22/10/2013 Newsnight


With Jeremy Paxman. An investigation into dodgy degrees, John Major enters into the energy prices row, Mark Urban on Syria, Facebook controversy and Afghan football.

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Could a business degree boost your job prospects? Look no further and


don't worry about studying. JTSDZ we are starting with high-level


macro-economics. It cost our friend Pete of Battersea Dogs Home just ?50


to enrol with an MBA with a virtual guarantee for an MBA at the end of


it. A former Prime Minister wades into


the energy row and calls for a windfall tax. I think it would be


entirely reasonable for the Chancellor then to recoup that money


back from the energy company in a one-off impost. The Prime Minister


definitely doesn't like it. Why would Facebook want to be used to


show pictures of people being beheaded?


And in Kabul, we're on the touch-line reporting a good news


story. In a country still suffering from


the chaos and injustice of war they are celebrating a game where you


play by the rules. Where the referee's word is final. As anyone


who has slogged their way to get there and then slogged their way


through years of study there, a university degree can be a hard won


thing, and expensive nowadays too. But supposing that you could pay


some money and get a degree without having to do any work at all. A


Newsnight investigation has found one on-line university, offering a


high-level degree, in exchange for nothing other than thousands of


pounds. Crickets say that unless something is done to crack down, the


good name of British education could be dragged through the mud.


Lectures and libraries, books and examples, taily life for most


students. Higher education is meant to be something you can trust,


standard recognised around the world. Too often though things may


not be quite what they seem. There is place where it's possible to get


hold of top degrees and diplomas, no checks, regulations or standards.


Away from the real world on the Internet, it can seem that more or


less anything goes. Dodgy degrees are nothing new. Black markets in


fake bits of parchment go back to 14th century Europe. But the


Internet has transformed the business of dubious qualifications


into a billion dollar industry. It is now thought 200,000 degrees are


dished out each year by unrecognised virtual universities, based entirely


on-line. Carolyn Campbell runs the international section of the quality


assurance agency which checks standards in British universities.


Nowadays we see that these diploma and Boeing news providers are able


to adopt the apparatus of regular universities. They can see what goes


on in these institutions and they replicate it. They are very


difficult to track. They are very difficult to find, actually, because


they are operating on the Internet. So, armed with just a laptop, we


started to look into this lucrative business. To hand out a British


degree you have to be recognised by parliament. But there is a loophole,


it is perfectly legal to give the impression a university is run here


but in reality incorporate it on an obscure island with no regulation.


It is thought there are now around 350 unaccredited universities, just


like that, linked to the UK. Triple the number of officially recognised


institutions. Take the American University of London, founded by


this man, Professor Michael It describes itself as one of the


leading distance universities in the world, with more than 100 thousand


students since it was founded. This is an investigative journalist


specialising in internet verge, we worked with him to take a closer


look at the university. It might be called the American University of


London, you can see it is incorporated in St Kitts and Nevis,


an island where a lot of these institutions are based. That is a


few thousand miles away from where it is suggested it is based here in


London. Here is the location of the Post Office box, there is nothing


there, they don't seem to have a physical location in London at all.


What about the people actually running the university, what do we


know about them? On the website there is a video of them both. There


is Professor Michael Nimier, and Sonya Grime, a registrar. From


public records we know they are living in beckons field in the UK.


