09/03/2017 Newsnight


09/03/2017

With Kirsty Wark. The Government is under pressure over the National Insurance hike. Plus, Richard Dawkins on Brexit and what can the French film Elle tell us about rape?


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 09/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Is the answer when it is in a party manifesto?

:00:00.:00:08.

As Philip Hammond is attacked from all sides for raising

:00:09.:00:12.

National Insurance, will this become Theresa May's big issue of trust?

:00:13.:00:16.

David Cameron's former Director of Communications

:00:17.:00:18.

He can explain to people, here is a path I took and this

:00:19.:00:26.

is why it is not a breach of a manifesto promise.

:00:27.:00:29.

The problem with that, as you are asking me

:00:30.:00:32.

and as you should rightly ask him and other members of the

:00:33.:00:35.

government, is people perceive this to be a breach.

:00:36.:00:37.

We'll be discussing making and breaking political promises.

:00:38.:00:39.

Also tonight, we discuss Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven's Golden

:00:40.:01:08.

Globe-winning thriller, Elle, and its complex portrayal

:01:09.:01:11.

of one woman's response to the most horrific rape.

:01:12.:01:25.

Can cinema take us to dark places where accepted views

:01:26.:01:27.

on rape are challenged through the character of a woman

:01:28.:01:30.

Three words freighted with probity and trust.

:01:31.:01:48.

But, after anything but an explosive budget, a firecracker blew up

:01:49.:01:51.

in the Chancellor's face today over the issue of a promise.

:01:52.:01:56.

The question being, why does the government deny

:01:57.:01:59.

breaking a manifesto pledge on National Insurance when the 2015

:02:00.:02:04.

election manifesto clearly said there would be no increase

:02:05.:02:06.

in National Insurance for the five years of an incoming

:02:07.:02:09.

Is it ever right to to promise one thing and do another?

:02:10.:02:15.

The Chancellor has raised the hackles of the right-wing press,

:02:16.:02:18.

Tory backbenchers of many stripes, and the opposition alike.

:02:19.:02:23.

Theresa May is in Brussels tonight where, at a press conference,

:02:24.:02:25.

probably for the first time in her life, she was hoping

:02:26.:02:28.

for questions about Brexit, but was pressed on this instead.

:02:29.:02:30.

I'm joined by our political editor, Nick Watt.

:02:31.:02:35.

What did she had to say about National Insurance?

:02:36.:02:41.

She is standing by the fundamental principle of this budget change

:02:42.:02:46.

which is that the self-employed should pay more in national

:02:47.:02:48.

insurance contributions because now they are able to benefit from the

:02:49.:02:53.

new state pension. She also bought herself time because legislation to

:02:54.:02:56.

implement think these changes is not going to be introduced until the

:02:57.:03:00.

autumn and I am hearing the first signs of how they are going to

:03:01.:03:05.

soften the impact of this National Insurance rise, by waiting until the

:03:06.:03:10.

autumn, the Chancellor will give himself the option of implementing

:03:11.:03:13.

some of the recommendations in the report by the former Tony Blair at

:03:14.:03:17.

Downing Street adviser Matthew Taylor. That could see maternity and

:03:18.:03:23.

paternity rights extended to the self employed and that would be

:03:24.:03:28.

very, very expensive. As I understand it, Philip Hammond is

:03:29.:03:31.

watching this very carefully because what he is concerned about is the

:03:32.:03:35.

revenue he has raised this week could be wiped out by that change.

:03:36.:03:41.

All this for that. Possible we could be seeing the first signs of not

:03:42.:03:45.

such a great relationship between numbers ten and 11? Theresa May and

:03:46.:03:48.

Philip Hammond made great play of the pack they want to restore the

:03:49.:03:52.

traditional relationship between Prime Minister and Chancellor and I

:03:53.:03:56.

can now confirm we have the traditional tensions between a Prime

:03:57.:04:00.

Minister who wants to spend and a Chancellor who wants to restrain

:04:01.:04:03.

public spending. And I am hearing the sound of complaints from the

:04:04.:04:08.

Treasury, firstly that number ten, I'm told, just want to spend money.

:04:09.:04:12.

Important visit the Chancellor did cough up on schools and social care.

:04:13.:04:18.

Secondly complaints that some senior political advisers around the Prime

:04:19.:04:22.

Minister have what are described as anti-Tory ideas about raising taxes.

:04:23.:04:28.

