19/06/2013 Newsnight


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

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A flagrant disservice to patients We don't even know who said that,


he's referred to in the report as "Mr F", where why are they allowed


to hide behind the Data Protection Act. Can the boss of the Care


Quality Commission explain how an organisation to serve the public


went rotten? The Chancellor of the Exchequer


starts the process of privatisation for one of the banks bailed out by


the taxpayer. He claims everything is going swimmingly. Let me say


this tonight, the British economy is healing. We are moving from


rescue to recovery. But is the real achievement of


George Osborne to have changed the face of public spending in Britain.


And what would the men who fought at D-Day have made of it? Families


of soldiers who died on active service are given the right to sue


for negligence. Can combat really be reconciled with the Human Rights


This is the long and short of it, an organisation supposed to look


after the interests of the patient knows there is something wrong with


a treatment centre but in order to look after its own interests it


doesn't publish its findings. Then a new broom comes in, the


instruction to suppress is itself disclosed but with the key names


obscured. Cover-up on cover-up. The Health Secretary apologised this


afternoon, not that it did anything much to explain quite how it all


happened. This is not the first time the


spotlight has fallen on healthcare regulator, the Care Quality


Commission. It faced criticism over neglect of patients in Mid-


Staffordshire, over the treatment of residents at the Winterbourne


View and Ashcourt Care Home. An investigation into a number of


babies dying at Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust made familiar


reading. Families struggling to be heard over bureaucracy. New born


James Titcombe died in 2008, his father has led efforts to expose


the full extent of failings at the maternity unit, and the role of the


regulator ever since. Whilst I recognise there were obviously


failures in the regulation, I didn't realise the extent. It is no


exaggeration I felt physically ill when I read about the cover-up.


Because that was just such an outrageous thing to have happened.


Today's report found evidence of a deliberate cover-up of a critical


One senior manager, talking about that review is even said to have


At a CQC board meeting today, the main whistblower, Kay Sheldon spoke


emotionally. I have been subjected to the most appalling treatment.


I'm not going to say any more about it. But I think that in itself


should shame the organisation. Indeed higher. This is how events


unfolded, in November 2008 new born James Titcombe dies at Furness


General Hospital. In June 2009 the CQC increased Morecambe Bay's risk


rating to red. In April 2010 it decreased the rating to green. In


October 2011 the internal review was ordered. In March last year


came the apparent decision to delete the internal report.


Today's report says the individual concerned denies the allegations.


In parliament today the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, apologised


to the families. Saying events at Morecambe Bay should never have


been covered up and should never have happened in the first place.


Later the gloves came off, as he and Shadow Health Secretary, Andy


Burnham exchanged criticism. Earlier the Prime Minister said


that there should be always support for whistblowers, and he was right


to say so. But there are serious doubts about whether that has


happened in this case. There were concerns raised by another


whistleblower and there were questions raised about her


character. Can the minister say there was appropriate concerns


raised. Jeremy Hunt turned the tables on Labour who set up the CQC


in the first place. He talks about accountability, the opposition if


they were to give confidence that they really took the issues raised


today seriously, they would recognise it was fundamentally


wrong to set up an inspection regime, not being done by


specialists, where the same person is inspecting a dental clinic, a


slimming clinic, a hospital or GP practice perhaps in the same month.


That may have contributed to why it was that in 2009 the CQC decided


not to investigate the maternity deaths in Morecambe Bay. There was


clearly some battlement amongst MPs today as to why the names of senior


figures at the CQC had been redacted from the report. Whether


this was down to some possible legal action by the individuals


involved, or under a constraint due to the data protection legislation


as the CQC said earlier. This feels like a public authority hiding


behind the Data Protection Act. It is very common. But you have to go


by what the law says. And the law is very clear, you have to process


data fairly, you have to take into account the people's expectation of


confidentiality, patient data obvious, but officials, there you


have to apply a public interest test. I'm not convinced that the


Care Quality Commission have been correctly advised. I think they are


going to have to look at this again. We have to have accountability when


there is such poor practice in our public bodies. How can people be


allowed to walk away with full pensions, no investigation into


their conduct or blot on their copy book? Allowing them, potentially,


to walk into a job with another regulator or the NHS. There is now


a new management team in place at the CQC. The former chairman, Dame


Jo Williams, and former chief executive, Cynthia Bower, left the


organisation last year. An independent public inquiry,


Stafford-style, is now under way. The Trust itself also has a new


board which today acknowledged past failings and said it is committed


to providing safe care. The CQC hopes today's report draws a line


in the sand for them. But as the patients' champion, the regulator


must reassure the public it will act differently from now on.


