11/03/2014 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman. Includes the Crawley suicide bomber, the situation at the Co-op and Bob Crow.

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Ed Miliband will not be matching David Cameron's pledge of a


referendum on Europe in 2017. Is there now a clear line between them?


On one of the most contentious issues in contemporary politics.


Labour say it would take a significant transfer of powers to


offer an in-out referendum. Is this political bravery to stay away from


the Tory line or will they pay for it at the European elections.


How did a father from Crawley end up suicide bombing a Syrian jail? If my


brother had been a British soldier, the British people, in that prison,


and the act he did, the act of heroism or bravery he did, I know he


would have been awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross. Requiem


for a union boss outside a tube station, did we all secretly love


Bob Crow. One of these two is less than entirely sure. Not even the


greatest fans of the European Union claim that it's exactly popular at


present. And this country's relationship with the EU is


confidently expected to be a major battle ground in the next election.


The Conservatives have already promised that they will try to


renegotiate the relationship, and that the British people will be


given the chance to vote in a referendum on whether to stay in or


leave. Tomorrow Ed Miliband will announce that while Labour wants to


stay in, there will be no more transfer of powers from London to


Brussels, without a referendum. Similar words, very different


meanings. Emily explains. The key thing is not what Ed Miliband is


saying he will do, I guess what he's implicitly saying he won't do. We


have learned tonight he won't be matching David Cameron's pledge, as


you describe it, to hold a referendum on Europe in 2017. What


Labour calls an arbitary timetable about an issue that doesn't really


resonate with the voters. Neither will he give the Tories the


satisfaction of ruling out a referendum all together. So tomorrow


Ed Miliband will announce that they are legislating a new lock, forgive


that it is Brussels speak, he is promising there will be no transfer


of powers from the UK to the EU without a referendum, a clear


referendum on our continued membership of the EU. Now he says


this is not a scenario that he thinks is likely, it is not even a


at all likely, but he says it is not impossible. Has anyone reacted yet?


We have heard via Twitter from David Cameron, who has put only the


Conservative Party can guarantee and deliver that in-out referendum. But


perhaps what is fascinating about this story is the way the same line


is running in diametrically opposite directions. You can either hear it


as a pledge he will offer a referendum in that particular


scenario, or he has ruled it out. Before I came on air I talked to


Labour heavy-hitter, and they said the big deal is Ed Miliband has


bitten the bullet and won't fall in behind the PM's referendum. David


Cameron and George Osborne are desperate for Ed Miliband to fall in


behind the issue and neutralise the issue and stop the damage done so it


is two sides of the same coin. If they could have Ed Miliband on side


and David Cameron could point and say what did he get out of the


referendum commitment, nothing. It didn't stop UKIP, it didn't make


Angela Merkel fall at his feet or silence his own backbench critics.


Perhaps Ed Miliband is playing a shrewd game here. If Ed Miliband is


right, then voters put Europe about 13th on the list of things that


really matter to them. In other words, it shouldn't be something


that any of the parties take that seriously. But if it wasn't that


much of a worry, well perhaps we wouldn't be hearing quite so much


about it. And certainly for all their talk of the significance of


the cost of living crisis and jobs, tomorrow the Labour leader will


tackle the Europe issue head on. With a concession that Europe, as


they might say, isn't working. I know the reputation of the EU is


with reason at a low-ebb he might say:


SGLLT he will be writing in the FT newspaper and go on to say:


Where do the stories stand? David Cameron made that clear a year ago?


We will give the British people a referendum with a very simple in or


out choice, to stay in the European Union on these new terms or to come


out all together. It will be an in-out referendum. Of course there


are plenty in his party that would wish him to go further and indeed


quicker. But a private members' bill, representing the Cameron


position was defeated by Labour and the Lib Dem peers in January. The


Tories will attempt to bring back the legislation later this year.


UKIP have one of the clearest positions on Europe, they just want


to leave the EU all together. They question the number of jobs that


come from the union, and indeed how dependant the British economy is on


Europe. Last week one UKIP MEP admitted the transition couldn't and


wouldn't happen in fewer than five years. Be more in, vote Lib Dem.


