11/02/2013 Newsnight


Why did the Pope quit? Will his successor be European? Must we still sell our homes to pay for old age care? The secret Fleet Street Fox blogger revealed.

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Tonight, the stunning announcement by the Pope that he is to quit. The


first to do so in almost 600 years. Back in 1415, Pope Gregory didn't


have to deal with the modern media, child abuse scandals, aid or


contraception. Where does Pope Benedict now leave the Roman


Catholic Church? We will ask is it about time we had a Pope not from


Europe. Also tonight:


Britain's age crisis, the Government offers new help on


paying for care. But does it really mean you will not have to sell your


home when you get old? We sold her house pretty early on


in the proceedings. My guess is that we have probably got enough,


but the current rate, for about another two years before she's


penniless. We will hear from the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. And,


who is the Fleet Street Fox? You are about to find out! Good evening,


there is no doubt that Pope Benedict has grown increasingly


frail in recent month. Some say he was acutely aware that the illness


of his charismatic predecessor, John Paul II, left the church


rudderless towards the end. Pope Benedict is widely admired as


theologian and intellectual, there will be some in the church content


to see him go. He was criticised for his apparent slowness to get to


grips with the child abuse scandal, and not modernising the church the


way the critics wanted. We will get to those issues in a moment. We


begin the coverage live in Rome with our correspondent Alan Little.


Have you met anybody there who was not surs priced by this decision?


No, it has stunned the entire city, and the entire Catholic world.


There wasn't a hint of this in advance. Pope Benedict did in his


statement, in Latin, to the cardials he made the announcement


to give a clue. He said having examined his conscience before God.


It is entirely possible that he consulted nobody, that he took this


decision entirely alone, after months of contemplation and prayer.


He also gave some clues as to why he might have done T he said in


today's world subject to so many rapid changes, and shaken by


questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern,


the Barque of St Peter, and proclaim the gospel, both strength


of mind and body are necessary. That is clearly a reference to the


kinds of things you were mentioning in your introduction there, the


child abuse scandal and so on, it needs much more a rigorous person


in charge to meet the challenges of today's world. One thing that


really strike me, for a figure that some people saw as quite a


Conservative figure, this is an extraordinary radical thing to do.


It is great paradox, it may be the most modernising thing he has done


in his entire pontificate. He has broken with 600 years of precedent.


There hasn't been a single time, since before the reformation, when


it has been true that a regining Pope has been alive at the same


time as an ex-Pope. That opens up some real danger. There may be some


in the Catholic fold who will wonder after the new Pope takes


office, what the real Pope thinks, particularly if the successor is


someone who breaks with the conservative policies and


philosophies of Pope Benedict. We can assume he plans to disappear


from public view, and not to make any public statements, for fear of


causing a split in the Channel Tunnel. This is a very radical


thing, -- in the church. This is a very radical thing for a


conservative Pontiff to have done. What is the Benedict legacy, and is


it time for Rome to find a successor, not from increasingly


secular Europe, but from the real powerhouses of modern Catholicism,


Africa and out South America. We have looked at the recent past and


looking into the future of the papacy and the church.


He's a Pope normally known for his caution and conservatism. But the


announcement Benedict XVI made today, is so unusual, it is said to


have bum dumb founded even his closest -- dumb founded even his


closest aides. TRANSLATION: I have had to recognise my incapacity for


fulfiling the ministry entrusted to me. I'm well aware of the


seriousness of this act. With full freedom anouns I step down from the


Bishop of Rome. He is the first Pope to resign, rather than die in


office, since Gregory XII, almost 600 years ago.


