10/02/2016 Newsnight


With Evan Davis. Are the Met to blame over child abuse investigations? Is the big crash back on? Plus unmaking a murderer - we meet Erwin James.

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Policing cases of historic sexual abuse.


Even top cops recognise the system isn't working.


It looks like when the suspect was a member of the establishment, as it


would be termed, then clearly other members of the stabber Schmid will


come round to detect them. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner


has the job of seeking the right balance between the rights


of victims and suspects. Also tonight, the financial trading


floors are feeling spooked. Or maybe they just know something


the rest of us don't. We'll try to work out how worried


we should be. And will Europe's killer whales


and dolphins be wiped out You can see the skin and the blood


are here, the PCB is an invisible killer, really.


On one view, when it comes to the sexual abuse of young people,


Britain has gone from a country that was absurdly excusing


the guilty to one hysterically pursuing the innocent.


Certainly, people holding that view have dumped a lot of criticism


on the Met Police lately, for its recent behaviour towards,


So today, the Met turned itself in, establishing an inquiry


into its record at investigating historic cases.


And the Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe suggests in a newspaper


article tomorrow that suspects should have


Our Investigations Editor Nick Hopkins is with me.


What's your reading of today's announcement?


As you say, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is under enormous pressure. Today he


announced that a retired judge would be reviewing his handling of high


profile cases. I think this reflects two things. The first is that he


says he is reacting to public concern. I'm not sure that's true,


no one is protesting in the streets about all this. But there are


politicians past and present an certain newspapers that have been


calling for his head in recent weeks and I think they have slightly


forced his hand. Second, I suspect that Sir Bernard is frankly fed up


and he's taking a bit of a gamble. I think he's hoping that this review


will broadly support the way the Met has handled these cases but also


underline a conundrum that his and other forces face, that they feel


they are dammed if they look into these kind of allegations and they


feel they are accused of cover-ups if they don't. Here is what Sir


Bernard had to say earlier today about the review but also a reminder


of why all this has become so controversial.


Investigating historical child sex abuse is very difficult.


We've had quite a moral crisis over the last 18 months where initially


it was said that very senior members of Government had lost


dossiers, that they themselves were subject to allegations.


And now here we are, the very adverse of that criticism,


that in fact we weren't ignoring things, we've gone too far.


Surely it's right that someone should look at that and try


And perhaps gives some guidance about how police officers and others


approach these difficult historic allegations where the evidence


sometimes is lost, where people's memories have faded.


It's so easy to make allegations but then how do we prove them?


Surely I think we all need somebody to look at that seriously.


If Jimmy Savile could get away with his abuse, well,


Claims of a Westminster paedophile ring have lingered for decades.


So when, in 2014, a man came forward claiming to be one of its victims,


They launched Operation Midland and famously they said this.


I believe what Nick is saying to be credible and to be true.


Then came the house searches, including a war hero, Lord Bramall.


Not so the former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.


Last August he called an extraordinary press conference


in which he detailed and then denounced the claims against him.


Anyone of a delicate or nervous disposition should leave


Six weeks later, a BBC Panorama programme questioned whether the VIP


Scotland Yard insisted its inquiry was ongoing.


But they did admit that the former Home Secretary, Lord Brittan,


also allegedly involved in the VIP paedophile ring, had gone


to his death not knowing the force had already cleared him.


Last month, The Met told Lord Bramall he faces


Amid reports that the Westminster paedophile ring probe has gone


nowhere and will soon be wound up, the Yard stands accused


Things post-Savile have come full circle.


