18/10/2016 Newsnight


18/10/2016

With Evan Davis. Central bankers, child abuse inquiry, homelessness in the 21st century, and Charlie Brooker on Black Mirror.


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Transcript


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This graph shows us interest rates, starting all the way back in 1694.

:00:00.:00:09.

They never ran lower than 2% - not until the 2008 crash.

:00:10.:00:15.

Then they hit the floor and stayed there.

:00:16.:00:18.

Some think this tells us Mark Carney doesn't know what he's doing.

:00:19.:00:22.

The era of easy money, low rates and heavy borrowing has

:00:23.:00:25.

not been great for savers - and the central bank chief

:00:26.:00:27.

The power that is concentrated in his hands, the hands

:00:28.:00:45.

of committees that he sits on, is huge by the standards of any

:00:46.:00:48.

previous predecessor of his, or anyone else in

:00:49.:00:50.

Is that too much for an institution that's not democratically elected,

:00:51.:00:54.

We'll try to work out if central banking has gone wrong,

:00:55.:00:58.

and whether it's time to put less faith in the people in charge.

:00:59.:01:01.

Also tonight, it is fifty years since Cathy Come Home opened

:01:02.:01:03.

the country's eyes to the plight of the homeless.

:01:04.:01:06.

I'm told you lost your place on the list long ago,

:01:07.:01:12.

But we was meant to be one of those families!

:01:13.:01:17.

It was grim then, and for some it is grim now.

:01:18.:01:20.

We'll look at how housing has changed and should change.

:01:21.:01:24.

And If you hate the way technology runs our lives,

:01:25.:01:36.

It's back for a third series, and we've booked Charlie Brooker,

:01:37.:01:39.

As I came in to work today, I did a double take on spotting

:01:40.:01:54.

the headline on the London Evening Standard.

:01:55.:01:55.

It's true inflation did soar, but that was only to an annual

:01:56.:02:01.

But that soaraway 1% makes the point that we are in exceptional times.

:02:02.:02:08.

Independent central banks have pursued the easiest

:02:09.:02:10.

of money, but have struggled to get inflation up.

:02:11.:02:13.

Central bankers have kept interest rates on the floor,

:02:14.:02:17.

and have sometimes burrowed through the lino to get them even

:02:18.:02:19.

lower - with negative rates in some countries.

:02:20.:02:21.

But they are increasingly getting criticised for not

:02:22.:02:24.

helping the economy, while hurting savers.

:02:25.:02:27.

Theresa May joined the chorus in her conference speech

:02:28.:02:30.

and today the former Foreign Secretary William Hague

:02:31.:02:32.

wrote a Telegraph article which claimed that "central Bankers

:02:33.:02:36.

So, is the era of the all-powerful central bank at an end?

:02:37.:02:42.

Before we discuss that, here's Adam Parsons.

:02:43.:02:53.

Back from the past and emerging from the gloom.

:02:54.:02:57.

A spectre you may just have forgotten.

:02:58.:03:01.

This is inflation, hitting the Bank of England

:03:02.:03:03.

and the rest of the country and grabbing our attention.

:03:04.:03:14.

The secret of a good horror movie is to throw in some surprises. But

:03:15.:03:23.

useful the twist this morning coming, inflation up to 1%, a

:03:24.:03:28.

two-year high but way below the government target of 2%. The

:03:29.:03:32.

projections suggest inflation might be hitting 3% or even more in the

:03:33.:03:35.

year. Typically you would expect the Bank of England to be thinking now

:03:36.:03:39.

about backing up interest rates to control the economy. But a majority

:03:40.:03:43.

of economists actually think the next move will be a cut in interest

:03:44.:03:51.

rates and city traders are pricing in no movement at all. Almost as if

:03:52.:03:54.

no one is quite sure what is going on in this post Brexit referendum

:03:55.:04:00.

economy. If anyone knows it is probably him, the Bank of England

:04:01.:04:04.

Governor Mark Carney has a clear remit from government to keep the

:04:05.:04:10.

economy stable and target inflation of 2%. The bank has been plenty of

:04:11.:04:16.

new fibre nodes but also spent hundreds of billions on a bond

:04:17.:04:18.

buying spree, known as quantitative easing. It has either boosted the

:04:19.:04:25.

economy or promoted inequality almost most likely done both. They

:04:26.:04:28.

have been the only adult in the room, the economy had this Brexit

:04:29.:04:33.

shock and members of the MPC and Mark Carney did all they needed to

:04:34.:04:38.

do. The cut rates, did quantitative easing, said they would do

:04:39.:04:41.

everything necessary and have been extremely impressive, fighting

:04:42.:04:47.

against comments by the Theresa May government and senior Tories trying

:04:48.:04:48.

to do them down. Central bankers do

:04:49.:04:51.

form an elite group. The Bank of England,

:04:52.:04:52.

the Bank of Japan, the American Federal Reserve

:04:53.:04:54.

and European Central Bank. Their low interest rates

:04:55.:04:57.

have shaped the world In 1997 Gordon Brown gave the bank

:04:58.:05:12.

the task of setting interest rates and targeting inflation, jobs that

:05:13.:05:15.

it still retains. But that independence has come under attack.

