22/05/2017 Newsnight


22/05/2017

With Evan Davis. Has Theresa May made a U-turn? Plus tuition fees, and mobilising the black vote. What does Facebook allow and why?


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 22/05/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Is there any chance at all you're going to look at it again?

:00:00.:00:00.

Testing the meaning of the words strong and stable,

:00:07.:00:12.

the Prime Minister has made a staggering U-turn on social care,

:00:13.:00:16.

and has compounded the embarrassment by pretending she's done

:00:17.:00:18.

I've clarified what we will be putting in the green paper,

:00:19.:00:24.

So Jeremy Corbyn is now rewriting your manifesto?

:00:25.:00:27.

We'll ask what it tells us about Theresa May's

:00:28.:00:34.

style of leadership, and what it tells us

:00:35.:00:36.

I have come around lately to quite a radical idea.

:00:37.:00:43.

I think compulsory voting could actually be the answer.

:00:44.:00:45.

And is anyone think Facebook are any good at acting as a sensor of public

:00:46.:00:59.

discourse? So, why then, does

:01:00.:01:01.

Facebook allows this... Certain arguments go

:01:02.:01:03.

round in circles in this country - the one about a third runway

:01:04.:01:18.

at Heathrow, for example. And the one about how

:01:19.:01:20.

we pay for social care. And today, in what can only be said

:01:21.:01:23.

to be a jaw-dropping move, the Conservatives have,

:01:24.:01:26.

mid-election campaign, reverted to a social care

:01:27.:01:29.

policy they had junked. There will be a lifetime cap

:01:30.:01:33.

on care costs after all. We may be close to a resolution

:01:34.:01:36.

of the care issue, as both Conservative and Labour parties

:01:37.:01:41.

want that cap. The fuss over the Tories' plans

:01:42.:01:43.

of the last few days seem to have nudged the country

:01:44.:01:46.

into a new deal on care. But the other important thing

:01:47.:01:49.

about today is what it has done to the Conservative campaign,

:01:50.:01:53.

built on the supposedly decisive The words "strong and stable"

:01:54.:01:55.

have come back to hit And perhaps bizarrely,

:01:56.:01:59.

the party has attempted to suggest, contrary to the evidence,

:02:00.:02:05.

that there has been no Can you think of anything like this

:02:06.:02:21.

in name election campaign? I can't think of a precedent, a U-turn on a

:02:22.:02:27.

manifesto or a clarification, to use the official parlance. I can only

:02:28.:02:32.

remember general election is going back to 1979. Let's go back to the

:02:33.:02:36.

great Oxford psephologist, who tweeted today about the 20 elections

:02:37.:02:41.

he has covered, you can't think of a U-turn on this scale or indeed one

:02:42.:02:47.

at all. What went wrong? Ministers are saying the Prime Minister was

:02:48.:02:50.

brave and right to face up to the social care crisis and people with

:02:51.:02:54.

means should pay. But they experienced blowback on the doorstep

:02:55.:02:58.

with one Tory candidate telling Newsnight it looked like a plate of

:02:59.:03:03.

sick. Two problems were identified. Firstly, it wasn't fair. If you have

:03:04.:03:07.

cancer, the state will pay for your care. If you have dementia and need

:03:08.:03:12.

to be cared for at home, you will be liable. The second thing they said

:03:13.:03:17.

was that it offends the idea, the Conservative idea, that you should

:03:18.:03:21.

be able to leave a legacy for your children. That wasn't there because

:03:22.:03:24.

it says on the original plans that if you have to pay then you only

:03:25.:03:29.

have a guarantee of ?100,000 left in your estate. Finally they identified

:03:30.:03:34.

Nick Timothy on the Prime Minister's chief of staff, as the culprit. One

:03:35.:03:40.

minister said to me that's the problem with Nick Timothy is that

:03:41.:03:44.

he's a socialist. It has been a strange day for the party and for

:03:45.:03:50.

her. How is it playing tonight? I spoke to one minister who said, if

:03:51.:03:53.

we win the election big then it will be forgotten as a mid-wobble. But

:03:54.:03:59.

there has been quite a lot of criticism of the Prime Minister's

:04:00.:04:03.

refusal throughout the day to acknowledge that she has changed

:04:04.:04:07.

tack and there are echoes of Gordon Brown cancelling the election that

:04:08.:04:12.

never was in 2007, and he said that had nothing to do with the opinion

:04:13.:04:17.

polls. We journalists were told precisely the opposite. It has been

:04:18.:04:22.

quite a big day. We have looked at Theresa May's wobbly Monday.

:04:23.:04:26.

We were promised strong, stable, and consistent leadership. But what's

:04:27.:04:35.

this? A U-turn on one of the central planks in the Conservative general

:04:36.:04:41.

election manifesto. At a tetchy press conference this morning,

:04:42.:04:44.

Theresa May announced there would be an absolute limit on care costs. The

:04:45.:04:50.

Prime Minister dismissed talk of a U-turn because she is upholding a

:04:51.:04:54.

guarantee that elderly people who rely on social care will have

:04:55.:05:01.

