21/05/2012 Newsnight


Stories behind the headlines. Is the power to sack workers good for the economy. Are Europe's banks broken? Plus a hospital for blast victims and Jessye Norman. With Jeremy Paxman.

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So, how do we get ourselves out of the doldrums. Today's answer came


from a Tory donor, arguingp employers need to be able to hire


and fire more easily. Rubbish said the other half of the coalition


Government. We don't need to scare the wits out of workers with


threats to dismiss them, it is completely the wrong approach.


is the ghost of "I'm all right Jack", still at large. Could the


economy be energised if we were all less secure. Is he in. I will see


your union bogeyman, and raise awe free market economist.


Meanwhile, could a bank run in Greece spread to your local branch.


How at risk are the major banks of Europe. Later on. TRANSLATION:


doctors in Iraq told me, if this operation in Iraq does not work out,


I will have to have an amputation. Damaged in Iraq, mended in Jordan,


the hospital where they try to put back together the shattered bodies


of those who survived the violence. I sleep for one week before the


amputation, and one week after amputation. Amputation for any


surgeon is failure. We talk to one of the world's greatest sopranos,


or rather we listen. # Falling in love with love


# Is falling for make-believe. Britain has a deficit crisis, true,


the only escape is economic growth, also true enough, but after that,


the ideas laid out in a report for the Government, from a big Tory


donor get a whole lot more controversial. So controversial,


involving getting rid of all sorts of labour rights, that the Business


Secretary, Vince "diplomacy Cable, delivered the verdict that they are


complete nonsense. Will any of these plans that make hiring and


firing easier see the light of day, and or important, should they?


Here is Allegra Stratton. You can see why the Prime Minister


might spend his down time on this, with one dab of the index finger


you can slice through a juicy fruit, three in one go, you get more


points. For his party it is not fruit, it is flexible leave,


redundancy pay, and the juicyist of all, the ability to hire and fire.


Their set text is this. A review by Tory donor and private equity


businessman, Adrian Beecroft, it was published this afternoon. It


made 17 proposal that is would allow firms to opt out of


It was welcomed by those with experience running businesses.


labour market has to be flexible. You see that particularly with


employment law as well. What we want is a right to hire policy, we


want companies to be taking people on, and unafraid of the


consequences of taking people on. Small companies need flexibility.


But employees needs their rights too. It is a question of getting


the balance right. I think the Beecroft Report, published this


week, is a very important step on the road to considering all the


options. I think we should look at makes it as easy as possible for


smaller companies to take on staff. These ideas, however, do not mix


well in the coalition furnace, today sparks flew.


The Business Secretary, conveniently visiting the


sweltering steel works of Redcar, and so atired in flamable kit, went


into battle with his intellectual foes. Most of it is pretty


uncontroversial. There is one bit that has stirred up a lot of


controversy, this no-fault dismissal, some describe it as a


hire and fire system. I don't see a role for that. Britain has a


flexible, co-operative labour force. That is what you see here in this


steel plant, the work force have made a lot of this happen. Last


week I was at Ellesmere Port, where we have got back General Motors


investing in Vauxhall. One of the thing that attracted them is


British workers being flexible. We don't need to scare the wits out of


workers with threats to dismiss them, it is completely the wrong


approach. This is about the differences between the coalition


partners, it is as serious as it gets, for one it is an ap, the


other it is a pear. They don't agree. You have Conservative people,


including cabinet ministers, who think the reason the UK economy is


sluggish, is because the labour market is shrer rottic. And the


Liberal Democrats say there isn't a single shred of evidence that says


it is the UK's economy. They have a wider point, they say capitalism is


allowed to work because of regulation, it allows trust.


No matter, Tory MPs said in the Commons today, as the Government


fields questions in the chamber, Beecroft's lessons are legion.


2005, Germany exempted businesses with fewer than ten workers from


unfair dismissal regulations. They introduced a new catagory of mini


and midi jobs, their unemployment figures have halved, what can we


learn from Germany. The last survey in this area showed


that we were lightly regulated, the third lightest after America and


Canada. Germany is more regulated. Turkey, the most regulated, drew


its economy. Circumstantial evidence, and studies carried out


by a number of think-tanks, national and international, seem to


put some of the best economic performances, such as Germany, and


to some extent, France, on the more regulated end of the spectrum.


of how Germany has deregulated? have to see these particular


measures in the German context, which is the context of a highly-


regulated, neo-corporate, industrialised economy. And labour


lawyers, and comparative labour lawyers, are always warning against


the simplicity of the argument, of suggesting legal transplants from


one legal system to another. International Labour comparison is


interesting, Denmark is highest in the world for ease of hiring and


firing and redundancy costs. They have a system that is very good at


getting people back into work when they are unemployed, they support


them very well, and they have a highly-skilled work force. The


lesson is, if we are going down this path, we have to look at it in


the round, rather than focusing specifically on one element of


deregulation, as a solution to getting people into work.


