16/01/2017 Newsnight


16/01/2017

With Evan Davis. Michael Gove on Theresa May's speech on Britain leaving the EU and his interview with Donald Trump. Plus preventing Islamic extremism.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

That's a summary of the news.

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Now on BBC News, it's time

for Newsnight with Evan Davis.

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It's always risky to hire

the cheapest builder.

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It's true of your new kitchen,

and it's true for government

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contracts as well.

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Is there a lesson there,

after the death of the giant

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outsourcing contractor Carillion?

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It's quite difficult for ministers

to go to Parliament and say,

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oh, we've gone for a more expensive

bid here, because we thought

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it was a better bid.

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Outsourcing was loved by Labour

in power but Jeremy Corbyn says this

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crisis is a sign it has to go -

we'll ask Dame Margaret Hodge

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if she thinks it has much future.

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And this - Hong Kong football fans

booing the Chinese National Anthem.

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Has Beijing stuck to its promise -

made to us - to respect democracy

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after it took back Hong Kong?

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After 30 years, I'm not sure

whether the British Government

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still remember Hong Kong,

and still remembers the promises

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that they have made.

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We hear from the new leader

of the backbench Tory Brexiteers

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on whether we may be heading

for a squidgy Brexit.

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And the rise of the specialist

cultural sensitivity editor.

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Publishers are employing people just

to sniff out anything in their books

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that someone might find offensive.

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Is this new front in the culture

war a modern necessity,

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or dangerous censorship?

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Hello.

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So, today, the Carillion blame game.

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The world has not fallen in, yet,

but the horror of the company

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Carillion going bust with we now

know a mere £29 million in the bank,

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with so many contracts in operation,

so many smaller suppliers unpaid,

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so much unfunded pension commitment

and so many workers jobs dependent

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on it - all while it has found

the money in the recent past

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to handsomely reward its executives

and make big dividend payouts.

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The Government knows the optics

don't look good and has asked

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for an accelerated investigation

into the actions of the directors.

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Jeremy Corbyn thinks it makes

a bigger point about trying

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to contract everything out.

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Time to bring it in house, he says.

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But for the moment, contracts rule

in the public sector -

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from prisons and schools,

you can also see train franchises

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as the same thing.

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Some private companies make a mint.

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Others - as Carillion knows -

operate on dangerously thin margins.

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So is it possible for contracting

out to ever work well?

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Here's Helen Thomas.

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30,000 businesses, hundreds

of millions of pounds owed.

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Across the country, companies

working on Carillion's private

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sector jobs are wondering

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what happens when Government support

ends.

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Then, the scale of the damage

from the company's dramatic collapse

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could become clear.

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But there are tough questions

starting to be asked in Westminster.

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About a third of government spending

goes through external suppliers.

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So, has the Government got a good

handle on who is building roads

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and hospitals, or providing

crucial public services?

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And have passed lessons

about the pitfalls of dealing

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with private companies been learned?

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About £250 billion of government

spending goes through external

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suppliers, according to estimates

from the National Audit Office.

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136 billion of that is spending

by central government departments

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and the NHS.

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But the NAO notes that

the Government is no clear figure

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for the amount it spends

through commercial relationships.

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Decisions about what to outsource

and how are often made

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within different departments.

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One concern is that there has not

been enough central management

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of the whole process.

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Open book accounting clauses

in contracts give the Government

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access to confidential information,

that helps track what is happening

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to the taxpayer's pounds.

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But a survey in 2014 found only 31%

of contracts have open book clauses.

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For only 19% of contracts

have the Government received

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the relevant data and taken

steps to verify it.

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A 2014 report by the Public Accounts

Committee recommended open book

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accounting to help scrutiny,

greater transparency and better

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information on contracts

and their performance,

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focus on encouraging new and smaller

entrance in to boost competition,

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investment in developing

Cabinet Office and departmental

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expertise, and, crucially,

contingency plans on all contracts,

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should a supplier failed.

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A follow up by the committee chaired

by Meg Hillier in 2016 called

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the pace of change disappointing.

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We see repeatedly the same things,

failure of contract letting,

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failure of contract management

and companies that promised more

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than they can deliver for the price.

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Really, there is still a very long

way for Government to go.

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The system isn't working.

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There are too few large companies

bidding for the contracts.

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They get good at bidding,

but there is no guarantee that

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being good at bidding is good

at running the service.

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But companies in the sector

would agree that change is needed.

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Years of austerity and the drive

to cut costs has put

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the sector under pressure.

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This chart shows operating profit

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margins for the UK construction

sector.

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Construction was the part

of Carillion's business that

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generated the most losses,

and the largest contractors have

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been making lower margins still,

argue industry bodies.

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AMA research puts the

industry-standard profit margins

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at 2% to 3% in construction,

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and maybe 3% to 5% in support

services.

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But the reality is that those remain

a target for some in a sector

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littered with profit

warnings and restructurings.

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One former executive told me that

margins had come under pressure

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across all outsourcing sectors

will stop that has happened

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as companies have been asked

to take on more risk,

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and, some contracts have become

impossibly complicated.

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A less flexible client,

the Government had also made it

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harder to react as problems arose.

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It is time, this person said,

for a fundamental rethink.

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The Government has been developing

an increasingly sophisticated

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appreciation that the lowest bidder

is not necessarily the best.

