18/03/2014 Newsnight


News stories with Jeremy Paxman. Including Crimea joins Russia, murder in the heart of Africa, human rights in Saudi Arabia and Nobel prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman.

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Putin redraws the map and extinguishes the peninsulas's


Ukrainian identity. On the eve of the budget, does the Chancellor of


the Exchequer have room to wing a cat. He has obey the economic


realities and economic data. In the heart of Africa, an unreported


campaign of sectarian murder. This is a strategy the outside world is


unaware of, ethnic and religious cleansing on a massive scale. These


are the only remaining Muslims for hundreds of miles around, and these


gates and troops are all that is protecting them from likely death.


The author of Thinking Fast And Slow on how to make your mind up. Are you


good at making decisions? Not very! Shouldn't you be? No!


With a stroke of the pen the Russian President rewrote history today and


appropriated part of a neighbouring country. Crimea, he declared, was


once again an intergrel part of Russia. So much for what even


European Union ministers conceded are a rather toothless lot of


sanctions. Putin claimed the border had been redrawn without a shot


being fired. Not quite, for one Ukrainian was shot dead. Our


diplomatic editor is in the apple capital of Crimea where the incident


took place. What happened? Well, late this afternoon this operation


went ahead, on a sort of industrial estate, the place has been described


as base, it was more of an office, if you like. With around a dozen, we


think, Ukrainian service personnel in it. One of many, many sites that


has been be siegeed these past few weeks. We passed by as it was


happening, we're staying very close to it. Later on we went back as the


situation had become clearer and it seems that Russians went in there


and basically, forcibly, evacuated the place, there was some kind of


struggle and one man, named by the Ukrainian defence ministry as


Warrant Officer Kokurin was killed. The others were taken away in buses


after the incident was over. The Crimean authorities dispute that,


but from eyewitness reports it seems to be broadly correct. What is the


mood there? Well, of course, if you bear in mind that most people here


are Russian and want union with Russia it has been day of great


excitement. We went down to the southern part just near S version


eastipol, to watch the speech, it was a fascinating delivery of speech


and message and insight into his policy and mentality. One message


for the internal audience, if you like, the Russians, and another for


the outer, the wider world. The message to Russians full of


religious, historical and political references, justifying Russia's


claim to take over Crimea. Of course he said it was an inacceptable part


of Russia and the people in the of a cafe loved it, there were great


cheers as he finished his speech. The message to the wider world, he


was clearly trying to draw a line. He's clearly saying he doesn't want


to go further, the problem is that some of his messages to the Russian


audience send mixed messages that will be harder for the wider world


to read. Can you read how they are interpreting Russia's behaviour?


This incident tonight, obviously we believe it is resulting in the death


of a serviceman. It has brought a statement from Kiev, from the


Ukrainian Government saying that Ukrainian forces have now been given


orders they can use their weapons in self-defence. If you think about it


is pretty remarkable they weren't already under such orders given what


has been happening in the last few weeks. If you think about being a


serviceman, subject to rules of engagment that means you can't use


your weapon in defence of yourself. You will understand why many people


in those bases are demoralised. We spoke to a couple of people from one


of the bases recently, we got a real sense of the mood in there people


are dividing. Some are deciding they will turn their coats and serve with


Russia, others that they have to leave and go back to the Ukraine.


So, the Ukrainian response to what has happened today has been to say


that this is entering a new phase, a military phase, but on the ground in


this particular place, the signs are that the campaign of pressure of


psychological warfare, if you like, on these garrisons, is slowly but


surely mopping them up. Thank you very much indeed. When I want a


decent review of my work I will write one, we're all familiar enough


with the problem of whether you can believe in apparently independent


assessment of a hotel or a restaurant or book or film which


appears in cyberspace. But aren't you entitled to expect more from a


website assessing healthcare. The idea that patients should be able to


rate and comment on hospitals is a key recommendation of the inquiry


into high levels of mortality among those being treated in Staffordshire


hospitals. Supposing the reviews haven't been written by patients but


by employees? That is rather what Newsnight discovered when we


investigated one such site. Gone are the days when patients were passive


recipients of their care. They are making their feelings now by leaving


comments on patient feedback websites. Patients can award stars


for things like cleanliness, a bit like rating a hotel. We all know


about authors reviewing their own books on-line, these new system, are


they open to the same abuse? Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust


uses the website Patient Opinion, the Trust prides itself on how


quickly it responds to patients' comments. However, we have


discovered that half of the reviews, more than #00 in total, were posted


by staff on behalf of patients. But more troubling than that, the NHS


puts these same comments on its own site, but without making clear which


ones have been posted by staff. Your data has already shown that staff in


the NHS are reporting data. That is wrong. But the data they are


reporting is skewing the results. That has to be wrong. It is making


the data the public sees as almost meaningless. The NHS has now removed


all of the 6512 Nottinghamshire -- 652 Nottinghamshire reviews. In a


statement they said they acknowledged the postings needed to


be clearer about who is writing them and they are working on a solution


for this, internally and with patient opinion. Patient Opinion


told us it changed the site to make it clearer when reviews are posted


by NHS staff by patients. They accept that it must be clear to


everybody when a story has been added by staff. We decided to


broaden our investigation to see whether the NHS's new patient


feedback website, Care Connect, piloted in 18 hospital Hospital


Trusts is open to the same abuse. We started going through hundreds of


patient reviews, it wasn't long before they were suspicious about


some of the comments. "Very impressed with the surgeon, the


investigations were erformed so eVISHTly, so impressed", "the doctor


was so helpful, lovely staff", this one just had five stars. In order to


find out if NHS staff were posting the opinions, we had to find the IP


addresses, that is like a postcode. We were suspicious about nine


hospitals, through a Freedom of Information request, we got the IP


addresses and discovered that NHS computers were being used. Six of


the 100 most recent reviews came from hospital computers. We also


found that the reviews posted from NHS computers were more positive. A


whole star rating more positive than the other comments on the Care


Connect site. It was in the wake of the scandal that Mid Staffordshire


Trust, that Robert Francis QC called for fundamental change in the NHS.


It was a culture which trumpeted successes and said little about


failings. Relatives were ignored or even reproached. Our NHS is not safe


in their hands. But one year on, not everyone is convinced the NHS has


learned. We have known for a long time that the culture of the NHS is


one of staff feeling under pressure to deliver results. This is now a


symptom of that, that staff are putting on results that aren't


necessarily true and it is interfering with the results under


the marking system or the star-rating system we have got


today. That is the thing that we should be addressing. Hospital


truant budgets are linked to how well they are rated by patients, and


whether they would recommend them to families. Patients and families


think the NHS will tell them the truth. It does struggle hard to tell


them the truth. But if there is an inaccidentive to do little things --


incentive to do little things, like putting in this story that looks


good, it attacks the fundamental trust between citizen and health


service that lies at the core of what is a fantastic service at the


NHS. We don't know for certain why these reviews are being posted from


NHS computers. It could be just that NHS staff are proud of the work they


are doing. After all the negative publicity they have got in recent


years it is hardly surprising that some staff might want to boost the


ratings of their hospital. But, the problem with all of this is, is that


it undermines that transparency and openness that the NHS now says it


values so highly. We have the director of patient experience for


the NHS in England. You have to accept that you can't guarantee all


the reviews are genuine? We can't guarantee all reviews are coming


from patients and families, but we are very sure that the vast majority


are. You can't be sure, can you? We can. How can you be sure? Because


what was happening in Nottingham is a very interesting experiment


really, where what they have been trying to do is to help vulnerable


patients to have a voice. So what those reviews were doing, they were


coming from learning disability services, they were coming from


secure hospitals, they were coming from older people in mental health


wards and what staff were doing was writing up their feedback for them


and posting it on Patient Opinion. I have read a lot of the reviews, they


are not all positive, a lot of them have criticisms, a lot of them have


areas for improvement. The point is the NHS is leading the world in


regards to patient feedback. It is meaningless if you can't guarantee


its authenticity? It is not meaningless. If you look from


Nottingham, the two films are different issues, what you can show


is that what staff are doing is reporting issues for patients which


are often things that are going wrong, patients are saying we need


internet access, we need a better range of activities on the wards.


