20/11/2013 Newsnight


Newsnight looks at the British citizen fighting in Syria; what now for the Co-op Bank?; and what is Ed Milibandism? And there is an interview with John Grisham.

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# I simply remember my favourite things.


And... . Terrible things were done At least one of the fighters


And... . Terrible things were done during


And... . Terrible things were done one of them? Also tonight:


Some of the white people from our generation from the Deep South still


struggle with racism and how to overcome it. We talk to John GRISH


sham about the real south. TRANSMIT We have heard warnings about Jihadi


tourism, young men leaving for wars across the board. With the stated


threat that they will return to this country bent on continuing the fight


here. Precise cases are another matter though. On the day that it


emerged that a second British man has been killed fighting in Syria,


Newsnight can tell the exclusive story of a young man who has gone


from a British city to what he considers a holy war in Syria. Day


breaks over Portsmouth. And for a 23-year-old Britishman who has gone


to Syria to fight Jihad or holy war. Allah hu Akbar. We have obtained an


interview with him close to the Syrian front line. We speak to his


family here in the UK. If he dies in this cause he has not died in vain,


he has died doing a good deed or act. Our exclusive comes two weeks


after Britain's spies warned about the dangers to the UK of people


travelling to Syria to fight. They think you are a threat to national


security, what would you say to that? He was born in Britain, he


grew up in the seaside town of South Sea, part of the wider Portsmouth


city I can't remember. He has been a prolific user of social media and


working with academics from King's College London we have been


analysing his tweets. Some of which have been based on his experiences


close to the Syrian front line. We have been working with an academic


from King's College London, he has been researching Brits joining


opposition groups fighting the Assad regime. This is a British national


gone over in the last few weeks. You can see it is very macho, it is very


much appealing to the kinds of things young men are interested in.


Here is a guy standing there with ISI kit, he has his gun, his friends


are behind him undertaking military training. In the initial phases


people stayed under the radar. Now the next people going over, we have


a critical mass in Syria, they are seeking a slightly higher profile


and positivise it to people back in the UK and encourage people to come


over. He think this is him in Syria. We spent last week in Portsmouth,


investigating the story of the 23-year-old Brit who told us he as


fighting Jihad, or holy war. He's The man on the left is Portsmouth


born and bred. His family are from Bangladesh and arrived 50 years ago.


He used to work with the voluntary Dour Team, that is spreading the


word of Islam. By the end of last year, the young man who had grown up


around these quiet streets was showing an interest in radical


Islam. On the 4th of December on his Twitter account, he posted a video


of one of Al-Qaeda's key recruiters. The base from which the great Jihad


from the Arabian peninsula will begin, the place from which the


greatest Islam army will go forward. This was an American citizen who


returned to his ancestoral hope in Yemen. He was described as the Bin


Laden of the internet. He was killed by a drone strike in Yemen two years


ago. Back in Portsmouth, German was still spreading the word about Islam


as early as April. Soon after he left for Turkey and on to Syria. He


joined one of the most radical opposition groups in Syria ISIS, the


reference is to the Syrian region. He posted this ISIS video on


Twitter. It is an remist group, it is part of Al-Qaeda and in Syria.


You don't have any doubt that ISIS did form an affiliation with


Al-Qaeda? It is an affiliate of Al-Qaeda on the ground in Syria. In


sports mouth we contacted -- Portsmouth we contacted the family.


I spoke to his uncle and father who work in the family takeaway business


not far from here. Nearly wanted to be interviewed but they told me


about his early life. They told us he went to an Islamic school, a


Madrassa for about a year at the age of 11 or 12. He went to school and


college around here, we was very much part of British life. After


several days of negotiation his brother agreed to meet me. We


arranged to speak to Iftakar in Syria by Skype. We are break


on-line. That's good. He was ready to confirm he has joined ISIS, and


his aim was to create an Islamic state. He refers to doula, a shorter


term for the -- Doula, a shorter name for the group.


He said volunteers had come to Syria from far and wide. Do you think it


is then justified to take up arms in Syria to fight basically?