Some within Government expect that there will be action on the


Beecroft Report, as part of a great reckoning between the two parties


that they have to do everything they can to get growth. The


question will be, will it be in substantial areas, where previously


there had been much disagreement, or whether it will be in those


areas where actually they have already said they sort of agree, so


the low-hanging fruit. There are some consultations out there, there


are some things the Department of Business has already said it will


implement. I understand that the Lib Dems


could move towards the Tories on Beecroft's ideas, it would be


limited to those affecting small businesses. Those employing fewer


than five employees may be exempted from regulations. Lib Dems suggest


they may exempt employee-owned, John Lewis-styled companies from


regulation, in an attempt to increase that model in the economy.


The Beecroft Report emerged having had hefty help from Downing Street


and civil servants. One source joked, final version was version 27.


Varnished or unvarnished, many think the Prime Minister does have


to act in some way, and Lib Dems know it. Tory MPs think the


Beecroft Report offers many fruits to be sliced, some in one swipe.


We have Lord Oakeshott, and the Conservative MP Tominic Raab, the


one-time economic adviser to George Bush, and head of an Asset


Management company, Pippa Malmgren, and Labour Party economist, Davit


Blanchflower. Where is the evidence that making


it easier to hire and fire people actually promotes growth? There is


actually a total of abundance of domestic and international evidence.


The CBI did a report last year, a survey which found 77% of


employiers said regulation was the major -- employers said regulation


was a major threat to businesses. The World Economic Forum says we


come 83rd on the league table for overregulating our businesses.


These are statements of opinion, I'm asking for evidence? In the


CBI's case it was a survey of employers. And they said something,


they did not produce any evidence, isn't that correct? In that case,


yes. But all of the business groups, all of the employee groups, are in


unison saying we have a major problem in this country. It is not


a silver bullet, there is finance and business taxes. But if you are


a small business, with all the uncertainty around you, you are


worried about taking that risk to hire someone, and someone in this


debate has to stand up for the 22% youth unemployed. That is what we


are doing, it is not standing up for the employers, but the


unemployed. Have you seen evidence to support this contention, Davit


Blanchflower? No. I listened to the commentator a moment ago, I looked


at what Vince Cable said. He's quite right to say there is


absolutely no evidence for this. There has been a huge literature in


economic about the effects of regulation, and how it impacts


unemployment. We see no co-relation whatsoever. A good thing to think


about in the UK, we have seen incredibly flexible wages and hours,


there is no credible evidence whatsoever to say that regulation


in the UK is a major problem. In fact, if you go to the business


department survey of 201, they said 7% of firms thought regulation was


a problem, so I'm afraid there is no basic evidence to support the


contention, at all. Lord Oakeshott, there is an apparent plausibilty to


this argument. It seems to make a certain amount of sense, doesn't it,


if you are Mr Beecroft, of course it makes sense. Yes. It is my turn


now. You hang on a second blees, Davit Blanchflower, I want to bring


in Lord Oakeshott. Can I say in my day job, not talking politics with,


I'm a small businessman, and I run a small business with five people.


I know a bit about it, and more than Adrian Beecroft, who has been


an asset stripping executive. may employ five people? He doesn't


employ them directly. If you ask small businesses and the Federation


of Small Businesss what the biggest problem is, it is not whether they


can sack workers, it is whether they can get the finance from the


banks, particularly the Royal Bank of Scotland, to take the workers on


in the first place. That is the biggest single problem. This


Beecroft Report, it does have some good things in it. Taking the fruit


analogy, there is decent apples in there, but two or three very bad


ones. The things like putting off the compulsory fund pension


contributions are being done, a lot is being done. What is not being


done is to have a sack on the spot culture just at the time when there


is no economic confidence. There is no chance, in your view, of the


Government to bring in those regulations? Not the one that says


sak-on-the-spot. In this country, we in this country do not believe


that is a price worth paying, even if they might in America.


