04/08/2016 Newsnight


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It's turning out to be the post that's impossible to fill.


Dame Lowell Goddard has become the third head of the inquiry


into child sexual abuse to step down.


Faced with criticism over the time she's spent abroad


since taking up her post, she offered her resignation this


We'll try to work out what happens to the inquiry now


and we'll ask why it's had such a faltering start.


Also tonight, we didn't get the Brexit budget.


But the Bank of England has given us a Brexit bundle,


a package of measures to prop up the economy.


We are living through a time of considerable uncertainty. One thing


we can do is reduce the uncertainties over the issues over


which we have controlled. Or was it a bit nutty


for the Bank to look so rattled I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't


do that. What is the problem? And will artificial intelligence


help usher in the brave new world It is by any standards a huge


inquiry into an enormous topic. It was originally set


up in 2014 by the then But it got into trouble


before it got going, losing the first two people


who were put in charge - both accused of having connections


that made for conflicts Then it was put on a statutory


footing last year, it was completely reconvened, and all seemed


to be in place. Dame Lowell Goddard,


brought in from New Zealand, She expected it to


last several years. It was all moving slowly,


and so it was not great PR to find Goddard had spent weeks back


in Australasia on top The head of the official inquiry


into past handling of child abuse has resigned. Dame Lowell Goddard, a


New Zealander judge comment Dave noticed today that she will no


longer chair being quest. Her successor will inherit a huge


programme with 13 separate strands covering bodies from the Catholic


Church through to Lambeth Council. The inquiry has had problems since


July 2014 when the then Home Secretary announced it in response


to a rash of abuse revelations. I can now tell the house that the


government will establish an Indic went -- an independent inquiry panel


of experts to consider whether public bodies and other non-state


institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect


children from sexual abuse. Theresa May's first choice to chair the


inquiry in 2014 was Baroness Butler Sloss, a British judge. At her late


brother had been Attorney General in the late 1980s and she might need to


examine his work. After an outcry, she resigned. Then in September


2014, Dame Fiona Woolf was appointed as chair, another lawyer. She


resigned a month later for similar reasons when it emerged she was an


acquaintance of Lord Brittan, whose conduct in the 1980s was also


expected to be reviewed. So, Dame Lowell was appointed in 2015. In


this country, as in other countries, public concern about institutional


failure to protect children from sexual abuse has mounted with the


growing realisation of the sheer scale of this problem. Dame Lowell


faced criticism this week because she spent the equivalent of three


months abroad and the inquiry has yet to hear a witness. I think the


real problem emerged at the hearing last week. Not only did she have to


postpone the hearing into the late Lord Jana for six months after she


had been set -- she had said that she would be hearing evidence from


witnesses, but she seemed completely thrown when counsel for


Leicestershire police asked for a particular order banning publication


of something that had been said, possibly an area of the hearing. The


only assumption I can make is that she simply wasn't up to the job.


Dame Lowell, though, may not be that essential. The inquiry has four


other panellists and a big staff. I personally wonder whether or not we


actually need a chair. Maybe it is too much of a burden for one person.


Everything is finally taking off. I don't think that we should be too


distracted by the unfortunate departure of just one person. The


inquiry continues but, two years in, it is still only getting started.


With me are Raymond Stevenson, founder of Shirley Oaks Survivors


Association and a survivor of abuse himself, and down


the line, Tim Loughton, former Children's Minister.


Good evening to you both. Raymond, what is your reaction to this?


Waiting so long... Let me explain, I was physically abused. The 600


people I represent, half of them were sexually abused, they are going


to be let down in every way, shape or form. They going to be let down.


Some of them went through this 30 years ago in investigations by the


police. Some of them went through this with other investigations. They


kind of really relied on this to be the last swansong, the last chance


to really get justice. Were you happy with Lowell Goddard? We were


unconvinced that this should be handled by one person. We felt there


should be at least six people chairing the separate strands. But


when we spoke to her and when we petitioned, we felt comfortable. But


there was always something lurking in the background, clearly. We're


not so worried about her taking the time off. Was she the right person


for the job in the first place? OK. Tim, why do you think she had to go?


