07/08/2013 Newsnight


With Victoria Derbyshire. How badly are the courts failing young people who claim abuse? Plus low interest rates, Holland v the UK on cycling and the peril of the political party.

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Can a 13-year-old victim of sexual abuse, who looked older than her


age be predatory and able to egg on her abuser, according to a


barrister and judge involved in that case, yes. Tonight the


testimony of another girl accused of lying as she gave evidence about


her alleged abuser. I understand that they have to test


it and that they have to prove that they are telling the truth, but I


think outrightly calling someone a liar isn't proving anything.


So will plans for an elite panel of judges to preside over such


hearings protect young and vulnerable witnesses. Labour and


the Bar Council are here. Also tonight, after the rock star


build up, the new Bank of England governor gets down to work


promising potentially another three years of low interest rates.


It's bad news if you are a saver, good news if you are a home buyer,


very good news if you are a Chancellor. Our Olympic cyclists


are the envy of the world, but for the casual cyclist our roads are


anything but. In Holland things look very different, why?


Everybody's on big sit up and beg bikes, they are weaving around,


there is a much more relaxed feel to the way the cyclists occupy the


streets. We need to get that culture doing. And... # The party's


over The Prime Minister won't tell us


how many members his party has. It is as if he knows the figures


aren't pretty. Is the party over for the political parties? Le


Good evening. Retch Dale, Rotherham, Oxford, where gangs of paedophiles


targeted young girls. Abusers were jailed, but not before the victims


were subjected to aggressive cross- examination by multiple barristers.


The Lord Chief Justice says he now wants to protect vulnerable


witnesses in the future. Meanwhile the Crown Prosecution Service today


criticised one of its own barristers for decribing a 13-year-


old victim of a sex attack as "predatory" and "sexually


experienced". The judge hearing the case echoed those comments. All


this means the system will change. Will it alter some people's mind


set. I have been talking to a 12- year-old girl who while giving


evidence about her alleged abuser was accused of lying. The judge


halted the trial when she became stressed and the case collapsed. We


are calling her Kate, it's not her real name. She wanted to talk to us


and her mother agreed. I started by asking her how she felt about the


prospect of giving evidence, her words are spoken for her. It was


really nerve racking and scary, but it wasn't, I didn't think it would


be too bad. Why were you nervous? Because I didn't know what to


expect. Had someone talked you through what might happen during


the course of the trial? I had been told what was going to happen. And


what was supposed to happen in quite a lot of detail. But I didn't


know, I didn't know what to expect still. Because I didn't know if


they were telling the truth. I didn't know if it was all the same


as what they had said. And whereof it that you gave evidence from?


where was it that you gave evidence from? I did a video in a house, I


don't know where it was, I can't remember. Then I did it from a


separate room in the court, but I was videolinked to the court.


there anyone in the room with you? Yeah, there was two ladies in the


room with me. That were with me whilst I was giving the evidence.


And had you been able to get to know them? I had met one of them


before when we went to the Crown Court room, other one I hadn't met


before. Why was it that you weren't able to have your mum with you, for


example, in that room? Because she was a witness. How did you feel


about the two ladies with you? were really kind and supportive.


When I get upset they kind of let me go out the room and they took a


break. They were very kind and chatty. What do you remember about


what the defence barrister said to you? She asked personal questions


like "why -- why did I have to have a bath every day and the house have


to be cleaned every day and personal questions about the way I


lived. Did you understand why she was asking those kinds of


questions? No, because it wasn't really related at all to any of


them. Did you feel you could say that to her? Not really, no.What


else did she say to you? She called me a liar a lot of the time. She


said I was lying and trying to stick up for my mum. Because, I


can't remember why she said it, she said I was clearly only trying to


stick up for my mum. How many times did she call you a liar? I don't


know, several, a few. What did you think of that? It really upset me


because I wasn't lying. To be called a liar when you're not is


really upsetting. What happened after she had said that? I got


upset and went out of the room. And then the judge came and told me


that I didn't have to carry on. And then they came down. I went


downstairs to see my mum and then about 15 minutes later they told me


what had happened. And why I wasn't giving any more evidence. And how


did that affect the case? Obviously it didn't carry on, so the case.


