23/04/2013 Newsnight


23/04/2013

Analysis of the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. The fake bomb detector exposed by Newsnight, can independent Scotland keep the pound? And France v Britain on child care.


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$:/STARTFEED. This piece of rubbish was sold as a bomb detector to

:00:12.:00:18.

Governments in some of the most violent countries in the world.

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Newsnight exposed the conman behind this scam, today he was found

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guilty at the Old Bailey. He said it does exactly what it is designed

:00:27.:00:32.

to. I said what's that? I was expecting him to say it detects

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explosives, ivory, gold, he never said that, he said it makes money.

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If Scotland goes it alone will the Chancellor refuse to accept the

:00:44.:00:48.

Scottish tenner? Why independence might kick it out the pound.

:00:48.:00:51.

We go in search of perfect childcare as the Children's

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Minister faces her critics on the hot issue at the moment. Welcome to

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Newsnight all about the difference between England and France,

:01:01.:01:11.
:01:11.:01:14.

reception year and nursery. Going to enjoy this show, da-da-da-da!

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Good evening, it started life as a novelty golf ball finder and it

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helped end the lives of hundreds. A businessman took this gadget, a

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mere aerial on a hinge and convinced Governments in some of

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the most volatile countries in the world that it was a bomb detector.

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Newsnight first revealed the scam in 2010, tonight we can reveal how

:01:35.:01:40.

he bribed senior figures in Iraq to win an $85 million contract. This

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afternoon he was found guilty of fraud by the Old Bailey. Caroline

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Horley, who broke the original story, reports.

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If you believe the sales pitch this called bomb detector could detect

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explosives more than half a mile away. All powered by no more than

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the user's static electricity. REPORTER: How many people's lives

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were taken in Iraq. Today Jim McCormick was convicted of fraud at

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the Old Bailey. His scam began with this, a novelty golf ball finder n

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reality just an aerial on a hinge that couldn't find anything. Jim

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McCormick bought hundreds of them from the US for $20 each, he put

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his own label on them and sold them as bomb detectors for as much as

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$5,000 a time. He then created a more advanced-looking version,

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which he called the ADE 651, this time it came with special cards,

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supposedly programmed to detect everything from explosives to ivory,

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human beings or even $100 bill its. He sold this -- bills. He sold this

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version for as much as $55,000 each. Iraq alone spent $85 million buying

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thousands of them for use at checkpoints from Baghdad to Basra,

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as protection from suicide bombs. We have been told that bribes to

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senior Iraqi officials helped Jim McCormick sweeten the deal for the

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bogus devices. This was just one of a series of ploifgss to rock

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Baghdad in -- explosions to rock bad dad in late 2009. At the height

:03:26.:03:31.

of the bombings there were call force the devices to be withdrawn.

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Mr Jim here. Jim McCormick came to Iraq, and with the head of the

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Baghdad bomb squad, organised a press conference to persuade Iraqis

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that it worked. We have discovered that the general had been bribed by

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Jim McCormick. He has now been jailed for corruption, thanks to

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the work of this man. He's the Inspector General of the Interior

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Ministry, Aqil al-Turehi. He says his investigation is backed by the

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Prime Minister, but that other, high-ranking officials are

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implicated in the conspiracy. TRANSLATION: I feel furious as a

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citizen of Iraq when I think that this gang of Jim McCormick and the

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Iraqis working with him killed my people in cold blood by creating a

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false sense of security with a useless device. How many people

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lost their lives in bombs that passed through checkpoints where

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this device was being used? TRANSLATION: I think hundreds, I

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don't have the exact statistics, but it was hundreds. For every bomb

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stopped, he said, four got through. And the explosives that were found

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were discovered because of tip-offs or by chance. Between 2008-2009

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over 1,000 Iraqis died in bomb abacks in Baghdad alone, many more

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were seriously injured. I met Haneen Alwan in Jordan, where she

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has come for medical treatment. She has already had 59 operations after

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she suffered horrific burns in a double bomb anything Baghdad in

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early 2009. She had been two months pregnant at the time, and craving

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ice-cream, which she had gone out to buy when she was caught in the

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explosion. TRANSLATION: My life was completely destroyed, I lost

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everything in an instant. I was left with nothing. I lost the baby

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and my husband divorced me. She had trusted that Jim McCormick's called

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bomb detector, used at virtually every checkpoint worked. What do

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you think of the man who sold these devices? TRANSLATION: The man has

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no conscience, he is morally bankrupt. How could he sell them

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just for the money and destroy the lives of others. He has no humanity,

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a useless person. What kind of man would sell fake bomb detectors to a

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country where lives depended on it? This is Jim McCormick on a sales

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trip to Niger, being filmed by a colleague who had believed the

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devices worked. He has agreed now to talk exclusively to Newsnight,

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as long as we conceal his identity. Which countries did you go to with

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Jim McCormick to sell these devices? We flew all around the

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world, Belgium, Romania, Hong Kong, Niger, Nigeria, Kenya. The training

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for the Iraqis was done in Turkey. He started to have suspicions, and

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then senior army officers in Niger complained that the detectors

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didn't work. The whistleblower confronted McCormick. What happened

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when you raised your concerns with Jim McCormick? Well, I said if this

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doesn't work I can't be any part of it. He said it does exactly what it

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is designed to I said what was that, I was expect him to say it detects

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explosives, ivory and gold, he never said that, he said it makes

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money. I said I didn't want nothing to do with it. He said suit

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yourself, you are walking away from millions, said at least I can sleep

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at night. The big contract was in Iraq, the trick was to find corrupt

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middle men who would sign contracts to buy the ADE 651s, people like

