13/02/2013 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Gavin Esler.

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Tonight, getting a grip on the horse meat scandal, a crisis


meeting in Brussels, with countries from Ireland, to Romania now


implicated. It seems like every day we are learning something new about


what we are eating. So how do we best make sure we know what's in


our food, and where it comes from. We will hear from the Prime


Minister of Romania. Also the blank page where Labour's policy should


be. We hear from the man in charge of the party's policy review, on


what Ed Miliband's Labour is for, what it should do.


And, he came close to becoming the European Union's first Marxist


Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras tells Newsnight why he thinks


Greece's democracy itself could be in danger.


Good evening a crisis meeting in Brussels, the British Prime


Minister promising the full force of the law. The Romanian Prime


Minister denying to Newsnight his country is responsible for the


dodgy supposed beef which is actually mothers. From Dublin to --


horse, from Dublin to Westminster, to Bucharest, agriculture minister,


scientists and consumers are trying to make sense of a complicated


relationship between meat packers and sources. Passing off cheap meat


as expensive. We will hear from a far from happy Romanian Prime


Minister tonight, but we have this coverage tonight.


Within all the confusion of the horsemeat scandal, it is easy to


forget it is actually about something quite simple. How much do


we know about the journey farm animals make from here to our plate.


Jody Scheckter is a former Formula One world champion, who now runs an


organic meat from in Hampshire. can see in a computer in the office


where every piece of meat is in this abattoir. It comes from France


and into the abattoir, in the abattoir we have three people from


the Government, you can't bring any other animal in that looks like


something else. We track the meat right through until it gets to the


plate, and to the outlet where we sell it. This is a pretty highend


operation, not only do they farm sheep and cattle, but buffalo too.


And it's unusual in having so many parts of the chain here on the one


site. From farm to abattoir to customer. When the imperative is


food that everyone can afford, is it possible to have this degree of


safeguard all along the chain. Horses are supposed to be


identifiable through passport and microchip, beef cattle also have a


passport and ear tag. But after slaughter, tracability gets harder.


The problem becomes when it becomes processed, such as mince or other


more complex products. Here we have to remember that the microchip, or


the ear tag, doesn't accompany that box of processed meat. It is a


paper-based system, which works on trust, and that, combined with a


complex food chain across the European Union, we have the single


market for this, makes tracability complex, difficult and, as we are


finding, open to misuse.The Structure of the meat supply chain


can be a long one, and the paper trail complex. From farm to


slaughterhouse, which may or may not include a cutting plant for


boning and packing, and from here, the meat is either sent on to a


food processor, wholesaler or directly to the consumer. But in


most cases to a retailer or food outlet. This whole chain is under


scrutiny now across Europe, as officials try to work out what


happened where. Drawing in first Ireland, then France, Netherlands,


Luxembourg, Romania, and as we found out yesterday, the UK.


some cases it is possible to determine not just the species and


country of origin, but the breed, the farm, and in fact, the field


that they are grazing in. But at the value end you pay less money


because you are not having that levels of tracability. It is


passing through many hands, and so, yes, almost inevitably this is


going to be only at the value end that the tracability is eradicated.


So if we can't place too much trust in paper audit, the other way to


check what is in the supply chain is to test. Scientists who carry


out this DNA testing say retailers and the Food Standards Agency needs


to shift the balance towards more testing. They only test the things


they expect to be there. What has happened in this situation is that


nobody, very few people were looking for horseMay meat in final


products. Certainly the FSA in this country, and most of the retail as


far as I can tell weren't either. So you can only test for what you


expect to be there. I think because the FSA are not doing so much


surveillance work in this area any more, these things, I think, are


being missed. It'ss good. For Jody Scheckter, the


last thing he thinks is needed is mormon torg of the meat supply


chain. There is always a way of cheat ago system, but there is


always bad people in every type of industry that is going to try to


sneak something in a little bit cheaper. -- cheating the system,


but there is always bad people of every type of industry trying to


sneak something in. But monitoring will make it more expensive and


make it that they want cheap foods, because they so regulate it, it


makes it so expensive. There is either way to look at it. Today the


BBC spoke to the Welsh owner of one of two companies which the Food


Standards Agency yesterday alleged had been passing off horse as beef,


destined for kebabs and burgers. His lawyer said the agency's


allegations are misleading. I get paid for doing the cutting up.


