23/09/2013 Newsnight


23/09/2013

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


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Hairy Biker on hand to turn it into something

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Hairy Biker on hand to turn it into the finest greenhouse, the reason

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Hairy Biker on hand to turn it into party unless they. Start The source

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Hairy Biker on hand to turn it into of the emotion in this

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They hate him for it. I will be talking to Damian McBride in the

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moment. First, here are his thoughts. I came to my first party

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conference eight years ago. It was like a raucous wedding weekend.

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Hundreds of friends gathered in the same place. A few memorable

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speeches, the odd heated argument and far too much alcohol consumed.

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Times have changed. In the Blair and Brown years, there was something

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else. The battle for the leadership and control of the party. It will

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sometimes brutal, and I played my own part in it. What lessons do they

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need to learn? Our Ed Miliband and Ed Balls the right people to lead

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them in that? They came to work for Labour in the wake of an election

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defeat in 1992. Much of the blame was level that John Smith's shadow

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budget. It made it too easy for the Tories to define who would lose out

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if Labour came to power. But Ed Miliband and Ed Balls know they will

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need to give the same level of detail in 2015 if their promises on

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tax, spending and the deficit are going to have credibility. So, how

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do they avoid the Smith mistake? As veterans of Gordon Brown's budgets,

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they know the potential pitfalls. The fine detail could be crucial.

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that Ed Balls and others need to learn lessons from previous

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elections. I will not be calling an election, let me explain why. That

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elections. I will not be calling an terrible day Gordon told us he had

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decided to call off the election, it felt like a catastrophic loss of

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never, his Premiership never recovered. Miliband and Balls face

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the same test as the polls narrow and the economy turns. There is

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pressure to change tack on issues like the economy and welfare. The

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lesson of October 2007 is when political leaders wobble in the

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wind it can do huge damage to their reputation, Miliband and Balls must

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hold their nerve. Most of all they need to stay united, it is widely

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accepted that the feuding of the Blair-Brown years, in which I

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played a large part, was hugely distructive for the Labour

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Government. Many think I'm a traitor because I published a book

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lifting the lid on that feuding, especially at the party conference.

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I think if Labour is going to stop repeegt its past, it needs to

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exorsise its demons. Any repeat of the Blair-Brown feud will be fatal

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for Labour's election chances, if anything I hope pwhie book will act

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as a sobering -- my book will act as a sobering thought. It helped

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Miliband and Balls had ring side seats for the Blair Brown hoplts,

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and they can -- moments. Crucially they have something that Blair and

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Brown lacked, clarity about who is in charge, Balls accepts he's the

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junior partner. By the time they get to the next election Balls and

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Miliband will have worked for 20 years at the heart of the

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Government, they know enough about the past to avoid its mistake, if

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anything can do it is them. Damian McBride is here, Ed Balls called

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what you did today despicable, what do you think of that adjective? I

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agree with him. The extracts that have appeared in the Daily Mail.

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You describe those yourself? I describe myself in far worse terms

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than anyone has in the conference so far in that book. This is a

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confessional is it? It is me saying this is how I behaved, it is not

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all of what I did in that job, but that was maybe five attempts and

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skullduggery. You made it clear in that piece of tape that you would

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like to see Labour return to Government, is that correct? I'm

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still a Labour supporter. Can you tell us precisely how it helps the

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Labour Party to serialise your memoirs in the Daily Mail on the

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eve of conference? It doesn't help, Jeremy. But there is no good time

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to publish a book like this. There is a bad time and you have chosen

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it deliberately? I was offered a much more lucrative contract to

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publish this book in April 2015, I was told whatever I was offered by

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anyone else I could double it to publish in April 2015 to do maximum

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damage to the Labour Party. I chose not to do it, I wanted to publish a

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book at some stage and I thought better to do it now as long as

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possible before the general election. How many pieces of silver

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did you get for this one? I have been well paid for. Over £100,000?

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Yes, and after the publisher and the tax man keep their's I will do

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well out of this book. You say Gordon Brown wasn't in on the

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intricacies of what you were doing when you were rubbishing the

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members of the cabinet and the like. There was some sort of

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understanding between the two of you. What did he think you were

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doing? I don't think he knew what I was doing most of the time, I

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operated in the shadows and in pubs with different journalists and

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doing that kind of operation. What Gordon knew he got from me was

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media intelligence that was unparalleled and access to

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different bits of the media other politicians couldn't reach, and

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frankly, he never asked the question how do you pull this off.

