21/03/2016 Newsnight


With Evan Davis. Can the government recover from Iain Duncan Smith's departure? As Twitter marks its tenth birthday, will it make it to 20? Plus Barack Obama visits Cuba.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 21/03/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



If ever the words "get a grip" had a use, it's now.


Three days after the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith,


the Government's still trying to fight its way out of a corner.


We will continue with this approach in full, because we are a modern,


compassionate, one-nation Conservative Government


and I commend this statement to the House.


But it's been a day of retreat and discomfort.


Will the Prime Minister give us an assurance that this will be


the Chancellor of the Exchequer's last Budget?


Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is with us to bring order


We don't view Cuba as a threat to the United States.


I hope that my visit here indicates the degree to which we're setting


a new chapter in Cuban-American relations.


President Obama goes to Cuba, but will his political foes at home


permit him this foreign policy legacy?


Will we still be bothering to tweet at 20?


You are talking to a lot of people who are already converted


to your cause, particularly for the left.


Twitter is a very big echo chamber of conversations.


If you haven't followed, there are essentially three threads


A big U-turn on welfare cuts, which it has to be said,


was announced in some confusion and ambiguity.


A full-blown crisis of Government authority, with pervasive


back-biting and negative briefing, and an appearance of disarray,


all of which justifies those "Tories in turmoil" headlines.


And thirdly, there's a drama concerning the personalities,


in particular, Chancellor George Osborne's hopes of rising


Let's start with him and the politics of this


Here's our political editor, David Grossman.


In that well-worn Westminster cliche, there is a hole


in the Chancellor's Budget, but really, set


in the context of total Government spending,


There is a gaping void in the Government, or more


specifically, the Chancellor's reputation.


Labour managed to drag a minister to the Commons today to answer


a question on this Budget disarray, but it wasn't the Chancellor,


Does the Shadow Chancellor really want to talk


The Government, though, has climbed down on not only 1. ?1.3 billion


worth of disability benefit cuts, but also, to make sure it wins


tomorrow's Budget vote, it's conceding Opposition amendments on


VAT on tap upons and on -- tampons and on solar panels and insulation,


putting the Government in possible conflict with the European


Commission. The Budget has a big hole in it. It's up to the Prime


Minister to persuade his great friend to either come here and


explain how he's going to fill that hole or perhaps he should consider


his position and look for something else to do, because clearly, he


hasn't been very successful at producing a balanced Budget in the


interests of everyone in this country, particularly those with


disabilities. This was easily the worst weekend for the Government


since the election. The departing Work and Pensions Secretary laying


into the Government and the Chancellor in a round of interviews.


Talk to enough Conservative MPs around this place and it becomes


very clear that the disquiet in the party right now isn't about welfare


per se. Indeed, many of Mr Osborne's and Mr Cameron's severest critics


don't agree with Iain Duncan Smith on the matter. No, it's more about


the way that those at the top of the Conservative Party treat those lower


down, the allegation you constantly hear is they're too dismissive of


those with traditional conservative views. There was still no sign of a


Chancellor in Downing Street today. Instead the Prime Minister was


leaving for the Commons to make a statement on last week's EU Summit,


after apparently reacting with a four letter tirade at Iain Duncan


Smith resignation last Friday, today he was complimentary about his


former Cabinet colleague My right honourable friend contributed an


enormous amount to the work of this Government and he can be proud of


what he achieved. Mr Speaker, let me say this, this Government will


continue to give the highest priority to improving the life


chances of the poorest in our country. That tone was well received


on the Conservative benches, where many are feeling bruised and even


insulted, particularly by the way the Chancellor and the Prime


Minister have treated Conservative advocates of leaving the EU. I don't


wish to be critical of the Prime Minister. I think there's plenty of


time to get this right. I think his judgment of the mood in the House


today is a sign that he's perfectly able to get it right. He was very


respectful of people who wish to leave the European Union. He


understands our passion for a more democratic, freer country that can


spend more of its own money. He just happens to think there are arguments


on the other side. That's the tone he has to strike so that the party


comes together easily after all the exertions of the referendum through


to June. Another blow to George Osborne came from Iain Duncan Smith'


