25/02/2014 Newsnight


25/02/2014

Unite's McCluskey on coalition. Harman paedophile row. No trial for alleged IRA bomber. Conflict gold. Spitting Image anniversary. With Jeremy Paxman.


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Tonight on Newsnight: If they are the biggest party my view is Ed

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should have the courage of his conviction and govern on a minority

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governance. The Hyde Park bombing killed four

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British soldiers and injured many others. Today one of the men accused

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of planting the bomb walked out of court because of assurances given by

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the British Government. What's going on?

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Tonight, the Prime Minister... Poor Eric, I knew him well.

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It's 30 years since Spitting Image began. Perpetrators and victims join

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us for a memorial service for television satire.

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Own joy coalition Government while you can you Liberal Democrats.

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Sources in the Conservative Party suggest David Cameron is going to

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rule out another coalition after the next election. Of course, there is

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the possibility of a deal with Ed Miliband's Labour Party. But not if

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the General Secretary of Unite, the biggest union in this country has

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anything to do with it. They pay a fifth of Labour's bills. The union

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has been blamed for the shambolic confrontation at the Grangemouth

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refinery and for trying to fix the by-election in the safe Labour seat

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of Falkirk last year. Len McCluskey has inherited the media's

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traditional bogey man costume worn by people like Arthur Scargill. I

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spoke to him this evening. Len McCluskey they say that David

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Cameron is about to make a speech in which he will rule out a coalition

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with the Lib Dems. Should Ed Miliband do the same? Yes, I think

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he should. I mean I think one of the things that people are looking for

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is something different and I'm afraid that's the reason why

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politicians are not particularly popular at the moment is people

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don't see any difference. So they're looking for people who have courage

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of their convictions. Labour, I hope, win the next election

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outright, but if they are the biggest party then my view is Ed

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should have the courage of his conviction and govern on a minority

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Government. When you look at what happened to

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the Labour Party over the last year or so, after the Falkirk business.

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And the reform of the role of the trade unions in the choosing of a

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leader. Are you going to advice your members they should become associate

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or affiliate members of the Labour Party? Yes. We are very much central

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to Unite's political strategy is to persuade our members to join the

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Labour Party and participate in politics so that the views and

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thoughts and aspirations of trade unionists, ie collectism and

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solidarity are at the core of Labour Party poll policy. So you could have

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more power at the end of this, couldn't you? We certainly could, if

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we work hard enough and Unite intends to. We intend to go out and

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persuade our members actively through a host of different mediums

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to join the Labour Party, to actively engage with the party

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because, of course, we believe in recent years, the Labour Party has

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lost the values that trade unionists bring to the party and we want to

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have more influence in our party. When you look at what happened in

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the Falkirk by-election, where members were recruited without their

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knowledge, members were pressured into completing direct debit forms

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and signatures forged? Jeremy, that's not true. You are repeating

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stuff that didn't happen. That's the internal investigation of the Labour

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Party? The internal investigation of the Labour Party resulted in the

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Labour Party announcing that there was no wrongdoing. You recall,

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Jeremy and this is important, last summer, I made it clear that Unite

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had done nothing wrong and I called for an independent inquiry and the

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Labour Party accepted that now and perhaps more importantly, police

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Scotland made it clear there was no wrongdoing.

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Can I ask you about the MPs that you sponsor? How many are there? Well,

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when you say sponsor, actually we don't sponsor MPs. That's not

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allowed in the Labour Party. We have constituency development plans and

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we are reviewing them. I think at the last count we probably had maybe

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102 Labour MPs who are members of Unite. What do you expect from them?

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We expect them to represent their constituencies. We hope in

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representing their constituencies that will correspond with many of

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the aspirations of trade unionists. You are fillan tra fists are you? It

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is our party. We created it. We want our party to be successful so the

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voice of ordinary working people can be heard. There is nothing

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complicated about that. Why do you think so many of your members appear

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to be voting for UKIP? Because we are a free and independent union. A

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number of our members can vote whichever way they want. You don't

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want them to and they are, they are voting for UKIP? There is nothing

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unusual wrong. It is called democracy. I know the Daily Mail

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would have you believe that Len McCluskey flicks a switch and one

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and-and-a-half million Unite members vote a particular way of the it is

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not like that. We are the big society and we are diverse in every

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sense of the word and of course, our members make their choices. Our

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polls tell us that 53% of our current membership will vote Labour,

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but UKIP, twice as many of our members will vote UKIP as they will

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the Conservative Party. That's their view and that reflects what's

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happening within... How can they be a member of your party and believe

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in UKIP? But they are not... A member of your union and vote UKIP?

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We have got individual, our members, who vote Conservative. We have got

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Conservative MPs who are members of Unite. Have you? Yes, we have

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indeed. You mentioned the right-wing media. What's it like being seen as

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an ogre? It is not particularly nice and it is not nice for friends and

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family to see you that way. Sometimes I have to wear it as a

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badge of honour and my members are the ones that I'm responsible to.

