02/05/2017 Newsnight


Featuring Diane Abbott, the deficit, Brexit skirmishes, selling Jeremy Corbyn on the doorstep, the official election artist and anorexia. With Evan Davis.

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We will half the deficit. As we reduce the deficit, our country is


facing the largest budget deficit in modern history.


No one seems to be talking about it - does that mean we can stop


The parties are not saying much about money at the moment.


But taxes, spending and borrowing are what governments do.


Tonight, we'll ask if election promises on tax and spending can


Also tonight, the 15-year-old anorexia sufferer who took her own


life after being discharged from mental health care


We'll hear from the writer Emma Woolf, who suffered


And Cornelia Parker has been appointed


What's caught her cultured eye so far?


You do like a dimpled seat. I hope I am not fixated on bottoms.


However hard the parties may try to control election campaigns,


they are inevitably punctuated by unpredictable events.


We've not had anything quite like that yet,


but Labour today had it's most awkward moment of


A big announcement on police numbers, and then, on LBC,


the Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott faced presenter


Nick Ferrari - this is Ms Abbott on The Daily Politics listening back


How much would 10,000 police officers cost?


Well, if we recruit the 10,000 policemen and women over a four-year


period, we believe it will be about ?300,000.


Our political editor Nick Watt is here.


It was excruciating. Excruciating, embarrassing worthy adjectives


thrown around today and that was the Labour side. You know things are


going badly when your fellow frontbenchers, in this case on the


Labour side, are joking with Conservative ministers on the other


side about how badly you have done. Privately, Diane Abbott is telling


friends it was a car crash into view. One friend said, it is a bit


like a moment when you wake up and you think, was it really that bad?


And the answer is yes, it was. These accidents happen and it is not the


first time Nick Ferrari has put someone in that situation,, Natalie


Bennett in the last election of the Green Party. The danger is this. It


makes Labour looked dysfunctional and it plays into the conservative


narrative that you have certainty with them and chaos under a future


Labour government. Interestingly it shows there are poor relations


between two of the leading members of the Shadow Cabinet who are old


comrades on the left, which is Diane Abbott who was supposed to introduce


the 10,000 officers, and John MacDonald the Shadow Chancellor who


is meant to pay for them. I understand Diane Abbott until 2am


this morning was poring over a laboured oximeter because she feared


the weak spot for her in the interview is Labour had indicated


the policy areas that would be paid for from the pot she was using, the


2.7 billion from reversing a cut in capital gains tax. She had an answer


to that when she was asked on the Today programme. She said this was


before the manifesto and this is the manifesto but when she was asked the


simple question, how much would it cost, her friend said she was thrown


off her stride. Well, in most elections,


everything comes back to money, which is why questions are always


asked about costings. If anything, this one so far


has been about Brexit, and it's as though the deficit,


which dominated for years, So the well-regarded and independent


Institute for Fiscal Studies has published a realty check today,


helpfully telling us everything about it,


and what it is that the last two Parliaments have done,


or not done to it. It covers the deficit,


on taxes and spending. Chris Cook has been delving


inside the IFS report. One topic was central to the last


two general elections. We will half the deficit over the next four


years. As we reduce the deficit. Our country is facing the largest budget


deficit in modern history. And you can expect it to recur in this one.


