11/01/2012 Newsnight


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

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Tonight, the battle to prevent the break-up of Britain, has now begun.


The Prime Minister says he cares passionately about keeping the


country together, and insists that Westminster has the legal right and


duty. To call the shots over the referendum on independence. We will


ask Scotland's First Minister if he is so confident of winning the vote,


why can't compromise with Cameron. The new bad boy of Europe is told


its economic policies are sustainable and it is drifting into


authoritarianism. Hungary's row with Europe could


shake the very foundations of the European Union itself.


One man's murder raises new questions of foreign intervention


in Iran. A fourth nuclear scientist has been


assassinated in Tehran, might this be one case where Iranian claims of


an Israeli plot are quite rightment Later:


Newsnight proudly presents, in premier vision, David Cameron's


quest to mould the movie business. We will be discussing how to fund a


hit movie with writer producer, David Baddiel, at producer bridge


gent Jones Diary, Jonathan Cavendish.


Good evening, there was a rare moment of agreement between the


Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition today, both David


Cameron and Ed Milliband said that keeping Scotland in the UK is good


for all of us. That, of course, is not how it is seen within the


Scottish Government, where the First Minister, Alex Salmond,


suggested Westminster politicians butt out, of what he calls


interference in Scotland's affairs. MrLe Salmond told Newsnight tonight


of his of confidence in winning the independence referendum when it


comes. Getting this thing painted was long


seen as an impossible task, the vital rail link between Edinburgh


and the north-east, defied all efforts to keep it looking the part.


But they persevered, just as the never say never attitude of


Scotland's nationalist leader might be paying off. Indeed, no paint job


in the world could conceal Alex Salmond's trade mark grin, as


Scottish independence went to the top of the political agenda. We, on


this side of the House. The subject loomed large in the first Prime


Minister's Questions of the new year. With the Labour leader


possibly trying out slogans for the coming pro-union campaign. We are


stronger together, and weaker apart. The Prime Minister was all obliging,


temporary powers would be giflted to Holyrood -- gifted to hollyed


road, allowing the referendum to go ahead. The legal clarification an


attempt to put Mr Salmond on the spot. There have been too many in


the SNP happy it talk about the process, they don't want to talk


about the substance. I sometimes feel when I listen to them it is


not a referendum they want, it is a neverendum.


Of course, David Cameron won't so lightly dismiss the SNP's leader,


who swept to power in last year's Scottish election, under a system


set up to prevent an outright majority. Such an opponent is being


treated seriously here, I'mle told it is because the issues involved -


- I'm told because the issues are involved are so important that


Chancellor George Osborne is spearheading plans to keep the UK


together. His involvement also reflects the fact that senior


Westminster Tories, don't exist north of the border.


Indeed, they have been as close to extinction as these beasts, newly


resident at bed are you ra Zoo, the great panned -- at Edinburgh Zoo,


the great pandas are pulling in the crowds.


Alex Salmond is hoping the referendum in 2014 will help voters


flock to his cause. He's also coming out against the


Thatcherism view that Tories know best. The Tory Government knows it


can't look like it is dictating terms to Scotland. What it will be


doing is using the consultation process, that has just been launch,


to convince voters they have far more to lose than gain by


independence. They will be targeting the SNP's


wish to put the option of devolution max to the voters. This


would involve greater powers for Holyrood, short of separation.


Westminster would like to see a simple yes or no vote, Scotland in


or out of the UK. But would a referendum actually be legal? The


two sides don't agree. It may be a couple of years if Alex Salmond


sticks to his plan, before he introduces his bill into the


Scottish Parliament, and we know the wording of his proposeded


referendum question. Only then can that -- proposed referendum


question. Only then can that be referred to the courts. If the UK


officers stick to their legal advice, they will be obliged to cha


eing it. A bit like the iterimably unpainted bridge, there are many


decisive factors in the outcome the UK is - that are being sought.