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But it is quite difficult

for ministers to go to Parliament

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and say, we have gone for a more

expensive bid because we thought

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it was a better one,

but I think maybe this instance

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will liven Parliament to the need

for Government to look more

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intelligently and these bids.

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With promises of hearings

and inquiries, dealings

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between the Government

and its biggest suppliers will soon

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be getting much more scrutiny.

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We did ask the Government

to join us tonight,

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but there was nobody available.

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But we have our own Newsnight

experts here to make sense of this -

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political editor Nick Watt,

business editor Helen Thomas

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and our policy editor Chris Cook.

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Nick, what are you hearing tonight

about where this is going?

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I understand that tonight

the Government is planning to extend

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the 48-hour period in which it

will fund the official receiver

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to look at private contractors,

what are known as the private sector

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counterparties to Carillion to see

whether they want to basically

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accept the termination of contracts,

or whether they want to pay

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for the ongoing costs.

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I am hearing talk in Whitehall

that there have been talks

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with the Treasury, they want to be

flexible, it is taking time to go

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through these contracts.

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They want to give them more time.

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But this will not be indefinitely...

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And they won't call it a bailout?

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It will not be the same

as the support they are providing

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for the official receiver.

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This is a contract where

the government battle has no stake,

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they are basically

helping the receivers.

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On other aspects of this whole

thing, where is it going to go now?

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It will take time to work out

where the pain is going to come any

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supply chain, who is going to lay

off people, and there will be

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lay-offs, and who might be

taking financial hits.

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As we touched on earlier,

Greg Clarke, the Business Secretary,

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has called for two investigations,

one into the Carillion accounts,

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and the reporting to Europe

to the profit warning in July,

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and also the conduct

towards its collapse,

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including by current

and former directors.

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We are assuming every aspect

of this will be probed.

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Corporate governance in the company,

including pay and board oversight,

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and there are various people around

politics today promising to have

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people in front of committees

and for them to be pretty fiery.

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You know, there will always be

this lingering question

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of if the Government should be more

aware of what was going on along

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the Carillion business.

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A rival company, into serve,

launched a legal challenge in 2014

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into the award of a contract

by the minute job defence,

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£4 billion.

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The contract went to Carillion,

and the rival said that the bids

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were abnormally low

and could be undeliverable.

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Whitehall insiders will be

having lots of concessions

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about the meanings of this.

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A lot of them will not be

agreeing with Jeremy Corbyn

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that it is the end

of our outsourcing.

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Didn't think it is

the end of outsourcing.

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That is clear.

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The big thing I keep hearing

about his concentration.

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They bring up how frustrating

it is that the market

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is so concentrated with outsourcing.

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There are relatively few players

of a scale large enough to take

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on the kind of contracts

that the Government

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likes to deliver.

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They also think that things

are currently in hand,

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they think that pensions

are going to be dealt

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with by the pension protection fund,

they think public contracts will be

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picked up and be OK.

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Obviously problems

with the supply chain.

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This isn't the sort

of Lehman Brothers catastrophe.

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The problem for them

in the short-term is,

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actually, if you look

at the Serco share price,

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it has gone up.

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A big rival?

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Yes, because things are easier

for them, there is one fewer bidder

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in the market.

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Are they seeing big changes

to outsourcing now?

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Not in the short-term,

not under this government.

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The big thing worth remembering

is that there are reasons that

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people outsource which are not just

about chiselling at the cost.

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Do you have the strategic

capacity to do something?

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The civil service does not

want to have a senior manager

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in charge of doing HR for the people

that maintain own buildings.

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They are not interested in that

and they cannot foresee doing that.

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Thanks, all of you,

thank you very much.

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Now I'm joined by Dame Margaret

Hodge, the Labour MP who chaired

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the Public Accounts Committee

in 2014 when it produced a report

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on outsourcing public services

to the private sector.

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Do you think the collapse

of Carillion is the sign of a system

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working, that a company that perhaps

was not very well run has gone

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out of business?

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That happens.

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Or is it a sign of systemic failure?

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I think it is more of a sign

of systemic failure.

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We looked at this through four years

back, and I don't think

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what has changed.

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According to Meg Hillier, it hasn't.

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We found a number of things,

actually what the Government

0:11:520:11:54

was doing in trying to create

a market, it was almost destroying

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the market because it was killing

off a lot of smaller suppliers

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of public services and allowing

these very big oligarch companies,

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that were very good at winning

contracts, to run public services

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that they were less good at.

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We also found there isn't

enough transparency.

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You can sort this out.

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If you want to play in the public

sector market and you are using

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taxpayer's money,

you ought to be open.

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So you shouldn't be able to hide

behind commercial confidentiality.

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The Government can say

we will make it open?

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And they should.

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When we talked to four of the big

players, they were willing

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to do that.

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The other thing is the civil

service capability.

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We all know that it's

really isn't there.

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It is unrealistic to think

we are going to get

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rid of outsourcing.

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Over half of the service is now

provided by the tax payer,

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this is not, you know,

tax relief or benefits,

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pensions, but the services,

over half of them are provided

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by private providers.

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You cannot shift back.

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Your leader, Jeremy Corbyn,

has used the word fleecing

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the public, because the companies

take big profits out of the delivery

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of public services.

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It honestly doesn't sound

like they are taking

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very big profits.

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Carillion was struggling to survive.

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Which is the problem?

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The margins are or too fat?

