03/04/2012 Newsnight


03/04/2012

George Galloway shares the secret of success with Jeremy Paxman, along with Tim Bell and Will Self. And the atrocities inside Burma's hidden ethnic war.


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This man created the biggest upset in electoral politics for years.

:00:09.:00:12.

What does George Galloway's bulldozing of the Labour Party tell

:00:12.:00:17.

us about what's gone wrong with British politics. Why are we so

:00:17.:00:20.

disillusioned with mainstream parties? And the way that power is

:00:20.:00:25.

exercised here? And the spin doctor, Tim Bell is

:00:25.:00:28.

with us, has his profession done the most to poison relations

:00:28.:00:34.

between politics and the public. And then we travel to northern

:00:34.:00:38.

Burma, where foren observers are banned, as war rages between ethnic

:00:38.:00:42.

rebels, and Government soldiers. TRANSLATION: Everyone was running,

:00:42.:00:47.

but my mother didn't, and they shot her, I went back and found her body.

:00:47.:00:53.

They had thrown it in a deep hole that had been dug as as pit, and

:00:53.:01:01.

then I buried her. People are understandably sceptical

:01:01.:01:05.

about politics, said the Labour leader, Ed Milliband today, one of

:01:05.:01:10.

those remarks that you some how indicitively know will never make

:01:10.:01:14.

it to the Oxford Dictionary book of quotations. Trying not to look like

:01:14.:01:20.

a man who had been hit on the head by a large halibut, he said his

:01:20.:01:23.

party would recover because it could make a difference. George

:01:23.:01:27.

Galloway demolished the hold on what was a safe seat in Bradford.

:01:27.:01:33.

But all the parties sense a growing public disillusion. Perhaps they

:01:33.:01:41.

noticed it today, the eighth day of their Easter holiday

:01:41.:01:44.

There was a certain predictability in British politics, don't like the

:01:44.:01:49.

colour of the Government, wait a bit, it will change, as surely as a

:01:49.:01:53.

traffic light. What's more, every now and then there is a Lib Dem

:01:53.:01:58.

protest vote at a by-election to look forward to. But, as the old

:01:58.:02:02.

three-party machine, has it broken down, putting in play lots and lots

:02:02.:02:05.

of minor parties? Last week's victory by George

:02:06.:02:09.

Galloway, in the Bradford West by- election, was hailed as nothing

:02:09.:02:16.

short of a revolution. Most notably, of course, by the man

:02:16.:02:22.

himself. The most sensational result in British by-election

:02:22.:02:27.

history, bar none, represents the Bradford spring.

:02:27.:02:31.

Recent pol polling makes grim reading for the established parties.

:02:31.:02:37.

17% of voters said they would vote for another party. That is the

:02:37.:02:41.

highest since 2009 and the European elections.

:02:41.:02:46.

68% of voters think British politics is either "very" or

:02:46.:02:51.

"fairly" corrupt. And when it comes to the performance of the party

:02:51.:02:58.

leaders, David Cameron is assessed as "doing badly", by 53% of voters.

:02:58.:03:03.

For Ed Milliband it is worse, 62%, and Nick Clegg, worse still, 69%.

:03:03.:03:10.

And the public, it seems, don't trust the parties over their donors.

:03:10.:03:15.

7% don't trust David Cameron over his donors, 64% don't trust Ed

:03:15.:03:20.

Milliband over his party's donors. We have had the expenses row, that

:03:20.:03:25.

has certain low put a lot of voters off politicians. Then -- certainly

:03:25.:03:29.

put a lot of voters off politicians. Then the complaint in the 1990s and

:03:29.:03:35.

the Nolan commit year, and the aspect of transparency, and

:03:35.:03:38.

transparency, rather than increasing trust in politician, has

:03:38.:03:41.

led to a whole bunch of stories about politicians doing wrong.

:03:41.:03:44.

There is a real public cynicism about politicians.

:03:44.:03:49.

But, hang on a minute, Bradford West was actually the seventh by-

:03:49.:03:53.

election of this parliament. In all six previous by-elections, the

:03:53.:03:56.

party that went into the by- election having the seat, came out

:03:56.:04:02.

of the by-election having the seat. Five of those times, the Labour

:04:02.:04:09.

Party. At Feltham and Heston, there was an increase in the margin of

:04:10.:04:13.

the victory over the predecessor, although on a reduced turnout. That

:04:13.:04:17.

doesn't, on the surface of it, sound like the death of the three-

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party system. I do think there is something very strong about parties

:04:21.:04:24.

that really are rooted where they are. They are not just structure,

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they are not just national entities, but they are part of the community.

:04:29.:04:33.

If you have parties that maybe haven't managed to keep those links

:04:33.:04:36.

really strong, then it is very easy for them to be displaced, no matter

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whether or not they have got the right policy solutions for an area.

:04:40.:04:43.

Is part of the problem here that one of the tendencies in modern

:04:43.:04:48.

politics is the national parties control more and more from the

:04:48.:04:53.

centre, in a sense, leaving less space for local parties to feel

:04:53.:04:57.

ownership? We see people going back to wanting to be connected to

:04:57.:05:02.

something local, and be local, and have the parties responded to that

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message and bridging a national message with a local message and a

:05:05.:05:09.

skens of being local too I don't know if -- a sense of being local

:05:09.:05:13.

too I don't know if we have done that to a point of reconnecting

:05:13.:05:17.

people with politics. In the past, if voters were angry with the

:05:17.:05:20.

Government, yet not quite ready to trust the opposition again, they

:05:20.:05:24.

tended to vote for the Liberal Democrats, or their predecessor

:05:24.:05:29.

parties. They were the natural home for disillusioned voters. Now, of

:05:29.:05:31.

course, well, they are in Government.

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And just look what's happened to their share of the vote as a result.

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From just under a quarter, to bumping along between 8-10%.

:05:41.:05:47.

