13/02/2014 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. Could an independent Scotland keep the pound? Kirsty Wark interviews SNP leader Alex Salmond.

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Get The Chancellor rode into Scotland bearing bad news, there


will be no currency union if Scotland votes for independence. And


he wasn't the only one being emphatic. If Scotland walks away


from the UK, it walks away from the UK pound. Scotland will not keep the


pound if Scotland chooses independence. It is not going to


happen and it is very important that everyone has that in mind when they


are thinking about how they are going to cast their votes in


September. That is clear then, so is there a Plan B? I will be asking


Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond. Also tonight our aid convoy


-- are aid convoys to Syria Trojan horses. These are the first pictures


to be taken of the protestors. Paintings by the artist Richard


Hamilton, inspired by Newsnight, as a major retrospective opens. He's


being lauded as the greatest artist of the 20th century. We have our


guests to discuss. Good evening. When it comes to


writing the history of the referendum on Scottish independence,


it might not be the politicians who command most attention, but a


Whitehall mandarin called Sir Nicholas Macpherson, in a highly


unusual move a the Treasury Secretary came out and says


categorically he strongly advises against a currency union as


currently advocated if Scotland chooses independence. We report on


the bombshell which George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander happily


dropped. England and Scotland have shared the


pound sterling for 300 years. In 1707 the old Scottish coinage with


thistles and lions rampant and its bruises and Stuarts was swept away.


We go back to Robert the Bruce here. That is a Robert the Bruce coin? A


penny from the 14th century. Yes. Might Scotland one day need to bring


this back? For George Osborne's audacious assault on the idea of a


shared currency post-independence has changed the debate here. So when


the nationalists say the pound is as much ours as the rest of the UK's.


Are they really saying that an independent Scotland could insist


the tax-payers in a nation it had just voted to leave had to continue


to back the currency of this new foreign country, had to consider the


circumstances of this foreign country when setting their interest


rates? Stand behind the banks of this foreign country as a lender of


last resort, or stand behind its foreign Government when it needed


public spending support? That is patently absurd. Supporters of the


union took it as a welcome boost to a hitherto lacklustre "better


together" campaign. I was pleased the UK Government came out with such


a strong stand and made it very clear. Voters want to be clear about


the position of each party in the future. So, in the event of a "yes"


