26/07/2012 Newsnight


26/07/2012

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


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Britain's back and open for business, the Prime Minister's

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rallying call for foreign investment. But, with the economy

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shrinking, who is willing to buy into us?

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A taste of what brand Britain can be, we can do the showbiz, but

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where is the business. The Mayor of Rio, and the Brompton Cycles, are

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here to tell us what is needed for success.

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The excitement is growing so much rb, -- so much, the geiger counter

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of limb mania is going to go off the scale. He's certainly excited,

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what about the rest of us. Is London 2012 the best hope of

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reviving our economic hopes. The edge for Olympic goal. The ruling

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bodies say what is allowed, in terms of physics, anything is

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possible as long as the rules of physics allow that. Who are the

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Syrian rebels, who is funding and arming them? We are on the Turkish

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border to investigate. Good evening, Big Ben bathed in sunshine, crowds

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along the Mal, the royals doing their royal thing at Buckingham

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Palace, although in branded sports wear, Britain has rarely looked

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better. Most would see the country at the top of its game tonight. But

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behind the pomp lies a nation still reeling from the latest shocking

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growth figures evidence and a still deepening recession. And today

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David Cameron invited, some might say, pleaded with, to buy into

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Britain, foreign investors. Paul Mason, what is going on? Before we

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go on to that, there is moving news in Europe, the boss of the European

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Central Bank, Mario Draghi, made a speech, where he said these words,

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I will read them to you, "The ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to

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preserve the single currency, believe me, it will be enough".

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Translated, that means they will buy up the bonds of the striken

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countries, Spain and Italy, or even lend to the bail out fund so it can

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do unlimited bond buying itself. If that happens, that is the big Baz

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sook ka we have all been waiting for. That is why all the markets

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rose in Europe today. It is a big if, although Draghi holds the bass

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sook ka, it is the German parliament who holds the projector,

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they have never agreed to do it before. It may be turning point. We

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don't know. Here in Britain we have been asking ourselves, how is it we

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can stage the incredible thing we are about to see, and yet we can't

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grow our economy. The quest for answers began for David Cameron in

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the rose garden. It is the morning after disastrous news after growth,

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what is the best thing to do? Sit in garden and make a sales pitch to

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foreign investors. We have brilliant British companies they

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can partner with. Last year more businesses were set up in Britain

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than in almost any year in our history. We are a very

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entreprenurial country. I can even offer good weather today. This is

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the Britain millions are seeing as they flock to the city. The

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sunshine be lies a terrible fact. The economy just can't grow, even

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when it is pumped up with money from the Bank of England. David

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Cameron said he would carry on with Plan A+, which is more austerity,

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with more money printed by the Bank of England. Why are things so

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persistently bad, what is the blue sky thinking about putting it

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right? The missing bit of the recovery has been called

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rebalancing, lost jobs in local councils, replaced by new jobs in

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manufacturing. Growth in public spending replaced by private

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investment. There have been jobs created, including in the all-

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important car-making plants, that produce more than 10% of UK exports.

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1100 were announced this week by Jaguar Land Rover. Since the new

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year, McCollateralen, Nissan, Vauxhall, and Honda, together with

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mid-size supply chain companies, announced about 8,000 new jobs. For

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the private sector as a whole, more than 200,000 jobs were created in

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just three months. So why are we still in trouble,

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some think it is not macro- economics, but microstructures,

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like the supply chains of almost successful factories that is the

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problem. The import content is sucked in to actually make the

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exports. That is the fundamental problem. If you look at the factory

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like Vauxhall Ellesmere Port, the fundamentally, for the last few

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years, been running a kit assembly operation, with a Brit content of

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about 12%. If that is so, then every Astra that you export sucks

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in the imports, and that's the problem of broken supply chains.

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help struggling firms, last month George Osborne launched what may be

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the last big tweak to Plan A, in the form of �08 billion, lent by

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the Bank of England to banks to get them lending again to business. But

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will it work? We hear quite a bit about small and medium enterprises

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that can't get finance. And they are what I think we have is what

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some would say is an excessive degree of risk aversion on the part

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of the banks. In my view the problem with the schemes so far is

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they are essentially subsidise to the banks to -- supsidies to the

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banks to lend more. But a sill subsidies to the bank doesn't mean

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they will lend. If the lending doesn't work, the fear is the

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economy will stagnate, you get growth but it is not spectacular,

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and jobs are part-time and low-paid. You can live with that for a while,

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as long as you don't have massive debts, but we do. Last November the

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Government was already forced to announce an extra �43 billion of

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spending cuts, for 2015 and 2016, just to maintain its target of

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balancing the book. But even these drastic measures were premised on

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achieving growth this year and decent growth next. That looks

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unlikely, what can they do? number thing I would actually do is

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incentivise manufacturing output by value-added-promotion. Rebate

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corporation tax, for people who manage organic increases in output.

