08/11/2013 Newsnight


Syrian rebels demand help. The maverick Tory MP pushing for a Euro referendum. The Iranian atom bomb talks. Neil Gaiman meets JJ Abrams. With Jeremy Paxman.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 08/11/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Tonight we talk to one of the rebel commanders in Syria who


Tonight we talk to one of the rebel to eat them. A Conservative MP who


wants to oblige his own party to hold a referendum on whether we


should leave the EU next year. What's he about? And one for the


geeks, Star Trek and soon to be Star Wars director JJAbrams sits down and


talks science fiction in books and films. What are the rest of us


missing. Do you feel visual effects have reached some realisim level.


When you look at movies you start to see a kind of almost Kleined scopic


effect of -- collide scopic effect and you don't know where to look,


there is so much happening. It emerged today that the United States


is bringing home the USSNimet, the emerged today that the United States


hear less andless of the forces fighting the dictatorship, because


they discourage foreign journalists through kidnapping and torture and


threats. The patience with many of the rebels with the western


Governments who claim to be on their side has run out. Four stories of


pain and loss. As you go up the stairs in this makeshift


rehabilitation centre for sick and wounded Syrians in Turkey, every


door discloses a scene of broking lives. They are living now virtually


without possessions in a foreign country. In London, Geneva, Is


Istanbul, Syrian politicians and exiled politicians are arguing about


how to end the war. But the rebellion started without them, and


they won't decide when it ends. It is commanders in


they won't decide when it ends. It commanders is breaking free. Colonel


Abdul has resigned as head of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, and told


Newsnight the west has betrayed his forces by doing a deal with


President Assad to get rid of chemical weapons. TRANSLATION: When


Mr Obama says chemical weapons are a red line, that gives Assad a green


light to use conventional weapons, ballistic missile, scud missile,


figers planes like MiG, helicopter, rocket launchers and tanks. All


these can be used by this regime to kill the Syrian people. So the


western stance has been very negative towards the Syrian


revolution. As Syrians we think the west is supporting the criminal


Assad regime. west is supporting the criminal


head of the Islamist Talhed Brigade, to defend a town against the Assad


forces, it was eventually lost because the rebels weren't united.


And the regime, backed by Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon was far better


armed. TRANSLATION: Of course in terms of weapons and ammunition we


have not received anything at all. Some communications equipment,


that's all, and some ready meals from the US. How many ready meals?


TRANSLATION: I don't know, because the fighters refused to eat them. !


CLAIL Now a new rebel line-up is being formed, including this senior


commander who has travelled to meet me. It is a line-up of Islamist,


some were in the western-approved Free Syrian Army, now they are


talking of breaking away. Some Free Syrian Army, now they are


powers are more worried by Islamics concerns than the dictatorship.


TRANSLATION: Does the world have double standards and only interested


in the length of somebody's beard. That is all they see, not the amount


of blood that was spilt. Even if there is religious extremism in


Syria, that is natural, we ask the world to help get rid of Assad but


nobody listened, so we rely on good alone. Would you be happy to fight


with the extremists if they were happy to fight with you?


TRANSLATION: Yes, I'm ready to fight side-by-side with them to bring the


regime down. Western policies based on the idea that there is a moderate


mainstream in Syria, inbetween regime loyalists and radical


Islamists. Among ordinary Syrians there certainly is, but among


Islamists. Among ordinary Syrians of a successful peace conference


become ever slimmer. TRANSLATION: I don't think it will succeed, while


the regime continues to kill people, the air force bombs people from the


air and directs artillery fire at them. I don't think under such


circumstances anybody can go to negotiations or peace talks with


such a criminal regime. That certainly is how the wounded at the


rehab centre feel. You might think their suffering would make them want


an end to the war. In fact, it has made them all the more insistent


that their victory should be complete. Tim joins us now. What are


the rebels up to there? Well there are endless meetings going on


Army, backed politically by the West, or whether they want to


break-away into a new Islamist group that might even be called the Army


of Mohammed. There are many here trying to do all they can to stop


that, they fear it would reduce support and sympathy for the rebels


still more. Are they going to make it to the peace talks in Geneva?


