01/07/2014 Newsnight


With Emily Maitlis. Why are we building fewer houses? Israel and Hamas. Did Labour get their sums wrong? Caitlin Moran's new book. And is Monty Python still funny?

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homeownership, the plan was all going so well. Or was it? Tonight


Newsnight reveals the official Government documents that show house


building is set to fall. We know now we have built more than 300,000


houses, new houses in 1953. How will today's voters react to the news


that when it comes to housing they never had it so bad. Might they


blame the Government? Israel buries the three Israeli


teenagers they say were killed by ham marks what retaliation will


follow this. Israel's security cabinet is still


in session trying to decide how much of a response will satisfy its


public. Caitlin Moran's new novel, How To Be A Girl. I feel decidedly


would happen tonight and I stopped them. She's here to talk about sex,


sexism and getting her socio-political freak on. Who would


have thought 40 years ago we would all be sitting here doing Monty


Python! Is Monty Python still funny. We went to the opening night of the


sell-out reunion. We are going to see Monty Python who are


tremenduously still alive. Let's hope we make it back to the studio


in time, if not there will be an empty wheelchair and some blue suede


shoes. The dream of homeownership has been central to this


Government's policies, the Help to Buy scheme gave aid to thousands who


wanted to own their own place. But it was always accompanied by the


acknowledgement that concrete measure, more housing stock, was the


only real long-term answer. Now this programme has seen document that is


reveal the number of houses being built is set to decareer, highly


embarrassing for the Government, particularly as it is set to hid


hard in three months, just before the general election. As


The Prime Minister has a picture of this chap in his office, Harold


Macmillan, as a post-war Housing Minister he got 300,000 houses built


a year. Now under David Cameron houses are going up far from that


dizzy rate. This Government has put a lot of elbow degrees into getting


Britain building again. It has liberalised the planning laws


controversially, and put resources into the Help to Buy scheme, all in


the aim to help people own their own homes. But we have seen official


documents that in spite of all that work, next year, ahead of the


general election, the number of houses built goes down.


The leaked document shows what we know already, after the financial


crash, the number of housing starts did pick up over the course of the


parliament, it is the projections worrying insiders. The next set of


figures is expected to show a decrease in the number of houses


completed. House starts are projected to increase again, but the


figures out on the eve of the next general election are falling to


128,000, not good news, a gift, some in Government think for their


opponents. Just to say the Prime Minister is incredibly complacent,


house completions are at their lowest level since 1924. I know


doesn't like the fact, nearly 400,000 new homes delivered since


2010, housing starts in the last quarter were at their highest level


for five years. Housing starts are an interesting indicator, they tell


you about what is happening next, decisions being made now and what


builders think they are going to do next. At the point we are in the


housing cycle we need to be building a lot more homes than we are


currently building. Any decline is not ideal. Of course it is important


to put it in context, we need to be building about 250,000 homes a year,


we are currently building 150,000. Downing Street asked community


secretary, Eric Pickles to jump start house building, the leaked


document shows the 9,000 sites for 350,000 homes with full planning


permission, but that haven't started building yet, they should be


accelerated. It also singles out the council's failure to build


replacements for homes sold under Right To Buy. Politicians look silly


in hard hats, but you will see a lot more of it in the general election.


