20/12/2013 Newsnight


Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Victoria Derbyshire, including Ed Miliband going after gambling machines, and Nigella Lawson coverage.

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An epidemic, that is how Ed Miliband describes the spread of gambling


machines known as fixed odds bett terminals. After they were introduce


under the last Labour Government, Mr Miliband says they are now another


sign of the cost of living crisis and he wants to get rid of them.


This man tells us gambling ruined his lif


Plus take two sisters, a popular TV cook, her ex-husband and some credit


cards, add a trial, stir in lots of press interest, stir for three weeks


and turn out a not guilty verdict. What does the way we consumed these


cases tell us about ourselves and the justice system. We talk to our


guests. An early Christmas present for you, Newsnight graphs. What can


economic graphs tell us about the last year. Quite a lot as it turns


out. We ask a squad of economists to tell us the one that tells us most.


The excitement is at fever pitch! It as been an eventful year in the


Catholic Church. Its one. Two billion members were taken aback by


the resignation of Pope Benedict, his place was taken by a man who


seems to care about people and their issues and the modern world.


We will reflect on the events of the last year by hearing again some of


the most powerful contributors to Newsnight over the past 12 months.


From Russell Brand to Bill Clinton. I will miss the light he caused to


come on in the lives of everybody he touched.


Good evening. After a popular, some might say, or populist campaign


against pay day loans. The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, turned his


attention to another part of life he thinks is pernicious, gambling, and


the fixed odds betting terminals found in betting shops on high


streets up and down the line. Since their introduction in 1999 they have


become big money spinners. Mr Miliband says if he wins the next


election he will legislate so councils can ban them from bookies


if they choose to. They have brought the casino to the


high street. Fixed odds betting terminals provide half of all


betting shops' profits. Critics say it is the speed of play that makes


them deadly. Maximum bet ?100, the time between bets, 20 seconds. What


is amazing is how many they are, there are there and there. Ed


Miliband chose North London to point out what he calls a gambling


epidemic. He wants councils to be able to limit the number of betting


shops in their area, and to be able to ban fixed odds betting terminals.


These machines can be addictive for people, they can cause real misery


for families. There is further and further growth of these machines and


indeed betting on them. They are concentrated in parts of the


country, particularly more deprived parts of the country. And somebody


has to step in and stand up to the betting industry.


There are 33,284 fixed odds betting terminals in the UK. For bookmakers


the yield from the terminals is ?1. Five billion a year. The machines


average gambler spends ?1,200 a year, compared to ?430 a year, for


those who stick to over the counter gambling. Hi there, my name is


James. This is the first of my video diaries regarding my compulsive


gambling addiction... During the summer Newsnight met James, who has


been keeping a video diary about his gambling addiction. These machines


have changed the gambling habits of the normal punter. Instead of doing


a ?2 bet, they are sticking ?20, ?40, ?60 in a matter of minutes,


thousands into the machines. I have done the same. I have lost hundreds


of thousands of pounds in these machines. Whilst betting shops are


only allowed to have four terminals each, the problem is many towns now


have several bookies on their high street. Under the last Labour


Government the gambling laws were relaxed, making it easier for them


to open. The industry rejects the idea they are targeting poor areas.


Do you not accept though that these machines do prey on the poor and the


vulnerable? They are not popping up on Park Lane. They are growing in


poor communities? No, I don't accept that. These machines are in high


streets up and down the country. There are more shops on high streets


in urban areas, but there is more population in those areas as well.


We are not targeting any particular community. It will be a pretty


strange business model to specifically target people who don't


have any money. The figures that showed gambling levels were falling


and it also showed that the more deprived people are the less they


are likely to gamble. Ed Miliband is using the issue of gambling to widen


his cost of living agenda, it includes a crackdown on payday


lending and measures to lower the cost of housing and attacking the


energy suppliers. Ed Miliband says so many voters are not benefitting


from the economic recovery. Many within his party are nervous,


polling shows that Labour still isn't trusted to run the economy.


That, they fear, will be the bigger issue on polling day. David Cameron


has been coming under pressure for months to clamp down on betting


terminals. This is an issue I have been repeatedly lobbied on by people


across this house and more broadly. It is worth having a proper look at


this issue. There will be those within David Cameron's party urging


him to ignore this issue, to avoid being dragged on to Labour's


preferred territory. We have James, a recovering gambling addict as our


guest. How much have you spent on the machines over the years? Over


the years over ?200,000. Just on these? Just on the fixed odds


betting terminals. Predominantly roulette and black Jack. What impact


does that have on your family and your life? I don't have a family,


I'm not married, I'm single at the moment, I don't have any children,


all because of my addiction to these fixed odds betting terminals. I had


large income, but that was why I was able to put that amount of money in.


