16/10/2013 Newsnight


The risks to teenagers of 'sexting'; the latest on the so-called Plebgate affair; the US reaches a fiscal deal; and Emily Maitlis interviews chancellor George Osborne in China.

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Instant messaging. It's fast, it's personal, but how vulnerable does it


make young people? Whose responsibility is it to keep


teenagers safe - and why do they sext in the first place? I have a


girlfriend, a boy friend, you have friends, send a picture of this and


that. It is fun and games. The confrontation between a Cabinet


Minister and police officers intensifies as it emerges that one


of the forces involved had decided at one point there was a case to


answer. In Washington, everyone blinks and


Government service resumes. How does a supposed model democracy get


itself into a mess like this? How will this episode be judged by


history? Simon Schama will tell us. And in China, Emily chats with the


Chancellor of the Exchequer. You don't do this job to be popular and


being Chancellor isn't being a contestant in a popularity contest.


The harmless explanation is that it's just the modern equivalent of


the old children's game of doctors and nurses. Yet child welfare


organisations are increasingly worried by what seems to be a big


growth in so-called sexting -the exchange of explicit images. An


NSPCC survey seen by Newsnight suggests over half of 13 to


18-year-olds may have been asked for explicit images, and four out of ten


young people in a small survey for Childline said they had created


pictures of that kind. Now there are calls for the possible dangers to be


spelled out in sex education classes in schools. Sima Kotecha reports


from the Salmon youth centre in South London.


Why do people do it? Fun. Simply, you know? Have a girlfriend, have a


boyfriend, have friends, send them a picture of this and that, it's all


fun and games. For many young people it's flirting,


exchanges images and videos through their phones. While sexting may seem


quick, easy and fun, it can lead to shame. Within seconds, photos can be


transferred to somebody else, and where they end up is out of control.


With most phones connected to the internet, a couple of key strokes


and they can be posted on social networking sites, accessible to


millions. But some of this content that's exchanged this way by young


people is sexually explicit, and the consequences can be perilous.


ChildLine say the results of its recent survey show that teenagers


are taking huge risks. Out of the 450, 13-18-year-olds questioned in


August, 60% said they had been asked for sexual images or videos of


themselves. 40% admitted to creating graphic material. A quarter of those


surveyed said they had sent the content to someone else. 15% said


they had sent it to a total stranger. These results show that


sexting is increasingly a feature of young adolescent relationships.


Whether we like it or not, it is almost becoming the norm, the


expectation, that a young person in a relationship should share an


explicit image of themselves. I've taken topless pictures on this, the


I'm not going to lie... It is illegal to take or have indecent


images of anyone under 18, even if they are of the person taking the


picture. However, the Association of Chief Police Officers says it is not


impossible but highly unlikely that children will be prosecuted for


sexting. You don't send it to a random person, that's what some


people think. I've had friend who've done it and everything like that,


and most of the time it is their girlfriend or boyfriend they are


sending it to. I was asked to send pictures, and I said no, I don't


agree with it. It is my reputation. I have got to live with the fact of


that picture going around, so I refused to do it no matter how peer


pressured it was in to doing it. I will hold my hands up, me and this


girl had an argument, not about the picture. I got so angry, I was like,


what? I went around, I was sending that picture everywhere. It was


mean. It was mean. She slapped me. You ruined that girl's reputation


throughout the whole school. I apologised and to this day she hates


me. That's not the point. Don't do it. That's why it shouldn't be done


in the first place, because you are young. Things will happen. You will


fall out, have disagreements and that person will react. Easy access


to hard core pornography online is said to be fuelling a desire to


imitate porn stars. Experts believe that sexting partly stems from


exposure to explicit film at a time of sexual experiment and


development. This video was produced by CEOP to educate young people


about the possible ramifications of producing and exchanging sexual


content. What's going on? It says its main concern is about those


images getting into the wrong hands. We are very concerned about the


potential consequences of sexting, the consequences when images get out


of control. One of the figures in today's findings is about 15% of


young people who sent images sent them to total strangers. What we are


seeing is abusers taking advantage of this and getting images out of


young people and then blackmailing them for more by saying, if you


don't do more for you, I will send these to family or your friends.


