06/11/2012 Newsnight


06/11/2012

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. With Jeremy Paxman in Washington for election night. Plus the latest on the Welsh care home inquiry.


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expensive election campaign in expensive election campaign in

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history is over we are about to learn what it has wrought, the

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decision America is makes effects us all, the men fighting it out for

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leadership in the west, battled each other, even on polling day

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today. The last day of efforts to prevent his being a one-term

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President was devoted to getting out the vote. Last-minute call,

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pleas not to forget to vote. There will be no second chance for Mitt

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Romney, either, if he didn't do it today, it is back to the drawing

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board for his whole party. We have Democrat and Republican

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pollsters reading the numbers back stage. And the novelist, Martin

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Amis joins our election panel. On this side of the Atlantic,

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allegations on Newsnight prompt fresh inquiries into child abuse in

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North Wales. The Government is treating these allegations with the

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utmost seriousness. Child abuse is a hateful, abhorrent, and

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disgusting crime, and we must not allow these allegations to go

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unanswered. The Government promises to listen, but could all these

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inquiries drown out the truth? It's not strictly accurate to call

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this election day any longer. Tens of millions of Americans had voted,

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even before today dawned, and they will still be voting in the Alucian

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Islands at 6.00am tomorrow morning. This is the day the votes are

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counted. It is 5.30pm, and it will be hours before we get anything

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certain. If the polls were right in predicting a knife-edge vote, there

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are some key states, like, for example, Ohio, who may only

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discover what they have decided well into December. Let's try to

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get some early indications now with Mark Urban. Read it for us? All of

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this campaign has really centered around these called battleground

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states. The majority of states are either called blue or red, in UK

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terms, safe seats we would call them, so the key marginals are

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where so much of the campaigning has been focused. Clearly each side

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feels it is going into this with a chance of winning key marginals,

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but the truth is, Governor Mitt Romney has a bigger hill to climb,

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where he has to go to capture the 270 seats needed to appoint him

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President, in the Electoral College. In some places he seems to have

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done very well, in North Carolina, most polls suggest Governor Romney

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will get that state. Florida, a huge prize, 15 seats in the North

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Carolina seat. If Democrats win in Florida, that will be a hugely

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positive sign for them, but the Republicans would like to think

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they have got it. On the Obama side of this equation, polls have shown

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consistently for him in Ohio, with 18 states. People see that as the

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battleground of battlegrounds, and even in a state like vir gainia,

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which he was pretty fortunate, -- Virginia, which some say he was

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pretty fortunate to get last time, some people say he could take that

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again and hold on to the state. you think Romney can win it? Well,

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of course, so much of what we have said, what we have speculated about

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is based on polling evidence. Those polls do seem to give President

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Obama the edge, particularly in the marginals. But, of course, they

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could be wrong. There are suggestions that they sample too

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many Democrats in the way the polling is structured. There are

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also suggestions in some past exit polls that more Democrats have

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tended to answer the exit pollsters than Republicans. They could be

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wrong. However, the Democrats, of course, feel they are right, and

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they feel confident, as we found earlier in virginia.

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Fredericksberg, Virginia, one of those battleground states, where

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the Republicans have a real hill to climb. In the surrounding counties

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there is plenty of support for Mitt Romney, in town, even his campaign

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workers concede, there is a clear majority for Barack Obama. I just

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voted for Obama, I'm so excited, this is a huge election year for

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you, we all need to show support. I will definitely voted for him in

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2008 and now again this time, four more years, I'm so excited. Thank

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you, Obama! He's my choice this time. Mr Romney? I'm a registered

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independent, and I think he will lead the country in a good

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direction, I like Obama too. It's tough. Obama, what else did you

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want to know! Why would you be voting for him? Because of his

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phenomenal record, especially his first two years in office. Back in

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2008, Barack Obama won this state for the Democrats for the first

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time in more than 40 years. In order to get re-elect, he

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desperately wants to hold on to it -- re-elected, he desperately wants

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to hold on to it. The early signs we have seen this morning are

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encouraging for the President. At these polling stations, high

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turnout had made the Obama campaign corkers eboullient. Is high turn

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out good for the President? Yes, a lot of the Obama supporters are out,

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they didn't get complacent, that was the only real concern, that

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there was a big grass-roots effort last time from the Obama campaign,

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like never before. I think there was some worry that wouldn't happen

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again for an incumbent, but I think it has.

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But the dynamics of high turnout, like most things political here,

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are subject to partisan argument. Certainly the Romney canvasers felt

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it might favour their man. The conventional or received wisdom

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seems to be is high turnout is good for the President. I think perhaps

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you don't think so. Why would it potentially be good for your

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candidate? A lot of folks are fed up with Obama, what he has been

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doing for the last four years, that is getting more people out to the

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polls. Typically you would expect that large turnout would favour the

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incumbent, this time around I think we will see something else. In this

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final hour of the campaign, nobody wants to concede. And this pattern

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in Virginia, was also playing out on the national stage. Mitt Romney

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voted in Massachusetts this morning. But this state is one of those

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where the contest is a foregone conclusion. So the questions were

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about another of those key marginals. REPORTER: What about

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Ohio? I feel great about Ohio. Goodbye, thank you, take care,

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Jennifer, you want to come with me to Cleveland. That is where he flew,

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breaking the usual convention about halting campaigning on polling day,

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in order to keep up the fight until the very last minute. His running

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mate, Paul Ryan, meanwhile, urged party workers in Wisconsin, another

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key state, to redouble their efforts, in the face of what he

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described as a "Democrat surge at the polls".

