26/08/2011 Newsnight


Analysis of the day's headlines with Paul Mason, including the latest from Libya where rebels are preparing to launch their offensive on Colonel Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte.

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This programme contains some scenes viewers might find disturbing.


Power cuts, water running out, casualties untreated, and the


would-be Government 400 miles away. Who can impose order on the chaos


in Tripoli. As the bodies pile up, who will bring law and order to the


shattered city. As the law in Libya comes


splutering to an end, we will ask whether the National Transitional


Council, based here in Benghazi, what we have been calling until now,


the rebel leadership, is ready to take over the running of the whole


country. The vice chairman of Libya's interim Government talks to


us live. Also tonight. Despite a lifetime on the Telegraph,


I have recently been accused of being a lefty. Tont on Newsnight I


want to set the record - tonight on Newsnight I want to set the record


straight. We go to the heart of trying to find an alternative to


crony capitalism. Comrade Moore, welcome to the


Guardian. Alien territory. More like your spiritual home. We talk


to a man with the ear of Government and a real left-winger.


Good evening. There was bloody fighting today in the southern


suburbs of Tripoli and chaos in many parts of the Libyan capital.


But the leaders of the transitional council, recognised by the west as


the legitimate Government, remain stuck in the city of Benghazi, 400


miles away. The peers in the African Union remain unimpressed,


they fail to recognise their authority, and called for talks


with the remnants of the Gaddafi regime. The where abouts of Gaddafi


remains unknown. I will speak to one of the leaders of the


transition aal Government in a moment, first we're in Benghazi -


transitional Government in a moment, first we're in Benghazi. Now that


fighting has died down in the capital, Tripoli, but not stopped.


Basic services must be restored, and chaos must be prevented in had


place which effectively has no clear authority. We have seen the


revelation of a very distressing incident today, where dozens of


injured patients died in a hospital during the fighting, because they


simply weren't treated at all, it seems. That's in the past, but


there is other kind of disorder people are afraid of now, they are


afraid of revenge attacks, possibly. And everyone, as you say, is


suffering from a lack of basic water supplies.


You have been with the leaders of this Government, they are in


Benghazi, why can't they get to Tripoli? Most of them, as you say,


are still in Benghazi, it is obviously agreed by everybody they


must get to Tripoli as quickly as possible for effective control to


be established. I was going to fly out from Benghazi to Tripoli today


with an advance party of several prominent members in the council,


we waited around all day, we never took off at all. That is partly


because of a lack of transport, it is also because of security


concerns. Gaddafi loyalists are, as we have said, putting up a


considerable fight, and there is a major battle going on the coast to


the west of here. Half a year after war broke out


along Libya's coast, rebels were racing today to try to deal a final


blow to Colonel Gaddafi's forces, in their last major stronghold.


Reinforcements rumbled along the road to Sirte, the dictator's birth


players between Tripoli and Benghazi, aided by RAF bombers,


which pounded a bunker in the town. Final victory in the conflict,


these fighters believe, can't now be far off. Back along the coast in


Benghazi...$$NEWLINE The town that was originally spearheading the


revolt, they are still keen to spearhead some military discipline


into their young people. But the struggle against Gaddafi is coming


to an end. The struggle to begin a new Libya is just beginning. The


National Transitional Council, based in Benghazi, and the


Executive Committee, have been trying for months to act like a


parliament, and a Government in waiting. Considering post-war


scenario, even drafting an elaborate transitional constitution.


But the real test of this legitimacy, and its capability,


won't come here in Benghazi, it will come in the months to come in


the capital, Tripoli. But first, the council has to pack


its bags and move to Tripoli. Today, some council members,


including those representing the capital, came to Benghazi Airport,


ready for the risky journey to a city where some pro-Gaddafi forces


are still active. For this former comrade of Gaddafi,


who helped him come to power in 1969, but later tried to overthrow


him, and was punished by 15 years in jail, it was an emotional moment.


TRANSLATION: I consider my age to be six months, as I do not count


the years I lived without freedom. I had been waiting for this moment


for 36 years. I was so closed to Gaddafi, but I realised his true


intentions, he ruined our dreams and wasted our lives. The first


task of this advance party will be to prepare for the full move of the


council and the transitional Government over the next week, and


then the job will be to get normal life functioning again. Bringing


the institution back to work, local Government, security, making sure


that we plan accordingly that the year will be starting for school a


month from now. We have to prepare for it. The financial issues, aid


issues, hospital issues. Council members are mainly professional,


from all over the country, skilled in administration, industry,


banking or law. But they have been chosen, not elected. And the


council's military men may not be accepted by some rebels around


Tripoli, who feel they won the battle for the capital, largely by


their own efforts. How far do you think that Tripoli will recognise


the authority of the NTC? It has already been recognised by the


whole country. I don't know where you get this news, because it is


the legitimate one which is presenting all the Libyan peopleing,


because some liberated cities already they chose their ones, the


one that hasn't chosen, the city which has not liberated. That's why


some people they have concerns, maybe that now they have the time


to either these members have to stay or leave, accordingly chosen


by the local city. Once they have established themselves, the new


authorities will have to deal with those who fought for Gaddafi.