?100,000 left in their estate. We have not change the principles of

:05:02.:05:06.

the policy we set out in our manifesto. Those policies... Those

:05:07.:05:12.

policies remain exactly the same. Ministers are in no doubt that this

:05:13.:05:18.

is a U-turn, and a big one at that. They say they are experiencing

:05:19.:05:21.

blowback on the doorstep from natural Tory supporters who say the

:05:22.:05:25.

policy was unfair and offended the Tory principle that you should be

:05:26.:05:30.

able to pass on a legacy to your children. Ministers also have in

:05:31.:05:34.

their sights the Prime Minister's joint Chief of staff, Nick Timothy,

:05:35.:05:37.

who drew up the manifesto in great secrecy. One veteran of numerous

:05:38.:05:45.

Labour manifesto believes Theresa May has damaged her own brand. What

:05:46.:05:50.

she's managed to do today, extraordinarily, is turn her own

:05:51.:05:54.

leadership advantage against Jeremy Corbyn into a corrupted brand. She

:05:55.:05:58.

wants to be strong and stable, the Prime Minister that Stevie and

:05:59.:06:01.

determined and has resolved, but the toing and froing and U-turns and

:06:02.:06:07.

irascibility in press conferences, corrupts the brand of leadership she

:06:08.:06:12.

wants to make her biggest asset. And this isn't the first time our strong

:06:13.:06:16.

and stable Prime Minister has embarked on a U-turn. Others include

:06:17.:06:21.

calling an early general election after definitively ruling one out.

:06:22.:06:25.

Ditching plans in the budget to increase national insurance

:06:26.:06:31.

contributions for the self-employed. Watering down proposals for workers

:06:32.:06:35.

to be given places on company boards. And abandoning plans to

:06:36.:06:38.

oblige companies to declare the proportion of overseas workers.

:06:39.:06:46.

Ministers say the U-turn was prompted in part by an apparent dip

:06:47.:06:50.

in Tory support in weekend opinion polls. But one polling expert thinks

:06:51.:06:56.

the picture is more complex. I think it's really, really easy to see this

:06:57.:07:00.

as a seismic shift in the result of how people are feeling, but actually

:07:01.:07:03.

if you get outside Westminster bubble, people are talking about

:07:04.:07:07.

lots of different issues. Some were talking about the dementia tax, as

:07:08.:07:11.

they call it. Lots were talking about fox hunting. Lots were talking

:07:12.:07:17.

about the Labour policies feeling they were quite attractive and

:07:18.:07:19.

hearing more from Labour about the specifics on what they will do

:07:20.:07:22.

instead of the Conservatives. But there is no doubt the U-turn of 2017

:07:23.:07:28.

will have a lasting impact on how Theresa May is perceived. A former

:07:29.:07:32.

Conservative speech writer who coined the phrase dementia tax

:07:33.:07:35.

believes the U-turn has shown the Prime Minister has rather not Tory

:07:36.:07:42.

views. It doesn't feel very Tory. It perhaps hasn't been thought through

:07:43.:07:47.

as much as it might have been. I think there's probably a danger in

:07:48.:07:51.

government when the press are generally behind you, that you are

:07:52.:07:55.

not perhaps as cautious as you might be. I think perhaps number ten

:07:56.:08:00.

overlooked the kind of reaction they might get from voters. Lord would

:08:01.:08:08.

believes the U-turn has ended up undermining the UK in Brussels.

:08:09.:08:12.

Brexit negotiators in the European Union will smile quietly to

:08:13.:08:15.

themselves because the she has made such a big plate of her steely

:08:16.:08:23.

determination. That has been the big message, not to be messed with, but

:08:24.:08:29.

she has performed a U-turn on a flagship manifesto pledge. That will

:08:30.:08:34.

influence people in the next year and a half. It seems like a classic

:08:35.:08:39.

mid-campaign wobble. Whether it casts a long shadow will depend on

:08:40.:08:43.

whether the Prime Minister secures a decisive election result.

:08:44.:08:45.

We'll talk about leadership and election tactics shortly.

:08:46.:08:47.

But when it comes to social care, is this a case where,

:08:48.:08:51.

to adapt a line from Churchill, we are fumbling towards the right

:08:52.:08:54.

Chris Cook, our policy editor, reports.

:08:55.:09:02.

The English care system is a running problem for the government.

:09:03.:09:08.

Although, to be blunt, it's a problem because we choose it to be a

:09:09.:09:12.

problem. The amounts of money that you need to fix it, are not huge. We

:09:13.:09:17.

are not talking about the hundred billion plus we spend on the health

:09:18.:09:22.

service. An extra two, three or four billion in social care will go an

:09:23.:09:25.

awful long way. It's almost nowhere when you throw it at the NHS. The

:09:26.:09:30.

care system has three moving parts to think of, we call them the

:09:31.:09:33.

savings for comedy care cap and the means test. Let's start with the

:09:34.:09:41.

means test. What asset account when the state works out whether you can

:09:42.:09:45.

get paid for care or not? At the moment if you live in a care home,

:09:46.:09:51.

all your assets count towards a means test. But if you get care in

:09:52.:09:55.

your own home, your house doesn't count to the total. The Tory

:09:56.:09:59.

manifesto last week, though, proposed putting the house in the

:10:00.:10:05.

means test for everyone. A big take away by the government. Today you

:10:06.:10:10.

announced a cap. The point of these proposals is that Mrs May wants more

:10:11.:10:15.

money. In ten years' time there will be 2 million more people over the

:10:16.:10:20.

age of 75. The social care system will collapse unless we do something

:10:21.:10:25.

about it. The second moving part is what we call the floor. Once it's

:10:26.:10:31.

checked your assets, under the current system the state doesn't

:10:32.:10:34.

start helping you out until you have spent your assets down to just over

:10:35.:10:39.

