15/06/2011 Newsnight


15/06/2011

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


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Riots on the streets of Athens, as protests show the extent of Greek

:00:09.:00:12.

resistance to the medicine they are supposed to take in exchange for

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the rescue of their economy. The protests are authentically

:00:16.:00:22.

Greek, the consequences may be much, much wider. This is a problem not

:00:22.:00:26.

just for the riot police and the Greek Government. Because what

:00:26.:00:29.

you're looking at here is the frontline of the world's financial

:00:29.:00:33.

system. It's six months since the start of

:00:33.:00:39.

the Arab uprisings. In Libya, NATO fights to save civilians from the

:00:39.:00:43.

wrath of a dictator. In Syria, NATO does nothing.

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We ask the Foreign Secretary if British foreign policy is now being

:00:47.:00:52.

made by Russia, China and tyrannies in the Middle East.

:00:52.:00:56.

Both the financial crisis and the Arab Spring caught us by sur pri,

:00:56.:01:00.

but they shouldn't have done. We speak to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who

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says what he calls Black Swan events only catch us out because we

:01:04.:01:08.

are looking at them the wrong way. There is a deep lunar eclipse

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happening. We summon one of the nation's favourite astronomers.

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:01:23.:01:25.

When you think about space it is like dead big!

:01:25.:01:29.

Punch-up, tear gas and a Government in crisis. Opposition to Greece's

:01:29.:01:39.

attempts to comply with the terms of the 100 billion euro loan is

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running high. We shouldn't get pulled along with the news, the

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mess the country is in was largely caused by pack of lies told by

:01:48.:01:53.

Government. But today's protests and political chaos in Greece, do

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have potential ramifications right across Europe, and perhaps beyond.

:01:58.:02:08.
:02:08.:02:08.

Beware of Greeks taking gifts. Our economics editor is in Athens.

:02:08.:02:18.
:02:18.:02:20.

It started early, the trade unions converged on central Athens and the

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rest of Greece shut down. Today's general strike pulled, say its

:02:28.:02:32.

organisers, one quarter of the Greek population on to the streets.

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In Athens there were taxi drivers, hotel porters, dockers, even

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doctors. I believe that many people will die. You do? Yes, I'm a doctor,

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I'm a cardiologist, I see every day in the hospital coming more and

:02:51.:02:57.

more poor people and the hospitals want money, the public hospitals

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want money in order to enter the people in the hospital.

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But that's just the result of the first round of austerity. It is the

:03:06.:03:10.

second round, demanded by the European Union, that's made the

:03:10.:03:20.
:03:20.:03:20.

Greek protest movement change gear. In the square at the very gates of

:03:20.:03:25.

parliament, the word they are chanting is simply "Greece".

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These are the Facebook youth, camped here for 22 days, not just

:03:29.:03:34.

the left, but nationalists and some right-wingers. What's obvious, here

:03:34.:03:37.

on the frontline, between the police and the protestors, is here

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in Athens it is no longer a matter of class or left against right, but

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here on the square, it is simply a question of Greece versus the IMF,

:03:47.:03:54.

versus the EU, versus the rest of the world.

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They are angry at the media, angrier still at the police. And

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soon, the anger ignites. While Greeks are getting used to this,

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what you are seeing here is a new level of social crisis. So almost

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from nowhere the police just responded to a bit of missile

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throwing by firing tear gas and everybody's run away, but this is

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only the start of what looks like being a long day for the Greek riot

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police, and protestors, this is just the front, this is just the

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beginning. This was the day the Prime Minister

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chose to launch his new austerity plan. He briefed the President on

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50 billion euros worth of privatisation, public spending cuts

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worth 10% of GDP, massive wage cuts, and massive tax increases. But

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Papandreou's popularity is collapsing, his majority in

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parliament evaporating, and outside parliament, this.

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Though anarchists took the lead in the violence, every part of Greek

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society was in the square. The trade unionists stood and braved

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the tear ga, so did the youth, so did the mums and dads. But their

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patience is wearing thin. First of all, nobody asked us. We didn't

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vote for that. Papandreou fooled us. We are not thieves, we are very

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decent people, we work hard. We think that we're part of an

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experiment. They gave everything out, maybe they have sold the

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Acropolis and we don't know yet. What they are fighting for is for

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Greece to refuse to pay its debts. This is a problem not just for the

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riot police and the Greek Government. What you are looking at

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here is the frontline of the world's financial system. Many

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people in authority believe if Greece defaults on its debt, as the

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people here want it to, that will echo across the world, in the same

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way Lehman Brothers did. As night fall, the fighting spreads

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into the side streets, and for the protest organisers a single aim.

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The immediate aim was to keep all these people together for all their

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difference that is they want to see the Government out, and they want

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to see the austerity measures paused and reversed. This is what

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unites all these people. The people have some real anger about the

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deterioration of the social conditions of their lives. So this

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was the immediate thing, the first thing that people want to see. From

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the morning after it would be a thousand different views.

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that's the problem. Those on the streets today know what they are

:07:05.:07:15.
:07:15.:07:15.

against, but if they win, what comes after is anybody's guess.

