11/04/2014 Newsnight


With Laura Kuenssberg. Does the Pistorius trial make cameras more or less likely in UK courts? Plus, the latest from Ukraine, the Indian election and remembering Sue Townsend.

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conditions. Mind you, it all adds up to the annual intrigue that is the


Masters. in a courtroom in Pretoria. Another


session in a courtroom in Pretoria. Another


millions of viewers. Today the prosecution asked Oscar Pistorius


why he prosecution asked Oscar Pistorius


coming from the bathroom. When you heard the narcs you


coming from the bathroom. When you discuss the noise with her. You


didn't say "Reeva did discuss the noise with her. You


not. Viewers are left with pictures broadcast instead of the images of


him. broadcast instead of the images of


feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. But audience interest is high. The


BBC has been showing live testimony every day, as has Sky which has


broadcast an evening highlights programme. Foreign news, in general,


tends to attract lower ratings, but the mix of celebrity and dramatic


court footage has made this one of the few exceptions.


The first case to get this global exposure involved another sportsman.


The OJ Simpson trial made stars of the lawyers involved. The gloves


don't fit, do you understand that, don't fit. We have seen the


televised soap opera that was the Amanda Knox trial. And in the Hague


the conviction of Charles Taylor, but that also involves an element of


celebrity at times. The man questioning Naomi Campbell in that


courtroom said it is inevitable that fully televised trials will one day


reach our shores. I think it is a very good idea. One has to realise


that the courtroom in a sense belongs to the public at large. The


jury are there as our representatives, and it seems to me


that it is important that the public see how the process operates, I


think it is important in democratic society that the law is seen in


operation to its full extent. And not just the snippets which are


currently available in the press or on the 6.00 News. So far attempted


to film inside British courts have been very limited. The outcome of


cases at the Supreme Court and some limited Appeal Court sessions have


been shown, but this is hardly the OJ Simpson trial. The kind of dry


judgments and verdicts shown in courts like this one are, let's face


it, never going to be a huge box-office attraction, it is clearly


large criminal trials, like the Pistorius case, which broadcasters


would dearly love to see on screen. We are starting to see that happen.


