19/11/2013 Newsnight


19/11/2013

The Co-op, porn and crystal meth; the health secretary; Muslim Brits aid convoy to Syria; Royal Mail share price; from Lincoln to JFK. With Jeremy Paxman.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Eye It's not just one man in trouble, it is not just one bank in

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chaos, it is an entire political and social movement in disarray. How do

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you get from this: Come shop at Newcastle Co-Op. To

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this! The Labour politician who tried to clean up banking spent his

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life in the co-operative movement. He's furious. From Manchester to

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Aleppo. We travel with the group bringing aid to the wounded at the

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Syrian simple war. And... Four score and seven years ago our fathers

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brought forth from this continent a new nation. It took be a Hamlin done

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a few hundred words to lay out a vision which 150 years on isn't

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realised even though. We are here for you in good and bad times, we

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are here for life. The Co-Op's claim it is ethical and community-owned

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and above the usual tawdry concerns of business has always been its

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unique selling point. The discovery that its bank was being run by a

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Methodist minister, with taste for pornography and crystal meth wasn't

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exactly expected. It forced out the chairman of the entire group today.

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He was in charge of the board that appointed the bank boss.

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Come shop at Newcastle Co-Op. The old fashioned image of the Co-Op, a

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little dull, perhaps, but dependable, respectable. Today,

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well, it certainly isn't dull. The Sun Newspaper published more

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allegations about former Co-Op bank chair, Paul Flowers private life,

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leading to the resignation of the whole Co-operative group, who said:

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I think that's ?300. Paul Flowers was filmed, apparently buying

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cocaine from 2009 to June of this year he was responsible for a little

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more money than the ?300 he was seen handing over here. As chairman of

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the Co-Op Bank, with assets of ?47 billion. Someone who has known him

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for 40 years and a fellow method minister said he was always

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completely unsuitable to run a bank. There has been times when Paul has

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come up with grandiose proposals and promises and they have turned to

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ashes. That has happened more than once. This crash is a repeat of some

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earlier crashes that we have seen over the years. He's a very gifted

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character, lots of abilities, very generous in many ways, but he does

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seem to have this fatal lack of judgment at some crucial moments.

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Almost a kind of recklessness. The Co-Op, of course, has a long, proud

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history as a mutual organisation owned by the people who use it. But

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is this friendly rather perhaps unbusiness-like structure to blame

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for this scandal, allowing unqualified people to rise too high.

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In most organisations broadly speaking good people do better at

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their jobs and they get promoted to the top as a result. That's

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certainly true in most business, I think it is probably also true in

:03:58.:04:00.

most banks. What we have seen in the Co-Op is that the Reverend Flowers

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has been able to get to the top, essentially through political

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processes of internal committee work and machinery, and the result of

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that has been that someone who had virtually no understanding of the

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financial sector, or indeed business generally has been able to come the

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chairman of a clearing bank. Stand by this scandal, the new chair of

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the Co-Op group says their whole governance is now under review. We

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determined to come through it, even stronger than we came in. This is an

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opportunity for us to change and modernise, for us to refresh and

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really re-think what it is that the people of this country want from us

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in the future. We are really prepared to be radical, to be

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dramatic and to make those changes, which are necessary. Questions too

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for Labour, Paul Flowers was a councillor in Bradford until around

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a decade until he resigned suddenly in August 2011, at the time he said

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it was to concentrate on his Co-Op bank work. Today we heard the real

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reason. Bradford council said in a statement:

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The question is how high up in the Labour Party did the knowledge of

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the real reason behind Paul Flowers resignation go. Afterall, he wasn't

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simply just another Labour councillor, he was chairman of a

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major bank, he was subsequently appointed by Ed Miliband as a

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business adviser. And it was part of an organisation that is a huge donor

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to the Labour Party. Including giving ?50,000 to the office of Ed

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Balls the Shadow Chancellor. Tonight the Conservative Party chairman has

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written to Ed Miliband demanding who in Labour knew what and when. But

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perhaps the biggest questions of all are for the bank regulators. Paul

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Flowers was cleared to head a major UK clearing bank, despite having no

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relevant business or banking experience. I think the regulators

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have done much better since the crash, but they should still have

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asked themselves the question whether or not this person with no

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banking experience or virtually no banking experience and no other

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business experience should have been in charge of one of our largest

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financial institutions. Without good quality service we are nothing. We

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are our reputation. More than a bank, more than just a supermarket,

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the Co-Op is also the nation's biggest funeral director. Whilst

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this scandal will not bury this cherished and important institution,

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it has ensured that it will change. Joining us now from Glasgow is the

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Labour Co-operative Party peer, Lord McFall, a former member of the

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Treasury select committee. As man who has been intimately bound up

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with this movement, what did you feel when you heard today? I feel

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great personal disappointment at this situation that the Co-Op

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movement has found itself in as a member of the Co-Op. But secondly as

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chairman of the Treasury Committee during the time of the financial

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crisis I'm absolutely gobsmacked that these revelations have come

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out. If you look at the record of the hearings that we undertook

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during the crisis, we were very clear with the FSA that, first of

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all, people had to have qualifications if they were going to

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be chairman or chief executives of banks. They came up with New York

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that neither -- Northern Rock that neither of those people had the

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qualifications and they had to have them. The second thing that came out

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is the fit and personal regime of the FSA, both Lord Turner and the

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chief executive acknowledged very publicly that it was nothing more

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than box ticking exercise. And they had to make sure that there was

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integrity in those appointed. Nothing has happened since then. The

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appointment was made by this movement of which you are a proud

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representative, it wasn't made by the FSA, you can question whether

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they should say is this bloke appropriate. The appointment was

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made by your movement. Listen there is no way out of that. That was a

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serious, serious error on behalf of the Co-Op party. What the Co-Op

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needs to do now is to be open and transparent about how we arrived

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here and how we are going to take it forward. But the second issue Jeremy

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is, if anyone is going to be a chairman or indeed a non-executive

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director of a financial institution then they have to be passed a test

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by the Financial Services Authority. And that was obviously a paper

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exercise, nothing else. So the Co-Op have got a serious responsibility

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here, but so has the regulator, and indeed so has the Government, when

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you consider that Co-Op were in for 600-odd branches of Lloyd's thank

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process went on for two years. Were you surprised that man like this

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could have been made boss of your bank? I'm surprised, particularly in

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the hearing or in the evidence that came out today, regarding Bradford,

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I would like to know who knew that and did Bradford communicate that to

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the Co-Op group. And in terms of being chairman of a bank one has to

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have not just persuasive powers, but also has to be school and rational

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and understanding about the business, and it is obvious that

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Paul Flowers from what you have heard in that little episode there

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had none of these qualities. Doesn't is also question the judgment of

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your party leader, Ed Miliband, in appointing him to this function

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advisory committee when he's such a dodgy bloke. Who knew he was dodgy.

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Let me tell you both as chairman of the Treasury Committee and a member

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of the parliamentary banking standards commission, sadly in terms

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of culture and ethics in the banking set up, nothing surprises me very

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much now. We were asked by the Government to look at culture and

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standards. We have found culture which was a rotten culture and we

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found standards which were abysmally low. We are right at the foot hills

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in terms of rebuilding the trust and the culture and ethics in banking

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and financial services. This again, sadly, in the Co-Op of all areas,

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that has been proved the case today again. Thank you very much for

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joining us, thank you. Coming up: From Manchester to Aleppo, with the

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aid convoy. A blueprint for restoring trust in the NHS was how

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Jeremy Hunt described his response today to the Francis Inquiry, not

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everyone agreed. The inquiry into the rot at Mid Staffordshire NHS

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Foundation Trust reported in February. It identified a failure at

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every level of the NHS and called for a real change in culture, a

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re-focussing and recommitment of all who work in the NHS on putting

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patients first. It put forward 290 recommendations to that end.

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Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Today the Health Secretary Jeremy hunt issued

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the Government's response to the inquiry and claimed to have accepted

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all but nine of those emDAGSs. He -- recommendations. He announced a

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statutory candour on investigations, a new safety website and mandatory

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reporting of numbers on hospital wards. He didn't impose the national

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minimum staffing called for by the report. The chairman of the report,

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Robert Francis, has welcomed what he calls a comprehensive response, but

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Labour and several patients' groups say the recommendations don't go far

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enough. Earlier I spoke to Jeremy Hunt at the Department of Health. I

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put to him that this was just the top-down of the NHS that they

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pledged not to embark upon. This is not a structural reform, it is about

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changing the culture in the NHS to address the strategy we had in Mid

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Staffs. I think the people in this country and who use the NHS will be

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very disappointed if in response to something as horrific as that, we

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didn't come out with a plan that was actually designed to encourage the

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openness and the transparency that will hopefully mean these things

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can't happen again. When you say you are going to introduce a new

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criminal offence of willful neglect, can you give us an example of the

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sort of person who might fall foul of such a law? There are 1. 3

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million people in the NHS and the vast majority of them do a brilliant

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job, but you will have, in any large organisation, one or two people who

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do the wrong thing, and that's why we want to have criminal sanctions

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for those extreme cases. But I think it would be wrong to say that the

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thrust of what we are doing today is about those criminal sanctions.

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Because actually what we are trying to do is support people on the

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frontline who want to do the right thing and make it easy for them to

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speak out about mistakes and it is really important, and I need to make

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this point because it is very important. There is a very big

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difference between making a mistake and willfully neglecting someone.