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Paul Mason is in Athens, we have corrected the communications

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difficulties. Will the Government survive there? Mr Papandreou spent

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the day trying to form a national unity Government with his political

:07:27.:07:32.

opponents. He has seen his own parliamentary majority evaporate as

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people's opposition to the measures have grown. The opposition, the new

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democratic party of the right refused to form the Government. So

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we just don't know. It is a big problem, as well this, for the

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European Union. Because up until now n this crisis the one permanent

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thing, the one thing we thought we could rely on was the Papandreou

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Government. We thought the European Union could have internal

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differences, it is always talking to a Government with parliamentary

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majority. Now that is not the case. This is purely, I think, the result

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of the pressure we saw there on the streets. People are absolutely

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furious about the existing measures, let alone the 10% of GDP cut in

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public spending, they are now being asked to take. Why are people

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beyond Greece so worried? Jeremy, the reason is, because so much of

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the European banking system is exposed to greet debt, both Greek

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Government debt, Greek banking debt and Greek private debt. If this

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goes, I understand the British Treasury, the Bank of England, the

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European Central Bank believe there is a non-negligible chance that it

:08:43.:08:47.

comes into some kind of a Lehman Brothers situation. There are banks

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in Europe that may not be able to stand up to the collapse of the

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Greek banking system, that would surely follow a default. On top of

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that we have the problem of the EU, eurozone rules themselves. They

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would be completely breached. The credibility of the European Central

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Bank would be pretty much shot to pieces if they allowed Greece to go

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the way the demonstrators on the streets want. So there are already

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people in the investment community trying to price in what would a

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second credit crunch actually mean for the world economy. The world

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economy, as we know, is not recovering very well. The Asia and

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USA is faltering. The last thing we need is for another credit event.

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There were more reports of refugees fleeing President Assad's troops in

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Syria today. There is no talk at all of Britain or France or any

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other NATO power intervening to protect them. Even the completely

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toothless resolution the two countries proposed at the United

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Nations has got nowhere. In Libya, meanwhile, the rebels still, 12

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weeks after Britain and France committed forces there, have made

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no breakthrough. The MoD claimed this country can carry on bombing

:09:58.:10:02.

there indefinitely. What then, are we trying to aheave in the Arab

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world. Before we hear the Foreign Secretary's answer to the question,

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here is Mark Urban's take. Six weeks of Middle East turmoil has

:10:14.:10:18.

undermined old certainties, that the United States can police the

:10:18.:10:22.

region or keep its clients in power. Has the cost of intervention grown

:10:22.:10:27.

too great for western countries. Britain has its own historical

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perspective on waning influence. Of course Britain has long grown used

:10:34.:10:39.

to the indignaties of being a faded world power, it has relied on

:10:39.:10:42.

others, and alliance, particularly the United States to enhance its

:10:42.:10:45.

influence around the world. These days, pretty much everybody in the

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western family of nations is in recession, and cutting back, and

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the decline in their influence in the Middle East, be it economically,

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diplomatically, or militarily, seems to be palpable.

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In the Security Council they were meant to vote this week on a UK-

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French resolution on Syria, but Russia and China made clear they

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would veto it, even in this form, diplomatic action has failed. Not

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least because other countries are often sceptical that the US or

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Europe has the answers. I think what we are seeing is the west no

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longer has the moral high ground in the way that perhaps it did in the

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Middle East. That is partly because of Iraq. Partly because we're seen

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as withdrawing from Afghanistan. Above all, it goes back to Israel,

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Palestine, we cannot really preach to the Arab world, we cannot really

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be seen to have the moral force we need, while we are fail to go

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address the problem of Palestine. While the Europeans blame America

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for failing to deal with those issues, the US is often outspoken

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in rely. Last week the outgoing US Defence Secretary blasted Europe

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for not pulling its weight in NATO. Future US political leaders, those

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for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was

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for me, may not consider the return from being part of NATO worth the

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cost. I have spelled out a dim and dismal future for the transatlantic

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alliance, it is possible but not inevitable. 10 years ago NATO

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counted for less than half of NATO spending, now it pays for 70%. That

:12:46.:12:50.

is as a result of plunging European budgets.

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NATO secretary general, in London today, argue that is it is up to

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Europe to race its game and - raise its game and keep the alliance

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relevant. NATO is more needed and wanted than ever, but I share

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Secretary Gates' concerns about declining defence budgets in a

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number of allied countries. If we are to accomplish our security

:13:17.:13:22.

mission in the future wrecks need proper investments. Take away the

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US and NATO capabilities don't look that impressive. Italy has 130

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modern jet fighters, the United Arab Emirates has 142. The royal

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Saudi Air Force, with 250 modern combat aircraft, is similar in size

:13:37.:13:42.

to the RAF. The Libyan operation is held up by many as a model for

:13:42.:13:46.

future NATO action. But with America taking a supporting role,

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its European allies have found it a strain sustaining the bombing.

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is really a strength of our alliance, to demonstrate that the

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Europeans can also take the lead. We have been used in the past to

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having the United States in the lead in all major military

:14:08.:14:13.

operations. In Libya we see European allies and Canada and

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partners in the region, providing the majority of the assets, and

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that is really a clear demonstration of solidarity. Given

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what you have said about falling European defence budgets, your

:14:27.:14:33.

concerns that you have expressed, is it really feasible that the non-

:14:33.:14:38.

