05/06/2013 Newsnight


News stories with Jeremy Paxman. Including why the government can't let house prices fall, Labour and welfare, Paul Mason in Turkey and an Afghan interpreter's story.

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What goes up must come down. They claim. Except in the case of house


prices, in an economy virtually on life support why does the


Government think it is so important the housing market keeps on rising?


So is the Chancellor's help to buy scheme moronic, as one expert put


it today, we do a bit of economics 101.


We will discuss what is so special about this market that makes it


worth manipulating. This Afghan man risked his life for


Britain as an interpreter, now he's in Germany as an illegal immigrant.


I'm not free. I have no freedom and I have no life. Our political


editor has news on what Ed Miliband will say Labour's going to do about


the welfare system. And we're in Turkey again, not with the liberals


protesting against the Prime Minister, tonight we hear from the


people who put him in power and want him to stay there for as long


as humanely possible. Sitting comfortably, feeling your


house increasing in value while you watch television. Six middle-aged


people in ten in the south-east has assets worth more than half a


million pounds, the biggest chunk is their house. It is not the same


across the country and there are areas across the country. In some


places house prices have more or less nothing to do with what people


get in exchange for their labour. Yet Britain's politicians seem to


have decided that owning property is a good thing in itself, they


want to make it easier. The latest initiative stpor the taxpayer to


help people with their -- is for the taxpayer to help people with


their mortgages. What that really means is the taxpayer is


contributing to a housing bubble. Every day someone else piles in to


criticise George Osborne's help to buy scheme. Today it's Albert


Edwards, the head of global strategy at Societe Generale, who


calls it a "moronic policy", he joins a growing number of others


including the Governor of the Bank of England, the IMF and the Office


for Budget Responsibility who have all, in more polite terms,


questioned the wisdom of the scheme. When the Government starts to lend


people money who can't get money on commercial terms, this really is


very dangerous. It is pumping money into a housing market where prices


are already very high relative to earnings. Firstly, and secondly it


is actually exposing the taxpayer to tremendous risks as well. What


is the problem? To answer that we have to look at what's happened to


the relationship between housing demand and housing supply. It is


worth rembering that when economists talk about demand they


are not just talking about want. We all "want" a five-bedroom house in


the centre of London with a pool in the basement. The question is do we


have the money to pay for it, if we can't afford it can we get someone


to lend us the money. That is where the banks came in. These days they


are a little less enthusiastic. At the moment banks are requiring


borrowers to put more of their own money into a house purchase,


typically a 20% deposit, that is the bank's insurance policy. The


price of the house would have to fall 20% before the bank loses any


money. Many buyers, even though they are happy to take on the debt


can't come up with such a large deposit. Now obviously there are


two things that could happen at this point to help achieve a sale.


The first is, and obviously what the buyer would prefer is that the


seller drops their price a bit. Now the seller would rather the buyer


magically found some extra cash from some other source. Well with


help Help to Buy that is the taxpayer who helps lend the money


to fill the gap. Under the scheme the buyer would stump up 5% and the


bank stumping up 90%, and in this way the taxpayer will guarantee 20%


of the loan. The Help will help thoughs denied the chance to buy


their first home to buy their first home. In a market where first time


buyers have been denied that chance for five years, it is important to


give them a boost to allow them achieve their ambitions to become


homeowners. But the scheme isn't so much aimed at helping buyers first


time or otherwise as helping the housing market. One minister is


quoted as saying the intention is to create a building boom, and he


"couldn't care less who owns the bloody things". As it stands the


Government hasn't ruled out the scheme to those buying second homes.