Last year cameras were allowed inside a murder trial for the first


time in Edinburgh, where Scottish law leaves the decision to film up


to the judge. Under plans for England and Wales the judge's


sentencing remarks could be filmed, many barristers are wary of going


any further. The public will get to see select pieces of the trial, bits


and pieces that are salacious, that shows who broadcast want to focus


on. They will get a selective idea of the trial, if we're not careful


we are going to find there is going to be trial by public and in days of


social media the storm that can create from an imbalanced view of


the trial might infect the justice system. An example of transparent


justice, or a media circus, the Pistorius trial shows there is a


huge appetite for this time of reality television. Whether it is a


healthy appetite is another matter. With us now is the barrister and


presenter, Clive Anderson, who is in favour of cameras in court. And


Julian Young a solicitor advocate who thinks they turn courtrooms into


a circus. There is a circus in the Pistorius case as an example, do you


really want to see that kind of thing in this country? Yes, it is a


gripping but grizzly trial, I would like to see how the trial is going


on. At the end of the case there will be a decision and verdict. In


this case it is a judge with her two assessors, in an English trial it


would be woo likely to be -- would likely to be a jury. We would like a


notion will have we would agree with it or justice. What is so wrong with


it? It sensationalises and trivialises something where a person


could lose their liberty or good name. Even if they are acquitted the


idea of no smoke without fire, if whoever watches it sees the


highlights and decides I think he's guilty and it doesn't matter what


the jury thought, and goes out and tries to exact revenge. There are


people who are vulnerable. Witnesses who have never given evidence before


who don't want to give evidence. There are people who may want to


grandstand, they could be lawyers, a judge, or the defendant or the


defendant's friends in the public gallery, to cut that off


unexpectedly gives a false impression of what is really going


on. In a sense what we already see in the newspapers and reports, they


are already an edited version of what has happened. What would be so


different about this perhaps it would be better because people will


be able to watch proceedings live and uncut? Who wants to sit and


watch, for example, an expert give evidence, highly technical evidence,


maybe for several hours and be cross-examined, it doesn't tell you


how the system works, the standard of proof, the burden of proof, the


responsibility of the judge and the jury. It would be so boring. That


bit doesn't tell you but the rest of it does. Juries go along -- jurors


go along thinking it is like trials in American films, there will be


advocates walking up and down asking questions, there will be objections


sustained, at the very least you might concede this will be an


educative process for potential jurors to see how the courtrooms


work. You can have education as a mock trial and education for


children in schools about what happens to a Crown Court. You do


mock trials but you show it to dozens of people at a time, this is


for millions of people to see. They will not see what is actually


happening all the time, they don't sit from a whole period of time from


10-1, from 2-4. 30, from beginning to end, they would be bored out of


their minds. Can I raise a point about televising parliament, from


1975 they put radio microphones into the House of Lords, it took until


1990s for the House of Commons to say OK. Young viewers must be


thinking not having cameras in parliament, you mean Prime


Minister's Question Time went on without the public. All these same


questions were raised about parliament. How many people watch


BBC Parliament, relatively view. Many, many people it could be, but


there is a very important point, does it not risk people changing


their behaviour in a way that politicians change their behaviour


when there is a camera around. People all behave differently when


there are cameras around. Couldn't that affect the outcome of the case?


There is a point there. Those things were said about MPs in parents I


don't think anybody can now say whether MPs' behaviour has got


better or worse. This is the justice system not rowdy


debate. Lots of other countries do this. Louis Woodward was an English


nanny on trial in America, Boston, Massachusetts, there was some doubts


about how fair the trial was. As a result there was a lot of interest.


