13/02/2013 Newsnight


13/02/2013

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

:00:12.:00:16.

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

:00:16.:00:19.

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

:00:19.:00:23.

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

:00:23.:00:28.

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

:00:28.:00:33.

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

:00:33.:00:37.

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

:00:37.:00:40.

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

:00:40.:00:47.

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

:00:47.:00:52.

Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras tells Newsnight why he thinks

:00:52.:01:01.

Greece's democracy itself could be in danger.

:01:01.:01:04.

Good evening a crisis meeting in Brussels, the British Prime

:01:04.:01:08.

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

:01:08.:01:12.

Minister denying to Newsnight his country is responsible for the

:01:12.:01:16.

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

:01:16.:01:22.

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

:01:22.:01:25.

scientists and consumers are trying to make sense of a complicated

:01:26.:01:33.

relationship between meat packers and sources. Passing off cheap meat

:01:33.:01:38.

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

:01:38.:01:40.

Minister tonight, but we have this coverage tonight.

:01:40.:01:44.

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

:01:44.:01:48.

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

:01:48.:01:57.

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

:01:57.:02:02.

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

:02:02.:02:06.

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

:02:06.:02:12.

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

:02:12.:02:15.

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

:02:15.:02:19.

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

:02:19.:02:22.

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

:02:22.:02:26.

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

:02:27.:02:31.

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

:02:31.:02:38.

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

:02:38.:02:41.

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

:02:41.:02:46.

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

:02:46.:02:52.

safeguard all along the chain. Horses are supposed to be

:02:52.:02:55.

identifiable through passport and microchip, beef cattle also have a

:02:55.:03:02.

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

:03:03.:03:07.

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

:03:07.:03:11.

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

:03:11.:03:16.

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

:03:16.:03:21.

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

:03:21.:03:23.

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

:03:23.:03:28.

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

:03:28.:03:32.

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

:03:32.:03:38.

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

:03:38.:03:41.

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

:03:41.:03:47.

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

:03:47.:03:51.

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

:03:51.:03:56.

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

:03:56.:04:00.

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

:04:00.:04:04.

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

:04:04.:04:09.

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

:04:09.:04:13.

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

:04:13.:04:17.

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

:04:17.:04:21.

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

:04:22.:04:25.

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

:04:25.:04:29.

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

:04:29.:04:35.

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

:04:35.:04:39.

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

:04:39.:04:42.

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

:04:42.:04:49.

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

:04:49.:04:51.

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

:04:52.:04:56.

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

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

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

:05:04.:05:09.

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

:05:09.:05:13.

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

:05:13.:05:18.

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

:05:18.:05:25.

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

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

:05:29.:05:33.

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

:05:33.:05:37.

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

:05:37.:05:40.

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

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

:05:45.:05:48.

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

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

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

:05:57.:06:01.

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

:06:02.:06:06.

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

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

:06:10.:06:13.

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

:06:13.:06:19.

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

:06:19.:06:24.

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

:06:24.:06:27.

processing plant. This is purely production, meat cutting.

:06:27.:06:30.

Brussels tonight there was agreement that the way ahead to win

:06:30.:06:36.

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

:06:36.:06:41.

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

:06:41.:06:45.

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

:06:45.:06:48.

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

:06:48.:06:52.

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

:06:52.:06:57.

completely wrong that consumers are being presented with a product

:06:57.:07:00.

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

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

:07:04.:07:06.

pleased that the commissioner has come forward with proposelia that

:07:06.:07:11.

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

:07:11.:07:15.

products, that will help reassure the consumer.

:07:15.:07:19.

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

:07:19.:07:24.

our food and keep consumers informed about what we are all

:07:24.:07:29.

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

:07:29.:07:34.

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

:07:34.:07:38.

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

:07:38.:07:41.

Romanian problem, and has confidence about how horsemeat is

:07:41.:07:47.

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

:07:47.:07:50.

the Romanian and European authorities, and you the media have

:07:50.:07:55.

