A Newsnight exclusive. Plus, the Afghan President on our failure. Five years after the crash. The care minister meets the house bound pensioner.
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Whose version of press regulation will get the nod? The one the press
wants or the one Parliament wants? We have learned the press's prose
posals for outside regulation have been binned. The newspapers are on a
collision course with politicians. Over 400 dead British soldiers and
over £30 billion spent and countless civilians killed.
What has the West achieved in our 12 year war in Afghanistan? The Afghan
president gives Newsnight his verdict The world's biggest
container ship. It cost Afghanistan a lot of
suffering and a lot of loss of life. And no gains because the country is
not secure. 83-year-old Sally Lubanov has not
left her home for the last nine months. We bring her into the studio
to face the minister in charge of her care.
And the world's biggest container ship, if you stacked up its cargo,
would reach into orbit, but what's the point? There is no port in North
America could accommodate this ship, so how can it make economic sense?
A dramatic development tonight on an issue that has at the its heart the
freedom and the responsibilities of the press. We have learnt of a move
that he emerged from the discussions within the group will decide the
future of press regulation later this week. Senior Conservatives and
Lib Dem figures have rejected the press's favoured solution, their
alternative version of a charter. The decision looks set to spark
confrontation between the two sides on a complex and fractious issue.
Allegra Stratton has brought us the story and joins us now. The
presenter of the Media Show is here too. Let's start at the beginning
because this is complicated. Talk us through what we have learned today?
It has been difficult journalism. A subcommittee of the Privy Council
met today. This was six to eight Cabinet Ministers from Conservative
and Liberal Democrat side of the coalition and what they were looking
at was the newspapers, the press's own position on what they felt was a
kind of media regulation that they could deal with and we have winkled
it out. The privy council is answerable to the Queen. All my
sources didn't want to talk to me about this. We think we have got
somewhere. They have rejected it. They have said that what the press
wants, does not, in the words of one senior source, it doesn't enshrine
independence. The people on this new regulatory body that the press want,
as opposed to the one that the Government and some other people
want, it doesn't have independence in it. So it wouldn't really be much
of a regulatory body. So they have had to reject it. Some of the quotes
we have. It has to be properly independent. That's what Lord
Leveson wanted. What they are coming up doesn't meet the test. Some of
this doesn't come as a surprise for people, but it is, we expected this
meeting this week and so we will hear from newspapers how they are
going to react. And we are expecting this to be a major blow for the
newspapers. The Leveson report was coming up to a year ago. Fill in the
background. Because this is something we talk about, but it
leaves a lot of people far behind. What doesn't leave people far behind
is the principle of free speech in this country. It is something that
many people feel is about being British. It is something that many
other countries have said with horror, I can't believe Britain
would move to this. A lot of people think about it like that. I don't
think it is true to say this is alien from people's lives when they
are sitting in their sitting room. The technical nature of it is. What
people should take home from this, all of Her Majesty's newspapers do
not want this. All of them will be upset this evening. All of them feel
this is a process, Steve will tell us more, it is a process that's
supposed to be about transparency and they have been kept in the dark.
We have this Privy Council. There will be ranker, but lots of
principle at stake. The words that David Cameron used
last week, does it pass the Dowler test? Talking about the mistreated
family of Milly Dowler. What do you think the response from the industry
will be to this, Steve? Look, I think, in terms of what is going on
down the Dog and Duck, there is the Dowlers and the McCanns and the
shocking treatment handed out to Christopher Jefferies. The press is
in the dock really. So where do the press feel now? They feel the
process has been far from transparent. They are, I think,
people that I have spoken to are, furious and are now considering
whether there might be a legal challenge to this decision by the
committee, the Privy Council. The reason they had to do this, the
privy council's own rules say if there is more than one proposed
charter on the same subject, neither can be given effect because it draws
the Queen into a matter of public controversy. So in general, and
previous things that the Privy Council deals worthwhile Royal
Charters are uncontroversial. There is also talk in some quarters
amongst the press that the Royal Household might now obstruct the
progress of the cross party charter because it is so controversial. The
last thing they want is the Queen to put her name and her stamp on
something which is going to be ranker are yous for a long time.