Promises will be made by all parties on house building. What worries the


coalition is that a decrease just before the election makes it harder


for them to made they have made concrete progress. That is a lot


more brickies getting bothered by politicians. As you mentioned it


hits hard in 2015, and according to the figures you have got, what is


the Government response to this tonight? They are accepting the


figures because they are not rebutting them at all. They are


talking about different figures. I think these documents are accurate


in the case. What they are pointing out, the Housing Minister said to


us, we have delivered 445,000 new homes over the past four years,


housing starts are at their highest since 2007. We are playing with


different scales, they have gone up according to the Prime Minister in


that clip, but the crucial thing is they will dip in the critical period


before a general election. In a parliament when you have spent so


much effort in getting things moving again, Conservatives and Liberal


Democrats. That is why this matters? It really matters because it is


about, we think the next election will be about the economic recovery,


and what type of recovery it is, and whether people are feeling it or


not. And for so many people it is about whether you can own your own


home. The prospect of owning your own home and what prices are doing


are linked. That is why it matters so much, because it is about the


feeling of the economic recovery and whether actually everyone is feeling


it. Thank you very much. Meanwhile a Labour peer and former visitor to Ed


Miliband, Lord Glassman, has accused the Labour leader of conformist


mediocrity, saying we have an England football team of a


Government and the reserves are no better. Labour's reports into


spending, and devolution is proving fashionable now and they are all at


it. It didn't stop everyone telling Labour they have got their figures


wrong. We got to the bottom of it. # Stop me stop me


This might look like a City, but it is also a political battleground.


I'm here to talk to you about what we can do to make the cities of the


north a powerhouse for our economy again. With new transport and


science and powerful city governance. That the way we solve


these questions I'm talking about is with local people making local


decisions, with local businesses about how their area can grow,


prosper and create the jobs of the future.


In the past week the parties have been arguing about who has the best


plan to turn around the northern economy. Today Labour published a


growth plan by former cabinet minister Lord Adonis. Last week the


Chancellor was here in Manchester, talking about how to build a


northern powerhouse economy. Today Ed Miliband is over in Leeds talking


about much the same kind of thing. All of the parties now agree, we


need to rebalance our economy. More jobs and growth, in places like


this, and today, it seems, they also agree that one way to achieve that


is to devolve more power and money to local Government. Like Manchester


City Council over here. But it wasn't just Lord Adoni's is's


policies creating news today, there was a battle over statistics. The


Adonis review claims that net sector jobs have been created in London.


Using a more conventional approach means that 40% of net private sector


job creation has been in London, that is much bigger than London's


share of the population and does suggest a problem. But not as


shocking as the 80% claim. Economic output per head in the UK as a whole


is about ?22,000 a year. But that average masks huge regional


differences. In London it is up at ?37,000 per head, in the south-east


of England, it is ?23,000. Outside of London and the south-east it is


much lower. Across the north it is half the level of London. There are


significant problems Andrews regional imbalance, the real problem


is how to close the differences between Manchester and the


south-east, one way to do that could be for greater hours to be


controlled from Whitehall. A new system for business rates that is


raised locally and spent locally in the areas most in need. Once you


start to do that you shrink the gap in that.


Parties have been looking to Manchester for lessons? It has been


working very, very well but particularly over the last three


years, where we have set up the Greater Manchester Authority. We


have established the Greater Manchester Transport Fund and set up


a business growth hub that gives a one Topshop across the whole. We


have started to work on skills. None of this is new, politicians


have been grappling with how to boost growth outside of London for


decades. This is going to be the youth club this. You can't disco all


day! The north has been a relative economic decline for more than a


century. It will take more than mayors and faster rail links to turn


around a drain like that, the review contains 24 policy recommendations


and last week the Chancellor added a half-a-dozen of his own.


Individually none of them will achieve very much. But the hope is


that taken together they add up to more than the sum of their parts.


