13/01/2016 Newsnight


The Danes want to make migrants pay their way. Labour's Trident row hots up. Oil dips below $30. Airbnb safety. With Evan Davis.

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Is Europe in the midst of an anti-refugee backlash,


as Denmark, part of liberal Scandinavia,


We think that it is fair, that they should pay for their stay in


Denmark. Why should taxpayers pay for the period of time that they are


living in Denmark? Refugees and migrants


are a big issue for Europe - Labour's leading In campaigner,


Alan Johnson, gives his reaction. And Labour's internecine


war over Trident, will their defence review pour cold


water on it or more petrol? The co-chair of the review tells


Newsnight we'll soon We will desperately try to do it


as rapidly as possible, so we will focus on the Trident


issue ahead of the rest And that could be


done within months, Also tonight - a bleak time


for the black stuff. And Airbnb, the website


where you can rent, or rent out Is the so-called sharing


economy the future or just Watch out for a surfeit of headlines


using the phrase "something is rotten in the state of Denmark"


or variants thereon. Because Denmark is set to move ahead


with a package of measures to deter asylum seekers from


trying to settle there. Expropriating their assets to make


them pay for their stay - not a wedding ring or items


with sentimental value, but cash or possessions worth


more than about ?1,000. Delaying the point at which families


can join mothers or fathers. The United Nations ranks Denmark


as the fourth most developed country in the world, but the UN


High Commissioner for Refugees called the measures "deeply


concerning", and an affront Well, this latest Danish response


to the flow of people into Europe is part of what looks


like a backlash at the liberal values that have enticed people


to this continent. Katie Razzall reports from


Copenhagen. What do you take with you when you


leave your home and travel thousands of miles by boat, by bus, on foot?


Is it those sentimental possessions that remind you of the life you once


had? Or valuables, to sustain you on the journey? This Iraqi family told


me they had left Baghdad for Copenhagen with a few clothes and


some money, which quickly disappeared. TRANSLATION: We only


brought the essentials, nothing really valuable. We paid all the


money we had to the smugglers to bring us here. There was anger today


outside the Danish parliament as, insight, politicians debated and new


Immigration Bill. In future, rivals to this country will be searched,


and assets like money worth more than 10,000 kroner or ?1000, and any


valuables, although not wedding rings or mobile phones, will be


compensated -- confiscated to reimburse the taxpayer for the cost


of looking after them. We are looking to limit the flow of


refugees coming into Denmark and those who are coming into Denmark,


we think it is fair that they should pay for their stay. Why should the


taxpayers pay for a period of time that they are living in Denmark? We


think it is quite fair. I actually do not understand why there has been


such a big debate about this. It is just common sense. Unlike Sweden,


Denmark has been tightening up its laws on migrants for some time. But


there has been nothing quite as controversial as the plan to strip


them of their valuables. The Prime Minister, keen to protect his


country's reputation as a just and fair society, says this is the most


misunderstood bill in Danish history. With Europe floundering


over how to deal with the migrant crisis, will other countries


introduce similar measures? Last summer, in the wake of the death of


the boy washed up on a Turkish beach, Europe felt like a much more


friendly place for migrants. Germans welcomed them with flowers and food


and the strangers into their homes. Back then, hardliners who floated


concerns about integration, were castigated for their pitiless nests.


But now the mood is hardening as fears about crime and community


discord grow and Europe is putting up fences in an effort to shut


people out. Across Europe, there has been a race to the bottom as states


have been trying to outbid each other on creating restrictive


policies to make asylum seekers seek asylum in neighbouring states rather


than their own. Denmark has been part of that and I think this


current bill is part of the politics of deterrence, whereby the Danish


state is actively cultivating a new image as being unwelcoming to


refugees. Last June, here in Denmark, they had a change of


political leadership. If you have watched an episode of Borgen, you


will know that compromise is everything in Danish politics. If


this was an episode of Borgen, in the end, Liberal values would


triumph. But right now, in reality, it is the right setting the agenda.


