12/06/2013 Newsnight


12/06/2013

With Jeremy Paxman. Is RBS rushing to privatise? Plus, the inside story of the Rana Plaza collapse, the future of children's heart surgery in England and German eurosceptics.


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Transcript


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The question was should I lead it through privatisation, or did the

:00:13.:00:17.

board want to find someone else to do that? The answer was someone

:00:17.:00:21.

else. So the boss of the Royal Bank of Scotland is stepping down. What

:00:21.:00:30.

next for the bank we own? Are we rushing to privatise? We hear the

:00:30.:00:33.

voices of the dead in the Bangladesh factory collapse, the

:00:34.:00:43.
:00:44.:00:56.

day before the disaster. They spoke After five years of deliberation

:00:56.:01:00.

and millions of pounds spent, the National Health Service still can't

:01:00.:01:03.

decide what to do to improve the care of children having heart

:01:03.:01:08.

surgery. We will hear from both sides of what is now a very heated

:01:08.:01:17.

debate. And never mind Greece and Cyprus,

:01:17.:01:23.

what if Germany ditched the eurozone? This man has started a

:01:23.:01:33.
:01:33.:01:35.

new political party in Germany to get out of the euro.

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Thank you and good night. The man hired to restore the standing of

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Royal Bank of Scotland. The once functioning bank which the taxpayer

:01:43.:01:47.

has the dubious pleasure of owning most of is off. Leaving, stepping

:01:47.:01:52.

down, moving on, pastures new, time for a fresh challenge. All the

:01:52.:01:56.

usual talk was dispensed this evening as Stephen Hester, the

:01:56.:02:00.

chief executive, disclosed he's loaf. The official line is his work

:02:00.:02:05.

is done and the bank wants someone else to take things on from here.

:02:05.:02:09.

But our Economics Editor is here, Paul Mason. What sort of job has he

:02:09.:02:14.

done? In October 2008 and February 2009 the Government had to

:02:14.:02:20.

nationalise RBS to stop the economy collapsing. Its other big obsession

:02:20.:02:25.

at the time was to not own or control a bank. So no real

:02:25.:02:29.

nationalisation but it bought 80- odd per cent of the bank. It paid

:02:29.:02:34.

therefore over the odds of what it could have paid had it just seized

:02:34.:02:38.

the bank at its lowest ebb. And Hester comes in to run it in such a

:02:38.:02:42.

way that eventually it would be sold. The original plan is you are

:02:42.:02:47.

in it as a global, pin-stripe wheeler dealer bank with an

:02:47.:02:50.

investment arm and US arm and eventually everything goes right.

:02:50.:02:53.

The problem was, first of all the economy was worse than they

:02:53.:02:57.

expected and it carried on being worse than they expected. Banking

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regulation was tougher than I think Labour expected it to be. Tougher

:03:01.:03:05.

than they originally proposed. He has ended up with a bank that

:03:05.:03:09.

instead of growing and reviving as a big bank has had to be broken

:03:09.:03:14.

down and shrunk down and bits of it are being sold off. Was he sacked?

:03:14.:03:21.

He wasn't sacked but he was sort of carrys, paper bag and off you go. I

:03:21.:03:28.

think is the tradition in the city. George Osborne thinks this bank can

:03:28.:03:34.

be privatised before the election. The chairman, Sir Philip Hampton

:03:34.:03:39.

thinks it can be privatised before the election. Hester has had to put

:03:39.:03:45.

in with all political interference, Vince Cable chipping in saying lend

:03:45.:03:50.

to SMEs, and others chipping in saying don't lend. The idea this is

:03:50.:03:54.

a dead-cert that can be sold without losing money, in his

:03:54.:03:58.

statement tonight he gave an interview to my clog earlier, see

:03:58.:04:02.

what you think -- colleague earlier, see what you think, I don't think

:04:03.:04:07.

he's as convinced as others. believe RBS will be privatiseable

:04:07.:04:13.

then, in the sense that it will have cleaned the bank up and

:04:13.:04:19.

predictable and so forth. Share prices, who knows? If the key to

:04:19.:04:27.

privatisation is share price A or B that is harder to predict. The

:04:27.:04:31.

clean-up job, the restructuring of the the normal bank that is mostly

:04:31.:04:41.
:04:41.:04:43.

delivered already. What are the options? A popular idea, not at the

:04:43.:04:47.

Treasury, is you sell it off, the good parts and the bad parts, the

:04:47.:04:51.

Government sticks with the bad parts, same as Northern Rock. That

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option is less and less likely if George Osborne apoints somebody who

:04:57.:05:00.

believes like he does that the bank can be sold quickly. The problem,

:05:01.:05:04.

however, while getting rid of somebody who was a bit sceptical

:05:04.:05:07.

and didn't like the interference, the problem is this, to sell a bank

:05:07.:05:11.

you have to have a guy standing there and saying guy this and

:05:11.:05:15.

maximise the profits for the child -- buy this and maximise the

:05:15.:05:20.

profits for the shareholder, us the taxpayer. Once you you have done

:05:20.:05:23.

that you have to represent the new shareholders, those who have bought

:05:23.:05:27.

the shares. It is not so much conflict of interest, but conflict

:05:27.:05:30.

of emphasis might have been better handled if one guy had sold the

:05:30.:05:34.

bank and another guy runs it after sale. The analysts will now have a

:05:35.:05:43.

very good look, if you have chairman/boss, George Osborne, and

:05:43.:05:47.