What we are understanding tonight is the solution, the press offered if
you like, has not been deemed acceptable? Yes, it has been
rejected. What will they do in practical terms? They can consider a
legal challenge to the process. I am not a lawyer, but I have been
talking to lawyers and nobody knows how you do this. They could consider
a legal challenge or choose to go along with it or this is most
likely, but the thing is that this is all about establishing a body to
give recognition to the new self regulator that Lord Leveson said
should exist. He said there is an outrage, there is a committee, there
is a decision to sort the press out. Nothing happens. There is a
committee, there is a decision to sort it out. To stop this happening,
we will put in place a recognition system. Put this in context for us.
Because we have had The Mail and Daily Mail on the programme last
week and we have had the row with the Labour and Ed Miliband, where
does this sit-in that? In terms of timing, you saw the impact of the
Miliband thing. Look what is coming. On 28th October, the first of the
big trial, the phone hacking trial starts, Andy Coulson and Rebekah
Brooks. That won't be pretty. Trials will run on phone hacking and other
things well up to the next election. Once we get into that process, the
things well up to the next election. atmospherics for the press will be
dreadful. If you were a press tactician you might think better of
trying to do a deal sooner rather than later.
We will return to this story when we have more reaction to it.
Should the Taliban have a place at the centre of a future Afghan
Government? The question would have seen absurd five years ago. Today,
Hamid Karzai told this programme he was talking to the Taliban and would
welcome them into any power sharing deal, including direct Government
jobs. The Americans stated that they will not fight the Taliban anymore.
Only Al-Qaeda. Has the enemy's enemy now become a friend? And where does
that he leave the reasons we were given for fighting in that country?
Afghanistan has come a long way from 2001. From the almost premodern days
of the Taliban. But it cost hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of
thousands killed and injured. And as the Afghans argue with Americans
about a security agreement, to define post-war relations, its
president continues to be an ally one day and an opponent the next.
Hamid Karzai had troubled relationships with his western
backers. Whether fighting the Taliban or nati building, he often
had different objectives. What does he really think about the United
States? The Taliban, of Britain's war in Helmand province? Is he
bothered by the levels of corruption here? Who are by women's rights? In
one of his last major interviews, Hamid Karzai has agreed to speak to
Newsnight. There is no doubt that the country
has grown, and developed and come a long way in the last 12 years. Why
then do it the Americans, President Obama, call you an unreliable,
ineffective partner? Because where we want us to go along, we don't go
along. They want us to keep silent when civilians are killed. We will
not. We cannot. Isn't it the case that your
relationship with President Bush was better than your relationship with
Obama? His main focus has been the exit strategy? How has that been for
you? I had a good relationship with President Bush and those beginning
years, there was not much difference of opinion between us. The worsening
of relations began actually in 2005 where we saw the first incidents of
civilian casualties, where we saw that the War on Terror was not
conducted where it should have been, which was in the sanctuaries, in the
trading grounds beyond Afghanistan rather than that, the US and NATO
forces were conducting operations in rather than that, the US and NATO
Afghan villages, causing injuries to hundreds of Afghan people.
Are you talking to the Taliban? Yes, hundreds of Afghan people.
we are. We have our whole system engaged in several direction to
bring stability and peace to Afghanistan.
