27/06/2012 Newsnight


Jim Reed considers proposals to protect children from online pornography, as smart phones and other devices proliferate. And the politics of Lords reform. With Emily Maitlis.

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Tonight, bankers back in the dock as Barclays is found guilty of


lying to customers and investors, by tempting to rig interest rates.


The bank is fined, the boss forgos his bonus, but is that enough, and


was everyone else at it. The regulator tells us the wrongdoing


went further than one rogue bank. We have to look at each case on its


own particular facts, but the initial indications is that


Barclays was not the only firm involved in this. As we understand,


RBS was in the frame, we ask our panel what needs to be done to


control our banking system. How hard do you have to look before you


find this on your computer, more importantly, how hard do your kids


have to work. I typed in two words on my laptop, I was absolutely


gobsmacked by what came up. I had no idea at that point, just how


explicit the pornography was. campaigners warn of the Government


going soft on porn, we talk to the virtual reality pioneer, Jaron


Lanier, and ask our panel if it's time to make us opt in to what we


view. Also tonight:


Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel talks to us on the eve of his major Welsh


music festival. I can't act. I put myself in whatever the director


tells me, I try my best to achieve his insights and thoughts.


Good evening, how do we put some of the banker blame game behind us?


Bob Diamond the head of Barclays asked the select committee last


year. Tonight he may be eating his words, after his bank was found


guilty of lying over the course of four years about the interest rate


it was having to pay to borrow money. Perhaps, most shockingly of


all, the lying was done as decently as 2009, as a result of


instructions from Barclays senior management. Today Mr Diamond


apologised and has given up his bonus. Tonight Newsnight has


learned of other banks under the spotlight doing the same thing.


Inside Barclays there is the gambling side called investment


banking, and more mundane advisory and retail sides. Between them is


supposedly a sacrosanct Chinese wall, but this rate-setting scandal


appears to have destroyed the very edifice of that wall. The


reprecussions could be huge. The InterBank lending rates, which


Barclays has conceded it tried to manipulate, are also used to set


mortgage rates for millions of people around the world. The banks'


traders reached across the corridors to their colleagues, who


set these rates, and illegally persuaded them to push them up or


down in the bank's favour. That has earned the dubious result of


getting fines on both sides of the Atlantic. The CTFC, the American


watchdog, said Barclays top boss, not only lowly traders were


Some of the e-mails between traders underpinned the level of collusion


At the heart of this scandal is LIBOR, or the London Interbank


Offered Rate, this interest rate is agreed by a select number of key


banks every day, and despite its very local name, it is a global


Bevan mark for contracts worth hundreds of trillions of pounds. So


even the smallest deviations can save or cost a bank billions.


The fact that the banks have been manipulating LIBOR, the rate of


interest on those loans, is outrageously shocking. The Barclays


boss, Bob Diamond, said today he would give up his bonus this year,


he has been trying to draw a line under banker bashing for two years,


and even drew an ethical line under the business last year. We have to


build a better way of banks generating growth. Second, we have


to accept responsibility for what had gone wrong. Finally, and most


importantly, we have to use the lessons learned to become better


and more effective citizens. Bob Diamond's predecessor, John


Varley, boss at the time of the collusion, is 12-1 to be the next


Governor of the Bank of England. Diamond had a shred of shame he


would resign, he hasn't, if the Barclays board has an inch of


backbone they will sack him. Utterly unacceptable that he could


carry on after this, and after Barclays' aggressive tax avoidance


when they had to pay �500 million back to the Treasury in February,


enough is enough. Barclays would have paid a much bigger fine but


for the fact of the banks being investigated, they were the first


to put up their hands and claim leancy. This suggests this is just


the tip of the iceberg, and there are plenty of banks, including some


very big British banks, that are waiting anxiously for the wrath of


the regulator, or the approbium of the public. We know that other


leading banks are involved in these investigations. So we know that the


Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Citigroup, Lloyds Banking Group,


