26/06/2013 Newsnight


Stories behind the headlines with Jeremy Paxman. Including reaction to the chancellor's £11.5 billion public spending cuts, and Australia's first female prime minister steps down.

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worked, as the Chancellor promised it would, so there is to be more of


it. �11.5 billion more will be cut from public spending, masses of


jobs will vanish, benefits will be cut and this apparently a sign that


the economy is recovering. What did you make of it Allegra? I tell you


what I made of it, I think the Chancellor just dictated the terms


of the next general election. will see what the Education


Secretary has to say in a moment or two.


And the editors of a couple of our national newspapers are having a


quiet drink as they discuss how tomorrow's newspapers interpret


what George Osborne had to say. Funnily enough, although we can't


afford all sorts of areas of public spending, the Chancellor believes


we can afford to spend another �9.5 billion building a faster train


line from London to Birmingham and points north that won't be working


for years. Also tonight: Strewth, the Australian Prime


Minister gets dumped by her party for the bloke that she unseated


years ago. What has gender got to do with it? They thought this


wouldn't be necessary and it wouldn't have been had the


Government's economic plans worked out as they would have hoped. Sod


the Chancellor of the Exchequer was obliged to tell the nation how he


planned to save a further massive amount of money, �1.5 billion in


total. We will speak to the Education Secretary about it


shortly we begin our coverage tonight with our political editor.


You thought this morning you woke up in 2013, but get with the


programme. Or at least get with Newsnight. Lift your eyes up and


over to the horizon of the first year of the next parliament. Day


break in April 2015 will see the skyline of these Government


departments shrunken. And the state smaller. This is why. We have


always believed that the deficit mattered, that we needed to take


tough decisions to deal with our debts, and the opposition to that


has collapsed into incoherence too. Today I announce the next stage of


our economic plan to turn Britain around.


But hold on, didn't we have a clear plan for getting rid of the deficit,


already? In 2010 the Government thought they could eliminate the


structural deficit by 2014/15, like this. But economic growth did not


transpire, and so they need even more cuts to get back on track.


This is the revised timetable to eliminate the structural definite


by 2018. To hit this target the Government needs to find �11.5


billion of additional cuts in the year 2015, which is why we are here


today. We have applied through principles


to the spending round I set out today, reform to get more from


every pound we spend. Growth to give Britain the education


enterprise and economic infrastructure it needs to win the


global race. And fairness, making sure we are all in it together.


free schools, a social care package and bold claims on infrastructure,


these allow him to claim the progressive mantle. There are


plenty of sizeable cuts. Local Government, transfor the,


environment, Work and Pensions, and even an example-setting Treasury,


all hit by around 10%. The clear winners are those departments with


ring-fenced budgets. Health, international development and


education getting away virtually scot free.


In the run up to this process, many cabinet ministers kicked up, they


really did not want deep cuts to their department, and they were so


virulant about it they even got nicknamed the national union of


ministers. Now, in the round, when we look at what cuts departments


have taken, actually it does seem that those who shouted loudest


might have had the blade blunted. At the Ministry of Defence it


wasn't as bad as it could have been. The overall budget does continue to


fall, but there is no further cuts to Armed Forces personnel. And the


security and intelligence agencies even got a 3.4% increase. At Vince


cable's department, their cut was 5.9%, but again George Osborne


bought the pitch that the business department is a growth department,


so science and apprenticeships were relatively protected. Over at the


Home Office cuts were also deep at 6%. But again they could have been


deeper. The policing budget, already down 20% now faces the


prospect of another cut, but it will be less than the 6% figure.


Elsewhere Ministry of Justice, Foreign Office, DEFRA, they all saw


truly deep cuts, perhaps their minsters hadn't been so vocal.


increasing level of realisim about the state of the UK public finances


is continuing to grow. George Osborne just toughened his position


again. The next Government will toughen again in 2015. You know


finally we are seeing the kind of decisions that we have been waiting


for about five years now. But the big surprise of the day was that


the welfare department, which had been deemed too politically


sensitive for any more cutting, it did get further cuts, so now there


will be a new seven-day waiting period for those who need


unemployment benefit, and those who don't have functional English have


now been told they must learn English or lose their benefits.