Well, we don't know. I'm deeply disappointed that she has resigned


this evening. It is third time unlucky, as you say, after some


false starts. Theresa May has literally scoured the world to come


up with Lowell Goddard from New Zealand. She had been in place for


18 months. I met her several times and she was in front of the home


affairs Select Committee and we wholeheartedly endorsed her


appointed. She is deeply impressive and I know she is respected by the


people working around her. It's very disappointing and quite baffling


that she has chosen to go today and it's really important that this


inquiry keeps going and the momentum is not lost. The important work it


has already done and the more important work it is now prepared to


do is in no way wasted and can now carry on. Can we just go through a


couple of reasons people have suggested? Maybe she was


inappropriate and needed to go. One is that she took 44 days on top of


her Daniel Levy last year back working or doing other activities in


Australia and New Zealand. Is that a problem? -- on top of her annual


leave. We don't know the full details of that and a lot of that


time it would appear it was spent in Australia where she was looking to


learn the lessons from the Australian Royal commission into


historic sets abuse -- historic child sets abuse which had been


going for many years and was in some ways a precursor of the review that


Theresa May set up back in 2014. I presume she has been doing some


important work there. We've taken so long to get this inquiry, so many


survivors of these ghastly historic sets abuse cases had their hopes


pinning on at last getting to the bottom of the truth of what happened


over many, many decades, a lot of them had put their hopes in Lowell


Goddard, so it is a shame that she has gone but for goodness sake,


let's not keep beating up on those people who have been appointed to do


a really complex and difficult job and one that needs to be done. I do


know if you heard Joshua in Chris Kirk's package saying that to him it


didn't look like she was up to the job, she did not appear to know


enough about the British legal system. In your view, is there


anything in that charge at all? Look at the media, the home affairs


Select Committee, the Home Secretary, the survivors, everybody


else poured over her CV and qualifications add info night when


she was appointed 18 months ago. Everyone agreed that she was a good


appointment and the big issue as to whether she might not be independent


and might know some of the people who were being looked into was the


key question. The fact that she came from New Zealand solved that one. I


had no doubt she was up to the job. She was very impressive when I met


her personally. We unanimously endorsed her. Let's not try to say


she was never up to the job. We don't know exactly why she stood


down but the inquiry needs to get on with its work now. Raymond, within


five minutes of this I was hearing people say it's all part of a


cover-up, they were Ash Nevill wanted this inquiry, it's all done


to undermine the inquiry. Do you believe that? Do you believe there


will be survivors who believe this is all about undermining the wiry?


We have to tell you our position. We absolutely decided to carry out our


own investigations because we were not convinced that this inquiry


would actually happen. We made that very clear at the other inquiry but


although we are participants we reserve the right to pull out. We


think people have to start looking at the conspiracy theory. It's


talked about as if it is pie in the sky that having examined some of the


documents we have, we can understand why there is absolute evidence there


is a cover-up. If people are not willing to talk about it, that's


fine, but we're here today to say we believe it's consistent. Wrong


person, wrong time, should never have been employed, someone needs to


be responsible. This is three times. It doesn't feel like we're just


unlucky any more. People need to be strong enough to say, is there


something untoward going on here? You're shaking your head, I will let


you answer that, but I also want to ask you are what has to be done to


get this inquiry back on track? As briefly as you can, please. Well,


OK, the momentum needs to keep going. As you heard in your report,


the chairman is not the be all and end all, there are hundreds of


people working for this inquiry, four other very distinguished panel


members, a consultant panel of survivors, and academic consultant


panel. Many people part of this inquiry. This needs to go on. The


Home Secretary needs to look at other possible names to take on the


head. The work of the inquiry went on with all the problems we were


having over Baroness Butler Sloss and Fiona Woolf until Lowell Goddard


was appointed as well. But to go back to the conspiracy theories, I


and a stand, people who have had their stories pushed under the


carpet for many years, survivors, may feel very cynical about this.


But those of us who have called for this inquiry for many years and I


note is a now as Prime Minister is absolutely determined that this


inquiry will work and get to the bottom of what happened to so many


people over so many years. Thank you both very much indeed.


So, we keep saying it, we are in uncharted territory.


But today we are in it even more than we were yesterday.


Official interest rates at their lowest since 1694.


And actually, they weren't this low even before 1694, it's just hard


We didn't just get the first change in interest rates for


over seven years today, it was a package of measures.


