28/01/2014 Newsnight


Do the GDP figures mean the right sort of growth? Plus, Jeremy Paxman v Danny Alexander, a report from on the ground in Kiev and tributes to American folk singer Pete Seeger.

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The British economy is growing faster than any other major economy


in Europe. Are we back to happier times? Or is this all something of a


mirage. There are mutterings from the Liberal Democrats that this is


the wrong sort of recovery. Not enough focus on this sort of thing.


We forget, made in Yorkshire, made in Britain, that damage sells across


the world, we seem to have forgotten about that. Does the Chief Secretary


to the Treasury get it? Police are practising for the next round of


riot in Ukraine. The opposition have run big concessions already, what is


it the protestors want. They are criminals, the Government, our


President, all of them, they are criminals. The Government, they


offered to resign? ? Is that good enough for you? It is not good


enough for me. # Where have all the flowers gone


# Long time passing Do you remember, Pete Seeger, one of the great


protest singers? We remember him tonight.


Just in nice time for the election next year we learn that the British


economy grew by nearly 2% last year. Things certainly seem better than


they were. But how impressed should we be? If you look at the four


quarters of last year, the overall size of the economy grew by one. 9%,


making it much larger than it was in 2010 in the midst of the credit


crunch. But if you take a longer view, the year before the crash,


2007, the economy was consider below bigger. Some parts of the economy


are now bigger than they were at the economic peak in early 2008. Here


you can see that the service sector, which represents three-quarters of


the economy is one. 3% larger. But the production sector, which


includes manufacturing and construction is nearly 12% lower


than it was in 2008. And the figures also show that the amount we're each


producing, GDP per person, hasn't grown at all. Because while more


people are employed than for a long while, the people in work aren't


producing any more than before. So what to make of it all? Earlier I


spoke to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. Who


should take credit for this recovery? I think there are a lot of


people who deserve credit, primarily it is the workers and businesses of


Britain who have worked very hard to create this growth, to help get the


economy through the recovery, I think the coalition Government has


played a significant role in providing the conditions through our


economic plan, dealing with the deficit, and I think we as Liberal


Democrats deserve our fair share of the credit for that coalition


Government agreements. You would say that, wouldn't you, of course, when


times have been bad you have always blamed it on economic head winds or


the euro crisis or something or other? Look, the point is, we came


into Government with hugely serious economic problems as a country, we


put in place when we started a plan, plan that was involving taking a lot


of difficult decisions, you are right there have been head winds


along the way, head winds from problems within the eurozone,


domestic problems in terms of the banking system and financial crisis.


I think what we are seeing now is the plan we set out when we started


was the right plan for this country for creating the conditions for


economic growth. You planned that this growth should be fuelled,


essentially, by consumer spending, is that it? You didn't tell the


public that? I don't think that is a fair reading of the figures that


came out today. When you look at the figures what you see is the service


sector has grown by zero. 8% and manufacturing by zero. 9%. We have


seen agriculture and so on growing, the construction quarter shrinking


but growing strongly across the year. And the whole thing lower than


it was in 2008? The economy is still smaller than 2008, that is true.


That is a measure of the depth that our economy fell to during the


financial crisis. I always said, and you and I have spoken about this a


number of times over the years, that it would be a long process of hard


work, that hard work is by no means over if we're going to secure and


stablise our economy. When do you think we will be at a point above


the level in early 2008? I'm not an economic forecaster. We contracted


that out. Your forecasts are rubbish? We contracted that out to


an independent Office of Budget Responsibility, precisely so


politicians conned diddle the forecast. On the OBR forecast they


reckon that will be met some time during the calendar year or early


into the next one. What matters is making sure we have the conditions


in this country now for businesses to invest. One of the weaknesses


still in our numbers is business investment. Why aren't they


investing, businesses? Business investment has always tended to lag


behind a recovery. Businesses have been building up large cash balance,


especially large businesses over the last few years, because of


uncertainties about the UK economy. Uncertainties about the wider UK


economy. Now people can have a degree of confidence in the


direction of the UK economy, backed by a Government that has a strong


and firm economic plan, I think this is the year to be investing if you


are a business that h built up those cash balances over the last few


years. Of course your friend, Vincent Cable, has been saying this


for ages and ages that businesses have to get around to investing


their cash. They didn't take any notice of him or indeed you. What a


should they now? What we have been doing as a Government is


systematically tackle the problems holding back business investment.


