31/01/2014 Newsnight


Who is to blame for the floods? Who suffers as America slows down its money printing? How did radio survive the Internet? The transfer window shuts.

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Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the house, guess what,


there is more of this to come. Ruined crops stranded communities


who is to blame? Before radio was invented a reporter


could only speak to as many people as could hear him shout and then...


. Why has a century-old medium not


just survived but thrived in the new era.


As the football transfer window slams shut in 28 minutes, only one


show will carry it life... Newsnight! ?


Hello, if you have just realised how much the animal kingdom chooses to


hibernate this time of year look away now. More rain heading our way


with high tides and gale force winds. Two flood alerts put in


place, and even what the Environment Agency is calling "threat to life".


Those worst hit have seen homes ruined and livelihoods wrecked.


Environmentalists are blaming the farmers and the farmers the


agencies, then the odd lone voice blaming the gays.


There is nothing unusual about the Somerset Levels flooding, much of it


is under sea level, but not this long. The land is under water a


month. The county might have had the wettest January on record, but many


think this disaster is man made. Once upon time it was only really


God who got it in the neck for causing flooding. These days it is a


case of take your pick, farmers, sheep, birds, bureaucrats, climate


change, rich people, apparently they are now all to blame. Unless of


course you are one certain UKIP councillor, for him things have


really come full circle, this is collective punishment by God for gay


marriage. First in the dock the Government, including the


Environment Agency and minister Owen Patterson, who Labour has now


decided to call "the fool of the floods". Why wasn't it done ages


ago, why only now? Many of the locals don't seem impressed either,


they are angry about lack of flood defences, a slowness to pump the


rivers and a lack of dredging. I have been campaigning for years to


have this river dredged for years along with the local residents, I'm


a councillor for 14 years, you are a councillor for 20 years and they


don't listen. If they weren't listening before they are now. The


Government is saying dredging will start as soon as is practicable. It


might seem unlikely but the RSPB is charged with helping to cause the


floods. They manage large parts of the Somerset levels for the benefit


of wading birds, and they along with other conservation groups have


opposed dredging. I'm sorry about the birds and voles, we have to


defend ourselves, birds can fly and voles get away. It is hard for us to


lift up homes adisappear. Next up farmers and landowners. This takes


the argument in a some what different direction, to what is


going on upstream. Even the sheep are guilty. Because, the accusation


goes, in order to give them land to graze on, farmers have been ripping


up threes and scrub which would normally soak up the waterfalling on


the hills. No-one is saying that flood-hit


residents deserve their faith, but some think it is time they moved. In


Somerset the argument goes the 1,000-year history of keeping sea


water out of the area has to end. While across the country it is


argued the practices of draining wetlands, reclaiming salt marshes,


and walling in rivers are being overwhelmed by the forces of climate


change. What we have to think about is perhaps areas that are less


heavily populated, areas where we have built on by the coast. Some of


these areas it is just not possible to continue to defend at all costs.