Frightfully rude, I should have brought you in. I want to bring


Dominic on the point that whether this Government will introduce this


particular, do you think the Prime Minister is on your side, the


particular point about making it easier to hire and fire? I'm not a


psychologists, I'm a politician. You are asking me to guess what the


Government will do, don't -- are asking me to guess what the


Government will do. Don't you know what your leader


will do? Does he agree with you? hope he does. You don't know?


are having a consultation and we will find out. On the issue of


firing on the spot. There are whole swathes of ways of doing this. We


extended the period from one to two years, and I didn't hear Lord


Oakeshott complaining then. I'm in favour of that. What we are arguing


about is this one thing here which you Conservative right-wingers seem


to be fixating on, which is the sack-on-the spot culture. You don't


need to throw jibes. The one to two years has been done by the


Department of Business. You support that. So for two years you are


happy with sack-on-the spot. When you take someone on it is


reasonable to have two years. The sensible parts of Beecroft are


being done already, so why is there suddenly this great attack on Cable


because they won't do the sack-on- the-spot thing. As you have


accepted, most of it is completely uncontentious. This particular


point is held by people like Tominic Raab and his friends to be


abs you luetly key. Absolutely keen. It is a totem pole. What about the


United States? Two-thirds of economies are generated by firms


that employ fewer than 50 people. So if we want to create new jobs,


it is only going to come from one place, that is from entrepeneurs


who are taking risk. So far so uncontentious? If we talk about


sacking on the spot, I want to be clear. The thing to cause people to


be sacked on the spot is not regulation, but the debt problem


that is bearing down on this country and the austerity. You


can't project people from losing their jobs by having all this


legislation in place. That is what we learned in the United States.


The one thing you have to do is create new jobs. And that GDP


construction can only occur if you have a risk-taker, the risk-taker


needs to know if he or she puts his capital down, that they can


manoeuvre who are my employees, what is the nature of the business,


can I innovate fast. What we have to do in Britain is to innovate


fast. We have that already. Look at this clart, you will be able to see


it, -- This chart. You will be able to see, it was referred to in the


piece. It is the OECD's assessment of employment protection in this


country. You can't see it Davit Blanchflower, but you know the


facts. I have it here. The UK is down there, why does that have


anything whatsoever to do with economic performance? The point is,


the debt problem in this country has created such a burden on growth,


the point is how are you going to get growth going, you are not going


to go through the state. Davit Blanchflower you are in the states.


Putting your hand up, you can speak. Job protection, there is no


question it is a problem. If you look at the World Bank's business


ratings, the UK ranks 7th behind the US and Canada, same countries.


There is no evidence whatsoever to say it is regulation, and actually,


I agree that the big problem in the UK are two things, lack of demand


and lack of access to finance to small firms. None of which are


being dealt with. All of this stuff is just a way to scare workers,


make them have an increased fear of unemployment, stop consuming,


increase spending, lowering growth. I think this looks like a right-


wing disaster. Can I say something nice about the


stories, please. Hang you, you want to hear something nice, we don't


want to hear that! Seriously, the point he's making, and the point


about I'm already Jack, we have a totally different Labour market


than 20 years ago. I pay tribute for Mrs Thatcher for cracking the


strength of the unions, we have a free and flexible market. Look at


Vauxhall, it is not a problem any more. I want to talk to Tominic


Raab now, about this point that David Blanchflower -- Dominic Raab


now, about this point that David Blanchflower made. If people fear


for their jobs, they are not going to consume, and without consumption


you don't get demand and therefore no growth? That may be true, but if


they are languishing unemployed. is rather serious? There are a


whole range of competing risks here, the big risk for us is we have 22%


youth unemployed, 8% unemployed, I agree with the points about finance,


we have told the banks we have introduced major reforms, we


probably agree on most of those. We are telling the banks two different


things at the moment. Our control over certain things, like finance,


is wanting to stop bail outs happening again. One of the things


we have total control about is the regulatory climate. The problem


with the chart, it is four years old, if you look at what the IOD


estimates for last year, they said the equivalent of the output of


Singapore is what businesses lost in the regulatory burden. That is


why if you look at other surveys. Anecdote. We are still well down


towards the deregulated labour markets around the world.


