13/03/2014 Newsnight


The latest from Ukraine; 'indeterminate' sentences; missing plane search continues; 40p tax threshold; and does attention deficit disorder really exist?

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The diplomatic talk gets tough as Ukraine appeals to the UN, Russia is


told to call off the referendum in Crimea. This man was sentenced to


three years in prison, spending eight mind bars, indeterminate


sentences were David Blunkett's big idea. Ten years on he tells us how


it went so long. As the search for the Malaysian plane disappeared. We


talk to a pilot who knows the fear of the crash. A man who thinks that


ADHD doesn't exist, a mother who is not impressed. Perhaps he could


raise a child with the condition, it is easy to sit on the outside and


judge. Hello good evening. Russia has


confirmed it has begun military exercises involving more than 8,000


troops close to the Ukraine border. The omission will do nothing to calm


tensions ahead of the Crimea referendum on whether to join Russia


at the weekend. Today William Hague called on Russia to abandon the


referendum, and said that Britain would freeze travel on Russians and


assets. We're going across now to Crimea and


our diplomatic editor. Tell us the sense you are getting on the ground


of how worried people are. You get a strong sense this vote is going to


happen on Sunday and the result is a foregone conclusion. Among some


Ukrainians here, and the minority here, there is a feeling that the


Kiev Government has almost given up, despite the pleas today of the


acting Prime Minister in the UN in New York that it's not too late to


talk, but something can still be done. Despite the fact that European


leaders are increasingly explicitly saying sanctions will come in on


Monday against Russia if this vote goes ahead. What you find here is


people looking to the next stage, a Ukrainian man on the train down said


to me, if they intervene somewhere else he will go and fight them. And


a commander of the Russian self-defence groups I was talking to


here earlier today said much the same thing. He predicts that could


get very violent if there are indeed incursions in the east of the


Ukraine. And briefly, we talked about troops, what's happening there


in the east? Well, there are more Russian military exercises,


something like 10,000 troops on Ukraine's eastern border. That has


created tensions, also violent clashes tonight in the eastern city


of Donetsk, and people have died. Could this be the spark that


triggers further western invention. Western leaders are gambling no it


is not, that the mood is still there in Moscow to talk and try to contain


the damage of what has been done in Crimea. It has to be said with those


troops in jumping off positions and violence on the streets, we have


entered an unpredictable and tense phase in the crisis. As the troops


amass and the threat of invasion hangs in the air, what is it like to


live on the new eastern front? The town of Milove sits right in the


middle, Ukraine on run side, Russia on the other side of the street. We


speak to Olga, whose living room looks out on another country.


The voice of Olga in that report in Milove on the Ukraine-Russia border.


It was the brainchild of the Blair Government, a custodial sentence


labelled "indeterminate", the idea was to ensure criminals stayed


behind bars until they were certain not to reoffend. A fine theory, in


practice it meant some people were sent to prison for relatively minor


offences and never released. The policy has now been abolished, as we


have discovered for Newsnight, the backlog is so great that some 5,500


people are still languishing in prison with no release date. Every


few months Wendy makes it journey from her home in Ellesmere Port near


Liverpool, to see her son Richard. Who is in prison in Lancashire. When


he was 18 Richard was given a 17-month minimum sentence for


assault and attempted robbery. Eight years later he's still in prison. He


has lost so many years of his life. It's silly, it is wrong he's in


there and forgotten about, basically. Richard is serving what


is known as an indeterminate sentence for public protection, or


an IPP, which means throughout his time in prison he's never been given


a release date. In order to get released IPP prisoners must prove to


a parole board that they are no longer a danger to the public. If


they are unsuccessful they could wait two years before they get


another hearing. In Richard's case he hasn't always been perfect. Three


years ago he failed a drugsest it, but his family and lawyers argue


that in eight years he's never been violent. So why is he still in this


prison. David Blunkett introduced IPPs ten years ago when he was Home


Secretary. They were meant to be applied to serious, violent and


sexual offences. People are being let out of prison when everybody


concerns knows that this is going to happen again. He had in mind people


like Roy Whiting, who murdered eight years old Sarah Payne, he had been


in prison before for a serious sexual crime. The Government


estimated that IPPs would be given to 900 offenders, but it was applied


far more widely. By 2012 there were 6,000 IPP prisoners. I would stand


in that window whenever I was out on the wing and just watch freedom.