If the blame game is getting on your nerves, last night's Question Time


showed you are not alone. Every time we have a disaster, and I have no


doubt this is a terrible disaster for the people living there, they


must be having a nightmare time for the last few week, somebody has to


be blamed. I think the present furore about Somerset, who is to


blame, somebody has to be summoned, this lynch mob stuff is slightly


irrelevant to the suffering of the people there. Southern England, the


south west and west Wales may feel they have suffered quite enough


already. But more misery is coming, high tides, strong winds and yet


more heavy rain is on its way. And there are nearly 150 flood warnings


in place. That was Zoe, joining us is the environmental campaigner and


the nationa farmers' representative Steven Watkins. I will start with


you, you are the man who has currently 300 acres or so under


water, do you think anything could have stopped that? Yes, I'm great


believer in dredging of the rivers, the reason for that is historically


it was done and that was to, in my case, the River Severn to allow


larger vessels to travel up to deliver oil much further north on


the river. But we have a situation really where building over the


years, and that is not necessarily on the flood plain, we are talking


general building, has increased the speed at which water runs off. And


what's happened is that I have been given the considerable amount of


money by the Government and Europe to manage low-lying grassland to


maintain it in an environmental low-sensitive area. Because the


rivers are not taking the water away I'm actually losing these


environmentally sensitive areas. When you say the rivers aren't


taking the water away, what should have happened? If the dredging was


continuously happening we would have a situation where the water is get


out to sea. In the uplands the water needs to be held. In the lowlands


the water needs to get away. I guess you have to listen to the people who


work the land and say that is what they are pointing to, a lack of


dredging? Of course they are pointing to that. I completely


understand the pain they are going through. But there is absolutely no


point in coming up with the wrong solution. What we are looking at now


is a sort of reprisal of the badger UK the farmers are very upset,


rightly, for very obvious reasons they are upset. They want action,


they want to see something dramatic and muscular and eye-catching done.


That is what the Government wants to deliver, and so it is giving them


something which is not just useless, but in many cases actually


counter-productive. And what dredging does so often is it


actually causes more floods, more dangerous floods than were there


already. So you have just been accused of watching eye-catching


muscular policies that do nothing? That is absolute rubbish, we have a


balanced society, and a balanced needs of society. We need


environmental features and if the rivers are not being cleaned, I have


got trees that are in a major river, the River Severn is a major river,


we have trees falling down there and not cleared, and holding up the


water. It is holding it further upstream and the Government spending


more money on defences it is an ever-decreasing circle of spending


more money on defences and we need to maintain what we have got. What


is your solution, what should the farmers be doing? It is the same


solution as the Environment Agency is advocating. It has been very


clear about this. When talking about the Somerset levels it says dredging


is not the answer. If it is the answer it is a tiny part of it. What


we have to look at is the whole catchment, what is going on in the


hills, we need more vegetation in the hills to help trap and slow down


the water. We have to reconnect the rivers with the flood plains in


places where it is safe to do so. More vegetation means what, fewer


sheep, crops or what? Fewer sheep in the hills. When you are looking at


land which is extremely unproductive and interfile it is crazy to keep


that land there. That is not the cause of it. The best thing to do on


the land is get trees back and some deep vegetation back to hold the


water. The cause of the problem is the fact we have had no forestry in


the hills for hundreds of years and the sheep farming has been going on


perfectly acceptably. The problem is we have been building more and more


houses, more and more roads, as society develops, but we have not


been maintaining the drainage system, if we don't maintain the


drains. If you have your sink and your sink gets blocked you unblock


it. The Environment Agency and experts all over the country who


have been clear about this, that just dredging and dredging, all you


are doing there, you are not increasing Compatties of the flood


main -- capacity of any flood main substantially at all. You are


increasing the rate of flow. That means you are increasing the chances


of dangerous floods to the towns downstream. People could be


listening to you saying fine, but it is cook can you land, you can't --


cuckoo hand, you can't ask people to re-think their livelihoods? We are


paying ?3.6 billion in farm subsidies, a lot of those subsidies


are delivering social harm like the flooding at the moment. It is a good


example. We should rejig the farming subsidies, we should pay farmers in


places where it is safe to store the water on their land. We should pay


them to plant for trees and deep vegetation to slow down the flow,


dredging is not the answer. I have received a lot of money from the


Government and Europe to create and protect these very areas that you


are talking about. They are being killed because the water cannot get


away fast enough. My flood bank, I have 11 miles river frontage, four


miles close to my house, the EA spent a lot of money in 1995-96


repairing those. When we had the serious floods in 2007, Hillary Benn


and Lord Rocker came to the farm and I showed them, Barbara Young the


head of the Environment Agency said there was no reproduction in the


system. Bridgeing is not the answer, it is the upstream catchment


management we need to concentrate on. We appreciate that, thank you.


Janet Yellen was officially welcomed today in what may be the biggest job


in the world, as of the US Federal Reserve, she is responsible not nest


for decision making in the world's largest economy, the US, but also


for what happens everywhere else. As the Fed begins tapering quanative


easing, the free money it has been pumping in to buoy the system. There


are those who say it is moving too fast. We will ask what obligation


the US has to other countries in a moment.