Although his physical frailty has become increasingly apparent, and


he hinted in an interview two years ago he might take the step. Few


took the possibility seriously. On the streets of Rome tonight, there


was considerable bewilderment. TRANSLATION: It was a total


surprise. No-one was expecting news like this. TRANSLATION: It's once


in a lifetime news, nothing like this has ever happened before. A


Pope has never stepped down like this. TRANSLATION: I think there


will have been other reasons, but I don't know. I don't know whether it


is internal church matters, or whether it is to do with the


difficult relationships the Pope had with the outside world. I'm


thinking of the problems relating to paedophilia. The Pope has had a


number of issues he has had to confront. As well as the usual


strains of office, heavy on a man of 85, Benedict has had the


additional stress of the scandals that have broken around the church


in recent years. The flood of allegations of abuse of children by


priests. And last year, the conviction of his former butler,


for stealing his private papers and leaking them to a journalist.


documents were very, very confidential ones. They showed huge


tensions and conflicts within the Vatican. And it turned out that the


source of these was a member of the Pope's own household. His butler. I


was told when I was in Rome late last year that this had had really


distressed the Pope. Really had been, perhaps even, I don't know,


the straw that broke the camel's back.


Following John Paul II, his charismatic and often energetic


predecessor, was a hard task for Benedict. The former Cardinal


Ratzinger was a shy, bookish man, passionate about doctrine, who had


been a professor of theology in his native Germany. When he was first


elected, there was some controversy over his membership, aged 14 of the


Hitler youth, though boys of his age were required to join. Far more


serious of the criticism of much later in his life, as the Vatican's


chief enforcer, he failed to deal adequately with the allegations of


abuse by Clergy. I think he will go down in history as the ostrich Pope,


the one who stuck his head in the sand, while the storm was brewing.


From 1981 on wards, he was head of the Vatican body that was in charge


of disciplining earnt priests, and yet, we have --er rent priests, and


yet, we have discovered letters in American mediation, where he wrote


to bishops saying please can we defrock the priest, and he was


saying no, he's old, or he's young, founding reasons not to defrock


priests, who they knew were guilty. He thinks when Benedict now retires,


he may face lawsuits from abuse survivors. While he's Pope, he is


head of state, it is something of a make-believe state, the Vatican,


but it is nonetheless regarded as a state. So he has absolute immunity


against all lawsuits. But as General Pinochet found, when he


became an ex-head of state, that immunity withers away.


I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured.


Pope Benedict made an unprecedented apology to abuse victim, and he


made it easier to defrock guilty priests. But for many, including


many Catholics, that wasn't enough. He spoke at one time about the need


to get rid of the filth in the church, and people believed he was


talking about the child abuse saga. The difficulty for him has been


that throughout his papacy, there have been indications that senior


clerics in the church, who were aware of problems with priests, had


covered them up. Now they might have been historic, but they keep


coming out. There has been a terrible case in America recently,


and so the trust of people in the world at large, let alone Catholics,


is constantly challenged, and has been throughout this papacy.


yet, as Benedict showed on his visit to Britain in 2010, he has


been able to inspire many. There has been opposition to his


traditionalist views on homosexuality, abortion,


contraception and women priests, but those positions are also widely


supported. Particularly in parts of Africa, Latin America, and Asia.


Where the church is now stronger than in many European countries.


Might the next Pope, for the first time in history, be a non-European.


It is from west Africa that one of the most likely candidates comes.


myself might be the next Pope, is it possible? Again, this is almost


like saying something I said already in 2009, when I got here to


Rome. If God so wishes, then I will probably say "his will be done".


After the shock of today's news, the church has just a few weeks to


decide. The smoke that signals the election of a new Pope is expected


to rise before Easter. We can discuss all this with Fiona


O'Reilly from Catholic Voices, Lavinia Byrne, a former nun, who


left her religious order over the issue of women priests, Michael


Walsh, a Catholic author and historian, but first, Father


Christopher Jamison a former abbot, and star of the BBC series The


Abbey. A lot of Popes, for hundreds of years have gone through


infirmity and old age and continued in office. Why has it stopped him?


If we take the previous Pope, John Paul II he saw his illness as a


witness to those who are sick and infirm. He wanted people to see him


in his infirmity. He went to the balcony to show himself and say I'm


still a child of God and this is an important witness of the importance


of caring for the sick and infirm and dying. Now, Pope Benedict is


not ill, he's just very old. I think there is a significant


difference. That because people can now live, not so much through


illness, but they can live through old age quite remarkably, for a


very long time, he could live with us for many, many more years. He's


aware that actually the declining years of a person who is just


ageing is quite different to a person who is sick. He feels it is


right, in all humility to admit that and step down. Do you think it


is partly to do with, getting on to the spiritual role in a moment, but


the managerial role in the church, which is very taxing, and that's


where he has run into some trouble, not the spiritual, intellectual,


theological side, but it demands someone who is fitter? It demands


someone who is fit to deal with what is a significant organisation.


