20/03/2014 Newsnight


20/03/2014

Inept? The search for flight MH370. Gus O'Donnell. New rules let you blow your pension pot. Karl Ove Knausgaard. And repairing female genital mutilation in Africa.


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accused of delate. While the batteries on the flight black box

:00:21.:00:24.

recorder are running out. Could this be the wreckage of the missing

:00:25.:00:32.

plane, as we are looking at the search area. The man who provided

:00:33.:00:36.

the crucial information is here. Would you like to cash in your

:00:37.:00:40.

pension, buy one of these? The Government's new rules say no

:00:41.:00:45.

problem. If people do buy a Lambourghini but know they will live

:00:46.:00:48.

on the state pension, that becomes their choice and the state is much

:00:49.:00:52.

less concerned about that. But surely no-one would be that daft.

:00:53.:00:59.

I'm going to spend, spend, spend. The Pensions Minister will be here

:01:00.:01:03.

to clarify. A what happens when you write about your every emotion?

:01:04.:01:07.

Answer, you might get a best seller, but half your family stops talking

:01:08.:01:15.

to you. . "I had long wished him dead, but from the very second I

:01:16.:01:19.

realised his life could soon be over, I began to hope for it". It's

:01:20.:01:30.

morning in Malaysia, and for the families still waiting to learn the

:01:31.:01:35.

fate of the 239 passengers and crew of flight MH-370, more importantly

:01:36.:01:42.

searches are about to resume 2,000 miles off the Australian coast. That

:01:43.:01:46.

is where grainy images were captured, that appear to be the

:01:47.:01:50.

first genuine clues of the plane's where abouts. The first

:01:51.:01:53.

investigations of that area turned up nothing. But it is still the

:01:54.:01:57.

centre of the search. Yet tonight there is pressure on the Malaysian

:01:58.:02:00.

Government over whether they have acted fast enough. Jim Reid is in

:02:01.:02:09.

Kuala Lumpur for us this evening. It is around six. 30 in the morning

:02:10.:02:13.

here, and this building behind me is where many of the family members of

:02:14.:02:17.

people who boarded the plane are staying here in Kuala Lumpur. In

:02:18.:02:21.

around half an hour's time the sun here will come up, it will also rise

:02:22.:02:25.

in western Australia. That will mean that flights once again, search

:02:26.:02:30.

flights, can resume to this area identified yesterday round about

:02:31.:02:34.

4,000 miles from here. As you said, satellite imagery, commercial

:02:35.:02:38.

satellite imagery appeared to show large pieces of debris beneath the

:02:39.:02:43.

surface there, which could or could not be related, we don't know yet,

:02:44.:02:47.

to this missing plane. Also overnight we learned that data which

:02:48.:02:51.

could have helped identify and pinpoint that area was passed to the

:02:52.:02:55.

Malaysian authorities ten days ago. But wasn't used straightaway. That's

:02:56.:03:01.

clearly important, if this plane did ditch into the sea, then the longer

:03:02.:03:05.

that debris is held under water the more chance there is that it is

:03:06.:03:09.

moved by currents and tides and therefore just not found at all over

:03:10.:03:14.

time. Overalthough, what this tells us is that at the end of all this

:03:15.:03:20.

this is the best lead yet in this long-running saga. A lead which, an

:03:21.:03:26.

investigation which has been criticised by many from the start. A

:03:27.:03:32.

warning that this report contains some flash photography.

:03:33.:03:37.

Two tiny specks on a grainy photograph, now the centre of a huge

:03:38.:03:42.

international search. 29 aircraft, 18 ships, and six helicopters are

:03:43.:03:47.

now looking for one missing plane and the 269 people on board.

:03:48.:03:54.

Military aircraft sent out from the Australian coast west, deep into the

:03:55.:03:59.

Indian Ocean. Their job is to find the pleases of debris on the

:04:00.:04:03.

satellite images. The largest is 24ms long, the lead is said to be

:04:04.:04:09.

credible. At a news conference, Malaysia's Defence Minister had

:04:10.:04:12.

something solid to report for the first time in days. REPORTER:

:04:13.:04:15.

Minister you keep using the word "credible", can you explain what

:04:16.:04:19.

makes it so different? Right now the information that we have received

:04:20.:04:25.

from the Australian authorities was actually coroborated to a certain

:04:26.:04:28.

extent from other satellites, this is something that we can bring our

:04:29.:04:35.

ships acrosses? This is something the two prime ministers spoke to,

:04:36.:04:44.

that makes it different from the earlier leads. From the naval base

:04:45.:04:48.

they are sent down to the southern corridor, the swathe where satellite

:04:49.:04:53.

readers show the plane may have been heading. A military radar station up

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the coast from here picks up one of the last signals from the plane, as

:04:58.:05:02.

it left Malaysian airspace and flew west across the strait. Two weeks

:05:03.:05:06.

after that plane went missing this country is still looking for

:05:07.:05:10.

answers. Malaysia's ruling party in power without a break since 1955 is

:05:11.:05:15.

not used to this kind of pressure, this kind of scrutiny, both from the

:05:16.:05:22.

international community and from its own citizens.

:05:23.:05:29.

It is in large cities with a tech friendly population that the

:05:30.:05:32.

Government is being tested. Newspapers and TV stations are

:05:33.:05:35.

heavily regulated or controlled by allies of the Government. But

:05:36.:05:41.

millions of young Malaysians are getting their news in other ways

:05:42.:05:45.

these days, on blogs and on Twitter people are free to report what they

:05:46.:05:48.

want. Because there is a general distrust I think there is a lot of

:05:49.:05:51.

media coverage about how inefficient the Government has been, how slow it

:05:52.:05:55.

has been and things, people have latched on to that rhetoric as well,

:05:56.:06:01.

to use it and go, they might be lying, are they hiding stuff. That

:06:02.:06:06.

kind of thing on top of speculation, the lying accusations are coming

:06:07.:06:09.

out. It is everywhere on the Internet. That all came to a head

:06:10.:06:13.

this week when Chinese relatives of missing passengers tried to storm

:06:14.:06:17.

the daily news conference and were dragged away by security. The

:06:18.:06:21.