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They pay my wages and I have to make certain that anything I am saying is

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ensuring what they -- is in tune of what they believe and what the

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leadership is saying. I draw sustenance from that. Some of the

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attacks I read and they don't resemble me. Do they upset you? Not

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particularly. I'm a sensitive guy. You are loving it, aren't you? I'm

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not so much loving it. You are attacked by your enemies and you can

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scratch your head and think maybe I'm doing the right thing. Len

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McCluskey, thank you. Well, here to discuss all that is

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Laura Kuenssberg. On this question of coalition, both David Cameron is

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going to talk about it. There is advice for Ed Miliband. Why is it so

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current? Well, it is fascinating. We are just over a year before the next

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election and we are in a new world. We are in the pre-election coalition

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bartering before there may or may not be any real negotiations about

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coalition and the people on the sidelines, powerful people on the

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sidelines like Len McCluskey want to get their demands out there and

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David Cameron is reported to be saying he will rule out coalition,

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but the Number Ten position is not that and there has been a bit of

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cold water poured on that today in Westminster. But I think really we

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need to think about the ambitions here and the reality, the ambition

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for the Labour and Conservative Parties is outright victory. They bo

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know they are likely to end up in a messier situation, but the other

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realities are do existing ministers, Conservative or Liberal Democrat,

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want to carry on being ministers? Absolutely. Do Labour MPs want to be

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ministers when they grow up one day? Absolutely and do backbenchers in

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the Liberal Democrat parties want to be ministers? Absolutely. They will

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have to deal with the reality of the arrit a arithmetic of the election.

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This hasn't been your main Business Today. Your main businesstoday is

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trying to find out more after the mess you made last night with

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Harriet Harman's interview? Well, this time last night Harriet Harman

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went on the record after days of allegations about her involvement

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when she worked at the National Council for Civil Liberties and a

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group called the Paedophile Information Exchange. She has always

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denied they had any influence over policy, but she did today regret

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that there had been a link between the two organisations, but we were

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able to go into the National Council's archives today to look at

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how the groups were linked. Opening up the files, opening up the

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past, some of the papers from the National Council for Civil Liberties

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history. History shared by the deputy Labour leader, shared too by

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characters she might rather forget. Some of the documents are in Harriet

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Harman's own handwriting and these files illustrate just how hard she

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and other campaigners are worked on some of the defining issues of the

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day like equal rights for gay people. But what's also shown in the

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documents is that the Paedophile Information Exchange was part of the

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conversation that took place at the National Council for Civil

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Liberties. Despite countless documents from the

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paedophile group in the archives, Harriet Harman is adamant she was

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never influenced by them. Insistent the attempts by them to infill

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straight had no -- infiltrate had no impact and regrets the link. I'm not

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going to apologise. I regret this vile organisation ever existed and

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it ever had anything to do with NCCL, but it did not affect my work

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at NCCL. They were pushed to the margins before I went to NCCL and to

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allege I was involved in collusion or paedophilia or apologising for

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paedophilia is wrong and is a smear. Harriet Harman continued her

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campaign against The Mail's use of pictures of scantly clad young women

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using the digital pages of a Twitter. One of her senior Labour

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colleagues told me they were amazed that Harriet Harman refused to admit

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the affiliation when the paedophile group and her employer had been a

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mistake. Members of the public objected to the paedophile

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exchange's existence, never mind their campaigning. Jack Dromey has

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been one of the leading figures in the campaign against the Act.

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Harriet Harman says her husband, Jack Dromey, now also a Shadow

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minister, had squeezed out the group's influence before she even

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arrived at the National Council in 1978. Records from the time show

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they were one of dozens of organisations pushing for gay

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rights. But could a paedophile organisation really have been just

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another name on the list? Harriet Harman told us last night

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that the Paedophile Information Exchange was just one of more than

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1,000 groups that was affiliated to the National Council for Civil

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Liberties. She said its work was never influenced by that group. But

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this list we found shows the leader of the Paedophile Information

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Exchange had a position on the NCCL's gay rights committee. Sources

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close to Harriet Harman say paedophile hijacked the committee in

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the 19 70s and one of her former colleagues told me their agenda was

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never shared, let alone promoted. We had a lot more important things to

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do. It was not an influential organisation. It did not have any

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influential. It did not have any status and that's the way it was.

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The way it was, went too far for one Labour MP. It is hard to believe

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now, but they thought it was progressive. They had to take on the

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board the views of paedophiles. It seems extraordinary in this day and

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age, but that's what was happening through the 1970 s and into the

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1980s. Ed Miliband is backing Harriet Harman. The most senior

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woman on his frontbench, but the record of this episode has not yet

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been left to gather dust. Well, with us now from Washington is

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Professor Lawrence Gostin. He is adviser to President Obama, but

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between 1983 to 1985, he was General Secretary of the National Council

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for Civil Liberties, the organisation that's been attracting

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so much heat if not light in the last few days. Professor Lawrence

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Gostin what was an organisation like the Paedophile Information Exchange

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doing with the NCCL? Well, it was an affiliate

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organisation. When I came to NCCL it had been, but I think Harriet Harman

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is correct, it did not at least in my time have any influence on policy

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and I've always drawn a distinction I would be horrified if NCCL or

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Liberty were to take the position of the Paedophile Information Exchange

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because I think that children are vulnerable. They need to be

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protected, but it is the role of a civil liberties organisation to

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defend freedom of expression and to discuss those things in the Press,

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in Parliament are what a civil liberties organisation should do.