It is not about the zeros on the end. Your earnings are relative to


what you can get your hands on. At the moment my income is not as high,


if I was to those ?1,000 now I wouldn't know where to turn. Are


these machines any more addictive than other gambling, the


scratch-cards, the instant, the on-line betting? They are more


addictive. People don't get addicted to scratch-cards, they have problems


with them, but these machines, the speed of play, the ease of access to


it. The fact that you can do ?100 per spin, and that is a spin that is


a gamble that is not in line with any other gaming product on the


market. What do you say to people who say why don't you just choose


not to spend the money on this kind of stuff? If it was just that


simple, to stop gambling. I have been an addict for far longer than


the time than these fixed odds betting terminals have been out. But


these machines have destroyed my life. If somebody could have picked


me up and said you had a gambling problem, stopped. But it is not as


easy as that. Over the years I have been at so many low points,


homeless, sleeping in my car, at one point back in 2008 I had lost over


?2,500 in one day in one bookmaker, I had my passport on me, I stayed in


a Bed Breakfast that night and got on a ferry the next day. I was


reported missing for six months. I was out of the country for nine


months. It was only a member of my family that got me back in the


country. But the whole time that I was out of England and away from


gambling my life got better. As soon as you got back straight into the


bookies? Straight back into the bookmaker, gamble as heavy as I was


before I left. What would you like to see happen? I would like the


stakes to be reduced from ?100. I want the time between spins


increased and Ed Miliband has said he wants to double it to 40 seconds.


That is great step. Will that really make much difference? I think it


will. If you go to a casino, you have a minute, up to two-and-a-half


minutes between each spin of the wheel. Ed Miliband is talking about


going from 20 seconds to 40 seconds between each spin? When you go to a


real casino and a real wheel, you have time to think about your bet.


You have time to decide whether you want to increase, you want to leave,


take the winnings on the table and leave. That 20 seconds doesn't give


your brain time to decide what to do, you just press the repeat button


and away you go again. He wants to legislation to give councils powers


to reduce the numbers of bookies on the high street, and reduce the


number of terminals in the bookies, they will still be available. They


will still be attractive? Yeah, but having the councils stop the bookies


having more shops is a brilliant step. There is too many at the


moment do we need any more? No we don't. If a council says you have 16


on one road, why do you need any more, and they say no. That is a


great step. It will protect so many people. Thank you very much for


coming in James. You are calling for revolution?


Absolutely, I'm calling for change, for genuine alternative, I say when


there is a genuine alternative and option, then vote for. That but


until then, don't bother! The year started with talk of a triple-dip


recession, and ends with the latest GDP figures out today, suggesting


that the UK economy could grow as much as 2% in 2013. As the year


draws to a close we have a dream team of economists and economic


commentators. To pick their favourite graph of 2013. The one


that they think tells the most compelling story of the underlying


health of the UK and world economy. Here is their verdict.


I'm cheating actually because I have two graphs, the interesting thing is


to compare the two. On the left-hand side you see that the -- risk-rated


assets of banks are trailing downwards, but they remain very


different from each other. On the right hand side when you look at the


capital ratios they are all the same. Why is that? Because the banks


are very successful in gaming the system. That shows how difficult it


is for the regulators to get control over the banks on both sides of the


Atlantic and indeed in the Pacific. The US share revolution and support


for energy resource development has helped keep US energy prices well


below European levels, it is bringing a resurgence in US managing


competitiveness. US manufacturing will capture $70-$150 million of


exports to other countries by 2020. It should give Europe pause for


thought on its energy policy and how it chooses to develop its energy


resources. This chart shows Germany and China's surplus, the difference


between what they save and invest, they are the same in US dollar


terms. Although China is usually seen as the arch capitalist,


Germany's is three-times China's in GDP. Germany's behaviour is seen as


widely incompat with a stable -- incompatible with the stable


eurozone, both of these countries will have a significant impact on us


in 2014. This chart is a chart showing what has happened to output


per head since the start of the recession and also against this


Government came into office. And what it shows is that output per


head today is lower than it was in May 2010 when the coalition took


office. So far from the Government being vindicated, this actually


shows the worst recovery in 100 years, and in fact what it shows is


no recovery at all. People are poorer today than they were when the


Government took office. This chart shows economic forecasts for GDP for


each year in the coloured lines, and the actual outcome GDP in the pink


blocks. The turning point for the UK economy was sort of the beginning of


2013, just when the doom sayers were really down on the UK. The other


thing it shows you is the financial forecasting profession always


underestimate amplutude, the good years are much stronger than


predictions and the bad years are worse. This tells me the UK economy


has finally turned a corner and growing a lot stronger than most


predict. Earlier in the year the fear was we were in triple Dip


investigation, the UK lost its triple-A rating and there was talk


of quanative easing, and that never happened and the dip came to an end.