Whether that is problems in the public finances, which we are


fixing. Whether it is the investment in infrastructure, the skills in the


work force, a Compative tax system, bringing the corporation tax down to


the most competitive level in the G20. We are creating the conditions


in this country for businesses to invest, we will start to see that


during the course of the year. Why is our productivity so bad? That is


an economic problem known as the productivity puzzle. There are lots


of different explanations. Have you solved the puzzle? I don't think we


have. It is partly about the fact that during this financial crisis


and subsequently, businesses have decided to keep on their staff to


maintain their skills in their work force. They have chosen not to


invest, and so what you have seen is a period of time where we have seen


significant job growth in our economy, but much lower investment


in plant and machinery. That causes productivity to be lower. That is


why I think this year business investment is so important. That is


the way we can increase productivity. It is only bin ceasing


productivity that we can raise the living standards of our population.


Do you worry about the level of house prices in south-east of


England? I think that house In central London, very rapid and large


rises in house prices. I think fuelled a lot by investment from


overseas. But I think what we have got to look at is what is the


condition in the housing market, what are we seeing in terms of


construction, because in the end we have to get more houses built in


this country. On that measure there are some encouraging signs in terms


of our planning reform, in terms of the Government's investment in


affordable housing. You have now worked for George Osborne for over


three years. You know what his priorities are. You have a clear


choice now, Ed Balls has said he wants to raise the top level of


income tax to 50%, George Osborne would like to reduce it from what it


is now, 40% or something. Now, which of those do you prefer? Well I think


we have the position about right at the moment. I think the 45p rate is


the right place to stay. But let me say this. Would you consider raising


the top rate of income tax to 50%? We debated this as a political party


at o conference last September, we decided to stick with the 45p rate.


There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly there is no evidence


at all that raising it to 50p would raise any money. We think we have


better ideas of how to get the wealth to pay more. Isn't it more


consumate with your principles, fair next you are always going on about


that -- fairness, you are always going on about that? I don't think


it is fair to levy tax that doesn't raise money. I think what we have


done in Government and what we prodoes to do going -- propose to do


going forward in Government. Restricting tax relief wealthier


people get on pension contributions. That is a better and more effective


way to ensure the better-off are making more contribution. Looking


ahead to the election, could you work as Chief Secretary to Ed Balls?


Look, the question about the future Government of this country is a


matter for the British people. We as exactly as we have said in 2010,


whichever party, assuming we have a balanced parliament, I don't see


much evidence that either Labour or Conservatives have got the political


momentum to win a majority by themselves. We would seek to have


discussions with whoever had the strongest mandate. The point I would


make though is that when, if you are worried about the economy, and you


see the threat that Labour poses with their ideas about the economy,


you see the threat that Conservatives pose with the game of


chicken they want to play with our largest market in Europe, I think if


you are worried about economic stability and strength in this


country, you need to make sure the Liberal Democrats are part of the


next Government. Whatever the overall way the cards fall in the


general election. You don't care who you get into bed with? What I care


about is making sure that we have a strong and stable economy, a strong


economy and a fair society. I think we're the only party that is


committed to both of those things. These are parties that have


diametrically opposed views of the world? I have just explained to you


some areas where I disagree with both parties. I think that what


Labour are saying about taking a lot longer to deal with the country's


financial problems would be bad for the economic health of this country.


What the Conservatives are saying about increasingly some of their


backbenchers taking Britain out of the European Union would be a


catastrophic thing for our economy. We have a role to anchor the


economics in the next election. And anchor society. If you care about


the stability of the British economy, and you want to have the


Liberal Democrats in there as part of the mix. So were the largest


party to be the Labour Party you would say we will open talks with


you but let as you be quite clear, there will be no 50p rate of tax?


I'm not going to get into prenegotiation for coalition talks.


