01/02/2013 Newsnight


01/02/2013

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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Transcript


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The goal, eradicating extreme poverty.

:00:12.:00:16.

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

:00:16.:00:21.

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

:00:21.:00:24.

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

:00:24.:00:28.

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

:00:28.:00:33.

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

:00:33.:00:37.

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

:00:37.:00:47.

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

:00:47.:00:51.

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

:00:51.:01:01.
:01:01.:01:04.

them live on Newsnight! Your very good health!

:01:04.:01:09.

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

:01:09.:01:14.

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

:01:14.:01:18.

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

:01:18.:01:21.

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

:01:21.:01:26.

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

:01:26.:01:29.

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

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

:01:34.:01:39.

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

:01:39.:01:43.

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

:01:44.:01:48.

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

:01:48.:01:52.

of Civil War in his party, but is growing.

:01:52.:02:02.
:02:02.:02:04.

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

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

:02:08.:02:18.
:02:18.:02:23.

people in the world? Does aid actually help?

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

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Conservative manifesto and the coalition agreement, is central.

:02:31.:02:35.

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

:02:35.:02:44.

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

:02:44.:02:48.

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

:02:48.:02:51.

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

:02:51.:02:56.

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

:02:56.:03:02.

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

:03:02.:03:05.

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

:03:05.:03:09.

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

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

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backbencher, not afraid to criticise the Government, on this

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

:03:21.:03:24.

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

:03:24.:03:30.

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

:03:30.:03:35.

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

:03:35.:03:38.

British national interests and national security interests that we

:03:38.:03:41.

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

:03:41.:03:46.

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

:03:46.:03:50.

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

:03:50.:03:55.

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

:03:55.:03:59.

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

:03:59.:04:04.

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

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

:04:07.:04:11.

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

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

:04:15.:04:18.

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

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Here is the reality of the rocketing development budget. It

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

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

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

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third was given to international organisations shoulds UN, for them

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

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

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remainder is on humanitarian assistance and technical co-

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

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programme fear its rocketing budget could instill a lax attitude to

:05:01.:05:05.

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

:05:05.:05:08.

wisely. It is not just newspaper campaign, Conservative backbenchers

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

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

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

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using it inefficiently. We have certainly said the important thing

:05:23.:05:27.

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

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suggestion that it would not be possible to deliver that money

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effectively, then it would be better to postpone it.

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The Prime Minister stresses development is about much more than

:05:36.:05:41.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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large and creatively in channelling assistance that benefits poor

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

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The goal of international development remains as clear as

:06:11.:06:14.

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

:06:14.:06:19.

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

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

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places, both stragically and geographically s now the central

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challenge. Let's talk about whether the 0.7%

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

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the Children, Richard Dowden is director of the Royal African

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

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In Washington, Clare Lockhead is from the Institute of State

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

:06:56.:07:01.

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

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

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

:07:11.:07:14.

actually dramatically reduced the number of children that die from

:07:14.:07:17.

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

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

:07:20.:07:24.

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

:07:24.:07:28.

be the first generation to end children dying from preventable

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

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

:07:35.:07:39.

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

:07:39.:07:44.

of many Governments themselves. you telling me that difficult fid

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

:07:49.:07:52.

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

:07:52.:07:57.

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

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

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

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

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

:08:16.:08:20.

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

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

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

:08:30.:08:34.

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

:08:34.:08:38.

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

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

:08:42.:08:46.

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

:08:46.:08:50.

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

:08:50.:08:54.

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

:08:54.:09:01.

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

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You just have to see the ineffectiveness of African

:09:04.:09:07.

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

:09:07.:09:13.

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

:09:13.:09:18.

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

:09:18.:09:22.

splurges of money almost prevent that happening, then people are

:09:22.:09:26.

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

:09:26.:09:30.

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

:09:30.:09:34.

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

:09:34.:09:37.

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

:09:37.:09:41.

million children in the world dying from diarrhoea, pneumonia and

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

:09:47.:09:50.

through Governments but also non- Government organisations, we

:09:50.:09:53.

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

:09:53.:09:56.

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

:09:56.:10:00.

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

:10:00.:10:04.

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

:10:04.:10:07.

spending decisions, and the department should be prepared to

:10:07.:10:11.

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

:10:11.:10:15.

the targets, without the Millennium Development Goals themselves, we

:10:15.:10:18.

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

:10:18.:10:22.

because the world has focused its attentions. Rather than criticising

:10:23.:10:26.

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

:10:26.:10:30.

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

:10:30.:10:35.

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

:10:35.:10:39.

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

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I think the 0.7 commitment has been important as a significantle

:10:43.:10:48.

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

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

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

:10:57.:11:01.

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

:11:01.:11:05.

Sometimes budget support I think does work, sometimes aid to

:11:05.:11:09.

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

:11:09.:11:11.