:05:16.:05:19.

William Hague today wrote that central banks had lost the plot. By

:05:20.:05:23.

allowing very low interest rates to go on for so long, hurting savers,

:05:24.:05:28.

rising house prices, damaging productivity. While in her

:05:29.:05:32.

conference speech the Prime Minister's attack on the QT

:05:33.:05:36.

programme looks like a rather hostile warning shot. While monetary

:05:37.:05:41.

policy with superlow interest rates and quantitative easing

:05:42.:06:08.

provided the necessary emergency medicine after the financial crash,

:06:09.:06:11.

we have to acknowledge there have been some bad side-effects. People

:06:12.:06:14.

with assets have got richer, people without them have suffered. People

:06:15.:06:15.

with mortgages have found their debts cheaper, people with savings

:06:16.:06:17.

have found themselves poorer. A change has got to come. We are going

:06:18.:06:20.

to deliver it. Ignorance teaches us you want a central bank that is

:06:21.:06:23.

independent and do not want things like the column written by William

:06:24.:06:25.

Hague in the Telegraph saying, keep your independence, it is in peril,

:06:26.:06:28.

the point is to prevent people saying ridiculous things like that

:06:29.:06:30.

and Theresa May said the same kind of thing, threatening the

:06:31.:06:32.

independence of the Bank of England which had an impact on cost of

:06:33.:06:34.

borrowing for the UK. Those within the Bank of England

:06:35.:06:36.

highlight the comparison between what they can do and what is open to

:06:37.:06:39.

government. The bank just has one Giant lever, monetary policy based

:06:40.:06:42.

around the interest rate. On the other hand they said the government

:06:43.:06:47.

can change policy around the economy or housing benefits or investment in

:06:48.:06:52.

infrastructure. And that has a much bigger potential to change the

:06:53.:06:55.

nation. But there are those who think the banker -- the bank has

:06:56.:07:02.

long been susceptible to government influence especially when it comes

:07:03.:07:05.

to that bond buying programme. It was instructed by government to

:07:06.:07:11.

undertake asset boosts using printed money to put it crudely. What assets

:07:12.:07:16.

is its purchasing, government bonds. How many, more or less the same

:07:17.:07:19.

amount as the government has borrowed from the market over that

:07:20.:07:24.

period. Government borrowed eczema, the Bank of England printed the same

:07:25.:07:28.

amount and used it to buy government bonds. The bank is not independent

:07:29.:07:33.

while that is going on. That is the case in the UK, the US and Europe.

:07:34.:07:41.

The world central banks have been delivering their brand of emergency

:07:42.:07:44.

treatment for eight years now, putting the frighteners on some

:07:45.:07:47.

comment making others very rich and we're still not sure if the medicine

:07:48.:07:51.

is working. This may be a scary movie, but not when knows how it

:07:52.:07:53.

ends. -- nobody knows how it ends. Well, we did ask the Bank of England

:07:54.:07:58.

to address these issues but they were not able

:07:59.:08:01.

to offer anyone. But I'm joined now

:08:02.:08:03.

by Baroness Altmann, the former Pensions Minister,

:08:04.:08:04.

and in Washington by Adam Posen, who was a member of the Bank of

:08:05.:08:07.

England's Monetary Policy Committee and is now President

:08:08.:08:10.

of the Peterson institute You're not a central banker, not a

:08:11.:08:23.

technocrat, but you feel annoyed with everything that has been going

:08:24.:08:28.

on in monetary policy? I do feel that this policy of continually

:08:29.:08:34.

pushing interest rates down, printing new money to buy government

:08:35.:08:40.

bonds, has ignored very damaging side-effects that that policy itself

:08:41.:08:45.

has. It is one thing to introduce an emergency experiment when we were

:08:46.:08:49.

facing some kind of depression, as we possibly seem to be around 2008.

:08:50.:08:53.

