06/08/2012 Newsnight


06/08/2012

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


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Is today the day the coalition started to fall apart. Nick Clegg

:00:13.:00:16.

accuses the Conservatives of breaking the contract between the

:00:16.:00:21.

two parties over House of Lords reform, and freezes MPs to go ahead

:00:21.:00:25.

and scupper Tory plans for boundary changes. In this tit for tat war,

:00:25.:00:29.

has whatever trust there once was now gone for good. The deputy

:00:29.:00:33.

leader of the Lib Dems, a story MP and a Labour Lord will tell us

:00:33.:00:38.

whether they think the coalition has hit the skids.

:00:38.:00:45.

Assad sad forces pound Aleppo, a Sunni Prime Minister defects and

:00:45.:00:50.

joins the rebellion. Diplomacy asphaltered, the indications on the

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ground -- has faltered and the indications on the ground is things

:00:58.:01:04.

are getting worse. A year ago the sound of breaking

:01:04.:01:08.

glass, now the sound of medals, are we living in a different kind of

:01:08.:01:14.

country a year on? Indignant, slighted, sulky, there

:01:14.:01:20.

was lots of ways to interp pret Nick Clegg today, faul calling a

:01:20.:01:27.

mere lover'sive is not one of them. This is a big falling out. The

:01:27.:01:31.

deputy PM is angry that David Cameron won't coral his

:01:31.:01:35.

backbenchers, and he lashed out and said the Tories had broken their

:01:35.:01:39.

coalition contract, and said Liberal Democrats will turn their

:01:39.:01:42.

back on legislation to cut the number of MPs in parliament. Our we

:01:42.:01:47.

report, the fight, the timing and the territory all point to a deeper

:01:47.:01:57.
:01:57.:01:58.

political malaise. They have been learning at the feet of masters

:01:58.:02:02.

this summer, despite ring side seats for them all, the coalition

:02:02.:02:05.

Government seem not to have absorbed the olympian ethos, it is

:02:05.:02:09.

not the winning that counts, but the taking part, right? This summer

:02:09.:02:16.

Tories and Lib Dems have unwittingly turned the max sim

:02:16.:02:19.

upside down, for coalition politics now, it doesn't seem the taking

:02:20.:02:25.

part in Government that counts, but winning with your own party.

:02:25.:02:32.

Elegant gold rooms, backed with journalism's Usain Bolt, are rarely

:02:32.:02:38.

convened in the summer. But David Cameron' shelfing of Lords reform

:02:38.:02:43.

weeks ahead of schedule heralded a new day in the coalition. After two

:02:43.:02:47.

years we don't have the Commons majority to ensure this bill

:02:47.:02:51.

progresses through parliament. It is obvious the bill's opponents

:02:51.:02:54.

would now seek to inflict on it a slow death. The coalition partners

:02:54.:02:57.

have been miffed by each other before, but it was what he went on

:02:58.:03:02.

to say that is materially new. Liberal Democrats are proving

:03:02.:03:07.

ourselves to be a mature and competent party of Government. But

:03:07.:03:11.

the Conservative Party is not honouring the commitment to Lords

:03:11.:03:18.

reform. As a result part of our contract has now been broken.

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Clearly, I cannot permit a situation where Conservative rebels

:03:21.:03:27.

can pick and choose the parts of the contract they like, while

:03:27.:03:31.

Liberal Democrat MPs are bound to the entire agreement. So I have

:03:31.:03:36.

told the Prime Minister that when, in due course, parliament votes on

:03:36.:03:41.

boundary changes for the 2015 election, Liberal Democrats in

:03:41.:03:45.

parliament will oppose them. Blocking boundary reforms, the

:03:45.:03:48.

moves that reduce constituency numbers and reshape Britain's

:03:48.:03:52.

political map now makes it harder for the Conservatives to win a

:03:52.:03:56.

majority. But the tit for tat is more about how the coalition works

:03:56.:04:01.

than the policy that now looks like it has died. No sooner had Nick

:04:01.:04:04.

Clegg pronounced, than Conservative MPs pointed out that his new

:04:04.:04:08.

settlement allowed his ministers to break the Code of Conduct,

:04:08.:04:11.

something their ministers had not been allowed to do. I think that

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people will be drawing conclusions about the principles that the

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liberals are operating on. On the Lords reform rebellion, which was

:04:20.:04:25.

obviously smaller than the liberal rebellion on tuition fees, our PPS

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has resigned -- resigned, they did that on principle, they thought it

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was the right thing to do, they couldn't go through the coalition

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lobby on that night. The liberals are not really getting that. They

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are part of this coalition Government, they need to support

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the coalition Government, so their behaviour is, yes, very odd.

:04:43.:04:46.

The Deputy Prime Minister does not operate in a vacuum, or if he does

:04:46.:04:51.

it is one sucking him towards the annual gathering of his

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increasingly depressed activists at party conference. Figureheads on

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the left are clear what he must do. Boundaries are the bare minimum,

:04:58.:05:00.

nobody should be surprised that Liberal Democrats won't support the

:05:00.:05:03.

boundary reforms now, they were part of a package that included

:05:03.:05:07.

House of Lords reform. Yeah, this is just the beginning. The

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coalition agreement has been broken, it is an historic moment. It is the

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first time that the coalition agreement has been challenged, and

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it is by the Conservatives, they are the one that is have failed to

:05:18.:05:21.

deliver on what was supposed to be a programme for Government. Now,

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all gloves are off. The Liberal Democrats can choose what they want

:05:25.:05:29.

and what they don't want, and I think you could see some issues

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which we thought had been passed, for example, the NHS bill, there is

:05:32.:05:36.

still secondary legislation to come. No reason why we can't oppose that

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now if we choose to. You will eLiberal Democrats putting forward

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new ideas which weren't in the coalition agreement much more. And

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selecting bits of the coalition agreement they like and saying, you

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know what, we don't have to do what you ask us to any more, because you

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haven't kept your side of the bargain. What about that general

:05:55.:05:59.

election? Any sooner? It's still something that both sides try to

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warn each other off. The Tories say to their Lib Dem colleagues that if

:06:03.:06:07.

they go to the polls any time soon, they are likely to face a drubbing,

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equally the Lib Dems say to their Tory colleagues, that actually, if

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it is anyone likely to be in Government after the next election,

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it is them. They can form a coalition with Labour, it is

