21/03/2016 Newsnight


21/03/2016

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.


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Transcript


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

:00:00.:00:07.

Three days after the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith,

:00:08.:00:10.

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

:00:11.:00:16.

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

:00:17.:00:19.

compassionate, one-nation Conservative Government

:00:20.:00:22.

and I commend this statement to the House.

:00:23.:00:25.

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

:00:26.:00:28.

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

:00:29.:00:32.

the Chancellor of the Exchequer's last Budget?

:00:33.:00:37.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is with us to bring order

:00:38.:00:42.

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

:00:43.:00:50.

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

:00:51.:00:53.

a new chapter in Cuban-American relations.

:00:54.:00:57.

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

:00:58.:01:00.

permit him this foreign policy legacy?

:01:01.:01:04.

Will we still be bothering to tweet at 20?

:01:05.:01:10.

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

:01:11.:01:14.

to your cause, particularly for the left.

:01:15.:01:17.

Twitter is a very big echo chamber of conversations.

:01:18.:01:27.

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

:01:28.:01:34.

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

:01:35.:01:40.

was announced in some confusion and ambiguity.

:01:41.:01:42.

A full-blown crisis of Government authority, with pervasive

:01:43.:01:47.

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

:01:48.:01:49.

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

:01:50.:01:52.

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

:01:53.:01:55.

in particular, Chancellor George Osborne's hopes of rising

:01:56.:01:58.

Let's start with him and the politics of this

:01:59.:02:03.

Here's our political editor, David Grossman.

:02:04.:02:11.

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

:02:12.:02:13.

in the Chancellor's Budget, but really, set

:02:14.:02:16.

in the context of total Government spending,

:02:17.:02:18.

There is a gaping void in the Government, or more

:02:19.:02:24.

specifically, the Chancellor's reputation.

:02:25.:02:27.

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

:02:28.:02:30.

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

:02:31.:02:32.

Does the Shadow Chancellor really want to talk

:02:33.:02:38.

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

:02:39.:02:52.

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

:02:53.:02:56.

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

:02:57.:03:02.

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

:03:03.:03:07.

putting the Government in possible conflict with the European

:03:08.:03:09.

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

:03:10.:03:14.

Minister to persuade his great friend to either come here and

:03:15.:03:18.

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

:03:19.:03:22.

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

:03:23.:03:26.

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

:03:27.:03:30.

interests of everyone in this country, particularly those with

:03:31.:03:36.

disabilities. This was easily the worst weekend for the Government

:03:37.:03:40.

since the election. The departing Work and Pensions Secretary laying

:03:41.:03:43.

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

:03:44.:03:47.

Talk to enough Conservative MPs around this place and it becomes

:03:48.:03:51.

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

:03:52.:03:58.

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

:03:59.:04:01.

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

:04:02.:04:05.

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

:04:06.:04:10.

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

:04:11.:04:14.

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

:04:15.:04:19.

Chancellor in Downing Street today. Instead the Prime Minister was

:04:20.:04:23.

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

:04:24.:04:30.

after apparently reacting with a four letter tirade at Iain Duncan

:04:31.:04:34.

Smith resignation last Friday, today he was complimentary about his

:04:35.:04:39.

former Cabinet colleague My right honourable friend contributed an

:04:40.:04:41.

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

:04:42.:04:45.

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

:04:46.:04:49.

continue to give the highest priority to improving the life

:04:50.:04:51.

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

:04:52.:04:58.

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

:04:59.:05:01.

insulted, particularly by the way the Chancellor and the Prime

:05:02.:05:05.

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

:05:06.:05:09.

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

:05:10.:05:13.

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

:05:14.:05:16.

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

:05:17.:05:20.

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

:05:21.:05:24.

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

:05:25.:05:28.

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

:05:29.:05:31.

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

:05:32.:05:35.

comes together easily after all the exertions of the referendum through

:05:36.:05:39.

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

:05:40.:05:43.

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

:05:44.:05:48.

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

:05:49.:05:53.

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

:05:54.:05:56.

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

:05:57.:06:03.