Malaysian Government has been repeatedly accused of wasting

:06:22.:06:26.

valuable time and announcing crucial details only to U-turn completely

:06:27.:06:31.

the next day. Just this evening British satellite operators said

:06:32.:06:36.

there were strong indications ten days ago that the Boeing 777 would

:06:37.:06:40.

be found either in the southern part of the Indian Ocean or central Asia

:06:41.:06:44.

and not in the seas around Malaysia where a wild goose chase continued

:06:45.:06:48.

for at least two days after that information was passed on. Ministers

:06:49.:06:53.

here in Malaysia say no other country has had to deal with the

:06:54.:06:57.

situation like this before. A source close to the Government told us th

:06:58.:07:01.

western media is simply biased against the developing world and the

:07:02.:07:05.

level of criticism is, in his words, below the belt. The most influential

:07:06.:07:12.

opposition figure in Malaysian politics is currently facing a

:07:13.:07:17.

five-year jail term, he claims long-standing charges of sod me,

:07:18.:07:24.

still technically -- sodomy, still technically illegal here are false.

:07:25.:07:33.

It episode confirms what we have been saying for decade, which is

:07:34.:07:39.

that this poor governance, authoritarian, they will use

:07:40.:07:43.

anything just to stifle the opposition. Is there a danger that

:07:44.:07:47.

many people in Malaysia are going to look at this and think you are

:07:48.:07:52.

exploiting this tragedy for political gains? I'm sharing

:07:53.:07:56.

information to help. What else do you expect me to do, to say it is OK

:07:57.:08:01.

they are handling it brilliantly? But you know the facts prove

:08:02.:08:07.

otherwise, things have to change. I strongly urge the Government last

:08:08.:08:13.

week in parliament to say, please, acknowledge your faults and move on.

:08:14.:08:17.

Release the information, apologise for the shortcomings. But this

:08:18.:08:21.

situation also offers an insight into the nuances of diplomacy and

:08:22.:08:28.

power in modern south-east Asia. 153 of the passengers on board the

:08:29.:08:38.

flight are from mainland China. Kuala Lumpur's peddling district,

:08:39.:08:42.

the threat by the relatives to go on hunger strikes is big news. The

:08:43.:08:47.

links between Malaysia and China are strong, a quarter of all Malaysians

:08:48.:08:54.

are ethnic Chinese. What might have united the two countries, that

:08:55.:08:57.

relationship has become more and more trained as time as gone on. The

:08:58.:09:04.

Chinese Ambassador was using very undiplomatic language this week,

:09:05.:09:07.

complaining of chaos and rumours making it impossible to think. The

:09:08.:09:12.

Chinese Government was under tremendous pressure, especially in

:09:13.:09:15.

the Chinese social media space. The young Chinese people nowadays they

:09:16.:09:19.

realised that China is a growing power, what they couldn't understand

:09:20.:09:24.

is why the Chinese Government put more pressure, couldn't they put

:09:25.:09:27.

more pressure being a regional power on a small country like Malaysia to

:09:28.:09:32.

do more in terms of search and rescue operations. Search planes

:09:33.:09:36.

will make a new attempt to reach the suspicious debris, floating

:09:37.:09:39.

somewhere in the Indian Ocean. If and when the objects do turn out to

:09:40.:09:43.

be the missing airliner, the attention turns to another, bigger

:09:44.:09:47.

question, what exactly happened to the flight. With us now are my

:09:48.:10:06.

guests. Chris, briefly, explain what your satellite company does? It is a

:10:07.:10:11.

global satellite operator, we concentrate with data and voice, we

:10:12.:10:16.

operate the global maritime distress service and operate safety services

:10:17.:10:19.

for the aircraft and your reporter was using our equipment. What

:10:20.:10:23.

precisely did you give to the Malaysians in terms of information

:10:24.:10:28.

and crucially, when? When you mean the Malaysians that is the Malaysian

:10:29.:10:31.

investigation, on Tuesday we gave a plot that our engineers thought

:10:32.:10:35.

might be of use to the inquiry which had a north and south run to it.

:10:36.:10:40.

Because of the nature of the information just a sim ping with no

:10:41.:10:46.

GPS data we could give no more than a suggested route. When did they act

:10:47.:10:51.

on that information, we are on Thursday? We gave it on Tuesday, and

:10:52.:10:55.

we can't say when they decided to act on it, I would note that the US

:10:56.:11:00.

sent ships down to the south on Thursday morning. There was a delay,

:11:01.:11:03.

a time during which they could have been searching in a more precise

:11:04.:11:07.

area than the vast corridors we have been talking about over the last

:11:08.:11:10.

couple of days? Clearly we are not here to criticise the Malaysian

:11:11.:11:13.

Government, far from it, it has been a difficult time for them. What we

:11:14.:11:17.

would say is we provided broad data for people to look at. As far as you

:11:18.:11:21.

know, did they pass that kind of information on to other countries,

:11:22.:11:25.

particularly China, and would it have been helpful for them to do so

:11:26.:11:29.

as far as you know? Well the investigation itself is something

:11:30.:11:32.

that I can't comment on, as far as I know China would have been an

:11:33.:11:36.

interested party and we would have been clearly expecting that to have

:11:37.:11:39.

been passed on. David you know how these things work, it does appear

:11:40.:11:43.

that there has been a delay. How would that delay have had an effect

:11:44.:11:49.

on ever finding the plane? Every day is absolutely crucial, and in a

:11:50.:11:55.

search like this, with time, information degrades. Looking at the

:11:56.:12:02.

surface wreckage, even at a very minimal current, ocean current of

:12:03.:12:06.

one nautical mile it spreads out each day 24 nautical miles. So after

:12:07.:12:12.

eight days that wreckage could be 200 nautical miles away from where

:12:13.:12:16.

the plane actually plunged into the ocean. In terms of layman's miles,

:12:17.:12:24.