Is the goal to bring them into some kind of power sharing deal in
Government? Absolutely. They are Afghans. Where the Afghan president,
where the Afghan Government can appoint the Taliban to a Government
job, we will do that. But when it is the Afghan people appointing people
through elections then the Taliban should come and participate in
elections. To clarify this, as Afghans, they are welcome to the
Afghan Government like all other Afghans, yes. As Afghans, they are
welcome to participate in elections. A British audience or an American
audience watching this would wonder what was this for then? 12 years of
fighting, lives lost and the Taliban will walk in and be part of
Government? Well, the Americans have told us themselves in Washington in
my last visit that the Taliban are not their enemies. That they will
not fight the Taliban anymore. What are you discussing with the
Taliban? What's up for negotiation? What's at stake? If the Taliban have
reasons for which they cannot come, they must spell it out. If it is the
Afghan constitution, they must come and talk to us and allow the Afghan
people and through the mechanisms that we have to amend the
constitution. The gains that women made in this
country are tenuous, surely by bringing the Taliban back, you are
compromising those gains? This country needs to have peace. You
know where they stand with women's rights. Are you willing to sacrifice
women's rights? I am willing to stand for anything that would bring
peace to Afghanistan and through that, to promote the cause of the
Afghan woman better. There is no doubt about that, even
if the Taliban come, that will not end. That will not slow down.
So women in Afghanistan should not have the fear of a return of the
Taliban? None at all. None. The bilateral security agreement, Mr
President, let's talk about that. That defines the US and
Afghanistan's relationship beyond withdrawal and if you push too hard,
they may not stay. Is that something that worries you? Well, if the
agreement doesn't suit us then, of course, they can leave. The
agreement has to suit Afghanistan's interests and purposes. If it
doesn't suit us, and if it doesn't suit them, we will go our separate
ways. If this agreement does not provide Afghanistan with peace and
security, the Afghans will not want it. That's very clear. Britain has
made a massive contribution already. Can you tell the British public, you
know, what all their sacrifices were force? They don't understand why
they are still here? All the Prime Ministers that came were in office
in the past 12 years have clearly staitds that they are here in
Afghanistan in order to provide security to the West and in order to
prevent terrorism from reaching the West and in order to fight extremism
here. How much of that has been achieved is something that the
British Government can answer alone. Can you assess the criticism and
failings that were experienced in Can you assess the criticism and
Helmand province? It is not only Britain. On security front, the
entire NATO exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of
suffering. And a lot of loss of life. And no gains because the
country is not secure. I'm not happy to say that, well, there is partial
security. That's not what we are seeking. What we wanted was absolute
security and a clear cut against terrorism.
Some people would say that your legacy has been tainted by the
corruption in this country. That Afghanistan is the third most
corrupt country in the world. Is that a legacy you want to leave
behind? No, not at all, of course. Se. Our Government is weak and
ineffective in comparison to other governments. We have just begun. But
the big corruption, the hundreds of millions of dollars of corruption,
it was not Afghan. Now everybody millions of dollars of corruption,
knows that. It was foreign. The contracts. The sub contracts. The
blind contracts given to people. Money thrown around to buy
loyalties. Money thrown around to buy submissiveness of Afghan
Government officials to policies and designs that the Afghans would not
have agreed to. That was the major part of corruption.
Finally, are you concerned about your safety when you leave office?
Not at all, no. No. I will be safe. President Karzai, thank you very
much for your time. Thank you. Coming up:
We hear from the global superstar, just signed up by the BBC.
. Ago today, the Chairman of RBS made
a phone call to the heart of Government. His bank, he told the
Chancellor, Alistair Darling, would seize to exist within hours. The
call prompted a flood of lek quitity to -- lick quite to prop up the
dying organisation. Their aim was to keep it going until the close of the
financial day. Five years on, where keep it going until the close of the
are we? What lessons have we learned? We will ask Alistair
Darling, first Iain Martin takes us through the critical hours of
crisis. The Ritz Hotel in Central London. In
the autumn of 2008, while the Savoy was shut for repair, this is where
Sir Fred Goodwin stayed when he was in town.
Shortly after 8am, having finished breakfast, Goodwin walked down these
steps and got into his chauffeur driven Mercedes. He had an
appointment on the other side of town. Talking to o fellow bankers.
It was the beginning of an extraordinary day which would send
shockwaves through the entire British economy.