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There is too much ideology,

money conservatives,

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there is an ideology.

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They believe that the private sector

can deliver more efficiency.

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Chris Grayling is probably

the main proponent of this,

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and you have seen a disaster

in the probation service.

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On the left, there is an ideology

that it has to be the public sector

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that always delivers,

and that becomes to produce a lead.

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We need to think of the user,

the citizen and patient.

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It is much easier for me to go

and get my flu jab from Boots.

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Is that outsourcing

or privatisation?

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It works for me as a citizen.

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We ought to think about how we can

construct these services.

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There is a big point here,

outsourcing is linked

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to the big economy.

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They, respect for companies push

something like cleaning or catering

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into agencies, they don't give

pensions, they maybe have shorter

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contracts with staff.

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The map -- gig economy

is the result.

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You don't think that

has gone too far?

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The marketisation of

all aspects of life?

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I think I do.

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We have to make this work,

because there is too much delivered

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through private companies.

0:14:320:14:33

You have to have the transparency

and create a market.

0:14:330:14:36

That means a government backed

or changing the way tenders.

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If you are a small company,

there was no way you can go to that

0:14:390:14:43

expensive process they have to skill

of the civil service and then

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you have to to have ethical

standards by behalf

0:14:460:14:48

on these big companies.

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That involves things like making

sure they employ people properly,

0:14:500:14:52

we ought to be regulated,

codes of practice and pay taxes,

0:14:520:14:55

all of that sort of thing.

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Don't lie about how

they are delivering the services.

0:14:570:14:59

And I think if we did that,

outsourcing could work better.

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We've also got to move

from the ideology to apply that bad,

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public good, and move to putting

the citizen at the heart

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of delivering services.

0:15:090:15:09

Margaret Hodge, thank you.

0:15:090:15:16

Before Britain exited

Hong Kong two decades ago,

0:15:160:15:20

it said it would be keeping a close

watch on its former colony once

0:15:200:15:25

it was to be in Chinese hands.

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We had signed a Joint Declaration

with China, that said for 50 years,

0:15:280:15:31

the freedoms Hong Kong

enjoyed would be preserved.

0:15:310:15:33

John Major said that in the event

of any breach of that agreement

0:15:330:15:37

by the Chinese, Britain would pursue

every legal and other avenue

0:15:370:15:40

available to challenge it.

0:15:400:15:41

Well, there are some

who look at Hong Kong now,

0:15:410:15:44

and observe Chinese restrictions

on democracy and free speech

0:15:440:15:46

slowly creeping in.

0:15:460:15:48

Tonight, student pro-democracy

leaders there - including

0:15:480:15:49

Joshua Wong - are awaiting

the outcome of their final appeal

0:15:500:15:52

to overturn prison sentences

for their roles in sparking 2014's

0:15:530:15:55

massive pro-democracy protests.

0:15:550:16:00

Should Britain step into the breach?

0:16:000:16:03

Danny Vincent reports

from Hong Kong.

0:16:030:16:05

Every day 35,000 people take

the ferry to Kowloon.

0:16:050:16:13

And Hong Kongers enjoy

rights unique in China.

0:16:130:16:19

Thanks to the terms of 1997

handover, Beijing can't interfere

0:16:190:16:21

in internal matters.

0:16:210:16:28

There's even a mini-constitution -

known as the "basic law".

0:16:280:16:32

But many worry that Beijing

is dramatically undermining that

0:16:320:16:34

agreement, that democracy activists

are being locked up and that Britain

0:16:340:16:37

is looking the other way.

0:16:370:16:45

We're on our way to

a new development -

0:16:450:16:47

the railway station that will be

the new terminus for a high speed

0:16:470:16:51

railway link connecting

Hong Kong to mainland China.

0:16:510:16:58

It's raising serious concerns over

Hong Kong's autonomy,

0:16:580:17:00

because inside this station Chinese

national law will apply,

0:17:000:17:03

not Hong Kong law.

0:17:030:17:05

The basic law states that mainland

laws can not be enforced in Hong

0:17:050:17:09

Kong.

0:17:090:17:13

But when the new Kowloon rail

terminus opens later this year,

0:17:130:17:16

Chinese customs and immigration

officials will operate

0:17:160:17:18

inside the station, with powers

of search and arrest.

0:17:180:17:27

Tanya Chan has long fought

to defend the basic law.

0:17:270:17:30

She argues this is the clearest

violation yet of the territory's

0:17:300:17:33

legal independence.

0:17:330:17:38

This is absolutely the worst

precedent, the worst example so far.

0:17:380:17:41

We are actually putting Chinese

officials in the heart of Hong Kong

0:17:410:17:44

and now this is the very first

time that in Hong Kong

0:17:440:17:47

we are going to apply national law.

0:17:470:17:54

Thousands demonstrated

against the plan on New Year's Day.

0:17:540:17:56

The basic law is a list of rights -

including freedom of speech,

0:17:570:18:00

of the press, freedom

to demonstrate.

0:18:000:18:03

They fear the plans for the station

are the thin end of the wedge

0:18:030:18:07

and Britain is not standing

by its international obligations

0:18:070:18:09

to protect their rights.

0:18:090:18:15

I'm not sure whether the British

Government still remembers Hong Kong

0:18:150:18:18

and still remembers the promises

that they have made.

0:18:180:18:20

The British Government definitely

has a role to play and definitely

0:18:200:18:23

can make their comments

and raise their concerns.