replacement at work and pensions, Stephen Crabb. In confirming a halt


to the planned disability benefit cuts, he took a swipe at Government


by balance sheet. As the Prime Minister indicated on Friday, I can


tell the House that we will not be going ahead with the changes to PIP


that had been put forward. I am absolutely clear, Mr Speaker, that a


compassionate and farewell fair system should not just be about


numbers. Behind every statistic there is a human being. And


perhaps... Perhaps sometimes in Government we forget that. There


was, though, some confusion as to whether the Government was now


abandoning all welfare cuts for the rest of the Parliament. The


Chancellor-shaped hole in today's events will be filled tomorrow by


the man himself, who will speak in defence of his Budget and his


reputation. Something to look forward to.


Well, the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, is here to help us


understand what's going on in her Government.


Very good evening to you. Goning. Good evening. Do you think the


Government lost sight of compassionate conservatism agenda in


the last couple of years, that it became too much about saving money,


at any expense, even from vulnerable people? No, I don't think that at


all. Certainly not in my area of reg indication reform, where we -- of


education reform. Where we are making sure that every child,


regardless of birth or background, gets the education they're entitled


to. Not in terms of the Treasury, or in terms of the manifesto. One of


the biggest things has been about taking people out of paying income


tax. 31 million people are paying less tax now than in 2010. The


introduction of the national living wage, all of those things and many


other reforms announcements demonstrate that we are, as the


Prime Minister said at the end of his statement, a modern,


compassionate Conservative Government. I want you to look at a


graph. This is from the IFS. On the left the incomes of the poorest and


how they're going to change with tax and benefit cuts over this


Parliament. On the right, the incomes of the richest. As you go


from left to right, the poorest to the richest and the big downward


bars are the percentage losses in net income. What you basically see


is that the poorest are losing 5% to 8% or more of their net income. The


top people on the right, the richest, are losing almost nothing,


with the proposed changes. What do you make this afternoon graph? I


think that tells one story in terms of the changes, but actually there's


another graph, which I think is very important in the distribution


analysis impact published alongside the red book, which shows the the


impact of the different per centiles. The richest are paying


more in terms of making contribution to filling the black hole left by


the last Labour Government. Absolutely, correct to say that the


pattern would have been different if we had taken other periods of


coalition or Labour Government measures. This is the 15 to 20, this


is this Parliament, this is the pure Conservative Government. I'm


wondering whether there was a - did you know, for example, that the poor


were bearing the brunt this Parliament and the rich bearing none


of it? It's the first time I've seen the graph. I haven't seen the


workings behind it. It is something that I do look at very carefully,


every time having been in the Treasury, every time a red book and


OBR is published. The fact is by the end of this Parliament, the top 20%


in this country will be paying more in tax than the other 80% put


together. I don't want to get stuck in statistics. This graph describes


what's happened in this Parliament. In effect, shouldn't we worry that


you, in the Cabinet, nodding through these things, have not seen the most


basic distributional analysis of what the Government's plans are for


this Parliament. I agree you can go back to other parliaments and the


picture is more progressive, but this is what you're planning for


this Parliament. It was never described that was. It was never set


out as a now we want to give back to the rich, but is that we're all in


it together? I haven't seen the detailed analysis that goes


alongside this. I look carefully at the distributional impact analysis


published by the Treasury alongside the red book last week, the issue


about people at the top paying more, the top 1% paying 28% of income tax.


But look the broader point you're making - These are the changes, I


appreciate that, but these are the changes. This is what your


Government is planning for this Parliament. Are you happy to call


that one nation conservatism, compassionate conserve Tim --


conservatism, we're all in it together, up to 8% cuts in the


bottom and slight increase in the people in the richest. I don't know


because you haven't shown me this chart before I have sat here on live


TV. I don't know how this takes account of the things like the


raising of the income tax threshold. It includes that. I could have put


the living wage in. That is a huge step for a xapgsate Conservative


Government in terms of helping people to have a living national


wage. It doesn't look much different if you put that in. They all look


like this. You, the minister, Secretary of State, don't even know


that's what the Government is, because you're not presented with


that data. I've made it clear to you that I look at the distributional


ill pact analysis, as I'm sure do colleagues, that's published


alongside the red book. I don't study the IFS figures. I'm looking


at the figures produced by the Treasury and the statistic that the


top 20% are paying more in tax, the top 1% paying 28% of income tax. We


made very clear last year, in the general election campaign, that yes,


we were elected to continue to put a balance back in the economy, to pay


down the deficit, to eliminate the deficit, pay down the debt. We are


not going to do that off the backs of the most vulnerable in society.


