14/01/2014 Newsnight


14/01/2014

A breaking political story. The woes of the French president. Damascus. Why no inflation? Driverless cars. Keith Jarrett. With Jeremy Paxman.


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Transcript


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Forget the love nest, forget the early morning croissant deliveries,

:00:10.:00:15.

don't inquire about the First Lady and listen up about how he's going

:00:16.:00:19.

to save the economy. Facing journalists the President of France

:00:20.:00:27.

was insowsant today. -- insoucient today. Translation, "mind your own

:00:28.:00:34.

business"! But could this sandal be the one that nails the French

:00:35.:00:38.

tolerance of bed hopping in high places.

:00:39.:00:41.

In the midst of Civil War the pianist plays on at the Damascus

:00:42.:00:45.

Opera House, what is it like to live or try to live in Syria now? Some

:00:46.:00:51.

people are saying this is not the time for concerts. My opinion is

:00:52.:00:57.

that this concert matters. And the car that drives and parks itself.

:00:58.:01:01.

Coming soon to a forecourt near you. Do you really need to buy one?

:01:02.:01:19.

Before that radical banking reform plan reportedly coming from the

:01:20.:01:22.

Labour Party. Emily Maitlis is here. Tell us about it? Interesting

:01:23.:01:30.

snippets emerging tonight ahead of Ed Miliband's keynote speech on

:01:31.:01:33.

Friday. What we have heard this evening is proposals that he may

:01:34.:01:38.

introduce some kind of competition within the high street banks. The

:01:39.:01:42.

banking sector as a whole. He will, as I understand, suggest a cap on

:01:43.:01:48.

the size of banks, possibly to do with their domestic market share,

:01:49.:01:52.

possibly set at around 25%. We don't have confirmation on that figure.

:01:53.:01:56.

This is a figure that is being talked about this evening. That

:01:57.:02:00.

could draw on a scheme very similar to one in the United States, and

:02:01.:02:04.

would involve getting rid of hundreds of bank branches, the idea

:02:05.:02:10.

behind this is to split up the big five, the banking names that we are

:02:11.:02:13.

all familiar with and give smaller banks the room to challenge them, to

:02:14.:02:16.

come into the market. And if you look at this in the sort of wider

:02:17.:02:19.

political frame, you will remember that before Christmas Ed Miliband

:02:20.:02:24.

was hammering home the cost of living argument. That was very key.

:02:25.:02:27.

That landmark moment at the conference speech when went after

:02:28.:02:31.

the energy companies. And created, if you like, the impossible, by

:02:32.:02:35.

suggesting this freeze and energy cap for two years on fuel prices.

:02:36.:02:43.

Many people said, sounds utterly un-Israelistic -- unrealistic, but

:02:44.:02:46.

it seemed to have a lot of traction in public opinion. He will try to

:02:47.:02:49.

link the same argument from what we understand, the cost of living, by

:02:50.:02:53.

saying not just these individual areas like energy, but bigger,

:02:54.:02:57.

structural changes to the whole British economy. A lot of appeal to

:02:58.:03:01.

those who think that the banking sector hasn't been bashed enough.

:03:02.:03:04.

And who would like to see the banking sector paying the price. But

:03:05.:03:08.

interestingly enough the responsive been getting this evening already

:03:09.:03:12.

suggests this is more complicated than it sounds as a headline. For

:03:13.:03:17.

example how do you start looking at the domestic share of a bank. How do

:03:18.:03:22.

you look at something like HSBC, which is a global body, head

:03:23.:03:27.

quartered in the UK but could go bust in China. What would 25% of

:03:28.:03:33.

that look at? Just briefly, another senior business figure has been

:03:34.:03:36.

saying you know we have had this nonstop intervention, intervention

:03:37.:03:39.

on land, intervention on energy, it is part of a pattern and it is

:03:40.:03:42.

rather anti-business, it could alienate business. I gather that

:03:43.:03:47.

George Osborne is making a speech tomorrow as well? Yes, what we are

:03:48.:03:51.

hearing is he's going to give a speech to the Open Europe Forum on

:03:52.:03:58.

Europe, and it is to the Fresh Start Group also. The message then we are

:03:59.:04:04.

getting a few key phrases from it, one is "reform or decline". He will

:04:05.:04:09.

tell the EU, Europe itself that it has to back business, create jobs

:04:10.:04:13.

and cut welfare spending. He's going to tell, if you like, the

:04:14.:04:17.

institutions of Europe that they are not doing enough to become

:04:18.:04:21.

productive to take on countries like China, India, the Asian giant who is

:04:22.:04:25.

are really dominating the economy. There is the hint of a veiled threat

:04:26.:04:31.

in this, that he may well say if we don't see significant reform, if

:04:32.:04:35.

economic performance remains unacceptable, it might be that you

:04:36.:04:39.

will find it difficult to persuade Britain it wants to remain a member

:04:40.:04:43.

of the EU. A slight veiled threat. What is interesting about this is

:04:44.:04:47.

the way he is straddling two audiences here. Because he will be

:04:48.:04:57.

talking to Fresh Start, a think-tank about reform, they want reform from

:04:58.:05:01.

the inside. They want to keep inside the EU. So it is significant he will

:05:02.:05:05.

give this speech within that forum. But, of course, this is an answer to

:05:06.:05:11.

all those backbenchers, up to 95, we understand, who signed a letter by

:05:12.:05:15.

Bernard Jenkins, they are MPs who want to see a national veto, and

:05:16.:05:19.

many would like to leave the EU all together. What he's saying here is

:05:20.:05:24.

look I can be hard of nails on Europe but I want reform from inside

:05:25.:05:26.

not out. Thank you very much. The Syrian

:05:27.:05:30.