Governments themselves are organising their ministries, their

:11:11.:11:14.

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

:11:14.:11:17.

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

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

:11:22.:11:26.

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

:11:26.:11:30.

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

:11:30.:11:35.

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

:11:35.:11:40.

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

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themselves they have been enormously important to mobilise

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

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

:11:49.:11:52.

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

:11:52.:11:57.

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

:11:57.:12:01.

real solutions in a particular context. That requires really

:12:01.:12:04.

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

:12:05.:12:08.

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

:12:08.:12:11.

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

:12:11.:12:14.

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

:12:14.:12:18.

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

:12:18.:12:21.

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

:12:21.:12:26.

Another challenge is, how do harness that private investment

:12:26.:12:31.

money to opportunities to infrastructure. To invest in

:12:31.:12:34.

programmes. Richard Dowden, on harvesting that private enterprise?

:12:34.:12:37.

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

:12:37.:12:42.

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

:12:42.:12:47.

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

:12:47.:12:51.

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

:12:51.:12:56.

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

:12:56.:13:00.

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

:13:00.:13:04.

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

:13:04.:13:09.

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

:13:09.:13:14.

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

:13:14.:13:18.

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

:13:18.:13:22.

more transparency in these big companies and how they misprice and

:13:22.:13:25.

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

:13:25.:13:29.

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

:13:29.:13:33.

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

:13:33.:13:37.

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

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

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

:13:45.:13:48.

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

:13:48.:13:51.

why their Government is committed to spending so much money on

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

:13:55.:14:00.

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

:14:00.:14:03.

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

:14:03.:14:07.

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

:14:07.:14:10.

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

:14:10.:14:13.

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

:14:13.:14:17.

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

:14:17.:14:19.

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

:14:19.:14:23.

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

:14:23.:14:26.

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

:14:26.:14:30.

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

:14:30.:14:33.

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

:14:34.:14:38.

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

:14:38.:14:42.

critical. Because aid is only one small intervention against many

:14:42.:14:49.

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

:14:49.:14:53.

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

:14:53.:14:58.

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

:14:58.:15:04.

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

:15:04.:15:06.

itself, but through its participation and influence in the

:15:07.:15:10.

UN and the World Bank. That influence is tremenduously

:15:10.:15:17.

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

:15:17.:15:24.

of to what extent aid development contributes to countries is more

:15:24.:15:27.

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

:15:27.:15:31.

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

:15:31.:15:34.

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

:15:34.:15:36.

human security might be incorporated into those. I think,

:15:36.:15:40.

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

:15:40.:15:44.

clear. Thank you very much.

:15:44.:15:49.

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

:15:49.:15:53.

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

:15:53.:15:56.

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

:15:56.:15:59.

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

:15:59.:16:04.

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

:16:04.:16:08.

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

:16:08.:16:12.

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

:16:12.:16:16.

the New York Times, China and something unspeakable happening to

:16:16.:16:22.

fish! Spear phishing, in which hackers

:16:22.:16:27.

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

:16:27.:16:33.

obtain secret information. Spear fishing may be a harmless aquatic

:16:33.:16:38.

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

:16:39.:16:42.

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

:16:42.:16:47.

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

:16:47.:16:51.

spyware downloaded on to their computer. It is incredible

:16:51.:16:54.

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

:16:54.:16:57.

attacks against corporate organisations, it can be some what

:16:58.:17:02.

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

:17:02.:17:07.

they are very good at covering their trail.

:17:07.:17:12.

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

:17:12.:17:19.

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

:17:19.:17:23.

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

:17:23.:17:27.

Beijing denies. That TRANSLATION: It is unprofessional

:17:27.:17:32.

and irresponsible to decide about the origins of hacking attacks,

:17:32.:17:36.

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

:17:36.:17:42.

the attacks to the Chinese Government and military. China has

:17:42.:17:48.

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

:17:48.:17:51.

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

:17:51.:17:57.

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

:17:57.:18:03.

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

:18:03.:18:09.

virus nicknamed Shadey Rat, was discovered in hundreds of computers

:18:09.:18:13.

longing to the UN, International Olympic Committee and other

:18:13.:18:17.

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

:18:17.:18:21.

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

:18:21.:18:24.

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

:18:25.:18:30.

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

:18:30.:18:39.

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

:18:39.:18:43.

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

:18:43.:18:46.

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

:18:46.:18:51.

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

:18:51.:18:55.

that this particular action was initiated by a particular group or

:18:55.:18:59.

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

:18:59.:19:03.

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

:19:03.:19:07.

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

:19:07.:19:11.

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

:19:11.:19:15.

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

:19:15.:19:20.

specialists suggest it was intercepted by Israel. But what

:19:20.:19:23.

about cyberweapons? Things capable of harming people and

:19:23.:19:28.

infrastructure? The specter of sieber weapons,

:19:28.:19:32.

computer attacks that could -- cyberweapons, computer attacks that

:19:32.:19:37.

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

:19:37.:19:40.

is something that haunts western Governments. How real is the

:19:40.:19:43.

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

:19:43.:19:49.

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

:19:49.:19:58.

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

:19:58.:20:00.

disable Iran's programme. Authoritative briefing suggested

:20:00.:20:06.

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

:20:06.:20:10.

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

:20:11.:20:17.

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

:20:17.:20:21.

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

:20:21.:20:25.

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

:20:25.:20:29.

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

:20:29.:20:35.

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

:20:35.:20:38.

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

:20:38.:20:42.

the cyberworld we live in. Cyberdefence has become a

:20:42.:20:47.

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

:20:47.:20:51.

now given may say much about the power that western countries

:20:51.:20:57.

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

:20:57.:21:01.

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

:21:01.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:11.

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

:21:11.:21:15.

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

:21:15.:21:19.

violent assault on your drinks cabinet. Tens of thousands of

:21:19.:21:23.

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

:21:23.:21:28.

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

:21:28.:21:32.

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

:21:32.:21:36.

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

:21:37.:21:41.

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

:21:41.:21:45.

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

:21:45.:21:49.

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

:21:49.:21:57.

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

:21:57.:22:00.

hospital admission. According to the office of national statistics

:22:00.:22:05.

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

:22:05.:22:08.

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

:22:08.:22:11.

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

:22:12.:22:16.

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

:22:16.:22:21.

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

:22:21.:22:27.

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

:22:27.:22:32.

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

:22:32.:22:37.

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

:22:37.:22:40.

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

:22:40.:22:43.

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

:22:43.:22:46.

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

:22:46.:22:51.

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

:22:51.:22:54.

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

:22:54.:22:57.

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

:22:57.:23:01.

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

:23:01.:23:06.

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

:23:06.:23:10.

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

:23:10.:23:15.

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

:23:15.:23:19.

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

:23:19.:23:22.

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

:23:22.:23:27.

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

:23:27.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:36.

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

:23:36.:23:40.

habits that might have been problematic beforehand, any good

:23:40.:23:44.

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

:23:44.:23:49.

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

:23:49.:23:53.

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

:23:53.:23:59.

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

:23:59.:24:05.

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

:24:05.:24:11.

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

:24:11.:24:14.

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

:24:14.:24:18.

fundraising campaign not a health campaign. The motives for those

:24:18.:24:23.

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

:24:23.:24:27.

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

:24:27.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:33.

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

:24:33.:24:36.

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

:24:36.:24:40.

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

:24:40.:24:43.

where this campaign has been particularly successful. What about

:24:43.:24:47.

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

:24:47.:24:53.

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

:24:53.:24:59.

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

:24:59.:25:04.

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

:25:04.:25:10.

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

:25:10.:25:15.

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

:25:15.:25:18.

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

:25:19.:25:24.

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

:25:24.:25:27.

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

:25:27.:25:31.

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

:25:31.:25:35.

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

:25:35.:25:39.

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

:25:39.:25:43.

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

:25:43.:25:48.

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

:25:48.:25:54.

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

:25:54.:25:58.

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

:25:58.:26:06.

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

:26:06.:26:10.

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

:26:10.:26:16.

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

:26:16.:26:23.

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

:26:23.:26:28.

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

:26:28.:26:32.

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

:26:32.:26:36.

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

:26:37.:26:40.

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

:26:40.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:48.

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

:26:48.:26:53.

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

:26:53.:26:57.

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

:26:57.:27:05.

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

:27:05.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:19.

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

:27:19.:27:22.

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

:27:22.:27:27.

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

:27:27.:27:30.

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

:27:30.:27:38.

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

:27:38.:27:42.

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

:27:42.:27:48.

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

:27:48.:27:52.

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

:27:52.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:28:02.

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

:28:02.:28:06.

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

:28:06.:28:09.

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

:28:09.:28:16.

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

:28:16.:28:20.

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

:28:20.:28:24.

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

:28:24.:28:29.

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

:28:29.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:36.

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

:28:36.:28:41.

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

:28:41.:28:47.

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

:28:47.:28:53.

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

:28:53.:29:00.

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

:29:00.:29:06.

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

:29:06.:29:13.

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

:29:13.:29:18.

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

:29:18.:29:23.

Churchill fought Hitler, on a marvellous diet of champagne and

:29:23.:29:26.

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

:29:26.:29:29.

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

:29:29.:29:33.

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

:29:33.:29:37.

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

:29:37.:29:42.

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

:29:42.:29:46.

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

:29:46.:29:51.

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

:29:51.:29:54.

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

:29:54.:29:57.

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

:29:57.:30:01.

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

:30:01.:30:06.

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

:30:06.:30:09.

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

:30:09.:30:14.

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

:30:14.:30:18.

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

:30:18.:30:22.

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.