0:18:230:18:25

We are waiting for them.

0:18:250:18:41

Three years, ago the "umbrella"

protest brought tens of thousands

0:18:410:18:44

on to the streets over Beijing's

control of the candidates

0:18:440:18:46

for Hong Kong's leadership.

0:18:460:18:52

They were led by students

like Joshua Wong, but the protests

0:18:520:18:55

failed and Beijing still controls

who leads Hong Kong.

0:18:550:18:57

So the students started

their own party to campaign

0:18:570:19:00

for more democracy.

0:19:000:19:05

Joshua Wong and fellow activist

Nathan Law believe the court system

0:19:050:19:08

is no longer independent and it's

been used against them.

0:19:080:19:12

They have both been imprisoned

for public order offences.

0:19:120:19:14

Now, they're out on bail,

but a hearing tomorrow could put

0:19:140:19:17

Joshua back in prison.

0:19:170:19:18

And he said he was interrogated

naked when he was last in custody.

0:19:180:19:24

As a young prisoner,

I served my prison sentence

0:19:240:19:27

inside the highest security

prison in Hong Kong.

0:19:270:19:29

At the same time, they even urged me

to take off all my clothes

0:19:290:19:33

when I need to answer the question.

0:19:330:19:35

They just treat us...

0:19:350:19:39

Like a dog instead of a human.

0:19:390:19:41

There are suspicions that Triad

gang members are paid

0:19:410:19:44

to intimidate activists.

0:19:440:19:48

Joshua says prison inmates told him

that they had been told to attack

0:19:480:19:52

the umbrella movement.

0:19:520:19:56

When I was serving the prison

sentence in jail, I met a lot

0:19:560:19:59

of inmates who claimed

they had background,

0:19:590:20:01

come from the gangster

and they receive money to attack

0:20:010:20:04

or physically assault us

duringumbrella movement.

0:20:040:20:12

Joshua doesn't know who paid them.

0:20:120:20:15

The prison authorities deny

mistreatment and we were unable

0:20:160:20:18

to speak to prisoners to confirm

the claim of intimidation.

0:20:180:20:21

Those who fight for Hong Kong's

legal independence say they're also

0:20:210:20:24

fighting for its cultural identity.

0:20:240:20:30

I am meeting someone who may well be

at the heart of the next flashpoint.

0:20:300:20:34

Hong Kong football fans have been

booing the Chinese national anthem

0:20:340:20:37

when it's played at home games.

0:20:370:20:47

Now, Beijing has told Hong Kong

to criminalise the jeering.

0:20:470:20:52

The national anthem is not

representation of Hong Kong...

0:20:520:20:55

Jack and hundreds like him

will be breaking the law

0:20:550:20:57

if they carry on booing.

0:20:570:20:59

Why do football fans boo

the Chinese national anthem?

0:20:590:21:01

We don't think that we are

Chinese, we are Hong Kong.

0:21:010:21:05

The difference is that Hong Kong has

democracy and also we have the right

0:21:050:21:08

of speech and right

of demonstration in Hong Kong.

0:21:080:21:15

This was at a game between

Hong Kong and Bahrain.

0:21:150:21:18

Fans could be imprisoned

for three years.

0:21:180:21:23

New laws could be

applied retrospectively.

0:21:230:21:25

Critics say this contradicts

the basic law in terms of freedom

0:21:250:21:28

of expression, applying

Chinese national law

0:21:280:21:30

and applying it retrospectively.

0:21:300:21:35

But Jack is defiant.

0:21:350:21:36

Can they stop you disrespecting

the Chinese national anthem?

0:21:360:21:39

No.

0:21:390:21:42

At West Kowloon Magistrates Court,

nine more activists face

0:21:420:21:44

public order charges.

0:21:440:21:49

All were key figure

in the umbrella protests.

0:21:500:21:53

Tanya Chan, who opposes Chinese law

in the new rail station,

0:21:530:21:56

is one of the defendants.

0:21:560:22:00

In fact, over 50 democracy activists

and elected law-makers currently

0:22:000:22:03

face court cases that could bar them

from office or see them locked up.

0:22:030:22:10

This is just one hearing

in a series of legal moves

0:22:100:22:13

against the activists.

0:22:130:22:14

Professors, student leaders

and local politicians

0:22:140:22:16

are all going through the courts.

0:22:160:22:19

And all of them could

face prison time.

0:22:190:22:26

This case is seen as a clear warning

to every level of Hong Kong's

0:22:260:22:29

democracy camp - the umbrella

movement must be crushed.

0:22:290:22:32

People who lead protests

against Beijing must be prepared

0:22:320:22:34

to face jail and, by using

the courts, the tool

0:22:340:22:37

is the legal system itself.

0:22:370:22:41

We are defending our right

to have demonstrations,

0:22:410:22:43

freedom of expression and very

important is our right

0:22:430:22:45

to have our own choice

of government.

0:22:450:22:54

But there is substantial opposition

to the democracy activists in Hong

0:22:540:22:57

Kong.

0:22:570:22:59

Pro-Beijing candidates here command

the largest number of seats

0:22:590:23:01

in the partly-elected local chamber.

0:23:010:23:03

Regina Ip is is a strong

supporter of mainland China.

0:23:030:23:06

She says those who argue

the basic law is under threat

0:23:060:23:09

are being legal fundamentalists.