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

:06:04.:06:09.

compassionate and farewell fair system should not just be about

:06:10.:06:12.

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

:06:13.:06:16.

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

:06:17.:06:21.

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

:06:22.:06:24.

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

:06:25.:06:28.

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

:06:29.:06:32.

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

:06:33.:06:36.

reputation. Something to look forward to.

:06:37.:06:39.

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

:06:40.:06:41.

understand what's going on in her Government.

:06:42.:06:44.

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

:06:45.:06:54.

Government lost sight of compassionate conservatism agenda in

:06:55.:06:57.

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

:06:58.:07:00.

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

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

:07:06.:07:09.

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

:07:10.:07:14.

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

:07:15.:07:19.

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

:07:20.:07:23.

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

:07:24.:07:27.

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

:07:28.:07:31.

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

:07:32.:07:36.

other reforms announcements demonstrate that we are, as the

:07:37.:07:40.

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

:07:41.:07:42.

compassionate Conservative Government. I want you to look at a

:07:43.:07:47.

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

:07:48.:07:51.

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

:07:52.:07:54.

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

:07:55.:07:58.

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

:07:59.:08:03.

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

:08:04.:08:10.

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

:08:11.:08:14.

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

:08:15.:08:17.

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

:08:18.:08:22.

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

:08:23.:08:27.

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

:08:28.:08:31.

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

:08:32.:08:39.

impact of the different per centiles. The richest are paying

:08:40.:08:43.

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

:08:44.:08:46.

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

:08:47.:08:50.

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

:08:51.:08:54.

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

:08:55.:08:58.

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

:08:59.:09:02.

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

:09:03.:09:05.

were bearing the brunt this Parliament and the rich bearing none

:09:06.:09:09.

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

:09:10.:09:12.

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

:09:13.:09:15.

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

:09:16.:09:21.

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

:09:22.:09:25.

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

:09:26.:09:31.

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

:09:32.:09:35.

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

:09:36.:09:39.

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

:09:40.:09:44.

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

:09:45.:09:48.

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

:09:49.:09:51.

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

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

:09:55.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:04.

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

:10:05.:10:09.

alongside this. I look carefully at the distributional impact analysis

:10:10.:10:12.

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

:10:13.:10:16.

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

:10:17.:10:20.

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

:10:21.:10:24.

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

:10:25.:10:27.

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

:10:28.:10:35.

that one nation conservatism, compassionate conserve Tim --

:10:36.:10:39.

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

:10:40.:10:43.

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

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

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

:10:52.:10:55.

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

:10:56.:11:02.

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

:11:03.:11:06.

Government in terms of helping people to have a living national

:11:07.:11:09.

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

:11:10.:11:16.

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

:11:17.:11:18.

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

:11:19.:11:22.

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

:11:23.:11:27.

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

:11:28.:11:30.

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

:11:31.:11:34.

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

:11:35.:11:39.

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

:11:40.:11:45.

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

:11:46.:11:49.

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

:11:50.:11:54.

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

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

:12:00.:12:02.

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

:12:03.:12:09.

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

:12:10.:12:13.

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

:12:14.:12:19.

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

:12:20.:12:23.

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

:12:24.:12:27.

with the introduction of the independence payments and the way

:12:28.:12:30.

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

:12:31.:12:34.

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

:12:35.:12:39.

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

:12:40.:12:44.

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

:12:45.:12:47.

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

:12:48.:12:51.

achievements of the last Government and this current one is the

:12:52.:12:55.

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

:12:56.:12:58.

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

:12:59.:13:01.

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

:13:02.:13:05.

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

:13:06.:13:10.

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

:13:11.:13:13.

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

:13:14.:13:18.

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

:13:19.:13:23.

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

:13:24.:13:28.

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

:13:29.:13:32.

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

:13:33.:13:36.

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

:13:37.:13:39.

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

:13:40.:13:44.

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

:13:45.:13:49.

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

:13:50.:13:54.

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

:13:55.:13:57.

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

:13:58.:14:02.

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

:14:03.:14:06.

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

:14:07.:14:11.

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

:14:12.:14:15.

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

:14:16.:14:20.

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

:14:21.:14:25.

