01/11/2013 Newsnight


01/11/2013

With Gavin Esler. Can RBS be fixed by splitting into good and bad bits? Are cameras in your clothes the last straw for privacy? Should prisoners have to earn their perks?


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Transcript


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The bank you own, RBS, decides not to break up, but put all its toxic

:00:11.:00:18.

assets in an internal Bad Bank. Here is George Osborne's explanation. The

:00:19.:00:21.

bad bits will be managed by a different team, who will wind them

:00:22.:00:25.

down or sell them off. Allowing it lend more to British businesses.

:00:26.:00:30.

What do the Treasury's cartoons tell us about when British tax-payers

:00:31.:00:33.

will get their money back. We have asked the man who wrote the book on

:00:34.:00:38.

RBS, Ian Martin, to explain. Keep your eye on this, the tiny cameras

:00:39.:00:45.

we could all use a high-tech breakthrough of possiblities, or Big

:00:46.:00:52.

Brother's nosier little brother. Newly convicted prisoners will be

:00:53.:00:56.

forced to earn proof links, starting from the bottom. We ask the man who

:00:57.:01:01.

wrote the speech Hug a Hoodie, how it could shake up jails in England

:01:02.:01:08.

and Wales. And this... I can assure you this is my kind of town.

:01:09.:01:21.

Good evening, the rise and fall and near utter collapse of the Royal

:01:22.:01:27.

Bank of Scotland is one of the most extra ordinary stories of the

:01:28.:01:29.

banking crisis. Today there were signs of new life. Over the years

:01:30.:01:33.

some assumed the way to save RBS would be to dump its most toxic

:01:34.:01:38.

assets in a new separate Bad Bank, then try to get back the tax-payers'

:01:39.:01:42.

money from selling our stake in what remained. Now RBS has decided to

:01:43.:01:47.

keep the toxic acid dustbin within its own structure, fencing it off

:01:48.:01:50.

from other parts of the organisation. If banks in the past

:01:51.:01:53.

were too big to fail, would it be a good idea if banks were broadly

:01:54.:01:58.

forced to downsize. We asked the journalist Ian Martin, who recently

:01:59.:02:02.

published a book on the RBS story, to give his acements on what might

:02:03.:02:07.

end up best for the banks, the taxpayer and the country.

:02:08.:02:12.

A draft report commissioned by the Government... Including a

:02:13.:02:15.

conversation recommendation to split the bank in two... I recommending

:02:16.:02:20.

breaking up Royal Bank of Scotland. That was then, today we learned they

:02:21.:02:25.

are not going to split RBS into a good bank and bad bank afterall.

:02:26.:02:31.

Following a year of turmoil and the removal of the chief executive that

:02:32.:02:35.

led the bank since the epic bail out in 2008. The Government have decided

:02:36.:02:40.

that RBS, for better or worse will hang on to its toxic debt. It flies

:02:41.:02:47.

in the face of advice from Mervyn King and Nigel Lawson. Both say that

:02:48.:02:52.

the stuff should be dumped. What are we talking about? What is toxic

:02:53.:02:57.

debt? Toxic debt is the very worst stuff on a bank's balance sheet.

:02:58.:03:01.

Loans and other assets gone bad. We're talking about mortgages for

:03:02.:03:07.

homes, the owners struggle to repay, and borrowing by customers and

:03:08.:03:11.

companies that went bust. These were reckless loans made in the long boom

:03:12.:03:15.

and during the financial crisis of to 2008 they collapsed in value,

:03:16.:03:20.

leaving banks such as RBS exposed to losses. Pretty grim stuff. Is there

:03:21.:03:25.

way to get rid of it? Well there is no easy answer. One idea was to put

:03:26.:03:32.

all of the toxic stuff inside a separate RBS Bad Bank. But that

:03:33.:03:36.

raises another question, what exactly is a Bad Bank? It is where

:03:37.:03:43.

you dump your toxic debt. The idea is to park the bad loans weighing

:03:44.:03:47.

the bank down and put it in a different bank, your Badger, to be

:03:48.:03:53.

owned by the -- your Bad Bank to be owned by the tax-payers. They can

:03:54.:03:57.

sell off the risky assets to investors who think they might make

:03:58.:04:01.

a profit. That leaves the managers at the good bank free to focus on

:04:02.:04:06.

being bank. Lending money and making money and restoring themselves to

:04:07.:04:10.

rude financial health. Restored in this manner the good RBS could then

:04:11.:04:13.

have been sold off before the election, with garlands and mutual

:04:14.:04:20.

back slaps all round. But after a four-month look at the nuts and

:04:21.:04:24.

bolts the Government and RBS have decided that this option is

:04:25.:04:27.

potentially too complicated and messy. Instead they will create a

:04:28.:04:33.

