With opposition to the government's NHS reform bill growing, is anyone really sure what the legislation is for any more? Plus Greek debt crisis and more, with Jeremy Paxman.
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Another day, another slap around the chops for the legislation the
Government says is vital to make the NHS work properly. The Prime
Minister, and Health Secretary, say they won't wash their hands of the
bill to reform healthcare. But how much damage is it doing?
Two volumes, hundreds of amendments, as the complexity of this bill has
grown, well the politics have got actually quite simple. It boils
down to this, who does the public trust to run the health service.
We have got a Health Minister, and GPs on opposite sides of the fence.
Would you believe a promise made by these Greek politicians, because if
they can't be trusted, the euro is in big, big trouble.
Paul Mason is here. Greece just signed up for years of
austerity to avoid default. But is it actually an economic suicide
note. Is sending this perfectly run of
the mill helicopter pilot to the south Atlantic part of mill
terrorising the Falklands. The Argentines claim it is. Who is the
bigger imperialist, Britain or Argentina.
No captain, now no manager, Fabio Capello resigns as England boss,
leaving the country's national game in crisis, again.
The work speaks for itself, but in case you are in any doubt, the
world famous, Yayoi Kusama, puts us right on what she's trying to do
with her art. (she sings)
According to the Prime Minister, there are huge numbers of people in
this country, who support his plans to reform the health service.
Perhaps they are all suffering from Lauren giet tis. One professional
body after another has come out against them, over 100 Government
amendments have lopped off bits and pieces. The Conservatives claim its
vital organs are intact, but there are louder than louder than usual
moans from Downing Street, about how the Health Secretary has made a
botch job of the whole thing. David Grossman, clamped on the blue light
and sped down to Westminster. You can't say David Cameron hasn't
put in the hours trying to sell his health reforms.
He has met hundreds of patients and health professionals and scrubbed
up on countless occasions. But now, some are suggesting he would be
better off washing his hands of the whole enterprise. Today, another
body of health professionals turned against the reforms.
We want the Government to drop the bill, because we think it will lead
to increased inequalities in health, we think it will lead to increased
bureaucracy, we think services will become less integrated, rather than
working together like they really should be, and we think it could
lead to waste of public money. Prime Minister's Questions, Labour
tried to increase the pressure on Government. He knows in his heart
of hearts, this is a complete disaster. That is why his aides are
saying the Health Secretary should be taken out and shot, because they
know it is a disaster. The reality about the bill is this, the doctors
know it is bad for the NHS, the nurses know it is bad for the NHS,
and patients know it is bad for the NHS, every day he fights for this
bill, every day trust in him on the NHS ebbs away, and every day it
books clearer, the -- becomes clearer, the health service is not
safe in his hands. I have to tell him the career prospects for our
right honourable friend is better than his. The Conservative Party
have heard the Prime Minister deliver for ematic support for the
bill than that, but Mr Cameron couldn't have been clearer. We are
cutting bureaucracy in the NHS, we are taking out �4.5 billion
bureaucracy, to be ploughed into patient care. The Health Secretary,
Andrew Lansley, has drawn a fair bit of criticism for the way he has
handled this bill. According to newspapers, hostile briefings,
including that comment, supposedly from a Number Ten insider, that he
should, "be taken out and shot". Andrew Lansley started formulating
his master plan for NHS reform, six years before he became Health
Secretary. Well before anyone was even talking about austerity. But
the act is, he's having to enact it at a time when there is pressure on
Government spending. And this, according to some
strategists, has led to a fatal confusion in the public's mind as
to the Government's motives. Are they doing it because they want a
better health service, or are they doing this because they want to
save money? We have to separate out the reform itself, the reform bill,
from what the NHS has been doing, and has been planning to do for
some years, when it knew the money would flatten out in real term. It
knew there would be a gap, as it were, between the money, and what
they wanted the NHS it do, in terms of quality of care and meeting high
depemands. That plan has been form -- demands. That plan has been
formulated some time ago and the NHS is pursuing it. The tactics
used, cut management costs, make savings there, another part of the
plan to reduce the prices that hospitals can charge for their
goods and services in real terms. That puts a lot of pressure on
hospitals to then look at their costs, and can they produce hips
more cheaply, and so on. That was going on any way. In a sense,
regardless of the bill, regardless of the potential reforms, that
would have to go on. David Cameron worked very hard in
opposition to try to neutral yois voter suspicion about his party's
at -- neutralise voter suspicion about his party's motives.
