12/04/2017 Newsnight


12/04/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.


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Transcript


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The government is talking a lot about schools this week.

:00:00.:00:14.

But does it have a strategy for good schools?

:00:15.:00:20.

The Education Secretary is setting out her approach tomorrow -

:00:21.:00:25.

but money's tight and pupil numbers are growing.

:00:26.:00:27.

We'll ask whether there's a plan, or a few sketchy ideas.

:00:28.:00:31.

I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change,

:00:32.:00:42.

I said it was obsolete, it's no longer obsolete.

:00:43.:00:48.

Is Trump changing the world or has

:00:49.:00:49.

We'll ask if it's a random cock up or a problem with capitalism.

:00:50.:01:04.

And the latest battle ground between populism

:01:05.:01:06.

In to project an image around the world that is one of an open society

:01:07.:01:18.

in which dissent is not persecuted. But there is a growing fear that a

:01:19.:01:21.

new generation of political leaders want to shut down political voices.

:01:22.:01:26.

-- Israel wants to project an image around the world that it is one of

:01:27.:01:29.

an open society. Hello, school's out for Easter,

:01:30.:01:35.

but schools policy is The Education Secretary Justine

:01:36.:01:37.

Greening is to give a big speech She will undoubtedly restate

:01:38.:01:41.

the aim of the government, to make better schools for ordinary

:01:42.:01:44.

families, or the just But does the government

:01:45.:01:47.

have a strategy for delivering that objective, in the absence of money

:01:48.:01:51.

and student numbers growing? We know Theresa May is interested

:01:52.:01:56.

in grammar schools, and today, the government announced another 131

:01:57.:01:58.

free schools have been approved to open, creating

:01:59.:02:00.

about 69,000 places. Chris Cook offers this assessment

:02:01.:02:06.

of where things stand. We should all look at the cameras

:02:07.:02:24.

and smile. Tomorrow the government's domestic non-Brexit extendable get a

:02:25.:02:28.

rare airing. Justin Greening, the Education Secretary, will set out

:02:29.:02:31.

her thoughts on what comes next for English education.

:02:32.:02:32.

The English schools report card, though, isn't in great shape.

:02:33.:02:35.

This graph shows average GCSE results.

:02:36.:02:46.

It starts at the left where we have the results

:02:47.:02:49.

from the children in the poorest neighbourhoods, moving to the right

:02:50.:02:51.

The height of the line shows how well pupils

:02:52.:02:59.

from that background did on average in English, maths,

:03:00.:03:01.

What it shows is that the poorest children, at the left,

:03:02.:03:05.

averaged around a D, and the very richest

:03:06.:03:07.

That is a two grade gap. Closing that gap has been a focus of policy

:03:08.:03:19.

the years, but this government wants to work on an ordinary working

:03:20.:03:24.

families. That is to say not the poorest. You might think that

:03:25.:03:28.

targeting particular pupils like Paul children like we do that that

:03:29.:03:35.

would have any -- like Paul children like we do here, that it would have

:03:36.:03:38.

a negative effect, but that isn't true. It benefits everybody in the

:03:39.:03:43.

class. We have seen that from our work. And if you look at the best

:03:44.:03:47.

scores they are doing well for the Paul children, the rich children,

:03:48.:03:51.

and those in the middle. We've also not been that radical on helping

:03:52.:03:55.

poorer children. This is footage of the process by which children get

:03:56.:04:01.

places at some over popular US schools. It is quite hard to watch.

:04:02.:04:11.

20. Still, it even harder for wealthier people to gain their way

:04:12.:04:16.

in. England has another huge problem, geography. Going to school

:04:17.:04:21.

in London in particular is very different to going to school

:04:22.:04:26.

elsewhere. When you think of Westminster you probably think of

:04:27.:04:31.

things like this, but behind all the pomp and circumstance and the

:04:32.:04:35.

politicians here, there is actually an urban borough with serious social

:04:36.:04:40.

problems. Happily Westminster has a really good schools that do a great

:04:41.:04:45.

service by its poorest children, such as those eligible for free

:04:46.:04:49.

school meals. You can see that if we go back to that measure of GCSE

:04:50.:04:52.

performance across five subjects we used earlier. Poor Westminster kids

:04:53.:05:01.

beat poor Isle of Wight students, here they get Bs and Cs, Cs and Ds

:05:02.:05:13.

not. Here they beat the average of all children. It's much more

:05:14.:05:17.

difficult to get teachers to move to the Isle of Wight compared with

:05:18.:05:21.