I'm told Philip Hammond had his work cut out battling against pressure to

:04:29.:04:33.

raise capital gains tax and, wait for it, increasing the national

:04:34.:04:36.

insurance contributions proposed this week to an even higher level

:04:37.:04:42.

for higher rate taxpayers. It has been a pretty bumpy response to the

:04:43.:04:46.

budget for the Chancellor so we thought we would take a look at the

:04:47.:04:48.

pressures on him. There have been too many

:04:49.:04:53.

in the last few years, too many Broken promises can be

:04:54.:05:00.

lethal for politicians. Look what happened

:05:01.:05:10.

to my namesake when the Liberal Democrat policy

:05:11.:05:13.

on tuition fees collided with the harsh reality

:05:14.:05:18.

of coalition government. And now Philip Hammond, the man

:05:19.:05:24.

who hoped to forge a duller and less glitzy era in the Treasury,

:05:25.:05:27.

and who would never be seen dead doing a stunt

:05:28.:05:30.

like this, has been caught out Make no mistake, they

:05:31.:05:33.

are feeling pain in the Treasury today as

:05:34.:05:44.

the right-wing press savages the Chancellor for breaking

:05:45.:05:49.

that general election pledge One source familiar with

:05:50.:05:55.

the thinking in numbers ten and 11 Downing St told me,

:05:56.:05:59.

this is all about trust. This troubled Budget will be

:06:00.:06:01.

remembered as the first self-inflicted wound

:06:02.:06:05.

of this government. And so far, nearly 20 Tory MPs,

:06:06.:06:07.

including the Wales Office Minister Guto Bebb, have

:06:08.:06:10.

questioned the change. It won't have the

:06:11.:06:12.

support from people We need to get out there

:06:13.:06:18.

and support entrepreneurs. As I say, they are the

:06:19.:06:25.

backbone of this economy. They are taking risks,

:06:26.:06:27.

opening small businesses, employing those apprentices, giving

:06:28.:06:29.

young people a chance. We have done for seven years and I'm

:06:30.:06:31.

going to make sure we My Whitehall source admitted

:06:32.:06:35.

that the government had slipped up by appearing

:06:36.:06:38.

to target white van man. In fact, the changes

:06:39.:06:41.

were aimed at catching out what are described as spivs

:06:42.:06:43.

and dodgy accountants. I think this is an interesting

:06:44.:06:45.

cultural economic moment, where the Conservative Party, which has long

:06:46.:06:53.

revelled in the impression that it was the party of enterprise and

:06:54.:06:56.

small entrepreneurs, has shown it There will be an opportunity

:06:57.:06:58.

in politics for other parties to make

:06:59.:07:05.

a pitch for these voters. The Chancellor is

:07:06.:07:07.

reluctant to back down. He needs the ?2 billion

:07:08.:07:10.

the changes will generate This evening, Theresa May pointed

:07:11.:07:12.

to a way out, using a review by a former Labour Downing Street

:07:13.:07:20.

official to soften the tax rises. What we are likely to see

:07:21.:07:24.

from the government is probably what they should have done

:07:25.:07:26.

when they first made this announcement yesterday,

:07:27.:07:29.

which is to set it much more in a broader context of

:07:30.:07:31.

looking at the whole picture of taxation for the self

:07:32.:07:34.

employed, which would be about the national insurance that

:07:35.:07:36.

firms pay when they employ people and use

:07:37.:07:39.

self-employed workers, not just that paid directly

:07:40.:07:40.

by the self-employed, and set it in the context of giving

:07:41.:07:47.

the self employed more benefit entitlements,

:07:48.:07:49.

like an maternity pay, and more support with things

:07:50.:07:53.

like pension savings. That overall package of support

:07:54.:07:54.

and slightly higher taxes is probably what we will see

:07:55.:07:56.

from the government in the coming months,

:07:57.:07:59.

and that's a good thing. If he emerges unscathed,

:08:00.:08:01.

Philip Hammond may reflect, he is the victim of a style

:08:02.:08:03.

of politics he hoped to end. That was the habit of George Osborne

:08:04.:08:06.

and Gordon Brown to lay traps for their

:08:07.:08:09.

political opponents. It was George Osborne who outlined

:08:10.:08:11.

the tax lock at the last No increases in VAT,

:08:12.:08:14.

National Insurance contributions, or This was a political trap,

:08:15.:08:21.

the so-called tax lock, to try and catch Labour out,

:08:22.:08:25.

but actually it has ended up catching out the Tories

:08:26.:08:28.

and they have fallen Probably the best comparison

:08:29.:08:31.

for Gordon with the 2015 Budget was Gordon's 2001

:08:32.:08:38.

pre-election budget, where he framed the election question as more

:08:39.:08:41.

investment, not less, and he invited the Conservative Party

:08:42.:08:43.

to oppose his spending plans. The difference was that Gordon

:08:44.:08:45.

was almost certain to be back in Downing Street

:08:46.:08:47.

after that election, so he could only make commitments

:08:48.:08:49.

like that if he was certain that he could

:08:50.:08:52.

deliver on them. The difference with George Osborne

:08:53.:08:54.

was that he probably wasn't ever expecting to be back

:08:55.:08:56.

in Downing Street to have to implement this tax guarantee,

:08:57.:08:59.

which made him far more reckless than he otherwise

:09:00.:09:01.

would have been. Who would have thought that such

:09:02.:09:05.

a steady Chancellor would find his budget being

:09:06.:09:07.

buffeted in the wind? Perhaps spreadsheet Phil is looking

:09:08.:09:12.

back wistfully at his The man who was at David Cameron's

:09:13.:09:14.

shoulder when the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 election

:09:15.:09:21.

was written and pledges made, was his Director of Communications,

:09:22.:09:28.

