16/12/2013 Newsnight


With Jeremy Paxman. Mission accomplished in Afghanistan, right to die, drug courts, the battle for the Arctic and modern slavery.

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The Prime Minister says Britain has accomplished its mission in


Afghanistan. It is one thing to step on to Afghan soil and declare the


future rosy, but what was the mission and the cost.


Also tonight this man wants a doctor to be able to kill him, he tells us


why. Matthew Perry, Chandler from Friends


is here to argue the case for specialist drug courts.


It seems a whole lot of nothing, so why has Russia objected so


vehemently to Canada's claim to own the North Pole.


Do you remember this area at all? What is it like to be a modern


slave. Start typically at 4.00 in the morning and work constantly


throughout the day, you can't ask for a cup of tea or anything to eat


or anything. The Prime Minister's official


spokesman spent part of today trying to extract words from the Prime


Minister's supposed mouth. The two words were "mission" and


"accomplished". Words which should never be run together since they


appeared on the superstructure of an aircraft carrier when when George W


Bush was boasting about the Iraq War. A reporter asked David Cameron


if he thought the same about Afghanistan? The Prime Minister was


on a pre-Christmas visit to troops in Helmand Province. Had they


accomplished their mission, he was asked? I'm proud we made that


promise and department that promise. I think our troops can leave with


their heads held high over a job very well done. But which mission?


It kept changing and that was part of the problem. Early on British


Special Forces helped topple the Taliban and hunt Al-Qaeda. Then at


the Bonn conference the UK volunteered to lead the Afghan


counter narcotics effort. In 2001 the US Secretary of State awarded


the Taliban $40 million by way of reward for eradicating opium in


Afghanistan. So let's cut forward 12 years to now, where Afghanistan


produces more than half of the world's heroin-grade opium, and


Helmand produces half of Afghanistan's opium for export. It


was only five years in, in 2006 that things got really difficult for


British troops. When ministers packed them off to the south on what


was described as a reconstruction mission. We would be perfectly happy


to leave in three years time, without firing one shot. Because our


mission is to protect the reconstruction. The Taliban were


resurgent in Helmand and Kandahar provinces and the arrival of western


troops touched off huge battles. It took four years, hundreds of lives


and billions of pounds to get on top of it, just about. Our men have


fought well and professionally, they have done their best, but they


weren't able to answer the questions that aren't essentially answerable


by military means, which is creating or establishing and sustaining a


state, or a country that's able to sustain itself. There is no question


we failed to do that. The final phase of Britain's war, the last


couple of years, has focussed on preparing the Afghans for NATO's


withdrawal. Tens of billions have been invested in forces that are


still lacking in many respects. But there is a national mood of wanting


to take responsibility and see the back of NATO, and that echoed by the


President. On the security front the entire NATO exercise was one that


caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering. And a lot of loss of


life. And no gains, because the country is not secure. I'm not happy


to say well there is partial security, that is not what we are


seeking. What we wanted was absolute security and a clear-curt war


against terrorism. So what's Britain's scorecard at the end of


it? On the initial phase eliminating Al-Qaeda's bases, positive, on the


counter narcotics mission that followed, that was a disaster. As


for the insurgency in the south, at least in part caused by NATO's


arrival, they just about got on top of it in the end. The final phase,


the withdrawal, leaving behind capable Afghan security forces, well


the jury still has to be out on that one, although one can be cautiously


optimistic it will turn out better than Britain's withdrawal in 1841


from which there was a single survivor.


We're joined now to discuss whether the mission has really been


accomplished in Afghanistan by my guests. Both in the studio and in


Edinburgh, where the former British ambassador to Afghanistan is there.


Is it mission accomplished? It is hard to say, I think the mission


that was given by the Prime Minister is there is a basic level of


security, and also that Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for


Al-Qaeda. I think that's a very UK-centric mission. For 30 million


Afghans the mission is a different thing and by far not accomplished.