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

:07:55.:07:59.

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

:07:59.:08:06.

Romania exporting horsemeat, but everything was according to the

:08:06.:08:11.

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

:08:11.:08:15.

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

:08:15.:08:20.

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

:08:20.:08:24.

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

:08:24.:08:28.

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

:08:28.:08:32.

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

:08:32.:08:36.

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

:08:37.:08:42.

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

:08:42.:08:46.

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

:08:46.:08:53.

all the checks, the European standards has been respected and

:08:53.:08:56.

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

:08:56.:09:03.

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

:09:03.:09:09.

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

:09:09.:09:14.

should work together on the European side to threaten the

:09:14.:09:19.

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

:09:19.:09:22.

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

:09:22.:09:26.

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

:09:26.:09:34.

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

:09:34.:09:38.

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

:09:39.:09:41.

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

:09:41.:09:47.

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

:09:47.:09:52.

Romanians produced and have exported to France, to Luxembourg,

:09:52.:09:58.

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

:09:58.:10:05.

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

:10:05.:10:09.

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

:10:09.:10:13.

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

:10:13.:10:18.

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

:10:18.:10:22.

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

:10:22.:10:26.

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

:10:26.:10:30.

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

:10:30.:10:33.

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

:10:34.:10:41.

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

:10:41.:10:46.

responsibility we have is towards the consumers. British consumers,

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

:10:50.:10:55.

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

:10:55.:11:03.

all, treat these scandals, taking into consideration the legitimate

:11:03.:11:07.

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

:11:07.:11:14.

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

:11:14.:11:17.

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

:11:17.:11:24.

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

:11:24.:11:28.

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

:11:28.:11:32.

protect the honest companies and punish the dishonest ones.

:11:33.:11:36.

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

:11:37.:11:42.

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

:11:42.:11:47.

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

:11:47.:11:51.

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

:11:51.:11:57.

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

:11:57.:12:02.

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

:12:02.:12:08.

the Romanian authorities fulfilled, because nothing happens in are you

:12:08.:12:12.

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

:12:12.:12:19.

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

:12:19.:12:24.

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

:12:24.:12:30.

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

:12:30.:12:34.

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

:12:34.:12:37.

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

:12:37.:12:43.

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

:12:43.:12:47.

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

:12:47.:12:52.

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

:12:52.:12:57.

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

:12:57.:13:01.

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

:13:01.:13:06.

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

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

:13:09.:13:15.

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

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

:13:18.:13:24.

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

:13:24.:13:26.

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

:13:26.:13:30.

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

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

:13:37.:13:40.

highly capitalised, and most ruthless companies in the food

:13:40.:13:45.

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

:13:45.:13:49.

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

:13:49.:13:53.

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

:13:53.:13:59.

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

:13:59.:14:03.

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

:14:03.:14:07.

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

:14:07.:14:12.

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

:14:12.:14:17.

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

:14:17.:14:22.

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

:14:22.:14:25.

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

:14:25.:14:30.

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

:14:30.:14:34.

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

:14:34.:14:38.

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

:14:38.:14:44.

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

:14:44.:14:48.

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

:14:48.:14:51.

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

:14:51.:14:55.

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

:14:55.:14:59.

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

:14:59.:15:03.

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

:15:03.:15:07.

consumers to look for the tracability of local supply chains.

:15:07.:15:11.

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

:15:11.:15:16.

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

:15:16.:15:23.

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

:15:23.:15:27.

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

:15:27.:15:30.

designated supply chains, that helps build trust between the

:15:30.:15:34.

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

:15:34.:15:39.

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

:15:39.:15:44.

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

:15:44.:15:49.

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

:15:49.:15:52.

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

:15:52.:15:57.

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

:15:57.:16:00.

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

:16:00.:16:05.

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

:16:05.:16:08.

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

:16:08.:16:12.

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

:16:12.:16:15.

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

:16:16.:16:19.

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

:16:20.:16:26.

