01/02/2013 Newsnight


Should international aid still be a priority, where does the cyber warfare power lie, and is a dry January healthy? The stories behind the day's headlines, with Eddie Mair.

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The goal, eradicating extreme poverty.


In Africa, David Cameron champions the ring-fencing of the aid budget.


While, back home ...It Is the difficulty of the Conservative


throughout the ages, that by doing things effectively, you sometimes


appeared to be relatively stone- hearted. But sometimes it is better


to accept that appearance and do genuine good. Also tonight, spear


fishing, it doesn't just harm fish any more, if you have a computer,


you should be worried. And... It's fabulous February,


thousands of people are falling off the January wagon tonight. Some of


them live on Newsnight! Your very good health!


David Cameron's African odyssey ended today in Liberia. A country


devastated by Civil War, with an economy to match. Most Liberians


are chronically poor. What better place for the Prime Minister to co-


-chair a UN meeting on how to end poverty. He asked schoolchildren


what they wanted to become in life, many replied, doctors, lawyers or


Government ministers. Mr Cameron joked, if you asked children in the


UK, all they want to be is Popstars and footballers. He believes he can


help realise those African children's dreams, by spending 0.7%


of the UK's income on overseas aid. It is a policy under fire from some


experts, and from within his own party. Criticism falls well short


of Civil War in his party, but is growing.


In a moment we will debate whether 0.7 should really be 0.


What, if anything, can or should be done to help some of the poorest


people in the world? Does aid actually help?


For the Prime Minister, fulfiling a promise set out in both the


Conservative manifesto and the coalition agreement, is central.


That promise of reaching the United Nations target of spending 0.7% of


national income on international development, will be met this year.


In Liberia today, David Cameron chaired a UN meeting on long-term


priorities for development and set out his objectives. I think it is


very important we keep a focus on eradicating extreme poverty here in


Liberia, one in ten children don't make it to the age of five. I also


think it is important that we look at things that keep those countries


poor, conflict, corruption, lack of justice, lack of the rule of law,


those things matter as well as aid and money. For this Tory


backbencher, not afraid to criticise the Government, on this


issue he agrees with his party leader. This is the right thing to


do that we tackle poverty, and child hunger, and make sure that we


can ensure that we are seeing a reduction in the 4,000 babies dying


a day of preventable diseases. It is also right, because it is in the


British national interests and national security interests that we


don't see fragile states become failed states. But, you don't have


to look far to find Conservative sceptics. I don't criticise their


motives, I just think, in principle, packs tears should be free to give


and invest their money d tax-payers should be free to give and invest


their monies. And that is a better way of using it than the Government


takes its cut. A lot of wrong- headed benevolence? A lot of


benevolence is, it is the criticism of the Conservative throughout the


ages, by doing things effectively you appear to be stone-hearted.


Sometimes it is better to accept that appearance and do genuine good,


than appear to be warm-hearted and do less good.


Here is the reality of the rocketing development budget. It


has climbed significantly since the turn of the century, with a big


further rise to come. From �8.6 billion, to �11.3 billion this year.


Where does the money go? Figures from the budget in 2010/11, show a


third was given to international organisations shoulds UN, for them


0 distribute. Another third was split between charities, such as


Save the Children, and projects set up directly to cut poverty. The


remainder is on humanitarian assistance and technical co-


operation, amongst other things. Critic of the Government as aid


programme fear its rocketing budget could instill a lax attitude to


money, where the focus is on spending, rather than spending


wisely. It is not just newspaper campaign, Conservative backbenchers


and a decent chunk of the British electorate making that point, it is


also the Parliamentary Committee that oversees the department's work.


The real challenge is to get to that peak without wasting money or


using it inefficiently. We have certainly said the important thing


is to ensure the money is well spent, and if there is any


suggestion that it would not be possible to deliver that money


effectively, then it would be better to postpone it.


The Prime Minister stresses development is about much more than


just aid, it's also about improving Government and developing the rule


of law. But others question whether aid can be effective without


governance getting better first. think there are cases, Ethiopia is


a strong one, Rwanda is another, where you have repressive


Governments, seen doing well economically, to which the UK is


giving large amount of development assistance. The UK has to think


large and creatively in channelling assistance that benefits poor


people in those countries, but doesn't underpin authoritarianism.


The goal of international development remains as clear as


ever, trying to find the best methods, whatever they are, to


improve the lives of those in desperate poverty. The UK's budget


to do it is rising. Justifying that it is being spent in the right


places, both stragically and geographically s now the central


challenge. Let's talk about whether the 0.7%


policy is the right policy. Justin Forsyth is chief executive of Save


the Children, Richard Dowden is director of the Royal African


Society, and of the Economist African editor for nearly ten years.


In Washington, Clare Lockhead is from the Institute of State


effectiveness, and author of the book, Fixing Failed States. Justin


Forsyth what harm would come to overseas aid if 0.7 didn't exist?


lot of harm. The really untold story, the unsung success over the


last two decades is that aid has made a massive difference. We have


actually dramatically reduced the number of children that die from


things like diarrhoea and pneumonia, mums dying in childbirth. We have


50 million more children in school. This is huge progress. We have


actually made so much progress in the last two decades that we could


be the first generation to end children dying from preventable


illness. That has never been possible before. But it is now. Not


only because of aid, it is because of economic growth, but it is also


because of new inventions, like vaccines, and also the commitment


of many Governments themselves. you telling me that difficult fid


is the only Government that couldn't do -- DIFID is the only


Government department that couldn't do more with less? You have to look


at it within a global framework. We made the promises back in 2000, and


reaffirmed in the G8 in 2005, that we would make our contribution. It


is a tiny A money, 1p in every mound of British expenditure. 0.7%


of our GNI, it is a small promise and we should keep it. The real


reason is it is working. It is not only good for the poor, but it is


also good for Britain. It is helping create jobs, it is also


protecting our interests overseas. You think 0.7 is dangerous? I think


a target is dangerous, in that sense, once you are committed to it


you have to spend it. The only way, to use a phrase they use, to "push


money out of the door", is to give it to Governments. In Africa, the


place where I know, Governments are not really capable of using it


effectively, many of them. So, a lot of it gets wasted, and the


whole aid project is given a bad name because of that, and had they


been able to, maybe progress more slowly and subtley, then it would


be more effective. Do you think it is a harmful splurge of money?


You just have to see the ineffectiveness of African


Governments, of many of them, not awful them, many of them very


corrupt, but it also disempowers people. If the money is just given,


if they are not part of the process of development themselves, and the


splurges of money almost prevent that happening, then people are


disempowered, and they are not able to, my fundamental belief is that,


only people can develop themselves. They can't be developed by outside


money. If you take one issue, vaccines, so only a few years ago


we used to have a lot more, millions more people, nearly 12


million children in the world dying from diarrhoea, pneumonia and


Malaria, because we invented some vaccines and invested money aid,


through Governments but also non- Government organisations, we


vaccinated over 250 million children. I don't think anyone's


suggesting that good isn't being done with some of the money. But


sir Malcolm Bruce, in the report, said he worries that pressure to


meet targets, to increase overseas development aid, could lead to poor


spending decisions, and the department should be prepared to


miss aid targets? There is always a risk of targets doing. That without


the targets, without the Millennium Development Goals themselves, we


wouldn't have made so much progress. We have made dramatic progress


because the world has focused its attentions. Rather than criticising


aid, we should be celebrating the progress, and then saying how much


further could we go now because of the progress that has been made.


Clare Lockhead, you don't have a real problem with 0.7, but you


think that policy is at least as important as the money? Certainly,


I think the 0.7 commitment has been important as a significantle


national, as a symbol of the UK's commitment to development and --


significant as a symbol of the UK's commitment to development and


ending poverty. It is not a stable world. It is not


about the money, but about the type of policies, the design of policies.


Sometimes budget support I think does work, sometimes aid to


programmes does work. But the real question is how the host


Governments themselves are organising their ministries, their


own programmes, their own policies, and in that story of how


Governments do deliver to their people, aid is part of the story,


but it is only part. The other issue, is, I think, as Richard is


mentioning, it is the amount of aid, the input is not an effective


measure of policy, it is the outcome. It is what is achieved


with that money that is really going to count. Are targets


sometimes harmful? I think so. On the Millennium Development Goals


themselves they have been enormously important to mobilise


the world, to mobilise people, Government, aid providers around


the world, to meet those targets, and the discussion going on at the


moment about what replaces them is important. But, again, they can be


too rigid, and they can become an obstacle to finding what are the


real solutions in a particular context. That requires really


careful policy analysis, with the people who live in the country, and


bringing them together, to work out what is the right policy for the


right moment. Again, it is sometimes those policies, it is


that policy design and not always the money. The other element is,


there is an enormous amount, despite the global financial crisis,


of private money, of investment money, looking for opportunities.