The interesting thing for me is that 550 staff were reading those stories


in Nottingham and acting on them. We can demonstratism improvements. That


-- demonstrate improvements. But we have no way of knowing, the comments


are anonymous and we are not sure who is posting them? We had to get


it in proportion. There are 300,000 comments from patients and carers on


NHS Choices. You can't tell me whether 299,000 of them are genuine?


Well, I think what guaranties the reliability of this information is


the scale. So there are 300,000 of comments from patients and carers on


NHS Choices, there is 1. 8 million from patients and in the friends and


family test. What you are talking about in patient opinion is 18,000.


The vast majority of those are from patients and carers and families


too. So that kind of scale you cannot gain it. So you assert. You


just have to read the feedback, it is interesting you didn't quote the


feedback in the film. The feedback a lot of it is about praise, a lot of


is about criticism, a lot is about suggestions for improvement. What we


have demonstrated? It doesn't matter who has posted it,


what is the point in quoting it? If you look at people have said, a


comment I read earlier, somebody saying that the staff were very


approachable on the ward but the activities were quite juvenile. They


wanted some support in the budgeting so when they went back home they


were able... That is as pointless as quoting anything else because you


don't know who wrote it? You do know in that instance it has clearly come


from a user of that service. So you assert? It is addressing


shortcomings in the service. Improvements have been brought about


as a result of that feedback being posted. Now I think what we have


done is we have removed the comments on patient opinion because the issue


here is transparency, as you say. We have to be clear that feedback has


either come from patients or that it has come from staff. And we haven't


been able to do that with this particular feed on to NHS choices.


We have suspended that feed until we have been able to sort that problem


out. But actually the vast majority are clearly from patients and carers


and families, you just have to read them to see that. Thank you very


much indeed. In the world of news, with all its drum beat urgency and


self-importance, it is rare to hear the line "there's nothing to


report". But in the case of the vanished Malaysian airliner it is


true. That of course is the point, how can an enormous aircraft, packed


with living human beings just vanish. Everything, accident,


hijacking, sabotage, mental breakdown of the pilot remains


possible. David Grossman doesn't know, but he's intrigued what


happens when demand and supply gets so madly out of kilter. Dozens of


theories have been put forward for what happened to this plane, some of


which there is little evidence for. There are a few firm facts like


take-off time, range, weight, passenger numbers and crew numbers.


The initial flight path and then there are a series of facts that


just prompt more questions, like the condition reporting system on the


plane, ACARS senting out its final signal at 01. 07. Previously the


Malaysian Prime Minister had said this ACARS system was switched off


before the crew made their last voice call at 01. 19, that it was


deliberately disabled by someone on board, fact not reported by the crew


in the last communication. Today however the authorities backtracked


saying they couldn't be sure precisely when the ACARS system


stopped working, but downplayed whether it mattered. Up until the


point it left military primary coverage the aircraft's movements


were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. That


remains the issue with the investigation team. It is also


important to note the precise time ACARS was disabled has no bearing on


the search operation. Accounts of what happened after the last voice


call are imprecise and often contradictory. We have reports that


the careful has turned west and been tracked with primary radar. All I


can say it is reports, we have all sorts of conflicting rumours at the


moment that the aircraft was flying at 5,000 feet, 45,000 feet, or


29,500 feet. We have the Malaysians saying they think it is the 777 and


it takes a week to analyse the radar take with some quite sophisticated


software in order to determine that. We don't know if they are


undertaking that analysis. The Malaysians say that radar signal


disappeared at O2. 15. But say radar experts, it is not clear what sort


of contact it was, was it a plotted others or unexpected dots. Malaysian


military defence system is very modern, it was only commissioned 12


months ago. And contains some of the most sophisticated equipment in the


world today. So you might expect some pretty good data to come out of


that military radar system? If they have it. Why haven't we got any more


concrete details yet from that system do you think, or are they


just not letting us know this stuff? That could be the case, or that they


have only got the spurious tracks. After that there is one more piece


of concrete information the authorities have to work with? We


have a satellite report, another communication system on board the


plane, autonomously sending back information. That has given us an


arc that the aircraft was in at the time that the message was received


and we know the remaining range of the aircraft if it had been there.