There is no further processing, I don't do keb bags, I don't --


kebabs, I don't do mincemeat or beef burgers this is not a


processing plant. This is purely production, meat cutting.


Brussels tonight there was agreement that the way ahead to win


back consumer confidence is more DNA testing across the EU. To check


for horsemeat, and a focus on testing for the veterinary medicine


bute, used on horses, but should not be in the human food chain.


consumer needs to see a co- ordinated and determined effort,


right across Europe, to get to the bottom of this problem. It is


completely wrong that consumers are being presented with a product


marked "beef", and finding it contains horse. I'm delighted we


got this meetinging pulled together at short notice today. And I'm


pleased that the commissioner has come forward with proposelia that


is we wanted. It is clear we do want DNA testing of processed beef


products, that will help reassure the consumer.


The soul searching continues about the way we farm our meat, process


our food and keep consumers informed about what we are all


eating. Earlier today I talked with the Prime Minister of Romania about


the finger pointing which suggests Romania is to blame for some of the


adulterated meat products. He insists it a European, not just


Romanian problem, and has confidence about how horsemeat is


produced in his country. Up to now according to all the checks that


the Romanian and European authorities, and you the media have


conducted here in Romania, it is very clear that there are plans


plants and companies in are you main -- plants, and companies in


Romania exporting horsemeat, but everything was according to the


standards. The kind of meat was clearly put as being horsemeat,


somewhere on the network to the UK and other countries, it seems that


something I will local happened, and we will fully co-operate to


punish, if there is a Romanian company, up to now it hasn't been


like this, but to punish the companies involved, and to rebuild


the trust of the European consumers. Do you accept that if this is, as


you say, a European problem, then the European system clearly isn't


working? I can tell you, because I'm not a specialist in this matter,


but I can tell you that at least in Romania, up to now, according to


all the checks, the European standards has been respected and


that means that the European procedures have worked. It is a


clear case of fraud, and I know that there are frauds in many other


issues, not only in in this field. I think that using this crisis, we


should work together on the European side to threaten the


checks, the rules and to make the procedures even better than up to


now. What do you mean by that, sorry to interrupt, what you do


mean by making it even better. People in this country are amazed


that we are importing meat from Romania, through Dutch, French and


Spanish intermediaries, which some how turns up in our food and not


tabled correctly. What has to work better? Actually if we are


referring to this case, there was no import from Romania to the UK.


Romanians produced and have exported to France, to Luxembourg,


to Cyprus, to some other European countries. So the idea is, and this


is, I think, the concern of the European authorities, but each


member-state and the authorities is to find out exactly where the fraud


has been committed. To take very harsh measures against the kpts,


and to put in place rules -- companies, and to put in place


rules for the future to avoid these kinds of frauds. Do you think this


is damaging to Romania, because we are having a campaign now to buy


local, buy British and don't buy stuff from abroad, that will hurt


your industry? The main concern should not be the concern interests


of one company, from Romania or the UK. The main interest and the main


responsibility we have is towards the consumers. British consumers,


like any other European consumers, like the Romanian consumers, they


have the right to know the truth about the food. We should, first of


all, treat these scandals, taking into consideration the legitimate


right of the consumers to be rightly informed and to know the


truth. Secondly, off course this scandal is going to affect some


companies. If we are talking about guilty companies, this is very good,


and they should be very harshly punished. If it is the owners, then


the fair companies, it is in the interests of all the Governments to


protect the honest companies and punish the dishonest ones.


don't think Romania is being made the fall guy and scapegoat for


this? It could have been. If we had not reacted very fast, and very


clearly. That's why I'm rather satisfied that the Romanian


authorities took this issue very, very seriously, and for the time


being, for the time being, I'm satisfied with the way that we


reacted, but we are going to, once again, I don't consider the job of


the Romanian authorities fulfilled, because nothing happens in are you


mainia. I think that we should double check, triple check this, to


help all the member states and the European authorities, as I told you,


to punish the responsible companies, and secondly, to make better rules


and better standards for the future. What all this has uncovered, of


course, is how little we actually know about what goes into processed


food, and also whether the pressure to buy cheap food might be damaging


in the long run. To discuss this, Tim Lang, Professor of food policy


at City University, the MP, Sandys, campaigning on food pricing, and we


are joined by the NFU President, Peter Kendall from Brussels.