The judge halted the case did he? Yeah. Why?Because the way that I


was being treated by the defence barrister. So because you became so


upset he decided the case should stop? Yeah.Even though it meant


other witnesses couldn't then give their evidence because you were the


first witness weren't you? Yeah. The other witnesses got upset


because they couldn't give their evidence in court. They wanted to,


did they? Yeah, they had been told that once they had said what they


had to say it would be over and they could carry on with their


lives. And so they got upset because they couldn't tell their


story and tell their, give their evidence. Do you understand Kate


that sometimes barristers have to challenge and test somebody's


evidence because some people do tell lies? I understand that they


have to test it, and that they have to prove that they are telling the


truth but I think outrightly calling someone a liar isn't


proving anything. In future there are going to be special judges who


hear the kind of cases that you were involved in who may be able to


protect vulnerable witnesses like you were. What do you think of that


idea? I think it is a better idea because they would know how to


treat the children and they would know how the children are feeling


better than the other judges that are used. And do you think it might


help people like you describe what happened to you? I think it would


help because they would know the sort of questions to ask instead of


having to call somebody a liar to get the evidence. They would be


able to ask the sort of questions that work to get the answers they


need. I wonder how you think it might have helped you in your case


had there been one of these particular judges with this extra


training presiding over your case? Well it would have helped because


the questions wouldn't necessarily have been easier to answer, but


they wouldn't have been so upsetting in the way that they were.


So it is a good idea as far as you can see? Yeah.Can I ask you about


some comments the judges said about a 13-year-old sexual abuse victim,


he described her as "predatory" and "egging on her abuser". How do you


think a judge saying that to a 13- year-old girl might make her feel?


Well it is going to make her feel really insecure and well she


wouldn't want to do anything at all. Because if someone said that you


dressed inappropriately you wouldn't ever want to wear a dress


again. Because you would feel really insecure about the way you


looked. It would really affect you. I think. What would you say to that


judge? Tell him to get his act straight, sort himself out because


it is not fair on anybody. How do you think other young victims of


sexual abuse might react on hearing that he had said those things?


would be pretty shocked. I know I would. Because it's really damaging


for someone to hear those sorts of things from someone so important.


You gave evidence a number of years ago now, how are you now? I'm fine


now, I have got through it really well. But there is obviously still


things that still come up now. Even after two, three years. But I'm


fine, I feel fine. Kate, thank you very much for


talking to me. Thank you for having With me now Maura McGowan QC chair


of the Bar Council in England and Wales that represents barristers


and Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Justice Secretary who was a human rights


solicitor before entering parliament. Welcome both of you.


First of all, how do you react to the way Kate was treated? She's a


very impressive young woman. She summed up two of the most important


issues actually she understands that evidence in the sort of case


she was involved in has to be tested, but Sheehy quillly


understands that calling somebody a liar over and over again is no way


of cross-examining anybody. You don't establish anything by doing


that. Is there a way of challenging the evidence without using the word


"liar" or decribing someone as that? Yes, depending on the age and


understanding of the young women or young person. There is different


ways of doing it, but shouting at somebody or repeatedly call them a


Loire isn't a way of achieving anything. Why does it happen then?


I suspect quite often because people haven't got as much training


or experience as they should have when they do these very delicate


and sensitive cases. It is worth noting that I think about 30% of


all trials in England at the moment are allegations of sexual impro-


priority. Not all with children, mostly with adults, that is the


volume of cases going through. Kate's reaction to the prosecuting


barrister decribing another victim as "predatory" and "sexually


experienced" might that stop other young victims speaking out?


Absolutely, if you speak to victims' group as I do, there is


already huge concern about the way victims and witnesses are treated.


This case this week and Kate's case is not the only two I have heard


about. It is the culture that needs changing, lawyers today, judges


today and the CPS are better trained than ever before. The


practice is very different, glad ditoral and aggressive. Victims if


they lose confidence in the criminal justice system they will


stop coming forward and taking part in trials. And witnesses will think


what is the point, and that is bad news for us, offenders will


continue to repeat owe fences because they are not being brought


to book. Can we talk about culture, Maura McGowan, is there a


generational prejudice towards victims of child abuse? I don't


think there is. How do you explain the comment of the judge and


prosecuting barrister? Given the reaction we have seen today and


yesterday which is massive, this is the first or second item on every


news programme all day, that is an indication that this is not common


place, this does not happen every trial. How many other ignorant of


the legal profession are there who think a victim bears some


responsibility for the abuse? was said should not have been said.


