24/10/2012 Newsnight


In an exclusive report from inside Syria, Tim Whewell meets members of the Syrian Free Army. With Jeremy Paxman.

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Tonight we're in what they call Free Syria. President Assad's


forces have been driven out, Sharia courts are in operation, and some


how the regime's mayor is still in office. A citizen militia patrols


the streets, a everyone lives in fear of bombs from the sky. The


west promises non-lethal help for the rebels, but will that stop the


Islamic spring turning into a Islamic winter. Mortgage it goes on


the more extreme people will become. It is up to the rest of the world


to help us get rid of Al-Assad. guests join us, including former US


Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz. Jimmy Savile was never brought to


court. Should the authorities pass on suspicions, even if they don't


think they are strong enough to secure a conviction. We speak to


the Spanish author, what mass made his childhood cancer a star of his


fiction. Are there positives to be gained from suffering a terrible


illness. I lost a lunge, a leg and some of my liver, this was also a


happy time for me. We will talk about how to live with cancer. It


looks as if there will be a break in fight anything Syria this week.


The mediator was talking about a ceasefire tentatively for the


Muslim festival of eed. It doesn't intricate Eid, it doesn't Light


Bashar Al-Assad -- indicate that Bashar Al-Assad will fall.


People tend to concentrate on the blood, the anger and the weeping,


what is it like to live there? Our reporter has just spent the best


part of a week in a town in the north of the country. Where did you


go? There is a whole swathe of countryside in northern Syria,


along the Turkish border that is rebel controlled, as far as Aleppo,


there has been intense fighting for the last couple of mooints. There


is one border post -- months. There was one border post near Kilis,


where you can get your passport stamped with "Free Syria". We went


there and tried to find out how the rebels are running their territory


and find out what kind of Syria they want in the future. We went to


the down of Mare' ao, Marea, it is the home town, one of the first


cities to demonstrate, and the home to one of the commanders in Aleppo.


This is what we found. Welcome to Marea, a small town at


war. There is bravado, and real heroism here.


Death, so frequent they dig the graves in advance. A numbing fear


of the enemy in the sky. And a very good pastry shop, the


story of Marea's liberation from tyranny, is drenched not only in


blood, but also in syrup and honey. These sweets were the death of


regime soldiers who stole them on April 10th, their last day in the


city. TRANSLATION: When the army became,


my brother and friends decided to put poison into the sweets. And the


soldiers who ate them died. The people of the city are proud of


what we did, we even became famous because of it. That day the city


burned, hundreds of houses and shops, set alight by phosphorus


grenades, hurled by Government troops. They ransacked the homes,


looted whatever they could, and rode away on their tanks, never yet


to return. It was left as a dusty island of


freedom. To plan its own future. 19 months on, the Syrian uprising


remains strangely faceless. With no clear overall leadership, and many


feel, no clear aim beyond the overthrow of President Assad. I


have come to this liberated town to try to discover who is fighting and


what they are fighting for. Guarding the city, and ruling it,


are the rebels of the Free Syrian Army. They are led n this town, by


a former electrician, wounded in the battle for Syria's second city,


Aleppo. TRANSLATION: I was shot by a machine gun, the bullet went in


my back and out by my stomach. men are poorly armed with what they


can capture from the regular army. Machine guns like this unlikely to


bring down a plane. Their power comes from the charisma of


commanders like this. He built this battalion from a


group of friends. Like him, they are mainly poor men, a farmer, two


tailors, a blacksmith, two teachers. And they are fighting, not just for


freedom, but for social justice. Not just against Al-Assad, but


against a whole urban class in Aleppo, who have backed him.


All lack Akbar! TRANSLATION: Most of the rich people, their business


is running well, they have connections and grown prosperous


with the regime. What will happen to those people in the future?


TRANSLATION: They won't stay in Syria afterwards, they will run


away, of their own accord. And these men don't want to be


robbed of the fruits of victory when the war is over.