believe the NHS is one of the greatest achievements of the 20th
century. But pollsters say this work is now
being undone. Traditionally Labour have always been the party of the
NHS, in the same way for law and order is the safe ground for the
Conservatives. But at the time of the last election that gap between
the two parties had closed significantly. However, recent
polling we have done seems to suggest that gap is actually
widening again, with the Tories not being seen as the party that has
the best policies. Today, in the Lords, the Government was defeated
on its health proposals once again. Some experts believe, however, that
some of this opposition is based on a mistaken view of what the bill is
trying to do. It is not about introducing
competition, we have already had competition in the NHS of a sort,
it has been regulated. We have already had patient choice of a
sort, regulateed and constrained in certain ways. The bill is pushing
that forward. The opposition, and many of them see this as a brand
new thing introducing competition, I don't think it is. In part, some
of these amendments, and some of the opposition, are partly based on
a false idea about what is going on with the reform bill, and what is
going on before within the NHS. We're a senior orthopaedic. Can you
come and talk to me. Then as the Prime Minister has found out before,
the relationship between health professionals and politicians has
never been entirely easy. We will come back. I'm not having it, out.
Now a short while ago I spoke to the Health Minister, Simon Burns.
How come you have managed to make such a mess of this bill? I don't
think we have made a mess of it. How many amendments have you had?
We have had 1,000 amendments in the House of Commons, which 750 were
technical amendments to change the name to commissioning groups for
GPs. If you are talking about how many have we accepted to improve
and strengthen the bill in the Commons, it would probably be about
100. The bill was wrong on 100 points, before you got these
amendments? It was pblt wrong, we went out to consult the NHS furg
the future for yum, they came -- during future for yum, they came
back with suggestions to strengthen it. We have the BMA, The Royal
College of Nurses, The Royal College of Midwives, the Chartered
Society of Physiotherapies, the main unions, The Royal College of
Child health, The Royal College of Pathologists, The Royal College of
Physicians, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, The Royal College of
Occupational therapists and the British die at the timeic
association, all thinking the bill is wrong. If you look at the number
of organisations you have read out, their responses to the White Paper,
there were elements of the bill that they approved and supported.
The BMA itself, which has come out against it. They said their special
emergency meeting last summer, they voted for GP commissioning. Because
of the size of the subject and range of subjects being dealt with,
there are things they like and don't like. On the other side of
that coin, there are a number of organisations, like The Royal
College of Gynaecologists, the Family Doctors Association, the
National Association of Primary Care. They do support it. What is
most important is the people at the forefront of the health service,
delivering the service. Like GPs, who are beginning to commission,
and who are enthusiastic. I find as I go around and talk to them, they
are already working with the PCTs to begin commissioning, they are
enthusiastic that they are empowered to look after their
patients. Frankly, the most important thing about this
legislation, is it is concerned with improving the quality of care
for patients, and the results of their treatment. So you say. But
The Royal College of Nurse, midwives, aniseists, opt molgists,
paediatrics, and the rest of it, are they not some how frontline.
Are they not slightly more than a politician? A number of those
organisations, like The Royal College of GPs, like the BMJ today,
they have formed their opinions on surveys they have carried out,
which are self-selecting, they are of a very small minority of their
members. You can vote as often as you like in these surveys, to give
distorted views, then they have reached a conclusion, which is not
representative. And you honestly believe that the �20 billion, which
the health service has to save, can be more easily saved by putting the
organisation into a state of semi- paralysis, through this bill?
evidence of the NHS at the moment does not suggest anything like
semi-paralysis. It is rising to the challenges, as it has to, because
of the impositions put on it through an increasing ageing
population, an increasing drugs bill, which increased by �600
million last year alone. It cannot stay still. Even Andy Burnham
accepts that it needs to be reformed. He just will not come up
with any concrete and relevant ideas of how to modernise it.
is Number Ten briefing that your a second should be taken out and
shot? Come on, you know they are not. Number Ten...They Are. Number
Ten said yesterday in response to the story by Rachel Sylvester, that
the Prime Minister fully supported Andrew Lansley. He has to say that?