US side of NATO increasingly can take this role. This is only

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feasible if the Europeans step up to the plate and increase defence

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investment, that is my clear message. With thousands of Syrian

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refugees now in neighbouring Turkey, both the Turkish and Iranian

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Governments are becoming increasingly vocal about that

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crisis. With Iran supporting the Al-Assad regime, and Turkey

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critical. Just as Syria itself appears to have been emboldened by

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the lack of an effective western policy, so these neighbours have

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become more assertive. Well, we're seeing that certainly with Iran, I

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don't think Iran is driving events, but Iran is certainly exploiting

:15:17.:15:21.

events. Turkey is pursuing a very vigorous independent foreign policy

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across the Middle East, a sort of neo-Ottoman policy, across the

:15:26.:15:32.

Middle East, and central Asia, we will see other players as well.

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We're entering extremely difficult period. It doesn't mean we won't

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succeed, it doesn't mean that the present period of scratchiness

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won't come to an end. It will require imaginative, engaged

:15:43.:15:47.

loadership of a very high order from the - leadership, of a very

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high order, from the United States. It is not just about being top dog,

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it is about practising an engaged foreign policy. The fate of Libya

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undecided, there is little appetite for further military action. But

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the failure of the Syrian UN resolution, and the difficulty even

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agreeing common western views on the most desirable outcome force

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the be a rab spring, show how hard it has - Arab Spring, shows how has

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it has become to exert any positive western action. I spoke to the

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Foreign Secretary about some of these issues? Foreign Secretary,

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Foreign Secretary, will you allow President Assad to go on killing

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his people? We have taken the measures we can, which has included

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EU sanctions on 23 individual, including President Assad himself.

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To answer your question directly, it is not of course within our

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control or direct power to stop what is happening in Syria now.

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What is the difference between a mother and children fleeing Al-

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Assad's thugs and a mother and child fleeing Gaddafi's thugs?

:16:57.:17:01.

is about taking action about it. In the case of Libya the Arab League

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issued call for help, to the rest of the world and the United Nations

:17:06.:17:10.

Security Council. The UN Security Council carried a resolution

:17:10.:17:13.

authorising the protection of civilians. No such attempts have

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happened in the case of Syria. attempt to get a mere form of words

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at the UN Security Council has failed, hasn't it? It hasn't failed.

:17:22.:17:25.

Alain Juppe appears to think it has failed? I'm continuing to work on

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it. It is true we haven't managed to pass that so far. A country like

:17:30.:17:34.

Russia. This is one of the material points here, Russia has an alliance

:17:34.:17:37.

with Syria, a much closer relationship with Syria than was

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the case with Colonel Gaddafi's Libya. Of course such measures are

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much harder to get through the Security Council. Why are our

:17:44.:17:47.

diplomats so ineffective? diplomats were brilliantly

:17:47.:17:51.

effective. They failed with this, it was a mere form of words, it

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didn't propose any action at all? It is not a mere form of words. It

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calls on the Syrian Government to recognise legitimate grievances, to

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give access and co-operation to the UN High Commisioner on human rights,

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and to give access to the Internet. It is more than words. Nor is the

:18:08.:18:12.

story of trying to secure a resolution over. We have some of

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the finest diplomats in the world, whose achievement in drafting and

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passing the resolution on Libya was widely acknowledged across the

:18:22.:18:26.

world, as a major diplomatic triumph. What you are saying is

:18:26.:18:30.

that British policy on a country like Syria is determined by the

:18:30.:18:36.

Arab League, and Russia? I think we have to get used to the idea that

:18:36.:18:41.

our activity and our actions in the world will be predominantly as part

:18:41.:18:44.

of international alliances. And must be based on international law.

:18:44.:18:48.

This is a very, very important point, I have stressed it

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throughout the Libya crisis is. We must stay within the UN resolutions

:18:53.:18:57.

and retain the legal and moral standing we have from that, in the

:18:57.:19:01.

absence of resolutions on other nations, clearly we are not able to

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take such parallel actions. It is an accurate summary to say British

:19:05.:19:10.

policy in these areas is circumscribed by the Arab League,

:19:10.:19:14.

Russia and China? It is accurate to say that western powers operating

:19:14.:19:18.

in the Middle East should do so in alliance f they do it, with Arab

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nation, with the Muslim world, in co-operation with the Arab League,

:19:24.:19:26.

with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, and that

:19:26.:19:31.

unilateral western intervention is unlikely to produce long-term

:19:31.:19:34.

desirable results. You have described the Arab Spring as the

:19:34.:19:40.

most important event in the 21st century thus far. Are we really

:19:40.:19:49.

going to allow it to be obstructed by some tinpot dictator in Syria?

:19:49.:19:54.

It is not our objective to allow things to be obstructed by tinpot

:19:54.:19:58.

dictators, we will act where we can effectively. Just because we can't

:19:58.:20:02.

do everything, doesn't mean we shouldn't do something. It is not

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just about military action. Let's talk about military action in Lybia,

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it is going on for what 12 weeks now, how much longer will it go on?