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He just assumed this was based on my personal relationships with

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journalists. Where did he think all the Tories in the newspapers came

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from? Which ones? The Tories for example the Tories against, I don't

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know John Reid and Charles Clarke, for example? Let's take the Charles

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Clarke story, I have admitted in the book I orchestrated a briefing

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war and his anti-social behave representative Louise Casey, they

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had no idea that I was responsible for that, and Charles Clarke's

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advisers would pour their hearts out to me about Louise Casey, if

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they weren't knowing that, and they were close, how could Gordon Brown

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work out they were coming from the special adviser. Not only was it a

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man described by other insiders in Downing Street as psychologically

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flawed, he was away with the fairies half the time was he? Not

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at all. But he had bigger and better things to be getting on with

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than worrying about where a particular story appeared on the

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front of the Sunday Times from. It wasn't for Gordon Brown to think,

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he didn't understand how I operated, that is the truth of it. I regarded

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myself as being responsible for giving him an unparalleled

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relationship with Sunday newspapers so that they didn't attack him. Did

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Ed Balls and Ed Miliband know what you were up to? Even less than gord

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Dan did, they didn't work with me on a day-to-day basis as I did with

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gord Dan. I spent half my life going around to journalists with

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him, I didn't do that Miliband or Balls. You have described in the

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extracts we have seen how the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown

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exploded periodically, did you come to the conclusion he was

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psychologically flawed? No, I thought he was a great man. A

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piercesome temper? Like a lot of us. He was a hugely tender man, not out

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in the extracts today. There was a tenderness and care about him and

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concern for his staff that you don't really see in the memoirs,

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hopefully people will see from the book I have written. The stuff you

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were putting into the newspapers reflects on him doesn't it?

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Ultimately it does, because I was employed by him. And...And He

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protected you? He knew that in April 2009 when I was doing for

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arguably far worse things than I have admitted to in this book, he

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was deeply ashamed at that, and deeply ashamed that was done by

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somebody in his employment. How do you think politics gets to the

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state where people like you are able to do what you did? Because

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people don't tell the truth. That is what I have tried to do in this

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book. If people aren't honest about how politics really operates you

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can't clean it up. The great thing about this week, as much as Labour

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people will feel this has been disastrous for them as was said.

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Every single member of the Shadow Cabinet has now made a commitment

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and vow they will never do anonymous briefing, we never had

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that before and didn't have it under the Conservative opposition

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or previous Labour Government, hopefully that will be a good thing

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and held to that standard. I wasn't trying to produce that effect, but

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never the less that is the result. Can politics be done that way

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nowadays? It should be. You concluded, inside Number Ten it

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couldn't be done like that? But I was wrong. I shouldn't have

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operated that way. From my point of view, I was, I don't want to blame

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the system, but the longer stayed in that system, the worse my

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behaviour became. Are you worried? Deeply. And ashamed. The people you

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hurt, would you like to apologise to them? And I do in the book. I do

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feel ashamed and sorry to those individuals whose careers I

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affected. And even more sow to the sort of, you know, if you -- so, to

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the sort of innocent bystanders that got in the by, they lost jobs

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because people got shuffled out of Government. People were mentioned

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in the context of sleazey stories who did nothing to deis serve to be

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there and not members of a political party. I'm sorry for that.

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Have you sought abs illusion? Those religious -- Be a sol illusion?

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Those religious things are private. I admit the truth and I'm being

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honest in the book. I I have friends of mine in the Labour Party

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admit to me, if they tried to write a book was not honest about

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everything I had done they would destroy my credibility. I took the

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view I will take them at their word. You confessed to some things that

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may be criminal offences, the misuse of computers act for

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example? I'm sure Jeremy because I was always very careful about this

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during the years that I wasn't committing any criminal offences. I

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go at great lengths to explain how I would not leak classified

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documents, you know, and I would take pains. You are not worried

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about a police investigation? I'm happy to talk to the police if they

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want an explanation. What about a suggestion from another

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Conservative MP that you should be denied your Civil Service pension?

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I was denied all sorts of things when forced to resign in April 2009

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if they want to take my pension that is up to them. You are not

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trying to illicit our sympathy? Not at all, I have been well paid for

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writing this book, if that's what the Civil Service want to do and

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think it is appropriate, that is up to them. I'm not going to sit and

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plead. It raises the question whether we can believe a word in

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the book? If people read the book they will see I haven't hidden or

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taken anything out. I have been honest not only about what I did

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and the impact it had on me and my personal life. I don't think many

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people read this book and think they are reading someone that is

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trying to obscure the truth or be dishonest. Is there anyone here to,

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listening to this account of what life was like, at the heart of

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power in this country, I mean what does it make you think about

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politics? You in the second row, please? I think it is very

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indicative of the way society has become and how challenging this

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country is now. I don't feel there is a great left in Great Britain

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because of the damage done by the last Government. The chap with his

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hand up behind you. I feel that what you have done is part of you

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said the "system", what Damien has done is part of the system, and I'm

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wondering do you not concern yourself with actually causing the

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downfall of the Labour Party? I don't think this will happen,

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frankly I don't think this will make a single difference to how

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people cast their vote for the next election. It might make a few

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people look inside now, but I don't think it will make any difference

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to the outcome of the next election. So I disagree with you. How you

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behaved and what it has done to trust in politics, that must

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trouble you, doesn't it? It does, but you know what would be more

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damaging than that is to pretend these things don't happen and not

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to be honest about that. Whenever you have had these kinds of periods,

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to be honest about that. Whenever I compare it to the banking crisis,

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when you think about the banking crisis, if all we heard was the

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individuals are responsible for those kinds of catastrophic

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failures in the banking crisis were swept under the carpet, we would

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never clean up the system. You talked in the vt with an altruistic

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gesture on your part, not only have you caused damage to the Labour

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Party, but also the perception from the public who are really fatigued

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and very cynical about politics in general. How do you feel about