London. Academy chains also struggle where local authority struggles

:05:22.:05:25.

before them. We also know that areas with grammar schools don't do any

:05:26.:05:29.

better than other places. Westminster's poor children get

:05:30.:05:38.

higher grades than Kent's not poor children. There is a basic economics

:05:39.:05:42.

problem. In short, it's running out of money. There are two issues

:05:43.:05:52.

affecting funding. Schools are having to make their first real cut

:05:53.:05:59.

since the 1990s. At the same time the government is proposing a major

:06:00.:06:03.

shake-up of the school funding system, which will for the first

:06:04.:06:06.

time ensure that similar schools are funded in a similar way. There are

:06:07.:06:11.

winners and losers. In this case the losers are effectively losing twice.

:06:12.:06:14.

Firstly from the national average cut and second any losses from the

:06:15.:06:20.

new structure format. The government has coped just about with a baby

:06:21.:06:26.

boom bust far, but that wave is about to hit secondary, so keep an

:06:27.:06:33.

eye on it. -- bus far, but that wave is about to hit secondary, so keep

:06:34.:06:38.

an eye on that. It is about to get hit very hard.

:06:39.:06:39.

David Laws was a former Lib Dem schools minister

:06:40.:06:41.

in the coalition government, and is now the executive chairman

:06:42.:06:43.

Dr Jo Saxton - is a free school founder and CEO of Turner Schools -

:06:44.:06:48.

an academy trust which was set-up to serve coastal

:06:49.:06:50.

They will open one of the new free schools which was approved

:06:51.:06:54.

How hard was it to get approval? Was it just a formality? It was a

:06:55.:07:10.

rigorous process. The best part was we spent a lot of time consulting

:07:11.:07:14.

locally with employers and parents, we really listened to what the

:07:15.:07:18.

people wanted and hopefully we are delivering that. This will be a new

:07:19.:07:23.

school, and Academy school, in Folkestone. It will be a brand-new

:07:24.:07:26.

free school Academy in Folkestone, nonselective. Does it feel to you,

:07:27.:07:34.

from your department, that they know what they are doing and they know

:07:35.:07:38.

what the vision is for schools, and also how to make sure your school is

:07:39.:07:44.

a good school? We are in a context where we need at least 400,000 new

:07:45.:07:50.

school places by 2021. So prioritising new school places is

:07:51.:07:54.

the most important thing. We know more and more about what makes a

:07:55.:07:57.

good school from research, from people like the EDF, which you

:07:58.:08:05.

highlighted earlier. David, do you think there is a strategy for making

:08:06.:08:09.

schools better? We have seen some of the gaping holes and gaps and

:08:10.:08:13.

discrepancies and differences, is there a strategy for overcoming

:08:14.:08:18.

those? There is, but the problem is that it might not be a sound one. It

:08:19.:08:23.

relies on having more academies that are freed up from local government

:08:24.:08:27.

control. And also come under this government, having more grammar

:08:28.:08:30.

schools, according to this government, which will select

:08:31.:08:36.

pupils. Goblin is, firstly with academies, we know that where

:08:37.:08:40.

academies have had strong leadership, and sometimes a lot of

:08:41.:08:44.

money, for example Tony Blair early generation, they have added

:08:45.:08:50.

impressive impact including from poor children. Other recent

:08:51.:08:53.

expansion of free schools and grammar schools hasn't been -- the

:08:54.:09:01.

other recent expansion of free schools and academies hasn't had the

:09:02.:09:06.

same effect. So making sure the headteacher is good, and the school

:09:07.:09:10.

knows what it is doing, basically? That's right. We have a lot of

:09:11.:09:15.

autonomy in our schools system. Giving more autonomy to those who

:09:16.:09:19.

already have that freedom doesn't make a difference. What makes a

:09:20.:09:22.

difference is that school governors and leaders can get good teaching

:09:23.:09:27.

staff, good headteachers, can do the basics well. Structural reform

:09:28.:09:32.

doesn't always deliver that. On grammar schools it is more difficult

:09:33.:09:36.

for the government, the evidence, grammar schools redistribute

:09:37.:09:40.

educational opportunities, they don't raise overall attainment. Do

:09:41.:09:47.

you agree with the basic contention that it has to be about how well run

:09:48.:09:56.

the schools are, calling them academies, -- do you agree with the

:09:57.:09:59.

basic contention that it is about how well run the schools are, not

:10:00.:10:03.

what they are called, academies or whatever? Recognising that changing

:10:04.:10:12.

the structure means the free school programme. The good thing is that

:10:13.:10:15.

people have got excited about it. Who thought that was possible? My

:10:16.:10:23.

free school group in Folkestone, we've had five applications on spec

:10:24.:10:28.

from teachers and senior leaders enquiring about working there. I

:10:29.:10:31.

think changing the structures has got people excited about education.

:10:32.:10:36.