Actually Iain Duncan Smith was right to say, wasn't he, that actually the


welfare cuts were being made to cut capital gains tax, 600 million, to


cut tax rates for the people around the higher rate threshold who will


pay less tax, less 40% tax. That's what the pay squeeze was about, not


deficit reduction at all. No, it wasn't about that. There is an issue


with the introduction of the independence payments and the way


that they have worked. We were elected as a Government to bring


control to welfare spending. I think that's still what people very much


expect us to do. They also expect us to get investment from companies for


people to be recognised if they are making investments and they're


employing people. That's also what we've got to do. One of the great


achievements of the last Government and this current one is the


continuing growth in the number of jobs, two million more people


employed. That doesn't just happen overnight. That happens from people


making investment decisions to come here to employ. Some of those


people, as well, who have been helped back to work, by, I might


add, Iain Duncan Smith's reforms when he was secretary for work and


pensions, a record he can be enormously proud of. On Thursday on


Question Time, you described the PIP changes as we've got to finish our


consultation. Yes. Did you misspeak or had you been told to say that?


They did look like policy in the Budget then you turned them into


consultation on the Thursday night. No, I didn't misspeak. What I was


saying was that we still had more conversations to have about those


changes with members of Parliament, with disability groups, with those


who were affected. Yes, the formal consultation had finished, but there


was - But they were in the Budget book as policy and then they were


consultation. I mean, this is the second Budget actually George


Osborne has given, because last year he put tax credit changes that had


to be u turned. Does he not take a big knock to his reputation that


basically every time he announces a Budget we now expect some of it is


going to be withdrawn, or some of it will be described as consultation a


day later? There wasn't a consensus around the proposed changes to the


personal independence payments, not to tax credits last Autumn. Actually


I think it's a measure that the Government list beings to what


people are -- listens to what people are saying and makes changes. The


Chancellor took on a broken economy, not only are there two million more


people employed, the deficit will be down two thirds at the start of the


next financial year, we're the fastest growing economy in the


developed world. These are significant achievements. The only


reason we could spend 1. ?1.6 billion more on schools last week is


because we have that strong economy. That's the same for colleagues


across Government in terms of their departments. Those are big


achievements of this Chancellor. Just to clarify, last point, to


clarify, where there was confusion earlier this evening, Stephen Crabb,


new DWP secretary says no plans to change welfare. Most of us thought


he meant this Parliament. Is that how you interpripted it? Yes, I


think what he's saying is that there are no planned changes. There are


changes that have been set out to welfare previously. Already, yes.


Which have to work their way through, like the full


implementation of universal credit. Obviously, I think any of your


viewers watching would say it would be madness to - It could happen but


no plans. No plans. If everything goes to plan, more or less we've had


all the welfare cuts we're going to have. That is my understanding.


That's your understanding? If you don't understand, you're in the


Cabinet! How are we meant to understand if it's not clear. This


is the day the whole thing was meant to be resolved, you're fighting


back. The new Secretary of State for work and pensions was very clear.