Government claimed today to have recaptured territory near the city

:05:31.:05:35.

of Aleppo, after the recent fighting between different rebel groups it

:05:36.:05:38.

does looks a though the balance in the Civil War has shifted a little.

:05:39.:05:42.

It is nowhere near a conclusion. In the meantime the need for

:05:43.:05:46.

humanitarian aid is so intense that the United Nations is about to

:05:47.:05:51.

launch its biggest-ever appeal. Meantime the BBC's correspondent, in

:05:52.:05:54.

and out of Syria all the time, has heard claims by the Al-Assad regime

:05:55.:05:59.

that some western Governments may be beginning to change their tune.

:06:00.:06:03.

She's here now. It is a real treat tonight, thank you for coming in.

:06:04.:06:07.

Good to be with you. What is it you have heard from this Syrian

:06:08.:06:10.

Government minister? Well let's be clear that what this the Syrian

:06:11.:06:13.

Government is saying now, and of course this is very much a narrative

:06:14.:06:17.

that it wants to spin. What it has been saying for many months is

:06:18.:06:21.

listen, the real enemy in Syria is not President Assad, which American

:06:22.:06:25.

Governments repeatedly call, and Arab states as well, on him to step

:06:26.:06:28.

down saying he has no future. They say the real enemy is the rising

:06:29.:06:32.

strength of these Islamist groups, some of whom are linked to Al-Qaeda,

:06:33.:06:36.

and most of which are populated by foreign fighters, including

:06:37.:06:38.

thousands that are coming from Europe. It is clear in the west that

:06:39.:06:42.

they do regard this as a growing threat. Not just that the foreign

:06:43.:06:45.

Jihadis are going to Syria and fighting there, but they will one

:06:46.:06:48.

day come back. Come back to Britain as well. And we have heard

:06:49.:06:52.

expressions of concern. The question is whether the Government is now

:06:53.:06:57.

saying that the western intelligence agencies have accepted this threat

:06:58.:07:01.

and want to make common cause. So when I was in Damascus recently I

:07:02.:07:05.

put it to the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, I said, are we having

:07:06.:07:11.

reports that western intelligence agencies are going to Damascus. This

:07:12.:07:13.

is what he said. We understand that western

:07:14.:07:17.

intelligence agencies have recently visited Damascus, including British

:07:18.:07:22.

intelligence? I will not specify, but many have visited Damascus. Has

:07:23.:07:30.

the British Foreign Office made inquiries about the return of its

:07:31.:07:37.

diplomats? We are still listening to statements by Mr Hague statements

:07:38.:07:41.

that are a flagrant intervention in our internal affairs. Statements

:07:42.:07:45.

which he should particularly when it comes to democracy address his

:07:46.:07:49.

friends in Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries or other countries

:07:50.:07:53.

that are very close to the UK. But frankly speaking the spirit has

:07:54.:08:01.

changed. What do you see? When sees countries ask us for security

:08:02.:08:05.

operation, then it seems to me there is a schism between the political

:08:06.:08:10.

and security leaderships. So in other words you have just confirmed

:08:11.:08:12.

that British intelligence has been in touch with you? I'm not

:08:13.:08:17.

confirming anything. I'm not confirming anything, I'm saying that

:08:18.:08:22.

many of these countries have contacted us to co-ordinate security

:08:23.:08:29.

measures. The political story apart... I should say now that of

:08:30.:08:34.

course we contacted the for on office -- Foreign Office, they say

:08:35.:08:37.

they don't comment on intelligence matters. They always say that.

:08:38.:08:40.

Political stories apart, you know the things that baffles a lot of

:08:41.:08:44.

people who look at these awful pictures coming out of Syria and the

:08:45.:08:49.

size of the refugee crisis, is the whole country desolate or what?

:08:50.:08:54.

Three years into the war in Syria and it is an absolutely punishing

:08:55.:08:57.

war. On top of that, as aid officials put it, one of the worst

:08:58.:09:02.

humanitarian crises we have ever seen. What we have seen from going

:09:03.:09:05.

in and out of Syria over these three years that more and more of the

:09:06.:09:11.

country is falling into rule. Every battlefield I have visited has been

:09:12.:09:15.

an absolute ghost town. You drive for mile after mile after mile, with

:09:16.:09:19.

not a house left standing, not a house which is not pockmarked with

:09:20.:09:25.

bullet fire. Totally torn apart by aerial bombardments or torn apart by

:09:26.:09:29.

the street-to-street fighting. We have often talked about the bubble

:09:30.:09:32.

in the centre of some of these cities, still firmly under

:09:33.:09:35.

Government control. That includes Damascus, where if you arrived and

:09:36.:09:38.

didn't know there was a war you would say look at the parks, there

:09:39.:09:42.

is lovers sitting in the park, civil servants are taking the buses and

:09:43.:09:45.

going to work. The children are dutifully going to school. Then you

:09:46.:09:51.

hear the mortars landing and the constant artillery fire. There is

:09:52.:09:55.

not a single family that hasn't been affected by this war. But on this

:09:56.:10:00.

recent visit to Damascus we decided to hear voices we don't often here.

:10:01.:10:04.

This is what they have said to us about what it is like to live in a

:10:05.:10:20.

warzone. A son nat toe by Scerleti, played by Syria's most renowned In

:10:21.:10:32.

the Damascus Opera House it is something for another time.

:10:33.:10:43.