I also think what has distressed him, is, for example, I'm told his


doctors told him he shouldn't do any transatlantic travel. One of


the high points of the church's life is World Youth Day, next one


is in Rio deJanuary nary in July, he feels that millions of young


Catholics would be very disappointed to have World Youth


Day without the Pope. That is the Pope's personal invitation to the


world, and he probably feels they deserve to have the Pope there.


you feel in a secular world, we fail to, particularly media, we


fail to recognise the spiritual side, and we treat him as if he's


the head of BP, Microsoft or Apple, and that's where it is the


difference. You have put your finger on T he feels above all, the


role of spiritual head requires energy, to preach, to counsel, to


teach. He's, above all, a teacher, if he feels he can't teach he's not


able to fulfil a key role in the church. You are right, most chief


executives don't have to be teachers, along with being chief


executives. He has been widely praised today as an intellectual


and theologian, was he up to the challenges of the modern media and


the issues, like child abuse, and we heard about the butler which


took a toll on him personally. has shown himself shrewd about the


media, he's the first Pope to tweet. It was a media he could handle. The


challenge to speak in 144 characters is a good challenge for


an intellectual. He did interviews live where he allowed young people


to send him questions. He's not intimidated by that. He's


intimidated by the pace of it, not the reality of it, but the sheer


pace of it. Let me bring in our other guests, I said to our


reporter at the start, this is for somebody often considered to be a


conservative, we can debate that, many people think he is very


conservative on some issues, this was an amazingly radical step for


him to take? It was, but he has been radical in a subdued way on


other issues. For example, he is one of the first Popes we have seen


really provide teaching in the moment, that's relevant to the big


questions that civil society is facing. A good example would be, as


the world was wrestling with the causes of the economic crisis


between 2007-2010, he was the first one to come out and saying everyone


was relying on market forces and reward being enough to make people


do the right thing, that money without an ethical framework around


it gets you into a lot of hot water very quickly. Actually, he has been


a reformer, but perhaps a very understated one. Do you think


people are wrong to see him as a conservative? He's conservative in


one ways, but there is more to him than meets the eye. His work to


reform Vatican finances is another place where he has taken steps to


open up the Vatican, they haven't caught the media attention, or had


the coverage that we will, in the end, realise they may have merited.


Lavinia Byrne, how do you see him, and see this legacy in terms of


reform and change, or otherwise? Well, clearly he was always going


to be a transitional Pope. The Cardinals who elect him knew he was


an old man. They must have envisaged a short period of office


for him. What's intriguing is that he has removed himself, and on


today of all days, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is a date


that is supposed to be all about healing, and about health, so, what


this is health-wise, what it means, is still intriguing, I think.


can I put it, are you glad, frankly, that he has decided to go, because


you hope that the future may be more to your liking within the


church? No, I think it would be ungrae gracious to say that I was -


- ungracious to say I was glad. In my lifetime there have been seven


Popes, you know Popes come, Popes go, the church goes on forever. But


I do envisage a future that is more open to addressing the critical


question about how the church inhabits the world. It's no good


just condemning secularism, the church must deal with the questions


that are being raised by contemporary society, and discern


where God's will is. I wonder if he suffers in comparison with his


predecessor. The famous quote was, if John Paul II had chosen another


profession, he would have been a film star, and Pope Benedict would


have been a university professor. There is something in that? He was


a university professor, I don't think that is true about John Paul


II, he would have probably been a footballer! The point is the same?


The point is the same, I take it. One of the things I feel about it,


and I feel about what has already been said, is this managerial role.


