28/06/2011 Newsnight


28/06/2011

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


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The attempt to bring free market values to health didn't go exactly

:00:08.:00:11.

as planned, will it be any better with higher education. Today the

:00:11.:00:15.

Government promised value for money tables and universities fighting

:00:15.:00:19.

like rats in sack to get hold of the best students. Is this a

:00:19.:00:24.

visionary plan for the future or ideolgical incoherence, we will

:00:24.:00:27.

hear from the universities minister. We will ask two people with very

:00:28.:00:32.

different view points how they see the landscape evolving. The Greek

:00:32.:00:36.

public don't seem awfully keen to be plunged into austerity to keep

:00:36.:00:40.

the euro afloat, the day before the vote they are making their feelings

:00:40.:00:44.

known. Paul Mason is there. We will know in 48 hours whether

:00:44.:00:49.

Greece's parliament has voted for austerity, or, as the people here

:00:49.:00:52.

want, rejected it, and plunged Europe, possibly the world's

:00:52.:00:57.

economy into chaos. In Afghanistan, the British army

:00:57.:01:02.

hauled this 200 tonne turbine for a new dam over 100 miles, in the

:01:02.:01:09.

teeth of vicious Taliban resistance. Mark Urban finds it has never been

:01:09.:01:13.

installed. Instead of a visionary scheme to bring electricity to 2.5

:01:13.:01:18.

million Afghans, this has turned into an epic of mismanagement and

:01:18.:01:22.

miscommunication. Should a journalist quote people saying what

:01:22.:01:28.

he think they meant to say. Two of print journalism's finest are here

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to pass judgment. What's not to like about allowing

:01:35.:01:39.

students and potential students to see what they might again from a

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university degree. Rather a lot apparently, to judge from the

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resounding chorus of disapproval that met the Government's

:01:45.:01:48.

announcement on the future of higher education today.

:01:48.:01:52.

Universities will be allowed to expand to take more, better-

:01:52.:01:55.

qualified students, and in return, will have to explain what one of

:01:55.:02:01.

their degrees might be worth. There being no-one more Conservative than

:02:01.:02:05.

a liberal, both university teachers and students say it is wholesale

:02:05.:02:09.

vandalism. Before we talk about what university is for, we report.

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Today's exam question, what on earth can the Government do to sort

:02:14.:02:19.

out higher education? We have got about 4.5 minutes to answer this

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one. We better crack on. In the Commons today, the top class

:02:24.:02:29.

educations were so much on display. Labour's spokesman, Gareth Thomas,

:02:29.:02:39.
:02:39.:02:40.

be a rite whist university. It is Carry On Up The Khyber, it is the

:02:40.:02:48.

minister doing the Hattie Jakes. I'm reliably informed that she

:02:48.:02:54.

wasn't in that film. Aside from arguing comedy, he had plenty to

:02:54.:03:00.

say about the plans for England's universities. Above all our plans

:03:00.:03:04.

benefit students, by focusing universities to focus on the

:03:04.:03:06.

student experience. They will have real choice, with better

:03:06.:03:11.

information, with a wider range of institutions to choose from, I

:03:11.:03:15.

commend the White Paper to the House. We already knew in the

:03:15.:03:21.

future universities could charge up to �9,000 a year for students.

:03:21.:03:25.

Subject to satisfying the Office for Fair Access they will help

:03:25.:03:35.
:03:35.:03:35.

those with poor backgrounds. Today They will know how much teaching

:03:35.:03:41.

they will get and how employable they will be at the end of it. The

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Government will have 20,000 places for students to complete good

:03:48.:03:51.

quality sources for �7,000 a year or less. And universities will be

:03:51.:03:56.

able to take as many top student, that is with two As and a B at A-

:03:56.:04:01.

level, irrespective of their quota. For the opposition, these changes

:04:01.:04:04.

are driven by saving money. Government didn't have to cut

:04:04.:04:09.

university funding by as much as it did, 80% cuts. That is the reason

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why so many universities have tripled their tuition fees. That is

:04:13.:04:16.

why the Government has major funding hole in its higher

:04:16.:04:20.

education reforms, and why then today it has sought to drive fees

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down by threatening the quality of higher education, to help them sort

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out that funding hole. Fundamentally, the Government wants

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to change the way that university education is provided, bringing new

:04:33.:04:37.

institutions in, alongside established universities. This

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might look like a normal university library, it might even sound like

:04:41.:04:46.

one, but it is not. It is actually something that ministers think

:04:46.:04:52.

could be the future. BPP is not like a traditional university, we

:04:52.:04:58.

are so much more. BPP is a private organisation which has 6,500

:04:58.:05:02.

students studying business and law, and another 30,000 studying

:05:02.:05:06.

accountany. Courses are tailored to what students and their employers

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want. For example, they can offer three years study crammed into two.

:05:11.:05:15.

Or regional study centres, meaning students don't have the cost of

:05:15.:05:19.

staying away from home. We don't have a God-given right to exist, we

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exist because students want to come to us, and employers want to

:05:24.:05:27.

sponsor their employees with us. And you have to have that focus.

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You have to be focused on what is relevant, and the niche we have

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created in law and finance and accounting, is because employers

:05:34.:05:38.

want it. Their employees want it. There is only really room for a

:05:39.:05:44.

high-quality provision in the UK for the private sector. If you

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operate at that high-quality level, you will be successful. But the

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worry for some is the Government's proposal will trigger what is

:05:53.:05:56.

called race to the bottom, with cut price universities offering cheaper

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and cheaper courses of little value to students or the country. I worry

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about private providers coming in, the regulation that will control

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the way in which they operate, if that is striped away, or if that is

:06:11.:06:16.

reduced in any sense, then we're vulnerable then to the fly-by-night,

:06:16.:06:21.

cheap, cut-cost institutions, that will come in purely to make money.