Last year the Internet Watch Foundation carried out a snapshot


study into sexting. After analysing more than 12,000 self-generated


images of teenagers it found that 88% of them were posted on what were


called parasite websites, sites created for the sole purpose of


exploiting sexual content of young people. Now the IWF is joining


forces with ChildLine to help get inappropriate images taken offline.


Experts say once the photo is out there it is difficult to eliminate


it completely. The IWF simply needs proof that the


image is of a young person under 16. With ChildLine's help, if we can get


proof from the young person of their age, that's all the IWF feed to take


Timmage down. -- take the image down. It is better if the young


person hasn't created the image in the terrorist place. The number of


young teens who own a smartphone has gone up by 20% over the last year.


By the end of this yeerts estimated that more than 90% of teenagers will


own a mobile. Using smartphones is their preferred method of accessing


the web. All this is driving calls for the Government to do more to


educate young people about the potential dangers of self-generated


sexual content. Ministers that from next year in England, all children


from the age of five will be taught how to stay safe online, as part of


the new Itive. T curriculum. But campaigners argue that sexting


should be covered in personal, social and health education lessons.


Sexting is not an IT issue. It's a relationships issue. What we want


and the office of the Children's Commissioner wants is that every


school run as comprehensive, thorough relationships and sex


education programme. That is a whole school programme, so all staff are


aware, whatever they teach or whatever they do, and that the


content is relevant and pertinent to children's lives. It must cover


things like sexting and use of mobile technology.


I think sexting is down to self es teerges especially when it comes to


girls. Most girls of my generation do it for attention, to try to find


love out of it, but it usually is the wrong way.


It is clear that for some young people a sexy snap sent to a


boyfriend or girlfriend can have devastating consequences. But Aztec


knolly continues to continues to evolve, sending graphic pictures


will become easier, raising questions of how and if teenagers


can be restricted from sexting. Tim Loughton was Children's Minister


in the current Government until last year. Professor Andy Phippen has


spent many hours interviewing teenagers about their experiences on


the internet. And Phoebe Wakefield is, as her appearance suggests, a


teenager. You are representing an entire generation here. Tim


Loughton, there are lots of places we could start looking for


responsibility to be exercised in this - schools, Government, parents,


teenagers themselves. Where do you think we should start? Well, it


start at home. The trouble is that we have a generation of parents who


are now completely divorced from their own children's technological


know how and don't have the confidence to talk about sexual


matters, and we rely on schools. What's the answer then? We need to


embolden and give confidence to parents. We need to educate parents


about how they can communicate with their kids. It is really necessary


to do that. We need to make sure that what the schools are teaching


our kids in sex education is good quality sex education. So you want


part of the core curriculum? Whether it is part of the core curriculum,


we need central guidance that makes clear what we should be teaching our


kids. And examples of good practice. At the moment it's a postcode


lottery. People are taught about the mechanics of sex but not the


relationships. It is about the how rather than the when or why not.


Andy Phippen is nodding his head vigorously. Good. I think parents


are struggling. I've had conversations with parents and with


teens and what's clear is there is a gulf. Parents want to do something,


teens would love to engage in these discussions sometimes but there is,


no way would my child do this, or I couldn't tell my mum or dad if


something went wrong. I think schools might play a role in


bridging that gulf but it needs to be good quality education. How does


it feel to you, Phoebe? Where responsibility lies is what I'm


getting at. In my school I'm very lucky that the idea of telling us


about sexting, promoting awareness of the issue, discussing the issue


is really actually central. It is brought up a lot. We've had


assemblies on this, discussions on in that school have organised and I


think it has helped a lot. It should be like that in other schools as


well. But the real responsibility presumably lies with the people


doing the sexting doesn't it? Well, can you really say that 13-year-olds


are particularly responsible? Well, to have some awareness of where it


might end up might be a sensible thing to inculcate then. Exactly.


