07/09/2011 Newsnight


07/09/2011

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


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President Assad's gunmen open fire on unarmed civilian, the reality of

:00:13.:00:19.

life inside the city of Homs. Shot in the stomach and too scared

:00:19.:00:23.

even to get first aid at one of the country's hospitals, this man

:00:23.:00:27.

reached London last night. He brings a firsthand account of life

:00:27.:00:32.

under attack by a dictator's thugs. Also tonight, the brewing world

:00:32.:00:37.

currency crisis, this was the best the euro's public defender could

:00:37.:00:43.

come up with today. No, there is nothing provided for leaving the

:00:43.:00:48.

eurozone, it is not a cafe, you go in and you go out. That's all right

:00:48.:00:54.

then. I'm pro-choice, I am pro- choice, despite the fact that I am

:00:54.:00:57.

represented as pro-life in every newspaper.

:00:57.:01:02.

And the MP who wanted to change the abortion laws is comprehensively

:01:02.:01:06.

defeated in the House of Commons s it time for her to give up. Look

:01:06.:01:11.

here is the deal mi, momdad split up, because my dad decided to stay

:01:12.:01:17.

in Lebanon, even though he's will he be nee, but not a suicide bomber.

:01:17.:01:24.

- will he be knees but not - Lebanese but not a suicide bomber.

:01:24.:01:33.

Can comedy bridge the gap between Islam and the best.

:01:33.:01:37.

Forces loyal to the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, killed, perhaps,

:01:37.:01:41.

14 more of their countrymen today. As ever the details are very hard

:01:41.:01:44.

to come from, since foreign observers are banned from the

:01:44.:01:49.

country. The attack came in Homs, which is Syria's third city, and is

:01:49.:01:53.

under attack for days now. If Assad's thugs think they can get

:01:53.:01:59.

away with their killing completely without witnesses, they are wrong.

:01:59.:02:04.

A British citizen of Syrian descent was shot in Homs ten days ago. He

:02:04.:02:08.

and his family fled Syria, arriving in the UK last night. How

:02:08.:02:13.

frequently are these demonstrations taking place? Every day. Every day

:02:13.:02:19.

at night they come out about 5,000, in every area, in Homs. This is

:02:19.:02:23.

despite the fact that people shoot into the crowd? Yeah, of course.

:02:23.:02:29.

They shoot us every day. They come in cars, armies come in and tanks

:02:29.:02:33.

sometimes. Without us even knowing. Have you seen tanks? I have seen

:02:33.:02:38.

everything. Have you lost friends? I have lost 14 of my friends. I

:02:38.:02:43.

actually lost one today. Shot? They have all been shot, bombed

:02:43.:02:52.

away, shot. Taken to prison, came out dead. You filmed one of these

:02:52.:02:55.

demonstrations on your mobile phone, we are going to look at the

:02:55.:03:04.

pictures now, and let's run them now and have a look at them.

:03:04.:03:14.
:03:14.:03:25.

It is quite hard to work out exactly what is happening here. You

:03:25.:03:29.

are running, holding your phone? Yep. And we see just, we saw just

:03:29.:03:34.

at the edge of the frame there a body lying on the ground. Do you

:03:34.:03:37.

recall how many people were shot down in that? There was about two

:03:37.:03:41.

shot in that ground. You got used to bodies. When you are living and

:03:42.:03:45.

going out on these protests every day, you get used to seeing bodies

:03:45.:03:48.

every day. You are going to have to drag them off the floor, pick them

:03:48.:03:53.

up or take people to hospital. you see the people doing the

:03:53.:04:00.

shooting? Army. Security, people wearing...In Uniform? And people

:04:00.:04:05.

wearing civilian clothes going out with them. They have mn guns, bomb,

:04:05.:04:13.

everything. - machine guns, bombs, everything. Are they aiming or

:04:13.:04:16.

firing indiscriminatly into the crowds? Three carters of the shots

:04:16.:04:20.

are aimed, one quarter - three quarters of the shots are aimed,

:04:20.:04:23.

one quarter just to scare people. After that particular demonstration

:04:23.:04:28.

we just saw there, you yourself were attacked and shot? Yes, of

:04:28.:04:32.

course. What happened? Actually it was about two days after that, I

:04:33.:04:36.

was sitting at night, standing with my friend talking about medication,

:04:36.:04:41.

food, we were actually going to take it to Hama. They need a lot of

:04:41.:04:46.

medication and food. That is in another town? That is a another

:04:46.:04:49.

town. We have to smuggle it in there. If the security actually

:04:49.:04:54.

catch medication with us and food, they will actually take it out and

:04:54.:04:59.

burn it. So you were standing around talking with your friend?

:04:59.:05:03.

What happened? Car came by and through a grenade, I actually

:05:03.:05:06.

thought it was a firework. I looked at my friend and said it is not

:05:06.:05:10.

even time for that kind of stuff. It is funny, fireworks and shooting,

:05:10.:05:15.

it is not time for that shooting now. The car parked right behind me,

:05:15.:05:19.

two metres behind me and the car, opened the window and started

:05:19.:05:25.

shooting. I didn't feel the bullet in the beginning. Did you see the

:05:25.:05:31.

gun, handgun or a rifle? It was handgun. You felt the bullet?

:05:31.:05:35.

about two seconds. Where did he shoot you? In my waist and it came

:05:35.:05:39.

out my back. If it wasn't for my friend I would be killed. He

:05:39.:05:44.

actually threw me on the floor, stood in front of me, they shot him

:05:44.:05:49.

three times in the stomach, leg and hand. What happened then? The car

:05:49.:05:55.

ran away. As usual. It took the people about five minutes to get to

:05:55.:06:01.

us. I wasn't shouting, and my friend was unconscious. Then I

:06:01.:06:05.

started shouting and everyone saw us, dragged us on the floor. They

:06:05.:06:08.

couldn't pick us up, there was only two. Actually dragged me. Then the

:06:08.:06:12.

people, everyone came, started picking us up and took us to

:06:12.:06:17.

hospitals. When you got to the hospital, what happened there?

:06:17.:06:21.

stayed for about 40 minutes the. They had to let me out quickly.