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the head of the Iraqi bomb squad. The middle men don't care if people

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live or die, they are only interested in one thing, how much

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will I get back, cash back. question at all that it was bribery

:07:36.:07:46.
:07:46.:07:49.

that oiled the wheels of this scam? Absolutely, absolutely. Apart from

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Iraq, one of the places that Jim McCormick sold his bogus bomb

:07:53.:08:03.
:08:03.:08:07.

detectors was here in Lebanon. The country that had bounce the back

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after the dark case -- bounced back after the dark case days of the

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Civil War. He sold them to the Lebanese arm and the United Nations

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peacekeeping force along the border with Israel. They became suspicious

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when Mr McCormick couldn't produce evidence that showed they could

:08:24.:08:26.

detect explosives. It conducted a series of tests and found they

:08:26.:08:31.

didn't work. There was something else that brought Jim McCormick to

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Beirut. The city, once the financial capital of the Middle

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East, is still a playground for the rich. A free wheeling place where

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money can be easily spent and laundered. It was, our source says,

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where McCormick came to pay his bribes to the Iraqis. The

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whistleblower says he came here to a bank in Beirut and witnessed Jim

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McCormick organising the pay-offs. He watched as he arranged for bank

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accounts to be set up under false names. Three Iraqis have so far

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been arrested for corruption over the deals. But the whistleblower

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said he saw a list of around 15 names. Our source says the Iraqi

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officials were issued with bank cards which allowed them to take

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out large sums of money from cash machines anywhere in the world

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without being traced. He also says that electronic transfers were made

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to other accounts. McCormick could afford to give bribes to the Iraqis.

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He bought exclusive properties in Bath, including this one, sold to

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him by Hollywood film star, Nicholas Cage. Complete with Roman-

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style indoor swimming pool. His profits also funded a country home

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in Somerset, smart cars and dressage horses. As well as houses

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in Cyprus and Florida. And a yacht. It was Iraq that paid the price.

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Shockingly the British Government had been alerted months before Han

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in was injured, that the device was a scam, but nothing was done to

:10:01.:10:05.

prevent the sale. When our whistleblower walked out on

:10:05.:10:12.

McCormick in 2008, he made it his mission to take the bogus bomb

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detector out of circulation, warning the Ministry of Defence and

:10:15.:10:19.

those who bought the device. By 2009 the American military was

:10:19.:10:24.

sounding the alarm. And Avon and Somerset Police began investigating.

:10:24.:10:29.

But McCormick was freely plugging the ADE 651. In ideal conditions

:10:29.:10:37.

you can be up to 1km away. kilometer, so this device will help

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this device spot explosives a kilometer away. In ideal conditions

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it will. Koerm did a BBC interview that said the cards were the key.

:10:47.:10:53.

In early 2010 we decided to put the claims to the test with the help of

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the Cambridge Computer Laboratory. McCormick said this had been

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programmed to detect TNT, we decided to find out what was in it.

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This is the cheapest bit of electronics you can get that look

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vaguely electronic and are sufficiently flat to fit inside a

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card. It couldn't be programmed to detect TNT? Absolutely not. The day

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we broadcast our report in January 2010. Good evening a Newsnight

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investigation has discovered that a called bomb detector produced by a

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British company and sold to Iraq does not work.

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British troops have now left Basra and the Americans have left Baghdad.

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But at checkpoints across the capital and beyond, where bombs

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remain a constant threat, the bogus detector is still being used. The

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man who sold them now faces several years behind bars.

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I'm joined now by Detective Superintendent Nigel Rock from Avon

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and Somerset Police who was the senior investigating officer on the

:12:01.:12:05.

case. You must be a very happy man this evening, Nigel Rock. This was

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a conviction for fraud, which I guess in some ways just doesn't

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quite cover it, does it, what would be your message to Jim McCormick

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tonight? I think it does cover it in so much as the device doesn't

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work, it could never work. Jim McCormick knew it didn't work and

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the court accepted that. And then he told lies and a deception that

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he practised and developed over ten years. I think fraud fits the crime.

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Whether it fits the whole circumstances is a different matter.

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Because clearly many people's lives have probably been affected by

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McCormick and his useless device. Hundreds lost we were hearing

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because of this? We have never been able to directly prove that the

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device was directly responsible for killing people. But I find

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inconceivable, there was 6,000 of these devices in Baghdad, in

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environment of Baghdad. At one point there was there were 10-

:13:12.:13:19.

12IEDs going off in the city how could that not be the device that

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was thought to protect them. There are many still out there now?

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it is unfortunate and despite messages from ourselves, messages

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from Government departments, through the embassies, they are

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still there and they are still in use on the streets in a number of

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countries and the people operating them unfortunately still believe

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they work. How can that be? That is one of the most extraordinary

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things about this tale, the Home Office tested them, the UN tested

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them, we know the American military were raising the alarm? Isn't it

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very simple to work out if something that is a bit of plastic

:13:58.:14:03.

works or doesn't work? It is, clearly the evidence we gathered

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over a four-year investigation, or the best part of four years, firmly

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established beyond doubt that the device doesn't work, could never

:14:11.:14:17.

work. But McCormick had developed such a con, such a patter, such a

:14:17.:14:21.

way of delivering the demonstration of the device that he was able to

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convince some people that it worked. And he was still selling it whilst

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these investigations were going on? He certainly has not sold one since

:14:32.:14:37.

the moment he was are-ed in September 2009, up until that point,

:14:37.:14:44.

yes, he was selling them. I can assure you that since we -- he was

:14:44.:14:48.

arrested in September 2009, up until that point, yes he was

:14:48.:14:55.

selling you. I can assure you since then he has not sold any more.

