27/02/2014 Newsnight


News stories with Laura Kuenssberg. Including the fragile peace in Northern Ireland, historic criminal allegations, the Seeger collection and North Koreans who long for home.

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bring down the Northern Ireland Government after those promises


collapsed the man accused over the Hyde Park bombing, there will be an


inquiry. We will appoint a full independent judge to produce an add


of the administrative scheme, to see if any other letters were sent in


error. How fragile is power sharing if old secrets can push it to the


edge. The man who signed off the first letter is here. Should the


courts allow anyone to escape their pas Recent acquittals show


decades-old accusations are not easy to prove. Some say they should be


left to lie. There is an awful lot of money spent on these case, I


would like the resources devoted to current issues and complaints. The


Director of Public Prosecutions is here to tell us why that must not


happen. What do Nelson's tea spot and


Nureyev's hat stand have in common, they are part of one collection up


for grabs. You can buy Al Capone's cocktail shaker. There is a certain


frisson to a bloody Mary served out of that. Good evening. After the


appalling botch that collapseded the trial of the suspected Hyde Park


bomber, the system it exposed seems to have come close to collapsing the


Northern Ireland Government. Having threatened and now withdrawn his


possible resignation, the Peter Robinson, the First Minister, said


letters that were given as assurances to republican terror


suspects are worthless pieces of paper. There will be the inevitable


inquiry, and fast, but still fury among unionists that they were shut


out of the deal. We report now on old wounds re-opened. The force of


the explosion was so great that parts of the car were flung across


the park and into Knightsbridge. So too were nails. 32 years on and once


again two explosives in central London is threatening to derail the


Northern Ireland peace process. It was on this road in 1982 that four


soldiers died and another 12 were seriously injured. The Prime


Minister suspect in that bombing walked free this week after a judge


ruled a letter he was sent by the authorities in 2007 effectively


guaranteed he couldn't be prosecuted. That letter, it later


turned out, w sent by mistake. But through the court process we also


learned another 186 suspected IRA members, some on the run for decades


have been sent similar written assurances they are no longer


wanted. Sinn Fein have driven a coach and horses through mutual


trust, and they are going to have to do something about that. Because


they are endangering this process, which exists for the benefit of the


one. Eight million people who live in this country for the benefit of


200 named people, they know who they are, they consider them more


valuable than the rest of the population. From what we know so far


187 called on the run letters have been sent to republicans once


suspected of crimes related to the troubles. No similar letters to


loyalist suspects. 14149 of the letters went out under the last


Labour Government. 38 since 2010 under the coalition this afternoon


the Prime Minister promised a judge-led inquiry to make sure no


other mistakes were made. We We should have a full inquiry into this


scheme. We will appoint a fully independent judge to look into the


administrative team to see if any other letters were sent in error.


That concession appeared to calm Northern Ireland's First Minister,


who until this afternoon was still threatening to resign and trigger


fresh elections. I think the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State


have been prompt, they have dealt with the issue seriously and in a


manner satisfactory to me. I do not intend to resign on the basis that


if you get what you want, why on earth would you want to resign.


Another attack on the British mainland, this time in 1983, six


were skilled in Knightsbridge after a coding warning came too late. The


Harrods bombing was one of five deadly IRA attacks in London in the


early 1980s. One of the main suspects went on the run for ten


years and was never convicted of any terror offence. She now lives and


works in Northern Ireland. Whether she and others like her received


these letters we still don't know. Some unionists now want to see the


names of all the individuals sent letters. Sinn Fein says this is a


complete overreaction. These are people that the lawful process that


Dominic Grieve spoke about yesterday in the British House of Commons,


decided that no charges could be brought against them. These people


didn't create or cause victims. But, there is an issue of perceived


fairness here. Some are asking why suspected IRA members have been told


they will no longer face ution, while a criminal investigation is


under way into the actions of some soldiers in the 1970s. At the end of


the Bloody Sunday Saville Inquiry, with the announcement of the PSNI


that they will level murder charges against certain individuals even


though the uptake of witnesses coming forward has been beyond


pathetic. At the same time, almost in the same breath, we are hearing


that those who murdered recklessly will escape justice. That is no


justice. There is no balance and I think the Prime Minister needs to


show leadership and draw a line under the whole matter now. But a


blanket amnesty is not for the moment a realistic option. Peace


might have been achieved in Northern Ireland, the immediate crisis might


have passed. But angry talk of secret letters and deals still hangs


over Stormont this evening. In a moment we will hear from Jonathan


Powell, who signed off the first letters and chief British negotiator


in Northern Ireland under Tony Blair. First David Ford, the Justice


Minister in Northern Ireland, and the leader of the Alliance Party.