I mean the Vatican is a very dysfuntional organisation at the


moment, it was under the last years of his predecessor, probably was


throughout the whole of his time, it really wasn't that he was


interested in that side of things at all. So, you have got the Pope


coming in with a dysfuntional, and a lot of us thought the election of


a ecurial official, a non-Italian, without some of the traditional


ties they have, he was chosen to reform the ecurial, and that hasn't


happened. As all the revelations that came out with the butler's


letters revealed to us. I think it has got much worse. I think the


money thing is an interesting one. You can't really say that he has


reformed the finances. You can't say he has reformed the finances,


you can't reform the Vatican money system, when the European banks


have turned around and said we won't accept credit card


transactions because you haven't got adequate money laundering


structures in place. Hold on a second, that's not true.


European Union's body for dealing with these issues gave the Vatican,


which had only just entered into the system of trying to comply with


the money standards. They said the Vatican City had made great


progress, even though there was more to be done. Everyone was


frankly surprised when bank turned around and withdrew the credit.


That is a little bit of a red herring in this, it is the Money


Val's judgment, the European Union's judgment, which said the


Vatican City is heading in the right way. That was the Pope's


initiative. For some people the legacy of this Pope will be


unfortunately the person on whose watch we all became aware of child


abuse. He didn't do enough to stop it? I think what we have got to


recognise is, he was on a learning curve as much as anybody else in


society. Getting his head round the phenomenon of paedophilia, the


global scale of this issue, and did he learn enough fast enough, did he


act or go far enough, those are all good questions we have to ask. What


is for sure is he is a Pope who was determined to tackle this head-on.


He was one of the first to actually meet repeatedly with victims, at


their request, behind closed doors, away from the glare of the media.


He was the one that reformed Canon Law, so it was easier to expel


priests. One of the criticisms was he was slow and actually at the


start he covered it up, he did get there eventually? It is not fair to


say he covered it up, I think it is fair to say he was grappling to


understand and get the facts on the table to see the scale of the issue.


Has he gone far enough and fast enough, has he dealt with it? No,


is there more to be done, absolutely. I think we will see for


the first time that the church actually said we have a huge


problem, we have got this absolutely wrong, and we have to


act and take steps in the right direction. You left over the issue


of women in the church and the role of women in the church. I'm


wondering what challenges you see for his success so, and whether


that person, perhaps if he comes from Latin America, or Africa, may


just be a greater symbol of the change within the church?


things, the new Pope has to deal with the immediately, one is


internal organisation, we need a man with a big broom, who will go


in and sort out the Vatican. Sort out the curia, but also we need


somebody who is prepared to engage with the questions that really need


addressing. Particularly about the use of power in the church. And


that is why, increasingly, I go back to the role of women. Because,


the church have the idea it would be a good idea to educate girls,


but what does it know, it doesn't seem to know what to do with


educated women. It seems to me all the questions about child abuse as


well, are really about the abuse of power, rather than limit it to a


sexual perspective. Clergy who are accountable for their use of power,


will not abuse so easily. That's the key issue to be addressed.


Clerical power. Do you agree with some of that? I think that some of


what has been said has to be taken very, very seriously, I wouldn't


put it in quite the stark terms that she does. If you take the


issue about a big broom to clean out the Vatican. I think it is one


of the most commonly said things about any in coming Government is


it will have to come to grips with the Civil Service. We have it here


in Britain, everybody complains about the Civil Service. They


always have difficulties internally, any in coming leader has to grapple


with that. To imagine that the Vatican has a monopoly of those


issues is wrong. I know that coming back to the women issue, the role


of women in the church in the exercise of power in the church,


this is a very serious issue. I was very struck that there was an


American Cardinal, Cardinal dole lan, who said the one way -- D


Cardinal Dolan, to say the one way to deal with it is to have a woman


Cardinal. And it was extraordinary, there is no block to that, you


don't have to be ordained to be a Cardinal. You have to be a cleric


to be a Cardinal, you can't have women clerics. In terms of the big


broom, do you think it would be refreshing if this were a non-


European, is that irrelevant? afraid I part company with a lot of


people on this. I'm regarded to be on the liberal side of the church,


most liberals would say we ought to have a Latin American, I don't go


along with that, and for this reason, it is partly the management


issue that you touched upon. In fact, what happens if you choose


the very best man to run the church? From wherever he is in the


world. You have a chief executive, you have got exactly what


Christopher Jamison was saying he doesn't want. That is the notion,


what Rome needs is a bishop, it is about time we got back to having a


Bishop of Rome, rather than a Pontiff or Pope that governs the


whole church in the way he has been doing in fairly recent to the last


couple of centuries. Basically I think it would be a mistake to


choose somebody from outside. word? We have to look at the


pontificate in the round, there is steps Ford and more working to done.