200 nautical miles? Nautical miles are 15% bigger than a statute mile,

:12:25.:12:29.

about 230 miles. Very significant distances in terms of this kind of

:12:30.:12:33.

search. The crucial piece of evidence, the black box, it stops

:12:34.:12:37.

working after some time, 30 days doesn't it? It is a pinger attached

:12:38.:12:42.

to the black box which can you can use to locate T that is the key

:12:43.:12:45.

window of opportunity that is closing very fast. As soon as the

:12:46.:12:50.

black box and the pinger is submerged into sea water it starts

:12:51.:12:54.

pinging, once a second, it will do that for approximately 30 days then

:12:55.:12:59.

the batteries won't last after that. Sometimes actually they don't even

:13:00.:13:03.

last 30 days. So by the time they can actually get the equipment out

:13:04.:13:08.

into this area of the world to start listening for the pinger you are

:13:09.:13:15.

probably looking at something in the order of 22 days. There is probably

:13:16.:13:19.

only a handful of days left. Even if they start mobilising this equipment

:13:20.:13:24.

virtually overnight. We are in an absolutely critical time window

:13:25.:13:27.

here, that as you suggest is closing very fast. If they do, in the search

:13:28.:13:32.

tomorrow, manage to confirm that this is debris from the plane, what

:13:33.:13:36.

happens next then, that is, in a sense, the start of the next phase?

:13:37.:13:40.

Then they remobilise all the assets that have been searching everywhere

:13:41.:13:43.

else in the world, the planes, the aircraft, bring them all into this

:13:44.:13:47.

one zone and then they have to start looking for multiple pieces of

:13:48.:13:52.

wreckage, because tracking this back to the plunge point, based on one

:13:53.:13:55.

piece is very difficult. There will be a lot more wreckage in the water

:13:56.:14:00.

that they will be able to use to help do that back tracking. You are

:14:01.:14:04.

very experienced in having done this. Just describe the scale of

:14:05.:14:08.

what they are trying to achieve here, the difficulty? This is

:14:09.:14:13.

unprecedented in terms of searching for an aircraft that has been lost,

:14:14.:14:18.

it is almost a search within a search within a search and another

:14:19.:14:21.

search on top of that. The first thing they have to do is locate this

:14:22.:14:28.

potential wreckage that was seen on eight days after the plane crash,

:14:29.:14:31.

four days ago, five days ago tomorrow. That alone could have

:14:32.:14:36.

drifted over 100 nautical miles away. They need to find that and use

:14:37.:14:41.

that to back track them to where the other wreckage is, and then to back

:14:42.:14:44.

track it to the plunge point and then you start with the sub-sea

:14:45.:14:48.

search. That is just the surface search. Then you have to try to

:14:49.:14:51.

listen to the pinger, time is running out, if you don't hear the

:14:52.:14:55.

pinger you are dealing with an enormous search box. Much larger

:14:56.:14:59.

than anything we saw with Air France. So this step would be the

:15:00.:15:02.

first of many if it is indeed the correct one to take. We are sadly on

:15:03.:15:06.

day 13 now, briefly to both of you with experience in this, do you

:15:07.:15:10.

think it is viable that we will find the plane? I think the window is

:15:11.:15:15.

closing and even a couple of days ago I thought it was very, very

:15:16.:15:18.

difficult and they really have to get lucky, they have to find

:15:19.:15:24.

wreckage quickly, they have to find maybe, listen, hear something from

:15:25.:15:29.

the pinger but it is really getting very tight now. To you Chris, do you

:15:30.:15:33.

think this will be found? It is more a case of isn't it time to mandate

:15:34.:15:39.

all aircraft having tracking devices on board, it is done for the North

:15:40.:15:42.

Atlantic why not the rest of the world. Thank you very much for

:15:43.:15:46.

joining us tonight. Money doesn't quite make the world go round, but

:15:47.:15:50.

it is probably what preoccupies politicians more than anything else.

:15:51.:15:55.

At least these days. But should it? Sir gust O'Donnell who rose to the

:15:56.:16:01.

top of the Civil Service as an expert bean counter believes with

:16:02.:16:04.

the benefit of hindsight believes there should be much more to

:16:05.:16:07.

Westminster, mandarins and ministers should focus on our well being

:16:08.:16:10.

instead. That sounds rather nice, what does it mean in terms of

:16:11.:16:14.

concrete policies? Well, that was my first question. Why don't we have

:16:15.:16:20.

three manifestos that say how we are going in the five years we will have

:16:21.:16:24.

in the next fixed-term parliament to improve the well being of you. We

:16:25.:16:27.

have measures now, we know that actually in the last couple of years

:16:28.:16:31.

well-being has been going up in the UK. What would you put in those

:16:32.:16:35.

manifestos then? I would say we really need to care about

:16:36.:16:40.

unemployment, I would be very tough love, I think just giving people

:16:41.:16:43.

benefits and not getting them engaged with the Labour market is a

:16:44.:16:47.

mistake. We need to get people into work that improves their

:16:48.:16:52.

self-esteem. I would be much fiercer on the conditionality tests. I would

:16:53.:16:56.

be saying people at the moment I think they need to engage in three

:16:57.:17:01.

attempts to get jobs to get benefits, I would increase that

:17:02.:17:05.

dramatically. A tougher approach on unemployment? A tougher approach on

:17:06.:17:11.

unemployment. I would definitely be reallocating resources towards

:17:12.:17:13.

mental health, that is hugely important. I would change the

:17:14.:17:16.

treatments, far too many of the treatments are giving people

:17:17.:17:20.

antidepressants. I think building stronger communities. It is quite

:17:21.:17:23.

interesting, and I agree this is a long-term thing, but if you look at

:17:24.:17:27.

those countries that are really getting it right, in the

:17:28.:17:31.