Craig Oliver. You have been literally in the thick

:09:29.:09:38.

of this before. In terms of manifesto pledges and commitments

:09:39.:09:42.

and so forth. Looking at this, the Chancellor insisted this is not the

:09:43.:09:46.

break of a manifesto but is it or not? The issue is, do people

:09:47.:09:50.

perceive it to be. The reality is that most people perceive this to be

:09:51.:09:54.

the breaking of our pledge. Would it have been better if he had just

:09:55.:09:57.

said, I'm breaking a manifesto promise, I'm going to raise class

:09:58.:10:02.

for national insurance because circumstances have changed since

:10:03.:10:07.

2015? Philip Hammond as a defender and I believe he is sincere in that

:10:08.:10:11.

and thinks that he is in a position where he can explain to people, here

:10:12.:10:16.

is a path I took and it is why it is not a breach of a manifesto promise.

:10:17.:10:21.

The problem with that, as you are asking me and as you should rightly

:10:22.:10:24.

ask him and other members of the government, is people perceive this

:10:25.:10:29.

to be a breach. They feel that when they looked specifically at what was

:10:30.:10:37.

written, you have breached that. The problem again with that if people

:10:38.:10:39.

start asking questions, can we trust you, are you being legalistic,

:10:40.:10:42.

dancing on the head of it was a ludicrous pledge to say that over

:10:43.:10:46.

the whole lifetime of the next government there would be no

:10:47.:10:52.

increases in VAT, national insurance for income tax? I don't think it is

:10:53.:10:56.

but once a political party has made that pledge and got into government

:10:57.:11:00.

you end up in a difficult decision if you are perceived to have broken

:11:01.:11:03.

that. David Cameron was always clear on this that when you made a pledge,

:11:04.:11:09.

you should not go back on it. He was constantly lobbied on international

:11:10.:11:13.

aid or the triple lock for pensioners by people saying, look at

:11:14.:11:16.

all this money we could take it we went back on this and he said, but

:11:17.:11:20.

I've made a promise to the poorest people and pensioners and what would

:11:21.:11:24.

people say if I went back on that? He knew he would reap the whirlwind

:11:25.:11:28.

if he broke those pledges. If you were advising Philip Hammond what

:11:29.:11:34.

would you advise on to say? The most interesting question is, do you

:11:35.:11:38.

actually intend to stick with this having delivered it in the budget?

:11:39.:11:42.

If you are going to and you are sure you will, you have to defend the

:11:43.:11:47.

decision you have taken an explain it. Having said that, the great

:11:48.:11:51.

difficulty for him, the sheer fact we are doing this interview, is that

:11:52.:11:55.

the entire perception of anybody looking at this is that you have

:11:56.:11:59.

broken a pledge. I can see how people in government, when they are

:12:00.:12:03.

balancing a lot of things, also moving parts, they get themselves

:12:04.:12:06.

into a position where they persuade themselves that is dependable. Not

:12:07.:12:10.

only was it called a pledge, David Cameron called it a Balliu, almost

:12:11.:12:16.

it had a religious significance that they would be no tax rises so in

:12:17.:12:21.

that regard it was very serious -- called it a value. When the decision

:12:22.:12:27.

was taken to make this pledge, people thought through that this was

:12:28.:12:31.

something that had to be defendable and people would be voting for them

:12:32.:12:36.

on it. When that decision was made, it was done very seriously. If you

:12:37.:12:39.

are the current government, you can say that actually the reality is

:12:40.:12:44.

there are different people running number ten and number 11. I suspect

:12:45.:12:48.

Philip Hammond actually thinks he was not explicit on this very

:12:49.:12:56.

specific area and technicality. In political broad terms, you can

:12:57.:13:00.

lampoon that and say it is ridiculous and a breach of trust but

:13:01.:13:05.

I can see how people can get themselves into that position but

:13:06.:13:08.

the problem is you have to be able to have people coming in late in the

:13:09.:13:13.

day and say, how will this look? Thank you very much. We did ask to

:13:14.:13:17.

speak to someone from the government tonight but nobody was available.

:13:18.:13:18.

The Sun newspaper has been fiercely critical of the budget, and I'm now

:13:19.:13:21.

joined by their political editor, Tom Newton Dunn.

:13:22.:13:23.

Also, Polly Mackenzie, who worked for Nick Clegg and is no

:13:24.:13:26.

stranger to the fallout of broken promises.

:13:27.:13:29.

Good evening. First of all, how damaging is this for the government?

:13:30.:13:39.

Having a broken promise can be enormously damaging to a political

:13:40.:13:43.

party but the truth is that Philip Hammond and Theresa May don't think

:13:44.:13:46.

of this as their manifesto, it is George Osborne's. They don't want to

:13:47.:13:51.

put it out because they put it undermines the legitimacy and feels

:13:52.:13:54.

they might have to call an election but said conduct have change and

:13:55.:13:59.

environment have changed and if they own the truth which is that they

:14:00.:14:02.

have defied the manifesto and make the case for this is not being...