There are endless talks about that as well in Istanbul they will be


going on all weekend among exiled Syrian politicians. Many of whom


lack credibility among the fighters on the ground. And maybe it is


because they lack legitimacy, they are unlikely to give any clear


answers maybe for fear of stabbing in the back the people back home. At


most they will say yes they will go but only in impossible conditions


which President Assad agrees to but only in impossible conditions


admiring it was to go and see it. He might have felt the same about the


House of Commons today when one MP after another rose to talk and talk


and talk for as long as possible to try to stuff the chances of a


Private Members Bill passing through parliament. The subject of the


proposed law was the old Conservative source of grief, what


is the point of Britain belonging to the EU. This Conservative MP wanted


to force the Government to hold a referendum before the next election.


David Grossman watched it AUCHLT -- all. It is not the most obvious TV


hit ever. A political drama about Danish politics in Danish.


But Borgen is nevertheless back for another season. MPs apparently love


it. It could have done with some subtitles in the Commons today, the


debate subtitles in the Commons today, the


following 60 years of Franco-German reconciliation and EU achievement


would never have occurred. That is a matter I believe organisations


particularly veterans' organisations, under new schedule 2


(J) should be properly consulted on. MPs were discussing whether to have


a referendum on the EU. As a certain Danish play nearly had it to be in


or not to be in! In the role of Prince was James Warden, a


Conservative MP who came top in the ballot of backbench MPs, his prize,


precious Commons time, with which to introduce a bill. He wants to pass a


law requiring the UK to have a Europe referendum by 2017. Despite


having previously opposed a referendum, David Cameron now wants


one. But can't give Government time to the bill because he's in a


coalition with Nick Clegg who doesn't want a referendum, despite


the fact doesn't want a referendum, despite


the European Union. What this is... It is not? What are they talking


about? They are talking about giving Conservatives a retail offer they


can sell on the doorstep saying our pledges to give you referendums on


the European Union are real and bona fide. And their's aren't. A further


complication is one Conservative MP, Adam Afreye is trying to bring


forward the referendum to this side of the general election. Some


interpret this as a rather naked attempt to destablise David Cameron.


It strikes me the majority of our constituents and the British people


want a referendum before the next election. I have never known a time


in British politics when the politic Establishment has been so


dissecretaried, so remote and in opposition and -- disconnected and


remote and out-of-touch and in opposition of the British public.


The Prime opposition of the British public.


case it proves electorally unpopular. Today we saw dozens of


time-sapping interventions and amendments. We join the action as


the tellers are about to report one of these nail-biting votes. The ayes


to the right, 299, the noes to the left, zero. Yes, that's right, not


even the person who tabled the amendment voted for it. World class


time wasting? Sadly, not even close. In the mother of parliaments they


insist that speeches are at least vaguely to the point. Tonight girls


you are here, you girls don't get to pick the book so I got to pick green


eggs and ham. No such nit-picking and fussiness in the US, if you are


sitting comfortably, here is part of the recent debate on health. That


Sam I am, I do not like that Sam I am.


Sam I am, I do not like that Sam I Ladbrokes are giving on your


amendment being passed? I don't know. I will tell you, it is 100-1,


that is the same as the chances of JAB could be RRhys-Mogg being leader


of the party? I know it is tough to get it tabled. But I'm trying to


give it a voice this side of the election which is what people want.


You know this talk about you being future leader of the party. You know


all this talk? Sorry the question is? You do know all the talk? What I


was trying to do today Jeremy as I was trying to make sure the British


people got a say in the European Union referendum this side of the


election. It occurred to us you are a unifying figure, there are not


many people who could get Bill Cash and David Cameron on the same side


in a and David Cameron on the same side


were going to win the election there would be a certain referendum


wouldn't there? I hope we will win the election and we should work very


hard to do that. What I was saying in my 90 seconds in the debate, what


I was saying is this, the only way to guarantee that British people


have a say on Europe is to deliver it within this parliament. That was


the point I was making. That is what the amendment seeks to do. Because I


might lose the next election? It is better to have a bird in the hand


than promise things for the future, when we don't know what the election


outcome will be or the circumstances at the time. Do you think you might


stand a better chance of winning the election with a different leader?


David Cameron is doing a tremenduously good job in incredibly


difficult circumstance, come on, he has to wake up every morning


thinking about Nick Clegg. He has a challenging economic environment.


