16/06/2014 Newsnight


16/06/2014

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


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The Islamic fascist forces sweeping through the north of Iraq have to be

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stopped, the American Secretary of State said today, since they

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threaten the very existence of the country, but how? We have views from

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America and Iran and our diplomatic editor is here. With images emerging

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of Iraqi prisoners apparently being killed by the insurgents, Iraq falls

:00:27.:00:32.

deeper into Civil War. Lord Saatchi joins us to argue it is time to

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abolish corporation tax. I came out believing it was against God's will

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to provide health care or benefits, I was misogynistic because I was

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taught women should obey their husbands.

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taught women should obey their what goes on behind our private

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Christian schools. what goes on behind our private

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British women are engaged from what goes on behind our private

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land and sea, their mission, to remove Saddam Hussein from power and

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disarm Iraq from its weapons of mass destruction. Will our relationship

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with Tony Blair ever recover from that moment, or is there some other

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reason he makes so many people so angry.

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Fighting has continued today between the Iraqi Government and its enemies

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in the Sunni militant group ISIS. But while the battlefield seems to

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be stablising, the political mercury is risinger, the American Secretary

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of State today accused ISIS of massacring huge numbers of captured

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Iraqi troops. Disturbing images suggesting this may be happening

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have been posted by the Sunni group on its own social media pages. We

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have been examining the claims that the Jihadists have been carrying out

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executions on a massive scale. When Tikrit fell ISIS captured thousands

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of soldiers. There are suggestions they were murdered en masse soon

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after the images were taken. It is part of an information strategy,

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complete with Twitter and Facebook accounts being run by the Jihadist

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group. It is very similar to the kind of videos that we saw from

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ISIS's predecessor organisations in the mid-2000s. The style of pictures

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and the kinds of executions of so called traitors, Government people.

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We have all seen this before. What makes it different are the numbers

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of people that are being executed. Still photographs show the men being

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herded into trucks and taken to waste ground, there it appears they

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were executed by the dozen. It apparently marks an escalation in

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the brutality of this conflict. Some have pointed out these are stills

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from a video that has not yet appeared. So is this material

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genuine? It is very difficult to say with any high degree of certainty,

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but certainly from what we know about where the images came from and

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what they appear to show and what we know about ISIS already, it is a

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pretty fair assumption to make that this is genuine and this happened.

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But other footage, believed to show the abuse of Iraqi prisoners also

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taken near Tikrit has emerged. Prisoners, bewildered and dehydrated

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are taunted and challenged to repeat an ISIS slogan. The man doing this

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has a north African accent. You can never be sure for definite, but you

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can look at things like the accent of the people in the videos, the

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clothes that they are wearing and the environment they are in. These

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people appear to be an Iraqi army uniform, the accent spoken by the

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people are captured are Iraqi accents for sure, we think the

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militants and captors are north African, possibly Libyan or

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Tunisian, that is in keeping with ISIS's recruitment, they recruit

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from a wide variety of countries. Later the captured Iraqis were

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executed, so really any debate is about the scale rather than the fact

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that ISIS kills its captives. But why publicise it? I think the

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principal audience for this right now are people inside of Iraq. They

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want to tell people that there is absolutely no point in trying to

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confront ISIS. They want to scare people, they want to terrorise

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people, they want to achieving exactly the same effect that we saw

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in the taking of Mosul. When seven or eight hundred ISIS people scared

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30,000 soldiers so much that they were completely abandoning their

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positions and essentially running away. The Iraqi Government has been

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blocking certain social media accounts, and tonight there are

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reports that they are trying to cut off internet access all together in

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the five provinces worst hit by the violence. Volunteers, mostly Shia

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have meanwhile been flocking to support the Government. So is the

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ISIS strategy designed to terrorise these men, or goad them into

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performing their own atrocities in revenge? Social media is the new

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battleground in wars around the world, and ISIS is not the only one.

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In this conflict the Iraqi Government, or forces, members of

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Iraqi forces have also been posting pictures of their atrocities

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on-line. Especially Facebook, and we have seen even images of executions

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where they are boasting about their crimes. So ISIS is far from the only

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player in the game of propaganda on social media. In its professionally

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produced videos ISIS boasts that its enemies can expect no mercies. But

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its enemies too are multiplying and many no doubt will feel that there

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are now scores to be settled. The threat posed by ISIS has caused

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such alarm that in keeping with the proverb that the energy of my enemy

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is my friend, there are suggestions that the USA might start talking to

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Iran in pursuit of a solution to the crisis. Does this mean the United

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States is about to join in this fight? Speculation has increased

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because of what John Kerry said today. Interestingly rather like the

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Syrian crisis, John Kerry, America's chief diplomat has sounded the most

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bellicose of the senior official, he said AFSHGs is one -- air strikes

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may be one of the options the US is looking at. We know HMS Bush is

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getting ready for that type of contingency. As far as I have heard

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that this would be regarded as a last resort, the US would prefer to

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step up support with more drone flights. Apparently US drones have

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been operating in Iraq for the past few months already. They want to

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step up that kind of help and intelligence. They want to boost the

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performance of the Iraqi army if they possibly can and would only

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resort to military action if they felt they absolutely had to. How

