27/11/2013 Newsnight


With Jeremy Paxman. Government plans to toughen welfare rules for EU migrants, the man killed by mob justice, more on the Falkirk row and what has gone wrong with the Green Deal?

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 27/11/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



The Prime Minister isn't panicking, oh, no. A matter of a few weeks


before the expected arrival of an unknown number of eastern European


migrants to work, he's introducing restrictions on the welfare benefits


they'll be entitled to. Is David Cameron scapegoating foreigners for


political gain? The Bulgarian ambassador thinks some politicians


and the media are doing so. We pay a fortune for energy and then


let it leak away. Why has the Government plan for a Green Deal


fallen on its face. You can install the energy efficiency measures with


the Green Deal loans and the result is that your bill doesn't go down at


all. The reason being that you're making all these loan repayments.


Kicked to death and set o on fire after false rumours he was a


paedophile. We talk to the sister of the man who died at the hands of mob


justice. We talk to the boss of Coca-Cola


about whether his drink shouldn't be taxed and taxed again to save the


nation from a health crisis. All the political parties


underestimated how strongly public feeling was running on immigration


from Eastern Europe. With the imminent lifting of restrictions on


people wanting to come here from Romain why and Bulgaria -- Romania


and Bulgaria to work it was perhaps inevitable that the Government would


announce ape new policy. -- a new policy. When a European Commissioner


starts using words like "nasty" to describe attitudes here, he may reap


a political diffident. Jim Read reports.


Market day in Northampton, and among the veggies and fresh fruit


different voices from different parts of Europe. My mother just come


to visit me. Latvians shopping for Christmas cards, Bulgarians serving


burgers. Immigration from Central Europe has really changed. Market


towns like this. One in six people in Northampton were born outside the


UK, a figure that's doubled in the last ten years. Polish is now the


second most spoken language in the whole county. Market traders here


like the extra business. Many have real reservations about immigration.


Definitely put pressure on services. Especially the education sector and


hospitals. But, I think, in essence, they do bring something to the


community. It's brought a lot more people to the town. At the same


time, it's also brought a lot more crime to the town. One good thing


about them all is that they do tend to use the market, so it's keeping


the market going. They tend to like shopping on markets. In 2004, Tony


Blair had the option to impose transitional controls, locking


eastern Europeans out of the labour market for seven years. He decided


against it, that, the Prime Minister said today, was a monumental


mistake, now our labour market rules must be tightened. To anyone, not


just Romanians or Bulgarians, to anyone in other European Union


countries, thinking of coming to Britain because it's easier to claim


benefits, Housing Benefit or unemployment benefit, I think it's


important to send a clear message out that is not the case. The new


plans: EU migrants will get no out of work benefits for the first three


months they're in the country. Payments will be stopped after six


months, unless the claimant has a genuine chance of getting a job.


Migrants will not be able to claim Housing Benefit immediately and


those caught begging or sleeping rough will be deported with no


return within a year. On wellingborough Road, a short walk


from the town centre, Polish deaessens and Romanian supermarkets.


David Cameron's plan to tighten welfare rules was met with derision


by the European Commission today. The UK, it says, risks looking like


the nasty man of Europe. Free movement is not negotiable as long


as you are member of the union, as long as you are member of the single


market. I cannot understand on one hand, I don't understand the


political logic, you see, because Great Britain has always and


continues to be a big promoter of enlargement. In an office niche is


Paul -- nearby, is Paul. He came from Latvia in 2001 to start his own


employment agency, bringing workers from Eastern Europe. I talk to many


people, you know and what people say is that this system, benefit system


is very generous. I would say even over generous, you know. I came to


instances when people come from abroad and they don't really work.


The thing is, it's not something what they made up. They just


following example. There are plenty of examples around here. Examples of


what, British workers? Yeah, claiming benefits, you know, I think


the cause is there, not in immigrants coming and claiming


benefits. We shouldn't give them these examples. At the local


Romanian supermarket, these cash ears have a visa to work in this


country, in 35 days, labour market rules will be relaxed, opening up


the jobs market to all 28 million citizens of both Romania and


Bulgaria. A series of polls over the last week, have shown significant


levels of public opposition to that change. But the manager here is


angry at any suggestion more migrants will flock over just to


claim benefits. I can see on the street or in my shop plenty of


English people which are not working. So I can't pretend that all


Romanian are good or all Romanian are the best or something like that.


