23/10/2013 Newsnight


23/10/2013

With Jeremy Paxman. What future for Grangemouth? Why won't the police apologise for plebgate? Russell Brand talks about his revolution.


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Transcript


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One of the biggest industrial areas in Scotland will be closed down.

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Might someone be found who could make it pay? I have been talking to

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Scotland's for instance as he tries to broker last-ditch deal. As part

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of the apology that we have already given there should be included in

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that apology, if we are going to give that apology we should give it

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personally and not in this forum. You are planning to see Mr Mitchell

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and give him an apology. If there is one due with regard to... (laughter)

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Mr Hinton this is not a television game show. Why did the police who

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met Andrew Mitchell in this room give such misleading accounts of

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what happened. Why won't they give a proper apology. Totally there will

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be a revolution, it is totally going to happen. I haven't a flicker of

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doubt, this is the end. A highbrow interview with Russell Brand. This

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is the green grass where I take my dogs and I just let them do what

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they want. This little bit of green here? Because it is quite a small I

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can't remember, there is a lot of dog mess. And has childhood finally

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been divorced from nature? And does it matter? There are elements of the

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industrial dispute at the petro-chemical plant at Grangemouth

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which promise a trip straight back to the 1970s. A loss-making factory,

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a work force that believes it has cast iron agreements about pay,

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conditions and pensions which the management are now going back on. A

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Government says it cannot and will not be a mere speck taker. It ought

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-- spectator. It thought to be washed out in colour, it is real and

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worrying enough if you are one of the thousands likely to be badly

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affected. Today the owners of EOS announced they were shutting the

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gates. After hearing the announcement workers began to leave

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the site which employs 800 people directly with a further 2,000 jobs

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reliant on the site. I'm sorry, no. It is going to be HOR rendous trying

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to live -- HOR rendous trying to live after this. The owner, InEos

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said they were willing to invest ?300 million, but only if the unions

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agreed to their survival plan, which included accepting a pay freeze,

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cuts to pensions and a no-strike guarantee. Blackmail. The workers

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narrowly rejected the proposals in a ballot. The company said it could no

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longer continue to fund the site and the business had no option but to go

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ahead with liquidation. The trade union Unite, described it as an act

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of industrial vandalism. Make no mistake, one man is holding this

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work force and country to Rand some, that is Jim Ratcliffe, the owner.

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Unite can do no more, and the ball is now the court of Jim Ratcliffe

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and the respective Governments of Westminster and Edinburgh. The

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Scottish Executive says if an agreement between the company and

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Unite isn't achievable, it will pursue options to find a potential

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buyer for the site. Just before we came on air I spoke to the First

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Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, about the stand-off. Alex Salmond do

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you accept it is now inevitable that Grangemouth is going to close? No I

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don't. The reason for that is I know how close both management and unions

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were to agreement last week, twice actually, once to an underlying

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agreement and then secondly to reignite the plant. We were within a

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hair's breath of that on Friday morning. Given that both sides were

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very close to agreement last week, both sides agreed there was, in

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their words, an outstanding further for this facility. I don't see why a

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week later the game should be up. I'm determined not to give up on

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Grangemouth. It is clearly uneconomic isn't it? No, there were

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challenges certainly in the chemical side and its competitive position.

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The petro-chemical side is losing ?10 million a month, that can't go

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on indefinitely? That depends where you put the figures. Let's have some

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common sense here. In the refinery there is no proposal to close it,

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the refinery is pretty well placed compared to other UK refineries. In

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the chemical side which has competitive pressure for particular

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reasons, the company had an investment plan to secure the future

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of that facility for the next 15-25 years. Both sides agreed that was an

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investment plan that they wanted. Unfortunately the negotiations

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brought down over other matters. Given we are a week on, given we

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were so close last week, I don't see why we can't have a renewed effort

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to find that common ground and secure a future for this facility.

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So should the workers have accepted the cuts to pay and pensions? I

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think the work force, certainly the unions were prepared to address

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that, a significant development this afternoon is new proposals have been

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made by Unite to the company. Now I hope the company is consider these,

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I spoke to both Unite and Jim Ratcliffe this afternoon, I hope

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these can be favourically considered. They do seem to me, as

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least at first sight tie dress the cost issues the company brought

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forward. Perhaps over the next few days we can get to a more positive

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place and see this crucial facility. Above all the livelihoods of

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thousands of people in Scotland protected. Would you like to see it

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sold to somebody else if there cannot be an agreement reached? We

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are going to concentrate, let's make one last effort to get that

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agreement, given the new proposals that Unite have made. It is bait

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late is it? -- it is a bit late? It might be five minutes to midnight

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but not past the witching hour as yet. The petro-chemical company has

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not been liquid dated yet, it won't -- liquidated yet, it won't be for

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several days. I will work as hard as I can as First Minister of Scotland,

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because of the facility and livelihoods at stake, let's make the

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one last effort to get the agreement that secures the future of what is a

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very, very important plant. When you spoke to the chairman, was he up for

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a new set of talks? Well he certainly did not say that he

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wouldn't consider the things coming forward. They have to come forward,

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as he put it, from the local management. The sequence of events

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that unite have made proposals to the local management. They have to

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reflect that and put it forward to the shareholders of the company who

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decide on the investment. But I hope that process can now happen because

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Grangemouth is worth it happening and the leavelihoods of these people

