22/02/2012 Newsnight


22/02/2012

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


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Will it take the deaths of foreign journalists in Syria to stir the

:00:08.:00:16.

conscience of the world? The indiscriminate shellings of

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civilians by the Syrian regime, has all the characteristics of a war

:00:19.:00:23.

crime, many more said to be killed today, including the Sunday Times

:00:23.:00:27.

journalist, Marie Colvin. Do we have any choice, but to stand and

:00:28.:00:33.

watch. We will debate intervention with in Syria with Paul Wolfowitz,

:00:33.:00:36.

Rory Stewart and a leading figure in the Syrian opposition.

:00:36.:00:39.

Austerity, is it the right prescription for Europe's sickness,

:00:40.:00:45.

Sweden's Prime Minister is here to tell us what he thinks of that, and

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David Cameron's euroveto. And dangerous dogs, Newsnight can

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reveal, kenneling is costing the police almost �4 million, with a

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tax increase -- attacks increasing, we will debate whether new laws are

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needed. REPORTER: Are you aware your dog tried to bite the

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cameraman? She tried to bite her leg? It looked like that, but she

:01:09.:01:19.
:01:19.:01:20.

didn't. Good evening, an Arab people,

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unpopular dictator on his way out and shelling of civilians, when

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that happened in Benghazi it led to the west bombing them out of power.

:01:32.:01:37.

In the last interview yesterday, Sunday Times reporter, Marie Colvin

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asked the question we will explore tonight, how can the international

:01:41.:01:46.

community continue to watch what she described as war crime. Our

:01:46.:01:49.

diplomatic editor, Mark Urban is with us, talk us through this.

:01:49.:01:56.

Since a failure at the UN to get a diplomatic solution, the battle has

:01:56.:02:01.

been the focus of the struggle. We can look in more detail now. Syria,

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many different types of people there. It is a multiconfessional

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country, if you like, President Assad, basis his support on his own

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Alawite sect of the Shi'ite community and the Christians. Those

:02:13.:02:21.

two groups are concentrated in the area we have shown in red. The

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flourishing of armed opposition has been in the area of Homs, one place

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where the called Free Syrian Army first appeared, and up there on the

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Turkish border in a town called Idlib. All orders of escalation in

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activities has happened in recent months, that has seen the

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Government's forces, which on paper have hundreds of thousands really

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hard pushed. Why? Because the effective mobile forces they have

:02:47.:02:51.

are much smaller than that. You have the Republican Guard division,

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the real last line of defence, if you like, in Damascus, protecting

:02:56.:02:59.

the Government itself. But because opposition groups appeared in the

:02:59.:03:04.

suburbs of the city, the fourth mechanised division under the

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President's brother, has engaged in the last few weeks between Damascus

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and the Lebanese border, another mechanised division down near the

:03:13.:03:19.

Jordanian border, near the city of Deraa, the 90th Brigade, pretty

:03:19.:03:22.

much a be second rate lot have been left to try to work things out

:03:23.:03:27.

militarily in Homs. Other forces have been sent up towards Idlib.

:03:27.:03:31.

You can see they are very stretched. There is probably no more than

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40,000 troops in all of those formations added together. The big

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question is, can the Government regain control? They clearly think

:03:39.:03:42.

they can by military means. There is so much evidence to the contrary.

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If we look at the situation in the north of the country. Up there you

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have that town of Idlib, the Turkish border I will emphasise it

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with a yellow line. Proposals today from the French and others, that

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Idlib be one of those places that a had you machinetarian corridor will

:03:59.:04:09.
:04:09.:04:09.

be opened, the Russians oppose that. In there patrols from the Free

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Syrian Army, this is happening since April they have been asking

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defectors to come into the northern belt of the country to create a

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sort of safe haven. All the time the Syrian army has mounted serious

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attempts to get up there and counter-attack, and it has failed.

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In the last few days the Free Syrian Army has claimed hundreds of

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defectors have come across, they have released images. Some people

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doubt the voracity, some say it looks too farm for these people to

:04:39.:04:43.

be there, when it is near freezing point. They also point out that the

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Free Syrian Army, although it has the odd senior officer, I will put

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the outline behind the Brigadier, said to have led the men across.

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Most of these people, including some of the other officers in the

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frontline of the photo, who have been put in there to make it look

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like they are in authority, they are mere pip squeak Lieutenants,

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they don't have the senior officers, who remain, by and large, loyal to

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the regime. How is the conflict likely to develop now? It means

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these very stretched Syrian army forces, the ones they can still

:05:15.:05:18.

rely upon, are left moving about from one emergency to another,

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never quite getting on top of it. The Free Syrian Army never quite

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able to get the better of them either. They are trying desperately

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hard in places like Homs, to seal in the revolt, put the Free Syrian

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Army symbol on Baba Amr, the suburb of Homs, where there has been so

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much trouble in the last few weeks. Many say most of their fighters

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have left that area. The Syrian army, we know, has a large camp to

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the south, it has mechanised forces. It is also using some of its armour

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to spwra direct the countryside between Baba Amr and the will he

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beties border, the infiltration routes, of course, it has been

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using artillery against the suburb, for fear of sending its people in.

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This picture of a gun line, released by the Americans a couple

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of weeks ago. That is in the south of the city, where we showed you

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the Government tanks are. If we go on further, we see some Government

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tanks have approached close to Baba Amr. This is on one of the main

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thorough fairs, it is a main cordon, trying to seal the place off. This

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is second line stuff, they are not Keith guard formations, they are

:06:33.:06:40.

from the second rate unit here Homs, quite old tanks. Lo and behold

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pictures coming in south of where that photo was taken. What is

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happening with the T-62s is the crew have defected. You put them

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close to the opposition fighters, some will take their chance to

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defect. Lo and behold we see the Free Syrian Army fighters have

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taken the heavy machine gun off the top of the tank. That is the danger,

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if they try to go into the places, their forces might fade away.