CEO lining up to say buy this bank it is a great deal for the taxpayer,

:05:47.:05:51.

the analysts will have a good at this, especially when we know who

:05:51.:05:57.

it is. Lord Myners, who was City Minister when Stephen Hester was

:05:57.:06:01.

appointed chief executive at RBS, he's also here. What do you think,

:06:01.:06:07.

was he sacked? I think that the pressure, the Treasury were

:06:07.:06:11.

imposing on the board of RBS made Stephen Hester's position close to

:06:11.:06:16.

impossible. He has made it very clear he didn't really want to go

:06:16.:06:21.

now. He is going because the board has said he should go. I think they

:06:21.:06:27.

are doing the bidding of George Osborne? So George Osborne said

:06:27.:06:32.

time this chap slung his hook? George Osborne has been

:06:32.:06:35.

increasingly at odds with Stephen Hester over the management of the

:06:35.:06:38.

bank. He has been interfering and talking about the need to close

:06:38.:06:41.

down the investment banking side, get out of the American business.

:06:41.:06:46.

Drawing, of course, on his huge experience as a businessman. Just

:06:46.:06:51.

pointing out for the benefit of the audience you are being sarcastic?

:06:51.:06:54.

am. One of the problems in Government when it comes to making

:06:54.:06:59.

decision about -- decisions about business is the lack of

:06:59.:07:03.

understanding. Hester has done extremely good job against a very

:07:03.:07:06.

demanding agenda. He has performed extremely well for the owners of

:07:06.:07:09.

the bank, for the tax-payers, and the taiblt of the banking system.

:07:09.:07:16.

It is possible he has just lost any stomach for the fight? If lost

:07:16.:07:20.

stomach for the fight he wouldn't have given an interview to the

:07:20.:07:24.

Financial Times saying he was up for the fight and looking forward

:07:24.:07:29.

to staying on for the period post- privatisation. At the end of last

:07:29.:07:32.

week I believe Stephen Hester had to idea he was going. Interestingly

:07:32.:07:36.

the press are reporting that Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of RBS

:07:36.:07:40.

was ringing potentially candidates for the job last week. This was all

:07:40.:07:45.

going on behind Stephen Hester's back. The board of RBS is going to

:07:46.:07:50.

have to answer some serious questions about what role it plays.

:07:50.:07:55.

If it is simply doing what George Osborne tells them it is not

:07:55.:07:58.

performing as a responsible board representing the interests of all

:07:58.:08:01.

shareholders. Why not?Because their job is to make a decision

:08:01.:08:07.

about the management of the bank in the interests. It is the taxpayer?

:08:07.:08:12.

The taxpayer is one very large shareholder. 81%, that is a

:08:12.:08:15.

controlling share? It is a controlling share, but there is

:08:15.:08:19.

also �12 billion worth of equity held by people's pension funds and

:08:19.:08:23.

insurance policies. The board of directors is charged under law with

:08:23.:08:29.

making obtdive decisions, taking into account -- objective decisions,

:08:29.:08:33.

taking into account the express wishes of shareholders, not doing

:08:33.:08:37.

what George Osborne tells them to do. This is an unstable bank. It

:08:37.:08:40.

will lose its chief executive this year, its Finance Director this

:08:40.:08:44.

year, its head of retail banking and investment banking and the head

:08:44.:08:48.

of the American business, there is something deeply wrong in the

:08:48.:08:54.

senior management team of RBS. it worth a buying spree then?

:08:54.:08:58.

knows. We won't answer questions about budgets until you get to

:08:58.:09:02.

general elections. Who knows where the market may be in 12 months time.

:09:02.:09:07.

I think George Osborne has a political eye on a give away of

:09:07.:09:11.

bank shares, possibly to a broad audience, but particularly to his

:09:11.:09:15.

wealthy chums, high tax-payers in the city. Come along, this is

:09:15.:09:20.

really cheap? It is not cheap, we will see what happens. He might

:09:20.:09:24.

make a general offering to the public. He might be like Sid in

:09:24.:09:28.

British Gas? He might give the shares away, it is highly unlikely.

:09:28.:09:32.

He's much more likely to give the shares to those who have the money,

:09:32.:09:41.

not those struggling to make ends meet on very low incomes. This is

:09:41.:09:44.

another policy to encourage a warm feeling among natural supporters

:09:44.:09:47.

ahead of the general election. just trying to recover from the

:09:47.:09:51.

fact that you paid too much money for it? We put sufficient money

:09:51.:09:56.

into the banks to ensure it had adequate capital so depositors were

:09:56.:10:00.

not at risk. That is the key thing we did. We took action to protect

:10:00.:10:04.

the banking system. In hindsight one might have done things

:10:04.:10:06.

differently. At the time we achieved what we set out to do.