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unlikely the Tories would ever countenance that. The party base

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may be bellicose, but the high command hope the extraordinary

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voting arrangement initiated today, doesn't become ordinary. Perilously

:06:30.:06:33.

close to being half out of Government. While you were dazzled

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by the gold medals rising in the east, in the west a new dawn was

:06:41.:06:44.

settling in. Both will deny the importance of it, saying they are

:06:44.:06:50.

graciously taking part in Government, not want to go win over

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backbenches both coalitions leaders are diminished today, unable to get

:06:53.:06:57.

their way. With me are Simon Hughes, the

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deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative MP, and

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Cameron loyalist, Nick Boles, and Lord Falconer. If the gloves are

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really off, just to be clear, Lib Dem MPs, and ministers, are going

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to vote against boundary reform, is that the case? If an order is

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brought forward, which it doesn't have to be. David Cameron has made

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it clear it will happen? I haven't heard him say that today. The

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answer to your question is yes, if it is brought forward we will vote

:07:28.:07:31.

against it. All Liberal Democrat ministers, 19 of them, will vote

:07:31.:07:38.

against. Of course, when Tory PPS s voted against House of Lords reform,

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they resigned or were sacked. You will expect all Lib Dem ministers

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to be sacked? I don't expect that. Forethe first time since the

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coalition was formed one of the two parties has not honoured the

:07:54.:07:58.

agreement. It was the Conservative Party who went off after the very

:07:58.:08:01.

large vote in favour of the House of Lords in the Commons in July, he

:08:01.:08:04.

had to address the rebellion, the Prime Minister said he had to talk

:08:04.:08:07.

to backbenchers, he has come back to the Deputy Prime Minister and

:08:07.:08:10.

said I cannot deliver my party on the coalition agreement. So, in

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fact, David Cameron is the one who has failed, and he is the one who

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has broken the agreement? I voted for House of Lords reform, as did

:08:18.:08:21.

the vast majority of Conservative MPs, and all Conservative minutes

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tirs and PPSs. The fact is they are there were a lot of backbench

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members, and they make up their own mind about legislation. David

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Cameron cannot control his backbench? Party leaders can never

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control, they can win the support and approval, on the vast majority

:08:38.:08:42.

of issues, every single other item that has come before the House, the

:08:42.:08:47.

party, broadly, with a few exceptions, has supported it. This

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one, not strictly in terms in the coalition agreement. That is the

:08:53.:08:57.

basis of the Government the coalition agreement? It was

:08:57.:08:59.

negotiated after Members of Parliament were elected, there are

:08:59.:09:02.

a lot of Conservative MPs, I disagree with them. I regret what

:09:02.:09:06.

they did. They felt, they felt that they had not made a pledge to the

:09:06.:09:10.

people who voted them into office to put forward this piece of

:09:10.:09:14.

legislation. They had very genuine constitutional kefrs concerns about

:09:14.:09:19.

it. Do you think the coalition has been broken? It has been broken, I

:09:19.:09:23.

don't think Nick is denying that. None of us went to the electorate

:09:23.:09:29.

on the coalition agreement, we went on three manifestos, all three

:09:29.:09:32.

party's leaderships agreed there needed to be a House of Lords that

:09:32.:09:37.

was not hereditary, but elected. We did a deal, both sides, the

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leadership signed it, it was both parties, and it included House of

:09:40.:09:46.

Lords reform. What do you think of the idea that Lib Dem MPs, but

:09:46.:09:49.

ministers, Liberal Democrat ministers, who vote against the

:09:49.:09:52.

boundary changes, reducing the number of MPs, should they be

:09:52.:09:56.

sacked? I hope they don't do it. It would be a very odd thing to do.

:09:56.:10:01.

They should be sacked if they do? It is an odd thing to. Do there are

:10:01.:10:08.

seats in this country, my seat, Simon's seat have 76,000 electorate

:10:08.:10:13.

in it, and other MPs have under 60,000. It would be odd for a

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Liberal Democrat to decide a fair democracy is based on seats of such

:10:21.:10:24.

unequal size. They will make their minds up as we did on House of

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Lords reform. He expects ministers to vote against it, Nick Clegg

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expects them to vote against it. They are part of this coalition

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Government, they are going to vote against the Government, should they

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be sacked? I would reget that just as much as I regret the fact that

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my colleagues voted against House of Lords reform. The British people

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would look pretty oddly at both of us, if either of us looked like we

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would jeopardise the stability of the Government, for the sake of a

:10:50.:10:52.

row over parliamentary constituencies, or the House of

:10:52.:10:56.

Lords. When we have got important bills, we have important bills on

:10:56.:10:59.

special needs education, on enterprise reform, on banking

:10:59.:11:04.

reform, these are vital national issues, on which we agree, we have

:11:04.:11:08.

a lot of work to do, and the British people do not want us to

:11:08.:11:11.

fall out over constituency boundaries which, frankly, benefit

:11:11.:11:18.

only us. That might be true. Tory MPs. That might be true, but let me

:11:18.:11:23.

ask you this, you are entirely in contradiction to what Simon Hughes

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is saying. He's saying Liberal Democrat ministers will vote

:11:26.:11:31.

against boundary changes if it comes back to the House? Should

:11:31.:11:37.

they be sacked? If Tory PPSs are sacked for voting against the

:11:37.:11:40.

Government, should Liberal Democrat MPs be sacked, yes or no? I would

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regret if they did that, I'm not the Prime Minister and in charge of

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sacking people. Let me make a point, there is lodge

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nick our position, the whole idea of the reform of parliament would

:11:51.:11:55.

make it more democratic, including the Lords, that is now not going to

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happen. Part of the reason, let me just. To end up with fewer Members

:11:59.:12:03.

of Parliament in the Commons, and no reform in the Lords would

:12:03.:12:07.

clearly be illogical. Feel no obligation to ask me any questions

:12:07.:12:11.

at all. I will say this, there is a bit of dirty work for Labour here,

:12:11.:12:14.

you are all about the principle, and Lords reform, that would be the

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most important thing, of this the new politics under Ed Miliband, you

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are not supporting it either? never said it was the most

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important thing, everybody agreed it was a terrible bill. The

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obligation of parliamentarians was to say, that we said T we supported

:12:29.:12:33.

the principle, but said we would improve it. It was so bad that it

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couldn't even get 91 of his own backbenchers to support it. So

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don't say to me they were obliged to support a bill as bad as that.

:12:41.:12:46.

We made it clear we supported Lords reform, but not that bill. Surely

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the point is, that you should move towards Lords reform, and therefore,

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rather than just blocading? No, no, no, we should support a bill that

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is worthwhile, we made it clear we supported the principle, not that

:12:59.:13:04.

bill. Who did we have? 91 Tory MPs supporting it. It was very clear

:13:04.:13:10.

from Nick Clegg's tone today that he was coriscating Labour's role in

:13:10.:13:16.

this? Why do you think that is, he produced a bill he never did any

:13:16.:13:19.

work today, that said that members of the House of Lords could stay

:13:19.:13:21.

for 15 years and not be re-elected. That was said to be accountability.

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He didn't do the work, and he got his come up pans. That is true, you

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would agree with that. You were in power all the time u tried to get

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Lords reform through and didn't deliver. We tried to get it through,

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the reason was because people like you said we hadn't dealt with the

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powers, and rightly so. The Labour Party, meant to be progressive,

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when it comes to this bill, is unwilling to help a progressive

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bill go through to the reform of the Lords. Only in principle.

:13:51.:14:01.

talk about rebellion now, If Nick Clegg is giving Liberal Democrat

:14:01.:14:05.

ministers the green light to rebel on the boundary changes, why not

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let them rebel all the time. What exactly are they going to be loyal

:14:08.:14:12.

about in this coalition. It seems to me, surely, this is a central

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plank of the coalition, Lords reform is very much at the heart,

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if you can't get this through, what is the point of the coalition?

:14:20.:14:23.

agree with Nick about these things. The coalition was formed, not

:14:23.:14:27.

because we wanted Lords reform, but because the country was in a mess

:14:27.:14:32.

and we decided in the national interest to form a coalition. It is

:14:32.:14:36.

a five-year deal, in the time up to now everything has been delivered,

:14:36.:14:40.

and one thing cannot be delivered. Why the big fuss on the 6th of

:14:40.:14:45.

August? It was clear last week that the Prime Minister said he couldn't

:14:45.:14:50.

deliver the troops to the Deputy Prime Minister, there was rumbling,

:14:50.:14:56.

and while most people want us to talk about jobs, growth and

:14:56.:14:59.

apprenticeships and jobs. Where will it end, if you are saying

:14:59.:15:03.

there will be no more accommodation. You have Liberal Democrat activists

:15:03.:15:06.

very angry about the coalition and Tory backbenchers angry about the

:15:07.:15:12.

coalition, how will it deliver? heard my friend David Hall Matthews

:15:12.:15:15.

express a view, we have signed up to a five-year coalition agreement.

:15:15.:15:18.

This is the first thing that hasn't been delivered, everything else has

:15:18.:15:21.

been delivered, we haven't liked all of it, the Tories haven't liked

:15:21.:15:25.

all of it, they should have delivered on this, that is their

:15:25.:15:29.

problem, they need to sort out that problem. It just isn't their

:15:29.:15:33.

problem, the electorate must look at it and say this is about

:15:33.:15:40.

politicing, although it wasn't a 50-50 on the Lords reform ver rus

:15:40.:15:43.

boundary changes, you are taking the opportunity -- versus boundary

:15:43.:15:48.

changes, you are taking the opportunity. What should we do?

:15:48.:15:50.

it is a better system for the country, you should work for the

:15:50.:15:53.

good of the country? If the Tories can't deliver, what do you expect

:15:53.:15:58.

us to do, say it is all very sad, sorry about this. You can't allow a

:15:58.:16:01.

coalition to go ahead if both sides don't deliver. The message to the

:16:01.:16:04.

Tories is they must deliver. Because they haven't, we can't do

:16:04.:16:09.

the deal on boundary changes. a threat? They are an independent

:16:09.:16:16.

party, they went into this, and we couldn't deliver it, it is

:16:16.:16:19.

regretable, and it is regretable they won't deliver another part.

:16:19.:16:22.

That is life. We will put it behind us, there are far more important

:16:22.:16:26.

issues to work on. That is true. agree on those issues, we have a

:16:26.:16:29.

plan to actually deal with those issues, unlike the last Government

:16:29.:16:32.

which put us into this mess. We will get back to that serious work

:16:32.:16:37.

and put this behind us. Thank you all very much indeed.

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The Syrian city of Aleppo continues to be pounded by Government

:16:41.:16:45.

artillery from the ground and air as the regime tries to dislodge

:16:45.:16:48.

fighters from rebel held areas. But the morale of the free Syrian

:16:48.:16:52.

Armley will have been boosted with the highest-level defection

:16:52.:16:57.

yesterday from the Assad regime. The newly appointed Prime Minister,

:16:57.:17:04.

Riad Hijab, a brutal law enforcer, has now been reported to have

:17:04.:17:08.

crossed the border. TRANSLATION: Today I announce my defection from

:17:08.:17:12.

killing and terrorism, join the ranks of the revolution and freedom

:17:12.:17:17.

and dignity. From today I announce I'm a soldier serving this blessed

:17:17.:17:21.

revolution, long live Syria free and pure, long live our free Syrian

:17:22.:17:26.

people, long live our heroic Free Syrian Army.

:17:26.:17:31.

I'm joined by our diplomatic editor, how widespread is the violence now

:17:31.:17:34.

in Syria? It is very widespread. I think the key aspect of what's

:17:35.:17:40.

happened in the last few weeks are escalation in terms of the military

:17:40.:17:44.

conflict, and fragmentation of the country. In many senses, if we look

:17:44.:17:50.

at the maps, we can plot it out geographically. The Free Syrian

:17:50.:17:55.

Army, very strong now in the east of the country. Some people say the

:17:55.:17:59.

Government's pretty much given up there. Pretty much given up

:17:59.:18:04.

everything to the east or right of that line. But the Free Syrian Army

:18:04.:18:10.

have also been very active in recent days around Damascus, Deraa,

:18:10.:18:14.