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are worth -- livelihoods of these people are worth it. We are prepared

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to encourage and if sillity where agreement could be -- facilitate

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where agreement could be reached. Where was he when you spoke to him

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on the phone? He was in London and I was speaking from Aberdeen. So it's

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not true, as has been alleged in the house of Lord this evening, that

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he's swanking around on yacht in the Mediterranean? No and I could say

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that Mr Rathbone was in DLON when I spoke from Aberdeen. Can I say from

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all this stuff, I'm prepared from past exchanges as you know, to

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engage in all sorts of stuff with other politicians and you know for

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debate and all the rest of it. Right now when there are thousands of folk

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who are waiting to see if they have a job and livelihood, whether people

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are in the House of Lords and Commons or Scottish Parliament, we

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should address the issue, our role right now is to try to get people to

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agree, to try to get common ground to secure the future of the

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facility. The rhetoric and inSULTs and all that nonsense should wait

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for another day. Have you heard anything about the proposal from

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Unite? I haven't as yet. We will wait and see if that comes through

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tomorrow. What I'm hearing is that if what they are saying through it

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is diametrically opposed to what they were saying only two days ago,

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which was they totally rejected our survival plan and that is what

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caused most of the Unite represent people on site to vote against it.

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So there is a possibility of, Alex Salmond there was talking about

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something five minutes to midnight. It is five minutes to midnight as

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far as you are concerned, because the negotiations are not over? The

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problem is the negotiations are over, which is why we announced

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today we have to close the site. The difficulty we have been put into is

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we made a clear statement to our employees because we couldn't talk

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to Unite, they refused to talk about on the issue, they wanted to talk

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about the treatment of the union convener. We have addressed it

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directly to the work force, and encouraged by Unite they rejected

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it, or half of them rejected it. Are you willing to reopen negotiations?

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The reality is, and I think you heard Alex Salmond say it, that in

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his discussions with Jim Ratcliffe and the shareholders, the management

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team on the site will obviously take back to the shareholders something

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if it changes significantly. I don't know whether that's the case or not

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at this stage. So you are in principle prepared to reopen

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negotiations, or you, I mean if people were willing on-site you

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would? The reality of the situation is that we have been forced by t

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rejection of the proposals we made to start a process that sees the

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site close, that is the reality, I can't say what will happen tomorrow,

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I have no idea what else is being offered. We have no idea what is on

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the table. It is clearly not over. You are not talking like man who is

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saying it is over, it is finished, it is done? The reality is we have

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had to announce today the petro-chemical site will close.

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There is a huge discussion to be had about restarting the refinery, that

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has to start to continue. Whether that impacts on the petro-chemical

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site I have no idea. As far as you are concerned the refinery can

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continue to operate? Absolutely. Fine, can you help us with the

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petro-chemical figures, this figure of your company losing ?10 million a

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month, Alex Salmond disputes that, you heard him say that there that he

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can't accept that was necessary the right figure, is it the right

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figure? The overall site is losing ?10 million a month. That is the

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whole site, both refining and petro-chemicals. Petro-chemicals is

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a big piece of that. The reality is we have had to invest so far about a

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billion pounds into the site. We have now to invest, if we want to

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continue petro-chemical, they have to a further ?300 million, that was

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put to the work force, are you willing to support us, if we are

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going to put the ?300 million is, the answer was a resounding no. To

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muck about with people's pension expectations is pretty tough? If it

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were mucking about, I would agree with you. All we have asked to do is

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for the pensions to go for a normal situation. Something most people

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would consider very generous. The current pension scheme is costing us

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65% of salary, for everyone we employ we have to add another 65% on

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top of their salary which currently is about ?55,000, add the # the 65%

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on it is costing over ?100,000 for every person on the site. Can you

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imagine anyone else in your line of work to take on the commitments? It

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is difficult to see who would do it. Everyone would face the same issue

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we have, not enough gas from the North Sea, we can't run the site

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full because of that. We have to invest in new facility to bring more

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gas in. That is a big bill, on top of that big bill you have to keep

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shelling out for the losseses on site until you have sort -- losses

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on site until you have sorted that out. That will take two or three

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years. What about workers who think they have no jobs? My message is one

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of huge and deep regret. My major deep regret is their union has not

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represented its interests, it has represented its own iterim political

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interests and advised them extremely badly.

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Thank you very much. Not since medieval philosophers debated how

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many angels can dance on the head of a pin has Westminster seen a display

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to compare with the appearance of three very experienced police

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officers spending much of the afternoon trying to explain how they

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came to describe a conversation which did not take place. In the

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end, though, they couldn't bring themselves to apologise to the then

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cabinet minister, Andrew Mitchell, but the senior officer who

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investigated whether they ought to place disciplinary proceedings still

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believes they should. The scene of wrongdoing? Or as the

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police contend nothing to see here, move along please! Just over a year

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ago the MP for Sutton Coldfield, Andrew Mitchell turned up here at

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his constituency Association for A crucial meeting. If he could

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convince three local representatives of the Police Federation that he had

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done nothing wrong, well he just might be able to save his career.

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What happened in this room around this table has already been the

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subject of an internal police investigation that concluded the

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officers had no case to answer. And a statement by the Independent

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Police Complaints Commisssion that concluded, well there were issues of

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honesty and integrity that needed to be examined. Today it was the turn

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of MPs to look at the issue and pick up the detective's magnifying glass.