There is a preference for sterling to the euro. Would the banking


crisis need an interference. There are a whole set of questions about


revenues, who owns the North Sea oil, lawyers could be busy for


decades arguing about the division of the spoils. The current union


between Scotland and England has lasted 300 years. After such a long


marriage, separation will be difficult, something a Royal


Commission is need -- some think a Royal Commission is needed to


decide how the assets might be split. People haven't taken the


option of real Scottish independence seriously enough in


the past, the pieces of work that we need to see don't exist. I


haven't seen a feasiblilty study on the cost of moving our nuclear


weapons somewhere else in the UK, how much that would cost. Even on


one question, we don't have any of the details we need to know about


what independence would mean. Scotland might surprise you.


Whether you are after dramatic scenery, or dramatic scenes. This


TVad, launched later this week, will mark Scotland's year of


culture and creativity. But it is hard fact that is will now be


occupying both sides of the referendum campaign. Not least the


polling evidence, which has consistently shown the Scots won't


vote for independence. The SNP claims that's changing. I have seen


an open mindedness that I have never, ever seen before. I think it


is incredible. People will willing to listen and be persuadeded. We


have seen people move in all the polls and even social attitude


surveys are showing that people are moving away from opposition to


independence, to open mindedness, or for full square independence.


Last month, the Christmas present for Scotland, the Forth Bridge was


finally repaint. Satisfaction is being felt in Downing Street too,


whatever battles lie ahead, Alex Salmond naming a referendum date,


means the debate about independence can truly begin.


Just before we came on air, I spoke to Scotland's First Minister, Alex


Salmond. First Minister, is it an issue of principle with you that


devo max, a fiscal independence, as it is called, more devolution


should also be on the ballot for yes or no to independence? No, our


issue of principle is that independence will be on the ballot


paper, yes or no, but what we have said, we cannot see any reason for


ruling out, at this stage, what is a perfectly legitimate strand of


opinion in Scotland, and we are in the business of being inclusive and


including other strands of opinion, not excluding them like the Tory


Government in Westminster. It is seen as a fallback position for you,


because you know independence itself is not particularly popper


later. More devolution is popular, with -- popular, more devolution is


popular, it is your second choice and what you have got? Or David


Cameron is frightened of having it on the ballot paper because he


thinks it will pass, or have the Scottish Parliament organise our


referendum, for which we have a mandate, in 2014 because he thinks


independence will pass. They may well be frightened of a range of


things. I know independence is getting further support in the


polls tomorrow. I'm very confident we can win an independence


referendum. Why doesn't Downing Street just let the Scottish


Parliament get on with it, and have a referendum, and have a result,


and people and politicians can follow the will of the people.


will of the people, are you possibly in danger of misreading


this mandate, it is a mandate clearly for you to ask people what


they think about independence. But it is certainly not a mandate to


ignore the Westminster Government, or the Prime Minister of the UK, is


it? After the election last year, David Cameron was quite explicit,


he said the Scottish Parliament, the SNP have won a mandate to


organise a independence referendum, and the Westminster Government


won't disappear. They said to let the mandate be carried forward to


the Scottish Parliament. It it is the Prime Minister trying to


rewrite the rools but trying to pull the strings of -- rules by


trying to pull the strings of the Scottish referendum from


Westminster. The last time a London politician thought she new best in


Scotland, it didn't have a great result for Scottish MPs. You are he


can sueding a great deal of confidence about win -- he can


sueding a great deal of confidence about winning the referendum, why


not just have a yes, no debate on independence? We said we would


publish the consultation document in a few weeks time. We will give


the community of Scotland an opportunity to comment on what they


would like, as well as the SNP Government, what they would like.


We will legislate next year to have the referendum in 2014 in a proper


and orderly manner. The last referendum Downing Street organised,


was the AV referendum, that was organised in a to thelally


disorganised manner. With -- totally disorganised manner, and


the liberals were truly kippered by the Tories. I'm not Nick Clegg.


the issues of the date, you said in 2014, does it really matter the


date of 2014, in other words, are you open in this consultation


period, during which, undoubtedly you will hear from Michael Moore,


the Scottish Secretary, are you open to changing that date?


these things must be decided by the Scottish Parliament. I'm willing to


talk to the Prime Minister, of course, and I will put forward the


view, look our point of principle, there just has to be a referendum


built and made in the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish people.


Because the people best able to do that, are the people who have a


mandate in the Scottish Parliament, and then it will be decided on by


the people Scotland. The people best able to decide the future of


had country, are the people who live here. I notice that tomorrow


morning's Times has a story that Downing Street is warning that an


independent Scotland might have to join the euro as a price of


independence. What do you make of that? Stuff and nonsense, Sweden is


a country which had accession to the European Union after these


rules, and of course, Sweden is not a member of the euro, furthermore


Scotland wouldn't be applying for membership of the European Union,


we are already in the European Union. It would be up to the people


of Scotland. The euro currency, is it your aspiration to join that, or


is the pound good enough for you at the moment. Will the pound be good


enough for you in the foreseeable future? We would stay with sterling


until the people Scotland would decide in a referendum. A position


not dissimilar to other parties in these islands. A final thought,


quite clear from what Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary is saying,


and David Cameron in the Commons today, that they believe under the


1998 Scotland Act, they are effectively right. It is not


interfering, it it is their duty and right to discuss this with you


in the way they are proceeding. Will you publish your legal advice,


which seems to suggest something slightly different? They haven't


published the legal advice, just said what they think it is. The


Professor of Constitutional Law at Edinburgh University, has agreed


with our legal opinion on these matters, and a consultant on the


referendum the Scottish Parliament has sway. I'm prepared to talk to


anybody about these things, as long as we are not dictate to, we are


not told what to do, we are not having our strings pulled from


London. We are not going to be bullied and intimidate. We have a


mandate to conduct and hold a democratic referendum in Scotland


the that is exactly what we will do. If it is to be done as a legally


binding referendum, so be it. But not with strings attach, not


Downing Street telling us who and how people will vote, and how it


will be organised. These things will be built and determined in


Scotland. Thank you very much for joining us.


The European Union has a new problem child tonight, Hungary, the


EU is thinking of withholding funds for what it sees as Hungary's


failure to get to grips with economic problems, and fears the


country is sliding away from the rule of law and towards right-wing


populisim. We're in Budapest now. What has been the reaction to these


threats from the EU? The EU threat, primarily, centres on Hungary


breaching the budget rules, the 3% deficit rule. They have the power,


if that is the case, to withdraw structural fund, or withhold them.


That would be serious for Hungary, it it is about 2% of GDP, and more


or less the only source of funding for businesses at the moment. On


top of that, this is another big stick, that is the IMF, currently


grilling one of the Hungarian ministers in Washington, and it is


going to impose more austerity on the country, as a price for what


the markets see as the inevitable bailout this country will need. The


reaction has been anger by the far right. The Government refuseded to


even acknowledge it, but the party -- refused to even acknowledge it,


but the Fidesz Party called for a demo in two weeks time. Most in the


markets think it will end up with a climb-down, but it is damaging for


the Prime Minister, who has staked his whole future on defying the


authorities. Given Hungary's dire economic situation, it could


default and it could have a knock- on effect for other countries in


Europe? There is feeling the Government is toying with theed


idea of defaulting, they have studied Iceland and Argentina, that


is something some Government people are briefing, that if we go we take


down the whole Europe. They are not big enough to do that. The bigger


problem is they are in breach so much else, says the EU, in terms of


politics, in terms of the rule law, in terms of the rise of the far


right, that really is the biger cultural and political background


to the crisis. As I have been Hungary is a country where


austerity start early and never stopped. Its currency is collapsing.


Its population in the sixth year of crisis, and weary of it. Now, it is


dawning on them that the Government they elect to sort things out is


becoming the pariah of Europe. Today Hungary's parliament was told


that major laws it has just passeded might be illegal, and its


budget is in breach of the EU rules. In the space of 18 months, the


Prime Minister has achieved a lot. He has introduceded a flat tax,


which handed money to the upper- class, but put a hole in the


country's budget. To fill the hole he nationaliseded the private


pension scheme. To prevent a challenge to that, he neutralised


the constitutionlal court, and he has changed the law to give himself


a near permanent majority here in the national parliament. And then


he has asked the IMF for $20 billion.


The Prime Minister was elect in 2010 on a platform of no more


austerity, but to deliver that, he has had to impro-advise to tax the


banks, large companies, to improvise, to tax the banks, large


companies. Last week tens of thousands of Hungarians took to the


streets, support what they see as the Prime Minister's coup, NGOs,


youth, the usual noises in protests, these voices find little support


within the system. This man a leading MP in Hungary's


Green Party, he reflects a generation in despair. I think that


the Prime Minister more or less left, or lost reality. He is


closeded into a very small circle of adviser, and he really doesn't


understand what's going on. Elect to fight on pollution and


climate change, Hungary's youngest party now has to teach its


political elders orthodox economics. He they turned their attention to


the national bank, the Central Bank, which has a reserve of 35 billion


euros. Half of it would be enough to finance the state budget in 2012.


It is extremely dangerous, the reserve of the national bank is the


last anchor, or the last backing of the Hungarian authority, if they do


that, I think there is no further stop before the bankruptcy.


But it is not just money at stake. Club Radio, is the only radio


station openly critical of the Government, and reported the


protests in depth. Now its license has been revoked. Meanwhile, here


at the state TV station, some journalists are on hunger strike


after one of the Government's critics had his face blur out of a


news report, Soviet-style. I have been working in the public media


for the last two decades. I must say that was always a kind of


influence trying to meddle in the things the public media, from any


Governments we had. But what happened since the change of


Government, they are not just trying to make favourable reporting


in the public media for the Government, but they are even


distorting factsment they are falsifying reports. That is facts.


They are falsifying reports, that is the upper limit of the


thresholds. The people werele sold the idea that Europe meant


prosperity. Despite an export boom, growth has never been high enough


to support a welfare state and lower taxes. Now, as in Italy and


Greece, they are facing economic slowdown and a debt crisis. But


there is a crucial difference. On the Danube, technocratic Government


has already been tried. Since we are living in a democracy, it is


finally a technocratic Government, followed by a Government elected by


the voters. The question is how the voters will react, and what type


Government they will choose. This is a questioner for all the


countries where a technocratic Government is operating now, but


the question is what will happen after. The answer in Hungary was a


swing to right, that brought the Prime Minister to power, that swing


to the right may have further still to go.


This is the Hungarian guard, allied to the far right opposition party,


explicitly hostile to the Roma community, and at times, openly


anti-semetic. It is riding high in the polls. Forced it disband its


militia, it still has an image problem. Its presidential candidate


told the Israeli ambassador that Jews were lice invested dirty


murders. You don't worry at your -- murderers. You don't worry about


your own election candidate using the word such as "lice" and "Jews"


is anti-semetic? It is unfortunate terminology. It does not excuse her,


it was a private exchange of letters. It is no excuse. At one of


Hungary's most prestigious theatre, they will find out what it is like


when this opposition party takes control. Here, they are rehearsing


a play by Thomas Mann, soon there will be no Thomas Mann, no


Shakespeare, the company's director has been sacked to be replaced by a


part man, pledged to produce Hungarian -- party man, pledgeded


to produce only Hungarian plays. TRANSLATION: In my 13 years here,


we put on 50 Hungarian playsment but we also want to be open to the


world. But it is important that the balance between national and


international. We just cannot close our window to the world. Next year


the actors will be asked to perform the work of a Hungarian writer who


supports anti-semetic views. Under pressure from the far right and


European centre, the Hungarian Government feels friendless. We are


open for dialogue and we are part of a family. We are part a


community. We want to abide by the rules, and if there is a problem,


that again, as I said before, we have a legal order, to rectify such


problems. The strength of language in the international community is


not just about economic, it is about the Central Bank, the media


law, it it is about the closure of radio stations. It is about putting


far right actors in charge of major theatres? Then you refer to major


theatres, you probably refer to a single smaller thee tr,


representing less than 1 -- theatre, representing less than 1% of the


called Hungarian theatre market, if I put it that way. When you speak


about the media law, you forget that the European Commission made


some observations and suggestions and all of these suggestions were


immediately adopt and incorporated in the amendments the legislation.


Do you see the point, though, the interle national community are


worried the erosion of -- international community are worried


about the erosion of checks and balances. They see the far right


party applauding what you are doing? The far right party is


violently disagreeing with us. They disagree with us practically on all


economic and political points. The agreement with the IMF we are


working on, they completely reject that, they demand, First Minister,


non-payment of debts, and such absurdties, and impossible things.


In the late night bar of Budapest, life goes on. This begin never knew


communism, but it is getting know economic nationalism well. The


promise was that the European Union would guarantee liberal social


values, democracy and prosperity. All of that is now in question.


I'm joined now by Hungary's ambassador here, on the national


consultative body for Hungary's new constitution.Ed good evening. How


is it -- good evening, how is it in such a short space of time your


country has managed to offend human rights activists, the EU, the


markets, about what is going on in your country? Let's start with the


facts, my background is economy, so I will start with the economic


facts rather than political. When you look at the country you look at


four or five major indicators. The budget deficit in Hungary this year,


for 2011, is below 3%. Only seven countries in the whole of Europe


can deliver that. The European Union average is 6.6%, and your


country, the UK delivers 10%. bond yields are 9.5%, completely


unsustainable, we can go through lots of economic figures. We know


your currency is declining also. You need IMF money. You will have


to change to get it? We have to get down to the basics. When we


negotiate with the IMF or the EU, we are negotiating in issues of


economic policies, and what kind economic policies can deliver


results? Again, budget deficit. We have still a 1.5% GDP growth, that


is the third quarter data. You have 0.5%. But we're not being grilled


by the IMF at the moment for money, we are not being told by the EU


they will withle hold funds. You are in -- withhold funds. You are


in real trouble, why aren't you facing up to it? We are. Why don't


you change law, independence of the Central Bank people are asking for


it? Have you read the letter that we got from the ECB, because they


had 15 issues in had their letter, 13 has been enshrine. They had two


issues, still under debate. One is suggested exactly by the Brussels


authorities, that we face, globally, a systematic risk. This is why the


national banks, or the central banks, and the financial


supervisory boards could work closely together, to make sure that


the macro Prudential issues are dealt with. Out of the 15 it is


only two. Although they are considered very significant by the


IMF. To of move to the wider points here, the real problem many


observers see, the judicial system has been limit, new judges helping


the Government, the Electoral Commission back packed with


Government supporters, the new media law, none of fitting with a


modern European democracy. Did you hear my Foreign Minister. I did?


said in the spring the media law was scrutinised by the European


Commission, there were suggestions, in two weeks time Hungary made the


necessary decisions. Club Radio is still close, Hillary Clinton asked


that independent radio stations? Club Radio applied for a license,


they failed to measure up to the legal obligations, or criteria.


was nothing to do with the fact that they were critical of the


Government. Why would Hillary Clinton want you to owe reopen this


radio station. Why would Hillary Clinton among others suggest


reopening the radio station, saying independent media would be a good


idea? Next time Club Radio, when it comes to the next licensing round,


they should apply, but Hungary is a country of the rule law. Everybody


has to abide with the rule law. are changing the rule law, you are


packing the courts? No, no, no. Let me guff you an example, what I love


-- let me of give you an example. What I love in this country and the


US, you have a long history of building institutions. Two examples


are from the UK. We're very familiar with the UK position, but


it is really your own position, we love our institutions, but it is


your institutions? We have to establish institutions.


Unfortunately, every fourth year, every election, the old one


abolishes what the former one did. This is why we need a you new


system. The new constitution was presented to the committee, the


underlying statement was that the constitution represents a


democratic constitution baseded on the rule of law. All the words --


based on the rule of law. All the words were appreciative, and we had


all the words considered. Have you seen it? I will send a copy for you.


You must have been surprised with the reaction so manyed bodies, with


the suggestion that -- many bodies, with the suggestion that it is not


good? When I talk about the economic facts and documents and


facts in our correspondence between Brussels and my Government then you


come back to these kinds of accusations. My Government is based


on facts. I think that the committee's opinion is right. I


know that there are many political adversaries, it is a values issue,


values are represented in the political sphere. Often times


talking about institutions. It is like the Scottish election.


sure the Scots will love that. Thank you very much.


Coming up in a moment. Will films like this meet David Cameron's idea


of a likely box-office hit. So, qualifying for taxpayer funding.


First the mysterious and violent death of yet another Iranian


scientists working on the country's nuclear programme. It reads


something from a spy thriller, Iran accused the Americans and they


robustly denied any American involvement. We tried to find out


what is going on behind the usual diplomatic exchanges. What happened


in Tehran? This is an attack of the kind that is seen before. The


scientist professor, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, was attacked in his car, by


people in a motorcycle who attached a bomb to the car, turned away, and


shortly afterwards the bomb went off killing the scientist and his


driver. If we look at the wreckage, you can see a directional type of


device, which has left the head lamps and various other parts of


the car intact. But served its purpose of killing the people


inside without causing any real risk to bystanders and others. A


sophisticated attack. The Iranians have blamed Israel for all kinds of


things, why are they particularly concerned about Israel in all of


this? There clearly is a group of nations acting to try to frustrate


their nuclear ambitions. Now, today, the US issued a particular de --


denial. I want to categorically deny any United States involvement


in any kind of act of violence inside Iran. We believe that there


has to be an understanding between Iran, its neighbours and the


international community. That finds a way forward, for it to end its


provocative behaviour. Mrs Clinton's statement very


carefully worded there. Any US involvement, for example, not using


proxies, in any act violence. So the role that the US, or the UK may


play in frustrating Iran's ambitions through covert action,


might be limited to denying them certain access to materials that


might have nuclear uses. Perhaps using computer viruses, that type


of thing. The Israeli role, people in the secret world, are quite


unambiguous about it, does include this programme assassination. Now,


they are acting, I'mle toll, through Iranian prox -- I'm told,


through Iranian proxies. This started two years a the first


scientist was killed. He was killed by a bomb in a motorcycle beside


the road, that exploded as his car pass. Several months later, a


double attack, Majid Shahriari was killed, but another scientist was


seriously wound in identical attacks to today. Bombs with


magnetic devices being clamped on to cars and then going off. Last


year a further attack, a shooting attack, and today's as well. Now,


it is widely assumed within the intelligence world that the


Israelis are doing it. They are using Iranians toer carry out the


bombings. While -- to carry out the bombings, while the Iranians know


who they are carrying it out for. Does it make a military attack on


Iran more likely? Military action does seem increasingly likely,


because of the alarming rise in tensions in the region. People say


the US will not resolve whether or not to use action on the nuclear


point until after the next general election. There is so much going on,


flash points and other incidents, there could be military action


before then. On the one hand, might seem like a


statement of the obvious, with cash very tight, the Prime Minister


today suggested that any investment in British films should be to


mainstream films more likely to become hits at the box-office. If


the Prime Minister knows the secret to producing and predicting hits,


would be good to know what it is. A film about a television presenter


talking it a retired politician, might not at first have seemed the


hit that frost/Nixon had become. Well talk to two producers with


different points of views. This report contains flash imagery.


