12/03/2012 Newsnight


12/03/2012

Has the plan for Afghanistan been knocked off course? Are we heading for a new drought? Has there been a fresh massacre in Syria? With Jeremy Paxman.


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David Cameron and Barack Obama meet tomorrow in Washington, they

:00:08.:00:12.

promise to stay the course in Afghanistan, but are they now

:00:12.:00:15.

heading for an exit strategy even more quickly than planned.

:00:15.:00:19.

The massacre of children by an American soldier, which has

:00:19.:00:24.

horrified the country, they say they are protecting, won't change

:00:24.:00:28.

the overall strategy. We have already been told. What is not

:00:28.:00:33.

going to happen is the mission would self-resolve as of this, it

:00:33.:00:39.

is a tragic incident, but it would be a far greater tragedy to let it

:00:39.:00:42.

affect what we are doing in the country. What is gained by the

:00:42.:00:48.

troops' presence in this troubled theatre of war.

:00:48.:00:53.

Not since The Sex Pistols has there been a shortage like it, water is

:00:53.:00:57.

once again a precious commodity. With water levels in some of

:00:57.:01:01.

Britain's rivers at record lows, is drought something we will just have

:01:01.:01:06.

to learn to live with. unspeakable atrocity in Syria, is

:01:06.:01:10.

there any chance the world agreeing a plan to tame President Assad?

:01:10.:01:15.

Also tonight. These were the villages, under the

:01:15.:01:20.

fields was clay, under the clay, coal. The Staffordshire pot rees

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gave birth to one of the first great British brands, does it

:01:25.:01:30.

matter if the Wedgwood collection gets flogged off and dispersed. The

:01:30.:01:40.
:01:40.:01:41.

Culture Minister, historian and the teapot tycoon, are with us.

:01:41.:01:45.

There will be no change of course in Afghanistan, the White House

:01:45.:01:51.

said today, Downing Street trot the out the same message, Afghan

:01:51.:01:57.

politician, meanwhile, had demanded the American soldiers who cold-

:01:57.:02:02.

bloodedly shot 16 villagers, including nine children, be put on

:02:02.:02:07.

trial there. There are some signs of a change in how US and UK troops

:02:07.:02:10.

may approach combat operations, we will hear about that shortly. First

:02:10.:02:15.

Mark Urban on NATO's increasingly strained future in the country. To

:02:15.:02:25.
:02:25.:02:27.

the insult of Koran burning has been added the injury of incident,

:02:27.:02:33.

16 people, nine of them children, killed in a rampage by a deranged

:02:33.:02:37.

loner. It complicates the search for daiingfied exit from

:02:37.:02:41.

Afghanistan. The strategy of this week could be expected to further

:02:41.:02:45.

exacerbate the problems and delays, it is the sort of thing that has

:02:45.:02:51.

poisoned the atmosphere so far, in terms of night raids, civilian

:02:51.:02:55.

casualties and so on, it has been problematic. In the aftermath of

:02:55.:03:01.

yesterday's attack, echos of Iraq, with Afghan parliamentarians asking

:03:01.:03:06.

forthright to deal with foreign perpetrators in their own courts.

:03:06.:03:11.

TRANSLATION: The Afghan parliament issued an a resolution today

:03:11.:03:19.

against the reaction of American soldiers inside Afghanistan, and

:03:19.:03:24.

asked that the perpetrator should go to court inside Afghanistan.

:03:24.:03:27.

riots following the burning of the copies of the Koran have claimed

:03:27.:03:32.

dozens of lives, and perhaps produced a more serious crisis than

:03:32.:03:41.

yesterday's murders. As attacks on western places have increased, the

:03:41.:03:47.

Afghan Government has led to the withdrawal of ministries and

:03:47.:03:50.

halting of restoration work. Karzai Government is full of

:03:50.:03:57.

corruption, one of the way of improving the Afghan Government's

:03:57.:04:04.

performance of the presence of the UN community to deter that. Without

:04:04.:04:08.

the ability to get on the ground caused both by the deteriorating

:04:08.:04:15.

security situation, and also a reliance on often unreliable Afghan

:04:15.:04:19.

security guards, it becomes very, very difficult over the remaining

:04:19.:04:22.

year-and-a-half or so of the international presence.

:04:22.:04:27.

There are more big issues lurking, as NATO tries to move into the

:04:27.:04:31.

background. From talking to the Taliban, to relations with Pakistan,

:04:31.:04:35.

and fighting corruption in Kabul's ministries. But despite that, the

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US and Afghan Governments are trying to negotiate a framework

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that would allow American troops to stay in the country, beyond the

:04:44.:04:48.

handover of security in 2014. Although President Karzai's people

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have talked today about spending those talks, no-one is saying that

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they should be stopped all together. The Karzai Government may not be

:04:57.:05:01.

strong enough to stand without foreign help, which is why they are

:05:01.:05:06.

still seeking long-term military aid. But before NATO can get to the

:05:06.:05:10.

post -withdrawal state, that pull- out itself must happen, without

:05:10.:05:13.

looking like a shambles. The problems with the Afghan

:05:13.:05:17.

Government, the way in which corruption has remained a huge

:05:17.:05:22.

problem. The role of Pakistan's Government not really clamping down

:05:22.:05:25.

on insurgent sabgt trees, all these structural fundamental problems are

:05:25.:05:29.

still there. They cast some doubt on the likely success of the

:05:29.:05:34.

mission. I think we have a better than 50-50 chance of some moderate,

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acceptable, minimal standard of success, being achieved, or at

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least defeat being avoided. But every single hit like this has to

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lower your confidence a little bit. Whatever happens to the speed of

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withdrawal, and the difficult relationship with President Karzai,

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NATO's leaders are committed to winding down their combat

:05:58.:06:02.

deployments. Neither side has a practical alternative, and on the

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eve of a White House meeting, that was David Cameron's message tonight.