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that? I would hope when people would read the book as a whole they

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would see both that this is a would read the book as a whole they

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problem of the system that needs to be fixed so our politics can be

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fixed, a bit like the expenses scandal. And when we had the

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expenses scandal clearly there were people who were almost mild

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offenders, but there were serious offenders, I would regard myself as

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one of those in this context. That is the only way to clean up the

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system is to get to the bottom of why it happened. Do you still talk

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to the people at the top of the Labour Party and do they talk to

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you? I haven't for several months precisely because I was writing

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this book. When did you last talk to Ed Balls? I bumped him in the

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arsenal match, he was meeting Robert Peston they have a closer

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relationship. Ed Miliband? I haven't seen him since we bumped

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into each other in the park three or four years ago. Your predecessor

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Alastair Campbell seems to have come through similar actions and is

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now a media darling, perhaps there is a chance for you to redeem

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yourself. I'm really curious, if the police decide that you have

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committed a criminal offence, will you then just say it was all a pack

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of lies again, which would be actually of course more believable

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than what you are actually sitting there and saying. No and I wouldn't

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be able to, I have been clear in the book about exactly what stories

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I was responsible for briefing, if the police wanted to say that story

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was a breach of the law then, I would be banged to rights. That's

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the honest truth. And then perhaps if you were in prison would you

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write the sequel in April 2015? I'm not sure people would be as

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interested in that. I think they might be. There is a gentleman over

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here with his hand up. Damien if you are truly sorry about the

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damage you have done to the Labour Party, how about donating your fee

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to the Labour Party to redeem yourself and make amends. Well, the

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fact is when I left Government, when I left the Labour Party I left

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with nothing. I got no, I'm not saying I should have done, but I

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did leave with nothing, I have a lot of debts from that period, the

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majority of the money I make from writing that book will pay off

:19:41.:19:44.

those debts. That is the reality. How do you rate the current spin

:19:44.:19:47.

operation in the Labour Party, are they as good as you? It depends

:19:47.:19:52.

what you think I was good at. There is certainly. You obviously thought

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you were pretty good at the time? I think I was good at certain things.

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There are things that haven't necessarily come out from the Daily

:19:59.:20:02.

Mail articles, I think people in the Labour Party and the

:20:02.:20:04.

Conservative Party will read from the book and would say they would

:20:04.:20:07.

like to have someone doing that kind of job. The 24/7 monitoring of

:20:07.:20:12.

the media and making shower that bad stories about the Government,

:20:12.:20:15.

as much as possible didn't appear. Even the stories I talked about

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leaking, I did those in positive ways. You know take the Charles

:20:20.:20:25.

Clarke and Louise Casey stories, they were positive stories about

:20:25.:20:28.

what the Government would do to tackle anti-social behaviour. Other

:20:28.:20:32.

stories don't fall into that category? No, but the majority of

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things I did over the years were, about positively promoting the

:20:35.:20:38.

Government and a huge amount of stopping. Would you go back to

:20:38.:20:41.

politics? I don't think they would have me, quite rightly. One last

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question. You had a team that worked with you, you didn't do this

:20:46.:20:55.

by yourself. And they all kept quiet, so hoi can you justify that

:20:55.:21:02.

they kept quiet and why didn't they speak? The fact is I didn't have a

:21:02.:21:06.

team, for the entire period when I was head of communications at the

:21:06.:21:09.

Treasury I had a large Treasury press office but they weren't

:21:09.:21:12.

involved in this, they were civil servants. When I was a special

:21:12.:21:15.

adviser, a press adviser to Gordon Brown I was largely doing that on

:21:15.:21:19.

my own. You did that all by yourself. Yeah, and you know I

:21:19.:21:23.

describe exactly how. Thank you very much. I don't suppose they are

:21:23.:21:27.

missing us much inside the conference hall tonight, it has

:21:27.:21:32.

been an oddly passionless affair so far, the highlight of which was a

:21:32.:21:37.

speech from Ed Balls today, the Shadow Chancellor, the Labour

:21:37.:21:40.

leadership is desperate to establish credibility because the

:21:40.:21:43.

electorate associates Labour with the meltdown which preceded their

:21:43.:21:47.

ejection from power. So Ed Balls talked both about investment, and

:21:47.:21:51.

about continuing cuts. Our political editor, watched it all.

:21:51.:22:07.

Is this the key for Labour leaders? Not chilllaxing in the dangerously

:22:07.:22:11.

cream leather sofa, but the whole perspex and plastic structure, the

:22:11.:22:15.

conservatory test is a test Labour politicians set themselves. Any

:22:15.:22:18.

politician who doesn't understand the desire to own one of these, so

:22:18.:22:22.

the argument goes, is unfit to lead the Labour Party. This isn't a

:22:22.:22:26.

living, breathing conservatory, it is a company that caters for people

:22:26.:22:30.

who would like conservatories, that is the kind of business that Labour

:22:30.:22:34.

strategists think the party needs to be in. Right now it is polling

:22:34.:22:39.

at around 30-35% in a opinion polls. But to be up to that point where it

:22:39.:22:43.

is really sure of a good grip on Government, it needs to be up above

:22:43.:22:48.