We have also seen voters learning to vote differently in different

:05:47.:05:52.

elections. UKIP doing very well in the European Parliamentry elections,

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the SNP going from a minor party to the majority party of Government,

:05:56.:06:00.

in the Scottish Parliamentry elections. All of that loosens the

:06:01.:06:05.

habit of voting for a particular party all the time. But, is another

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explanation that people are finding new ways of doing politics that

:06:10.:06:13.

don't involve the political parties. For example, the campaigning

:06:13.:06:19.

organisation, 38 Degrees, is, well, let them explain. What we are

:06:19.:06:24.

really about is people power, it is about over a million ordinary

:06:24.:06:27.

citizens of the United Kingdom, coming together to decide on the

:06:27.:06:31.

campaigns they want to run together, and then working together to make

:06:31.:06:35.

change happen. We don't run for election, we don't cosy up to any

:06:35.:06:39.

of the political parties, we are very much about staying independent,

:06:39.:06:43.

listening to ordinary people, and using our pooled resources, as lots

:06:43.:06:46.

of ordinary people all coming together, to influence politicians

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of all stripes and persuasions. Since the Second World War, there

:06:50.:06:54.

has been a decline in tribunal politics, to be replaced -- tribal

:06:54.:06:59.

politics, to be replaced by consumer politics. Every now and

:06:59.:07:02.

again the consumers stop shopping in the big brand name stores, and

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go boutiques instead. George Galloway MP is here,

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congratulations. Thank you. Are you going to be any more conscientious

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representing the people of Bradford, than the people of Bethnal Green?

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Don't start by insulting me, don't let's get off on a bad start.

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true, you only attended 8% of votes during your time there. As I have

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explained to you and others many times before, in the Commons you

:07:27.:07:33.

can only vote for the Government's motion, or the leader of the

:07:33.:07:36.

opposition's amendment, and I seldom wished to vote for either in

:07:36.:07:41.

that five years. My attendance in parliament was daily. My attendance

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in votes depended on what the issue under discussion was. Do you know

:07:46.:07:50.

what Jeremy, I won, you have to get used today that, I won a great

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victory. I have already congratulated you? Not sincerely,

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evidently. Quite sincerely, I have said it was one of the most epic

:07:59.:08:03.

victories in recent electoral business? Evidently the people of

:08:04.:08:09.

Bradford West think so, they voted for me in an overwhelming number.

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I'm quite struck by the phrase you used there, the "Bradford Spring",

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it is an odd choice of word by a man who described President Assad

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as the last stand in Syria. Please don't judge me. I think it is an

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odd form of words? Evidently the people of Bradford West, who matter

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to me far more than you do, are the judge of what I say and what I do.

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And they judged in a democratic election, 18,000 of them, to put

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their X next to my name. They evidently were not put off by your

:08:45.:08:48.

misrepresentations about my views about Syria. I have seen the e-mail,

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you did describe Assad's Syria as the last castle of Arab dignity?

:08:54.:09:00.

did in 2005. 2010, in fact. wasn't. The 14th of August, 2010.

:09:00.:09:06.

My speech in Syria was in 2005. are talking about an e-mail, not

:09:06.:09:10.

your speech when you talked about what a good chap Assad was. That

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was at the time he was sleeping in Buckingham Palace, in the Queen's

:09:15.:09:19.

stair bedroom. He wasn't sleeping in Buckingham Palace in August

:09:19.:09:24.

2010? The Syrian people are the last castle of Arab dignity, they

:09:24.:09:29.

are the last stand to Israeli occupation, and imperialist

:09:29.:09:33.

intrigue in the area. I don't think that was an issue in the Bradford

:09:33.:09:37.

West by-election, or great importance to the people watching.

:09:37.:09:43.

Why did you call it the Bradford Spring? A big uprising of people,

:09:43.:09:48.

democratic uprising, unin theed by you, you didn't send -- unnoticed

:09:48.:09:52.

by you, you didn't send anybody there, the London media didn't send

:09:52.:09:56.

anybody there, and yet it happened, has to be characterised as

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something new in British politics. They were not voting on my views

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about Syria, neither on my views about how to vote in the House of

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Commons divisions, which are largely meaningless to most of them.

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Which is what this discussion should really be about. We will get

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on to, that I want to get one other point with you, why did you say

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"God knows who is a Muslim, and he knows who is not, I George Galloway

:10:19.:10:24.

don't drink alcohol, and I have fought for Muslims at home and

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abroad all my life". Why did you find it necessary? Because the

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Labour candidate was going around campaigning on the twin basis that

:10:31.:10:38.

he was a Pakistani and a Muslim. So I believed that playing, shameless

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playing of ethnicity as an electoral card was something that

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needed to be answered. And orderly, of course, if it weren't me that

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were being accused of t you would be the sternest critic. I have

:10:50.:10:54.

never had anyone ask for my vote by telling me how much I drink, I was

:10:54.:11:02.

curious? I don't drink, and he does. Let's talk a little bit about what

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this victory for George Galloway, it is a sensational result. Let's

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talk about what it represents, Ed Milliband was talking today about

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how your party needs to listen, why didn't he realise that before?

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has always spoken about that. It was a sensational result, to be

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honest, Jeremy, you do a disservice to the people of Bradford West, by

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focusing on George, does he drink, what he said about this. I'm just

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interested in what he chose to say? In a democracy, you have to listen

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when people vote in those numbers. And clearly the people of Bradford

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West, they were trying to get a message through to the political

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establishment. I think the underlying message, it is not just

:11:43.:11:47.

issues about Afghanistan, although whether you live in Bradford Orton

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bridge wells, you wonder what on earth we are -- Bradford or

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Tunbridge Wells, you wonder what on earth we are doing in Afghanistan.

:11:56.:11:59.

It is a mistake to write off Bradford West, we need to listen to

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the message. What is going on, do you think, in people's attitudes to

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the mainstream parties? They are fall ago I way from them, we have

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consistently lower attendances, the attempts of both the Tories and

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Labour to launch themselves, in some sense, as mass membership

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parties, has largely been a failure. I think the kind of tit for tat

:12:20.:12:23.

business of politics, the liberals came into the last election, on the

:12:23.:12:28.

face of it, with an honest desire to try to change that, and to try

:12:28.:12:35.

introduce a more. They fooled us all. Yes, it fooled me, and in a

:12:35.:12:39.

sense I didn't think they would be so feeble when it got to the

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negotiating procedure. I thought it was a party that understood how

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proportional Government worked, they might have been prepared to

:12:46.:12:53.

sit down longer. It is over for the Lib Dems, every time there is a

:12:53.:12:55.

sensational by-election, going back to Orpington, people say this is

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the end of politic, as we know, funnily enough, the two parties are

:13:00.:13:03.

still reinstating themselves. you notice it in the Conservative

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Party as well? I think so, this has been a wake-up call for all the

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political parties T may well be that a future by-election, even in

:13:11.:13:14.

this parliament, that the Conservatives may have big problems.