Guilt yields rose dam matly through the year. The Bank of England


thought the rise was unjustified and tried to stop it with forward


guidance, that failed. And as GDP growth resumed in the UK, with the


good news continuing, the rise in gilt yields resumed. Through the


20th century economic growth fed into successive generations having


on average higher incomes. This graph shows median incomes by age


among those born in different decades, for example if you are born


in the 1960s or 70s then you were likely to enjoy more income at age


30 than people born in the past. But the really, really striking thing


from the graph is that this is no longer the case. Those born in the


1960s and 1970s are no longer experiencing higher average incomes


than previous generations did when they were the same age.


Not guilty of fraud. Two former personal assistants of Nigella


Lawson and her ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, after a three-week trial.


What most people will remember from this case are details of private


lives, a high society couple, lavish spending habits and as of Class A


drug use involving powerful people experienced in image and PR, until


now. Let's discuss the lessons of the trial now with our guests. Why


do you believe that Nigella Lawson has been vilified? She has certainly


been accused of being a drug habit, a habitual criminal, a user of Class


A drugs over ten years. They were the accusations. She wasn't on


trial. She was a witness. And I think that the trial does show a


concern that British law doesn't protect witnesses enough. We do rely


on witnesses to come to court, to give their evidence without fear


that they are going to be accused of serious crimes. I think that when


witnesses who have only one right, which is to say I won't answer that


question on the grounds it will incriminate me. Whenever they say


that everyone thinks they are guilty. When the witness is accused


of very serious crime I think they should have certain rights. A right


to refute the accusation by calling evidence. If they are accused of


being a habitual drug addict, calling their GP, maybe


cross-examining their accusers. This is what goes on in Europe, this is


what happens at our coroners' inquest, when somebody is accused.


It would make trials more a test of truth, and it wouldn't, of course,


affect the defendant's rights, we bend over backwards, quite rightly,


to uphold the rights of the defendant. But it would allow


witnesses who are accused of serious crime some opportunity to answer


back. Because the judge is concerned with having a fair trial. The


prosecution is not concerned with the witness. They are not allowed to


take instructions from their own witnesses. I think it would be


fairer and it would give more comfort to potential witnesses that


they could do their civil duty without being accused of murdering


their mother. Let me bring in Nancy. What do you think? You have


an incredible country, Nigella is considered a national treasure sure,


and then you have this ability to have these celebrities, this star


system, to put everything up and then you are ready to destroy them,


to bring everybody down. This is absolutely belonging to your


culture. It is something that of course I feel very sympathetic with


Nigella. I would say to Jeffrey, this was a very specific particular


case. And I do absolutely agree with... Celebrities take no


responsibility themselves for their downfall? Of course they have take


responsibility. Actually I think we are doubly responsible because when


you say "celebrities" I hate this word, it is the fact that you have


to be aware that you are constantly, you have to play very well the game.


The game is the fact that you are constantly in the public eye. You


have become a public person. You are 100% scrutinised. This is with a


particular case and being in public again so many details of the private


lives should not be. But of course because I'm quite shocked of the


decision of the court. Because I'm now reading we don't know about the


motivation. I think it is are a bit early to talk about the downfall of


Nigella Lawson, here she was, she was a witness, she came and gave


evidence, she didn't take the 5th, she didn't rely on the right not to


incriminate herself. She spoke about using a drug at a time when her


husband was dying. I don't think that this was, we have got to be


very careful. This was not the trial of Nigella Lawson. The media treated


it as such, and she should have had more opportunity to chro


cross-examine her accusers and call evidence about her innocence of the


allegation which was that she was a drug addict. I think she came out of


it rather well. I would like to think that if we can provide a


little more rights to witnesses, other people who witness crimes and


suffer great embarrassment by going into the witness box, sometimes to


physical threats. I'm talking about defence witnesses as well as


prosecution witnesses. We have got to assure them that they are going


to have their rights not to have their family life shredded, their


privacy invaded. So that's, I think, the lesson that I hope will come


through, that Nigella Lawson was in fact courageous to give evidence. It


is not, she is not on trial. She hasn't been found guilty. The


prosecution simply failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.


Thank you very much both of you. It has been an extraordinary year


for the Catholic Church. Under the leadership of Pope Francis. In just


nine months since taking over from Pope Benedict, he has vigorously set


about modernising the church with comments on everything from gay


people, to economic and inequality to mothers breast-feeding in public.