David Behan is the chief executive of the Care Quality Commission,


Jamie Reed is a Shadow Health Minister and Heather Wood is a


former NHS manager who worked at the CQC's precursor, the Healthcare


Commission, where she led the investigation into avoidable deaths


at Stafford hospital. She went on to work at the CQC, but left in


2010 after the national investigations team was abolished.


Can I talk to you for a minute first, David Behan, why have you


excluded these names? The first thing to say is we are committed to


openness and transparency in our work. This is why I commissioned


this report in the first place. This isn't a problem we want. We


want to be absolutely clear about what we did and we are accounting


for this, the facts are not in dispute. It has come to the


question you asked, I was advised to put people's personal data would


be a breach of their rights. We decided today that we will review


that legal advice and we have commissioned a review of that legal


advice to see if we can put this information into the public domain.


We do not want this problem. independent commissioner says it is


not a problem at all? Well the only thing I can say, Jeremy, is we


commissioned this report, we published it today. He's more


likely to know? We published it today warts and all. You excluded


the names? We have been open and transparent about where we failed


the people in Morecambe Bay, we have apologised for that today. We


are looking and reviewing the advice we have been given to see if


we can put that right. You accept your legal advice was duff?


accepted the legal advice I was given, I acted in good faith.


Information Commissioner is surely likely to know? I have listened to


what the Information Commissioner has said. He's saying review the


advice, I have said earlier this evening we will review the advice.


He said unambiguously the advice you have been given is wrong and


that you are hiding behind it? We are not hiding behind it.


wouldn't have commissioned the report in the first place, we are


clear we need to account for what we did. You will published the


names tomorrow will you? I will take legal advice tomorrow on


publishing the names. You have just been told by the Information


Commissioner it's a croc of rubbish? I'm committed to openness


and transparency. No you are not, if you were committed to that you


would publish the names? I have been advised legally of the


difficulties in publishing the names and putting people's personal


information out there. Legal advice is never binding, it is up to you


to make a decision to accept it or not? It is and on the advice we


have published the facts. As people have recorded today all the facts


are in the public domain, with the exception of people's names. I have


acted on the legal advice and tomorrow we will review it. Despite


the fact you have been told by the one man in the country who is in


the position to know exactly what the law says, and has said your


legal advice is wrong, if they come back tomorrow and say the same


thing, you will act the same? will take different legal advice,


not the same people who advised me. We will take alternative legal


advice to make sure we can act in openness and transparency. We want


to put it right. I have an important job and people need trust


and confidence in what we do. My job is to restore that trust and


confidence in CQC. Can you tell me as the new broom who came in, what


went wrong there? I think the story that is revealed in the report is


one of a dysfuntional relationship between the board and the senior


leadership. I think that is what led to this absence of openness and


transparency. And we're determined to put this right. We published a


new strategy. We have replaced the board, we are bringing in a new


executive team. It was rotten, wasn't it? There were changes we


needed to make. What was happening was not acceptable, the model as


the Secretary of State stated was not the right model and we are


making changes to that and we have begun those changes, we are


determined to see them through. seem to suggest it is some sort of


managerial malfunction. There was something deeply rotten in the


organisation, wasn't there? culture that is demonstrated by


this report is not the culture I want to see in any organisation I'm


responsible for. Why can't you call a spade a spade. You don't, what


don't you want to see? I want to see an organisation. What don't you


want to see that you found there? don't want to see people not


declaring reports in the public domain. I want us to be open and


transparent and account for what we do with people trusting our


judgments. Let's broaden this out a bit if we may, do stay with us. Are


you surs priced by what has been revealed? I'm not one bit surprised.