Which enables us to design some search patterns to look for the


aircraft. Beyond that at the moment there is an awful lot of


speculation. Which leads us tonight, with teams from 24 flayingses --


nations searching an area of 22 square nautical miles. They could


use surveillance satellites, they are not GS stationary, they are


moving around the earth. These are mainly military, they contain a


sophisticated radar which is called synthetic aperture radar. That maps


everything underneath it. There is one final fact we can say for sure,


the search for the flight is the longest in modern commercial


aviation history. Once upon a time there was a


Chancellor of the Exchequer who resigned because he disclosed what


was going to be in his budget before he told parliament. Only less than


20 years ago when the Daily Mirror was sent the budget speech the day


beforehand. The newspaper sent it back unpublished. Last night you


could hardly set foot on a London street without some dodgy


propagandaist thrusting an exclusive into your hand and any reporter.


Today they came over a bit more coy. They have gone quiet haven't they?


It is like tumbleweed out there. It is deathly silent and for exactly


the reasons you have just laid out. Last year, particularly, was very


leaky and the fingers were being pointed at the Liberal Democrats.


Today they have all sort of held back, the only public


preannouncement we have had is the very visible sign of the deputy PM


and the PM wanting to do this shoulder-to-shoulder. One tiny bone


we have been thrown is this new ?1 coin, 12-sided, two colours. They


are calling it the most secure in the world. I wonder if there is a


subliminal message in there, that the Chancellor can stand up and say


my secure pound and your secure money, or maybe, I don't know, there


is a thistle on it and they are trying to get the Scots on side for


later. But there is very little tangible stuff. What is the theme


likely to be tomorrow do you think? I get the impression that the


Chancellor is going all out to have a sort of blue collar budget. That


might be a phrase you detest. But there seems to be measures that will


be aimed very SCOMBARL at low-paid workers. -- squarely aimed at


low-paid workers. Bingo will have its rate lowered, it sounds like a


small thing, it only costs ?20 million. Which is nothing in


Chancellor terms. It is a small thing? But it is played by ?3


million people in the country, two million are women. And in a week


where we have seen the Eton mess line, the "how many Eatonians do you


need to run a cabinet? ". All the stuff about high end expenses and


the row over the 40p tax bracket, this could be a shrewd signal by a


Chancellor who we know is a politician before anything else,


that is aimed directly at saying we need to get those swing voters back


on side, the working-classes that Margaret Thatcher landed when she


was in power. Everybody budget speech is the


biggest since the last biggest, but the fact of the matter is that while


George Osborne may be a wealthy man, it is not his money, and there is


not that much of it. We take a look at his room for manoeuvre.


The Chancellor would love to give away some proper goodies in the


budget tomorrow. A big tax cut or major spending project. George


Osborne does want to be re-elected afterall, but he can't. He has to


obey the economic realities. He has to obey the economic data. The


economy is growing again, we are in recovery. But it always takes a


little bit of time for an economy to grow back to where it was before it


was in recession after it was in recession. This is the shape of the


recovery that took place after the early 80s recession. This is the


shape of the recovery from the early 1990s. This is the shape of the


recovery we are in right now. It is going to take until some time later


this year for our economy to grow back to where it was in 2008. That


was never the plan. When the coalition took office, it hoped that


weak sterling would mean that exports would rise very quickly,


that would be one of the things that would power a quick strong recovery.


Unfortunately that strong export growth never really materialised.


Largely because the world economy is so weak. There are things about


Britain's economic performance that economists are quite baffled by


though. So take productivity. That is the amount of stuff that workers


can make in an hour. It hasn't really been growing as everyone


expected it would after the recession. What about austerity? You


can't find OK two economists who actually agree about what the effect


of the Government spending cuts has been on the British economy.