TRANSLATION: Day after day the situation is getting worse. We have

:10:44.:10:48.

more casualties, we are more stressed. You can't imagine how hard

:10:49.:10:53.

I have to work to focus on art and this difficult atmosphere. Some

:10:54.:11:02.

people don't come to the Opera House because of explosions, mortars. The

:11:03.:11:08.

timing of the concerts has changed from the evening to the afternoon.

:11:09.:11:11.

Some people are saying this is not the time for concerts. My opinion is

:11:12.:11:19.

that these concerts matter, the role of art is to help build citizens.

:11:20.:11:25.

Even when you are listening to the beauty of this music, it is hard not

:11:26.:11:29.

to forget that just kilometres away, several miles away there are areas

:11:30.:11:35.

outside Damascus where people are besieged and people are starving?

:11:36.:11:41.

TRANSLATION: That's right, but the question is what should our reaction

:11:42.:11:47.

be? I'm helpless to do anything except my music, and teaching my

:11:48.:11:51.

students. I always try to support them, to build their awareness. That

:11:52.:11:59.

is what I can do. I have another choice, I can stay at home, but that

:12:00.:12:14.

wouldn't change anything. When the uprising began nearly three years

:12:15.:12:17.

ago some Syrians felt they could change a lot by peaceful protest.

:12:18.:12:25.

Including Rema Dali, they called her "the woman in the red dress". When

:12:26.:12:30.

we interviewed her then, she told Newsnight she still had hope the

:12:31.:12:33.

killing would stop. Now she's no longer taking to the streets. This

:12:34.:12:42.

one was the one that became famous. Yes, I stood on the parliament in

:12:43.:12:49.

Damascus and carried the banner and it said "stop the killing we want to

:12:50.:12:54.

build a home for all Syrians". That was more than a year ago? It was

:12:55.:12:59.

about one-and-a-half years ago. And that's when there were 10,000 dead,

:13:00.:13:13.

sadly. Now it's 120,000. TRANSLATION: Our first mistake was

:13:14.:13:17.

that we thought it was going to be fast, a quick change. And we are

:13:18.:13:24.

paying for this mistake now. To make a change you need to be patient, you

:13:25.:13:30.

need to look deeply, take a long breath and start working. There are

:13:31.:13:35.

no quick changes here. I don't think we will see any change before five

:13:36.:13:40.

years. But some people fear that if it does take another five years

:13:41.:13:45.

there won't be any Syria left given all the killing and all the

:13:46.:13:50.

destruction. TRANSLATION: There is no country that has days peered, no

:13:51.:13:55.

people who have disappeared. There is some fear at how things will turn

:13:56.:14:01.

out. What people are suffering what they will continue to suffer. How

:14:02.:14:06.

Syria will be in five years and how different the Syrian people will be.

:14:07.:14:10.

Three years on, do you believe that either the opposition or the

:14:11.:14:20.

Government represent what you stand for? TRANSLATION: They are not

:14:21.:14:23.

representative of the Syrian people, neither side are working for the

:14:24.:14:27.

benefit of the Syrian people. They don't represent our values. But I

:14:28.:14:35.

still believe in Syrian society, it still carries a lot of important and

:14:36.:14:48.

noble values. No-one expected Syria's conflict would last so long,

:14:49.:14:53.

cost so much, be so brutal. Few expected President Assad would still

:14:54.:14:57.

be in power. Except perhaps those who support him. This is a wealthy

:14:58.:15:03.

industrialist with ties to the President. He suggested we meet in

:15:04.:15:09.

the Shakespeare Cafe. You were put on the western sanctions list, what

:15:10.:15:14.

do you say to those countries now? I say first of all I tell those

:15:15.:15:20.

countries I'm not urging them to lift me from the sanctions li list,

:15:21.:15:25.

but I tell them in order for you, their politicians to protect the

:15:26.:15:29.

interest of their own people, the western people, really you have to

:15:30.:15:33.

side with the Syrian Government in fighting terrorism, because this is

:15:34.:15:37.

the biggest fight against terrorism in the history since Al-Qaeda was

:15:38.:15:44.

initiated and was born some 20 or 30 years ago in the Afghan war. This is

:15:45.:15:48.

the biggest battle against terrorism in the world. And anyone who claims,

:15:49.:15:53.

in the west, or in other countries, who claims that he is really

:15:54.:15:58.

fighting terrorism, he should be a friend with the Syrian army and with

:15:59.:16:01.

the Syrian Government. And the tragedy is people say it became a

:16:02.:16:05.

self-fulfilling prophesy that President Assad talked about

:16:06.:16:08.

terrorism before there was terrorism, because the war has been

:16:09.:16:13.

so brutal it created terrorism. From day one, from day one they used

:16:14.:16:17.

arms. No, there were peaceful protests when they started? That is

:16:18.:16:21.

what they say. From day one they used arms, many used arms and tried

:16:22.:16:25.

to create chaos. From day one or day two they attacked public buildings.

:16:26.:16:30.

For months and months and months it was a peaceful protest? Of course we

:16:31.:16:35.

had some mistakes in dealing with this. I don't want to defend the

:16:36.:16:38.

Government. There are mistakes dealing with this, it happened,

:16:39.:16:42.