You were running a chain of academies in London. You are now

:10:37.:10:41.

involved in a smaller chain in Kent. London schools are beacons for good

:10:42.:10:45.

performance and good turnaround in the UK. What did they do in London

:10:46.:10:49.

that worked, and are you able to bring that to Kent? That is what I

:10:50.:10:54.

am trying to do in Kent. We have a tight jury graphical cluster in

:10:55.:10:59.

Kent. We want to replicate that in Kent. The important thing about

:11:00.:11:04.

academy structures is in a context of funding cuts we can work together

:11:05.:11:08.

to do things efficiently and effectively to make a difference, to

:11:09.:11:16.

prioritise front line teaching. You think organising is not the thing,

:11:17.:11:19.

you think it is the leadership. I don't think that, that is the

:11:20.:11:26.

evidence that the expansion of the programme, over the last few years,

:11:27.:11:30.

has not led to that improvement in performance. You need a

:11:31.:11:35.

counterfactual as to what the schools would be. We have those. By

:11:36.:11:42.

looking at those schools that went on to become academies. Grammar

:11:43.:11:47.

schools? Yes. The evidence that they don't work, that they are a

:11:48.:11:52.

distraction from the government. Two points. First, virtually no poor

:11:53.:12:00.

children get into grammar schools, so they are a bad vehicle for social

:12:01.:12:05.

mobility. That's because most of the big disadvantages for young children

:12:06.:12:10.

from poor backgrounds emerge before they take the test at 11. The other

:12:11.:12:15.

thing we found, looking at the Department's information and looking

:12:16.:12:18.

at grammar school and non-grammar school areas, it is true that

:12:19.:12:23.

grammar schools have a small benefit for the pupils who get in.

:12:24.:12:28.

Unfortunately, the more you have the more there is a dish benefit for

:12:29.:12:36.

children who don't get in. -- there is a dis-benefit four children who

:12:37.:12:43.

don't get in. There are some grammar schools who worked very hard for

:12:44.:12:48.

deprived areas. In Folkestone, 20% of its cohorts are pupils in receipt

:12:49.:12:57.

of the pupil premium fund... That is very rare. Most do not have any poor

:12:58.:13:05.

children. I believe in success without selection. Grammar schools

:13:06.:13:09.

have a place in a context where we need more school places and we need

:13:10.:13:14.

diversity of choice for parents. We will hear Justin Greening 's speech

:13:15.:13:17.

tomorrow. Thank you very much indeed. -- Justine Greening's speech

:13:18.:13:24.

tomorrow. Rex Tillerson, the US

:13:25.:13:26.

secretary of state, met President Putin this afternoon,

:13:27.:13:28.

a new step in the evolving foreign Meanwhile the President

:13:29.:13:30.

himself was speaking with the Nato secretary-general

:13:31.:13:33.

in Washington this evening. The foreign policy evolved there

:13:34.:13:35.

too; Mr Trump is a fan of Nato now. And despite the Syrian missile

:13:36.:13:38.

attack, he was ready to make things We will see about Putin

:13:39.:13:41.

over a period of time. It would be a fantastic

:13:42.:13:49.

thing to get along with Putin and we get

:13:50.:13:51.

along with Russia. That could happen,

:13:52.:13:53.

and it may not happen. I tell you what I would

:13:54.:13:55.

love to be able to do. Our diplomatic editor,

:13:56.:13:59.

Mark Urban is with me. Mark, Tillerson's Russia trip

:14:00.:14:04.

was meant to mark a turning point in relations -

:14:05.:14:06.

did it deliver? A big moment. Yes, how did it go? It

:14:07.:14:18.

is obvious Donald Trump would like improved relationships with Russia,

:14:19.:14:21.

so everybody was looking forward to this. What we got was the meetings

:14:22.:14:27.

of both the Foreign Minister and president Putin, and an

:14:28.:14:30.

extraordinary press conference where they were going at one another about

:14:31.:14:34.

their differences. Once the few phrases about it being good to have

:14:35.:14:41.

a frank discussion came out, after that they went at each other,

:14:42.:14:47.

criticism going both ways. Rex Tillerson, far from rolling back

:14:48.:14:50.

sanctions on Russia, as some people suggested they would, seemed to be

:14:51.:14:54.

suggesting there might be more on the way.

:14:55.:14:56.

I think as to the question of the interference

:14:57.:14:59.

with the election, that is

:15:00.:15:00.

fairly well-established in the United States now,

:15:01.:15:03.

and I think he's been spoken to on the hill as well

:15:04.:15:06.

with the Congress, it is a serious issue.

:15:07.:15:08.

It's one that, we know, is serious enough to attract additional

:15:09.:15:10.

