14/11/2013 Newsnight


One year on, have police commissioners made any difference? Plus the Chilcott Inquiry, the star of Borgen, former child soldiers in Columbia and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

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Donovan. See you tomorrow. Good night!


Donovan. See you tomorrow. Good Scissors and Jodie Penger and Jason


Donovan. See you week. I really think it is important


we get out and meet the community. I will speak to the police saying ?100


million has been spent to make the police less effective. The climax of


Borgen begins and I have an audience with the statistics minister. It is


rare in a sense that you have to be this icon and perfect and morally


above everybody else. A special report on the former child soldiers


of Columbia, struggling to deal with their past.


He is one of the world's greatest living adventurers, who has


repeatedly faced death and temperatures as low as minus 80, now


Sir Ranulph Fiennes has written his story.


Good evening, it was heralded as the biggest change to policing since


1829, one year on since 41 Police Commissioners got their hands on


power, can you name your Police Commissioner, and have they made any


difference to the fight against crime? In comic book culture they


are public defenders, characters like Gotham City's commissioner GORD


-- Commissioner Gordan, but in in country it is hard to get people


excited about Police Commissioners, 15% people voted in the first


election. This might have been a exercise in democratic exercise, but


a year on we have Twitter rows, accusation claims and accusations of


Well, clearly you have highlighted trust after the Hillsborough tragedy


Well, clearly you have highlighted two important points there. When


voters look at it and had the opportunity to kick me out, which


they didn't have when I was chairman of the Police Authority. I think


they will realise it was a shortlisting by the chief executive,


and whilst I know him's one of the greatest deputies I could have. He's


still a friend of yours, is it right to appoint friends as positions of


deputies? I don't believe it is wrong to discriminate against


someone just because you know them. There is also an on going row over


the Andrew Mitchell pleggate affair. The commissioner for Warwickshire


has been heavily criticised by politicians who said he rushed to


the defence of the police in that case. That was strongly denied in a


Newsnight interview. Is it not the case that the first report, sorry,


concluded there was a case to answer and the second one didn't. That is


correct, I didn't know that until today. Is it not also the case...


You didn't know that until today? Correct. When did you first become


aware of it? Lunchtime today. What were you doing defending your Chief


Constable then, you didn't know what was going on? That is again, I think


a bit of an oversimplification. And there have been a regular series of


gaffes in the papers, like the commissioner from Middlesborough who


had his mobile phone stolen from his pocket just before a meeting on


retail crime. And more seriously the resignation of Paris Brown as a


youth crime commissioner in Kent after a series of her offensive


Twitter messages were published. The reason I wanted a youth commissioner


is still there, we need this connection with young people.