I can tell you what I think as a Liberal Democrat. And what I think,


I don't think there is any strong case for going back to the 50p rate


because you would be raising a tax that doesn't raise any money for the


country, but sends bad signals about us around the world. Therefore you


couldn't be part of the Government that did it could you? I'm not going


to get into trying to renegotiate coalitions at this point. What I'm


saying to you is my tax priority. Surely wouldn't join a Government


going to do something as foolish as that? My tax priority for the next


parliament is to make sure that we continue to deliver further tax cuts


for people on low and middle incomes. This coming April we will


get to that 10,000 tax-free amount that we promised in 2010. I want to


go much further. That is what we want to raise money for. I want to


make sure the next Government in tackling the deficit, on the path we


have set out, also asks the wealthy to make a contribution. I think


there are much better ways do that than a 50p rate. Which as I say is


ineffective and there are better ways to raise money. While we are in


this terrain, do you think walls walls Ed Balls -- Ed Balls could run


the economy as well as George Osborne? I don't think that the


Labour Party and Ed Balls would have done anything other than a


catastrophic job on the economy. I think together the Conservatives and


the Liberal Democrats in this parliament have had a good plan for


the economy, we have taken tough decisions and came together as a


coalition Government. This recovery wouldn't be happening if we didn't


have a strong and stable coalition Government. As a Liberal Democrat


I'm incredibly proud of the role we have played in making sure we get to


this point of strong economic recovery in the UK. Now, if we


accept the economy is finally pick up after more than half a decade in


the doldrum, where is that growth coming from? Can it continue to


create new well-paid jobs? Jim Reid has gone in search of signs of the


recovery in Yorkshire and the north-east. This is. Here come the


steel workers, nearly seven thousand men and women, these are the men and


here is the metal. Just 40 years ago, the UK made twice


as much steel as the whole of China. Yorkshire firms, Vickers, Browns,


fox's, were all major industrial names. These are the men who are


producing the new steels needed to build the engineering and scientific


achievements of our age. The days of rolling hills and mass production


here might have gone, but 900 workers are left and they specialise


in something more cutting edge. Here ?2 million electric forges turn out


electric high-quality steel. Metal is melted and remelted until it is


strong enough to make parts for the energy and Aerospace sectors. It is


a business now taking on staff, after losing a third of its work


force in the recession. Last month there were four new orders, three of


those from China. You don't want the plane you a flying on to fall out of


the sky. The consequence is unthinkable, what you have to do is


produce material that does exactly what it says, always, every time the


same, and is reliable for the next 25 years. Those applications almost,


almost, the price is not the most relevant factor. It is actually the


quality, the knowledge, the high-tech. When you look around a


site like this you don't see hundreds of steel workers, you are


not creating the jobs that maybe the steel industry was 20, 30 years ago?


I guess in absolute terms that is absolutely correct, not what it was


20 years ago, but the jobs we are creating are actually real high-tech


jobs, they are real jobs, they are not zero hour contracts. There are


signs the manufacturing sector, in parts of the north, is starting to


recover. New figures show 57% of factories in Yorkshire show a rise


in orders over the last three months. That is well over the UK


average, and ahead of London and the south-east. Specialist engineering


has been enjoying a quiet resurgence in this region. Sheffield university


has been working with companies like Tata, but also Boeing and


Rolls-Royce to develop new products and manufacturing techniques. The


people behind the project say it is about more than trading off


Yorkshire's industrial heritage. The issue we have is we cannot committee


with the eastern European block, or China, particularly on price. We


have had to go for quality. What we have here we forget, made in


Sheffield, made in Britain, made in Yorkshire, that badge sells across


the world, and we seem to have forgotten about that. All of a


sudden we have remembered that and that sells. The charm of Newcastle


lies in its virility, the four great bridges overriding the city, yes,


virility with a capital "V", that's Newcastle. Another city with a proud


industrial past, from mining to shipbuilding to rail. This tunnel


deep beneath Tyneside was built to take coal from Newcastle and ship it


to every corner of the world. In 150 years since it has closed the local


economy has really had its highs and lows. In the last recession this


region lost more public sector jobs than any other part of the UK. But


again, the economic picture is starting to look a bit different.


This is a project we have been developing ourselves as a team. And


we have been using the environment around us. So this is you know the


famous bridge in the centre of Newcastle at the bottom of Dean


Street. This fantasy version of Gateshead was created by a local


digital arts company, Ron lost his job in 2009, so he gambled and


started up his own firm in the middle of a recession. It now makes


images for big budget films and games. Can you see here how it was


reduced into the painting. This firm has just opened an office in South


Africa and is planning to grow its work force by a third this year. If


you are a big sort of lumbering London company and agency who has a


lost of staff and overheads it is very hard to then suddenly cut


prices or produce something that is competitive. I think there is an


unfair sort of view of the north from the south, that it isn't all


like you know delap dated factories and kids ddelapidated factories and


kids running around with no shoes! It is high-tech business here and we


are able to stand our own against any company in the world these days.