If she had been on trial in Boston Lincolnshire we would have never


have seen it or had the interest, and she would have spent rather


longer in prison than she had to. Would you say that an American case


like that, or in the South African justice system, would you contend


their systems don't work or are as good as our's because they have


allowed a camera in? It is whether or not you can educate the public


what are you going to tell and teach them. And the dangers that may flow


from the public seeing something. Lith let's take a defendant who has


a difficult personal -- let's take a defendant who has a very difficult


personal life, the young Mr kiss President Chiracs he has social


disadvantages and he's disabled, if other inmates in a prison got to


watch that on television and realise he's weak f he's convicted and sent


to prison, especially in this country where prisoners are quite


often very cruel, the danger would be they would pick upon that person,


having been put into the prison system. Are you just not rummaging


around for reasons not to make a change. I'm frightened of "Legal


Idol" a television spectacle, where you can vote for a guilty or not


guilty verdict. I don't think that is appropriate, the judge and the


jury will still take the decision, it is just, it is are a public place


a courtroom, as it is there is a public gallery, if people want to


interfere with witnesses or find out about defendants they can be there


any way. It is reported in the papers. If they are that interested


they can go to court and watch the real thing without it being


televised. Television is not real. It is in another dimension. It is a


bit more immediate than waiting for Clive Coleman to come out on to the


street and say there was nasty question asked there and there was


hesitation. We want to see the actual process. Just very briefly to


both of you. Do you think, given the way the flow of information is


speeding up all the time, anybody walking down the street with a


smartphone can take a picture and tweet what they like about who they


see outside the Old Bailey or anywhere else, do you think actually


you will be able to hold the line, this is going to happen one day


isn't it? It may happen one day, but there will have to be a lot of


checks and balances to make sure it is completely fair and there are no


dangers to the concept of justice. I think it will happen one day and in


ten years' time we will play back this conversation and think how


backward-looking I was, you can tweet from court now, has allowed


ahead of televising it. We will keep care of this tape of this discussion


tonight and have a look in a decade's time. Thank you very much


for coming in. More official diplomatic wrangling


is planned for Ukraine. The European Union confirmed in the last few


hours there will be a meeting between Russia, Ukraine, the United


States and the EU in Geneva next Thursday. But talking hasn't exactly


done much so far. NATO nowadays 40,000 Russian troops have been


moved to Ukraine's borders. Its secretary-general, has urged Russia


to pull back. I think it should be that Russia pulls back its troops


and contributes to a de-escalation of the situation. Our diplomatic


editor is with us now. What evidence has NATO got for the troops all


massing up on the boarder in a rather menacing way? It has been


going on for a few weeks. There have been open source things in the


Russian media. But the latest is the release of these pictures. NATO has


got these from commercial satellites, it is not the American


big bird that looks down. These are commercial low-operated --


commercial low-operated satellites, they have shown a picture of an


airfield to the north-east of ucreate. You look at that and think


you can't see much there. If you go right in on the boxed areas


highlight bid the NATO analyst, you can see on the left of frame the


darker shapes, the fighters, on the right the lighter shapes the


bombers. NATO said there was no planes at all at this airfield a few


months ago before the crisis blew up. Another example, what NATO says


is a Russian motor rifle regiment, that is several thousand men. You


can see the armoureded vehicles neatly lined up on the left of frame


and long lines of trucks and other so called B-vehicles on the right.


Russia said the pictures were taken months ago. NATO has counted, anyone


can look at this commercial eptity, digital globe and look at these


pictures for themselves and establish when they were taken. It


shows the difficulties of using intelligence evidence to make a


political case. Absolutely, should we be alarmed by seeing these images


and now there are going to be more talks, what can we expect to happen


next? I think interestingly we have seen statements today from Sergei


Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister and the acting Prime Minister of


Ukraine that show the two sides squaring up before these talks. We


get a pretty clear idea now that Russia's agenda is to get this


interim Ukrainian Government to agree to constitutional changes that


will give this area where the pro--Putin, Russian demonstrators in


the east and south of Ukraine have taken buildings and steps, it will


give them considerable autonomy. The Russian agenda before the elections


plan for May 25th is lock in constitutional change to give those


areas a veto over any area closer to the EU or NATO.


Thank you very much indeed. Now the world's biggest election looks


likely to be won by a politician who boasts of a humble small town


background. He's the favourite to beat the latest son of the Gandhi


dynasty. His own history is hardly without question. He was in charge


of gut Gujarat province after 1,000 Muslims were killed. Although it was


not proven he looked the other way, many have warned against him taking


charge. India, the world's largest democracy and home to more than one.


Two billion people. It is one of the fastest-growing economies in the


world. Yet 400 million people live on less than a pound a day. It is


sending missions to Mars, whilst a quarter of households in the capital


don't have a regular water supply. It is a nuclear-armed major


political player. Predicted to be the world's third-largest economy by


2030. That is a why who leads this country is so important. If you


believe the polls so far this is likely to be the country's next


leader. The deeply controversial and devisive, head of the BJP. He's


credited with turning around the economy in his area, and given rise


to Modi mania. He's the man many hold responsible of allowing the


massacre of 1,000 people, mostly Muslim, in riots in Gujarat in 2002.


They started after a fire broke out on a train carrying Hindu pilgrim,


killing 60 people. Local Muslims were blamed and Hindus caught


revenge. He stands accused of failing to stop the bloodshed and


even encouraging the violence. He's always denied the claims and an


investigation cleared him. What happens in India is also being


keenly watched by the one. Four million British Indians living here


in the UK. He remains as controversial here as he does in


India. Writing in today's Guardian, well known British Indians like


Salman Rushdie, have said an India under him would be bad news for all


Indians. But after ten years of rule by a weakened Congress Party, voters


are ready for a change. His supporters say an India with him at


the helm would mean a stronger, more decisive and economically robust


potential superpower. If he comes to power, it will be a right-ward shift


in the politics of the country. That's very, very clear. That is why


corporate India is totally backing him. We may well have a Government


that will want to open up the economy, maybe much more than it has


and invite foreign direct investment, maybe it will mean more


political stability than we have seen in the last four or five years.