Just those two? No, no. I'm not saying that. I'm not saying that at


all, there are cases that need to be done better, I accept that. But


equally it is clear isn't it that the vast majority of cases are done


properly. Can I just say, I'm sure that's right, but you just have to


remember what Milly Douler's father said when he was cross-examined by


Levi Bellfield's barrister at the trial, he felt it was almost as bad


as the day and weeks after his daughter had died. You remember


Francis Andredie the professional violinists, who according to her


husband killed herself because of the way she was treated. Judges


have to step in and protect witnesses. Defence barristers must


fearlessly defend their clients, but there is a way of doing so


without intimidating and putting off future victims. Of course


judges can step in, but they don't, despite the training, the


comprehensive training they receive for these particular cases? Many


are ex-barristers except for a few exceptions. There is this macho


culture whereby you some how impress the gallery by being tough.


We have to look at the way we train and recruit judges, it last to


change. It has to be a mainstream issue not just where 13-year-old


children are involved. You smiled when he said "macho culture?


don't accept that, the vast majority of barristers who do these


cases are women. People tend to instruct women to do these case,


there isn't a macho culture, judges are sensitive and conscious of what


the public gallery thinks of them? This extra training these elite


judges will get, suggests there is something missing from the


"comprehensive training" that they already get? The panel of elite


judges being set up now will be trained specially to deal with the


complex sexual abuse cases so, the grooming cases, where you have


seven, eight defendants, you have any number of witnesses and victims,


these cases require special management skills and that's the


panel that is going to be set up to deal with those sorts of complex


cases. The judges are already trained to deal with sexual


offences, it is not perfect, I don't pretend it is, but it is


infinitely better than it used to be and it is getting better all the


time. I accept the last point except I say the panel of judges


won't have dealt with this week's case or the vineist cases or the


murder of Milly Douler, unless you change the culture in all the


courts why should witnesses bother to report a crime or as a witness


come forward and give evidence if this is how they will be treated.


The new judges, the elite judges, the panel, are they going to be


able to step in and stop the cross- examination a number of times


because there are a number of defendants represented by multiple


barristers? The plan is, and the Government is looking at


introducing a section on the books for a long time, where cross-


examination is done in advance of the trial, it is not done in a


courtroom. The witnesses or victims don't see the defendants. That's


being done as a pilot in three areas at the moment. But the panel


of judges that have been chosen and set up are going to have very


different powers. They will always have ground rules hearings in these


cases, they will say at the start right there are six of you, there


aren't going to be six cross- examinations, or if there are they


will only be of a certain length, you will deal with one topic you


with another. They won't step in during the trial, I hope, because


the rules will have been laid down in advance. Thank you very much


both of you. After months of hype, more


befitting the release of a Hollywood blockbuster, the new


Governor of the Bank of England, Patrick Karnezis, made his first


public pronouncements today in the more prosaic -- Patrick Karnezis


made his first public pronouncements to the prosaic


gallery. What has he to say? inflation goes too high the Bank of


England has to put up trrds to bring it back to target -- interest


rates to bring it back to target. They have said they will not put


interest rates up from Boca bottom until inflation falls below 7%,


because they don't think unemployment will do that for three


years, those who borrow can be fairly sure that interest rates,


base rates are going to stay as they are for at least two years.


The aim is we go out and borrow and the housing market ticks up a bit.


How cast iron is that guarantee from Mr Carney? It is not, he has


three caveats, one is if inflation looks in the medium term like it


will be 2.5%, another one if there are rising expectations of


inflation, so wages outstripping inflation, you get this leapfrog


effect. Also if another part of the Bank of England sees a bubble


occuring as a result of this housing boom that we all expect to


take place. Now first thing has to be said about that is this 2.5%


thing, it sounds well it could have been easily 2.5% inflation. The


Bank of England have some great economists who all seem to draw


graphs that end up nicely normal in the medium term. So look in the end,


what he is basically doing is saying unless unemployment falls I


will keep interest rates static, there are these caveats, he's


saying to the markets and the markets in this case are us, home


buyers or savers, you decide which bit you think I'm going to do and


the end result of that will be that I think most people psychologically


will hear the big promise, interest rates are static and not hear the


caveats and the result will be greater confidence. But not for


savers? For savers it is transparently not very good. I mean


the mathematics are if you are putting your money into the bank,


so saving it as cash, then inflation is eating it away, pause


the interest rates, as any savers know are almost zero and inflation


is above that. So he was trying to sell it to people on the long-term


that savers want the economy to be all right. This is what he said.