We need a credible plan for dealing with the deficit. Despite a rather


different contexts. We will clear the deficit as soon as possible. The


financial crisis and recession increase the deficit to the highest


level since the Second World War back in 2009-10. It has generally


fallen since and is back to level before the crisis, a bit above the


average but not high by historical standards, so there is a case for


more deficit reduction, not least because we have racked up debt over


the years but not a deficit so large it is extraordinary or out of normal


bounds. It stands at about 3% of national output, which is a bit high


but less than the deficits of France, the US and Japan. More than


the deficits in Germany or Ireland and the permanent memento of the


crisis, the debt burden is 80%, still smaller than the US, France


and Japan, but again ahead of Germany or Ireland. Since 2010 there


have been some things that have not been restrained from growing, like


pensions. There are things that have been relatively shielded, like the


NHS. There are some things that have been boosted, like international


development. Overall, there has been a major spending squeeze. After the


financial crisis spending rose to a peak of around 45% of output and


since then, it has been squeezed to the precrisis level of just under


40%. Now tax receipts have in recent years just started to creep up. But


it is spending cuts that have done most of the working closing the


deficit. The fiscal problem for the government is we are seven years


into the austerity drive and the low hanging fruit has been plucked. It


is hard to see how the NHS will stay within its budget for the next few


years. It is already miles of targets and schools are planning to


lay off teachers to get through the next budget round. And the prison


system is creaking. Austerity is a lot harder than it used to be. Doing


spending cuts painlessly will become more difficult over time. The waste


and low value programmes are likely to have been eliminated already and


if we look at the last election, David Cameron was adamant the


government could take 1% a year out of public spending the first two


years but the data shows spending rose in those years. Instead of


taking 15 billion out they have added 23 billion. That is why the


Tories have drifted into line with what were Ed Miliband's spending


plans. The Tories attacked Labour in 2015 for planning to spend more and


we can expect that argument this time around but if the Conservatives


want to close the deficit by the next Parliament, they need another


?15 billion in tax hikes or spending cuts. And all the easy spending cuts


have gone. Chris Philp is a Conservative MP


on the Treasury Select Committee. Mariana Mazzucato is Professor


in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at UCL,


and sat on the Labour Party's Chris, why did the Tories implement


Ed Miliband's manifesto during the parliament that is just finishing?


The Conservatives did what was fiscally responsible, taking down


Labour's deficit down to 3%. That is not the question, it was why have


you implemented Ed Miliband's rather than your own goals? It is only two


years. He went into the campaign with a lot of promises. You will


attack the Labour Party in this one on the same grounds. I ask why you


implemented their policy? I do not think Labour had the first intention


of implementing that policy. It does not matter. Every measure we have


taken to get the deficit under control was opposed by the Labour


Party, every measure. The fact we have got it down from a peak of 10%


to 3% is an incredible achievement. I mean by difficult circumstances


the turbulence in the eurozone. We have had an election since the


turbulence in the eurozone and elected you on the basis of a


manifesto and criticisms you made of Ed Miliband and you have implemented


the Ed Miliband fiscal strategy. At the time many said your fiscal plans


lacked credibility and you said trust us, we can do it. We have it


from the IFS that you couldn't and you delivered the Ed Miliband plan.


Public spending in real terms has been constant at... It has increased


and you said you would reduce it. Your chart showed it down to 38% of


GDP and it has been constant around 760 billion a year. You are quoting


departmental expenditure limits. It would be ridiculous for voters to


listen to what you have to say about Labour spending and tax plans, given


what you said last time will stop we have reduced Labour's deficit. You


keep repeating. I am saying what happened at the last election is you


criticised Ed Miliband's plans and then deliver them. Why would we


believe you if you make new criticisms because you might


implement those. Going back to 2010 we hope to eliminate the deficit by


2015. You are right, it has taken longer will stop it is heading in


the right direction. Every measure we have taken the Labour Party have


a pose. Only one party is fighting this with credibility and it is the


Conservative Party. I spent time with Chris Philp because those


issues come out of what the IFS said today. Does the deficit need


attention? It is higher than the historical average. Should getting


the deficit down PA goal of the next government? First-day correction,


the deficit was not an average ten, 11% under Labour. Governments around


the world after the crisis saved the capitalist system, with a stimulus


that costs money. You are picking up a number during a year after the


crisis. It was one year when governments saved the capitalist


system. Deficits matter but what matters is what you are spending on.


The figures you showed our telling. Italy's deficit today is lower than


the UK deficit. Italy's deficit has been lower than Germany's the last


20 years. What matters is how you are growing. What matters and what


both parties should be talking about and are not, is the big elephant in


the room, the source of growth in this country continues to be private


debt, consumption led growth, not investment led growth. The issue of


private debt to disposable income is back at record levels since before


the crisis. What would your fiscal target be? 4% of GDP, 3%? You are


obsessing. If the numbers are always going to be there. Did she learn


anything from the Excel sheet problem when they obsess on this


terrible number, when it went over 90, the debt to GDP, that was found


to be irrelevant. It does not tell us much. I get from what you are


saying that the kind of spending... Next question. Is spending more on


police and welfare and more on all the things we know the Labour Party


would like to spend more on, is that the kind of spending that gives you


long-term growth? You need long-term growth, you want a plan for the


country. Whether it is Germany's energy policy, not just capital


expenditure, innovation, infrastructure, it is a type of


spend you could call consumption, trying to change demand. Norway, why


are 30% of Tesla cars sold in Norway? They focus on a particular


consumption. This dilemma, should we spend on nurses or infrastructure...