There are no planned changes to welfare in this Parliament. We've


announced some changes. I think Stephen Crabb will be a fantastic -


it's a shame to have lost Iain, but Stephen will be a good Work and


Pensions Secretary. Thank you. Well, you may blame the problems


the Government is facing today on its own manifesto


from the general election last year. It wasn't a suicide note exactly,


more a guide to shooting yourself Well, those twin ambitions


of running a budget surplus and cutting ?12 billion in welfare,


so useful at election time in making Labour look weak,


have proved awkward in power. The words petard and


hoist come to mind. So, let's focus a little more


on where we now stand on welfare, and how far Iain Duncan Smith got


in delivering the Government's aims. Here's our policy


editor, Chris Cook. Working age welfare has been cut


time and again since 2010. Protests against the cuts to disability Ben


have become a regular occurrence. Yesterday, the now resigned Work and


Pensions Secretary seemed to agree with the placard wavers. So why is


it that George Osborne keeps going back to the welfare budget? He


really has few choices, he has boxed himself into that position. First of


all, he said he would like to run a budget surplus in 2019, which would


require spending cuts or tax rises to achieve, but he has said he


doesn't want tax rises, in fact he has pencilled in some tax cuts. And


there are some budget he won't touch, such as pensions and the NHS,


so he has very few options other than a few unprotected departments,


and the working age welfare budget. George Osborne has always believed


you can cut as much as you like for working age benefits and there is no


political pain, because overall the electorate don't really mind, the


people who vote are not affected and they just don't care. Still, it


wasn't supposed to be like this. The tree was we could save money on


welfare by reforming it, getting people into work and making sure


that money is focused on people who need support. I think we are showing


you can come up with some very radical answers if you take Welfare


Reform Bill, radical reform of the welfare state since Beveridge for 60


years, I think it will have a transformative effect, making sure


that everyone is better off in work and better off working rather than


on benefits. An emblem of this reform was the work capability


assessment. Mr Duncan Smith accelerated existing plans to check


whether most incapacity benefit claimants should really be on


welfare. Idea was the work capability assessment would save


money. Here is the DWP 2011 forecast what would happen to the incapacity


benefits Bill after WPA kicked in. You can see it falling, and the


savings just around the corner, and here is 2013, much the same, savings


to come in the future. But they never arrived. The WC a failed. Here


is the OBR's latest forecast of what this bill will look like. You can


see it is rising. The assessments for those benefits are incredibly


conjugated, and what looks simple and Whitehall department isn't that


simple when you get to people's everyday lives, the complexities of


physical and mental health conditions, the complex co-morbidity


when people have all sorts of different problems affecting them,


and the relatively low qualified people doing the assessments just


can't cope. One of Mr Duncan Smith's other ideas to reform disability


benefit and save money was the so-called Personal Independence


Payment, the idea it would replace the disability allowance and save


20%. In practice, the replacement of DLA with PIP has only saved 5%. The


planned savings were only an entry on a spreadsheet, there was never a


plan to deliver them, they could only be delivered by having a much


more stringent medical test, and that wasn't practical. Universal


credit is a slightly different story. That wasn't a plant a


short-term savings, it was a plan to overhaul the whole welfare system,


merging six in work and out of work benefits for working age people.


There were supposed to be 5.5 million people on universal credit


by this point. So far, there are only 200,000. It is way off track,


and I have been questions about whether the Government without Mr


Duncan Smith to push it through will keep going with universal credit.


When it was first planned, it was going to be more generous than tax


credits, so the Treasury didn't mind that much that it got delayed and


delayed. Now it will be less generous, so there is a strong


incentive to the Treasury to push it through. The Treasury now projects


that if it can get universal credit approach, it can save ?2.5 billion


per year this Parliament. Roger Osborne will need that to help it is


surplus target, because in the last few days, it became harder to watch


-- cut working age Alfei any further. Chris Kirkland.


I'm joined by Andrew Mitchell MP, and Charlotte Pickles,


who was an expert advisor to Iain Duncan Smith under


the coalition Government, and is now senior research director


Good evening. Charlotte, two objectives, saving money, just


getting money out of the welfare budget, and reforming welfare. Do


you think they put too much money on saving rather than reforming? I


think that is what ended up happening, yes. If you look at what


Iain Duncan Smith went into Government to do, it was to deliver


a better welfare system that got better outcomes for the people that


received those monies. That tension with the Treasury wanting to save


money, to take billions out of welfare, clearly made that very


difficult, and I think the best illustration is universal credit


where division is absolutely right but we are seeing that constantly


chip away at because savings are needed. Do you accept that? I accept


completely the tension between reforming the system and saving


money, and we have to save money in tackling the deficit, and welfare


was where the money is. But there will always be a tension between the


Treasury, there was 20 years ago when I was a minister in what was


then not DWP but Social Security, there is always that tension, and at


a time of austerities, that tension is very great indeed. Which


Charlotte, you're not just blaming the Treasury for the failures of


Iain Duncan Smith and you working for him to actually deliver the


reforms? Everything he touched didn't quite go to plan, did it?