The policies in the Adonis review themselves have broadly been


welcomed by commerce and business today. But a row about statistics


has threatened to knock the report off its tracks. The author of the


report Lord Adonis is with us now. Thanks for coming in. Let's clear up


the figure, do you accept now in the clear light of day that your


statistics were wrong? No I don't accept they were wrong, there is


different data sets, the figures we were using in respect of job


creation outside London is a data set which refers to where jobs are


actually located, ONS survey is about where people live. They were


based on data that runs out in 2012? That is the last data published on


the data set. The other data set refers to where people live. What is


so striking from Duncan's report is which either of the data sets you


use, you can have an argument about which is the more appropriate, what


they show is that job growth has been disproportionately in London,


and if you take the wider south-east too, even more disproportionately


there too. The big issue which he raises is how do we get really


serious growth strategies in place in cities beyond London. With the


date that, why not use the data that all the recognised companies are


using, Matt Hancock has said your figures are out of date. You said


80% and every other economist of credibility has said 40%? The


figures we used are from the Centre for Cities, a reputable think-tank


that publishes data on the relative performance of cities. There are two


different data sets you can use, when the latest data comes out from


where jobs are located as opposed to where people live. That first data


set will be updated. This is a diversionary tactic. It is, but I


pick up on it because it really goes to the heart of what many people


will say about you in the party and outside which is you have a


credibility problem with the economy, and you are using


statistics now that many people disregard? I should be clear, in my


report, when you look at the source for the data it says what the source


is and makes it clear these figures refer to 2010-2012, I don't accept


the credibility issue at all. This is exactly what people want to do is


to have a debate about precisely how many jobs have been created where as


accepting the issue of regional imbalance. The big issue for us as a


country and it is not party political, it is what we do to


address the underlying challenge. The underlying challenge is there is


a great record of growth in London, London and the wider south-east,


even within that there are pockets of acute poverty and big disparities


that need to be addressed. But we all want to see the powerhouses of


the Midlands and the north live up to their potential. And putting in


place policies to see that happen is important. You gave give it to local


authorities, they give it back to business, why not cut business rates


and do something with massive effect? We are talking about funds


that need to be spent, for infrastructure, skills, essentially


purposes. There is a wider he -- debate about that. Why not cut


business rates instead? If you talk to business about what they want to


see in cities, two things come clear time and again. There is a big


skills crisis a problem of high youth unemployment and shortage of


skills, particularly technician skills and they want to see the


infrastructure attended to. The funds we are talking about, I'm not


talking about taxing anybody any more at all. The question is whether


priorities are set at the local and regional level or at the national


level. Now as Duncan said in his report, we are very unusual in this


country in the degree of centralisation of spending


decisions. People like Richard Lees who are outstanding leaders of big


authorities like Manchester, what they say, rightly, if we are in


charge of Manchester you want to make a big difference and give us


more tools for the job. They should then decide what the priorities are.


David Cameron said in 2009 what Michael Heseltine has already said


and the Liberal Democrats. The problem is they haven't done it.


There is an arms race now to decentralise? It is one thing to


make speeches it is another to act. decentralise? It is one thing to


deal of respect for, and his report is starting to create a consensus,


he said himself today that what has happened in the last two years since


his report was published is a stepping stone to what we need to


see, which is much greater responsibility taken at the level of


city leaders for improving their infrastructure and skills and making


it is more probusiness. There is a problem here, as Lord Glassman said,


and Len McClusky said last week, there is no coherent and cohesive


message, you come out with the policies that sound grabby but there


is no narrative that seems to carry the public with you? Today there is


strong and strong narrative, which we need to put power in the hand of


people who will make a difference. Business leaders, political leaders,


those people who have responsibility for the health and welfare of their


cities. You would expect on this for the public to gather around Ed


Miliband and say forget the last years we are with Labour? Today's


report is one building block and that is what we are discussing. The


big question which people will ask of Ed Miliband and Labour is are


they addressing the issues that really matter to the country.


Getting unemployment down, getting more skills, more apprentice, more


growth companies, more innovation, all of that infrastructure sorted


out we had a report about housing, getting housing numbers and starts


up. These are things that really matter to people, this agenda of


empowering city leaders and giving them the tools for the job goes to


the heart of being able to make a difference, community by community,


better jobs, better paid jobs too across the whole country. Is that


how you were won over, you of course were a David Miliband supporter and


now you're very much in the Ed camp, you are doing his work. What is it


about him then that has really sold himself to you? He's looking to the


needs of the country, which is what you expect all good political


leaders to do. The issues he's talking about, which is the problem


of relatively low growth rates, which we still have even with the


catch-up we are experiencing at the moment. We are not seeing the growth


there is translated into improvements in living standards,


because we have low productivity in this country and how you improve it,


getting public services working better and the infrastructure, these


things matter to the country. Why isn't it catching on within your


party and the wider public, people talk about his power ebbing away day


by day? I don't accept that at all. Labour has been doing every election


happening he is doing better. Getting more and better jobs in


every community in the country, there is no more important issue


than that at the moment. The policies we have been talking about


today to empower local business and political leaders to tackle skills


shortages, promote a better environment for businesses to grow,


to deal with infrastructure, including that big issue which we


had at the beginning of the programme, housing, looming up the


political agenda, that is what Ed and. Labour Party is talking about.