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As for the President, he chose to project an image of calm assurance

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about the outcome. My name was Barack Obama, you know the

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President of the United States. Shooting basket ball hoops in his

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Chicago home town, and stepping back from jetting around those

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battleground states. I also want to say to Governor Romney,

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congratulations on a spirited campaign, I know his supporters are

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just as engaged and just as enthusiastic, and working just as

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hard today. We feel confident, we have got the votes to win, but it

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will depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out. I would

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encourage everybody, on all sides, just to make sure that you exercise

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this precious right that we have. That people fought so hard for us

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to have. The fight for key marginals has,

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then, focused on turning out the base. In Virginia, the Republicans,

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for example, made more than four million phone calls to possible

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supporters, and messers Romney and Ryan, dozens of visits. Tonight it

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will become clear whether that paid off, or whether the reports of high

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turnout are confirmed, and that has turned it President Obama's way.

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Let's see if we can learn a little bit more now with the latest

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numbers. We have the Democratic pollster, Celinda Lake, and her

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Republican counterpart, Ed Goeas. Right who is going to win? We are,

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the Democrats. Barack Obama! This is completely independent! That was

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not my prediction this morning. My prediction would be that Mitt

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Romney would be right over at 50%, 50.4% and above. It reveals what a

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bogus science polling is if you come to contradictory conclusions?

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Neither of us said polling, we said "predicted". As As I said to one

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earlier today, this is our sixth presidential election, I have

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called three of those for a Democrats, she has never called it

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for a Republican. That may tell you how we read the numbers. Or our

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parties. When pollsters have been saying, as they have been for quite

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a while, it will be very close. That's really the truth. You think

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they are right, obviously, you are pollsters? I thought it would be

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one of three scenario, close Obama win, close Romney win, or surge at

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the end for Romney. The storm pretty much took out the surge

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Romney, it close -- it will be close one way or the other, very

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close. I think it will be close, as you said earlier in the programme,

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it will be turnout. And both sides have substantial turnout operations.

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Is there any indication that one side is not getting its vote out as

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well as it should do, or getting it out better than the other side?

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think the Democrats have a harder job to. Do our voters have,

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traditionally have less voting history. We don't have the

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intensity of 2008. It is always easier to be the outsider party,

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that always is more energised, but we have an unparalleled operation,

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if there are experts on either side for turnout, it is the bau,

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campaign. I would answer it two different ways, normally the

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Democrats have a big surge in early voting. We matched that now this

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time. It looked about even between the two parties. Going into the

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election day the Republicans do a better job and have more intensety.

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The real battle is today. What do you think will have determined, if

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you are looking at issues, what do you think will have determined the

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outcome of this election? Come on, you are the pollster, you are

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supposed to know! I think the economy is the big factor, of

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course. The economy in the United States is still limping along, and

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it is always hard for an incumbent to win re-election with bad economy.

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Particularly turg the summer the Democrats were very effective -

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during the summer the Democrats were very effective in drawing a

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stark contrast between Mitt Romney, about whose side we were on. I

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think the women's issue matters, Democrats win more when women vote

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for them more than men vote for Republicans. This was the gift we

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kept on giving. I agree of it the economy. One of the things we have

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been watching is Mitt Romney on who can best handle the economy, jobs,

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spending and, as of last night, for the first time, and small edge on

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taxes. Which is what the Democrats had take Anne way from Romney

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earlier in the year. -- taken away from Romney earlier in the year.

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Mitt Romney led on all those issues and led on who can make something

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happen. There is about 70% of the voters that are pocket book voters

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that is the group of voters Mitt Romney has, on those really voting

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for the economy. Which states, do you think, or the endless focus

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upon a very, very small number of electorates, which state will

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decide it tonight? Ohio. Do you agree? Ohio, I think you have to

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watch it closely and Virginia, there has been late talk on

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Virginia being very close. In terms of the Democrats maybe doing better

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than expected. I would also say Wisconsin. We think we are going to

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win Wisconsin. So the polls will close pretty shortly in Virginia,

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in an hour's time. At that point we will be able to tell who has won

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the presidency, we don't have to stay up all night! That is too

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Earlly I think you will be able to tell. Who won -- early, I think you

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will be able to tell who won the presidency, there is the state

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closing and then the polls being done. I could tell you, you could

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have this election dispued for a number of days -- dispued for a

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number of days afterwards. There are ballots set aside not sure they

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will be counted in Ohio, and a lot of dispute could go on here.

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could be looking at something like Bush and Gore? Or more so. Even

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worse, the new law in Ohio, is you have more provisional votes in

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...I'm Sorry you have to explain what a provisional ballot is?

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example, if you filed for an absentee ballot, didn't use t and

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show up on election day, you set aside that ballot to make sure you

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didn't vote twice. Provisional ballot. Somebody determines whether

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or not that vote sellable, after the event? That's right. The new

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law in Ohio is if you have too many provisional ballots they are all

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set aside for ten days, and not touched. Which makes it even worse

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than 2000. It is extraordinary how you people run things, people

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standing for hours trying to get into a polling station. We think

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the same thing. I thought we got it from you. Not this way of doing it.

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Look forward to talking to you, when you have some hard

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intelligence, I hope. The way the system work here, the fate of the

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nation lies with the voters of a handful of states, the so-called

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wing states, which Mark and our two pollsters were taking about. We

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have reporters in three of them. First Richmond Virginia, a key

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state Mitt Romney must capture to get to the White House. What is the

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most interesting thing that happened there today? The most

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interesting thing that has happened here today is people are queuing

:15:05.:15:09.

and queuing for a long time to get to the poll. The turnout looks to

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be high. Let as just deal with a few facts, there is a lot of

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speculation, and a lot of impression, but the Virginia

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Election Board, says it looks as though the turnout will be higher

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than it was in 2008, and it was a record then. Conventional wisdom

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says high turnout is good for the Democrats. Could it be that the

:15:30.:15:34.