We have been looking at the Francis-phenomenon. The crib, it is


hard to think of anything more traditional at Christmas time, yet


800 years ago when it was invented by a man called Francis of Assisi,


it was seen as something radical. Francis was a religious


revolutionary, he took the gospel out of churches with gold, marble


and silk, and took it into the real world. The first crib was in a cave,


the figures were real people, he had real hey and real smelly animals The


Catholic Church has a new Francis and a radical turning things up side


down, telling leaders they are servants not masters. A real


shepherd must smell of his sheep, he says. It has reignited the


imagination of the world's 1. 2 billion Catholics. He respects human


life, and he's close to human people and knows about the Joyce and


suffering of people. He has language that connects directly to people.


And a Pope who gives hope. On the edge of St Peter's Square there is a


modern crib, the homeless of Rome. Wednesday was the Pope's birthday,


Francis invited Marchine, his Bob called Bob Marley and three of his


friends to join him for breakfast in the Vatican. What kind of man is the


Pope? It is this embrace of the lowly and ostracised, throughout


Pope Francis's first nine months in office which has touched the hearts


of the ordinary faithful. The street sweepers of Rome devised their own


crib, hoping the Pope will make an unannounced visit there this


Christmas. Such is the impact of the Francis-effect, that people are


returning to church who had previously left disillusioned over


scandals like sex abuse by priests. I think that before this Pope nobody


wanted to speak about these kinds of problems, now they are speaking a


lot. This Pope has brought out this problem that it was a big deal in


the church. I have a Catholic background because I went to a


Catholic school until I was 12 years old. Then when I saw all the bad


things that the priests were doing at school I didn't want to go there


any more. But is there substance behind this dramatic change of


style. There is a lot which needs practical action, the Pope's in-tray


is piled high. There has been a commission to set up with the whole


issue of sex abuse. A commission to handle those issues, to investigate.


There has also been a series of issues relating to the reform of the


Vatican bank and more stringent, more transparent measures that are


being put into place. The reform of the bureaucracy. That is a big one?


That is the big one, and that began by the establishing of this


particular I suppose by the establishing of the Council of Eight


Cardinals who have been meeting regularly, they met in October, they


met in December, they are meeting again in February. There is a sense


here in the city of that reform really gathering momentum. The


commission to tackle sex abuse has only just been set up. But Francis


has acted swiftly to tackle financial scandal. Through the gates


behind me is the Vatican bank, or the Institute for Religious Works as


it is known around here. The new Pope has moved swiftly to bring


change. He has closed 600 suspect bank accounts and put in a new


regulator and appointed an outside panel of experts, including a female


law professor from Harvard to recommend long-term structural


reform. But are some of the Pope's big gestures little more than PR.


The homeless man who breakfasted with Francis is still sleeping rough


in the Vatican porch the following night. Will the Pope find you


somewhere to live, or a bed? TRANSLATION: But that is the way we


live, we like to move around. The Pope has millions of other people to


look around with bigger problems. But if he does not expect more,


there will be many others who want substantial change rather than


symbols. To turn the Vatican from the master of the church to its


servant will require a scale of reform which is massive. Working out


how to change the papacy from an absolute monarchy to something more


collegial is the task of new cardial advisers. It is the biggest change


in the Government of the church for over 1,000 years. He wants to know


what ordinary Catholics think, on all sorts of issues, like


contraception, and homosexuality, and so on. I think think his


fundamental concern is together as a church we must be responsible. He


wants to devolve a lot of responsibility from his own personal


position to the college of bishops, and he hopes that bishops in their


own diocese will give real responsibility to the people. And I


think he also wants each of us to take responsibility for our own


lives. In the end we have to be adults, we have to be grown-up. And


so we could say that what I think Pope Francis wants is a church for


grown-ups. Francis wouldn't call it democracy, but it feels something


rather like that. The big question about the consultation, and the


wider work of the Cardinal advisers is how radical will be the reforms


which emerge. Big change is clearly under way in the Vatican, but rather


like this crib, which behind the cloth is entitled "St Francis 122


"to Pope Francis 2013, we won't know until it is unveiled just before


Christmas how significant the work in progress will be. We may have to


wait longer than that to find out about the extent of the reform in


the Vatican itself. That's nearly all from us. But


before we formally sign off for the year. Let's take a look back at some


of the memorable words that have resounded in the studio over the


past year. That really is all from us for this


year. There is no cookie monster to play us out. Nor am I about to


dance. Sorry. Instead we will leave you with an extract from Carols at


Kings, can you see it on BBC Two at Christmas Eve, if you celebrate


Christmas, happy Christmas, otherwise have a very good holiday.


# Remember Christ our saviour # Was born on Christmas Day


# Oh tidings of comfort and joy # Oh tidings of comfort and joy


# Comfort and joy # Oh tidings of DPORMENT


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

Ed Miliband goes after gambling machines; Nigella Lawson coverage; economic graphs of the year; the Pope; Newsnight's year.

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