Whatever the causes of Britain's economic weakness, there has been


one really big effect in so far as the Treasury is concerned, that is


on the deficit. This is how much they hoped that the deficit would be


this year, and this is how much it looks like it is going to be. The


fact that it is taking longer to bring the amount that we are


borrowing each year down is why the Government has already pencilled in


austerity well into the next parliament. Still, there is good


news. Unemployment never really took off during this recession. In the


way it has during previous downturns in this country or in our European


neighbours. Growth is picking up at a pretty good rate too. That is why


Labour has been focussing its attention on the cost of living.


Incomes haven't been rising faster than prices, that means real


salaries are declining. But, even that affect may be coming to


answered, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says that wages are turning


a corner, real incomes are about to start rising. Still, we're not out


of the woods quite yet. Yes it is good news that growth is strong, yes


it is good news that lots of people are in work. But there is real


concern about what economists call spare capacity. The issue is, how


long the British economy can keep going at this sort of rate before it


starts to overheat. If it is the case that we can't keep the recent


levels of economic growth going into the coming years, then it probably


means there's more austerity on the way. Don't expect too much detail on


all of that from George Osborne tomorrow, he does have an election


to win. Don't expect any goodies any time soon either. Here to proVite


context on the -- provide context on the budget is Gillian. Let's start


with the one thing they are banging on the new coinet's start with the


one thing they are banging on the new coin. There are not goodies to


give away so they are trying to give away something you can touch which


is a coin. It is a gimmick? It is playing to patriotism, it is


designed on the 3p piece, for the older voters is a message of


security, solidity and timeless value, and a good distraction


device. Will it make up for a lack of content in the budget? Really


hasn't got a lot of things to give away. As Chris alluded to in the


piece, the same problems that dogs many economies today, there is


growth in the UK. The OECD came out recently and said the UK economy


will be the fastest-growing in the second quarter of the year among the


G 7s, the big industrialised nations. The question is, firstly,


is it just a sugar high. They have pumped a lot of glucose into the


economy in the form of easy money, is it sustainable or not? Secondly


does it affect anyone other than a tiny elite. Right now for many


ordinary British people it feels like just the rich are benefitting.


Do we understand why the economy appears to be growing? That is a


very good question. Certainly on the international stage the fact that


the UK has rebounded so fast is something of a surprise to many


bodies like the IMF. Not least because the UK has been more active


in promoting austerity than many other countries like America. There


is a lot of suspicion there is a sugar-high, to go back to taking a


body and pumping it full of glucose to create the look of energy. House


prices have been recovering and easy money has been flooding in. The


question is whether it is enough to get businesses investing and exports


going to create a sustainable recovery. Productivy growth is --


productivity growth is pathetic? If we needed reminding that economics


is as much an art as science that is it. Maybe productivity growth was


never that high before 2007 was the banking sector was creating the


illusion and inflating it. Maybe there is such a flexible work force


that companies are hanging on to workers and paying them nothing and


unemployment not rising as much as expected. It could be that. The


reality is we don't know. As Chris has pointed out. If it is a case


that productivity is very low we may have got to the stage where the


spare capacity has been eliminated, in which case it will be very


challenging to maintain the feel-good sentiment going forward.


Challenging meaning? It will be very tough. Either inflation will come


back and create a good old fashioned inflationary squeeze or growth will


taper off. Thank you very much. Now if you are looking for an example of


a failed state, the Central African Republic will serve you better than


most. The era of the deranged Emperor Picasso, father of 62


children and reported cannibal is over, but the country is now ravaged


in what some human rights groups describe as ethnic cleansing.


Christian mill ligses on the Muslim -- militias on the Muslim majority.


Under the watchful eyes of Christ and his apostles, the battered


remnants of a population being hunted to distinction. This church


is the refuge for 1,000 stragglers, in an historic exodus from the


central Afghan Republic. But they are not Christians. They are all


Muslims. Victims of a barrous militia that wants every one of them


gone. Many walked weeks to get here, attacked along the way with


unspeakable viciousness. This is a tragedy the outside world


is barely aware of. These are the only remaining Muslims for hundreds


of miles around. These gates and troops are all that is protecting


them from likely death. A small contingent of African Union


peacekeepers keeps guard here in this remote town. They wouldn't be


enough to beat off a determined attack. Though this is apparently a


Christian-Muslim conflict, the fugutives's real saviour is a


priest. He had death threats from the nominally Christian militia.


