02/04/2012 Newsnight


02/04/2012

Sue Lloyd Roberts reports from Burma on the landslide victory for Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party, and Jeremy Paxman talks to Damien Hirst about art, magic, and money.


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Transcript


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If the Education Secretary gets his way, A-level exams are going to get

:00:09.:00:12.

more difficult. Newsnight can reveal his plans to transform

:00:12.:00:18.

English secondary education. happy! Students may celebrate

:00:18.:00:22.

getting the grades they want, but the exams are, he says,

:00:22.:00:24.

increasingly useless to universities, so he now wants

:00:24.:00:30.

universe to set them. Our political editor is here with the details.

:00:30.:00:33.

In this letter Michael Gove sets out his plans to remove the

:00:33.:00:36.

education department from exam interference, but will it be

:00:36.:00:41.

accepted. Is he trying to re- establish credibility for exams, or

:00:41.:00:45.

just doing a few universities a favour.

:00:45.:00:48.

Happy days for democracy campaigners in Burma, are they

:00:48.:00:51.

singing too soon, we have Sue Lloyd Roberts there.

:00:51.:00:56.

Is the Government penalising people with mental health problems in its

:00:56.:01:00.

zeal to deliver on one of its biggest promise, to make work pay.

:01:00.:01:04.

Basically they are playing with people's lives. You can't turn

:01:04.:01:08.

around and stop somebody's benefit after paying them for nearly six

:01:08.:01:14.

years, and say you're fit to work. Whoever thought that aquariums full

:01:14.:01:18.

of dead things were the road to fabulous wealth, Damien Hirst did,

:01:18.:01:25.

and it paid off big time. He tells us what it was all about. Great car

:01:25.:01:30.

is art, anything that takes it out of the normal world and into the

:01:30.:01:37.

magical world. Something magical is art.

:01:37.:01:42.

It will mean an end to the annual summer argument about how exams are

:01:42.:01:46.

being made easier, because the implication is that A-level, the

:01:46.:01:50.

culmination of secondary schooling, will be made harder, perhaps quite

:01:50.:01:54.

a lot harder. The he had case secretary has decided it is none of

:01:54.:02:00.

his business -- the education secretary has decided it is none of

:02:01.:02:04.

his business to decide exams and wants the job done at the country's

:02:04.:02:07.

better university N a letter seen by Newsnight, he has told the head

:02:07.:02:12.

of the body that runs exams in England, that he expects this big

:02:12.:02:15.

shake-up to be in place before the next election.

:02:15.:02:19.

Allegra Stratton reports. Here is taxing question for you,

:02:19.:02:29.
:02:29.:02:33.

you may select only one answer, are That's a line from a letter

:02:33.:02:38.

obtained by Newsnight and written on Friday last week, by the

:02:38.:02:42.

Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to Ofqual, the exams' regulator.

:02:42.:02:45.

The a second believes A-level standards have been steadily

:02:45.:02:49.

dropping, and the only way to stop this is to get universities

:02:49.:02:51.

involved in the educating of the students heading their way. In his

:02:51.:03:01.
:03:01.:03:19.

Universities complain about the quality of the students coming

:03:19.:03:23.

through their doors, they say they either have to put on remedial

:03:23.:03:26.

classes to help them catch up, or at the end of the course they have

:03:26.:03:29.

to lower the grades. Now the Government is saying don't complain,

:03:29.:03:33.

get involved, alter the content of these courses. With history A-level,

:03:33.:03:37.

if you want long answers, rather than short structured answers, go

:03:37.:03:42.

for it. With A-level physics, if you want to include calculus, so be

:03:42.:03:47.

it. The Oxford and Cambridge board is the only university-owned Exam

:03:47.:03:53.

Board in existence, they are chomping at the bit. What was it

:03:53.:03:57.

like before, universities moaning about the quality? We have quite a

:03:57.:04:01.

few complaints, people complain about predict pblt, about MoD dwu

:04:01.:04:06.

laterisation, that makes it too easy for students to gain results.

:04:06.:04:11.

They complain about the academic schools, to think independently,

:04:11.:04:16.

write critically in essays, we think it will help us to focus on

:04:16.:04:19.

those skills. The Government thinks that for the past 20 years the

:04:20.:04:23.

state has elbowed universities out, it is the state that is responsible

:04:23.:04:28.

for the exam results now. Now they are pushing the first domino that

:04:28.:04:35.

will be felt all the way down the he had case system. Short, these

:04:35.:04:40.

reforms will be felt on students of -- shortly these reforms will be by

:04:40.:04:44.

students of all ages. As well as these slower-burn trends, the

:04:44.:04:48.

Government has been partly spurred into action by a scandal revealed

:04:48.:04:54.

by the Mail Newspaper last year. are cheating and telling you the

:04:54.:04:59.

cycle, probably the regulator will tell us off. Then they revealed

:04:59.:05:03.

through undercover filming of Exam Board seminars, teachers appearing

:05:03.:05:08.

to be given unfair information. Every year the Exam Boards and

:05:08.:05:15.

Ofqual decide with great care and extreme diligence what mark

:05:15.:05:18.

constitutes grade A. That has shifted up over the years. There

:05:18.:05:23.

are other ways of maintaining standards, the top 10% get an A,

:05:23.:05:27.

you link it to another test you know about. You give the marks out

:05:27.:05:31.

there. There are other ways to do this, the mechanism used at the

:05:31.:05:34.

moment hasn't quite cracked it, and just involving universities

:05:34.:05:37.

wouldn't crack it either. This policy is from the Michael Gove

:05:37.:05:42.

school of hard knocks, it will be painful, but Britain's skills must

:05:42.:05:45.

improve if we are to compete in the future. There will be similar

:05:45.:05:50.

policies in the next few months, aimed at bringing up the standards

:05:50.:05:54.

of GCSEs, just like at the have with A-levels, for some it is the

:05:54.:05:59.

pursuit ofics lens, for others it is eliteism. -- of excellence, for

:05:59.:06:03.

others it is eliteism. Some people will feel out in the cold, and some

:06:03.:06:07.

ways of working that might suit more average students, may not be

:06:07.:06:12.

privileged in the A-level system. It is possible you will get an A-

:06:12.:06:16.

level that doesn't cater for the full spectrum of those coming to do

:06:16.:06:23.