:06:21.:06:25.

The students, I think, will end up suffering as a result of that, and

:06:25.:06:28.

indeed n some case f those companies go bankrupt, it is the

:06:28.:06:32.

taxpayer that will probably have to pick up the bill at the end of the

:06:32.:06:36.

day. There is also another concern, critics worry concentrating too

:06:36.:06:39.

much on the employment prospects of graduates, could damage the ability

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of universities to produce the creative, original thinkers, who

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innovate and generate the jobs and wealth. Any way, time's up, time to

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put down our pens and hand back to the invigilator.

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The universities' minister, David Willetts is with us now. This is a

:06:59.:07:04.

long-term plan, in 20 years time, what proportion of the school-

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leaving population do you expect will be at university? We don't

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have a target, or a central plan to that, I think it should be the

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result of the decisions of individual young people informed by

:07:15.:07:20.

the knowledge of all the options. More or less than now? I do think

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there is an underlying trend in advanced can economies for more

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people to go to university, yes. Probably more at university, and

:07:28.:07:31.

universities themselves, will there be more universities than there are

:07:31.:07:35.

now? Who knows l universities be bigger individually, or more

:07:35.:07:39.

smaller universities. I think well...More, Presumably some will

:07:39.:07:45.

go to the wall? No Government has guaranteed universities' right to

:07:45.:07:48.

carry on. You would be prepared to countenance some universities going

:07:48.:07:52.

to the wall? It has always been the case for successive Government that

:07:52.:07:55.

is could happen. When you are talking about big and small

:07:55.:08:00.

universities, that is a good example of the decision that is a

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minister doesn't have to make. The size of universities should be the

:08:03.:08:07.

results of student choices and university managers deciding how to

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run the universities. You are prepared to see some go to the

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wall? If there is a university, that has not got any student who is

:08:14.:08:18.

wish to go there, there is no basis on which any Government has said

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that should carry on in existence. In that respect we are sticking

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with the same view as the previous Government took. What I will say,

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is universities are going to have to satisfy students if they want to

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thrive and expand and grow. Isn't the fact of the matter, you

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have got this all the wrong way round, this is a long-term strategy,

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devised after you have implemented all the short-term questions, like

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funding of universities, had you done it the other way round, it

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would have been more sensible to say there will be these categories

:08:48.:08:52.

of universities, charging these sorts of fees, and they will be

:08:52.:08:56.

entitled to that, and another category who charge fees lower than

:08:56.:09:00.

�7,500 a year, and they are entitled to do something else, why

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didn't you say that before setting the fees? I have no intention of

:09:06.:09:09.

saying some categories and groups can do this. We are giving more

:09:09.:09:13.

freedom to universities in the first year. We are saying one in

:09:13.:09:18.

four places at university in the year 2012/13, they will be

:09:18.:09:22.

contestable, the money will go with the student. If in future years we

:09:22.:09:26.

wish to see that grow greater and greater. I suggest to you you

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haven't the faintest idea what is going on. When you said when it

:09:29.:09:35.

came to university fees that in exceptional circumstances fees of

:09:35.:09:42.

�9,000 might be charged, did you imagine that 95% of the

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universities would be at that level? We believe the average fees

:09:45.:09:50.

of university will be lower. What is exceptional? On this question of

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our strategy. Let me say, in the White Paper, there is a very clear

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strategy, which is the money goes to the student, the money then

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follows to the student to the university they choose, there is

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far more information than there ever was before, that in addition,

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universities will therefore be able to focus on the quality of the

:10:10.:10:13.

teaching experience, we think that is a coherent programme which

:10:13.:10:17.

offers a far better deal for students. That is what we believe

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in. You say it is a long-term strategy, but the fact of the

:10:20.:10:23.

matter is, we see from what's happened with fees, you can't even

:10:23.:10:27.

make a strategy that last trees or four months? What we are proposing

:10:27.:10:31.

today is consistent with what we said last October. These are the

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long-term consequences of the shift to money going through students'

:10:35.:10:39.

choice, via fees and loans. Of course the students don't pay the

:10:40.:10:43.

money up front, it is only paid back when they are graduates

:10:43.:10:48.

earning more than �2 1,000 a year. It is a liberalisation of the fees'

:10:48.:10:52.

regime, it is more information for student, greater diversity of

:10:52.:10:58.

universities, all that with the aim of offering a better deal for

:10:58.:11:00.

students, because universities focus on higher quality of teaching.

:11:00.:11:05.

I think it is a strategy in the best interest of students. It will

:11:05.:11:09.

be a two-teir system? I think there will be a whole range of different

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types of universities. It is not going to be two-teir. There will be

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some people who want part-time education, some people who want to

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do their course intensively in two years. There will be mature

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students, three-year campus universities you leave home to

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study at, a whole range of different types. Different student

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also want a different type of higher education. When you say in

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the White Paper, higher education has a fundamental value in itself,

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that is entirely at odds with the rather mechanistic, functional

:11:43.:11:47.

attitude you seem to take to the future of universities? I know just

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what you mean. When you are sitting in had daept doing public policy,

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you think about - a department doing public policy, you think

:11:59.:12:04.

about what is it about, I think every day the purpose of a

:12:04.:12:07.

university is more worthwhile than what you can catch in those

:12:07.:12:11.

decisions. We are trying to ensure these incredibly valuable

:12:11.:12:14.

institutions thrive, are autonomous, people go and study at them because

:12:14.:12:17.

what they study is worthwhile in itself. That is the fundamental

:12:18.:12:21.

truth, I try not to lose sight of it, even when you are having to

:12:21.:12:25.

take decisions on the level of fees and loans, and the level of

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maintenance support. Minister, thank you.