Where does the whole reset for Trump reset relations with Russia? I

:15:11.:15:26.

suppose you can say that the President did this evening. I've

:15:27.:15:33.

only ever said it is desirable but may not happen. It is extraordinary,

:15:34.:15:39.

with the speed, that members of his platform have been jettisoned. Two

:15:40.:15:45.

today, no longer labelling China a character manipulator. And that Nato

:15:46.:15:53.

was no longer obsolete. An extraordinary turnaround. We've seen

:15:54.:16:00.

quite a few of these. Is it the internal machinations inside of the

:16:01.:16:05.

administration, the turf battles and feuding, does that drive a lot of

:16:06.:16:09.

the direction of this? You can always say with an American

:16:10.:16:12.

president, there's a difference between campaign language and what

:16:13.:16:17.

they do, and way events then shape the Syrian gas attack, for example.

:16:18.:16:21.

Then shape their platform once in office. But there has been a really

:16:22.:16:26.

important change, I think. The real disrupters in the tent with Trump,

:16:27.:16:31.

when he was inaugurated, Steve Bannon, Flynn has had to resign

:16:32.:16:35.

after a few weeks in post. He was deeply in favour of improving

:16:36.:16:44.

Russian relations. Steve Bannon look sidelined, general matters

:16:45.:16:46.

apparently has some sort of deal, I've been told, by senior senators

:16:47.:16:49.

not to make any sudden changes in policy.

:16:50.:16:59.

Then we have the replacement, and in effect, Trump is being captured by

:17:00.:17:03.

the permanent government in Washington. These people who have

:17:04.:17:08.

held senior posts in the military, intelligence agencies, and

:17:09.:17:10.

legislator, they have a sense of what is right and proper and

:17:11.:17:14.

increasingly are seen to be driving it. Mark, thank you.

:17:15.:17:21.

The Treasury organsied a conference in London today on Fintech -

:17:22.:17:23.

a fancy label for a variety of technologies that promise change

:17:24.:17:26.

Promise, or possibly threaten, because for existing banks this

:17:27.:17:29.

The Governor of the Bank of England today preferred

:17:30.:17:35.

Fintech has the potential to democratise financial services.

:17:36.:17:39.

Consumers can get more choice, better pricing, small to medium

:17:40.:17:43.

enterprises can access new and cheaper credit.

:17:44.:17:47.

Banks themselves could become more productive, with

:17:48.:17:49.

lower cost and operational resilience, and financial services

:17:50.:17:54.

could become more inclusive with people better connected, more

:17:55.:17:56.

But when you look at the big names in banking, they are often ones that

:17:57.:18:06.

Have they managed to resist the technology that has wiped out

:18:07.:18:11.

so many travel agents and book sellers?

:18:12.:18:16.

Or have they introduced the technology?

:18:17.:18:18.

Our technology editor, David Grossman reports.

:18:19.:18:27.

Sun Jennings's business has blossomed in spite of the banks, not

:18:28.:18:34.

because of them. Her florist stall at a busy London station was in a

:18:35.:18:38.

prime location to grab commuters on their way home, except many of them

:18:39.:18:43.

wanted to pay by card. She could not accept card payments. Getting a card

:18:44.:18:47.

machine so that I could take electronic payments was out of the

:18:48.:18:52.

question because it would be three to five days it would keep your

:18:53.:18:56.

money from the mainstream banks, and they were charged so much per month

:18:57.:19:00.

to use the machine, then you pay per transaction. It all adds up, you

:19:01.:19:05.

cannot commit if you don't know. You can guess your turnover but

:19:06.:19:08.

forecasting is guesswork and you do not know the reality. You cannot

:19:09.:19:11.

sign in to contrasts which could cost you your business if you cannot

:19:12.:19:15.

pay the banks that could close you down. The problem, everyone agrees

:19:16.:19:20.

is a lack of competition. This is what the big five UK high street

:19:21.:19:24.

banks look like before the unprecedented earthquake of the

:19:25.:19:28.

financial crisis. The impact of this devastating once in a century event

:19:29.:19:33.

was to cause two of them to merge. Because the banks were then pumped

:19:34.:19:39.

full of government borrowed once said easing, they did not have to

:19:40.:19:43.

compete for business. Tom Bloomfield is the CEO of the UK's newest bank.

:19:44.:19:49.

They got their full banking licence just last week and is part of a new

:19:50.:19:54.

wave of a technology-based institution designed to provide more

:19:55.:19:58.

choice and better service. For example, things like unauthorised

:19:59.:20:05.

overdraft fees, these are egregious, for some, banks charge ?16. Spam

:20:06.:20:17.

e-mails come you can reject payments, I do not understand why it

:20:18.:20:21.

should cost you ?15 for the spam e-mails. If I go abroad my bank

:20:22.:20:31.

charges seven or eight pounds per transaction.