No. There are people which don't want to work, they're coming here to


steal or claim benefit. But they already came. The debate about the


impact of Romanian and Bulgarian migration is still raging. The Prime


Minister today wouldn't name even a rough number for the amount of


workers he expects to arrive in January. Estimates range from 16,000


right up to 50,000 in the first year. Today's welfare restrictions


really amount to tinkering with the rules. In the longer term, David


Cameron wants more control over immigration policy, maybe even the


ability to block migration, if numbers break a set level. That,


though, will need agreement at EU level and that will be far more


difficult. Well Konstantin Dimitrov is the


Bulgarian ambassador to the UK. Nigel Mills is the Conservative MP


and he moved an amendment to the Government bill requiring controls


from the immigration from the two countries remain in force until


2018. Has David Cameron gone far enough today? The measures he


announced were a welcome step in the right direction. There's been a lot


of concern that our welfare system is easier to access for recently


arrived migrants than other European ones. I don't think he's tackled all


the issues. Not gone far enough? No, not yet. Think the controls will put


anybody Ofcoming from Bulgaria -- anybody coming from Bulgaria to


Britain? Not necessarily, except for the announcement that the access to


the social welfare system will be additionally tightened, something


which Bulgarians are pretty well aware because of our information


campaign. Will have pretty little effect? That won't be of factor


because what I would like to explain is the following thing: Right now,


most of the work permits are for which people from Bulgaria apply are


approved. Those who have come here to work have usually done so, even


though under this restriction regime, so the first of January will


not bring about a change in terms of the accessibility of the labour


market, which has nothing to do with the issue of the access to the


welfare system. Do you have any idea of what numbers we're talking about?


The Government won't give us a number. There are some... Do you


number of eastern European migrants what you're talking about? There are


independent estimates which say somewhere up to 70,000 a year for


the first five years, so an average maybe 50,000 a year for five years,


a quarter of a million. I think when there were no restrictions on Poland


and the other A 8 far more people came than were expected. Do you have


any idea what you're talking about? Well, we only say the following


thing, because we've been pressed all the time about predictions. We


cannot predict. We're not crystal ball gazers, however this year


between 8,000 to 10,000 Bulgarians came to work legally in the UK. We


don't see any prerequisite for a rise in this annual trend next year.


That's what I can say. So, it's all clear as mud, isn't it? You're


talking 250,000 over five years. You're talking a figure of perhaps o


10,000 or something. For next year. This is just trying to extrapolate


the experience of this year until next because as I say, we cannot see


prerequisites for qualitative change for enlargement of the


attractiveness of your country. Those numbers aren't that far


aparts, if you add in the Romanians to the Bulgarians, I suspect there


must be something like 30,000 on those numbers, within the range


we're talking about. Do you worry, when you hear a European


Commissioner talking about Britain as being seen as the nasty country?


I think we'd rather be seen as the tough country than nasty. I'm not


sure, I don't think we want to be the soft touch where people can come


- You'd rather be nasty than a soft touch? Yes. I wouldn't choose nasty


as the the description. Choose? Tough, but fair. There's no reason


why we should be more attractive than France or Germany to people.


Ambassador, would you like to explain to our viewers why it is


they should pay their taxes in order that your citizens should be


entitled to benefits here? Well, I'm afraid that this is not the right


way to present the situation. That's the question I'm asking, though.


That is right, may I just respond to you in a slightly different manner.


Most of those who come here are young people and they are single,


not married between 15 and 35. They come to work. A low percentage of


their income comes from your social benefit system. They earn their


daily bread by working. They may all have noble intentions, but


misfortune happens to all of us. That is true. Can you explain to our


viewers why they should pay their taxles in order that your citizens


can be helped if they get into need here? Well, they pay their taxes,


but also, our citizens working in the UK are paying their taxes in


your country as well. So they're not free riders in their majority. There


is something in that argument, isn't there? That is what statistics says.