It is a very partial analysis this "mission accomplished" line? It is


an unfortunate phrase, I think Mark Urban's report, the scorecard, I


wouldn't dispute that at all, it is a mixed picture. The initial reason


for going in was to overthrow the Taliban and to remove a safe haven


for Al-Qaeda. Later on the mission got more and more complicated and


almost impossible to achieve by military means. I think I would


agree that the counter narcotics mission has not achieved very much,


indeed I would suggest that it is impossible to deal with the supply


side of a narcotics. You probably would have to deal with the demand


side, that is a whole different debate. I think it is a mixed


picture. As far as the military are concerned, they have done what they


could do. And I think the Prime Minister is right to talk about


being able to leave with their heads held high. The fact that Afghanistan


isn't a peaceful democracy is not the military's fault. How does it


seem from one of the other criteria, one of the other things they were


supposed to do whilst they were there is assist in the creation of a


civil society, particularly as regards the rights of women and the


like. How does it seem from that point of view? Well, not like good


news at all. You notice that the Prime Minister hasn't talked about


that today. And we haven't heard people talking about it much at all,


even though in 2001 we heard a lot from Tony and Cherie Blair about how


it was the oppression of women was one of the reasons that action was


needed to urgently in Afghanistan. What we have seen over the last


seven or eight months is a quite serious rollback of women's rights


by the Afghan Government. You mentioned earlier that it was a very


anglo-centric, Britishcentric view of what was going on in Afghanistan,


that didn't necessarily seem like that to Afghans, in what respect?