Scandinavians, they have 60% of people who trust each other. You

:17:32.:17:34.

look at the Anglo-Saxon countries that goes down to 30-40%, southern

:17:35.:17:40.

Europe 20%, Africa a lot of them less than 10%. We need to do things

:17:41.:17:44.

to encourage trust, build communities, encourage volunteering.

:17:45.:17:48.

Look at the Olympics, we had a quarter of a million applicants to

:17:49.:17:52.

volunteer in the Olympics, 70,000 did it. The volunteers felt good

:17:53.:17:56.

about it, but we the public just seeing them felt good. It improved

:17:57.:18:00.

our well being. If politicians don't already have our well being at the

:18:01.:18:03.

forefront of their minds what do they have at the forefront of their

:18:04.:18:10.

minds? I think quite often they get kind of dragged away to things like

:18:11.:18:15.

saying let's think about GDP per capita, all of these measures that

:18:16.:18:18.

are given so much coverage, dare I say it, on the media. When GDP has

:18:19.:18:23.

gone up 0. 1 it is a triumph, and down the same it is a disaster.

:18:24.:18:28.

Those sorts of things do buy us our national debate. I think it is

:18:29.:18:32.

really important that we should be saying actually those kinds of

:18:33.:18:37.

things, they will be revised substantially and they are not that

:18:38.:18:40.

important. I care much more about the unemployment statistics than the

:18:41.:18:44.

GDP statistics. With that in mind then, even as a former Treasury

:18:45.:18:48.

economist, you are basically saying there is an element to which things

:18:49.:18:53.

like yesterday's budget are a bit of a charade, they don't matter that

:18:54.:19:00.

much? This is painful for me to say, having lived through decades worth

:19:01.:19:05.

of budgets, but I think yes they are far less important than I think we

:19:06.:19:09.

tend to say. You know the economy is driven by lots of long-run forces

:19:10.:19:14.

and short-term corrections on the tiller is what they are, and yeah,

:19:15.:19:17.

shouldn't be taken all that seriously. I think that this week's

:19:18.:19:21.

statistics that really matter were the overall life satisfaction for

:19:22.:19:25.

the UK going up. Why do we have then not just a budget but also an Autumn

:19:26.:19:29.

Statement now. Would you like to see that swept away or at least going

:19:30.:19:33.

back to one big financial statement a year? I would like to see

:19:34.:19:36.

Government move to a longer term plan, yes, like I say, now we have

:19:37.:19:41.

fixed term parliaments I don't think people have responded to this

:19:42.:19:44.

enough. I would have a Spending Review which is a five-year Spending

:19:45.:19:48.

Review for the whole of the next parliament, I would have that

:19:49.:19:51.

conditional on economic growth figures, I would then have my budget

:19:52.:19:55.

would be kind of interim reports on how we are doing along that and

:19:56.:20:01.

tacking things as they inevitably will turn out different than you

:20:02.:20:06.

expected. You would get rid of some of the circus, the annual date where

:20:07.:20:10.

you know it will happen, you wouldn't have it any more? I think

:20:11.:20:14.

it is a bit of a relic of a bygone era. Yes. He might think it is a

:20:15.:20:22.

relic but budgets can still do pretty dramatic things, yesterday it

:20:23.:20:26.

is proposed that pensioners should be allowed to get their mites on

:20:27.:20:30.

their own -- mitts on their own money when they want it. Rather than

:20:31.:20:36.

being tied into a dusty old annuity that will pay out in a miserly way.

:20:37.:20:41.

Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, said he was relaxed if retirees blew

:20:42.:20:47.

it all on a Lambourghini and then lived on the state pension. We will

:20:48.:20:52.

talk to him in a moment. Now we see some lucky pensioners' spending

:20:53.:20:56.

plans. Some people are saying that the changes to pensions are as

:20:57.:21:01.

revolutionary as Margaret Thatcher's right to buy policy. So where better

:21:02.:21:04.

to find out what the grey vote makes of it all than a golf course in her

:21:05.:21:11.

old constituency in Finchley. Do you think the pension change is a good

:21:12.:21:14.

idea? It is a brilliant idea because it gives people the freedom to do

:21:15.:21:18.

what they want with their own money. What if they go crazy? They won't.

:21:19.:21:23.

People who have been in business all their lives and why should they

:21:24.:21:28.

waste the money? You don't think some people might be attempted to

:21:29.:21:32.

buy a sports car and go on a cruise, get a floozey? That's great idea,

:21:33.:21:39.

they might, I might take that up. The cruise or the flooze? The

:21:40.:21:45.

floozey. Are you going to go crazy? I'm going to spend, spend, spend. On

:21:46.:21:50.

what, cars, women, cruises, where is it going? All of those. All of the

:21:51.:21:57.

above! I won't spend, spend, spend. Why not? Because you have got to

:21:58.:22:01.

hopefully I have got another 30, 40 years to live. You never know! The

:22:02.:22:06.

Chancellor has been given credit today for delivering a politically

:22:07.:22:11.

clever budget that will win over older voters, but has it really

:22:12.:22:18.

worked? Has he bought your vote? No. He hasn't bought my vote and he's

:22:19.:22:26.

never actually had my vote. No that's not going to sway it for me.

