10/02/2014 Newsnight


Paxman v Environment Agency boss. Floods spread. Sue Lloyd Roberts hunts rhino poachers. What is Miliband-ism? Funny women. The philosopher Stuart Hall dies.

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The Minister for floods and ahead of the Environment Agency have started


resembling to drowning man trying to clamber on one another's shoulders.


As not only the West Country is menaced by floods, we try to


discover how it has all gone so wrong in that usual British way as


who should we blame? A former Cabinet minister who chairs


the Environment Agency is here to defend his record.


Sue Lloyd Roberts tracks down the men who are helping drive rhinos to


the brink of extinction for the sake of quack medicine in the East.


How much I you charging? What is this? A panel of comics


without a testicle between them. They talk about why television


comedy needs rescuing from men. As if they haven't got enough to


content with already, residents flooded parts of the South and West


of England had to put up with another inundation of politicians


today. It is like the ten plagues of ancient Egypt. Both by Minister and


Deputy Prime Minister were on hand while lesser figures cast around for


people to blame. Now the Thames is flooded as well. The Environment


Agency is the that is being kicked by most. -- the cat.


And so it spreads. The wintry rainfall that flooded the Somerset


Levels and the south-west is now inflicting its misery on the


south-east. Record-breaking sheets of rain have overwhelmed defences.


The area around Windsor is being engulfed by the spreading Thames.


Wraysbury is submerged. Half of the village is devastated. This has as


been abandoned, lots of people have got no flood insurance and that is


the biggest problem. In 2003 we have lots of looting of empty houses. We


need the army to man every street. Down that road the houses are


between ten and 12 feet underwater. Normal life has been postponed.


It is really quite hard, because we were trying to get to school, it can


be quite wet and we don't want to get our uniform wept.


This family is one of the last on the street to resist evacuation.


In terms of people here to come and support and help us Wraysbury seems


to have been a little bit forgotten. And what is the response


from Westminster? He spotted a convenient scapegoat in order to


distract attention from the government and failure.


It is entirely wrong for the honourable lady to suggest for one


moment that I have issued even the slightest criticism of the


marvellous workforce of the Environment Agency. He ought to be


apologising instead of continuously passing the buck and saying it is


everybody else's responsibility. A few politicians have taken a few


trips down to the water line, but mostly MPs and quango crabs have


been apportioning blame. What about these claims and counterclaims?


Let's start with the money. In 2009 the Environment Agency estimated


Britain would need to continually increased the amount it spends on


flood defences. Without more money it want increasing numbers of houses


would be at risk from flooding in the coming decades. And the


coalition the amount of cash spent on flood defence fell from 670, two


?606 million. Last week the government pledged a further ?100


million in cash for next year taking the total back-up to ?715 million.


Even so, flood spending is still down on 2010, once you take


inflation into account. Last year a committee of MPs said funding had


led to the failure to maintain watercourses affectively so is it


due to a lack of money England is underwater or perhaps it is because


as another group of MPs want no 1's body is clearly in charge of holding


back the water. -- no single body. Take the Somerset Levels, flooding


there is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. And Sedgemoor


district Council. And Taunton Deane district Council. And South Somerset


district Council. And Somerset county council. Natural England. And


the local internal drainage board. Tricky? Most of the public bile has


been focused on dredging, clearing up Rivers said a flow faster.


Officials brave enough to venture there have been berated for ignoring


this common sense solution but would dredging have made any difference in


a year as dramatically wet as this? You need a fortitude drive the water


out the rivers and we don't have that in the Somerset Levels. My hand


is horizontal, you have got it I going up and down but basically you


have got a horizontal water service said it was no force pushing the


water out. -- surface stop if you think about Cardiff Bay on my


doorstep. You have a horizontal water level and if you dredge down


to some considerable depth of it wouldn't fundamentally make a lot of


difference. If not dredging, what is the answer? The Bridgwater Bay


lagoon might be the best idea we have to keep Somerset dry in future.