Listening to that are our guests. Rachel you have isolated the problem


as being with Ed Miliband's character, pretty scathing about


him, a man looking like he's giving birth without being sure there is a


baby inside? That is what a former Labour cabinet minister said to me.


There is a sense of despair on the Labour benches among MPs and some


candidates. This sense that this is Labour's election to lose if you


like, everything should be more Ed Miliband, David Cameron is not a


popular leader, there is austerity, the four-party system should make


this a Labour victory, and yet the party doesn't seem to be breaking


through. It is strange in many ways he's an admirable character, he has


interesting ideas, Andrew Adonis's report today is sensible and will do


good things. He's a radical in some ways, yet he doesn't seem to be able


to articulate that. There is a credibility gap if you like. He


talks about remaking capitalism, but there is a cap between the energy


price freeze and this kind of revolution that he's promising. And


people don't quite, it doesn't quite ring true. When another senior


figure said to me's a curious mixture of dogma and indecision. It


is this kind of lack of authenticity therefore. Can you say hand on heart


that he's taking you with him? Whether or not he's taking me with


him is irrelevant, he needs to take the country with him as Andrew


pointed out. Is he taking the country with him? He's winning local


election, he's still leading in the poll, his personal ratings are dire,


that is undeniable. The big question is do those poor personal ratings


stop him being Prime Minister next year or are they already factored in


the Prime Minister. Those people saying they don't think he's prime


ministerial material, but they are voting Labour. More pollsters are


being told they will vote Labour than the Conservatives. He does have


an image problem, which he's reluctant to engage with, to look at


polls saying you are weird and geeky and your brother is more popular


than you must hurt. He doesn't really want to engage in this stuff,


he likes to float above the fray and see himself as a serious, positive


and intellectual figure. But the fundamentals still favour Labour.


Just pick up on that curious phrase "a mixture of dogma and indecision",


that goes to the heart of the Sun thing. A leader who clearly thinks


and feels things very strongly but some how can't say them? I pick up


on what has just been said, Labour is leading in polls and in real


elections it has been doing well. That is a big vote of confidence in


Ed Miliband's leadership, in terms of taking decisions that matter he


has taken big and bold decision, the decisions we have taken today about


being prepared to empower city leaders, big decisions there. The


decision he took, which I think is one, because I have been talking a


lot with the business community about this report, it is an exercise


in total immersion visiting the cities, the biggest issue they have


raised is Europe. They don't want a Government or Prime Minister that


plays fast and loose with the national interest when it comes to


Europe. Ed took his time to make the decision, and he came out decisively


that Labour will not hold a referendum unless there is a treaty


change. Much more decisive than David Cameron who has offered a


referendum on terms unknown for a negotiation that hasn't begun as


yet. You could say what more can he be doing, if you have bold policies


were is the blockage? The problem is the voters don't see Ed Miliband


standing on the steps of Number Ten. They can't imagine him as Prime


Minister. Credibility is about stylishness and sense of humour, you


can't describe it or say you have got it, you have to demonstrate it


in small and large situation. It is that gap between the pronouncements


and the reality and then the little things, holding up the Sun for a


photograph, and then apologising for it. That is kind of the worst of all


worlds, and if you can't get those little decisions right in


opposition, it begs the question how would you deal with nuclear war. Do


you take this on board when you hear it? Joss it is the big -- It is the


big decisions that matter. The biggest decision we will take is


whether or not to stay in the European Union. The cavalier


approach the Government has been taking to this issue is in the eyes


of the business community and economic leaders is not one they


find attractive. It is Ed Miliband who has taken the strong and


principled stand. I don't accept this picture at all that when it


comes to the big challenges he has been found to be there when needed?


. The problem is this is Labour's election to lose, it shouldn't be,


Labour got its second worst result in 200 years in 2010. They were


supposed to be tearing themselves in two with Civil War, it is amazing


they are still leading in the polls and he's bookies' favourite to


become Prime Minister next year given the party he inherited in


2010. The crowds were so big the funerals themselves were delayed


2010. The crowds were so big the accommodate the mourners. This was


Israel's response on a human level to a crime that has rocked the


entire nation. Three teenagers abducted and murdered while hitch


hiking home from school in the occupied West Bank. Private grief


and political outrage are often close neighbours in this part of the


world. There are angry calls for revenge, and the Palestinians have


asked why the world hasn't recognised their dead, five


teenagers killed in the search for the missing teenagers. How will


Israel retaliate and when is the question. What considerations will


inform the Israeli Prime Minister's decisions this evening and in the


coming days? They are still talking here late at night. On the one hand


there are those feelings you mentioned. Those people who want


revenge. Sometimes expressed on the streets in pretty ugly terms, I have


to say. On the other there were all the consideringses that would --


considerations that would lead him not to go for a biggest calculation.


America has urged caution tonight. There are many in the Israeli camp


who feel doing something dramatic might cause the Palestinian


Authority to collapse or face serious difficulties. It is Ramadan,


that is another reason why they don't want too big an escalation.


For all of those reasons the people I'm talking to tonight expect that


in the next day or two we will see more of what we have seen in the


last day or two. Which is raids against suspected Hamas militants in


the West Bank. And further air strikes in response to rockets or


mortar rounds on Gaza. We caught up with the crowds heading


to the murdered teenagers' funeral. Tens of thousands filed down through


the heat of late afternoon to pay their respects and to send a


message. It is as if we all want, we all are big body and limbs were


taken from us individually. It is not just a personal suffering, it is


a suffering for the whole nation. We need to act in a way that terrorists


won't even think of doing anything like this. Innocent children don't


deserve to be kidnapped and murdered in this way. It wasn't the moment


deserve to be kidnapped and murdered for asking what happens next. But it


is a thought on everyone's minds. In this conflict that has spanned


decades, there have been any number of personal tragedies. But the


timing of this couldn't be much more delicate, Israelis and Palestinians


have just given up after years of faltering attempts to talk peace.


The potential for escalation now is obvious.


Adding to the difficulty of this day was the revelation of an emergency


services call from one of the teen's buried today, Gilad Shaar, he made


it soon after he and his friends are abducted.


In pursuing the perpetrators Israeli forces yesterday raided homes in


Hebron. Israel says the two Palestinian suspects it named


earlier were Hamas members. But the militant organisation has neither


claimed the kidnap nor entirely denied it. TRANSLATION: The story of


the disappearance and the killing of the three settlers relies only on


the Israeli tale and the Israeli occupation is trying to utilise this


tale to enforce aggression on the Palestinians and the resistance. We


stress that the Israeli threats don't scare Hamas. Not its leaders,


nor our Palestinian people, and we warn the occupation from waging any


war or wide scale aggression against our Palestinian people. This morning


the Israeli air force was in action, with strikes against 34 targets in


Gaza. It follows an upsurge in rocket attacks on Israel. And


although this injured many, this was not the promised Israeli response to


the kidnap. Something being weighed tonight in Jerusalem. I wouldn't


want to rule in or rule out any kind of self-defence operations, what we


do know is that Gaza has become a huge warehouse of long range


rockets, that can strike at Tel Aviv, these are not in small


numbers. The notion that Iran could have a forward position along the


Mediterranean on the Gaza strip, and fill Gaza with rockets of different


types, Fager 3 or 5 is something that Israel has a hard time


accepting. This was a day of high emotion as


parents buried their sons. But it was a day also for politics, for the


Israeli Prime Minister addressed the funeral, telling mourners that the


abductions had brought Israel together, and shown them an inner


strength. The coming days will demonstra how much further loss


there will be as he makes good on his promise to strike back against


Hamas. We have a columnist and commentators from the Israeli


newspaper. Thank you for joining us. It was interesting the end to that,


talking about Binyamin Netanyahu's speech. He was asked by the families


not to mention the Israeli response. I wonder what that tells us about


the need to keep the politics and the private separate? Well, let's


say something that is usually not said about Prime Minister Netherton.


Although he's hawkish, Conservative and not very courageous on trying to


achieve peace, he's actually rather averse to extensive use of violence.


His years in Government have been rather peaceful. We did not see


breakthrough to peace, but he's not trigger happy, he's not enjoying


getting into unnecessary wars, unlike some previous Israeli


leaders. So what you see so far is actually that while Mr Abbas, and Mr


N Binyamin Netanyahu, they are both trying to prevent escalation. Yet


the situation is very explosive, any rocket that hits southern Israel and


causing casualties can cause the retaliation, because it is very


explosive and sensitive. But the different parties do not want


escalation tonight. It looks as if there is an interesting cabinet


split, some members talking of building up the settlement, naming


them after the young teenagers, and there are warnings against this?


Absolutely the extreme right in Israel, represented in the


Government actually is calling for extreme actions of all sorts. So far


the moderates and the cabinet, led by Prime Minister Netenyahu, under t


influence of the military, a moderating factor, have been able to


stop it. We don't know what tomorrow holds, but so far, actually


throughout these two-and-a-half weeks of this tragedy, this horrible


tragedy, you have seen mainly on the Israeli side, but also on the


Palestinian Authority side, actually rather responsible behaviour, facing


with this ghastly violence. Do you think, and Israel like any nation


closes ranks when its young are killed, do you think it will be able


to respond to this as a crime? If it knows who the perpetrators are, just


to try them? Look there is always a battle for the soul of Israel. First


of all there was something very impressive about the kind of


combination of solidarity within Israel, and again a relatively


restrained and responsible Government policy so far. But


definitely the rage and the anger and the pain of the day are


challenging the Government and cabinet and anything, this is a very


sensitive moment, anything can go wrong in this kind of situation. I


would like to point out that one of the things that makes the situation


so dangerous is that we have had the collapse of the peace negotiations a


few months ago. Actually nothing filled the vacuum, it is very


dangerous in the Middle East all together. And definitely in Israel


and Palestine, not to have an organising principle, not to have


some stablising concept. Right now, specifically the parties, the


leaders on both sides have been acting responsibly, but the fact


that we do not have a political process, and the wish to have the


finalal status agreement, this creates a very dangerous situation.


We might survive this event, but the next one might really cause major


escalation. When How to be a Woman exploded on


to the scene, it was pretty clear a new voice of feminism was launched


loud and clear, it shrouded from the roof tops or a chair more


explicitly, it was funnier, self-deprecating, allowing for the


inconsistencies that belie any attempt at doctrine. It was Caitlin


Moran, she has a new book, of a young woman growing up in the 1990s


wanting to be a music journalist. Now an extract from The Horse's


Mouth, it contains language that some might find offensive. "I feel


excitingly free. Things were going to happen to me last night that I


did not like, and I stopped them. I have never prevented my own doom


before. I have never stood in the path of uncertain happiness and told


myself, lovingly, like a mother to myself, no, this unhappiness will


not suit you. Turn around and go another way. I have previously been


resigned to any and all fates ahead, mute and compliant, worried about


seeming weird or unfuckable, or about making a fuss. But now, things


have changed. Because it seems I'm now the kind of girl who can


instigate a threesome and then cancel a threesome and then order a


cab. I'm in charge of me. I can change fates, I can reorder


evenings. I can say yes, and then say no. And this is new information


to me. And I like this information, I like all information about me.


Because I'm compiling a dossier, I'm my own specialist subject. You spent


a lot of the day with us, thank you very much. It was my absolute


pleasure. And mainly because I get out of childcare and it is really


interesting to find out there is a television in the corner playing the


World Cup. We have turned -- It turned around now in case someone


scores! Your novel goes straight in because on the first few pages the


heroine is masterbating? It is a great way to start a novel. The more


you are not supposed to write about something I want to write about it.


Not to be controversial, but it is why, these are the things that drive


you nuts. So much of being a girl is visceral and you are not allowed to


speak about it. When I wrote How to be a Woman is each chapter is


something you are supposed to keep Crete, master a decision,


menstruation, eating discords, hair. I thought these are the things that


drive us nuts and these are the things that keep us deO'pressed. I


found it funny. It is interesting that is the controversial things, we


are on a news show talking about war and death and all these appalling


things, and still to open a book with a 13-year-old girl doing


something pleasant and relaxing is kind of like ahhh. It is fully


accepted that teenage sex drive for teenage boys is full on, did you


feel it was important to portray girls with a healthy sex drive? No


hugely. There is a bit in the book where she's talking about how she


wants to be a lady sex pirate and adventurer, that reclaiming of


sexuality. I started writing the book because I was in a huge fury of


anger after reading Fifty Shades of Grey. There was a massive feminist


argument that we needed to have an argument, but to surmise the plot, a


young virgin who meets an older man, who says if you let me spank you on


the clitoris I will buy you an iPad, I thought this is not female


sexuality. I want to write something funny and dirty who wants to do


things. What is the word "slag" meaning to you? I'm using it


cheerfully, if it is used in anger that is awful. Is it when a woman


sleeps around a lot, is that something you would encourage? That


is your lady sex adventurers? Again it is quite a good hobby. The two


hobbies I think any teenage girl should have, masturbation is a very


good and calming one, maybe for country walks and then the


revolution, those are the three hobbies for any teenage girl.


Sleeping around as long as you are doing safely with people you like,


it is a nice way of meeting people and having interesting


conversations. Your novel could be read as a Marxist treaty, it is


about the benefits system, dependency, what is going on. The


heroine says everything could be solved with more money? Yeah, it


isn't just rude stuff, it isn't just shagging, there is lots of stuff.


The two main things I wanted to write about were sex and class.