? People are worried if you say it is a false question. The data shows


it is a false question. Weak countries have low debt to GDP ratio


is, what does that tell you? Do you think in this campaign it will be an


issue? Do you think this election campaign, we will talk about Brexit


in Europe? It will be an issue because the Labour Party are making


promises that cost a lot of money and they have no idea how to pay for


it whereas the Conservatives will be responsible. The more irresponsible


promises we hear from Labour to be paid for by our children. Economic


policy has reduced how much we are spending on education. Why are


headteachers all over the country protesting? Are they foolish? Let's


not argue about it, we know it is going down. Project to the tea is


lacking. The increase in real incomes has gone to over


60-year-olds. We have an increasingly financial economy,


personal debt to disposable income is back to record levels. How can


you call that achievement? We need to leave it there.


Well, back to the issue that is dominating the campaign - Brexit.


Jean-Claude Juncker has tried to do to Theresa May,


what Nick Ferrari did to Diane Abbott.


He appeared to try to show that she has no grasp of the complex


Certainly, weekend leaks about an awkward discussion at No 10


last Wednesday have shown how hostile the mood might become.


Politically all these headlines about them getting together and


saying the UK is deluded. Cabinet ministers believe this will play


nicely put them in the general election. One of them said this


shows the Germans want to be nasty to us. So we will say to the British


people do you want as Jeremy Corbyn dealing with this. They mentioned


the Germans because they believe that the nation 's German chief of


staff to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was


behind this briefing in the German press. And today Theresa May court


Jean-Claude Juncker on the spot and told the BBC, do not forget I can be


a bloody difficult woman. The irony is that was the language point last


year by Kenneth Clarke who of course was a big pro-European Tories and


the only Tory MP to vote against the triggering of Article 50. So a


political dimension to this. Are we really learning anything about the


Brexit process and how hard it is going to be? Well in the medium to


longer term there are nervous on the Tory side. One senior Tory said this


showed these negotiations are going to be very, very tough. Amongst


ministers, opinions are divided. I spoke to one minister who said he


feared this account at the dinner showed they are grand delusions


within his own government and he cited the apparent remarks by David


Davies the Brexit secretary at this dinner saying if there is no deal


and Britain crashes out, we will not with a penny. This minister said


that would inflict enormous reputational damage on the UK. Other


ministers say these are predictable skirmishing is from well-known


European federalist Jean-Claude Juncker. Well, someone with


experience of this is with me now. With me in the studio


is Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister


who resigned back in 2015 He's now written a book


about the whole experience, Are you surprised when you read


these briefings going on about the Brexit dinner? Absolutely not, this


is the way in which Brussels in piece negotiations. What they will


be doing for the next couple of years is pushing London towards a


defensive stance through leaks, distortions, and strategy of making


Theresa May fight for her right to negotiate. She will be negotiating


on her right and opportunity to negotiate. There will be no real


negotiations. You famously recorded some of your Eurogroup meetings


because the briefings where, you wanted to make sure the briefings


were accurate at what you have heard in the meeting. Nothing strange


about that, I had to report to Parliament, to my Prime Minister and


cabinet. They were distortion? There were no briefings. But the main


issue as far as I was concerned, I was engaged in ten are long


negotiations and then would have to go to my Parliament and report on


what happened. After ten long strenuous hours the human mind slips


and suddenly becomes hazy. So not having minutes for this is the


opposite of a democratic and transparent process. Do you think


Brexit -- Brexit is going to work out for the UK? You were against it


at the time of the referendum. I was against it and my great concern for


both the European Union and the UK is that our leaders, London and


Brussels, are locked in, a ranking of preferences, which produces a bad


outcome for everyone. Their power, Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker,