40%. To get there it needs to reach out to new voters. Probably Middle

:22:48.:22:53.

England voters, people who Labour strategists like to say in a

:22:53.:22:55.

England voters, people who Labour shorthand have, or would like to

:22:55.:22:59.

have a conservatory. It is for that reason that this evening Newsnight

:22:59.:23:03.

is obsessed with glass houses. Tony Blair is held up as the king

:23:03.:23:08.

of conservatories, he won three election victories, largely with

:23:08.:23:14.

this man at his side. Alastair Campbell I said conservatory test,

:23:14.:23:17.

and you said you like it, why? That is exactly the sort of person that

:23:17.:23:21.

the Labour Party has to have in mind when thinking about policy.

:23:21.:23:26.

And there is a real danger when you get to a Labour Party Conference

:23:26.:23:29.

that people imagine this is the real world, and everybody is

:23:29.:23:35.

talking about Damien McBride this, and all the small stuff, and for

:23:35.:23:39.

the public they want to know about them and their lives and their

:23:39.:23:43.

living standards, and the idea of the Labour Party, one of the things

:23:43.:23:46.

that I think new Labour and Tony Blair was really good at was

:23:46.:23:49.

understanding people's basic aspirations. A lot of people have a

:23:49.:23:54.

basic aspiration to extend their house with a conservatory.

:23:54.:23:58.

Newsnight asked polling company, YouGov, to survey the attitudes of

:23:58.:24:03.

those with conservatories and those without. Fewer conservatory owners

:24:03.:24:06.

believe Labour cares about people like them. That's compared with the

:24:06.:24:10.

general public. There is more support for the coalition's benefit

:24:10.:24:14.

general public. There is more cap among conservatory owners than

:24:14.:24:18.

among the general public, just. All political parties are hoping to win

:24:18.:24:22.

over the floating voters within that group called "the strivers" or

:24:22.:24:26.

"hard working families", however you want to characterise it. And

:24:26.:24:32.

aspiring conservatory owners are one such label for that group. The

:24:32.:24:36.

Labour Party still has a lot of work to do and a lot of people to

:24:36.:24:40.

win over, particular low on the issues of immigration and welfare,

:24:40.:24:45.

-- particularly on the issues of immigration and welfare to win an

:24:45.:24:49.

election. The MP Foris left-wingen to North, a critic of new Labour,

:24:49.:24:54.

thinks a conservatory test is a wrong test. People are worried

:24:54.:24:57.

about health, education, housing, jobs, particularly for young people.

:24:57.:25:04.

In my constituency I get very few letters or e-mails of concern about

:25:04.:25:08.

the provision of conservatories. You have actually got four children

:25:08.:25:11.

sharing one bedroom in a two bedroom flat on the 15th floor, I'm

:25:11.:25:16.

sure they would love a conservatory. This weekend many policy pot plants

:25:16.:25:20.

have been brought out by Labour, a pledge to reverse the Bedroom Tax,

:25:20.:25:23.

a re- requirement on companies that hire a foreign skilled worker to

:25:23.:25:27.

train an apprentice. The details on this one wilted a little. Next dawn

:25:27.:25:32.

to dusk daycare, sounded great, but questions about funding lingered.

:25:32.:25:36.

Today another pledge to help parents pay for childcare. Again it

:25:36.:25:40.

look good, but it may also be funded by an already earmarked pot

:25:40.:25:46.

of money. One former aide to Miliband ban believes the

:25:46.:25:49.

conservatory test needs updating. The insecurity means that people

:25:49.:25:54.

areage husband is about their prospects, -- anxious about their

:25:54.:25:56.

prospects, you might think next year I can have two hole day, the

:25:57.:26:02.

year after that I will build a con- - holidays, the next year after I

:26:02.:26:06.

will build a conservatory. And now it is I don't know if I will have a

:26:06.:26:10.

job or afford the fees for university. That is affecting as

:26:10.:26:20.

much Middle England? People are genuinely struggling in work. You

:26:20.:26:24.

don't have to be in a council house, relying on social security to be

:26:24.:26:26.

struggling right now. Middle England may be feeling the chill of

:26:27.:26:32.

economic insecurity, but at Labour Party Conference today few thought

:26:32.:26:36.

the conservatory principle should be completely demolished, just a

:26:36.:26:41.

little renovation perhaps, nothing drastic. Of course keep the cream

:26:41.:26:43.

leather sofa. Now the number two in drastic. Of course keep the cream

:26:43.:26:54.

the Labour Treasury team, Rachel Reeves is here, have you got a

:26:54.:26:57.

conservatory? I was thinking you might ask me that, I don't have one.

:26:57.:27:01.

