04/12/2013 Newsnight


Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman. Is the retirement age due to rise? Plus the story of the Lord accused of misappropriating charitable funds.

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If you live longer you will have to work longer, tomorrow the Chancellor


of the Exchequer will I Austrailians nonce -- announce another rise in


the able of those who collect a state pension. It won't happen for a


while but it is already worrying today's pensioners. There are a lot


of people you hear them say I want to retire in the next five years, I


can't wait. Must be a horrible thing to look forward to, really. The


people's peer accused of making off with ?600,000 of charity funds. To


be accused by a charity of mitking them for ?625,000 that is breath


taking. The MP who has told the world of his mental problems talks


to us about what he hopes he has achieved. And the wounded soldiers


who set off at lunchtime today to row the Atlantic.


Now for how long should a person be expected to work for a living?


According to well-placed sources the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going


to suggest tomorrow that some of us aren't going to be entitled to a


state pension until we're 69 or 70. That might not bother Bruce Forsyth,


but it sure as hell will irk a lot of other people. Gorge will announce


it in the Autumn Statement tomorrow. We have had something of what is


inevitably called a "sneak preview". The out come years are not what they


were, as the parade of older rockers still packing them in and putting on


a show well past the state pension age shows. 60 is the new 40, or


something like that. Chas and Dave, picking life on the tour bus over


life with a bus pass. They have even got a new album out, it is called


That's What Happens, if you are interested. It is according to what


you do in life. Me and Dave have elected to do what we love doing any


way and we would, if we weren't playing professionally we would be


playing semiprofessionally doing exactly what we are doing. So we're


lucky that we are doing something that we love to do and we get paid


for it. There is a lot of people and you hear them talking, they can't


wait until they retire, it must be a depressing thing to keep on saying


that. There are a lot of people around that are living for the day


when they retire. That's terrible for start. But I do feel sorry for


them if they do put up the pension age. It will be, they are not going


to find it very appealing. Back in 1945 a man aged 65 could expect to


live another 12 years. A woman, slightly longer at 15, skip forward


to people turning 65 in 2014 and men can expect to live another 22 years


and women another 24, and the projections are going up. By 2043 it


is expected men will live another 25 years and women another 28. I think


we have really been living in a very unreal situation to imagine that


more and more people could stop work at younger and younger ages and some


how have enough money to live on or even be supported by a smaller


number of younger people. That has just not been realistic. The process


of increasing the state pension age was begun by the last Labour


Government. They firstly introduced a timetable to equalise ages for men


and women, and then ramp up that age, firstly to 66, then to 67, and


68 over the coming decades. What the coalition did when they came in was


accelerate that timetable. They have also introduced legislation that's


going through parliament right now that would see a sort of automatic


rise in state pension age as life expectancy increases. Roughly it


means that we should spend two thirds of our adult life in work,


around one third in retirement. The Chancellor is expected to announce


one of those changes due to extra life expectancy tomorrow that the


state pension age should go up to 69 from somewhere around the late


2040s, but by then will an arbitary pension date mean anything at all? I


think in five or ten years time, if you go to somebody who is, let as


say having their 65th birthday, it will not be automatic that they will


say, OK, I'm not going to work any more. There will be more of the how


much work am I going to be doing, what kind of work might I be doing?


Than oh, I have got my pension I'm not going to do anything. George


Osborne discussing tomorrow's Autumn Statement with scientists, science


research we are told will be getting more money as a result of that


statement. The question how much will pushing up the state pension


age affect the date at which George Osborne has to retire from being


Chancellor? The Government's view is that voters will welcome and reward


politicians for being straight with them. Here now is Alan Sugar's


69-year-old right hand man, Hewer and Emma Soames editor at large from


Saga magazine. This is obviously being driven by a financial need in


the Treasury rather than it a question of being socially desirable


s that wise, do you think? Let me tell you that I have looked into the


subject very carefully, having made two documentaries with my friend


Margaret Mountford about working into old age. I think that


inevitably, let me tell you any new child born today will live, or a


third of them will live to be 100, and any child born today by our


estimates will not get a state pension until they are 77.