Universal credit is a fraction of what it should be, the work


capability assessment didn't work, ESA didn't save the money they


expected, so none of it has really worked. I don't think anyone would


say this is a difficult task, but he is a man who is incredibly


principled and committed to trying to deliver a better welfare system,


and if you look at the early indications, the evaluations of


universal credit, people who are on it are getting into work faster,


staying in work longer and earning more competitive people who are not


on it. The WC a hasn't worked, we need a different model, but it was


designed by Labour, and we picked that up. But the things that didn't


work were not not working, because the Treasury had tried to save


money. Was it the not saving money that stopped it rolling out, all the


work capability assessment failing? They were misconceived. With


universal credit, there have been well rehearsed challenges around IT,


problems in that. You can't blame the Treasury. Based on a challenge


where you have a different department that is constantly coming


back, budget after spending review after Autumn Statement Sane, give us


more money, the distraction that causes, the focus that you have on


trying to say, trying to deliver all the time, but they are important


reforms. Andrew Mitchell, did you see any weight in the IDS argument


about pension benefits, that the balance between working age and


pension cuts has been far too heavy on working age population? I think


it is an issue, but we were clear in the general election that we would


maintain those pension benefits, and politicians should stand by the


promises they make. But you would rather they haven't made that


promise? I think it is important to look after pensioners because they


have much less flexible to in their earning and spending power, and


there needs also increase, and most of them have given this country a


great deal in their working life, so I wouldn't say that was a part of


the problem, but there is always this tension, and these big


projects. They are always bedevilled by problems, I think universal


credit is a good change and we have to persevere with it and get it


right. Compassionate conservatism. Who is the guardian of this? Is it


Iain Duncan Smith who many think of as being on the right of the party,


the more harsh, you would say, or is it George Osborne who is now being


portrayed as the guy who is trying to slash benefits? I am absolutely


clear that it is both and they both have a different role to play, the


role of Iain Duncan Smith is to reform the system. He has after all


got 150,000 disabled people back into work for the first time in each


of the last two years, and the George Osborne, a one nation


compassionate conservatives certainly because he has to make


sure we don't imperil the future of the next generations by the debts we


have run up on the size of the deficit today which have got to be


tackled. Who do you think is the more compassionate of those two? You


can't do compassionate conservatism without of economy that is working,


and the Prime Minister made that point today. You can't have


opportunity of jobs are not there, and that is what we have had, we


have had an incredible jobs growth that has enabled people to go to


work, so I will sidestep that and recognise that there is value in


both. Thank you both very much indeed.


When President Obama steps aside in ten months' time,


to who knows what, what will his foreign policy legacy be?


America's hostility to the country had looked anachronistic,


And President Obama has rectified that by opening relations.


But how big a deal is that, given that in geopolitical terms,


Cuba is not as significant as it used to be in the Cold War?


Our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, has been wondering.


What it takes to build a foreign policy legacy these days anyway? The


White House has put its own footage out underlying the historic nature


of this visit. But while there was plenty of excitement in the


presidential party, they Havana glanced in these shots look near


deserted, controlled, a stage for a tightly scripted political drama.


The road ahead will not be easy. Fortunately we don't have to swim


with sharks in order to achieve the goals that you and I have set forth.