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Part of the issue was the way we do politics, everything is focused on

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the marginal seats. What happened in Bradford, and what was

:13:21.:13:24.

interesting, I don't think Labour had any idea about any data about

:13:24.:13:27.

where the voting preferences where, come the close of polls, they have

:13:27.:13:32.

thought we have won again like the last 40 years, that was why it was

:13:32.:13:35.

such a shock. Did Tory polling predict George Galloway would win?

:13:35.:13:42.

No it didn't. You were all caught out? I'm not making an anti-Labour

:13:42.:13:46.

point, the whole focus of politics is on the 80-100 marginal seats,

:13:46.:13:50.

where everything matters, and all the resource goes in. The small

:13:50.:13:54.

armies of members that all the parties have are working. What is

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your solution? There are not easy solutions to it, the reality is,

:13:57.:14:00.

this is one of the difficulties, there was great excitement when the

:14:00.:14:05.

coalition came in two weeks ago, about fresh politics. No there

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wasn't. From some people there was. I detected none of that, I must say.

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Any policies. You need to get out more. Part of the problem now is

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essentially we have got diminished living standards in this country

:14:22.:14:25.

for the next decade, it is going to be incredibly difficult. No

:14:25.:14:28.

Government of whatever stripe is going to be popular, and no

:14:28.:14:32.

opposition is going to be trusted, not least because we may well be in

:14:32.:14:36.

a situation like the 1960s and 1970s, where we are chopping and

:14:36.:14:41.

changing at each election going forward. It may be. Isn't the point

:14:41.:14:44.

about Bradford, George was campaigning, when you were

:14:44.:14:49.

campaigning you were saying there is this system among certain Urdu

:14:49.:14:53.

people in the Labour Party, in Bradford, there is a system

:14:53.:14:58.

essentially of patronage, it is good old style politic, there is

:14:58.:15:04.

that kind of system operating at a national level as well. The

:15:04.:15:11.

political class offers cynakures. George Galloway? It is a parallel

:15:11.:15:16.

universe, Mark is a gentleman and expensively educated one. Free, I

:15:16.:15:21.

was a grammar schoolboy, you would be pleased to know. He might be

:15:21.:15:25.

from Mars to the streets of Manningham, there, youth

:15:25.:15:30.

unemployment has risen 40% in 12 weeks and tripled in a year. The

:15:30.:15:33.

mass of people are in poverty in British terms, not relative to

:15:33.:15:38.

other countries in the world, but in British terms, mass poverty. And

:15:38.:15:42.

these politicians, not Diane, but the political leaders, speak in a

:15:42.:15:45.

different language to them, and about different things to them.

:15:45.:15:50.

is a rather beautiful inverted world, isn't it, Bradford, George,

:15:50.:15:54.

you have an enormous hole in the middle of your city, where there is

:15:54.:15:59.

a westfield was meant to be, unlike the westfield on Stratford Marshes.

:15:59.:16:04.

These are parts of the country that never recovered from the

:16:04.:16:07.

deindustrialisation of the Thatcher years, and now the coalition is

:16:07.:16:10.

slashing public sector spending, no wonder there is no hope.

:16:10.:16:13.

interesting thing about George Galloway, even his critics will

:16:13.:16:16.

acknowledge, that George Galloway gave people, who voted for him,

:16:16.:16:25.

something to hope for. Let's hope? I think rather misguidedly.

:16:25.:16:29.

George's problem and Respect's problem, they are in a coalition

:16:29.:16:32.

with rather unlikely fellow travellers, who don't necessarily

:16:32.:16:35.

want to travel with George. sounds like the Lib Dems and the

:16:35.:16:40.

Tories. Namely the SWP, all of these groups, to some extent,

:16:40.:16:44.

demand representation, and represent a part of the vote, we

:16:44.:16:48.

don't have an electoral system capable of reflecting that level of

:16:48.:16:52.

diversity. All due respect, no pun intended to George, what he had in

:16:52.:17:00.

Bradford was a Cinergy between the conditions he -- synerg y between

:17:00.:17:05.

conditions in Bradford, and the two issues that matter, British foreign

:17:05.:17:12.

policy, and disafegs with the local Labour Party. It is not just

:17:12.:17:22.
:17:22.:17:24.

Muslims who were very disillusioned by the Iraq war. Professor Self

:17:24.:17:32.

will want to hear this. The Bradford West is asset nick as it

:17:32.:17:41.

can be, I won 8 -- as ethnically as it can be, I won 85% of the votes,

:17:41.:17:43.

because your parties absolutely betrayed the university community,

:17:43.:17:49.

who from this September will be paying �9,000 in tuition fees, that

:17:49.:17:51.

was not a Muslim issue, that was a young people issues. How are you

:17:51.:17:56.

going to reverse that. I'm not going to reverse it, but I will

:17:56.:18:01.

speak out for them. As has happened already, I am heard when I speak.

:18:01.:18:05.

People are paying attention to what I'm saying, because of this result.

:18:06.:18:09.

But essentially you will be sideswipeing actual parliamentary

:18:09.:18:19.

parties, you are a lone MP in this. That question George Galloway

:18:19.:18:22.

raises, how the Liberal Democrats behaved on a very public pledge, in

:18:22.:18:26.

the first sniff of power for decades, they immediately renege

:18:26.:18:32.

upon, that has destroyed a tremendous amount of trust? It is a

:18:32.:18:39.

political supooku. You backed them? I voted for them, I wouldn't say I

:18:39.:18:44.

backed them. Gullible Professor Self. Who else would I vote for!

:18:44.:18:49.