More quantitative easing, a new corporate bond buying


programme, and a new thing, the Term Funding Scheme,


to make sure the banks pass on the lower rates.


Now, nothing has seemed extraordinary this summer,


but remember for the last few years, we have been hoping


and expecting that financial normality might return.


What we have instead is the next, deeper phase of abnormality.


The Bank of England thinks Brexit is going to do long-term


damage to the economy, which is nothing that


But it also thinks Brexit has done some short-term damage to spending,


which it can ameliorate with these measures.


To explain it all, here's our business editor, Helen Thomas.


The UK economy is taking a real battering. At least, that's the


verdict from the Bank of England. After the vote to leave the European


Union, growth and investment will be lower, the bank forecast.


Unemployment will be higher, and, thanks to the weaker pound,


inflation will rise to above its 2% target, squeezing household income


through Mac. In response, a 4-part plan, bigger and broader than


expected. The benchmark interest rate was cut from half two quarters


of a percent, there is cheaper funding for banks to offset hit to


their profits, more quantitative easing, with ?60 billion in


purchases of UK Government bonds planned, and a new move. Purchases


of ?10 billion of corporate bonds, another effort to lower the cost of


borrowing for companies. In the Black Country, this business owner


is staying upbeat. He has seen a big order from the US since the


referendum, and that will mean new investment in machinery. We would


have preferred to stay. We are staying. We have got to get to grips


with that and be positive about how we deal with the issues that come


up. But the broader picture is worrying. A sharp fall in the PMI


index, a survey measure of activity across manufacturing, services and


construction, clearly had the central bank rattled. Back in


London, the bank's challenge was to calibrate its response, with even


the short-term fallout from Brexit still uncertain and little hard


economic data to go on. The move today smacked of overkill for this


former member of the bank's rate-setting committee. Interest


rates have been so low for so long, it really doesn't justify a further


downward move in interest rates. It isn't going to have much impact, and


there might be more negative effects for savers and for the pound than


positive effects for borrowers. We don't have a lot of economic data


about the position since the referendum, so I think it would be


better to wait until the autumn before making any big judgments


about monetary policy. As usual with exit, however, disagreement is never


far away. If you look at every single piece of data that we have


had since the 24th of June, it is pointing to a fairly abrupt slowdown


in the British economy, possibly recession, some indicators like the


PMI point at more than just a show of recession. If it routes to be too


much, we will see later, but in my view, there was no debate about the


need to come up with more than decent something, and they did.


There was a clear message from the Bank of England today, better to act


early and go big than risk a more severe downturn as a result of the


vote to leave the EU. But that leaves two big questions. First,


what am I does the bank have left is the situation deteriorates from


here? Mark Carney was pretty clear about ruling out negative interest


rates. And second, what help might the bank get from Westminster when


the new Chancellor of the Exchequer unveils his spending plans in the


autumn? On the latter, a rare out work of consensus. The Bank of


England emphasised that Brexit hits the overall potential of the UK


economy in ways it just can't address. In the Midlands, too, the


sense is that the next move. The politicians. I don't think the


interest rate has got that much effect. We finance all our own


development, so if you bring it down from a half of a percent to a


quarter of a percent, not much impact. They can also commit to HS2,


HS2 is not only an infrastructure facility, it is a great employment


opportunity, and it is a good investment for the country. So, the


other important announcement today. A pledge by Philip Hammond that he


would take any necessary steps to support the economy. The Bank of


England surpassed expectations with its package of measures. Perhaps the


next significant milestone for the post Brexit economy is whether the


Chancellor can do the same in the autumn.


Helen Thomas there. I'm joined by Duncan Weldon, former


economics editor of this programme, Brexit campaigner Daniel Hannan and


Pfizer Shaheen, director of the think tank Class. Is Brexit turning


out worse or better than you expected for the economy? I think


most people were expecting some kind of short-term shock. Some of the


numbers show what I would expect. Confidence, jitters, a lot of people


were not expecting the Brexiteer vote, and how shallow that the dip


is, and how long it lasts is all about policy, so it is important


some action is taken. Duncan, do you agree? It is early


days, but the evidence we have so far is pretty bad. Deep dives in


consumer confidence, which is very important, business confidence has


taken a hit. We don't have any hard numbers but everything so far makes


me worried. Come on, Danny! All of that is surveys. What I thought was


interesting was listening to the business owner in that clip, he said


it is pessimistic, but my orders are up, people are investing more, if


you look at what is actually happening rather than asking people


how they feel when they watch all these gloomy reports. We have had a


massive Glaxo Smith Kline investment, Tata saying that they


won't necessarily pull out, Pinewood continuing, Wells Fargo spending


money on EU European HQ in London, so there is no evidence of anything


in the real world. But that is pretty firm data that we have got.