Nor in the Commons today did the Prime Minister rule out helping


foreign buyers. Will British tax- payers' money be used to fund the


mortgages of foreign citizens who buy property here. The Chancellor


will set out details in this in the announcements he plans to make.


critics say that those struggling to get on the housing ladder would


be better served by the Government letting prices fall, not


intervening to help them borrow more money. It is very difficult


for a Conservative Government both to allow house prices to fall


naturally, but also to liberalise planning, given the sorts of areas


that the coalition Government MPs represent. But actually if we are


going to resolve the housing crisis in the UK what we need to do is


liberalise supply. Critics say the result of this Government activity


is to maintain house prices at a higher rate than the market would


otherwise set. That obviously suits the people who build houses. The


Government wants them to build more. But, could we be inflating another


bubble? The figures show that house prices are still at historically


high levels in terms of income. And, the latest numbers for housing


starts and mortgage lending are both up too, but still at


historically low levels. I am not worried at all about an inflation


bubble. At the moment the market is about half what it should be in


transactions and prices are being stagnating. This is not adding fuel


to a fire, this is really giving a smoldering fire a little poke to


keep it going. We already have a bubble in house prices which has


never really properly deflated. This bubble is caused by


restrictions on supply, it is the restrictions on supply that need to


be tackled, not simply pumping more air into the balloon. This kind of


housing market intervention of course doesn't have an entirely


glorious his he troo. It was the US Government helping people buy


houses who wouldn't otherwise afford them that was one of the


causes of the sub-prime crash. One of the problems is Governments find


it very easy to get into the mortgage business, far harder to


get out. Jake Berry is a Conservative MP who spent time as


parliamentary secretary to the Housing Minister and is now part of


the Prime Minister's policy unit. Stuart Baisley is the executive


chairman of the home builders association, representing most of


those building new houses in this country. Nicola Horlick is a


business woman who runs her own investment fund. What is it about


the housing market that makes it legitimate to rig that market but


not others? We are not talking about rigging the market. We are


saying that we as a Government are absolutely determined to back hard


working families who want to buy their first home, or move that up


that property ladder. It is not about rigging a market. It is


ensuring they get an affordable mortgage. You are interfering in


the market. You are interfering in the market. I think it is frankly


all very well for people sat around the table who already own their own


home. Are you saying people should save up for 15 years. I'm not


saying anything, I'm trying to get to the facts, you are intervening


in this market in a way you think it is illegitimate to interfere. If


you tried to fix, for example, something that is going on in


banking that is illegitimate, is it not. This market you think it is OK


to start rigging? In banking the Government has the Funding for


Lending Scheme, which is about increasing lending to businesses,


in housing we are doing something very similar. It is enabling people


with a small deposit to get an affordable mortgage. Actually we


are not talking about going back to ridik125% mortgage as in the last


market. It is the principle of fixing the market, do you think


this is an intervention in the market? I do, I think the result


will be that house prices will rise and I think houses are too


expensive in this country and too big a proportion of people's income


is taken up by housing. It is reflected in the rental sector as


well. If you have capital prices rising then wreoints go up. -- Then


rents go up. You have to have a degree of sympathy, people can't


afford to get into the market, this is a good thing isn't it? I don't


think it is a good thing if house prices go up. It means for the next


generation too much of their income will be taken up in housing costs.


