19/04/2012 Newsnight


Stories behind the headlines with Kirsty Wark. Newsnight examines Ken Clarke's bid to reform the European Court of Human Rights, and Steve Smith looks at Gaudi's Sagrada Familia.

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Tonight, does the Home Secretary know what day of the week it is?


As his lawyers quibble with the Government over dates, could Abu


Qatada avoid deportation, because of a classic Home Office cock-up?


The European Court of Human Rights is in the dock, there is a lot of


big talk from justice ministers in Brighton, who want to reform it.


Have they achieved anything? The one question they won't be


asking in there, is why the country that gave the world Magna Carta,


and habeas corpus, needs its human rights scrutinised by a bunch of


Latvians and moldofrpbs. The Chancellor's wildly unpopular


granny tax makes it through the Commons. Has he made dangerous


enemies? Boris's dad and Winston Churchill's granddaughter are here


to exchange views. Will 2012 will be day when a Saudi


Arabian woman represents her country in the Olympics for the


first time. We asked Princess Basma. Will Sagrada Familia, the


unfishished Gaudi masterpiece be finished. We take a guided tour.


You couldn't make it up, apparent low the finest minds in the Home


Office couldn't nail down the cut- off date to Abu Qatada's appeal to


the human chamber in the European Court of Human Rights to appeal


against his deportation to Jordan. It was announced today the appeal


was lodged within the right time. So there will be a delay with


Qatada's removal from Britain. The timing was immaculate, just as


Keneth Clarke was chairing a euro- wide conference in brighten,


attempting to reduce the scope of the European Court. We went to


fiefrpbd out more about this mess. -- find out more about this mess.


# What a difference the day makes # 24 little hours


Did the Home Secretary get the time wrong, the time of the appeal


lapseing 24-hours after her lawyers had said. What we can say for


certain, is Abu Qatada's lawyers lodged their appeal and the


European Court said they received it. There was enough doubt to allow


the opposition to drag the Home Secretary back to the Commons to


answer an urgent question. Yesterday the Home Office said the


appeal deadline was Monday night, but the European Court officials


said it was Tuesday night. So on the Tuesday night deadline, while


Abu Qatada was appealing to European Court judges, the Home


Secretary, who thought the deadline was Monday night, was partying with


X Factor judges, when the Home Secretary is accused of not knowing


what day of the week it is, then confusion and chaos has turned into


farce. The Home Secretary, though, was


armed with documents that she says show a judgment becomes final


before three months, the appeal has to be lodged within three months.


Therefore, the time for the appeal lapses the day before the judgment


becomes final. Article 43 of the European Convention on Human Rights,


explains that a request for a referral to the Grand Chamber, must


be made within a period of three months from the date of the


judgment to the chamber, the letter that communicated the European


Court's court judgment, dated the 17th of January, confirmed this,


saying any request for the referral of the judgment to the Grand


Chamber, must be duly reasoned, and reach the registry within three


months of today's date. Therefore, the deadline was Monday, midnight,


16th of April. What was lost in all of this, was whether any of it will


make any difference to the UK Government's ability to deport Abu


Qatada. The consensus of the Grand Chamber of TV legal pundits, was,


it probably won't, unless, perhaps, it does. Ladies and gentlemen could


we begin to take our seats, if possible. At least everyone could


agree this was the right day to have an international legal row,


because there were loads of international lawyers in town, well


in Brighton, for a Council of Europe meeting, to discuss reform


of the European Court of Human Rights.


Because of a rather helpful leak, we're able to compare the text


agreed here in Brighton, with the version that the British Government


started off trying to secure. We can see that actually, the final


version, falls short in several significant respects. In Some


critics say it won't make much difference at all to the way the


European Court operates, and its ability to frustrate the will of


national Governments. Indeed it is not just critics saying that, the


President of the Court says so as well.


Sir Nicolas Bratza, the British judge who heads the court, told the


meeting, that the court was already dealing with its massive backlog,


160,000 cases and counting, but could not accept any erosion of its


independence. It is nevertheless, not surprising


that Governments, and indeed, public opinion, in the different


countries, finds some of the court's judgments difficult to


accept. It is, as the secretary- general has said, in the nature of


the protection of fundamental rights and the rule of law, that


sometimes minority interests have to be secured against the view of


the majority. Keneth Clarke told the post-meeting press conference,


that the UK Government had achieved all the reform it was looking for.