:20:11.:20:16.

We are not setting a deadline. It will go on for as long as it takes

:20:16.:20:20.

to implemented the UN resolutions, it is sustainable he indefinitely

:20:20.:20:27.

on our part. How is it being funded? From the Treasury reserve,

:20:27.:20:31.

when there are accurate costings available we will present that to

:20:31.:20:34.

parliament. You don't know what it is costing? When we have the

:20:35.:20:39.

accurate costings we will put them to parliament. It cost as great

:20:39.:20:42.

deal of money. It is not the budget of the Foreign Office, it is within

:20:42.:20:46.

the Ministry of Defence, predominantly. But met from the

:20:46.:20:50.

Treasury reserve. So we will account for all of that, of course,

:20:50.:20:53.

to parliament. No doubt you will account for it. I will make the

:20:53.:20:59.

point about the costing, this is the crucial point, the cost of

:20:59.:21:07.

failing to take action would be far greater than if we did. The tax-

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payers of the country are entitled to know how much of their money is

:21:10.:21:14.

being spent on this action? We will not give a day-to-day bulletin and

:21:14.:21:17.

it is not possible to do so. rough figure would do, how many

:21:17.:21:22.

hundreds of millions? We will give all of that in due course. What is

:21:22.:21:26.

the end objective in that part of the world? The objective of our

:21:26.:21:34.

military action is to enforce the UN resolution. What are we trying

:21:34.:21:37.

to achieve? The military objection is enforcing the UN resolution a

:21:37.:21:41.

ceasefire in Libya that allows a political process, the Libyan

:21:41.:21:45.

people to determine their own future. That will happen with the

:21:45.:21:48.

departure from power of Colonel Gaddafi. While that is not an aim

:21:48.:21:51.

of the resolution, clearly a settlement in Libya is only

:21:51.:21:58.

possible on that basis S our broader objective, is to create a

:21:58.:22:01.

partnership between countries like our's, and countries in North

:22:01.:22:05.

Africa, where they are able to advance to strong, political

:22:05.:22:09.

institutions, in a free society, to a strong market-based economy,

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ultimately, in my view, to be in an economic area with the European

:22:13.:22:16.

Union. Not in the European Union, they are not European countries,

:22:16.:22:22.

but in an economic area. Would we like to see all the countries as

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democracies? I don't think we should impose a western model of

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democracy. What I very much gather in Cairo, talking to young people

:22:32.:22:38.

there, in many ways they want our help, they don't want us to say the

:22:38.:22:42.

Westminster parliament must be replicated in Cairo or Tunisia. Do

:22:42.:22:47.

we believe that nations throughout the world would be better in a

:22:48.:22:51.

democratic state, compatible with their own culture, yes, of course

:22:51.:22:55.

we do. Including Saudi Arabia? all nations in the world. We

:22:55.:22:58.

believe human rights are universal. That is an argument we have with

:22:58.:23:03.

China, that is a discussion we have with Saudi Arabia, it doesn't mean

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we can immediately bring about change. Why were we caught so by

:23:07.:23:12.

surprise by what happened? I think the whole world, to be fair, was

:23:12.:23:18.

caught by surprise, by the timing of the Arab Spring. It wasn't

:23:18.:23:22.

possible to forecast, even for the Governments in those countries,

:23:22.:23:26.

when they would come to a head. They are leaderless revolutions,

:23:26.:23:31.

they are not a plot to detect. This is hundreds of thousands of people

:23:31.:23:37.

on Facebook taking to the streets, acting together in way no

:23:37.:23:40.

Intelligence Service, even in those countries, could be aware of in

:23:40.:23:46.

advance. Can I ask you the riots seen in Greece today. I wonder

:23:46.:23:50.

looking at them you have any sense is here perhaps is a movement afoot

:23:50.:23:55.

that may have a capacity to surprise us, in the way that the

:23:55.:24:00.

Arab Spring surprised everyone? think, I don't want to jump to

:24:00.:24:04.

conclusions about it. I'm not going to hold you to it? But I think

:24:04.:24:08.

there is something in your question, that there is enormous discontent

:24:08.:24:12.

among young people, particularly in some of the southern European

:24:12.:24:17.

nations, about long-term unemployment, about the extent of

:24:17.:24:20.

economic problems. We will see more broadly than the Arab Spring, and I

:24:20.:24:23.

don't just mean in Europe, we will see the ability of people to

:24:23.:24:28.

communicate with each other, through social networking sites and

:24:28.:24:32.

so on, producing political movements for change, not just in

:24:32.:24:35.

the Arab world. Foreign Secretary, thank you.

:24:35.:24:39.

The two events we have discussed so far tonight, the Arab Spring and

:24:39.:24:45.

the utter shambles that is the Greek economy. Both qualify as

:24:45.:24:51.

Black Swan events, the phrase was coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb,

:24:51.:24:56.

along with the economist, Noreena Hertz. Black Swan veents are rare,

:24:56.:25:02.

have a big - events are rare, and have a big impact. Christmas is a

:25:02.:25:06.