They are heading for the knackers yard. It is over. I wonder if this

:18:49.:18:52.

sort of behaviour is the consequence of coalition, what

:18:52.:18:55.

happens when you have coalition Governments? There is an element of

:18:55.:19:01.

it, we are not used to them. After an election a coalition agreement

:19:01.:19:02.

is reached, a tablet of stone, rather than manifestos put to the

:19:03.:19:09.

public at large. That is a problem and will cause a sense of

:19:09.:19:11.

disillusionment. There is no legitimate mandate for quite a lot

:19:11.:19:16.

of what is going on. A lot of that is driven by the economic situation,

:19:16.:19:21.

by which, again, none of the political parties, Labour,

:19:22.:19:27.

Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, levelled with the public about how

:19:27.:19:31.

it was. There was all this �6 million being the difference

:19:31.:19:35.

between Armageddon. There were some of us who said at the time it was

:19:35.:19:39.

not the way we go about it. disillusion, perhaps not

:19:39.:19:45.

disillusion, but the fact that the voter has become more promiscuous,

:19:45.:19:49.

more volatile, more changable, it is something that has been going on

:19:49.:19:56.

for 40-50 years. Why is that? Coming up in the next election,

:19:56.:20:01.

with the diminish of vote for the two main parties. Will probably go

:20:01.:20:07.

up to the next election because of the collapse of the Liberal

:20:07.:20:10.

Democrat vote. But I don't disagree with what you are saying. The clip

:20:10.:20:15.

earlier on was very interesting, actually what you have is a lot of

:20:15.:20:19.

small, single-issue protest groups, who basically are very targeted,

:20:19.:20:23.

and they deliver. The feeling is the political class make as lot of

:20:23.:20:27.

promises every time, and partly because of global factors, and the

:20:27.:20:30.

power of international business is not able to deliver. You can take

:20:30.:20:36.

your concerns elsewhere, to a charity, you can tweet, join a

:20:36.:20:40.

pressure group? Talking about 38 Degrees, if they have a million

:20:40.:20:43.

members, that is hundreds of thousands more than any of the

:20:43.:20:48.

political parties have, the Stop The War coalition moved millions in

:20:48.:20:53.

the run up to the Iraq war. People are in CND and all sorts of things,

:20:53.:20:57.

they no longer trust parties. not one or the other, sing-issue

:20:57.:21:00.

pressure groups or political parties, they work together. None

:21:00.:21:04.

of this feeds into legislation, you can be as mean as you like about

:21:04.:21:09.

the Lib Dems, and the reality of it is, if you are a Lib Dem party

:21:09.:21:13.

member, in theory you have a say in what goes into the manifesto, that

:21:13.:21:18.

is why the Lib Dem betrayal looks so bad F you are a member of the

:21:18.:21:23.

Tory Party, you wake up to find you are introducing legislation about

:21:23.:21:26.

the reorganisation of the National Health Service, which you had no

:21:26.:21:30.

part in and you didn't vote for. They also cut the top rate of tax,

:21:30.:21:35.

and they are happy about that. disconnect of being part of the

:21:35.:21:39.

Tory Party and the Government. are a less democratic party in that

:21:39.:21:43.

sense, in the sense we have always taken the view to get on, and we

:21:43.:21:47.

want to get on into Government and the team get on and do it. Unless

:21:47.:21:57.

you want everyone to disappear in thisg loop of civic mindedness and

:21:57.:22:01.

internet voting, people want to feel they have a stake in

:22:01.:22:07.

legislation. Tory voters haven't been delivered to, of course they

:22:07.:22:12.

delivered for key story voters, cutting the price of tax and

:22:12.:22:16.

pasties. This is a Tory Government, Tory-led Government. Kept in power

:22:16.:22:20.

by the Liberal Democrats. There is a long-term issue whether we have

:22:21.:22:24.

distinction between executive on the one signed and legislatures,

:22:24.:22:28.

the Members of Parliament are legislatures to vote on, not being

:22:28.:22:33.

whipped through as quickly as there is. Let's let George Galloway have

:22:33.:22:39.

the last word? Will is on to the point, there is a pardigm shift,

:22:39.:22:44.

the system has failed, the Tweedledy and Tweedle dumb, if a

:22:44.:22:48.

back side could have three cheeks, they are sitting in the House of

:22:48.:22:56.

Commons, and shake opposition, they all stand for the same things, neo-

:22:56.:23:02.

liberal economics, expenditure, and war abroad, that has to be smashed

:23:02.:23:04.

into. It always used to be said that

:23:04.:23:07.

whatever you thought of individual politician, by and large British

:23:07.:23:12.

politics as a whole were pretty clean, and by comparison with

:23:12.:23:16.

somewhere like Italy and Nigeria they are, but they are tarnished,

:23:16.:23:20.

"cash for questions", cash for honours, cash for dinner with the

:23:20.:23:23.

Prime Minister. At the heart of many scandals are the lobbyist,

:23:23.:23:26.

retained by companies to promote their interests in parliament. A

:23:26.:23:30.

bad smell, or essential element in a modern democracy, as they call

:23:30.:23:33.

themselves. We will talk about that with Lord Bell shortly. First we

:23:33.:23:40.

report. Accusations of cosy dinners, party

:23:40.:23:44.

cash and a voice at the top table. Peter Cruddas resigned as

:23:44.:23:50.

Conservative treasurer ten days ago now, after the Sunday Times caught

:23:50.:23:54.

him apparently peddling Premier League access to senior politicians.

:23:54.:24:00.

Marked a dams is the lobbyist who tipped off the paper, the claim in

:24:00.:24:04.

this case was influenced for party donations. Few things shock me in

:24:04.:24:08.

politics these days. It is not the way I believe politics or lobbying

:24:08.:24:11.

should be done. I was certainly surprised by it, and thought it

:24:11.:24:15.

merited further investigation. When the Tory treasurer quit, it

:24:15.:24:21.

was the latest in a long line of lobbying scandals, involving party

:24:21.:24:23.

big wigs, the public seems to believe that politicians are

:24:23.:24:27.

willing to do favours in return to cash. Whether that is into the

:24:27.:24:32.

party's coffers, or straight into their own bank accounts.

:24:32.:24:38.