:20:32.:20:35.

The government is trying to encourage competition.

:20:36.:20:39.

The Treasury hosted a Fintech conference in London today, about

:20:40.:20:42.

inspiring investment. The regulators in this country, the

:20:43.:20:47.

government, forced through regulation and Challenger bank

:20:48.:20:50.

licences. The big banks to wake up and to shake up the way they do

:20:51.:20:55.

things. Challenger banks have shown in certain segments that you can

:20:56.:20:59.

lend better and do credit better, and person-to-person payments

:21:00.:21:02.

better. If those big banks do not follow suit, they will lose

:21:03.:21:08.

customers. My iPad is my tale... For Sam, the answer came not from a bank

:21:09.:21:12.

but a technology entrepreneur. The card reader she now uses is made by

:21:13.:21:17.

Square, long established in the USA but launched in the UK only two

:21:18.:21:21.

weeks ago. When will you see that ?10? Or PM tomorrow, working day.

:21:22.:21:30.

The CEO of Square is also the co-founder of Twitter -- 4pm

:21:31.:21:34.

tomorrow. Why is this technology next on the

:21:35.:21:41.

list? It's not noticing the problem but it was a big job for our CEO, he

:21:42.:21:47.

couldn't accept a credit card and lost a sale as a result. We saw that

:21:48.:21:51.

another sellers we were talking to, they would miss out because they

:21:52.:21:55.

could not accept payment devices that the buyer would to use. So we

:21:56.:22:00.

learned really quickly about how to accept credit cards and make

:22:01.:22:04.

hardware. The industry and what mattered most to the sellers, and it

:22:05.:22:10.

was access and speed that was important. We built it, and it

:22:11.:22:15.

resonated. There is another huge change coming next January, a new EU

:22:16.:22:20.

directive called PST two, which would force banks to give customers

:22:21.:22:24.

access to their data which should mean that new apps and ideas can

:22:25.:22:28.

flourish. You might want to share it with a price comparison website.

:22:29.:22:33.

Rather than having to type in the details of your car insurance, you

:22:34.:22:36.

simply give them access to transaction histories, and they can

:22:37.:22:40.

look through the last year and go, you can save money on your gas,

:22:41.:22:45.

electricity, broadband, these are better providers... It puts the

:22:46.:22:49.

power into the hands of consumers. I believe that fundamentally it will

:22:50.:22:53.

probably be the biggest change in financial services, certainly in

:22:54.:22:59.

Europe for a generation. Think back to streaming music. 20 years ago,

:23:00.:23:06.

the idea that you would not buy a CD or vinyl and get a truck on the

:23:07.:23:11.

move, inconceivable. This will do for banking what Apple has done to

:23:12.:23:14.

music. But Apple and the other big

:23:15.:23:18.

technology firms are already getting involved in financial technology and

:23:19.:23:22.

it may be that ultimately, they are the big winners in the market. We

:23:23.:23:26.

have seen Facebook launch bill splitting and sending money just

:23:27.:23:30.

yesterday. Now, in messenger, you can send money and request money

:23:31.:23:36.

from people, in the USA at least. It is a concern for us, the big banks,

:23:37.:23:42.

that one of the big four that has come in and eat in every 1's lunch,

:23:43.:23:46.

it is a huge market and there's room for a number of winners here. It is

:23:47.:23:52.

perhaps too much to expect that people will ever send bow case to

:23:53.:23:57.

their bank managers, but the revolutions in financial technology

:23:58.:24:00.

should mean that people feel they have more of a choice and more of a

:24:01.:24:01.

sense of control. Now, the story that has absorbed me

:24:02.:24:05.

most this week is... That viral video filmed

:24:06.:24:14.

on United Airlines and Not since Gerald Ratner has

:24:15.:24:17.

there been such a self-inflicted corporate wound, exacerbated,

:24:18.:24:23.

of course, by the name company corporate wound, exacerbated,

:24:24.:24:32.

of course, by the lame company After mishandling it for 24 hours,

:24:33.:24:34.

yesterday the company finally made a proper apology and today the chief

:24:35.:24:38.

executive faced an interviewer on the subject and incidentally

:24:39.:24:41.

gave the right answers Probably the word

:24:42.:24:43.

ashamed comes to mind. You know, as I think

:24:44.:24:48.

about our business and our people, the first thing I think is important

:24:49.:24:51.

to say is to apologise to Doctor Dao, his family,

:24:52.:24:54.

the passengers on that flight. In this stuff, all the stuff that's

:24:55.:24:58.

been written about it, I do discern that all too human

:24:59.:25:08.

desire for people to use these occasions to bolster the case

:25:09.:25:11.

for their worldview. Shane Ryan in the digital magazine

:25:12.:25:16.

