09/12/2013 Newsnight


09/12/2013

The latest from the Central African Republic where there are fears of a genocide. And a look at cuts to the pay of professional witnesses in the family courts.


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Transcript


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An enormous country in the heart of Africa said to be on the brink of

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utter chaos. As France deploys more troops to prevent a feared genocide.

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What has brought the central African Republic to such a crisis. He's

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going for a duck house? Just like our one? WhatTRANSMIT He's going for

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a duck house? Just like our one? What? How do MPs end up with an 11%

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pay rise that some are not bothered by.

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As the Ukraine crackdown on protestors, what is the future. We

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speak to the presidential candidate's daughter. Will your

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mother be President of this country? I hope so. And with street lights we

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don't get to see this, is it worth the sacrifice? Another force of

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French soldiers ordered to Africa began disarming fighters today in

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the central African Republic, Britain is supplying air transport.

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The Central African Republic, a vast, land locked poverty-striken

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mess, almost at the centre of the conflict is racked by sectarian

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conflict where children are said to be particularly vulnerable. We talk

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to our correspondent in the town of Bossangoa in the north of the

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country. What have you seen today Today in the town the situation is a

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little calmer compared to the situation we have seen over the last

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few days, extremely tense, we have seen three days of fighting, during

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which Christian militia, backed by former soldiers attacked Muslim

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civilians here, that prompted a reaction from the mainly Muslim

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groups which put the current President in power earlier this

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year. This fighting, we have seen African peacekeepers fighting hard

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and frankly they managed to prevent a bloodbath here in the town of

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Bossangoa, they were clearly targeting civilians and now there is

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a sudden relief that has come over the weekend because of the arrival

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of French troops in the town. Both communities are confined to camps on

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either side of the town at the moment. The French Foreign Minister

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the other day talked about being on the verge of a genocide in the

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Central African Republic, does it team like that to you when you are

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there? It is cleared that the conflict has taken a dangerous

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religious turn, and the sectarian violence is quite clear in the

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region. What we have seen over the last few days was clearly that the

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fighters from both sides were targeting civilians according to

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their religion. Now we have seen African peace keepers being able to

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contain the fighters on both sides of the town. If they hadn't been

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there I can, I think that it was clear that it could have been a mass

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killing in this town and a lot of civilians would have died. Now

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genocide is obviously quite a strong word, I don't think that there is

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any sort of attack that is so well orchestrated at the moment. It is

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rather chaotic what is happening here. Organised bands of fighters --

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preying on the civilians and carrying out attacks here or there,

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there is no clear chain of command that is telling us that this mass

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killing is clearly orchestrated at the top of their group. Thank you

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very much. So how did the Central African Republic get into this

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state, and what is driving the unrest? The Central African

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Republic, as its name suggests lies in the heart of Africa surrounded by

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countries with their own war torn countries. How did the CAR, end up

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in this state with armed militias on the streets and hundreds dead. And

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the old colonial power sending its troops to keep the peace. That old

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colonial power, France this time, not Britain, surely bears some

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responsibility. Since the CAR gained independence in 1962 it has swerved

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between short lived democratic Governments and sometimes brutal

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dictatorships. The regime of the self-styled Emperor and alleged

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cannibal, Bocasa, in the 1970s and 80s was a particular memorable low

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point in the nation's history. As in so many colonies arbitary borders

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drawn on maps failed to create a unified nation state. In the absence

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of national unity, people's sense of identity came instead from their

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religion or their family. That has meant bitter struggles between the

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Muslim minority and the Christian majority. In March this year Muslim

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rebel groups, known as the Seleka, ousted the Christian President and

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installed a new President. In response Christian militias were set

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up, ostensibly to protect Christian communities and violence was soon

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out of control. After a UN resolution was passed in October,

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peacekeepers were sent in. But the violence of recent days led to calls

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for extra French troops to be flown in. They have now begun to patrol

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major cities and are working to disarm the militias. Joining us from

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New York is the UN's assistant secretary-general for human rights.

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How serious is the situation in the Central African Republic? The

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situation is extremely serious, what started assort of religious division

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that was deepening, in the last couple of days escalated into

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interreligious violence. Our assessment is only in the capital we

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had 459 casualties. What hopes do you hold out for the success of the

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intervention force? Well, I'm quite optimistic, it is very good that the

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number of French troops has increased, but it is also important

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that the arrival of called the African-led groups is being sped up,

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for example, Americans are providing for logistical help to fly in

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Burundians sooner than envisaged. It is highly important to increase the

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number of troops there, because no national security forces are

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reliable. So first priority is to increase security and then, of

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course, humanitarian access. We are speaking of our direct casualties,

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but far more dangerous is that a lot of civilians are in the bush, there

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is a spread of Malaria, and there is quite high rate of infant mortality

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and malnutrition. People are paying a lot of attention outside the area

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to what's happening there, because of this turn that was used by the

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French Foreign Minister recently about being on the verge of

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genocide, because everyone remembers what happened in Rwanda, does it

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look like that to you? In Rwanda you had deep-rooted ethnic hostility and

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history of clashes. This is what we historically did not have in Central

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African Republic. However, there is clear evidence of widespread

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questionably whether systematic crimes against humanity being

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committed. The called Seleka are deliberately targeting civilians

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that predominantly of Christian faith. While we had cases also of

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called other groups attacking Muslim civilians.