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Over more than four hours we heard from three Chief Constables, the

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police officer who carried out the initial internal investigation, two

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senior figures from the independent police watchdog, and of course the

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three police officers themselves, and, well, we ended up more or less

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as baffled as we were at the start. Let's remind ourselves what the

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officers said after the meeting a year ago. I think Mr Mitchell now

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has no option but to resign. He is continuing to refuse to elaborate on

:14:59.:15:04.

what happened. I think his position sun tenable. That statement piled

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the pressure on Mr Mitchell and he ended up resigning. Despite the fact

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that he had an audio recording of the meeting that clearly showed that

:15:13.:15:17.

the officers' version of events was, well, wrong.

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I did say, you know, under my breath, but audibly, in frustration,

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"I thought you lot were supposed to BEEP help us," I did say that, for

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that I apologise. That was the assessment of the independent Police

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Complaints Commisssion, and the man who investigated on behalf of the

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police. Did you end the draft report with the words "by giving a

:15:44.:15:47.

misloading account of what took place at the meeting I believe the

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officers have a case to answer for misconduct and bringing discredit on

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the Police Service". Yes I did. Do you still consider the three

:15:59.:16:01.

officers concerned and we will hear from them later, have a case to

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answer in respect of misconduct have a case to answer. Yes I do. It took

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several minutes of close questioning to work out what apology was for and

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for whom? Is it an aa polling to Mr Mitchell or everyone in the public.

:16:28.:16:31.

That you didn't pause and think before you went to the press? It is

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an apology for the choreography not being properly dealt with. Not an

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apology for anything you have done. You don't think you have done

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anything wrong? At the moment no, I'm not convinced that we have done

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anything wrong. You would know now after a year, wouldn't you, after a

:16:48.:16:52.

year? I'm not convinced we have done nothing wrong. You have nothing to

:16:53.:16:57.

apologise that is your view? Yes. I I gave what I believed to be an

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accurate account of the meeting. At one point the third officer came

:17:02.:17:05.

been a truncheon's-length of an apology to Mr Mitchell before

:17:06.:17:09.

eventually drawing back. As part of the apology we have already given,

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it should be included in that apology, but that is an apology if

:17:13.:17:16.

we are going to give we should give to Mr Mitchell personally not in

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this forum. You are planning to see Mr Mitchell to give him an apology.

:17:21.:17:24.

If there is one due, and if there is one due with regard to... (laughter)

:17:25.:17:30.

Mr Hinton this is not a television game show! The MPs were clearly not

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satisfied with this. Because this is just NON not the nature of what was

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said. I just understand why even if you didn't mean it you wouldn't

:17:43.:17:51.

apologise to Mr Mitchell? Mr Jones? I can you say that again I'm not

:17:52.:17:58.

sure I fully understand? But all agree that perhaps it would be

:17:59.:18:01.

better in the future if serving police officers didn't go around

:18:02.:18:05.

during working hours taking part in highly political campaigns and

:18:06.:18:13.

calling for cabinet ministers to resign.

:18:14.:18:16.

As you would imagine our producer spent much of the day trying to get

:18:17.:18:19.

someone in a police uniform to appear tonight. Despite our best

:18:20.:18:24.

efforts, the Independent Police Complaints Commisssion, the police

:18:25.:18:29.

fed rail strikes the association -- the Police Federation, West Mercia

:18:30.:18:31.

police weren't able to find anyone to come on. We did have a yes from

:18:32.:18:35.

the Chief Constable of Warwickshire, but 25 minutes before he was due to

:18:36.:18:39.

appear we were called by his assistant to explain he had a long

:18:40.:18:43.

day and could no longer make it. Let's hope he's having a long lie

:18:44.:18:48.

down. Guess who wrote this, "when people talk about politics within

:18:49.:18:51.

the existing Westminster framework I feel a dull thud in my stomach and

:18:52.:18:58.

my eyes, involuntarily glazed like when I'm conversing and the subject

:18:59.:19:02.

changes from me and moves on to another topic." The combination of

:19:03.:19:10.

distaste for mainstream politics and vanity defines it as Russell Brand,

:19:11.:19:15.

actor, comedian and now it seems political they arist. For is there

:19:16.:19:22.

no -- theorist. He's now the guest editor of the New Statesman. He

:19:23.:19:28.

wants a revolution, he says. Who are you to edit a political magazine? I

:19:29.:19:34.

suppose like a person who has been politely asked by an attractive

:19:35.:19:38.

woman. I don't know the criteria, I don't know many people who edit

:19:39.:19:42.

political manage SDEENs, Boris, I'm a person with crazy hair, a good

:19:43.:19:48.

sense of humour, know nothing about politics. Is it true you don't vote?

:19:49.:19:52.

No I don't. How do you have authority to talk about politics? I

:19:53.:19:56.

don't get my authority from the preexisting paradigm that is narrow

:19:57.:20:00.

and only service a few people. I look elsewhere for alternatives that

:20:01.:20:06.

might be of service to humanity. Alternate means all TRNate political

:20:07.:20:10.

systems. They being? I haven't invented it yet, I had to do the

:20:11.:20:14.

magazine last week and I had a lot on my plate. This is the thing it

:20:15.:20:18.

shouldn't do, it shouldn't destroy the planet, shouldn't create massive

:20:19.:20:22.

economic disparity and ignore the needs of the people. The burp is on

:20:23.:20:30.