A vast barrier into the sea, like the similar scheme for Swansea, that


would look good, generate vast amounts of electricity. And it would


cost ?80 million. There is no need to be defeatist about flooding. Big


projects like the Thames Barrier show if you really care about an


area we can keep it safe. The big projects cost big money. The real


question is whether the rest of Britain cares enough to save


Somerset. Inch roof, the argument is not about dredging. It is not about


funding from one year to the next, it is not about the shape of a


bureaucracy. It is about priorities. If you don't want to surrender to


the water you need massive, expensive, long-term plans.


Meanwhile tonight in Wraysbury the waters are still rising. Families


are guarding their cold, wet homes for fear of looting. It is not clear


anyone has a plan to stop this from happening again. Whose fault is it?


Fundamentally it is the weather's fault. We have had the most extreme


weather over the course of the last two and a half months that we have


ever seen. The highest storm surge on the East Coast for 60 years, the


stormiest period over Christmas and New Year, the wettest January ever


recorded, the highest waves ever recorded against the south coast.


This is extreme natural forces having a go at us. And we need to


find the best possible ways of defending ourselves against them. As


the Environment Agency made any mistakes? We have all made mistakes.


The Environment Agency has done a really good job of protecting 1.3


million homes over the course of the last two months. What mistakes were


they? That would have been flooded if our defences hadn't been in


place. There are things like last year on the Somerset Levels, when we


put ?400,000 on the table to start some real dredging, that was the


maximum we were allowed to spend by the Treasury rules that bind us.


What we didn't do and we should probably have done, was really twist


arms of the other players, the district councils, county council,


drainage boards, to come to the table with other contributions. It


is something we all should have worked actively on. We were stepping


up to the plate and seeing our -- providing our contribution. We put


the money on the table, and that at the time was the maximum we were


allowed to put on the table by the Treasury 's rules. The Treasury


rules determine what we can and cannot do. What has now happened,


however, over the course of the last week, are two significant things.


One is the government have said there is an extra ?10 million for


Somerset, that will be of enormous help. The other thing even more


important than that is the Secretary of State for the environment, Owen


Paterson, has said the Treasury rules should not apply to Somerset,


because it is such a unique landscape.


But you knew one year ago, more than that, that there was a need for


dredging in those two rivers you mentioned, the River Tone and the


River Parrett, yet it never happened. That is why we put our


contribution they're ready to be used. It was the fact we didn't get


the other money coming in that would have enabled us to do it. Why did


the report recommending the dredging to be carried out seems to be


removed from your website? I know nothing about that. We have


consistently said over the course of the last 12 months we believe


dredging of these rivers would make a useful contribution to improving


flood defences in the Somerset Levels. But they cannot be


quantified GIF -- but they cannot be a conference of solution? You need


to do other things as well, hold the water higher up the catchment.


Running down into the levels, prevent the River Severn from


backing up into the Somerset levels which is does every time the tide


comes in. I wonder in your position when you look and there is water


everywhere whether you don't think about resigning. The Environment


Agency has been doing a really good job at protecting 1.3 million


homes. Sadly that doesn't detract from the real misery and distress


that is felt by the 5000 people who have been flooded up and down the


country, not just in Somerset for the Thames but across the country


over the course of the last two months. This is an agency that boys


more people than the combined equivalent of France, Germany,


Austria. They don't deal with flood defence. We did not only with flood


defence, we also deal with industrial waste regulation, a whole


range of responsibilities. You have got too much to do. I don't think


so. We have something like 3000 staff, who are dedicated to working


on flood defence. When there is a flooding emergency, as we have been


experiencing over the past two months, we bring in other staff from


other parts of the agency to help with the immediate response to the


emergency. And that is a very good reason why we need to have the


strength of the Environment Agency as a whole in order to assist with


coping with flooding. There is another way of looking at it, you


could decide the job is too big, some places you should give up on.


There are indeed some places, particularly on the coast, where it


makes sense to retreat a little bit in order to protect more strongly.


Good example of that is an area that we have been lambasted for by one of


the local MPs in Somerset, he says we have spent money on creating a


bird sanctuary. In fact we have done is created a rather good sea


defence. It was old sea defences that were eroding, we retreated


further back, we created better, new sea defences, they protect a lot of


properties in Somerset. And in the process we have created intertidal


habitat that happens to be rather good for birds. Where are the places


you should give up one, do you think? I don't think there is


anywhere where there is a community or where there is economic activity,


or where there is vibrant life going on. I don't think there is anywhere


we should simply give up on. We should try and find the best ways of


protecting where we possibly can. There will be some areas of land,


some areas of Coast, where we probably, in due course, not


immediately, need to retreat a little bit in order to protect


better. Thank you very much.


The question that has kept so many of us awake at night, what exactly


is Milibandism, was answered tonight. The Labour leader gave a


lecture in which he claimed the core of his party's next election


manifesto would be a redistribution of power. After his attacks on the


big energy companies and the banks it is possible to make out the


silhouette of something. How big the shadow willing to cast if he ever


gets the chance of government? When Labour proposed a radical move on


the energy market at their conference last year, it was


something of a lightbulb movement. The cogs began to whir. The next


Labour Government will freeze gas and electricity prices until the


start of 2017. Alongside energy, came pay day loan companies, after


that the banks. The message was clear, he was out to save the


hard-pressed consumer. Tonight, he is looking at reform of a different


sector. Public services. Not just the customer in other words, but the


patients, the parent, the payer of taxes. The time we are in demands of


new culture. More a market based individualalism, unaccountable


concentrations of power wherever we find them don't serve the public


interest and need to be held to account.


Tonight, he talked of reform to health and education. He wants to


tackle schools that are failing and to empower the secret weapon, the


pushy parent. OK, darling. It is nearly time. OK, maybe not her


exactly, but her collective force. Parents given powers to call in a


specialist team to boost the per performance of failing schools. One


pushy mother isn't convinced. It could become a witch-hunt and they


maybe able to vote headteachers out and then it becomes an X Factor


situation. The headteacher maybe persuaded to be popular as opposed


to doing his or her job for fear of what the parent may say. You are not


hearing a voice of collective power, you are hearing a threat of


vigilantism? Parents need to look at themselves. A lot of parents send


their kids to school not ready to be educated. Mr Miliband's promise to


roll back decades of centralisation and accuses the current Government


of hoarding power and decision making. Now, it is a powerful


argument, every single time it is made. Usually by a party in


opposition, but how much changes? Miliband said, "I call it double


devolution, not just Kiev devolution that takes it from central


Government, but power that goes down to local people providing a critical


role for individuals and neighbourhoods." You will see it is


from a speech in 2006, in a speech not by Ed, but David Miliband. You


have to get your local councillors on side. You have to get your full


Cabinet on side and people who are in charge of things like skills or


re-offending and you need to get the public to buy into it and for that


to happen it needs to be a meaningful for the electorate. Ed


Miliband has shown he has an appetite for radical reform.


Whatever you make of his plans for the energy companies, the banks, the


pay day lenders. Perhaps he set the bar so high that people are


expecting real bravery. Anything less would like he is prepared to


pick fights with everyone, but the home team. Public services, indeed


their staffed by many natural Labour voters.