The key question for many Indians is whether he will be able to unite


this hugely diverse country, and make the most of its enormous


economic potential. With us now is the chairman of Cobra beer speaking


to us from India. With us in the studio is a member of the Black


Sisters, one of the signatories for a letter of many cultural and


artistic figures raising concerns about the man. Thank you for joining


us. Even here in Britain many people are concerned about Modi as being a


devisive figure. You can't deny he could potentially divide the


country, can you? We are witnessing the world's largest directions, 800


million voters, we went to a polling station and I saw electronic voting


that we don't have in the UK, working brilliantly, and it is the


Indian population engaging, there are turnouts in India of 66%, 67%,


it was absolutely marvellous to see democracy in action. Indian


democracy has worked in the past. When the BJP were in Government in


2004, it was the India Shining Government, they created a lot of


economic reforms, but they were not able to get re-elected and the


Congress Party had been in Government for the past ten years.


Now there seems to be a sentiment on the ground here in India that people


want change and overall whoever I talk to there seems to be a


consensus that Modi is most probably going to be the Prime Minister with


the BJP possibly getting over 200 seats and with their Alliance


partners getting over the 272 required to form a majority


Government. It does seem as if he will be the next leader of the


country. But he is devisive, there are suspicions about whether he


looked the other way when those terrible riots in gunge Gujarat took


place, do you accept there are concerns about his record? There is


no question that he was very soon after he took over as chief minister


of Gujarat, where he has been elected three times, soon after he


became chief minister these awful, awful atrocities took place, which


didn't just shock India but the world. Overall these years, over ten


years, when his opponents have been in power, has not been convicted and


Britain did not have relations with Gujarat as the founding chair of the


UK Business Council, I was not allowed to take delegations to


Gujarat. In 2012 Britain decided to reopen its links with Gujarat


through the British Foreign Minister Hugo Swire, since 2012 we have had


relations with him because he has not been convicted of anything. The


courts have looked at it and it looks like he will win fairly and


squarely in a vast exercise of democracy? I think he will be very,


very dangerous, he poses a serious threat to the secular fabric of


Indian democracy. The very democracy that Lord Villimoria praises for


functions is the very democracy that he poses a threat to. He and his RSS


and his Hindu right, nationalist, supremacist party that he belongs to


pose a real threat because of the very ideolgical framework from which


they operate. This idea that we can praise Indian democracy for


functioning without looking at where the threats to that democracy is


coming from is simply niave What is it, you say his ideas are a threat,


which ideas and why? He was shaped and nutured by the RSS, which is a


right-wing extremist Hindu supremacist party. A party whose


members have actually admired German and Italian fascism, and those who


assassinated Gandhi. The people who founded India had a vision of India


as an incluesive, plural democracy and this is the very ideas that Moi


and his aides, and his Hindu cohorts and aides are trying to destroy.