Paste said, of United, they are a product of an indifferent

:25:17.:25:19.

system that increasingly devalues individual life,

:25:20.:25:23.

and that system is called America. Except they are conspicuously

:25:24.:25:28.

good at valuing life Jeff Spross in The Week thought

:25:29.:25:31.

United Airlines shows how inequality is putting the squeeze

:25:32.:25:38.

on customer service. You can even see it in theme parks,

:25:39.:25:45.

Disney World now offers its high dollar customer's premier hotels,

:25:46.:25:49.

fine dining, VIP Tours, spa treatments and more,

:25:50.:25:51.

while everybody else gets shunted into offsite lodging and bizantine

:25:52.:26:01.

deals for cheap tickets. Or is it just normal that people

:26:02.:26:03.

paying more would get finer dining Writer Helaine Olen tweeted,

:26:04.:26:06.

make no mistake, the decline of customer service is part

:26:07.:26:10.

of the political anger out there. Now, far be it from me

:26:11.:26:12.

to defend America, or United, I really wouldn't, this was the most

:26:13.:26:20.

ridiculous response to an awkward customer service problem ever

:26:21.:26:25.

to have been caught on film. I've winced along with everyone else

:26:26.:26:30.

and had thoughts of Fawlty Towers. For a man who is supposed

:26:31.:26:33.

to be running a hotel, your behaviour, your behaviour

:26:34.:26:38.

is totally incorrect... Is there anything

:26:39.:26:40.

else I can get you? Look at that cheese,

:26:41.:26:45.

isn't that lovely? Don't worry, a bit of cheese

:26:46.:26:50.

went the wrong way. But does it really tell us much

:26:51.:26:56.

about United Airlines? A secret policy of

:26:57.:27:04.

beating up passengers? It has exposed weaknesses

:27:05.:27:08.

in their overbooking system - probably that the levels

:27:09.:27:13.

of compensation don't But was it not a random cock-up

:27:14.:27:14.

rather than a meaningful one? It's nothing compared to say,

:27:15.:27:18.

Volkswagen and the emissions scandal, that was pursued

:27:19.:27:20.

for several years. Of course, social media demands that

:27:21.:27:22.

any cock up caught on film, is properly punished; perspective

:27:23.:27:28.

is not encouraged, incidents like this are too sweet

:27:29.:27:31.

not to be savoured. Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote a well

:27:32.:27:33.

received book called Fooled by Randomness: he pointed out that

:27:34.:27:42.

successful people often think they're clever

:27:43.:27:44.

when they're simply lucky. Well, the inverse also may

:27:45.:27:46.

hold: you can be unlucky, Joining me now from New York

:27:47.:27:48.

is Felix Salmon, Senior Editor at the digital news provider -

:27:49.:27:53.

Fusion and the journalist whose quote I just mentioned,

:27:54.:27:56.

Helaine Olen. You wrote in the New York Times, we

:27:57.:28:06.

saw your tweet there, are you guilty of reading too much into what was

:28:07.:28:10.

obviously an enormous clock up and mistake? No, I'm not, what is going

:28:11.:28:18.

up there, there is outrage posted on the Internet by the minute. Only

:28:19.:28:23.

certain ones catch on. You must ask why this caught on. Why did

:28:24.:28:28.

something else not? In this case, the answer is it tapped into

:28:29.:28:32.

everything from people's frustration in feeling powerless against the

:28:33.:28:37.

system, to the fact that yes, United seems a uniquely challenged

:28:38.:28:43.

reputation out there. You spoke about demonstrating something about

:28:44.:28:46.

militarisation in US society, governments out of touch with the

:28:47.:28:51.

issues. I'm willing to bet that these were points on which you

:28:52.:28:56.

already felt very strongly before you saw that video? These are

:28:57.:28:59.

confirming your beliefs about America, rather than creating them,

:29:00.:29:03.

correct? Well, they confirmed the beliefs about America as a lot of

:29:04.:29:09.

people. Based on what you are writing and what others have said on

:29:10.:29:14.

social media in the last 48 hours. This has gone on for the last three

:29:15.:29:18.

days, not two days, excuse me. This isn't dying down in the least. It

:29:19.:29:22.

seems to be tapping into any number of issues. Life is not either or.

:29:23.:29:30.

Everything can be true at once here. It can be about powerlessness and

:29:31.:29:35.

the system, be somewhat random and also about United commits all of the

:29:36.:29:41.

above. Felix, what about you? You are right about this, it is going to

:29:42.:29:46.

blow over and a lot of people will want to get their players

:29:47.:29:50.

reinforced. A lot of people are looking for reasons to be outraged

:29:51.:29:54.

now, we are in an incredibly polarised society where social media

:29:55.:29:59.

does an incredibly good job of ramping up the outrage cycle. I can

:30:00.:30:02.

already see that this is on the downswing. I feel like Sean Spicer

:30:03.:30:09.

and his Holocaust clock ups overtook it at some point. It is bad for

:30:10.:30:14.