I though, reminded him of what the President had said earlier.


What do you make of the President of the Court's comments this


morning, to the effect that what's happened here really won't make


much difference to the way the court operates? It is a nuance, I


think, between myself and Nicolas Bratza, I understand judges being


defensive, when the Government responsible for the convention


start putting pressure on them to reform. He doesn't object to what


we are doing, he slightly implies they would have done it any way. I


think we would have waited years if we had just waited for the court to


reform itself. There is a long way to go, according to the court's


critics, starting with the quality of the 47 judges. Around half of


whom have no judicial experience before their appointment. It is,


though, not a bad job, �13,000 a year, tax-free, with private


healthcare and a full pension after five years service. The judgments,


though, aren't all so gold-plated. Some of them you read and you can


see that they have been penned by a jolly good lawyer. There are other


decisions you look at and wonder, frankly, in the nicest possible way,


what planet they are on! The court is there, say its supporters, to


safeguard the rights of the powerless. It is not therefore


surprising, that the powerful sometimes get angry.


Critics say no court whose judgment strays so far and so often from


public opinion, can ever be called legitimate for long.


The Home Office didn't want to provide a minister to discuss


today's development, so to chew over what's happened in Brighton,


and the continuing saga of Abu Qatada, we brought together Knowles


QC, a specialist in this law, and Dan Hannan, a Conservative MP.


This is yet another embarrassment for the Government? It is a problem


that is intrinsic in having a wretched court that makes up the


law as it goes along. And the judges who rule based on what they


think the law ought to say rather than what it is. It is Abu Qatada


and the Home Office not understanding the deadline. Senior


Liberal Democrats said tonight this is an Olympic-standard screw up?


a scrap between Theresa May and the ECHR, I know whose side I'm on, in


any normal reading of the thing, three months is three months, if


you try to use your bus pass the day after the third month it


wouldn't work. In a way who cares about that. I think a lot of people


do care about that, because the law is the law? It is not the detail


here that is the problem. The problem is that the elected Home


Secretary, answerable to the country, is not able to remove from


our country, somebody who entered it illegally, who shouldn't be here,


who has been linked to Al-Qaeda. Despite the efforts of every party


and united public opinion behind this, that we are, again, in the


hands, as you just saw in the report, these unqualified judges.