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Can you give us an example? I think an example might be someone who was

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responsible for caring for a dementia patient who didn't give

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them food when they needed it and when they knew they needed it. That

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would be the kind of thing I'm thinking about. It is people who

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deliberately neglect people. It is a very small minority of people. I

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think that they should face the full force of the law. You say you want

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to get people to speak out, how is that going to make people more

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likely to speak out when they know that the consequence of doing so may

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well be to send one of their colleagues to jail? Well, what we

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have said today is we are changing the incentives in the system so that

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for the vast majority of decent doctors and nurse, who want to do

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the right thing, the overwhelming incentive they have is to make out

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about those things. We are doing that in two ways, the first is we

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are changing their professional codes of conduct. They say it is

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your professional duty as a doctor and nurse to speak about things you

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see that are wrong. And f you do, you will get protection if there is

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any subsequent professional contact here. The second thing they are

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doing, which is as importants and perhaps the single most significant

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thing that I announce today is that we're saying that if a hospital

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loses a litigation case, and it transpires that the hospital was not

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open and traps parent about something that went -- transparent

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about something that went wrong, then they risk paying for the

:15:10.:15:12.

litigation case themselves. They don't have to do that at the moment.

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The purpose of that is to get every chief executive and hospital board

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to send out a message loud and clear to all their staff, if in any doubt,

:15:20.:15:23.

if you think you saw something that may have been a mistake, you are not

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sure, report it. Write it down. Thank's the culture they have --

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that's the culture they have in the airline industry which has led to a

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dramatic improvement in their safety record, we can do that in the NHS.

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You are also going to require hospitals to publish staffing levels

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on wards. What will happen if they consistently publish reports which

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suggest that there aren't enough staff on? The CQC, the new Chief

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Inspector of hospitals which we reported this year for the first

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time, modelled on Ofsted, will look at all the data on an on going

:15:59.:16:02.

basis, if they think when they look at the staffing data that indicates

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calls for concerns, they will inspect that hospital. There are

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very severe consequence, one of the things we introduced early this year

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is a new failure regime for hospital, which means the management

:16:15.:16:18.

of the hospital lose their jobs. We have 13 hospitals now in special

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measures this year, it is the first time in the history of the NHS that

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has happened. There are real questions for the managers of

:16:26.:16:31.

hospitals who fail their CQC inspection. As the royal nursing

:16:32.:16:37.

college says, is there 30,000 unfilled nursing posts? I don't know

:16:38.:16:40.

where where they get their figures, from I do know across the system we

:16:41.:16:44.

are going to be recruiting nearly 4,000 more nurses this year. The

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number of hospital nurses in the country has actually gone up over

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the last three years. I think this is just the start. Because I think

:16:53.:16:57.

this whole change in culture in the NHS has meant that, where as before,

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if you wanted to be a good hospital you really had to meet your waiting

:17:03.:17:05.

times targets and make sure you balanced your books. Now, to get a

:17:06.:17:15.

good grade from the Chief Inspector Of hospitals you have to be

:17:16.:17:18.

delivering good quality care and you need the right number of nurses.

:17:19.:17:23.

People are predicting a winter of crisis in the NHS, can you guarantee

:17:24.:17:29.

there won't be a cry sis in the NHS this -- crisis in the NHS this

:17:30.:17:34.

winter? You can't say anything about something which you don't have

:17:35.:17:38.

direct control. Staff in our departments have never been better

:17:39.:17:41.

prepared, we have made preparations earlier than in previous years. We

:17:42.:17:44.

have an ageing population. There is a million more people going through

:17:45.:17:49.

the A system every year than just three years ago. We are doing

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everything we can to cope with the pressure. People are working hard

:17:53.:17:55.

and we are doing what we can to support staff on the frontline. One

:17:56.:18:00.

final point on this question of resources, is it right that people

:18:01.:18:05.

who should have been, who were moved on as a consequence of

:18:06.:18:09.

reorganisation should have been given very large amounts of public

:18:10.:18:13.

money. Hundreds of thousands of pounds, in the case of one couple

:18:14.:18:18.

nearly a million pounds and then reemployed by the NHS. No, and that

:18:19.:18:24.

is why we are changing the system. Why did you do that? You solve one

:18:25.:18:28.

problem at a time, this exists because of the contracts they sign.

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Sometimes contracts that have been in existence for a very long time.

:18:33.:18:35.

It is wrong they get those payments, that is why we have chang the system

:18:36.:18:40.

so if you are reemployed by the NHS within 12 months then you have to

:18:41.:18:44.

pay back your redundancy payment on a pro rata basis, it is a much

:18:45.:18:48.

better system. Can you recoup any of the money paid out? This is to do

:18:49.:18:52.

with contracts people have signed. We have to follow the law in that

:18:53.:18:55.

respect. I want to make absolutely sure for future contracts this new

:18:56.:19:02.

system is in place. Thank you. The former speak -- Speaker of the House

:19:03.:19:08.

of Commons called for the creation of a corridor into Syria so

:19:09.:19:12.

humanitarian can be delivered to casualties of the Civil War. The

:19:13.:19:16.

problem, as pointed out by other members of the House of Lords is who

:19:17.:19:20.

could protect such a thing. Even without a corridor some people are

:19:21.:19:27.

taking aid into Syria. BBC Asian Network reporter has travelled with

:19:28.:19:30.

one of the British aid convoys making the journey to bring help to

:19:31.:19:38.

the wounded. We are going through sniper alley, basically we have to

:19:39.:19:43.

go at a fast speed to stop getting hit by a sniper basically. This is

:19:44.:19:47.

one of the most dangerous places on earth. A sniper-lined street in

:19:48.:19:56.

Aleppo, Syria. This brother has been shot by a sniper. And we follow this

:19:57.:20:05.

charity's journey there. Five ambulances through nine countries.

:20:06.:20:09.

Pushing into areas most other charities don't go. This is the

:20:10.:20:16.

future, look at this smile. Let's get going, we are going. Late night

:20:17.:20:21.

in Manchester, these ambulances are packed with medical supplies and

:20:22.:20:32.

food collected by the volunteers. This is a 35-year-old taxi driver

:20:33.:20:39.

and family man, and this is the only woman, and a credit adviser from

:20:40.:20:46.

Leicester, and we have a 25-year-old pharmacies from Halifax. Any nerves

:20:47.:20:51.

at all? All fairly relaxed it is nice to have a break from work and

:20:52.:20:55.

do something real with your life. It sounds crazy you are not nervous

:20:56.:20:59.

that this is a break? What defines crazy, is everyone else crazy who is

:21:00.:21:07.

living 9-5 paying mortgages and not worried about 70% of the rest of the

:21:08.:21:11.

population living in dire poverty, that is crazy. This is one of a

:21:12.:21:15.

number of smaller charities missions going to Syria, independent of the

:21:16.:21:22.

big aid agencies. They had first to Dover, but they face an early

:21:23.:21:28.

setback. Are you still getting searched. Unambulance is stopped by

:21:29.:21:32.

counter terrorism officers. The police are just searching the

:21:33.:21:35.

vehicle and now they are searching the individuals. The group do face

:21:36.:21:39.

suspicion that they are going to Syria to fight. It is in terms of

:21:40.:21:46.

your religion it is names, it is where you are going. When it happens

:21:47.:21:49.

all the time it could feel like harassment, you can understand if

:21:50.:21:52.

they are doing their checks that is fine. But taking your phones off

:21:53.:21:57.

you, taking your e-mails off you. What can you do? It is estimated

:21:58.:22:03.

more than 100 Britons could be fighting with the opposition in

:22:04.:22:06.

Syria, and the evidence suggests many get there under the cover of

:22:07.:22:19.

charity mission s. How do you make sure everybody who is coming is

:22:20.:22:24.

coming in the right way? They have to know someone we know, they have

:22:25.:22:28.

an interview, a Facebook and Twitter check. Nothing is 100% foolproof, as

:22:29.:22:33.

long as we do our checks and are satisfied, everyone is vetteded. So

:22:34.:22:37.

it is day 3 of the journey, we are in Switzerland, this is one of the

:22:38.:22:40.

ambulances on the convoy. It is packed all down this side with

:22:41.:22:44.

medical supplies, you have got needles, boxes and boxes of

:22:45.:22:47.

painkillers, down here. This is where four people are sleeping, so

:22:48.:22:51.

it is very cramped. If I just take you through to another one of the

:22:52.:22:55.

ambulances on the convoy. This is number two 2, at the back here you

:22:56.:23:01.

have more medical supplies, dried food, Magid and Adul are sleeping

:23:02.:23:08.

here, it is very cramped. This is the last leg before the real journey

:23:09.:23:13.

starts. The group are all British, of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian

:23:14.:23:17.

heritage, they see it as a duty to help other Muslims like those in

:23:18.:23:21.

Syria. Have you thought about the prospect of people getting hurt or

:23:22.:23:26.

killed? I think every humanitarian thinks of the worst, especially when

:23:27.:23:29.

they are going into Syria. At the end of the day you take precautions,

:23:30.:23:33.

nobody is going in there to get hurt. You could argue that if you

:23:34.:23:36.

were going to die that could happen quite as easily else where I would

:23:37.:23:48.

rather it be something meaningful. This Islamic song is played

:23:49.:23:53.

throughout the trip. It is calleds I Weep For Syria and details the

:23:54.:23:55.

country's suffering. There are eight days of travel,

:23:56.:24:16.

driving in shifts. Keeping spirits up at endless service stations. And

:24:17.:24:20.

one member of the group is turned away by police before they enter

:24:21.:24:27.

Turkey. Come on guys, Syria is calling. Finally they reach the

:24:28.:24:31.

Syrian border. This is where they enter a warzone. The convoy heads on

:24:32.:24:39.

without us, they are about to take huge risks and we could put them in

:24:40.:24:47.

further danger. They head first just over the border and they are filming

:24:48.:24:51.

everything on mobile phones. Priceless, it is priceless. We get

:24:52.:24:56.

out of the vehicle, we are just handing the sweets out and they were

:24:57.:24:59.

just loving it. You could see the smiles on their faces. They are

:25:00.:25:07.

coming up to us and trying to be our friends, little children, what is

:25:08.:25:11.

your name, thank you for the sweets. Really appreciate it. You know they

:25:12.:25:14.

appreciate it. Four of the group then push into Aleppo. The dangers

:25:15.:25:19.

are so severe here that few foreign aid agencies are operating. This

:25:20.:25:24.

final journey takes them to the frontline. We went out with one of

:25:25.:25:28.

the hospital ambulance drivers, he knows the entire area, some parts

:25:29.:25:33.

were a bit hairy. More than a bit hairy? Yeah. (Gunfire) We ended up

:25:34.:25:40.

not very far from some of the frontlines where there were snipers

:25:41.:25:48.

that were sat. Come back, come back. (Gunfire) To actually be in the

:25:49.:25:50.

thick of T it was a little closer than I would have liked to have

:25:51.:25:57.

been. (Explosions) We have ended up in the back street where there are

:25:58.:26:01.

snipers on every side street, every junction in the road. And if I just

:26:02.:26:09.

turn this around there are huge sheets that have been put up to try

:26:10.:26:14.

to avoid snipers being able to see past. Survival instinct is get

:26:15.:26:17.

through the situation and get back to what we were trying to do. The Dr

:26:18.:26:24.

Is stitching up a young child. We managed to deliver the aid to the

:26:25.:26:28.

hospitals that were receiving a lot of casualties to the frontline. This

:26:29.:26:32.

brother has been shot via a sniper, the sniper bullet has exploded

:26:33.:26:38.

inside him and caused a lot of pieces of his bone to snap and

:26:39.:26:48.

break. The team tear through sniper-lined streets to get between

:26:49.:26:55.

hospitals. (Gunfire) You are kind of going in a calm KASy fashion --

:26:56.:27:06.

kamakazi fashion. S it is for me to die there that is how it is. I have

:27:07.:27:10.

got children, it is not what I want. If the world was doing what it

:27:11.:27:13.

should I wouldn't have to risk my life. The whole nation is a risk

:27:14.:27:17.

from the start. There is no point getting all the way into Syria and

:27:18.:27:21.

giving stuff where it is not needed, for example in Aleppo where we went

:27:22.:27:25.

this time they have not had aid for such a long time. Nothing but total

:27:26.:27:34.

carnage. In one hospital they find seven-year-old Mohammed. There is a

:27:35.:27:37.

tank that went and blew his house up, his mum passed away and his

:27:38.:27:45.

brother passed away, he had both his legs blown off. His new family are

:27:46.:27:50.

the doctors. Really he hasn't done nothing, these people inside Syria

:27:51.:27:53.

they live through that every single day. We really need to help these

:27:54.:27:57.

people big time. We need to help them. We have to help them. Everyone

:27:58.:28:02.

makes it home safely. The convoy plan to return to Syria next month.

:28:03.:28:12.

You can hear her 30-minute radio documentary, A Road Trip To War on

:28:13.:28:20.

the BBC Asian Network website. Now the Prime Minister picked up the

:28:21.:28:23.

telephone to the President of Iran today, the first such call for a

:28:24.:28:28.

decade or more. Tomorrow in Geneva the talks between Iran and

:28:29.:28:32.

representatives of the half-a-dozen world powers will resume. And while

:28:33.:28:41.

they didn't come to the talk and a dramatic conclusion, but there is

:28:42.:28:45.

something in the air. What did David Cameron talk to the Iranian

:28:46.:28:51.

President about? We know this because Downing Street has provided

:28:52.:28:54.

us a menu of their conversation. They tacked about repairing

:28:55.:28:58.

relations between the two countries, let's remember the embassies in both

:28:59.:29:02.

countries have been closed for two years following Iranian students'

:29:03.:29:07.

raid on the British Embassy in Tehran in November 2011. We know the

:29:08.:29:11.

two men discussed Syria, bearing in mind that Iran and Britain are on

:29:12.:29:14.

opposite sides of the Syrian conflict and we also know that they

:29:15.:29:19.

discussed the prospects for success at these talks which will be held

:29:20.:29:24.

here in Geneva. Realistically is there likely to be any sort of

:29:25.:29:30.

success in those talks? There may be, in recent months Iran and the

:29:31.:29:35.

west have crossed so many rubicons that they may want to consider

:29:36.:29:40.

buying a row boat and some oars to help them get across the next few

:29:41.:29:45.

crossings. Essentially a lot has changed in the last few months. The

:29:46.:29:50.

phone conversation, and between the US President and the Iranian

:29:51.:29:53.

President conversation, that has created a different atmosphere in

:29:54.:29:58.

the talks. Ten days ago here they didn't reach a deal, they didn't

:29:59.:30:01.

reach a deal possibly because Iran insisted on the west recognising

:30:02.:30:06.

Iran's right to enrich uranium, a right that the west says does not

:30:07.:30:10.

exist. But two days ago Iran's Prime Minister said you know what we will

:30:11.:30:14.

keep that right but the west doesn't necessarily have to recognise it.

:30:15.:30:17.

That may open up and clear the way for a possible deal in the next few

:30:18.:30:21.

days. It would only be a first step and interim deal, even if it is

:30:22.:30:27.

signed it will be strongly opposed by Israel. More rubicons to come.

:30:28.:30:31.

Thank you very much. Another bunch of bankers are up

:30:32.:30:34.

before the breaks in parliament tomorrow. This time it is the people

:30:35.:30:40.

who advise the Government on the selling off of Royal Mail. Judging

:30:41.:30:43.

by the price shares are changing hands in the market was knocked down

:30:44.:30:47.

for a song. Trades unions are throwing about words like "gross

:30:48.:30:50.

incompetence" to describe the bankers who advised the Government,

:30:51.:30:54.

or even theft, they are demanding that no more money be given to what

:30:55.:31:03.

the offenders ausingly called, "professional advice". The first

:31:04.:31:10.

privatisation in eight years put a special strain on the Royal Mail

:31:11.:31:16.

sorting office, applications came in from 700,000 individuals for stake

:31:17.:31:22.

in a business they bout was bargain agains. Their shares was capped the

:31:23.:31:28.

?750, who ended up owning it. Here is the top share Holder in --

:31:29.:31:39.

shareholders in Royal Mai The first is a hedge fund. The next one is

:31:40.:31:45.

GIC, the next is a huge sovereign wealth fund investing oil money on

:31:46.:31:50.

behalf of Kuwait, with 1. 4%, behind them with more modest stakes the big

:31:51.:31:59.

city Standard Life, and Threadneedle Street. For the Government it is a

:32:00.:32:03.

mixed bag, they have got some of what they wanted but also some of

:32:04.:32:07.

what they didn't want, which could produce political problems in the

:32:08.:32:11.

future for them. At least 20 city institutions got in at the ground

:32:12.:32:15.

floor, taking in half a billion shares at a price of ?3.30, as soon

:32:16.:32:21.

as trading started the price dropped by a third. Today they closed ?5.

:32:22.:32:28.

50, up 67% on the float price. Their gain, the tax-payers' loss, the

:32:29.:32:34.

initial floatation was ?1.7 billion, if priced at today's level it would

:32:35.:32:41.

have fetched ?2. 8 billion. The taxpayer have has lost out, who did

:32:42.:32:45.

make money is the banks advising on the deal, they have commissions of

:32:46.:32:50.

millions to be paid out. Some small investors who had applied for a lot

:32:51.:32:54.

more shares than they got sold quickly and they made a little money

:32:55.:32:58.

out of it. It seems to be the two biggest investors are two hedge

:32:59.:33:05.

funds, the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund, is one, and there seems

:33:06.:33:10.

to be a lot of money made at the expense of the taxpayer. The

:33:11.:33:14.

Government is left with a 30% stake and serious questions to answer.

:33:15.:33:18.

City players from Citibank to JP Morgan had said Royal Mail could be

:33:19.:33:25.

worth upwards of ?6 million. Why did Vincent Cable choose Goldman

:33:26.:33:30.

satisfaction and UBS who valued it at ?3 billion. His critics say it

:33:31.:33:35.

was natural given how down he had been on Royal Mail over the years.

:33:36.:33:39.

The Government were down on the business saying the traditional

:33:40.:33:43.

source revenues were haemorrhaging and could fall off the CLICHLT

:33:44.:33:48.

saying the business was short of cash and had severe industrial

:33:49.:33:53.

relations problems. This isn't a promising prospectus to take the

:33:54.:33:57.

business forward. It is like trying to sell a car by announcing it is

:33:58.:34:02.

failing its MOT and the engines are going to fall out. You will not get

:34:03.:34:06.

a good price, and people will say it is not running for long I will give

:34:07.:34:09.

you a few quid. What happened to this dusty old building not far from

:34:10.:34:14.

Tottenham Court Road is one piece of evidence that suggests Royal Mail's

:34:15.:34:18.

important portfolio is worth more than previously estimated. Its

:34:19.:34:23.

owners Great Portland Estates have celebrated getting planning

:34:24.:34:27.

permission to turn it into offices, shops and retail, turning it into a

:34:28.:34:35.

half a billion. For cities agencies they say it was massively

:34:36.:34:42.

undervalued. Thousands of investors, with ?750 to invest, made a bit of

:34:43.:34:47.

soft with hedge funders the buyers. The shares yielded 5% in the second

:34:48.:34:51.

market price, people found that attractive. You have many people

:34:52.:34:54.

finding that attractive and buying, yet many speculators taking their

:34:55.:34:58.

profit on the first day. The called stags taking their money out making

:34:59.:35:02.

that short-term profit, the quick buck. Who was buying? Long-term

:35:03.:35:07.

investors, people who want the dividend, people who see the

:35:08.:35:13.

attraction in in the assets. Just in Bond Street off the West End are the

:35:14.:35:19.