The best thing for savers is a strong economy, ultimately a strong


economy will bring higher interest rates. You see that to some extent


at longer interest rates moving up as the data proved entirely


appropriate. The second thing is to recognise that, and when I talk to


saver, savers care about their children and grandchildren, they


care their employed, they care about neighbours and friends, this


is ultimately about getting the whole of the economy moving forward


in a way that rewards work, savings and that ensures the last thing


that is obviously incredibly important for savers is that


inflation comes back to that 2% target so they make real returns on


their savings. What could be wrong with that, if you are a saver, of


course, the short-term thing, the jam tomorrow is fine, but the


short-term thing is you are losing money. One of the side-effects of


what he has done today is to say explicitly to savers, if you want


to live on your savings or get an income on it you have to move your


money somewhere else, as the experts are clear about today.


billion went into cash ISAs alone despite low interest rates,


essentially that means while we all need cash for a rainy day, people


holding cash in case they lose their job, but holding cash for


long periods of time you are actually losing money in real terms.


Ultimately what has to happen is people need to start flushing some


money out of cash and put into riskier assets to keep them ahead


of inflation. The big picture, what is Mark Carney trying to do?


Bank of England governors Mervyn King before him, they are balancing


a huge unprecedented austerity programme that takes money out of


the economy with pumping money into the economy through quanative


easing, through low interest rates and now through this called forward


guidance. They are also something else, He is doing something else,


he is saying savers you will lose your money relative to inflation,


in all those who borrowed can be relieved. Mr Mark Carney is doing


his best to make that happen in the UK as it has happened all around


the world. A year ago British cyclists were


sweeping the board at the Olympic Velodrome and it definitely


inspired more people to swap four wheels for two, yet British roads


remain some of the most dangerous in Europe for cyclists. Just across


the North Sea lies a cycling utopia, the Netherlands, our countries


aren't that different, so what are the Dutch doing right and what are


we doing wrong? We sent the BBC's Hague correspondent out on her


Omafiets, the Netherland's popular grandma bike to seek an answer on a


200-mile journey from the Hague to London. It is history, it is a


legacy, it is knowledge. It is fast, cheap and healthy.


really have a totally different culture, we have a long way to go


before we have the same mentality about cycling. That is what I want


to achieve. A lot of cyclists are totally irresponsible. Her life was


just starting as far as I was concerned, so many things were


opening up and then she was dead. There's no doubt the Dutch have


created some of the most coveted bike-safe streets in the world.


More than half of all trips in cities like the Hague are made by


bike, but the question is, would all of this work for somewhere like


the UK? We are on a mission from the Dutch parliament to Westminster


to find out if Britain could and should be doing Dutch? Dutch


society is geared around the bike, but the Netherlands hasn't always


looked this way. Amsterdam is a paradise for cyclists mainly


because there are no hills to climb. In the 1950s and 1960s cyclists


were squeezed to the kerb as car ownership rocket. The rise in oil


prices in the 1970s shook the trust in cars. Then there was a campaign


for safety after more than 400 children were killed on the roads.


In this university city electronic counters outside the parking spaces


at the train station register how many spaces are available. There is


room for 10,000 bikes. Cyclists are accommodated here in exactly the


same way as motorists are elsewhere. This is the city square, it used to


be like any other town, full of parked cars. Today Dutch


campaigners like Marc are actively trying to encourage the Brits to


adopt the Dutch system. What is the translation of it, how can we sell


it and design what the Dutch have in a way that can be incorporated


in the British situation? There is a lot going on there. It is all in


the transition. I hear many excuses or myths about what makes the Dutch


supposedly so different or the Netherlands. There are more


similarities than differences. It is not about the climate, it is the


same. Flat it would be Amsterdams all over the world for that


argument. It is not that, it is about making a choice and


prioritising what you want. In the Netherlands cyclists are


treated with extra care, dedicated traffic signals, crossings and


parking spaces make for extremely smooth ride. One of the many


reasons it is so popular is that the infrastructure is integrated


and intuitive. You won't see much special gear or preparation here.


