25/04/2014 Newsnight


Emily Maitlis discusses antidisestablishmentarianism (splitting church and state), Pakistan, Damon Albarn says Oasis were better and Helen Mirren plays Cleopatra.

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Iran, the Vatican and England, members of the elite club where the


head of faith is also head of state. ??FORCEDWHI Could it be time to end


all this? The deputy PM thinks so, the church doesn't. Look what we


have in France, fanatical sec collateralism. In America, fanatical


fundamentalism. Because we have the Church of England as the established


church we, on the whole, have a rational, sensible approach to


religion. We will be asking these two in that's right. Will Damon


Albarn finally concede oasis were better than Blair. That is not a


very grown-up question for Newsnight is it? I think Obeysies were better.


-- obeysies were better. Doing God, as David Cameron proved


in his Easter message can still spark a strong reaction of how about


not doing God. The proposal from his deputy is separate church and state.


Nick Clegg is a modern day Henry VII taking things a step too far. This


is Terry untouched for 500 years since the age of the English


reformation. Today our deputy leader questioned why is the head of state


the head of faith. It leaves us in a club of three, the Vatican and Iran


are strange bed fellows. Should the link be dissolved and would the link


be lost if it was. There is very little that is more evocative of


Englishness than a grand Anglican Church. But is it time for the


Church of England to turn a little Welsh. 100 years ago this year Wales


disestablished its national church, the church in Wales became a


stand-alone body, the Queen isn't its head. Nick Clegg thinks the


Church of England should follow suit. My personal view is in the


long run having the state and the church basically bound up with each


other, as we do in this country I think in the long run it would be


better for the church and better for people of faith and better for


Anglicans if the church and the state were, over time, to sort of


stand on their own two, separate feet so to speak. You can say what


you like about the Liberal Democrats, at least they are


consistent, back then it was the question of liberty and state, these


days it is more about whether or not the Anglican Church is still


relevant. The last census saw a marked decline in people who saw


themselves as Christian, and a rise in the number of people who declared


no faith. Furthermore the last church census, which took place in


2005 found that Anglicans had the same market share among active


church goers as Catholics, they were no longer the biggest church, and


Polish immigration in recent years means that Catholics are now almost


certainly larger. Disestablishment would mean the 26 bishops who sit in


the House of Lords, the so called Lords Spiritual, would lose their


seats. The Queen would cease to be the head of the church, and the


church might lose assets given to it by the state. But the argument about


establishment goes to the heart of the question of what the church is


for? I think it is important to realise the Church of England


believes in establishment if it does not for its own ends, the church has


lived and could live with disestablishment or anything. The


church in Wales is disestablished and perked up. So long as the


country as a whole feels it does in some way serve the common good both


locally and nationally I think there is a strong case for the continuing


establishment. But some people question whether the church is


serving enough of the country to justify staying established. Before


anybody had a right to get married, if they hadn't been married before


in a Church of England church, and that is no longer the case, because


of the gay marriage situation. Gay people can now get married in the


eyes of the state, but they are excluded from church marriages. So


now for the first time the church is no longer a church for the nation,


so I think they have made a mistake over gay marriage. That has


strengthened the case for disestablishment. Still this


argument is likely to remain an academic one for some time to come.


That's because, even though British people are a pretty irreligious lot,


they do actually really quite like Christianity. And an international


poll show that Britons have a much more positive view of Christians


than other countries with similar levels of religious observance, it


is rather close to the US, where around three-times as many people


report religion playing a very important role in their life. One of


the reasons disestablishment of the Church of England hasn't happened is


it would take months and months of parliamentary time. You couldn't


just do it overnight. In effect what we already have is a kind of


creeping disestablishment. Gradually links are getting looser and looser


in many respects, for example, over the appointment of bishops, the


Prime Minister's role in that is much less than it was in the past.


So, that century-old liberal party commitment will remain unfulfilled,


however the marriage between state and church will shift and change,


and perhaps one day we may wake up and realise the Monarch is the only


thing that the Channel Tunnel and state have in common. Giles Fraser


is a priest at St Mary's in Newington, and former canon of St


Pauls, and we have the Speaker's chaplain to the House of Commons and


chaplain to the Queen. Thank you very much both of you for coming in.


The point made there Rose, is the church isn't serving enough of the


country to really make this argument valid any more? That is a spurious


argument, really, in particular seemed to be centered around the


whole issue of gay marriage. Because the church isn't conducting gay


marriages then it is not serving the rest of people. Just the numbers put


there? The numbers in terms of the percentages of people. Two thirds of


Christians aren't even Anglicans any more, you saw the growing numbers


are those of no faith, not Christian faith? Do you know the reality, I'm


not so sure about that. The reality is that in inner city areas, in


rural areas, when the pub closes its doors, when the school closes its


doors, when the supermarkets or the post offices are gone, the Church of


England is the one institution that is still there and serving all the


people in that community. Willing and open for everyone. That's


brilliant but you don't need to have establishment in order to do T the


problem with establishment is not that I think it is bad for the


country, I think it might be good for the country. I think it is bad


for the church. I think it is bad for the church, for us to be so


close to the establishment. We cosy up to the establishment and it


blunts our message. I think we are not free to be the church because we


are too close to the powers that be and we quite like being too close to


the powers that be. What would the church look like without that link?


The church would be much freer, more like it is in the United States, it


may grow and have more political influence, but it doesn't need to be


there. I want it to be more political, I don't want the


political links to be established links. I think the church is


strangely less political. If I said to Rose, as her job as speaker, is


there any MP whose political views you would publicly condemn? I


actually think you probably couldn't do it? I'm not so sure about that.


Come on, you know Rose, you know what it is like? I would not, as


someone in a Pastoral role with others, I may not publicly out there


condemn them, but I would certainly be willing to speak to them about


their behaviour or whatever. This is the problem, publicly we're not


publicly being able to speak out Protestant fetically because we have


this d prophetically in this role. If you have listened to the same


bishops in the House of Lords, or the charge bishops, they have spoken


out recently. They are the ones who are leading the discussions with


regards to welfare reform, with regards to the scandal. Anyone could


be doing that, a rabbi could be doing it, an Iman could be doing it?


But they are the one that is are doing it. Don't you concede it is an


enormous privilege and power given to Anglican, a diminishing quantity


in this country, in the parliamentary system, that cannot be


right? I think, I feel that we are obsessed about this. And certainly


listening to what Nick Clegg said about it, for me faith ask not


something in a box separate from politics or separate from something


else. It is who I am. And so what we need to be doing is to enable


peoples, those who are of faith to actually express who they are as


people of faith in whatever walks of life they find themselves. Are we


really free, I want the Channel Tunnel to play a greater role in the


public sphere, I want it out and proud about what it thinks. Can we


really be that when our bishops are appointed through processes from


Downing Street, and state has this enormously role in choosing the


Archbishop of Canterbury, actually we are compromises by our complicity


and closeness with the state. That is not entirely true. Can I ask you


to look at it from the perspective of the state, do you worry without


that, if the link is broken it won't be replaced with another link and


another faith, wouldn't the state lose its spiritual dimension? I


don't know what that means, the heart of the Church of England is


not... You don't think it offers morality, you don't think it guides


the state? No, that comes through the democratic state and the voters


and the House of Commons. The Church of England is at its core is in the


parishes, and what Rose talks about fact we are out there in every


community in the land. That is absolutely the crucial work we do.


It is not about what we do whispering people inner mine Ermine


in the House of Lords. What about the church withdrawing from public


life? It would free us up to participate more? This establishment


would present an image of the church in retreat. Right now the church as


an established church represents the ability to be in the prison, in the


chaplain. It sounds like you are worried about the perception of


retreat? No, it is more than a perception. The work that the church


does in prisons, in hospitals, in schools. We can still do that, they


do it in Wales, they They do that everywhere. Having an established


church here sends a message to other faiths that you are free to be who


you are. What you represent as a person of faith is welcome. Do you


accept that, that it does encourage people of different faiths to be


able to feel freer to express that? Some people think, that the former


Chief Rabbi used to think that, a lot of people don't feel that. Many


people of other faiths don't have a problem with this? You hold the


ring. My argument is not a problem, I'm not arguing from other faiths,


I'm saying that the church of the establishment prefers dressing-up to


speaking out and that is the problem. I don't know about that, I


think that the church still has a prophetic role, and I think this is


a secularist agenda. I don't see people in my parish in Hackney, this


is not on their lips. This establishment is not a priority. Let


me ask you, this was brought up as a concept very typically by the Prime


Minister at Easter, do you feel physically used by politicians going


on about the church, possibly for a very sort of voter-specific reason?


Each person will have to answer for themselves whether they are standing


up front and saying I'm a person of faith and I think Britain is a


religious country, if they are doing it genuinely or if they are doing it


because they want to make a political show. But I believe that


Britain is a Christian country. And you believe it will stay like that?


You nodded when we were talking about parliamentary time? It was


right in the package at the beginning, is you won't unravel this


cat's cradle, no-one will give it the parliamentary time. I would like


that to happen, I like Thomas Jefferson's wisdom about the


separation of church and state would be a good one to bring back here.