I mean what has been revealed is totally shocking. But in a way I'm


pleased that the lid has final ly kufpl -- finally come off the


rotten edifice that was CQC. have used the word "rotten",


disputed a moment or two ago. Why is it rotten? When CQC was set up


originally I'm sure it was in the business of suppressing anything


that would ever look like another Mid- Staffs. I would like to point


out I think the CQC was dancing to the tune from the Department of


Health and the top of the NHS. are we talking about? We are


talking about 2009. Jamie Reed, that was when your party was in


Government. It is explicit the link there. It has been made by other


people, that this was a corrupt relationship between your


Department of Health and the Care Quality Commission? This is an


allegation that has been made time and time again. Let's not forget


the context. Maybe there is a reason for it. Let's not forget the


context of today's report. When the order to cover up was made within


the CQC that was after Francis, it was during Francis inquiry, the


three-year Francis inquiry that looked at the allegations about the


cosy relationships implied found no evidence, in the same way that the


Davies Report has found no evidence at all to suggest the kind of


relationship between the centre and the CQC was in place. Just because


there is no evidence found and published, as we have already seen


today, doesn't necessarily mean it didn't exist? It this has been


investigated time and time again. As I repeat, the allegations aren't


new. Robert Francis looked at this over a three-year period, he looked


for the evidence. Extensive evidence was given. It was perhaps


the most broad-ranging investigation of its type this


country has ever seen. Those allegations didn't stack up.


have come in as a new broom, do you see any evidence that there was


something wrong with the relationship between the Department


of Health under Labour and your organisation? I don't think that's


the case in our report, Jeremy. Clearly there was a policy.


asking you about what you found? Clearly there was a policy to move


towards foundation trust, that is a policy of the last Government and


this Government. That is what has been happening. I think this


independent report that we commissioned has not found any


evidence of interference in any way. If they found it they would have


mentioned it. If it wasn't corruption what was the problem?


There was clearly a problem with the performance of the CQC. They


were just incompetent? Let's have a look at the Government's response


to this report. There may be that we had the wrong people in the


wrongs positions who couldn't do the job asked of them. There was


clearly issues with the trust and the trust management as well.


us how these inspections were often carried out, you say you are not


surprised? I'm not surprised. I just would like to add that maybe


Francis's conclusions might have been a bit different if, in a way,


everyone had given an entirely accurate account of things. For


example witness after witness at the top of the CQC stood up and


said their methodology was robust and registration was done


rigorously. We now know that simply wasn't true. So I'm sorry, I don't


think one can take the fact that Francis said he didn't find, for


example, evidence of bullying by David Nicholson. I would suggest he


disregarded some of the evidence he had and he didn't look hard enough.


But in my view, of course CQC came in, it completely destroyed the


specialist teams, set about this ridiculous generic model of sending


anybody into hospital regardless of their background. You know and then


it is surprised when things don't show up. Even today this report,


partly says that the Trust should have given CQC the earlier


specialist report that had been done, that had criticised maternity.


I think any team that was worth its salt would have found that report


for themselves. Hang on a second, this idea that someone, can be


inspecting a dental practice one moment, a slimming clinic the next,


some apparatus in a hospital the next, this is ridiculous, isn't it?


I agree with you Jeremy, that is why I'm changing it. I have said


this from day one, we will move from a generic model to specialist


model. Professor Sir Mike Richards will be the first inspector of


hospitals. A respected clinician and we will change the model we


have in place. Who told you that was supposed to be done like that?


Nobody told me. What I have said is we are changing the model of


inspection. I inherited an organisation that had a generic


model of inspection and we are going to change it. Who created


that model? The previous organisation, the previous board of


CQC will have to accept responsibility and the executive


team for the creation of the model. As will the Labour Government?


model of inspection is being used today. There is a review going on


into 14 Hospital Trusts, one of which is my own Hospital Trust,


north Cumbria University Hospital Trust and this generic model is


still being used. You started it? It is made clear by David that the


CQC, as the independent regulator. Let's not forget before 1996 there


was no hospital regulation whatsoever, they developed this


model. One final point, does Labour want the names published tomorrow?