Idlib, where they have been before, pushing into Aleppo, Homs has been

:18:14.:18:18.

a strong point of their's, they are back in the town. We get the idea

:18:18.:18:23.

increasingly of Government troops, with their garrisons in a sea of

:18:23.:18:28.

incertificate rex of insurgecy. When that happens, -- incertificate

:18:28.:18:38.
:18:38.:18:39.

rex of insurgency They are going up there and being blocked by the

:18:39.:18:43.

guerrillas, 20 miles north of Homs, we see the response escalate in

:18:43.:18:50.

terms of the weaponry. This is video we have got, taken today,

:18:50.:18:53.

near Rastan, this is what happens when men with guns block the

:18:53.:18:58.

highway. The Syrian army, deploying ever-heavier fire power. Now, we

:18:58.:19:02.

have frozen the image there, in order to just spotlight this. This

:19:02.:19:07.

is one of two objects that flies down towards this town, it is

:19:07.:19:12.

actually, in my assessment, a small ballistic missile, a heavy

:19:12.:19:17.

artillery system, it could possibly be an air-dropped bomb. It is the

:19:17.:19:24.

type of weaponry that the regime had stockpiled for action against

:19:24.:19:29.

Israel or other people, it is used now. This is what happens when the

:19:29.:19:34.

missiles hit the town. With a lot of called collateral damage. Let's

:19:34.:19:37.

talk about Aleppo in detail in a minute, what about Damascus?

:19:37.:19:41.

point to make, although there is a lot of attention on Aleppo, because

:19:41.:19:45.

of the nature of the challenge to the regime. Just collating the

:19:45.:19:49.

figures today, from the Syrian human rights observatory and

:19:49.:19:53.

opposition group, based in London, they talk about loss of life almost

:19:53.:19:59.

as high as in Aleppo in the places I have put here. Several of them

:19:59.:20:02.

key roads, again, where in order to operate the regime has to try to

:20:02.:20:06.

clear the roads. In the process they have killed nearly two dozen

:20:06.:20:11.

people today, according to that observers group. Once again, the

:20:11.:20:16.

impression is of outposts of authority surrounded by a sea of

:20:16.:20:21.

insurgency. Aleppo now is the focus for what's going to be, apparently,

:20:21.:20:24.

a major attack? Absolutely, the Government has been left in a

:20:25.:20:28.

wretched position there, really. Perhaps they took their eye off the

:20:28.:20:34.

ball, several days ago. The insurge gents who had been moving into the

:20:34.:20:38.

north-east of the -- insurgents who had been moving into the north-east

:20:38.:20:42.

of the city, swept down into the centre into this area there. We

:20:42.:20:45.

will put a Free Syrian Army symbol will put a Free Syrian Army symbol

:20:45.:20:48.

on there. That is where they are, and where most of the fighting has

:20:48.:20:52.

been in the last few days. They are also in the centre of the town and,

:20:52.:20:57.

of course, in the north, and north- east, where they have extensive

:20:57.:21:00.

positions. The Government today, air strikes. We have information

:21:00.:21:04.

about three. All in this area, where they believe, it is a route

:21:04.:21:08.

down. Meanwhile, their forces, concentrated at a military base to

:21:08.:21:13.

the south, and building up there. It is a major garrison, and in a

:21:13.:21:17.

suburb there. And some of them, in the centre of the town, beleaguered,

:21:17.:21:21.

not knowing what to do. The real question, in Aleppo, is does the

:21:21.:21:26.

Government have the will to fight its way in, and will the army

:21:26.:21:30.

crumble in such a major urban centre as it tries to do so? Some

:21:30.:21:33.

of that would be down to the weaponry that the resistance has?

:21:33.:21:39.

Absolutely. There has been a lot of discussion recently about are they

:21:39.:21:42.

getting weapons from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, a lot of journalists saying

:21:42.:21:46.

they don't see signs of it. Clearly in many places this war is still

:21:46.:21:51.

about mens with Kalashnikovs and throwing pieces taking on the

:21:51.:21:54.

Syrian army. There are interesting signs of change, particularly of

:21:54.:21:58.

greater organisation. We have video what you might call a complex

:21:58.:22:04.

attack that was mounted, quite cleverly, a couple of weeks near

:22:04.:22:08.

all leppo. The first tank hits a land mine planted in the soft

:22:08.:22:13.

ground across the tarmac, the rest of the column are in heavy gunfire,

:22:14.:22:21.

that is why they are closed down and not above the hatch, their

:22:21.:22:25.

situation awareness is poor. Having pinned them down, they engage the

:22:25.:22:30.

second tank with an anti-tank missile. That may have come from

:22:30.:22:36.

outside, of course. They have hit the second tank, it appears the

:22:36.:22:39.

crew of that second vehicle survived and reversed out of

:22:39.:22:43.

trouble. The key point is the complex nature of that attack,

:22:43.:22:47.

mines, gunfire, anti-tank missiles, superior organisation, that could

:22:47.:22:50.

make a major difference. What about the response of the international

:22:50.:22:55.

community now? In the wake of Kofi Annan's resignation as the mediator,

:22:55.:23:01.

diplomacy really is in trouble. That all helps the hawks on both

:23:01.:23:05.

sides, who want to feed the escalation. And frankly, the terms

:23:05.:23:08.

in which the various outside powers have tried to engage with the

:23:08.:23:10.

country, you don't see hope there either. Having mapped out the

:23:10.:23:14.

situation on the ground. It is worth considering the degree to

:23:14.:23:20.

which it is becoming a rojal cockpit for escalation. -- regional

:23:20.:23:24.

cockpit for escalation. As Syria slides deeper into violence, there

:23:25.:23:28.

are a host of countries who feel they have a stake. Starting with

:23:28.:23:33.

allies. Iran, Russia and Lebanon, or its Hezbollah leadership, at

:23:33.:23:40.

least, you might even add Iraq to the list. The kidnap of dozens of

:23:40.:23:43.

Iranian religious pilgrims over the weekend by the opposition, shows

:23:43.:23:49.

how deeply many Syrians resent the role of these outside actors.

:23:49.:23:54.

Whether Iranian troops are on the ground or not, Iran is backing up

:23:54.:23:59.

Assad. It sees Assad as an integral part of its power network in the

:23:59.:24:03.

Middle East. The ability to project power in the region is based on

:24:03.:24:07.

Assad, on Hezbollah and Hamas. External support for the regime has

:24:07.:24:12.

been evident for a long time. But the opposition is benefiting from

:24:12.:24:16.

growing quantities of cash and weaponry given by those who back

:24:16.:24:26.

the country's Sunni majority. Saud dough Arabia, Qatar, and -- Saudi

:24:26.:24:32.

Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have formed a loose alliance to support

:24:32.:24:40.

the groups. It is the sul laughist and Jihadi groups which show

:24:40.:24:44.

another sign of the fragmentation of the country. British councilist,

:24:44.:24:50.

John Cantlie and a gellian -- journalist John Cantlie and a

:24:50.:24:55.

Belgian colleague were kidnapped by fighters. They were not from Syria,

:24:55.:24:59.

they were from other places, Pakistan, the UK, Chechnya, the

:24:59.:25:03.

Caucasus, a real mix. international community should

:25:03.:25:07.

worry not only about Assad, but the after Assad falling, what happens

:25:07.:25:12.

to these groups, are they likely to organise an attack on the west.

:25:12.:25:18.

Will they challenge pro-American Governments elsewhere.

:25:18.:25:22.

If the regional picture isn't already complicated enough, what

:25:22.:25:32.

about western countries? The US, UK and France, have they played a

:25:32.:25:35.

constructive role diplomatically in slamming the Assad regime, but

:25:35.:25:38.

putting negligible pressure on the opposition to join a political

:25:38.:25:41.

process. For now I think the international community has played

:25:41.:25:46.

a rather negative role in terms of enabling the conflict, supporting

:25:46.:25:51.

the parties to the conflict in ways that made it possible for them to

:25:51.:25:57.

continue the fight, and not seek political solutions. The current

:25:57.:26:00.

situation is one in which there is precious little hope of a

:26:01.:26:06.

resumption of meaningful diplomacy. Not least because as Kofi Annan

:26:06.:26:12.

made clear, neither opposition, nor Government really wanted.

:26:12.:26:16.

With foreign backers fuelling the fires of conflict, the regional

:26:16.:26:22.

implications of this crisis grow more serious by the week. I think

:26:22.:26:25.

the real point at the end of this, is with Kofi Annan no longer in

:26:25.:26:29.

position, there is a talk of a search for successor, but what

:26:29.:26:34.

could such a person meaningfully do Thank you very much, that is one of

:26:34.:26:41.

the questions I will be putting to our guest. A senior spokesman for

:26:41.:26:46.

the senior National Council, an opposition group with a base in

:26:46.:26:50.

Turkey. The most high-level defection has been Riad Hijab. Tell

:26:50.:26:55.

me how that evolved, what happened? Since he was asked to form a

:26:55.:27:00.

Government, Bashar Al-Assad, he knew that, I mean, he has to find

:27:00.:27:05.

an escape or way out. The plan for his defection started since then.

:27:05.:27:09.

So more than two months ago? It is about two months ago. Through the

:27:09.:27:13.

co-ordination with some of the battalions of the Free Syrian Army,

:27:13.:27:18.

his family and sisters and brothers and their families have been

:27:18.:27:23.

escorted to the border area, all in one night, and they spent the night

:27:23.:27:29.

close to the Jordanian boarder, then he fled to Jordan, and a--

:27:29.:27:32.

Jordanian border and he fled to Jordan and announced his defection.

:27:32.:27:37.

Where is he now? Jordan. Will he go on from Jordan or what will happen?

:27:37.:27:41.

That is yet to be seen. Discussion is to take place and see the best

:27:41.:27:45.

role he can play. He was no saint, he was a brutal member of the Assad

:27:45.:27:50.

regime, so what part can he play with the Syrian National Council?

:27:50.:27:55.

He was from the Ba'ath Party, I'm not sure we can use the word

:27:55.:28:00.

"brutal" or not, not all people from that party are part of the

:28:00.:28:04.

regime, they number two million. He was part of the regime, and

:28:04.:28:10.

governor, and Secretary of State for Agriculture and then praem. We

:28:10.:28:13.

-- Prime Minister. We encourage the defection of everyone in this

:28:13.:28:18.

regime to jump this sinking ship. He is the highest-ranking position

:28:18.:28:21.

of authority, after the President himself in the country, this is a

:28:21.:28:26.

huge blow to the Assad regime F it shows anything, it shows the -- if

:28:26.:28:31.

it shows anything, it shows the regime is decaying and crumbling.

:28:31.:28:33.

Now we have Kofi Annan's resignation, part of the problem

:28:34.:28:39.

was, under the Kofi Annan plan, not only had Assad to talk, the

:28:39.:28:42.

opposition had to talk and find some kind of diplomatic solution.

:28:42.:28:46.

But you wouldn't talk to the Assad regime? Point one in the Annan Plan

:28:46.:28:52.

was to stop the shelling of cities, towns and villages, point two is

:28:52.:28:57.

release political prisoner and allow Syrians to demonstrate

:28:57.:29:01.

politically freely. None of that happened. There will have to be a

:29:01.:29:04.

diplomatic solution? Assad is taking the conflict into an area

:29:04.:29:09.

where there is no other solution. He's taking himself to the same

:29:09.:29:14.

destiny as Gadaffi. The same, killed in Syria? Perhaps or left or

:29:14.:29:17.

fled the last minute. There has been so many opportunities to solve

:29:17.:29:22.

this conflict in a different way, it has been wasted by this regime.

:29:22.:29:26.

They have been determined to treat the Syrians as subjects, the whole

:29:26.:29:30.

country as their asset, that is why we haven't any movement forward.

:29:30.:29:33.

Part of the way the international community will respond and look at

:29:33.:29:38.

Syria is in terms of the behaviour of the resistance groups. Being

:29:38.:29:44.

held now are more than 20 Iranian pilgrims. Yes. I think there is a

:29:44.:29:48.

dispute, obviously with the resistance as to whether or not

:29:48.:29:51.

they are pilgrims, will they receive a fair trial? Number one,

:29:51.:29:56.

they are being treated fairly and respectfully, and no harassment or

:29:56.:29:58.

torture or ill treatment has taken torture or ill treatment has taken

:29:58.:30:03.

place. Number two we are not yet sure if they were really pilgrims,

:30:04.:30:10.

making this kind of religious trip into a very flaming situation or

:30:10.:30:14.

warzone, basically, or they are Iranian agents that have been

:30:14.:30:19.

captured in the past, snipers and troops and advisers. So, that's

:30:19.:30:24.

been said, these are being treated fairly. Finally, we know, we think

:30:24.:30:29.

there will be a big push on Aleppo, that might be decisive for the

:30:29.:30:34.

future of Assad himself. Do you think he's making plans to leave?

:30:34.:30:38.

think he is considering leaving, but not at this stage. He would

:30:38.:30:42.

maybe leave, I would say, as a last resort, really, when he thinks

:30:42.:30:48.

there is no way for him to maintain grip on Damascus itself. Aleppo is

:30:48.:30:51.

so significant because they cannot really send a lot of troops there,

:30:51.:30:57.

weakening the rest of the presence in their country. And if they let

:30:57.:30:59.

it be, it will be another Benghazi situation in Syria.

:30:59.:31:05.

Thank you very much. It's hard to believe that a year

:31:05.:31:10.

ago today, on August 6th, 2011, five days of riots in cities and

:31:10.:31:14.

towns in England kicked off, causing millions of pounds of

:31:14.:31:19.

damage, weeks of soul searching. Fast forward 12 months and the

:31:19.:31:24.

Olympics seems to have had an halo effect. The UK struck by the

:31:24.:31:29.

success of GB, and more triumph today. Are the riots a distant

:31:29.:31:32.

memory, or are the Olympics a mere distraction from the true state of

:31:32.:31:37.

our inner cities. Before we discuss that, here is Paul Mason.

:31:37.:31:40.

Mo Farah for Great Britain, it's gold.

:31:40.:31:48.

This is what it looks like when a Briton wins.

:31:48.:31:54.

And the weekend was a medal fest for British athletes.

:31:54.:31:59.

This was, in your face, multiethnic Britain, comprehensive school

:31:59.:32:02.

Britain, and even when somebody else's runner won, parts of Britain

:32:02.:32:09.

claimed him as their own. In Brixton, London, they are

:32:09.:32:12.

celebrating Jamaican independence, on top of everything else, all too

:32:12.:32:18.

aware of the contrast to events a year ago. With some cultural events,

:32:18.:32:22.

it is complex, it is hard to work out what the zeitgeist is trying to

:32:22.:32:26.

tell you. But with the Olympics, ever since the Opening Ceremony,

:32:26.:32:31.

it's been about class, race, and who we are as a people, this

:32:31.:32:35.

weekend, maybe something big changed. As the Sun Newspaper puts

:32:35.:32:41.

it, the far right, are wasting their time. We're a multiethnic

:32:41.:32:50.

country, and they have lost. But can two weeks of Olympic mania

:32:50.:32:54.

offset a year of angst about what happened in England's poor

:32:54.:32:57.

communities. Can streets like these really start to believe in a

:32:57.:33:04.

different story. At the public tennis courts in Clapham, sport

:33:04.:33:08.

doesn't get more grass roots. This is a youth scheme, paid for by the

:33:08.:33:12.

council, run by volunteers, they are not short of tennis balls, they

:33:12.:33:16.

are short of tennis coaches. Is this the first time most of you

:33:16.:33:20.

have actually had a got at coached tennis? Yeah. What do you think of

:33:21.:33:26.

it? When I was younger I used to think, I never want to do tennis,

:33:26.:33:30.

now I have seen Andy Murray play, I want to try to learn tennis now and

:33:30.:33:34.

get better at it. It doesn't matter where you come from, as long as you

:33:34.:33:37.

are good at what you are doing, and try lots of stuff to see what you

:33:37.:33:42.

are good at, and to be able to show people, even if you are in a

:33:42.:33:46.

backstreet with a basketball court, if you can do it good then you

:33:46.:33:53.

should do it. For these young people, memories of the riots are

:33:53.:33:59.

vivid. It was just chaos. All crowds fighting, burntdown

:33:59.:34:05.

buildings, that is me and my Primary School. It is not over Mark

:34:05.:34:08.

Duggan, and the cuts and all that, it was just something that you

:34:08.:34:11.

really wanted, I think it was temptation. Do you think something

:34:11.:34:18.

like the Olympics will help avoid repeating it? Well, I really think

:34:18.:34:23.

it would. It should. Some people who are from rundown areas, yeah,

:34:23.:34:30.

they can have a chance as well. Because it shows that the Olympics

:34:31.:34:37.

is like and as a variety of people that come, that come together and

:34:37.:34:45.

do sports, and no chaos. Nice shot, back you go. The fact is,

:34:45.:34:50.

aspirations like these cost money. It would normally cost �8 to be

:34:50.:34:56.

taught tennis in a group of six, �40 an hour for one-on-one, �600 a

:34:56.:35:02.

month at a private tennis academy. For all these children, these are

:35:02.:35:05.

unattainable sums. Last week British Olympic chief, Lord

:35:05.:35:09.

Moynihan complained that half our medal winners last time went to

:35:09.:35:13.

private schools. The past 72 hours have done a lot to redress the

:35:13.:35:18.

balance. We have seen comprehensive gold for

:35:18.:35:24.

Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins, Helen Glover, Victoria Pendleton, Jessica

:35:24.:35:34.
:35:34.:35:34.

Ennis, long jumper Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah. But, says this

:35:34.:35:39.

academic, the social divisions that caused cities to erupt last summer

:35:39.:35:44.

are still there. We haven't dealt with any of the root causes of the

:35:44.:35:48.

riots, and actually, young people are still going to have problems

:35:48.:35:51.

finding work. Mark Duggan's family is still waiting for justice. And

:35:51.:35:54.

we still have this massive difference between the rich and

:35:54.:35:58.

poor in this city. Until we can actually tackle those, the Olympics

:35:58.:36:04.

can't really have this long-lasting halo effect. Tonight, as every

:36:04.:36:08.

night, London's Hyde Park attracted a crowd mess merised by the sudden

:36:08.:36:15.

success of people they have never heard of. Before the Olympic,

:36:15.:36:19.

politicians were worried they might be seen too close to the at lots,

:36:19.:36:24.

trying to own the games. -- athletes, trying to own the games.

:36:24.:36:28.

What nobody realised was British people would shamelessly own the

:36:28.:36:31.

games themselves. Night after night they will sing The National Anthem,

:36:31.:36:37.

they will eat the national dish, if this is some kind of political

:36:37.:36:42.

movement, it is very eared -- political moment, it is very weird

:36:42.:36:52.
:36:52.:36:55.

and very British. # God save our Queen

:36:55.:37:01.

Joining us to discuss the issue are my guests. A young Mayor of

:37:01.:37:05.