Because one of the things I had repeatedly said to me since I became


famous and successful that I was not working-class or middle-class. Seen


though I speak in a middle-class voice I'm still from the ghetto in


Wolverhampton. As soon as you get money the middle-classes coopt you,


the only thing left for the working-class is failure, you can


never be rich and successful and working-class. There is such a


difference between middle and working-class culture, I wanted to


set it in the 1990s becau that is the last time that working-class was


supreme, all the bands, working-class bands, people would


pretend to be working-class. Is this where you get your words, your


socio-political freak on. What would you say to young people now who


believe politics is a waste of time. That all politicians are the same,


even Jeremy, come to that! What do you say to people who are just


starting out? I know this is the hopefully if this sells this is the


first of a trilogy, the next one is how to be famous and then how to


change the world. I want to write about politics and explain it to


people. I was brought up with a dad who was a big trade unionist and


been brought up very poor he explained the history of the labour


movement to me and how everything has changed in this country is


because people went out and changed it. People in power will never hand


power down to people you have to go and ask for power. Is it going to be


done through the political system? Not currently now, it needs to be


from the grassroots up. One of the books I want to write. It seems nuts


to me you had labour movement in a pre-Twitter era it was collections


and sending MPs to parliament who would represent their


constituencies, now the idea of doing that, which is kind of why I'm


in favour of UKIP, because I find them incredibly inspiring, if this


useful bunch of ass-hats have got to this point where they control the


political debate. Imagine a good UKIP having these conversations and


how quickly they would change things. Misogyny, I wonder if you


think that we missed that, my generation or the generation before


us accepted it as the last bastion of offensiveness that was OK. We


have ruled out race and religious crimes and homophobia, and yet some


how the women got forgotten. Still there is that viral thing that is


going on at the moment do it like a girl, they ask people to do their


impression of running and throwing like a girl, being a girl is still


seen as a bad thing, that is where I wanted to write a book about a girl


who followed her will and desire and learned from her mistakes and wanted


to be a good and noble person, not pretty, good and noble a have a


really good time. Those things are key, it should be pleasurable to be


a woman, we still see ourselves as a massive list of problems. It took me


until I was 34 I'm alive, to realise that, I'm entertaining and I work


hard and I can do things. When the remaining members of Monty Python


announced they would return for one last reunion


announced they would return for one quick to pick up the tickets. It


sold out in 44 seconds. Tonight the pythons took to the stage for the


first of their ten performances. This is a little flavour of what is


on offer. Who would have thought 40 years ago we would all be sitting


here doing Monty Python! # I'm a lumber Jack and I'm OK, I


work all night and sleep all day # He's a lumberjack and he's OK.


Is your wife a goer, know what I mean, know what I mean, say no more.


I beg your pardon? Your wife, does she go. Well joining us now the


comedian Marcus Bridgestock, she go. Well joining us now the


Asha Atalar, who produced the TV show The Office, they have dashed


across London to give us your thoughts. Lovely to have you both


here. We were amazed you made it? We missed the end to come and tell you


how good and enjoyable the whole thing was. Quite inconvenient being


here? Spoil add lovely evening of comedy. Was it great? You go first


because you are less of a man. I came out more of a fan than I went


in. I was nervous for them because you don't want to ruin -- you are


less of a fan than I was. I was nervous for them, I thought tonight


was patchy, the production was great, they filled the O2 and didn't


let themselves down. The people were waiting for the catch phrases,


massive ripple of laughter. Slightly shaky first night in places. They


expanded on the stuff people knew, they expanded out and did new


things, at the end they turned a lot of the familiar sketch, afterwards


into a big huge production number. People have said on-line about the


price of tickets, for any of these sorts of things. I think you are


getting an awful lot on stage. John Cleese said there was no new


material? There was a tonne of new material, loads, not whole new


sketches really, but different versions of things. Like what? They


expanded out their "isn't it awfully nice to have a penis" song, to


include the ladies. And one for everybody as well with the bottoms.


And they did a lovely dance number for "sit on my face and tell me that


you love me". It was liesly choreographed. Why should they do


new material because people were going to see the old material, I


thought that was an unfair accusation. That Mick Jagger line, a


bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relief their youth when he did the


promo for them? He's not wrong. They were candid they did it a bit for


money didn't they? Cleese has a very expensive divorce, several. They are


not the only people in Britain to go to work to earn money. There is


nothing really wrong with that, I think there is only something wrong


with that if you short change your fans massively. And they didn't. I


have seen younger men put on more lazy shows than those guys. Thanks.


I did mean you! I don't think anyone would think that. Where did it fall


down for you, did it feel dated? It did feel a bit dated but that's sort


of the joy of it, you don't go there to see a contemporary Monty Python.


There were times when their age, there is nothing wrong with old


people doing comedy, there should be more of it. We were saying in the


car that sometimes they didn't quite have the energy to push through a


couple of sketches, it felt they were sagging. I wouldn't be


surprised if it came through in the next few shows. They played in a lot


of footage but I have seen it before. We will try to get you the


ending. That is it for tonight, we leave you with a journalist from


Kansas City who performed a social experiment by sending a photograph


of herself to 40 Photoshop designers in different countries around the


world, she gave each one the same instruction, make me look beautiful


in a fashion magazine. Here is what they sent back.


On Wednesday England and Wales will see the best of the sunshine, for


Scotland and Northern Ireland, it is a bright start to the day. But the


winds will pick up, more cloud arriving for the afternoon, as the


rain sets its way in and moves further south. It might produce some


patchy light rain along the north coast of Northern Ireland. Further


south it stays