12/10/2012 Newsnight


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

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Tonight, the BBC on the rack. Two new inquiries announced, one into


the years Jimmy Savile worked at the BBC, another into any failings


over the abandoned Newsnight Savile investigation. And this from the


top of the corporation. A profound and heart felt apology, on behalf


of the BBC, to every victim. Police say there could be more than


40 victims, and more than 300 separate lions of inquiry. We will


explore whether the BBC has mishandedled the investigation, the


aftermath, and the need to get to the truth. We will hear from TV


executives, David Elstein and Airey air strikes and the Guardian


columnist, Deborah Orr. Also tonight: We are very proud to


receive the Nobel Prize. He may be very proud, but does award suggest


there is little point in satire, or does the long history of the


maligned institution help keep the peace on the most bloodthirsty


connent on earth. We will discuss, connent on earth. We will discuss,


Good evening, tonight the BBC has tried to get a grip on the


spiralling mass of allegations against Jimmy Savile. The new


director-general, Lord Entwistle, has ordered an investigation into


the culture and practices into the BBC when Savile worked here. A


separate investigation will look into any failings over the handling


of the abandoned Newsnight inquiry. It comes as the police reveal 700


lines of their inquiries, and put the potential number of victims of


Savile at 40. More claims of sexual assault by


Sir Jimmy Savile have emerged today. Police are investigating a dozen


allegations of abuse. And have revealed that there, at least, 40


potential victims. All told detectives are now following 340


leads. A director who worked on Jimmy Savile's hit TV show, Jim'll


Fix It, claimed to have discovered the presenter having sex with a


girl in his dressing room. David Nicolson told a newspaper he was


laughed at when he raised his concerns. June Thornton, a patient


at Leeds General Infirmary, in 1972, said she saw Savile abuse someone


she believed was a brain-damaged girl. Miss Thornton said she told a


nurse about the incident, but she was ignored.


The director-general announced an independent inquiry into a


Newsnight investigation about Jimmy Savile. That was begun last year,


but was never completed, and no report was shown. The editor of the


programme decided not to pursue it for editoral reasons. But some


members of the Newsnight team disagreed with his decision. After


the director-general referred to a "cloud of suspicion" over the


Newsnight investigation, he was asked whether the programme's


editor, Peter Rippon, should be suspended? No, I don't think it


would be appropriate to suspend the Newsnight editor. REPORTER: Why?


Because I have confidence in Peter Rippon. He's a very good editor


indeed. As I have explained to you. We have spent the last two weeks


trying to get people to understand and recognise our account of events.


Which I standby. What we are doing now, is we have set up an


independent inquiry, because, in the end, accountability,


transparency, honesty, these are things we want to live by, and be


judged by, we recognise that we need that to answer the questions


that are being asked. REPORTER: Are you confident that in that


Newsnight film, there was no material relevant useful to the


police that the BBC sat on by killing that film. There are


certainly journalists involved with that who indicate there was


relevant material, but Peter Rippon said otherwise in his statement?


These issues, Dan, are exactly I want the independent inquiry to


look at, I don't want to pre-judge it on anything you have asked me


there. REPORTER: Yesterday you did say you didn't know the nature of


the Newsnight allegations when the tribute programmes to Jimmy Savile


went ahead. Did you know it was an investigation into criminal


behaviour by Jimmy Savile, an investigation into potential child


abuse by Jimmy Savile, an investigation into action on BBC


Prom sis? What did you know? didn't know any of those things.


What I knew was Newsnight was looking at Jimmy Savile. That is as


much as I was told. I know there is a certain amount of mistcation in


the press about this -- mystification in the press about


this. I will explain what is in my mind. I'm a former news editor,


those investigating the BBC, the independence of the and current


affairs, the independence of the news division from any potential


influence from elsewhere in the organisation. The thing uppermost


in my mind was an absolute determination to ensure that nobody


should construe anything I had to say or think about this, as a


matter of any pressure. Helen said to me, we're looking into Jimmy


Savile. I said, thanks for letting me know, I hope you will keep me


updated. The BBC is also calling in an independent investigator, to


examine the culture at the corporation, during the time Savile


was committing his alleged attacks on children. Also to ensure that


present safeguards are fit for purpose. I have one thing to repeat,


that is a profound and heart felt apology on behalf of the BBC to


every victim. It is the victims, these women who were subject to


criminal actions, who must be central in our thoughts.


director-general said the two independent inquiries at the BBC


will be led by individuals, to be named as soon as possible, who


command respect for their insight and judgment.


No-one from the BBC was available to be interviewed tonight. I'm


joined now by David Elstein, who has held a number of executive


positions in television, including at Sky and Channel 5. Dawn Airey, a


former head of Channel 5, now heading the largest independent


European television company. Has the BBC botched this? It is not


unusual for the BBC to be slow off the mark when a crisis hits t and


to play catch-up for a long time afterwards. We have seen it many


times. The problem here is the BBC is trying to catch up day by day.


Yesterday it announced the Ken McQuarry inquiry, now it has been


overtaken by an external inquiry into what has happened. Although


George Entwistle has announced these two inquiries, the most


important one is the one he hasn't announced. That is why, when


Newsnight journalists had assembled, if not broadcast, substantial


evidence of sexual molestation by Jimmy Savile, why did the BBC


blythly proceed to broadcast a series of celebratory programme


about Savile, even as those interviews hit the cutting room


floor. Do you accept that, to some people, it looks as if the BBC has,


firstly, dragged the feet, and secondly, because of the supposedly


celebratory programmes, that there is something to hide there. As Mr


Entwistle put it, a cloud of suspicion over what Newsnight was


up to and what it did or didn't do? It is farcical to suggest that


because of the two entertainment programmes that the Newsnight piece


was sidelined or dropped. George, in your package at the beginning


gave a very good articulation that is to, yes, he was aware of the


fact that Newsnight was looking into Jimmy Savile, and that was it.


The independence of producers and editors of all News and Current


Affairs programmes have to remain absolutely paramount. The important


thing, I think which is what he has just announced, which is two very


significant forensic and soul- searching inquiries. That is all


the BBC can do. It will be interesting to see who is chairing


both the inquiries. But I think he has done exactly the right thing


for this moment in time. Where do you sit on this, I think everybody


has been shocked, day by day it gets worse. We heard Chris Patten


say it is a cesspit, and it certainly this? There is lots of


things happening, first of all we shouldn't lose sight of the fact


that until somebody broke this story, nobody had broken the story.


That is not just the BBC. That is a huge powerful media. We have a


press, that for a time, seemed able to get any information they liked


out of people. A press that was particularly down on paedophilia,


supposedly. Had many of them had a look at this? Nobody was able to


break this story, Newsnight, the BBC, at least had a go at it, they


may have failed at the final hurdle, it is important to be clear on why


that happened, but they at least had a go at it. It is a measure of


how successful this man was as a paedophile, who groomed an entire


nation, that nobody broke the story before now, at all. Specifically,


what do you want to know about the Newsnight investigation, and why it


was never run, why nothing actually got on it? Frankly, it is not


important. I don't think there is any conspiracy, I don't think there


was any pressure put on the editor. He probably took an editoral


judgment, he was probably wrong, we will eventually find out and make


our own judgment. That is not the issue. The issue is the BBC has


been landed with huge embarrassment, not just because it didn't


broadcast this item, but because it did broadcast a series of


programmes, which any alert executive would have yanked from


the schedule, as soon as they heard, Newsnight's investigating Jimmy


Savile. All the BBC News outlets were alerted, by the Newsnight team,


be abare that there is this investigation going on. I don't


understand the point that Dawn is making and that George Entwistle


made, which is you can't ask to see the tape, even if it hasn't been


broadcast. Of course you see the tape. As soon as you see the tape


you pull every one of those programmes out of the schedule.


