17/10/2011 Newsnight


17/10/2011

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


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Good evening. The violence in Syria looks increasingly like the early

:00:09.:00:14.

stages of a civil war. Tonight we report undercover from inside the

:00:14.:00:20.

most troubled city of all. Some days the Syrian army shoots on

:00:20.:00:24.

sight on the streets of Homs. Yet the civilians still come out night

:00:24.:00:29.

after night to demonstrate. These protests are taking place

:00:29.:00:32.

every night in Homs, with apparently unabated enthusiasm,

:00:32.:00:36.

which is impressive, not least because they have been going on for

:00:36.:00:40.

seven months now, and so little has been achieved.

:00:40.:00:45.

This, a makeshift A&E ward in someone's home is where the

:00:45.:00:49.

casualties come, it is too dang us to go to hospital. TRANSLATION:

:00:49.:00:53.

would go into hospital with a treatable injury to his hand, and

:00:53.:00:58.

the family would be summoned to collect a body with a shot in the

:00:58.:01:01.

head. He did break the Ministerial Code,

:01:01.:01:05.

but what really happened when the defence skebt and his close friend

:01:05.:01:08.

met the President - Defence Secretary and his close friend met

:01:08.:01:11.

the President of Sri Lanka. We ask why politicians shouldn't

:01:12.:01:18.

have their own advisors to balance the hand of the British bureaucracy.

:01:18.:01:23.

One day, perhaps, electricity pylons will look like this, or this.

:01:23.:01:27.

God only knows what we will be paying for the stuff then. But

:01:27.:01:37.

Government's advice? Short it out for yourself.

:01:37.:01:40.

Syrian Government troops killed at least 20 people in the city of Homs

:01:40.:01:45.

today. At least we're told by local activists they killed at least 20

:01:45.:01:48.

persons. There is no way of checking, because the regime there

:01:48.:01:52.

won't let in independent witnesses. President Assad's mouth pieces

:01:52.:01:57.

claim that the only violence in the country is coming from so-called

:01:57.:02:00.

terrorists. But the unrest seems especially acute in the city of

:02:00.:02:04.

Homs. So our reporter, Sue Lloyd- Roberts, smuggled herself into the

:02:04.:02:08.

country in defiance of the ban to find out firsthand what is

:02:08.:02:12.

happening. Now, as you're not supposed to be in the country, how

:02:12.:02:15.

do you get? I don't want to giveaway too many secrets. I was

:02:15.:02:19.

lucky enough to link up with a very intelligent and brave group of

:02:19.:02:24.

activists, who, by using a number of cars, various disguises,

:02:24.:02:30.

travelling a lot at night, a lot of tall stories at army checkpoints,

:02:30.:02:33.

managed to smuggle me into the city of Homs. It was a very impressive

:02:33.:02:38.

operation. And if these activists were able to win the Syrian

:02:38.:02:42.

revolution, by virtue of their cunning and intelligence alone,

:02:42.:02:47.

they deserve to. All the protestors are determined to keep their

:02:47.:02:50.

demonstrations peaceful. So far it is mostly only the Syrian army that

:02:51.:02:54.

have the weapons. I have been talking to members of my network in

:02:54.:02:58.

Homs tonight, and the situation appears to be really dire. They are

:02:58.:03:01.

talking about more than 20 fatalities, although that has yet

:03:01.:03:06.

to be confirmed. And the use, for the first time, of helicopter

:03:06.:03:11.

gunships. So things are deteriorating. But this is what I

:03:11.:03:21.
:03:21.:03:24.

Homs, the so-called capital of the Syrian revolution. Where, despite

:03:24.:03:31.

the daily death toll, the protest continues.

:03:31.:03:35.

But the tactics have changed. Most demonstrations are being held at

:03:35.:03:41.

night, in an effort to minimise casualties.

:03:41.:03:48.

And, as the only journalist here to view the protest firsthand, I noted

:03:48.:03:52.

another significant difference. Back in March, when they began, the

:03:52.:03:56.

protestors called for reform, then they called for the fall of the

:03:56.:04:03.

regime. Today, as the name of each atrocity and massacre, carried out

:04:03.:04:07.

by Assad's army and his thugs is called out, the crowd respond by

:04:07.:04:09.

demanding the death of the President.

:04:09.:04:17.

By hanging. These protests are taking place

:04:17.:04:21.

every night in Homs now, with parently unabated enthusiasm, which

:04:21.:04:25.

is impressive, not least because they have been going on for seven

:04:25.:04:28.

months now, and so little has been achieved.

:04:28.:04:37.

But this, I'm reminded, is not the point. TRANSLATION: I haven't seen

:04:37.:04:42.

anything like this in my life. The old, the young, women, everyone

:04:42.:04:52.
:04:52.:04:56.

calling for freedom in Syria. This revolution will win.

:04:56.:05:01.

I'm told to run as shots are heard, and soldiers are seen at the end of

:05:01.:05:06.

the street. We should hide because when the forces attack, the first

:05:06.:05:14.

thing they are looking for is a camera.

:05:14.:05:18.

Homs was one of the first cities to join the Syrian uprising, when

:05:18.:05:22.

thousands gathered in the main square to call for the lifting of

:05:22.:05:25.

the Government's emergency laws, and for genuine democracy.

:05:25.:05:31.

But the Government was not in the mood for listening.

:05:31.:05:35.

Ahmed was a member of the military security, whose job it is to shoot

:05:35.:05:43.

soldiers who refuse to fire on the protestors. He has since defected.

:05:44.:05:48.

TRANSLATION: It was a genocide. I was there. The protestors had

:05:48.:05:55.

started their sit-in, and there was a call for extra troops. I saw

:05:55.:06:00.

soldiers who refused to fire on the crowds, because we used to lead

:06:00.:06:10.
:06:10.:06:13.

them. We were in the same tanks as them, and they were shot. I don't

:06:13.:06:18.

know how many protestors were killed. But it was more than 300.

