13/01/2014 Newsnight


Where will the knife really fall on state cuts and why? How to stop over-eating. What if Sharon had lived.. Poetry from Sinead Morrisey. With Jeremy Paxman.

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On Newsnight tonight, we examine the central proposition of this


Government, not just that they there must be cuts to public spending


because we can't afford it, but because a smaller state is in itself


a good thing. But while spending cuts may be


leading the Westminster agenda, is the threat real or phoney?


All this talk of rolling back the state, but what would you actually


get rid of? Police, security, Fire Services? Child protection? The NHS


or the at the timeric becomes much harder in practice.


We will see if Ninkovich dares to say upon whom the axe should fall.


And ecomes much harder in practice. We will see if Ninkovich dares to


say upon whom the axe should fall. And this... Is this the test way to


stop people eating too much. We talk to the normer NHS


psychiatric Payton Paitent who said she was raped 50 times by staff. It


is playing field for predators. A fortnight into the new year and it


can be summarised in one word "cuts". One Labour MP thought he was


being funny today calling the Chancellor Baron Hardup. What was


originally an attempt to get a bankrupt country back on a sound


footing, has now taken on a different aspect. Cutting public


spending is said to be a good thing in itself. Part a of a programme to


reduce the size of the state. Not an adjustment in engineering but an


adjustment of what the state is for. This is a huge change in the way we


live. The state ought to confine itself to what regards the state,


wrote the father of modern Conservatism, Edmund Burke some 200


years ago. In a word to everything that is truly and properly public,


to the public peace, public safety, public order, public prosperity.


Well, we have come a long way since then. Nowadays the state doesn't


just control the health service and taxation, it puts CCTV cameras on


our streets, smoking bans in pub, it enforces the wearing of a seatbelt,


it advises on the right foods to eat. It even sends us to parenting


classes. The real thing is, do you feel protected or smothered by that?


Time to roll back the state, announced the Chancellor last week,


it may fit the Tory ideology, but this argument was just about cash.


Britain should never return to the levels of spending of the last


Government. Government is going to have to be permanently smaller and


so too is our welfare system. But his claims have been labelled a or


the of radicalism by some, words, few actions. The reality is that


since he has been Chancellor public spending has gone down a minuscule


amount as a sharer of our total national wealth. So I'm afraid the


rhetoric is very encouraging, but to make it happen we are going to need


a lot more than just talk. Over the last 50 years Government spending


has been turned on and off, sometimes as a result of ideology,


the Thatcher years, more often as a reaction to the economic crises that


have beset the country. In 2000 public spending as a percentage of


GDP was 34%, the least for 40ersy. It began rising under the Blair


Government and spiked sharply during the financial crisis, peaking at 47%


in 200 #. Since then it has begun to fall again, although the projected


big of 39% for 2014 is still higher than the early years of the last


Labour Government. The state has of course retreated from ownership of


the commanding heights of the British economy since 1979.


Carriages telecom, airways, retain their "British" prefix, but the


industries themselves were privatised and transformed. Perhaps,


that though, was the easy bit. The Government is left with dealing in


many areas difficult sticky issues, child protection. Can you imagine


entrepeneurs want to go buy that service from the Government. Can you


imagine the Government wanting to sell that to a private sector


company. A lot of what Government does, get annoyed and get frustrated


with the inefficiencies at times, but do you want a private company to


run that. Add row ocates say the public is already ahead of the


politicians in wanting consumer choice. As parent you can decide


what apps are on your child's iPad, but you have no say over what they


learn and how they learn it. We need a state that allows that


self-selection, public service playlists controlled by members of


the public. You are talking about the difference between entertainment


and something that could be fundamental to a child's welfare.


For example which private company ran a child protection scheme? Of


course you know music and entertainment are relatively


trivial, but the fact that you have choice over relatively trivial


things, but don't have the same choice as fundamental over education


and healthcare is part of the problem I think. It is certainly


true that large areas of public spending are insulated from cuts.