Black Swan event for the turkey, but not the butcher who chops its

:25:06.:25:11.

head off. We need to be the butcher not the turkey!

:25:11.:25:16.

Black Swan events appear to come from nowhere. But could we predict

:25:16.:25:21.

them, should we be surprised when they do happen? Governments seek to

:25:21.:25:27.

avoid risk, they prop up dictators, they protect banks. But does trying

:25:27.:25:32.

to create an ordered world, or pretending has standards don't

:25:32.:25:38.

exist, serve to make systems more fragile. A dictatorship by its

:25:38.:25:42.

nature suppresses dissent, like a build-up of steam, if you try to

:25:42.:25:46.

contain pressure eventually there is an explosion. The crash, the

:25:46.:25:52.

Arab Spring, the 1979 revolution in Iran, by this analysis, were All

:25:52.:26:00.

Black black swan moments. What we witnessed this year, in Tunisia,

:26:00.:26:05.

and Libya, is simply what happens when constrained systems explode.

:26:05.:26:09.

By this theory, we really shouldn't have been surprised.

:26:09.:26:15.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb joins us now from New York, Noreena Hertz, the

:26:15.:26:20.

economist, is here in the studio. Let's start with you, Nassim

:26:20.:26:23.

Nicholas Taleb, how could we not have been surprised by the Arab

:26:23.:26:31.

Spring? Well, the system was fragile, and the seven ore eight

:26:31.:26:35.

sources of fragility - or eight sources of fragility, for me the

:26:35.:26:39.

first one was the banking system, and still is fragile, it was like a

:26:39.:26:44.

bomb waiting to go off, an accident waiting to happen. When a bridge is

:26:44.:26:47.

fragile you don't waste your time trying to predict which truck will

:26:48.:26:53.

break it, you should spend your money on this structure. The second

:26:53.:27:02.

one is, of course, and the main one, is what we have with these regime,

:27:02.:27:06.

propped unofficially for the United States, for the sake of stability.

:27:06.:27:13.

Just like banks were, we had Alan Greenspan, and on your side, we had

:27:14.:27:19.

the Labour Government, they wanted to eliminate boom and bust, and

:27:19.:27:25.

they pushed the risks in the tails, the less visible parts of life. And

:27:25.:27:30.

the thing explodes. We had that in these systems, in fact, in the

:27:30.:27:35.

Black Swan itself, I spoke about Syria and Saudi Arabia, saying here

:27:35.:27:41.

you have two kind of countries, in Italy they have loads of different

:27:41.:27:44.

Governments, people hate each other openly. It looks unstable because

:27:44.:27:49.

they change Governments. Here you have Syria with the same Government

:27:49.:27:52.

for 40 years and Saudi Arabia with the same family for a century. So

:27:52.:27:58.

which one is more stable, visibly Italy is much more stable than

:27:58.:28:04.

Saudi Arabia, it is bottom up, it has a lot of noise, it vibrates,

:28:04.:28:10.

and Saudi Arabia did not. The US Government did not learn that

:28:10.:28:14.

lesson with the Shah of Iran. Trying to oppress the whole country.

:28:14.:28:20.

Locked what happened in Iran in 1978 with the revolution. For me it

:28:20.:28:24.

was way too obvious an answer given I was Lebanese and I was explaining

:28:24.:28:28.

anybody who would listen to me that Lebanon is vastly more stable than

:28:28.:28:31.

most of these countries. We had our war, and everybody is represented

:28:31.:28:35.

in the Government, if you think the distance between the current regime

:28:35.:28:44.

and the next regieme, it is minimal. One person with a beard, you know,

:28:44.:28:50.

and the cabinet is minimal. Let me interrupt, what do you make of this

:28:50.:28:56.

theory? I think we could have anticipated the Arab Spring if we

:28:56.:29:00.

looked at what was going on in a very different way. We relied on a

:29:00.:29:04.

small group of experts, the intelligence experts who did miss

:29:04.:29:10.

it. If we look at what Al-Jazeera was talking about, in summer 2010

:29:10.:29:18.

they had a report predicting the uprising in Egypt. If we had

:29:18.:29:24.

monitored The Tweets of Arab youth in the lead up to the protests, we

:29:24.:29:29.

would have seen an increase in protest network. That is common

:29:29.:29:33.

with a lot of Black Swans, we are relying on experts or a dominant

:29:34.:29:37.

narrative or prediction about the future, that it will follow a

:29:37.:29:43.

linear path, that actually aren't right. Agree and disagree with the

:29:43.:29:48.

analysis, saying after the fact you can always find precursor signs, at

:29:48.:29:52.

the time they were not that obvious. What is essential is not look at

:29:52.:29:58.

signs but look at fragility. What is fragile and what is not, what is

:29:58.:30:03.

fragile it needs to be fixed. It is understandable, though is it not,

:30:03.:30:07.

that Governments seek stability. You can't have an international

:30:07.:30:10.

training system without agreed rules. Governments seek stability

:30:10.:30:15.

in the Governments they deal with, which is why they supported people

:30:15.:30:20.

like Mubarak in Egypt. This is why I called that sudden dough

:30:20.:30:26.