The overall cost of this is huge, it is �3.5 billion. Whilst I agree


it is good to inject money into the economy, I would much rather than


money was spent on building hospitals and schools rather than


more houses. We are actually talking about the next generation


because it is about helping first time buyers to take the first step


on the ladder. Not everyone has the ability to go and take money from


the bank of mum and dad to come up with that big deposit. If people


are financially stable and can afford the mortgage and save a 5%


deposit they should be able to buy their own home. The problem with


these types of schemes is someone will come along and reverse the


policy and the prop is taken away and those people may find a


negative equity when prices go down again. Can I clarify a point of


fact, this is only for first time buyers is it? No, but it does


enable first time buyers to enter the market. We don't know if it is


only for British people, do we? Labour Party has made great play of


saying this will enable foreign nationals to buy property, it with


huge loo complicated EU rules around this, the -- hugely


complicated EU rules on this and the Government is working to make


sure they don't get the benefit of the guarantee. You have introduced


a policy and you are not sure whether under the policy a Romanian


plumber will be able to move to this country with his family and


get tax-payers' money? This policy isn't about Romanian plumbers, it


is not hoards of people waiting to make money out of the property


market. This is about people buying their own people, people in areas


like I represent in Lancashire, want to go buy their own home, not


as a money-making exercise but a safe place to bring their family


out. You don't know what will happen with those people, you have


just said so? The Labour Party removed the nationality


qualification from all Government housing policy, we are looking at


closing the loopholes. You love this, because it is the taxpayer


giving you money? We like the scheme. We have been talking to the


Government for schemes like this. Of course you do, it is money for


free? We have to put it in the context that we are in a major


housing crisis and it has been building for the best part of 20


years. It is not just a function of the economic recession. What has


happened in the economic recession over the last five years one of the


casualties has been the people who normally would have borrowed beyond


to 85-95% of their first purchase or purchase of the home have been


unable to access the mortgage market in a way that historically


has been the case. The scheme that the Government have introduced,


first of all you have to separate it into two sections. At the moment


we have an equity loan part of the scheme, that came in on the 1st


April, it got off to a good start. It is building on schemes that have


been around for a while, which have been jointly funded by the house


building industry and now the Government alone. The second wider


part of the scheme which comes in next January is the mortgage


guarantee piece. If you go back in time, when we bought our first home


mortgage insurance guarantee policies were absolutely the norm.


It was impossible to get a mortgage beyond 80% without such a thing.


Paid for by the taxpayer? No paid for by the private sector. Does


this work if the market does what you clearly want it to do which is


to not keep roaring away making houses more expensive? One of the


reasons we have had problems with the housing market is the lack of


supply which is partly to do with our planning laws, one of the


things the Government could have chosen to do rather than doing what


they are doing, which I think will fuel house prices further would


have been to relax those planning laws and make more land available.


They have done some? A little bit and they have backtracked on some


of the things they were going to do. They were going to say people could


build extensions without planning permission, that isn't going to


happen. That doesn't relate to new homes, we have seen an 20% increase


in the number of planning permissions given. Developers don't


apply for planning permission and don't build houses unless people


can get the cash to buy them. At the moment we have a situation


where people have to come up with �20-�30,000 as a deposit. That is


clearly unsustainable. We have to find a way to enable people who


can't afford to get a reasonable mortgage. Why is it necessary for


people to own their own homes. The point was made in America it all


went horribly wrong and there were towns like Detroit, which were


completely decimated as a result. Give a straight answer to the first


question there, why is it so important that people own their own


homes? I don't think it is important whether people own their


own homes or not. It should be up to people if they want to do so,


they should be free to do so, the Government should support them. I


own my own home, I want to be part of that British dream that says I


can own my own house and pay the mortgage off, I can pass it on to


my children. Lots of other people do too, if you want that the


Government will support you. As far as you are concerned in the


industry, you mentioned that there used to be a differently funded


arrangements, not by the taxpayer. As far as you are concerned now,


trying to look forward, once we have started on this sort of


interference in the market we have to continue with it don't we?


have to continue with it at least for the next three years. And after


that? It depends whether insurance companies step back into that space


and are prepared to underwrite mortgages or whether lenders are


prepared to lend higher loan-to- value mortgages as well. That


depends on the macro-economic situation and how the economy


recovers. This only works if house prices keep on going up? I think


the problem is if you stop the scheme and you don't have


circumstances where the lenders are suddenly going to be more lenient


then you will find that prices will go down when the prop is removed.


People will feel conned. They have been lured into buying a house and


suddenly the value has gone down, it is a dangerous strategy. Then


you are in American sub-prime territory? Sub-prime is very


different. We are not talking about irresponsible lending, at least we


are not talking about that. We have to put this in the context of


getting realistic a little about the state of the housing market in


this country. We are only building roughly half the homes we need. We


have five million people on social housing waiting lists, 1.8 million


families the length and breath of the land. Do you think house prices


will always rise? I don't think that at all. Do you think they


should? The evidence over the past four or five years not that. I


don't think people should buy a house with an intention of making a


profit out of the house. As a country we have a duty, in my


opinion, to find a way of providing homes for people whatever the


tenure of the home will be, for rent or purchase, and people should


buy the home as a long-term strategy of somewhere to live, not


something to make a short-term profit out of. Are we going into a


bubble here? Potentially. Part low at the hands of the Government?