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With us now are Howard Hotson, professor of modern intellectual

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history at Oxford University. And a manager of one of the private

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providers in the world, the London College of Accountany. What are the

:12:44.:12:52.

fees at your college? From 2012 they are �4,500. That is about half

:12:52.:12:56.

a London University's fee, how do you do it? The students won't get a

:12:57.:13:01.

full university experience, in a sense, we will provide a first-

:13:01.:13:06.

class, we believe education but they don't have all the sports

:13:06.:13:10.

clubs and social facilities and a large campus environment that you

:13:10.:13:16.

get in traditional university. Our aim is, in fact, to provide a good

:13:16.:13:19.

undergraduate education for UK students where they can exit at the

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end of three years without any debt at all. We teach over two complete

:13:25.:13:30.

days in the week, which allows students to then get a decent part-

:13:30.:13:33.

time job, get some good work experience, earn some money. What

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is there to object to in that sort of institution being part of the

:13:38.:13:42.

mix of higher education? Well a traditional university is something

:13:42.:13:46.

which combines teaching and research. The reason is combines

:13:46.:13:50.

teaching and research is to foster critical thinking, that is supposed

:13:50.:13:54.

to be fundamental. He has explained it is not a traditional university?

:13:54.:13:57.

Why should they be called university, that is fundamental to

:13:57.:14:02.

the definition of a university. do you call yourself that? We call

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ourselves a business school. I would call ourselves a working

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university. You don't surely think there is

:14:09.:14:13.

only one model of university, do you? In law, in this country, this

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has been the definition of the university, and as I understand it,

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will continue to be the definition of the university in Scotland. The

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reason being, what is absolutely fundamental and intergral to a

:14:24.:14:29.

university education, is education and critical thinking, and if you

:14:29.:14:32.

abstract critical thinking from the equation, for certain subjects,

:14:32.:14:35.

like accountany, for instance, which should not be about creative

:14:35.:14:39.

accountany, but about following the rules, textbook learning is

:14:39.:14:42.

perfectly adequate. For most of the traditional curriculum of a

:14:42.:14:45.

university, the fundamental objective is to teach students to

:14:45.:14:49.

think critically, you do that by engaging with people who are at the

:14:49.:14:53.

forefront of their discipline constantly. That extends to

:14:53.:14:57.

disciplines like engineering as well? It certainly does. Every

:14:57.:15:01.

discipline at the university of Oxford falls into that category,

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does it? Every discipline in the university of Oxford combines

:15:04.:15:08.

teaching and research, absolutely. In the traditional university that

:15:08.:15:15.

is fundamentally a part of the equation. I'm just surprised, are

:15:15.:15:19.

we saying it doesn't apply to accounting, finance and business

:15:19.:15:24.

and management. It does as taught at university. These two are

:15:24.:15:27.

disciplines which are constantly evolving, in response to new

:15:27.:15:30.

challenges, that requires people at the forefront of their discipline

:15:30.:15:34.

engaging in research and re- thinking the fundamentals of their

:15:34.:15:38.

discipline. There is a real reek of class prejudice about this? I don't

:15:38.:15:42.

think so. Next time you will be insisting that dons have the right

:15:42.:15:48.

to sit around and drink port after dinner? I'm not suggesting that for

:15:48.:15:51.

certain disciplines textbook learning is not a perfectly

:15:51.:15:56.

valuable thing to be done. I am saying, for the vast majority of

:15:56.:16:00.

the traditional university curriculum, the whole purpose is

:16:00.:16:04.

undermined if what is not being taught is independent of thought.

:16:04.:16:08.

Independence of thought means a different style of teaching than

:16:08.:16:12.

simply textbook learning. What is your real objection to David

:16:12.:16:15.

Willetts reorganising principle in all this? My personal fundamental

:16:15.:16:19.

objection is the opening up of universities to market forces. My

:16:19.:16:22.

view would be that universities have traditionally been funded,

:16:22.:16:31.

whether by the state, or as private begin factions, like the Ivy League

:16:31.:16:35.

systems in the United States, to nuture an environment that allows

:16:35.:16:39.

values to be passed from one generation to the next, without

:16:39.:16:44.

those values being undermined and marketised and monitorised by the

:16:44.:16:48.

market. The most dangerous thing which this new radical,

:16:48.:16:53.

unprecedented experiment in university funding implies, is

:16:53.:16:58.

deliberately engineering the marketisation and monitorisation of

:16:58.:17:02.

the university system, when the whole purpose of universities has

:17:02.:17:08.

been to keep that one removed. is your thoughts on that analysis

:17:08.:17:11.

of a university? I would say we have the same purpose, what we are

:17:11.:17:16.

trying to do is change how people think, and to get them to think in

:17:16.:17:22.

a more analytical way. We are trying to achieve exactly the same

:17:22.:17:28.

ends. At my business school as you are trying at Oxford university.

:17:28.:17:33.

I'm slightly taken aback that you think something else is going on, I

:17:33.:17:38.

hear this textbook learning reference. Do you think accountany

:17:38.:17:47.

is a paradigmatic with the disciplines across education.