Sometimes things don't go according to plan. I'm interviewing next week


for her replacement and I will have somebody in post by Christmas. There


is a real need for this, that young person will be very, very well known


in the county. Did make you look like an amateur, didn't it? I was


not an amateur, it was unfortunate. The vetting process she went through


was the same vetting process that every single police officer goes


through. Just unfortunate. Ministers though claim a change like this was


never going to be straight forward. It will, they say, take until the


next set of elections in 2016 before the public really starts to see the


full picture. I'm joined now by two Police Commissioners, Kevin Hurley


from Surrey, and Jones from the -- Bob Jones who joins us from the West


Midlands. You have done your own report card in the last year, what


you think has been happening in England and Wales, and the scores


are abysmal. Reducing crime three out of ten, public confidence, two


out of ten, community safety funding three out of ten. It is


jaw-droppingly abysmal? I think your previous report would reflect that


sort of score from the general public. I think just in terms of the


Home Secretary's judgment that it is all about reducing crime, since


April, when the budgets and plans of the PCCs have come into place, we


have seen three decades of ever-decreasing crime grind to a


halt. And more police areas are showing an increase in crime since


April. You have done your own survey, I presume you wouldn't put


yourself out of line with these scores, why not just quit? I think


this is a really important job to hold the police to account. It is


not working? I don't think it is. I think it is better to have a bridge


than a rope to cross a river. People like me make sure we don't drive a


car across the rope ladder. If you don't think it is working or giving


the public value for money or reducing crime or any of these


things, why not hand back the bulk of your salary this year? I'm doing


my best to mitigate the impact. I believe I am proving effective in


stopping some of the damaging elements of the model. This morning


I was awarded the first transparency award, which indicated I was doing


the best to be open of any PCC in the country. And that's because I


know the risks and I'm avoiding the risks. That was Bob Jones, trashing


people like you? Bob's views are his views, this role is about much more


than overseeing the police, it is about the crime bit. But nobody


knows who you guys are? That is not true, certainly not in my area. What


it is about is the crime bit is looking after Vic TRIEMs -- victim,


making sure the Crown Prosecution Service and the court service and


Borough Councils all work to the same agenda, dealing with crime and


antisocial behaviour and giving victims a better service. Look at


this on Bob Jones's report, public confidence two out of ten with a


record low turnout at the election, record levels of hostile publicity


and record numbers of investigations to PCC, clashes between police


constables and PCC. There is no evidence it has led to more


confidence or better governance in policing. He as not talking about


himself but it is a pretty damning report. He is entitled to his view,


but this is early days. The key part of the role is making sure victims


get looked after by the other people who have a role to play. Not just


the police. What we have is a new dog on the block and they are


starting to bark and cut into the Crown Prosecution Service, the


courts systems and borough and District Councils and say we are


here to look after the public, let's do it together. It is not just the


police's job. You are a new dog on the block, but aren't you just


barking a bit louder what are you doing by way of the Probation


Service probably being outsourced, Victim Support, do you support all


this stuff? My position at the moment, I'm chairing on behalf of


the police and crime commissioners. The way forward on victims I


personally don't think what the Victim Support service do is broken.


And so we're taking a very careful approach to look after victims. Bob


Jones, you are meant to be acting on the public's behalf, let's just take


plebgate, you came straight out of the traps and defended the police


officers rather than standing out and saying I'm here on behalf of the


public. Therefore, do people really think that you are independent and


acting in their interests when clearly that was wrong? I think the


possibly one saving grace of police and KROIM commissioners,


particularly my -- and crime commissioners, particularly my


colleagues in West Mercia is they haven't engaged in political


grandstanding but they have gone for justice and what is right. Do you


regret coming out and defending the officers? The take was on the IPCC,


I would have thought it is fairly obvious they have made mistakes


throughout. They should have independently managed the


investigation, they clearly didn't supervise the investigation


correctly, they have been forced to actually reverse all their decisions


and actually go back to having that independent management. It did sound


as if you were defending the officers? I'm defending the process.


There needs to be fair due process, whether it is a police officer,


cabinet member, or a member of the public, they need to be treated


fairly and properly, the IPCC let us down on that basis. Isn't this the


problem, actually the public doesn't actually know whose side you guys


are on? The side we're all on, I would argue, is the side of the


public. We are here to hear what is important to the public, and then


make sure not only the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the


court service, and dare I say the magistrates and judiciary, listen to


the public. They want people to deal with antisocial elements, thieves,


yobs and drug dealers. You are an ex-police officer, doesn't that put


you on the side of the police officers? I'm a politician not a


police officer. You were a police officer? I will be blunt i


understand their business, they can't have me over should they


choose to do so. If you gave the PCC such a bad report card nexty, will


you stop before the end of your term, Bob Jones, and throw in the


towel? If I could make way for somebody who would do a better job I


would do. I haven't seen anyone who fits the bill yet. Because I'm aware


of the risks I'm avoiding the pothole, I see myself like a ship, I


don't believe there aren't any iceberg, I'm plotting a course to


avoid the icebergs. There may be a pirate after new a moment! Coming


up. I thought of a powerful person, leading a big ship. When I got to


that stage where they are really, really powerful, I thought the


gender wasn't very important. That in a moment, but first the Iraq


inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot is running just a bit late. We were


told to expect the verdict last year, but nothing happened. Then the


publication date shifted to the middle of thissy, but that too


passed, without a word from Sir John. The latest date for our


diaries is some time in the early part of 2014, but a stand-off


between Chilcot and the cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, means


we can expect even further delay. The row centres on the failure to


agree the publication of documents including personal correspondence,


between Tony Blair and George W Bush, so will Chilcot ever see the


light of day. Here is our diplomatic editor.