Deutsche Bank, the broker ICAP, are all currently in the spotlight. We


could see more events like we have had today. Newsnight understands a


handful of RBS traders have already been dismissed for their part in


fixing InterBank rates. The state- controlled bank is co-operating


fully with regulators both here and in the states. There is no doubt,


though, that this latest scandal, surrounding the banking fraternity,


will further damage an industry, whose public reputation already


ranks below car clampers and tax inspectors. After PPI, outlandish


bonus, and the mortgage-backed assets, that caused the financial


crisis, this latest may beat them all. Colluding to set the rate of


interest that decides how much ordinary people pay for their homes,


may prove for banking what phone hacking did for tabloid journalism.


We asked Barclays for an interview tonight, they declined our


invitation. A little earlier I asked my guest from the Financial


Services Authority, how shocked she was at what they had discovered?


found the misconduct of Barclays is some of the most serious we have


ever seen, that is why the penalty we have imposed is such a


significant one. We were looking at this at the end of 2009, beginning


of 2010. The more we dug into it and the more we looked into it the


more we found in relation to misconduct by the traders and


across the relevant desks. We took this very seriously indeed.


damaging do you think this could have been, then? The issue that is


of concern to us here, is LIBOR is obviously the benchmark rate used


for contracts across the world, worth hundreds of millions of


pounds. It is really important for the integrity of that rate to be


preserved, that the market is confident that the rate that is


fixed actually reflects what it is supposed to, which is the amount at


which banks can borrow from each other. The risk that was supposed


by the misconduct we have seen at Barclays is that the rates risk not


being based on those borrowing figure, but were being based on


other issues, for instance, the positions of derivative traders in


relation to their book, or concerns about Barclays reputation. We took


this very seriously indeed. Realistically, you haven't got to


the end of things here, how widespread do you think the


practice is? We have a number of on going investigations in relation to


LIBOR. Whilst those investigations are on going I can't comment on


them, when they are concluded we will clearly publicise the outcome.


When you say a number, are we talking more than a dozen, more


than five, how many are we looking at? I'm afraid I can't give awe


number. All I can say is we have a number of investigation that is are


on going. But you are pretty sure you are going to find a situation


similar to the one in Barclays in at least one of them? I think that


obviously we need to look at each case on its own particular facts,


but the initial indication was that Barclays was not the only firm


involved in this. You have imposed a fine which you say is the largest


of its kind, nearly �300 million, that is the kind of sum Barclays


could make in half an hour? penalty, the number you talked


about is not just our penalty, that is also the penalties imposed by


the US authorities as well. They have imposed penalties on Barclays


today. The penalty we have imposed we think is a very significant


penalty, it is set in accordance with our own penalties' framework,


I think the impact on Barclays goes far beyond the simple penalty, the


amount of publicity and comments that will have happened today and


over the coming days in itself will be significant for Barclays'


reputation. Thank you. Here to take the story on, from


Washington we have a lawyer for the securities and exchange commission


in Washington, he now runs a company advising bankers about


regulations. In the studio we have the former City Minister, and a


former banker, thank you very much to all of you.


In Washington, I will start with you. You heard from the FSA there,


in your opinion, does the punishment fit the crime, would


this stop any bank doing it again? First, I have to say I'm a former


ACC lawyer, not current. I think what the FSA did was not hard


enough. I think the facts support conflicts of interest, a systemic


breakdown in supervision and management. There is an attempt to


blame compliance when compliance was not responsible for it. I think


what the FSA did was levied a slap on the wrist, when compared to the


US Justice Department, and also the CFTC. If you read the CFTC's order


that came out today, there were 18 pages of significant controls,


requirements, that Barclays has to adhere to. There is training,


supervision. I think this is what I would call not a victimless crime.


