15/10/2013 Newsnight


News stories with Jeremy Paxman. Including 'Plebgate', the editor of the New York Times, the Iranian foreign minister, can China innovate and the Booker prize winner.

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A Home Secretary calling for disciplinary action against


policemen and a Chief Constable summoned to appear before MPs.


Suddenly a lot more is at stake in the so-called Plebgate incident than


one minister's frustration and bad manners. What happened at the gates


of Downing Street cost a man his job. Should policemen be considering


their positions too? The panel should determine whether the three


officers gave a false account of the meeting in a deliberate attempt to


support their Metropolitan Police colleague and discredit Mr Mitchell.


After that we talk to the most powerful woman in world media, the


editor of the New York Times, on the future of newspapers - if there is


one. Right now I'm putting this on. In China, Emily learns why we'd


better disabuse ourselves of ideas that the nation can make things, but


can't invent them. Wow! That was you, doing that to the strawberry.


Using my brain. A sensational night at the Guildhall in London, and I


will have an interview with the youngest ever winner of the man


Booker prize, Eleanor Catton. We're all familiar with the


accusation from villains that they've been fitted up by the


police. It's something else to hear the Independent Police Complaints


Commission question the honesty and integrity of police officers. The


commission has decided that three of them should have faced disciplinary


proceedings for their misrepresentation of what Andrew


Mitchell said had occurred during his spat with police at the gates of


Downing Street. That confrontation cost him his cabinet post. David


Grossman reports. Two incidents of hundred and 20 miles apart. Incident


one was at the gates of Downing Street on the 19th of September when


Andrew Mitchell was exiting on his bicycle. Did he use the word pleb,


he denies it. At the moment it is disguise -- deciding whether to


prosecute. The other incident happened three weeks later in the


constituency of Sutton Coldfield. What Mr Mitchell said at the


interview was disputed. Today the Independent complaints commission


came down emphatically in his favour. In my opinion, the issue of


in mystery and integrity, not just naive or poor protect --


professional judgement. The background to the meeting is


important. His denial of using the word behind the gates of Downing


Street were not believed. He was not cutting three. As a last rolled the


dice he agreed with a meeting with local Police Federation


representatives at his constituency headquarters. The Police Federation


said it would be to clear the air and draw a line under the matter and


it would be a private meeting. It turned out be anything but.


Unbeknownst to Mr Mitchell, the Police Federation not only alerted


the media to what was arranged as a private meeting but then completely


misrepresented what Mr Mitchell had said, and called on him to resign.


The three officers in the meeting with Mr Mitchell were Inspector Ken


McHale of West Murcia police, Stuart Hinton of Warwickshire Police, and


Sergeant Chris Jones of West Midlands Police. Here is what they


said after the meeting. I think Mr Mitchell has no option but resign.


He is refusing to elaborate on what happened. I think his position is


untenable. We know from a secret recording that Mr Mitchell made that


he clearly explained what he had said in the original incident. I did


not say, I give you my word, that I did not call an officer a pleb. I


did say under my breath, but audibly, in frustration, that I


thought you lot were supposed to supporters. I did say that. And


there that I apologise. In other words, the Police Federation version


is at odds with the recording and the transcript. Mr Mitchell had not


refused to elaborate and had not refused to say what he said behind


closed gates. Despite that, all three representatives of the Police


Federation at the meeting said as much in media interviews after the


meeting. As police officers, they had a responsibility to present a


fair and accurate picture. The motive seems plain. They were


running a successful, high-profile anti-cuts campaign and the account


he provided did not fit their agenda. The Police Federation


represents all police officers up to and including chief inspectors will


stop they were and they are engaged in a bitter political battle with


the government over pub -- cuts to the budget and defence of pay and


conditions, which the government is were determined to reform. The


Police Federation therefore enthusiastically leapt on the


incident in furtherance of their campaign. The commission only


published a report today because there were so dissatisfied with the


internal investigation in what was said at the meeting. That


investigation concluded that the officers had done nothing wrong and


had no case to answer. Today West Murcia police stood by the


investigation and officers concerned. Despite the thorough


investigation under the supervision of the Commissioner is not


sufficient evidence to support the view that the officers concerned


should face misconduct proceedings. The Home Secretary says she is


concerned but powerless to act. I defend the operation of the police,


but I have to say that in my personal view, in view of the


statement made by the independent commission today, I think it is


wrong to them not to take disciplinary proceedings against the


officers. What was or not said in just 45 seconds in Downing Street


over a year ago has cost over ?140,000 to the police to


investigate, but something else has been squandered say the supporters


of Mr Mitchell, a bit more than the public faith in the police. The


former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis is here to discuss the latest