David Cameron was quick to make the NHS a symbol of his compassionate


Conservatism when he became leader. It wasn't just a value, it was the


ring-fencing of an entire budget. Overseas aid is simply protected,


increasingly it sounds as if benefits for the elderly will be


too. Recent attempts at privatisation, the Royal Mail, have


led to accusations the UK taxpayer has been sold short. And when the


security sector was opened up to companies like G 4 S, it fete with


what we -- it was met with what we might call mixed results. There was


the irony and some would say travasity, cuts to the Armed Forces,


who would have thought it under a Tory Government. On the day he was


elected leader of the Conservatives, David Cameron argued forcibly for


society, making clear it was not the same as the state. An echo and


rebuttal of Margaret Thatcher's words two decades ago. Those around


him point out that although the rhetoric has gone quiet, Big Society


has flourished behind the scenes. The problem for many politicians is


the expression of any big idea, Big Society, smaller state, one-nation,


is easy to talk about but harder to deliver. The public are perfectly


willing to say they would like a smaller state apart from the one in


which they themselves benefit. With us now to discuss all of this,


Alister Heath, the editor of City AM, Sean Worth, a former special


adviser to David Cameron, and now a senior consultant for the Policy


Exchange think-tank. Vidhya Alakeson is deputy chief executive of the


Resolution Foundation, and formerly a senior advisory to the Treasury


when Gordon Brown was Chancellor. And Maurice Glassman, a Labour peer,


who has advised bland. Ed Miliband. Urgh arguing in the Telegraph that


George Osborne was not going far enough and he didn't have a real


target for cutting public spending, are you serious? Yes I am serious,


because I think the UK needs to reinvent what the Government does. I


think we need to be more like Australia and Switzerland when it


comes to overall levels of public spending. We need to find new ways


to provide pensions and healthcare and some of these other services, to


reduce the size of the state, and reduce taxes but improve services


and help the poor. This is about re-thinking from scratch what does


the Government do? What does the private sector do? What should


individuals be responsible for. Let's go out there and look at other


countries, how have the Germans got a good healthcare system and the


Dutch healthcare system and the Singaporean system. You would accept


that there hasn't been a dramatic cup in the size of the -- cut in the


size of the state? There is holes you can pick in everything, the


Dutch healthcare system has massive waiting times. George Osborne's


plans were more aggressive, but there hasn't the growth that we


expected in order to offset the need to just cut the public sector. He


has pulled back from that. A lot of the caricatures of the left that


he's some sort of hatchet man as we have seen, and others saying he


should go further, actually he's much more in line with what the


public have always been saying on this. They accept the need for cuts,


we don't want to go too fast, too deep when there isn't the growth


coming in to support them. What he's doing is not necessarily in line


what with what he says he's doing? What he has said at the outset is


there is a tough line on public spending, growth coming in and get


down the deficit. That didn't actually happen as fast as was


planned. But he set out a new target which goes more ambitious when


growth comes in. I think it is perfectly reasonable. Is cutting the


size of the state achievable? I think the gap between what different


countries spend as a percentage of GDP, western countries it is


relatively small. Let's not make a fetish of small states. What


Alastair is saying, effectively, is let's figure out what we want the


Government to do, what should be provided collectively and how much


are we willing to spend on that. We are clearly not willing to spend as


much as Sweden. But we seem to be willing to spend more than the US,


for example, on public provision. We can't dramatically roll back the


state and have the outcomes people care about. If you don't want to


wait in hospitals and have the best cancer care and have good education


for your children in school. There is only a certain amount you can


roll back the state if those matter to you. We will come to what the


state has to provide in a minute or two. Is this something that Ed


Miliband should be looking at? Definitely. I would say in agreement


that there is a complete lack of strategic vision in the Government,


in relation. It is just less the same, or sometimes more of the same.


But what's required is quite a radical decentralisation of power,


people have to have a greater sense of participation and ownership.


