24/09/2013 Newsnight


News stories with Jeremy Paxman. Including how Labour want to freeze energy prices, more on the Kenya killings, plus climate change and how to get a girlfriend in China.

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Vote for us and get cheaper electricity. The Labour leader has


laid out the offer he will make they next election.


His fans all seemed to like the idea of a big price freeze, but can


Governments do that sort of thing any longer? And do we really want


to end up shivering in the dark if it all goes wrong.


If Shadow Business Secretary ant explain how it will work he will


lag your pipes for you. The cream of science will tell us


what we know and don't know about global warming, we will make sense


of their findings with the man who wrote the book on climate change


economics, Lord Stern. And enter the love-hunter, this man's job is


to find brides for the wealthy in a country where there is a shortage


of young women. The annual Labour Party Conference


wraps up tomorrow. Ed Miliband, who hopes to be taking on the Tennessee


of Downing Street in a -- tenancy of Downing Street in a year-and-a-


half or so has made promise of what he will do if he gets there. One of


those was he will freeze the cost of energy for two years if he gets


the job, even though many of his party think he's not up to it. He


attempted some self-deprication, if you can do that with thousands


watching you as you go about the stage. Be warned, there is, as you


would expect at such a glamorous occasion flash photography.


This afternoon we learned that the next general election will see a


real choice about the cost of living, all right, but today the


Labour leader gave us very different solutions.


He started humble. It was local election day, Ella rode past me on


her bike, she fell off. I election day, Ella rode past me on


helped...it is not funny...I helped her up and afterwards she called me


something I had never been called before ...she said I was, an


"action hero"! Why are you laughing? That was. Just a joke, it


was one of his themes, this speech showed that a Prime Minister Ed


Miliband would be very acty. Are you satisfied with the country that


shuts out the voices of millions of ordinary people and listening only


to the powerful? Are you satisfied with a country standing apart as


to the powerful? Are you satisfied two nations? Well I'm not satisfied,


we're Britain, we're better than this. Better than this, but faced


with a major problem, people's earnings no longer match growth.


What I'm about to tell you is the most important thing I will say


today about what needs to change about our country. They used to say


a rising tide lifts all boats, now the rising tide just seems to lift


the yachts. Now I have a question, now I have got a question for you


ladies and gentlemen, do the Tories get it? No. Come on, I didn't hear


you. Do the Tories get it? NO! OK, that's better. To prove he got it,


Ed Miliband unveiled this: We need successful energy companies in


Britain. We need them to invest for the future. But you need to get a


vair deal, and frankly -- fair deal, and frankly, there will never be


public consent for that investment unless you do get a fair deal. If


we win that election in 2015, the next Labour Government will freeze


we win that election in 2015, the gas and electricity prices until


the start of 2017. APPLAUSE


That's what I mean by a Government that fights for you, that's what I


mean when I say, Britain can do better than this.


APPLAUSE The Labour leader was talking to


the hall, and to a country struggling with Energy Bills. If it


works it broadens his appeal beyond Labour folk. And comedians. Critics


warned immediately of energy blackouts, but Ed Miliband had


drawn a fresh dividing line with the Government. He would draw


another. We will say to private developers, you can't just sit on


land, and refuse to build, we will give them a very clear message,


either use the land or lose the land. That is what the next Labour


Government will do. We have got our party back Neil Kinnock said when


Ed Miliband became leader, and today he was very happy again. Ed


Miliband judges that the country has shifted left, in his speech he


moved from policies on to personality. If you want to know


the difference between me and David Cameron, here is an easy way to


remember it, when it was Murdoch versus the McCanns he took the side


of Murdoch. When it was a tobacco lobby versus the cancer charities,


he took the side of the tobacco loby, when it was millionaires and


tax cut and the Bedroom Tax, he took the side of the millionaires,


come to think of it, here is an even easier way to remember it,


David Cameron was the Prime Minister who introduced the Bedroom


Tax, I will be the Prime Minister who repeals the Bedroom Tax. You


have got the gist of Ed Miliband's pitch. Under him Britain will be


better than under the Tories. Tucked away in this crowd, some on


Labour's right worried at a speech that nobbles big business, big


energy and private developers' land, but barely mentions schools and


welfare reform. It played very well in the hall, a lot of people out


welfare reform. It played very well there are very happy, how did it


play across the country, on bringing down the deficit there was


a paragraph, but not much more. On party reform and reforming the


links with the unions, yes he mentioned it, but he turned it into


a joke, for a lot of people it is not a joke. This guy's laughing too,


Miliband's speechwriter. Did you write it all? Ed writes everything.