You should look at it... Let's stay off statistics shall we? The first


18 top countries, whose citizens have access to your Social Security


system? That is something we should respect, I would suggest. This isn't


going to happen any way, is it? These restrictions? The EU won't


allow it to happen. That would be an interesting challenge, if Parliament


said that deal we signed nearly ten years ago - You can't be a member of


a club and then decide you want to obey some rules and some you don't.


We can find lots of examples from nearly every country in the union


that has done exactly that. You really think that the EU will allow


this to happen? Well, I suspect the EU won't be very keen on this


happening. But the point is if we in Parliament say this is not in our


national interest now to lift these restrictions at this time, we need


them in place, while we're recovering from the terrible


recession we had, that should be a powerful message, if that's what we


think is our national interest. I think some of the measures the Prime


Minister announced today, the Home Secretary admitted earlier may well


not be with favour in the European Commission either. I don't think


it's entirely unusual for nations - You've been a European politician.


For a short period of time, yes. Outside the statute of limb


stations. Yes. Do you think it's feasible that these restrictions


could be introduced unilaterally in one member state? We have to study


very carefully the political intentions in Mr Cameron's article.


They are yet to be transformed into concrete legislative or


administrative acts. Then we will say what is permissible under if the


European Union legislation and what is not. The commission will also


have its say. That is the right answer, as we speak, hours after Mr


Cameron's article came to our attention. Thank you both very much.


Coming up: # Living on a prayer #


Now if you were offered the chance to make substantial savings on your


Energy Bill, without having to spend any money up front, you'd do it,


wouldn't you? Actually, you probably wouldn't. Ing that the irresistible


conclusion from the underwhelming number of people who signed up to


the Government's Green Deal. No less a figure than Nick Clegg described


it as one of the most important achievements of any Government, but


barely a thousand households have signed up for it and where the


scheme was meant to save households money, it's ended up saving them


nothing much at all. As Andy Verity found out, all the political


uncertainty about green levies threatens thousands of jobs.


It was billed as the largest and most ambitious home-improvement


programme since the Second World War, not to mention the most


comprehensive energy saving plan in the world. Deja vu anyone?


Households are facing high fuel bills. We have to do something. What


we are doing is highlighting the Green Deal for the most ambitious


projects of any Government has launched in a long time. The Green


Deal went live 11 months ago. It's starting to look like a party no-one


wants to go to. Amid the fury about bills, households are still blowing


?140 a year heating the open air in old, badly insulated houses. What if


they could borrow money to get insulation and make the repayments


out of savings on their bill? Enter the Green Deal, what's that? It's a


revolutionary programme according to the Government which lets you do


your loft, wall inhalation, new boiler and pay nothing for it up


front. The rule is that the energy efficiency measures will pay for


themselves over 25 years in savings on your bills, so you won't have to


pay anything. It sounds like the ideal deal, doesn't it, in these


times of high Energy Bills? So why have so few people taken it up?


Ahead of its launch in January, the Government projected that 130,000


Green Deals would get signed this year. The minister responsible Greg


Barker said in March that he wouldn't be sleeping if less than


10,000 signed up. 11 months in just over 1,000 people are signed up to


the scheme, around 1% of what was expected. Of those, just 219 have


had the work done. I think, to date, this has been a tragic and


embarrassing failure. Consumers are crying out for help with Energy


Bills. Here is the policy to deliver it, yet nobody is taking it up. What


intrigues me about the Green Deal is that although barely a thousand


people have signed up to it, more tan 100,000 have had their


assessments done. Why aren't they following through? There seems to be


a blockage in the Green Deal pipeline.


What is it? Mike Walker, himself an energy assessor, thought his cold


Victorian walls could use a bit of warming up. He invited a Green Deal


assessor to his home and wasn't exactly impressed. Even with the


basic bit of knowledge, you can tell that this is solid brick. It does


not contain a cavity. How? Because you have a long section of brick and


a short section of brick, it means that the bricks are laid like that,


so it's solid all the way through. There is no cavity. Following the


first assessment, the first recommendation they came up with was


would you like cavity wall insulation? Well, we don't have


cavity walls, so... I'm sorry. The EPC showed, yes, they've actually


recorded it as cavity walls. We don't have them. He got another


assessment. And another with a different firm. And another and


another, all of wrong. After his sixth wrong assessment, he gave up


in despair. The last attempt at the EPC, they failed to pick up on the


fact that we have a wood burning stove. An energy assessor missed


that? Yes. It's not just incompetent assessors and a complicated process.