Bad Bank inside RBS. It is a tweaking of the existing structure.

:04:34.:04:38.

So the option of a proper good bank and bad bank is effectively dead. So

:04:39.:04:43.

are George Osborne's hopes of a pre-election sell-off. I think it is

:04:44.:04:46.

frankly unlikely that we will be able to sell RBS before the general

:04:47.:04:50.

election. Just because there is a lot of work to be done to make sure

:04:51.:04:54.

that RBS cleans up the mistakes of the past, gets out of its big

:04:55.:04:57.

American operations and focuses on Britain. Supports small business,

:04:58.:05:03.

that is all going to take a bit of time. The Treasury hailed today's

:05:04.:05:07.

announcement as a brave, bold new start, for an institution that is

:05:08.:05:11.

still more than 80% owned by the taxpayer. The markets however were

:05:12.:05:17.

sceptical. Shares in RBS fell 7. 5%. The bottom line is RBS has a long

:05:18.:05:22.

road ahead, as its new boss tries to make it a healthy, profitable bank.

:05:23.:05:27.

Until he does that the prospect of the taxpayer getting any of the ?45

:05:28.:05:35.

billion we sunk into RBS remains a distant prospect.

:05:36.:05:39.

Ian Martin is with us, along with the banking commentator, Frances

:05:40.:05:43.

Coppola. Firstly the banking story we talked about last night,

:05:44.:05:47.

allegations of fixing foreign exchange rates has taken a new twist

:05:48.:05:52.

today. We have the details. What has been happening? Very interesting day

:05:53.:05:55.

of further developments on this story. Tonight Citigroup and JP

:05:56.:06:00.

Morgan have confirmed that US regulators have approached them

:06:01.:06:03.

about foreign exchange dealings. Earlier it emerged that Barclays had

:06:04.:06:07.

suspended six traders, coming after news I reported last night that RBS

:06:08.:06:12.

has suspended two of its traders and various other banks had sent

:06:13.:06:17.

executives off on "leave. At this stage there is no evidence of any

:06:18.:06:20.

wrongdoing, the investigation is at an early stage. I get a sense in the

:06:21.:06:24.

City that there is a real sense this is an international issue now. It

:06:25.:06:28.

has been taken extremely seriously at the major banks. There is a worry

:06:29.:06:33.

I think in some sources that it has the potential, potential I stress,

:06:34.:06:36.

possibly to get to the scale of another LIBOR scandal. If it did

:06:37.:06:40.

that would be disastrous for the reputation of banks in the City

:06:41.:06:44.

trying to rebuild after a all that emerged last year. We will be

:06:45.:06:48.

following that. On the wider story that you covered today for us.

:06:49.:06:53.

George Osborne has said this new RBS will be out batting for Britain. Is

:06:54.:06:56.

that the way you see it that we should actually cheer that A Bigger

:06:57.:07:00.

Splash bank will remain? What he means there is he means that the

:07:01.:07:05.

Government wants RBS to become quite boring, it wants it to be much more

:07:06.:07:10.

like Lloyd's, to focus on the domestic market and to sell off some

:07:11.:07:14.

of its operation, or pretty much all its operations in America and become

:07:15.:07:18.

something not exciting. They feel the taxpayer has probably had quite

:07:19.:07:23.

enough excitement with RBS. Enough to last a while. There has been a

:07:24.:07:30.

change of tone, hasn't there, by the Bank of England and the new Governor

:07:31.:07:33.

of the Bank of England, he has been suggesting there are reasons to be

:07:34.:07:36.

very cheerful about big banks, that is not quite the same tone that

:07:37.:07:40.

Mervyn King was adopting in charge? It is as if Nauth, mark carne knee

:07:41.:07:48.