The burden of proof is on the people in power. How do you imagine people

:20:31.:20:36.

get power? There are hierarchical systems that get them elected. There

:20:37.:20:41.

is democratic system, you can't be arsed to vote? It is something that

:20:42.:20:45.

changes. In a democracy it works? I don't think it is working very well

:20:46.:20:49.

given that the planet is being destroyed and economic disparity of

:20:50.:20:52.

a huge degree, you are saying there is no alternative, just this system.

:20:53.:20:56.

I'm not saying that, if you can'ting arsed to vote why should we be cars

:20:57.:21:01.

today listen to your political point of view? You don't have to. I'm not

:21:02.:21:05.

voting out of apathy, but out of absolute indifference and weariness

:21:06.:21:10.

over the distortion and lies and political deceit of the political

:21:11.:21:14.

class going on for generations now, and reaching fever pitch where we

:21:15.:21:19.

have a disenfranchised and disillusioned despondent underclass

:21:20.:21:22.

not being represented by that system. There is tacit complicity

:21:23.:21:28.

with the system. Why not change it? I'm trying to. Start by voting? I

:21:29.:21:31.

don't think it work, people have voted already and that is what

:21:32.:21:35.

created the current paradigm. When did you last vote? Never. You have

:21:36.:21:39.

never voted? Do you think that is bad. You struck an attitude before

:21:40.:21:44.

the age of 18? I was busy being a drug addict, because I come from the

:21:45.:21:48.

social systems that are exacerbated by the system, that administers to

:21:49.:21:53.

lar corporations. You are blaming the political class for your drug

:21:54.:21:57.

problem? I'm saying I was part of a social and economic class that is

:21:58.:22:01.

underserved by the current political system and drug addiction is one of

:22:02.:22:05.

the problems it creates when you have huge underserved impoverished

:22:06.:22:09.

population, people get drug problems and don't feel that they want to

:22:10.:22:13.

engage with the current political system because they see it doesn't

:22:14.:22:16.

work for them. They see it makes no difference. They see they are not

:22:17.:22:20.

served. I say that the apathy. It don't work if they don't vote? The

:22:21.:22:26.

apathy doesn't come from us the people, it is from the politicians

:22:27.:22:29.

apathetic to our needs. They are only interested in servicing the

:22:30.:22:33.

needs of the population. The Tories taking the EU to court because they

:22:34.:22:37.

are trying to cartel bank bonuses, is that what is happening in our

:22:38.:22:41.

country. Why should I tune into that. You don't believe in

:22:42.:22:45.

democracy, you want a revolution? The planet is being destroyed,

:22:46.:22:48.

creating an underclass and exploiting poor people all over the

:22:49.:22:51.

world. The genuine problems of the people are not being addressed by

:22:52.:22:55.

the political class. All of things may be true?. They are true. I

:22:56.:22:58.

wouldn't argue with you about many of them? How come I feel so cross

:22:59.:23:02.

with you, it can't be because of the beard, it is gorgeous, if the Daily

:23:03.:23:07.

Mail don't want it, I do, I'm begins them, grow it longer and tangle it

:23:08.:23:13.

into our armpit air. You are a very trivial man? I'm trivial, a minute

:23:14.:23:18.

ago I want a revolution and I'm trivial, I'm bouncing all over the

:23:19.:23:22.

place. Many people want a revolution, I'm asking what it will

:23:23.:23:26.

be like? What it won't be like is a huge disparity between rich and

:23:27.:23:30.

poor, where 300 Americans have the same amount of wealth as the 85

:23:31.:23:35.

million poorest Americans. Where there is an exploited and

:23:36.:23:41.

underserved underclass that being continually ignored, while welfare

:23:42.:23:44.

is slashed while Cameron and George Osborne go to court to defend the

:23:45.:23:47.

rights of bankers to continue receiving their bonuses, that is all

:23:48.:23:52.

I'm saying. What is the scheme, you talk vaguely about revolution, what

:23:53.:23:57.

is it? I think a socialist equaltarian system en massive

:23:58.:24:04.

redistribution of wealth, and massive -- I think the very concept

:24:05.:24:08.

of profit should be hugely reduced, David Cameron says profit isn't a

:24:09.:24:13.

dirty word, I say profit is a filthy word, wherever there is profit there

:24:14.:24:16.

is deficit. This system currently doesn't address these ideas. Why

:24:17.:24:20.

would anyone vote for it. Why would anyone be interested in it. Who

:24:21.:24:24.

would heavy the taxes? There needs to be a centralised administrative

:24:25.:24:29.

system. There needs to be a Government? Maybe call them

:24:30.:24:32.

something else, call them the admin BODs so they don't get ahead of

:24:33.:24:35.

themselves. How would they be chosen? Don't ask me to sit with you

:24:36.:24:41.

in an interview in a hotel room and devise a global utopian system. You

:24:42.:24:46.

are calling for revolution? Absolutely, I'm calling for change

:24:47.:24:50.

and genuine alternatives, when there is one and option vote for that.

:24:51.:24:55.