?23,000. The idea is you should have a minimum amount of cash you should

:10:40.:10:45.

keep. Last week, though, the Tories proposed to raise that to ?100,000.

:10:46.:10:50.

This element was a modest giveaway, although it's unclear how modest.

:10:51.:10:54.

It's very hard to know whether the proposals the Conservatives are

:10:55.:10:58.

putting together will cost or save money, particularly the proposals

:10:59.:11:01.

last week, which were to raise money from the Winter fuel allowance and

:11:02.:11:07.

raise money from that in the means testing and spend some on the means

:11:08.:11:10.

test. It wasn't clear without knowing the details of the levels at

:11:11.:11:13.

which all those things would occur what the overall net effect would

:11:14.:11:17.

be. The third element is what we call the cap. This was the part

:11:18.:11:22.

added today. The idea is to say, you might have a load more money than

:11:23.:11:26.

the floor, but even if you get very sick, you should never need to pay

:11:27.:11:30.

more than a fixed amount for your care. Save the cap were ?150,000,

:11:31.:11:36.

even the very rich would never need pay more than that before the state

:11:37.:11:41.

would start to help. The idea is to pool risk, like issuing insurance.

:11:42.:11:45.

When we are faced by something where there is the risk of something

:11:46.:11:48.

really nasty but it's not very likely, we don't all of us want to

:11:49.:11:52.

save enough just in case a nasty risk occurs. We want to save the

:11:53.:11:57.

average amount, spread out across the whole population and join

:11:58.:12:00.

together, recognising that if we are one of the unlucky ones, we will be

:12:01.:12:06.

fully covered. Today we saw a big U-turn, introducing a cap having

:12:07.:12:10.

ruled it out last week. A reminder that it's not just the cost that's a

:12:11.:12:15.

problem with social care, it is the unpredictability and the fact it

:12:16.:12:16.

hits the sickest the hardest. Well, at the beginning

:12:17.:12:19.

of the campaign, when the Tories had huge poll leads,

:12:20.:12:21.

it was said that there would be a Tory wobble,

:12:22.:12:24.

and we are certainly witnessing The polls are moving

:12:25.:12:26.

in Labour's direction. I'm joined by Rachel Sylvester

:12:27.:12:29.

of the Times and Stephen Glover of the Daily Mail, which surprised

:12:30.:12:34.

many of its readers by seemingly supporting the original

:12:35.:12:37.

social care policy. Are you happy that they have put a

:12:38.:12:49.

cap in? I think there is no doubt that the original policy was a clock

:12:50.:12:54.

up, and own goal. Having realised that, having had a panic about the

:12:55.:12:58.

polling over the weekend, Theresa May has done what she had to do,

:12:59.:13:04.

which is to put a cap in. What does it say about her steely

:13:05.:13:08.

determination? I thought she was decisive and listened? I think it

:13:09.:13:11.

says quite a lot of things about her. They obviously rushed at this.

:13:12.:13:19.

I think she is too reliant on one or two advisers. Particularly Nick

:13:20.:13:22.

Timothy, although he's a very clever chap. The policy that was announced

:13:23.:13:26.

on Thursday is kind of leaning to left. And yet it was an own goal and

:13:27.:13:33.

she allowed Jeremy Corbyn to sound plausible in his criticism of it.

:13:34.:13:37.

That's the irony. They didn't think it through. She has done the

:13:38.:13:40.

sensible thing in saying there should be a cap. Spotting she needed

:13:41.:13:45.

to retreat. What does it say about the Daily Mail because your headline

:13:46.:13:51.

was very positive. I don't write the headlines, but the feeling was that

:13:52.:13:56.

it was brave of her to try to tackle the issue. Young people can't be

:13:57.:14:04.

expected to subsidise old people for ever. That was the feeling behind

:14:05.:14:10.

it. Rachel, what do you think it tells us on the policy-making site

:14:11.:14:14.

about Theresa May's mastery of issues perhaps outside the Home

:14:15.:14:17.

Office briefed. She was very strong there where she served for five

:14:18.:14:21.

years. What worries me most is into the U-turn, which I think was

:14:22.:14:25.

sensible. It was that she ended up with this initial policy in the

:14:26.:14:29.

first place. Because it didn't solve any problems in a social care

:14:30.:14:33.

system, as your people explained on the films. The issue is the lottery

:14:34.:14:37.

between those who have certain conditions and those who have other

:14:38.:14:41.

conditions. The policy they put forward didn't deal with that at all

:14:42.:14:45.

so it missed the point. She went through this whole controversy and

:14:46.:14:49.

rout for no purpose. We have ended up in a better place, but it

:14:50.:14:53.

reflects badly on her ability to make policy.

:14:54.:14:59.

And the campaign is around the coalition of chaos under Jeremy

:15:00.:15:04.

Corbyn. Do you think this damages the brand of Theresa May? Of course,

:15:05.:15:10.

she prides herself on her confidence, a safe pair of hands,

:15:11.:15:13.

that is why she is the strong unstable candidate up against Jeremy

:15:14.:15:18.