I think what the FSA could have done, and had the opportunity to,


was do more than levy a fine, I think they could have imposed


severe restrictions on the ability of Barclays to operate in this


market. How would they do that? They could impose the same types of


controls that the CFTC did. Would have to make the entire process by


which they were to calculate data and submit them, provide it to the


regulator. They would have to undergo training, they would have


to keep records and beef up their internal controls. Most importantly


here, the disappointment that I see, is in a regulatory regime that is


designed around tough supervision, there really wasn't tough


supervision penalties imposed on this. The supervisers weren't named,


when, if you compare with the CFTC did, there were very clear


instances pointing out specific instances of supervisory failure.


What a regulator has to do is be clear, yes the FSA did the right


thing, but it didn't go far enough in imposing specific controls and


provisions in Barclays to continue to stay in this area.


I will stop you there. You have heard there the blame being levied


at the supervision, or the lack of regulation. As a former banker, can


you say people should be putting their hands up and saying we did


something wrong, you can't just keep pushing the blame on


regulation? I think there are a few points here. Very clearly, there


was deliberate attempts to manipulate these numbers from the


derivative areas to the bit returned to the Reuters that set


this rate each day. That process was lax in the way it was being


supervised. I think one can't but agree that is the critical flaw


here. You are talking about lax as if these are children that were


running amock in a playground. Surely the people in charge knew


they were doing wrong? I would imagine that it would be difficult


not to know that it was quite wrong, what was being influenced. One of


the criteria of LIBOR is the rate is set by the people who are


responsible for the cash position of the bank, and not by the trading


areas of that bank. There shouldn't be any contact between the two.


That is the fundamental guideline. This LIBOR position has to relate


to the unsecured borrowing between banks, and the rate at which they


could borrow that money. When you look at the kind of e-mail that is


were sent, the very pally ones, let's open a bottle of champagne,


it was a boys' club? There was that kind of culture, there shouldn't


have been that kind of communication between those two


sides at all, that is the critical thing. You can see from this, the


reasons why people are very keen to achieve closer separation between


the retail banking side, the Treasury side of the, if you like,


the more mundane part of the bank, by comparison with the investment


banking piece. Because at the back of this you probably have a


boneless structure that is driving behaviours you don't want to have


happening. You can talk about a bonus structure or a Chinese wall,


but there will be people silting at home saying I don't understand --


sitting at home saying I don't understand why there aren't


criminal prosecutions over this. Lying on something that is meant to


be a standard bearer for the industry? They have let Barclays


off lightly, the �300 million is less than Bob Diamond has earned in


the last four years. It is a few days trading profit, it could be


the profit that arose from one single lie. The American


authorities were much stronger in their language than the UK. They


used the word "lying", they detailed multiple failures. This is


the most corrosive failure of moral behaviour that I have seen in a


major UK financial institution n my career. You would like to see


criminal prosecutions, presumably? I think fines and public criticism


will not stop these behaviours. These behaviour also not stop until


the people perpetrating it, or are responseable for oversaeing --


Responsible for overseeing them face the prospect of going to jail


and criminal charges. What should have happened to Diamond? Barclays


people said they were not taking their bonuses, most people would


say why are they getting bonus, the bank isn't making an adequate


profit, and Mr Dime has had to tear up his business plan. This bank has


been fined by the FSA four times in the last two-and-a-half years. Why


they were paying bonuses I think, in itself, is highly questionable.


What should Barclays Bank do now? They need to look at the people at


the top. The chairman at the bank was there when it all happened, the


chief executive was there when it happened. What do you mean look at


it, do you mean fire them? They have to ask seriously whether the


people at the very top of the bank were setting the right cultural toy.