TRANSLATION: Lots of officers fighting for Gaddafi and against us,


have surrendered. We are not Gaddafi, so we are treating them


well, and can guarantee a fair and transparent trial for them. After


hours of sitting around, the authorities in waiting were still


waiting. Everyone agrees it is important for the National


Transitional Council to establish its authority in Tripoli as soon as


possible, to prevent a political vacuum there. The point was


underlined again yesterday by British Foreign Secretary, William


Hague, speaking for the council's western backers. But here on the


ground, things are moving slowly. Partly out of security concerns


about the situation in Tripoli, partly simply because of lack of


organisation. Normally energetic people, seizing


a rare chance to dose during the Ramadan fast, they were frustrated


by the lack of transport. First we were to leave at 1.00, then delayed


to 4.30, now another hour, maybe 5.30 we leave from here. Why is it


taking so long? Logistic and organisational, you know. Far away


in Tripoli, the few interim ministers who have arrived say the


new Government is already getting down to work. The beginning of and


the are you sum of the work of the executive office and free Tripoli


as of this moment. There is an element, perhaps, of wishful


thinking. However eager Libyans are to put their country back in order,


it will be a long and bumpy process. I'm joined now by Abdul Hafiz Ghoga,


vice chairman of the Transitonal National Council, who is in


Benghazi. Good evening, how important is it to catch Colonel


Gaddafi, and catch him fast? It is very important to catch Gaddafi,


that is our revolution is won, and we control all the country, but it


is very important to catch Gaddafi. Then we can announce to the whole


world our win in Libya, our revolution is then won.


Where do you think he is? I think that's to be soon. Today many


members of our NTC, more than eight members flying to Tripoli through


Misrata city, to join our Executive Committee members, who arrive in


Tripoli, to manage the cries from Tripoli, now our situation is


better, it is going well. Our revolution is controlling the city.


They are looking for Gaddafi and Gaddafi's family in the whole of


Tripoli. So the situation is going well. We hope that's within a few


days we will finish this crisis. You say the situation is going well,


you have got the money, you have the embassies, you don't seem to


have control in Tripoli. How soon are you going to get control in


Tripoli? I think that financially our situations is now looking good,


I committee is doing the process of unfreezing the outside assets. I


think the situation, the finances will be a good situation within a


few days. That's all. So we have seen reports of people


without water, without electricity, hospitals not working, that's not a


functioning capital city, how quickly can the TNC get a grip of


this? I think that's yesterday and the day before. The Contact Group


meeting in Doha to arrange for this situation. I think they promised to


unfreeze the Libyan assets to give the money to our NTC. And then we


can manage all. Now our situation in this Tripoli, it's better than


before, when Gaddafi controlled Tripoli they had no telephone, no


internet. Now this service is provided to Tripoli, our members of


the Executive Committee, they do their efforts within three days


previously. I think that the situation is now better in Tripoli.


And we hope that we can serve. will you arrive in Tripoli, when


will the whole NTC get there and take control of the situation?


eight of our NTC members are staying in Tripoli. They arrive in


Tripoli, they work with the local committee there, the local council


in Tripoli. They work together to control all the things. The risk of


NT C - the hope of the NTC within a few days the security will be


better in Tripoli. I think they are going to move all to Tripoli.


How soon is it that you basically have to fall on international help


to impose security on the streets of Tripoli. We have seen many


reports today of violence, further fighting, and as I say, untreated


casualties, are you prepared to call for an international force to


come into Tripoli? No, no, no. We didn't ask any international force


to go to Tripoli. (gunfire) We asked the international community


to do their best to protect our civilians. Because for example in


Zawiya, and Sirte, the Gaddafi forces attack the civilian people


there, we asked the international community to continue to protect


our civilians, and to recognise the United Nations council resolution


1973 resolution to protect our civilians, that is what we asked


for. But the forces on the ground, we refuse any foreign force in our


country. Abdul Hafiz Ghoga, thank you very


much. Listen to this, the rich run a


global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the


lowest possible price for labour, the freedom that results applies


only to them. It is not long ago that bowly talk like that could get


you drum - bolshy talk like that could get you trumed out of the


Labour Party, but these are the words of Richard Moore, columnist


in the Telegraph, and a Tory. The words written in disgust of the


News of the World scandal and the credit crunch. We are bust morally


and financially he says. I will discuss it with guests in a moment.