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The leaders of the biggest political parties in parliament have spent

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much of the day running around like headless chickens, protesting at

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their MPs being paid more. According to reports our politicians are in

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line for an 11% pay rise. Ed Miliband has called for cross-party

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talks on the issue, though this was met with a cool reception from the

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Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister. The are bothered because

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at that time when much of the public sector is Lucio to get more than 1%,

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it is no way for any of them to bask in the affections of their voters.

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Tomorrow a play based on the MPs' expenses scandal opens in London, it

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is, of course, a comedy. Tell me we haven't got a duck house. We have a

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duck house in the pond? The pond. Did we claim for it? I expect so?

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Why have we got a duck house? Somewhere for the ducks to live?

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They have somewhere to live, it is called the wild. It is a roof over

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their head! . The producer says the MPs were sitting ducks! Anyone who

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lives away from home is entitled to accommodation and access to an

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office. It was the fact that it is the kind of thing that was claimed.

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As personified finally by the title of this play, which is who needs a

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duck house? In an effort to clean up after the scandal the new

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independent parliamentary standards authority will recommend a new pay

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and expenses package for MPs, published on Thursday. The sneak

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previews, have not, it is fair to say, received rave reviews. The pay

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of a backbench MP is concernedly ?66,400, on Thursday, -- Ipsa will

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recommend an 11% pay rise N doing so they are cutting back allowances and

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pension entitlements which will make the new package ?2. 2 million

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cheaper to the taxpayer than the current one. It is right that IPSA

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does scrap the resettlement grants and the gold plated pensions that

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MPs enjoy. That doesn't justify increasing pay at the time, IPSA

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should be doing it regardless, not trading it off to give MPs a very

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big pay increase at a time when many people are struggling and private

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and public sector workers haven't seen an increase. Take the Mickey

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out of MPs for claiming for sparkly toilet seats or massage chairs might

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make great comedy, but many MPs aren't laughing. All the party

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leaders have come out against the IPSA pay rise, saying it is unTHIBL.

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A lot of backbench -- unthinkable, a lot of backbenchers see that has a

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betrayal. Why? Because they say it is already for the leaders, they

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have a higher paid jobs, a high-earning spouse in the family

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and inherited wealth to boot. The party leaders could well afford to

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buy whole estates of duck houses if they fancied them. There is two

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elements to it, one is paying MPs for the jobs they do. You could say

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it is worth it for what they do, you can pay the salary accordingly.

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There is the allied point of attracting people able to do that

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very complex job. You may be seeking to attract people who have had

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experience, they have held professional jobs, you want them to

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come in with their experience. So for them it is taking a pay cut to

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actually come into parliament. MPs' pay has slipped when compared to

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average wages ever since MPs were first paid in 1911, they received

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nearly six-times the average wage. The it was around 3. 1 six times the

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average wage, now it is slipping back to 2. 7, bringing it back to

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the average multiple over time would take pay to ?83,6460, that is far

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more than IPSA is proposing. This isn't the usual House of Commons

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stuff? No, this is pricier, but I thought what the hell, you know, I

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kept the receipt. In the meantime the whole subject is a gift to the

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gag writers, even if it is not doing much for the reputation of politics.

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Cheers? Cheers, up yours. Now Walker is the MP for Broxbourne, and the

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vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs.

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Caroline Lucas is the green MP for Brighton pavilion. Why do you

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deserve a pay rise? IPSA was set up in the wake of the expenses scandal

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in 2010 to take pay and expenses out of the hands of the Members of

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Parliament. We were told we would never get involved in that margin.