-- Mark Carney made a speech for the 150th anniversary of the FT, I would

:07:49.:07:51.

classify it as one of the most important speeches on public policy

:07:52.:07:56.

in the last couple of decades. He essentially acknowledged that the UK

:07:57.:08:00.

banking system is enormous, and it had become 450% of GDP on total

:08:01.:08:05.

assets by the time of the crisis. He was saying we shouldn't be too

:08:06.:08:08.

worried about that and the banking system, still about 350% of GDP, we

:08:09.:08:17.

can envisage that as esently being nine-times GDd -- eventually being

:08:18.:08:22.

nine-times GDP, why, because the systems introduced make it safer and

:08:23.:08:25.

we have learned lessons from the crisis. It sounds familiar. That is

:08:26.:08:30.

the problem isn't it, people all over Britain listening to, that they

:08:31.:08:34.

didn't have much coverage at the time, but listening to think about

:08:35.:08:39.

that and say banks too big to fail, we have heard that before? They

:08:40.:08:42.

might very well. I want to put it in a bit of context though I was

:08:43.:08:45.

looking at the history of this earlier and realised in the whole

:08:46.:08:49.

history of the banking in the UK we have almost never had a big bank

:08:50.:08:53.

failure, RBS was a real revelation. People need to be not quite as

:08:54.:08:57.

worried as they are about big banks. Do you think the culture has really

:08:58.:09:01.

changed within these banks? I wouldn't like to say that. Culture

:09:02.:09:06.

change is a long and slow process. The I AW member writing in the FT

:09:07.:09:12.

made that point forcefully recently. It is a long haul to change the

:09:13.:09:18.

culture in banks. I have no doubt there will be further problems

:09:19.:09:20.

resulting from what we call bad behaviour. It doesn't mean another

:09:21.:09:24.

failure. In that sense then should we be quite happy or relaxed about

:09:25.:09:28.

the idea that big banks will continue. TSB has been hived off

:09:29.:09:33.

from Lloyd's, so banks can lose bits here and there? Yes. Without any

:09:34.:09:38.

particular problems. So should we as citizens be fairly happy that the

:09:39.:09:42.

big beasts remain? I think so. I think they serve a useful purpose.

:09:43.:09:47.

Large universal banks have been a feature of the European banking

:09:48.:09:51.

landscape for a long time and really rather successfully. The subtitle of

:09:52.:09:56.

your book was the men who blew the British economy and they did nearly?

:09:57.:09:59.

I think we should be really concerned about it. Writing a book

:10:00.:10:03.

about the subject, I'm not a financial journalist by trade, I'm a

:10:04.:10:07.

political journalist, but the jaw-dropping moment for me came when

:10:08.:10:14.

you look at the graph of how fast British banking grew it used to be

:10:15.:10:20.

73% of GDP and by the time of the crisis it was 450% of GDP. The

:10:21.:10:23.

lesson is there is no end of boom and bust, banks will always go bust,

:10:24.:10:26.

there will always be a downturn in the economy. But the difference is

:10:27.:10:30.

that if you have small manageable banks, lots of them competing, and

:10:31.:10:34.

they are not bigger than the economy or excessively large, when they blow

:10:35.:10:38.

up they won't blow up the rest of the economy and won't do the damage

:10:39.:10:41.

on the scale that was done. The worst economic damage in this

:10:42.:10:45.

country for seven decades. You are more of a fan of the, small is

:10:46.:10:48.

beautiful and all that kind of thing. You think smaller banks maybe

:10:49.:10:53.

would be better for all of us? I'm a fatalist about it, I think banks

:10:54.:10:57.

will continue throughout human history to blow up and people will

:10:58.:11:05.

become prone to mania and hubris and madness during a boom. In those

:11:06.:11:08.

circumstances, if you accept that, it is sensible to have banking

:11:09.:11:12.

system I think that is more manageable proportions so that when

:11:13.:11:17.

banks blow up or go bust that they don't cause the absolute carnage

:11:18.:11:21.

that RBS caused. RBS, by the time you hit the crisis, RBS has a

:11:22.:11:28.

balance sheet that's bigger than the UK economy. It is a timebomb by

:11:29.:11:35.

2007/08. The culture you said, it is difficult to say whether cultures

:11:36.:11:38.

have changed, but the regulations have changed and the oversight has

:11:39.:11:41.

changed enough to prevent this happening again? And continuing to

:11:42.:11:44.

do so. We haven't finished with the regulatory change by any means yet.

:11:45.:11:48.