TRANSLATION: The leadership will be made up of people inside Syria, we


won't accept some exiled opposition figure, who sits in five-star


hotels, while people are fighting on the ground. We lost brothers,


uncle, do you think we will let people living outside come back to


rule us, no. We have a saying, "the land is for


those who work on it". But for now it is the regime that


still rules the skies. At any sign of a plane, all eyes turn upwards.


This is the random destruction the jets bring. Increasingly unable, or


unwilling to commit ground forces to the fight, the regime's


resorting to indiscriminate aerial bombardment. The aim is simply to


sow terror. This was one of the secondary


schools, closed, like most schools here, for more than a year. By it


was still intact until a bomb hit it. TRANSLATION: The fighter jets


attacked, then they went away. Then they came back and attacked again.


They had the school on both sides. At the cemetery, I meet a man


coming to tend the grave of his son. TRANSLATION: My son was with five


or six friend, loading potato on to a truck. A MiG 23 dropped two


barrels of TNT on to them, five were killed. The oldest of them was


just 16 years old, three others had their legs and arms blown off. Were


they terrorists? No. The only terrorists are Bashar Al-Assad and


his friends. I won't even call them unbelievers. They are worse than


animals. Behind us another funeral is


beginning. Today they are burying a man hit by machinegun fire from a


plane, as he drove his car through the town. Suddenly the mourningers'


attention turns from earth to sky, far off a helicopter is approaching.


Until it eventually changes course, they too are threatened with death,


they are spared this time, perhaps not the next. This man grew up in


the town, moved abroad, and returned last year to join the


revolution. He thinks the town is being punished for the activism.


is an act of revenge, it was one of the first cities to demonstrate and


kept protesting all the time. It is an economic work too. To punish


people for demonstrating. That's me, in 1983. I used to be


the captain. Three decades ago when he led the town's football team,


the regime seemed impregnable. Now civil war has torn through friends


who were once provincial chap I don't knows. -- champions. He's the


mayor right now. He's a strong supporter of the Ba'ath Party, this


guy too, he's a major from the army, in the army. This guy works for the


intelligence, political intelligence office. He's on the


other side. And he's still on the other side. In the Town Hall,


extraordinarily, his old team-mate is still in office. Much to his


The mayor is allowed to stay, for now, because of his connections. He


can phone Government authorities in Aleppo, and get salaries or fuel


delivered across the frontline. But does he still really believe in


President Assad? TRANSLATION: Bashar Al-Assad is a democrat, he


loves his people, though he may have changed now. But after he took


power, he made a lot of reforms. Workers, salaries went up from


4,000 Syrian pounds to 25,000. are not afraid to say that, when


President Assad's planes are bombing this town? TRANSLATION:


Personally I feel scared for my people, my wife and my children.


But we are stuck between two sides. The planes that fire


indiscriminately killing women and children, and on the other side,


the FSA, which has nabbed my son, both sides are oppressing us.


In the city, poor, rural, entirely Sunni Muslim, few others are so


ambivalent, though many are down the road in Mitcher, more mixed


Aleppo. Small towns like this -- richer, more mixed Aleppo. Small


towns like this, old fashioned pious town, where women are rarely


glimpseed, have had to take the fight to the big city. That may


only make the city fear the uprising all the more. This remains


a deeply conservative Islamic society. Even after more than 40


years of rule by the secular Ba'ath Party. But not all Syria is like


this. And many are afraid that if and when the regime collapses,


another fight will break out, as one part of the country tries to


impose its values on others. The proceedings in this dark room


offer perhaps a glimpse of Syria's future. Rarely filmed before, this


is rebel justice at work. A revolutionary committee of civil


lawyers and Islamic law experts. They are trying three suspected tea


smuggler, brought in by a rebel soldier.


Eventually the suspects are provisionally let off, after


swearing on the Koran. Minor disputes have long been dealt with


like this. But will Islamic practice now become more important?


TRANSLATION: Sharia Law should come first, because Sharia is a form of


justice, that has proved itself for 1400 years. But we should graft


other laws on to it, to make it suit all communities, including


minorities. In this town, it certainly feels as if the FSA


belongs to the people. There is no sign here of the foreign Islamist


fighters the west is increasingly concerned about. These rebels say


they have no Islamist agenda themselves. Syria will stay as


multiconfessional as it has always been. TRANSLATION: God willing,


after the regime fall, we will all work together in love and


brotherhood, Christians, Kurds and even Alawite, at least the good


ones. We hope they will listen to what we are saying and join us.


western powers won't help, because they don't believe that.


TRANSLATION: We get very little outside support, no humanitarian


aid or weapons, like the media claims, only God is with us.


TRANSLATION: Everyone is against the Syrian people, only Turkey and


Saudi Arabia and the gulf states are on our side. Firstly, we want


God to help us, then those countries. Won't those countries,


those Arab countries, demand a political price for their support,


won't they try to change Syria? TRANSLATION: No, no, they are


trying to help us, because we have been oppressed for 40 years,


because we are poor, that's all. They don't expect anything in


return. But the rebels belong now to the Taheed Brigade, a wider


group that led the revolution. Many think it has Islamist sympathies.


As long as the FSA has no overall command structure, it is the best


armed groups that will become the most influential. Since his return


last year, he has seen the revolution grow from a baby into a


fighter. Now he fears that if the west stays out of the fight, it


will turn into something uglier still. The longer the conflict goes


on, the more extreme people will become, it is up to the west and


the rest of the world to help us get rid of Bashar Al-Assad, so it


will be OK, or it will take a long time, and more people will get


killed, and people will become more extremist. For the west staying at


the side, not helping, that is creating extremists.


The matter tomorrowdom of the dead, more than 50 since the upRoyceing


began. It is sell -- the martyrdom of the day more than 50 since the


uprising began. It dwells relentlessly on the barbarity of


the fight. How long can post-war reconciliation survive images like


this. Even if in war, the town goes about the old-age occupations,


farming and trading. But it is still digging graves, for victims


yet unknown. Here to discuss this now, two


British-based Syrian activists, Rim Turkmani, from Building the Syrian


State. And Al-Assad -- Abdul-kader al-Saleh, who has many contexs, and


Paul Wolfowitz from the US. Do you see the free Syrian army becoming


increase league radicalised? Yes, this is something we are afraid of,


the longer the struggle goes on, as the gentleman said in the report,


the easier it will be more people to be radicalised, and they might


have their allegiance bought. Presumably it is in the west's


interests to have the conflict shortened? If this had ended a year


ago Syria's prospects would be much, much better. It is quite bleak, all


the bad things that were supposed to be resolved because of our


providing weapons to the opposition are happening precisely because we


are not providing weapons to them. The conflict is dragging out,


people resent and hate the we. Countries that don't share our


democratic values are in the lead on deciding who gets weapons, that


is not a good thing either. What do you feel would be the consequences


of western military aid? First of all, it is not a solution. Any aid


that is military aid, armed aid, is not a solution. It is only


increasing the bloodshed and radicalising people. It is bringing


tougher and tougher confrontation from the regime as more people are


dying. You don't think it would speed a resolution one way or the


other? It won't work, it is arming for some time now, the US is doing


it in a different way, Turkey is doing it, I have seen the weapons


going, it is not working, is it? think it is in the best interests


of regional powers to keep everyone at the same level of strength, at


least militarily, so the rebels aren't getting enough weapons to


deal the regime a final blow, and the regime can't, the term they use,


to clean the country of rebels. The people paying the price for the


stagnation are the civilians, people bombarded on a daily basis.


Is the character of the rebels changing? It is changing, but also


the fact that we are only talking about the rebels, you know, that is


the issue here for me. Because most of the Syrians now are against the


regime. Even Aleppo, one the people in the programme said the people in


Aleppo actually supported the regime. There was a beautiful civil


society movement inside Aleppo, including the work union, or trade


unions, they were moving against the regime, but not through arms,


not necessarily through demonstrations. Forcing the city


into armed conflict is a crime, to me. And it is making things worse,


it is bringing radicalisation, and what one of the speakers talked


about is the issue of the countryside against the city.


Wolfowitz, do you have a clear understanding of the character of


the Free Syrian Army? I think none of us do, but you know that's


actually another argument for providing them with more material


assistance, we would have a much clearer idea. But it is really


important to emphasise this uprising, first of all, it wasn't


started by the west, it was an uprising by the Syrian people, and


it began for quite some time in a non-violent way. It was really


moving to see these unarmed Syrian civilians facing the weapons of Al-


Assad's regime. But the goal here isn't here to level the battlefield.


With all due respect to your earlier speaker, and I understand


his sentiment, at least it shouldn't be so uneven. But the


goal really should be to persuade the people who are fighting for Al-


Assad that they are fighting for a losing cause, and to encowering


andage his army to abandon him -- encourage his army to abandon him


as soon as possible. I think we are probably past this point, but some


time ago, maybe he could have negotiated a peaceful departure.


But the longer this goes on, every passing week, the prospects for


Syria's future get lower and lower and lower. What is a post-Al-Assad


Syria going to be like? You can't generalise, in the south we don't


have the same problems that they suffer in the north. Because we


have a tribal system that can operate in the absence of the state.


In Aleppo the battle was actually brought to them into the city by


the suburbs or the countryside. They don't have the same knowledge


of each other, and they do not relate to each other, the way we do


down south in the tribal-based societies, such as in my city,


Deraa. What do you think a post-Al-Assad


Syria will be like. There are many people who say it won't be a


unified country any longer, it will be all kinds of things kicking off?


It all depends on the route we take to overthrow the regime. We want to


overthrow the regime, but if we do it through military intervention or


armed conflict, we are not looking at a democratic or unified Syria.


If it turns into civil war, yes, we are likely to have a deed vieded


Syria. If this becomes more -- divided Siria. If this becomes more


radicalised, we might have Islamic radical rule, but not Syria. It all


depends on the route you take. The regime confronted peaceful uprising


with arms, so people defending themselves, and some how outside


groups exploited that and threw more arms into it, and started


buying loyalty and buying people's needs for food and for arms. That


made things even more complex. The west was always reluctant to take a


very clear position. It became an international conflict, not a


Syrian one. Paul Wolfowitz, there were very few who previbgted that


the Arab -- predicted that the Arab Spring in Egypt turned out the way


it is turning out now. There are multiple examples of the west, your


country and others, arming insurgent groups, like the


mujahideen in Afghanistan, and in the end, what you get isn't


precisely what you set out to get? There are many example, most of


what we are seeing now in Bosnia, where for three years we imposed an


arms embargo on a more or less defenceless Bosnian, finally we had


to intervene militarily, with tens of thousands of western troops to


rescue them. I think the failure in Afghanistan, more than anything


else, is when the society left we forgot about the place and


abandoned it. That was a huge mistake. The situation in Syria is


where it is, we didn't create it. If you ask the Syrians to oppose


this regime. It is a formula for his staying in power, it is hard to


see that is a good outcome for anybody. You could see a civil war


going on for years, couldn't you? That is why I think the soon they


are regime goes, the better. It is going to be a terrible mess, there


is no question about it. It would have been less messy if the regime


had ended a year ago. In Libya, to some extent, we are seeing the


consequences of a protracted revolution that went on for over a


year. And interestingly, at least there the population is very pro-


western, because they know that western intervention rescued the


people from that dictator. What do you make of that argument? I agree


we wouldn't be here in the ray -- if the regime ended a year ago. To


do that we didn't necessarily need a war, we needed the west, Russia


and the US, to sit around one table and reach one political solution,


and only then the regime would be forced to enter a transitional


period, where it is forced out of the country, and a peaceful way.


hasn't happened? It hasn't happened, because we talks about political


solution, and military interintervention, Russia is arming


the regime, everyone is doing different things. If there is not


international consensus, there is no solution in Syria.