:17:47.:17:51.

has been within university education since the 1930s. It is

:17:51.:17:55.

deliberately and directly related to managing accounts, and to making

:17:55.:18:00.

money, where as the traditional university education is not. Is the

:18:00.:18:03.

traditional resentment of people who have to learn a living? I don't

:18:04.:18:08.

think so at all. I'm saying that is one thing universities need to

:18:08.:18:11.

accommodate, and therefore, we study economics, we study business

:18:11.:18:16.

and finance, there is a business school at Oxford University, it is

:18:16.:18:19.

one of the most recent major developments. That is fine as part

:18:19.:18:25.

of a university, but accountany some how isn't? I'm not suggesting

:18:25.:18:30.

accountany isn't, I'm suggesting the marketisation of the system

:18:30.:18:40.
:18:40.:18:41.

which may work perfectly fine and provide social benefits in a small,

:18:41.:18:45.

private business college such as your's, is not the appropriate

:18:45.:18:48.

model for university. You think that people who have never had the

:18:48.:18:52.

chance of university education should be taxed in order that this

:18:52.:18:56.

style of education can be perpetuated intestify infinitely?

:18:56.:19:01.

Most of the funding for universities should come from a

:19:01.:19:04.

combination of students paying tuition fees, which they do at the

:19:04.:19:08.

moment, and possibly need to be increased, I don't think anyone is

:19:08.:19:12.

disputing that, and the taxes, which they pay, because a

:19:12.:19:17.

university education, amongst many other things, is very often a way

:19:17.:19:22.

of increasing your contribution to the public purse as you work your

:19:22.:19:30.

way up the 40% tax bracket. That is a sum which an accountant should

:19:30.:19:34.

easily be able to work out. If indeed a traditional university

:19:34.:19:39.

education increases your earning power, it also increases your

:19:39.:19:42.

public contribution to the public purse.

:19:42.:19:48.

The birth place of European democracy resounded to the sound of

:19:48.:19:52.

chants, shattering glass and tear gas, as they tried to persuade

:19:52.:19:56.

their political leaders not to accept the terms of the loan they

:19:56.:20:03.

talk. Greece's state is a direct result of its banality and

:20:03.:20:11.

incompetence, and a refusal to agree will timey the further funds.

:20:11.:20:21.

A quiet - timey the further funds. Something has changed, two weeks

:20:21.:20:25.

ago it was a right that more or less brought the Government down,

:20:25.:20:29.

forced the Government to reshuffle, and left Athens lawless for a few

:20:29.:20:34.

hours. None of that has happened today, for two reasons, first, we

:20:34.:20:41.

are seeing the beginnings of a response by the financial community,

:20:41.:20:44.

a coherent response. The second thing is, we are seeing the

:20:44.:20:54.
:20:54.:20:58.

beginnings, maybe, of competent governance. The beleaguered cops,

:20:58.:21:05.

the angry youth, the tear gas, and the stun grenades.

:21:05.:21:10.

This is Greece, again, on the eve of a parliamentary vote, on which

:21:10.:21:17.

the fate of the euro hangs. For the international finance system, this

:21:17.:21:25.

is the real frontline. MPs from the ruling centre left PASOK Party,

:21:25.:21:29.

asked to stomach austerity on a scale never before inflicted. They

:21:29.:21:33.

voted it through in principle today, at a key committee, but for the

:21:33.:21:40.

European Union, and IMF, in principle is not enough.

:21:40.:21:44.

The new Greek austerity plan will slash pensions, slash the wages of

:21:44.:21:52.

public sector workers, and impose a crisis tax on nearly everyone. So

:21:52.:21:58.

today, a 48-hour general strike, and the union delegations limbering

:21:58.:22:03.

up for a long battle of attrition. But white collar workers have been

:22:03.:22:07.

the bedrock of PASOK's vote, and the pressure on the politicians is

:22:07.:22:11.

huge. The people behind me are a movement not to pay your road toll

:22:11.:22:17.

or your tax, or your electricity bill, what they are chanting is,

:22:17.:22:21.

"remember 1973, remember the revolution".

:22:21.:22:27.

We see people losing their homes from the banks, so this makes

:22:27.:22:34.

people feel, I mean, very, it is a disaster, a social disaster. What

:22:34.:22:40.

do you do, and what has brought you here? I'm an unemployed civil

:22:40.:22:44.

engineer, I'm here because the unemployment of youth is rising up

:22:44.:22:50.

to very high limits, and we don't find any job, you don't have any

:22:50.:22:56.

money, life is very difficult for It is this woman's job to face them

:22:56.:23:04.

down. She's a rising star among PASOK as

:23:04.:23:10.

seats. There is lack of an alternative, it is believed.

:23:10.:23:17.

people, they are people that are fed up, they don't say they want a

:23:17.:23:21.

different Government, they are just fed up. They are fed up with all

:23:21.:23:29.

the measures, they are fed up with the lack of ...They Have pictures

:23:29.:23:33.

of Mr Papandreou with a noose around his neck? They are angry

:23:33.:23:38.

people, but they don't have a solution. They don't provide an

:23:38.:23:42.

alternative. As these pictures beam into the homes of Dutch and German

:23:42.:23:47.

tax-payers, the hand Greece has to play is getting stronger. To those

:23:47.:23:52.

opposed to further bailouts, PASOK says this: Do you think it is only

:23:52.:23:55.