That has meant cut in -- tough changes, including cuts to migrant


benefits of up to 50% and new Danish language requirements before


permanent residency is offered. Migrants already can't


bring family over for The government wants


that up three years. And shorter residency statuses


being given to those The Prime Minister recently even


called for reform to the UN 1951 20,000 migrants like these came to


Denmark last year. They are awaiting news on their status in a country


whose leadership apparently wishes they had never arrived. What does


this family think of the planned to take away people's assets?


TRANSLATION: Of course it is not a good thing, I don't like it. For


people like us who left Baghdad or those who travelled from Syria, they


lost their houses and money. It is hard for them to lose whatever


remains. They already lost jobs, houses and maybe relatives in the


war. It will be hard to take what they have. They will have nothing of


value left. The Immigration Bill will be voted on later this month.


But the government says it has the backing of enough parties to get it


through. Watching closely will be other European nations with an eye


on opinion polls at home. Out of all this arises one


overarching long-term question for Europe,


and a short-term tactical The short-term one is


whether the recent turn of events in the refugee and migration debate


will affect Britain's EU referendum To put it bluntly, will it


derail the In campaign? The bigger question


is whether migration will challenge what we like to regard as European


tolerance and openness. One man who should be reflecting


on both these is the former He was in government at a time


when migration into the UK was high, and he is now in charge


of Labour's pro-EU campaign. My first question, is the recent


refugee crisis in Germany and Sweden going to damage the campaign? It


could damage it, but if you use that as the answer, you will come out of


the European Union. You might as well come out of the United Nations.


It is an issue for them as well, big movements across the world.


Withdrawing from these organisations will march the lack solve it. --


will not solve it. We are in the best position, we are not part of


the Schengen Agreement but we are part of the Dublin accord. People


coming from outside the European Union, they will need to register in


the first country they come to. If we are outside the European Union,


that would not be the case. But we are part of Schengen, so you need a


visa. It will make things worse. Incidentally, our most vulnerable


point, Calais to Dover, because we are part of the UN we have good


relationships with France, we have a border control in Calais. The first


thing that will happen if we take back our borders, France would take


back its border and our most vulnerable point in these islands


would be more vulnerable still. I would make the argument that we will


be worse off outside. You acknowledge it might be an issue


that damages the campaign? It happened over the summer. The number


of people in terms of appalling that work pro-EU reduced over the summer


when they sought that kind of footage. -- in terms of the polling


that were pro-EU. But when you get down to the real campaigning, it


means talking about the facts. The public will think of migration and


refugees as intertwined issues. They will think we have many people


coming in from the continent of Europe and we do not have control of


our border with the continent, because anyone with a passport can


come to Britain. Now what is your lying going to be, through the


campaign, through the referendum, to most people, who would say, if we're


not in the EU, we get more control over who comes to our country? You


are going to have to have an answer to that. Yes, and the answer is that


that would not happen on any of the models that the campaign are looking


at. You would not have control of the border if you left? Because the


Germans or the Swedes or citizens of Italy... If we did have that, we


would have an economy that was plummeting and we would be in a


sorry state, because if we apply those measures, they were bright


apply those measures as well. Britain has more people living


abroad, working in developed countries, than any in Europe,


including Poland. It is a two-way street. All the models that say you


are outside Europe but you take advantage of the biggest commercial


market in the world, bigger than the US or China, involve free movement.


Can I ask you, are you in favour of free movement, basically? Suppose


that Europeans came to us and said we could doubt. I am in favour of


it. Do you think the public like it? I think the public would see the


benefit, that you cannot have this... Children in particular,


teenagers, youngsters, they happily cross borders without even thinking


about it. Families go on holiday to Spain and they do not need a visa.