Angela Merkel, is inversely proportional to the mutual advantage


we can get from it. What is driving the deep establishment, the European


establishment you're referred to, these are not evil people, that is


not your case. Everyone is trying to do their best, it is like watching


King Lear and you wonder how can these smart people be so deluded,


the characters in the tragedy. They are playing their role and what they


think they need to do in this situation. Jean-Claude Juncker and


the powers that be in Brussels, the greatest nightmare is a mutually


advantageous agreement with the UK because in their mind it would


encourage others to demand stuff and possibly get out of the EU. On the


other hand Theresa May, she is locked in to this inanity of putting


the end of freedom of movement above everything else. Above the interests


of British industry, agriculture, universities. So this is a political


failure of an immense degree. Politics these days, where are you


on the liberal establishment because it is the most persecuted group at


the moment, it has not had a great couple of years. In many respects


you are talking about the liberal establishment and deep establishment


as the same thing. They are two extent. These days they resemble a


person was killed his parents and is pleading for leniency at the Court


on the grounds that he is an awesome. They have been extremely


authoritarian in the way they have dealt with us and are now dealing


with Theresa May. They have been extremely authoritarian and imposing


Lily economics. The idea that you take the largest loan in human


history and give it to the most bankrupt state in Europe is Lily


economics. And now they are in retreat, they are complaining about


the alternative facts, distortions and leaks and the Lily economics.


The deal back in the UK general election? Jeremy Corbyn for sure,


I'm a leftist. But you are a bit of a fan of Emmanuel Macron in France.