The issue of women and their ordination into the priesthood is a


fascinating one, it is not even to do with this pontificate, John Paul


II came out and said it is not about whether or not we want to


ordain them it is what is in the books, and what Cardinal Ratzinger,


and Benedict XVI as he has done is realise the Laity, male and female


have a huge role to play. It will be to see if if the next Pope


builds on that. Thank you very much. In a moment we


reveal the Fleet Street Fox, why have their blogs and tweets


intrigued and annoyed so many. One definition of surprise is the


dog which walks on two leg, he might not do it perfectly, but the


surprise is he does it at all. You might say the same about care of


the elderly, which for years has been bedevilled Governments who


want us to encourage us to save for our own age, and knowing that the


penalty of it is when we get old and need help we might have to sell


our houses to pay for the care. The Government has taken a step to deal


with the issue. Although there was criticism of the details, there was


recognition that doing it at all in difficult economic times may be an


important step. Diana Golding had enjoyed a


fulfiling old age. Busy with two son, five grandchildren, three


great-grand children. But for the last six years she hasn't been able


to recognise any of them. Dementia has effectively removed her from


her family, and left her dependant on full-time care in Shropshire.


sold her house pretty early on in the proceedings. In 2006, because


we knew we were going to need the money and the house was otherwise


empty and decaying. We subsequently invested that money, but we're


getting a little towards the end of it now. My guess is that we have


probably got enough at the current rate for about another two years,


before she's penniless. Diana has been in a care home since


2005. The cost of �300,000, has been met by the sale of her home.


It's this situation, affecting tens of thousands of elderly people


every year, that has forced the Government to announce what it


calls a new era of support. From April 2017, an individual's


social care costs will be capped at �75,000. Those in nursing homes


will still pay up to �12,000 in bed and board charges. Those with


assets below �123,000 will get financial help. The Health


Secretary told MPs that while people should contribute to care


costs, there had to be a limit. Though it will be greater than the


�25,000-�50,000, recommended by an independent commission. We want our


country to be one of the best places in the world to grow old.


These plans will give certainty and peace of mind about the cost of


care, making sure we can all get the support we need, without facing


unlimited costs, whiels also ensuring the most support goes to


those -- whilst also ensuring the most support goes to those with the


greatest need. This is the sort of active old age everyone hopes for,


in reality an estimated one in ten will face care costs of more than


�100,000. Today's announcement should take the pressure off them.


But Labour believes more is needed. We have seen a doubling in the


number of older people being readmitted to hospital, over the


last ten years. The NHS spends �18 million a month on delayed


discharges from hospital, because people can't get the right care and


support at home. That's not good for elderly people, and it is not


good use of tax-payers' money. We need a much bigger and more radical


transformation, if we are really going to meet the needs of an


ageing population. The Government wants to give this


population certainty, so they can plan and eninsure themselves to


cover the �75,000 worth of care. Campaigners say the changes are


welcome, but don't address the here and now. These proposelias will


only deal with the care problems that arise in the future. They do


nothing to help people -- proposals will only deal with the care


problems that arise in the future. They don't help those already


paying for care, and they won't improve the standards and quality


of care. On their own they don't deal with any of the short-term


problems but they will help put in place a better framework for the


long-term. The reforms that might have spared Mike Golding from


selling his mother's house will cost a billion pounds. This will be


covered by a mixture of national insurance payments, and a new U-


turn, abandoning by the roadside one of the Conservative Party's


more popular pledges. The next Conservative Government will raise


the inheritance tax threshold to �1 million. When George Osborne wowed


the Tories by promising to raise the threshold for interance tax, he


appeared d inheritance tax he appeared to walk on political water.