Just this weekend Nick Clegg announced that the choice at the


European elections would be between them and UKIP. He would take on what


he called "backwards-looking politics", he said they would be the


party of "in" and UKIP would be the party of "out". Everyone else he


intimated was ssing around in the middle, threatening to pull up the


draw bridge. John Man wrote to Ed Miliband asking him to pledge:


Some's speech won't go anywhere near as far, but perhaps it may offer a


small crumb or two or all those campaigning on the doorstep in the


weeks and months to come. Did he have anything else to say? If you


read the speech carefully, there are interesting concessions. He says in


it Britain needs to work more effectively to change within the EU.


He lists things that he's going to go out and seek change on. He says a


longer time between new countries joining and their citizens being


eligible for rights. He wants to make it easier to deport criminals


from overseas, a longer wait before doling out Child Tax Credit when


children live abroad. If you are listening to this, you are hearing


the voice and echo of David Cameron. This is classic, isn't it, Tory


territory that Ed Miliband is moving on to. The key difference being that


Ed Miliband has committed himself to only offering this referendum if


those powers are already being transferred. But this will also, I


suggest, go some way towards reassuring the business community


who has felt quite forgotten of late, quite isolated, all the talk


of energy freezes, or banks being split up o the bankers' bonuses


leaving businesses in a slightly shaky position. Does he offer any


apology for giving away all those powers in the Lisbon Treaty? That


wasn't him directly I guess, but maybe one for him next time he's


here. To discuss Ed Miliband's proposal we have John Mann, who has


written to Mr Ed Miliband today to call for an in-out referendum in the


first 12 months of the next parliament, and Mr Rudd head of


Business for New Europe. Do you think this promise meets what you


believe to be the public mood? Not fully, but it is certainly a


significant move in the right direction. The public mood isn't


specifically about a referendum, the public mood is about sorting out


what they see as the injustice and inequity within the European Union.


Until that is addressed this issue is going to resonate very, very


strongly. This is classic Ed Miliband isn't t it's clear as mud


in many ways? I think it's pretty clear, if there is a transfer of


powers to Brussels, there has to be an in-out referendum. I think the


likelihood of that transfer is extremely unlikely because you have


seen Germany, you have seen France, you have seen the positions of these


major European powers, there isn't going to be treaty change, not for


the foreseeable future. So you think it is showing the public mood? I


think it is very unlikely there will be a major treaty change, but I


think it is right if there was one that transferred powers to Brussels,


there should be a referendum on in-out, that is fair, I don't see


why you pick a particular date and time to pacify euro-sceptics who are


never going to be pass satisfied because they want to leave the


European Union. There would be an advantage to picking a deadline


wouldn't there? The advantage is that as leverage in negotiating,


David Cameron wants more flexible labour markets, that is not what the


public is telling me they want. They want the opposite. This is about


jobs and about some powers coming back into this country. And that


word that people don't like talking about in Westminster, "immigration".


What do you feel will be the reaction among the people that you


have been speaking to in the light of Labour's experience in


Government? People want to see, and what they are saying, Labour voters,


not least, want to see their voice being heard. They want to be trusted


and what they want is a significant reduction in the powers of the


European Union, particularly over jobs. If that doesn't happen then


people are not going to be happy. That is not what is being promised


is it? Not yet, but it is in the right direction. You have got


Cameron going one way, saying he wants more flexible labour markets,


agency workers is a good example of where Ed Miliband, I think, will go


next and saying we need stronger laws that in essence outmanoeuvre


the European Union and their flexible labour market mentality on


agencies. If that happens that would be hugely popular in the country.


You are rather chuffed aren't you? I think it is rather good move because


I would like to see Britain remain in the European Union. I don't want


to see an arbitary date in terms of referendum. It is right to have one


when there is a transfer of powers. Despite the fact as Emily has


pointed out, he's talking much of Cameron's language here? Well he is


a little bit on immigration, and I don't particularly necessary agree


with all of that. I think allowing the accession aid in 2004 was a good


move. Other things like not allowing child benefit for people who work


here from the European Union is perfectly acceptable. There are


sensible reforms, we do need Europe reformed and there is a real


possibility in getting more reform from Europe. But perhaps where I


would disagree with John is I think you are much more likely to get that


reform if you are seen to be somebody who wants to remain in


Europe and who doesn't threaten to leave at arbitary dates. What does


it do to the position of UKIP in the elections do you think? Well, you


know, UKIP are going to continue to argue that we should leave and we


need to leave immediately. Obviously the Conservatives will say we're the


only party which you can rely on to have a referendum early on in this.