Happy because in fighting energy companies they think they are on


the right side of public opinion. On living standards Ed Miliband's


speech may appeal widely, but by leaving unaddressed other areas,


today the Labour leader didn't stray far from his comfort zone. In


the general election just 20 months away, we will learn if enough of


the electorate also finds his vision comfortable.


The Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna joins us now from Brighton.


Good evening Jeremy. How are you. I'm all right. How much will this


policy cost? Which one are you talking about the freeze on energy


prices. The capping of energy prices? It will cost the big six


energy companies, the House of Commons estimates, about £4.5


billion, we think they can more than afford that given that we


estimate they have been overcharging customers in the


region of £7 billion. You know what the wholesale price of energy will


be? We have done the estimates, and look, what this is about and let me


put this in context, your viewers Jeremy are facing the biggest cost


of living crisis in a generation. That has been illustrating itself


in the fall of in pay, we have had the second biggest drop in pay in


the G20. Your viewers on average have sustained a £1,500 pay cut. We


have seen energy prices hitting people, they are paying £300 more


in bills, and clobbered by the rail firms as well. The question is do


you stand back or seek to do something about this? I have


obviously seen the package talking about left and right-wing, I don't


think viewers care whether it is left or right-wing, all they know


that in many respects they have been working harder than ever


before over the last few years, they are paid less and costs are


increasing. They want a party that are going to make a difference.


They will want the lights being on. If the consequence of your...That


Is nonsense and put about the large energy companies, you will not get


them coming out today massively welcoming these proposals. It is a


tough package for them. We have to consider what is in the national


interest, what is the best thing for the majority of people in this


country. The idea that the lights are going out. We know they have


been underinvest anything our energy needs over the last 15 years


or so. The idea that having a freeze that comes into effect if


there is a Labour Government in 2015 and will be temporary and


carry on to January 2017, the idea that is going to cause the lights


to go out is patently absurd. Patently absurd. And you pose as


the party friendly to business? Look at what we have done today, in


terms of the business rates. The business rates that many of our


businesses are telling us are clobbering them. That is going to


help 98% of businesses in this country. Why should an energy


company do business in Britain? We are incredibly pro-business. Why


should an energy company do business in Britain if effectively


you are confiscating their profits? Well with the greatest of respect,


we are not confiscating their profits, but we have seen market


failure in the energy industry. There isn't enough competition,


Which? Has just brought out figures recently showing that overcharging


has cost consumers £3.9 billion. What we're trying to ensure is


there is more rigorous competition, and you have a market working for


people. I don't think that is an anti-business thing at all. If you


want a God functioning competitive market, you have got to make -- a


good functioning competitive market you have to make sure there is


rigorous competition and the consumer is getting a fair deal.


You are going to sit there and tell us there will be guaranteed no


consequences for such a cap. You can guarantee that the lights will


definitely remain on, and businesses will continue to invest


in the way they have been previously investing? Well look the


fact is if you look at investment, the majority of investment hasn't


been in terms of developing our energy need. The majority of


investment has not been coming from the big six. Now the reason that we


are seeking to do this price freeze is to allow us time to put in place


a new regulatory architecture, we said we will abolish Ofgem. This


will allow 20 months for us to put in place to replace it to sort out


the energy market to get a better deal for viewers. Ultimately you


are talking about what this means for businesses. If people are being


squeezed they are not spending money in our businesses. We need to


ensure, not only as I said people are seeing their pay go further, as


the economy rises, the proceeds of that will be shared by more people


the economy rises, the proceeds of not just the top 1%, that is a good


thing for businesses. If you are were watching last night, if you


could see through the rainforest which our Australian director


imagines to be what a conservatory looks like. You will be familiar


with the idea if Labour wants to win the next election it has to


appeal to people who have conservatories or aspire to have


them. There is another set of beliefs that Labour doesn't need to


do any such thing, that it can just rely on the core votes, 35% or so


of the electorate. Ed Miliband doesn't need to look good in


Dorking as long as he gets the vote out in Dalston.