twist in the Andrew Mitchell affair. Can you trust the police? We can


trust most of them. The vast majority of coppers join up to


protect the public, feel the collar of a villain and do a job. But some


of them, that is not the case. We had Hillsborough, the G20 affair


with Ian Tomlinson, and the public are getting a pattern here. It's not


representative of everyone but it is systemic in some way. When it can


happen to one of the most powerful men in the land, Cabinet Minister,


you wonder what it must be like those people at the other end of the


social scale. When it first happened and Andrew Mitchell was at the new


Deer of his representation, his wife was a GP and suddenly found that the


minority nurses came up to her who worked with, said that they


understood Doctor Mitchell, because our sons have had this. In Brixton,


and so on. There is a real issue here. People who are powerless in


society or have not got the resources to be able to get the


former Shadow Home Secretary to help out or have not got the contact with


the press, or don't have the time and commitment, if they are in that


the position, they would still be there today, unlike Andrew. You


thought about this. When did the rot set in? It's very hard to know.


Write down the decades there have been problems, like the Guildford


four and the Birmingham six. All through that time, broadly


speaking, the service we got from the ordinary police officer had been


really good. Our coppers are better than most in the world, but the


simple truth is there have been systemic problems arising from all


sorts of things, like the way the logs are filled in. Policemen are


allowed to confer about it after an incident. If you and I were there,


we have to give evidence straightaway. Lots of things wrong.


The other problem, which I think is being highlighted here, is the


question of whether the police should be allowed to investigate


themselves. Should they actually be allowed to say that the officers did


not mean to live? This was not a malicious lie. That was in defiance


of the fact is, frankly. Very interesting that that used to be a


left-wing complaint, but here we have right across the spectrum of


politics, whether it is you or Jack Straw, Simon Hughes, raising against


the massed forces of the police. Or their representatives. Bearing mind


there are two things in play. There are the Police Federation that are


trying to defeat a government who are attacking their terms and


conditions, as if -- as they saw it. That is compounding the problem. But


it is a thing across the political spectrum, because we rely on the


police. This country, historically, has had fabulous policing in


comparison with most other countries. In other countries of the


world police have been part of a state apparatus or a problem. In the


United States, the normal warnings you have to give, they arose from


the Supreme Court stepping in because some state police were doing


things wrong. We have had a pretty good service, but nevertheless,


there is a real systemic problem, I think. We did invite the Police


Federation on and they did not want to talk to us. I'm not some --


remotely surprised. There's a new newspaper on sale in Europe today.


Well, not new exactly. But new to us. The International Herald Tribune


is no more. In its place is an international edition of the New


York Times. There is perhaps no newspaper on earth which takes


itself more seriously. But that has turned out to be no protection from


commercial reality. It is the job of journalists to record what's


happened, predicting the future is a job for clairvoyants. The truth is


that while there are plenty of ideas, no-one knows what the future


of almost any part of the media is. The New York Times, the Grey Lady,


has never been overburdened with modesty and claims to be the finest


newspaper in the world. Mind you, it does have over 100 Pulitzer prizes


to prove it. It's the product of a monopoly. There is no other


newspaper in town in New York. They have seen off the national


competition, the Washington Post which is a shadow of itself, and so


is the LA Times. The New York Times can do what it wants. Historically


it has been slow to change, but a third of the paper's online


customers are from abroad, so perhaps an international edition was


inevitable. It will not be easy though. All newspapers are


struggling, even the New York Times. But if you have a global brand, and


the New York Times has it, it makes sense to go global. All I would say


is that whereas the British are good at going global, like we have with


the the Economist, the Daily Mail, and the Financial Times, the


Americans have not really gone global with their papers. They don't


quite know how to do it. The editor charged with overcoming these


challenges is Jill Abramson, the first woman in the job. She has all


ready had to make controversial editorial decisions, not less


contentious than the papers reporting with the Guardian about


the secret files from British and American electronic surveillance


agencies. She has the pleasure of working with the chief executive,


Mark Thompson, who used to run the BBC. Well, joining me now is the


editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson. You are printing this new


international edition of the New York Times. Why are you doing it? We


are still printing the international edition and the New York Times


itself, because we have a healthy audience of people who love reading


a physical newspaper. It's a wonderful way to deliver it. But


does that not prove you are not with the beat? Well, I think the


important point is that we are a global news organisation now. We


have printed editions of the New York Times and a very vibrant


digital presence. Both the global home page and the home page of the


New York Times, they are full of the best quality information, and there


is a tremendous hunger amongst readers all over the world for the


highest quality kind of journalism. That is what we do. But you are


working on the premise that journalism that you pay for is


somehow journalism that you do not pay for, is that correct? That is


not necessarily my premise. But the New York Times, within our business


model, it involves a paid subscription plan, but for readers


who are not using our website constantly we allow some free


content so that we remain part of the world. But why pay for it? Get


it off a free website like the BBC? There is a quality in the


information and news that we provide that is worth paying for. Give me a


hint as to how long you are planning on carrying on printing for? You


said yourself that nobody knows what the future is going to hold, but I


feel that we have a healthy audience of readers who love getting the


print paper and are willing to pay dearly for it. And as long as that


is the case, which I expect to be for a good long time. Five years?


Ten years? 15 years? I'm not a clairvoyant. You must have a


business plan. We have a business plan to continue printing the print


newspaper and meeting the demands of our audience. More than 800,000


people in the US, about 250,000 people in Europe, and they all love


the print paper. And they want to keep getting it. Let us talk about


Edward Snowden and the revelations you and the Guardian have published.


Sure. Have you actually met Snowden? I have not met Mr Snowden, no. Have


you had direct dealings your newspaper with Snowden? We have not


had direct dealings, no. Who are you dealing with? Mainly, we have been


analysing the documents that he provided first to the Guardian,


which shared some of its documents with us and doing our own


independent reporting, based on what we've learnt from the documents, it


hasn't really - Does it strike you as odd you have had no dealings with


the source? Not terribly odd. I mean, it's unusual. Usually, we do


deal directly with our source, but in other stories in the Wikileaks


stories, frints -- for instance, we were reporting again mostly off of


documents and not talking directly to the Wikileaks. You were dealing


with Glenn Greenwald? Well, no, we weren't. Although, obviously, in the


case of the Snowden documents he, you know, was the person, you know,


along with Laura Poitras... You have not spoken to Greenwald either? No.


I haven't spoken to Mr Greenwald. Anybody on the newspaper who have


spoken to him? There are reports at the Times who have spoken to him in


their course of reporting in the story. Your predecessor said he


would never see his name as a byline in the newspaper, would you? No, I


would never said say never. You might? I might. I just... I haven't


faced that decision yet. I will make it when I have to make the decision.


I take it the reason he didn't want to see his name as a byline is that


he is a commentator rather than a reporter, is that correct? I think


he has expressed opinion would be the reason. You don't see that as


crossing a line? I see it as a consideration in whether, when I


make that decision, I will decide that his name should appear on the


news pages of the New York Times. How many... How much of what you've


got of this stuff has not been published? Quite a bit has not yet


been published. You know, it's quite a considerable amount of documents,


but I don't really think that is the important issue. I think the issue


is that, what the Guardian has published. They have published far


more aerials than we have. That that... Those aerials are very much


in the public interest. Inform the public. It distresses me to see


other people in the media being critical of journalists doing their


job, which is to inform the public. I think these articles have been in


service of that. Some things have not been disclosed, despite us being


in the (inaudible) business, they have not been disclosed for what


reason? Because responsible journalists actually do care as


citizens do about national security and the safety of citizens. So some


things have not been published for reasons of national security? Some


things have not been published because to publish them would


possibly harm the safety of the public. Do you mind me asking how it


is that you know that as owe supposed to the security agencies? I


would say without at all wanting to come across as arrogant, that I have


years and years of experience as do many of the reporters who work for


me in Washington, where the intelligence agencies are located,


in dealing with these stories and making very difficult decisions


where we weigh, you know we balance the need to inform the public


against possible harm to national security. We do that very seriously


and soberly. I just think that experienced journalists can make


that decision. The head of MI5 say this is does serious damage to


national security, you know better... No, I'd like to see the


examples that prove that there has been an actual harm to national


security. When the New York Times published the Pentagon papers, back


in the 1970s, the same claims were made that publishing did grave harm


to national security and yet a couple of years after we published


them the same officials who said that admitted that actually there


hadn't been any real harm to national security. So... If a single


person should die as a result of information disclosed to terrorists


because... No person has died. Yet? Well, you say yet. At thes's an


awesome responsibility? It is a huge responsibility. Do you think other


people are better qualified to make that judgment? I don't know if there


are better qualified people. I'm not saying that journalists are all


knowing or we obviously haven't been elected by anyone, but I think that


we actually do seriously balance the public interest. In as much as you


know it? No. In each case we make very difficult decisions after


weighing the information. When you saw, for example, public authorities


coming to the Guardian in this country and the Guardian destroying


computers, what did you think? Well, I thought it's unfortunate that they


had to destroy some of their own computers, but they certainly took


steps to ensure that good journalism continued. The that's partly why


Alan Russbridger, who I think it a superb journalist, reached out to me


to share some of these documents. When you look at the press do you


think we are free here, the press here? I think the press in Britain


has more restrictions on it than we do. The framers of our country, in


the US, had big fear of too much power put in the central government.


As a bulwark against any excesses on the part of the government they


believe passionately in the need for a free press. I think that is a


stronger tradition in the US than it is here. I take it if you were


editing your paper in this country you wouldn't be signing up to the


proposed charter? Probably not. Thank you very much. Thanks. A


senior official of the Iranian government gave the sort of summing


up that reporters dread today. Asked about what happened in between his


country and six of the world's most powerful nation abouts Iran's


nuclear programme he gave the spectacularly unilluminating comment


that it was too early to say whether they had made any progress. The


White House too is saying that it will be a long-haul. The meeting was


in gooe and we spent the day with Mark Urban with his ear to whatever


keyhole he could find. All the feel good created by the election of a


new Iranian government, it had yet to answer the demands of the outside


world or make a proposal of substance. We have come here with a


sense ever cautious optimism and a great sense of determination because


we believe it is really time now for tangible results. As the Iranians


began to unveil their road map in the Palace of Palace of Le, Geneva's


monument to previous failed statesmen, there was a sense the


meeting had to produce results. Both sides need rapid process. The


Iranians want an easing of international sanctions. The


Westerners want to be sure as what they saw as the time wasting tactics


of previous Iranian governments are now well and truly over. The longer


they go on without a solution of course, the more developed Iran's


nuclear programmes get. The first, lasting six months, or up to April


next year, would involve inspections and a lifting of sanctions. Phase


two, which would extend through next summer, would be the period where


confidence building measures would take place. Leading in one year's


time to phase three, an end state where the international community


would recognise the peaceful nature of Iran's remaining programmed and


its future would be guaranteed. What would Iran concede? That's another


question. I'm sure the details of negotiations will, at some point,


come out. The the question is, should they come out while the


negotiations are ongoing to open up space for criticism and backlash


given the domestic sensitivities in both Tehran or Washington, or should


they wait until they reach a final agreement and at that time announce


it to the world? The Iranians would prefer the second option. My


understanding is that is attractive and acceptable for the P5 plus 1.


Indeed, once the morning's presentation was finished, the


deputy -- Mr Zarif's deputy came over to brief the press. The meeting


was very positive, but we are going to discuss about the details of


Iranian plan in the afternoon. This afternoon, when the fuller


discussions began, the western countries changed their tune. In


fact they stopped briefing anxious to digest what they were hearing and


aware that the old, we await Iran's proposal with interest line had been


overtaken by people in a hurry. Obviously time is of the essence.


The Iranians want to move fast. They want to get to age stant agreement


in a matter of a year. They want to have interim measures that are not


separated by more than three months. The reason is that they want to make


sure that, first of all, there is positive momentum and diplomacy so


that talks will move forward. Second, they want to make sure there


is not enough space for the spoilers to derail diplomacy. Tonight, there


was a further meeting between Baroness Ashton and Mr Zarif. The


atmosphere of tense expectation has gone to be replaced by the search


for a deal both sides can live with and sell to their own sceptics.


There will soon be one fewer among the female bosses in big British


firms. The Chief Executive of the fashion firm, Burberry, is quitting


to join Apple. Angela Ahrendts has been given the credit for the


dechaving the company and finding ever more ingenious ways of getting


rich people around the worlded to pay increasing amounts of money for


clothing and accessories marked with the distinctive check. The stock


market greeted news of her departure by dumping shares in the company,


which can't have made for a very happy teatime for her successor. We


report now on the transfer market in Chief Executives. The shareholders


at Burberry couldn't pay their Chief Executive a higher compliment. She


leaves and the share price drops. The city equivalent of Alex


Fergusson leaving Manchester United. That is what happened to Angela


Ahrendts when she announced she was leaving to run the stores of a


company struggling to maintain its Success. Apple will have to pay her


well. She made the brand cool. She branched out into other lines. She


made her presence felt in emerging economies. Where the emerging


economy tourn tourists are coming to Europe Burberry is one of the first


places they want to visit. The company had been broadening its


appeal and die lighting. Since she took it over in 2006 its


valued has trebled. She appeals in a modern way to the middle-classes of


China and Japan. That is exactly what Apple needs. If you are the


world's number one most fashionable tech company you have an anxiety,


staying fashionable. You have to win in those far east markets or you


won't be number one any more. Right now Apple is losing. They may be the


world's best-known tech company, the cult of Apple was the cult of Steve


Jobs. There is doubt that without him it can keep up the growth. With


Nokia and BlackBerry in decline, tech companies are desperate for


executives who not only run them, but change them, not for the money.


I don't think it's about the money. I have worked for many individuals


who have moved for less money than they are earning because the


challenge, the brand the technology was a motivator that made them move.


The money is secondary when we look throughthrough individuals. Who can


turn companies round switch companies like Premiership players


switching clubs. The top transfers are are:


What is it for strongholders that make the right Chief Executive worth


so much? Their ability to score goals. If you imagine the plates


they need to spin at any one time. They have to consider strategy, they


have to consider staff, shareholders and lists. They have to make sure


that the brand keeps delivering all of these things have to happen at


once. How much of those glittering reputations are down to skill and


how much to luck? Before Mark Bowland joined Morrisons had had


warned that its profits would disappoint. He joined and in two


years the company grew bye-bye a quarter. Marks Spencer hired


Bowland and their shares have slumped. He is a retail man, that is


what these things are, whether it is beer or food. Fashion is different.


What surprised me when Mark Bowland joined is that he didn't change the


key people responsible for the fashion. The fashion is middle-aged


and dowdy. John Browit would have collected ?36 million for running


Apple's stores, he left after six months. Company hiring Chief


Executives may believe they are paying for skill, how their latest


signing works out also has an element of luck.


With nurses Louise Cooper, who is a city analyst -- with us now. And we


are joined by Professor Bill George. Professor George, how easy


is it for a chief executive to change companies like this? It's


very unusual to change from being a CEO and then heading up a part of


the company. I think this is a real coup for Apple. A brilliant move to


bring in someone with such creative skill. Angela has done an amazing


job at Burberry, turning round what could have been a dowdy fashion


brand and bringing it round the world. They are the great benefactor


here. A wonderful talent who will bring in more creativity in


combining the online and retail staff. Ron Johnson set up the Apple


Store is very well. They have not had anyone in charge than two years,


and I think it is the loss for Burberry. How easy is it for a chief


executive to move from one company to another? I think it is


interesting what she has done, because Burberry might be a FTSE 100


company but it is tiny compared to Apple. Apple is 100 times larger


than Burberry. She has gone from being a very big fish in a small


pond to a small fish in a massive, massive pond. Everybody talks about


her skills and they say she is brilliant at Digital, because she


put the fashion show on line and put the fashion things on twitter.


Brilliant, digital, but that's a different level of digital expertise


than the iPhone and the iPad. This is quite an unusual move for both


sides. Professor, are their common characteristics amongst these people


who are handed out by companies to revive their fortunes? Today's CEO


's have to address all of the stakeholders and constituencies, so


they are public figures. Not just someone who sits in and runs a


business and meets the needs of the shareholders and boards. They have


to meet the needs of the general public, particularly in a retail


business like Apple or Burberry. You have to be out there with the people


and have a sense of fashion and where people are going. Steve jobs


had that. I think she will bring that to Apple. Do they have common


character traits? Warney is being who you are and authentic. Another


-- one is being. Another is a willingness to keep balls in the air


and the other is being very self-determined. She has proven she


has all of those qualities. Frankly, she will be a CEO again, mark my


words. I think what she did at Burberry show is one of the most


important is to have had to have a vision for the future. What business


am I in? Where do I wanted to be? I want to be the best. If you do not


have the vision she had at Burberry, but you need it, even if


she can't have it Apple. The other thing you need to do is take your


staff with you. You are only one person. You need to create leaders


and nurture talent. Numbers are easy, people are difficult. You have


to be really good people. Take a chord with you? Yes, when you are


CEO, you are top of the pile. You have to create people that share the


strong vision. There is a great expression which says you cannot


blow an uncertain trumpet. You need to know where you are going to go


and then take everyone else with you. The mark of a good CEO is that


people focus on you. The mark of a bad CEO is the focus on numbers.


Numbers are easy, people are difficult. I will have to cut you


both off, but thank you very much indeed. George Osborne continued


trundling around China today, trying to promote trade between the two


countries. As the Chinese economy powers ahead, much of the rest of


the world has consoled itself with the vanity that while it may be


capable of bashing metal or dying jeans, the real creative work - the


most added value - is the property of the West. But is this comforting


vanity true? Emily's in Shenzhen. If success is measured by the height


of your buildings, the speed of your trains, or the waving of your


national flag in space, China's revolution is complete. But the


Middle Kingdom is still resolutely middle income. When it comes to


high-tech innovation, China still cannot compete with the world 's


most profitable companies. That ubiquitous phrase, made in China,


has yielded this. But those three words you find on your phone,


laptop, tablet, distorts the real story. Yes, they were made here, but


the design, the idea behind it, has come from elsewhere. That is where


the profits go, and that is what China wants a share now. -- a share


of now. At the vanguard of the mission is Huawei, which has become


the second largest company in technology on earth. It has global


aspirations, and a silicon voice to match. We do intellectual property


development and have half of the workforce, 70,000 of the 150,000


they do reach and development. George Osborne arrives here tomorrow


to tell Huawei he wants them to invest in Britain. Many companies do


not want that investment. A big problem for the high-tech industry


in China is that it greeted with suspicion wherever it goes. Huawei


has even had claims of spying. The American government accused Huawei


being a surveillance company described as a telecoms company.


What is your response? Hypothetically, the accusation put


to us is that we are being used to do espionage that the Chinese


government. We have said we would never do that. If we got a call from


Beijing, we would not do that. Why? Because it would be commercial


suicide. Another accusation is that China stop companies from companies


operating here, and copies their ideas, calling it block and Cologne.


First we allow Chinese companies to copycat every international


successes. You have Google, we have our own online search. The reason is


to draw the Chinese users to the server which they can 100% control.


A business model based not on risk and thought but on cut and paste.


It's very difficult to create a culture of innovation in a world


where communication is censored. If you have a place to innovate, you


need at least the Freedom of information or the freedom of


speech. Huawei's engineers have headed for lunch. China has invested


billions, five times more on research and development, but the


trouble is that money cannot deliver a household brand name, top ten


university or a Nobel Prize in science. Every day, at 12pm, 10,000


workers descend on the cafeteria for 50 minutes and then they are. This


is how China has worked so off -- far, a model of order and


efficiency. What it has not been about is a disruption, a questioning


of the normal, something that diversifies away from that. Right


now, we are putting this on. David is breaking the mould. He studied in


Canada and runs one of the most exciting start-ups here. His device


allows you to move objects on-screen with the power of thought. So I am


trying to make the strawberry explode? Wow! So that was you, you


doing that to the strawberry. From your brain. In a culture where


deference to authority is paramount, he says that the key is learning to


think differently, and that is where China may struggle. One problem is


that the education system in China tries to order all of the students


to become one ideal model. It is not celebrating the individual


characteristics. That is something recognising the root of kindergarten


down the road. You won't have seen this before. Here they encourage


happy chaos. No uniform, no water, little discipline. Mrs Lee has been


a teacher for 22 years and she says things are changing. Everyone has a


different personality. We are used to focusing on control, but now we


let them have freedom. We want them to explore, be more creative.


Unleashing the forces of innovation could take the country to the next


level of development, but can China's leaders really afford to let


people think differently? Letting go could, at a cost. -- could come at a


cost. The result of the literary world's


most commercially important book prize was announced tonight at the


Guildhall. This year's Man Booker award is the last from which, for


good or ill, American authors are excluded. The winner, Eleanor Catton


spoke to Kirsty a few minutes ago. There has been great excitement here


at the Guildhall in London. The 45th Man Booker Prize has been won by the


New Zealander Eleanor Catton for The Luminaries. She is the longest ever


-- youngest ever winner with the longest ever book. At first a little


ball about The Luminaries. Standing at a colossal 832 pages, the story


recounts a series of unsolved crimes, involving a missing wealthy


man, a near dead prostitute, and an enormous amount of money found in


the home of a luckless recruits. However, as the worker -- reader


work through each layer of the story, the layout of the novel takes


status -- centrestage. -- the winter -- widow said I am not mistaken. I


am very skilled at reading this. The moon is waxing above the cloud and


it will be full by Monday night and on Tuesday it will begin to wane.


Next month will be a month without a moon. Eleanor Catton is with me.


Many congratulations. Robert McFarlane, the chair of the judge


panel, said it was an awesome achievement. You are the youngest


ever winner, the second New Zealander and it is the longest ever


book. What was it like up there tonight? It was overwhelming,


actually. I almost can't remember the few minutes after the prize was


announced. You essentially wrote a murder mystery, but you can strange


yourself in the structure, set around the zodiac. But it was also


revealing, because not so many people know about the second gold


rush in New Zealand, and it was clearly something you wanted to


explore, 19th-century New Zealand. I grew up in Christchurch on the East


side of New Zealand. I made a lot of trips to the West Coast with my


family to go camping and spend time in the outdoors. It was always a


part of New Zealand that captured my mind and heart in a way. Somewhere


along the way it had taken root as a possible site for a story. You said


you started with the idea of a man going into the bar. Was that the


start of a joke? It is like the start of a joke. I was seduced by


the idea of a 12th man, a man being not convicted of a crime, but


implicated. I had the idea that a 13th man could walk into a gathering


where they were discussing this crime that they were implicated by


and disrupt their machinations. That is where the book get -- began. You


are clearly wanted to make it a 19th-century novel. You have the


motifs at the beginning and the moralising. Was that an influence?


Was it 19th-century literature? I read a lot of 19th-century


literature when I was researching the book, chiefly because I think


there are so many thought -- things that. There are so many cultural


behaviours or languages that maybe we won't necessarily see. There is


so much about Victorian values and beliefs, and I needed to immerse


myself. You said at the same time, in a weird way, you up influenced by


the idea of a box set, a late 20th-century phenomenon. I am


slightly addicted to boxed sets. I'm surprised you get the time. The


amount of time it must have taken you to write this! The normal


routine is writing in the day, TV at night. You also decided yourself


that you would have a containing structure which would end with a


tiny sentence at the end. Was that hard to construct? I was obsessed


with the idea of the golden ratio when I read the book. That something


could have a skeletal shape that would be beautiful in its own right.


I tried to put that into the shape of the book as much as I could.


Congratulations, you are ?50,000 the richer, doesn't matter so much, but


a wonderful achievement. Back to the studio.


That's it for tonight. The BBC announced today that they're digging


up yet another bunch of long-dead children's TV characters. The


Clangers are coming back. To mark this important occasion, we've


unearthed a rarity from 39 years ago, believed by some to have been


lost forever. In October 1974, the BBC broadcast a special Clangers


episode on election day, inspired by creator Oliver Postgate's anger over


the miners strike and the three day week. Who knows how it changed the


course of history. I make no bones about the excesses... Our planet


seems noisy, and it must seem onto other planets. Look, suppose you


wanted to have a government, you could choose the government of the


soup Dragon, for instance? Free soup for all! That should capture the


votes. No soup for the froglets, you do learn fast. Whatever the soup


Dragon once, you will give it him. Wait a minute! Wait a minute


exhibition mark I was only trying to show how we do things on our planet.


Plebgate unravels. The editor of the New York Times. The Iranian foreign minister. Can China innovate, and the Booker prize winner. With Jeremy Paxman.

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