We made this clear today in the House of Commons we do want the


names published. We want to know who knew what about this in the


Department of Health. We want to know about the details of the


conversations between the CQC whistleblower and the former


Secretary of State. We want to know all the details of this. We don't


believe now is the time to draw the line under this, there is a lot


more that needs to be answered. Thank you very much all of you.


In a moment, can you really fight a war if human rights legislation is


applied on the battlefield? Unlike Gordon Brown, who wouldn't be seen


dead in them, George Osborne has been wearing a bowtie and dinner


jacket since his nanny dropped him off at nursery school. He put them


on again tonight to tell the plutocrats of the City of London


what he will do with Lloyds Bank, which Gordon Brown spent millions


of our money buying a large chunk of. -- billions of our money buying


a chunk of. Lloyd's will be sold, it will be privatised, by an


institutional placing, so big pension funds get the first grab at


buying some of the shares. Eventually down the line, when


that's worked, if it has worked, we might have a "tell Sid" moment,


where they go to ordinary people and allow them to buy Lloyd's. With


RBS there has been vigorous debate behind the scenes and between


policy makers, RBS, we have an 81% stake in that, it is massive. That


debate has staid the Chancellor's hand from any sign of a politically


rushed attempt to get rid of it before the election. I don't want a


quick sale of our RBS shares. I want the right sale, the right sale


for the British people. I will only sell our stake in RBS when we feel


the bank is fully able to support our economy and we get good value


for you the taxpayer. In our judgment, when it comes to RBS that


moment is some way off. So instead of a rapid sale they will have a


rapid review of a proposal to split RBS into a called good bank/bad


bank, like with New York. You take the -- Northern Rock. You take the


good debts of RBS, which they have signalled is Ulster Bank and some


property loans and you sink it into the bank of Britain and the rest of


it can be sold off easily. It will be announced tomorrow that RBS is


in line of another �12 billion for capital. All the British banks have


to raise �25 billion extra. RBS has the biggest problem. You can't sell


a bank rapidly when it is already impaired and needs to raise capital.


So they are not. Did he have anything to say about MPs' calls


for bankers to be sent to jail? reported on this a bit tonight.


Overnight the Parliamentary Commission has come forward with


the proposal to make new law, so that specific people, in specific


banks are sent to jail if they fail on specific duties. In a way this


significant flals the end of struck -- signifys the end of structural


banks remedies. Some people in the City have welcomed it. And the


Chancellor certainly did today. have already supported the


recommendations on new criminal sanctions and cancelling bonuses


where banks are bailed out. And let me be clear, where legislation is


needed the Banking Bill, currently before parliament, will be amended


to ensure the recommendations can be quickly enacted. The other thing


they have done is to tell the Office of Fair Trading to bring


forward a review. They will look at the impact on the high street and


on lending to small businesses of breaking up Lloyd's, breaking up


RBS, bringing new entrants. They will do a bit of rapid structural


reform of high street lending. They realise there is not enough lending


to banks. The other bit of news is this was the swansong of Mervyn


King, the Governor of the Bank of England, he has an elevated to the


peerage, you will be pleased to know. He promised to do "ruthless


truth-telling". Maybe now for the first time ever he might sit in the


studio and you can interview him now. I look forward to it. I'm


sorry you weren't there I would have liked to have seen that.


George Osborne has been running the economy for the past three years,


he's not exactly the most popular politician in the country. It's


quite clear his strategy for sort ought the economy hasn't worked or


yet at least. But he has made huge changes, not least to the state


itself, which all the other parties in politics are having to adjust to.