But this policy is still going on now when we have record employment,

:08:54.:08:59.

record jobs, we do have growth. And therefore you have to ask is this

:09:00.:09:04.

really the right way to be running policy especially when much of what

:09:05.:09:12.

the impact is now facing significant groups in the economy. You mean

:09:13.:09:16.

elderly people who may rely on savings. And also pension funds,

:09:17.:09:21.

anyone who has been buying an annuity, who will be poorer for the

:09:22.:09:25.

rest of their life as a result of this exceptional level of low

:09:26.:09:29.

interest rates. It is not the fault of central bank that the economy is

:09:30.:09:33.

flat on its back and there is a glut of savings in the world. And they

:09:34.:09:37.

somehow have got to keep the economy going against that backdrop. It is

:09:38.:09:40.

not clear that pushing down interest rates from already exceptionally low

:09:41.:09:46.

levels is actually keeping the economy going while boosting the

:09:47.:09:50.

economy. In fact low rates have deflationary impact. The expectation

:09:51.:09:56.

in theory that continually push rates down are bound to be

:09:57.:10:00.

expansionary. In some ways they are offset in the real world by the

:10:01.:10:06.

practical realities of pushing rates down. Because for example, one of

:10:07.:10:13.

the intentions of QT is to push up asset prices including housing. But

:10:14.:10:17.

housing wealth is unevenly distributed and so young people

:10:18.:10:20.

cannot get on the housing ladder, if you do not own a home it costs more

:10:21.:10:26.

to rent. I want to put all this to add. This stuff that you are from

:10:27.:10:33.

people who now knock Central bankers quite a bit. This argument that

:10:34.:10:36.

you're making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Is there credence

:10:37.:10:42.

to that. No, it has nothing to do with whether or not it is the

:10:43.:10:46.

central bank or some other technocrats. The fact is it is not a

:10:47.:10:53.

choice between the Bank of England pushing down interest rates and

:10:54.:10:56.

therefore rewarding speculators and punishing small savers. It is a

:10:57.:11:01.

choice, given the fact as you indicated, that the performance of

:11:02.:11:06.

all the rich countries in terms of productivity and risk-taking, has

:11:07.:11:09.

been lousy for almost ten years. The UK has been the worst on

:11:10.:11:13.

productivity. No one is going to get any returns on their investments and

:11:14.:11:18.

no corporation is going to want to invest in that kind of environment.

:11:19.:11:23.

So the Bank of England has, facing a world of slow growth and low

:11:24.:11:27.

opportunities, and if they put up interest rates in that kind of

:11:28.:11:31.

world, what happens is young people become unemployed, small businesses

:11:32.:11:36.

get cut off from credit, the pound goes up instead of down at a time

:11:37.:11:40.

when that will hurt exports. All kinds of knots are good things

:11:41.:11:43.

happen and talking about practicality in the real world, if

:11:44.:11:48.

you look at data instead of just reading the whingeing letters of

:11:49.:11:52.

certain constituents, that is the real world. We saw that in Europe

:11:53.:11:56.

because when the ECB fail to cut rates for the first couple of years

:11:57.:11:59.

of the crisis while the Bank of England and Federal Reserve did, we

:12:00.:12:03.

saw unemployment go up in Spain and Greece. It is not a crisis. You put

:12:04.:12:10.

the point very strongly and physically. Do you concede that the

:12:11.:12:14.

drugs do not seem to be working as well as they used to, you do not

:12:15.:12:18.

have to be William Hague or a politician to say hang on, we have

:12:19.:12:22.

now gone down to negative interest rates, something is wrong. Maybe we

:12:23.:12:26.

need to step back and think about how monetary policy works and maybe

:12:27.:12:32.

have other alternatives. That argument has some credence I think.

:12:33.:12:39.

I think the observation that central banks and monetary policy is less

:12:40.:12:42.

effective now than in the midst of the crisis has credence. Central

:12:43.:12:48.

bankers themselves say that and that is very practical. As I said to the

:12:49.:12:51.

Treasury subcommittee five years ago. In the midst of a crisis of

:12:52.:12:57.

course liquidity policy has more of an effect in stopping a panic. Not

:12:58.:13:01.

in the midst of a crisis, the effect is diminished. I would like to take

:13:02.:13:06.

William Hague's largely ridiculous essay and turned the title on its

:13:07.:13:10.

head. It is not that central banks have lost the plot, but we have

:13:11.:13:19.

moved from Henry IV to Henry V. There is supposed to be a new

:13:20.:13:21.

leading character with central banks now in a supporting role, that is

:13:22.:13:25.

fiscal policy. As Mark Carney said, all the different things the

:13:26.:13:27.

government could do instead of blaming central bank. Putting aside

:13:28.:13:33.

the technical arguments, there is some measure of agreement between

:13:34.:13:38.

you, is it healthy when politicians criticised central bank. It does not

:13:39.:13:43.

end well? I do not know, the point is this is a massive monetary

:13:44.:13:47.

experiment and no one knows what the outcome is. The transmission

:13:48.:13:51.

mechanism is indirect. Just trying to rely on people borrowing more to

:13:52.:13:55.

stimulate the economy when in fact in many ways this supposedly

:13:56.:14:00.

expansionary monetary policy is acting rather like a tightening of

:14:01.:14:05.

fiscal policy. If the government itself was trying to change tax

:14:06.:14:08.

policies to give more money to rich people, there would be outrage. In

:14:09.:14:13.

fact that is what the Bank of England policies have effectively

:14:14.:14:15.

been doing in the hope of stabilising the economy.

