little bit. You know, he did accomplish a great

:29:01.:29:05.

deal. But there was certainly an air of hope that he would

:29:05.:29:09.

accomplish even more, I think. I think the grim realities of getting

:29:09.:29:15.

out of a financial bubble, driven - - financial bubble-driven recession,

:29:15.:29:20.

have been harder than anyone thought. And I think the opposition

:29:20.:29:25.

of the Republican Party to what the President was doing, which started

:29:25.:29:29.

really before he even took office, you know, the very day the

:29:29.:29:35.

President took office, he tried to get a whole lot of his nominees for

:29:35.:29:40.

the top jobs confirmed, and they were already getting held up by

:29:40.:29:44.

Republicans in the Senate, before he was even in office. So I think

:29:44.:29:49.

that those two things, combined, have made for, you know, what's

:29:49.:29:54.

clearly been a tough slog getting out of this.

:29:54.:29:59.

He said after the last election, he said, change has come to America,

:29:59.:30:07.

he couldn't change Washington though? Well, you know, it deends

:30:07.:30:12.

how you look at it. He -- it depends on how you look at it. He

:30:12.:30:14.

certainly hasn't changed that there is a group of people who oppose

:30:14.:30:20.

anything he does. If he suggests policies that are historically

:30:20.:30:22.

Republican ideas, they oppose them, just because he proposed them of

:30:22.:30:27.

the I joke that it felt like we're back in the old east German judge

:30:27.:30:32.

at the Olympic, they have the card filled out before he's even done

:30:32.:30:36.

anything. He could hit a triple flip, they are still giving him a 2.

:30:36.:30:40.

He hasn't able to change that. On the other hand, if you look at what

:30:40.:30:44.

did he accomplish, he was able to change some pretty significant

:30:44.:30:49.

things. They still remain controversial, but to finally get

:30:49.:30:54.

universal healthcare in the country, to finally regulate the financial

:30:54.:30:58.

sector in a way that the deregulation of that sector really

:30:58.:31:06.

caused a lot of the crisis. To end the war in Iraq, to kill Osama Bin

:31:06.:31:09.

Laden, all those seem pretty significant changes, things he

:31:09.:31:14.

promised he was going to do. But, it's hard to change that partisan

:31:14.:31:17.

tone, that is definitely proved true.

:31:17.:31:22.

You have been privvy to some of the discussions and decisions, on one

:31:22.:31:28.

of his own benchmark, which was the promise to reduce the level of

:31:28.:31:33.

unemployment, he didn't meet his own self-imposed target. Does he

:31:33.:31:37.

personally feel a sense of failure there, do you think? Well, I would

:31:38.:31:43.

be a little careful with that. The number that gets quoted by his

:31:43.:31:47.

opponent governor Romney was a forecast that was made before there

:31:47.:31:52.

was an Obama administration, it was made in the transition, in the fall

:31:52.:31:57.

of 2008. And it said that if you pass a stimulus, the unemployment

:31:57.:32:02.

rate would not go above 8%, it said if you did not pass the stimulus,

:32:02.:32:08.

the unemployment rate would go all the way to 8.9%. Of course it was

:32:08.:32:12.

well above even 8.9% before the first dollar of the recovery money

:32:12.:32:16.

went out the door. I think it wasn't just the in coming

:32:16.:32:19.

Government that made the mistake on the forecast, it was the entire

:32:19.:32:26.

private sector forecasting industry that made that mistake. By six to

:32:26.:32:29.

eight months into the administration, the official

:32:29.:32:32.

forecast, put out by the Government, that you can look up in the budget,

:32:32.:32:38.

was that by the Fall of 2012, the unemployment rate would be 8.2%.

:32:38.:32:42.

Which is even a little above where it is now. Quite early on, I think

:32:42.:32:45.

the President and the administration understood what the

:32:45.:32:48.

circumstances were going to be. I think he definitely want the

:32:48.:32:53.

unemployment rate to come down. He says every time the jobs numbers

:32:53.:33:00.

come out even if they improve a lot or little or stay stagnant, he says

:33:00.:33:03.

it is a long waying to. It is a persistently high unemployment rate

:33:03.:33:07.

in the US, even though it has improved a lot.

:33:07.:33:11.

Of course he wants it to come down. Let me ask a simple question, to

:33:12.:33:16.

which you can give a pithy answer or not, many of us outside politics

:33:16.:33:20.

are baffled by why people want high office. Do you think he has

:33:20.:33:30.

actually enjoyed being President? Some days, some days not. He

:33:30.:33:36.

certainly looks, his hair is a lot greyier. I used today say, I had a

:33:36.:33:43.