We are, in the meantime, having to pay both the defence and


prosecution, we are paying to try to deport Mr Qatada, and we are


paying his costs and to defend him in the meantime. Julian Knowles,


the fact is, that Theresa May wasn't the mistress of the detail,


with the fall laings of lawyers in the Home Office, who could possibly


have got the date right, it is a cock-up? It is a cock-up, with the


quality of the defence of Theresa May like we have just heard, it is


hardly surprising these cock-ups are made. We don't expect much from


Tory Home Secretarys, but even she should have got this right. The


rules are clear, the court doesn't make the law as they going along,


we understand what the time limits mean. The Government having lost


once against Abu Qatada's lawyer, they should have worked on the


basis they probably knew what they were doing. They had precedents


from different judges saying the date goes from the day after. The


Telegraph tomorrow morning is saying this could mean that Abu


Qatada is freed, on your understanding, what is the least


that could happen, and what is the most that can happen? Keneth Clarke


is right on this. This time lit it argument won't -- limit argument


won't effect the substance, there will be a new deportation order to


be tested through the court. There is the outstanding appeal to the


Grand Chamber, if they accept it, it won't make any real practical


difference to the outcome. He won't be freed? No. But it will delay the


deportation at least? It won't delay, in any meaningful sense,


given the process will be long too, it will be measured in days or


weeks, it won't be substantial. Abu Qatada will still go to Jordan,


Dan Hannan? Yeah, but in the meantime we are paying for his


benefits, and both sides of the deal. Let as stand back, and ask


what ought to be the most basic question of all, it is almost never


actually raised, what specific benefits acue to the United Kingdom,


as the result of our adhesion to the ECHR, I'm not talking the


benefits to Matrix Chambers and the burgeoning human rights lawyers,


I'm talking about the benefits for the country as a whole. You stand


in the opposite corner to Keneth Clarke, Keneth Clarke is not saying


scrap it, he's saying reform it. We were -- you are at odds, in fact,


with the coalition Government? reason I'm against it, is not


because I disagree with one particular judgment, the reason I'm


against it, basically political decisions, such as who is allowed


into the UK, such as whether prisoners should vote, should be


made by elected representatives who are answerable to the rest of the


country, so we can vote for them origins them on the basis of how


they have voted. Paper rights, without proper democracy are


worthless. The institution of East Germany had wonderful guarantees of


rights, but without a proper democratic system they were


worthless. We have this framework to stop lawlessness, but the fact


is the Italians disregard it when they want to. Actually, it is


sometimes not worth the paper it is printed on? I will come to that in


a minute. Can I answer the question posed, what benefit accrued to the


country, the celebration and upholding of the rule of law. That


is the benefit. If I can just finish. We don't like prisoners


voting? We uphold the values and the rule of law. In the convention,


which was a British creation, the drafting was led by David Maxwell,


Sir Winston Churchill was the proponent of the convention. That


is the benefit that accrues to the country. I don't accept the second


point that the French and Italians deregard it, if they do, say pity,


celebrate the fact that we uphold and adhere to the values we have


signed up to. Look at, 47 countries, and to get on, as David Grossman


clearly put it t you don't ever have to be a practising lawyer,


after five years you get your pension, �135,000 a year, and don't


you think that something like as important and as weighty as the


court should have people that are perhaps better qualified attending


it, rather than what seems like randoms, they don't have to be


judges in their own countries? is right, and that is a valid


criticismment we are dealing with a body which is deal -- criticism, we


are doling with a body which is dealing with countries that don't


have mature democracies, and may have only had judiciaries for 15


years. As the court matures and the countries mat tue, they will have


experienced judges to join the court. Don't lose sight of the fact


that the vast majority of judge, like Sir Nicolas Bratza, who knows


more about this than anybody else, are of incredible distinction.


court is here to stay, that is the fact of the matter isn't it? That


is up to the United Kingdom, and the elect the representatives and


us. I want to come back to the idea that it is just me alleging that


the court is ruling on the basis of what it thinks the court ought to


say rather than what it says it should. Sir Nicolas Bratza made the


argument blatantly in an interview where he was about to retire, he


said we only do that when the legislation is far behind changing


public morals. Who is he to decide Take That, if anyone thinks there


is an injustice, they should stand for parliament and face the


electorate and that is how the system of law should work.


As taxes go, the granny tax, passed today in the Commons, was not one


of the Chancellor's most popular budget manoeuvres, it freezes the


threshold at which older people begin to pay tax on their incomes,


and it hits the middle-classes. There wasn't an Occupy-style


protest, there was no rioting, no broken windows, were there any


arrests, but there has been plenty of raw anger. But is there that


much in the measure for pensioners to get het up over. What is is real


impact of this called granny tax? personal allowance is that chunk of


your income that you can earn before tax kicks in, anything above


that you are charged 20%, 40% or 50%, depending on that. The


allowance for pensioners is �10,500, going up with inflation. That has


now been capped in the budget by the Chancellor in the budget last


month. And that means anything above that they will have to pay


some semblance of tax, 4.4 million will be worse off to the tune of


�84 a year, less than a million will be worse off to the tune of


�285 per year if they retire next year. The unaffected group, five


million people, depending on the state pension for their income,


they will be better off, because the state pension has gone up to


�107.45. The term granny tax is a misnomer, it is not a tax per say,


it is those who expected to get more income or be taxed less will


not be so. Pensioners are not one of the worst affected groups in the


recession at all? People will say they still have the TV license, the


winter fuel alooints, and the state pension is going -- allowance, and


the state pension is going up. Some will say the pensioners are the


least affected by the cuts since the coalition came to power. Their


incomes are down 1% over the last year-and-a-half or so. A couple


without children, their incomes are down about 2%, but the grouping


that it has affected most are couples with kids, and their down


3.5%, up to 4.7%. There will also be those who say that pensioners


will benefit a lot from house price rises that we have seen over the


last 15 years, and a lot of them retired on final salary schemes,


which are pretty generous, a the rest of us don't benefit from that.