The phone number that the university lists is a by-election cons field --


Beconsfield area and the tuition fees go in to bank in the local


area. While it is based in St Kitts, it appears the company is operated


out of the UK. On its web side the American University of London says


it does not award British qualifications, it has claimed to be


recognised by three different American institutions. All these


themselves are unofficial and unrecognised. It used to say it was


accredited in Norway, but the people there said that never happened. It


is though listed as bogus by the agency that values degrees for the


Italian Government. It has been blacklisted in five US states,


including Texas, where it is illegal to use any of its qualifications to


get a job. Looking on-line the university does boast an impressive


faculty list, with some well-qualified superviser, but when


we contacted five western academics on that list, all said that he had


never worked there and never agreed for their names to be used. The


American academic George Golin has spent much of his year researching


the murky world of unaccredited education. If you look closely they


American University of London, it doesn't hold up and doesn't have


legal authority for degrees, they are not degrees just pieces of


paper. They are charging a lot for a product that does not stand up to


scrutiny. I am GAESing they are not able to -- I'm guessing they are not


able to sell many degrees into countries where English is the first


language. The university says most graduates study at independent


colleges overseas. Those affiliated are independent with their own


staff, subject to their own local laws. The American University of


London, simply takes a fee to set the curriculum, and issues


graduation certificates in its own name. Given the web of colleges


involved, it is hard to know how much work these students have done


and what the quality of teaching is like. We wanted to see how easy it


might be to get a degree direct from the university itself. What we are


looking at here is the holey GRAL of macro-economics by Richard Coup. We


found one crack student and got to work training him up. Notice in


chapter seven there is a whole section here about Japanese interest


rates from 1990 right the way through to 2007. If you could pay


attention for a second. Meet Pete from Battersea, we drew up a


one-page CV for Pete in the name of an invented 36-year-old management


consultant. With 15 years work experience and a 2. . . : 1 degree.


Standard background for the masters in business he was applying for. In


just four days the decision came Just two weeks, he wouldn't be


expected to submit any more work? We applied for a masters degree,


based only on life skills and work experience. It was awarded straight


away. We were told no studying or extra work was needed whatsoever. So


long as we paid the ?4,500 fee. I wouldn't want you to think that I'm


cynical but this CV in itself is weak. And so at the moment just


having a first glance of this warning bells are going off in my


ear. We showed our written application to Jan Banford at London


Metropolitan University that runs accredited courses. I don't know how


true this is, I can't believe you get an offer. Would this be enough


for a legitimate university to award an MBA? It is nonsense. Absolutely,


I find it incredible any organisation awarding an MBA on what


essentially amounts to an application form there, but the


evidence is one piece of paper. None of this would matter, of course, if


the American University of London had no students. But on professional


networking sites there are hundreds of senior executives, all graduates


of the university. We found the chief executive of a multinational


drugs company and an expert in terrorist rehabilitation to who


served in Iraq. Others with senior qualifications include a


psychologist from Birmingham who gives expert testimony in court


cases. Dr Robert Oakes was awarded his PhD, five months after first


submitting workment he told us he had spent 18 months on his own


background research. He was already a registered forensic psychologist,


based on a previous degree. He said he believed the American University


of London was properly accredited, but has now taken the accreditation


off his CV. We found a senior executive in the nuclear power


industry. Dr Rita Bowser was in charge of selling nuclear reactors


in the UK. He was awarded her DBA after what she describes significant


amounts of course work. Her employer says she's well qualified for her


job, with 30 years experience and two previous degrees, including a


masters from Georgia Tech, a respected university. All of those


individuals have told us they did submit work to get their degree. But


the point is, because the American University of London is not checked


or accredited by any recognised body we can't know what the standard was


like or how much work they did. What we do know is that as in our case


the bar can be as low ascending off one fictitious made-up CV and


getting a degree back two weeks later. Why is it these private


institutions don't have the same checks and balances that


universities have? I think it is a huge concern.


It undermines the very essence of the education process that people


can gain a diploma, or offer one without any of the processes that


are required by universities. All right Already there is pressure


on our university system, this week the Government said places will have


to rise by a quarter to meet demand. On-line learning is meant to fill


some of that gap. But with few standards and little regulation, we


might have some way to go until we can really trust education on the


Worldwide Web. In statement the American University of London


The man who you saw in that piece and worked on the investigation is


here now. How widespread is this problem? There is thousands of


people at that university alone, CEOs, very senior executives, and


thousands of others at the other 300 institutions in the UK. It is a


multibillion dollar problem, it doesn't seem to be going away. It


has been brought to the governments attention, what are they doing about


it? The Department of Business, innovation and skills were told


about it. They said Companies House needs to investigate. They said it


is not their problem. They are not based here, they are based overseas,


OK Trading Standards were looking into it. Trading Standards said the


same thing, it is based in St Kitts and Nevis it is not our problem. We


sent a whole dossier of material and said they are based, the people are


based in the UK, there should be something that can be done about it.