Is it possible that his impact may be far greater than most of us


recognise? Time was when the Chancellor,


George Osborne, was accused of cutting the British state to


ribbons. But with the Labour Party's recent pledge to match the


Chancellor's spending plans, the path cut by George Osborne's


scissors looks to become permanent. Possibly unintentionally, the


Government may have cut a new shape for the British state. The numbers


you are going to get next week are the first pitch by the governing


parties ahead of the next general election. And actually, really, it


is probably the first time ever that governing parties have gone


into an election telling the public they will be cutting their public


services and exactly where. He's looking to save something like an


additional �10 billion in public service spending for the year


2015/16, the year directly after the next election. That's �10


billion on top of what have been five years of the steepest spending


cuts we have ever seen. But this time it is getting quite vicious.


Newsnight understands that in order for the Treasury to cajole various


departments across Whitehall into settling their cuts, they have what


has become known as, across the Government, a Treasury blacklist.


So this is all sorts of embarrassing stories that they will


allow to be released as and when they want to force departments to


settle. So you have already heard about the MoD having more horses


than soldiers, but did you know that Vince Cable's department is


supposed to support a bursary for the performing arts and that Philip


Hammond owns quite a few goats! This is the problem, the Government


has ring-fenced department central to the political message.


International development and health at the top here. This has


meant deep cuts elsewhere. Look further down this chart. If these


ring-fences are kept in place then according to analysis by the


Resolution Foundation, Britain's Foreign Office is slashed by 65%


and the Home Office nearly 50% smaller.


For the Foreign Office it might have seen its budget cut by as much


as a half, where as somewhere like the Department for International


Development could have seen its budget go up by a quarter. The


department for health simply is a ring-fenced budget. It looks like


it is going to grow to become as much as a third of public spending.


There are many people across Whitehall who agree that ring-


fencing some departments is very damaging for the other ones.


Including, apparently, the Chancellor George Osborne. He is


said to be well aware of the problems that are beginning to be


caused. There are big ring-fences in public spending. The biggest is


the National Health Service, effectively pension spendinging is


also ring-fenced. Put those two together and you have a very large


chunk, a very large chunk of public spending not being cut back. That


means just arithmetically if you want to save two or three per cent


across the piece, if you are protecting a third or total, you


need to take 4-6% from everything else. So a refashioned state, but


is this job of cutting back the state nearly done? There was an


expectation back in 2010/11 when the coalition came in that this was


going to be a one-parliament issue, that we would get the spending


fixed by the time of the next election the economy would be back


on track and we would be discussing different things. It is still


around. To meet George Osborne's deficit target, as well as 2015's


�11 billion of cut, there will be �13 billion in each subsequent year.


The time may have come for something completely different.


Every year a Government spends about �700 billion on the state.