When you look at the practicalities of moving away from free movement,


then you go back in time to a world that did not exist in terms of this


nirvana of the 50s. You go back to a less tolerant world, a world that is


less prosperous and a Britain that is less able to punch its way


through the world. I wonder, is a sense out there that government,


people in authority, have pulled the wool over the public's ice? They


feel that in Germany and Sweden where the police are scared to talk


about migrant crime. Frankly, they feel it was something that the


Labour government did with migration and they never really said they were


going to let a million Polish people into the country but many more


people came into the country than the public expected. There is this


sense of the EU being a slightly elite project which has moved away


from what the public were told it was about, and not necessarily what


they wanted to be about. I think as you get into the debate on the


referendum, the unavoidable question, are we staying or are we


going, I think we will concentrate on these misconceptions. We will


make the argument for Europe which has not been made on the left for


ten years. I am leading a united campaign on this. The Labour Party


has changed since 1975 but I think we also have exposed the thing, what


did we vote for in 1975? I was there and I delivered the leaflets for the


yes campaign. Looking at that again, it was about the European economic


community, about closer political union, it was the idea of setting up


a European Parliament. All this stuff of saying we voted just for


the common market, it is not true, and there are lots of things wrong


with Europe and lots of things wrong with the United Nations. There is


not a perfect institution but in a sense, are we better being part of


our continent? Through this forum, the forum through which we can


handle our independence? The answer must be yes on every kind of level.


Are you saying that when the public voted yes to the common market in


1975 they could have anticipated all of the things that could have


followed? They might be scared of voting yes in 2016 if they think


there will be that much happening thereafter. The arguments to people


who were not around at the time, including Nigel Farage, because I do


not think he was old enough to vote, is that we have just voted for a


market. Now, you didn't. If you look back, you can research it. There was


no pulling the wool over the eyes? Far from it. The yes campaign was


very straightforward. For example, we said it would not solve our


economic problems, it would not resolve our prosperity but it was


part of something bigger and increasingly interdependent. The no


campaign, they said that if you stayed in, it would be part of a


country called Europe, there would be no Italy or Germany. Read it.


That fantasy of one country, as if the Germans or the Italians would


want to be part of that country. But it is dead. Have you told them it is


dead?! Cameron made the point in Parliament, the other day, that


there is a great deal... Europe, when necessary, nation states


usually deal with these issues. But give me, in a sentence, the


emotional pitch. Give me the positive vision for being in the EU?


It is that the European Union was created after world wars on our


continent that started every 20 years. In 1975, the guys in the post


office were people who had fought in those wars. They had seen very much,


as Churchill put it, ... I wonder whether you think that is still


something that works? We're not going to war with Germany, in or out


of the EU. Might it need updated. It is out of date. It is useful to


remind people. When we debated this in 1975, Franco was in power in


Spain. The whole block of eastern Europe was under totalitarian rule.


They have moved from oligarchy to democracy without a shot being


fired, that is part of the poetry of working together on this continent.


The prose, it is trade. The market, nobody loves a market but as you


know, this is a crucial part of our prosperity. I'm going to say to you


that the pros are as important as the poetry. And that suggests that


walking off into isolation means walking off into isolation in the


world. I am interested in whether you buy into David Cameron's


renegotiation attempt. He has obviously set out his agenda. You'll


like what he is trying to do or is your lover for the EU on


conditional? -- do you like what he is trying to do. It is not love. I


am not a fanatic but I think that most of the British public, I hope,


on balance, think that it is better that we are in the European Union. I


think it is a sideshow and it is more about the future of the


Conservative Party than the future of the country but as I want us to


stay in the EU, I wanted to do enough to allow him to come and fly


the flag for Europe. Do you think it is a bit of a sham? I think so. The


other thing is the referendum will not be on that package, it will be,


do you want to stay or do you want to go. Trident is looming as an


issue and it looks fraught. Will it damage the party if they chose to


reject Trident? I hope not. I hope it shows that we have


reject Trident? I hope not. I hope debate, like what is going on in the


country, and we have come down, after having deliberated on this,


one way or the other. One thing is for sure, we cannot have to


different positions. And your position? I am pro Trident. I am pro


nuclear disarmament through multilateral disarmament. Everyone


is looking for that. Do you have any regrets about not standing in that


leadership election? A lot of people, they were saying just the


other day, you were the only one that could potentially have beaten


Jeremy Corbyn. I wonder, giving you are on a different wing of the


party, if you look back and think, why did I not do it, I could have


taken him on? I wonder how many times more I have to say this. I


never wanted to be leader. I did not have the for that. I am pleased that


there are people who want to do their job. I do not want to do it


and I never have done, and I never would've done. Denis Healey felt


that he had let the movement down because he did not fight hard enough


to beat Michael Foot. You do not feel the same? Dennis had our rate


phrase, he felt he was the best predator we never had. Then why the


hell was he not party leader? Sometimes people put it to me, but


it is my life and I will lead it my way. Thank you.