:10:06.:10:11.

would have done things differently? The Lloyd's share price is already

:10:11.:10:15.

above the price we paid. In due course RBS share price will be,

:10:15.:10:17.

whether that will happen ahead of the general election, who knows?

:10:17.:10:21.

There is no need for him to give it away then, if the share price is

:10:21.:10:24.

going to go that high? That is one of the big questions that needs to

:10:24.:10:34.

be asked. Clearly UKFI does not believe it is the right to sell the

:10:34.:10:38.

shares because it has not given the Government that advice. What about

:10:38.:10:40.

Stephen Hester's argument that it needs somebody else to take things

:10:40.:10:44.

on, he has done all the awful hard work. He used twice in his

:10:44.:10:50.

statement at RBS, he used the expression of "being in the trench"

:10:50.:10:54.

which suggests it is a horrible environment and all that is over

:10:54.:10:57.

now and it needs someone else? is a valid argument. But if you

:10:57.:11:00.

look at what he said, he said I didn't want to go now it is the

:11:00.:11:05.

board's decision. I think there is some putting together of credible

:11:05.:11:09.

arguments to make what appears to have happened, I think in quite a

:11:09.:11:13.

rush over the last couple of days, look as though it is more rational

:11:13.:11:20.

and carefully thought through. Now at 9.00am on the 24th of April

:11:20.:11:28.

this year an eight storey building in Bangladesh collapsed. Over 100

:11:28.:11:34.

dead, most of them making clothe -- 1100 dead, most of them making

:11:34.:11:39.

clothes for the west. This wasn't a tragedy without warning, far from

:11:39.:11:43.

it. Workers had been complaining about cracks in the building for

:11:43.:11:47.

weeks. The day before it collapsed there was even a formal safety

:11:47.:11:50.

inspection. Our reporter has been back to learn what happened that

:11:50.:12:00.

day. The entire world watched in horror

:12:00.:12:04.

whilst the Rana Plaza disaster unfolded. What they didn't know was

:12:04.:12:07.

just the day before the police and local authorities had closed down

:12:07.:12:11.

the building, saying it was too dangerous to work there. If the

:12:11.:12:21.
:12:21.:12:26.

building had remained closed, this tragedy would never have happened.

:12:26.:12:29.

For weeks the workers had been complaining about cracks in the

:12:29.:12:35.

building. Finally on the 23rd of April, less than 24 hours before it

:12:35.:12:39.

collapsed the police, engineers and members of the industry trade

:12:39.:12:43.

organisation came to inspect the building. They immediately

:12:43.:12:50.

evacuated everyone and shut it down. That day journalists Greg

:12:51.:12:59.

Mulholland filmed a report on theically -- filmed a report on the

:12:59.:13:09.
:13:09.:13:29.

local television. It has never been How do you feel when you see this

:13:29.:13:33.

footage and you had spoken to all these people who didn't want to go

:13:33.:13:43.
:13:43.:14:12.

into the factory the day before and He got the last interview with a

:14:12.:14:22.
:14:22.:14:43.

some what agitated Sohel Rana, the Sohel Rana had strong local

:14:43.:14:47.

political connections and he used them. Realising that if the

:14:47.:14:50.

building was closed he would lose a fortune in urgent foreign orders,

:14:50.:14:54.

it is believed that he persuaded someone to unlook the doors. On the

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next day the 24th of April the factories were open for business.

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The workers were frightened about going back inside the building, but

:15:02.:15:12.
:15:12.:15:30.

they were more scared about losing At 9.00am on the 24th of April the

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electricity stopped. That is nothing uncommon, as usual the

:15:34.:15:44.
:15:44.:15:44.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 44 seconds

:15:44.:16:28.

generator kicked in. That's when I reached around two minutes short

:16:28.:16:32.

of 9.20 to the Rana Plaza. The building collapsed like a pancake,

:16:32.:16:39.

you know. Standing at this building site, you get a sense of the scale

:16:39.:16:44.

of this tragedy. Walking on top of people's saris, and tissues and

:16:44.:16:54.
:16:54.:17:29.

It is impossible to rescue without the help of common volunteers and

:17:29.:17:37.

local people. They came initially with love for their own brothers,

:17:37.:17:47.
:17:47.:17:47.

sisters, mothers who were inside. One of those was this man nearby, a

:17:47.:17:57.
:17:57.:17:57.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 44 seconds

:17:57.:19:03.

slight man, he was able to get into He amputated Anna's right hand with

:19:03.:19:06.

a hacksaw because the attending doctors were too frightened to go

:19:06.:19:12.

into the ruins. He saved 34 lives and amputated in total three limbs.

:19:12.:19:17.

According to him more than 200 people lost their limbs in the Rana

:19:17.:19:22.