The smaller you are the more protected you are. And that is


written into the rules of the road. Now time for our great Newsnight


cycle to commence. A chance to experience a bit of bike life on


the other side. The roads and cycle paths are wide enough for people to


cycle along comfortably side-by- side. Newsnight's producer and


acting Sherpa Hannah can catch up and help guide us along towards the


ferry. Tell me about the routes?


Sunrise on deck and time to check twit for some last-minute advice on


how to cycle UK-style. No sign of any cycle paths to guide us, and


when they do appear an early indication there may be some


obstacles ahead. Through the countryside though it


is not so bad. But this is TV and we do have some interviews to get


to. So cheating slightly! The Dutch bike is taking a bit of adapting to


British trains and there is no special place for them on board.


And then we hit London the cycle superhighways, London's big idea


for giving cyclists their own space. London's self-styled psyche ing


superhero d cycling superhero sees Dutch culture as part of the


solution for reducing congestion. They have a totally different


culture of cycling, we have to get that. When you cycle in Amsterdam


or Copenhagen or Berlin you are not in a great fleet of people with


their heads down wearing lycra who feel they have to get from A to B


as fast as possible. Everyone is on big bike, they are weaving around,


there is a much more relaxed feel to the way the psychists occupy the


streets. We need to get that culture going. That is why we are


doing the mini-Hollands. I believe in segregation where it is possible


to do, but we don't have, in the centre of London, particularly, we


don't have enough road space to concecrate entirely to cyclists.


Taking a slight detour off the main route towards Westminster, we enter


an emerging cycling culture, that seems to resemble the Dutch style.


It is not just the lycra lads here. Across the UK there are signs the


Dutch dream is starting to be recognised. On Hackney high street


they have turned it into a bikes- only zone. It is happening in


London, changes are happening, people are embracing cycling so


much more as a cultural part of London too, which is a fantastic


thing to see it being embraced. It isn't just cycling in the


netherlands, cycling in London bad, we are nowhere near perfect, but we


are nowhere near absolutely hidious as well. We are in a strange


inbetween place in London in cycling at the moment.


Even if cycling culture is starting to change, many drivers still see


cyclists as some kind of aggressive tribe. There is not much that gets


under my skin, but sometimes when you see them going through


crossings when there is women pushing prams, it is crazy. Others


say it is not in the country's interest to give more space or


financial support to cyclists. think Boris's plans for spending


more on cycling is bonkers. Cycling is one of the most dangerous


occupations you can undertake, you should realise that and that's why


if you have any sense you get off your bike and actually use public


transport or buy a car. They are becoming a very pushy minority


group. You don't get that from motorists who are much better


behaved generally. Everyone agrees it's going to take more than blue


paint. Redesigning the roads is not just about creating beautiful


segregated spaces in places like London's Hyde park. We're going to


reclaim the city for the bike. We are spending a billion over the


next den years to make London cycling much more cyclist-friendly,


much more like Amsterdam. We are not going to be Amsterdam any time


soon, it took them 40 years to become Amsterdam, but we are going


to be a lot further towards it than we were.


1232 cyclists were killed in the UK last -- 123 psychists were killed


in the UK last year, more don cyclists were killed in the UK last


year, more than soldiers killed. This is the eight year in the row


the figures have increased. Even those who have had the worst


imaginable experiences are still actively promoting a greater


British cycling culture. She was cycling to work going straight


ahead, a lorry who was turning left turned left across her path and she


was killed instantly. Do you encourage more people to take to


their bikes even after your own experience? Yes, definitely. That


is the only way to go. There are so many arguments in favour of cycling.


We are going to need to think radically about how we deal with


the reality that there are going to be many, many cyclists and many


more pedestrians. The next person we meet on route to Westminster is


Ron ka, this CCTV footage shows the moment just before she was hit by


that lorry. This is the marble arch, I was here, they closed behind me


and clipped my wheel from the back and dragged me all the way across


down the Edgeware Road path. It is easy to think it is not going to


happen to you, you hear these things on the news all the time. As


with my case I thought it wouldn't happen to me but it does. Be


careful. Back on our bikes and time for the


final approach. We made it, trustee Dutch bike and I and the crew


survived the journey. Back over in the netherlands they are spending


�30 per person on cycling, here in the UK that figure is �2.22, you


can feel the difference. On the 2nd of September the all-party


parliamentary cycling group will be inside here telling David Cameron


to increase that figure to at least �10 per person. This is being seen


as the politicians' opportunity to support the British cycling


revolution. As if by magic the day after our


journey ended this part of the UK really did resemble a cycling


utopia. 15,000 cyclists from across the UK descended on the capital for


Ride London, the biggest cycling event the country has ever seen. It


is relatively easy to organise a single weekend though, the real


challenge for the UK will be in making cycling a sustainable and


integrated part of the whole culture. Who wants to join a


political party? Hardly anyone. About 1% of the electorate is a


paid up member of one of the three main Westminster parties. SNP and


Green Party membership is on the up from a low base, and UKIP are


thought to have around 30,000 activists. What is it for someone


who signs up and pays their subs. We have been to Clacton-on-Sea


where the Tory membership is up 60% in two years.