It has been going for four-and-a-half years. And was meant


to finish three years ago. Central to the Iraq inquiry is the


role of Tony Blair and his decision to join America's President Bush in


attacking Iraq. What I was saying to President Bush was very clear and


simple, you c count on us, we will be with you in tackling this, but


here are the difficulties. be with you in tackling this, but


was having to persuade him to take a view radically different from those


in his administration. What I was saying to him is I will be with you


in handling it this way. I'm not going to push you down this path and


then back out when it gets too hot politically, because it is going to


get hot politically. For me very, very much so. This is how it was


meant to work, in October the inquiry sent letters to those who


might be criticised telling them to expect imminently the details of


possible channels. The letters containing the criticisms were


drafted and should have been sent by now. The process called


Maxwellisation, allows people to respond to the inquiry and was


supposed to be nearly complete. The hope in Whitehall was that the


finished report would be ready by February. But now that won't happen


because the inquiry in the Cabinet Office cannot agree on the release


of some secret papers. Writing to the Prime Minister ten


days ago, the inquiry chairman reiterated the need to release


details of: David Cameron says he will soon


decide whether any more material can be declassified for the Iraq


inquiry. The word on the street in Whitehall is while there might be


some room for compromise over the cabinet minutes, the cabinet


secretary is determined that the Prime Minister should hold firm on


the communications between previous prime ministers and President Bush


in the United States including those private notes written to President


Bush by Tony Blair. Adding fuel to the fire, the former


Foreign Secretary, Lord Owen this week wrote to Mr Cameron suggesting


the cabinet secretary, Jeremy Heywood, was not the right man to


ajudicate this issue, as he had been running Tony Blair's office at the


time of the Iraq War. I will be speaking to Lord Owen in just a


moment, but Mark is here. Is it possible that if John Chilcot does


not get a satisfactory resolution to this he won't deliver a report? It


is possible. I'm not sure it is likely. We have been building to


this crisis, and we have now entered the really serious crisis of this


process. For three years he has been trying to get this material


declassified for use in his report. The people on the inquiry have seen


it, it is a question of whether they can make it public. And he hasn't


got what he wants and he has clearly decided to draw a line in the sand


here, from the other side of the equation, David Cameron has to make


the judgment. How far will he be swayed by the various considerations


we don't know. We do know that Tony Blair, as so often in this is


central. He has been making it clear how damaging he thinks it would be


for prime ministers in the future if those things... Not perhaps his own


reputation, who knows He has made that clear, there are all sorts of


rumours going on about the lengths he would go to. His office denied


suggestions that he might take legal action to stop the cabinet secretary


going ahead and making public those communications which he, as we heard


there, he considers to be private we don't think necessarily Gordon Brown


shares that that view. This comes down to the Prime Minister right to


secret communication with other leaders. David Owen, Lord Owen is in


our studio from minute NAP lisence where he joins us -- minute AP


lisence, from where he joins us. What do you make of what Mark is


saying about what may happen. It is unlikely that Sir John Chilcot will


not report, but it is possible without satisfaction and resolution


in this there cannot be a complete report. It is very important -- It


is very important the Chilcot committee are not rolled over in


this. What are we discussing, a war that took place which we now have


pretty clear evidence was done in defiance of a great deal of


professional advice. That parliament was lied to and the intelligence


which was quoted to parliament was justified by the Prime Minister in


words which were not the same as were in the reports. In particular


his forward, which was criticised by the chairman of the Chilcot Inquiry


and another senior diplomat on the inquiry, was misleading parliament.


Disingenious was how one cabinet secretary described the Prime


Minister's presentation of the intelligence. This is not a minor


matter, it is a very serious matter. To whom does it fault to sort this


out? I gather it is the cabinet secretary. They are claiming, the


report said it was David Cameron. It is very difficult for David Cameron,


a Prime Minister from a different political party to make that


judgment. And that's why I suggested it should be decided by the Lord


Chancellor, who does actually make these decisions about after 30 years


where the documents should be going. This inquiry was set up with the


full knowledge that the decisions were being taken by President Bush


and by our Prime Minister and that which Tony Blair wrote to the


President Bush was writing as an official document as Prime Minister.