On the Europe subject, the Telegraph tomorrow carries a piece by Chris


Grayling who calls for British membership of the EU on current


terms disastrous. He also says he supports renegotiation, so maybe


staying in the Cabinet rules about what you are or are not allowed to


say about the EU at the moment. We should be talking about George


Osborne about Europe tomorrow night. Now, you heard Alan Johnson talking


about Trident there. A vote is coming up


on replacing it this year, Labour is in a strange place -


the party policy says yes to replacing Trident,


the leader says no to it, and there is a review designed


to sort out the gap. It's exactly 30 years


since Margaret Thatcher laid the keel for HMS Vanguard,


a new generation of Trident In all that time, Jeremy Corbyn has


been active in the campaign He is committed to Britain


giving up nuclear weapons. I am opposed to the holding


and the usage of nuclear weapons. They are an ultimate weapon of mass


destruction that can only kill In changing Labour's policy,


though, Jeremy Corbyn has two big enemies -


time and votes. The only way to change that policy


is through a vote at the party's annual conference, but that doesn't


happen until the end of September,. Well before that, Parliament


could have decided the issue Sources inside the MoD have told me


that that maingate vote could come It will certainly happen,


I've been told, before Parliament In other words, long before Labour


can change its policy officially. John Woodcock is a Labour MP


committed to securing Trident's renewal, not least because the four


new subs would be built Let's focus on something


where we can make a difference for the people who desperately need


Labour to be a credible opposition rather than spending time tearing


ourselves apart as a party for something which is


going to happen anyway. There is a cast-iron majority


in Parliament for this project go past the point of no return,


so no matter what Jeremy does or even if he were to magic


up a changed policy, which he won't, it is not go to make


a difference to the fact that these The next problem that Jeremy Corbyn


has to deal with is votes. 50% of the votes at conference


needed to change the policy come There are reports that


Len McCluskey, general secretary of the largest union,


Unite, will make a speech this weekend hardening his position


against the policy change. If he does that, it will add his


voice to that of Paul Kenny If anybody thinks that unions


like the GMB are going to go quietly into the night while tens


of thousands of our members' jobs are literally swanneed way


by rhetoric, then they have got But Jeremy Corbyn says he wants


to explore new ways for Labour to make policy, perhaps involving


online votes of the party's members. That idea, though, was slapped down


pretty emphatically this week by Ian McNicol,


Labour's general secretary, Nevertheless, an online vote


could be used to put pressure on Labour MPs and even shadow


ministers to move in the direction What could also add to the pressure


is Labour's defence review, originally to be chaired


by Ken Livingstone, who opposes Trident,


and the then Shadow Defence Secretary, Maria Eagle,


who is in favour. But last week, she was replaced


by Emily Thornbury, who also opposes Ken Livingstone told me that they


aim to have a recommendation We will desperately try and do it


as rapidly as possible, so we will focus on the Trident


issue ahead of the rest And that could be done


within months, couple of months? With a bit of luck, that could be


done in eight to ten weeks, it will take a lot of work for me


and Emily, but that's good. The timetable won't reassure some


Labour MPs, who suspect that the review has been set up to


come to a predetermined conclusion. If you are Venezuela,


Saudi Arabia or BP, the year has Something extraordinary has been


happening to the oil price - it's been tumbling to levels


no-one thought we'd see. Brent Crude dropped below $30


a barrel for the first time BP has in fact announced job cuts


in its North Sea activities. The Chancellor referred


to a cocktail of risks in the world Some think cheap oil


is one ingredient, Others think it's going


to ameliorate the worst. It's interesting that for all its


importance in our lives, we don't very often get to see large amounts


of oil, to stand in awe at its power, to smell it. You have to


remember the world divides into oil haves and have-nots. The best way to


look at the change in price is to think of it is a big hand-out from


one group to another. The oil price goes up more I am worse off, Saudi