There needs to be an awareness of chemical weaponses. And instead of


like the idea that teenagers who do this are damned and demonised... Do


you think they are? Yeah actually I think they are. Why? It is a really


big thing, sexting is this incredibly wrong thing, if you do it


this will happen to you and this and this and this. It doesn't step


sexting, but it makes people more ser up tissuous. I very much agree.


I hear a huge amount, I don't want to be idea. I say, would turn to a


teacher and they say no, they would clag me off in the staff room. The


worse thing you can say to someone in this situation is, you shouldn't


have done that should you? That's not going to help anybody. Teens are


risk taking by nature. Thinking back to my teenage years, there weren't


mobile phones in that day but there was the occasional Politkovskaya


Royal Wedding -- the occasional Polaroid at the school. True. These


days something gets translated on a mobile phone can be seen by millions


of people, it is on the internet in perpetuity. There are consequences.


Kids need to know that. There are younger kids, the sex education that


Phoebe gets in her school is fantastic... What do you tell your


kids? It is usually what my kids tell me. We've got to educate a


generation of parents who lack confidence, who feel embarrassed


about talking about sex and feel pretty dim. Some schools should be


inviting their parents in to talk them through what they are going to


be teaching their kids, to get their input, and when they've taught their


kids back, invite the parents back in so they can carry that forward to


the home and talk about it around the kitchen table in a much more


relaxed and grown up way. We don't involve our parents in our schools


enough with our kids' education. We expect them to do it all at home. It


doesn't happen I'm afraid. Do you think there should be a Government


role in that? Of course there's a Government role in this. The


syllabus has become too crammed with all sorts of stuff. We know that.


This is big-ticket stuff. This is stuff that can really undermine


kids. It can drive kids to suicide. We've seen horrendous case there is.


It can knock their confidence so they won't perform in the classroom.


We need to have a frank discussion about this and the Government needs


to set the tone vaern having the laissez faire attitude, which isn't


working. Due agree with that? I do. There is an expect nation it will be


covered in the home between parents and children, but it is not. What


you are talking about isn't sexting, a boy or a girl or two boys and two


girls exchanging pictures of their genitals, it is bullying. That's a


different proposition altogether isn't it I think con ensual sexting


between two teenagers is going to happen. You can't do much to get rid


of that. What really is the problem is when it goes wrong, when


teenagers are willing to use that as a means of bulge. There needs to be


a differentiation between the coerced bullying and the sexting


that goes no further. The alarming thing is the people not knowing who


the other person on the line is. That's really worrying. That's being


used to blackmail them so they have to send more explicit images. That's


a huge, hugely bullying issue there. That's what's worrying. Kids should


know what they are doing. We need to tell them they've got to have their


eyes wide open. We need serious warnings of the consequences. That's


where Phoebe is right. Just because you can do it in your bedroom, take


a selfie and press a button, doesn't mean that there are no consequences.


