22/01/2014 Newsnight


Kirsty Wark presents analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, including unemployment figures, Syria talks, Ukraine protests and how to repel a sex pest.

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On the day unemployment fell faster than in any quarter since 1997, we


take you to a street in Birmingham, not Benefits Street, but Working


Street, to hear what jobs mean there. Employed, employed, two


people employed. With unemployment dropping so dramatically, could an


interest rate rise be on the way? More than 40 countries gather in


Montreux to try to bring peace to Syria. With both sides hurling


accusations and insults across the room, what chance talks on Friday,


we talk live to the regime. Independence Square in Kiev is still


alight after three protestors are killed.


There aren't just sex pests in politics, they may well be in a work


place near you. Anne Robinson, Joan Bakewell and


Stella Creasey share their own stories and their very different


remedies. Good evening the Chancellor claimed


success for Plan A, announcing that the sharp rise in unemployment was


evidence that the long-term coalition plan for the economy is


working and a claim that people in Britain are better off.


Ed Miliband parried with inflation rising faster than wages many people


are worse off. What is the truth? You may know


about Benefits Street in Birmingham, we bring you Working Street in the


same city. Employment, employed, two people


employed. My son has just been born, two or three days a at the moment


times are good, we have plenty of work on. Two people employed here,


employed, and they didn't answer, they were out, so maybe they are


work? Lazell Street in Birmingham, less than two miles for a street


made famous on Channel four, may not be that far from your average


street, most of the residents are working. Today unemployment fell far


faster than most economists had expected. The Governor of the Bank


of England had thought it would take two years to get this low. And


nowhere in the UK is it falling faster than here in the West


Midlands. This is the biggest fall in unemployment in 15 years, what


sort of work is being created and how well does it pay?


It is lunchtime and Asif is back from work as a postal worker where


he gets ?8 an hour. You work for the Royal Mail through


an agency, what sort of a contract have you got? It is like a zero


hours contract. Zero hours? It is not fixed. So it is through an


agency and you only get what you work? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Do your


hours vary, do they go up and down? They could give me four hours one


day and six the next. He has had the job for two months after being made


redundant six months ago. So part-time, what are you paid per


hour? ?8 an hour. About ?100 a week or there abouts. Around about that


much. Can you get other work while doing this, part-time work? I could,


I have been applying other place, no luck at the moment. I'm stuck with


this job at the moment. Underemployment, where people want


more work than they can get is falling. More than 300,000 jobs were


created in the three months to the end of November. There are now more


than 30 million in work. What is driving that here? The good news is


we have large businesses who are thriving locally, big manufacturing


organisations, Jaguar, Land Rover, JCB, who are growing and have


vacancies. Great, it is falling, but it is still over 9%, in parts of


Birmingham it is 20% plus, that is not acceptable. The issue we have


got is we haven't skilled up the people in those parts of the city


fast enough to celebrate the jobs that are coming along, to take the


jobs that are available. Lozell Street has visible signs of the


recovery we are hearing about, including the housing market. This


man is benefitting now. What do you get paid, do you mind me asking? I'm


doing it as a labour charge. So what, ?10 an hour? No, no, it is ?6,


?7 an hour. And is there more business now do you find, is


business picking up? Just nothing else. Nothing else after that? Just


the building, nothing else. What will you do when this is finished?


Going home. He may be working, but on wages like that he would be


classed as being in poverty. And he may not be working next week. In


fact, there are now more people in the UK in poverty with jobs than


without. We saw again in the wage data today very, very slow growth,


and wages still rising below # %, which is much low -- 1%, which is


much lower than the rate of inflation. People getting poorer in


terms of pay packets. One uncertainty in the labour market is


why are wages so low, it didn't happen in any other recession and it


didn't happen in the 80s and it is happening this time round, how much


of this is a cyclical downturn and will turn around, or how much is


structural and the jobs we are creating in our employment market.


The thought is when wages can go up, we have to wait longer and longer


for that to happen. The prediction from the Government was last year,


after the eurocrisis the prediction was next year. And now the


prediction is real wage growth will have to wait until 2017. In the


street the price of a job can be shrinking wages. But you can also


pay it by taking on the risks an employer by going self-employed. 48%


of jobs were self-employed of the jobs created. Far more than


previously. Craig is a plumber who has done well from the Government's


free boiler scheme. I'm not worried it won't last, but I have done well.


It is a Government-funded scheme, if they say no more funding it stops.


In this street and the economy people are accepting the risks of


self-employment, hours that fluctuate and pay that shrinks. The


insecurity of work is a price people are showing they are prepared to pay


just to have it. I'm joined to discuss what today's figures mean


for the economy and those who work in it by the Treasury Minister,


David Gauke and Labour's shadow Employment Minister, Stephen Timms.


By any measure of employment these are dramatically good figures today


aren't they? They are very encouraging figures, we have had to


wait a very long time for them. We were told after the election the


consequence of the Government's policies would be steady growth and


falling unemployment. We have had to wait nearly four years for the


figures. They are very encouraging. What I hope will happen now is the


Government will seriously tackle the very large number of people who have


been out of work for a long time. Over a quarter of million young


people out of work for over a year, they need help to get back into work


now. They need to be skilled up. And Lozell Street's example, Jahid


working for ?6 and ?7, actually classed as in poverty. And you have


someone working in the Royal Mail on a zero hours contract who can't get


other work. People are in work but it is not high-skilled work or the


work that is permanent and that you can rely? On? The first point is


good news, the last quarter, 280,000 more people in work, since the last


general election one. Three million people in work. It is worth pointing


out that the vast majority of the new jobs created are full-time.


Something like 80%. It is also worth pointing out that the average number


of hours that workers are working now is 32. Two hours. That's exactly


what the level was before the recession. So it is not the case


that the labour market has moved over the last six years to lots of


part-time work and so on, that hasn't changed fundamentally. When


you hear what is happening in Birmingham, when you have got Land


Rover, for example, who are doing incredibly well at the moment, and


there are vacancies, particularly talking about young people, they


just don't have the skills? It is an important point on skills, we do


have a problem in this country, which is long standing and that's


why there is a lot of work that's going on into for example improving


the apprenticeship system, far more people going into apprenticeships


than was the case before. It is why there is a focus on ensuring that


our vocational training is up to standard and ensuring that employers


have greater powers to ensure that apprenticeships are delivering what


they need to do. Yes, there is a challenge on skills, that is part of


the long-term economic plan to ensure that we get a wealthy


prosperous country with a wealthy prosperous work force. I think there


is a real problem here, there is a lack of co-ordination between skills


support on the one hand and employment support on the other.


People on the Work Programme, the flagship back to work scheme, hardly


ever get on to the aweren't at thisesship, the two systems are


managed separately and don't work together. That is one of the reasons


why we are seeing the skills problem among people who ought to be skilled


up for work now. Ed Miliband's point about cost of living, inflation is


down and actually wages are rising at zero. Nine, inflation is coming


down to 2%, you have lost that argument as well? I don't think that


is the case. You are right, inflation is two. 1%, but prices,


but wages are only going up at less than half of that, so the cost of


living crisis is continuing. The average household ?1600 worse off


since the election. If they keep travelling in that direction, which


indications are they will keep travel anything that direction, then


you run out of road. Ed Miliband has completely run out of road on his


opposition to Government's economic policies? People in your film were


clear this feels an uncertain and insecure recovery. People feel worse


off, they are worse off. David Cameron says they are better off?


The statistics say otherwise. There is a very large number of people who


have been out of work for a long time. They need to be invested in to


get them back into work to support the economy in the future. On the


question of the 7% unemployment that we had heard once that it was


changed, that Mark Carney said when we got to 7% unemployment then


interest rates would be revisited. It is seven. 1%, he has revised


that. Would you like to see that revised down to six. 5% or are we in


a position ready to put up interest rates now you are the Exchequer to


the Treasury? I think it is really important that we have an


independent Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England,


and the Bank of England makes these decisions. I don't think it is


helpful for Treasury ministers to kind of give a running commentary on


that. A simple answer would suffice? There is a reason why I'm not giving


an answer, because I don't think that we as Treasury ministers should


do the job of the Governor of the Bank of England. It is important


that the Governor of the Bank of England and the Monday three --


Monetary Policy Committee set out interest rate policy. It is their


job to do, that and if ministers go and comment on all of that you


undermine that independence. I don't think that would be helpful. Can the


Employment Minister comment on it, would you like Mark Carney to revise


looking at raising interest rates at six. 5%? I would leave that to the


Monetary Policy Committee. What I would say, if there was a


significant rise in interest rates there would be serious problems in


the economy and around the country. Those would need to be weighed in


the Monetary Policy Committee's deliberations.