Research today shows how little the Green Deal saves you. Take a typical


household dual fuel bill, ?1400 a year. The insulation would bring


your bill down to ?1220. But the repayments on the loan at 8%


interest would bump it up to where it was, saving you nothing. If


instead, the loans were interest free, repayments would be far


smaller, you'd save ?130 -- ?136 a year. The problem is what consumers


are offered in terms of the product. You can go through the hassle of


installing these measures with the loans provided and the result is


your bill doesn't go down at all. The reason being that you're making


all these loan repayments. That negates the bill savings you could


achieve. By underwriting the cost of loans they could slash the interest


rate to 0%, which would make savings of over ?130 available to


households. Energy firms and insulation providers set up a


finance company to arrange the loans with 24 had 4 -- ?244 million to


lend. So far it's lent less than ?6 million. When they are being sold,


they are working as intended. People are able to borrow loans of ?5,000


at an APR of 8% and the whole thing is working well. We can service the


plan so on and so forth. That bit is working. But it will take time to


grow. Here's the problem, if you have equity in your home, you can


top up your mortgage and get a cheaper loan to do the work. If


you're poor you might want it because you can't get a loan


elsewhere, but you're probably eligible for free help. And if


you're in the middle, you won't see a saving on your bill any way. The


man who was Energy Secretary when the deal was announced, it was


always obvious home buyers needed a bigger incentive to do their walls


and lofts, Stamp Duty relief. But the Treasury blocked it. The


essential problem has been the Treasury's reluctance and


particularly George Osborne's reluctant to -- reluctance to have


any sort of incentive to make it happen. I just don't understand it,


because ideologically he's perfectly prepared, for example, to introduce


tax relief to help with gas fracking, but he's not prepared to


introduce a tax relief or Stamp Duty relief to help with energy saving.


Construction firms had agreed to provide the Green Deal, invested


heavily before the launch and retrained fitters to do the solid


wall insulation the Government wanted. With the failure of the


deal, one big player, Carillionment OK Councilion, Had to -- Carillion


had to let a thousand workers go. Now the energy company obligation is


a problem. Energy companies, in many senses quite understandably are


waiting and seeing what the Chancellor's is going to say in his


Autumn Statement about this. Therefore, they're not looking to


commit to new contracts, to commit to energy efficiency insulations in


the new year. Now we're hearing stories of companies cancelling


existing contracts. People have been gearing up to deliver for several


months now significant numbers of insulations that are being pulled.


People are going to lose their jobs on the back of it. With parties


competing for the bill payer's vote, the Government's public doubts about


green levies are leaving the companies involved to put plans on


hold. They hope the uncertainty will end with the Autumn Statement.


Thousands of jobs depend on it. Greg Barker is the climate change


minister. Now you said in March, you wouldn't be sleeping at night if


there weren't 10,000 people signed up to this by the end of the year.


Would you like some sleeping pills? No, I tell you what is slightly


misleading about that film is it's focussed exclusively on finance,


which we identified at the start of the Green Deal as the biggest


barrier to people putting in insulation measures. The fact is,


which they did mention in your film, over 100,000 people have had a Green


Deal assessment and contrary to what your reporter found, I'm not


doubting that some of them haven't been perfect or troublesome, but


actually, our evidence is that the overwhelming majority of the people,


that 100,000 or more, who've had an assessment are not only really


pleased with their assessment, they are taking action to put in the


measures recommended. Would you tell me, is the measure of success, for


me as an Energy Minister and climate change minister, is the measure of


success - how many finance plans I sell? Or is it how many energy


efficiency improvements are actually installed in homes? You judged it


yourself, 10,000 by the end of this year and you wouldn't be sleeping at


night if it was less than that. Yeah, but what I didn't reckon with


- I'm not satisfied with a thousand, of course I'm not. Tell us how many


Green Deal insulations there have been? We reckon something in the


region of 80,000 measures have been installed. How many houses have had


a Green Deal insulation? We reckon that something in the region of


80,000... 80,000? Let me explain it to you. Your piece focussed


exclusively on the people taking up Green Deal finance. In the


long-term, that's going to be really important because we know that being


able to afford these measures is a barrier to people putting them in.