Another public institution was drawn into the Jimmy Savile scandal


today. For at the heart of this is not who


said what to whom in the BBC, but whether and how this institution,


and a shocking number of others, failed in their duty to protect


children. The Director of Public Prosecutions said today he was


reexamining where the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to


prosecute Jimmy Savile when there were abuse allegations against him.


The decision also raises the question of whether other


institutions ought to be informed of accusations, even if there isn't


enough evidence to make a conviction in court likely.


He was a prolific offender with hundreds of victims. Today four of


the cases were singled out. All dating from the 1970s, only


investigated five years ago. These were the files that could have


exposed Savile while the star was still alive. Three of those cases


relate to Duncroft children's home N2007 a new witness came forward,


saying she had seen Savile abuse a young girl there, decades earlier.


The police looked into it and found more complaints, involving


different victims. Savile was brought in for questioning. But


never arrested. The investigation wrapped up, and in 2009, the police


passed those files to the Crown Prosecution Service. Some of the


detectives were sure Jimmy Savile was a dangerous sex offender, but,


there was a major problem, the victims involved did not support


more police action. So the CPS decided it could not bring charges


against the star. The Prime Minister said today that


prosecutors should look back at what happened to those files. And


review that decision not to prosecute.


Today I can confirm that the Director of Public Prosecutions has


confirmed his principal legal adviser will again review the


papers from the time when a case was put to the CPS for prosecution.


The Director of Public Prosecutions, specifically, will consider what


more can be done to alert relevant authorities, when there are


concerns that a prosecution is not taken forward. Government will do


everything it can do, other institutions must do what they can


do to make sure we learn the lessons of this and it can never


happen again. In the Savile case, there is no forensic evidence, and


no crime scene. Without victim testimony, even the police accept


it is difficult to proceed. But lawyers say the decision not to


charge the star was highly significant, with hindsight, as the


publicity could have encouraged other victims to come forward.


Charging one often has the intended, or unintented -- unintended


consequences of bringing forward other claimants and witnesses, that


shouldn't be a factor in the CPS's mind, but it is often, from their


point of view, a bonus, once their charged and their name is out there


and the allegations are known. A different Savile victim, not


connected to the Duncroft case, says she was raped as a young girl


in 1970, she only told her husband about the attack a few weeks ago.


She did tell the police at the time, but claims nothing came of it.


were not very interested, really. They thought I was, they didn't


call me a nutter exactly, I certainly wasn't, and I don't think


I appear to be, but I didn't feel I was really believed. It has sort of


haunted me, quite literally, it has depressed me, it has made me feel


disgusted with myself. The lawyer representing victims says that


shame has prevented people giving evidence for the last 40 years. And


she says the scandal may go much deeper. We have had information


that there are people who were complicit, alongside Jimmy Savile,


and ones that actually took part. So I think it goes further than


just Jimmy Savile. Other people that are living today? Possibly.


Recent high-profile abuse case, the Soham murders and the death of Anna


Climbie, have already led to greater -- Victoria Climbie, have


already led to greater co-operation between police and different


services, now prosecutors may go further, for the first time


allegations of abuse may be passed on, even when there isn't enough


evidence for a case to go to court. We have a real opportunity, and it


really reminds me of the tragedy of Victoria Climbie, where there was


an inability for agencies to share information, and I think there is


an opportunity for us to try and prevent these tragedies from being


able to happen again. It was one institution not being able to pass


on information to the other, and that has to change.


But, there are also risks, any change to the law will have to


prevent another sex abuse scandal emerging. That new law must also


ensure the innocent are protected from malicious rumours and


persecution. We have the head of the legal team representing many of


those who said they were victims of Savile. He's here now. What do you


think should happen in the CPS isn't confident it can get a


conviction? There are systemic failings which impact on what is


the score issue here. The core -- the core issue here. The core issue


is how to protect those who are vulnerable in our society, young


children in particular, that may fall foul of individuals such as


Jimmy Savile. The realities that whilst there are protections in


place, the criminal justice system, as it seeks to prosecute, there is


a requirement of course that the evidence be of a certain level of


probity. That there will be a conviction. And in the absence of a


conviction, the information is not then shared with other agencies and


organisations. Do you really want to live in a society where big


organisations, like the police --, or the CPS or whoever, pass on


tittle tattle, is that what you want? No. That wasn't the point I


was making. That could be, if it won't stand newspaper court, it is


not a provable case, in the judgment of the prosecuting


authorities? That wasn't the point I was making. I don't think it is


the point made by the Prime Minister when he recommended this


review. The point is this, how do we ensure that young and vulnerable


people in our society, particularly children, do not fall foul of the


evil acts of paedophile, for example. That is the key issue


everyone wants to protect. In the absence of a conviction, which may


well arise from the fact that the very victim, young, vulnerable


children, feel unable to come forwards, feel unable to give


evidence, which is yet a further trauma, allowing trauma, upon


trauma upon the abuse and invasion they will have suffered. As a


result of that, it may not be possible to secure a conviction.


Yet, those allegations levied against a potential or alleged


paedophile, may well have some credibility, and probably will have.


You used the word "allege" and the word "May", that is the key things


here, isn't it, they could be set- ups? The issue is this, if there is


not a successful conviction, what happens to the information? Does it


get filed away and never seen again. My view is this, that information


should potentially be reactivated in the event there are subsequent


allegations made against that individual. Which are of a similar


type. For example, if there are allegations made in respect of


someone being a paedophile, but there is not a successful


conviction, and then subsequently there are allegation of a similar


type, there should be some reactivation of that original


evidence, original information. Don't the police do that any way?


There is a real systemic failure problem here, because the


information is not shared. This is the point of this discussion. When


there is an unsuccessful conviction, the information is not shared


through the agencies in an appropriate way, so we can be


satisfied that those vulnerable people will not fall foul of abuse.


It is something that a third of us can probably look forward to. Not


that's -- Take That's the expression most use about cancer.


It generally strikes late in life. But sometimes children must live


with their body's uninvited guest. It is these words that bring the


words "tragic" most often. The author Albert Espinosa was struck


as a child, and his books about living with cancer The Yellow World,


have been a huge success and are about to be turned into a


television series. Thank you (speaks Spanish) Thank


I had cancer from the age of 14 to 24. During those ten years I lost a


leg, a lung, and part of my liver. But this was also a happy time for


me. In the Yellow World I do not write about cancer, I write about


what I learned from cancer. From the unpromising material of


his childhood experiences on a cancer ward, Albert Espinosa has


created a phenomenon. His blackly comic stories about what he and his


young roomates said to each other and got up to, have hold half a


million copies in his native Spain, where they have been turned into a


TV series. They are about to be published in a dozen other


countries, including the UK. Were you not very scared, did you not


feel very frightened, particularly when they said, you know, a 3%


chance of survival? TRANSLATION: think that the incredible thing is


that once you live for so long, being so close to dying, then you


lose that fear. When you get cured you no longer have the sensation of


being frightened. It is a lesson you learn from the simple fact of


being so close to dying. I have always felt that dying is not sad.


It is a thing not to live life to the full. Following the sublgs of


the Spanish series, -- success of the Spanish series, Steven


Spielberg, no less, is developing a version of Espinosa's story for


American television. Espinosa recalls the day doctors


told him his leg would have to be amputated. I was 15 years old when


I lost my leg. I was lucky enough to give it a farewell party. The


night before it was amputated, the doctor told me to give it a party.