Our country is still one of the poorest in the world. It is,


unfortunately, the most corrupt in the world. The humanitarian needs


and development needs are very high still. And it is a bedrock for


extremism. But you have got rid of the Taliban Government? We have,


yes. And we are proud also that we have 350,000 security forces that


now undertake the absolute majority of security operations in


Afghanistan. That is a good, positive thing. But the reasons of


optimisim are not, do not overshadow the reasons for pessimism


unfortunately. Pessimistic looking forward do you mean? Yes, the


Taliban have vowed to disrupt next year's elections, although there is


going to be a robust response from the Afghanistan security force, but


it seems that they still have the ability to commit suicide attacks,


they can organise security threats in all major Afghanistan cities,


they also have been able to kill aid workers and Government public


servants. At that level it hasn't been a great success, has it? It is


down to the Afghans now, what the international forces have done they


can't do any more I think the arguments about staying on I would


disagree with. I think it is for the Afghans to take this forward. They


have got a security force, the British forces have contributed to


building up that force, as long as we continue to support that force


with aid and development assistance, it is really now for the Afghans to


take this forward. There is not much more we can do. And education is


much better isn't it? Yes and no. About half of Afghan girls are still


not going to school. I guess the real concern is about weather we're


at a point now which is the beginning of a longer trajectory of


progress or whether things are actually going to turn around and go


back. If you look, there are lots of different indicator, not just about


women's rights in which things are going the wrong direction. If this


isn't a permanent change in Afghan society it has been an awful lot of


blood and treasure spent to no effect? It can be a permanent change


but that requires a long-term commitment by the international


community. Not just to funding schools and clinics and hospital,


but also to put political pressure on the Afghan Government to respect


human rights. We are already seeing and hearing noises about deals with


the Taliban of whom there are still many thousands left in Afghanistan


aren't there? Yes. So what's the way forward? The way forward is for the


international community, which has invested so much in Afghanistan to


remain involved and supportive of human rights and women's rights and


to take a firm stand, while an agreement with the Taliban might be


desirable, it can't be at a cost to human rights. How does it seem to


you as an Afghan? I believe that Sir William was quite right that the


Afghans will take responsibility and they should. But what is important


is that the changes that have happened for the military, for the


civil society, that is sustained for a longer period of time, so that


they are not irreversible. Sir William? I agree with that, the big


lesson from history and the Russian experience in Afghanistan is the


international community have to stay engaged financially. We have to


commit to maintaining the support and with security forces. The


Afghans won't be able do it on their own but they need to take


responsibility. I have to say to Hearth, 2. 5 million girls in school


is progress. The fact that so many young Afghans are going to school


should in my view make a big difference to society. A thank you


very much. For 50 years it has been impossible to commit suicide. You


can kill yourself but a law passed in 1961 decreed it was no longer a


criminal offence to do so. As a safeguard that law made it a


criminal offence to help someone to take their own life. Today nine of


the country's most senior judges began considering whether it is time


to change that and make it possible in some circumstances. The


newly-televised Supreme Court began hearing evidence today in the right


to die case. Currently in England it is an offence to encourage or assist


a suicide. My Lords, my lady, this appeal marks what the appleant's


hope is the final stage of their attempts to obtain a legal remedy to


escape the extraordinary, and we submit, cruel consequences for them


of what is a generally sound law prohibiting assisted suicide in


England and Wales. Tony Nickinson wanted that to change. He had locked


in syndrome after suffering a massive stroke in 2005. He died last


summer, a week after he lost a High Court case to end his life with the


help of a doctor. His widow Jane won the right to continue the challenge


and is joined by Paul Lamb, who is paralysed in a road traffic accident


in 1990. Paul suffers from chronic pain and is immobile save for the


limited use of his right hand. He wants to be able to get a doctor end


his life at a time of his choosing. His case goes beyond that of


assisted suicide as he would need a doctor actually to kill him. Which


would amount to murder. Many people feel the current law protects


vulnerable people. Many vulnerable elderly and disabled people will


feel pressure, whether that's real or imagined to end their lives, so


as not to be a financial or emotional burden upon others. And


some disability rights campaigners believe the focus should be


different. Why do people want to die? What can we do to improve the


quality of life of individuals such as Paul Lamb so that he has a change


of mind. The nine judges of the Supreme Court must now decide


whether the current prohibition on assisted suicide is incompatible


with the right for respect for private and family life. Paul Lamb


is with us now. A lot of people would find this desire of yours


incomprehensible, can you explain why you want to change the law?


Peace of mind. If the law changes in favour of what we are asking, it


means while I'm on this planet, I will have a lot more peace of mind.


I don't have to keep thinking of ways to end my life if and when I


can't take no more. If you say you can't take any more, that you make a


decision that life isn't worth living? Yes. How will you know when


that time is? When I can't physically and mentally take no


more. There is a lot of things that could still go wrong with me, and...


And I just want to be able to call upon the help of a doctor when I


know I can't do any more. Life is worth living now? If this was in the


background, like almost like a lot of money in the bank, if I could


bank this that I knew that there is a safeguard when I need it, I will


probably have a lot better quality of life now. Why is knowing that a


doctor could help you end your life, if you came to that judgment, why is


that better than the care you might receive in a good hospice? It is not


enough. I have been 23 years now and the pain I get at times is


unbearable. There is a lot more things that can go wrong with me.


I'm constantly just thinking of ways I can end my life if and when the


time comes. And to be honest running my chair into a canal, jumping on a


rail line, jumping over a cliff, scares me. It scares me a lot. I


just want the ability to die at home with family and friend around me.


With dignity. I suppose there may come a point when you can't work


your wheelchair? Well my hand, that's the one that I have got that


I can use, I throw it over on to the joy stick and it gives me


independence. But I have seen people over the years that have usage of


and lose it, and I have seen them suffering. And that scares me. Do


you understand why many people worry about the message it would send to


many disabled people? Yes, but in the country we live in now, I mean


there will be certain ways where the safeguard people like that, surely.


It is the absolute opposite of what every doctor has been trained to do,


isn't it? Yes, but in the same breath as medicines are advancing


all the time, and we're enhancing the lives of people, it is like


enhancing the pain that I'm going through, adding more years to what


is a sentence already. You have arrived at this conclusion through a


series of thoughts of your own, but supposing you were a person who had


come to the conclusion that they were a burden on others. That isn't


you? I don't feel that. I'm not suggesting you have come to that


view. But supposing you were such a person and they saw that it was


possible for someone to help you leave this life. Wouldn't that send


a very worrying message? Do you see what I'm getting at. You have made a


judgment in your mind that it is about how you want to live your life


and how you want to end your life. But if you were a pers who was a


little bit vulnerable, wound you wore -- wouldn't you worry about the


sort of message that might send? They should be able to put


safeguards in makes I think safeguards would be put in place to


help them type of people. Have you had any, any indication of how this


is likely to work out? In what way? Well, do you get a sense that public


opinion is on your side? It is. I mean I have heard that many times


that 70-80% of public opinion is on my side. And what about the ethical


considerations about the taking of life, do they not bother you? The


ethical? Yeah, the idea that suicide was a crime because originally it


was considered to be a sin. It was also supposed to be the coward's way


out. I have never seen that. No, you are making a very brave call here, a


very brave call here, which most of us perhaps would shy away from. But


when you go through what I have gone through over the years, I don't shy


away from it. I personally would like to live more years, but the way


it is at the moment I'm constantly thinking, I just want peace of mind.