And, is politicians are both sides -- it is politicians from both

:24:38.:24:43.

sides of the cabinet that have been caught out. Three Labour members

:24:43.:24:47.

were suspended in 2010 for a scandal, Stephen Byers was filmed

:24:47.:24:52.

as saying he could be a cab for hire. Before coming to power, David

:24:52.:24:57.

Cameron promised to shine a light on the business and the scandal.

:24:57.:25:02.

is the next big thing waiting to happen. It is an issue that exposes

:25:02.:25:08.

the far too cosy relationship between politics, business and

:25:08.:25:11.

money. That was before Defence Secretary Liam Fox was forced to

:25:11.:25:15.

step down, not over cash, but because of his cosy relationship

:25:15.:25:25.

with lobbyist Adam Werrity. The wider question hanging over all

:25:25.:25:31.

this, is just how much power big- name lobbyists really have, and how

:25:31.:25:36.

much is just sales bluster. Calls for stronger regulation intensified

:25:36.:25:40.

last year, when undercover reporters taped executives from a

:25:41.:25:50.
:25:51.:25:59.

public affairs company, boasting of What concerned me is the way they

:25:59.:26:03.

were decribing that they could have a quiet word with people inside

:26:03.:26:06.

Number Ten, and inside Government, who would sort the problem out.

:26:06.:26:10.

That again is not the way that lobbying, in my view, should be

:26:10.:26:15.

done. Newsnight understands the body that

:26:15.:26:18.

represents the PR industry, will tomorrow clear the company of

:26:18.:26:23.

breaking its own voluntary Code of Conduct. Even so, calls for Britain

:26:23.:26:26.

to put in place statutory regulation are now getting louder.

:26:26.:26:30.

I think we have seen that it is the next big scandal, that keeps on

:26:30.:26:36.

coming out of Government. We see it with the donor scandal, we saw it

:26:36.:26:43.

with the claims that Bell Potting er made, the MPs saying they are

:26:43.:26:48.

like cabs for hire, and Lords that will accept cash. The solution to

:26:48.:26:53.

it is to open up lobbying, to public scrutiny, to allow people to

:26:53.:26:57.

see what influence people are having over what policies, and

:26:57.:27:00.

crucially how much money they are spending in the process. While

:27:00.:27:03.

there is still the suspicion and not knowing who is influencing who,

:27:03.:27:07.

then we will continue to get scandals. The Government is now

:27:07.:27:13.

planning to make some lobbyist reveal exactly who they represent.

:27:13.:27:16.

Critics, though, claim the new rules lack any teeth, and won't

:27:16.:27:23.

stop the scandals. Here to discuss this is Lord Bell, chairman of

:27:23.:27:31.

Chime Communications, and the parent company of Bell Potting er.

:27:31.:27:34.

When you talk on President Assad's wife and others, do you think here

:27:34.:27:39.

is a misunderstood person, or here is money? I never worked for

:27:39.:27:47.

General Pinochet. I worked for the Pinochet Foundation, which is not

:27:47.:27:52.

the General. In terms of Mrs Assad, we were asked to set up a

:27:52.:27:57.

communications office. In terms of the Pinochet Foundation, we were

:27:57.:28:02.

asked to stop him being wrongly extradited to Madrid. And your

:28:02.:28:06.

motivation is? I work for clients. Business? Yes. Is there anyone you

:28:06.:28:13.

wouldn't accept? I wouldn't work for anybody I couldn't do a good

:28:13.:28:18.

job for, and anybody that wouldn't be prepared to do what is necessary.

:28:18.:28:22.

You wouldn't object on moral grounds? I'm not a priest, I have

:28:22.:28:25.

my own personal morality, which is mean, I know the difference between

:28:25.:28:30.

right and wrong. What is your job when you are representing them?

:28:30.:28:34.

are effectively messengers. We devise strategy, and the

:28:34.:28:37.

methodology, and the way things work, we talk about the opportunity

:28:37.:28:41.

people have to change things, if they don't like the way they are

:28:41.:28:44.

going. We advise them on who they should talk to. We very rarely talk

:28:44.:28:48.

to ministers themselves, we nearly always ask the clients to do it.

:28:48.:28:54.

You saw on the piece of tape, one of your colleagues both boasting

:28:54.:29:02.

about having a conversation at 2.30? You haven't seen all the tape,

:29:02.:29:05.

it is 3.5 minutes, out of an hour- and-a-half's tape, if you think

:29:05.:29:10.

that is a fair representation you are deluded. The reality is, what

:29:10.:29:14.

he said was, he was asked if he could get a message to Downing

:29:14.:29:18.

Street, by 2.30 in the afternoon, because James Dyson was going with

:29:18.:29:21.

the Prime Minister to China, and they wanted to bring up the issue

:29:21.:29:25.

of copyright, he said he was able to deliver that message within an

:29:25.:29:31.

hour. He boasted he delivered it, and that the Prime Minister then

:29:31.:29:34.

raised it with the Chinese Prime Minister? It rather shraoints the

:29:34.:29:40.

way you discuss the thing, both -- slants, the way you discuss the

:29:40.:29:45.

things. Boasting and discussing it is not the same thing. How come you

:29:45.:29:49.

don't say to me, why did the business of investigative

:29:49.:29:53.

journalism pretend they were a group, give us credentials and

:29:53.:29:58.

create a website. Probably the only way to get inside your

:29:58.:30:04.

organisation? Last week a member of the BIJ asked me a series of

:30:04.:30:08.

questions about lobbying, I answered him, he didn't like what

:30:08.:30:13.

he said and asked me could he exaggerate him, I have a copy of

:30:13.:30:18.

the interview. You can talk to me about that, or this, which is

:30:18.:30:27.

rubbish, and in the mid-of a PCC complaint, and upheld by the PRCA.

:30:27.:30:34.

The public relations association. You can dismiss it, and belittle

:30:34.:30:38.

anything you want to. But if you want to have a fair argument, don't

:30:38.:30:42.

discuss what people on there, like Marked a dams, who had nothing to

:30:42.:30:46.

do with us whatsoever. He makes a complaint. Why not a register of

:30:46.:30:51.

lobbyist, so we know who you are and who you represent? By all means.

:30:51.:30:55.

They exist all over the country, we work in Washington, we sign up to

:30:55.:30:59.

it and declare all the relations. Can we know all your clients?