There are troubles abroad and at home. He's doing a good job in


difficult circumstance, he is the Prime Minister. What this is about,


what this is want. But they are going to get it?


If the Conservatives win the election David Cameron will


certainly. If they win the next election? Can you predict the


future, it is very hard. But if we win the election then of course,


David, I completely trust him to deliver the referendum in 2017. The


problem is we don't know what the outcome of the election will be.


That is why in many ways, and the lone star of the left says this as


well, in many ways you either want to have the referendum sooner to


restore business certainty and confidence and be back together as a


nation and have a democratic mandate for our Prime Minister to conduct


the negotiations or the withdrawal, or you want to have it a long time


down the road. What we need is certainty, businesses need


certainty, the people want this, and they think it is better if it comes


within this parliament. But you are just adding to the uncertainty? No,


if my amendment passes and just adding to the uncertainty? No,


crying out for a long time. How many amendments are there? I have tabled


the amendment and the Labour Party have put one in. The fate of that is


in the speakser's office and the MPs as to whether it is called for a


vote and whether people will vote for it. Bill Cash is saying it is


nuts? He doesn't say that. We get on very well indeed. Bill Cash has some


concerns and rightly about specifying a precise date. That is


when it comes to it, it may be we vote on a Devon bill to have a


referendum in 2014. Do you he have any idea how many people support


this idea in your party? There are many, it is about what people do on


the day if there is a vote. I can't guarantee that. I'm fighting tooth


and nail and it has been pretty hard work,


and nail and it has been pretty hard guaranteed within this parliament.


You are asking me can I predict the future, I don't know if the speaker


will collect it to be spoken on. I'm not asking you to predict the future


but you can't put a figure on it, can you, is it dozens, you can't


even tell me if it is the fingers of one hand? I can tell you many MPs if


it comes to a vote will support the amendment. I'm hoping that every MP


will look at their constituents and listen to the public opinion, where


80% want a referendum, 55% want it is this side of the election and


even in the Conservative Party 57% of Conservatives want a referendum


before 2017. So I'm trying to be the voice of the people, the voice of my


party, to give MPs the final chance, this is the last chance to actually


have a referendum within this parliament. Thank you very much. It


has been a pleasure. In a moment. Oh! How


has been a pleasure. In a moment. about an imminent nuclear deal with


Iran. John Kerry's bucket of cold water was in remarkable contrast to


suggestions that sanctions against Iran were about to be relaxed. A


prospect that got the Israelis pretty livid. How realistic is a


lasting deal and what would be acceptable to the hardline Iranian


clerics. A spokesman for Iran's nuclear


negotiators before 2005 joins us from Princen to university. What --


Princen to university. What to you thi are the chances? The chances are


high. I believe we have had the most serious negotiations between Iran


and the world powers in the last six or seven years. Already they have


agreed about the principles of the final deal. Also they have discussed


the details. What is left final deal. Also they have discussed


change is about the US position in 2003-2005 when I was a member of the


negotiation team, the US red line was no enrichment. After President


Obama was elected in 2009 the US straight line has been changed. Now


the red line is no nuclear bomb, this is something which Iran can


live with, this red line. That is why after the Iranian special


elections the political atmosphere internationally completely changed.


It opened the door for serious negotiations. Iran put a very


comprehensive package on the table on October 15/16 negotiations in


Geneva. In the last round of talk, just two days ago they he discussed


the details. -- they discussed the details. The two parties have a very


clear transparency measures. Iran would be


fully co-operative on transparency measures. Also Iran would be ready


to co-operate with the world powers on confidence building measures that


Iranian nuclear programmes would remain peaceful forever. There would


be no breakout to our weaponisation. These are two big achievements on


the nuclear talks. At the same time they have understood they need to


respect the rights of Iran on their non- on their NPT. You sound quite


optimistic? I'm optimistic because the principles are agreed already.