With all that in mind, earlier today I spoke to serve pizza Fahey, who


was until recently the Chief Constable of Manchester. -- Sir


Peter Fahey. Bernard Hogan-Howe


is under pressure. Because I think somebody


in his position, a Chief Constable, deals with hundreds


of incidents every single day. To personalise it in this way


I think is very wrong. I think we should be worried


about the fact that the two previous Is this what we really want in terms


of such a vital position? I think, you know, I need to declare


that clearly Bernard is someone I've But do I think any objective view


would say that he is When an officer used


the words credible and true, It did, but on the other hand,


I can understand the dilemma Detectives have to absolutely go out


of their way to really get it across to victims and potential


victims that when they come across, their account, will that first


account be believed or seen as true? Clearly it is the job


of the investigator to then challenge that victim's reality


in terms of looking for evidence which will either support that


all will undermine it. But you understand why any


detective would say that. Well, if there is clearly particular


issue about a delay in somebody being given information


then absolutely, I think you would apologise for that


because that is a clear mistake, it is an error, it is not how


the procedure should work. But I certainly think that no


Chief Constable would apologise for investigating anybody,


if there has been an allegation. How concerned are you by the level


of political interference We seem to be adopting


the American system. Because it is, it


becomes very personal. As Chief Constable I suffered


some of that myself, You didn't want to be a celebrity,


you didn't want to be a personality. The trouble with it is that that


then, we don't see that behind that, Bernard is a very, very


professional police officer. If he were to go, the people that


would do best out of this would be So I think, you know,


this whole notion of becoming more personalised, particularly the way


the position of the Commissioner of London, over the past three


commissioners has become very personalised and very targeted,


I think that is an aspect of the American system


which we should not be adopting. It's a case of the


establishment biting back? Well, it is, and of course


that is part of the danger But of course what has happened now


is absolutely it looks like when the suspect was a member


of the establishment, as it would be termed,


then clearly other members of the establishment come


round to protect them. Now I think Lord Bramall is a very


distinguished soldier and a great


leader, but the trouble is in terms of this difficult issue of trying


to get this matter cleared up and particularly to encourage more


victims to come forward, clearly it is really,


really important that If they see that in a case like this


it appears that establishment figures have come behind that,


it's going to discourage more people Do you think in cases of historic


child abuse there should be a third We certainly need a third way,


when such a tiny proportion of victims get justice


through the system and yet on the other hand feel


hugely wronged and have I think there does need to be some


careful consideration of whether there could be another


system, possibly closer It would need to be very creative


and imaginatively different, but I think that is


the problem at the moment. We're trying to force these


cases into a court system which was designed in a very


different time for different types of cases and it is


clearly not working. Nick, there, talking to Sir Peter


Fahy. I'm joined now by Gabrielle Shaw,


CEO of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood,


and Conservative peer and Times A starting point on which I think


you will both agree. Do you both agree that a review of police


handling of these cases is a good idea? Yes, for reasons of


transparency. Abuse happens in secret, cover-ups and accusations


happen in secret. For the Met police to say let's have a look at it, it's


a good thing. Danny, you wrote a rather excoriating article, you


agree a review is due? Yes and I am particularly pleased there will be a


review of the processes, not whether or not police followed the processes


but whether the processes were correct. I think that's a very


important aspect. I'm sure you would say this but I'm sure you would


agree that the police would investigate if someone comes in and


says there was this abuse and I was a victim of it, in fact they have an


obligation to do that. Completely and I would go further. I think


there has been a national scandal of under investigating historic child


sexual abuse and I think we've realised that. Did the pendulum


swing too far the other way? And it became about investigating anybody?