A lod of people will see it and you don't know who they are. I'm looking


-- I'm wondering if we are looking at go old-fashioned moral panic. I


don't see an epidemic. I see a lot of awareness of a few people doing


it. I do think there is a far wired context. This is about self-esteem,


wanting to be felt to be attractive. This is about looking at what your


celebrity heroes are doing and emulating what they are doing. I sat


with a bunch of girls a while back and we struggled to find a positive


female role model. It's a massive cultural mix. Thank you all very


much. Coming up: I guess there is an irony


seeing a Conservative Chancellor who has slated his opposition for being


socialists doing all these deals with the Communists. They are a lot


more market orientated this lot than the British Labour Party are at the


moment. The confrontation between much of


the political class and representatives of the police over


who said what to whom at the gates of Downing Street grew today. The


Prime Minister insisted that his former Cabinet colleague, Andrew


Mitchell, was owed an apology. Then tonight the Independent Police


Complaints Commission disclosed that the initial investigation by the


police into whether three officers had misrepresented Mr Mitchell


concluded they had a case to answer. And then a month later the force


concluded they didn't. David Grossman is with me with some bits


of relevant paper. Go on. A complicated case. What we are


talking about here is not the initial alleged altercation at


Downing Street, but meeting that took place a month later in Mr


Mitchell's constituency of Sutton Coldfield between himself and three


representative of the Police Federation. What was said at that


meeting was a matter of dispute. After the meeting the three officers


gave one version. Mr Mitchell insisted that something else had


happened. The man he was with, the press officer, recorded the


conversation and we know precisely what was said. The IPCC, the


Independent Police Complaints Commission, believe there was a


problem there, asked the force to investigate, the force concerned,


west mersia, although three officers from three different forces were


involved, West Mercia took the lead and concluded there was no case to


answer. The men had done nothing wrong. Skip forward to yesterday,


the IPCC, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, another bit


of paper there, concluded that that investigation itself was flawed.


They didn't like the outcome and said there was a matter of honesty


and integrity that should have been looked at. Yesterday, the response


of the three forces involved, and the Independent Police Complaints


Commission, and the Police and Crime Commissioners, one of whom you are


about to speak to, was that actually it was unfair of the IPCC to


criticise the investigation, the investigation took place perfectly


above board and along proper lines and reached its conclusion in the


correct way. Today, the IPCC say actually that's not what happened.


Here's a letter that was written to the gentleman you are about to talk


to, Ron Ball. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire.


In short, this is a bombshell in one respect, that the initial


investigation, the investigating officer thought these three men had


a case to answer for misconduct. Yet somehow the following month, a month


later, by the time this has got through the top brass of the three


forces, the report said these gentlemen had no case to answer. Now


that is a question that politicians are going to be looking at very


carefully. Next week all three Chief Constables and a load of other


people, including the IPCC, are going to come to Westminster to


answer questions from the Home Affairs Select Committee. The Home


Affairs Select Committee have asked tonight to see both reports to


compare and contrast them. David, thank you.


The Chief Constables at the heart of the scandal will appear before the


Home Affairs Select Committee next week. They are from West Mercia,


Warwickshire and West Midlands Police. Joining me now is the Police


and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, Ron Ball. You've been


made a bit of a fool of haven't you? No, can I just take issue with a


couple of things there? You can if you want. The investigation was not


carried out by the forces - well, with it was, but it was supervised


by the IPCC, so it was a supervised investigation, which is significant.


So it was conducted by the police though wasn't it? It was, and the


IPCC could have at any time taken that investigation over. Is it not


the case that the first report concluded there was a case to answer


the second one didn't? That is correct. Is it not also the case -


you didn't know that until today? Correct. When but first become aware


of this? Is lunchtime today. What are you doing defending your Chief


Constable then? You didn't even know what was going on. That again I


think is a bit of an oversimplification. I can't, I don't


have the resources tore time to conduct this sort of investigation


myself. We get it the professionals, the IPCC, so I have every right to


expect that the IPCC will conduct a professional investigation. They


have said that it was all done professionally. There's a question


to answer over the changing, clearly, that's the question I want


to address. Is it not only the case that not only did the fist report


conclude there was a case to answer, the second one exonerated the men.