Half of that is this expenditure. It is departmental and it is so far


very heavy cut by this Government. What about this, it is more than


half and actually is rising. It is called AME, but you could describe


it as discretionary spending. It has many pots within it, but a


large part of it is welfare payments. The kind of payments that


go up when people have a demand for them. This pot so far hasn't been


capped. But now all three parties agree that if you want to stop huge


damage to departments, you have to look here. There is a clear trade


off take more and more money out of Government departments and either


increasing taxes or cutting various benefits. Now, clearly any


Government coming in will use a combination of measures, but to


give you an illustration of the sorts of issues we are talking


about here. In order to maintain the current rates of cuts in


departmental spending, not doing any more than that, just


maintaining the current pace will take about �10 billion of further


welfare savings or tax rises in 2016/17 and 17/18. That is a 10%


cut in the tax credit budget. We are looking at �9 billion being


taken out of tax credits by 2018, that is a further hit that tax


credits can't probably stand. If you think about tax it is 1%


increase in the standard rate of VAT, increasing to 21% in 2016,


would raise �11 billion over two years. In the next parliament,


politicians will reach for these different kinds of levers. Because


try as this current Government might, while they may have reshaped


public spending, by just cutting departments they have struggled to


bring down its cost. But none the less, in making the Labour Party


agree to welfare cuts, this Chancellor has changed the shape of


Britain's political debate. And in just a few years he's also been


changing the shape of the state. That was Allegra st. Tratton


reporting there. We are joined by the previous


adviser for Ed Miliband and now work for a charity focusing on


services for children. The former director of the Centre for Policy


Studies. And Danny Finkelstein is executive editor at the Times. You


can start, how significant do you think is this achievement in


changing the pattern of public spending? I think we have seen a


big change in the debate on public spending, just in the last two week,


with Ed Balls saying, in a rather muted way, that he's going to try


to match or start from George Osborne's position and then Ed


Miliband coming out and saying that on welfare. It is an


acknowledgement there is no going back, that it is impossible for any


in coming Government to start spending a lot more money. I think


there has been a big shift in the responsibilities of the state and


in the cost to the date already. We will see more of that. It is a huge


change isn't it, when you look at what your party, what the Labour


Party used to talk about. Only three or four years ago. Only


actually about a year ago on the question of child benefit, for


example. This is an amazing change? Danny's right. The big issue, there


is no debate here around the size of the state and where it needs to


get to and the fact it needs to be smaller. I think all the parties


are agreed on that. I think where the Labour Party would find


difference with George Osborne though is in the way he's making


these cuts. I think he's making a couple of biggerors. The first is


really around equity. And he's doing things that are politically


savvy around welfare. But aren't necessarily fair. So he's


protecting pensioner benefits, some of which go to really affluent


pensioners and it is really working families that are taking the brunt


of the cuts. Four out of every five pounds of welfare cuts are


happening to families in work that's very tough. The second area


where I think he's making big mistake, is he's making cuts that


save money in the short-term but will store up problems for the


state in the long-term. By that I mean things like the Future Jobs


Fund, spending on job guarantees for unemployed young people. We


know that youth unemployment carries huge cuts. Cuts to things


like early years centres and children's centres. That stores up


costs for the state. Cuts to social care that puts pressure on the NHS.


You are shaking your head, it doesn't feel like that to you?


premise of this conversation is we have seen a radical reshaping of


the state, we just haven't. There has been a reshaping of public


spending clearly? It is moved in the sense that it is moved around.


Departmental spending. OK, but this is no reshaping of the state.


George Osborne came to power after a decade in which Gordon Brown had


allowed public spending to explode. Health spending had nearly doubled


in ten years. Clearly and one out of every four pounds was debt was


being borrowed in order to fund that. It is interesting, looking


back, actually, there is a statement that George Osborne


issued as the criteria for his first Spending Review in 2010,


after the election. And the first question was in effect should the


state be funding this activity at all? He was attempting at that


point and in certain low the rhetoric there to reverse this


discussion -- certainly in the rhetoric to say should Government


be doing that? We haven't seen departments closed or any big


changes since then. We see the debt continuing to rise. Go on. You have


to have political consent, but there have been very big changes,


tuition fees is a very big change. Moving something to basically


private payment. Privatisation of prisons. The NHS reforms. It is


interesting though, because tuition fees, it is a good example, some


experts are saying because the Government's made such optimistic


assumptions about its new policy, it could end up costing a lot more


than the Government has predicted. I want to bring in a visual aid


here, if we may. Let's have a look at this, a graph shortly will


appear on the wall here. There it is, changing state spending. It is


almost impossible to read in rather brilliant fashion. But actually I


think viewers at home can see it. But the green on the left of it,


that's NHS spending. Under this current configuration, look it goes


up from about a quarter to over, nearly a third, almost exactly a


third, now that's what happens, isn't it, when you have some areas


that are ring-fenced and other areas that aren't? This was


politically mandated. The British people wanted that. They wanted to


protect schools, they wanted to protect...What Do you mean they


wanted to? I don't think they would have elected the Conservative Party


even as a minority component in the Government without that promise.


But it stall everything else? shifts expenditure into a service


that lots of people value hugely. It means you have to do things like


cap welfare, frankly. It is an area where spending is inevitably going


to go on rising,, the structural reforms we have seen have not cut


cost, they haven't actually looked at what the health service is doing.


And whether it needs to be doing what it is doing. It is simply


building. The problem there is that when you have an area like that for


spending it will go on and on and getting bigger. It is unsustainable


isn't it? I completely think it is. I believe that this next round of


spending in 2017, is going to require a big look at functions.