Such was the hostility between the two sides in the talks over Syria


that US and UN fficials in Montreux said merely getting them in the same


room was a victory. John Kerry stated from the outset that Casado's


departure would only suffice in any sense. The two sides sit down


together in Geneva. In a moment I will talk live to the Syrian regime,


first here is our security correspondent. Syria, the worst most


enduring conflict of our time. At least 100,000 dead and counting.


Atrocities on both sides. So, can it be stopped? Today on the shores of


Lake Geneva, the warring parties were brought bickering to the table.


Trading accusation and counter accusation. TRANSLATION: All the


victims in Syria are just to allow one man to remain on his throne. No


throne has the value of one single innocent life. TRANSLATION: The


media lawed these -- Laued these people, these terrorists by claiming


they are moderates, they know full well they are extremists and


terrorists. Even the UN Secretary-General struggled to keep


things on track. Yourself, you live in New York, I live in Syria, I have


the right to give the Syrian version, this is my right. We have


to refrain from inflammatory remarks. This is my right. The


quotes from today's say The expectations for these peace


talks were always low, the two sides absolutely hate each other. Now over


the next few days they may be able to find some kind of compromise,


confidence-building measures like prisoner exchanges, better access


for aid, even localised cease-fires. But the fundamental gap remains


this, the Syrian Government says Mr Assad is not going. The opposition,


especially the rebels doing the fighting say he has to go. And at


the moment no amount of talking can bridge that gap.


Then there is Iran, its President arrived in Davos today for the World


Economic Forum. It is a key player in the Syrian STLIEG supplying arms


and money to the Assad regime. The Iranian President said the peace


talks are doom today fail, because, he said, some countries sponsoring


terrorism were taking part. Iran is furious not to be invited. Its media


joined in today calling it a fruitless summit, a failure before


it started and slamming the UN Secretary-General for withdrawing


Iran's invitation at the last minute. If the purpose is a


cease-fire and a political settlement then all combatants and


their external backers, countries like Saudi Arabia for the rebels and


Iran for the regime will have to be at the table. But the problems is


Iran refused to accept the agenda of the talks. It refused to accept that


these peace talks were really about forming a transitional Government


between the regime and the rebels. Nor are Syria's Jihadists present at


the peace talks. They have accused opposition figures who have gone to


Switzerland of being traitors. Internationally prescribed Al-Qaeda


linked groups like Isis and others have emerged as the most capable


forces fighting the Syrian regime. But their tactics are Barrious, but


some may be importing their anti-western hatred back here. The


importance for the UK for the conflict in Syria is to resolve it


as quickly as possible, so any security risk to the UK from foreign


fighters, going over there with perhaps good intentions and they


will come back having been exposed to radical and extreme information.


And believing that terrorism is a good way of carrying on the struggle


here. Meanwhile Syria's human trage continues to multiply with millions


displaced as refugees. We are desperately calling on Geneva to


provide the humanitarian access, protection and system that will


enable us to reach the people who are in desperate need. There is


nine. Three million people waiting for that assistance.


In Syria today there was no let up in the fighting. No victory in sight


for either side. No political solution on the horizon. Syria's war


looks set to continue. Earlier I asked Monzer Akbik Chief


of Staff to the leader of the Syrian National Coalition that if despite


today will there be a sit down with Assad and the negotiating team on


Friday? Any way the negotiations will be mediated. The parties are


not going to speak to each Other directly, we will speak to the


representative and visa versa. The Friday session will take place. We


will sit there but insist that the Assad regime should admit to the


process platform which is the Geneva communique. They have to accept it.


Today his Foreign Minister's speech did not mention Geneva at all. He's


still in a state of denial. So we will insist that we should put the


document in place and should be implemented. If they continue to you


know not to adhere to that document then there will be big problems.


Would you be prepared to see a Government of National Unity in


Syria, which also had members of the Assad regime within it. Not


President Assad, but the Assad regime working with all other


Syrians. The process, the Geneva communique


sa that there should be formation of transitional governs body with full


authority. Now this governing body means that all the authorities of


Assad should be transferred to that transitional governing body. In


terms of the people from the regime there are people there, we have a


white list of people who did not commit crimes against humanity and


war crimes. They are employees of the regime. They cannot show that


they are against the regime, because they are afraid for their lives and


the lives of the families. We can work with those people. But Assad


himself and his associates and officers, who have blood on their


hands, they should be out of that process. This is exactly what the


Geneva communique says. Thank you very much indeed. Joining


me live now from Montreux is Montreux Bouthaina Shaaban, the


political adviser to President Assad. Good evening. People around


the world, countries present in Montreux, and people in Syria want


peace. Do you want peace? Of course I want peace, everybody in Syria


wants peace. That's why we are here. We're here north to stop these


horrors that are being perpetrated against our people. We're here


because we want Syria to get back to its secure, peaceful and beautiful


life that we used to live before this horrid war has started. You


will have heard Monzer Akbik saying, from the Syrian National Council


side that he is ready to talk on Friday, are you ready to talk on


Friday too? Well, we are going to talk through the United Nations but


what I heard in the report with our interviewee, the Geneva one is


subject to different interpretations. I think the basic


point should be how to save Syria and how to save the Syrian people.


It is not about power, it is about not authority, it is not about


Government, it is about Syria and the lives of millions of Syrian


people. If we, if everybody puts that into account then solutions can


be found. And would that solution, as we were told, one possible


solution, he said, was that in any future settlement it was perfectly


possible that in a Government of National Unity you would have people


that had been in President Assad's regime but not President Assad. Do


you think for the good of the country there would ever be a


situation where President Assad would leave other people in place


but realise it was the right time for him to go? I really believe who


is going to be in Government and who is not going to be in Government


should be the decision of the Syrian people. After all they are saying


that they want democracy in Syria, and I think democracy everywhere in


the world comes through the ballot box, not through a Foreign Secretary


of a foreign country saying who should be in Government and who


should not be in Government it is --. It is unfortunate that Syrian


groups are all lining with forces that are not seeking the good of the


Syrian people. It would be fair to say that the Syrian National


Council, although they would admit that they are not the only


opposition force that happens to be fighting in Syria, it would be fair


to say that the Syrian National Council wants to have a negotiated


settlement. I would like to know who these people represent. We have a


wide spectrum of national opposition in Syria, over 20 political parties


and all these people were not invited to the conference. I would


like to know who niece people represent in Syria. Do they


represent the terrorists who are killing and kidnapping. Or do they


represent other forces that we don't know of. I think the test for


everybody is elections. They should go through the ballot box, they


should not, Syrian Governments are not formed in Geneva or Montreux, it


should be formed by the Syrian people in Syria, for the benefit of


Syria and the Syrian people. So to be quite clear that the ballot box


is king in Syria? That actually you would have a free and fair election


in a country that is widely regarded as being a dictatorship Well Geneva


is the one that speak about it. It says there should be no political


vacuum and we should keep our institutions or whatever it is left


of it, because the terrorists have destroyed our institutions. Then it


says a political process should be put in place. Everyone is reading


the document of Geneva and it has been subjected to many different


interpretations. But I think the basic... Go on. You heard John Kerry


say there can be no settlement, there is no legitimacy for Mr Assad.


If there is an absolute insistence that he goes, is there no basis for


any negotiation at all? I would like to ask you what do you think as a


western woman of John Kerry saying that about a President of another


country. Do you think it is acceptable for a Secretary of State


from anywhere to decide that a President of a different country


should go or stay. Do you think this is democratic or colonial. It is not


for me to say. I'm simply asking a question, if for the good of the


country, and if for the good of Syria, President Assad stepped


aside, would that not be for the good of the country. Which would


allow nine million people to return to their homes? We heard stories


before, look what they did in Iraq look what they did in Libya. Total


bay I don'ts and destruction, we have to question what they are


saying and why they are saying it. Any way this is not helpable for


Syrians, for more Syrians. If it is acceptable for these people who are


saying paid to stay in five-star hotel, th don't represent the Syrian


people, it is the people who should decide. January 22nd is celebrated


in the Ukraine as the country's day of national unity, overnight three


people died in the first fatalities since the anti-Government protests


over membership of the European Union began two months ago. Two died


in gunshot wounds, and another plunged from the top of the football


stadium after fighting with police. It jolted opposition leaders and the


President into talks. Tonight fires are still rages in Kiev, and the


protesters are back in Independence Square.