Potentionally we could be. I think that potential could be tempered of


course by the real reforms we have seen of the planning system, which


will increase supply. Also that we have seen Government land come


forward, public land, which is available for building on. I think


once those reforms really start to come through the system we will see


many more development opportunities being started and being built by


developer. A good few "thinks" and coulds" in what you have said --


"coulds" in what you have said there? I think the Government has


fixed the supply side, ensuring planning permission for developers


and land to build on and ensuring there is planning to build the


houses. We need end users to buy the houses. This is also about


helping to rebuild the economy. Every home that is built creates


jobs, jobs leads to taxes and hopefully helps with the economic


recovery. That money could have gone into commercial building. We


could have build more schools and hospitals. �3.5 billion is an awful


lot of money to be injecting into the housing market at this point.


I'm not suggesting we should do this, I sound like a spokesman for


the Conservative Party which I'm really not. I think in this context


the Government is to be applauded, for once there is joined-up


thinking here. Of course you like this, you are being given tax-


payers' money. You have to look at it alongside the planning reforms


which hopefully will sort out the supply side, adding on the private


rented sector initiatives, that is another big area we need to get


right. More money for affordable housing and the get Britain


building. Do you think we are in a bubble? I don't, or in any danger


of going into a bubble in the short-term. We are dealing with a


very moriand housing market. We are returning to business as usual,


with reasonable loans at reasonable rates. We have had five years where


we saw prices drop 20% in some regions, while it helps with some


prices we can't afford to keep going like that. British combat


forces will leave Afghanistan next year. The Prime Minister has told


us that Britain will honour the debt it owes to the Afghans who


risked their lives by working as translators for us there, by


allowing them to come to Britain too. There is a catch the welcome


and benefits now apply to those only to those working since 2012,


others have to fend for themselves. The story you are about to hear is


the tale of a man who had the misfortune not to meet David


Cameron's deadline and his work has brought death to his family.


In the seven years since British troops entered Helmand, the


fighting has been unrelenting. The risks high. Ambush, attack,


sniper fire, and the roadside bombs that have killed and injured so


many British troops and Afghan civilians. Every step of the way on


every patrol the troops go out on is an Afghan interpreter, a Pashtu


speaker who takes the same risks on the frontlines and the even greater


risk of being labelled a collaborator. In September 2008 I


joined British troops in the town of Gamsir, at a dangerous satellite


base that had come under repeated attack. One of their translators


was called Barri Shams, or Bari to the troops. He was popular, and


regularly risked his life and treated a soldier hit by schrapnal.


His commanding officer commended him. Today his life is very


different. This is the accommodation provided by the


German Government. Yeah. The former Major James Driscoll found Barri


where he has been for two years, in a German immigration camp. How many


people share this kitchen? 100? voice on the video recording is his


former Major in Helmand, James Driscoll, he visited Barri where he


has lived for more than two years, in a German immigration camp. He


lives here with some of his brothers and immigrants from all


over the world. He managed to contact the commander to tell him


what happened in Helmand and afterwards. James Driscoll went to


record that story. My family got warnings from the local, from the


Taliban, I can say. They were saying your son is not supposed to


work with the infidel. And then they gave warnings straight to my


father in the mosque. Then my father was giving a straight answer,


he said my son is doing a good job. If he's working with the coalition


forces they are coming here to build our country, to build our


homeland. I'm proud of my son. And then the next two days, early in


the morning my family heard the shots and when they went outside


they saw his dead body. Whose body? My father's dead body, they shot my


father. My mother was telling me if I was her son I have to get out


from here. I have to get out from here. My mother was pushing me to


go away, go away. Anywhere you want to go, go away. You are in trouble.