A-level in the first place. You have to see how that pans out.

:06:23.:06:25.

Government believe there are changes afoot they have to track,

:06:25.:06:31.

or else Britain will be left behind. At the extreme end of experiments

:06:31.:06:36.

in education, American academic, the Professor of Artificial

:06:36.:06:40.

Intelligence at Stanford, recently opened up his course for anyone to

:06:40.:06:44.

take, no matter they were in the world. Thousands took up his offer.

:06:44.:06:47.

Many pupils may decide, Government sources wonder, that such courses

:06:47.:06:52.

offer them far more than state- controlled exams in the future.

:06:52.:06:56.

There will be much flesh to add to bones in the weeks ahead, one thing

:06:56.:07:00.

is pretty certain, if you know anyone due to begin their A-levels

:07:00.:07:06.

in 2014, it will be a bit harder than they were expecting. Here to

:07:06.:07:11.

examine the proposals further, the head of the Russell Group of

:07:11.:07:16.

universities, the Oxford graduate and founder of Keystone Tutors, and

:07:16.:07:21.

the Labour MP who used to chair the Education Select Committee. Does

:07:21.:07:26.

everyone agree something has gone wrong with A-levels? We have

:07:26.:07:31.

several concerns with A-level, there isn't a crisis with A-levels,

:07:31.:07:37.

they broadly fit the market. Several concerns were mentioned on

:07:37.:07:41.

the film and in Michael Gove's letter. Including this

:07:41.:07:46.

modularisation, students can learn in chunks of knowledge, and then

:07:46.:07:49.

tested on that little chunk, and learn to forget it, someone has

:07:49.:07:54.

called it, then they can resit the chunk if they fail it. It got

:07:54.:07:58.

easier? Easier? We worry about the ability of those students to have

:07:58.:08:03.

an overall grasp of the subject. an observer, it does seem they have

:08:03.:08:09.

gotten ease yes, 24% getting A- grade -- easier, 24% getting A

:08:09.:08:15.

grades? The problem with the system in this country is narrowness. We

:08:15.:08:19.

are looking at a group of international comparisons, we are

:08:19.:08:23.

the only people who ask kids at 16 to concentrate on three subjects,

:08:23.:08:28.

then they go on to do a degree in one subject in depth. The real

:08:28.:08:32.

problem we have is the narrowness of scope in our education system.

:08:32.:08:35.

That is probably why the level of undergraduate study is higher than

:08:35.:08:39.

in other countries? There is no evidence of that. There is a great

:08:39.:08:43.

deal of anecdotal evidence? It is anecdotal. We are off the point

:08:43.:08:48.

here. I believe in evidence-based policy, Jeremy. How did you find A-

:08:48.:08:54.

levels, easy? I didn't find A- levels easy, but they were highly

:08:54.:08:59.

prescriptive, I think what Barry was saying, although true it is

:08:59.:09:06.

largely off the point. I think so too. The point about A-levels, they

:09:06.:09:10.

have been rising ever since the Government got involved in A-levels.

:09:10.:09:16.

We have seen an increase every single year for 30 years in A-level

:09:16.:09:20.

grades. The problem he is dealing with, which was referred to in the

:09:20.:09:23.

report there, is that the suggestion from the universities

:09:23.:09:28.

seems to be, they don't teach you how to think properly? There is an

:09:28.:09:33.

element of that. That some of the subjects don't foster that ability

:09:34.:09:38.

to analyse critically, to step back from a text and look at it

:09:38.:09:42.

objectively, rather than emtheyically, which tends to be the

:09:42.:09:50.

trend in subjects like English and history. We have problems in

:09:50.:09:55.

subjects like maths, where some of the moduals are not challenging

:09:55.:10:00.

enough, not only to go on to a maths degree, but engineering and

:10:00.:10:05.

physics. You think that is a problem? I do, but it is not only a

:10:05.:10:08.

problem in the science subjects and maths, it is a problem we have

:10:08.:10:12.

faced for a long time, that A-level is not just for university entrants,

:10:12.:10:19.

if we think it is only about university entrance, we get boxed

:10:19.:10:21.

in. It should be a group of qualifications that fit people for

:10:21.:10:25.

life. One of the problems about the A-level, and the research, Jeremy,

:10:25.:10:30.

shows this, is there is no applied nature of the A-level, it is too

:10:30.:10:35.

theoretical, applied knowledge is very important in young people of

:10:35.:10:38.

this age. If these proposals of Michael Gove are implemented, they

:10:38.:10:42.

will be more like that, aren't they? They will be more academic.

:10:42.:10:46.

They become the property of the elite universities? That's right.

:10:46.:10:49.

Quite right. Wendy will be very happy about that presumably, I

:10:49.:10:54.

think it is wrong, most people in this country don't go to Russell

:10:54.:10:57.

Group universities, they go to a different group of universities and

:10:57.:11:02.

do much more applied courses? completely see the case for having

:11:02.:11:05.

a diversity of different learners in this country. Children learn in

:11:05.:11:08.

different ways, they want to go on to a multitude of different jobs.

:11:08.:11:12.

We do need, this is the real challenge. Why should you get to

:11:12.:11:15.

decide what goes into A-levels? do need a range of qualifications,

:11:15.:11:21.

and we have quite a few, actually, that equips students for different

:11:21.:11:25.

schools in life. We have a right to be -- skills in life, we have a

:11:25.:11:29.

right to be concerned about A- levels that are supposedly trying

:11:29.:11:32.

to equip students to go on to our courses. It doesn't mean that I

:11:32.:11:37.

don't care about other courses and student that is won't go to Russell

:11:37.:11:44.