Government has confessed, the President admitted the mistakes, all

:16:43.:16:47.

these known TV stars that attack us on TV from five-star hotels, they

:16:48.:16:52.

were all invited to sit with us and in a national dialogue in 2011, they

:16:53.:16:59.

all refused. Because ambassadors, some ambassadors told them not to

:17:00.:17:04.

come. Don't bet on a losing horse. We will, the regime will stay only

:17:05.:17:09.

for three or four months. So basically don't lose your cards,

:17:10.:17:12.

stay with us. This is what happened, unfortunately. If we were allowed to

:17:13.:17:16.

sit together, we could have reached a solution a long time ago. Life

:17:17.:17:23.

does go on. But Syria has been drawn into the abyss. With every day that

:17:24.:17:32.

passes it gets worse. But after so much suffering and sacrifice,

:17:33.:17:38.

emotions are raw. Still too raw for reconciliation. Or resolution. In a

:17:39.:17:59.

moment... The driverless car. Now, he might not have reached the

:18:00.:18:05.

rhetorical heights of Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez, but the President of

:18:06.:18:08.

France, Francois Hollande, still managed some sort of record today

:18:09.:18:11.

for the longest uninterrupted political speech in a foreign

:18:12.:18:15.

language, broadcast in Britain. Doubtless there were many here who

:18:16.:18:19.

were desperate to hear his sloganising about the French

:18:20.:18:22.

economy. But even the eyes of some of the lap dogs in the French media

:18:23.:18:27.

glazed over. As to the reason the rest of the world was interested, as

:18:28.:18:32.

he put it, private matters should be dealt with privately. It was a very

:18:33.:18:37.

French affair in every sense. We report from Paris.

:18:38.:18:49.

What is it about the French? How does their language so plausibly

:18:50.:18:59.

lend itself to a swelling love song. How has Paris so successfully

:19:00.:19:03.

established itself as the global capital of the common human heart.

:19:04.:19:15.

This has become a lovers rend day vow, each padlock marks a tryst,

:19:16.:19:21.

couples come from all over the world to lock themselves together. In a

:19:22.:19:29.

movie you can see a lot of movies talking about love in Paris and

:19:30.:19:35.

Midnight in Paris is really romantic. Is it the most romantic

:19:36.:19:41.

city you have been in. I think so. France's relationship with love and

:19:42.:19:46.

sex runs deep. It has had a succession of Presidents,

:19:47.:19:50.

Mitterrand's double life was an open secret among the Parisian elite.

:19:51.:19:54.

Jacques Chirac's formidable life, Bernadette, knew about her husband's

:19:55.:20:00.

liaisons, bore it and acknowledged it. But the French public looked the

:20:01.:20:06.

other way. Why? Why until now has there been no salacious public

:20:07.:20:17.

purience. It would have in Britain. A French lotion explained with

:20:18.:20:22.

disdain the difference between the British and the French. He said we

:20:23.:20:27.

British are obsessed with the loves of the famous because we lack

:20:28.:20:31.

finesse in our own, and we disguise it with our excellent British

:20:32.:20:34.

humour. That is the difference between us. We French are good at

:20:35.:20:39.

love and you brush are good at -- British are good at comedy We are

:20:40.:20:43.

sensual, sexy, and you are really very funny. It has been a long

:20:44.:20:52.

traditionia public figures are entitled to their private life.

:20:53.:21:07.

There are laws that limit the scope of the media work, we can be sued

:21:08.:21:11.

very easily for breach of privacy of public figures. Actually the first

:21:12.:21:17.

reactions to Francois Hollande's present problems was unanimous in

:21:18.:21:25.

political establishment, all politicians of all sides immediately

:21:26.:21:30.

reacted saying you know he is entitled to his private life.

:21:31.:21:36.

Francois Hollande is a graduate of the Ecole Nationle it is an elite

:21:37.:21:44.

institution that trains many of France's future leaders. It is often

:21:45.:21:49.

argued that the French ruling elite is a home genius group of people,

:21:50.:21:54.

and -- hem Mo genius group of people, and they went to the same

:21:55.:21:59.

universities like this one where they were groomed for high status

:22:00.:22:02.

lives. And this is why newspaper editors, senior politician, civil

:22:03.:22:06.

servants, industry chiefs are connected to each other through a

:22:07.:22:09.

network of lifelong loyalties and old friendships and this explains

:22:10.:22:14.

why the sexual peck dill lows of previous Presidents stayed out of

:22:15.:22:19.

the news. Is it true, in a press conference lasting more than two

:22:20.:22:22.

hours today, Francois Hollande was asked only four times about his

:22:23.:22:35.

private life. He gave them nothing. Was asked only four times about his

:22:36.:22:38.

private life. He gave them nothing. The TRANSLATION: Everyone goes

:22:39.:22:39.

through difficult moments and these are difficult moment, I have one

:22:40.:22:42.

principle, private matters should be dealt with privately, and that is

:22:43.:22:45.

the same for everyone concerned. He talked instead about the dire state

:22:46.:22:48.

of the French economy, some here believe this is the real reason that

:22:49.:22:54.

the old French privacy taboo has collapsed on him. Today the economic

:22:55.:22:58.

situation is such and the indecision of this President, his inability to

:22:59.:23:05.

make any decision is such that it looked plain ridiculous. The way we

:23:06.:23:09.

look in the world I have many friends all over the world who

:23:10.:23:14.

called me and this has become a play, more prone for sex than

:23:15.:23:20.

serious economic reform. This is hurting the image of my country. And

:23:21.:23:25.

I resent that. Whatever the reason, the old French consensus on privacy

:23:26.:23:31.

in matters of the heart and the flesh is crumbling. The French

:23:32.:23:35.

public are no longer looking the other way. Anne Elizabeth Moutet is

:23:36.:23:44.

a French journalist for the Daily Telegraph, and we have a former

:23:45.:23:49.

senior foreign correspondent for French television. Anne Elizabeth

:23:50.:23:52.