While Goodwin made his 8.45am presentation about the challenges
facing the Royal Bank of Scotland, those in the audience could see on
facing the Royal Bank of Scotland, their mobile phones what was
happening as the markets opened. The RBS share price was collapsing. The
first question from the floor caused the colour to drain from Goodwin's
face. Did he know in the half-hour he had been on his feet talking,
RBS's share price had been fallen by 25%?
The sell off that morning was so frenetic the authorities at the
London Stock Exchange suspended trading in RBS shares twice. The
collapse in share price reflected reality. For months RBS had been
leaking money as customers and investors rushed to take their cash
out of -- troubled bank full of toxic assets. Now, with many fearing
RBS was about to go bust, no one would lend the bank the tens of
billions of pounds it needed to would lend the bank the tens of
carry on functioning. Goodwin and his colleagues had built RBS into
the world's biggest bank and here it was coming crashing down. In RBS's
offices in London that day, there was panic. As good win raced across
town, the bank's chairman called Gordon Brown to beg for Government
help. He told the Chancellor, Gordon Brown to beg for Government
Alistair Darling, that RBS could only keep going for a couple of
hours. A desperate Chief Executive tried to calm the Chancellor. Inside
the Treasury that often, they were scramling to prevent the meltdown of
the financial system. For weeks, worried ministers and officials had
been working out plans to bail out the banks, to pump tens of billions
of new capital into RBS and the others. It was time to put the plans
into action. Shortly after 7pm, Fred Goodwin and
into action. the Chief Executives of Britain's
other banks filed into Alistair Darling's office here at the
Treasury. After hours of fractious talks, by 3am, they had a deal. Lord
Myners who had been fired by Fred the sh Shred said, " You are in a
bit of trouble." The next morning, on the 8th October, Brown and
Darling held a press conference in Downing Street. Britain's reckless
banks, so celebrated by the politicians into the good times
would need £50 billion of taxpayer cash.
It turned out to be even more than that. And the taxpayer would end up
owning 82% of RBS. The crisis triggered the worst downturn in
seven decades and a slide in living stansds that continues to this day.
Boom and bust had not been abolished after all. How had it come to this?
Why did the financial crisis hit Britain so hard? In 1960, the
combined balance sheets of the UK's 16 clearing banks totalled £8
billion. A sum equivalent to 32% of UK GDP. By 2000, it was 1.4 trillion
and 143% of GDP. Around the time of the crisises is, the UK clearing
banks had total assets of .24 trillion, that was 450% of UK GDP.
There were fewer British banks and they had got bigger with RBS, the
biggest of the lot. For Britain, having taken a large gamble on
growing its banking industry, the having taken a large gamble on
rescue was always going to be painful if something went wrong.
Five years on, it is worth asking how much has really changed? Has our
banking system been fixed? A bit. Are we any safer? A little. With
property schemes such as help to buy popular again, could we be heading
for another banking crisis? Don't bet against it.
Well, that was Iain Martin. Well, I spoke to Alistair Darling and I
asked him what this day meant to him now? Well, I will always remember
the day when I received a call from the Chairman of RBS, this was the
morning that their shares had been suspended, not just once, but twice
by the London exchange and he said, we are haemorrhaging money and I
said how long can you last? He said well, wither going to go bust this
afternoon. This was the second, maybe the biggest bank in the world
and it had run out of money and this was three weeks after Lehmans had
collapsed and other banks were in trouble. This was the occasion when
we knew that we would have to act and we had a matter of hours to stop
the system from collapsing. And with cashpoints, you feared not
working people not able to get money out, there are suggestions that
Gordon Brown was ready to put troops on the streets. Was that really
considered? No, it was never considered. I was never party to a
discussion like that. What we did know, if you remember Northern Rock
which had seen the run in the autumn of 2007, you saw people queuing up,
which had seen the run in the autumn you know, desperate to get their
money out. Almost panicking in a very British sort of way. They were
good natured about it, but they wanted their money out. I knew if
one of the biggest banks in the world closed its doors, if the cash
machines were switched off, there would be panic. People would try and
get their money out of all the banks in Britain and it would have spread
to America and throughout Europe and the banking system could have
collapsed. That would have had massive repercussions. Where are we
now? Has there been enough reform? Would you feel safe saying this
could not happen again? Well, you can never say it couldn't happen
again. And the tragedy it is down the line when people who were around
last time left the banks and there is the temptation for people to come
to believe they can make money out of nothing. There is always that
risk. The banks are in a better position now. We were recapitalised
and they have to hold more capital as a buffer in case of failure. The
regulators are more on to the fact of the connections between banks
internationally. I still worry. I worry about the exposure of the
European banks to the Spanish housing crisis. We are not out of
woods with Greece and there is always the connections back into
Europe there. So you know, there is more work to be done. But we are in
a far better position than we were in 2008, but then if you look at
2008, it is hard to imagine you could have been in a worse place.