Let's look at where the pendulum has come from. We come from a history of


massive underreporting and victim survivors hearing failed firstly by


being abused and then by their reports are not being believed by


the police and the judiciary. As the pendulum swung too far? I think


we're still living through it. Many survivors and victims, particularly


ones who call the helpline, we hear this all the time, "I still have


that fear, I still have that doubt that I'm going to be believed". As


long as that is happening at people do not want to come forward, there


is work to do. No, I don't think the pendulum has swung too far. I think


we're right to be investigating these things. What I'm concerned


about is, why did it take ten months for example to ask Lord Bramall's


crucial witnesses after it was revealed that he was being


investigated? Why did we know that he was being investigated? How did


that happen? Not just in his case but Jim Davidson's case and other


cases outside that, the question here is not our wee investigating


think we should not be investigating, but how are we


investigating them and is the right process being used to do that? Do


you accept there is an issue there? Around processes? Around the time it


takes. Somebody like Lord Bramall is being investigated and nothing seems


to happen for month after month. Absolutely, I think it raises really


serious questions. Going back to Bernard Hogan-Howe referring it to


review, I think that's a very good thing. But it's not helping the


victims if there is a long and undue delay. Absolutely. Was common sense


being applied? That is the thing we have had to learn about Operation


Midland. It fails victims if you spend ?27 million a year, 27


officers, ?2 million a year spent on something that ends up showing


nothing. We have to ask where the police come whether they became


carried away with the idea that the investigation must be correct


because they were conducting it and then went on conducting it and said


things were true that now looks very questionable. Obviously we don't


know what happened but it really does look very questionable. We have


to see whether common was applied. Is that an issue? I think Danny has


hit the nail on the head, absolutely right. One wider point around this,


I think the media firestorm it's fair to say around this has a


dangerous side-effect. It tends to narrow the debate down to, it's just


a VIP thing, it's just a celebrity thing. The more general point is


that most of the abuse of children happens within a family environment,


or a wider community environment. That is the failure to recognise


that. That is another point of agreement because your piece today,


your broader concern that the police are too conscious of public and


press opinion when they come to choose what they are doing? I think


that's true. I think in normal circumstances, had they had this


particular case brought to them, they would not have regarded it as


being true and credible. They were carried away, I think we will


discover, by the fact that there had been a public furore, and something


that to me looks like it did make terribly much sense... That Timmy


fails the victims. -- that to me fails the victims. It's not a


question of choosing between this investigation and not doing anything


about child abuse. It's quite the opposite. We need to leave it there.


Thank you very much indeed both. The old saying goes financial


markets have predicted nine Well, with everything going on now,


should we make that ten? The markets have been


gyrating, and gyrating The FTSE is down 9% this year,


and we haven't even reached But before you ready yourself


for a massacre, and go out and stock up on bottled water or canned goods,


you should ask whether the economic So let's have a go at making


sense of what's going on. Start big and then


we will zoom down. China isn't performing as it was,


and that's causing problems Western countries were hoping


to sell their wares there, In fact, just this morning


manufacturing figures came out for Britain, and they


were pretty poor. Output of factories


shrinking not growing. Over in the US, the chair


of the Federal Reserve admitted today it's all enough


to make us wary. As is always the case, the economic


outlook is uncertain. Foreign economic


developments in particular Now the next thing to worry about,


there isn't much ammo in the central That's worrying enough,


but then some central banks have resorted to a weird new weapon,


negative interest rates. Yup, the central bank


says to ordinary banks if you want to keep your


cash with us, you pay, I do not think anybody thought


genuinely that one of the world's biggest central banks,


let alone two, would go This is supposed to be


unprecedented, and remember It's become all the fashion as a way


of persuading banks not to sit The ECB, Japan and Sweden,


among others, are trying it. Which allows us to zoom


in to the next level You see, when interest rates


are negative, banks That's one reason why their shares


are being pummelled right now. The era of banks not meant to be


sitting on their money is one Then we can zoom a little


further into market fears. Not just banks, one bank


in particular, Deutsche Bank. It's not a pipsqueak,


and there are concerns it may need to buttress its finances,


raise more capital. Its share price is down


even more than the rest. Deutsche Bank were already


struggling in the good times. They had a high cost


base and were really Then you get a downturn,


their share price falls and on top It is a toxic mix


for a company that was The bank says it's fine,


and its share price jumped today, but nobody wants to think of big


banks even having to answer With me now are Pippa Malmgren,


who was an economic advisor to President George W Bush,


and John Bilton, who is Head of Global Multi-Asset Strategy at JP


Morgan Asset Management. How worried are you? How worried


should you really be as opposed to market worries? Markets are very


worried, but it is not only about the issue you have talked about.


There are many issues. The Chinese reserves have suddenly collapsed and


the IMF says they have fallen to below the level of the safe zone.