Group universities, I'm hone anything on a problem that we are

:11:44.:11:48.

having. Which you appear to accept, they do have a problem? The problem

:11:48.:11:52.

very often in these things is politicians coming out with their

:11:52.:11:56.

latest wheeze that they dreamt up in the shower. This is a politician

:11:56.:11:59.

getting out of the business, saying it is not his job? Very interesting

:11:59.:12:03.

you say that. I believe it when I see it. The fact of the matter,

:12:03.:12:09.

he's actually handing over to elite universities, called elite

:12:09.:12:12.

universities, that he happens to trust, rather than a broader

:12:12.:12:17.

university. So he's putting, he's also, injure me putting Ofqual in a

:12:17.:12:24.

position, that we tried to get away from, being the designer and

:12:24.:12:29.

regulator of these exams. Can I make a point about taking

:12:29.:12:31.

responsibility for A-level, I don't think universities at the moment

:12:31.:12:35.

have the resources to take over, as you say, A-levels. We have a core

:12:35.:12:40.

business of teaching undergraduates, who will be, by the way, even more

:12:40.:12:44.

demanding, when they are paying �9,000 a year. So we have a lot of

:12:44.:12:47.

prioritisation that is going on to make sure they are getting a

:12:47.:12:52.

fantastic education. Plus, we also do some research. So just to caveat

:12:52.:12:59.

here. Let this young man get a word in edgeways. You run a tutoring

:12:59.:13:03.

business. Do you have clients that come to your tutoring business, who

:13:03.:13:06.

are young people, gone to university, having done A-levels

:13:06.:13:10.

and can't cope? Absolutely. We see that not only in what the students

:13:10.:13:14.

are saying, but what the universities are doing. Quite a lot

:13:14.:13:18.

of universities now spend much of their first year teaching stuff

:13:18.:13:21.

that should have been taught at A- level. We talk about what Wendy was

:13:21.:13:25.

talking about, saving money, that seems like a huge waste of money

:13:25.:13:29.

for the taxpayer to be spending a third of a university course

:13:29.:13:32.

teaching stuff which, in some cases, should have been taught at A-level.

:13:32.:13:36.

That is a very familiar argument, I have heard that from loads of

:13:36.:13:41.

academics? It was politicians, starting with Ken Baker, who

:13:41.:13:46.

actually introduced more testing assessment, right through the lives

:13:46.:13:52.

of these students. A very onerous Ofsted inspection system, and on

:13:53.:13:58.

top of that, a system that gives teachers no ability to teach.

:13:58.:14:01.

was between both parties you have managed to really damage the

:14:01.:14:04.

education system? Politicians should keep out of education as far

:14:04.:14:10.

as possible. That is what my ten years of experience does. That is

:14:10.:14:14.

exactly what Michael Gove is doing? He says he's doing it, seeing it is

:14:14.:14:18.

believing it. He has only written a letter, that we have sight of,

:14:18.:14:24.

writing a letter to express an intention of getting out of this

:14:24.:14:27.

prescriptive business, you are criticising him? I don't believe

:14:27.:14:33.

him, I know Michael Gove, Michael now has the most centralised,

:14:33.:14:36.

powerful Department of Education this country has ever had, you can

:14:36.:14:40.

forget localism and devolution, it is the most powerful education

:14:40.:14:45.

department in the history of this country. He has got rid of Local

:14:46.:14:49.

Education Authorities. Who will lose out? Usually it is the

:14:49.:14:52.

students who lose out, when politicians get involved, yet again,

:14:52.:14:56.

with a new fashion and a new fad. Let's not argue about whether he's

:14:56.:14:59.

getting involved or getting out. What do you think will be the

:15:00.:15:04.

effect of this proposal? That is the one disadvantage I can see to

:15:04.:15:08.

this, since 2000 I was one of the first years where AS was brought in.

:15:08.:15:13.

I think there has been a new reform pretty much every single year, if

:15:13.:15:17.

it does go ahead, I would like to see it as a simplification, rather

:15:17.:15:22.

than a more complication to the A- level system. Just to go back to

:15:22.:15:25.

what Barry was just saying there I'm not a spokes plan for the

:15:25.:15:29.

Conservative Party at all, I do think his moves in the schools --

:15:30.:15:34.

spokesperson for the Conservative Party at all, I do think his moves

:15:34.:15:38.

for schools liberating them from the education authority, there is

:15:38.:15:43.

muscle in this letter. We will see what comes out. The proof of the

:15:43.:15:47.

pudding. Let's hope it works out. Hopefully students will be the

:15:47.:15:51.

winners. Everybody hopes it works out, of course they do!

:15:51.:15:56.

It was a sight see, if not all of her supporters, was confident one

:15:56.:15:59.

day she would see. Aung San Suu Kyi's victory in Burmese elections

:15:59.:16:02.

isn't the end of the story, the vote was only a by-election, and

:16:02.:16:05.

power remains in the hands of the bunch of generals and retired

:16:06.:16:11.

generals who control, and indeed, own, much of Burma. They want

:16:11.:16:15.

international sanctionss lifted, and maybe the election result will

:16:15.:16:22.

help -- sanctionss lifted, and maybe the election result will help.

:16:22.:16:26.

One of the surprising things to happen over the last few hours is

:16:26.:16:30.

the Government has used state TV to announce that Aung San Suu Kyi's

:16:30.:16:38.

party, the NLD, have won 40 seats. The NLD say they have won 436789

:16:38.:16:41.

the Government always said they would take days to confirm the

:16:41.:16:46.

result, it is as if they can no longer hide the size of heroin.

:16:46.:16:49.

Aung San Suu Kyi was mobbed when she arrived at party headquarters

:16:49.:16:54.

today, she urged calm. It is a delicate situation. She spoke of

:16:54.:16:56.

national reconciliation. We hope that this will be the beginning of

:16:56.:17:01.

a new era, where there will be more emphasis on the role of the people

:17:01.:17:06.

in the every day politics of our country. We also hope that we will

:17:07.:17:11.

be able to go further along the road towards national

:17:12.:17:14.

reconciliation. Aung San Suu Kyi there, choosing

:17:15.:17:18.

her words carefully. She has the support of the President, who she

:17:18.:17:23.

believes is a true reformer. He needs her to add respectability to

:17:23.:17:27.

his Government, in the hope that sanctions might be lifted on Burma.

:17:27.:17:31.

The unknown is the army, and how far they will go along the path

:17:31.:17:36.

towards a true democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi says everything is very

:17:36.:17:40.

fragile, and reversible, indeed, I spent the last few days in Burma,

:17:40.:17:43.

looking at the reforms which the Government claimed to have

:17:43.:17:53.
:17:53.:18:02.

implemented so far. They really Burma has an unchanging quality.

:18:02.:18:10.