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

:16:26.:16:32.

incomprehensible chains where we get our kebabs through some places

:16:32.:16:37.

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

:16:37.:16:41.

talking about substitution with high fructose, corn syrup, things

:16:42.:16:45.

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

:16:45.:16:49.

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

:16:49.:16:52.

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

:16:52.:16:57.

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

:16:57.:17:03.

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

:17:03.:17:07.

ingredient, reduced quality ingredients, packaging that is

:17:07.:17:11.

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

:17:11.:17:14.

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

:17:15.:17:18.

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

:17:18.:17:22.

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

:17:22.:17:26.

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

:17:26.:17:29.

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

:17:29.:17:32.

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

:17:32.:17:36.

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

:17:36.:17:41.

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

:17:41.:17:45.

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

:17:45.:17:48.

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

:17:48.:17:54.

system which is actually just perpetuating cheap food available

:17:54.:18:01.

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

:18:01.:18:05.

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

:18:05.:18:09.

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

:18:09.:18:14.

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

:18:14.:18:21.

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

:18:21.:18:26.

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

:18:26.:18:30.

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

:18:30.:18:34.

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

:18:34.:18:37.

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

:18:38.:18:43.

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

:18:43.:18:47.

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

:18:47.:18:51.

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

:18:51.:18:56.

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

:18:56.:18:59.

complex long supply chains. We have actually got different business

:18:59.:19:02.

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

:19:03.:19:06.

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

:19:06.:19:14.

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

:19:14.:19:18.

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

:19:18.:19:21.

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

:19:21.:19:25.

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

:19:25.:19:29.

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

:19:29.:19:31.

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

:19:31.:19:35.

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

:19:35.:19:38.

scheme, where they pay for independent inspectors to come and

:19:38.:19:45.

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

:19:45.:19:48.

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

:19:48.:19:52.

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

:19:52.:19:55.

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

:19:56.:19:59.

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

:19:59.:20:03.

this with partnerships throughout the supply chain, as long as

:20:03.:20:11.

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

:20:11.:20:13.

more regulation, we implement environmental and tracing standards

:20:13.:20:16.

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

:20:16.:20:20.

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

:20:20.:20:25.

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

:20:25.:20:29.

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

:20:29.:20:32.

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

:20:32.:20:35.

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

:20:35.:20:38.

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

:20:38.:20:42.

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

:20:42.:20:46.

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

:20:46.:20:50.

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

:20:50.:20:54.

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

:20:54.:20:57.

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

:20:57.:21:01.

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

:21:01.:21:04.

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

:21:04.:21:10.

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

:21:10.:21:14.

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

:21:14.:21:18.

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

:21:18.:21:21.

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

:21:21.:21:27.

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

:21:27.:21:31.

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

:21:31.:21:36.

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

:21:36.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:44.

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

:21:44.:21:48.

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

:21:48.:21:51.

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

:21:51.:22:00.

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

:22:00.:22:04.

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

:22:04.:22:07.

Government of pursuing a strategy that is dangerous to democracy

:22:07.:22:13.

itself. What's the Labour Party for, you

:22:13.:22:17.

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

:22:17.:22:20.

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

:22:20.:22:23.

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

:22:23.:22:27.

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

:22:27.:22:31.

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

:22:31.:22:35.

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

:22:35.:22:39.

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

:22:39.:22:45.

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

:22:45.:22:51.

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

:22:51.:22:56.

That scares some as increasingly favourable opinion polls could

:22:56.:23:00.

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

:23:00.:23:06.

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

:23:06.:23:09.

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

:23:09.:23:13.

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

:23:13.:23:18.

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

:23:18.:23:20.

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

:23:21.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

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

:23:28.:23:31.

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

:23:31.:23:38.

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

:23:38.:23:45.

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

:23:45.:23:55.
:23:55.:23:55.

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

:23:55.:23:58.

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

:23:58.:24:02.

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

:24:02.:24:05.

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

:24:05.:24:09.

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

:24:09.:24:13.

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

:24:13.:24:18.