:14:03.:14:07.

And a bonkers idea in the first place? The triple lock? Absolutely.

:14:08.:14:14.

It is George Osborne's political positioning and he is not exactly

:14:15.:14:17.

the most popular person in the country. Call it his manifesto and

:14:18.:14:22.

start talking about the fact that the Prime Minister, who is much more

:14:23.:14:28.

popular, doesn't want to be limited by the political promises of her

:14:29.:14:30.

predecessor who basically has moved on. The Sun newspaper said fight ban

:14:31.:14:39.

scam. You are going to make sure it is damaging for the government. Very

:14:40.:14:43.

much so, until the government decide they are not going to damage

:14:44.:14:47.

themselves any longer. Theresa May seem to be starting some kind of

:14:48.:14:52.

climb-down tonight, a recalibration. The truth is this will never get on

:14:53.:14:55.

the statute books and we knew that from about half past eight this

:14:56.:14:59.

morning when the first Tory MP said on the radio that they would vote

:15:00.:15:04.

against it. They were joined by about 30 others so this will not go

:15:05.:15:10.

ahead. What we will see if this play out over the summer, how they craft

:15:11.:15:13.

some travel package together to make it look like they are not doing a

:15:14.:15:19.

U-turn but they are. You take the view that actually gives government

:15:20.:15:23.

should not be tied up by a manifesto from 2015 or does it require another

:15:24.:15:25.

election? The entire government are all Tory

:15:26.:15:36.

MPs getting themselves elected with the same problem. I am afraid that

:15:37.:15:40.

they have to stick to this. Theresa May will say, huge amounts have

:15:41.:15:44.

changed, different economy, different membership of the European

:15:45.:15:47.

Union or not, so I can do something different. I have some sympathy for

:15:48.:15:53.

Philip Hammond in that he has been immensely boxed in by all sorts of

:15:54.:15:57.

clever gimmicks and promises made by George Osborne very successfully. It

:15:58.:16:02.

destroyed the Lib Dems. They won the general election and they destroyed

:16:03.:16:06.

Labour. Then they had to go on and govern with this incredible

:16:07.:16:10.

ring-fencing on pensions, the lot of it. The manifesto also commits us to

:16:11.:16:15.

staying in the single market. No Tory backbenchers are upset about

:16:16.:16:19.

that. We have an entirely new government setting out a new agenda.

:16:20.:16:24.

One of the key things that key things that Craig Oliver talked

:16:25.:16:27.

about was the foreign aid, which is deeply unpopular in some sectors.

:16:28.:16:32.

Many people want that shifted to social care. I doubt that Philip

:16:33.:16:36.

Hammond will tamper with foreign aid. Do you think he might unravel

:16:37.:16:41.

other parts of the manifesto in successive budgets? I don't think

:16:42.:16:45.

they are going to make a priority of bringing a free vote on fox hunting.

:16:46.:16:51.

Manifestos are filled with promises. The last manifesto was 25,000 words.

:16:52.:16:58.

Probably only about 15 words from the Liberal Democrat one! There are

:16:59.:17:04.

endless subclauses. So why have them? The voters must be going, what

:17:05.:17:08.

is the point of a manifesto? It's all very well for you to say, they

:17:09.:17:11.

don't read it, but the manifesto is meant to set out what the government

:17:12.:17:17.

believes in. Brilliant, that means we can stay in the single market.

:17:18.:17:22.

It's a promise, you say, this is what we are going to do, vote for us

:17:23.:17:26.

and then we do it whether you believe it or not, you have to go

:17:27.:17:29.

out of your way to do it, especially when these Sun readers vote for you

:17:30.:17:35.

would it not dead, you can't turn round and say, no thanks. He is in a

:17:36.:17:40.

terrible mess and we have sympathy. The other thing we will see if the

:17:41.:17:45.

triple lock promised on pensions. The spending on the triple lock and

:17:46.:17:52.

protecting Gray 's spending OAPs is astronomical, about ?78 billion,

:17:53.:17:56.

which puts all of these 3 billion here and there on national insurance

:17:57.:18:00.

rises into a small corner. Philip Hammond has bravely, I think,

:18:01.:18:04.

already said, we need to look at this. Whether they will be able to

:18:05.:18:07.

do it in time before the next election, it would be politically

:18:08.:18:12.

toxic. But if pensioners agree that they want to undertake the triple

:18:13.:18:18.

lock, they are not complaining about the manifesto. It becomes a badge of

:18:19.:18:21.

honour to say you are complaining about the manifesto when actually it

:18:22.:18:25.

is just a policy that you don't like.

:18:26.:18:25.

Tom Newton Dunn and Polly Mackenzie are staying with us because,

:18:26.:18:28.

alongside the farrago of the manifesto pledge

:18:29.:18:29.

was the revelation that Philip Hammond's predecessor

:18:30.:18:31.

is making good use of the economic and political acumen he gathered

:18:32.:18:34.

when he was at number 11 Downing Street.