The beauty of the country, spirituality, and the misfortune of

:18:10.:18:14.

these gentle people to be bullied by a cruel military regime. But

:18:14.:18:22.

change has taken place in that last respect. And, at breathtaking speed.

:18:22.:18:26.

There have been elections, there is a parliament, and the opposition

:18:26.:18:30.

leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is about to take a seat there. But is that

:18:30.:18:33.

parliament any more than just a talking shop in a country where the

:18:33.:18:37.

army makes all the real decisions. And Aung San Suu Kyi, is she being

:18:37.:18:43.

used by the Government to gain legitimacy in the outside world?

:18:43.:18:52.

How real is change in Burma? # Let's dance together

:18:52.:18:57.

# Can you hear me Burma is definitely changing. There

:18:57.:19:01.

is a girl band recently formed, Myanmar Girls, a pun on the name

:19:02.:19:05.

for the country used by the Government.

:19:05.:19:09.

Spice Girls wannabes, who express all the frustrations of the younger

:19:09.:19:14.

generation, cut off from the rest of the world. What do you really,

:19:14.:19:18.

really want? You know, we are concerned with music, that's all.

:19:18.:19:24.

In our country music is really slow to follow, to be international,

:19:24.:19:28.

that is why everybody has to know about it, all kinds of music and

:19:28.:19:33.

have to support the music which is really cool. It is hard to say what

:19:33.:19:37.

democracy is, we have never been, we just heard about it, we have

:19:37.:19:41.

never seen it. Because we were under military Government, and we

:19:41.:19:46.

have to do what they want to do, and we can't do what they don't

:19:46.:19:52.

want. Perhaps because they don't push the

:19:52.:19:55.

barriers in a political way, the Government censorship board has

:19:55.:20:00.

been so far relaxed. They go as far as they can with the outfits, but

:20:00.:20:08.

have been warned that their shirts must not be too revealing.

:20:08.:20:11.

Things haven't been so easy for others in Burma, like those who

:20:11.:20:14.

believe it when the Government claims it wants to relax controls

:20:14.:20:21.

on the media, and promote workers' rights.

:20:21.:20:25.

Every Saturday, a messenger arrives at the Myanmar Times, a weekly

:20:25.:20:29.

published in English and Burmese. He comes for the Ministry of

:20:29.:20:35.

Information, with instructions on what can and, more worryingly,

:20:35.:20:40.

cannot be included in the paper. An article on the front page on

:20:40.:20:45.

corruption in Government has to go. So what's the matter with that

:20:45.:20:50.

article there? It is about the labour union, which is really

:20:50.:20:54.

really sensitive to-to-them. can't write about labour unions?

:20:54.:21:02.

Not every time, sometimes we can. Mostly they can't.

:21:02.:21:07.

In another office in Rangoon, a lawyer is equally confused about

:21:07.:21:11.

the new you laws, supposed to allow strikes under trade unions. He's

:21:11.:21:16.

trying to help workers from a shoe factory. They work eight-hour days,

:21:16.:21:20.

six days a week, for less than a dollar a day. They want to strike

:21:20.:21:27.

and to form a trade union. Their representative shows me how

:21:27.:21:31.

they have designed a logo, showing the boot of oppression, from which

:21:31.:21:35.

they are fighting free to form a trade union. But they won't let us,

:21:35.:21:39.

she saying, they say they can only form a workers' organisation.

:21:39.:21:47.

What's the difference? TRANSLATION: We have to have new labour laws in

:21:47.:21:50.

this country, that give rights to workers. The Government knows they

:21:50.:21:54.

have to accept this, if they are going to encourage investment from

:21:54.:22:00.

abroad. They say we can form workers' organisations, but they

:22:00.:22:03.

don't want us to form real trade unions, so workers, like these

:22:03.:22:06.

ladies, can't link up with the international trade union movement

:22:07.:22:15.

abroad. This man is not too worried that he

:22:15.:22:23.

has problems with his TV set, it just needs hitting now and then!

:22:23.:22:27.

Myanmar radio and television, the state broadcasting channel, isn't

:22:27.:22:31.

worth watching, he says, you don't hear anything about real issues,

:22:31.:22:36.

nothing about labour disputes or demonstrations.

:22:36.:22:40.

He was an undercover radio journalist for a satellite TV

:22:40.:22:44.

company operating from abroad. He was sentenced to 17 years in jail

:22:44.:22:48.

after the 2007 uprising. He was released in January, along with

:22:48.:22:55.

hundreds of others, as part of the Government reforms.

:22:55.:22:59.

TRANSLATION: When the Saffron Revolution happened, we took these

:22:59.:23:03.

pictures to show the outside world what was really happening in Burma.

:23:03.:23:08.

How the amongst led the people in revolt, and we told how hundreds of

:23:08.:23:12.

us were imprisoned or fled abroad. Nothing like this is ever on state

:23:12.:23:17.

TV. It is still forbidden to talk about the existing political

:23:17.:23:20.

prisoners. Most people don't even know there are still political

:23:20.:23:26.

prisoners, the wife of one tells me, nervous that we are being watched.

:23:26.:23:31.

When strangers visit her, men from ministry intelligence come and

:23:31.:23:34.

question her neighbours, it makes her anxious, she explains. Her son

:23:35.:23:41.

says there is someone snooping around outside, he locks the door.

:23:41.:23:44.

TRANSLATION: They always come at night when they arrest my husband,

:23:44.:23:50.

eight times in all, the last time was in 2007. We always kept his bag

:23:50.:23:54.

prepared, because we never knew when they would arrive, or where

:23:54.:24:02.

they would take him. What was your husband's crime? He was

:24:02.:24:06.

TRANSLATION: He was arrested for being involved in politics, for

:24:06.:24:09.

supporting Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the NLD, and working for human

:24:09.:24:13.

rights. I have no idea when I'm going to see him again, only those

:24:13.:24:18.

who arrested him know. Journalists and foreign observers

:24:18.:24:22.

were allowed into Burma for the by- elections, but in so many other

:24:22.:24:26.

respects the Government's reform programme doesn't add up to much.

:24:26.:24:31.