This stands no chance. Up against this. Filing cabinets ditched for


guilded pianos, the pot plant neglected for topiary. Have you


seen the afternoon tea you can get at their properties. No, they are


not that lavish, but none the less, the National Trust has boomed while


Most European countries have seen a decline in membership since the


1980s, Britain's levels of membership are, however, among the


lowest. As a percentage of the electorate it is only lower in


Poland and Latvia. But in France and Germany it is not that much


higher than us. Newsnight can reveal that President Obama's


campaign manager is now joining the Conservatives' 2015 general


election team. Newsnight broke this story, but now


many are asking this question, the Tories may have hired another


general, but where will be his foot soldiers?


Influential activists' website, Conservative Home is looking to


know exactly how many Tory members there are, right now nobody knows.


We are told that the figures suggest rumours of the figures that


we get that the membership is anywhere between 130,000 and


100,000. There has been a fall. I think what this may suggest is that


membership on the current model isn't sustainable. Whether it does


or not, I think revealing these figures would be like going to the


doctor if you know you have a problem. The experience is


unpleasant but you have to do it. We are in Clacton on sea where one


MP thinks that old party management is dead as a dod dough, and it is


like the music store -- dodo, it is like HMV, we all know what happened


to that. Instead you have to move to something like Spotify, I will


let him explain. Welcome to the future of politics. You will have


to explain your Spotify thesis for viewers? Spotify is a wonderful new


way of selling music to people. It allows them to go on-line and


listen to what they want when they want. It puts them in control. We


need to sell politics that way and sell politics on-line. We need to


allow people to have control. We need it allow them different tiers


of membership. Unfortunate low we are still doing politics like it is


1950 something, we are doing it in buildings like this and wondering


why we are haemorrhaging membership. Look think, it is our -- look at


this, this is our next flyer. But take a look at it, where do you see


the Tory Party, let alone the logo, there isn't one. What is the theme?


"wake up Westminster", it is a different way of doing politics,


there is not a whiff of Tory boy about t there is no lecturing of


people, we want people to come as they are. We want people to


recognise that in a room with 100 people you will get far more than


100 opinions on any one topic. happened was I wanted to go to


university to study politics and international relations. So I


messaged and Digaoed who the local -- googled who the local MP was and


I found him, and I messaged him on twit, and I asked was there any way


to come and have a chat about politics and make sure it was what


I wanted to do. I tweeted him, he tweeted me back, which was a


surprise. It just sort of went from there. You don't think if twit


didn't exist and Facebook, and e- mail -- twit didn't exist you would


have gotten on the door and been old fashioneded? You think of


politician -- fashioned? You think of politicians as being


intimidating to approach, through Twitter you realise they are


ordinary people and they are helping and making the country a


better place if they can do it. other parties are aware of the


disengagment, the Liberal Democrats have used software used in


President Obama's election campaign, allowing them to Taylor canvasing


to individuals. In the last few years -- tailor canvasing to


different individual. Labour are changing too? We help people to


take action on things that matter to them in their local communities.


We realise just because Labour is out of Government it doesn't mean


it is out of power. And that by working with people, whether they


are Labour members or not we make ourselves more relevent to them on


things they really care about. Politicians all seem to believe the


future lies in action, not words. Consensus, a rare thing from


politicians. What about other solutions to


boosting membership of our political parties. To discuss I'm


joined from Ipswich by the MP you saw in the film, and Labour peer


and academic, Morris Glassman. First of all, before we hear your


solutions, what does a Labour Party member get for �44.52 a year?


the whole the minutes from the last meeting. Is that it? The minutes


from the last meeting? I think the party is changing and it has to.