Neither of these are massive revenue raisers for the Government,


but her symbolically potent. From next year's budget the Office for


Budget Responsibility will monitor Britain's new welfare cap. All we


know is it will apply to welfare spending over �100 billion. While


it leaves out the state pension, it targets housing benefit, disability


benefit and tax credits. Their cost is currently stuck at around �112


billion. This makes possibly as much as �12 billion of welfare


spending vulnerable. And with that graph we now know much more about


the entirety of the next parliament. That bit of welfare spending that


is above �100 billion is now fair game for cutting. It could be that


politicians go into the next election pledging that they will


get rid of some �10 billion of welfare spending. Put that into


context, in the last parliament we have seen �18 billion. Nearly the


same magnitude is on the horizon. To showcase its new fiscal


discipline, Labour agreed with the Chancellor's headline spending cuts.


But it still went on the attack. This out-of-touch Chancellor has


failed on living standards, growth and the deficit and families and


businesses are paying the price for his failure. Over that horizon, not


actually that far away, at the next election Labour intends to pledge


fiscal discipline alongside massive infrastructure investment. The


Government knows this and tomorrow will announce something similar. A


general election may be many moons away, but positioning for it is


dominating every waking hour in Whitehall. Allegra and Paul Mason


are both with us now. What was the stand-out political issue for you?


The stand-out political, the broad picture-wise, the reason I say I


think he dominated, or dictated the terms of the next general election


is that this is a man who actually stood up today and announced what


he announced, in terms of extra cuts today, because his own plan


hadn't worked. Even though his own plan hadn't worked he has still


managed to get the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrat party to agree


to the figures that we just went through in that package. The stand-


out broad political theme at the moment of today is that this could


have been a moment of ignominy for him. But his stature in his own


party had increased and he had to actually put the number on the 2015


general election. What do we learn about going forward in the


governance management of the economy? When Labour left office,


Liam Byrne, the Treasury Secretary, famously left a note saying "I have


to say there is no money left". This was the kind of note to the


next Government whoever it is, saying there are no cuts left.


There are no cuts left to do of the kind we have been doing for three,


four, five years by the end of the parliament. That is ring-fenced


health, education, pairing away at departments. If you look at the


�11.5 billion, �5 billion is efficiency savings. The Government


has provided a handy list of things that might happen and some case


studies of stuff that is happening. It has not given a list of where


that �5 billion is coming from. We know �2 billion from local


Government. Even the big headline about stopping public sector


workers getting automatic increments, the Education Secretary


you are about to speak to has abolished in his department. But


the health service have something like a million workers and can't do


that. They are going to link it more closely to performance and


seek further reforms. That is where that �5 billion, some of that �5


billion is coming from. They are really at the bottom of the barrel


of this kind of cut. But there is another kind of cut, which is the


big specific political moment, not the thematic one, which is this new


welfare cut that we have been talking about on this programme for


some six months now. The cuts to AMY, we try to not mention this


phrase but there isn't any better shorthand. Welfare has been allowed


to go up with demand and it means it goes up unchecked. Today they


set out, for the first time, not the exact cap, but it will be


targeted at all spending above �100 billion. In the graph we showed in


the piece, it shows that right now it has been stuck for a few years


at �112. Do the math, it is not that difficult. It is �12 billion.


This is the significance of this. I'm not saying the Conservatives


will go into the next election, and the Liberal Democrats will not be


wholly comfort with it. Going in saying they will put �12 billion,


but that is the extreme of what they will cut. Going forward Paul?


This was the moment in the parliament where you saw almost the


future shape of, and I say this for a reason, of a Conservative Britain.