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It seems we are. I don't think Members of Parliament deserve a pay

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rise, nor do I think they don't, it is up to IPSA, an independent body

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making decisions on our pay. You will take? I will. Why? Because I

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have not turned pay rise down in my 25-year professional career, and I

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won't be holier than,000 on -- thou? Are you going to be holier than

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thou? I think when people are having to take pay cuts and MPs getting an

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increase of 11%, it sends out the message we are not all in this

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together but deeply hip crate calm. When MPs are held in little esteem

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this is the worst thing we could do. Do you think there may be something

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to do in the argument if you sit in a safe seat it is easier to accept

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it than sitting in a seat you might lose? There is probably some truth

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about that, that is why you shouldn't have safe seats, so no MP

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MP is feeling complacent we need to change the electoral system. I

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walked into that? You did. You would accept they are possibly going on to

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two categories of MP, a category of MP who can afford to take the money

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and a category who cannot? In terms of public opinion it is wrong that

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anybody should feel that they can afford to take it. We know this is

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deeply unpopular outside of parliament. And quite understandably

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so. This has been a running sore for 40 years, Members of Parliament have

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broken links with recommended pay increases for 40 years, or the prime

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ministers of the day have. I think the whole thing will unravel and Ed

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Miliband calling for talk, we will be right back to square one, we have

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learned nothing of the past four decades. Once again party leaders

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will make a terrible, terrible mistake. You don't dispute that MPs

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should be paid? No, I certainly don't dispute they should be paid,

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of course they should be paid and paid a reasonable amount. Do you

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think they should decide their own salaries? Ideally I believe it

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should be an independent body that should do it, which is why we find

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ourselves in a difficult position. My point would be is that I wouldn't

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have asked the independent body to do this piece of work at a time when

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we are in the biggest economic crisis for many, many decades. There

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is no logic to this at all, you shouldn't be setting your own level

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of pay, you say, and yet you say you should be able to determine when an

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independent body can do it and when they can't? I would have thought it

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is common sense at a time when you have politicians trying to tell the

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rest of the population that we are in unprecedentedly difficult

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economic times that we all have to tighten our belts. At that

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particular time to go away and ask anybody, whether an independent body

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or anybody else to come up with suggestions of pay increase for MPs,

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I think is just completely mad timing. I don't think that is an

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incomprehensible position to take, I think it is a logical one. The other

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point made in the report is there were net savings to the Exchequer

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because of changes in pensions and all the rest of it. That is a good

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thing isn't it? I found myself in the unusual position of agreeing

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with the Taxpayers' Alliance when the gentleman said those cuts should

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be made any way not as trade-off to an increased salary. If there are

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savings to be made on mention, fine let's look at that, but not the

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price to pay for the increase in salaries. The overall package

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reduces the cost of politics? It will increase it even more, it will

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enable us to save more money if we didn't take a pay increase. We are

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telling people who have not had a pain crease for many, many years and

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we are trying to justify an 11% increase. I'm not telling anybody

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anything, incompetence IPSA is an independent pay body. What do you

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think your constitutes think? I'm on the wrong side of the argument with

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my constitutes many of them, I was in parliament in 2010, and it was a

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desperate situation we found ourselves in, we can't revisit it

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again, I fear we will. We are hurtling towards having a parliament

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of extremely rich people. If that's what the British public want, fine,

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that is absolutely fine by me, but that is where we are heading. We

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will have a heart of the independently wealthy, a Government

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of the independently wealthy and parliament of independently wealthy.

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If that is what the public want. It will only get worse biceping the pay

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rise. I don't see how that is logical in terms of saying let's

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have an 11% pay rise. Right now we have a number of senior politicians

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where being a member of parliament is a hobby job, they have outside

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work and high-earning spouses and being a minister is a hobby job. The

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Deputy Prime Minister said he would be happy to do this job for nothing.

:19:15.:19:19.

I haven't met a single constitute who could afford to do his or her

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job for nothing. It is one of the serious decisions a court can take,

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whether or not a child should be removed from a family. The view of

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an experienced professional can be crucial in reaching that decision.

:19:36.:19:39.

Newsnight has heard a number of professional witnesses in the family

:19:40.:19:45.

courts said they will continue refuse to appear because the money

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they get has been cut by the Government.

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It is the expert view that decides whether or not a child goes into

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care, the most drastic step a court can take. They can be experts,

:20:00.:20:04.

psychologists or social workers. I might take 15-20 hours to work on an

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assessment of a mother. And I bring to it my experience as a

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psychiatrist, psychotherapist and psycho analyst. Which the court does

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not have available to it from anyone else. To speed up case, and cut

:20:22.:20:27.

costs, judges in the family court have been told they can only call an

:20:28.:20:31.

expert witness if it is strictly necessary for the case. Rather than

:20:32.:20:36.

reasonably required. Which was the old test. In addition cuts to Legal

:20:37.:20:40.