:06:18.:06:23.

Because I was stepping over dead bodies. They threw the bodies into

:06:23.:06:28.

trucks, and then used fire engines to hose down the square. It was

:06:28.:06:38.
:06:38.:06:41.

like a river of blood. Yes, there was a massacre. The army has

:06:41.:06:51.
:06:51.:06:56.

encirleled and attacked Homs ever since. I was take on a tour of one

:06:56.:07:06.

of the most besieged parts of the city. My guide equipped me with a

:07:06.:07:10.

fake local ID to get us past checkpoints and told me to pretend

:07:10.:07:18.

to be his deaf, mute sister, which suited me fine.

:07:18.:07:22.

TRANSLATION: Most of the time the city is under attack. Mothers can't

:07:22.:07:25.

even go out to buy bread or milk for their children. People are

:07:25.:07:31.

hiding in their houses, they can't go out. Buses are used to transport

:07:31.:07:39.

the army. Even schools are attacked, and they are using some of them as

:07:39.:07:45.

prisons for the protestors. They want our children to remain stupid

:07:45.:07:53.

and uneducated. Look at the rubbish in the streets, this is how they

:07:53.:07:58.

treat us. We have rats, but no water, electricity or communication

:07:58.:08:07.

here. There is an army patrol ahead, we

:08:07.:08:13.

have to go another way. He took me to meet Mohammed, one of

:08:13.:08:23.
:08:23.:08:29.

the soldiers, who was ordered to attack the people of the town.

:08:29.:08:32.

TRANSLATION: When it came to here, we were ordered to kill everything

:08:32.:08:37.

that moved, everyone who was walking in the street. There were

:08:37.:08:39.

children, one of them called his friends who were playing in the

:08:39.:08:43.

street to come into his house for safety. As they were crossing the

:08:43.:08:49.

street they killed the boy and another six children. He told me he

:08:49.:08:56.

had just defected from the army to join the opposition the day before.

:08:56.:08:59.

TRANSLATION: Our orders were to kill the Syrian people, it was

:08:59.:09:04.

never the plan to protect them from the armed gangs. Rather we were

:09:04.:09:08.

being ordered to kill our own people, who, at the end of the day,

:09:08.:09:18.
:09:18.:09:30.

are our own flesh and blood. With the city in virtual shutdown,

:09:30.:09:35.

there is nowhere to go. No wonder angry people spill out on to the

:09:35.:09:40.

streets at night. At another demonstration, the next evening,

:09:40.:09:44.

they had clearly been tipped off that the BBC was in town. The

:09:44.:09:50.

posters were all designed for an international audience, and

:09:50.:09:56.

expressed fury at Russia and China's refusal to back action

:09:56.:09:59.

against Syria, and for continuing to supply arms to a murderous

:09:59.:10:03.

regime. Members of the revolutionary

:10:03.:10:08.

Council of Homs, may look like they are taking an exaggerated approach

:10:08.:10:12.

to their anonymity. But it is understandable. Is Syria now close

:10:12.:10:17.

to civil war? The regime is trying to push us to be involved in a

:10:17.:10:24.

civil war. But, it will not succeed. We are aware enough of the risk.

:10:24.:10:28.

The demonstrations, you can see the Muslims and the Christians, the

:10:28.:10:33.

Sunni and others, marching together and shouting for freedom for all

:10:33.:10:42.

people. So that our real enemy is the regime itself. On Friday, the

:10:42.:10:50.

protest still takes place during the day, after midday prayers. The

:10:50.:10:54.

protestors attempt to block off roads to delay the arrival of the

:10:54.:10:58.

security forces. In a network of makeshift field hospitals, they are

:10:58.:11:06.

preparing for the inevitable casualties. Doctors have been

:11:06.:11:16.
:11:16.:11:16.

arrested and tortured for helping gun shot victims. TRANSLATION:

:11:16.:11:21.

normal thing would be to take the injured to the hospitals. To our

:11:21.:11:24.

astonishment we found that when we did that, the injured were either

:11:24.:11:28.

arrested or killed. A man would go into the hospital with a treatable

:11:28.:11:34.

injury to his hand or leg, and his family would be summoned to collect

:11:34.:11:41.

a corpse with a shot to the head or chest.

:11:41.:11:44.

But these medical points are hopelessly inadequate. They have to

:11:44.:11:48.

move once a week to escape detection, and they are desperately

:11:48.:11:54.

short of the basics, blood bags, antibiotics and even antiseptic

:11:54.:11:59.

wipes. TRANSLATION: Even in this place, at

:12:00.:12:04.

any time, we are in danger of being broken into by the security forces.

:12:04.:12:12.

About half of them suffer from head or neck wounds. We just haven't got

:12:12.:12:17.

the means to treat them. No-one brought here with a head wound has

:12:17.:12:27.

survived. That day, at the Friday protest, always the bloodiest, his

:12:27.:12:32.

worst fears were proven. Security forces shot at men as they

:12:32.:12:42.
:12:42.:12:46.

tried to leave the mosque to join the demonstration. They risked

:12:46.:12:56.
:12:56.:12:59.

bullets as they ran. (shouting and gunfire)

:12:59.:13:02.

Two men suffered severe head injuries and were rushed to the

:13:02.:13:11.

field hospital. We followed them there. Their

:13:11.:13:13.

injuries were too gruesome to broadcast and the doctors could do

:13:13.:13:23.
:13:23.:13:25.

nothing to save them. They were buried the next day. A

:13:25.:13:32.

day in which another 13 were killed in the city.

:13:32.:13:36.

Homs may boast the title of the capital of the revolution. But it

:13:36.:13:42.

has cost them dear. Over 3,000 deaths in the Syrian uprising so

:13:42.:13:46.

far, and many believe it has been much more, nearly half have been

:13:46.:13:56.

from Homs. 30kms away, across the border in

:13:56.:13:59.