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Not to take the side, but to defend freedom of expression because that's

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what civil liberties do, they are party political neutral and they

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defend the right to freedom of expression.

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OK, we will come to that in a moment or two. Can I clarify one thing? Is

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it possible that Harriet Harman was unaware of the presence of the

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Paedophile Information Exchange within the NCCL?

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I wouldn't have thought so and my understanding is that Harriet has

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not said she was not aware of it, she was saying there was no

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influence by it in the policies of NCCL and that would be correct.

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Isn't it also the case that Mr Tom O'carroll sat on the NCCL's gay

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rights group? Well, I don't recall that. I don't recall it. It probably

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did occur and you know, it is important to make the distinction

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though, a human being, it is the Paedophile Information Exchange or

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it is about information, it is not the act and so I don't see a

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contradiction defending the information. It is defending the act

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that I worry about. Sharing information between people

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who practise the act Orban are interested in the act, is

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objectionable, isn't it? You know, there are so many things

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that I find actionable. I find neo-Nazi rhetoric objectionable. I

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find discussion about race is horrible. Do I think that

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paedophilia is horrible? Absolutely. It is unconscionable. But the

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discussion of it in a free society does need to be defended. That is

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why you have civil liberties organisations, to defend that. At

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this time, your belief was what? I disagree with what you say, but I

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will defend to the death your right to say it? That was the principal?

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That is a core principle of civil liberties organisation. In a society

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when people are always willing to condemn , what can't be condemned is

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the right of speech. If a journalist were to discuss views on both sides

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about any horrible issue, you would defend that. Every human being,

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every citizen, has the right to speak. That is not the right to act.

:17:52.:17:58.

There is a very strong line between the two. I would be appalled if NCCL

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or Liberty or the American Civil Liberties Union were to take the

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position that it was all right, we had to lower the age of consent. But

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to defend the right of all sides to openly in a free and fair society to

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discuss it, yes. In fact if you look at the European Union member states,

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there are wide variations is to the age of consent for sex. It is

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something that different societies have a friend views on. My own view

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is very strongly that a young person cannot consent because there is an

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imbalance of power, and I am very much opposed to it. But would I be

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opposed to somebody speaking about it? No, I would have to defend that.

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Someone in the administration of UK Justice has blundered. Big-time.

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They gave an assurance to a former IRA man that he wasn't wanted by the

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police. When he then passed through Britain last spring on his way to a

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holiday in Greece, he was arrested and charged with the murder of four

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soldiers killed in the Hyde Park bombings of 1982. His defence argued

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that the trial shouldn't go ahead because of the letter he'd been

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sent. The judge agreed. Jim Reed reports.

:19:27.:19:35.

The first blast killed two soldiers and hurt 23. A second explosion less

:19:36.:19:42.

than two hours later left six dead as 24 injured. The images are some

:19:43.:19:49.

of the most graphic of the IRA's mainland arming campaign. Today, the

:19:50.:19:56.

man suspected of planting that first bomb walked free from court. The

:19:57.:20:03.

case against John Downey collapse after he was sent what amounted to

:20:04.:20:07.

an immunity letter by mistake. The police service of Northern Ireland

:20:08.:20:08.

wrote to him saying: But Mr Downey, who has always denied

:20:09.:20:34.

murder, was still wanted by the Met police in connection with the

:20:35.:20:37.

bombing when he flew into Gatwick Airport last year on his way to

:20:38.:20:41.

Greece, and he was arrested. The judge ruled that the letter meant he

:20:42.:20:46.

could not be prosecuted. The decision was welcomed by Sinn Fein.

:20:47.:20:52.

It was the decision we were expecting. John Downey should never

:20:53.:20:58.

have been arrested. I welcome the fact that he is now released and

:20:59.:21:04.

free to go home. You said this was the result of an agreement tween

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Sinn Fein and the government? This was part of the Good Friday

:21:12.:21:18.

agreement. The police service of Northern Ireland apologised for what

:21:19.:21:21.

the judge called a catastrophic failure in sending out the letter.

:21:22.:21:25.

That should only happen if there was no realistic chance of conviction.

:21:26.:21:31.

Through this case it emerged that another 186 selected IRA members

:21:32.:21:36.

have been sent similar assurances. When the Good Friday agreement was

:21:37.:21:39.

signed, one aspect was so contentious, it couldn't be dealt

:21:40.:21:44.

with at the time. Republicans wanted by the authorities but living free

:21:45.:21:48.

outside Northern Ireland. In 2005, Peter Hain try to legislate to clear

:21:49.:21:54.

up their status, but the new law was rejected by Sinn Fein because any

:21:55.:21:57.

protection from prosecution would also have covered British soldiers.

:21:58.:22:04.

Peter Hain was accused by unionists of doing a deal behind their back by

:22:05.:22:07.

sending out secret assurances. Everybody knew that we had to deal

:22:08.:22:13.

with this anomaly. It was before Parliament. And then Sinn Fein, who

:22:14.:22:19.

had asked us to introduce this legislation, withdrew their support

:22:20.:22:23.

for it when they knew it would apply to British soldiers as well. And

:22:24.:22:29.

when that report was withdrawn, was it acceptable to say that we would

:22:30.:22:33.

have an agreement behind closed doors where letters were sent out

:22:34.:22:36.

rather than something in the open? How do you solve conflict? How do

:22:37.:22:42.

you end wars and terrorism except by negotiating a solution. There was

:22:43.:22:46.

nothing secret about this. The public didn't know. The public knew

:22:47.:22:53.

that there was this anomaly because we tried to introduce it legislated

:22:54.:22:58.

Lee. When that wasn't possible, what was the answer? Does anybody really

:22:59.:23:02.

think it would be better to go back to the war and the terrorism and the

:23:03.:23:06.

horror of Northern Ireland in the past, or to have us where we are

:23:07.:23:10.

now? For the families of victims, all talk of deals might not mean

:23:11.:23:17.

much. 32 years after the Hyde Park bombing, a monumental blunder, they

:23:18.:23:22.

say, has robbed them of any chance of justice.

:23:23.:23:28.

The lady is for returning! Karl Marx once wisely observed that

:23:29.:23:43.

while gold and silver may not naturally be money, money is by

:23:44.:23:47.

nature gold and silver. Gold is also present in devices like mobile

:23:48.:23:50.

phones. But how to ensure that money spent on a phone doesn't end up

:23:51.:23:53.

funding armed groups involved in atrocities like killing civilians or

:23:54.:23:57.

mass rape? Not very easily is the short answer, especially if the gold

:23:58.:24:00.

you bought went through Dubai. A former partner of Ernst Young has

:24:01.:24:03.

told Newsnight he audited the biggest refiner there and found

:24:04.:24:06.

clear breaches of international rules designed to stop the trade in

:24:07.:24:13.

"conflict gold". After his firm - slogan "building a better working

:24:14.:24:17.

world" - turned a blind eye, he resigned, taking his story to the

:24:18.:24:20.

campaigning NGO Global Witness, who passed documents to Newsnight, Al

:24:21.:24:26.

Jazeera and the Guardian. Andy Verity's been investigating.

:24:27.:24:36.

Forget blood diamonds. Is the gold on your finger, around your neck or

:24:37.:24:45.

in your smartphone tainted with blood? In the eastern Congo, abusive

:24:46.:24:52.

armed groups exploit more than 400 gold mines. Extracted under harsh

:24:53.:24:59.

conditions, it is smuggled out in pockets and plastic bags across

:25:00.:25:02.

porous borders to Uganda and Burundi, out to the rest of the

:25:03.:25:08.

world. And unlike these pale imitations, they could be sold to

:25:09.:25:12.

you with no trace of its origin. Millions of people have died in

:25:13.:25:16.

eastern Congo from this war, and it is funded by minerals, including

:25:17.:25:23.

gold. This conflict gold is entering the global supply chain.

:25:24.:25:31.

We've learned that auditors from Ernst Young found that Dubai's

:25:32.:25:40.

biggest refiner, Kaloti, was failing to carry out all the checks on its

:25:41.:25:44.

supply. They alerted the regulator in Dubai, but the regulator changed

:25:45.:25:48.

its audit procedures to ally the most serious findings to be hidden

:25:49.:25:53.

from the gold buying public, and Ernst Young's managers went along

:25:54.:25:59.

with that. The auditor resigned and went on the record to tell me why. I

:26:00.:26:03.

wouldn't be able to live with myself. I wouldn't be able to come

:26:04.:26:08.

back home and look at my children and look them in the eye. Dubai has

:26:09.:26:16.

turned itself into an extravagantly glamorous destination for business

:26:17.:26:21.

people and holiday-makers. According to Global Witness and the United

:26:22.:26:24.

Nations, it is also big destination for conflict gold.

:26:25.:26:31.

With about a fifth of the world's trading physical gold, that is an

:26:32.:26:40.

image Dubai doesn't want. So it's metals regulator adopted

:26:41.:26:44.

international standards to show that traders were checking their gold

:26:45.:26:47.

supply thoroughly. There would be a third party auditor to check up on

:26:48.:26:51.

them, someone respectable like Ernst them, someone respectable like Ernst

:26:52.:26:57.

Young. Refiners are the choke point in the supply chain. They have

:26:58.:27:01.

an important role to play and must carry out checks all the way up the

:27:02.:27:07.

chain to the mine to find out what conditions of extraction work,

:27:08.:27:11.

whether the gold has funded conflict and what has happened along the way.

:27:12.:27:18.

A year ago, Ernst Young's auditors came to this cull of the refinery in

:27:19.:27:24.

Sharjah to find out how carefully it was checking up on its suppliers.

:27:25.:27:28.

Kaloti's managers hadn't bargained on how thorough the audit would be.

:27:29.:27:32.

During the course of the audit, we do started discovering disturbing

:27:33.:27:45.

findings such as cash transactions of over $5 billion by one refiner in

:27:46.:27:54.

one year. We found tonnes of gold bars coated silver, smuggled out

:27:55.:27:59.

through Morocco. As well as failure to verify the sources of high risk

:28:00.:28:04.

gold. One supplier had even been linked

:28:05.:28:09.

indirectly with armed rebels in eastern Congo, and later, Kaloti

:28:10.:28:12.

told them that paying for gold painted silver was normal. To the

:28:13.:28:19.

auditors, it was the worst sort of breach, classified as zero

:28:20.:28:24.

tolerance. Kaloti is on the 35th floor, and the regulator, on the

:28:25.:28:31.

first floor. Mr Rihan said it was far from keen on publicly shaming it

:28:32.:28:37.

upstairs neighbour. In May, the Dubai regulator's guidance required

:28:38.:28:43.

details of the auditor's findings to be made public, but the findings

:28:44.:28:50.

disappeared. Mr Rihan says that he believes the moving of the goalposts

:28:51.:28:57.

was no coincidence. Our final could lose in which state that the risk of

:28:58.:29:04.

conflict minerals entering Dubai is extremely high. So eight by having

:29:05.:29:13.

-- a Dubai -based regulator would not be happy. They went ahead and

:29:14.:29:20.

change their own guidelines in such a way that our findings and our

:29:21.:29:24.

final conclusions are not made public.

:29:25.:29:30.

The Dubai regulator denies changing its rules to keep the detail of the

:29:31.:29:33.

damaging findings out of public view. It says the rule changes were

:29:34.:29:38.

based on a consultant's advice and in line with international

:29:39.:29:43.

standards. Ernst Young's own code of conduct says its staff don't hide

:29:44.:29:49.

from or ignore issues. Concerned his firm was letting a cover-up take

:29:50.:29:57.

place, Mr Rihan wrote to Mark Otty, urging him to public the findings --

:29:58.:30:04.

publicise the findings. Since we were auditing, the guidelines say

:30:05.:30:17.

that the auditor shall notify the UK-based regulator within 24 hours.

:30:18.:30:24.

So I notified Ernst Young about that, and they decided not to notify

:30:25.:30:30.

the UK-based auditor. Ernst Young's managers said the firm

:30:31.:30:34.

wasn't required to notify the UK regulator, and claimed it would be a

:30:35.:30:40.

breach of confidentiality to do so. These confidential documents show

:30:41.:30:44.

that the audit team's findings were initially accepted by the refiner

:30:45.:30:47.

Kaloti, which privately acknowledged there had been a zero tolerance

:30:48.:30:53.

breach of the rules. But in November, after the goalposts were

:30:54.:30:56.

moved, Kaloti was able to declare itself fully compliant, and Ernst

:30:57.:31:04.

Young endorsed that is a fair view. Once melted, gold is clean. It can

:31:05.:31:11.

be sold to jewellery manufacturers, banks or governments, and if it has

:31:12.:31:15.

a murky origin, customers will be none the wiser. If refiners do not

:31:16.:31:21.

ask the right questions, the whole regime for cracking down on conflict

:31:22.:31:29.

gold simply doesn't work. Kaloti, the DMCC and Ernst Young all say

:31:30.:31:36.

they acted properly. Kaloti said allegations of non-compliance were

:31:37.:31:39.

without merit and it has adhered to all regulatory requirements. The

:31:40.:31:42.

DMCC say they haven't concealed any breaches or sought to influence

:31:43.:31:49.

Ernst Young. They claim their sourcing guidelines were not altered

:31:50.:31:52.

to favour any refinery or interfere with the audit process. Ernst

:31:53.:31:55.

Young Dubai say they did highly professional work in auditing Kaloti

:31:56.:31:58.

and have secured improvements in supply chains. Instances of

:31:59.:32:00.

non-compliance were fully reported to the regulator and client and

:32:01.:32:04.

corrected. They say they took the views of Mr Rihan seriously and

:32:05.:32:05.

acted on expert advice. 30 years ago this week the then

:32:06.:32:19.

Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, seized control of British

:32:20.:32:21.

television. Every Sunday night for a few weeks and then for several years

:32:22.:32:25.

afterwards, she and John Major and a leather jacketed Norman Tebbit and

:32:26.:32:28.

assorted vegetables had the undivided attention of anyone who

:32:29.:32:31.

believed that while the first duty of democratic citizens may be to

:32:32.:32:34.

choose their rulers, the second is to hold them in healthy contempt.

