10/09/2013 Newsnight


Jeremy Paxman is in Beirut as the US drive to war in Syria gets more complex. Why do most of us claim to be working class? And who would take a one-way ticket to Mars?

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 10/09/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Beirut, the question of what to do about Syria is being played out


across the world in Washington, in Moscow, in Paris, in Damascus, but


if President Obama does send bombs or missiles they will strike 100


miles or so across the border over there. This country is already


offering refuge to three-quarters of a million Syrians and in a


population the size of Lebanon that is like Britain sheltering nearly


11 million strangers. Far more than the entire population of London. In


Washington President Obama's plan to get strikes authorised by


Congress has stalled. Everybody seems to have been left behind by


the pace of diplomacy. Also on the show tonight. Come on move your


blooming arse. It is a long way show tonight. Come on move your


from Pygmalian, 60% of us claim to be working-class, can it be true?


Life on Mars, maybe in a decade, 200,000 people have signed up for a


one-way ticket. Who would want to? They talked in Washington, they


talked in Moscow, they talked at the UN and doubtless they talked in


many other places. The plain fact is that the military strike which


Obama threatened last week hasn't happened. What his officials played


down is a bit of vague conjecture by the American Secretary of State


the Russians have turned into a peace plan, although thus far it


has no status at the United Nations. It has, however, kiboshed President


Obama's attempt to get congressional endorsement. If the


ball is in anyone's court now it is in President Assad's. First, let's


go to Washington. The President came to the hill this


morning, his policy convoy heading one way, lobbying the Senate and


preparing tonight's TV address, while diplomacy was taking another.


To put Syria's chemical Arsenal under inter-- arsenal under


international control. That further undermines support here for a


military strike. I don't believe America's long-term credibility is


at stake here, President Obama's credibility is. I don't want to see


that shaken further if he presses a vote, which at this point in time,


certainly in the House, I don't believe he can succeed with. And


the Senate, could he even get it through the Senate given the latest


developments? I think it would be tough. Part of the problem is


President Obama has not been making the case as he should have for the


last two, two-and-a-half years of why Syria the events in Syria pose


a national security threat to America. He headed into a meeting


with Democratic senators, knowing that even those who at first


supported calls for strikes were hard at work drafting a new motion


that would tie such action to future Syrian violation or a new UN


resolution on their chemical weapons. Bob Casey was among those


developing the new Senate bill. I have supported the authorisation


for use of force, I think it is in the national security interests of


the United States. I think we should move forward with it. But


this does allow us to take away a threat if they are serious about


meeting all of the details of removing the chemical weapons,


having them secured and doing it in a very tight time frame. This is


not, this should be a question literally of days, not even a


question of weeks. In the short- term, the creation of that new


Senate resolution will slow everything down here. But the


President insists that he would still like a congressional vote


backing force in case diplomacy falters. I don't think that we


would have gotten to this point unless we had maintained a credible


possibility of a military strike, and I don't think now is the time


for us to let up on that. I want to and I don't think now is the time


make sure that norm, against use of chemical weapons is maintained.


make sure that norm, against use of That is in the national security


interest. If we can do that without a military strike that is


overwhelmingly my preference. That initiative will also tie things to


progress towards a new Security Council resolution in New York.


France tried to get that moving today. But evidence soon emerged of


France tried to get that moving differences of approach with Russia.


Russia has already quibbled with the wording of the French draft


resolution, and talks broke up this evening without agreement.


President Putin, meanwhile, has hinted that the option of US force


must be taken off the table. It will take time to resolve those


diplomatic differences during which the US military option will have


been stalled and people will be asking whether President Obama has


been sold a pup. The fact of the matter is public in opinion in


America is strongly against military action. I think it is very


dangerous for an American President military action. I think it is very


to engage in military action, you have to be committed to success.


How can you remain committed to suck iss if you don't have the


backing of the American public. Again we're in a very bad situation,


I think made worse by this President's lack of action to date


I think made worse by this on Syria. But, we have got an


opening here. He has talked about military use, that threat obviously


has, from my standpoint, resulted in this lifeline being tossed.