And in some ways we have seen it with the Immigration Minister and


Conservatives, they will try to out-UKIP, UKIP on some issues.


Ultimately that is dangerous because if you are worried about immigration


and decide you want to stop it at all costs you will vote for UKIP not


a pale imitation. That gives you a problem doesn't it? UKIP, if they


weren't a bunch of fruitcakes then UKIP would be getting somewhere.


Let's hold the abuse aside for a second? That is how the public sees


them, not just me, and therefore UKIP, they will do better at the


European elections, there are other elections. But this isn't about


UKIP. They are still voting for these fruitcakes. If you want a


referendum on Europe the only people to guarantee it are UKIP and Tories?


The agenda in Europe will change when you get extreme parties in the


right and left anti-European Union, in other countries, particularly the


south and Eastern Europe, you get them elected to the European


Parliament, that is the earthquake that is coming. What Ed Miliband


needs to do when that happens is take the big issues, such as agency


workers, such as jobs, and ensure that the Labour Party is speaking


for its own voters on that. If it does, it will be the right position


in British politics. We will get more jobs if we remain in the


European Union. We extend the European market and push hard on


trade agreements and make sure it is the capital city of Europe. Those


are the areas we will ensure greater job production than we will by


threatening to leave or fighting on single issues that could actually


jeopardise our membership. Thank you very much both of you. It is a


little over a month since a man from Sussex became the first British


person to die carrying out a suicide bomb attack in the Syrian Civil War.


He left behind three children. There are said to be hundreds of British


men who may have become involved in that war about whom the security


forces say they have significant worries. It boils down to this,


could someone who travels to fight in a foreign war return to Britain


so hardened that they are willing to use violence here to advance their


beliefs? We report. This is Britain's first suicide


bomber killed in Syria. Filmed moments before he blew himself up,


at the gates of Aleppo Prison. Abdul Majid is the tenth man from Britain


known to have died on the Mirrian battlefield. He has been portrayed


as dang us fanatic, adding to the authorities' fears that this will


bring bloodshed back home. They may be radicalised and brutalised by


some of the experiences they see. Syria has become the Jihadi


destination of choice. But to his family, friends and some Muslims


Majid was something else entirely. My brother was not a terrorist. My


brother was a hero. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save the


Syrian people. We have spoken exclusively to his closest friend,


who travelled to Syria with him. I don't see how he is in any way


promoting the idea of returning back to any western country to carry out


acts of terrorism. His journey started in Crawley West Sussex, but


ended thousands of miles from home. When he got behind the wheel of this


struck bomb. This is the story of the man from Martyres Avenue. He's


in the camp and putting on a show for the children here. It was days


before his family realised he had been involved. He had gone to Syria


six months earlier with a nationwide aid convoy. My heart sank, my mum


and dad's hearts san We were extremely grief-striken when we saw


the moment, extremely shocked and deeply, deeply worried. Majeed was a


married man with three children. He had a steady job with the Highways


Agency. His brother said Majeed went to Syria to make a difference. He


saw there was people being oppressed, people with no food,


people being torn apart from their families, people being put in prison


and he just thought this was a great injustice. His friend went with him,


he says that they maintained refugee camps along the Turkey-Syria border,


Mr Mahmood returned in January but his friend stayed on. We put down


panels for channels for generators to be set up. Cables to be tied to


poles. These kinds of ideas to improve the situation in a


particular campsite. Did he ever fight? No, no. Did he ever talk


about fighting? No. Very, very busy with the work he was doing. There


was periods of time when we were apart. Wren When we were together it


was the might of the people, how we were assisting and helping them.


Majeed's family and friends believe he launched an attack to free


prisoners after reports of appalling treatment in the jails. His friend


said he had been deeply affected by the war. You would see the glaze in


his eye, and tears, these stories are shocking what these people have


gone through. My's Majeed's attack was carried out by one of several


affiliated to Al-Qaeda groups. The BBC has been unable to verify


claims. Afterwards there were reports that Majeed, who lived on


the improbably named In the at thes Avenue. As man he had attended talks


of a group. It is claimed the leader drove him to regular meetings in the


town. Some of the men were convicted in Operation Crevice, a massive


operation that thwarted plots to blow up targets in Britain. Majeed


was not implicated and he had left Al Majhagaroon. He had been in touch


with them and they didn't marry with his beliefs. He stayed with them for


a short time and moved on. This man's brother was jailed for his


part in a plot but neither he nor his brother were Jihadists he says.