-- greyer, I used to say I had a full head of hair before I got to

:33:43.:33:46.

Washington, I don't know what happened. I'm sure there are days

:33:46.:33:50.

he would prefer to be back out here in Chicago. But, you know, he

:33:50.:33:56.

probably didn't go there for the fun, and he hasn't been

:33:56.:33:58.

disappointed. Thank you very much for joining us.

:33:58.:34:01.

That's it for now. If things go to plan, which is always a pretty

:34:02.:34:05.

foolish assumption, we will be devote all tomorrow's Newsnight to

:34:05.:34:09.

the election, and who America thinks is best capable of fixing

:34:09.:34:13.

things here. For now I leave you to Paul Mason.

:34:13.:34:17.

Thank you. The Prime Minister today ordered an urgent inquiry into the

:34:17.:34:21.

handling of child abuse allegations at North Wales children's homes in

:34:21.:34:26.

the 1970 and 1980. The move came after reporter, Angus Stickler,

:34:26.:34:30.

revealed on Newsnight, on Friday, allegation of a cover-up, during a

:34:30.:34:35.

judicial inquiry, led by the High Court judge Sir Ronald Waterhouse

:34:35.:34:40.

in the late 1990s. One of those abused claimed a former senior

:34:40.:34:42.

Conservative politician had been involved in the abuse. He's now to

:34:42.:34:49.

put the allegations direct to the Welsh Secretary, David Jones, in a

:34:49.:34:55.

face-to-face meeting tomorrow. Decades ago, children living in

:34:55.:35:00.

North Wales care homes were raped and abused, it has been alleged

:35:00.:35:06.

they were used by a paedophile-ring. One particular night that I always

:35:06.:35:11.

recall, is where I was basically raped, tied down, and abused by

:35:11.:35:16.

nine different men, sexually. and another former resident told us

:35:16.:35:20.

one of the abusers then was a senior Conservative figure. That

:35:20.:35:26.

claim prompted the Prime Minister today. Child abuse is an absolutely

:35:26.:35:30.

hateful and abhorrent crime, these allegations are truly dreadful, and

:35:30.:35:35.

they mustn't be left hanging in the air. Police investigated some abuse

:35:35.:35:40.

claims, then there was a lengthy inquiry, chaired by Sir Ronald

:35:40.:35:43.

Waterhouse, a former High Court judge. He heard from 650 former

:35:43.:35:49.

residents of children's homes. But Steve Meesham told Angus Stickler

:35:49.:35:51.

of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism on Newsnight, it didn't

:35:51.:35:56.

get to the truth. Why on earth we had had an inquiry, if we had to

:35:56.:36:00.

leave out 30% of the abusers, and basically, I was told to do that. I

:36:00.:36:04.

was told I couldn't go into detail about these people. I couldn't name

:36:04.:36:08.

them and they wouldn't question me on them. The terms of the inquiry

:36:08.:36:12.

were drawn up by the then Secretary of State for Wales, William Hague.

:36:12.:36:17.

It was to inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the former

:36:17.:36:23.

County Council areas of Gwnyeth and clud, since 1974, to examine

:36:23.:36:27.

whether the authorities responsible could have preent vented the abuse,

:36:27.:36:31.

or detected -- prevented the abuse or detected it earlier, to look at

:36:31.:36:35.

how they respond to allegations of abuse, and crucially, excluding

:36:35.:36:38.

decisions to prosecute names individuals. Those terms of

:36:38.:36:41.

reference are coming under close scrutiny. I will be asking a sen

:36:41.:36:45.

York independent figure, to lead an you are -- senior, independent

:36:45.:36:48.

figure, to lead an urgent investigation into whether the

:36:48.:36:52.

original inquiry was properly constitutes and did its job and to

:36:52.:36:57.

report urgently to the Government. Today we went back to Steve Meesham,

:36:57.:37:01.

he welcomed the Prime Minister's intervention, but. We also need an

:37:01.:37:03.

investigation into how the police dealt with this and handled it,

:37:03.:37:07.

that is very important. We need that done by an outside police

:37:07.:37:11.

force, maybe the Met, they could come in and look at that. I also

:37:11.:37:15.

think to have an inquiry, I hope he does not appoint a judge.

:37:15.:37:23.

He would prefer an expert, for this programme, we understand it will

:37:23.:37:29.

most likely be a judge that is picked. Others doubt how helpful

:37:29.:37:32.

the inquiry will be. I don't think a focus on the constitution of the

:37:32.:37:36.

inquire helps a great deal. I remember reading through the

:37:36.:37:40.

inquiry when it reported, and felt at the time, that it did the best

:37:40.:37:46.

that it could, with the evidence that had been gathered. I think it

:37:46.:37:51.

was limited. That was a problem. A number of complainants were unhappy

:37:51.:38:01.
:38:01.:38:01.

with the fact that some of their allegations were not pursued.