Do you have a sense whereof the blame lies in this, has there --


where the blame lies in this, has there been a structural breakdown?


I thought the interview with the Romanian premier was spot on. What


it was exposing is initial reflexes of the British Government was to


blame the Romanians. It was a convenient, far away, easy to do,


but that was a very robust defence, and the Romanians, if you notice,


all along have said, hold on. The other theory, if that's the bad


company apple theory, the other they arey, which is actually what


most people think, is -- theory, which is actually what most people


think, is this is a systemic failure. Some of the most biggest,


highly capitalised, and most ruthless companies in the food


system, have been found to be selling horsemeat, the jewel in the


crown of how they manage the system, contracts and specifications, have


been busted apart. You can't say that's a bad apple. You can't say


that is a rogue Romanian. consumer policy chief at the EU


said the EU regulatory regime is one of the safest in the world?


This isn't about safety, this is about trust. So far it is not about


safety. This is about, does a consumer get what she or he expects


to get? This is about what we in Britain had a row about in the mid-


19th century, and it ended up in our law with that classic statement,


which is basically what Europe has too, which is "food should be of


the nature, quality and substance demanded", that ain't what people


have got with horse burgers. Peter Kendall, do you think that


consumers, if the trust is the issue, I'm sure it is for most


people, consumers will trust things more if the EU's plans for more ran


Dom testing comes in. -- random testing comes in. It sounds like a


drop in the bucket? I think consumers are being concerned they


are being sold one thing and then picking up something else from the


shelves. I think we have all got to work together to reassure people


about where food comes from, and the tests it goes through. I want


consumers to look for the tracability of local supply chains.


I think something Tim and I would agree on is the notion that it has


become such a long chain, such a secure chain around large chunks of


Europe and the world, it means it is very easy for a rogue person, a


fraudster to get involved in that chain. We need more integrated,


designated supply chains, that helps build trust between the


farmer and the consumer. Peter Kendall, for instance, if we go


into a shop and it says "British beef" we want to believe absolutely


that it's British and it is beef. But we don't know? We simply don't


know? You do, and I live in Bedfordshire, I shop at the local


butcher's, you see the farm it has come from. Some of the retailers


are trying to build that sort of relationship up. That's to be


applauded. The more the retailers say I know my farmers, I know how


they look after them, we have a special regime for both welfare and


environmental stewardship, that's a great message. It need not cost the


earth. It could be that product going into ordinary value lines as


well. You have campaigned on this for quite some time. In terms of


the lower end, the value end, it is very difficult, isn't it? It is not


as if you can absolutely trace it. We have seen these absolutely


incomprehensible chains where we get our kebabs through some places


in Europe? In some instances it is worse than horsemeat. We are


talking about substitution with high fructose, corn syrup, things


that are actually extremely bad for you. What we are trying to do, what


has happened to the food system is we have rising food prices, and the


food sector is trying to keep the prices the same as they have been


in the past. Particularly at the value end. As a result what we are


doing is the consumer is the person who is absorbing either reduced


ingredient, reduced quality ingredients, packaging that is


actually distributing a little bit more air than actual product, and


promotions. What we have got to do is just be clear with the consumer,


food prices are going up. We have to change our business model. We


have to be clear and straight with the consumer. Are you going to be


the brave politician who says we should just pay for more our food,


given that people are finding it hard to pay any way? At the moment


what we have got is consumers who are paying for food that isn't what


it says often on the package. And the issue is, that consumers are


smart, whether they come from some of my poorest wards, or central


London, they are smart people. You give them the right information,


they will make the right decisions. But we have had for too long a


system which is actually just perpetuating cheap food available


at call costs at -- at all cost at all times. Will we pay for more


food, it is about trust, perhaps some of us would be happy to pay


less for good food as long as we know what we are getting? This is


the moment when the British love affair with the cheap food policy,


we have had since 1846, is now being exposed. It got exposed in


World War I and 2, the oil price of the 1970s and the oil price and


commodity and exploitation of 2007/08. It has brought it to us


that food isn't that cheap, the environment pays for it, Laura's


point is healthcare pays for it. What we think is cheap food isn't.