Lebanon, sympathetic Lebanese have sheltered increasing numbers of the

:13:59.:14:03.

wounded and defected soldiers, now in hiding.

:14:03.:14:07.

Tens of thousands of soldiers are now believed to have left the

:14:07.:14:11.

Syrian army. Those who can, have grouped together to form what they

:14:11.:14:21.
:14:21.:14:24.

call the Free Syrian army. This man, when ordered to shoot on un armed -

:14:24.:14:30.

unarmed protestors fled. It is the real army, this Free Syrian Army,

:14:30.:14:37.

consists of a lot of groups, separated among all Syrian places,

:14:37.:14:42.

or sinnian cities, trying to protect - Syrian cities, trying to

:14:42.:14:45.

protect the protestors from being killed on the streets. Weapons have

:14:45.:14:49.

never been hard to find here in Lebanon, but this dealer showed me

:14:49.:14:54.

how the cupboard is now almost bare. He's importing weapons, he says,

:14:54.:15:02.

from all over the world. Where? And the price of Kalashnikov has

:15:02.:15:08.

doubled from $1,000 to almost $2,000 over the last few weeks. Who

:15:08.:15:14.

is buying them? Tran They are being bought by Sunni and Islamist -

:15:15.:15:18.

TRANSLATION: They are being bought by Sunni and Islamists and being

:15:18.:15:23.

smuggled over the border to Syria. Many are confiscated. For sure,

:15:23.:15:25.

with the amount of weapons we are sending over there, there will be a

:15:26.:15:32.

civil war. When demonstrations erupted in the

:15:32.:15:38.

town of Rastan, just 15kms from Homs, a group of army defectors,

:15:39.:15:48.
:15:49.:15:52.

members of the Free Syrian Army, promised to defend the protestors.

:15:52.:15:56.

They held out against Government forces for a week. Before the

:15:56.:16:03.

Syrian Army quashed the rebellion. The rumour is, that the survivors,

:16:03.:16:07.

among the new army, are regrouping and preparing to defend Homs, a

:16:07.:16:12.

possibility which the leaders here welcome.

:16:12.:16:14.

The demonstration part of the revolution will continue peacefully.

:16:14.:16:20.

But on the other hand, the operations of the Free Syrian Army

:16:20.:16:27.

may increase more and more, to protect the people. So we have now

:16:27.:16:31.

two lines going together simultaneously. The peaceful

:16:31.:16:37.

demonstrations and the operations of the Syrian Free Army. The basic

:16:37.:16:46.

duty of the army of any state is to protect the people. We will win, of

:16:46.:16:50.

course, we see the victory in the eyes of the kids, women, elders and

:16:50.:16:53.

all the young men Marching every day in the demonstration - marching

:16:53.:16:57.

every day in the demonstration. We are sure of that. They are marching

:16:57.:17:02.

again in Homs tonight, in a brave display in the triumph of hope over

:17:02.:17:11.

seven months experience. They will carrying on telling Bashar al-Assad

:17:11.:17:16.

to go, one protestor told me, even if he has to kill every one of them.

:17:16.:17:26.
:17:26.:17:26.

With us now my guest, who was shot last month, you may have seen the

:17:26.:17:30.

interview when he escaped from the country. Feeda Kardous saw it and

:17:30.:17:34.

was insensed by it, she's Syrian and lives in this country and

:17:34.:17:37.

returns to Damascus every year. It looks from the report if things are

:17:37.:17:40.

getting a lot worse? They are getting really worse. They want to

:17:40.:17:46.

stop it and they will stop it in any way. They have got tanks, new

:17:46.:17:52.

army individuals, and they are shooting at houses now. They are

:17:52.:17:56.

arresting anyone under 60 years old. They are raping girls, taking them,

:17:57.:18:01.

raping them so we will stop doing what we are doing, they are being

:18:01.:18:05.

threatened about raping the girls in Homs. It looks as if your

:18:05.:18:10.

country son the verge of civil war - is on the verge of civil war,

:18:10.:18:15.

doesn't it? It is, if the free army, or the opposition, or the armed

:18:16.:18:22.

rebels, they don't stop, and resort to dialogue, this is where the

:18:22.:18:26.

country is heading. But you don't deny that most of the killing has

:18:26.:18:31.

been done by the army and the Government forces? If that's the

:18:31.:18:36.

case, what about the Syrian free army, what about it? Who is killing

:18:36.:18:43.

our security, who is killing the army people, individuals, I don't

:18:43.:18:49.

think so. I don't think so. These are people who were, as you heard

:18:49.:18:52.

somebody testify there, they were members of the Syrian security

:18:52.:18:58.

forces, ordered to shoot their own soldiers if they refused to shoot

:18:58.:19:02.

demonstrators? They are claims. Everything to do with the

:19:02.:19:09.

opposition now is all claims, to us, what we want is just we want the

:19:09.:19:15.

country, we don't want a bloodbath, we don't want a civil war, we don't

:19:15.:19:20.

want our children to get killed. We don't want you to get killed. We

:19:20.:19:29.

don't want that. We only want to just have a peaceful transformation

:19:30.:19:35.

to power. First of all, we have never had any sectarian problems in

:19:35.:19:42.

Syria, in all our history. I beg to differ. Let me finish. We have

:19:42.:19:44.

never had sectarian problems, if there is, the Government is trying

:19:44.:19:52.

to do it. Why would they do it now. It went into all the Christian

:19:52.:19:56.

places, it told the churches and the Christians that they would get

:19:56.:20:00.

them next and said we did it. My friends are Christians, we have

:20:00.:20:04.

never had any problems. You are a Christian too? I am a Christian.

:20:05.:20:09.