The IFS, the Institute for Fiscal Studies had a look at comparative


incomes, how pensions compared to the average income in the land,


they found that in the 70s, pensioners earned about 30% less


than the average, but over the last decade-and-a-half, mostly under


Labour, that has shot up. Now they are closer to 90% of the median


income, or just by 10% less than what the average earning person


would earn. But, of course, if you have savings, and you depend on


that and you are a pensioner, you know all about it, because the bank


rate is at an all-time low, and pensioners are adversely affected


by inflation more than others, because they pay more on fuel and


less on iPads and clothes. With me are now, two, well, every day old


people, the writer Stanley Johnson, father of Boris and grandfather of


several is here, as well as the granddaughter of wins done


Churchill, Emma Soamess. Pensioners actually have got it pretty good?


don't think so, they are a very vulnerable demographic in our


society. It is not for nothing that all these benefits have accrued to


this age group, because they are so vulnerable. Saying they are 1%


better compared to 5% for a couple with children. That does not


account for the really much, much higher rates of inflation that


pensioners suffer when compared with the rest of the population. I


mean, if you would like some figures, over the last four years


it has been 14% for the general population and for people over 65


it is 22%. Too much whingeing? I'm amazed


actually all the winging going on by the other side. -- whingeing


going on by the other side. Ken Livingstone's hikes have killed the


peingers far more. You are not campaign -- Pensioners far more.


You are not campaigning for your son? You introduced me as Boris's


father so I will go on that. What is your view, though, is your view


really that great power means that people really should be taking the


hit the same as everybody else in society? My view is your fellow


said some sound things. No doubt about it, we are 15 million


pensioners now, we are going to go up to more than that. But the


reality is, the reality is the things which are really hitting


pensioners are not this, it is not this, I don't want to make another


political point, I have to tell you, I mean, if, the cost of transport,


the cost of transport, if you keep the bus pass where it is, that's


going to make far for more pensioners than anything else.


Shall we get rid of the bus passes? We shouldn't get rid of them.


son believes in bus passes for older people? I'm in favour of that.


This is far more important for the pensioners than all this stuff,


look all this stuff about whether we bring the pensioners up to where


everybody else. That's just nonsense.


Pensioners, in many ways, actually, have other things that bring them


up, they still perhaps still have those gold-plated pensions. Their


savings aren't taking a lot of, or accruing a lot of interest at the


moment, but they are better placed in many ways. There are four


million pensioners who are earning or living on an income between


�10,000-�24,000, that is not rich. These are the people who are going


to be hit by the freezing of the tax allowance. This Government has


said they won't hit, they won't touch benefits. However, they are


obviously going to touch, they looks a though they are going to


touch. But, is Emma Soamess right, that group from �10,000-�24,000


will be hit badly. I'm saying they will not be hit bad low, compared


with all the other things that will hit them. I'm going to make a


political point here, we are in a political situation. That is the


reality, if you don't do what Boris is doing, you are going to be in


massive trouble. In terms of translating into vote, do you think


older people are very angry at the moment? Yes, I do. I think it is


partly to do with the comouncation thing. Unlike everything else in --


communication thing. Unlike everything else in the budget it


was jumped at them. It was presented in, I thought, an


infuriating and rather patronising way as a simplification. One man's


simplification is �4 a week off a small pension for somebody else.


That whole issue about being patronised and not having that much


power to fight back, is actually a proper point, well made, isn't it?


Do you know anything something, feel it is a red herring, I think


someone has picked this one up and said why don't we call it a Grandpa


tax, and attack the Government on this one. You think there should be


an equalisation of the tax allowance? As far as I'm concerned


about this, it is a sensible thing, but it is not the crucial issue at


the moment. The issue that was passed today, that eventually there


will be an equalisation of the tax allowance, you think it is


perfectly reasonable? It will happen in 2013, affecting a 13458


amount of people. Your figure was �-- affecting a small amount of


people. You figure was �483, and Ken Livingstone will be costing


�1,000. That is a lot of money to many pensioners? But less than


�1,000. You are happy with what the Government is doing for older


people? The Government does what the Government does. On this last


point, are you happy to have, you are obviously happy to have your


free bus pass, are you happy to have your Winter Fuel Allowance,


and your free television license, do you not think there is time for


these things to be scrapped, if you really want equalisation? The issue


today is can people get a decent living out of the money they have.