In Bob Diamond's BBC Today Programme lecture, he said the


culture of an organisation was what happened when you thought people


weren't looking. We now know what was happening in Barclays when they


thought people weren't looking. They were, in the words of the


Department of Justice in America, lying. And we cannot have people


like that holding responsible and senior positions in a banks where


the taxpayer ultimately stands behind it. Why isn't there a single


political leader or party tonight, then, that is calling for him to go


f that's right? I don't think we know enough, Emily, about the


detail. But the idea that the time has come for deputy heads to hole


is a nonsense, the people at the very top must take responsibility


for a complete cultural failure. This is a company that is had to


pay back �100 million for mis- selling of protection insurance,


and multiple fines in multiple jurisdictions. This behaviour


didn't just happen here, it happened in America and Asia. It


involved a wide number of executive, according to the regulators. There


is something deeply wrong at the heart of Barclays, and the response


to date has simply been inadequate. Do you think that's right. In the


report, we heard many other banks and institutions named. This is


presumably going on in the US too, you probably know the ones under


investigation there. I agree, being a former regulator in the United


States and Britain. Having been a compliance officer and seeing firms


from the inside. The heart and soul from any organisation is tone at


the top and proper supervision. The evidence here is neither were


present. The thing that shocks me the most is the attempt to blame


compliance for something is completely wrong. That is situation


where senior management have an affirmative responsibility to


document that they are supervising. In Asia, here in the states, in


England, anywhere in the world, conduct like this is flat out


unacceptable. When you say, conduct, there is no proof that anyone


actually physically lost money over this? Right? The issue is not the


loss of money. The issue is a failure to supervise, consistently


in enforcement actions around the world, regulators always point to a


failure to supervise as a contributing factor to an initial


breach. If these individuals were properly sup advising, they would


have not only idea -- supervising, they would have not only looked at


the conflicts of interests, but addressed it. There is a failure to


deal with conflicts of interest and supervise, if there was, the firm


would have been caught out and rooted out months ago.


wondering if you were working at Barclays tonight, would you be


thinking your reputation was in tatters, or would you be saying, we


got off that one quite likely and look at the other ones under


investigation, we will just melt into the middle? There are big


worries certainly about the supervision point. I superintendant


a lot of people don't understand what this relates to. But these


interest rates governs about �10 trillion worth of borrowing on the


syndicated markets, and �250 trillion of trading in swaps,


interest rate cover and other things. It is a very important


mechanism. It is crucial the pricing is right, otherwise the


counter parties to the organisation, you and I, and everybody else, are


basically paying the wrong interest rates. That is what the fundamental


risk is that is going on here. What is crucial. Let me just ask you


that again, faced with what we have got, essentially a fine, which as


Lord Myners said, Bob Diamond could make in four years, they won't be


feeling this is something that is so outlawed, so immoral, so


criminal, that nobody will be doing it ever again? They will be feeling


the reputational damage imposed by this control. Even if they are one


of 10 or 12? Even so. There will be big problems associated with this.


What is critical to us. And by "us" I mean, us, as a country, is that


we put the supervision in place to make sure this type of problem


doesn't arise, and bear in mind this was raised back in 200, by the


Wall Street Journal. Raised in 200, when you were City's minister, you


must have known about this? There were problems of setting The


Libertines interest rate structures, this is not a new occurrance -- the


LIBOR interest rate structure, this is not a new occurrance. This was


not known about at the time, if it had, action would be taken. People


have lost money because of this, the Department of Justice in


America is very clear in its wording, that losses have arisen as


a result of this. We are going to see a lot of litigation.


As anyone who has ever looked for porn on the Internet, many of you


haven't, but found it any way. It doesn't take a degree in computer


science, gone are the days of credit card payments and tricky


encryptions, now it is as easy to get as YouTube. Should be providing


be made block all pornographic images, an issue looked at tomorrow.


Newsnight understands that coalition ministers are currently


reluctant to opt-in measures, they want to go for a watered down


version of on-line child protection. A good old fashioned scare story,


or a genuine threat to Britain's teenagers. Newspapers have been


full of headlines, warning about the dangers of unfiltered,


unstoppable porn on the Internet. Now the argument's changing. It is


not whether porn is damaging young people, it is how the Government


should stop children from watching Hi, welcome to our lesson on


pornography. At this comprehensive in Sheffield a group of 16-year-


olds are being taught the difference between real life and


what they see on a computer screen. A girl wouldn't feel comfortable


doing something on porn, but boyfriends would expect them to do


it. Born in 1996, this is the first generation to be brought up on-line.