A bit of bank bashing, that goes down well. An attack on bonuses for


big businesses, that can sit comfortably in troubled times. But


this is a proper test for a Labour leader trying to escape his Red Ed


tag. Ensuring the power goes elsewhere, well that takes more than


just a bright idea. Here are Liz Kendall the Shadow


Health Minister. Were you impressed by this canvass? I thought the


speech was fine and it is a speech on public service reform. We haven't


had one of those from Ed Miliband. I don't think it was big enough or


bold enough to make a breakthrough, but he started, I guess. I wouldn't


say there was anything wrong with the speech, but it is not taking him


where it needs to get to. Well, that's high praise? Matthew is wrong


about that. To talk about the importance of people powered public


services, you raised your eyebrow there, Jeremy... That's because it


is waffle. If you have seen a patient power to manage their own


health condition, if you have seen the parents of children with


learning disabilities who have been helped to find out what the best


practise is and change that and if you have seen how personal budgets


in social care have given people real power and say over their lives,


that's life transforming and that's what Ed has been talking about


today. Did you think that's what he was talking about? I think those are


the themes and Liz feels this stuff strongly. I think what was missing


from it was if you go back to Blair's work on public services, he


was clear what his target was. He talked about the bureaucratic. He


wanted to break-up the big centralised power. What's not quite


so clear about Ed Miliband's account, whilst the proposals he has


got are fine and the themes are fine. What is his big idea? What


binds this stuff together? When you look at the individual policy


initiatives, it is not clear what the themes are that's running


through them. You didn't see any theme at all? Well, I saw the themes


that Liz is talking about. Power to users. Decentralisation, but as your


film made clear, it is easy to assert these things, but you need a


theory of change. Rhetorical rather than actual? What's the problem. The


problem is the way we think about power and policy don't work.


Probably the Labour Party is still addicted to those models of power


and policy and what Ed hasn't done today is to say to his party, the


ways in which we used to think about change don't work anymore. We need a


different model of change. Well, I think that Matthew knows that in


opposition Tony Blair hadn't really developed his thinking about public


service reform. It took him a while when he was in Government and I


think Ed is very much ahead of the game here and where Matthew is right


is, it is very difficult to give power away. It is difficult for


politicians to do that because we often think we know best and you


rightly put us under pressure to say what is going to happen and giving


power away can be a risk. Does Ed Miliband believe in a smaller State?


I think he believes in a reformed State. A different relationship


between individuals and the State and what he does believe is that the


State can hoard too much power just as the private sector can hoard too


much power. One example that he mentioned there, hospitals? Yes.


People would be able to have a say in the... Governance of hospitals.


But he said, "I'm not going to commit as David Cameron did not to


closing any hospitals." That's right, we had David Cameron and


Andrew Lansley out with their placards saying they would save


hospitals, but they ended up closing them. What's the point of sitting on


the board of a hospital... He said you have to give patients and the


public more of a role and you have got to have clearer accountability


in the consultation. We saw big changes in stroke services in London


where they were specialised in regional centres. That was really


tough, but the way they made those changes was by going out, involving


patients and the public. I can remember being at Victoria Station


one day and seeing a huge event where they were asking people for


their views. You are never going to get the changes we need unless you


really give people a say and make sure that the proper accountability


and involvement is there. Your views just need more work, more


refinement, more grounding? I think it needs more courage as well. I


think that it is still the case that the Labour Party at all levels is


full of people who feel that as long as the Labour Party wins the next


election through one more heave, they can start pulling the leavers


in Whitehall. Whitehall leaver pulling has been unsuccessful. We


have had 20 years of reform of our schools, I am not sure they would be


any better if there was no reform and you can say more or less the


same thing about the Health Service. There is a fundamental problem with


policy chakeing and Ed has hinted at it, but he has to give a powerful


message and because the Labour Party is committed to statism, you have


got to shout this ten times louder than you would normally would for it


to breakthrough. Our roots as a party were in


community organisations people coming together to help themselves


and one another. Thank you very much.


Quack medicine is one thing. We can all decide whether to put our faith


in so-called traditional cures, but when the ingredients drive a species


to the brink of extinction, surely other standards apply. On Thursday


Britain plays host to a gathering in London trying to get an


international agreement somehow to stop the illegal trade in wildlife.


Good luck with that because existing international bans have failed


lamentably. The trade is reckoned to be worth over ?6 billion a year,


animals dying in great numbers to meet an appetite from unscrupulous


dealers supplying rich, stupid people, mainly in Asia. Sue


Lloyd-Roberts reports from Vietnam and her report contains some


distressing images. I had been given official permission


to report on the rhino horn trade in Vietnam and I start by looking for


the horn on traditional Chinese medicine street, the place I'm told


to buy it. But the poster here warns the trade


is now illegal and with my Government minder looking on, I


don't have much luck. Do you sell any rhino horn?


Does anyone sell n products z products on the street?


I'm told that I'm not going to be allowed to film much so I have time


on my hands which my minder might have guessed is a dangerous


situation to allow a journalist to find herself in. Slipping away that


evening, I go shopping again, but with a hidden camera. Now, the


traders have no inhibitions like the one I'm directed to in the back of a


Taylor's shop. How much are you charging? It is more expensive than


gold because of the widely held belief in it's medicinal power. I


tell the trader I'm looking for a cancer cure for my husband.


He tells me he has several of these horns in stock. They are from the


Asian rhino he says which have been hunted out of existence in Vietnam.


I make my excuses and leave saying it is out of my price range and I


doubt whether it is worth of the money. After all, biologists tell us


that it is made of the same material as the human fingernail. This is the


horn. When word gets around that I want to buy, I am approached by


another trader who offers me horn from Africa.


He was particularly obliging, even coming up to my hotel room to show


me how to grind it in a special bowl and mix it with water or alcohol to


drink. Most of the rhinos in the wild live in South Africa today


where more than 1,000 were poached, killed for their horn last year. A


40% increase on the year before. Nonetheless rhino hunting is


permitted under strict rules. Fewer than 100 experienced hunters can


apply for a permit every year to shoot just one rhino and they are


required to keep the horn intact as a trophy. The argument is that


hunting encourages privately owned rhino parks and therefore, adds to


rhino numbers and contributes to the local economy. With no more rhino


left in their own country, hundreds of Vietnamese hunters started


applying for South African permits. By 2010 more Vietnamese applied to


shoot a rhino than any other nationality. But many were selling


the horns. Asian criminal gangs were charged with abusing the permit


system and in 2012, South Africa banned the Vietnamese from hunting


there. I met a wealthy businessman at


night. He told me he joined a hunt in South Africa six years ago. He


and his friends didn't know how to shoot. Mortally wounded, the rhino


limped off. It took three days to find ten kilometres away.


So he took a long time to die? Yeah. Everything that he and his friends


did up to then was legal. What they did next was not. How much money did


the rhino horn make after it was cut up?


There is a lot of fake rhino horn around and on my next unofficial


shopping expedition I ask for proof. This time I say I am looking for a


hangover cure and this man who tells me he is a traditional medicine


doctor offers me a slice of rhino horn and a new list of xants that it


can -- complaints that it can apparently cure.


Is it legal to sell rhino horn in Vietnam?


He shows me hunting permits to shoot two rhinos. He took his wife with


him. And there is a picture of his 82 old stun -- eight-year-old son


standing next to a dead rhino. He shows me the import licence. It says


conventional international trade in endangered species. Except that the


rules of the convention, of which Vietnam is a symmetry, clearly state


the hunting trophy, the horn, must be kept intact, in possession of the


hunter, and not under any circumstances solved. A local


campaigning group have transmitted shocking and graphic adverts on


television. We have blurred this picture of a rhino still alive with


its horn and much of its face cut off.


The government complained, saying they were too negative. What is the


government doing? Five weeks before coming here I had asked to speak to


politicians whose job I am told is to stamp out the illegal trade. But


when I got here I have been told none of the people I wanted to talk


to work available. I am told the topic is too sensitive and five


weeks isn't enough time to get everything organised. I get the


impression that the problem of the illegal trade in rhino horn here in


Vietnam is not regarded as an urgent one. The only official I was allowed


to talk to was the man responsible for getting the government to abide


by the Convention on trade in endangered species. I put it to him


that convention officials had asked Vietnam to introduce new laws to


stop punters selling their horns two years ago. -- Unter 's.


You cannot submit it in one year. In London this week the


international community will be saying they are not doing enough.


Procrastination is no longer an option, say the experts. The African


rhino now faces extinction. And Vietnam and other countries in Asia


must take urgent action to put a stop to this bloody trade.


The all-male comedy panel show, the kind we have seen for years and


years, is about to end. On the orders of a senior BVC manager every


show must have now female representation -- BBC. Why they


haven't so far has generated much home-made evolutionary psychology,


men need to be able to make women laugh in order to get sex being the


commonest theme. When a senior figure at the BBC says jump, we only


ask how high will stop --. You can see the most night of the week, be


pits disguised as studios in which male comics set out to see who can p


higher up the wall. Is it couldn't arrange a Ted in a lavatory? The


women who do take part have to adapt to a largish culture and hope their


contributions make the final cut. Welcome to biggest historical boots


with me, Katie Bryce. It is also true there are many more male


comedians than female. Even Jermaine Greer judges that women have not


developed the arts of full in, clowning, denies, into a performance


as so many men have. Can an edict from immediate naval change that?


Here to discuss the subject, and entirely testicle free panel of


female comedians and actress and comedian Maureen Lippman is first,


the impressionist Jan Ravens, and the stand-up comedian and panel show


regular, Lucy Porter. Is this worthwhile? It is very nice to say


they will not make any panel shows without women, but it is not the


case to just have a token woman. You just feel like the token, and we


have got to make it normal, so there are more female hosts, more female


team captains, or there is a show, as you have outlined here where


there are more of them. What you have done today is what most haven't


been able to do. It is a very small desk. Do think it is worthwhile? I


am not really for tokenism. Surely it is merely an adequate


representation of the population. There is a representation. The


problem goes back, is this a programme worth having? I think what


has happened is setting women who it does work for, there are women


comics like Jo Brand, sandy toxic, who have over the years really, by


osmosis, taken on the delivery of men. -- Sandi Tosvig.


We don't need to just be talking about female representation on the


shows that exist, it is about thinking of some new shows, so that


the style of comedy isn't maybe so it yet he later, it is. What does it


like appearing on one of those? The only downside is when you are the


only woman, you do sort of set out thinking I am representing my entire


gender. You don't want that pressure. But what Danny has done is


nice but it is responding to what is happening anyway, there is a wider


cultural trend towards people saying we would like to see women


represented differently. We never get second chance will stop before


woman goes on a programme, this does Bobby Blake Joan Bakewell on have I


got News for you, Christine Hambleton, Janet Street Porter, but


that is it. It is a one-off. We must get loads of different women in,


rather than nurture. There is a lack of team captains, regular. And bring


in other women so you have always got to. I usual people really care


about this? The audience, if you look at the audience for Qi Y,


Buzzcocks, it is dominated by women. Higher proportion of women than men.


There's roughly a reason why the women are laughing said the men will


go home with them afterwards. The whole thing has got to be changed.


We should have had a man on this panel tonight. There is not much


room. It is not just having a woman, it is the kind of woman. What


they quite often do is have a young, pretty girl. We can't have that. If


it is supposed to be a comedy show and she isn't funny as well as young


and pretty, there are 1 million comedians that could go on the show,


but they choose to have, or somebody like... The positive thing is this


will change because there are so many women doing comedy really well,


Bridget Christie won the comedy awards in Edinburgh, there are still


more men than women doing comedy but there are millions of comedians now.


Have got too many comedians but luckily that means we have got a lot


of women as well. You must remember Nichols and me and Jon Fortune, that


was completely equal, there is very little of that about. I have gone


completely blank. Do you not remember Mike Nichols and Elaine


May? An American duo. So intelligent. That is what we need,


more collaborative comedy. Is it a different kind of humour when men


and women work well together? Women behave differently when they are on


a show with men. They are afraid to be a bit cynical and sneery like


they are when they are together. The comedy circuit has changed. It used


to be you were the only woman, like a special act, and the clubs have at


the Philly sought to have female friendly bills like the stand in


Scotland and the glee clubs around the country. They have a nice


atmosphere, the dressing rooms are lovely, audience whose love those


venues because they know it will not be shouting men. Different kinds of


men as well. A lot of actresses, comedians, would say no to being on


Mock the week. On what grounds? Fear. It is just a bearpit. I went


on it and people say, my God, how brave! For a woman to be yourself,


it is quite difficult. Actresses are used to having other people doing


the lines for them, not every good comedian is witty. It is quite


difficult to interrupted enough. On Mock The Week I spent most of the


week... I let you have to be in trainers, you have to run. The News


quiz always have loads of women, on the radio. At one stage I'm sorry I


haven't a clue hadn't had a woman for ages. We don't touch that, it is


a different world. Generally on radio and think things have changed


and television is catching up. There are a lot of women who they could


ask. Like Tamsin Greg, people from outnumbered. If they would say yes,


give them a go. Lots of comedians on the circuit to I haven't seen, who


would be brilliant. Sara Pascoe, Rebecca front was good. Thank you


all very much. It was announced to day one of the


founders of the highly influential doctrine of multiculturalism has


died. Stuart Hall, a Jamaican immigrant who became an open


University professor, a rather impressive speaker and a hero to


readers of the Guardian and New Left Review, was 82. While the philosophy


trains its attraction for many -- has lost its attraction for many, it


has fallen out of fashion in the last few years. I will discuss his


life and legacy but here are a few thoughts shared by him over the


years in his own words, accompanied by his beloved jazz.


Hello. The programme you are about to see is about national identity,


and the importance of national identity in giving us a sense of who


we are and where we belong. British nurse was coded racially. You didn't


have two say white British. That is what it meant. I didn't think it is


true, I think you can be you you are, you can be black, you can have


come from a different route via the lonely relation on the Empire


Windrush, through migration, into the inner city. This is a British


history. We are in the centre of the creative culture of the society who


have created in their myriad artforms from writing, poetry,


dance, music, right through to wrap, created a new culture, a


culture which in its variety and power astonishes. The eyes of


young, white people in society, which is a mark, assign that they


are the people of the future, and that needs organisation and funding.


We have to go out and get it. It is ours.


With this now is John Akomfrah, an Artisan Formica who knew him for


more than 20 years and recently made a documentary about his life. How


significant was his life? Very significant. He was really the last


of that great group of intellectuals who came of age in their 50s, fund


amount what we thought culture and identity politics would be --


fundamentally. I'm talking about people like Richard Hoggart. He was


in that class. Hugely significant. Specifically on multiculturalism, he


is called the godfather of multiculturalism, can you explain


what he was about that? This is not a term he would have


approved of. But in some ways it applies to him, because one of the


abiding feelings of his work was the attempt to try and speak to the id


stern -- speak about the extent to which a multicultural state both of


being and identity, is something that is uniquely British. For Stuart


Hall, multiculturalism was his attempt to talk about 400, 500 year


history of Britain and its engagement with several parts of the


world. And to stress that the parts of the world that Britain went to,


it made an impression with people where, and they have come here


bringing not just something from outside, but something from the


periphery of British life. In that sense, I would say, he is a


godfather of multiculturalism. It is a theme in his work he returned to


again and again, the periphery is the same as the centre, in some


ways. What was he like as a person? He was the most generous person I


have ever come across. I was 20 something, making my first film, we


have no reason to come, he didn't know what Ron Adam, he came, he


spent weeks talking to us about the film, the problem is, how to put it


right. And he did this film for countless numbers of people. He was


incredibly open and accessible, to thousands of people across the


world. I am no exception. I have been taking the films I have made


across the world. Literally everywhere I go, I have just come


back from India, people come to me and say how was he? He did this on


my thesis. He worked on this with my dissertation.


Stewart Stewart Stewart Stewart Stuart


Beyond that everything was OK. Well, that's almost it for tonight.


Time for the papers. Well we start with the Scots Man. The Scottish


Mail has Scottish counsels paying out -- councils paying out millions


to motorists cars who have been damaged by potholes.


That's it from us. Don't forget, that if women have got a majority on


Newsnight, well there is hope for all of us. Good night, sisters!


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