12/03/2012 Newsnight


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


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


heading for an exit strategy even more quickly than planned.


The massacre of children by an American soldier, which has


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


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


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


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


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


troops' presence in this troubled theatre of war.


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


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


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


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


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


Also tonight. These were the villages, under the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


loner. It complicates the search for daiingfied exit from


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


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


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


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


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


forthright to deal with foreign perpetrators in their own courts.


TRANSLATION: The Afghan parliament issued an a resolution today


against the reaction of American soldiers inside Afghanistan, and


asked that the perpetrator should go to court inside Afghanistan.


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


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


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


Afghan Government has led to the withdrawal of ministries and


halting of restoration work. Karzai Government is full of


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


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


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


security situation, and also a reliance on often unreliable Afghan


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


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


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


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


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


US and Afghan Governments are trying to negotiate a framework


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


looking like a shambles. The problems with the Afghan


Government, the way in which corruption has remained a huge


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


on insurgent sabgt trees, all these structural fundamental problems are


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


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


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


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


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


withdrawal, and the difficult relationship with President Karzai,


NATO's leaders are committed to winding down their combat


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


prosperity and growth for the future.


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


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


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


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


capitals, where pessimism grows about Afghanistan.


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


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


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


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


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


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


know combat operations could continue, even beyond 2014, under


the agreement that they are trying to negotiate with President Karzai


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Maddox, the editor Prospect Magazine.


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


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


Afghans the prospect of being confident and capable of looking


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


giving the Afghans this concept of being confident in looking after


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Americans, predominantly the Americans and their allies, were to


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


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


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


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


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


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


Afghanistan would look any different. The problem in


Afghanistan is we have a counter insurgency strategy that is not


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


partner, and the corrupt, ineffective and illegitimate


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


really those two things. Peter Galbraith marvellously describes


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is only one Government in Afghanistan, there is no other


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


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


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


from Al-Qaeda and linked organisations is diverse and more


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


centralised Government, that was one of the most diverse countries


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Afghanistan and Iraq, you are undertaking something that you


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Afghanistan either. Thank you all very much.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


today's hosepipe bans and predictions of further drought.


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


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


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


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


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


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


winter. After two dry winters levels are exceptionally low,


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


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


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


droughts spread to east Yorkshire and Shropshire and Somerset. The


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


across the country, are very sensitive to the natural oslaigss


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


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


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


to projections, the Government uses climate projections based on carbon


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


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


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


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


weather and climate, how think interact and effect the hide


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


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


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


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


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


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


heavier rainfall and years where you experience droughts. Customers


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


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


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


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


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


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


winter. With us now are the shadow


Environment Secretary, and a representative from Thames Water


one of the companies to announce a man today.


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


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


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


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


and faster in affordability. Affordability is another matter?


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


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


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


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


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


where the Government could take be atruction from rivers and other


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


question within water companies for them to transfer water amongst


their own regions. Transferring water between regions ought to be


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


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


transferring water between companies, we need to join up the


existing bypasss between the companies better rather than a new


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


metres, when that happens people will reduce their consumption.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Those Syrians hoping the rest of the world will put aside


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


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


Russia continue to disagree about the way forward.


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


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


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


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


being taken for burial. What we understand according to the


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


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


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


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


accounts do differ a bit, particularly in where exactly the


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


the whole massacre on the opposition, saying they filmed this


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


diplomatic progress on trying to get an intervention or solution?


There was a whole special session of the United Nations Security


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


said the council had failed completely so far in its


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


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


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


Russian foreign minutes -- today, because the Russian Foreign


Minister not only blamed the Government but the opposition for


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


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


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


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


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


the talk of arming the rebels? There is something interesting


today from the main opposition grouping, from the Syrian National


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


good the consequences of industrial yoisation. There is a museum


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


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


To lose a collection of this magnitude is unthinkable.


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


and collections that could equally be caught by the same unfortunate


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


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


word for it, that is what UNESCO calls it.


Including works by Stubbs and Reynolds, the collection is


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


what was virtually our first manufacturing industry. Begun three


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


unbelievable archive and objects, it would never be replaced anywhere


in the world. These were the villages, under the


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


Wedgwood collection is the product of an industry that once employed


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


A court ruled the Wedgwood collection, housed at the museum


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


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


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


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


understand why the Government felled compelled to introduce


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


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


way that the pensioners could get the benefit from the Pension


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


will be lots of other museums and similar institutions and


collections that could equally be caught by the same unfortunate


rules. The Attorney General will decide


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


Newsnight understands ministers and arts bodies are urgently seeking


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


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


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


and the Queen of polka dot pottery, Emma Bridgewater.


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


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


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


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


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


and this is a museum of international significance, telling


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


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


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


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


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


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


a very, very important bit of the offering. There


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


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


talking to the Pension Protection Fund, which technically now owns


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


know the position, whether an appeal or the proceedings are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


manufacturing generally. What was it that was so significant about


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


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


ingenuity, with excellent marketing capacity. He grew this entire


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


about British manufacturing and British Industry in general?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


had globalisation. How do you compete against low labour and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


organisation, where I started outsourcing all over the world,


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


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


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


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


important thing is that you remain absolutely clear about your


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


part of our heritage, it is a national and internationally


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


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


that works of exceptional importance are saved for the nation.


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


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


by galleries. Tomorrow morning's front pages, the


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


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


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


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


change to the way troops are used in Afghanistan.


An exhibition has opened in Brighton commemorating a death of a


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