There is also the case that this discussion is post crash with the


enormous failure of the financial sector, the irresponsibility and


recklessness. We need to think about what the state can do to facilitate


a common good, corporate governance reform, those issues. We need to


think about where are the areas of quality and how to build upon them.


There have been no technological advances funded by the private


sector, all from the public sector. What is the job of the state? What


does the state have to provide? The state has to provide help for the


poor, it needs to help people get on in life. It has to provide law and


order. It doesn't have to produce every pension. It doesn't have to be


state pensions for everybody, for example, in countries like Australia


people save a lot of money for themselves. People save 9-12% of


their income every year. You see that in lots of other countries


around the world, where most people in these societies have pensions.


Pensions is one area? It is an area where the state could retrench, and


focus its efforts for helping the worse off. We have an expensive


pensions system at the moment in the UK. It doesn't work very well.


Pensions are poor and the income is too low. What do you think of the


idea in Germany where there is a codetermination of the pension funds


between capital and labour and there is a greater roll for unions. I


prefer the systems in Latin America and New Zealand, they have a pot of


money, they spend 40 years, they save 10% or more of their income a


year and they provide for themselves in retirement and the state helps if


they can't afford to do that. There are areas the state has to grow,


social care, NHS, we have an ageing population, as countries get richer


they want to spend more on healthcare. Public funding wise, not


necessarily in the provision, we can have multiplicity of providers, but


publicly funding there will be more of. That I don't think that is the


case in terms of healthcare. We have seen in some other countries that


you can massively tap private insurance schemes, secondary


insurance and so on. A lot of people could take part in this co-fansing.


Is there a -- co-financing. Is the distinction between private and


public sector getting increasingly blurred? The problem with this sort


of academic debate is it doesn't operate in a world of political


reality. Academic! What world do you live in? The massive devolution of


power, Dutch-style blooming pension schemes. No, no, no, the big problem


that everyone has right now in the debate is they are looking at it in


a static picture, they are saying here is what we pay on the state,


here is what it DPOESHGS we cut it, it won't do that any more. We should


be looking at productivity improvements as every business or


charity that is to do. If you do things differently and bring in more


competition do things, and if you look at the work force and pay them


by performance. How will that reduce the size of the state? We haven't


done any of it. The real story is we need to spend much more on


healthcare in the next 20 years, there will be new technologies,


people are getting older. We want to spend more on healthcare, I want to,


as we get richer, the health service can't cope, otherwise there will be


huge increases in taxation of finances. This is not the way


forward. This is why we need to find alternative sources of financing


healthcare and pensions. New forms of social insurance, we need to go


back and look at what Beveridge was talking about and look at other


countries. In this country we are obsessed at what we do and not


looking at what other countries have achieved. The There is excellent


work being done by Frank Field, it is really excellent work and being


really seriously examined in the policy review. But also about the


engagment of the work force in the governance of the public sector. One


of the appalling aspects of the state is the indifference sometimes


to users but also the way it treats its workers. In schools they are


supposed to have a balance of interest, a third funder, a third


user, a third work force. It is also the case that more money doesn't


necessarily mean better public services? I think that's been


demonstrated time and time again. But what I'm saying is that whilst


Alastair can point out our areas where we could shrink the state,


just the demographic change and the growth of technology suggests there


are certain areas we will spend more not less. Yes, maybe something could


be done through insurance, but there isn't a huge appetite at the moment


from the UK public to have a core package provided by the NHS and


supplementary insurance. We are miles away from that idea as


something people will accept. It is a 20-year cultural change that if we


don't radically reform the welfare state it will eat up more of our


national income and that will mean higher taxes than today. The public


won't want that. It will impact our economic performance. Very large


Governments with large burdens of taxation, means low growth, low job


creation and low income. It is the case that we can't leave the City of


London for example in its light touch unregulated condition, which


led to extraordinary levels of cheating, there has to be a


structural change. One thing we are thinking about, and I'm certainly in


favour of, is the reform of the City of London itself, the Corporation of


the City of London, the most ancient democratic institution that only


represents capital. We should extend it to all London. Democratic


Governments have to decentralise. It is a separate argument? I was going


to say the councils... Sorry. I would be interested to know whether


from your intimate experience of how Government works whether David


Cameron and George Osborne really believe in shrinking the size of the


state, do they? I think most of the Conservatives would look at the


ballooning of the size of the state... Most Conservatives! ? I do


think that. I wonder why they didn't say it before the election? Most


people believe that as well. They believe public sector pay and work


force numbers and everything else got completely out of control as


well as welfare and the things you are mentioning. The challenge they


have got to grip is that, yes, we can have a smaller state and get


down to 40% of GDP, which I think on your piece relates to the period of


about 20001. But, you know, you are right, the demands on certain areas


of public service in particular areas which serve populations that


don't work, the youngest and the oldest, those are getting bigger and


bigger and bigger. We can have a shrunk state but we have to reform


what's in it in order to make it work. I would completely agree with


what the Government is doing, and the signal that is put out. Where it


needs to go faster is ideas on reform. You don't need to be as


academic as these guys, just look at base he can productivity. I'm sorry


this debate frustrates me, people don't relate to it, nothing happens.


By 2017 the reduction in the size of the state will not be enough to


generate real tax cuts, you will only balance the budget, all of this


for that, it is not enough. A warning today that unless


something is done and done soon, over half of the people of Britain


will be grossly fat by the middle of this century. We're already well on


the way as a glance at the enormous bellies and bums on most crowded


high streets will show. A quarter of men and women are already classified


as obese, yet if you looked at any pub or work place 40 years ago you


would have found it full of cigarette smoke. One public health


issue after another. Think AIDS, for example, has demonstrated that to


change outcomes you have to change attitudes, that means raising


awareness. Not smoking, or drink-driving, or


drugs. But a different kind of hard-hitting commercial. This from


Australia. It is not a secret the UK, like most western countries,


faces a sizeable weight problem. The latest warning today that unless


there is a significant change in our lifestyle we're heading for what is


being called a doomsday scenario. What we have to do is to have a


campaign that hasn't yet existed. We have had obesity for 20, 30 years


and the attitude of the Government has been extremely laissez faire.


National bee palm bee, maybe a little -- nanby, pamby, we have to


seriously consider changing behaviour and really becoming a bit


nasty, if you will, for those people who need the help. But getting us to


switch a plate of this for a lighter option is not going to happen


overnight. Smoking in a pub or driving home after a few points


might now seem like a hangover from the 20th century. In reality it can


take millions of pound to start to change public perceptions and then


public behaviour. The virus can be passed during sexual intercourse


with an infected person... Some most of the most memorable health


campaigns have shocked us, sexual health, to drink-driving, to


smoking. Every 15 cigarettes you smoke will cause a mutation. But


shock by itself isn't always enough. It might lay the ground for change,


but often it is legislation that makes the real difference. Public


health campaigns and your doctor telling you that basically the way


you are behaving, whether smoking or eating too much is bad for you. All


those things are really important and they do have a major impact. You


also need legislation to frame behaviour. Legislation can be a cost


effective way of changing behaviour. The ban on advertising promotion and


sponsorship, we have seen a dramatic fall in smoking amongst children and


adults since that came into effect. It cost nothing to Government. I


like this, "he's a growing lad". This is the next generation of


marketeers, we asked these undergraduate advertising students


at London college of communication how they would approach the problem.


Given a rough brief and two hours to work on it, there was satire on the


fast food industry. If you have the fast food industry portrayed like


your friend it is easier to go there and have a nice meal. If you


actually see what kind of person you would be if you ended up living that


lifestyle, it feels like yeah that would affect me. And a bunch of


catchy slogans. Antiobesity campaigners although


wary of going too far too fast and alienating the public with shock


tactics. We have to learn the lessons from the other hard-hitting


campaigns and have them in reserve to go and use them, to start off


with those campaigns the public is not yet ready for it. You know how


it is, you settle down, put on a few kilos, I'm not worried.


For the moment, then, at least, this kind of commercial sun likely to


make its way on to British TV screens. In 30 years time the


Australian approach to obesity might look like scaremongering, or


perceptive and far-sighted maybe. It is naturally assumed that a patient


in the care of the National Health Service is protected. But tonight


Newsnight can report claims that a patient was raped between 50-60


times while at an NHS psychiatric hospital in Kent, by one of the


people who was supposed to be looking after her. The woman is now


in her 40s and a mother of two. She says the care worker told her he


would get her discharged if she didn't do, he would be able to help


her and not get her discharged if he didn't do what he wanted. We are


protecting her identity, so Katherine is not her real name, we


went to meet her. Katherine was admitted to Little


Brook Psychiatric Hospital in Kent in 2003 and treated for nearly six


months. She had emerged from a long-term violent relationship and


had offaled anorexia. At her home she told me the abuse began a week


after she arrived at the unit. One night he came into my room and sat


on my bed, he was stroking me over the covers, my legs and my thighs


and it went from there. What happened next? He came into my room


on another occasion, said nothing to me, pulled the covers back and got


on top of me and raped me. And that continued every shift he was on for


the entirety of my stay. Did you move, did you speak on that first


occasion? No. I wasn't speaking to anybody about anything at any time


about anything for the first couple of weeks there. I was so defeated so


I was putty in Ninkovich's hands. -- putty in any one's hands. Were you


aware what he was doing was wrong? I was aware, I didn't like what he was


doing, and I didn't want him to be doing what he was doing. He would


say he's responsible on his shift to write up the reports on how all the


patients had been that night. It would go in my favour. He would make


sure I was able to get out of there. I had tried to leave two or three


times, but I was always stopped and always told that I was too ill and I


would be sectioned. They had me over a barrel. I was stuck. Sorry... .


It's fine, it is fine. It sounds so ridiculous, why the hell didn't you


kick him off. I was very alone in that place. You have a long-term,


highly-regarded member of staff tell you that your way out, your ticket


out is to agree to his demands. And then you find you have not argued


and said no and fought back the first time and then it happens again


and the second time then you think well nobody is going to believe me


now if I speak because I didn't speak up about the first time. It


sound like you were broken? I was broken. Completely broken. Was he


grooming you, was he blackmailing you, how would you describe it?


Without a doubt he was who was going to believe a mentally ill person,


over a long standing member of staff, popular with his colleagues.


It is a playing field for predators. On one occasion you had to be taken


during A? During the course of the day I started to get more and more


pain in my lower pelvic area, it got to quite an excruciating pain by the


evening. I was taken by ambulance with a member of staff to the local


A hospital, and kept in for 24 hours, I was diagnosed subsequently


with pelvic inflammatory disease. Which is a sexually transmitted


infection? It is. Did anyone ask how you might have contracted that? No.


