09/01/2013 Newsnight


09/01/2013

Can locals be persuaded to back new housing in their area? Did the mid-term review backfire? And was America's war on drugs misguided? With Gavin Esler.


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Transcript


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Lack of affordable housing is the biggest social justice crisis in

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this country, according to the planning minister, Nick Boles. On

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Newsnight tonight, he reveals a new policy to encourage more house

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building which what he jokes are bribes, or Boles Bungs, cash for

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communities that agree to new house anything their area. You can build

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a new playground for local kids or do whatever you like with new money.

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I wanted to call it the Boles "bung". We will debate the idea and

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ask if anything else might solve the housing crisis.

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Stay in the European Union, a blunt message from the Obama

:03:29.:03:33.

administration on Britain's future. What has it to do with them? We

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will ask a euro-sceptic MP and a former state department spokesman.

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After attacking US gun control laws following the Connecticut shootings,

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Piers Morgan will not be deported from America, we ask if he regrets

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calling the gun lobby "stupid"! Hello, good evening, if the

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community town or village where you live is prepared to accept new

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housing developments, community groups will be given hard cash,

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perhaps hundreds of thousands of pounds. The idea is being

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implemented right now by the planning minister Nick Boles, who

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caused a row on Newsnight last month, by explaining why Greenfield

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sites would need to be built on if Britain is going to meet the demand

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for housing. Tonight Mr Boles goes even further. He reveals to us his

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latest plan to use an existing levy or tax on house builders, to give

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local communities some hard cash, as a big incentive to say yes to

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development. We will debate the wisdom of all of this in a moment,

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:04:51.:04:52.

first here is the political editor. Meadows and moors, valleys and

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viaducts, we are on a journey among it all to find the great bricks of

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Great Britain. If a Domesday Book itemised every piece of the country

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many years ago, where have we gone on to build.

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Newsnight is back on the road with the planning minister, last month,

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on this programme, he said only 9% of this land was developed. He was

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accused of making his sums up on the back of a fag packet. This,

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then, is the fag packet. More modest, modern, Domesday Book, on

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the walls of the minister's office in Whitehall. There has been quite

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a row about how much of England is actually developed. Some

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campaigners have said, oh it's 15%, it is 25%, that is affected by

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urban development. And you said? said it is 8.9%. The idea that some

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how there is nowhere to build in the south-east is just not true, as

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this map, I think demonstrates. Everywhere needs housing, in the

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deep countryside, Cumbria, where we are going, is a good example,

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people still want their kids to be able to live in the village that

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they grew up in. If you don't build any houses, they can't. Because you

:06:09.:06:19.
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know, holiday makers buy the houses, at stratospheric prices.

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Destination one, we are heading to what the minister's map suggested

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are yawning voids, the co-ordinates that test Nick Boles's assertion,

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that we have so many green and pleasant fields, some of them can

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be offered up. This is Brough.

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It is on its high street that Leslie lives with her four children

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in a rented home. She and her husband are professional carers for

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their neighbours in Brough, priced out of the market, Leslie is on

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Nick Boles's conscience. What can he do to help her?

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A short drive through forbidding foggy moors to Crosby raifrpbs

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worth, where the minister tells her just what he's going to do. Good

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morning everybody. We are in the Upper Eden Valley, nestled near the

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Cumbrian lakes and Yorkshire National Park, on the front here is

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planning policy S Newsnight is here, because it is the first in the

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country to put the views of its community into planning. It will

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hold a vote on the outcome. Nick Boles chose here to make an

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exclusive announcement. What we have decided is that for those

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areas that have a neighbourhood plan, and get it through the

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referendum, then 25%, a quarter of the revenues from the community

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infrastructure levy, will go to the neighbourhood to spend on what the

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hell you like. That money will come to you if you build new houses.

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Does anybody feel they want to respond to the announcement that

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Nick has made. The bribe! I wanted to call it the Boles "bung". This

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is a new pot of money that the council might once have thought

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100% their's to spend. What do they make of it? The days when we are

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going to sit back and get allocations for anything are gone.

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You are prepared to accept 25% of your pot dwindling. The important

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point to make this is a new revenue stream. This isn't money that the

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district council is already getting of which we are taking away 25%,

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this is a new tax, that is bringing in new revenues and we are saying,

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you are going to get 75%, and 25% will go to the neighbourhoods, if

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they have a neighbourhood plan. are those priced out reassured.

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deems what affordability is in affordable housing. My husband and

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I work as carers in the community, and we still can't reach, you know,

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getting a deposit together for the mortgage, paying the monthly rent

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with four children. Where do we stand at the end of the day. What

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assurances do we have? That it will be affordable for us. Your

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situation is absolutely typical, I am afraid. It is a huge national

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crisis, I think, for my money, I think it is the biggest social

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justice crisis we have, it is bigger than bad schools that we

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have plenty of bad schools, it is bigger than people without jobs

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that we have lots of people who are desperate for jobs. After digesting

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Nick Boles's exclusive announcement, people in that meeting would later

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e-mail that programme, they would express concerns that since his new

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fund will not all flow to the council, councils might be more

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resistant to neighbourhood planning, because of this, they suggested, it

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just wouldn't work. The minister, though, remained adamant it would

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help people like Leslie. He took her to what he thought was an

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affordable home. With the work we do it varies, so it needs to be

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something that I know at least my husband will earn within that month.

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Rents at the moment, we are paying what we could pay on a mortgage, in

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rent, but it is finding the deposit and going through everything.

