14/05/2013 Newsnight


The harrowing story of modern day slavery in Oxford. The common agricultural policy. And Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy. With Emily Maitlis.

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$:/STARTFEED. They start out as ordinary girls, by the time they


are finished they are hollow. Tonight, a harrowing story of


modern day slavery and the darker side of Oxford. Victims tortured by


their abusers, then failed by services that should have protected


them. I was asked to go to guesthouses and to London and


places like that to see other men and I was told it was doing them a


favour. I was still under the illusion that they cared about me


and they were my friends. We ask the director of public prosecutions


what went so badly wrong. As seven Asian men are found guilty of


horrendous abuse, we ask if race or religion played any part in this


crime. Also tonight:


Just how green is pleasant land? Is the EU farming subsidy worth your


�400 a year. Slaying cancer the Angelina way,


with a double mastectomy. Will it change perceptions of feminine


beauty. They are shells of what they should


be. The little girl in there is gone. The details of the Oxford


child sex ring are too horrendous, said the detective in charge, to


report or put on TV. Girls as young as 11, tortured, druged, one forced


to have a DIY abortion. Tonight seven men of Pakistani and north


African heritage have been found guilty of eye watering offences.


The girls were victims of gang rape, yes, but also a culture of a slave


and drug culture. And authorities who appeared to turn away the one


mother who voiced her fears. We ask how this was allowed to continue


six years after the alarm was first raised and question what role if


any race and religion has played. First the victims. If it can happen


in Oxford it can happen anywhere. It is a I city of spires, college


quads and punts. And the jury heard it is also a city of sleazey


backstreets were young girls were systematically groomed, raped and


sold as sex slaves for years at a time. One witness in the trial said


the abuse began when she was around 13. She used to play truant,


hideing from her teachers in the park. She met one of the defendants


and he started taking her to parties to give her drink, drugs,


to have sex with her and then...I Started to go to guesthouses and to


London and places like that to see other men and I was told it was


doing him a favour. I was still under the illusion that they cared


about me and they were my friends. They would text her and she would


go where she was told. Like automoton. I was out almost every


day away from home, sometimes more than one day at a time. Sometimes I


would have breaks where I went home to my mum and I would be just


ending up in hospital because I had so many drugs. Yes, so the majority


of the time I was away having sex with different men. Today seven men


were found guilty on 59 separate charges, including Kamar Jamil,


The two sets of brothers were central. Police interviews show how


Anjum Dogar said this was mistaken identity. That wasn't me. While his


brother, like the Karrars, declined to answer questions. No comment.


Most of their victims had been in care. Both police and social


services apologised for their failure to act before. We are


really sorry it took so long. We have learned a huge amount over


this period of years in terms of how to deal with things. Going back


social workers were doing their utmost to try to protect children.


I don't think we realised quite what we were up against then. We


have learned a lot with the police subsequently. Much depended on the


witnesses. Many thought at the time they were acting like adults,


east Oxford and meet their friends, to act in what they thought were


adult ways. Controlled for years, they were still fearful of their


abusers, police had to work hard to get them to court. They just


corrupt them completely. They start out at 11 or 12 just an ordinary


girl, in our case, by the time they are finished they are hollow. They


are shells of what they should be. The little girl that was in there


is gone. We have had to spend a huge amount of time trying to find


that little girl. The jury heard that some of the victims had gone


to the police in the past. In 2006 a policewoman was cycling past this


mews when she noticed a light on in a building she had thought was


empty. She went in to investigate and inside found a young girl, one


of the witnesses in the court case, with her was an older man. Three


other men arrived with drink, condoms, cash, the officer arrested


all four, but the girl didn't want to press charges. This guesthouse


came up repeatedly in evidence to the court. Many girls said they had


been brought here to be raped. On one occasion the assault was so


violent, so noisy that another guest heard it and reported it to


the police. I could hear a woman getting slapped across next door to


my room. How long ago was this? was around about 20 minutes ago, I


have left and got out of there, I didn't want to hear it. That case


didn't come to court then. We have dealt with these girls in the past.


And dealt with individual offences. We have tried to get them to court


and it is really difficult. They feel the pressure of the men behind


them, they are not in the right position. Some of the defendants


admitted meeting the girls in public places like the bench in the


park near Oxford's main mosque. They denied the charges of rape and


assault. So the girls' evidence, and the coroborating forensic


evidence was crucial. Two years ago, here on Newsnight, Jack Straw


provoked an outcry when he warned of this particular kind of sexual


exploitation. There is a specific problem that involves Pakistani


heritage men, some of some age as well who target vulnerable young


white girls and we need to get the Pakistani community to think much


more clearly about why this is going on and to be more open about


the problem that is are leading to a number of Pakistani heritage men


thinking that it is OK to target white girls in this way. In the


Oxford trial most defendants were of Pakistani origin, part of


Oxford's small, well established community. The case came as a shock.


These are laneous crimes -- henious crimes, they are despicable, and


their very nature has to be secretive. In our culture the shame


play as very important role. If you are caught in public, for example,


even drinking, it brings a great shame. So these things are done


secretly. I can't envisage a situation where people are doing


this kind of thing openly at all. Some of the defendants had grown up


together in the heart of east Oxford. In court one defendant said


"everyone knows everyone", in such a community, did no-one notice the


older men with much younger girls? I go to that mosque and I have not,


never, ever noticed that these men were doing this. I have been in


Oxford for about 25 years. Oxford case is one of a series of


high-profile complex grooming cases prosecuted in the last couple of


years. In some senses it could be a model for the future. I think that


we have just started to open our eyes to the fact that where you


have this kind of insidious long- term grooming and abuse, you have


to change the way you approach investigation and criminal justice


procedures. I'm really, really encouraged and impressed by the way


Kier Starmer has approached it, but also the local police and Peter


Davies at CEOP, they have grasped it and run with it. We have to have


the local police on the ground, our local CPS on the ground also


changing their attitudes. Thames Valley Police, out on the Cowley


Road in Oxford, looking for exploited girls. Today's verdict


showed even if witnesses are vulnerable and inconsistent. Their


evidence can convince juries if it shows a clear pattern of behaviour.


This is an approach supported by the Director of Public Prosecutions.


He's currently working on new guidance for these cases, following


a CPS failure to prosecute Jimmy Savile. Barristers say the law


doesn't need to be changed and judges and lawyers are well used to


the cases now. The problem is not with educating and improving the


bar and the judges and solicitors and defence counsel. It is a


perception that juries have in relation to, if you like, troubled


children, difficult children, naughty children. The bottom line


is they can be kids who go out shoplifting, they can be kids that


take drugs. But that doesn't mean they haven't been victims of quite


serious crimes. So actually they are amongst the most vulnerable


that we have to deal with. problem, barristers say, is more


one of resources. These are complex, expensive cases for both police and


prosecutors, that is why they are rare. Many witnesses said they had


found it difficult to come to court, gruel to go face cross-examination.


That is what was hard for me was the embarrassment of it. But once


you get over that, I'm glad I went to court and I'm glad I stood up


against them. They can't do it any more. I know there is other men,


but these men can't do it any more, I just hope that it helps other


people have the strength to come forward. The Muslim community in


Oxford everyone should learn from the case to protect all children.


The best way of making our children safer is not to focus on a minority


who represent a couple of per cent of perpetrators, but focus on the


95% also. Working collectively with the strategy of safeguarding


children. But it is an uncomfortable fact that so far the


majority of these complex grooming cases have involved Asian, Muslim


men and white British girls. Joining me now is Kier Starmer


Director of Public Prosecution. Nice of you to come in. When you


look at a case like this, what do you see as the problems and the


errors? This is one of a number of cases where historically the wrong


approach has been taken to the assessment of credibility,


assessing whether the victim will be reliable in giving her evidence.