But if you look at even what the bank itself, what the Bank of


England was saying just in May in the run-up to the vote, Mark Carney


said we would be in a technical recession, now he is saying growth


of 0.6%, but the direction is witty good as far as his upward revision


of forecast. Forecasts are going down! The three-year forecast at the


end of the three years, the forecast is now for an economy that is 3%


smaller than it would have been back in May. That is about 40 billion a


year of lost income, and is that better or worse than you would have


thought? As recently as May of this year, the Treasury was saying that


the economy would shrink between 3.6 and 6%, a recession, not slower


growth. The governor of the Bank of England said we would be in


technical recession, or at least there was a strong risk. So already


there sounding more optimistic. Let's just be clear that there is


clearly going to be a slowdown here. This will impact on people's lives,


and what we do about it now is the most important thing to focus on.


That is a very good point. One argument is that monetary policy is


irrelevant to the kind of uncertainty, if companies stop


investing because they don't know whether they will have trade


arrangements that are investment favourable, there is no point in


trying to induce them to make that investment with a cut in interest


rates. To sounded Dickensian, you are pushing on a string. Credit


supply can't make credit demand. The bank is doing everything it can in


the short run, I am not sure it will be enough, and I don't think the


bank thinks will be enough. The bank says, we are doing all of this, and


the economy is still going to slow, unemployment will still increase,


that is a pretty clear signal that the Chancellor needs to do


something. And Faiza, cutting interest rates, we basically have


interest rates as low as they can practically go. This is another


historic low. It might make a bit of difference in terms of money in


pockets for some of those in particular on tracker mortgages,


that will be offset by inflation of course. There are broader measures


we should be thinking about when we think about today's announcement,


essentially before Brexit we had problems in the economy, problems


with debt build-up, the private sector level, and we have to think


also about how these measures will make inequality better or worse.


Theresa May has set out this agenda is important, and today's measures


around quantitative easing make Wealth inequality worse, they make


the rich richer, and that is problematic. Daniel Hannan, some


people say the bank panicked or might have caused panic by making it


look as if you need to throw the kitchen sink at this. I agree with


that. I agree with Duncan, that a quarter percent cut in interest


rates, I think they were too low already, and too low for too long.