:14:16.:14:24.

How we given a central bankers too much deference? It started with Alan

:14:25.:14:30.

Greenspan. Mark Carney was walking on water. I have spent time with all

:14:31.:14:40.

of them. They definitely are just human. I agree. That is a place

:14:41.:14:48.

where we went wrong. We had the ridiculous state of affairs in the

:14:49.:14:52.

late 90s when we had a senators talking about weekend at Bernie 's.

:14:53.:14:58.

If someone died, you would prop the mob just to make sure there was no

:14:59.:15:02.

panic in the market. The inflationary targeting regime the

:15:03.:15:07.

Bank of England has now is to constrain the discretion of central

:15:08.:15:12.

bankers, be they Governor Cani, Chairman Greenspan or whoever, and

:15:13.:15:15.

make them accountable to the government. The cultural of

:15:16.:15:21.

deference to central banks is excessive. Nobody should fear, not

:15:22.:15:25.

even the governor of the Bank of England, should fear saying that.

:15:26.:15:31.

They can say what they want. The central bank should listen and think

:15:32.:15:35.

about it. There is no need for a deference. But there is a need for

:15:36.:15:40.

independence. If the government wants the bank to do something else,

:15:41.:15:44.

let them pass legislation or redefine the target. Do not let them

:15:45.:15:50.

back-seat drive. Thank you. You were Pensions Minister. The government

:15:51.:15:55.

made an important announcement today. You will not be able to cash

:15:56.:16:00.

in your annuity. Good thing, bad thing, sensible, stupid? It is

:16:01.:16:05.

understandable that if we do not have the consumer protection in

:16:06.:16:08.

place, we will now not be able to go ahead. It will be very disappointing

:16:09.:16:13.

to tens of thousands of people who have bought an annuity that they

:16:14.:16:17.

didn't want, didn't need, because they were forced to. Thought they

:16:18.:16:22.

would be able to get some money back for themselves. That opportunity

:16:23.:16:26.

seems to be gone. The Daily Mail leading on that story. The

:16:27.:16:32.

government thought they were going to be ripped off again, according to

:16:33.:16:33.

the paper. More information has come out today

:16:34.:16:35.

about the troubled inquiry We had the chair of the inquiry,

:16:36.:16:38.

some of her colleagues on the inquiry and the permanent

:16:39.:16:42.

secretary of the Home Office giving If you were with us last night,

:16:43.:16:45.

you'll remember the story so far, that the Home Office is accused

:16:46.:16:49.

of trying to bury news - the news that there had been doubts

:16:50.:16:52.

over the former chair of the inquiry Lowell Goddard before

:16:53.:16:55.

she stepped aside. Our policy editor

:16:56.:16:57.

Chris Cook is with me. Just bring us up-to-date on the

:16:58.:17:10.

story. What do we know until today? The most recent chapter of the story

:17:11.:17:15.

starts in August, when Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge,

:17:16.:17:19.

appointed by Theresa May, the third chair of the enquiry, resigned. In

:17:20.:17:25.

September, Amber Rudd was called to the Home Affairs Select Committee to

:17:26.:17:28.

discuss this. She said the reason she thought Justice Goddard had

:17:29.:17:33.

resigned was the reason she alluded to in a letter, that she was lonely,

:17:34.:17:37.

that she was homesick, she wanted to go back. MPs pushed her on this

:17:38.:17:42.

fact. Amber Rudd said she knew nothing more. Well, we now know,

:17:43.:17:49.

thanks to the Times reporting, that there were concerns about Lowell

:17:50.:17:54.

Goddard's capacity to run this big enquiry under English law, raised

:17:55.:17:57.

with the Home Office and the Prime Minister prior to her resignation.

:17:58.:18:00.

It is quite sticky for the Home Secretary. What did we learn today?

:18:01.:18:07.

The permanent Secretary of the Home Office was there. He was asked about

:18:08.:18:11.

why it was that the Home Secretary had volunteered this information.

:18:12.:18:19.

You can have a look at the answer. All I'm saying to you is that the

:18:20.:18:25.

Home Secretary answered the questions put to her accurately.

:18:26.:18:33.