:14:55.:15:02.

we claim them back the money from his assets? One of the things we

:15:02.:15:06.

have done through the court is restrain his assets and the

:15:06.:15:11.

investigation continues, hopefully with the assistance of the courts,

:15:11.:15:15.

we will confiscate the assets we know about. It is highly likely

:15:15.:15:19.

there are assets we will never trace. As you saw in the report

:15:19.:15:22.

bank accounts were opened in parts of the world where it may be

:15:22.:15:25.

difficult to get information. money claimed from the assets could

:15:25.:15:28.

go back to refund some of the Governments who have paid out

:15:29.:15:33.

money? The process is the assets are seized through the courts and

:15:33.:15:38.

then the money is distributed through the police and the Crown

:15:38.:15:43.

Prosecution Service. But clearly the civil cases are open to some

:15:43.:15:47.

countries to try to get money back. Do you think you will get money

:15:47.:15:50.

back from those who were bribed? That was a different situation.

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There are a number of investigations going on in other

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countries. We are supporting those, and clearly we have had a lot of

:15:57.:16:00.

contact with the Ministry of Interior from Iraq. We are hoping

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to assist them, we will give them all the information we can. Nigel

:16:04.:16:08.

Rock, we really appreciate you coming in, thanks again.

:16:08.:16:16.

Coming up: The difference between England and

:16:16.:16:25.

France reception year and nursery. (applause) going to enjoy this show,

:16:25.:16:28.

da-da-da-da-da! All that to come, will you still be

:16:29.:16:32.

able to use a tenner in the new independent Scotland. The SNP would

:16:32.:16:36.

like to say, of course, the Chancellor is not so sure. He's

:16:36.:16:41.

warning, some would say fledening, that the UK -- threatening, that

:16:41.:16:46.

the UK might not want to tie itself to a foreign currency. Many say

:16:47.:16:51.

there is gentle political mischief being made. How realistic is it

:16:51.:16:57.

that the two countries could share the same currency, a kind of

:16:57.:17:05.

eurozone-light? At one time it was easier to imagine this happening

:17:05.:17:08.

than Scotland politically separating from the rest of Britain.

:17:08.:17:11.

But now political time is speeding up, we are starting not just to

:17:11.:17:17.

imagine Scottish independent but to measure the cost. Let's be clear,

:17:17.:17:22.

abandoning current arrangements would represent a very deep dive

:17:22.:17:26.

indeed into unchartered waters. Would a newly independent Scottish

:17:26.:17:32.

state be prepared to accept significant limits on its economic

:17:32.:17:37.

sovereignty? To submit its bugetry plans to Westminster before

:17:37.:17:41.

Hollywood? To constrain the degree of tax competition between Scotland

:17:41.:17:46.

and the rest of the UK. To accept some continuing oversight by UK

:17:46.:17:50.

authorities of its public finances. Those are good questions if you

:17:50.:17:54.

want to leave Britain but keep the pound. So the Chancellor headed for

:17:54.:17:59.

the kind of factory, high-tech, export-driven, partly reliant on

:17:59.:18:04.

defence, where getting independence right would be make-or-break. He

:18:04.:18:08.

asked an even more fundamental question. Why would 58 million

:18:08.:18:11.

citizens give away their sovereignty over monetary and

:18:11.:18:14.

potentially other economic policies to five million people in another

:18:14.:18:19.

state. The SNP asserts that it would be in everyone's interest for

:18:19.:18:24.

an independent Scotland to keep the pound as part of a eurozone-style

:18:24.:18:27.

sterling zone. But the Treasury analysis we are publishing today

:18:27.:18:31.

shows that is not the case. Treasury today laid out three

:18:31.:18:37.

options after a Scottish "yes" vote, joining the euro, launching its own

:18:37.:18:44.

currency or keeping the pound. The problem with all of them is

:18:44.:18:48.

Scotland's economic shape, think oil, whiskey and banks. This

:18:48.:18:52.

London-based economist who designed the residue of RBS and HBOS thinks

:18:52.:18:55.

it is the size of the banking sector that dictates much else.

:18:56.:18:59.

When you have a bank in trouble you have a Central Bank to support it,

:18:59.:19:03.

and behind the Central Bank is always the taxpayer. That means if

:19:03.:19:06.

you have an independent Scotland within a sterling area you need to

:19:07.:19:11.

have a Central Bank, not only for monetary policy, but also banking

:19:11.:19:14.

policy. That requires the big taxpayer, which is the rest of the

:19:14.:19:20.

UK. That's where the complication becomes. Probably the most selling

:19:20.:19:24.

graphs in today -- telling graphs today are these. It shows Scottish

:19:24.:19:27.

exports declining to the UK over the past few years, but remaining

:19:27.:19:31.

way above exports to the rest of the world. It is the same when it

:19:31.:19:36.

comes to imports. Scotland's main trade route, effectively, runs down

:19:36.:19:41.

the M6 and the west coast railway line between Gretna and Carlyle.

:19:41.:19:45.

Confused? A lot of Scottish people are. I like the pound and what we

:19:45.:19:49.

have got. I don't like the euro. Ideally I would like to see it as

:19:49.:19:52.

it is at the moment. Just continuing with the Scottish notes.

:19:52.:19:58.