:32:35.:32:38.

Spitting Image and its bestiary made the careers of some satirists and

:32:39.:32:40.

finished those of some self-important politicians. Anthony

:32:41.:32:45.

Wall, editor of the BBC's Arena programme, has just finished a

:32:46.:32:49.

documentary about it. We asked him to take a look for us. His report

:32:50.:32:56.

contains flash photography. Say it to the whole Cabinet. Speak

:32:57.:33:00.

up, man. Say what you mean. You are not on the platform now. Nigel

:33:01.:33:07.

pinched my pen. Nigel, is this true? I know my policy on stealing from

:33:08.:33:11.

one's friends. Cabinet what do we call it when people go around

:33:12.:33:16.

stealing other people's property? You? A free-market economy. Rubbish.

:33:17.:33:23.

What do we call it David? Socialism. Well done, David. It knew no

:33:24.:33:33.

mercenary from 1984 to 1986, spitting image savaged politicians

:33:34.:33:39.

and anyone unlucky to get in its way. The show brought politics to a

:33:40.:33:44.

mass audience. It connected young people in numbers not seen before or

:33:45.:33:52.

since. If the satire of the 60s was broadsheet about issues, this was

:33:53.:33:56.

tabloid. Margaret Thatcher returns to Downing Street... Spitting image

:33:57.:34:04.

was born in a time of upheaval. Thatcher's was the most unpopular

:34:05.:34:09.

Government of the century. The show's rejection of deference. No

:34:10.:34:17.

one was safe. Not even the Queen. I name this baby Henry. May God bless

:34:18.:34:23.

him and all who sail in him. Hello, how marvellous to talk down to you.

:34:24.:34:28.

Politicians became defined by their puppets. Thatcher's iron grip on

:34:29.:34:35.

power became a sign of the times. Tomorrow belongs to me. Yes. John

:34:36.:34:45.

Major. You are still in the shit. Who do you blame? John Major was

:34:46.:34:51.

painted grey in the public imagination. What happens if we lose

:34:52.:34:55.

the next election? We'll merge, David. The leader of the Liberal

:34:56.:35:01.

Party, David Steel was never able to recover from the portrayal of him as

:35:02.:35:05.

squeezy voiced and tiny, in the pocket of STP founder David Owen.

:35:06.:35:14.

S magic was in the production. Characturists combined with John

:35:15.:35:18.

Lloyd and brought the puppets to life. Spitting Image became English

:35:19.:35:26.

characture and Punch and Judy. Most of the production team were

:35:27.:35:30.

television amateurs, but the product was a work of genius. By the way

:35:31.:35:35.

Norman, how are your children? Delicious, thank you. Clearly,

:35:36.:35:40.

Norman you are a sight. Let me get you someone to blow your nose on. I

:35:41.:35:48.

committed ?60,000 to a pilot. ?60,000 at the time was a lot of

:35:49.:35:53.

money. It was more than you would commit to a game show pilot. It was

:35:54.:36:01.

getting towards drama money. You have to go further than that to get

:36:02.:36:08.

people's attention. Just cut in a style that will be upon lard. --

:36:09.:36:18.

popular. Certainly, madam. Some worry that satire today lost its

:36:19.:36:25.

poke, it doesn't deliver the goods like Thatcher and her enemies. As

:36:26.:36:32.

media proliferated so have the spindoctors and back room flunkies

:36:33.:36:40.

whose job it to protect their master from scrutiny. Satirists today have

:36:41.:36:47.

to fire at more bleak targets. Are you saying I am no longer allowed to

:36:48.:36:55.

make media appearances? Correct. Peu was going to say, I don't think that

:36:56.:37:01.

war is unforeseeable. What is it then? Foreseeable. You want fucking

:37:02.:37:17.

declare a war. It is not inevitable, but not -- - you better work on this

:37:18.:37:27.

fucking line. Politicians r Politicians have had to give up

:37:28.:37:34.

control of air their image. If you have lost your trust, that's how I

:37:35.:37:39.

hope we can start to win it back. What's exciting now is the immediacy

:37:40.:37:45.

of satire. Because of the internet, because of Twitter, everyone can be

:37:46.:37:59.

a satirist now. When you look at Sit Spitting Inlg Image, if you are

:38:00.:38:05.

outside it then you can't do satire. Now, because it is democratised

:38:06.:38:15.

anyone can do satire. Every politician is a weasel. Every celeb

:38:16.:38:21.

fair game. No one enjoys immunity from the tweet. Spitting Image did

:38:22.:38:34.

more than most to dig the grave. In your opinion who but the bump in the

:38:35.:38:51.

bump... Single mothers. Joining me now are John Lloyd,

:38:52.:38:53.

producer of comedy programmes including Spitting Image, Blackadder

:38:54.:39:03.

and QI. Edwina Currie was Parliamentary

:39:04.:39:06.

Under Secretary for Health under Margaret Thatcher and also famously

:39:07.:39:09.

portrayed as a vampire and Rory Bremner, comedian and impressionist.

:39:10.:39:11.

You didn't really hate your characture did you, you have got it

:39:12.:39:14.

here? She is here. She is beautiful. Which one is which? Shut up. She is

:39:15.:39:19.

smiling. She is in better shape than yours, Jeremy. When I saw her, I

:39:20.:39:24.

thought well I am not too bad, but she has crossed teeth and I went

:39:25.:39:29.

straight to the dentist! Did it hurt you when you saw yourself par dayed

:39:30.:39:34.

like that? Everybody who was not on it wanted to be on it and everybody

:39:35.:39:39.

who was on it sort of half wished they weren't. But at least it was

:39:40.:39:45.

recognition. John Lloyd, do you think that affection like that draws

:39:46.:39:50.

the teeth of satire? Well, it is a complicated thing. The thing that I

:39:51.:39:54.

think is, as you have seen from the clips, the forgiving, the forgivable

:39:55.:40:00.

thing about Spitting Image, it is funny. It was breath takingly

:40:01.:40:06.

outrageously rude, but likeable. I was talking to a young Scottish

:40:07.:40:12.

journalist today who said seeing Major's puppet in grey was the first

:40:13.:40:17.

time he liked him. It had a peculiar thing. Norman Tebbit who is the

:40:18.:40:22.

villain in the leather jacket who once drank soup made from a human

:40:23.:40:26.

body because if the unemployed are so hungry why don't they eat

:40:27.:40:30.

themselves? He comes across, you can't help liking him. He is a

:40:31.:40:36.

pantomime villain really. What happened to it all? That's a good

:40:37.:40:42.

question. Margaret Thatcher, you got to say Meryl Streep let herself go a

:40:43.:40:49.

bit! Television has changed and people aren't commissioning satire.

:40:50.:40:52.

The commissioners I don't think they get it. In some ways, they don't

:40:53.:40:58.

understand satire. The culture has changed. The culture has changed, we

:40:59.:41:04.

are in the era of banter. It is banter everywhere and Twitter and it

:41:05.:41:08.

is immediate and it is more aggressive. It is a different kind

:41:09.:41:12.

of culture and the politics has changed and the politicians seem to

:41:13.:41:15.

have so much power. There is a lot of them that are quite nonentities

:41:16.:41:21.

in your time, one of the great achievements of Spitting Image was

:41:22.:41:28.

making household characters. They were hardly all brilliant figures,

:41:29.:41:34.

but Spitting Image managed to make them recognisable. They were more

:41:35.:41:40.

interesting. When we built the Cabinet, Charles Denton, the

:41:41.:41:45.

programme controller, somebody said, "Why are you building these people?

:41:46.:41:49.

Nobody knows who they are except for Mrs That thatcher." -- Mrs

:41:50.:41:57.

Thatcher." I said they soon will. That's why the politicians liked it

:41:58.:42:02.

because if you were on, you would be recognised everywhere and you would

:42:03.:42:05.

be taken a lot more seriously because you were on the programme.

:42:06.:42:10.

You were taken seriously despite being charactured as a vampire? I

:42:11.:42:20.

think I was taken seriously anyway. It had an affect because it sent you

:42:21.:42:27.

to the dentist? Margaret saw the characture of her with the mannish

:42:28.:42:32.

voice and the masculine suits and she thought goed idea and she

:42:33.:42:40.

changed. She became much less masculine and did very well at the

:42:41.:42:46.

next election. What about the vegetables They did the same! In t

:42:47.:42:54.

1960s Mike Yard, people would tune in and they would see their

:42:55.:42:59.

politicians in a funny light or a lampoony light and they would

:43:00.:43:02.

recognise who they were. We had the same thing with Alastair Campbell,

:43:03.:43:07.

we said we've got to do Alastair Campbell. People said who is

:43:08.:43:12.

Alastair Campbell and people won't know. People used to write to John

:43:13.:43:16.

and to us saying we learnt our politics from your programme.

:43:17.:43:22.

Newsnight doesn't get 12 or 15 million people like... In our

:43:23.:43:27.

dreams, I think. Do you remember Sir Robert Armstrong... With the

:43:28.:43:35.

actualality? We had a tip-off from Paul Foot saying this bloke Robert

:43:36.:43:39.

Armstrong is going to do something terrible tun of these dayings, done

:43:40.:43:44.

of these -- one of these days. We kept him in a cupboard and when he

:43:45.:43:51.

did his thing Spitting Image was off air. It was the most infuriating

:43:52.:43:57.

thing. With the current bunch of politicians, they seem a rather

:43:58.:44:02.

colourless lot, don't they? Would it be possible to satirise them? I

:44:03.:44:07.

pinched Rory's line when they said can you do Nick Clegg's voice and

:44:08.:44:12.

they said even Nick Clegg can't do his voice! There is the spindoctory

:44:13.:44:18.

thing is good. Watching your films earlier today, politicians don't

:44:19.:44:20.

wear the right tie anymore. They used to know who they were because

:44:21.:44:26.

Tories were proud to wear a blue tie and Labour wore red ones. I am a

:44:27.:44:33.

soft Tory or time a tough Labour guy and everybody is so charming and

:44:34.:44:38.

reasonable and what we liked at Spitting Image, the Tories were

:44:39.:44:41.

conviction politicians, they said what they meant and they didn't care

:44:42.:44:44.

what anyone thought and we were the same as television makers. We didn't

:44:45.:44:48.

give a hoot what the newspapers thought. We wanted to do a

:44:49.:44:52.

programme, it was terrific and stand-by it and so we fitted each

:44:53.:44:57.

other. Conviction politics, and conviction television, you get

:44:58.:45:00.

neither now. You are nodding away? He is right. What Spitting Image did

:45:01.:45:07.

for many of the viewers, it made politics real.

:45:08.:45:12.

I think it was true. It would be great to see something like that

:45:13.:45:14.

today. You could have all the main politicians just as dare I say it,

:45:15.:45:19.

just as faceless eggs or something, couldn't you? For Michael Gove he

:45:20.:45:26.

could be his own puppet! We have conviction politicians now. We have

:45:27.:45:31.

politicians who have convictions like Chris Huhne and Denis MacShane.

:45:32.:45:39.

John said before that you do need satire needs a strong politicians,

:45:40.:45:44.

but that's good for politics as well. The three most outspoken, the

:45:45.:45:52.

most self characturing politicians are Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, and

:45:53.:45:56.

Nigel Farrage. Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are two of the most

:45:57.:46:00.

popular politicians in the country. I think Spitting Image. I heard of a

:46:01.:46:05.

headmaster sacked after a year in the job, he wasn't sure why he was

:46:06.:46:09.

sacked and the governor said because you haven't managed to acquire a

:46:10.:46:13.

nickname! He didn't have an impact and that's

:46:14.:46:20.

the thing because politicians from Spitting Image knew who they were.

:46:21.:46:23.

One of the reasons why politicians are not nearly as well trusted as

:46:24.:46:26.

they have been in previous again raugsz, they are trying --

:46:27.:46:29.

generations, they are trying to be like each other and the public don't

:46:30.:46:32.

believe they would do the same if they got into power, they think

:46:33.:46:38.

there are differences and there is a degree of hypocrisy and Spitting

:46:39.:46:43.

Image identifies what they believe in. What they would really do and

:46:44.:46:55.

puts it double sized onhe screen. Do you think Spitting Image would be

:46:56.:46:59.

commissioned now? I don't think that there is any possibility. At the

:47:00.:47:04.

peak of my time, when it was number three in the ratings, getting 15

:47:05.:47:15.

million viewers, it was the most expensive light entertainment show

:47:16.:47:18.

on television, but it was also the most profitable, because they were

:47:19.:47:25.

selling the brakes for huge amount of money. People are prepared to

:47:26.:47:30.

spend tens of millions on a series to get enormous sales. Now everybody

:47:31.:47:36.

wants a little budget and a little result. As programme makers, we used

:47:37.:47:45.

to make programmes that we cared about and were responsible for, and

:47:46.:47:49.

so many people are worrying about what the Daily Mail will think, so

:47:50.:47:55.

you get programmes that are just all right. Do you see any sign of the

:47:56.:48:03.

tide turning? I don't think so. Alistair McGowan and Ronnie Ancona

:48:04.:48:08.

were talking about doing a satire programme, and they said, it needs

:48:09.:48:13.

to have a political edge, and you could feel the temperature in the

:48:14.:48:17.

room drop. People said, this is BBC One we are talking about. That is

:48:18.:48:20.

the climate amongst the commissioners. They are scared of

:48:21.:48:27.

politics? Yes, I think the thing that politicians are the people they

:48:28.:48:33.

talk to about the next round of broadcast legislation. That is self

:48:34.:48:41.

censorship, exactly what Spitting Image was against. And I think it is

:48:42.:48:48.

healthy to have it out of the open. That is all for tonight. And

:48:49.:48:56.

tomorrow night's show... The same left-wing Bolshevik

:48:57.:48:58.

nonsense that is on the BBC every night! Well, no more. Tomorrow

:48:59.:49:03.

belongs to me! We will be talking privatisation. You will be first,

:49:04.:49:09.

Jeremy. And who are all these people? Look at all this

:49:10.:49:15.

overmanning. Planning editor? What she do. Barton Macfarlane, he sounds

:49:16.:49:23.

like the commonest. Who switched out the lights? Arthur Scargill?

:49:24.:49:37.

Good evening. Wednesday is set to get off to a pretty chilly start.

:49:38.:49:45.

Heavy showers will quickly

:49:46.:49:47.