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

:14:26.:14:29.

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

:14:30.:14:33.

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

:14:34.:14:37.

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

:14:38.:14:41.

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

:14:42.:14:43.

developed world. These are significant achievements. The only

:14:44.:14:47.

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

:14:48.:14:50.

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

:14:51.:14:53.

across Government in terms of their departments. Those are big

:14:54.:14:57.

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

:14:58.:15:02.

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

:15:03.:15:07.

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

:15:08.:15:11.

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

:15:12.:15:16.

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

:15:17.:15:19.

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

:15:20.:15:24.

Which have to work their way through, like the full

:15:25.:15:27.

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

:15:28.:15:33.

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

:15:34.:15:38.

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

:15:39.:15:42.

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

:15:43.:15:47.

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

:15:48.:15:52.

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

:15:53.:15:56.

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

:15:57.:15:59.

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

:16:00.:16:04.

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

:16:05.:16:08.

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

:16:09.:16:13.

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

:16:14.:16:15.

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

:16:16.:16:20.

the Government is facing today on its own manifesto

:16:21.:16:22.

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

:16:23.:16:25.

more a guide to shooting yourself Well, those twin ambitions

:16:26.:16:27.

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

:16:28.:16:32.

so useful at election time in making Labour look weak,

:16:33.:16:35.

have proved awkward in power. The words petard and

:16:36.:16:37.

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

:16:38.:16:44.

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

:16:45.:16:47.

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

:16:48.:16:50.

editor, Chris Cook. Working age welfare has been cut

:16:51.:17:01.

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

:17:02.:17:05.

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

:17:06.:17:10.

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

:17:11.:17:15.

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

:17:16.:17:19.

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

:17:20.:17:24.

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

:17:25.:17:27.

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

:17:28.:17:33.

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

:17:34.:17:38.

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

:17:39.:17:44.

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

:17:45.:17:47.

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

:17:48.:17:54.

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

:17:55.:17:58.

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

:17:59.:18:01.

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

:18:02.:18:06.

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

:18:07.:18:09.

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

:18:10.:18:13.

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

:18:14.:18:18.

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

:18:19.:18:22.

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

:18:23.:18:28.

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

:18:29.:18:32.

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

:18:33.:18:35.

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

:18:36.:18:39.

assessment. Mr Duncan Smith accelerated existing plans to check

:18:40.:18:42.

whether most incapacity benefit claimants should really be on

:18:43.:18:48.

welfare. Idea was the work capability assessment would save

:18:49.:18:52.

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

:18:53.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:05.

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

:19:06.:19:10.

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

:19:11.:19:15.

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

:19:16.:19:21.

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

:19:22.:19:25.

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

:19:26.:19:30.

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

:19:31.:19:33.

physical and mental health conditions, the complex co-morbidity

:19:34.:19:40.

when people have all sorts of different problems affecting them,

:19:41.:19:44.

and the relatively low qualified people doing the assessments just

:19:45.:19:50.

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

:19:51.:19:53.

benefit and save money was the so-called Personal Independence

:19:54.:20:02.

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

:20:03.:20:06.

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

:20:07.:20:17.

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

:20:18.:20:21.

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

:20:22.:20:25.

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

:20:26.:20:30.

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

:20:31.:20:34.

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

:20:35.:20:39.

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

:20:40.:20:44.

There were supposed to be 5.5 million people on universal credit

:20:45.:20:48.

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

:20:49.:20:53.

and I have been questions about whether the Government without Mr

:20:54.:20:57.

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

:20:58.:21:02.

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

:21:03.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:09.

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

:21:10.:21:12.

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

:21:13.:21:18.

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

:21:19.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:25.

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

:21:26.:21:30.

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

:21:31.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:35.

who was an expert advisor to Iain Duncan Smith under

:21:36.:21:37.

the coalition Government, and is now senior research director

:21:38.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:48.

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

:21:49.:21:53.

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

:21:54.:21:56.

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

:21:57.:22:00.

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

:22:01.:22:03.

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

:22:04.:22:09.

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

:22:10.:22:12.

