06/02/2012 Newsnight


06/02/2012

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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Transcript


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

:00:09.:00:13.

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

:00:13.:00:17.

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

:00:17.:00:22.

while China and Russia provide a form of diplomatic protection.

:00:22.:00:26.

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

:00:26.:00:30.

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

:00:30.:00:34.

Council gets you, what else is possible?

:00:34.:00:37.

The international diplomatic effort hit the buffers on Saturday, now

:00:37.:00:44.

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

:00:44.:00:49.

Friends of Syria. Bosses at Network Rail denounce

:00:49.:00:54.

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

:00:54.:00:59.

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

:00:59.:01:02.

enterprise where the bosses deserve a bonus.

:01:02.:01:09.

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

:01:09.:01:12.

isn't the state free to protect itself.

:01:12.:01:22.
:01:22.:01:25.

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

:01:25.:01:33.

to us. His supporters and toadies call him

:01:33.:01:41.

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

:01:41.:01:47.

Syrian civilians indiscriminatly, and the United Nations is not

:01:47.:01:54.

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

:01:54.:01:58.

have turned to The Government in Syria has been

:01:58.:02:01.

called a failed and murderous regime.

:02:01.:02:04.

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

:02:04.:02:10.

what he could. All day today, yesterday and the

:02:10.:02:13.

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

:02:13.:02:19.

shaking to the sound of a Government bombardment.

:02:19.:02:26.

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

:02:26.:02:33.

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

:02:33.:02:36.

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

:02:36.:02:40.

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

:02:40.:02:44.

buildings, wounded people in their hundreds.

:02:44.:02:47.

Film posted on the Internet apparently shows some of those

:02:47.:02:52.

injured being treated in a makeshift hospital in Homs today.

:02:52.:02:57.

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

:02:57.:03:00.

his wounds. The countries that vetoed the UN Security Council

:03:00.:03:03.

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

:03:03.:03:12.

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

:03:13.:03:16.

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

:03:16.:03:20.

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

:03:20.:03:25.

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

:03:25.:03:31.

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

:03:31.:03:35.

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

:03:35.:03:38.

they do. The uprising that started nearly a

:03:38.:03:42.

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

:03:42.:03:47.

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

:03:47.:03:52.

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

:03:52.:03:56.

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

:03:56.:04:00.

centre is controlled by the authorities, along with loyalist

:04:00.:04:07.

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

:04:07.:04:13.

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

:04:13.:04:18.

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

:04:18.:04:23.

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

:04:23.:04:27.

began, with heavier artillery, including multiple rocket launchers

:04:27.:04:31.

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

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bombardments by rocket launchers, they have been hitting us with

:04:34.:04:40.

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

:04:40.:04:45.

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

:04:45.:04:50.

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

:04:50.:04:58.

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

:04:58.:05:01.

hurriedly at night, without ceremony. Fear that those carrying

:05:01.:05:09.

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

:05:09.:05:14.

that the bombardment has been particularly heavy. This apartment

:05:14.:05:18.

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

:05:18.:05:22.

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

:05:22.:05:26.

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

:05:26.:05:33.

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

:05:33.:05:38.

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

:05:38.:05:45.

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

:05:45.:05:52.

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

:05:52.:05:58.

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

:05:58.:06:01.

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

:06:01.:06:05.

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

:06:05.:06:10.

of sandbagged military checkpoints and mortgage traits of Bashar al-

:06:10.:06:14.

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

:06:14.:06:20.

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

:06:20.:06:27.

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

:06:27.:06:30.

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

:06:30.:06:34.

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

:06:34.:06:37.

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

:06:37.:06:41.

Those killed today in Homs, certainly include some rebel

:06:41.:06:45.

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

:06:45.:06:51.

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

:06:51.:06:55.

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

:06:55.:07:00.

opposition side, like these protestors in Damascus today, are

:07:00.:07:04.

increasingly hoping they can obtain more weapons to defend themselves.

:07:04.:07:11.

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

:07:11.:07:15.

response supports of this UN resolution have reacted to the

:07:15.:07:19.

blocking? With the strongest language one can remember on a

:07:19.:07:26.

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

:07:26.:07:31.

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

:07:31.:07:34.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, continued in much the

:07:34.:07:39.

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

:07:39.:07:44.

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

:07:44.:07:48.

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

:07:48.:07:52.

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

:07:52.:07:55.

