13/01/2017 Newsnight


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Tonight, Labour lose an MP once tipped to be a future party leader.


Tristram Hunt will become the new head of the V Museum.


He insists he's not trying to rock the boat.


But it's no time to quit, say those on right of the party.


We're in the Nexus tension all fight to save the Labour Party and return


it to electability. -- existential fight.


More data from the NHS shows four out of 10 hospitals in England


declared a major alert in the first week of the year.


We'll hear from some of those on the frontline this week.


One of the things that worried me was it was taking up to two hours to


arrive at the hospital to hand over their patients from the ambulance to


the A floor. I hope it doesn't prove to be


a disturbing influence. The president and the press -


it used to sound so different. How will we know what to believe


in a new era of presidential tweets It was not meant as an act


of insurgency, Tristram Hunt warned today, explaining his resignation


as a Labour MP shouldn't be interpreted as a desire


to rock the boat. But whether or not it was


intended, the boat today, The MP for Stoke Central


stepped down to become head of the V Museum -


an attractive proposal But Mr Hunt is a centrist,


with Blairite blood coursing through his veins, at a time


when they feel like an endangered His close friend, Lord Mandelson,


suggested the MP was stepping down as the chance of Labour


being elected to national His leader, Jeremy Corbyn, seemed


quite unharmed by the departure. But the parliamentary seat in a part


of the country where Labour has Ukip on its tail,


now looks precarious. Is self-deselection


now a career choice? Will Corbyn's critics


in parliament choose to follow Mr Hunt out of politics,


or stay and fight for a party The Labour MP for Stoke Central


knows a lot about fragile things. The ceramics of his new home,


the V, and perhaps, some would add, the Labour Party


in its current state. He quit his seat today to become


head of one of the country's most prestigious museums,


a move that in many ways requires Indeed, it was greeted


by his leader, Jeremy Corbyn, But he has taken this position


as director of the V Good luck to him and we


will have a by-election. And Corbyn may have quietly welcomed


the departure of someone who had I'm glad we've finally got a proper


socialist leader willing to confront fascism wherever he sees it,


be it in Assad's Syria A leader happy to promote political


discussion and not seeking to silence internal debate


by putting MPs on hit lists. And thankfully, an end to the kind


of irrational leadership cult that Yet his going will leave a big hole


in the party at a time when many MPs Hunt's constituency


of Stoke-on-Trent Central is due to be scrapped in the proposed


boundary changes and as an opponent of Corbyn, some doubted his


chances of reselection. In 2015, Labour won a narrow


margin of little more than 5000 votes over Ukip,


making Stoke-on-Trent Central fertile ground for Ukip's


challenge in the north. This was compounded last year


when Stoke-on-Trent was branded "Brexit capital of the UK",


with nearly 70% of people voting One resignation clearly


doesn't spell the end But this seat could be


particularly problematic In a not too distant past,


Labour was a fairly comfortable Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn's first


Shadow Cabinet attempted But now there's a growing sense


that it is a party firmly of the socialist left,


with little room for In the last month, we have already


seen one by-election triggered in Cumbria by the resignation


of Jamie Reid. Meanwhile, if he wins election


as Manchester mayor in May, Andy Burnham will be stepping down


to try to carve out a fiefdom And there is concern Hunt's


departure could trigger others. That argument, says one Blairite


from the right of the party, He's obviously a talented politician


and an effective parliamentarian and someone with politics


on the moderate wing of the party. We are in an existential fight


to save the Labour Party and return it to electability and we need


fighters, not quitters But what if the Labour Party


is being simply reshaped and re-grafted in a different mould


of leadership, around a man elected head of his party, not once,


but twice by popular vote? There will be splits


and there will be cracks. But as any curator will tell you,


you don't throw the vessel away We asked the Labour Party


for an interview but no Joining me now are Ayesha Hazarika,


who worked for Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman,


and the journalist and I guess essentially this was an


opportunity he just couldn't turn down, it is a perfect fit for it a


historian who loves Museums? Absolutely. I genuinely don't think


he was doing this to cause some kind of crisis. But it's more symptomatic


of the fact that the overall party is, as one of your contributors


said, in an existential crisis. We have heard Jamie Read standing down.