If it came down to changing the currency I think that would swing a

:19:58.:20:03.

lot of votes. We should create our own currency. With the oil still

:20:03.:20:06.

flowing and the globally important engineering industry it has

:20:06.:20:11.

produced, the SNP's argument is the rest of Britain that needs Scotland

:20:11.:20:16.

to keep the pound. The rest of the UK needs Scotland within the

:20:16.:20:19.

currency area to support the balance of payments. If they didn't

:20:19.:20:23.

have access to Scotland's resources like our oil, that would be a loss

:20:23.:20:26.

of �40 billion from the sterling balance of payments. That would

:20:26.:20:30.

double the balance of payments deficit and cause all sorts of

:20:30.:20:33.

problems. There is no need for. That they can continue to have

:20:33.:20:36.

Scottish resources underpinning the sterling balance of payments. That

:20:36.:20:40.

is why it is in the interests of the rest of the UK. What George

:20:40.:20:44.

Osborne is effectively saying to Scottish voters is you can have

:20:44.:20:47.

independence, but if you want to keep the pound you may end up

:20:47.:20:52.

giving quite a lot of control over that independent Scottish economy

:20:52.:20:57.

to London. So why doesn't Scotland opt, like Denmark, for its own

:20:57.:21:00.

separate currency? This certainly is what some supporters of

:21:00.:21:03.

independence see as the long-term goal? I think you have to

:21:03.:21:07.

distinguish between the short-term and the long-term. The short-term

:21:07.:21:10.

practically would have to be some arrangement whereby Scotland

:21:10.:21:14.

continued to use sterling. I think the option of moving to the euro is

:21:14.:21:18.

a non-starter. You could say that we have been in one dysfuntional

:21:18.:21:25.

currency union in the UK kuorn union, why go into an even more

:21:25.:21:29.

dysfuntional currency union. The preferred option is for our own

:21:29.:21:32.

currency. It is the getting there that worries people and on both

:21:32.:21:35.

sides of the border. The difficulty is how to get from where they are

:21:35.:21:39.

today, with all of their contracts in sterling, to all of their

:21:39.:21:43.

contracts being in a new currency that hasn't been set yet. And going

:21:43.:21:46.

from where we are today to there, you run the risk of capital coming

:21:46.:21:51.

out of the country. It is a big transitional risk, but in the

:21:51.:21:53.

longer term it is a coherent solution.

:21:53.:21:59.

But in the shorter term, come next September, the prospect is of a

:21:59.:22:02.

Scotland-shaped economy using money issued by the bank of somewhere

:22:02.:22:07.

else. The Scottish Finance Minister, John

:22:07.:22:11.

Swinney, joins us from from Dundee. Thank you for your time this

:22:11.:22:16.

evening. Let's imagine, if you like, that you have won, that Scotland's

:22:16.:22:20.

independent. Why wouldn't a proud, new low- independent Scotland want

:22:20.:22:24.

to have its own currency? What we have set out is a framework that is

:22:24.:22:28.

well evidenced about the arguments which essentially create the

:22:28.:22:32.

platform for a continuity of the business environment between

:22:32.:22:36.

Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. That is one of the very

:22:36.:22:38.

powerful attractions of the proposition we have put forward to

:22:38.:22:42.

the rest of the UK into the bargain. That companies south of the border

:22:42.:22:48.

would continue to be able to trade with Scotland in the same currency.

:22:48.:22:52.

And visa versa for companies and organisations within Scotland. It

:22:52.:22:55.

is a practical and sensible and rational approach which is in the

:22:55.:23:00.

interests of everybody north and south of the border. In currency

:23:00.:23:06.

terms Scotland couldn't go it alone then? I think that Scotland has all

:23:06.:23:08.

the attributes to be a strong, independent country. Our

:23:08.:23:13.

proposition is to ensure that our country is able to take all of the

:23:13.:23:16.

decisions that are relevant and important to the economic and

:23:16.:23:21.

fiscal interests of our country. But not with its own currency?

:23:21.:23:24.

currency, you have looked at all the various options that the UK

:23:24.:23:28.

Government has looked at into the bargain. We consider the best

:23:28.:23:30.

approach for Scotland is to maintain the use of sterling as

:23:30.:23:34.

part of a sterling zone. Is that just for a short-term transition or,

:23:35.:23:40.

I mean is there a long-term goal for a Scottish currency?

:23:40.:23:45.

proposition we have put forward is a strong and sustainable

:23:45.:23:49.

proposition. It is one we put forward as a robust long-term

:23:49.:23:53.

proposition to give the correct framework for the Scottish economy

:23:53.:23:56.

and to enable the companies and businesses of Scotland to continue

:23:56.:24:00.

to be able to trade effectively with the rest of the UK and for

:24:00.:24:03.

other companies in the rest of the United Kingdom to be trading with

:24:03.:24:08.

the companies and businesses in Scotland. It makes sense in the

:24:08.:24:11.

interests of everybody in these islands to be taking that approach.

:24:11.:24:15.

There seems to have been three identifyable positions on currency.

:24:15.:24:20.

You were unambiguously committed to joining the euro in 1999, you were

:24:20.:24:25.

in favour of pegging the Scottish pound to sterling. Now you are

:24:25.:24:29.

staying with terling, if you got your own way -- sterling, if you

:24:29.:24:33.

got your own way and there is no talk of a currency at all. It is

:24:33.:24:36.

hard for people looking at your policies to work out what you

:24:36.:24:39.

really mean isn't it? Over the years there has been a broad cross

:24:39.:24:43.

section of political opinion that at some stage has supported

:24:43.:24:47.

membership of the single currency, not least of which the last Labour

:24:47.:24:51.

Government and the current Chief Whip to the Treasury and the Lib

:24:51.:24:54.