Senior members of her own party have questioned her decision to

:24:31.:24:33.

stand. REPORTER: Are you not worried that you are being used by

:24:33.:24:37.

the Government to give it legitimacy? I keep being asked

:24:37.:24:41.

whether I'm not afraid of being used, I have always said if I'm

:24:41.:24:45.

going to be used for the sake of the nation, that's fine by me.

:24:46.:24:48.

assured us she wants to introduce changes to the country, like the

:24:48.:24:52.

rule of law, and the eradication of poverty.

:24:52.:24:57.

Her own constituency, spread over a wide area of the Irrawaddy Delta,

:24:57.:25:04.

would be a good place to start. It was devastated by Cyclone Nargis

:25:04.:25:11.

four years ago. This man says they all have to go to the jungle and

:25:11.:25:15.

cut the bamboo to rebuild their houses.

:25:15.:25:19.

Bamboo is the only thing they have here in any quantity.

:25:19.:25:24.

The Government gave us nothing, he says, only a local businessman

:25:24.:25:31.

helped by giving us some rice. He lives in a village typical of

:25:31.:25:34.

rural Burma, with no running water or electricity. The Burmese

:25:34.:25:38.

Government spends a tiny fraction of its revenue on education and

:25:38.:25:44.

health and it shows. TRANSLATION: Life is a struggle, we

:25:44.:25:49.

only eat if we can find a day's work. We try to save money to send

:25:49.:25:53.

the children to school, if one of them gets ill, we need money to pay

:25:53.:25:58.

for a doctor. To my astonishment, in this village, in possibly the

:25:58.:26:01.

most famous constituency in the country, few people knew anything

:26:01.:26:08.

about the elections. TRANSLATION: heard something on a radio. It is

:26:08.:26:12.

as if the Government doesn't exist here. At the Government party

:26:12.:26:16.

headquarters, in the local town, they wouldn't let me in to talk, I

:26:16.:26:22.

wanted to ask them why the Government spends so little on its

:26:22.:26:30.

people. But locals here are more aware.

:26:30.:26:33.

This man says the Government gives them nothing, they are always

:26:33.:26:38.

cheating and always rigging and always lying.

:26:38.:26:42.

This woman says she voted for Aung San Suu Kyi, because she suffered

:26:42.:26:49.

and sacrificed so much, we believe she might help us.

:26:49.:26:53.

Burma's President, Thein Sein, was head of the relief team after the

:26:53.:26:57.

cyclone, that killed more than 100,000 people here. The

:26:57.:27:00.

Government's inability to cope with a disaster, was, people tell you,

:27:00.:27:05.

the wake-up call for him. Alerting him to the country's desoperate

:27:05.:27:11.

need for development. Which means putting Burma's huge wealth, in

:27:11.:27:14.

Jade, precious stones, timber, oil and gas, to a use other than just

:27:14.:27:18.

making the generals rich, and this is where the election of Aung San

:27:18.:27:23.

Suu Kyi fits in to the Government's plans.

:27:23.:27:27.

The currency here, the kyat, is being floated from today, to

:27:27.:27:31.

encourage foreign investment. Now that Aung San Suu Kyi can enter

:27:31.:27:35.

parliament, the Government hopes that sanctions will be lifted.

:27:35.:27:43.

The European Union is to debate the issue later this month.

:27:43.:27:46.

At a party in Rangoon, I'm introduced to people by name and

:27:46.:27:50.

then by the number of years they were sentenced to jail. This is the

:27:50.:27:54.

elite of the generation of 1988, the revolt that started the

:27:54.:27:59.

campaign for democracy, and which launched Aung San Suu Kyi.

:27:59.:28:05.

You were sentenced to 55 years, and this lady here? And you too, for 55

:28:05.:28:11.

years. 65. Between them they spent hundreds of years in jail, most

:28:11.:28:15.

were released only weeks ago. What do they expect of the international

:28:15.:28:25.
:28:25.:28:27.

community now? This woman served 12 years in prison. TRANSLATION:

:28:27.:28:30.

European Union should look at the true situation here, and force the

:28:30.:28:32.

Government to implement the reform process, and bring about a better

:28:32.:28:36.

Government in the interests of the people. Jimmy spent 15 years in

:28:36.:28:42.

jail. TRANSLATION: I don't agree with

:28:42.:28:46.

lifting sanctions, partial lifting would be OK, but only after the

:28:46.:28:49.

remaining political prisoners have been released, and the ethnic

:28:49.:28:52.

conflicts have ended. Only when there is true national

:28:52.:28:55.

reconciliation in the country, and the constitution has been amended

:28:55.:28:58.

to allow full parliamentary democracy, only then should all

:28:58.:29:08.
:29:08.:29:13.

For now, there is rejoicing in Burma, that there has been a

:29:13.:29:17.

genuine political breakthrough here. The country's opposition party and

:29:17.:29:23.

their leader now have a voice in parliament.

:29:23.:29:27.

These people now hope that the momentum will keep going, and will

:29:27.:29:34.

bring about real change. We will have more from Sue Lloyd

:29:34.:29:38.

Roberts in Burma tomorrow. We learned from George Osborne's

:29:38.:29:41.

budget, that he's planning to reduce the welfare bill by a

:29:41.:29:45.

further �10 billion, and cutting welfare is politically popular. Why

:29:45.:29:48.

should people pay taxes to support people who could earn their own

:29:48.:29:51.

living. But are people genuinely unfit to

:29:51.:29:55.

work, being treated unfairly, to please the mob?

:29:55.:29:58.

The chief executive of the mental health charity, Mind, seems to

:29:58.:30:02.

think so. He has resigned as an adviser to the Government body

:30:02.:30:05.

trying to determine how many are claiming benefit when they ought to

:30:05.:30:09.

be working. I will be talking to him shortly first, Susan Watts

:30:09.:30:19.
:30:19.:30:20.

The world of mental illness is an uncomfortable one to enter, for

:30:20.:30:24.

those who have not experienced it directly.

:30:24.:30:27.

How a professional or sufferer sees things is likely to be very

:30:27.:30:32.

different from the way a politician might.

:30:32.:30:36.