It might be a coalition budget, but the Chancellor is a Conservative,


it was a Conservative speech. I think the speech marred. It wasn't


the subtext but the absolute core of it was we have done austerity


without tanking the economy. We have got the opposition to sign up


to most of the austerity we know about going forward. Britain's


businesses and the work force, the work force has accepted pay cuts


and business has been innovative and created jobs. That part of the


matterive, up until now, has happened. -- narrative, up until


now has happened. The politicians were on a roll from the front bench,


but you felt that George Osborne was on a narrative that he felt


comfortable with it. The Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury,


Chris Leslie is with us, also with us, the Education Secretary,


Michael Gove. This is what you call efficient management of the economy


is it? I think it is a series of decisions that ensure the taxpayer


gets a better deal. That the services people properly expect the


Government to provide will be protected. And across Government we


are making sure that we deliver the services more efficiently and


effectively. But it is only two years since we were told by your


esteemed leaders that these further cuts would not be necessary? Yes.


Since then we have had catastrophic economic conditions in the eurozone,


our major trading bodies. The facts change and we have to change in


order to deal with that. One of the things we have had to acknowledge


is the rate of growth that the independent Office of Budget


Responsibility predicted would happen hasn't happened. The


responsible thing to do in those circumstances is to make sure that


you still carry on with the deficit reduction strategy but take it


slightly more slowly than you otherwise would have done, that is


a view which most independent observers believe is the prudent


way to approach. It is certain low a point of view that the Labour


Party has finally come to accept despite its suspicions and obdurcy.


It means any predictions made today are equally worthless? There were


worthless predictions by the Labour Party. Your management of the


economy? Let's talk about that. One of the things we have had a million


private sector jobs created. We were told if you cut at George


Osborne's levels those jobs wouldn't be created. That is an


economic achievement. We were also told at the same time if we would


cut spending in the Home Office that crime would increase with


devastating economic impact, it hasn't. Crime has fallen. In 2011


you did not see what has made today's further cuts necessary. It


follows from that, does it not, that you are equally unable to be a


clairvoyant now as you were then? certainly wouldn't claim I was the


gift of second-sight. What I do have is the capacity to be able to


recognise that when you do have turbulence of the kind that we


faced in the eurozone, when you do have the impact that global


economic factors have had...Can You...The Features were made by the


Office of Budget Responsibility, which is an independent body we


created. They are not George Osborne's figures, they are the


figures of a group of people who operate with a degree of authority


that they would never have had. cuts were not George Osborne's,


they were not the office of budget response the. They produced that


Jeremy. Can you tell us then whether these �350 million worth of


cuts to welfare are the last word on welfare cuts? No, by definition


they are not. Of course you can't. The key point about the cap is we


will ensure that if, in the future, any Government feels that it is


appropriate to increase welfare spending they will have to come to


the House of Commons and explain why, or they are going to have to


think hard about how housing benefit and other benefits are


allocated. So it may well be the case in the future if we are


fortunate enough to have a Conservative, or Conservative-led


Government re-elected, that we will have more efficiency in welfare.


Labour can't make that promise. There could be further cuts. The


question of the �100 billion cap? Everyone recognises immediately


after 2015/16, whichever party is in power, there will have to be


spending disciplines. Nobody is saying that immediately after 2016


Nirvana will return. Everyone is in favour of discipline, but you say


there will be a cap. This word has been bandied about all day.


bandied about, used with precision. With precision! How exactly will


this cap work? Pensions and jobseeker's allowance will not be


covered by it. But other parts of the welfare budget will be managed


in the same way as other departmental budgets are managed.


You asked me to explain, I will try my best. It means in areas like


disability benefit or housing benefit that there will be an


absolute total which the Government can't spend. What is the cap?