What proportion of the vote does Ed Miliband need to become Prime


Minister? The answer is, it depends. It depends on what the other


parties do. Our starting point has to be the position that the parties


were in the 2010 general election and to jog our memories we have


written the results over there on the sea over there.


That was their worst showing since Michael Foot was leader.


So that is how they were. A lot has changed since then. Since being in


Government the Lib Dems have paid a big electoral price for their


coalition with the Conservatives. Their vote has gone down by more


than half. Have those votes gone to Labour, we ask? And the Tories have


had their own problems, UKIP has taken 10-11% of the votes at the


moment. Mash all that together and it could mean that Ed Miliband gets


to Downing Street with 35% of the popular vote. It is quite possible


for Labour to be the largest party on around 35% of the vote. It


for Labour to be the largest party wouldn't have an outright majority


on that, it would need to coalition with the liberals or some other


arrangement, to win outright it needs 38-40%. But 35% could just


arrangement, to win outright it make Ed Miliband Prime Minister.


There is a long way to the next general election, and Ed Miliband


isn't about to kick back in a deck chair and hope nothing changes,


afterall the UKIP vote could collapse, the Lib Dems could


recover and then he would be in trouble. No, what he's doing is


pursuing a demographic he thinks can add to his core vote without


alienating his core voters. Who are these precious people? Young


families with children. For a start this group notices Government


policy more in matters like health and education, plus, pollsters say


they have fewer political loyalties, meaning they are up for grabs. We


can see how Labour is trying to engage them, policies on child


cautious wrap-around school hours, more house building. Don't expect


the coalition to leave Labour to it, they are making their own pitch for


this important demographic. Last week Nick Clegg promising free


school meals and the help on buying housing. The next election could be


decided on who gets the best policies to attract young families


with children. Here to assess what Ed Miliband's


speech can tell us about Labour's election strategy we have the


deputy editor of the New Statesman Helen Lewis, and from the


independent on Sunday, John Rentoul, who do you think he was talking to?


He was talking to the Labour Party in the hall. To a large extent.


Obviously he was addressing the nation, you always have to address


two audiences at once. I think he was. Chuka Umunna didn't like the


left-wing terms but he was addressing them outside. Did you


feel he was going for the core vote? No I don't think he did, the


energy section was intended to, in focus groups that goes very well,


people are really concerned about energy prices. Maybe you might


remember the 1970s? No policy is without risk. They have decided to


pick this fight, it is one they think they can win. That is what


politics is about, it is about picking fights. It is a fight that


suggests that the Labour Party doesn't understand business it


doesn't understand markets and profit motive, it doesn't approve


of the profit motive. It is just, it may have a superficial appeal,


but if people think that the Labour Party doesn't understand business


and how you make wealth in this country. Your analysis there is to


the right of the Conservative Party, David Cameron acknowledges there is


a problem with the energy market and having talks with the


significant six energy companies, he has a vague wafflely plan about


offering the lowest tarrif, this is concrete action on that. He


understands focus groups complain about energy prices, of course they


do, that doesn't mean that focus groups, once they have had a chance


to think about it think you can defy the laws of supply and demand.