stability, in mylar writings. It is sort of like saying I would like to

:30:26.:30:33.

reach a destination on time, but if I drive 300 miles an hourly never

:30:33.:30:40.

get there. I think you're right that the west tends to support the

:30:40.:30:45.

dictatorial regimes and traded off democracy and human rights in the

:30:45.:30:55.
:30:55.:30:56.

process. I wonder if you are perhaps making too much of a simple

:30:56.:31:00.

situation out of it. Dictatorships are putting a lid on the society,

:31:00.:31:04.

that is bubbling over and that is the reason why we are seeing

:31:04.:31:09.

protests. Are there not a whole multipolicity of factors involved

:31:09.:31:13.

here. There was rising food prices and unemployment, there were new

:31:13.:31:18.

food technologies that allowed people to interact through Facebook

:31:18.:31:21.

and twitter. There was a whole configuration of different events

:31:21.:31:25.

happening at once. Even when it is hot people are more likely to go

:31:25.:31:34.

out in protest. There is a lot happening at once, not just the

:31:34.:31:38.

political regime. I don't like the ad hoc explanations, in Indonesia

:31:38.:31:44.

the uprising was called about food. Par rain is a much richer country.

:31:44.:31:52.

We can't stop looking at catalysts as causes. But this is about

:31:52.:31:59.

dictator s rule anything 17ths. Dictatorships can be enduring. You

:31:59.:32:06.

had a hell of black swan at the time of it? That is not the point.

:32:07.:32:11.

The point is the democratic system is vastly noiseer, but vastly more

:32:11.:32:15.

stable than the system with a dictatorship, particularly in the

:32:15.:32:20.

modern day as you are mentioning. The last thing we need is engage in

:32:20.:32:25.

that catalyst has caused confusion and start looking for the precursor

:32:25.:32:32.

signs after the fact. Look for the key is that we have unnatural

:32:32.:32:36.

regimes today, we are not in the 16th century. We have

:32:36.:32:42.

telecommunication and a lot of other things. We have trade, and a

:32:42.:32:45.

very extensive trade between countries. You cannot have a

:32:45.:32:51.

country in which women can't drive, as we saw in Saudi Arabia, and the

:32:51.:32:56.

other one, like in the United States were women can do everything.

:32:56.:33:03.

It is 100% equal qual. It is not sustainable. Something will blow up.

:33:03.:33:09.

If you think about the fall of the Berlin Wall, part of the reason is

:33:10.:33:13.

people in Eastern Europe got MTV and they saw what others had. I

:33:13.:33:19.

think that is a cause. That would be the cause, now the catalyst.

:33:19.:33:22.

I want to ask you about a particular phrase you have in your

:33:22.:33:26.

an all circumstance I think you call it the stability of small

:33:26.:33:32.

jumps, this is to say that you are constantly recalibrating your

:33:32.:33:36.

assessment. Instead of being eventually caught out by massive

:33:36.:33:43.

seismic change. How would that work? Information prices, I gave

:33:43.:33:49.

miskal analogies because my social places come from more physical

:33:49.:33:59.
:33:59.:34:04.

places. If you are experiencing force five, systematically,

:34:04.:34:10.

preventing the small fires. The bigger forest fires would be more

:34:10.:34:15.

devastating. In economics if you constrain a price, artificially,

:34:15.:34:19.

prevent the market from changing the price, you will have a shock.

:34:19.:34:25.

This is my analogy to other systems, and we have shared universalties.

:34:25.:34:30.

The transfer systems have a lot in economy. They like a little bit of

:34:30.:34:35.

noise. Noise makes information rise to the surface in political life.

:34:35.:34:40.

How does this play out in political terms? In political terms if you

:34:40.:34:44.

have, take Italy, where you know at any point in time where people

:34:44.:34:48.

stand. You know the balance of power, you see what is going on and

:34:48.:34:53.

you know what people want. People can either shake their trousers or

:34:53.:34:56.

like Lebanon they arrive at conclusions and they can manage the

:34:56.:35:01.

country, at least you don't have big shots. Where as in Iran before

:35:01.:35:06.

the revolution you didn't know what was going on. Even the opposition

:35:06.:35:10.

didn't know its relative strength. Nobody knows what is going on. The

:35:10.:35:15.

regime doesn't know how repressive it has to be? The point is

:35:15.:35:19.

information is key for functioning democracies, that is true, I would

:35:19.:35:25.

agree with that. You it is interesting to maybe think about

:35:25.:35:30.

the current Black Swan we are seeing unfold today. The Greek

:35:30.:35:38.

crisis. In some ways it could have been predicted, if we looked at

:35:38.:35:43.

what was happening to tax collecting in Greece and looked at

:35:43.:35:46.

rising unemployment there. What is going to happen, moving forward,

:35:46.:35:50.

this is a real case of surely of thinking not in terms of

:35:50.:35:54.

necessarily being able to predict what will happen, but what are the

:35:54.:35:59.

possible sin Nair knows, will they default or accept the euro. All of

:35:59.:36:04.

which are possible action force now. What do you think about what is

:36:04.:36:14.
:36:14.:36:15.

happening in Greece? About three- and-a-half years ago there was

:36:15.:36:20.

rioting, and I was very surprised throughout, that they did not stop

:36:20.:36:23.

rioting. You have this moral has standard argument that is very

:36:23.:36:28.

apparent in Greece, much more so than in the UK and the United

:36:28.:36:31.