:30:59.:31:03.

can know all of them, except the British and American Government,

:31:03.:31:06.

with whom we have had contracts, over which there is a requirement

:31:06.:31:11.

of confidentiality. A mandatory register would ensure transparency,

:31:11.:31:16.

wouldn't it? Not of what you want. It would tell you who works with

:31:16.:31:19.

what chiend client t would never be up-to-date. It would be impossible

:31:19.:31:23.

to manage. It has been tried before. It doesn't work in America. You

:31:23.:31:27.

should know this, the BIJ claimed what they were doing to us was

:31:27.:31:31.

based on an investigation done in America, where they have had a

:31:31.:31:34.

statutory register of lobbyists for 45 years, that investigation was

:31:34.:31:37.

done five years ago. Where on earth is the logic of that. When David

:31:37.:31:43.

Cameron says, as you heard him say, a bit of his speech there, a PR man

:31:43.:31:47.

himself, indeed. They don't know who is meeting whom, and they don't

:31:47.:31:52.

know if any favours are being exchanged o which outside

:31:52.:31:55.

influences are wielding an unhealthy interest? You should ask

:31:55.:32:01.

him. He's a former PR man? That is not a lobbyist. You don't have the

:32:01.:32:06.

faintest idea what a lobbyist is or not, nor does the consultation

:32:06.:32:10.

paper. Was it a sensible thing for him to say? I don't think it was a

:32:10.:32:14.

senseable thing for him to say, I'm sure he regrets it. So it wasn't?

:32:15.:32:18.

No, because he given a hook for everyone who wants a statutory

:32:18.:32:23.

register of lobbyist, that is what everyone wants, it is what Marked a

:32:23.:32:27.

dams is fighting against, and what the Independent numbers wants. They

:32:27.:32:31.

are lobbying for a statutory register of lobbyists and they are

:32:31.:32:36.

paid for it. Aren't they entitled to know who is getting the ears of

:32:36.:32:38.

ministers in a Government they elect? Absolutely. You wouldn't

:32:38.:32:42.

have a problem? We have no secrecy about our client list, it is

:32:42.:32:45.

published on the website. It is available to everybody. We have

:32:45.:32:49.

never, ever said we won't publish our clients, nor have we ever been

:32:49.:32:53.

untransparent, if there is such a word, about the things we. Do we

:32:53.:32:57.

ask questions about lunches we hold with politicians, dinners we hold

:32:57.:33:00.

with politicians wrecks openly declare them, the politicians

:33:00.:33:02.

declare them, we tell people what they are about, and tell people

:33:02.:33:06.

what the rules are. We even have sessions with politicians and

:33:06.:33:09.

journalists present. We sit there and let the journalists write about

:33:09.:33:14.

it. All this rubbish about the lack of transparency is just that,

:33:14.:33:18.

rubbish and claptrap, put up by people who want to prove that

:33:18.:33:21.

something unpleasant is going on, or you so charmingly put, that we

:33:22.:33:27.

smell. Actually I don't smell! I said, some people say rb there is

:33:27.:33:33.

a bad smell. OK, yes. We don't see you very often. No you

:33:33.:33:38.

doint. But I love seeing you. beginning to see why.

:33:38.:33:43.

I'm beginning to rather regret inviting you. Don't be like that.

:33:43.:33:46.

I'm serious, when you lock at the state of the Conservative Party now,

:33:46.:33:50.

from your long experience, what do you think, what advice would you

:33:50.:33:53.

give them if you were doing your old job? I think the problem was

:33:53.:33:58.

summed up in that discussion you had with George Galloway et al, it

:33:58.:34:02.

is the problem of the coalition Government, there is not a majority

:34:02.:34:05.

Government in place, the majority of people are not satisfied. You

:34:05.:34:09.

have lot of people voting Liberal Democrats who don't like what is

:34:09.:34:11.

going on, and people who voted Conservatives don't like what is

:34:11.:34:14.

going on, a lot of people who voted Labour didn't like Labour and what

:34:14.:34:18.

they Z you have lot of dissatisfied people, plus you have a terrible

:34:18.:34:22.

period of austerity, where people are having a bad time, everybody,

:34:22.:34:25.

were the top to the bottom is having a bad time, compared to five

:34:25.:34:33.

years ago. The fact that where they were on five years ago was based on

:34:33.:34:36.

borrowed money they have forgotten, as we all. Do it is a troublesome

:34:36.:34:40.

world, you have a hell of a lot of strange things going on, the risk

:34:40.:34:44.

of nuclear war in Iran, problems all over the world, protest

:34:44.:34:47.

movements everywhere. Which the Internet causes and creates, there

:34:47.:34:50.

is a great big gutter of protest in the Internet. People can publish

:34:50.:34:56.

all sorts of claptrap on it, and frequently do, about you and me,

:34:56.:35:00.

your Wikipedia entry isn't so great either, any more than mine is. This

:35:00.:35:05.

goes on, it is a phenomenon, and we have to cope with it, it makes

:35:05.:35:08.

communications very difficult to deal with. As far as the party is

:35:08.:35:11.

concerned, they should have a proper chairman, like in the good

:35:11.:35:14.

old days, somebody who is active. They should try to separate the

:35:14.:35:18.

positions of the Conservative Party as a political entity from the

:35:18.:35:20.

Government, which is not a Conservative Government, it is a

:35:20.:35:23.

coalition Government. If they could achieve that separation, and

:35:23.:35:25.

actually bring some people into communication work in the

:35:25.:35:28.

Government who know what they are doing, then we might actually end

:35:28.:35:31.

up with a different situation. Thank you very much.

:35:31.:35:35.

Tomorrow night here in the studio, the Mayor of London mud wrestles

:35:35.:35:40.

with people trying to take his job from him. Aung San Suu Kyi's

:35:40.:35:44.

victory in the Burmese by-election set off more celebrations, more

:35:44.:35:49.

predictions of a prop transition to democracy. But in the state of

:35:49.:35:53.

Kachin, the elections didn't happen, cancelled because of fears about

:35:53.:35:58.

security, and the war between Kachin rebels and the Government

:35:58.:36:04.

forces. Neither aid agencies or journalists are allowed into Kachin,

:36:04.:36:13.

but our Sue Lloyd Roberts managed to get there for Newsnight.