Around �100 million. Supposing you exceed it? The Chancellor said if


for any reason a Government feels they have to exceed it, they have


to come to the House of Commons and to explain why, but the


responsibility will be on them to do what the last Government didn't


do. Will they sit on the naughty step or something. There is no


sanction here at all? There is a self-imposed discipline, it will be


a significant thing to do, having a cap not to stick to it, it will be


a significant penalty that any minister will face. What is this


penalty, he has to make a statement to the House of Commons? He has to


explain why it is he's doing things differently. That is a penalty is


it? Sometimes, considering some of the people you find in the House of


Commons. The particular thing about the welfare cap is that it is


placing the department much work and mention -- of Work and Pensions


under the same discipline I face in the Department of Education and


elsewhere. We have budgets we have to meet. We have to manage the


expenditure we can't simply allow it to let rip. One of the problems


with the mismanagement of the welfare budget under previous


Governments is it was allowed to let rip without this degree of


discipline being imposed. It is entirely ingrained with other


changes that George Osborne has announced today that will


incentivise people not to work. We will not have a situation whereby


people can turn up at a Jobcentre and then demand their benefits


first, without producing hard evidence that they are putting job


seeking first, producing that CV, making sure they learn English if


they don't have it, and making sure for example if they take time off


to raise a child, they are serious to get back to work. We will step


aside of the question of why it has taken so long to get to that?


don't think you can say the Government has been idle.


appear to have only just in theed this discrepancy. But let's deal


with the �12 billion, there is a difference between �100 billion,


which is supposedly the cap, and the �100 billion which you are


running. What will you cut? Eligibility to housing benefit


needs to be tackled. One of the things we have been led to do


remove the spare room subsidy, we will look again at how certain


disability and incapacity been fits are allocated, Labour have opposed


that. At every turn when we have been prepared to reform the welfare


state to incentivise work, Labour have objected and played to the


gallery. Now they have come like repentant sinners and said they


will exercise discipline. shadow secretary is here and will


speak for himself in a moment or two. We will come to you in a


moment, if you forgive us. You tell us what you will do? I already have.


You have given us a long disposition on what you said Labour


won't do? These are alternative, I have explained exactly what we have


been doing, changes to child benefit and disability benefit. And


one of the things about the way in which Iain Duncan Smith and Nick


Clegg have worked together. We have ensured that those genuinely in


need continue to receive the support they deserve, but those


people, and there are some using the welfare system as an


alternative to work, the game is up. Do you think any other departments


can be cut any further? Yes.Which ones? That's a matter for the


Chancellor. I wouldn't want to usurp his position. You can always


look for further cuts. What about your departments? We are looking.


Can it be cut further? We could be more efficient. Let me give you


specific examples. We have protected the budget. Wasn't it a


condition of you being elected? were elected for a whole host of


reasons. We have managed to keep that promise in a way that perhaps


previous Governments promises have been dishonoured. Within that


budget it is undoubtedly the case that the moneykg spent more


efficiently and effectively. There are inefficiencies in the way some


schools and other educational institutions spend their money. It


is also the case within my own department there are inefficiencies


that we have driven up and problems we have inherited we have put right.