And he fully supports the bill. He's a hopeless communicator?
is your opinion. No, that is the accusation from Number Ten? That is
an unnamed source in an article. That is how they do it, you know
that? I work with Andrew Lansley every day, I see the work he does,
I see the way he has a total grasp of the workings and intricacies of
the NHS. He has put together a bill that is meeting the challenges of
the future of the NHS. We have Liz Kendall, the Labour health
spokesperson here, as is Clare Gerada, also here from The Royal
College of Practitioners, who opposes the plans.
Liz Kendall, you are not going to say there is no need for change?
Absolutely not. In the NHS there is a big challenge to do more within
constrained budget, while at the same time we face an ageing
population. That will be big challenges. You also agree it has
to save 20 billion? Absolute. billion? Absolutely. It is wrong to
push a massive organisation through a change. You have just said it
needs to change? It does, how it needs to change is to deliver more
services in the community and at home. To better link up NHS
services with social care. That koind of integration is going to be
made far -- kind of integration is going to be made far harder by this
bill. We oppose the bill, not because we are against reform, but
because it won't help us make the reforms we need. Is Wales where the
NHS is run by Labour, effectively, is that a model? In Wales they do
things in their way. I think the Prime Minister made...Do You think
they do it better than under the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats
here? I think they do it in a different way. They certainly do.
As you know, waiting lists are longer there, aren't they? There
was a big dispute about what the Prime Minister said in PMQs today,
and many of the figures that he gave on that were inaccurate.
is no argument about the fact that Wales, where Labour runs the NHS,
has worse outcomes in some respects, notably waiting lists. I want to
focus on England. I want to talk about Wales, where is the model, is
there a model? There is a model, that is about integrating health
and social care, and shifting the focus towards prevention. You may
have seen a select committee report out today, which said that actual
low the best places where we are bringing together health and social
care, are in care trusts. Those care trusts are going to be swept
away by the bill. We are against the bill, not because we are
against reform, but because we don't think the bill will help us
get to the place we need to with the NHS. Let's broaden it out with
two GPs. What do you think is wrong with the bill? There is so much,
there is such a complex bill. as face it, doctors have opposed
change time and time again in the NHS? I don't think we have, doctors
or GPs, I will speak for GPs, we have had about ten reorganisations
thrown at us, certainly over my clinical lifetime. You ask what's
wrong with this bill, this bill will not achof the things that we
need it to a-- achieve the things we want it to, with respect to the
ageing population and rising costs. It will create more barriers
between GPs being able to work with hospital specialists, it will drive
up costs and bureaucracy. Why do you believe it is a good thing?
need to take politics out of this, for a second. We have tried over
years to reform the NHS and under all administration. In most cases
we haven't done what we hoped to achieve. That is the past, tell us
why you believe in this set of reforms? Because the only way to
manage the process is to get the centre of the NHS, the bureaucracy,
the big organisation, that is the centre of the NHS, to devolve power
to the locality. I want to work in a place where I deal with a patient,
a patient who is in front of me, a population in front of me and a
population I understand. I believe I can do that better than somebody
very far away from that patient. The argument is it involves doctors
taking responsibility for decisions? Absolutely, and actually
accepting they live within a system. Somebody has to take responsibility.