Aid are now having an impact. From this month new rules mean experts

:20:41.:20:44.

are paid less for their assessments. The fee for a child psychiatrist,

:20:45.:20:51.

for instance, has dropped from ?1 per hour to ?108 per hour. For the

:20:52.:20:58.

first time the hours they can charge on a case have been limited, for a

:20:59.:21:02.

child psychiatrist it is a maximum of 25 hours. The danger not merely

:21:03.:21:07.

now of reducing the rates of pay, as it were, per hour, but crucially

:21:08.:21:10.

saying that you can only spend a certain number of hours on an

:21:11.:21:16.

assessment. That really restricts the professional competence of

:21:17.:21:19.

expert witnesses, many of them who are saying now they won't do this

:21:20.:21:24.

work, say that would so compromise their work that it would be

:21:25.:21:27.

unethical to try to assess a whole family in a certain limited number

:21:28.:21:33.

of hours. Newsnight has seen the resultings of a survey of its

:21:34.:21:38.

members -- results of a survey of its members. The poll makes stark

:21:39.:21:41.

reading. Some doubt the experts would turn

:21:42.:22:03.

down the work. I have been an expert witness in a large number of trial,

:22:04.:22:07.

and I have seen myself as very well paid and embarrassingly well paid,

:22:08.:22:12.

actually. There is obvious room for a reduction in the rates. And I

:22:13.:22:20.

think most expert witnesses will continue to appear. They like the

:22:21.:22:25.

work, they are well paid any way and so I don't think there will be any

:22:26.:22:29.

effect at all in the availability of experts. Expert rates were cut

:22:30.:22:39.

significantly in October 2011, we never thought that they needed to be

:22:40.:22:43.

cut any furthe There were some people who said they were unable to

:22:44.:22:47.

work at the cut rates, but most people found a way to continue

:22:48.:22:52.

working. It is this further cut that we think is destructive. It is not

:22:53.:22:58.

just the expert witnesses, with the obvious self-interest, worried about

:22:59.:23:01.

these changes. The country's leading judges are concerned too. They said

:23:02.:23:07.

that a declining availability of true expertise will inevitably

:23:08.:23:12.

impede efficient administration of justice and detrimentally affect

:23:13.:23:16.

decision-making in the best interests of children. Family courts

:23:17.:23:21.

are already cutting back, in one recent case two social workers

:23:22.:23:24.

applied to remove a new born baby with no expert evidence at all. In

:23:25.:23:32.

court the judge was easily persuaded to refuse that application and

:23:33.:23:37.

ordered that the child, and that the mother and baby go into an

:23:38.:23:42.

assessment centre, a former expert witness, and she has done extremely

:23:43.:23:46.

well and shown that a lot of the concerns of the local authority were

:23:47.:23:51.

misplaced or exaggerated. That is the difference an expert witness can

:23:52.:23:55.

make. The Ministry of Justice told us the Government was often paying

:23:56.:23:59.

much for more legally aided expert witnesses than others, and this

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could not be justified. The current system can be agonisingly slow,

:24:05.:24:07.

figures released today showed dozens of care cases started in 2010 are

:24:08.:24:13.

still unresolved. That could mean children and families are still in

:24:14.:24:17.

limbo after three years, waiting for the courts to decide their future.

:24:18.:24:21.

It is this problem as much as cost that the changes are intended to

:24:22.:24:28.

deal with. Now a busy night for air traffic controllers in South Africa,

:24:29.:24:31.

as leaders from all over the world make their way to Johannesburg for

:24:32.:24:36.

tomorrow's memorial service for Nelson Mandela. You would have to go

:24:37.:24:41.

a long way to find anyone who would dispute man Delled had a's --

:24:42.:24:47.

Mandela's widely viewed political skills. We are reporting from Soweto

:24:48.:24:55.

illustrating how that rare skill set was brought into play in a moment of

:24:56.:25:02.

real danger for the country. Nelson Mandela was forged in the fierce

:25:03.:25:06.

heat of radical black politics. Soweto was the cauldron of the early

:25:07.:25:12.

liberation struggle. This, not prison, was what gave manned the --

:25:13.:25:21.

Mandela what he would need for the prison life. He learned a unique

:25:22.:25:25.

moral authority. That is not where his real authority or power sprang

:25:26.:25:30.

from, it sprang from a set of hard-headed political skills as a

:25:31.:25:34.

leader, from a clarity of political vision sustained over decades and

:25:35.:25:39.

from a steely ability to make himself the indispensable figure at

:25:40.:25:45.

Millennium Domes of great crisis. April 1993 was one such moment. In

:25:46.:25:50.

which Mandela would prove himself a brilliant political operator. And

:25:51.:25:54.

save South Africa. The white Government had still not conceded a

:25:55.:25:59.

date for free elections. The communist leader, Chris Hani, was a

:26:00.:26:03.

heroic figure, second only to Mandela in popular esteem. Then he

:26:04.:26:08.

was shot dead by a white racist. I went over to the house and I saw

:26:09.:26:13.

Chris, he was lying there, clutching a newspaper. And he was, I think he

:26:14.:26:19.

was dead. ??FORCEDWHI Public rage tore through the country, many

:26:20.:26:23.

blacks lost patience with a peace process that seemed endless. Rolf

:26:24.:26:30.

Meyer was a key player, leading negotiations for the white

:26:31.:26:33.

Government. I would say for 36 hours it was a tipping point. It could

:26:34.:26:39.

have very easily moved us over the edge. And everything was so very

:26:40.:26:47.

sensitively balanced that a major impact like this could have taken us

:26:48.:26:52.

completely out of the possibility of a peaceful solution. We want an

:26:53.:26:59.

election date now. Mandela told the white Government bluntly there could

:27:00.:27:03.

be no more delay. He needed them to agree a date immediately for free

:27:04.:27:08.

elections, only that could halt the slide. He then appeared on

:27:09.:27:11.

television at immense risk to his own public credibility to make a

:27:12.:27:18.

dramatic appeal for calm. Our grief and anger is tearing us apart. He

:27:19.:27:24.

knew the public mood was turning against reconciliation, but still he

:27:25.:27:27.

spoke of the white woman who had tipped off the police about the

:27:28.:27:36.

killer's identity. A white woman of Afrikana origin risked her life so

:27:37.:27:43.

that we may know and bring to justice this assassin. Mandela had

:27:44.:27:48.

the authority from within himself. He had the inner conviction to do

:27:49.:27:56.

the right thing that would actually confirm his leadership. That was a

:27:57.:28:01.

perfect moment where he did it. The Government committed to elections,

:28:02.:28:05.

democracy was only a matter of time. It had a date. Mandela had snatched

:28:06.:28:11.

from the greatest moment of peril the biggest advance. At Soweto

:28:12.:28:19.

Cricket Oval, black and white together take a moment of silence

:28:20.:28:23.

for Mandela before play. This is, in a sense, the future he rescued for

:28:24.:28:30.

this country. In the early days of Nelson Mandela's presidency the

:28:31.:28:33.

England cricket team came here to play a one-day friendly against a

:28:34.:28:37.

Soweto team. Then the streets around the club were still tense with the

:28:38.:28:42.

aftershock of so much political violence. Half way through the match

:28:43.:28:46.

Nelson Mandela turned up, unannounced. I was standing a few

:28:47.:28:53.

feet away, and I could see as Mandela shook the hand of the young

:28:54.:28:56.

Soweto players they were shining with pride. Not just to be meeting

:28:57.:29:02.

Mandela, but also because they, black South Africans, were doing

:29:03.:29:04.

something that had been impossible until now. They were hosting the

:29:05.:29:08.

England team. They took it as great gesture of respect from the outside

:29:09.:29:13.

world. Which is what it was, but it was symbolic of something else as

:29:14.:29:18.

well, it was symbolic of the great promise of the future, symbolic of

:29:19.:29:23.

all the limitless possibilities that now lay ahead. This man grew up in

:29:24.:29:30.

teargas and turmoil. He's too young to have been here the day Mandela

:29:31.:29:34.

came, but he remembers what it meant to the people? I think for the

:29:35.:29:38.

people that was probably one of the biggest days, especially from a

:29:39.:29:41.

sports perspective, to have the great man himself here. Apartheid

:29:42.:29:44.

would have locked people like him out of the lives they live today.

:29:45.:29:49.

They inherit the future that Mandela pulled from the flames of the early

:29:50.:29:55.

1990s. Today I'm a chartered accountant and completing my law

:29:56.:29:59.

degree. I would say the sky is the limit. Even 20 years ago, to hear a

:30:00.:30:04.

young black, middle-class man speaking like this was pretty rare?

:30:05.:30:10.

Today I can definitely say there is a whole lot of "us" if I can refer

:30:11.:30:15.

to it like that. I would like to say to the professional, let's come back

:30:16.:30:20.

to the grassroots so that Soweto and every other township in South Africa

:30:21.:30:28.

can bossom. -- blossom. Poverty for the most part still has its

:30:29.:30:33.

distinctive skin colour in these townships. Did Mandela in return for

:30:34.:30:38.

the right to vote for freedom concede too much economically. Did

:30:39.:30:42.

he leave real economic power where it had always been, in white hands.

:30:43.:30:45.

That is a question that the guardians of his legacy are already

:30:46.:30:53.

facing. No electricity, no water, no shower. Most things people don't

:30:54.:31:03.

have. This man has lived in the migrant workers' hostel for 33

:31:04.:31:07.

years, democracy has not improved living conditions here. 23 years

:31:08.:31:11.

after winning the vote, he now bonders what the vote is for. Are

:31:12.:31:20.

you disappointed? Yeah. What can I do? We keep on voting, voting,

:31:21.:31:26.

voting, we are tired of that now. We don't know what we are voting for.

:31:27.:31:36.

So two Sowetos emerge from that pivitol moment in 1993, hope and an

:31:37.:31:44.

enduring despair sit side-by-side. Multiple Soweto, multiple South

:31:45.:31:52.

Africas sing Mandela to his sleep. The greatest moral figure of our age

:31:53.:31:56.

bequeaths a democratic South Africa, but his great political skills have

:31:57.:32:00.

not yet delivered a country that is free from what decades of apartheid

:32:01.:32:04.

and centuries of racial oppression did to it. The authorities in

:32:05.:32:10.

Ukraine seem to have decided they have had enough of the protests

:32:11.:32:16.

which have brought parts of the down a halt. Dismantling and blocking off

:32:17.:32:23.

several camps near key buildings in Kiev today. Demonstrations began

:32:24.:32:30.

when President Yanukovych, or how you pronounce it, decided it was

:32:31.:32:34.

more important to keep sweet with Moscow than get closer to the

:32:35.:32:37.

European Union. The EU is offering to mediate between Government and

:32:38.:32:42.

protesters. Our diplomatic editor has just returned from Kiev. Bring

:32:43.:32:46.

us up-to-date? This is a sharp increase in tension, there has been

:32:47.:32:49.

this stand-off for nearly two weeks now. Since they turned their back on

:32:50.:32:56.

this EU partnership agreement, President Yanukovych. What happened

:32:57.:33:03.

was you had this central protest, an independent Europe, Midan and

:33:04.:33:06.

satellite occupations and all sorts of things. They have mopped those up

:33:07.:33:12.

today, the riot police have gone in and dismantled and driven away the

:33:13.:33:16.

protesters and put some through the courts, they have started doing

:33:17.:33:18.

that. That has brought a sharp increase in pension. They have not

:33:19.:33:24.

gone into the central square yet. Baroness Ashton due there tomorrow

:33:25.:33:27.

has issued a statement before we came on air, urging caution on the

:33:28.:33:31.

Government for Mr Yanukovych to try to contain the situation. These

:33:32.:33:34.

pictures we can see today were from one of today's raids on a party

:33:35.:33:41.

headquarters of the Fatherland party. This party is led by the

:33:42.:33:45.

country's most charismatic and if you like significant opposition

:33:46.:33:49.

leader, but someone who is in jail on a seven-year sentence, Yulia

:33:50.:33:57.

Tymoshenko. She is revealed by many protestors but reviled by many other

:33:58.:34:02.

Ukrainians. I have been on a journey to find out if she's a hero or

:34:03.:34:08.

villain. It is before dawn and we are heading to eastern Ukraine, it

:34:09.:34:12.

is there that the country's most celebrated prisoner is being held in

:34:13.:34:23.

a secure hospital. Yulia Tymoshenko was one of the heros of the orange

:34:24.:34:27.

revolution nine years ago, now there is a campaign for her freedom. The

:34:28.:34:36.

night before we had been in Kiev's independent square to hear Yulia's

:34:37.:34:43.

daughter read a message from detention from her mother. The crowd

:34:44.:34:52.

hung on her every word. Even the rather extravagant comparisons of

:34:53.:34:56.

the country's current leader with Stalin, who murdered millions,

:34:57.:35:02.

seemed to win their approval. In the forefront team Yulia, the older

:35:03.:35:07.

ladies for whom Ukraine's imprisoned former Prime Minister is an idol.

:35:08.:35:12.

TRANSLATION: She's a symbol of endurance, the smiling face of the

:35:13.:35:19.

revolution of 2004. And in the final analysis Yulia is a symbol of

:35:20.:35:26.

feminity. Well it is obvious that there are millions of Ukrainians for

:35:27.:35:35.

whom Yulia Tymoshenko is a martyr, a political prisoner, a kind of Ang

:35:36.:35:46.

Sang Sukyi. And other foreigners have bought that image, talk more to

:35:47.:35:52.

people here and you start to hear a very different picture as well.

:35:53.:35:57.

Yulia went into politics during the 1990s after making a fortune in a

:35:58.:36:02.

notoriously corrupt oil and gas building. Certificating gay, a harsh

:36:03.:36:05.

critic of the current Government shared some unflattering light on

:36:06.:36:14.

Yulia's entry to politics too. She decided to be a politician in 1996,

:36:15.:36:30.

she was arrested one year beforeician in 1996, she was

:36:31.:36:34.

arrested one year before. For drug smuggling to Russia, she wanted

:36:35.:36:39.

immunity that is why she declared.. She was on charges of embezzlement

:36:40.:36:47.

and other charges. Members of Team Yulia are on hand along with body

:36:48.:36:52.

guards. Tymoshenko's lawyer turns up too, fresh from a paint-throwing

:36:53.:36:57.

attack at a court hearing that morning. That was the forth time of

:36:58.:37:04.

an attack of the defence team against Mrs Tymoshenko. That is the

:37:05.:37:07.

business card of the attitude towards what is going on.

:37:08.:37:11.

Little wonder that foreign human rights organisations have criticised

:37:12.:37:16.

the trial and subsequent tention as political persecution. We can't film

:37:17.:37:22.

in the hospital where Yulia has been on hunger strike since democracy

:37:23.:37:27.

protests erupted late last month in the capital. There the protestors

:37:28.:37:33.

portray themselves as pro-European and trying to stop a pro-Russian

:37:34.:37:38.

President from getting too close to Vladimir Putin. The protestors

:37:39.:37:43.

complain loudly about Ukraine's deal with Russia for gas. But it was

:37:44.:37:47.

Yulia Tymoshenko, who, as Prime Minister, signed it. TRANSLATION: In

:37:48.:37:55.

2009 an agreement was signed, gas agreement with Russia, coercing

:37:56.:38:01.

Ukraine to join with Russia in union. That is why we are saying

:38:02.:38:07.

that Yulia Tymoshenko had already betrayed the interests of the

:38:08.:38:10.

Ukraine and signed a deal completely against the interests of the

:38:11.:38:16.

country. They emerge to brief the local press, her mother's hungry

:38:17.:38:22.

strike is over, she has bowed to a petition from supporters, the

:38:23.:38:25.

weather has turned and evening fallen. We need to talk but she is

:38:26.:38:29.

in a hurry. We conduct the interview in her Range Rover. I asked first

:38:30.:38:34.

about the gas deal which, some said sold the country to the Russians?

:38:35.:38:40.

She started the way for Ukraine to remove the political aspect from the

:38:41.:38:49.

gas trade and gas negotiations that take place every year and political

:38:50.:38:53.

negotiations that control Ukraine. Now Ukraine has lower gas price than

:38:54.:38:58.

European countries. When she agreed for the contracts, which she didn't

:38:59.:39:02.

sign, by the way, which was signed by the two enterprise heads, the

:39:03.:39:08.

price was much lower than in the neighbouring European countries. It

:39:09.:39:13.

is all alie. Is she an honest woman your mother, did she benefit from

:39:14.:39:18.

public office in a way that was bad and dishonest? If you follow really

:39:19.:39:22.

the committee report that was commissioned by the European Union

:39:23.:39:27.

and they followed every trial, they witnessed, they took witnesses from

:39:28.:39:32.

all the participants in the trial. They looked for the material cases

:39:33.:39:39.

and material files of the case. And nowhere in this file was one word of

:39:40.:39:46.

private gain or corruption. Do you think she will be President of the

:39:47.:39:51.

Country one day? I hope so. These days in Ukraine people tend to

:39:52.:39:56.

assume the worst about their politicians and probity, even if

:39:57.:39:59.

they support them. Did any come through the post-Soviet turmoil,

:40:00.:40:06.

with reputation intact. If you want to earn billions of dollars you

:40:07.:40:10.

can't earn without corruption. It is your choice to he were this money,

:40:11.:40:13.

and the next step you go to politics. If you go to politics

:40:14.:40:19.

after this corrupted ground, be ready to answer the questions, it is

:40:20.:40:23.

a certain obligation to be a businessman in the Ukraine.

:40:24.:40:28.

Journey's end and we are back in Kiev, time to take stock. So did

:40:29.:40:34.

Yulia Tymoshenko come through the business and political upheavals of

:40:35.:40:41.

the last 20 years, with clean hands? I think not. I wonder who really

:40:42.:40:46.

did. The point is now the way that President Yanukovych has treated her

:40:47.:40:49.

has reinvigorated her political credentials and given her a new

:40:50.:40:53.

lease of life. And who knows, one day she could be the President of

:40:54.:41:02.

this country. Now, put that light out! The air raid warden in Dad's

:41:03.:41:08.

Army would be happily at home in an enormous expanse of Northumbria.

:41:09.:41:14.

Nearly 600 square miles of Northumberland have been awarded

:41:15.:41:18.

protected dark sky status, so people can get a better view of the night

:41:19.:41:22.

sky. Just so you know what we are talking about. Let's look at a shot

:41:23.:41:27.

from the camera mounted on the proof across the street here in central

:41:28.:41:34.

London. It is enough to drive Brian Cox and John Culshaw into a suicide

:41:35.:41:40.

pact. Mention the word "nor you will better land" they go all dreamy

:41:41.:41:46.

eyed. From above European Union sparkles,

:41:47.:41:55.

the view from the ground is far from. The area covered is 975 square

:41:56.:42:01.

miles, incorporating the National Park and the Keilder forest park.

:42:02.:42:06.

The international dark skies association has granted the area

:42:07.:42:12.

gold tier state Turks the highest accolade, making it the largest side

:42:13.:42:16.

of its kind in Europe, it won't be all along in the park. There is

:42:17.:42:22.

another park like it in Galloway which turned its lights out four

:42:23.:42:26.

years ago. The night sky has been given protected status, which means

:42:27.:42:30.

people living locally will have to comply with strict lighting

:42:31.:42:34.

controls. It is hoped the local economy and nocturnal wildlife will

:42:35.:42:39.

benefit. There is a boost to astro tourism at the Keilder Observatory.

:42:40.:42:42.

We are looking forward to working with businesses and communities in

:42:43.:42:46.

the months and years to come, to try to get everyone to be aware of the

:42:47.:42:52.

special quality we have in huge amounts, it is above our head it is

:42:53.:42:56.

a free national quality that we should be very, very proud of and we

:42:57.:43:01.

should do our best to try to keep as dark as possible.

:43:02.:43:07.

But with just 2,000 people living within the park, the bonders of a

:43:08.:43:11.

starry sky will still be can I denied to the vast majority of us.

:43:12.:43:20.

We have the lead astronomer from the Keilder Observatory, joining us from

:43:21.:43:24.

Northumberland now. What are we missing down here? It is phenomenal

:43:25.:43:35.

up here, this award has really been the icing on the cake for a lot of

:43:36.:43:40.

dedicated people working tirelessly at the observatory, it is about

:43:41.:43:45.

making astronomy accessible. To as many people as possible. Get out of

:43:46.:43:49.

your comfort zone and get yourself up north. I don't know if you

:43:50.:43:55.

managed to see it, you could see the pictures from the roof of the

:43:56.:43:59.

building in Broadcasting House, nothing here just grey light. What

:44:00.:44:05.

can you see now? We have got a cornucopia of stars overhead. We

:44:06.:44:09.

have the lights and cameras all going now it is difficult to observe

:44:10.:44:13.

the dark skies. These lights are precisely what we don't want. We

:44:14.:44:18.

want to see the darkness and the dark skies, that is precisely what

:44:19.:44:21.

we have got. This instrument here allows us to see wonderful galaxies

:44:22.:44:29.

like M-33, a pin wheel galaxy. It is over nearly 10 million light years

:44:30.:44:34.

distance, we can see the bonders of our universe by observing these

:44:35.:44:40.

incredible objects. Is that worth depriving people of decent lighting?

:44:41.:44:46.

We're not depriving anybody of anything. This is the thing. The

:44:47.:44:51.

area we have this dark sky park destination in has always been dark,

:44:52.:44:55.

that is why we built the observatory over six years ago now. It has

:44:56.:44:59.

always been dark in this part of the world. One of the great challenges

:45:00.:45:06.

for me as observer, is to make sure people in generations to come can

:45:07.:45:10.

enjoy the dark skies. In a world where our lives can be difficult on

:45:11.:45:14.

day-to-day basis, isn't it a wonderful thing you can access a

:45:15.:45:19.

phenomenal, bluetful, dark sky and wonder what else is out there. Let

:45:20.:45:35.

your self-dream a bit. It is a port of therapy? Self-dream a bit. It is

:45:36.:45:39.

a port of therapy? Absolutely. The universe we come from makes us who

:45:40.:45:43.

we are. Being able to dream about that and to connect in it, in that

:45:44.:45:50.

insay the sense of wonder, as a child you wanted to drive a steam

:45:51.:45:56.

train or rocketship. As adults we will lose all that, it is the wonder

:45:57.:46:00.

of the universe we try to reignite in people. When they come in their

:46:01.:46:05.

droves that is the one since I can get, people can connect with the

:46:06.:46:09.

universe, that is what makes us who we are. It is where it all came from

:46:10.:46:14.

and to be able to connect with that under phenomenal dark skies, that

:46:15.:46:20.

today we got news and to preserve it for generations to come is

:46:21.:46:24.

wonderful. Therapy, absolutely. Thanks a lot. That is about all from

:46:25.:46:33.

us tonight. While the astronomers at the Keilder Observatory were were a

:46:34.:46:37.

little disappointed by cloudy skies. Back in the Newsnight lab the

:46:38.:46:41.

boffins were able to reconstruct what they could see if the skies had

:46:42.:46:43.

been clearer.

:46:44.:46:50.

Fears of a genocide in the Central African Republic; cuts to the pay of professional witnesses in the family courts; 11 per cent pay rise for MPs; Ukraine; Nelson Mandela; dark skies.


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