They will kill you, they will kill you. He also paid an agent to


illegally transport him to Europe. In Greece he was given a fake


passport. But when he arrived at Munich airport he was arrested. Now


he and his brother are in limbo. His application for asylum in


Germany has been rejected, he can't travel to Britain, and it is too


dangerous for him to go home. go back to Afghanistan everybody


knows in my village. I have no family there, where do I go? Where


do I go? If I go there I have no family. Or the second, if they can


kill my father they can kill my brother, they can kill me as well.


It is a long way from the feeling he had when he was with British


troops. We were like a family. They took care of me. I had no weapons


during the mission, during the patrols, but always I had good


friends that they were telling me we are with you, we are like family.


I'm young and I can work and without work I have no life. I want


to be like others. I want have freedom. Do you not feel free at


the moment? No, I can feel myself not free, I'm not free. I have no


freedom and I have no life. We only know about this case because he was


lucky enough to find the e-mail address of his former commander.


And although he's now left the army, James Driscoll felt responsible for


the translator who had taken so many risks to help his men. And


even on one occasion had helped save the life of one of his


Sergeants. A lot of the interpreters become more than work


colleagues they become friends to the British troops they work with.


They spend hours moving around on patrol, invariably a close bond is


built between the British soldiers and interpreters. To see him in


that situation is akin to seeing one of your own soldiers, one of


your friends in that situation. And I think not just myself, but anyone


who knew him would desperately want to help him. The MoD told us it


operates a programme to address intimidation, which applies to all


local employees who serve with British forces at any time during


the operation for any duration. And can include, in extreme cases, the


option of relocation to the UK. But critics say the bulk of help will


only go to those Afghans still working for Britain as late as last


December. And excludes hundreds of interpreters. Sadly the package is


half-baked, it says hundreds of Afghans risking their lives working


shoulder-to-shoulder with the British forces, and some of them


can't, depending on an arbitary date cut off by Whitehall. Barri


Shams lost it all trying to flee and has lost much more besides.