:22:27.:22:33.

Do you think there is something rather horribly cynical about this

:22:34.:22:36.

that George Osborne is buying people's votes? No. Why? Because

:22:37.:22:40.

he's only doing what they should have done years ago. It's the grey

:22:41.:22:50.

vote isn't it. Even though I'm auburn. Steve Webb the Lib Dem MP

:22:51.:22:58.

and Pensions Minister is with me now. In you're splashed on the front

:22:59.:23:04.

page of tomorrow's Sun with you pictured in said Lambourghini.

:23:05.:23:08.

Whether by accident or design you have rather put your finger on the

:23:09.:23:12.

problem with the policy. Some people will cash in their chips, blow their

:23:13.:23:16.

cash and then end up reliant on the state won't they? With an average

:23:17.:23:21.

pension pot of ?25,000 I don't think many people will be buying sports

:23:22.:23:25.

cars. When your colleague said to me what about the Lambourghini set I

:23:26.:23:30.

fell into my own bad habit of answering the question I was asked.

:23:31.:23:33.

That is how I get on the front page of the Sun. The serious question is

:23:34.:23:37.

it is people's own money. We won't cast them adrift, we will guarantee

:23:38.:23:42.

them guidance, information, but ultimately making sure they have a

:23:43.:23:45.

decent state pension and if they want to spend the money sooner

:23:46.:23:47.

rather than later we are treating them as adults, I don't think it is

:23:48.:23:53.

among. It might be a Mondeo rather than Lambourghini, do you

:23:54.:23:56.

acknowledge there may be people who PLO it all very -- blow it all very

:23:57.:24:02.

publicly -- quickly, even though they might get advice? We have

:24:03.:24:07.

talked about people who have saved, put money by when they are working,

:24:08.:24:11.

they tend to be the more frugal and careful. If you blow the lot you do

:24:12.:24:15.

pay tax on it potentially at a higher rate. There are structures in

:24:16.:24:18.

place that encourage you to take the money for slowly. At the end of the

:24:19.:24:22.

day now we have put in place the state pension reform that I have

:24:23.:24:25.

driven through that make sure people have enough to live on. It won't be

:24:26.:24:32.

a king's ran some, but a bare minimum. Then they can answer

:24:33.:24:37.

questions about spending money early in the retirement and less later on,

:24:38.:24:41.

we should give them the choice. These are big changes starting

:24:42.:24:45.

almost immediately. Do you accept it is a massive experiment with

:24:46.:24:53.

people's financial security, you are guarnteeing the pension but it will

:24:54.:24:56.

only hold if not future Government will tear it up. It is possible your

:24:57.:25:00.

guarantee will disappear a few years down the line. We he know around the

:25:01.:25:06.

world not -- we know around the world not all countries do the

:25:07.:25:12.

annuity system, lots of people will still buy an annuity, we know today

:25:13.:25:16.

getting on for a quarter of people don't even take the tax-free lump

:25:17.:25:19.

sum they can take today. They spend their whole pension on buying an

:25:20.:25:23.

income. A lot of people will still buy a pension. What we are allowing

:25:24.:25:28.

is people to have different priorities, needs and expectations

:25:29.:25:31.

of their later life. This system allows people to choose what's right

:25:32.:25:35.

for them. Yes with guidance, we guarantee guidance free of charge,

:25:36.:25:38.

face-to-face if that is what people want. You have to remember the

:25:39.:25:41.

market has broken now, people are urging us to take action now. People

:25:42.:25:45.

are getting poor-value products, they are not getting a good deal,

:25:46.:25:48.

that is why we have to get on with it. Have you ever fancied splashing

:25:49.:25:54.

a bit of a cash on a Lambourghini: I have come down here in my two-door

:25:55.:25:59.

Corsa and I will be going home in it! With us now is John Bird the

:26:00.:26:06.

founder of the Big Issue, and City super woman Nicola Horlick. Do you

:26:07.:26:12.

think people will buy Lambourghini, course is as or whatever and blow

:26:13.:26:17.

their cash if they can get at it? A lot of people will blow their cash.

:26:18.:26:22.

I'm one of those people who believes you shouldn't give them the

:26:23.:26:25.

opportunity to blow their cash. What is so interesting, if you look at

:26:26.:26:31.

the last 100 years, that Governments have increatesingly got into --

:26:32.:26:34.

increasingly got into a situation where they have stopped people and

:26:35.:26:38.

made them save money. That is what the mentions, that is what you know

:26:39.:26:42.

the dole money is all about. It is about taking money, national

:26:43.:26:46.

insurance money, ever since the First World War there has been that.

:26:47.:26:49.

It has always been used on the basis that if you leave it to some people

:26:50.:26:54.

they won't save. I'm typical, if I didn't have to save I wouldn't save.

:26:55.:26:57.

And there's hundreds of thousands of people who will then become

:26:58.:27:02.

vulnerable and will then be open to all the loan sharks and all those

:27:03.:27:05.

other things. Nicola, do you think there is a miniboom in Lambourghini

:27:06.:27:11.

or retirees splashing their cash along the way? I don't think so, I

:27:12.:27:14.

think these are people already in the habit of saving, so they are

:27:15.:27:18.

likely to be responsible about it. I think the thing is that an annuity

:27:19.:27:23.

if you die the next day you lose all the money to the insurance company,

:27:24.:27:26.

it is not great. The other thing is that the annuity rates are so poor

:27:27.:27:29.

that they are generating very low amounts of income. So at least if

:27:30.:27:33.

you can get your hands on the money you can then put it into, it depends

:27:34.:27:38.

how much you have got, you could put it into a high-yielding unit trust,

:27:39.:27:43.

or other fixed-income type instruments or if you have a decent

:27:44.:27:46.