Dem party. The issue of the single currency is broadly debated across

:24:54.:24:58.

the political spectrum. What we have set out over some considerable

:24:58.:25:01.

time is the advantages of Scotland retaining the pound, establishing a

:25:01.:25:06.

sterling zone that would enable us to operate within a framework which

:25:06.:25:10.

would essentially create the stability of a unified market

:25:10.:25:14.

across these islands and that in the interests of everybody aclos

:25:15.:25:19.

the UK. We have heard the -- Across the UK. We have heard the

:25:19.:25:21.

advantages for Scotland, the Chancellor has laid down the

:25:21.:25:25.

compromises you needed to make, significant limits, and submitting

:25:25.:25:28.

plans to Westminster. Accepting continuing oversight of public

:25:28.:25:31.

finances, you would be prepared to do that would you, under the Bank

:25:31.:25:35.

of England? These are some of the overbearing interventions of George

:25:35.:25:39.

Osborne. Why are they overbearing, they seem completely sensible don't

:25:39.:25:42.

they? They are pretty overbearing. We have made it pretty clear that

:25:42.:25:46.

we would see the logic and the rationale of some form of

:25:46.:25:50.

"stability pact" arrangements in which we set out some strategic

:25:50.:25:53.

rules around the management of the public finances in Scotland. With

:25:53.:25:57.

particular agreements around the level of debt that we would incur,

:25:57.:26:06.

or the level of borrowing we would be undertaking. When you talk about

:26:06.:26:09.

strategic rules, a lot of tax- payers will be rembering that

:26:09.:26:14.

billions were paid out to rescue Scottish banks, RBS and HBOS to be

:26:14.:26:17.

rescued by the Bank of England. Would that continue? All of these

:26:17.:26:20.

factors are part of the public finances of the United Kingdom as

:26:20.:26:23.

we stand just now. Basically you would use the loans there are the

:26:23.:26:27.

Bank of England without submitting any of our bugetry restrictions or

:26:27.:26:30.

qualifications, you would be prepared to just take and not give?

:26:30.:26:35.

What I said a moment ago is we accept the rationale for a

:26:35.:26:39.

"stability pact" type arrangement, where the levels of debt we would

:26:39.:26:43.

be incurring, or the level of borrowing we would undertake would

:26:43.:26:47.

be part of the "stability pact". That would give Scotland a maximum

:26:47.:26:50.

amount of fiscal flexibility to determine economic policy in the

:26:50.:26:53.

interests of the community of Scotland and to create the

:26:53.:26:58.

strongest possible economy. Chancellor said it was unworkable.

:26:58.:27:03.

That is the argument to enable us to do that. The Chancellor said it

:27:03.:27:08.

was unworkable. The Chancellor said why would the 58 million citizens

:27:08.:27:12.

of the rest of the UK to give their sovereignty to share in a new kind

:27:12.:27:17.

of eurozone with you? There are two reasons why that would be in their

:27:17.:27:19.

interests, the first is there is a significant amount of trade between

:27:19.:27:22.

Scotland and the rest of the UK, and crucially between the rest of

:27:22.:27:28.

the UK and Scotland. And secondly, you can see, you saw in the clip

:27:28.:27:33.

from the First Minister in the package that you just ran, Scotland

:27:33.:27:37.

makes a significant contribution towards the balance of payments

:27:37.:27:41.

situation for the United Kingdom, to the tune of �40 billion alone in

:27:41.:27:45.

North Sea oil and gas revenues. That is a particular prize that I

:27:45.:27:47.

think the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be determined to

:27:47.:27:51.

get his hands on for the sterling zone benefits. Isn't the truth, as

:27:51.:27:55.

was made clearly and succinctly by the woman in the film, that people

:27:55.:27:58.

don't want to hear about any real change. They want to think you

:27:59.:28:04.

still keep the pound and the Queen, nothing really changes. It is an

:28:04.:28:07.

independance-light, where you take the good bits and leave the bad

:28:07.:28:11.

bits, and you don't tell people exactly what they are settling for,

:28:11.:28:15.

because it is easier to get them voting for you? People want to hear

:28:15.:28:18.

is what it is possible to achieve within Scotland. What it is

:28:18.:28:21.

possible to achieve is a much stronger economy, using the

:28:21.:28:25.

economic and fiscal levers that countless other countries around

:28:25.:28:28.

the globe take advantage of. To make sure we have a more prosperous

:28:28.:28:35.

and fairer society. We live in the United Kingdom, in the fourth-most

:28:35.:28:39.

unequal country in the IOC. It is high time we used our wealth,

:28:39.:28:42.

imagination and talent to create a more prosperous and fairer country.

:28:42.:28:48.

Thank you very much indeed. How do we want our kids to be

:28:48.:28:51.

raised? What role should the Government have in looking after

:28:51.:28:55.

them? If child minders were more qualified they could look after

:28:55.:29:01.

more children at a time, childcare would cost less, children would be

:29:01.:29:06.

better behaved? Make sense? The French does, and our Education

:29:06.:29:09.

Minister, Elizabeth Truss, agrees with them. We went across the

:29:09.:29:19.

channel to see if we could learn a lesson.

:29:19.:29:23.

Look at these faces very carefully. They seem perfectly normal. But

:29:23.:29:28.

from a very young age they have become more disciplined, more

:29:28.:29:36.

socialised, more attentive, more mind-boggleing angelic! By the way,

:29:36.:29:44.

they are French. If on the rare occasion a French child throws a

:29:44.:29:47.

tantrum or throws food, it is because, we are told, they have

:29:47.:29:50.

permission to do so. That is the idea we are going to test with a

:29:50.:29:56.