you feel angry at the British Army for this situation? It is a


question that sometimes yeah. But all I can say, no, I'm not angry


from the British Government. I'm stuck in Germany. I'm stuck in


Germany, I want to go to the UK. If I was there, if they would not give


me a response or this freedom, in that time, yeah, but now I only


hope I have that the British Government will take me out from


this situation. Well now, forget Plan B, the Labour


Party is about to announce it will cap this country's massive social


security bill. It is expected Ed Miliband will admit tomorrow that


the public's faith in the system has been shaken and he will claim


his party can fix it. In so doing he will accept austerity targets


while claiming his party has better ideas about what to do with the


money there is. The talk of iron discipline earlier this week will


be replaced with stuff about having a "laser" focus. We What will he


say? The man behind your head, Ed Miliband, there is three of him


actually. In the 90s he was the man who before Gordon Brown brought


over from the states the idea of tax credits. He's central to what's


been a huge part of the ballooning welfare budget over the last few


years or decades. He will tomorrow say if Labour came into Government


they would cap that every three years you would see, is this rising


too much, tax credits, housing benefits, other elements of the


welfare budget that have so far been cut by this budget, without a


limit placed on them. He would say they would say it is ballooning too


much and they are not happy with it. There will be a cap? There will be


a cap. What is happening, a lot of politics and a lot of policy, that


is why it is rather interesting. The politics is that actually he's


not the first to say he would like to do this. The politics is that


the coalition has said in their budget that actually they would be


bringing forward something rather similar. What they are trying to do


and have successfully so far been doing is boxed Labour into a corner


where they are not the Labour Party they are the welfare party, David


Cameron says it all the time. So they are happy with welfare


spending, they have had previous policies the coalition supported


brought forward and Labour have happily, they have been very


worried about packing them, so Cameron et al have been able to say


you are too soft on welfare. Tomorrow the speech is intended and


will show that actually they are toughening up on this stuff. It


will upset a lot in their own party. So there will be a cap and some


other mechanism for spending the welfare? How do you bring this down


if you do not want to be the nasty Coalition cutting stuff. The way


you do it, according to his speech tomorrow, I promised I wouldn't


mention the word "predistribution" I have done it. With housing


benefit this is a huge part of why it is going up. What do they do,


they will build more houses, ip ceasing supply so rent would go


down -- increasing supply so rent would go down. I see your face,


with tax credits how do you bring down that bill? The way you bring


it down is say to companies we will give awe tax rate if you pay more


to people in their salaries in the first place, there by meaning


people don't need to have as much of their salary burp bumped up. The


question will be tomorrow if you don't manage to bring in these


reforms, building more houses, does it turn around very quickly? I


think the jury would turn around quickly would it come out within


three years. If you don't manage to do that, would you cut to meet your


cap or get rid of your cap? We will find out doubtless tomorrow.


We have a Treasury Minister in the last Government, we have the head


of the think-tank The Centre for Social Justice. How big a deal is


this? It is a very big moment. Several things going on at once.


First, an enormous amount of policy, when many people have criticised


the Labour Party for not want to go do policy at the moment. A very


symbolic line in the sand about being physically prudent, not


spending what we -- fiscally prudent, not spending what we don't


have. And a lot of exciting work around welfare reform, heading off


the fact that the Government was going to do something themselves at


the Spending Review in a few weeks time. How big a deal is it?


Labour it is a really big deal, for the rest of the country and the


wider community this has been discussed for quite some time. The


concept of the dreaded predistribution is a wonky way of


saying prevention is better than cure. That is what most people,


including myself have been rabbiting on for a number of years.


It is big for Labour, I can see why it is a key moment for them


tomorrow. I think they are catching up, the train is leaving the


station and they are trying to get on it. Let's look at the cap. If


you don't meet the cap what happens? We don't know. But...It


not really a cap. It is inflexible a cap? What seems to be happening


is there will be some kind of target for what nerds call the AME


budget, which includes social security. The key word you have


used just now is "target". It is a target, it is not a cap? I'm not


the Government. But it is some kind of limit. Anyone who thinks about


this realises if it is a cap there comes a point where you have spent


the welfare and you can't give people any. That is a gap. A target


is, "this is what we would like to do". Don't take my words, if they


say cap tomorrow they mean cap. The point I was trying to make is that


it is a very large budget. You can do a lot within that and still stay


within the cap. There is an enormous scope for policy


intervention. The cap of something the Chancellor talked about in his


budget recently. Again it is actually probably close to


unworkable if you do it in a serious way. Labour tomorrow will


be saying we will deliver serious savings. This cap can't be a


meaningless figure. They will have to set something ambitious and work


within it. That again is a fairly new concept for Labour. The rest of


the country thinks we spend too much on welfare. Things like tax


credits and housing benefit have been chasing the targets. What is


wrong with the system at the moment is we pick up the pieces of poverty


and chase the symptoms. If Labour today and tomorrow will say we will


deal with the root causes of poverty then great but that is not


new. Wonderous that nobody has thought of it before, that you


solve the benefit problem by creating more employment,


brilliant! Also big problems like housing benefit inflation, it is


not new. The howing benefit -- housing benefit one is exciting,


from what I understand they are talking about they are planning to


enable local authorities to cap rents, in effect, by giving them


various powers to work with existing landlords, at the moment


what happens particularly in high property price areas is you have


substandard housing that is very expensive that the taxpayer pays


for people to live in so they are not incentivised to work because


they face a huge poverty trap. The people who win are the landlords.


Any kind of shift there is, that is an enormous shift in policy. People


will see that Labour has some interesting plans for the long-term


challenge. That is an important contribution. But they have, I


think, rightly or wrongly taken a judgment of opposing most of the


welfare reforms that cut the budget now. They want jam today and jam


tomorrow without the pain of now, which is having to take place. They


sort of think that the Welfare Bill will come down natural he lot.


Under the previous Labour Government when growth was flowing


through the economy and jobs were being created the welfare budget


went up 40%. That is what you want is growth, but Welfare Bills rise?