That is our obligation. She said, I only have the information that you

:18:34.:18:40.

have. That is not accurate, is it? That went quite badly. He was not

:18:41.:18:45.

able to defend the Home Secretary. Lowell Goddard was given ?80,000

:18:46.:18:50.

severance when she left, even though she was apparently resigning because

:18:51.:18:53.

she was homesick. There are some issues around that. Where does that

:18:54.:18:58.

leave the enquiry? There was a little incident today. The leader of

:18:59.:19:05.

one of the core participants in the enquiry, he was basically thrown out

:19:06.:19:09.

of the hearing because he got basically annoyed with the town,

:19:10.:19:14.

with what he felt were the -- was the glibness with which things were

:19:15.:19:18.

discussed. It is critical for the public confidence in the enquiry,

:19:19.:19:22.

and for the evidence, that the big victim groups still support the

:19:23.:19:27.

enquiry. His concern, his anger, and he is someone who has been quite

:19:28.:19:31.

supportive of this enquiry at times, is quite a visceral reminder that

:19:32.:19:35.

that cannot be taken for granted. Thank you.

:19:36.:19:37.

Next month will mark 50 years since the BBC aired a television

:19:38.:19:40.

play that probably had more impact than any other programme in the

:19:41.:19:43.

You've got a place in a month's time?

:19:44.:19:50.

I'm told you lost your place on the list long ago,

:19:51.:19:58.

But we was meant to be one of those families!

:19:59.:20:03.

Haven't you got a room in one of your houses?!

:20:04.:20:16.

Haven't you got flats that are empty half the night?

:20:17.:20:20.

It was famously described as "an ice-pick in the brain

:20:21.:20:26.

Well, to mark 50 years, BBC Two is tomorrow airing a programme

:20:27.:20:35.

about homelessness in the 21st century, another one to make

:20:36.:20:37.

the comfortable classes sit uncomfortably as they watch.

:20:38.:20:39.

It goes behind the scenes at the housing department of Barking

:20:40.:20:42.

We see the staff barely cope with desperate people who have been

:20:43.:20:46.

evicted from their home, or can't afford their rent,

:20:47.:20:49.

and the team have to make tragic choices as to which people get

:20:50.:20:52.

emergency shelter and long term housing, and which don't.

:20:53.:20:56.

Have a look at this and you can see what part of the problem is.

:20:57.:21:00.

The amount of social housing built in the UK peaked at 207,000 in 1954.

:21:01.:21:07.

The year that Cathy Come Home was released, numbers

:21:08.:21:09.

By 1967, a year later, when the homeless charity

:21:10.:21:15.

Crisis was founded - numbers increased a little.

:21:16.:21:19.

Now, 50 years on, you can see the number of social houses built

:21:20.:21:22.

Today, social housing is a last resort, rather than an expectation

:21:23.:21:29.

In this clip, we see one man told he has to leave his mother's council

:21:30.:21:35.

And they're going to serve me notice.

:21:36.:22:05.

I'm not being horrible, this is where I end up thinking

:22:06.:22:13.

I'm 40 next week, and I've got no future at all.

:22:14.:22:31.

There is nothing that says he must have this house,

:22:32.:22:53.

You know, we have to be very, very careful and satisfied

:22:54.:22:59.

that we are making the right decision when we give

:23:00.:23:02.

We cannot be sentimental about it at all.

:23:03.:23:11.

That is just a taste of the programme.

:23:12.:23:13.

We are joined now by the writer and activist Poppy Noor,

:23:14.:23:16.

Conservative MP and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group

:23:17.:23:18.

for Housing and Planning, James Cartlidge and Jon Sparkes -

:23:19.:23:20.

the Chief Executive of the Homeless charity, Crisis.

:23:21.:23:26.

Poppy, you have some familiarity with these difficult decisions being

:23:27.:23:33.

made in housing offices. Tell us about the kind of thing you have

:23:34.:23:38.

seen? I went through the system myself when I was 16 years old, when

:23:39.:23:42.

there was more provision in terms of benefits that people were afforded

:23:43.:23:46.

and in terms of the rhetoric as well around homelessness. And then it was

:23:47.:23:52.

incredibly difficult, even back then. The first council I went to, I

:23:53.:23:56.

was sent away for not looking harmless enough. You watch that

:23:57.:24:03.

scene and it's incredibly sad. But ultimately what it is getting at is

:24:04.:24:06.

the fact we no longer see housing as a basic human rights. Is that

:24:07.:24:11.

acceptable in one of the richest economies in the world? Were they

:24:12.:24:19.

judging you, where they judging what your need was? Or were they thinking

:24:20.:24:23.

about how much they thought you were responsible for your plight? The

:24:24.:24:31.

thing is, these things do not happen in a vacuum, right? Local councils

:24:32.:24:35.

have cuts to their budget. Automatically, when you walk into a

:24:36.:24:39.

