25/11/2013 Newsnight


Is the deal with Iran a triumph or a sell-out? The perils of pay-day loans; Vince Cable interview; depression in sport; exorcism in Mexico; Will Young on the use of the word 'gay'.

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So, peace in our time - or is it? As all those involved claim the deal


on Iran's nuclear programme a triumph, So, peace in our time - or


is it? As all those involved claim the deal


on Iran's nuclear programme a triumph, Israel cries "sell-out".


Who is right? Payday loan companies are to have


their wings clipped, but how many of their clients realise the problems


they are storing up for the future just by becoming a customer? I think


people would be very shocked if they knew getting a payday loan now and


paying it immediately next month afterwards could jacket their


ability to get a mortgage three, four, five, years in the future. We


put that to the business secretary and ask him too about how the


government could have miscalculated so badly on the Co-Op bank. How a


cult of death in Mexico has led to the revival of exorcisms.


And the singer Will Young is here to talk about the use, or misuse, n the


playground. According to the French Foreign


Minister, Iran could see some of the sanctions it has suffered being


lifted as early as next month after the deal struck in Geneva at the


weekend. William Hague seems to think it will be the new year, but


it definitely looks it will happen, much to the fury of the Israelis who


think the rest of the world has been duped by a nation still bent on


developing nuclear weapons. There is also some unhappiness among


legislators in Washington. It is not the kind of welcome


William Hague usually gets on his way back in London, but in Iranian,


what happened in Geneva triggered an outpouring of relief. He is perhaps


in a unique position, he is the most popular Iranian diplomat in the past


34 years, because he has the backing of Iran's supreme leader, and he is


popular amongst the youth, among the very people who protested against


the system. For President Rouhani trying to end


the country's isolation, it was vital to present it as a victory. So


he welcomed relatives of Iran's assassinated nuclear scientists,


telling them that their sacrifice had made the Geneva deal possible.


From the Foreign Minister, too, an upbeat message. The current


agreement, the current plan of action, as we call it, in t distinct


places, has a very clear reference to the fact that Iranian enrichment


programme will continue, and will be a part of any agreement, now and in


the future. Iran says the deal enshrines its


right to enrich uranium, and it eases sanctions to the ctions to the


tune of $6 billion or $7 billion. They pay quite a price: they freeze


their uranium enrichment. Crucially, their stockpile of more highly


enriched uranium will be diluted, and there will be more international


inspections. Iran has clearly given the most away


here. This is a serious freeze on most of Iran's nuclear capabilities,


putting it further away from a bomb. It is getting comparatively little


in sanctions relief, it is still losing about three times more in


foregone oil revenue than it is getting in relief, and the main


thing Iran has received here is a qualified right to enrich uranium -


but that's about it. Israel's Prime Minister,


predictably, perhaps, Haslam Belfasted the deal. But the other


big sceptic in the Saudi Arabia is taking more of a wait-and-see


attitude. Secretary William Hague. Back in London, William Hague


underlined the diplomatic mountain that remains to be climbed. The


agreement sets out the elements of a comprehensive solution which we


would aim to conclude within one year. The plan of action envisages a


mutually defined enrichment programme with agreed parameters and


limits but only as a part of a comprehensive agreement where


nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.


And while that negotiation goes on, nagging doubts will remain, about


places like this, the Parchin military complex. Intelligence says


nuclear weapons research has taken place here, but it's not covered by


yesterday's deal. And images that will disturb some


Iranians, too, of shaking hands with the old enemy, while the talking


goes on and most sanctioning remain. Did you see Mr Zarif shaking hands


with John Kerry. That is unprecedented. It shows Iran is


investing in something in the long-term. I think Iran is trying to


- Iran has tried to invest in a comprehensive deal after the six


months; that's why it has conceded to such a deal that only allows


limited sanctions. This is a holding arrangement, a leap much faith,


while the really difficult details are being worked out in the months


ahead - March could still -- much could still go wrong. We know the


way was paved for it by secret diplomacy between America and Iran,


and that relationship will prove critical next year as they push


towards the comprehensive deal. If Iran seizes this opportunity, and


chooses to join the global community, then we can begin to chip


away at the mistrust that has existed for many, many years between


our two nations. None of that is going to be easy,


huge challenges remain, but we cannot close the door on diplomacy;


and we cannot rule out peaceful solutions to the world's problems.