You can vote in local constituencies, but the thing with


Labour it is a bit different from the Conservatives, we have got a


bit of a problem with capitalism, and we believe that the Labour


Party is an important part of the solution to that of people getting


together. We have toffee-paying, due-paying members in order to have


MPs to stand up to the domination of the banks. What do you get as a


Conservative Party member for �25 a year? Not a great deal, it is not a


very attractive retail proposition, which is why we are haemorrhaging


members. People in a sense pay �25 in order to be invited to come to a


lot of very costly dinners. I think we can do politics differently. If


we are looking to aggregate votes and opinion, we can do it in a very,


very different way rather than running a series of dining clubs in


the south-east of England. Labour has around just under 200,000


members, how many members does a political party need to be viable


across the UK do you think? I think the crucial thing and the


discussion I would like to have with Douglas is that it is not


really about a retail proposition, this is the way we govern ourselves.


This is self-governance and I think the crucial thing is relationships,


power, action. Politics is great and what we have to do is develop


leaders from our local communities from our constituencies, they have


to be able to campaign on the issues that they can agree and care


about. Then they have to learn from it. We have to be much more


tolerant of local failure and getting things right. With the


party we used to have Ernest Bevan who never went to school, the


movement was the teacher. We have forgotten about politics, politics


is great. It is movement from the grassroots and the ground, do you


agree Douglas? I do, I think it matters enormously if parties


shrivel, if they exist only on paper as many Conservative


Associations it is the case, what you ent up is a remote clique in


Westminster who -- end up with a remote clique in Westminster who


run the party with a few local franchises, and people feel


disenaged. We can, if we run around the world see better ways of


running party, look at the Five Star movement in Italy, it is web-


based, one in four Italians voted for it. We need to look at that and


work out how to turn party politics in this country on its head.


Instead of it being run from Westminster create political


parties are insurgent movements against the Westminster elite.


sounds like you are saying there is no link between your Conservative


Party members and the leadership, is that why the members are falling


off the cliff, not literally? know one of the reasons why I think


people aren't joining us, what do you get for it? Do you get to


decide policy? No, the elite decide that. Do you get to decide who is


the chairman of the party? No, that is the prerogative of one


individual. You get to decide the leader, that is pretty crucial?


Yeah. You do, once hopefully not very often. There is a strong


argument to say back in the 1980s and 1970s as a mass membership


organisation, had you had a voice, you could have a conference that


was by the members rather than by big corporate lobby-vested


interests that price the ordinary members out of attendance. Do you


want to go back to the 1970s and 1980s? I have real afx for the 70s


not really -- affectioned for the 70s, not really the 80s. It can't


be this is about changes in rules, there is a new politics coming, a


new politics that wants local power, that wants to have some control


over their lives. Does Ed Miliband know there is a new politics coming,


what is the disconnect there between the grassroots andership?


have to give -- Leadership?I have to give Ed Miliband kudos on this,


he has accepted there has to be radical culture change and


political change. You can't get people involved in something that


is meaningless, people want power and some control. If it is, I think


it is parallel between the two parties, seven or eight people


making the decisions, people are rightfully disengaged and kind of


really disenchanted with that. There is a big change coming, it is


not just procedural it is political. Do you think it is overly defensive


of the Conservative Party not to tell people how many members you


have got? I think it is maybe a little bit like those banks that


don't want to reveal their balance sheet because there is bad news


lurking there. I think we should fess up. I'm happy to say how many


members my association has, it is when we are frank and honest is


when we start to do something about it. The party nationally has to


fess up and publish on Conservative Home how many ballot papers were


sent out. I suspect it will be horrific and lower than 100,000.


But if something is bad, if you face up to it you can start to fix


it. We are starting to fix it in my constituency, only because we have


acknowledged quite how bad things have become.


That's it for tonight. Kirsty will clearing away. What we will find


tomorrow morning is a chilly start, temperatures in single figures in


the countryside. Misand fog. The cloud building more into the


afternoon. That for Northern Sharp downpours but dry inbetween.


In northern England more showers, heavy one, slow-moving, possibly a


rumble of thunder. For parts of East Anglia where there was more


cloud around, it is prieter with a few showers, warm in the sunshine.


We will start to find that weather front creeping across the Irish Sea


to approach Wales. It will hold off the shower activity through this


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Victoria Derbyshire. How badly are the courts failing young people who claim abuse? Plus low interest rates, Holland v the UK on cycling and the peril of the political party.

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