Again, a good opportunity coming his way. But let's be honest, if these


politicians thought Labour had a thrusting, vibrant future, I don't


think they would be sending the signals to the outside world that


they might be ready for an approach from another job. The deselection


process was always the threat, that the people who did not fit in with


Corbyn would find themselves deselected, and they have gone, they


would rather jump than quit? I don't think so. There is a massive malaise


in the PLP. There are a lot of people who didn't support Corbyn.


There was the failed coup. They have decided rightly to just pipe down,


not have a go at Corbyn the whole time. But the party does feel


depressed. It feels more didn't. It doesn't feel like we are a party


near parity. When I worked with Ed Miliband, he said, we want to be a


one term opposition. Now it feels like it will possibly be a five term


opposition. That is not a great message. And look, I don't want to


see any more MPs stepping down. I'm disappointed that these guys have.


They are very talented people but I don't blame them at the same time.


It's difficult. Rachel, does this make it easier for Jeremy Corbyn,


who is quietly seeing the filtering out of anybody who disagrees with


him? Is that good or bad for a leader? First of all, I don't think


it is great for the country to be facing another by-election at a time


when were trying to figure out how to leave the EU, when there is an


NHS crisis, when there is all kinds of things that this is going to leak


media and political attention away from. It's not great for the


country. But it is true, I think, that there are elements of the right


in the Labour Party who are not fully embracing the sort of left


populism that Corbyn is trying to present. There seems to be this


idea... You think he has reached out to those on the right and they have


failed to take up the challenge? Are not saying that. There seems to be a


misconception that left populism means, we like Trump. It doesn't


mean that. It means connect with people in a democratic, accountable


way. Is the Labour Party connecting with people at the moment? Speak to


people's concerns. Sometimes you will have a political and media


establishment, part of it will be in your own party, you will be facing


that. The way to get your message to the people is to ambush, to change


the message, to change the frame, to find a way to speak directly. The


party has run out of things to say, hasn't it? I agree. Jeremy Corbyn is


not to blame for how the Labour Party became. He saw an opportunity


in 2015 and he went for it. The moderate candidates did not have a


satisfactory vision. Centrist, or however you want to terms. We did


not have a particularly compelling vision last year. I accept that.


Shouldn't they embrace the place where labour is in the moment, which


is elected Jeremy Corbyn not once but twice? They have accepted the


fact that Jeremy has won again. They are letting him get on with being


the leader. We all want Jeremy to do well. We want him to be the Prime


Minister. He may well be on to a lot of things that people are into in


the public, inequality, Brexit. But we need him and his team to step up.


It is not the PLP's full. Rachel, would you agree with that? We can


have the leadership election conversation again. You are talking


about competence. What I'm talking to you about is something much more


fundamental. I don't know, it's most like the PLP doesn't have the ice to


see it. We're talking about shaking things up in a way that is going to


connect with people. That isn't about whether you think it's


working. It's about whether people on the streets think it is working.


The fact that the matter is when he tried to do that on Tuesday, when he


tried to talk about pay caps under the massive inequalities... He


didn't understand the message about immigration. We can talk about how


it is lunatic. But the fact of the matter is we are talking about it.


People were saying, that is a really good idea. This resonates. Rachel,


there is no problem about the Labour Party talking about IP. But get your


party sorted out. That might not be the way that works. There is a big


test coming up. We have two by-elections. We want Corbyn to do


well. He has now got to go out and talk to the public, listen to the


public and connect with the public. It's not about slagging off the PLP.


It's not about internal warfare. It's about getting the message out


to the public. Do you think there is a clear message you can get out?