The coalition Government has said they will project the "automatic


stablisers" please let me finish, it will be worth it. Do you have


to! The unemployment benefit going up when the economy shrinks, it is


actually a tiny proportion of the social security budget. So there


are other things going on that need to be addressed. It was a genuine


inquiry, I mean if the argument is that you reduce the benefit bill by


increasing employment which demands growth in the economy, when you had


growth in the economy when you were in Government the Welfare Bill went


up? Because there is an underlying problem to do with the way the


economy functioning, particularly for people not working. That is a


structural problem that needs to be addressed by all parties. The


Labour Party seems to be saying that they are prepared to get to


the human family side of what is going on and take away problems


that are stopping people going to work if they are elderly and only


want to work part-time, or they have young children and want to


access the labour market in a different way or had disincentives


to work. So what is exciting about this, I think, is that it is


actually starting to talk the language of people, rather than


talking simply about cuts or macro- economics. You are not talking the


language of people tonight, I will tell you that for free! One point


on the living wage which is a key way they will say they will bring


low pay up to scratch. The living wage, even the people who designed


it say it is an opt-in scheme. Again this is a real punt in terms


of business. Can you explain what that means, an opt-in scheme for


the living wage? You can't legislation for all companies to


use the living wage not the minimum wage. There is a thought that if


you introduce it tomorrow jobs will be. I like the idea it is still


optional, and they have to get around that. The living wage is the


weakest thing of what is being talked about. They are saying the


Government would give some kind of grant to a business. It is a tax


credit in a different form. Tifg it to the company rather than the


individual. It is great if companies with pay the living wage,


I'm not sure that is about structural reform. So that's not


the most important part of what they are doing. The important part


of what they are doing is reforming housing benefit, which rises and


rises and rises, and needs some kind of change to the way it works


whilst protecting the individual, that means doing something to what


landlords are getting. The incentives to work also. Also the


contributory system. I understand that Ed Miliband is expected to say


that we have always been the party of work, the clue is in the name,


"Labour". The welfare state created by the Labour Party for a previous


generation was about giving people proper social insurance, where if


they paid in they would get something out. That implies more


should pay in to get something out. Making that contribution principle


at the heart of what the welfare state should be. Without jargon I


will make a point. If you are saying certain people deserve more


than others, which is what contributory welfare is about, you


are bringing up the strivers, skivers debate. Secondly on


something like contributory welfare, it will either cost more money or


people will lose something. If you are giving more to some and less to


others. I think it it doesn't answer the point they have been


critical themselves. Thank you all very much you can have a private


chat about jargon now. We are off to Turkey, for a change not another


point about protest from a well educated elite. The Prime Minister


who so angered them is democratically elected. He has also


led his country through a period of unprecedented growth. What is not


to like say his supporters. Proof that you can be both elected and


autocratic. Yet to all the protestors' demands that he quit,


he can respond that people voted for him in numbers. Who are his


supports and what do they see in him. What started as a protest


about trees has turned into an all- out rebel. This is effectively an


autonomous zone. The symbols of the global protest movement are


everywhere. The tents, the vendetta mask, the flag of the Gay


Liberation Movement. Today they were mixed with the more


traditional symbols of protest. Tens of thousands of workers on


strike came to the place where their kids had driven the police


away from to join the party. At the cost of two dead and 4,000 injured,


the young people of Turkey have turned Taksim Square into a free


urban space, like we saw Greece and in Egypt. The difference is what


they are up against, once you get beyond the barricades is a


different Turkey. The bridge over the Bosphorus is where you leave


Europe and enter Asia. All around there is evidence of rapid economic


growth. But beyond the big city bubble the political dynamic is


very different. I have come to the town of Pasha.