He argued with the militia, bought them off until the peacekeepers


arrived. This man is now an orphan, he


watched them go from door-to-door killing in every home.


Just outside the town we find the force that he ran from. Fresh they


boast from more killing. They want revenge for atrocities by a largely


Muslim rebel group that briefly won power last year in this


predominantly Christian nation. They believe these cattle, from local


herders of the Pearl Tribe, and these women, are their just rewards.


SDMRT back at the church the Muslim survivors must clear out every


Sunday morning to make way for mass. It is an uneasy moment as the


worshippers arrive, it is in the name of Christians like these that


the militia want Muslims eradicated. For all the preaching of love, hate


has spread through this once fairly tranquil country since last year's


rebellion by Muslim-led forces. Many of his flock has suffered and


want revenge! It is an extraordinary situation here, on the one hand of


course it is an ultimate act of Christian charity, protecting people


of another faith. On the other hand you can really feel the tension


between the people inside here and the Muslims sheltering all around


the outside. The moment the mass is over the fugutives move back,


rearranging their meagre possessions. They have been fed


mainly by the church, little has come from outside agencies. They


can't stay much longer. The vast majority of Central Africa's


Muslims, hundreds of thousands, have already left, thousands are dead.


But there is no force yet willing or able to evacuate them, they are


still waiting to be rescued. Or killed.


Saudi Arabia is about to astonish the world tomorrow by reforming its


human rights laws. It is famously a country keen on floggings and


beheadings, punishments said to have been decreed by God and not at all


keen on women doing things like driving cars. So what is the country


now planning? Joining us from Geneva is our guest. He's the deputy Saudi


Arabian minister of labour. What is the thing that most excites you


about these reforms? Thank you for having me on your programme.


Tomorrow we're having a significant report. I can say that the data and


the reports will show that we have made a very big step and towards the


human rights achievements of Saudi Arabia. Most have been accepted. And


you know maybe half of these accepted already in and now


implemented. I can mention especially with the recent


initiatives that have been put in place in Saudi Arabia, the first one


is about the ratificaton of 138 of the IOL regarding the minimum


working age. The second one is the significant step that has been


brought in Saudi Arabia, by signing an agreement with sending domestic


workers into Saudi Arabia, and this agreement to protect the rights of


the workers. We signed the agreement with the Philippines, India, Sri


Lanka and Indonesian. I'm confident this report is making a very big


step and the progress is part of what's happening in Saudi Arabia.


And you are going to allow women to travel I believe, that's going to be


big, they are driving around? Travelling for women in fact and


also the issue of women we are taking it very seriously. And we are


taking this you know issue as a holistic issue, we are empowering


women that only with travelling but also different aspects. Education is


a very important part. Also the second one is employment. If you can


see that in the last 30 years we had only 50,000 of our women in the


private labour market, and by the end of last year in December of


2013, eight-fold that number, almost more than 400,000 of our women


participating in our private labour market. Are they going to be able to


drive now? In fact as I said, I mean we are taking, you can see


tomorrow's report we have taken practical steps in order to empower


women in all aspects of life. So they will be able to drive? As I


said I would ask your audience to read the report tomorrow. You will


see that a lot of things have been done as practical steps in our


society. When you look at your society now and you think of it


maybe 20, 30 years time how westernised to you think it will be.


Do you think you will still have capital punishment and floggings and


many of the things that you say are culturally important to you, or do


you think you will be like western Europe? No, no, we don't think that,


we are not just copying what is in the western, we will see everything


good in Europe, and we have also our values, and also just an issue. We


have taken that very seriously in fact. Saudi Arabia made a big reform


in our justice system. In fact that is something we looked at seriously.