It left Prime Minister Brown wading through PR accused of snapping the


heels of the election. Now he will put off that decision for another


three years, infuriating his backbenchers. This is the yellow


peril, the Liberal Democrats in the coalition saying well you are not


going to get the social care package. We will veto it unless you


agree to make more people pay inheritance tax, it is clearly a


problem of coalition Government. Clearly if you had a Conservative


Government, and George Osborne was Chancellor of a Conservative


Government, no way would this be the solution to paying for social


care. For such backbenchers it is the curse of coalition politics,


but the Government is putting it down to the reality of an ageing


and needful population. For its plans to be sustainable, attitudes


must change. So we are being told that social care costs must be


planned for, in the same way as pensions.


It is a shift towards greater individual responsibility. As more


of us get older, with greater numbers suffering dementia, such a


change is considered inevitable. Earlier tonight I talked with the


Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, about his proposal, and some of the


criticisms. It is a very big forward, but we have to recognise


that with the financial circumstances as they are, we can't


afford to get that cap quite as low as we might have liked. The fact


that we have got it means for the first time there is certainty in


the system. And people can make provision for their social care


cost, and we can avoid the -- costs, and we can avoid a double tragedy,


that somebody gets a condition like dementia, and they find as well as


having to cope with all the pressures of the debilitating


disease, they also have to sell their house. That is what we are


trying to stop. You are talking about certainty, yet you would


accept there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the cost of


accommodation and food, which is not covered. And people may still


have to sell their homes, but perhaps not as quickly as before?


Not at all, the point of these proposals is no-one has to sell


their homes. The reason for that is because by setting an upper limit,


people can make provision for the maximum amount they will have to


pay. They can include that in their pension plans, just like they plan


for an annuity, a lump sum when they retire, they can make


provision for the amount they might have to pay for their care costs.


If you would like to do a bit more, but we can't afford it as a nation,


why not scrap free bus passes, TV licenses and Winter Fuel Payments


to the richer pensioners to help you along the route, they don't


need the money, and the people you are talking about do need the money.


The Prime Minister made a firm commitment in the run up to the


last election that he would protect pensioner benefits. We looked at


all options when looking at how to fund it, we decided this is the


right way of doing it. If we had done something else that had cost


many billions of pounds more, people would have said how are you


taking on these extra liabilities at a time when we are reducing the


deficit. That would have been the tone of the questions. What I have


announced today is going to cost an extra billion pounds a year by the


end of the next parliament, that is a significant amount of money by


anyone's calculation. It's going to create the certainty we need,


whilst also helping a lot of people, particularly the people who have


worked hard, and saved hard, done the right thing for all their lives,


paid off their mortgage, but then found that everything they have


worked for all their lives is at risk. This allows them a way of


removing that risk, that is why it is a big step. Indeed, but you said,


the Prime Minister made a pretty solemn manifesto commitment about


the bus passes and TV licenses and so on, there was also a commitment


to raise the inheritance tax threshold to �1 million. You won't


meet the commitment in order to pay for it. One commitment is


sacrosanct, and the other isn't? Not at all, first of all that


commitment on inheritance tax was a Conservative manifesto commitment,


it is not in the coalition agreement. There is an important


difference, we are in a coalition. The reason we made that commitment


as Conservatives is because we want to help people, who have worked all


their lives, protect their inheritance. Today's announcement


is about helping people protect that very inheritance, against the


lottery of care costs. 10% of us are going to end up spending more


than �100,000 on our care costs, and we don't know if we are in that


10% or not. It is completely random whether everything you have worked


at for your whole life is going to get wiped out, because you are


unlucky enough to get dementia and to have very high social care costs.