Do you think that pornography is really easy to get hold of on-line.


They don't have to directly type in porn, even when they do it comes up


with pages and pages full. They would easily be able to access it.


Do you think it should be harder to get hold of? For certain ages, yeah.


This sex education class is unusual, though. In other parts of the UK,


schools and colleges have been reluctant to tackle issues like


porn. The governors don't like it, and often parents don't either.


want to know what our young people are looking at, particularly


because I have children of my own. When I typed in two words, into the


Internet, I was absolutely horrified with how easy it was to


get hold of really extreme pornography. I think if our young


people have access to stuff like that, we owe it to them to make


sure our sex education is really up-to-date, takes account of the


fact that they can access this kind of stuff. We need to look at the


messages coming from pornography, and counter act some of those


messages. At the centre of all this is a shift in the way porn is


viewed, the way porn is accessed on the Internet. Just a few years ago


many adult sites needed a credit card, now those pay sites have been


replaced by what looks like very adult, very X-rated versions of


YouTube. The new free sites offer unlimited


access to thousands of hardcore video, with no age restriction at


all. The material is often so extreme, so accessible, many now


think it is time for the Government to step in.


There are three main option ones the table, first up, do nothing,


many civil liberties groups think policing the Internet should be


left entirely up to parents. Next, active choice, sign up for a new


broadband contract and you will be forced to choose whether to install


a child prodetection filter, all the main broadband providers have


agreed do this, it is the Lib Dems preferred option, and Newsnight


understands Conservative ministers are keen as well. Many want to go


further, an automatic block, a porn filter is turned on by default,


that can only be lifted if you contact your internet provider or


switch it off. That is supported by Labour, and some backbench story


MPs. What we want is a one-click solution, that basically means that


adult content is blocked, if you want it, you have to go through the


filter to get T we think that would be safer, we think it is a system,


we know it is a system that works with the mobile operators, we know


it is a system people say they want. Delighted that the Government's


consultation is going to look specifically at that.


But, there are questions as to whether any block can ever really


be effective. With four million customers Talk


talk is one of the biggest broadband providers, it has spent


millions developing its own system for stopping adult content. We have


settings so we can wish not to allow this particular set of


children to view pornographic sites, gambling sites. This is a doctor of


computing at Cambridge, he says systems like this can be easily


evaded. That is how it should work, how


easy is it to get round the restrictions? There are several


ways of accessing unsuitable sites. We could just use a proxy f we want


to go off and look at a porn website, we could type this name in


here, and behold we start getting pictures here which your viewers


don't want to see. That isn't being blocked at all by


Talk Talk. It offers a certain level of protection, but people


would be wrong to assume protection is anything like perfect. The


system will block some of it, by no means all, if you view it as being


a substitute for parenting skills you will be sadly mistake. Switch


on Talk Talk safety settings you get an e-mail saying you can relax


and let your children surf the Internet. Is that a promise too far.


We try to be clear with our customer that is Home Safe is a


tool that will make the Internet safer, it won't make it safe, full


stop, in no way would we advise customers as a means to stepping


away in thinking how their children are using the Internet. Why do you


e-mail customers when they change their internet settings, that they


can relax and allow their children surf the Internet, isn't that the


wrong impression? That is not what we want to do, clearly that is not


right. Which want to give customers comfort that they have done a God


thing and build their confidence. The Government doesn't really want


to go down the road of extra legislation and red tape, but the


pressure is on with newspapers and children's charities now getting


together to demand stronger action. Unless the industry is seen to be


doing more, those voices are only likely to get louder.


We are going to carry on the debate here in the studio. Jaron Lanier,


the Godfather of internet reality, India Knight, the editor of Loaded


and Claire Perry, the Tory MP who you saw in that report.