Is it not the case that the IPCC said, are you sure you want to stick


with this? Will you reconsider? Not to my knowledge. That's in their


letter. The... They invited them to reconsider their judgment that there


was no case to answer. From the letter, in September, it appears as


though they had some concerns. They at that point, if they had those


concerns, could have taken over the investigation. And they didn't. I


think that's a question. With something as significant as this,


why were they not conducting the investigation themselves? Has the


Chief Constable explained to you what happened? In terms of, when you


say what happened... How they could come to two contradictory


conclusions and then apparently ignore the request from the IPCC


perhaps to reconsider. Since I had that information, I've done nothing


other than media intervurksz I haven't had the opportunity to talk


to the Chief Constable about it. I most certainly will be asking the


question as to explain to me how that process happened. There's a


potentially embarrassing explanation for it, but there is also a


perfectly potentially innocent explanation. With any prosecution,


there needs to be a judgment as to whether or not a sufficient level of


proof exists to continue with it. Sure, and in this case there were


two recordings that completely contradictory testimony. Highlighted


bits of that evidence has been made available to the media, but in terms


of this decision as to whether to proceed with it or not, different


individuals came to different conclusions. There is, I'm not naive


enough to believe there isn't a potentially sinister implication for


that. But there is also a potentially innocent explanation. My


view is I have an open mind and I'm going to investigate that and find


out what happened. Do you think shoe have known before today? It would


have been helpful. Are you hoping to be re-elected? Too early to say. I'm


loving the job. It is incredibly busy and there is a lot to do. And


rather unexpected apparently? It was - I had no idea. On the election day


itself, I turned up and I literally had no idea whether I was going to


lose lie deposit or get elected. Many unexamined elements to it


though it turns out. Yes, but, as I say, I'm thoroughly enjoying the


job. I've stayed out of trouble so far. But we'll see how we go from


here. Ron Ball, thank you. The machinery of American Government


looks as if it'll be coming out of suspended animation tomorrow. The


confrontation between Republican legislators and President Obama was


seemingly resolved two hours ago - the formal vote will happen later


tonight. But it is only - yet another - stay of execution, saving


the world from another financial crisis. For a country that is so


often considered a model democracy, it is an extraordinary situation.


Alan Little is in Washington. I rise today in opposition to Obamacare. We


shouldn't inflict pain on the American people the try to see if


one de gets a little extra leverage. Washington is more split than ever


before, this country is more guide -- divided than than ever before. On


Capitol Hill they've been arguing about the deckchairs while the ship


is sinking. In a sense Americans have been having this argument for


more than 200 years. How big and how powerful should the Federal


Government be? It is still at the heart of the American identity, the


idea that as an American you should be an independent citizen, self


reliant, not dependent on any Government. For many Conservatives


the growth of federal power under President Obama is a plough against


the character of America itself. They've risked economic disaster to


refight a battle on health care that they lost three years ago. You are


going to harm the country immeasurably... Nothing could be


more harmful to the American economy and the people than Obamacare,


putting under Government control one sixth of the economy. I realises


that in Great Britain that's something that you embrace. We've


looked at your system and we see a lot of problems and flaws that we


don't want to replicate. So 24 is a law that's already passed, it has


democratic legitimacy in both houses and the President signed it off. You


are prepared to tip this economy into what many will say is


o'clockity? Prohibition was not only a law but a constitutional


amendment. We've repealed the speed limit. In England I don't know if


that's the case. This is an old divide in America. There are exoez


here today of the 1930s, when President Franklin Roosevelt enacted


the first social security legislation. It was almost word for


word the challenges made to the affordable Care Act, the Government


taking a larger role in our healthcare and our pensions system.


The Federal Government prying into people's laws and orchestrating


people's lives. Almost word for word the same arguments. 80 years ago?