Inevitably somebody has to pay for this. My argument, my strong belief


and fury is that whilst you and I may well have been well paid and had


enough money to set aside for our old age, there are many, many


working men and women who haven't had that opportunity, and yet they


were going to have to work so hard late into life that we have got to


find a way whereby perhaps through taxation it is affordable. So the


poor old young have to pay to support the old again. Their dads


and their mums. What is your solution? Exactly, but the fact is


that they are going to want to be able to work on. I think one of the


great iniquities at the moment is that people are, you know, put on to


the scrap heap of life, if you like at 65. When some of them would like


to be, to work on. Some of them might, but if you are a builder's


labourer, it is a different proposition at the age of 66 to 26?


That is where the flexibility comes into it. But for the thousands and


millions of desk jockies working on to 67, 68 right now is very


desirable. Particularly when people dare to look at the pensions they


have scraped together. Which with current interest rates is very


minimal. Emma is right, and also in 10 or 20 years time advanced in


health and medication and so forth, you know, one will be able to work


longer. You are also right about the desk jockies as you call them,


people who have had he issed dentary -- sedintary lives, my plea is for


those ditch diggers, farm labourers, scaffolders, roofers, and in the


programme we made for the BBC, we went up to Preston and looked at


brick hairs up on the scaffolding up the ladders at age 74. As a


civilised country we can't allow that. Presumably because they wanted


to do that? No, because we tested it as a situation we invented it. Who


would want their father at that age to be up on a roof in the snow in


March or February. Do you think people have an en itlement to decide


when they should stop supporting themselves then? That is a tricky


question, it comes back to Emma's point about those people who have


had a more easy life, like I or you have had in terms of the physicality


of it? Given that people in physical occupations should certainly be


allowed, but it should be sort of encouraged to retire earlier, but


everybody else, you know, has got to earn the right to stop working. I'm


of the last cohort of women who were able to stop work and pull a


pension, a state pension when I was 60. My mother is 91. So let us


assume that due to fabulous medicine I will probably live older than my


mother. That means I will be pulling a state pension, or I could be for


more than 30 years. I mean that is a big, big ask of any Government to


support that. It is not Government it is your fellow citizens? Exactly.


People have to pay taxes to keep old people alive? Exactly, what I'm


saying is it has to go up. You mean the age at which the thing is paid?


Exactly. What about my earlier question to Nick, which is have


people got a right to decide that at some point in their older age they


do not need to support themselves? Yeah, but then at that point I think


they have got to recognise that they then will suffer financially. Right,


if you were now say 25, 35 years old, how would you be living your


life differently to the way that you lived it, do you think, when you


were that age? I think putting money aside as furiously as possible in


order to make provision for one's old age. I couldn't imagine being 40


when I was younger and never mind 60, it happens? Did you not put


money aside as a young man. No. I don't want pensions advice! I did


because I would be horrified as a young man to think I was putting


myself at risk. I think the young people have got to think my word I


have to start making provision now, absolutely. The problem is hence


pensions have had such a bad press with the cost of the administration,


the scandals, the low interest rates, people think they would


rather do anything other than put money into a pension. Real estate,


their parents hopefully leaving them some money. They are certainly not


looking at saving on a regular basis. On nearly the ex-continuity


that they should. I think one of the big problems that currently we have


is youngsters from what I hear in the papers are blowing their wage at


the weekend because there is no point in trying to save up for that


wretched deposit for instance, because houses are unaffordable. Who


can lay your hands on ?40,000. They are unaffordable because old people


keep on sitting in them, smugly watching their value increase I


don't think so, it is because rich foreigners such as the Greeks and


Chinese come in and buy up all the real estate. Or there is a shortage


of real estate, whatever it is. The point is youngsters cannot lay their


hands on the money therefore the thought of saving is completely


foreign to them, they don't bother. Thank you very much both of you.