There is diplomatic opening and we should take advantage of that


diplomatic opening and push it and prb it hard. The President --And


push it hard. The President left the Senate with supporters left


uncertain about timings, wording and much else. Our schedule is


being driven by developments. Developments that are taking place


not some Developments that are taking place


is why I took it off the counter last night to have a vote tomorrow


morning. As I said last night, I will tell everybody again. It is


important we do this well, not quickly. The diplomatic track may


have got the President off the hook over the use of force in Syria, but


if it fails it may also leave him with nothing, having looked to


Congress for support but failed to get it. Look -- looking at it from


a long way away, is a deal on these terms even remotely possible? That


is a question they would love to have an answer to in the White


House as President Obama prepares his prime time address to America


later this evening. It was thought that it would be that sort of "my


fellow Americans I'm taking force because..." type of address, but


now it will have to accommodate all of the uncertainties raised by this


diplomatic opening. We know that when the French move their draft


resolution earlier today in New York it contains some terms that


were extremely objectionable to the Russians and the Syrians. It talked


about the Syrian Government taking responsibility for the attacks of


the 21st of August. It talked about them destroying their chemical


weapons, as well as placing them under supervision, and it talked


about possible war crimes proceedings for those responsible


for the 21st of August attacks. Now great elements of that will be


unacceptable. The Russians have said that straight away. The real


question is what they end up with at the end of that. John Kerry is


going to Geneva on Thursday to have concrete discussions with Sergey


Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, about whether


Lavrov, the Russian Foreign find a way forward. I think the


thing they are clinging to here is the understanding and hope that


Russian anxiety that chemical weapons could go adrift and end up


with militant Jihadist groupss, if the Assad regime falls, is one of


the things that underpins their position and it is therefore a


sincerely held position. Let's speak now to two Syrians who live


in Beirut. We have a writer and political analyst who supports the


Syrian army and a student here who wants to see imdeposed. Do you


think are we -- him deposed. Do you think we are in any better position


tonight that people are talking rather than expecting a missile


strike, are we in a better position? I think we are advancing


now. The current decision of the Syrian Government to put its


chemical arsenal under the international control is sending a


very clear message to the international community that it is


willing to negotiate and it is willing to compromise, this is the


first point, the second is it is not willing to use this arsenal


against its own people as the international community claims. But


it does mean the initiative now lies with Assad? It deficitly does.


The concession will most probably be made by the regime because the


recent weeks have exposed their inability to deal with an


international initiative as strong as the one that has come in the


last weeks, although it hasn't reached anywhere really. We were


talking earlier and you sounded to me like a man in some despair about


the state of his country, are you? I am, definitely, I am deeply


concerned. It has changed the lives of many Syrians, many of which I


know forever. Is peace any more near tonight than it was a week


ago? It definitely isn't.Isn't? And if this initiative goes through,


I believe that things will become as static as they were last June or


July and whereby most of the territories have been dealt with by


the regime and the opposition and it is more static and takes time.