But you have to take the public with you each step of the way. And


there have already been big changes in functions. Capping welfare, a


battle that has been won, capping people's welfare, benefit bills,


the reform for housing benefit, the move to universal benefits. You


can't do everything in one period in Government. You have to take


people with you as you do it. Where I think we are nearly at the limit


of public acceptance of this, but public acceptance has been retained.


One other thing, one other effect, public spending hasn't really


reduceed very much. But what has happened, let's look at this chart


here. What it shows is the Green Line is people who average spending


per non-pensioner, and the pink line is pensioners. It is obvious


who is doing well, the people receiving from the state are


getting wealthier and wealthier, and the people paying in are


getting poorer and poorer? I think that is right. I think it raises a


real issue which is pensioner benefits, some going to affluent


pensioners is being protected. are a tiny minority. This is a


trivial amount of money involved here. There are lots of pensioners


who earn in excess, who have earnings in excess of the medium


wage. That is something that I think Labour has some space to talk


about now, now that the Labour Party has said. How many?Well they


have said they would look at cutting Winter Fuel Payment for the


top 5% of pensioner. I think they could go bigger with that and they


could save more money on that. can't go on like this h people


working are paying for people not working? The Government is


proposing a universal pension, for all its philosophical merits and it


will guarantee to benefit those who save and end means testing for


pensions, it will be extremely expensive to fund. With rising


numbers of pensioners and only slight change to pensionable age


this is an explosion of state spending. For people who have


become pensioners there is political scope to make changes. If


you take money away from pensioners good luck to you. It is very easy


to propose policies that sound completely correct and get no


political consent for them. The trick here is to bring public


spending down whilst keeping the public at least broadly on side.


And you need, with pensions, you are going to need to do this as


people become pensioners. The problem is pensioners vote?


Absolutely. Try to take money away from current he can sitsing tension


pensioners, I can see the economic case for it, you can summon up the


courage and do t but really you have to be politically sensible.


Sooner or later politicians have to get off their knees and create a


state for somebody other than those who depend on them? Margaret


Thatcher when she fought against the trade unions, she did to win


against them not just to fight them. It is to get public spending down


and keep the public on side. Not merely to say this is how you slash


it. We are not getting public spending down. George Osborne is


very worried about keeping the public on side, clearly, and


building up to the next election, but he clearly has not tackled the


debt problem or the size of the state. He hasn't reconfigured the


argument as a radical Government. We have to put the NHS figures in


context as well. It is a tight settlement for the NHS. The best


minds in the NHS should be focused on how you reconfigure, as Jill


said. We have a massive structural reform going on that is distracting


managers away from reconfiguring what they do and saving money. That


is a big problem when it comes to the NHS. The Defence Secretary is


worried, the Supreme Court ruled today that the families of soldiers


killed in Iraq are free to sue the Government for failing to protect


them as well as they might have. Inevitably it invoked European


human rights legislation and whether it covered them when they


were sent to fight abroad. Being a soldier is, afterall, a slightly


dangerous job. That is sort of the point. The biggest protection of


all would be never to put them in harm's way anywhere. The soldiers


who fought at D-Day would never have imagined it. What precisely


constitutes caring for your warriors. To send a man to fight


without a weapon is one thing. Is it even possible that some missions


might be considered so hazardous they render the Government, the


taxpayer, liable. The claims relate to the deaths of two British


soldiers killed by IODs, while travelling in the heavily-


criticised, light low- armoured Snatch Land Rover vehicles, and the


other, who died in a friend low- fire incident travelling in a


Challenger Tank. The Supreme Court ruled that the soldiers were within


the UK jurisdiction for the purposes of the European Convention


on Human Rights. And the Ministry of Defence's argument that they


should be covered by called combat immunity was also rejected.


Previously human rights protection only applied to military bases and


not to the battlefield. concerns are about the wider


implications that this will have for the safety and efficiency of


our forces in combat in the future. It places some really big questions


about how we are going to be able to engage in operations in the


future. So will these obligations placed on Government really


restrict the UK's ability to fight wars? With us now is our guests.