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

:22:13.:22:16.

difficult, and I think the best illustration is universal credit

:22:17.:22:19.

where division is absolutely right but we are seeing that constantly

:22:20.:22:22.

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

:22:23.:22:27.

completely the tension between reforming the system and saving

:22:28.:22:33.

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

:22:34.:22:38.

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

:22:39.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:04.

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

:23:05.:23:08.

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

:23:09.:23:12.

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

:23:13.:23:15.

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

:23:16.:23:21.

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

:23:22.:23:24.

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

:23:25.:23:29.

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

:23:30.:23:32.

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

:23:33.:23:36.

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

:23:37.:23:41.

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

:23:42.:23:46.

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

:23:47.:23:52.

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

:23:53.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:02.

work capability assessment failing? They were misconceived. With

:24:03.:24:07.

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

:24:08.:24:10.

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

:24:11.:24:15.

where you have a different department that is constantly coming

:24:16.:24:20.

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

:24:21.:24:23.

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

:24:24.:24:35.

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

:24:36.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:43.

about pension benefits, that the balance between working age and

:24:44.:24:48.

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

:24:49.:24:54.

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

:24:55.:24:57.

maintain those pension benefits, and politicians should stand by the

:24:58.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:06.

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

:25:07.:25:11.

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

:25:12.:25:16.

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

:25:17.:25:19.

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

:25:20.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:32.

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

:25:33.:25:36.

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

:25:37.:25:41.

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

:25:42.:25:47.

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

:25:48.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:01.

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

:26:02.:26:07.

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

:26:08.:26:12.

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

:26:13.:26:14.

compassionate conservatives certainly because he has to make

:26:15.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:22.

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

:26:23.:26:25.

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

:26:26.:26:30.

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

:26:31.:26:33.

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

:26:34.:26:36.

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

:26:37.:26:41.

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

:26:42.:26:45.

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

:26:46.:26:49.

both. Thank you both very much indeed.

:26:50.:26:51.

When President Obama steps aside in ten months' time,

:26:52.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:26:56.

America's hostility to the country had looked anachronistic,

:26:57.:27:02.

And President Obama has rectified that by opening relations.

:27:03.:27:05.

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

:27:06.:27:08.

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

:27:09.:27:11.

Our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, has been wondering.

:27:12.:27:16.

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

:27:17.:27:25.

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

:27:26.:27:31.

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

:27:32.:27:34.

presidential party, they Havana glanced in these shots look near

:27:35.:27:38.

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

:27:39.:27:46.

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

:27:47.:27:49.

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

:27:50.:27:58.

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

:27:59.:28:03.

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

:28:04.:28:08.

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

:28:09.:28:11.

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

:28:12.:28:18.

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

:28:19.:28:27.

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

:28:28.:28:31.

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

:28:32.:28:42.

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

:28:43.:28:52.

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

:28:53.:28:54.

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

:28:55.:29:00.

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

:29:01.:29:05.

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

:29:06.:29:10.

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

:29:11.:29:14.

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

:29:15.:29:26.

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

:29:27.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:33.

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

:29:34.:29:38.

foreign policy divide between Secretary Clinton and Senator

:29:39.:29:43.

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

:29:44.:29:56.

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

:29:57.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:01.

United States to be consistently reliable. Events have also

:30:02.:30:07.

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

:30:08.:30:12.

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

:30:13.:30:16.

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

:30:17.:30:21.

acknowledged it now has nearly 4000 troops trying to stabilise the

:30:22.:30:26.

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

:30:27.:30:31.

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

:30:32.:30:35.

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

:30:36.:30:40.

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

:30:41.:30:44.

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

:30:45.:30:49.

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

:30:50.:30:54.

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

:30:55.:30:58.

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

:30:59.:31:03.

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

:31:04.:31:09.

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

:31:10.:31:14.

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

:31:15.:31:21.

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

:31:22.:31:25.

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

:31:26.:31:31.

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

:31:32.:31:40.

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

:31:41.:31:45.

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

:31:46.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:55.

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

:31:56.:31:58.

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

:31:59.:32:01.