Most importantly, the very well qualified dog what has become of


him? I'm hearing the dog is still at Battersea, but very well qualified


for the position's about to fill. I imagine we will be besieged, or


Battersea will be besieged by anxious would-be owners of a very


well-qualified pet. Thank you very much. Coming up:


Newsnight thought that you would be suffering from withdrawal symptoms


from the Great British Bake Off, for your enjoyment, the Newsnight Orange


SKA Lemon Cake, the most important ingredient, a little glass of wine.


The row over energy prices drew in another senior politician today, the


former Prime Minister, John Major, a man who doesn't normally say much


about anything wondered about bringing in a windfall tax on the


energy companies which have hiked their prices. David Cameron's glove


puppet called it an interesting contribution, which is another way


of saying, thanks for nothing! The Government has no plans for a


windfall tax and meanwhile knows how popular is Ed Miliband's campaign


that he will freeze energy prices should he get elected. A man who had


power and one who wants it, together at Margaret Thatcher's funeral. And


again today Sir John Major appeared close to Ed Miliband on energy


prices. There are a number of ideas I think the suggestion made by Mr


Miliband shows his head is in the right place. I don't think it is a


workable proposition. I do think without some action if we have a


hard winter, which is quite likely, there are many people this winter


who will have to choose between keeping warm and eating. I don't


think that is acceptable. I think there is a very real chance this


winter that the Government will be forced by events to provide more


assistance to people facing real difficulties. If that proves to be


the case, then I think it would be entirely reasonable for the


Chancellor then to recoup that money back from the energy companies in a


one-off impost, given the SKAFL their profits and the unjustified


nature of the very high increases they have imposed. For Sir John to


clamber back on his soapbox things must be bad, in 1997, then Prime


Minister, he opposed Labour's plan for a windfall tax on privatised


utilities. Labour's windfall tax would drain the profits of


privatised companies in order to pay for their own spending plans. Those


Sir John -- though Sir John quibbles with Ed Miliband's method, the


backbenchers want action too? I welcome the idea of a windfall tax,


I have been proposing that for some time, not just energy companies, but


all utility companies, looking at water bills and other companies as


well. The way it would work is the company would eithering fined by the


regulators if they are under performing and charging excessive


amounts to the public, which many of them are for the moment. The


regulator or the Government would take it and give it back to the


consumer in the form of lower prices. Thatcher taxed oil in the


1980s and George Osborne imposed emergency levels on the banks --


levies on the banks. Windfalls are not Anwar nat MA to the Tories.


Is Sir John kite flying for the Government, on this occasion as he


has done on so many previous ones. It is quite difficult to call, but


it appears probably not. The reason is this, this week was supposed to


be the week when the Government changed the story from Ed Miliband's


energy price freeze to George Osborne's thaw in the British


economy. With Sir John's intervention it becomes a bit more


difficult for the Conservatives. Today many at the top of the Tory


Party might be hoping that the grey man of British politics had been a


little bit more DPRA. Today Downing Street's reaction was cool. Sir


John's intervention was "interesting "they said, except this are no plans


for it. As Lib Demes fought Tory plans to cut green taxes from energy


bills, the Conservatives want more to say on this hot subject. -- the


Lib Demes want more to say on the hot DUBT. We have our guests with


us, Brooks Newmar, if you did this you might become popular again? Is


that a question? Yes it is, a suggestion, a helpful suggestion,


follow John Prescott's advice? I'm sure as David Cameron has had his


interesting idea, I suspect it will be kicked into touch. The reason for


is if you target companies through taxation that price rise will be


passed on to the consumer. A much better way of approaching this


problem is through the regulator. The big flaw in that argument is


that John Major is man who knows how to win elections and David Cameron


has never won a general election has he? Well we made huge strides in


2010, but I think on the subject which you were discussing here,


which is whether to have a tax or have a more robust policy with the


regulator to control prices that way, that's a much better approach,


I think. So you are ruling out although it is advice for from man


with a proven record? I'm just disagreeing with John Major who is


now an ordinary citizen, he's no longer Prime Minister. Yes, but he


could win elections? I'm giving you my view. Flintoff do you support --


Caroline Flint do you support the windfall tax? I don't, because I


think the freeze is better and is good for everyone who is a bill


payer. You would oppose the Government taking the advice? We


support a freeze ander urging David Cameron to do that. That is after


the next election? But the reason is because a freeze is simple to


implement but benefits every bill pay e and behind what we need to


address what John Major said today about excessive profits and


unacceptable IP creases is the fact we haven't got -- increases and the


fact we haven't a strong regulator and Labour is answering those


questions as well which the Government isn't. Tony Blair wasn't


afraid of a windfall tax was he? If you remember the windfall tax on the


utilities there, we felt strongly and believed, and were right to do


so that it was undervalued when it was sold into private hands.


Therefore we were recouping a sale that went ahead that was undervalued


and bringing some money back to the taxpayer to pay for young unemployed


people. Today it is different, we are tackling the problem of


overcharging and the customer paying the price. The similarity, of


course, is he too was a man who knew how to win elections. Yes, he was.


He was very good at it. But the truth is as well is that we need a


different prescription for the problem we have today. That problem


is about a market that is not competitive enough and a regulator


that hasn't got any teeth. If the Government does take up John Major's


advice, just to be clear about this, and brings in a windfall tax, you


will vote against it? We will be pursuing our policy of a freeze. We


are urging the Government to do that. That is not an answer. At the


moment what we have heard today is that the Government think it is


"interesting "what Sir John Major said and they will not sign up to


it. The truth is they have no policies to address the fact that we


haven't got enough competition and the regulator doesn't work. We are


sticking with our package, it is clear, simple and about addressing


fundamental problems of why this market is not working as well as it


should. If they were to decide on the windfall tax, you might vote for


it, clearly. Let's see what they come up with, they are all over the


shop because they cannot make up their minds, they know they have a


problem. And John Major has added fuel on the flames today about the


problems they are facial. We have a clear plan. -- facing. We have a


clear plan. Why doesn't the Government accept that to tackle


regulation and competition our proposals around separating


generation and retail, having a pool and new regulator are the answer.


Can I answer her on that? I think I know what she is going to


say. They are even asking you for answers because they haven't any


answers to the problem. She is getting very interesting there. Why


is it your party seems uniquely to be the only one that doesn't


recognise there is something gone seriously wrong with the way this


alleged market works? There are two answers to, that the Government has


approached it and the Prime Minister has made it very clear that we will


simplify the number of tiers there are to ensure. Tiers, what tiers? To


ensure the consumer better understands the price points people


can purchase their energy. Number one, there is a simplification


process? Of tarrifs. Of tarrifs, which ensures that people can try


and get the lowest price available. The second thing is, unlike king can


NUT -- King Canute, which Ed Miliband thinks he is, we can't take


on market forces and prices. We can't go back to the 1970s with


price controls. What we can do is agree on one thing which is that the


regulate to. So no change. So the regulator needs more teeth, you and


I will agree on that, nothing else. Nobody agrees -- everyone agrees


with simplifying the tarrifs, it is not enough. We have four years of


data from Ofgem. You #130R the Government -- you support the


Government's plan to simplify tarrifs? Of course, but it is not UN


wholesale prices have dropped, that hasn't been passeden to the


consumer, and the chief executive of Ovo, a small supplier, said over


this week since 2011 wholesale prices haven't increased, what is


going on. All you is surmise out of this, that somewhere within the


self-supply that these companies operate, and they generate and sell


to themselves, they are overhyping the wholesale cost and we are paying


the price and your Prime Minister isn't dealing with that. The best


way to deal with it is through the regulator, not increasing tax,


because they are passed on to the Consumer with higher prices. Even


the presence of no fewer than 11 foreign ministers all wanting much


the same thing couldn't produce a clear result when the Syrian Civil


War was discussed in London today. William Hague made the unsurprising


observation that finding way of ending a war which has already gone


on for over two years will be "formidably D ifficult". We have


this report and it contains flash YOEFy. -- photography.


The friend of Syria convened in London, neighbours and opposition


supporters such as the UK, US and France. Now that there is date in


the diary for a peace conference in Geneva, it is time to focus minds.


But even the host didn't sound too optimistic. I don't want to minimise


in any way the difficulties and the enormous challenges in making a


success of Geneva II as it has become known. Never the less we


believe it is very important to begin that process. It is a process


rather than an event. It isn't a meeting that takes place for one or


two days and everybody has reached agreement. It is a, it is the


beginning of a process. That is very important to try. And how to get


meaningful dialogue? Saudi Arabia mocks the process and backs a rebel


umbrella group that won't even be at Geneva. Russia, for its part, will


talk about transition in Syria but doesn't accept that President Assad


has to accept down. He has just hinted that he might run for


President next year. The Syrian opposition coalition, the


westerners' main hope in this, who haven't confirmed they will be at


the Geneva table were asked today how they could possibly attend under


these circumstances? TRANSLATION: They are going to Geneva II with the


understanding of Geneva I, which states specifically that Al-Assad


will not be part of the solution, that Al-Assad will leave and


Al-Assad will not be there. His opposition group will decide the


week after next whether to go to Geneva. There the moderates, many of


the most effective militant brigades won't go near the table, which begs


the question, why should the Assad Government go to Geneva if the


participants can't even deliver a deal. Mark has put on his best suit


and joined us now. If the prospect is so bad, why are they even


thinking about it? Well, it is a very legitimate question, they would


say that they think it can work, the conference can be convened, but they


have been trying to get this together throughout the summer, the


idea was first mooted several months ago, the deadline slipped from May


to June, they seem to think that by fixing date in the diary they might


force people to come to their senses and come to it. My honest view is I


think it is simply because the diplomats in the UK, in France, in


the US feel there has to be some hope. That if they admit this is


impossible it will simply become a self-fulfilling prophesy and they


should try to do it. Some fascinating remarks tonight though


about whether or not President Assad can survive. Now, of course, both


John Kerry in London today and William Hague were saying this


process we are asking people to sign up to involves a transition from the


Assad Government to a successor democratic Government. Bob Gate, the


former US Defence Secretary, we are hearing tonight an academic meeting


said by agreeing to the chemical weapons deal with Assad, the US and


others may be prolonging his survival. If he isn't there to


deliver the deal then how on earth is this going to work? That may be


one reason why Mr Assad is feeling more emboldened, and just been the


past 24 hours suggested he may run for President again next summer.


It doesn't the billionares in California, one jot, we report


Today's news-based quiz question, please say which of the following


you find most offensive, someone rolling a joint, someone's naked


breasts not engaged in the act of breast-feeding, someone taking the


air as nature intended, or a video of someone being decapitated. For


many the answer is so obvious to render the question absurd. Which is


why the decision of Facebook to allow again the posting of videos


depicting beheadings is bizarre says the Prime Minister. He said today:


The Home Office Minister, James Brokenshire says Facebook needs a


re-think. I think many parents across the country will be deeply


disturbed and shocked by this sudden decision of Facebook to allow these


grossly offensive videos back on to their website. They clearly


recognised there was a serious problem when they decided that this


material needed to be taken down earlier this year. It is strange


that they have now sought to put this back on without any clarity as


to the protections afforded to children and giving parents that


assurance that these issues will be dealt with properly. The Prime


Minister copped a bit of ridicule for his TWEET about Facebook posting


videos when of course Facebook is platform, it is the users who post


videos. But even so, the question is why allow such appalling content


back on to the site? In a statement the company said: back


The company is determined to preserve Facebook's capacity to


harness international outrage, to be a medium for social change. To


spread news of human rights violations right around the world.


As an example of this social action, here is the 2012 campaign to


publicise the war crimes of the Ugandan guerrilla leader, Joesph


Kony. Anticensorship campaigners say context is everything. It is a huge


platform Facebook, and it is used for a lot of different purposes,


from sharing pictures of family to as Facebook say discussing news


events and politics. I think they want platform as open as possible


and allows people to use it in a variety of ways. These videos are no


doubt HOR rend -- horrendous, but if people want to talk about the


brutality of war and terror, they should be allowed to view these


things. This afternoon as a result of the pressure they have been


under, Facebook began posting warnings alongside the videos.


Children are inquisitive, the likelihood is they will open the


sites and have a look. What I would like to see really is more


discussion with Facebook, which we are having about whether it is


feasible to perhaps have different settings for different ages on


Facebook. That is something I'm sure they will be looking at. However, I


think we do need to be ware of course all this information say


veilable elsewhere on the inter-- is available elsewhere on the Internet.


It is not just a Facebook issue. They do have a responsibility to


young users and we need to be mindful that significant harm could


come to them if they see this content. With over a billion user,


Facebook could never please everyone, what is offensive? What


should be allowed? Indeed how much responsibility the company has


itself on what its users choose to post, these are all questions they


and we are still grappling with. With us now is the cofounder of the


website Lively, where you can see a very large number of videos of that


kind if you wish to. Also with us is Colin Freeman the Sunday Telegraph's


chief correspondent who spent five weeks being held hostage in Somalia


in 2008. Are there any kinds of violence you won't allow on your


site? We don't allow multiples, there is not that a lot of that type


of media on the site. There are some but there are certain things we


can't and can't show. Why do you allow them? It falls within a


certain sense of freedom. There is always extreme with any kind of


freedom. Some adults wish to see it, for whatever reason. It is also


always purrant as people claim, it is a general human condition we look


at the extreme, the horrific, some people choose to, if they wish to


they can view them, if they don't then... What is your perspective


after your experience? I luckily I didn't end up in a beheading video,


the people who took me weren't that kind of people. Many people have


done. Their relatives, unlike them are still alive, and the prospect of


these videos being PUNTed around, you know, is not pleasant for them


to say the least. I spoke to someone earlier this evening before I came


on, one of whose relatives died in a video leaked on to the Internet. Say


leaked but put on deliberately, he says it is horrific the idea these


things are around. He has to worry about his young kids and other young


relatives in his extended family finding these things on the


Internet. What do you think when you hear that sort of testimony? Of


course it is absolutely horrific, for any family, who could deny that,


it would be ridiculous to. We see things on the news every day where


people die in a less immediate and graphic manager, we are shown the


planes smashing into the buildings all the time, families hurt all the


time by that. You don't see beheadings on the television, it is


regulated? There is a limit, death as long as it is less personal and


graphic. That is understandable. I'm an advocate for responsible titling


and information, trying to ensure people know what they are going to


see. When it comes to when you say children viewing it and things of


that nature, there needs to be some education for the parents there as


well. Facebook is a medium that is in virtually every home now, isn't


it. Ubiquitous as television? I don't promote graphic media on


Facebook that is for such a range of people. What is your reading of the


Facebook position? I would agree in a sense it is not the appropriate


forum, it normalises this kind of thing, to some extent. And it says


this is normal to see this kind of thing. More generally, if you have


the sort of stuff out there, there is, you know, the impact that it has


on someone who has lost a loved one, they are trying to make a


psychological recovery from a horrific ordeal and this stuff is


out there potentially reminding them all the time of what happened. You


know, particular effect from -- Kat that


particular effect from -- cathartic effect of seeing that happen? One of


the things from the Arab springs was a video shot of a man beaten to


death in custody, his face was shaped into a kind of garage GOIL


death mask, his family shot the video and put it on-line. The


context is everything to some exTEPT. When you are putting a --


extent. When you are putting a hostage video the person who


intended that video to go out is the terrorist, you are doing their


bidding by deseminating it, that is what they want. It causes terror


among the people who have seen it and terror amongst others. What do


you make of that? The actual effect of those videos? Not that so much,


the man who has been beheaded clearly has no desire to see the


video posts anywhere? But the horrible irony, in no way humourous


is the releasing of these videos, we only see these in truth when they


are killing westerners. It was the lease of the videos and the reaction


to them, which is why they stopped pretty much from that region in the


world. It was totally counter-productive to them, it is


not a good thing that people were beheaded, but it was a


counter-productive act on their part. It worked against what they


wanted to achieve. There is some truth in that but it didn't stop


them happening. One or two Al-Qaeda groups may have said that didn't


work, but it hasn't stopped that kind of thing going on. It is not


anything like it was in 2005-2007. Now the sports news, there is a


spring in the step of football fans in Afghanistan. The country has just


won its first international trophy by beating India 2-0 in the South


Asian Championship Cup Final. It is still ranked 139th in the world. But


the final -- in the final all the country was praying for a win.