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In terms of my talks about President Obama, we have a good

:06:09.:06:13.

plan, we have a plan which is is about transitioning Afghanistan

:06:13.:06:18.

over to Afghan control. That plan applies in Helmand as much as

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anywhere else. The most important thing is we stick to that plan and

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deliver that plan, and then we can bring our troops home, having done

:06:26.:06:29.

a good job in giving Afghanistan at least a chance of stability and the

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prosperity and growth for the future.

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The people of Panjwai had already suffered from years of fighting in

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their district, it was Taliban stronghold, and few would have

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supported the Americans even before yesterday's killing. But the ripple

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effects of what happened are now being felt, not least in NATO

:06:49.:06:55.

capitals, where pessimism grows about Afghanistan.

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Mark Urban is with us in the studio. Will there be a change of strategy?

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I don't think there is, but they will make it look like there has

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been a change of strategy, because they feel the need to do something

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tonight. We see the papers being briefed that the Afghan exit could

:07:10.:07:14.

be speeded up. When you look at the fine print there are some pretty

:07:14.:07:19.

weasel words about stepping back from a lead combat role. Yet we

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know combat operations could continue, even beyond 2014, under

:07:23.:07:27.

the agreement that they are trying to negotiate with President Karzai

:07:27.:07:30.

in the background of all this turbulence at the moment. What this

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could be about tomorrow is trying to look like a determined response

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to some of the bad news we have had out of Afghanistan recently. To say

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we are getting out as fast as we can, and make it look faster. But

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logistics and other considerations mean they can't wind down much

:07:48.:07:51.

faster. To discuss whether NATO's involvement in Afghanistan is

:07:51.:07:54.

really making us any safer, I'm joined from Boston by Peter

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Galbraith, a former diplomat, the UN's deputy ambassador to

:07:58.:08:02.

Afghanistan, here in the studio, Lord Hutton, the former Defence

:08:02.:08:08.

Secretary, and chair of the royal united services institute. And

:08:08.:08:14.

Maddox, the editor Prospect Magazine.

:08:14.:08:17.

What are we achieving being there? We have achieved a lot over the

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past few years. What are we achieving now? We are giving the

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Afghans the prospect of being confident and capable of looking

:08:23.:08:27.

after their own security. Which, quite frankly, they wouldn't have

:08:27.:08:31.

done if we weren't there. We have denied space to Al-Qaeda and their

:08:31.:08:34.

supporters, that is a significant goal in itself. The priority now

:08:34.:08:40.

has to be to complete the mission in a sense as Mark described it.

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get out? We are getting out. We are there so we can get out? No, to do

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the things I said earlier, to support the Afghans, giving them

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the chance of being capable of looking after security in their own

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country, which they were not capable of unless we had been

:08:55.:08:58.

physically present. The task now, as the Prime Minister and President

:08:58.:09:02.

have made clear, is to end combat operations over the next two years,

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and I think over that period of time, lay the foundations for

:09:07.:09:11.

giving the Afghans this concept of being confident in looking after

:09:11.:09:14.

their own security. That is exactly what you have just said, the reason

:09:14.:09:18.

we are there is to get out? I have not described the mission properly

:09:18.:09:22.

then. There is a two-year training and support operation between now

:09:22.:09:27.

and then. They can be replaced then? So the Afghans can look after

:09:27.:09:31.

their own security, that was always the mission. There was never an

:09:31.:09:34.

intention and plan in 2005 and beyond for us to be there forever.

:09:34.:09:38.

The point was to support the new Government in Kabul, and give them

:09:38.:09:42.

the means to defend themselves, so they could actually make sure that

:09:42.:09:45.

Al-Qaeda and their supporters couldn't come back. What do you

:09:45.:09:50.

think would happen if there were to be a change of policy, and the

:09:50.:09:54.

Americans, predominantly the Americans and their allies, were to

:09:54.:10:00.

decide to leave now? First, the United States and its allies would

:10:00.:10:08.

save a lot of money, the United States spent $117 billion in

:10:08.:10:15.

Afghanistan in 2011, and it might be able to devote more resources

:10:15.:10:20.

where Al-Qaeda is a threat. It is not a threat in Afghanistan, but it

:10:20.:10:25.

is a threat in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and among other places. What

:10:25.:10:28.

would happen in Afghanistan? I don't think the situation in

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Afghanistan would look any different. The problem in

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Afghanistan is we have a counter insurgency strategy that is not

:10:34.:10:39.

working, and cannot work, because it depends on having a reliable

:10:39.:10:44.

partner, and the corrupt, ineffective and illegitimate

:10:44.:10:49.

Government of Hamid Karzai is not such a partner. The strategy is

:10:49.:10:55.

simply not working, and there is no prospect of making it work. So we

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could debate whether Afghanistan is worth it. I don't think it is worth

:10:58.:11:01.

it. Even if it were very important, we don't have a strategy that will

:11:01.:11:05.

work. If we withdraw, the north will be still more or less

:11:05.:11:12.

independent of the Taliban, because the Taliban is an entirely Pashtun

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movement, I don't think the Taliban will take Kabul, they will continue

:11:14.:11:17.

to control the south and east as they do now. Bronwen Maddox, from

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where you sit, what has been achieved for the tens of billions

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of pounds, and the 404 young lives? Not a lot, but a bit. One of those

:11:27.:11:32.

things, as John Hutton was saying, is to get rid of Al-Qaeda more or

:11:32.:11:36.

less from Afghanistan. One is to persuade Pakistan that it needs to

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try to do something about its wild west, if you like, its wild

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frontier, but not a lot. anything achieved by staying there?