Romney campaign that has really managed to get the vote out. We

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will know something in about an hour-and-a-quarter. It is

:15:38.:15:43.

electronic voting, we should get an impression then. There are a couple

:15:43.:15:46.

of key counties to look out for. If they have gone for Obama, it would

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be a very significant victory and make it very, very difficult for

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Romney to win, not only in Virginia, but the rest of the country as well.

:15:55.:16:04.

So, if he wins in Virginia, he's probably going to win nationwide?

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That is the speculation, and then you would say the money that has

:16:07.:16:13.

been spent might well have been worth it. One statistic for you,

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$131 million has been spent just here in Virginia, for probably

:16:19.:16:23.

about four, four-and-a-half million voters who will go to the polls

:16:23.:16:32.

today. That has brought 186,000 TV and radio ads, it has bought that.

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When we went to the polling stations, a couple of students said

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they couldn't watch television or listen to radio over the past two

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week, because they couldn't bear any more adverts. It makes the UK

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elections look like a nickle and dime store. Thank you very much.

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Our correspondent following voters in Cleveland Ohio. What has excited

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you there, Clive? I tell you what's excited me, the fact that all the

:17:04.:17:07.

political ads have come to an end here. I have been here two days and

:17:07.:17:12.

I'm fed up of them. Let me give you one statistic, 150,000 times, that

:17:12.:17:17.

is the number of times that all President Obama's ads and those

:17:17.:17:22.

groups backing him, have been shown on television here in Ohio over the

:17:22.:17:31.

last few week. For Mitt Romney 41 ,162. If you strung all the ads

:17:31.:17:35.

together, and ran them back-to-back, it would run for four-and-a-half

:17:35.:17:39.

day. That is the horror show that is political campaigning in this

:17:39.:17:44.

swing state. 18 Electoral College votes, both candidates, both

:17:44.:17:47.

campaigns pushing for them for weeks and weeks and weeks, that is

:17:47.:17:52.

why they spent a fortune and put so many ads out here. I'm not the only

:17:52.:17:56.

one glad they are coming to an end in the state.

:17:56.:18:01.

No wonder you have taken refuge in a pub! But if he doesn't win Ohio,

:18:01.:18:09.

how much trouble is he in? Well, look, the thing about Ohio, it is

:18:09.:18:13.

very difficult for a Republican to get to the White House, if they

:18:13.:18:18.

don't win Ohio. The fact is the 18 Electoral College votes, because of

:18:18.:18:21.

the way that Democrat votes and Republican votes are distributed

:18:21.:18:25.

around the country. Ohio is the easiest way for Mitt Romney to get

:18:25.:18:30.

to the White House F he doesn't win hoe Ohio, he has to get a

:18:30.:18:34.

combination of other states that are perhaps leaning too far towards

:18:34.:18:37.

the Democrats, therefore, it is virtually impossible for him to

:18:37.:18:41.

close the deal and finish the job. For the President, for him, he's

:18:41.:18:45.

looking to get Ohio, along with states like Wisconsin, and Iowa,

:18:45.:18:54.

and these will provide what they have been calling a "firewall", a

:18:54.:19:01.

protective firewall that would stop Mitt Romney getting the 250

:19:01.:19:05.

Electoral College votes he needs. But it will be close. The polls

:19:05.:19:10.

close in an hour-and-a-half, you have provisional ballots that might

:19:10.:19:17.

not be counted for ten days. If it is a tight race it could go on for

:19:17.:19:20.

weeks. Laura Trevelyan has been testing the mood from Miami in

:19:20.:19:24.

Florida. Last night you spent an awfully long time refusing to call

:19:24.:19:30.

it. Are you prepared to do so tonight, do you think? I'm going to

:19:30.:19:34.

be reticent again, one thing I can tell you is there are a lot of

:19:34.:19:41.

alligators in the swamplands in Miami, this had he -- if they had a

:19:41.:19:45.

vote they would be dragged to the polls. It is fascinating today, I

:19:45.:19:49.

have been racing around polling station, started first thing this

:19:49.:19:54.

morning, meeting campaign workers, we are being spun 360 degrees.

:19:54.:19:59.

Everybody telling me ernestly, they have it in the bag, Mitt Romney

:19:59.:20:06.

winning by six, and Barack Obama nabbing the state and getting the

:20:06.:20:09.

Electoral College. They can't both be right. If you look at until

:20:09.:20:13.

recently in this state, he had a bit of a lead, here in Florida it

:20:13.:20:20.

is very, very close. One estimate had both men on 49.75%. I'm sure

:20:20.:20:25.

you can do the math, probably with me with my CSE can manage that one.

:20:25.:20:32.

One thing for sure, if it is a very close result, within 0.5% of the

:20:32.:20:35.

vote, there will be an automatic recount.

:20:35.:20:41.

No more guff about alligators, what would tip the balance? Turnout, and

:20:41.:20:46.

remember here in 2008, Republicans, like across the country, viewed it

:20:46.:20:52.

as an historic election. They had eight years of George W Bush, they

:20:52.:20:55.

were feeling demoralised. Some would have stayed home and Barack

:20:55.:20:59.

Obama's vote turned out in huge numbers. If Republicans are feeling

:20:59.:21:03.

this time very energised, remember this is a retirement state a lot of

:21:03.:21:06.

elderly people, more than elsewhere in the country. If they come out,

:21:06.:21:09.

that could tip the balance. One thing we did find out today, apart

:21:09.:21:14.

from not speaking to alligators who can vote, is turnout here looks to

:21:14.:21:17.

be very high indeed everywhere we went.

:21:17.:21:23.

It is election day and Liberty City, Miami, these streets are some of

:21:23.:21:27.

the most depriefd and dangerous in America. Gangwarfare is rife, and

:21:27.:21:32.

murders are Monday and prospects are few. Yet the mood today is

:21:32.:21:38.

upbeat. High turnout among black voters was

:21:38.:21:42.

crucial to Barack Obama's 2008 victory. Democrats sigh it as a

:21:42.:21:46.

firewall in defend -- see it as a firewall in defending the

:21:46.:21:51.

presidency this time. Who are you voting for? Obama. Why? Because I

:21:51.:21:56.

see he's for us, he's for us. Because I think he can make a

:21:56.:22:02.

change. Mitt Romney, he want to take everything from us. The last

:22:02.:22:05.

four years in the economic crisis have been particularly tough on

:22:05.:22:08.