That's right, but social security not only was it passed, signed into


law but once it happened the American people accept that. They


embrace these programmes and I think that's part of the fear that's going


on among Republicans, the fact that they never supported those


programmes when they were first introduced years ago. They know that


once people get used to having universal access to affordable


healthcare, they are not going to want to give it up. Which is of


course precisely what small government Conservatives fear, that


once the power and scope of Federal Government is expanded there is


never any going back. You can argue that the election of President Obama


in 2008 was one of those rare moments, when America tips from one


era into another. For a 40 years wherever that, ever since the


election of Richard Nixon in 1968, Conservative America had an almost


unbroken hold on the White House. In all that time only two Democrats


made it to the presidency and both of both of them were southern white


men who came to Washington with the mud of the Conservative rural south


on their boots. Many Conservatives came to believe this was a semi


permanent state of affairs, that they had managed to build such a


lasting majority in the country that it made them, the Republicans, the


natural party of Government. The Tea Party Republicans know now look more


like an angry counter culture than a party of protest. Liberals and


Conservatives have switched roles. I think you are seeing a historic


realignment, driven by the increasing secularisation of the


United States, particularly among younger people, who are much less


likely to be religiously affiliated than older Americans. The United


States is 30 years behind Britain and Western Europe in the degree of


sec labisation. Why is this significant? It means that a lot of


these religious right issues are simply losing their traction. Even


so, Americans remain sceptical about the state. At the Lincoln memorial


we found one protester linking today's crisis explicitly to the


core values of American identity. What is the answer to your question,


what does it mean to you to be an American? It means that you can be a


sovereign citizen, you can be a free man. Whatever you want to make for


yourself decision-wise you can do that. Do you think that's under


threat? I think it is directly under threat right now. Two Americas fight


for ascendancy, in the nation that first secured the enFrenched


Government of the people by the people for the people. Seld Dom does


that fight bring the people as close to calamity as it did tonight.


Joining me from New York is the historian Simon Schama, with his


view on the latest from America. - that great country. It is an


extraordinary spectacle watching from a distance. What lesson do you


think we should draw Simon? Believe it or not I don't think it is the


failure of democratic institutions, much less the constitution, Jeremy.


I think what we are witnessing is a pro found personality, identity


crisis inside the Republican Party. Actually inside Republican


Conservatism, because it was not the case that even during the period of


extreme alienation from the administration of Jimmy Carter or


even from Bill Clinton while Government was shut down that


essentially there was so much throwing toys out of the pram, in


order to actually use the fundamental credit and good faith of


the United States and its debt to get your way in order to reverse


legislation. Which has already been enacted. There was a piece a moment


in Allan Little's excellent piece where a Congressman was saying,


we've repealed lots of good laws, and that is the heart of the issue.


It is right now impossible to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, the


Obamacare Act, because any repeal law has to be passed as a discreet


stand-alone piece of legislation. President would veto it. In order to


override the veto, this is crucial, you need a two thirds majority of


both houses of Congress. So what do you do when you know you can't


repeal it? You either turn into it a kind of semi cometic piece of


theatrical grandstanding like Senator T tection d Cruz fill


bustering the Or you go on screaming and having a


tantrum and threatening to bring about not just an American but a


global fiscal calamity, because you are not getting your way. It is an


infantilisation of politics on the Republican right. When you have a


constitution that allows the entire world's financial system to be


brought almost to the brink of crisis, doesn't it indicate that


something really outmoded, that needs changing, that is broken about


the constitution it's I'm open to hearing suggestion forensic


examination you Jeremy. Well it is very old now isn't it? It is quite


true. Again, the Allan Little piece was spot on in that the argument


between Jefferson and John Adams was exactly over the extent to which any


sort of Federal Government authority was going to be legitimate. But -


this is crucial - once a democratic Republican as he was called like


Jefferson came into office, he understood that American Government


was not an oxymoron, that actually the process of governance was


extremely important. Quite often actually Jefferson is a good case in


point, he grasped the reins of Government with an appetite which


sometimes dismayed his more individually minded supporters.


What's happening inside the Republican Party is a pro found


split in two ways. One, between seeing Republicanism as a kind of


evangelical church. It was no accident that the Republican caucus


prefaced their deliberations in that nadir of idiocy yesterday when John


Boehner failed to get the House to come up with their own plan. They


prefaced the it with a rousing chorus of Amazing Grace. You can


assume that politics is an act of spiritual rebirth, or you can,


generations of Conservative law makers have accepted, and this is


still the case with sun like Mitch Muslim column in the Senate, without


whom the deal to get us back from the brink couldn't hangs you assume


that whatever your Conservatism, you do it through the machinery of


politics, through a sense of basic combity, which is not prepared to


push the United States and the rest of the world's economy to the brink


of ruin. The difficulty is right now we are in a kind of isolationist


moment in America. The tendency to really want to tell the rest of the


world to go away is ominously fierce. The more bewildering, the


more distressed, the more alienated, the more upset Americans are by the


long-term consequences of what been happening to the economy since 2008,


the deafer, at the extreme right, the defer, the angrier, the more


obtuse, the more, "I'm mad as hell." Sounds like the mantra of the


estranged. That's the threat to the system. Simon Schama, thank you. I


wish you would speak your mind more. I know! It is sad isn't it, but


that's because I'm heavily sedated right now. Simon, thank you!