Anthony, can you think of a single military campaign in his tro that


would not potentially have fall -- in history that would not have


potentially fallen foul of this ruling? Warfare is completely


unpredictable. Even if you take the German army in the Second World War,


regarded as one of the best equipped. They hadn't prepared for


the Russian winter. Every single army always gets it wrong. That is


one of the truths about warfare. This is lunacy? Isn't it? You have


to look at what the court decided. That is the first point really


isn't it. The court has said that soldiers are subject to UK


jurisdiction when they are operating abroad. Which is what in


fact is the case in relation to all other law, both civil law and


criminal law. So the only question was is the Human Rights Act some


how different from other law? And the court has held, no. The


soldiers are subject to UK jurisdiction because they are


within the state's authority and control. Anyone under UK


jurisdiction. There is a lot of logic to that isn't there?


course there is. But at the same time how do you impose zero risk


civilian value on a battlefield or military environment. I'm not sure


that is what they are saying, where there has to be zero risk? They are


not necessarily saying there is zero risk, but the question is how


far do you take the minimiseation of risk in this particular process.


There is the equipment side where I would certainly agree that the


Snatch Land Rovers were a scandal waiting to happen, and it did


happen. But then there are other aspects to it, for example when you


come to the friendly fire incident. Does that mean that we should have


identification, friend or foe technology on every single vehicle


in the British Army. Could we ever afford it. The court has absolutely


not said it is a zero risk situation. The court has


specifically said that no unreasonable or disproportionate


burdens will be placed on the military in any way that would put


the defence of the country at risk. With the greatest respect have you


ever served in the military? Have any of these judges served in the


military? Who are we to judge? Can you imagine what it is like out in


combat trying to make a decision about how you perform a particular


operation, while second-guessing what liability may be at play in


the courts comfortably back in England? Those decisions have been


specifically ruled out of judicial scrutiny. So in relation to those


decisions the court has said decisions on the battlefield are


not matters to be considered by the courts. Who is potentially bound by


this ruling should it go your way? What do you mean bound? Is this, as


Anthony last said, many people feel the preparation for the war in Iraq


was scandalously mismanaged and the troops were not given all the


equipment that they needed. So it is the people who make that


decision is it? The defendant, if you are asking me who the defendant


would be, it would be the Government, the MoD, the point is


soldiers have, the court has decided that when something goes


seriously wrong, soldiers should not be shut out from the courts.


They should be able to litigate. But the point is, has something


seriously gone wrong? At that point one has to ask whether reasonable


steps were taken to protect soldiers' lives. That is the


circumstances. You can see why Philip Hammond is twitchy about it?


You do indeed. He's right talking about the wider implications. One


has to remember that the ethos of the army and attitude is that


although the Supreme Court may have ruled out for the moment a question


of battlefield decision, I'm afraid in this field, on the whole lawyers


tend to go partly for making their names and careers want to push the


boundaries. There is always the possibility, therefore, we will see


this challenged in the future. What will that mean? We have seen the


way, for example, that the police on one occasion actually called


back their men and ordered them not to intervene, when, people were


being held down by a gunman and were under severe threat. Are we


going to see at some stage in the future the SAS have to carry out a


health and safety check before they start trying to release hostages?


The implications are pretty worrying. Can you reassure him


about that? I can certainly do that. Aum the court has said here is that


the state is -- all the court has said here that the state is under


an obligation it take reasonable steps to protect their soldiers. As


a matter of common law, since 1987, when parliament lifted the immunity


for soldiers for suing the MoD, parliament has said that the MoD


has a duty that can be litigated. A duty of care to its soldiers and


soldiers are entitled to sue the MoD. Now parliament decided that in


1987, and one has to be slightly realistic about this. What flood of


litigation has there been since 1987? There has been a duty of care


since then? There has certainly been a number of case, not a flood


of litigation, that I would accept. All right, thank you very much


indeed. Saying you can't judge a book by


its cover, tell that to a publisher, Penguin was announced the winner of


the design award. The brief was to design a cover for a book that is


70 years old. Here is the ones that It was about 11.00 in the morning,


the sun not shining and the look of hard rain on the foot hills. I was


wearing my powder blue suit with a dark-blue shirt, tie and display


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