There is nothing wrong with that, we absolutely agree with that.
are you opposing it? It is like saying you have an airline pilot,
you fly your plane, therefore you should build it. You just want the
taxpayer to carry on writing blank cheques? Absolutely not, GPs have
been delivering effective care for years, and we need to improve the
situation. This bill won't achieve that, it will create more
bureaucracy, more cost, it won't achieve what we want to do, which
is better joint working. Somebody has to start taking responsibility
for decisions within the NHS, don't they. What is wrong with doctors
facing up to that? Joos There is nothing, I trained as a carer. Most
GPs go into general practice because they want to care for their
patients. Of course we want to do it. What we are losing sight of in
all of this, is what lights the light for GPs, what will bring
about change is reform of the provision. Is improving the way we
deliver care to patients, and improving the relationships we have
with our hospital colleagues. are shaking your head now.
shaking my head and agree with it. We need to manage variation within
the service. We must take responsibility for the service we
provide. The only way to do that is by working in partnership with
managers. This isn't about doctors or managers, it is about both.
the accusation about bureaucracy, is a valid one, isn't it, if you
lock at this legislation, it appears to have, somewhere, buried
-- look at this legislation, it appears to have it, somewhere,
buried within it, eight supervisory organisations, it is not one, it is
not a devolution? The worry people like me have is around the
implementation of the reforms. The worry people like me have is around
the power the national commissioning board will have.
Unless we actually make health local, we need a local health
service, as well as a National Health Service, I think that is
something we all agree upon. gave a list of the different royal
colleges who now oppose the bill. Let me give the list of new levels
of bureaucracy. The national commissioning board, clinical
commissioning booths, clinical Senates, commissioning support
groups, four regional clusters, I have no idea what all these
different organisations are doing. This bill is creating more waste,
more bureaucracy, and huge chaos at a time when the NHS faces the
biggest financial and clinical challenge of its life. How nasty is
this fight getting? We all want to make things better for patients.
What we need to do, what the college is saying, let's make it
safe, let's stop this bill, let's make it safe. There is a way of
making it safe. Merge PCTs, they are already safe put GPs on the
majority of the board of those. Then let's have a sensible debate
on what the NHS should provide and how we deal with big health and
social care issues facing us. That is what we should do. Hurry up and
wait again? Which will take years to unpick, the only people to
benefit will be the lawyers. I believe we are in a some what
different place. Only today we had a really interesting and long, and
productive debate around how we are going to manage the provider issues,
the issues around co-operation and competition. All the organisations
are represented there. In the workings we have between us, we
agree about most things. If we take the politics out of this, we all
want clinical commissioning to work, we want the local decision making.
We should concentrate on the best way to achieve those. Don't you
think it would be better if your party adopted a slightly mother
constructive stance, Ed Milliband saying there is three months to
save the NHS is a stupid comment? Andy Burnham has said. Why he's
talking about three months to save the NHS? If the Government drops
the bill, we will work with them and the professions to make
clinical commissioning work. To give clinicians the control that
they want, to drive changes in services, not structures. We have
been through lots of structural reorganisation in the NHS, it
hasn't delivered the results we need for future. That is the change
we need. We will leave it there, we will be revisiting this next week
and afterwards. Oh dear! It is good, isn't it, more discussion.
Thank you all. The euro is saved, maybe or maybe not, Hallelujah.
Nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of being hanged in the
morning, and faced with not getting the loan they need to stay inside
the euro, politicians in Athens have apparently signed up to a deal
on austerity measures. The 17 lucky countries of the eurozone get
together tomorrow to decide if they can trust the geeks to stick to the
deal they say they have -- Greeks to stick to the deal they have
agreed. The three main parties in Greece
have signed up to a draft deal, we know the basics of it. Bloomberg
reported them a few hours ago. The Greeks are yet again being asked to
sign up to a big austerity package. One they hadn't expected, a 22% cut
in the minimum wage. In the next six months a huge number of knock-
down sales of state-owned assets, big cuts in public spending and
jobs. We think that is the first bit. The next bit is they get to
write off about 100 billion euros worth of debt. That is the bit to
come. After that we have to find out whether or not that explodes
into the debt market. We think it probably won't because of the sheer
volume of money the European Central Bank has pumped into the
system. But, you know, I think we are a third of the way to an
orderly default by Greece. A soft default. About 70% of the value of
the loans they are writing off. It then remains, the world system is
safe, and we get to that, what what happens to Greece. Many of the
commentators, many of the bank notes I'm receiving through on e-
mail tonight, is saying it is not very sustainable for the Greeks to
do that. Bank notes you are receiving on e-
mail are not really bank notes? Notes from bank all lists. If only
we were receiving bank notes. Don bank analysts. If only we were
receiving bank notes! Where does it leave Greek politics? It is the
problem, the three parties who signed up for the draft. Pasok,
this is an opinion poll yesterday, Pasok, former Government, it has
now slumped to 8%. That is the Socialist Party. New Democracy,
Conservative opposition, 31%, riding high. The religious party
has 5%. They are the Government, add them up it is still only 44%.