With respect, the acomdaix and food costs are not covered, therefore --


accommodation and food costs are not covered, and therefore there


will always be a covering of those? You have to pay the accommodation


and food costs now any way, you would have had to pay those costs


if you had been living in home and not residential care. It is a lot


more expensive than living in your own home that you have already paid


for? You continue to get your pension and the other things you


need, if you are not getting enough money you will get additional


support. The reason why we have included that provision, we think


it would be wrong to have a system where you are better off going into


residential care than staying at home. That is why I think it is


important that you make a separate provision for accommodation and


food costs. We have done that on the basis of that being around


�1,000 a month, at 2017/18 prices. Do you wish the economy were in


such a state that you could have said the threshold was �50,000?


is up to future Governments to look at these things when we have paid


off the deficit. But I think we have to recognise that in very,


very difficult financial circumstances, we have created


something that will help many, many people. Even the people who don't


get the direct financial help, will get the certainty to plan and make


provision. It is a bold thing, we will be one of the first countries


in the world, perhaps "it" first country in the world to introduce a


reform of this magnitude. But we had the previous Government that


sat on this issue for 13 years, we have acted, and despite the


incredible challenge of that budget deficit, we have found the


resources to fund this properly. I think it is a day that we can all


cheer. She called herself the Fleet Street


Fox, tweeting and blogging anonymously, some would say bitchly,


she found a considerable following on the Internet. Some of her


targets thought she was just awful. That seemed to at to her followers,


now Susie Bonneface has outed herself. We wondered if talking


about her style would talk about the death of traditional newspapers.


The she was the Fleet Street insider that amassed 50,000


followers by blogging tabloid style about the daily news. When she


began it was under the nom de guerre of Fleet Street Fox, some


were loving it and some hated it. She was involved in high-profile


spats that led to her to be nearly identified. As Fleet Street Fox,


she was happy to defend the principle of phone hacking, arguing


it would be justifiable if you heard that Andy Coulson had left a


voicemail for Michael Brooks, in which they admitted they knew about


-- Rebecca Brooks, and admitted they knew about it. It comes down


to personal judgment, but journalists are expected by the


reader as much as their employers to do things no-one else would.


These are tough times for traditional print media, almost all


national newspapers are losing circulation year on year. The


Financial Times editor, recently announced plans to cut jobs at the


paper. As part of a move to focus more resources on-line. Saying from


now on, the digital output came before the newspaper.


There is more upheaval ahead for newspapers this week. Tomorrow,


Conservative minister, Oliver Letwin, will set out his party's


plans to create an independent press regulator, backed by a royal


charter. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats want a tougher


regime, statutory underpinning of press laws, proposed by Lord


Justice Leveson, after his report into media ethic. They will all


meet to thrash out their differences, already it is looking


as though reaching agreement will be tricky.


My guests are here. What intrigues me, who reads you


on-line, who is your market, is it the same people who read the Mirror


or other Sunday newspapers? shouldn't think so. The one thing I


have learned from doing the blogging, which is something I


found out about as you go along, there is an entirely different


audience on-line. It is one of the things facing newspapers today. On-


line you are looking at a market which is 18-35-year-olds, they have


access to smartphones, they are used to instant news and reaction.


Where as in the newspapers you are looking at people who are over 35,


and want things in their hands. It is an entirely different market


place. It is quite interesting with all the hand wringing about the


ethical standards s or lack of them in newspapers, that there is room


for stuff which there is no editor you have to go through, you can do


it anonymously, the press complaints commission have no


leverage on what you write. It is a completely different world? That is


the basic problem that Leveson had, there was a free for all, to some


extent, on-line, but the reason that some people are more trusted


than others, some newspaper websites are more trusted than


others, or some other bloggers, is they have a reputation that has


been built up over time, for whatever it is that they provide


best. People judge things on that basis. Is it liberating for you,


you can do what you want? Yeah, I have been a newspaper reporter


since I was 18 years old. I have not been able to express a personal


opinion about any of the things I see in the news around me or the


amazing people I have met or the things I have seen behind the


scenes knocking on doors, since I was 18, I wanted to write a blog to


tell people all the stuff I'm not able to in a newspaper. Is this


part of the future, and something we will come on to in a moment,


that the newspaper review will be old hat? It has to be. Everyone is


moving to digital. There might still be newspapers, but you only


have to look at the announcement from the FT, we have had the


Guardian, we have our own plans at the Independent, everyone is moving


on-line, and putting more and more resources on-line. It is inevitable


really. Do you think it changes the nature of journalism, and maybe


people, particularly younger people, as Susie suggests, don't want to


think something goes through an editor, a proprietor, some kind of


process, they don't like that. is certainly true. If you look


where people get their news from, a lot of them get it from Twitter and


Facebook. I think we still have brands that people want. There is a


reputation there. There is an element of trust, so there is two


audiences, really, there is some people who want gossip and tittle


tattle, they want a view, what Fleet Street Fox did is give a view.