It doesn't matter, if you are successful in forming a Government,


if you make a successful calculation, once you get to


Government it really doesn't matter what people think? You have to get


into Government. In order to get into Government there is no use in


just appealing to people who have a very simplistic idea of how the


economy work, you have it appeal to the centre ground to people who


actually understand aspiration and wealth making. Conservatory owners,


obviously? Who will recognise, even if they complain about energy


prices that price freezes on the big six companies is just not going


to work. I think people can be guilty of applying different


standards to Labour, you are already hearing complaints about


the free childcare and the free breakfast club, which you just


didn't hear around the Lib Dems and their plan for free school meals,


there is a big problem around Labour that everybody instantly


jumps to where is the money? The other thing is, there were two


things they were being taxed with before this conference began, one


was shortage of policies, the other was Ed Miliband does not look like


a Prime Minister. Now do you think, let's deal with the second one,


does he look like a Prime Minister? I think that there is a huge


advantage in being Prime Minister that you get to stand in front of


the door and that automatically makes you look like a Prime


Minister, he doesn't have that. I thought that was a confident


performance, I thought even the panto bits which are normally full-


body cringe were fine. He was self- deprecate, he charged through the


things he knows are a problem, I thought it was confident. I was


suffering from a full-body cringe almost for all 63 minutes. I mean


you know it is an unfair question as to whether he looks like a Prime


Minister. He could be Prime Minister, he would be a slightly


peculiar one. What do you mean? Well, I mean he had this odd line


about the troops in Afghanistan saying some of them were young


enough to be his children. He was trying to remind us he's not as


young as he looks. He does look young and inexperienced, even


though he's one of the most experienced politicians in Britain


today. The Kenyan President said this


evening that the outrage and hostage taking at the shopping mall


in his capital is over. We have ashamed and defeated the attackers,


claiming that security forces had shot five of them dead and detained


11 others. Over 60 further people have been killed. Whether the thing


is over is unclear, as is the precise identity of the attackers.


The Foreign Ministry say they included a British woman. From the


information that we have two or three Americans and I think so far


I have heard of one Brit. The Brit was a British-born woman? A woman.


She's I think done this many times before. And the Americans? The


Americans from the information we have are young men. Richard Watson


who knows a great deal about Al- Shabab and indeed other Islamic or


Islamist organisations is with us now. Tell us about this White


Widow? It is a reference to Matthew Leuenberger, a British convert to


laem Amanda Lewthwaite, she's wantedor connections with others


facing terrorism trials in Mombasa. Samantha was married to one of the


7/7 bombers, Ellen Linstead, back in 2005. A source close to the


original police investigation said they did look losely at Samantha


Lewthwait EBacc in 2005 and they didn't find anything to suggest she


was aware of her husband's murdous intentions. Could she be involved?


The media is speculating very much about it today. Security forces are


steering away from firm conclusions on it at the moment. They say there


is precedent in Somalia of women getting involved in these suicide


bombing. Usually females take part in these attacks, give logistic


support, courier services or surveillance. What about the wider


picture of westerners being involved in this sort of thing?


Well this is what's very troubling for western security agencies. It


is surpbtly assessed that 50 British nationals went out to


Somalia to fight Al-Shabab. They post videos on-line, and some


feature very strong British accents. A far greater number have travelled


from America compared with Great Britain. A month ago a video was


released on-line, featuring the stories of three young men from


Minnesota, who travelled out to join Al-Shabab and died out there


in fighting. The FBI began to investigate the cases, some of the


young mujahideen were already active on the battlefields of Jihad,


and relishing in the freedom to practice all the tenets of their


and relishing in the freedom to face, including Jihad against the


disbelievers. Thank you very much Richard.


Now, it being just before 11.00pm, the future of the planet. On Friday


we will hear what the world's most authoritative report has to say


about climate change. So it is the moment for last-minute political


wrangling. Scientists say they are more certain than ever about some


aspects of climate change, but, and it is a critical but, there are


fast things they don't know about how climate work. That will give


ammunition to all those who say the whole phenomenon is greatly


overblown. First this is about what we are likely to learn this week.


Scientists say the planet is we are likely to learn this week.


warming, and each and every one of us is playing a part in that.


Friday's report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate


Change, the IPCC is the work of hundreds of experts. It is the


first of a trilogy, this one on the state of climate science, the


second and third come next year and look at likely impacts and what


might be done about those. The report itself will be a huge


technical tone, but it is the distillation of that, a summary for


policy makers that will be chewed over and tweaked with Government


officials alongside scientists in Stockholm this week. This is a


final draft of that report, and it matters because it will form the


basis of policy in future. The final draft says it is extremely


likely that IPCC speak for 95% certain, that human influence on


climate caused more than half the observed increase in global average


surface temperatures from 1951-2010. But the report is expected to state


clearly where there are gaps in knowledge or uncertainties. The


most pressing of which is arguably the called slowdown or pause. The


fact that global surface temperatures have not risen above


the level recorded in 1998. For the last 15 years. How much is the plan


the warming? In this graph the red area shows computer simulations of


the global average temperature. The white line shows what is being


recorded, with temperatures rising in recent years. In 1998, for


reasons that scientists cannot yet explain, the warming paused. Those


who are sceptical of climate science say this bolsters their


position that the prevailing scientific view is wrong. It is one


of the most fierce low debated areas of climate science.