If we look at the parties, the other parties outside the
Government, here they are. The three far left parties, the
communists, the Trotskyists, the Greens and the Democratic Left,
they are together, they have fought each other fis clo and don't like
each other, that is what -- physically, and they don't like
each other, that is where the politics are. Even at the most
recent poll at 3% shows the far extreme far right party, Golden
Dawn, its logo basically says it all, occasionally claiming that the
stiff armed slut is Greek not Nazi in origin, that is why they use it.
On 3%, that total getting into parliament when there is an
election. We never had Greek opinion polls on this programme?
they are exciting. We have been looking at the challenges this deal
needs to overcome. 200 years ago, after the fall of
Napoleon. Europe's major power, Britain, prugsia and others, had
the continent of Europe and keeping it out of war. It succeeded for a
few decades. Now, as Greece threatens to economically sink
Europe, perhaps the world needs another concert of Europe. Right
now few of the actors in the Greek piece, are playing in tune or in
time. Who are the key players in this
fictional orchestra. The troika of the IMR, the EU and Central Bank
are the wind instruments. They have stumped up 100 billion euros for
Greece, and have earmarked another 150 billion for loans.
The strings are the people who lent Greece money in the good old days
before learning the word prudence. Plucking the strings themselves are
the Greeks, threatening outside and messy default. It make the mood
music not great. The worst case scenario is Greece would not be
able to meet its next bond statement on the 25th of March.
Uncontrolled bankruptcy of the country. That would have severe
reprecussions for the economy, it may claps. The worst case scenario
for Europe as a whole, in countries like Portugal, people might see the
situation as a precedent and you might have the financial collapse
of those countries. In order for Greece to survive as a
functioning economy, and possibly even as a democracy, it needs to
write off at least a quarter of its 360 billion euro debt mountain, and
get a second, even larger bailout from European partners. Those
partners have been urging the Greeks to set aside their political
differences and do that deal. Watch out for EU granddy, Jacques De
Lorres on the left. We are in a historic position with the future
of Greece and the euro. We want Greece in the euro. I wo urge the
politic -- political leadership in the different parties in Greece for
a better future for Greece. Even if they manage to get all
players in tune, and Greece gets its second bailout, and a 100
billion euro writedown, many will ask if that sets a dangerous
precedent. If you allow one country to default within the euro zone,
why not others, why not Italy, why not Ireland, why not Portugal.
Portugal's cost of borrowing or yield has risen by 150% over the
past year. As investors fear that Lisbon may follow Athens into a
default spiral. You can understand why European leaders actual low
want to draw line around Greece, and say this is quite specific to
groz, and no other application -- Greece, and no other application
would be justified for any other country. It is a fundamentally
incorrect conclusion. I think it is absolutely the case that Portugal,
possibly Ireland, would benefit and might demand, actually, some
renegotiation of their debt, particularly once the Greeks have
been seen to receive favourable treatment, it would be quite
natural for a lot of Portuguese politicians or citizens to say,
what about us? Do you think, that the immediate
risk of messy refault by Greece has waened in recent weeks?
activitys of the European Central Bank and washing the European
banking system with copious amounts of liquidity, that hasn't ended,
there will be another three-year liquidity provision at the end of
this month. That has certainly helped. Banks are in a better
position than six months ago. Having been out of step with
European colleagues for the past two years, politicians are about to
put a pen to deal, that could consign their own populus to a
decade of austerity, but keeping them within the eurozone.