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Give people an incentive to increase out put, because out--

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output, because output drags employment with it. It is not

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rocket science, we have a lot of skilled people, we have a creeking

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infrastructure, and a structural shortage of houses, it is simple,

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the Government should borrow more money at record low interest rates,

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and using that to invest in things like infrastructure, housing and

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getting the unemployed people back to work.

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For now, the world's rich and powerful, and their yachts, have

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come to London, to see the greatest show on earth. What is the secret

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of a successful exporting economy. I caught up with Mexico's Central

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Bank boss this morning. In the short-term there are no quick fixes.

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You have to go through the motions, you have to go through the process

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of stagnatisation. The strong message I have from Mexico is

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stagnation pays. Britain's options are, in truth,

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limited by what the financial markets will bear. But in the

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meantime, we are determined to have one heck of a party.

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What does it take to get business to invest here, and what do they

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get in return. With me here is Emerson Roberts, who heads fold

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away Brompton Cycles. And Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio. And Gillian

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Tett joins us. You hear the case that David Cameron is making today,

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is it convincing, when you listen to that, as a foreigner, who has

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many businesses who you could be advising, is it convincing?

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Especially at this time it is a convincing message. I know the

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economic crisis has nothing to do with the Olympics, but when Britain

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brings the Olympics, when the Olympics happens in London, it

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opens, it shows again that this is the capital of the world. Because

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it is more open than other important cities. That you can come

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here and make business. You are saying we are the capital of the

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world tonight, you don't really believe that? I do, what are the

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two most important cities in the world, after Rio, just kidding, it

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is New York and London. Great Britain is more open than the US,

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so when you have a big event like that, I mean, it shows really that

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people can come here. But, OK, if businesses come to you, and say we

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want ideas of where to do business, round the world, how far up is

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London on your list, seriously? Seriously, I think it is a great

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place to do business. Unless you have to buy real estate. Again,

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Europe is going through a crisis, the developed world is going

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through a crisis. China isn't, India isn't, Russia isn't? It is

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not as bad as the developing world, the developing world is not as bad

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as developed world. Peru is not doing perfect, but it is going fine,

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compared to what is happening in Europe. But I do believe that at

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the moment, when you bring everyone in. That's how I see the Olympics.

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Gillian Tett, a slightly different view, sometimes, from Stateside,

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Mitt Romney who is in town today, once wrote that England was a small

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island, roads and houses are small, and it makes things the rest of the

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world doesn't really want to buy. think that certainly reflects a

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view of considerable pessimism amongst many people over here in

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America. You talk to American policy makers or economists or

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business leaders today about what is happening in the global economy,

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and Europe, in general, is seen as a pretty black spot. London and the

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UK until now have been viewed slightly differently, partly

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because, or primarily because it is thought that there is a Government

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there that has its act together. That it had a plan drawn up a

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couple of years ago, to tackle the debt. It has been implementing that

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plan. In stark contrast to even a country like the US, never mind the

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eurozone, where Governments have been less decisive. You say, up

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till now, is that changing as a result of yesterday's figures?

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There was a general concern, on the part of the US Government in

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Washington, who I have been speaking to recently, about the

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feeling that Europe is pressing ahead with austerity a bit too fast.

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A number of people would say that, in fact, the UK has been a little

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bit too aggressive in terms of its austerity actions. It does, at

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least, have plan. One of the things you shouldn't forget, is when the

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Government was elected a couple of years ago. There were people out

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there, big, powerful, bond investors who said the UK gilt

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market was sitting on a bed of nitroglycerin, it seemed they were

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heading towards a bond market crisis. That has been largely

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averted, because there is a Government in plan with a plan.

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Whether or not it is the right plan or not.

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I personally would echo the view of the IMF, that would say perhaps the

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austerity has been a bit too much. They could or should ease back. But

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above all else, they need to do so in a controlled way, that retains

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business confidence. If busys the UK Government does have a plan to

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go a bit easy on fiscal austerity, maybe introduce some stimulus

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measures, but at least it is part of a co-ordinated measure, that

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would help bolster things a bit. you think you build things no-one

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wants? I have to laugh at that. The USA has been the fastest-growing

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market in the last 12 months, that and Jaguar Land Rover, other

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British well known brands do incredibly well in the US. To be

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honest, I was in Rio a couple of years ago, doing a south American

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tour, effectively, looking fordom some distributors in -- for some

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distributors. It only takes two weeks out of the schedule to do

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that sort of trip. More interesting is what I learned from the guys

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leading the UKTI trip down to Sao Paulo. They were saying it is great

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you guys are down here, buff to realise that you are quite late in

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the game. That is what I want to know, you said fundamentally all it

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takes is a couple of weeks, but clearly for most British businesses

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it doesn't, most British businesses are not in Rio. Why not? It is a

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good qe, one statistic tis -- is a good question That is a good

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question, there are more regional headquarters for companies in Sao

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Paulo than Berlin, German companies. The trade balance between Brazil

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and England, it is so small. It has grown a little bit in the past two

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to three years, it is still really small. If you go to Brazil you will

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see lots of American companies a lot of German companies, Spanish

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companies, lots of them. Some Portuguese companies, but not many

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British. We are not alone, generally we don't push ourselves

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out into these big markets as easily as other countries?