What reforms, he has killed all the people, what kind of reforms can

:20:09.:20:17.

this Government do? You have heard what they are saying on TV. This

:20:17.:20:21.

started out as a campaign for reform in the Arab Spring, it has

:20:21.:20:26.

gon gone way beyond that, you wouldn't see Assad doing any

:20:26.:20:29.

reform? I was one of the people who went out. We were so scared to say

:20:29.:20:33.

we don't want the regime. So we went out for Deraa, that is in Homs,

:20:33.:20:39.

we went out and said we don't want the mayor. When the first bullet

:20:39.:20:44.

came out, the first man to be shot, we just asked for the regime to

:20:44.:20:47.

leave. No-one was scared any more. We thought well, we're not going to

:20:47.:20:52.

live like this, we're not going to be treated like animals all our

:20:52.:20:56.

lives. Go to any security place to try to get anything, see how you

:20:56.:21:01.

get treated in there. It has been like this for 40 years. If you can

:21:01.:21:06.

get to that security place. I'm talking about Homs, can you get and

:21:06.:21:12.

walk freely in Homs? No you can't walk freely? I wonder why? Because

:21:12.:21:16.

all the army and. All the army Danny? I'm sorry. Don't be sorry, I

:21:17.:21:21.

have been there, they shot me, they shot three kids in front of me two

:21:21.:21:24.

months ago, it is by the army and they have civilians with machine

:21:24.:21:28.

guns standing with them, what does that mean, mercenaries? What about

:21:28.:21:34.

the hospitals. The defected army? What about the arms that have been

:21:34.:21:38.

smuggled to Homs? There might be. Individuals, all these arms. I tell

:21:38.:21:42.

you something, if I was in their place, which I know they are not

:21:42.:21:45.

doing anything right now, anyone wants to protect themselves. What

:21:45.:21:51.

about the security forces, you are killing security forces. No, no, no.

:21:51.:21:55.

Look I'm sorry. The army is being killed by the security forces, the

:21:55.:22:01.

army is, you heard this, the army that is not shooting, I'm sure of

:22:01.:22:05.

this 100%. What is it you fear may be the consequence of what's

:22:05.:22:10.

happening? This is it, we're going to go into civil war, simple as

:22:10.:22:15.

that. Simple as that. I'm 100% behind that. I know we're going to

:22:15.:22:20.

go. If you tell me, or anyone else tells me that we're not going to go

:22:20.:22:29.

to civil war, highly mistaken. Whose fault is that? Because we

:22:29.:22:34.

wanted freedom. Let me say this, you have been living in Syria, you

:22:34.:22:38.

know that I can't say the President's name in the street

:22:38.:22:43.

freely, is that freedom. Can I have my word. I have been to Syria this

:22:43.:22:49.

summer. I have been in a cab, OK, I'm Christian, I have been in a cab,

:22:49.:22:55.

on the way back, when I got to my destination, I get the cab driver

:22:55.:22:59.

he turned to me and he said, once we get to power, you're not going

:22:59.:23:05.

to get to wear what you are wearing now. I have heard that ten times

:23:05.:23:11.

now. Exactly, so what kind of freedom. It is a legitimate fear,

:23:11.:23:16.

you don't know how this is going to turn out? No I don't. The Assad

:23:16.:23:21.

regime is a secular regime? Can I try to explain something. All the

:23:21.:23:25.

girls kidnapped are by cabs, all the intelligence cabs, they are

:23:25.:23:30.

trying to make sectarian problems between us. In Damascus. I'm not

:23:30.:23:34.

saying Damascus. I'm not saying that. In Damascus they are like

:23:34.:23:40.

ants there, there is so many security forces. I'm sorry. Don't

:23:40.:23:45.

be sorry, I'm telling the truth. You don't know how it is going to

:23:45.:23:50.

turn out? We need outside help? would prefer a dictatorship? I want

:23:50.:23:55.

reforms, Jeremy. I don't want dictatorships. Reforms over all the

:23:55.:23:59.

bodies. What about the ones the opposition has claimed. Let's leave

:23:59.:24:05.

it there. Thank you very much. Now, the Defence Secretary, who

:24:05.:24:10.

resigned at the end of last week, did break the Ministerial Code, the

:24:11.:24:13.

BBC understands the Cabinet Secretary delivered his report to

:24:13.:24:17.

the Prime Minister this afternoon. It will be published tomorrow. But

:24:17.:24:20.

he won't be making recommendations about the way ministers and

:24:20.:24:24.

lobbyists deal with each other. Like political advisors, who have

:24:24.:24:27.

spread like a rash across Government, lobbyists can be found

:24:27.:24:31.

under most of the stones of Westminster. But did Adam

:24:31.:24:35.

Werritty's actions amount to lobbying, if so, who were the

:24:35.:24:37.

potential clients? Richard Watson has new evidence involving the

:24:37.:24:45.

Government of Sri Lanka. It was a more gentile affair in 163

:24:45.:24:52.

as the press waited for Secretary of State John Profumo, but they got

:24:52.:24:56.

their man, after details of his relationship with Christine Keeler

:24:57.:25:01.

emerged. The Government has seen high-profile resignations over the

:25:01.:25:06.

years, but few could match the fall from grace of Liam Fox. The drip,

:25:06.:25:10.

drip of allegations and detail proved too much on Friday. The

:25:10.:25:13.

Government says tomorrow's official report from Cabinet Secretary, Gus

:25:13.:25:18.

O'Donnell, will establish the facts. There is still no commitment to

:25:18.:25:21.

publish details of meetings Adam Werritty had with other ministers.

:25:21.:25:26.

The Government seems to be digging a deeper hole for itself. It has

:25:26.:25:29.

given the inquiry into Gus O'Donnell, it should have gone to

:25:29.:25:33.

the independent Patrick Moore. That is a mistake. Not publishing -

:25:33.:25:38.