Negotiating that deal, like write be elaborate pieces of music can
taken time and effort. What matters most when it comes to performing
the piece, is how it goes down with audiences in the long-term.
In a few wieks time it will be the 30th -- weeks time it will be the
30th anniversary of what was Britain's last imperial war. The
fight to retake the Falkland Islands from the military junta
ruling Argentina, was put down as a dam close run thing and a feat of
arms. The supposed offence lingers on, the latest outrage, according
to the President, is that Britain is mill terrorising, as she puts it,
this -- militarising, as she puts it, this penguin's paradise. It may
be smaller than Yorkshire, 8,000 miles away, with fewer intab hants
tan Chipping Norton, but the Falkland islanders claim to be
British. It is almost 30 years since British servicemen gave their
lives in a short, risky war, after invasion by Argentina. It re-
established British sovereignity, and imposed a responsibility for
their protection. The brand new billion pound destroyer Argentina
fakes offence there, will be on station there. But the Malvenos,
remain an easy drum to bang for any Argentine politician.
The claim that these wind swept rocks are naturally Latin American,
has never gone away. The Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez de
Kirchner, now promises to take her claim to the U makes its. What the
deColin -- United Nations, what the decolonisation committee will make
of it is anybody's guests. What constitutes self-determination.
With me is an Argentine journalist and an elected member of the
Falkland Islands Government. Hasn't your Government anything better to
worry about? I think Christina Fernandez has been drumming about
the Maldenas force many years, she didn't pick -- for many years now,
she didn't pick it out of the blue, but for the first time Great
Britain responded. What was the response? Sending Prince William. I
believe it is a political statement. What do you mean, he's an RAF
pilot? Nobody discusses that. He could have trained anywhere else,
the decision to send him there is a symbolic gesture. What really has
got her going is the fact that Prince William is serving on a
search and rescue station in the Falkland Islands? I don't think
that got her going. She has been going for over 15 years. Where the
-- where is the stuff about militarising the nation with the
deployment? It is on the basis of the deployment of the destroyer.
is replacing a friget there previously? What is the point of
sending one of the most modern destroyers in the British fleet.
happens to be the latest one and it is just replacing? What about the
rumour of the nuclear submarine. Did you know there is a nuclear
submarine down there? I'm asking, that is what has got Latin America
going. How much longer will you people, 3,000 of you, smaller than
Chipping Norton, how much longer are you going to expect the British
Government to look after you? we expect are from the British
Government is support for our right to self-determination, and also the
provision of a deterrent force in the Falklands, which is only
necessary because we were invaded in 1992 by Argentina. What
proportion of the Falkland islands population want to go to Argentina.
Don't you believe in self- determination? I do, I believe the
people of the Falkland Islands, I would call them the Malvenas, they
are British citizens and can't be party and judge in the same trial.
You can't claim self-determination while already full British citizens.
How far are the Falklands from Argentina? 298 miles. That is the
same distance as Luxembourg from Britain, should we claim that? No
but the Welsh wouldn't like Patagonia. But there is a larger
British population residing in Argentina than the Falkland Islands,
that doesn't mean Argentine territory becomes Great Britain.
That is an interesting argument? are 8,000 miles away from the UK,
that is correct, many of the overseas properties are a long way
away, such as the Caribbean OTs. The argument talked about is a weak
one, if you want to go back in history, go back to millions of
years ago when we were part of South Africa. Does that mean South
Africa has a claim on us, how ridiculous can this argument get.
In 1833 when the islands were held by Argentina, Britain invaded.
There was an outpost of Argentines who rebelled and murdered the
British governor on the islands. Am I wrong? It wasn't that this was an
occupied territory. It dates from 1833. You could just as easily go
back to the prove century when the French were there? In the previous
century Argentina was not an independent country. In 1833 it was.