Government minister on a trip to France. Before we head off to check

:29:56.:30:00.

this little angel thesis, I want someone of my own to test any

:30:00.:30:10.
:30:10.:30:11.

claims that we hear in France. So, we have French mother Lola. She has

:30:11.:30:16.

three children who -- Leila, she has three children who at various

:30:16.:30:20.

stages of their upbringing have experienced both systems. We will

:30:20.:30:24.

come back to her later. Until the children enter school parent are

:30:24.:30:34.

really struggling here. Probably in France they do not as much. Last

:30:34.:30:38.

Tuesday we got up and out with Government minister for children,

:30:38.:30:45.

Elizabeth Truss. We are on a research expresident dix into early

:30:45.:30:51.

years education. -- expedition into early years education. This is a

:30:51.:30:54.

nursery, but more like a school, three-year-olds attend it, a year

:30:54.:30:59.

earlier than attending school in the UK. A lot of problems in the UK

:30:59.:31:03.

is quite a lot of kids arrive in school not able to sit and

:31:03.:31:07.

concentrate in lesson. That means they will get behind further on in

:31:07.:31:11.

their school career. What these children are doing is they are

:31:11.:31:15.

being led by really qualified professionals, who know what they

:31:15.:31:22.

are doing. Who can operate with large groups and encourage that

:31:22.:31:28.

self-reliance amongst children. children here are not shouting out

:31:28.:31:31.

or running about, they are concentrating on what the teacher

:31:31.:31:39.

is saying. That is so important. You would see this in some nursery

:31:39.:31:44.

in -- nurseries in the UK, but only a third of them, this is an

:31:44.:31:48.

entitlement for all children in France. The headteacher has hosted

:31:48.:31:53.

a large delegation from the UK, why does he think that they are

:31:53.:31:57.

mesmerised by his school? Language is improving fast. We can see they

:31:57.:32:04.

develop social relationships very, very quickly. They become quite

:32:04.:32:13.

deep as well for this age. As well they improve their abilities about

:32:14.:32:23.

being ready to learn how to read, how to write. What did Leila's son

:32:23.:32:29.

make of the French school? He has take great advantage of being

:32:29.:32:34.

schooled that early. He enjoyed it. He was ready to have other

:32:34.:32:40.

relationships and that he started to build up his own path,

:32:40.:32:45.

confidence, knowledge. What does the big sister think? They have

:32:45.:32:52.

these sort of stricter methods of teaching children. Here we learn

:32:52.:32:57.

through games and through all that. So we learn more discipline in

:32:57.:33:04.

France. Discipline at three years old but also in the earlier years.

:33:04.:33:08.

As we travelled around nurseries we met child minders with high

:33:08.:33:14.

qualifications where one looked after eight two-year-olds.

:33:14.:33:17.

Elizabeth Truss is shifting Britain to this French system, one to eight,

:33:17.:33:21.

if the minder is looking after children at home, it will be one to

:33:21.:33:27.

four. Elizabeth Truss has been much criticised for this shift, she

:33:27.:33:36.

thinks it is possible. My colleague Jacob Reece-Mogg has four under-

:33:36.:33:39.

fives and they are capable of looking after it and so should

:33:39.:33:43.

child minders. We are saying it is down to individual child minders to

:33:44.:33:47.

say how many children it is OK to look after and how it fits with

:33:47.:33:53.

their life. Back in Oxford we had ratios that had a mixed report card.

:33:53.:33:57.

When my last baby started in a French City Council nursery, she

:33:57.:34:02.

was six months old, she was one of eight children for one carer. And I

:34:02.:34:08.

thought it was a bit hard after the experience of the British ratios of

:34:08.:34:14.

three children for one carer. Leila does agree with Elizabeth

:34:14.:34:17.

Truss that all round provision in France is better. This means that

:34:17.:34:20.

more French mothers than British mothers work. Two-thirds of mums in

:34:20.:34:25.

Britain go out to work. I'm very concerned that those mums who often

:34:25.:34:30.

have to go out to work for economic reasons, and this is a trend across

:34:30.:34:34.

the world, in all developed countries dual-income families are

:34:34.:34:38.

the norm, I'm concerned those mums are made to feel guilty about a

:34:38.:34:47.

choice they don't really have. France probably the experiences of

:34:47.:34:52.

women are the same as the experiences of British women. We

:34:52.:34:58.

are juggling probably you know we have got our cultural habits of

:34:58.:35:02.

raising children that are quite different from the more relaxed

:35:02.:35:10.

approach of British women. I feel like English mums and parenting is

:35:10.:35:14.

much more gentle and geared toward the children, where as in France

:35:14.:35:24.

maybe we ask the children to fit into our lives more. With me now is

:35:24.:35:28.

the Education Minister, Elizabeth Truss, also joined by Laura Perrins

:35:28.:35:33.

who is the mother who challenged Nick Clegg on his radio programme.

:35:33.:35:36.

And we have a member of the professional Association for

:35:36.:35:40.

Childcare and early years. Elizabeth Truss do you think French

:35:40.:35:43.

kids really are better behaved? What I noticed in the French

:35:43.:35:48.

nurseries we visited is they do tend to be very calm and purposeful

:35:48.:35:52.

and they are very good at actually improving the outcomes of children

:35:52.:35:56.

later on in life. There has been some very good studies of the

:35:56.:36:02.

impact of French l'ecole maternello Casanova which are positive. I

:36:02.:36:08.

think the strong eacher leadership is really good. Is that the

:36:08.:36:14.

qualification of the teachers in charge, or is it the numbers or a

:36:14.:36:17.

discipline introduced or what is it? The qualifications of the

:36:17.:36:20.

teachers is really important. That is one of the main factors in the

:36:20.:36:23.

outcomes for children. The more qualified the teacher, generally

:36:23.:36:26.

the better the outcomes are. That is true in studies in Britain, but

:36:26.:36:31.

also for studies in France. I think though that the structured

:36:31.:36:37.

environment they operate in enables them to hire those high-quality

:36:37.:36:41.

teachers. There is a relationship between the two. What do you hear

:36:41.:36:44.

when Elizabeth Truss talks about high-quality teaching and that

:36:44.:36:47.

difference that we see in France? think there is a very different

:36:47.:36:51.

language in terms of the conversations that we have with our

:36:51.:36:56.

members, childcare professionals and nursery workers and childminder.