Philip Moore, that is a mistake. Not publishing the list. The lesson

:25:38.:25:42.

of the Liam Fox scandal is transparency. Whatever you do is

:25:42.:25:48.

put it out there, if not you will get caught and get into problems.

:25:48.:25:52.

Will more light be shed on this encounter last year, when Liam Fox

:25:52.:25:56.

and his unofficial advisor, Adam Werritty, met on private business

:25:56.:26:00.

with the President of Sri Lanka in a London hotel. I found there has

:26:00.:26:03.

been a lot of fear, even in London, about speaking openly about this

:26:04.:26:07.

story, such is the power of the President of Sri Lanka. Who many

:26:07.:26:11.

say has a poor record in human rights and freedom of speech. Given

:26:11.:26:14.

that record, what was Dr Fox and Adam Werritty doing developing a

:26:14.:26:21.

relationship with that man. This evening I spoke to a man who

:26:21.:26:25.

may help answer that question. He has been a leading figure in the

:26:25.:26:29.

United National Party here in Britain, which opposes the

:26:29.:26:34.

Government of the President. He says during the civil war in 2009,

:26:34.:26:39.

he helped arrange a meeting for a leading human rights campaigner and

:26:40.:26:48.

politician based in Colombo with Liam Fox at port cull tis House. Mr

:26:48.:26:53.

Fox was Shadow Defence Secretary at the time. - at Portcullis House. Mr

:26:54.:26:58.

Fox was Shadow Defence Secretary at the time. So Adam Werritty gave me

:26:58.:27:05.

this. It clearly says Adam Werritty, office of Dr Liam Fox MP, it has

:27:05.:27:10.

the official Portcullis insignia on it as well? Indeed it does. I guess

:27:10.:27:14.

you would have every reason to believe he was an official advisor?

:27:14.:27:20.

Absolutely. I have no reason to think otherwise. Inside Portcullis

:27:20.:27:25.

House, the two Sri Lankans were intent on talking about human

:27:25.:27:28.

rights abusive, but they say Dr Fox was supportive of the President,

:27:28.:27:32.

and was keener to discuss investment and construction.

:27:32.:27:40.

wanted to talk about investment in Sri Lanka. He was enthusiastic and

:27:40.:27:50.
:27:50.:27:51.

passionate about some sort of investment programme, or venture he

:27:51.:27:59.

had in mind. He wanted to talk more about investment than the other

:27:59.:28:05.

issues which were undoubtedly the pressing issues at the time.

:28:05.:28:10.

human rights abuses? Indeed. We are told the Sri Lankan Development

:28:10.:28:15.

Trust was mentioned, which appears to be a vehicle for reconstruction

:28:15.:28:19.

work, championed by Adam Werritty and Liam Fox. We were told the two

:28:19.:28:23.

men were keen to identify rich Sri Lankans in the UK who might help

:28:23.:28:30.

out. We spoke to an opposition leader in Sri Lanka and he said

:28:30.:28:35.

Adam Werritty and Liam Fox were well known there. I met Liam Fox

:28:35.:28:45.
:28:45.:28:46.

We couldn't reach Liam Fox or Adam Werritty for comment tonight. Did

:28:46.:28:50.

Adam Werritty's work amount to political lobbying? If so, it would

:28:50.:28:52.

be embarrassing for the Prime Minister, who set out his stall

:28:53.:28:57.

before the election. There is, I believe, another big issue we can

:28:57.:29:00.

no longer ignore. It is the next big scandal waiting to happen. It

:29:00.:29:04.

is an issue, that frankly, crosses party lines, and has tainted our

:29:04.:29:10.

politics for too long. It is an issue that exposes the far too cosy

:29:10.:29:15.

relationship between politics, Government, business and money.

:29:15.:29:19.

Liam Fox affair has nothing to do with lobbying, a former Defence

:29:19.:29:23.

Secretary and his friend, it wouldn't have prevented the Liam

:29:23.:29:28.

Fox afar or discovered it. It is completely irrelevant to the Liam

:29:28.:29:32.

Fox affair. When politicians are naughty and get caught, they blame

:29:32.:29:35.

lobbyists. It is about time politicians got their own house in

:29:35.:29:38.

order and stopped blaming other people. Tomorrow will bring the

:29:38.:29:45.

official verdict on Liam Fox, the BBC uns he will be judged to have

:29:45.:29:49.

broke - understands he will be judged to have broken the

:29:49.:29:52.

Ministerial Code and it will have been judged that it right he has

:29:52.:29:56.

gone. But the question is about his relationship with Adam Werritty and

:29:56.:30:03.

whether this scandal will force a look at the lobbyists and the work

:30:03.:30:07.

of advisors. With us is Matt Hancock and Lord Butler, Cabinet

:30:07.:30:11.

Secretary and head of the Civil Service for a decade, until 1998,

:30:11.:30:14.

serving Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.

:30:14.:30:21.

Matt Hancock, why do MPs need all these hangers on? The question is

:30:21.:30:25.

it about lobbyists or others? Advisors? I think political

:30:25.:30:31.

advisors can help a lot in Government, to help make sure that

:30:31.:30:34.

when a Government is elected that they can drive through the reforms

:30:34.:30:38.

they want. We are not talking about huge numbers. But we are talking

:30:38.:30:42.

about a minister having a few people around him who he can rely

:30:42.:30:48.

on, who share his political agenda, which is, afterall, a good thing.

:30:48.:30:53.

We want people who want to improve the country to be running the

:30:53.:30:59.

country. This shouldn't be necessary, if we had a decent Civil

:30:59.:31:03.

Service shouldn't they? The Civil Service is one source of advice. I

:31:03.:31:07.

never thought the Civil Service should have a monopoly of advice to

:31:07.:31:11.

ministers. My view has always been that ministers should get advice

:31:11.:31:15.

from as many useful sources as possible, some politic ka and some

:31:15.:31:20.

non-political. During my career I worked harmoniously with special

:31:20.:31:24.

advisors, outside advisors, as long as they were giving useful advice

:31:25.:31:28.

to ministers, and there was a transparent debate, and the Civil

:31:28.:31:32.