And Gerry Kelly from Sinn Fein are both with us from Belfast. Thank you


for being with us. How did you not know about this. Peter Hain says


that suggestion is Ritzable? He can say what he likes but he's standing


up in the House of Commons and saying we have to address the issue


of the OTRs. It is not an explanation of what Peter Hain did.


We knew the issue had to be addressed, and it should have been


in an open, transparent and accountable way. That is what didn't


happen. What did you think was happening with these people then.


You knew the issue was being taken in hand what did you think was going


on? We didn't know it was taken in hand. We knew people were saying it


needed to be addressed. There were clear ways it could have been


addressed under released under the Good Friday Agreement which people


voted for and accepted in the Good Friday Agreement. We had no


knowledge of what was being done by the Government and Sinn Fein. What


should happen with the letters, Peter Robinson threatened to resign,


saying not only should there be an inquiry but the letters should be


torn up. He appears to be happy, should the letters be recinded or


torn up? I'm not sure of the legalities of recinding, when Peter


Robinson demanded for letters to be recinded, he seems to be demanding


no that letters are restated, which is short of his demand. I agree with


other people that this is such a mess and an independent inquiry is


required, what where go from here. The listing of names will be a


breach of obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights,


the right to a private life and life.


Do you understand why some people in unionist communities are furious


about this and feel some how a deal was done between Sinn Fein and the


British Government behind closed doors? Let me try to deal with this


behind closed doors stuff. As David is only after saying, this was


known, it was probably one of the most discussed issues throughout the


last number of years. Why do so many senior unionists feel they know


nothing All the evidence came out, this was brought up by the British


Prime Minister saying they would raise it. It was raised in 2007 with


the policing board and the DUP members were present, again in 2010


at the policing board, where there was a report given on the scheme. At


that stage. And the Bradley report on the past in 2009 it said there


were 200 people in the process and 150 of them had been dealt with.


What they didn't know was the private letter between British


authorities and the person who asked to find out if they were being


caught. Let's be here about this. And people are talking about all of


these. Over 180 people as if they were convicted and tried the vast


bulk of them were. They were being told that they weren't looking for


them. What was now under this inquiry. What if there are people on


the lists who are told there is evidence and they could be


prosecuted? I can give my opinion when I see the statement of the


British Prime Minister. In my opinion it is unnecessarily and a


political fig leaf to allow the DUP to get out of the spot they put


themselves in to. The hole they dug. If that is what it is there for that


is fair enough. In fact for Peter Robinson to say that these letters


aren't worth the paper they are written on. Surely that runs against


logic if in fact the whole furore arose from the fact that there is a


letter, which a court of law, in the last few days has said is a


legitimate letter and is an atreatment. If arrest -- Agreement.


If arrests come out of this inquiry, what impact will that have, what


will happen? Nobody has mentioned any arrests, I don't expect there to


be any arrests, what they have said is they want to find out if there


are any other mistakes made. That is an entirely different thing from


what Peter Robinson is claiming. Jonathan Powell do you, a massive


miscommunication between these two communities. You have said that it


is an administrative error, do you accept that the unionists feel they


were is the out here and excluded and something was cooked up behind


closed doors? No there has been an extraordinary muddle between two


issues. The issues of on the runs arises out of all peace agreements


and came up after the Good Friday agreement. The British and Irish


Governments wrote to all-party leaders and said they wished to


solve the issue of on the runs, we negotiated the issue for the rest of


the Government from 2001-2007, we never reached the agreement and were


unable to find a comprehensive agreement to on the moneys. People


are modelling the issue of on the runs in a certificate yes, sir of


administrative letters on people who would be wanted. They we sent


individual letters saying they weren't wanted. It is not an amnesty


or secret deal, it was a series of letters. There was a system set up,


a series of letters, to deal with this k we have any confidence that


there aren't other mistakes, there has been this one appalling botch --


appalling botch. Can you sigh there are no other things? The police made


a mistake in dealing with this letter. Instead of checking with the


Metropolitan Police whether this man was wanted or not, they failed to do


so. They issued him a letter saying he wasn't wanted when the


Metropolitan Police wanted him. Weren't there other mistakes with


similar consequences? I note the inquiry drawn out by the Prime


Minister is narrow, it is dealing with whether other mistakes were


made. And the question on could there be further incidents it


couldn't happen. I would like at the letters to see if there were other


mistakes in the letters. Except the system was set up here, there was


mistakes made. The way it has happened has surely damaged the


trust that was so critical to the progress of this whole process? I


think if the price of keeping the Government going was to have an


inquiry that is a sensible thing for David Cameron to do. I think there


is a certain amount of this fury, if you look back at the parliamentary


question answered by John Reed in 2002. He talked about the process


and how many people had been dealt with. It was covered in other


publications. You would have to be Australian observant if you didn't


know it was happening. Do you think the unionists are bluffing some how?


They are approaching elections and people are casting around and


blaming other people. I hope they get to running Northern Ireland and


the success that the Good Friday Agreement has been to bringing peace


to Northern Ireland. They would have had to be fairly unobservant to know


what was going on, that means they are deliberately look away or they


wantant to know? You will -- want to know. You will have to ask them. It


was not a secret, out there in the public domain they could have seen


it. Coming up the North Korean exiles who want to return home.


There are days I ask myself why did I choose to come here in the first


place. If justice delayed is justice


denied, perhaps crimes past should be pursued lend leasely --


endlessly. With some failed celebrity trials the authorities


have been accused of witch hunts. But the director of public


prosecutor, Alison Saunders has made it plain to her prosecutors that


they should press on. The date of alleged plans should not matter. She


will tell us why in a few moments. Out of 16 arrests in Operation


Yewtree, set up after revelations of Jimmy Savile's past crimes, only


four charges have been made. Even if the intentions are laudible, are


they realistic. Recent front pages have been peppered with historic


sexual offence trials. Bill Roache and Michael Lavelle acquitted,


Stuart Hall convicted, and continuing against Dave Lee Travis.


Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions wants more old


cases to come too trial. Prosecutors will be told not to ignore cases


even though they happened a long time ago. The decision is welcomed


by Labour? What is important is the principle, if you have been abused


we should be able to stand up for you, you should come in and you


should be believed and we should do everything we can to make sure the


case is proved and you get the justice you deserve. T guidelines


apply to all crimes, they are expected to have particular effect


on sexual offences, where victims are often reluctant to come


forwards. If you were to report a burglary to the local police, you


would at least expect them to believe a burglary have happened,


but many victims of sexual advice don't even feel that basic level of


assurance, let alone confidence that their assaliants will come to court.


Thankfully things are getting better, largely because of


specialist police officers who understand the sensitivities around


these crimes. Even so, many victims still stay sigh nt.


Old stigmas remain, and a senior official at the NSPCC told Newsnight


he was worried a new one might be forming. Victims have told the


charity that people will expect a financial notion. It doesn't log how


many historic prosecutions it begins or how many are successful. There


are practical questions about the evidence? We have seen some things


so far, and there is a difficulty for court cases that rely on nailing


down evidence, and what happened, in what time frame, in what


circumstances? To go into that many decades afterwards. That is not


something that can be wished away. There are worries about cost? There


is an awful lot of money being spent on these cases. What I would prefer


to see happen is the resources about be devoted to current issues and


current complaints rather than those going back 30, years. D, 40 years.


It is a political question. In my view it isth should be many of the


offences against children and women and young people, they are the most


difficult questions, if we are not there to protect them, what is the


system about. The Director of Public Prosecution, Alison Saunders is here


to discuss it with us. In a sense Emily is right, isn't she, this is a


decision, a conscious decision, under political or public pressure


to make up for past mistakes isn't it? It is not. We look at all cases,


no matter when the allegations were or when the report of the offence


takes place. We look at them all in the same way. We look for sufficient


evidence for a Israelestic prospect of conviction, whether it is in the


public interest to prosecute. If you look at them in the same way, why


tell your prosecutors they must press on with historic allegations,


if you looked past that you wouldn't have to make instruction at all. It


is about reaffirming what the prosecution knows which is in some


cases we will look to make sure that justice is done and victims get


their day in court and if traditionally if there is going to


be a very minor penalty imposed, that we might not go ahead. But in


these cases, particularly in sexual offence cases we should think twice


about that and have a look at what the victim also wants. Can you say


hand on heart you will make this change, or reminding your


prosecutors of this, if it hadn't been some of the revelations this


year about how victims are laughed at and dismissed? This is a


consultation that has come about because we have been looking at old


cases. And where allegations have been made some time, there last been


a delay in making them. Our awareness changes about what makes


victims tell their stories later. Why they don't do it at the time and


really king that into account. We have developed in our thinking.


There is not very much that might make victims feel confident of that,


sadly. There is a huge number of people coming forward, the BBC


report that child abuse reporting goes up 80%, but the number of


arrests goes down. Knowing that it is all very well telling your


prosecutors to press on can their cases but how can they have


confidence? Rewest prosecute a large amount of case as year. Sexual abuse


cases we successfully brought out was 80 last year. If allegations


have gone up by 70% it is not good enough. It shows people are


confident in coming forward. You still have to investigate and there


has to be the evidence that is accumulated in order to get an


arrest. Doesn't that come to the difficulty, when you are talking


about things decades ago, the evidence is harder to accumulate,


memories fade, we have seen that in recent case, that is a big problem,


is it not? It is but it is not insurmountable and we can base a few


cases, the school in Buckinghamshire where we looked at prosecuting. A


man was a teacher and headmaster, these took places a few years ago.


Lots of places where we prosecute successful. Does it come down to a


question of cash. You have lost a quarter of your legal staff how can


you possibly devote all the resources you need to push these


cases through. Is it not better to concentrate on cases that are


happening now, when people are coming forward, rather than things


that might be harder to get results on. This isn't an issue about


resources but making sure we have the right evidence and it is in the


public interest to prosecute. Wait in which we have resoared ourselves


in order to deal with the resource issue has allowed us to. We now have


13 RASSU, it is experienced officers looking at the cases who know what


they are doing and really experienced. They really do know


what they are doing. How can you apply extra resources


for sometimes on by when they have made the most of it. We can use the


resources we have changed from digital changes to put into the


safety. It is about making sure we have the right evidence and it is in


the public interest to prosecute them. Do you accept that


prosecutions of allegations made in years gone by are you much -- are


much harder to get results in court? I don't see why victims are treated


any differently if they haven't made the allegation until now, why should


we penalise them again. They should be treated in exactly the same way


as current allegations and current victim, which is what we do. As you


are here I must ask you on what's happened in the last few days in


relation to the John Downey case and the collapse of that trial. Why did


the CPS go ahead with the prosecution, even though he had that


letter guarnteeing immunity. Why did it even come to that? It was a


really serious allegation. When we looked at the letter we thought


there was an arguable case to put before the court that said the


letter didn't actually grant immunity. It was saying if there was


legislative change, which there wasn't, then there would be


immunity. We thought there was an arguable case, we should it before


the court and the judge didn't criticise us for doing so, he


disagreed with us. Could there be a retrial? Not unless there is new


evidence. Is Why Why would you risk life and limb to


escape a brutal regime, only to return. Some of North Korea's 25,000


defectors who made it to the safety of the south are doing just that.


Why are some of the new arrivals prepared to leave comfort, freedom


and automatic South Korean citizenship behind, to go back to


their repressive homeland. On a clear day soldiers patrolling South


Korea's border can see North Koreans going about their lives. The


closeness of the two warring armies means patrols are thorough. Despite


land mines and watch towers between them, some North Korean defectors


have made it across undetected. The soldiers are warned to be alert for


signs of disturbance on both sides of the defence. A few months ago


their unit shot and killed a man here in South Korea as he tried to


swim across the river to the north. He's not the only one to try. Why


would anyone want to leave South Korea's bustling capital for a life


of hardship and repression in the north. Especially someone like Kim.


He's a North Korean success story, he escaped to the south to # years


ago, he's -- 20 years ago, he's married with two children and a


successful career. He has already tried once to return to the north


and is planning to do so again next year. TRANSLATION: It might appear I


have succeeded in south Korea, I haven't, my parents are in there,


and my siblings too, I haven't been able to see them. It is only natural


for me to find ways to visit and do it openly and legally. It is illegal


for South Korean citizen, including defectors to have any direct contact


with North Korea. No phone calls, e-mails or letters. Those with


family left behind push for warmer relations between the two


Governments in the hope seeing their parents, brothers or sisters


against. TRANSLATION: For me coming to South Korea was like tasting


chocolate for the first time. Taste was so tweet I -- sweet I wanted to


share it with them. I wanted to show what life is like, they have only


the negative view of capitalism, I love this country so much I owe it


to them to show it. He left his South Korean family in Seoul and


travelled to China. He knocked on the door of the North Korean embassy


there and said he wanted to go back to the motherland. Not forever, just


for a holiday. They let him in for a chat and then they told him to get


lost. They were really angry, he said. TRANSLATION: At the time


relations between the two Koreas were good and South Koreans visited


the north, nobody who came to the north tried t I was the first. There


was no problems getting into the embassy, when they learned I was a


part of it. I said I just wanted to visit my home down, they were very


angry. He did manage to take a both across North Korea's border with


China. He moored on the North Korean shoreline and filmed this rare


footage of North Korean soldiers patrolling the river bank.


Incredibly the soldiers allowed themselves to be filmed chatting,


accepting money and even stepping on to the boat. We have blurred their


faces to protect them. But to Mr Kim it is a sign that North Korea isn't


that dangerous at all. Not everyone would agree. We went to meet someone


who knows first hand the risks of living under the North Korean


regime. A North Korean defector to fled here a year ago after leaving


North Korea's prison camp number 12. TRANSLATION: I saw large maggots


going around, coming out of the corpes. People would dash for them


and put them in their pockets, they ate them later. I wondered if they


would be poisonous, and people were eating them to keep alive. I


wondered if I would. Others would capture rats and eat them raw, I


remember their mouths covered in blood. I have seen so many people


killed for breaking minor rules. In my cell alone three people were


killed within a month. Would you go back? Never, why would I go back to


that place of darkness. I wouldn't go, I would rather die. This was the


river that greeted Kim 18 months ago as he arrived in China with his wife


and child. They were North Korean defectors, running from economic


problems in the south. Mr Kim's plan was to redefect to North Korea by


swimming across the river. But the current was too strong, so he went


and knocked on the door of the nearest North Korean consulate


instead. It took him a week to persuade them he was serious, then


they let him in. When he arrived the regime threw and press conference,


Mr Kim and his family were taken to Pyongyang and paraded in front of


journalists there. He told them defectors like him who escaped to


South Korea were the victims of humam rights activists COMPLIERG


against the Korean -- conprioring against the state. Figures kept by


the South Korean Government say 13 defectors have returned home, but


activists say many more have gone back unofficially. For Mr Kim, life


in the south was now a distant memory, it is capitalist democracy


reviled and criticised. Except a few months later he decided to come


back. South Korea wasn't so welcoming a second time. Mr Kim was


hauled in front of this court behind me and asked to explain his erratic


behaviour. His lawyer cited financi difficulties in the north, other


propers suggested he may have feared for his safety. The court was


unamused and gave him a three-year jail sentence. We asked permission


to visit Mr Kim but it was denied. We moat to him instead and got this


reply. In it Mr Kim says that the press conferences arranged by North


Korea to showcase return detectors are compulsory, with speakers forced


to take part. This is my real and desperate story, he writes. Finding


place in South Korean society isn't easy for defectors. At this boarding


school for North Korean children in Seoul, staff teach core values like


trust and self-sufficiency alongside lessons in basic Korean language.


The two countries have been insulated from each other for so


long, that even the words used in the south can be foreign. It is hard


to find an America Di Canio know in the -- Americaano. But the


curriculum here is designed to steer them towards jobs that don't require


IT or employment skills. Mr Son, like other defectors got a package


of Government support on arrival, including this But debt problems


meant bailiffs took his fridge and washing opinion. Now his food ass


are stored on the unbeated balcony. Strapped between financial struggle


in the south and lack of contact with his family in the north. Mr Son


has drawn attention by applying to the Korean Government for permission


to go home. TRANSLATION: Over the years I have noticed the political


indifference and the interior battles they have. I asked myself


why I chose to come here, anywhere a North Korean person goes can face


discrimination. But the discrimination from your people is


terrible. One rule suggests 10,000 hours of practice leads to mastery


in each instrument. There is a new theory in town, and it is very


controversial. Academics from Yale University, Amy Chua, and Jen


Rubenfeld, also husband and wife are advocating the triple package. We


will hear from them in just a second. First why don't they think


three is the magic number. This book struck a nerve and generateded a


roar of publicity, with an unswerving part biographical


synopsis of strict Chinese parenting. Now she's back with a new


theory. This time tackling the apparent taboo of why some cultural


groups in America are queen cyst tently more successful -- are consit


tently more successful than others. Statistics show it is down to a so


called triple package of factors. The first is superiority complex,


people in some groups, she says, simply believe in their own talents


or feel they are destined to improve. The second in congras


diction is insecurity. Immigrants for example, she claims, feel like


they have more to prove. Or need to try harder just to be equal. And


then it is impulse control, good old fashioned self-discipline, some


parents are better at instilling than others. Is this really ground


breaking research or just a new list of cultural stereotypes.


It is a fascinating territory this. But when you look at some of the


things you say in the book, for example, why do so many Jews win so


many noble and Pulitzer Prizes, that sounds like a new modern kind of


racism doesn't it? I think it is the opposite what we show in their book,


first of all, is some of the most successful groups in America today


are black and Hispanic. Right off the bat it shows success has nothing


to do with skin colour or race. Secondly we showed the groups that


are very successful change dramatically over time. Asian


Americans they are extraordinary successful academically in the first


and second generations, by the third generation Asian American students


perform no better than the rest of the country. It is nothing


instrainsic in the culture. Let's take another example, why are


Mormans running the business and finance sections. You are running


massive broad brush-type assumptions here? It is not assumptioning. It is


a matter of fact, American Jews are less than 2% of the adult


population, and they have over a third of America's Nobel Prizes.


That is a fact and a little puzzling to me, what does it mean, you can't


state facts. Have you we got to the point if we state facts about


racism. We say things in the book like Asian American kids are


spending 70-100% more time on school work than the rest of the country.


It is a matter of fact. That is called cultural racism. If that is


cultural racism to state that fact, we will leave the entire stream of


race to the extremists who have genuine racist views happy to tell


you what they think all over the media. If pro--ive people are too --


progressive people are to afraid to enter the fray then... You say all


you are doing is highlight he can success here, who are not on your


list? First of all it is not about good and bad groups. That is what


your book is all about, success, superiority, how do you get to the


top? It is about certain behaviours and who is doing well right now. We


say there are certain behaviours, partly the combination of feeling


exceptional and insecure that creates this drive and discipline.


These behaviours are open to people of any ethnicity and any group. You


pick out groups that are doing well and those who are not. Certain


groups are instilling the qualities more in their families, in their


children, and therefore they are doing better. Our idea is rather


than make it taboo let's figure out some behaviours, it is pretty


simple. We show these groups start at a young age, pre-school, more


fork can hes used behaviour -- focussed behaviour. If we hide the


information, you don't he don't need to worry, you can't say that because


how can it lead to progress and deal with education reform. What about


happiness, you are preaching in this group, your triple package,


security, discipline. What about enjoying yourself? We have two


chapters where we lay out the problem. It is an honest look of the


costs of this drive that some groups are instilling with their kids, it


is not a mischaracterisation in the book. We point out at the extreme


this is culture and upbringing can produce a great deal of unlapness.


In fact if any of us had a potten to to push that chose between success


and happiness, we all pick happiness. Is it that simple. You


over row Manchester United nice kids, you don't give them the tools


to survive in this economy. Will they be happy? I suspect your


message might raise more eyebrows than it has in the US. What can we


learn from what you are preaching and put anything the book? One thing


we notice is a lot of the successful groups are instilling in their


families and children this message. Which is very unpolitically correct,


we believe in you but not good enough yet. That feeling seems very


nasty to tell your child they are not good enough yet, but I think


about the other extreme, feeling you are not quite good enough and


feeling you need to prove yourself is titled wide. The arts market


isn't always a pretty picture, people with enormous chequebooks


buying books they don't really want, because they can. On show right now


is something rather different, a collection put together with love. A


pick and mix of misselly, a thousand pigs, s or Saab wells -- Orsan Wales


script. Outfoxed but criminally undervalued, Stephen Smith took


himself along to Sothebys for an exclusive look at the catalogue. It


is one of those things you can't not want to take home with you, it was


awkward because it wouldn't fit in the back of the cap!


This is fun I like this. Chris is parting with the collection of a


lifetime. Art and furniture. Object and conversation pieces. Some of


them more like ex-clam makes mark -- ex-clamation marks. The


extraordinary thing about this, it was discovered by an amateur


archaeologist. Somebody who was able to recognise that this was an


Anglo-Saxon limestone, I think it is, have you found it in a ladies'?


Garden and went and inyard about it, the lady said it was a stone she had


found and used it as a sort of head stone for a dead stray cat. It was


called Winkle. How sweet. For more than 30 years Chris on the right


here was the partner of Stanley Seeger, the heir to an oil and


timber fortune. Their homes were cabinets of curiosities, filled with


great paintings. But also store-front-signage that caught


their eye, and dinosaur eggs. Were you as bad as each other, if you


forgive the expression, or did Stanley take the lead? We competed.


Did you? We competed, we were like a two-man raid. I think Stanley wanted


to impress me with what he had found, and I would have to find


something that was probably even more... That could thump it?


something that was probably even Yes. We helped each other, we were


like two naughty school boys, we would have stolen apples together if


that is what it took. It was fun. It was great. It was a spree and a


laugh? ? It was a spree and a lark. 1,000 curios are going under the


hammer next week. With estimates ranging from ?100 to ?120,000. Many


have an interesting provenance, as they say. This belonged to Rudolf


you are in yes the world's best -- Nureyev, the world's best coat


stand, you get a lot on there. It is great. This was presented to Al


Capone, by the boys. In 1932. "To a regular guy" isn't that great. There


is a certain frisson to a bloody Mary served out of that. Nelson's


teapot, I think this is what he is meant to have taken to sea? You


didn't just acquire these things and put them in a humidified vault to


appreciate did you. Unlike some collectors with their treasures. I


don't know, no, we look at these things. You are very hands on. Did


you enjoy saying to each other fancy a couple of tea from the Nelson


depot. It sounds precious. More movie buffs this particularly lot is


the equivalent of the Dead Sea scrolls, it ises or son Orson Wells


own copy of the script. It would have been on the desk of the


director for read throughs. There was only a quibble, don't call it


American, why not go with Citizen Kane. Home for stand low and Chris


was once Paul Getty's former mansion, Sutton Place, they made


sure they weren't in if there were visitors. Who acquired those


horrific works of art? Well they are part of Mr Seeger's collection. It


was Francis Bacon which the pair sold in 2001, for a record price of


?9 million. A fraction of what it is worth now. They also had # eight


Picassos for a time. I remember at breakfast saying Christopher I need


a rose picture, a rose period. Keep your ayes open. One came along and


then the collection was sort of done. Proceeds from the auction will


benefit Seeger's favourite charities and academic research. The only


problem for me is that since Stanley died I'm constantly being reminded's


dead. Everywhere I look it is "the late Stanley J Seeger". It might be


better if it was the early Stanley J seeinger, I wouldn't mind having him


back. Guess what know -- snow on the way for most of us. According to its


creator it took a microscope and to produce it. He then did something in


the edit because it looked nicer. Good night. Wintry weather


overnight, further south strong winds for a time in the far


south-west, easing through the morning and there will be some snow.


Including the fragile peace in Northern Ireland, the prosecution of historic criminal allegations, the Seeger collection and North Koreans who long for home.

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