She asked us if I go to the doctors, and so on. But then never asked

:30:36.:30:43.

anything about my mental health at all. Paul Brown is a keen

:30:43.:30:49.

photographer, he was signed off work as an IT consultant six years

:30:49.:30:58.

ago as -- but was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and

:30:58.:31:05.

tried to take his life last year. He had receiving Incapacity Benefit

:31:05.:31:09.

of �90 a week, until an assessment three week ago. It was a case if I

:31:09.:31:14.

was able bodied more than anything else. She never asked about my mood

:31:14.:31:19.

swings, about the medication I'm on, about the psychiatric care and so

:31:19.:31:28.

on. After about 10-15 minutes she said that was all. Then about two

:31:28.:31:32.

weeks, three weeks later, I received a letter saying they were

:31:32.:31:38.

terminateing my benefit, because in their opinion, I was fit to work.

:31:38.:31:42.

Paul Brown was reassessed as part of the Work Capability Assessment,

:31:42.:31:51.

introduced under Labour, a French company called ATOS, won a

:31:51.:31:55.

multimillion pound contract to reassess capability. A scrutiny

:31:55.:31:59.

panel was monitoring this, this panel included Paul Farmer, the

:31:59.:32:03.

chief executive of the mental health charity, Mind N his

:32:03.:32:07.

resignation letter, Mr Farmer said that problems are seriously

:32:07.:32:11.

underestimated, and the process does not assess people's mental

:32:11.:32:17.

health, and one in four assessments were incorrect. The res letter

:32:17.:32:27.
:32:27.:32:55.

In his reply, the Employment The Government says that so far

:32:55.:32:58.

more than a third of people going through reassessment have been

:32:59.:33:03.

found fit for work. But at what cost? To be honest with

:33:03.:33:08.

you, I was contemplating suicide again, once I got the rejection.

:33:08.:33:16.

You just feel hopeless, you just feel inadequate. You are basically

:33:16.:33:19.

not wanted. The man who resigned today, Paul

:33:19.:33:24.

Farmer, chief executive of Mind, is here now to talk about his decision,

:33:24.:33:28.

along with Neil O'Brien, from Policy Exchange, that is the think-

:33:28.:33:31.

tank. He's broadly supportive of the Government as approach to

:33:31.:33:34.

reducing the number of welfare claimants. You don't think the

:33:34.:33:38.

Government is being intentionally cruel? No, I think the problem here

:33:38.:33:42.

is that they don't really understand the impact of this test

:33:42.:33:46.

on people. The test which just simply isn't working. 50% of people

:33:46.:33:51.

are appealing against this test, and 50% of those appeals are being

:33:51.:33:56.

upheld. So the system works? It is not working at all. If half of the

:33:56.:34:01.

appeals are upheld, it is working? No, because the appeals are against

:34:01.:34:05.

the original claims, people are being found fit for work, somebody

:34:05.:34:09.

like Paul, doesn't agree with it, and then there is an appeal. The

:34:09.:34:14.

appeals system is costing us �50 million a year, in order to be able

:34:14.:34:19.

to be implemented. We saw an advertisment just last week,

:34:19.:34:23.

advertising for 150 more judges to hear these appeals. What we really

:34:23.:34:28.

want to do is get the test right in the first place, so we don't have

:34:28.:34:33.

so many appeals. I don't quite know how you will do that since you have

:34:33.:34:37.

quit the process supposedly reviewing it? We have made a number

:34:37.:34:39.

of recommendation about how that can be changed. Those

:34:39.:34:42.

recommendations are there to be implemented. We are frustrated

:34:42.:34:47.

about the slowness of pace. What is your take on this? The Government

:34:47.:34:51.

are gradually trying to improve these tests, they have made a lot

:34:51.:34:55.

of changes after an independent review. We need to remind ourselves

:34:55.:34:59.

why we need the test. For new claimants, we are finding six out

:34:59.:35:04.

of ten people are found completely fit to work, another two out of ten

:35:04.:35:08.

people are found fit to work in the future, only two out of ten are put

:35:08.:35:11.

into the support group. If the test wasn't here, a huge number of

:35:12.:35:19.

people would be waved throughen to benefit they don't need. You spend

:35:19.:35:22.

a huge amount of money that should be on more severely handicapped

:35:22.:35:26.

people. If you park people on benefits and say you will never

:35:26.:35:30.

work again, you are not capable of anything, we are only interested in

:35:30.:35:35.

what you can do rather than you can -- cannot you do, rather than what

:35:35.:35:40.

you can do. The suicide rate is higher, and people get worse.

:35:40.:35:45.

does make a lot of sense that, Paul Farmer, presumably you believe in

:35:45.:35:48.

getting people off benefits if they can be? We know lots of people with

:35:48.:35:53.

mental health problems do want to work. Those statistics that Neil

:35:53.:35:57.

quotes are from people who are newly on to the test. As he said.

:35:58.:36:03.

Yes, a group of people,.2 million people, who have been on inxas --

:36:03.:36:07.

1.2 million people who have been Incapacity Benefit for a long

:36:07.:36:10.

period of time. They haven't had any support, they are put on to the

:36:10.:36:14.

test at a point when there is no chance of them finding work.

:36:14.:36:18.

there a difficult with people having mental as opposed to fiscal

:36:18.:36:22.

problems? I think there are three - - Physical problems? I think there

:36:22.:36:27.

are three problems, it is harder to get jobs, the stigma with mental

:36:27.:36:31.

health, the test itself doesn't understand the issues around mental

:36:31.:36:35.

health problems. The assessors are poorly trained in mental health as

:36:35.:36:39.

an issue, you are more likely to get the wrong kind of outcome, that

:36:39.:36:46.

will conversely impact on people's self-esteem. That chap we saw in

:36:46.:36:50.

the tape, he made the point, didn't he? This is not an easy thing to do

:36:50.:36:53.

at all. The Government have made a number of changes in this direction,

:36:53.:36:58.

they have brought in more people with mental health specialisms and

:36:58.:37:02.

the like, you are haggling how fast these things are going, there is

:37:02.:37:06.

talk about a gold standard about issues going forward. You don't

:37:06.:37:08.

think they are going fast enough and there is no pressure to go on.

:37:08.:37:13.