As you say here in Cuba, despite the difficulties, we will continue to


move forward. It is a historic visit. We will see how


transformative the policy, obviously there is still resistance in Cuba in


certain areas, resistance here in the United States. The payoff is


going to take some time, but I think as a policy wager it is a reasonable


one. But with today's ceremony at a monument to Cuba's revolutionary


heroes, Mr Obama found himself overlooked by shade of are and under


fire at home. -- Che Guevara. The charge that he is consorting with


the dictator country. He is trying to address an issue that is


important to his ideological and of the spectrum, the far left who sees


Castro is some kind of romantic figure, and more to the point, the


United States as doing wrong by the Cuban people. I think that shows his


misunderstanding of the reality. With Cuba as with many other aspects


of what the president might hope for is his legacy, parties -- partisan


clashes could lead a president to force on a policy that the Obama


administration has invested much in. I think it is interesting that it is


not simply between the parties but within the parties. You have the


foreign policy divide between Secretary Clinton and Senator


Sanders just the same way you have them between Mr Trump, Ted Cruz and


Senator Kasich. That is a reality that all too often has come to


characterise my nation's capitol, and has made it harder for the


United States to be consistently reliable. Events have also


frustrated key elements of the Obama agenda, like trying to get out of


Iraq and Afghanistan. Even today in Havana, he had to pay tribute to a


US Marine killed in Iraq at the weekend, and the Pentagon


acknowledged it now has nearly 4000 troops trying to stabilise the


country the president had once pulled them out of. If Cuba has been


a success for the President's policy, reconciling with adverse


arrays has been an even bigger one in the shape of the Iran nuclear


deal. But that has taken a huge amount of diplomatic and political


effort, dominating the diplomacy of his second term. And some would


argue it has led him to make too many concessions to countries like


Russia and Iran who fundamentally do not stand for the same interest as


the United States. And it's the turmoil in the Middle East that


leads even supporters to accuse Mr Obama of aggregating leadership. The


world is such that unless the United States leads, the bad guys show up,


and we sat on the sidelines in Syria not wanting to really get involved,


for understandable reasons, but we are strong on diplomacy, stronger on


trying to work with the opposition, or else recognise that Assad is in


power and our number-1 goal to get ices out of it safe haven in Iraq


and Syria. -- Isis. And that is where we should have been four years


ago. Ending a blockade on Cuba that hasn't made sense the decades might


seem like a small victory to celebrate, but it is a message of


how hard it has been for Mr Obama to craft distinctive foreign policy


legacy that at this stage he is working it to the max.


Only ten years old today, and yet it's already almost passed


through the whole life cycle of a technology company,


from hope, to excitement, to ubiquity and now to many


Once upon a time, ten years ago, in fact, a little bird was born. Its


USP, tweeting in only 140 characters.


When it comes to breaking news it's hard to imagine operating without


Twitter, even the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound was unknowingly


tweeted by an IT consulted nearby. First tweeted, "Helicopter hovering


here is a rare event." Following that was it clear what he had heard.


Then there's the service Twitter offers as an information


disseminator. Take the Japanese tsunami in the same year, with many


mobile networks and telephone land lines down after the earthquake,


terrified residents went to Twitter and of course, Facebook, for


guidance. Evacuate to higher ground was the advice from government. Many


got that and other information about what to pack in an emergency kit


from social media. But recently, this little bird has had many an


obstacle in its path. The word is that Facebook, Twitter's bigger,


more predatory rival, is winning out. It's been hard to Monday ties


Twitter's value and once the market wised up that growth in users was


slowing, the share price plummeted. Twitter's reputation is built on its


influence on popular opinion. The Arab Spring, seen by some as


possibly its biggest coup, was dubbed the Twitter revolution. That


meant the site was harnessed to spread the word, to galvanise the


people. We can't talk about a Twitter revolution. We cannot talk


about a Facebook revolution. It's the revolution of the people on the


ground, people who faced the tear gas and the bullets. Tunisia,


Twitter is not very popular in comparison to Facebook. But let me


say that Twitter helped enriching international media. For some time,


not just the international media, but politicians too really believed


that Twitter was a powerful tool to connect with those difficult to


catch demographics, particularly the young. Four more years tweeted


Barack Obama on his second term win. Within an hour it was the site's


most popular tweet. This president, Twitter's fourth most followed


person, considered by many to have harnessed the power of social media.