Shaun Lloyd was released from prison three weeks ago. He spent some of


his sentence at Cardiff Prison, just a few hundred yards from where he


grew up. At the age of 18 he was given a tarrif of two years and nine


months after committing two street robberies. He ended up serving more


than eight years. Do you you deserved to go to prison? Yeah. I


think I deserved to go to prison obviously but not for the length of


time that I have done because it is just messed me up, like. Is that all


the stuff from your cell? Yeah, everything. Like all IPP prisoners,


Shaun was required to take offender behaviour courses to prove to the


Parole Board that he was no longer a risk. The problem is, they are in


short supply. Prisoners can wait months to get on them. As an IPP


prisoner, with no release date, seven years over tarrif, my head was


battered, my head was gone. I was suicidal. Donna comes to this


graveyard in Surrey every week, so that she can feel close to her


brother, Shaun, who committed suicide after three years in prison.


He had serious mental health problems and was a recovering drug


addict. He had been given an IPP sentence of two years and five


months for forcing someone to take money out of a cash machine. Donna


was the last person to speak to him alive. He rang me in the morning and


he just said that you know I love you all and that look after my mum


and I just can't take no more Donna. I can't, I don't know what's


happening with my life. I just can't take no more. And that was it, he


just said I love you and goodbye. Shaun had been told he needed to do


a drug rehabilitation course and transferred to another prison to do


it. But the course wasn't available. It was this, Donna says, that tipped


him over the edge. For people like Shaun that are very vulnerable not


having that deadline of saying, OK I know Shaun done bad things, I know


people in prison do bad things, but if he had a date when he could have


been coming out, I think he would have still lived with a little bit


of hope. The IPP sentence was abolished by the then Justice


Secretary, Keneth Clarke, two years ago. He called it a stain on the


criminal justice system. But it was not retrospective. There remains


within the system 5,500 IPP prisoners, nearly two thirds are


over tarrif. At the current release rate it will take nine years to


clear the backlog of over-tarrif prisoners. We told the former Home


Secretary, David Blunkett, about Wendy's son Richard and his eight


years in prison. I would say that this is an injustice, I would say


that the original intention had nothing to do with circumstances


where people would be held way beyond the normal tarrif in a


situation wherein some instances they have not been able to take the


necessary course and demonstrate the ion necessary, the change in their


behaviour. In terms of the families that are watching, what would you


say to them about your role in this? Well I would say that I implemented


what I believed was necessary to safeguard the public. But you get it


wrong? I regret very much that we were not clearer in terms of the


criteria laid down, and tougher in saying what the judges should and


shouldn't do. And we were not effective enough in putting in the


necessary resources to ensure that the rehabilitation courses were ail


available. So you got it wrong? We certainly got the implementation


wrong, but the intention, in my view, was correct. Wendy has just


finished a two-hour visit with her son Richard. They talked about his


next parole hearing, which is in two weeks time. He's anxious, just wants


it over and done with to find out what is happening either way.


