04/12/2013 Newsnight


04/12/2013

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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Transcript


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

:00:09.:00:18.

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

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

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

:00:26.:00:31.

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

:00:32.:00:34.

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

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

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

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

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

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who set off at lunchtime today to row the Atlantic.

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

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

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

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

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

:01:36.:01:41.

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

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

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

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

:02:00.:02:05.

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

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

:02:10.:02:15.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:03:50.:03:53.

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

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

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

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

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

:04:13.:04:18.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Osborne discussing tomorrow's Autumn Statement with scientists, science

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the Treasury rather than it a question of being socially desirable

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

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subject very carefully, having made two documentaries with my friend

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Margaret Mountford about working into old age. I think that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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have scraped together. Which with current interest rates is very

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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wretched deposit for instance, because houses are unaffordable. Who

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

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

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

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

:12:02.:12:04.

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

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hands on the money therefore the thought of saving is completely

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

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

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

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tomorrow? The Treasury confidently predict that the Chancellor has a

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

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

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taking tough decision, tough decisions like raising the state

:12:37.:12:39.

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

:12:40.:12:44.

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

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

:12:49.:12:52.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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given some leeway to carry forward underspending from previous years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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of these honourable figures is accused to helping himself to

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

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

:14:26.:14:30.

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

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

:14:40.:14:43.

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

:14:44.:14:47.

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

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

:14:53.:14:56.

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

:14:57.:15:01.

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

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

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purse. BBC Newsnight has seen evidence suggesting that Lord Bhatia

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

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

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

:15:25.:15:31.

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

:15:32.:15:38.

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

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

:15:48.:15:55.

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

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

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

:16:04.:16:08.

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

:16:09.:16:14.

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

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

:16:19.:16:26.

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

:16:27.:16:31.

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

:16:32.:16:34.

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

:16:35.:16:37.

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

:16:38.:16:43.

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

:16:44.:16:46.

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

:16:47.:16:51.

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

:16:52.:16:55.

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

:16:56.:17:01.

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

:17:02.:17:05.

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

:17:06.:17:10.

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

:17:11.:17:16.

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

:17:17.:17:22.

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

:17:23.:17:27.

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

:17:28.:17:30.

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

:17:31.:17:34.

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

:17:35.:17:40.

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

:17:41.:17:46.

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

:17:47.:17:50.

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

:17:51.:17:53.

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

:17:54.:18:00.

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

:18:01.:18:06.

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

:18:07.:18:11.

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

:18:12.:18:14.

of the scale of the alleged mismanagement. The charity has

:18:15.:18:20.

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

:18:21.:18:24.

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

:18:25.:18:31.

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

:18:32.:18:34.

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

:18:35.:18:40.

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

:18:41.:18:45.

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

:18:46.:18:51.

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

:18:52.:18:55.

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

:18:56.:19:00.

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

:19:01.:19:04.

unauthorised gift to the driver could amount to theft by Lord

:19:05.:19:08.

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

:19:09.:19:12.

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

:19:13.:19:18.

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

:19:19.:19:23.

enclosing the purports to be assigned by a chairman only assigned

:19:24.:19:27.

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

:19:28.:19:30.

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

:19:31.:19:36.

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

:19:37.:19:41.

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

:19:42.:19:45.

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

:19:46.:19:51.

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

:19:52.:19:55.

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

:19:56.:20:03.

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

:20:04.:20:06.

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

:20:07.:20:10.

inappropriate expense, many authorised by himself, contrary to

:20:11.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:24.

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

:20:25.:20:29.

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

:20:30.:20:33.

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

:20:34.:20:38.

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

:20:39.:20:42.

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

:20:43.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:53.

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

:20:54.:20:57.

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

:20:58.:21:00.

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

:21:01.:21:07.

mismanagement. Aside from the controversy over the alleged

:21:08.:21:11.

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

:21:12.:21:17.

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

:21:18.:21:20.

Bhatia could once more stand accused of abusing his parliamentary

:21:21.:21:28.

expenses. During 2009 and 2010 Lord Bhatia was

:21:29.:21:34.

claiming his chauffeur-driven mileage expenses from the charity.

:21:35.:21:40.

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

:21:41.:21:46.

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

:21:47.:21:50.

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

:21:51.:21:56.

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

:21:57.:22:02.

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

:22:03.:22:05.

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

:22:06.:22:15.

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

:22:16.:22:19.

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

:22:20.:22:24.

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

:22:25.:22:28.

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

:22:29.:22:35.