Service wasn't being cut out, that was great. But this is about what

:31:32.:31:37.

you didn't call, but which was called sofa Government, isn't it?

:31:37.:31:47.

don't think it is, actually. The problem about sofa-Government, is

:31:47.:31:52.

the problem was there wasn't the all the resources being brought in.

:31:52.:31:55.

There were small groups without using the resources Civil Service

:31:55.:31:59.

could provide, good papers that couldn't be provided to the cabinet.

:31:59.:32:04.

That was my criticism. Don't you worry that what this Adam Werritty-

:32:04.:32:08.

Liam Fox affair reveals, is it is still going on? I think what this

:32:08.:32:12.

shows is that there are two very important things. First of all,

:32:12.:32:16.

have advisors, but don't use them as way of bypassing the Civil

:32:17.:32:21.

Service. Let's work together. The second thing, of course, is, that

:32:21.:32:27.

the status of an advisor ought to be clear. If the status isn't clear,

:32:27.:32:31.

and if particularly you don't know how that advisor is being financed,

:32:31.:32:36.

then you are running a great risk. You risk a conflict of interest.

:32:36.:32:43.

What lesson do you draw? I think that transparency is the most

:32:43.:32:47.

important lesson, and in the coalition agreement it says that we

:32:47.:32:52.

should have a register of the lobbyists and trast transparency. I

:32:52.:32:56.

think that's the - transparency. I think that is the key lesson, when

:32:56.:33:00.

you're trying to run the Government, you ought to be very open about how

:33:00.:33:04.

you are doing it, as well as about the goals that you are trying to

:33:04.:33:11.

pursue. It is absolutely key, isn't it, that the taxpayer knows what

:33:11.:33:14.

lobbyists ministers are meeting, what they are discussing, and that

:33:14.:33:18.

there is an independent witness there taking proper notes? If there

:33:19.:33:22.

are, we talk about lobbyists in this way, but remember this is also

:33:22.:33:27.

about how to consult on the best future of Government policy. Let me

:33:27.:33:31.

give you an example. The British Horse Racing Authority, you might

:33:31.:33:35.

call them a lobbyist, they actually work extremely hard for the

:33:35.:33:41.

betterment of a sport that millions of your viewers will enjoy. So,

:33:41.:33:46.

having those sorts of contacts is crucial for a Government, for any

:33:46.:33:49.

politician to have a feel for what's happening on the real world.

:33:49.:33:52.

You are constantly telling people on this programme you have got to

:33:52.:33:58.

be more in touch, and so, being able to have those sorts of

:33:58.:34:02.

conversations is important. Let's be transparent about it. There is a

:34:02.:34:05.

register, which we have been promised, since long before the

:34:05.:34:09.

election, by your party, still not in existence? It is in the

:34:10.:34:12.

coalition agreement, and I don't know whether you have noticed, but

:34:12.:34:15.

in the last year-and-a-half, there have been an awful lot of reforms

:34:15.:34:18.

going on and things going in through Parliament. Are you

:34:18.:34:23.

confident about the way that lobbyists deal with ministers?

:34:23.:34:27.

providing that is transparent. you feel it is? I don't think it is

:34:27.:34:33.

sufficiently yet. No, but I can think of examples, like Matthew can,

:34:33.:34:36.

of where lobbyists produced information that was really

:34:36.:34:41.

important in our international negotiations, which ministers

:34:41.:34:47.

didn't get from the Civil Service. So I wouldn't...Why Are the Civil

:34:47.:34:52.

Service so purrblind? The Civil Service can't know everything.

:34:52.:34:57.

is not the impression you always give? The man in Whitehall doesn't

:34:57.:35:01.

always know best. We have to have a humility about this, and there is

:35:01.:35:04.

expertise and perspective that can be brought from outside Government.

:35:04.:35:09.

And it should be. Provided that you can avoid conflicts of interest.

:35:09.:35:13.

The really important thing with lobbyists is neither the minister

:35:13.:35:17.

nor the civil servant, to whom they have access, should get any

:35:17.:35:24.

personal gain from the access which they have. How do we guarantee

:35:24.:35:30.

that? Only by transparency, that is the way it has to be done. You were

:35:30.:35:34.

just saying we haven't adequate transparency? That is one of the

:35:34.:35:37.

lessons to be learned from this sort of episode. Dramatic action is

:35:37.:35:41.

being taken to cut the soaring cost of people's energy bills. That is

:35:41.:35:46.

not the headline to emerge from the talks between the Government and

:35:46.:35:49.

companies that provide gas and electricity. Anyone who has paid a

:35:49.:35:53.

bill recently will know how expensive energy has become. And

:35:53.:35:57.

the regulator predicts massive profits for suppliers. The

:35:57.:36:00.

conclusion from the meeting, if you want your bill to fall, it is up to

:36:00.:36:04.

you. On the admittedly outside chance

:36:04.:36:07.

that you think that the biggest problem with Britain's energy

:36:07.:36:11.

supply is the shape of the pylons. Well, good news, there has been a

:36:11.:36:15.

competition to come up with some new designs. Some interesting ideas,

:36:15.:36:19.

some clearly getting a bit carried away. For most people, though,

:36:19.:36:23.

there are other, more pressing energy problems, like, well, the

:36:23.:36:28.

size of the bills. The first problems with energy bills, though,

:36:28.:36:33.

is the sheer complexity of the tarrifs.

:36:33.:36:38.

The Government wants us to know it's on our side. So it held an

:36:38.:36:41.

energy summit today with the energy suppliers, telling them to get

:36:41.:36:48.

their acts together. The agreement reached was, well, a bit

:36:48.:36:51.

predictable. So much so it had been printed on posters already.