With us now is staved Grossman, who is more of what -- David Grossman,


who is more of what the Chancellor ordered. What is going to say


tomorrow? The Treasury confidently predict that the Chancellor has a


message that lays out an attractive story about how the economy is


recovering and how they are looking it in. How they have done that by


taking tough decision, tough decisions like raising the state


pension age. There was some difficult news today that they got


out early which is about cutting departmental spending. Non-protected


departmental spending being cut even further, an extra billion pounds a


year for the next three years, these are in unprotected departmental


spending. Explain what that means? Some departments have been protected


and will be protected from these cuts, like health, schools, aid,


local Government, HMRC and the Security Services. That will hit, it


will mean that places are hit will be the Home Office, the Department


of Work and Pensions, the defence budget will be protected, we have


given some leeway to carry forward underspending from previous years


going forward. I should say that these savings, or these cuts are


because the Treasury say that the department have been very good at


saving money, and have underspent, and what they are going to do is


lock those underspendings going forward and adding up to ?3 billion.


Labour say it is warm words and no action on the economy, expect a big


ding dong on all of this tomorrow. How can taking another ?3 billion


out of the economy be nothing but warm words? Well, how can it be


nothing other than warm words, what they are trying to say is the


Government hasn't done nearly enough to get the economy moving in the


direction it should be by this stage. Thank you very much. If you


should find yourself given a seat in the House of Lords, you will be


entitled to be addressed as the "Right Honourable Lord or Lady". One


of these honourable figures is accused to helping himself to


?600,000 of charity funds. He's Lord Bhatia, one of Tony Blair's called


"Peoples' Peers", he has already been suspended once from the House


of Lords for a rather too free and easy approach to expenses. But this


is different. This is Lord Bhatia OBE, one of the called "Peoples'


Peers", introduced to the House of Lords by Tony Blair in 2001. A


merchant banker, a million air strikes a philanthropist. But just


three years ago he was caught up in the parliamentary expenses scandal,


accused of fiddling the taxpayer out of tens of thousands of pounds by


claiming for a second home he didn't live in. He was suspended from the


House of Lords for eight months and had to repay ?27,000 to the public


purse. BBC Newsnight has seen evidence suggesting that Lord Bhatia


could once more be in trouble over abuse of his parliamentary expenses.


But there is more. He also stands accused of allegedly mishandling


hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of charity money to fund his


own lifestyle. It is breath-taking. We're sadly used to expenses


fiddling on what most people would think was a large scale in the


Lords. But to be accused by a charity of milking them for


?625,000, that is breath-taking. Could it really be that Lord Bhatia


hadn't learned his lessons after his high-profile suspension from the


House. To find out I had to get right inside the charity making the


allegations, the Ethnic Minority Foundation, or EMF. The EMF brings


in around a million pounds a year, mostly from its property portfolio,


and usually spends it on good causes in India and in the UK. Former MP,


John Barrett is a trustee, and became involved with EMF in 2012. He


soon realised that all was not well. It looked like there was a cash


crisis approaching, that shouldn't have been happening, because there


should have been plenty of money in the bank. It became clear that far


more mon had been going 0 out in the charity that could be -- going out


of the charity that could be explained. I went to the charity's


office to meet the man who first raised the alarm about the state of


EMF's finances. Those miles are claimed here, you know. Chartered


accountant here took over as treasurer in 2012? I asked the


accountant to give me this and that, I see a transfer here and there, and


I knew what was happening then, and I was shocked. My trust and respect


for him as a Lord had withered away. Lord Bhatia had been chairman of the


charity for ten years in an unpaid role until 2009. But when the


charity's chief executive left to monitor its projects in India, Lord


Bhatia said he would look after things in his absence. But Lord


Bhatia's idea of looking after things was not what the trustees


expected or sanctioned. He was using the charity to run his own really.


That was wrong. That's not right. I mean I wouldn't claim anything at


all, you know, from charity, even when I come here for mileage, I


don't claim it, it is not necessarily. The trustees confronted


Lord Bhatia in December last year, he immediately resigned. But they


discovered major problems in the books, it was time to bring in a


team of forensic accountants. It was only then the trustees became aware


of the scale of the alleged mismanagement. The charity has


passed a draft copy of the accountant's report to Newsnight.


According to this Lord Bhatia owes EMF more than ?600,000. The thing


they are most exercised about is having to foot the bill for Lord


Bhatia's personal chauffeur. He was paid in excess of ?40,000 a year.


But last January, Lord Bhatia wrote to him and enclosed a cheque in an


apparent ?12,000 loan, yet on the same day awarded him a ?12,000 pay


increase, effectively making it a gift from the charity. And he did


this in the same week as asking the rest of the work force to take a


voluntary pay cut. The for enIing accountant's report says this


unauthorised gift to the driver could amount to theft by Lord


Bhatia. Next the charity claim his contract of employment was never


agreed by the board, was not even done on charity headed notepaper and


is invalid. Its legitimacy is further challenged, since a letter


enclosing the purports to be assigned by a chairman only assigned


to that position six months after the letter was signed. Even if the


contract is valid, the charity says the amount was excessive. It was a


great shock to me to discover that Lord Bhatia was receiving a salary


of ?100,000. It was greater shock to me to discover that his personal


driver had been put on to the payroll of the charity. He is also


said to have put a relative and long-term associate on the charity


payroll, when they are alleged to have been his personal assistant,


working solely for him. EMF once reimbursed medical costs for five


members he charged to the charity. Add to that some other alleged


inappropriate expense, many authorised by himself, contrary to


the charity's policy and the grand total comes to ?625,961.


Small scums and money, and in this -- small sums of money, and like in


this case large sums of money, can save lives, to get clean water into


a family home in India or Africa. To have someone treated against TB is


worth doing and that's why I'm still involved, that is why I'm determined


to stick with this. The charity is now engulfed in claim and counter


claim. Lord Bhatia is suing for unfair dismissal and has launched


separa proceedings against EMF to recover over ?250,000 which he says


he loaned to the charity. The trustees say these were not


loans but injections of cash to cover up the scale of his own


mismanagement. Aside from the controversy over the alleged


mishandling of charity funds, Lord Bhatia could yet find himself in yet


more hot water. Documents seen by BBC Newsnight suggests that Lord


Bhatia could once more stand accused of abusing his parliamentary


expenses. During 2009 and 2010 Lord Bhatia was


claiming his chauffeur-driven mileage expenses from the charity.


These expense forms include a running total of the car mileage. If


we take the 4th of February, for example, we can see the total


mileage travelled that day was 80. This was claimed for and paid by the


charity. But the problem is, if we look at his House of Lords expenses


for that very same day, he's also submitted a claim for a 30-mile


journey to Westminster. But this means he has been paid twice,


because we know that day's full mileage has been paid by the


charity. The records show Lord Bhatia appears to do this no fewer


than 138 times. Resulting on payments from the tax-payers' purse


of more than ?1500 that could have been claimed fraudulently. There can


be no defence for claiming the same expenses from a charity and from the


taxpayer. Lord Bhatia's alleged double claiming went on until July


2010, just a few weeks before his suspension for flipping his second


home. It didn't form part of the case against him back then. It is


understood these allegations are being made for the first time. To be


fair to Lord Bhatia, after he returned to his House of Lords


suspension in 2011 and for the whole of 2012, he didn't claim any of his


parliamentary allowances. But, following his acrimonious split from


the charity in December last year, and his wages from there drying up


as of January this year, he once more started claiming his daily


announces from the taxpayer. Newsnight wanted to interview Lord


Bhatia about the allegations but his lawyer said he was not able to,


because of the pending court action. His lawyer also told us that Lord


Bhatia believed the charity had mislead the BBC, that EMF, in fact,


would hint a large sum of money and had benefitted from the use of


facilities in the House of Lords. The lawyer said the story was an


attempt to "to rereopen and confuse the historical published position


with the present Government and Lord Bhatia and the EMF." The case has


been reported by the charity to the national fraud agency, action fraud,


while the charities commission told us they had an open case on EMF and


was monitoring the situation. We invited Lord Bhatia on to the


programme this evening to respond, guess what, he declined! As soon as


you leave port and start rowing across an ocean you are on your own,


you are immediately launched into a survival situation. If you go over


board and are separated from the boat it is a death sentence. The


clash in Kiev between a Government which favours Moscow and


demonstrators wanting closer relations with Europe, seems no


closer to resolution tonight. The American Secretary of State, John


Kerry, waded in today, demanding that the people be allowed to decide


their fate for themselves. The Ukraine's Government preferred to


warn the demonstrators to mind their step. We have been watching the


twoing and toing all day. The battle lines are drawn in Kiev,


on one side the forces of the date, ranks of riot police protecting the


President, and a Government that just turned its back on an EU


partnership deal. On the other, the opposition, it is barricaded the


streets in the centre of this city, and occupied some public buildings


in an attempt to galvanise resistance globally to what they see


as Russian domination. If you abandon this country they will have


a new pearl line wall. This is the new reality in this wall. President


Putin has the dream and everyone does and he has it, to restore the


empire. We have another dream, Ukrainian people, to join the


European Union. Last night the most important


parliamentary opposition leader addressed the supporters in the


square that has become the symbol of their revolt. Trying to oust the


Government by a parliamentary vote he suggested it would be very easy


to walk into the President's office. The opposition's dilemma now is how


far to goad the authorities and risk being accused of incitment. Nearby,


supporters of Occupy at the mayor's office, inside a constant Cummings


and goings as well as anguished political debates, giving the idea


of a revolution in process. This woman is 24 and works at the


university, she summoned her civil society here by Facebook. Their


discussion was about how to effect change It has taken us half an hour


to negotiate our way through the police lines there. The truth is the


protestors have declared their intention of seizing all kinds of


Government buildings. So, they are just trying to stop that happening.


And one of the key buildings is the parliament. Inside a debate was


going on and a senior figure from the President's party of the regions


was briefing the press on their formula for resolving this crisis.


They don't rule out joining the EU in the future, but insist that first


there is trade disputes to resolve with Russia. TRANSLATION: There is


absolutely a prospect of revolving the crisis peacefully. The only


thing is the opposition are not yet ready to compro-me we are ready to


consider all options. For example the inclusion of the opposition in a


Government to share responsibility for t situation in Ukraine, so when


we take the step to eurointegration, we would all be ready to share the


consequences of that decision. Including the first very difficult


period. Outside were thousands of demonstrators who had got through


the police lines. But they belonged to his and the President's party.


That's the rub, this is not a level democratic playing field. The


President's people have all sorts of advantages, and for the moment they


are talking of compromise. The President's supporters are taking a


line of moderation, and casting the opposition as dangerous wreckers who


could rip this country party. Their calculation is that if they can


avoid provocative acts of violence towards the protestors, slowly they


will start to drift away as the Ukrainian winter bites. That leaves


the opposition warning of the stresses between a pro-Russian


eastern Ukraine and the west that would rather be with the west.


Another scenario is to split the country and to make two Ukraines.


That is what today was said to the speaker of the House, you


underestimate the situation, it is not a fight between the Government


and their position. It is not a fight of sharing the power and


getting the office of the President. This is the fight for the future of


this country. Whether this country will exist as an independent and


sovereign state, or this will be a failed state. Deep pensions remain


then, not least because the President may decide to clear these


people from the centre of Kiev. For the moment he's winning the


stand-off, and might squand at the by using force.


-- squander it by using force. I have broken my arm but it won't stop


me doing my job, it is so banal as a saying, but when an MP says I'm


clinically depressed and I'm taking medication for it is another matter.


The MP for Barrow in Furness has just made that statement, John


Woodcock. It is not like the Mayor of Toronto admitting smoking crack


cocaine and ranting, but for an MP to come out about mental illness is


very unusual, and he has been praised by many for it. What made


you make the statement? I feel slightly self-indulgent for talking


to you. We invited you, it is fine. One in four people the mental health


charities say have problems with mental health at points in their


lives. Far fewer than one in four actually seek help. I only really


thought I could take this step and go to a GP, ask for medication


privately because of what some of my friends have done in parliament in


recent months and years in saying that they have a problem. In opening


up. So I thought well if I'm going to do this I should just be open and


honest in the way that I am if I have a scrape, if I fall off a


ladder which started this whole thing or whatever. I would say if I


have a physical injury, I ought to treat a mental illness in the same


way. What is what has been the reaction? Overwhelming today.


Supportive? Really lovely. Lots of people in the constituency, on


Twitter and Facebook saying nice things. People in parliament coming


over and saying well done. I'm sure there will be people up in Barrow


who are concerned about it. And you just need to say to them well I feel


I can do the job. I'm making a decent fist of it at the moment I


think. This is about me wanting to get better and I want more people.


We should see treatment as a way of actually overcoming issues rather


than flagging up a problem and everyone being worried about it.


This is depression we are talking about. Some forms of depression are


so bad you can hardly get out of bed. If you can't get out of bed you


can't represent constituents can you? I think like any illness, it


will affect people in different ways. If it is really bad, then I


hope we can get to a point where more people can be onest about it


and them seek help. I am blessed, I'm blessed to do the job that I do,


I'm blessed that I can still do it despite what I have got. Even if it


were, if it were worse than it was I would still want to go and seek


help. I would like to think that more people could be open. If we


could remove the stigma still lingering around mental health


problems, then I think more and more people will be able to feel that


they don't have to be silent about this, suffer at home. Not even talk


to their family often, which so many people have been coming up today and


saying I have had this but I can't say. If they normalise it, will make


a difference. You mentioned one in four people having a mental health


problem in the average year. That means there is well over 150 MPs who


are probably in that situation doesn't it, if they are


representative of the people as a whole. Yet what you have done is


really unusual? I'm not the first, Kevin Jones, Charles Walker talked


about mental health problems in the chamber. Alastair Campbell has said


a lot about it. I don't think we should be in a position where you


have to fess up. At times in the past when people have tried to force


it out and spread rumours. If people want to keep this this is a private


thing, it is right and they should be able to do so. I hope more


people, even if they are doing it privately and they are struggling


that you will try to get help and get yourselves better. Is there a


particular problem about being open about this when you are a politician


and you can't really show weakness? I think that has been an issue,


clearly. I'm reading the biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, and it


talked about how after his heart attack, he was depressed and took


pills back then, there was no way he was going into that. That has been a


thing. We have so often said, rightly and understandable, you are


not real you have just got this image which we don't believe you. I


have decided to say what is happening in my life and people have


to make a judgment on that now and in the election, I guess. The


celebrity cook Nigella Lawson admitted in court today that she had


taken cocaine but smoked marijuana but not addicted and that her


ex-husband, Charles Saatchi was trying to blacken her name by


suggesting a drug problem. The issue in the case is whether their


assistants defrauded the glamorous couple has been completely


overshadowed the evidence it has given into their lives. This report


contains some flash photography. Nigella Lawson had predicted that


she would be on trial. Although appears as a witness, the life and


marriage of the TV cook was certainly under the microscope, in


the not very Nigella surroundings of Isleworth Crown Court. Journalists


from here and around the world found themselves privvy to a lifestyle of


extravagant spending, and what Miss Lawson described as "intimate


terrorism". Earlier this year her ex-husband, Charles Saatchi was


pictured with hand to her face. He told everyone that he was taking


cocaine out of her nose, but really he was demanding her attention.


The art collector said he still adored his ex-wife when he gave


evidence last week. She lost no time today in accusing him of bullying


her. He In fact, two former personal


assistants, on the left here, sisters Elisabetta Grillo and


Francesca Grillo are on trial. Accused of defrauding Mr Saatchi of


?600,000, allegations they deny. In sometimes testy exchanges, the


defence barrister asked Miss Lawson had her background conflicted with


her husband's. She replied she didn't know why her marriage was so


pertinently to her. He asked was her marriage Endeaning unfortunately.


She said not unfortunately. Known to her many fans as the domestic


goddess, Nigella Lawson painted a very different picture of her home


life today. She said it was intimate terrorism. And this had led her to


use cocaine and cannabis. I have never been a drug addict or habitual


user, I did not have a drug problem, I had a life problem. The court


heard extraordinary details of domestic life chez Saatchi, how the


art elector preferred to use cash, and kept a huge stash of it on a


clear zip-up bag on top of the fridge. How he picked up the tab


when one of Miss Lawson's assistants held a wedding reception at the


Saatchi Gallery, and how she could expect to catch a cab to her


father's house to do the cleaning. Miss Lawson called her ex-husband as


brilliant but beautiful and not the most reliable witness. She's due to


face further cross-examination tomorrow.


Very soon most of us will be going to bed, for four men, somewhere in


the eastern Atlantic though, it will be a pretty makeshift affair, and


they will have nothing else to look forward to for the best part of


another couple of months. They set off at lunchtime today, to row


across the Atlantic. Others have done it before, of course, but none


of these four, all four are serving sold yurts, two of them are reseal


wounded. We have -- severely wounded.


As soon as you leave port and you are immediately launched into a


survival situation. If you go overboard and you are separated from


the boat, it is a death sentence. It is 3,000 miles of ocean, in a very


small boat. It was from the island of La Gomera that Christopher


Columbus first set sail for the Americas five centuries ago. His


route will be followed by 16 teams of rowers competing in the Atlantic


Chap Epping Race. We will go through some safety procedures at night as


well, that will be things like having our life jackets on, always


wearing them at night. The crews are likely to be rowing around the clock


for at least 40 days. This team of four British soldiers, all veterans


of the Afghan war, could well find it especially tough. The Lance


Corporal was severely wounded on patrol. We were ambushed, close to


the enemy and moving down an irrigation ditch. There was an


obstruction, a number of trees in the ditch, which forced us to push


out of the ditch anden to dry land again. If it is getting too tight we


will have to get out. Two of my mates got out and moved forwards,


and nothing happened, I was the third man in patrol. I initiated the


devaricose immediately losing both of my leg, the fingers on my left


hand and a large part of my face. That he is a double amputee. I was


conscious throughout the whole incident. I remember the guys


talking to me, the searing pain. You're all right mate, you are going


to be fine, you're good, you're good. All you want to do is scream,


at the same time that is no way to die screaming in the mud. I saw the


state I was in, and you immediately kind of wonder, you know, what now?


What happens next? You can only trust the guys that are with you to


do the best they can, but when you see yourself in that kind of state


you don't really have much hope. Cayle had barely finished his rehab


when he started training for this. He and the rest of the team aren't


just facing a gruelling journey but a dangerous one. There are many


ngers at sea, a number of shipping lanes cross our route. There is a


realistic chance to get hit by the tankers. Dangerous weather system,


tropical storms, Atlantic low pressure, schools, very large wave,


30, 40-foot waves created by the trade wins. What is the first thing


to do when someone falls in the water. Shout "man overboard".


??FORCEDWHI Very unlikely it turn the boat around to pick someone up


because of the big sea, if the swells are big you will get carried


away from the boat, and trying to find you is like a needle in the


haystack. Don't fall off the boat and make sure you stay lipped on.


Corporal Scott lost his leg in Afghanistan in 2007, also as a


result of an IED. I'm doing it for the guys, the personal friends I


have lost, the guys more severely injured than me, and people who have


lost loved ones. It is, I think people look at it and go, wow, these


guys are soldiering on. What he and the rest of the crew have been


trying to prepare themselves for is not just the monotony, but how four


grown men are supposed to exist in such a tiny space. I suppose in way


it helps missing a leg, because there is a bit more room in there,


but it is probably, I can't stretch my arms out and I can probably just


managed to get my shoulders in there, it is probably that small.


Stuffed inside the boat's hatches are pacts of freeze-dried food,


parentally there will be room on deck for a gas burner to cook on,


don't ask where. As for answering the all of nature there is at least


a choice. Pick your spot, you can have the deluxe or ultimate deluxe,


it is up to you. It is over the side or in one of the buckets behind you.


So exsummation -- exhaustion, claustraphobia and no privacy, no


wonder the team is concerned about how well they will get on. What


keeps me awake is how we will get on as a team and make it Now the


papers: That's all from us tonight, Kirsty


will be here,


Presented by Jeremy Paxman. Is the retirement age due to rise? Plus the story of the Lord accused of misappropriating charitable funds, Mark Urban reports from the Ukraine, an MP speaks about his battle with clinical depression, and the wounded soldiers who have started to row the Atlantic.

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