28/06/2011 Newsnight


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


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


Government promised value for money tables and universities fighting


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


visionary plan for the future or ideolgical incoherence, we will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


economy into chaos. In Afghanistan, the British army


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


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


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


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


miscommunication. Should a journalist quote people saying what


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


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


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


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


resounding chorus of disapproval that met the Government's


announcement on the future of higher education today.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


benefit students, by focusing universities to focus on the


student experience. They will have real choice, with better


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


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


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


Subject to satisfying the Office for Fair Access they will help


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


why the Government has major funding hole in its higher


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


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


out that funding hole. Fundamentally, the Government wants


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


institutions in, alongside established universities. This


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


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


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


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


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


accountany. Courses are tailored to what students and their employers


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


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


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


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


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


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


created in law and finance and accounting, is because employers


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


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


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


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


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


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


about private providers coming in, the regulation that will control


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of universities to produce the creative, original thinkers, who


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


put down our pens and hand back to the invigilator.


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


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


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


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


result of the decisions of individual young people informed by


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


there is an underlying trend in advanced can economies for more


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


universities themselves, will there be more universities than there are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


results of student choices and university managers deciding how to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


came to university fees that in exceptional circumstances fees of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


teaching experience, we think that is a coherent programme which


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


students, because universities focus on higher quality of teaching.


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


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


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


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


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


students, three-year campus universities you leave home to


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


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


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


that is entirely at odds with the rather mechanistic, functional


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


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


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


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


university is more worthwhile than what you can catch in those


decisions. We are trying to ensure these incredibly valuable


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


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


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


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


maintenance support. Minister, thank you.


With us now are Howard Hotson, professor of modern intellectual


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


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


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


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


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


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


clubs and social facilities and a large campus environment that you


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


undergraduate education for UK students where they can exit at the


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


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


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


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


mix of higher education? Well a traditional university is something


which combines teaching and research. The reason is combines


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


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


Why should they be called university, that is fundamental to


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


ourselves a business school. I would call ourselves a working


university. You don't surely think there is


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


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


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


reason being, what is absolutely fundamental and intergral to a


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


abstract critical thinking from the equation, for certain subjects,


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


accountany, but about following the rules, textbook learning is


perfectly adequate. For most of the traditional curriculum of a


university, the fundamental objective is to teach students to


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


forefront of their discipline constantly. That extends to


disciplines like engineering as well? It certainly does. Every


discipline at the university of Oxford falls into that category,


does it? Every discipline in the university of Oxford combines


teaching and research, absolutely. In the traditional university that


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


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


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


disciplines which are constantly evolving, in response to new


challenges, that requires people at the forefront of their discipline


engaging in research and re- thinking the fundamentals of their


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


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


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


certain disciplines textbook learning is not a perfectly


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


the traditional university curriculum, the whole purpose is


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


Independence of thought means a different style of teaching than


simply textbook learning. What is your real objection to David


Willetts reorganising principle in all this? My personal fundamental


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


view would be that universities have traditionally been funded,


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


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


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


those values being undermined and marketised and monitorised by the


market. The most dangerous thing which this new radical,


unprecedented experiment in university funding implies, is


deliberately engineering the marketisation and monitorisation of


the university system, when the whole purpose of universities has


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


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


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


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


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


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


hear this textbook learning reference. Do you think accountany


is a paradigmatic with the disciplines across education.


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


deliberately and directly related to managing accounts, and to making


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


chance of university education should be taxed in order that this


style of education can be perpetuated intestify infinitely?


Most of the funding for universities should come from a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


education increases your earning power, it also increases your


public contribution to the public purse.


The birth place of European democracy resounded to the sound of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


"remember 1973, remember the revolution".


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


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


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


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


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


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


down. She's a rising star among PASOK as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


years, in return Greece will force the austerity plan through


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


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


country that is productive and entreprenurial, that exports. What


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


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


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


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


scale. Tomorrow's protest promises to be


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


three quarters are being gently finessed on to the balance sheets


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


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


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


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


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


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


he implement the austerity, and stop local Governments and unions


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


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


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


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


east European change, that just completely reverses the patterns of


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


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


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


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


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


will be very torrid for the demonstrators and all the


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


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


something new. Now, gang of suicide bombers


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


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


gamble to pull thousands of troops out of Afghanistan sooner than


expected. We have been investigating the military campaign


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


Helmand Province, for a BBC documentary going out tonight.


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


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


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


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


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


Government is actually quite ready to begin the reckoning of the


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


which that prejudices the campaign, the House of Commons Defence


Committee is also investigating these issues. We are already


beginning to pick over what happened. When barely more than


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Butler, that first British commander was talking about there,


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


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


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


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


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


Taliban had the momentum, broadly speaking in Afghanistan, until


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


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


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


American generals decided a major reinforcement was needed in Helmand,


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


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


United States of America that this was an underresourced force.


Manoeuvre forces, flying machines and intelligence. That did not


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


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


over the next 15 months following that announcement from President


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


Afghanistan they are desperate to show effect. They are still


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


supplies bread for the local security, and the marines.


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


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


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


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


turbine and provide two million more Afghans with electricity.


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


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


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


facilities in Afghanistan. Was it the British who originally spoke


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to avoid the triumphant rhetoric that has occasionally followed some


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


as perhaps we thought they were at that time.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


They did try to negotiate an agreement whereby it could come


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


travelled through the desert, avoiding the enemy stronghold of


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


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


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


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


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


200 Afghan insurgents had been killed getting there. The military


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


arrived in Kijaki in these different lorries. They are being


unloaded. Although fighting continued around


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


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


British army dropped them three years ago.


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


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


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


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


miscommunication between aid organisations and military. So why


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


months from today. Even if that timetable is met,


electricity will not reach the Afghans until seven years after it


was first promised. But given that Helmand has proven


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


even be finished by the time NATO withdraws.


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


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


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


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


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


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


our trade is under the misapprehension of how trusts we


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


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


Johann Hari, columnist for the Independent is being forced to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the words uttered. There is a interest rate between


the viewer and the audience and the interviewer that contravenes?


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


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


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


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


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


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


importantly Johann has done over 50 interviews and nobody has


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


shower clouds brewing up, the heavier showers will transfer from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


good scattering of showers across Scotland into the afternoon,


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


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


Temperatures roughly the same values, still showers continuing


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


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


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