22/05/2017 Newsnight


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

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


Testing the meaning of the words strong and stable,


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


and has compounded the embarrassment by pretending she's done


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


So Jeremy Corbyn is now rewriting your manifesto?


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


style of leadership, and what it tells us


I have come around lately to quite a radical idea.


I think compulsory voting could actually be the answer.


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


discourse? So, why then, does


Facebook allows this... Certain arguments go


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


at Heathrow, for example. And the one about how


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


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


mid-election campaign, reverted to a social care


policy they had junked. There will be a lifetime cap


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


of the care issue, as both Conservative and Labour parties


want that cap. The fuss over the Tories' plans


of the last few days seem to have nudged the country


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


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


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


have come back to hit And perhaps bizarrely,


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


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


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


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


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


great Oxford psephologist, who tweeted today about the 20 elections


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


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


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


means should pay. But they experienced blowback on the doorstep


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


refusal throughout the day to acknowledge that she has changed


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


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


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


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


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


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


election manifesto. At a tetchy press conference this morning,


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


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


guarantee that elderly people who rely on social care will have


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


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


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


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


blowback on the doorstep from natural Tory supporters who say the


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


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


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


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


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


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


leadership advantage against Jeremy Corbyn into a corrupted brand. She


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


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


irascibility in press conferences, corrupts the brand of leadership she


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


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


calling an early general election after definitively ruling one out.


Ditching plans in the budget to increase national insurance


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


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


oblige companies to declare the proportion of overseas workers.


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


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


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


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


if you get outside Westminster bubble, people are talking about


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


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


about the Labour policies feeling they were quite attractive and


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


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


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


Conservative speech writer who coined the phrase dementia tax


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Brexit negotiators in the European Union will smile quietly to


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


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


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


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


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


whether the Prime Minister secures a decisive election result.


We'll talk about leadership and election tactics shortly.


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


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


Chris Cook, our policy editor, reports.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


putting together will cost or save money, particularly the proposals


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


average amount, spread out across the whole population and join


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


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


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


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


hits the sickest the hardest. Well, at the beginning


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


it was said that there would be a Tory wobble,


and we are certainly witnessing The polls are moving


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


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


many of its readers by seemingly supporting the original


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


between those who have certain conditions and those who have other


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


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


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


reflects badly on her ability to make policy.


And the campaign is around the coalition of chaos under Jeremy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


politics, and that is potentially very bad in the European


negotiations which will depend on empathy and relationships as well as


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


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


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


will be debating the generation gap in British politics.


It's a special programme coming from Newcastle,


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


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


If you are, do e-mail us at [email protected]


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


parties in the past - university tuition fees in England.


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


This time the party is going much further,


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


It costs more than four times more than the money


they've found for social care, for example.


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


starting this September will have their fees


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


I'm joined from Salford by the Shadow Schools


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


Students who have already passed through university and got debts of


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


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


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


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


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


were abolished and also the maintenance grant of our poorest


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


next autumn, although we will retrospectively pay off their


student loans for those students starting in the forthcoming autumn


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


worried about their skills, immigration and the changing pace of


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


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


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


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


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


about because we have already made commitments in higher and further


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


department Lee McCoy expanding, can universities just expand their


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


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


were controlled and universities were told how many students they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


guidelines on what content is acceptable and what


The moderators themselves seem to find them confusing.


Clearly not everything is acceptable to Facebook.


Spencer Kelly, the presenter of the BBC technology


magazine programme Click, has been trying to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Facebook moderators use very specific rules on flow charts to


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


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


the line between being accused of censorship and being accused of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


their laws unacceptable. It is a standard social network argument


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


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


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


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


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


the environmental movement, there is a principle called the precautionary


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


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


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


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


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


Spencer Kelly from click. Dr Jennifer Pybus is senior lecturer


at the London College of Communication, University


of the Arts, London. Her main research area is


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


director of Open Rights Group, a digital civil liberties


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


think what they rely on is their ability to take enough


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


them decide how to moderate. Somebody else helps moderate?


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


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


moderate than Facebook and that means more censorious practices than


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


these bigger conversations. If we are precluding those conversations


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


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


leave it there. Thank you both very much.


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


You have until the clock strikes midnight.


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


Turnout has historically always been lower among young voters and those


from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in particular.


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


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


Conversations at this gym in Tottenham can get very political.


But the sentiments expressed here are not necessarily landing any


Yeah, yeah, I feel people feel incredibly


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


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


You know what I mean, where they just influence everything


and we are just left out in the dark.


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


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


Scotland feels alienated from Westminster, but people


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


I think, again, young people can change it,


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


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


This disillusionment goes some way towards explaining why black


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


are less likely to vote than all other groups.


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


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


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


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


compared to just 14% of eligible white voters.


According to the campaign group, Operation Black Vote,


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


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


30 of them could easily be influenced by the black


Could that vote actually sway the outcome, is that


That vote could decide who wins and who loses in this


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


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


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


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


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


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


One of the barriers for young people not voting is just


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


If they were taught about it in schools from early primary


school, secondary school, I think more young people


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


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


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


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


Traditionally both young and minority voters have been


Recent polling has found that's changing.


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


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


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


voting Conservative, and some of them actively support


the Conservative Party outside of just voting.


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


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


It's a serious problem for democracy, when elections


are essentially hijacked by specific demographic groups.


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


categories like those who own their own homes.


It undermines the entire credibility of the Parliamentary process.


And it seems that the changes required to remedy that


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


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


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


There are millions of people not even registered,


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


There are 25 countries with compulsory voting laws,


including Australia, whose turnout in the last


It matters. It matters.


It's an idea I discussed with director of research


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


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


solve all the problems you're talking about.


I think compulsory voting could actually be the answer.


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


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


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


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


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


Young people and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds


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


I feel like we can do that whole process without


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


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


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


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


not an election itself, but the act of voting


And this democracy is leaving far too many behind.


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


Details are sketchy but Greater Manchester Police have confirmed


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


pictures from social media, unverified reports on social media


there might have been explosions. Buster Ariana Grande a was


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


website and news channel.


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?

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