:38:01.:38:07.

cabinet secretary is asking people to go through archives to see if

:38:07.:38:14.

there are any relevant documents. Many have a critic has written to

:38:14.:38:17.

the Prime Minister and said this won't work, and the police have to

:38:17.:38:21.

go through their archives too and the Intelligence Services. Will it

:38:21.:38:25.

lead to prosecutions, Steve Meesham has his doubts? I think we will get

:38:25.:38:28.

an investigation, I think they will say this and that should have been

:38:28.:38:32.

done. There is numerous reasons we won't get any trials or court cases.

:38:32.:38:37.

Who will attend them? A lot of the people that named certain people

:38:37.:38:41.

have committed suicide, or they are deceased now. It is such a shame.

:38:41.:38:48.

How many of them? I'm ware of 13 people that have committed suicide

:38:48.:38:53.

before and during the Waterhouse inquiry. There has been more sense.

:38:53.:39:00.

It is very sad. Joining me is Tim Loughton, until September the

:39:00.:39:03.

Children's Minister, and Owen Smith, the shadow Secretary of State for

:39:03.:39:08.

Wales. Gent, is this enough, Cameron has acted quite quickly

:39:08.:39:11.

following the propbl on Friday, is it enough? -- programme on Friday,

:39:11.:39:14.

is it enough? I think the Prime Minister has done the right thing

:39:14.:39:18.

today. It is absolutely right he treats this with great urgency, he

:39:18.:39:23.

feels very strongly about what is going on. We need to get to the

:39:23.:39:28.

bottom of has gone on. We have over five inquiries going on, the BBC,

:39:28.:39:31.

the health service, Jimmy Savile, whether the previous inquiry came

:39:31.:39:36.

up with the right results and was thorough enough. The public is

:39:36.:39:40.

getting concerned, how much longer is this going on for, how many

:39:40.:39:45.

different institutions and establishments will be dragged into

:39:45.:39:49.

soerm institutional child abuse. Can we absolutely be sure this

:39:49.:39:56.

isn't being repeated somewhere in the country now? I -- I agree, the

:39:56.:39:59.

Prime Minister has done the right thing today. It was the only thing

:39:59.:40:03.

he could have done, given the volume of concern and the new

:40:03.:40:06.

allegations made. The first and most important thing that needs to

:40:06.:40:09.

happen is, if there are fresh allegations being made, those need

:40:09.:40:13.

to be investigated, firstly, by the police, and pursued to their

:40:13.:40:19.

fullest extent. If there are substantiated claims, then clearly

:40:19.:40:23.

they need to be prosecutions. Beyond that, I think the Prime

:40:23.:40:26.

Minister is right to suggest this evening, that perhaps, a more

:40:27.:40:30.

holistic and wide-ranging review. We have already suggested that

:40:30.:40:33.

perhaps a broader public inquiry might be required to get to the

:40:33.:40:37.

bottom of this. We are hearing signals out of Number Ten, that it

:40:37.:40:40.

may be that something bigger is needed. Is that the way it is going.

:40:40.:40:44.

Do you think we will end up with a big judge-led public inquiry?

:40:44.:40:48.

think it has to be. It is another day, another aspect, another

:40:48.:40:51.

inquiry. The time has now come, and it is not just the Savile business,

:40:51.:40:56.

it is not just what happened in Wales. It is also the child sexual

:40:56.:41:00.

abuse that we have been having with gangs of Pakistani-British men in

:41:00.:41:05.

the north of England, more arrests this weekend over in led. It is a

:41:05.:41:08.

different form of what was happening perhaps in Wales back in

:41:08.:41:13.

the 1970s and 1980s. I think we need to have a really punchy, high-

:41:13.:41:18.

level, serious, intensive look, at the history of child protection

:41:18.:41:22.

over the last ten years, and make sure every institution has a really

:41:22.:41:27.

robust child protection policy. And those people who weren't brought to

:41:27.:41:30.

look before are brought to look -- brought to book before are brought

:41:30.:41:35.

to book now. Those who remembered it and covered it were supposed to

:41:35.:41:42.

be the cat that particular moment, it was -- cathartic moment? Some of

:41:42.:41:47.

the Vic ims felt it was the case and Waterhouse had dealt with it.

:41:47.:41:51.

There were three previous sets of investigations, a number of people

:41:51.:41:54.

had been convicted. The key thing is if Waterhouse and the North

:41:54.:41:58.