Do you aspire to have one? I don't think it would work on the house I

:27:01.:27:05.

live in. But many of my friends have conservatories. How is it that

:27:05.:27:11.

a party can be both the party of conservatory-owners and the party

:27:11.:27:13.

that wants to abolish the bedroom tax, as you call it? Well, what

:27:14.:27:18.

we're talking about this week at conference is the cost of living

:27:18.:27:21.

cry is, that is affecting a huge range of families from those on the

:27:21.:27:26.

minimum wage struggling, perhaps with the Bedroom Tax, up to

:27:26.:27:30.

families on middle incomes who are feeling insecure right now, who is

:27:30.:27:36.

perhaps a mum who wants to go back to work but doesn't think it adds

:27:36.:27:40.

up because of childcare. A range of things to help with the cost of

:27:40.:27:45.

living. Not just to help those at bottom but up the distribution. You

:27:45.:27:48.

mentioned childcare there, there is to be greater, if you get into

:27:48.:27:54.

office, there will be greater childcare providers. Two things,

:27:54.:27:57.

three and four-year-olds where parents are in work will get 25

:27:57.:28:01.

hours of free childcare, and wrap around childcare at school from 8-6

:28:01.:28:05.

to help those who have to go out to work. Paid for by what? For the

:28:05.:28:09.

three and four-year-olds we will increase the bank levy. The

:28:09.:28:13.

Government introduced a bank levy to raise £2.5 million but it has

:28:13.:28:20.

raised £800 million less than that. The increase in the bank levy have

:28:20.:28:24.

been promised to the youth jobs guarantee? No that is being paid

:28:24.:28:29.

for by the bank bonus tax. That is something Alastair Darling

:28:29.:28:33.

introduced. What about the VAT increase, has it been promised for

:28:33.:28:37.

that? We are not saying we will reduce VAT at the next election, we

:28:37.:28:42.

have said we will provide the childcare. Our misunderstanding,

:28:42.:28:45.

despite someone speaking for your party said so? What we will say on

:28:45.:28:49.

VAT, over the last three years when the economy is flatlining, we

:28:49.:28:52.

thought during that period of time to cut VAT would stimulate the

:28:52.:28:56.

recovery and create jobs and growth. Now as we are hopefully moving into

:28:56.:29:01.

recovery mode, VAT cut isn't the right thing to do. There are 1

:29:01.:29:05.

things for which the increase in the bank levy? I have just said

:29:05.:29:08.

what it will be used for, that is to pay for the childcare for three

:29:08.:29:14.

and four-year-olds. If you had £50 billion to spend, what would you

:29:14.:29:19.

spend it on? You are asking about HS2 and the north-south rail link.

:29:19.:29:23.

That is one thing it could be spent on? We're in favour, my

:29:23.:29:26.

constituency is in Leeds, the party are in favour of a new north-south

:29:27.:29:31.

rail link, but we're not going to give a blank cheque to it. You

:29:31.:29:38.

can't think of a better way of spending £50 billion than building

:29:38.:29:42.

a railway to leads? That would go to Birmingham and Leeds and

:29:42.:29:50.

Manchester and Nottingham and derby -- Derby, could really revitalise

:29:50.:29:57.

areas and bring growth and jobs. You can't decide perhaps what might

:29:57.:30:03.

be as good? The thing about infrastructure is it can realise

:30:03.:30:07.

benefits over a number of years. We won't give a blank cheque to HS2

:30:07.:30:12.

other any other infrastructure investment. When money is tight,

:30:12.:30:15.

you have got to say that every pound has to be well spent. And you

:30:15.:30:20.

have also got to say that no project can see its cost rise and

:30:20.:30:23.

rise and rees, and the Government say it is fine. -- and rise. And

:30:23.:30:27.

the Government say it is fine. They are not doing it in all other areas,

:30:27.:30:32.

there is taxes and increase and prices going up. What would you

:30:32.:30:37.

spend £50 billion on? There are lots of things. Better than a

:30:37.:30:41.

railway? We have made the commitment to high-speed rail, but

:30:41.:30:44.

if the costs go up we have to look at it again. It won't have a blank

:30:44.:30:49.

cheque, we can't just see the costs spiral and underwrite a project at

:30:49.:30:53.

any cost. That is not right. If the costs rise we will have to look

:30:53.:30:57.

again at it. Let me ask you about Ed Miliband, why is it that he

:30:57.:31:02.

doesn't look like a Prime Minister? That's your judgment. I think that

:31:02.:31:08.

Ed Miliband will make...It Is a judgment of the polling evidence?

:31:08.:31:11.

Ed Miliband will make a great Prime Minister because he uns the

:31:11.:31:13.

challenges that ordinary families are facing with the cost of living

:31:13.:31:18.

crisis. Ed of talking about issues like the squeezed middle, taking on

:31:18.:31:24.

vested interests and the banks and Rupert Murdoch before other

:31:24.:31:27.

politicians were brave enough to say that. This is not a statistic

:31:27.:31:33.

kal representative sample here, people here, d statistical

:31:33.:31:38.

representive sample here, some have conservatories and some don't, they

:31:38.:31:43.

are fine citizens. Does Ed Miliband strike you as a Prime Minister, can

:31:43.:31:45.

are fine citizens. Does Ed Miliband you imagine him in Downing Street?

:31:45.:31:55.

I can. Two people can? Two of you can? What is it about him? I think

:31:55.:32:04.

he's a man of virttu, he believes what he's saying -- virtue, he

:32:04.:32:09.

believes what he's saying. I think he's genuine and speaks from the

:32:09.:32:14.

heart, that is why I like him. Who can't imagine Ed Miliband in doubt?

:32:14.:32:22.