council, they are thinking, especially if there isn't enough

:24:40.:24:44.

housing, how can they get you out of here as quickly as possible? This

:24:45.:24:48.

comes across in the programme. It is incredibly easy to do that when you

:24:49.:24:55.

have got a rhetoric that says people who own houses own houses because

:24:56.:24:58.

they have worked really hard, and people who are homeless haven't

:24:59.:25:03.

worked hard enough. James, what you are seeing in the programme is

:25:04.:25:09.

people, who live there in the housing market sector, RTD not going

:25:10.:25:13.

to get a home. They will not be able to afford one. I just wonder whether

:25:14.:25:18.

the most basically obvious fact, and whether it is an accepted now, is

:25:19.:25:22.

whether we do not have enough of the social homes, where they are

:25:23.:25:27.

allocated by other factors than how much money you can afford to pay?

:25:28.:25:32.

Sure. There is a lack of housing of all kinds of options. If I was to

:25:33.:25:37.

summarise the housing crisis, the challenge faces -- the challenges we

:25:38.:25:43.

face today, a huge number of people have no palatable option on housing.

:25:44.:25:47.

The only long-term answer to that is greater supply. That is a huge

:25:48.:25:53.

challenge. We are doing what we can. Greater supply at existing prices is

:25:54.:25:57.

not going to help the small numbers of millions of people who cannot

:25:58.:26:03.

afford the current prices. Housing benefit will help a lot of those

:26:04.:26:07.

people. I just wonder again whether you think we went too far in getting

:26:08.:26:12.

rid of the houses that we can allocate because this person needs a

:26:13.:26:16.

place to live, and we have got one to give them? We have built 300,000

:26:17.:26:22.

affordable homes since 2010. Before I was an MP, I ran a business in

:26:23.:26:29.

shared Ownership. I was a volunteer for a London homeless charity. We

:26:30.:26:34.

used to sit with homeless clients trying to get them to get on their

:26:35.:26:38.

feet. We award of them grants. The thing that always struck me in those

:26:39.:26:44.

cases, the most severe cases, is how complex and different each case was.

:26:45.:26:48.

I don't think you can talk structurally about each and every

:26:49.:26:52.

case affected. Have we got enough housing that we can allocate to

:26:53.:26:55.

people who do not have enough money to buy them? We clearly haven't.

:26:56.:27:00.

This is the very sharp end of the housing crisis. Homelessness is on

:27:01.:27:03.

the rise in England. Whatever measure you put on it. 73,000

:27:04.:27:07.

households in temporary accommodation tonight. 3500 people

:27:08.:27:15.

sleeping on the streets on average night. We clearly haven't got it

:27:16.:27:17.

right in terms of affordable housing. There are two ways to house

:27:18.:27:23.

people on low incomes. One is investing in social housing, another

:27:24.:27:28.

is providing Social Security to bridge the gap between what people

:27:29.:27:32.

can afford and social housing. Both of those things are under pressure.

:27:33.:27:37.

Contrast that with Poppy's experience and the experience of the

:27:38.:27:41.

programme with hard-working housing officers with a system which drives

:27:42.:27:45.

them to the crisis point, rather than a system that deals with

:27:46.:27:51.

prevention. They have to sometimes say to people, we have nowhere for

:27:52.:27:55.

you, you have to sleep on the street. They operate within the

:27:56.:27:59.

legal system which says some people are priority need, some people are

:28:00.:28:04.

not. You always have to love and allocation system of some kind. It

:28:05.:28:10.

is a difficult job. Under any government in any circumstance, you

:28:11.:28:13.

have to make rational decisions and prioritise. Poppy, even in the

:28:14.:28:19.

1960s, that is the point of Cathy Come Home, we were building Council

:28:20.:28:25.

houses and still finding that you had to make difficult choices. Cathy

:28:26.:28:30.

was the subject of that. Yeah, I suppose my issue with it is that it

:28:31.:28:36.

is completely reasonable to suggest that we should have readily

:28:37.:28:40.

available social housing for people in one of the richest countries in

:28:41.:28:49.

the world. This discussion about... OK, if I can put the question back

:28:50.:28:54.

to the Tory minister. Is housing a basic human rights? I am not a

:28:55.:29:00.

minister. I'm chairman of an all-party group. Sorry. Every

:29:01.:29:06.

family, every person out there as an aspiration to live in a home they

:29:07.:29:08.

can afford, whether owning our renting. One thing I would say is

:29:09.:29:16.

there is more than an acknowledgement that we have done

:29:17.:29:20.

important things in terms of encouraging homeownership, but we

:29:21.:29:23.

have two have a housing policy that everybody, including those who rent,

:29:24.:29:28.