Maybe confidential. Just to interrupt you there, David Cameron


may be mindful of the privacy, accorded to correspondence, between


prime ministers and other leaders, you know the leader of the United


States, otherwise how can there ever be these conversations. Churchill?


It is nothing to do with this, Churchill was actually criticised


during the inquiry that took place during the First World War, because


of the fiasco. The Iraq inquiry is about a fiasco, lo of British life


with very little purpose, we are seeing that every day in a situation


in the Middle East and affecting Iraq, but above all a very serious


question, was parliament lied to or not? Was this a case of contempt of


parliament? These are not minor issues. If Tony Blair manages to


keep these letters confidential, what will the impact of this be? I


wonder will you always be happy to release any correspondence that you


had in your time in office, should it all be public? No I don't believe


it should. Normally it is covered by, what we now have is the 20-year


rule. Either something has gone very seriously wrong, and like going to


war, then you have to have special measures. So an inquiry was set up


of all Privy Council LORs, those -- Privy Councillors, those COMBRIEF


Councillors have systems set up to show what they were doing as private


citizens. Tony Blair's view is of secondary importance. You seem to be


suggesting that Jeremy Heywood is compromised on this? Of course, he


was his private secretary during the time of 1993 to this serious period.


Of course we can't publish what President Bush said in reply. If the


Americans insist that is top secret that has to be kept secret. We can't


breach the secrecy of another head of Government. But our head of


Government is being held accountable. It is a largely about


Tony Blair. Are we going to allow Tony Blair to veto evidence which


may be critical. Are you suggesting it was integrity a question of


integrity? No I don't believe it is possible for somebody, I think he


should recues himself, he was involved in that in Number Ten


during this period. I'm sure he's a capable cabinet secretary and he


should be invited to make inquiries in every other area bar this


particular one. It was an unlikely massive hit. A political drama about


the intricacies of coalition politics. But Danish television's


Borgen was so much more than that. The first two years -- series were


watched in many countries. Brigitte Nyborg takes credit for that. The


public and private life of a conflicted woman gripped audiences.


The third and final series begins on BBC Four. I went to Copenhagen to


interview Sidse Babett Knudsen, who we all know as the statistics


minister. How did the Danish parliament provide the setting for


this series. The cameras go beyond the intrigue and plotting to show


the damage of the domestic lives of those running the country.


SGLIECHLT When I met Sidse Babett Knudsen, she


told me how her character has changed since we last met her. First


of all it has been two-and-a-half years since we left her at the end


of season two and she has gone out of politics. That is the big thing.


She has got into what do you call it, she's on boards, she's written a


book. She does lectures, so in the private sector. Living with her


children alone. She has become very rich. When you actually were looking


at the idea of a powerful female political character, did you have


anyone in mind? I thought about the powerful person, leading a big ship.


And I thought I was looking at examples, but just as much of women


leaders in all other sorts of areas. And then when I got to that stage


where they are really, really powerful I thought the gender wasn't


very important. Interesting though because there is a certain


steeliness you find? Politicians are rare in the sense that as a person


you have to be this icon and perfect and morally above everybody else,


which you wouldn't demand off somebody in charge of a corporation


or something else. As the character in the first two series, the writers


gave you more tears in the script than you actually shed in Borgen, we


don't see you crying that often. Was that y bringing your own sensibility


to the character that you thought she would have behaved in a certain


way and they thought differently? Absolutely, I thought that she's a


hero, and we have to believe that she is be in a room. There was, it


was the way, how she, emotionally reacted to decisions, for example,


very conscious, a bit overconscious is what I thought. That she felt bad


when she made a tough decision and regretted it and on behalf of


everyone and all that. You don't have time to feel or think like that


when you are up there. So, and also I thought then she's not going to


look responsible. So I think it was very important to me that she was


responsible for her actions, she took responsibility. And of course


the relationship with your then husband, created huge arguments in


households all over Britain, I can tell you, about whether he had been


an absolute or reneged on the deal. Did you tussle over that about how


to play that between you? Not between us, but in the writing room,


yeah. I thought YEP! Absolutely. The "wuss"! We did have this discussion


where I said I think it is very important for her if he's cheating


it is a big thing. Yeah but he was really sad, yeah, but it is a big


thing, you know. That is sort of a male-female thing whether a slip on


the side is important or not. There has been a study by Danish Business


Schools saying that Borgen itself has countered a kind of apathy in


politics. And actually it has been interesting about engaging people in


politics in Denmark again? The funny thing is when I was first told about


the project, I thought politics, the Danes won't like that. And then when


it became something real you suddenly had cab drivers talking


more about politics. I think it happened at the same time. There is


a lot to do with timing, a lot of lucky timing going on with the


series. It seems to be less cynical often than some of the dramas we


have in DRIN about women in power. -- in Britain about women in power.