First we sent the man himself out It has been called a plural moment,


and it's said I'm Britain's newest lefty. It is perfectly true I was


writing about how the right has been wrong in this crisis. But I do


want to set the record straight, I'm not about to convert.


I'm writing the authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, so


I apply a 30-year rule to my journalism, then and now. When she


began, and when President Reagan was doing similar things in the


United States, they were very good at identifying Conservative ideas


with the needs of the many, not the few. For example, paying lower


taxes, and not being controlled by the unions. Since then a lot of


this has gone wrong. In order to discuss why the right


has allowed itself to be discredited, I'm off to London to


go and see Tim Montgomerie. Tim is probably the best known


Conservative activist, he runs the website Conservative Home. I want


him to see that there is a problem here, and once that's admitted then


we can all work out what the solution might be. "cheer up, don't


be so gloomy, there is never a better time to be alive, and it is


right-wing policies that have done it ". I think I'm not so


pessimistic as you. One of the faults of Conservatism is we can


become pessimistic. We still must be the defenders of capitalism. We


have never lived in an age where because of medicine and travel we


have been more prosperous, and we must not give the left so much of


the intellectual space that they can eat away at that. I see the


point, but take the word "capitalism", how does that sound


good to most people right now? Most people don't have capital. They


certainly don't have capital with which they can do very much. One of


the horrors of the credit crunch, is there is no God thing to do with


any little - no good thing to do with any little bit of money you


might have, it is not good to save or borrow. This thing called


capitalism, that we go around defending, appears to be in the


interests of a small number of people. I still think capitalism,


while it may not be in the right wording, Tescos, apple, and others,


they have been drivers of social progress, we need to defend them


and say that is not enough. We also need a Government that looks after


the poor and we need a moral cultural sphere where the family


and other important institutions are supported. The present


Conservatives seem to erb chew that, they some how don't identify the


capacities of the people they govern. It is more as if they


administer the people they govern, I don't hear the people where they


are saying what is it like for the person trying to get better


educated, or building his own house, what is it like for the person


trying to start their own business. In your constant virtual


conversation with the tribe, wouldn't you say that was a


frustration that Conservatives feel? I think what people want more


than anything else from David Cameron, and I think in a way they


got from Margaret Thatcher was the truth. I think they sometimes feel


like they are being given a message for today, where as what she said,


and I don't think the situation is that different now compared to then,


was that we are in a moment of emergency, a turning point for


Britain, where we can choose the easy way of gentle decline again,


or actually we can do some incredibly tough and painful things,


but that will put Britain right. I think it is the lack of a sense of


national mission, which I think Margaret Thatcher gave the country.


Not only have the right engaged in the debate. But I have also


received an invitation from the Guardian to discuss you will of


this. Here I am supping with the devil and bringing my long spoon.


Comrade Moore, welcome to the Guardian. Alien territory? It is


more like your spiritual Millennium Dome. Are you experiencing what


Margaret Thatcher might have described as a "wobble "? No, I'm


claiming that the right has experienced a wobble, because it


some how lost, or has forgotten what the point is. We mind our


pennies here, Margaret Thatcher would be very, very impressed.


If you are saying that the left have responded well. Who are you


thinking of? Gordon Brown in the 2008 crisis he led the way


recapitalising the banks. When I said the left people thought I


meant the Labour Party, the people who have been the worst in this,


are people adopting value gar Thatcherism, new Labour and Bill


Clinton. They have this idea that markets, without knowing what they


were, are good and you have to approve of them, and by extension


bankers were also good, so there is a niavity in new Labour of adopting


a religion they didn't understand. What it feels like is the men who


in 1917 would have been caricatured as wearing top hats and tripey


trousers are getting everything they want. And actually, - stripey


trousers, they are getting everything they want. And what is


worse, they are positively being paid by the taxpayer, and as far as


I know in Petrograd in 1917, they weren't. You are saying the left


has the right analysis, but looking forward to the future, you are


saying the right has the right remedies? Yes, what the left always


thinks that the answer is state power.


I have had a lovely day talking to Nick, but I shan't be joining the


Guardian, I will stay with the Telegraph. What is really important


right now is the right should admit how much it has got on the wrong


side of this argument, and some how those of us who support the free


market have become identified with the powerful, and in a country


which feels to be at this point both morally and actually bust.