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

:24:18.:24:21.

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

:24:21.:24:26.

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

:24:26.:24:31.

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

:24:31.:24:35.

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

:24:35.:24:39.

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

:24:39.:24:44.

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

:24:44.:24:48.

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

:24:48.:24:57.

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

:24:57.:25:00.

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

:25:00.:25:06.

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

:25:06.:25:09.

acknowledge that the music has stopped economically, we will have

:25:09.:25:13.

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

:25:13.:25:18.

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

:25:18.:25:22.

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

:25:22.:25:24.

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

:25:24.:25:27.

of purpose in terms of understanding the direction we are

:25:27.:25:37.
:25:37.:25:41.

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

:25:41.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:49.

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

:25:49.:25:57.

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

:25:57.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:04.

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

:26:04.:26:08.

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

:26:08.:26:12.

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

:26:12.:26:16.

confront some of the big architectural questions. He said

:26:16.:26:18.

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

:26:18.:26:23.

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

:26:23.:26:26.

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

:26:26.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:33.

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

:26:33.:26:37.

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

:26:37.:26:40.

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

:26:40.:26:45.

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

:26:45.:26:48.

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

:26:48.:26:54.

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

:26:54.:26:58.

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

:26:58.:27:02.

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

:27:02.:27:06.

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

:27:06.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:19.

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

:27:19.:27:21.

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

:27:21.:27:27.

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

:27:27.:27:30.

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

:27:30.:27:36.

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

:27:36.:27:41.

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

:27:41.:27:45.

Suggesting new networks are stepping into the parts of the

:27:45.:27:52.

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

:27:52.:27:59.

embattled. Like here, a different Big Society,

:27:59.:28:03.

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

:28:03.:28:12.

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

:28:12.:28:16.

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

:28:16.:28:20.

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

:28:20.:28:23.

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

:28:23.:28:28.

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

:28:28.:28:31.

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

:28:31.:28:36.

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

:28:36.:28:42.

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

:28:42.:28:45.

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

:28:45.:28:48.

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

:28:48.:28:54.

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

:28:54.:28:59.

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

:28:59.:29:05.

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

:29:05.:29:09.

would give Jobcentre moneys to something like this? Absolutely,

:29:09.:29:12.

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

:29:12.:29:15.

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

:29:15.:29:21.

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

:29:22.:29:25.

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

:29:25.:29:29.

thinks that foodbanks exists, he thinks these are a positive

:29:29.:29:32.

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

:29:32.:29:37.

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

:29:37.:29:40.

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

:29:40.:29:44.

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

:29:44.:29:48.

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

:29:48.:29:53.

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

:29:53.:29:57.

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

:29:57.:30:00.

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

:30:00.:30:03.

others disappear. So if there are new safety nets,

:30:03.:30:09.

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

:30:09.:30:18.

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

:30:18.:30:22.

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

:30:22.:30:27.

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

:30:27.:30:31.

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

:30:31.:30:34.

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

:30:34.:30:38.

get slightly more, because they have contributed all their working

:30:38.:30:41.

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

:30:41.:30:46.

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

:30:46.:30:50.

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

:30:50.:30:56.

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

:30:56.:30:59.

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

:30:59.:31:02.

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

:31:02.:31:06.

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

:31:06.:31:11.

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

:31:11.:31:15.

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

:31:15.:31:20.

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

:31:20.:31:24.

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

:31:24.:31:31.

piece of paper, just no indelible ink.

:31:31.:31:34.

I spoke to Jon Cruddas before coming on air.

:31:34.:31:38.

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

:31:38.:31:42.

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

:31:42.:31:47.

you can afford? There are outstanding economic issues. There

:31:47.:31:50.

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

:31:50.:31:54.

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

:31:54.:31:56.

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

:31:56.:32:00.

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

:32:00.:32:03.

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

:32:03.:32:06.

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

:32:06.:32:09.

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

:32:09.:32:12.

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

:32:12.:32:16.

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

:32:16.:32:21.