:18:35.:18:36.

George Osborne declared an annual salary of ?650,000 for four days

:18:37.:18:38.

work a month from the world's biggest fund management

:18:39.:18:41.

It will augment his backbencher's salary of ?74,000, and speaking

:18:42.:18:44.

engagements which bring in north of half a million.

:18:45.:18:52.

He's certainly not the only former senior politician

:18:53.:18:54.

to purse a lucrative life - Tony Blair owns the playbook.

:18:55.:18:56.

But is all this good for politics or bad?

:18:57.:18:58.

Do we need to talk about the revolving door?

:18:59.:19:07.

People moving back and forth between government and the private sector.

:19:08.:19:11.

George Osborne, the former Chancellor, is, we learn,

:19:12.:19:13.

being paid ?650,000 per year to advise BlackRock,

:19:14.:19:16.

an investment manager, for four days of work each month.

:19:17.:19:21.

I think George Osborne would bring a wealth of knowledge

:19:22.:19:27.

Having been the Chancellor of the Exchequer of this country.

:19:28.:19:34.

He would also bring very good contacts around

:19:35.:19:37.

the world in governments and the private sector.

:19:38.:19:41.

The knowledge and the contacts that somebody like George Osborne

:19:42.:19:44.

would have accumulated over his tenure are very

:19:45.:19:48.

valuable for a period of about three to five years.

:19:49.:19:54.

There is a Whitehall process for approving these things,

:19:55.:19:56.

the advisory committee on business appointments, Acoba.

:19:57.:20:01.

Acoba approved Mr Osborne's plans, and they've barred him

:20:02.:20:03.

But lots of people who have been through Acoba don't

:20:04.:20:09.

Acoba is this slightly eccentric body where,

:20:10.:20:13.

when you leave government having been in a senior job,

:20:14.:20:15.

you have to get their permission in theory before you take

:20:16.:20:18.

If you disobey them, there is literally nothing

:20:19.:20:23.

It's hidden, you don't really understand how it works.

:20:24.:20:31.

They don't unfortunately give you straight answers

:20:32.:20:33.

to straight questions so, when I went through the process,

:20:34.:20:36.

I asked them, would I be able to come in and see government

:20:37.:20:39.

They will not answer questions of that sort.

:20:40.:20:44.

Which covers their back because, if you put your foot in it,

:20:45.:20:47.

they will be able to say you broke the rules.

:20:48.:20:50.

But you're never really told quite what the rules are.

:20:51.:20:53.

The voluntary nature of Acoba is a particular problem.

:20:54.:20:55.

48 senior special advisers have left government since December 2014,

:20:56.:21:02.

but there are published Acoba approvals for just 14.

:21:03.:21:08.

Jobs are not the only part of an ex-minister's life

:21:09.:21:11.

Today we learned Gordon Brown is releasing a memoir.

:21:12.:21:17.

Perhaps surprisingly, there is actually a rule book that

:21:18.:21:20.

governs what ex-ministers are allowed to put

:21:21.:21:22.

into their memoirs, the so-called Radcliffe rules.

:21:23.:21:25.

They can really be boiled down to three principles.

:21:26.:21:29.

The first is, don't publish anything that damages national security.

:21:30.:21:32.

The second principle is, don't publish anything that

:21:33.:21:35.

would damage our relations with other states.

:21:36.:21:38.

The third principle, though, is a bit odder.

:21:39.:21:40.

It states that ex-ministers shouldn't criticise any of the civil

:21:41.:21:43.

In fact, they also state that ministers shouldn't even name

:21:44.:21:48.

civil servants who gave them specific advice.

:21:49.:21:52.

In short, the Radcliffe rules basically get in the way

:21:53.:21:54.

of ex-ministers scrutinising their former departments.

:21:55.:22:01.

This country does have a revolving door problem in a variety

:22:02.:22:04.

of sectors, but we should worry as much about middle

:22:05.:22:07.

ranking officials who slip into the companies they are supposed

:22:08.:22:10.

to be regulating as we do about ex-ministers.

:22:11.:22:18.

And we're back with Tom Newton Dunn and Polly Mackenzie.

:22:19.:22:24.

Tom, is there anything wrong with a man who was Chancellor less than a

:22:25.:22:31.

year ago, who is still an MP, working for the biggest fund manager

:22:32.:22:34.

in the world and getting a lot of money for four days of work? That is

:22:35.:22:41.

a loaded question! Look, it stinks totally. George Osborne will make

:22:42.:22:45.

the argument that immersing himself in what he would call the real

:22:46.:22:49.

world, actual business, decision-making and hedge funds is,

:22:50.:22:54.

informs his ability as an MP to contribute to the public debate.

:22:55.:22:59.