You saw, Claire Perry, a second ago, who is willing to go the whole way,


and say if you don't like porn, make people opt in for it. That is


the bravest option, isn't it, India Knight? I don't agree, I do like


porn and I consume porn, I don't think, I know, statistics show us,


that an enormous number of men and women consume porn. That was the


phenomenal success of 50 Shades of Grey, triology, busting any Harry


Potter records. Porn you see on the Internet is legal, it is not


illegal, there is a dishonesty that occurs when lobbies seeking to


ghettoise porn link it to child pornography. Nobody sane or


rational is interested in looking at child pornography, that is out


there all on its own, to conflate child pornography and porn. I don't


think we have done that. You are comfortable watching porn, and


being known on national television being a viewer of porn, you


wouldn't mind opting into a scheme that asked you to choose? I know


when my children were small, like any parent, I tortured myself with


the idea of the images they might be seeing, and the appalling things


I might inadvertantly expose them to. The solution is to have the


computer in a public space, like a kitchen or sitting room, and not


send nine-year-old kisd up to the stairs -- up the stairs with a lap


stop. I put filters on them that my teenage boys dismantled in the --


in minutes. I don't want little kids watching t but it is my


parental responsibility. I have got children slightly younger, you are


right, in an ideal world, this is absolutely part of parental


responsibility, keeping kids safe, whether in cars or on the Internet,


we know, if you look at the facts, four out of ten families are


downloading these device-level filters, six out of ten British


children are going on-line, often with their laptop, offer half of


kids access the Internet in a private space, something we don't


think is right. We have to stop dealing with the perfect and the


theoretical and deal with the facts. We know children are accessing this


material. It is not porn as we know it, that came across, that teacher


is a very brave lady to be tackling that thing. What are you saying,


you are saying six out of ten British children probably watch


porn on-line? Are able to access pornography on-line. Hypothetically.


Also the proportion of teenagers, the filtering drops as your


children get to puberty. And arguably that is when you actually


want to start being very well aware. I agree being a vigilent parent is


absolutely the ideal, the facts are people aren't doing T the current


system we believe is defunct and it is time for different. Who is the


hypothetical six-year-old constantly exposed to porn.


evidence suggests that 82% of British people are really worried


about how easys to access porn. It is unique that people feel helpless


about it, half of people say their kids know more than them about


technology. And others think the school is teaching them how to


safely use the Internet, we are teaching them not to put out their


number on Facebook. There is a sense of helpless. You edited


Loaded for six years, do you think this problem should fall to the


broadband companies, the vehicle Which? You access? I think so.


Getting everybody to opt in is a step too far. The thing we should


stress is adults consume pornography in a healthy way and


shouldn't be criminalised. In relation to opting in, and you are


married, and your wife doesn't approve, what will that say about


that relationship correction it lead to marital break-ups. It does,


a lot of people are reporting it is a problem. If you drive anything


underground you make it more desirable and aspirational. More


people want it if you ban it, same as anything, that is the world.


What are you saying f you made people opt in, you think it could


have a detrimental effect on marriage in this country? I think


it possibly could lead to relationship problems because


people are made to feel grubby and secretive. Lots of people consume


pornography, why isn't it an issue. The consultation being led by


Number Ten tomorrow, this is something with a broad consensus.


To get back, we treat the Internet really differently, that is where


Gerald's view is so great, you have to opt in to get adult content on a


mobile phone. A parent getting a mobile phone contract for a child


has to opt in for adult content t works there why not the Internet.


Is it better to leave the Internet as the untamed wild west? First,


the Internet is not like the printing press or the TV, it has


really become more intimate and universal, it is the conversation


people have with each other. Getting into the middle of it has


more profound implications than getting into the middle of earlier


media technologies. My concern is if the Government takes this step,


you will enter into a cat and mouse game with all sorts of sneaky


technical players from around the world and you will have to escalate,


and end up in a different place than you intend. What makes more


sense is to look at the motivations of those who would pipe this free


porn nothing fee. If you really look at why on earth -- pornography.