And in 2013, the taxpayer still owns RBS, who would have thought that? Do
you think it is time to sell? I would have thought that. If you
you think it is time to sell? I acquire a large bank, there was no
way you could get rid of it inside five years frankly. We will get our
money back provided the Government five years frankly. We will get our
sell shares based on what's economically right. We have got our
money back for a lot of the support systems put in place at that time.
Many of them have been wound down. In terms of the shares, there is no
reason why we shouldn't get our money back as long as the Government
act sensibly. Tomorrow, wither going to see the
second phase of help to buy launched. Is this something you
would welcome? Well, look, I am in favour of helping first-time buyers
and helping the housing market, but what I am worried is the risk is you
create another bubble. When you think about it, the number of houses
available for sale hasn't changed and if you put in a lot of cheap
cash then what will happen, it will push up prices. The housing bubble
that everybody dayed in 2007 -- said in 2007 and 2008, we must never let
this happen again. Now it is a Government policy to flush money
into the system and there is a risk therefore, that you get a there is a
risk that people take on credit at low interest rates and find their
mortgage repayments go up when interest rates go up and they will
go up. Yes, I am worried about it and I'm not the only one.
Ed Miliband made pledges to freeze energy bills if he wins the next
election. Was he right to? Look, it it is not being antibusiness or
anti-enterprise to stand up when there is market failure and I think
on any view if you look at what is going on in the energy prices. After
attacking him, the Tories backed off. They too can see a problem.
They announced a bunch of things last week.
Was he right to say a freeze? Enacting a freeze on prices. Of is
that the right move? What he is proposing is a freeze for about 20
months whilst the competitive problems or the lack of competition
problems with the industry are sorted out. He is not suggesting an
indefinite freeze, but what he is saying, there is a problem here and
the problem needs to be fixed. Now that surely is what governments be
are supposed to be doing. You featured a lot in Damien
McBride's memoirs. He said you adopted an attitude of poor
Alistair, who had to put up with so much and didn't get credit for his
role in resolving the financial crisis? I said everything about that
time in my book and I am not proposing to add anything to it.
And do you and Gordon Brown reflect back on this time together? Is that
something you talk with about with the then Prime Minister? At the
moment, I am seriously engaged in Scotland at the moment. I am in
Edinburgh tonight and that is really, you know, it is very well to
look back and say what happened and so on. It is more important you look
to the future. Do you ever talk to Gordon Brown?
Look, I am happy to talk to you about what is happening now, I am
not proposing to give you a running commentary on my social life.
Alistair Darling, thank you very much.
Thank you. 15 minutes, the length of time
allowed for some home visits to a person with disabilities. The length
of time in other words for them to choose between asking for help,
getting into a bath or help eating a meal and not both. The Care Minister
said he was unaware of the time limitations and he was proposing an
amendment to the care Bill. Sally Lubanov is one of those who raised
the frustrations of the short slot system. We will see her in
discussion with the minister shortly. First, her story.