United, their reaction made it worse. But ultimately, people are

:30:15.:30:17.

still going to fly with them, it will not harm the company that much.

:30:18.:30:22.

It did not hurt the stock prices that much... It knocked off $1

:30:23.:30:29.

billion off the value of the company? Yes, that has not happened

:30:30.:30:33.

since March the 14th, and then it went back up!

:30:34.:30:38.

I would like to point out, it cannot hurt United because of the basic

:30:39.:30:48.

reason of American life. United is a monopoly. Ten years ago we had nine

:30:49.:30:54.

major carriers, now we have four. In a huge amount of markets United is

:30:55.:31:01.

one of two. Even if people want to boycott it. As I tend to agree that

:31:02.:31:05.

it'll blow over because most things do on social media, they couldn't

:31:06.:31:09.

boycott it if they tried, unless they plan on not going anywhere.

:31:10.:31:16.

They are stuck. Does it tell us anything about American capitalism?

:31:17.:31:21.

All we have learnt is that people are angry. Everybody is in their

:31:22.:31:25.

corners, everyone is fighting, everybody wants to get outraged,

:31:26.:31:30.

which is not really news. Would you be surprised if I told you, because

:31:31.:31:34.

you have read a lot of customer service into this, that people being

:31:35.:31:38.

taken off flights is about half what it was in 1999. It is one in 1000

:31:39.:31:48.

people. That is one every two jumbo jets. It isn't a problem, is it? Why

:31:49.:31:55.

make a point about customer service? I think it is because, as I said,

:31:56.:32:01.

United as they challenged reputation. If you look at customer

:32:02.:32:06.

service data United is always close to the bottom if not the bottom.

:32:07.:32:13.

Less than two weeks ago they were caught up in another social media

:32:14.:32:18.

storm. Two young girls were reduced boarding because they were wearing

:32:19.:32:22.

leggings and it was deemed inappropriate. If that is

:32:23.:32:26.

inappropriate, so is half of American women walking around the US

:32:27.:32:30.

right now, right? United seems to have had a particular problem with

:32:31.:32:36.

this. This is going to come back up. The way societies think about things

:32:37.:32:44.

is in little episodes, little stories that says something to

:32:45.:32:47.

people and capture imaginations, maybe that is the way public

:32:48.:32:53.

discourse works. Yes. We are storytelling animals. We always want

:32:54.:32:59.

to try and lay our stories onto these individual discrete events

:33:00.:33:05.

which happen. Right now we have a clear story in place. Everything

:33:06.:33:11.

fits in. Thank you both. I doubt we will be talking about it on this

:33:12.:33:13.

programme tomorrow. The peace process between Israel

:33:14.:33:14.

and the Palestinians remains frozen, but meanwhile, Israel is itself very

:33:15.:33:16.

divided, not least There have been fights over plays,

:33:17.:33:18.

music, books, the funding The populist culture minister -

:33:19.:33:22.

a rising star of the right - She is one of a new generation

:33:23.:33:26.

of leaders who are unapologetic in their nationalism,

:33:27.:33:34.

supportive of poorer dues of Middle-Eastern backgrounds

:33:35.:33:36.

and of settlers in of Middle-Eastern backgrounds

:33:37.:33:37.

and of settlers in Less tied to the values

:33:38.:33:52.

of the old Europeanised So what is that

:33:53.:33:55.

culture war all about? The Bastian of Israel's

:33:56.:33:58.

liberal culture. At this theatre, the evening

:33:59.:34:05.

show is sold out. This is a place for avant-garde

:34:06.:34:07.

and fringe productions. This evening's play,

:34:08.:34:10.

Palestine Year Zero, written and directed by Einat

:34:11.:34:11.

Weizman. It deals with an insurance assessor,

:34:12.:34:20.

who is estimating the cost of damage done to Palestinian homes

:34:21.:34:24.

by the Israeli authorities. Before it was first performed,

:34:25.:34:38.

the office of the culture minister A complaint had been lodged

:34:39.:34:41.

because the play apparently contained messages of incitement

:34:42.:34:45.

that undermined the state For the author, a very

:34:46.:34:47.

uncomfortable situation. It was the end of the rehearsals,

:34:48.:34:55.

and we became paranoid, because we were scared from everyone

:34:56.:35:03.

who entered the door You were suspicious that the people

:35:04.:35:06.

coming in to see the rehearsals had Yes, I started to be suspicious

:35:07.:35:12.

of the cleaning people! For making art, you need

:35:13.:35:19.

an autonomous place outside Israel likes to project

:35:20.:35:21.

an image around the world that is one of an open society,

:35:22.:35:35.

in which dissent is not persecuted. But there is a growing fear

:35:36.:35:38.

here that a new generation of political leaders wants

:35:39.:35:41.

to shut down critical voices. Some say the culture minister,

:35:42.:35:46.