That won't happen. There is much more priority for the nation than


that. Agreed. Thank you both very much indeed. Coming up Helen Mirren


as Shakespeare's Cleopatra. I think there was or might be such a man as


this? A 72-year-old British grandfather has become the latest


victim of Pakistan's notorious blasphemy law, after reading some


verses from the Koran, he was jailed for posing to be a Muslim and locked


up for 65 days. He has now fled bail and is staying with his children in


Glasgow. We went to speak to him. I was thinking I haven't done


anything, why have you taken me? They said we know what to do with


you, we will beat you so much you will never forget ever. He's safe


for now, in November he was arrested and persecuted in Pakistan for his


religious beliefs. He's escaped to Britain and is now living in


Glasgow, but even here he's not accepted by many Muslims. He was


jailed in Pakistan for reading a verse from the Koran. His crime was


posing to be a Muslim and violating the country's infamous blasphemy


laws. These are the circumstances when I came to London, I started my


education. And I studied in the 1960s and 1970s. He's part of the


community, a religious sect deemed non-Muslim by the Pakistani


Government. Educated in Britain, he worked as a homeopath in Lahore for


many years. He was tricked publicly into expressing his beliefs by a


young man posing as a patient. He asked me some medical advice, I


wrote whatever was needed and after that he pushed me into the religious


questions. I took the Koran out and said let's see what the Koran says?


I just quoted a little bit and translated into Urdu, and then the


police came in. And they grabbed me from the neck and took me straight


to the police station. I never knew what happened. This secret recording


could have him jailed for up to three years. Members of the


community are considered outside the fold of Muslim by many Muslims


because of their belief in a subservient prophet after Mohammed.


He believes he was targeted. It was planned many months ago. It wasn't


an all of a sudden. Because there was a black mark on my car and a


black mark on my shop, and at that time I thought they are going to do


something. And they did. To avoid reprisals from other prisoners,


those arrested on blasphemy charges are locked up together. Masood spent


65 years in jail together with two other members of the secretary while


on remand. It was a small cell, and there was a toilet everything within


it. We had to sleep on the floor, we had our own blankets. When you are


mentally strong you can bear anything. What is every day life in


Pakistan like for your group? After 1984 after the constitution, every


one of us is in danger, even when walking in the street you can be


prosecuted and sent to prison, even if he looks like a Muslim. Any of us


can be sent to prison, can be murdered at any time, and nobody


will ask why did you do that? Because he's a second class, or


rather third class citizens. Masood's family in Glasgow is now


taking care of him, including his 20-year-old daughter, she's angry


but puts her faith in God that those behind this will be punished. They


will pay for this, because they are doing bad to people who have done


nothing to them. They do so many things to us, but we have never said


one word of hatred to them. Love for all. So whether a Mullah or anyone


else, we don't hate them. She didn't know how tough I am, that is the


reason, she was worried! She's my favourite granddaughter. After


suffering rejection and persecution at the hands of Pakistan Masood


doesn't hope to return to his homeland. I have a freedom here, I


love my country but I can't go back, if I go back I will be in prison or


murdered. I have no choice, except to live in Britain, and enjoy the


freedom. New mortgage rules come into force at midnight aimed at


ensuring borrowers are not offered loans they can't afford. Borrowers


are warned to expect more scrutiny and rejection. It is aimed to


clamp-down on boom time lending. Will it make it harder to borrow?


What is crucial is some members have been doing this for years already,


but from tomorrow they will be required to do it, if they don't


show they are doing it, they will get in trouble with the regulator.


What is that experience of them asking you about your grocery bill,


your gas bill, what you spend on grooming, how does that constrain


lending? If you look at how much people are borrowing, far from


borrowing less, it has allowed us to borrow more. Under the 1980s you


could borrow two-and-a-half times your joint income, if you had a


couple with a joint income of ?150,000, lucky them, they could


borrow ?375,000, under the new system I have quotes, and Halifax


will lend you ?675,000, four-times your income, Skipton ?750,000,


five-times your income, and a higher amount, Newcastle will lend you


?862, five-and-a-half times your income. Finding out what you spend


on hair and gas means they may lend you more. Will it be harder for a


first time buyer to stretch to buy the best property? What people did


in the past is if they couldn't afford the monthly payment they


would like an interest-only mortgage. Now they are stretching


the mortgage over a longer term, that can really cut your payments.