0:23:090:23:18

In a free society like Hong Kong,

with a wide range of different

0:23:180:23:21

opinions, we have among our

citizenry people who you might call

0:23:210:23:24

"fundamentalists" you know,

legal and judicial fundamentalists,

0:23:240:23:26

who believe in sticking to every

letter of the basic law.

0:23:260:23:37

Many pan-democrats in Hong Kong feel

that the Government and perhaps

0:23:370:23:40

Beijing are targeting them

and carrying out somewhat

0:23:400:23:42

of a political persecution.

0:23:420:23:43

What do you say to that?

0:23:430:23:46

We have no political

offences in Hong Kong.

0:23:460:23:50

If people are charged

for disrupting public order,

0:23:500:23:52

incitement or disturbance,

that is all based on common law

0:23:520:23:55

and common law principles

and the statutory laws

0:23:550:23:57

that we inherited from Britain.

0:23:570:23:58

I think these accusations

are totally ungrounded.

0:23:580:24:11

Hong Kong's autonomy

was enshrined in the basic law,

0:24:110:24:14

but the criminalisation

of the umbrella protesters

0:24:140:24:15

and others who challenge Beijing

does raise questions about the rule

0:24:150:24:18

of law in the territory.

0:24:180:24:22

It also raises questions

about Britain's commitment

0:24:220:24:24

to the people and the system it

once pledged to protect.

0:24:240:24:27

Danny Vincent there.

0:24:270:24:31

We did try to speak

to the Chinese Government

0:24:310:24:34

and the the British government

about this story, but nobody

0:24:340:24:36

was available from either.

0:24:360:24:45

The EU has been sounding both tough

and tender as regards Brexit today.

0:24:450:24:48

In a speech to the Parliament

today, the President

0:24:480:24:51

of the Council Donald Tusk

did the tender bit.

0:24:510:24:54

David Davis said if a democracy

cannot change its mind it ceases

0:24:540:24:58

to be a democracy.

0:24:580:25:04

We here on the continent haven't

had a change of heart.

0:25:040:25:07

Our hearts are still open to you.

0:25:070:25:16

Forget the idea that we will set

our own fishing quotas.

0:25:160:25:28

The draft instructions appear to be

quite hard line on what the

0:25:280:25:34

transition will look like. It seems

to be a race to the top for the

0:25:340:25:44

member states.

0:25:440:25:44

Each state is piling their own

issues into the negotiations.

0:25:440:25:47

Nick Watt is back us with.

0:25:470:25:51

Why did Michel Barnier come out

with that our heart is open?

0:25:510:25:54

It was Donald Tusk and sometimes

you need to set his words to music.

0:25:540:25:58

But what he said was music

to the ears of a small number

0:25:580:26:02

of Remain supporters

who are seeking to reverse Brexit.

0:26:020:26:10

What they need is Brussels to say,

we would like to have you back

0:26:100:26:14

and the reason why they need

that is by the time of the autumn

0:26:140:26:18

when we will have this deal,

they want the British people to see

0:26:180:26:21

two options - the new deal

or the existing membership

0:26:210:26:24

and they're talking about ways

of defeating Brexit.

0:26:240:26:33

Is this going to happen?

0:26:330:26:39

I was speaking to a member

of the cabinet who supported Remain,

0:26:390:26:43

who said you couldn't see it

happening unless public

0:26:430:26:45

opinion shifted dramatically.

0:26:450:26:46

60-40 in favour of Remain,

it not really shifting.

0:26:460:26:49

One of the most most vocal

supporters of Brexit has been

0:26:490:26:52

the Tory backbencher

Jacob Rees Mogg.

0:26:520:27:05

He was rewarded for his work in this

area today by being appointed

0:27:050:27:09

Chairman of the party's influential

European Research Group -

0:27:090:27:11

a sort of internal lobbying grouping

which works to push for a hard

0:27:110:27:15

Brexit.

0:27:150:27:15

I spoke to him earlier and I put it

to him that despite President Tusk's

0:27:150:27:19

comments earlier, the EU

was preparing to be pretty tough

0:27:190:27:22

and uncompromising for the next

round of negotiations.

0:27:220:27:24

Well, I'm all in

favour of being tough

0:27:240:27:26

and uncompromising.

0:27:260:27:27

I want a proper Brexit.

0:27:270:27:28

I want us to leave

the European Union, heart,

0:27:280:27:30

soul and mind.

0:27:300:27:31

I don't want us to have the sort

of Brexit where, because they've

0:27:310:27:35

given us all sorts of baubles,

we have stayed in bits that

0:27:350:27:38

deny us freedom.

0:27:380:27:39

The key thing is coming up

with the trade negotiation now.

0:27:390:27:42

It is so important that we maintain

the flexibility to do deals

0:27:420:27:45

with other countries,

that were not so bound

0:27:450:27:47

in by the EU's requirements

that we can't get the benefits

0:27:470:27:50

of cheaper food, clothing

and footwear, that will flow

0:27:500:27:53

from setting up our own

trading relationships.

0:27:530:27:55

So, their being tough may actually

push us into a clearer Brexit.

0:27:550:28:02

Could we talk about the transition?

0:28:020:28:04

Because the Government is pretty

keen on a transition,

0:28:040:28:06

or implementation.

0:28:060:28:07

The EU, all signs are,

from the draft negotiating

0:28:070:28:09

positions, they're going

to be really tough.