I want the doctors there to help and to help me it would be for them to


give me my own choice. Independence. Thank you. Thank you very much, good


luck. I'm sorry. You're fine, thank you. It is one of the most


instrictable policy problems of our times, how do we best deal with the


consequences of drug addiction and break the cycle of offending. Today


the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, met with the delegation


from the United States, amongst them a former addict and sitcom star, the


actor, Matthew Perry. Who think drug courts are the answer. We will ask


in a moment whether they are. First, what are they? Drug courts aren't


easy. Drug courts could save someone you love. Drug courts are the


solution. There's no shortage of famous recovering addicts to


eadvantagise about America's drug courts. They have reinvented the


relationship between judge and offender. Stay clean and the


offender gets lots of praise and stays out of prison. It is rather


less touchy feely in Glasgow, their drug court opened more than ten


years ago. Anything you want to say to me. You have another six months


to go, this is where we get into the home strait now and you finish off.


Yes. Well done to you, I'm delighted for you, well done. The key


difference between a drug court and an ordinary court is the


relationship that builds up between the judge and the offender. The


judge is meant to act like a mentor, encouraging and supporting the


offender to stay off the drugs. Offender is meant to confide in the


drug and tell them how the treatment programme is going. It all sounds a


bit happy-clappy, but the judge does have sanctions at their disposal,


they can send the offender to prison if they drop out of the treatment


programme. As an analogy, a football manager an analogy, where some


players need to be told in frank terms and some players need an arm


put round them. I have not put an arm round any of them yet. Maybe


that is the sort of thing they do in America, that wouldn't work in


Glasgow. Martin boil was aticketed to drugs for 20 years and imprisoned


25 times. He says he couldn't have turned his -- addicted to drugs for


20 years and imprisoned 25-times, he said he couldn't have turned his


life around without the judge in his drug court. She didn't treat me like


a drug addict, she treated me like a person. I wouldn't be alive. So she


saved your life? Aye. Definitely aye. What would you say to her now


if you saw her? Sorry about this... I will be ecertainly grateful for


her -- eternally grateful for her, I hope she does, she was the only


person in my whole life that has really given me a chance. How


effective are drug courts. A Ministry of Justice study found that


offenders were 30% more likely to complete a drug treatment order if


they had regular contact with a judge.


You sat through the drug court process, describe what it looks


like? It is really a place of celebration. Matthew Perry has been


lobbying the Justice Secretary to put more money into drug courts. It


is not clear yet whether he will get his wish. We have 32 Magistrates'


Courts in this country that offer the drug court model, is it time to


expand that? What matters in the justice system is what works. We


have clearly got some evidence in the UK, but interesting evidence


from the states as well. That there is a potential here to have an


impact on reoffending levels. Central to what I want to achieve in


my role is bring down reoffending rates. I'm open to all ideas that


can help achieve that. You are struggling right now but I'm going


to persevere with you and encourage you. Drug courts are intensively


resourced, along with the judge they involve probation officers, health


and social workers. But their supporters argue they save money in


the long run, because fewer offenders end up in prison.


With us now is the actor and former addict, Matthew Perry, the


journalist Peter Hitchins and Baroness Meacher who chairs the


All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug policy reform. Why do you have


such faith in drug courts? That is easy to answer, I see they work. I


have been involved with them for about four years. Little over four


years, and people that go through drug court have a 55% less chance of


seeing handcuffs ever again. How do you know that these people wouldn't


have quit their drug habit any way? Well, that gets into a bigger


question of whether these people are addicts or not. You know what I


mean. If they are drug addicts and alcoholics then they are going to


keep going until something stops them. And drug court is a wonderful


way to interrupt that process. And it is a way to not throw these


people away. It takes first-time drug offenders and instead of


throwing them into prison it puts them into an 18-month to two-year


programme. What is not to like about it? Well the evidence in favour of


them is pretty scanty, there haven't been many serious studies, I think


one in Arizona and battle Mir -- Baltimore and somewhere else in the


United States, and they say it doesn't make too much difference.


The selection of the people going through them has some impact on it.


The real problem for me is this, what you are saying, effectively you


are seeking to fail in the criminal justice system. The whole point of


the criminal justice system, and we forget this all the time is to deter


people from committing crimes. Once you have arrested someone and they


appear in court it has already failed. To soften the court system


to make it into a jolly where the judge wears tracksuit bottoms. What


do you mean a jolly? You should see some things in the west London drug


court, where the judge wore tracksuit bottoms and was maty with


the defendants. This gives the impression of not the majesty of


justice but somebody trying to be nice. That is not the way to deal


with it. There is nothing wrong with being nice? If you want to stop


people becoming drug user, the best thing to do is make sure they never


start in the first place. A deterrent criminal justice system


would actually do that. But they have already started? They have


started because the criminal justice system is so feeble. Isn't the real


problem... It is feeble from the start. Baroness Meacher have a


contribution here? Isn't the problem that by the time you get to a drug


court you have already assumed that drug addiction is a crime. Actually


drug addiction is a health problem. The first thing you have to do is


some preventive work, prevent people becoming drug addicts, and that we


now know, there is good evidence that you can do that. Portugal have


switched vast sums of moneys from prisons to treatment. They have


vastly more people in treatment than we do here. They have a much better


record than Spain and Italy. You can deal with this as health problem.


Instead of waiting for people to become really severe addict, get


into the criminal justice system and I agree drug courts can be a little


more helpful. I'm not understanding your point, your point is to stop


drugs and alcoholism by just people never starting. You two believe in


this fantasy of addiction. A complete fantasy where people lose


all power over themselves and become victims of this terrible frightening


disease. Right now... This is what you believe, this terrible


frightening disease after which they cannot stop taking drugs. If you


really believe that you would presumably think the best thing is


they never, ever came in contact with those drugs, wouldn't it


therefore be wise to deter them from doing so by a stern and effective


criminal justice system which persuaded them it was unwise to take


them in the first place. When can I speak, I'm dying to speak. We didn't


come here to be quiet. Neither did I, I didn't come here to listen to


ludicrous things like that either. You tell me why it is ludicrous if


you are so clever. I will, the American medical association


diagnosed it a disease in 1976 so you are saying that's incorrect. Are


you saying it is incorrect? The medical profession is doing lots of


things, they said that the homosexuality was a disease and they


were wrong. The key things is we have had this policy for 50 years.


My life is the evidence. We have had 50 years of treating addiction as a


crime, we know it doesn't work anywhere in the world. Increasingly


in the US, Uruguay things are changing. Finish your point. I'm a


drug addict, I'm a person that if I have a drink I can't stop. And so it


would be following your ideology that I'm choosing to do that. That


I'm choosing that. That is exactly my belief, you do choose. You have a


choice. It is a belief you wrote in your book. You have a choice over


whether you drink or not. But your book is the only book in modern


times that has this ideology, doesn't that teach you something.


Quite often unfashionable ideas are unfashionable because they are


unpopular with influential people. Doesn't necessarily bother me. You


tell me what the objective diagnosis is to establish the existence tense


of addiction in the human body. It is an allergy of the body... Allergy


to what. We are supposed to be grown men and you are making faces like


the guy who is wearing the pants that you were talking about earlier.


I'm expecting you to come out in the pants in a minute. It is an


inception of your mind and allergy of your body. This is what happens


to me, I start thinking about alcohol, I can't stop, I can't stop


thinking about it. What is the objective physical proof of this


inability to stop. There is considerable proof this is partly a


genetic problem. Your argument is it is will power? Of course it is will


power. People constantly stop both drinking and taking drugs. You are


just a person who is talking who is wrong. It is an effort on your part


not to do it now? I'm in control of the first drink, and so I do all


these things to protect myself from not having the first drink. But once


I have that drink the allergy of the body kicks in, this is all


documented alcoholism proof. Then I can't stop after that. Our problem


with Peter. I'm allergic to aspirin. It doesn't mean I don't have to


drink. You have to look at the evidence. What is this allergy. It


is an allergy of your body. Not that your aspirin point wasn't genius,


but, you don't know what you are talking about. That's right, you


have to look at countries that have done it differently and they have


succeeded. I have asked you to come up with an objective. I did, myself.


We're not getting anywhere. Yourself is the reverse of objective. Myself


and ten million other alcoholics and addicts across America and the world


are having these problems. People have problems with drugs and drink,


people like taking them and they don't want to stop taking them, it


doesn't mean they have a disease that needs to be treated. So the


American medical association is wrong. If they say it is a disease,


yes of course they are wrong. All these doctors are wrong, but you are


right? But you are right. There is an immense fashion at the moment for


simply, for dismissing the ability of people to take control over their


own lives and to make excuses for them. We have far from 50 years been


treating alleged addiction as a crime, we have been treating it as a


disease and the result is we have many, many more drug users than we


did when this policy started. The medical evidence shows that


addiction is in part a genetic problem and in part an environmental


one. If you have parents with an addiction and if you then have


abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, brought up in a children's home,


lots of foster problem, you have this genetic problem any way, the


evidence is very, very clear you have a medical health problem. And


countries that have addressed this and dealt with it, as a health


problem, are doing a lot better than we are. We can save money, we can


reduce crime, we can get people better and stop having them on


benefits, we can have them paying taxes. If we want to save money and


help people we know how to do it. Since we have followed your policies


more and more people have been taking dangerous and damaging drugs.