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personal view is I think we have been spoiled by our historical

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associations with the Commonwealth. I think we saw that as our export

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markets. The growth markets now are Brazil, India, Russia, and markets

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where we are not very strong. do you think of that, Gillian, do

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you think there is a cultural inhibition here? I think the issue

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with the UK and Brazil is that there have been fewer ties

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historically than between other parts of Europe. What is crystal

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clear right now is British business needs to do what politicians told

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ordinary employees a couple of decades ago, get on their bike.

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They can't count on the eurozone providing growth at the moment.

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They will be lucky if they avoid being draged downwards by a nasty

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recession there. We need to widen their eyes and look at the emerging

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markets, Brazil, China, and the Middle East. They need to look at

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America. Because there are parts of the American economy growing.

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terms of what David Cameron is saying, briefly, how do you get

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those markets interested in Britain. What are we, on a non-eve of

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Olympics night, actually offering? I would imagine one of the most

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powerful things the UK is offering, is it is within Europe but not part

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of the eurozone. It is not being dragged down by those problems, and

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thus far it hasn't had a debt crisis. Let's hope it will continue.

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Very last word to you? It is incredibly easy to set up a company

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in Britain. We are very open n that sense. We went to Chile in the same

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tour I went on, Brazil and Argentina, they have high import

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tarrifs, Chile has a free trade agreement with the EU, it is much

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better to export bikes to Chile. We are open for business, it is just

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handing out that message. You get the dubious honour of

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getting the first guest in shorts. Olympic medal waiting for you off

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the set. If there is anything likely to get a British audience

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behind the Olympics, it is a national slagging off from an

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American politician. Mitt Romney, the Republican US presidential

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candidate, questioned the Brits preparation for the Olympics. He

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was slapped down quickly by the Prime Minister.

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The golden light went through London's landmarks on the last day

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of the run. We followed the flame. This is a tester of what you can

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expect if you have a ticket for the opening ceremony of the Olympic

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Games at Stratford tomorrow evening. It has emerged tonight that all the

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seats have been sold for the big launch, with punters balking at

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price tags of up to �2,000. It is understood that members of the

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Armed Forces and children will fill some of the empty places.

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I hope what people will see is, obviously, all the things they love

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about Britain's past, all the fingers they like about our history,

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our institutions, our culture, or contribution to world development,

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but I also hope they will see a very open country, and one that has

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an enormous amount to offer for future. People keep talking about

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the Olympic family. Perhaps they mean the Windsors, who have been

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publicly lending their support to the London Olympiad today. As has

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footballer, David Beckham, rejected by one leader of great brain,

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Stuart 'Psycho' Pearce, he's happily joining forces with another,

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to take part in a called "Hunger Summit", which will take place

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before the games end. I'm honoured to be part of UNICEF and be here

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today, voicing our opinions on malnutrition, because it is so

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important. Why are the eyes of the world -- while the eyes of the

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world are on our country. # Love is a burning flame

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# And it makes a fiery ring Like a flaming brandysnap of hope.

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The Olympic Torch, or rather torches, have been travelling the

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country in recent weeks. The passing flame has shed light on the

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extraordinary achievements of some of our fellow countrymen and women.

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Today it came to white City in west London, the home of Newsnight --

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White City in west London, the home of Newsnight and BBC Television

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Centre. That's the magic of the torch, it's bringing a little joy

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and wonder to this isolated community, which, let's face it,

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hasn't had much to do with entertainment for years.

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High five, come on, feel the love. Bruce a quick word for Newsnight,

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are you thrilled about this event? Don't I look thrilled, I have been

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waiting for this 84 years, I have finally done it, carried the

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Olympic Torch, thank you so much. But there is a danger that Sir

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Bruce will have to work into old age to pay for the games. That

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could go for the rest of us too. With apologies to Brucie and his

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classic game show, Play Your Cards Right, the initial price tag for

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the games was a comparatively modest �2.4 billion. Higher, higher.

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Only for it to go up to more than �9 billion, in 2007. Lower, lower.

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Last month, the Government said the cost was inching down. The games

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were coming in under budget to the tune of �476 million. Higher,

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higher. Ah yes, but MPs on the Public Accounts Committee say the

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final figure could go up again, to �11 billion. Tonight, the torch

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reached Buckingham Palace, met by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,

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in Team GB sports wear, bearing the manufacturer's logo. The problem

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with the games is they are unnecessarily expensive, we don't

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have all these different sports and all these specially-designed venues,

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then we have to commercialise them, we have to get sponsors, the

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sponsors are paranoid with everyone muscling in on it, with the Royal

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Family dressing-up in their gear. It is undignified and ridiculous.

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The London mayor biffed the American presidential hopeful, Mitt

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Romney, who downed the games. Romney wants to know whether we are

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ready, are we ready? Yes! Yes we are. Have a wonderful wonderful

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London 2012 thank you for your support.

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We to speak to LOCOG, the London Organising Committee, yet again

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they didn't want to be interviewed by us. Happily the Olympic minister,

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Hugh Robertson is with us. Thank you for coming with us, ahead of a

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busy day. Our economy is in dire need of a bright spark, and as we

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saw from the growth figures, yesterday. We are pretty desperate

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to find the right solution. Do you think that the Olympics can provide

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that touch paper? Yes, I. Do I think in a sense the Olympics has

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already given us one fantastic legacy, is that we undertook the

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largest construction project anywhere in Europe, to try to

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transform the largest area of industrial wasteland inside the M25

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into the Olympic Park. When you look at the GDP figures, everyone

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points to construction, and you would think that the Olympic Park

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hadn't even happened? The Olympic Park is the most magnificent

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calling card moving forward. The trick is to use in the years ahead

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to secure more business opportunities and contracts for

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business construction. David Cameron spoke of the lasting

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economic legacy, you have come up with a figure of �13 billion over

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the next ten years. Break it down, the quoted figures are a billion

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pounds from UK business conferences held during the games? Absolutely.

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There is a long programme, it is all done at Malboro House, and next

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door at Lancaster House, there is a programme right the way through the

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Olympics, of business conferences, of getting the world's top business

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leaders in the country. A billion pounds in three weeks? That is the

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realistic estimate, of contracts signed as a result, the estimate of

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contracts signed as a result of the games. �4 billion of opportunities

0:22:300:22:33

for British business from embassy summits after the games? Absolutely,

0:22:330:22:38

there is a programme called The Great Campaign, launched in the ten

0:22:380:22:43

major markets, very successfully, it has been all over the New York

0:22:430:22:46

subway and Los Angeles. Across the ten major markets. When will you

0:22:460:22:50

add them up and tell us what they made? The Foreign Office said it is

0:22:500:22:54

the most successful trade campaign they have ever seen, it has a good

0:22:540:22:58

chance of raising those sorts of sums. You will know that when?

0:22:580:23:03

years after the Olympics. These are, as you said in the introduction,

0:23:030:23:08

ten-year figures. For a country in such dire economic constraints,

0:23:080:23:13

there is huge marketing constraints, I'm looking at the wording you can

0:23:130:23:16

use, the sponsorship after every event, banning smaller businesses

0:23:160:23:23

to get in on the act. We have the royals wearing Addidas sweat

0:23:230:23:29

shirts? They are wearing those because they are Team GB supporters,

0:23:290:23:35

it is not a sports brand thing. Don't you wake up wondering what

0:23:350:23:39

LOCOG will tell you what to do next? I won't, because LOCOG have

0:23:390:23:43

been more successful than any other organising committee in the history

0:23:430:23:48

of the Olympic Games, by raising �700 million from the private

0:23:480:23:53

sector. That is a success story, it says a lot to foreign investors

0:23:530:23:56

about our ability to attract sponsorship to major sporting

0:23:560:24:01

events. It shows that every year from 201224 will be a major

0:24:010:24:06

sporting event. Let's look at some of the sponsorship. We have covered

0:24:060:24:11

on Newsnight the area of obesity, LOCOG has refused to engage with it.

0:24:110:24:16

The games sponsored by Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Cadbury's, a lot fast

0:24:160:24:20

food sponsors, they contribute 2% to the overall IOC income, and yet

0:24:200:24:25

they have extraordinary dominance in the field? They do, but many of

0:24:250:24:30

those sponsors also run fantastic grass roots programmes, they have

0:24:300:24:33

healthy eating programme, and sport in schools programme, they have

0:24:330:24:40

corporate responsibility programmes. But isn't it strange someone

0:24:400:24:45

running with a fast food logo on it. You are happy that McDonalds will

0:24:450:24:49

be ruling the school at the Olympics? I'm happy for them to be

0:24:490:24:53

investing money in children's sports, getting people fit, and

0:24:530:24:58

conducting their corporate responsibility programmes. Who will

0:24:590:25:02

do the Olympic Torch, Mitt Romney? Fortunately it is not my decision,

0:25:020:25:07

I'm not involved in it. There is nobody who has done as much for

0:25:070:25:11

British sport, particularly as in recent times as Coe, I suspect he -

0:25:110:25:15

- Sebastian Coe, I suspect he's not available, with other things on the

0:25:150:25:20

night. If you look at the olympian with the greatest number of medals,

0:25:200:25:24

it has to be Steve Redgrave. If the rebels of the Free Syrian

0:25:240:25:28

Army, in and around Aleppo, lack weapons to match those of Bashar

0:25:280:25:35

Al-Assad's forces, one thing they don't lack is optimisim. They have

0:25:350:25:37

claimed victory in parts of the city after clashes in recent days.

0:25:370:25:44

Who are the rebels, and who arms them?

0:25:440:25:48

It is within range of Syrian artillery. Once a part of Syria,

0:25:480:25:54

and today, the Turkish town of Antackia, serves as a safe haven

0:25:550:25:57

for rebels fighting across the border. Place to recover,

0:25:570:26:02

reorganise, and begin to plan their country's future.

0:26:020:26:07

Rebels like this man, he left his home town of Hama, a few years

0:26:070:26:10

after the regime massacred thousands of Muslim Brotherhood

0:26:100:26:14

rebels there in the 1980s, and built a new life as a prosperous

0:26:140:26:18

businessman in the United States. This year, a sense of guilt brought

0:26:180:26:28
0:26:280:26:29

him back to his country. To fight for its freedom.

0:26:290:26:32

He re-equipped this rebel battalion, partly from his own pocket, and

0:26:320:26:39

became its commander, at the age of 52. I participate in so many fights,

0:26:390:26:49
0:26:490:26:53

like including many cities. I enjoyed it. You enjoyed it?

0:26:530:27:01

course. I would consider I spent the best six weeks in all my life.

0:27:010:27:07

I was so happy to be there. I was so happy to be a part of it. I

0:27:070:27:13

don't have this kind of guilt that I had, it's gone.

0:27:130:27:17

This week, Syrian rebels like him celebrated one of their greatest

0:27:170:27:22

victories yet. An advance into their country's second city, and

0:27:220:27:27

trading hub, Aleppo, which up until recently appeared to be a

0:27:270:27:31

Government stronghold. In a darkened house, just yards over the

0:27:310:27:36

border in Turkey, Mahmoud was waiting to help some of the

0:27:360:27:39

refugees, as they emerged through the nigh. This builder and his son

0:27:390:27:43

have walked for hours, still keeping the Ramadan fast. He

0:27:430:27:48

translates as they tell me why they flet Government militia.

0:27:480:27:53

TRANSLATION: They killed, they burned their bodies, they burned

0:27:530:27:59

some people who were alive, then they threw them in the street.

0:27:590:28:04

Why is it all starting in Aleppo now. Because for a very long time,

0:28:040:28:13

for a year, even after the uprising started, Aleppo was quite quiet?

0:28:130:28:19

There is a lot of money in Aleppo. Most of the business people were

0:28:190:28:25

partners with the regime. Or members of the regime. Those people

0:28:250:28:31

it took them so long to get their families outside of the country, to

0:28:310:28:35

transfer their money somewhere else, that is what took so long, and now

0:28:350:28:39

there is no more money, and people are in a safe I can't remember

0:28:390:28:46

outside the country. That is why the situation has changed.

0:28:460:28:50

Now that the Government can't hold their cash, or their relatives

0:28:500:28:55

hostage, they are free to declare their support for the uprise, and

0:28:550:29:00

join their family in a Turkish refugee camp.

0:29:000:29:09

Meanwhile, back in Aleppo, the Government was mustering its

0:29:090:29:14

superior fire power for a return attack. Fighting wars costs money,

0:29:140:29:20

and the rebels don't have much. 24 hours we estimated the

0:29:200:29:28

ammunition we used of over $1.2 million.

0:29:280:29:32

Here the rebel commanders are holding a crisis meeting, desperate

0:29:320:29:35

to find ways of getting more cash and weapons. They have had little

0:29:350:29:38

luck from the main opposition grouping, the Syrian National

0:29:380:29:42

Council, which is funded partly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, countries

0:29:420:29:49

committed to arming the rebels. I have been told by one senior Syrian

0:29:490:29:54

national council official, that there was a pause in fighting

0:29:540:29:57

because mistakes were being made. Weapons were being passed to people

0:29:580:30:01

who were not real revolutionaries, they were dealers, who were selling

0:30:010:30:09

the guns on. The fear that weapons may fall into the wrong hands,

0:30:090:30:13

including terrorist hands, is the reason why CID agents are said to

0:30:130:30:19

be operate anything the area, trying to vet arms decision. They

0:30:190:30:28

are collaborating with the General who is are more involved than they

0:30:280:30:34

are said. Down the road, one Syrian rebel leader said he had received

0:30:340:30:44

arms from a Turkish truck parked down the road. An opposition party

0:30:440:30:48

member in Turkey has heard similar stories. They told us two or three

0:30:480:30:53

times a week, between midnight and 5.00am, there are mini-buses and

0:30:530:30:56

lorries bringing boxes. Sometimes they are escorted by military

0:30:560:30:58

vehicles. We are getting information they are bringing

0:30:580:31:01

weapons. It is not possible it could be done without the knowledge

0:31:010:31:10

of Government. According to the rebels, those deliveries go mainly

0:31:100:31:13

to battalions that support the Muslim Brotherhood. They say it is

0:31:130:31:17

the dominant force in the Syrian National Council. And units like

0:31:170:31:22

his, which aren't Islamist, are left out. The other parties who are

0:31:220:31:29

apart from the SNC are not effective, they are not doing

0:31:290:31:33

anything. The Muslim Brotherhood are getting money. They are getting

0:31:330:31:41

money from the Arab countries, they are getting money from other places.