First we have this, a stiff drink in one hand and party for one. Too


fast. We will ask what obligation the US has to other countries in a


moment. First we have this, a stiff drink in


one hand and party for one. Emerging markets are in trouble, interest


rates and stock markets plunging. What has that got to do with the US


Federal Reserve. There is an old saying about the Fed it is supposed


to take the drinks away just as the party is getting started, a few can


get things going, but it is easy to overdo things. I consider it


imperative that we do what we can to promote a very strong recovery. The


Fed's way of livening up the economy is to create new money. Janet Yellen


has an unusual relationship with the Fed's bank balance, she can type in


any money she likes. That is what it means to be a Central Bank, you can


create money out of nothing. Miss Yellen's predecessor has been doing


plenty of that since the financial crisis of 2008. Spending the money


on things such as US Government debt. But there is a spill-over and


it is quite deliberate. Private investors don't want to outbid the


Fed by investing in US Government debt, because the Fed has all the


money in the world. So they look elsewhere to invest. In mortgages,


or corporations, that makes borrowing cheaper, and it pushes up


share prices. But, then, the spill-over continues. Investors have


been looking further and further afield, putting their money in


India, South Africa and Turkey. And just as the previous head of the fed


put the pun into the markets, Janet Yellen will help to pull it out. The


Fed is still printing money but it is slowing down. By the end of the


year it is on course to stop buying new assets. Investors are suddenly


telling themselves that if the Fed is going to stop buying assets in


the United States, it might be easier and safer to make money there


instead. And they are pulling out of emerging markets. You might wonder


why, if the Fed is slowing things down so gradually, the trouble has


arrived so abruptly. That is one of those things about markets. When


things turn sour they turn sour in a hurry. Professor Nyree Woods, a


former adviser to the IMF joins me, and former economic adviser to


George W Bush, Eliaquim Mangala are with me. This policy was called


selfish today, would you call it that? I think it is ill-advised, you


can wonder why they think they should only look at the United


States. But the fact is the United States' set of policies are having


real effects on all other economies in the system. Those economies, like


India, and this is why the Indian governor came out so strongly, are


exactly the economies that the United States asked for help from in


2007. As the IMF's manage -- managing director keeps saying, when


it changes direction it should do so carefully and with consultation. It


is talking about tapering for a year now, how much slower could have it


have been? There has been no clarity. By floating the balloon


that tapering would happen at some point, they have injected a whole


load of precarious and fee broil tension into the markets. By not


consulting with major economies and pulling the G20 together and making


sure it is done in concert, it is creating chaos. It would have been


so easy to do that, creating the goodwill from including people it


depended on? I totally disagree I have to say. The fed has broadcast


as loudly as it can, it has told the world what they are going to do. It


is hard to have more clarity than what they have delivered. But what


you can't do is deliver to policy makers around the world, we are


going to do this on Tuesday, because then it is out in the market, right?


It is still a board, and they still have to meet and make a decision.


They don't make the decision before they arrive, and then broadcast what


it is going to be. They actually go to the meeting and that's where they


decide. The bigger question is do you think America has a


responsibility to these countries, or should it just be looking to what


it needs to do? The way every Government is structured is monetary


policy answers to domestic populations. Nowhere in the world do


you have central banks that are responsible for the impact of their


monetary policy elsewhere. That is not the way the game works. However,


having said that, what I think should be more in place is an


wariness by the Federal Reserve of what is happening in the markets


generally. And, what the specific impact is so they can understand


where their partners around the world are. This is not well


understood. A load of people will be sympathetic with that, America has


to put itself first. These countries can be tiger economies, they can


boom when they boom, why should they not be able to stand on their own


two feet now? Two things, so the United States has spent decades


persuading economies whether Brazil or independentia or Indonesian or


Turkey to open up their financial systems and admit US investors and


banks into their economies. It is those countries most affected by


changes in US policy. If the US doesn't start taking responsibility


for that, those countries are going to become much more nationalistic in


their finance, and should the door and not let those investors in. You


think that will happen? That is the risk, not trade, I'm talking those


countries putting up what they would call Prudential barriers to stop hot


money flying out and flooding i They should have done that initially.