We cannot commit ourselves to an endless cycle of conflict. So the


Geneva talks ended with success, and they may even have opened the door


to a new relationship, one that could wash away many of the


conassistants of Middle East politics.


-- constants of Middle East politics. The Israeli government is


one of the most vocal opponents of the deal. Daniel Taub, the Israeli


ambassador to the UK, is here. Why are you saying the Iranians have


given up nothing when they clearly have? We are very, very concerned


about this deal. The fact is what we are being presented with is a deal


that doesn't require Iran to dismantle a single one of its


centrifuges, not even the most advanced ones, it doesn't require it


to dismantle a single aspect of its military programme, doesn't require


it to dismantle a single aspect of the plutonium reactor. There were


10,000 centrifuges spinning the day before this agreement; they're going


to be spinning the day after this agreement. It gives us very serious


cause for concern. But the question of the amount of enriched uranium,


the level to which it is enriched, the development of the heavy water


plant, these sort of things, they are concessions by the Iranians, are


not they? I don't think we see here concessions of the nature that


convince us that, in six months' time we're going to be further away


from a nuclear weapon. But it is not true, as your Prime Minister claims,


that they have given nothing, they clearly have given something up? On


balance, this is an agreement, and you saw the people cheering in the


street, you know, when the negotiators came home, and that


really does raise questions, why is it that such major concessions are


regarded as such a big victory? It is not everybody is cheering. The


negotiators are cheering, and the politicians returning to the West


ring, and the politicians returning to the West are -- Maybe people do


want to avoid confrontation, and perhaps there's a risk in that. As


you get closer to our region, then you see the concern rises, but for


many of our neighbours as well. We don't often agree, we're thinking


not only about what Iran might do in the future, but we are looking at


what they are doing today: they are supporting Hezbollah, helping


terror, and we're thinking - And making concessions on nuclear


weapons. The question isn't whether they're making concessions, the


question is are we on track to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb?


That is what Britain has said it's committed to, that is what the


United States is committed to, and that is what we want to see happen.


You don't think this deal can last? The question isn't whether this


particular deal can last. The question is are arrangements in


place to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power, to having a nuclear


bomb? That's what we want to see happen. We're in full agreement.


What would have satisfied you, then? At the moment, what we want to see


is an agreement or an arrangement that moves us towards that. It makes


it quite clear we want to see an arrangement that stops Iran from


having the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon. That means actually


taking out, dismantling the infrastructure. The trouble with


this agreement is really the entire machinery, the entire machinery


remains in place. So the rest of the world appears to be misguided,


you're the only ones who are right. Has it occurred to you that the


reasons the Americans went behind your backs and had private talks


with the Iranians, an unprecedented event, more or less, might be


because they recognise too that you're the problem here? The fact is


there can definitely be differences of opinion here, but I certainly


think the closer you get to the region, the more reason we have for


concern. Yes, attention is focused on this. We are the ones who do hear


the supreme leader calling for our destruction. Just this week, the


supreme leader described us as a rabid dog that is destined for


destruction, and maybe that focuses our attention, but at the end of the


day, we want the same thing that the United States wants, that Britain


wants, and that is to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon. This team


you're sending to Washington, what is their mission? Their mission is


to make sure we and the United States are co-ordinated in having


the goals we have in common. The question is whether this is a deal


that takes us two steps forwards. We're not sure that it does. We need


to work together to make sure at the end of this deal - You didn't know


what the United States was discussing with Iran. I am not going


to talk about what we did or didn't know. What we know at the moment is


that we have a common goal, and we have to work together to make it


happen. Do you think you can persuade the Americans this is a


deal not worth continuing with? I don't think that that is our goal.


Our goal is not to try to undermine something, our goal is to work


together to get something that actually works. The fact is, we are


concerned, we are concerned because everything, or pretty much


everything that we know about the nuclear programme in Iran today is


something that was hidden from the West for years by Iran. The fact is,


we only know about Natanz precisely because these things are discovered.


We are concerned about going into a process without our eyes being very


wide open. We don't know a great deal about the Israeli nuclear


programme, do we? What we know is that this is a process that hasn't


changed for decades it, hasn't threatened anybody else in the


reemingon, it hasn't stopped our neighbours from trying to attack us


again and again, and this is a different situation to a situation


like the situation with Iran, a country which at the moment is


arming terrorists, is threatening to wipe neighbours off the map, and, of


course, this isn't an Israeli demand, what we are talking about is


a demand which comes from the United Nations - six United Nations


Security Council resolutions. That is really what we would like to see


implemented. Ambassador, thank you. Not at all.


Later in the programme: the singer Will Young on the use, or misuse,


Not at all. ??T


Now, those nice people who popped up on high streets across the country


telling us how keen they are to lend us money are going to have to run


along on slightly smaller profits. The government is getting the


financial regulator to put a cap on what they can charge. It is only a


matter of weeks since the regulator wouldn't have any truck with the


idea because it considered it very intrusive. People who have been


stung by so-called payday loans, which pay interest at 365 per cent


or so, may be relieved, but they will be less relieved to hear


evidence we've gathered at Newsnight about the harm they can do to your


chances of getting a mortgage - more than 1 mortgage brokers have told us


they have had clients with payday loans turned down for a mortgage.


Andy Verity reports. If you borrow a tenner from Wonga


now, next month, you will may back more than ?20. You will pay interest


at 365 per cent, more than 50 times the price of other loans. But that


hasn't been enough to put off 2 million payday loan customers hungry


for instant credit. The Wonga economy is one of the


worst symbols we have of the cost-of-listening crisis. Labour has


-- The cost of living crisis. Labour has gone down hard on payday loans.


Government whips ensured it was voted down. The coalition has told


the Financial Conduct Authority to intervene in the market and regulate


costs. We are going to have a cap on the total cost of credit. We're


going to look at the whole package, to look at the arrangement and


penalty fees. This is about having a banking system that works for


hard-working people, make sure that some of the outrageous fees you see,


and some of the absolutely unacceptable practices are dealt


with, and it is all about the government being on the side of


hard-working people. That surprised the industry, because the


Competition Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority was


supposed to be working out whether a cap was needed or not. By


introducing a cap, as they have in Australia, the government has made


up its mind to intervene and a market without waiting for official


advice. If the objective is to drive out


some rogue lenders, that has had success in Australia. What they've


seen there is they have seen it hasn't driven down demand for loans


so people are looking for other forms of credit and looking towards


illegal lenders and that's something the government wants to be wary of.


Capping the interest and fees on payday loans should help some


borrowers, b cost isn't the only way that payday loans can affect your


financial future. Newsnight has discovered strong evidence to show


that having a payday loan won't do you any good when you're trying to


apply for a mortgage. Most lenders don't say publicly they will turn


down borrowers with payday loans, but the brokers who arrange half the


country's mortgages are finding with most lenders, that is exactly what


happens. Jonathan Clark a young couple who will taken out multiple


payday loans. I was shocked at the response I got, because apart from -


well, one or two said they could be acceptable subject to a credit score


saying it probably won't work, but most were negative and say it would


be an instant decline, regardless of their income, their conduct of their


accounts, and everything else. These were major lenders? These are major


high street lenders, yes. Nowhere do you say - Three weeks ago, Newsnight


asked the chief operating officer of Wonga if he would warn prospective


customers on their website. We will certainly have a look at that and I


will come back to you. To find more evidence, we asked the trade


publication Mortgage Strategy, to ask its readers, the brokers, what


the lenders have been telling them. 289 of them came back, of those,


nearly two thirds had had clients with payday loans turned down for a


mortgage. When you take out a payday loan, it


stays on your record for six years, so it can affect your mortgage


application for that length of time. You would have thought customers who


take out payday loans would want to know that before they take them out.


Now, payday lenders pride themselves on their transparency, but do they


say anything on their websites about that vitally important fact? I can't


find anything. We put our evidence to the trade


body that speaks for most payday lenders. We certainly need to look


at this more closely, and we've asked the Council of Mortgage


Lenders if they can give us any insight and the main credit


reference agencies. That will help us understand the issue. Then we can


work together as an industry to address it more widely. I think


people would be very shocked if they knew getting a payday loan now and


paying it immediately afterwards could impact their ability to get a


mortgage five years in the future. I think people should be aware of


that. No-one likes nasty surprises... We asked Wonga, that


fun, transparent company, if they would do what they said and come


back to us. They declined. It is clear to mortgage brokers that most


mortgage lenders show that financially you're not lenders show


that financially you're not coping. .


Now the business secretary, Vince Cable, is with us. A week or so ago,


the regulator thought the sort of measure that you are proposing now


would have been very intrusive. Why did you change your minds? I don't


think we ever thought it was very intrusive because we've already


given the power to the regulator to introduce loan capping. This is the


latest step in a whole series of actions to regulate this industry,


and you may remember the Office of Fair Trading did a report as a


result of which I think 25 companies in the industry left. We've now come


forward with measures to regulate t advertising, the extent to which the


lenders can go back to a person's account, and now we are introducing


the cap on interest rates. Is this your departmental responsibility? It


was until recent, but it's now moved into the Financial Conduct Authority


which ultimately - Couldn't it be seen by many that this was your


departmental responsibility until about a week ago? Yes, very


recently. And it had to be moved out of your department and into the


hands of George Osborne before anyone did anything. Come on. This


move has been planned for two years. We introduced all the measures to


regulate the industry, and cross-governmental agreement. I made


it very clear we needed to listen to some of the backbenchers who were


putting down amendments in parliament, engage with them, get


more evidence, and as a result of the evidence that's recently come


forward on the United States, and Australia, that having a cap on


interest rates is practical, so there is a cross-government


approach. When it was in your department, it wasn't considered


necessary to do anything. We considered that there was a balance


of risks. We commissioned a study from the University of Bristol that


warned of some of the unintended consequences. Thank heavens for


George Osborne coming to the protection of the consumer, hey? He


has acted on behalf of both of us, because we were concerned that the


balance of evidence now suggests that the merit - What has happened


between last week and this week? Apart from the fact he has got the


gig and you've lost it? I am less concerned about that than getting


the right policy. What has happened over the last week, there is a lot


of argument in parliament about the merits of the cap, you know, various


people like the Archbishop of Canterbury are making this case. We


looked at - we commissioned a study from Bristol which said there were


advantages and disadvantages in an interest-rate cap. We were worried


about the risks. We've looked at further evidence. A


state like Florida, for example, has now found a way of looking not just


at interest rates but at the various fees. The evidence that we were


concerned about that this might encourage what I call the baseball


bat brigade, I think if it is properly managed, doesn't have to


happen. Looking at all the evidence, we've decided there is merit in


having a cap. So the Archbishop of Canterbury swung the day, did he? He


certainly had an influence. And George Osborne listened? We have all


listened. Did you have anything to do with this decision? I was very


much involved in it. I've been involved in it all the way through


with Joe Swinson who is a minister in my department. But you couldn't


do anything when you couldn't do anything when you were in charge. ?


We had already taken all the key steps to regulate the industry. I go


over them again if you like but there was the competition


investigation, the move to regulate advertising, and the move to prevent


companies abusing the payment system. Let me ask you about what


Andy Verity discovered in that piece you saw with the mortgage brokers.


Do you think it is fair that people in danger of their chances of


getting a mortgage simply because they've taken out a payday loan,


whether they have had any difficulty repaying it or not? Well, it isn't


fair on the basis of the evidence you've just put forward. Now that


the industry is being properly regulated, that should stop, and one


of the key steps in the regulation is regulating advertising. So the


advertising will require a company doing a payday loan to make it clear


that borrowers have to seek debt advice, and if they seek debt


advice, they will know the risk of imperilling their credit status.


Should they have a health warning on them? That is what will effectively


happen now with the advertising. Let's talk about the Co-Op bank. At


the time that the Co-Op was being asked to take over the 631 branches


of Lloyds, you were in favour of that? I was in favour of the general


principle of Co-ops and mutuals having a bigger rolling in banking.


There was no reason to assume at the time that it was invalid. If there


had been any evidence of the kind of impropriety that's emerged, it would


have come through the regulator, as a lot of people were claiming they


knew it was a can of worms all along, but I don't think anybody had


said so at the time e So you don't know? I didn't know, no, and I don't


anybody did know, and the Treasury which conducted the discussions


weren't aware of it. Do you happen to know how many times the Co-Op had


meetings with Treasury ministers? I think there were a fairly


substantial number. George Osborne said it was fewer than 30. I think


it was around about that number, but I am not a Treasury minister. I was


not involved. But they were having detailed discussions, certainly. So


they were intimately involved in the decision? Yes, and perfectly


sensibly and rightly. There was a European Commission ruling that


Lloyds Bank had to sell off some of its branches; the Co-Op put


themselves forward as a potential bidder, nobody initially had any


reason to assume they couldn't handle it - they were a substantial


branch network, reputation was good, as far as anybody was aware; the


discussions proceeded, and eventually it emerged they couldn't


handle it. So what we learn from that is that trying to lay all this


off on the Labour Party is nonsense, really, because you guys were


heavily involved in the whole project? I've never seen it as a


party political issue. You may not... I've never seen it as a party


political issue. As far as I was concerned, there is a general


principle that, you know, the mutuals mutuals of have an important


role in banking, the Co-Op bank had a good reputation. Had there been


irregularities that were noticed, it would have come through the


regulator, as far as I am aware they didn't signal that at the stage that


the conversation with the Treasury took place. Thanks. Thank you. The


news today that the England batsman Jonathan Trott has left Australia


because of stress has eclipsed even the whooping, wailing, and gnashing


of teeth that's followed followed this country's performance in the


Ashes. This is what Andy Flowers said earlier. He has been a


brilliant international batsman for England, and hopefully will continue


to be a brilliant international batsman for England in the future,


but he needs time away from this environment for a while. He needs


time with his family; he needs time to reassess, and he needs to spend


some quiet time with his family. There has been little but sympathy


for Trotty, as he is inevitably known, which is a mark, perhaps of


how attitudes to mental health improved. Are sports stars more


vulnerable to these problems than the rest of us? Joining us to


discuss this is the former professional footballer and chair of


the Footballers' union, the PFA, Clarke Carr likely. Here is Sue


Baker, director of Time For Change, a mental health charity. Do you


think footballers and sportsmen are more vulnerable? Not at all. I think


that they're equally as vulnerable as any other member of society, it


is just that there's such an intense scrutiny on the industry of sport,


and especially at the elite level, that when incidents do occur, people


seem to be amazed because they see these idols as infallible and


bastions of strength and fortitude. But it is a very exposed position if


you're on a sports field of some kind with everybody in the crowd


feeling they can have an attitude about you? It is an exposed


position, and, yes, it's kind of like you've got to balance the


circumstantial evidence around a person, and the fact that


depression, let's say, is an illness in its own right, which is utterly -


you know, it is got nothing to do with the circumstances that surround


a person. So your suicide attempt was not, you think, specifically


related to the fact that you were a sportsman? No, not at all. It is


just as likely that I could have suffered depression and it would


have been triggered had I been a postman, or a teacher, or in any


other job in life, and also, this is not to say that sportspeople and


their mental health issues are any more important than any other walk


of life, you know? The stigma that surrounds mental health is still


huge in general society. Sure, but it is got much better, hasn't it? It


has got better but that doesn't mean we should be happy with the crumbs


from the king's table. The support mechanisms that are in place still


are not adequate enough to address the actual level of people who are


suffering from mental health issues. Don't you think that attitudes have


got better? They have, slowly, and surely we are starting to talk more


openly about mental health problems, and Jonathan Trott today, and before


him Michael Yardy, and Marcus Trescothick have helped up the


sports world - and Clark. We have a long way before we can talk as


openly about all mental health problems the same way we can


physical health. The response was striking today when you saw the


report, Jonathan Trott has gone home. No-one said anything other


than, "Let's hope he's better soon," did they? Not really, I have to say,


that's really encouraging that, actually, the world of cricket omall


side has got behind him wishing him well. From what you know about the


way in which mental health issues display themselves, there is


something curiously gladiatorial about the batsman and the fast


bowler. You're very, very exposed in a public forum, in that sort of


challenge, are not you? Yes, if we look at stress, I mean, people talk


about good stress and bad stress stress isn't all bad. People can


thrive on stressful situations, and people at the top of their game, you


know, are quite pumped up, and we are expecting people to perform at


high levels. But, on t opposite side, it's


perhaps when other things are happening in your life, or when


there is, you know, a real medical situation going on, where that kind


of stress can be counterproductive. The important thing is that all


employers in sports and outside of sports know what to do and how to


respond. What do you think we outside the sporting community need


to learn about the stress that sports players are under? I think


that outside of sport, there just needs to be a general awareness and


understanding of what the spectrum of mental health issues are in


general, and there needs to be an understanding that there is being a


sportsperson doesn't make you immune to these. You are equally as


vulnerable as anybody else. The stresses of, let's say, football, or


cricket, are quite particular, but so are the stresses of a nurse, of a


teacher, you know, of someone who is a carer. It is not to say that they


are special or that they deserve any special attention from those outside


of the industry. What is important is that they are acknowledged within


the industry that people are aware of them, and they know exactly what


to do when the signs and symptoms manifest themselves. Is there


anything you want to add to that? It's one in four people, and it


affects men as equally as it affects women. You mean one in fo people


will have some sort of mental health episode or - Yes, absolutely, so one


in four of us will go through it. Everybody watching tonight will know


someone, if they're not going through it themselves, it's a common


health issue that we need to get better at responding to. Thank you


both very much. 'Poor Mexico', a long dead president


is supposed to have said, 'so far from God. So close to the United


Sates.' American demand for illegal drugs has has visited one of the


most vicious gang wars imaginable upon the country. That in turn seems


to have encouraged the growth of a cult which echoes ancient


savageries. That in turn has led to the growth of religious rituals


which less credulous societies might think had vanished generations ago,


for there has been a revival of exorcisms. Vladimir Hernadez, of BBC


Mundo reports. Death has been at the heart of


Mexican culture for centuries. It has been venerated since the Aztecs.


And the fastest growing cult in Mexico today is Santa Muert - Saint


Death. I am in a poor area of Mexico City. It's home to one of the cult's


biggest shrines. The area is riddled by drugs and crimes, but today the


town is in a festive mood to celebrate S depth. She is St Death.


She is said to be able to heal the sick and stop suffering.


Did many people in prison follow Sanata


But the surge in the saint's popularity has coincided with the


rise of drug-related crime in mostly can. This journalist has written


several books about the cult. How is Mexico today in terms of this


tide of violent crime? A war over cocaine trafficking is


sweeping through Mexico, killing thousands. Mexico's drugs war has


claimed seventy 70,000 lives in the last ten years. The killings are


becoming increasingly bizarre and savage.


It is almost impossible for Mexicans not to be reminded of the violence


that is affecting them every day. If you open a newspaper, you can find


pictures of people dying in shootouts, others hanging from


bridges. In some cases, the reminder that another mass grave has been


found, and some pictures, they just speak for themselves.


Monterey is Mexico's richest city, near the US border, and on the front


line of the drugs war. Faced with mounting violence, the church here


has begun to wage war on the drugs cartels and the devils. The soldiers


and our police enforcement are working all the time. This Father is


former vice-president of the International Association of


Exorcists. He has worked with drugs traffickers who were followers of


Saint Death and said to be possessed. He believes exorcism is


one way of fighting the drugs war consuming the country. Saint Death


is the cult being used by all our dealers, narco dealers. All the


people related with all these terrible things, especially all the


people who make this murders in a brutal way. We have found that most


of them, if not all, most of them are related with the cult of Saint


Death. He remembers one follower of the death cult particularly. He was


in charge to cut in pieces the bodies, and he said that he would do


it when they were alive. And he enjoyed seeing how they cry.


Priests say there are now more trained exorcists in Mexico than any


other country. I wanted to see one of them at work. This is one of the


Mexico's most famous exorcists. People travel from across the


country to see him. He told me that sometimes members of the drugs


cartels attend his services. He has more credibility than most.


The Vatican sent one of their leading exorcists to work with him


two years ago, and he is nervous of us filming because, he says, the


Vatican would not like it. (woman screams)


Before long, people are vomiting, writhing


on the floor and screaming, all evidence, the Father says, of


demonic possession. Have you ever felt afraid when


facing the devil? The Vatican says that before an


exorcism, the person said to be possessed should be examined by a


mental health professional. But I've seen no evidence of this happening.


(woman screams) And not everyone in Mexico is


convinced that the church's focus on fighting demons is helping the


country in these troubled times. This man is a psychiatrist and a


teacher in Mexico City. He specialises in schizophrenia and has


treated people who he thinks a possessed.


He also believes that exorcism could potentially help someone who is


mentally ill. With drugs-related violence


increasing, death seems ever present in this troubled country.


Whatever Mexicans make of the cult of Saint Death or the exorcism


campaign, it seems that, in a country gripped by extreme violence,


many will try anything to stop the blood shed.


Now, that is so gay - anyone with a child at school may well have heard


the expression in the playground, or just joshing around. It doesn't mean


gay in the current usage, and nor in the other sense of happy, it has


evolved to mean the opposite as a term of abuse, a weapon with which


to bully. Bullying, you might say, is something that can just happen,


but the use of this particular word, particularly offends many who are


gay. The singer Will Young is one of them. He is here, and also with us


is a journalist Milo Minopolis. I don't like it, because it's linked


to young people, to the description of one's sexuality, sexual


preference, of wanting to sleep with a member of the same sex. There is


no clear definition between the two, and this is backed up by statistics:


87 per cent of young people feel when they hear the phrase eople feel


when they hear the phrase "that's so gay" any use of it in a perjorative


term feel like an outsider. Do you not find it troubling? Yes, I do,


but that's not why I don't like this. The reason I don't like this,


the problem is that being young is all about being transgressive, and


naughty, and engaging in the forbidden, and it certainly was for


me, and everybody I know, and the problem with these sorts of things,


just at the time when young people, we're getting surveys saying that


young people don't care about race, ethnicity, sexuality, and, yes, they


do use these words, and they can be hurtful, and just at the point when


young people are stopping caring, we are providing enormous targets by


branding children of course because the other things of course is when


you get these well-intentioned things that perk late down to


bureaucracies in local schools and children branded racist - No, you


get actions. There is a huge difference between someone being


homophobic and the actions being homophobic. This isn't about


punishment, it's about education. I understand that - But children are


not born wanting to be prejudiced or even learn the, t phrase, "That's so


gay" as meaning negative. It is taught. It's about educating people


that young gay people find it offensive. I understand. I read in


your Guardian column, you said that children fundamentally want to be


nice to each other. I don't think that is the case. I think it is an


important part of growing up, as people start with experiment with


dangerous level, they position themselveses - They have to be


guided. If you provide them with these enormous words on mainstream


TV news stations because you've written in national newspapers, what


is a kid going to do? Use it. How does it work with racism, sexism? 30


years, it was used in schools when I was there and now is absolutely not


tolerated through education. I think some of it works the same way. If


you look last week, a headmistress or headmaster had to write a letter


apologising to parents because they were threatening to brand children


racist for not showing up to a multicultural event. The point of


all of this stuff that it drives a wedge between people and creates a


division at precisely the time when people don't care any more. We have


won the battle - What battles have we won? You're putting targets on


gay people's backs by presenting this tantalising naughty thing that


young people are going to look at and want to call each other. I am so


puzzled by your definition of what it is to be naughty. There's a huge


difference between stealing a boiled sweet from the local newsagent and


doing something that is offensive to over, let's say, 2 million gay


people in the country. You know, what's wrong with that? If


someone is being offensive towards someone, that's not being naughty,


that should be highlighted, and pointed out, not punished, not - I


don't know what the targets are. But the real effect of what you're doing


is to police language. You say you sort of dismissed this - it is to


police language when, and look, obviously what you're doing comes


from the best possible place, right. It. That is patronising. It's not,


because I agree with you that this is offensive and awful, but the


problem is when it perk rates down in the bureaucracies and the


incompetence of schools. What are the bureaucracies? bureaucracies?


For, kids being branded racist if their parents don't send them to


multicultural awareness days. That's one example. A worry would be that


schools start to codify this stuff, that people get homophobic notes in


their school record because they called somebody gay in the


playground. It has happened. I can't predict every case in the school,


but what I can predict, given Stonewall's who I am doing this


campaign with, histor five years they spent on a school working on


homophobic language, and the homophobic language has gone down.


You're telling children, you're also educating. You will produce more


free-thinking, free-willed young people who will accept people for


who they are. It's a funny definition of free thinking clamping


down on language, isn't it? You wrote yourself that language is


everything, that's all we have, and clamping down on the ways that


people use to express themselves, however ugly it is, is an essential


part - Where is the clamping down? You guys are going to have to


continue this discussion. We're going for a drink now!


Thank you both very much. That's it for tonight. Before we go,


spare a thought for the recently installed Sports Minister, Helen


Grant who made the schoolgirl error of turning up for a television


interview with her local ITV news programme without first swotting up


on sporting trivia. Who is the Wimbledon tennis champion. I know


that Andy Murray did it for us, and that is the most important thing.


Who are the FA Cup holders at the moment? Come on, help... FA Cup


holders, Manchester United because it's my favourite club. Who is the


England Rugby Union captain? Which Paralympian won most gold medals at


London 2012? Dave Weir. Good guess,


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