Joining me now in the studio, the man who replaced Richard Moore as


the chair of the centre right think-tank, Policy Exchange, Danny


Finkelstein, and the economist and author, NarinaHertz, who raised the


alarm about all of this some years ago. Is he right? All political


institutions produce concentrations of power, and capitalism does. You


have a move towards monoply, then you have a feeling that the masses


aren't getting what the elites are getting. This is particularly the


case when you have a financial crash. The financial crash was


caused not just by bankers lending too much to people, but people


borrowing it. Everybody was involved in that. It seems a bit


odd to argue this is a crisis for the right, when actually, as it


were, spending social democracy ended up borrowing vast quantities


of money. It made a mistake, the right has obviously got serious


problems, caused by bankers and the financial system making a mistake.


This is not a crisis just for the right.


Do the criticisms of comrade Moore chime with you? Essentially what


he's saying is we were living for 30 years through an era which I


call Gucci capitalism, a period where markets were left to self-


regulate, and everything would be fine, wealth would trickle down. We


have seen where that took us. It took us to the financial crisis to


Iris Murdoch and News International. It took us to this country - Rupert


Murdoch and News International, and it took us in this country to have


one of the worst record of social mobility in the world, one in nine


children living in poverty. It didn't deliver. The fact that the


right and left are now discussing this has to be a good thing.


haven't unregulated capitalism, 45% of wealth is spent by the state. We


have free education, free at the point of views education and a


health service. We are discuss ago system in crisis that is not


unregulated capitalism. This is a separate point. The issue is, we


have had this huge concentration of wealth at the top, not with


standing the fact that everybody took part in the consumer and


credit boom. How is this playing with the front end of politics, the


sharp end, the George Osborne, David Cameron access? I think that


any Government would have a really big problem at the moment, what


people wanted was a system was where people felt they put a lot in,


and they are not getting it out. And the problem at the moment is


they can't get it out, because there is nothing to get out. We're


in a massive financial crisis, the Government, all over the world


there is sovereign debt crisis. The Government is trying to answer a


problem that is very difficult without any money. But the


Government can still make choices, they could make choice about who,


at this time, reaps whatever moneys they do have. At the moment


regional inequality is so bad here. Lack of investment in the north,


lack of infrastructure, gender inequality, growing now in the wake


of the cuts. More women unemployed than at any time since 1988. I mean,


the Government does have a responsibility. There are serious


social problems. To adopt what I would call a Co-op agenda and


capitalism, ensuring we protect the collective. Recognising that


policies that harm social cohesion harm all of us.


That's all very well, Co-op capitalism and cohesion, this is a


golden opportunity this, when you sigh the Telegraph end of


Conservative, attacking the rich as feral and capitalism as unfair.


Where is Ed Miliband? You should invite him on to talk about it.


Hopefully he will have views. We definitely need Labour and the Lib


Dems. The view is, that the left has missed its chance here?


writing about Co-op capitalism, and in the states there are lots of


thinkers, talking about this as well. I'm involved with communities


of people thinking. The question is, what do we want. Should we be


thinking about policies like a tax on the superrich, as mooted by


Warren Buffet of all people. Danny Finkelstein, the Conservatives are


talking about withdrawing as soon as possible the 50p tax rate, that


is off the agenda? Some Conservatives r I happen to take


the view it is very important symbolically in the argument that


we're all in it together. Although it may not produce very much money.


But the truth is, that the problems of society, inequality, of gender


inequality, of regional inequality, exist in all sorts of societies.


These are not unique to capitalism or free market. They have got so


much worse over the last 0 years. Free markets also produce


tremendous benefits, which I think Richard Moore, went over, for


working people. Those should not be ignored. Competition isn't the only


ethic moving forward. Some of the greatest success stories in the


corporate world have been collaborative ventures, whether


Wikipedia, Open Source. We need to think how we will move forward and


grow as an economy, and ditch some of the old ideology. The financial


crisis now is not an unregulated capitalist society, it has a vast


well from state. Are the rich feral, have the rich effectively, are they


looting society, this is the implication of Richard Moore's


article, and the article in the Spectator, that the rich have lost


it and cut loose from the rest of us, it resonated during the weeks


of the riots? Some people behave irresponsibly, whether they are


rich or not. Some bankers have not taken responsibility for the


decisions they made. Some MPs did it on expenses, some people behave


irresponsibly. Is it the case, however, that this country is in a


general moral decline, in which everybody behaves terribly, and


MPs' expenses are responsible for people looting shops, I don't think


so. What does the left have to do to get on the front foot of this


debate? They have to really take this and run with it. The right are


already starting to question capitalism and their version of


capitalism. It isn't about ditching capitalism, it is about a new


version of capitalism, Co-op capitalism, that is fair, equitable


and realises social justice with the economy.


Thank you very much. Time for the papers, let's have a


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Paul Mason, including the latest from Libya where rebels are preparing to launch their offensive on Colonel Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte.

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