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I think still a bit, but not for very much longer. It would be

:11:50.:11:52.

really those two things. Peter Galbraith marvellously describes

:11:52.:11:57.

the Karzai Government, I think he understates the case for how bad it

:11:57.:12:03.

is. I would guess you could say by staying there it gives it a bit

:12:03.:12:08.

more time to try to do a deal with the Taliban and achieve a kind of

:12:08.:12:12.

stability. It certainly gives America a bit more time to put

:12:12.:12:19.

pressure on Pakistan. This is a terrible thing since, John Hutton,

:12:19.:12:22.

there seems widespread consensus on the sort of Government, you may say

:12:22.:12:25.

it is the only Government, but the sort of Government that there is in

:12:26.:12:28.

Afghanistan at the moment now. That is not a great thing to have died

:12:28.:12:32.

for, is it? The Afghan Government has been mired in corruption, they

:12:32.:12:36.

have not been reliable partners for much of the time we have been

:12:36.:12:41.

involved in this campaign. That has restricted the sort of progress we

:12:41.:12:45.

would have liked to have made. It is a complicated operation, there

:12:45.:12:47.

is only one Government in Afghanistan, there is no other

:12:47.:12:51.

Government to work with, we have no choice, no option. There is still a

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job to be done there, I think. I believe that very, very strongly. I

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think it is right, what Peter is saying, that the terrorist threat

:13:01.:13:06.

from Al-Qaeda and linked organisations is diverse and more

:13:06.:13:09.

spread. If we were to rewrite history and say we shouldn't have

:13:09.:13:13.

gone to Afghanistan, there has been no gain from that mission, I think

:13:13.:13:17.

we really would be standing history on its head. I think there have

:13:18.:13:23.

been tangible gains t has been an immensely comply it cad campaign to

:13:23.:13:28.

prosecute, I don't dis-- complicated campaign to prosecute.

:13:28.:13:38.
:13:38.:13:41.

I don't dispute that. I don't know. When was the last Al-

:13:41.:13:48.

Qaeda casualty? I don't know. was over a year ago. You could

:13:48.:13:51.

argue that it has a bit, but a lot of them have been killed in the

:13:51.:13:56.

past six months, that is not an argument for staying indefinitely.

:13:56.:14:03.

The battle against Al-Qaeda is not just Afghanistan, we are pursuing

:14:03.:14:06.

and apprehending Al-Qaeda suspects around the world. We have to ask if

:14:06.:14:12.

we hadn't gone how would the world look? We mustn't Lois sight of the

:14:12.:14:16.

9/11 context, and how the world looked then when we went into

:14:16.:14:21.

Afghanistan. What do you think the Afghan operation has done to the

:14:21.:14:25.

way western powers regard the rest of the world, and the way the rest

:14:25.:14:35.
:14:35.:14:36.

of the world regards NATO? First, the Afghan war was justified in

:14:36.:14:41.

2001, but the mission was more or less accomplished at the end of

:14:41.:14:45.

2001. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda were out of Afghanistan. We then changed

:14:46.:14:51.

the mission into, and a very ambitious effort to create a

:14:51.:14:55.

centralised Afghan Government, in a country that had never known a

:14:55.:14:57.

centralised Government, that was one of the most diverse countries

:14:57.:15:03.

in the world, both ethically, and geographically. We have been

:15:03.:15:06.

investing half a trillion dollars in that effort, with no success,

:15:06.:15:11.

for the reasons that Lord Hutton himself said. Namely, we don't have

:15:11.:15:15.

a reliable partner, we can wish that the Karzai Government was more

:15:15.:15:20.

reliable, but it isn't. If your strategy depends on a reliable

:15:20.:15:24.

partner, and there isn't one, and there isn't any way to get one, it

:15:24.:15:30.

isn't going to work. What is the largeer lesson? It is when you

:15:30.:15:35.

engage -- larger lesson? It is when you engage in missions as in

:15:35.:15:39.

Afghanistan and Iraq, you are undertaking something that you

:15:39.:15:43.

probably can't accomplish. When you engage in intervention they

:15:43.:15:47.

probably only work when you have a much more limited agenda, which is

:15:47.:15:51.

to support the agendas of your partners on the ground. That's what

:15:51.:15:56.

worked in Libya, Bosnia and Kosovo, to name three quite successful

:15:56.:15:59.

cases. Bronwen Maddox what do you think is the legacy of the

:15:59.:16:04.

operation? I think it makes NATO look like an organisation that

:16:04.:16:10.

chooses the wrong wars to fights, that makes big misjudgments, and

:16:10.:16:15.

now one that is much less likely to go to war at all. What do you think

:16:15.:16:19.

has been the legacy of the Afghan war? It is too early to tell. I

:16:19.:16:22.

think we have had some success on the ground. I think we have made a

:16:23.:16:25.

difference in terms of protecting the UK from the threat of terrorism,

:16:25.:16:29.

but this battle, this war against this kind of terrorism is going to

:16:29.:16:33.

go on, it is not over yet. It won't be over when we come out of

:16:33.:16:36.

Afghanistan either. Thank you all very much.

:16:36.:16:40.

Don't put the kettle on, mother, come to that, don't flush the loo

:16:40.:16:46.

more than you need to. We haven't reached the depth of drought

:16:46.:16:51.

restrictions, but today's announcement of seven hosepipe bans,

:16:51.:16:56.

says that unless the heavens open frequently and for long periods,

:16:56.:17:00.

much worse is to come, and the clocks haven't even gone forward

:17:01.:17:05.

yet. The wet weather here used to be a standing joke, but had we

:17:05.:17:15.
:17:15.:17:23.