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much is that a month that you would think was doable? About �500-�600.

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It is very, very hard, this is going to take a very long time to

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change. The situation we have with the housing market in England is 40

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years in the making. How does that strike you, he is saying we are

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many years away from your situation being made easier? Then at the end

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of the day if it doesn't help me t will help my children.

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Over at the Dales, to the cafe not far away, where Labour has a

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different take. Housing starts are down 9% on last year, the point I'm

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making really is the Government's strategy to deliver more housing

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isn't working anywhere. So we want them to really look at how they put

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more delivery mechanisms into the system, so that all areas, because

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absolutely every area needs more housing and more affordable housing.

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That was the north of England, where empty houses exist, they just

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aren't cheap enough for Leslie, in the south there are different

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pressures, that is why Nick Boles said in order to unblock the log

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jam, you have to open up other possible options, go for

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Greenfields. So to Harlow, and one such Greenfield, it has been guilt

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on, we brought one of the minister's fiercest critics to it.

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Is the lack of housing because too little land is available, or is it

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another reason. You think it is land, if you release more land the

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house builders will build. You have to look more closely at the housing

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market. The house builders have a low output, high margin model. They

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will build the houses they think they can sell. The demand is there,

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unquestionably the demand is there, prices have gone up stratferically,

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why are people not building if it is so easy. What is stopping them,

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I don't think it is a lack of land. You have to come up with an

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alternative explanation, I have an explanation. I'm not the Government.

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Your Government and the last Government are in denial about this,

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when we built enough houses in this country the state built a lot of

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them. Throughout the 1970s the state built over 120,000 house as

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year. Private sector house building since the war is pretty steady, the

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real loss is in public house building, it is cut even more

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recently. This is the what it looks like

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after building on green fields, this is what it looks like before.

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Down the road, here the bulldozers are poised to roll into this more

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consensus green field plan. If the Government is going to offer you

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money, you can spend it on something? You can always spend

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money, but is it a useful project to the area. There is nothing I can

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think of that sort of money will satisfy in the area. If you were

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talking about millions, maybe. Couldn't you as a community do

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something with �100,000? Of course you can. It doesn't address the

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first problem we looked at. This development defies all of the

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original plans for Harlow. That they don't overlook various areas.

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That the road system is capable of carrying it, et cetera. Just before

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Christmas, the think-tank that Mr Boles used to run said this

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Government's policies says it is currently on course to build

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300,000 fewer new homes than the plans of the previous Government,

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presiding over the lowest rate of house building since the 1920s.

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Nick Boles needs his bribes and his bungs to work.

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The planning minister, Nick Boles, is here. Along with three

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interested partners, Roberta Blackman Woods, and Simon Jenkins

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and John Stewart. Do you agree that something must be

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done, and this might be the right something? Something must always be

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done. What do you mean by that? Something must be done to address

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the housing shortage? There is always a housing shortage too.

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There is plenty of land to build houses on. There is more derelict

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land in this country, post- industrialisation than in any

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history in Britain. Building on in a few meadows outside Harlow will

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not solve the housing crisis. There is plenty of sites with planning

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permission existing that hasn't been used yet. Two million houses

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could be built on juggling the figures. The issue is how you treat

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planning. Selling planning permissions, in effect, through

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bribes, is not the way to plan this country. You should decide to build

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where it is appropriate, it might be on greenfield sites in places.

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The issue has to be one of planning. Do you plan work that appropriate

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development should take place, protecting beautiful areas and

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country areas, which are going fast, or do you say, let rip, let money

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determine it and bribe anyone we can to build houses, that is not

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the way to approach planning. problem is planning, not just what

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we heard. You are bribing people with their

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own money, it is public money? trouble s firstly, Simon started

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with something that isn't drew. The CPRE, I don't agree with the figure

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even they say there is only enough brownfield land for 1.25 million.

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They agree only 460,000 can be built in areas where we need

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housing most, London and the south- east and the south west. There are

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only over 100,000 homes empty for more than six months. The idea that

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there are land out there that we can put two million houses on to

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solve the problem is frankly not true. Let him come back on this.

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Also this question, there is a degree of nimbyism, we all like our

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local area to look good, we are quite conservative, about that.

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Isn't this saying this is a good way to encourage people to have a

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stake in what is happening in their area? The agreements in place

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already, which is the way you tax developers to provide roads,

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schools and so on, that's in place already. We are making housing very

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expensive in this country by the fancy schemes. That is not true,

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economically, if Simon had spent a little time looking at economic

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theory, what he would realise is the 106 agreement and the levy,

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drives down the price that the developer pays the landowner for

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the land. The landowner's best alternative use for this land

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agriculture, agriculture land prices are 10,000 an acre,

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development prices are �2 million an acre. From where you sit, is the

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problem planning question, or that people don't like new developments

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in their areas, and don't like what is being planned, or is it, frankly,

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that we are all broke and can't afford new housing any way? In the

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short-term it is a question on the demand side, it is a question of

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mortgages, since 2007 we have seen horrendous crisis in the economy

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and mortgage market. If we go back over the last 20 years, it is

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largely a supply problem. The planning system in this country

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controls the supply of land. You have to have a planning permission

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available to build legally, so it controls the supply of land. Can I

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pick up on this point about a bribe or bung, I'm sorry minister I find

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the term unfortunate used. It is his term? It was meant to be a

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joke! The point about the community infrastructure levy, which is where