Any inefficiencies still to be put out of your department? Thanks to


the brilliant work of my permanent secretary, we are proceeding at


pace to do that. In Chris Wormwood I have a big cut well delivered


from him. You are accepting all these figures


are you, effectively we have seen the state of the 2015 budget now


haven't we? On the proviso that there is nothing to be done in the


two years before then to stimulate growth and maybe stave off some of


the need for the cuts. Obviously you know in an ideal world we would


have had a Government that used today to stimulate the economy,


which would mitigate the need for some of these cuts. If it looks as


though they are carrying on regardless, as it sounded from the


education secretary, they don't think anything can be done about


the economy. It looks like the next Government will inherit a bleak


inheritance. In the possibility, by I suppose we must accept, that you


form the next Government, you will be operating a budget according to


these guidelines will you? For day- to-day spending, yes. Of course


that will have to be the starting point. We would have totally


different priorities from this Government, particularly when it


comes to things, for example on welfare they are intending to


cut...What Would you cut instead? They are intending to give a winter


allowance to the wealthiest 5% of pensioners, for example. Or taking


it away from people who live in the Tropics? That is of course an easy


one to do. I don't know why the Government are waiting until 2015


to say those with retirement incomes of �42,000 and above


shouldn't get the winter allowance. There is a free schools programme


where the education secretary is looking to start new free schools


in areas where they already have ample unfilled spare place. That's


completely wasteful. There are priorities. There could be some


efficencies to come in his department, what other departments


do you think could be cut? I think what we have got to do is first of


all focus on getting the economy growing. And this is a very big


divide. Yes, yes, yes.Not yes, yes, yes. This is a big divide between


the political party. Let as assume the decision now are carried


through? Why wave the white flag and assume nothing can be done


about something in two years time. You heard the Education Secretary


saying it was all the fault of the eurozone, and the Office for Budget


Responsibility. They could do something about growth and they


won't. We know what's going to happen. Let's assume for the sake


of argument, since we can't see the future. Let's assume their


predictions are right. And let's assume for the sake of argument


that you win the next election. Are there Government department that is


could be further cut? Of course there are savings that could be


made. What are they?For a start we think it is a question whether


there should be more money spent on Police Commissioners, for example,


than on the existing plort. much will that save -- Police


Authority. How much will that save you? We don't want a millionaire's


tax cut, that is the wrong priority. We wouldn't have been reorganising


the NHS, spending �3 billion on a top-down change that nobody voted


for or wanted. There are priorities and changes that can be made.


there cuts to be made into departments? We don't want to get


into that situation. Nobody wants that situation. They don't need to


be in this situation. Do you want to cut public spending, of course


doesn't want to cut public spending? The surprising thing is


you are absolutely right, Chris talks about historic things, and he


has every right to disagree with them. Chris cannot mention a single


programme that we are investing in that he would cut. What about the


winter allowance. Why wouldn't you do that. It is a tiny sum.Why


wouldn't you do it? What else would you cut. What is wrong with making


that change for the wealthiest pensioners on winter allowance,


why? That is your single transferable spending cut. You have


used it to pay for almost everything. What about the


millionaire's tax cut, why is that priority, why is it a priority. You


are laughing about it. This is incredibly serious, we have cuts


that will be hitting people exceptionally hard, this is not a


laughing matter. You have the opportunity to stave these off if


you focus on growth. I wasn't laughing it was Jeremy. What was in


the plan today to stimulate growth? Nothing, this was a neglectful


decision by the Chancellor. He's kpwhrotly neglected his


responsibility -- neglect -- completely neglected his


responsibility to this economy. I think it was said they should got


things moving on construction and stimulated capital, that has been


cut in education. It is being cut. We will stop this end of the pier


show now. Thank you very much. You may not have noticed the


announcement today that the cost of high-speed 2's potential charge


rose overall by a mere �10 billion. The creation of a high-speed rail


line from London to the north of England will, say the Government,


produce quantifiable economic benefits to the region. Today the


transfor the minister told MPs that the new projected cost to the rail


line, linking London to the Midlands had risen to �42.6 billion


from the original estimate of �33 billion, and included a contingency


fund. I know in the context of the bill the House will want to be


updated on the cost of HS2, I will be writing tomorrow to the chairman.


HS2 limited, to start a budget. That is �70 billion, this takes


account of the environmental and design changes for the scheme. It


includes a tunnel to Northolt. Design changes at Euston station


and a tunnel under the M6 near Birmingham. As a responsible


Government we must be prudent and that means allowing the right level


of contingency. In addition we have set an overall indicative amount


for the budget for phase 1 that is �2.4. For phase II it is �21.2


billion. A total of �42.6 billion at 2011 prices. That includes, can


I just finish this one point. That includes a �12.7 billion of


contingency. Can you explain as a fellow


Conservative MP why your party is so keen on this project? It is a


party we have inherited from the Labour Party, Lord Adonis, it is a


Trojan horse of a project like the 50p tax. I can't explain why they


are in favour of it. It is roaring through my constituency causing


blight, fear and anxiety. Planning paralysis also. And it will go


increasingly overbudget. So you have no idea why all these people,


on whose side of the House you sit, all kindred spirits are so


enthusiastic about it? There is a lot of political capital put behind


this project. The increase in the budget will take this project past


the next general election without requiring any further funding.


figures are extraordinary. This was an increase today of about �10


billion in the contingency fund? top of that �42.6 billion, you have


�7.5 billion for the rolling stock which will be increasing at current


prices. The whole project as rien to somewhere in excess of �-- risen


to somewhere in excess of �50 billion. It will hit �100 billion.