Plaza collapse. To get out Reshma Begum had to have both legs

:19:22.:19:32.
:19:32.:20:07.

Just as the authorities were about to give up hope of finding anyone

:20:07.:20:13.

else alive, on the 17th day after the collapse, someone heard a sound.

:20:13.:20:17.

Trapped deep down inside the building and surrounded by rubble,

:20:17.:20:22.

Reshma Begum was clinged on to life. She had survived on water and a few

:20:22.:20:32.
:20:32.:20:32.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 44 seconds

:20:32.:21:37.

She was perhaps hours away from adding to the death toll of 1,230.

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Families are now being promised over $10,000 for each victim and

:21:41.:21:45.

are being looked after in a modern private hospital. Government

:21:45.:21:50.

engineers claim that 60% of factories are unsafe. Seven

:21:50.:21:54.

building inspectors have now been sacked, including those responsible

:21:54.:22:02.

for Rana Plaza. I checked out a few local buildings to see what was

:22:02.:22:07.

happening. Some factories like this one were closed down days after

:22:07.:22:12.

Rana Plaza. Here at this bench someone was working away, it seems

:22:12.:22:15.

like as soon as it was announced that this building was unsafe to

:22:16.:22:19.

work in, they left immediately and we can see some of their unfinished

:22:19.:22:24.

work and some of the things that were completed. The workers here

:22:24.:22:32.

have no idea when they can come back to work. I'm about to go into

:22:32.:22:36.

a factory that the unions are very concerned about. They are concerned

:22:36.:22:41.

about the working conditions and the safety. On top of that, this

:22:41.:22:44.

yellow sign here says that everyone in this building should be

:22:44.:22:49.

evacuated, because the building has cracks in it and poses a risk to

:22:49.:22:59.

workers and anyone else entering. Imagine my is surprise on

:22:59.:23:02.

discovering over 350 people working there. Their manager wanted to know

:23:02.:23:09.

I was on his shop floor. Why does the sign outside say "do not enter

:23:09.:23:18.

this building it is risky, it has cracks in it"? Who?The yellow sign

:23:18.:23:28.
:23:28.:23:45.

As I left my heart sank with the feeling that the Rana Plaza tragedy

:23:45.:23:51.

could so easily happen again. Could these people be the next

:23:51.:23:56.

casualties? The insatible appetite in the west for cheap clothing and

:23:56.:24:00.

the vast profits to be made in Bangladesh means we cannot be sure

:24:00.:24:04.

that there won't be more owners turning a blind eye to health and

:24:04.:24:08.

safety conditions. On the international level 38 western

:24:08.:24:12.

companies like Zara and Primark have signed an agreement to improve

:24:12.:24:19.

local safety conditions. However 15 American companies, including Wal-

:24:19.:24:23.

Mart and Gap have refused to join in, they say they are pursuing

:24:23.:24:32.

their own safety checks. That was �6 million well spent. It

:24:32.:24:35.

emerged today that the National Health Service has wasted five

:24:35.:24:39.

years failing to settle the question of whether operation on

:24:39.:24:42.

children's hearts ought to be concentrated in fewer hospitals. It

:24:42.:24:47.

is not so much they are going back to the drawing board as they have

:24:47.:24:51.

discovered they have never left it. This as one part of the publicly

:24:51.:24:56.

funded health service involve another part of the publicly-funded

:24:56.:25:01.

health service in a publicly-funded court. For those campaigning to

:25:01.:25:06.

keep their local units, today brought a welcome reprieve. Some

:25:06.:25:10.

are parents, they are loyal to the cardiac surgeons who helped their

:25:10.:25:13.

children. We are absolutely delighted. Everything that we said

:25:13.:25:17.

was wrong with the review has been proved to be wrong with the review.

:25:18.:25:22.

And the fact that it is all going to be looked at again is just

:25:22.:25:26.

brilliant. But this decision is a big setback for the national

:25:26.:25:31.

reconfiguration, the NHS has to undertake. We are quite concerned

:25:31.:25:34.

that children's lives and their quality of life are very much at

:25:34.:25:39.

risk with the continuing delay. units around the country specialise

:25:40.:25:45.

in children's cardiac surgery. After much debate, and a major

:25:45.:25:48.

consultation, it was decided only seven would be safe and sustainable

:25:48.:25:54.

for the future. The other three, Leeds General Infirmary, Glenfield

:25:54.:25:59.

in Leicester, and Royal Brompton in west London, should stop doing

:25:59.:26:02.

these operations. Campaigners fought hard against the decision,

:26:02.:26:07.

some went to court. Today a report by the Independent Reconfiguration

:26:07.:26:11.

Panel said the original decision process was flawed. They said it

:26:11.:26:17.

had concentrated too much on the surgery alone. As a surgeon clearly

:26:17.:26:21.