While Majeed's final days are unclear, other men are clear about


their intentions. Such talk has triggered alarm back home, police


have arrested more than 30 people this year in investigations related


to Syria, including four people today. The former Quan tan Mo bay


detainee Begg is one of those arrested. There is mounting concern


in Whitehall, one official says Syria is the biggest security


challenge since 9/11. MI5 is looking at hundreds of men in Syria. They


could return battle hardened prepared to bring terrorism to the


streets of Britain. I understand the desire for people to want to help,


to give humanitarian assistance. But that puts them at risk going out


there, and they may come into contact with extremist


organisations, sometimes linked to Al-Qaeda, the al-Nusra front, the so


called Islamic state of Iraq and Levant, how they might be


radicalised or brutalised by some of the experiences they see. At


Crawley's main mosque some worshippers are sceptical that


anyone fighting to bring down Syria's corrupt regime could be a


threat to Britain. As far as I'm aware no innocents were targeted.


You could question what he did, but I wouldn't say he's terrorising


anyone the people say it is an act of terrorism, who is he terrorising.


Mosque leaders say Muslims feel an obligation to help the Syrians, they


now fear if they do they will be criminalised. It is very confusing,


the message is not clear. Every day new messages come up and they came


too late. Ministers deny any confusion, for them it is quite


clear. People should not travel to Syria. Because of the risk that it


poses to them and how actually it makes matters worse, it does not


assist in terms of the Syrian people who have said clearly they don't


want foreign fighters but humanitarian aid. Black in Crawley,


Majeed's family are coming to terms with his death. For them he died


trying to do good, no matter how shocking it would appear to others.


A lot of people would struggle to understand how driving a truck full


of explosives into a target would help anybody If I can put it like


this, and if my brother had been a soldier and the people in that


prison. And the act of bravery he did, I know he would have been


awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross. My brother was not a