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do we know about the death of the western journalists? Marie Colvin

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and Remi Ochlik, both killed in Baba Amr, that place we showed the

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centre of the fighting over the last 18 days, since the heavy

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bombardment started. They were using a house, which some people

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call a media centre, it seemed to be a sort of safe house for

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visiting journalists, which the Free Syrian Army and other

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opposition groups were taking people in and out of it. It appears

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it was targeted, that is the suggestion. Several military rounds

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came in accurately on the house, killing the two journalists,

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wounding a few more. They are media organisations are now trying to get

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them out this evening. Probably killing anything up to another two

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dozen people in the neighbourhood around that house. So it would

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appear to be a targeted strike, and the opposition groups say it is a

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deliberate attempt by the Government to snuff out independent

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reporting. With Russia and China vetoing

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resolutions on Syria, is there anything the outside world can and

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should. Do Joining me is the former US deputy

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Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, a key player in the Iraq war, the

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Conservative MP, Rory Stewart, and Syrian opposition leader, in London

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for a few days before returning to Syria. Mr Wolfowitz, is there a

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case for outside intervention in Syria, if so, what would it be?

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Well, first of all, I think it is worth noting two remarkable facts,

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one there is incredibly broad international support to see an end

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to the Assad regime. Russia and China are the two countries

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standing in the way, it is a very broad consensus. Secondly, the

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Syrian people are incredibly brave, this fighting and bloodshed has

:08:59.:09:03.

been going on for almost a year now, they show no sign of giving up.

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There is a lot that can be done, the key goal has to be to try to

:09:08.:09:13.

achieve a negotiated exit for the Assad regime. Sanctions aren't

:09:13.:09:16.

going to have much effect when they are fighting for their life. What

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will have an effect is strenening the opposition morally, politically

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-- strengthening the opposition, morally, politically and materially.

:09:24.:09:28.

Does that include arming the opposition, do you think? It is

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interesting, everyone always jumps to that. Let's start with political.

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It is incredibly important, if the opposition is given the opportunity

:09:39.:09:44.

to speak with a loud voice to the Syrian people and to the world, and

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to lay out an agenda that is reassuring, particularly to the

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Alawite and Christian minorities, that is something that could hasten

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defections are from the regime and hasten an end here. It is not just

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about arming. When you come to material support, it is not just

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about weaponry. My impression, and all of us are limited in our

:10:05.:10:09.

information, thank heavens there are journalists as brave as Marie

:10:09.:10:13.

Colvin to go in there and try to get the story out, she has paid a

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terrible price. One of the things they need is

:10:18.:10:21.

communications gear. Let me bring in Rory Stewart, Marie Colvin was a

:10:21.:10:26.

friend of your's, you knew her. She said in the BBC interview that she

:10:26.:10:30.

did yesterday, that no-one here can understand how the international

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community can let this happen. She made the comparison to verb nisia.

:10:35.:10:42.

Do we have to stand and watch this? She was deeply shocked by what was

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going on. I would be very cautious, though, of what Paul is saying, in

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terms of material support. I don't really see what, credibly, we could

:10:52.:10:56.

do in terms of arming the rebels. At the moment they have weapons,

:10:56.:10:59.

they appear to be getting support from places like Qatar. I think it

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would be dangerous, it might undermine them to associate Britain

:11:03.:11:07.

or the United States with them. I would like to take up Paul's

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suggestion of focusing much more on the political. The key thing is to

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give them a political voice and finding a political solution to the

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programme, however nasty or messy that seems. You know your

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constituents and others will be watching the TV pictures, and

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reacting to Marie Colvin's death, and the death of 80 people today,

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perhaps more, and saying this is absolutely terrible, in Srebrenica

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we said it wouldn't happen again, and now it is happening again?

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There are two things to remember. One of them is our power is limited,

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our knowledge is limited, most importantly of all, we need to

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listen to the Syrian people and the Syrian opposition. We need to ask

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the gentlemen such as this, whether he really wants us to be arming the

:11:48.:11:51.

rebels, and what that would mean for Syria. What do you want, what

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do you need? First of all, I would like to ask peace for the soul of

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the journalist Colvin and for the souls of thousands of Syrians that

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are being killed every day in Syria. Secondly, we want an international

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consensus. We want that the international community would help

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us in making this agreement, making this exit. For the problem in Syria,

:12:23.:12:30.

for this disaster that we are facing. It is not about something

:12:30.:12:35.

like the friends of Syria, that will happen after tomorrow, those

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larger groups of countries together can't make a real exit or real

:12:43.:12:50.

solutions. Are there material goods, weapons, communications equipment,

:12:50.:12:52.

political support, are there concrete things that outsiders can

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do, that would really help you, given that the view outside is that,

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at least, that the opposition is very fragmented, you have no-one

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leader or one structure, you have many structures? The opposition is

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fragmented, and also the Syrian society is fragmented, and also the

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international community is fragmented. It is a problem on all

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levels. We are working and we want that for the formation of small

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groups of states that can help and make intervention on Syria,

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especially with the collaboration of Russia. You can't put Russia

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outside the formula or the equation. Let me put that to Mr Wolfowitz,

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you can't put Russia outside the equation, yet they don't seem to

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want the international consensus that is built? I think they don't.

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What might bring them round is if they eventually saw this regime

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would eventually lose. That means strengthening the opposition. They

:13:59.:14:03.

are fragmented, and one reason is because it is very difficult to

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communicate between different cities and groups. They are

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fragmented in part because I think our contact with them is still

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limited, it is growing, but it seems to me we should be meeting

:14:14.:14:18.

with them much more often and much more conspicuously, and trying to

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bring together as many different elements and sending a very loud

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message about what the future of Syria might look like. In terms of

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outsiders being involved, how involved do you think Iran already

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is and Turkey already is, in the case of Iran in supporting the

:14:35.:14:40.

regime? They are supporting the regime, they are well involved. We

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have some media reports that maybe there is a real intervention for

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them on the ground. They are on the ground. What I feel we don't want

:14:53.:14:59.

to do, is end up as we did in Afghanistan in the 1980s, with a

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foreign-funded insurgency, taking place from a neighbouring country.

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Everything we can do to try to avoid that we should. We may end up

:15:06.:15:10.

there eventually, but at the moment really a political solution,

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pushing Assad, and the Russians, and working with what the Syrian

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people want, which is not a fragmented civil war and foreign-

:15:17.:15:20.

funded insurgency at the moment. The other parallel would be Iraq,

:15:20.:15:25.

you may have a sectarian civil war in Syria afterwards? There is so

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much horror that we have seen in Iraq, we did, of course in Libya,

:15:29.:15:32.

which is is a place where the population is a third of this size,

:15:32.:15:36.

and made some progress, but it took months to make the progress. We

:15:36.:15:39.

will not have that consensus in Syria. We need to be more cautious,

:15:39.:15:44.

and follow this gentleman's suggestion, there needs to be a

:15:44.:15:47.

Syrian-led political solution. Wolfowitz, you are worried about

:15:47.:15:52.

Iran in a slightly different context, I wondered what you

:15:52.:15:56.

thought Iran's involvement was here, and whether that was of concern to

:15:56.:16:01.

you too? I think the Iranians just had a couple of ships visit a

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Syrian port, and prob below deliver weapons. I'm not as comfortable --

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probably deliver weapons, I'm not as comfortable with the idea that

:16:10.:16:15.

Qatar is supplying the opposition. I don't see how one can expect any

:16:15.:16:20.

good outcome if the opposition remains largely unarmed or armed by

:16:20.:16:25.

people whose goals and objectives may be very different from our's. I

:16:25.:16:29.

understand his concern about the Afghan President, but I would also

:16:29.:16:34.

say the war in Bosnia went on for three bloody years, because we

:16:34.:16:38.

insisted on keeping the Bosnians defenceless, eventually we had to

:16:38.:16:41.

come in with foreign military forces, which it seems to me, we

:16:41.:16:46.

ought to avoid. I think the goal should be strengthening and

:16:46.:16:49.

unifying the Syrian opposition. Unfortunately I do think one has to

:16:49.:16:53.

give the Assad regime a chance, if they leave peacefully, to leave

:16:53.:16:58.

with their lives. On that thought, what do you make of the appetite in

:16:58.:17:04.

Washington to get involved in the way in which you are suggesting?

:17:04.:17:12.

think that the debate is open in Washington. It seems as though, I

:17:12.:17:20.

mean scam Senator McCain and others have been on the idea of supporting

:17:20.:17:23.

the opposition. Getting involved, we want to be very careful, nobody

:17:24.:17:27.

wants to get involved in the way of Iraq. I don't think anyone is

:17:27.:17:31.

suggesting getting involved in the way we are involved in Libya, there

:17:31.:17:36.

are many, many things short of that, that could be done to strengthen

:17:36.:17:40.

the opposition, and increase the chances and the speed of a peaceful

:17:40.:17:44.

outcome here. The longer this terrible fighting goes on, the

:17:44.:17:49.

worse the aftermath will be, of that I feel reasonably sure.

:17:49.:17:54.

The Assad regime may be offered an elegant way out as Paul Wolfowitz

:17:54.:17:59.

was suggesting, but they may do what Gaddafi did, and fight to the

:17:59.:18:03.

bitter end? There is a difference, one of the differences is we have

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managed to impose the sanctions and take away the oil. Gaddafi was

:18:09.:18:13.

dealing with full NATO air strikes and hung on for months. We don't

:18:13.:18:17.

know where that will go. We need to be careful not to make the

:18:17.:18:21.

situation worse by funding strange factions of insurgent groups we

:18:21.:18:25.

don't understand, and ending up in a situation in three or four years

:18:25.:18:30.

time with a fractured and devastated Syria. More on Marie

:18:30.:18:32.

Colvin, who died today, later, including an interview with a

:18:32.:18:36.

friend and colleague. Now, at a time when Britain's

:18:36.:18:39.

supporters at EU meetings on the eurozone crisis are sometimes

:18:39.:18:43.

difficult to spot, David Cameron has been particularly impressed by

:18:43.:18:45.

Sweden, and full of admiration for that country's Prime Minister, with

:18:45.:18:49.

who we will hear from in a moment. Like Britain, Sweden is not in the

:18:49.:18:54.

eurozone, and it has a centre right leader, who reregards himself as a

:18:54.:18:58.

moderniser. And Swedes, like Britain, are suspicious of the

:18:58.:19:03.

group bailout, and very sceptical of the prospect, if ever, of

:19:03.:19:09.

joining the euro. The Greek bailout was finally

:19:09.:19:15.

assembled this week, that averted or delayed a default in Athens, and

:19:15.:19:18.

fears of widespread European economic breakdown. Sweden, like

:19:18.:19:26.

Britain, remains outside the single currency, but it has profound

:19:26.:19:36.

implications for the Swedes and its export market. Home of Saab and

:19:36.:19:41.

IKEA, with fall in the demand for goods biting, growth is slowing.

:19:41.:19:45.

David Cameron is known to have high regard for the economic and social

:19:45.:19:49.

reforms implemented by Sweden's centre right Prime Minister,

:19:49.:19:53.

Fredrik Reinfeldt. I very much admire what Sweden has achieved

:19:53.:19:57.

under his leadership, the growth of the competitive economy, the

:19:57.:20:01.

emphasis on green growth, the school reform, the welfare reform,

:20:01.:20:05.

there is a lot Britain can learn from Sweden. Sweden has indeed been

:20:05.:20:11.

seen in Britain as a potential ally in Europe, but after waefring over

:20:11.:20:16.

negotiations on a new treaty in December, Mr Reinfeldt ultimately

:20:16.:20:20.

distanced himself from the veto, leaving Britain in its isolation,

:20:20.:20:26.

splend did or otherwise. Joining me is the Swedish Prime Minister,

:20:26.:20:29.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, despite this week's bailout, how long do you

:20:29.:20:33.

think it will be before Greece needs another bailout or out of the

:20:33.:20:42.

euro? It is now in their own hands. They have had time to put in the

:20:42.:20:45.

reforms they have promised but not followed through. They need a

:20:45.:20:48.

surplus situation in the Greek economy. It is only in their own

:20:48.:20:53.

hands to deliver it. When you look at Greece, do you think they are

:20:53.:20:57.

set a task that is simply impossible, the austerity task

:20:57.:21:01.

ahead of them is too hard for anybody to deliver? I could

:21:01.:21:04.

understand if the Greek people feel like that. Ordinary people in

:21:04.:21:09.

Greece, working, paying their taxes, feeling like they haven't done this,

:21:09.:21:13.

but they have a great inequality in the society which they should

:21:13.:21:18.

address. If you look to Sweden, and other countries that have been in

:21:18.:21:21.

economic trouble, we found that the quicker you put in your reforms and

:21:21.:21:25.

the more thorough you are in the beginning, the market reactions are

:21:25.:21:28.

more positive. The criticism we have sometimes had towards Greece

:21:28.:21:33.

is they have said a lot, but not always put in practice the reforms

:21:33.:21:37.

they have promised. That is their plob blem. In terms of the Uri --

:21:37.:21:41.

Problem. In terms of the euro, you are out of it, and committed some

:21:41.:21:47.

time in the future, vaguely, to join the euro. We have a two-speed

:21:47.:21:52.

Europe already, are you better out of it? It is a multi-speed Europe,

:21:52.:21:59.

there are differences to the euro and the Shengen area as well. The

:21:59.:22:04.

Swedish people said no in a referendum. Now the Swedish krona,

:22:04.:22:08.

which used to be insecured currency 20 years ago, now is seen as very

:22:08.:22:13.

stable, and also very strong. But this more reflects the reforms and

:22:13.:22:17.

the key reforms done to get better order in public finances. Again it

:22:17.:22:22.

is very much in your own hands. Swedish people have spoken, is

:22:22.:22:27.

there any point in keeping up the facade that you will at some point

:22:27.:22:32.

join the euro, your heart isn't in it, which is what we are saying?

:22:32.:22:36.

respect the result and we will not alter it unless we see a shift in

:22:36.:22:40.

the opinion polls. The latest opinion polls show a support for

:22:40.:22:44.

joining the euro down at 10%. It is an enormous increase in support for

:22:44.:22:48.

keeping the Crown that, because the Crown that in itself, is now very

:22:48.:22:52.

strong. They like it t of course. As you know, David Cameron is an

:22:52.:22:56.

admirer of your's, there are similarities between your policies,

:22:56.:23:01.

why did he end up alone in December at the European Summit. Why did he

:23:01.:23:07.

end up speaking for Britain alone and not views that you may share

:23:07.:23:12.

with Britain, in terms of the veto? I'm not sure that we were that far

:23:12.:23:19.

apart, actually. The eurozone want to have a fiscal compact, that only

:23:19.:23:23.

should regulations followed by the 17 countries. Outside of that we

:23:23.:23:29.

have ten countries, including the UK and Sweden. I felt that, well,

:23:29.:23:34.

we can join this fiscal compact if we could legally stay outside, but

:23:34.:23:39.

be present during meetings. That combination was interesting for us.

:23:39.:23:46.

I felt that, well, to David Cameron, he was not as sure of the merits of

:23:46.:23:55.

this, he wanted to skr -- to have other kinds of things, a clearer

:23:55.:23:59.

message when it came to the financial sector in London, and in

:24:00.:24:03.

the UK. That was not possible. So I think it was quite understandable

:24:03.:24:09.

why he reacted as he did. You use an interesting phrase about being

:24:09.:24:13.

in the meetings, is that a drawback for you that Britain isn't going to

:24:13.:24:16.

be in some of those meetings, you will be present and people that you

:24:17.:24:22.

agree with, Britain, outside? In my own interests I would welcome

:24:22.:24:26.

the UK, and David to be there. Because I think we have a lot in

:24:26.:24:31.

common. I think we want to see a well-functioning intefrpbl market.

:24:31.:24:35.

I think we are very -- internal market. I think we are very open to

:24:35.:24:40.

trade. We stand very close to each other. Sweden and the UK are two

:24:40.:24:43.

countries with very large financial sectors, even there we could share

:24:43.:24:48.

interests. You need to be there, in my belief, to be able to stand up

:24:48.:24:56.

for your interests. Trade and a lot of these interests, you need to be

:24:56.:25:01.

there. Was it a tactical mistake for David Cameron not to play the

:25:01.:25:05.

veto in that way and to be excluded and exclude himself? Then again

:25:05.:25:09.

that was understandable that he wanted to secure some points, this

:25:09.:25:18.

was not possible, then we chose another path. I understood his

:25:18.:25:22.

reasoning. Again, the financial compact in itself is actually only

:25:22.:25:29.

done for the 17. I also think the feeling in the UK is that you are

:25:29.:25:33.

more long-term will stay outside the euro, in my country we will

:25:33.:25:36.

still have a discussion that we might alter this in the future.

:25:37.:25:40.

There is probably a difference. Thank you very much.

:25:40.:25:44.

Over the past few weeks we have been witnessing something new at

:25:44.:25:47.

Westminster. A semi-open discussion, in Government, about what should be

:25:47.:25:51.

in the budget. In their party political broadcast tonight the

:25:51.:25:55.

Liberal Democrats repeated the call they made on Newsnight on Monday,

:25:55.:25:59.

for income tax thresholds to be raised. They aren't the only wupbls

:25:59.:26:04.

doing the pleaded and plotting d ones doing the pleading and

:26:04.:26:09.

plotting. What is going on today? Today was the turn of the Tories.

:26:09.:26:13.

We had Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, coming out, he called

:26:13.:26:17.

for a reduction in national insurance on employers. Then this

:26:17.:26:21.

evening and in tomorrow's Times, we have a senior Tory activist calling

:26:21.:26:25.

for what can only be described as a mansion tax. But he's specific

:26:25.:26:29.

about how he would do it. It would have been unthinkable a year ago to

:26:29.:26:32.

have Tories calling for that sort of thing. What is interesting about

:26:33.:26:36.

the negotiations before this the budget, if you think about how long

:26:36.:26:40.

measures in budgets take effect, lots of people are thinking about

:26:40.:26:45.

the next month's budget as the last chance to do something ahead of the

:26:45.:26:48.

2015 election. That is why everyone is piling in to make a difference.

:26:48.:26:51.

Given that is such an important step, politically, and there is

:26:51.:26:55.

lots of ideas out there, do we have any senses of which ones will win

:26:55.:27:00.

out in the budget? The Liam Fox one, eventhough viewers will be reading

:27:00.:27:04.

and hearing a lot about this national insurance idea, when he

:27:04.:27:07.

was on our programme on Monday night, David Laws ruled that out.

:27:07.:27:12.

He said the priority, and the tax- cutting priority, in his language,

:27:12.:27:16.

was what the Liberal Democrats want, which is the increase in the amount

:27:16.:27:20.

of you can keep before paying tax. That is what they want and they

:27:20.:27:26.

ruled out the NI. Some sources in Downing Street said it didn't work

:27:26.:27:31.

in the opening stages of coalition. Eventhough they want it I'm not

:27:31.:27:35.

sure they will go for it. There is work with wealth tax, behind the

:27:35.:27:39.

scenes. One of the problems is the Government not only have to find

:27:39.:27:43.

the pot of money for the Lib Dem idea, it is a joint idea but the

:27:43.:27:52.

Lib Dems are pushing it. They have to find a way of fund the child

:27:52.:27:56.

benefit, they have to lessen the impact, that is why we have to look

:27:56.:28:01.

at ways to raise revenue. There is some movement on pension relief,

:28:01.:28:06.

now we are listening to interesting ideas. It is budget by former

:28:06.:28:09.

cabinet minister. What are the Treasury working on, do you think?

:28:09.:28:13.

There is a range of options, one of them is this problem that the

:28:14.:28:16.

private sector are sitting on healthy balance sheets, how do you

:28:16.:28:20.

try to encourage them to get their assets out into the real economy,

:28:20.:28:24.

rather than sitting and waiting for things to get better and coming in.

:28:24.:28:28.

There is positive things going on in childcare and social care, there

:28:28.:28:33.

is big battles but they are trying for good news stories. They have to

:28:33.:28:37.

amealate some of the bad things, then there is the pension thing we

:28:37.:28:41.

talked about before. It is complicated and high stakes, and

:28:41.:28:45.

there is no money. We understood that.

:28:45.:28:49.

Every day in Britain a dozen postal workers are attacked by dogs as

:28:49.:28:54.

they deliver our mail. But because the attacks generally take place on

:28:54.:28:58.

their owner's private property, prosecutions are almost impossible.

:28:58.:29:04.

In the last year 6,000 adults and children were admitted to dopt

:29:04.:29:11.

because -- hospital because of dog attacks. Keeping dogs in kennels is

:29:11.:29:18.

costing the Metropolitan Police �4 million a year. Proposals will be

:29:18.:29:21.

published next month. What should be done about dangerous dogs o

:29:21.:29:28.

perhaps their owners. -- or perhaps their owners. We have

:29:28.:29:34.

become a uby-election tus feature of modern life in Britain, dogs you

:29:34.:29:38.

would hesitate to pet. Often known as dangerous dogs. They have been

:29:38.:29:43.

linked to 6,000 attacks a year. Who needs them and what are we going to

:29:43.:29:53.

do about them? It is amazing how one little person can affect so

:29:53.:29:58.

many people, like, proper ripple effect, on people's lives. None of

:29:58.:30:03.

us are the same people, your whole life just changes. You change as a

:30:03.:30:10.

person, everything you knew is just gone, within seconds. Three years

:30:10.:30:14.

ago Angela McGlynn's four-year-old son, John Paul, was attacked and

:30:14.:30:17.

killed by a pitbull here in Liverpool. He was at his granny's

:30:17.:30:23.

house at the time, the dog was a trusted family pet. She tried her

:30:23.:30:30.

best to save John Paul, she couldn't, but she saved herself and

:30:30.:30:35.

my other son, I could have lost all three of them that night. Angela

:30:35.:30:39.

McGlynn's MP wants to see the law changed on dangerous dogs, at

:30:39.:30:43.

present it is hard to prosecute owners over attacks which happen on

:30:43.:30:47.

their own premises, she says, and the Government seems to have fallen

:30:47.:30:52.

silent on the whole subject. With can't afford to see another

:30:52.:30:55.

child die. We have seen six children lose their lives since

:30:55.:30:59.

2006. What we are calling for is the Government to take some action

:30:59.:31:02.

and respond to their very own consultation, which concluded 20

:31:02.:31:06.

months ago, we have seen nothing from them, heard nothing, it is not

:31:06.:31:10.

acceptable. It seemed everyone we met had a story to tell their MP

:31:10.:31:15.

about an all too close encounter with a dangerous dog. A chap in the

:31:15.:31:18.

next street got hold of the dog and threw it into the middle of the

:31:18.:31:23.

road, pushed me into the news agents, and the dog shot off the

:31:23.:31:30.

road, pushed the news agent's door and got me in the shop itself.

:31:30.:31:35.

All right lads could we have a word with you for Newsnight about your

:31:36.:31:45.
:31:46.:31:49.

dog. Sorry. You got him under control there? Yeah. What is your

:31:49.:31:59.
:31:59.:32:03.

dog? What breed is it? A staff crossed with a whippet? It is four

:32:03.:32:07.

years old. Are you aware your dog just tried to bite our cameraman?

:32:07.:32:13.

She is just barking. She tried to bite her leg? It looked like, but

:32:13.:32:17.

she never bite nobody. What have you got a dog like that

:32:17.:32:27.
:32:27.:32:28.

for? I just got her. You know. She looks how she looks, aggressive,

:32:28.:32:35.

but it is absolutely sweet dog. I introduce your local MP. Do you

:32:35.:32:38.

have any thoughts about this creature and our friend here.

:32:38.:32:45.

your local member of parliament, I'm campaigning against dogs that

:32:45.:32:53.

might impact or might hurt or affect other people. I come to this

:32:53.:32:59.

park every day. (dog barking (she plays with the other dogs, and you

:32:59.:33:06.

know, never have a situation like this. Would you let her near any

:33:06.:33:13.

children? No. Are you worried your dog could bite someone? Yeah, any

:33:13.:33:20.

dog can bite someone. What did you make of that? That is the very

:33:20.:33:24.

thing I'm concerned about. That man said he was the fifth owner, there

:33:24.:33:27.

was four previous owners of the dog, he didn't know if he necessarily

:33:27.:33:32.

had the skills to look after that animal. We saw the dog off the

:33:32.:33:36.

leash, I was quite scared by the dog, we saw it go for the cameraman,

:33:36.:33:40.

my concern is about a child in the park, another adult or another dog.

:33:40.:33:45.

He just walks off to work or whatever he's doing. What on earth

:33:45.:33:48.

is anyone, including you going to do about that in reality? That is

:33:48.:33:53.

why we need to see a very, very quick change in the law. The law as

:33:53.:33:56.

it stands isn't robust enough to deal with that. If there was a dog

:33:56.:33:59.

warden in the area, or someone from the council, or someone from the

:33:59.:34:04.

police, they could serve a dog control notice so that owner was

:34:04.:34:07.

then responsible for ensuring his dog was kept on a lead at all times,

:34:07.:34:13.

rather than off the lead, as we saw At the moment the law targets only

:34:13.:34:17.

four breeds of dog. Regardless of what the animals may have done, or

:34:17.:34:21.

not done. Owners may not be prosecuted over

:34:21.:34:25.

dog attacks which occur on their own property.

:34:25.:34:32.

The Freedom of Information by Miss Berger, has revealed the police are

:34:32.:34:37.

spending almost �4 million on kenneling dogs. In her own area,

:34:37.:34:42.

Merseyside, they spent almost 300,000, and in London the figure

:34:42.:34:47.

was the best part of �3 million. The police impounded Bodie here,

:34:47.:34:52.

because he's an illegal breed, eventhough he has never attacked

:34:52.:34:55.

anyone. Denise Evans managed to get him returned. She says the real

:34:55.:35:05.
:35:05.:35:05.

problem is the way dogs are trained. There are vicious ones of these, I

:35:05.:35:10.

wouldn't want to come across, they are strong dogs. If you own a dog

:35:10.:35:13.

like this, you have to be a responsible owner, it is not the

:35:13.:35:18.

dog but the owner who has to have control of the dog. We need powers

:35:18.:35:21.

to concentrate on people who use dogs as weapons in the communities,

:35:21.:35:25.

people seeking to use it as a status, in certain communities that

:35:25.:35:30.

is of grave concern. We need robust legislation to tackle these

:35:30.:35:36.

offenders and ensure they understand their responsibility.

:35:36.:35:40.

The Government said tonight it would announce new proposals on the

:35:40.:35:48.

control of dogs in the coming weeks. The Labour MP, is in favour of

:35:48.:35:53.

changes to the current law, and Mark Littlewood, of the Institute

:35:53.:35:58.

of Economic Affairs, is sceptical new laws are necessary. Do you

:35:58.:36:03.

think the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act is a waste of pays? The eight

:36:03.:36:08.

speess -- space? The eight pieces of legislation need to come

:36:08.:36:11.

together. That is why broad agencies, including enforcement

:36:11.:36:18.

agencies, and trade unions, you mentioned postal Work In Progress

:36:18.:36:23.

By A Life In Progressers, and animal welfare groups, we need an

:36:23.:36:27.

urgent change in the legislation. That is why we needed a

:36:27.:36:33.

consultation about the legislation. You said the Government said in the

:36:33.:36:35.

coming weeks. I have heard the Government say it will respond to

:36:35.:36:40.

its own consultation in the coming weeks for the past 20 months. We

:36:40.:36:45.

need urgent response from the Government. Why are you against

:36:45.:36:50.

more legislation on this? We have to put this into context. There is

:36:50.:36:55.

horrific stories in the package we have seen, but it isn't an enormous

:36:55.:37:00.

problem. It is if you are bitten? The same number of people die from

:37:00.:37:06.

wasp and bee bites as from dog bites. It is harrowing if it

:37:06.:37:10.

happens, but let's not build it out of proportion. We need clear

:37:10.:37:14.

responsibility on the owner, both criminal conduct, if your dog

:37:14.:37:17.

attacks another member of the public, and compensation, if there

:37:17.:37:22.

is an injury. Once you have got that sorted, the last thing we need

:37:22.:37:26.

is microchipping, local bureaucrats with dog control orders or anything

:37:26.:37:31.

else. That is not going to make us much safer? This question of

:37:31.:37:35.

private property, what do you want to see done on that, do you think

:37:35.:37:38.

it should be the same whether you are bitten by somebody in a garden

:37:38.:37:43.

by a dog or somebody on the street, is that what you would like to see?

:37:43.:37:46.

That is one of the five key things we are calling for. That the law

:37:46.:37:50.

should be extended to cover private property, so victims can get the

:37:50.:37:53.

justice they deserve if they are attacked on private property as

:37:53.:37:57.

much as a public place. There is very little powers falling to the

:37:57.:38:02.

police to pursue anyone if someone is bitten. You pension the postal

:38:02.:38:07.

workers, every single day 15 postal workers are attacked delivering

:38:07.:38:11.

mail, social workers visiting houses, there is no resource for

:38:11.:38:17.

those people. I do think the point about private property, you can

:38:17.:38:23.

take risks and people can decide to enter it. If you enter my house you

:38:23.:38:31.

will be encountering smoke, and we have leads everywhere, if there is

:38:31.:38:35.

a dog you may choose not to bring your children round. There is a

:38:35.:38:39.

risk for postal workers, you have to say this postman will not visit

:38:39.:38:43.

41 Dawes of a dangerous dog. I don't think you should -- 41

:38:43.:38:48.

because of a dangerous dog, I don't think you should apply that to all

:38:48.:38:51.

private property. If you punch somebody in the street that is a

:38:51.:38:57.

crime f you punch somebody in your front garden that is a crime, but

:38:57.:39:01.

not your dog? That is not a comparison. If you punch somebody

:39:01.:39:04.

in your living room it is accused of a crime, this is a question of a

:39:04.:39:08.

health and safety risk that might run out of control. If you

:39:08.:39:12.

deliberately feed the neighbour's kids to the dogs this is a crime,

:39:12.:39:15.

it is more a negligence and health and safety issue, it is important

:39:15.:39:19.

that doesn't extend to the living room of private property.

:39:19.:39:23.

Absolutely disagree. We don't have that power already, and certain

:39:23.:39:27.

people are not afforded protection, people are disfigured and disabled

:39:27.:39:30.

every day. It is around 6,000 people hospitalised every year,

:39:30.:39:35.

that doesn't include people going toe their GPs or accident treatment

:39:35.:39:38.

centres. 11 deaths I think is too many. That in itself requires a

:39:38.:39:43.

change in the law. Also for those thousands of people injured. What

:39:43.:39:47.

about the other things saying, making people having to chip dogs,

:39:47.:39:53.

many dog owners do. Is that really the problem, or is it bad owners?

:39:53.:39:58.

It is about encouraging responsible ownership, and beyond the breed to

:39:58.:40:01.

the deed. There is very little preventive powers extended to the

:40:01.:40:05.

police or councils to deal with the problem before an attack takes

:40:05.:40:09.

place. We mentioned before about the cost that the police forces up

:40:09.:40:13.

and down this country are incurring, they are doing a fantastic job

:40:13.:40:16.

under very difficult circumstances. They need all the support and

:40:16.:40:21.

powers afforded to them so they can take action so we don't see another

:40:21.:40:25.

person die. We don't need to give the police that support, we need to

:40:25.:40:29.

make it plain the owner bears the responsibility. If it rips yours

:40:29.:40:35.

jacket the owner has to pay, if it harms you, the owner has to pay

:40:35.:40:39.

compensation and possibly facing a criminal offence. As long as we

:40:39.:40:42.

shift responsibility clearly and plainly on to the owner, and don't

:40:42.:40:46.

make it the responsibility of the police or the local council. Is the

:40:46.:40:50.

answer licensing, if you are a bad owner you get your license taken

:40:50.:40:57.

away? In the same way we have compulsory insurance for people who

:40:57.:41:03.

drive motorcars -- motorcars, there might be compulsory insurance for

:41:03.:41:09.

certain breeds of dogs. Keep the responsibility with the owner, not

:41:09.:41:14.

with Of-dog, or whatever bureaucratic agency they want to

:41:14.:41:17.

set up? It is about empowering owners to be responsible and help

:41:17.:41:21.

them look after their dogs and make sure they don't cause problems or

:41:21.:41:26.

attack anyone. Would you be in favour of some licensing system, in

:41:26.:41:29.

other words, if you didn't look after your dog couldn't have one,

:41:29.:41:34.

the Government would tell you that? The five key things we are looking

:41:34.:41:39.

at don't extend to that, I'm open to all options, we just want action.

:41:39.:41:43.

We have seen action in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and Wales are

:41:43.:41:47.

going to introduce new legislation by the end of the year. I want this

:41:47.:41:51.

Government to introduce legislation to consolidate the acts as they

:41:51.:41:56.

stand, and afford our police and councils additional protections so

:41:57.:42:01.

we don't see anyone else die. Not surprisingly tomorrow morning's

:42:01.:42:07.

newspapers have a great deal to say on the death of Marie Colvin. Her

:42:07.:42:17.
:42:17.:42:19.

photograph is on the front pages. There is a quote from a speech she

:42:19.:42:22.

gave in November 2010, giving a service to commemorate war

:42:22.:42:27.

reporters who died. She's on the front page of the Guardian, she

:42:27.:42:31.

wanted to finish one more story is its take on the story. The

:42:31.:42:35.

Independent has the heroic face of journalism, we have seen some of

:42:35.:42:41.

the other faces of journalism, this is the heroic face. The Telegraph

:42:41.:42:45.

has baby girls aborted and no questions asked. Joining us to

:42:45.:42:50.

discuss Marie Colvin's life and work is a fellow reporter, Janine

:42:50.:42:55.

di Giovanni. How will you remember her? As an incredibly tenacious,

:42:55.:43:01.

brave, courageous reporter, the one that was always first in and the

:43:01.:43:05.

last to go. She would stay much longer than anyone. She was

:43:05.:43:09.

incredibly determined to tell the story, to get the story out, often

:43:09.:43:14.

at great risk to herself, whether Chechnya, East Timor, or Kosovo.

:43:14.:43:19.

She really came from that great tradition of reporter of James

:43:19.:43:23.

Cameron, Martha Gellhorn, whom she greatly admired. I just hope, and I

:43:23.:43:29.

truly believe that, especially for women, she kind of set the bar for

:43:29.:43:33.

journalism, for real journalism. And telling the truth and bringing

:43:33.:43:37.

a Joyce to people who didn't have a voice. -- a voice to people who

:43:37.:43:40.

didn't have a voice. She was a great crusader of bearing witness,

:43:40.:43:44.

which is what she called it, for people to tell their stories. She

:43:44.:43:48.

often said if they want to tell you, they will tell you, and they want

:43:48.:43:53.

to tell you, they want you to know the truth. She and you more than

:43:53.:43:58.

anybody, you know the risks you run in those situations. The big

:43:58.:44:05.

question that people will be asking is why did she do it? With Homs

:44:05.:44:10.

there is terrible resonance of Sarajevo, a city isolated and the

:44:11.:44:14.

civilian population is going through hell. There are some

:44:14.:44:18.

journalists there but not many. She believed that this was a crucial

:44:18.:44:24.

story to tell, that the world needs to know what's happening, and she

:44:24.:44:28.

was someone that had the ability to do that. She had the courage, and

:44:28.:44:31.

she certainly had the experience. She was doing this for more than 25

:44:31.:44:37.

years. It was a story that needed to be told. You mentioned Martha

:44:37.:44:42.

Gellhorn, you said that she was a great roll model for journalists,

:44:42.:44:45.

particularly for women too. Is it different for women in a warzone,

:44:45.:44:50.

is it easier or more difficult, do people talk to you more? This is

:44:50.:44:55.

always a question that is asked. I think that there is pros and cons,

:44:55.:44:59.

obviously a story like this, where she would have had to be smuggled

:44:59.:45:05.

in to get in, and would have been incred difficult for -- incredibly

:45:05.:45:09.

difficult for a woman, win she went to Chechnya and was smuggled in,

:45:09.:45:14.

she had to hike over mountains. Women are not as physically strong

:45:14.:45:19.

as men, biologically, I think there is that. On the ground women can be

:45:19.:45:24.

absolutely just as tough and tenacious, and courageous as men. I

:45:24.:45:30.

think she really was the role model for an entire generation of women

:45:30.:45:35.

and men, and young reporters, who really want to carry the truth, and

:45:35.:45:40.

to bring the truth to a wider audience. To go somewhere where one

:45:40.:45:44.

of our colleagues said to shine a light in the darkest corners of the

:45:44.:45:48.

world. She was very, listening to that BBC interview that she gave

:45:48.:45:51.

yesterday, not just very, very motivated, but very committed to

:45:52.:45:56.

bringing some kind of peace to the people she saw suffering, and to

:45:56.:45:59.

make us understand that eventhough we live many hundreds of thousands

:45:59.:46:04.

of miles away? With passion, she had tremendous passion, she once

:46:04.:46:07.

said she can't write about something unless she was passionate

:46:07.:46:11.

about it. She was someone, whether it was the Middle East, that was

:46:11.:46:15.

really her area, and she would hold on to something, and she believed

:46:15.:46:19.

in it. I remember once saying to her, do you ever let this story go,

:46:19.:46:23.

she said not when you are in the middle of it, she was living in

:46:23.:46:29.

Jerusalem at the time. She just lived for her work, she was

:46:29.:46:33.

completely devoted to it. She would spend months staying somewhere.

:46:33.:46:39.

Libya, she called it a health farm, because she was there for so long,

:46:39.:46:43.

and she, at great cost often to one's private life doing this, it

:46:43.:46:48.

is a very difficult job. She is someone we will never forget.

:46:48.:46:52.

Thank you very much for paying tribute to Marie Colvin. That's all

:46:52.:46:55.

for tonight, Kirsty will be here tomorrow, one last piece of news,

:46:55.:47:02.

tonight at the Royal Television Society News Awards, Newsnight won

:47:02.:47:12.
:47:12.:47:32.

news programme of the year, our Good evening. Cloudy, misty and

:47:32.:47:37.

mild night tonight for many. Particularly misty across these

:47:37.:47:42.

western areas, foggy start, slowing the commute, with the wind south-

:47:42.:47:46.

westerly, many of these western and southern parts will remain grey

:47:46.:47:51.

throughout. To the high ground, north-east England, certainly

:47:51.:47:55.

through eastern parts of England, temperatures lifting in sunny

:47:55.:48:00.

spells to 16 or 17. Not opening for too much in the way of sunshine

:48:00.:48:05.

around the coast, in Torbay to the east of Dartmoor, sunnier breaks.

:48:05.:48:09.

Through the moors, it is going to rain misty, foggy all day. The

:48:09.:48:14.

white colours here across the hills and mountains of Wales. With that

:48:14.:48:18.

thicker cloud comes patchy rain or drizzle. Maybe a little bit of

:48:18.:48:22.

brightness across and down. Thicker cloud to North West later brings

:48:22.:48:26.

the wettest spell of the day. Patchy rain or drizzle turning

:48:26.:48:30.

heavier across the North West of Scotland. Things change across the

:48:30.:48:34.

north, particularly for Scotland and Northern Ireland, into Friday.

:48:34.:48:37.

Something brighter, but the temperatures drop, we will slowly

:48:37.:48:40.

see temperatures drop across England and Wales too, a lot more

:48:40.:48:45.

cloud on Friday, with patchy rain and drizzle, that comes from a cold

:48:45.:48:49.

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