But four years on, certainly when it comes to British elections, Twitter


hasn't played the role that was expected. Linton Crosby the


Conservative election strategist reportedly didn't believe in it as a


campaigning tool. Labour learned hard lessons about Twitter's


influence. I think we did think Twitter was important. We relied on


it a bit too much. I think we got a false impression because we were


getting a very good, strong feed back from Twitter, I think we


thought that's the way the whole country was going. Of course, that


didn't happen as we found to our shock and horror when that exit poll


dropped at 9. 55pm. A lot is asked of this little bird. If questions


mount over its ability to influence opinion, it could find itself not a


bird who can fly but a dead duck. Joining me in the studio now


is the feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez,


who has 35,000 followers on Twitter. And live from New York,


financial journalist Felix Salmon, Nobody told necessity was going to


be a competition! Not a competition. Forget the business model for a


moment, we will talk about that. But as a service, how do you rate


Twitter and what it does and delivers? It's inexpensible. I would


rather have my tweet deck open than have a bloomburg, which is worth


$20,000 a month. It's the only way to keep up with what's going on, to


have conversations with the people who are in the heart of things, to


have - it has an incredibler is endipity engine. -- serendipity


engine. It's nothing like it has ever existed and it's amazing. You


use it a lot, don't you? I use it a fair amount. People suggested to you


you could attach your keys to your dog, so that you wouldn't lose your


keys. It's full of really useful insight. That's true. I absolutely


agree. Yeah, this morning I turned to Twitter because again I locked my


self-out of my flat and you decided there must be a solution. Twitter is


all of those things. But obviously, it has its drawbacks. The draw backs


are that people are really angry on there. It's not just about rape and


death threats. I was thinking the other day, I tweeted about putting,


a guy replied telling me that feminism was cancer. It was a nice,


happy tweet. I didn't really understand it. There's a lot of


anger. You got a lot of nasty stuff, didn't you, after you led a campaign


to have Jane Austin on a banknote. That was the Bank of England's


choice. It was just female representation, just any way, never


mind. But it was horrible. I'm amazed you stayed on. You were


having death threats. I did, I had three weeks' worth of a bombardment


of graphic and detailed rape and death threats. They found an address


and were posting that all over the internet, all over Twitter. It was


terrifying. I stayed on for a number of reasons, one is I'm incredibly


stubborn. The other reasons is what Felix was talking about. It's an


incredibly useful and important tool. It's a journalist, a political


activist, nothing can replace what Twitter does at the moment. It would


be nice if it didn't come with the side order of rape threats. You said


it's not just an echo chamber. For a lot of people it is just an echo


chamber, isn't it? No, I feel, I mean you can set it up that way, if


you want. I feel like you can discover so much with Twitter that


because people are constantly lirchinging out and retweeting


people and linking to sites you've never been to before, remember, it's


a path to the broader internet. This sets it apart from Facebook,


Instagram, Snapchat, all the other social networks because they-to be


enclosed, self-contained. Twitter is much more - it has its fingers


deeper in the web. You learn new things and discover new sites every


day on Twitter. Now Felix, just the business plan, because the business


isn't really rocking in the way that I think the people who bought shares


originally might have hoped. What is wrong with the business plan? Well,


when Twitter went public, I was quite voke alabout the -- vocal


about the idea that the best way to get value out of Twitter was just to


use it rather than buy shares in the hope they would go up. Maybe it


doesn't make a lot of sense as a $30 billion corporation. All


corporations have some kind of value. Twitter's value might be


lower than what the stock market is saying right now. It might be


higher, who knows. I feel that the problem with Twitter is that it went


public and now people are judging it by its share price instead of


judging by the effect it has in the world. Just compare it briefly to


Facebook. How do you use the two, separate the two? I think that I


probably speak more freely on Facebook because of the - You


control your circle more. I control who see it's. I don't have to worry


about rape threats or telling me I'm cancer because I spoke about


pudding. 1. 6 billion monthly users on Facebook, 320 million on Twitter.


I use Twitter to get my message to a wider audience. In Facebook I'm


preach is to the converted. On the whole they agree with emany. With


Twitter I have a chance to talk to people who don't agree with me.


That's an important tool. Thank you both very much indeed.


Newsnight is back tomorrow. I'm here then. Good night.


Hello. It looks like a chilly start to the day on Tuesday, with a touch


of frost in a few spots and patches of mist and fog. Apart from that


it's a bright start to the day. Cloud amounts increase into the


afternoon, leaving southern and eastern areas with a few spells of


sunshine. Further north and west you are, it's likely to be cloudy, but


dry in Northern Ireland. The odd spot of light rain or drizzle for


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.

Can the government recover from Iain Duncan Smith's departure? As Twitter marks its tenth birthday, will it make it to 20? Plus Barack Obama visits Cuba.

Download Subtitles