Look back 40 years and things have changed a lot on some of Britain's

:17:23.:17:28.

rivers, the ducks here in Berkshire have been wading not swimming for

:17:28.:17:31.

weeks now, and people round here won't have been surprised by

:17:31.:17:34.

today's hosepipe bans and predictions of further drought.

:17:34.:17:40.

you go back 37 years it was very full. It was up to my river bank

:17:40.:17:49.

level. So gradually, through the years, it has sort of got lower and

:17:49.:17:55.

lower. It used to be a fishing place, and plenty of wildlife.

:17:55.:18:02.

Water voles, greebs, we don't have those things now. Even my dog is

:18:02.:18:11.

braving his way into it. Normally water of the River Lambourn runs

:18:11.:18:14.

through here, it is fed chalky deposits and is fed through the

:18:15.:18:19.

winter. After two dry winters levels are exceptionally low,

:18:19.:18:25.

comparable with the famous drought of 1976, when water levels were the

:18:25.:18:34.

lowest for 100 years. The situation has deteriorated nationally. That

:18:34.:18:39.

dry summer has become the measure. Environmentalists said we could see

:18:39.:18:43.

droughts spread to east Yorkshire and Shropshire and Somerset. The

:18:43.:18:46.

whole of the south-east and East Anglia are already in drought.

:18:46.:18:50.

Today's report nods to compaints that the practices of water

:18:50.:19:00.
:19:00.:19:15.

companies have some how made What about the next 40 years? Can

:19:15.:19:20.

science tell us much about what the rivers may look like in the future?

:19:20.:19:25.

Globally we are confident in terms of when it rains it will, when it

:19:25.:19:29.

rains heavily, it will rain even more heavily, and also we are quite

:19:29.:19:32.

confident in the already very dry regions, like the Mediterranean,

:19:32.:19:36.

there will be a decline in the rainfall amount. But as you come to

:19:36.:19:41.

smaller and smaller scales like say for the UK, it becomes very

:19:41.:19:48.

dependant on very subtle shifts in the large scale atmospheric flows,

:19:48.:19:51.

for example the jet strategy and the way it drives weather systems

:19:51.:19:55.

across the country, are very sensitive to the natural oslaigss

:19:55.:20:02.

that are always going on in -- osilations going on. When it comes

:20:02.:20:06.

down to that it is difficult to make a natural projection. Those

:20:06.:20:11.

responsible for adapt to go the changing reserves of water can look

:20:11.:20:15.

to projections, the Government uses climate projections based on carbon

:20:15.:20:20.

emissions and how it will affect the climate, each with confidence

:20:20.:20:23.

levels attached. It is a complicated set of data to get to

:20:23.:20:28.

grips w and a tricky basis on which to make policy. We are getting

:20:28.:20:34.

there, ever more detailed climate models with all the processes of

:20:34.:20:39.

weather and climate, how think interact and effect the hide

:20:39.:20:43.

logical cycle. We are getting near -- hydrological cycle. We are

:20:43.:20:49.

getting near to high resolutions of how it may change. We are not there

:20:49.:20:53.

yet? There are things in the pipeline coming, I'm convinced in

:20:53.:20:59.

the next five years we will be able to start providing the answers, and

:20:59.:21:03.

directly verifiable against the measurements. We can't give a

:21:03.:21:08.

definitive idea, we have to plan for a change in the extreme, some

:21:08.:21:13.

heavier rainfall and years where you experience droughts. Customers

:21:13.:21:18.

at the Swann think there is more than changing rainfall behind the

:21:18.:21:23.

drought? They blame everything from water companies to farmers to cliel

:21:23.:21:27.

mate change and anything else, there is always -- climate change,

:21:27.:21:32.

and anything else. There is always a view in the pub. The ducks may

:21:32.:21:37.

not be the only people modifying their lifestyle, we could see food

:21:37.:21:41.

prices rise as crops are affected. If a dry spring follows a dry

:21:41.:21:46.

winter. With us now are the shadow

:21:46.:21:50.

Environment Secretary, and a representative from Thames Water

:21:50.:21:53.

one of the companies to announce a man today.

:21:53.:21:57.

Do you support the house pipe ban? We think it is important that the

:21:57.:22:01.

Government and water Companies Act to make sure we don't have more

:22:01.:22:07.

stringent restrictions on customers. You do support it? We do. Why are

:22:07.:22:13.

you blaming the Government for it? We think they needing to further

:22:13.:22:17.

and faster in affordability. Affordability is another matter?

:22:17.:22:22.

is linked to how you invest in the water network. Driving down bad

:22:22.:22:27.

deblt and helping people pay -- bad debt and helping people pay bills

:22:27.:22:32.

helps in the investment for water pipes. You would say it is partly

:22:32.:22:35.

the Government's fault we have no water? There as water bill that is

:22:35.:22:40.

delayed, and not looked like it will be in the Queen's Speech,

:22:40.:22:43.

where the Government could take be atruction from rivers and other

:22:43.:22:49.

areas where they could be taking action quicker, we may have to

:22:49.:22:53.

weight for 2014 for that. There were no rainfall variations under

:22:53.:22:57.

Labour? There were, and we took action to drive down leak, they

:22:57.:23:02.

have reduced by 40%, and allow people metre compulsory, 50% of

:23:02.:23:08.

homes will be metered by 2015. were your companies' profits last -

:23:08.:23:12.