Lis Ducet has been charmed by the Premier League there to join a


country torn apart by war. Days like this are rare for a


generation that has only known war, division and destruction.


Sport is now building a new spirit. Making the people proud to be


Afghans. The war hasn't gone away, and NATO helicopters land at a


nearby base. But Afghan forces protect these grounds. Kabul in


yellow take on the northern team in this brand new stadium. They are the


best of eight clubs that cut across the ethnic lines, that still divide


this society. Number four dreamed of being a footballer from the first


day he set foot in Kabul's old Ghazi stadium, made infamous where the


Taliban carried out harsh Islamic punishments. At home with his


family, 26-year-old Mustaba remembers those years as the worst


in his career. TRAN Before one match -- TRANSLATION: Before the match the


Taliban brought in one person and shot him four times, another one's


hands were amputated. After that no-one was interested in seeing


football in the stadium. Now the nation is watching. From the


President to 12-year-old Sammi, who says he wants to be a footballer


just like his brother. Live coverage on TV brings football into Afghan


homes, unthinkable years ago. The Premier League was even created


through a reality TV show and on the popular network. In messages played


at half time, footballers use their new fame to urge kids to stay off


drugs, and stay in school. They are heros for a lot of Afghans around


the country. If the players are going back to their villages, to the


district and province, everybody knows them. They are, they can play


goodwill ambassadors for a lot of issues. But at the same time they


are role models for millions of kids and young Afghans.


But they still have to play well and strictly by the rules. In this world


misbehaviour is punished immediately. And the Kabul team gets


instant justice. In a country still suffering from the chaos and


injustice of war, they are celebrating a game where you play by


the rules, where the referee's word is final. And they are hoping that


some day fair play will define Afghanistan too. Activists like


Ahmed usually spend their time worrying about human rights abuses.


A day out with the boys, even brings him a bit of cheer. When he meets


fellow activists at their usual hangout, football is now part of the


political debate, especially the national side's recent triumph over


India. Which made them regional champions. There were 11 men who


TLIEL brought pride to -- who actually brought pride to 32 million


people, and none were holding a gun. You are seeing a new narrative.


Leaders in this election realise that. There is still some space


between the dominant political actors and the new wave since 2001.


Now that is going to play out in the elections remains to be seen, the


hope that we are striving towards is to get them to play at least by some


rules. Is sport so powerful that it could change a much harder


potentially violent political culture? If we play together, if we


have a common goal and if we don't think about it as a short-term


benefit and think about the bigger vision and goal, we can repeat the


success we had in sport on the political field as well. In sport


there is only one winner. The Kabul team triumphs, 3-1 in extra time.


For Mushtaba there is another victory. TRANSLATION: My happiness


has doubled, I have always dreamed of being the best player, we won the


game and I'm the Man of the Match. Well done! And that's how it feels


when you are a winner in Afghanistan, it is great day for the


Kabul team, but just look how the crowds have been acting today. This


is game where it is win-win for a country which has had all too little


of this kind of celebration. A feel-good moment is precious,


changing decades of violent division much harder. But this rare presence


of hope creates a powerful sense of what could be possible.


That's it, you may perhaps have noticed that it was the final of the


Great British Bake Off earlier tonight, so below stairs in her


Glasgow Stately Home Kirsty is making a very easy orange and lemon


cake from a recipe invented by someone else, she's giving it her


own twist with the help of nutmeg and almonds and other things she has


found in the butler's pantry, including a bottle of wine. We have


tweeted the recipe. Welcome to the Newsnight morning and lemon cake. It


is an incredibly simple recipe. I'm going to put the zest of a lime in.


I feel Mary Berry is at my shoulder! Plenty of greated nutmeg. There is


the cake. That goes into a medium oven for an hour. That is ready.


Let's see if it is ready. I think it is. Paul Hollywood eat your heart


out! Good evening, Wednesday is set to


get off to a


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman. An investigation into dodgy degrees, John Major enters into the energy prices row, Mark Urban on Syria, Facebook controversy and Afghan football.