terrorist but a hero, he was not a threat to the British public and


never has been a threat to the British public. They can feed you,


lend you money and bury you, but the Co-Op apparently cannot run itself


efficiently. The man appointed to sort it all out resigned saying more


or less it was ungovernable. The poor old Co-Op, once a name for


non-conformist probity, had a leader in a drugs sting, another leader


walk out and apparent hedge funds with expensive suits. The latest man


to go, jumped or pushed. What he was trying to do was clear out the


maze-like structure of the Co-Op, as well as slim it down. He was going


to take power from members, they have a strange, unusual democracy in


the business, he made enemies trying to do that, not least that people


didn't like the fact he was going to be paid ?3 million to do so. I'm


told a small but disruptive group on the board essentially made it


impossible for him to stay. This afternoon he walked, having


threatened to resign. What is interesting is there are seven


different inquiries going on into what went wrong at the Co-Op, seven


of them. And I'm told that for some people his departure is seen as


having been a semi-deliberate move to cover the back sides of those who


may be discredits when what really went wrong goes public. Let's not be


inhibited by the seven inquiries, what has gone wrong at the Co-Op? A


group founded on 19th century ethics of graft, saving and looking after


your neighbours really got a bit greedy. In the last ten years they


started buying up lots of businesses, most notably taking on


the Britannia, with lots of bad debt. You ended up with a business


built around a democratic committee structure trying to run a sprawling


group owing lots of money to lots of people. I think there was a culture


clash and they couldn't cope with the business. They do now have a


financial plan to shore up the business, but there are still lots


of whispers in the city that they could end up on the brink again. We


expect them toy a nouns ?2 billion worth of losses in the next couple


of weeks. Their group's revenue last year was only -- to announce a ?2


billion worth of losses in the next couple of weeks, they can't really


withstand more losses stemming the flow. The death of one of the best


known trade union leaders in Britain was announced today, last month Bob


Crow was vilified for taking a holiday in Brazil just before a


planned strike on the London Underground. Today even his enemies


were naming him a man of Prince penal and determination. The respect


for the dead is as old as the hills, but today there seemed to be


something else going o Joining Paul Merton tonight is the transport


leader who boasts he uses public transport every day, not if some


idiot calls a strike, please welcome Bob Crow. He may not have led the


biggest of trade unions but he had a name known the envy of some party


leaders. He was painted as a Boeing Yeoman and he loved it. We have to


stop now, because Bob has negotiated a ten-minute tea break! He He wasn't


a man of half measures or compromise, not what you would call


a mincer of words. I feel absolutely betrayed by this new Labour


Government, for not renationalising this rail network and stealing ahead


with the privatisation of London Underground. They called him


variously a dinosaur, a firebrand, a communist, no insult to him, frozen


commuters on strike bound railway platforms called him much worse. Yet


his unexpected death drew near universal acknowledgement he did his


job well. I didn't always agree with what he had to say. I will say this,


together with other union members Bob Crow unquestionably helped to


drive forward huge progress on London Underground and he leaves a


massive legacy behind. Other unions might wither, but during his dozen


years at the RMT, membership significantly increased. It wasn't


that he was unafraid, it was that he could start a fight in an empty


room. This was mere days before the last tube strike. Sit round a table,


explain about the new technology. I'm sorry Bob, there is a table to


be sat round by you and your team. But we can't do it with a gun to our


head. Yet for all his reputation as an old-style union prize fighter,


Bob Crow was media savvy and politically quite acute. All you


normally need to do in length land to become a national treasure sure


is to live long enough, he didn't get the chance. But in his death he


seems to have become one any way. Here to discuss Bob Crow's legacy is


the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, and with him the Times


columnist and Danny Finkelstein, Lord Fink


The strategy We admire people on the public stage


who stand up for the things they believe in and people are saying


nice things about him. Everyone has their own views, I didn't agree with


his politics and thought he was wrong-headed. On the day he dies


naturally people are respecting him, that is the good thing about this


country, people are decent to each other in these sorts of situations.


Part of it is being compute off in your prime, isn't it? It is, if he


hadn't died today he would be vilified for the stance he took. But


the big thing about Bob Crow is I can't think of any other group of


people in working-class jobs whose pay and conditions and pension


haven't been degraded over recent years. He fought to keep them with a


decent standard of living. He succeeded, and I think it is a


strong lesson to other trade unionists, it is no good pandering


to the establishment or trying to suck up, or hoping you will get a


deal. At the end of the day you have to stand up and fight or your


members' living standard will be degraded. Are you nodding there? I


thought it was He was an unusual figure. Bob Crow understood


capitalism, he cornered the market in railway workers and exploited the


monopoly he created. When he argued towards the end of his life he was


worth the money he was paid, he was quite right. But that was at


variance with the principle of equity. The money he was getting for


railway workers had to come from other workers travelling on the


tube. So that tension actually was one of the things that bedevilled


the Labour Party in the 1960s and 1970s, as they began to realise that


trade unionism pushing for wages for less well off people and vulnerable


people, a very good thing, is at variance of the broader principle of


equity, because it involves fighting for a sectional interest. Crow was a


really interesting figure and he will be analysed for a long time,


partly when people die shocking deaths and they are young that leads


sort of people to assess their careers when they are in mid-flight


I suppose that will happen. What did you make of the fact that Boris


Johnson sought out the first television camera he could in order


to say what a wonderful chap Bob Crow was? Having basically


disparaged him for several years and refusing to meet him. Bob Crow was


one of my supporters when I was running as an independent against


the new Labour machine. We had a joint campaign against Gordon


Brown's attempt to partially privatise the underground. Once I


had become the mayor and I had to negotiate we had rows and


disagreements. What I found good about Bob is he would come into the


room and tell you exactly what he wanted, there was never any


dissellbling, and dishonesty. We had some terrible rows but at the end of


the day the number of days lost under strikes in the six years I was


running the underground were cut by 98%, we did a fair deal. Stop


blowing your own trumpet, let's deal with the terrain of why people rush


out to be nice? It may be an element of hypocrisy, but it is benign. A


desire, you know, he has got a young family, he has died at a tragically


young age. I think of course an element of triumph for him because


he lived his life absolutely to full and all the way to the end. That is


the sort of triumph and strategy I'm sure he wouldn't want to be seen as


a tragic figure. It's a benign hypocrisy, I wouldn't want to live


in a society, I think Nigel Farage included an attack on the EU on his


tweet on Bob Crow. You know you don't want to be the first person to


make a minor political point when someone has just died. When Mrs


Thatcher died I was fairly moderate in my criticism, I stand remind


people every time she was re-elected the suicide rate doubled in the


following month. Because they have got relatives and family around. It


was classy to wait until now, I thought. I did write it up about 20


years ago. The other thing about him he was personally very charming


wasn't he. He had a charisma and a reasonableness? I think lots of


people have said, that I didn't meet him for very long, you have to


preach to that. To me speaking as a middle-class Jew from Pinner, he was


quite aggressive, I suspect that was part of how he got what he wanted


from people. I found him personally sort of bristling with a bit of


menace. But I can imagine he was charming. You can't get to the top


of a union like that and make the kind of strong appeal, he was in


some tough fights. I do have to say I didn't think they were always


well-picked fights and they were in favour of a sectional interest on


behalf of which he did very well. But I, I would say this, and he


would expect me to say this I think that was at the expense of a broader


interest. What is so striking about Bob Crow, there are so few


working-class people still in leading positions in Britain. Years


ago in parliament and business there were. We have had a middle-class,


everyone has to be a graduate and all that, the good thing about Bob


Crow, having got that position he carried on living his life as he had


before. He didn't leave his council flat to buy a house in Hampstead or


have a chauffeur-driven car and use transport, he was confident and


happy in his working-class culture. We have seen the working-class


culture being demonised, it is all Benefits Street, and the respect


that post-war generation of politicians had for the


working-class because they had fought with them in the Second World


War and they saw their courage, that has been striped out of society.


There is lots of conservatism to admire in someone who has an


appreciation of their identity and see it as a position. I can't agree


with him living in a council house, this is not the moment for beige


argument about that. I think there was more to it than simply an


identity issue. But nevertheless, his private in his identity and


willingness to exemptionify was obviously part of why he will be


well known and highly thought of by lots of people and controversial to


lots of others. Thank you very much. The Malaysian airliner that


disappeared four days ago still hasn't been found. Despite the area


of the search being doubled. The plain fact is no-one has any idea


where the aircraft and the 239 human beings on board are. Flying is such


an intrinsic part of modern life, many of us prefer to ignore that


nagging anxiety. How do I know that this thing I'm sitting inside won't


just fall out of the sky. Simply not being controlled is troubling


enough, leaving aside the possibility that you might suddenly


disappear without a trace. The My guest is here. You are writer in


residence at Heathrow weren't you? I spent a good month at Heathrow. Long


enough I would have said! Have you any idea as to why this is so


troubling, this idea of a plane and all its passengers disappearing? I


think we are recalibrating risk. We assume, largely because of


smartphones, that wherever we go we are being watched by satellite in


the sky. That is not true. We are being flattered by our mobile


technology. The earth remains vast, there are lots of mysteries, and


what happens to this plane is what happens in lots of areas of medical


science and other areas of science where there are still mysteries, not


everything is answerable or under our control. It is a terribly


humiliating event for human beings who like to feel they have mastered


the map, they know where stuff is, this is worse than the marry sell


lest, -- Marie Celeste, it is a lesson in hubris and had you malty.


How much -- humility. How much is it to do with the fact of flight? There


is no doubt flying remains an imaginatively extraordinary thing to


do. We are earth bound creatures to take to the skies is a daunting and


hubrisistic thing to do. Why do we buy all the duty-free and the


rigmarole and shows on planes. It remains for humans a daunting thing.


We have erased a lot of the risk, but some risk still remains. We feel


some of that risk just intuitively. There is nothing more natural than


the fear of flying, it is not warranted by accident statistics,


but by the sheer implausibilty of being at 35,000 feet. So we feel an


echo of that when we feel anxious, trapped in one of those tubes. Sheer


peculiarity of a plane disappearing though, that is really weird isn't


it? The news wants answers immediately. It hasn't disappeared,


we just don't know the answer yet. There are lots of things to which we


don't yet know the answer. Because we are so telescoped in and want


answers to everything immediately. We think a couple of days is a


momentous amount of time. 20, 30 years ago, when things disappeared,


ships, planes, one waited, and it might be a week. It is not that


long, it will show up. It hasn't disappeared, all traces can't be


gone, it will be found. It will just take longer than the news cycle. It


is a measure of how much we generally know. We know a lot and a


lot of questions are answered for us on the hour. This one is going to


take a lot long Tory resolve. That is deeply puzzling, but we need to


be more modest about our capacities: It is also putting yourself in the


hands of somebody else. You are up there and some people understand why


a plane flies and some don't, but you are not at the controls? I found


out the more you know about flying the scarier it gets. The less you


know you think it is done by machines and whatever, what you


realise is when you read pilots' forums it is a heavy and physical


business. Landing a plane. Pilots will talk about a "difficult


landing". That is scary for a passenger, what is a very difficult


landing? It remains a challenging job. It is extraordinary that


tonight in western Europe some 2,000 planes landed without incident at


airports across the land mass. We don't give those a second thought.


Very owe cruellyly something like this goes wrong. The stairs remain


much riskier, the shower much more deadly than any Malaysian airliner.


At the end of the day this is a giant momento, it is reminding us,


life is brief, death can come suddenly, you could die of a stroke


standing up in a studio, we don't expect it because we have such faith


in our machines. Our machines do not guarantee us total immunity from


death. It may come this evening. We need to be cautious, kind to one


another while we are alive and modest about our capacities. Thank


you very much, thanks. Scarcely a day goes by without one melancholy


bulletin or another from Iraq, another killing or suicide bombing.


But there is one corner of the country to which people are heading


to get away from it all. The city of Urbil, capital of Iraqi consider


disstand is famed for night life. Since it is within striking distance


of the border with the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is something of


a magnet for young Iranians desperate for forbidden fruit like


dancing and distilled liquor. For young Iranians desperate for


forbidden fruit like dancing and distilled liquor. Nothing tastes


sweeter than freedom, even for a few days. Far from the eyes of the


Iranian morality police, young Iranians flock to Urbil. It is a


quiet corner of northern Iraq, close to the Iranian border. And there has


been an explosion of shopping malles and nightclubs. This is Iraq, but


not as we know it. Here there are more cranes than Minerates, more


buildings than mosques. This has become the fun place in the region,


especially for young Iranians who live a few hours away over the


border. It is very easy for those Iranians to come here. It is not


far, and they don't need a visa. When the sun goes down the young


Iranians come out. Nasila, not her real name is from Tehran. She comes


here frequently. The Iranians who come to Kurdistan, they drink too


much, because they can find even in the desert alcohol, they show


themselves with the short dress and they just think freedom is only


that. This is something between me and cousins when we came to


Kurdistan, I wrote "what you want might make you cry, but what you


need might pass you by". She's going to one of the most exclusive


nightclubs to join her Iranian friends. It is around $10 a drink.


Hamid is from Iran, he's a DJ. He has been in many underground parties


in Iran, but likes to come to Urbil where he can party


These young Iranians are doing something that many in the west take


for granted, but for them it is a big deal. A lot of people from Iran


are joining us in the past year or so, more and more have been


visiting. Especially in the holidays, on the national holidays.


And it is not just Iranians who are flocking to Iraqi Kurdistan, with


its rapid construction and liberal ethos it is attracting visitors from


all over the world. But Hamed is worried his Government might prevent


Iranians from coming here in the future.


Hamed and Nasila represent a new generation of young Iranians, they


won't accept strict Islamic rules of the clerics.


Well that's just about it for tonight. Let's have a quick look at


some of tomorrow morning's front pages. As expected Ed Miliband's


announcement on the EU referendum which may or may not be promised is


on the front page of the Financial Times.


That's almost all for tonight, before we go the latest evidence


that comedy is shouldering out journalism. The American spoof chat


show presenter Zag Galofiniakas, won an exclusive interview with Barack


Obama, it appears in the Funny or Die website. You know what I would


do if I was President, Mr President. I would make same-sex divorce


illegal, and then see how bad they want it? I think that's not why you


are President, that is a good thing. You said if you had a son you


wouldn't let him play football. What makes you think he would want to


play football, what if he was a nerd like you. Do you think a woman like


Michelle would marry a nerd, why don't you ask her whether she thinks


I'm a nerd. Can I? No, I'm not going to let her near you. Which country


were you rooting for in the winter Olympics? Seriously?


Pretty cold out there in northern areas with patches of fog around, a


grey start further south. I'm hopeful the cloud will get nibbled


away by the sunshine. Most of us can look forward


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman. Includes Labour EU referendum plans, the Crawley suicide bomber, the situation at the Co-op, Bob Crow, the missing plane and young Iranians partying in Iraq.

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