Other bits are paying for it. France that is the same? They pay a


lot more. They may be eating stuff that they think is lasagne made


from beef and it is not. It is not just about cheap food? I take your


point. Absolutely, as Peter was saying, this is about the new


complex long supply chains. We have actually got different business


model, we have to go for a different business model. Peter


Kendall, what do you think, it is about confidence, it is about trugs,


but what do you think -- trust, but what do you would convince the


British -- do you think would convince the British consumers they


can trust what will the EU or the British Government do? We have to


rectify and get the tests done. I think tracability and insurance


schemes. Because of the past problems we have had in the UK


around BSE, we have the most rigorous testing you have ever seen


in the UK. But as well as that, farmers have their own voluntary


scheme, where they pay for independent inspectors to come and


check their farms. That is the Red Tractor logo scheme, that builds


confidence, and farmers paying other people to check on them.


you think farmers are up for more regulation. It sounds like British


farmers are going to have to stomach some more regulation, just


because other people are doing dodgy things? No, I think we can do


this with partnerships throughout the supply chain, as long as


retailers step up to the mark. Jody Scheckter was right, we don't want


more regulation, we implement environmental and tracing standards


in the UK and they don't apply elsewhere. One of the problems that


will come out of all of this, is we don't monitor horse movements in


the way we do cattle. And that could be the absolute weakness in


this whole chain that horses haven't been monitored. I think we


are talking about meat here, but actually the whole food system, we


need education and that's being introduced in the curriculum. We


need to value food in a very different way. I think it's going


to be the poorest families who will actually get the greatest benefit


from more nutritional food, and more skills to be able to actually


manage a budget more effectively. You can't do that overnight? Not at


all, we need over the transition period, from the period of really


cheap and sometimes less than great food, to a period, to a place where


we will value food, and be able to use it more effectively in our


houses. Tim, do you think we are now going to look at lots of other


things now and say can we trust this and that in that tin. Is this


just the beginning of something? could be. There are lots of other


products that, frankly, if DNA testing is applied, you wonder what


will be found out. This is about money and power and it is about


control. One of the things, let's go back to the 1990s be when we had


the food safety crisis, we created the Food Standards Agency, it


became the European model. The European Food Safety Authority, and


so on. It is not doing its job. The new chair is about to be appointed,


we have to make sure they do his or her job. We need more inspectors,


they have been slashed and cut. We can't have industry policing itself,


that is what has gone wrong. The big food companies didn't actually


have the control they said they had. Stay with us for the front pages.


Also in the programme, Greece's opposition leader accuses his


Government of pursuing a strategy that is dangerous to democracy


itself. What's the Labour Party for, you


might think with opinion polls tending to show a Labour lead over


the Conservatives nationally, the answer is rather obvious, to oppose


the coalition's cuts and austerity. Actually that is what Labour's


against. When it comes to new policies and new thinking, for what


Ed Miliband calls "one-nation Labour", there is a slogan, but


what lies behind it. The man charged with conducting Labour's


policy review is the MP, Jon Cruddas. He has rarely given much


away. Tonight he might just do so. They say it is a blank piece of


paper what the Labour Party might do in environment in 2015.


That scares some as increasingly favourable opinion polls could


pitch the opposition into power in two-and-a-half years time. For one


man, the paper isn't blank. But bears the impression of this place.


When the Labour Party offer eventually comes, it will have been


made in Dagenham. Tomorrow Jon Cruddas, Labour's policy chief,


throws his weight behind an exercise being done by the think-


tank, Institute for Public Policy Research. It is an audit on the


major social challenges facing Britain, and an update to a ground-


breaking one, last done before the 1997 Labour landslide. The Labour


Party thinks it knows what it thinks about the current economy,


but less about society. Where better to start than in the hands


of society's sociologists, the barbers of barking and Dagenham.