Corbyn. But this completely undermines that. I can only imagine

:15:19.:15:25.

what you guys would be writing if Labour had you turned on a policy

:15:26.:15:34.

within four days of publishing the manifesto. I think there is no

:15:35.:15:38.

question that she has made a mistake, but having made a mistake,

:15:39.:15:42.

she is trying to dig herself out of it, and I suspect that in a week's

:15:43.:15:47.

time we will have forgotten all about it. The second aspect of this,

:15:48.:15:53.

and in some ways the more surprising, is her inability to

:15:54.:15:58.

stand up and say, it didn't play well, we listened, and just pretend

:15:59.:16:01.

that this was always intended and if you read the manifesto carefully, it

:16:02.:16:08.

never said there wouldn't be a cap. The obsession with looking strong

:16:09.:16:13.

ends up making her look weak, and I think it was bizarre to pretend that

:16:14.:16:19.

what was a U-turn wasn't. I think she is relying too much on her small

:16:20.:16:28.

coterie. It is a U-turn? It is either a shift or a U-turn, she

:16:29.:16:34.

hasn't gone back in the other direction, she has just... She has

:16:35.:16:43.

gone from no cap to cap. It is an own goal, a one. When it comes to

:16:44.:16:52.

Brexit negotiations, you're a European leader, this woman lasts

:16:53.:16:55.

for days under pressure and then caves. What mincemeat are they going

:16:56.:17:03.

to make of her? We surely want a leader who is going to be flexible.

:17:04.:17:07.

We have agreed that she made a mistake, she has realised it and

:17:08.:17:09.

seems to have the policy on the right tracks. We surely want a

:17:10.:17:15.

leader who can back in as the mistakes she has made and face up to

:17:16.:17:19.

them. But she can't do this too often. It is a slight echo of the

:17:20.:17:26.

national insurance in the budget, where they blamed it all upon poor

:17:27.:17:31.

old Hammond, when of course Number 10 knew about it. Do you think the

:17:32.:17:38.

comparison to Gordon Brown is a valid one at this point? Like him,

:17:39.:17:43.

she has a slightly tin ear, so she misses the emotional point of

:17:44.:17:48.

politics, and that is potentially very bad in the European

:17:49.:17:51.

negotiations which will depend on empathy and relationships as well as

:17:52.:17:54.

being a difficult woman. Thank you both indeed, an interesting day.

:17:55.:17:59.

And before we move on, let me tell you that social care

:18:00.:18:01.

is one of the subjects that is bound to come up next week when Newsnight

:18:02.:18:05.

will be debating the generation gap in British politics.

:18:06.:18:07.

It's a special programme coming from Newcastle,

:18:08.:18:09.

and we will have an audience of over 60s and under 30s.

:18:10.:18:12.

If you are in one of those two categories, you may be

:18:13.:18:15.

If you are, do e-mail us at [email protected]bbc.co.uk.

:18:16.:18:25.

OK, our next item is another one that has snagged various political

:18:26.:18:27.

parties in the past - university tuition fees in England.

:18:28.:18:30.

At the last election, Labour promised to cut them to ?6,000.

:18:31.:18:35.

This time the party is going much further,

:18:36.:18:37.

It is, by some margin, the most expensive promise Labour has made.

:18:38.:18:42.

It costs more than four times more than the money

:18:43.:18:44.

they've found for social care, for example.

:18:45.:18:46.

And to make it even more real as a pledge, they've said students

:18:47.:18:49.

starting this September will have their fees

:18:50.:18:51.

So, is this the best way to spend ten billion a year of public funds?

:18:52.:19:02.

I'm joined from Salford by the Shadow Schools

:19:03.:19:03.

Mike, thanks for joining us. Can I just ask, confirmation, really.

:19:04.:19:16.

Students who have already passed through university and got debts of

:19:17.:19:22.

50,000, they will get no help, even though in a way they are paying

:19:23.:19:25.

twice, paying their own university fees and a higher taxes to pay for

:19:26.:19:31.

everyone else's university fees? The average debt the students leaving

:19:32.:19:36.

university is around about ?45,000, and that has come about because

:19:37.:19:39.

under the last Government, tuition fees were tripled, nursing bursaries

:19:40.:19:45.

were abolished and also the maintenance grant of our poorest

:19:46.:19:49.

students, many like myself who relied on to go to university, was

:19:50.:19:53.

also scrapped, in direct violation to the last Tory manifesto. So that

:19:54.:19:58.

is why we have the huge level of toxic that in our graduate

:19:59.:20:02.

population. Your plan is for people to pay higher taxes, and you say

:20:03.:20:07.

those taxes will fall on the very wealthy to pave the university

:20:08.:20:12.

tuition. Those people who have got their 50,000 of debt will both have

:20:13.:20:16.

paid the tuition and pay the higher taxes, is that correct? And you will

:20:17.:20:21.

do nothing for them. Unlike the Conservatives we have a fully costed

:20:22.:20:24.

manifesto. The key thing here will be that... So no help for them? It

:20:25.:20:33.

in your manifesto. We have the most indebted student graduates upon the

:20:34.:20:38.

planet currently, living in a toxic debt cycle. In my constituency I

:20:39.:20:44.

have 3000 people with 5000 children in those families living in toxic

:20:45.:20:48.

debt. We are creating a middle-class toxic debt cycle of students, and

:20:49.:20:54.

the nation just can't afford that going forward. ?80 billion of

:20:55.:21:00.

student debt now among that generation, and the Government's

:21:01.:21:05.

already saying it won't be able to collect one in ?4 of that debt. You

:21:06.:21:10.

said that the party policy is costed. What growth in student

:21:11.:21:17.

numbers have you factored in when you remove the fees? Because

:21:18.:21:20.

obviously the fees must deter some students, that is one of the reasons

:21:21.:21:25.

why you would want to remove them. What growth numbers IU factoring in?