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

:07:55.:07:58.

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

:07:58.:08:01.

side of Arab and international opinion.

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

:08:06.:08:09.

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

:08:09.:08:14.

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

:08:14.:08:19.

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

:08:19.:08:24.

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

:08:24.:08:28.

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

:08:28.:08:32.

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

:08:32.:08:35.

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

:08:35.:08:38.

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

:08:39.:08:43.

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

:08:43.:08:47.

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

:08:47.:08:51.

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

:08:51.:08:57.

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

:08:57.:09:01.

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

:09:01.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:10.

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

:09:10.:09:13.

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

:09:13.:09:16.

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

:09:16.:09:21.

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

:09:21.:09:26.

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

:09:26.:09:32.

westerners wanted, today he was unrepentants.

:09:32.:09:35.

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

:09:35.:09:39.

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

:09:39.:09:43.

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

:09:43.:09:50.

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

:09:50.:10:00.

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

:10:00.:10:07.

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

:10:07.:10:11.

Russian aircraft Admiral appearing off the Syrian coast. The Syrian

:10:11.:10:15.

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

:10:15.:10:20.

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

:10:20.:10:29.

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

:10:29.:10:34.

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

:10:34.:10:38.

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

:10:38.:10:43.

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

:10:43.:10:47.

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

:10:47.:10:55.

of thwarting US objectives still is very important in Moscow.

:10:55.:11:00.

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

:11:00.:11:07.

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

:11:07.:11:09.

intelligence adviser. Are you comfortable having the

:11:09.:11:14.

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

:11:14.:11:18.

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

:11:18.:11:25.

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

:11:25.:11:29.

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

:11:29.:11:32.

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

:11:32.:11:37.

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

:11:37.:11:44.

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

:11:44.:11:48.

permanent members of the Security Council, are voting against the

:11:48.:11:53.

resolution is already an important development in itself. It just

:11:53.:11:57.

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

:11:57.:12:02.

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

:12:02.:12:08.

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

:12:08.:12:16.

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

:12:16.:12:20.

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

:12:20.:12:24.

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

:12:24.:12:28.

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

:12:28.:12:33.

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

:12:33.:12:38.

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

:12:38.:12:42.

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

:12:42.:12:47.

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

:12:47.:12:52.

killing machines, because we already witnessed how desperate

:12:52.:12:57.

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

:12:57.:13:02.

blockage of that resolution. The diplomatic process will continue,

:13:02.:13:06.

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

:13:06.:13:12.

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

:13:12.:13:17.

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

:13:17.:13:25.

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

:13:25.:13:29.

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

:13:29.:13:35.

a clear political programme to reassure the minorities, and that

:13:35.:13:41.

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

:13:41.:13:44.

have happened already, because two armies are fighting against each

:13:44.:13:49.

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

:13:49.:13:54.

fighting against each other, the soldiers are the ordinary Syrian

:13:54.:13:58.

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

:13:58.:14:07.

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

:14:07.:14:12.

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

:14:12.:14:17.

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

:14:17.:14:21.

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

:14:21.:14:25.

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

:14:25.:14:29.

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

:14:29.:14:33.

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

:14:33.:14:38.

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

:14:38.:14:43.

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

:14:43.:14:50.

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

:14:50.:14:57.

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

:14:58.:15:01.

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

:15:01.:15:08.

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

:15:08.:15:10.

There are certain national and international interests and allies

:15:10.:15:14.

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

:15:14.:15:18.

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

:15:18.:15:22.

Assad, whatever it takes. Russia wants diplomatic efforts to

:15:22.:15:26.

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

:15:26.:15:32.

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

:15:32.:15:36.

same consequences, killing more civilians, and civil war,

:15:36.:15:41.

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

:15:41.:15:45.

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

:15:45.:15:50.

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

:15:50.:16:00.
:16:00.:16:05.

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

:16:05.:16:10.

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

:16:10.:16:14.

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

:16:14.:16:20.

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

:16:20.:16:26.

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

:16:26.:16:29.

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

:16:29.:16:34.

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

:16:34.:16:40.

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

:16:40.:16:46.

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

:16:46.:16:54.

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

:16:54.:16:59.

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

:16:59.:17:04.

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

:17:04.:17:09.

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

:17:09.:17:14.

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

:17:14.:17:18.

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

:17:18.:17:23.