:36:51.:36:55.

should be checking to see if we're on the cheapest tarrif, we should

:36:55.:36:59.

switch if not. And taking the opportunity ahead of this winter,

:36:59.:37:03.

to really make sure that we are insulating, so we can save money.

:37:03.:37:08.

Those are messages that all of the participants have been able to

:37:08.:37:11.

agree around, not everything is agreed. I do think we have a very

:37:11.:37:17.

substantial measure of agreement. You only have to come here to the

:37:17.:37:20.

energy hall at the Science Museum to see generating power has always

:37:20.:37:25.

been a powerfully complex business. But many experts believe our modern

:37:25.:37:28.

problem, trying to understand energy tarrifs and which supplier

:37:28.:37:33.

is best for us, is actually not the problem, it is a symptom of the

:37:33.:37:37.

problem. The problem itself is an energy market that no longer works.

:37:37.:37:41.

There is, in these circumstances, you know, a desperate attempt by

:37:41.:37:45.

politicians to think that some how they can magic low Erbils, the

:37:45.:37:49.

answer is, in the short run, apart from forcing companies to do things

:37:49.:37:55.

they don't want to do, there is very little they can do. But what

:37:55.:37:59.

politicians could do and should do is to provide a framework in which

:37:59.:38:03.

the market works properly. That is precisely what is missing now, and

:38:03.:38:07.

that's what they should pay their attention to. Ed Miliband agrees.

:38:07.:38:12.

He knows a lot about energy, he used to be Energy Secretary. But,

:38:12.:38:15.

since leaving that job, and taking on the job of leader of the

:38:15.:38:19.

opposition, well he's also taken on the view that the energy market is

:38:19.:38:22.

rigged. The Government's job is to say

:38:22.:38:26.

we're going to reform the way the market works, we are going to make

:38:26.:38:29.

sure we end this rigged market, once and for all, and we have a

:38:30.:38:34.

fairer deal for consumers and a more transparent energy market.

:38:34.:38:38.

Frankly I think the Government is just engaging in warm words.

:38:38.:38:41.

energy market wasn't supposed to be like it is now. When it was

:38:41.:38:46.

deregulated in 2000, we had 21 electricity and 19 gas suppliers,

:38:46.:38:52.

all bucking for our pounds. Now, though, it is down to just six

:38:52.:38:56.

companies, supplying both fuels. And it is not just the number of

:38:56.:39:00.

energy companies that's dwindled, they have changed. They now

:39:00.:39:07.

generate their own splie supply. In the jargon, their vertically

:39:07.:39:11.

integrated. It is extraordinaryly difficult to price open the

:39:11.:39:14.

mechanism of this particular market, to find out whether the prices the

:39:14.:39:17.

energy companies charge are anything like fair. It is certainly

:39:17.:39:20.

possible, through leg mit get accounting mechanisms to show

:39:20.:39:23.

profit in different parts of the supply chain. That means energy

:39:23.:39:26.

companies can say to consumers, we are not making money as a retail

:39:26.:39:31.

business, but they can say to investors, look how buoyant the

:39:31.:39:35.

balance sheet is as a generator. It is about the impossibility of get

:39:35.:39:39.

to go the heart of what these energy companies are make and

:39:39.:39:43.

because that is not fashion and the market cannot be trusted, we have

:39:43.:39:49.

to have prime ministerial summits to sort it out.

:39:49.:39:54.

So, let's see, we have got to insulate the loft, shop around for

:39:54.:39:58.

the best deal, ministers have to redesign the energy market. Is

:39:58.:40:04.

there anything else we should be doing? According to some, the most

:40:04.:40:07.

important thing, is to abandon targets for cutting greenhouse gas

:40:07.:40:11.

emissions. The Government is committed at present to cutting our

:40:11.:40:17.

C02 by 80% by 2050. One Downing Street report estimated this would

:40:17.:40:22.

cost each consumer �300 a year in more expensive energy. The total

:40:22.:40:29.

investment needed is somewhere between �100-�200 billion. The

:40:29.:40:34.

Chancellor is worried, he thinks it might hurt business, as he told

:40:34.:40:36.

this year's Conservative Party Conference. But Britain makes up

:40:36.:40:41.

less than 2% of the world's carbon emissions to China and America's

:40:41.:40:46.

40%. We're not going to save the planet by putting our country out

:40:46.:40:49.

of business. Let's at the very least resolve that we are going to

:40:49.:40:54.

cut our carbon emissions no slower, but also no faster than our fellow

:40:54.:41:00.

countries in Europe. Politicians need to think hard before embarking

:41:00.:41:05.

on what is a very costly way of achieving very little by way of

:41:05.:41:08.

emissions reductions, and putting those burdens on customers, who as

:41:08.:41:18.

I say, may just simply not be able to pay.

:41:18.:41:21.

You could hear everything before? The Prime Minister was looking ever

:41:21.:41:27.

so slightly today like a double glazing salesman. He wants to

:41:27.:41:36.

emphasise insulation and competition. But it may turn up the

:41:36.:41:39.

heat on the Government. At this point you want to hear the

:41:39.:41:43.

Government say why it won't intervene to stop spiralling prices.

:41:43.:41:46.

And the Energy Secretary did agree to sit on that chair in our

:41:46.:41:50.

Westminster studio, as you can see it remains ungraced by the

:41:50.:41:53.

ministerial bottom, who cancelled about 20 minutes or so before it

:41:53.:41:56.

was due to happen. However the shadow Energy Secretary, Caroline

:41:56.:42:01.