Until then, don't bother, why pretend and be complicit in this

:24:56.:25:01.

ridiculous illusion. By the time somebody Kims along you might think

:25:02.:25:06.

worth voting for it might be too late? The time is now, the movement

:25:07.:25:11.

is occurring, we are at a time where communication is instainous, and

:25:12.:25:16.

there are communities all over the world. Occupy introduced to the

:25:17.:25:21.

popular public lexicon the idea of the 99% against the 1%. People for

:25:22.:25:25.

the first time in generation are aware of massive corporate and

:25:26.:25:30.

economic exploitation, these are not nonsense and they are not being

:25:31.:25:34.

addressed. Nobody is doing anything about tax havens or their political

:25:35.:25:37.

affiliations and financial affiliations of the Conservative

:25:38.:25:39.

Party. So until people start addressing things that are actually

:25:40.:25:43.

real, why wouldn't I be factitious, why would I take it seriously and

:25:44.:25:48.

encourage a constituency of young people indifferent to vote. Why

:25:49.:25:52.

wouldn't woo we. Aren't you more bored than anyone, you have been

:25:53.:25:55.

talking to them year after year, listening to their lies and

:25:56.:25:58.

nonsense, this one getting in, that one. The problem continues. Why are

:25:59.:26:02.

we going to continue to contribute to this facade. I'm surprised you

:26:03.:26:07.

can be factitious when you are that angry about it? I am angry, for me

:26:08.:26:12.

it is real. For me it is not just some peripheral thing that you turn

:26:13.:26:16.

up to the church fete from, this is what I come from and what I care

:26:17.:26:20.

about. Do you see any hope? Yeah, totally, there will be a revolution,

:26:21.:26:24.

it is totally going to happen. I ain't got a flicker of doubt. This

:26:25.:26:29.

is the end. This is time to wake up. I remember I see you in that

:26:30.:26:33.

programme, where you look at your ancestor, you saw your grandmother

:26:34.:26:39.

had to brass herself or got locked over by the aChris crates that ran

:26:40.:26:45.

the house, that was unfair and you cried, because it is a century ago.

:26:46.:26:49.

I have been talking to a woman today being treated like that. If we can

:26:50.:26:54.

engage that feeling, instead of some moment of sentimentality set out on

:26:55.:26:59.

the TV for people to pour over emotional porn, if we can engage

:27:00.:27:03.

that feeling and change things. Why wouldn't we, why is that niave, why

:27:04.:27:07.

is that not my right because I'm an actor. I have taken the right, I

:27:08.:27:10.

don't need the right from you or anybody, I'm taking it. Russell

:27:11.:27:15.

Brand. It has been the despairing LAment of one parent after another

:27:16.:27:19.

for years, "can't you get off that screen and get some fresh air for a

:27:20.:27:24.

change"? They are showing their age and day after day they are reminded

:27:25.:27:29.

of how aling, DHOUL, how muddy, had you damp, how remote the natural

:27:30.:27:34.

world is by comparison with the easily accessible delights of cyber

:27:35.:27:38.

reality. A film maker called Bondarenko was so depressed by what

:27:39.:27:44.

seems to be becoming -- David Bond, was to depressed about this that he

:27:45.:27:48.

did what film makers do and made a film about it. I'm David Bond, I'm a

:27:49.:28:09.

father, I'm the marketing director of nature. This is Ivy, she's five,

:28:10.:28:14.

she loves the television. How much do you love the television? One

:28:15.:28:17.

hundred billion, I love sitting in front of it all day long. Why? It is

:28:18.:28:24.

so relaxing. Like all parents, I want my children to be happy. As a

:28:25.:28:29.

child I was happiest playing outdoors. When I got back from

:28:30.:28:34.

school I would throw down my books and go straight out to play. My

:28:35.:28:41.

children don't do that. Across the western world children spend less

:28:42.:28:46.

and less time outdoors. The generational shift to an indoor

:28:47.:28:49.

existence has been strongly linked to a sharp decline in children's

:28:50.:28:55.

well being. Cases of childhood obesity, depression and behavioral

:28:56.:29:03.

difficulty are at a record high. I can't persuade my children to go

:29:04.:29:09.

outside. Modern marketing is a mighty persuader. I want to use it

:29:10.:29:14.

to sell the ultimate free wonder product. The outdoors. I'm going to

:29:15.:29:21.

attach a camera to Ivy to see how things have changed. This is how she

:29:22.:29:27.

spends her time. 32% in school, 15% watching TV, 15% playing indoors,

:29:28.:29:34.

12% on the computer, 10% eating, 5% in the car, 4% in the bathroom, and

:29:35.:29:38.

4% playing out doors. Is this a problem? There is no hard

:29:39.:29:45.

evidence that technology is bad for children. But it definitely

:29:46.:29:50.

displaces nature from their lives. As the marketing director of nature,

:29:51.:29:57.

new technology is my competitor. Can children escape the screens. The

:29:58.:30:02.

first step is to find out what my target audience currently thinks

:30:03.:30:13.

about my product. I have got nature in my box here. What do you think of

:30:14.:30:21.

when you think of nature? Dull, boring. I like it when it is sunny,

:30:22.:30:28.

but I just like staying at home. The reason I don't really go out is

:30:29.:30:33.

because I live on Plumstead common and a lot of people have their dogs

:30:34.:30:36.

there and people get mauled to death. Yeah, that's interesting. The

:30:37.:30:41.

reason a lot of people I know and myself don't go to the woods and

:30:42.:30:44.

nature, you don't want to mess up your clothes that you are wearing.