When you listen to what Labour voters talk about, when you listen


to what people who have been disenfranchised from Labour talk


about, it's very much the issues that he's connecting with. Wealth


inequality, reinvestment in public infrastructure, nationalisation of


the railways and utilities, support for the welfare state and the NHS.


Nobody is disagreeing with him. I thought I was going to get the last


word! We have run out of time. We're getting onto the NHS now.


All week we've been covering the crisis in the NHS.


Today, more evidence to suggest the service is struggling -


four out of ten hospitals in England declared a major alert


in the first week of the year, as the health service came


Bed shortages have intensified, A departments have been overwhelmed,


more than one third of the NHS trusts raised the alarm.


Let's talk to Chris Cook, our policy editor about what we learned.


The really striking thing is there's nothing going on right now in the


English NSS in particular. 66 trusts, a handful of them declared


the highest level of national alert. They can't offer a safe and comments


of care any more. That prompt -- follows on from the discovery that


A rates are up, trolley rates are up. There is no indicator that is


going the right direction. We are talking a lot about hospitals this


week, because hospitals are the spine of the NHS system. But they


actually reflect problems through the whole NHS and the social care


system run by government. We have actually got some films which we are


going to show, with testimony from doctors on the front line. We had


Clare Gerada on earlier in the week. She is a GP who has told us horror


week has gone. It's been a fairly typical week,


which means it has been exhausting. You spend most of your time


apologising to patients because they come to see you, because you can't


get appointments in hospital. The other half of the week,


I look after sick doctors and Doctors who are struggling,


like I am, to give The NHS is actually


making people sick. It's making those


that work in it sick. And every day, I feel


the pressure, and I feel guilty that the NHS that I've worked in now


for nearly 40 years is not delivering the care that I think it


should be delivering to the patients I wasn't supposed to come in


but I was asked to come in because One of the things that worried me


was it was taking up to two hours for ambulances that


arrived at the hospital to hand over their patients from


the ambulance to the A floor. In paediatrics, children


deteriorate really quickly. So it is really important that


when your sick child comes to the emergency department,


they get seen quickly. Yet, children are stuck


in ambulances, adults It can be a struggle to find


a place for them to go. At one point there


were no intensive care And it's not only patients


that are suffering. Doctors are suffering.