Hello. Gosh, how nice to see you. Come on in. I can't turn around too
quickly so it will take sometime. This is my drawing room. I have
always done everything for myself. I never asked anyone for help. I have
always done my decorating and anything that needed to be done,
I've done it. Up until last year I just was
allowing myself to die. Slowly dying. I didn't see any point. I
didn't think about that. I didn't think that way, but I was. I
realised just allowing myself to die. I would try and put myself
outside myself which was what I have been able to do all my life and know
that my body is in agony, but I'm OK. I will not allow this to take me
over. Sugar. I will take it over and refuse to
play host to it. I am in the middle of writing a book and this is where
I spend most of my time because I can't sit with my legs hanging down
for long. So when I have been sitting there for a little while or
over there at the computer, I have to come back and put my feet and
legs up. I don't sleep very much at night. If the career is coming in,
either she goes and gets shopping for me, or she changes the bed or my
feet and legs are supposed to be down every two or three day -- done
every two or three days, but I suppose they have been done five or
six times in the last few months which doesn't work very well.
I haven't been out since last Christmas.
That was the last time I was out. I'm going to London!
Sally Lubanov left her home as you can see for the first time in ten
months. She has kindly come into the studio to meet the Care Minister.
months. She has kindly come into the Tell us about the last time you left
home then. Not since Christmas? No. I haven't. No, I haven't been, I
haven't been out since then mainly because I can't go by myself because
I have, I now have vascular dementia which means I have to be careful
where I go and have somebody I can hang on to which is why I have vast
pieces of furniture over the house hang on to which is why I have vast
which I can hang on to when I need to. So I can't go out on my own. And
your visits are from care workers? Yes.
And how do they work? I have had a friend did come to stay and the
careers are supposed to be able to stay because I have a room for them
to stay in my -- and my con stul tants -- con sum tants and --
consultants and doctors said I need a career sometimes when I have been
to the hospital and had tests and whatever. But the problem is that a
person above my bedroom where the career would stay, because I stay in
my art room as you saw, gets up at 3.30am and doesn't stop until 9am.
And when you have a care worker visit, you have changed the
timings... I have. But previously how did the time
slots used to work? What could you get done? Nothing. Well, very
little. There would be time for the get done? Nothing. Well, very
girl to make a cup of tea. Well, I will tell you what happened. Half an
hour is on the time sheet. It is written on the time sheet, half an
hour. Well, they come in. They book in on the telephone which takes a
few minutes. They then look at the in on the telephone which takes a
book to see what the person who came before has written in the book. They
then take off their coat and hat. They then put on their apron and
their rubber gloves and then they say good morning. That's ten minutes
gone. Right. So Norman Lamb, what would you say now to Sally Lubanov?
Well, I think Sally, may I call you Sally? Yes, please.
Is a perfect example of what is going on across our country. There
is a sort of an epidemic of loneliness and this is not just
about the formal care. Formal care is critical and there is a real
problem with short visits and I have been given a time sheet by a care
worker by just demonstrates an impossible schedule.
It says 7.15 to 7.30 and the care worker would have had to get to
another address. I mean is this news to you? No. I said I believed the
next scandal was going to be in home care because I became aware that
these things were completely unacceptable. And it is not just
short visits, it is a constant unacceptable. And it is not just
turnover of different care workers. Let's look at short visits. What
will you pledge? The end of 15 minute visits? Well, the one thing
we have to be conscious of. There are sometimes occasions for instance
checking that someone is taking a their medication when a quick visit
might be appropriate. their medication when a quick visit
60% of local authorities say the 15 minute visit is used regularly. This
is a norm. It is not about changing a plaster? We are doing an amendment
to the Care Bill will require local authorities to focus on an
individual's care needs. May I just butt in? The local care,
the local councils give the contracts to firms.
Yes, they do. They don't do it themselves. It is not the local
councils who decide. The local councils must stop the...
How long is long enough? What would you like to see the norm become? Is
half an hour long enough or an hour at a time? Well, Sally rearranged
her care so she gets care every second day and has a longer period.