We have got layer upon layer of regulation being added. I have

:11:49.:11:51.

concerns that we may be slightly overdoing it and pinning them down

:11:52.:11:55.

so tightly that they actually can't move. Which also makes it pretty

:11:56.:12:01.

useless, to be honest. In a moment: The sound of disco

:12:02.:12:06.

music was in the air, I wandered over to see what gives. It was an

:12:07.:12:17.

over-40s competition and incredible. Now, imagine a world in which

:12:18.:12:21.

instead of spies, security companies and Government agencies being able

:12:22.:12:24.

to film any detail of your lives, you could do that for yourself. The

:12:25.:12:28.

technology is already here, cameras small enough to be mounted on any of

:12:29.:12:32.

us, capable of recording pretty much anything we want. We asked the

:12:33.:12:39.

former Government high-tech adviser and entre pen -- entrepenur Rohan

:12:40.:12:44.

Silva to give us an idea of what might be in our future. We are on

:12:45.:12:49.

the cusp of a new era, where computers and cameras have become so

:12:50.:12:53.

small they can be worn on our wrists, faces and even embedded in

:12:54.:12:58.

our clothing. These wearable computers will

:12:59.:13:00.

provide us with new service, but they mean that our entire lives can

:13:01.:13:08.

soon be recorded and analyses forever.

:13:09.:13:11.

If everything in If everything in our lives can be recorded the

:13:12.:13:15.

privacy implications are vast. How might we change our behaviour if we

:13:16.:13:19.

know the person we are talking to is recording the conversation. How will

:13:20.:13:23.

the new technologies alter our perception of what is public and

:13:24.:13:28.

private. The first wave of wearable computers and cameras are now coming

:13:29.:13:31.

on to the market. These devices are powerful enough to record our

:13:32.:13:35.

movement, conversations and physical health, and permanently store all of

:13:36.:13:41.

this personal information. Innovative entrepeneurs and

:13:42.:13:44.

campaigners have been experimenting for several years. Their work can

:13:45.:13:48.

help reveal how these technologies might affect our lives. The guy here

:13:49.:13:54.

is a base commander and responsible for a lot of kidnappings, murders,

:13:55.:13:59.

rape. He don't know that he's being filmed. This man is cofounder of a

:14:00.:14:06.

charity that uses wearable cameras to uncover human rights abuses in

:14:07.:14:10.

oppressive regimes. This is their first television interview. Because

:14:11.:14:15.

it is not safe in this area to work with regular cameras or phones, so

:14:16.:14:19.

we are distributing hidden cameras. Do you have any of these cameras

:14:20.:14:24.

that we might look at? I can show you the proto-type, we are not using

:14:25.:14:28.

it at the moment, but for example in some places we wanted to create a

:14:29.:14:32.

cross that is a camera. So the camera is hidden inside. It is a

:14:33.:14:38.

protest Poe type. This was worn by? People going to church and others.

:14:39.:14:42.

What we are doing is talking the technology from inside the cameras

:14:43.:14:45.

that we are buying in China, breaking it apart and building

:14:46.:14:49.

cameras suitable for the environment. To protect their

:14:50.:14:52.

sources they operate using a cell structure much like an underground

:14:53.:14:56.

resistance. The footage they capture is used to bring attention to these

:14:57.:15:01.

abuses through the world's media. In this country we have a lot of

:15:02.:15:06.

footage of intimidation done by perpetrators who were sure because

:15:07.:15:09.

they are working in the rural areas there is impunity and nobody could

:15:10.:15:13.

see them. This was ahead of an election? This specific project was

:15:14.:15:16.

coming to the elections in this country. The footage was broadcast

:15:17.:15:21.

mostly in the local channels. The perpetrators see someone is seeing

:15:22.:15:24.

them. It is an immediate deterrent, suddenly they are not alone,

:15:25.:15:27.

suddenly somebody is watching them. Here in the west many people are

:15:28.:15:31.

concerned about privacy, how do you think about those kinds of issues

:15:32.:15:35.

when you are filming in Africa and across the world? The problem is

:15:36.:15:39.

rape, torture, abuses in these countries, less the privacy. These

:15:40.:15:44.

technologies could have a significant political impact around

:15:45.:15:48.

the world. But closer to home, what might be the consequences for our

:15:49.:15:57.

social and personal lives? James is an artist whose work examples our

:15:58.:16:01.

relationship with technology. He has created art using wearable cameras

:16:02.:16:07.

that explore what will happen when this technology will start to be

:16:08.:16:10.

used by more and more people. When you are filming constantly, that is

:16:11.:16:14.