The latest figures showed the last time companies in the north-east was


this optimistic was back in 2003. But growing confidence doesn't yet


mean widespread job growth. Unemployment here is still twice


what it was before the recession. I think a lot of the growth is taking


place in the main core cities, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield,


Newcastle and Liverpool. But those are some of the places where we're


seeing high growth, innovative businesses. But we have concerns


that some of those sectors, if you like, are very much at the high end.


And we need jobs across the board in the north of England. We need to see


lots of jobs and not just a few jobs in the high-tech companies. There


might then be some signs of optimisim in cities like Newcastle.


But with so much lost ground to make up, it may take a while until this


recovery starts to feel it is built to last. Here now in the studio are


Stephaine Flanders, formally the BBC editor, and also with us Ruth Glee,


director and adviser at the Arbuthnot Banking group. Are you


impressed by the growth figures? It is good news, we always make the


mistake in economics when things are going well we expect the good times


to carry on forever. When things are going badly, as they have for so


long in recent years, a year ago, when I was still in my old year,


people were wallowing in the gloom and dispond dennedcy, and they came


-- dispondancy, and they came around to the idea that the economy


wouldn't grow again. It is growing again. We are taking time to catch


up with the optimisim. I wasn't asking whether it is good or bad


news, are you impressed? I think it is very good news. I'm not


particularly impressed. We're quite to grow by well over 3%, but I don't


think that will be a moment when we should say we have gone to heaven. I


think we forget this is a normal rate of growth. We have not gone to


heaven, but I am impressed by it. I must say when peop talk about this


is the wrong sort of growth because it is consumer led, I think hang on


a minute most recoveries are consumer-led to start with. They


talk about investment, investment only responds when you have growth.


Growth doesn't lead recovery it lags recovery. I think too I'm encouraged


that this particular recovery is reasonably sustainable. Afterall the


labour market is behaving extremely buoyantly. Employment was up 280,000


in the three months from November, compared with three months earlier,


it was 450,000, higher than a year earlier. These are encouraging


numbers. But people aren't better off? That is to come, and obviously


at the moment you have still got inflation running ahead of earnings


growth. Inflation is 2% and earnings growth less than one. With any luck,


as commodity prices are weakening, inflation should weaken, and as the


economy continues to recover, assuming it does, the Lea labour


market will tie in a wage settlements and earnings will tie


in. Do you see it in the same way? I think it is important to remember


how far we have come in terms of living standards. Even just a few


weeks ago when inflation finally went back to target. There is all


this conversation about Labour is wrong to be focussing on living


standards because we have had one month where inflation is lower than


wages. There is a danger, I think, that we get a year zero problem. We


don't remember the fact that we have actually had many years of very,


very low growth. It has taken us an extraordinary long time to get to


where we are, and people have been hit with living standards. And


people talk a lot about productivity, that puzzle and people


worrying about why workers are not making more and why we are not able


to make more per head is actually the flip side of the living


standards issue. You can pay workers more when they are making more. I


asked Danny Alexander about this, he didn't seem to know what the answer


was? Officially we don't know. I think it is growth, as the economy


continues to grow one should get catch up on productivity. There is


another side to the coin on the productivity, that is the labour


market has done better than most people expected. I expected


unemployment to rise far more than it did during the great recession.