Children's Investment Fund Management, despite the name it is

:35:20.:35:23.

called one of the most aggressive hed funds in the country. It has a

:35:24.:35:28.

stake in Royal Mail worth ?300 million. The reason I wanted to

:35:29.:35:32.

speak to this man so much, the man who runs the hedge fund is known as

:35:33.:35:38.

a corporate activist, he takes big stakes in companies and tries to

:35:39.:35:41.

make changes happen. I wanted to know his intentions at the Royal

:35:42.:35:45.

Mail, he wasn't available for interview and hedge funds like to be

:35:46.:35:50.

discreet. Vincent Cable initially said Royal Mail's high price was

:35:51.:35:52.

froth. He also revealed something else. We now know that at the last

:35:53.:35:56.

minute the Business Secretary, Vincent Cable did consider setting a

:35:57.:36:00.

higher price for Royal Mail, but the institutional investors who he so

:36:01.:36:04.

wanted on board said that in that case they might not buy as much of

:36:05.:36:09.

the stock. And UBS and Goldman Sachs advised against it. Mr McCabe said

:36:10.:36:15.

that in sticking -- Mr Cable said in ticking with the advice he was

:36:16.:36:21.

following advice from Goldman Sachs and UBS. Tomorrow MPs will ask them

:36:22.:36:25.

if they were giving firmly held opinions or telling their client

:36:26.:36:29.

what he wanted to hear. Now on an old Civil War battlefield in the

:36:30.:36:34.

state of Pennsylvania 271 words were read out today. Even 150 years after

:36:35.:36:39.

they were first delivered they retain the capacity to send a shiver

:36:40.:36:46.

down the spine. The Gettysburg address was intended by Abraham

:36:47.:36:51.

Lyndon to end one of the -- Lincoln, to end one of the cruellest wars of

:36:52.:36:54.

all time. It took a few minutes to deliver but it has taken much longer

:36:55.:36:59.

to deliver on the promise of the birth of freedom of a nation under

:37:00.:37:01.

God. At Gettysburg in 1863, 51,000 men

:37:02.:37:17.

were killed or injured in three days of battle. It was a fight between a

:37:18.:37:22.

conservative slave-holding south and a north determined to impose change.

:37:23.:37:30.

To honour the dead Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, the

:37:31.:37:33.

most important speech in American history. The Civil War reaches into

:37:34.:37:43.

our own age, the divisions it exposed are still part of the

:37:44.:37:48.

American political discourse. On these damp autumnal fields in 229

:37:49.:37:56.

brief blistering words Lincoln rededicate the -- rededicated the

:37:57.:38:04.

Republic. "Four score and 20 years our fathers brought forth a new

:38:05.:38:08.

nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that

:38:09.:38:12.

all men are created equal. We here highly resolve the Government of the

:38:13.:38:15.

people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the

:38:16.:38:20.

earth." For them the American revolution was unfinished what he

:38:21.:38:24.

called "a work only thus far advanced". Well 150 years on, it is

:38:25.:38:29.

still unfinished. Americans are still arguing about how to live the

:38:30.:38:33.

ideals that their Republic is founded on. Still bitterly divided

:38:34.:38:46.

about precisely what "Government for the people by the people and of the

:38:47.:38:52.

people". It is uncanny that the anniversary of John F Kennedy and

:38:53.:38:58.

the address are connecte Both are connected, both sought to use the

:38:59.:39:02.

power of federal Government to enforce change on federal states.

:39:03.:39:05.

Both trying to force America to live up to its founding ideals as they

:39:06.:39:10.

saw them. Both made fierce enemies as a result. What the war was doing

:39:11.:39:16.

was preserving this unique system of democracy, of republican rule, you

:39:17.:39:21.

see. It is testing whether this can survive and Kennedy, the parallel

:39:22.:39:26.

is, what does he speak of in his inaugural address? And focus during

:39:27.:39:30.

his administration? It is the struggle for freedom, for liberty,

:39:31.:39:34.

to preserve the democracy that we have here and around the globe. But

:39:35.:39:45.

black America was excluded from the Gettysburg promise. The post slavery

:39:46.:39:52.

south upheld segregation for a century. That century separates

:39:53.:39:57.

Lincoln from John F Kennedy. When Kennedy began to challenge white

:39:58.:40:02.

supremacy, the white south revolted. That revolt is what brought John

:40:03.:40:07.

Kennedy that fateful day 50 years ago, when he drove past the Texas

:40:08.:40:15.

Book DePOSry. In the 1960 presidential election Kennedy lost

:40:16.:40:19.

Dallas by the largest majority of any constituent in the United

:40:20.:40:21.

States. He was not particularly popular here. Mainstream

:40:22.:40:26.

conservatism had long since be Dallas's reality, but the activities

:40:27.:40:32.

of fringe, right-wing extremists dominated the political atmosphere

:40:33.:40:35.

of the city at that time. The sixth floor of the Book DePOSry, is now a

:40:36.:40:45.

you -- dePOSry, Kennedy was a year away from the election, he had to

:40:46.:40:50.

win text Sarks but his supporters were deserting him. His challenge

:40:51.:40:54.

had re-opened the fault line in America. Conservative fears over a

:40:55.:40:59.

federal Government. Right-wing extremists did not kill Kennedy, but

:41:00.:41:05.

his visit to Dallas to try to appease them did. It appears

:41:06.:41:08.

something has happened in the motorcade route. There has been a

:41:09.:41:12.

shooting. The hospital has been advised to stand by for a severe

:41:13.:41:16.

gunshot wound. The presidential car coming up now, we know it is the

:41:17.:41:20.

presidential car, we can see Mrs Kennedy, there is a Secret

:41:21.:41:24.

Serviceman spread eagled over the car. We understand that the

:41:25.:41:29.

President and Mrs Kennedy is in the car, apparently something is wrong

:41:30.:41:32.

here, something is terribly wrong. At this point it looks like it could

:41:33.:41:36.

have been one or two or all of the people in the car, they have been

:41:37.:41:39.

the victim, they have been struck by shots. We don't know. It was

:41:40.:41:48.

definitely the President's car. The violent shock of it echos down the

:41:49.:41:52.

decades even now. It is easy to forget that in life Kennedy, like

:41:53.:41:56.

Lincoln, was a highly devisive figure. Both men perceived by

:41:57.:42:01.

conservative Southerners to be imposing an unwanted and alien

:42:02.:42:06.

northern liberalism. They begin with lines such as "the first remark that

:42:07.:42:09.

I heard after hearing about the shooting of the President was "he

:42:10.:42:14.

asked for it" ". Another person said why was he seeking admiration and

:42:15.:42:19.

not in Washington where he belongs. This extraordinary collection of

:42:20.:42:21.

letters written to the Mayor of Dallas in the days after the

:42:22.:42:25.

assassination, is helped by the library in the city. They reveal the

:42:26.:42:29.

simmering intensity of public sentiment. What was the nature of

:42:30.:42:33.

the anti-Kennedy sentiment in the south? It is better to understand it

:42:34.:42:38.

less as anti-Kennedy sentiment than anti-Washington and federal

:42:39.:42:41.

Government sentiment. The two driving elements of American

:42:42.:42:45.

political history, going all the way back to the revolution s how are we

:42:46.:42:48.

going to deal with race and what roles Governments should play in

:42:49.:42:51.

telling individuals how to live their lives. This was the exact

:42:52.:42:54.

cause of the Civil War, it is the same argument that animates civil

:42:55.:42:58.

rights throughout the 60s and actually it is really one of the

:42:59.:43:01.

tensions I think that drives American politics today. Public

:43:02.:43:07.

sentiment still simplers in Dallas, at this RUP - simplers in Dallas.

:43:08.:43:20.

This is the latest manifestation of the long American argument. Today it

:43:21.:43:26.

is about federal healthcare reforms, but it points to the same enduring

:43:27.:43:30.

themes, individual LIB toe and the I will legitimacy of state intrusion.

:43:31.:43:37.

As the pendulum swings to a more statist point of view, where the

:43:38.:43:41.

Government is in control, then they are approaching a time of tyranny.

:43:42.:43:45.

That is a really strong word, the rest of the world sees this as the

:43:46.:43:49.

most securely entrenched democracy in history, and yet you use the word

:43:50.:43:54.

"tyranny" is it really that bad? I see what our Government is doing in

:43:55.:43:59.

the redistribution of wealth that it is exercising. As only perhaps

:44:00.:44:05.

semantically different than if I were to put a revolver at your head

:44:06.:44:10.

and tell me to give me your wallet. There is an unbroken line of

:44:11.:44:14.

continuity that runs from Gettysburg to Dallas and on into our own age.

:44:15.:44:19.

It is a struggle for ascendancy between two Americas, conservative

:44:20.:44:23.

America, that seeks to champion the sovereignty of the individual

:44:24.:44:26.

citizen against the state. And another America, that claims to

:44:27.:44:29.

speak for progress and seeks to harness the power of the state to

:44:30.:44:34.

impose it. It is an argument about what it means to be a true American.

:44:35.:44:44.

What it means to be a true American was the issue at Gettysburg, who was

:44:45.:44:49.

embraced by the founding ideals, and who was excluded? Does the politics

:44:50.:44:57.

of race still shape the country's discourse? Americans remain divided

:44:58.:45:02.

about what it really means to be a new nation conceived in liberty. And

:45:03.:45:07.

how to advance that proposition that all men are created equal. That's

:45:08.:45:14.

all for tonight. We learned today that the surviving members of Monty

:45:15.:45:19.

Python are to reform for a new stage show. We couldn't bear to play you

:45:20.:45:25.

the dead parrot sketch yet again, instead here is the most obscure

:45:26.:45:31.

thing we could find, Monty Python, a German television programme from

:45:32.:45:36.

1972 and an interview in the finest Newsnight tradition with man who

:45:37.:45:39.

claims to have written all the works of Shakespeare.

:45:40.:45:43.

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines: the Co-op, porn and crystal meth; the health secretary; Muslim Brits aid convoy to Syria; Royal Mail share price; from Lincoln to JFK.

With Jeremy Paxman.


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