Moutet, do you think this line that a private life should stay private

:23:53.:23:59.

is going to hold in the case of President Hollande? No. I thought

:24:00.:24:02.

that for years. Actually I changed my mind at the time of Mitterrand,

:24:03.:24:07.

because he lied to the country about his parallel families. And it turned

:24:08.:24:11.

out that the way he had behaved in his private life was exactly the way

:24:12.:24:15.

he behaved in his political life. He lied about his past. He lied about

:24:16.:24:21.

his links to Vichy France. He lied about his crooked friends and so I

:24:22.:24:26.

thought that the passing was a fair indication of how the political

:24:27.:24:31.

animal was behaving. We see this again withhold Hollande, he's a man

:24:32.:24:35.

who has been vacilating all his life in his private life. He has never

:24:36.:24:39.

been able to marry anyone of his partners, not even the mother of his

:24:40.:24:45.

children, with whom he lived for 23 years. He didn't marry Miss

:24:46.:24:49.

Trierweiler, we don't know about the next person. But in the same way he

:24:50.:24:54.

has vacilated between several strains of policy, he has vacilated

:24:55.:24:57.

about taxes, if people squealed enough in the street he withdrew the

:24:58.:25:03.

taxes. He has basically taken off any kind of visibility to the French

:25:04.:25:08.

economy. I think that too is a very straight parallel with his private

:25:09.:25:13.

life. I think only for that, there are other reasons, but only for that

:25:14.:25:16.

I would say we ought to know about their private lives. Why do the

:25:17.:25:23.

French have this belief that a private life must stay private in a

:25:24.:25:29.

public figure? Well you see the French do not like prying, they do

:25:30.:25:34.

not like prying in their private lives. They don't like prying in

:25:35.:25:41.

their bank accounts and this is this habit of considering that people

:25:42.:25:46.

that do not have mistresses are not successful in politics, this is what

:25:47.:25:50.

my diplomat friend was telling me this morning. He said two French

:25:51.:25:54.

politicians did not have mistress, they were not re-elected. The last

:25:55.:26:01.

one who was a Prime Minister and the other one was LouisXVI, who met the

:26:02.:26:09.

guillotine. The argument of course is that the way a person behaves in

:26:10.:26:14.

their private life, whether they honour their marriage vows or make

:26:15.:26:18.

marriage vows are very often indicative of how they will behave

:26:19.:26:22.

in their public life and therefore whether the public can trust them.

:26:23.:26:29.

Why do you disregard that argument? You see it is not totally

:26:30.:26:34.

disregarded. I think there is a lot which is true in what Anne Elizabeth

:26:35.:26:40.

said. But in any country in the world the story of a man getting

:26:41.:26:46.

caught with his pants down is funny. It is all the funnier except in

:26:47.:26:51.

North Korea perhaps if this man is the President. But at the same time

:26:52.:26:55.

the only thing that is not down at the moment in France is

:26:56.:27:00.

unemployment. So after trying to get one of those pictures which are very

:27:01.:27:04.

hard to get, I can tell you, I confessed to trying to buy the

:27:05.:27:09.

magazine, it was impossible to find one. You know on a double-take the

:27:10.:27:15.

French rather go to the core of the problems, that is the economy, that

:27:16.:27:18.

is doing very bad. President Hollande had daringly promised that

:27:19.:27:25.

it would be able to reverse the upward trend offen employment last

:27:26.:27:29.

year and it just didn't happen. Anne Elizabeth Moutet there is the

:27:30.:27:32.

question of the French press in all of this. Why are the French press so

:27:33.:27:41.

deferential. That goes back to de Gaulle and before that. It goes back

:27:42.:27:49.

to Louis XVI. If you really want to go into historical, when Louis Vi is

:27:50.:28:03.

there and the monarchy takes over. On the one hand you have an Monarch

:28:04.:28:09.

and oligarchy on the other. There is a strong tradition. This is the

:28:10.:28:13.

whole negotiation about the establishment -- notion about the

:28:14.:28:16.

establish the. The French are confirmist, newspapers write things

:28:17.:28:20.

they think will be respectable. You notice that none of them sell many

:28:21.:28:25.

copies, but Closer magazine sold out a first print run and they printed

:28:26.:28:30.

again and they sold out the second print run. I take issue that the

:28:31.:28:34.

French are not interested in the private life of their politicians,

:28:35.:28:37.

the truth is they are fascinated by it. The truth is when it was

:28:38.:28:41.

Mitterrand's daughter everybody was talking about it, in this case

:28:42.:28:53.

everybody it talking about this. They have a two-faced attitude to

:28:54.:28:59.

it. They judged Sarkozy because of his private life and they will judge

:29:00.:29:04.

Mr Hollande for his private life. Thank you both very much. We have to

:29:05.:29:10.

move on. Now it has taken four years but at last inflation has now

:29:11.:29:14.

reached the Bank of England's target for the first time since November

:29:15.:29:18.

2009, it is running at 2%. Lower than many predictions which led the

:29:19.:29:22.

Chancellor of the Exchequer today to claim that his plan for the economy

:29:23.:29:26.

is working. Labour replied there was still a cost of living crisis, but

:29:27.:29:31.

if inflation stays low and the economy keeping growing, could

:29:32.:29:42.

people start to feel differently. Cost of living crisis, what crisis?

:29:43.:29:46.