Places like this are part of PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's political


heartland. The offices of the ruling AK Party barely matter, the


political agenda is set here. These are the people who have given Mr


Redogan three general election victories and who are dead against


the protest in Taksim Square. If you speak to the protesters in


Istanbul they think the reason very few people in a place like this


would support them is essentially because of the propaganda in the


newspapers. If you look, though, it is a mixed bag. This newspaper, a


conservative right-wing newspaper compares the Taksim Square


demonstrators to what they call PKK terrorists. For the other


newspapers they are a little bit more conciliatory. "message


received" is the headline on both these newspapers. In fact, the real


source of support for Redogan and the party in a town like this is


not propaganda da but the fact of economic development. -- propaganda


but the fact of economic development. TRANSLATION: I'm 72


years old and never had it so good, my pockets are full of money. We


have become spoilt, everyone doesn't just have one car but two


cars. Why? Because they are rich now. TRANSLATION: There is no


better Government in the world than this Government. This is the best


Government Turkey has ever had. Mr Redogan works all day and all night


-- Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan works all day and night, if you look at


his eyes they are swollen and he can't see well because he worked so


hard. The KA party rose after other parties failed to stem the Islamic


tide. Those who lived through that are scornful about what is


happening in Taksim Square. TRANSLATION: When we had the


headscarf ban in the past we didn't resort to what they are doing now


in Istanbul. We didn't break anything. We prayed and we said


that the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would solve this


problem over time. He has given rights to the all law ys and the


Kurds and he will sort -- Alawites and the Kurds and he will sort this


problem too. We never alarmed or attacked anyone. Today the


protestors went to anchor ra to lay their demands in front -- Ankara to


lay their concerns in front of the Deputy Prime Minister, tomorrow Mr


Erdogan returns. What happens next depends on the tens of thousands of


young people who have suddenly found a political voice.


Today I think it is maybe it is early for a revolution. But it is


too, too late for Erdogan. Because many journalists, many people here


are the people who voted foreredrd before. But they voted for Erdogan


but Erdogan works for a minority. If you win here you will not stop?


Yeah because it isn't just a park, it isn't just a cultural thing. It


is a democracy and freedom demand against the fascism of Erdogan. We


know he's a fascist leader and we will overthrow him by these


people's vote. The Government is in a bind, with every demonstrator


armed with a smartphone, any attempt to crack down on such a


diverse movement would be reputational suicide. But the


movement has momentum. At some point everybody knows these iconic


bus barricades will have to go. Either the police break in or the


Government climbs down. With tension rising and violence flaring


in other cities, and people beg arrested simply for tweeting. The


people who built this barricade are happy for the moment to stand in


the shadows behind it. Meanwhile for the west there is a major


headache. We just got used to Erdogan's Turkey being a Muslim


democracy. But democracies and barricades do not really go


together. Quietly, brick by brick, this young urban secular part of


Turkey is preparing for the worst. That's all from Newsnight tonight.


One of those life imitating art moments in Australia, or life


imitating The Thick of It. The opposition spokesman on immigration


was getting into his stride at a news conference, or feeding the


chucks as they call it there, when he understood not to be the story


of the moment. Our Government has looked the other way and not lifted


a fringeer. It's all right. That warmed you up! The other


issue... Nice to be popular, the weather has turned a corner since


June. Plenty of warm sunshine to come for most of us during Thursday.


This time the cloud over the Midlands and eastern England


clearing away during the afternoon. The odd afternoon shower through


Northern Ireland, few and far between, most of Scotland having a


very pleasant afternoon. You get a breeze off the North Sea still


chilly, 12 degrees in Aberdeen. The odd shower popping up across the


borders into the northern Pennines, they will be few and bar between,


many places misses them. For many places, temperatures getting into


the low 20s, just near the North Sea coast cooler with the breeze


off the sea. Somewhere across south-east Wales, perhaps south-


west England got up to 23 or 24 degrees. But lots of that strong


sunshine on offer. And absolutely glorious afternoon across Wales and


most of the Midlands. We are looking at temperatures around 21


in Manchester, perhaps even higher. As you can see for most places it


doesn't really change through Thursday and into Friday. Bristol


could well hit 23, possibly 24. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a


Why can't the government let house prices fall? How Labour will control the welfare bill. Paul Mason in Turkey and an Afghan interpreter's story. With Jeremy Paxman.

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