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

:32:21.:32:24.

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

:32:24.:32:27.

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

:32:27.:32:32.

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

:32:32.:32:35.

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

:32:35.:32:39.

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

:32:39.:32:43.

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

:32:43.:32:48.

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

:32:48.:32:52.

Slightly inappropriate use of language there. Rather than the

:32:52.:32:55.

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

:32:55.:33:00.

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

:33:00.:33:05.

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

:33:05.:33:09.

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

:33:09.:33:12.

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

:33:12.:33:14.

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

:33:14.:33:17.

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

:33:17.:33:20.

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

:33:20.:33:23.

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

:33:24.:33:26.

timeline, we have the responsibilities, the deadlines and

:33:26.:33:29.

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

:33:29.:33:33.

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

:33:33.:33:38.

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

:33:38.:33:43.

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

:33:43.:33:47.

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

:33:47.:33:50.

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

:33:50.:33:53.

confident about the trajectory of the policy making and the

:33:54.:33:59.

construction and the direction and leadership provided. Give as you

:33:59.:34:02.

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

:34:02.:34:05.

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

:34:05.:34:12.

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

:34:12.:34:15.

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

:34:15.:34:20.

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

:34:20.:34:27.

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

:34:27.:34:32.

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

:34:32.:34:36.

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

:34:36.:34:40.

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

:34:40.:34:46.

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

:34:46.:34:50.

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

:34:50.:34:54.

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

:34:54.:34:59.

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

:34:59.:35:06.

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

:35:06.:35:09.

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

:35:09.:35:12.

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

:35:12.:35:16.

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

:35:16.:35:20.

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

:35:20.:35:24.

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

:35:24.:35:29.

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

:35:29.:35:33.

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

:35:33.:35:37.

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

:35:37.:35:42.

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

:35:42.:35:45.

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

:35:45.:35:48.

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

:35:48.:35:52.

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

:35:52.:35:57.

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

:35:57.:36:01.

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

:36:01.:36:04.

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

:36:04.:36:08.

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

:36:08.:36:11.

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

:36:11.:36:17.

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

:36:17.:36:20.

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

:36:20.:36:24.

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

:36:24.:36:28.

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

:36:28.:36:32.

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

:36:32.:36:35.

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

:36:35.:36:39.

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

:36:39.:36:44.

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

:36:44.:36:48.

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

:36:48.:36:51.

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

:36:51.:36:55.

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

:36:55.:37:00.

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

:37:00.:37:04.

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

:37:04.:37:07.

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

:37:07.:37:12.

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

:37:12.:37:16.

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

:37:16.:37:19.

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

:37:19.:37:25.

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

:37:25.:37:28.

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

:37:28.:37:32.

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

:37:32.:37:36.

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

:37:36.:37:39.

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

:37:39.:37:43.

Depending on the shape of the discussion, the proposed

:37:43.:37:48.

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

:37:48.:37:52.

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

:37:52.:37:58.

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

:37:58.:38:00.

before taking on the job. Thank you very much.

:38:00.:38:03.

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

:38:03.:38:07.

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

:38:07.:38:13.

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

:38:13.:38:17.

the political ante in Brussels. Alexis Tsipras, nicknamed Sexy

:38:17.:38:21.

Alexi by British tabloids, has ayes cuesed Greek coalition Government

:38:21.:38:24.

of operate ago strategy of blackmail, terrorism and tension.

:38:24.:38:28.

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

:38:28.:38:37.

danger in Greece. The piece contains flash photography.

:38:37.:38:41.

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

:38:41.:38:47.

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

:38:47.:38:51.

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

:38:51.:38:55.

and someone fired a Kalashnikov at the headquarters of the ruling

:38:55.:39:00.

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

:39:00.:39:04.

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

:39:04.:39:14.

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

:39:14.:39:20.

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

:39:20.:39:23.

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

:39:23.:39:25.

Italian Secret Services, the parallel state, and the state

:39:25.:39:29.

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

:39:29.:39:34.