America's black community, which has suffered rising unemployment

:22:08.:22:12.

and poverty. But in this neighbourhood, at this polling

:22:12.:22:18.

station, the turnout seems just as high as it was in 2008. Outside the

:22:18.:22:26.

polling station we met Sabrena, whose son, tref von, was gunned

:22:26.:22:33.

down on his return to the shops. It resulted in race row in which the

:22:33.:22:37.

President was involved. People have to have their voices heard, and

:22:37.:22:40.

this is the only way to do it. you thinking about your son today?

:22:40.:22:45.

I'm thinking about other people, I just want them out to vote. Also

:22:45.:22:49.

outside was an electoral observer from the Obama campaign. Her job is

:22:49.:22:52.

to make sure people aren't prevented from voting. Inside, a

:22:52.:22:56.

lawyer from the Romney campaign was checking that only the eligible

:22:56.:23:00.

were casting ballots. In polling stations across Miami, Democrats

:23:00.:23:08.

and Republicans are watching the process intently, just waiting to

:23:08.:23:14.

cry foul. The crisis from Florida's disputed election in 2000 run deep.

:23:14.:23:18.

There seems to be lawyers from both parties circling. Like shark in the

:23:18.:23:21.

water. Are people waiting for things to go I don't think? Yes. I

:23:21.:23:25.

think people will file a grievance just on the thought that they may

:23:25.:23:29.

have been infringed upon, they may have thought they were, as opposed

:23:29.:23:32.

to something actually happening, just to make news and headlines.

:23:32.:23:35.

Republicans say they are not trying to suppress turnout by monitoring

:23:35.:23:41.

the voting, they are stopping fraud. In 08 there was widespread cheating,

:23:41.:23:45.

a lot of people who weren't eligible voted and weren't alive

:23:45.:23:48.

voted. Every poll will have at least two to three watchers from

:23:48.:23:53.

each parties, making sure there is no discrepancy to when people turn

:23:53.:23:59.

out to vote. Things were running smoothly until

:23:59.:24:04.

they ran out of ballots mid- afternoon. Harrington's opponent is

:24:04.:24:07.

not only the Congresswoman here, but the chair of the Democratic

:24:07.:24:13.

National Committee. We have been through this in Florida before. 527

:24:13.:24:19.

votes separated Al Gore from the presidency, we have, at the DNC,

:24:19.:24:22.

had an early protection team in place, the voter protection team on

:24:22.:24:26.

the ground here in Florida and the battleground states for months.

:24:26.:24:31.

skirmishing is intense, because the prize here is so big. Florida's 29

:24:31.:24:34.

votes are vital to Mitt Romney's hopes of winning, he has been

:24:34.:24:37.

gaining ground here. If the President loses here in Florida,

:24:37.:24:43.

can he still win the White House? Oh yeah. We have built the largest,

:24:43.:24:45.

most significant grassroots presidential campaign in history.

:24:45.:24:50.

And we have many path, many more paths than Mitt Romney has, to 270

:24:50.:24:54.

electoral votes. We win Florida and it is game over. We win the

:24:54.:24:58.

election. I'm planning for us to do that today. But there are other,

:24:58.:25:06.

numerous other paths, and more paths than Mitt Romney has. We will

:25:06.:25:10.

know the result in the sunshine state in a few hours time, or we

:25:10.:25:14.

won't, if not it could take much longer to resolve.

:25:14.:25:19.

Whatever happens in the long night looming ahead of us here, the

:25:19.:25:29.
:25:29.:25:29.

elections of 2012 are already notorious for their vagueness, and

:25:29.:25:34.

brass-necked boon dogging. Where Democrats and Republicans go from

:25:34.:25:39.

here, Eleanor Clift, and Jim Gilmore, we're joined from New York

:25:39.:25:44.

by the writer, Martin Amis, who now lives here. Martin Amis, have you

:25:44.:25:50.

been excited by the spectacle of this election? More frightened and

:25:50.:25:54.

depressed than excited. What I can't understand is why it is close,

:25:54.:25:58.

and it didn't looks a though it was going to be until three or four

:25:58.:26:05.

weeks ago. Where Romney was widely ridiculed as a lousy candidate, and

:26:05.:26:09.

couldn't get through a day without some atrocious gaffe. And then it

:26:09.:26:13.

all got turned around by that first debate in Denver. I can't

:26:13.:26:17.

understand why the impact of that was so great. It wasn't that Romney

:26:17.:26:23.

was so eloquent, it was, I think, that Obama looked exhausted, and

:26:23.:26:27.

his presidency looked exhausted. And there may even have been a hint

:26:27.:26:32.

of contempt in the way he engaged with Romney. I don't think

:26:32.:26:36.

Americans like that. It hasn't been pleasant watching Obama being

:26:36.:26:41.

reduced from what he was in 2008, and I don't think the American

:26:41.:26:44.

people have liked it either, that is why it is close, against all

:26:44.:26:51.

rational interest, in my view. You, famously, quite recently,

:26:51.:26:56.

decided you would prefer to live in America than in England, as it now

:26:56.:27:00.

is, would you feel the same way under a Romney presidency? I would

:27:00.:27:04.

be very depressed by a Romney presidency. I came here for

:27:04.:27:07.

personal reasons, out of no disaffection for England, but I

:27:07.:27:13.

have been thinking, in the last few week, that you know the Republicans

:27:13.:27:19.

have got themselves in a state where the Reagan that they refer to

:27:19.:27:25.

so ref vently, would, in fact, be a pariah in the present party. I

:27:25.:27:28.

wonder if we could imagine a Conservative Party in England that

:27:28.:27:34.

had got so far to the right that they would have to disown Margaret

:27:34.:27:44.