Do you imagine giving up capital punishment? For tomorrow the report


will see that. We waved capital punishment for miners, and for that


punishment we are keeping it for the more serious crimes. And also we


have a view for these cases in order to see and check about the


apublicability for this If bat and ball cost ?1. 10 and the bat is ?# 1


more than the bat how much is the ball. All of us answer 10p. It is an


example of what the Nobel Prize winner calls fast-thinking, in this


case it is also wrong thinking, of course the wrong answer is 5p, which


you might get to by what he calls slow-thinking. His book Thinking


Fast and Slow has won garlands around the world and sold by the


shedload. I went to see him and asked him what was wrong with


fast-thinking? Fast-thinking is better at what it does than


slow-thinking. Slow-thinking is you know, not wonderful. Fast-thinking


is mostly accurate, on occasion it is wrong. Can a snap judgment of the


find that you can make in fast-thinking, can it be a good


judgment? Most of the time it is. You make life and death decisions on


whether or not to cross the street and you make them very well and with


complete confidence. In that case I'm bound to you ask you why have


you written the book? Part of my motivation for writing the book was


to correct the mistake about my reputation. I'm known as a student


of human error. And I don't want to be known that way. The balanced view


of the human mind is certainly not negative, certainly not in my view.


But you seem to be suggesting that on many occasions slow-thinking is a


much more effective way to operate? Well, it is the more effective way


to operate when fast-thinking is going wrong. Then the only way to


fix that, if there is any, is by thinking slower. This is rare,


occasionally under some predictable circumstances, actually. When you


don't know the answer and you don't have the expertise a thought comes


to your mind very fast and those you want to watch. If we apply this to


political judgments where sometimes momentous decisions are made by


statesmen and they always claim they are acting from principle and


generally speaking they have an identifiable set of core beliefs and


act in accordance of those and tend to not act out of accord with them.


That's fast-thinking isn't it, it is not necessarily wrong is it? No it


is not, fast-thinking, as I keep saying is not necessarily wrong.


Indeed slow-thinking could lead to paralysis? Easily and often does.


But sometimes you get people acting fast, you know, the standard example


is I think for the next few decades until there is another one is the


Iraq War. But this is a decision made on a gut feeling, which where


the gut feelings should not have been trusted. And that is an example


of fast-thinking going astray. Do you think Obama is a perpetrator of


slow-thinking? Yes. I think it hurts him grievously. He seems indecisive?


Yes. The public prefer leaders who decide quickly. So the public


doesn't like slow-thinking in a leader. What about Putin, is he a


fast or slow-thinking? My impression on what is happening now is that


he's acting on emotion more than on calculation. So he's not thinking at


all really? I think he is thinking, short-term. Can I ask a little bit


about an area of the book where you deal with well being, happiness,


this is becoming of some interest to political figures in this country


and you propose that there could be a sort of well being index, as a


well of measuring how a country is doing. How would that work, what


would be in it? My preferences about what should be in an index of well


being are not exactly what is being done currently. I would prefer to


focus on misery rather than on well being. And I think misery can be


measured and misery should be reduced. If there was a misery


index, what sort of things will you measure? Oh, I mean you would


measure, people can report on how much they have been suffering today.


And whether the dominant emotion in their life has been positive or


negative. You can count the number of people who are suffering. Can I


ask you a personal question at the end of this, are you good at making


decisions? Not very! Shouldn't you be? No! I mean you know I should be


clever enough and I hope I am to know that I'm not very good at


making decisions. So I would not be a good manager, not at all! I would


probably not be a good risk taker, but you know I don't have to be so.


I'm an old academic and we don't have to make many decisions that


matter. That's it, we leave but a bit of noise, the organ at the Royal


Festival Hall on the South Bank in London is black at full -- back at


full blast. Two-thirds of it have been almost unplayed for years, now


it is restored to its former glory and their resident organist couldn't


wait to perform the Newsnight theme. Good night.


Good evening, for many there is fine weather around on Wednesday, others


seeing more cloud, northern and western areas seeing the thickest


Crimea joins Russia; NHS investigation; missing plane; the eve of the Budget; murder in the heart of Africa; human rights in Saudi Arabia and Nobel prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman.

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