:36:13.:36:18.

"We can defeat the enemy" sing the new recruits to the army, at their

:36:18.:36:22.

training ground on the slim area of land they still control.

:36:22.:36:25.

While freedom and democracy are being celebrated elsewhere in the

:36:25.:36:30.

country, their's is one of several ethnic armies, who have been

:36:30.:36:36.

fighting the Burmese army, off and on, for the last half century.

:36:36.:36:40.

For the Kachin, the fighting is very much on going. Training has

:36:40.:36:44.

been cut from three to two months, to get these men and women to the

:36:44.:36:53.

front, with real guns, in a hurry. TRANSLATION: Burmese army soldiers

:36:53.:36:57.

came into our village, they werefying their guns, shooting at

:36:57.:37:03.

the old people who couldn't -- were firing their guns, shooting the old

:37:03.:37:07.

people who couldn't win, they raped our women and set fire to our homes.

:37:07.:37:12.

I'm old, I'm 42, but that's why I signed up.

:37:12.:37:15.

The landscape is now littered with burned out villages, from where

:37:15.:37:24.

people fled their homes, with their lives, and little else.

:37:24.:37:28.

TRANSLATION: We don't have enough food. We left with nothing. And so

:37:28.:37:32.

my husband crept back to the village to get some rice. When he

:37:32.:37:37.

didn't return, I went back, and found his body.

:37:37.:37:45.

They had shot him in the chest, and stabbed him in the face. When they

:37:45.:37:49.

hear the Burmese army is on its way, they run. This man's wife had given

:37:49.:37:57.

birth just days earlier, and couldn't keep up.

:37:57.:38:00.

TRANSLATION: The next day I went back to look for her, and found

:38:00.:38:05.

they had killed her with the spear. Entering through her rib cage on

:38:05.:38:10.

the left, and all the way through to her arm on the right. I found

:38:10.:38:14.

our baby, barely alive, lying next to her mother. I just grabbed her

:38:14.:38:22.

and ran. TRANSLATION: Everyone was running,

:38:22.:38:30.

but my mother didn't, and they shot her. I went back and found her body,

:38:30.:38:37.

they had thrown it in the deep hole that had been dug as a cesspit. It

:38:37.:38:47.

took ten of us to get the body out. And then I buried her.

:38:47.:38:51.

survivors, tens of thousands of them, are now crowded into

:38:51.:38:56.

makeshift camps, where there aren't enough basics like food and water,

:38:56.:38:59.

let alone any hope of counselling for the trauma they have endured.

:38:59.:39:04.

We have grown accustomed to hearing report of brutality, about the

:39:04.:39:08.

military dictatorship that has ruled Burma for 50 years, but all

:39:08.:39:12.

these recent stories of atrocities, have taken place within the last

:39:12.:39:16.

few months, even though the allegedly reforming Government held

:39:16.:39:20.

elections over a year ago, and promised change. The people of

:39:20.:39:24.

Kachin, and others, can be forgiven for being confused.

:39:24.:39:29.

The Burmese Government don't want the outside world to see these

:39:29.:39:33.

people, because their might contradicts the new, caring, image

:39:33.:39:38.

they want to present. They are restricting aid getting in from the

:39:38.:39:42.

international community, although it is desperately needed.

:39:42.:39:46.

The administrator says there is more than 1800 people in this camp,

:39:46.:39:52.

and there is not enough food, medicine or shelter.

:39:52.:39:56.

The children might find it all a game now, he says, but when the

:39:56.:40:01.

rainy season starts, it will be a nightmare.

:40:01.:40:11.
:40:11.:40:13.

TB has broken out in the camps, and malnutrition is prevalent.

:40:13.:40:17.

My son isn't recovering from his illness and isn't growing, she says,

:40:17.:40:20.

because she has nothing to feed him with.

:40:20.:40:27.

Another mother, with four children, fears for her unborn child.

:40:27.:40:30.

TRANSLATION: The children say they are hungry all the time, and I'm

:40:30.:40:33.

not getting the nutrition a pregnant woman needs, we long to

:40:33.:40:39.

return to our villages, but how can we. The Burmese hate the Kachin

:40:39.:40:45.

people, and their army will only attack us again.

:40:45.:40:49.

Both sides blame the other for starting the fighting in June last

:40:49.:40:53.

year. With the Burmese army using artillery and mortars, against the

:40:53.:41:00.

Kachin, who are armed with AK-47s and home made weapons.

:41:00.:41:03.

The fighting intensified in December, at about the time the

:41:03.:41:07.

American a second, Hillary Clinton, arrived in Burma, to encourage the

:41:07.:41:13.

Government with its reform programme. Land mines cause them

:41:13.:41:16.

most casualties, among the Kachin army of some 20,000, who are now

:41:16.:41:22.

struggling to hold out against the Burmese army's half million.

:41:22.:41:26.

Over 100 soldiers have died, hundreds more have been injured,

:41:26.:41:35.

and no-one knows the number of civilian dead. This 31-year-old

:41:35.:41:40.

lost his leg in December, and says he wants to get back to fighting.

:41:40.:41:44.

The doctor in charge of the military hospital says that

:41:44.:41:47.

soldiers get the best treatment available, but that's not up to

:41:47.:41:53.

much. TRANSLATION: We lack medicines,

:41:53.:41:56.

prosthetics, everything really. They want me to get these men back

:41:56.:42:00.

to the front, but considering the facilities we have here, that's

:42:00.:42:04.

just not realistic. The frontlines are just a few

:42:04.:42:07.

hundred metres away from the hospital, and from where people are

:42:07.:42:12.

living. We can see the Burmese position on the hill opposite, and

:42:12.:42:16.

no-one's too sure when they might attack next.

:42:16.:42:19.

TRANSLATION: We could attack their position and probably overrun it,

:42:19.:42:23.

but we don't want to go on the offensive. We wait for them to

:42:23.:42:30.

attack us. It's quiet here today, the captain explains, because the

:42:30.:42:35.

fighting has moved further north, where the Burmese army is attacking

:42:35.:42:38.

daily. Shortly after Hillary Clinton's visit, and under pressure

:42:38.:42:42.

from the international community, Burma's new President ordered the

:42:42.:42:50.