Many argue that the earth has turned to warm but that the heat


has been absorbed by the oceans. There is a network of floating


sensors on our oceans, even so data is incomplete. Half of the slowdown


can be linked to the oceans, the other half to theing effect of


volcanos and a less active sun. Scientists are not confident of the


explanation. Over the last 150 years we have seen global


temperatures increase by 0.8 degrees centigrade. In the last 15


years temperatures haven't warmed warmed very much. It is a puzzle,


we want to know why. We are beginning to understand the reasons


why. But it is important to see the recent cause in the wider context


of the problem, global surface temperatures are not the only


of the problem, global surface important metric of climate change.


We look to the seas rising, we see the ieds melting away. Then there


is the model, scientists rely heavily on computer models


attempting to forecast. There is high level of confidence that these


have done a good job of modelling the warming of the second half of


the 20th century. But not the pause in global surface temperatures of


the past 15 years. Are the climate models wrong, and has climate


change stopped. No, climate change has not stopped, we see similar


pauses, like in the observations, what we understand is that on the


one hand we have a warming influence from increasing


greenhouse gases. On the other hand we have a cooling influence from


small volcanic eruptions and a small decloin in solar activity.


The third important -- declining in solar activity. As these temporary


cooling factors subside the warming will come again. For the first time


the report is expected to set out a carbon budget, the total reached


across the globe we must stay below for any temperature rise to be less


than 2 degrees, compared to industrial times. This is agreed by


Government, and the draft says to have a reasonable chance of


achieving this the total amount of carbon to be released is the


equivalent of a trillion tonnes. We have already released half of that.


Here I have eight little lumps of coal, each one representing 2500


billion tonnes of fossil carbon. Before the fossil regulation, we


had four million tonnes, eight lumps of goal underground, 250


years to burn the first half trillion. Set for the next half in


years to burn the first half three-to-five years, and the next


part will take us over the argument. So the really big question is what


will we do when all the carbon available underground waiting to be


burned. The report is expected to describe clear signals of human


influence on the climate. But with the higher extremes of warming now


thought less likely, they will be scoping the detail for sceptics to


argue that the case for climate change has been overstated and more


clarity about uncertainties long overdue. With us is my guest to


discuss that. Joining us from the University of Wisconsin we have the


professor. It was suggested to us, not very


long ago that the science of all this was settled, it is clearly not


settled? Science is never settled of there was always open questions


in science to further understand and as was highlighted in Susan's


in science to further understand report there, there is exciting


research questions to look at. But what is clear is that humans are


having a significant influence on the climate and that is creating


significant risks associated with changes to our weather systems, be


that in the UK, the flods that we have seen in recent years -- floods


we have seen in recent years, or heatwaves or risks to coastal


infrastructure from sea level rises and storms. Not as extreme as


predicted? As Susan mentioned in her report there are interesting


questions as to what has happened to temperature over the last 15


years or so. There is a lot of research looking into that. As


clearly described, what is occurring is we have an underlying


as a result of increases in greenhouse gas, and as a result


there are fluctuations. You could see in the graph put up of the


temperature over the 100 years there are times when the


temperature has not gone up, but in fits and starts. It is like the


stock market, things are up as well fits and starts. It is like the


as down, but the overlying trend is one of an increase. What do you


conclude from the the latest review, is the science settled? No, I don't


believe the science is settled. I believe that there is a lot of


things we don't understand and that believe that there is a lot of


we need to concentrate more in understanding the natural climate


system. Your guest just mentions, yes there is an underlying, slowly


rising signal which is attributed by many to CO2 emission. On top of


that superimposeed we have positive and negative trend regimes for


global temperatures. What we see now is simply another one of those


ray genomes, actually we were the first ones to identify it six years


ago. It is not due to areosols and the fight between CO 2., it is the


incertainly climate system, we have documented it in several


publications and it is widely accepted. Doesn't the precautionary


principle indicate that as you say, there has been an increase, would


it not be sensible to take precautions? I'm not saying that we


should not take precautions. When precautions? I'm not saying that we


we claim that the warmth of the 1980s and 1990 has stopped. We


simply say that the climate system has gone to a new regime where the


temperature will level off or cool a little bit. It doesn't say that


the low-rising long-term trend has been reversed. This is


misunderstood. Now low-rising long- term trend is there, many think it


is because of CO2 emissions, there is other possibilities. There is


low circulation, there is all the activity, a combination of


everything, we don't know for sure activity, a combination of


what is the actual number. Wouldn't the sensible thing be to do is to


hold our horses before we enter anything in hesitantly? That is


what people are trying to play politics with the science are


trying to some how manipulate by misrepresenting the state of the


science. What the science is clear is if we can continue to equate


greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we are significantly


increasing the risk of severe weather events around the world. It


is the risk we want to aed void. That matter of causation is still


hypothesis. I'm not sure which bit. The fact it is caused by human


activity, you could say they run in parallel but you can't prove it? No,


the fact that if you put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,


that causes an increase in carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,