Nurses are suffering. All of the staff in a system


pushed to its very limit. One of my colleagues ended up


working 19 hours in a row because the night team


were too sick to come in. It is really hard


and not sustainable. So this week has been


one of unprecedented pressure, I think for all of us


working in the NHS. I think on Monday,


I was scheduled to do an operating list that was for


elective ENT surgery. We would normally hope to treat


between eight and ten patients We were able to accommodate two


elective patients because of the That meant there were six


patients that we would routinely wish to have treated


that we were not able to that day. It makes us feel intensely


distressed and unhappy that we are not able to look


after the patience to that we are not able to look


after the patients to Having an operation is an incredibly


stressful life event. For us to be delivering the care,


it is perhaps the everyday but we are acutely aware


that it is not every People on the front line thereby the


we are treating. People on the front line thereby the


politics are really weird. Very strange. More of this in the Times


tomorrow. Downing Street and the Department of Health are keen to


argue these problems are the result of inefficiencies within the health


service itself. The health service itself, led by Simon Stevens in


England, are trying to argue this is a problem primarily caused by local


authority underfunding of social care, which is causing backlogs into


hospitals and further problems. But it is important to understand this


very odd argument between effectively the government and is


big chunk of the state. So we have a few odd things. Firstly, we are


seeing the emergence of Simon Stevens as a sort of figure in his


own right, a civil servant with unprecedented authority, thanks to


the Andrew Lansley reforms, he is effectively having operational


independence from the government and its a bit like the emergence of the


Chief inspector, Chris Woodhead, when we first created Ofsted in the


90s. These strange civil servants with their own authority. What that


kind of means is the government is finding itself arguing with someone


it cannot really just back away. At the same time, there are two other


boats going on in government. The first is, if we give more money to


the NHS it will never learn that it has two contain its costs. The


second is, Whitehall thinks in terms of who won and lost between


departments. The health service has done better in relative terms than


lots of other departments in recent years, so there is a sense in


Downing Street that everyone else is coping so why can't you? Thank you


for joining us. This time next week,


the man we have watched with almost ceaseless wonder for the past 12


months will be sworn in Donald Trump emerged triumphant


from the November election with a conciliatory note,


talking of the need to "bind Since then, the rhetoric has


been slightly less warm. After Buzzfeed released and CNN


reported an intelligence dossier about the President-elect,


Trump used a press conference on Wednesday to hit back,


rekindling the flames of his fight with the mainstream media,


calling the stories they had He may find a lot of support


for that particular battle. So will the relationship


between president and press And it is well for us


to remember that this America of ours is the product of no single


creed or race or class. We who have faith cannot afford


to fall out among ourselves. Motion picture cameras


join newspaper reporters in the old State Department building


for an historic presidential The first ever filmed in sound


by newsreel cameramen. More than 200 correspondents crowd


into the chamber as the president strides briskly in to face the press


and the cameras. Well, I see we're trying


a new experiment this morning. I hope it doesn't prove to be


a disturbing influence. REPORTER: Sir, since


you're attacking us, Go ahead.


Go ahead. No, not you.


Not you. Your organisation's terrible.


Your organisation's terrible. Joining us now, Margaret Sullivan,


a media columnist at the Washington Post,


and Felix Salmon, a senior editor I don't want to get bogged down


talking about the Buzzfeed document, Margaret? I don't think it was. I


think that Buzzfeed went too far in publishing a 35 page document that


is completely unverified. I mean, that is beyond the norms of good


journalism. I think it was a mistake. Felix? They did exactly the


right thing. This document is a primary document which CNN and many


other people were writing about. The president was looking at it, the


President-elect was looking at it, the media all had it and a lot of


Congress. The idea it should be kept secret from the innocent public I


think is ridiculous. This is an important document and Buzzfeed said


it was unverified. There was no question they were reporting it as


true. You used the phrase, Margaret, interesting, beyond the norm. I


wonder if you think that Trump's exceptionalism, everything


unconventional about him has frankly destabilised the press, that it has


almost become a situation of style overwhelming substance now? That is


what the press is reporting. There's no question that the norms in the


direction of Trump toward the media have been destroyed but I don't


think that means we should elude our own standards and integrity, which I


think happened here. I understand Felix's well expressed point of view


that the public ought to see what the elite media and politicians


should see. But by releasing this whole thing out into the sort of,


media ecosystem, many of this is essentially opposition research,


undiluted, just sort of here. People will not be seeing that with the


caveats and warnings that were on it but rather, just reading it per se.