The scourge of inflation has been stamped out. If it is only 2%, why

:29:47.:29:50.

don't we feel better? You know the answer, wages are rising by less

:29:51.:29:56.

than half that. For more than 30 years the debate about inflation has

:29:57.:30:00.

been dominated by what the older generation think they remember about

:30:01.:30:05.

the 1970s. With prices rising by 10-20%, the cost of living became

:30:06.:30:09.

unaffordable and we all got worse off, right? Wrong, back in the 70s

:30:10.:30:17.

prices may have risen, but what also gets forgotten is wages were rising

:30:18.:30:23.

even faster. Take 1975 when prices rose by 25%, in that year household

:30:24.:30:28.

disposable income still grew in real terms. In the middle of out of

:30:29.:30:31.

control inflation we were still getting better off. Stripping out

:30:32.:30:35.

inflation, in the 1970s we got better off on average by one. 2% a

:30:36.:30:41.

year. In the 1980s incomes went up by two. 2%, in the 1990s by one. 3%

:30:42.:30:47.

and in the noughties by one. 3%. It is only since then that the average

:30:48.:30:51.

income started to fall in real terms, and it has fallen fastest,

:30:52.:30:56.

not in the recession but the recovery. Why if we are in recovery

:30:57.:31:01.

aren't we claiming higher pay rises. For the last five years we have been

:31:02.:31:04.

through a difficult economic situation and a lot of people seem

:31:05.:31:07.

to have been prepared to accept lower pay to help secure their job.

:31:08.:31:10.

But if we look what is happening in the last year now employment is

:31:11.:31:13.

growing, the economy is more obviously growing, so I think people

:31:14.:31:16.

will feel more secure in going forward and saying I think we need a

:31:17.:31:20.

pay rise. What will be interesting is, as we get through 2014, as a

:31:21.:31:27.

real wages start to rise again, but real wage growth remains

:31:28.:31:30.

historically very weak, does that change debate. Not all employers say

:31:31.:31:35.

they can't afford bigger wage rises, however companies have built up a

:31:36.:31:43.

pile of cash worth ?671. With prices rising faster than wages, they have

:31:44.:31:46.

been getting more in for the goods they sell and paying out less for

:31:47.:31:52.

staff. Why can't they spend it on bigger pay rises. The cash belongs

:31:53.:31:55.

to shareholders and they expect it to be invested for a return. Those

:31:56.:31:59.

workers need to be more productive, using more up-to-date technology.

:32:00.:32:03.

Delivering new products and services, in order to generate a

:32:04.:32:07.

bigger return for the business. Higher wages flow from productivity

:32:08.:32:12.

growth. But yes, after several pretty flat years, in which living

:32:13.:32:16.

standards have declined, if we now have the prospect of keeping

:32:17.:32:20.

inflation at 2%, and skill shortages and pressure in the labour market

:32:21.:32:27.

allows workers to earn more value by being more productive then wages

:32:28.:32:31.

should modestly grow this year. The other thing that gets forgotten

:32:32.:32:35.

about, the big wages of the 1970s is if you are in debt they did you a

:32:36.:32:39.

big favour. Your wages would go up with inflation, but the amount you

:32:40.:32:44.

owed wouldn't. Inflation makes your debts shrink. Not Take That is

:32:45.:32:55.

relevant -- not that that is relevant now. Companies charged

:32:56.:33:01.

higher prices and then workers want higher pay, but with pay claims as

:33:02.:33:05.

meek as they are there is little danger of that.

:33:06.:33:09.

To discuss this is Margaret Doyle formerly of the Economist and now

:33:10.:33:12.

head of financial services research from Deloittes UK, we are joined

:33:13.:33:18.

from Dartmouth College by a former member of the monetary policies

:33:19.:33:22.

committee for the Bank of England. George Osborne says this inflation

:33:23.:33:25.

figure proves his economic strategy is working, does it? Not really,

:33:26.:33:36.

inflation is falling everywhere the world. It is in America and zero. 8%

:33:37.:33:44.

in the eurozone. It is hard to say worldwide inflation is driven by

:33:45.:33:47.

Osbourne's policies. We have seen real wages continuing to fall and

:33:48.:33:52.

actually nominal wages, that is how much you get in your pay packet over

:33:53.:34:04.

the last few months as been falling as well. Wages have been falling, it

:34:05.:34:07.

doesn't look like much of a success. The man and woman in the middle is

:34:08.:34:14.

worse off than they were in 2010 and six months ago. Not much indication

:34:15.:34:18.

there. Why is it that wages aren't rising to keep pace with inflation?

:34:19.:34:22.

I think it is really because we have had a huge downturn. That really

:34:23.:34:25.

explains why wages haven't been rising as fast as inflation. And

:34:26.:34:29.

effectively what has been happening is workers have chosen to accept

:34:30.:34:34.

these real-term wage cuts, to accept changes in their working conditions.

:34:35.:34:37.

For example we have seen things like zero hours contracts. And the

:34:38.:34:40.

bargain that they have struck is that effectively it is better to

:34:41.:34:46.

have a job although with lower real wages than it is to be unemployed.

:34:47.:34:50.

And I would argue that for the economy as a whole it is better for

:34:51.:34:54.

the economy as a whole to have lower unemployment. The surprise of the

:34:55.:34:57.

recession has been that employment has held up remarkably well. But it

:34:58.:35:02.

does mean that people are not feeling that things are getting

:35:03.:35:05.

better? Exactly. People have not felt that things have been getting

:35:06.:35:08.

better. Because for them they haven't been getting any better?

:35:09.:35:12.