- company's profits last year? million after tax. What do you

:23:12.:23:18.

think of a refund on bills every time you introduce a hosepipe ban?

:23:18.:23:22.

If we were failing, yes, we agrow levels of service. We agree in a

:23:22.:23:26.

drought we expect one year in 20 we would need restrictions. Otherwise

:23:26.:23:32.

we would have to invest a whole lot more to deal with a situation that

:23:32.:23:37.

occurs rarely. There is �200 million that could be spent in

:23:37.:23:41.

leaks? The shareholders need a return on the company or they will

:23:42.:23:45.

invest elsewhere. That is why offwatt decides on the fair return

:23:45.:23:50.

for a company doing an efficient job. What are they doing wrong?

:23:50.:23:54.

think it is a question of a national framework. There is a

:23:54.:23:57.

question within water companies for them to transfer water amongst

:23:57.:24:00.

their own regions. Transferring water between regions ought to be

:24:00.:24:03.

better. There is an area where the national Government needs to create

:24:03.:24:11.

a national framework. Is that feasible? We can do more about

:24:11.:24:14.

transferring water between companies, we need to join up the

:24:14.:24:17.

existing bypasss between the companies better rather than a new

:24:17.:24:21.

grid. Why haven't you done it? have done it and we can do more.

:24:21.:24:25.

The need is to move the smallest amount of water the smallest

:24:26.:24:30.

distance so we can cope with wherever the droubt will be. They

:24:30.:24:36.

aren't always in the south-east, last year it was the Lake District.

:24:36.:24:43.

The big one in 1976 was in Yorkshire, the Midlands? It was.

:24:43.:24:48.

Beneath all of this are all sorts of assumptions about what we are

:24:48.:24:57.

entitled to expect from water. With redeprived of anything not watering

:24:57.:25:01.

our gardens? It is about educating people. Lifestyle means we are

:25:01.:25:05.

running the dishwasher and washing machine more often. Do you think

:25:05.:25:10.

people should have the freedom to pour water on the flower beds? I'm

:25:11.:25:14.

asking you, what do you think? People who pay their water bills

:25:14.:25:18.

have a right to expect water out of their taps. Unlimited amounts, to

:25:19.:25:25.

do with what they please? By 2015, 50% of people will be on water

:25:25.:25:28.

metres, when that happens people will reduce their consumption.

:25:28.:25:33.

are in favour of metres, if they decide they are willing to pay the

:25:33.:25:39.

cost per metre of unit water, should they be entitled to do with

:25:39.:25:45.

it what they wish? It is a national resource and somebody pouring it on

:25:45.:25:49.

their garden will deprive someone else in the year. So the answer is

:25:49.:25:53.

they shouldn't? It depends on whether it rains, it is very

:25:53.:25:56.

unpredictable. Precisely, what should they spend it on and what

:25:56.:26:01.

should they not be allowed to spend it on? The Government needs to

:26:01.:26:05.

educate people on how to reduce water. There is things like hippos

:26:05.:26:09.

you can put in your cistern, flushing the loo less, but nobody

:26:09.:26:14.

wants to go into the detailed areas, because it sounds like the nanny

:26:14.:26:20.

state. What do you think, it is all money for you, do you think people

:26:20.:26:25.

should be free to do what they want with water? That is what the law

:26:25.:26:30.

says, we have a statutory duty to supply water to customers, we help

:26:30.:26:33.

them to get free water saving equipment from the website. This is

:26:33.:26:39.

all stuff you put in your loo and it saves water. But the profound

:26:39.:26:44.

question, what people are entitled to expect to do with a fine night

:26:44.:26:47.

supply? At the moment they are entitled to do whatever they want

:26:47.:26:52.

if they are paying for it. We neat more metering so people pay for

:26:52.:26:56.

what they use. And if they choose to chuck it on the garden it is OK?

:26:56.:27:01.

It is education, it is the same as turning the lights off. We need to

:27:01.:27:08.

get at it through schools, through education of customers, and works

:27:08.:27:18.
:27:18.:27:20.

with customers are to get the overall de --. We are working on

:27:20.:27:25.

procedures to help people not ruin their garden in a hosepipe ban. You

:27:25.:27:31.

can get a sprinkler at the moment that can use all the water for a

:27:31.:27:36.

family in one hour. 47 women and children dead. The

:27:36.:27:41.

latest apparent horror in President Assad's attempt to cow his people,

:27:41.:27:45.

is especially distressing, many of the victims had their throats cut.

:27:45.:27:50.

The President's mouth piece blamed unnamed terrorists for the murders.

:27:50.:27:54.

Those Syrians hoping the rest of the world will put aside

:27:54.:27:58.

differences and come to their Waiting For Sunrise in vain. In the

:27:58.:28:02.

UN, prospects of new resolutions are fading as the United States and

:28:02.:28:09.

Russia continue to disagree about the way forward.

:28:09.:28:13.

We start now in Syria? There are accounts from several opposition

:28:13.:28:19.

activists in Homs, as you say, of the killing of more than 40 people

:28:19.:28:23.

last night, men, women and children, all from the same few families.

:28:23.:28:28.

These pictures, which we can't verify, apparently show the bodies

:28:28.:28:32.

being taken for burial. What we understand according to the

:28:32.:28:35.

accounts, is they were taken by Government forces and then handed

:28:35.:28:41.

over to pro-Government thugs, what this man, who says he escaped the

:28:41.:28:45.

massacre, he says they were held in a room for more than two hours,

:28:45.:28:49.

they were dowsed with petrol, some of them were set on fire. The

:28:49.:28:53.

accounts do differ a bit, particularly in where exactly the

:28:53.:28:56.

killings took place. As you say, of course, the Government is blaming

:28:56.:28:59.

the whole massacre on the opposition, saying they filmed this

:28:59.:29:04.

in order to discredit the Government. Now, is there any

:29:04.:29:08.

diplomatic progress on trying to get an intervention or solution?