I would focus on the surgical element, but we were asked to

:26:21.:26:25.

review the whole pathway of care from beginning to end and whether

:26:25.:26:29.

proposals that had been put forward by safe and sustainable would be

:26:29.:26:33.

sustainable in the long-term and accessible to patients. So the

:26:33.:26:37.

evidence we took and we heard from lots of people who felt that would

:26:37.:26:43.

not be the case. So the difficult decision, which units to close, has

:26:43.:26:49.

been postponed. I therefore accept their recommendation that the

:26:49.:26:54.

proposals cannot go ahead in that current form and I'm suspending the

:26:54.:26:57.

review today. NHS England will also seek to withdraw its appeal against

:26:57.:27:06.

the judicial review successfully achieved by Sabar Surgery in Leeds.

:27:06.:27:11.

Nonetheless the IRP is clear the clinical case for change remains.

:27:11.:27:13.

The Health Secretary said there is consensus that these difficult

:27:13.:27:16.

operations should be done in fewer centres across the country. He

:27:16.:27:20.

didn't set a deadline for that reorganisation. It is up to NHS

:27:20.:27:24.

England to come up with a new way forward by the end of July. They

:27:25.:27:28.

said there should be plans for implementation within the next 12

:27:28.:27:35.

months. While many families in workshire campaign to keep the

:27:35.:27:39.

specialist unit in Leeds General Infirmary, some support the

:27:39.:27:42.

reorganisation. Michelle Elliot's daughter, Jessica, was born with a

:27:42.:27:46.

heart defect. As she grew up her heart grew weaker. Two years ago

:27:46.:27:51.

she became very ill indeed. She was a patient at Leeds General

:27:51.:27:55.

Infirmary. She couldn't get up the stairs, she wasn't eating, she was

:27:55.:28:00.

grey. I was constantly being told I was a pedantic mum and she's not

:28:00.:28:04.

sick enough yet. Children have to be much sicker than Jessica to get

:28:04.:28:09.

a transplant. So there was a constant refusal to refer her up to

:28:09.:28:13.

a different unit. According to Michelle it took months before

:28:14.:28:19.

Jessica was referred to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. She was

:28:19.:28:23.

gravely ill and had a transplant within weeks. Michelle has since

:28:23.:28:26.

met other families who have travelled for treatment. We are 15

:28:26.:28:30.

families within the group who have all decided their child would have

:28:31.:28:34.

a better outcome from surgery at a larger centre. They have taken

:28:34.:28:40.

their children to the Freeman. If I had to take Jessica to China every

:28:40.:28:45.

week for a superior service I would do. Today the Health Secretary said

:28:45.:28:55.
:28:55.:29:04.

he had full confidence in the unit. It is nearly 20 years since a

:29:04.:29:09.

surgeon blew a whistle at Bristol royal infermy, revealing many

:29:09.:29:14.

children -- infirmary, revealing that many children were dying

:29:14.:29:18.

before and after heart surgery. It was said that children's heart

:29:18.:29:25.

surgeries should be done in fewer and more specialist centres, where

:29:25.:29:28.

surgeons and nurses had most expert advertise. The longer that is

:29:28.:29:31.

delayed the more the existing service is affected. Already we are

:29:31.:29:36.

beginning to see a crumbling of the service. We are finding because of

:29:36.:29:40.

the uncertainty the current service are reluctant to recruit or replace

:29:40.:29:44.

staff as they leave. They are reluctant to replace equipment and

:29:44.:29:50.

so on. All this delay will do is continue what I would regard as

:29:50.:29:56.

disinvestment. Reconfiguration is one of the great challenges facing

:29:56.:30:00.

the NHS. The example of children's heart surgery shows just how

:30:00.:30:07.

difficult it can be. Sir Ian Kennedy who was mentioned in the

:30:07.:30:13.

piece is here now. Greg Mulholland is the Lib Dem MP for Leeds North.

:30:13.:30:20.

That hospital was one of three due to have its cardiac surgery

:30:20.:30:24.

provision removed, which Mr Mulholland has campaigned

:30:24.:30:30.

vigorously against. It is a dozen years since your report? My feeling

:30:30.:30:33.

today can be captured in the word "despair". Here we are again, it is

:30:33.:30:38.

a sad day for children, it is a sad day for parents. Because Government

:30:38.:30:43.

seems to have found another reason to do nothing. This time the

:30:43.:30:46.

reasons are flawed process, previously there were other reasons.

:30:46.:30:51.

The fact remains we know the answer, there should be fewer centres, but

:30:51.:30:55.

we don't have the decision, so parents and children are left where

:30:55.:31:01.

they have been for a long time. is pathetic, 12 years, isn't it?

:31:01.:31:07.

is a failure of significant order. It is not a proud day for the NHS

:31:07.:31:11.

today. The opportunity was there. We have had report after report

:31:11.:31:15.

after report. Somebody has to make a decision. You can argue about

:31:15.:31:19.

this judgment or that judgment, this is flawed, that is flawed. We

:31:19.:31:23.

have been up and down courts and everywhere else, we have got a

:31:23.:31:26.

strange of options. The Secretary of State is the political person

:31:26.:31:33.

who has to make that decision. are the MP for Leeds North West.