:30:45.:30:48.

And the clothes I want to get messy I wouldn't want to wear outside in

:30:49.:30:56.

public. Look at your model, outdoors doesn't look like that, it looks

:30:57.:30:59.

completely different. If it looked like that I would want to go

:31:00.:31:04.

outside, but it really doesn't. Oh no. These girls hate my product.

:31:05.:31:14.

I will show you where we play. We play up in this square. There is the

:31:15.:31:20.

sign that pays "no ball games" but we don't listen. Who put up the

:31:21.:31:24.

sign? The housing office, that owns all the houses. People moan at us

:31:25.:31:29.

for playing ball games but we don't listen so. I am GLAED to hear it.

:31:30.:31:35.

What What would happen if they caught you playing ball games? I

:31:36.:31:39.

think we will just get an ASBO. You get an ASBO? Yeah. This is the green

:31:40.:31:45.

grass where I take my dogs and I just let them do what they want.

:31:46.:31:49.

This little bit of green here? Because it is quite a small I can't

:31:50.:31:52.

remember, there is a lot of dog mess in this little area? But East End

:31:53.:31:57.

homes do come and trim it and just try to grow the patches that have

:31:58.:32:01.

not come up and all that. It is not a very big space is it? My dog comes

:32:02.:32:12.

on here a lot, she likes it. Are these children really missing

:32:13.:32:17.

out? What's the scientific evidence for the benefits of nature? Never in

:32:18.:32:24.

human history have we spent so little time in physical contact with

:32:25.:32:29.

animals and plants. YUFR University students with natural views score

:32:30.:32:34.

better on tests. Workers who see trees and flowers are less stressed

:32:35.:32:38.

and report fewer illnesses. And that's just a view of nature. If you

:32:39.:32:45.

actually go into it, the results are amazing. Being among plants produce

:32:46.:32:50.

lower concentrations of stress HOER moans, lower blood pressure and

:32:51.:32:53.

boosts the immune system. The more nature we get during childhood the

:32:54.:33:00.

more we want as adults. Unless children really notice nature around

:33:01.:33:07.

them, they will never care about it. I worry that children spent more and

:33:08.:33:13.

more time staring down at screens. If we fail to market nature to them,

:33:14.:33:17.

they are bound to choose the alternatives. The competitors may

:33:18.:33:22.

have got the budget, but I think we have got the best product.

:33:23.:33:35.

Well David Bond joins us now as does the journalist, and Sorayah July,

:33:36.:33:40.

with a four-year-old child, also with us is Eve King doing what

:33:41.:33:45.

11-year-olds are actually doing things now.

:33:46.:33:51.

Sir Tom Arnold you are -- David you are instinctively an urban person

:33:52.:33:54.

what is wrong with the countryside? It is lovely, but what is wrong is

:33:55.:33:59.

the notion you will be ill if you don't go there. The whole thing is

:34:00.:34:03.

predicated on the idea that there is something called Nature Deficit

:34:04.:34:09.

Disorder, in which you make yourself ill if you are not taken back to

:34:10.:34:13.

your natural state which is thought to be evolutionary us hunting

:34:14.:34:18.

antelopes across the vale and eating their livers. The closer you get

:34:19.:34:22.

back to that idea the closer you are to your real self. It is a romantic

:34:23.:34:27.

idea without evidence behind it. There is plenty of evidence and it

:34:28.:34:30.

is growing all the time. The evidence is children need nature,

:34:31.:34:34.

they develop better, it is good for their brains, it is fun for them.

:34:35.:34:38.

The evidence is pretty clear that without it they tend to spend their

:34:39.:34:42.

time inside on screens, if they are watching screens a lot then obesity

:34:43.:34:46.

levels are higher. There is a lot of evidence that attention deficit and

:34:47.:34:49.

depression in children is raised significantly if they spend too long

:34:50.:34:54.

indoors. There are links between the indoors and problems, there is a

:34:55.:34:57.

clear evidence that the indoors is pushing nature away. Maybe not a

:34:58.:35:01.

precise causal link but it is pretty clear it is there. It is clear the

:35:02.:35:05.

more time you spend indoors the less cases of RIKTs there are -- rickets

:35:06.:35:11.

there are for example? That may be the case, what we wanted to show

:35:12.:35:15.

was, go on. You are just saying that life has changed, we live in

:35:16.:35:19.

different circumstances? We do. And those circumstances are harming

:35:20.:35:24.

children. It is pretty clear without time and nature, children are less

:35:25.:35:30.

well off. And that's a serious problem. You have a how old is your

:35:31.:35:35.

daughter? She's four. And as lovely as it would be to be able to get out

:35:36.:35:39.

in nature, and see the lovely birds in the trees, thele reality -- the

:35:40.:35:47.

reality is we don't live near somewhere. When we can get out we

:35:48.:35:51.

do, but it has to be day out that is planned and a lot of thought put

:35:52.:35:55.

into it. Do you feel deprived because you are not exposed to

:35:56.:35:59.

nature? It is not something I really put much thought in to. Do you think

:36:00.:36:02.

your daughter is worse off because she is less exposed to nature? She

:36:03.:36:06.

has everything she needs at home. She is not sitting at home in front

:36:07.:36:09.

of the television, she is doing things at home, we do get out of the

:36:10.:36:13.

house, just not necessarily running through fields. It does make a

:36:14.:36:18.

certain amount of instinctive sense? If what David is saying is parks are

:36:19.:36:22.

nice, we didn't need a whole film to tell us that, we have a great urban

:36:23.:36:25.

movement for parks. It was interesting seeing the little boy.