Doesn't want to build his hopes up too high unless he gets another


knockback. For someone who only got an 18-month sentence, he has done a


heck of a long time. If Richard is moved to an open prison, he's likely


to stay there for a year to 18 months, which means he will have


spent ten years inside. I'm joined now by Crispen Blunt who worked with


Keneth Clarke to abolish these sentenced. What do you think when


you hear these stories? I know we did precisely the right thing. These


sentences were both unjust and stupid. The effect was, as we heard


from David Blunkett, they were not administered properly, so the


system, there were 6,500 of these prisoners in prison when I became


Prisons Minister, with P,000 beyond tarrif. The Parole Board were


releasing one in 20 of those who applied for release. The system was


just filling up. There was a stage in the process where we would end up


with 25,000 of these people in the prison system if something hadn't


been done. It began to be addressed in 200le 8, we managed to get it


abolished in the first piece of legislation in 2012. When you hear


how big the backlog is, and it would take nine years at the current rate


to clear this, what do you think the Government should do. It will


accelerated and a very defensive parole board shouted at by John


Reid, and they were releasing too many people, their reaction was to


be defensive and not release many people, and not make sensible


judgments about when people should be released. So you had a low


release rate. All of these things get dealt with when people have more


programmes and get themselves to place where the Parole Board can


have more confidence about being released. I think under Keneth


Clarke and I the Parole Board would have had more confidence that they


will be supported by ministers in take sensible decision, I believe


that still to be the case. We had statement from the Government


tonight saying the release of prisoners serving indeterminate


sentences is entirely a matter of the Parole Board, and we have no


intention of retrospectively withdrawing IPP sentences. Is that


the right response? The normal, when you change sentences you do not


normally make it retrospective. Sentencing regimes exist at the time


you are accept tenseited. There are people under particular release


programmes because that was the law when they were sentenced, and that


is the general principle. You say that is general, but could it be


applied retrospective? It could have done, but there wouldn't be


collective agreement to do it. How I wanted to address that was making


absolutely crystal clear to the national offender management service


that every day someone spent in prison, beyond their tarrif, when


they hadn't completed the appropriate programmes, was then a


self-inflicted injury. It meant we were keeping them in prison at the


tax-payers' expense longer than they needed to be, without putting them


in the best place to make the best presentation to the Parole Board. We


have seen what it has done to some families, completely destroyed them,


what is your message to Chris Grayling, given the numbers on


outstanding indeterminate sentencing. The figures have gone


down by 1,000 since I left in 2012. There has continued to be progress


here, so gradually, and because now the tap has been turned off, because


the sentences are no longer being imposed. That allows the system to


focus more resources in terms of their sentence planning to make sure


they complete their programmes whilst they are doing their


punishment tarrif, and therefore they can have a better chance of


being released at the first application to the Parole Board.


That can't be sped up, there are some people, you know, you heard


from Shaun, who was in there for eight years on a sentence that was


fewer than three to beginning? I entirely agree with you. There must


be plenty more like that. You must be thinking we can seriously


accelerate this? Certainly the point I was putting rather strongly to the


senior officials of the national offender management services is they


had to focus resources in this area. I was having reports made regularly


to me about the progress we were making and making sure that


resources were being properly focussed. If people weren't getting


to the Parole Board having at least had the chance to complete their


programmes and address their offending behaviour, then it was


both unjust and administratively stupid. Thank you very much for


coming in. In the confusion of an unprecedented event, like a missing


airliner, there is always claim and counter claim. Tonight an earlier


suggestion has resurfaced that the Malaysian airlines plane was sending


signals to a satellite for four hours after the aircraft went


missing, an indication it was still flying. One pilot who knows what


mid-flight emergency feels like is Chelsea Sullenberger, the hero of


the landing that came to be known as "The Miracle on the Hudson". I spoke


to him before we went on air and talked to him about how rare it is


to have a plane simply vanish? It is very rare, it has happened over the


60-year history of jet travel. In almost every case, with very few


exceptions wreckage or the aeroplane itself is found. In almost every


case the recorders are eventually found or recovered. Could a plane


just disappear from radar, could plane have flown undetected for


another four hours? Ground-based air traffic control radar only extends


200 miles beyond the shoreline. Over open water where there is no radar


coverage it could fly for an extended period of time. Is it your


sense it might have happened in this case? It is very early. We have


hardly any information or real hard evidence or data. But there is some


indication that there are some primary or basic radar returns that


might be correlated with this flight that indicate it headed to the south


west, and perhaps continued in that direction. They are talking about


the Indian Ocean now as a search ground, is it possible that the


plane landed somewhere else undetected? Again, absent data we


would simply be speculating. But that is theoretically possible. What


is the first response of a pilot, would you contact somebody, would


you try and connect with the ground? In spite of what many think, that


actually is not the first thing, or even the second thing or sometimes


even the third thing that a pilot would normally do. We have a very


clear set of priorities, in fact we call them simple simply I have aate,


navigate, communicate, in that order. That makes sense when you


realise that somebody from outside the aeroplane is calling for rescue


forces of where you are if you are uncertain of it and they couldn't


provide much more assistance to you, it is up to the pilots in the


cockpit to solve the problems they are facing. During the miracle on


the Hudson, aviate came first, and navigate, how long before you


communicated your position to those on the ground? It was probably 35


seconds after the bird strike and Jins were lost. A lot happened in


those 30 seconds. The entire time for the thrust loss to the time we


went down was 230 seconds. The work rate was so high that my first


officer and I didn't have time to have a conversation about what had


just happened. Tell me of the way this investigation is being handled


so far, by the Malaysian authorities? It is complicated in a


number of ways. The aircraft was manufactured in the United States.