There has to be an edge to it. It wasn't like the West Wing but it had


a more positive feel to it? In general the whole show is not very


cynical. I think that's a Danish thing. Do you think there is a


respect for politicians here? In Denmark like in the UK and Scotland


that people don't, they are angry with their politicians. The


confidence has, is not very big. Right now we have an election here


next week. What's most visible in the campaign is please vote. Did you


imagine the whole season would touch such a nerve, it was shown in more


than 70 countries, it is a massive hit. Within you set out did you


think you were making a drama for Denmark? Absolutely. It is the most


Danish thing that I have ever been in. It is about Danish politics


going on in Denmark. And it is in Danish, you know. Compared to


international politics we always think local politics is a bit, just


for us! So it was really, really amazing that anybody else would be


interested in it. And identify. And the final series of Borgen can be


seen on BBC Four on Saturday night. Don't miss it.


Columbia's Civil War has been raging for 50 years, the ideolgical


struggle has involved thousands of child soldiers. A year ago peace


talks began between the Government and the main guerrilla group, FARC.


Since then more and more child combatants have demobilised, handing


themselves over to the authorities. We have been to see some of these


child soldiers, I must warn you that some of them have very disturbing


tales to tell. Killing time in the Colombian jungle might look like any


young boy's dream. Here the undergrowth is lush, and there is no


shortage of sticks to fashion into guns. But these teenagers are


showing us what life was really like as child soldiers. Only months ago


they were fighting with armed rebel groups, against the Colombian


Government. Carl Lord Chief Justices now 16, was


a rebel commander with the armed group he fought for. We have had to


protect his identity, he has received death threats for speaking


out against former leaderss, now 16, was a rebel commander with the armed


group he fought for. We have had to protect his identity, he has


received death threats for speaking out against former leaders. Child


combatants like him are deserting rebels at an alarming rate, heading


for rehabilitation centres in the mountains. It is run by the very


people they have been fighting against, the Government. With a --


we are the first foreign journalists allowed in here. The children get to


stay here and play here until they trust authority again. Some of them


like Yolanda who is 16 have suffered unspeakable trauma. She was more


comfortable talking to her There is life after the guerrillas,


this woman spent three years as a child soldier, she was recruited by


the FARC when she was 12, she now lives with her two daughters and


younger sister. Some combatants were executed by


their own commanders, she told me how new recruits were forced to


watch. Children are still at risk of forced


recruitment, people are worried. Here in central Columbia it is said


the FARC lures children, handing out weapons, mobile phones and trainers.


In return the army hands out gifts and leads kids around town. Strange


as it seems this is the frontline in Columbia's conflict for children.


Both the military and the guerrilla groups want to win over the young of


this country. And persuade them not to fall into the hands of the other


side. ? This football match organised by


the army is meant to keep children out of trouble. The parents are


worried about more than the final score.


After years with the rebels it takes time to learn to trust others,


especially those in a position of authority. Nice to meet you. This is


where you live. Can I have a look? This is a charity-run rehabilitation


programme for those who don't want the Government's projection. --


protection. People like this girl who fought for the EPL, a small


left-wing group, he was made commander at 14.