You don't look old enough, but you will remember what it was like just


after we left the ERM, Norman Lamont was crucified for saying he could


detect signs of recovery because people were so unsettled by the


change. Actually, looking back, we can see it was the best thing to


happen. Now we have countries from Australia to Uruguay queueing up to


do trade deals with us, we are well out of the problems now overtaking


the eurozone, ten years from now, people will say we should have done


it sooner. Do you agree? Possibly if we make the right decisions now. We


have to make the best of Brexit, certainly, but trade deals done


quickly tend to be bad, so we need to take time. We need to discuss if


we will stay in the common market or not, and what happens going forward,


and that will affect confidence. I do think possibly this could be an


area of isolation as well, so we have to be very careful, and I am


worried that the Bank of England were the first to come up with a


plan, and we haven't heard from the Government yet on their plan, and I


am keen to hear that. I think your point about labour is interesting,


one thing that would be a good confidence boosting measure is to


say in sensitive industries, financial services, fighters --


pharmaceuticals, we will make it easier for them to trade worldwide


and steal a march on the US. Andrea Leadsom says that there will


not be in economic impact of Brexit. She has surely been disproved? The


problem is that throughout the campaign, not just remain


campaigners but the governor of the Bank of England, the Chancellor of


the Exchequer, they were talking about bombs under the economy. You


cannot scare business leaders by saying bad things in newspapers. If


you are broad and you read that George Osborne, Chancellor of the


Exchequer, says we will have an emergency Budget, emergency tax


rises, that is bound to have some impact. We have to leave it there,


thank you all very much indeed. You've heard the phrase,


you know that it means you can But there's more to it


than that, surely? Well, one of Britain's most


prominent businesspeople has the job at IBM, as head of the Internet


of Things business unit there, or the Watson Internet of Things,


Watson being IBM's artificial Harriet Green took over


there at the end of last year after running the travel company


Thomas Cook. She helped turn that company round,


although was embroiled in the controversy over


its unsympathetic reaction to the tragic death of two children


on one of its holidays. A very good evening to you. Let's


start on the Internet of things, that is your new patch. I guess he


will want to understand what it is, but there is no point in giving us


an abstract definition, give us an example of something exciting other


than being able to turn on your heating rightly. Of course. If you


look at all of the data being collected by sensors, it throws out


amazing amounts of information, structured, unstructured. Green


Horizons in China, helping to see the patterns, to analyse the


correlation is, they are able to help reduce pollutants. One of my


favourite little start-ups here in the UK, Bluebell, which is a bell on


a bike which gathers data from other cyclists about what is happening in


the Street, crowd sourced information through the Watson


Internet of things, they actually use that, to be able to make their


travel on the bicycle is safer and better. So some things are already


happening? How does the Internet of things reduce pollution? All of the


information, whether it comes from the weather satellites, from


Government information, plus social media, Watson, with its amazing


capabilities to reason, to correlate these patterns and then to


communicate in natural language to give insight so that the Chinese


government can take action much more quickly on changes in pollutants,


where they are coming from, etc. In fact a 20% reduction in the last


quarter. One is the world by the potential, but at the same time one


wonders whether human beings at the end of it have the capacity to


manage this enormous data-flows, we know there is loads of data washing


over as that isn't captured, that isn't manageable in any way. Is this


going to be the downfall? In the case of having a Watson capability,


this cognitive capability that can help analyse this massive amount of


data, learn about oncology, Watson has learned oncology, and if you


take a country like India with 1 billion people and a thousand


oncologists, to have Watson helping to prevent deaths from cancer, using


these capabilities, it is real life stuff. Let's talk a little about


Brexit because we were talking about it with our chums here, on the


conversation didn't finish before you had to come to you. What is your


take on the effect it has had on our economy? I think we are where we


are. And I think Faiza said it, it is actually what actions we take, so


if we take the technical sector in the UK, which implies 1.5 million


people, ?161 billion of revenue, 500,000 software developers, this is


our opportunity together to be much more agile, to be creating new


start-ups. I think business has an important role to help create jobs


and drive innovation forwards. There are people who say businesses and


fat cats, businesses like yourself, partly to explain public


disenchantment with an economic system, and a lot of the Brexit vote


was a change in the kind of capitalism that you represent... ?


That may well be the case, and what is important now is that business in


its role to help generate jobs, to help create environments where


innovation flows, we have seen recently, things are acquired by


Softbank... And that is a good thing? I think Arm and Softbank are


both part of IBM, they both use the Internet of things, and they have


made commitments to continue investing in Cambridge and to


continue to expand the impact of the Internet of things on people's


lives. I should ask you how you reflect back on your Thomas Cook


days, because the company did improve enormously under you, it did


have this enormous problem, the death of two children, it occurred


way before you were involved in the company at all, but the handling of


it was so botched, everyone acknowledges that. What do you think


when you look back at your time there? I think the role to make


Thomas Cook well so that it could employ the thousands of people that


it employed, could support the customers that it had, really to


transform the business so that it could survive was very important,


and of course with the tragedy that had occurred, making sure that the


health and safety approaches that we had, that this type of tragedy


should never happen again. And if you look at the way that technology,


all of this work to make sure that the monitoring of situations that


occurred don't have to occur again is a very common theme through this.


I should say, we will continue this discussion.


You can send your questions to Harriet


in a Facebook Live chat as soon as we come off air


We will continue talking to Harriet with your questions. But that is


all. Hello. Friday is not looking bad at


all across most of the UK, sunshine pretty much from the word go. A bit


of cloud developing during the day, maybe a few showers across Northern


Ireland and Scotland. But on balance is it is a fine day. You can see a


couple of showers across Northern Ireland, only light and fleeting,


not lasting long at all. 16, 17 in the lowlands of Scotland. The great


thing about Friday is the winds will be light, so in any sunshine it


really will feel very pleasant


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