in other words, those who will probably not be able to afford to

:29:29.:29:29.

buy. Would it be reasonable to say to

:29:30.:29:41.

people, we can get you a home but it will not be in Barking and Dagenham,

:29:42.:29:45.

we will put you somewhere else and if you do not have a job or are not

:29:46.:29:50.

a student here, you could live somewhere else. Someone who is

:29:51.:29:56.

vulnerable, who is homeless, the very best solution for them is to be

:29:57.:30:00.

in their community with positive support systems. With the people

:30:01.:30:03.

they know, schools where their kids can go to school, not someplace, not

:30:04.:30:08.

be shunted somewhere else in the country. That says, if you look at

:30:09.:30:13.

the housing market in London, you can see why there is a tendency to

:30:14.:30:18.

do that. The other thing is that although a huge part of this is

:30:19.:30:21.

about housing and provision of housing, it does not have to be the

:30:22.:30:26.

way that is described in terms of allocations. The system at the

:30:27.:30:30.

moment drives the housing officer to only deal with the person in crisis,

:30:31.:30:35.

it does not put a duty on them to try to prevent homelessness in the

:30:36.:30:39.

first place. Recent legislation in Wales has shown you can reduce the

:30:40.:30:45.

number of people owed a housing duty by getting prevention activity

:30:46.:30:49.

right. And the private members Bill is exactly about that. One other

:30:50.:30:53.

thing that comes out of the documentary, there was not enough

:30:54.:30:57.

emergency shelter, there are people sleeping on the streets because we

:30:58.:31:02.

cannot find a mattress and a whole. Within a year surely we could have

:31:03.:31:10.

also mattresses, better than the church hall you seen the film, and a

:31:11.:31:13.

decent bed for people who are literally on the street.

:31:14.:31:18.

Homelessness has been around for a long time, no one has ever come up

:31:19.:31:23.

with a magic solution. Government is providing support as far as

:31:24.:31:27.

possible, ?40 million this week and of course working with the

:31:28.:31:31.

charitable sector, with voluntary groups and the local authorities

:31:32.:31:34.

judge, with innovative ways to deal with that. There is no magic answer

:31:35.:31:39.

but do not forget a lot of those individual cases come from complex

:31:40.:31:44.

circumstances. No easy general answer to this.

:31:45.:31:47.

If you like dystopian visions of the future,

:31:48.:31:49.

showing how technology will come to manipulate us, you probably

:31:50.:31:52.

There have been two series on Channel 4 and, later this week,

:31:53.:31:57.

it is coming back for a third, but this time on Netflix.

:31:58.:32:01.

It's been compared to the Twilight Zone -

:32:02.:32:02.

each episode is a self-contained story with its own characters

:32:03.:32:05.

and plot twist, but they all share a mix of satire

:32:06.:32:08.

Here is a clip of the first episode - in a world rather like ours,

:32:09.:32:16.

where everybody is always rating each other and keen

:32:17.:32:18.

If we drill down into the numbers, you have got a solid

:32:19.:32:24.

Let's just look at the last 24 hours.

:32:25.:32:31.

You see, even, what's that, 8:40am, you're working hard on your socials.

:32:32.:32:34.

Let's check on your sphere of influence.

:32:35.:32:46.

Healthy inner circle, that's good.

:32:47.:32:55.

Well, the series was created by Charlie Brooker who is with me.

:32:56.:33:02.

Good evening. Do you worry about technology, smartphones and all that

:33:03.:33:13.

kind of stuff. I worry about everything! I am a 360 degrees

:33:14.:33:19.

worrier. Technology is one thing I worry about. Not technology per se

:33:20.:33:24.

so much as our inability to control these new superpowers that it is

:33:25.:33:31.

granting us. But the Black Mirror of the title is the Black front of a

:33:32.:33:37.

mobile phone. Pretty much any screen that is off and just reflects you.

:33:38.:33:42.

We have always tended to worry too much about things, Griggs said the

:33:43.:33:46.

books would be the death of us. I was not around, I dare say they did!

:33:47.:33:50.

People worried about the printing press. The computer in 2001. I am

:33:51.:34:00.

quite a geek, I love technology, I am an early adopter of lots of it. I

:34:01.:34:06.

suppose I tend to worry out loud about the potential worst-case

:34:07.:34:10.

scenario. It is people you worry about rather than the device. Not

:34:11.:34:16.

the computer coming to take us over so much as is not understanding how

:34:17.:34:21.

to use this thing. Yes and certainly in that particular story, it is kind

:34:22.:34:28.

of about the inauthentic nature of our online selves. Which makes it

:34:29.:34:35.

sound like a barrel of laughs! It is better than you make it sound! Good!

:34:36.:34:44.