:36:26.:36:29.

His circumstances in there were pretty much exactly the same as my

:36:30.:36:34.

father's were in the East End in the 1920s and 30s, that hasn't changed

:36:35.:36:38.

much. So if the proposition is let as give people a range of possible

:36:39.:36:42.

opportunities to enjoy different things, I'm in favour of it. What I

:36:43.:36:46.

can't stand is the notion that some how we are deficient parents. At one

:36:47.:36:50.

point in the trail of the film David says his children's generation will

:36:51.:36:53.

be the first generation to die earlier than their parents. They are

:36:54.:36:57.

not David, that is completely nonsense. That will not happen.

:36:58.:37:00.

Unfortunately I won't be around to be able to bet on it with you. But

:37:01.:37:04.

if I were I would take a substantial bet. There is no evidence of that. I

:37:05.:37:09.

have seen actual assessments suggesting that may well be the

:37:10.:37:13.

case, it is not necessarily affected that they are doing with what Eve is

:37:14.:37:16.

doing there and playing on a screen. She looks a healthy child? She

:37:17.:37:20.

clearly is, but probably has a good balance of what she is doing. What

:37:21.:37:23.

we are trying to say is there ought to be some sort of balance between

:37:24.:37:28.

screen time and wild time. If you can change a bit of the time you

:37:29.:37:31.

spend on screens and switch it out for a little bit more wild time, it

:37:32.:37:35.

is likely to do you good and make you healthier. This idea that some

:37:36.:37:41.

how the urban child is at a disadvantage, that doesn't seem to

:37:42.:37:44.

be the case, some of the kids we met making the film, some of the best

:37:45.:37:48.

kids connected to nature were urban children. The RSPV report suggests

:37:49.:37:55.

that some rural children are less connected, they are faredied in cars

:37:56.:37:59.

and social media all the time because they can't connect. Do you

:38:00.:38:04.

think this is a bit boring? Sometimes. This conversation, this

:38:05.:38:08.

issue, do you think it is boring? I think you meant the iPad. Sometimes

:38:09.:38:12.

I get bored of the iPad eventually. Do you? ? Do you go outside then?

:38:13.:38:20.

Yes. There we are. Can I ask do you have a guarden? Yeah. That is

:38:21.:38:24.

another issue we don't have the garden and don't have the

:38:25.:38:26.

opportunity to go out and see the worms and bugs and things like that.

:38:27.:38:30.

We go to the park and when we do it is the playground that the time is

:38:31.:38:34.

spent in not the grass and trees. So the urban child doesn't get as much

:38:35.:38:40.

opportunity to get out. Also we are being sold something here, let's

:38:41.:38:43.

face it. There is a complete conflation between outdoors, nature,

:38:44.:38:46.

the two things are not the same and then the wild. There is nothing wild

:38:47.:38:52.

about what you are suggesting. Urban kids see squirrels all the time, in

:38:53.:38:56.

a sense that they are wild, but we are not in the wilderness and not

:38:57.:39:00.

wild in that way. If what you mean is that a bit of greenery cheers you

:39:01.:39:04.

up a bit, I completely understand that. But in so far as the

:39:05.:39:09.

proposition is a kind of guilt proposition on parents. In your film

:39:10.:39:15.

at one stage you go past the Apple store, shouting at people on a

:39:16.:39:21.

loud-hailer saying stop buying your kids iPads and take them outdoors.

:39:22.:39:26.

We could really do without that hectoring. I had run out of money

:39:27.:39:32.

for campaign so I moved to guerrilla tactic, including. There is a huge

:39:33.:39:42.

amount of natural symbols encouraging us to trust things, and

:39:43.:39:47.

very little is done to sell us nature. Is it wrong that apple have

:39:48.:39:52.

an apple? He very much appreciates that we are sitting on the wooden

:39:53.:39:56.

chair, hand crafted earlier this week by the editor of news night. He

:39:57.:40:00.

has to have some main talent, obviously. Do you feel that there is

:40:01.:40:07.

anything real about this issue? You feel obviously the absence of the

:40:08.:40:11.

opportunity is this a real issue? You are a student teacher? I am a

:40:12.:40:16.

student teacher, I believe there is some element of truth in it. If you

:40:17.:40:22.

do, sorry, if you do spend your whole day in the house you start to

:40:23.:40:26.

feel depressed, it is nice to get out to the countryside, you feel

:40:27.:40:30.

better. I don't think, as David said, it is going to make us

:40:31.:40:34.

deficient if we don't get out into the wild every single day. It is

:40:35.:40:38.

nice to get out sometimes. I don't know if it is unwealthy to not do it

:40:39.:40:43.

all the time. Do you think this campaign will have any effect at

:40:44.:40:47.

all? There is about 300 organisations who joined up to

:40:48.:40:50.

encourage children to get out doors more. Including the National Health

:40:51.:40:54.

Service and various mental health charities. All of whom see benefits

:40:55.:40:59.

for various reasons, health benefits, mental health benefits.

:41:00.:41:04.