The engines were manufactured in Great Britain, I think. The airline


is based in Malaysia, air traffic controllers were involved from


Malaysia and Vietnam. It is an international effort. I'm not


terribly surprised that there is some confusion or disagreement about


facts when there are so few facts. We know that Americans are now


involved in the investigation warships we are told are involved


and sent to the straits. If you were leading the the in -- the


investigation, what would you do? One of the most promising avenues is


to look at the primary radar communications recorded by the


Malaysian side and see if there was in fact a turn to the south west and


see what direction it went and begin look anything that direction. Which


I believe some of the search pattern indicates the Malaysians have


already done. Thank you very much indeed. The 40p tax rate used to be


the rate that Conservative Governments of the past thought the


rich should pay, increasingly those on more moderate salaries are also


being dragged into the 40p bracket. Now there is growing unease amongst


today's Conservatives that it is a failure to adjust the rate is


penalising many who are far from wealthy. In a moment we will debate


the political argument behind the figures. This is our policy editor


first. The Chancellor's reforming budget cuts the basic rate of tax by


2p, but the highest earners see their top rate slashed by 20p and


the opposition erupts in fury. Shame slam shame shame Back in the day the


40p tax rate even made it on to Newsnight. Nigel Lawson had just cut


it from 60p. The 40p band is no longer the highest rate of income


tax reserved for the very richest. It is now causing trouble for a new


reason. Lots of people now earn more than about ?40,000 a year, the


threshold for the 40p rate. In 1990, under 7% of tax-payers earned more


than the 40p threshold. That was about 1. 7 million people. But that


has risen to 16% of tax-payers. That is 4. 7 million. Many of whom you


wouldn't regard as big earners. Back in 1990 it would have taken a 50%


pay rise to get the average teachers into the 40p tax bracket. Nowadays a


lot of them are there. The average London secondary school teacher


earns ?40,000. The police are there, male officers ranked Sergeant or


below, they average more than ?40,000 a year. Nurses are much


worse paid than policemen or teachers, but even so, 15% of nurses


are higher rate tax-payers. How did that happen? Paul Johnson, director


of the Institute for Fiscal Studies explains. This has been happening


for a long time, 30 years at least. Earnings have risen a bit faster


than prices on the whole. But the point at which you start to pay


higher rate tax has only gone up in prices, it drags more people in.


That happened since 2010. Since 2010 the coalition has drawn more people


into the 40p band deliberately as a way of making it a bit cheaper to


increase the personal allowance and increase the point at which people


start paying income tax at all. To get the proportion of the work force


in the 40p bracket, back down to 1990 levels, the threshold would


need to rise from just over ?40,000 to around ?67,000. A big jump like


that just isn't easily affordable. But some Conservative MPs think that


the threshold needs to start moving in that direction. If we want to


look after middle Britain. , you know a certainly think an area where


a lot of people have been saying the Chancellor should look hard at is


this concept of fiscal drag, where more middle-class earners are forced


to pay 40% rate. Has the Conservative Party lost the ability


and right to campaign as a tax cutting party? We have cut taxes. We


have cut taxes for 26 million people. We have cut taxes to the


extend, at the lowest threshold, so there are two-and-a-half million


more people who aren't saying tax. So we have been tax cutting, but the


emphasis has been focussed much more at the lower end not the higher end.


It is hard to offer much assistance to higher rate tax-payers.


Politically they are a hard sell. They are well off. Economically they


are big payers, they contribute two thirds of all income tax receipts,


being generous to them is very expensive.