Personally, I think by simply accepting a ?650,000 per year job

:23:00.:23:03.

for four days a month, ?30,000 per day, what he is saying is, I now

:23:04.:23:08.

know I will never be Prime Minister, because nobody would accept him with

:23:09.:23:12.

something like that. If it brings some expertise to his field, I would

:23:13.:23:18.

not want to stop it. It is not exactly a new issue. Ever since big

:23:19.:23:24.

business, MPs, prime ministers, chancellors have all gone into the

:23:25.:23:28.

private sector. Yes, but I think it's different once you have left

:23:29.:23:33.

government and parliament and you are just a private citizen. What is

:23:34.:23:36.

strange about this for me is George Osborne's priorities. He's got a

:23:37.:23:41.

constituency to represent, a job to do, and he is prioritising jetting

:23:42.:23:45.

around the world, receiving awards from the Americans, earning ?13,500

:23:46.:23:52.

per day. For me, it is about the principle of having a job in

:23:53.:23:54.

Parliament and the juicy details. Wood he did say that this week is

:23:55.:24:02.

not a bad snapshot of my life. On Monday, I was in New York accepting

:24:03.:24:06.

a Kissinger Fellowship. On Wednesday, I was in the Commons

:24:07.:24:09.

speaking about Europe Nato, you can join me in Knutsford in my

:24:10.:24:14.

constituency. This seems a very quick to spend my time and hopefully

:24:15.:24:19.

make a contribution to our national life. Fair to say that George

:24:20.:24:24.

Osborne believes passionately in this northern partnership and, if

:24:25.:24:29.

you can bring money from whoever, that is good, isn't it? He has a

:24:30.:24:33.

great lifestyle, but it is all about him and not really about its

:24:34.:24:36.

constituents. But he would accept that there is life after parliament

:24:37.:24:41.

but not, as far as you are concerned one they are still getting an MP

:24:42.:24:47.

salary. It is about time. If you are an MP and you want to spend an

:24:48.:24:51.

afternoon earning ?13,000 to be not being there, doing something else

:24:52.:24:55.

with relevance to being an MP, fine. If you are spending four and a half

:24:56.:24:59.

days jetting to New York, giving speeches in Berlin and then in some

:25:00.:25:03.

hedge funds of this in the city, is wrong. You should be looking after

:25:04.:25:07.

your constituents. What about the argument that a lot of people in

:25:08.:25:11.

parliament could earn a lot more money outside but they choose to

:25:12.:25:15.

deny themselves a bigger salary than 78,000, so it is acceptable when you

:25:16.:25:19.

leave office to augment that salary, and that is the way you get a flow

:25:20.:25:24.

of people into Parliament with greater ambition? You only allow a

:25:25.:25:30.

new flow of people if you allow the bed blockers, those who have been

:25:31.:25:35.

Cabinet ministers, to get out of the way. You don't catch people on

:25:36.:25:40.

?78,000. Look at some of the talent in parliament and you think, we

:25:41.:25:44.

could probably do better than that. I would probably take a close look

:25:45.:25:48.

at how much time they are spending in the building doing the job they

:25:49.:25:52.

are elected to do. They need performance related pay.

:25:53.:25:53.

Time now for Viewsnight, the part of the programme that actively seeks

:25:54.:25:56.

argument and dissent, often from surprising places.

:25:57.:25:58.

So today, when the latest Ipsos Mori STV poll puts support

:25:59.:26:01.

for Scottish independence at 50%, and Nicola Sturgeon talks

:26:02.:26:03.

about the commonsense timing of another independence referendum,

:26:04.:26:06.

here's Richard Dawkins's trenchant view of plebiscites.

:26:07.:28:17.

Watch this space for more Brexit views.

:28:18.:28:22.

French actress Isabelle Huppert received her first Oscar nomination

:28:23.:28:24.

this year for a film that, according to Huppert herself,

:28:25.:28:27.

The controversy around Elle - which won two Golden Globes

:28:28.:28:32.

and which opens tomorrow - centres on a horrifically violent

:28:33.:28:34.

attack and vicious rape which is revisited graphically

:28:35.:28:39.

during the film, along with further sexual attacks,

:28:40.:28:43.

and the unusual and shocking way that the woman who is

:28:44.:28:45.

Elle is the explosive result of the collaboration

:28:46.:28:49.

between the fearless, often transgressive actress

:28:50.:28:52.

and the Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, he of Basic Instinct

:28:53.:28:55.

The thriller-cum-black comedy tests the viewer to the limits.

:28:56.:29:01.

In a moment, we'll be discussing whether such

:29:02.:29:04.

a narrative is anti-feminist, or whether we need to accept

:29:05.:29:06.

a complex, often unpalatable truth that, for some,

:29:07.:29:09.

extreme violence is part and parcel of sex.

:29:10.:29:12.

But first - spoiler alert - here are some scenes from the film,

:29:13.:29:15.

Michele Leblanc starts to track down her attacker

:29:16.:29:34.

but doesn't go to the police, mainly because of the notoriety

:29:35.:29:38.

Her father was a psychopath who killed more than 20 people

:29:39.:29:43.

and who was unmasked when Michele was just ten years old.