temperature. That is very settled. Where there are open questions, as


described in the report, associated with the fluctuations on top of


that. That doesn't deny the fact that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse


gas. Let me turn to Lord Stern, his influential report on the economics


of climate change in 2006 helped to set the direction of Government


policy. What do you conclude on the basis of what we know about the


slightly lower pace of change? That we have a major problem of risk


management and that the report that is just coming out on Friday has


reaffirmed that there is a strong trend, that the risks are very


large and this missing from the discussion so far is the weight and


play. The dangers of delay happen if you wait you have a ratchet


effect of greenhouse gases coming through from human active and


raising the stock, the concentration that greenhouse gases


are in the atmosphere with. It is a ratchet effect and it is hard to


get the CO2 out. There is a second reason. If you wait you look in


high-carbon infrastruck stuer and capital. It is not --


infrastructure and capital. It is not that things aren't clear, they


are very clear at the moment, but it is a dangerous strategy. If you


were writing your report based on what we will learn on Friday, would


you write the same report? I the science looks more risky than when


we wrote the report. What do you mean by risky? Frpbgt the dangers


of higher temperatures -- The dangers of higher temperatures


coming through more quickly may be larger. The emissions were building


up faster than we thought at the time. The emissions to greenhouse


gases, some of the things have been happening faster than we thought.


And some things slower? Basically most of the big things have been


happening faster than we thought in terms it of those effects of global


warming coming through. There has been a plateau for about 15 years,


but that is the story of fluctuations and I thought the


report and the doctor made very clear. You haven't heard today any


reason to suppose, and you won't hear on Friday any reason to


suppose that there is anything other than a strong underloiing


trend. Your report made it seem like a matter of life and death


urgency? It is, if we are to have a chance toled holeing two degrees,


we are going to have to cut emissions radically. Global


emissions by a factor of we will over two,000, two ,500, over the


next few years. Despite the fact that it seems to have changed very


likely -- light low, you are prepared to people there. The


admissions have gone up five-times faster than we thought. And


concentrations have too. Some of the effects, like the melting of


glass Kerrs are coming through faster than I thought. You have a


minor adjustment in the upper end of the possiblities, but you have


other things happening that suggests those problems and the


risks we described are there. Do you think you oversold it? I have


undersold the story. I have given you big reasons why we should worry


more. The the cuts coming through more quickly. There is something


ols too which wasn't raised in the discussion of the science is the


science models leave out some important risks which they can't


really capture in the models yet. Which scientists know and could


have a strong reason to suppose could be worrying. Two important


ones, the thawing of the thermofrost and the release of


methane, that could be a huge effect because of the vast qant


toes of me tain, and seabed me tain -- quantities of me thain. Those


are hard to capture in a formal way. But the scientists have strong


reason to believe that those effects could be very big. You are


a worried man, even since the report. Since then we have had the


greenest Government ever do you think that? It is hard to sustain


that proposition, let's be clear, they stuck to the climate change


legislation we have the clear carbon budget associated with that


legislation. But they have introduced some uncertainty in the


degree of commitment. One of them is that they will review the fourth


degree of commitment. One of them carbon budget, our targeting for


the 2020s, that gives uncertainty. That kind of uncertainty is where


they are going and restricting investment, it is a dampener on


investment. Uncertainty about where Government policy is going has, I


think, been created by this Government. For reasons I describe


in reviewing the carbon budget, but it is revealed they are not united


internally as well. That frightens investment away, that is why we


have small margins of capacity in the UK. Left to its own devices


nature will very often reassert itself, life goes on. In China


human intervention has created a massive shortage of


human intervention has created a expected to get hitched. In China


the people get married in block, the brides wear simple costume and


the bride groom in dark clothes. Traditional match makers used to do


the job now mums and dads are playing Cupid. Every month public


parks are filled by anxious parents, hawking what are effectively their


children's CVs. Many look in advance and many are here without


their son's knowledge. This mum, son to a young energy is keen to


talk. Why is it so difficult to find someone to marry, you are good


looking and have a good job? TRANSLATION: Thanks for the


compliment. I think my prospects aren't that good. It would take me


200 years to buy a department here, eating and drinking, just work.