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

:17:23.:17:26.

recent appointments to the cabinet, or a political stunt

:17:26.:17:31.

significantfying nothing shrech. The bosses of -- significantfying

:17:31.:17:35.

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

:17:35.:17:39.

and spend the money on imgovernments to the rail. Which

:17:39.:17:42.

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

:17:42.:17:46.

got up drama. Before we ask the transport

:17:46.:17:56.
:17:56.:17:59.

secretary we report. The game has the nation gripped,

:17:59.:18:03.

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

:18:03.:18:09.

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

:18:09.:18:14.

Sun's headline a work of genius in itself.

:18:14.:18:18.

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

:18:18.:18:20.

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

:18:20.:18:25.

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

:18:25.:18:29.

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

:18:29.:18:34.

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

:18:34.:18:37.

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

:18:37.:18:43.

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

:18:43.:18:46.

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

:18:46.:18:50.

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

:18:50.:18:53.

pubgtality, there is no justification, at the moment,

:18:53.:19:02.

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

:19:02.:19:06.

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

:19:06.:19:09.

enormous split kal spat between Labour and the Government over

:19:09.:19:13.

whether ministers have the power to veto the bonus.

:19:13.:19:19.

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

:19:20.:19:26.

Rail can be pointed to the remuneration committee and give

:19:26.:19:30.

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

:19:30.:19:33.

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

:19:33.:19:39.

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

:19:39.:19:45.

only needed if the overall incentive policy changes, which at

:19:45.:19:49.

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

:19:49.:19:55.

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

:19:55.:19:58.

incentivise them? There is a problem because the bonuses are

:19:58.:20:02.

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

:20:02.:20:06.

comes from external factors, one bad accident could upset the

:20:06.:20:11.

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

:20:11.:20:18.

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

:20:18.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:25.

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

:20:25.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:35.

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

:20:35.:20:40.

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

:20:40.:20:44.

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

:20:44.:20:47.

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

:20:47.:20:50.

year. Does all this mean that the Network

:20:50.:20:55.

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

:20:55.:21:01.

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

:21:01.:21:06.

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

:21:06.:21:10.

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

:21:10.:21:15.

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

:21:16.:21:19.

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

:21:19.:21:23.

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

:21:23.:21:26.

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

:21:26.:21:33.

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

:21:33.:21:37.

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

:21:37.:21:42.

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

:21:42.:21:49.

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

:21:49.:21:59.
:21:59.:22:25.

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

:22:25.:22:30.

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

:22:30.:22:36.

fairly routine mundane job, on the whole.

:22:36.:22:40.

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

:22:40.:22:45.

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

:22:45.:22:55.
:22:55.:22:55.

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

:22:55.:22:59.

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

:22:59.:23:03.

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

:23:03.:23:08.

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

:23:08.:23:13.

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

:23:13.:23:16.

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

:23:16.:23:19.

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

:23:19.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

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

:23:28.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:37.

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

:23:37.:23:41.

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

:23:41.:23:45.

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

:23:45.:23:49.

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

:23:49.:23:53.

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

:23:53.:23:57.

made the decision. Do you think your intervention made any

:23:57.:24:05.

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

:24:05.:24:10.

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

:24:10.:24:13.

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

:24:13.:24:17.

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

:24:17.:24:21.

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

:24:21.:24:25.

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

:24:25.:24:29.

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

:24:29.:24:33.

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

:24:33.:24:37.

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

:24:37.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:49.

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

:24:49.:24:52.

little bit of transparency and accountability. That has been

:24:52.:24:55.

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

:24:55.:24:59.

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

:24:59.:25:03.

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

:25:03.:25:07.

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

:25:07.:25:13.

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

:25:13.:25:20.

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

:25:20.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:28.

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

:25:28.:25:31.

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

:25:31.:25:34.

on the appropriate pay and incentives package. The point I

:25:34.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:49.

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

:25:49.:25:53.

of the reasons why I was planning to strengthen Network Rail

:25:53.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:02.

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

:26:02.:26:07.

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

:26:07.:26:12.

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

:26:12.:26:20.

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

:26:20.:26:24.

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

:26:24.:26:29.

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

:26:29.:26:33.

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

:26:33.:26:36.

Network Rail is an independent of Government institution. Subsidised

:26:37.:26:41.

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

:26:41.:26:45.

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

:26:45.:26:50.

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

:26:50.:26:53.

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

:26:53.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:02.

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

:27:02.:27:07.