:36:56.:36:59.

They talk about children enjoying their time in childcare, learning

:36:59.:37:03.

through play, and having a very much mixed balance of child-led

:37:03.:37:08.

experience as well as adult, teacher-led experience. That is at

:37:08.:37:12.

the heart of the early years foundation stage we work with in

:37:13.:37:18.

England. You can't disentangle high-quality from good

:37:18.:37:21.

qualifications and ratios, it is both. What do you mean by that?

:37:21.:37:26.

key factors for a good-quality experience for children are high-

:37:26.:37:29.

quality one-to-one interactions with their adult carer, that is

:37:29.:37:33.

about the number of children you are looking after at any one time,

:37:33.:37:39.

that allows them to be provided by play-led opportunities. Play-led is

:37:39.:37:42.

important? We are talking about structured play, of course we are

:37:42.:37:45.

not talking about three-year-olds sitting down at desks writing

:37:45.:37:49.

things. But we are talking about teacher-led activities. We do know

:37:49.:37:53.

that the impact of the teacher is the most important thing. The level

:37:53.:37:56.

of qualifications is the most important factor, it has been shown

:37:56.:38:00.

to be the case in France as it has in England. Only a third of our

:38:00.:38:03.

nurseries are led by graduate teachers, even though we know that

:38:03.:38:07.

is the most important factor. So, yeah, interaction between adults

:38:07.:38:11.

and children is important, but also socialisation between children is

:38:11.:38:15.

important, learning to take turns is important, all of those kinds of

:38:15.:38:18.

things. You do need structure. What I really worry about is some of the

:38:18.:38:23.

children in the most deprived areas, who don't have structure in their

:38:23.:38:25.

family backgrounds need that structure when they get to nursery

:38:25.:38:29.

so they can learn and be ready forle skoo. What we know is a third

:38:29.:38:34.

of -- school. What we know is a third of children arrive at school

:38:34.:38:38.

without communication and language skills that more structured play

:38:38.:38:41.

delivers. Don't they get that at home with their parents as opposed

:38:41.:38:49.

to being in an organised group? think they get it in both groups.

:38:49.:38:52.

I'm very supportive of more child minders, and I'm supportive of stay

:38:52.:38:55.

at home parents. What we need is people to have a choice. The thing

:38:55.:39:00.

I pointed out in the film is a lot of women, men, have to go out to

:39:00.:39:03.

work for economic reasons, and we need to make sure the childcare

:39:03.:39:07.

that they rely on is really high quality what you get in France is a

:39:07.:39:11.

sense of a continuum, a system you can rely on so you can make your

:39:11.:39:15.

choice, secure in the knowledge that your child is getting a really

:39:16.:39:19.

good quality education. minister has accepted that many,

:39:19.:39:24.

many parents have to go out to work. The reason for that is that this

:39:24.:39:28.

Government has actively discriminated against stay at home

:39:28.:39:32.

mums and single income families by penalising them in the tax system

:39:32.:39:38.

and stag ma advertising them in the language they use, implying --

:39:38.:39:43.

stigmatising them in the language they used and in the language they

:39:43.:39:47.

use, implying they are lazy. Eight out of ten mothers say they would

:39:47.:39:53.

like to reduce their hours to go part-time or full-time stay at home

:39:53.:39:56.

mothers. The minister and the Government, instead of coming here

:39:57.:40:06.

in here with this French fairytale of Ameila and Jacques sitting down

:40:06.:40:09.

at desk, should think about Alice and John, the British children you

:40:09.:40:14.

are elected to represent, they want to be at home with their parents.

:40:14.:40:16.

And importantly, the key factor is those parents want to care for

:40:16.:40:20.

their children at home. And your Government instead of coming in

:40:20.:40:24.

here with this French fantasy, should instead do what they did,

:40:25.:40:30.

and implement the promise in the coalition agreement to provide for

:40:30.:40:34.

a transferable tax allowance. That would give a real choice to working

:40:34.:40:38.

parents to stay at home for the crucial early years and care for

:40:38.:40:43.

those kids at home. You have deprived them of that choice.

:40:43.:40:48.

will be putting in the tax allowance for marriage. When will

:40:48.:40:52.

that happen? Is that a promise on Newsnight? Let me finish responding

:40:52.:40:57.

to your point. Let's just get to the bottom of that, is this a

:40:57.:40:59.

marriage tax allowance that is coming in this parliament? This is

:40:59.:41:02.

a commitment that the Conservatives have in our manifesto. Jo are you

:41:02.:41:07.

going to act on it? I hope so, I'm very supportive of marriage in the

:41:07.:41:12.

tax system. You hope so, are you going to act on a commitment, given

:41:12.:41:16.

in the coalition agreement, parliamentary democracy is for the

:41:16.:41:20.

children you represent, act on that commitment. This is crucial, we

:41:20.:41:23.

have heard a lot about the marriage tax allowance t will come in, it

:41:23.:41:26.

was a commitment, then a promise, it got dropped because now of the

:41:27.:41:30.

