06/03/2012 Newsnight


Jeremy Paxman asks if the Mansion Tax will happen. A look inside the hackers of Anonymous and we ask if the government will save the Green Belt. Plus Mark Urban returns to Libya.

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An Englishman's home isn't just his castle, if Vince Cable gets his way


it will be a Government cash cow. A fortnight ahead of the budget, the


idea is floated that everyone with a big house should be taxed on its


value. It is the most expensive thing most of us would ever buy,


the change would be from being taxed on what you earn, to being


taxed on what you own. As an idea, is it either desirable, or even


workable. Our political editor has learned


what's happened to another highly contentious Government plan. I have


learned the Government's controversial planning laws will go


ahead, despite hints of a re-think. The alleged leader of two of the


most famous and prolific hacking groups in the world, Anonymous and


LulzSec, is unmasked as an FBI informant. The woman privvy to the


secrets of the happy hacking movement, talks for the first time.


What happens to you when you end up on the wrong side of the Arab


Spring? We go to the last place that fell to the Libyan uprising.


This was Gaddafi's grandiose vision of a capital for Africa, now it has


been ripped apart, I will be talking to the people of the


We are all in this together, but some of us ought to be more in it


than others, that is the implication of remarks today from


the Business Secretary, Vince Cable? One of those, "hey I'm just


thinking allowed" which drive his Conservative colleagues up the wall,


he mused that maybe there was case for getting rid of the 50p rate of


income tax, paid by anyone earning over �150,000 a year, and in return,


maybe people's wealth should be taxed, essentially a tax on their


houses. The respectable pile, or mansion,


as Vince Cable would call it, of the composer Hubert Parry, nestled


in the expensive Kensington square, right next door another honoured


home, John Stuart Mill, architect of the liberal thought. He's the


architect of a wealth tax, which his descendant and lookalike has


morphed into a mansion tax. He says the dream must be realised, he said


a mansion tax must be exchanged for dropping the 50p tax. If the 50p


tax rate were to go, it should be replaced by taxation of wealth,


because the wealthy people in the country have to pay their share,


and the mansion tax is an economically sensible way of doing


it. Lord Newby is a Lib Dem peer, champion of the mansion tax, and


friend to the Business Secretary. How important is this to the Lib


Dems and what they get from Government? It is one of the things


we fought the last election on, we are keen it should be implemented.


We think it is particularly important to do it if the


Government contemplating on reducing the 50p tax rate. We think


in the long run you should do that, but now isn't the time to do it,


particularly unless you do something like a mansion tax, which


means that people at the really top end of the income and wealth scale


are paying their fair share. John Stuart Mills house is worth


under �2 million, next door his neighbour's is worth just over,


that is the stark contrast that really worries the Tories. They


think up and down the country you will have neighbour pitched against


neighbour over the value of their homes. This is a recipe for a big


judicial review, according to one critic, it will bring not much


money and a lot of grief. For many Tory MPs they won't accept this


policy. I'm opposed to a mansion tax, although it will affect few


people in my constituency, it is a tax against aspiration. I have


often thought of the people who are sometimes in these rather expensive


houses now, a lot are asset rich and cash poor, and may have


acquired the house some time ago. The last thing I want to see is a


widow being turfed out of her house The UK brings in the most from


property than any OECD countries. The think-tank offered research


showing the top 1.6% of property sales yielded 26% of all stamp duty,


and the top 0.7% of homes, contributes 36% of inheritance tax.


Whatever the numbers, the Lib Dems are at home on this agenda, and for


the other parties, the central John Stuart Mills website, that wealth,


not income, should be taxed, is broadly compelling. I would prefer


to look at something that they have in some parts of Australia, which


is a land tax that exempts people's main homes, and exempts farmland,


but it basically bears down on people who have second homes, and


also on property companies who are sitting on large land banks. I


think that is probably a better form of wealth tax. It is fairer,


it doesn't run into this little old lady in a big house problem. We


should then use the proceeds to cut taxes on people on average earnings.


REPORTER: Are you trying to write George Osborne's budget for him?


Not at all. Today a letter resurfaced, written by the Business


Secretary at the beginning of February, in which he accuses the


Prime Minister, and indeed his own boss, Nick Clegg, of presiding over


a Government with no vision beyond sorting out the fiscal mess.


Until his departure recently, Chris Huhne was the dissident in the


cabinet, thorn in their side, now Vince Cable seems to have taken up


the mantle. He's saying if it isn't radical, it isn't the Lib Dems'


fault. But some will say those who criticise the strategy criticises


his own brief. It is highly unlikely this budget will include a


mansion tax, whatever the Lib Dem negotiating position, but there is


probably going to be action to clampdown on its extravagantly


lavish cousin, the people who set up companies to pay much reduced


council tax on their companies. If people change the loopholes such as


people putting flats into companies, they couldn't do it any more, isn't


that a mansion tax? That is getting rid of a loophole, people shunting


doing that any way, a mansion tax is a new source of revenue, it will


earning more than closing the loophole t applies to all houses


every year above �2 million. It would be an Andrews not an or.


three days time the Lib Dems convene for their conference, a


rowdy and not quite glam affair. Vince Cable pushing for the wealth


tax could should a spring in the shod step.


To give their thoughts on a mansion tax, the Conservative MP, Jacob


Rees-Mogg, the property expert, Kirstie Allsopp, and Tim


Montgomerie, editor of the story grass root website -- grass roots


website. If someone is lucky enough to own a house worth �2 mill kwhron,


they can afford -- �2 million, they can afford �5,000 a year? They


already pay council tax, the problem with these houses is people


don't have the cashflow. Get a smaller house? So you want to kick


the widow out of her house. I find in the south-east of England,


people living in their homes for 40 years, their home is valuable but


they are living on small, fixed income. Is that how you want


society to run. Tim Montgomerie, is that where you want society to run?


We are facing probably one of the worst economic circumstances this


country has faced for a long time. People on low and average incomes


without there are struggling to make ends meet. They are running


out of income at the start of the month, not the end. People for the


first time are looking to be less well-off than the generation that


preceded them. What I want from a Conservative-led Government, is to


do everything it possibly can to help those families. The stories


that Jacob has shared with us are tough, some people will find these


sorts of taxes difficult, but I want, when George Osborne gets up


to deliver the budget, I don't want him to just do things that are


marginal for families, on council tax or petrol duty, I want him to


have cut spending more deeply, and all the wiggle room in the budget,


and introducing wealth taxes, to make a sizeable difference for the


families we really need to help. Kirstie Allsopp, you spend your


entire life in the property world, where are you Aberdeen? I'm in


Aberdeen. And elsewhere. What effect would it have this sort of


tax, do you think? I don't think it would have a major effect. At the


point that they set it, let's say it is �2 million, there will be


some fannying around in that area, it is not just that, they have to


decide whether they want to tax assets, or whether they want to tax


income. Jacob is completely right it is patronising to talk about


this old widow, my parents and my parents-in-law would be hugely


affected by an annual mansion tax. If we want a sales tax let's be


honest, saying we pay tax when we go into a purchase, which we do,


and when we come out of a purchase. In an honest sales tax, which they


do in countries all over the world, and which it has been something


that is slightly inevitable for a long time. Are you also going to


defend all these foreign people who come to Britain and buy property


without paying stamp duty? No. Why on earth would I defend them. We


have stamp duty in this country, we should all pay it, and when we sell


a property. Tim raes right, there are people suffering -- Tim's right,


there are people suffering, they are not people owning �2 million


properties. There are a great many people, particularly in the south-


east, who own very valuable homes, like my in-laws, who have lived in


the same house for 50 years, and would simply be incapable of paying


an annual tax on the value of an asset they have had for a very long


time. What about Kirstie Allsopp's in-laws? They may not have the


income themselves, but they are sat on an asset. It is a home. It is a


home, but it is also an asset for which other people will benefit


perhaps through inheritance in later years. We have an inheritance


tax. There are plenty of financial companies that will help your


relatives or the Jacob's widow realise their asset now, they will


still be able to live in that house, but extract some of the income now,


so they can make a contribution. You can't tax people's homes.


Through the exchequer, to help the mass of people suffering on a


significant scale. People pay the Exchequer when they buy, and they


pay when they die, but you cannot expect people who don't have an


income to make an annual payment, what about people paying an 780%


mortgage. You can have -- 80% mortgage. You can have someone in a


�2 million house which is paid off and one working to pay it off.


want the Conservative-led Government to be the party on the


side of people who can't fill up their petrol tank at the moment,


the people struggling to pay their electricity bills. A party that


worries too much about people with �2 million homes, is not a party


that will win a majority in this country. The high priest of


Conservatism has suddenly gone socialist on us, which is worrying.


Tim is in that in his position on the website. He's being


compassionate, worrying about people with more urgent needs than


those with �2 million house? He's saying penal taxes will help the


less well off, they won't. It will mean people will leave the country,


people will stop working, people will move house to smaller houses.


If you have such a penal tax system in this country, bearing in mind


the top 1% of tax-payers, already pay 27% of the total income tax. We


had the figures on the CPS on how much comes from property taxes,


death duties on the most expensive house, the idea more will be


squeezed out of the top earners, without risking the tax base is


simply mistaken. One of the reasons why apart from the tax aspect but


as an economist I support taxes more wealth income. You can't say


we are losing people taxing at 50% for high earners, people are going


overseas because it is easier to move their income to foreign banks.


Property, many people from London, overseas, evading stamp duty,


Russian, from the Middle East, they are not making a contribution, and


what we need is a crackdown on people like that, so that we can


afford to cut the 50p tax rate. Everyone agrees all these people


who come here and avoid tax should pay it, but it is all part of the?


It is all part of the same package of being a Government that can


afford tax cuts. What happens to society when you start taxing


waeplt instead of earnings? wealth instead of earnings? If you


tax earnings too much people move abroad, they can take the jobs


abroad. If you tax property, that is much hard Tory evade, you


actually get a system -- harder to evade, you are actually get a


system where we are taxing wealth creation rather than wealth.


think wealth taxes are remarkably easy to evade, in Italy they have a


lot, which are renowned for tax avoidance and evasion. In Italy


they avoid all taxes. Kirsty you have been trying to get in up in


Aberdeen? I'm really saying the same thing over and over again.


Stop it then? Have a transaction tax, but it is unworkable, as you


said at the beginning of the show, Jeremy, we can't do it, we all know


we can't do it. It will cause the most appalling problems, there will


be numerous lawsuits, administering issues. Vince Cable has known for


cage that is the mansion tax in its original form is unworkable. Let be


a be honest and say we need more money. You know perfectly well


Vince Cable is playing games for the benefit of his party, which is


shortly to gather together, and they will say Saint Vince is


keeping the flame alive. David Cameron will never go for this?


fear not, I make the argument that a Conservative Party that is


interested in the striving classes should, and Vince Cable may be


playing politics with this. It is completely workable. I don't favour


the precise mansion tax mechanism that Vince Cable has proposed. I


think you would have a few higher bands on council tax, it is


ridiculous at the moment someone in a �2 million house pays the same as


someone on a �300,000 tax. Everybody agrees with that. There


are perfectly workable ways of introducing fairer property taxes.


Thank you very much. While we are on the subject of the


budget, and what may or may not be in it, we have had quite a busy day.


We have heard something about the plans to reform the planning laws


in England. You may recall a great corn ternation among


conservationists when it became known that planners were told to be


more biased in favour of the development. The Government said it


would think again. What have you found out? In terms of the headline,


which is this horrible phrase that's rather jargon heavy, "a


presumption in favour of sustainable development", that is


staying, this is still a growth Government, it is something the


Chancellor wants to push hard on and pushing for the budget, if he


doesn't get his way we should be asking why not. To go backwards,


this is a consultation launch last July, the idea was to make the


system less complex, so to get, as soon as people got planning


permission, they should be just able to go and build. The key thing


is we have discussed, this phrase "a presumption in favour of


sustainable development". Among others, it was the National Trust


that said if it came to past it would be the death knell for the


planning system as they know it. They talked about the end of the


green belt, and our green and pleasant land to go back to


Jerusalem would be concreted over. What is interesting me, is that the


Treasury are very bullish about this, they want this in the budget,


they don't want it after the budget, they want it part of the budget.


This is a signal to builders, construction companies, which,


let's remember, are people who if you can get to spend money, it


trickles down into the economy very quickly. Construction is a big


multiplier, they want them to be given a very big signal that


planning is less difficult in this country. It was the subject of


cabinet last week, they wanted to know why the planning document had


been so long in the offing. I do believe there will be safeguards.


Remember this is over over 1,000- pages. They thought it would be


clever to shrink down to 54 pages, they realised over the fullness of


time that was a problem. They had to make things more simple, and


left out the safeguards on environmental issues. I think they


will spell out that the green belt won't be touched. There will be


better definition of an area of outnatural beauty, and the like.


They are bullish about the outcome, but what campaigners are looking


for remains to be seen, in terms of these groups it is a fight they


will have, they want to do something about growth. Joining us


from Westminster is the Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith, who


has advised David Cameron on environmental issues, and is a


member of the Environmental Audit Committee. What do you make of this


decision, apparently to stick to the original proposal? I have heard


that from your programme, only. Some I'm assuming, I'm hoping it is


mu mours. I'm hoping -- Rumours. I'm hoping it is true or we should


sack our researcher? I will leave that to the Newsnight team. I think


the planning system needs reform, I believe that, and so does the


National Trust. It is expensive for companies and exhausting to


communities fighting off developers, nobody seems to win. When


Government ministers, we have had one or two, talk about the planning


system as a tool that should be used to promote economic growth, I


think they ares missing something very important. The problem with


the planning system is not that it is blocking development, it is not


blocking development, there are 250,000 plots available to be built


in the south-east of England alone. There are 31,000 acres of


brownfield land waiting to be developed. In all, roughly 90% of


applications go through. So the problem is not that it is blocking


development, the problem is it is a very bureaucratic and lengthy


system. A decision that should take two or three weeks, ends up taking


months or years. That is the problem and they should be


addressing that. If you talk about planning being used as a tool to


promote economic growth, that sounds like a blank cheque for


developers, that is a real problem. If you are a person without a job,


it is pretty hard to take from a multi-millionaire, that sort of


advice, isn't it? What advice? advice you have just given that it


is nothing to do with development, others have decides it is to do


with development and economic growth? I'm not giving advice, I'm


saying the problem with the planning system is not that it is


blocking development, I would like to see lots of development


happening around the country, we have a real housing crisis, but


ripping up the planning system as it currently is, will not lead to


more development, it might mean a few developers will make more money,


it won't lead to a net increase in economic growth or development.


There are other factors at play, the fact that people can't get


mortgages and the finance doesn't exist. That is what's impeding


development, no the planning is is tem. It is not even -- system, it


is not even a matter of data, it is a matter of fact. I'm not giving


advice, I'm simply saying the planning system shouldn't be used


as a tool to create development, that misses the point, I think.


Those safeguards of local plans in green belts, they will still be


there? Look, I don't know the final draft, I haven't seen it, I presume


protection for National Parks and green belts will exist. They are


not the only things that matter to communities. People want to protect


things not essentially of natural value, but green spaces, their


community. Areas of the countryside may not be hugely rich in


biodiversity, but are important to communities that live in and around


them. The planning system needs to protect what matters to people, not


just a National Parks and biodiversity hot spots. It has to


go beyond that. What was lacking from the original draft, that upset


a lot of people, was a very clear bias in developing brownfield land


first, I hope that is back in the script. Also a clear definition of


what we mean by sustainable development F we have a presumption


in favour of sustainability development, we need to know what


that looks like. What does the Government believe sustainability


amounts to. These are the things I think need to be addressed. I still


hope the second draft will answer these questions. The Government


will have a real headache if they haven't. Millions of people around


the country are worried, they are right. Whatever reforms are brought


in will have a lasting legacy s it will be on this generation, the


next and the one after that. It is very important we get it right.


signer space they say, no-one can hear you scream, but the FBI listen


carefully. It emerged today one of the most wanted men in computer


hacking has been co-operating with American investigators and dobing


in fellow harkers. This Moriarty burrowed into banking and business


organisations and completely compromised their security. It may


all have started as a bit of a laugh, or at least that's what


hacking group LulzSec wanted us to think, their slogan, "laughing at


your security since 2011", but their attacks became increasingly


high-profile, the US Senate, Sony and banks among their victims. A


spin-off from the Hacking Collective, Anonymous, that is how


they all would have liked to remain, but today the FBI released the


names and handles from six suspects from both groups, charged with


crimes the FBI say affected more than a million victims. What do we


know about those charged today. He has been arrested in Washington


and charged with crimes against a The FBI said today pleaded guilty


to a dozen charges last summer. A report by Fox News, today claimed


that 28-year-old self-taught hacker, Monster mons, turned against his


hacking friends -- Monster mons, turned against his hacking friends,


work - Hector Xavier Monsegur, turned against his friends, working


with the FBI since last July. It goes towards old fashioned policing,


and turned the tables on the hacking community that had seemed


one step ahead of the enforcement services. Last month n one of the


most embarrassing attacks, Anonymous released a recording of


what was supposed to be a secure conference call, between signer


crime detectives in the UK and the US. You need to reliesen to the


conversation in the context of what -- reliesen to the -- re-listen to


it, people will think they sound complacement, but they are not,


there is a lot of money being spent to capture these people.


Last summer Newsnight conducted an interview in an on-line chatroom


with a member of LulzSec, who told Of course, all those charged are


innocent until proven guilty, and it seems unlikely this will be the


end of a movement that frequently boasts that you cannot kill an idea.


With us now is the journalist, Parmy Olson, of Forbes, who has


enjoined privileged access to the members of LulzSec and Anonymous


for over a year and published a history of the movement shortly to


be published. How surprised were you to discover this guy was an FBI


informant? I'm not surprised, there was a lot of suspicion in the


hacker community over the last few months, because one by one every


member of LulzSec of getting arrested, the founding members, yet


Sabu, the de facto leader, widely known to be living in New York,


widely known to be of Porto Rican descent, had not been arrested, he


was prolific on Twitter, very verbal and public, yet here he was


apparently still at large. How big a noise was he in this hacking


world. He is definitely a charasmatic character and well


known. He had 25,000 Twitter followers until recently, that has


now shot up. On the Internet chat networks were the where the


Anonymous supporters discussed things. If he went on-line he would


have everyone hanging on to his every word. An aggressive and


intense personality and influential. Most of the other hackers were much


younger? Generally speaking he is of an older age group, late 20s,


most tend to be in late teens, early 20s, even early teens.


could get them to do things? could say that. He's very


influential, charming to speak to. And very opinionated. When he talks


about his views, he's very good at getting those across and justifying


what he did. To a lot of people, this seems,


frankly, slightly incomprehensible, something that maybe starts off as


a game, can I beat this system here. It then becomes something else?


definitely ballooned into something bigger that spiralled out of


control for the people who were involved, particularly the people


who were arrested, like hector. I think part of that comes are from


the camaraderiery they felt together, the sense of euphoria


with each hack and the sense of victory. And of course the media


attention they got, LulzSec, the hacking group he was leading,


within a few weeks we were getting up to 300,000 Twitter followers,


the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal was quoting their tweets.


That was also part of what fuelled what they were doing. Apart from


the attention, is there some other function can you tell from the


targets they chose to compromise? don't think so, a lot of it wasn't


pro-active, from the investigations I did for my book, a lot of it was


reactive. They wouldn't say let's go after the CIA or let's go after


Sony rb they would look across different web -- they would look


across different websites and see what weaknesses they would find.


When they found something everybody was game to go after it, once they


put out a press release, they would justify it and slap on a political


motive. Stkpwhrm did they understand what the real world


conse -- Did they understand what the real world consequences would


be? I think they did. But the sense of euphoria that came from the fame


masked that for a while. I was talking them to as it was happening,


one was talking about reaching a point of no return, where it all


got so big, and they thought they would get arrested and part of them


thought they wouldn't. It was kind of a detatched way of living in two


worlds. I am the only thing holding this


country together, has been the boast of one dictator after another.


In Libya, which threw off Colonel Gaddafi, serious tensions emerged


today. Revolutionary leaders in Benghazi, the city where the Libyan


uprising began, have declared their commitment to a semi-autonomy in


the post-Gaddafi state. We will talk about whether the country


might fall apart shortly, first we have been to Colonel Gaddafi's home


town, and the place where he was eventually killed. It has paid a


heavy price. There are some disturbing images in this report.


They love me, all my people with me, they love me all. They will die to


protect me, my people. Just outside Sirte is a billion


pound monument to vanity and excess. The complex was a summit venue, and


intended by Gaddafi to be the capital for a united Africa.


Saying from his green book still The marble, chrome and glass have


been shattered by revolutionary fighters. It now stands testament


to a modern Osimandius. Outside, some of the locals who


joined the revolution saw us, and came to make their own gesture.


TRANSLATION: The dictator Gaddafi turned this complex into a garden


for himself and his guests, it was off limits to us, we are forbidden


as residents of the city to come here, we couldn't go near it. By


the grace of God now, everyone can enter the complex, hopefully it


will be rebuilt and all the Libyan people will benefit from it. In the


sent irof Sirte is the insurance -- centre of Sirte is this insurance


building, it was said that allies shells were dropped after Gaddafi


entered the basement There are many versions what happened here,


firstly, that the international effort to help Libya was based on a


UN resolution, that put protecting the civilian population from the


Armed Forces, front and centre. Yet, by the time the conflict drew to a


close, seven months later, it was this town where Gaddafi was born


and killed that would prove to have been the most bombarded in the


country. We drove down to the seafront, to


the place where revolutionary fighters hemmed in the last Gaddafi


loyalists, and pounded them for weeks. It is auld Area 2 -- it is


called Area 2, and laid waste by the fighting. TRANSLATION: The town


of Sirte has seen lots of damage, the destruction of homes, theft,


plundering. Houses, schools and hospitals are all in ruins. The


whole country has suffered immensely. If we ask the


authorities for anything, they tell us to fill in a form and take it to


head office. We never see results, nothing gets done. The scale of the


damage was such that the majority of the 20,000 people living in Area


2, left, most have still not returned.


How are they coping living in the flat with no electricity or water?


TRANSLATION: The water supply is very erratic. We often have to go


to the standpipe and carry the water back in pots. People here are


bitter about NATO's bombs and the wanton destruction of fellow


Libyans. They don't know whether to greet or stone us. There were some


desultry Gaddafi chants, locals are always looking for trouble, one


fighter from Benghazi has been arrested for crimes against people.


TRANSLATION: They killed and kidnapped and stole cars until they


were detained and questioned. That is why we are not co-operative for


revolutionaries outside, they didn't expect the law -- respect


the laws here. There was a woman pregnant in labour, her husband


took her to hospital, they fired at the car and killed her. The next


day they were caught and it was found they were the cause of


previous trouble in Sirte. When the town fell, the anti-Gaddafi


fighters were jubilant. But people in the city say they also indulged


in an orgy of vandalism. Even surveying the damage across


Sirte today, it is so extensive and indiscriminate, it must have hit


people who had long opposed the dictatorship. We totally support


the freedom fighters, but what he this did after the liberation in


Sirte, it is a complete disaster. They do the same as pro-Gaddafi.


You came for freedom, for liberation, not for reveings. What


happened to Sirte, it is totally revenge.


It is not the freedom we fight for. It is not the people we fight for,


we have to start again, and do it right, otherwise Muammar Gaddafi is


still there. It was fighters from Misrata who captured the dictator


and are thought to have killed him. Armed groups from that same place,


a couple of hours drive up the coast, have taken it upon


themselves to throw their weight around even now. Shocking footage


has appeared on the Internet, contributing to charges of abuse


against the revolutionary brigades. There were some mock executions,


there was abuse, a lot of mockery, spitting, things like this, you can


find most of this on-line. There is, to date, that I'm ware of, not been


anyone convict -- aware of, not been anyone convicted. Plenty of


cases, deaths in custody, torture, no investigations and no


accountability for anybody. This is the crux of the problem when it


comes to this. As people think they can get away with this sort of


thing, and it is tolerated, you will see more of it. The militia


brigades in Misrata, deny the charges of detainee abuse.


TRANSLATION: Regarding mistreatment in prisons, that does not happen


here. When a prisoner ray riefs, he's well treated. -- arrives, he


is well treated, it is an administrative building, prisoners


are provided with food. When they are captured they are subject today


rough treatment, but in prison there are systems and food. This


school in Sirte is just a few hundred metres from where Gaddafi


was captured last October. It was damaged by gunfire, but it has been


repaired and glass classes have resumed. There is an uneasy


atmosphere among pupils and staff. I was in the prison in Misrata, for


70 days, I came back here to my family in Sirte. Some military from


Misrata caught me on the route, and took me there, and put me, my job


is a teacher, and they put me in Misrata in the school. For 70 days.


Still now there is many, many people in Misrata. They change, you


see this school for study, but in Misrata they make it school for


bringing people to it. While that teacher said he


helicopter been torture, he did tell us it would be -- he had been


tortured, he did say it would be years before Gaddafi's Green Flag


would be taken down. For some of the boys our presence was not


welcomed. Many of the children had lost brothers and sisters in the


fighting, some of them blame NATO and the west. As we were leaving


the mood changed distinctly, we came under a hail of stones and the


vehicles were damaged. So what of the future for Sirte,


aid agencies agree it needs more help in rebuilding, that any other


town in Libya. TRANSLATION: As you can see the building is under


construction, no power or water. Thousands of homes remain


uninhabitable. Their owners have fetched up in places like this, a


half finished apartment block, afraid their community is now


stigmatised. TRANSLATION: People are concerned with their day-to-day


life. They don't have time to support any politician, people have


more pressing things to worry about, health, environment, the city is


destroyed, if the infrastructure is destroyed, life is difficult.


filmed we were aware the new authorities were keeping an eye on


us. Several people with allegations against the revolution, said they


were too frightened to be filmed. What are the options for the people


of Sirte in the harsh new reality they live. There have been some


rumours about the resumption of armed struggle, insurgency. Most


people discount that as a viable strategy. Instead, fascinatingly,


they are taking a leave out of the book of their former opponents in


the revolutionary movement, using the Internet and other modern media


to try to mobilise some public support.


This presentation is part of the campaign that's recently born


launched on behalf of Sirte -- been launched on behalf of Sirte. It


encourages Libyans to discard their prejudices and help the city start


anew. We started as the youth from Sirte. We started to show pictures


and invited every embassy, UN, EU, just to show what happened to Sirte.


We need people to talk out. I foal it is like a stab in my back,


if I see my family and I see people inside Sirte, and they hurt, and


nobody talks. It is bad. I don't care that Muammar Gaddafi


is from Sirte, I care about the families there. So I have to speak


out and the whole world they have to hear us.


Sirte has its own Glean Square, another forlorn reminder of


Gaddafi's grand design and its failure. Now post-revolution, the


city stands for something different. The fate of Sirte now is very


important, and so the way that the new Libyan authorities treat places


that were seen to be very loyal to Gaddafi is going to be a litmus


test for what the future will hold. When I was interviewing people,


families from Sirte back in October, one of the gentlemen said to me,


right now we don't have have the power to fight back, but we will


not forget, and when we do, we will. Having had so much money lavished


upon it in the past, some Libyans now feel Sirte should go to the


back of the queue. But people will watch what happens here, both those


who believe democracy and human rights can triumph over revenge and


tribalism, as well as those who support unpopular leaders, and


wonder what might happen to them when their leader is tumbled from


the pedestal. Joining me from Italy is a member of the Libyan National


Transitional Council. Isn't Sirte entitled to as much assistance as


any other place in Italy? Xaebgtly, this revolution is for -- exactly,


this revolution is for all Libyans together. Libya is united, west,


east and north, it will be united and the whole country is united. It


clearly isn't united, let's be realistic, it is clearly not, we


will come to the politics in a second. Let's look at the question


of torture, these allegations of torture, made by organisations like


Human Rights Watch, Medecins sans frontier, this is a discais


national -- a disgraceful state of affairs? I have been visiting so


many prisons in Misrata and Tripoli. It seems if you have a few cases


but it doesn't say that is the whole country like this, or the


whole person is like this. Amnesty International visited 11 place of


at the detention, ten of which people said they had been subjected


to mistreatment? Well, I can tell us, most of the prisoners, they


received their families, visiting, almost every second day. If there


is something like that, it will be sent by the familiar lose. --


families. Now we have a system that all prisoners, even the dangerous


guys, visit their families. Some have been transferred to their


homes. There is no negotiations at all. But you may find ...There


pictures of people being tortured on the Internet, they are all fake?


Anything which the Internet is trying to film from a prison. We


don't know where it is come ring from. If you and any other


organisations come and visit the prisoner themselves. Anything that


you and the Internet are not responsible for, because we don't


know where it comes from. Can we talk about the politics for a


second or two? This demand today from Benghazi that the arrangement


within the country be changed, so that there be some sort of federal


system, in which Benghazi is left much more, and the area around it,


is left much more to its own devices, doesn't that indicate a


profound lack of faith in the current arrangements.


I don't think so, federalisation is something that is more, and it is


not something for me or NTC or any member of Libya now to talk about


or decide where to go. It is too early for the Libyans to decide,


whether to go for the king dom, whatever it is. We are wait --


kingdom, whatever it is, we are waiting for the constitution, and


then the six million Libyans decide where to go. We are not saying if


the organisation is good or bad, it is too early to say. This group


gathered together and decided to go for it, they are not presenting


eastern parts, that is where the uprising started. You will see so


many demonstrations, again it is this, there was a survey done by


some media, in that region, only 30% or 25% with that .5% against.


So we are, this is something which is again the wish of the people.


Thank you for spending the time to talk to us. Thank you. That is all


from Newsnight tonight, the 50th anniversary of the publication of


the report, which showed what tobacco does to your health. There


are still eight million who spoke, and the accumulated loss of life he


can speck tancy is said to be a million years. 50 years enough to


build up of those life expectancy sis.


I like spoking. I enjoy it. -- like smoking, I enjoy it. Is it


worth the risk? Yes. Honestly it is one's life, at the end of one's


life you are probably more in the hand of almighty God than in my own


hand. Are you going to try to cut down now the report is out??


don't think so, I don't think I spoke heavily enough to worry about


it. Don't you believe the connection between cancer? Maybe, I


connection between cancer? Maybe, I have never been really ill.


Hello, some wind and drain crossing the country at the moment, soggy


end to the night for most places. Causing problems for the early


morning commute. Things will improve by the afternoon, most of


us brighter and breezy. Sun shy, but a cold wind, a scattering of


blus -- sunshine but a cold wind. Bright and breezy in the afternoon.


Showers are isolated, racing through on the blustery wind. If


anything, falling away during the course of the afternoon as colder


air digs are from the west. It means the showers across snow


downia could turn wintry, and in the Highland. For Scotland we are


concerned that later on in the day, we could see nasty conditions,


significant snowfall, not just over the mountains, but low level as we


see the snow blowing around. It is all change on Thursday, milder


again across northern areas, milder, cloudier and outbreak of rain,


particularly for western Scotland and Northern Ireland. Further south


it looks like drying up, sunshine, after a frosty start. The trend as


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