06/02/2012 Newsnight


As the killing goes on in Homs, Jeremy Paxman asks if Syria is headed for civil war. Should Abu Qatada have been freed? Plus legendary comedian Jackie Mason.

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We don't know precisely how many people have been killed by the


Syrian army, as President Assad tries to murder those who oppose


his dictatorship, but we do know they include children. All this


while China and Russia provide a form of diplomatic protection.


They bury their dead children at night in Homs, because to do


otherwise can be suicidal. If this is where relying on the UN Security


Council gets you, what else is possible?


The international diplomatic effort hit the buffers on Saturday, now


there is talk of a coalition of the willing. Calling itself, The


Friends of Syria. Bosses at Network Rail denounce


their bonus, will anyone dare risk the finger-pointing and accept one.


I will ask the Transport Secretary to name a single taxpayer-backed


enterprise where the bosses deserve a bonus.


A judge sets free an extremist cleric that cites mass murder, why


isn't the state free to protect itself.


Jackie Mason, the man who gave up Bat Mitzvas for performing speaks


to us. His supporters and toadies call him


Abu, father, some father, Bashar al-Assad's troops are shelling


Syrian civilians indiscriminatly, and the United Nations is not


embold ened enough to do anything. China, Russia -- Britain and the US


have turned to The Government in Syria has been


called a failed and murderous regime.


We have just returned from siria, we asked our reporter to find out


what he could. All day today, yesterday and the


day before, the city at the heart of Syria's uprising has been


shaking to the sound of a Government bombardment.


Allah hu Akbar. In reply, the rebels shout back their defiance,


"God is most great" they cry. hu Akbar.


TRANSLATION: Believe me, Homs is ablaze, you don't want to be here


now. Dead body in the streets, under the wreckage of destroyed


buildings, wounded people in their hundreds.


Film posted on the Internet apparently shows some of those


injured being treated in a makeshift hospital in Homs today.


This doctor is telling a victim he has Russia and China to thank for


his wounds. The countries that vetoed the UN Security Council


resolution at the workend, that would have called on the Syrian


Government to end the bloodshed. The UN gave the Syrian army, they


gave Assad's army the OK and green light to kill more. They have


bombed one of our hospitals, killed the doctors and the nurses and the


patients in there. We have only one hospital left. The injured people


are on the floor, dead people are on the floor. We don't have enough


doctors. We only have four doctors, in that field hospital, what can


they do. The uprising that started nearly a


year ago in Deraa, has now spread to towns across Syria, even to some


parts of the capital, Damascus. But it is Homs, Syria's third-largest


city, that has seen much of the worst violence. It is divided into


a patchwork of pro-Government and anti-Government districts. Thecy


centre is controlled by the authorities, along with loyalist


neighbourhoods, which include Al- Zahara and Akrama, around them a


ring of areas controlled by the rebt, by the Government is now


trying -- the rebels, which the Government is now trying to pound.


It is thought to be the worst bombardment here since the uprising


began, with heavier artillery, including multiple rocket launchers


being deployed by the state. We are living in the middle of


bombardments by rocket launchers, they have been hitting us with


rockets from 5.00am. This is the first time they have used rocket


launchers, and hit us with rockets. They usually hit us with mortar


bombs and tank shells. Among those killed, wrapped in this shroud, a


seven-year-old girl. Like other victims, she was buried,


hurriedly at night, without ceremony. Fear that those carrying


the body might themselves be hit. It is in the district of Baba Amr,


that the bombardment has been particularly heavy. This apartment


in Baba Amr had to be abandoned today, after being hit by a shell,


according to activists that filmed it. The beds had been used as a


field hospital to treat the wounded. When you try to cross the street


and move out of your neighbourhood, the sniebers shoot you. As -


snipers shoot you. They are bombing a civilian house, civilian


buildings. They are using tanks. The Russian tanks. They are using


mortars and shells. Today they are trying to use missile launchers.


But they didn't. But across the city, the district


of Zahara, is solidly behind the Government. Newsnight was taken


there recently on a tour organised by the authorities, past a series


of sandbagged military checkpoints and mortgage traits of Bashar al-


Assad. -- portraits of Bashar al- Assad. Unusually there is also a


poster that promotes his brother, who is thought to be more hardline.


In Zahara most of the people are Alawites, part of the same Shi'ite


sect that the President belongs to. Many have links to the security


forces. Some say they have been forced to flee from their homes in


Homs. Even here they say they are targeted by opposition snipers.


Those killed today in Homs, certainly include some rebel


fighters. This man was shot in an attack on a Government position.


But most victims are civilians. Who will protect them now? With no


diplomatic agreement on how to deal with the Syrian regime, many on the


opposition side, like these protestors in Damascus today, are


increasingly hoping they can obtain more weapons to defend themselves.


Our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, is here in the studio. How have the


response supports of this UN resolution have reacted to the


blocking? With the strongest language one can remember on a


diplomatic matter for many years. France, UK, US, using words like


"scandal", "shame", it really has been a very strong reaction.


William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, continued in much the


same vein in the Commons today. Speaker, there is no need to mince


words about this, Russia and China have twice vetoed reasonable and


necessary action by the UN curt council. Such vetos are a betrayal


of the Syrian people n deploying them they have let down the Arab


League, they have increased the likelihood of what they wished to


avoid in Syria, civil war, and they have placed themselves on the wrong


side of Arab and international opinion.


What options are open to people like William Hague, or the American


a second, now? He and the French today were talking about this


coalition of the willing, the called Friends of Syria. This is


the Contact Group idea, the Arab League plus a few years, obviously


the UK and France among them. Their options are very, very limited,


supply arms, there is an EU arms embargo, most countries wouldn't


wish to go that far straight away. Any attempt to extend international


restrictive action, of course, would have to go back to the


Security Council, maybe their only option is to attempt to build


bridges with Russia and China again. We will explore this in a minute or


two. The intriguing question is why the Russians did it? There are


views it was a bit like Britain's veto in the EU, it was a failed


negotiating tactic. Some reports out of the UN suggested the UN


ambassador, and the Chinese were reassuring people on Friday that we


can do and deal and then it all went wrong, they say they were


moved too quickly to the vote. Some say they were directed, they took


political instruction, and Moscow took the lead, that Sergei Lavrov,


the Foreign Minister, was very important, and he decided they


should block this, because it looked too much like regime change,


Iraq, Libya, very different tactics, but the same result, he felt the


westerners wanted, today he was unrepentants.


-- Unrepentant. TRANSLATION: Some voices in the west giving their


opinion on the vote sound obscene, on the verge of hysteria, it brings


to mind the saying "he who gets angry, is rarely in the right".


Do the Russians regard the survival of Assad's regime as a vital


interest? There are echos of the old Cold War game today, and a


Turkish contingent accused them of this. We saw a few weeks ago the


Russian aircraft Admiral appearing off the Syrian coast. The Syrian


high command on board to be feted by Syrian military people and shown


the hardware on forward. Russia has a base in Syria for naval vessels,


it has a signals intelligence camp, it has been training the Syrians


for decades. Is that what it is about. No Russian Foreign Minister


say the survival of Bashar al-Assad himself is not part of the Russian


interest, they say it would have created civil war, because places


were being led to a civil war and massacre. Many think the objective


of thwarting US objectives still is very important in Moscow.


To discuss the next steps for Syria I'm joined by an opposition


activisted base in -- based in the UK. And a former Russian


intelligence adviser. Are you comfortable having the


blood of Syrians on your hands? think we again have a situation


where we tend to this, this is black and this is white. So there


is nothing inbetween. I: That is between a vote in favour and a veto


it is pretty black and white? of all the Russian Government asked


the United Nations to postpone the voting for a few days until Sergei


Lavrov goes to Syria and talks to Assad. That did not happen. That


was steam rolling very quick low. Secondly, the fact that two


permanent members of the Security Council, are voting against the


resolution is already an important development in itself. It just


shows that not everybody agrees with the situation. Thirdly, if you


look at the text of the resolution, it was not enforcible. The deadline


was 21 days, it was impossible to achieve all the measures that were


listed in that resolution, so the Russians thought that if that


doesn't work, the next stage would be military interference. And the


actual consequence, was, clearly, that the regime in Damascus, felt


it had some how got diplomatic cover for the killing of innocent


men, women and children? Let me ask you this, what would have happened


if everybody turned against Assad's regime, do you imagine the


desperation of these people in Damascus, you would have seen a


slaughter. You would have seen the supporters of Assad turning into


killing machines, because we already witnessed how desperate


dictators and what they do. This is not something decided forever, this


blockage of that resolution. The diplomatic process will continue,


Sergei Lavrov is going there to continue that process. How does it


look if you are a Syrian activist? Well, I think the Russian


Government is taking this as an excuse, civil war is happening


already in Syria. The supporters of the regime may blame the opposition


for that, because the Syrian National Council has not come with


a clear political programme to reassure the minorities, and that


is very, very, people have been critical of that. Civil war may


have happened already, because two armies are fighting against each


other. It looks like civil war? looks like civil war, two armies


fighting against each other, the soldiers are the ordinary Syrian


people, and the civilians have been killed, so the Russian Government


is making this an excuse for the arms market in Syria.


With about the arms, by the way, it has been made by many commentators


that Russia is providing the Syrian regime with weapons that are used


against civilians. Unfortunately it is not the case. The weapons that


are provided at the moment are anti-aircraft systems, anti-ship


systems, you can't use those things against the civilian population.


That is an important thing, to remember. But there are big


interest, big Russian interests in Syria, Mark mentioned one of them,


the naval base, the military base? Syria has been Russia's ally since


the Soviet times, so what's unusual about that? It is that particular


regime in Sir ia? It is the same, - - Syria? It is the same, I can say


that America is supporting Saudi Arabia because it has been its ally


for many years. And Saudi Arabia is not exactly a beacon of democracy.


There are certain national and international interests and allies


operating on different levels, but you can't just say that Russia has


done this because it has a military base there, and it wants to keep


Assad, whatever it takes. Russia wants diplomatic efforts to


continue. If it didn't, Sergei Lavrov would not be going to


Damascus. That is as simple as that. Any other solutions may lead to the


same consequences, killing more civilians, and civil war,


inflamming a civil war, any other options that we have at the moment,


the UN Security Council have been too late to take any decision, any


other options we have at the moment is inflamming civil war. So that


isn't an excuse to be honest. there a Russian end game? China and


Russia remember the end game of Libya, you may say it is a good


development that Gaddafi is removed, but what we are seeing in Libya now


is a revival of the civil war. The new powers are not exactly brimming


with desire to support human rights and democracy. So, we don't really


want a chain reaction like that going across the whole of the


Middle East. I think it is very wise decision to let diplomacy work.


You are on your own, aren't you? are, we have been left alone to


face the machine of killing, it has been around 11 months and no-one is


actually taking or acting in favour of the Syrian people. Russia is


always blocking any. It is not just Russia, it is also China? Of course,


but Russia is taking the lead. what sense? China has exactly the


same position, it wants diplomacy to work? Now that Sergei Lavrov is


going to Syria tomorrow, we will see what diplomatic solution he has


got, and will act on that. Thank you very much.


It is either a brilliant, decisive intervention, by one of the more


recent appointments to the cabinet, or a political stunt


significantfying nothing shrech. The bosses of -- significantfying


nothing much. The bosses of Network Rail have decided to forego bonuses


and spend the money on imgovernments to the rail. Which


means the meeting to vote against isn't necessary, but was it all a


got up drama. Before we ask the transport


secretary we report. The game has the nation gripped,


every contestant goes home empty handed, or lighter in the pocket.


First there was Sir Philip Hamilton, and Stephen Hester from RBS, the


Sun's headline a work of genius in itself.


This week it is another of those strange, not quite private, not


quite public operations, Network Rail. The a second has been trying


to put pressure on the executive directors to give up their bonuses,


and, well, plenty of people agree. I don't think it should be on the


table for them. The chief executive is paid �560,000 a year, which my


guess is he could probably about scrape by on. Last year Network


Rail was found to be in breach of its license by the rail regulation,


rail freight movements are suffering a 30% increase in delays,


passenger trains haven't met the industry's own targets for


pubgtality, there is no justification, at the moment,


certainly, for rewarding that kind of performance. If you have been


following the game at home, you will know what happens next is an


enormous split kal spat between Labour and the Government over


whether ministers have the power to veto the bonus.


Simply by reading the articles of negotiation, we can see Network


Rail can be pointed to the remuneration committee and give


prior consent to changes. It amounts to a veto if the a second


would choose to use it. According to the Department of Transfor the,


ministers don't have the power to veto individual bonuses, consent is


only needed if the overall incentive policy changes, which at


Network Rail hasn't for years. But do these executives need


bonuses at all to invent advise them? There is a real problem --


incentivise them? There is a problem because the bonuses are


around safety and the number of trains that are late. That all


comes from external factors, one bad accident could upset the


figures or snow, for example, that reduces their notional bonuses by a


bit. That is nonsensical. Basically the rail industry is a boring u--


utility, where people should do the same thing, day after day after day,


and do it efficient low and effectively, that is not the


culture where you need big bonuses to make people do the right thing.


Network Rail bosses, then, had less wriggle room than commuters on the


7.08, and not want to go replace RBS bosses in the public's


affection, they decided they could probably do without the cash.


Bosses at Network Rail have decided to go without their bonuses this


year. Does all this mean that the Network


Rail gravy train has come to a grinding halt? No, according toe


one former transport minister. think -- According to one former


transport minister? I think it is the end of bonuses, but there is a


five-year plan for directors of Network Rail, which if they go


through in the current form, will mean effectively a doubling of


directors' and the chief executive's salary every year for


five years. Every year for five years? It is a 100% increase for


five years. That is still on the stable. The a second understands


that is still on the table, she has asked them not to take it further


until she publishes a command paper on the structure in two weeks time,


it is still live. How does Network Rail justify their executive pay,


they base it on the middle point for FTSE 100 companies' executive


pay, why there? The company has an I don't think there is a great need


to pay these people enormous sums of money, to do basically what is a


fairly routine mundane job, on the whole.


Thanks for playing Network Rail, can we have our next competitor


please? The hot spot probably won't be empty for long.


Earlier this evening I spoke to the Transport Secretary, Andy Green.


Justine Greening, the people at Network Rail say the decision to


forego their bonuses was taken last week. Did you know that? No, I was


called by Matthew Higgins today, to be hold that -- David Higgins today


to be told that decision. I think it is a sensible decision and one I


welcome. If they did take the decision last week, all your


anxiety and plans to go to the members' meeting would be just a


stunt, wouldn't they? I don't think so, actually. That provision has


been there ever since Network Rail was set up by the last Government.


I think no Transport Secretary has ever tried to use it before. I


thought it was important to stand up, frankly, for tax-payers, and


their concerns about these bonuses, that is what I was quite prepared


to do. Do you think your intervention was crucial to this


decision which the Network Rail bosses say was taken last week?


was a Network Rail decision, and you have to ask them about how they


made the decision. Do you think your intervention made any


difference at all? There was no doubt it was my job to stick up for


tax-payers and fare payers, I have no doubt that Network Rail would


have looked across that at the weekend, but it was a decision for


them. And indeed a decision they say they took last week? You have


made that point, and as I say, I think in terms of how Network Rail


reach their decision, really you would be better off asking them. I


was quite right to be prepared to stand up for tax-payers and fare


payers. Do you think bonuses are ever legitimate in the public


sector? It is perfectly fine to have an element of pay that is


performance related, I think what people do want to see, though, is,


first of all, for it to be administered fairly, secondly, it


does have to relate to performance. The other thing they expect is a


little bit of transparency and accountability. That has been


lacking at Network Rail, and it is one of the things that I'm looking


at tackling in the rail strategy paper that I'm finishing now. That


is another reason why I felt the decision to go ahead with bonuses


and Network Rail have now gone back on that, that this was simply not


right time to do it. The policy apparently at Network Rail is


remuneration is, "benchmarked to the median FTSE 100 company", is


that appropriate? That is a question for Network Rail and their


members. I'm asking you your opinion? My opinion is Network Rail


ultimately need to take their own decision, alongside their members,


on the appropriate pay and incentives package. The point I


have been making over recent days, is I don't think that governance


structure is in place for that to happen appropriately. That is one


of the reasons why I was prepared to go to the general meeting that


was happening this week, which has now been postponed, it is also one


of the reasons why I was planning to strengthen Network Rail


governance in the command paper coming out on rail reform over the


next few weeks. You are more familiar than most with how Network


Rail operates. It isn't like a FTSE 100 company, is it? Network Rail is


a private company in the sense that it is there to run the track on


which our trains operate. Could it go bust? Network Rail, ultimately,


will run its organisation in a way that should deliver good taxpayer


value for money. You won't let it go bust, would you? This is key to


the comparison with the FTSE 100 companies correction it go bust?


Network Rail is an independent of Government institution. Subsidised


by the taxpayer? I don't think the question arises of it going bust, I


think the key point is to make sure it is set up in a way. What people


watching this will want to know, is it is not the finer detail of its


balance sheet, the key point is whether Network Rail is set up in a


way to enable it to deliver railway performance that I want to see,


passengers and the public want to see. What we have seen over recent


days is the fact in which bonuses and incentives were structured by


the last Government, in terms of how that framework gets agreed. It


is simply not strong enough to come out with the right sort of package


to make sure the incentives are really there and responsibly there.


That is precisely what I'm seeking to address. Can you tell us of one


business in wit taxpayer has a substantial stake, in -- in which


the taxpayer has a substantial stake, that you think bonuses would


be appropriate? I have always said bonuses are appropriate if they


relate to good performance. Can you give us an example of a good


performance? I think at the end of the day if you look at Network Rail


going forward, what we are trying to achieve with the rail strategy.


That is an example of a company where you believe bonuses are not


legitimate. I'm asking for an example where you think they are


legitimate? It is not appropriate for me to comment across the piece.


You think it is OK to comment on where they are not legitimate, when


are they legitimate? It is not up to me to comment on other


Government departments where I'm not in a position to say whether or


not the bonus structures in place are appropriate. As Transport


Secretary I can comment on Network Rail, that is what I have been


prepared to do over the weekend. Most people would I think I took


xablgtly the right stance, prepared to go -- exactly the right stance,


to be prepared to go to the Annual General Meeting, to represent fare


payers and tax-payers, and I'm pleased Network Rail have taken the


decision they would not take the bonuses they planned, if they are


due they will put them into improving level crossings. You set


a precedent here. Can you give me an example of a single company,


either within your department, or elsewhere, or getting tax-payers'


money through your department or elsewhere, where you think bonuses


are legitimate? I don't believe I have set a precedent, all I have


done is simply used the provisions within the Network Rail governance


structure, to make sure I stood up for tax-payers and fare payers,


that was the right thing to do. The governance structure was there, the


only difference is unlike the last Government who put it in place,


they were never prepared use it. I actually was, that was the right


thing to do. So you have set a precedent? I haven't set a


precedent. The only precedent there is the fact I'm willing to use the


mechanism already in place. What I'm saying is that mechanism was


not strong enough within Network Rail, that is what we need to


improve. Thank you.


He apparently hates Jews, anyone who if he effects from Islam and


Americans, he has been described as Osama Bin Laden's righthand man in


Europe. He doesn't hate the west so much that he wants to leave it and


return to the Middle East, instead, Abu Qatada has used European law to


stay in this country. Which he entered illegally, and not to be


sent to Jordan to stand trial. Despite the Home Office's view he's


a very dangerous man, an immigration judge ruled he should


be free from high-security prison. Talk us through what happened?


cases make bad law. This is a hard case. Videos of Abu Qatada, to


remind you, were found in the Hamburg apartment of some of the


9/11 attackers, some of his sermons. He has been called Osama Bin


Laden's righthand man in Europe, Al-Qaeda's spiritual leader in


Europe, a truly dangerous individual, and a the most


significant extremist preacher in the UK. Today it is decided he


should be released from prison, where he has spent six-and-a-half


years of the last ten years, because the judge said in the


absence of any charge or allegation against him he can't be held any


longer. The British Government want to extradite him back to Jordan,


because there he faces terrorist offences, but the European Court of


Human Rights last month ruled that couldn't happen, because the


evidence against him in Gordon Brown may well have been obtained


through torture, he has to stay. What have the British judges had to


say about it? Three years ago in a landmark judge, Lord Philips, said


the fact that the evidence against him in Jordan may have been


obtained against him in torture was irrelevant, if he was a danger to


national security he should be ejected. But today the immigration


jurpblg, Lord Justice Mitting, ruled in the judge, Lord Justice


Mitting ruled that, in favour of the European Court ruling, that he


had to be released from house arrest by the end of this week. He


also said that within three months f the Government hasn't settled


with the Jordanians some means by which Qatada should be sent back to


Jordan, he should be freed in the UK, without any strings attached.


What happens now? The British Government have said that they are


not happy about this. The Home Office say he will be bailed from


the prison where he has been, within a week. The Home Office say


they disagree with the decision, and say this is a dangerous man who


poses a threat to security, and hasn't changed his views to the UK.


They are considering their legal actions in response to the European


Court's ruling. We're joined by Roger Smith a


lawyer and director of justice, a campaign organisation involved with


Abu Qatada's case. And by Douglas Murray, an author and associate


director with the democracy Campaign Group, the Henry Jackson


Society. Are you pleased this dangerous man is walking the


street? I don't have a brief or act for Abu Qatada, but what should


happen to him is due process. Two points, if he's as dangerous as was


said and we have just been told, then he has committed offences in


this country, and should be charged in the normal way. He never has


been. Secondly, the real person should also be here is Jordan,


there is a real problem, because the justice system in Jordan is not


reliable. He has been convicted abroad, hasn't he? He has been


convicted twice in Jordan. On the basis of evidence by two people who


retracted it and said they had originally given their evidence


under the influence of torture. you think we should just take a


risk and let this bloke wander around this country? I think there


is a clash of seeing the world as national states who have entire


national control over what happens, and international norms of human


rights. I think he should be dealt with according to norms of human


rights. What do you think should happen to him? I think he should be


returned to Jordan tomorrow. Despite the fact he might face


trial, he could face risk himself, and face a trial where evidence


could be produced that was obtained under torture? He won't face risk


to himself. This country to considerable expense and amount of


time under the Labour Government, sought a memrand dumb of


understanding with Jordan, where he would not be mistreated in Jordan


if he was tried there. It was only last month, the European Court of


Human Rights for the first time cited article 6 on the right to a


fair trial issue. Claiming it was an issue of whether or not people


in the trial of Abu Qatada in Gordon Brown might themselves have


been mistreated, that is why we are in the mess. The European Court of


Human Rights kept on moving the goal posts, that is why we are here,


they kept on doing that. It is not unusual for European states to


simply significant nor the European Courts, it can't enforce the


judgments. There is no reason why we can't do what Italy and France


have done, ignore the courts. The day after the European Court would


say, in a strongly-worded statement that they condemned the British


Government for doing this. We could simply do what, as I say our allies


have done on the continent and ignore the court. Why can't we do


that? We believe in due process, and the Government does too. The


issue is torture, what position do we as the UK take about torture.


this is a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, why not just


ignore it? Because we signed up to the European convention. So have


all the other countries? We are only the country that so completely


runs by the letter of the law of the European Court. The European


Court has shown repeated low that in cases of national security, it


cannot have a -- repeatedly that in cases of national security, it


cannot have countries like this and France and others having their best


interests. In a case like this, making sure that Abu Qatada, who


came to Britain illegally in 1993, on a forged UAE passport, is given


every right that the European Court can invent, year after year,


changing the goal posts, it is very God at that. What it is not good at


doing, is securing, through its judgment, a genuinely fair process,


to apart from anything else, ensure, that people in Britain do not have


a known extremist, and a known hate monger, as somebody who has made a


career, as the judgment said in 2007, who has such reach in his


network that it is said it was incalculable. They said that in


2007, and now because of the European Court and 2012, the man


will walk the streets. You don't think we need to worry about due


process and collecting proper evidence? We do, and this country


has done everything it could to go through that due process. Thatth


has gone to appeal in the laws and every court in the land, everything.


The only thing is the European Court consistently has moved the


goal posts over recent years and only last month, for the first time,


used article 6, this new part. The issue was not whether he himself


was mistreated if he went back to Jordan to face trial, it was


whether any evidence used against him was obtained in that way.


you not slightlym uncomfortable with our courts going by the rouls


of a foreign court and judgment, to protect a man who advocates killing


people? It is not an easy case, and you can't make an easy judgment.


What the European Court has done, is consistently drawn a bright line


around torture, saying Article Three prevents it and complicity


with it. It has extended the meaning of that, so you cannot


throw somebody back to another country, where he will there is a


reasonable chance he will this be torture. I think that is right. It


isn't true to say, it isn't true that we are the only country that


complies with it. Sweden, the whole Scandinavian countries, the


countries of the Council of Europe comply. Do you think the countries


signing up to this court, that don't abide by the rulings?


repeat offenders are Russia and Turkey, I would like to be a


citizen of a country that is different from that and accepts the


due process. We signed up to the court, we should obey to it.


Neither France nor Italy are barbaric countries that don't


expect the rule of law. They respect the rule of law, but they


also respect the fact that Italian and French citizens have the right


not to have people like Abu Qatada walking in their midst. Why not


leave the court f it is such a problem? That is one of the problem,


if the coalition Government were to do what David Cameron said he would


like to do before the election, and remove ourselves from the


convention and the jurisdiction of the court. Another option is when


they come up with completely bonkers judgments, as they have


repeatedly with Qatada, is to ignore them. The other is to do


what we are currently doing, is to be very British about it, following


the complete letter of the law, to an extent no other country does,


and do what the main allies on the country don't do it. He says it is


not no other countries, the Scandinavian companies? No other


countries with a figure like Abu Qatada, has gone to this length to


protect him. No other country has gone that far. Italy and France are


not backward countries f they can disobey the European Court and get


an understand pleasant splap on the wrist, we could do that, and Abu


Qatada would be facing trial in Jordan, with a memoranda, meaning


he wouldn't face bad treatment. is madness to say leave the Council


of Europe, that wo mean the same as Belarus, only if you go to Belarus


do you leave the countries of the koum of Europe. It is madness --


countries -- Council of Europe. It is madness to say that. We go


around the world bringing human rights, sometimes at the point of a


gun, it is ridiculous to say also we shouldn't follow decisions of


the court. Mariana Mazzucato is in town, --


He has had a big influence on other stand-up comedians, he's now 75,


this is expected to be one of his very last tours unless there is


I have a date with comedy legend, Paul Mason, Jacky Mason, he says


this will be his farewell set of dates in the UK, he's 75. Unless I


want to buy something, that is a different problem, that is a joke.


I like it. In this country I have socialised medicine, in the United


States every doctor is a crook. I tell them to their faces and every


show I do on Broadway, I call them coox, they are not insults. --


crooks. They are not insults in the United States, you know why? They


know their crooks. Why do you think he wears a mask when he operates,


he don't want to see you what he's doing. The used to be full-time


rabbi has played to full houses throughout the UK, including the


London Palladium. What I'm most proud of is I keep


winning awards in the United States for getting the biggest amount of


laughs in a single show. I have gotten that award seven years in a


row from that society, that judges and counts laughs per show. What do


you put it down to? Desperately hard work, and an amazing amount of


talent. That must be the answer. And the fact that the other people


are not so hot, that also helps. Ahead of his latest and last run in


the West End, Mason gave me a comedy masterclass on the


storyboards of the wind ham theatre. If there is some kind of insult in


the joke, I make sure I don't tell it. Are you king of the world here,


are you wooing the audience, what is the idea? The idea is I'm the


boss because I'm here. I don't try to dominate an audience, but I try


to involve them as much as possible in what I'm saying. I'm creating a


sense of warmth, of intmcy. -- Intimacy. On the 60th


anniversary of the Queen's accession, he recounted his own


encounters with the royal box. came over and thanked me for the


show, I said I appreciate you thanking me so much, that is kind


of you. I noticed she started to talk like me. No, she started to


talk like you? As I'm thanking her, she says thank you very much, and


then she says, I tell you the truth, it wasn't that great, but an


exceptional show, to be honest with you. I started to talk like an


Englishman to be polite, I said thatch I appreciate it t she said,


that's OK, don't worry about it. I said to myself, thank God, I turned


the Queen into a Jewish lady. Jackie, I know it is unfair, you


have just got off the plane, you need to acclimatise. What can a


British audience look forward to, are you doing anything about us?


Everyone I came here tell me the same story, about this MP who got a


traffic ticket when he was riding with his woif, and she claimed that


she was the one driving, then they found out he was driving not her,


because he started to go out with another girl. Allegedly, it is all


spending in the courts? I know it is all allegeded. Thank you for


saying it? I'm not doing the show, a news programme has to say alleged.


I want to be the only one who shows respect to your Prime Minister, and


the only guy today that won't call him a liar, a fake a fraud and


phoney, as far as I'm concerned he's an honest man, and I thought


Clinton was honest. Why are you suggesting this might be your


foinal appearance over here, is this really true -- final


appearance over here? Is this really true? When I say it is the


final tour, I'm 100% true, that doesn't mean if you give me


�100,000 I won't tell you a joke. I will tell you a joke for the right


price. That's it, Jackie Mason appearing in London. The Financial


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

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Plus legendary comedian Jackie Mason.

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