Protectionist measures? It doesn't have to be, if they were that


worried about the hot money when it came in, the Federal Reserve's


position is you should have raised interest rates at that time if your


economy couldn't handle it and allow your currency to appreciate. If you


didn't do those things you forfeit your right to complain now. That is


speaking without a consideration of what a big economic power America


is? I ace agree -- I disagree, the US is not the only one in


quantitative easing, it is the combination of Britain, the United


States and Europe will lean in that direction as much as the Germans


will they let them. This is a different world than one Government.


At the end of the day it still is our currency and everybody else's


problem. This is a question for both of you, I will start you with


Professor Woods, does it look at this point whether quaying has been


a successful solution to a major world problem? I think so,


quantitative easing was partly about repairing financial systems that


were broken and stimulating economies. It is not a good way of


stimulating economies, and you have to have an exit strategy and nobody


could come up with a good one. It was the wrong exit strategy at the


wrong time? Nobody knows the exit strategy, on the other hand it is


hard to say they shouldn't have done it at the time, we were on the brink


of quite a disaster. What is really interesting is it is working if the


purpose of QE is to generate inflation, it is just generating it


in the emerging markets. When MTV launched the first video was Radio


Star, the intention was the channel would kill off radio. It is not the


only thing, everything from the talkies and the Internet is billed


as its them circumstance all have failed. Listening figures are


holding up remarkably well. Is this the inevitable decline with


technology, but there is big investment going into radio's


future. For thousands of years spreading the spoken word was


limited to how far someone could shout, and then 100 years ago... .


SOMETHING CHANGED. THE INVENTION The invention of radio is still going on


around the world. In San Francisco on 997 Now is Let It Be. Energy all


over the bay today, it is so awesome. She is playing music and


using technology that would have been unrecoginsable to the radio


pioneer, she still sees herself as part of that tradition. We keep it


local, we live here, I live here, I go through the same things, if there


is an accident on the way to work that people are stuck in. Most


likely they will know what I'm talking about, something happens on


Bart on the train here. And it helps that I can relate and live the life


they are living. News at the speed of life, your life. For years people


have been predicting the death of radio, but radio definitely ain't


dead. In the US, like the UK, over 90% of adults listen every week. You


might think that good old steam-age railway is the antithesis of the


computer and internet age as in Silicon Valley. However there are


many internet entrepeneurs who are betting big that the radio has a


loud and bright future. We are looking at two companies with very


different approaches to how radio can evolve. The first would be a


God-send if you ever wake up say wanting to hear a Nigerian hip hop


station or all-hits radio from Malaysia. Tunein says it can deliver


100,000 radio statis streamed to all your devices anywhere in the world.


The last mass market medium moving on-line, as a result what is


happening is the proliferation of these connected devices are meaning


people from around the world can consume any radio station from


anywhere. It used to be you could only consume a radio station if you


were within 30-40 miles within the terrestrial tower. Now on your


smartphone, instead of 70 options locally, you have 100,000 options


from around the world. Tunein is backed by venture capital companies


including Google. They are seeking to mash the traditional model of


radio, which is local sales to local businesses. In Paolo at toe -- Alto,


let as say I'm listening to a station in the UK, but the ads won't


be relative to me. There is a local station here that could sell those


ads and we revenue share that with the broadcaster and some place else,


no matter where they are. But what if the future of radio isn't


internet-based audio streaming. At the moment most modern smartphones


contain a chip in them that allows you to receive an FM radio signal.


The same signal you get in your house or car, it is just most


carriers disable that chip. Change that and suddenly most people are


walking around with a radio in their pockets that is free to use and


don't require gobbling up your expensive data allowance. That is


the idea behind Nextradio, a new service launched in the United


States. The signal comes over FM, extra data like interactive ads,


special offers and information comes over the Internet. One of the US


carriers, Sprint, is promoting the idea. Where we step off and make it


more compelling is to use the FM, what the audio is for FM, to trigger


events that make it more interactive. As the song is playing


we might display artist or album information, offering the listener a


chance to give feedback, do you like it or dislike it, would you like to


share it with your friends what you are listening to on which station.