Another challenge is, how do harness that private investment


money to opportunities to infrastructure. To invest in


programmes. Richard Dowden, on harvesting that private enterprise?


There is a lot of investment going in, but the really worrying thing


is the money flowing out of Africa. Something like for every dollar in


aid, ten dollars is going out illicitly. This is big companies


mispricing, trade mispricing, it is corruption money, and where does it


go? It goes into British, mainly into British offshore islands where


there are tax havens, where there is very little accountability. All


the things that we insist on in their Governments, we don't do. No


accountability, no transparency, and then it flows back into London


to the City of London. If you really, really wanted to help these


poor countries, then you would prevent, that you would have a lot


more transparency in these big companies and how they misprice and


how the corruption money flows out. Every time there is a big scandal,


where do we find the money, oh it's in London, what a surprise. If we


had stopped that, and made sure that money was transferred, then I


think we might get some progress in Africa. Justin Forsyth, a critical


problem for many people in this country, is that Britain, while


richer than the countries we are talking about, not flush. People


are facing cutbacks to their own personal budgets, and they wonder


why their Government is committed to spending so much money on


overseas aid? I think actually the opposite, I think British people,


it goes deep into our DNA, whether it is Comic Relief, or Live Aid, or


Oxfam or Save the Children. That is because they choose to give, not


coming from the tax? There is a lot of British support for the aid


budget. We know it is tough in Britain, we work up and down the


country with very poor children and families. It is not comparable to


the poorest countries and the poorest people in the world. There


is a huge groundswell of public support for doing good in the world.


I think it is in our interests. I think it is a way of combatting


terrorism, it is a way of actually creating growth long-term that


creates British jobs. I do agree with Richard, it is not all about


aid, it is about policies, it is about governance, and it is about


tax. I think this huge diversion of tax revenues by big companies is


critical. Because aid is only one small intervention against many


others. Clare Lockhead, is there a been fit to Britain's aid budget


that we don't directly -- a benefit of Britain's aid budget that we


don't see, our standing in the world or improving our security?


think so. Britain has enormous influence, not only through DIFD


itself, but through its participation and influence in the


UN and the World Bank. That influence is tremenduously


important. It gives Britain weight in policy decisions. The question


of to what extent aid development contributes to countries is more


and more appreciated. The World Bank last year the theme was


security, justice and jobs, in the deliberations on the future of the


Millennium Development Goals, there is even now talk that security and


human security might be incorporated into those. I think,


yes, the security dividend of the investment and development is very


clear. Thank you very much.


In a few moments, we will hear from these guests, who, as you can he


see, have already been boozing before and during the programme in


our Green Room. It is a big treat for two of them, who have been


drying to have a dry January. We will discuss whether abstaining for


a month is good for you. Before that, a report from Mark


Urban, which, on the face of it, may have been conceived after a


light lunch with Oliver Reed and Keith Floyd, it links espionage,


the New York Times, China and something unspeakable happening to


fish! Spear phishing, in which hackers


send e-mails which appear to come from a trusted sort, but help


obtain secret information. Spear fishing may be a harmless aquatic


past time for some, but it is also one of the most types of cyber


attack. An e-mail, often from a colleague or friend, links the


victim to a web address where information is taken from them, or


spyware downloaded on to their computer. It is incredible


difficult to pinpoint the source of a cyber attack, with targeting


attacks against corporate organisations, it can be some what


easier, but when you are looking at cyber attacks from nation states,


they are very good at covering their trail.


Now the New York Times is saying that its people in China were


targeted by cyber attack, and they believe, official, angry at recent


stories about corruption may have behind it. The Foreign Ministry in


Beijing denies. That TRANSLATION: It is unprofessional


and irresponsible to decide about the origins of hacking attacks,


based on some preliminary materials. It is just ridiculous to even link


the attacks to the Chinese Government and military. China has


been accused many times, but often on circumstantial evidence. In 2009,


Coca-Cola came under a cyber attack, that targeted information relating


to a planned takeover of a Chinese drinks company. It was spyware


already, but was this state or commercial espionage. In 2011, a


virus nicknamed Shadey Rat, was discovered in hundreds of computers


longing to the UN, International Olympic Committee and other


organisations. Anti-virus specialist, McOf a fee, blamed it


on China, because the targets were deemed interesting to them. As for


the latest alleged attacks on the New York Times. They started each


day at 8.00am, Beijing time, even though they were routed via


American internet addresses. This flags up the exact problem, you try


to find little pieces of evidence to try to make a big picture. On


their own none of the evidence would pass any legal test, what


people try to do is put them together to make a probable case


that this particular action was initiated by a particular group or


individual. Unfortunately that doesn't stack up. If you put enough


half truths together, that doesn't make a whole truth.


Cyber attacks have been part of espionage for many years now. These


pictures of a nuke clear reactor under construction in Syria, appear


to have come from an engineer's progress report. Intelligence


specialists suggest it was intercepted by Israel. But what


about cyberweapons? Things capable of harming people and


infrastructure? The specter of sieber weapons,


computer attacks that could -- cyberweapons, computer attacks that


could close down power stations, or open a dam to cause massive fluids,


is something that haunts western Governments. How real is the


possibility of such an attack, one thing is clear, evidence that


people have tried to do that is much, much rarer than the espionage


type of cyber attack. The stugs net virus was used to


disable Iran's programme. Authoritative briefing suggested


the US did it. The US is proving to protect its own critical


infrastructure, amid claims it is wide open to a cyber9/11. What


happens when the electric grid goes down. We saw that during Sandy, you


see how that impacts everything, from the ability to heat homes, to


the ability to pump gasoline, to the ability to have loyaltying at


night, everything. So, when -- lighting at night. Everything. When


we look at the nation's critical infrom structure and where it is


vulnerable, -- infrastructure, and where it is vulnerable, it is where


the cyberworld we live in. Cyberdefence has become a


multibillion priority in the US and elsewhere. But the emphasis it is


now given may say much about the power that western countries


already feel they have to damage the infrastructure of their enemies.


Now some questions for you. What day of the week is it? What is the


name of this programme? Is the Pope Catholic? If you answered Thursday,


the Graham Norton Show, and what's the Pope, it is possible you are


celebrating the end of an alcohol- free January, by committing a


violent assault on your drinks cabinet. Tens of thousands of


people have given up the demon drink for January, some for


themselves, other for charities like Cancer Research, who have been


encouraging a dry and thethon, no alcohol for a month but sponsorship


money for charities. The figures suggest a lot of us could do with


realising water is not just a mixer. In 2010 in England and Wales,


people spent �42 billion on alcohol. It is estimated around 17 million


working days are lost each other, due to alcohol's effects. That is


not all. In 2010/11, there were more than a million alcohol-related


hospital admission. According to the office of national statistics


there were 9,000 deaths in England and Wales that were alcohol-related


in 2011. Drink is making people take days off work, making them ill


and making them dead. Let me walk in a straight line over to where


our guests are waiting. Richard Taylor is from Cancer Research UK,


one of the charities who encouraged people to give up the drink for a


month. Andrew Langford from the British Liver Trust, and the


journalist, Peter Oborne, he has had a torrid month with only four


or five lapses. Tell me why there is something wrong with people


abstaining for a month? Nothing wrong at all with people abstaining


for a month. It is a great opportunity to look at people's


drinking, people to think about how much alcohol they are drinking.


What is very important is that they then look at that for the rest of


the year too. If we are to look at the health benefits of giving up


the booze, then it is very important that people look at that


all year round. Particularly on a weekly basis. Do you think that


will happen with these charity efforts? Yes, I think it could do.


If we can give very clear messages that people, if they take two to


three days off every week, and have a couple of dry days every week,


consecutive days, then he they can also benefit their health -- they


can also benefit their health. it good for people's livers to


abstain for a whole month and start again? Any period of abstinence is


good for the liver. What would be a shame is for those people who have


abstained during January, obviously if they return to the same drinking


habits that might have been problematic beforehand, any good


they will have done will slowly be undone. Richard Taylor, you have


been trying to abstain, haven't you, how has it been going? Well, I


can't say I have enjoyed every moment of it. I lapsed one night.


Was it the longest month of your life? You could say, that I lapsed


on my birthday. Big lapse? No, a couple of drinks. You have donated


extra money for charity? Cancer Research UK where it came from, the


Dryathlon, we have had 35,000 people take part, it is a


fundraising campaign not a health campaign. The motives for those


taking part has been about raising money for Cancer Research, �3


million in a month. Are you worried about health effects on people?


are worried about the health effects of alcohol, I agree with


everything Andrew has said. The point I'm making is we are


concerned, we are finding new treatments for cancer patient, and


�3 million goes a long way to research that problem. That is


where this campaign has been particularly successful. What about


Richard buying his way out of his dry month? I have to say, I do find


that quite difficult. I think it makes it almost like a joke to be


treating any alcohol in that way. I think if it came with the caviated


message of saying, you know, alcohol does cause problems for a


lot of people. If we are looking at 16,500 liver deaths every year, the


majority of which are alcohol- related, then I think whatever


messages go out, particularly from health charities, need that extra


message with them to say this is a serious problem. Richard? I can't


disagree with Andrew, we have been very careful with the statements we


have put in the campaign. We have encouraged people not to start


drinking with aveingsence as soon as February comes around. From that


perspective, there is not much to disagree with. I'm not here to pass


judgment on people's ordinary drinking habits, I think to have


two or three glasses, once only in a month, is hardly a problem, it


won't lead me to start an alcohol binge from tomorrow. That is


slightly absurd. Was your's for charity or for yourself? I was


asked to do it by the Daily Telegraph, on behalf of Alcohol


Concern. That is your own charity? How was it? It was even more


desperate than I thought I would do. This glass of Glenmorange is


terrific. You said you lapsed four or five times? Is that seven --


Does that mean seven or eight? is for or five serious lapses,


there is still 26 days without a drunk. It is a daft month for doing,


it is the longest, darkest month of the year, you should do it in July?


I don't think so, what we have tapped into here is the social norm,


where people at new year at the side they want to lose a bit of


weight, or save a bit of money, and in this case we have encouraged


them to exercise with self- discipline, that can't be a bad


thing to reflect how much alcohol you take in a month. What was the


cause of the lapses? Just jolly hard work giving up drink. You guys


have dinner with friends, it is incredibly anti-social to sit there


munching on mineral water. So I thought I did rather well, actually,


with just the five or so lapses. What was the cause of it, social


occasions? Social occasion, they are the dangerous one. I very much


agree, by the way. What I did find was, I felt so much healthier all


month. I hadn't really anticipated this, I slept well, instead of


waking up in the middle of the night, I lost quite a lot of weight.


I felt much healthier. You were worried, you said in the paper, you


were worried about becoming alcohol-dependant? I realised I was


definitely alcohol-dependant, there is no question, I resented having a


drink in the evening as much as I did, it became clear to me that I


definitely was alcohol-dependant. How is it now, with the whiskey?


do think there is a great deal of wisdom, it is delicious, in what


you are saying, one could try to give up two or three days a woke,


and lay off it a bit. I think that is a way of making sure you are in


charge. Imagine how awful it would be if we got to the stage, as it


does happen with some people, that you can't drink at all?


couldn't live? I just realised how dreadful it would have been over


the last month. Imagine that became years and years of purgatory,


really. Are you saying all these positive things because you are on


the tele, or really, in February and March you are going to abstain


two or three, or maybe four days a woke? I will aim to carry on


abstaining two, ideally three days a week. I realised how much, how I


got addicted to the stuff. I hadn't realised. But I do enjoy it.


Everything in, you have to manage it proper low. Don't you find


teetotalers the most awful bores? And they are dangerous, George W


Bush was, and Hitler, they go around and start wars, Winston


Churchill fought Hitler, on a marvellous diet of champagne and


Brandy. Teetotaler, watch out for them, you are much safer with


somebody who drinks. How does it feel now, how much have you had


tonight. We started making you drink in the grown room, I know,


does it feel good? It feels quite lovely, yeah it does. You have been


a bit better, you haven't made a big dent in that? I have had had a


couple of gulps, but I'm rather looking forward to my first drink


in month. Will your drinking change in February? I think it will. I can


imagine not drinking for three, four nights a week, without any


trouble at all, because I have seen the benefits of it. Like you, I


have slept better, I have lost weight, and I have to say I have


saved some money. Andrew is any of this going to have an effect on the


nation's liver? It will if people carry this on. If they take the


example that's been set, then I think it is very important. Thank


you all very much for taking the time, good luck throughout February,


Should international aid still be a priority, where does the cyber warfare power lie, and is a dry January healthy? In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Eddie Mair.

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