We can have a debate about how it should work. As a sensitive human

:37:13.:37:16.

being, conceding this in the previous point, you support the

:37:16.:37:19.

principle that people who are incapable of work, because they are

:37:19.:37:23.

unwell, unmit fit, have mental problems, or physical problems,

:37:23.:37:27.

they should be allowed to stay on benefits, shouldn't they? What

:37:27.:37:32.

makes this thing so tough is that you have to be clear about not

:37:32.:37:38.

taking people off this benefit who need it, who have genuine mental

:37:38.:37:42.

health problems. It is harder than physical problems, you can't people

:37:42.:37:47.

in the system saying they have a bad back, no sick tomorrows, but I

:37:47.:37:52.

just want to claim benefits. It is the main route for gaming the

:37:52.:37:55.

system, so you have to say no sometimes, it is tough. This talk

:37:55.:38:00.

George Osborne went in for, of taking another �10 billion out, is

:38:00.:38:05.

it doable? If I was trying to take out another �10 billion, the place

:38:05.:38:08.

I would concentrate is on jobseeker's allowance, people

:38:08.:38:12.

capable for work. There is so much more to be done there. I would

:38:12.:38:15.

firstly look at people's needs at the start of the claim, we don't do

:38:15.:38:20.

that well enough. And people longer term on the benefit, more demanding

:38:20.:38:24.

work requirements, something more like workfare like they have in

:38:25.:38:29.

Canada and Australia and places like that. You don't do it by

:38:29.:38:33.

making the benefits system less generous, but by moving people out

:38:33.:38:37.

of benefits all together and into work. Paul Farmer, do you have a

:38:37.:38:42.

sense that this is, in a way, an easy target, for the Government?

:38:43.:38:46.

Clearly we're all massively in doubt, everyone is paying large

:38:46.:38:49.

amounts of tax, do you think this is an easy place to look for

:38:49.:38:53.

savings? I think for too long people haven't heard that voice of

:38:53.:38:57.

people with mental health problems, who are extreme low distressed

:38:57.:39:03.

about this situation. So in some aspects of the media's eyes, people

:39:03.:39:09.

on benefits are lumped together into a single package without any

:39:09.:39:12.

recognition of the nuances around this. People are too much of an

:39:12.:39:17.

easy target, we will see the consequences of this, in terms of

:39:17.:39:20.

increased hospital additions and increased cost to the NHS. Some

:39:20.:39:23.

people, who would really like to work, just feeling, yet again, as

:39:23.:39:28.

though they haven't been treated properly.

:39:28.:39:32.

Pickled shark, a diamond-encrusted skull, rotting meat and emerging

:39:32.:39:37.

butterflies, the quick-fire summary of Damien Hirst's artistic career,

:39:37.:39:41.

or his ability to induce rich people to part with millions for a

:39:41.:39:45.

gimmick is easily told. If you have ever wondered what the fuss was

:39:45.:39:50.

about, you can decide for yourself, at the Tate Modern gallery in

:39:50.:39:55.

London, he has been given a retrospective to run through the

:39:55.:39:59.

Olympics. His most outspoken recent critic who thinks it is all a con,

:39:59.:40:02.

hadn't been allowed in when I went down this morning, luckily I was,

:40:02.:40:12.
:40:12.:40:33.

I read an interview in which you described some of your work as

:40:33.:40:39.

"shit". Shit? You used the word "shit", is there any work here that

:40:39.:40:44.

is shit? I have sent a text to Jeff Koons recently, and I said "I love

:40:44.:40:47.

your shit", and I meant it in a positive way. I have a studio where

:40:47.:40:53.

I make lots of shit, you have to be able to make shit. You know, this

:40:53.:40:57.

is definitely an edited version of what I do. You can be brutal in the

:40:57.:41:02.

way you look at it, you could say everything is shit except for four

:41:02.:41:07.

pieces or ten pieces. Do you wonder what state of mind you were in when

:41:07.:41:12.

you went through different phases? It is always the, art work is

:41:12.:41:16.

refined, it is not often you make an art work in a moment. It is a

:41:16.:41:20.

culmination of a few moments. They all, everything in here seems like

:41:20.:41:26.

me. You know what the accusation against you is? There is a few,

:41:26.:41:30.

aren't there. The main one is that you are more preoccupied with money

:41:30.:41:34.

than art? I think I have thought a lot about that. I think money is

:41:34.:41:38.

important, I think that's, as an artist, you have always got to make

:41:38.:41:42.

sure that your main preoccupation is art and not money. It gets

:41:42.:41:46.

dangerously close sometimes, that is the, the most important factor

:41:46.:41:50.

is the art survives and the money doesn't. The money, you know, I

:41:50.:41:54.

know anything in the world is worth, if two people have got a lot of

:41:54.:41:57.

money and they want to buy something, it will sell for a lot

:41:57.:42:01.

of money. Money isn't real, and art is. Money comes and goes. You have

:42:01.:42:05.

to make art to survive, money being attached to it and unattached from

:42:05.:42:08.

it. You think this will survive? hope it will. You make art for

:42:08.:42:12.

people who haven't been born yet, it is not for us to decide. I can

:42:12.:42:15.

schmooze all the big directors of all the big museums in the world

:42:15.:42:19.

and get my work in there, but if the next museum director doesn't

:42:19.:42:26.

like it, it will be dusty and stay in the loft. You google you, and

:42:26.:42:33.

what comes up is "richest living artist", richest artist in history",

:42:33.:42:37.

that suggests to people that you are more preoccupied with how the

:42:37.:42:40.

market works rather than finding new ways of seeing? I think you

:42:40.:42:45.

have to say, I always said I don't care about money, I did when I was

:42:45.:42:49.

young, I didn't have any money. sure as hell care about it now?

:42:50.:42:53.

After I did my auction, I was walking down the streets, and the

:42:53.:42:56.

businessmen were saying, that's Damien Hirst, before it was only

:42:56.:43:01.

their wives to do it. It is no bad thing. When I started off, I had a

:43:01.:43:06.

guy standing in front of the fish piece saying this is art, with a

:43:06.:43:13.

bag of chips. It is hard to survive with art without money. As long as

:43:13.:43:17.