There are 15 minute slots on a sheet that you have been given.
Absolutely. So tell me what the numbers should
be? Well, I don't think you can define a specific number. It has to
be based on the individual's well-being. So you might be saying
this to another Sally in another year's time? No w we are -- no, we
are saying to local authorities they have to he focus on an individual's
well-being. You are not going to take
responsibility? No, it will be a legal requirement. Sally made this
forcefully today. It is not just about formal care, it is about
companionship, friendship and giving people a life back again and getting
people out of their homes. Sally doesn't see anyone from day-to-day
and that's not acceptable. I don't think the Government can do anything
about it. I think... It is a challenge for society. Families and
neighbours. Thank you.
If you were anywhere near feelics stow today, you would have seen a
huge ship. You might have asked yourself if it was the biggest ship?
It is the biggest moving object ever. If you are a boat geek, burd
day -- your day is made. It arrives weighted down with goods from Asia
to us. It leaves our shores a lot lighter. Can anything reverse that
as we creep slowly away from austerity. Here is Andy Verity.
This is the largest ship on the planet. It is a quarter of a mile
long and can hold 18,000 container units, three times as many as the
long and can hold 18,000 container biggest ships of the last century.
. If you stack them up end to end,
they breakthrough the Strategic Rail Authority stratifere. Manned by a
cruise of just 22, the shirp is so tall it had to be weighed down to
get under the bridge that links Sweden to Denmark with just a meter
to spare and getting into Copenhagen was trickier.
Copenhagen is not used to coping with ships like this. We had to use
a powerful top boat. We normally don't do that. We had to make sure
because it is a narrow channel we are coming into and that was one of
our concerns. If something goes wrong, you could bump against the
our concerns. If something goes sides? Yeah, we could do that, but
we have made the arrangements so that will never happen.
To sail from China to Europe, the ship will take three-and-a-half
weeks and an average speed of 16 knots, 18mph. You could cycle
faster. The priority is not speed, but transporting these as cheaply as
possible. These dull looking boxes have
transformed the world. In 1956, a Texan businessman, Malcolm Maclean,
converted an oil tanker to take metal botions that could be switched
from train to ship to lorry. You could unload a ship for a 13 -- for
a 30th of the previous price. Containers like the ones used to
build this he East London market, made transport so cheap it mattered
less than before where the goods were made. If you wanted to ship
something somewhere, it would use up were made. If you wanted to ship
25% of the cost. That meant you couldn't ship far. It would cost a
lot to get it to a port. Now, with containerisation, that cost has
reduced. You can now ship a can of beer for about a cent. ,000
container ships on the sea and 20 million containers bringing us 90%
of everything. Even some British food arrives by
ship. Goods are made in made in Scotland and sent to China and
brought back. In one of these boxes, you can fit
1,000 scooters or 10,000 pairs of jeans or 13,000 smartphones and here
is how cheap that makes it to transport each item. A scooter would
cost 96 pence, a pair of jeans, ten pence or a smartphone just seven
pence. This vast new vessel should make container shipping cheaper.
When this ship is full, it you laid each one of the containers end to
end and tried to put them on a train, the train would have to be 68
miles long. In fact, this ship is half empty and that's because if it
were full, it would sit o so low in the water, it wouldn't be able to
get into the Port of Copenhagen. There is no port in North America
that can accommodate a ship this size. How it z can it make economic
sense to build a ship so large it can't fit into most of the world's
ports? The answer believe it or not, is cost-cutting. This ship can dock
in the far Eastern Europe, a route where competition is fierce and
rates have been slashed. Smaller ships don't make money. The reason
why you need a large ship is that you get economies of scale. So you
can transport more containers and use less fuel.
The Majestic is the first of 20 such ships ordered by a Danish shipping
group with revenues as big as Microsoft's and carbon emissions
almost as big as Denmark's. While most containers lose money, bigger
ships are a way back into profit. This ship consumes around 50% less
than the average of the vessels that were employed a couple of years ago.