vote, would you be arguing for Scotland to be kicked out of the


sterling zone? I would still want to be in the currency union if that was


what happened. I would still choose to be in it. And I guess from my own


perspective, being managed by Westminster and being, I guess, in


some way part of the union is what I would be voting for any way. Would a


"yes" vote force the Westminster parties to reconsider? Of course the


nationalists insist, it is obvious. So it is your belief despite what


they have said today these three Westminster parties, in the event of


a "yes" vote, would just change their minds? Absolutely. I think it


is political posturing, it is clear to me that in the cold light of day


when Scotland votes "yes", that there will be a currency union. It


is described astrological, and business would describe it as


sensible. George Osborne can claim a united Westminster front, with


support today from both Labour and the Liberal Democrats. There's a


high risk in that. It is easy to antagonise Scotland with perceived


diktats from a distant London elite. The SNP are recent converts to the


idea of a sterling zone. Until a few years ago their policy was to ditch


the pound and join the euro. But there is a third way, the countries


that are most comparable to Scotland are the Nordic countries, just


across the North Sea from here, and three of the four of them, Sweden,


Denmark and Norway, have kept their own independent currency. Denmark,


for example, pegs the value of its krona to that of the euro, thus


ceding some national sovereignty. That doesn't mean it is not an


independent state. Why has the SNP not grasped this thistle of an


independent Scottish pound? It seems to me that they have no Plan B and


have never thought of what was bound to happen, and that was a "no", from


whichever Government was in Westminster. And I can't explain why


someone who is as clever in politics as Alex Salmond didn't understand


that you had to have a contingency. And there is no problem in having a


separate Scottish currency. I mean we have bank notes at the moment,


why we don't print a separate Scottish currency I don't


understand. Scotland abandoned its separate currency 300 years ago and


few now openly advocate the return. George Osborne has told Alex Salmond


he needs a Plan B. But in telling the Scots bluntly what they can and


can't have, he's also taken quite a risk. The Scottish First Minister


minister joins us from Aberdeen. Good evening Alex Salmond. So it is


over, there will be no currency union if Scotland votes for


independence. These are not words of a politician, but a Treasury


mandarin. This is economics not politics? Let's deal with the three


politicians first, I see it as bluff, bluster and bullying. Bluff


because what they say now and what they say the day after a "yes" vote


are two entirely different things. A bluster because we are expected to


believe that the George Osborne idea is to tell businesses in England


next year at the UK general election that he wants to impose a new tax on


them of several hundred million for the privilege of exporting their


goods to Scotland. And bullying, because the days of Westminster


politicians dictating to Scotland are over. In fact, one of my


predecessors, a former First Minister, still a "no" voter at this


stage, described it as "threatening" behaviour today. I think it will


backfire spectacularly on the unionist politicians involved. Let's


put it in a different perspective. In the perspective of a Whitehall


mandarin who is not political but apolitical, he said it would not be


good for the United Kingdom. He strongly advises there to be no


currency union as the current position that you are taking, the


one you advocate. Part of the problem here, Alex Salmond, is that


you have said that you would take sterling but perhaps for a short, or


limited period of time, in the letter which I'm sure you have read,


he makes the point that if you would be a more permanent position on how


long you would take sterling for there might be wriggle room and an


answer. Why won't you negotiate and say we will take sterling for ho, 50


years? I'm perfectly happy to negotiate now, but the only talks we


have had have been technical talks with the truly independent Bank of


England. I have been delighted in the progress of these technical


talks. Could you say you are happy to negotiate now and could you say


that? For more than a year now the Scottish Government has been saying


to Whitehall, not just the mandarins but the politicians, we would be


very happy to negotiate the guidelines. Very happy indeed. They


have been saying they won't pre-negotiate on anything. And the


on exception to that of course two years ago was Mervyn King. I'm very


happy to have these negotiations. I thought the wriggle room in Sir


Macpherson's letters surely was where what he said as currently


proposed. The wriggle room was coming from the senior mandarin, I


thought rather than anything else. I just want to absolutely talk to you


about this quite specifically, you are very clear, you want to be open


and up front, you say there are negotiations. Are you prepared to


put an actual time limit on sterling, are you prepared to say


that you would take sterling for 40 or 50 years? If you look at the


framework that the fiscal commission working group proposed, it was


designed to last the test of time. There is a range of options of


currency options for Scotland, the best one we think for Scotland, and


indeed for the rest of the United Kingdom, is the sterling zone that


we accepted from the fiscal commission. Would you put a time


limit of say half a century? We are perfectly prepared to have these


negotiations now. So you won't say it? You asked me first if we would


have negotiation, I said yes, I have also pointed out if you look at the


fiscal commission working group, it is not a temporary arrangement as


proposed, as for the argument, incident low, that there are other


politicians who want to do different things, I mean I was in the House of


Commons when the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, wanted to join the euro


and the Chancellor of the Exchequer wanted to, Gordon Brown, wanted to


keep sterling. That is part of the democratic process. But perfectly


happy to have these negotiations. In the interests of Scotland, and in


the interests of the people of England as well. Because I know that


George Osborne doesn't speak for Scotland. I actually think he spes


for the people or businesses of England who he wants to impose the


George Osborne tax on. You have said in the past if there was to be no


currency union there would be no paying up of Scotland's share of the


?1. Six trillion debt. If there is no currency union in the event of a


"yes" vote in Scotland, will you or will you not pay a share of the


debt? Our proposition is that we should have a share of the assets


and of the liabilities. That is what is fair and reasonable, that is our


proposition asset out in the White Paperment one of these assets is


un-- paper, one of these assets is the Bank of England, it holds title


of a third of UK debt at the moment. It is George Osborne who seems to be


suggesting that we are not entitled to a share that have asset, but he


wants to land us with all the liabilities. So you won't pay the


debt? Our proposition, which is in the interests we believe of Scotland


and the rest of the UK is to have a share of the assets and a share of


the liabilities. That is our proposition. It is George Osborne


putting forward the one-sided argument that we're not entitled to


a share of the asset, but wants us to be stuck with the liabilities.


Clearly that is not fair or reasonable. That is not fair, let's


assume you would pay the debt, Sir Macpherson says in the letter that


even if Scotland did not pay its share of the ?1. Six trillion debt,


it would still be better than having a currency union. It would still be


better not to have that money, than to have a currency union with


Scotland. The wriggle room is as proposed. I thought the interesting


thing about dragging a civil servant into this as a shield for George


Osborne, is what will Sir Nicholas Macpherson do when somebody asks him


for his advice to the Chancellor on the economic consequences of a


withdrawal from the European Union. Now we set this rather strange


precedent. But we're very happy to have negotiations and to clarify


these things so that the senior mandarin understands what exactly


we're proposing, because in some elements of his letter he seems to


misunderstand that very badly. Let's move on to what else was said, that


it is unbelievable that Alex Salmond wouldn't have a Plan B. Have you a


Plan B without currency union? The fiscal commission working group set


out a range of currency options to Scotland. We chose what they said


was the best option, which was to have a sterling area between


Scotland and the rest of the UK. The key thing we are looking at is not


to have transaction cost, not transactions costs for Scottish


businesses exporting to England, our major market, or English businesses


exporting to Scotland. But Denmark bears these transactions costs, and


Denmark is a different situation, as you look to Scandinavia for a lot,


Denmark has an independent currency pegged to the euro, why not have an


independent currency pegged to sterling? I was explaining that, the


fiscal commission looked at that option, it is a credible option,


nobody is saying it is not. But the best option is not to have the


transaction cost, which would be important for Scotland but also for


businesses for England. What George Osborne and Ed Balls are saying is


they are going to have an Ed and George tax of several hundred


million pounds of businesses in England for exporting to Scotland.


That is incredible and nobody in England will accept that. Which is


why I think... We are in a situation of five months from a referendum,


where you are making threats about assets and liabilities as much as


George Osborne might be making threats, people in Scotland want a


detailed argument, and the problem is that on something like the debt,


what Sir Nicholas Macpherson says, if you do not take a share of the


debt then your credibility in the markets and everything else will not


be substantial. You will attract higher rates of interest and so


forth, it is not a tenable position to hold? Well can I put it forward


again, our position is we should share assets and liabilities. It is


George Osborne who is suggesting the one-sided position that some how we


are not entitled to a share of assets, but he wants to stick us


with the liabilities. I'm sure Nicholas Macpherson was working for


me as opposed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer then he would see the


fairness and justice of that position. As for interest rates in


terms of the international market place, you mentioned the Nordic


countries, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, they all have lower


interest rates and bond yields at the present moment than the UK. The


UK interest rates are not unreasonable, but they are not as


God as many other -- good as many other countries at the moment. Let's


get the issues into perspective. The British suicide bomber who died


in an assault on Aleppo last week, Abdul Waheed Majid. He came from


England on an aid mission. It is said that no-one should travel to


Syria, even for humanitarian purposes, that should be left to the


big agencies, the Red Cross and others. We will discuss that with


the head of a Croydon-based Muslim charity and my guests. Richard


Watson, how many fighters are going from the UK to Syria this way or


generally, first of all? The security sources have been


consistently briefing over the last few months that the figure is in the


low hundreds, I take that to mean 100-1200. I detect a change here.


Security sources are saying it is not the low hundreds it is the


mid-hundreds, I suggested to my sources this might be as many as 500


British fighters in Syria, they said that still might be a bit high. But


a realistic estimate, I think, is 300-400 fighters Syria. It was an


accelerating trend? That is what is concerning the authorities at the


moment. Tell me more, what do we know about the Crawley suicide


bomber? His wider family say he was delivering aid in Syria. I think if


you look at his connections, it is quite interesting. I saw that the


former leader of groups out there is he was known to them. I understand


he travelled to Syria with a relation of somebody who is linked


to an old generation of Jihadists from Crawley, and don't forget that


Crawley has always been a centre for extremism in some respects. It was


the origins of the fertiliser bomb plot in 2004. Some people were


arrested in that. I think these wider Jihadist links are quite


interesting. People will be concerned about this idea that the


convoys are Trojan horses? Yeah, my sources are saying that convoys have


been used as a way for some fighters to enter Syria to join the conflict.


But I should say, that the vast majority of people who go on convoys


simply want to deliver aid to alleviate horrendous suffering in


Syria. I mean, it is undoubtedly true, I think, that some


opportunists have used convoys to get into Syria. One of my sources


recently told me, for example, about an aid convoy, he said that seven


individuals had not come back on the return journey. To I think that


raises big questions about vetting and raises big questions about


counting them in and counting them out. But by and large, how are


getting into Syria? It is a variety of means. Aid convoys I'm told is


one route. Another route is fighters will go directly. I'm also told it


is very rare that fighters will go out from the UK to join one of the


groups like news a and ISIS -- Nusra and Isis. They will be introduced to


the right people out there and appetites whetted for Jihad in the


theatre. To discuss these aid convoys travelling to Syria and


borders I'm joined by the MP for Crawley Henry Smith, and Imam Qasim


Rashid, whose chaired the tion have sent convoys to Syria. How concerned


are you about infiltration on convoys? I think it is the great


responsibility of charity organisations to make sure whenever


they want to take any steps into volatile situations they do proper


checks they do due diligence they follow the governance and procedures


and everything. If trustees have made proper policies and procedures


and they are following their criterias, then I think that is a


minimising the risks. There are some individual who is would make the


most out of these opportunities to go through the aid convoys. Having


these checks will minimise. Henry Smith says, having convoys where


seven people didn't come back. It is not illegal, they could have decided


just to stay on. But you were so concerned you wanted it stopped? It


is important that when people want to give aid to Syria and we have


seen obviously some appalling images on television and appalling reports


of the violence in that Civil War, people naturally want to assist. But


at best it is very dangerous for people to go to Syria unless they


are backed by a serious aid organisation. At worst it can be


tempting for those who may become radicalised. Therefore what I'm


saying is, yes, we need to support the refugees in the Syrian crisis,


but we should be doing that through the well-established organisations


such as the Red Crescent, the UN Human Rights Commission, and other


such organisations. But presumably the charities commission, and there


are particular rules and regulations about vetting the people on convoys,


you are concerned that doesn't always happen? I think Syria is


probably the most dangerous place there is in the world right now. It


is not somewhere that people should be loading up a few trucks and


driving across the continent to get there. This is a very serious Civil


War and I think really the Governmental support and the main


international agency support are the ones who should be delivering that


much-needed aid to refugees. You would disagree and say convoys


should go? I would say, yes, convoys should go. The problem is those


convoys which go themselves without the backing of any registered


charity organisation, which has a track record of delivering aid in


these types of situations. Or going through a charity which has not


submitted annual accounts to the Charity Commission, which cannot be


verified, that is where the problem comes. There clearly has been


breaches, there clearly have been problems, and it may not be with


your charity, of course, but you can't stop someone who gets there


then becoming radicalised when they see what's there, can you? No you


can't, but you can try to reduce the risk by having a process and


policies in place. I think more important it is for donors to


understand the importance of donating wisely. If they donate wise


low, whether it is the goods, items for aid convoys to take with them,


whether it is money? Do you think there would be anger if the convoys


were banned that people see this is actually very little that is being


done and this is the way it can help. Do you think it would be a be


proproand anger directed towards people who wanted the convoys


stopped? There would be anger, if there is action there is reaction to


that. Henry Smith? It is not about stopping aid. But the convoys? I'm


proud this country is the second-largest donor to help the


refugee crisis from the Syrian Civil War. It is important for the safety


of those going to Syria and also important for the security of this


country that aid should be delivered through organisations that are best


able to cope with, as I say, probably the most dangerous


situation we have in the world at the moment. But one of your primary


concerns though is the idea that people on the convoy could either be


using it as a Trojan horse or be radicalised when they get there That


is certainly the case and it was borne out with the event last


Thursday. In my constituency, community relations are actually


extremely good. There is good relations in terms of different


faiths and different ethnic backgrounds and I'm actually very


pleased to represent such a cohesive and yet diverse community. What is


important though is where within individual faith communities there


may be signs of some individuals becoming radicalised, that actually


those communities work with the police to ensure that extremist


views don't gain traction. Thank you very much. Deeply regrettable, that


is how the US officials described the freeing today of 65 detainees


from Bagram prison. America maintains the prisoners were


responsible for killing Afghan civilians and security personnel as


well as coalition troops. But the Afghan authorities, who now run the


jail, say the evidence is too flimsy to continue holding the men. The


Afghan President went so far as to call the prison a Taliban-making


factory, turning ordinary Afghans against their Government. The BBC


has one of the few journalists allowed inside Bagram's prison


walls. Bagram maximum security prison outside Kabul, some have


called it Afghanistan's Guantanamo Bay. It holds what the west calls