0:28:090:28:19

Well, I think the language

is really important.

0:28:190:28:21

Is it an implimentation period

which the Government is asking for,

0:28:210:28:24

or is it a transition?

0:28:240:28:25

If it is an implimentation

period, we've left the EU

0:28:250:28:28

and we are implementing

the consequences.

0:28:280:28:29

That is to say it might take time

to put in new immigration

0:28:300:28:33

queues at Heathrow.

0:28:330:28:34

And, until that's done,

we're implementing.

0:28:340:28:35

If it's a transition, we are in fact

still in the European Union.

0:28:360:28:39

If they set our fishing quotas,

if new laws coming in from the EU

0:28:390:28:43

affect the UK, if the ECJ

still has jurisdiction,

0:28:430:28:45

it would be untrue

to say we have left.

0:28:450:28:48

It would be an extension

of our membership.

0:28:480:28:50

If that is what the Government

should want to do, it should do it

0:28:500:28:54

under the terms of Article 50

and be honest about it.

0:28:540:28:57

It would be a deceit

to have a transition that kept us

0:28:570:29:00

in the EU for two years by default.

0:29:000:29:02

And you wouldn't necessarily be

against extending our membership

0:29:020:29:05

for two years to get

everything sorted out,

0:29:050:29:07

but you want honesty about that

if that is what the plan is?

0:29:070:29:10

Because the EU, by the way,

is in no doubt at all,

0:29:100:29:13

it is an extension of

membership by another name.

0:29:140:29:16

I would be opposed to

extension of membership.

0:29:160:29:18

An implimentation period is fine.

0:29:180:29:20

A transition period is not.

0:29:200:29:21

The Prime Minister,

who I fully support,

0:29:210:29:23

has been very careful to say

implementation period...

0:29:230:29:30

But you're just using the language

that you know is going to appeal

0:29:300:29:33

to you, business just hears

transitional arrangement.

0:29:340:29:35

They don't make any distinct at all.

0:29:350:29:37

No, it's very important

to focus on the details.

0:29:370:29:40

The Prime Minister is a person

of great precision.

0:29:400:29:42

She doesn't use language loosely.

0:29:420:29:44

And she has invariably

said implimentation,

0:29:440:29:45

and she has said that we will leave

on the 29th of March 2019,

0:29:450:29:49

and I fully support her position.

0:29:490:29:51

Right.

0:29:510:29:51

I wonder how you interpreted

Nigel Farage's comments

0:29:510:29:53

on a second referendum.

0:29:530:29:54

Because that, again,

was seen by some as a kind of sign

0:29:540:29:57

of nervousness on the Brexit

side that it's just

0:29:580:30:00

slipping away, potentially.

0:30:000:30:01

I don't know why Mr Farage

decide to say he wanted

0:30:010:30:04

a second referendum.

0:30:040:30:05

One of the interesting things

about polling on this at the moment

0:30:050:30:08

is that people, they broadly

haven't changed from where

0:30:080:30:10

they were in the referendum,

but on the question do you want

0:30:100:30:13

another referendum, everyone in this

country is Brenda from Bristol.

0:30:140:30:16

There is no appetite

for another referendum.

0:30:160:30:23

As it happens, I think

there would be real anger

0:30:230:30:26

if there was a second one,

because we're not one of those

0:30:260:30:29

smaller EU states, that when we vote

to give the answer that the EU

0:30:290:30:33

doesn't like get told to vote again

and again until we do as we're told,

0:30:330:30:37

like good little boys.

0:30:370:30:45

Therefore I think, if there

was a second referendum,

0:30:450:30:47

you would see considerable

popular discontent.

0:30:470:30:49

You're now running the ERG,

the European Reform Group.

0:30:490:30:51

This is about 60 Tory MPs,

on the more Brexit side,

0:30:510:30:54

the Brexit side, let's say.

0:30:540:30:55

Are you going to hold

the Government's feet to the fire,

0:30:560:30:58

on all the things we've

been talking about?

0:30:580:31:01

The Government's determination

to go for a clear Brexit,

0:31:010:31:03

rather than a slightly

messier, softer one?

0:31:030:31:08

The ERG is a group of like-minded

members of Parliament and it

0:31:080:31:12

provides research to help us

with work on European issues.

0:31:120:31:19

I'm very keen to help the Government

achieve the policy that it set out,

0:31:190:31:23

and the Prime Minister set out

particularly in the Lancaster House

0:31:230:31:27

speech, and encourage a vigorous

implimentation of that policy.

0:31:270:31:31

The Government has my personal,

complete support in doing that.

0:31:310:31:34

Jacob Rees-Mogg, thanks very much.

0:31:340:31:35

Thank you very much.

0:31:350:31:36

Pretty well anyone who writes

anything these days knows how easy

0:31:370:31:39

it is to be unwittingly -

or wittingly - offensive.

0:31:400:31:42

In the era of identity politics,

it's not hard to trigger a reaction

0:31:420:31:46

that says you are guilty

of insensitivity to

0:31:460:31:48

one group or another.

0:31:480:31:50

Now, while some writers

thrive on controversy,

0:31:500:31:52

many want to avoid it,

and even if they don't

0:31:520:31:54

their publishers might.

0:31:540:31:55

So enter the idea of

sensitivity readers.