When GDP at one point was over 7% down on the peak. We mustn't regret


that. It is still below the peak? It is, but by the second half of the


year it will be back to the 008 level. You can't have it both ways,


you can't have a buoyant economy and jobs. If you take your pick I would


prefer lower productivity and more people in jobs, and as the economy


recovers you hope to get that other growth in. Why? Because I prefer


people to stay in jobs? You want them to stay connected to the labour


market. But there is a genuine puzzle. I hope growth will be the


answer to the productivity problem. But you know, it was perfectly


reasonable. The Bank of England has done a terrible forecasting job, and


you rightly pointed that out to Mark Carney the other day. But when the


Bank of England was making that forecast about how slowly


unemployment would fall, they weren't the only ones. They were


assuming it would take a long time and would be an historically low


recovery of productivity. We haven't had that, we have had employment go


faster than output. It is a genuine puzzle. We have to hope the Bank of


England gets the room to test out how to let the economy find that


capacity. It is a lot slower here than some places elsewhere? Put it


this way, we are now growing faster than the eurozone. That is good


news. Come on, let's cheer up for goodness sake! Come on. But I think


there were dreadful head winds, and merit veining king -- Mervyn King


used to talk about it. It was about the terrible crash in the banking


sector which is slowly only recovering. And the European market


doesn't seem to be doing terribly well. We had the period of fiscal


consolidation. You had these three dreadful head wants the economy had


to push against. It was the Bank of England's superloose monetary policy


that has managed to push the whole thing. This is a test year, this is


a year for not just the UK but across the world, it is a year where


the excuses have run out. The he can ten waiting circumstances for this


-- extenuating circumstances for this slow recovery is starting to


run out. I hope we will seeks port and growth come back, but if in a


year or two's time we don't see those things and seeing relatively


slow growth elsewhere, we have to talk about structural change. I


think the eurozone is condemned to a period of slow growth. The IMF


thinks so too. If we stopped the conversation 30 seconds ago I could


have said two cheerful economist, I can't do that now. I'm still


cheerful, relatively. You have to be cheerful but also trying to get that


lost capacity, that lost growth back, let's not forget about it.


Absolutely. The man David Cameron chose as his head of communications


sat and listened to a recording of a private phone conversation between


two actors who were having an affair. Andy Coulson exclaimed it


was brilliant and then organised to try to hide the fact that he had


heard it at all. At least he did, if the court believes the account given


today at the phone hacking trial at London's Old Bailey. The Prime


Minister has promised a profound apology if it turns out that Andy


Coulson was party to phone hacking, which Mr Coulson of course denies.


Our man on the press benches is Steve homosexual lit. -- Hewlett.


SMEI That was the sub tense of a message allegedly left by Siena


Miller, on the voice mail of her secret lover, actor Daniel Craig.


The Old Bailey was told it had been hacked and recorded by a News of the


World report e and it was the proof that the paper's editor, Andy


Coulson, had been waiting for. "Brilliant" is what Coulson is


alleged to have said when he was played the phone hacked message by


the man who had recorded it and who has gone on to become the star


prosecution witness. He's also the first self-confessed phone hacker to


come to court and give an account of what he did. Which is why he's so


central to the crown's case against Andy Coulson, which is that he


didn't just know about phone hacking at his newspaper, but was thoroughly


complicit in it. Dan Evans claimed to have learned the dark arts of


phone hacking, not at the News of the World, but at the Sunday Mirror


were it served him very well, story-wise. It didn't take long for


the News of the World to come knocking. But an initial attempt to


poach him failed. However a subsequent approach, from a senior


journalist, who we can't name for legal reasons, led to a breakfast


meeting, over scrambled egg and smoked salmon, here at the central


London hotel, between Dan Evans and Andy Coulson. Dan Evans told the


court: That, Evans told the court was a


"kerching" moment, within ten minutes of the meeting ended he had


got the job. And the News of the World had hired another expert phone


hacker. The pressure to deliver scoops was, Evans said, intense. He


found life there tough. He told the court how after an enormous


rollicking of a senior colleague, he went home and spent the entire


weekend hacking celebrities' phones. Which is where Siena Miller's


personal message to Daniel Craig, which so thrilled Andy Coulson, came


from. He went further, accusing Coulson of masterminding a programme


to cover the phones. Andy Coulson of seen making notes


and shaking his head during today's proceedings. Evans, who has already


admitted phone hacking, also has previous convictions for possession


of drugs and whilst at the News of the World used cannabis, cocaine and


ecstacy. His cross-examination by Coulson's legal team is due to start


tomorrow. All the defendants deny the charges against them. God knows


what it seems like if you are one of the unfortunate people trapped by


the Civil War in Syria. But the piece -- Pacific talks broke off


early today with both sides unable to get past the sticking point of


what a transitional Government looks like. Nothing is done to evacuate


the trapped and wounded from some of the more intense fighting. One of


those behind closed doors is a Syrian minister. Good evening to


you, Faisal Mekdad. Good evening. Why were these talks ended early


today? In fact today's talks did not end early, but there were no


traditional consultations in the afternoon. In today's session the


delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic tried to discuss deeply and