Personally, if you dropped out of social media, if you drop out of

:34:45.:34:50.

readers comments on your articles... I did not do that. I got fed up with

:34:51.:34:58.

writing columns generally, just because I started feeling like there

:34:59.:35:05.

is so much extraneous communication in the world. I did not want to keep

:35:06.:35:11.

on adding to it. There is a cacophony, technology going back to

:35:12.:35:14.

the printed press has made that possible, basically. It is too easy

:35:15.:35:19.

to say stuff. That is not a negative, though. Just a lot of

:35:20.:35:24.

people shouting and how many columnists are there. Too many, does

:35:25.:35:28.

not like there's a shortage of columnists. So you withdrew a bit. I

:35:29.:35:37.

did a bit because I felt... Is not a good mindset for a columnist to be

:35:38.:35:42.

in, what is the point of saying, of me saying anything, I have said

:35:43.:35:46.

enough. It is great to hear you say that! You were fed up with me

:35:47.:35:53.

talking! No, no. You're also a satirist. I hate that word. Everyday

:35:54.:35:59.

I have people saying satire is dead, at what Donald Trump is said or

:36:00.:36:04.

something like that. Is politics now so ridiculous that you cannot be

:36:05.:36:10.

funny any more? It is difficult to get a foothold on, I think, it is so

:36:11.:36:17.

slippery and ridiculous, you would never create a character like Donald

:36:18.:36:22.

Trump because no one would find it plausible. So it is difficult but I

:36:23.:36:27.

do not know, I do not think of myself as a satirist. It is the word

:36:28.:36:33.

I'm slightly allergic to. You write about politics, you are a funny guy.

:36:34.:36:37.

I do not write about politics so much as, the shows I do, in my head

:36:38.:36:44.

I am reviewing the news as though it is just another entertainment show

:36:45.:36:49.

and I am being appalled by this grotesque soap opera I'm watching. I

:36:50.:36:55.

wonder, I love satire and I am in favour of it, have we if you liked

:36:56.:37:02.

being debasing our political culture by mocking these people who have to

:37:03.:37:05.

make difficult decisions that we cannot talk about honours programme.

:37:06.:37:09.

We make it difficult for them, that is our job, you make it difficult

:37:10.:37:16.

for them. Other programmes make us laugh at them and we come to think

:37:17.:37:23.

of them as being nincompoops. I'm trying to feel some pity! I wondered

:37:24.:37:27.

then if you end up with politicians who claim the fact that... We did an

:37:28.:37:34.

episode of Black Mirror about the comedian who controls a cartoon Bear

:37:35.:37:39.

that runs for office after becoming an anti-politics celebrity. That was

:37:40.:37:43.

loosely based on Boris Johnson and away because he became a sort of

:37:44.:37:47.

figure through appearing on TV should comedy shows, appearing like

:37:48.:37:57.

a kind of buffoon. So it is kind of like inoculating yourself to

:37:58.:38:04.

Mochrie, to become beyond mockery by openly sort of behaving like an oaf.

:38:05.:38:09.

I do not think that is necessarily the fault of comedians. Not the

:38:10.:38:16.

fault of comedy. Do we take offense to easily, people do take offense

:38:17.:38:22.

quite a lot. They take offense quite a lot or they profess to. I do not

:38:23.:38:27.

know how much about this genuine. I think a lot of it is performance.

:38:28.:38:35.

But generally speaking I am in favour of bearing people

:38:36.:38:40.

sensitivities in mind to a degree. It was on Channel 4 and now it's on

:38:41.:38:46.

Netflix, what happened? They said to us go out and get some co-funding

:38:47.:38:52.

because we cannot afford to go on making the show. Then they could not

:38:53.:38:58.

agree, there was a creative disagreement over how we were going

:38:59.:39:03.

about making it. And they needed the money for a tent! Instant Karma!

:39:04.:39:12.

They were saving for that big empty tent with gales of despair blowing

:39:13.:39:18.

through it! You have no beef with Channel 4? No, I'm not furiously

:39:19.:39:21.

angry with them. Thank you very much.

:39:22.:39:23.

We end with news that following the success of Oldstock

:39:24.:39:30.

at the weekend, Chuck Berry, who's alive and well at 90,

:39:31.:39:33.

is upping the ante and releasing his first album in four decades.

:39:34.:39:36.

In case you've forgotten what he looks like,

:39:37.:39:38.

here he is performing in some remarkably fresh looking footage

:39:39.:39:45.

filmed at the Newport Jazz Festival, a mere 58 years ago.

:39:46.:39:47.

And if you look closely in the audience you can just make

:39:48.:39:50.

Good evening. Clear and cool might for many, some showers around

:39:51.:41:02.

coastal districts

:41:03.:41:03.

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