In the case of the UK I think is madness that the Labour Party is


standing and putting up a candidate in places like Brighton against


Caroline Lucas because of the sectarianism of the Progressive


front. I wish there was a nuanced Progressive Alliance in the UK. But


in France you're right, I'm a leftist, what a left doing in 2002


when we had the ten senior pitted against Jacques Chirac, we all went


behind Jacques Chirac. He admired Thatcher, he was a Conservative, not


at all a friend of the left and yet the left used to understand that


binding together with liberals and even neoliberals against the


fascists are racist, ultrabright, was a absolute duty. Why have we


changed that today? Because many of his voters are going to go because


they're anti-globalisation. I am anti-globalisation but above


everything else I am anti-racists. And antifascist. And we should see


eye to eye. Macron is infinitely better by the way Ben Jacques Chirac


was. He's the only minister I met during my tenure who understood the


problems of Lily economics in Europe and tried to help Greece not to


crash. Thank you very much. There is a contrast between the Tory


and Labour campaigns, in that Theresa May is ahead


of her party in the poll ratings, while Jeremy Corbyn


is below his party. Now, one of the consequent


weirdnesses about this campaign is that many Labour candidates


are trying to distance Meanwhile, many Labour activists,


of course, are enthusiastic about him and are campaigning hard


in his name as well as Labour's. The Corbyn supporting


group Momentum, is out So is there sometimes a dissonance


between the line taken by the candidate and those


who come to campaign? James Clayton has been


to Luton South to see how the Labour Luton is that rarest thing


in southern England. They have two MPs here,


that's a sixth of Labour MPs in the whole of the South


outside the capital. The local MP of Luton, Gavin Shukla,


has a majority of just under 6000 from the Tories and that puts him


in the cross hairs of So how are Labour MPs


like Gavin Shukla planning Normally in an election


what you would want to do is identify where your Labour vote


is and turn them out. In this election we are doing it


slightly differently. We are trying to identify


where the people that are wobbly about voting Labour


are and persuade them. There's always a bit


of both in both campaigns, but with maybe one in five Labour


voters with question marks about how they're


going to put the X in the box, that is the absolute


priority for us. The message that we are delivering


on the doorstep, you can have a great local MP,


but you do not want to give So you have got Theresa May,


don't give her a blank cheque. That sounds like you're not


particularly confident that you're Well look, the reality


is if the polls are at least in the ballpark, Labour is not


going to form the next government. It is quite a confusing


message, isn't it? Because you are basically


telling the electorate, we are the Labour Party,


we are going to lose. The closer it looks nationally,


arguably the harder it is to win some of these seats that we retain


because the question marks about leadership,


Brexit and other policy issues make it harder to make a case


about a straight choice You've got a lovely picture


of yourself and you've got But you do not have your great


leader Jeremy Corbyn on there. Well to be honest in 2010 I did not


have Gordon Brown and in 2015 Is that not more a reflection


about your leaders! The reality is a seat like Luton


is won by being a local candidate. You wouldn't offer up


Jeremy Corbyn as a pitch The reality is if you are a floating


voter, Labour supporter in the past with question marks now,


most of the concerns So for that reason, it is not that


kind of election for us. It has to be on our local records


and not the national picture. Hi, my name is Elaine,


I'm from the Labour Party. And I just want to know if you've


got a few minutes to talk In London the grassroots campaigning


group Momentum have been training local volunteers about how


to campaign effectively And rather than focus on local


issues, activists are teaching volunteers how to field


difficult national questions. Here Jeremy Corbyn is seen very much


as a positive on the doorstep. We think Jeremy represents


something really wonderful. It is a new kind of


politics, a kind politics. And we are very proud of that


and we think that that And so we want to take


that to the voters. But the local MPs do not


necessarily think that? There is a lot of things going


on in the party, as people know. But in this general election


we think Jeremy Corbyn is someone that people can believe


in and what he stands for and the politics


that he represents is something So we are proudly


taking that to people. Momentum is a mixed blessing


for many Labour MPs. With 150,000 registered supporters,


it is a potentially powerful Do you think that Momentum will be


useful in this campaign? I think Momentum could be hugely


useful if they can translate the numbers of supporters they have


into people coming through the door of this campaign office


and out on the doorstep. My membership has increased


by three or four times But my number of activists has not


increased really over So what we need is encouragement


to say that if you want Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister,


you have got to come out Labour's internal differences have


been well publicised But just as members have wildly


different ideas of what they want from Labour Party policy,


so too do they differ on how best to convince constituents to vote


Labour come June the 8th. If you are interested in seeing


a full list of candidates for Luton South they'll be


on the BBC News website If ever you needed evidence of how


serious a mental condition that anorexia can be,


the tragic case of 15-year-old She took her own life


by stepping in front of a train She had been diagnosed


with severe anorexia at age 13, had been sectioned and given


treatment, her weight sometimes But, against her and her family's


wishes, she was discharged She then killed herself


just days later. Today, a jury inquest found that


contributing to her death was a lack of support available for her family,


and an inadequate care plan for her. This is Pip's mum Marie speaking


outside the coroner's Anorexia has the highest mortality


rate attributed to any psychiatric illness,


with as many as 40% Too many of our children are dying


from this terrible illness. Effective treatment is needed more


quickly and if this had been available to our beautiful daughter


maybe she would still With me in the studio is Emma Woolf,


a writer and broadcaster who suffered from anorexia for 10


years - she wrote the memoir We know that if you starve yourself,


you endanger your life. Suicide by other means for people with


anorexia, how common is that? It is very common. As Pippa's mother


mentioned, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental


illness, higher than schizophrenia, which is surprising. It is not just


people dying from a lack of food, it is that high suicide rate, because


life becomes so desperate and miserable. Food for everyone else is


the fuel for life and keeps your body going. As your brain and body


staff, everything falls apart. It feels so difficult and desperate to


keep going. What therapy is available? Particularly NHS therapy.


How easy is it if your child is suffering, a teenager? At the moment


we basically have basic medication, is, and talking therapy. Behavioural


therapy and counselling. What is the state of the art on what works? What


works is a combination of talking therapy, cognitive behavioural


support. And if people are desperately underweight and need


medical help they will have feeding. What I hear anecdotally from


thousands of younger readers is that there are long waiting lists for


help. As the mother said, there is not the help people need. Often it


is rationed. To tell someone with anorexia who is losing weight, you


are not thin enough the treatment is the most dangerous thing you can do.


You are over it now? I am now, but it took a very long time and I don't


think any of these treatments, it is not a magic with it. It took ten


years of trying and failing and trying and failing again and it was


a gradual process. There was nothing when you said you went to this


person with this idea? Everybody wants a breakthrough, but it is


about challenging yourself each time, gaining weight, losing it


again, gaining weight, trying foods that scare you and realising having


a slice of toast will not make you fat. These ridiculous fears, that is


the thing, it does not make sense. It is the most inexplicable... For


someone without anorexia to understand the mindset is difficult.