The answer to that is, with quanative easing, and really low


interest rates, it is, and the actually end of the final salary


pension, there will be fewer and fewer people on that. Older people


are taking a big hit in rather a subtle way. They can't say, oh yes,


we have lost a benefit like child benefit, and the middle-classes,


because that hasn't happened. Actually they are suffering, really,


suffering, from high inflation, low savings rates, and terrifyingly


dropping annuity rates. I don't believe it. Will there be any


female Saudi competitors at the London Olympics this summer, Saudi


Arabia has never allowed a woman to compete at the games before. The


International Olympic Committee hope that is about to change,


because it breaches their rules. Even if the Saudis relent will it


make a difference in a country where woman are banned from


venturing outside their houses without a chaperone, we will hear


from one Saudi Princess calling for reforms in her home land. Sue Lloyd


Roberts has been to Saudi Arabia recently to see what it is really


like for women there. The lot of a Saudi woman is not a


happy one. Swathed in an all- covering abaya whenever she leaves


home, unable to drive, limitations on work or sport. Shopping is about


the only activity available. When I was in the king dom, a year


ago, women had to be served by non- Saudi men in lingerie shops. Now,


due to a campaign by Reem Asaad, women are, at last, allowed to


serve women. That is one battle won. But what about the driving? We just


hope it is a question at a time, we keep our fingers crossed, but we


are also calling for a proper transport system. Even if women


were allowed to drive, not all women eligible or qualified to


cruise down the streets any way. The talk today in Saudi is about


women and sport. Up until today Saudi Arabia is not sending any


female competitors to the London Olympics. At least one Saudi woman


might be eligible. This is the first female Saudi athlete to


compete in the 2010 youth Olympics. And yet, the head of the Saudi


Olympic Committee, President Nawaf It could be that there simply


aren't enough women of a standard, Reem Asaad says there's hardly any


sport today for her school aged daughters. Unfortunately, back in


the 80s, in my times, when I was a school kid, we used to play volley


ball, basketball, badminton, whatever, I mean so many types of


sports, more than I can count. Gymnastics, aerobics, everything


you can think about. I mean, things in Saudi Arabia were more


progressive for females back then in many respects. Why has it gone


backwards then for women? I don't know, I think the majority of the


traditionalists, have dominated the population. Things are not getting


better for women in the king dom of Saudi Arabia? They are getting


better in some ways, one step forward two steps back, we are


still fighting along the way. Then there is the social and family


restrictions on women. Unfair divorce laws make it


impossible for women to apply. After the divorce, the father gets


custody of children over the age of six.


And in Jeddah, I found women who were widowed, or had been abandoned


by their husbands, virtual prisoners in their own homes.


Unable even to attend a hospital appointment, without a male


guardian to accompany her. Even professional women, lawyers


and doctors are affected. They have to ask their male guardians for pr


mission to travel. This -- permission to travel. This woman is


working in London. As a professional woman, I have a


supportive husband, I want to go to a conference, why would I need to


get the permission of my guardian to let me to go to attend the


conference. If I am being trustworthy, working, independent,


going to hospitals, seeing patients, looking after people and saving


life, can't I go on my own to attend a conference without the


permission of my guardian. As a professional woman don't you feel


insults? I don't feel insults, I have been brought up in that


society and culture, change takes time to change. Change is painful


slow, Reem Asaad has achieved a small victory in the shopping place,


but she worries about her daughter. One of my daughters is an aspiring


golfer, if it takes that I have to get out of this place and get her


to have her golfing dream, I will. Some doubt change will come soon


enough, even for the next generation.


With me is Princess Basma, her uncle is the king of Saudi Arabia,


and her father was the former ruler there.


Princess Basma, you are calling for a fundamental change in the country.


Is something like the IOC coming with requests for women for the


Olympics, does that help you? doesn't at all. It is just another


slogan for another agenda, political agenda, that is calling


for attention about something or another, to acquire something


behind it. I have no idea what they have in mind, I don't know if they


have done their homework properly. If they want women from Saudi


Arabia to be represented in the Olympics, I would have thought that


they would have at least asked if even PE exists in our schools for


women. Does it offend you that kind of lack of knowledge? Definitely it


offends me. It offends me and it frustrates me, it is being used in


the media as something of a bravery, human rights, women's rights,


women's empowerment, and being like that. I think it is really unfair.


You want fundamental change, in what way, what is it you want to


see happen in your country? Reform of the constitution. You want a


constitution full stop? I want a constitution full stop, readable,


tangible, something which is coherent, and transparent. That we


can rely on and come back to, whenever we have something to


execute. This would be a constitution which sets out, what,


equal rights for women? Equal rights for women. Not just about


driving? It is actually nothing about driving. I mean, you know. It


is ridiculous, everywhere I go, everybody tells me, do women drive


in Saudi, I say do women have any rights in Saudi. Before you start


having electricity in your home, you have to be the infrastructure


to get that electricity. For women, whether they be women who are


doctors, women who work as nurses or whatever, even though they can


be professional women, within the home and within the law of the


country, they have no power whatsoever? No they don't


therefore, they are subject to, and often abused, divorced, left alone?