:21:26.:21:29.

You asking about implementation. This starts in autumn 18/19, because

:21:30.:21:36.

there is no way we will be able to get this into the students starting

:21:37.:21:40.

next autumn, although we will retrospectively pay off their

:21:41.:21:42.

student loans for those students starting in the forthcoming autumn

:21:43.:21:52.

term. This is costing around 400,000 students, 366,000 of them are

:21:53.:21:56.

full-time. I don't want to go through the basic costings. Have you

:21:57.:22:00.

factored in growing student numbers as a result of this policy, or are

:22:01.:22:04.

you expecting that the numbers will not grow? Currently because of the

:22:05.:22:08.

toxic debt, universities can't fill the places, and that is the problem,

:22:09.:22:16.

so this is costed at around 400,000 students full-time and part-time.

:22:17.:22:19.

Sorry to interrupt, we don't have much time. Is it not the case that

:22:20.:22:24.

student numbers will grow, or is it your plan to limit the numbers of

:22:25.:22:28.

students who will go to university and put a cap and say it is 400,000

:22:29.:22:33.

or whatever the number is? Brexit taught me three things. People are

:22:34.:22:37.

worried about their skills, immigration and the changing pace of

:22:38.:22:44.

technology in the workplace. People feeling left behind. This is a

:22:45.:22:47.

policy designed for the 21st-century, but people don't feel

:22:48.:22:51.

left behind. I was testing this on the doorstep today... I am going to

:22:52.:22:57.

interrupt, so sorry. Will you ration the number of places at University?

:22:58.:23:05.

No cap. No cap on the number? We will relieve any pressure that comes

:23:06.:23:09.

about because we have already made commitments in higher and further

:23:10.:23:13.

education... But will you tell universities, will you stop their

:23:14.:23:17.

department Lee McCoy expanding, can universities just expand their

:23:18.:23:20.

department as they like and be paid for every student who goes there?

:23:21.:23:24.

Because that is very different as was one we had no fees, the numbers

:23:25.:23:28.

were controlled and universities were told how many students they

:23:29.:23:31.

could take a different subject areas. Is your proposal that any

:23:32.:23:36.

university can expand as much as they want and anybody can go to

:23:37.:23:41.

university and the Government pays? University can't do that currently

:23:42.:23:44.

because they can't fill places because young people won't take on

:23:45.:23:47.

that level of debt. But it is up to them to make that decision? Will it

:23:48.:23:52.

remain their decision or will it be yours? I met a student who graduated

:23:53.:23:59.

two years ago today with ?47,000 worth of debt. She does and

:24:00.:24:06.

administration job at ?17,500. She won't go for a promotion because she

:24:07.:24:10.

will cross the threshold of ?21,000. These people will never pay that

:24:11.:24:13.

debt back. We have students living with their parents into their 30s

:24:14.:24:19.

and 40s... I understand it is not nice. We can't allow our young

:24:20.:24:27.

people, they can't even rely on the bank of mum and dad after the

:24:28.:24:31.

dementia tax. How can you say the policy is costed if you have said

:24:32.:24:35.

there will be no rationing of places and you have not allowed for any

:24:36.:24:39.

growth in the numbers of students? One of the things one would assume

:24:40.:24:43.

is there will be more students if it is free to go to university.

:24:44.:24:45.

Somewhere, the policy doesn't add up. The policy is fully costed, as

:24:46.:24:53.

all our policies are and have been tested from outside the political

:24:54.:24:56.

realm as well. This is a commitment with ?9.5 billion to fourth --

:24:57.:25:05.

400,000 students per annum. Students at a level now can register to vote

:25:06.:25:10.

by midnight tonight and they have a real choice coming forward as what

:25:11.:25:16.

they want society to look like, what they can achieve it university going

:25:17.:25:19.

forward. Mr Kane, thank you very much for joining us.

:25:20.:25:26.

Now, is Facebook a publisher of content, like the BBC, or a platform

:25:27.:25:29.

on which content appears, like a manufacturer of A4 paper?

:25:30.:25:32.

The organisation seems to think of itself as something in between.

:25:33.:25:34.

We know this thanks to the Guardian, which has published Facebook

:25:35.:25:37.

guidelines on what content is acceptable and what

:25:38.:25:39.

The moderators themselves seem to find them confusing.

:25:40.:25:50.

Clearly not everything is acceptable to Facebook.

:25:51.:25:52.

Spencer Kelly, the presenter of the BBC technology

:25:53.:25:58.

magazine programme Click, has been trying to

:25:59.:26:00.