They hide behind this idea that he has presided over an economic


miracle in Gujarat, that is simply not true. Those are strong


accusations to make about him. But many people do appear to have


concerns about his views, will the British Government, should the


British Government turn a blind eye to those concerns with regard to


important trade with India? I don't think anyone is turning a blind eye,


I think that where he's concerned and the BJP they will look back to


that time when they were in Government ten years ago and they


were not re-elected because it was seen they were not being inclusive


enough with their policies, the India Shining, getting on to the


growth path, and I require the growth rates hitting 8%. But unless


it reached out and was inclusive they didn't get elected. The party


in January, a party that didn't exist a year ago got elected to run


the City of Delhi, the capital of India. It didn't last very long


because it was unable to deliver. So Mohdi will be judged if he becomes


Prime Minister on his ability to deliver. India is a secular and


plurist country. Nobody can run it without recognising it is a secular


country. It will be governance on the ground and excuse of the


governance, that is what he will be judged off. He says he is man of


action and he will encourage business and investment. The Gujarat


community in the UK is a very important part of the UK. The Indian


community in the UK contributes a huge amount to the UK economy. If it


is good news for the UK and India and good economic news that will


benefit both countries. We have been beaten by the clock, we must leave


it there. Perhaps when I'm famous and my diary is discovered, people


will understand the torment of being a 13 and three quarter-year-old


undiscovered intellectual. Adrian Mol, he's fictional -- Mole's


fictional diary was discovered and made its author, Sue Townend a


fortune. She passed away yesterday. The spirit of 1980s suburban England


leapt from her page, captured with a sometimes touching but often spiky


accuracy. This report has been compiled by Stephen Smith, aged 39


plus VAT! Just my luck. Spots on my chin for the first day of the new


year. He counts his spots in front of the mirror, he keeps a chart. A


spot chart. Sort of a record! He measures his ears with his geometry


set to see how far they are sticking out this week. Measures other things


as well? He does, that are below the belt, yes. There is a new girl in


our council tax she sits next to me in geography, she's all right. Her


name is Pandora, but she likes to be called Bogs. Don't ask me why.


Adrian Mole was the hugist thing when I was younger, and every single


person I have ever met has read it as well, they have had all had the


same reaction, and it is like oh my God I'm Adrian Mole, I think I'm


better than anybody else here, I have a destiny outside this estate,


I see through grown-ups and what they are. She was born in 1946, she


left school at 15, she married, had three kid, she was authentic. There


is something she said that always struck me, she said "I am


working-class". No matter how many Prada handbags she had, she would


never forget what it was to be poor. She was poor. "I was given a glass


of Bulls Wood wine and felt a grown up, I talked like a consumate


professional for an hour and then my mother talked about a sniff of a


cork". For ages I thought I could only write a book about feminism if


I sit at the writing desk assay all the right words and do all the


research. When I realised hi to -- I had to tell the story from a dick


ebb teenage girl that book wrote itself. And the voice of me is How


To Be A woman, is just Adrian Mole with at this times. One day I was


sitting with one of my daughters watching the tele, and there was


Mole, and the news item was the new cabinet, Thatcher's new cabinet and


there was John Major! I thought I laughed and said that is Mole. To me


Adrian Mole ended up running the country. "I have lived under Tory


rule for most of my life, as dawn breaks, I predict that new Labour


will scrape in with a tiny majority, possibly three." The Cappuccino


Years about Mole at 30-and-a-half, and new Labour have just come to the


power. The Cappuccino Years a metaphor for new Labour, a lot of


froth and not much coffee. She was also rather good at sex. I think


Pandora is Helen of Troy who ended up as a Blair babe. Those touches


are really very delicate, people will turn back and see a social


historical register. Tony Blair is dedicated to the principle of


women's rights and the representation of women in top jobs


in and out of politics. You know perfectly well it will be jobs for


the boys as usual. Not if I can help it Jeremy! That is the most sexually


arousing thing I have seen on television, since Barbarap Windsor


lost her bra in Carry On Camping. People talk about the classic novels


of the 1980s and Martin Amis, money, and that is the classic British


novel I think the classic novel was written by a single mum who didn't


go to university, and it is Adrian Mole, everything you need to know


about Britain at that time. Flannel we hope you don't have to change the


plans for the weekend. Reports have come in that schools are ending the


practice of letting the children take home the bear at the weekend,


because of parents vying to show the bear the most sophisticated time. By


chance it was Newsnight's chance to look after a bear at the weekend, we


wouldn't dream of trying to outdo anyone, I bet your weekend isn't as


good as this. Getting cold out there largely clear


skies across England and


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Laura Kuenssberg.

Does the Pistorius trial make cameras more or less likely in UK courts? Plus, the latest from Ukraine, a preview of the Indian election and remembering Sue Townsend.

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