Let me finish. But the first 100,000 or so people who have had a Green


Deal assessment, over 80% have said that they've already put in measures


or they're currently putting in measure or they intend to. What you


mean, then is that 80,000 people have had their homeles modified in


-- homes modified in some way. You don't mean they've had a Green Deal


insulation. Because the total number of them is 219. No, you're talking


about finance. You're confusing the method of payment - Green Deal seems


to be clearly about finance. No, there's more to it than finance. The


Green Deal is first about having a Green Deal assessment, where someone


spends several hours in your home, sits down around the kitchen table


and takes you through the measures that will help you cut your Energy


Bill. That is proving really popular. 100,000 people have had


their homes assessed? More than that now. It was over 100,000 in October.


You say about 80,000 have done something to the house as a


consequence. We know that over 80% of the people who have been assessed


have told us that they have either already installed measures or


they're going to install measure or they're installing measures. Not


taking up your finance arrangements? Correct. So there's something wrong


with them, isn't there? No, there is not something wrong with them. If


someone offers you free money, what do you do? It's not free money.


Exactly. It's 8% interest. It is. Which is very expensive. It's not


very expensive. Could you find 20-year finance anywhere on the High


Street at 8%? Have you taken out a Green Deal financial arrangement?


No, I haven't because I've already improved my home. But the fact, but


Jeremy, you asked me about the finance. Could you get 8% for 20


years anywhere on the High Street? Well, all I can say is that the


total number of people who have done so is 219, isn't that correct? Over


a thousand people are now in the system. Thousand people - -- a


thousand people. Now 100,000 to 1,000? No, again you're confused.


I'm not. You're confusing financing - 100,000 people have had their


homes looked at. That's common ground between us. You say 80% have


installed measures. A thousand people have signed up to the Green


Deal financial arrangement, is that correct? That's correct. 219 have


completed, is that correct? It was a couple of months ago. 219. 219! This


is a failure. No, this is a really bizarre way of looking at it. If I


was selling cars and actually, 100,000 cars had gone out of the


showroom, but we'd only sold a thousand on finance plans, would you


say that's a failure of selling cars? No, you'd say you're not


selling many finance plans. If I held it as the biggest programme of


housing improvement since the Second World War, and I expected 10,000


people to be on it by the end of the year, I think I might consider I'd


failed. Firstly, it's a 20-year programme. What we're doing is


something that no-one's tried before. It's a completely novel


market. There are a number of improvements that we need to make.


Let's be clear, I'm not saying the Green Deal is perfect. I'm not


saying we have to come forward with further improvements now that we're


live and we're listening carefully to what the spliep chain are telling


us -- supply chain are telling us. Some may seem technical and small


adjustments, but in fact they make a big difference to the way in which


it works. For example, people will be able to do a Green Deal in a day.


At the moment, it takes a couple of visits. That's holding it back. Come


the new year, they'll be able to do a Green Deal in a day. We're looking


at ways in which we can cut through some of the paperwork to make it


ease whier for people to get a Green Deal. There are certainly things we


can do to improve it. Over time, next year, you're going to see an


increasing number of people coming into the market to offer the Green


Deal. The reality is the supply chain, the people offering the Green


Deal, particularly the big six energy companies, have been very


cautious to offer this product. But they're going to step up their game.


What's really important, what the game changer is going to be is next


year, we're going to start offering it street by street on a community


basis, on an area basis. We've had a really good response to our


community programme. When we start offering Green Deal on a street by


street, that's when you get the real take up. Due draft it so badly? Why


did we draft it so badly? I don't think we did draft it badly. You're


having to make huge changes to it? Which huge changes? The whole street


idea you've mentioned, which seems to me or many people - That wasn't


in the drafting, that's simply that comes in the next phase. That


doesn't change any drafting. We are running the competition, we've had


the applications in. We've been overwhelmed by positive response


from big metropolitan councils up and down the country - Manchester,


Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, keen to participate and offer it on a street


by street basis. I've always said it's the area-based rollout of the


deal that's really going to put rockets underneath it. I think


that's right. That's when the finance is going to be important.