They haven't been, but certainly my colleague will tell you that real

:35:13.:35:17.

wages will begin to increase in 2014, because inflation is coming

:35:18.:35:21.

down, tax rises are on hold. We have had tax rises there on hold. And

:35:22.:35:27.

earnings are going to and likely to increase for a variety of reasons,

:35:28.:35:29.

partly because the economy is improving. Do you think that is

:35:30.:35:35.

going to happen? I think that's really quite wishful thinking. If

:35:36.:35:39.

you look at the Government's forecast and the OBR's forecast,

:35:40.:35:43.

each forecast they have made they have said don't worry, real wages

:35:44.:35:47.

will start to grow. The thing you have to ask yourself is what is

:35:48.:35:50.

different today. The answer is really very little. If you look at

:35:51.:35:53.

the example now, the UK starts to look like the US, and today real

:35:54.:35:58.

wages in the US are the same as they were in 1979. Here we are in this

:35:59.:36:03.

noble world, unions have -- global world, unions have gone, pressure

:36:04.:36:07.

down with global forces because firms can go somewhere else,

:36:08.:36:12.

migrants have come in. This is dream world not least because public

:36:13.:36:15.

sector still has a pay freeze going. This is wishful thinking again. It

:36:16.:36:19.

hasn't happened until now. What you have to ask yourself is what has

:36:20.:36:23.

suddenly changed? The answer is little or nothing. In that case we

:36:24.:36:28.

may well have reached the end, may we not, of a period of pretty

:36:29.:36:32.

consistently rising standards of living? I think that's probably

:36:33.:36:38.

right. We have seen people's standards of living rise at the top

:36:39.:36:41.

end. The difference in a sense between the UK and the US and we

:36:42.:36:45.

were saying this in your commentary earlier was up to 008 we saw

:36:46.:36:49.

positive real wage growth for all the people in work. Because in the

:36:50.:36:53.

past recessions 10% of the people were unemployed all the time and

:36:54.:36:56.

everybody else was not unemployed and kept nice high wage growth, now

:36:57.:37:00.

everybody is in this, and it may well be that the person at the

:37:01.:37:04.

middle, the one that Ed Miliband has been talking about, the squeezed

:37:05.:37:09.

middle, the medium voter, there is every prospect of no real wage

:37:10.:37:12.

growth and certainly not between now and May 2015. I think it is wishful

:37:13.:37:16.

thinking and it would be wonderful but there is no evidence in the date

:37:17.:37:27.

Take That is -- data That is going to happen. There are signs that

:37:28.:37:31.

recruitment is on the rise. That is likely to push up wages. Our latest

:37:32.:37:38.

survey of chief financial and finance directors shows there is

:37:39.:37:41.

increasing confidence. That is likely to be a leading indicator of

:37:42.:37:45.

mergers and acquisitions, of hiring and general expansion which is

:37:46.:37:48.

generally good for employment numbers. But as regards wage levels?

:37:49.:37:53.

Well, if employment goes up typically wage levels follow. So we

:37:54.:37:58.

do expect that real wages will rise this year. The professor is right to

:37:59.:38:06.

say that there has been a global trend towards an increasing share in

:38:07.:38:11.

profit and decreasing share of wages in the global economy over the past

:38:12.:38:16.

30 years. That is right and not driven by particular policy

:38:17.:38:20.

decisions in any country. What it is driven by huge forces like

:38:21.:38:24.

globalisation and technological progress, like the decline of the

:38:25.:38:28.

union. That is definitely a trend. We have also seen that there has

:38:29.:38:32.

been a change in the distribution of income away from those lower skilled

:38:33.:38:38.

towards the elite, those who are very well educated. I wanted to ask

:38:39.:38:42.

you one other question, and I'm springing this on you, you won't

:38:43.:38:46.

know about this speech or maybe you do know about the speech that Ed

:38:47.:38:50.

Miliband is supposed to make later in the week, in which he is

:38:51.:38:54.

proposing to restrict the big five banks and there by to the number of

:38:55.:39:00.

branches they have, and market capitalisation or something or

:39:01.:39:02.

other, some how to encourage competition from smaller offshoots

:39:03.:39:06.

by making them shed parts of their business. Is that a goer? You sprung

:39:07.:39:13.

that one on me. I haven't actually seen the details. But could try.

:39:14.:39:18.

Obviously we need to get money flowing to people. Not least, and I

:39:19.:39:22.

think you and I have talked about this before. How can we actually

:39:23.:39:26.

expect workers' wages to lies, when small firms that are the job

:39:27.:39:30.

generators in the economy can't get access to cash, can't get loans,

:39:31.:39:34.

this seems like wishful thinking. But any attempt to try to

:39:35.:39:37.

restructure the economy, get things to change and try to get help if you

:39:38.:39:42.

like to the person in the middle. What we just heard was that things

:39:43.:39:45.

were going to change but probably what they are going to do is change

:39:46.:39:49.

for people at the top. They have had a tax cut, we have seen people at

:39:50.:39:52.

the high end doing well, the question through all of this is

:39:53.:39:55.

let's folk cuss on the average audience of Newsnight. What's going

:39:56.:39:59.

to happen to them. If Ed Miliband can start to think about how you

:40:00.:40:03.

helped the squeezed middle, good for him. Do you want to say anything? As

:40:04.:40:10.

it happens the tax share borne by the very top earners has increased

:40:11.:40:15.

in the last few years by a quarter. It is the case that those at the top

:40:16.:40:20.

end have been taxed more. If you belong to that select

:40:21.:40:23.

minority of Newsnight viewers who have no chauffeur, take heart! The

:40:24.:40:28.

car which requires no driver is almost reality. This of course is

:40:29.:40:32.

pretty bad news if you happen to work as a chauffeur, but those who

:40:33.:40:36.

say autonomous automobiles will never happen are beginning to look

:40:37.:40:40.

like the people who said there was no future in the horseless carriage.