In the past over 25 years, borrowing ?500,000, you would pay ?2,900, if


you stretch it out to 35 years you can cut the monthly payment to


?2,500. It can make you cheaper but the mortgages are getting longer and


longer and stretching into retirement, you might pay until you


are 75. If you take first time buyers versus buy-to-let, different


treatment for them? Completely different, if you are buying for


your own home it is a regulated mortgage. If it is a buy-to-let


mortgage it is not regulated, they don't need to know about your gas


bill or grooming. It means for the same monthly payment they can borrow


more, and buy-to-let investors can compete better for the houses on the


market. The summer of 1994 was the summer Britpop ruled the waves,


Blur's Parklife came out 20 years ago today. Oasis's Definitely Maybe


was on the way. The music was arrogant, cheeky, and anthemic, it


suggested a country beginning to feel at ease with itself once again.


20 years on we went to meet unwith of the artists that inspired a


generation. The Blur front man, Damon Albarn. Can you remember what


you were doing at the height of Britpop, perhaps you were running


the country. Bandses like Damon Albarn's Blur, furnished the


soundtrack to the early Blair years, Cool Britannia and all that.


# What is known as parklife. Today is a red letter day, 20 years since


Parklife came out, we have producers on Newsnight younger than that. Are


you feeling nostalgic, how do you look back on that record in that


time? I'm not feeling nostalgic, I'm very much in the present. That was


an extraordinary year for me and it changed my life. It was great shock


to the system, I think you talk to anyone who has that meteoric rise,


it takes a while to come out of that the other side, you know. But what


is being billed as his first solo record, Albarn has been revisiting


his roots in East London and Essex. He's also been reflecting on other


phases in his life, one nomic reference to heroin has been


generating column inches. My experience was a long time ago. I


wrote about it in one song which is You and Me, it is in context, the


context is it is a song about the ghosts of Notting Hill Carnival,


which I live on one of the Main Streets where the prosession goes


through. And it is incredible. You get the three brilliant days where


two million people pass through this neighbourhood and then silence,


everything overnight disappears, but there is this energy and these


ghosts are still there, and the whole song is about ghosts. It is


one of my ghosts. I personally don't have an addictive personality, I


mean, I can have a cigarette and then not have a cigarette for five


days and then have another one. I'm very lucky like that. I have not for


one secondam Making the -- am Making up the he pretence that everyone is


like me. This idea of me being a liberty teen in best London


celebrating drug taking couldn't be further from that.


# We are every day robots # In the process of getting home


Albarn's new material is autobiograical. Instead of breathing


life into his animated groan Gorillaz, or channelling Elizabethan


mystic Dr Dee. He's now assumed the role of baffled dad, wondering at


the younger generation and their gadgets. You have a


14-and-a-half-year-old daughter and their relationship with social media


is in a way alien to me, I know they look at us and think that we are the


ones that are in need of some form of evolution. Now some Britpop for


the teenagers, a tune which Ken Dodd no less took to the charts in 1960.


# Love is like a violin # Da-da-da-da. Newsnight can reveal


Albarn is tinkering with a project about the Music Halls. One big


question remains. Our editor would like to know who you think was


better, you lot or Oasis! That's not a very grown-up question for


Newsnight is it. I will pass that on.


# I'm feeling supersonic I think Oasis were better. I think


they were better at communicating who they were than we were. We will


ask Noel Gallagher the same question. Just the papers before we


go. The Times has the mortgage story. Baby George on his way home.


The Treasury Minister's battle to scrap HS two is an interesting one


for the Telegraph. Warnings that the ?50 billion scheme of HS two, the


high-speed rail link does not represent value for tax-payers'


money. She is of course David Cameron's new Treasury Minister, who


is now wanting a dramatic re-think on the whole project. In the


Guardian they have a picture Nigel Farage and it says no MPs only one


policy. So had a where has Farrage got them rattled.


That's almost it, as part of our celebration of the birthday of


Shakespeare, Tom Hollander formed his favourite speech from Richard II


I, tonight Helen Mirren from act five scene two from Cleopatra. I


dreamed there was an Emperor Anthony, oh, such another sleep,


that I might see but such another man. His face was as the heavens,


and there in stuck a sumant moon that kept their course and lighted


the little "o" the earth. His legs bestrid the ocean, his reared arm


crested the world. His voice was as all the tune'd spheres and that to


friends but when he went to shake and quail the orb he was as rattling


thunder! For his pointy there was no winter in it and autumn it was that


grew the more by reaping his delights would often like. They


showed his back above the element they lived in. In his lids realms


and islands were as plate, dropped from his pocket. Think you there was


or might be such a man as this? Hello there, many places tomorrow


will start off cloudy and wet, but an improving picture throughout the


day, an area of low pressure down to the


Antidisestablishmentarianism (that's splitting church and state), Pakistan, Damon Albarn says Oasis were better and Helen Mirren plays Cleopatra.

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