He told me he supported the principle of Jihad when he lived in


the UK. Before he left for Syria. He then explained that when he said


he was a Jihadi, he meant someone committed to the Islamic principle


of Jihad. You are quite clear that you were a Jihadi basically and you


are now, I suppose? By early this year some people in


mortages mouth's Muslim community were concerned. This man owns a cafe


where Iftakar and his friends used to eat. I had my son brought to the


chairman of the mosque and a few other people who I know, and who I


know their sons have tried to talk to them and tell them that please


tell your boys keep an eye on your boys and see what they are doing.


Iftakar's brother, who is clearly sympathetic to his views said the


west had let Syria down. Syria called for the world to get


involved, nobody stepped in. Now that people from around the world


are coming in, everyone is calling them terrorists, when this should


have been a job backed by the UN, NATO, whoever, they should have come


in three years ago when this was all going on. Nobody came to their call.


So the Muslims came in. Iftakar said it was too late for western


intervention, help would be rejected. A term which means in this


context that forces would be attacked. Is part of the reason why


you have felt you had to go to Syria was because the west did not


intervene early enough? ISIS has been accused of brutality


in some Syrian towns where it has control. Ruthless summary


punishments of those who oppose their hardline vision of an Islamic


state. But Iftakar's brother says ISIS does good works and they


shouldn't be considered terrorists. Terrorists don't open schools and


places for educating children. They don't fund kids and families. This


is what Doula are doing. They provide the community with food. But


winning hearts and minds can tactically go hand in hand with


fighting. Al-Qaeda h learned, as an overall movement. It realises it


needs to do social welfare and reach out to people. So, yes, they are on


the ground in Syria distributing food, making sure people have


electricity to stay warm at night in their homes, making sure people are


well protected, fed, that they have bread, access to medical cautious


all the civil societies that we have traditionally seen other Islamist


groups do, Hezbollah and Hamas, never Al-Qaeda. That is something


they are exploring and exploiting well on the ground in Syria. I asked


Iftakar about this video posts on the net, it shows an ex-- posted on


the net, it shows extremist group executing lorry drivers who they


believed were Shia mums. I wouldn't shoot nobody, it wouldn't be


something I would do. That is my stance on it. Have you ever seen


ISIS behave in that way in Syria? British authorities view you as a


national security threat, what would you say to that? Are you willing to


die for this cause? If he dies in this cause he has not


died in vain, he has died doing a good deed or act. Newsnight


understands that four or five others from Portsmouth followed Iftakar out


to Syria. We don't know their identities, but before they went


they left letters for their parents. They used to meet at the local


mosque. When we turned up last week we found Hampshire Police were there


to talk about extremism and Syria. Some in the community told us that


the mosque committee were slow to act about this group. I know their


parents and I know these children also here. They come here for a


prayer time, but I did not know what they are discussing about or


anything about it. But you don't know what they were discussing. No I


don't know. I was unaware of it completely. But it was enough for


you to put some posters up saying you can't stay here? Yes. But the


younger generations say their he willeders were out-of-touch. On


controversial issues such as are Shias true Muslims, they were taking


resources from the Internet. Say there was a fatwah produced from


Saudi, we would hear it, they don't because they don't have that source


of information. We can look around on the Internet. We found Shias are


not Muslims, they have been classed as non-Muslims, if we tell them that


they will say you are young and you don't know what you were talking


about. If they were able to use the Internet they would see that the


scolars have announced they are not Muslims.


A radical view indeed. Though there is clearly support for this in


speeches on the Internet, if you know where to search. The story of


how this group of young men traded their safe lives in Portsmouth for


the battlefields of Syria, touches on many questions, the gulf between


young and old, the power of the internet and the lure of Jihad. We


have our Richard Haass from the Quilliam Foundation, radicalised in


the early 1990s and went to fight in Afghanistan. He has since sought to


pre vent radicalisation. Any idea of how -- prevent radicalisation. Any


idea how many men there are like this? A few hundred from the UK and


a few hundred from other European countries. Do you judge what you


know of them that they are danger to this country? Not all of them. We


hope if most of them come back, those who do come back, the majority


will find an occupation or profession. But there is certainly a


significant danger of some of them being taught by Al-Qaeda especially


when they are with Al-Qaeda groups that the west is a legitimate target


and a land of war. We have seen that with the 7/7 bombers. It is


interesting this element that was mentioned in Richard Watson's film


there, of the power of the Internet to prevent there being one orthodox


view which might restrain or shape behaviour. How real is that


phenomenon? It is certainly real for younger generations, of course, in


the west and the developed world. People use the Internet all the time


and they are watching all kinds of videos, especially somewhere fairly


marginalised like Portsmouth, from the mainstream Muslim communities. I


lived in Portsmouth myself 15 years ago, it is fairly isolated


community. And those young men would have probably found it exhilarating


to watch preachers and Jihadist videos from around the world on the


Internet and say they want to be part of that. It is the pull of


adventure for young people to go and fight somewhere. I did that myself


when I was younger. That was pre-9/11. These people are


westerners and talking about "they" are not welcome here. They have that


same identity crisis the Islamist ideology means they feel they can


only be with Al-Qaeda fighters against the west. What they need to


be is integrated British citizens and the only way to go abroad to


fight is with the British Armed Forces. Yet we would have to


recognise, wouldn't we that there is a long and not ignoble tradition of


people going from this country to fight in foreign wars, you think


about something out of the Spanish Civil War, people for political


reasons went off to fight in the Spanish Civil War, they are not


being treated in the way these young men are being considered? There is a


kind of heroism and youthful ideaism -- idealism, much like those


fighting in the Civil War. But post-9/11 Al-Qaeda is ideology is


clear, They have incited attacks and carried out attacks in the west.


They have recruited young men like this in Afghanistan, Afghanistan,


Syria and other places to come and attack this country. The Glasgow


bombing, and the 7/7 bombings, we have to be careful about what they


may do when they come back. The Terrorism Act of 2006 allows


prosecution of these young men, but nobody has been prosecuted yet. I


think in this country we would like to see people come back and settle


peacefully into jobs and things. And nobody would be too worried about


that. But there is a significant danger of extremist or terrorist


activity when people do come back. Thank you very much. Thank you. Now


the Prime Minister announced today that there would be another inquiry


into the unfolding nightmare at the Co-operative Bank, by our


calculation that takes the number to five. Inquiries of one sort or


another are what you might expect when it turns out an avowedly


ethical financial institution has been run into ground by an


unqualified Methodist minister with decidedly unecclesiastical tastes.


The Prime Minister had a rather enjoyable Prime Minister's


Questions. The first priority is to safeguard this bank and make sure it


is safeguarded without using tax-payers' money. That must be the


priority. My Right Honourable friend the Chancellor will be discussing


with the regulators what is the appropriate form of inquiry to get


to the bottom of what went wrong here. Now our reporter is taking a


close interest in the story and is here now. How independent can this


inquiry be? Well it is a very good question. The big question really is


who is investigating who? And whether anybody can maintain a safe


unembarrassing distance from any of the inquiries going on. The Treasury


has initiated this inquiry, it is not clear they are at a comfortable


distance and the Labour Party has a few issues. There are a few distinct


issues around the Co-Op under the spotlight. One is the appointment of


Paul Flowers as the chairman of the group. How did that happen, the role


of the politician, the bank and the board. The other is how it ended up


with a ?1. Five billion black hole when the regulators were saying you


should buy branches of Lloyd's. We had a bit more from the Labour Party


today, when we heard about the revelations of Paul Flowers


resigning from Bradford council back in 2011 there was this question of


whether he kept his membership of the Labour Party. Because he stayed


as an adviser to Ed Miliband until March 2012. Now we heard earlier


this week from the Labour Party that actually they just suspended his


membership, that was their line. But we have spoken to the Chief Whip on


Bradford City council who says that actually it was his understanding


that back in 2011 Paul Flowers resigned his membership of the


Labour Party. Embarrassing for the Tories too? Not so much on the issue


of Paul Flowers' appointment, the other issue which is hold the Co-Op


below the water line, that stemmed from the transaction of the the


buying of the Britannia Building Society, we know that Ed Miliband


was banging the drum for that when he was at the Treasury. The Treasury


in the coalition Government said as recently as October last year that


it was a transaction in the interests of Co-Op members and


George Osborne can't claim not to have had an interest. We dug up a


clip of George Osborne in July last year saying how good he thought he


thought the purchase would be for the economy. We have been on the


phones in the recent months to try to get these Lloyd's branches into


the hands of the Co-Op, we want new names on the high street to deliver


more choice for customer, to make sure we have got more banks out


there offering good deals for people. We are very happy with this


deal, it is a good thing for the British economy. What about the


regulators, are they investigating themselves? The short answer is,


yes. This inquiry has been arranged by the potential regulation


authority. Now that's one of two bodies that was set up just at the


end of last year. There is the consumer body, the financial conduct


authority. And there is also the Prudential regulation authority,


which is in charge of ensuring the banks don't go bust so we all have


to bail them out. The potential regulation authority, which is


setting up this inquiry is also full of people who were at the Financial


Services Authority before, when the transaction was being approved. Mark


Tabour is a campaigner for the bondholders, pensioners who wanted


income from the bonds, he's not sure the regulators are in a position to


investigate themselves. Well he's just disappear, but don't you worry


about him. Of course all these things are retrospective, all


looking back. In the meantime there are a lot of rather pressing issues


going forward? Yes, there are. Looking forward we have to secure


the recapitalisation, that has to be the priority. 15,000 bondholders are


hoping that the hedge funds who are putting money in aren't going to


lose faith and will stay with the transaction, they are bound to it,


they should do. So on the 11th of December when the votes for the


favour of recapitalisation, there will be money enough to keep the


Co-Op alive. The ratings agencies have warned that obviously if that


doesn't happen the alternative may be nationalisation, we are not there


yet, if you have less than ?85,000 with the Co-Op, don't worry the


Government is guarnteeing it. Now there were howls of outrage from


either side of the sectarian divide today in Northern Ireland. After


suggestions from the senior legal official that instead of


investigating and prosecuting the police and the rest of the law


machine draw a veil over some pretty hidious crimes. John larrikin the


Attorney General in Belfast believes the police should give inquiry over


some Should give up inquiries over some of the most atrocious crimes in


the troubles. The Good Friday Agreement signed in


1998 the agreement led to a number of provisions on historical


killings. When paramilitary weapons were decommissioned, forensic


evidence gathered couldn't legally be used in prosecutions. Nor could


it be used when the IRA assisted the authorities to find the bodies of


some of the disappeared. What's more, it meant that the maximum


sentence that could be given to members of paramilitaries, who were


prosecuted for pre-1998 offence, was just two years, even more murder.


This, according to Mr Larkin makes it almost impossible to solve many


of the crimes. He thinks the interests of peace would be better


served by drawing a line under it all. Politicians on both sides and


victims' relatives have lined up to criticise the proposal. Calling it


dangerous and disgusting. Proving that even 15 years after the


agreement, Northern Ireland's attempts to come to terms with its


toxic past remain far from resolved. In Belfast now is the son of the


lisenceor pat Finucane murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989.


What do you make of the proposal from the Attorney General? I'm


slightly surprised that the Attorney General has sought fit to enter this


debate so publicly, without any prompting. And from what it seems


without any consultation with any political party or victims' group. I


find it very surprising that he offers no alternative and seems to


make an arbitary suggestion that not only should there be no prosecutions


and that there should be no legal redress for families and victims to


gain an explanation or the truth as to what happened to their loved


ones. He He seems to be suggesting it as a practical course of action


rather than an ethically or morally desirable course of events. You


accept it will be immensely expensive and there is a law of


diminishing returns in these inquiries? Well, the justifiable


calls for inquiries is one thing, but I don't agree with Mr Larkin and


I think what is glaring by its absence is the absence of any


credible material put forward. He says perhaps families should have


greater access to documents. That is incredible, and Mr Larkin will be


well aware of many victims' campaigns, especially my family we


have campaigned for 25 years, we have had it onfirmed by the Prime


Minister that there was conillusion in the murder of my father. Without


the calls for the public inquiry I don't think they would have been


pressurise today provide anything close to the truth and other


families feel the people. Same. -- the same. If it is a maximum of two


years in prison is it worth to pursue the issue? He's trying to


equate the standard to secure a criminal conviction. The two-year


sentence that would follow with the inquest and inquiry system. What I


find very insulting is in his interview he seems to say that to do


away with inquests is to strike some sort of balance with doing away with


criminal prosecutions. To me that is entering into the political arena


and making a very charged comment, it is not for the role of the


Attorney-General. It is possible also isn't it though that mechanisms


can be pursued other than legal mechanisms through the courts and


the police, there is a greater possibility of some sort of


reconciliation at the end of it? I agree with that, but the sad fact is


that there doesn't appear to be any political will for that to happen.


The debate today again compounds and highlights the fact that political


parties here, and more importantly the British and Irish Governments


have yet to deal with this issue in a serious manner. And if they are


committed to healing our past, then they will let families see files,


they will let them have a truth. They will allow them to challenge


the narrative, which invariably turns out to be a false one put


forward by the state. Thank you very much for taking the time to join us


thank you. Now the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, had a bit of fun at Prime


Minister's Questions today by claiming that even David Cameron's


friends now think he's a loser. Spots and kettles thought d -- pots


and kettles thought the Conservatives. Are things changing,


Ed Miliband was written off as too awkward, too brainy, too much a


union man to be a winner. Then then he caught the public mood on the


cost of living and made his claim to be able to delay energy prices. Does


it add up to a coherent hold we will discuss that in a moment. We invited


the political editor of the New Statesman to tell us what he thinks.


Not every leader's name becomes an "ism", thatcherism is progress, and


Blairism was achieving social justice and harnessing markets. Next


to those, David Cameron, John Major look like also-rans. Ed Miliband is


the unlikely leader, smuggled in by trade union bosses, not really


knowing what to do and short-term tactics. Over the summer his opinion


pole poll started to shrink. What was Labour going to do next, where


was the fightback. Meanwhile in this cafe in North London, Ed Miliband


and his advisers were working on a speech and idea that would turn his


fortunes around. If we win that election in 2015 the next Labour


Government will freeze gas and electricity prices until the start


of 2017. That was portrayed by sceptics as a mad socialist lung


back to the 1970s. But the price freeze was a hit. The Tories were


wrong-footed, the terms of economic debate shifted to the cost of


living. Terrain where Ed Miliband had something memorable to say and


David Cameron didn't. Ed's friends say he has always been


underestimated, but there was plan all along. They say he isn't


bothered by the volatility of the news agenda, the froth, because he


has a deeper and strategic understanding of what is wrong with


Britain and what needs to be done about it. Think of it like the


espresso at the bottom of this cappuccino, a double shot of


intellectual rigour underneath the foam. A doctrine and programme for


Government they called Miliband-ism. It takes the long view of history,


it charts the story of British politics since the Second World War,


as a series of grand ideolgical arcs. These campaign posters at the


people's history museum in Manchester show the consensus after


1945, that Government as job was to build and provide and the state was


on your side. That fell apart in the 1970s a time of stagnation and


division. Until Thatcher made her breakthrough. A Government of


practical measures. In pursuit of mobile causes. For much of the


Labour Party Blairism was a surrender to the spirit of the


1980s, it idolised the big business in thestitious it taxed and spent


more but never dealt with the root causes of inequality. Along comes


the financial crisis that shows what turbo-capitalism runs amock. We are


back in the 1970s where no-one is winning and everything is up for


grabs. The dark blue line is the cost of


living The light blue is the rise in wages,


and the gap between is the cost of living. Ed has been accused of


jargon. Are you on the side of the wealth-creators or the producers or


the creditors. The coauthors of the document says there is a simplicity


of the market at the core. Ed was keen we use the speeches to develop


an argument. The producer speech was a controversy getting at the heart


of something we thought was wrong about the way our economy worked.


The one-nation speech was setting out a philosophy, if you like, an


approach to governing and economic society and politics. And this year


with our energy price freeze and other announcements you saw some of


the policy flesh being put on the bones of that vision. So I think you


can see a sequence there. If Ed is right, economic recovery won't help


the Tories because the proceeds of growth won't trickle down into


voters' pockets. New Labour was fine as a compromise with British


capitalism when the economy was working for the majority. But it


isn't any more. Ed Miliband sees an opportunity to have a new populisim


of the left. Fixing broken markets and protecting consumers from


corporate greed. It isn't just nostalgia for the socialism of old.


It is a belief that the traditions of the left can still inspire


mainstream politics in the 21st century. Miliband-ism doesn't roll


off the tongue, but if Labour win the next election it could be the


idea that governs Britain. I have my guests with me.


Do you reckon Miliband-ism exists? It is never existing until it


embodies an action. After watching the film I longed for the days when


Ed Miliband was vague. The clearer gets the more I don't like him.


There are two propositions that he makes. The first of which is the


2008 marks a major departure, but the crash means we have entered a


new era of history. The second proposition that follows from that


is therefore that license is more left-wing politics in Britain. They


are both empierically false. That we haven't interered a new tran --


entered a new transition phase and the future doesn't belong to the


left? When there is a transition point everybody believes the future


belongs to them. Nobody says we have had a major transition and everybody


is moving away from me! It is the fantasy of the left that we lift in


a left-wing country has come true because of the failure of


capitalism. It is a fantasy. I question the idea that the financial


crisis in 2007/08 wasn't the cattism, if you -- cat cliff. The


entire conversation in politics was things can't go back to the way they


were. At the root of that was an ideology about deregulation and


markets gone wrong. Why I would agree is Labour had a bit of a shock


thinking that naturally if something had gone wrong with markets that


meant people would suddenly swing for the left. They were surprised


when UKIP turned out to be the insurgent force in British politics.


For card-carrying Milibandites were here to defend his position, they


would say it is not about the old left but a new populisim which can


engage with the failure of markets and speak on behalf of ordinary


people Will Ed Miliband be the Prime Minister after the next election? It


is very likely that he will be in a Government, even if it is a


Government of coalition, just because of the way the numbers


through the electoral system pan out. I would say it is also possible


that he won't. What I'm not sure is clear is that... He will and he


won't? Let me explain that. Both are true claim Ultimately it is very


hard to call, because a bunch of Conservative voters are going to


vote for UKIP. A bunch of Liberal Democrat refugees will vote Labour.


That means actually Ed could end up in Downing Street by accident. What


I'm not sure the arguments that I have outlined will be the ideas that


people will rally behind and march. This is precisely the problem, this


is a man more associated with wanting an "ism" and wonky ideas


than he is with governing? I think that is not a bad criticism of what


the Miliband project has been about. What he would say in defence is


unless you spend this time in opposition completely re-thinking


what you had and what went wrong under the last Government. You will


never persuade people to bring you back. The really cogent part of the


Ed Miliband team is they lost that time. There was a big change, it


took place after 2008. That question which is an existential question for


the left, what are you for if you haven't money for the social


programmes, it hasn't begun to answer. If you look at health, what


beyond the sentimental agonies of Andy Burnham does the Labour Party


offer. We don't know. You could write a PhD thesis about their


thinking on legislation, crime. We have an absence. You can't suggest


there is any ideolgical position here, if we have no guidance for


what the Labour Party would do on any of those things and no notion of


how it would govern the state when there was no money. If you want a


apockal change that is it, the Labour Party is miles away from


knowing what it wants. They are trying to erect a tripod and it is


how you reform the state. They will say that is not what people are


worrying about right now. They are worried about. Schools, hospitals,


crime, welfare. I think they will find... What they don't want is an


ideolgical crow side from the Michael Gove point of view to tear


it up and start again. They want a decent well-funded school at the end


of their street and services that will work and money in their pocket.


What scares people on the left is not losing but winning. If you don't


have guidance on what you will do on critical things then it will be a


very difficult period in Government. This will be the question of fact


which the left confronts if it were to come into Government. Which is it


doesn't have great deal of money. It has to reform the state. It has


foresworn every kind of reform of the state that it used to do in the


old carnation under Tony Blair. What does it have in its place and it


doesn't have the answer. That is the central question that the left will


face. I think there's probably a number of people in the Conservative


benches who think if they don't know what they are doing next it might


not be a bad thing to let Labour sneak in, and reveal themselves as


not having this programme and the whole thing fall apart. This


wouldn't be a bad one for the Conservatives to lose. The missing


plank of this, Miliband-ism isn't how you reform the state. What Ed


would say that is not what voters are concerned about. We begin with


the ideas and then we roll it out as a programme. Essentially the kind of


policy you get is a few labour market economies sit in a room and


go capitalism is fine but we wish you were nicer. The energy price


freeze is a good example. Of course we want prices lower rather than


higher, it doesn't seem to get beyond that level of banality. You


end up with a policy that is commanding something into existence.


In fairness they have a policy to reform the energy market, I can't


disagree with what you said. That didn't last long. Thank you very


much both of you. There are few enough people in the world who can


boast of having sold run moneys of millions of books. John Grisham,


author of one thriller after another can make that claim. His website


claims with no false modesty that his first novel A Time To Kill is


one of the most popular novels of our time. The next offering is Sick


more Row. It has just been published here. Was it always your intention


to revisit Jake Brigginss and Clanton? I think so, I didn't know


when. Everything is driven by a story, you have to have a story


before you write a book. For many years I thought about a sequel or


another visit back to Clinton. Another visit to all those


characters but there was no story. So it took a while to get the story.


You like writing about the south because that is where you come from?


I would much rather write about the south. Because it is what I know, it


is easier at times. The stories are richer. More layered. The characters


are far more fun to write about. On On the question of race, in that


territory, was there still a huge race issue when you were there as a


young man? I struggled with racism every day. Because the way I was


raised. I was raised in an all-white world in Mississippi. We thought it


would always be white. What were your parents like about that? They


were wonderful people, but not the least bit tolerant towards black


people. That's my DNA and the way I was raised. It took a long time to


become more tolerant. Is there any way you think that A Time To Kill


and even this book is about alonement? For me, for Jake. For the


attitudes you were raised with? Maybe, because I'm Jake. The book


was very autobiograical, a lot of white people of my generation from


the Deep South still struggle with racism. And trying to overcome it.


We're all-racist because we refer our race and we are quick to condemn


others, we are we don't want to look at life through coloured glasses. It


is difficult for me many times. And how does that manifest itself? Well,


stereotype, you expect certain things out of certain people. You


see a gruesome crime, you see the suspects arrested, and they are two


black punks who killed a white businessman. And you think they are


guilty, you know, there is a level of tremendous dislike, you know.


Then you get passed that -- past that, you think maybe they are


innocent, the cops have got the wrong people. Maybe you should try


to understand where they came from, they probably never had a chance,


they were probably born on the streets. Raised on the streets,


probably never were taught right from wrong. Your initial reaction is


to react negatively. To many situations. And then you have to


work through it. Do you think that the election and re-election of


President Obama has fundamentally changed things for black people? I


don't know. It's change things for black people because there is such


an enormous sense of pride and almost disbelief on the part of most


black folks when he got elected, they never thought it would happen.


Nobody thought it would happen ten years ago. The downside is a lot of


black people thought that change would finally arrive at a certain


point and change would happen overnight. But the expectations were


so high that no-one could ever achieve those expectations. Thank


you very much. My pleasure, always fun.


You can see a longer version of our interview on our YouTube channel.


That is it for tonight, unconfined joy in Hull over the news it has


been named City of Culture. We asked the Hull photographic society why?


They showed us. # Skies are blue


# Dreams come through # While I'm holding you


# In


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.

The topics examined are: the British citizen fighting in Syria; should we give up on prosecuting some of the worst murders of the Troubles?; what now for the Co-op Bank?; and what is Ed Milibandism?

And there is an interview with John Grisham.

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