:31:33.:31:38.

You campaigned to keep your local hospital going in this business.

:31:38.:31:41.

Presumably you think this is a victory do you? I do think it is a

:31:41.:31:44.

victory, Jeremy. I don't think it is a victory for Leeds or indeed

:31:44.:31:49.

for the other two hospitals. Today is a victory for accountability in

:31:49.:31:52.

the NHS. You could put it like that or say it is a victory for

:31:52.:31:55.

indecision? What is clear is that today we have had some leadership

:31:55.:32:00.

and we have had accountability. And I can tell you that, and I made

:32:00.:32:04.

this clear to Lord Ribeiro when we had the independent reconfiguration

:32:04.:32:08.

panel, I made clear to them if this is about a local centre and trying

:32:08.:32:12.

to save our own hospital you would take that with a pinch of salt. We

:32:12.:32:16.

are telling you we have seen clear evidence that we had that this

:32:16.:32:21.

process has been flawed and biased and there has been a complete lack

:32:21.:32:24.

of transparency. That is simply not an acceptable way to make a

:32:24.:32:31.

decision. I hard Lord Ribeiro talk about we concentrated too much on

:32:31.:32:35.

the surgery. I'm flabbergasted. We looked at the intensive care,

:32:35.:32:39.

cardiology, the number of nurses, we looked at the Ronald McDonald

:32:39.:32:43.

home for parents. Goodness me. I think I understand Mr Mulholland's

:32:43.:32:48.

position. He's doing what he thinks is in the interests of the local

:32:48.:32:53.

electorate. But I have to say to him. Not true.I have to say to him

:32:53.:32:58.

now this is not about him and it is not only about the constituents of

:32:58.:33:02.

Leeds. Absolutely, it is about the NHS and the fundamental lack of

:33:02.:33:07.

accountability. It is not.I have to say Sir Ian there are people you

:33:07.:33:11.

know in this review who have wasted millions of tax-payers' money by

:33:11.:33:14.

following through a process that has been done, in the words of a

:33:14.:33:19.

High Court judge, as being "fundamentally unfair". If that had

:33:19.:33:25.

not been the case, if this process had been done. This is the problem

:33:25.:33:28.

you won't reach rational decisions and you are shouted at. It was a

:33:28.:33:33.

flawed decision, accept that. say part of my group which

:33:33.:33:41.

consisted of a lot of commissions and nurses. One of them was a

:33:41.:33:44.

mother whole child died during surgery at the Bristol Royal

:33:44.:33:48.

Infirmary, you are telling me that she was in any way involved in

:33:48.:33:53.

anything other than the most poignant pursuit in the interests

:33:53.:34:00.

of everybody. It is not about Leeds, it is not you, can I finish. That

:34:00.:34:04.

is what I said, do not misrepresent my position. Can I finish the

:34:04.:34:09.

sentence. It is about the future of children who either do need or will

:34:09.:34:14.

need this form of surgery. They deserve the best possible surgical

:34:14.:34:20.

care. We know that means that they should go to fewer sent. What we

:34:20.:34:27.

are held up by -- centres. What we are held up by is the altar of

:34:27.:34:31.

misplaced localism for an abdication of decision making.

:34:31.:34:36.

accept there are places that will close. As long as it isn't Leeds.

:34:36.:34:40.

Let's get an answer? That is unfair and offensive. I'm asking you a

:34:40.:34:43.

straight question do you accept there are some places that need to

:34:43.:34:47.

close? I accept the decision has to be made on evidence. Sir Ian's

:34:47.:34:50.

review that he had to take some responsibility. Do you accept some

:34:50.:34:54.

places have to close, you haven't answer that? You look at Scotland

:34:54.:34:57.

or the rest of the continent. is your answer to the question?

:34:57.:35:01.

There may not be a need for the number of closures we talked about.

:35:01.:35:05.

There is only one centre. This is very interesting, this is a world

:35:05.:35:09.

authority here, and you say, you represent, you are not a doctor are

:35:10.:35:17.

you? A High Court judge, and I quote "fundamentally unfair". The

:35:17.:35:20.

Independent Reconfiguration Panel said serious criticisms. Instead of

:35:20.:35:25.

turning it on me, he's the person who came up with the absurd idea to

:35:25.:35:29.

put on his review panel surgeons who are associated, or even at the

:35:29.:35:33.

units that may close. That is nonsense, that is like saying for

:35:33.:35:40.

his review on MPs' pay that we should decide how to do it. It is

:35:40.:35:50.
:35:50.:35:53.

not true. We have had an independent panel look at this, and

:35:53.:35:56.

they have thrown it out, and it has wasted �6 million. We have had

:35:56.:35:59.

court, Court of Appeal, independent reconfiguration review, my review,

:35:59.:36:04.

Bristol, another review. The review has been flawed. Your review has

:36:04.:36:08.

been flawed. You have been partly responsible for wasting �6 million

:36:08.:36:13.

of tax-payers' money. Don't talk nonsense Mr Mulholland. That is the

:36:13.:36:17.

reality found by the independent reconfiguration panel as well as a

:36:17.:36:20.