Definitely, its all over the news in Saudi Arabia, and the newspapers.


I'm not saying new knowledge. If you go back to the Saudi newspapers,


you would find all sorts of stories over there. Why on earth is nobody


looking there, and reading what's going on in the local media.


are speaking out, but there isn't a network of people like you is


there? No there is not. You want, do you want revolution or reform?


Reform definitely. I love my king, I love my family. I think they can


do a lot. There is something missing, a link, which I am


shedding a light on. But your family is resistant to this, the


males in your family are resistant to this? I wouldn't say resistant


as much as I would say scared. Aren't they going to be more scared


in way as the years go by, as we have seen in the Arab Spring and


the failed Iranian revolution, women coming to the fore more and


more, isn't there a danger if they don't listen to you and others like


you, that it won't be reform, it will be a revolution? I wouldn't


put it in that form, but I would rather put it in another form,


which is, it's about time that we sat at the on the same table, talk,


negotiate and interact, and really put our hands together and get down


there, and do something about the constitution, and the reform. The


king has ordered last year for revising the constitution, and


putting the laws that protect women, and he has actually ordered a big


sum of money for the ministry to have that done. But nothing has


been done. What we have now, this weekend, is the Grand Prix going


ahead in Bahrain. That's a disaster, in my opinion. Why is it a


disaster? Because, I think they are getting people endangered, just


because they want to get a message through that whatever it going on


in Bahrain is not dangerous enough for westerners or other people to


come to Bahrain. That's the wrong message to give. Whoever is


responsible about this event, is definitely not doing the human tear


ian thing. Would you have -- Humanitarian thing. Would you like


to have seen it stopped? I would have really pushed to have it


stopped, because it is not ethical. Some say it is one of the wonders


of the modern world, others say someone should take a machine gun


to it. The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, is a masterpiece of the


modernist architect, Antonio Gaudi, and a proud symbol of Catalan


identity. Ever since Gaudi died in 1926, with the temple incomplete,


there is a debate about whether or not to finish it. At last there is


a roof on it, and completion is pencilled for the centinary of


Gaudi's death. Some say the building has become a travesty of


his vision, and the latest should be shot to pieces. We have had a


It is one of the wonders of the modern world, a vauntingly


ambitious project to the glory of God, that consumed the lives of the


men that worked on it. It is a source of great controversy, even


as the building edges towards completion. You can't help but be


awed by its majesty and size, and its slight kookiness. It has a


futuristic feel in a 70s way, it is like the first Cathedral on Mars.


This is the spectacular Sagrada Familia. The Basilica to the Holy


Family, which is forever associated with the outlandishly brilliant


Catalan architect, Antonio Gaudi. It is the greatest symbol of the


region of Catalonia. But for decades, ever since Gaudi died,


leaving it unfinished, in fact, it has also been a monument to


emegmatic genius, frozen at the at the moment when the money man who


could complete it, was no long -- the one man who could complete it,


was no longer around for it. This eastern side of the Sagrada Familia,


is indisputably loyal to Gaudi's vision, it was incomplete in the


1920s, some who come to look at his Nativity might think the old boy


was off his trolley, he was compulsive and fan nattically to


get the detail right, he had turkeys anaesthetised today see how


they will look up here after making -- anaesthetised today see how they


will look. Talking of perspective, you might think it is a given that


all this work by Gaudi's successors would be well appreciated, but no,


some say the building would have been better left unfinished. It is


a queer piece that won't take the centre. It won't be a place that


architects will come for inspiration. Really, you don't


think so? No, not at all. And if they do, they are on the wrong


track. In the window there are two very


important parts. One is the colour, the other is the rhythm that the


lead gives to the composition. Toni Villa-Grau is one of the many


artists that feed the insaitable appetite of Sagrada Familia for


fine work, in his case, leaded windows. He said Gaudi's vision


turned old ideas about light on their head. It is normal in the


Gothic time that the top of a window, it is very, it has many


colours, and the bottom, less colour. Because these give a


regular light to all of the church. But Gaudi went the contrary, he


said the top must be without colour, the bottom, full of colour.


Villa-Grau's designs are realised at this workshop in Barcelona.