-- Barking and Dagenham. Just going back, 23 years ago, what were you


doing? At the time I was working for Tony Blair, actually. That


commission was a landmark piece of work. It set up the agenda for what


became the agenda of the Labour Government. Now you have to ask


whether the same questions that it posed then are the right ones for


today. We have to ask whether we need to put more fundamental


questions around the big issues, welfare, housing, the labour market,


whether we got that right. This is an attempt to start going into that


stuff, and coming up with an agenda that is right for today.


If you look at something like tax credits, do you think tax credits,


a great big Gordon Brown innovation, they let big companies get away


with stuff? They incentivised free riding on employ yes, rather than


us folk us cussing on a decent living wage for everyone, that it


shouldn't fall very low. That is live around here now. That should


go a good departure point for a Labour agenda in the future.


Labour plans not to reveal what they will spend and what they will


cut until after the next election. Does that work? We have to


acknowledge that the music has stopped economically, we will have


to start rebuilding it. Nationally Labour has to show it can do more


with less? Absolutely, the money is not there. It is no good saying to


the voters, trust this on the other side of an election? I think people


will demand clarity and priorities and they will demand a real sense


of purpose in terms of understanding the direction we are


going to take the country. Destination two, the Rosie Lee.


Simon works for the council, he brings home �1300 a month, after


buildings and food he has almost nothing left. What would help you,


what can they do? Something is wrong with my tax. I think we can


do something around the rents for landlords, we can do something


about raising the pay to make sure you get a living wage. You wouldn't


be affected by a living age, any increase in living wage he wouldn't


be affected by? It is a floor, starting to put building blocks to


confront some of the big architectural questions. He said


lower taxes, what would you do about that? There is a debate


around a 10p tax that would work perfectly with the terms of some of


the debate you are experiencing Simon. We have to create a


discussion about how we are going to deal with some of these things,


where people feel they are getting squeezed from all angles. We are


not making a tax policy now, right. What we are trying to do is start


talking about some of the issues, about how you can get your wage


rate that you can't live on. 2010, what did you think of the


Labour Government leaving power, they had done enough for you?


not at the time. I think that's why they had to leave power. We pay �24


billion in housing benefit, and we pay �1 billion to build new houses,


it plays into the hands of landlords, putting up the rents,


and all your money is getting swallowed in terms of what you send


out to your landlord. Under Labour that �25 billion housing benefit


pot would be in their sights. They might cut it or give it back to


councils to use to build houses. This idea could be the third of


three measures to deal with the cost of living. More houses to


bring down prices and rents. Living wages to bring up pay packets and


possibly even lower taxes. This exercise assumes all of this will


be done at a time of lower public spending. The think-tank's audit


will take aim at market failures, but also a bureaucratic state.


Suggesting new networks are stepping into the parts of the


welfare state. Far from being broken, Saturday is well, if


embattled. Like here, a different Big Society,


Labour think it is a better Big Society, might one day a nightly


session at the local boxing club, replace a trip to the Jobcentre?


Cruddas argues there are networks out there that can do the job of


the state for less. I like the Big Society, it has just sort of


collapsed, we have to rebuild it in terms of what it could be. I think


there is a lot of energy, but it has turned to dust. So Tom why have


you come down here tonight, what is your involvement with it? We work


with the boxing club, it is really important for us to find young


people, who are what we call "job ready", he understand punctuality,


attendance, and attitude to work and colleagues. We have a lot of


jobs but not enough people to put them in. There is a department just


around the corner, the DWP, they are really just ticking a lot ofs.


That is the Jobcentre? Really brokering jobs for some of these


kids, they are not on the park. I like this as a working model.


would give Jobcentre moneys to something like this? Absolutely,


four or five jobs that get brokered don't go near the Department of


Work and Pensions, they are in partnerships like this, this is the


future as far as I see. As the state has shriveled, civic society


has moved in to feed the most vulnerable. Jon Cruddas not only


thinks that foodbanks exists, he thinks these are a positive


development for us. These will be around definitely. They are here to


statement we are getting more and mosh pressure to get more and more


food distributed. Over the last couple of years this community has


shown it has the capacity to do it. What Ken has planned, what we are


doing in terms of purchasing energy, and rebuilding the social capital,


in terms of counselling people, giving them local advice, pooling


white goods, children's toys, it is possible. It is the future and it


is not going away. We have to step in and rebuild safety nets as


others disappear. So if there are new safety nets,


the party may also move to a new ideal, in welfare, those who have


contributed deserve more back. How long have you both been in


work? You have almost continued to be in work for 30 years you were


saying? About 30 years now, continuously. What about you?