High Court judge. The money has been blown, no argument about that.

:36:20.:36:23.

The Secretary of State made a judgment about it. It was

:36:24.:36:28.

inadequate. The money need never have been spent. The answer we know

:36:28.:36:35.

is there must be fewer centres. not according to him. That's just

:36:35.:36:40.

simply nonsense, internationally and nationally it is accepted that

:36:40.:36:45.

children deserve. That isn't true. Mr Mulholland you seem to be

:36:45.:36:49.

capable of embracing a number of propositions that have no evidence.

:36:49.:36:53.

The problem is your review was not based on evidence that is why it is

:36:53.:36:58.

deemed to be fundamentally flawed. Fundamentally flawed by the NHS

:36:58.:37:02.

Independent Reconfiguration Panel. It would be good if you could

:37:02.:37:06.

accept some response responsibility for that. Or tell us the people on

:37:06.:37:11.

the review panel who badly let down those children and tax-payers'

:37:11.:37:16.

money. The triumph of rhetoric over reality. I'm talking about evidence

:37:16.:37:19.

I have seen, evidence in your failed review with your name on.

:37:19.:37:22.

This is so depressing on it, that you are trying to do something for

:37:22.:37:26.

the welfare of children who are currently not receiving optimal

:37:26.:37:32.

care. So are we. Thank you both very much. The

:37:32.:37:36.

eurocrisis is over, don't take my word for it although the crisis

:37:36.:37:39.

gave us a very good living for a while. Take it from the President

:37:40.:37:43.

of France if it has really been settled it is because the

:37:43.:37:47.

generosity of the Germans, where belief in the European Union is

:37:48.:37:53.

taken in with mother milk. However late in the day a party has emerged

:37:53.:37:59.

to say "enough". It not as try dent as UKIP, but it is ready to say the

:37:59.:38:06.

unsayable, like the euro is nuts. When this is the thanks they get

:38:06.:38:09.

for continued bail outs from countries like Greece or Cyprus, it

:38:09.:38:14.

is little wonder the patience of many Germans is just running out. A

:38:14.:38:23.

recent poll by Focus Magazine, showed 26% would consider voting

:38:23.:38:30.

for an anti-euro party. So this man, a former World Bank adviser, is he

:38:30.:38:35.

the man to whom they will return. After 33 years as a member of

:38:35.:38:39.

Angela Merkel's centre right party, he decided he had enough of a

:38:39.:38:45.

coalition he felt now was misguided. In February this year he founded

:38:45.:38:50.

Germany's first anti-euro party. Simply named Alternative for

:38:50.:38:57.

Germany. What do you think has gone wrong

:38:57.:39:02.

with the European project? I think we made one step of integration

:39:02.:39:09.

which was too much. It was the common currency. We now know this

:39:09.:39:15.

was a big, big mistake and a great failure. But it is not as if people

:39:15.:39:19.

weren't warned beforehand. It was pointed out by dozens and dozens of

:39:19.:39:23.

people that the economy of a country like Germany is completely

:39:23.:39:27.

different to some of those other countries in the Mediterranean?

:39:27.:39:31.

That's true, but not many people believe the message of economists.

:39:31.:39:37.

That is perhaps part of our fate. That is quite sensible at times too.

:39:37.:39:41.

Given that there was a warning, and given that the decision, none the

:39:41.:39:46.

less, was made to go ahead with it. It indicates, does it not, an

:39:46.:39:51.

almost religious faith? I wouldn't say that it is religious. You know

:39:51.:39:56.

that Germans are very favourable of European integration and to think

:39:56.:40:02.

that there was some belief that the euro would exert some competitive

:40:02.:40:07.

pressure which led to structural adjustment in say the Mediterranean

:40:07.:40:10.

countries. Your country did very well out of the euro too?

:40:10.:40:14.

really because in the first years of the euro Germany had the lowest

:40:15.:40:19.

growth rate in the eurozone. managed to achieve a great deal in

:40:19.:40:24.

export markets during the creation of the eurozone didn't you?

:40:24.:40:31.

true. The great boom in exports was later between 2001-2005. We

:40:31.:40:37.

actually had trouble living in the eurozone. What is your suggesting

:40:37.:40:44.

solution then? Our solution is we dissolve the euro by first letting

:40:44.:40:51.

the Mediterranean countries exit in a gradual way. Which may well take

:40:51.:40:57.

on four or five years. That later on we split the rest of the

:40:57.:41:02.

euroRhone either in smaller currency areas 0 -- euroareas,

:41:02.:41:07.

either in smaller currency areas or back to their own currencies.

:41:07.:41:12.

Angela Merkel said if the euro fails Europe fails? I'm afraid the

:41:12.:41:17.

euro splits Europe into two parts. Into a stagnant part, southern

:41:17.:41:21.