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

:39:34.:39:37.

the gospels of the present Greek Government. The coalition

:39:37.:39:41.

Government brought to power by Antonis Samaras last year, has

:39:41.:39:45.

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

:39:45.:39:50.

falls Mr Tsipras would have a decent chance of becoming modern

:39:50.:39:56.

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

:39:56.:39:59.

the Greek state is pursuing a secret strategy of creating violent

:40:00.:40:06.

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

:40:06.:40:10.

obvious the Government is trying to establish an agenda that

:40:10.:40:13.

intensifies political confligt, which aims at creating a sense of

:40:13.:40:17.

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

:40:17.:40:22.

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

:40:22.:40:26.

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

:40:26.:40:29.

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

:40:30.:40:35.

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

:40:35.:40:39.

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

:40:40.:40:45.

because the injuries were received while being beaten in custody,

:40:45.:40:51.

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

:40:51.:40:55.

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

:40:55.:40:59.

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

:40:59.:41:03.

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

:41:03.:41:07.

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

:41:07.:41:12.

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

:41:12.:41:16.

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

:41:16.:41:21.

Greek state falling apart and rebelling? TRANSLATION: We will

:41:21.:41:24.

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

:41:24.:41:29.

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

:41:29.:41:34.

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

:41:34.:41:38.

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

:41:38.:41:42.

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

:41:42.:41:47.

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

:41:47.:41:54.

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

:41:54.:42:01.

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

:42:01.:42:05.

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

:42:05.:42:09.

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

:42:09.:42:13.

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

:42:13.:42:18.

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

:42:18.:42:24.

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

:42:24.:42:28.

because the undecided voters are not radicals. The Greek Government

:42:28.:42:31.

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

:42:32.:42:36.

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

:42:36.:42:40.

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

:42:40.:42:46.

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

:42:46.:42:53.

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

:42:53.:42:55.

TRANSLATION: No serious person could admit something like this.

:42:56.:43:00.

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

:43:00.:43:05.

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

:43:05.:43:11.

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

:43:11.:43:16.

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

:43:16.:43:22.

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

:43:22.:43:28.

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

:43:28.:43:32.

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

:43:32.:43:36.

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

:43:36.:43:41.

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

:43:41.:43:44.

Are you the man of the parliamentary opposition, or the

:43:44.:43:49.

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

:43:49.:43:55.

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

:43:55.:43:59.

oppositions have to answer? TRANSLATION: I think this is

:43:59.:44:03.

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

:44:03.:44:06.

parliamentary opposition, and tomorrow the Government. At the

:44:06.:44:10.

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

:44:10.:44:14.

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

:44:14.:44:19.

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

:44:19.:44:24.

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

:44:24.:44:29.

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

:44:29.:44:32.

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

:44:33.:44:37.

destablisation, will always have the power to polarise and split

:44:37.:44:44.

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

:44:44.:44:54.
:44:54.:44:54.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 46 seconds

:44:54.:45:41.

We wanted to leave you with a reminder that tomorrow is

:45:41.:45:45.

Valentine's Day, and some romantically inclined as tomorrow

:45:45.:45:52.

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

:45:52.:45:57.

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

:45:57.:46:07.
:46:07.:46:33.

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

:46:33.:46:36.

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

:46:36.:46:41.

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

:46:41.:46:43.

potential surface flooding. It looks brighter and dryer through

:46:43.:46:47.

the day on Thursday. Temperatures considerably higher than they have

:46:47.:46:50.

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

:46:50.:46:54.

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

:46:54.:46:58.

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

:46:58.:47:02.

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

:47:02.:47:06.

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

:47:06.:47:10.

Enough to push the showers across the Cheshire gap through the

:47:10.:47:13.

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

:47:13.:47:16.

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

:47:16.:47:20.

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

:47:20.:47:24.

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

:47:24.:47:28.

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

:47:28.:47:34.

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

:47:34.:47:38.

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

:47:38.:47:43.

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

:47:43.:47:47.

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