for about 20 years. What we were talking about is whether if someone


had been in work that long and fell on hard times, whether they should


get slightly more, because they have contributed all their working


lives, and whether that would build more confidence in the benefits


system if that were the case. think that would be more, should


get more, the more you paid in, the more you should get. Somebody like


Paul, if he suddenly found himself out of works, he would get a higher


level of jobseeker's allowance than the �70 at the moment? We are


saying there is a discussion-to-to be had about having an earnings-


related element, the longer you contribute to the system. It is a


debate we should have, whether it would build more confidence in the


benefits system. There used to be an earning-related element to it


years ago. Not much time to go until the next election. At the


half way point there are some shapes discernable on Labour's


piece of paper, just no indelible ink.


I spoke to Jon Cruddas before coming on air.


You are in charge of Labour as policy review, isn't your policy at


the next election, effectively, going to be, whatever Ed Balls said


you can afford? There are outstanding economic issues. There


are issues of expenditure, the financial envelope as they call it.


That is a core element to it. You will see the leader make a major


economic speech in the morning. There is also a launch tomorrow


morning of a major initiative around social policy. It is not


just exclusively about the economic, but they are front and centre.


reason Ed Balls said in December, until we know the state of the


economy, the stay of the public finances, it is very hard for us to


know what we can possibly say. The impression is, that you have been


struck dumb, really, in the past two years. You can't say anything,


of any substance, about what you would actually do? That is


interesting, that is a live view in the commentary, but we have a


really thorough process on going in terms of the policy review. We have


sorted out the strublgures, the timeline, the -- structure, the


timelines, the responsibilities. I'm involved in all those meetings


and it is a lively process. I won't systematically deliver all the


policies today, but I think I can confidently say we have a thorough


process on going. You have a process, but the beef as it were?


Slightly inappropriate use of language there. Rather than the


bull perhaps! Where are the policies, you have this process, it


does come down to pwha you are going to have to afford. -- to what


you can are going it afford. You said opposing the cuts without an


alternative is no good? That is precisely what we are doing, we are


building the alternative now I won't give you a real-time


commentary about the discussions we are having and the ideas we have


concluded and come to. That will come later. There is a sequence.


How much later? You will gradually see this come into the public


domain over the next months. We have a programme, we have the


timeline, we have the responsibilities, the deadlines and


the ideas. And actually, to tell you the truth, before I took on


this job, I wasn't awash with confidence that we those wheels


turning. Having seen it at very close quarters, I'm confident we


will have a robust policy agenda to submit before the British people.


Eventually? Yes, because there is a fixed-term parliament, there is 26


months before the likely time of the next election. I'm very


confident about the trajectory of the policy making and the


construction and the direction and leadership provided. Give as you


clue in terms of the ideology. Michael Foot's Labour Party of over


here, and Tony Blair's Labour Party was over here. Where is Ed


Miliband's Labour party? We have just come off the back of, arguably


the worse collision with the electorate, excuse us coming in and


saying there is an on-off button. I'm asking for a clue, the voters


need a clue? In 1993 someone once said half the people wanted to meet


the Labour Party, and the others wanted the Russians in to bust the


police. Tony Blair came together for a brilliant model. Hold on,


just wait for one moment. Tomorrow we're unveil ago major piece of


work in terms of the commission of social justice 25 years furd on T


will discuss the contours of British society, and come up with


radical, new innovative thinking. Again, might say, I'm part of the


commentary, where is the substance. I'm asking on behalf of the voters.


We know it is one-nation Labour, that is a great slogan. It seems to


mean whatever you didn't like us before we are something different.