to go into the heart of the matter, but when we protested the fact that


the United States has resumed arming the armed groups and this was a


decision announced today or yesterday. The other party refused


to discuss this issue. We believe this is a bad message by the


Government of the United States and we believe that the US


administration should be more serious, and it should not be arming


armed groups or terrorist groups. So when will the talks resume? They


will resume tomorrow morning. The United States position won't have


changed by tomorrow morning will it? No, it will not change. But at least


we have put before the mediation, before the meeting and before the


public international opinion what the United States is doing to harm


and influence those talks. In a way that may harm the interests of the


Syrian people. We don't need arms what we need is peace talks. The


opposition group have put forward their proposition which demand


Syria, a democracy with a rule of law, reconciliation between the


opposing sides, guarantee of human rights. What could you possibly


object to in all of that? We didn't object to any of these things. In


fact yesterday we presented a paper that includes, among others, these


very points. But it was totally rejected by the opposition. In fact,


we want to go directly for discussions about concrete issues


but step by step to build a consensus and to tell the Syrian


people that we are advancing before we go to the very heart and core


issues. What is the feeling there, do you think that there is a belief


in these talks, that there will be a peace settlement at the end of them?


In fact we are coming determined to achieve peace. Because for the last


three years we have been working to achieve this objective, but frankly


speaking some misinformation has been taking place all the time. That


has led to some big fragments of the international public opinion that we


are not for peace. But we are here, now, in Geneva, for this conference,


to achieve peace, and we shall try do it as soon as possible. In the


meantime, of course, you have all these unfortunate people trapped by


the fighting, now I believe you said that women and children can leave


the city of Homs, is that correct? Absolutely. In fact they should have


left, yes, yes of course. I have been directly involved in this file


for the last two years. This is not a new issue, I don't know why the US


administration is emphasising this issue since the beginning of these


talks. It is partly I think because... Let me just ask you a


specific point if I may. The point is, you are saying that the men


there must register their names with you y do you want their names? --


why do you want their names? We don't mean the men, we mean the


fighters. Amnesties have been declared in all parts of Syria, and


lists of names have been given in all parts of Syria, we shall allow


women and children to leave without any conditions. As far as fighters


are concerned, we have to know who these people are so they don't go


outside and shoot other people in other places in Syria. It is only


for the departure of this these men. Who will determine whether they are


civilians or fighters? Frankly speaking in the recent amnesties,


declared by President Assad, the only precondition we wanted was that


they give up their arms and live and be free Syrians. So you don't want


their names. We need their names to distinguish between those who are


killing innocent people and those who are innocent. But once they give


their games, we are will be clear who are these people who have been


trying to leave because they have been taking citizens in Homs hostage


for at least one-and-a-half years. The protest in the Ukraine brought


down the Government there today. With the Prime Minister and all of


his cabinet quitting. Though President Yanukovych is still in


post. It will still be a bold person who chooses to predict how this


confrontation between those who want a European future and those leaning


towards Russia turn out. Things seem to be moving, the capital Kiev has


been the arena for many of the protests, but it is not of course


the country. We sent Gabriel Gatehouse to eastern Ukraine where


you night expect to find more pro-Russian feeling. Here they are


building barricades out of snow. But these are not protestors. These are


the riot police. Fortifying local Government offices against the


threat of attack. This city was once a centre of Soviet rocket


manufacturing. It's Ukraine's pro-Russian industrial heartland,


where the people and the oligarchs have been traditionally been solidly


behind the Government. While the demonstrations were contained in the


capital, Kiev, the Government felt like it could handle the situation.


