09/01/2013 Newsnight


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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Lack of affordable housing is the biggest social justice crisis in


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


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


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


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


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


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


ask if anything else might solve the housing crisis.


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


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


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


After attacking US gun control laws following the Connecticut shootings,


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


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


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


housing developments, community groups will be given hard cash,


perhaps hundreds of thousands of pounds. The idea is being


implemented right now by the planning minister Nick Boles, who


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


know, holiday makers buy the houses, at stratospheric prices.


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


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


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


be offered up. This is Brough.


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


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


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


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


A short drive through forbidding foggy moors to Crosby raifrpbs


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


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


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


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


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


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


exclusive announcement. What we have decided is that for those


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


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


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


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


Does anybody feel they want to respond to the announcement that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


deems what affordability is in affordable housing. My husband and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


absolutely every area needs more housing and more affordable housing.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recently. This is the what it looks like


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Nick Boles needs his bribes and his bungs to work.


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


interested partners, Roberta Blackman Woods, and Simon Jenkins


and John Stewart. Do you agree that something must be


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


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


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


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


land in this country, post- industrialisation than in any


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


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


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


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


planning. Selling planning permissions, in effect, through


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


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


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


development should take place, protecting beautiful areas and


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


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


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


we heard. You are bribing people with their


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


drives down the price that the developer pays the landowner for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


largely a supply problem. The planning system in this country


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


idea? We are happy that the Government is taking the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


building places, building communities that people want to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that new development can benefit their community, can benefit the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


facilities in existence already. This meadow development is just


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Nick is talking about is you are addressing issues people are


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


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


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


this is relieving congestion by fund ago round about or road


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


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


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


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


perhaps, there is a generation finding that incredibly difficult.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is about planning cities properly for people to live in.


There is nothing new in senior American politicians, or even


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


warn that wholesale renegotiation of EU membership, could damage


British business and put EU membership in peril. Allegra


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


awaited event. Marc Reckless is well known for his


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


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


comments? The response to the Financial Times, where Richard


Branson expressed concern about the uncertainty that a decision and


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


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


you think about it globally, is to strengthen international


institutions, not weaken international institutions, and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


regulation were to stifle competition from the City of London.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


perhaps the US might like us to moderate slightly how EU


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


issues have broader international implications. There is nothing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


weakening what has become a very significant international


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


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


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


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


great convergence of interest between the United States and the


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


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


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


relationship between the United States and the UK has multiple


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the American people would accept being governed in a way this


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


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


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


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


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


relationship run in British interests, rather than tying


ourselves to one declining continent in the EU, we should


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


the United States and rising economies in China and India and


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


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


huge ambition to do better deals in the British interest.


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


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


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


Imagine the mid-term report congratulations and then an next


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


Government aide was photographed with the document revealing the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


inadvertantly tell everyone what you are doing, by showing


photographers a memo cussing your options.


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


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


problematic areas, unfavourable copy and broken pledges, that could


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


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


published this afternoon, the Government had guaranteed that


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


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


Government incompetence, and allegations of deception. So it was


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


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


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


his audit of coalition broken promises. We will be publishing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


guarantees that health spending increasing in real terms in each


year of the parliament. The UK Statistics Authortiy has concluded


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


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


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


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


health authorities, and Primary Care Trusts, and giving more


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


hold your breath waiting for legislation creating fewer and more


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


just there for anybody to see. Patrick Rock joins Labour


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


Andrew Mitchell. Perhaps most serious was Bob Quick, parading


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


the next Government review is ministers and advisers should all


be issued with folders and envelopes to put their sensitive


developments in. There is no hotter hot button issue


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


Connecticut school shooting Barack Obama opened up the emotionally


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


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


second amendment to the constitution. Since then almost


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


debate in a way that is constructive to getting new gun


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and shopping mall and the spiralling descent into gun madness


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


particularly over here, they understand exactly what you are


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


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


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


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


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


and declared lost in 2011, inbetween many politicians try to


avoid the phrase, with the Obama administration suggesting it was


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


States to control the production of narcotics abroad, and their


consumption at home, the results have involved conflicts in Panama


and elsewhere, and the incarceration of thousands of young


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


most people getting arrested in this country or drugs are selling


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


clearly failed, the Obama administration has distanced


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


point it is disproportionately punitive among the black population.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


700% explosion of the prison population, is because we


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


society make as moral statement about it. You criminalise murders


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


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


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


talk about policies reformed and taxing and regulating drugs, as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


criminalisation of non-violent petty offence, the police are


invent advised to spend their evening on it rather than policing


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


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


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


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


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