Greek people that will take the pain, what will happen to the euro,

:23:55.:23:59.

what will happen to the eurozone, do you think it will be operating

:23:59.:24:03.

perfectly fine? We are talking in the case of what, a default? We are

:24:03.:24:09.

talking in the case of a default. The threat of default, and images

:24:09.:24:14.

like these of social crisis, have produced, in the last few days, the

:24:14.:24:18.

beginnings of a deal. French banks will bury Greece's debts for 30

:24:18.:24:21.

years, in return Greece will force the austerity plan through

:24:21.:24:30.

parliament, but will it be the end. Will it be cathartic. It will not

:24:30.:24:36.

be cathartic, or it is not sold to be cathartic, we need to deliver a

:24:36.:24:41.

country that is productive and entreprenurial, that exports. What

:24:41.:24:46.

does Europe need to do? Europe needs to have a quick reactionry

:24:46.:24:52.

system. It doesn't have one? needs to create one then. Clashes

:24:52.:24:57.

like those today have fed off that uncertainty and reached a new

:24:57.:25:03.

intensity. A media van torched, serious injuries, damage on an epic

:25:03.:25:05.

scale. Tomorrow's protest promises to be

:25:05.:25:09.

huge, and with the slimmest of parliamentary majorities, those on

:25:10.:25:17.

the streets still hope to stop the Euro-deal. And so, another day of

:25:17.:25:24.

fire, gas and mayhem in the square. We will know in 48 hours whether

:25:24.:25:28.

Greece's parliament has voted for austerity, or as the people here

:25:28.:25:31.

want, rejected it, and plunged Europe, possibly the world's

:25:31.:25:36.

economy into chaos. By this time tomorrow night, we should know the

:25:36.:25:44.

outcome. We already know the cost. Obviously there has been a lot of

:25:44.:25:47.

trouble in Athens, what has been going on elsewhere in Europe to try

:25:47.:25:54.

to sort this out? Well, look, the European Union and the IMF seem to

:25:54.:25:58.

be getting their act together. The French have been working over the

:25:58.:26:06.

weekend on the idea of French banks taking the lead, as I say, burying

:26:06.:26:09.

Greece's debt. You take it for 30 years, you roll it over, that more

:26:09.:26:13.

or less means it is a non-issue for the rest of my career as an

:26:13.:26:17.

economics journalist. That is a quarter of Greece's debt, the other

:26:17.:26:20.

three quarters are being gently finessed on to the balance sheets

:26:20.:26:24.

of what, states, the IMF, the European Central Bank, there to be,

:26:24.:26:28.

again, managed. Why is this important? Behind me, over the hill,

:26:28.:26:33.

the riot is still going on. There is the Greek parliament, just over

:26:33.:26:37.

the hill. Now the parliamentary arithmetic there is quite tight for

:26:37.:26:42.

Papandreou, maybe four, five votes in it tomorrow. Normally you would

:26:42.:26:46.

be saying look that is quite a problem, even if he wins, how does

:26:46.:26:50.

he implement the austerity, and stop local Governments and unions

:26:50.:26:55.

getting in the way of the austerity. Now, if the European Union and IMF

:26:55.:26:58.

can sort this long-term, Greece gets, and the Greek politicians,

:26:58.:27:03.

like you heard there, get what they want, they get the opportunity to

:27:03.:27:08.

make a major change in this country's economy, and 1989-style,

:27:08.:27:12.

east European change, that just completely reverses the patterns of

:27:12.:27:17.

development for decades. They need space to do that, and to deliver.

:27:17.:27:22.

They resent the fact that they are being rushed along on the timetable

:27:22.:27:26.

of sovereign debt crisis. They need basically some breathing space so

:27:26.:27:30.

they can convince the Greek people, take them with them, and actually

:27:30.:27:33.

go somewhere with this country. We might actually, although tomorrow

:27:33.:27:36.

will be very torrid for the demonstrators and all the

:27:36.:27:39.

journalists here covering it. You saw there what happened to one of

:27:39.:27:43.

our vans. It will be torrid, but it might just be the beginning of

:27:43.:27:48.

something new. Now, gang of suicide bombers

:27:48.:27:54.

attacked an interNational Hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, tonight,

:27:54.:27:58.

at least ten time are thought dead. A week after President Obama's

:27:58.:28:03.

gamble to pull thousands of troops out of Afghanistan sooner than

:28:03.:28:05.

expected. We have been investigating the military campaign

:28:05.:28:11.

as a whole, and taking stock of key moments in the bitter battle for

:28:11.:28:16.

Helmand Province, for a BBC documentary going out tonight.

:28:16.:28:20.

All the attention is on the withdrawal. Did the British have

:28:20.:28:25.

any idea what they were getting into? I think it is extraordinary

:28:25.:28:27.

how little thought had gone into it. Talking to all of the people

:28:27.:28:32.

involved, many of them, we found, extraordinary impressions of what

:28:32.:28:37.

they thought awaited them, and what actually came. Now, the current

:28:37.:28:43.

Government is actually quite ready to begin the reckoning of the

:28:43.:28:49.

decision-making, to go into Helmand in 2005/2006, and the extent to

:28:49.:28:54.

which that prejudices the campaign, the House of Commons Defence

:28:54.:28:56.

Committee is also investigating these issues. We are already

:28:56.:28:59.

beginning to pick over what happened. When barely more than

:28:59.:29:03.

1,000 combat troops were sent into an area half the size of England,

:29:03.:29:07.

and told to get on with it, amidst thousands of insurgents, this gives

:29:07.:29:15.

a flavour. We spoke add hornet's nest and they

:29:15.:29:19.

came out biting. We didn't have enough people on the ground.