Arabia wins, and when prices go down, as they have, it is the other


way round full the oil industry and oil exporting countries have gotten


very used to $100 oil, and just assumed that $100 oil was going to


be the normal price forever. Wrong assumption! Here is the price of oil


in 2015. It is now half what it was last summer. On a longer view, back


45 years, you can see the recent swing is one of the big shift of the


modern era. Right now, there is simply too much oil. And you can see


it if you go to a place like Singapore. I was there recently and


you can see all the tankers sitting there doing not much, just simply


storing oil. When you have $90 oil, people were combing the world for


primary sources of hydrocarbon where there were plenty of different areas


which were being developed. And all of them have different financial


characteristics, and some of them will not survive at these low prices


if they continue, as I expect they will continue.


You see, new oil came on tap like US shale. Edward Gold prices, but


paradoxically, all that new oil drove prices down, killing its own


business model. And that is cause of concern over one. Those that lead or


invested find they are kind of where sub-prime lenders were a decade


back. We have seen a huge bubble within the oil market in terms of


bumps, 18% of bond assurance in the US is oil related. We are now seeing


significant problems within that market. I think you have seen a lot


of the big operators who have locked in the oil price for most of next


year, so they are still at $60 plus when the current spot price is in


the 30s, so they haven't run into problems yet. Clearly the issue is


if the price remains in the 30s and that locking expires, and you have


to sell at the spot rate rather than $60, that is where you see more


financial distress. From the oil sector to the problems


of the financial sector. There are other grounds for worry, too. You


can't separate what is happening with oil prices by themselves from


other things that are happening in the world economy. So, to some


degree, oil prices today are also a thermometer telling us there is a


lot of weakness in the world economy, so we will see a cycle, but


right now, the name of the game is survival.


# Riding along in my automobile... But forget the losers, who needs


losers? There are winners in the oil market, too. Right from the earliest


days of our oil fuelled economy, some fundamental rules have applied


telling us that cheap oil is good for growth. It is just a vintage


economics. As you know, oil powered automobiles


have caught on, and we can do a back of the envelope calculation as to


the benefit of an oil price cut. So today, we pump something like 20


million tonnes, 20 billion litres, of petrol and diesel into our cars.


If you cut the price by 15p, that is ?3 billion into the pockets of


consumers. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. And also


supports the economy more generally by creating lower energy costs for


businesses, that gives more space for investment and for overall


employment in the UK. I think the ready reckoner that we had in our


mind is when oil prices fell from over $100 back in the summer 18


months ago to $50 that that gave a boost to the UK economy of around


0.5% to GDP. Oil isn't what it was in the 50s. Al post-industrial


economy is less oil intensive than it was. Old ready reckoner is may


have weakened. But all in all, while there is a lot to worry about at the


moment, cheap oil probably gets two Cheers. Two, not three.


Just worry about nations that are so dependent on revenues from oil that


there may be some unexpected instability. And it usually is


unexpected. So it is not all good news, but on


balance, I would say it is good news for the consumer, not so good news


if you are in the oil and gas business.


And I should say thank you to the Brooklands Museum


in Weybridge for the loan of that old Ford motor and the use


That was a very evenhanded account of it.


Joining me now are Sir Alan Duncan, Conservative MP and former Minister


for International Development, and Gillian Tett, US Managing Editor


Good evening to you both. You can see at glass half full is empty.


Which is it? You will sound like a classic Scrooge if you say it is


half ten T. The reality is it is great for consumers driving cars,


but if this oil price fall has occurred just across the cars were


becoming so efficient they didn't need oil so much any more, because


suddenly people have found a whole lot more oil, that would be good.