Thatcher. It is quite extreme what is going on here. It is a kind of

:27:44.:27:47.

hypocrisy. Tax cuts for the rich, there is not a democracy on earth

:27:47.:27:51.

where that would be mentioned, let alone tabled and passed and given a

:27:51.:27:54.

second term. And yet, they are pressing forward with that, even

:27:54.:28:01.

though it is a long-exploded policy. It is as if they have lost a

:28:01.:28:11.
:28:11.:28:14.

certain amount of pou-d' err. OK, we will come back to you in a

:28:14.:28:17.

moment. What has happened to your party that it can be characterised

:28:17.:28:21.

in that way? I don't think most people would characterise it that

:28:21.:28:25.

way. The Republican Party is very diverse, I'm a conservative, but

:28:25.:28:28.

I'm not like every other conservative. There are a lot of

:28:28.:28:32.

different points of view. But the heart of the matter, for this race,

:28:33.:28:37.

is the question of the future. What actually should we be doing in

:28:37.:28:42.

order to revitalise the American economy, get more jobs, get more

:28:42.:28:47.

growth. And some how, in order to get the economy growing that it

:28:47.:28:51.

just favours the rich, that is not right. We don't want tax cuts, but

:28:51.:28:55.

tax incentive, so people will invest their capital, create

:28:55.:28:59.

something exciting, new and dynamic, and we can get forward motion. That

:28:59.:29:02.

is the theme of the Romney campaign. Where as the President has been

:29:02.:29:06.

saying, I have been here for four years, give me more and things will

:29:06.:29:10.

turn around. There has been no driving, forward motion with the

:29:10.:29:13.

Obama campaign. That is why it is close. Eleanor Clift, you have seen

:29:13.:29:18.

a good number of elections here, when you look at the state of the

:29:18.:29:21.

Republican Party now, if Mitt Romney doesn't win it tonight,

:29:21.:29:27.

where are they left? First of all, I don't think you have to go back

:29:27.:29:33.

to President Lincoln, to find a Republican candidate to find it

:29:33.:29:36.

difficult to survive in today's Republican Party. Go back to Ronald

:29:36.:29:41.

Reagan, who did indeed raise taxes, the great conflict today is we have

:29:42.:29:46.

gross inequality in this country, we have a huge deaf vit, and the

:29:46.:29:51.

Republican Party just -- deficit, and Republican Party just remains

:29:51.:29:55.

adamant on no new taxes on the upper income. If Romney loses an

:29:55.:29:58.

election that many people thought he would win, because of the poor

:29:58.:30:01.

economy. And because President Obama failed to meet the

:30:01.:30:05.

expectations that he set for himself, and that the country

:30:05.:30:11.

expected of him. I think one response will be that he wasn't,

:30:11.:30:14.

Mitt Romney wasn't Conservative enough. I think there will be some

:30:14.:30:20.

divisions within the party. I think there are enough, hate to use the

:30:20.:30:24.

word "moderates", it is overdone, maybe "sensible", Republican,

:30:24.:30:28.

especially in the Senate. Who are tired of voting against things they

:30:28.:30:32.

actually believe in. The President himself says if he is re-elected,

:30:32.:30:35.

the fever will break. He thinks they will work with him. I would

:30:35.:30:40.

like to believe that as well. terms of election, generally, what

:30:40.:30:44.

has this one been like? It doesn't feel like a real ground-breaking

:30:44.:30:53.

election in the way that, for example, the last one was. These

:30:53.:31:00.

big epocical changes, am I wrong, what do you think? If Romney wins,

:31:00.:31:03.

I believe it is because the American people are tired of

:31:03.:31:07.

mediocrity in the economy, they want something fresh and new, they

:31:07.:31:11.

want some excitement. We understand our responsibility as Americans in

:31:11.:31:17.

the world, and the work we have to do in order to lead and work with

:31:17.:31:20.

allies. We can't do it with a week economy. I think Americans

:31:20.:31:24.

understand all this, and they know that it hasn't worked over the last

:31:24.:31:30.

four years. That kind of programme doesn't work. And I disagree with

:31:30.:31:35.

Elinor about this notion that some how there is gross inequality in

:31:35.:31:38.

the country. There are always going to be inequalities of income in

:31:38.:31:42.

every free society, include tag in the United Kingdom. But the fact is,

:31:42.:31:46.

what -- including that in the United Kingdom. But the fact s we

:31:46.:31:50.

need to create investment and opportunities for people to have

:31:50.:31:53.

forward motion, and rise above their stations in life they have,

:31:53.:31:56.

and move forward. That is what the Republican ticket is about. Do you

:31:56.:32:00.

think this was a really significant election? I think it is significant,

:32:00.:32:05.

because if Mitt Romney is elected he would try to undo loot of what

:32:05.:32:09.

President Obama has done, in terms it of regulation -- undo a lot of

:32:09.:32:13.

what President Obama has done. In terms of regulation, and extending

:32:13.:32:17.

universal healthcare. In terms of restraints on the business

:32:17.:32:22.

community, in the wake of the overreach of the creating of the

:32:22.:32:28.

meltdown in 2008. I think Mitt Romney talks about this forward

:32:28.:32:33.

motion of the economy, he hasn't told us how he would do that.

:32:33.:32:37.

Except, to direct more money to the called job creators, who have been

:32:37.:32:42.

doing very well the whole first decade of this century, and they

:32:42.:32:48.

haven't created the jobs. So, I don't see what Romney represent,

:32:48.:32:52.

except an attempt to undo some of the measures that have introduced

:32:52.:32:56.

some equality into the society. According to the polls he means a

:32:56.:33:01.

lot to quite a lot of people, perhaps just a majority? We are a

:33:01.:33:07.

divided country. The 50-50 country in all of that. But look at the

:33:07.:33:15.