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

:27:07.:27:11.

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

:27:11.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:21.

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

:27:21.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:30.

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

:27:30.:27:34.

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

:27:35.:27:38.

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

:27:38.:27:42.

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

:27:42.:27:46.

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

:27:46.:27:49.

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

:27:49.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:27:57.

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

:27:57.:28:01.

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

:28:01.:28:05.

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

:28:05.:28:09.

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

:28:09.:28:12.

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

:28:12.:28:16.

not the bonus structures in place are appropriate. As Transport

:28:16.:28:19.

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

:28:19.:28:23.

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

:28:23.:28:26.

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

:28:26.:28:30.

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

:28:30.:28:34.

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

:28:34.:28:37.

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

:28:37.:28:41.

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

:28:41.:28:47.

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

:28:47.:28:51.

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

:28:51.:28:56.

money through your department or elsewhere, where you think bonuses

:28:56.:28:59.

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

:28:59.:29:04.

done is simply used the provisions within the Network Rail governance

:29:04.:29:08.

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

:29:08.:29:12.

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

:29:12.:29:16.

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

:29:16.:29:19.

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

:29:19.:29:23.

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

:29:23.:29:27.

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

:29:27.:29:32.

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

:29:32.:29:35.

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

:29:35.:29:38.

improve. Thank you.

:29:38.:29:42.

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

:29:42.:29:46.

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

:29:46.:29:50.

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

:29:50.:29:54.

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

:29:54.:30:00.

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

:30:00.:30:05.

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

:30:05.:30:09.

a very dangerous man, an immigration judge ruled he should

:30:09.:30:14.

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

:30:14.:30:19.

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

:30:19.:30:24.

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

:30:24.:30:28.

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

:30:28.:30:32.

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

:30:32.:30:37.

Europe, a truly dangerous individual, and a the most

:30:37.:30:40.

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

:30:40.:30:44.

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

:30:44.:30:48.

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

:30:48.:30:53.

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

:30:53.:30:58.

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

:30:58.:31:01.

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

:31:01.:31:04.

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

:31:04.:31:07.

evidence against him in Gordon Brown may well have been obtained

:31:07.:31:11.

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

:31:11.:31:17.

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

:31:17.:31:22.

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

:31:22.:31:28.

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

:31:28.:31:33.

national security he should be ejected. But today the immigration

:31:33.:31:40.

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

:31:40.:31:44.

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

:31:44.:31:47.

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

:31:47.:31:51.

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

:31:51.:31:56.

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

:31:56.:32:01.

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

:32:01.:32:04.

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

:32:04.:32:09.

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

:32:09.:32:14.

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

:32:14.:32:18.

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

:32:18.:32:23.

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

:32:23.:32:26.

They are considering their legal actions in response to the European

:32:26.:32:32.

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

:32:32.:32:36.

lawyer and director of justice, a campaign organisation involved with

:32:36.:32:41.

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

:32:42.:32:48.

director with the democracy Campaign Group, the Henry Jackson

:32:48.:32:51.

Society. Are you pleased this dangerous man is walking the

:32:51.:32:55.

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

:32:55.:33:00.

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

:33:00.:33:03.

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

:33:03.:33:07.

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

:33:07.:33:11.

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

:33:11.:33:15.

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

:33:15.:33:19.

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

:33:19.:33:23.

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

:33:23.:33:27.

retracted it and said they had originally given their evidence

:33:27.:33:31.

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

:33:31.:33:35.

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

:33:35.:33:39.

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

:33:39.:33:42.

national control over what happens, and international norms of human

:33:42.:33:46.

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

:33:46.:33:50.

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

:33:50.:33:54.

returned to Jordan tomorrow. Despite the fact he might face

:33:54.:33:59.

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

:33:59.:34:04.

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

:34:04.:34:07.

to himself. This country to considerable expense and amount of

:34:07.:34:11.

time under the Labour Government, sought a memrand dumb of

:34:11.:34:15.

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

:34:15.:34:19.

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

:34:19.:34:22.

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

:34:22.:34:26.

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

:34:26.:34:32.

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

:34:32.:34:36.

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

:34:36.:34:40.

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

:34:40.:34:45.

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

:34:45.:34:49.

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

:34:49.:34:53.

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

:34:53.:34:56.

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

:34:56.:34:59.

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

:34:59.:35:03.

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

:35:03.:35:08.