If you look at why on earth they do it, when kids send to to each other


we can't do anything about, that I would prioritise issues like


bullying, however. You are saying the porn providers are doing it for


money? They are, and how are they doing it for the money, the porn is


free, it is not directly for the money. They are using it as bait to


gather data about people and children. It is a private spy


service. So if the law was focusing on that, if you said that sneakly


gathering data on people and selling data has more severe


penalties for everybody in the chain, you would get universal


support and shut down the motivation, without getting into


the middle of expression. It is this bizarre, corrupt idea that


because everything is supposed to be free on the internet, the only


allowed business is to run these private spy agencies and sell data


about people. That is the core problem here, that is the motivator.


That is not something the Government will tackle.


Internet is a global, unregulate thing, that is why it is a force


for good in the world. It is Ince credibly hard to regulate it. We


are not suggesting that, Government doing that is bad idea, we would


like the ISPs to have a self- regulation model. If you make them


do that it is the same as the Government stepping in? It is


putting up a consultation about the pros and cons. When we had the


debate and the parliamentary inquiry, we had tonnes of ideology


about it being too expensive and destroying the Internet economy,


there were no facts produced to support any of that, it is


assertion. We would like the facts and make the decision. If it had


been as easy for Loaded to get pornography to readers as it is to


the internet, you would have done brilliantly? Our business was


destroyed by the Internet pornography, we were �4, and had


you to go and buy t and we could be sued if we break the laws. We


operated within the PCC and the retailers, we would be delisted, we


couldn't compete. The Internet is a din interprice, they eroded our


business and destroyed it. Did we want to do that? No, we weren't a


porn magazine. Where do you sit on this debate, do you regret the kind


of stuff you pushed as an editor? grew up and became a father, my


perspective changed at that moment, it is a young man's game. Being a


father and working in an industry where Loaded was the softer end of


the scale, it is described as a nursely slope for it, I got out, it


was my choice. When you say you are happy with porn being in the house?


I'm not saying I'm gathering people around after Sunday lunch. If your


boys came and you had the talk with your sons, do you think it aters


the way that they will say sexual relationships? I used to think that


it would. I used to think in my more panicked moments that they


would be Ruskin, unable to have sex with his wife on her wedding night,


because she didn't look like a perfect Greek statue and had pubic


about hair. I used to worry prech that my male children would think


women looked and behaved in a different way. That is nonsense,


they exist in a world of normal women, and are able to tell the


difference between fantasy and reality. I think it is worth saying,


I don't think Claire realises the level of intrusion and snooping


that her plan involves. I don't want when I'm Googleing, if I'm


doing something innocent, if I want to buy underwear on-line, and


include my bra size, or if a 15- year-old is going goinging


penetration with regard to work, we are branded and blocked. We can't


do it. One phrase you used about the


difference between reality and the web. You coined this phrase,


"virtual reality", do you think people understand the difference,


people that have grown up from 1996, they have grown up using and


knowing nothing but the web? What I have observed with the young people


I have worked with is two divergant trend, on the one hand we are


creating a new class of bullied people, an underclass, that is


divergant from the issue of on-line pornography, that is on-line


society and the meanness of it. If anything, I would worry about us


growing a new generation of kids who are too tame, who have lived


too much in the world of simulation and information, live in a social


context that is categorised and reliable and constant. I would


worry much more about that sense of predigested sense of society, I


worry that they are too soft, they are not exploratory enough. That


they take the world too much as a given. It is almost inner city.


Something like that. I think there are concerns but perhaps these are


not the ones that I would prioritise.


Thank you very much. Bryn Terfel rose to fame after


coming second in Cardiff Singer of the World in 1989, known for his


grand opera roles, he has cornered the Wagner market. Next week sees


BrynFest, a festival of musical talent, at the Royal Festival Hall.


He sprang a surprise after performance with the Simon Bolivar


Orchestra. So how did this extraordinary


secret surprise come about? I had meetings here at the South Bank,


and they thought maybe I could an encore. How exciting for me. I just


told Mr Dudamel that, un ore pan ami.


That's your Spanish! Just to hear them play it for the first time, it


is incredible, that is enthusiasm for you. Youth in music is just


tremendous. What a bridge it is. I'm singing about the wonderful


bridge that goes into Valhalla. The Gods have just cleared the skies,


and built a bridge for us. I wonder if they think of that, kind of, as


a bridge for them. You have the wild Wagner, and then you have the


Covent Garden Wagner, you are doing both, how do you calibrate with


different directors? I'm young in the Wagnerian torrential waters, it


is maybe one-and-a-half productions of The Ring. I can't wait to sing a


full Ring Cycle on my home turf. La Pag, he's production, I was very


lucky to be part of the performance, controversial or not. The


youngsters I came to see it that I invited loved it. When did you hear


your first opera, do you know what you were? It is Othello, the


Zeffirelli production, when -- Otello, the Zeffirelli production


when it was out. I was given a seat by BBC Wales to review the evening.


I gave it such a glowing and fantastic review, that was the


ignition I needed. The candlelit, there was a eureka moment, I


thought this is what I want to do. You came runner up in the Cardiff


Singer of the World, that catapulted you into your future


stardom? I would say it kalt puted the eventual winner, he was the


clear favourite. I maybe took my time and sang smaller roles in


Opera Houses in Britain. You never really had to do chorus, you were


out front from the start? That is very true. Was that a handicap, at


first, or did it put added pressure on you? Maybe I cut my thief more


in misLenous concerts in Wales with male voice choirs and mixed choirs,


without knowing it I was given an education of how to perform on the


stage from a very early stage. lot of directors think opera


singers can't act, how much is the performance in the opera? I can't


act, I put myself in whatever the director tells me, I try my best to


achieve his insights and thoughts. I will do it with gusto and with


feeling. But, I need their help. I can maybe get around the single bit,


but acting is a completely. We did a great evening in the Royal Opera


House, of Shakespearian operas, and then some actors, acted the same


sections, they came on to the set, and set that scene. We need an


orchestra. I always come off the stage thinking I could have done


that better, I don't think it is a bad thing. What roles haven't you


done that you would love to do? never sang any of the Russian


repertoire. Maybe some swan songs towards the end of my operatic


career. Maybe an opera written by son time, he needs to write


something after Sweeney Todd. is an eclectic mix in the BrynFest?


Four eclectic nights, the Super Furry Animals there, the opera


night. Three wonderful singers there, the royal national Welsh


opera and cor chus will hop on stage and the pit. I can steal them


from pit and stage, it doesn't happen very often. There has to be


the staple diet of a male Welsh choir, with a band, myself singing


a couple of songs. It is a little bit like the festival I had in


North Wales on tour. # I can see the quiet churchyard


down below You are very proud of your Welsh


heritage, aren't you? I am incredibly proud. I don't think I


should be afraid of having an ambassadoral shoulder that carries


something that Wales can give, maybe that's a little bit in this


festival, here in this corner of London. I have even started a


foundation now for young singers. The talent that comes from this


small country is magnificent. And going back to my foundation, I


would like to even have the tip of Kiri Te Kanawa's foundation in New


Zealand. Maybe will I become a politician, will I run an Opera


House towards the end of my career? I don't know. Maybe I should start


opening books and reading about it Fantastic, weren't they brilliant.


I love him, I really love him. We admire, oh my God. He can move to


characters, and we will have a lot of fun, let's go one more time.


Bryn Terfel with Kirsty there. That's all from Newsnight tonight,


we leave you with a bit of Olympics, the official Olympic song was


unveiled and the bridge was raised, the song is Survival:


# Life's race # I'm gonna win


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