George Osborne, the current Chancellor has helped out higher


rate payers with the rise in the personal tax allowance to nearly


?10,000. But that policy is associated with the Liberal


Democrats. No wonder some Conservatives now long for a little


bit of Lawsonian tax cutting that they can campaign on. Chris Cook


discussed that, and Lord Lamont a former Chancellor of the Exchequer,


and Lord Oakeshott a Lib Dem peer. Do you have any sympathy with those


who don't consider themselves to be amongst the wealthy and yet have


been dragged into the 40p bracket? Obviously life is hard for many


people, including people on middle incomes, but it is even harder for


the people at the bottom of the scale, particularly people


struggling on ?8,000 or ?10,000 a year, they are the people the


Liberal Democrats have been determined to help and concentrate


on the help on in jacking up the tax threshold so fast. But the people in


the middle are not wealthy, they are secondary school teachers living in


London, facing the cost of living, seeing 52p in their pound going to


the Treasury? They may not be stinking rich, but by the standards


of the country as a whole, they are middling rich. Remember as it just


pointed out, we are talking about the top sixth of people. There are


30 million tax-payers. Less than five million of them are paying this


rate. To an awful lot of people certainly outside London and the


south-east, earning ?800, ?900 a week is pretty well off. We mustn't


be Londoncentric here. It still sounds quite a lot of money and


quite a nice bracket to be in? It may be quite a lot of money, but


emphasis on the "quite". We are talking about balance, of course


there is an argument for giving relief at the bottom, but will that


be at the price of really squeezing the centre, people who are teachers,


nurses, tube drivers, or Staff Sergeant in the army, people just


earning ?40,000, it is not a lot of money. Those people have been


dragged into this 40% ban. This has gone up 36% since 2010, it is


thought by 2015 there will be six million people in this band. When


Nigel Lawson first introduced it, it was one in twenty, today it is one


in six. The Government has actually stopped those people being worse


off, actually because of the affect of the raising of the tax threshold


at the bottom. Since 2010, and Monday is desperately tight, we have


been through an economic crisis with real wages squeezed, these people on


the 40p rate are slightly better off than they would have been, they gain


more by getting a tax threshold than any other. The Government has


protected that, and I don't think they are the priority. Lord


Oakeshott is right, but it is only the half story, they are better off


than they would have otherwise been, that is true. But they are dragged


into the 42% because they have to pay a diminished rate of national


insurance as well. That is moderate incomes that is on. If it goes on as


a policy it will be dead. We are raising more and more tax from the


higher, from fewer and fewer people. The people paying 40% who he is


saying are a small group are giving as much tax revenue as all the basic


rate people put together. Now that can't be right. I think you are


going to hit a buffer if you go on squeezing and squeezing and


squeezing. In a few years time when things are easier it could be looked


at again. We are still recovering from a desperate economic crash, and


real wages and earnings are well below than at the peak. Average


earnings for most people in work are going up at 1% a year. Public


services are being under enormous pressure. It is not the priority to


give a tax cut to the relatively well off. Where do you put the


limit, we have heard ?67,000, that would cost a lot of money. Where


would you put it now? I think there ought to be rise in the threshold of


40% maybe to ?44,000 or something like that as a first step. But long


run you can't go on and on not increasing this commensurate with


earnings, because you will end up dragging more people. You will end


with a situation where the 40% becomes a basic rate. That is


complete nonsense. Do you agree with the question that Chris put, that


the Conservatives have, at present, lost the ability to call themselves


the party of tax cutting? No, I don't agree with that. Obviously


everyone has benefitted, all but a few people, from the personal


allowance, but that is very limited. If we go on and on with the policy


we will lose the ability to call ourselves the tax cutting party.


Because more and more people will be paying a rate of tax which when it


was introduced by Nigel Lawson was intended to be the tax rate of the


very rich. The Liberal Democrats will only concentrate on the bottom


percentile. We still think that people who are struggling with major


problems, and people in work trying to have the benefit of going to


work. That should be concentrated down there. Let me just say, we have


enormous pressure on public services and spending. I'm proud tonight, I


have just been to see my first grandchild at St Thomas's Hospital,


I'm delighted the National Health Service is there and I'm happy to


pay the tax to keep it going. Would you advise in the suggest measure on


this one to David Cameron? They have to do something at some point that


everybody is being squeezed, but the people in the middle more than


anyone else. Not so long ago the OACD warned that Britain was relying


on too narrow a base for incomes tax. We don't think we are all in it


together if you cut the tax rate for the rich now.