Since we have ceased treating drug possession as a crime and have more


or less stopped arresting or prosecuting people for possessing


drugs, since we have classified drug takers as people with a medical


problem we have had more and more. Let me ask you this. Can I possibly


be right. Can I give him one quick put down. If you want to. You are


making a point as ludicrous as saying Peter Pan is real. You keep


saying that, but you can't come up with an objective definition. I was


going to make an argument useful to you. Isn't the point about drug


courts that people have to be compelled to get clean thank in


itself tells you something? They don't have to be compelled. You have


to have the willingness to change. Drug courts don't do much better


than voluntary treatment, drug courts do fairly much the same. It


is not as crazy as what he's saying but it is not true either. There is


research evidence to show that you do as well, roughly, with voluntary


treatment as you do in drug courts, but actually. But they have to want


to do it? They have and to be well enough to do it. That is an act of


will? But they have got to reached a stage, have sufficient support,


sufficient treatment, this is very complicated it is not just a simple


thing. They have to be cleaned up and sober. It is much more


complicated. They have to be sober to make that decision or


intoxicated. How do people ever cease to be addicts if this is true.


Yes, Santa. This is a serious subject and you treat it with


immense levity. You are are one the treating with with levity. You so


smugly and loftly this policy that you advocate which has led to


disaster in western countries for decades. That is simply not true.


How has the policy led to disSAS templet Because it has led to a


laxness in the law which has meant many, many more people taking the


terrible risk of taking the drugs which you say are addictive and we


all agree are damage. That is simply not true, we know it and the


research shows it. All you need to do is some reading of the evidence.


Read something other than your book. You can't argue seriously. It


doesn't matter much to the polar bears but it seems to matter a great


deal to human politicians. Who owns the Arctic, who cares? What once


would be the answer. And an issue up there with what passport Father


Christmas carries. No longer, it matters a lot to the man with the


most photographed torso in politics, Mr Putin, and Stephen Harper, the


Prime Minister of Canada, who claims the North Pole is Canadian. It


dispute is less about what is obvious at the pole than what lies


beneath. It has gone down as well as a vegetarian alternative amongst sea


loins and the Danes. Who believe it is their's any way. The Arctic ice


may be in retreat, but it is what lies beneath that has set Canada,


Russia, the US, Norway and Denmark at odds. No country has quite


managed to prove sovereignty over the North Pole. Then hey presto last


week the Canadian Foreign Minister announced that the North Pole is


Canadian. Of course. Russia immediately responded by saying no


it is not. According to a UN convention, states may claim


territory to a limit of 200 nautical miles from their continental shelf.


The current dispute centres round an underwater mountain range. Canada


claims it is part of its own continental shelf, Russia claims


much the same. A vast array of scientific equipment is being


deployed as each tries to prove the other wrong. The obvious motivation


for the dispute is natural resources. According to the US


Geological Survey the Arctic accounts for about 13% of the


world's undiscovered oil, 30% of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20% of


the undiscovered natural gas liquids in the world. But sceptics warn the


Arctic is an in ospitable place to extract anything at all. So the


expected natural resources bonanza may be very difficult to come by. In


cases like this, and there are no other cases precisely like this, of


course, the wheels that the United Nations grind are extremely slow. At


this level at least there is no thaw in sight.


I'm joined by Skype from his home in Ottawa by the chief executive of the


royal Canadian geographical society. How long do you think before it will


be settled one way or another? I'm not sure it will be settled in our


life times. Many years maybe decades. Why the fuss now? Is the


process Which? All the scientists and Governments are trying to


determine whether or not they have a legitimate claim. A everyone thinks


they do. Canada, Denmark and Russia have a strong claim on the pole. All


of those will proceed. They have a big nerve in claiming it? The


convention of the law of the sea demonstrates that if you show that


your continental shelf extends beyond your shores you can make a


claim up to 200 nautical miles. Certainly the extension of the I


think there is a convincing claim for the Canadians. What about Father


Christmas? We know he's Canadian, I don't think that point is in


dispute. Thank you very much indeed! Anyone found guilty of traffics a


fellow human being in this country will, if the Government manages to


change the law, be sentenced to life imprisonment. The Home Secretary


says that tackling modern slavery is her top priority. But how can this


be, since it has been a principle of English law for hundreds of years


that once a slave sets foot in this country he or she is no longer a


slave. The state of slavery does not and cannot formally exist in this


country, but it can and it does exist. From Brixton town houses to


nail bars on the high street. Claims of forced labour, of servitude, even


of slavery are getting more attention from politicians, more


notice from the media. Two years ago police raided this


quiet travellers site in Bedfordshire, in the first case of


its type, four members of the same family were accused of forcing men


into unpaid work. Officers were shocked by the filth and degradation


they were living in. Mark once lived on the same site, a year before


those raids he was picked up outside a soup kitchen and offered work


laying driveways in the area. It is the very definition of slavery,


people working for long hours for zero pay it is slavery. This is the


first time I have before back since it happened. It is a bit weird being


here. He's now turned his life around and campaigns on the issue of


forced labour. There were people who had been here for a long time,


ten-to-fifteen years and they never saw a penny in the whole time. They


were punished for minor things. I have seen people hit with pickaxes


and shovels, it is generally an oppressive and scary environment.


People will ask why not walk away? It is fair enough question, I


understand why people ask that. It was difficult to answer. I was never


physically locked in anywhere, as far as I know nobody else who worked


on the site was locked in either. You see people sometimes trying to


runway, they were always brought back in a far worse state than they


left. You were constantly told that there is no getting out, this is


your life now. You're one of them and it is your lot to work here


basically. Mark was eventually taken to Sweden to work, he managed to run


away and was picked up by the local police. New figures suggest there


are 10,000 people working here in those sorts of conditions. Some will


be forced into manual Labour, others into prosecution or domestic


servitude. Police data show most victims come fret developing coups,


like Nigeria and Albania. For the Home Secretary it is something of a


personal crusade, today she promised a new law on the statute books


before the next election. Modern slavery does not pay. Get involved


we will hunt you down, we will prosecute you, we will lock you up


and your assets will be seized and confiscated. The idea is to take


raft of different trafficking offences and combine them all into a


single slavery law, with a maximum life sentence. Police and social


workers will have a new legal duty to report victims and a new


anti-slavery commissioner will act as a watchdog. The Government says


it is a breakthrough. Critics say it doesn't go far enough. There is


nothing in the bill that will stop victims from being criminalised as a


result of crimes traffickers make them commit. There is nothing in the


bill that protects victims by giving them enough time to recover. How is


the Government supposed to secure the prosecutions if victims don't


feel protected. On the one hand you say you want to do more about this,


on the other the Government has been imposing new visa restrictions and


cutting funding to organisations which are meant to be the watchdog


in this area. So is there a tension between what you are saying today


and what your Government is doing? It is perfectly possible for this


Government to continue what we have been doing in the last few years, in


terms of bringing control into our immigration system, that was


necessary, we have done that. We continue to work on that. But at the


same time look at this appalling crime of modern slavery and deal


with it as a crime and ensure we can get and bring to justice more of the


perpetrators, more of the slave drivers so we reduce the number of


victims in the future. Across the road from the House of Commons in


Westminster Abbey, a reminder that parliament has played a role in


stamping out slavery in the past. Politicians have been queueing up to


envoke the officer incompetent of William will better force, this man


-- Wi -- invoke the spirit of William Wilberforce the man who


defeated slavery. After People are still being flown into this country


thinking they are signing up for a legitimate job. Crystal was brought


here from the West Indies as a maid. She was barely paid and when she


tried to get help she was punished. For me I felt violated and I felt


like the authorities didn't want to hear about this. It was a taboo


subject to talk about. One of the things I noticed early on is my


immigration status was more important than the experience of


being traffiked. Today's bill is then a first step in fighting the


modern version of slavery, but before more human traffickers can be


caught the police and the politicians will have to convince


victims it is now safe to come forward. Tomorrow morning's front


pages That's it for now, we will leave you


with memories of the actor Peter oh -- Peter O' Toole, he told us many


years ago he didn't want to be an actor. I always wanted to be a poet.


Were you any good. Do you remember any of your couplets? I dare not


tell you, later perhaps. What appealed to you about that? Writing


poetry and wondering about life and wandering around in a green cape and


like Mangan with a funny hat on me. And the ladies liked poets?