Felix, we saw what happened to CNN who chose to report the story, the


Buzzfeed, who published the document. They were essentially


ostracised in the room by Donald Trump in a very personal way. Do you


think that news organisations will feel cowed by that? I hope not


because the fact is, CNN and Buzzfeed and virtually all news


organisations, including mine and Margaret's, can and have and will be


attacked by Donald Trump. This is what he does whenever we write


something he does not like. Whether it is true. Not really matter. He


will attack us. Why do you think they did not walk out en masse, why


wasn't there more solidarity with those reporters who had taken the


stance? I don't think that walking out of the first press conference in


six months from Donald Trump is a particularly useful response to the


fact that he has an oppositional stance with the media. He's going to


continue to oppose the media, the main about the media, so we are


corrupt and lies. We will continue to report on what he does in as best


away as we can and I think that making futile statements about


walking out of press conferences would actually distract from the


hard job of reporting on his ministration. -- but this is an


important point, how do you hold some in to account who dismisses


everything as fake news, who doesn't choose to take questions if he does


not like the organisation very publicly, and whose supporters will


back him when he says they are just lies and it is just scandal and you


are just trying to bring down a popular man. Do you think there is


any way to hold Donald Trump to account when it does not seem to


make any difference? It doesn't seem to stick, you are right but I think


we have to keep doing our jobs as best we can and actually finding


better ways to dig in, to ask tough questions come to remind our readers


or viewers, consumers, that what was said was in fact a full set, a


light, if you will, -- a falsehood and eight lie. The fact checked and


tell people the truth is what we are for. Doesn't that mean, to go back


to the famous quote by Michelle Obama, when she said, "They go low


and we have to go higher", when you see the press coming down to new


lows, publishing stuff they have not verified, putting stuff out in the


public which is not checked and they admit might be wrong, isn't that the


new low? Isn't that joining the same level? I don't for a minute think


that a single publication of an important primary document by


Buzzfeed is a new low for the press. I think the new low for the press, I


can point to a dozen articles from Breitbart and others which are much


lower than that. I think Margaret... I think Michelle Obama is absolutely


right, when he goes low, we go high and in the short term, he can


respond to that just by blaster and saying, "It is fake news, the media


is corrupt, liars". Over the course of four years, it is very hard to


pull that off and I hope, I can do nothing but hope but over the medium


-- that over the medium-term, eventually the truth will make


itself manifest. The truth could be that all three of us and our


organisations are all anachronisms, quite frankly. In terms of Donald


Trump, he goes straight to the American people on Twitter. He can


make companies, markets move with what he says. Basically, could we


all be shut out of this conversation now because he can speak very


directly to the people who elected him? You know, Emily, it is


interesting to see the amount of support that news organisations like


the New York Times and the Washington Post and many others have


received in the wake of this election. Their subscriptions are


soaring. Even news literacy organisations are getting this huge


influx of money. I think there are many people in the United States,


and let's remember that Donald Trump lost the popular vote, there are


many people in the United States who do want the truth and who do want


the press to play it's very important role in our democracy. So


I am both hopeful and worried. And I guess the truth is, Felix, he's not


the first president and he won't be the last two big fight with the


press but it is slightly more public. Once more, I think you are


possibly overstating the degree to which it can Distin to mediate the


press just tweeting. -- he can avoid the mediation of the press. At the


moment, whenever he tweets, the press treated as a sign it -- shiny


object they need to chase and talk about for hours on end and I don't


think that is sustainable either. Once the press starts talking,


specifically cable TV news stops talking breathlessly about every


single tweet, I think the influence of those tweets and the ability of


Trump to communicate directly to the public will be diminished. I wonder


when that will be! Thank you for joining us.


A quick clarification before we go tonight.


On Tuesday, we ran an item about the ethics of studios


featuring dead actors in movies through the miracle of CGI.


In it, we said Disney was negotiating with Carrie Fisher's


estate about using her image in future Star Wars productions.


Although there have been reports that Disney was considering using


CGI to include Fisher in a future production, the studio says "Disney


is not in conversations with the estate of Carrie Fisher


at this time and any reports to the contrary are false."


Apologies to any Carrie Fisher fans we excited - or upset.


That's almost all for tonight, but before we go, we became aware


of the danger of wearing too much white on television tonight.


Forget the hazard of spaghetti bolognese, the perils


of smeared chocolate - no, the real trauma it seems


is from over-zealous colleagues - as the team on Australia's Channel 9


I need Julie to put a jacket on because we are all in white.


I asked her before we came on, "Julie, you need


I made this clear two and a half hours ago.


If it's an issue, I can get on out of here.


It is an issue. Go and grab a jacket.


I'm wearing blue, for one, Amber. I don't want to be having this.


Someone... Jenny?


Get someone, get a producer, I told her this two and a half...


There's one hanging up outside the control room.


Time now to head into the chat room and joining me today,


psychologist Sandy Ray in Melbourne and Julie Snook in Sydney,


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