overwhelming, as one person I can't even possibly review the amount of

:16:15.:16:17.

data I have Kambin rated as an individual. What that -- generated

:16:18.:16:22.

as an individual. What this says to me is how this is a computer's way

:16:23.:16:27.

of seeing. We need smarter and smarter computers in order to

:16:28.:16:30.

process all the information that the other computers are generating. The

:16:31.:16:34.

more cameras there are, the smarter et systems become and the less human

:16:35.:16:38.

they become essentially. Although he's excited about the creative

:16:39.:16:41.

opportunities, James believes we need a debate about the vast amounts

:16:42.:16:45.

about the personal information that these new wearable computers will be

:16:46.:16:52.

collecting? Despite corporations and Governments are gathering

:16:53.:16:56.

information about us, most people seem unbothered, even after the

:16:57.:17:05.

Snowden deck backle. I think it will taken a information crash for us to

:17:06.:17:09.

realise how much information we are giving up. How will we strike the

:17:10.:17:13.

right balance between privacy and innovation. Microsoft researchers

:17:14.:17:19.

Gordon Bell has spent years wearing computers to record everything he

:17:20.:17:23.

does and who he needs. Meets. He understands better than anyone else

:17:24.:17:28.

how the technology will develop. By 2020 we will be recording everything

:17:29.:17:33.

we hear and see. So this device like this gets us everything we see

:17:34.:17:39.

whether it will be socially acceptable to record everything you

:17:40.:17:47.

ever heard is unclear. Did the recordings replace your memory? Now

:17:48.:17:51.

I don't even think of it as back up to my memory. I think it is my true

:17:52.:17:58.

memory. So the computer is the e-memory, my biomemory is really

:17:59.:18:07.

just a URL to the e-memory. So, here is my true memory is here. Some

:18:08.:18:14.

people are concerned though about the privacy issues raised by the

:18:15.:18:18.

data capture. What is your view on that? I share very little

:18:19.:18:21.

information about myself, where I have been, what I'm doing and

:18:22.:18:25.

thinking and all that. Now that's totally in contrast to generation Y

:18:26.:18:31.

wanting to say everything about their lives. Facebook, and Twitter

:18:32.:18:38.

kind of have broken that mould of the idea of privacy that at least I

:18:39.:18:46.

had. The age of wearable computers that can record our entire lives is

:18:47.:18:51.

not science fiction, it is the world we are starting to live in today.

:18:52.:18:55.

But it might take years for the full social and political implications to

:18:56.:19:01.

be understood. These new wearable technologies are sure to deepen the

:19:02.:19:05.

debate about personal privacy. That is understandable. These devices are

:19:06.:19:10.

also being used to tackle human rights abuse, create new works of

:19:11.:19:15.

art and deepen our understanding of the world around us. I hope we are

:19:16.:19:18.

able to take stock of those opportunities as well as the risks.

:19:19.:19:22.

Because in the end it is not the technology that matters, it is what

:19:23.:19:32.

we choose to do with it that counts. Our guests are here. Are you as

:19:33.:19:36.

enthusiastic about the fairly endless possibilities of this as

:19:37.:19:41.

Rohan is? There are endless possibilities but the critical

:19:42.:19:44.

system is people need to trust the systems to use them. If people are

:19:45.:19:48.

sceptical we won't have the uptake we need to see the benefits. That is

:19:49.:19:52.

why regulation is very important. You need to protect people's privacy

:19:53.:19:58.

so they trust using the systems won't mean their insurance company

:19:59.:20:01.

or lawyer suddenly ends up with reams of data about their lives.

:20:02.:20:04.

Isn't one of the implications of this is privacy is dead, we have

:20:05.:20:09.

just not noticed? Privacy is different than 50 years ago. The

:20:10.:20:12.

need for privacy to deal with medical issues or voting, privacy is

:20:13.:20:16.

still very important. So we do need to find way to preserve it, if for

:20:17.:20:21.

no other reason than that is how we understand who we are is in private.

:20:22.:20:25.