Somewhere in the mid-90s, the World Wide Web became the wild wild West,

:26:01.:26:16.

seemingly full of filth, crime and crazy fonts. Many mainstream users

:26:17.:26:20.

welcomed Facebook with open arms, and nice, clean, tidy, safe wall

:26:21.:26:26.

garden where everyone looked nice, everyone was your friend, and cats

:26:27.:26:31.

could be grumpy and safety. So why, then, does Facebook allow this. All

:26:32.:26:37.

this? Shocking though they may seem, they don't break the rules here.

:26:38.:26:41.

Facebook's terms and conditions outlined what it expects from its

:26:42.:26:45.

users. The text is longer than the US Constitution, but then, why not?

:26:46.:26:50.

Its population is six times as large, after all. And on the inside,

:26:51.:26:56.

Facebook moderators use very specific rules on flow charts to

:26:57.:27:00.

determine what violates those terms and conditions, and it is these

:27:01.:27:06.

leaked guidelines that show how a social network is trying to tread

:27:07.:27:10.

the line between being accused of censorship and being accused of

:27:11.:27:15.

being a platform of racists, pornographers. If you want to create

:27:16.:27:20.

the world's most popular social networking site, you will face a few

:27:21.:27:24.

problems. First, size. As your popularity explodes until you are

:27:25.:27:28.

receiving 1 million up dates every single minute, how'd you check them

:27:29.:27:37.

all? Well, you can't. You can use algorithms to block the more

:27:38.:27:41.

obviously unacceptable content, but after that, you've got to rely on

:27:42.:27:44.

your users to report things that they find offensive. Then your team

:27:45.:27:49.

of moderators can take a look, that even now they are reportedly

:27:50.:27:53.

struggling to spend more than a few seconds on each case of extortion,

:27:54.:27:57.

child abuse, violence or hate speech to determine whether it is

:27:58.:28:01.

inappropriate. And second, inappropriate to who, anyway? You

:28:02.:28:06.

want to be truly global. You want to be a platform for free speech and

:28:07.:28:09.

free expression. Whose laws and values should you uphold? British

:28:10.:28:16.

tastes are too liberal for some countries, whilst we find some of

:28:17.:28:22.

their laws unacceptable. It is a standard social network argument

:28:23.:28:25.

these days, that the responsibility for all this shouldn't lie with the

:28:26.:28:29.

website itself. Facebook wants to be seen as a platform, not a publisher.

:28:30.:28:34.

But that chestnut might just be getting a bit old. So it's not

:28:35.:28:39.

really about platform or publisher or pipeline. There is a much bigger

:28:40.:28:44.

issue. There is the issue of cyberspace as an environment. So in

:28:45.:28:49.

the environmental movement, there is a principle called the precautionary

:28:50.:28:53.

principle, which puts the onus on companies not to pollute the

:28:54.:28:58.

environment. So when it comes to social media, who was responsible

:28:59.:29:03.

for the clean-up? And if its reputation as a polluted causes

:29:04.:29:07.

users to go elsewhere, so will the advertisers who I think may just

:29:08.:29:13.

have the biggest say in what is and isn't appropriate here.

:29:14.:29:17.

Spencer Kelly from click. Dr Jennifer Pybus is senior lecturer

:29:18.:29:20.

at the London College of Communication, University

:29:21.:29:23.

of the Arts, London. Her main research area is

:29:24.:29:24.

the political economy of big data. Jim Killock is the executive

:29:25.:29:27.

director of Open Rights Group, a digital civil liberties

:29:28.:29:29.

organization. Just a quick one, is it good that we

:29:30.:29:41.

know what the guidelines are? Is it good that it's in the public domain?

:29:42.:29:46.

Absolutely. Maybe the bigger question now is, why is this after

:29:47.:29:51.

Facebook has been in operation since 2005 is this the first glance we are

:29:52.:29:56.

seeing at the ways in which they regulate content. Are you glad we

:29:57.:30:00.

are seeing it or is it their own business? I'm glad we get some

:30:01.:30:04.

insight into this. We have to recognise that if those people who

:30:05.:30:07.

are game the rules nor exactly what the rules are, it will be a problem.

:30:08.:30:17.

-- gaming the rules. This doesn't surprise me in the least. Anybody

:30:18.:30:24.

could watch the moderators on Vimeo that will show you what happens with

:30:25.:30:27.

the moderators and the training they go through. This is a fictional

:30:28.:30:35.

thing? No, it's a real documentary. But we have seen the mistakes made

:30:36.:30:40.

down the years. It's not surprising. They are rigid rules and badly

:30:41.:30:44.

applied a lot of the time. Let's take the question of platform

:30:45.:30:47.

against publisher. Where are you on that one? I think if we think about

:30:48.:30:51.

what Facebook is, they want to present themselves as both. On the

:30:52.:30:56.

one hand, if they are a platform, we understand Facebook for what it

:30:57.:30:59.

really is, an entity trying to make as much money as possible. Money of

:31:00.:31:05.

all the data that its 1.9 billion users upload every single moment of

:31:06.:31:09.

the day dustup as a publisher we have to be really careful because

:31:10.:31:14.

what does publishing actually mean? It is not a normal publisher because

:31:15.:31:17.

it doesn't produce its own content. It doesn't take responsibility for

:31:18.:31:23.

its content. They don't produce it, they just put it out there. They

:31:24.:31:27.

cure rate the content, which is interesting. They say they just

:31:28.:31:32.