0:31:410:31:46

They have money, and when you have money you have power.

0:31:460:31:49

The SNC itself denies any discrimination in the use of funds.

0:31:490:31:52

But the claim raises questions for western powers, which won't pay for

0:31:520:31:57

arms, but do help the Syrian opposition in other ways. Britain,

0:31:570:32:01

which last year unambiguously backed the main Libyan opposition

0:32:010:32:05

group, the National Transitional Council, now, much more gingerly

0:32:050:32:11

describes its would-be equivalent, the Syrian National Council, as

0:32:110:32:16

just "a", not "the" legitimate Syrian representative of the people,

0:32:160:32:22

and helps other groups as well. British sources deny they have any

0:32:220:32:25

concerns about the overdue influence of the Muslim Brotherhood,

0:32:250:32:29

they are urging it could be as inclusive as possible of all Syrian

0:32:290:32:33

communities and political groups. As for Turkey the border crossings

0:32:330:32:36

with Syria are now closed. Something the Government here, led

0:32:360:32:41

by a Sunni-Islamic party, is encouraging chaos, but trying to

0:32:410:32:46

bring down the secular Assad regime, dominated by the minority Alawite

0:32:460:32:52

sect, and backed by Shia Iran. TRANSLATION: This is part of our

0:32:520:32:56

Prime Minister's great Middle East project to redesign the region.

0:32:560:33:00

What began in Tunisia and Egypt has now got stuck in Syria. Next will

0:33:000:33:05

come Iran. To make it easier tie tack Iran, Israel, America, Saudi

0:33:050:33:08

Arabia and Qatar want a new Government in Syria. They are

0:33:080:33:17

sparking a sectarian war. McMood last the same fear of -

0:33:170:33:20

Mahmoud has the same fear of sectarianism. We will have civil

0:33:200:33:25

war, most of the people in the regime and the Syrian people

0:33:250:33:35
0:33:350:33:36

fighting now, they are Alawite. I don't think that's something the

0:33:360:33:40

Syrians will forget soon. There will be a retaliation, I have no

0:33:400:33:45

doubt. The end of the regime, he's sure, won't be the end of the

0:33:450:33:54

struggle. But he doesn't want to give up fighting. Over the next few

0:33:540:33:58

week, for some, winning a medal at the Olympics, will hang on a few

0:33:580:34:03

hundreths of a second. What is it that gives elite athlete the edge

0:34:030:34:10

they need for success. We have had exclusive access to Teep GB

0:34:100:34:16

athletes and the -- Team GB athletes and the scientists and

0:34:160:34:22

people working with them to find out if it is talent or anything

0:34:220:34:32
0:34:320:34:36

else. Focused to win. Striving to reach

0:34:360:34:44

the top. We expect our athletes to be almost superhuman. So is it as

0:34:440:34:48

simple as being the best, or is there more to these elite

0:34:480:34:55

performers. What is it that sets them apart. What is it that gives

0:34:550:35:05
0:35:050:35:05

them the edge? McCollateralen doesn't just do cars. -- McLaren

0:35:050:35:10

doesn't just do cars. At their technology centre, a Formula One

0:35:100:35:16

effort is being applied to help top athletes too. With performance

0:35:160:35:23

across many sports reaching a peak, winning depends on the smallest of

0:35:230:35:28

margins, fine tuning is what McLaren does best. It is this know-

0:35:280:35:32

how that Team GB is tapping into. Many athletes are monitored every

0:35:320:35:37

day in their training environment, as opposed to a lab. That

0:35:370:35:40

continuing collection of information helps us understand how

0:35:400:35:44

the athlete is developing all the time. It is about data, we talk

0:35:440:35:48

about the only competitive, sustainable advantage is to learn

0:35:480:35:51

faster than the opposition. Technology has given us a platform

0:35:520:35:55

to better understand individuals, and better intervene so they can

0:35:550:36:00

develop more effectively for their events. Live measurement of Formula

0:36:000:36:07

One cars during a race on tyre or engine performance, and the

0:36:070:36:11

driver's physiology, means teams can make instantaneous decisions

0:36:110:36:17

about the tactics. The technology is closely guarded in motor racing,

0:36:170:36:27
0:36:270:36:29

and McLaren is equally secretive about how they have helped Team GB.

0:36:290:36:33

The impact of the work we do is generally the difference between

0:36:330:36:39

meddling and not meddling. It might even be the case of once you --

0:36:390:36:48

medals, and not medaling, once you get in the case, you can get a

0:36:480:36:53

medal. This lab in Sheffield is where the ideas of the future will

0:36:530:36:58

be honed. These PhD students are not dancing, they are learning

0:36:580:37:02

about posture. They are helping to build the proto-types of systems to

0:37:020:37:06

help athletes out in the field as they train. Everything he does

0:37:060:37:11

depends on measuring an athlete's performance, then feeding that

0:37:110:37:17

information back straight away, giving them the edge. You have the

0:37:170:37:21

boundaries of the allowed and the possible. The ruling bodies, they

0:37:210:37:25

say what is allowed, but in terms of physics, anything is possible,

0:37:250:37:31

as long as the rules of physics allow that.

0:37:320:37:38

How many strokes per minute does it say? 32.5 something.

0:37:380:37:43

Yes t looks daft, but believe me, this kind of monitoring is intended

0:37:430:37:48

to help athletes work out how to optimise their performance.

0:37:480:37:54

It is great, keep going. Tiny reflectors on my arms and legs,

0:37:540:37:58

mean the 12 infrared cameras around the world can track my movements.

0:37:580:38:02

An athlete can use this to watch how they position their bodios, how

0:38:020:38:06

long and how fast their stroke -- bodies, how long and how fast their

0:38:060:38:16
0:38:160:38:19

strokes are, how much weight they put on an arm or leg, and when.

0:38:190:38:25

It is out in competition that matters most.

0:38:250:38:30

The key is the rapid development of mobile technology. This makes

0:38:310:38:34

instantaneous feedback possible, right at the pool side. Teams have

0:38:340:38:38

access to more than a million pieces of data, on thousands of

0:38:380:38:43

races, by swimmers from over 60 nations. They can begin to see

0:38:430:38:48

though they compare with rival, or over the years. -- how they compare

0:38:480:38:52

with rivals, or over the year. At qualifiers in Sheffield last month,

0:38:520:38:57

the athletes were on edge. This is the second round of the Olympic

0:38:570:39:01

trials for British swimmers. 37 places have already been filled,

0:39:010:39:06

there are only 15 left to compete for. So for these swimmers, every

0:39:060:39:11

hundreths of a second really counts. -- hunddret of a second really

0:39:110:39:21
0:39:210:39:23

counts. Stacey has already earned her place at the London Olympics.

0:39:230:39:30

She's watched by her performance team, so they can feedback last-

0:39:300:39:34

minute tweaks. Professor Haake is monitoring her too and her rivals.

0:39:340:39:38

What they are looking at Stacey's race, they will look at the video,

0:39:380:39:42

with that they can see her technique, and the individual

0:39:420:39:47

strokes going into and out of the turns. With an all what they have

0:39:470:39:51

done already, they are looking at analysis and the number of strokes

0:39:510:39:54

per minute, the distance between strokes and her velocity through

0:39:540:39:57

the water, particularly coming into the beginning and ends of the race.

0:39:570:40:05

You weren't aware of them here. Stacey herself seems less

0:40:050:40:08

interested in the high-tech analysis, just watching the video

0:40:080:40:13

tells her the most. Spectators too can be wary of the role technology

0:40:130:40:18

plays in an athlete's performance. People like to see, in any sport,

0:40:180:40:22

that it is the athlete in front of them that is winning, not some

0:40:220:40:26

spurious piece ofing at the knowledge. So, the world governing

0:40:260:40:29

body, although they like technology, they want technology it keep the

0:40:290:40:38

sport alive, it can't be the dominant effect.

0:40:390:40:42

At Loughborough, and the British Olympic swimming team is now in

0:40:420:40:50

lockdown. Craig beginson is the world junior champion for the 100m

0:40:500:40:55

breast stroke. His coach wants to work on his weak points. When he

0:40:550:40:59

qualified for the Olympics, off the start he came up, he was probably

0:40:590:41:04

last after the start, so the first 10-15ms of the race, he was one of

0:41:040:41:09

the slowest, and by the time he got down to 50ms he was second-fastest,

0:41:090:41:13

so you know, obviously if we improve the start to the point

0:41:130:41:17

where he's one of the best at the start, then he's probably going to

0:41:170:41:21

be one of the best swimmers in the world. Today, she and Craig have

0:41:210:41:27

scientists from the University of Southampton, poolside, to help,

0:41:270:41:31

they are measuring his speed through the water and the way he

0:41:310:41:35

turns. Feeding this back to him straight away, while the memory is

0:41:350:41:39

still fresh enough, that he can still almost feel the movements in

0:41:390:41:43

his body. It can make the difference between winning an

0:41:430:41:49

Olympic gold medal and not. Because, you are talking, at the Olympics,

0:41:490:41:59

of such small amounts between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, sometimes it is.01

0:41:590:42:04

of a second. Anything to improve that is good.

0:42:040:42:09

At the Olympic Park, with the games just a few weeks away, the British

0:42:090:42:19

women's hockey team, enjoy a 2461 win against Argentina -- 2-1 win

0:42:190:42:24

against Argentina. Then this happens, the moment every athlete

0:42:240:42:30

dreads, Alex Danson injuries her shoulder, is it all down to bad

0:42:300:42:38

luck, or could her genes have played a role too? A few weeks

0:42:380:42:44

later and she's having physio. Let's do eight.

0:42:440:42:49

Her prospects for London look good. But by knowing about her gene,

0:42:490:42:54

could she have avoided injury all together? A London team has

0:42:540:42:59

identified two genes with variants that can mean an athlete is more

0:42:590:43:04

prone to stress fractures, might genetics be the clue to elite

0:43:040:43:09

performance? If you look at any one sporting element, let as say, for

0:43:090:43:14

instance, how high you can jump as a child, quite a lot of that

0:43:140:43:18

variation in a classroom will be down to genes. It can be as much as

0:43:180:43:22

80% of the variation of that sort of event. As you get more and more

0:43:220:43:26

elite, you require an increasingly rare combination of genes, but

0:43:260:43:30

quite clearly, if you didn't get to train, if you didn't get the right

0:43:300:43:36

nutrition, you would never reach that potential.

0:43:360:43:40

At the English Institute of Sport, they spend millions making sure the

0:43:400:43:44

latest in sports science and medicine reaches Olympic and

0:43:440:43:48

Paralympic athletes, they are keen to make use of anything that

0:43:480:43:53

science can teach them, including the latest in genetics.

0:43:530:43:57

We know some individuals seem to have a higher risk of certain types

0:43:570:44:02

of injury. If we can better understand the risk of injury for

0:44:020:44:07

an individual athlete, due to their genetics, so we can Taylor their

0:44:070:44:10

conditioning programme to pre-- tailor their conditioning programme

0:44:100:44:14

to prevent injury, but also inform their medal programme to manage and

0:44:140:44:20

treat injury. That research involved work with

0:44:200:44:25

the military, as well as athletes, but to some, the idea of testing

0:44:250:44:30

for genes to help swap the perfect -- spot the perfect soldier or

0:44:300:44:35

athlete is a chilling one. There is a danger, not least it isn't yet an

0:44:350:44:40

exact science. And if we try to apply it in that way, we could be

0:44:400:44:43

missing out on possible champions. But perhaps more importantly, it

0:44:430:44:48

raises some big ethical and social issues, and for many people,

0:44:480:44:51

participation in sport is about fun, it is about healthy lifestyle, and

0:44:510:44:55

the last thing we or anyone else should be doing is actually

0:44:550:44:59

screening people in to or out of particular sports, based on genetic

0:44:590:45:06

variations. In the end, being the best is about

0:45:060:45:14

so much more than data collection, fine tuning and genetic testing.

0:45:140:45:16

Let's just imagine you have screened all the males in the

0:45:160:45:22

country at the age of two, you have identified the next Beckham Gino

0:45:220:45:27

type, does that person want to play, enjoy playing, have they also

0:45:270:45:31

developed the set of gene that is will lead them to discover alcohol

0:45:310:45:35

and cigarettes at the age of 11 and stop training. None of these things

0:45:350:45:45
0:45:450:45:49

are predictable. If the winners emerge from people like you and me,

0:45:490:45:52

they are essentially the same enough or different enough to set

0:45:520:45:55

them apart. If they weren't, the rest of us would have nothing to

0:45:550:46:04

aspire to. Let me take you through the front

0:46:040:46:12

of tomorrow's papers. A lot with beautiful covers, and souvenir

0:46:120:46:22
0:46:220:46:44

That's all from Newsnight, tomorrow night we are timed to be on air

0:46:440:46:48

right in the middle of the Olympic ceremony, I'll be here with the

0:46:480:46:52

best moments, we will explore what it says about Britain, with a panel

0:46:520:47:02
0:47:020:47:04

from music, sport and literature, good night from all of us.

0:47:040:47:07

The Olympic Park looked amazing in the sunshine this week, that is set

0:47:070:47:11

to change, to some extent, during Friday, a risk of showers pushing

0:47:110:47:14

in across the south-east of England. Showers across the North West of

0:47:140:47:18

Scotland. Inbetween many places dry, sunshine coming through from time

0:47:180:47:21

to time. Temperatures across northern areas still struggling.

0:47:210:47:25

Just scraping up to 21 degrees across Yorkshire. In the south

0:47:250:47:32

lower than they have been. 23 degrees in London, as opposed to 30

0:47:320:47:36

we saw days ago. In the south-east largely dry, sunshine coming

0:47:360:47:45

through, pleasantly warm on the beaches. A fine afternoon, some

0:47:450:47:48

patchy cloud, some sunshine as well. Dodge the showers across Northern

0:47:480:47:50

Ireland, being pushed in by a fairly brisk north-westerly wind,

0:47:500:47:54

that won't help with the feel of the day, those showers merging to

0:47:540:47:57

get longer spells of rain across North West Scotland, particularly

0:47:570:48:05

to the north of the great Glenn. Not the warmest of days, by

0:48:050:48:09

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