I'm on Independence Square, it is coming up to 1.00 in the morning, it


is cold and knowing. But there are still a few00 protesters out here on


the square listening to speeches. The place where the clashes have


been going on is a few hundred yards down the road. As you said two,


possibly three people were killed in the early hours of the morning. The


official figure is two but it is almost certainly more than that,


more than three. A colleague of mine saw another dead body being dragged


out by police earlier this afternoon. We don't really know what


the real figure is. Both sides are blaming each other for these deaths.


The Government says they haven't been firing with live ammunition, so


if people have been shot it must have been the protestors. The


protestors are saying it is Government snipers. The protest


leaders have been coming out today demanding that the President call


snap elections. Without some kind of giving way on somebody's side it is


very difficult to see how this situation is going to be calmed down


just at the moment. After three hours of talk there was


talk that the opposition would come back to Independence Square and


relay the conversation that was had. Are you saying that all that was


relaid was their redemand for snap election -- relayed was their demand


for snap elections? They have given the President an ultimatum of 24


hours, and the leader of the disparate group of protestors has


said that if doesn't announce these snap elections then he will


personally lead what he called "the attack" on the square. We don't know


exactly what that means. I should say also there are far right groups


involved in the protesters, but many, many of them, the majority of


the protesters have been peaceful. This really is a stand-off now of


which there is no end in sight. The maelstrom surrounding the behaviour


of the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard has resulted in a media


conversation across newspapers and social media, about the way to


respond to unwelcome advances in the work place and the ability or lack


of it to speak out about it. Nick Clegg met Liberal Democrat peers


this afternoon to discuss the Lord Rennard case, he was adamant he


wouldn't back down over his demand that the peer should apologise to


the four women activists who lodged complaints against him. Lord Rennard


strongly denies the allegations against him. For his part, today


Nick Clegg, speaking on LBC accepted that his party had mishandled the


affair. Let me about be open I think the way we handled it last year was


not great or ideal. On your watch? Yes. And more than that, much more


seriously than that, looking much further back it is quite clear that


when the women were first caused this distress, many, many years ago,


and I think in many cases well before I was an MP the party did not


react, the alarm bells didn't go off and there weren't procedures. That


is why I have apologised to them in person and publicly. So has the Lord


Rennard case served to raise questions about how to act when


faced with a sex pest. Who better to ask than three women across the


generations have seen a thing or two. They are the journalist and


broadcaster and much else besides, Bakewell, the Labour MP, Stella


Creasey, and television journalist and presenter Anne Robinson.


Joan Bakewell is some of this a generational issue? It is quite


clear that older people are taking the view it is not much harm, what


is hand on a knee between friends, it doesn't matter much. They are


making a fuss and it is unnecessary. And the young women who are the part


of the completely liberated generation are saying, I'm sorry,


absolutely it is against the rules, we not having it. They are being


adamant in the way that both sides are being adamant and they are


failing to see. Is that because older women there was no recourse?


There was no recourse because the entire culture was behaving in this


way. When I was younger. Did you ever face that kind of you know,


what was it Michael White called it the "clammy hand"? All the time, of


course. As a young woman without power or when you were older? When I


was in my early 30s I was working on television and it was quite common,


both guests and on the programme, would give you a quick grope, other


colleagues would give you a grope, report to the editor, the editor was


doing it. It was part of the culture. And I mean, this is the


response, and I'm really interested to know if Anne Robinson faced the


same thing. What was your response? Your response was well you grew up


knowing that this is what men did, some of them, not all of them


obviously. You learned social behaviours that pre-empted what was


going to happen. You got used to anticipating. You mentally


pre-empted it? You anticipated it happening, you could take steps,


move away, ask to stop, whatever. Deal with it. Which is in a sense


what they are still asking today, and it is too late. Is it acceptable


to still ask to deal with it? I think Joan's right, I think it was


slightly better when my generation, which was the next one came along,


but I can't ever remember it happening to me. Maybe I wasn't


attractive enough. But when I think that since the 60s such fabulous


things have happened for women, the glass ceilings have disappeared, you


know. For some women? Clever girls become clever engineers and get the


jobs they deserve. What astonishes me in all that progress that no-one


has thought that women have to learn how to deal with treachery. I'm not


Chris sizing women -- criticising women, learn how to deal with


treachery in the work place. It is sad that really clever women like


these Lib Dem women, clever educated never felt that they could deal with


it at the time or that they could deal with it and were frightened to


have their names mentioned so many years later.


As a younger woman in this mix, what do you make of that, we must say


these are allegations which Lord Rennard strenuously denies, four


younger women, why do you younger women not feel that the law is


there, the civil law, the criminal law there to help them? Because and


I think this discussion sums up precisely the problem, why is it


four women sitting around talking about how can we cope with


behaviours rather than a mix of both. Men are concerned about this


behaviour as well. We're not making the progress that we think we are


making, Anne, and part of it is these kinds of problemsment we are


are 100 years on with women being called rabbits for being given a


vote. We are only a 80-20 society, four out of five of my colleagues


are men. It is not any different in society, it is the same in media and


universities, we are a minority. I think one of the reasons why is


because we are asking women to cope with these kinds of behaviours, we


are sort of saying it is up to us to adapt to the world as it is, rather


than men and women to come together and say how can we have equality.


That is not strictly true, I am what I'm saying if women could be


encouraged to learn how to cope and not be bullied. How about we tell


men to stop doing it? Why do we have to cope? No-one has made Lord


Rennard think or make it inconvenient to for him to behave


that way. It is not fair fight. We are not talking about a clumsy pass,


we are talking about somebody in a position of authority who is alleged


to have abused that position of authority. Do you think anybody


would come up to any of us women sitting here and attempt to put a,


man put their hand up our skirt, of course not because we are formidable


women. Hang on 20 something starting out. Do you think men have any


responsibility in this debate. Let's stop finding ways of focussing on


women's behaviour and say what is the behaviour everyone should


accept, and what does equality start. It starts with women not


putting up with it. We have to start with men stopping. Some of the


response in the papers has been that a swift knee to the groin would do.


But actually is this not what Stella is saying, which is why should women


have to respond? I quite agree with her. We have come a long way, it is


a long journey this. It is a long journey and we have already got law


on board. And we want to see that. Do you think a lot of young women


who are harassed at the work place would even think that they could go


to the law. Because would they really, really think that it would


do them any good, either with their colleagues or actually with their


careers, isn't this the problem that it is still not taken seriously


enough? That is why it is a watershed moment. Women have to feel


they can do that. The reason they don't is that there are various


social reasons, we are living through an absolute inuna decision


of highly sexualised, advertising, pop music, culture, fashion and so


on. They are part of that view as well. And they lack the confidence


to do it because one they could lose out socially, two they could be


losing out professionally, they don't feel able to act, which is why


we have got to give them the confidence to know that the law is


on their side and so are half the population. Do you think the


majority of young women know that unwanted sexual touching is a


criminal offence? And harassment in the work place is a civil offence?


Even if you know that, until you are in that position yourself. I don't


want bomb to feel they have -- women to feel they have to be formidable


to deal with these situations, I want them to know they will be


believed and it will be taken seriously. That isn't about the


person themselves. We have to stop focussing on the person would making


the accusation, and why not a culture saying we have these laws


for a reason, because actually nobody should have to put up with


this, male or female. Thank you very much indeed.


The UK is the biggest western importer of a leaf called


Chhattisgarh, a stimulant Khat, the Home Secretary has banned t in the


next few months it will be classified as a Class C drug. We


asked the magazine and TV channel, Vice to look at the superintendant


for us. Khat grows on trees across South


Africa. For most drinkers and drug users the effects are so minor they


barely registered, but for the Somali community it is a way of


life. Every day Somali men head to their chewing cafe to chew KHAT and


talk. Theresa May has announced plans to ban the stuff so it all


might end. The talk of banning Khat has brought shivers. It is banned in


most countries across Europe. Anti-Chait Khat campaigners say it


ruins families, and encourages Somali groups. People who grow


insist it should be talked of more like coffee and less like the end of


the world. We went to meet the largest Khat importer in the UK. We


are importing from Kenya and Nairobi. We have 5,128 kilos. The


ban on Khat will be disastrous for your business? Most of the people


who are employed will go jobless. This is the biggest Khat warehouse


in Europe, the delivery of the week has been coming in. It will be


driven as far as Devon, Britain's Khat goes far and wide. Amazingly


every piece of Khat shifted from the warehouse in Heathrow was sitting on


a tree in Kenya 24 hours ago. Kenya supplies so much Khat to the UK,


that whole regions are economically relianten to. One such place is in


Nairobi, a huge suburb of the Kenyan capital, most recently known for


being the home of the Malattack in September. This is the repackaging


plant, this is one of ten hangers around the place.


How much of this whole business, all of this stuff is for the UK market?


Everything here is for the UK market. All of it? And how much


money comes from the UK here? On a conservative estimate I think it is


about two billion Kenyan money. You are a billionare? Not yet, we are


trying before Theresa May interferes. Some people claim that


the money that comes from Khat funds terrorism? That is the most


unsubstantiated statement I have ever heard. The extremists guys are


against mirra, they say if you are chewing it is an abomination to God.


How is something that they don't allow in their description of Islam


then take the money and fund the terror, I think that is a misnomer.


It is not there. Clearly people in the UK do have something of a big


Khat habit, four times a week this amount of Khat is flown to London.


We're about half way through a five-hour journey from Nairobi to a


place where 90% of all the Khat is grown that ends up in the mouths of


the UK citizens. When the UK ban kicks in, the region will go to from


being one of the richest in Kenya to being broke. This is the mirra tree.


Funny to know those dried up bitter roots that end up being chewed in


Kentish Town in London come from trees like this and guys picking it


like this. This whole place is run through Khat. How long have you been


growing mirra? All my life. That one is the oldest one, the oldest the


mirra the sweeter it is. These guys are bunkedling it up and stuck it in


a struck to be sorted and sent around Kenya. Every day mirra is


going all over the world. If it is banned in the UK it will affect


every sector of economy in the Meru community. Do you think that many


people around here will lose their jobs? A lot of people will lose


their jobs, thousands, we are giving money and we want to fundraise 13


million shillings. If Arabs don't sell petrol can they survive? They


can't. One of the biggest weapons of the anti-Khat movement has been the


supposed link between the trade and terrorism. US and British counter


terror officials have claimed the trade is linked to Al-Shabaab. The


studies by the UK's advisory council on the misuse of drugs, and experts


from the UN, have found little or nothing to support this. When we


asked local guys who packaged the drug about Al-Shabaab, they claimed


it would have the opposite effect. If they ban mirra we don't have


anything to find, and the people come and brainwash us and say we can


give you money to turn you become Al-Shabaab. We will become


Al-Shabaab because we don't have anything, this mirra it helps us. It


is bringing food on the table. A We have some people here in this tiny


little building, smuggling it to the states on a daily basis. If it is


banned in the UK will you traffic it illegally? Will it be more


profitable? This is a box of Khat being easily transported to the


United States, where it has been illegal for 20 years. You stuck it


in a box and you write a name on it and post it to the person who wants


it. The most famous of all the anti-Khat


campaigners is this man. A UK Somali who said he once struggled with his


own Khat addiction. Now he broadcasts a weekly TV show where he


preaches his anti-Khat message. Welcome to the show. Why do you


believe it should be banned? It is a drug and should be banned across the


globe. And GoSave the Queen, finally the UK will ban it and we welcome


that. A huge majority of the Somali community are upset and angry? I


don't agree, that is not accurate, the Somali community is praying for


The places where people chew Khat are like this. Is this where you


come and hang out? This is it, whole bunch of people hanging out chatting


to each other, it is really friendly and chilled out, a bit buzzy. It is


a good vibe. We are having a nice time.


Just the daily Mail tomorrow morning, and more on the Liberal


Democrats. That's all for tonight, tomorrow


Jeremy will be in Davos where he will be talking to amongst others


Bill Gates. We leave you with a celebration of the beauty of the


male form in motion. Two special ballet performances next week. Here


is the former Royal Ballet principal, Ivan Putrov, dancing to


Johnny Cash's Hurt. # What have I become?


# My sweetest friend # Everyone I know


# Goes away # In the end


# And you could have it all # My empire of birth


# I will let you down # I will make you hurt


# If I could start again # A million miles away


# I would keep myself # I would


A line of showers will be rattling across the country first thing in


the morning. A bit of snow above the high ground in the north. It won't


Kirsty Wark presents in-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, including unemployment figures, Syria talks, Ukraine protests and how to repel a sex pest.

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