The country everybody thought was so rich. Saudi Arabia have announced


their Macs have to do a dead issue because the oil prices are low and


they are saying they may have to sell their crown jewels. Economies


are in trouble. This is problematic. The US started raising interest


rates and are not going to reverse, which is a positive sign, not


negative, but people are nervous about the higher interest rate


environment from the US. The markets are famously fragile and will jump


at the first thing. How worried should they be? When I calibrate


markets I think about the level of growth, whether there is liquidity,


and deal risks. One of the things we have at the moment is that most of


the major economies are growing but not very much, a couple of percent


in the UK and the US and perhaps under that in the eurozone. When we


see liquidity being withdrawn, by the central bank or because reserve


managers are no longer buying assets and tail risks are picked up... You


mean these small things... Exactly, politics, issues in markets like


China. Financial markets have to be calibrate and if growth is not


strong enough to offset these then markets have to repriced. This is an


mike interesting idea. What is going on is there has been a shift. The


markets know the prices they had our roll but it is a messy business to


get the new prices. China has slowed down. A famous investor back in the


day used to say the markets were e-voting machine in the short term


and a weighing machine in the long-term. Voting processes are


messy. As we begin to weigh the level of growth than the true level


of risk and liquidity, and we get support from central banks, who do


not want to see that financial system fail, we will see, times


ahead but the idea we get some sort of sharp rebound once the market


finds its feet is also wide of the mark. This is probably going to be


year of some concern but positive growth. Central banks doing stuff,


everybody thinks about the fact that the central banks do not really have


anything left. No. The central banks have no alternative plan. Someone


asked if I thought they had the plan in the first place. This negative


interest rate idea which people have a hard time getting their head


around. Central banks have no experience of doing it. If I want to


give my money to the British government I have to pay the British


government. You play borrow money -- pay to borrow money, we did not know


you had to pay to save money. Compelled to put your money to work


on something like property or the stock market. It is a mechanism for


forcing you to take risk you might not otherwise take. But just banks.


The onus will be passed on. When I put my money in the bank they charge


me. They are going to charge you more. Without a doubt. They have to


make the money up somewhere. It has to be already streakers, including


the public. How worried should we be? -- all risk takers. If the banks


are operating in a low interest environment it is hard for them to


make money. Concern over earnings is not surprising. What has come back


some of the non-performing loan concerns and places like Italy have


been back on table again. The banks are way better capitalised. Are


they? I remember people saying that in 2005. Yes, but we were down to 3%


and it is into double figures. They are. They conducted a series of


stress tests which demonstrated how the banks could and would behave in


this kind of environment. The capital structures are safe. Is


there anything more to fear than fear itself? That is the problem.


Markets are over estimating fear. With the oil price this law people


are thinking maybe the value of the investment banks have to be written


down and it is the losses that they have not fully considered, to China,


to oil, to the tech sector. Things to be gloomy about, but let us not


overdo it until we have more information.


You may remember the name from the 1980s - a chemical compound


that was recognised as dangerous decades ago.


In fact the use of PCBs in this country was outlawed in 1981,


but it still persists in the environment.


Scientists are now warning that they could wipe out Europe's


Researchers have held a crisis meeting this week to discuss


Our reporter has more, and we should warn those


with delicate sensibilities there are some quite graphic


Intelligent, formidable hunters, graceful swimmers.


Killer whales and dolphins are everyone's favourite


marine mammals but in Europe's oceans their numbers have been


This is the Zoological Society of London, where scientists have


been trying to figure out what has been


Whenever you hear up of a cetacean being


stranded on the UK coastline the team here become involved.


When a marine mammal is found dead a marine


investigation gets under way as quickly as possible.


Today it is this harbour porpoise that was found washed up


on the beach in Devon that is about to undergo its postmortem.


Scientists are finding in case after case these animals'


bodies are loaded with a toxic chemical that many of us thought


PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were


Heralded for their stability, they were used


in everything from plastics to paints, lubricants and cement.


It was later realised PCBs are toxic,


hence a sequence of bans across the world through much


Despite this, PCBs have stuck around.


Many landfill sites contain the materials that use them


and they are leaching into the waterways,


working their way into the marine food chain.


This is the blubber sample we take which is what


we would test for the chemical pollutants.


Around Europe, tests are being carried out on over 1000


Every single one was contaminated with PCBs.


You can see the skin and the blubber, the blubber layer,


the PCBs are invisible, the invisible killer,


This doctor is one of the researchers in this area.


The levels of the PCBs in some species in Europe are the highest


If we have very high concentrations then there is a range of toxic


effects and probably the one we are most worried


about is the suppression of reproduction, that


basically the dolphins stop reproducing normally,


and we think it is having a devastating effect


With samples of the blubber removed for testing they are able to open


What we have actually found is that the animal is pregnant


Also the cervix is dilated so I can get my


hand through so she has obviously recently aborted.