Lewisham, and a commentator on the Times. You are charged with

:37:05.:37:09.

inclusiveity and making sure that the halo-effect got to the

:37:09.:37:14.

advantaged and disadvantaged alike. But will what you are doing have

:37:14.:37:17.

any lasting difference to the country, do you think? Well, it is

:37:17.:37:21.

a big question, isn't it. Of course we hope that many, many young

:37:21.:37:25.

people, who have already taken part, and learned creative skills, will

:37:25.:37:29.

take that creativity further, and that everyone who has already had

:37:29.:37:32.

the chance to see world class artists has had a great time. I

:37:32.:37:38.

think that we have got here a vision of, a country that welcomes

:37:38.:37:43.

artists and athletes from around the world, and celebrates and

:37:43.:37:46.

embraces them. We cheer all the athletes in the stadium, not just

:37:46.:37:50.

the British athletes. That is a really important thing about us.

:37:50.:37:54.

welcome and reveer them, and think they are doing a wonderful job,

:37:54.:37:59.

does it make our lives different? One year ago, I walked down

:37:59.:38:02.

Tottenham High Road with my daughter from the Tottenham

:38:02.:38:09.

Tottenham Hotspur friendly we saw the people gathering outside

:38:09.:38:12.

Tottenham Police Station, and how ominous it felt under those

:38:13.:38:16.

circumstances. We had the eruption, and a year later we have something

:38:16.:38:20.

like the Olympics. What we are seeing is two very different types

:38:20.:38:23.

of people. There are several countries contained within our

:38:23.:38:26.

nation. It overlaps at certain times. What do you mean different

:38:26.:38:32.

kinds of people? By and large, I think the we estimated about 20,000

:38:32.:38:35.

people were involved in rioting. That's fewer people than you would

:38:36.:38:41.

have had for one of the women's football matches in Cardiff.

:38:41.:38:48.

Nevertheless, because of what it represented, what we understood

:38:48.:38:50.

about underprivileged, disadvantaged, lawlessness in

:38:50.:38:53.

certain parts of our cities, we could see it was a very big problem,

:38:53.:38:56.

even if it didn't have that many people involved in it. The Olympic

:38:56.:39:00.

Games is much, much bigger in terms of the number of people actively

:39:00.:39:03.

involved in doing something or thinking something about it.

:39:03.:39:07.

example, for those 20,000 that were involved, will the Olympics

:39:07.:39:09.

actually make any lasting difference? I think the Olympics is

:39:09.:39:13.

a great opportunity for the UK to host the Olympics in the first

:39:13.:39:17.

place, but I do think that it shouldn't overlap the idea of the

:39:17.:39:19.

reason why the riots happened. And those people are still being

:39:19.:39:24.

affected by it. I think being a young person myself, I'm still on a

:39:24.:39:28.

day-to-day basis dealing with those struggles itself. How many people

:39:28.:39:32.

can say if they let their child out in the morning time, that they can

:39:32.:39:35.

guarantee their child will come home safe at night. How many people

:39:35.:39:38.

can guarantee they can feed their children for the rest of the week

:39:38.:39:43.

or take care of their family. Those are the things we should look at in

:39:43.:39:48.

terms of deprivation. Fundamentally we can celebrate the Olympics, but

:39:48.:39:52.

underneath, has changed? It is �2,000 for an Opening Ceremony

:39:52.:39:56.

ticket. What was that about? think we should say, children could

:39:56.:40:01.

go for tickets that cost the same as their age. We in our London 2012

:40:01.:40:04.

festival, we have 12 million free tickets that we have been offering.

:40:04.:40:09.

I think we should say an important thing. Let's talk about sport for a

:40:09.:40:14.

minute. What was the cheapest ticket �30? Children can go for

:40:14.:40:17.

their able. You can see a lot of the sport in the Olympics for free.

:40:17.:40:21.

You could see the marathon free, some of the cycling free. But I

:40:21.:40:26.

think a really good point in your film is aspiration costs money. And

:40:26.:40:29.

that is true. What every young person needs is the chance to dream,

:40:29.:40:33.

and the chance to develop their dreams. And both arts and sport,

:40:33.:40:37.

and of course you would expect me to be pushing the art, alongside

:40:37.:40:41.

the sport, are the stuff of dreams. We have got to make sure that what

:40:41.:40:44.

we have built on during these games in this summer is something we

:40:44.:40:47.

carry on with. You have been involved in the Cultural Olympiad

:40:47.:40:51.

for some time, after the riots did you have a re-think about the

:40:51.:40:55.

direction in which you wanted to take things? The Cultural Olympiad

:40:55.:40:58.

have put young people and developing their skills at the

:40:58.:41:02.

start. As you remember we opened the London 2012 festival with young

:41:02.:41:06.

people in sterling, and with young people in Hackney, for the radio --

:41:06.:41:11.

Stirling, and with young people in Hackney for the concert, free

:41:11.:41:17.

ticket to see Jay-Z and Rihanna and learn skills. We have always had

:41:17.:41:21.

skills learning there and free tickets, that is really important.

:41:21.:41:26.

I might be misquoting Mark Hunter, saying there is enough money in the

:41:26.:41:30.

pot -- Jeremy Hunt, saying there is enough money in the pot for sport.

:41:31.:41:34.

A lot of people will be inspired and they will go out and there

:41:34.:41:38.

won't be the gym, sport facilities? That will always be a problem.

:41:38.:41:45.

There is a significant amount of money going into kids school sports

:41:45.:41:49.

activities than 40 years ago. We have done an incredible job through

:41:49.:41:55.

the lottery, in some of these very schools, in Lewisham, in Tottenham,

:41:55.:41:58.

the fact it hasn't solved our underlying social problems, I don't

:41:58.:42:01.

think it should be an immense surprise. It isn't because people

:42:01.:42:05.

haven't been trying to do it. It is because it doesn't actually tackle

:42:05.:42:09.

some of the very specific problems these communities have. Then there

:42:09.:42:11.

are other problems about division in society which we know about,

:42:11.:42:17.

which have something to do about the fact that the very wealthiest

:42:17.:42:20.

people are incredibly wealthy compared with everybody else, it is

:42:20.:42:23.

like talking to people who live on another planet. That is an issue we

:42:23.:42:28.

have to deal with. The idea of the Olympic is something that no-one

:42:28.:42:32.

wants to be cynical about, it is a great chance to see what athletes

:42:32.:42:36.

can do and inspire a generation. People like Andy Murray and Jessica

:42:36.:42:39.

Ennis, Mo Farah, when I was watching the Olympics I felt

:42:39.:42:43.

inspired. But at the same time, how do we get to a point where we can

:42:43.:42:47.

have people in deprived areas aspiring to be those successful

:42:47.:42:50.

people. It starts in the community. The Government needs to come down

:42:50.:42:54.

to a lower level and speak to people. The idea of Boris Johnson

:42:54.:42:59.

going to Clapham, talking about cleaning up the area. Let's be real

:42:59.:43:03.

about it, forget the PR stunts, Britain has to wake up and hold

:43:03.:43:08.

politicians to account, that doesn't mean voting, it is active

:43:08.:43:12.

throughout the year and years to come. Boris Johnson has said many

:43:12.:43:17.

things, one thing he did say, is what he felt in a society of

:43:17.:43:22.

instant gratification, seeing the endeavour, the long, long years

:43:22.:43:25.

that you put in, Beth Tweddle, gives the idea that something takes

:43:25.:43:29.

a long time to come back for you? think that actually everyone with

:43:29.:43:33.

talent knows that. They know that it's about determination and hard

:43:33.:43:37.

work. But it is also about support, it is about coaching, it is about

:43:37.:43:41.

facilities and it is about a long- term policy. It is not an accident

:43:41.:43:46.

that we are winning so many medals now it is not an accident we are so

:43:46.:43:49.

brilliant at music around the world and creative industry. It is about

:43:49.:43:53.

long-term policy and support. there something about raising the

:43:53.:43:56.

national spirit? I think this has come at a really important moment.

:43:56.:43:59.

I think there was a real danger, before the Olympics and the Jubilee,

:43:59.:44:03.

that the country was beginning to turn in on itself, very negative

:44:03.:44:06.

about things like immigration, very negative about other people in the

:44:06.:44:10.

society. One of the things I think the Olympics may have done, and it

:44:10.:44:16.

is too early to tell, judging by the mood, is it has turned us back

:44:16.:44:21.

outwards, we are not looking inwards or beating ourselves up, we

:44:21.:44:24.

are looking outwards to the rest of the world. That is where we have to

:44:24.:44:27.

be. The future of the kids in Lewisham is about taking on the

:44:27.:44:30.

rest of the world, it is not smacking ourselves down. Do you

:44:31.:44:34.

think that, or is it a more middle- class idea, do you think that is

:44:34.:44:40.

actual low true? I believe in a lot of things. Last week my brother's

:44:40.:44:43.

best friend was murdered, now that's something that's really

:44:43.:44:48.

personal towards me, my family, it affected a lot of people in my area.

:44:48.:44:51.

It is a ricochet effect, if we are talking about the Olympics at a

:44:51.:44:56.

national level, it is great talking about the Olympics, but when we

:44:56.:44:59.

have issues like that happening to normal families, people trying to

:44:59.:45:03.

live their lives day-to-day, people are going through a lot, people

:45:03.:45:07.

don't have the time to sit in front of the television and enjoy the

:45:07.:45:10.

Olympics. People don't have the money. Although it is �30, some

:45:10.:45:14.

people have to use that money to feed their family, those are the

:45:14.:45:17.

people we need to sort out to get everyone to the point where we will

:45:17.:45:21.

see we will get those young people to play sports. There is no point

:45:21.:45:24.

inspiring young people if you are not going to give them the right

:45:24.:45:28.

facilities to nurture their talent long-term. Well, of course I

:45:28.:45:31.

couldn't disagree with a word of that. But I would say that

:45:31.:45:35.

inspiration is something to seize, we can seize the moment, and

:45:35.:45:37.

actually this is a great moment for us, there is an opportunity for us

:45:37.:45:41.

to build on this. We should do so, we really should. I think

:45:41.:45:47.

personally, someone like Ruth is inspiring, definitely, I incourage

:45:47.:45:49.

everything you are doing. But I think in terms of Government and

:45:49.:45:53.

people we see in the media all the time. We need to hear those same

:45:53.:45:57.

things, we need to hear them say it and say we are going to do this

:45:57.:46:00.

together, forget politic, let's talk about the real thing, people

:46:00.:46:03.

need to hear more about it. Thank you very much.

:46:03.:46:08.

A quick run around tomorrow's front pages. There is the equestrian team

:46:08.:46:18.
:46:18.:46:38.

That's just about all from Newsnight. I'm here tomorrow with

:46:38.:46:42.

more. Team GB won the first show jumping medal for 28 years today,

:46:42.:46:52.
:46:52.:47:20.

and yes, it was a gold. From of us Good evening. We have more

:47:20.:47:24.

unsettled weather to come for a couple of days. Things will turn

:47:24.:47:27.

dryer, warmer and sunnier for the end of the week. A fairly cloudy

:47:27.:47:30.

start to things on Tuesday morning. We have some rain moving towards

:47:30.:47:33.

south-west England and parts of South Wales. To the north of that a

:47:33.:47:36.

mixture of sunshine and showers. Not too many showers across parts

:47:36.:47:41.

of the Midlands, here it will be mainly dry and bright. We have a

:47:41.:47:45.

lot of cloud through Sussex and along the south coast. The rain is

:47:45.:47:49.

with us through the afternoon, stretching into the Isle of Wight

:47:49.:47:53.

and down towards parts of Devon. Cornwall beginning to dry out. The

:47:53.:47:56.

rain clearing away as it moves into South Wales. For North Wales

:47:56.:48:00.

through the afternoon it should be dry and fine with sunny spells. We

:48:00.:48:03.

have some sunshine for Northern Ireland. I can't rule out the odd

:48:03.:48:07.

shower, but for the most part it should be dry. The showers isolated

:48:07.:48:12.

across parts of Northern Ireland, much more scattered across parts of

:48:12.:48:16.

Scotland, a few heavy ones through central Scotland. You can see

:48:16.:48:21.

plenty of wet weather to come on Tuesday, temperatures in Edinburgh,

:48:21.:48:25.

19. The showers start to clear through Wednesday, as pressure

:48:25.:48:28.

begins to climb across the country t does become dryer. A little bit

:48:28.:48:32.

of brightness, lifting temperatures into the low 20s. We have a very

:48:32.:48:35.

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