Flint, is less of a shrinking violet, she's here. You are not

:42:01.:42:04.

seriously maintaining there is some way of cutting people's energy

:42:04.:42:09.

bills, other thant mechanism suggested today? I am suggesting

:42:09.:42:13.

there is way energy bills could be cut. We could be making demands on

:42:13.:42:17.

the energy companies to reduce or postpone their prices. Why did'nt

:42:17.:42:22.

you do that in Government? Interestingly, back in 2009, we did

:42:22.:42:26.

negotiate with the energy companies to keep prices lower for the

:42:26.:42:29.

800,000 low income households, that was in force up to March of this

:42:29.:42:33.

year. We also had various other ways to keep prices down. But the

:42:33.:42:37.

fact is, prices are going up. Even though wholesale prices are going

:42:37.:42:43.

down. The honest person, as your leader, Ed Miliband is an honest

:42:43.:42:47.

person, he said there is no low- cost option? We can't necessary

:42:47.:42:52.

completely manage prices, but we ask the question, why is it, in our

:42:52.:42:56.

country, something like 80% of people, aren't on the tarrif that

:42:56.:43:01.

does the best deal for them. That is precisely what the Government is

:43:01.:43:05.

suggesting today, find out? Government are saying go tomorrow

:43:05.:43:08.

and switch. The problem when customers have tried to switch,

:43:08.:43:11.

they have found they are not given the right information, and they

:43:11.:43:14.

have been mis-sold packages that don't give them the best deal.

:43:14.:43:19.

would do it for them? We have said, as well as more pressure on the

:43:19.:43:23.

energy companies, we have a simpler tarrif system, we have 400 tarrifs

:43:23.:43:26.

increasing year-on-year. Let's bring it down to one standing

:43:26.:43:30.

charge set by Ofgem, and unit prices so we can all see which

:43:30.:43:34.

energy company is offering what to us and we can make a decision that

:43:34.:43:37.

is clear and fair. You accept that green policies do put up the cost

:43:37.:43:41.

of energy? It is interesting about this, Jeremy, I wanted to look at

:43:41.:43:45.

where green investment figured into the price. Actually, investment in

:43:45.:43:49.

renewables by the energy companies is only 5% of their overall price.

:43:49.:43:55.

So the idea that some how the price of green energy is causing these

:43:55.:43:58.

huge price increases, I don't think it is fair, and thril I don't think

:43:58.:44:02.

it is sustainable. But if we really want cheap energy, we would put up

:44:02.:44:07.

a lot of gas power stations wouldn't we? We have to think about

:44:07.:44:12.

our commitments to climate change. So that means more expensive energy,

:44:12.:44:16.

obviously? It means we have to have a fair and transparent pricing

:44:16.:44:19.

system, which we don't have. We have to invest in renewables, in

:44:19.:44:25.

the last year we have gone from third to 13th place in investing in

:44:25.:44:30.

renew nls. So we can use - renewables, so we can use less

:44:31.:44:34.

energy. Like China and other countries, if we don't invest, as

:44:34.:44:38.

George Osborne is suggesting, we won't be a world leader, and create

:44:38.:44:43.

the jobs that need to be part of a new economy. You do think it is

:44:43.:44:47.

fine to bankrupt Britain to save the world? No, I think it is

:44:47.:44:50.

recognising new forms of providing energy. We can't rely forever more

:44:50.:44:54.

on the existing forms of energy. It is about creating more investment

:44:54.:44:57.

in our economy, more jobs, to get us actually on the right track back

:44:57.:45:01.

to restoring our economy. So the honest politician would say, this

:45:01.:45:05.

is going to be painful, for a good while to come? No, the honest

:45:05.:45:08.

politician will say to you, there is something fundamentally wrong

:45:08.:45:12.

with our energy market. The tarrifs are complicated and people can't

:45:12.:45:16.

choose the right deal for them. There is misselling going on. The

:45:16.:45:20.

transparency of data, so we can really be clear about the price

:45:20.:45:23.

these energy companies are buying and selling energy for, is not

:45:23.:45:28.

transparent. Also, we have six big energy companies, who basically

:45:28.:45:32.

control 90% of the market, that needs to be opened up, that is what

:45:32.:45:37.

Ed Miliband has within talking about.

:45:37.:45:42.

- - been talking about. - - been talking about.

:45:42.:45:45.

On the newspapers now. Some GPs are restricted services

:45:45.:45:55.
:45:55.:46:26.

because of the behaviour of That's it for now, the news

:46:26.:46:31.

machines fleet for homing pigeons of news has begun its journey here

:46:31.:46:41.
:46:41.:47:04.

Hello there. A cold front is crossing the country. Guess what,

:47:04.:47:07.

it is introducing much colder air. The front will clear the far south-

:47:07.:47:11.

east early in the morning. We are in a run of chilly north-westerly

:47:11.:47:17.

winds. It there will be sun shy, but it won't help temperatures much.

:47:17.:47:21.

Showers rattling into the North West of England, some getting into

:47:21.:47:26.

the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire air. Most of East Anglia and the south

:47:26.:47:32.

having a bright afternoon. 12-13 is the best temperatures. One or two

:47:32.:47:35.

showers racing across England, but few and far between. Mo of the

:47:35.:47:40.

showers north across the UK. The north and west of Wales will catch

:47:40.:47:43.

the sharpest showers. Over the my ground of Northern Ireland, the

:47:43.:47:48.

showers will be wintry at times, temperatures 9-10.

:47:48.:47:53.

Certainly, the number of wintry showers over the Highlands could be

:47:53.:47:56.

a covering of snow. The more eastern parts of Scotland staying

:47:56.:48:01.

dry. The showers continuing into the night, it will be a pretty cold

:48:01.:48:05.

night nationwide. Many other north western parts of Europe will have a

:48:05.:48:08.

chilly few days, with blustery showers. Berlin staying mostly dry.

:48:08.:48:12.

Head for the south and east of Europe, down to the Mediterranean

:48:12.:48:15.

if you want sunshine. It is fine and dry and warmer as well. Back

:48:16.:48:18.

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