You Can think of him as a devisive person, he's not a unifyer, you

:32:22.:32:29.

need that in the top position. He's a well-meaning man isn't he? He may

:32:29.:32:37.

well be that. But he's still not a, unifier. One remembers his

:32:37.:32:40.

background with all the viciousness we have heard earlier on in the

:32:40.:32:50.

meeting. About you how he got the job as leader? And during the

:32:50.:32:58.

course of his career in politics. I think he's a possible future leader

:32:58.:33:02.

because he's growing into the part. He is slowly trying to reach out

:33:02.:33:07.

and he's trying to put a balance together by bringing in different

:33:07.:33:11.

players together from the old progressive Labour to the Labour

:33:11.:33:16.

that we have today. I think he has started reaching out, Emily Benn

:33:16.:33:22.

has been moved down, we have a younger generation moving in and

:33:22.:33:25.

that is a good move. When you hear someone like Rachel, I'm not being

:33:26.:33:30.

personal here, do you feel politicians are talking to ordinary

:33:30.:33:35.

people as ordinary people need to be spoken to? I think there has

:33:35.:33:40.

been since Mrs Thatcher where she said there is no sense of community

:33:40.:33:46.

any more. And the rupture of the social bond between politicians and

:33:46.:33:51.

ordinary people. In the second row here? I think in terms of being

:33:51.:33:56.

out-of-touch I think the sort of, the definition of Middle England

:33:56.:33:58.

isn't around aspirations around to the definition of Middle England

:33:58.:34:01.

have a conservatory or whether they have one or not. There is there is

:34:01.:34:08.

plenty of Middle England people who want to get on the property ladder,

:34:08.:34:15.

full stop. Because Labour was prosperous people are paying the

:34:15.:34:20.

price now. Aspiration has shifted and people's aspirations are to

:34:20.:34:26.

have enough disposable income for enjoyable things like holidays,

:34:26.:34:30.

with £50 billion affordable housing would be good. You haveen gauged

:34:30.:34:34.

her interest now you are not talking about HS2? It is a really

:34:34.:34:39.

important point made there. It is also about spending time with your

:34:39.:34:45.

family, people want to earn to be able to go on holiday or build a

:34:45.:34:49.

conservatory or get on the housing ladder. They want to earn enough to

:34:49.:34:53.

get to spend time with their families and not take two jobs. I

:34:53.:34:57.

know so many people who are now working one job during the day but

:34:57.:34:59.

have to take another job during the working one job during the day but

:34:59.:35:01.

evening, because prices are working one job during the day but

:35:01.:35:05.

and the waging aren't keeping pace. It is things like that, you know,

:35:05.:35:11.

it sound base you can but for a lot of people that is the basic

:35:11.:35:14.

aspiration to earn enough to do the things perhaps in the past people

:35:14.:35:18.

have taken for granted. That is really worrying. And politicians

:35:18.:35:26.

need to wake up to some of that. We have to join our diplomatic editor

:35:26.:35:30.

who has been watching event in Kenya today.

:35:30.:35:34.

The siege in Nairobi is now over. Or so the Kenyan Government said,

:35:34.:35:38.

just before we came on air. The official death toll now stand

:35:39.:35:49.

at 62 with six Britains among them. Britains among them. The seize of

:35:49.:35:56.

the Westgate Mall created terror and international crisis, shoppers

:35:56.:36:01.

were cut down by Al-Shabab militants, estimated up to be 15.

:36:01.:36:04.

Some of the dead lay where they fell for hours. Compounding the

:36:04.:36:09.

confusion about how many had been killed or were still being held

:36:10.:36:13.

hostage. This morning columns of black smoke emerged, and there was

:36:13.:36:19.

frequent gunfire as Kenyan troops started clearing the building. From

:36:19.:36:23.

this satellite view you can see where that last shot was taken from,

:36:23.:36:27.

pretty much from this angle, the car park here is behind the

:36:27.:36:31.

building and the smoke was coming from behind the mall. Probably

:36:31.:36:37.

produced by vehicles burning in that war park behind. Armed police

:36:37.:36:42.

had tried to fight their way in yesterday, from the ground floor,

:36:42.:36:47.

but fell back without success. Today, attacks were launched from

:36:47.:36:54.

the top floor as well by the Kenyan army's Ranger Strike Force. This

:36:54.:36:58.

special unit has been trained and supplied by the Americans. These

:36:58.:37:04.

images show them arriving yesterday. In give away Humvees with special

:37:04.:37:10.

rifles, they were involved in In give away Humvees with special

:37:10.:37:13.

yesterday as aborted attempt to storm the ground floor. The wider

:37:13.:37:18.

area of them all of secured, meanwhile, by the police, general

:37:18.:37:22.

service unit, putting in a cordon around there, but that was only

:37:22.:37:27.

partially successful, with many bystanders getting close to the

:37:27.:37:31.

scene. Throughout the day the slow process of clearing the mall shop-

:37:31.:37:37.

by-shop continued, with the Kenyan authorities announcing they had

:37:37.:37:42.

killed two Al-Shabab gunmen and the army taking casualties. We have

:37:42.:37:47.

really covered the building. We have taken control of the whole

:37:47.:37:50.

building, and there are no indications that there are still

:37:50.:37:54.

any hostages. We are still, however, very careful just in the event that

:37:54.:38:00.

there is any that rerescue them. But going by the process of search

:38:00.:38:06.