Republican Party, it is 90% white, the Democratic that returns to

:33:15.:33:19.

Congress after the election will be 50% minority and women. Which party

:33:19.:33:26.

is America? Martin Amis, what do you think we should make of the

:33:26.:33:29.

possibility that President Obama might, according to the polls, lose

:33:29.:33:37.

this election? What do we make of it? We should salute the deeper

:33:37.:33:45.

rationality of the American people. There are many vins of severe

:33:45.:33:50.

rationality. We should -- vein of severe rationalty. We should blush

:33:50.:33:55.

for a future Romney, who believes the return of Christ will divide

:33:55.:33:58.

his time between Jerusalem and Missouri, will be the leader of the

:33:58.:34:02.

free world. Thank you all very much indeed. That's it for the moment,

:34:02.:34:09.

back shortly, now over to you. For all the people who say they

:34:09.:34:11.

were abused, in or around children's homes in North Wales,

:34:11.:34:17.

only to have their complaints ignored, a message today from the

:34:17.:34:21.

Government, "we will listen to you". The Home Secretary has announced a

:34:21.:34:25.

police inquiry into the last police inquiry, and a judge will lead an

:34:25.:34:29.

inquiry into the last judicial inquiry. Inquiries are spreading

:34:29.:34:34.

fast. In a moment we will discuss whether a desire to make up for

:34:34.:34:42.

past wrongs risks making more mistakes. First this report.

:34:42.:34:45.

For many years now, former residents of children's homes in

:34:45.:34:50.

North Wales, have alleged they were abused by a paedophile-ring in the

:34:50.:34:55.

1970s and 1980s. In 1991, seven care workers were convicted of

:34:55.:34:59.

abuse, the allegations of a ring persisted. The Government set up an

:34:59.:35:02.

inquiry, its report concluded there was no evidence of a paedophile-

:35:02.:35:06.

ring, beyond the care system. Former residents, witnesses at that

:35:06.:35:10.

inquiry, and their lawyers, have claimed it was too limited in its

:35:10.:35:15.

scope. It was to inquiry into the abuse of

:35:15.:35:21.

children in care in the former County Council areas of grin ned

:35:21.:35:28.

and Clwyd since 1974 -- Gwynedd and Clwyd since 1974, and focus on

:35:28.:35:35.

those responsible for the children. The police inquiries were also said

:35:35.:35:40.

to be flawed. Theresa May said there was to be an inquiry into

:35:40.:35:44.

that York. One of the victims in the report, Steve Meesham, alleged

:35:44.:35:48.

the inquiry didn't look at abuse outside the care homes and a

:35:48.:35:51.

renewed allegations against the police and several individuals.

:35:51.:35:55.

The Government is treating these allegations with the utmost

:35:55.:35:59.

seriousness. Child abuse is a hateful, abhorrent, and disgusting

:35:59.:36:03.

crime, we must not allow these allegations to go unanswered. And I

:36:03.:36:06.

therefore urge anybody who has information, relating to these

:36:06.:36:11.

allegations, to go to the police. The head of the national crime

:36:11.:36:15.

agency is to investigate any fresh allegations, and look at the way

:36:15.:36:20.

the police handled the original complaints. They will be helped by

:36:20.:36:26.

the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, or SOCA, and child

:36:26.:36:29.

exploitation -- the Child Exploitation and Online Protection

:36:29.:36:34.

Centre, CEOP, and a judge will review and secretary the verpls of

:36:34.:36:38.

the Waterhouse Inquiry. Some police officers say things are very

:36:38.:36:42.

different now. If we have made a mistake, I think we have to be

:36:42.:36:51.

honest about it. Times have changed, we are a given force, a different

:36:51.:36:54.

generation that deal with the cases now, than the ones investigating it

:36:54.:36:58.

now. Things have moved on, things have changed. I don't think there

:36:58.:37:02.

will be any issue about people coming and telling us issues that

:37:02.:37:06.

might involve ex-officers, or politicians. I don't think there is

:37:06.:37:11.

going to be any issue about that. Some say that these reviews are

:37:11.:37:17.

themselves too narrow. Mr Speaker, the lesson of Hillsborough, and

:37:17.:37:22.

hacking is that a narrowed down investigation is the basic building

:37:22.:37:27.

block of a cover-up, to limit this inquiry to North Wales and Savile,

:37:27.:37:32.

would, in my view, be a deriliction of the Home Secretary's duty. It

:37:32.:37:35.

would guarantee that many sickening crimes would remain uninvestigated,

:37:35.:37:39.

and some of the most despicable paedophiles will remain protected

:37:39.:37:45.

by the establishment that has shielded them for 30 years. Others

:37:45.:37:48.

say the new inquiries are unwarranted. If you look at the

:37:48.:37:51.

terms of reference, right at the beginning of the inquiry, and which

:37:51.:37:56.

I have read. They were looking at abuse of children in care. They

:37:56.:38:01.

heard evidence from a number of witnesses. They had all been in

:38:01.:38:05.

care, or some people had been social workers and some outside the

:38:05.:38:09.

care system. They weren't restricted, really, in looking at

:38:09.:38:13.

children being abused in a particular care home. They looked

:38:14.:38:18.

specifically at children being taken out of the care system or

:38:18.:38:24.

homes and being abused in hostels or hotel or whatever it may be.

:38:24.:38:29.

These allegations are abhorrent, the abuse despicable, the strong

:38:29.:38:37.

language of politicians expresses a widely felt revelgsvulgs. But

:38:37.:38:41.

securing convictions in these cases are very difficult, even though

:38:41.:38:45.

police forces pursue them harder than in the past. 20 years ago

:38:45.:38:50.