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

:32:02.:32:06.

through the whole life cycle of a technology company,

:32:07.:32:08.

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

:32:09.:32:11.

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

:32:12.:32:28.

USP, tweeting in only 140 characters.

:32:29.:32:41.

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

:32:42.:32:52.

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

:32:53.:32:59.

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

:33:00.:33:07.

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

:33:08.:33:12.

Then there's the service Twitter offers as an information

:33:13.:33:15.

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

:33:16.:33:19.

mobile networks and telephone land lines down after the earthquake,

:33:20.:33:26.

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

:33:27.:33:30.

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

:33:31.:33:34.

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

:33:35.:33:39.

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

:33:40.:33:45.

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

:33:46.:33:47.

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

:33:48.:33:52.

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

:33:53.:33:59.

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

:34:00.:34:03.

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

:34:04.:34:07.

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

:34:08.:34:10.

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

:34:11.:34:16.

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

:34:17.:34:20.

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

:34:21.:34:25.

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

:34:26.:34:33.

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

:34:34.:34:39.

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

:34:40.:34:44.

not just the international media, but politicians too really believed

:34:45.:34:47.

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

:34:48.:34:51.

catch demographics, particularly the young. Four more years tweeted

:34:52.:34:55.

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

:34:56.:35:01.

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

:35:02.:35:04.

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

:35:05.:35:11.

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

:35:12.:35:14.

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

:35:15.:35:19.

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

:35:20.:35:24.

campaigning tool. Labour learned hard lessons about Twitter's

:35:25.:35:28.

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

:35:29.:35:33.

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

:35:34.:35:37.

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

:35:38.:35:39.

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

:35:40.:35:44.

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

:35:45.:35:50.

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

:35:51.:35:55.

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

:35:56.:35:57.

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

:35:58.:36:00.

is the feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez,

:36:01.:36:05.

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

:36:06.:36:08.

financial journalist Felix Salmon, Nobody told necessity was going to

:36:09.:36:22.

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

:36:23.:36:26.

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

:36:27.:36:29.

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

:36:30.:36:38.

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

:36:39.:36:43.

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

:36:44.:36:46.

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

:36:47.:36:55.

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

:36:56.:37:02.

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

:37:03.:37:06.

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

:37:07.:37:10.

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

:37:11.:37:14.

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

:37:15.:37:18.

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

:37:19.:37:24.

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

:37:25.:37:30.

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

:37:31.:37:34.

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

:37:35.:37:38.

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

:37:39.:37:42.

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

:37:43.:37:46.

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

:37:47.:37:52.

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

:37:53.:37:58.

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

:37:59.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:07.

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

:38:08.:38:12.

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

:38:13.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:21.

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

:38:22.:38:25.

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

:38:26.:38:29.

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

:38:30.:38:32.

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

:38:33.:38:38.

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

:38:39.:38:41.

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

:38:42.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:51.

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

:38:52.:39:01.

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

:39:02.:39:05.

because people are constantly lirchinging out and retweeting

:39:06.:39:09.

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

:39:10.:39:14.

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

:39:15.:39:19.

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

:39:20.:39:24.

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

:39:25.:39:29.

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

:39:30.:39:33.

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

:39:34.:39:36.

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

:39:37.:39:40.

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

:39:41.:39:48.

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

:39:49.:39:51.

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

:39:52.:39:57.

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

:39:58.:40:01.

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

:40:02.:40:04.

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

:40:05.:40:07.

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

:40:08.:40:12.

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

:40:13.:40:16.

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

:40:17.:40:19.

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

:40:20.:40:24.

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

:40:25.:40:29.

probably speak more freely on Facebook because of the - You

:40:30.:40:33.

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

:40:34.:40:38.

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

:40:39.:40:46.

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

:40:47.:40:50.

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

:40:51.:40:55.

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

:40:56.:41:00.

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

:41:01.:41:04.

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

:41:05.:41:06.

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

:41:07.:41:21.

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

:41:22.:41:28.

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

:41:29.:41:32.

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

:41:33.:41:35.

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

:41:36.:41:38.

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

:41:39.:41:43.

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

:41:44.:41:44.

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.


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