Please? Smaller companies need to face less regulation. You can


choose what is the level of employees at which you want to have


protection of employment begin, but that's not even the critical issue


here. I think this is what the Beecroft Report isn't addressing.


Is what is the bigger question of how to incentivise more risk-taking


in the economy. That involves a question about tax policy,


regulatory policy, frankly, monetary policy and what purpose it


service in the current environment. The point is, this country needs to


have a massive debate, about the relative balance between these


different things. All with a view to incentivising more risk-taking.


I agree with, that we need more investment and more confidence and


more growth, at the moment it is not working.


Thank you. The dealers who make-or- break currencies, were willing to


pay a little more to buy euros, it was a reflection of the weekend


comments by leaders that Greece will stay in the euro. Easier said


than done, perhaps what may determine the fate of the euro, and


of many European economies, is much less words of politicians, than the


actions of their citizens. Specifically whether they are


willing to leave their money in the banks, and whether those banks are


themselves judged safe. Paul Mason, our Economics Editor,


is here, before you talk about that. It didn't seem to me to achieve


very much that gathering in America. That is clear, the news is, nothing


happened in the weekend. The G8 leaders don't get together often.


It was an opportunity. What we can say is the battle lines inside the


powerful nations were drawn more clearly in the sense that Germany


is a bit more isolated in its insistence that there has to be a


lot of austerity in Europe. The growth wing strengthened its hand.


The good news today is no bank run in Greece and Spain. Towards the


end of the week people in the markets were pretty wordied that


people would pull their money out of the banks. What passes for good


news today is there is not a run on the bank? That is not just because


we don't like to see queues outside banks or 1930s-style scenes. It is


very difficult to understand at the moment what is holding Europe


together. Europe has a sovereign debt problem. The European banks


are currently buying the debt of countries, because the European


banks have been given money by the European Central Bank. If there is


a bank run, that is not just a bad thing for Greece, where the most


likely candidate it is for it to happen. A bank run, for reasons I


will explain in a minute, can take apart the very mechanism that


allows the money to flow through banks to state. The whole situation


being created could come tumbling down if we got one queue outside a


big bank in Athens. It is technical, but here is why.


Eurozone banks send money to each other through a system known as


Target 2, it is a payment system, not a lending system. All


transactions take place within the European Central Bank, not direct


between a Greek bank and a Germany bank, say. Here is the problem,


with the Greek banks in droubl, they can only operate in this


system because the ECB is letting them draw money they don't have. It


is auld emergency liquidity assistance, ELA, it is a lifeline


the European Central Bank has to vote for, twice a week. Last week


it was raised ten billion, to 100 billion euros. If a real bank run


begins in Greece, independent of who wins the election, that


lifeline could be shut down. It did seem quite clear, pleasingly


clear. There is a European meeting later this week? It is a dinner of


the heads of state, convened by your favoured man in Europe, Mr Van


Rompey. There is fun already happened there is two-and-a-half


pages of detail before the immortal statement, "before the end of


dinner, I propose we talk about recent developments in the


eurozone". It is a kind of acceptance that at the big


diplomatic evidence there is not much more action until the Greek


election on the 17th of June. And while Greece is a ticking detonator,


ready to go, what people are then worried about is what it sets off.


Because while Greece is, we have discussed again and again the Greek


problem, the banks are effectively bust, they are on life support from


the European system. It is what happens if the Spanish banking


system is in some way ignited by that detonator. What you don't want


is to have an unstable political situation in Greece, where a


trigger is either through the bank run system, or simply by the idea


that the Greek also not carry out the austerity moves, that the


crisis comes in Greece at a point when the Spanish banking system is


not stablised. They are trying to stablise the Spanish banking system


and want to give the Spanish banks 100 billion. Now we have the


problem we always run into, the Spanish bank doesn't want to be


bailed out at the moment. That is where we are, by Wednesday night we


might be is somewhere else, or by the time coffee and the canapes


come out, I'm not sure. Two people who know a thing or two about banks


in trouble, are Gillian Tetting, managingedor of the Financial Times


in -- managing director of the Financial Times in America.