0:31:550:31:57

People employed to look at a book

ahead of publication, to advise

0:31:570:32:00

on potential mis-steps within.

0:32:000:32:03

As always, the US leads in these

trends and the American press has

0:32:030:32:07

become quite pre-occupied

by the debate as to whether

0:32:070:32:09

sensitivity readers improve books,

or censor free speech and indulge

0:32:090:32:12

a noisy Twitter mob too keen to take

umbrage at anything.

0:32:120:32:15

Here's Stephen Smith

on how it works.

0:32:150:32:22

# I'm mad about good books

0:32:250:32:27

# Can't get my fill...#

0:32:270:32:29

Budding authors have always been

told, write about what you know.

0:32:290:32:34

That seems particularly canny advice

now, when an imaginative leap

0:32:340:32:37

into unfamiliar territory can lend

a writer in trouble for

0:32:370:32:40

misrepresentation or stereotyping.

0:32:400:32:45

Some readers and critics are alert

to any real or perceived failures

0:32:450:32:48

of authenticity in areas including

race, gender and sexuality.

0:32:480:32:50

So, publishers and writers

are turning to so-called

0:32:500:32:57

sensitivity readers,

who scan texts before publication

0:32:570:33:00

on the lookout for any missteps that

might jar or give offence.

0:33:000:33:03

One author of books for young adults

told us she used sensitivity readers

0:33:030:33:06

when she created characters

with deafness and selective mutism.

0:33:060:33:09

I have a friend who is deaf,

and I also knew somebody who was

0:33:090:33:20

a British sign language interpreter.

0:33:200:33:21

So, they both individually

read it and came back

0:33:210:33:24

to me with their notes.

0:33:240:33:25

And then we discussed it together.

0:33:250:33:30

It was to make sure that

I was representing, in this case,

0:33:300:33:33

deafness, as authentically

and truthfully as possible,

0:33:340:33:35

to make sure that, for people

who have experience of it,

0:33:360:33:38

that they would be able to recognise

the way I was portraying it.

0:33:380:33:44

But is there a danger

that writers and readers

0:33:440:33:47

could become oversensitive?

0:33:470:33:54

That difficult material

will simply be avoided

0:33:550:33:56

for fear of giving offence?

0:33:560:33:58

And sensitivities vary, of course.

0:33:580:33:59

Even just about everyone's favourite

boy wizard managed to upset some

0:33:590:34:02

over so-called occult themes

in the Harry Potter books.

0:34:020:34:05

Right now, young adult readers

seemed to be more alive to issues

0:34:050:34:08

of sensitivity than the general

book buying public.

0:34:080:34:14

Yes, I think very much so.

0:34:140:34:16

Especially with social media

allowing people to have much more

0:34:160:34:19

of a voice than maybe

they would have done before,

0:34:190:34:21

and in larger numbers.

0:34:210:34:22

I think it's definitely something

that I, as a YA author,

0:34:230:34:25

and friends of mine who are YA

authors are very aware of.

0:34:250:34:32

# Sitting and reading

0:34:320:34:33

# Enjoying the breathing

of you...#

0:34:340:34:38

As more authors take advice

from sensitivity readers,

0:34:380:34:40

some bookworms may be

in for a more

0:34:400:34:42

stress-free experience.

0:34:420:34:52

But will that really

make for a happy ending?

0:34:520:34:54

Joining me now to discuss

is author Laura Moriarty,

0:34:540:34:57

who worked with sensitivity readers

on her novel 'American Heart'.

0:34:570:35:00

She's in Kansas.

0:35:000:35:00

And with me in the studio

is publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove,

0:35:000:35:03

who heads up London-based Dialogue

Books.

0:35:030:35:06

Good evening to you.

0:35:060:35:08

Laura, you had a curious experience.

0:35:080:35:09

You worked with sensitivity

readers, and it was a book

0:35:090:35:12

with Muslim themes.

0:35:120:35:13

And there was still quite a lot

of anger at your book anyway?

0:35:130:35:22

Exactly.

0:35:220:35:23

As I was writing the book,

I actually instinctively did it

0:35:230:35:25

on my own, I asked a Muslim American

friend to read the book and I asked

0:35:250:35:30

some Persian American

friends to read the books.

0:35:300:35:32

I even sent the manuscript

to a friend of a friend in Iran,

0:35:320:35:35

and she sent her thoughts.

0:35:350:35:43

I wanted to make sure

it was authentic and accurate,

0:35:430:35:45

my depictions of

Muslims and Iranians.

0:35:460:35:47

Once I sold the book to Harper,

they also hired sensitivity readers

0:35:470:35:50

to go through the book again.

0:35:500:35:52

I think what is interesting is,

for me, I didn't mind when Harper

0:35:520:35:56

said they wanted sensitivity readers

to go over it again.

0:35:560:35:58

If I think of it as accuracy

readers, if I think about someone

0:35:580:36:02

who has an experience that can look

at my work and make sure I am

0:36:020:36:06

being accurate and thoughtful

about how I depict groups.

0:36:060:36:15

That is fine with me.

0:36:150:36:20

I think the biggest misperception

is that the writers are forced

0:36:200:36:24

to take every suggestion

that the sensitivity reader makes.

0:36:240:36:27

That wasn't the case for me.

0:36:270:36:28

I just want to get...

0:36:280:36:30

Basically, you agreed the book

with the sensitivity readers

0:36:300:36:33

and the publisher, then

was a lot of upset.