States. It is very prevalent everywhere. Here you have some

:36:31.:36:35.

people make money, they are milking the system, namely bankers or

:36:35.:36:40.

people who benefit from loans. Other people have to pay the price.

:36:40.:36:43.

Three years until the crisis, in the United States, in Europe, those

:36:43.:36:48.

who make the money are making more money, or at least are not

:36:48.:36:52.

penalised. Those who paid the price did not benefit from the process

:36:52.:36:59.

before the crisis. So you have that moral has standard that, you know,

:36:59.:37:03.

is very obvious. The Greeks started identifying it. Of course you are

:37:03.:37:09.

going to riot because the people are paying the price today they are

:37:09.:37:12.

retirees. People have to accept people have to pay for others. They

:37:12.:37:22.
:37:22.:37:23.

can't take it any more. It is a Black Swan, is it? In Greece, no,

:37:23.:37:28.

it would be for not having street rice in London and New York and

:37:28.:37:31.

other places in Europe against the bankers. Thank you very much, both

:37:31.:37:34.

of you. Lots of Australians got up in the

:37:34.:37:38.

middle of the night earlier today, or tomorrow as it is there, they

:37:38.:37:44.

wanted to witness the biggest lunar eclipse this century. When we

:37:44.:37:50.

watched it an hour ago, it was disappointing, many believed there

:37:50.:37:54.

could be so much ash in the atmosphere, there would be some

:37:54.:37:59.

spectacular effects. Let's look at some images of the last full lunar

:37:59.:38:09.
:38:09.:38:09.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 50 seconds

:38:09.:38:59.

With me now is the space scientist, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who will

:38:59.:39:03.

be joined, hope by the impressionist, come amateur

:39:03.:39:07.

astronomer, Jon Culshaw, shortly. Those were amazing pictures, today

:39:07.:39:10.

was rather more disappointing. main trouble we have today is cloud

:39:10.:39:15.

here in the UK. You have got some very interesting props on the desk

:39:15.:39:19.

in front of you. What on earth are they for? I wanted to try to

:39:19.:39:24.

explain why the moon goes blood red during a total eclipse of the moon.

:39:24.:39:29.

If this is the earth and the moon, if you could be the sun. Sunlight

:39:29.:39:35.

is coming in. Where should I shine it? Straight ahead. What we have is

:39:35.:39:39.

this is the earth and this is the moon. What happens is the earth

:39:39.:39:43.

gets between the sun and the moon. The moon is thrown into shadow.

:39:43.:39:48.

That is an eclipse? Yes, it is a total eclipse of the moon. You

:39:48.:39:52.

would think in the shadow of the earth you would see no light

:39:52.:39:55.

reaching the moon, the moon would disappear. That is not what happens.

:39:55.:40:01.

Although you have the earth, the earth is surrounded by a nice

:40:01.:40:05.

cotton wool atmosphere, that acts as a lens and refracting some of

:40:05.:40:09.

the light on to the moon. You do get light hitting the moon. That

:40:09.:40:14.

doesn't explain why it is blood red. The reason is because there are

:40:14.:40:17.

particles in the atmosphere like you mentioned. If I take the sun

:40:17.:40:22.

and shine it through the water, it comes out as plain white. If you

:40:22.:40:28.

add a few particles, this is a well known household disinfectant. I add

:40:28.:40:33.

a few particles to the water, now when I pass the light through the

:40:33.:40:38.

water. It does, yeah. If you have lots of particles in the atmosphere,

:40:38.:40:44.

which would have been the effect of the Chilean volcano it should look

:40:44.:40:49.

fantastic. It doesn't look fantastic. When I came in it wasn't

:40:49.:40:55.

in totality yet. We have some light pictures, of how it lookings in

:40:55.:40:59.

Jerusalem, I don't know why we are looking - looking at Jerusalem, I

:40:59.:41:03.

don't know why we are looking at it there. It doesn't look very

:41:03.:41:09.

different to me? It looks the same? I saw a total eclipse in 2007, I

:41:09.:41:14.

was totally freaked out. First of all, you saw the moon being eaten

:41:14.:41:19.

away, frequenty on a given night, then it did go blood red, I wanted

:41:19.:41:23.

to look away because it didn't look right. Why do people like you get

:41:23.:41:27.

so excited about this, it is very rare, apparently, there won't be

:41:27.:41:31.

another for a long time? This is the longest, that is because the

:41:31.:41:36.

way the earth and moon are lined up. Sometimes the earth is glancing the

:41:36.:41:41.

moon, this is going straight across the centre of the earth, this is

:41:41.:41:44.

the longest total eclipse of the senttry, probably the only one we

:41:44.:41:54.

will see and we are not seeing it. This is a wit of a flaw in this

:41:54.:41:58.

item! Mathematically it is very interesting. I haven't done the

:41:59.:42:02.

calculation. Why are they excited about it? It is the mechanics of

:42:03.:42:06.

the universe, controlled by gravitational forces. We could get

:42:06.:42:13.

a total eclipse every month. But the sun moon and earth aren't in

:42:13.:42:17.

total alignment and only occur occasionally. There are cycles frg

:42:17.:42:23.

goes through, the lunar cycle for total eclipses are 18 years and ten

:42:23.:42:29.

days. Between that there are 18 partial eclipses, all this can be

:42:29.:42:33.

calculated with the all linement of the sun, moon and earth. So the

:42:33.:42:39.

next time this will happen you can predict absolutely when this will

:42:39.:42:44.

happen again? Definitely, yes. will be 21 or something or other?