The problem is that this oil price fall is partly because of sheer


political tension and rivalry between Saudi Arabia and the US, but


also because demand is falling in places like China, and that is


worrying. And you say that it is to do with the geopolitical thinking?


It does appear that one factor driving policy is the fact that Opec


has been unravelling, but also that some Saudi leaders are trying to


undermine the US shale industry. But it is extraordinary. Yes, we are


back to $30 oil, which is where I came in water years ago. The issue


is this. We all love low prices at the pump. But what we have seen over


the last year is extraordinary volatility, and that volatility,


going down from over 100 to about 30 unleashes massive forces when money


moves across the globe and has consequences, and I think the sort


of consequences we can see at the immediate effects of the oil


services sector losing jobs, and of course the North Sea is suffering,


and that will hurt us as the UK. We are seeing a lot of oil producing


countries needing some thing like $80 oil to pay their way, so if they


have financial deficits, they will have to Saky no enormous amount of


money by liquidating assets or borrowing, and you then end up with


a liquidity squeeze which could but up interest rates, and so we will


also, as Julian Cuesta rightly says, look we looking at geopolitical


pressures in oil producing countries. These are massive forces.


If there was ever a moment you don't want geopolitical pressures, it is


right now. We have a story at the FT saying that BP is slashing jobs,


4000 jobs, a big hit on North Sea oil, all these kinds of jobs. You


are seeing a number of emerging market and countries which are big


oil producers having a squeeze right now which frankly the world doesn't


need in terms of instability. It is right to think essentially if


you are involved in oil, this is clearly awful. Should people who are


not involved in oil, who don't own BP and don't work in the oil


industry, but you can buy petrol at ?1 per litre, should they, it you


called it potentially catastrophic in the Commons today, and you ask


the question of the Prime Minister on it. Is it simply a problem for


people in the oil industry? No, it isn't, because there is a volatility


and instability. There is global instability politically in the


Middle East, but you put that to one side, if you are a pensioner, it is


impossible to exaggerate the number of pension funds that rely heavily


on'S dividends -- rely heavily on the shell's dividends for their


pension pot. I want people to be able to fill their back after less


than ?1 per litre, but other things with that good news. I wouldn't be


quite so gloomy. Other studies have been done in the US which are


countries that are far more dependent on petrol than the UK, and


they were saying families are saving $700 per year. And that is good. But


the interesting thing is, when you look at whether on not the consumer


is spending that windfall, it looks like only about half of it is being


spent, because people are still pretty scarred by the whole 2008


financial crisis, so if you look at the overall economic boost, you are


probably not going to see the simple sums, what they suggest. Suppose we


found a big hole in the North Pole, and out of it just came as much oil


as we possibly needed, put aside concerns about the planet, because


we haven't talked about those. If we could all have free oil in unlimited


quantities, would you tell me that is bad news that the economics of


the world, or would you say, thank goodness, we don't have to worry


about energy any more. It is a wonderful hypothetical question. In


the long-term, cheap energy is a good thing, although in terms of


green... Let's say it's green oil! It would dramatically change in


historic ways the balance of power, wealth and everything else across


the world. It would be the end of the Middle East in terms of their


wealth, of course. You can write a book about this, I am sure. It would


be a big deal, anyway. Thank you both very much. Sorry, we have to


leave it there. Oil is not the only sector that's


been having a hard time. Hotels have been complaining


that they face unfair competition It's the web service that allows


ordinary people to take on Holiday Inn by renting


out their spare rooms to strangers. Or in some cases, as the hotels


point out, their spare What's clear is that


Airbnb is catching on. After hosting hundreds of guests, I


realised how I am connected to these different people who belong from


different cultures, different countries and different backgrounds.


Being an Airbnb host is being part of a global community. It gave me a


faith in humanity, to be honest. They come as guests but they leave


as friends. That experience is much more enriching. Imagine today that


it is possible for all of us to experience that.


Now hotels say it's unfair competiion.