We are offering promotional things like awe -- automating the call. We


are liking live radio stations and automating them and presenting to


the consumer. And FM has its advantages. It is far more robust in


the case of an emergency than internet streaming, making it pretty


useful in earthquake-prone San Francisco. In the UK the Government


is looking to kill off FM in favour of DAB. Although how soon and how in


total we don't yet know. But this is just a debate about the delivery


platforms, however they listen, radio survives because audiences


value it. The audience will always want to connect with local radio


personalities. Can you get music anywhere. You have lot of different


devices to get it, it is inbetween the records that radio makes the


connection with the audience. It is the personal connection, people want


to be connected with other people, they want to be part of a tribe.


They want to know that they are in a group with other people, they want


to be accepted and that is what radio brings. Radio has survived a


century of supposedly fatal challenges, from the movies, then


television, then tapes, CDs and MP three players, it is now surviving


the Internet and streaming music services. There are plenty of people


betting plenty of money it will survive another century or two.


If you haven't seen your teenager for the last six hours you should


understand the football world in overdrive now less than four minutes


to go before the January transfer window shuts. Tonight has been


unusually quiet, but it is normally a frenzy of highly fought battles


over glamorous signings from exotic clubs. At heart it is simple, the


more you pay for the players the more you expect to win. Joining me


now from the Football Focus studio in Salford is the show's presenter,


Dan Walker and former Liverpool midfielder, Danny Murphy, who will


be on in a few minutes. Tell us what's happening, first of all with


Liverpool, Danny, is it Pilanka, sealed yet and what about the other


signings? That is an on going saga. One thing for sure if it is sealed


he's terrific, he could be a real boost for Liverpool pushing for the


top four spots. I can tell you some of the other things that have gone


through, Fulham have signed a Greek striker for ?11 mill I don't know,


Chelsea have -- million, Chelsea have spent ?12 million on a player.


It is not a big deadline day bid. The biggest was Juan Mata to Chelsea


which is a few days ago. The teams at the bottom now are so desperate


to stay in the Premiership because of the money involved. The top


squads can't get the quality of player they want, so will wait for


the summer. We see at the bottom with Fulham and Palace making ten


signings how crucial it is for them to stay in the Premier League. How


much do you say a club's fortunes rely on what happens on this kind of


night? I mean it is interesting as a question. You do get this panic


buying and in this country, in England they spend much more than


some of the other to be leagues across Europe combined. It is an


awful lot of cash. Sometimes it doesn't make too much of a


difference. You have the likes of Torres and Carol, spent a lot of


money on those, but without the big impact. You have Suarez, signed on


deadline day, he does make a difference. In this window, it has


been the likes of Crystal Palace and Fulham at the wrong end of the table


who have spent quite a bit of cash and brought in a lot of players. If


it keeps them in the Premier League it is money worth spending. We are


seeing the financial fair play act, which makes club if you like offset


the money they buy with the, the money they spend and the money that


they bring in. Do you think that's quietened down the market? I don't


think it has had as much of an impact as perhaps UEFA hoped it


would do. You take a club like Manchester City, whose losses are


far above what they should be by UEFA rules. They are reducing losses


and taking action to do that. UEFA will look on them positively. I'm


told the window has closed, it is 11.00, anything happened? Anything


happened? I'm sitting here I don't know! The financial fair plaything


is interesting, with what the top clubs are doing is finding ways and


loopholes to get round it, naming rights of the stadium and using


sister clubs in different countries. The window never closes, it always


slams, it never closes. You can tell I'm Newsnight can't you! Thank you


very much indeed! We're going it take you quickly through the front


pages, the independent: That's all this week, we leave you


with the Internet footage apparent from Turkish television of a police


SWAT team in action, see if you can spot the fake sound effect we added.


# Ooh # Ooh


# Ooh (DOORBELL) February's about to start, where


January left off. With plenty of flood and weather warnings, one of


the problems on Saturday, the strength of the wind, coupled with


high tides around western


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