It has claimed sovereignity ever since. It has never given up its
claim. Actually it is already in the United Nations decolonisation
committee. It is not Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is bringing
it up, it is one of the 16 cases that the decolonisation committee
has to consider. We could trade historical insults
all evening. If we really want to go down that route, I could also
say to you, I could talk about the "ethnic cleansing" that went on in
Argentina, and should it belong to the Indian tribes that used to live
there. There is something absurd, isn't there, there is a billion
pound destroyer down there, protecting these islands, that most
people in Britain couldn't find anywhere on a map. They could give
every member, what is 3,000 into a billion. You guys could all be
extreme low wealthy just on the proceeds of the cost of that single
destroyer down there? I don't think that is a point, we have an elected
Government, we have eight elected members, we make our own laws, set
our own buckets, raise our own taxation, we are entirely self-
sufficient and self-governing. Apart from two areas, only one,
defence, is necessary because we were invaded by Argentina. If they
were to drop the sovereignity claim we would have no need to talk about
militarisation of the south Atlantic. In a moment we will have
a look at the front pages and discuss the story dominating them.
Fabio Capello's resignation as England manager. Oneest mo of the
most enduring figures of modern art was in London today.
For the last more than 30 years, Yayoi Kusama has lived voluntarily
in a psychiatric institution. Her work is obsessive, and often
overwhelming, since she's now well over 80, there is an awful lot of
it too. We have been to see a sample, there is flashing lights
Extraordinary is a much abused word in the world of contemporary art, I
think we might dust it off for Yayoi Kusama. An octogenarian in a
wheelchair, who has some how conquered both the art scene and
fashion world from her base in a Japanese psychiatric hospital.
Newsnight met the doyenne of the polka dot, before her big new show
at Tate Modern in London. What is your interest in polka dots, why do
they pop up so often in your art? Please ask that to my hand, I have
drawn lots of dots since I was a child, and covered my fashion and
notebooks with dots. Dots are a symbol of the word "the Cosmos",
the earth is a dot. The moon, the sun, the stars are all made up of
dots. You and me, we are dots. Her work is highly colourful,
playful. But she herself is a sober and serious presence, especially
for someone in a throbbing red outfit and matching wig. Show says
she remains committed to her long standing campaigning for peace.
What ideas are you exploring here? These are my own works about my
life, the deep emotion of being born human and the barriers of
movement over space as we know them. We can find out all sorts of things
I wonder how you feel about this big retrospective here at state
modern? TRANSLATION: This is art that shines out from the bottom of
my heart, human love, and I really wanted to display it in this
Kusama collaberated with musician Peter Gabriel, on this video.
What did he see in her work? really original point of view,
passionate intensity, that was on the one hand, very child like, and
on another, very smart, adult and quite disturbing. We had a few days
recreating some of her work, her boat full of Phalluses. Did one of
your peters say, Peter, we have to spend more money, we will have to
go down there and see how it is? is hard to locate the boat load of
willies, so we definitely had to do it yourself!
I'm glad you brought those up, the male member is to Kusama, what the
tree trunk is to late Korea Hockney, dare we ask, what is that about?
TRANSLATION: I was very afraid of fall sis, I haven't had sex. As a
child I suffered a lot because my father led a very debauched
lifestyle, and I came to hate sex. As a kind of art therapy, I created
lots of sex, filled a room with them, and I lost my fear.
psychiatric hospital where Kusama lives, became a refuge of her own
choosing, after a bout of illness a few years ago.
TRANSLATION: For three or four days I didn't eat, I just painted and
collapsed. Then I went to psychiatric hospital, the doctors
said that I had to be admitted. critics are sympathetic to Kusama's
might, of course, that doesn't mean they all love her art? It is fun,
like a fizzy drink, with all the spots, they are like bubbles, it
has this endless fizz, it is every vestant, we are told it is driven
by deep pain and psychological illness, that doesn't come through
in the art, for me. I don't find it some kind of disturbing hypnotic
ecstacy in this art. I find it a fizzy, pop cultural style. The show
is fun, I have been looking forward to this place, the obliteration
room, they call it, it is not the bar, by the way. This or we willian
sounding obliteration room is quiet at the moment. The idea is visitors
can come and completely cover the surfaces with brightly covered
polka dots. Frpbgt I have to pack in the BBC coffee.