-- we res view them. But going by the process -- rescue them, by

:38:06.:38:10.

going by the process and looking at the building it is unlikely there

:38:10.:38:14.

are more hostages. The authorities were claiming to be in control of

:38:14.:38:19.

the mall but many questions remain, not least whether all of the gunmen

:38:19.:38:25.

who took the place were eliminated or some descape. The Government in

:38:25.:38:29.

Nairobi says all of the hostages have now been accounted for. We

:38:29.:38:34.

have been hearing many powerful stories over the past few days from

:38:34.:38:40.

those inside the mall. Kamal Kaur, a mother of two injured children

:38:40.:38:43.

was hosting a cookery competition when the shooting occurred, she

:38:43.:38:48.

describes how sh she tried to protect over 30 -- she tried to

:38:48.:38:52.

protect over 30 children she had with them? The animals were worse,

:38:52.:38:57.

they were climbing on top of the, the adults, were trying to climb

:38:57.:39:01.

over them, they were stepping on the children. I think somebody

:39:01.:39:04.

carried my daughter out, she couldn't work she was hurt pretty

:39:04.:39:09.

badly on her leg. She couldn't work, a Samaritan picked her up and ran

:39:09.:39:15.

off to her. I said a prayer to look after her, and then...(cries) ...we

:39:15.:39:24.

pushed the kids away, we ran towards each other, we heard more

:39:24.:39:28.

firing, we thought they were back to fire at us, but it was the guys

:39:28.:39:32.

who had come in and they were protecting us and firing to keep

:39:32.:39:36.

them away. Harrowing stories there, Richard

:39:36.:39:39.

Watson is with us now. Do you think this is the shape of things to come

:39:39.:39:45.

in terms of Al-Shabab exporting this kind of violence from Somalia?

:39:46.:39:50.

Looking beyond the awful attacks of the last cop of days, this attack

:39:50.:39:56.

is de-- couple of days the attack shows that Al-Shabab are a force to

:39:56.:40:00.

be reckoned with. They have had African Union troops take away

:40:00.:40:03.

security over the years, and internal splits about whether it

:40:03.:40:08.

should focus on Somalia or have a Jihad link to Al-Qaeda. One

:40:08.:40:12.

question is whether it is about Somalia or Al-Qaeda. Today I spoke

:40:12.:40:17.

to someone who claimed to be a commander in the field in Somalia.

:40:17.:40:18.

This is what he had to say? Reports about possible UK or US

:40:18.:40:41.

nationals being among those who went into the mall. What is your

:40:41.:40:46.

assessment of that? There is no confirmation but it is very

:40:46.:40:49.

possible. My understanding is that 50 British nationals have joined

:40:49.:40:55.

the ranks of Al-Shabab in recent years, it is entirely possible,

:40:55.:40:58.

there is no confirmation on this point at the moment. What is most

:40:58.:41:01.

worrying for western security agencies is that the ideology of

:41:01.:41:07.

Al-Qaeda is proving appealing for a tiny minority. This idea that laem

:41:07.:41:13.

is -- Islam is at war with the west, and there is an Islamic duty to

:41:13.:41:18.

create an Islamic state. It is worrying that some young men appear

:41:18.:41:23.

to go going to Somalia and I think 100 people have gone to Syria to

:41:23.:41:26.

fight. They go there to and they will eventually probably come back

:41:27.:41:30.

with British passports. What has happened to them then? I asked the

:41:30.:41:35.

Al-Shabab commander on the ground about British support?

:41:35.:41:56.

Shabab's presence in East Africa, it is about soft targets in Europe

:41:56.:42:02.

and the battle of ideas. Now back it is about soft targets in Europe

:42:02.:42:07.

to Jeremy in the Newsnight conservatory.

:42:07.:42:18.

In this rather cold conservatory now we are joined to discuss the

:42:18.:42:19.

issues of the Labour conference and now we are joined to discuss the

:42:19.:42:24.

how Ed Miliband is doing by Steve Richards author of The Brown Years,

:42:24.:42:30.

and Jenny Russell, who writes for the Times and the Standard. What is

:42:30.:42:35.

Ed Miliband's problem? I think his problem is that in opposition you

:42:35.:42:39.

need to be a political artist, above all. That opposition is about

:42:39.:42:44.

pretending almost to seize the agenda, always appear to be on the

:42:44.:42:49.

offensive, to be mighty and powerful, even though you have no

:42:49.:42:53.

power at all. And he's not brilliant at artistry, but to give

:42:53.:42:59.

you one example of the problem that this gives, and almost a conundrum.

:42:59.:43:04.

He's the most experienced leader of the opposition, for four decades, I

:43:04.:43:09.

tell you why, the last leader of an opposition to win an election with

:43:09.:43:13.

cabinet experience is 1979 and Margaret Thatcher. He has been in

:43:13.:43:17.

the cabinet and the Treasury, yet people say he's so inexperienced

:43:17.:43:22.

and he's not ready for power. I don't think Jenny agrees with you?

:43:22.:43:28.