manage it, they put it up there, but they don't take responsibility for

:31:33.:31:38.

what's in the content. You are thinking they are more likely

:31:39.:31:41.

publisher than platform and they can't walk away from taking some

:31:42.:31:46.

responsibility? They have to take responsibility. What about you? I

:31:47.:31:52.

think what they rely on is their ability to take enough

:31:53.:31:56.

responsibility for their users to want to continue to use them. We say

:31:57.:32:04.

that, your package said it was about the advertisers, but the advertisers

:32:05.:32:07.

are only interested if they have users and the users will only stay

:32:08.:32:11.

if they have a nice time and like the product and don't find things

:32:12.:32:14.

more offensive than they can cope with and the overall experience is

:32:15.:32:18.

positive. Of course Facebook wants to moderate because it once its

:32:19.:32:23.

users to be happy. What's the right standard for them to moderate to?

:32:24.:32:28.

The BBC moderate is everything. To quite a high standard. Would you

:32:29.:32:34.

like Facebook to moderate away everything that's kind of offensive,

:32:35.:32:39.

or only everything that is so offensive it really is illegal or

:32:40.:32:43.

almost illegal? I think we need to stand back. If Facebook's mandate is

:32:44.:32:48.

to make as much money as possible, what is its goal in terms of the

:32:49.:32:52.

content it is curating for its users? It once its users to spend as

:32:53.:32:56.

much time as possible on that platform. If that is the goal, then

:32:57.:33:00.

it wants to give users contend that it will find interesting, that they

:33:01.:33:06.

will share and pass on. In that sense the responsibility for

:33:07.:33:08.

themselves if they want to make sure their users are happy. As a society

:33:09.:33:12.

we are allowed to say to Facebook, we are interested in what you are

:33:13.:33:16.

doing because you are a big player. What would you like the standard to

:33:17.:33:20.

be? There needs to be another third party that sits in there and helps

:33:21.:33:24.

them decide how to moderate. Somebody else helps moderate?

:33:25.:33:29.

Absolutely. I'm not keen on that, I have to say. As soon as we say third

:33:30.:33:34.

party, that says to meet government, or something that is even easier to

:33:35.:33:41.

moderate than Facebook and that means more censorious practices than

:33:42.:33:44.

Facebook has right now. I worry about that as an idea. They are

:33:45.:33:51.

quite censorious, actually. The rules are often fairly arbitrary and

:33:52.:33:54.

don't often make sense, but the end goal Facebook has got is to censor a

:33:55.:33:59.

lot more content than we would ever dare sensor in a legal sense. How

:34:00.:34:08.

far would you go? The one the papers have made a lot of today is this

:34:09.:34:14.

one. To snap a woman's next, apply pressure to the middle of your

:34:15.:34:19.

throat. Deeply offensive, but should it be removed? We need to understand

:34:20.:34:25.

the context in which it is put out there. It is problematic and

:34:26.:34:28.

worrying. That's why everyone is paying attention to it right now.

:34:29.:34:34.

What all of this unveils is the way in which this is managed, we could

:34:35.:34:38.

call it a black box. The algorithm that decides what content will be

:34:39.:34:41.

seen and erased for the first time is open for us to take a look at.

:34:42.:34:47.

People are now intervening in the debate and saying, we have to have

:34:48.:34:51.

these bigger conversations. If we are precluding those conversations

:34:52.:34:55.

and just allowing Facebook to do it by themselves, I think that's a

:34:56.:35:01.

problem. 1.9 billion people on there all producing content. We have to

:35:02.:35:03.

leave it there. Thank you both very much.

:35:04.:35:05.

The deadline for registering for the vote on June the 8th passes

:35:06.:35:08.

You have until the clock strikes midnight.

:35:09.:35:11.

But some of us are far more likely to turn out than others.

:35:12.:35:14.

Turnout has historically always been lower among young voters and those

:35:15.:35:17.

from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in particular.

:35:18.:35:19.

We asked the writer Afua Hirsch to explore this for us.

:35:20.:35:21.

Here's her take on the problem as she sees it, and an idea

:35:22.:35:24.

Conversations at this gym in Tottenham can get very political.

:35:25.:35:39.

But the sentiments expressed here are not necessarily landing any

:35:40.:35:42.

Yeah, yeah, I feel people feel incredibly

:35:43.:35:47.

They feel like political parties don't represent them enough.

:35:48.:35:51.

It really does feel like a men's private club.

:35:52.:35:54.

You know what I mean, where they just influence everything

:35:55.:35:56.

and we are just left out in the dark.

:35:57.:36:00.

Derek, the gym's owner and a mentor to many of its young people,

:36:01.:36:03.

feels they have been left behind by government and are having having

:36:04.:36:06.

Scotland feels alienated from Westminster, but people

:36:07.:36:12.

who are five or ten miles down the road are equally alienated.

:36:13.:36:15.

I think, again, young people can change it,

:36:16.:36:21.

but at the moment the politics that a lot of the young men and women

:36:22.:36:24.

have got to deal with is getting from home to school,

:36:25.:36:27.

This disillusionment goes some way towards explaining why black

:36:28.:36:35.

and minority ethnic voters, as well as those aged 18 to 25

:36:36.:36:39.

are less likely to vote than all other groups.

:36:40.:36:43.

According to recent research, 57% of 18-24-year-olds did not vote

:36:44.:36:50.