:29:08.:29:11.

There was a whole special session of the United Nations Security

:29:11.:29:15.

Council, called by Britain, and the Foreign Secretary, William Hague,

:29:15.:29:18.

said the council had failed completely so far in its

:29:18.:29:22.

responsibility to the Syrian people. He's talking about the failure to

:29:22.:29:26.

agree any kind of resolution at all, condemning the violence, because of

:29:26.:29:30.

the opposition of Russia and China. You could see that fod, because the

:29:30.:29:34.

Russian foreign minutes -- today, because the Russian Foreign

:29:35.:29:38.

Minister not only blamed the Government but the opposition for

:29:38.:29:44.

the violence, he talked about Al- Qaeda extremists. Slowly, finally,

:29:44.:29:48.

the west and Russia are beginning to come together, there may be an

:29:48.:29:53.

agreed form of words, the difficulty now is the call to say

:29:53.:29:58.

there should be a stop in shooting. It is symbolic to have a ref Luis,

:29:58.:30:01.

but it won't necessarily change the situation on the ground. What about

:30:01.:30:05.

the talk of arming the rebels? There is something interesting

:30:05.:30:10.

today from the main opposition grouping, from the Syrian National

:30:10.:30:13.

Council. They say the Free Syrian Army is being helped with weapons

:30:13.:30:19.

from outside from other countries, they won't say which countries, we

:30:19.:30:24.

think it is Saudi Arabia and Qatar which proposed this before. The

:30:24.:30:29.

signs are it is happening slowly. The evidence on the ground suggests

:30:29.:30:33.

the only weapons is rifles, and other light weapons, there is no

:30:33.:30:37.

sign of anything heavier being smuggled in. It has become a very

:30:37.:30:42.

familiar part of the story of post- war Britain, unique collections of

:30:42.:30:48.

art amassed at the height of the country's prosperity, sold to make

:30:48.:30:53.

good the consequences of industrial yoisation. There is a museum

:30:53.:30:57.

established by Waterford Wedgwood potry, which a court has ruled can

:30:57.:31:07.
:31:07.:31:12.

be sold off in -- Wedgwood pottery, which a court ruled can be sold off.

:31:12.:31:19.

To lose a collection of this magnitude is unthinkable.

:31:19.:31:27.

I think it is heart-breaking. There will be lots of other museums

:31:27.:31:31.

and collections that could equally be caught by the same unfortunate

:31:31.:31:41.
:31:41.:31:49.

This award-winning museum houses the Wedgwood collection, one of

:31:49.:31:53.

Britain's 20 most important cultural assets. But don't take our

:31:53.:32:03.
:32:03.:32:05.

word for it, that is what UNESCO calls it.

:32:05.:32:10.

Including works by Stubbs and Reynolds, the collection is

:32:10.:32:13.

conservatively valued at �18 million. It is a unique record of

:32:13.:32:17.

what was virtually our first manufacturing industry. Begun three

:32:17.:32:23.

centuries ago by Josiah Wedgwood. This is one of his failures, it

:32:23.:32:27.

must have been heart-breaking when he opened the kiln, to find it had

:32:27.:32:31.

bubbled, blistered, and everything had gone wrong with it. But never

:32:31.:32:37.

mind the odd flawed vase, the whole job lot is 0 set to be broken up

:32:37.:32:43.

and sold off to plug a black hole in Wedgwood's pension fund.

:32:43.:32:50.

museum's specialist it is a nightmare. Inevitably as a curator

:32:50.:32:54.

you look after the possessions for the nation. We believed this

:32:55.:32:58.

collection was safe and in trust, it was a horrible shock to all of

:32:58.:33:03.

us when we heard the judgment. If you broke up that absolutely

:33:03.:33:06.

unbelievable archive and objects, it would never be replaced anywhere

:33:06.:33:14.

in the world. These were the villages, under the

:33:15.:33:22.

folds was clay, and under that coal. How did it come to this? The

:33:22.:33:25.

Wedgwood collection is the product of an industry that once employed

:33:25.:33:28.

thousands. This area of the country became known throughout the world

:33:28.:33:33.

for what it made, the Potteries. is difficult for us to imagine the

:33:34.:33:41.

craze that went into the collecting and purchasing of pottery in the

:33:41.:33:46.

late 1700s. It was almost at epidemic proportions, it was a

:33:46.:33:53.

frenzy, not unlike the launch of an iPhone today. Some of the

:33:53.:34:01.

techniques used at Wedgwood are unchanged since Josiah's time. But

:34:01.:34:06.

the business has endured rockier fortunes, coming close to closure.

:34:06.:34:11.

Workers are worried about what they will have to live on in retirement,

:34:11.:34:15.

the Wedgwood pot badly needs topping up. How will you be fixed

:34:15.:34:22.

in terms of pension and so on? I don't really know, it is going

:34:22.:34:28.

through a bad phase at the moment. But you are signed up to the

:34:28.:34:32.

Wedgwood scheme? Yeah. I just hope the Government takes it on. There

:34:32.:34:37.

are people here quite worried about their pensions, aren't there?

:34:37.:34:42.

are, yes, unfortunately it looked like the museum has taken the brunt

:34:42.:34:49.

of it. What do you make of that? Very sad, that is our history.

:34:49.:34:53.