The Government says it won't go any higher? The history of large


infrastructure in rail in particular, if you look on the


continent and internationally they rise by about 45%. I think there is


a specific danger with this project because it is a 20-year lead time.


Maybe it will be worth it for the jobs create, an estimated 20,000 or


so? In constituencies like mine, 30% of the businesses who would be


affected have more or less said they wouldn't be relocating but


taking the package for that as retirement funds and those jobs


will be lost. It will cost lots of jobs. How far does the opposition


of HS2 extend in your party? People are affected by the route and they


will represent their constituents, as I do in North West


Leicestershire, then there are people who will be increasingly


concerned about the cost. That will continue to escalate. We have taken


a close interest in the story and will so for the next 20 years. The


first Australian female Prime Minister is no more. She has been


consigned to history. In another shocking development it has turned


out that the promise by Miss Gillard's predecessor that there


were no circumstances under which he would return to the leadership


of the Labour Party has turned out to be what is technically known as


a load of horse poo. Although Miss Gillard has repeatedly complained


that many Australian men are less evolved on gender issues than the


average wallaby, the party line is it is nothing to do with sexism.


As we know Australia is a moisturising Metro sexual country,


where men no longer hide their feelings behind boarishness and


alcohol. Hang on here is Bob Hawk at the cricket this year. As the


first woman Prime Minister down under, Julia Gillard was on the


receiving end of what looked like some pretty ripe sexist attitudes.


Her long time partner, Tim, is a hairdresser. And she found herself


quizzed about his sexuality on live radio. Tim's gay? Well. That is


what they are saying, it is a myth. That is absurd. You hear it, he


must be gay, he's a hairdresser. You have heard it, it is not me


saying it. Despite the old world curtesy with which the DJ showed


her out, he was later fired. Miss Gillard also complained that crude


slogans about her appeared to be condoneed by her opponents in


parliament. I will not be lectured by sexism and misogyny by this man.


The Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this


man, not now, not ever. But as so often in politics, your


real enemies are on your own side. Gillard ousted the then Labour


Party leader, Kevin Rudd, three years ago. Now he has his own back


and ousted her. In 2007 the Australian people elected me their


Prime Minister. That is a task I resume today with humility, with


honour, and with an important sense of energy and purpose. I have been


a little bit bemused by colleagues in the newspapers who have admitted


that I have suffered more pressure as a result of my gender than other


prime ministers in the past, but then concluded that it had zero


affect on my political position or the political position of the


Labour Party. It doesn't explain everything, it doesn't explain


nothing, it explains some things. Gillard, one of Australia's finest


sons is angry over what some male critics have said about her.


they said something about my mother, sister or wife, I would want a


seriously deep conversation with him. I think it is a lack of


gallantry that has crept into not just politics but the way politics


is reported. And I think it gives license to a type of hater that


will only further reduce the quality of our lives. But in this


Ozzy-run coffee shop back here in the old country, -- Aussie-run


coffee shop back here in the old country, others believe sexism


isn't the overriding factor in this story. Politics, this is very much


the Kevin and Julia soap opera for a good five years now. Today was


the climax of that. You have to remember and I have been an adviser


to many Australian Governments. That governance in Australia is a


fairly vibrant and robust and sometimes brutal event. There are


democratic politics around the world in Australia. There can be


very much blood on the shag pile. What's that Skippy? It is a doomed


11th hour photo -op for Australian Women's Weekly, making Julia


Gillard appear more housewifely. Her country may have to review its


attitudes about gender. Her legacy will be did she get too much of a


hard time, has Australia more of a way to go to be where we want to be


on that issue. What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier


for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that.