me go back top Dawn and the wider investigation into the culture of


the BBC in the 1970s and 1980s, perhaps it is a reflection of the


culture of not just the BBC in that time, what was going on. What do


you hope they might get to the bottom of there? The 1970s and


1980s are a completely different world from where we are now. It is


comparing chalk and cheese, we have become far more moral and open and


transparent as a society, and witnessing what we are talking


about this evening. If you go back then, and David knows this as well


as I do, ITV was a bit like Life on Mars, it was racist, sexist, sexism


was endemic, and there were things that went on then, to be frank, you


wouldn't tolerate today. The world has moved on, the world, I think,


is a better place. But just, David, to go back to the point you were


picking up on earlier, about the Newsnight report. The fact is, it


didn't stack up, Peter Rippon said he couldn't get the witnesses,


their statements, just the police couldn't support what was being


said. That's why he didn't run the report. That is perfectly


legitimate as a reason to have dropped it. David made a slightly


different point, he said the BBC should have been alert to the fact


it was going on, even if it didn't stand up. And the key question is


why run tributes to the man if there is an investigation going on?


Wasn't that a mistake in judgment? We have all had to make the


judgment call, but there was a time when Jimmy Savile was perceived to


be a national hero. He quite clearly was an appalling individual.


Those were two programmes that celebrated a body of work. Whether


we like it or not, they were broadcast by the BBC. There were


rumours for decades about him, they weren't substantiated. Do you think


the culture has changed in the profound way Dawn has said. Some


may say it is true, but it is a cop out, whatever he did then is wrong


then as it is now? The culture has been dragged to where we are now


kicking and screaming. There are basic things we still need to be


looking at, that are still wrong with the culture. Certainly, the


sexual revolution came along, when this story first broke, Michael


Grade went on television and said there was a lot of groupy culture


in light entertainment back then, and there is a lot of groupy


culture around now. That idea of groupy culture for successful men


still actually survives. People make a big deal about it not being


for under-16s or paedophiles, but the idea that grown-up men should


award themselves with young women, throwing themselves at them, is


still there. And, what's more, a man I was arguing with about this


earlier today said, well, yes, but what would you do if ten people


were coming to your door every evening offering sex. I said, I


would call police. You have this culture, that although when we are


in the office we are more civilised. But down in Rochdale young women


are being used for sex by men and nobody is listening to them. And on


a small scale that is happening again. It can't happen on the grand


scale as it did in the 1970s at the heart of the BBC. But the thing is


paedophiles shouldn't get into positions of powers and abusing


young girls, and nobody listening to them, that has happened recently.


Congrat layings, as citizens of the European Union -- congratulations,


as citizens of the European Union, we share a part in the Nobel Peace


Prize, awarded to all of us for the role the EC has for keeping the


piece peace on a couldn't nent, where for 100 years has been the


scene of kaornish. With a sense of satire, the award comes as Greeks


dressed up at Nazis, shouting abuse at Germany's Chancellor, and Europe


might be at peace, but not entirely with itself. Nobel Peace Prize Poet


Laureates are an interesting bunch. More than 100 individuals and 20


organisations have won the prize. Peace has always been a slightly


slippery concept. In 1973 Henry Kissinger accepted the prize, while


serving as Secretary of State to President Nixon in the Vietnam War.


He said the prize symbolised the quest for peace rather than


achieving it. In 1976 it went to the founders of the Northern


Ireland peace movement, Robert Koren and Betty Williams. The


troubles continued for another 20 years. And President Obama was the


recipient for his efforts to strengthen international diplomacy,


nine months after he took office. He gave away his prize money. Has


the EU earned the place in the lirs of winners. Here is Paul Mason, a


re -- list of winners. Here is Paul Mason, one of the winners. From


democracy to the European Union, a gong, pretty big one, the Nobel


Peace Prize. The President of Europe, one of three Presidents,


accepted the prize graciously. Committee, and in fact, the


international community, are now standing -- send ago very important


message to Europe, that the European Union is something very


precious, that we should cherish, for the good of Europeans and all


the world. But, hold on a minute, it is quite hard to reconcile that


Europe with this. In southern Europe the financial crisis has


become a crisis of state bankruptcy, austerity imposed from Brussels,


Berlin and Frankfurt, is tearing Greece apart, and Spain and


Portugal are facing social crisis. The idea of taking more and more


power to the centre is so at odds with public opinion, not just in


Britain, but all over Europe. Interest comes a moment when it


becomes unsustainable. It was supposed to make us richer, it


hasn't. It was supposed to make us get on better, it hasn't. All the


arguments made for the EU originally are false, people have


seen through it. It is an ar This is an area of migrants, the actions


of a right-wing extremists last year were in the name of defending


white Christian Europe. We don't have a real public and federal


authority behind the common currency. So, in that way, I think


that it is a Nobel Prize that is an encouragement to go further on the


part of more European integration. For two years, the political elite


of Europe have struggled to impose a solution. The result, riots,


racism, radicalism, recession. Now, they think they have found a


solution, and it's more Europe. A rapid move to fiscal and political


union. But enthusiasm for that, on the streets of Europe, is very


patchy. When you are inside the machine of


euro Government, it can seem like it is permanent, the states,


nationalties, anthems that drove Europe to war in history, are


exactly that, just history. But to Europe's critics, what is happening


is the revenge of history. nation state through the centuries


has been a great vessel for peace and justice and democracy, in a way


these great transnational ideaologies, whether facisim or


Marxism or fundamentalism have never been. You would compare


Europeanism to those? It is obviously not violent, but in the


sense that it refuses to recognise the jurisdiction of the nation


states that it presumes to be bigger than international law, it


make as very dangerous assumption. Europe was always more than an


arrangement, from the catwalks of Milan, to the field of a Danish


rock festival, you always knew what continent you were in. History will


say the EU kept the peace, and removed the causes of totalitarian


rule and genocide, and created a vibe. But what next? I'm an


optimist by nature, but I predict that, in the next elections, in


2014, the next elections for the European Parliament, we could see a


win of pro-European forces, federal forces. And yes, and losses for the


euro-sceptic party. More and more people are aware of the fact that


in a globalised world, it is impossible to defend their


interests, with old fashioned nation states. When you win a big


award, it is always best to look stunned. But Britain's most pro-


European party leader, caught live on air with the news, sounded like


he really was. Worthy winner? I hadn't heard that before.


made an interesting face. For peace in Europe? Well, he suppose, what


do I want to say! Joining me now are three people, who as EU citizen,


share in the Nobel Prize glory, Johann Lamont, former Chancellor of


the Exchequer, Richard Corbett, a former Labour MP, working for the


President of the European channel, and Gillain Tett from the financial


-- President of the European Union, and Gillain Tett from the Financial


Times. If you look back over the last 50 years or so, without the


European Union, it wouldn't have been a safer place? This is an old


myth, the idea that France and Germany would have gone to war


after the tragedy of the Second World War, implies that Europeans


have learned nothing after three wars in 100 years. Lots of things


contribute to peace, NATO contributed to it, the movement of


tourist, global media, knowing about everyone's different


countries. It would be hard to persuade French citizens to fight


against Germany today. Do you think the world would be in a better


place without the EU? I think you need transnationalisation in the


European continent, we have a bureaucracy that is intrusive, and


a very interesting point, some years ago a Nobel Prize-winning


economist, he actually predicted that the eurozone would create more


conflict in Europe. Perhaps they ought to take his prize away. The


whole thing is laughable, it reminds about the death of Little


Nell, from Charles Dickens, you need a heart of stone not to burst


out laughing. Are you going to give the prize money to the Greek, they


deserve it, for staying so specific in the face of difficult problems


they have got? I think two things are being mixed up here. We will


still have arguments in Europe, of course. What the EU has done is


create a structure where the countries of Europe can have those


arguments and are in a some what more civilised way than we have


done in centuries. From the fall of the roam empire, until 1945, every


-- Roman empire, until 1945, every generation slaughtered each other


on the battlefields. We had to do something about it. NATO is a damn


sight better than what we had before. There was the point that


NATO, and the Germans and the French, you might give it to the


Germans for not causing trouble in the second half of the century


after whenever. The Germans are first to say that bringing all the


countries together, NATO and the EU helps, has been fundamental.


Without that, Johann Lamont said, surely they would have learned --


Norman Lamont said they surely they would have learned the lessons.


They didn't after the First World War, 21 years later it was war


again. No attempt of made then to set up a structure, a framework to


systematically overcome our differences. Provide a place where


we could negotiate and agree. You seem to have got the winnings


in your hand? Here is the issue, it is one thing to have a structure


and framework, that is useful. Structure and framework doesn't


make people's hearts beat faster or get them rallying. It is telling


that the prize is awarded to a block, not a person. The clips in


the film are all about prizes for people. The reason it has gone to


the block is there is no-one who will stand up and own the European


Union project who is a hero. If you look at bank notes, it is telling,


on the British bank note there is a Queen, a central person, a rallying


cry. If you look at the American one, George Washington, Lincoln. On


the eurozone bank notes, because there are no people to rally around,


you have a bridge and an arch. People don't feel excited about a


bridge and arch, than they are to create the same sense of social co-


heegs and unity. Is part of the point is that the committee


recognise the problems in the EU and they are offering


encouragement? The EU is incoherent in foreign policy, some members


recognise Kosovo, some don't. Some of them wanted to intervene in the


Iraq War, some didn't. There is no consensus about these big questions


of peace and war in the EU. Richard Corbett says we disagree but not


gone to the war? They claim great credit for what happened in the


Balkans. What happened when Srebrenica was bombarded, the Dutch


stood by and ask nothing. That is what EU peacekeeping did.


Balkans shows precisely what happens to an area outside this


structure and framework. What about Srebrenica jo. It was outside, the


former Yugoslavia was not inside the EU. If you talk to people in


central Europe that is what they value, they are grad low coming


into the area of stability, to -- gradually coming into the area of


stability, to make sure it doesn't happen again. To get your society


to buy into it, to make the sacrifices, in a country like


Germany, to support the European project, is hard without the


central dream. Wouldn't you accept, a that in your lifetime, the EU has


encouraged countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain, fascists states,


to become democracies, and be more friendly with neighbours? The EU


gave support with a framework where there was none. Franco ended his


rule because he died, not because the EU was there, he passed away in


the middle of the night. That is how democracy came to Spain. He


made preparation for a constitutional monarchy. What has


happened with the Nobel Prize committee, this they couldn't think


of anyone to give the prize so. They came up with a tired, weary


old idea. It is just as ridiculous to give it to President Obama after


being in the White House for one minute. It seems bizarre in a week


where seven thousand police are on the streets so Angela Merkel can


visit Athens. Doesn't that strike you as very, very odd? Of course


there will be disagreements about particular policies, and economic


policies, and what should be done. That is natural in any politic cap


structure. People dressed as Nazis on the street? We have pretty big


rows in the UK, why not in the European level. Look also at Greece,


without the largest-ever loan given in international history to a


country. Greece would be in a far, far worse situation. That loan was


given by eurozone partners, there is both a degree of solidarity and


discipline involved in this situation, difficult as it was.


strategy tragedy is what the Nobel Peace Prize is recognising that it


was a dream to heal the wound of World War II. The sad thing is the


European project threatens to reopen them. That is ironic


timing.Le Look what the Greeks are saying


about them? I don't think the difficulties in Greece will lead to


war. One party and some people in Greece are saying that. That is not


the prevailing view. To say that we are going to reopen the conflicts


to the Second World War, it is a completely different scale. It is a


completely different order of magnitude, and thank goodness it is


a different order of magnitude, and a large part that have is thanks to


having had the countries of Europe, come together, build up over 06


years, a structure in which we can work together. We will leave it


there, and look forward to Greece getting the money you have just


been awarded by the Nobel Committee. Let's have a look at the front


Now, after three decades at BBC Television Centre, with a stint at


Lime Grove down the road, this is Newsnight's last programme from


this stud hey. From Monday we will be broadcast -- studio, from Monday,


we will be broadcasting in high-def vision from Broadcasting House,


where Kirsty is now. We are doing some fine tune to go our new studio,


getting ready for the move. We will be broadcasting live, from here at


10.30 on Monday night. Tonight you can say good night Gavin. I will


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