Burmese army to stop fighting. Why haven't they? TRANSLATION: I think

:42:50.:42:54.

there are two reasons, the first is that, under the new constitution,

:42:54.:42:58.

the President doesn't have that much power over the army. And

:42:58.:43:01.

secondly, the President doesn't have the support of the army

:43:01.:43:08.

generals because he wants to reform the country and they don't.

:43:08.:43:12.

Burmese generals have, for a long time, enjoyed the wealth of these

:43:12.:43:18.

border areas, which are rich in timber, gold and Jade. If they are

:43:18.:43:23.

at odds with Burma's President, this could slow down both reform

:43:23.:43:31.

and a solution to Burma's long- running ethnic conflict.

:43:31.:43:35.

The mainly Christian Kachin say they don't want independence from

:43:35.:43:39.

Burma, they want equal treatment within a federal Burma. Their

:43:39.:43:44.

political party was excluded from the elections in 2010, and the

:43:44.:43:47.

Burmese Government have postponed by-elections in Kachin state,

:43:47.:43:54.

blaming security problems. TRANSLATION: What the Kachin want

:43:54.:43:59.

is equal rights. If they were to offer genuine democratic union,

:43:59.:44:03.

then this conflict could be solved. On going peace talks between the

:44:03.:44:08.

Kachin and the Burmese Government are taking place in China. The

:44:08.:44:14.

border between Kachin and China runs through the main town year,

:44:14.:44:19.

and China is weary of the on going war on its doorstep. With the

:44:19.:44:22.

delegates returning back through the border post, after the latest

:44:22.:44:28.

round, say they have failed to get agreement, why? TRANSLATION: To get

:44:28.:44:31.

agreement, the Burmese Government is being asked to withdraw their

:44:31.:44:34.

troops. Politically the Government is making advances towards

:44:34.:44:38.

democracy. They have included the Burmese opposition, under Aung San

:44:38.:44:41.

Suu Kyi, released political prisoner, and they say they want to

:44:41.:44:45.

reach an agreement with the ethnic groups, but there will be no

:44:45.:44:55.
:44:55.:44:57.

progress with the ethnic peoples, if their troops keep advancing.

:44:57.:45:00.

Until the conflict is solved, the situation here in the camps will

:45:00.:45:07.

get worse. Those who have been here since June,

:45:07.:45:11.

say they are praying to go home, but more immediate low, they are

:45:11.:45:14.

praying the food doesn't run -- immediately, they are playing the

:45:14.:45:22.

food doesn't run out before they. In this camp of 5,000, the ration

:45:22.:45:29.

is down to one cup of rice per day per child, and two cups for an

:45:29.:45:33.

adult. Aid agencies who want to get in to help say they are struggling

:45:33.:45:38.

to get here. The British Government has pledged

:45:38.:45:43.

�2 million in aid to help these people supplement their diet, and

:45:43.:45:46.

when the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, was in Burma Earl

:45:46.:45:51.

yes this year, he said -- Burma earlier this year, he said

:45:51.:45:54.

sanctions shouldn't be lifted until the Burmese Government allowed the

:45:54.:46:01.

aid to get here. There is huge pressure from business interests in

:46:01.:46:05.

the UK and America for sanctions to be lifted. People here hungry and

:46:05.:46:08.

home lesson the edges of the country, fear they will be

:46:08.:46:11.

forgotten amid calls for trade to be resumed, with a country that is

:46:11.:46:17.

so rich in natural resources. As the Kachin army took us on

:46:17.:46:20.

patrol, along a frontline that stretches hundreds of miles through

:46:20.:46:25.

the jungle, the commander told me that they are grateful to the

:46:25.:46:28.

British, whose army they fought alongside during the Second World

:46:28.:46:34.

War, for giving them the model on which to build.

:46:34.:46:39.

But, over the intimacy of a campfire at night, there is

:46:39.:46:45.

bitterness about their former military ally. TRANSLATION:

:46:45.:46:49.

British shouldn't forget us in our time of need. When they needed us

:46:49.:46:54.

we fought for them against the Japanese. We are now suffering

:46:54.:47:04.
:47:04.:47:07.

horribly. Surely this is the time For now, they sing of defending

:47:07.:47:14.

their land from exploitation by Burma.

:47:14.:47:17.

Knowing full well that they are running short of weapons, man power,

:47:17.:47:26.

and support. That's all from Newsnight tonight,

:47:26.:47:36.
:47:36.:47:40.

more tomorrow with that mayoral What a day it's been, the day that

:47:40.:47:44.

winter bit back. The worst of the wintry conditions now heading

:47:44.:47:48.

southwards across northern England, and North Wales. Snow over the high

:47:48.:47:51.

ground causing problems. Gale force winds blowing it around. No great

:47:51.:47:54.

improvements across the heart of England and Wales through the day.

:47:54.:47:59.

Further rain and snow, most of the snow in the high ground, a bleak,

:47:59.:48:03.

raw-feeling day with a strong north-eastly wind. Southern most

:48:03.:48:06.

counties, relatively mild, but slow-moving sharp showers, don't

:48:06.:48:10.

get caught out. It is not going plain sailing by any means here. We

:48:10.:48:14.

run back into that cold and wintry weather across the heart of Wales.

:48:14.:48:18.

Most of the snow up over the highest ground where it could cause

:48:18.:48:20.

problems locally. For Northern Ireland brighter prospects through

:48:20.:48:23.

the afternoon, there will be sunshine. Don't expect a heatwave,

:48:23.:48:27.

it will be a chilly-feeling day. In the sunshine out of the breeze it

:48:27.:48:30.

shouldn't feel too bad. For Scotland a much better day. Apart

:48:30.:48:35.

from the odd shower from the north. It should be dry and bright with a

:48:35.:48:45.
:48:45.:48:52.

steady thank you. Looking ahead to After a frosty start this is the

:48:52.:48:54.

picture, rain clearing away from the south. More rain heading into

:48:54.:48:58.

George Galloway shares the secret of success with Jeremy Paxman, along with Tim Bell and Will Self. And the atrocities inside Burma's hidden ethnic war.


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