Wales abuse allegations are to be the centre of this, then the role

:41:58.:42:05.

of the victims, and the views of the victims, must be considered. It

:42:05.:42:11.

is not right that all of the victims will welcome a fresh public

:42:11.:42:16.

inquiry. We have the Children's Commissioners nowadays, and the

:42:16.:42:20.

bodies that decide what they want out of this. Their views have to be

:42:20.:42:24.

central. The whole thing centres on an allegation of an unnamed senior

:42:25.:42:28.

Conservative politician from the past. There will be people in your

:42:28.:42:32.

party thinking, is our institution now going to have the same soul-

:42:32.:42:35.

searching process that the BBC, the National Health Service, Broadmoor,

:42:35.:42:38.

have been through in the past four weeks. Do you think that is where

:42:38.:42:46.

it might go? I said on your programme, some week ago, and I

:42:46.:42:49.

said on a separate radio interview, when a political connection came up.

:42:49.:42:53.

Why should we be surprised, we have had the BBC and the church, and all

:42:53.:42:57.

sorts of institution, who are no some way connected with child abuse,

:42:57.:43:01.

going over many decade, in a institutionalised way. We shouldn't

:43:01.:43:04.

be surprised at the political connection as well. What I want to

:43:04.:43:07.

see, and we have four Children's Commissioner, one of the things

:43:07.:43:12.

that came out of the Waterhouse Report, of the creation of the

:43:12.:43:15.

Welsh Children's Commissioner, they should be coming together, I want

:43:15.:43:22.

to speak to the Children's Commissioner for England, to meet

:43:22.:43:26.

up, this has tentacles across the UK. Every institution needs to look

:43:27.:43:33.

in on itself to see if they have now robust policies to avoid any

:43:33.:43:37.

reoccurrance of this happening now, and if there are guilty parties

:43:37.:43:41.

there now, they should go rooted out. Do you not see this as a

:43:41.:43:44.

moment where the whole of British institutions have to look at their

:43:44.:43:48.

past, and come clean about the way in which they have dealt with this,

:43:48.:43:52.

and its extent it? Not to be defensive. Listen to the victim,

:43:52.:43:57.

there is one thing that bind together the Savile and this, the

:43:57.:44:00.

victims haven't been listened to and believed. They need to be

:44:00.:44:05.

believed. The resores we are devote to go it, are not devoted to

:44:05.:44:10.

chasing down child abusers today? They are, we have brought things

:44:10.:44:17.

like PCO 0, and SION, things have radically changesed and we need to

:44:18.:44:22.

do more. People are coming forward, because they have more confidence

:44:22.:44:25.

of being heard. Steve Meesham said the police wouldn't believe them

:44:25.:44:28.

and roughed them up because they didn't believe them, so they didn't

:44:28.:44:32.

come forward, they weren't taking seriously, that has to change.

:44:32.:44:42.
:44:42.:44:51.

Gentlemen thank you very much. It's A lot of the papers are buying the

:44:51.:45:01.
:45:01.:45:03.

idea it is a cliff-hanker. The Financial Times finds a

:45:03.:45:09.

financial angle, the investment funds in gridlock. The fiscal cliff

:45:09.:45:16.

we were talking about earlier. The Telegraph runs with the abuse claim

:45:16.:45:26.
:45:26.:45:27.

against top Tory, "trawl dreadful" quote -- "truly dreadful". The �624

:45:27.:45:32.

insult to a rape victim there. That's all for tonight, Jeremy is

:45:32.:45:42.
:45:42.:46:08.

back tomorrow night for election A widespread frost, in England the

:46:08.:46:13.

frost would have lifted. The odd icey patch too. Sunny spells across

:46:13.:46:16.

the south. Some brightness along the south coast. The cloud will

:46:16.:46:22.

increase, a day, certainly northern England, of occasional rain and

:46:22.:46:26.

strengthening breeze. For some it may stay largely dry. Parts of the

:46:26.:46:30.

south-east staying largely dry, a few spots of rain possible. Mainly

:46:30.:46:34.

dry towards the south west. The afternoon a good deal cloudier than

:46:34.:46:38.

the morning, occasional bright spells possible. Eastern areas of

:46:38.:46:43.

the country, 7-8 degrees. Some parts of south-west Wales stay dry

:46:43.:46:48.

and fairly bright. To the north occasional rain throughout. Rain in

:46:48.:46:51.

Northern Ireland it should thin out. To the east brightness. Again

:46:51.:46:55.

fairly breezy, as is the case in Scotland. Further rain at times in

:46:55.:46:58.

western areas. To the east the high ground, we will see some cloud

:46:58.:47:02.

breaks possible later in the day. The difference between Tuesday and

:47:02.:47:12.
:47:12.:47:17.

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