29/05/2012 Newsnight


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


street demonstrations against state corruption, why is the European


Union so anxious to admit Montenegro.


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


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


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


new national infrastructure, the Archbishop of Canterbury reminds us


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


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


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


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


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


really a role model for anyone these days.


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


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


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


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


completely unobserved ceasefire there. Impet tent western


Governments expressed -- impotent western Governments expressed what


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Foreign Secretary says diplomacy, the Annan Plan is the


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


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


ordinated across Europe, a diplomatic offensive giving Syrian


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


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


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


isolation of the Al-Assad Government. The international


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


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


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


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


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


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


range bullet wounds by unconfirmed militia groups. This bloody


confrontation has galvanised leaders to put their weight behind,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


down version of an earlier Arab League map for an orderly


The appeal for a UN monitored ceasefire was briefing observed,


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


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


the provision that there should be timely humanitarian assistance to


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


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


the diplomatic package has moved further and further away are from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Russians and the Chinese, towards something the Syrian opposition


would accept, there is this intensive diplomacy. William Hague


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


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


back some way towards something the Syrian opposition might accept.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


charges defares today here in washing don charges deaf fares to


leave. It was What was the use in that?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


consult going forward. Do you not worry that with thugs


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


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


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


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


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


very strong Security Council statement over the weekend. Where


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


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


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


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


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


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


Syria meeting, was an accountability group, we have made


very clear we will hold those responsible for perpetrating these


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


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


there any point at which you would contemplate military intervention?


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


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


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


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


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


steps. Thank you for joining us.


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


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


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


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


board calls Montenegro the pearl of the Mediterranean. Its moral


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


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


to add another member with a flexible attitude for public


accounting. That would misread things most seriously.


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


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


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


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


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


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


benefiting from modernisation, they are paying for it.


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


of Montenegrins out on to the streets.


They are thoughting "thieves", accusing political leaders of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


international cigarette smuggling conspiracy. The charges against him


were eventually dropped, but protestors see Milo Djukanovic, who


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


influence. If you have a former Prime Minister


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


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


Controversy surrounding Mr Duk stretches back a long way.


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


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


From the high ground above Dubrovnik, his forces


indiscriminately shelled the ancient city, causing international


outrage. The seven-month siege left more


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


apart, Djukanovic supported the Serbs. His Government handed over


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


compensation, while Croatian neighbours received an apology for


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


Montenegrin magazine has been pursuing him ever since, arguing he


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


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


Djukanovic charged for the financial crimes, and for the war


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


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


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


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


cigarette smuggling kept Montenegro financially afloat. Using


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


night they would tear across the waters bringing illegal cigarettes


into Italy, the Mafia would distribute them throughout Europe.


The Prime Minister add mits his predecessor is controversial, but


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


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


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


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


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


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


unfairly and as controversial. protestors are accusing your


Government of window dressing for corruption committed under the


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


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


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


go have managed to make progress on every international recoginsable


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


demanding an investigation into the privatisation programme. Which they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


asolts. The report -- associates. The


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


convicted of drug smuggling. And others indicted with Milo


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


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


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


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


noticed, Montenegro had unilaterally adopted the euro as


its currency, the economy was booming, and the coastline


transforming. The country was excitingly recast, the obvious


place to relaunch an icon of sophistication.


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


collapsed. The Djukanovic Government had to bail out the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Only last week EU officials said corruption remained a serious


concern. Others have been harsher, the influential foreign affairs


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


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


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


most committed to transparency reforms be claimed the way it was


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


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


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


bring Montenegro up to European standards.


The European Commission actually has a whole arm devoted to EU


enlargement, which advises countries like Montenegro, on how


to fast-track their way into the club.


Stefano Sannino is the director- general of the European Commission


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


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


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


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


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


like the one that Montenegro has concerning corruption. You accept


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


access of information. Or initiatives to avoid the conflict


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


members of management boards of private companies, and had to


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


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


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


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


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


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


Balkans is part of creating a narrative for the EU of


reconciliation, and of stability and security for all the countries


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


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


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


in Brussels considering whether this policy of constant enlargement


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


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


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


enlargement to the centre of western European countries, or to


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


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


stability, security and better prosperity, even in the European


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


whether in the current circumstances, it might be thought


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


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


enlargement in central and eastern European countries. There are


problems that are touching countries that were, very very


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


joining us. To the second of our films looking


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


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


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


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


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


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


dropped down the chimney in Nicholas Nickleby, bring on the


lightning, a clean tumble or a corkscrew.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


decribing the CrossRail project in the capital today.


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


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


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


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


this. Because the first underground


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


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


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


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


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


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


works that we associate with the Victorians.


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


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


exploitation, poverty, hopelessness. Are we living through Dickensian


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


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


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


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


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


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


people have said, privately and publicly, the financial crisis


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


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


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


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


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


Dickens might have encouraged us to feel.


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


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


experiences in the North West, documents their punishing working


lives, and unenviable living conditions.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


It has levels of unemployment which actually affect the national


average, it also has underemployment. It still has many


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


belonging together in a city that they are proud of.


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


radar strongly. Preston's one place where they have


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


a great anniversary. It isn't the Jubilee.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


project. -- in the events of their day.


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


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


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


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


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


nation, and the people on the street.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


through wholesale intervention by the state.


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


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


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


the start you have Dickens characters who are ludicrously


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


pointing out the fact that these people have used their prosperity


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


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


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


it in terms of responsibility. is something they could perhaps


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that Britain had already been overtaken by the Germans and United


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


had a disastrous impact on the future of British Industry and


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


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


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


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


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


amorality of the Industrial Revolution, not just pollution and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Halls and infrastructures, local authorities could go massively into


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


something changes when they become a matter of private enterprise and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


We are becoming like the -- Victorians dismantling the benefits


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


philanthropy meant you paid your bills in the right time.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Tomorrow morning's front pagess now:


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


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


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


sunshinele Michael foreignia girls with the


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


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


beautiful coastline Some sunshine, more showers thaned


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


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


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


be sunshine inbetween the showers across northern England and the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.

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