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

:35:08.:35:12.

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

:35:12.:35:17.

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

:35:17.:35:22.

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

:35:22.:35:26.

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

:35:26.:35:29.

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

:35:29.:35:31.

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

:35:31.:35:35.

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

:35:35.:35:41.

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

:35:41.:35:46.

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

:35:46.:35:50.

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

:35:50.:35:55.

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

:35:55.:35:58.

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

:35:58.:36:02.

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

:36:02.:36:08.

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

:36:08.:36:12.

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

:36:12.:36:17.

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

:36:17.:36:24.

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

:36:24.:36:27.

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

:36:28.:36:31.

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

:36:31.:36:34.

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

:36:34.:36:39.

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

:36:39.:36:44.

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

:36:44.:36:48.

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

:36:48.:36:52.

The only thing is the European Court consistently has moved the

:36:52.:36:56.

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

:36:56.:37:02.

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

:37:02.:37:08.

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

:37:08.:37:11.

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

:37:11.:37:16.

you not slightlym uncomfortable with our courts going by the rouls

:37:16.:37:21.

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

:37:21.:37:25.

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

:37:25.:37:29.

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

:37:29.:37:32.

around torture, saying Article Three prevents it and complicity

:37:32.:37:36.

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

:37:36.:37:39.

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

:37:39.:37:42.

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

:37:42.:37:46.

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

:37:46.:37:51.

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

:37:51.:37:55.

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

:37:55.:38:00.

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

:38:00.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:06.

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

:38:06.:38:11.

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

:38:11.:38:14.

Neither France nor Italy are barbaric countries that don't

:38:14.:38:17.

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

:38:17.:38:21.

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

:38:21.:38:25.

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

:38:25.:38:29.

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

:38:29.:38:33.

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

:38:33.:38:37.

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

:38:37.:38:40.

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

:38:40.:38:44.

they come up with completely bonkers judgments, as they have

:38:44.:38:47.

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

:38:47.:38:51.

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

:38:51.:38:55.

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

:38:55.:38:59.

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

:38:59.:39:03.

not no other countries, the Scandinavian companies? No other

:39:03.:39:07.

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

:39:07.:39:12.

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

:39:12.:39:18.

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

:39:18.:39:23.

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

:39:23.:39:28.

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

:39:28.:39:36.

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

:39:36.:39:42.

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

:39:42.:39:48.

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

:39:48.:39:51.

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

:39:51.:39:55.

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

:39:55.:39:58.

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

:39:58.:40:08.
:40:08.:40:12.

the court. Mariana Mazzucato is in town, --

:40:12.:40:18.

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

:40:18.:40:22.

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

:40:22.:40:32.
:40:32.:40:40.

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

:40:40.:40:46.

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

:40:46.:40:49.

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

:40:49.:40:54.

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

:40:54.:40:58.

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

:40:58.:41:03.

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

:41:03.:41:07.

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

:41:07.:41:13.

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

:41:13.:41:19.

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

:41:19.:41:23.

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

:41:23.:41:29.

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

:41:29.:41:32.

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

:41:32.:41:37.

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

:41:37.:41:41.

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

:41:41.:41:46.

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

:41:46.:41:49.

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

:41:49.:41:57.

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

:41:57.:42:03.

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

:42:03.:42:06.

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

:42:06.:42:11.

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

:42:11.:42:17.

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

:42:17.:42:25.

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

:42:25.:42:30.

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

:42:30.:42:39.

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

:42:39.:42:44.

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

:42:44.:42:49.

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

:42:50.:42:53.

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

:42:53.:42:57.

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

:42:57.:43:03.

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

:43:03.:43:10.

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

:43:10.:43:16.

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

:43:16.:43:20.

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

:43:20.:43:24.

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

:43:24.:43:32.

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

:43:32.:43:38.

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

:43:38.:43:41.

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

:43:41.:43:49.

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

:43:49.:43:54.

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

:43:54.:43:59.

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

:43:59.:44:04.

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

:44:04.:44:13.

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

:44:13.:44:22.

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

:44:22.:44:26.

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

:44:26.:44:30.

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

:44:30.:44:35.

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

:44:35.:44:38.

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

:44:38.:44:42.

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

:44:42.:44:47.

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

:44:47.:44:52.

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

:44:52.:44:57.

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

:44:57.:45:01.

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

:45:01.:45:11.
:45:11.:45:40.

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

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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