A court ruled the Wedgwood collection, housed at the museum

:34:53.:34:57.

was an asset of the potteryp can, so it could be sold off to help

:34:57.:35:06.

meet the pensions' shortfall. It is the law of unintended

:35:06.:35:12.

consequences. I think following the very high-profile failures of a

:35:12.:35:16.

number of pension schemes, from Maxwell on wards, you can

:35:16.:35:20.

understand why the Government felled compelled to introduce

:35:20.:35:23.

legislation to protect pensioners. Under what is called "the last man

:35:24.:35:28.

standing" rule, we had a solvent company left standing, and the only

:35:28.:35:33.

way that the pensioners could get the benefit from the Pension

:35:33.:35:39.

Protection Fund, of 90% of their pay, their pensions, was for this

:35:39.:35:49.
:35:49.:35:52.

company to be put into some form of insolvency. The Wedgwood collection

:35:52.:35:56.

is terrific, and the museum itself is a nice day out. Does any of it

:35:56.:36:02.

amount to much more than a storm in a potteries tea cup? Yes it does,

:36:02.:36:05.

those grappling with the pensions' black hole, say many other

:36:05.:36:12.

companies up and down the country, could tensionly be affected. And

:36:12.:36:18.

minsters are alarmed. I'm sure there will be implications for

:36:18.:36:22.

others. That is why the Attorney General is looking at this so

:36:22.:36:27.

closely. The Wedgwood museum story is a tragedy in itself. But there

:36:27.:36:31.

will be lots of other museums and similar institutions and

:36:32.:36:35.

collections that could equally be caught by the same unfortunate

:36:35.:36:41.

rules. The Attorney General will decide

:36:41.:36:46.

next month whether to approve the sale of the Wedgwood collection.

:36:46.:36:50.

Newsnight understands ministers and arts bodies are urgently seeking

:36:50.:36:56.

funds to save it for the nation. To prevent what many would see as

:36:56.:37:04.

flogging off the family China. With us now in the stud yoi is the

:37:04.:37:07.

historian Tristram Hunt, the Culture Minister, vase vase vase,

:37:07.:37:17.
:37:17.:37:20.

and the Queen of polka dot pottery, Emma Bridgewater.

:37:20.:37:24.

It is not as if anyone will take a sledgehammer to the pieces, they

:37:24.:37:28.

will be dispersed? It will be right across the world. They could go to

:37:28.:37:32.

Moscow, Dubai, Alabama, and actually what we want is for them

:37:32.:37:37.

to be in Staffordshire. They are part of the history and identity of

:37:37.:37:42.

the potteries of Stoke-on-Trent, of north Staffordshire. To lose these,

:37:42.:37:45.

and this is a museum of international significance, telling

:37:45.:37:49.

the store, not just of the ceramic industry, but through Wedgwood the

:37:49.:37:53.

story of the Industrial Revolution, the French revolution, it is part

:37:53.:37:56.

of the national heritage. How big a deal do you think it is, Emma

:37:56.:38:01.

Bridgewater? I think it is a very big deal, Stoke really needs for

:38:01.:38:08.

that collection to stay nearby. it doesn't? Well some hardy souls

:38:08.:38:12.

make their way to Stoke, we want more visitor numbers. It is clearly

:38:12.:38:15.

a very, very important bit of the offering. There

:38:15.:38:20.

Vase vase vase, how will you save it -- Ed Vaizey, how will you save

:38:20.:38:24.

it? I don't think it is about to be sold off and flogged abroad. We are

:38:24.:38:29.

talking to the Pension Protection Fund, which technically now owns

:38:29.:38:33.

the collection and is an asset of that fund. They don't want to flog

:38:33.:38:36.

it off, we are talking to the administration, he doesn't want to

:38:36.:38:39.

flog it off. We are talking to the company that owns the land where

:38:39.:38:45.

the museum is, they are not going to do something. Nobody will nip

:38:45.:38:50.

down to Sothebys, here is a load of Wedgwood we will sell. We are

:38:50.:38:54.

talking, what we need to do is find out whether the Attorney General

:38:54.:38:59.

will appeal, that is a decision he has to make independently, once we

:38:59.:39:03.

know the position, whether an appeal or the proceedings are

:39:03.:39:07.

concluded. Let's say the collection is still liable for the pension, we

:39:07.:39:11.

need to work oit how much it is worth, agree a price, and -- work

:39:11.:39:17.

out how much it is worth and agree a price and save the collection.

:39:17.:39:20.

I'm absolutely confident the collection will be saved, by

:39:20.:39:24.

combination of public money, lottery money and the public's

:39:24.:39:30.

money, I think they will contribute to save this collection. You won't

:39:30.:39:36.

go any further than that? I don't. Let's talk about why Wedgwood

:39:36.:39:39.

himself and why that particular company is so significant, and what

:39:39.:39:43.

the fate of the company tells us about the state of British

:39:43.:39:46.

manufacturing generally. What was it that was so significant about

:39:46.:39:56.
:39:56.:39:57.

Wedgwood's operation? I think the analogy with the iPhone was very

:39:57.:40:02.

good. Josiah Wedgwood was the Steve Jobs figure, he combined technical

:40:02.:40:09.

ingenuity, with excellent marketing capacity. He grew this entire

:40:09.:40:12.

market, he developed this middle- class enthusiasm for ceramics, not

:40:12.:40:17.

just in Britain. I know you are a scolar of empire, Jeremy, and you

:40:17.:40:23.

can trace the growth of ceramics and the Bombay houses in Beacon

:40:23.:40:28.

Hill in Boston, Wedgwood sends Staffordshire around the world. He

:40:28.:40:33.

makes the brand made in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, a

:40:33.:40:38.

global brand, continued up to today. There is no doubt that the last 20,

:40:38.:40:43.