There were a couple more announcements of Chinese investment


in Britain today, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer continued his trade


mission there. He said China's growth in technology was a great


opportunity for Britain. It would be something of an exaggeration to


suggest that his visit has generated a tenth as much attention in China


as it has here, and he did admit today that this country had been


pretty slow off the mark in getting to the party. But Emily caught up


with him anyway. The empire of China is an old crazy first rate man of


war, declared Lord George McCartney, arriving on these shores more than


200 years ago. He refused to kowtow to the Emperor. His trade mission


was unsuccessful. No surprise then if George Osborne deploys a more dip


crack demeanor and a phrase which sounds a lot like, come on in.


Britain and China have a great economic future together and there


is a huge amount of business that we can do together and we can take the


next step together in our relationship. After Beijing and


banquets today it was the turn of the tech sector, he praised a


company for its growing investment in Britain. And if it is slightly


counter intuitive seeing a Conservative Chancellor doing


full-scale trade with the Communists, those pesky questions


may have to wait. After all, it seems that business comes first.


George Osborne, this week you've welcomed China into Britain with


open arm as. This a significant move? Is this a pivot towards China?


I think it is a moment when we take another big step in the


Britain-China relationship and certainly what I wanted to say to


China is that Britain is open to investment and jobs being created in


Britain by Chinese companies. But I wanted to say something to people in


Britain - that China is fast-changing. A company like this,


you are literally seeing the future being built. So change is no longer


just a low-cost manufacturing centre. It is also pioneering the


tech and the science and the medicines of the future. What about


the nuclear industry? Would you like to see China becoming more involved


in that in the UK? I've signed here a memorandum of understanding with


the Chinese Government. In other words it kind of umbrella agreement


that is going to allow British nuclear companies to get involved in


the fastest growing civil nuclear programme in the world, here in


China. But it is also going to allow a China he's involvement, Chinese


investment in British civil nuclear power that many countries in the


world that wouldn't want other countries involveded in their civil


nuclear programme, but I do. If it wasn't Chinese or French investment


it would have to be British taxpayers. I would rather British


taxpayers were spending money on our schools and hospitals and other


things and let's get the resist of the world investing in energy. Can


you see see a day where China owned and operated a British nuclear


plant? We've signed this memorandum of understanding between two


Governments. There are a set of commercial negotiations. I don't


want to say more about those commercial negotiations, but I'll


have more to say on Chinese involvement in civil nuclear power


in the UK later this week. I guess there's a certain irony seeing a


Conservative Chancellor who has slated his opposition for being


social assist doing all these deals with the exhom niss. They are a lot


more market orient ted this lot than the British Labour Party at the


moment. There's a complex story of the Chinese Communist Party and how


it came to run a very capitalist system. We have to engage this


country because it is a fifth of the world's pop police station. What


about at home? Do you accept when it comes to living standards, policies


that people really care about and feel, Labour has stolen the march on


you, outmanoeuvred you? I don't accept that at all. Labour is


responsibility for the economic calamity that made this country much


poorer, the financial crisis, the deep recession, and it is the


Government that is fixing the economy and the British economy is


now turning a corner. You went to fight a cap on bankers' bonuses on


the same day that Ed Miliband said he would freeze fuel. Did that not


feel out of sync? The Labour Party policies are built on nothing. They


are flimsy, they are gimmicks. They wouldn't work. Even the Labour Party


themselves accept they are promises that can't be accept. A serious


economic policy is not just a series of gimmicky conference


announcements. It is what are you going to do to grow business bishs.