Lib Dems, now you say it is a commitment and you hope it will be

:41:30.:41:33.

brought in, before the end of this parliament? I hope so. I can't

:41:33.:41:37.

commit that. I'm not the Chancellor, I can't say that. Why don't you

:41:37.:41:40.

lobby the Chancellor to bring it in? I think it is important.

:41:40.:41:44.

However, what I would say is we need to support all families. We

:41:44.:41:46.

need to allow families to make choices. I don't think it is right

:41:47.:41:50.

to pit one set of parents against another set of parents. We are

:41:50.:41:54.

supporting those parent. What we have to recognise is that childcare

:41:54.:41:58.

costs here in England are twice as high as they are in other countries

:41:58.:42:01.

in Europe, it is very, very difficult for some families to get

:42:01.:42:06.

by. Some families are on very low incomes. We need to make sure that

:42:06.:42:13.

the childcare of those 66% of mums that go out to work can be relied

:42:13.:42:17.

on and is good. There is an important factor that we need to

:42:17.:42:20.

remember. The parents currently signing petitions to Governments

:42:20.:42:24.

around the ratios have two messages, it is not about cost it is about

:42:24.:42:32.

the quality of care for children. There is concerns about increasing

:42:32.:42:35.

ratios, alongside proposals for qualification change that will take

:42:35.:42:40.

longer than the ratio change. of parents are saying we spend an

:42:40.:42:46.

enormous amount, a friend who had twins spent �2,500 a month, that

:42:46.:42:50.

nearly broke them. Can't you say as a parent I want a better

:42:50.:42:53.

qualification and I expect for more that money? Absolutely, one of the

:42:53.:42:57.

lessons we need to recognise is countries like Holland and France

:42:57.:43:01.

are investing far more in state- funded childcare. And alongside

:43:01.:43:06.

that a greater contribution from employers. There is choices to be

:43:06.:43:08.

made around how much childcare costs, will there is more that

:43:08.:43:13.

could be done in terms of employer- supportive vouchers. We spend the

:43:13.:43:16.

same as a proportion of GDP on early years that the French do. It

:43:16.:43:23.

is about getting value for money for what we spend. We spend �5

:43:23.:43:26.

billion. The figures on what you spend keep changing. We had the

:43:26.:43:33.

lower ratios in Europe, and the average childcare worker gets �6.60

:43:33.:43:37.

an hour, barely above minimum wage, we can't kid ourselves that the

:43:37.:43:39.

system we have at the moment is right. Let's not kid ourselves that

:43:39.:43:42.

you have any support for this change in ratio. The entire

:43:42.:43:46.

industry is against you, most parents by the parenting forums are

:43:46.:43:55.

against you, and Professor Nut Brown who commissioned the original

:43:55.:43:59.

report has dismissed the ratio changes as nonsense. These ratios

:43:59.:44:04.

are across Europe. You heard the film about the French system.

:44:04.:44:09.

you interested in British children or British parents are you

:44:09.:44:14.

interested in French parents and children. You can see the high

:44:14.:44:20.

quality care works in France. A lot of childcare providers operate in

:44:20.:44:24.

other countries with different qualifications and higher ratios.

:44:24.:44:29.

Let's be clear we are only going to allow childcare providers who hire

:44:29.:44:34.

high-quality staff to operate these ratios, there will be strict

:44:34.:44:38.

criteria to operate the ratios. There is no link to child minders

:44:38.:44:43.

for qualifications and ratios. is why we are having childcare

:44:43.:44:47.

agencies. That is not about quality assurance through qualifications.

:44:48.:44:52.

It is. I think the key issue for parents is absolute he cost but not

:44:52.:44:56.

at the sacrifice of quality. But I don't think there is evidence

:44:56.:45:00.

really for us to see that how changing ratio levels will really

:45:01.:45:06.

change the cost of childcare. up to the professionals to decide.

:45:06.:45:10.

I'm sorry we have run out of time, thank you for coming. I come to

:45:10.:45:20.
:45:20.:45:54.

these papers rather new so I will That's all we have time for tonight.

:45:54.:45:57.

But Jeremy will be here tomorrow, from all of us here, a very good

:45:57.:46:07.
:46:07.:46:32.

Good evening. Wednesday will be a bit of a mixed picture across the

:46:32.:46:35.

UK, some rain, some sunshine. The rain across primarily northern part

:46:35.:46:39.

of the UK, during the first half of Wednesday. It turns brighter across

:46:39.:46:42.

Scotland. Sparkling sunshine and fresh conditions, a little further

:46:42.:46:46.

southwards in Northern Ireland it will remain cloudy. The north coast

:46:46.:46:49.

getting sun but well and truly it is across Scotland where we will

:46:49.:46:53.

have the best of the weather in the north of the UK. Then we get into

:46:53.:46:56.

England, here it is relatively cloudy. To the east of the Pennines

:46:56.:47:01.

there might be breaks in the cloud. A little bit more cloud across the

:47:01.:47:04.

north Midland. For East Anglia and the south-east, a little bit more

:47:04.:47:08.

cloud on Wednesday compared to what we had on Tuesday. So maybe the

:47:08.:47:12.

temperatures in one or two spots won't be quite so high. For the

:47:12.:47:16.

south west some low grey cloud and mist in one or two places affecting

:47:16.:47:21.

areas deep inland, not just around the coast. Some of that may drift

:47:21.:47:25.

up the Bristol Channel. Cloudy across Wales too. Let's look at the

:47:25.:47:29.

outlook over the next couple of days. Wednesday and Thursday

:47:29.:47:33.

temperatures across the north hovering around 1010 degrees. As

:47:33.:47:38.

far as the Midland go on Wednesday. Already temperatures starting to

:47:38.:47:41.

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