Miri Regev, is trying to gain control over cultural production,

:35:47.:35:48.

putting the vitality of this country's culture and the freedom

:35:49.:35:50.

of creation it has in jeopardy. Many talk of a culture war

:35:51.:35:59.

that has been declared Even in the last year, Miri Regev

:36:00.:36:02.

has become one of the most Her critics call her

:36:03.:36:31.

Trump in High Heels. She generates a constant

:36:32.:36:36.

stream of headlines. She has spent most of her career

:36:37.:36:43.

serving in the Army, she became chief media censor

:36:44.:36:47.

and then a spokesperson. A profile she made sure that

:36:48.:36:51.

no one would forget... called artists arrogant,

:36:52.:37:06.

hypocritical and ungrateful. And she reigns against

:37:07.:37:09.

the liberal elite. She sets out a so-called

:37:10.:37:11.

loyalty in culture plan, threatening to condition support

:37:12.:37:13.

for cultural institutions and the contents they present,

:37:14.:37:18.

or the place where they perform. Taxpayers are fed up

:37:19.:37:23.

of being in a situation where they are paying money

:37:24.:37:26.

for people who are describing themselves as an elite,

:37:27.:37:28.

and are rubbishing the country. They say by all means,

:37:29.:37:32.

go ahead and do it, but we are not That, I think, is the core

:37:33.:37:36.

of what this is all about. So are you making the

:37:37.:37:41.

case for censorship? So freedom of expression

:37:42.:37:43.

with a limit? No, freedom of

:37:44.:37:50.

expression and limited. -- No, freedom of

:37:51.:37:56.

expression unlimited. Freedom to get government

:37:57.:37:59.

funds is limited. Approval ratings show that a large

:38:00.:38:01.

number of people believe that too. Miri Regev sees it as a cultural

:38:02.:38:04.

revolution which takes us to one We followed her to

:38:05.:38:07.

the occupied West Bank. That night was the first time

:38:08.:38:17.

the National Theatre had ever A move that many say normalises

:38:18.:38:20.

the residents of settlers And so here is a simple story -

:38:21.:38:29.

not the question of settlements, Written by the Israeli Nobel Prize

:38:30.:38:57.

laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon. A tale of an impossible love,

:38:58.:39:08.

at the turn of the 20th century, driving a young man

:39:09.:39:11.

from melancholy to madness. The culture ministry issued

:39:12.:39:19.

a memo that became known From now on, cultural

:39:20.:39:21.

institutions that would perform in the occupied West Bank

:39:22.:39:28.

would benefit from Those that wouldn't

:39:29.:39:30.

may face funding cuts. For the artists who have so far

:39:31.:39:37.

refused on moral grounds, For the public here,

:39:38.:39:40.

it is a just recognition. If it is the National Theatre,

:39:41.:39:48.

and it is a national budget, you must go everywhere

:39:49.:39:51.

where there are people. But some of the performers

:39:52.:39:56.

want to make their feelings clear. Before the show, the lead

:39:57.:39:59.

actress visited the nearby She was guided by former soldiers

:40:00.:40:01.

who now campaign to the occupation. -- She was guided by former

:40:02.:40:22.

soldiers who now campaign Not a word, but her

:40:23.:40:24.

face said it all. I can understand that the young

:40:25.:40:32.

author, or a young playwright, can say I'm afraid I don't

:40:33.:40:34.

want to lose by audience... -- can say I'm afraid I don't

:40:35.:40:39.

want to lose my audience... Back in Tel Aviv, we met with one

:40:40.:40:42.

of the liberal vanguard, AB Yehoshua, the 80-year-old writer

:40:43.:40:45.

reflects on a society that is increasingly

:40:46.:40:47.

turning sights inward. Their inner censorship is far more

:40:48.:40:49.

dangerous than what you would call the government censorship,

:40:50.:40:51.

or the government instruction. As the peace process

:40:52.:40:53.

with the Palestinians remains frozen, and with new leaders leaning

:40:54.:40:57.

towards more populous agendas, Israel is, for now, busy fighting

:40:58.:41:00.

on the cultural front. But before we go, have you ever

:41:01.:41:06.

wondered why your laces come undone? Some academics at the University

:41:07.:41:14.

of California, Berkeley,

:41:15.:41:17.

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