Kusama also writes, makes films and sings. This is a lament for her
late parents. Draf vow! -- bravo, thank you very much, it is very
nice to meet you. You would hardly have failed to notice that the
England manager, Fabio Capello, resigned a few hours ago in protest
at the FA's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy. It
has left the national game in the usual state of complete chaos. With
us now is the BBC sports editor, David Bond, and the journalist from
The Times and the head of the footballers association.
The papers are covered in the story, Capello's resignation and Harry
Redknapp's acquittal on the tax charges. What is it all about?
is embarrassing for an institution to have lost a manager and to have
no captain. It is not catastrophic, we tend to exaggerate the
importance of managers. We imbue them with almost mythical powers,
and and we blame them when teams lose and usual guise them when the
teams win. International managers don't decide the players' diets or
decide the transfer market. This could be good. A lot of fuss about
nothing? There is valid points there, but the manager is very much
the focal point of this unit. When you have a team, this team needs a
leader, that leader has to be strong and has to make sure he has
the respect of all these under ings and he can drag them in the right
direction. We were told Goran- Eriksson and Capello had the
respect of the players, we were told every single manager for the
last 30 years. The expectations are very high but it doesn't co-relate
with the result. He got �6 million a year, he must have been doing
something? In football that is no measure. We have seen plenty of top
managers paid a lot of money and fail. You go to extremes, the
highly-paid coach to the guru, then an English manager, that is the
only way the players will truly respond. The danger is you keep
swinging from those positions and you end up with this sort of
shambles, no captain and manager. This bloke didn't learn English?
That is definite low an issue, how he has communicated with the
players. This has all come about, for once the FA has shown strong
leadership on the John Terry issue. It has only come to past, because
David Bernstein, the FA chairman, decided to make a stand, that John
Terry shouldn't remain captain while still facing the racist
allegations. Is race still an issue in society? Of course, it is still
an issue in society. It is niave to think it is gone away. There are
huge strides from the 1970s and 1980s where racist was endemic in
societies. For us to believe it is gone away, not just recent
incidents but thoughts shown in society shows it hasn't. We need to
make sure we step on those campaigns to make sure the pockets
become smaller and smaller: agree with the racial point?
context is important, it was endemic in the 1970s, banana skins
were thrown on the pitch. It was vital, and Sepp Blatter making
comments about race in football. It was important for the FA to take a
stand. I find it exordry that Capello, a bright and --
extraordinary that Capello, a bright and cultured man, is going
on this issue, someone not proved but with allegations against him.
It is not about the allegations on John Terry, it is him taking the
decisions. The end result is we haven't got a captain or manager?
The mistake they made, was not consulting Capello, they didn't
need to back down once he apressed his disagreement. They are as --
They are as incompetent as it is said? Having promised to learn
English when he got the job he hasn't, apparently he doesn't like
using the telephone, this is the astonishing thing, a general
manager was brought in on an astro nominal salary to be the conduit
between Capello and the players and the board. He disappeared to a job
in Roma, and Capello was not in the loop. Today we have learned he
doesn't use the telephone, but Harry Redknapp doesn't use a
computer or ever send an e-mail or text. Where do they find these
people? It is an indictment isn't it. The next manager, will, for a
period, will be a panacea, not for the national team but the national
game. It is about the next major competition and losing on penalties
and another disaster. What an extraordinary day, the possibility
of two things happening, Harry Redknapp cleared on the footsteps
of the Crown Court, and within a few hours Fabio Capello resigns.
I'm sure many will have seen the stuff coming out. Is it the red
card for the management? Absolutely, in the short-term they will need
someone to take over. I tweeted about the two issues taking place.
What damage is the NHS reform bill doing to the government? Plus all the details on the Greek debt deal, the row over the Falklands, Fabio Capello's resignation as England manager and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. With Jeremy Paxman.