And I'm proud of that. Jason Grove is the President of the Overseas


branch of the opposition liberal party, whose leader, Tony Abott,


famously branded a misogynist. And Paola Totaro is an Australian


writer and journalist, and who has written about her country's


politics throughout Miss Building Schools for the Future's career. It


could just be she's a -- Miss Gillard's career.


It could be that she is inept? is true, but should her Prime


Ministership or ineptness should go seen through the prism of her hair


or her high heels. It has been?I believe if the same prism was


applied to David Cameron or Margaret Thatcher, I don't think


this electorate would tolerate it. That is a very interesting point,


because it also wasn't applying to your leader, Mr Abott? I think if


you look at what's happened today, Julia Gillard when she took over


from Kevin Rudd, discredited after his first go at leadership. Her


ratings went through the roof. People warmed to the idea of a


female Prime Minister. When it came down to it she broke a lot of


promises, everything she touched was incompetent, she suffered


hugely. That was the result today. Your leader delivered a speech


under a banner that said "ditch the witch"? Tony Abott


is...Sophisticated! Any suggestion that a leader of a modern day party


was misogynist or anti-women has no future. Tony is a long way ahead in


the polls because he appeals to a wide section of the community,


including women. You have to give it to your country, is it your


country? In my heart.Australia has a higher proportion of women in


parliament than we do here? Does it? Just??I think you "just" is


the question. I just might pick up on the point about being embraced.


Gillard being embraced. When she was Deputy Prime Minister she was


pilloried for a photo shoot in her kitchen. Because her cabinets were


not messy enough, didn't look used. So even before she became Prime


Minister. That is because they weren't being used. She had been


away on holiday if I recall correctly? She just isn't much a


cook at home. So what. She's a very good knitter, apparently? That was


potentionally probble. If you are foolish enough as a woman to


present yourself, or a man, to present yourself knitting a woolly


kangaroo for the royal birth, how do you expect to be treated?


think that is the point. I have to agree with you there. I think that


people didn't really understand who Julia Gillard was. Everything that


she did seemed to be a set-up stunt. This was the Australian public


wanting Julia Gillard as a person. I don't think it was due to her


gender but a lack of genuineness on her behalf. She was in a mint


minority Government with a party behind her that was consistently


undermining her. As we saw overnight her challenger constantly


behind her in the shadow. What do we learn from Australia with this


episode? I'm not sure what we learn, as an Australian the public


discourse, the political discourse at the moment is embarrassing. I'm


not sure that you learn very much at all. Is it true that when Julia


Gillard made that speech in parliament, in which show attacked


misogyny in Australian politics, actually there was much more


attention paid elsewhere in the world than there ever was in


Australia? Absolutely true. What she was doing in parliament was


defending a speaker of the house of representatives whose number she


needed, because he had made the most abhorrent comments about


female genitalia. So on the one hand she was attacking misogyny,


but on the other hand defending someone who made offensive comments.


It attracted more attention outside Australia than in it? It says a lot


about the media in Australia, it has been hostile to Julia Gillard


all the way through. It took 18 hours for the parliamentary press


gallery in Canberra to realise this speech had literally gone viral.


think again, I think people in Australia understood the context


this was a set-up. It was another stunt by Julia Gillard to try to


turn around the disastrous poll ratings, the disastrous performance


of had her Government and not something born out of genuineness.


The import of what she was saying still resonated. The comment taken


out of context did resonate. But Australia is proud to have had a


female Prime Minister, I think it is a very great pity it has ended


the way it has. Do you think it will be as easy next time for a


woman or harder? I hope it doesn't make a difference. We do have a lot


of leaders, the deputy leader of my heart is a woman. We still do have


a lot of senior women in Australian politics. I hope they are not put


off by what has happened today. That is the sad part, young women


looking at politics potentially as a career would see this kind of end


for as you traia's -- Australia's first Prime Minister as scary, and


what came before it more so. Thank you very much. While we have


been on air, two of Fleet Street's, or what used to be called Fleet


Street's he had stores have been looking at tomorrow morning's


newspapers. We have the new editor of the Independent. Aged? 29 Jeremy.