-- Gillian Tett. Are we there yet? The ECB has


propped up the banking system to an extraordinary degree, which is good


news, but the key challenges are very serious. The question is, what


are they doing behind the scenes to prepare for the worst case. People


behind the scenes should watch are they supporting the bond system,


will they create an insurance scheme for the entire eurozone, and


just how much more can the ECB do. We hope to explore some of those,


what is your view of whether there will be a run on the banks?


tricky parts is in terms of how Greece will be managed, is manage


the cross-border exposures, the extent to which banks are indebted


to banks across the border has to be covered. That is the big


question. How is it covered, by what Gillian was talking about?


There has been experience of this, in the 1980s in Latin America, you


had a big crisis of the banks potentially collapsing and the


currencies collapsing. It was covered, in effect, in a system


known as Brady Bonds, US dollars security, an analogy could be the


eurobonds. What is happening now? If they have any sense, they will


be working out how that eurobond- type cover can work to stablies


those currencies, if there is any risk in that cross-border exposure,


between the banks transferring. That's the defence mechanism that


needs to be put in place at this point in time in Europe. You have


spoken to a lot of these people at the European Central Bank, haven't


you? I have recently, yes. Is that what they are doing? They are


certainly looking at just how many extraordinary weapons they can pull


out of the Arsenal and fire. Over the last year or so they have


already surprised people by -- arsenal and fire. Over the last


year they have already surprised people by old actions with the LTRO.


What is that? Long-term retail operations, the ECB could be


fatastically bold if it wanted. We have an article from the Polish


Finance Minister today, alling for unlimited purchases of the eurozone


bonds by the ECB. That is a very big step for the Germans to stand


up to. The Germans are against all that? They have been very cautious


up to now. Germany has to recognise, to some extent and to a large


extent, it hasn't been explained to the German voter, but the German


economy is being largely subsidised by keeping its exports competitive


by the other countries in the eurozone. If these countries are at


risk, the danger is that the German currency s or the eurobit of that,


deflates rapidly making Germany uncompetitive. Germany has had a


boom, because of the high level of stability in German employment, in


marked contrast to what we were hearing, it has meant the German


consumer is not worried about losing their jobs and is spending


more. If there is the sort of banking


crisis that we are thinking about, what happens to banks in this


country? I think this is very much almost a third order, if you like,


the second order was the contagion alluded to in terms of Spain and


Italy, the third order is the UK, which has less exposure to


continental European banks. What about Santander, which took over


Abbey National? Santander UK is isolated, it can't pay a dividend


to the Spanish parent unless the FSA approves that. If you had money


in santand der you would loaf it there? It is pretty safe. The only


downside to it, is you can'tness -- the bank can't get capital out of


the parent in Spain to support itself, in a way another bank may


be able to. The rest of that is very safe. I support Ian's point


and pick up on something he said earlier. The good news about the UK


system is people have got deposits in UK banks do know there is an


insurance scheme in place, they know who stands behind it. One of


the big problems in the eurozone is there isn't a common insurance


scheme for the entire area. If you are a Greek depositor, you don't


know who is backing it, at the end of the day. When it is said the


issue right now is the cross-border balances being covered, what is


happening in the financial system now is you are seeing fracturing in


terms of how banks actually order their businesses, that is


incredibly important. If you were a Greek with funds on deposit in a


Greek bank, surely you could move it to a German bank? That is why we


have money moving out of Greece right now. The legality of this


protection scheme, and the question of who is responsible for whom, it


is simply not defined right now. What you have already is many banks,


as Ian knows, essentially saying, if I'm lending money to Italian


companies, I want to make sure I'm electing -- collecting money from


Italian depositors to match them up. If you go back to two or three


years, everyone thought it was a common euromush, they were treating


it like a single currency area, the banks are don't that any more.


is to cover the cross-border exposure, if a bank is borrowing


across country borders, there is an insulation in the banks for the


cross-border exposure. That is, in effect, what the ECB has to put in


place to keep it going, that is the called firewall protection they are


working on. Time for something positive, it is


a pretty rare commodity in coverage of the Middle East, where frontline


journalism focuses on bombs, shootings, torture and suffering.


For every person who dies in a bomb explosion, many others are wounded,


often serious lo. There is a remarkable hospital in the


Jordanian capital, Amman, which offers to repair those victims. It


has began caring for patients from Iraq, and now patients come from


all over. All the patients have something in


common. They have been terrorised, by explosions, by bullets, by


catastrophy. I admire my patients. They are great, they are strong.


have come to Jordan to meet the faces behind the statistics. Tucked


away in a suburb of Amman, the forgotten victims of violence in


the Middle East. Is survivors of unimaginable horrors.


Here, doctors are reconstructing their broken bodies. And helping


them rebuild their lives. When we get a result, it makes you feel


good, really good. Dr Majd el-Rass, is a Syrian surgeon, preparing to


operate on a young Iraqi girl, injured in a bomb. When I see these


patients, I feel I'm not having enough, I should give more. They


need more. They are suffering, they didn't do anything bad to suffer,


they are here asking us to help them.


Waiting anxiously is this girl. An explosion outside her home in


Baghdad last September killed her brother, and shattered her leg. She


hasn't been able to walk or go to school since then. TRANSLATION:


doctors in Iraq told me, if they operation doesn't work out, I will


have to have an amputation. That's why I'm scared. Since the moment I


arrived in Jordan, I have been nervous. This is the first stage of


surgery. She will need a lot, at least three or four. We hope, after


that, she will walk. But there is always a risk. There is a risk of


amputation, always. By the time they get here, the


patients are all extremely complicated medical cases. And over


many months and years they face multiple gruelling surguries. But


the care they get here is so u Neil Kinnock there is -- surgeries, but


the care they get here is so unique, there is a huge waiting list. Set


up in to deal with the patients of conflict in Iraq, it was a


temporary unit. But with increasing conflicts, the hospital had to


expand, with an increase in 46%. It has taken in patients from Libya,


Yemen, Iraq and Syria, and Egyptians. Amongst the Syrians,


desperate to keep in touch with news from home, there is a special


camaraderie. Almost all are afraid to be identified, because of


concerns for relatives left behind. Not Abu Hassan, he managed to get


both himself and his family out. A woodcutter from Deraa, he says he


was politicised when he saw the Al- Assad's response to peaceful


demonstrations on the streets. He began to mobilise young


protestors, and witnessed and filmed, as demonstrators were


gunned down. Soon he was rounded up, interrogated and tortured.


TRANSLATION: I was handcuffed and blindfolded, and the interrogator


told me he would bring Syrian television in, and I must tell them


I smuggled weapons from abroad, and I regreted it. I said I cannot do


that. He said he knew how to make me confess, then he put burning


coals on my feet, and poured a kettle of boiling water over my


legs. But he knows he's lucky, only Syria's walking wounded are making


it here. Saed had to be operated on three times, but in the end the 27-


year-old's leg had to be amputated. He says he was shot while helping


wounded protestors, shot by snipers. He hid, sleepless with pain on a


farm for seven months, before being smuggled here for treatment. Today


the doctor is preparing Saed's stump for a prothesis. I can't


sleep for one week before an amputation, and one week after the


amputation. Amputation for me, or for any surgeon is like failure.


It is like a failure. But times it is the saving measure, the saving


of life sometimes. For months on end, this hotel is a


home from home for the patients. Some will have to return year after


year. Amid the pain, hope and expectation. But most of all, this


is a place of waiting, and for many, progress is slow.


This boy was six years old when a bomb went off at a family funeral


in Baghdad. He lost several relatives, as well as his left leg,


left eye, and half of his face. Already he's had 25 operations. To


help rebuild his mouth, muscle was transferred from his back.


Complicated surgery rarely perform anywhere else in the world.


One in ten of the project's patients at the moment are children.


And in room 502, they have just opened a makeshift school. The


teacher told us the children are so keen, that they pile into class the


moment she arrives at the hotel. Most of them now are Iraqis, but


MSF is readying itself for an influx from Miria in the months


ahead. What strikes you most about these


children is the complete absence of self-pity. This 12-year-old is from


Fallujah. TRANSLATION: I have been here for a


year. This bit of my face used to be like the other side. I have had


two operations so far. How is it being here, is it difficult to be


away from home? It's good? In what way? You like the weather. You like


the calm and the fact that there are no explosions. Hussein is


waiting for a third skin graft. He showed me how he was burned in a


bomb. He says it hurts, but only at night. The patients living behind


these doors all have very visible injuries, but hidden away is the


mental pain, of men who have been rejected for work because of their


disfigurement. Of women so badly maimed they have been divorced by


their husbands, and children, ostracised at school because of


their disfigurement. And the psychological wounds are extremely


hard to treat. This man's deepest wounds cannot be


seen. On day out with his family, the young Yemeny's car was hit by a


rocket, killing his wife and two- year-old son, in front of him.


Tomorrow he will have complex surgery to transplant a bone from


his leg to his arm, and staff are anxious about him. He has attempted


suicide three times. TRANSLATION: Since it happened I have known no


peace, none at all, I'm in constant pain. I had four operations in


Yemen, each one made things worse. Here I love the doctors, they are


like a family to me, anything we need, they give us.


It is Wednesday afternoon, and they have opened up the hotel ballroom.


Every few months staff put on a special party for the patients, to


try to lift their spirits. Time to keep a close eye, this woman is


responsible for the patients psychological welfare. Do you worry


about their physical or mental injuries more? The mental injury,


the physical will be treated. It is the last day of the week, and


the doctor has patients to check up on. Three days after surgery,


wassan is recovering slowly. Her mother is concerned that she


has lost weight. That is her on the left, taken before the explosion. A


young women now reduced by her injury to childlike dependency. But


all are relieved that the first operation has gone to plan. Saed is


busy rebuilding his strength. As soon as he gets his new leg and can


walk on it, he has told me he's going straight back to Syria. The


doctor is gathering his strength for a new influx of patients.


hardest part is to see the patient on arrival. When he arrives to me,


especially children. I have my habit, when I see a child with a


fracture of the limbs o a problem with the limbs, when they arrive to


me, I say you will walk for me on both limbs, with a football, I will


bring the football. If you didn't exist or this


hospital didn't exist, what would happen to them? It would be


catastrophic for them. Catastrophic. Now, one of the greatest voices in


the world was heard in London earlier this evening, Jessie Norman,


the great American soprano, gave her first concert in a decade on


the South Bank. A programme from Gershwin and Bernstein, to Rodgers


and Hammerstein. She rarely gives interviews, but she has given one


to Steve Smith. Jessye Norman is a diva, in a good


way, and husband been one for 40 years, if you think she has a great


voice, you are quite wrong, unusually she has three great


voices. I have the great privilege of


having a lot of low notes, a very strong middle voice, and high notes


as well. Do you ever ring people up in different voices on the phone


and catch them out, does that work? I have never tried it. Most people


recognise me on the phone, I don't think I would get away with it at


all, I hadn't thought of it. Miss Norman was born and raised in


what is then the segregated south of the United States. Long before


she performed the classical repertoire, other styles claimed


her. Growing up I listened to a great deal of gospel music. I love


jazz, I love singing the American song book, these things that I will


be singing. Cole Porter a Gershwin? Rodgers and hammer stein, Gershwin.


This is all beautiful music s I love it T I want other people who


are stuck, as it were, in what we call the traditional classical


canon, I would encourage them to allow those walls to fall down, and


to allow themselves to listen to a song of George Gershwin and be


happy about it. # It is very clear


# Our love is here to stay. Is there still snobbery in the


classical world? Oh yes, we are very snobbish, we think if it


hadn't been written, particularly and preferably in the 19th century,


somewhere in Europe, it can't possibly be as good. That is simply


a mistake. Jessye Norman backs Barack Obama


for a second term, and not just because he gave her a medal. She


supports him over gay marriage. have never understood why it


bothers other people so. If you're in a committed hetrosexual


relationship, why does it bother you that the people across the road


are the same-sex and happy together. Wouldn't you just want to celebrate


love in any form that it can occur in this challenging world of our's?


Religion plays a great big part, particularly conservative religion.


I don't know how conserve ive and religion goes together, since any


religion is meant to be about love, and understanding, and acceptance.


So conservative and religion is an objectiony moron for me.


Oxymoron for me. You're from the same town as James


Brown? I saw him in the lobby, and I thought should I go and say hello,


or walk by and keep smiling. He turned around and he said, Jess,


how marvellous to see you. And so I said, I was going to say hello, but


I certainly could imagine that you had any idea. He said he knows all


of his homegirls. I wouldn't do my job properly, and usually that is


how it is, if I didn't say, could you please sing a little for us.


# Falling in love with love # Is falling for make-believe


Falling in love with love # Is playing the fool


Good, would you say that you are a diva? One thinks of a diva as being


a person who is rather difficult to be around, and difficult to be with,


forgive the dangle participles, and capricious and generally rather bad


company, and I'm not like that. If a diva is a person that takes


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. Is the power to sack workers good for the economy? Are Europe's banks broken? Plus the Jordan hospital for blast victims and Jessye Norman. With Jeremy Paxman.

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