What we want to do now is take the subsidised offer that eco over a


quarter of a million homes have had that this year. We want to marry it


with the Green Deal. You get a much more joined up offer. It should have


been joined up in the first place, shouldn't it? Rome wasn't built in a


day and this is a novel product. The important thing is we are improving


it as we go. We will be announcing more incentives as Chris said. I


have a lot of respect for Chris Huhne. We work together very well,


but he's wrong. George Osborne has given us ?200 million. We haven't


deployed that money yet. Come next year, we will see steady growth in


the Green Deal, which is a 20-year programme, don't write it off yet.


Minister, thank you. Now, two men will be sentenced


tomorrow for their part in a horrible example of mob justice.


Their victim was a disabled man, whom neighbours became convinced was


a paedophile. He wasn't. But that didn't save him from being beaten


unconscious and then set on fire. There are two separate


investigations going on into the case now. Jon Kay has more in a


report which some viewers may find disturbing.


He was such a clever guy. He was very funny. He was a good brother.


He was very kind. He was a good uncle. He really made our life so


fun for us. We cared about him so much. Maneesha remembering her


younger brother Bijan Ebrahimi. He came to Britain as a refugee from


Iran a decade ago. He believed he would be safer here. But this


summer, he was kicked to death and his body set on fire because


neighbours wrongly thought he was a paedophile. Losing someone is really


difficult to come to terms with, but losing someone in such a way, it's


unimaginable for us to come to terms with that. You never, ever thought


that anyone can do such a barbaric act. He lived alone on a Council


estate on the outskirts of Bristol. His garden was his pride and joy.


But four months on, his home is abandoned. There's little to


indicate what happened here. Avon and Somerset Police say the rumours


that became rife here this summer were completely untrue. Officers


have told me that Bijan Ebrahimi was not a paedophile, that an entirely


innocent man was murdered. So for his family, the question is: How


could things have got so out of control? With them out of the


country at the time, what could have been done to protect him? Lee James,


who lived just a couple of doors away, has admitted murdering Bijan


Ebrahimi. Another neighbour, Stephen Norley, has admitted assisting James


in setting the body on fire. They will be sentenced tomorrow. A CCTV


camera caught the pair that night. Bijan's body was dragged to a piece


of grass 100 yards from his home and then set alight. He wasn't a


paedophile. He made life, losing him so difficult to come to terms of


losing him in such ape way. And then having that allegation, which is


completely untrue. It seems the paedophile rumours started because


Bijan Ebrahimi had been taking photos on the estate. His family


says he'd been told by the authorities to gather evidence of


harassment, because he was trying to get re-housed. The council is now


carrying out its own investigation. He was just a one-off thing. Over


the years, he was subjected to these incidents. Thi was motivating these


incidents? Was it racial? Based on his disability? Why was he being


picked on? Both. Just because, I think he felt they was different


that they picked on him. Ittuals a hate crime. -- it was a hate crime,


obviously. You can feel it. It was a hate crime. A couple of days before


Bijan Ebrahimi was murdered, there was a disturbance outside his home.


He was taken away by police. He came back to his flat the following day,


having been released without charge. But given the tensions here, and the


fact that his relatives were all abroad, his family feel he should


not have been allowed to return home. 48 hours later, he was dead.


The IPCC are now looking at the way Bijan's was dealt with in the days


before he died. We can't prejudge that. What do you want answers to


when that investigation report finally comes out? We want to know


that, we want to find out what happened to Bijan's in the last few


days, as I said, he made so many calls. We want to know what calls he


made. We want to know why, if he asked for help, why they didn't give


him the help that he deserved. The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset


Police has already said that collectively the agencies and


authorities failed your brother. When you heard that, what was your


reaction? When you heard the word "we failed him"? Disappointed,


frustrated and sad. How could someone like him or anyone else,


could be failed by so many agencies, not one, two, so many people that


were involved. I wish they can coordinate with each other better,


in a better way that no-one goes through this failure again and


no-one be subjected to this sort of tragic way of being murdered. Do you


feel failed as a family by what has happened to your brother? Yes. We


are failed by the system. We feel so strongly about it. We are so


disappointed. We feel so let down by the police and other agencies. We


would like to know why. That report from Jon Kay. Now the murky world of


Falkirk politics. You might recall the original short list of Labour


candidates to fight the general election in that seat was mired in


controversy over claims that the party's main donor, the union,


Unite, had tried to fix the choice of candidate by packing the


constituency with its members. One as yet unpublished inquiry late


irand a -- later and a new short list will be announced tomorrow. One


name is notably absent from the list, that of the whistle-blower who


made the original allegations against unite and the only local


candidate in the constituency. Chris Mason can tell us more. What's


happened? The woman in question Linda Gowe is the original


whistle-blower. There's been a protest to draw up a short list of


Labour candidates to replace Eric Joyce, who is sitting down after the


dust up in a House of Commons bar. Newsnight approached Linda Gowe


tonight, she was surprised to see us and not entirely delighted but


confirmed that she hasn't made the final short list of three. Why has


that happened? She was pretty spiky in an interview in the Herald


newspaper about the protest, about this unpublished report about what


went on, saying it should be published. What are Labour saying?


They're saying it's a load of nonsense to suggest this was a


stitch up and that she's been sat on and punished in any way. There was


an open process with five senior figures selecting this final short


list. That was honest and transparent. There hasn't been, as I


say, any sort of sense of aI stitch-up. Why does this matter,


subsection 42 of a local spat? Why should we care? It's still running


as a septic sore for Labour. They're looking at how they fund themselves


with the trades unions. We haven't heard the last of this, I suspect. .


Now, had a fizzy drink today? Did you enjoy the vast quaunts of sugar


you gulped down? The quickest glance down the High Street will tell you


how horribly obese much of the population has become. And doctors


are increasingly saying that sugary drinks are a main reason and that


they ought, like cigarettes, to be taxed to put people off buying them.


It's an idea the drinks manufacturers hate. But campaigners


say that also echoes the smoking debate. Look what the tobacco


companies said and did. The appeal of fizzy drinks is


obvious enough, an instant pleasure that's supposed to perk you up. But


the active ingrowedient is old fashioned sugar, lots of it. A


single can of cola can contain the equivalent of up to nine tea spoons


full of the stuff. As doctors came to real aisles that cigarettes did


not, as their makers claimed, make you healthy, they're now worrying


about fizzy drinks. One of the biggest problems facing the Western


world at the moment is the obesity crisis. Added sugar has no


nutritional value whatsoever. The body does not require any


carbohydrate from added sugar, despite the fact that the industry


markets these products as being full of energy. Believe me, it's energy


you don't want. It's energy you are don't need. So we know the


consumption of just one sugary drink, typical of a can of coal ya,


increases the risk of type two diabetes about 22%, independent of


body weight. This study was published from Imperial College


rere-- research. Believe me, type two diabetes is a condition you do


not want to get if you can avoid it. It is entirely preventible. This


condition is associated with heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease,


blindness, amputation, increased risk of depression, increased risk


of Alzheimer's and incooessing the risk of many cancers. Coca-Cola is


introducing a new smaller can for the UK. Does it demonstrate a new


commitment to tackling obesity or just a cleverer way to sell sugar?


James Quincey is the president of Coca-Cola Europe. What good does


Coca-Cola do you physically? I think Coca-Cola, as the introduction said,


does have some sugar in it. It is energy. Is it a necessity? No, it's


not. Millions of people enjoy it as part of their diet across the UK.


Does have some sugar in it, you say. It does. Why don't you say


specifically how much sugar there is in this can, for example? I think if


you find, if you turn... You have a percentage on there. Yes right here


on the front it quite clearly calls out the amount of sugar in this can


of coke, 35 grams, which is six tea spoons of sugar, which is about the


same amount of calories as a cappuccino or half a croissant.


We're saying look, the information is here. We want to promote and make


sure people know. If people know that they go to the cinema and get a


small one and there are big ones here too, if you get a jug of coke


like this, do you think people have any idea how much sugar is in it?