Clwyd Council commissioned a report on the alleged abuse, Karen Lumley

:38:50.:38:55.

was a councillor then, she read it, and remembers crying a lot at the

:38:55.:38:58.

detailed accounts, thinking of her own young children. She understands

:38:58.:39:03.

the strong reaction now. Yes, I think the initial reaction is, how

:39:03.:39:08.

does that happen? How do ordinary human beings do that kind of thing?

:39:08.:39:14.

And my initial reaction is how do we punish them. Even 20 years on f

:39:14.:39:17.

we find people, we should be punishing them. It is not fair that

:39:17.:39:25.

we have let those young people down. And what of the people at the heart

:39:25.:39:31.

of this? The victims of many years of abuse. Steve Meesham says he was

:39:31.:39:36.

confident the Government was taking them seriously. But he wasn't yet

:39:36.:39:44.

confident the investigations would be done properly. With us, Malcolm

:39:44.:39:47.

Johnson, the solicitor we saw in that report, and from Belfast, Jim

:39:47.:39:50.

Gamble, the former head of the police's Child Exploitation and

:39:50.:39:58.

Online Protection Centre. The experience of many victims is

:39:58.:40:02.

they feel let down by the system, institutions and people they went

:40:02.:40:06.

to. Can those people have any more confidence now? I think they can

:40:06.:40:12.

have a lot more confidence now. One of the positive legacys from the

:40:12.:40:16.

Savile investigation, is that people are being much more victim-

:40:16.:40:19.

centered. We are thinking about what we do. I think many of us

:40:19.:40:23.

involved in the child protection world, formally and informally, now

:40:23.:40:27.

think about the language we use. I was contacted by a former victim

:40:27.:40:32.

after my last appearance, who really didn't like the use of the

:40:32.:40:36.

term "historic", when I reflect on that, they are absolutely right,

:40:36.:40:40.

these victims aren't historic, they are suffering every single day. The

:40:40.:40:44.

abuse inflicted on them, may be many years ago, because they feel

:40:44.:40:47.

they haven't got justice. I think there is a real change. This is a

:40:47.:40:53.

real change in mind set, I do believe one of the poss is, more

:40:53.:40:58.

victims are up -- positives is more victims are coming forward. Has the

:40:58.:41:05.

Waterhouse Inquiry been unfairly maligned? I think it is, it was an

:41:05.:41:09.

extensive inquiry, that took place over many months, and interviewed

:41:09.:41:14.

many hundreds of witnesses. The allegations is children taken out

:41:14.:41:18.

of care homes and abused in hotels and so on. They say they weren't

:41:18.:41:23.

listened to? They say so, but if you look at the terms of the

:41:23.:41:28.

inquiry and it examined, they were listened to. But the inquiry,

:41:28.:41:31.

unfortunately, showed the evidence wasn't strong enough to show a

:41:31.:41:36.

major paedophile conspiracy. What is the point of the inquiry?

:41:36.:41:40.

would ask that question. I feel there is political impetuous behind

:41:40.:41:43.

this and politicians feel they need to do something. I would question

:41:43.:41:47.

whether the resources are best put into another child protection issue,

:41:47.:41:52.

rather than this, which has been investigated. You worry this is

:41:52.:41:59.

political activity for the sake of it? I do, I'm afraid. I think the

:41:59.:42:04.

Waterhouse house -- Waterhouse Inquiry did go into these issues,

:42:04.:42:09.

it was sensitively handedled, I think they felt they had to leave

:42:09.:42:13.

no stone unturned. With the police investigation there were a number

:42:13.:42:17.

of conviction as well. To my mind I was rather surprised there would be

:42:17.:42:21.

an inquiry into the inquiry. Just to get your view on this, the terms

:42:21.:42:28.

of reference, and what the Waterhouse Inquiry did. As far as

:42:28.:42:31.

you are concerned, were the allegations about activities

:42:31.:42:34.

outside children's homes themselves, properly investigated? That's the

:42:34.:42:39.

key issue. We don't know. There is an issue of perception and

:42:39.:42:42.

confidence in those people now watching what happens. There are

:42:42.:42:45.

several things need to happen, there needs to be a scoping, to

:42:45.:42:48.

look at the voracity of the allegation against that particular

:42:49.:42:52.

inquiry. I think we are getting very mixed up, I think the

:42:52.:42:56.

Government in launching different inquiries in different areas, is

:42:56.:43:00.

perhaps simply going to congest the space. Do you think some of this is

:43:00.:43:03.

political, by the way? I'm not sure it is political, I think the

:43:04.:43:07.

Government feels a need to react and use strong language. Isn't that

:43:07.:43:10.

political? Let me say this, in child protection you learn to pause

:43:10.:43:14.

and plan. I think there is a lack of pausing and planning here. We

:43:14.:43:19.

have had Savile, there needs to be a single overarching inquiry, the

:43:19.:43:22.

shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, has said that, and we have

:43:22.:43:26.

heard Tim Loughton say that. I couldn't agree with them more. The

:43:26.:43:28.

issues that deal with individual allegations of potential crime,

:43:28.:43:31.

need to be dealt with effectively by the police. This week I actually

:43:31.:43:35.

felt like standing up and applauding when Keith Towler, the

:43:35.:43:39.

Children's Commissioner from Wales, came out and advocated on behalf of

:43:39.:43:42.

victims in the way he did. We don't see that often enough. There needs

:43:42.:43:46.

to be a balance, there needs to be an overarching review that looks at

:43:46.:43:51.

the lessons that can be learned and how they can be applied across a

:43:51.:43:54.

broad geography, in health, education, policing and care. There

:43:54.:44:00.

needs to be individual scoping, by police investigations, to look at

:44:00.:44:04.

other reasonable grounds to suspects offences. There is 28

:44:04.:44:09.

people referred to in the report. Where are they today, did they

:44:09.:44:14.

commit other offences, were they ever placed on the sex offenders'

:44:14.:44:17.

register, any time nurture. That will give you a sense of how

:44:17.:44:21.

effective that investigation of. Would you support an overarching

:44:21.:44:31.

inquiry, you talked about the investigation not going ahead?