The framework is agreed this is for the first time they have agreed on


The framework is agreed this is for the US ability to lift the sanctions


in return of Iranian overtures on transparency measures and no


breakout measures. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you. Now a date


made in geek heaven, the author of Never Where, The Graveyard Book,


meets JJ Abrams, the man chosen to rehabilitate the Star Wars franchise


and director of Star Trek. He's coauthor of an unusual book,


described as a library book, covered in scribbles with odd scraps of


paper hidden inside it. We were intrigued so went to see him. Show


us what somebody buying the book will experience? You open the book


and you Jews cover there are wage -- you discover there


and you Jews cover there are wage -- things like letters that go into


more detail. How as an author do you go about building something like


that? The text had been written first. As I was going along thinking


about the margins story, there would be moments in the Text of Ship that


would clearly offer themselves up. That would clear trigger, to me,


trigger some moment between them. It wasn't calculated it was


impro-advised. One of the things I loved was the feeling that you come


right out at the end of the introduction and have your


characters writing backwards and forwards and essentially telling the


reader there is no wrong way to read the book. I think that the key to it


is that we knew that everyone would approach it differently and the


truth is that S approach it differently and the


chunks, you have made something that demands attention. Is there


something faintly counterintuitive about that at this point? Possibly.


It seems to me it might be an oversimplification. I don't know


actually how true that is. Get to your point! I'm kidding. You have


been responsible here for the creation of a book which treats the


book as object in a way, but it hasn't been treated before? The idea


came out of the object. I found a book at Los Angeles International


Airport, 15 or so years ago, a paper back sitting on a bench, I picked it


up and opened it up and someone had written "to whom ever finds this


book read it, take it somewhere else and leave it for someone to find


it". It was signed "Janet" and she left it there for someone. The idea


of a book having a like spoke to me for some


of a book having a like spoke to me SEENGS goal, not anything else and


it was a natural evolution of a notion. People are predicting the


death of a book and the end of the book, the idea that all books are


becoming electronic and predicting the end of libraries, and you have


created something that has to be a book and it is set in a library? For


some reason the analogue object there is such incredible comfort in


a physical book, I know it sounds silly but there is something about


holding the Boca and being able to see -- the book and being able to


see how far you have gone and the book mark and the g-eared page.


There is something about the experience of holding the book that


is so comforting and I think in an increasingly digital world there is


huge value in the tactile and analogue, that is something "S


"celebrates. Do you analogue, that is something "S


it hadn't been written with the air and thoughtfulness -- care and


thoughtfulness and skill that Doug brings to his work it would be a


gimmick. I have seen it in the work of so many people I admire,


including yourself where you think this is the thing. But in lesser


hands it is transparent, can you see through it and you know what it is


and it doesn't have any import. I think that done well it can be both.


So what I would like to think is it is something that is neither high or


low but it is this kind of, you know,am malMUS cocktail of an idea


that is quick to understand, but an experience that is, I think, rich


and deep and that is all thanks to Doug. Everything you have done to


date that people know you for, first of all on the small screen and then


on the large screen. How does it feel to have no screen? It is funny,


somebody asked me story tellers for a film or TV


actually was fairly close to this, but the process of making it was a


much more intimate and far less political collaboration, which made


it that much more wonderful. When a meteor struck in Russia earlier this


year people commented it looked like something from a JJ Abrams film. Do


you think visual effects have reached a realisim limit at this


point? I think, and I'm as quilty as anyone, you start to see a


kaleidoscopic effect of visual effects and it is happening now


because you can do that. There is one focus and one thing. If you look


at old films and the visual effects, like Matt Paintings, and Albert whit


at old films and the visual effects, there was an incredible efficiency


of dialogue because you knew there would be cards coming up in silent


films. You had characters saying things that were essential. Once


there was sound you could be loose e and there have been many, many films


that have used sound and you wonder sometimes does everything need to be


said that is said. I think we're past this kind of moment of hoping


we can do things visually in movies. We can do anything now. The


essential question now is what is essential? We hear rumours there may


be British casting of stars wars, is this true? It wouldn't be Star Wars


if there wasn't fantastic actors who happened to be British. I think


we're doing our job and looking everywhere for the best possible


actors for the roles. Nothing is more important, there are things as


important, but nothing is more important than casting


important, but nothing is more project. Even as I speak we're


tweeting a link to an extended version of that interview on our


YouTube channel. That's for another week, last week we made it on to the


water cooler show of the moment, Channel 4's Gogglebox which records


the reactions of people watching television shows. We didn't do so


well this week, I wonder why, I guess we will never know? Good


night. I'm getting bored with it now. I was bored after five minutes.


Download Subtitles