There is no foetus in here and it does look as if there


This infection proved to be the cause of death for both


The doctor believes marine mammals are more susceptible to such


infections when they have a high concentration


This line is the threshold for what is


considered to be tolerable level of PCBs in animals.


Harbour porpoises are doing badly enough but look at the levels found


It is estimated 1.1 million tonnes of PCB contaminated


The darkest areas of red show the parts of Europe with the most


PCB laden material yet to be disposed of.


We are dealing with a big legacy, but you need to make


sure that the marine mammal problem is kept in proportion.


We have had PCB problems in other marine


mammals in the past, for instance seals in the Baltic.


The seal population is now recovering.


The PCB problem has not completely gone


away but it has been largely dealt with.


It takes quite a lot of time to take these PCBs out of the system.


PCBs can be cleared to help future generations but it is not easy.


One way is incineration of the remaining


materials that contain them but to do the job temperatures must


If we could get the PCB concentration down now


significantly, and that is a big ask, but if we could do that I think


these populations would eventually recover, so there is a reason


for optimism but if we do not do anything we will slowly lose


the last few killer whales and it will


be a terrible tragedy, it really will.


But, away from the picket lines, negotiations seem to be coming


Today, you might have noticed junior doctors have been on strike.


But, away from the picket lines, negotiations seem to be coming


to an end without the doctors' union and the government having come


So ministers may be about to impose new terms and conditions


on junior doctors, whether they like it or not.


So, Chris, what has actually happened in terms of negotiations?


Normally at the end of a striking day or in the middle of one as we


are now, you talk about turnout, how has the strike gone? The big thing


that has happened today has been an exchange of letters between someone


called Sir David Dalton, who is negotiating for the Government, and


the leader of the doctors union. The letter makes a number of points that


they would like the BMA to accent, tweaks to the contract. The say this


is their final offer, if the BMA don't accept it, negotiations are


over and the BMA will -- the government will impose a contract on


junior doctors. We could get an imposition of a new contract within


the next week. Right. So what actually happens then? Do the


doctors say OK, we've lost, and go back to work? This is a political


game. It is fundamentally a question of whether the BMA thinks that if


they continue to strike and fight, and they would have legal right to


continue striking over this, they would retain public sympathy and


they would be able to cause enough political discomfort for Jeremy Hunt


and David Cameron that they will eventually backed down and they will


be able to win new concessions. It's quite happy that the Government is


happy to let things like this come out and they will put the squeeze


on. We may find that tomorrow morning the BMA comes and say three


out of four of those points we are quite happy with, is that enough? It


certainly looks like it's coming to quite a confrontational head at the


moment. "All my life, I had been a liar,


a thief and a cheat". The opening words of a new memoir


from a man who calls himself Locked up for 20 years for his part


in two brutal murders, the book is about childhood,


prison and redemption. We'll talk to Mr James in a moment,


but first our reporter looks back Erwin James' prison sentence aged 28


would perhaps have come as no After his mother died when he was


seven and with an absentee, alcoholic and violent father,


Erwin had lived a life of crime. In 1982, during a series


of robberies and muggings, He fled to Lille and joined


the French Foreign Legion. A judge described him as brutal,


vicious and callous, and sentenced him to 14 years behind


bars, a prison term Erwin was in grim company,


as he describes in his book. But two discoveries whilst in prison


changed Erwin's life. The first was meeting Joan,


a prison psychologist who made him The second discovery


was his ability to write, well. And he was commissioned to pen


a column on prison life under a pseudonym for the Guardian


newspaper, with all In this new book, for which Erwin,


controversially for some, will keep the proceeds,


he goes further than ever Is this just the latest act of self


justification by Or is his frankness to tell


all a sign of how rehabilitated An all too rare example


of what David Cameron was calling for earlier this week


when he visited this Today Erwin takes another step


in his public rehabilitation. Good evening, thanks for coming in.