Tonight, in a time austerity. Newsnight proudly presents, in


super-sharp, premier vision. One man's qs to mould the movie


business, the The Director's Cut. Hor ray for Pinewood, perhaps the


close -- hurray for Pinewood, perhaps the closest thing that the


English film industry has to a home. It makes �4 billion a year. Like


ale Hollywood player, David Cameron was on the lot today, gladhanding


film makers, then ruthlessly mixing art house and experimental movies


in favour of block busters. I ask the right honourable gentleman,


whose fault is that? Very likely the Prime Minister, the current one,


was thinking of smashes like The Iron Lady, which took more than �2


million at the UK box-office when opened last weekend. A Tory peer,


and Oscar-winning screen writer, seemed to share Mr Cameron's view


of cinema. I had been critical of theed idea that all public money


should go into minority and obscure films, it is in the interests of


the industry and the public that we start building up and making more


films that people want to see. It doesn't mean they are the only


films we should make, I don't want to be sort of cornered into saying,


it has to be nothing but rom-coms and blockbusters, we don't want


that, we want a broad range, but we want to build our audiences and


international audiences. This is the kind of oven-ready globaler,


that gives British films the bad names. The Sex Lives of the Potatop


Machine, we think it is getting its greatest *Ever audience right now.


We wouldn't miss stuff like this. A Government review, out next week,


is expected to back funding of films with mainstream potential.


What are we film fans to make of the Government's policy on the


movies? Fbgts Is it going to be sin -- is it going to be cinema para it


diso, or the Last Picture Show. This is a film made with no starsa


no sound. Can I have one for The Artist. If I pitched you a film


about a Prince's speech defect, or a couple of guys living in the


slums of Bombay. You wouldn't have thought commercial, they made


millions of pounds, and won Oscars, I would like to know what is


commercial. Commercial means business, he wanted to fuel the


entreprenurial spirit, we have to be incredibly like that to get the


films made, given the economics. What we are asking and hearing the


review may deliver, is a better way to use public money to make


business grow and do better. Film buffs have been on social


media sites all day, suggesting highly-fundable sounding titles,


such as The Royal ska. Monty. Newsnight has acquired a leaked e-


mail about the movies Downing Street would like to see. There's


Something About Maggie, Ice Cold On skal Alice. Free skal school Willie.


We want to see films that audiences want to see, we also want to


stretch the audiences as well. And do something that is a broader


cultural content. If the Prime Minister gets his way, the range of


British films may get narrower, with apologise to Billy Wilder's


classic, Sunsetp Boulevard. movies are still big, it is the


budgets that got smaller. With me now are two film makers


from opposite side of the funding scales, David Baddiel, a writer and


director, and Jonathan Cavendish, producer of Bridgette Jones Diary.


-- Bridgetp Jones Diary. There is a limited amount of money, should it


go to the mainstream? Yes, I think there are a few complicate issues


here, which Camion is skating over. The new -- Cameron is skating over.


The new BFI, a commission were reporting on Monday, with very good


people sitting on it. It is Lord Schmitt from the British Film


Institute? Very sensible people. They are not going to stop the


support of new talent, they will not stop culturally important


movies. They will support the British Industry as best they can.


A bigger issue is how to get the Government, whose interest in the


film industry is to be applaud, how we can get them to hp us build a


big and sustainable -- help us build a big and sustainable


industry on the back of all the talent we have in this country.


Stkph they are talking aboutle value for money, in effect, -- they


are talking about getting value for money in effect, and maximising


returns, and people are in favour of that. Is he on to something?


He's on to something, it is glib, but he's on to something. What I'm


excited by is the Government have turned their attention to the film


industry, which has, in the past, been reviewed as a bit of a cottage


industry. Saying we have the best people in the world, the films make


a lot money, as very profitable business. Let's get institutions in


the City, for example, to back British film companies and British


film makers. Ken Loach today said that, the trouble is, it is all


about maximising profit, that is the wrong way to go, because we


will be culturally poorer. Are you worried about some of this?


problem is what constitutes commercial viability as far as


David Cameron might think it. The film I made last year, or two years


ago, it was funded independently, privately, cost �1 million, it has


taken $5 million worldwide, it is commercially viable, in his terms.


It it is about a Muslim who discovers he was born a Jew. I was


convinced at the time, because people did say no, that if I took


this to the quango, whatever it is set up by David Cameron, looking


for commercial viability, they would say it is not a commercial


idea, and it is niche, it turns out not to be true. You got it made,


because you are good at these things, you didn't need the money?


We did need the money. The money took a while to come in and people


took risks on it. The point being, I'm an independent film maker,


different from Ken Loach, I am interested in the films beingp


popular, people coming it see them and it being a -- being popular and


people coming to see them and it being a mainstream thing. That


being discovered by David Cameron and a bunch of people looking at


pictures thinking what constitutes commercial film is doubtful. They


will go on what happens before, that is not the way to make art or


find popular films. There is a point there, the idea of


Governments or anybody in a quango being able to spot a hit when


nobody else can, including film makers, it it is hard to have a hit


or not? Nobody knows anything in the movey business, as William Gold


beman said, I don't think David Cameron will go and run the FMI,


and the money will increase after the Olympics. I think it is a bit


of a scare story. The real thing is we go on supporting our young film


makers. I have just started a new company with Andy Serkis, it is a


technical company makes performance capture films. Next year we are


making a film with a director who made his first small film, The


Escapist, supported by small arts groups. Went on to make The Rise of


the Planet of the Apes. We will come back next week and adapt a


famous book, that is how works. Whatever criticism Cameron gets, I


wonder might itp help the film industry immensely to say this is a


major employer, and industry, we are really good at it in this


country, sometimes going abroad, but we are really good. At a time


when he has to cut everywhere, it might project some of the money?


This are lots of ways of funding films, in Denmark and France France


they have a levy, meaning 12% all films have to be French ordainish.


There is a notion -- or Danish, there is a notion that we shouldn't


have English films because we have American films.


The thing is, film is an incredibly vietlal thing. Gradually it seems


to me that we are building up films that people do want to go and see.


One of the good things what Cameron said, drawing attention to The


King's Speech, does suggest that if, for example, 12% of the cinemas did


just show British films, people would go and see them now. They


would, five or ten years ago they probably wouldn't, there is a


groundswell really good British films. There are some very good


people out there. Crucial low, foinlally, lots of very good


British pro-- finally lots of very good British producers thinking


about the audience, using great writers and fantastic actors,s


becoming extreme low profitable. This austerity cull -- extremely


profitable. This austerity culture, the film Friday can't be immune


from that? It it is not, one of the things that tends topp happen, is


there used to be tax breaks to help people invest in film, those have


all gone. People areer worried about it. What I think should


happen is there could be more radical ways creating a market and


creating money it flow into British film that weren't just having to


provide Government money, which has always been very small in this


country compared to other places in Europe.


A quick lock at the front pages. That's all tonight, Emily is here


A windy night expects across Scotland, fusy winds. Easing


through the morning, behind a band of rain pushinging through England


and Wales -- pushing through England and Wales. Brightening up


sunshine from the rest of the day. Tolder weather following from the


weather front, straddling across southern parts of England drurg the


afternoon. Thicker cloud in places, -- during the afternoon. Thicker


cloud in places. Sunny spells possible. You will notice colder


conditions starting to work into the north of Wales, not desperately


chilly at this stage, with it comes a bit more sunshine. Northern


Ireland, after some early morning cloud, long spells sunshine, taking


you right through the day. Aed good dole sunshine through central,


southern -- a good deal of sunshine through central and southern


Scotlandment watch out for wintry showers, the -- southern Scotland.


Watch out for wintry showers. A frosty start for Friday, one or two


lingering fog much patches particularly across North West


England and Wales. The big changele really will be noticable across


southern areas, the temperatures Thursday around 10-11, Friday sixes


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