:29:44.:29:57.

As the film unfolds, we have the unsettling

:29:58.:29:59.

sense that she could be luring her attacker to identify

:30:00.:30:01.

him or to kill him - or because, in some way,

:30:02.:30:05.

she is intrigued, even turned on by him.

:30:06.:30:12.

Well, Newsnight took two women to watch the film -

:30:13.:30:14.

Polly Neate, chief executive of the group Womens' Aid,

:30:15.:30:16.

Good evening. Is it important to have such a complex expression of

:30:17.:30:39.

rape as this and the impact of it? I think it is important to show how

:30:40.:30:44.

Watmore Neumann -- how one woman's life is completely framed every

:30:45.:30:52.

angle by male violence. Her father, her lover, by male violence and

:30:53.:30:56.

entitlement, her lover does not take no for an answer albeit in not in a

:30:57.:31:00.

physically violent way, and she is raped. But the extreme complexity of

:31:01.:31:04.

her life means it's very difficult to generalise from her reaction to

:31:05.:31:12.

what is an horrific assault. Ahead of it there is such controversy and

:31:13.:31:16.

yet it is important to have a complex view of rape. That is true,

:31:17.:31:23.

and it is conceded that she grew up with this violent father, but I felt

:31:24.:31:29.

very much it was an act of bad faith. All this effort put into

:31:30.:31:32.

creating the female character who wanted to be raped. That is quite an

:31:33.:31:40.

extreme position. Not really, because if you look at the structure

:31:41.:31:43.

of the film, and I allowed to spoil it? You can take a couple of things.

:31:44.:31:51.

She seeks out the situation in which she is going to be raped because she

:31:52.:31:56.

knows in the rapist is and she gets into the situation with the rapist.

:31:57.:32:01.

The creative drive is, this person, we have gone to a very deliberated

:32:02.:32:06.

place where this person for this reason and this reason wants to be

:32:07.:32:13.

the victim of rape. That may be your interpretation but the point surely

:32:14.:32:16.

is that what we have is an expression of damage in many ways

:32:17.:32:20.

and the idea that we should not just see a woman who has been raped as a

:32:21.:32:26.

victim. This is about an attempt to take some kind of control. I felt

:32:27.:32:31.

the film to a very great extent was about control. Talking about her

:32:32.:32:39.

being assailed by male violence at every... Even in her own business

:32:40.:32:45.

where she is the boss, her much more junior and younger male employees

:32:46.:32:49.

are still abusing her and harassing her. I don't agree it is an

:32:50.:32:55.

empowering narrative. It is exploitative of the viewer, it

:32:56.:32:59.

basically takes all your human empathy, your understanding, the way

:33:00.:33:06.

you would say, nobody has a right to legislate for the way another woman

:33:07.:33:10.

feels, nobody has the right to get another woman is feeling to it takes

:33:11.:33:16.

your sensibilities and uses them to submit you to repeated acts of

:33:17.:33:22.

sexual violence against a woman. I felt that the main character and all

:33:23.:33:25.

the women in the film actually, what they are exhibited towards the male

:33:26.:33:31.

characters was this mix of incredible frustration, anger and a

:33:32.:33:35.

level of disdain. I felt what it showed was a really toxic society in

:33:36.:33:40.

which male violence and entitlement on the one hand... Can accept, even

:33:41.:33:49.

the idea, she was looking for it, which is some of the narrative is

:33:50.:33:52.

you get, rather you might say that for some people clearly violent sex

:33:53.:33:58.

is a turn on. Sure, I have no problem with that is the premise for

:33:59.:34:03.

a film, no problem with the exploration of a character's

:34:04.:34:06.

sexuality as the premise for anything but I think this was used

:34:07.:34:11.

instrumentally... For gods you have somebody raped and repeatedly in

:34:12.:34:17.

flashbacks every five minutes and then again by the same person three

:34:18.:34:22.

more times so of course it was gratuitous. But she is imagining

:34:23.:34:27.

different outcomes and I think that is quite interesting, and she will

:34:28.:34:35.

be able to attack him back. I felt she was struggling for some control

:34:36.:34:40.

and an opportunity to attack him back. I'm sure it was ever realistic

:34:41.:34:44.

that would happen and I felt -- I'm not sure. I felt it painted a

:34:45.:34:51.

society where there was a veneer of wealth, style, that Parisian

:34:52.:34:58.

elegance but within that still male violence... To be fair, Isabella

:34:59.:35:05.

Bird said she read the book and wanted it to be put on film and

:35:06.:35:14.

wanted to do it -- Isabelle Huppert. Does it tell the viewer something

:35:15.:35:19.

about the possibilities of a real life rape situation? I don't think

:35:20.:35:23.

you can generalise anything from the reaction to rape of any woman, any

:35:24.:35:27.

single woman and particularly of somebody with the level of trauma...

:35:28.:35:34.