One of the things the Government offers a sensible, solid, consistent


economic plan. OK. You are talking about sensible and solid. You've


warned before of the illusion of cheap money. We know that the


average house price reached its highest ever in August, and yet you


are flooding the market with cheap money with the help to buy scheme.


First of all real house prices are down. Number of transactions in our


mortgage market are down. The NPC are worrieded this is going to push


house prices up There are plenty of people out there, not least the


Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, he told us of course we've


got to be vigilant but there is not a housing bubble today. Are we


prepared to see young families in their 20s and 30s completely frozen


out of the mortgage market because they don't have rich parents and


they can't afford the large mortgage deposits that the banking crash has


required the banks to ask? What about a higher personal tax


threshold? Is that something you would like to see. It is going up to


10 in April, could it rise above that? I'm not going to write my


budget in shen Jen or Newsnight. Please do? It is a huge commitment


to helping people... Is it pretty much at the top now or could it


rise? We are committing to indexing the personal allowance with


inflation. People should judge us with our deeds. Where we've had


available resource we've lifted millions of low income people out of


tax and cut tax... Is that a tiny opening? We've cut tax for 25


million working people. Matthew Dan cone neigh cites a dinner where you


said if I'm not not the most unpopular Chancellor within six


months I've failed in my job? During an economic calamity where we had to


take decisions that affected working families to fix a hole in the public


finances if, I knew it was going to be a tough and not particularly


popular job. But what's the point of doing this job? It is to work for


the British people and hard working families. Everything I have done


isn't about whether it plays well in the focus group or the opinion poll


next day. It is what is right for this country. Ultimately good


politics follows good economics. There was personal vitriol aimed at


you, the only man to be body at the Olympic Stadium or booed when you


saw Chelsea raise the trophy in Munich. I'm wondering if that starts


to affect you, if it starts to hurt. I think that might have been the


Bayern Munich fans in Munich. Look, you don't do this job to be popular.


Being Chancellor isn't being a contestant in a popularity contest.


You are there to make the tough decisions that are going to help the


economy turn the corner. My mental here in China has been pretty


uncompromising. I've been trying to tell the British people, China's


changing, and not everyone wants to hear that. This message here of be


here or be nowhere is a really important part of our economic plan.


The economic plan is what I have the responsibility to deliver. The plan


A fell scarily on your shoulders. I wonder if you ever wondered if you


were wrong. Look, I was very clear. We had to take early decisions to


deal with the hole in the public finances. That was going to be


unpopular. But the south-eastern we made those decisions the better. Of


course I look back and say, is there more I could have done in the


banking system, and at the moment I'm looking at what we could do with


the Royal Bank of Scotland. Of course there are things if I had my


time again, I would say perhaps we could have done more in banking. I'm


really impressed by what we've done in China but I would have liked to


have done even more, and I'm doing more now. When it comes to plan A as


it is being called, we needed that plan. I have stuck with it, the


whole Government have stuck with it and the British people have stuck


with it and you are beginning to see it is working. Chancellor, thank


you. Prince Charles has barged into


something else. This time it is the pensions industry, which he doesn't


like. And NHS guidelines shouldn't call


fat people fat and a nice picture of the Speaker's while.


The BBC unveiled today how it intends to mark the centenary of the


First World War. Between 2014 and 2018 we're promised 2,500 hours of


World War One-themed programming. Can't wait? Here's the first


30-second instalment. Goodbye. So if Germany were to attack Russia, she


would also have to attack France. France? Yes, France. And if Germany


were to attack France, it would leave Belgium threatened, and


Belgium is our friend. We would hop in there to defend them. So we've


all got to fight in a war because of that, Sir? Yes, Maltravers. But I


might get killed, Sir. Yes, you might. But


The risks to teenagers of 'sexting'; the latest on the so-called Plebgate affair; the US reaches a fiscal deal; and Emily Maitlis interviews chancellor George Osborne in China. Presented by Jeremy Paxman.

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