They meet certain pernickety rules and regulations -


like paying tax - that not all their rivals necessarily feel


Today the RSA, the Royal Society of the Arts, published a report


arguing that platforms like Airbnb help us take advantage


of our underused resources and they extend access.


We asked Airbnb to join us, but they are busy tonight.


But with me is author of that report, Brhmie Balaram,


and from the British Hospitality Association,


Good evening. Brhmie Balaram, Tony Abbott about the sharing economy and


why you are an enthusiastic that? The report today said that the


sharing economy is the beginning of a power shift to the people, and


there are now 23 million users in the UK, 80 million users in the US.


And this is on the rise. I think it is because rather than depending on


big business, people would rather provide what they need and want


themselves and do it with each other, so they are beginning to


share with each other and there is a lot of social and environmental


benefits being realised. It is a lot of areas, where people do not like


being disrupted by upstarts coming in online. How do the hotels feel?


On one hand, we think it is worthwhile that families are allowed


to rent out room or even an entire floor was in their homes to guests.


That is a valuable additional offer to tourists. There is a lot to be


said for that but on the other hand, we are seeing 47%, almost half of


the properties listed in London, professional landlords. So in a


sense they are pseudo- hotels, hotels in everything but name. And


that leads to some... There are a lot of things wrong with that. These


establishments can jump through planning hoops. Planning regulation


is there to ensure that housing supply is not restricted. If you


restrict housing supply, and this is a lot of users we are talking about,


a lot of volume, and 50% of this volume is a professional landlords,


that is putting a lot of pressure on rents and inflating property prices,


restricting housing in areas like London where housing is a problem.


It is noble for you to be worried about housing in London but you are


really worried about competition with hotels, fundamentally. The


problem with hotels, competition is secondary to the social costs.


Reputation is a big issue for us. The establishments, these


professional landlords do not have to comply with health and safety


regulation, they are not complying with food safety regulation. If


something goes wrong, and I would not like us to wait for that, for


there to be a terrible fire, 72% of fires in the UK are in homes, these


things are readily did and monitored in hotels. If something goes wrong,


the reputation will be damaged. I wonder, is there a gap between the


way we treat the official sector, the hotels and B who go through


planning permission, and the likes of you and I who can rent out a


room? Is that a discrepancy we should resolve? I think it is


already being resolved. I would urge people to think about what is


happening in the states where the debate has been raging for some


time. We are seeing the emergence of third-party support for these sorts


of platforms. For example, there is an organisation in the US that


provides insurance to users on the sharing economy platforms. That sort


of invasion has not happened here yet. If I asked them, if I said to


them, why not give all the data of how much your participants are


earning, and pass that to the Treasury, so we can make sure


everyone is paying tax on it, like I intend to make sure the hotels do,


what would be wrong of seeing that was a requirement? I think that is a


violation of privacy for these users. I think Airbnb has been quite


straightforward. Recently, in the US, they created... Why should it be


so secret? If anyone... Everyone is playing by the rules, then why not?


They are business and they're trying to do what is in the best interest


of the users. There is a mass movement of hosts, advocating to be


part of everything, they like to participate in this sort of


exchange. To finish, Ufi Ibrihim, in terms of the effect on hotels, how


big an effect is this having? Probably Airbnb is bringing in more


customers rather than stealing business? On one hand, it is a good


thing but where we have professional landlords operating these hotels and


not paying taxes, the sharing economy has created a hidden


economy, which is unfortunate for UK plc. And the public safety issue, as


well as the issue... But how big a deal is at? 10% of the hotels'


business? Very difficult to tell at the moment because we have very


little data. Everything is hidden by the sharing economy. Thank you both


very much. But we learned today that,


embarrassed by public pressure from the Chinese dissident artist


Ai Weiwei, Lego ended their policy of refusing to bulk sell


their product in cases where the end So, in the interests of balance,


we leave you with the the work of cult YouTube animator Dino5500,


whose rather disturbing Lego remembrance of the Battle


of Stalingrad slightly suggests the company's sensitivities might


sometimes be well-founded.


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