That is perfectly fine. But if you are reporting factual news, you


want to know that somebody has checked it and had a look at it,


and there is an element of trust there. That is what we do. Do you


think on-line newspapers would lose their influence, because there is


something about the written paper in your hand? That says it is


important. Where as Twitter is here today and gone tomorrow, and some


of the internet stuff is not reliable, you lose your brand


identity? It is a discussion we have all the time, all newspapers


do. They must do, there can't be a newspaper anywhere in the world


that hasn't had this discussion in their offices. What we feel is we


would lose presence, we wouldn't be read out on this programme or the


Today Programme. You just cease to be and move into the ether. That


may be wrong, that things are moving so quickly I might be out of


date. Nobody knows anything, as we discover night after night! It


might be delightful to do it, but it is difficult to make money out


of it T you said you are writing a book, that will make money, you


have outed yourself, that might make you money, but doing tweeting


and blogging don't make money? Neither make money. I have managed


to create it as a shop window, I have got work as a result of it,


and got my book deal as a result of Twitter and the blogging.


Interesting you do lose some of our reputation if you don't have


something substantial in your hand. I'm in my mid-30s, I prefer holding


a newspaper than watch it on-line. You have two different market


places and you can supply both of them, the Internet will make more


money when people start cracking that it will pay for the print


editions. Do you think it increases or decreases the chances of bad


practices, or is Leveson bolting a stable door when nobody cares about


that particular horse. I think Leveson is a reaction to an old


world to an old world problem. There are new problems out there


no-one has redress. We need to find a way to make the Internet pay,


make contempt and behaviour on the Internet be regulated. And getting


people to sue the Internet when they get round to it doesn't make


it a safe place to be. I have talked to a lot of newspaper editor,


they all have the same bemused expression, they all know the


issues and discuss them, nobody knows the answer. Do you have a pay


wall, do you not, do you have a mini version of your newspaper,


what do you do? I think you have to have multiplatform. That is jargon,


you have your paid-for paper, your British paper, we have the "I", you


have your iPad app, the more flat forms you have, the more ways you


can make money on advertising. Something Mike work? Suck it and


see. Let's look at some of the dead That's all from us, in a programme


that touched upon the Bible at the beginning, we thought we might end


with the original writing on the wall from biblical times. "you have


been weighed in the balance and found wanting". Here is what


happened when some modern writing on a ball kept reappearing, despite


the best efforts of someone to paint over it. Since we saw all


this on the Internet, there is at Hello there. A quiet but cold theme


to Tuesday's weather, things will start to change from Wednesday on


wards. Early morning sleet and snow showers across parts of Wales and


up into the north-east, will fizzle away not amounting to too much at


all. Leaving a cloudy grey afternoon in prospect, still the


potential for a few isolated swintry showers on the North Sea


facing coast. Temperatures struggle, maximum of two or three. Milder


further south and west, maybe a bit of brightness if you are lucky. Any


sunny spells will be pretty short lived, and a premium I suspect. Up


into much of Wales, some brightness in the far north. Elsewhere cloudy


and write, with three or four degrees the high. The quiet theme


continues into Northern Ireland. If you are lucky brightness in the


afternoon, a similar story for much of western Scotland. Here the best


chance of seeing any sunshine. Always along the North Sea facing


coasts a few wintery showers. It is a cloudy, quiet, but coolish theme


to the north of the country on Tuesday. All change on Wednesday,


we will have some snow for a and then it turns to rain and a milder


feel starts to move through. Similar for England and Wales,


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the headlines with Gavin Esler. Including, why did the Pope quit? Will his successor be European? Must we still sell our homes to pay for old age care, and the secret Fleet Street Fox blogger revealed.

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