13/02/2014 Newsnight


13/02/2014

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

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

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

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

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pound if Scotland chooses independence. It is not going to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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guests to discuss. Good evening. When it comes to

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writing the history of the referendum on Scottish independence,

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

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Whitehall mandarin called Sir Nicholas Macpherson, in a highly

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unusual move a the Treasury Secretary came out and says

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categorically he strongly advises against a currency union as

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currently advocated if Scotland chooses independence. We report on

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

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dropped. England and Scotland have shared the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Are they really saying that an independent Scotland could insist

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

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

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circumstances of this foreign country when setting their interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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is described astrological, and business would describe it as

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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understand. Scotland abandoned its separate currency 300 years ago and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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them of several hundred million for the privilege of exporting their

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

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

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

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

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backfire spectacularly on the unionist politicians involved. Let's

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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framework that the fiscal commission working group proposed, it was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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these things so that the senior mandarin understands what exactly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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to have transaction cost, not transactions costs for Scottish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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million pounds of businesses in England for exporting to Scotland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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terms of the international market place, you mentioned the Nordic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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generally, first of all? The security sources have been

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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interesting. People will be concerned about this idea that the

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

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

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

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simply want to deliver aid to alleviate horrendous suffering in

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

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

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

:17:46.:17:50.

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

:17:51.:17:53.

raises big questions about vetting and raises big questions about

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

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

:18:05.:18:08.

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

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

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

:18:22.:18:27.

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

:18:28.:18:31.

theatre. To discuss these aid convoys travelling to Syria and

:18:32.:18:35.

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

:18:36.:18:46.

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

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

:18:51.:18:56.

responsibility of charity organisations to make sure whenever

:18:57.:19:01.

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

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checks they do due diligence they follow the governance and procedures

:19:09.:19:12.

and everything. If trustees have made proper policies and procedures

:19:13.:19:17.

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

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

:19:28.:19:30.

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

:19:31.:19:38.

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

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

:19:43.:19:46.

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

:19:47.:19:49.

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

:19:50.:19:54.

seen obviously some appalling images on television and appalling reports

:19:55.:19:58.

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

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

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

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

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

:20:21.:20:25.

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

:20:26.:20:30.

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

:20:31.:20:35.

such organisations. But presumably the charities commission, and there

:20:36.:20:41.

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

:20:42.:20:43.

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

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

:20:49.:20:52.

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

:20:53.:20:56.

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

:20:57.:21:03.

War and I think really the Governmental support and the main

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international agency support are the ones who should be delivering that

:21:08.:21:11.

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

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

:21:16.:21:22.

convoys which go themselves without the backing of any registered

:21:23.:21:26.

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

:21:27.:21:34.

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

:21:35.:21:38.

submitted annual accounts to the Charity Commission, which cannot be

:21:39.:21:42.

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

:21:43.:21:48.

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

:21:49.:21:52.

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

:21:53.:21:55.

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

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

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

:22:08.:22:13.

understand the importance of donating wisely. If they donate wise

:22:14.:22:18.

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

:22:19.:22:23.

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

:22:24.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:30.

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

:22:31.:22:33.

proproand anger directed towards people who wanted the convoys

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

:22:37.:22:41.

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

:22:42.:22:46.

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

:22:47.:22:50.

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

:22:51.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:22:59.

country that aid should be delivered through organisations that are best

:23:00.:23:05.

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

:23:06.:23:08.

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

:23:09.:23:11.

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

:23:12.:23:17.

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

:23:18.:23:22.

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

:23:23.:23:26.

Thursday. In my constituency, community relations are actually

:23:27.:23:30.

extremely good. There is good relations in terms of different

:23:31.:23:35.

faiths and different ethnic backgrounds and I'm actually very

:23:36.:23:40.

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

:23:41.:23:46.

important though is where within individual faith communities there

:23:47.:23:50.

may be signs of some individuals becoming radicalised, that actually

:23:51.:23:53.

those communities work with the police to ensure that extremist

:23:54.:24:00.

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

:24:01.:24:05.

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

:24:06.:24:10.

from Bagram prison. America maintains the prisoners were

:24:11.:24:13.

responsible for killing Afghan civilians and security personnel as

:24:14.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:20.

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

:24:21.:24:24.

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

:24:25.:24:28.

factory, turning ordinary Afghans against their Government. The BBC

:24:29.:24:35.

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

:24:36.:24:43.

walls. Bagram maximum security prison outside Kabul, some have

:24:44.:24:48.

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

:24:49.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:24:57.

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

:24:58.:25:02.

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

:25:03.:25:06.

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

:25:07.:25:12.

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

:25:13.:25:17.

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

:25:18.:25:21.

hundreds of suspected Taliban insurgents imprisoned here. People

:25:22.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:29.

take innocent Afghans and turn them against their own country and

:25:30.:25:34.

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

:25:35.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:47.

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

:25:48.:25:57.

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

:25:58.:26:04.

facility is located just outside the sprawling American-controlled Bagram

:26:05.:26:14.

airbaseled Bagram airbase. US forces still oversee the sell blocks

:26:15.:26:18.

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

:26:19.:26:22.

extensive perimeter security systems. When I arrived it was

:26:23.:26:29.

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

:26:30.:26:33.

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

:26:34.:26:39.

incarcerated male relatives. The prisoners held here are considered

:26:40.:26:43.

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

:26:44.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:26:58.

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

:26:59.:27:08.

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

:27:09.:27:12.

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

:27:13.:27:17.

elsewhere in Afghanistan's notoriously run down penal system.

:27:18.:27:30.

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

:27:31.:27:41.

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

:27:42.:27:45.

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

:27:46.:27:55.

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

:27:56.:28:01.

roofs of cell blocks are grid, all prisoner communications are

:28:02.:28:08.

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

:28:09.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:20.

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

:28:21.:28:25.

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

:28:26.:28:32.

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

:28:33.:28:34.

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

:28:35.:28:39.

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

:28:40.:28:44.

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

:28:45.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:59.

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

:29:00.:29:08.

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

:29:09.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:17.

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

:29:18.:29:26.

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

:29:27.:29:32.

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

:29:33.:29:37.

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

:29:38.:29:42.

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

:29:43.:29:49.

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

:29:50.:29:54.

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

:29:55.:30:01.

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

:30:02.:30:05.

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

:30:06.:30:09.

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

:30:10.:30:14.

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

:30:15.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:24.

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

:30:25.:30:28.

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

:30:29.:30:32.

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

:30:33.:30:36.

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

:30:37.:30:46.

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

:30:47.:30:50.

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

:30:51.:30:54.

released today. The Americans are furious saying they represent an

:30:55.:30:58.

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

:30:59.:31:05.

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

:31:06.:31:11.

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

:31:12.:31:15.

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

:31:16.:31:23.

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

:31:24.:31:26.

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

:31:27.:31:33.

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

:31:34.:31:36.

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

:31:37.:31:44.

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

:31:45.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:53.

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

:31:54.:31:58.

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

:31:59.:32:03.

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

:32:04.:32:12.

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

:32:13.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:32.

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

:32:33.:32:35.

the face of strong American objections is a further example of

:32:36.:32:40.

just how sour the relationship between these supposed allies has

:32:41.:32:46.

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

:32:47.:32:54.

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

:32:55.:33:00.

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

:33:01.:33:04.

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

:33:05.:33:08.

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

:33:09.:33:12.

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

:33:13.:33:19.

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

:33:20.:33:24.

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

:33:25.:33:28.

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

:33:29.:33:32.

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

:33:33.:33:37.

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

:33:38.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:44.

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

:33:45.:33:49.

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

:33:50.:33:53.

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

:33:54.:33:56.

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

:33:57.:34:00.

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

:34:01.:34:06.

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

:34:07.:34:09.

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

:34:10.:34:15.

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

:34:16.:34:21.

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

:34:22.:34:24.

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

:34:25.:34:29.

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

:34:30.:34:34.

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

:34:35.:34:37.

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

:34:38.:34:41.

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

:34:42.:34:45.

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

:34:46.:34:50.

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

:34:51.:34:54.

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

:34:55.:35:01.

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

:35:02.:35:06.

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

:35:07.:35:10.

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

:35:11.:35:14.

this up through the postal vote, getting those returned.

:35:15.:35:18.

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

:35:19.:35:23.

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

:35:24.:35:29.

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

:35:30.:35:32.

father of the Pop Art Movement, constantly changing times and

:35:33.:35:36.

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

:35:37.:35:43.

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

:35:44.:35:49.

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

:35:50.:35:54.

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

:35:55.:36:00.

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

:36:01.:36:03.

something artificial about painting, something. If it is essentially

:36:04.:36:09.

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

:36:10.:36:15.

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

:36:16.:36:20.

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

:36:21.:36:27.

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

:36:28.:36:33.

The Citizen, inspired by the Newsnight documentary into The Maze

:36:34.:36:37.

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

:36:38.:36:41.

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

:36:42.:36:48.

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

:36:49.:36:53.

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

:36:54.:36:57.

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

:36:58.:37:06.

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

:37:07.:37:16.

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

:37:17.:37:23.

Sue Tilly, Guy Jennings and representing the state of Francis

:37:24.:37:28.

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

:37:29.:37:33.

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

:37:34.:37:40.

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

:37:41.:37:44.

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

:37:45.:37:48.

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

:37:49.:37:53.

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

:37:54.:37:58.

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

:37:59.:38:02.

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

:38:03.:38:05.

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

:38:06.:38:10.

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

:38:11.:38:14.

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

:38:15.:38:16.

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

:38:17.:38:20.

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

:38:21.:38:25.

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

:38:26.:38:32.

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

:38:33.:38:37.

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

:38:38.:38:42.

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

:38:43.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:53.

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

:38:54.:38:55.

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

:38:56.:39:01.

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

:39:02.:39:05.

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

:39:06.:39:08.

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

:39:09.:39:19.

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

:39:20.:39:22.

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

:39:23.:39:29.

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

:39:30.:39:35.

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

:39:36.:39:39.

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

:39:40.:39:45.

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

:39:46.:39:49.

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

:39:50.:39:53.

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

:39:54.:39:58.

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

:39:59.:40:03.

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

:40:04.:40:07.

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

:40:08.:40:10.

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

:40:11.:40:14.

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

:40:15.:40:18.

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

:40:19.:40:22.

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

:40:23.:40:26.

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

:40:27.:40:32.

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

:40:33.:40:40.

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

:40:41.:40:44.

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

:40:45.:40:48.

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

:40:49.:40:52.

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

:40:53.:40:58.

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

:40:59.:41:03.

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

:41:04.:41:07.

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

:41:08.:41:10.

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

:41:11.:41:15.

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

:41:16.:41:24.

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

:41:25.:41:28.

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

:41:29.:41:36.

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

:41:37.:41:42.

image of something quite differen this was his comment on modern

:41:43.:41:45.

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

:41:46.:41:51.

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

:41:52.:41:56.

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

:41:57.:41:59.

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

:42:00.:42:05.

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

:42:06.:42:16.

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

:42:17.:42:22.

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

:42:23.:42:26.

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

:42:27.:42:33.

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

:42:34.:42:37.

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

:42:38.:42:42.

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

:42:43.:42:45.

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

:42:46.:42:49.

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

:42:50.:42:52.

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

:42:53.:42:57.

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

:42:58.:43:01.

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

:43:02.:43:05.

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

:43:06.:43:08.

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

:43:09.:43:12.

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

:43:13.:43:16.

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

:43:17.:43:20.

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

:43:21.:43:25.

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

:43:26.:43:29.

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

:43:30.:43:32.

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

:43:33.:43:36.

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

:43:37.:43:39.

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

:43:40.:43:43.

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

:43:44.:43:46.

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

:43:47.:43:53.

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

:43:54.:43:55.

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

:43:56.:44:00.

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

:44:01.:44:04.

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

:44:05.:44:11.

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

:44:12.:44:14.

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

:44:15.:44:17.

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

:44:18.:44:28.

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

:44:29.:44:31.

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

:44:32.:44:36.

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

:44:37.:44:41.

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

:44:42.:44:46.

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

:44:47.:44:51.

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

:44:52.:44:56.

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

:44:57.:44:58.

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

:44:59.:45:37.

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

:45:38.:45:42.

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

:45:43.:45:49.

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

:45:50.:45:55.

winter Olympics. This is it recreated by animation.

:45:56.:46:20.

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

:46:21.:46:29.

next storm,

:46:30.:46:30.