:06:21.:06:26.

Why? Because the security forces would actually come to the hospital.

:06:26.:06:32.

If they find anybody with an injury, even in the leg, you come out with

:06:32.:06:37.

an injury through the head. You get shot in the head. You had a bullet

:06:37.:06:39.

passed through your body, it requires more than one visit to a

:06:40.:06:44.

hospital, did you go back to the hospital? Of course, not, no. I

:06:44.:06:47.

can't go back to the hospital, they will be there waiting for people to

:06:47.:06:52.

come back. I didn't even go in my name, they put a stranger's name

:06:52.:06:56.

there, they wait for people to come back the next day. They shoot at

:06:56.:07:01.

night waith in the morning. They go at night to the hospitals too. We

:07:01.:07:05.

have hospitals in houses. people's houses, where doctors can

:07:05.:07:10.

look after you a little bit? Which they find and destroy and burn.

:07:10.:07:15.

did you get out of the country? Really easy actually, I just went

:07:15.:07:20.

to the airport and left. The Government is so stupid, the Syrian

:07:20.:07:24.

Government, I have never seen anybody so stupid, they think

:07:24.:07:29.

Facebook is a device. They ask people where's Facebook. Where's

:07:29.:07:35.

your Facebook, why haven't you got Facebook with you. They didn't pat

:07:35.:07:40.

you down, frisk you, you presumably were swatheed in bandages? I told

:07:40.:07:43.

them I had an operation a kidney operation, they believed it and let

:07:43.:07:47.

me in. You were carrying a British passport. I had a British passport,

:07:47.:07:56.

that is actually why they wouldn't dare say anything. If I had a

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British or American or any European passport they let me through didn't

:07:59.:08:04.

say anything. Would you think about going back? Hopefully I will.

:08:04.:08:10.

Hopefully, you want to go back? want to go back. Why? Well, my

:08:10.:08:14.

friend are being killed every single day. I like being there, I

:08:14.:08:18.

like helping people. I have got used to helping people. It has been

:08:18.:08:22.

my life for six months. It has been my life. I haven't got a job, I'm

:08:23.:08:26.

not even studying, that is how everybody is now in Homs, and most

:08:26.:08:31.

of Syria. No jobs, no studying, that is our life. Do you believe

:08:31.:08:36.

eventually you will topple him? yeah, we will. But he has all the

:08:36.:08:40.

guns? He can't stop us, he will have to kill millions to stop us.

:08:40.:08:44.

People won't stop. If we stop that would be the end of us. He will

:08:44.:08:48.

actually get us one by one, we know. That he has videos of every single

:08:48.:08:53.

protestor going out, he will catch us one by one if we stop. It gets

:08:53.:08:57.

calm for day or two. Thank you very much. You are very

:08:57.:09:03.

welcome. Oh, not to be in Euroland now that

:09:03.:09:10.

autumn is here, but where to be instead. The economic crisis is

:09:10.:09:14.

generating a monetary crisis like some pin ball machine, vast sums of

:09:14.:09:18.

money are going here and there as investors try to find a safe haven.

:09:18.:09:22.

The authorities in Switzerland are so alarmed by the in rush, they

:09:22.:09:32.
:09:32.:09:37.

have tried to set a ceiling on the value of the Swiss franc.

:09:37.:09:42.

When back street players shoot craps, they bet against each other.

:09:42.:09:50.

It is case of, I win, you loose. An easy way to get yourself fleeced.

:09:50.:09:55.

Now the global currency markets are looks like a craps game, the stakes

:09:55.:09:58.

rising, everybody trying to load the dice. Suddenly we are seeing

:09:58.:10:02.

big swings in the currency markets. Some Governments are intervene to

:10:02.:10:07.

go depress the value of their currencies, the euro, to stop it

:10:07.:10:13.

breaking up. Why? It was the Swiss, yesterday, who

:10:13.:10:17.

made the latest move, they fixed a flaw for the Swiss franc against

:10:17.:10:22.

the euro and promised to spend unlimited amounts of money to make

:10:22.:10:25.

it stick. The Swiss themselves have argued that the market is pushing

:10:26.:10:30.

the Swiss franc to a point where it is becoming harmful for Switzerland

:10:30.:10:33.

itself. It is creating disinflationary, deflationry

:10:33.:10:37.

pressures. It is making their exports totally uncompetitive, and

:10:37.:10:41.

they just feel it is a complete misalignment, that the market is

:10:41.:10:46.

not capable, really, of having a fair and free value for the Swiss

:10:46.:10:49.

franc. But there are bigger currencies

:10:49.:10:54.

than the Swiss in play. The dollar, as America gets ready

:10:54.:10:58.

for a third round of quoosing, is having a big im- quantitative

:10:58.:11:04.

easing, is having a big impact. After the Leeming crisis hit,

:11:04.:11:09.

Governments, above all - Lehman crisis hit, Governments above all

:11:09.:11:15.

started to print money. Money flows to Japan, and Brazil, forcing their

:11:15.:11:19.

currencies to rise, they are fighting back. I don't think we are

:11:19.:11:23.

facing a currency war, we are escalating within the context of

:11:23.:11:27.

currency wars. Where this is leaving us is that many countries

:11:27.:11:31.

in the world do not want to have the other side of dollar weakness,

:11:31.:11:37.

but I am afraid, with the situation in the US, with them having zero

:11:37.:11:42.

interest rates, practically exhausted fiscal policy, they have

:11:42.:11:47.

tried QE1, QE-2, there is talk of QE3, the one thing the US has left

:11:47.:11:50.

is a weaker dollar, the world will have to accept stronger currencies.

:11:50.:11:55.

It was the man who now runs America's Central Bank, who taught

:11:55.:11:59.

us that in the 1930s, those who devalued first, recovered first.

:11:59.:12:05.

Now, as everybody tries to devalue, some think the shadow of the 1930s

:12:05.:12:09.

looms large. Quantitative easing, printing of money, intervention in

:12:09.:12:12.

currency markets, whether it is the Swiss or the Japanese, or anybody

:12:12.:12:17.

else, is really the same thing about trying to steal some sort of

:12:17.:12:21.

competitive advantage against the risk of economic decline and

:12:22.:12:24.

deterioration. What happens when everybody does it? The danger is

:12:24.:12:28.

that if we all do this, in uncontrolled fashion, we will just

:12:28.:12:34.

drive ourselves into a depression where nobody actually wins.