30 years has been a massive crisis in the ceramics industry, we have

:40:43.:40:52.

lost 80% of jobs since the early 1980. As a fellow professional,

:40:52.:40:56.

what does Wedgwood mean to you? is a huge inspiration, I mean

:40:56.:41:00.

Josiah Wedgwood, the first, this have been some good peoples since,

:41:01.:41:05.

but he's a towering figure, an inspiration in design and business.

:41:06.:41:10.

I use that collection, over the years, I have been to visit it a

:41:10.:41:20.
:41:20.:41:20.

lot, and drawn specific ideas from T --. What sort of ideas?

:41:20.:41:25.

creamwear he developed in the early 19th century, is beautiful, the

:41:25.:41:33.

frog dinner service for Catherine The Great. He was an incredible man.

:41:33.:41:38.

What lessons do you draw from what became of the Wedgwood enterprise,

:41:39.:41:44.

about British manufacturing and British Industry in general?

:41:44.:41:48.

think British manufacturing ebbs and flows, I think we are doing

:41:48.:41:52.

rather well now in manufacturing, we are also doing rather well in of

:41:52.:41:58.

the cas. Crafts are returning -- crafts, and crafts are returning to

:41:58.:42:01.

this, manufacturing is returning to the country. We have as a nation

:42:01.:42:04.

got used to saying we are losing the heritage, but I think it is

:42:04.:42:09.

coming back in a significant way. You are an example in that, before

:42:09.:42:14.

we get ahead of ourselves, what went wrong? It began with the Clone

:42:14.:42:22.

Air Act, that cloned up the air of Stoke-on-Trent, it hit the ceramics

:42:23.:42:27.

industry very hard. The big companies came and became too big

:42:27.:42:34.

and soaked up the smaller ecosystem. They became arrogant and then we

:42:34.:42:37.

had globalisation. How do you compete against low labour and

:42:37.:42:45.

energy costs in China, Indonesia and a lot of companies in

:42:45.:42:52.

Staffordshire outsourced, those that did, failed. Those that stuck

:42:52.:42:55.

in Stoke-on-Trent, Churchill and others, they succeeded because they

:42:55.:42:59.

invested in plant and kit and they looked to the skills of the

:42:59.:43:04.

potteries. They are the ones putting back on jobs. The ones that

:43:04.:43:10.

went abror, and Wedgwood was part of that, lost out. If you produce

:43:10.:43:15.

in Indonesia, it is not a strong brand, if you produce in Stoke-on-

:43:15.:43:24.

Trent it is an A1 brand. So Spod has just come back to -- Spode has

:43:24.:43:28.

just come back because people are asking for it. I think more and

:43:28.:43:32.

more people are recognising it, particularly in this area. I don't

:43:32.:43:37.

want to in any way tread on your toes or understatement your

:43:37.:43:43.

significance, Emma Bridgewater, it is a much smaller operation than

:43:43.:43:48.

previous operation. We employed 200 people in Stoke, and turn over �14

:43:48.:43:53.

million. Let's hear it for SMEs, we are likely to create jobs, right

:43:53.:43:58.

now. What is the realisation that someone like you came to that a big

:43:58.:44:01.

organisation, where I started outsourcing all over the world,

:44:01.:44:06.

failed to spot? Manufacturing is very preoccupying, what we have

:44:06.:44:12.

always done, I didn't come from the area or the industry. I suddenly

:44:12.:44:16.

could see the market was looking one way and the industry the other.

:44:16.:44:19.

We have kept our commercial office outside stoke. I think the

:44:19.:44:24.

important thing is that you remain absolutely clear about your

:44:24.:44:28.

customer and what they want. why you are making it? What they

:44:28.:44:32.

want is a properly made product, until recently they weren't

:44:32.:44:35.

interested in made in England, suddenly, in the last two or three

:44:35.:44:40.

years it is gaining. That is about authenticity, people know when you

:44:40.:44:45.

turn over the cup and saucer, if it says made in England, not designed,

:44:45.:44:50.

or just "England", it is made in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire

:44:50.:44:54.

and it will last. The museum and collection in it is part of the

:44:54.:44:59.

story, it is an inspiration not just for designers but businesses

:44:59.:45:06.

as well. Ed Vaizey you has given an undertaking that the business

:45:06.:45:09.

collective will be preserved. You are opening a big door to all sort

:45:09.:45:13.

of other people saying, you better do the same for us? I will work as

:45:13.:45:17.

hard as I can to keep the collection here, it is unique and

:45:17.:45:24.

part of our heritage, it is a national and internationally

:45:24.:45:28.

significant. I don't think that the door to everyone for saying look at

:45:28.:45:32.

my collection. We have a God history in this country of ensuring

:45:32.:45:35.

that works of exceptional importance are saved for the nation.

:45:35.:45:40.

We have saved the two Titians, part of the national galleries and

:45:40.:45:50.
:45:50.:45:51.

galleries of Scotland. We used lottery money, and the money saved

:45:51.:45:56.

by galleries. Tomorrow morning's front pages, the

:45:56.:46:02.

Guardian has news there will be a slight tweaking to the way British

:46:02.:46:07.

troops are deployed in Afghanistan. The Guardian says GPs are end sping

:46:07.:46:11.

as little as a day a week for seeing patients because they are

:46:11.:46:16.

setting up the reorganisation. The Times has also news to a slight

:46:16.:46:21.

change to the way troops are used in Afghanistan.

:46:21.:46:25.

An exhibition has opened in Brighton commemorating a death of a

:46:26.:46:31.

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