That is now how it feels to you? I think the Syrian crisis is more


complicated on this. It depends on the will of the Americans to push


further their allies who are fighting on their proxys in the


Syrian territories. Any compromise other deal should put both sides on


the table, but the Syrian regime and the opposition, and this needs


the will of the Americans and the Russians both sides. It took this


question of chemical weapons to get the international community


motivated, this is a Civil War that has gone on in a horrible fashion


and killed well over 100,000 people before there was any kind of


energetic intervention by the west. If the chemical weapons is removed


some how from the equation, where is Syria then? As I told you siria


will be exactly where it was a day before August 21st whereby the


regime has the upper hands when it comes to strategic weapons with


artillery and fighter jets and scud missiles which have been targeting


densely populated areas, even months before chemical weapons were


used. You will understand why it is frankly incomprehensible to many


people that bringing more weapons into a crisis, killing more people


is actually going to make peace any more likely? I would like to point


out that firstly the Syrian crisis has been in the recent weeks been


mystified a lot, and it has been surrounded by this aura of mystery


that we do not need to intervene because we might get inadvertantly


get swapped into this whole mess and it is not really that messy. Of


course it is but there is still people responsible for war crimes,


for systematic killing of civilians for strategic or morale-related


means. And I think to actually negotiate would be granting the


regime a legitimacy that should by now they should be striped of that


legitimacy. I don't believe the issue of the chemical weapons has


anything to do with the internal conflict, this weapon is for


deterrent purposes. The Americans are now trying to get this


deterrent from the Syrians just like they did with Iraq and Libya


before and then they invaded it. So this issue might be an opportunity


for the Americans to invade in the future, not now. Because the


Americans are not willing now to go into Syria and the Congress


according to the recent polls and the recent reports will vote for no


to go into Syria. Although that is the recent reports will vote for no


kind of irrelevant at present until we know how the diplomatics out? I


believe thatest me of the Congressmen now they are asking


Barack Obama what is the excuse to go to Syria, it is the chemical


weapons. If it is the chemical weapons if the Syrian regime is


saying OK we will put the arsenal into the UN, what context do you


have to go to Syria and strategic gain will have have to strike Syria


and military bases. If you bombed gain will have have to strike Syria


it, will you pave the way for the gain will have have to strike Syria


extremists to enter into Damascus, that is the question for Barack


Obama. We will talk about that tonight. Can I rebuttal?I have to


move on. The Syrian civil war has lasted the best part of three years.


For most of the time the rest of lasted the best part of three years.


the world looked the other way and left places like Lebanon to cope


with the consequences. It was the use of chemical weapons which


crossed the called red line, which galvanised much of the rest of the


planet. Russia's scheme to put the singularly reviled weapons beyond


use and under international control would change everything. Question


though, can it be done reliably. One for our science editor, Susan


Watts. The images of victims of the One for our science editor, Susan


August 21st attack in Damascus are amongst the most haunting the world


August 21st attack in Damascus are is ever likely to see. Each side of


the civil war in Syria blames the other. Samples gathered by the


inspection team that visited the site are being subjected to


forensic examination. Under the oversight of the organisation for


the prohibition of chemical weapons, here in the Hague. The UN report on


what their team found could come here in the Hague. The UN report on


before the end of the week. In the meantime the proposal that Syria


place its chemical weapons under international control may fall to


this same inspection body. Already operating under intense pressure.


The proposal raises numerous questions, not least about the


practical risks of any such process. And who would carry out this task


of finding, securing and dismantling any chemical weapons,


in a country where a civil war still rages. Is it a wild card or a


game-changer, so the question is how many countries would be


prepared to send substantial numbers of personnel, probably


mostly military, on the understanding that they would in


turn be guarded effectively by the UN in an unpredictable and violent


environment. That is hard to judge. Maybe there will be a kind of crowd


contagion effect when more countries put their hands up to to


it. Geneva is where the world first countries put their hands up to to


tried to put serious limits on the countries put their hands up to to


use of chemical weapons, with the Geneva protocol of 1925, following


use of chemical weapons, with the the use of chemical agents such as


mustard gas in the First World War. The chemical weapons convention of


1993 went further. Banning their production too, Syria is not a


signatory, but tonight said it may now be prepared to sign up. One


scientist here in Geneva with 30 years experience of international


controls on chemical weapons told us they thinks the safest way to


dismantle Syria's weapons is by putting people physically on the


ground. But given it is such early days in this latest round of


diplomacy and it could yet fail, doing it militarily is still


possible. Though messy, because of the risk of spreading chemicals


down wind. In bunkers it is probably is the use of precision


munition niings and the creation of high temp -- munitions and the


creation of high temperatures within the bunkers. Whether you can


achieve that, you shoot the hole into the structure and fire in with


a second weapon and that create a fireball inside and you hope that


the temperature is high enough to incinerate everything inside. If it


is on the outside I honestly have doubt if you can do it in a safe


way. He told us there may be clues buried in the inspectors' report


about who was responsible for the recent attacks on civilians. From


what he has seen published so far has him puzzled? The question about


who fired is really the amount, it is that whole thing on the outside


was all filled up with agent. Calculation on that it could be up


to 50 loters of agent. To make 50 litres of chemical agent is not


done. That is semi-industrial process. It looks like a system has


been adapted to fire it. It doesn't look like the sort of thing I would


expect in the chemical weapons stockpile of an army. Does it leave


you coming down on one side or the other? I'm on the fence. Because we


are in a situation where even parts other? I'm on the fence. Because we


of the opposition will be able to get their hands on agent. If they


know where it is. Whilst diplomatic of for thes to avoid military


action proceed, the details from the inspectors' samples are crucial.


In managing stockpiles and holding to account those responsible for


attacks. Once the samples from Syria arrive with the organisation


for the prohibition of chemical weapons here in the Hague, they are


split up and sent to several sent to civil independent laboratories


to identify the finger print of any chemicals they might obtain. Is the


plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons for the future realistic?


It is practical if the world wants it to work. But it is dangerous and


difficult. You could get people out fairly fast, if the mandate and


political will were found. But the actual destruction of the chemicals


wouldn't be impossible but it would take month, I suspect. That's if


you could agree that you had got them all. That might be disputes


over the validity of any declaration, which could bog the


whole thing down. If Syria really is prepared, as it has said tonight,


to tell the world where its chemical weapons are and stop


making them, the experts we have spoken to says the chance to put


them beyond use is an opportunity. But for it to work dialogue on all


sides must be sincere. Just a short time ago we spoke to


the former weapons inspector Hans Blix who hold Newsnight that any


reliable inspection by weapons inspectors under these


circumstances in Syria would be more or less impossible. We are


ajoined by a political analyst. First off, it has now become a


diplomatic rather than an imminent military threat, that, how is that


playing here? It plays he very well military threat, that, how is that


within the Syrian regime. We know that the Syrian regime always


relies on the element of time. We have seen that with the


assassinations and along the his tro, four decades of the regime.


Whenever -- history of the regime in the long history four decades of


the regime. Whenever they can move forward with that agenda it works


well for them. Shifting it from a military operation to a diplomatic


operation, or diplomatic solution, if you want, works perfectly for


the regime. Does it shift, as it were, the balance of power? It


gives them more time, you see I always picture the Syrian regime as


playing poker. He they always have these you know when you play poker


you have different cards to play with and you always bluff. If you


put you know the different cards that they hold with the bluffing it


gives you a clear idea of what the that they hold with the bluffing it


regime has always been doing and what it is doing now. It hasn't


brought an end to the war any nearer? No and unfortunately it


won't. What effect is the war having on the region as a whole,


this is a horrible thing to see, we are 2,000 miles away and it looks


horrible from are 2,000 miles away and it looks


what effect is it having? It has been spilling over, he specially to


Lebanon on different fronts -- especially to Lebanon on the


different fronts, especially with the refugees. Lebanon is a small


country with very limited resources, it has also blocked our only land


you know border with Syria. Because we have closed it on the Israely


side, we are land looked with what is happening. It has spilled over


in terms of tension between the pro-Syrian camp and the anti-Syrian


camp on the political level, with Hezbollah's involvement in Syria.


camp on the political level, with Lebanon has been affected with the


latest bombing in Sunni suburbs and Shia suburbs. It has been adding up


to the increased tension in the country. Looking broader than


Lebanon in the area as a whole, you have all these other countries,


whether they be Iraq, Jordan or further afield, what effect is it


having there? If you look at it on an international level, it is more


of a, we are back to the Cold War. Russia supporting one side against


the Americans on the other side. Then if you take it to the regional


level it is Iran, Syria, part of the Iraqi regime, with Hezbollah on


one side, with the gulf states and the pro-US allies on the other. So


the rift between the pro-US camp and the Iranian camp it is widening


and it is creating tension along and the Iranian camp it is widening


sectarian lines in all the neighbouring countries. Does it


feel more dangerous now? It is dangerous but it is still in a


place where we are, we could manage the crisis. It not yet totally out


of control. If the international community assumes its


responsibility in dealing with the regime proper low in Syria and


really trying to push whether a diplomatic resolution or military


intervention. We know after a military intervention they were


supposed to go to the Geneva II convention with all these elements


on the table they might reach a diplomatic solution, a political


solution, as we call it. Still the international commune toe has to


push more towards that direction. We're at the 1 10,000 deaths


besides the detained and the tortured and the misk. So it is


really growing in numbers. Thank you.


I will be reporting later this week from some And the missing. So it is


really growing. I will be reporting later this week from Lebanon. We


can talk to Hans Blix from Sweden, the former weapons inspector. Are


you optimistic this Russia plan can work, is it possible to put the


weapons beyond use? I think it is a very valuable opening that has


taken place. Some things are doable very valuable opening that has


and easier, but others are very difficult. If the Syrian Government


is ready to make a commitment, not difficult. If the Syrian Government


to use the chemical weapons, whether in the form of the


ratificaton of convention or some other way, this can be done


relatively fast. If the Government is also ready to give a declaration


of its stocks and where it is, what qant toes and where it is, that


could also -- quantities and where it is, that could also be done fast.


When it comes to knowing whether it is a declaration or not that is a


harder thing. We saw that in Iraq and our work and the inspection


pages. Even worse, of course, is more difficulty to inspect whether


the declarations are right. You can't go into every basement or


store in the big countries is not easy. We did it in a country that


was not at war. The inspectors didn't have a risk to be shot at,


but in Syria with a raging war all around this sounds very, very hard.


Watching the destruction I think is harder still. Never the less, I


think it is a valuable opening. What is unsatisfactory about this


solution, as well as the solution of the punitive strike is that it


is limited. It is like telling the parties that OK, you have to do


away with this, you will be punished for it and there after you


can go back to your war. I think what the Syrians need with00,000


dead and the whole world -- 100,000 dead and the whole world watching


is a ceasefire and end to hostilities and conference. I see


this as an opening to a dialogue, to show the Security Council is not


necessarily paralysed and there are things to talk about. Do you think


this has any chance of technically working? The first part, as I said,


they could do so, but the second part of inspection and being sure


that frg has been declared, no I don't see that as working in the --


everything has been declared, I don't see that working in a raging


war. Thank you very much. Has Russia pulled off a remarkable fete


of world diplomacy, well Russian -- feat of world diplomacy, well


Russia thinks it has. We spoke to to our guest. He asked what did he


imagine the timeline to be? It will depend on a number of things, it


will depnd on the United Nations how quickly how soon they are ready


to come to Syria. It will depend on which sites they want to visit


first. It will probably depend also on the situation on the ground. As


you know the war is still raging in Syria. But to my mind, and


basically that's what we think in Moscow, the most important thing to


have the general agreement of all sides for this solution. Two days


ago, one day ago we were on the brink of a big regional war. The


stake were extremely high. Today we have a working proposal by the


Russian Foreign Ministry which seems to have been accepted by


President Obama, by David Cameron, by the European Union, by Ban Ki-


Moon the General Secretary of the United Nations and by Damascus, we


have to strengthen this general agreement. We cannot allow to those


who would like to strike Syria at any cost. To come back to this


military plan. Let me take you back 24 hours, of this plan inspired by


the words of John Kerry yesterday? As far as we can judge and as far


as we can trust what President Obama said. He discussed this


possible option with President Putin during their short meeting at


the G20. As far as I understand this was aired even before John


Kerry mentioned this possibility. As for John Kerry's remark, I have


to say it was a very unconvincing remark, I would say. Because he


said that if Assad agrees to bring his chemical arsenals under


international control, America would consider the possibility of


not striking. Then he said of course it will never happen,


because we don't trust Assad and he will never do this. One hour later


the state department basically denied what Kerry said, they said


it was a receiptorle kal sentence. Kerry was -- rhetorical sentence.


Kerry was thinking allowed the possible scenarios about which the


American side is sceptical. Then Obama's assistant on national


security said it will never happen, don't think it is possible, it is


out of the question. Americans first aired this idea and then


started to play back. They took Obama's personal appearence own ABC


to hear that the American side will a gree -- agree. I will be pointing


out that to John Kerry. It is force may be used if Syria doesn't


complay with chemical weapons, do you accept that? I don't think


Syria will not comply. I think it is absolutely in the interests of


the Syrian people, of the Syrian Government. Of President Assad to


bring those weapons under international control. If they


don't, would it agree to a resolution? I wouldn't go that far,


I wouldn't see any signs that would preclude them from doing this. I


don't see an interest from the Syrian Government to do this. The


French Government wants to sound very resolved and decisive and so


on and so on. Actually playing a very minor role in the whole story.


Paris shows himself a big worrying. It is up to them. But I think that


all those assertions do not look credible for me. Because the Syrian


Government wants to prevent it work, I don't think they will not apply.


Let's talk about the practicalities, decommissioning on the ground,


would Russian troops be prepared to go into help the process? It will


be an international effort, a United Nations effort. I don't


think that national troops will be brought to Syria, national


contingents will be brought to Syria. It will be up to the United


contingents will be brought to Nations and it will be the United


Nations responsibility and United Nations operation under the


auspices of the Security Council and on the basis of the Security


Council resolution. But would that include Russian troops, would you


be happy to see that? It is not discussed in Russia at this point.


So I am really, I don't think I can answer your question because there


were no statements made by neither President Putin nor Mr Lavrov, I


think we are still not at the stage where this is being considered.


We're all middle-class now, the then deputy PM Lord Prescott


declared nearly two decades ago, before he was Lord. Tonight it


would appear we are not. The latest British Association attitudes


survey, a statistics-lovers manual, it shows that 60% of people think


of themselves as working-class. Should your accent define your


class or what you do. Why is working-class authentic and middle-


class a bit lame. For all the talk of revolution in


the 1960s, these North London teenagers knew their place in the


social order. Do you think England is still a class-conscious country


or as it is supposed to be working towards a classless society. I


think England is still very definite low class conscious,


speaking to myself I'm always thinking about the next rung up the


ladder. In the 80s when the first British attitudes survey was done,


class was still a national obsession. The BBC brought three


class was still a national 17-year-olds together. One a


factory worker, one from public school, one from Grammar School. Do


you think there is a language barrier between any of you when it


comes down to that. Well I swear a lot more. Compared with 30 years


ago far fewer people have manual jobs, many more people go to


college or university and generally people have more money. So you


might expect that in these surveys rather more people would be


decribing themselves as middle- class. But it is not the case. In


the first-ever report, 60% of people described themselves as


working-class. 34% middle-class. Last year those proportions were


almost exactly the same. It might well be the case that being seen as


middle-class is seen as a bit of an elitist label, that might well put


people off using it. It is also the case that we know from other


research that people do feel very strongly attached to the class they


feel they were born in. It might be they feel really strongly they are


working-class even though the job they have now got is a very


objective low middle-class one. Even in 19 -- objectively middle-


class one. Even in the 1980s class used to drive politics. That is not


clear now. Looking at people's jobs, rather than how they would class


themselves, shows how political affiliations have changed. In 1983


professionals voted Conservative, not Labour, 30 years later the


revrs. As for the traditional working-class voter, in 1983 more


than half said they voted Labour, last year that fell to 41%. So what


than half said they voted Labour, do modern teenagers think, we came


back to the same North London college, the BBC visited in 1964,


very different now, to ask the same question? Do you think England is a


class-conscious society or working towards being classless? I do


believe people aren't classed within society, within education


and outside as well. Everything to do with how people live, how they


look and speak their attitude towards everything in general. They


all agreed, and then talked about the upper-class. If you are upper-


class you would have that confidence as well that your


parents have given you. That you are better than other people.


Nowadays everybody has a degree, it is about who you know and how far


you can get with the people you know and the information you have.


Which is why while the old class war is over, social mobility is


still around. I'm joined by Terry Christian, best known for


presenting The Word in the 1990s. Thank you for joining us. How would


you describe yourself? I come from a very solidly working-class


background, you know, free school dinners, one of six kids, dad a


labourer and mum a school dinner lady, I have worked in the media


since I was 20, 30 years. It is many ways what has defined me. One


of the reasons nowadays that so many people that aren't working-


class are saying that they are working-class is because a lot of


those middle-class institutions seem slightly tainted nowadays. It


is like so we have this romantised version of an idea of working-


classes. Del Boy Trotter looks like St Francis of Assisi compared to


all the bankers. You look at the Bullingdon Club and there is that


mistrust of politicians, there is the expenses scandals and everyone


likes to feel they have a journey in their life. It is more


impressive to say I'm a doctor and my dad was a hospital porter than


it is to say I'm a brain surgeon and my dad was a brain surgeon. But


is there anything that would have pushed you to call yourself middle-


class in terms of your change now as an adult to how you grew up, or


do you stick to how you were brought up? You still come up


against a lot of subconscious prejudice in people. I work in the


media, which is a very demo graphically 90% middle-class, a


very high proportion of kids that go to private a everything. So


often you are battling against that. There does seem to be a slight


jealousy of your journey from them. It is offering the most innocuous


comment you make means you have a chip on your shoulder. Everyone was


discussing going skiing, somebody said to me do you ski and I said we


couldn't afford it when I was a kid and they said "no need to be so


chippy". It is strange. What about the numbers we are dealing with


today, 60% of people asked say they are working-class. Does that


surprise you, can it be true? Possibly in that there is this


surprise you, can it be true? squeezed middle, a lot of people in


the white collar jobs haven't the security they once had, aren't


getting the money they once had. Also they look towards that idea of


that solidarity. It is like the kind of juxtaposition between this


kind of almost imagined honest noblity of theing classes and the


of a ris of bankers and business people now -- of a ris of bankers


and business people now -- avarice of bankers and business people. If


you ask people they are not shy about saying how well they have


done in America, and not as modest as the British are and clinging to


that? In Britain you are admired for tugging your forelook a bit,


and people saying "he's so humble", if you're a foopbl footballer like


Paul Scholes, saying he's humble, I think he's fantastic football and


he should be allowed to brag and be big headed. There is all those


strange inconsistencies in us as British. We are so class-ridden in


any way. Would you feel betrayed or let down if your kids described


themselves as middle-class? No, not at all. What makes me laugh is


people want to sequester what you have got, you have kids from


privileged backgrounds who I have worked with over the years who


pretend to be smart working-class, and you think that is all I have


got, I have the one thing money can't buy, poverty claim Thank you


very much indeed. It is the kind of present you would


like to buy for someone else, the It is the kind of present you would


four most annoying people in your office, the one-way ticket to Mars


can only be bought for yourself. Despite that 200,000 people have


can only be bought for yourself. applied to be part of a £4 billion


project. It is reality TV meets the new frontier, with no ending


insight. The plan -- in sight. The creator says human settlement will


aid our understanding of the Solar System if we can find the right


people. It is like being snowed in a cabin, if it is your best friends


it is fun for a couple of days. After a month you will be annoyed


with each other. We are looking for the people that no matter how long


they are snowed in together in cabin they will not get annoyed


with each other, that will be the most difficult part of the solution


selection. Who are the right people If the next great step in humanity


is this and I want to be part of it. Jo I would like to have first hand


experience of planet Mars to research the conditions, learn new


aspects of the planet. I want to be an inspiration of people on earth.


I would like a more civilised world for mankind. Mars has been my dream,


but I know I have the skills necessary to make the mission a


success. Just a few of the volunteers, we didn't have room for


200,000. Our guest has worked with NASA and the Johnson Space Centre,


he's the director for the Centre of Space Medicine, and the author of


Extremes, a look at what Mars is regarded now. Let's look at the


time frame, this is projected for 2023? It is enormously ambitious.


That is understating it. If you were an international space agency,


if NASA spent ten-times what it spends now and said we are going to


go before this decade has elapsed - - you might think maybe. But this


is a $6 billion operation operated out of a small office at the moment.


It is ambitious to say the least. Do you understand why people have


applied? It is very difficult to know actually. And you look through


those, when I look and browse through those videos I expected to


see slightly cookie, odd people. But you heard some of them. Some of


them are rational about why they want to go.M So of them sing?. I


would send the singing girl one, she is my favourite. It is


interesting isn't it, even though space stillled holds a place in the


affections of people. And a generation who most people are too


young to remember Apollo. You make it sound very aspirational, bluntly


those people, the ones to be taken seriously are saying I will leave


my friend and family and go and die on another planet. That is what it


is coming down to? Yeah, and it is hard to understand that. I don't


know whether it is just because that is part of the human condition


that we want to explore, that you have to find unknown destinations.


I think it is so hard to d that now and find genuinely unexplored


destinations. The other thing I find interesting, despite the fact


we have all of this remote presence on Mars, despite the fact we are


seeing beautiful pictures from countless probes orbiting around


the surface people still want to go. In you have writ on the subject,


Galileo was laughed at and Magellin ignored. All the great explorers


and discoffers have been -- discoverers have been laughed at.


Until the hast century life and exploration were risky, 500 years


ago almost exactly Magellen circumnavigate the globe, he


doesn't survive, only 18 of 500 crew members return. So to them I


guess circumnavigating the globe must have felt like a mission to


Mars. How long do you think you must have felt like a mission to


could survive on Mars? I don't know, I don't know about the Mars 1


expedition. The interesting thing about Mars is it is much closer to


being within our grsp than it has been for some -- grasp for some


being within our grsp than it has considerable time. There was talk


about going there from the earliest days of space flight. There is a


sense some how it is closer than it was. I don't know how you would


fare, the main thing about is if you want to go to Mars the main


thing is not worrying about whether you will survive the experience or


come back. Thank you very much indeed.


Now the papers. That's all for tonight, but before


we go a small service to our viewers, here is your chance to


avoid a 13 million victim YouTube pandemic, spawned by Ilvis, think


of it as old McDonald for the YouTube generation.


# What does the fox say # Ding ding


# What does the fox say Mx wapowwapowpow


# What the fox say # Hattithatco


Jeremy Paxman is in Beirut as the US drive to war in Syria gets more complex. Why do most of us claim to be working class? And who would take a one-way ticket to Mars?

Download Subtitles