:12:34.:12:38.

While some countries devalue against each other, to try to

:12:38.:12:41.

compete their way out of the crisis, the irony is, the countries that

:12:41.:12:45.

might like to, can't, southern Europe, stuck within the eurozone,

:12:45.:12:49.

is stagnating, so the tensions within the single currency are

:12:49.:12:54.

rising. Italy tonight voted for a new

:12:54.:12:59.

austerity programme in the teeth of strikes and protests. In Germany, a

:12:59.:13:03.

crucial court decision paved the way for the Greek bailout. But

:13:03.:13:07.

economists think the permanent solution is Euro-bonds, effectively

:13:07.:13:12.

pooling the national debts of all the countries in the eurozone.

:13:12.:13:16.

Today, the President of the European Council was in London, and

:13:16.:13:20.

when asked about how we get out of this mess, he said he wasn't

:13:21.:13:26.

interested in megaphone diplomacy. It is very difficult to hear you

:13:26.:13:28.

refusing to share your proposals to the European people. If, for

:13:28.:13:33.

example, you are in favour of Euro- bonds, surely you state you are in

:13:33.:13:38.

favour of them. That is not megaphone diplomacy, it is just

:13:38.:13:41.

democracy? After refusing to answer my question, he eventually answered

:13:41.:13:46.

it from somebody else. It is not a solution tomorrow to say let's

:13:46.:13:51.

create what we call Euro-bonds and put all the sovereign bonds in one

:13:51.:13:58.

basket, the good ones, the bad one, the weak ones, the strong ones,

:13:58.:14:02.

where we do something together. No, we can envisage all this, we have

:14:02.:14:09.

to consider all options, but always, in the framework of fiscal

:14:09.:14:12.

discipline. Some experts believe that Euro-bonds, for legal and

:14:12.:14:16.

economic reasons, will never fly. What would happen essentially is

:14:16.:14:21.

the French and Germans would be guarnteeing virtually the entire

:14:21.:14:24.

deficits and debts of Italy and Spain and so on, which would be

:14:24.:14:28.

raising their own funding cost as a consequence. They would essentially

:14:28.:14:33.

end up with a level of indebtedness fairly similar to Italy today, that

:14:33.:14:36.

is completely inconceivable they would agree to that. Another thing

:14:36.:14:40.

to note about this is the German constitutional court's judgment

:14:40.:14:45.

today pretty much, in essence, rules out the possibility of Euro-

:14:45.:14:49.

bonds, it says Euro-bond, in effect, would violate the German

:14:49.:14:52.

constitution. All over the world politicians are trying to remove

:14:52.:14:57.

their currencies from the pressure of the markets. The markets,

:14:57.:15:00.

meanwhile believe it can't be done, that the truth will out. Some money,

:15:00.:15:04.

right now is flowing out of the European banks, and investors are

:15:04.:15:09.

fleeing Spain and Italy, and developments like this pose

:15:09.:15:13.

questions you just can't refuse to answer.

:15:13.:15:21.

And every day of economic turmoil brings another throw of the dice.

:15:21.:15:24.

Two wisemen, two wise women. Gillian Tett, the US managing

:15:24.:15:27.

editor of the Financial Times is here, the economist, Vicky Pryce,

:15:27.:15:32.

Conservative MP and former Deutsche Bank executive, Sajid Javid, and

:15:32.:15:38.

joining us from Brussels is Richard Corbett, a former Labour MEP who

:15:38.:15:43.

now advises the President. Will the euro survive? It is entering very

:15:44.:15:48.

dangerous trry. The eurozone leaders now have been playing for

:15:48.:15:51.

time. They have been kicking the can down the road, that a bit of

:15:51.:15:55.

growth would bail them out. What has changed in the last few weeks

:15:55.:16:00.

is the markets have realised that time isn't going to solve this. The

:16:00.:16:03.

economy economies are far from growing and slowing down, and the

:16:03.:16:08.

markets are getting more panicked. Do either of you think the euro

:16:08.:16:12.

will survive? It will have to, there is no way to let it go, the

:16:12.:16:16.

costs for everyone involved would be so huge, it can't be

:16:16.:16:18.

contemplated. The constitution court can say what it likes to

:16:18.:16:22.

Merkel, but actually, if they need to lend for more the euro to

:16:22.:16:27.

survive they will. It absolutely will not survive in its current

:16:27.:16:31.

form, it was a project flawed from the beginning, an A-level student

:16:31.:16:35.

could have told you that. It has turned into a bankruptcy machine,

:16:35.:16:38.

it was always destined to. If you look at the countries experiencing

:16:38.:16:43.

the greatest problems, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, the causes might

:16:43.:16:48.

be different, but the trigger is the same, the euro. If apocalypse

:16:48.:16:53.

will be avoided, how can it be avoided for the euro, if anybody

:16:53.:16:57.

cares? The real point is it can't survive in the current form. We all

:16:57.:17:02.

agree we can't have the countries being allowed, if you like, to

:17:02.:17:06.

carry on borrowing without doing anything major about the way they

:17:06.:17:09.

run their economy. We have inevitably have to move towards

:17:09.:17:13.

greater union, a fiscal union doesn't mean all fiscal policies

:17:13.:17:17.

will be the same, actually there will be a lot more co-ordination of

:17:17.:17:21.

policies across. If that is achieved and package developed in

:17:21.:17:24.

the future. Everybody realise that is Greece won't be able to meet the

:17:24.:17:27.

austerity plan at the moment. If there is an allowance for countries

:17:27.:17:30.

like Greece and others, to reform their economy, to benefit in the

:17:30.:17:34.

long-term from being in the euro, that is the requirement. Do you

:17:34.:17:38.

that is feasible? It is two appalling choice, the cost of

:17:38.:17:42.

breakup would be huge. UBS, the investment bank, have done a study

:17:42.:17:49.

on the costs, they estimate it would be 10,000 euros per person in

:17:49.:17:53.

the year and for more stronger countries. The cost of staying

:17:54.:17:58.

together will be huge politically as well. Actually, in Germany there

:17:58.:18:01.

is going to be probably extreme tension about the idea of bailing

:18:01.:18:05.

out their neighbours. And whatever choice you take right now it will

:18:05.:18:09.

be very nasty. That is why markets are so concerned. Mr Corbett, this

:18:09.:18:14.

makes your man, Mr Van Rompuy, seem pretty irrelevant, doesn't it?