:29:19.:29:22.

were massively trenched at the time. There was one battle group, pretty

:29:22.:29:28.

much to cover the whole of Helmand. I asked on a daily, weekly basis,

:29:28.:29:36.

for more troops, more capability, more helicopters. I remember saying

:29:36.:29:41.

to the Chief of Defence Staff in 2006 one of his visits, that we

:29:41.:29:48.

needed 10,000 troops to achieve what we set out to do. At what

:29:48.:29:52.

point did NATO realise that the British couldn't cope? Some people

:29:52.:29:58.

were talking about this from as early as 2007/2008. Iraq was a big

:29:58.:30:02.

priority for the UK and the US. The decision hadn't been made to surge

:30:02.:30:05.

in the final months, President Bush sent more troops then President

:30:05.:30:09.

Obama, the very people who last week he announced was pulling back.

:30:09.:30:12.

And so it wasn't really until those decisions were taken that they

:30:12.:30:18.

could really get to grips, and far from the 10,000 troops that Ed

:30:18.:30:20.

Butler, that first British commander was talking about there,

:30:20.:30:26.

we have ended up today with 30,000 troops in Helmand, two third of

:30:26.:30:29.

them American. What we found talking to people involved in this

:30:29.:30:34.

decision making s that the American senior officers are now ready to

:30:34.:30:39.

talk about how they decided the British couldn't cope, and they are

:30:39.:30:44.

being increasingly frank. Let's make no mistake about it, the

:30:44.:30:48.

Taliban had the momentum, broadly speaking in Afghanistan, until

:30:48.:30:55.

probably some time last fall. British forces in he will mand was

:30:55.:30:59.

under- Helmand was underresourced make no mistake, I will leave that

:30:59.:31:05.

to the British leadership to decide how much that was underresourced.

:31:05.:31:08.

American generals decided a major reinforcement was needed in Helmand,

:31:08.:31:14.

putting the Brits in the back seat. Some had been saying it for years.

:31:14.:31:18.

It actually began with me. I began to express to the leadership of the

:31:18.:31:23.

United States of America that this was an underresourced force.

:31:23.:31:26.

Manoeuvre forces, flying machines and intelligence. That did not

:31:26.:31:36.
:31:36.:31:37.

change until I would say 2010. Of course, when he refers to 2010

:31:37.:31:41.

he's talking about the surge force that is are now being withdrawn

:31:41.:31:46.

over the next 15 months following that announcement from President

:31:46.:31:50.

Obama last week. In the time remaining for NATO troops in

:31:50.:31:54.

Afghanistan they are desperate to show effect. They are still

:31:54.:31:58.

struggling to do the non-military stuff. And we have been looking at

:31:58.:32:06.

one particular place where their failure to do so has been epic in

:32:06.:32:16.
:32:16.:32:21.

its scale. High at the northern end of Helmand Province, man and nature

:32:21.:32:31.
:32:31.:32:34.

have combined to produce this. The Kajki lake and dam came about from

:32:34.:32:38.

an American aid project during the 1950s, NATO wanted to double the

:32:38.:32:48.
:32:48.:32:52.

power produced by the dam, so far its grand designs have failed.

:32:52.:32:56.

This village just below the dam used to be a bustling market and

:32:56.:33:00.

home to thousands. The people left just before the British came in

:33:00.:33:06.

2006, and have never come back. The US Marines now patrol. It used to

:33:06.:33:13.

be a thriving bazzar, but due to the fighting between the Taliban

:33:13.:33:16.

and the British, because of the intensity of it, all the people who

:33:16.:33:20.

lived and worked in the bazzar moved out. Is it right that there

:33:20.:33:25.

is one person who still lives in this? They have bread maker that

:33:25.:33:32.

supplies bread for the local security, and the marines.

:33:32.:33:40.

Holding on to Kijak, has cost many lives. Soldiers here have to resort

:33:40.:33:44.

to artillery, and even air power to maintain their hold. The Americans

:33:44.:33:53.

inherited the dam and its problems from the British, who held Kij k

:33:53.:33:58.

aki for four years. Now they want to upgrade the dam, install a new

:33:58.:34:02.

turbine and provide two million more Afghans with electricity.

:34:02.:34:08.

will add the third turbine, vacant for two years, the parts of which

:34:08.:34:13.

have been sitting up there since 2008. We will get it in and add to

:34:13.:34:17.

50% the production of the site. It will make it one of the larger

:34:17.:34:21.

facilities in Afghanistan. Was it the British who originally spoke

:34:21.:34:28.

about installing the new turbine by the end of 2007. Today, with this

:34:28.:34:32.

key project still languishing, NATO's chander has told us that

:34:32.:34:39.

this is an object lesson in how not to do things.

:34:39.:34:46.

With respect, I would be careful not to overgeneralise on the basis

:34:46.:34:51.

of one very tough mission, that may have included overpromising and

:34:51.:34:56.

underdelivering in the past. One of the other mandates I brought in, as

:34:56.:35:01.

part of my staff, is we would try to the best of our ability, we

:35:01.:35:07.

can't always help ourselves, we try to under-promise and over-deliver,

:35:07.:35:13.

to avoid the triumphant rhetoric that has occasionally followed some

:35:13.:35:17.

small tactical successes, only to find out they weren't as enduring

:35:18.:35:23.

as perhaps we thought they were at that time.

:35:23.:35:28.

In 2008, the British mounted an operation, one of their biggest in

:35:28.:35:38.
:35:38.:35:41.

Helmand, in fact, to move a 210 tonne turbine up to Kijaki.

:35:41.:35:48.