Lack of cash is one problem for would-be groom, the other is a


critical shortage of women. In the late 70s the Chinese Government


introduced the called one-child policy, designed to curb population


growth, but it backfired. In policy, designed to curb population


Chinese culture male children have always been more prized. Ultimately


this led to a wave of illegal, sex- selective abortions and in extreme


cases female infanticide. As a result analysts say that by the end


of this decade there will be at least 24 million excess men. This


is a mass speed dating event. If the girl accepts the red rose the


man is allowed to sit down. The first thing that people do when


they come to the matchmaking event is post their profile on the wall.


You can see their candidate number, their age, their height which, is


absolutely crucial here in China, and their education. This guy has


been to university, he's a CEO, this man next to him a high school


lever. TRANSLATION: There is a lot of competition, the girls are quite


demanding and they prefer tall guys. Some girls rejected my rose because


I wasn't their Mr Right. It is all a bit humiliating and


time-consuming. That's why China's wealthiest bachelors contract out


the search for a spouse. They employ a love-hunter! Peng Tai is


taking me shopping, not for clothes, we're looking for girls.


TRANSLATION: If I meet a very beautiful girl who meets


requirements I will watch her for a very long time. I don't really care


what the women think, this is what I do. It is my job. Basically I'm


after those girls who have nice skin, nice white skin and above


160cms in height. We certainly don't want one with a sour face. If


he find his richest clients a miss right, he could earn ten -- a Miss


Right, he could earn tens of thousands of pounds.


But as his boss explains, these billionares are a picky bunch. One


sent the love hunters to nine cities to trawl through 10,000


girls. TRANSLATION: We have clients asking


for the girl to look like celebrities, such as the lead


actress in the film crouching tiger hidden dragon. Someone else wanted


the girl who looked like one of the country's top TV presenters.


This village in the mountainous south is a world away from the


maddening crowds of the Meg ga cities.


These men aged 30 and 28 are both unmatter he had I don't. Across


China there are more and more villages like theirs, filled with


single men, they call them "bare branch" because they can't continue


the family tree. TRANSLATION: The girls look forward for a better


life in the city, they can marry out. For us boys it is different,


we have to carry on the family name. Marriage is traditionally the


symbol of maturity in China, many don't treat unmarried men as adults,


regardless of their age. TRANSLATION: I don't want to come


home sometimes, once I get back here they keep saying you are owed


enough now, why don't you find a girlfriend. At one extreme of


China's atomised society, men can pick or choose their mate, at the


other end, back in the bachelor villages, there is no plaus at all.


It is the shortage of brides that could undermine China's future.


More of that report on Our World on the BBC News channel at 9.30 on


Saturday night. Time for one last piece of news from the UN in New


York. As we went on air, Hassan Rouhani of Iran has told the UN


General Assembly that Iran is prepared to engage in nuclear


negotiations that are time-bound and results orientated. He said


that nuclear weapons and other weapons of weapons of mass


destruction weapons of mass destruction and -- other weapons of


mass destruction, and he said nothing can't be resolved without a


rejection of violence. There is no meeting with President Obama and


the world's picture editors will have to wait for the historic


handshake. That is it for tonight, no question which were the most


watchable pictures to emerge from the conference today. It happened


when Damian McBride's pubisher took exception to a protestor trying to


get into the back of an interview with the man. Sussex Police are


taking a dim view, apparently. It is not the first and it won't be


the last time that the background is more interesting than the


foreground. David Cameron will become Prime Minister in the next


few days, probably on Friday and Saturday. The parent company of


Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy as the subsidiaries


basically wind down. Police say they hope somebody burdened with


information. Tell me more about Michael Jackson. Knock it off. Full


of Andy Murray fans.


Labour want to freeze energy prices. Will it work? More on the Kenya killings. Climate change. How to get a girlfriend in China. With Jeremy Paxman.

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