You see a starving person and think, how can you not eat? It does not


make sense and it does not make sense when you are in the midst of


it. You cannot understand why you can't eat, but you can't. Research


has shown us it is about the brain, there are conditions within the


brain. It is a brain disease, not a lifestyle choice. It is important to


understand people are not making a choice. Thanks very much.


Who knew we needed an election artist?


But we do have one, appointed by the Speaker's Advisory


Who better to serve in that role than Cornelia Parker?


An artist famous for grand installations, provocative


performances pieces and a fair dose of wit, she's already


begun an election-themed Instagram account.


One could attempt any number of election puns out


of her previous works, like Cold Dark Matter, or The Maybe.


But rather than me do that, we left it to our culture editor


I think the House of Commons is down here.


There's a reason they usually have a man with a big black


conceptual artist and you never know where her professional curiosity


I think I might just take a picture over here.


I'm hoping this is where Theresa May sits.


I am just glad Newsnight was on hand to


preserve the modesty of the Mother of Parliaments.


I wonder if she sits across the crease.


I thought we were obsessed with their seats on this


I love all the creases on it which is made


by politicians' bottoms, not their minds.


I once photographed Freud's seat. His actual seat he sat in. His


consulting chair. I liked the marks were made by Freud subconsciously. I


am still getting over the shock of becoming the election artist. It was


a snap election and they made a snap decision about which artist. How


does it feel? OK, I did not waste too much time saying yes because I


thought if I thought about it too long I would not do it. I am glad I


did. This might be one for Instagram. I am new to Instagram, it


is my first social media. With the current Speaker, we might see where


their heels are banking against... Perhaps that is unkind. Another


political abstracts. It is interesting, the buttons. I wonder


what they do. Is there a panic button? An ejector seat. I would


like to think so. In a nonpartisan way an ejector seat for the speaker


to use. Like the big red chair on Graham Norton. Do you have strong


political leanings in any direction? I am not so much party political but


I feel I am a very concerned citizen because there is so much happening


in the world. I have a 15-year-old and I am much more politically


attuned, especially about things like climate change, NHS, education,


particularly, so there are issues. Brexit seems to be slumping a bit.


You do like a dimpled seat. I hope I am not fixated on bottoms. You were


the one who consulted Doctor Freud. What Freud would say about this I


don't know. Nice. Apart from her Instagram feed, Cornelia Parker says


she is still considering what other works she might produce. She does


not want to be pigeonholed. Diane Abbott, she is number one. I should


stress this is the artist's own idea. Why did that appealed to you?


I saw a gap under her heel and thought, what could go in that gap?


Political artist trodden on by former PM. Stephen Smith with


Cornelia Parker. Just time for one newspaper, the Financial Times. EU


raises UK Brexit build to 100 billion euros. Previously it had


been 60 billion. We leave you with Colin Jackson


breaking the 60 metre indoor hurdles world record from 1994 -


his record still stands today. But, it's under threat -


a new proposal by European Athletics would cancel all world records set


before 2005 because they don't Colin Jackson has described


the proposals as "ludicrous", So, we thought we'd give you another


chance to enjoy this race COMMENTATOR: And this


time they are away. Jarrett is only a stride behind him,


but Jackson pulling away Greg Foster's mark of


1987 has been toppled. 21 degrees in the Highland Scotland


today. Just turn off the North Sea coast. A lot of sunshine in


Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern counties of northern England but for


the rest, cloud increasing. A bright sky in the afternoon in Northern


Ireland. Highland Scotland perhaps not quite as warm as today but the


breeze coming in from the North Sea makes all the difference. It is


always better when you see sunshine. In the Midlands, and south-east


England, it looks like a cloudy afternoon and for some patchy rain.


12 degrees in London, feeling cooler in the breeze. Cloud increasing in


the south-west England and much of Wales. For some in northern England,


cloudy in the afternoon but sunny the further north you go. Northern


England, Northern Ireland and northern Scotland going into


Thursday and Friday seeing the best of the sunshine. Further south, more


cloud around and time threatening showers. They will not amount to


much. This is the picture on Thursday. Showers in England and


Wales. Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, getting


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