I trust art is more important than money. I still believe art is the

:43:17.:43:22.

most powerful currency in the world. That is why people pay so much for

:43:22.:43:26.

it. When I sold something for a million pound it shocked the hell

:43:26.:43:30.

out of me, I are thinking, is it worth it, value and wealth are

:43:30.:43:33.

completely different things to money. You try to make art that can

:43:33.:43:37.

survive not being seen, not being looked at, not having any attention,

:43:37.:43:41.

and art that will also survive, big money and everything. You look at

:43:41.:43:44.

your spot paintings, there is a team of people making them, there

:43:44.:43:47.

is vast numbers of them, that is about money, isn't it? No, you have

:43:47.:43:51.

to put it on the wall. I always think with the spot paintings f I

:43:51.:43:55.

left it outside a pub at the end of the night, would it still be there

:43:55.:43:59.

the next day. If some drunk guy took it home, it is a great

:43:59.:44:02.

painting. It doesn't matter how much money it sells for. The

:44:02.:44:07.

question is, you can sell shit to people, you can't sell shit to

:44:07.:44:11.

people. Somebody said to me recently that you could sell shit

:44:11.:44:16.

to people. I think, why would I, when I can sell great things. You

:44:16.:44:19.

put the spot painting on the wall, and people go, wow, I can't think

:44:19.:44:23.

what else you would like on the wall. Art is leisure, that is the

:44:23.:44:27.

difficult thing, if you haven't got any money, you won't buy art, and

:44:27.:44:31.

you won't want it, if you haven't got food. We are not living in

:44:31.:44:35.

caves. If it is not even made by you? I mean, in the whole History

:44:35.:44:42.

of Art, artist s have I know what I want, architects don't build their

:44:42.:44:48.

own houses. I mean, nobody painted their own. Builders build houses,

:44:48.:44:53.

architects design houses, are you designer, rather than a painter?

:44:53.:44:58.

feel like an architect, really. A good architect gets 100% of what

:44:58.:45:02.

they want. I'm making a new show, where I'm having things carved in

:45:03.:45:10.

marble, the guys kafrbg them, they can -- carving them, they can carve

:45:10.:45:13.

one sculpture, it takes two years, I can't take the time to learn to

:45:13.:45:17.

carve, I know what I want it to look like, and I can make it

:45:17.:45:21.

perfect, using these guys. It has never been a problem for me in art,

:45:21.:45:24.

it is amazing we are having this conversation. You know why we are

:45:24.:45:27.

having this conversation, because there are only two questions the

:45:27.:45:31.

media ever ask about art, one, is it worth it, and two, is it art, we

:45:31.:45:36.

haven't got on to the question, is it art, we will get on to that in a

:45:36.:45:40.

second, if we may, if you have time. What is your definition of art?

:45:40.:45:44.

Somebody asked me that the other day, if it is in an art gallery, it

:45:44.:45:48.

is art. I think anything done well is art. Anything? Anything done

:45:48.:45:53.

well. I'm thinking if you can take it out, it is like a mathematical

:45:53.:45:58.

sum, one plus one equals three, a great car is art, if it is done.

:45:58.:46:02.

Anything that just takes it out of the normal world and into the

:46:02.:46:09.

magical world, something magical is art. You can say art, any child

:46:09.:46:15.

does a drawing and gives it to you, that is art. A great meal can be

:46:15.:46:20.

art. That is what I think it is, I just think it is anything done,

:46:20.:46:23.

anything where the ingredients you put into it are less than the thing

:46:24.:46:27.

that comes out of the thing the other side. Doesn't it necessarily

:46:27.:46:32.

have to show you something new, or at los a new way of looking at the

:46:32.:46:36.

familiar? -- los a new way of looking at the familiar? Art does

:46:36.:46:40.

that, a tree falling down will do that, outside your house, you will

:46:40.:46:46.

go outside, and je tus Christ, what is that, and you look at it as a

:46:46.:46:51.

different way. You wouldn't say that is art? I'm disagreeing but.

:46:51.:46:55.

Art is magic, theatrical magic as well. It has to be man made? Art is

:46:55.:46:59.

made by artists, of course, I remember once when I was younger,

:46:59.:47:04.

they don't have it any more, I put occupation on my passport, I said

:47:04.:47:09.

artist, it was great, I can prove it, I'm an artist. At the same time,

:47:09.:47:15.

when I was an art student, I went to the bank manage Tory get a loan,

:47:15.:47:22.

and I he asked what I z and I said artist, and he rolled his eyes.

:47:22.:47:32.

wouldn't do that now? I get Christmas cards off him now.

:47:32.:47:39.

have taken an enormous fly spray down to show Hirst butterflies, the

:47:39.:47:48.

physical impossibility of someone Good evening, we have a Met Office

:47:48.:47:53.

amber warning out for heavy snow across parts of Scotland into the

:47:53.:47:56.

morning. Causing disruption into central and eastern areas, that is

:47:56.:48:00.

working its way southwards, allowing dry but colder conditions

:48:00.:48:05.

in Scotland. Outbreaks of rain to the south of it. Some sleet and

:48:05.:48:10.

snow, given a covering over the tops the of the Pennines, after a

:48:10.:48:13.

largely dry start to the Midlands and southern England, we see rain

:48:13.:48:20.

develop. Very much hit and miss, staying largely dry across southern

:48:20.:48:23.

counties, a welcome sight for those areas suffering with drought. We

:48:23.:48:30.

will see the wind pick up during the day. In Wales will be going in

:48:30.:48:33.

a north-westerly direction. The colder air causing a bitter wind in

:48:33.:48:36.

Northern Ireland, clearing the morning's rain, sleet and snow. The

:48:36.:48:40.

snow clearing largely from southern parts of Scotland, further wintry

:48:40.:48:45.

showers to the north-east. Sunshine to the west, but the sunshine will

:48:45.:48:48.

not have much impact on the temperature, the wind will make it

:48:48.:48:51.

cold. Northern areas staying largely dry, temperatures

:48:51.:48:54.

struggling, given the strength of the wind after a frosty start. It

:48:54.:48:59.

is southern areas across England and Wales where we see more rain.

:48:59.:49:02.

As temperatures drop we will see sleet and snow, particularly over

:49:02.:49:05.

the higher ground, initial low, a covering of snow on the grass

:49:05.:49:10.

What does Aung San Suu Kyi's by-election win portend for Burma?

Sue Lloyd Roberts reports from Burma on the landslide victory for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, and Jeremy Paxman talks to the world's richest artist, Damien Hirst, about art, magic and money.


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