Not broadcasting everything to determine things like our health and

:20:26.:20:29.

sexuality. There is obviously huge interest in this and advantages to

:20:30.:20:32.

it and so on. But there are people right now with today's technology

:20:33.:20:36.

who do some pretty weird and inappropriate things, filming things

:20:37.:20:39.

they shouldn't, filming women in situations they shouldn't, even

:20:40.:20:44.

perhaps children. So this could be a tool that would be used by people

:20:45.:20:49.

who are basically perverts? It is incredibly important there is robust

:20:50.:20:54.

regulation. There already S my concern -- is, my concern is the

:20:55.:20:59.

reason the technological devices are all coming from America and Asia is

:21:00.:21:02.

that European regulators every time there is a new technology develop

:21:03.:21:08.

new regulation to keep pace. All it is doing is leaving Europe at a big

:21:09.:21:13.

disadvantage. If we are so afraid of the down sides we lose sight of the

:21:14.:21:17.

upside possibilities. Regulation very, very important. What I'm

:21:18.:21:23.

excited about are the technological responses to the issues. Device that

:21:24.:21:26.

is can monitor and tell you when you are recorded, you are starting to

:21:27.:21:32.

see apps emerging telling you which companies are using your data. That

:21:33.:21:36.

is a better response. Do you see a generational divide, the Facebook

:21:37.:21:40.

generation don't care about some of the issues you care a lot about,

:21:41.:21:45.

privacy not so much? The pace of change is so fast, some young people

:21:46.:21:49.

were going through school when Facebook launched a decade ago who

:21:50.:21:53.

are now trying to get jobs and are seeing the impact of the data they

:21:54.:21:57.

shared coming back to haunt them. I think you are now being people

:21:58.:22:00.

seeing more aware and thinking about what they share in a different way.

:22:01.:22:04.

When you talk about technological possiblities that is great, but the

:22:05.:22:07.

idea of being able to regulate something that I don't know you are

:22:08.:22:10.

wearing, and you are filming things that I don't want you to film. Do I

:22:11.:22:14.

have no rights, or does Nick have no rights in this. Regulating that may

:22:15.:22:22.

be essential but not possible? It is great question, in truth this is all

:22:23.:22:25.

emerging so quickly it will take time for us to develop new social

:22:26.:22:29.

norms, new technological responses, and maybe over time some regulatory

:22:30.:22:34.

responses too. My question to Nick would be, a lot of these concerns

:22:35.:22:37.

raised are about companies being able to access our data, and I would

:22:38.:22:41.

say that we consent to share our data with company in exchange for

:22:42.:22:45.

services. I'm much more afraid of what the Government is going to do.

:22:46.:22:50.

They can lock you up using your data and deprive of your freedom. Isn't

:22:51.:22:56.

that something to be more concerned about? I think that is absolutely

:22:57.:23:00.

right, Government can get data from the companies. It isn't just

:23:01.:23:03.

information the gets directly we know last year that Britain got more

:23:04.:23:07.

data from Skype than any other Government in the world. Governments

:23:08.:23:11.

go after the private data, both through legal channels and as we

:23:12.:23:15.

have learned in the past few day, not always legal channels. I think

:23:16.:23:18.

you do need to remember the best way to protect privacy is to control the

:23:19.:23:21.

information at source. That means giving people a legitimate informed

:23:22.:23:25.

choice about just what data you are collecting in the first place. We

:23:26.:23:29.

will leave it there, thank you very much.

:23:30.:23:35.

In Gilbert and Sullivan's opera The Mikado, it was talk of a short,

:23:36.:23:41.

sharp shock to teach the town a lesson. The phrase was given a new

:23:42.:23:47.

lease of life by Margaret Thatcher's Home Secretary, Willie Whitelaw, to

:23:48.:23:50.

advertise the tough treatment for young criminal, the phrase has

:23:51.:23:55.

disappeared, but the idea to make a prisoner's first experience in jail

:23:56.:24:01.

less comfortable, has been brought against incentive schemes for good

:24:02.:24:04.

behaviour. I'm going to take action, tough action and I shall spell out

:24:05.:24:09.

that action. There is nothing new in policy makers talking about making

:24:10.:24:15.

prison tough. Prison works. It ensures that we are protected from

:24:16.:24:22.

murders, muggers and rapist, it makes many tempted to commit crime

:24:23.:24:28.

think twice. Traditionally they were once places

:24:29.:24:32.

of hard labour and toil. Today some feel prisons have got a bit soft and

:24:33.:24:36.

prisoners have it easy. The Government's response is to insist

:24:37.:24:40.

that new prisoners will have to earn many of the privileges that up until

:24:41.:24:43.

now they could take for granted. New prisoners will not be able to see

:24:44.:24:49.

adult movies, more Bambi than Rambo. Prison uniforms will be the first

:24:50.:24:53.

dress code rather than the privilege of being able to wear your own

:24:54.:24:58.

clothes. Behind the new regime is a simple principle, you are in jail

:24:59.:25:01.

now and if you want to make doing time easier, conform to the rules,

:25:02.:25:05.

otherwise the privileges once earned can easily be striped away. Danny

:25:06.:25:11.

Kruger who famously wrote David Cameron's Hug a Hoodie speech, and

:25:12.:25:18.

now runs the prisons rehabilitation service, Only Connect, do you think

:25:19.:25:24.

the Government is on the right track, starting in jail you start at

:25:25.:25:28.

the bottom and earn a better life? I think the principle is right. In

:25:29.:25:31.

practice this is probably not a huge change to the status quo. There is

:25:32.:25:36.

already lots of ways in which prisons manage their prisoners by

:25:37.:25:39.

giving and withdrawing proof limbings. I think it makes sense to

:25:40.:25:45.

-- proof limbs, I think it makes sense to start at the bottom and

:25:46.:25:50.

work your way up. This is different from the main thrust of what the

:25:51.:25:54.

Government is trying to do. It is a revolution in the way prisons are

:25:55.:25:57.

managed and the way prisoners are expected to behave. The real problem

:25:58.:26:01.

with prisoners is not to my mind how hard or soft the regime is, and what

:26:02.:26:05.

television stations they are allowed to watch, but the fact that they

:26:06.:26:08.

spend most of their time lying on their backs doing very little at

:26:09.:26:12.

all. Most people think prison is a violent and dangerous place, in fact

:26:13.:26:16.

they are pretty sleepy, very safe places where nothing much happens.

:26:17.:26:19.

What the Government is trying to do is turn them into places of industry

:26:20.:26:23.

and hard work. That is the main emphasis of the reforms. Ben do you

:26:24.:26:27.

buy into that, that this is part of a picture but it is important to set

:26:28.:26:31.

the tone right at the start when you enter prison? I think having the

:26:32.:26:35.

gates shut behind you sets the tone. You don't have to wear a stripy

:26:36.:26:40.

shirt to rub your nose in it. It is pointless and petty politicking. I

:26:41.:26:45.

can see a broad thrust in transforming rehabilitation and

:26:46.:26:48.

making prisons places of industry, and purposeful activity, not just

:26:49.:26:52.

mindless repetitive work, but genuine skilled work. But this has

:26:53.:26:57.

got nothing to do with it. Could you see that the reason this kind of

:26:58.:27:01.

idea keeps coming back and back is that it is very popular. People do,

:27:02.:27:06.

as Danny accepts, sitting at home think prisoners have an easy life,

:27:07.:27:10.

they get to choose to watch TV, there is no human right to watch a

:27:11.:27:15.

particular video, this is ridiculous? It also illustrates the

:27:16.:27:19.

ridiculousness of the counter policy. So you ban prisoners from

:27:20.:27:24.

buying 18-rated DVDs, what do they do, they rent their reel television

:27:25.:27:29.

from the prison for a pound a week and turn on late night film rated

:27:30.:27:35.

18. It is pointless, it is literally petty politicking and ministers

:27:36.:27:41.

interfering with the my New Yorkway of -- minute New Yorkia of prisons

:27:42.:27:50.

will get bitten. You seem to agree with changing the regime in terms of

:27:51.:27:56.

education and making stuff improving more prisoner, this sends the wrong

:27:57.:27:59.

signal, it is populist politics that we have seen many times before and

:28:00.:28:02.

it fails. As you said minutes Triaz get bitten when they do this kind of

:28:03.:28:06.

thing? They might do, that is for the politicians to decide for

:28:07.:28:11.

themselves. Ben has a good point. There is politics being played here.

:28:12.:28:15.

And what I worry about, I guess, is it feeds into the idea that it is

:28:16.:28:20.

possible to deter crime by having really regime, I do think we need to

:28:21.:28:24.

have what the minister describes as spartan regimes, it is appropriate

:28:25.:28:28.

that prisoners don't have better lifestyles on the inside than people

:28:29.:28:31.

have on the outside. Nevertheless it is not possible to deter or stop

:28:32.:28:37.

crime by making prisons more and more tough. Unless we are prepared

:28:38.:28:42.

to be not just spartan but medieval, unless we are prepared to brutalise

:28:43.:28:46.

prisons completely, we will never make prisons so unpleasant that the

:28:47.:28:50.

ones we need to worry about, the criminals, are deterred from going

:28:51.:28:54.

there. The fact is their home lives, their lives on the streets are so

:28:55.:28:57.

dangerous and so unpleasant that any form of prison in a civilised

:28:58.:29:01.

country will be safer than that. Deterrents through regime, tougher

:29:02.:29:05.

regime is not the answer to the real problem of prolific and violent

:29:06.:29:09.

crime. What we need to do with the criminals we are all so worried

:29:10.:29:13.

about is give them proper network, proper relationship, enable them to

:29:14.:29:17.

build supportive community that will be there for them both before and

:29:18.:29:20.

after they come out. That is the real emphasis. There is a difficulty

:29:21.:29:25.

with that, part of the proposal, the practice as it comes in today from

:29:26.:29:32.

Mr Greyling, is prisoner's contact with families is restricted. They

:29:33.:29:36.

are only allowed to spent X amount of money in their first two week,

:29:37.:29:40.

the main contact is by phone. Prisoners won't be able to phone

:29:41.:29:44.

home and maintain family contacts. You are playing the same game you

:29:45.:29:50.

are accusing Grayling of doing which is playing into the money issue. The

:29:51.:29:53.

overall thrust is to improve relationships through the gate

:29:54.:29:56.

before and after release to ensure prisoners spend the end of the

:29:57.:29:59.

sentence near their families where they will be released to. Allow

:30:00.:30:03.

charities like mine to work inside the prison and build the contacts

:30:04.:30:08.

before they go out. We have run out of time. That's all for this week,

:30:09.:30:12.

we leave you with news that New York Magazine is advising readers to give

:30:13.:30:16.

London a miss and instead recommends Birmingham as a better place for

:30:17.:30:21.

tourists. It happened before in 1981 the actor Telly Savalas told the

:30:22.:30:26.

world how wonderful Birmingham was. He never set foot in the place,

:30:27.:30:33.

recording his glowing travelogue in London's Soho. I can assure you this

:30:34.:30:40.

is my kind of town. The sound of disco music was in the

:30:41.:30:44.

air so I wandered over to see what gives? It was an over-40s

:30:45.:30:56.

competition and, incredible. Riding the express elevator to the top of

:30:57.:31:01.

one of the city's highest buildings, this is the view that nearly took my

:31:02.:31:08.

breath away. Yes, it is my kind of town, so,

:31:09.:31:29.

Hello, another blustery weekend across the UK, the wind dying down

:31:30.:31:35.

overnight means we will start off with a touch of frost across parts

:31:36.:31:38.

of eastern Scotland, fog in north-east England, the rain

:31:39.:31:41.

arriving in Northern Ireland, spiralling across northern England

:31:42.:31:43.

and much of Scotland through the day. By the afternoon we are left

:31:44.:31:47.

with sunny spells and showers from Northern Ireland. The wet weather

:31:48.:31:50.

moving north through the central belt and across the Grampians over

:31:51.:31:55.

500ms heavy snow through the afternoon. The rain lingering in

:31:56.:31:57.

Aberdeen through the night on Saturday night. After some heavy

:31:58.:32:01.

showers it turns brighter perhaps across eastern counties of England.

:32:02.:32:06.

Sunny spells here, a few showers whizzing through on the brisk

:32:07.:32:10.

breeze, when the sun is out we could get temperatures into the teens.

:32:11.:32:15.

Further west freak showers -- frequent showers, in Wales the winds

:32:16.:32:18.

will strengthen throughout the afternoon and evening and it is

:32:19.:32:22.

potentially causing a few issues, getting to 40-50 miles an hour,

:32:23.:32:27.

maybe more around the coast. With high tides that means big waves. The

:32:28.:32:32.

blustery continues will last through much of the night with England and

:32:33.:32:36.

Wales with further showers. Paris also looks fairly wet and windy on

:32:37.:32:41.

Saturday. Cooler but brighter on Sunday. Greece is a good bet at the

:32:42.:32:47.

moment. Working sou towards Lisbon arriving on Saturday night. As for

:32:48.:32:52.

the UK, Sunday is another breezy affair, rain in the north-east of

:32:53.:32:53.

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

Can RBS be fixed by splitting into good and bad bits?

Are cameras in your clothes the last straw for privacy?

Should prisoners have to earn their perks?


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