It involved more than 3,000 troops. The turbine was broken down and put

:35:48.:35:54.

on low loaders, they crawled up towards the dam at an average speed

:35:54.:35:58.

of barely one mile per hour. The British knew there would be heavy

:35:58.:36:03.

resistance if they tried to fight their way through Kijaki, the

:36:03.:36:07.

village down below me, and bring the village up that road, the 611.

:36:07.:36:12.

They did try to negotiate an agreement whereby it could come

:36:12.:36:17.

peacefully up to the dam. After leaving Kandahar, the convoy

:36:17.:36:23.

travelled through the desert, avoiding the enemy stronghold of

:36:23.:36:31.

sanguine. Around 100 miles into its don Sangin, and around 100 miles

:36:31.:36:35.

into the journey, there was fierce fighting. The Taliban leadership

:36:35.:36:39.

rejected the British offer of a deal to get the turbine through.

:36:39.:36:47.

That produced a battle. The British hailed the turbine's

:36:47.:36:54.

arrival as a triumph. Although they had lost no troops and estimated

:36:54.:37:00.

200 Afghan insurgents had been killed getting there. The military

:37:00.:37:04.

were proud of their achievement and flew in the press. The turbines

:37:04.:37:09.

arrived in Kijaki in these different lorries. They are being

:37:09.:37:13.

unloaded. Although fighting continued around

:37:13.:37:21.

the dam, the Defence Secretary argued it was right to push on.

:37:21.:37:25.

But even today, the turbine parts are sitting unmoved where the

:37:25.:37:28.

British army dropped them three years ago.

:37:29.:37:33.

All of the blood, sweat and tears expended bringing this plant here,

:37:34.:37:42.

have so far proven to be in vain. Instead of proving to be a

:37:42.:37:45.

visionary scheme to bring electricity to two-and-a-half

:37:46.:37:49.

million Afghans, this has turned into an epic of mismanagement and

:37:49.:37:54.

miscommunication between aid organisations and military. So why

:37:54.:37:59.

has the turbine carried up at such cost remained unassembled. New

:37:59.:38:05.

foundations need to be built for it, requiring 500 tonnes of cement.

:38:05.:38:10.

Chinese workers, who were meant to do the work, fled.

:38:11.:38:14.

Since the US Marines took over in Kijaki last year, American

:38:14.:38:18.

commanders have been trying to get the turbine project going again.

:38:18.:38:23.

When did the Americans think they might have it completed? It is our

:38:23.:38:26.

hope that most of the material that is up at the site is reusable. If

:38:27.:38:33.

it is, and we don't have any long lead time items, like transformers,

:38:33.:38:38.

to procure, we should be able to get the turbine installed in 24

:38:38.:38:42.

months after that assessment is done, some time between 24-30

:38:42.:38:48.

months from today. Even if that timetable is met,

:38:48.:38:51.

electricity will not reach the Afghans until seven years after it

:38:51.:38:57.

was first promised. But given that Helmand has proven

:38:57.:39:02.

to be a graveyard of optimisim, it may well be, that the project won't

:39:02.:39:10.

even be finished by the time NATO withdraws.

:39:10.:39:14.

When you see words in quotation marks in a newspaper or magazine,

:39:14.:39:17.

what can you assume. An interview is a conversation between a

:39:17.:39:24.

journalist and his or her subject. There is a minor storm in media

:39:24.:39:29.

line - medialand, when a columnist said he sometimes took words

:39:29.:39:35.

uttered by a subject in one context and inserted them into his form of

:39:35.:39:38.

the conversation. He claims other people do the same thing. Nobody in

:39:38.:39:42.

our trade is under the misapprehension of how trusts we

:39:42.:39:49.

are, but what are readers entitled to expect? What is the line between

:39:49.:39:55.

playingism and slieth of hand in journalism. It is a question that

:39:55.:39:58.

Johann Hari, columnist for the Independent is being forced to

:39:58.:40:03.

consider. He was accused on a blog last week of taking quotes from

:40:03.:40:09.

interviewee, and passing them off as being said during interviews. He

:40:09.:40:19.
:40:19.:40:23.

admitted it was the case. He wrote The admission has provoked much

:40:23.:40:29.

huffing and puffing in the Twitter sphere, over what are, amusingly

:40:29.:40:35.

called, journalistic ethics, those who attack the issue calling it

:40:35.:40:40.

playingism and those who have a more lenient view. Johann Hari's

:40:40.:40:44.

blog has opened an interesting conversation. He said what he did

:40:44.:40:47.

was normal practice, he said ultimately the test he used was

:40:47.:40:52.

this, would the readers mind you did this or prefer it?

:40:52.:41:02.
:41:02.:41:07.

With us now are two esteemed hacks, Jean Alesi of the Daily - Anne

:41:07.:41:11.

Lesley .r. How serious is this - how serious is this? Deborah and I

:41:12.:41:18.

are friend of Johann's, we admire and like him. But he's been an

:41:18.:41:22.

idiot doing this, it used to happen a lot in my youth, which as you

:41:22.:41:27.

know is a very long time ago. There wasn't an internet, there was no

:41:27.:41:37.

way anyone could check. Now, of course, why the Twitterrerati are

:41:37.:41:42.

up in it. There have been some very funny jokes on it. They can do it,

:41:42.:41:46.

poor Hari is sobbing in a dark corner, he has made an idiot of

:41:46.:41:50.

himself and been caught. In my youth you were never caught.