That is a fact! I agree with that, I think Ed is principled and

:43:28.:43:33.

thoughtful and analytical, he's no good at conveying the ideas to

:43:33.:43:38.

interviewers like you on air. He's not yet comfortable on skin, he

:43:38.:43:40.

interviewers like you on air. He's gives the impression he has come on

:43:40.:43:44.

air with preprepared phrases that he will stick to no matter what

:43:44.:43:48.

questions he's asked. It is seems then as if he and other Labour

:43:48.:43:52.

politicians haven't created a political landscape over which they

:43:52.:43:57.

can range in comfort. Too often you listen and watch. It is as if they

:43:57.:44:02.

are on a Little Rock on the sea and terrified of stepping off in case

:44:02.:44:07.

they go in. That is fatal in the contemporary political Scotland

:44:07.:44:12.

scape. Jo You reinforced my idea about artistry, interviewing with

:44:12.:44:14.

people like yourself is part of about artistry, interviewing with

:44:14.:44:18.

this. I think two things, first of all they will not be caught out as

:44:18.:44:22.

the Conservatives hope on areas of tax and spend. Because they look so

:44:22.:44:27.

young people forget, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband have fought four

:44:27.:44:31.

elections avoiding the tax and spend traps. They won't fall into

:44:31.:44:35.

them this time. That is not the issue, the issue is how they come

:44:36.:44:43.

across. The Tories hope to win an election based on the spending

:44:43.:44:48.

campaign. Do you think they are coherent on policies? They are

:44:48.:44:53.

working out policies very slowly, and those are the prerequisites,

:44:53.:44:57.

you will not get elected unless your policies look coherent. Labour

:44:57.:45:00.

comes forward and suggests something that is very important,

:45:00.:45:04.

like the squeezed middle or the need for responsible capitalism or

:45:04.:45:09.

the need for a pause on Syria. Having made these statements it

:45:09.:45:13.

retreats from them, there is a vacuum, you get the impression they

:45:13.:45:16.

have thought up this part of the policy and the rest isn't woarked

:45:16.:45:22.

out. When you posed the question are they coherent in policy. It is

:45:22.:45:27.

difficult in opposition to go into policy detail. For a year now all

:45:27.:45:32.

of us three in our different ways have been saying where are your

:45:32.:45:36.

policies, they announce sum and us three say, qu how are you going to

:45:36.:45:41.

pay for them? The moment you get into that you fall into all kinds

:45:41.:45:46.

of difficulty, it is incredibly difficult to translate concepts

:45:46.:45:50.

into detailed policy. That is common sense, if your son or

:45:50.:45:54.

daughter said to you I want to buy a motorbike, you would say how are

:45:54.:45:59.

you going to pay for it? That is absolutely right. Every now and

:45:59.:46:03.

then you say I'm not selling a motorbike because it gets into that

:46:03.:46:07.

difficulty. The problem any opposition has, and David Cameron

:46:07.:46:11.

had it trying to translate big society into detailed policy is how

:46:11.:46:16.

in advance, before you have, if you like broken through the electorate

:46:16.:46:20.

and gotten into power, you use policy to develop an argument. And

:46:20.:46:25.

it is very, very difficult, I completely agree with Jenny that is

:46:25.:46:28.

the essence of what they have to do. Where I disagree is you imply it is

:46:28.:46:36.

pretty easy and it is not. It is fundamentally, you have to work out

:46:36.:46:41.

the policies and be able to talk easily fluently and confidently

:46:41.:46:44.

about it. It is something that David Cameron does, Nigel Farage

:46:44.:46:49.

can do and Margaret Hodge. We are all sophisticated media consumers,

:46:49.:46:55.

we can take instantly if they are evasive or know what they are doing.

:46:55.:46:58.

That is what the two Labour politicians can't do. One thing a

:46:58.:47:03.

problem for this them. For the past two years the country has wanted to

:47:03.:47:10.

know an austerity alternative. Just as they are coming up the idea it

:47:10.:47:14.

looks a if the economy is proving and people may stop listening to

:47:14.:47:18.

them. That's it from the Newsnight

:47:18.:47:21.

conservatory on the south coast, miraculously it is still in one

:47:21.:47:26.

piece. Has Labour passed the conservatory test. We will find out

:47:26.:47:30.

in 18 months. We are back to our usual potting shed tomorrow night.

:47:30.:47:34.

If you hadn't had enough from Brighton today, conference is

:47:34.:47:39.

coming up, In Conference is coming up after this. It was announced

:47:39.:47:41.

that production of the Volkswagen up after this. It was announced

:47:41.:47:45.

camper vab will end for good at the end of the year. There have been

:47:45.:47:48.

ten million made since the first one appeared in 1950. Now new

:47:48.:47:54.

safety laws in Brazil still, the only country still manufacturing

:47:54.:47:59.

the van have prompted Volkswagen to announce a final run of 600, they

:47:59.:48:02.

will be the last ever made. Goodnight.

:48:02.:48:11.

M # Peace and love # Riding around

:48:11.:48:17.

# In a Volkswagen van # Thinking about the people upside

:48:17.:48:23.

down in Japan # Staring at the stars

:48:23.:48:31.

# And in a distant kal galaxy, wondering if there is someone out

:48:31.:48:33.

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