31/07/2014 Newsnight


Robert Peston looks at a row over Steiner schools, catastrophe bonds, whether Nato is prepared for Russia, a Lynton Crosby profile, and questions if immersive theatre is a fad.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 31/07/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Newsnight has learned that parents complained to the Department for


Education about racism and bullying at steiner schools, those schools


favoured by less conventional middle-class families. Why has the


Government provided public funds for new Steiner free schools. Newsnight


has exclusively seen two Department for Education memos which relate


serious concerns about Steiner concerns, memos that the British


Humanist Association had to go to court to get released. With Russia


on manoeuvres, does NATO have the resources and capabilities to handle


any future threat from Moscow. No comes the resounding answer from


a group of MPs, who say NATO and Britain must do more. We are


sisters, hand in hand, posters of the sea and land, thus you go about,


about thrice to nine, thrice to mine. The new vogue for joining in


at the cinema and theatre. Why is so called "immersive entertainment" so


of the moment. Is it just a fad. Whether it is cinema with music,


art, theatre I think the audiences now are looking for a new way. I


think this and a lot of similar organisations are showing this is


not just a pop-up culture, this is the future.


Steiner schools, they have been popular for decades among the more


liberal and Bohemian, some white say whacky middle-classes, Sandra


Bulloch and others former students. We have heard reports that in


reports to the Department of Education that some have thought in


these schools bullying was how kids worked out their Karma, and in one


school there was racism linked directly to the school's philosophy.


Since the Government has received these complaints it has agreed to


fund three new schools. I think the Steiner philosophy is really


interesting, for many reasons. Not least it centres on the child and


the child's education hole listically, they focus on the human


being, they nurture and they are affectionate and I think that is


really important to build the human being before the academic. Sometimes


called Waldorf schools or Steiner-Waldorf schools. There are


30 schools. Since 20 # 08 three died ones another son the way. But


Newsnight has exclusively seen two Department of Education memos which


relate serious concerns about the concerns. Memos the British Humanist


Association had to go to court to get released.


Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian born occultist, but his ideas live on. It


is a spiritual doctrine that covers everything from home on thee and


biodynamic farming to the purpose of life. This grand work still fills


bookshops and includes some rather particular ideas about race and


reincarnation. Specifically that people with darker skin are less


evolved, but, if they do well, if they have good Karma, they can hope


to be reincarnated in later lives as a higher ranked race. Why Aryans, of


course, are at the top, they advanced from colonists. Just how


many of his less palatable ideas make their way into the classroom.


Just how much Rudolf is there in the Steiner Schools. The idea that we


have incarnated through the races is a very controversial idea that is


not part of our modern thinking in Steiner Schools at all. In fact I


would find it quite outrageous and unacceptable and it is not a basis


upon which one would want to find any criticism of Steiner schools


today because it is not what we believe. Some of those ideas have


occasionly cropped up within the private Steiner schools very


recently, and some parents are worried about speaking out. There


was diversity training at the school and part of it was ticking boxes of


which ethnicity you were, four of the teachers ticked all the boxes


and the trainer asked why on earth they had done that, because they


said they had been all those races and all those teachers were white


and obviously they see themselves as the pinnacle. The Department for


Education memos also reveal some important concerns about bullying,


for example it said that in eight of the 25 private Steiner schools there


had been serious complaints about staff bullying pupils. There were


also concerns about policies on stamping out bullying, and worries


that this might be related to Rudolf Steiner's teachings. The memo


reports that one parent witnessed a physical attack on their son where


the teacher failed to intervene. The teacher justified the approach by


claiming the children were working out their Karma. That is concernly


not the approach everywhere. There was an incident where my child was


attacked in class, and it was terribly traumatic for everybody


involved. The school, however, were incredible at dealing with it. The


teacher in the classroom, the assistant were both very NUTTing at


the in -- nurturing and caring, and my daughter has flourished and grown


after the event. The school management pounced on the problem


very quickly. Since the memos were written three state Steiner schools


have been opened or approved to open. That is not uncontroversial


given the nature of Steiner's work. The DFE said it wouldn't approve


anything where racism or bullying were issues, tonight it said it can


and would close schools, even private one where is they were. But


that doesn't close the question of whether this Austrian mist


particular's ideas are actually worth public money? Here to discuss


Steiner schools are Francis Russell whose child was a pupil at Greenwich


Steiner school, and the chief executive of the British Humanist


Association. If I could start with you, the evidence seems to suggest


that kids learn at these schools and they are pretty happy, why on earth


are you making such a fuss about them? The reason we tried to get the


document that is the DfE has finally released because we feared what they


contained, eight out of 12 Steiner schools had serious cases of


bullying of children by staff which is massively out of proportion than


other schools, there was secrecy over teacher training materials


within the Steiner teacher training scheme which is he they said they


shouldn't let people see their lesson plans and make sure they were


lost, that was because of the controversial nature of them. The


qasi-religious and mystic systems of Steiner's work was linked directly


to incidents of racism and bullying within those schools as well. That


is why we are concerned. We are concerned if any sort of ideolgical


belief system takes the place of real education in state schools.


Francis, the evidence that in some schools bullying was not just


tolerated but in some senses thought of as a good thing, as a way of


identifying what kind of kid, or what kind of person these kids would


grow up to be, doesn't that immensely worry you as somebody who


was a parent of a kid at one of these kids? This is total rubbish


what you are talking about now, I am a parent who had a child at the


school, but I have been involved in setting up and running a particular


school over the last six years, and been involved with it for ten and


been involved in the movement. The allegations raised in the reports


were never tested. These were some parents who had written to the


Department for Education, and they were being raised in the reports as


issues of how do we manage if parents come up and say these kinds


of things with the media. There is absolutely no proof at all about


these things. I'm sorry, can I just continue for a moment. What you are


decribing does not happen in Steiner schools, that would never happen in


our school, it would never happen in any of the schools that I know


anything about. But why does the handbook talk about kids being, you


know, either victims or bullies and needing to test which category they


go into, why do the handbooks say these things? I'm not clear about


this handbook at all. What I can tell you is what our policy says,


and what policies in all the schools say, and remember they are all


inspected and they all have to abide by the independent schools rules.


What they say is that bullying is not tolerated. But within Steiner


schools, as within many schools, we try to get children to learn to deal


with conflict that is going on, but they are not left do that on their


own. It is done with guidance of the adults, teachers and parents


involved. I'm sorry but all this stuff about the pseudo spiritualism,


that is all to do with Steiner's views on anthroposaphy, it is not


caught in schools, it is for some adults to use as a way of guiding


their lives if they choose to do so. It just does not form any part of a


modern Steiner school. Nonetheless he is the driving force


intellectually behind it. In his philosophy there is this stuff which


I think most people would think of as racist and bonkers about the


Aryans being the super-race. Of course it is. Don't you worry about


being associated with a school founded on such ideas. Rudolf


Steiner had a lot of good ideas about educational provision, which


have been taken and developed and progressed, that is what forms a


part of the education today. Is there any role for public money on


schools based on this kind of philosophy? I obviously don't think


so. I think because any state-funded school should be built on proper


educational practice and theory and Steiner education and theory isn't.


Your attempt to dereceive. Can I say something because you have spoken


for a long time and made claims about the documents which is untrue


and attempted to dismiss the documents as if they contained just


allegations of individual parents, it will completely fail, they quote


teacher training manuals which says many of the things that has just


been said both in the report and now, about some children being


destined by their Karma to be victims and some to be bullied. All


of the things that have just been said. Should public money go to the


schools? I had to pay and there are many parents who can't afford to pay


who would like the education you get in Steiner schools which is really


about educating the whole child in a very imaginative and artistic way,


if you look at the school inspections reports they are telling


parents how good these schools are and how good they are at producing


young people with strong self-esteem, academically able and


well prepared to go on and be good citizens in life. We will have to


leave it there, thank you very much. I thought that was a jolly


interesting discussion. It sounds a bit like a bad joke, doesn't it that


investors should be piling into investments called "catastrophe


bonds", six years after the mother of all financial catastrophes, it


isn't a laughing matter. Pension funds and insurance companies are


pouring our money into investment which is pay them a good rate of


interest, unless, that is, there is a disaster such as a tsunami or an


earthquake, in that case they get nothing. Are catastrophe bonds well


a catastrophe waiting to happen. Be Six years ago the chopping up and


selling on of risk brought the financial world close to disaster,


then it was sub-prime mortgages and when the value of those home loans


fell the whole system was exposed to the losses. Now there is a new


risky, little understood investment. They are called, appropriately,


catastrophe bonds. Catastrophe bondses are being bought by UK and


US pension funds, I'm not sure they understand the real underlying


risks. Catastrophe bondses are basically -- catastrophe bonds are a


bet against natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquake, investors


get paid interests every year, at the end of the term they get their


money back. But, if there is a catastrophe, then the insurers get


to keep all the money to cover their losses, and the investors lose


everything. So far the returns for investors have been pretty good.


Almost 8. 5% a year since 2002. And, they are also a hedge against market


losses elsewhere. Catastrophe bonds are what is called an unco-related


asset class, that means their return doesn't reflect what's happening in


other financial markets. As long as the specified disaster doesn't


happen the investor keeps getting paid. Investing is trade off between


risk and return. What's the chance that you will lose money, and given


that risk, does the rate of return justify taking it. For example would


investors buy something that had a one in four chance of making a loss.


Not if it paid 5% a year. But they might if it paid 50. When it comes


to catastrophe bonds, Giovanni Garcia calculates the probability of


the disaster. The probability is 2-2. 75% a year. The bonds are


designed to trigger once every 55 years. Since 2007, direct investment


by pension funds in catastrophe bonds has gone up by 15-times. But


while the risk of disaster is constant, the rates of interest


offered have fallen. As more investors pile in bond issuers are


offer lower rates of interest, rates on bonds are at record lows. Are


pension funds exposing themselves to massive risk for too low a return?


This is a completely different sort of risk, it is a completely new risk


for pension funds to be getting in to, again I'm just not sure that


they have the experience or the expertise in a size myology, New


canology, or futurology, whatever it might be, to allow them to make a


proper informed decision. The reason why pension funds are dabbling into


catastrophe insurance is down to a bigger shift in global finance.


Central banks created a sea of money in an attempt to clean up the mess


of the last crisis. But this has flooded into all asset classes, from


bonds to shares to housing. That sea of money has been partly created by


keeping interest rates near zero. Over the last six years interest


rates have been at historic lows, so pension funds haven't been able to


get the kind of return they need from traditionally safe investments


like Government bonds. Instead they have been forced to buy riskier and


riskier assets to try to drive up their returns. Since the crash this


search for yield has been the defining characteristic of financial


markets. Some people see it everywhere. I think in one sense


there is lack of discretion in terms of what investors might be investing


in currently, anything with a yield will do. Stephen King is HSBC's


chief economist, he sees low interest rates fuelling a search for


higher yields, across all financial markets and driving ever-greater


risk taking. It does reflect the fact that investors are desperate to


get higher returns, they find is very difficult to get the higher


returns when the economies are so incredibly weak, as a consequence


they are pushed into areas that are riskier or more esoteric. The risks


are real. The valuation of many cat-bonds is based on the minimal


risk of disaster, a major disaster could trigger a large loss in some


bonds that could bring down the price of all of them. The worry is


so much money has flooded into catastrophe bonds that they have


become overvalued, you can see the same alarm signals across all sorts


of different financial instrument, a lot of confidence in any of these


could trigger a sell-off across wider markets. Low interest rates


have been used by central banks to try to restore the economy to


health. But they have been so low now for so long that investors are


taking risk they otherwise wouldn't take. Catastrophe bonds might prove


a risk too far, the next little understood investment that could


spiral into disaster. Here with me to assess whether the cure for the


banking crisis all that cheap money that the Bank of England and other


central banks created is enbeginedering in fact a new


financial disaster is the economist George Magnus. Everywhere you look


at the moment you see bonkers prices, if you look at the market in


Italian and Spanish Government bonds, two pretty risky Governments


they are more expensive than an American Government bonds, which


most people would say is rather crazy. Why haven't investors learned


their lessons? Why do they appear to be taking such ridiculous crazy


risks again? Well, the cynical answer is that they are just myopic


and prone to crowds and sheep, all marching off in the same direction


together. The slightly more serious answer but one that begs a lot of


questions, is investors and financial markets are just totally


geared to the idea that money is cheap and they have been told by


Mark Carney, January until Yellin, the heads of the central banks


around the world. They have been told in no uncertain terms that


interest rates will stay close to zero for an extended period of time.


So they have no risk to worry about that interest rates will go on they


can carry on crowding into risky investments, extracting higher


interest rates, or as the course pond dent said the search for --


correspondent said the search for yield without impunity, despite the


fact that the risks haven't changed and may change soon. The thing is


what goes up will come down, how worried are you that the bubbles in


property and Government bonds as and when they burst there will be a bit


of a mess, not just for investors but for all of us? That is bet I


would take. Because partly because we can see that the debate is


beginning to change. In this country, in the UK, we know that the


Bank of England is now on the cusp of, not on the cusp but it is


certainly debating very actively whether it should raise interest


rates later this year and almost certainly will do. And in the United


States the process of withdrawing from the quantitative easing


programme, called tapering, will end October. The markets are, some


markets are actually quite wedded to the idea that interest rates in the


US will rise some time towards the summer or the autumn of 2015. But it


could happen earlier, because the economy actually is coming back


quite nicely. As and when interest rates rise, is that when we will see


the first real test of whether the markets are safe or, essentially is


that when we might see the first cracks that could be rather


damaging? Yes, today there was a minor crack, Wall Street at one


stage was down 300 points, and could have been lots of reasons for this,


but one of the reasons could have been that employment costs, wages


and salaries rose by their fastest rate in the second quarter since the


great financial crisis. Which obviously gets people worried about


the fact that interest rates may go up sooner. It will happen and even


though interest rates in five years time may not be substantially higher


than they are today, certainly not as high as they were ten or 20 years


ago, the shock of moving out of one regime into another one which is


uncertain I think will exact a big toll, I think. Our Government,


Central Bank governor, Mark Carney, Governments in America and Europe


will say that they have put in place new regulations to protect us from


the kind of shocks to the financial system we saw in 2008. Have they


done that in fact? As and when these markets cracked will there be a


significantly damaging impact on our proport? Yes, I think so. To a


degree, I think they talk a lot about macro Prudential regulation,


which is about trying to make financial institutions safer, you


can do that with a big bank ore insurance company. But you -- bank


or insurance company, but you can't really protect the system from an


environment. What has happened is the price of lending and capital has


fallen to level which is are inappropriately low. We have to get


back to normal and it will be a difficult transition. In a moment we


will be looking at recommendations for NATO reform from the Commons


defence committee. But while we have been on air the American Secretary


of State, John Kerry, and the United Nations secretary-general, Ban


Ki-Moon, have announced a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza


through du to begin at 8.00 on Friday morning. Our diplomatic


editor has the latest news. That is the news, the ceasefire has


been agreed, the Secretary of State said that Israel and Hamas have


agreed to it. We have had some shaky or non-existent attempts at


ceasefires before, this is meant to last 72-hours, it may well


illustrate an Israeli sense that America is losing patience. And the


opinion of the world is moving against them. Do you think this is a


ceasefire that will hold, because we have had false dawns before now? I


wouldn't make a judgment one way or the other. It could be the beginning


of the end as it were, but it may be a temporary ceasefire. On this other


issue that we have been looking at today which is the capability of


NATO, MPs have raised concerns that NATO is not in a position to defend


itself, were there to be a renewed threat from Russia, what has their


argument been? We have a situation now where there are fresh Russian


build-ups with the borders of Ukraine, we have seen pictures over


the plast few days. NATO talk about 15,000 Russian troops amassing


there. The west could get caught again in this respect. The MPs have


looked at what already has happened there, and also asked questions


about well what if suddenly one of the battic Republics or Poland feels


very threatened by one of these Russian moves. What could we


actually do? They think the answer is not much and not much quickly. So


they have got a series of recommendation which is they


published today, the defence committee staking a claim, if you


like, to get the Government moving on this, and calling for dramatic


improvements to rapid reaction, moving stuff to threatened areas,


pre-positioning to help that happen faster, putting kit down in some of


the eastern European countries ready to go, and the continuous presence


of NATO forces there. I think historically the military and


Government haven't always been as one on this kind of thing. What is


your sense, is there unity on what to do? I have discovered there has


been quite a battle going on behind the scenes and actually in the run


up to the paper from the Defence Select Committee today, the British


general who stepped down in the spring from his job in the NATO


military structure, he made some outspoken remarks in a newspaper,


which caused Alex Hammond to basically -- Philip Hammond to try


to get the man disciplined and stop him speaking again on the subject.


He was furious about it, it endangered in his mind his sort of


discipline he thought he had got the department under. The defence


committee asked the general to come in and tell them what sort of risk


he is thought there were to the Baltic Republics for example. The


fact is that there is a Russian aviation base within 40 minutes


flying time of Riga. So unless NATO has stationed forces in the Baltic


states I think it is highly unlikely that NATO could respond quickly to a


sudden surprise attack. Now, of course the MPs at the time wanted to


know what did the Defence Secretary make of this. He in fact pretty much


rubbished the general. He said this morning, sitting in that chair, that


he thought we ought to have a significant NATO and UK presence in


the Baltic states. Now that is not in the SDSR and the SDSS. It is not


the Government's view, and it is not NATO's view, and he is a retiring


general on resettlement leave. He can speak for himself but he doesn't


speak for the department. What has happened today is effectively the


MPs have bought almost everything the general said. They have been


wrapped into the recommendations of what should happen. This, if you


like, pre-figures a bigger battle that will happen about the defence


budget, about the posture of the Armed Forces over the next year as


they move into the next defence review and do the Government


statements about the seriousness of what has been happening in Eastern


Europe actually mean they have got to change course, spend more on


defence and reposition the forces? Thank you. Now one of the MPs' main


recommendation was the establishment of a continuous NATO presence in


vulnerable states including Estonia. That country's Defence Minister


joins us now. Can I just ask you, how vulnerable do you feel, do you


regard a threat from Russia as a serious really serious thing to your


security? Well there is definitely no panic in Estonia in the streets


or among the policy makers. We have invested significantly in our


defence and security over the years. We have very strong relationships


with the strongest and biggest allies, both in Europe and on the


other side of the Atlantic. However, we have seen a very significant


build up of Russian military forces in our region. So basically I would


agree with most of the recommendations that were made by


the MPs from the House of Commons, indeed actually those reflections,


those recommendations reflect very much what I told the delegation when


they visited Tallin. I definitely believe we need pre-positioned


forces and assets in our part of the world. We need better, clearer


defence plans, we need to improve our situational awareness and our


early, our rapid reaction capability. So basically I agree


with the majority of those recommendations definitely. Just to


be clear, how serious do you think NATO's deficiencies are? NATO


collectively I believe is still very much the, by far the strongest


player when it comes to conventional military forces. However, I do


believe that the current regime in the Kremlin, Putin's regime thinks


they have certain advantages, they have parity with NATO and


superiority in convention terms when it comes to certain regions, they


believe probably with some justification that they have a time


advantage. They have been doing snap exercises while Putin can take most


of the strategic decisions on his own, so basically in order to cope


with this situation we need to improve our ability to take


decisions quickly, but also to implement those decisions quickly.


So this definitely requires pre-positioning of assets, this


requires also more regular exercises with more realistic defence


scenarios. You would be happy to have foreign troops on your soil,


that is not a problem for you? Well, basically, yes, foreign troops, but


also pre-positioning of equipment, of the kind that is required to


respond quickly to any scenario that we can foresee realistically


unfolding. I would say that we have very strong confidence in NATO


Article 5 and the allied solidarity. However, we would like to do


everything it takes to avoid a situation that would trigger Article


#R5, and deterrence is the best way to do that. I do believe that


strength is language that Putin's regime understands. I think some


would say it also occasionally inflames him. Thank you very much.


As MPs flee Westminster for their summer holiday one man will be left


behind pouring over polls and that infamous news grid, he's Linton


Crosby and the adviser paid to propel David Cameron back into


Number Ten in 2015. Like Labour's Peter Mandelson and Alastair


Campbell, he's seen as the Tory Party's controller of who is up and


down in the cabinet. Has he become too powerful? We have been finding


out. You always play to win, you don't play to come second. The smirk


is attitude, it is a person who says he can get away with this.


I'm no genius, just an ordinary person who wanted to help the


Conservative Party. If, for some reason, you would like


to see the most powerful people in the Tory Party on a Monday morning


at 8.00am come down to this street corner and you will see loads of


them streaming out of this building, the campaign headquarters and up to


Whitehall and Downing Street and the Prime Minister's layer, where they


will have a planning meeting for the week, but actually nine months out


from a general election they are on war footing. One of their number is


head of their general election campaign, Linton Crosby, to many


people he's the most powerful person in the Tory Party.


Tory communication chief, Craig Oliver got into trouble for getting


Crosby into Downing Street. But since arriving he has been kept


close. Whenever David Cameron is in trouble he brings Crosby to assure


restless MPs, they know's a winner. Thrusting immigration into the


campaign glare has been attributed to Australian election strategist,


Linton Crosby. He notched up a woulding four victories for John


Howard, and the boss was grateful. Briefly but sincerely I can't let


the opportunity of Linton's report go by without recording mime mens


personal gratitude to you Linton. But it also got pretty nasty. The


Indonesian ferry carrying the asylum seekers was intercepted by the


Australian Navy at the end the Prime Minister John Howard said those on


board threw children into the sea to force the Navy to pick them up. Yes


he did run campaigns for John Howard that were largely, or significantly


fear-based, they were trying to worry people about the fact that


there was this asylum seeking and illegal immigration going on, and


John Howard would determine who comes to the country and under what


circumstances. There is a lot of unfair stuff thrown at Linton about


the dog whistling and the racism. You will read here that this is part


of Crosbyism, well it wasn't, it was John Howard, the Prime Minister at


the time, and his Defence Minister, Peter Reith, who actually said those


things. In 2005 he came to work in the UK for another Howard, Michael


Howard, and he went hard on immigration again. The theory is


that you some how put out these messages, that people can't


generally hear, but the people who need to hear them pick them up and


pond and vote your way. They are not issues you talk about in the broad.


But, hey, everyone knew that Michael Howard and the Conservatives were


focussing on immigration and crime and all of these things, no-one


could say they were trying to secretly, below the line, through


phone calls or direct mail letters, address an issue that they were


trying to hide from the rest of the voters. The Tory vote share went up


in that election, but they still lost. Polling would later show that


the country wanted a crackdown on immigration, just not from the


Conservatives. Unlucky in 05, things picked up on getting Boris Johnson


elected in 2008 and 2012. Boris is a very loyal member of the team and


good to have. Immigration took a back seat, instead they promised to


cut commuting costs and crime for the outer suburbs, Linton Crosby


doesn't appear to run cookie cutter candidate, which brings us to 2015


and how he will run David Cameron. Linton Crosby is fond of the saying


of this man, General Slim, whose statue is not far from Downing


Street. Slim said in battle things are rarely as good or as bad as the


first reports of excited men would have them. I can tell you firsthand


that Linton Crosby detests the breathless ups and downs of


Westminster gossip, instead he gets his politicians to focus on three or


four core messages and rams them home over months and months and


preferably years and years. Sources of mine who have dared to deviate


from those messages know about it. They get rung up for the Linton


Crosby hair dryer treatment. It doesn't found like a hugely big


insight, you would be amazed how many British politicians find it


difficult to stick to the script. Scrape barnacles off the boat said


Linton Crosby. The energetic Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt is always


trying to announce new ideas on health but stopped by the iron grip


of Crosby. But the biggest barnacle of all, Michael Gove, the Prime


Minister was shown polling that he was so unpopular it could be an


electrical barnacle, he moved Gove and the Prime Minister remonstrate,


and the Chancellor remonstrated but lost. Everyone would love to come to


a party and say they have a silver bullet for all the problems. They


don't, they have the techniques and mechanisms for consolidating the


vote and growing the pool. That is what you try to do, grow the pool of


voters who potentially might listen to you. That is obviously the advice


that Linton is giving to the Tories. Try to grow the pool on right by


finding policies to appeal to the defectors, to UKIP, find some


policies which appeal to women voters. It is 2. 30 and we have seen


a steady stream of Tories into the building although it is the


holidays. He's running a tight ship. Every day he's in from six through


until late at night. Instead of his own office tucked away on the side,


he sits in the thick of things alongside juniors and interns alike,


that is why he's liked he has few airs and graces. It is from this


building he's controlling the Tory message, if at the last election


there was four different characters with four different takes on how the


Tories were fighting the election, this time round it will be just one.


In the words of one of my source, Linton Crosby's word is the law.


Economic competence, immigration, welfare reform, Crosby's messages


next year, but too heavy on immigration and ethnic minority


voters will be frightened off the Tories. Too harsh on welfare won't


help them with the north of Britain. Right now the PM is on holiday,


Linton Crosby is not taking a break, for a few weeks at least he's really


in charge. Here to discuss Crosby's influence are the former London


mayor, Ken Livingston and Conservative activist and Times


columnist, Tim Montgomerie. Allegra says the Chancellor was overruled by


Linton Crosby and as a result of polling Michael Gove was demoted.


That's no way to run a Government is it? I think it is probably true. But


the reason why David Cameron is listening to Linton Crosby is partly


you have the reason there in Ken Livingston. The stories couldn't


defeat Tony Blair, Ken Livingston did, he won huge majorities in


London, but it was Linton Crosby's strategy with a little help from man


called Boris Johnson that unseated Ken. In Australia Linton Crosby


helped John Howard to four victories. It is that campaigning


nouse, and the ability to run a campaign, understand it properly,


understand opinion polls and the public. That is why the


Conservatives are willing to hire and listen to him. There is a


paradox, all the evidence shows one of the reasons politicians are so


unpopular is people think they don't show leadership that it is all about


spin and polling. Isn't it just part of the whole eating away at


confidence in politicians that are actually powerless and they are run


essentially by the ad men? We say we like conviction politicians but when


they do things we don't like them to do we don't necessarily respect


them. Opinion polls are our way of voting between election, telling


politicians what we think about what is going on. Sometimes it is wise to


listen to them, and sometimes it is right for Ken Livingston to ignore


views about the Congestion Charge and plough ahead. But it matters


during elections and Linton Crosby is a good interpreter of them. You


don't like Linton Crosby, you think of him as an evil person, isn't that


just because he got you defeated? He was incredibly successful? He's


probably the most successful progandists since Dr Joseph Gobeles,


it is a joke I'm not suggesting for one minute they are in the same


league. They have one thing in common, it is about fear, that is


what is so demeaning about the politics. When I came into politics


it was debating about issues, now it is smear and fear. What we should


have in the next nine months is an endless debate about how to turn the


economy round and where it will go in the future. Crosby will do


everything to stop that, it will be immigration, benefits cheats, trade


unions. It is not true, if you look at the long-term economic plan every


Tory spokesman has to use day in and day out, that is Linton Crosby's


argument, he's arguing for them to focus on the economic issues not


just welfare. He's not honest about that. We have had 30 years of


neo-liberal economics under Thatcher and continued by Tony Blair, it


hasn't worked. We are worse off than we were. Surely the issue here is a


different one. We recently had the leader of the Labour Party, Ed


Miliband, saying he will back away from image building and spin, let's


be clear they just hired David Axelrod from America, the game is up


and Government is run by spin and pollsters. That was one of the


weaknesses of new Labour, they forgot about the core issues and


pandered to it. Have you confidence that Ed Miliband will be different?


Absolutely, whenever I'm with Ed Miliband he's talking about issues,


what do we learn from the success of the German economy. He's never


obsessed by this sort of spin nonsense. You look at the key


people, they are people who mobilise and organise activists. What about


David Axelrod an American campaigner at a lot of money paid for by Labour


activists, the idea th Ed Miliband is very different? The key thing


about Clinton is he built a machine. That is what I tried do I couldn't


defeat Boris, but we built a machine that mobilise add lot of people


across London, got them out, not enough to win N situation where Ed


Miliband faces what I faced, a completely hostile media, that is


the core. Build the machine, reach people on the doorstep. I think this


debate will run all the way to next May and it would be jolly


interesting to see what it does to the overall turnout, I'm not sure


everyone is enthused? Let's remember the real smear tonight was yours


with Joseph Gobeles. Not Linton Crosby.


Cinema fans were venting their fury, but after a few nights of a new


fangled screening of Back to the Future were cancelled at the last


night, tonight 4 thousand young people made it to -- 4,000 young


people made it to a secret location dressed as characters of the film,


it is what is known as "immersive entertainment", we have jumped on


the hover board for a look. It is so exciting, take one of your


favourite movies of all time and feel like you are part of it. The


secret is now out, somewhere in East London, after delays and


cancellations the first night of a summer-long project. Every time from


now on when I watch the film it will be I was there. This is the biggest


event of its type ever held. A full on replica of Hill Valley, as any 80


nostalgia will tell you, scene of Back to the Future. Each of the


shops and buildings is say theed to be true to the film itself, from the


estate agents to the bank on the corner. There will be live


performances from actors and live music once the night is finished. A


long way from the Multiplex or the cinema on the high street. The film


is shown in full, but the plan is more ambitious than outdoor cinema,


with some dressing-up. There is a generation of audience that is are


not satisfied with the massive experience any more I think they


want to be part of it. That is what I am I'm interested in, that the


audience and performance is blurred, that wherever you are you can become


part of the story. Secret cinema has come a long way from its underground


roots, screening cult clackss to small audiences. Like a video game


there are areas to explore and hidden secrets to find. All too much


effort say some. The problem I guess with the immersive experience is


because there is so much of it and because you are so aware that there


is so much going on it can become a box-ticking exercise where you feel


you have to complete the thing rather than letting it wash over you


as a purer experience. But immersive entertainment is a broad term,


taking in everything from Michael Sheen's performance of the passion.


To this tower block in Popular where a new version of Macbeth is played


in different rooms in the building. The performance stops at 7.00, and


the audience is split into smaller groups of ten, and brought into this


doorway part of the underground car park, part of the network of housing


estates in East London. The weird sisters, hand in hand, posters of


the sea and land, thus do go about. We have just been astound today the


reception we have got and the amount of audience members, and selling out


four months before the performance is incredible. Our audiences


yearning for something different and outside of the living room. With so


much choice nowadays in terms of media, this type of performance


gives people the real experience which they are looking for,


interaction with audience and actors and being able to see a story from


the inside out. Whether film or theatre, events like this are doing


well at the moment, Back to the Future has sold 65,000 tickets at


more than ?50 each. Secret cinema is making real money. Charging over ?50


a ticket. You think about it, a cinema you are looking about ?10.


London prices. So they are making huge amounts of money for the Grand


Budapest Hotel a production they put on recently, that contributed over


one million pounds to the UK box-office for that film. We are


looking to be obviously a profitable business. But we're not, for me the


passion of it is making it the best it could be. This then is no longer


a niche experiment, it is well and truly mainstream. The challenge for


secret cinema and others like it will be to keep growing without


losing the sense of mystery, the things that made it popular in the


first place. I have massively enjoyed keeping the seat warm for


the past three days, sadly that is all I and we have time for. Good


night. There is rain in the forecast, some a lot some very


little. The main focus of rain


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Robert Peston. Looking at a row over Steiner schools, catastrophe bonds, whether Nato is prepared for Russia, a Lynton Crosby profile, and questioning if immersive theatre is a fad.

Download Subtitles