amount you might be able to buy a flat and let it out. You will get a

:27:47.:27:49.

much better income that way. What is so wrong with that, that sounds

:27:50.:27:53.

sensible, with people taking responsibility for themselves? There

:27:54.:27:57.

is this kind of idea that you shouldn't patronise people, and

:27:58.:28:00.

there is a kind of entry pat toe micing, which -- patronising. What

:28:01.:28:10.

we have to do in these inclement times we live in, we have to

:28:11.:28:13.

encourage people to save and keep their money and not splash out. If

:28:14.:28:17.

they did exactly what you did and moved it and were clever like you,

:28:18.:28:21.

who works in the City, great, but there is everybody giving you

:28:22.:28:24.

advice, everybody is after your money and in my opinion this is one

:28:25.:28:31.

of those kind of little pieces of ideology that is thrown in just

:28:32.:28:35.

around the election time, just when they are coming up to the election.

:28:36.:28:38.

Because what we are saying is all our pensioners are very sensible and

:28:39.:28:42.

clever and they are going to look after themselves. But it is actually

:28:43.:28:47.

not true. I know too many people who will take this money and urinate it

:28:48.:28:55.

up the wall. There are plenty of us, educated, smart people as well as

:28:56.:29:00.

many people who frankly don't really want to have to worry about where to

:29:01.:29:04.

put their cash and financial products are terribly complex.

:29:05.:29:07.

People are often ripped off by-products they don't understand.

:29:08.:29:13.

There is a problem. Recent research showed 17 million people had the

:29:14.:29:17.

numeracy levels of primary school children. You can still buy an

:29:18.:29:21.

annuity, nobody is saying it is illegal to buy an annuity. If you

:29:22.:29:26.

want to do that you can still do it. This is a very big move, this is a

:29:27.:29:29.

radical move to give millions of people access to their cash and many

:29:30.:29:34.

of them by not want to handle it? In my opinion it is overdue. I was

:29:35.:29:38.

always felt it was wrong to force people to buy an annuity, I feel it

:29:39.:29:42.

is the right thing to be done. In terms of numeracy and people's

:29:43.:29:46.

understanding of financial products. Obviously it is a relatively complex

:29:47.:29:50.

area, but the amount that is now written about financial services and

:29:51.:29:54.

written in layman's terms is so much greater than it was 30 or 40 years

:29:55.:29:58.

ago. On the whole people are much more aware of what's going on in

:29:59.:30:03.

financial circles. We don't learn about finances at school, we don't

:30:04.:30:08.

know how capitalism work, we don't know how insurances work. The

:30:09.:30:12.

largest amount of money in the world is pension funds, it is ?50

:30:13.:30:17.

trillion. We don't know anything about that. Therefore you may say

:30:18.:30:20.

that there is a lot more knowledge around but there is not any real

:30:21.:30:25.

knowledge given to us at school about how the system works.

:30:26.:30:31.

Can you be comfortable if it is based on the guarantee if you blow

:30:32.:30:34.

all of it you have a better state pension. That only lasts for as long

:30:35.:30:38.

as this current Government's promise lasts. There is no guarantee that 20

:30:39.:30:43.

years away there will be anything like the state provision there now?

:30:44.:30:46.

That is always the problem, Government change things and other

:30:47.:30:49.

Governments change them again. That is a problem. We generally need to

:30:50.:30:53.

save more. We need to be talking to people and saying, please save. Now

:30:54.:30:56.

it is very difficult obviously when we have been through a recession and

:30:57.:31:00.

people have been hard up for a long period of time. But we want people

:31:01.:31:03.

to save more. And I do actually think that people already have a

:31:04.:31:07.

pension pot and are savers and are responsible and are not going to buy

:31:08.:31:11.

a Lambourghini. Watch this space with interest. The changes begin

:31:12.:31:19.

next month. Whether it is the knitwear, the leather trousers or

:31:20.:31:25.

the moody camera work, we can't get enough of Scandinavian TV. Now an

:31:26.:31:29.

extraordinary memoir full of Nordic noir has become a literary

:31:30.:31:34.

sensation, the provocatively title, My Struggle, by the Norwegian writer

:31:35.:31:40.

is a blisteringly candid account of family life. But the author himself

:31:41.:31:44.

has been ostracised by some of his family. As the third volume of the

:31:45.:31:48.

saga is published here. We have been to Sweden for this exclusive

:31:49.:32:02.

interview with him. I want to be, you know, a good man, always wanted

:32:03.:32:06.

to be good, now I'm doing something that is absolutely not good. You

:32:07.:32:16.

can't say it is good, you know. How can I defend myself, can I say, my

:32:17.:32:26.

literature is more important than your life? This man dreamt of being

:32:27.:32:32.

a great writer and some say he is. He certainly is successful and

:32:33.:32:39.

becoming well known. He did it by writing about his life in an

:32:40.:32:44.

extraordinary way, a long hypnotic saga, three-and-a-half thousand

:32:45.:32:54.

pages, provocatively entitled My Struggle Min Kamf. It covered the

:32:55.:33:01.

banal, savouring a cup of tea. "For a while I picked up the teapot and

:33:02.:33:07.

poured, dark brown, the tea rose inside the white cup". To his

:33:08.:33:14.

feelings about his father. "I had long ed him dead, but the very

:33:15.:33:18.

second I realised his life could be over, I began to hope for it". I

:33:19.:33:25.

tried to write a novel for four or five days and I wrote every day,

:33:26.:33:29.

that is what I do. It is hard to fail every day. But I was looking

:33:30.:33:39.

for something, and at the end of was so frustrated I thought I would

:33:40.:33:46.

write it as it was. No tricks, no nothing. Just wanted to write it. I

:33:47.:33:54.

didn't think that anybody should read it or anything like that. I

:33:55.:33:57.

just wanted to tell a story, which is the story of my life, basically.