20 years for those two murders. Did you think that punishment fit the


crime? I mean, that's a question I can't really answer. I took what was


coming to me. The judge sentenced me to the mandatory life term, two life


terms. Was the punishment enough? A lot of people would say not long


enough. A lot of people would say I should have been executed. We are


not very forgiving or tolerant. But you're not a bitter? You don't feel


you were mistreated? You accept you had done wrong? I knew I deserved to


be there. Most people know that. It's what happens when you're in


there that is of interest to me. You go into a lot of detail. It's


conspicuous that you don't detail the actual crimes. I wonder why you


felt you didn't want to put the murders in the book. You don't hide


them, obviously the newspaper accounts are there, but it's not


something you... I think I've caused enough pain already for people. I


think starting to be overly expressionistic about those terrible


events would just be too appalling. It's bad enough for some people,


it's distressing that I'm actually here talking to you and I've written


a book and become a writer. This was never in my plan. When I went to


jail, I never had a plan. There was no sense I was going to live again.


I'm not going to ask you to detail them but do you remember the murders


vividly? Absolutely. Do you feel like you are the same human new word


then? You've obviously had an enormous journey since then. I'm the


same man but I went into prison without any real character, without


any real sense of morality or honesty or integrity, any of that


sort of stuff. And I just, it was a journey in their, I mean, it was


about survival but it was also a learning experience for me. Prison


is a place where, it's a robust place, a precarious place. What


there's an army of people working in those prisons trying to help people


like I was trying to become better people. It's not about just giving


me a better lifestyle but so that we come out and not harmed more people.


Redemption is a really interesting topic. As you say, there are a lot


of people who would like to see the murderers hanged. I wonder whether


you think we just underestimate the capacity for redemption. Did you see


people in prison who were unredeemable and some who were


redeemable? I was in prison with every type of offender you could


imagine. I was among the worst of the worst. For 20 years I lived with


every type of offender you can imagine. I'm not a spokesperson or


an apologist for prisoners, I'm not a flag waver for prisoners's writes,


but the vast majority of people I met in jail had the desire not to be


criminals. But the prison experience makes it almost, not impossible but


makes it very difficult for people like I was to overcome those


obstacles and become more than we were when we went to prison. Do you


feel you are accented back? Example, do you tell your neighbours and


friends about your background and history? I mean, now you are


publishing a book. But I just wonder whether it's something... I don't


like to broadcast the worst about myself, Evan. I'm not saying I'm


redeemed. I might hope I'm ready double, but I don't say I'm


redeemed. -- I might hope I'm redeemable. I live a reasonably


law-abiding life, I do the best I can. I'm grateful I live in a


society that gives people like me a second chance. I know that often


it's begrudging, that second chance. We have a society that gives people


a second chance. Your book is under the name Erwin James. Your real name


is James Monaghan. My real name is Erwin James Monaghan. Are you living


as Erwin James? Do you think of yourself as to people, almost? Not


really. I mean, my family, when they hear me called James, they laugh.


I've got an uncle Jim and a cousin James. I have always been Erwin, but


in prison Erwin was an unusual name, so I became James, I became big Jim


in prison, which is quite a nice thing because big Jim was quite a


helpful, dependable person. I quite liked that person. Let's talk about


prison a bit. You would come out and think of yourself now not as a


spokesman for prisoners but as dumping of a prison reformer. You


think it can be better come right? I certainly believe that. I try and


support charities like the reader Organisation, the writers in prison


network. I tried as a board people who try to use prison effectively


and creatively and intelligently. -- try to support people. Do people get


annoyed that you, who committed a crime, as someone trying to reform


prison? Maybe you have to set it up as a way of reducing crime rather


than making prisoners's lights better? I'm not a campaign or a


reformer, Evan. I'm just a writer. I was born a writer -- I became a


writer on prison landing. I support prison reform not to make


prisoners's lives better so that they can have a better time. My


first ten years I just had a bucket a toilet, a bed. Politicians outside


were telling people that I was living in a holiday camp and it


would stop. If we want to think about prisons, we have to know about


prisoners and the truth about prisoners, so that... Nobody likes a


and all but surely we want criminals to come out of prison less harmful


and less likely to cause crime. If we don't use our prisons effectively


we are letting down future victims of prison levers. That's all we have


time for, I'm afraid. Emily will be here tomorrow. Until then, good




Are the Met to blame over child abuse investigations? Is the big crash back on? Dolphins have been poisoned in Europe. Plus unmaking a murderer - we meet Erwin James.

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