Maybe they don't. Do you know what it is? Look at this. 23 sachets of


sugar in that single containers. That is a staggering amount of


sugar, isn't it? That is why we're very focussed as one of the things


we're doing on getting the information out there. We're not


trying to hide the information behind what's in hay Coca-Cola


classic. But there's zero sugar in a coke zero. But the classic here,


there's 44 packets of sugar in this one. 44! Indeed there are. I think


what we're saying is look, we want to make sure that people have the


information available to them so that they can make the choices and


if they don't want the big one, then fine, clearly that is not one that's


going to be for everyone. We want to make sure the information is


available. We want to make sure there's more availability of more


choices, whether it's smaller packages, as you had in your


intro... Whether it's 23 in something this size or 44 in


something this size, each of which is to be consumed in one single


sitting at the cinema, this is staggering, isn't it? Look, I think


we do need to recognise that things need to change. Bigger cups need to


come down. I don't think we are talking that the world can't change


and the world doesn't need to move on. What it comes back to is we


recognise that the, we need to play our part in helping to fix this very


important issue of obesity. It's something that's come about from us


taking in too manical Rhyls and not burning them off with CAC tit. Many


things too many calories and not burning


them off can activity. We're increasing choices of the small


cans, helping people manage their calories, promoting the zero calorie


options, if people are having trouble. You accept your role in the


obesity epidemic do you? I think as a contributor of calories into the


British diet, of course we must. Soft drinks, all soft drinks


together contribute 2% of the calories. It's a part of it.


Therefore we need to accept our role and we do. That's why we want to


focus on actions that we believe will help bring this crisis under


control. What you're doing very similar to what the tobacco


companies did when, after the link with cancer had been established,


started then trying to get us all to smoke light cigarettes, as opposed


to saying don't have any of them? I think there's a very clear


distinction between tobacco and anything to do with food and drink.


Because in the end, there's no amount of tobacco that's good for


you. It directly causes some of the diseases. With food and drink,


anything in moderation can work within your lifestyle. Unwave -- one


of these packets in a cup of tea during the course of a day, maybe


even two, but 23 in the smallest container at the cinema? The reality


people aren't drinking those - and I think what we need to focus on, if


we're trying to solve obesity it's about information. If you have the


information and you decide or whoever decides not to have it,


absolutely fine, what we're here to do is get the information into


people's hands, help them make the choices that fit their lifestyle,


their choices during a week, and also, get out there and try to


promote activity with some NGO partners to try and help the other


side of the equation and burn off some of those calories. When you


look out there, has anyone actually solved the crisis? Sometimes we look


at things and say, well, what will work? But sometimes we have to look


at things that has happened. There's an approach started in France, moved


across Europe is now spreading across the world, where they've


brought down childhood obesity by 20%. It's not by taking some eye


catching or simple measures, they did a number of things bringing in


private companies, health companies, local government, communities and


brought down childhood obesity by 20%. Very much. Tomorrow morning's


front pages: I only have one here: It's the Times - it says that David


Cameron has decided that cigarettes are going to be sold in plain


packages before the next general election. Now, this was a position


which the Conservatives, up to now, had rejected. Chris Mason is still


here. So, quite dramatic, isn't it? Yes, something of a U-turn on a


U-turn. The Government went cold on this idea about six months ago. Now


they're having a review about it, an open mind about the outcome. There


will be time to legislate after that review in the spring, if it's


something they want to role with. It would appear they have gone from a


position of being cold, to being warmer towards it. It's a second


example in a couple of days of them being seen to stand up to big


business after the payday loan stuff, which is interesting.


Thank you. That's all from us tonight. In case you missed it,


Prince William has been all over the media, after appearing with a couple


of Popstars supporting a charity for homeless young people.


# Oohhh, living on a prayer # As you saw, he didn't have time to


perform much himself, but at the flash of the Newsnight petty cash


box, his reticence vanish. We are short of time, but better late than




Government plans to toughen welfare rules for EU migrants, and what has gone wrong with the Green Deal?

Also, the man killed by mob justice, the latest on the Falkirk row and an interview with Coke's European boss.

Download Subtitles