08/02/2012 Newsnight


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.

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