:40:41.:40:45.

Our technology correspondent can prove it.

:40:46.:40:58.

Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge is a pretty special

:40:59.:41:01.

experience, but let's be honest most of the time life looks nothing like

:41:02.:41:07.

the car adverts. Being behind the wheel is often just boring

:41:08.:41:12.

stop-start frustration. There has to be a better way. Of course a truly

:41:13.:41:25.

autonomous car won't be just one technology, it is a whole range of

:41:26.:41:28.

different jobs that the car is going to have to take over from the driver

:41:29.:41:34.

before we can leave them to run themselves. For example, Audrey is

:41:35.:41:38.

one of a number ash Audi is one of a number of manufacturers getting cars

:41:39.:41:42.

to park themselves. If you look over there it is a tight space. I take

:41:43.:41:47.

out my smartphone and the car should start parking itself. And what's

:41:48.:41:52.

going on here is not, there is nothing special in the road, there

:41:53.:41:55.

is nothing special in the parking space, all the technology necessary

:41:56.:42:06.

for this is in the car. It is a bit of a tight one, it will have to make

:42:07.:42:15.

a number of manoeuvres. There we go, the car is parked and everyone's

:42:16.:42:20.

paint work is intact and I'm not stressed about it. All the big

:42:21.:42:27.

manufacturers are in the race, the prize is potentially huge. This is

:42:28.:42:31.

BMW's latest effort. Polling suggests drivers want the technology

:42:32.:42:35.

as well. Firstly it is going to be a lot safer. Computers don't doze off,

:42:36.:42:41.

lose concentration, start fiddling with their phones or shout at their

:42:42.:42:47.

kids. We can't accept any more that every day the equivalent of

:42:48.:42:50.

aeroplane crashing down of people die in traffic fatalities. These

:42:51.:42:55.

technologies can help us use this and utilise the road infrastructure

:42:56.:42:59.

that we have today because cars can drive closer together. Ford are

:43:00.:43:03.

developing a system where cars can communicate with each other using

:43:04.:43:08.

Wi-Fi to prevent collision. The range is up to 250ms. There is a bad

:43:09.:43:12.

driver coming that way, our line of sight is obstructed by the truck,

:43:13.:43:17.

but the car, this car will get a communication from that car saying

:43:18.:43:25.

it will steam through. The vibrations have come the brakes

:43:26.:43:30.

go on, the audible signal you heard, we come to a safe stop, even though

:43:31.:43:34.

we couldn't really see that car until the last possible moment. The

:43:35.:43:38.

idea of you know a computer driver or a human driver is that the more

:43:39.:43:44.

information we can give them from better sensor technology the better

:43:45.:43:47.

either a human driver can make decisions about what to do or a

:43:48.:43:54.

computer driver could. When cars first arrived on the scene people

:43:55.:43:57.

could only describe them in terms of what they lacked. They didn't have

:43:58.:44:01.

horses, therefore they were horseless carriages. And yet the

:44:02.:44:04.

social and environmental changes that the car brought went far beyond

:44:05.:44:10.

just getting rid of horses. Likewise at the moment we are rather fixated

:44:11.:44:14.

on driverlessness of autonomous vehicles and yet the changes that

:44:15.:44:18.

are going to happen go far beyond liberating us from being behind the

:44:19.:44:23.

wheel. The The technology to have self-driving cars is just the

:44:24.:44:27.

beginning, the real implications is how to save money and how business

:44:28.:44:31.

models will change. If I don't have to own a vehicle to have access to

:44:32.:44:35.

transportation and I can get it on demand from an autonomous vehicle

:44:36.:44:39.

that comes and picks me up and drops me off I save a lot of money as a

:44:40.:44:43.

consumer. Insurance companies might change the way they ask you to pay

:44:44.:44:48.

for premiums. Instead of paying an annual premium you only pay for it

:44:49.:44:51.

when you use the vehicle. That could have huge implications for consumers

:44:52.:44:56.

and costs associated with vehicle ownership. I could do Angela Merkel

:44:57.:45:02.

and go like this. That is what she always does. Hands-free, look mum.

:45:03.:45:10.

Look mum no hands, and hopefully "look mum no teeth". It is a way

:45:11.:45:16.

off, on the Nevada freeway Audi show me their traffic system. In

:45:17.:45:21.

slow-moving traffic the car will take over everything, but the driver

:45:22.:45:24.

has to be ready to step in if conditions change. This is the

:45:25.:45:28.

project lead e he says we need to be realistic about how safe these

:45:29.:45:38.

technologies can make driving. LLOW We have to ask ourselves if we are

:45:39.:45:43.

OK with a technology that is safer than the car in status quo but not

:45:44.:45:49.

100% safe. Personally I think I would much rather save 90% of the

:45:50.:45:55.

people that are hurt today and maybe still hurt 10% because I can't help

:45:56.:46:02.

it, technologically. Then just don't put that technology in the market at

:46:03.:46:06.

all because it is still going to, it is still not going to be able to

:46:07.:46:16.

prevent all accidents. So how long until everyone can do

:46:17.:46:22.

this, five, ten, twenty years, the hurdles are both technological and

:46:23.:46:26.

legal. For me though, it can't come soon enough.

:46:27.:46:37.

That's it for now, the great piano improviser, Sehrt Keith Jarrett has

:46:38.:46:45.

been named as Jazz Master, we leave you in his prime playing in Tokyo in

:46:46.:46:47.

1993. Good night. Hello, sunshine will be collector's

:46:48.:47:29.

item tomorrow

:47:30.:47:30.

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