Isn't that exactly the point? You are invited into this territory

:35:35.:35:39.

where your own ecumenical sense of everybody having a right to the own

:35:40.:35:45.

response did leverage against it in a moral relativism. We are not

:35:46.:35:48.

allowed to say, yet again the brutalising of the woman is used...

:35:49.:35:53.

Do you think it is antifeminist? Could have been a comedy of manners,

:35:54.:36:00.

it didn't brag but it did not have much momentum and there were times

:36:01.:36:03.

when I thought, this could go on all week. -- it didn't drag. I thought

:36:04.:36:11.

the rape was being used as a way of forcing the plot forward. It didn't

:36:12.:36:16.

drag for me, I did find it quite disturbing and I was quite chilled

:36:17.:36:23.

by it. I felt it portrayed a very complex reaction to a society in

:36:24.:36:27.

which the one hand you are assailed by male violence and entitlement and

:36:28.:36:31.

on the other hand women are in a state of anger and almost disdain

:36:32.:36:36.

towards men. Where do we from there? Thank you very much indeed.

:36:37.:36:38.

The painter Howard Hodgkin, who died today at the age of 84,

:36:39.:36:41.

was described by the late Seamus Heaney as "the force that

:36:42.:36:44.

through the green fuse drives the flower" -

:36:45.:36:46.

In his very English way, Sir Howard suffered for his art.

:36:47.:36:50.

His emotions were extraordinarily close to the surface, and his vivid,

:36:51.:36:52.

seemingly abstract paintings were attempts to capture

:36:53.:36:54.

He won the Turner Prize and his works could sell

:36:55.:36:59.

But he always insisted that he hated painting.

:37:00.:37:04.

Sir Howard, who was 84, gave one of his last interviews

:37:05.:37:07.

to our Culture Editor, Stephen Smith, who looks back

:37:08.:37:09.

The artist who suffers for his work is a well worn trope

:37:10.:37:22.

but Sir Howard Hodgkin gave it a dryly humorous gloss.

:37:23.:37:26.

Surely such vivid and life affirming paintings as his

:37:27.:37:29.

I hate the act of painting, I always have done.

:37:30.:37:42.

People have said to me so often, amateur painters, aren't you lucky

:37:43.:37:45.

I may be lucky with the result but having to go through the horrors

:37:46.:38:03.

of painting a picture is not something I ever look forward to.

:38:04.:38:25.

His canvases, or rather boards, sometimes brooded over for years,

:38:26.:38:28.

were attempts to capture emotions he felt in certain places and times.

:38:29.:38:32.

Good luck getting him to explain further.

:38:33.:38:37.

If I had the temerity to ask you what prompted that

:38:38.:38:41.

picture, you would give me an old-fashioned look essentially.

:38:42.:38:43.

India held great fascination for Hodgkin and was a big

:38:44.:38:57.

The impressions were stored up and dwelt on back in the studio,

:38:58.:39:03.

a converted dairy opposite the British Museum in London.

:39:04.:39:09.

And there are lots of walls for me to stare at and...

:39:10.:39:14.

Our viewers shouldn't get the impression that you're staring

:39:15.:39:21.

at them bereft of inspiration, quite the reverse, is that right?

:39:22.:39:27.

Absolutely right, and it's simply so that I can continually readjust

:39:28.:39:30.

I used to make drawings, do all sorts of obvious things.

:39:31.:39:47.

And now I just get in there and do it, partly because I can feel time's

:39:48.:39:53.

winged chariot behind me all the time.

:39:54.:40:01.

It's been a great plus knowing that my days are numbered but...

:40:02.:40:07.

Many of us suffer a deterioration of our eyesight as we get older.

:40:08.:40:21.

That's of course particularly troubling for a painter,

:40:22.:40:23.

I've been completely spared it but I think that other things have

:40:24.:40:32.

Is that a fair exchange, would you say?

:40:33.:40:40.

Sir Howard Hodgkin, whose death was announced today.

:40:41.:41:01.

Just before we go, what do you get if you cross the French

:41:02.:41:04.

urban sport of Parkour and the iconic opening scene

:41:05.:41:06.

The Scottish freerunner Robbie Griffith decided to find out.

:41:07.:41:10.

Choose good health, low cholesterol and personal well-being.

:41:11.:41:26.

Choose an invigorated sense of self-worth.

:41:27.:41:28.

Choose to defy Newton's laws of motion.

:41:29.:41:36.

Choose to be breathless, tackling the obstacles

:41:37.:41:37.

Choose to travel, explore, creating experiences.

:41:38.:41:44.

Choose a mind-stimulating, physically strengthening pursuit

:41:45.:41:46.

that gets your heart pumping like never before.

:41:47.:42:11.

We saw spring sunshine across many parts of the country on Thursday.

:42:12.:42:16.

Friday brings us rather more cloud, but many places staying dry.

:42:17.:42:20.

With Kirsty Wark. The Government is under pressure over the National Insurance hike. Plus, George Osborne's new job, Richard Dawkins on Brexit, Howard Hodgkin remembered and what can the French film Elle tell us about rape?


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS