20/05/2013 Newsnight


News stories with Jeremy Paxman. Including half of Tory MPs vote to reject gay marriage, the next British astronaut and the writer James Salter returns after 30 years.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 20/05/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



$:/STARTFEED.. The most powerful politician in Britain didn't even


command the support of half of his own MPs tonight. Almost half the


Conservative parliamentary party tried to wreck a law that would


allow gay people marry one another. They failed but their defiance


showed the chasam between the leadership and the supposed swivel-


eyed loans they command. We have been to check the grassroots.


have spent the day looking Conservative activists here in


Clacton straight in the way, I can report there is not a swiveller


among them. We talk to MPs and party members united in


Conservatism, divided in what that means. What is the point of


spending public money for this sort of thing? The latest British


spaceman is here to tell us what he's going to do for month in space.


Remember the blind Chinese dissident who escaped house arrest


and took refuge in the US embassy last year. He will tell us what


happened next. And they talk of him as one of the


great modern American novelists. He has a new book out after a gap of


30 years, what took so long? didn't realise you were waiting, of


course. So, a bill which would make gay


marriage in England and Wales legal has been supported by the House of


Commons after a deal between the Tory leadership, the Lib Dems and


Labour tonight. But the outcome of the votes tonight is less the issue


than the depth of the split in the Conservative Party. And the state


of David Cameron's leadership. What with this and Europe and his tennis


pal accused of calling the men and women who get the party elected


swivel-eyed loons, the Prime Minister looks increasingly like a


man going mine detecting by stamping his foot on the ground.


Having made such a big deal over the issue of gay marriage, David


Cameron didn't even turn up to speak in the debate today. We will


explain where we are. First of all the vote? The Government got its


way. An amendment that was seen as a grubby deal by some Conservative


oppon nepts of same-sex marriage -- opponents of same-sex marriage got


through with the support of Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Only 70


Conservatives voted for another amendment. Let me give you


background to all of that. This is all very complicated for the simple


reason there was no simple way for defeating the Government on the


main issue. Instead a group of Conservative opponents of same-sex


marriage coalesced around this idea of extending civil partnerships


from same-sex couples to hetrosexual couples. It would have


added millions to the bill and the law would have been defeated. It


was a spirited debate, this is what went on. Whether young or old or


deeply religious or assertively secular. There are real views and


concerns. Depending on polling and the question you ask you come out


with a different figure before origins. The nation is as divided


as the Conservative parliamentary party on this. We picked an issue


we are very much in touch with the nation by showing our division.


What we need to do is ensure at the very least that we properly protect


those who don't agree with the state in the way they want to


redefine marriage. I feel the playing field is not being levelled,


I believe the pendulum is now swinging so far the other way and


there are plenty in the aggressive homosexual community who see this


as but a stepping stone to something even further. What if a


registrar were to turn down an application for someone who got


married on terms of race, what would we think about that. Is it


the position of my honourable friends or any honourable member in


the House that registrar should be free to do so. If it is not, and I


hear a deafening silence, why do we think they should be free to do it


in relation to same-sex marriage, when that same-sex marriage will be


lawful, according to the bill. He's not just got problems with


some of his own backbenchers, but also his grassroots? Indeed, the


problems today we concentrated on are in the chamber. Over the


weekend these disobliging remarks by somebody allegedly close to


David Cameron talking about the grassroots activists being swivel-


eyed loons, such as their interest in things like same-sex marriage.


David Cameron has written an e-mail tonight to try to quieten them down.


I have been in Clacton on sea to try to gauge the opinion of


activists. I found a lot of people disaaffected with the leaderful of


the -- disaffected with the leadership of the Conservative


Party now. In this area the Conservative Party party are


bucking one trend. They are growing. It helps to have an MP unafraid to


challenge the party leadership, even so they are not completely


happy. Yesterday a letter was delivered to thepm signed by 34


local chairman complaining about the policy of same-sex marriage.


But, more than that, accusing the leadership of treating the


membership with contempt. Today back in her Clacton office, it was


very clear her sense of anger and disappointment hadn't diminished


any. I actually do believe that a number of people in central


Government at the moment are totally, totally unaware of what


the real issues are, the things that people are really experiencing.


What their concerns are, the struggle that people have. You know,


and I don't think it helps. This is very much a personal thing, which I


have picked up from lots of members. It doesn't help that our Prime


Minister doesn't seem to learn from some of the feedback he's getting.


When you hear the terms that some allegedly, although they deny it,


use about people like you in private, what do you think about


those? Are you refrbg to the alleged comment that was made.


Referring to the alleged comment made. I didn't want to mention it


but "swivel-eyed loons"! Hopefully I have a sense of humour and I have


been called worse in my time. However, if I believed that to be


true. That they said it? Yes, and if there was any truth in it


whatsoever I would be absolutely appalled. To show me this wasn't


just a personal issue, she introduced me to some Clacton


Conservatives of the same view. The venue very different from the Blue


Boar Smokehouse in Westminster, where the "swivel-eyed" comments


were made. When you hear these comments what do you think of it?


When the people make them is it genuine or is it something said off


the spot, is it something you wish you could take back. You know I


would say that you respect opinion regardless of what it is. People


are entitled to their view. Comments like that are probably not


helping things. But people say them and that's their freedom of speech.


It certainly doesn't help things. think sometimes they are trying to


grab the headlines. I don't think it helps, especially at grassroots.


We are very hard working here. Those sorts of comments aren't very


good. Do you feel like you are in the same party as David Cameron?


Sometimes, yes, sometimes no. It depends how his particular message


on certain issues. The question all political parties wrestle with is


this. How do you hang on to your core voters and still attract


enough new voters to make some progress come election time? The


assumption behind that calculation is often this, that your core


supporters have nowhere else to go. They are loyal, they will keep


voting for you election after election. If that was ever a true


assumption, it is not any more. Ron used to be a Conservative Party


constituency association chairman as well as a councillor. Now he


bats for UKIP. How does the gay marriage issue play with voters


that were Conservative or are Conservative? I think it plays a


really, really big part. Not just because of the gay marriage issue,


but because of the way he did it. He has no mandate to do it. He


didn't get feedback from the party at grassroots or party members. He


said they carried out a survey and that the survey showed that the


majority of people were in favour of it. That just isn't true. And he


knew it. Back at the chippy, the local Conservative chair is clear


what's causing the UKIP vote to swell. It is for the basic reason


that they are still sticking a little bit to their right-wing


attitudes, if I'm frank with you. That is the only possible thing I


can think of. They are outflanking you on the right? I think so. I


think we have probably veered too much to the left. It is not just


here in Clacton that the Tories are facing this challenge. Tonight an


internet poll may worry David Cameron. UKIP on 22%, just two


points behind the Conservatives. We will be talking to some


Conservative MPs shortly, with me now are two Conservative activists,


the councillor Mary Douglas and Binita Mehta. Mary Douglas, you are


in Wiltshire, are you finding UKIP on the march there because of the


issues like gay marriage? Yes, we have just had the local council


elections, there are several Conservatives who would have been


councillors now had it not been UKIP in their patch. In my own


division there was no UKIP candidate, nonetheless there were


several people on the doorstep who were desperate to vote for one and


I believe did so any way. These issues like gay marriage, UKIP


people associate with the Europe question, in or out. It is not just


that? No it is not. The only political party who supports


traditional marriage, as far as I'm aware is UKIP. That is why people


are choosing it. Binita Mehta you were standing in the local council


elections recently, how hot an issue did you find it on the


doorstep? It was a hot issue, and in Watford where I'm from and where


I was standing we had an overwhelming apltd of young people


who were becoming -- overwhelming amount of young people becoming


engaged in Conservative politics because of gay marriage and the


progressive policies that our Prime Minister is putting forward as


leader of our party. So it was a hot issue but not necessarily a


damaging issue? Not for me any way. I got lots of help from the younger


people. Did you get elected? quite. Bear with us a moment or two,


I think we are joined by the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller now.


You could only get this through with the support of Labour and the


Liberal Democrats, you couldn't do it on your own could you? This has


been a free vote bill from the start. And today's vote has shown


that we have support for the bill overwhelming support for the bill


continuing to move forward from all of the major parties. The important


thing. Not all of your own party, of course? The important result of


this bill being voted through tonight is that we actually can


make progress, we can make sure that the bill moves forward and it


isn't mired in discussion around the extension of civil partnerships.


Either here in the Commons or in the Lords, that can be dealt with


separately. That is an upon and constructive way forward. The Prime


Minister told us of this an issue that was absolutely key to his set


of beliefs. Why didn't he speak in the debate? The Prime Minister has


been this evening in the lobbies voting on these important set of


ameantments. It is absolutely right that these things are dealt with my


by the mensers responsible. It was a free vote you told -- And the


ministers responsible. It was a free vote you told you? The reason


it was taken today the decision is because we are the people putting


the legislation in place. We have seen the overwhelming support for


the approach the Government is taking. The approach of having a


review on extending civil partnership, but not allowing it to


delay the implementation of the marriage for same-sex couples.


right, so he's entitled not to speak, is Gerald Howath, a minister


in your Government until last year, is he right to talk about a march


of aggressive homosexuals being behind this proposal? One of the


main principles of the debate is the right of people to have


different views on the future of marriage for same-sex couples. I'm


very clear that I want to see that go forward in the way that is set


out in the bill. Other colleagues may not have the same view. Clearly


there is a need to respect that in the same way that we are respecting


the rights of religious institutions to be able to deal


with this in different ways. Whether that is the Quaker church,


the Jewish free church, the Unitarians, who all support the


idea of extending same-sex marriage and the Church of England in Wales


who don't support that. You have done this at the cost of allowing


part of the nation to see that much of your parliamentary party might,


in their view, be characterised still as the nasty Party? Look you


have seen in the votes tonight an overwhelming support for the


approach that we are taking in this important report stage of the bill.


Not in your own party we haven't? There is strong support within the


Conservative Party and we saw that in the lobbies today. Sorry how


many of your own MPs didn't support this legislation then? I haven't


got the breakdown of that. It is about half isn't it? What I can


tell you is there is strong support in my party. For some of your


party? There is strong support by Labour and liberal issues, that is


why it is a free vote, it is a conscience issue. And we have seen


a House of Commons want to go see the bill move forward. The House of


Commons may as a whole, because with the aid of what was called a


"grubby deal" by one of your own MPs, you were able to force it


through. But the fact is a substantial section of your own


party simply doesn't like this legislation and sees it Asim


tomorrowatic of the fact that your lead -- as symptomatic of the fact


that your leadership is completely out-of-touch with the grassroots?


Many Conservative Party members support the mrb. When we look in


the -- The measure, when we look at the support out in the country as a


whole there is a majority of support more same-sex marriage. We


need to focus on the bill moving forward. And just as with other


conscience bills there will be a difference of opinion. I simply


don't accept this should be whipped which is what you should be


implying. We have two local activists here in the studio, from


your experience Mary, do you recognise the party that Maria


Miller is talking about? No, I'm astonished, I never would have


imagined that I would sit talking to somebody in the heart of


Government in Great Britain and we exported parliamentary democracy


across the whole world and this is a bill that has no mandate, no


manifesto, no green paper, no White Paper, no Queen's Speech on either


side of the year that has gone by. A consultation that was a total


sham, to be frank, which any tinpot dictator would be proud. And


furthermore a committee weighted totally out of proportion to the


proportion of MPs that voted either way on the second reading and a


debate in which the MPs could only talk for four minutes. Four minutes


to talk about the institution of marriage. Deal with that? I think


it is very clear that the people you have in the studio may have a


different view. But what I would say is that. You are supposed to be


in the same part. There is significant support for the measure


in parliament. I was for 20 years a grassroots member of the party


before I became a member of parliament and I understand the


very important and pivitol role that our grassroots activists play.


They are the backbone of the party. I think it is important we


understand that and important we show respect for their views. But


on this issue, in the same way as when the Labour Government put


forward the extension of civil partnerships, back in 2004, there


are a wide range of views, that doesn't stop us from tackling those


issues, tackle them in a way that is right for society. I think


fairness is an important principle that we hold proudly in this


country. I know you have to run along. Thanks for sparing the time


to talk to us. Mary Douglas, you were exhaling in frustration?


have to say what angered me even more than the clear contempt for


the deeply-held views of Conservative supporters, these are


people who have served the party all of their life, faithfully


working on its behalf. And now they are leaving, why are they leaving?


Because they just cannot support something which goes against their


core beliefs. I know in North Wiltshire the chairman of the


association there said people had been leaving for that reason, and


then they had turned to her and said we have to leave, but who will


we vote for now? What about this swivel-eyed loon, do you feel a


swivel-eyed loon? Often, but I can't speak for others. Such


language can be used allegedly, that language can be used by people


near the centre of the party about the people who get the party


elected? Yes, I mean I'm minded that no-one has yet confirmed who


exactly said that, but as I said recently actually whoever said it


what is so sad is that Conservative grassroots were not surprised.


Sadly, that is what we suspected had gone on. You are expressing


business belief you are surprised to hear senior members of your


party. I have heard senior members of your party talking about local


activists in these terms? I have not, and those are but allegations.


I believe that we are a broad church in the Conservative Party. I


unyour viewpoint. There are many Conservative activists and members


and there will be a diversity of views, however my opinion and what


I have seen from Watford and around the country, having been involved


in student politics, overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly the younger


generation are 100% behind this policy. And I understand that your


association chairman has her issues and she has seen that in Wiltshire,


however in Watford what I have seen, and indeed at Warwick University,


people are getting behind the Conservatives for the reason that


they, we are implementing these progressive policies. Let me


interrupt you, we are joined by further MPs now, Tim Loughton,


whose amendment, what happened to your amendment it failed didn't it?


It didn't get passed, just about everyone who spoke in the debate


said they agreed with it. But there was a strange grubby deal done


between the Labour Party front bench and the Government and they


voted against it. Strange things happen in politics. Margot James


how do you feel about a grubby deal going done to get something past


that you agreed with? I did agree with what happened, I happen to


support the civil partnerships for hetrosexual couples. The debate


revealed there was much more work and thinking to be done before it


was going to be implementable. Therefore, I didn't want it to hold


up the progress of a separate matter, which is the equal marriage


for gay people. That's why I was happy to oppose the amendment.


Although in principle I do agree with what is behind it. What do you


feel will be the sentiment in Stourbridge tonight? Well, I think


Stourbridge reflects you know the country. It is a bellwether


constituency. Come on? Seriously. Get to the point. OK I think I have


had quite a lot of support from my stand. I know that there are


members of my association who disagree with me. We have had very


friendly discussions about it. But overall I would say that


Stourbridge reflects the rest of the country, there is a narrow


majority in favour of gay marriage. You feel you are in tune, Tim


Loughton, with the people of Worting and shoreham? Well, I have


had over 800 letters from constituents saying they disagree


with the same-sex matter and 20- something in favour. That is only


800 and something in total. There are real concerns about this bill.


Clearly the will of the House that the bill should go through. I won't


oppose that. But our job as backbenchers was to make sure that


the safeguards which we think are needed in the bill, so that people


can, who have got conscience issues with this bill, can oppose it


without fear of prosecution. As far as you are concerned that is an end


to it, parliament has spoken, your campaign is at answered? Only half


of parliament has spoken. In fact. The House of Commons has spoken the


elect part of it? We haven't finished in the House of Commons,


we will have the third reading and then to the House of Lords which is


a completely different ball game. The particular bit I was pushing


this evening, extending civil partnerships to opposite sex


couples. We don't do that, there is a glaring inequality created in the


bill which is supposed to be about equality. A lot of people agreed


with it and didn't vote with it. It will gain steam in the House of


Lords and beyond. How do you feel about sitting on the same benches


as a man in fact in response to a point of your's, an MP who can talk


about a march of aggressive homosexuals, how do you feel about


that? Not me, I by the way. Clearly and definitely not me. I don't take


offence at that. A lot of words are spoken in the House of Commons and


you know, many a slip of the tongue et cetera. I don't take offence of


that. Sir Gerald is entitled to his view. I think my dear late father


would have agreed with him, you think we can all remain on good


terms. What about the leadership of your party. How come you can get


into a mess like this on an issue as core to many of your supporters'


beliefs. You probably haven't been able to hear them being in


Westminster having legislating to do, but there are people who are


jolly angry in your party about what parliament has done today.


With the assistance of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, unable to do


it by itself your party? appreciate that. But I would like


to say that a lot of Conservative colleagues voted for this bill. In


fact I sense support is growing amongst my colleagues for the bill.


I don't think it is quite fair to say we are only doing it with the


support of other party. There is cross-party support, but there are


a lot of Conservative colleagues who are behind this bill. And I'm


sorry that people, not everybody shares the view, but hopefully,


with the passage of time, people will come to appreciate, as they


have done with civil partnerships, that gay marriage like it has done


in 14 other countries. And the world will not end. Let's go back


to this point of the leadership here, you are quite confident and


comfortable with David Cameron's management of your party are you?


think he did introduce this bill, I was there at conference in


Birmingham in 2011. He didn't bother to speak for it today?


made his views clear, and I do support him as do many others who


are like me, members of the Conservative Party. As I can say


from this panel as someone who is 22 and potentially representing the


younger generation within our party, I think as Margot James said, we do


have many, many people who do believe in this bill and, frankly,


in five to ten years time we will look back on this in the future of


our party and across all the parties, we will look at this and


think what was the big deal. Why didn't we just get on with it?


There is a fellow member of your party, fellow activist just shaking


her head in disbelief? I would like to pursue, if I may, the whole this


isn't a big deal. Because one of the things that concerns me is the


total lack of understanding of the meaning of marriage. This is not


just about equality, it is not even achieving equality, this is about


changing an institution that has to do with the creation and the caring


of children and that has not been mentioned hardly at. Have the


children and the actual purpose of marriage within our society, even


featured in this debate. If you are not gay this will not affect you.


Not so. However I would like to live in a country where my children


can be able to marry whoever they love gay or straight? Marry, we


need to understand what it is to marry. You can carry on arguing


outside. He is expected to do for more the image of retired majors


than anyone since that drunken old fool who lived in Fawlty Towers.


Major Tim Peake was in the army air corp, as of some date in the 2015s


his address will be elsewhere in the universe. He has been chosen


from thousands of hopefuls to live on the International Space Station.


The cost is some �16 million to the taxpayer, money well spent the


Prime Minister claimed today. Le After more than three years of


training with the European Space Agency's astronaut programme, this


former British Army Apache helicopter pilot has been selected


from 8,000 hopefuls for one of the six places to work on the


International Space Station for six month of orbiting the earth. The


selection process included academic testing, fitness assessments and


several interviews. The flight is expected take place in November


2015, when the Russian-made Soyuz rocket will be launched. During the


half year flight, he will happy out a comprehensive science programme


and take part in a European education outreach programme in the


build up to and during his mission. # This is ground control


# To major Tom. But the job of being a spaceman has


recently been redefined, today's announcement has come days after


the return to earth of the Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield. His


tweets and videos caught the imagination of a million followers


around the world, and the extraordinary images of the world


from the International Space Station. He spoke to us earlier.


Tim Peake is a great man. I have known him since he was selected. We


come from an aviation test background, we have a natural


kinship, we have sat and played guitar before together. I respect


him. There is a huge burden of responsibility on his shoulders. He


has a lot of work to get ready to go, you look at his background and


the type of guy he is. He will excel. Relatively little is known


about Tim Peake, but we understand he won't be taking his guitar to


space. And he's with us now. Are you taking any instruments at all?


I don't have to, the by star stays on board the station. What --


by star stays on board the station. What will we get for the �16


million? British industry and science to get involved in


microgravity research. As your clip highlighted we get the


inspirational factor for a new generation of engineers to be


inspired by space flight. What is the point? It is a fantastic space


laboratory over and above everything else. We are doing


cutting-edge scientific research. What is it? It is an environment


where you can study micrographty. Here on earth many perameters have


changed throughout the four billion of history, temperature, pressure,


gravity has remained constant, you change that perameter by going into


space strange things happen, we learn and develop new things.


sort of new things? Things like the body's immune system becomes


depleted and viruses become virulant, it is a great place to


look at vaccines, MSRA that kills more people than HIV that was taken


up there recently too. You are talking about things being done,


what will they do with you. What will you do? Personally there are


many human physiologyy experiments done. That is an area we are


particularly strong at which is space biomedicine, we are learning


more about the human body. It benefits the ageing population back


on earth and helps us with our future space exploration for the


longer durations. We send you up there to send someone else up


there? We sent us up there to learn more about ourselves and our


environment. For example in order to progress in space flight we need


to know how the body reacts in microgravity. What will you do?


Science predominantly. What science? Fluid physics, biological


science, medical research, as I have already pointed out. Some of


the impacts on the body in loss of bone density and osteoporosis. We


have an ageing population becoming an increasing burden on the economy,


the more we learn about that and the more we find ways of dealing


with those problems we can have real impact back on earth. Will it


be boring up there? Not at all. If ever you get bored you are in the


wrong job. You are just drifting around, aren't you? The work


schedule is pretty punishing. I had the privilege to communicate with


the space station over the last few years in my job, they work


extremely hard and the research goes on from dawn to dusk. They


seem to be up there nowadays playing guitar, it is not what many


people would recognise as a taxing job? What commander Chris Hadfield


has been doing is purely in his own time. What you don't get to hear


much about is during his increment they set the record for the maximum


amount of science done each week. What you saw was done on a Saturday


afternoon and Sunday. How important is the business of communication?


think you saw from the clip again, he's over a million Twitter


followers, he has had a huge impact globally. It has inspired everybody


to be enthused about our planet, about human space flight. That


effect is unquantifyable. They are just amused, rather than enthused?,


amused to see a bloke in space with a funny moustache singing David


Bowie covers? It is inspiring people. It is inspiring our young


generation to become excited about science, if we get people excited


about science that will, in time, give us a population that will


improve the economy. People will be coming into jobs in science and


engineering. That will have a huge benefit to our population. There is


a practical application in all of this? Most certainly. From the


science, from UK industry. We will have British industry involved in


developing things for the space station and for future space flight


as well. Supposing you managed to enthuse some young people to want


to do what you have done. You were one of 8,000 candidates? I was, yes.


What did you have the other 9,999 didn't have? A very good question,


unfortunately I can't answer it, I'm not privvy to the results.


do you think you night have had? Judging by the selection process


the main element was psychological profiling. When you are spending


significance months working with an international crew in the small


space, you have to be the right character and get on with people.


That was a large element of the selection process. I think that had


a large part to play in why I was selected. You may recall the


international hoo-ha a year ago when the world watched a strange


stand-off between China and the United States over the fate of a


blind dissident who had taken refuge on US soil in Beijing. It


was eventually diffused when the Government there allowed him a visa


to go to America, the dogs barked and the caravan moved on. Since


then by some less than transparent process China has acquired a new


leadership. Time to find out if the new boss looks any different to the


old boss. Chen Guangcheng spent four years in jail, and two under


house arrest, his crime, to use class action lawsuits to defend


farmers in China over land disputes and forced abortions. Last year he


escaped, sought refuge in the US embassy and was finally allowed to


leave for the USA. When I met him today I asked him to describe what


happened under house arrest? TRANSLATION: How shall I put it,


just to think about the combinations of beating, smashing


and robberies, the old fascists are back, and even worse than the


fascists, hooligans to boot. That is a big thing to say. Are you


telling me that the Chinese Communist Party is fascist or worse


than fascist? TRANSLATION: For me they are worse than fascists,


fascists rob you openly, the Chinese Communist Party rob you


openly and make attempts to cover it up. Those words couldn't be said


in public in China. But the new man at the helm, Liu Xianping,


installed last December, has promised reform. Above all to


address the blatant abuses of the law by local officials that Chen


was up against. The west has, if not great hopes of rapid reform, at


least hopes that she -- he will deliver on the greater rule of law.


TRANSLATION: It is a lie, people living in democratic countries know


that the Government represents the people. In China it is completely


different. In China Government is just a tool stolen from and used to


enslave the people. In Chinese law the party committee cannot be taken


to court. The party committee controls public pros and the courts.


It controls all media through the propaganda department. And it has


kidnapped the whole country. Beneath the surface China is racked


with protests about land grabbed, wages unpaid and poor conditions in


factories. Their seething discontent on the Chinese internet,


if you know how to read the euphamisms and understand the code.


Do these forces have any real chance of displacing the Communist


Party and its regime? TRANSLATION: I think it is happening now but in


a developing period from 57,000 mass protests in 2005 to over


220,000 now. We can see the people are wakening up their sense of


their own rights is growing fast. Of course because of the supression


from the Communist Party it will take some time for people to


overcome the fear. But I believe change in China is imminent. It is


the course of history, nothing will stop it. But that's not how things


look to western politicians. They have to do deals with the Chinese


membership that looks and sound permanent. Chen says there should


be an end to closed talks about human rights. TRANSLATION: For me


the west has not been trading ordealing with China but the


Chinese Communist Party. To some extent the west is robbing the


Chinese people, alongside Chinese Communist Party if they do not care


about human rights. But they are concerned only about trade. To its


friends China is seen as making real but hesitant steps towards


democracy, constantly criticised and sometimes hard done by. For one


of the most high-profile victims to accuse them of fascism and the west


of collusion ups the ante. If you have ever had to bullshit your way


through a conversation about modern literature you will be looking at


the titles of the Great American Novel. There is no shortage, Moby


Dick, The Great Gatsby and On The Road and Neverland. A name you hear


less frequency from any of those, a writer called James Salter. The


former Korean War pilot takes a long time to produce a book. He has


just produced his first novel in 30 years at the age of 87. A new


Salter is worth the wait to many. "about 1,000-feet back I pull the


trigger, tracers fall behind him. I cut him off, closing, a few hits in


the right-wing, tremendous joy, at closer range a solid burst in the


fuselage, the flashes are intense, brilliant, something shattering. He


abruptly rolls over and I follow, as if they were leaping from a


wall." Having been to war fies is certain classical definition of


manhood. To have seen war is sometimes a pillar of manhood. I


felt that at the time. I suppose I could look at myself and say, yeah,


well you did that. That's all right. James Salter was an American


fighter ace in the Korean War. In his subsequent career as a writer


he has garn earned enviable views. His masculine concerns about combat


and the sexual life have brought comparisons with Hemmingway. "how


he would behave in action was weighing on his mind that morning,


as they stood looking at the mysterious foreign sea and at the


sky that was already becoming brighter. Courage and fear, and how


you would act under fire, were not among the things you talked about.


You hoped when the time came that you would be able to do as


expected." Salter publishes a new full-length novel this week. His


first for more than 30 years. Why have you kept us waiting on tenter


hooks for so long for another book? I didn't realise you were waiting,


of course! But well I was writing stories. I have been a slow writer


in any case, things have been slow to appear. It is not immemmor yum


or any such thing, but I began to feel an urgency. It was ten years


ago that I felt this urgency so it wasn't that urgent. Salter is


interested in men and women, family life, careers, there is plenty of


sex and drink in his fiction. Fans of Mad Men will enjoy it. When sex


is prohibited, I mean it was inachievable, actually, in a


certain way. Not completely obviously but it was regarded in


the some what different way. you referring to the times when


premarital sex didn't happen? That's certainly one of the things.


I would say that it's quite the ordinary now to live with somebody


for a bit before you get married if you get married. That would be a


very irregular Bohemian and outcast situation some years ago, a couple


of generations ago. What do you think it says about the British


that a literary magazine here has something called the bad sex award!


Have you heard of it? I have heard of it. I'm not saying for a minute


you would qal foi for that, James, I wonder -- qualify for that, James,


I wonder what it says about our culture that we giggle about


writing about sex in novels? Sor om of us do? I don't want -- or some


of us do? I don't want to say you are English, I don't know, I don't


think there would be such a thuing in France.


Managers in the morning there was England, green and unknown beneath


the broken clouds. They drove in from Heathrow in a cab, making a


sound like a sewing machine, with the driver offering occasional


comments in a language difficult to understand. Bowman was struck by


the proud outdated character of the city. Its irregularity and singular


names. The most important thing, its separation from the continent


was not yet known to him." After Salter traded in his flyers'


fatigues for the patched elbows of the author's jacket, he got into


screen writing for a time. His local colour of London comes from


trips to the capital with Robert Redford among others. We hung


around together. Our car broke down going to Heathrow in the tunnel one


time. We had to get out, he was a star then, a big star, with our


suitcases and leg it through the tunnel and leg it through the road


and one thing or another to catch the plane. Here is how this 87-


year-old gets upstairs. James Salter recently took the joy stick


of an F-16 fighter. The guest of the pilot and of the US air force,


which has made his novels required reading for its officers. You know


it comes right back to you, I'm not talking about some phenomenal


expertise or anything. It is like swimming again. Beneath a little


nerve vows naturally, having seen me, he says OK 4g, so I pulled it


up, I'm pulling up, he says hold that up, then I heard him say a


wonderful thing as we were going over the top he said "awesome,


awesome", then we did other stuff. That was my final flight. Is it the


best feeling, is it better than sex James? Come on! You can't be


serious. I have only done one of those two! Well you are ahead of


the game. Before the newspapers for tomorrow,


while we have been on air we have received footage of a tornado that


has devastated parts of Oklahoma. Whole neighbourhoods appear to have


been hit and there are reports that the tornado destroyed an Elementary


School. We don't currently have details of any casualties.


According to the Oklahoma police captain broken power lines and open


gas lines pose a continuing risk in the aftermath of the tornado.


Tomorrow morning's front pages that has happened much to late for any


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 70 seconds


One or two heavy showers in the short-term. Grey in places damp


start to Tuesday morning, through England and Wales. The story is one


of brightening skies, and whilst some southern areas will turn


warmer than we saw during Monday afternoon, further north


temperatures will be four or five degrees down. We saw 22 Celsius in


in part of central Scotland. Tuesday a few showers to the North


West. Northern Ireland and much of Scotland stays dry. The best of


which will be southern areas. Some sunny spells in northern England.


Across the Pennines, peak district, we will see sharper showers develop


during the second half of the day. Mostly staying dry, cool down the


eastern coasts, continuing through eastern Anglia and the far south-


west. At the grease in some other areas, there will be longer spells


of sunshine developing for the afternoon. Always feeling cooler


around northern and western coasts because of the strengthening North


West breeze. That North West breeze will bring changes through Tuesday


and into Wednesday. As I said temperatures already dropping by


Tuesday, by Wednesday dropping further. Increasing risks of


showers. We could see temperatures around 17 in the likes of Cardiff


and Birmingham for the mid-week. Make the most of it in the sunnier


Half of Tory MPs vote to reject gay marriage. We meet the next British astronaut. The blind man who fled China and the writer James Salter returns after 30 years.

Download Subtitles