Lots of schools now have got forests systems going on. That seems to

:41:05.:41:07.

really encourage children to learn in a more effective way. Why don't

:41:08.:41:12.

we consentrate on that, these things like lots of other things we do Co

:41:13.:41:16.

Do, music and so on are fun and good things to do, why couch it in terms

:41:17.:41:21.

of spurious statistics about people's mental health and strange

:41:22.:41:25.

disorders we created, especially for the moment that create a sense of

:41:26.:41:31.

guilt amongst people who are quite often doing their best and don't

:41:32.:41:34.

really relate. I would query loot of the things that you were -- query

:41:35.:41:38.

quite a lot of things you were saying about the evidence.

:41:39.:41:41.

Briefly respond to that? The evidence is clear, I really strongly

:41:42.:41:50.

disagree. Have you won yet? No, I wasn't playing a winning game!

:41:51.:41:55.

Thanks any way. As we all know, because the

:41:56.:41:58.

newspapers tell us every day, alcohol will kill you, as will salt,

:41:59.:42:03.

coffee, red meat, buns and more or less anything or possibly they can

:42:04.:42:06.

all be good for you in the right doses. Just about everything gives

:42:07.:42:11.

you cancer or heart attack, if one could only live without eating and

:42:12.:42:15.

drinking at all, how wonderful it would be, possibly without reading

:42:16.:42:20.

at all. We asked Michael Mosley, one of the few qualified doctors in this

:42:21.:42:28.

tatty trade to give us a guide. There is a lot of confusion about

:42:29.:42:32.

which foods are good for you and which are bad for you. Part of the

:42:33.:42:36.

reason for that is there is a lot of studies that are really quite

:42:37.:42:41.

flawed. A decent study is one called a Prospective Cohort Studio. You

:42:42.:42:45.

take a group of people who don't have a disease, you test them and

:42:46.:42:49.

follow them for a long period of time and you see what happens. When

:42:50.:42:53.

you do that sort of a study then you get some big surprises.

:42:54.:43:01.

Now for 40 years we have been told that saturated fats like butter are

:43:02.:43:06.

bad for us, when they did a prospective cohort study they found

:43:07.:43:09.

there is very little evidence that saturated fats lead to heart

:43:10.:43:13.

disease. Margarine on the other hand, which

:43:14.:43:18.

starts out as a liquid sunflower oil and has to be turned into a solid,

:43:19.:43:23.

that processing leads to something called transfats, it turns out that

:43:24.:43:28.

they are the villain. So given a choice between butter and margarine,

:43:29.:43:37.

I personally opt for butter. I like the taste of smoothies, and that's

:43:38.:43:42.

because they are incredibly sweet. In a survey done of 52 commercial

:43:43.:43:47.

smoothies they discovered that 41 of them had more calories and more

:43:48.:43:52.

sugar in them than you would find in a Coca-Cola. The other problem with

:43:53.:43:55.

smoothies is once you take the fruit, you remove the peel and fibre

:43:56.:44:01.

by mashing it up, well you have got rid of most the benefits. You would

:44:02.:44:10.

be far better off eating fruit. Without a doubt this has been one of

:44:11.:44:14.

the Government's most successful campaigns. The problem is fruit and

:44:15.:44:19.

vegtables good food, yes, but lots of other things didn't get included

:44:20.:44:24.

in the five-a-day. For example when you get a processed food where it

:44:25.:44:30.

says one of five-a-day. Yet that contains huge amount of sugar and

:44:31.:44:37.

salt. There have been conflicting studies

:44:38.:44:40.

but I think the evidence is quite strong that if you reduce the amount

:44:41.:44:44.

of salt in your diet that will reduce blood pressure and therefore

:44:45.:44:48.

your risk of having a stroke. The problem is just getting rid of the

:44:49.:44:52.

salt dispenser is not going to be enough. Because there is lots of

:44:53.:44:56.

added salt all around. Even things that don't taste salty like bread

:44:57.:45:01.

and muffins. There is, however, one piece of good news.

:45:02.:45:09.

Coffee has something of a bad boy image, because down the years it has

:45:10.:45:14.

been blamed from everything from heart disease to cancer. When they

:45:15.:45:19.

did a prospective cohort study, they found that coffee seems to be good

:45:20.:45:23.

for you in all sorts of ways, not least of cutting your risk of

:45:24.:45:29.

suicide. It seems something like caffeine acts as an antidepressant

:45:30.:45:34.

and boosts neurotransmitters in your brain that give you a "feel-good

:45:35.:45:43.

factor". That was rather useful, Dr Michael Mosley, back tomorrow night

:45:44.:45:47.

on BBC Two in his series on health matters, , Trust Me I'm A Doctor.

:45:48.:45:56.

Now the That's all from us tonight, before

:45:57.:46:33.

we go we were treated today to the results of David Cameron's latest

:46:34.:46:36.

happiness survey, it reveals that Londoners, surprise, surprise, are

:46:37.:46:40.

the most miserable and anxious people in the country. One of our

:46:41.:46:45.

producers wondered if Beano, the Newsnight clown, might be able to

:46:46.:46:47.

help? The mobile phone is more interesting

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than me. Londoners must be happy.

:47:12.:47:26.

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

What future for Grangemouth? Why won't the police apologise for plebgate? Russell Brand talks about his revolution, and how children have ditched the great outdoors.


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