:41:50.:41:55.

you do it? No, I tell you why I didn't. Actually I was a proper

:41:55.:42:00.

journalist. I used to loathe the people, I would be say in rode

:42:00.:42:07.

deegsia, as it then dRohdesia, as it then was. I would go into the

:42:07.:42:11.

bush with the freedom fighters, I would struggle to get to the facts,

:42:11.:42:15.

and get back to the hotel, I would find my colleagues had never left

:42:15.:42:20.

the bar. We called them the Avon ladies, they were all very

:42:20.:42:25.

interested in make-up, for example, making up stories! I had to do very

:42:25.:42:30.

hard work, I get very annoyed when people do that. The axe you are

:42:30.:42:36.

grinding is pretty rusty now. Have you ever done it? Yes, I have.

:42:37.:42:44.

Was it a serious offence? I did it early in my career, at a point

:42:44.:42:50.

before I realised I shouldn't do it now, I wouldn't do it now. He

:42:50.:42:54.

became a top class newspaper at 23 years old, he didn't spend loot of

:42:54.:42:58.

time on trade papers and local papers. He has learned on the job.

:42:58.:43:03.

He has learned this thing, at not an old age. In full public view,

:43:03.:43:11.

he's not a playingerist, he is not - playingist, he's not pretending

:43:11.:43:18.

to have interview people. It is misrepresentation if they are not

:43:18.:43:20.

the words uttered. There is a interest rate between

:43:21.:43:26.

the viewer and the audience and the interviewer that contravenes?

:43:26.:43:29.

should have attributed his quotes. You really should, this was what I

:43:30.:43:35.

would do. If somebody I was interviewing, who had opineed

:43:35.:43:44.

endlessly in his own books, or her books, And they were actually

:43:44.:43:49.

opining better when they wrote it down or talking to me, I would

:43:49.:43:54.

select the quote, as he once said, not that he said it to me.

:43:54.:44:04.
:44:04.:44:04.

could call the person and say you prexed this much more clearly?

:44:04.:44:07.

importantly Johann has done over 50 interviews and nobody has

:44:07.:44:11.

complained. It is not the point. However, Jeremy, this would have

:44:11.:44:16.

come to light a lot more quickly, that he was doing something he

:44:16.:44:19.

shouldn't have been, if the subjects of the interviews had been

:44:19.:44:23.

unhappy in the first place. It is material to how it has taken so

:44:23.:44:29.

long for him to learn this lesson. Those interviewees, don't

:44:29.:44:33.

necessarily know anything about the Independent, so they wouldn't have

:44:33.:44:37.

read it, a lot of people wouldn't have read it. We have agreed this

:44:37.:44:41.

is irrelevant, the crucial thing is the relationship between the writer

:44:41.:44:45.

and reader, can they trust it. Is there a difference between what a

:44:45.:44:50.

news reporter is expected to do, and what a columnist, or an

:44:50.:45:00.
:45:00.:45:00.

essayist is gettinged? I absolutely disagree, totally. What enrages me

:45:00.:45:10.

is you have people like Bruce Chapwin, and that guy who made

:45:10.:45:13.

travel book, who pretended these were accurate reports of the people

:45:13.:45:16.

they met, they weren't, they were made up, we are supposed to deal

:45:16.:45:21.

with in facts. I think there is a difference between an interview and

:45:21.:45:31.
:45:31.:45:31.

a profile, in a profile, in the case of Gideon Levy, he quoted

:45:31.:45:39.

books he quote - quotes those books. I think that is one of the ways

:45:39.:45:44.

there has been a confusion. He hasn't deliberately behaved

:45:44.:45:49.

unethically, he hasn't tried to trick people or pull the wool over

:45:49.:45:54.

people's eyes, he has just learned a hard lesson in public. Many, many

:45:54.:45:58.

years ago, there was a showbiz editor, who did an interview with

:45:58.:46:02.

some dim American starlet, she complained to the paper saying I

:46:02.:46:07.

never said any of that. He said to me, what is the young hussy

:46:07.:46:13.

complaining about, you gave her my best quotes. That's fair enough

:46:13.:46:18.

point to end. That's it for now. Back tomorrow at

:46:18.:46:28.

10.30, Wimbledon permitting, until 10.30, Wimbledon permitting, until

:46:28.:46:38.
:46:38.:46:55.

The hot and humid weather finally left our hours, the thunderstorms

:46:55.:46:58.

that resulted are off into the near continent. A dryer start to

:46:58.:47:01.

Wednesday, sunshine around as well, a little on the cool side, compared

:47:01.:47:05.

with recent days. Refreshingly cool for some of you. Through the day

:47:05.:47:08.

shower clouds brewing up, the heavier showers will transfer from

:47:08.:47:11.

North West England to north-east. Sunshine between them. Bigger gaps

:47:11.:47:15.

between the showers further south, many of you staying dry,

:47:15.:47:20.

temperatures near normal for the time of year, it lasts 21-22. Mid-

:47:20.:47:24.

to high teens across South-West England and through Wales, shower

:47:24.:47:30.

clouds breaking in the morning. Even here we will see decent dry

:47:30.:47:33.

and sunny weather a bit of a westerly breeze. Northern Ireland

:47:33.:47:37.

will see the showers heaviest in the morning, in the afternoon fewer,

:47:37.:47:42.

lighter showers expected. Even here showers will be expected 17-18, a

:47:42.:47:45.

good scattering of showers across Scotland into the afternoon,

:47:45.:47:48.

heaviest by the end of the day. Looking at the differences between

:47:48.:47:52.

Wednesday and Thursday, not a huge amount on the face of it.

:47:52.:47:56.

Temperatures roughly the same values, still showers continuing

:47:56.:48:00.

into Thursday, they will become lighter and much well scattered.

:48:00.:48:04.

More in the way of dry weather from Thursday. A ridge of high pressure

:48:04.:48:08.

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