:44:31.:44:37.

child protection it is an enormously delicate issue. If you

:44:37.:44:42.

have a scatter gun approach with inquiries, you won't get anywhere

:44:42.:44:46.

at all. What about one big inquiry? I don't think it would assist, I

:44:46.:44:49.

don't think there should be another inquiry into these allegations. If

:44:49.:44:54.

the Government has decided there has to be, then there has to be. I

:44:54.:44:56.

question seriously whether it will make a difference to the victims.

:44:57.:45:01.

You would just leave it? I think I would, yes. What about the victims?

:45:01.:45:07.

Well, again I would say, those victims gave their allegations to

:45:07.:45:10.

the inquiry at the time. They are saying they weren't listened to,

:45:10.:45:17.

but if you read the terms of the inquiry, they were all listened. To

:45:17.:45:24.

but unfart Natalie, the inquiries cop -- unfortunately, the inquiry

:45:24.:45:27.

concluded there wasn't enough evidence to take the allegations

:45:27.:45:30.

forward. The police already investigated the matters. The

:45:30.:45:33.

history of the North Wales inquiry is the police were fairly

:45:33.:45:37.

aggressive in their investigation, I'm not sure they come in for a

:45:37.:45:41.

great deal of criticism. Thank you very much. With more on the main

:45:41.:45:49.

news, here's Jeremy. We still have our pollsters here.

:45:49.:45:53.

What are the exit polls showing? The early exit polls are showing

:45:53.:45:58.

Obama up a couple of points in most states. Do you agree on that?

:45:58.:46:01.

Supposedly they are. Several of the measures that she was getting of

:46:01.:46:08.

the first run, they do three runs, 10.00, 2.00, and 5.00. She was

:46:08.:46:13.

looking at some of the first run and some of the second run.

:46:13.:46:18.

Republicans usually turn out later in the day, as opposed to on return

:46:18.:46:23.

from work rather than going to work. Is there anything you have

:46:23.:46:28.

discovered with turnout and exit polls that gives comfort to Romney?

:46:28.:46:35.

In Ohio, on the early vote, now that is done. We had a 100,000-vote

:46:35.:46:41.

increase on the Republican side, 100,000-vote decrease on the

:46:41.:46:45.

Democrat side, in a state Obama won last time but only 239,000 voit.

:46:46.:46:50.

Election day becomes that much more -- votes. Election day becomes that

:46:50.:46:59.

much more important. Reports are election is turnout is high, apart

:46:59.:47:02.

from Cleveland? That is the state they have to come out with from a

:47:02.:47:08.

big margin. We have heard, since them, they are trying to push the

:47:08.:47:11.

Democratic vote out. But the provisional ballots are increase

:47:11.:47:16.

anything that area. Have you heard the same thing? Yes, that

:47:16.:47:19.

originally clove land was lower turnout, but we are pushing it.

:47:19.:47:24.

That would be bad news for Obama? It will be, if we don't get it

:47:24.:47:28.

picked up in the last few hours. long night. We will be here

:47:28.:47:31.

tomorrow night, working out what the result, when eventually we get

:47:31.:47:37.

it, means for America and the rest of you. Meantime there were claims

:47:37.:47:40.

earlier today that a voting machine in Pennsylvania, that every time

:47:40.:47:46.

you voted for Obama, it registered Romney, if it was true, it was like

:47:46.:47:54.

life imitating art. One vote for McCain, thank you. No, I want to

:47:54.:47:59.

vote for Obama. Two votes for McCain. Come on, it's time for a

:47:59.:48:08.

change. Three votes for McCain. votes for President McCain. I only

:48:08.:48:13.

meant one of those votes for McCain. This machine is rigged. Must tell

:48:13.:48:17.

President McCain. This doesn't happen in America,

:48:17.:48:22.

maybe Ohio, but not in America! maybe Ohio, but not in America!

:48:22.:48:30.

Ahhhh. Chilly out there, patchy rain and

:48:30.:48:33.

drizzle around western areas, further east a little brightness,

:48:33.:48:37.

sunshine at times. Certainly dry and bright across eastern areas, we

:48:37.:48:40.

saw through the afternoon. North West England, for instance, exposed

:48:40.:48:45.

to that strengthening west low wind, continuing rain and drizzle at the

:48:45.:48:51.

time. Through the Pennines gusty winds. Not as much sunshine through

:48:51.:48:56.

the east Midland. Some brighter spells at times. Cloud amounts will

:48:56.:48:59.

always be fairly large. Particularly across west Devon, and

:48:59.:49:02.

western Wales, don't be surprised to see further rain or drizzle

:49:02.:49:05.

continue from the morning. The wind continue to strengthen during the

:49:05.:49:09.

day, it is a fairly mild wind, temperatures of 9-12 possible. That

:49:09.:49:12.

will be tempered by the strength of the wind. That wind continues to

:49:12.:49:15.

feed in occasional dampness across Northern Ireland. Rain or drizzle

:49:15.:49:19.

throughout the day at times in the west of Scotland, brighter to the

:49:19.:49:22.

east. Aberdeenshire, Angus and Fife. The difference between Wednesday

:49:22.:49:26.

and Thursday will not be a great deal. If anything the winds may

:49:26.:49:30.

ease down a little bit after a breezy neat. Brightness across

:49:30.:49:33.

eastern and southern parts, certainly around western coasts and

:49:33.:49:37.

hills we will see further rain and drizzle at times. Western Scotland

:49:37.:49:40.

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