So I did, I invited people who were some how related my leg. I invited


a football goalkeeper against whom I had once scored 50 goals. Well,


in reality I only scored one, but they let people with cancer say


anything they like! Like any other boy growing up in Barcelona, Albert


Espinosa was a mad, keen Barca fan. Our very own Gary Lineker was their


star striker in those days. He stays in one position and scores


the goals and that's it, that's all he does? Do you remember Gary


Lineker, I do not remember, but Gary Lineker the best player in the


world. Children in hospital, the only day


we behave like really sick kids was the day the Barca football players


came to visit us. They always gave us signed footballs, to the kids


who looked the sickest. I think my greatest achievement was not


beating four types of cancer, it was putting on such a sick face


that Gary Lineker gave me a that Gary Lineker gave me a


football! I always said that humour helps to explain everything. Now I


wear an electronic leg, and I find myself with the same problem that


everyone with an electronic or artificial leg faces. You have to


recharge it at night, so in hotter weather it is only one electric


outlet I have to decide if I recharge my laptop, mobile phone or


my artificial leg. Some of our viewers, sad low, will have


problems with cancer or their loved ones will, they might find it very


difficult to understand how you can have this almost humourous attitude


that you have? TRANSLATION: I have always said cancer is very tough. I


did experience tough moments, when I lost my leg, my lung, and part of


my liver, and also when I lost some friends, they were very hard times.


We don't have to always talk about the hard times, just the chemo or


the surgery. They represent a small part of your life when you are ill.


The other part, after so many years, is full of happiness, all the


things you discover, and the people who love you, your familiar a your


own possibility. What I say, is what you learn from it helps you


for the rest of your life. I don't think you have to be afraid of


having a good time. Even though you are living with cancer.


Espinosa's experiences have left him with a great appetite for life,


and a philosophical attitude towards the other thing.


TRANSLATION: I have always said I would like to die on a Friday,


because that is the day when films are released in Spain. It is also


the debutful things happen to me. If I die on a Friday I will be very


lucky. Watch it. Come on. Good, that was


Watch it. Come on. Good, that was quick. With us now, two writers who


have lived with cancer, Jodie Butt, who blogs or the Huffington Post,


and a writer who has written a book about her experience with cancer.


You have given your cancer a name in your book? He describe it as the


sea among kee, the best way for me to get my head around it was to


give it a character. It felt like a monkey had moved into my life. When


I say a sea monkey, it is the toy monkeys with the cymbals who won't


shut up and are very irritating and won't shut up. That was my sea


monkey who was here from day one, and is still with me now. He pops


up everywhere. At the beginning he was with me all the time, on my


pillow at night, talking incessantly, rambling through


thoughts in my head. He would follow me to my friends' house and


didn't stop talking, "you have cancer, you have cancer, everything


is going to change ". You couldn't shut him up. Have you had something


similar? I didn't give it a name, I tried not to think about cancer, I


just tried to think about getting through, not pretending it hadn't


happened, but getting through and trying to be the person I wanted to


be at the end. Alive. These are completely contradictory approaches,


evidently. Is one more effective than the other? It must depend on


your personality and family situation. I had children, perhaps


I was thinking more about them. I had chemo therapy, I had a long


journey, it wasn't just getting rid of the cancer, but the treatment


afterwards. Does it make some things better. The writer there,


Espinosa, teemed to suggest there were benefits, a-- seemed to


suggest there were benefits, apart from the fact that if you have


cancer you can say what you like? You do let you get away with a lot.


Do they? If you need to use the "C" card, it can come in handy now and


again. What do you mean? If you have commitments to do things or


see friends and you are not feeling very well, and you are tired, it is


all right, they have to do what you want them to do because you have


cancer and going through treatment, in the nicest possible way I mean


that. Does it make you, peerence some things more intensely? Yes, I


would say so. Emotions are definitely heightened, and guilt,


for instance -- exExperience Some things more intensely? I would say


so, emotions are definitely heightened. You feel a huge amount


of guilt for so many reasons. You feel guilty it has come into your


life, the effect on your friends and family, seeing them torn to


pieces makes you feel guilty. I imagine it is the same, when you


are telling your children it is guilt about them having to get


their head around. I didn't feel guilty, I felt angry, I felt angry


that cancer had come into my life. I don't think I felt guilty. I


think I got over quite quickly the thought I had caused it. I realised


that was a very dangerous road to go down. If it was thinking did I


drink too much, was it too much stress, what was it. You have it


and you have to get on with it. This matters because we are all


getting older, there is a higher likelihood that cancer may play


some role in our lives or the lives of a loved one, we have to find a


way, and you two are speaking very bravely and openly about it.


"brave" that is an overused word. So brave, so brave. You are like,


no I'm not, I'm terrified. don't have a choice. Do you?


have to find, we are all going to have to find a way of talking about


it, aren't we? I think that's what I found hardest, talking about it,


because I didn't want to put me and cancer in the same sentence, I was


very frightened of people's reaction. That is what is very


difficult when people look at you and say, oh dear, well I do know


one or two people who survived. You just obviously don't want to hear


that. Maybe that's why somebody who deals with it instantly with humour,


you have to present your view very, very quickly so people take their


ideas from you. If you go around with a long face, oh I've got


cancer. Writing about it allows you to be, I started off being quite


cowardly with my writing, because it was a really quick way for me to


tell all of my friends, quickly, what was hang. Without having to


deal with their reactions, their motions, the fall-out -- their


emotions, without having to comfort them, I could hide. What about


Espinosa saying he gave a party for his leg? I had a goodbye booby


party for my left breast, the night before my operation. I thought I


have two options, cry myself into oblivion, the night before the


operation, or I can celebrate a part of my body that will be no


longer there this time tomorrow, with all of my friends and family,


and laugh as much as possible, and try to be upbeat. So we did that. I


had 10-15 of my closest friends around, we baked booby-shaped


cookies, we told stories about our first bras and boys, and tried to


stay as bossive as possible, right up until the last -- positive as


possible, right up to the last moment. It isn't for everyone, but


it worked for me. Did you do such a thing? I wish I had, I think it is


so terrific, again you are telling your friend, listen, this is here,


you don't have to be sad for me. It is a huge thing to lose a breast,


massive great thing. Are you protect -- A Are you protecting


yourself, or other people, or some how making it easy for them to deal


with you as a person who has cancer? I think you are, if you act


as brave you become braver. It does feed into you. If you are positive


about things and upbeat about things, you actually do begin to


believe what you are telling yourself. That's helpful? Very


helpful, yeah. Thank you both very much. Tomorrow morning's newspapers


now. The front page of the Times has news we are all having to find


another �1800 a year because of the That's t it was on this date in


1648 that the treaty of West Failure was signed, something to


Hello, by the end of this week it will feel like we have slipped


forward into late December or early January. Thursday more of a


transition day. Still mild air hanging off across the south of the


UK. That is where the cloud and patchy outbreak of rain will be.


Further north and bright spells developing through the afternoon


across a good part of northern England. Patchy rain, not amounting


to very much. Still on the mild side across the south, 13, 14,


possibly 15 or 16. Patchy rain across south-west England and South


Wales through the afternoon. Still a fairly grey skies in most place.


As you head further north, a better chance of seeing sunny spells


through the afternoon. A fairly bright day all in all across


Northern Ireland. Patchy cloud coming and going. Even with the


sunshine temperatures no higher than 11 or 12. Much of Scotland,


sunny spells, through the course of the day. Look at the temperature in


Lerwick, two degrees, proper cold air moving in. Thursday and Friday


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