At the heart of that problem is a misunderstanding about


vulnerability. In the past I think police and prosecutors have focused


on vulnerability and seen that as a reason why it is not possible to


prosecute the case. What today's verdict shows is that with the


right approach, with proper case building you can successfully


prosecute these cases. I think the big task for all of us is making


sure that the cultural shift that is needed between as it were, the


old approach and the new approach, is completed. What happened in this


case happens in every case from here on in, that is the really big


task. You talk as if this was something that was just not noticed,


where as we know that people's attention, police attention had


been called to these girls. Why wasn't the man who reported it from


the hotel bedsit listened to. Why wasn't the police officer able to


prosecute? I don't think it is just about listening. I think the floor


in the old approach was this, police and prosecutors looked at


the victim and asked themselves whether they came forward and gave


a coherent and full account first time, whether they were unaffected


by drink or drugs, whether they gone back to the perpetrators, all


those questions yielded answers that led police and prosecutors to


the wrong conclusion that they wouldn't be reliable. It wasn't


simply ignoring it, it was looking at it. It was ignoring, there was a


mother of one of the girls, Girl 3 as she is called, who said she


turned to every conceivable Oxford service who slammed the door in her


face. This was a mother of one of the girls. She had adopted her


daughter and was looking for help. I can only obviously answer for the


investigation and prosecution of the criminal cases. I'm not for a


moment defending the approach that was taken in the past. I think it


is fundamentally wrong. That is why we have set out to change it. But


it is important to understand that, as it were, the usual tools that


the police and prosecutors would use in assessing reliability are


useless in this situation. Do those tools need to change. We have heard


about the gruelling cross- examination, we know that the


defence barrister suggested that Girl 3 had not made a formal


complaint at the time of the attack because she was giving a wholly


false allegation of rape, "I suggest you are telling lie upon


lie because you had been caught by police, naked in a hotel room with


man you were not supposed to be with", is it any wonder you can't


get young girls to give evidence? The approach has to change. Has it


changed? We have done a huge amount of work in the last year. Does that


mean telling defence barristers not to use that kind of language to


vulnerable victims? The changes are with police and prosecutors. Would


you use that language in a court of law, is that normal? I think it is


very important that the court environment is one in which people


feel they can come forward and give their best evidence. It is not


though, is it, it is not a situation, she talked about the


shame she was made to feel. We know that there has been a suicide in


the past once from another woman who gave her own account of a rape.


Something surely should be changing within the courts whilst you are


still in charge? I think it is important for us all to sit back


and look at the criminal justice process and ask ourself the


question whether it does serve these victims in the best possible


way. Are you sitting forward or back? We are looking at the issues


with police and judges and others. We have an adversarial system, in


that system the prosecution puts its best case and the defence,


quite rightly, tests and probes that case. There is a debate to be


had about whether that environment needs to be changed in some way.


I'm absolutely up for having that debate. We do have an adversarial


system n that sense it is the duty of the defence to put those points.


What we are responsible for is ensuring that those people who do


want to come forward feel that they have got the confidence to do so


and we are ensuring that their journey through criminal justice is


as bearable as it can be. Briefly how many more cases are there like


this. You once said there are more likely to be hundreds? Well we're


seeing a number of case like this. We have other cases in the pipeline


we are bringing to court. I have no doubt that there are other victims


out there who have not yet had the confidence to come forward. I hope


that cases like this will give them increased confidence and it is our


job tone sure that when they do come forward they are -- to ensure


that when they do come forward they are treated properly I know there


are more who have not the confidence. We are likely to see


more cases in the future. Joanna Simmons is head of the


Oxfordshire County Council, she joins me now, in a moment we will


speak to a member of the scam Ramadan Foundation, and a member of


Street UK, an organisation that educates and empowers young people,


and we have the Deputy Children's Commissioner. Starting with you


Joanna Simmons, years of failings have been revealed in this case.


are incredibly sorry we haven't stopped the abuse sooner. Our


hearts go to the brave girls giving evidence. We have learned a


tremendous amount over the years and we have taken a huge amount of


action since the case started. Our social workers have been working


alongside the police for the last two years in bringing the case.


Let's get to the words of the mother I mentioned, she said she


had approached every conceivable Oxford service and doors were


slammed in her face. This wasn't a vulnerable girl or a drunken woman


or a drug addict, it was a mother seeking help for her daughter,


because she suspected this was happening? And I think we tried to


support these children and families, clearly we did not do enough. We


are very sorry for that. We have learned a lot. Does that astonish


you that she went to every conceivable service, I'm quoting


her words now and "doors were slammed in her face "? These are


really tricky, difficult situations. We understand more about the


grooming process that we didn't understand seven or eight years ago.


She understood it and went to get help? All I can do is apologise if


we didn't listen or do enough. We are doing huge amounts more now.


There are clearly very big issues in supporting whole families in


this. It is about the children, it is also about parents. One of the


things we are trying to do is raise awareness right across the


comounity. You have been in charge at Oxfordshire since 2005, do you


take responsibility for what happened on your watch? All of us


take enormous responsibility for what happened. This is the worst


thing I have come across in 30 years in local Government. Families


are sitting at home thinking you and your organisation have


seriously let down these girls being raped and raped and traffiked


and sold and drugged, under your watch. They were vulnerable girls


and you were at the heart of those social services, should you resign?


I have asked myself some very hard questions about that. There is


going to be an independent serious case review which will look at the


actions of all the agencies concerned. What is your gut


feeling? My gut feeling is not to resign because my determination is


to do all we can to take action to stamp it out. If the families put


that to you and said they don't feel confident with you in charge


of the services that are meant to be supporting our children, would


you re-think that? Clearly families concerned. What we are doing though


which is really important is trying to make sure that we tackle this


for the future. We have a joint unit with the police, we have


trained 2,500 staff across Oxfordshire. We are raising


awareness for 12,000 schoolchildren. We need to take the action to stamp


this out. These are devious crimes, they are very complicated. We are


absolutely determined, all of us, I'm completely determined that we


do all we can to stop this happening in the future.


I want to come to you now, there has been a lot of focus, as we saw


in the piece, on the race question in this case, is there anything in


that? The findings from our two- year inquiry, which is two-thirds


of the way through now into who are the victims across England? Who are


the perpetrators? Where it is happening and in what way? They are


incontravertable, they are that this appalling crime of sexual


exploitation is taking place across every single community in England.


We have found no exceptions to that. So the verdicts today are in a set


of circumstances that are beyond belief in terms of the levels of


savagry, and the courage of the victims coming forward is quite


extraordinary. You think there is no question of race or cultural


religion in this? We are evidence, our evidence is that people from


every ethnic group are engaging in forms of sexual exploitation. This


is one model and whether there are particular facets to this model


requires further evidence gathering. But there are models of violent


sexual exploitation, including by children on other children taking


place all over the place. I think it is important to recognise as we


have Tia Sharp's step grandfather being sent to jail, and we have all


other cases, they affect all communities. It is important as


members of the Pakistani community to recognise we have a problem.


There are some criminals who think white girls are worthless and think


they can be used and abused in this abhorrent way. I have been


following this kaifplts as a society we have to all take some


responsibility and try to come down to what the real reasons are.


do you think those are? As I have said there are some people who


think white girls are worthless. There are Asian victims who haven't


come forward and give evidence too. It affects all communities. We have


to be very careful in the language we use. We as members of the


Pakistani community have a responsibility to speak out.


Anybody who has followed this trial and the facts of this case, as a


parent, all of us we should be horrified by it and there should be


not hiding place for these evil men in our communities. Would you go


that far? I think it is important to recognise there is a problem in


the Pakistani community. Just as has been said it is a problem which


I think is actually a global problem. I think it is a crisis of


masculinity. What we are having is a profound problem across the whole


of society where men no longer now how to respect and value women. We


find increased sexual violence being perpetrated against women and


children. One of the things that we found in our work with young men


from all backgrounds, black, white, Asian, Muslim, non-Muslim is that


there is this profound disrespect culture. There is a rape culture


that has developed, where rape is seen as something trivial. People


even talk about it in a very trivial sense, "we are going to


rape that girl", "we are going to abuse that girl". What is the root


cause for that change and the lack of masculinity now? I think we have


gone back decades in terms of basic values and human rights around


respecting women. One of the factors, amongst many factors is


the fact that young men now are immerseing themselves in watching


violent, degrading, humiliating pornography, often the genre is


about rape. Young men their primary educator is the street, is the


internet, and these really negative role models involved in organised


crime groups on the street. We are not even engaging young men at all.


