11/12/2012 Newsnight


Making sense of the census data; examining where Syria might be holding chemical weapons; and artist Quentin Blake on his career. With Gavin Esler.

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Tonight, who do we think we are? The latest census data released


today paints an extraordinary picture of the people living in


England and Wales. Around a quarter say they have no religious faith,


7.5 million were born abroad, and 15% of us now rent our homes, way


up on ten years ago. We will be assessing what these


demographic changes tell us about the country we have become, and how


the years of austerity, immigration and homeownership patterns will


affect our social cohesion and tolerance of others for years to


come. Also tonight, as Syria's bloody


civil war goes on, what of the country's chemical weapons arsenal,


what do they have and how could they use it and what does it mean


to groups like Al-Qaeda. As the regime to theers the US and others


are thinking totters, the US and others are thinking seriously about


what it might take to secure those issues.


Quentin Blake, and much beloved by children of all ages has an


exhibition. His work is everywhere, and copied so many times by other


people, it is part of the culture Good evening, in Roman times a


census had one purpose, to find out how many young men might be fit for


military service. Now, every ten years it is to help planners and


others find facts to help us with the country. Today's census results


show more of us are atheist and more born abroad, and more of us


behinding the dream of finding and owning your own home impossible to


achieve. We will find out more. But first, the key points.


This is the story of the decade. From the end of new Labour to days


and dates we will never forget. From winning the Olympics to


economic meltdown. From a national celebration, to


riots on the streets of our biggest cities.


The latest census shows, beyond any doubt, we are now in the middle of


an astonishing era of demographic change. Some of hour high streets


now look very different, unrecoginsable, even, from the same


streets a decade ago. That picture is being changed


dramatically by migration. Just one in six of the people who live here,


in East London, now describe themselves as white British. The


same trend is happening to a lesser extent, in towns and cities across


England and Wales. Overall, this is becoming a more


populate and -- populated and far more diverse country. A series of


regional maps map, published today, show in detail how this is


happening. Take religion, in 2001, more than three-quarters of the


population, in large swathes of England and Wales, described


themselves as Christian. Ten years later, that number has fallen


sharply, replaced largely by a rise in people who say they have no


religion at all, up from 15% to 25%. The most visible change, though,


has been in the ethnic make-up of many of our towns and cities. The


number decribing themselves as white fell below 90%, for the first


time. One in eight households is now made up of people from more


than one ethnic group. There are though wide regional variations.


The capital is the only region, where the group described as white


British, is now a minority, at 45%, for the first time since records


began. Overall, the number of foreign-born


citizens has increased from 4.5 million, to 7.5 million, over the


decade. The number of Poless have gone from 57,000 back in 2001, to


more than 500,000 ten years later. When we look at the overall


foreign-born population we see 40% are living in London, according to


the figures. For the Polish-born population it is only 27%. Nearly


three-quarters of Polish-born people in England and Wales are


outside of London. This means they are living in areas that have


experienced less migration in the past, which has significant


implications for the way the country has experienced migration


in the past decade. Then, there is the impact of


economic change on our society. At a time when the number of people


living in big cities, like London and man chest e has been rising,


some industrial towns in the North West have seen a sharp fall in


their populations. And the regional also illustrate as


change in our work patterns, this map shows how the number of people


in a part-time job has risen between 2001 and ten years later,


in 2011. A sharp increase in almost every part of England and Wales.


And there has been a big shift in where and how we live. Fewer of us


are matter yod than a decade ago and for the -- married than a


decade ago, and for the first time, more say they have a degree than


have no qualification. The figures show a significant rise in the


number of people who rent their home from a private landlord. Up


from 9% ten years ago to 15%. And, as you might expect, a drop in the


really rapid rise in private renting, it is a really stark drop


in the number of people who have got mortgages. It is kind of moving


us back in time. To a time when, I mean there was a time when the


majority of the population rented privately, it is moving us back


over who will end up owning their own home. That, seeing the speed of


that change, that was the biggest shock for me this morning locking


at the numbers that game - -- looking at the numbers that game in.


The rise in part-time working and the increase in private renting s


more to do with the economy at the moment, than any major change in


the trend of society. But there are big implications in this data for


housing, health and social care policy. When we look back at the


decade, it may well be that it is required, not just for the credit


crunch, nor winning the Olympics, nor coalition Government. Instead,


it may be the time when our country became a much more diverse place to


live. Interesting though all this is,


does it actually matter. Daniel Knowles is the Britain comors pond


dent for the Economist, AC Grayling is master of the college of


humanties, and we have Germaine Greer, broadcaster and playwright,


one of those who is counted as born abroad, and deputy chair of the


British Museum. When you walked the streets of London, do you think it


matters that those regarded as white British are in a minority


will matter to them, and in the last ten years with three million


for moreen-born people in the UK, they will have -- foreign-born


people in the UK, they will notice that the Government has not said


what -- done what they will say they. Do we have had Government


after Government saying they want to limit mass immigration, we have


seen they have not, now it is official. Do you think, when you


walk the streets of London, do you actually notice, day by day, this


is a snapshot of a year ago and ten years ago, do you think day by day


that people notice that white Britains are in a minority? London


-- London is the least interesting, London has had the least change in


terms of minority growth. Where it is interesting is outside of London,


it is on the outskirts of London. Inner London was at 35% non-chiet


and, sor -- non-white, sorry, for foreign born. There are other parts


of the country that have doubled and tripled. If that is the case


and it is in different places all over the country, does it matter


that it makes us a more tolerant country because we resent it or


more tolerant because we mix with people? I think we have become a


more tolerant country. Ten years ago we had a problem that minority


groups in this country were very much concentrated heavily in London,


and a few other industrial cities, and other places. But, they are now


much more spread out. So there are far fewer white British people who


have, you know, who don't have any experience at all of people from a


different background. You can see that in the huge rise in the number


of people from a mixed ethnicity background. There is now a million.


It is 1.2 million, it has doubled in ten years. What is your take,


does it matter, do you think people day by day notice it, they notice


it now because we are talking about the census? I live in the West End,


not far from this studio, I can see exactly what the demographic is


talking about. People are living their lives, I don't think it


matters to anybody at all. It is interesting to have it brought up.


But if you are talking about where I live, which is around Oxford


Street, no, that is the way it look. London's a port, it is always an


entry for people. As was suggested, it is spreading out throughout the


country s is the best of the country looking forward to that


kind of future, for good or ill? wonder if people think about their


future in the day-to-day. This is the reality of life, this is what


it is, and I think that is how people are living.


What do you make of that change for the culture of the country, as a


whole, do you think there is a down side to it, or do you think it is


all positive in a sense that we may become more tolerant? On the whole


it is a very positive thing. To be celebrated. What we have now is


even greater, consciousness of the diversity of the world of which we


are an important part. This is globalisation coming to roost at


home, in a way. And a very good thing it is too. I think what is


rather strike striking about it, because London has always been a


great centre for all sorts of people, all sorts of foods, all


sorts of cultural traditions, music, the arts. That has made it possible


for people elsewhere in the down think much more positively about


the possibilities for themselves. Having the role of being a host


community for immigrants. The role of being a host community for


immigrants, apart from the resentment, that you put your


finger on, that people don't like it, is there a down side, is there


something to point to, to say that it has made life worse? There is a


down side for many people in this country who don't live in the West


End minutes from the studio, or who share AC Grayling's feelings, they


look at the country and look at it change immensely. I'm asking if


there is anything you can put your finger on beyond of the fact that


people resent it, people resent lots of things, is there something


you can put your finger on and say it has changed for the worst?


it has changed it, people have a better reason not to believe


politicians of any main party after this decade. That is the point I


wanted to make about resentment. The second thing, it is also


important to remember that, you know, live in London as well,


London, we're used to what the census today has shown us, and by


and large we tend to be happy with it. It is not about whether I or


any of you feel happy about this, but among other things what it has


done to our country. One thing that really needs to be cussed on, is we


need to -- focused on, is we need to look at the down side, in


apartheid of unemployment and recession, foreign-born workers


coming into Britain and taking jobs. Of course in many cases they are


either highly-skilled people or people willing to perform jobs


which people here are not willing to perform. These are people doing


very important work. But, what happens when you import a working-


class, the working-class become an underclass.


But the problem is, that for policy maker, and politicians, and I'm


calling the Obama-effect, people are not aware of the big change


that is going on. They are not making policy that's reflecting the


change in this country. This is all of the parties. They don't, and


broadcasting as well, they don't reflect the way the country is.


That affects the people, as you were saying, those people, not able


to see the reality, of the way the country is changing. It cannot be


stopped. So the question is, how is it going to be managed, and what


kind of spirit is it going to be managed. That is the problem.


you have been crunching the numbers today, the question of part-time


working, and that has changed, that pattern has changed. And also the


question of housing, the fact that many more of us now rent, does


suggest that period of flux, that the past ten years have been a real


sense of flux for many people, particularly in their 20s and 30s?


Especially the last five years. You can see, we have reached a point


now where nobody can really buy a house, in London, certainly unless


they have help. The average age of unassisted first time buyer is


going up and up and up. You have London boroughs where the average


house prices is ten-times the average salary. So, yeah, that is


kind of inevitable. I think that does go with the part-time. I think


some of the part-time rises is probably due to more women going to


work, which is probably a good thing. Some of it in the last few


years insecurity. Does that insecurity make a more less rooted


society, in a sense we don't feel the sense of aspiration, that


people feel, that you can buy a house, this is something you can do.


That may have gone and you may not get a full-time job either? I think


property prices do constitute a serious problem for just that


reason. Putting what is for our last generation, a major asset,


right out of the reach of people who are struggling any way. It is a


surprising thing to have happened in a way and needs a major


readjustment, especially in London. This has to be addressed, I suppose,


in part people are trying to address it by building more


affordable house anything the inner city areas and brownfield sites and


the like. That is not happening enough. If that changes your


aspirations, in other words it was always something people had in


their minds, if you work hard you can own your own home, that is a


good thing, that has changed? an Anglo-Saxon idea, it is how


Americans and the British see wealth and stability, in France and


other places, there is not that much emphasis over bricks and


mortar. In Germany more people rent than is considered normal?


shift has a lot to do with the people coming in. We don't build in


this country. I don't have any opinion on it one or the other, but


we don't build. Is that the end of the Margaret Thatcher's dream of


the property-owning democracy, where everybody can aspire to it,


do you think people of your generation aspire to it or don't


care? Everyone wants to own their own house, nobody can afford to in


my generation, without having rich parents, which most of us don't


have. I mean this is a baby-boomer thing, I don't know if the two of


you probably do count as baby- boomers. But the baby-boomers had a


great advantage, they had great luck with property, it made the


generation rich. But my generation has suffered for that, and unless


you can tap into your parents on that, there is no way you can


afford a property. Partly the boomers have outlived the security


net. The security net of only meant for people to be living to 65-70,


we will live a lot longer than that. On a profound level, we are in a


post-Christian society, right now, it is going to take a long time for


that to come home to people. But we are. And some of that has to do


with the newcomers, but also it is going to change our own perceptions


of the idea of home owning and all of these other strictures we have


had. This post-Christian society, looking at the number, still a lot


of people identify they are Christians. And many of the new


immigrants identify as Christians, Pole s? The few people who have


seen an increase in Briggss Boston, Lambeth which, has had a lot of


black African Christians move in. And I kind of think that just


asking how you identify as Christian doesn't really show who


is really Christian. There is an awful lot of people who went to a


Church of England School that ticked Christian ten years ago and


now don't. Even that has changed, people who self-identified as


Christians and never went to church don't do that? It is certainly true.


I'm not entirely sure, it seems less important to us. Does that


matter? If this is a nation with an established church, where the


church itself is part of the body politic itself, part of the clash


that is happening now is that's being questioned. If you go to


churches, you will see mostly, the majority of the congregation are


older people, it doesn't mean that people don't live according to


certain precepts, but they don't live as say the way my parents


lived, or the way my mother lives. It is a different idea about our


spiritual life, if we have one. Does it matter, now a quarter of


people say they are not involved with religion, you think that is a


good thing? It has gone up to 25%, one in four people you meet is a


person not looking at the world through a particular pair of


spectacles. It is a much more interesting figure than the just


under 60% who now say they are Christian. The majority of whom


probably have ticked that box for cultural identity reasons rather


than any great commitment to dock trainal matters. Does that mean an


even greater distance from being a cultural Christian? Yes, but I


think it means that there is a greater openness and acceptance of


the fact that there are other ways of thinking about the world. That


you don't identify, for example, your local bishop as "the" moral


authority in your community. It means people have individual


responsibility for thinking about how they get on with others. Does


it make you act any differently? does, if you are thinking about


your relationships with others in your community, and there are two


things here, firstly, the recognition of the fact that it is


your responsibility to think about those things. And secondly, that


there is more demand on you to think about the diversity of the


people around you. Both of them are very positive. People who rise to


the challenge are going to be better citizens as a result.


Do you buy that? Not wholly. Among other reasons why this upsurge of


people declaring themselves to be atheist, there is a greater


visibility in society now, of people who promote an atheist world


view, and have had great success and publicity for that. More xom


people are uncomfortable saying they don't believe, where a


generation, a lot of people would have remained quiet about that. As


for the impact, one thing that makes me nervous about celebrating


this, it comes back to culture identity. If we are going to have


any coherence ahead, we need a core identity. Now, we might disagree


what the nature of that is, it was, and maybe still is, that we're


centered on a judeo-Christian world view, even if you don't believe.


That is an identity. The question I would have, if these 25% people who


say they are atheist and non- believers, in the huge summers


board of identities they have in Britain, what are - smorgasbord of


people of identities, in Britain what are they? There is always this


thing of a British identity. That is interesting to me. One of the


geniuses of being British is there isn't this sort of rock solid


definition of identity, that an American has, which is built by the


first and second...There Was an identity. There is an identity, but


not the kind of identity I have experienced, or the identity a


French person would experience. The brilliance of this nation is


actually, people who come in are absorbed in this thing called the


British identity. Sometimes it take as long time, sometimes it is


violent, it will take centuries. The good thing that is happening is


we are forging a new kind of identity, it is an identity of


inclusion and acceptance of pluralism, it doesn't mean you have


to have so much conformity and convention. This greater


peculiarity of opportunities that people have to be human in their


own way, is a very welcome thing. Absolutely I agree with that. The


reason why this peculiarity is possible is, in part, because of


our history, in part because having an accepting culture. What happens


when everyone can pursue whatever they want, except the main core of


that culture disappears. We will find out in ten years time, let's


leave it there. For months we have been told that


Syria isn't Libya, not a country where western powers should even


think of intervening in an internal conflict sparked by the Arab Spring.


In the past week or so, NATO countries have become increasingly


worried about the chemical weapons stocks possessed by the Assad


regime, and at least two nightmarish possiblities. One that


Assad's forces might use them against the rebels in Syria, and


two, the rebel forces, those associated with Hezbollah or Al-


Qaeda, might get their hands on nerve gas or other toxins. We are


here to talk through what is happening on the ground and wait it


is seen by NATO. The subject of escalation has been


high on everyone's agenda, particularly last week, in a run up


to NATO meeting, that the Americans claimed that Syrian chemical


weapons were being readied for use. Now it is known that the Syrian


Government keeps nerve gas, as well as older agents like mustard gas


and cyanide, at several main depots, as well as up to 20 smaller


ammunitions sites. The recent scare was apparently caused by activity


at Al Furqlus, not far from Homs. It has been reported that air


dropped bombs were being filled with chemical agents there. Today,


though, the Americans sought to calm speculation that those bombs


might be used imminently. At this point, the intelligence is


really kind of levelling off. We haven't seen anything new


indicating any aggressive steps to move forward in that way. But we


continue to monitor it very closely, and we continue to make clear to


them that they should, under any means, make use of these chemical


weapons against their own population.


As well as those bomb, Syria has chemical warheads for scud


ballistic missiles. Experts remain uncertain, though, about the size


and breath of the total stockpile. I would be more concerned by the


biological weaponry we know is there. Something like anthrax is


very easy to hide and move around. Senses are not available to detect


it, you have to find it and work out what it is. I would be


concerned on the biological side more than the chemical. But the


risk that some of these stockpiles could fall into rebel hapbtdz, or


those of militant -- hands, or those of militant groups, could be


higher than that of the Assad regime using them. There has been


no real evidence that Syria's army has been issued gas masks or


protective clothing. Using them anywhere near their own army, could


therefore kill far more of them than the insurgents. Meanwhile,


there are reports of certain key bases being overrun. Ramusso, near


Aleppo, was rumoured to be home for chemical weapons, but it would


appear the rebels haven't found any there. There have been unconfirmed


reports in the past few days, that militants from the Al Mussa front,


they are, say the Pentagon, a branch of Al-Qaeda, breaching the


security base south of Aleppo. If confirmed, that is big news. The


complex, seen by satellite, is one of the most important weapons


facilities in Syria. It has a large chemical manufacturing plant, a


warhead storage area, and a missile base, complete with tunnels for


scud launchers. Any breach at this plant, could be one more sign that


the regime may finally be tottering. There has been a lot of attention


too on Damascus, and the increasingly bitter fight for the


suburbs. Anti-Assad forces already control much of the east, as well


as the neighbourhoods of those around. The regime has its


strongholds in the centre, and the appropriately named AL-Assad


district to the north. Their problem is getting through to the


International Airport, that requires them to travel to the east,


and in recent days, the rebels have been focusing attacks on that


airport, leading to many cancelled flights. An increased feeling of


isolation felt by many loyalists. So, many have predicted that the


regime was about to collapse during the past 20 months, it is unwise


now to rush to that judgment. But it is clear that the patches of


land that the Assad security forces control are steadily shrinking. And


further humiliations, the loss of key towns and bases, are probably


imminent. The death toll, already 40,000, could rise again steeply if


regime supporters feel their facing a last stand.


As to what NATO, or the US might do about that, that's another story.


President Obama has moved away, just a little, from his staunchly


non-interventionist, pre-election stance. He has approved the sending


of patriot missile batteries to turkey, to defend against air or --


Turkey, to defend against air or missile attack. He has upgraded


communication with the rebels. But securing those unconventional


weapons stocks and plans for that finds few backers in Washington.


The discussion of 70,000 troops coming out of the states I wouldn't


say is an underestimate. First of all you need to secure the area


completely. You then need to do detailed monitoring to see if any


of the weaponry has been damaged and released. Then you need to


actually go in and secure the weaponry theself. If it is


unopposed, it will be slightly more straight forward, especially if the


weaponry is in good condition. If it is opposed, hugely challenging.


Advance parties of Special Forces have been deployed to Turkey and


Jordan, where they might lead missions to secure the special


weapons stockpiles. Even then, the chance of some nerve agents or


biological weapons falling into the hands of terrorists could be high.


That possible link between extremist groups and WMD, was


exactly what Tony Blair argued when he was acting to forestall it in


2003. It's a bitter irony of the Iraq experience. That the last


thing America wants to do now is implement its plans to go into


Syria to stop just that happening. Yaser Tabbara is in Marrakach for


an International Conference on Syria tomorrow, and is spokesman


for the new umbrella opposition group, the Syrian National


Coalition, and we have a former British ambassador to Syria. Mr


Tabbara, first, how worried are you, that Assad may get so desperate, he


may use these chemical weapons against the opposition? Well, Assad


has demonstrated several times that he's a mad man, that he is doing


this as an existentialist battle. He has said many times in the past


that he will die in Syria. We are afraid that he might resort to that.


We're trying to prepare ourselves, as much as possible, to prevent


that from happening. Mr Sindall, do you agree with that,


that desperate people do desperate things, he has killed a lot of


civilians and he may use these things? I'm not sure he will. This


whole issue of the chemical stockpile in Syria has as much to


do with the further demonisation of the undesirability of the regime,


on the one hand, or people now with this talk that it might, these


might fall into the hands of other undesirable groups, those who have


an agenda, are most encouraging military intervention of some sort


or another. I don't discount the risk at all, I'm not that niave,


there is an agenda of political motivation to this argument. Is it


like Iraq, but he has definitely got the chemical weapons?


argument of chemical weapons is a potent argument to use in the


debate about what to do with the Syrian regime. It is more about us?


It is as much about that. It simply brings you back to this issue,


fundamentally, are we seeking to bring about the end of the Assad


regime by military means, by some way or another encouraging the


opposition militarily, or by political means. In Geneva, the


Russians and Americans, were talking about political


possiblities, but at the same time, if we're talking to the Syrian


opposition, and our friend Mr Tabbara, about the Syrian National


Coalition, we would really need to know to what extent do they have


any control over military groups in Syria, and over people like all


quad dark the people who we are being told might get hold of these


weapons. On that point, Mr Tabbara, what you do you make of the


possibility that all nurse ra, or people associated and -- Al-Nursra,


or Al-Qaeda, might get a hold of these weapons because of the chaos


in the country. We have been calling on the international


community for months and months, to invest in a serious way, and arm


the opposition to create a chain of command that answer to a political


umbrella group. The fact that the international community has chosen


not to intervene directly, and not to implement a no-fly zone is


putting them in the position of putting us in the primary position


to actually have to deal with this issue on our own, and bring about


the fall of Assad on our own. Having said that, a couple of days


ago, there was the announcement of the establishment of the higher


Military Council that will come under the political umbrella.


presumably you accept that all that takes time, meanwhile on the ground


things are changing day by day, some of these Jihadist groups are


doing a lot of the fighting, and they would love, presumably, to get


their hand on some of these weapons? Let me address that,


however, first of all, extremism is as much of a problem as it is the


international communities and the Syrian people. This is something we


realise we really need to deal with. Now, once we get to the point where


we could topple the regime, we will put through the mechanisms that we


are building right now in putting together the Military Council, and


establishing the chain of command, to be able to try to control these


extremists as much as possible. might be too late? Culturally


speaking there is a main treem. might be too late? -- Mainstream.


It might be too late? No there is a general understanding in the


fighters on the ground, the overwhelming majority of the groups


that join the Military Council, espouse a moderate rhetoric,


espouse moderate principle, they have repeatedly isolated the


extremists, and marginalised extremists day in day out. Let me


bring in Mr Sindall on that, I want to be clear in my own mind, whether


you think the specter of these weapons, falling into the hand of


some these groups, that can't be discounted, whether you think it is


a bit of a scare story, frankly, to prepare the public for the


possibility that politicians are one side of the Atlantic or the


other, and want to use military force? I think with this quite


legitimate concern being built, we have a situation in which


intervention may be ceepg up on us a bit, whether we want -- creeping


up on us a bit, whether we want it or not. We are talking in parallel,


with the Russians and the Americans, about looking for a political


solution. Because the alternative, which our friend, Mr Tabbara has


just told us, his predecessors and his council have had as one of the


planks of their activity, a call, a desire for military intervention


from the west. Their's is a military solution in the first


place. That is how they think, as I understand Mr Tabbara, will topple


the regime. Then they will think they will put the civil structure


in place. The question seems to me, if that is the road down which we


are going, all these other creeping issues are very potent and bring us


into a completely different set of scenario, I wonder if we have to


start thinking about the unthinkable, rather more, of some


kind of political dialogue, involving the Assad regime, before


you get to the nightmare alternatives.


Thank you very much. At this time of year you can't open


a greetings card or enter a bookshop without coming across the


drawings of Quentin Blake. He's best known for collaborating with


Roald Dahl, on darkly comic books loved by generations of children.


Blake is 80 this week, he continues to draw every day, and has a show


of new work opening tomorrow in London. Perhaps you would not


expect to encounter priests being hanged, among Blake's work, or


monkeys biting naked women on the back side. That is what Steve Smith


found when he went to meet him! You sit down at the page, with a


You sit down at the page, with a pencil, and you start drawing. You


start round the face somewhere, and you sort of find out who those


people are, as you are drawing them. You don't look at somebody climbing


You don't look at somebody climbing a ladder to see what it is like.


You kind of imagine what that must be like, you know what I mean. And


so you feel the gestures, on yourself, in a funny sort of way.


And also you make the expressions of the people looking at each other


in the pictures. You don't make the expressions into a mirror, do you?


No, no, you make them from inside. Quentin Blake is the man who drew


childhood. His illustrations have seen several generations of


youngsters through their formative years. His work means children's


books, some how. And so, on if you haven't really studied it, or you


don't really take notice of who illustrators are, you do know his


work, it is everywhere, it has been copied so many times by so many


different people, it is now just part of the culture.


He's probably best known for his collaboration with the dark genius


Roald Dahl. They were the good cop, bad cop, of


the children's section. We were very opposite, in many ways.


We liked humour and exaggeration, you know, so there was a whole area


where we obviously corresponded, where the books were happening, a


lot of our views about life would be completely opposite. He would be


much more confrontational than I would. At the same time, I remember


somebody saying, when I was small I thought the words and pictures were


by the same person. I could see why that would be the case, actually


the memory of the books would be of your illustrations, perhaps, at


least as much as his words, if not more so? He was very generous about


that, and said when people talk about the BFG, what they see is


what Quein drew. You try to play the notes -- Queint drew. You try


to play the notes accurately. first book I wrote was The Boy In


The Dress, I met up with Quentin Blake and he showed me the idea he


had for the cover, I cried, I couldn't believe a character I


created he illustrated. He illustrated so many of the books I


loved growing up. The magic to his work is that, it doesn't tell you


exactly what the person looks like, it allows you to add your


imagination to it. But is it only beamish boys and


girls who spring from the ink- splattered desk of Quentin Blake.


Some people like me may wonder if you have a secret cachet of dark


Gothic drawings that you do when you go to bed and eat too much


cheese! I mean, no, there isn't a huge archive of Gothic horror, at


all. I don't like that sort of thing much.


Despite that, Blake said he enjoyed illustrating an edition of


Voltaire's dark satire, Condide. is nice to have the opportunity,


which you don't get in children's books so much, of people being hung,


and garotteed and all that. Bitten on the bum by monk keys? That sort


of thing, yeah. When it was illustrated when this


came out was illustrated by formal drawings. What I likeded about it,


I have that sort of element of caricature in it, which I think he


has got. Blake, who turns 80 at the weekend,


has a retrospective book out. This show, opening in central London


tomorrow. It includes such apparently un-


Blake-like pieces as this series, Girls and Dogs. I don't know what


they were about. They have this ruined landscape, the dogs when I


was drawing them got very big. It looks, in a way, quite threatening.


Almost wolfish! But interested in whatever she has done. The colour


chart as well. It is not only the walls of gall


rows that can boast of Blake, they are also turning up in hospitals


and medical centres too. Blake began by cheering up some --


galleries that can boast of Blake. They are also turning up in


hospitals and medical centres. Blake began by cheering up some


elderly patients. I did some for children, which is using the kind


of techniques I had used in children's book. Then I also did


some for adults, and I did these sort of pictures of people swimming


about underwater, fully clothed, amongst fish and little crocodiles


and things. That was one of the pictures that seemed to attract


their attention, in a way. It is normal people in rather strange


situations, in a sense, I have gone back to the idea of paintings in


the 15th century chapel or Muriel paintings that sort of things.


There was that great painting of a crucifixion, he takes a different


line of it to me, less cheery. His line is, you know, you are lucky


compared with this. You were the first children's


laureate, and your work is very much associated with young people.


What do you think is their lot, their status in 2012? They are so


aware of everything that is happening. So that they start to


take on a kind of psychological responsibility for what is


happening in the world. That must be distressing, I think. Even if


they are not aware of it. By the way, I hate to spoil a


Christmas surprise, but when you open your cards and books this year,


look out for his nibs! Wonderful stuff. We began tonight's programme


by discussing who are we as a nation, we want to end with some


thoughts about where we might be going. What difference would it


make if Britain are were to leave the European Union. We will devote


Newsnight tomorrow to discussing the consequences, the good, the bad,


the ugly. The Prime Minister has been discussing with his inner


circle the contents of Cameron's Big Speech, expected on the EU. How


is the speech writing going? don't know. It was the most


documented speech writing process recently the reason why it is so


important, is it could end up framing the next two-and-a-half


years, and part of the general election. What Cameron has to do is


hold off some of the unhappiness in his own party, which means he has


already lost votes in parliament over Europe. Also the rising


discontent within the country over Europe. One of his chief rival, the


person who keeps nipping at his heels over Europe, for our


programme tomorrow, Boris Johnson was interviewed by Jeremy today.


This is what he had to say on what he as worried about, which is


indecision over Europe harming British interests and business.


think business would welcome clarity. We have been on this now


for so long, and we haven't had a referendum since 1975. It is


perfectly obvious that the Europe question has got to be put to the


British people. I think the formula I have come up with. What is the


Europe question? Do you want to be in it or not. That is not what he


thinks the question is. Elsewhere in the interview he goes on to say


he does believe something closer to the Prime Minister's position, not


do you want to be in it or not, but we will renegotiate, and we will


put to you a renegotiated package or out. That is very similar to


what we imagine David Cameron will come forward. That is why when you


say how do you think the speech writing is going, when David


Cameron sees the interview he will breathe a bit of a sigh of relief,


that Boris Johnson has not decided to be as the big capital "O" out of


Europe. Do we know how Boris Johnson would vote on in or out?


What is interesting about the interview, for the first time in a


few weeks, he is clear to go for the renegotiated position. He does


not think it would be good for Britain to be out of Europe in a


complete clean sweep. That is more clarity than we have had in a while.


Thank you very much. Jeremy is here tomorrow, speaking of great fashion


icons, the former head of the National Union of Miners, Arthur


Scargill, seems to have inspired a range of menswear. The designs will


be produced commercially for the clothes chain Burton. Let's not


forget where it started. # Fashion put it on me


# I'm what you want me to be # Fashion


# Don't you wanna see the clothes on me


# Fashion # I'm what you withstand me to be


# Fashion, don't you want to see the clothes on me


# Put it on me Hello there, it is very cold and


frosty out there already. Some icey patches, certainly fog around,


particularly in the Midlands, parts of Wales, southern England, East


Anglia, a patches in northern England. Most lifting, a little bit


of sunshine coming through. A cold day, temperatures are struggling to


get much above freezing, it could stay rather grey and murky all day


through parts of the Midlands through the home counties too. A


much fogier start in the south-east of England than it was 24 hours ago.


The south west will be less -- south west will be less foggy, and


sunshine in the afternoon. East Wales is struggling with the fog,


west of Wales sunshine. Clouding over in Northern Ireland after a


frosty start. A few spots of rain in the afternoon, making it feel


quite cold. For Scotland it will be generally dry, icey patches in the


south west and along the northern coast. Most places dry, cold and


frosty with sunshine. A similar sort of story on Thursday, can you


see how the temperatures, not really rising at all, on the city


forecast, and further south as well. Staying cold on Wednesday and


Thursday. Not as much fog around on Thursday, most of it will be around


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