:33:58.:34:07.

He's married with four children, but his book isn't all happy families.

:34:08.:34:12.

There is the bullying controlling figure of his late father. For his

:34:13.:34:21.

part, he admits to resenting being a "new man", a hands-on dad while he

:34:22.:34:26.

was burning to write. It is a question of getting through the

:34:27.:34:31.

morning, the three hours of typers that have to be changed, breakfast

:34:32.:34:38.

that has to be served, teeth brushed and taking them to the nursery,

:34:39.:34:41.

whereupon now I have the next five hours of writing until the mandatory

:34:42.:34:49.

routines for the children resume. I have three kids and two in prams and

:34:50.:34:55.

with the shopping bags. Some Japanese were stopping and taking

:34:56.:35:00.

photographs of me, this was the Scandinavian "man", I have no

:35:01.:35:03.

problems with that. But I wanted to write about the differences between

:35:04.:35:06.

how you should behave, what you should do. This is Sweden's Baltic

:35:07.:35:19.

coast, but if it all looks a bit Robinson considers -- Crusoe, it is

:35:20.:35:28.

very apt, he's not a castaway, but he is a devisive figure. In his

:35:29.:35:33.

native Norway where his book first became a sensation, it sold half a

:35:34.:35:38.

million copies in a country of five million. But people he has written

:35:39.:35:41.

about have been bruised, he was disowned by some of his family after

:35:42.:35:47.

recording his father's death through alcoholism in unsparing detail.

:35:48.:35:53.

There has been all kinds of reactions from threats of you know

:35:54.:35:59.

suing me and wanting to stop the book until the people being

:36:00.:36:02.

flattered that they were in the book you know. I was kind of careless and

:36:03.:36:09.

ruthless and I just did it. It was almost unbearable realising this

:36:10.:36:19.

consequences of my writing. But still you know then you build up a

:36:20.:36:22.

defence for yourself and I said, you know, but it is my story, it is the

:36:23.:36:34.

story of my father. I returned the -- "I returned the glass to the

:36:35.:36:38.

table and stubbed out of my cigarettes, there was nothing left

:36:39.:36:42.

of my feelings than with those I have spent seven hours with. The

:36:43.:36:45.

whole crowd of them could have burned in hell for all I cared." The

:36:46.:36:50.

writer has been taken off a few Christmas card lists you suspect.

:36:51.:36:54.

After six volumes, he's used everything up. His demons and

:36:55.:36:59.

everyone else's, he's now writing a film script and some essays. His old

:37:00.:37:06.

life as an author a struggling author is over. I wanted it to end,

:37:07.:37:16.

I'm no longer an author. There is also the self-destructive thing

:37:17.:37:21.

involved in it. I didn't you know die of drinking, but I did this

:37:22.:37:28.

instead and I kind of gave up everything, in a way. More than

:37:29.:37:36.

4,000 women in London alone have been treated on the NHS for the

:37:37.:37:40.

after effects of the barbaric practice of female genital

:37:41.:37:44.

mutilation. But for millions of women around the world, help is

:37:45.:37:47.

almost impossible to find. So you would think the Government of a

:37:48.:37:54.

country as poor as Buki in, aFaso would welcome an American charity to

:37:55.:38:00.

build a hospital to treat victims. Think again, the hospital was due to

:38:01.:38:05.

open two weeks ago, but it is standing idle. Women queueing up for

:38:06.:38:17.

operations have been turned away. This village in western Bukino Faso,

:38:18.:38:23.

doesn't have electricity or running water. And yet a sexual revolution

:38:24.:38:27.

is taking place here. Up until recently every girl was genitally

:38:28.:38:39.

mutilated. TRANSLATION: I was five when I was cut, we were taken to an

:38:40.:38:44.

old lady, and she used the same knife on all of us. But a few years

:38:45.:38:50.

ago she tells me health workers came to explain that the reason that some

:38:51.:38:55.

girls died after the cutting and the problems with sex and childbirth

:38:56.:38:59.

were nothing to do with witchcraft, as they had all believed, but it was

:39:00.:39:07.

the cutting. She says the older women took some persuading,

:39:08.:39:14.

including her mother. TRANSLATION: We all sent our daughters to be cut,

:39:15.:39:19.

because we believed that without cutting they will never be married.

:39:20.:39:26.

And now she tells her mother she's going to have what was cut off

:39:27.:39:33.

restored. TRANSLATION: I would go if I could, but I'm too old. She tells

:39:34.:39:44.

the village women about the new hospital which is offering clitoris

:39:45.:39:52.

restoration. She says she has seen it with her own eyes and she's

:39:53.:39:57.

going. 26 of them say they want to go with her. The oldest is 46 and at

:39:58.:40:05.

24 Bebe is among the youngest. TRANSLATION: I'm going to get

:40:06.:40:09.

treated because I don't get any pleasure when I have sex, only

:40:10.:40:12.

Payne, now they are going to put that right. They set off in the heat

:40:13.:40:37.

and dust to the hospital that promises miracles. Meanwhile,

:40:38.:40:48.

surgeon, Marcy Bowers has arrived from Chicago, due to start operating

:40:49.:40:52.

tomorrow, it is her first time in Africa and today she visits Bobo's

:40:53.:40:58.

famous mosque. An internationally recognised expert on genital

:40:59.:41:03.

surgery, she has brought five American volunteer medics with her

:41:04.:41:07.

to help launch the hospital. This is a crime against humanity and FGM

:41:08.:41:14.

should be banned, no-one likes t the women don't like t the men don't

:41:15.:41:18.

like it, the people don't like it. I think it is time it came to

:41:19.:41:21.

answered. But we need to facilitate that by allowing the people that

:41:22.:41:25.

have been victimised to regain some sense of freedom. By now the village

:41:26.:41:41.

women have finally arrived at their destination. The hospital which cost

:41:42.:41:47.

?250,000 and eight years to build is an impressive site. But to their

:41:48.:41:58.

surprise it is closed. They organise a room in the hospital grounds where

:41:59.:42:07.

they can bed down and wait. The next morning the women welcome the local

:42:08.:42:20.

organiser. She tells them to wait outside while she shows me the

:42:21.:42:24.

hospital with all its new facilities which she says the Government have

:42:25.:42:27.

just announced they are not allowed to use. She's behind the charity

:42:28.:42:49.

Cliter Aid who raised the money for the hospital. They believe in UFOs

:42:50.:42:54.

and promoting the pursuit of pleasure as that the of the Railian

:42:55.:43:00.

movement. She believes the Government intervened because of the

:43:01.:43:03.

Railian connection. I'm really upset, I have to apologise to the

:43:04.:43:07.

women, they are so excited. It is about politics and I don't do

:43:08.:43:15.

politics. There are 130 million women out there who need our help,

:43:16.:43:21.

if somebody wants to build a hospital to them them you have to

:43:22.:43:25.

let them do it. She says the mainstream religions here fear that

:43:26.:43:31.

these women might, out of gratitude become Railians, as far as the women

:43:32.:43:34.

are concerned, all they want is the operation they have come for. All is

:43:35.:43:40.

not lost. Local doctors have rallied around and provided a clinic in the

:43:41.:43:44.

town where the operations can take place. The women from the village

:43:45.:43:50.

are brought here to await their turn. Bebe says she's not scared,

:43:51.:43:56.

she's just ang that she was cut in the first place. TRANSLATION: I was

:43:57.:44:02.

cut when I was four years old. It hurt then and it still hurts now. I

:44:03.:44:09.

am very angry about it. When my husband approaches I just don't want

:44:10.:44:18.

sex. Bebe is among the first. It is a simple procedure requiring a local

:44:19.:44:24.

anaesthetic and lasting about 45 minutes. Dr Boweres explains the

:44:25.:44:29.

women suffer different degrees of mutilation. No matter how severe,

:44:30.:44:36.

even with infibulation and deep three, we can always find the

:44:37.:44:41.

clitoris. Although the tip has been cut off, the rest lies beneath the

:44:42.:44:46.

surface, it is about finding it and bringing it up. You may prefer to

:44:47.:44:50.

turn away at this point. There is an area there missing, go ahead and cut

:44:51.:44:56.

this. There is the clitoris. This outcome should look amazingly

:44:57.:45:05.

normal. Like unaltered female anatomy. Cut and finished. By the

:45:06.:45:10.

end of the day the team have operated on eight women. They are

:45:11.:45:16.

doing what they came for. Things are going well at the clinic. The word

:45:17.:45:21.

has got around and the queue is growing as women fly in from Mali,

:45:22.:45:26.

Senegal and even Kenya for the operation. The team have operated on

:45:27.:45:34.

some 29 women and are on their way to achieving the most important

:45:35.:45:38.

purpose of their visit, to train local doctors to take over. Then the

:45:39.:45:43.

American surgeries are told that their permissions to operate in the

:45:44.:45:47.

country have been withdrawn. And the operations must stop. The minister

:45:48.:45:53.

of health now reveals the reason for their opposition. That medical

:45:54.:45:57.

organisations should be focussed on saving lives and not advertising

:45:58.:46:01.

their religion in an attempt to convert vulnerable people. And yet

:46:02.:46:08.

none of the doctors here are religious and I saw no attempt to

:46:09.:46:12.

convert the patients. We have operated on women from all over

:46:13.:46:18.

Africa, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Senegal, pretty much the cat is out

:46:19.:46:25.

of the bag and is alive and purring. As word gets around that the surgery

:46:26.:46:29.

is not only available but successful, and even successful with

:46:30.:46:32.

local doctors here in Africa, I think the movement is only going to

:46:33.:46:37.

continue. The women from the village who are still waiting at the

:46:38.:46:40.

hospital for the operation are devastated. They must continue

:46:41.:46:45.

living with their pain. What's happening here at the hospital is

:46:46.:46:49.

like a metaphor for the campaign against FGM in Africa and worldwide.

:46:50.:46:55.

Constantly thwarted by tradition, prejudice, religion and distrust. At

:46:56.:47:08.

the party planned for their last night at the hospital, there are

:47:09.:47:14.

mixed emotions. Bebe and 15 others from the village have been treated

:47:15.:47:17.

and are looking forward to their new lives. Adjara who did so much to

:47:18.:47:24.

bring the women here is among those who didn't. She has no idea if she

:47:25.:47:36.

ever will. That's almost all for tonight. In a

:47:37.:47:40.

month where we have all learned a great deal about how planes are

:47:41.:47:44.

tracked the National Air Traffic Service has released images showing

:47:45.:47:48.

exactly how the skies above us are monitored here in Europe. Take a

:47:49.:47:50.

look, good night. It will be a cold start to the day

:47:51.:48:31.

on Friday. Cold with a risk of some icy patches in Scotland and Northern

:48:32.:48:35.

Ireland, where we have got some pretty wintry showers from early on.

:48:36.:48:40.

A lot of sunshine for many. Into the afternoon there will be heavy

:48:41.:48:42.

showers developing and it is not just rain and sleet, there will be

:48:43.:48:46.

snow around in Northern Ireland, hail and

:48:47.:48:48.

Inept? The search for flight MH370. Gus O'Donnell. New rules let you blow your pension pot. Karl Ove Knausgaard. And repairing female genital mutilation in Africa.