Aged 29. Just old enough to be your grandson. You can aspire! And


Lionel Barber has been editor of the FT for much longer than that.


Not 29 years? Almost eight years, Jeremy. Twice the age of the


gentleman to the left, but we will get the facts out on to the table.


I don't want to be embarrassed later. Let's talk about newspapers,


I guess who has chosen the Independent? I think I have chosen


that. Rightly so. What a fantastic- looking front page. We had a lot of


the stuff about Spending Reviews a day early. The question today was


what particular line we want to go on, Andy Grice, the best political


editor in Fleet Street said there was great excitement in Westminster


about this idea that payday lenders are going to benefit hugely from


the delay when you can take your benefits. It used to be three days


and now sevens days. There is limited evidence that it will save,


money and it will get people back into the job market. We have


rounded up lots of evidence about how it will make people who are


poor, poorer. That is enough fantastic, financial sometimes, I


imagine you might have chosen this one? No, the news editor has chosen


this particular splash. It is interesting because there were some


very important statements about austerity lasting way into the next


parliament, the coherent now, of more confident Chancellor today. I


think he is strutting his stuff a little. I thought so.You know he


was confident when he was dropping his "t" like Tony Blair. Because he


knows that the Labour Party has accepted his spending cuts plan.


What is interesting about this particular story in the FT, because


we are highlighting, as you did tonight, this dramatic overspend on


HS2. What kind of return are we going to get on this infrastructure


project? Not very much I would submit. Why is it being favoured.


Is it to bridge the gap between north and south? No, because it is


a project that can get up and running. This cost is going to get


higher and it will be ending up being named the Lord Adonis


memorial railway. Let's go on to the Telegraph. George Osborne


wielding the welfare axe. That wasn't a surprise?. No. I know


welfare is a big part of our spending, but Osbourne seemed to


enjoy talking more as he went on. By the enof the speech it was


entirely on well from. What he was talking about at the end of largely


about jobseeker's allowance, a tiny fraction of Government spending.


When you have made political decisions to project a huge amount


of your spending on the NHS, pensions, aid and all the rest of


it, there is something ugly about focusing on such a small piece. You


will say that welfare is going up and up and up as a portion of


Government spending. I wasn't going to say that. What I was going to


say is clearly this goes before the election campaign. Mr Osborne wants


to draw a dividing line between what he calls strivers and slackers.


In one respect this is important, because although he appears to be


capping or limited welfare cut, with an ageing society, it is going


to present serious pressure on the budget. And there are questions


about the future shape of the state, not answered today, for all the


talk about cutting Whitehall, some departments hurt more than others.


It isn't fantastic that in George Osborne who has made a career about


standing against and hating Gordon Brown, this is completely out of


the Gordon Brown textbook. Dividing lines, using economics as a pretext


to what is a political narrative. This is the sort of thing you would


expect from Gordon Brown. Nobody has pointed out today, certainly


not on this show, the spending we view he didn't want to make, if he


met his own targets he wouldn't be there. That have the very first


line of tonight's programme? Really! Pay attention.You should


have been more articulated when you said it. You weren't nearly clear


enough. It couldn't have been clearer, even for you. Let as try


and raise the tone. On the Guardian, this is what I was referring to


earlier that austerity is going to go way into the next parliament and


it is the cuts that keep on coming, a nice little headline there. And


strong, there is the picture of the Chancellor with his mojo back.


Do you want to talk about right honourable gentlemaner Federer or


spending. So we have had -- Roger Federer or spending. We have had


seven number ones dropping out. People have said tennis has become


boring, it has become fatastically unpredictable. We led with Federer


and Sharpova and the amazing phenomenon of people slipping over.


It is slightly wet surfaces that were maybe covered for slightly too


long mean all these people were falling over at Wimbledon today,


and Federer is one of them. I can't follow that up. I know that Andy


Murray is still in, and I think, look, he has been a great champion


Presented by Jeremy Paxman. Including analysis and reaction to the Chancellor's £11.5 billion cut in public spending. Also Australia's first female prime minister steps down.

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