:42:44.:42:49.

You haven't done the calculation but it is about that. Do you get

:42:49.:42:52.

the sense, when people get quite excited about this today, all

:42:52.:42:57.

around the world dou, get a sense of an increasing aware - do you get

:42:57.:43:03.

a sense of increasing awareness of as no mam kal events? It is the

:43:03.:43:09.

same - astronomical events? It is the same people who get excited,

:43:09.:43:13.

like me. Some people say great, fantastic, others say big deal.

:43:13.:43:18.

What I try to do as a science communicator is try to get the not

:43:18.:43:22.

so excited, excited about this. It is the ponders of the universe.

:43:22.:43:29.

think we are joined now by Jon Culshaw, here he is. I time

:43:29.:43:35.

travelled to be here. Forwards or backwards. You are excited about

:43:35.:43:41.

this? Yes, yes. Why? It is just the vastness of space. I have gone into

:43:41.:43:47.

Brian Cox, it just seems to be the right way to describe it. When you

:43:47.:43:51.

think of the shad toe of the earth cast over the moon and - shadow of

:43:51.:43:55.

the earth, cast over the moon, and it looks like, that it gives you a

:43:55.:44:00.

sense of the solar system, space and the vastness of all of that.

:44:00.:44:07.

You can't fail to be fascinated. is. We have just seen the picture

:44:08.:44:12.

from Jerusalem, we might have a look again. There we are. There is

:44:12.:44:17.

Jerusalem, that is how it looks? looks exactly the same or more or

:44:17.:44:21.

less the same as normally. That is not fully eclipsed, it is probably

:44:21.:44:27.

done by them. We should be just going into totality, that doesn't

:44:27.:44:32.

look like, that it does go red. we were talking about the Arab

:44:32.:44:37.

Spring or something, rather appropriately. Tell u do you get

:44:37.:44:40.

this sense, we were just discussing whether there was an increasing

:44:40.:44:45.

fascination, I sometimes, as an outsider, get the impression there

:44:45.:44:50.

is an increasing fascination with what's happening out there in the

:44:50.:44:58.

solar Aziz tem. This view wasn't yueflly shared, give us your -

:44:58.:45:03.

universally shared, give us your version? As long as you have people

:45:03.:45:09.

telling the story of the vastness of space. What is it, what is it

:45:09.:45:16.

about it that seems to be having a tighter grip, is it to do with

:45:16.:45:24.

religion? Astronomy is the oldest and greatest of all the scientists.

:45:24.:45:28.

Nobody can fail to be fascinate bid a clear sky, a star lit night,

:45:28.:45:32.

things like the eclipse, they have an awesome sort of majesty about

:45:32.:45:40.

them. It puts us into a nice bit of perspective?

:45:40.:45:45.

We are made aware of our smallness because of these things? It doesn't

:45:45.:45:50.

detract from things but makes me happy to be part of a wonderful

:45:50.:45:54.

universe. Thanks for coming. That's all from Newsnight tonight, we

:45:54.:45:58.

leave you with pictures of what happened when the four-times

:45:58.:46:08.
:46:08.:46:15.

America's cup champion, Russell Coutts, took his 40ld ft catamaran

:46:15.:46:25.
:46:25.:46:51.

Hello there, a real soaking on the way to end the week. Even first

:46:51.:46:55.

thing in the Major General persistent rain across southern

:46:55.:47:03.

England, wo work - morning, persistent rain across southern

:47:03.:47:08.

England. Hit and miss, as the showers are, they could be heavy

:47:08.:47:12.

and thundery. Any thundery spells not to be relied upon. A coolish

:47:12.:47:17.

day, particularly when the showers come along. If you get very lucky,

:47:17.:47:20.

particularly along the coastal fringe, you might have a fine

:47:21.:47:24.

afternoon. You will be lucky indeed, there will be a number of showers.

:47:24.:47:28.

Temperatures up and down like a Yeo, the sunnier spells getting up to

:47:28.:47:31.

the mid-teens, when the showers come along they will fall by

:47:31.:47:34.

several degrees. Sunshine and showers for Northern Ireland, for

:47:34.:47:42.

Scotland as well. The winds fairly light, so those showers will be

:47:42.:47:46.

quite slow-moving as well. What about the end of the week?

:47:46.:47:49.

Increasingly wet from the south. It means northern areas will be last

:47:49.:47:54.

to see the rain. Some sunshine, eventually the rain will arrive.

:47:54.:47:57.

Further south it will unturn increasingly wet and chilly under

:47:57.:48:01.

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