0:36:340:36:37

The saviour of the book

of the Muslims was a white woman,

0:36:370:36:40

and it was more her

story than theirs?

0:36:400:36:48

Right, there were people that

were upset, when the description

0:36:480:36:50

of the book came out,

that the narrator and

0:36:500:36:54

the protagonist is a

white non-Muslim girl.

0:36:540:36:58

She is very bigoted

at the beginning.

0:36:580:37:01

She has grown up in the extremely

xenophobic United States.

0:37:020:37:04

She overcomes her prejudice

by meeting a Muslim.

0:37:040:37:06

What did you make of that story,

the book through the sensitivity

0:37:060:37:12

reader and then there was outrage?

0:37:120:37:29

The question overall is why we need

sensitivity writers?

0:37:290:37:33

Who is writing the stories?

0:37:330:37:35

It seems like a formidable amount

of people that were involved to make

0:37:350:37:39

sure that something was correct.

0:37:390:37:44

If we have the people employed

in the first place in publishing

0:37:440:37:52

houses, it seems like it is from

the confidence from the publishers

0:37:520:37:55

as where it has gone wrong.

0:37:550:38:04

I also question the idea of anyone

being able to write anything

0:38:040:38:07

from any perspective,

the idea of a White saviour

0:38:070:38:09

with a Muslim, that is complicated.

0:38:090:38:15

There are issues there.

0:38:150:38:17

The point is that Muslims

would not have one view

0:38:170:38:20

on that, would they?

0:38:200:38:22

You don't necessarily want

the noisiest or the most offended

0:38:220:38:25

people to dictate what is published?

0:38:250:38:26

Or is that not where you end up?

0:38:260:38:29

Absolutely.

0:38:290:38:31

We have to remember that YA

0:38:320:38:33

publishing is particularly

sensitive.

0:38:330:38:34

Young adults?

0:38:340:38:35

Yes, because the issues

are front-loaded.

0:38:350:38:40

This is about reading

for the next generation.

0:38:400:38:43

We absolutely have

to get this right.

0:38:430:38:44

We have to get the reading right,

we have to get the writing right.

0:38:450:38:48

We have to listen to the voices that

are coming through and complaining.

0:38:480:38:52

Actually, we have to to think

who is writing our stories,

0:38:520:38:55

who are our children

going to be listing to?

0:38:550:38:59

Is there a problem, forget

sensitivity readers,

0:38:590:39:02

is the problem basically that too

many publishers and writers

0:39:020:39:05

are scared of offending people?

0:39:050:39:06

Well, I think that is very

much the case right now.

0:39:070:39:10

I think there is an idea that

you could possibly hire enough

0:39:100:39:13

sensitivity readers where

nobody would be offended,

0:39:130:39:15

and that is of course impossible.

0:39:150:39:17

With my book, I had my readers,

the publishing house hired more,

0:39:170:39:22

and people were still

incredibly offended.

0:39:220:39:26

As you say, there are

different sensitivities,

0:39:260:39:28

even within marginalised

communities.

0:39:280:39:31

You're never going to please

everybody and make everybody happy.

0:39:310:39:36

I think the focus needs

to be an authenticity.

0:39:360:39:39

I would disagree, and I think that

while I agree that we would

0:39:400:39:43

like to see more diversity

in publishing and writers,

0:39:430:39:45

I don't think that there should be

such strict limits on who should

0:39:460:39:49

tell such stories.

0:39:490:39:51

I think we can imagine

each other's lives.

0:39:510:39:53

My first novel was about a girl

growing up on welfare,

0:39:540:39:56

and she was white, and nobody ever

asked me anything about it.

0:39:570:40:02

Do you have any worries about this

being a sort of shutting down,

0:40:030:40:06

rather than opening up.

0:40:060:40:10

What we really want to see us

diversity in publishing,

0:40:100:40:13

diversity in terms of characters,

and confidence from the writers.

0:40:130:40:16

It has to be fair and it

has to be pronounced.

0:40:160:40:19

We need to have that in order

for the next generation.

0:40:190:40:29

Thank you both very much indeed.

0:40:290:40:31

That's it for tonight.

0:40:310:40:32

But following last week's row

when Donald Trump was accused

0:40:320:40:35

of favouring immigrants from Norway

over those from Haiti,

0:40:350:40:37

people have been asking just

what is it about the liberal

0:40:370:40:40

Norwegians that the

President actually likes.

0:40:410:40:44

Now a new theory has emerged online,

that Norway is in fact helping

0:40:440:40:48

Mr Trump to maintain his most

closely guarded cover-up.

0:40:480:40:50

Judge for yourself.

0:40:500:40:51

Good night.

0:40:510:40:58

DONALD TRUMP:

Ricardo Sanchez,

on his Spanish drivetime radio show

0:41:000:41:03

in Los Angeles, has taken to calling

Donald J Trump "The Man

0:41:030:41:06

of the Toupee".

0:41:060:41:15

This was on the front page

of the New York Times.

0:41:150:41:18

I don't wear a toupee.

0:41:180:41:19

It's my hair!

0:41:190:41:22

With Evan Davis. Michael Gove on Theresa May's speech on Britain leaving the EU and his interview with Donald Trump, Keir Starmer on Britain leaving the EU, the latest NHS statistics, and preventing Islamic extremism.


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