That's more than double the number of over 65-year-olds.

:36:51.:36:57.

Registered black and minority voters had a turnout of only 51%.

:36:58.:36:59.

And 24% of eligible black voters are not on the voter register,

:37:00.:37:05.

compared to just 14% of eligible white voters.

:37:06.:37:11.

According to the campaign group, Operation Black Vote,

:37:12.:37:18.

getting out to vote is more than just a matter of principle.

:37:19.:37:21.

When you look at 50 of the most marginal seats in the country,

:37:22.:37:28.

30 of them could easily be influenced by the black

:37:29.:37:31.

Could that vote actually sway the outcome, is that

:37:32.:37:36.

That vote could decide who wins and who loses in this

:37:37.:37:41.

When you consider that Theresa May has a working majority of 12,

:37:42.:37:47.

and we could significantly influence 30, maybe even 70, then we are big

:37:48.:37:51.

Many young people are politicised, but I think there's something

:37:52.:38:02.

about the often arcane language of politics and the way it's

:38:03.:38:05.

This debating event, or democracy cafe, in south London,

:38:06.:38:13.

is run by young people, for young people, in an attempt

:38:14.:38:16.

One of the barriers for young people not voting is just

:38:17.:38:22.

because they don't or didn't get to learn about it enough.

:38:23.:38:25.

If they were taught about it in schools from early primary

:38:26.:38:27.

school, secondary school, I think more young people

:38:28.:38:29.

There are a lot of adults who merely think, oh,

:38:30.:38:35.

young people never vote, so they shouldn't even be

:38:36.:38:37.

Or they shouldn't even be, I guess, let into certain things

:38:38.:38:42.

But how would more voting among these groups affect the outcome?

:38:43.:38:49.

Traditionally both young and minority voters have been

:38:50.:38:52.

Recent polling has found that's changing.

:38:53.:38:58.

In 1997, Labour received 80% of the black and ethnic minority vote.

:38:59.:39:02.

Data from YouGov suggests one in four now support the Tories.

:39:03.:39:06.

A lot of my friends that I am at university with are actually

:39:07.:39:09.

voting Conservative, and some of them actively support

:39:10.:39:11.

the Conservative Party outside of just voting.

:39:12.:39:13.

And part of that is because actually they want to start businesses

:39:14.:39:16.

or have gone to work for businesses and they have seen the business

:39:17.:39:19.

It's a serious problem for democracy, when elections

:39:20.:39:25.

are essentially hijacked by specific demographic groups.

:39:26.:39:28.

In this case, over 65s, white voters, as well as other

:39:29.:39:32.

categories like those who own their own homes.

:39:33.:39:35.

It undermines the entire credibility of the Parliamentary process.

:39:36.:39:39.

And it seems that the changes required to remedy that

:39:40.:39:41.

It may require something more radical and I think it's compulsory

:39:42.:39:46.

I absolutely think people ought to be compelled to not only vote,

:39:47.:39:54.

So if you have a national insurance number, you should be registered

:39:55.:40:00.

There are millions of people not even registered,

:40:01.:40:04.

some 7 million people, not even on the electoral register.

:40:05.:40:07.

There are 25 countries with compulsory voting laws,

:40:08.:40:17.

including Australia, whose turnout in the last

:40:18.:40:19.

It matters. It matters.

:40:20.:40:27.

It's an idea I discussed with director of research

:40:28.:40:30.

with the young activist group Bite the Ballot, Kenny Imafidon.

:40:31.:40:33.

I have come around lately to quite a radical idea which I think might

:40:34.:40:37.

solve all the problems you're talking about.

:40:38.:40:40.

I think compulsory voting could actually be the answer.

:40:41.:40:43.

I don't feel like we're in that sort of, I don't know,

:40:44.:40:49.

state of emergency, where we need to consider compulsory voting.

:40:50.:40:51.

Maybe once after we get people the education they need in school,

:40:52.:40:56.

and we have a generation of people who have been taught that in school.

:40:57.:41:00.

So you don't think it's that big a problem, the fact that so...

:41:01.:41:03.

Young people and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds

:41:04.:41:06.

You don't think we have reached crisis point yet?

:41:07.:41:12.

I feel like we can do that whole process without

:41:13.:41:14.

At the end of the day, people have a right to vote

:41:15.:41:18.

and the right not to, and I feel like sometimes we have

:41:19.:41:21.

to allow people to have their right, if they choose not to vote as well.

:41:22.:41:24.

It was once said that in a democracy, it's

:41:25.:41:27.

not an election itself, but the act of voting

:41:28.:41:29.

And this democracy is leaving far too many behind.

:41:30.:41:44.

Some breaking news of some kind of incident at the Manchester Arena.

:41:45.:41:53.

Details are sketchy but Greater Manchester Police have confirmed

:41:54.:41:56.

they are at the scene and have urged people to avoid the area. Some

:41:57.:42:02.

pictures from social media, unverified reports on social media

:42:03.:42:05.

there might have been explosions. Buster Ariana Grande a was

:42:06.:42:11.

performing at the Arena earlier. -- pop star. More details on the

:42:12.:42:17.

website and news channel.

:42:18.:42:21.

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

Has Theresa May made a U-turn? Plus tuition fees, and mobilising the black vote. What does Facebook allow and why?


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS