29/05/2012 Newsnight


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29/05/2012

With Jeremy Paxman. Western governments expel Syrian diplomats; so what? Should Montenegro be allowed into the EU? Does Victoriana offer a path out of recession?


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Tonight, in a blow to several restaurants, but not much else, the

:00:13.:00:17.

west decides to exspell some senior Syrian diplomats, as a response to

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the cold-blooded murder to men, women and children, it is not what

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you would call, apocalyptic, what else could they do? The United

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Nations peace envoy hasn't found peace, nor does he have an

:00:30.:00:34.

alternative to plan now roundly redundant. The six-point plan is

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not being implemented as it must. We are at a tipping point. We talk

:00:43.:00:46.

to the US State Department about what ought to happen next. Amid

:00:46.:00:50.

street demonstrations against state corruption, why is the European

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Union so anxious to admit Montenegro.

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If a former Prime Minister, his best friends are Mafia bosses, I

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mean, how can you say that we are not a Mafia state.

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As the Government tells us to emulate the Victorians to build a

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new national infrastructure, the Archbishop of Canterbury reminds us

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what Dickens would have said. So you have made it, so what are

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you going to do? Are you going to tread on the fingers of those who

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got you there? Are you going to assume you have a God-given right

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to enjoy what you have earned, because that is all that matters?

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We will discuss what the Victorians did for us. And whether they are

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:01:43.:01:44.

really a role model for anyone these days.

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Entire families in the Syrian town of Houla were shot dead in their

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homes by members of the militia loyal to President Al-Assad. That

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was the UN's verdict today, as the former secretary-general, Kofi

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Annan, again pleaded for the Syrian Government to abide by the

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completely unobserved ceasefire there. Impet tent western

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Governments expressed -- impotent western Governments expressed what

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anger they could, by throwing out Syrian ambassadors. France has made

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some war-like noises too. Is there any credibility in threats of

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military action? None whatsoever at the moment. President Hollande's

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statement tonight that it might be possible with a UN resolution, was

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a strange kind of projection. There is no prospect of a UN resolution,

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people talk about Russia and China that context. Let's look at Britain,

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the Foreign Secretary says diplomacy, the Annan Plan is the

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only game in town. The White House explicitly ruled out forced to. All

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that is left is a co-ordinated diplomatic gesture. It was co-

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ordinated across Europe, a diplomatic offensive giving Syrian

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officials their marching orders. From Paris to London, Berlin, Rome,

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the Hague, even in Bulgaria. Similar moves from announced in

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Australia, Canada and the USA too. It is all meant to increase the

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isolation of the Al-Assad Government. The international

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community is appalled by the violence that has continued, by the

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behaviour of the regime, and by the murder of so many innocent people,

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including in the terrible massacre at Houla, which was reported at the

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end of last week. And to get the message across to them, that they

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have to choose, time will run out. Most of the 100 or so lives taken

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at Houla today, the UN confirmed today, were the result of close-

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range bullet wounds by unconfirmed militia groups. This bloody

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confrontation has galvanised leaders to put their weight behind,

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once more, Kofi Annan, the former UN boss and peace envoy, who was in

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Damascus today to underline the urgency of the situation. I shared

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with President Al-Assad, my assertion that the six-point plan

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is not being implemented as it must. We are at a tipping point, the

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Syrian people do not want their future to be one of bloodshed and

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division. Yet the killings continue and the abusers are still with us

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today. What is Mr Annan's six-point plan? Effectively it is a watered-

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down version of an earlier Arab League map for an orderly

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:04:49.:04:59.

The appeal for a UN monitored ceasefire was briefing observed,

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but it has since collapsed, and the call for the Government to stop

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using heavy weapons in population centres has been ignored. And also

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the provision that there should be timely humanitarian assistance to

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all areas affected by the fighting. If there is no possibility of

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military action, what alternatives are there? As I was saying there,

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the diplomatic package has moved further and further away are from

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this Arab League plan of a few months ago, that put quite specific

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details forward about how there might be a transition in Syria, the

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vice-president taking over as a caretaker, elections, all that kind

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of thing. It was watered down to get the Russians and Chinese on

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board. The further they have gone in that direction, the less likely

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it is that the Syrian opposition groups would accept this package,

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and they won't. That is an important factor here, they won't

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accept the Annan Plan either. In order to walk them back, the

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Russians and the Chinese, towards something the Syrian opposition

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would accept, there is this intensive diplomacy. William Hague

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in Moscow yesterday, President Hollande, due to meet Mr Putin

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later in the week. They believe that Russia is in the mood to move

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back some way towards something the Syrian opposition might accept.

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That is pretty much the only game in town. It is diplomatic, it is an

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attempt to bring the Russians and Chinese back into a mainstream. But

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it is not looking particularly likely at the moment. All the signs

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on the ground seem to be of escalation. For more news of what

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the international community might or can do, I spoke a short time ago

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to a member of the US State Department in Washington. It was

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very striking that Kofi Annan did not say that most of these killings

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were the work of President Al- Assad's men, were you disappointed

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by that? I think we have seen reports from the UN observers, and

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the monitors on the ground, who have talked about the fact that

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some of these deaths were clearly caused by heavy artillery, but also

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that many of the women and children were summarily executed by these

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gangs of thugs. The Shah hib bas, that Al-Assad -- shabihas that Al-

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Assad employs to do his handiwork. The fact that Kofi Annan chose not

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to attribute any blame, does that strike you as odd? I believe the UN

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monitors on the ground that there is a clear indication that this was

:07:33.:07:43.
:07:43.:07:44.

carried out by Syrian forces. Again, it is just an atrocious act, and

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unforgiveable, that is why we were prompted today to ask the Syrian

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charges defares today here in washing don charges deaf fares to

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leave. It was What was the use in that?

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is a way of saying we reject your representative in Washington, and

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you have crossed a line in this latest massacre. It doesn't achieve

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anything, does it? We are pursuing a strategy across many fronts, we

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have said we will go back to the UN Security Council, if we don't feel

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Annan's plan will be successful. We are also continuing to keep up the

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economic sanctions, the political pressure on Al-Assad and his regime.

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The ceasefire has clearly failed, what do you want the UN Security

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Council to do now? We are going to wait for Kofi Annan's deputy to

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brief the Security Council tomorrow in New York, then we will continue

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to or begin to consult with our partners. Secretary Clinton was

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clear she would seek a chapter 7 resolution, we will continue to

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consult going forward. Do you not worry that with thugs

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going around, murdering children in their own homes, that this business

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of trying to consult with people is all together pretty ponderous and

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ineffective? Let's be clear, that it is the Al-Assad regime that is

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culpable here. That is responsible for the violence. The international

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community is increasingly speaking with one voice. You saw it from the

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very strong Security Council statement over the weekend. Where

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Russia, obvious low, and China, came on board -- obviously, and

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China, came on board. We think we will bring the increasing pressure

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to bear on Al-Assad. His cronies around him will increasingly look

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at themselves on the wrong side of history. France has called

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President Al-Assad a murderer, does the United States? Look, we have

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said all along, and in fact, one of the outcomes of the last Friends of

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Syria meeting, was an accountability group, we have made

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very clear we will hold those responsible for perpetrating these

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crimes responsible, be it Al-Assad or any of his cronies. I note you

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haven't used the word "murderer", it is yet more talk of talk. But is

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there any point at which you would contemplate military intervention?

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We have long said that we don't believe that further militarisation

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of the situation on the ground in Syria is going to do any good. What

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is very clear is that we need to end the violence, Al-Assad has

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shown no willingness, whatsoever, to comply with the Annan Plan. So

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we are going to go back and consult with the Security Council for next

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steps. Thank you for joining us.

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Montenegro, how many of us could find it on a map? Yet if the

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political elite in that country, and the political elite in the

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European Union get their way, some time in the near future, it will

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join the beacon of enlightenment, the European Union. Its tourist

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board calls Montenegro the pearl of the Mediterranean. Its moral

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reputation is another thing. The EU admits Montenegro is corrupt. You

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might think the organisation is in if a big enough mess, not to want

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to add another member with a flexible attitude for public

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:11:23.:11:25.

accounting. That would misread things most seriously.

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The mountains of Montenegro fall away into the Adriatic, its marinas

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and hotels rise in the other direction. The collision of ancient

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towns, exclusive islands, and modern development, is pulling in

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tourists and billionare investors. Now it wants to join us in the EU.

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Yet, in a country of just 670 though, masses are Marching.

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Furious, that instead of -- marching, furious, that instead of

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benefiting from modernisation, they are paying for it.

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This is the latest in a series of protests that has brought thousands

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of Montenegrins out on to the streets.

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They are thoughting "thieves", accusing political leaders of

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:12:34.:12:35.

looting the country they helped to build. This woman leads a growing

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movement calling for a break from the past. She says the EU is

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ignoring the reality of corruption. Everyone is closing their eyes to

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the fact that we are living in a country where the Government and

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the executive, and all parts of the power are closely linked to the

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organised gangs. This is the man they blame, Milo Djukanovic, six-

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times Prime Minister of Montenegro. He's filmed here helping anti-Mafia

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police with their inquiries. His name topped the indictment over an

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international cigarette smuggling conspiracy. The charges against him

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were eventually dropped, but protestors see Milo Djukanovic, who

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remains President of the Country's ruling party, as a damaging

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influence. If you have a former Prime Minister

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accused of the smuggling in Italy, and if his best friends are Mafia

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bosses, I mean, how can you say that we are not a Mafia state.

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Controversy surrounding Mr Duk stretches back a long way.

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Just over 20 years ago, Milo Djukanovic became Prime Minister of

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Montenegro. And ordered one of the infamous attacks of the Balkan wars.

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From the high ground above Dubrovnik, his forces

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indiscriminately shelled the ancient city, causing international

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outrage. The seven-month siege left more

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than 100 civilians dead. In the bloody wars that tore Yugoslavia

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apart, Djukanovic supported the Serbs. His Government handed over

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Bosnian Muslims, many of whom were murdered. Survivors were given

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compensation, while Croatian neighbours received an apology for

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the ruin in Dubrovnik. This is just before the siege of Dubrovnik.

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Montenegrin magazine has been pursuing him ever since, arguing he

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should be dealt with before the country joins Europe. I believe

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this Montenegro cannot be part of the EU before we have Milo

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Djukanovic charged for the financial crimes, and for the war

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:15:08.:15:10.

crimes. He made Montenegro one of the most corrupt countries in

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Europe. The charges that Mr Duk and his allies have maintained -- Mr

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Duk duck and his allies have maintained -- Milo Djukanovic and

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his allies have relied on smuggling to earn money. At its height

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cigarette smuggling kept Montenegro financially afloat. Using

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speedboats, up to 70 of them, according to Italian sources. Every

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night they would tear across the waters bringing illegal cigarettes

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into Italy, the Mafia would distribute them throughout Europe.

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The Prime Minister add mits his predecessor is controversial, but

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says he has guided them towards EU membership, and refers to him by

:16:00.:16:06.

his former title. Prime Minister Djukanovic was the leader of the

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pro-independence block, he was and is still a western ally. It was him

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who helped Montenegro be granted status for the EU. Mr Djukanovic

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has been around in politic for 20 years, it is not easy to remain in

:16:22.:16:26.

politics in the western Balkans and not to be treated as fairly or

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unfairly and as controversial. protestors are accusing your

:16:30.:16:34.

Government of window dressing for corruption committed under the

:16:34.:16:41.

system of Milo Djukanovic. Do you recognise that? I think that

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everybody should be duj judged by merit. I think month -- judged by

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merit. I think Montenegro belongs to a rare group of countries that

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go have managed to make progress on every international recoginsable

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indicator. Outside the Prime Minister's office, protestors are

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demanding an investigation into the privatisation programme. Which they

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say has broken the back of major industries. Like alluminium. We do

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not have factories any more. Our major business is smuggling. Just

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across from the Monitor office, is the headquarters of Professor bank,

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or First Bank, sold off by the state, it is partly owned and

:17:27.:17:32.

controlled by the Djukanovic family. The bankers funded a lot of the

:17:32.:17:37.

development along the coast, but there are new questions about its

:17:37.:17:39.

operation. We have obtained documents that show, for the first

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time, what was really going on inside the Djukanovic bank. This is

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a report from accountants Price Waterhouse, it shows most of the

:17:51.:17:54.

money deposited at the bank came from public fund, while two-thirds

:17:54.:17:58.

of the money handed out in loan, went to the Djukanovics and their

:17:58.:18:03.

asolts. The report -- associates. The

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report, which was never published, shows that money went to groups

:18:09.:18:13.

convicted of drug smuggling. And others indicted with Milo

:18:13.:18:17.

Djukanovic by the anti-Mafia unit. This journalist said the bank had

:18:17.:18:23.

been used as a personal cash machine. It was an ATM for the

:18:23.:18:28.

private interests. I need to boy real estate, where do I get money?

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-- buy real estate, where do I get money? I go to the bank. Nobody

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noticed, Montenegro had unilaterally adopted the euro as

:18:38.:18:41.

its currency, the economy was booming, and the coastline

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transforming. The country was excitingly recast, the obvious

:18:45.:18:55.
:18:55.:19:00.

place to relaunch an icon of sophistication.

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But the financial crisis washed up here too. And The House of Cards

:19:05.:19:10.

collapsed. The Djukanovic Government had to bail out the

:19:10.:19:20.

Djukanovic Bank. Then it had to be repaid confidential documents show

:19:20.:19:28.

a series of unusual transactions. The way it went is the Government

:19:28.:19:33.

borrowed �1 million, and the Government back to the bank, it was

:19:33.:19:38.

�1 million. That happened 11-times. So effectively, what was happening

:19:38.:19:45.

here? It was Ping-Pong in millions. By the end of all that, the

:19:45.:19:49.

Government had effectively picked up the tab. That ofn't the only

:19:49.:19:59.
:19:59.:20:01.

oddity. The most outrageous thing we found was in 2008, the bank

:20:01.:20:08.

failed to pay deposors in time, but they found many thousands and

:20:08.:20:14.

millions to bank roll a concert by Madonna. The money was supposed to

:20:14.:20:22.

come from private sponsors, instead it came mainly from public funds.

:20:22.:20:26.

Only last week EU officials said corruption remained a serious

:20:26.:20:34.

concern. Others have been harsher, the influential foreign affairs

:20:34.:20:39.

magazine called Montenegro a Mafia state. Angering its Prime Minister.

:20:39.:20:43.

That is ungrounded. How can a country that is supposed to open

:20:43.:20:47.

accession talks next month with the EU, which is selected among the ten

:20:48.:20:52.

most committed to transparency reforms be claimed the way it was

:20:52.:20:58.

claimed? Whatever the ructions over Greece, the accession of the Balkan

:20:58.:21:04.

states remains a priority for the EU. Perhaps a triumph of hope over

:21:04.:21:09.

experience, today the commission said next month's talks will help

:21:09.:21:12.

bring Montenegro up to European standards.

:21:12.:21:16.

The European Commission actually has a whole arm devoted to EU

:21:16.:21:19.

enlargement, which advises countries like Montenegro, on how

:21:19.:21:23.

to fast-track their way into the club.

:21:23.:21:27.

Stefano Sannino is the director- general of the European Commission

:21:27.:21:32.

for enlargement. He joins us from Brussels. Can you tell us how the

:21:32.:21:40.

EU would be improved by admitting a Mafia state? First of all, the

:21:40.:21:46.

definition of Mafia state is a little bit unfair in the as soon as

:21:46.:21:51.

when you define a whole country and condemn a whole country, it is

:21:51.:21:55.

always some how going a little bit beyond what is the real problem,

:21:55.:22:00.

like the one that Montenegro has concerning corruption. You accept

:22:00.:22:03.

that corruption exists in Montenegro, don't you? We do accept,

:22:04.:22:09.

and we have written in our report, that it remains a problem that

:22:09.:22:14.

needs to be addressed, and continues to be addressed. We have

:22:14.:22:18.

also written in our report that there are efforts that have been

:22:18.:22:23.

made in the last year-and-a-half, concerning the fact that this

:22:23.:22:27.

corruption, when it comes to the definition of a more proper legal

:22:27.:22:34.

framework, when it comes to the development of a track record of

:22:34.:22:37.

the fight against corruption in different phase. When it comes also

:22:37.:22:43.

to the reaction of the civil society to the issue of corruption

:22:43.:22:50.

in Montenegro. Is it close to doing any of those things? We believe

:22:50.:22:56.

that a big effort has been certainly made in the definition of

:22:56.:23:02.

a proper legal framework. Recently there has been laws that have been

:23:03.:23:06.

passed earning the financing of political parties, or law on free

:23:06.:23:13.

access of information. Or initiatives to avoid the conflict

:23:13.:23:16.

of interest, there were a number of Members of Parliament who are

:23:16.:23:21.

members of management boards of private companies, and had to

:23:21.:23:25.

resign from their positions. From that point of view, there has been

:23:25.:23:31.

a clear improvement. I ask you the question again, sorry to cut across

:23:31.:23:35.

you, I ask you the question again, how is the EU improved by admitting

:23:35.:23:45.
:23:45.:23:46.

a country in this state? The EU has the enlargement of the EU an

:23:47.:23:51.

element which is part of the story of the EU. It is an element that

:23:51.:23:56.

this part of the DNA. We believe that enlarging to the western

:23:56.:24:02.

Balkans is part of creating a narrative for the EU of

:24:02.:24:05.

reconciliation, and of stability and security for all the countries

:24:05.:24:10.

for the region. We believe that by improving the conditions in this

:24:10.:24:16.

country situation, in Montenegro, also the situation in the European

:24:16.:24:20.

Union, it can improve in terms of stability and security. Is anyone

:24:20.:24:25.

in Brussels considering whether this policy of constant enlargement

:24:25.:24:35.

is a sensible one? We believe that in spite of the fact it may be now

:24:35.:24:39.

that the appetite for enlargement may be reduced, it is still one of

:24:39.:24:43.

the most successful policies of the EU. If we think in terms it of the

:24:43.:24:47.

enlargement to the centre of western European countries, or to

:24:47.:24:51.

the countries that are coming out from dictatorship, like Spain,

:24:51.:24:57.

Portugal or Greece. These are all elements that have created again

:24:57.:25:01.

stability, security and better prosperity, even in the European

:25:01.:25:06.

Union. Your definition of stability is very interesting, I wonder

:25:06.:25:08.

whether in the current circumstances, it might be thought

:25:09.:25:14.

wise to put some of this expansion on hold, while you sort out the

:25:14.:25:24.
:25:24.:25:25.

crisis in the euro? The euro crisis has not been determined by the

:25:25.:25:29.

enlargement in central and eastern European countries. There are

:25:29.:25:33.

problems that are touching countries that were, very very

:25:33.:25:36.

beginning of the story of the union itself. I wouldn't say this is a

:25:36.:25:40.

problem of enlargement. It is a problem of the countries of the

:25:40.:25:50.
:25:50.:25:51.

European Union. I do understand that determination to move ahead in

:25:51.:25:58.

the area of enlargement, is now being used, and member states are

:25:58.:26:04.

asking us to be much more careful in the process. In making it sure

:26:04.:26:07.

that if and when we are admitting the member states, we are making

:26:07.:26:12.

sure it has all the capacities to - - capacity to bear the

:26:12.:26:15.

responsibilities and duties of a report member-state. Thank you for

:26:15.:26:17.

joining us. To the second of our films looking

:26:17.:26:22.

at this country through the eyes of three English authors. Shakespeare

:26:22.:26:26.

last night, Dickens tonight. The Prime Minister keeps banging on

:26:26.:26:30.

about how essential it is for this country to rediscover the spirit

:26:30.:26:35.

which drove the Victorian, to build railways, waterways and sewers. He

:26:35.:26:40.

appears to believe that such a dediscovery is the only way to stop

:26:40.:26:44.

us falling further behind other western countries. As the man who

:26:44.:26:49.

dropped down the chimney in Nicholas Nickleby, bring on the

:26:49.:26:58.

lightning, a clean tumble or a corkscrew.

:26:58.:27:06.

-- a clean tumbler, or a corkscrew. It was the best of times, it was

:27:06.:27:10.

the worst of times. There is now an urgent need to build for the future,

:27:10.:27:14.

with as much confidence and ambition as the Victorians once did.

:27:14.:27:18.

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.

:27:18.:27:23.

Infrastructure isn't just about business, it is an all pevasive

:27:23.:27:30.

force in society too. Money can do anything. What is it people want

:27:30.:27:34.

for the future? They want reasonable things, a decent home, a

:27:34.:27:40.

clean environment, jobs for their children. Please, Sir, can we have

:27:40.:27:43.

some more. Every transforming generation in our history, has left

:27:43.:27:49.

a legacy like their's. I say, we must get out, be bold, and create a

:27:49.:27:56.

legacy of our own. God bless us, every one.

:27:56.:28:00.

Enormous heaps of earth and clay were thrown up, wrote Dickens,

:28:00.:28:05.

about the railway coming to Camden Town in London. He could have been

:28:05.:28:09.

decribing the CrossRail project in the capital today.

:28:09.:28:13.

Is this the kind of thing that Mr Cameron had in mind when he talked

:28:13.:28:18.

about the new Victorian. This huge great piece of kit, tunnelling

:28:18.:28:23.

under the surface of London. Well, the Victorians would certainly

:28:23.:28:26.

recognise the enterprise and the ambition, if not the same scale of

:28:26.:28:30.

this. Because the first underground

:28:30.:28:37.

railways anywhere, were excavated beneath this city, years ago by the

:28:37.:28:41.

Victorian. They followed almost -- 150 years ago by the Victorians.

:28:41.:28:45.

They followed exactly the same route. The scale of things we are

:28:45.:28:49.

doing today are comparable, they are bigger, larger and more

:28:49.:28:53.

sophisticated. But there is a sense of going back to the Victorian days

:28:53.:28:57.

to value infrastructure across the UK. It is not only great public

:28:57.:29:05.

works that we associate with the Victorians.

:29:05.:29:13.

In layman's terms, the adjective "dixenian" is a darker vision, it

:29:13.:29:18.

is the other side of the coin of industrial development, it is

:29:18.:29:24.

exploitation, poverty, hopelessness. Are we living through Dickensian

:29:24.:29:29.

times, as most of us would understand the term? My main sense

:29:29.:29:34.

is an anxiety that the gulf between the top and bottom of the economic

:29:34.:29:38.

ladder has grown and is growing. That is not something we really

:29:38.:29:46.

tackled. Are you disappointed? feel disappointed? I think I do.

:29:46.:29:50.

I think there have been moments in the last decade and more, when

:29:50.:29:54.

perhaps we might have been able to take a different line. So many

:29:54.:29:59.

people have said, privately and publicly, the financial crisis

:29:59.:30:04.

means there is no going back, we can't restore the boom economy

:30:04.:30:07.

there was, we have to think again about what wealth is for. We have

:30:07.:30:11.

to think again about the role of trust, and personal relationship in

:30:11.:30:18.

business. I think, yes, yes and yes, and where are the signs of it. So a

:30:18.:30:22.

couple of challenges we haven't risen to, with a generosity that

:30:22.:30:29.

Dickens might have encouraged us to feel.

:30:29.:30:36.

Dickens travelled to Preston by train, to report on the lot of the

:30:36.:30:40.

industrial working-class. His novel, Hard Times, based on his

:30:40.:30:46.

experiences in the North West, documents their punishing working

:30:46.:30:50.

lives, and unenviable living conditions.

:30:50.:30:56.

Team was king, powering Britain's factories and ships. And the

:30:56.:31:02.

railways, of course. We are on our way. This is

:31:02.:31:10.

fantastic. Times were hard, as Dickens observed, but at least

:31:10.:31:13.

there was plenty of working to around. The boys and girls of the

:31:13.:31:17.

Ribble Steam Railway, keep the Victorian dream alive here. But

:31:17.:31:22.

what about life in the rest of Preston, in the time of David

:31:22.:31:28.

Cameron's new Victorians. Preston is a post-industrial city.

:31:28.:31:33.

It has levels of unemployment which actually affect the national

:31:33.:31:36.

average, it also has underemployment. It still has many

:31:36.:31:40.

of the problems that it had in the 19th century, about people not

:31:40.:31:45.

being able to get enough money to meet the costs of their daily lives.

:31:45.:31:53.

I think he would recognise those issues if he came here today. There

:31:53.:31:58.

isn't so much of the philanthropy that there was in the 19th century

:31:58.:32:03.

here either. There isn't the great infrastructure projects, there

:32:03.:32:07.

aren't people leaving vast legacies to build things like the Harris

:32:07.:32:11.

Museum. The fine classical facade of the Harris Museum, is testament

:32:11.:32:18.

to the days when city fathers put their hands in their own deep ducts,

:32:18.:32:25.

-- pockets to make Preston proud. If we are return to boldness, we

:32:25.:32:29.

shouldn't forget what is happening in our own back yards. I would like

:32:29.:32:32.

to think the Prime Minister is right about living in an age of

:32:32.:32:36.

national ambition. Its not just about national ambition, it is

:32:36.:32:41.

about and civic ambition, about the sense of the real pride about the

:32:41.:32:46.

immediate environment. The great relic of Victorian life in Leeds,

:32:46.:32:50.

Manchester and Cardiff. Where you see how people invest themselves in

:32:50.:32:56.

belonging together in a city that they are proud of.

:32:56.:33:00.

That we have lost, and I would like to see that coming back on to the

:33:00.:33:10.

radar strongly. Preston's one place where they have

:33:10.:33:14.

always talk local. Lusty-voiced, amateur singers, are tuning up for

:33:14.:33:17.

a great anniversary. It isn't the Jubilee.

:33:17.:33:22.

It is a celebration, which only comes around once every 20 years.

:33:23.:33:27.

Of the early traders who got together in these parts back in the

:33:27.:33:33.

Middle Ages, to form something known as the Preston build.

:33:33.:33:38.

-- Preston guild. It is all about communities, and how much we all

:33:39.:33:43.

enjoy being together. We have the Olympics and the Jubilee on the

:33:43.:33:49.

back burner and celebrating the Guild. Why is it so good? It is

:33:49.:33:53.

Preston girls, far more important than anything going on in the

:33:53.:34:00.

country, the world actually. The poet Lemn Sissay, a Lancashire

:34:00.:34:06.

lad himself, has written Anwar them to be performed at the Guild

:34:06.:34:11.

festivities later in the year. A celebrated writer, who travelled

:34:11.:34:15.

to Preston many years before Sissay, was also interested in the lives of

:34:15.:34:19.

people. Communities. And how they fared in the shadow of the grand

:34:19.:34:26.

project. -- in the events of their day.

:34:26.:34:31.

was incredible about Dickens, is he was in the middle of the Victorian

:34:31.:34:34.

boom. The celebration of greater ambition, and what he would do is

:34:34.:34:40.

each day, he would walk the streets of London, for two hours. Dickens

:34:40.:34:44.

saw the people, where as the narrative spoke about the great

:34:44.:34:51.

nation. There was a difference between the narrative of the great

:34:51.:34:57.

nation, and the people on the street.

:34:57.:35:00.

But while Dickens studied the lot of the Victorian working-classes,

:35:01.:35:09.

his ideas about how to help them ran on conventional lines.

:35:09.:35:15.

He didn't want them to get above their station, says one historian

:35:15.:35:21.

He's not really about systemic change. That's the great paradox at

:35:21.:35:26.

the heart of Dickens heart, although he was a performer, and

:35:26.:35:29.

want to go make life better for people. In terms of what he's want

:35:30.:35:34.

to go do in the novel, it is conservative. He has found a way of

:35:34.:35:37.

healing the lives of the main characters, and how they get healed

:35:37.:35:42.

is through individual acts of love, kindness and charity. They are not

:35:42.:35:43.

through wholesale intervention by the state.

:35:43.:35:48.

As you say, there is this thread in Dickens that it is not just about

:35:48.:35:53.

making money, it is what you do with it. Have we lost sight of that,

:35:53.:36:03.
:36:03.:36:03.

if not, are people putting enough back, business oblig e. Right from

:36:03.:36:08.

the start you have Dickens characters who are ludicrously

:36:08.:36:15.

generous, the Cheeryble brothers in Nicholas Nickleby. But Dickens is

:36:15.:36:18.

pointing out the fact that these people have used their prosperity

:36:18.:36:24.

for others. The next point is you have made it, will you tread on the

:36:24.:36:28.

fingers of those who got you there, or assume a God-given right to

:36:28.:36:31.

enjoy what you have earned, that is all that matters, or will you see

:36:31.:36:34.

it in terms of responsibility. is something they could perhaps

:36:34.:36:41.

learn a few miles down the road? think Dickens would have

:36:41.:36:46.

interesting novels to write about the city in the early 21st century.

:36:46.:36:53.

It is more general than that, a climate which is often fearful of

:36:53.:36:57.

those above and he below on the social ladder, and therefore, fist-

:36:57.:37:02.

clenching, anxious, not generous, and if there is one thing that

:37:02.:37:07.

Dickens is absolutely preoccupied with, obsessed with, is how you let

:37:07.:37:11.

go of that anxiety. That clutching your resources to yourself. You

:37:11.:37:17.

have to grow through generosity, that is, I think, the Dickens

:37:18.:37:24.

lesson I would want to see etched in granite across this country.

:37:24.:37:28.

Fresh from the work horse are historian and MP, Tristram Hunt,

:37:28.:37:35.

who wrote Building Jerusalem, the rise and fall of the great city.

:37:35.:37:41.

An ardent Dickensian, and historian and author, Kate Williams. Are you

:37:41.:37:51.
:37:51.:37:52.

an ardent Victorian as well? Yes, but there are lots of kal fires.

:37:52.:38:00.

But they are living -- qal -- The inequality, continuing now, was of

:38:00.:38:05.

great concern. Jo it seems mistaken to link Dickens to the Victorians.

:38:05.:38:12.

He has talked about the Victorian writer, but most of his writing was

:38:12.:38:17.

pre -Victorian period. I would have thought one of the key things about

:38:17.:38:24.

the Victorian era, is by the late Victorian era, Britain had passed

:38:24.:38:29.

its appag y. Above all manufactureed and machine tools, is

:38:29.:38:33.

that Britain had already been overtaken by the Germans and United

:38:33.:38:41.

States. Also a public school ethic which had enormous importance and

:38:41.:38:45.

had a disastrous impact on the future of British Industry and

:38:45.:38:50.

economy. I think it is right. What is interesting about Hard Times,

:38:50.:38:55.

which is one of the few moments when Dickens goes outside of London.

:38:55.:39:00.

I don't think it is a particularly successful book, but the philosophy

:39:00.:39:06.

he was wrestling with there, is the philosophy of utilitarianism, he

:39:06.:39:11.

was going to call it other things. He was battling against the

:39:11.:39:15.

amorality of the Industrial Revolution, not just pollution and

:39:15.:39:20.

commiseration. That is a philosophy of the 1810s and 20s, and through

:39:21.:39:27.

to the Victorian period. Dickens is dealing, Max is right. He writes

:39:27.:39:31.

about the earlier work house, the work house is continuing. Exactly

:39:31.:39:35.

the same system. This is the concern. The philosophy of the new

:39:35.:39:42.

poor law, again, is a pre-Victorian deal. What about the idea of the

:39:42.:39:47.

constant invocation of the new Victorian cage? God forbid, I can't

:39:47.:39:50.

think of anything more disastrous. In particular, the public school

:39:50.:39:55.

ethic, this is not a class issue, but in terms of the ethic that the

:39:55.:40:01.

public schools are perpetrated, the obsession with the arts and classic,

:40:01.:40:05.

the anti-scientific bias in for public schools, and will be

:40:05.:40:10.

disastrous for Britain in the next century. That is one story in it, a

:40:10.:40:14.

story which David Cameron doesn't understand. He wants these big

:40:14.:40:20.

infrastructure project, HS2, CrossRail, and pour more money into

:40:20.:40:25.

London. The whole point about the Victorian period is you had an

:40:25.:40:29.

equality. Manchester, Glasgow and- on-Trent, were as important as

:40:29.:40:33.

London. If you are really a modern Victorian, you begin HS2 in

:40:33.:40:43.
:40:43.:40:45.

Manchester. Manchester was theed modern city? It was built on the

:40:45.:40:49.

free trade principle. You have such wealth and civic pride there, you

:40:49.:40:54.

didn't need the loose, 18th sent free London, which Cameron seems to

:40:54.:40:59.

have. That is what we don't have. The notion of our moral-owned

:40:59.:41:03.

responsibility. The Victorian, wherever they could, did believe it.

:41:03.:41:07.

When we think about the perception and coverage of the Greek crisis,

:41:07.:41:11.

Christine Lagarde is saying they spent too much and they don't

:41:11.:41:15.

deserve our help. That is a complete Victorian notion of the

:41:15.:41:18.

deserving poor. That is what we are interesting to look at.

:41:19.:41:23.

The great thing about the Victorian, for all the stuff about balancing

:41:23.:41:28.

the books, they weren't afraid of debt. How did they build the Town

:41:28.:41:32.

Halls and infrastructures, local authorities could go massively into

:41:32.:41:39.

debt. That is how they could achieve so much. All the Thatcher

:41:39.:41:47.

stuff aboutle baing the book, and what my Victorian grandmother told

:41:47.:41:51.

me. Are we saying, the one thing that Victorians were really good at

:41:52.:41:55.

was local Government. Local self- Government was the abiding idea

:41:55.:41:59.

they had which they traced back to the Saxons. This what partly gave

:41:59.:42:05.

the energy to the cities of the Victorian period, such prowess.

:42:05.:42:10.

is changing things when sawers are sunk and drains are laid on and

:42:10.:42:13.

water and electricity and glass. These are seen as public goods. Is

:42:14.:42:17.

something changes when they become a matter of private enterprise and

:42:17.:42:24.

there is some small obscure item on a balance sheet out some where.

:42:24.:42:32.

do did they begin, we have this array of train stations, our

:42:32.:42:35.

Fenchurch, Canon, King's Cross. Because private enterprise does it

:42:35.:42:39.

to begin with. It is not the most efficient manner. Only in the

:42:39.:42:43.

latter half of the 19th century do you begin to get a proper sensible

:42:43.:42:47.

direction, and state intervention, to deliver these things. This idea

:42:47.:42:55.

of the Victorian period being minimalist, and night watch line is

:42:55.:43:02.

a charicature. We would only agree that only very stupid people

:43:02.:43:07.

idealise the Victorian era. What I mean is although the Victorians had

:43:07.:43:12.

a colossal energy, when one look f one says if Dickens were here now,

:43:12.:43:16.

would he recognise anything he said. He would recognise people like Bob

:43:16.:43:20.

scam diamond, and embrace these people, as living descendants of

:43:20.:43:25.

all the ghastly Nicholas Nickleby that he wrote about. On the other

:43:25.:43:30.

hand, the era of absolute poverty, that he wrote about. Unspeakable

:43:30.:43:37.

poverty, in both town and country, thank God, is no longer with us.

:43:37.:43:42.

is coming back because of the dismandling of the benefits system.

:43:42.:43:48.

We are becoming the virsorian d dismantling of the benefits system.

:43:48.:43:57.

We are becoming like the -- Victorians dismantling the benefits

:43:57.:44:04.

system. We are increasingly turning into a Victorian version, as the

:44:04.:44:13.

benefits system is dismantled, do we put everyone in a bubble.

:44:13.:44:21.

think the idea of workfulness, duty, that non-conformist inheritance.

:44:21.:44:25.

Kate Williams was talking a lot about, the ideas of the

:44:25.:44:31.

philanthropy and so on? We don't have that now. I would have thought

:44:31.:44:34.

philanthropy was always a minority activity. I would have thought we

:44:34.:44:40.

still have a terrific, all the modern Sainsbury's, and such like.

:44:40.:44:46.

Now we get a tax break. I'm not persuaded there are any

:44:46.:44:51.

more or fewer than there were now. What we don't have, which is what

:44:51.:44:55.

they had, are those middle-class, non-conformists, who readered

:44:55.:44:59.

themselves in competition with each other, and sought to emulate each

:44:59.:45:05.

other, to give money to the Harris Museum, the Town Hall, the park, as

:45:05.:45:12.

part of their civic duet. We don't have the -- duties. You don't have

:45:12.:45:18.

head offices, you have branches in Leicester, in Nottingham, you don't

:45:18.:45:22.

have the civic elite in bed with the community. You are right about

:45:22.:45:27.

that, it is very important. A lot of these people are driven by very

:45:27.:45:35.

strong impulses? We have to figure out how to get back there.

:45:35.:45:39.

notion that we have responsibility, it will turn a searching eye that

:45:39.:45:42.

we see ourselves as disadvantaged because we don't have three

:45:42.:45:47.

holidays a year, that is why we don't give money to the poor people

:45:47.:45:55.

in this country. We expect the state to sort everything out.

:45:55.:46:02.

year we commemorate the sent teenry of Octavia Hill, a strong belief

:46:02.:46:06.

that there should be a respectable working-class, that they had duties

:46:06.:46:15.

as well as rights. The 5% fall lanthropy meant you paid your --

:46:15.:46:24.

philanthropy meant you paid your bills in the right time.

:46:24.:46:28.

Increase reeing we will see only the good poor -- increasingly we

:46:28.:46:32.

will see only the good poor get anything. We are living in harsh

:46:32.:46:37.

world. Back to the Victorians, they lived on this massive commercial

:46:37.:46:43.

empire of exploitation. On Thursday our series continues with a look at

:46:43.:46:46.

what the changing times of James Bond tell us about Britain's place

:46:46.:46:54.

in the world. We are on set with the producer, Michael G Wilson.

:46:54.:46:58.

have informally spoken with various people who are part of the British

:46:58.:47:08.
:47:08.:47:08.

SAS, or SBS, it isn't as far fetched as you might think.

:47:08.:47:18.
:47:18.:47:37.

Tomorrow morning's front pagess now:

:47:37.:47:42.

That's all tonight, tomorrow lots on what will happen if Greece takes

:47:42.:47:49.

a nose dive out of the sky. The Beach Boys are visiting for a one-

:47:49.:47:58.

off concert in Wembley. # The sun tanned bodies and wave of

:47:59.:48:02.

sunshinele Michael foreignia girls with the

:48:02.:48:06.

beautiful coast line # Warmed up weather, let's get

:48:06.:48:16.
:48:16.:48:19.

together and do it again -- # Californian girls with the

:48:19.:48:29.
:48:29.:48:34.

beautiful coastline Some sunshine, more showers thaned

:48:34.:48:37.

today. A bright, sunny start for England and Wales. The cloud

:48:37.:48:41.

increase, the showers developing, they move across from the west.

:48:41.:48:44.

Fairly well scattered showers s most on the light side. There will

:48:44.:48:48.

be sunshine inbetween the showers across northern England and the

:48:48.:48:54.

Midland. When the sunshine is out it shouldn't feel too bad. Des

:48:54.:48:58.

might showers, highest temperatures 24. Not far off today. Cooler for

:48:58.:49:02.

the south west of England, showers easing down, later on in the

:49:02.:49:06.

afternoon, with more sunshine. Wales as the showers moves in order

:49:06.:49:13.

warts across the country, the south of -- in other words across the

:49:13.:49:16.

country, the south of the country will have better weather. More

:49:16.:49:19.

cloud in Northern Ireland than today. A bit cooler. For most of

:49:19.:49:23.

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