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the money is coming from. It is an infrastructure levy, it is a levy

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on land value to pay for the infrastructure that we require to

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facilitate development. That is only proper and right. Whether it

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can be paid for by the land is another question. It is only right

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it should be the case. If some of that is taken off and given to

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local communities, as long as it is spent on infrastructure that is

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fine, it is not a bung or bribe, it is not cash in pockets. They are

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going to put a roof on the village hall, or build a primary school, or

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a park. Are you persuaded by this, you are in favour of localism, and

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local people having a say, presumably you are in favour of

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cash going to all those wonderful things, what is wrong with the

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idea? We are happy that the Government is taking the

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infrastructure levy forward, we lobbied for it, we are happy for

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local communities to benefit from it. It is not enough, on its own it

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is not enough to deliver affordable houses across the country. We will

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come on to what more should be done. Are you saying, then, that this

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idea is at least worth a look, you think it might work? We think it's

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worth having at the edges, but it is not going to deliver the amount

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of housing that we need. The Government, you know the minister

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is now saying he recognises there is a huge crisis in housing, the

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Government have got to upscale their efforts, we really want them

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to be looking at issues like. Bring some passion and vision back into

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planning, stop saying that planning is just an obstacle all the time,

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we can use planning to deliver growth. We can use planning to

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develop new garden cities, urban extensions. Using what for money?

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This is really interesting, there are pots of money, we think the

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Government isn't using the money that is available effectively. They

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could be looking at SIL, they could be looking at the Regional Growth

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Fund, money going to other things. Bring this together, use it

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stragically. So we get, not only housing, and I think we have to be

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careful not only to talk about housing, we need to talk about

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building places, building communities that people want to

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live in. They need schools, and they need jobs as well as houses.

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actually don't disagree with a lot of what was said. We are using all

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of those different pots of money to try to unlock sites. I share her

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passion for garden cities and the way they were developed. My case in

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a sense is very simple, the last Government, I believe, tried to

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force people to accept development. And it didn't work. They just

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didn't take it, we're a very old, democratic country, we won't be

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told what to do. My job, therefore, is to try to persuade people. It is

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partly to persuade them of the social justice problem, which is

:20:16.:20:20.

very real for all of their kids. But it is also to persuade them

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that new development can benefit their community, can benefit the

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people who live there now, and that's what I'm trying to do.

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you buy into the structure too, the idea of to have a referendum, to

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have local people being brought on board? I have no problem with that,

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in principle. It is going to split communities, the real problem here

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are the landowner, they are the people who get the huge profits out

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of it. The idea that you some how produce some local harmony by these

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serious, I mean Nick is bribing people to have housing estates and

:20:54.:20:58.

wind turbines, the money involved is very considerable. Quite why the

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whole community doesn't get it I don't know, that is another

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question. The question is where do you want the development to take

:21:03.:21:06.

place. Britain is a low-density country, the houses are like the

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houses we are looking here, most of Europe they have flats. If you have

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a housing crisis you build high- density, where you have roads and

:21:17.:21:20.

facilities in existence already. This meadow development is just

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crazy. Those of us, and I don't know about anybody else, those of

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us who have more than two homes. I have two homes, one I own on a huge

:21:28.:21:32.

mortgage, one that the taxpayer, thankfully rents for me in my

:21:32.:21:36.

constituency. Simon has at least two homes, I have been to two of

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them. Those of us who have two homes or more, have to be careful

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about telling people they need to build in the top floor of a flat,

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when people want a house with a garden. Do you see a cultural

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difference in this country when you come here, you are originally from

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New Zealand. We don't want to live in flat, people want to own their

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own homes and feel priced out of the market? There is a strong

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preference for homeownership, as in other countries like New Zealand,

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it is definitely the case. There is opposition to development of all

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kinds, and house anything particular, because it is the most

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common form of development, as an Antipodean I find puzzling. What

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Nick is talking about is you are addressing issues people are

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worrying about. If the local people hear there is a housing development

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and there are another 50 houses, the first thing is congestion on

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the road F you live where I live there is already congestion, if

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this is relieving congestion by fund ago round about or road

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widening. If it is a bung that goes on unnecessary things, I would be

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concerned about that. Minister, isn't this quite small beer, though.

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The part of the housing crisis is more and more people rent, we have

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to get used to that, the British idea that we will own our own homes,

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perhaps, there is a generation finding that incredibly difficult.

:22:56.:23:00.

Even though you may do things around the edges, as was suggested,

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it won't work for most people? not willing to accept that. In the

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19th century, homeownership was a privilege, it was the exclusive

:23:08.:23:13.

preserve of people with money, or rich parents. We can either head

:23:13.:23:19.

back to that, that is where we are heading, homeownership sank by 5%

:23:19.:23:22.

in the last decade in England. We can go back there, or recognise we

:23:22.:23:25.

have a huge amount of undeveloped land, that isn't special, all of

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the special land, 40% of it is protected by various destinations,

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there is a huge amount of it undesignated. In Germany what is

:23:38.:23:43.

home occupation? It is low. problem is in cities. How many

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homes do you own. I'm paying for your house, bloody hell! The issue

:23:49.:23:53.

is here is city housing, there is a shortage of house anything cities.

:23:53.:23:56.

Housing in cities is badly managed at the moment. People don't occupy

:23:56.:23:59.

enough of the houses the Government is doing the right thing to

:23:59.:24:03.

encourage them to get rid of surplus bedrooms. This business of

:24:03.:24:08.

trying to get people to build on meadows is a total distraction. It

:24:08.:24:12.

is about planning cities properly for people to live in.

:24:12.:24:15.

There is nothing new in senior American politicians, or even

:24:15.:24:18.

diplomats for that matter, saying they want Britain to play an

:24:18.:24:22.

influential role in the European Union. What is highly unusual is

:24:22.:24:26.

for a senior diplomat at the US State Department, Philip Gordon, in

:24:26.:24:29.

this case, to criticise the very idea that Britain should hold a

:24:29.:24:32.

referendum on the EU. He warned that referendums can turn countries

:24:32.:24:36.

inward. All this comes as leading British business figure, including

:24:36.:24:41.

Richard Branson, sir Martin Sorrell, the head of the CBI, sir Carr ka,

:24:41.:24:44.

warn that wholesale renegotiation of EU membership, could damage

:24:44.:24:48.

British business and put EU membership in peril. Allegra

:24:49.:24:52.

Stratton is here with background. What has been said and what is the

:24:52.:24:55.

reaction in Downing Street? Downing Street is saying that actually they

:24:55.:25:00.

agree, that they too want Britain to have a strong role with the EU,

:25:00.:25:03.

full stop. What Philip Gordon said, was it is in America's interest for

:25:03.:25:09.

Britain to be at the forefront of the EU. He said it was in America's

:25:09.:25:12.

interests, especially above all EU countries if Britain is in there.

:25:12.:25:17.

If you have this referendum you are turning inwards. This is classic

:25:17.:25:22.

megaphone diplomacy, the problem is it is screechingly loud when we are

:25:23.:25:26.

weeks away where the Prime Minister will give the speech where he will

:25:26.:25:32.

set out where he thinks. He has to tow the line, with the euro-

:25:32.:25:36.

sceptics, one across the table from us, will decide that part of the

:25:36.:25:41.

British public and people in his own cabinet. And on the one land,

:25:41.:25:48.

and some senior politicians who sound euro-sceptic, they are more

:25:49.:25:53.

pro it than they sound, so George Osborne, and sometimes David

:25:53.:25:57.

Cameron. He may agree with Philip Gordon, but in the speech he has to

:25:57.:26:01.

offer up something substantial to people who he has kept waiting for

:26:01.:26:05.

a long time. Philip Gordon is saying this is an internationally

:26:05.:26:10.

awaited event. Marc Reckless is well known for his

:26:10.:26:16.

demands for a referendum, and we have an Assistant Secretary of

:26:16.:26:26.
:26:26.:26:31.

State in the Obama administration, What is it to you about these

:26:31.:26:35.

comments? The response to the Financial Times, where Richard

:26:35.:26:39.

Branson expressed concern about the uncertainty that a decision and

:26:39.:26:46.

referendum would create. We live in an integrated world. We require

:26:46.:26:50.

collective action to solve global and regional challenges. Trend, if

:26:50.:26:54.

you think about it globally, is to strengthen international

:26:54.:26:57.

institutions, not weaken international institutions, and

:26:57.:27:04.

from a US perspective the EU has been good for the UK, having the UK

:27:04.:27:10.

vocal has been good for Europe. It service the interests of the United

:27:10.:27:13.

States. What do you think of this, it is clearly in American interests

:27:13.:27:17.

that they have a strong ally in Britain, and politicians actually

:27:17.:27:20.

of both parties in the United States, for many years, have said

:27:20.:27:25.

Britain is only really strong if it is strong in Europe? The US may

:27:25.:27:29.

like Britain being an advocate for US interests in the EU, there may

:27:29.:27:33.

be some people in New York who wouldn't mind too much if EU

:27:33.:27:36.

regulation were to stifle competition from the City of London.

:27:36.:27:40.

But, ultimately what matters, is the interests of the British people.

:27:40.:27:45.

I think this debate has really moved on in the last two years

:27:45.:27:49.

particularly. It now does look like the British people will have a say

:27:49.:27:53.

in the referendum, for the first time ever, no-one under the age of

:27:53.:27:57.

55 has such a vote, where we decide whether we want to govern ourselves

:27:57.:28:01.

or continue to be governed through the European Union. Are you in any

:28:01.:28:05.

way irritate bid what was said today, or you think this is --

:28:05.:28:10.

irritated by what was said today, do you think the Americans have an

:28:10.:28:17.

interest, even if it is not in line with your views, even if what PJ

:28:17.:28:22.

Crowley was saying we get a good deal for the world and the country?

:28:23.:28:27.

Earlier in his remarks he said it was a matter for the British

:28:27.:28:30.

Government, Philip, and the British people, and I think that is really

:28:30.:28:33.

important that is recognised. Ultimately we had to look at what

:28:33.:28:37.

is in the interests of the British economy. Do we want our own laws,

:28:38.:28:42.

perhaps the US might like us to moderate slightly how EU

:28:42.:28:46.

regulations affects them. Our economy, so much of it is governed

:28:46.:28:51.

by EU regulation. We have to obey single market rules exporting to

:28:51.:28:56.

the EU, why should we obey them for the domestic economy and exporting

:28:56.:28:59.

else where Let me ask about the referendum question. What was

:28:59.:29:03.

picked up is the implication that perhaps the referendum is the wrong

:29:03.:29:06.

thing, it would make us turn inward was the suggestion. It might do

:29:06.:29:10.

exactly the opposite, might it not? It might give people a chance to

:29:10.:29:14.

express their opinion for origins on a matter that affects us very

:29:14.:29:19.

deeply? Sure, and as Philip Gordon said, this is a matter for the

:29:19.:29:22.

British people, ultimately. On this side of the Atlantic, you know,

:29:22.:29:27.

there is a lot of attitudes about US membership in the United Nations,

:29:27.:29:31.

it comes up over four years, there is a sliver of our population that

:29:31.:29:35.

does not think that, or thinks that the United States membership in the

:29:35.:29:38.

United Nations is a challenge to our sovereignty. We happen not to

:29:38.:29:44.

put that to a vote. To the larger question, the reality is domestic

:29:44.:29:47.

issues have broader international implications. There is nothing

:29:47.:29:51.

wrong with voices in Europe or in the UK saying to the United States

:29:51.:29:55.

politicians, look, we don't care how you solve your debt and

:29:55.:29:59.

spending crisis, but if you fall off a cliff, at some point in the

:29:59.:30:03.

future, and you go back into recession, that is going to have a

:30:03.:30:08.

profound impact in Europe, and likewise, I think it is perfectly

:30:08.:30:11.

appropriate for the United States to say, look if you take steps,

:30:11.:30:15.

while they can be logical from a domestic standpoint, end up

:30:15.:30:18.

weakening what has become a very significant international

:30:18.:30:22.

institutions in the EU, if you think that will be helpful to the

:30:22.:30:26.

world. Do you think the Obama administration thinks Britain is a

:30:26.:30:29.

less important ally if we are not in the EU? I don't think this is an

:30:29.:30:33.

Oort or, this is a win, win, win for the United States. There is a

:30:33.:30:35.

great convergence of interest between the United States and the

:30:35.:30:42.

UK. And this pillar is vitally important, when then you put shared

:30:42.:30:45.

bilateral interests in the context of an EU, or in the context of NATO.

:30:46.:30:50.

It is not an either-or proposition, it is the fact that the special

:30:50.:30:55.

relationship between the United States and the UK has multiple

:30:55.:30:58.

venues through question effective action can be achieved. Is that the

:30:58.:31:03.

way you see today's comments, or is it to go back to what you said at

:31:03.:31:06.

the start of the conversation, there are clearly American economic,

:31:06.:31:12.

domestic and political interests in what we do, and perhaps the pro-

:31:12.:31:15.

pond regins of opinion there, or those who think about it, is we

:31:15.:31:19.

should stay in the EU? I think it is inconceivable that American

:31:19.:31:24.

people would allow a NAFTA court strike down EU laws, the idea that

:31:24.:31:28.

the American people would accept being governed in a way this

:31:28.:31:31.

country has been governed. They are telling us what they think about

:31:31.:31:35.

what we do, does that cause you concern? We have very important

:31:35.:31:39.

defence relationships with the US, the US is our largest single

:31:39.:31:42.

trading partner, but at the moment that trade relationship is run by

:31:42.:31:45.

the European Union. What I would like to see is that trade

:31:45.:31:48.

relationship run in British interests, rather than tying

:31:48.:31:52.

ourselves to one declining continent in the EU, we should

:31:52.:31:56.

trade freely across the world, and negotiate a free trade deal with

:31:56.:32:00.

the United States and rising economies in China and India and

:32:00.:32:05.

elsewhere, and trade dols that are in the British interests, opening

:32:05.:32:09.

up our agricultural market to the US and other countries, we have

:32:09.:32:13.

huge ambition to do better deals in the British interest.

:32:13.:32:19.

A couple of years ago the TV satirist, Armando Iannucci, the man

:32:19.:32:24.

behind The Thick of It, explained his job was sometimes made more

:32:24.:32:29.

difficult that some things in real- life politics were beyond satire.

:32:29.:32:34.

Imagine the mid-term report congratulations and then an next

:32:34.:32:38.

that had pledges gone wrong, that remained a secret, until a

:32:38.:32:42.

Government aide was photographed with the document revealing the

:32:42.:32:45.

internal debate on how long to bury the bad news, you couldn't make it

:32:45.:32:51.

Come n imagine this is Downing Street, and you are a senior

:32:51.:32:54.

Government adviser. The Government is about to publish its Mid-Term

:32:54.:32:58.

Review, there will be some good stuff in it, and some not so God

:32:58.:33:01.

news. Obviously you would rather everyone focus on the good news.

:33:01.:33:08.

The question is, what do you do with the bad news. Do you, (a)

:33:08.:33:13.

publish it all at once, and hope, on balance, you come out ahead in

:33:13.:33:19.

the coverage, or do you (b) publish only the good news, and sneak the

:33:19.:33:25.

bad news out later, only on the Government website. Do you do (c)

:33:25.:33:29.

inadvertantly tell everyone what you are doing, by showing

:33:29.:33:32.

photographers a memo cussing your options.

:33:32.:33:38.

I'm guess you won't have plumped for (C) that is exactly what

:33:38.:33:43.

Government adviser, Patrick Rock, has done. The memo talks about

:33:43.:33:47.

problematic areas, unfavourable copy and broken pledges, that could

:33:47.:33:57.
:33:57.:33:59.

be published without fanfare. But, guess what they have now got.

:33:59.:34:04.

(fanfare) The fanfare was deafening when the 24,000 document was

:34:04.:34:07.

published this afternoon, the Government had guaranteed that

:34:07.:34:11.

every journalist would be pouring all over it. Now the storing story

:34:11.:34:15.

wasn't so much missed targets and broken pledge, no, it was a

:34:15.:34:19.

Government incompetence, and allegations of deception. So it was

:34:19.:34:23.

certainly happy new year for the Labour leader and his first Prime

:34:23.:34:28.

Minister's Questions of 2013. the Prime Minister tell us why on

:34:28.:34:33.

Monday, when he published his Mid- Term Review, he failed to publish

:34:33.:34:39.

his audit of coalition broken promises. We will be publishing

:34:39.:34:46.

absolutely every single audit of every single prob mis, all 39 --

:34:46.:34:50.

promise, all 399 pledges set out in the Mid-Term Review. He's a PR man

:34:50.:34:54.

who can't even do a relaunch. Half way through this parliament, we

:34:54.:34:57.

know they are incompetent, they break their Prom mys and the nasty

:34:57.:35:03.

Party is back. So, what does the document say?

:35:03.:35:09.

Well, some of the pledges haven't been kept yet, but may be delivered

:35:09.:35:13.

over the next two-and-a-half years, like having a free vote in the

:35:13.:35:17.

Commons over fox-hunting, that appears pretty unlikely. Others

:35:17.:35:22.

look pretty difficult to describe as kept, for example, the

:35:22.:35:25.

guarantees that health spending increasing in real terms in each

:35:25.:35:29.

year of the parliament. The UK Statistics Authortiy has concluded

:35:29.:35:33.

it would be fair Tory say there has been little change in -- fairer to

:35:33.:35:38.

say there has been little change in health spending. What about the

:35:38.:35:41.

top-down reorganisation of the NHS, the document suggests that has been

:35:41.:35:45.

kept, if so, what was all the business about abolishing strategic

:35:45.:35:48.

health authorities, and Primary Care Trusts, and giving more

:35:48.:35:52.

commissioning to gpts, it seemed pretty top-down at the time. Don't

:35:52.:35:59.

hold your breath waiting for legislation creating fewer and more

:35:59.:36:03.

equal-sized constituencies, Nick Clegg is refueinging to support the

:36:03.:36:07.

changes because the Conservatives won't support Lords reform. The

:36:07.:36:12.

publication of the Mid-Term Review on Monday, had real echos of Tony

:36:12.:36:22.

Blair's annual reports. Line-by- line we are delivering on the

:36:22.:36:26.

contract. Now it is claimed it is PR. In the end Tony Blair gave up

:36:26.:36:29.

his Annual Reports after three years, perhaps concluding that no-

:36:29.:36:34.

one really cares what Governments say about how jolly well they are

:36:34.:36:39.

doing. I think all Governments end up doing this, despite their

:36:39.:36:42.

experience, they still think that good news is news to journalists.

:36:42.:36:46.

It is not, unfortunately, they get their headline for a few hours, on

:36:46.:36:50.

the first day, then you lot go around picking holes in it, or you

:36:50.:36:55.

look at the processology, which is exactly what has happened today.

:36:55.:36:58.

Poor Patrick Rock isn't the first minister or adviser to get snapped

:36:58.:37:04.

revealing a document. No comment, gracious smile, look good. In fact

:37:04.:37:09.

the mishap has even made it into an episode of the TV comedy, The Thick

:37:09.:37:14.

of It. What would possess you to talk about the streets with notes

:37:14.:37:20.

just there for anybody to see. Patrick Rock joins Labour

:37:20.:37:25.

minister's Caroline Flint and Hazel Blears, and exConservative minister,

:37:25.:37:29.

Andrew Mitchell. Perhaps most serious was Bob Quick, parading

:37:29.:37:33.

details of a yet to happen anti- terror raid. Perhaps one finding of

:37:33.:37:36.

the next Government review is ministers and advisers should all

:37:36.:37:41.

be issued with folders and envelopes to put their sensitive

:37:41.:37:44.

developments in. There is no hotter hot button issue

:37:44.:37:49.

in the United States than guns and what to do about them. After the

:37:49.:37:52.

Connecticut school shooting Barack Obama opened up the emotionally

:37:52.:37:58.

charged debate, and into it stepped the former Mirror editor, Piers

:37:58.:38:02.

Morgan. He criticised America's gun control laws, enshrined in the

:38:02.:38:06.

second amendment to the constitution. Since then almost

:38:06.:38:10.

100,000 people have signed a petition calling for him to be

:38:10.:38:13.

deported. The White House issued a statement defending Mr Morgan's

:38:13.:38:17.

right to free speech. Tonight he had a flavour of how some Americans

:38:17.:38:23.

think about it, when he invited the man who started the petition on to

:38:23.:38:27.

the programme. 1776 will commence again if you try to take our

:38:27.:38:30.

fiefrpls, it doesn't matter how many lemmings you get on the street

:38:30.:38:34.

being for them to have their guns taken, we will not relinquish them,

:38:34.:38:40.

that is why you will fail, do you understand, the establishment knows

:38:40.:38:45.

that no matter how much propaganda, the revolution will rise again. My

:38:45.:38:49.

family was at the core starting Santa Ana, because they came to

:38:49.:38:53.

take the guns of Texas. Don't try what your ancestors did before.

:38:53.:38:57.

Come to America, I will take you out shooting, you can become an

:38:57.:39:02.

American and join the Republic. you finished? Yes I am finish. You

:39:02.:39:06.

will not take my right. There you are, just before I came on air

:39:07.:39:12.

strikes I spoke to Piers Morgan. Do you regret telling Americans

:39:13.:39:16.

what laws are appropriate in their own country and not your's?

:39:16.:39:21.

really. Because I live here. I'm a legal resident in America, the

:39:21.:39:25.

constitution and Bill of Rights applies to me equally as it does to

:39:25.:39:29.

an American. What happens here affects me and my life and that of

:39:29.:39:33.

my family. The guns issue here is now, I think, so dangerous, and so

:39:33.:39:38.

out of control, that something has to give. If I can help frame the

:39:38.:39:43.

debate in a way that is constructive to getting new gun

:39:43.:39:50.

control legislation, then great. But framing in a de -- a debate,

:39:50.:39:54.

you were telling the gun components they were stupid? They were having

:39:54.:39:59.

stupid comments. When you have a massacre like the Sandyhook school

:39:59.:40:03.

massacre and 20 young people blown to pieces by a deranged young man

:40:03.:40:08.

getting Assault Rifles if he wants from a local superstore like Wal-

:40:08.:40:13.

Mart. The reaction of the gun loby that I had, on my show at CNN, was

:40:13.:40:17.

to say more guns less crime, arm everybody, arm the teachers, arm

:40:17.:40:22.

all the movie theatre receptionists, arm everyone at a church, temple

:40:22.:40:26.

and shopping mall and the spiralling descent into gun madness

:40:26.:40:30.

continues. And I do find it stupid and dangerous. I do think that most

:40:30.:40:34.

people in Britain, in particular, where we remember what happened

:40:34.:40:39.

after Dunblane were we brought in very draconian gun control law, and

:40:39.:40:45.

guess what, we have between 30 and 40 gun murders a year, America has

:40:45.:40:50.

11,000-12,000. You can't be surprised as a vit -- at the vit

:40:50.:40:54.

roll, telling them as a foreign in their country that their laws stink

:40:54.:40:58.

which, is effectively what you have just said? I don't know that at all.

:40:58.:41:02.

For all the vitriol I'm getting, I'm getting a lot of people

:41:02.:41:06.

crediting me, a lot of Americans are very concerned about this, who

:41:06.:41:10.

think what I'm trying to do, which is exactly what the President is

:41:10.:41:14.

trying to do and many other people, like the Mayor of New York are

:41:14.:41:17.

trying to do, it is not about banning all their guns or attacking

:41:17.:41:21.

the second amendment, it is a specific campaign to take the

:41:21.:41:24.

military-style assault weapons off the streets and out of civilian

:41:24.:41:28.

hands. They have been used in the last four mass shootings in America,

:41:28.:41:32.

they are the preferred weapon of choice for mass shooters. They load

:41:32.:41:36.

them up with these ridiculous high- capacity magazines that you can put

:41:36.:41:39.

100 bullets in to fire in less than a minute. They are killing machines.

:41:39.:41:44.

They need to be outlawed. Everybody will understand the arguments,

:41:44.:41:47.

particularly over here, they understand exactly what you are

:41:47.:41:50.

saying, you are now a political activist, not a journalist? I don't

:41:50.:41:54.

mind what you call me. I'm comfortable with what I'm doing,

:41:54.:42:00.

and I will continue do doing it, if it makes me popular or unpopular,

:42:01.:42:06.

it doesn't matter, it is what I believe in.

:42:06.:42:11.

The called War on Drugs was declared by President Nixon first,

:42:11.:42:14.

and declared lost in 2011, inbetween many politicians try to

:42:15.:42:19.

avoid the phrase, with the Obama administration suggesting it was

:42:19.:42:22.

counter-productive. Whatever you call t the efforts by the United

:42:22.:42:25.

States to control the production of narcotics abroad, and their

:42:25.:42:31.

consumption at home, the results have involved conflicts in Panama

:42:31.:42:34.

and elsewhere, and the incarceration of thousands of young

:42:34.:42:37.

Americans for drug crimes. The House I Live In is a new film on

:42:37.:42:41.

the War on Drugs, by the director, Eugene Jarecki, and one of the

:42:41.:42:45.

contenders for an Oscar, the film argues the war has been a disaster.

:42:45.:42:54.

Here is a flavour. I'm not a big Superdrug dealer. I have weed. I do

:42:54.:42:59.

what I have to do, I know how to survive, I dib and dab if I have to.

:42:59.:43:04.

It is not hard to tell these are the junkies. Yeah. I think the

:43:04.:43:09.

economy thrives off the drug money. We have judges getting high too.

:43:09.:43:15.

Cops sniffing coke, people with good college jobs who can afford

:43:15.:43:19.

the habits. That is the difference. The boys are behind us. The biggest

:43:19.:43:22.

drug industry in the world isn't in Mexico or Columbia, or in

:43:22.:43:29.

Afghanistan, it is in the United States. One of the realities is,

:43:29.:43:33.

most people getting arrested in this country or drugs are selling

:43:33.:43:36.

drugs to support their own habit. If you stand in a federal court,

:43:36.:43:40.

you are watching poor, uneducated people, being fed into a machine

:43:40.:43:50.
:43:50.:43:50.

like meat to make sausage. It is just bang, bang, bang, next.

:43:50.:43:54.

Somebody down the road said we will fight a war against illicit drugs,

:43:54.:43:57.

because drugs are bad. OK, there is no argument there, think about

:43:57.:44:01.

where we are 30 years later. If you look at all the money spent on drug

:44:01.:44:06.

enforcement, on prison, probation officers, judges, narcotics agents,

:44:06.:44:10.

on adix, and everything else that has expanded due to the war on

:44:11.:44:14.

drugs, it gratifies us because it makes us feel tough on crime. But

:44:14.:44:18.

to what end, we are the most jailing country on the planet.

:44:18.:44:22.

Beyond saud dough Arabia, China or Russia, nobody jails their

:44:22.:44:26.

population at the rate we do. And yet drugs are purer than ever

:44:26.:44:31.

before, they are more available. There are younger and younger kids

:44:31.:44:35.

willing to sell them. If it was draconian and it worked, but it is

:44:35.:44:42.

draconian and it doesn't work, and it leads to more.

:44:42.:44:48.

You can see a full version of the film, The House I Live In, on

:44:48.:44:52.

Storyville on Monday night. Eugene Jarecki directed it, and he's here

:44:52.:44:57.

tonight. You say that the War on Drugs has failed, the slogan has

:44:57.:45:00.

clearly failed, the Obama administration has distanced

:45:00.:45:04.

themselves from it. You can't say taking the drug problems has not

:45:04.:45:08.

made America a safer place than in the 1990s, because crime has gone

:45:08.:45:14.

down, and much of it drug-related? Crime went down for lots of factor,

:45:14.:45:20.

we have created more crime. There is a study that says when you

:45:20.:45:25.

incarcerate 300 people out of every 100,000, that is the tipping point

:45:25.:45:28.

that provides public safety. The moment you go beyond that you

:45:28.:45:33.

foster crime what we do in America is take the non-violent and punish

:45:33.:45:38.

them as though they were violent. We do 740 people per 100,000, among

:45:38.:45:43.

the black community it is 4,000 people. A lot of people make the

:45:43.:45:47.

point it is disproportionately punitive among the black population.

:45:47.:45:51.

I lived in Washington in the 1990s you were 20-times more likely to be

:45:51.:45:56.

murdered than in Belfast, that was mostly drug crime, it was mostly

:45:56.:46:00.

drug crime? It was violent crime. That is drug territory, that has

:46:00.:46:04.

largely gone? No, the violent crime that happens over drug territories,

:46:04.:46:10.

because of the illegality of drugs, if you look in Portugal and Greece,

:46:10.:46:15.

that once they legalise the violence goes away. We learned from

:46:15.:46:18.

prohibition that violence is attached to the drugs. You and I

:46:18.:46:21.

wouldn't be talking about the matter if we were talking about the

:46:21.:46:27.

incarceration of the violent. Who has a problem with that. America's

:46:27.:46:29.

700% explosion of the prison population, is because we

:46:29.:46:33.

incarcerate the violent with the non-violent. Is your solution the

:46:33.:46:37.

decriminalisation of the drugs, saying we should trade in them, and

:46:37.:46:42.

a trading decision, which street corner you deal on? It starts with

:46:42.:46:46.

dealing with it as a health problem, it is that. We should treat drugs

:46:46.:46:51.

certainly we treat alcohol. It is a far more destructive drug than any

:46:51.:46:55.

on the schedule of legal drugs. Its track record of human destruction

:46:55.:47:01.

and public safety and health is peerless. We treat those on the

:47:01.:47:05.

schedule of illegal drugs far more harshly than alcohol, because there

:47:05.:47:10.

is a big business attached to T it defies common sense. It is true

:47:10.:47:14.

there is big business, one of the reasons things are criminalises is

:47:14.:47:21.

society make as moral statement about it. You criminalise murders

:47:21.:47:27.

or rape because you don't think there will be any more, but you do

:47:27.:47:32.

that because they are wrong? That is the nature of it, we unleashed

:47:32.:47:36.

the dogs of war when we launched the War on Drugs. If you want to

:47:36.:47:41.

talk about policies reformed and taxing and regulating drugs, as

:47:41.:47:44.

Washington and Colorado have voted to do. We have laws in America that

:47:44.:47:48.

are so surreal, for example, in California, there are people with

:47:48.:47:52.

non-violent third strieblgs who have life sentence, down the hall,

:47:52.:47:57.

a murder, one of the violent people we should be concerned with are out

:47:57.:48:03.

in 15 years. We are punishing the non-violent more hysterically than

:48:03.:48:08.

the violent. In Holland, where the use of cannabis has been decriminal

:48:08.:48:12.

niceed, they are tougher on it, they don't -- decriminalised it,

:48:12.:48:18.

they are tougher on if, they don't want drugs tourists. You couldn't

:48:18.:48:22.

have more draconian policies than in the United States. We lead the

:48:22.:48:28.

world in demand. We have 40 years of it, and spent �45 billion

:48:28.:48:31.

dollars. We have cheaper drugs more available than before. The violent

:48:31.:48:34.

crime you are talking about, that has been part of the regime that I

:48:34.:48:39.

would say, let's go after violent crime, when you have

:48:39.:48:42.

criminalisation of non-violent petty offence, the police are

:48:43.:48:45.

invent advised to spend their evening on it rather than policing

:48:45.:48:49.

the violence. We will look forward to the film. A quick look at

:48:49.:48:59.
:48:59.:49:21.

Over 47 million litre water pump from it each day, it hosted its

:49:21.:49:25.

first birth in 1924, and fewer than 10% of its stations are south of

:49:25.:49:30.

the river. London's Tube is celebrating its 150th birthday.

:49:30.:49:40.
:49:40.:49:49.

# The public gets # What the public wants

:49:49.:49:54.

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