What is the something different on that spectrum. Do you have any clue,


ideolgically, Michael Foot, Tony Blair, where is Ed Miliband? Wait,


if the clock is ticking, so may I tentatively suggest you wait for


example until tomorrow, where you will see a major substantive piece


of economic policy articulated by our leader. You will see over a


couple of months ahead intervention on welfare, education, immigration.


With all due curtesy, I would tentatively suggest to you that


this is some sort of take on what is going on. Below the surface


there is a lot of work going on, we will deliver it to the British


public. You would understand, although I did ask and we would


love to hear specific policies, we have been endlessly patient, and


for two years. I'm asking for some kind of clue, ideolgically, where


you are? I would suggest you study the speech Ed will make in the


morning. And all will be clear tomorrow night? That is the trite


flipant journalistic reply. I would tentatively suggest to you, have a


look at it and the Commission on Social Justice. Or what is coming


up tomorrow, which is called The Condition of Britain, it is a


serious piece of thinking on the social policy in this country at


the moment. I suggest you have a look at them. Are you qernd that


voters don't actually - concerned that voters don't really know that


apart from opposing the cuts and austerity what you really stand for.


That is a really big concern. Why should they vote for you? I put my


hands up, I live in the real world, I know this is not the finished


article in terms of the substantive policy ideas. All I would say is we


have had a major discussion with the electorate a couple of years


ago, we didn't come off too well. We have to thoroughly rebuild from


the bottom up. One argument is, if we keep our mouth should we might


get across the line, by default. that Ed Balls's idea? We have to


come up with radical innovative thinking, the Labour Party sits on


the latter rather than the former, that will be delivered over the


next months and years. On Europe, in the referendum on the EU, you


said this is about democracy and respecting the people. Were you


disappointed that Ed Miliband's first instinct was to say no?


didn't say that. With all due respect. He did say it in the


Commons, it was corrected later when he was rowing back? There is


small ball around Westminster to literally say what he said. What he


meant. Ah, what he meant. He meant the position had had not changed


for our support of a possibility of a referendum down the road.


Depending on the shape of the discussion, the proposed


repatriation of powers deployed by David Cameron. We will see where we


goat to. You think it is about democracy and supporting the


people? It gives politics a bad name if I disinvent things I said


before taking on the job. Thank you very much.


Before the end of the programme we will have the front pages. First,


with the Greek economy still deep in recession, a man who came close


to being the European Union's first Marxist Prime Minister, has upped


the political ante in Brussels. Alexis Tsipras, nicknamed Sexy


Alexi by British tabloids, has ayes cuesed Greek coalition Government


of operate ago strategy of blackmail, terrorism and tension.


We went to meet Mr Tsipras and find out if democracy really is in


danger in Greece. The piece contains flash photography.


Greece is a country where economic crisis has given way to social


crisis. The far right on the march, strikes paralysing the capital and


now political violence. The police have cleared out anarchist squat,


and someone fired a Kalashnikov at the headquarters of the ruling


party. Now the left-wing opposition leader, Alexis Tsipras, has upped


the ante, accusing the Government of a strategy of tension, akin to


that pursued by the Italian Secret Service in the 1970s. TRANSLATION:


In 1969 a bomb in Milan left 17 dead. It was a dawn of a long


period where far right and fascist groups, in collaboration with the


Italian Secret Services, the parallel state, and the state


within a state, developed what came to be called, the strategy of


tension. Today the manuals of the European extreme right have become


the gospels of the present Greek Government. The coalition


Government brought to power by Antonis Samaras last year, has


stablised the fiscal swaying. But it is politically fragile. If it


falls Mr Tsipras would have a decent chance of becoming modern


Europe's first Marxist Prime Minister. Are you seriously saying


the Greek state is pursuing a secret strategy of creating violent


tension? TRANSLATION: It is not exactly a secret strategy. It is


obvious the Government is trying to establish an agenda that


intensifies political confligt, which aims at creating a sense of


fear within the Greek society. But this strategy, I believe, is a very


dangerous one, for democracy itself. If our Government, and Mr Samaras,


believe he can run this country forever, using blackmail, terrorism


and the tension strategy, he is sadly mistaken. This month, the


tension was not notched up some more, four anarchists were caught


trying to rob bank. The police photo shopped the arrest shots,


because the injuries were received while being beaten in custody,


allegedly. Meanwhile the far right Golden Dawn party, which 4% in the


polls, openly defends its right to use violence, and is regularly on


the streets. For a man whose party has more experience on the streets


than Government. It has posed tough questions. The electorate looked at


you as a party and thought is this a party that can come to power and


run the police force. What will you do about Golden Dawn and anarchist


bank robbers. Is this a party to run a Greek state, without the


Greek state falling apart and rebelling? TRANSLATION: We will


implement and rigidly follow the letter of the law. And "zero


tolerance" towards Golden Dawn, which is gang breaking the law. We


will uproot all Golden Dawn cells within the Government. There will


be legal reprecussions for groups using violence, who say they belong


to the anarchist movement. I don't believe they are anarchists,


because the use of violence is the most authoritarian act one could


exercise. Mr Tsipras lost ground in the polls, after he publicly backed


a tube strike that patrol leased Athens. Many say we are crying wolf


to cover their on opposition. Tsipras is crying wolf. It is a


fact that recently the Government is taking advantage of some of the


pronouncement of Mr Tsipras, and throwing it back at him. That is


true. The Government also probably has its strategy, which is to


reveal what Mr Tsipras is about. To the undecided voters. Mostly


because the undecided voters are not radicals. The Greek Government


has not publicly responded to Mr Tsipras's claims T thinks it is


winning the economic argument, and it is him who is on the ropes.


Don't you have to admit that the coalition has stablised the fiscal


situation, and they were right, and they did a deal with the IMF and EU,


and your ro posed deal would have crashed the Greek economy?


TRANSLATION: No serious person could admit something like this.


Lock at the data, in Greece, in the last three years, in order to


reduce the primary deficit of the Government, by 25 billion euro, we


reduced the internal demand by 70 billion euros. The Greek economy


shrunk by 70 billion euros. It is like seeing a snake in the tree and


deciding to burn the entire for to get rid of the snake. It is


sadistic be a surity. It is not just his own rallies where he is


feted, he has been all over. The Greek situation is fractious, some


worry Mr Tsipras, in his suit, accommodated too much to power, and


the men in black T-shirts are the only ones left expressing the anger.


Are you the man of the parliamentary opposition, or the


man who will lead the tube strikers out here, into a mass uprising


against this Government. It is a serious question, and one all left


oppositions have to answer? TRANSLATION: I think this is


exactly our biggest advantage. We can be at the same time the


parliamentary opposition, and tomorrow the Government. At the


same time we can be down in the streets, fighting and mobilising


the masses. In Greece we have people that are committing suicide.


Every day beaten by absolute despair. In order for those people


to live, they need to defeat the fear and claim their rights.


He lost the election, just, and the in coming Government did stablise


things economically. But memories of the secret state, the Cold War,


destablisation, will always have the power to polarise and split


Greek politics. That, really, is what Mr Tsipras is trying to do.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 46 seconds


We wanted to leave you with a reminder that tomorrow is


Valentine's Day, and some romantically inclined as tomorrow


tron mers have released a picture of planetry nebular 172 who they


say looks like a Valentine's rose in the heavens. But some say it


We have certainly seen disruptive snow through the day today. Very


icey through the rest of the evening overnight. And pretty wet


across England and Wales. That rain taking a while to clear away,


potential surface flooding. It looks brighter and dryer through


the day on Thursday. Temperatures considerably higher than they have


been through the day today as well. What a difference the day makes. A


few showers around following the rain. Very few getting into eastern


areas, they will be peppering areas further west, for example across


the south west of England and Wales. Winds easing down as well, they


will be blowing a gale across England, continuing over Scotland.


Enough to push the showers across the Cheshire gap through the


Midland. A few showers through the day across Northern Ireland, not as


wet as today. There will be a fair few showers blowing into the North


West of Scotland. Quite wet here. The winds and rain easing away from


the Northern Isles as well. A very different day, a risk of ice


through the night into morning. What about Friday? It looks as if


the fine and dry weather will hang around on Friday. One or two icey


patches, given the clear skies at night. The rain clearing away on


Thursday first thing, brightening up, a dry and bright day on Friday.


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