Europe, which is deeply in recession, with high rates of

:41:21.:41:26.

unemployment and youth unemployment with great deficits on current

:41:26.:41:31.

accounts. With a lack of competitiveness. And then the

:41:31.:41:36.

central European part which is still doing fairly well, but which

:41:36.:41:39.

has these high obligations to pay for the debt of the southern

:41:40.:41:43.

countries. We will have to pay for that with inflation or higher taxes

:41:43.:41:48.

or expenditure cuts. You wouldn't go so far as to advocate leaving

:41:48.:41:52.

the European Union all together would you? Not at all. We want to

:41:52.:41:57.

reform the European Union and one reform step would be to abolish the

:41:57.:42:01.

common currency. It is very interesting, the debate in this

:42:01.:42:05.

country is very different. Of course we are not in the euro?

:42:05.:42:09.

aware of that. We are sometimes quite grateful for it too. We are

:42:09.:42:13.

not in the euro. But there is, in this country, now a growing debate

:42:13.:42:18.

about whether we should be even in the European Union at all. There

:42:18.:42:23.

will be a some point a referendum on whether to stay in it or not.

:42:23.:42:28.

Possibly on some sort of revised terms, or not. That debate is not

:42:28.:42:33.

going on in Germany at all is it? No that debate is not going on. But

:42:33.:42:38.

one of the points we press for is that we strengthen democratic

:42:38.:42:43.

rights of the population. So we ask for each state and each population

:42:44.:42:48.

to decide whether they want to stay in the euro and consequently it is

:42:48.:42:51.

the good right of everyone nation to also decide on whether they want

:42:51.:42:55.

to stay in the European Union. So if the British want to have a vote

:42:55.:42:59.

on that that is fine, but I'm pretty sure the Germans do not want

:42:59.:43:03.

to question their membership in the European Union.

:43:03.:43:06.

What was your advice to us? I don't give you advice, that is your

:43:06.:43:15.

business to decide on that. seek a reform of the European Union

:43:15.:43:18.

with what? The cascading down or back down to individual states of

:43:18.:43:25.

powers that are currently centrally held? Less power for the central

:43:26.:43:30.

European institutes? Our main concern is currently the

:43:30.:43:36.

equilibrium, the disequilibrium we see in the eurozone which is due to

:43:36.:43:44.

the fact we have the common currency and there are these

:43:44.:43:47.

misguided attempts to save the common currency. The main issue is

:43:47.:43:51.

how to get out of the mess we stepped in 1999. Do you think

:43:51.:43:59.

Brussels has too much power? I do think that Brussels has created too

:43:59.:44:03.

much bureaucracy. A number of competences should be moved back to

:44:03.:44:11.

the national level. For instance in terms of research

:44:11.:44:17.

money, I don't see why these great funds must be administered on a

:44:17.:44:21.

European level, rather than being handed out by Government its or

:44:21.:44:25.

even universities at a national level, that would confirm to the

:44:25.:44:30.

principle of subsidiarity. Thank you very much. Tomorrow

:44:30.:44:40.
:44:40.:45:11.

morning's front pages now: That's it, sadly we have no time to

:45:11.:45:14.

report the highlight of the first International Conference on Human

:45:14.:45:19.

agent interaction in Japan. Where an academic from New Zealand had

:45:19.:45:22.

analysed 6,000 faces on Lego characters and discovered there

:45:22.:45:27.

seemed to be more unhappy ones than there used to be. We can only bring

:45:27.:45:37.
:45:37.:46:15.

a small sample, along with the best a small sample, along with the best

:46:15.:46:19.

graphs, good night. The wind is picking up, a blustery day across

:46:19.:46:25.

the southern half of the UK. Unseasonably strong gusts. It may

:46:25.:46:28.

cause travel disruption. Further north the winds relatively light

:46:28.:46:31.

across Northern Ireland. A few afternoon showers, but sunny spells

:46:31.:46:36.

here. By and large a fine day for much of Scotland bar one or two

:46:36.:46:42.

showers in the far north. The winds nothing like as strong as further

:46:42.:46:46.

south. Downpours across northern England. Later in the day some big

:46:46.:46:49.

showers further east. The winds picking up throughout the day

:46:49.:46:54.

across the Midlands, East Anglia and the south-east. Gusts of 40-50

:46:54.:46:59.

could cause problems. Here not too many showers, sunshine but very

:46:59.:47:02.

blustery across south-west England and Wales. Some transport problems

:47:02.:47:06.

are possible and some damage to trees. The winds are a touch

:47:06.:47:10.

lighter in North Wales. Here expect some heavy downpours. The winds

:47:10.:47:15.

will ease a touch during Thursday night. They will strengthen once

:47:15.:47:19.

more on Friday as further cloud comes from the Atlantic bringing

:47:19.:47:23.

further outbreaks of rain. Eastern areas will stay dry on Friday,

:47:23.:47:26.

Jeremy Paxman asks if RBS is rushing to privatise. Plus, the tragic inside story of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, why the future of children's heart operations is still uncertain and Germany's eurosceptics.


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