If you have a child or you have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit


Disorder, chances are you think it exists. But a Dr Richard Sal says it


doesn't. He thinks it is the symptoms of other conditions, and


thousands of children are treated with drugs they don't need as a


result. His theory has kicked off a controversy.


Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks. Avoids or doesn't want to


do things that... . It is the most common condition in the UK, these


were helped to point out what ADHD is. 11-year-old Kye was identified


with the disorder when I was six. Like most people with ADHD, he has a


secondary condition, in his case mild autism. You can handle it and


have pretty severe cases where you can have talking difficulties, you


can get angry, a bit too easily. Just lash out at people. You don't


think before you do anything. I go through phases of running away from


home. The number of children like Kye, recognised as suffering from


ADHD has more than doubled in a decade. But rates in this country


are still a fraction of what they are in the US where 8. 8% of


children are now diagnosed with the condition. Some British doctors


believe many ADHD cases are often missed. There is now a broad


scientific consensus that a complex mix of genetic and environmental


factors are responsible for the condition. Everyone can get bored


and fail to pay attention, and lots of people do daft things. But this


is part of human variation, it is when it is extreme, and, most


importantly, when it is impairing. The fact that it is messing up their


lives and they can't help it. That is when you have an ADHD diagnosis?


It is, it must be ADHD in its own right, not because of some other


undetected condition. A new book creating a lot of controversy... The


title of the book "ADHD Does Not Exist". One doctor disagrees with


the main consensus, he argues those symptoms can be caused by something


as simple as poor eyesight or diet. That is raising a lot of eyebrows?


It is just an excuse according to one American scientist. Ky, he's


mother takes issue with it, and she says her son has worked hard to


control the condition and crucial have controlled his aggressive and


disruptive behaviour. Let him raise a child with the condition, it is


easy to sit outside and judge.? You feel it is real? Yes, nobody thinks


otherwise. If you need the support, there isn't enough support out there


for them. I'm not excusing bad behaviour in any way. Kye is getting


the help needs, and more children need this kind of support. Sceptics


think too many are misdiagnosed with a disorder that simply doesn't


exist. We had hoped that Dr Richard Sol would be joining us tonight, but


we have had problems getting him into the right studio in Chicago.


We're joined by Andrea, who founded the national Attention Deficit


Disorder information and support service. We are grateful you have


come in. Is it conceivable that it has been misdiagnosed so widely that


it has been symptoms that have been mistaken for ADHD when it was


something else? You know this is a condition that has been so widely


researched. 10,000 research papers over many years. Research conducted


by the top academic researchers in the world. It is the most researches


condition it is. You say that as if that is the end of the research, if


somebody is producing a new understanding that suggests maybe


that children have been drugged needlessly. Put on medicines


needlessly, are you not considered in considering that? I have read his


book and it seems to me this is an 80-year-old man living in the 1950s,


the information in his book is outdated. There is a chapter in his


book where he talk about a child who displays all the symptoms of ADHD,


very impulsive, hyperactive, distractible, runs around. And he


says this boy has something I called neurochemical distractibility


impulse disorder. That is exactly the same thing. He streets with


Ritalin. He also talks about finding children who have had an eyesight


problem or diet street problem and working out by solving the


fundamental, the real, as he would say, issue, you get rid of the


symptoms that had been understood as ADHD? He's talking about something


different. When you make a diagnosis of ADHD, the first thing is rule out


all of those things. You also have to understand that America and the


UK are very different in the way they approach and diagnose and treat


ADHD. We are very ruling out any Tory condition that might mimic


ADHD. That is not the case in the US. Will this have ramifications


here? What the book has done, it is a very good publicity stunt, he has


called his book ADHD Does Not Exist, that is not what he says in the


book. The title is to mislead you, he says in the book he has given the


provocative title to get the publicity and sell his book. I wish


you were here to give us the response for that, thank you very


much for coming in. Before we go I will take you through the papers:


Now, on what instrument did Bach compose his cello suites. You might


think the cello, but research by a conductor suggests that the genius


wrote it on a cello, but an extricked instrument. He will bring


the instrument alive at the Queen Elizabeth Hall playing with the


orchestra in the age of enlightenment. Here we have the


third cello suite. Good night. No doubt you have plans for the


weekend, looking OK for most of us. We are not there yet, a foggy start


to the day across England and


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