Not one person. Eventually you were discharged from Little Brook and


placed in the care of a community psychiatric nurse, which is how the


abuse emerged in the end, wasn't it? I had struggled, I had struggled a


lot with why didn't I kick him off, why did I just lay there. Why did I


allow it to happen. And the better I got, the more acutely I struggled


with those questions. So I hypotheyically asked this


psychiatric nurse if a patient were to find themselves in this position


but they did nothing about it and allowed it to happen, are they as


much to blame. And she very quickly desievered that I was talk --


understood I was talking about myself. She told her manager, and


because it was a criminal offence the police were called and he was


arrested. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with


patient on one occasion, and eventually he was given a 12-month


custodial sentence that was suspended for two years. Although


the judge said in his comments that he had to suspend his cynicism that


it only happened on one occasion and several other charges were to remain


on file. What did you think of that sentence? Disturbing that someone


can ultimately rape someone in such a vulnerable time in their life when


they are desperately in need of care . To rape someone between 50-60


times when there is nothing they can do about it, and them to walk away


from court, in my mind, with a mere slap on the wrist, is something that


has brought me to where I am today. He was never charged with rape


though? It was rape to me. You are defeated, empty, you have no


self-worth. Devoid of all emotion and then someone that is supposed to


be caring for you has sexual intercourse with you when you don't


have the capacity to stand up for yourself. That's rape. To me that's


rape. As I have got better over the years it is just, it has encouraged


me all the more to speak out. So you would say to people it is worth


speaking out if it has happened to you? Absolutely, I have never


regretted speaking out. Don't think you won't be believed. That is one


thing that was never at fault. I was always believed. In 2009 Catherine


received ?100,000 from the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care


Partnership Trust. She also received a letter of apology, which said the


member of the staff who abused her would be "unable to work in the


future with vulnerable people", it went to say "we acknowledge how


difficult this process has been for you and we are very sorry this has


happened". We reached the man at the centre of those allegations this


evening, a person close to him told us he had been in touch with the


police today and that he had no further comment to make. Kent and


Medway NHS and Social Scare Partnership Trust told us they were


unable to comment on Katherine's face because it happened before the


formation of their Trust. But they pointed out that all staff undergo


an enhanced disclosure and barring check. You can watch a longer


version of that interview on the Five Live website.


The Israelis buried their hugely controversial former Prime Minister,


Ariel Sharon today. He died this week after spending eight years in a


coma. Both Tony Blair and Joe Biden praised Mr Sharon today after a


mixed reputation, a reviled military commander and statesman prepared to


withdraw Israeli settlers from the Gaza strip. The Middle East he left


was a different place to the Middle East when he entered his coma. We


report. He was a man with two faces. The


renegade military commander with a reputation for disobeying orders,


who reinvented himself as a political peace maker of sorts. He


is the right-wing politician who contributed a lot into the


irresponsible policy of the settlements, on the other hand he's


the only politician who managed to do the almost impossible which is


evacuate the settlements. To Palestinians he became a butcher and


war criminal. But to many Israelis he was a hero. Ariel Sharon


epitomised the Zionist dream, in a sense that he was brought up on a


farming community and became a soldier, a very brave soldier. The


one that showed the initiatives and was not afraid of actually


confronting the danger that the Israelis faced at the time. Much


like the nation of Israel itself, Ariel Sharon was born on a


collective farm, on a Jewish settlement in British-mandated


Palestinian. In many ways his life mirrored that of the country he


helped to forge and went on to lead. As a soldier and later as a


politician he had a hand in every single war that Israel fought. As


Defence Minister in 1982 he masterminded the invasion of


Lebanon. An Israeli inquiry found Ariel Sharon indirectly but


personally responsible for a three-day massacre by Christian


militia men, allied to Israel. Hundreds, maybe thousands of


Palestinian civilians were slaughtered. But by then his


reputation as a brilliant military commander was already cemented. In


1967 he captured large parts of the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. Six


years later during the Yom Kippur war, he encircled the Egyptian army


on a daring raid, which turned the tide of war in Israel's favour. Many


claim he saved the country by crossing the Suez Canal in the


middle of the war in spite of precise instructions by his


commander not to do it. And that's where he gained basically his


legacy. These were the wars that shaped the future of Israel and of


the Middle East for decades to come. In the 1990s, Ariel Sharon presided


over the largest expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and


Gaza since Israel occupied them in 1967. But his Prime Minister in --


as Prime Minister in 2005 just before his illness, he shocked


Israelis, without consulting the Palestinians, he withdrew from Gaza.


He framed it in Israel's security interests. But many said only


Sharon, with his reputation could have got away with it. Some believe


had he continued in office he would have gone further still. He probably


would have pulled out completely from the West Bank, but he would put


much more effort into reaching an agreement with the Palestinians in


which most of the West Bank is evacuated and a Palestinian state is


established. The Arab Spring shattered the geopolitical


certainties that had become the Middle East's uneasy status quo. As


dictators fell and power brokers saw their country descend into Civil


War, Ariel Sharon lay alive but unconscious in a hospital bed. It is


tempting to speculate how Sharon right have reacted to the events of


the Arab Spring, could he have steered Israel to a more pivitol


war, had he not been wiped off the political map by that stroke. We


will never know. As it is the conflict between the Israelis and


Palestinians, once so central to the region has now taken a back seat to


other concerns. I don't think he could have changing anything that


happened around Israel in the Arab Spring. Most will admit that the


Arab Spring was a humbling experience for a country that used


to believe it could almost shape the Middle East and be in control. For


the first time since 2011 it became obvious that it is very limited


impacting at what happens around and the world as Israel knew it


disappeared. They were left to deal with a very different Middle East.


Ariel Sharon's body was laid to rest today at his ranch near Gaza. In his


day it was a truth universally acknowledged that if you solved the


conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians you solved the


problems of the Middle East. Few still believe that today. In a


moment we will speak to Mostafa Barghouti, a member of the


Palestinian Legislative Council who is in Ramallah, first joining us in


the studio is Daniel Taub, the Israeli ambassador to the UK. You


worked with Ariel Sharon, did you like him? I did, and I have to say I


think everybody who met him, particularly because he had such a


clear public persona was really quite taken aback to see what a


multidimensional person he actually was. He was somebody who loved music


and his food, of course. He was somebody, if you asked him, he had


been a soldier a politician, but if you asked him what he really was he


would have probably said a farmer. He was never happier than when he


was on his ranch in the Negev, he felt very, very close to the land.


When you look at the Middle East he left, a few days ago, and you look


at how it was when he suffered and went into the coma. They are very


different places aren't they? They are different places, but it is


interesting you know, your journalists were decribing different


faces of Ariel Sharon, I think there is a fairly consistent theme that


would still be relevant today even in the new Middle East. The guiding


principle of his life is how can we ensure that we remain a stable and


secure society in this conflict. He said it himself, he said we are in a


region that is merciless to the weak, but we cannot ensure our


security only through the sword. And it was really between those two


perameter, between ensuring your security and trying to reach out.


This is what he did in Gaza and the north of the West Bank, where he


uprooted settlers. He was trying to find the way, in difficult


circumstances, we could try to find an accommodation. I suppose the


irony is that he was the guy that taught Israelis that we needed to


reach out for peace, and unfortunately the legacy of that


disengagment, where unfortunately that land we pulled out of turned


into launching pads for missiles against us has really unfortunately


made it much harder for us to reach out in that way at the moment. It is


interesting that his successes haven't acted -- successors haven't


acted as he has? I'm not sure that is true. We have a leader at the


moment, Prime Minister Netanyahu, in very much the same way has


recognised and spoken frankly about the fact that we need an


accommodation with the Palestinians, we have to compromise on our dreams


for their dreams. He's releasing as we are speaking now, and we have


spoken about it in the past, very brutal terrorists, in a sense in way


to make a gesture to strengthen the Palestinian Authority, and to try to


create the environment to reach a peace together. Thank you. Let's


just have a quick chat now to Mostafa Barghouti, who is in the


West Bank. Mr Barghouti, when you hear today, Joe Biden talking about


Israel, Palestine as a possible island of stability in the Middle


East, you do realise what a huge change has occurred, don't you? Well


I'm sure, I'm not sure this is an area of stability, I don't think you


could call a system of colonialism and apartheid and the loest


occupation in modern history that. In contrary to what was said I don't


think Ariel Sharon will be remembered as a peace-maker but


rather as a warrior as he described himself. For many Palestinians he's


a war criminal, responsible for several crimes and several


massacres, starting in the 19 50s, to the one that he was found guilty,


skilling Egyptian soldiers when they were prisoners of war, et cetera, et


cetera. The most unfortunate thing the language of force is still used


and we are still under occupation and we still suffer from a system of


apartheid that is much worse than what prevailed in South Africa. I


don't think we can call this stability. When you look at the


political situation that you find yourselves in now, and you look at


what has happened to all the once powerful states, Egypt, Syria,


surrounding Palestine, is it easier now to try to make some sort of


political progress or is it a lot more difficult? I think, I think the


situation in the Middle East is a situation of people struggling to


achieve democracy. I think most Arab people have revolted and will


continue to revolt until they achieve what they deserve which is


democracy and proper representation of the people. Tunisia represents a


good example of peaceful revolution. Egypt is a different story, Syria is


drowning in a terrible Civil War. But in Palestine also we have a very


important struggle. A struggle of people who decided to turn to


nonviolence and we are conducting our own non--violent resistance


today, to end the occupation and to achieve independence and achieve


democracy as well. I believe that the turmoil in the Middle East


should not distract us from the fact that real stability in the Middle


East can't be achieved without solving the Palestinian issue. Thank


you, ambassador a quick last word from you. The situation, the


political situation that has arisen now, where you have this turmoil


engulfing all those many states around the region. And the attempts


to make peace within Israel and McAllister stein, seen once as --


McAllister Palestine, seen once as the key to the problems in the


Middle East? I don't think it was ever the key to the Middle East, we


have to solve our conflict, because we have to, but we shouldn't delude


ourselves that every other part of the Middle East will fall into


place. One of the lessons we can draw from the life of Sharon,


relevant across the region, you need courage to defend yourselves but


also courage to make peace. Part of that courage is to tell the truth to


your own people. That is what he did repeatedly, speaking tou words to


his own constituency. And I think our neighbours could do a great


service if they were to speak to their peoples in the same way.


Straight after this programme there is an hour world special about the


life of Ariel Sharon. Reports came in shortly before they came on air


that Google has made a rather extravagant post-Christmas purchase,


our technology editor is in San Francisco and can tell us more. What


have they bought? They have bought a company called Nest, around for a


few years now, they make connected home devices and Google have bought


them for the Princely sum of $3. 2 billion. It confirms Google is no


longer a search engine company, it is about machine-learning. What do I


mean by that, it is about getting computers and machines to do things


that are useful and adapt themselves to every day life. Nest make this


thermostat, it is not lit up or connected to anything, with this


connected to a smartphone you can connect to your boiler or central


heating and control it from anywhere in the world. It learns about your


activities and habits, it knows when you leave and come home. It adapts


itself to that. They make this, which is a carbon non-knock side and


-- monoxide and smoke detector. This passes what Larry Page said, Google


have said today, the toothbrush test that Larry Page sets for Google to


get involved with, it has to be useful and used daily by people.


Thank you very much indeed. That's it for tonight, the outcome of the


Poetry Book Society's TS Elliot Prize was announced tonight. It has


been won by Sinead Morrissey, Poet Laureate of Belfast. Her collection,


Parallax, was inspired by an image of David Niven on an escalator of


all things. Here she is reading Lighthouse. My son is awake at ten,


stretched out in his bunk, wired and watchful. The end of August. Already


the high flung daylight sky of our northern solstice dulls earlier and


earlier to a clouded bowl. His Star of David lamp and plastic moon have


turned the dusk to dark outside his room. Across the Loch, where ferries


venture blythly, and once a cruiseship, massive as a palace,


inched its brilliant decks to open sea, a lighthouse starts its own


night-long address in fractured signalling. It blinks and bats the


swing ball of its beam, then stands to catch, then hurls it out again,


beyond its Parallax. He counts each creamy loop inside his head, each


well black interval, and thinks it just for him. This gesture from a


world that can't be entered, the two of them, partly curtained, partly


seen, upheld in a sort of boy-talk conversation. No-one else can hear.


That private place, it answers with birds and slatted windows. I've been


there. #6 Hello, an icy start to Tuesday,




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