The ship comes here full of containers. What about going back?
From Europe, we have a lot of export of waste materials like scrap metal
and waste paper and things like that. You take our rubbish? When
this ship returns to Asia, it will ride higher in the water because up
to half of these units will contain nothing, but air. It is a problem we
have had for 30 years. Our addiction to imports creates a nasty
imbalance. The most recent data shows in one month we exported £28.4
billion worth of goods, but imported 34.7 billion, a deficit of £9.9
billion. It is getting worse. In the boom, the West financed that
addiction to imports by borrowing massively from the east. The east
got a savings glut. The west got into debt and the world got a
crisis. That trade imbalance shows up in the
prices paid to ship a container. Container shipping companies are
keen for these things not to be empty that they will offer you a
massive incentive to export. Bringing one of these in from Asia
will cost you over $1500. Spending one back out, less than half that.
The West's addiction to imports is only half the reason for the
difference. China kept its currency low, ensuring goods going west to
east are less competitive. But bit by bit, the Chinese currency is
appreciating. When that takes hold, this ship going east should sail
lower in the water. We are going to take you back to our
breaking story. The news that politicians on the subcommittee of
the Privy Council rejected the politicians on the subcommittee of
press's alternative version of the charter to regulate the press. We
are joined by The Sun's, Trevor Kavanagh.
Trevor Kavanagh. Thank you for joining us. Tell us your reaction to
what you are hearing this evening? Well, it is a surprise that it has
what you are hearing this evening? come early, but it is not a shock.
It is what we have been given fairly clear clues would happen.
Intimations from the top of the Government down. And I think it has
to be seen as a great victory for the forces of oppression of a free
press, Hacked Off in particular and for the politicians who have gone
press, Hacked Off in particular and along for the ride.
Tell us what you make of the process? The way in which this has
come about? Well. It is a bizarre process. It
doesn't really follow the recommendations by Lord Justice
Leveson which was for the media, the mups to come up with a solution --
newspapers to come up with a solution. We felt we did, we came up
with everything that was required of us, short of a political input which
would be required by some form of lelg slayings -- legislation.
Whichever way you look at it, the Privy Council is a political input.
What do you do now? What are the lines you have to safeguard and what
are the compromises that you have to make now? Well, I don't speak on
behalf of the newspaper industry, but I would guess that we will
proceed as we are doing and have been doing for a very long time and
try to keep getting newspapers out with good stories in them. Somewhere
along the line from now on, we will hear officially and formally from
the Privy Council and then we will know what the reaction is of the
Government and now and of the day. This is going to drag on for a long
time. Possibly up to and beyond the next election. Thank you very much,
Trevor Kavanagh. Steve Hewlett, you can respond to that and what Twitter
has been telling us? Well, I have had a response from someone who does
represent the industry who says what Trevor says along the lines of their
plans for their self regulatory. Trevor says along the lines of their
Lord Phillips searching for the personnel. This is the press's own
new self regulator to replace the IPCC. The details of this have not
been discussed here yet. The discussion tonight and what the
Privy Council is about is all about a recognition body to give the stamp
of approval to the press self regulator to stop Leveson said what
happened every time before which is you get a crisis, a commission and
then they back slide. This, the back stop, the recognition body was the
key to holding that in process. The campaigners, Hacked Off, say the
decision -- was inevitable, it is overdue and the press were involved
in stalling tactics. They say it has shown two good things. It shows the
press are still weded to the old IPCC. The press are not all agreed
about IPCO, but although the pes weren't agreed - press wrant agreed
-- weren't agreed, they all disagreed with it.
Steve Hewlett, thank you very much indeed. We end with the news tonight
that the BBC reversed the flow of talent leaving the organisation
today with their star signing, the Sesame Street's Cookie Monster
joined our presenters roster. We have been joined by him. Cookie
Monster, why Britain? Why the BBC? Cookie. Yum-yum. Bye-bye.