"high-value targets", many caught on the battlefield. Originally built


and run by the Americans, up until now no film crews have ever been


allowed in here. It has takep me more than two years to try to gain


access to Bagram prison, it was only when it fell into Afghan control


that I'm now able to gain access. But as foreign military forces


withdrew, a toxic political row has erupted over what to do with


hundreds of suspected Taliban insurgents imprisoned here. People


who have come out of the prison have told me this is a prison where they


take innocent Afghans and turn them against their own country and


Government. The Afghan state has been released detainees, men the


Americans say have whether or notted blood on their -- have blood on


their hands. We are releasing people back into the fight who are clearly


hardcore terrorists. Most of these men have been held without trial,


some for many years. So what is Bagram Prise some actually like? The


facility is located just outside the sprawling American-controlled Bagram


airbaseled Bagram airbase. US forces still oversee the sell blocks


housing foreign combatants and they are also in control of all the


extensive perimeter security systems. When I arrived it was


visiting time. Many of these civilian families had to cross the


country in order to spend less than an hour face-to-face with their


incarcerated male relatives. The prisoners held here are considered


by western forces to be among the most dangerous Taliban insurgents in


the country. My guide was a General, the Afghan Army commander in overall


charge of this place. When I was shown around Bagram Prison, it still


held some 1,443 inmates. This place was only built four years ago, and


the overall conditions here were much better than anything I had seen


elsewhere in Afghanistan's notoriously run down penal system.


The prisoners were allowed one hour of outside exercise a day. There was


even an orchard for the inmates. But there are strict rules here and


breaking them is not visible. Especially not rule number 7. Bagram


is also a very intrusive facility, all area are covered by CCTV. The


roofs of cell blocks are grid, all prisoner communications are


monitored, very obviously so. I first met some inmates in the


medical wing. All those waiting for treatment in this nearby holding pen


were shackled, hand and foot. This man said he was a journalist and


poet from Kandahar and arrested in a night raid by US forces. He has been


held here for almost six months. TRANSLATION: If they have got


evidence against me they should show it to me. They should take me to


court and imprison me for life f that's what they want. But how can


they just stick me here in Bagram for no reason? Detention without


trial was the complaint I heard again and again here. And this was


the visiting area where the families finally got some face-to-face time


with their relatives. None of the prisoners are disabled. The


wheelchairs are used to ferry the inmates around because the leg irons


they wear means they cannot walk at speed. After the visits finished I


met an inmate's mother. TRANSLATION: I feel very pad because of all this


worrying about him. We are suffering from psychological problems now. Is


this life? His father, brother and sister have come to see him and we


all leave crying. It is very difficult to see our son like this.


There are lots of others like my son here for God sake they should think


about them, we have only had one court hearing in a year-and-a-half.


This man said he was 16 and a simple shepherd from Helmand prove VIPs.


The US military says he's a Taliban co-ordinator who conducted bomb


attacks, they say he was caught with a firearm and insurgent propaganda


on his mobile home, and tested positive for four types of


explosives. Whatever the truth, after a year in Bagram prison his


views on the United States have crystallised. TRANSLATION: I hate


them because I'm here for no reason, of course I hate them, I want to ask


them what is my crime, if they told me clearly what evidence they have


against me, I wouldn't mind if they kept me for ten years, no-one is


asking about that. I have to spend a year from my mother and father, what


is the reason I ask. All the men here were among the 65 prisoners


released today. The Americans are furious saying they represent an


enduring security threat. Does this decision make you angry? It makes me


angry and sad, angry that we're going to release people back out


into the fight who clearly are hardcore terrorists. Many of these


people were caught red handed, the tests on their fingers of explosives


on their hands. It is not as if this was questionable, these are the


hardcore of literally maybe over 1,000 that we have already released.


But the Afghan authorities say that much of the evidence presented by


the US military is insufficient to take to court. So the prisoners are


being let go. It is an issue being taken personally at the highest


political level. There is no denying that there are elements of Al-Qaeda


and the Taliban still in that prison? No doubt, that there are


also criminals who have been taken, but the number of those people who


are criminals, real criminals, are a minority. And then, the very


presence of this prison is against the of a gap constitution. Against


all Afghan laws, and against the sovereignty. The men praying here


have all now been released. But the Afghan decision to set them free in


the face of strong American objections is a further example of


just how sour the relationship between these supposed allies has


become. You can see more of that report on Our World: Inside Bagram


Prison shown on the BBC News Channel on Friday 28th of February. The


polls have closed in the Wytheshawe by-election. The seat has been a


Labour stronghold held by all that time by Paul Goggins until his


sudden death in January. His party is expected to retain the seat


easily, but who will come second? That is the big question. What news


do you have at the count? Kirsty, what we are hearing is that Labour


are going to win this evening and fairly comfortably by all accounts.


It hasn't been a high turnout, I gather today on election day, but


probably about half the postal votes have been returned. And what you can


see behind me are people who are basically verifying the postal votes


before they get round to counting them. There are quite a large number


of postal votes in this constituency, 17,000, probably about


half of those have been returned. But the sense I'm getting from all


the parties is that Labour's on clear course for victory today. But


it is the second position, I think, that people are really interested


in, because UKIP have been napping at the Conservatives' heels in polls


that were taken in the campaign? Yeah, absolutely, that really has


been the question all along. How well will UKIP actually do in this


contest. We wait to see. I think it is going to be fairly close between


UKIP and the Tories. UKIP are confident they are going to come


second here tonight. But let's be honest about this, UKIP have come


second in several by-elections already this parliament. So I think


what's more important here is how well have UKIP actually done as


opposed to just whether they have come second or not. How far behind


Labour are they, how far ahead of the Conservatives are they. UKIP


want to establish themselves here as a party which is seen as the natural


opposition to Labour in the north of England. I think if they want to do


that then they have to have a pretty convincing result here this evening.


And UKIP are looking fairly gloomy. They don't look like a party on the


verge of victory. The deputy leader of UKIP who I was speaking to


earlier was pretty angry, he feels that Labour has pretty much stitched


this up through the postal vote, getting those returned.


When you ask people who is the greatest artist of the 20th century


the names tummingable out, Francis Bacon, Barbara Hepworth, Henry


Moore, Lucian Freud. What about Richard Hamilton, labelled the


father of the Pop Art Movement, constantly changing times and


interrogating the world around him. He's finally having his moment.


# I'm so tired # I haven't left a wink


With it's one of the most iconic LP covers ever designed. The Beatles


White Album was the work of this man, Richard Hamilton, a forerunner


of the Pop Art movement and exploring the world. There was


something artificial about painting, something. If it is essentially


photographic, then it ought to be. And not a paint the simulation,


because that was art. He died in 2011, but his star has never been


higher. Today a retrospective of his work opened at Tate Modern, showing


off his he can electic images and collages, including this painting,


The Citizen, inspired by the Newsnight documentary into The Maze


Prison in Northern Ireland. I have a fear that there is a possibility it


will be shown as support for the IRA and the methods of the IRA. In fact


I'm against violence of any form. Many in the art world now feel that


such was Hamilton's influence on 20th century art, it is time for him


to be considered the century's greatest artist. So is his mark


greater than Lucian Freud or Francis Bacon? Who, if the market is the


arbiter, win hands down. Joining me now is Lucian Freud's famous muse


Sue Tilly, Guy Jennings and representing the state of Francis


Bacon and author is Dr Rebecca Daniels. First of all, I would say


that in the wider world his passing was hardly remarked upon, and now we


have this explosion? I think inevitably he doesn't carry the same


weight as Bacon or Freud because the market hasn't paid as much attention


to him. The thing about Hamilton and the thing to understand about him,


is how influential he was. Not only the father of Pop Art but concept


actual art, installation art, he designed the White Album and some of


the most iconic images that we recognise every day in our lives. Do


you think that by that label, the label that we all knew about is


being the father of Pop Art, it was reductive and did him more damage


than anything else? It is important but not the most important thing


about him. When you see the exhibition you see his absolute


range? You look at what he did in the early 50s, he made the first


great installation, growth and form was fantastic in 1951, that was Is


Tomorrow. Then Hamilton basically said all art is thinking, he


developed concept actual art, the Young British Artists are all down


to Hamilton. Do you think the difference for Lucian Freud it was a


more emotional thing, do you think Richard Hamilton is the greatest


artist of the 20th century? It is difficult to compare, they are


completely different artists, Lucian was a painter and testing himself on


how to paint, you know, rather than Richard. He wasn't commenting? He


wasn't a commitment calm person, really all his paintings were about


training himself and testing himself to be able to do things more


difficultly. Mr Hamilton was making things that were politic KACHLT I


don't think he cared about being a painter, he wanted to make images


that said what he was thinking. The thing about Francis Bacon, he


referred back to classical art, he was much more the idea of what


thinks as painter, a raconter, out on the lash a lot, he actually


confirmed to that idea of the wild artist? That was only one side of


him. He was extremely serious painter and he controlled his output


very strenuously. If he didn't like painting he would simply destroy it.


That resulted in having only roughly 580-odd paintings in existence. And


hence they are rare in way. He changed his style quite often in


different decades. I think that is part of the reason they are so


highly sought after and going for so much money. Do you think the market


is any real judge? It is a judge in the sense that it is people wanting


the paintings. If you watch the bidding this evening, it started off


in $2 million jumps and at the end they were going up in hundreds of


thousands, they were desperate obviously to go to every last penny


they go. This was the Portrait of George Dyer, executed in 1966, and I


think we can see it now, it went for ?42 million? It is an extraordinary


painting, and one of them from his best periods. When you look at the


application of paint on it is extraordinary. There is a green


brush stroke which is the outline of his arm and it goes up to his


shoulder and swooshs into his mouth. The painting is complex layers of


paint. What Bacon and Freud had is the idea of the articulation of the


paint on the canvas, but then of course Richard Hamilton had that


too? He had it, he was painter but he also enjoyed working in many


media, he liked mixing his media, oil with collage, graphic work, he


was a great print maker. He enjoyed the technique and mastery. He grew


up from the design side of things. He was influenced by the bah house,


he -- bah dbahaus, he wanted to take inspiration from that. This is an


image of something quite differen this was his comment on modern


popular culture? That is what he relished, he had a wry sense of


humour about it, he neither endorsed popular culture or denounced it, he


had a wry sense of humour about it. In a way Lucian Freud is almost a


national treasure, Francis Bacon, people are a bit scared of him, but


from Richard Hamilton, he wasn't a prophet in his own land but much


more fated abroad. This exhibition is going to Madrid after it has been


in the Tate, there is wonderful examples of his work in the Museum


of Modern Art in New York. He's less well known in England than the wider


world. Obviously so many amazing portraits that you sat for Lucian


Freud, people commented, did they feel emotional about him as an


artist and what you had done? I don't know, I took myself away from


it really, I think it is not me. What did they say about him, did


they feel an emotional connection with what he was doing? Yeah, I


think he was one of the most fascinating people you could ever


meet. I used to say to him please be on the TV, you are so fantastic.


Please don't. Is that one of your favourites? That is my favourite


one, I'm glad that is the most popular one, some I'm not so keen


on. What does it meal to be a muse of one of the most popular painters?


It is very weird, I don't like to think of myself as a muse. I think


of muses to be wafty and thin and falling in love with the artist,


none of that was me at all. I don't know why he liked me really. We were


so lucky to have so much time and seeing how he worked. But Francis


Bacon was a much more darker connection with the people that he


was painting. And it wasn't really for them that he was doing it, was


it? It wasn't totally dark, he painted people he knew very well.


But he didn't paint them from life, he painted them from photographs. In


that way there is a connection with Hamilton he was using contemporary


media in his painting. It is just he did it then very privately in his


studio, away from the person. Both all artists of course have


influenced other artists, of course, but in the case of Richard Hamilton,


in case he was the artist's artist, because you could talk about all the


Young British Artists and all the concept actual art that followed,


and also because of his champions of Duchamps and what he gave people? We


are talking about the greatest artist of the 20th century, but the


greatest British artist of the 20th century. I think it is Picasso,


Duchamps and war hole. He brought him to the English-speaking world,


but for him nothing else would have followed. He's your favourite? I


love them all! Thank you very much indeed. And here is a wonderful


portrait of Richard Hamilton, it is the work of David Bailey who will be


talking to me, taking me around his major exhibition, Stardust for


Monday's Newsnight. And we just finish with tomorrow morning's


papers. We have climate change leading to global conflict yet the


politicians squabble. That's all from us tonight, on the


eve of Valentine's Day we will leave you with a reminder of Torvill and


Dean's romantic skating routine to Ravel's Bolero, which the pair are


recreating on the ice at Sarajevo 30 years after taking the gold of the


winter Olympics. This is it recreated by animation.


The weather is a little quieter for a time overnight. Here comes the


next storm,