The charity is sceptical of the Government's efforts to protect


former combatants. The Government denies the


allegations. Has the military ever had to use children, people under


18, teenagers, as a means to gather information as informants if you


like in rural communities? No. We don't use them, it is prohibited and


we have not only our legal framework in Columbia ow bee -- but our


internal regulation that prohibits using minors to any activities like


the ones you just mentioned. We have the collaboration and co-operation


of adults demobilised from the guerrilla groups, they have been


very effective in providing information to continue the strategy


against the FARC and the ELM. It is not known how many children are


still fighting for the guerrillas. Thousands have already demobilised,


adding to the pressure on the authorities. They are erasing the


nightmares of the real wars in Columbia's jungle, but it could take


many, many years. You can see a longer version of that report on Our


World at the weekend on BBC News channel. He's an explorer who has


been to hell and back. He has tested the limits of his endurance to the


maximum, and lost many fingers to frostbite. Sir Ranulph Fiennes has


led 30 expedition, and endured some of the coldest and most hostile


conditions in the planet in pursuit of discovery. His new book is titled


appropriately Cold. Cold, what does it feel like to be at minus 80? It


is a different feeling. The English language should have a new word for


it. You get very cold when you are in Wales, you can get hypothermia,


but it isn't the same permanent desire to get into a foetal


position. It makes you have very upset with the other person you


might be with if he, normally it is a, if he's slow that day, and you


are having to wait. You really get more unpleasant than you normally


are with other people when it is like that. It is something that most


people could never imagine. For you that endurance of the cold, do you


think it has to take a special, as I would say in thoughts "throawn"


character to do that? Not really. We choose people carefully. We like


people who are placid, not thick. That is good to know your te members


are not thick? They are ex-military which comes to the same sort of


thing. We don't want them to get very excited when things are going


well or down in the dumps when they are not. Is it an even temper? Yes.


But you have put yourself through hell, and on your level hand you


don't have the finished fingers any more. You had to actually medicate


yourself for that, you had to do some chopping yourself in the


fingers? That was back in the UK that was only because my late wife


said I was getting very irritable because touching the mummified


fingertips against anything was really painful. They don't amputate


properly until five months after the thing happens. So in order to stop


the pain I bought a Black Decker and microblade, my late wife brought


me cups of tea and it took two days to get through the thumb by turning


it around f it hurt or bled you moved the saw PURT away. That is one


extreme, in terms of the achievements you have had in your


expeditions, what has been the greatest one? The book goes back 300


years, it was mainly funnily enough the Brits who kept wanting to know


what the hell was north, where it was white and cold. They kept


sending ships up there, more than any other nation and they didn't


come back. Because they went up channels look ing for some


commercial route in what is Canada and the ice closed in on the ships


and they waited for summer, and they were there three or four years, they


related to cannibalism, and scurvy went through them. Yet it was the


Americans who claimed the North Pole and the Norwegians who claimed the


south pole and 60 years after Scott our group decided we would get our


own back and do the big polar expedition, which is to cross the


whole of the Arctic, Antarctic, 52,000 miles, the only people have


been around earth vertically and it took, we never flew one metre, it


took three years of permanent travel and that was one of the ition one


could say we were very relieved to succeed. Let me see your fingers,


how does that hand operate in cold now, what happens now? I have done


many expeditions with Dr Mike Stroud, we never used hand warmers


by-election the south pole one year, Mike got hypo othermia at 52 degrees


in the summertime. We never wore anything artificial. The idea being


why wouldn't you have charcoal warmers? You could say it was


cheating rather like us autoing wind as a means for pushing things along.


Unsupported it unsupported. At the end of the book you say, "what is


certain whether humans are involved or not is that global warming is a


growing reality, cold as we know it is slowly but surely on the way


out". That certainty about global warming, have you always had it


since you started? No, in Antarctica it is not evident. You have two


miles of ice sitting on 10,000 foot-high mountains. Even if the ice


is getting less you can't see it. But up in the Arctic in the early


1970s I designed sledges which might run into a bit of water so they


needed to be waterproof. Several years after that I was designing


canoes because there was more water than ice. Thank you very much. Now


the front pages. The Prince is a friend of yours, are


you going to wish him a happy birthday? A great patron.


We leave you tonight with a story of 54-year-old Jim, a homeless


alcoholic veteran with alcohol problems. He was given a makeover to


raise awareness of a homeless charity. The video of his


transformation has been viewed more than 30 million times on-line, and


raising ?30,000. Jim is attending AA now and turning his life around.


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark. One year on, have police commissioners made any difference? Plus the Chilcott Inquiry, the star of Borgen, former child soldiers in Columbia and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

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