:18:14.:18:19.

job is to get consensus out of the various Governments involved. But

:18:19.:18:23.

interestingly, the first part of your piece just now was a reminder

:18:23.:18:28.

of the problems of having separate currencies that fluctuate against

:18:28.:18:31.

each other, with potential competitive devaluations, that is

:18:31.:18:34.

why most countries in Europe decided that you are better off

:18:34.:18:38.

having a single currency for the single market. And the euro as a

:18:38.:18:43.

whole, let's remember, remains a strong currency, it has gone up

:18:43.:18:46.

against the dollar and the pound, it has got stable, low inflation,

:18:46.:18:53.

it has a balance of payments, and it is overall lower public debt

:18:53.:18:59.

than the US or Japan. We have a problem of debts in a number of

:18:59.:19:04.

countries across the world, three of which are in the eurozone, and

:19:04.:19:09.

are being helped by their partners, with loo loans, not grants. Loans -

:19:09.:19:13.

loans, not grants, to help them take turn the corner. That

:19:13.:19:17.

sovereign debt is not peculiar to the eurozone. If Europe had

:19:17.:19:21.

separate currencies still today, the problems that Italy, Spain and

:19:21.:19:24.

Greece is experiencing right now, they would have dealt with it in

:19:24.:19:27.

the old fashioned way, they would allow their currency to depreciate,

:19:27.:19:31.

and we wouldn't have the kind of problems we are seeing now. In fact,

:19:31.:19:36.

I would go further, fiscal union cannot work. Let's be clear what

:19:36.:19:41.

fiscal union means, it means a single Treasury, single Finance

:19:41.:19:44.

Minister. One Chancellor of the Exchequer for the whole lot? It is

:19:44.:19:47.

hugely undemocratic, it won't work for the same reasons it didn't work

:19:47.:19:52.

in the first place. Is that what it would mean, one central Treasury

:19:52.:19:56.

making rules across the eurozone? Do you really think that is likely,

:19:56.:20:01.

that 17 European countries will hand over their entire Treasury to

:20:01.:20:05.

one Treasury. No country would have more power than an English County

:20:05.:20:09.

Council, that is what it means. They are going in that direction.

:20:09.:20:11.

don't think you will find most countries in Europe signing up for

:20:11.:20:14.

something in the way you have portrayed it. Yes, you need

:20:14.:20:19.

countries to agree to the common rules that they have all agreed to

:20:19.:20:23.

avoid excessive deficits and debts. That does not mean that the central

:20:23.:20:27.

authorities take over all the Treasury responsibilities for the

:20:27.:20:30.

member states, of course not. will talk about central authorities

:20:30.:20:34.

in a moment or two, is the idea viable? We are tiptoeing towards

:20:34.:20:38.

closer union if there isn't a break-up. There is a piece in the

:20:38.:20:41.

Financial Times tomorrow from members of the Dutch Government,

:20:41.:20:44.

suggesting there should be closer scrutiny of each other's budgets

:20:44.:20:47.

and the ability to block them where necessary. That is indicating a

:20:47.:20:51.

trend. The choices are appalling now, if there is not going to be

:20:51.:20:56.

tighter union, it will have to be a break up. Loot depends on how you

:20:56.:21:01.

define the union, which is what - a lot depends on how you define the

:21:01.:21:03.

union. You don't need one Chancellor of the Exchequer doing

:21:03.:21:07.

it all, but you do need to have all the countries involved making the

:21:07.:21:11.

decisions. Do you think Mr Van Rompuy is giving political

:21:11.:21:15.

leadership when all the decisions are being made by Angela Merkel and

:21:15.:21:19.

Nicolas Sarkozy? There is a problem of democratic deficiency here, that

:21:19.:21:22.

is really what the various voters in Germany and elsewhere have been

:21:22.:21:25.

telling Merkel for the first instance, and what is going on in

:21:25.:21:35.
:21:35.:21:41.

Greece aup to a point in Italy right now. You can visualise a

:21:41.:21:44.

situation happening, otherwise we will end up with the breaking up.

:21:44.:21:48.

There was a fascinating speech, where it was point the out, as

:21:48.:21:52.

President of the European Central Bank, that the level of divergance

:21:52.:21:55.

across the eurozone is less than the divergance across the United

:21:55.:21:59.

States. As we have heard from Brussels, the actual level of debt

:21:59.:22:06.

to GDP is lower than the US, and the divergance is less, if it was

:22:06.:22:11.

run on or a closer basis it would work. That is the key point

:22:11.:22:14.

polictically, on paper fiscal union should work, like it works in

:22:14.:22:18.

Australia and the United States, but in practice it is impossible.

:22:18.:22:21.

You won't get several sovereign national nations with a long

:22:21.:22:29.

history of sovereign Government to agree and pool powers. What is Mr

:22:29.:22:34.

Van Rompuy's strategy? Mr Van Rompuy's strategy is to chair

:22:34.:22:38.

meetings of the heads of 17 democracies, all democrat clo

:22:38.:22:43.

accountable through their own system, and to - democratically

:22:43.:22:45.

accountable through their own system and get agreement from them.

:22:45.:22:53.

It is not an easy task, it takes all 17 to reach agreement to the

:22:53.:22:59.

eurozone. Not easy, that is a fair point. Monetary union of 17

:22:59.:23:03.

different democracies is not easy to run. All of them, however, agree,

:23:03.:23:07.

we need a higher level of convergance than we have had up to

:23:07.:23:11.

now. That doesn't mean handing over your sovereignity entirely to some

:23:11.:23:15.

central authority, it means a greater degree of policy

:23:15.:23:19.

consultation than we have had up to now. What would Europe be like

:23:19.:23:23.

without the euro? In the short-term it would be extremely bloody and

:23:23.:23:28.

brutal, and a very nasty run on the banking system. It would be pretty

:23:28.:23:33.

chaotic, in the medium to long-term, I would imagine we would see the

:23:33.:23:36.

stronger countries coming together. The idea of the eurozone breaking

:23:36.:23:40.

up t wouldn't mean the whole eurozone breaking up, there is an

:23:40.:23:43.

interesting in the stronger countries coming together. It would

:23:43.:23:49.

be extremely messy. What do we mean by convergance, we are stuck in

:23:49.:23:53.

definitions, we don't want the countries to be the same, there is

:23:53.:23:57.

no way, it is good to have differences, you don't want them

:23:57.:24:02.

all to come down statement or recovering statement. You wantm -

:24:02.:24:06.

at the same time, or recovering at the same time. We have seen greater

:24:06.:24:10.

divergance in that case, we have seen Germany being very competitive,

:24:10.:24:15.

and Greece moving into the other direction. The divergence in Europe

:24:15.:24:18.

has meant that prices everywhere have gone up, to equate, if you

:24:18.:24:22.

like, with the ones in central and northern Europe, we have ended up

:24:22.:24:28.

with countries like Greece being so prohibitly expensive to do business

:24:28.:24:34.

The controversial plan to change the abortion laws in this country

:24:34.:24:37.

was defeated in the House of Commons this afternoon. The

:24:37.:24:41.

Conservative backbencher, Nadine Dorries, had hoped to make it

:24:41.:24:47.

impossible for organisations to carry out terminations to provide

:24:47.:24:51.

the counselling beforehand. It was comprehensively defeated, we

:24:51.:24:55.

watched it all. Why did the Dorries amendment fail? The first thing to

:24:55.:25:00.

say is the Government did commit to a review of abortion advice, which

:25:00.:25:03.

depending on your view of Government reviews is either good

:25:03.:25:08.

news or not good news. In terms of the amendment itself, I think one

:25:08.:25:12.

of the big reasons it failed was that Government ministers,

:25:12.:25:15.

Government health ministers, although it was technically a free

:25:15.:25:18.

vote, Government health ministers signalled their opposition to it.

:25:18.:25:24.

The offer of this review was enough to see the co-sponsor of the

:25:24.:25:28.

amendment to the bill, Frank Field, withdraw his support. The

:25:28.:25:34.

Government ministers took the view today, of all days, being the day

:25:34.:25:40.

that the Health and Social Care Bill went through its final Commons

:25:40.:25:45.

stages. The Dorries amendment was part of it. This was the day they

:25:45.:25:48.

supremely wanted to show a modern, forward-facing Conservative Party,

:25:48.:25:53.

and they didn't want to get into this sort of thing. I think the

:25:53.:25:58.

main reason it failed was that abortion, of course, is a supremely

:25:58.:26:02.

polarising issue. For a lot of Conservative MPs, particularly, who

:26:02.:26:08.

may be very thoughtful about these issues, and are sympathetic to what

:26:08.:26:17.

Nadine Dorries was trying to do. It was just not the quite right time.

:26:17.:26:23.

Or the right issue. Defeated by 250 votes yet you claim a tremendous

:26:23.:26:28.

result? It was a tremendous result. Four weeks ago there was never any

:26:28.:26:32.

spotlight shone on the abortion industry or counselling. As a

:26:32.:26:34.

result of the amendment the Government have agreed to get a

:26:34.:26:38.

consultation in January, but also to, as the minister said today, in

:26:38.:26:42.

her winding up speech, to take the spirit of this amendment and

:26:42.:26:46.

introduce it via secondary legislation. But they are not going

:26:46.:26:49.

to stop organisations which provide abortions from counselling, are

:26:49.:26:54.

they? If you is that i, you are saying that the consultation has

:26:54.:26:57.

been predetermined. If the Government agreed with you, they

:26:57.:27:00.

could have whipped their MPs and made them vote for the amendment?

:27:00.:27:05.

don't think it was actually that easy. We do know there are a lot of

:27:05.:27:08.

tactic that is are in play by the Liberal Democrats. Who were almost

:27:08.:27:12.

blackmailing the Government. They had this amendment going through,

:27:12.:27:15.

that the Liberal Democrats would vote the bill down in the Lords.

:27:15.:27:21.

That was a very dangerous situation. And the Government had to whip. The

:27:21.:27:24.

Prime Minister agrees with this amendment. He agrees the objectives

:27:24.:27:27.

of the amendment, but unfortunately the Liberal Democrats made it so

:27:27.:27:30.

difficult that the Government had to whip against it today. But as

:27:30.:27:34.

the minister said, it will be introduced, the spirit of this

:27:34.:27:38.

amendment, if the consultation bears it out, will be introduced

:27:38.:27:41.

using secondary legislation. Liberal Democrats are running this

:27:41.:27:44.

Government? The Liberal Democrats are in coalition with this

:27:44.:27:48.

Government. They are part of this Government. But one might say they

:27:48.:27:53.

possibly have far too much influence on issues like the health

:27:53.:27:57.

bill, immigration, Free Schools and abortion today. What did you make

:27:57.:28:01.

of the Prime Minister's response when you raised that with him today

:28:01.:28:07.

in Prime Minister's Questions. We can have a look at it. Mr Speaker

:28:07.:28:11.

the Liberal Democrats make up 7% of this parliament yet they seem to be

:28:11.:28:16.

influencing our Free School policy, health, many issues, immigration

:28:16.:28:21.

and abortion. Does the Prime Minister think it is about time he

:28:21.:28:26.

told the deputy Prime Minister who is the boss. I know the honourable

:28:26.:28:33.

lady is extremely frustrated about...maybe I should start all

:28:33.:28:40.

over again. I'm going to give up on this one.

:28:40.:28:47.

What did you make of that? Actually the Prime Minister contacted me

:28:47.:28:51.

afterwards and told me that what he wanted to say was that he had

:28:51.:28:56.

supported the amendment, supported the aims and objective, but

:28:56.:29:00.

unfortunately it was a difficult day to do that today. For a variety

:29:00.:29:05.

of reasons. I don't think he intended to respond. I believe him

:29:05.:29:10.

when he said that I believed him. I think he was just caught unawares

:29:10.:29:14.

by what happened with the party opposite, and the response.

:29:14.:29:18.

whole of the House of Commons, including plenty of people on your

:29:18.:29:23.

benches, seemed to find it hysterically funny when he talked

:29:23.:29:27.

about you being very frustrated, that tells you something about the

:29:27.:29:36.

atmosphere of the House of Commons and its general juvinillity?

:29:36.:29:38.

knows how cross I am at how much influence the Liberal Democrats

:29:38.:29:42.

have had, not just on this policy, but this particular one, that I

:29:42.:29:46.

have worked for six years on. I'm very angry because I have discussed

:29:46.:29:50.

this with the Prime Minister, I know he agrees with it. I know he's

:29:50.:29:54.

pro-choice, but he's sensitive to these issues. He don't like the

:29:54.:29:59.

idea that abuse may take place in the system. Did anyone apologise

:29:59.:30:02.

for the way the House of Commons behaved? No, but the Prime Minister

:30:02.:30:06.

apologised to me personally. didn't think it was another of

:30:06.:30:11.

those "calm down, dear" moments? I don't. Because they are not

:30:11.:30:14.

planned, he doesn't stand up, the Prime Minister had no idea I was

:30:14.:30:17.

going to ask him that question. If he did know I was going to ask him

:30:17.:30:22.

that question, and responded like that. Then one would think

:30:22.:30:25.

something was Machiavellian in his response, he had no idea I was

:30:25.:30:30.

going to be called. In four days time it will be the

:30:30.:30:34.

tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack, which reshaped our world.

:30:34.:30:38.

The decade since has been characterised by war, fear and

:30:38.:30:43.

suspicion, we have been repeatedly told that what is at issue isn't

:30:43.:30:47.

religion, yet the chasam between Islam and the west still seems vast,

:30:47.:30:51.

in a recent poll 47% of Americans said the values of Islam were

:30:51.:30:55.

inxatable with the values of America don incompatible with the

:30:55.:31:00.

values of America. Is it possible that a popular culture could help

:31:00.:31:09.

bridge the divide. In the US you don't have to look

:31:09.:31:13.

too hard to find negative images of Muslims. This attack on the United

:31:13.:31:20.

States will also be a revenge attack for all mu Jihad Dean.

:31:20.:31:30.
:31:30.:31:31.

For some, they are the enemy within. The ultimate, perhaps, was the

:31:31.:31:35.

vitriolic campaign against the so- called Ground Zero mosque.

:31:35.:31:40.

mosque, no mosque. A horrified liberal America decided a cultural

:31:40.:31:45.

counter-attack was in order. Maybe we need a Muslim version of

:31:45.:31:51.

the Cosby show. I know that sounds crazy, but The Cosby Show did so

:31:51.:31:54.

much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country.

:31:54.:32:00.

I think sometimes people are afraid of things they don't understand.

:32:00.:32:04.

A seething hatred is the way US broadcaster, Katie Couric,

:32:04.:32:08.

described the way some Americans feel about Muslims. Her suggestion

:32:08.:32:12.

of using a mainstream sitcom to counter prejudice has been both

:32:12.:32:17.

praised and ridiculed. But that show already exists, just a few

:32:17.:32:27.
:32:27.:32:29.

Little Mosque On The Prairie is about Muslims and Christians,

:32:29.:32:37.

attempting to live in harmony in the fictional town of Mercy.

:32:37.:32:47.
:32:47.:32:49.

My point is this, wine gums, rie bread, liquorice, western traps to

:32:49.:32:53.

draw Muslims into drinking alcohol. His sermons drive me to drink

:32:53.:32:58.

alcohol. Patience daughter, it is his last sermon. It has been a huge

:32:58.:33:03.

success in Canada. Give me a hug. Currently recording the sixth

:33:03.:33:07.

series, sold to more than 80 countries worldwide, though not the

:33:07.:33:13.

US or the UK. The series centres on the arrival

:33:13.:33:18.

to the prairie of a liberal, Canadian-born Imam. We don't go out

:33:18.:33:23.

to be an issue-based show, we are a comedy, like The Cosby Show was, we

:33:23.:33:30.

are not a political comedy, we are a comedy with Islam as a backdrop,

:33:30.:33:34.

because some of the characters happen to be Muslim. That is what

:33:34.:33:37.

makes everyone feel more assimilated from both points of

:33:37.:33:41.

view, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. We had a fan of the show who says I

:33:41.:33:46.

love what you do on Little Mosque, that is pretty high praise coming

:33:46.:33:50.

from a Jew. That is what the woman said.

:33:50.:33:56.

Did you see what I just saw. eyes, those eyes. Starting to look

:33:56.:34:00.

like the third world around here. Even the executive who is made

:34:00.:34:05.

Little Mosque were worried, when Little Mosque went on air, how

:34:05.:34:09.

would the community react. Some orthodox Muslims said it was wrong

:34:09.:34:14.

and we shouldn't do this. There wasn't a huge rallying cry to kill

:34:14.:34:20.

me or burn my house. We are on set in Toronto and getting ready for

:34:20.:34:24.

the big opening scene from season six, two of the main characters are

:34:24.:34:28.

arriving back from honeymoon, and of course they are expecting some

:34:28.:34:35.

trouble with airport security. are The comedy has been described

:34:35.:34:42.

as more Vicar of Dibly than Four Lions. There is a healthy helping

:34:42.:34:48.

of suicide bomber jokes. Here is the deal, my mom and dad split up,

:34:48.:34:56.

and my dad decided to stay in Lebanon, he's Lebanese but not a

:34:56.:35:04.

suicide bomber. Look, not every Muslim is a terrorist, OK.

:35:04.:35:11.

It's not been an entirely smooth ride, though. Little Mosque manage

:35:12.:35:17.

to cause a slight diplomatic spat between the US and Canada. Tonight

:35:17.:35:22.

the tables are some what turned, newly released cables contain

:35:22.:35:27.

diplomatic exchanges about CBC television. So this cable was from

:35:27.:35:33.

the US Embassy in Ottawa to Washington and accused the

:35:33.:35:38.

programme of insidious, populist sterotyping of Americans in Canada.

:35:38.:35:43.

Shows like Little Mosque On The Prairie set off alarms at the

:35:43.:35:53.
:35:53.:35:55.

embassy, showing a US man abusing Canadians. They would spend their

:35:55.:35:58.

time watching Little Mosque On The Prairie, I would have thought they

:35:58.:36:03.

had other things to do. It was all much to the despair of American

:36:03.:36:08.

Canadian executive producer, Mary Darley. I sat down immediately and

:36:08.:36:16.

drafted a letter to Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, and had my

:36:16.:36:20.

assistant pull together the past season. I found this letter, and

:36:20.:36:24.

Hillary Clinton got it when she said, thank you for everything you

:36:24.:36:28.

are doing to foster cross cultural unity and understanding through

:36:28.:36:33.

comedy. Do you worry about being preachy, it is supposed to be

:36:33.:36:36.

funny? Completely, being preachy is something we have watched all the

:36:36.:36:39.

way through. The rights for the programme were acquired by Fox in

:36:40.:36:46.

the US, but it was never remade. Zarqa Nawaz says she has written

:36:46.:36:49.

and pitched her version of the Muslim Cosby show four times

:36:49.:36:53.

already in the states. Four times it has failed to make it to pilot.

:36:53.:36:57.

That could mean the shows aren't funny enough, she is already

:36:57.:37:00.

feeling the heat that goes with this territory. Immediately you see

:37:00.:37:05.

your name on a blog and it is associated with those typical words

:37:05.:37:10.

like Jihadist, or pro-Sharia. You don't want a network to suddenly

:37:10.:37:16.

say, oh my God, is it really true, is she seven stage ways from Osama

:37:16.:37:22.

Bin Laden. It does worry me, for sure. Does the US need this. The

:37:22.:37:27.

Cosby Show ran for eight sow sons from 1984, and credited with

:37:27.:37:30.

changing attitudes to African- Americans. The Daily Show thinks

:37:30.:37:36.

the idea of Muslim version is hilarious. Next time, a special

:37:36.:37:43.

visit from the Prophet Mohammed. no, no.

:37:43.:37:49.

Cut, cut, cut. No, no. While the states continues to debate the

:37:49.:37:54.

reality, inroads are being made into possibly the most American of

:37:54.:38:01.

pop culture. The 99 comics features a team of Islam-inspired superhero,

:38:01.:38:05.

most recently involved in a crossover with the Justice League

:38:05.:38:09.

of America, fighting alongside superman and Batman. President

:38:09.:38:14.

Obama has praised the comics for bridge agricultural divide. The

:38:14.:38:21.

animated version of The 99 is in production. We as American Muslims

:38:22.:38:27.

were completely absent from pop culture. Unfortunately after 9/11

:38:27.:38:31.

people only looked as Muslims as immigrants and immigrants as

:38:31.:38:36.

Muslims. To get our voice out there we needed to be comedians, actors,

:38:36.:38:42.

writers, singers, in every sphere, basically. There is an argument

:38:42.:38:45.

that Muslims will never be completely normalised in the west,

:38:45.:38:51.

until a woman in a hijab is selling us washing up liquid, maybe that

:38:51.:38:58.

will be the real superhuman feat. With us now is Caryn Mandabach, the

:38:58.:39:02.

US TV producer behind The Cosby Show, among others, and Naif Al

:39:03.:39:10.

Mutawa, the creator The 99, the Islam-inspired comic book featured

:39:10.:39:13.

in the film in New York. Will it air in the states as far as you

:39:13.:39:17.

know? As far as I know, it has been bought and paid for, we are waiting

:39:17.:39:24.

for a date. What will be the effect, do you imagine? It's good content,

:39:24.:39:31.

it is top teir, it is written by the writers behind Ben 10, Batman

:39:31.:39:35.

and superman. I think kids will love it, and show the values we

:39:35.:39:39.

share as human beings are more than divides us. You don't feel you are

:39:39.:39:42.

puting it out into a hostile environment? I didn't feel that

:39:42.:39:46.

when I started, but I'm getting tinges of it now. It hasn't been

:39:46.:39:50.

put in the schedules yet? No it wasn't. It was bought over a year

:39:50.:40:00.
:40:00.:40:03.

ago. How do you explain the delay? It is best for the broadcaster to

:40:03.:40:08.

explain. That when President Obama talked about The 99, and it brought

:40:08.:40:12.

to us the people's attention, and the people who talked about the

:40:12.:40:17.

Norwegian killer, they came after us, and it led to jitters in the

:40:17.:40:21.

broadcaster, the date kept getting shifted. The thing is the

:40:21.:40:25.

broadcaster is also in the same situation we are in, it is a

:40:25.:40:27.

hostile political environment in the US. They are doing the best

:40:27.:40:30.

they can for their business. Sometimes it is not exactly what is

:40:30.:40:35.

best for us. Caryn Mandabach, how important, or

:40:35.:40:38.

how powerful is the capacity of shows on television to change

:40:38.:40:43.

people's attitudes? It is huge when it works. But I think now network

:40:43.:40:48.

shares are down significantly. The Cosby Show premiered to a 28 rating,

:40:48.:40:57.

I don't know what the share was, which meant over 31 million people

:40:57.:41:02.

were premiering, we were up against Magnum PI, we thought we would come

:41:02.:41:07.

in second, now a highly rated show is six million people. What do you

:41:07.:41:11.

put down to the success of it? was huge, it showed we had more in

:41:11.:41:18.

common than differences. Human beings being human beings, whatever

:41:18.:41:26.

culture and language they speak and long to, and God, our centres are

:41:26.:41:30.

the same? He was a man in search of the perfect nap. Why hasn't Little

:41:31.:41:33.

Mosque On The Prairie gone to the states? There is no preawareness,

:41:33.:41:38.

you have to have a marketable item, whether an actor, or a comic book,

:41:38.:41:45.

or some sort of thing to hang it on. It could be that it is just not

:41:45.:41:50.

very funny? It could be a great comic who know 40 million people

:41:50.:41:55.

himself, Cosby had played to so many audiences for so many years,

:41:55.:41:59.

he had a gigantic peer awareness and it was brilliant. Do you think

:41:59.:42:02.

it is the function of the media to change human behaviour?

:42:02.:42:05.

directly, but the function to impact culture, and in America to

:42:06.:42:13.

impact culture in such a way that you can sell soap. That's all?

:42:13.:42:18.

What's the function of The 99? know, as a psychologist and a

:42:18.:42:22.

father, I believe if you tell your children enough time they are

:42:22.:42:25.

stupid, they will start believing they are stupid. If you tell them

:42:25.:42:27.

enough times they are a terrorist, they will start believing that. I

:42:28.:42:31.

think the media has a responsibility to reflect reality,

:42:31.:42:35.

but at the same time it can create alternative realities. One of the

:42:35.:42:41.

lessons I learned from The Cosby Show, I implemented it in the comic,

:42:41.:42:45.

we don't discuss religions, they are from 99 different countries,

:42:45.:42:52.

and they learn to appreciate each other's powers, that is how

:42:52.:42:55.

multiculturalism and diversity comes out, it is not done directly.

:42:55.:43:02.

You almost sound like a missionary? The name is Mutawa, now the title.

:43:03.:43:07.

For me, I grew up, my parents made the mistake of their lifetime, I

:43:07.:43:12.

was eight years old, my Arab Muslim parents accidentally sent me to a

:43:12.:43:17.

Jewish summer camp in New Hampshire, I ended up going there for years. I

:43:17.:43:21.

didn't figure out until year seven and didn't tell anybody, now my own

:43:21.:43:27.

kids go there. I learned very early on, I grew up in Kuwait and went to

:43:27.:43:32.

summer camp in New Hampshire, and had to navigate the line closely.

:43:32.:43:36.

In the end saw more of the same than differences. I wanted to be

:43:36.:43:40.

able to communicate. Growing up post 9/11, my kids, seeing the kids

:43:41.:43:46.

they see on TV, and who represents Muslims, it is pretty scary. That

:43:46.:43:50.

stuff feeds back negatively. I wanted to make a difference and

:43:50.:43:54.

change that, this is the method I chose. What do you make of that?

:43:54.:43:59.

Great, I hope he's a great success. For large commercial success like

:43:59.:44:03.

The Cosby Show to make an impact, you have to have a huge amount of

:44:03.:44:07.

buy-in, in advance, people have to know something about, it is just

:44:08.:44:12.

really difficult, it is a tough market. Like I said, the difference

:44:12.:44:17.

between premiering at a six rating and a 32 rating tells the tale now.

:44:17.:44:21.

You can't get a whole bunch of eyeballs any more in one place.

:44:21.:44:26.

television can't have the power it used to have? It doesn't. Given

:44:26.:44:32.

fewer people watch it? There is a lot of reasons, that is one of them.

:44:32.:44:36.

The others? Broadcast network now is all corporatised. Here you are

:44:36.:44:42.

used to a human-scaled business, there it is 100% corporatised, it

:44:42.:44:45.

is self-dealt, they buy from themselves. They are only really

:44:45.:44:50.

interested in their 19% perquarter, they have a much different God in

:44:50.:44:55.

America than here, you answer to something different here. That's

:44:55.:44:59.

what he's up against now. Do you still have this great belief in

:44:59.:45:09.

television in New York? Are you asking me? Yes? I mean, you know, I

:45:09.:45:13.

do believe that television will be important for us. I do plof that we

:45:13.:45:18.

have incredible content. Cartoon Network acquired it for Asia. It

:45:18.:45:21.

will be playing all over the world, and some parts of Europe, except

:45:21.:45:24.

the US, even though it was the first market that boigt it. I think

:45:24.:45:29.

TV is a way. You need to get into licensing and games, which

:45:29.:45:38.

hopefully it down the pipe for us. The film is launching at the New

:45:38.:45:41.

York Film Festival, further proof that what we have is something that

:45:41.:45:45.

is worth its salt. Good luck, thanks.

:45:45.:45:49.

Tomorrow morning's front pages now. The Financial Times has news that

:45:49.:45:53.

the criminal, there is going to be a criminal element to the American

:45:53.:46:03.
:46:03.:46:15.

That's the long and short of it tonight, tomorrow you have the

:46:15.:46:18.

pleasure of Gavin's company, it is not an opportunity that comes along

:46:18.:46:28.
:46:28.:46:50.

every day, make the most of it. Goodnight.

:46:50.:46:54.

The wind will die down a little bit tonight. It won't be as strong on

:46:54.:46:58.

Thursday, looking a cloudy day. Most places seeing outbreaks of

:46:58.:47:01.

rain, some sunshine here and there across parts of eastern Scotland,

:47:01.:47:05.

for example. And also to the east of the Pennines. To the west of the

:47:05.:47:09.

opinion nines, grey day with outbreaks of rain. Dull and down

:47:09.:47:16.

through the Midlands, East Anglia and the south-east. That breeze

:47:16.:47:22.

will bring an awful lot of cloud, sitting over moors and the south

:47:22.:47:26.

west England, a glum day here, and also across Wales, a lot of cloud,

:47:26.:47:30.

outbreaks of rain, nothing too heavy, pepping up later in the day.

:47:30.:47:33.

For Northern Ireland it is a similar picture, there may be a

:47:33.:47:38.

hint of brightersness, but overall a gloomy day. Sunny spells in

:47:38.:47:42.

Scotland but a whole host of showers packing in from the west.

:47:42.:47:45.

Largely dry in the east of Scotland with some spells of sunshine. As we

:47:45.:47:50.

head into Friday, the winds will pick up again, introducing warmer

:47:50.:47:53.

air. With sunshine on Friday it could feel warm. Scotland there

:47:53.:47:58.

will be outbreaks of rain. Dryer and brighter across England and

:47:58.:48:04.

Wales. Temperatures on Friday could reach 22 or 23 Celsius. Grey across

:48:04.:48:08.

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