If we want to be preventive we have got to get into schools as young as


9, 10, 11. We have found young Patfull earns of young men grooming


girls in school that age T has become a paradigm for these young


men to groom in that way. Do you think you are able to get to these


young men before the Internet does? Well, clearly not. One of the


things we are going to be talking to Government about over the next


few weeks that we actually want much more focused PSHE lessons in


schools, where people feel from within the primary phase that it is


possible to talk about things like pornography. How to build


resilience in young children in terms of what they are looking at


on the Internet. It is very, very important to do that. At the same


time I would say we actually don't know if what's happening today is


worse than in previous eras, simply because the evidence has not been


identified before. So the work that we did in the office of the


Children's Commissioner last year in terms of identifying prif lens


is the first time a baseline has -- prevalence is the first time a


baseline has ever been set. There was a voice in the film that said


it is about shame, it is about covering up particularly within a


Muslim culture, a Pakistani community, and yet the point that


we have just heard is actually that it is everywhere, that actually it


is more acceptable and that rape is being seen as soon as you are two


clicks away. What do you think? have been campaigning against this


since 2006, when I first started I was a lone voice within the


Pakistani community and wider society. Actual lie I think the


catalyst was Rochdale, where people have now started taking this


seriously. When Jack Straw made his comments did you find it offensive


or helpful? I found it offensive, because Jack Straw is former


justice and Home Secretary who did nothing in Government, then he made


it fleeting statement that haornished the whole community. I


take my responsibility very seriously as does my community. I


think it is now time for those agencies that have failed these


children. The catalyst, and I think those agencies have got to take


some responsibility. Quickly, I will ask you this while Kier


Starmer is here, Kier Starmer's tenure will end in October, what


are the most essential, critical things he can do before leaving


office? Happily he has begun to do them. He has made extremely strong


statements about the importance of believing children when they come


forward. Children don't make neat disclosures, that is not how it


works. When information begins to come out from them, people have to


believe them, the police have to believe them, the local authorities


have to believe them. To the credit of Oxfordshire County Council, I


heard what you said earlier, and Thames Valley Police, despite the


failings initially, once they got going they really devoted


tremendous resources to seeing this case through. Thank you very much


all of you. In a moment, will the Angelina-


effect now go as far as the operating table.


Relaxed, as the Government insists it is on all issues Europe,


tomorrow may be an uncomfortable watch as up to 100 Tory MPs sign an


amendment to their Government's own Queen's Speech. Some of the


criticism facing the PM is he refuses to spell out what he's


trying to renegotiate. Tonight we explore one of the key issues, the


Common Agricultural Policy, CAP, every family pays about �400 a year


to subsidise farmers. How do we want it spent and what kind of


countryside do we want for our money. We report on attempts to


make Europe a more and grown and pleasant land. Dawn on the river


Shannon. We are heading for Inish Island, flooded in the summer. As


the common agricultural policy has paid farmers to intensify


production, wildlife elsewhere has been driven out. Here is never


ploughed, never sprayed. So what's the balance of priorities under the


CAP, protecting the environment more? Or supporting farmers and


food production? That debate is under way right now. This is about


how Europe produces food for itself and how we impact on global food


security issues in the future. In my view the biggest challenge for


my generation and decision and policy makers is how to Feed The


World without destroying the planet. We are seeing a billion euro a week


to be paid to farmers to do very little. It is some things, it is


very well, we need to up the ante in what we are asking. This is


public money, it needs to be paid in exchange for delivery of public


goods. This rough pasture is how much of Europe used to work. Across


other parts of Ireland birds and wild flowers have disappeared, as


farming intensified. Anja Murray from BirdWatch tells me some bird


species are down nearly 90%. make a hollow in the ground and the


eggs are tucked in there. If you have a lot of cattle they get


trampled easily. We have got a lot of birds, a lot of biodiversity,


and pollenators pollinating insects. None of this is in intensively


managed grassland. Yet most of the payments using public money are


allocated towards the more intensive low- managed grassland.


Farmers �50 billion a year in subsidies, based mainly on an


historic system of how much food they produce. The European


Commission now wants to shift the balance of subsidies towards


proebgt iting the environment more -- protecting the environment more.


It says farmers should earn 30% of their subsidies by obeying


environmental laws, increasing crop diversity, preserving pasture and


leaving space for wildlife. The plans would mean less support


for intensive food production in places like Ireland. Joe Parlon is


dairy farmer in County Offaly, he agrees with protecting the


environment. He says rewarding the farmers who produce most food is


essential. Production is vitally important for Ireland as a country


as well. Farmers definitely are an endangered species. A lot of those


farmers are not making big profits n fact very small profits. The


problem we have, if you take the funding away from the people that


are producing the food they will go out of business. The CAP has


typically defended farmers' interests. But production supsidies


in the past distorted global markets, led to milk lakes and


butter mountains. The new approach, the called "greening" of the CAP,


aims to deliver what it calls public goods for public money. The


fundamental question here is what constitutes public good? To


environmentalists it means it is safeguarding the soil, air, water,


wildlife. To farmers it means something rather different. It


means keeping producing food in living communities in an


economically viable landscape. You There is a row between the


commission, Governments and MEPs about how far to shift subsidies


away from production towards benefiting the environment. The man


leading negotiations tells us he's supporting production. Some people


would like us to go further, but there is a food production system


through agriculture in the European Union, which in my view is probably


the most sustainable anywhere in the world. And we have also


maintained rural communities in way that other parts of the world


haven't done so. Orthodox Easter Monday in Pissouri village square


in Cyprus. The dances remind locals of their links to the land. Just as


cultural traditions vary from village-to-village throughout the


continent, so do soil types, climates, pharmacies thems. -- farm


systems. The complexity is the nightmare for rule makers in


Brussels. This community for one, can't face the changes the EU is


demanding. Brussels is trying to impose a one-size-fits-all policy


on farmers across the continent, easy to understand and hard to


cheap. You will find all over Europe farmers adapting the system


and moulding it to their purposes and they risk undermining the whole


project. Greening the CAP means looking at water use. Under the


proposals farmers won't receive public supsidies unless they use


water wisely. Farmers Cyprus have pumped so much water from


underground aqua fares, that sea water has been sucked into them.


There is fear the water stores will be wrecked as farmers carry on.


problem in southern Europe, in the Mediterranean region, in Cyprus, is


that we are dealing with peak water situations, where demand exceeds


the available supply. When they are facing this situation we have to


have regulation and water. Measures that are strong maybe not so good


for farming. This is bad news for fautfautfaut. For 45 years he has


been -- Anthony Fauci, for 45 years he has been maximising his crop by


spraying it. It wastes lots of water. But changing it would mean


ripping up his traditional vineyard and starting again with a new


system and a big bank loan. TRANSLATION: If they force us to


change the way we farm and use water, there will be no future for


people like me. I know how to change, but I don't have the money


or the years. For me it is finished. The greening plan is technically


possible. My grandfather, my father, were farmers in this area. Georgios


Theophanous, who farms nearby, has a drip irrigation system. It uses


only a sixth as much water. But the framework is very expensive. He and


his drips would survive the Brussels reform, many others,


particularly older farmers simply won't. Brussels now are pushing to


stop using the underground water completely. This is for us a way


they are pushing us to abandon agriculture in general. All these


farmers will immediately find themselves out of a job. This sort


of pressure from farmers has made it politically impossible for


Cyprus and other Mediterranean countries to back the Brussels


reform on water. In other parts of Europe the greening plans seem to


have missed some key environmental objectives all together. These are


the Cambridgeshire fens, thanks to drainage, wind erosion and


intensive farming, the soil is steadily disappearing. Some of


Europe's soil is literally blowing away. Rickson Vic is Professor of


Soil Erosion at Canfield University. She says the importance of soil


stretches far beyond providing food. Tell me about the soil? There is so


many pressures on soil, we need more fuel and viey rules and get


more out of the joil soils but damaging them less. We need to make


sure they are a habitat for biodiversity, that we can store


carbon and water, very important in droughts and so on. Whilst we have


created a very, very good agricultural soil, it is very


precarious, it is very vulnerable to things like wind erosion.


CAP reform is supposed to be greening the CAP. Is there evidence


it will protect our soil? We have some soil protection already on the


table. But certainly those measures that they are proposing under the


greening of the CAP, I'm not convinced they will protect our


soils any better. So, if it can't be sure to protect wildlife, or


save water, or soil, is the greening reform likely to be green


at all. You can't expect greening mechanisms to solve everything.


Everybody will have to compromise. Some countries are driven by, you


know, the environmental concerns. Others are driven by keeping


farmers on the land and keeping family farms intact. Others are


driven by keeping rural landscape intact. Others are driven because


they have a very strong farming lobby. So what you have is


different players with different priorities all coming to the table


with different requests. The challenge for the Irish presidency


is to try to pull all of that together and try to find


compromises that everybody can live with. Europe lives with an


agricultural subsidy system too complicated for most mortals to


understand. In coming weeks there will be ruthless horse trading as


politicians try to strike the best deal for their own farmers. It is


looking more likely that the commission's plans for the greening


of the CAP will be a much lighter shade of green.


When the world's most beautiful woman admits she has taken a step


that would horrify the average female, what impact is it likely to


have? Angelina Jolie wrote in the New York Times that she chose to


have a double mastectomy, she was carrying the gene that can lead to


breast cancer. It raises the question how far pre-emptive


surgery can and should go. What happens when a superstar casts a


spotlight on cancer? The disease killed Jolie's mother


when she was just 56. Contributing to Jolie's decision to opt for


genetic testing. She was the woman I relate to who had that elegance


and strength through just knowing what was right. Jolie admits the


decision was a tough one. But says the operation means she can now


reassure her children that they won't lose her to breast cancer.


Jolie said she wrote about her own experience to raise awareness of


the risks of genetic breast cancer and to encourage other women to get


tested, knowing they had strong options. Doctors may now see an


Angelina-effect in the waiting room if this A-Lister has as much impact


as usual. With me now is Claire Whittaker, a mother of two who


chose also a double mastectomy two years ago. And Anthony Howell, a


cancer specialist in south Manchester. Tell us how you arrived


at your course of action, Claire, was it a similar story? Yes, it was


very similar. I, my father had died of cancer, my sister had discovered


she had breast cancer. Numerous family members had basically died


of breast cancer. So I was referred to the genetics department and had


a blood test that in November 2010 revealed that I also had the BRACA


2 gene mutations. Did it become a very simple choice for you at that


point? It was, actually. At that time my children are now six and


four, they were aged four and two then. My priority was just to stay


alive and to try to bypass breast cancer and very quickly I


appreciated that although on the outside it can seem a terrifying


prospect to be told you have this gene, what you are actually told is


you have been given the opportunity to not get cancer. To bypass cancer.


Professor Howlett, when you hear Claire's story it sounds like a no-


brainer, is this the only course of action? No it is not the only


course of action. There are two courses of action really. The first


course of action is to get tested. Because I think it is better to


know rather than not to know. And then in our experience at the


Genesis Centre in south Manchester, where we focus on this sort of


issue is half the women decide to have risk-reducing surgery, the


other half elect to have enhanced screening. So we use magnetic


imaging, and mammographey so they are screened every six months.


there any difference in the risk? We are not absolutely sure. We


think probably not. But we are not total he loo sure. So there are


woman who have had really bad family histories, mother died,


sister died of cancer, and then they are screened and then they


find something wrong on the screen. That really tips the balance very


often. I can't stand this any more, I want to have surgery, please.


went from a 90% risk to a 2% risk. It is extraordinary when you put


the statistics on it. You sort of came to meet your disease before it


was there? Yes. I think having a very high probability and being


told that you are so likely to get that, I can only really relate it


being told would you get on an aeroplane knowing that aeroplane


had an 80% chance it was going to crash. I couldn't just get on that


aeroplane. I had to take preventive measures. It was a no-brainer for


me, really. How far do you think we will go 0 in terms of preventive --


in terms of preventive medicine. There are other cancers you could


avoid, you could have your spleen removed, I assume, could you?


don't think it would do much good. You could have your spleen removed.


Not the greatest example, but you can't have your lunges removed to


have a -- lungs removed to prevent lung cancer, you can have your


ovaries and your womb removed. These genes the Barca 1 and 2 genes


are associated with ovarian cancer. Women around the age of 40-45 have


their ovaries removed. Ovarian cancer creeps up on you. Most women


have their ovaries removed in this situation. Only about half have


their breast tissue removed. Claire, when somebody like Angelina Jolie


comes out, is that a game-changer in terms of how people will


perceive this now? Do you think she has an obligation to speak out?


think it felt awful this morning in a sense I can have my mother head


on and think how awful that she has had to go through these decisions.


Then I can also feel I'm so grateful to her, because my


priority is to protect the next generation. To try to support


Genesis Research projects, and to make sure we understand more and


more about these genetic breast cancers. I have two children with a


50% chance that they will also have inherited this gene. So for her to


come out as this amazingingly beautiful lady who has had a


mastectomy. And I think will show the world that a mastectomy isn't


as Carey as it initially sound, you can still be feminine and beautiful


and save your life. I think the important thing is women have to


have choice. You don't have to have mastectomy if you have a faulty


gene. You can elect for increased screening. You have to allow the


woman to do what she want to do. She mustn't been forced by Angelina


down this route. Do you think there is a risk of that? Possibly. It is


the woman's choice. She makes the choice not the doctor. It is her


and her partner. The partner is obviously very important as well.


So we must keep a balance here. But the important thing is to make the


diagnostic tests in the first place. The important thing is to go when


you do have a family history of breast cancer is to go to your GP


and say look I want to be referred to those guys down the road. Thank


you both very much indeed. I really appreciate you coming in. Just time


to take you through a cop of the papers for tomorrow. Before we go.


-- a couple of the papers for tomorrow. Before we go we have that


story on the papers, and the a story about the victims of the sex


gang. The Mail have the story about BP


and Shell investigated over allegations that they have fixed