Despite the controversy over the Sagrada Familia, they are soldering


on regardless, as they have for generations. They have a fine


appreciation of the play of the Catalan light.


We need to set a palette of colours, to match the light it is going to


receive. The Sagrada Familia is an


architectural tour deforce, a huge tourist attraction, and a working


While Father Lluis Bonet attends to the souls of his flock at the


Sagrada Familia. His brother is responsible for their physical well


being while they are under this roof. Let me just repeat that, this


roof. Bonet, chief architect here for some 30 years, and therefore


Gaudi's successor, has finally achieved what he failed to do, the


great Basilica now keeps the rain out. Anything that we see here,


here was nothing. Only the two facades, but Gaudi has made models,


so it will be possible to build exactly with complete fidelity.


This is still true to his vision, Gaudi? This is completely Gaudi.


This is the old city, beautiful one, this is the edge. But David Mackay


begs to differ. He's a British architect based in Barcelona, who


helped to transform the port area when the Olympic Games came here 20


years ago, he says Gaudi's heirs have got it wrong. I admire their


courage, they sustained there, going through decades to achieve


what they have done and what they think is Gaudi. But it is not Gaudi.


Gaudi was essentially a person concerned with structure the


conlums are not vertical, they lean towards -- columns, they are not


vertical, they lean towards things, that was not built in stone, but


reinforced concrete, they were designed for stone. You think it is


a travisty? If you are looking for Gaudi, yes. I plan to take up Mr


Mackay's points about singor Bonet, first he's -- Signoir Bonet, first


he's giving us a rare tour of the works. You want to go up? If you


hold my hand! We're 70ms off the ground. One


great central steeple still to be added, will take the full height to


170ms. What about the criticism that Signoir Bonet and his


colleagues might have been better off leaving the Basilica alone.


Some observers go even further. There is one critic in London who


says they should take a machine gun and shoot away some of the


sculpture and some of the new things, what do you say? I think


that we build something that the majority of our people like that we


continue to do it. He told me he enjoyed mountaineering as a young


man. I don't doubt it. This is not the best way. In another 30 years


you may have difficulty getting up these. Even though the Sagrada


Familia is finally habitable, so to speak, the work goes.


The most important -- goes on. The most recently posted deadline is


2026, 100 years since Gaudi's death. As long as the tourist revenue


comes, Bonet will keep building, or his successors will. Is there


something about the Sagrada Familia, it is an obsession for Gaudi and it


seems to be an obsession for you? It is a passion and work. Not only


for myself, also for the people that work, the workers. They are


satisfied. All the little people down there. They look little from


here. This extraordinary building will


surely grow ever more familiar to visitors, even as it becomes less


and less like the half finished shell left by Gaudi, its visionary


creator. Tomorrow morning's papers, the


Times, all the papers have the Home Office in disarray as Abu Qatada


faces imminent release. This is the British judge at the enter of the


case said he would reconsider releasing the radical Muslim from a


top security jail, if it is obvious after two or three weeks that


deportation of not imminent, he That's all from Newsnight tonight,


Gavin is here tomorrow, I will be here with the review show later, we


will discuss Glenn Close's new film, and the star-laden TV series, Smash.


We leave you with the news that the lepblddree drummer in The Band has


Hello there, showers are easing off now, but after a cool and misty


start, a burst of sunshine will help trigger the showers again


tomorrow, they will develop through the morning, quite extensive in the


afternoon, particularly for the eastern side of the UK. Now I think


Hampshire, maybe even West Sussex should see the showers turning


fewer in the afternoon, elsewhere in south-east England, a more


showers, heavy, thundery downpours, slow moving through the East


Midlands, up into northern England. Eastleigh breeze in Scotland. A lot


of cloud, the best of the sunshine will be for the west coast of


Scotland, here it should be that bit dryer. Not too many showers for


Northern Ireland, not too bad there today, spells of sunshine inbetween


the showers. It should turn brighter across a good part of


Wales, down to the Cotswolds, as we are inbetween the shower areas. It


means the south west of England will be wetter than it was today.


Here is how it is looking. There isn't much change from one


day to the next. Particularly chilly in northern Scotland. Heavy


thundery showers in Edinburgh. Those temperatures don't really


change from Friday to Saturday. Disappointingly cool for the time


What next for our relationship with the ECHR?

Newsnight examines justice secretary Ken Clarke's efforts to reform the European Court of Human Rights, and Steve Smith takes a close look at Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. Kirsty Wark presents.

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