But then last week, following that violence, the demonstrations moved


west, into opposition heartland and some of the protestors even seized


local Government buildings. Now they have come east, and this week a mob


tried to storm the local Government headquarters. Hundreds of young men,


most of them armed with clubs and rocks, attacked the police. Both


sides took casualties, several policemen were seriously injured,


one is still in a coma. The rioters were eventually dispersed and dozens


were arrested. But the authorities were rattled. We spoke to somebody


who knows just how rattled they are, this woman is an insider, part of a


team of close advisers to the President. TRANSLATION: It was only


when violent protests broke out in the province, when people started


taking over Government buildings that those in power started taking


the demonstrations seriously. Then they realised they had a big problem


on their hands. That they were losing the electorate, in one region


after another. And so, this afternoon, at a trap -- tram spot,


they digested the latest concessions, the Prime Minister and


the entire cabinet quit. The repressive laws that caused the


protest were repealed, an argument breaks out. This lady says get rid


the demonstrator, under no circumstances says the gentleman,


let the people come out and demand their people. Another woman


dismisses him and says the President has been far too soft on the


protesters, she said. But in Ukraine real political pressure comes not


from the bottom but the top. It was a public intervention late last week


by an oligarch, Ukraine's richest man, that prompted the President to


compromise. TRANSLATION: He can't ignore the oligarchs, that is


impossible, they are too powerful. Yanukovych won the last elections,


not because he was hugely popular with the electorate. We He won


because he had the strong support of the oligarchs. Today we saw


policemen in training, preparing to protect Government buildings from


attack. But the more pressing threat to President Yanukovych is that he


could lose his financial backers. We have spoken to people close to two


of Ukraine's most prominent oligarchs, both said they were


unhappy with the President's handling of the crisis. And on that


point, for once, the oligarchs seem to be in tune with the protesters on


the street. Here their numbers may be small compared to Kiev, but they


are no less vocal and they are clear. Today's concessions are not


enough. They want the President to go. They are criminals, you know,


the Government, our President, all of them they are criminals. The


Government today offered to resign? Yes. Is that God enough for you? It


is not good enough for me. This is unfamiliar territory for Ukraine,


the old assumptions of the divide between east and west and Russia and


Europe are being thrown into question, the allegance of the


oligarch seems to be in flux, one things seems clear is the centre is


struggling to hold. As the politicians in Kiev try to pull this


country back from the brink, here the police prepare for another long,


cold night outside the local Government headquarters, their riot


shields propped up like tomb stones in the snow.


Radio stations across the land have been filled with protest songs


today, marking the death of one of the great political tub -- truers.


Pete Seeger was nine # and difficult to the end. Only a cop -- 90 and


difficult to the end. Only a few years ago he was processing through


Manhattan on an occupy Wall Street march.


# Me and my wife # Went all over the town


# Everywhere the people turned us down


Pete Seeger performing a song from the civil rightseria about


segregation in hotels. He fell foul of senator McCarthy in the 50s, but


he later saw himself and the old Red Square man as ying and yang. Every


establishment in the world needs a good opposition to be healthy. Just


like the moose population need the animals to harass them. We discussed


Seeger with whispering with Bob Harris and what do you know. I'm


part of the 60s generation that grew up with Bob Dylan and the protest


singers of the mid-1960. Of course Pete Seeger was the God fathering of


that entire movement. He's also massively important figure in terms


of the shaping of American music as we know today. After te Seeger's


salad days, it became a little less folksy.


# Get up stand up # Don't give up the fight It


continued to address issues, including racism, equality. The


Vietnam War. # Brother, brother, brother


# There is far too many of you dying I believe very strongly this general


election is a very, very important general election, not only for the


Labour Party but for democracy as a whole.


# Stand down mam # Stand down please


Some veterans of the struggle and other struggles are available, say


the kids of today aren't up for a good protest song. This generation


has other medium available to it. Social media and I think that the


idea of music taking that vanguard role again we may not see that. But


others claim to hear a protest message from even the most


comfortably off of today's stars. You believe racism is a problem it


doesn't matter if you are a multi-millionaire black man you will


still make the point that feminism is still necessary. You may be as


rich and powerful as Beyonce, that is still a point you want to make.


# It's raining men Finally pop pickers this track is


set to climb the charts again. Coopted by gay rights campaigners


after UKIP meteorologists blamed the bad weather on same-sex marriage!


That is it for tonight. We will leave you with the musician Frank


Turner playing tribute to Pete Seeger, with playing We Shall


Overcome, one of the songs he was most closely associated with.


# We shall over # We shall overcome


# Some day # Oh deep in my heart


# I do believe # We shall overcome


# Some day # And we'll walk hand in hand


# We'll walk hand in hand # Some day


# Oh deep in my heart # I do believe


# We'll walk hand in hand # Some day


# And we are not afraid Lord # We are not afraid today


# Deep in my heart # I do believe


# We shall overcome # Some day


# And we shall overcome Lord # We shall overcome


# We shall Hello again, showers continuing


through the get, we will have a lot of cloud tomorrow with showers and


long spells of rain, we will pick up the easierly, and showers


particularly over the hills. Showers moving away


Do the GDP figures mean the right sort of growth? Plus, Jeremy Paxman v Danny Alexander, the latest on the phone hacking trial, the Syrian deputy foreign minister, a report from on the ground in Kiev and tributes to American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger.

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