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

:22:36.:22:44.

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

:22:45.:22:49.

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

:22:50.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:55.

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

:22:56.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:06.

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

:23:07.:23:12.

parliamentary allowances. But, following his acrimonious split from

:23:13.:23:15.

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

:23:16.:23:22.

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

:23:23.:23:27.

announces from the taxpayer. Newsnight wanted to interview Lord

:23:28.:23:32.

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

:23:33.:23:35.

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

:23:36.:23:40.

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

:23:41.:23:48.

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

:23:49.:23:51.

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

:23:52.:23:57.

attempt to "to rereopen and confuse the historical published position

:23:58.:24:02.

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

:24:03.:24:07.

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

:24:08.:24:13.

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

:24:14.:24:18.

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

:24:19.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:31.

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

:24:32.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:38.

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

:24:39.:24:45.

clash in Kiev between a Government which favours Moscow and

:24:46.:24:48.

demonstrators wanting closer relations with Europe, seems no

:24:49.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:24:55.

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

:24:56.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:06.

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

:25:07.:25:12.

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

:25:13.:25:18.

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

:25:19.:25:22.

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

:25:23.:25:26.

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

:25:27.:25:31.

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

:25:32.:25:36.

in an attempt to galvanise resistance globally to what they see

:25:37.:25:43.

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

:25:44.:25:48.

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

:25:49.:25:52.

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

:25:53.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:03.

European Union. Last night the most important

:26:04.:26:07.

parliamentary opposition leader addressed the supporters in the

:26:08.:26:14.

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

:26:15.:26:18.

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

:26:19.:26:22.

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

:26:23.:26:27.

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

:26:28.:26:34.

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

:26:35.:26:40.

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

:26:41.:26:44.

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

:26:45.:26:49.

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

:26:50.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:27:31.

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

:27:32.:27:35.

protestors have declared their intention of seizing all kinds of

:27:36.:27:39.

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

:27:40.:27:42.

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

:27:43.:27:48.

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

:27:49.:27:52.

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

:27:53.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:28:01.

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

:28:02.:28:07.

absolutely a prospect of revolving the crisis peacefully. The only

:28:08.:28:11.

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

:28:12.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:17.

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

:28:18.:28:23.

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

:28:24.:28:28.

consequences of that decision. Including the first very difficult

:28:29.:28:32.

period. Outside were thousands of demonstrators who had got through

:28:33.:28:36.

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

:28:37.:28:42.

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

:28:43.:28:46.

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

:28:47.:28:51.

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

:28:52.:28:57.

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

:28:58.:29:02.

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

:29:03.:29:07.

avoid provocative acts of violence towards the protestors, slowly they

:29:08.:29:13.

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

:29:14.:29:20.

the opposition warning of the stresses between a pro-Russian

:29:21.:29:24.

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

:29:25.:29:30.

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

:29:31.:29:36.

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

:29:37.:29:42.

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

:29:43.:29:44.

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

:29:45.:29:47.

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

:29:48.:29:50.

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

:29:51.:29:55.

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

:29:56.:29:59.

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

:30:00.:30:05.

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

:30:06.:30:08.

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

:30:09.:30:15.

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

:30:16.:30:20.

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

:30:21.:30:24.

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

:30:25.:30:33.

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

:30:34.:30:38.

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

:30:39.:30:44.

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

:30:45.:30:48.

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

:30:49.:30:55.

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

:30:56.:31:02.

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

:31:03.:31:06.

charities say have problems with mental health at points in their

:31:07.:31:10.

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

:31:11.:31:16.

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

:31:17.:31:22.

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

:31:23.:31:27.

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

:31:28.:31:31.

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

:31:32.:31:35.

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

:31:36.:31:38.

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

:31:39.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:52.

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

:31:53.:31:59.

Twitter and Facebook saying nice things. People in parliament coming

:32:00.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:08.

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

:32:09.:32:13.

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

:32:14.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:28.

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

:32:29.:32:31.

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

:32:32.:32:33.

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

:32:34.:32:39.

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

:32:40.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:49.

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

:32:50.:32:54.

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

:32:55.:32:59.

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

:33:00.:33:03.

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

:33:04.:33:10.

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

:33:11.:33:14.

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

:33:15.:33:19.

could remove the stigma still lingering around mental health

:33:20.:33:21.

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

:33:22.:33:26.

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

:33:27.:33:32.

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

:33:33.:33:35.

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

:33:36.:33:42.

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

:33:43.:33:45.

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

:33:46.:33:49.

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

:33:50.:33:51.

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

:33:52.:33:57.

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

:33:58.:34:01.

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

:34:02.:34:06.

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

:34:07.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:15.

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

:34:16.:34:20.

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

:34:21.:34:25.

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

:34:26.:34:28.

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

:34:29.:34:34.

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

:34:35.:34:38.

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

:34:39.:34:49.

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

:34:50.:34:53.

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

:34:54.:34:58.

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

:34:59.:35:02.

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

:35:03.:35:07.

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

:35:08.:35:13.

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

:35:14.:35:16.

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

:35:17.:35:25.

celebrity cook Nigella Lawson admitted in court today that she had

:35:26.:35:30.

taken cocaine but smoked marijuana but not addicted and that her

:35:31.:35:35.

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

:35:36.:35:38.

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

:35:39.:35:43.

assistants defrauded the glamorous couple has been completely

:35:44.:35:46.

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

:35:47.:35:53.

contains some flash photography. Nigella Lawson had predicted that

:35:54.:35:58.

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

:35:59.:36:02.

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

:36:03.:36:12.

the not very Nigella surroundings of Isleworth Crown Court. Journalists

:36:13.:36:16.

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

:36:17.:36:21.

extravagant spending, and what Miss Lawson described as "intimate

:36:22.:36:26.

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

:36:27.:36:31.

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

:36:32.:36:35.

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

:36:36.:36:43.

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

:36:44.:36:50.

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

:36:51.:36:52.

her. He In fact, two former personal

:36:53.:37:10.

assistants, on the left here, sisters Elisabetta Grillo and

:37:11.:37:13.

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

:37:14.:37:22.

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

:37:23.:37:27.

defence barrister asked Miss Lawson had her background conflicted with

:37:28.:37:32.

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

:37:33.:37:41.

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

:37:42.:37:45.

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

:37:46.:37:50.

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

:37:51.:37:54.

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

:37:55.:38:00.

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

:38:01.:38:05.

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

:38:06.:38:10.

heard extraordinary details of domestic life chez Saatchi, how the

:38:11.:38:15.

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

:38:16.:38:21.

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

:38:22.:38:28.

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

:38:29.:38:34.

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

:38:35.:38:41.

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

:38:42.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:49.

face further cross-examination tomorrow.

:38:50.:38:55.

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

:38:56.:38:59.

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

:39:00.:39:02.

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

:39:03.:39:06.

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

:39:07.:39:10.

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

:39:11.:39:15.

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

:39:16.:39:27.

wounded. We have -- severely wounded.

:39:28.:39:33.

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

:39:34.:39:36.

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

:39:37.:39:41.

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

:39:42.:39:53.

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

:39:54.:39:57.

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

:39:58.:40:04.

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

:40:05.:40:10.

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

:40:11.:40:14.

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

:40:15.:40:18.

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

:40:19.:40:22.

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

:40:23.:40:28.

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

:40:29.:40:35.

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

:40:36.:40:40.

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

:40:41.:40:43.

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

:40:44.:40:48.

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

:40:49.:40:52.

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

:40:53.:40:56.

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

:40:57.:41:05.

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

:41:06.:41:13.

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

:41:14.:41:18.

conscious throughout the whole incident. I remember the guys

:41:19.:41:22.

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

:41:23.:41:25.

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

:41:26.:41:31.

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

:41:32.:41:35.

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

:41:36.:41:39.

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

:41:40.:41:44.

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

:41:45.:41:48.

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

:41:49.:41:51.

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

:41:52.:41:57.

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

:41:58.:42:02.

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

:42:03.:42:07.

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

:42:08.:42:11.

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

:42:12.:42:17.

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

:42:18.:42:23.

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

:42:24.:42:29.

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

:42:30.:42:33.

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

:42:34.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:42.

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

:42:43.:42:49.

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

:42:50.:42:54.

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

:42:55.:42:57.

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

:42:58.:43:02.

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

:43:03.:43:07.

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

:43:08.:43:10.

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

:43:11.:43:16.

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

:43:17.:43:20.

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

:43:21.:43:26.

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

:43:27.:43:31.

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

:43:32.:43:37.

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

:43:38.:43:41.

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

:43:42.:43:45.

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

:43:46.:43:50.

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

:43:51.:43:54.

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

:43:55.:44:05.

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

:44:06.:44:08.

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

:44:09.:44:12.

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

:44:13.:45:24.

papers: That's all from us tonight, Kirsty

:45:25.:46:08.

will be here,

:46:09.:46:09.

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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