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does it fit with the biggest picture of American relations with Iran? Of

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course people inevitably asked today if we are about to start military

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action potentially are we co-operating with Iran, are we tying

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this up with them? Fascinatingly the Pentagon said they would not be

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co-ordinating with Iran. That is a very specific military term, it

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really just says we will not have guys in the same punkers. We are not

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going to be the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's air force

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hitting the targets they want us to. It would mean that the US and the

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Iraqi Armed Forces would be operating and co-ordinating and the

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Iranians, potentially, and the Iraqi Armed Forces would be doing the same

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thing. So it would mean potentionally they were on the same

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side. Now, of course talks have been going on in Vienna on the Iranian

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nuclear issue which is a whole other major question coming to a political

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juncture, the drive to get a final deal resolving that long-running

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international problem. The Americans have been there, William Burns who

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ran the back channel with Iran who made the progress on the nuclear

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dossier has been there. They have been talking for sure, we think they

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have been talking about Iraq too. Here now is the US Ambassador to the

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UK, you are not going to say this has nothing to do with the 2003

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invasion, are you? I would just build on what Mark said, you heard

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from Secretary Kerry and President Obama, he made it clear that he is

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weighing all the options about how we can help stop the barbarism that

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your opening segment showed. But the President also made the point that

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in addition to any immediate things we might do to help that ultimately

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the solution is not a military one, the solution is a political one and

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called on the people of Iraq to build a unity Government so that

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Shia and Kurds and Sunni could all work together to isolate and rid

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their country of the terrorist scourge. This was seen to come? The

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urgency is to deal with the situation on the ground. The

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unarguable fact that Al-Qaeda and equivalent and cohorts were not in

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Iraq before the invasion of 2003, were they? Indeed and look President

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Obama was very outspoken at the time before he was in federal office and

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he ran a presidential campaign very publicly many times saying that he

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thought that was a mistake for reasons I won't go through right

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now. But once he got into office he said he wanted to responsibly wind

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down this effort in Iraq, but we will not disengage, America has to

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stay engaged, if we don't we are not safe. That is why we have stayed

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engaged and tried to train the troops and remain so. The training

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wasn't so effective, they seemed to all run away? Look what the

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President said a few days ago is we were very troubled. Think about the

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sacrifice that the American troops have made and the investment the

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American people have made, say what you will about 2003 massive

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investment giving the Iraqi people a chance to seize their own future,

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and invested in training it. You saw it was very troubling in Mosul with

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thousands of people turning and running from the Armed Forces, that

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is not what we trained them to do. We can do a lot as America, the

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international community, but we can't do it for them. That political

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will and determination to fight, that comes from a trust in the

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political system that has to be unified and make people feel part of

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a shared solution. That is what has gone wrong, there is no faith in the

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politic calm system? Not enough, clearly. Paul Bremmer says you can't

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sort this out without troops on the ground, do you agree with that? As a

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private citizen he's entitled to his opinions. He knows whereof he

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speaks? President Obama said he would keep lots of options on the

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table, putting troops on the ground is not one of the options the things

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he's considering. We have hard won humility from experiences around the

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world about our abilities to affect change inside countries. That is why

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we're... What does that mean? We had 167,000 ground troops there. And

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couldn't contain certain amounts of violence. So we have learned those

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lessons and the lesson is not to retreat as a country, America stays

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engaged and stays leading but we have to do it with the Iraqi people

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taking own anothership and the Iraqi -- ownership and the Iraqi people

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building a system that their forces are not only well equipped and well

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trained but they have the will to fight for the Iraqis. These ISIS

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people, they are not part of the Iraqi political system, they don't

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care what is good for Iraq. How are you going to stay engaged faced with

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a catastrophe like this? We are staying engaged right now, we have

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been engaged since winding down the troops. We have stayed engaged

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through training. We have the biggest embassy in the world in

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Baghdad. We are diplomatically engaged, we are engaged with

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development, training and intelligence. It doesn't work? It

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does work, it isn't perfect and the President and the secretary of state

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would be the first to say, but just because of that doesn't mean we

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don't stay engaged. It makes it more important. If we pull back and other

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parts of the international community pull back look what will fill the

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void. What are you able to offer the Iranians as an inducement to

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co-operate with you in attempting to address this problem? I wouldn't put

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it that way, I don't think we are talking about inducements, certainly

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we are engaged with everyone in the neighbourhood so to speak, to say we

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all have a stake in it. The people of Iraq are under threat, the

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neighbouring countries are under threat, the Secretary of State said

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today we're not going to rule out any options for constructive

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solutions here. So you are perfectly happy to be an ally of Iran in this

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matter are you? I would not put it that way at all. We are open to

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constructive ideas and it is not a position for me here to rule out any

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of those options. Thank you very much ambassador. We have the Middle

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East programme director at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington

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and she joins me from there. What is the Iranian interest in all of this

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please? I think the main interests of Iran is to have a neighbouring

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country that is stable and that is not in a chaotic situation as Iraq

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that is has been and continues to be. That is the main interest of

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Iran. If the United States approached Iran with a view to some

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sort of operation and highly unlikely to be a military

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co-operation, what would be the likely response in Tehran, do you

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think? Well, there is diversity of views coming out from Tehran. There

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are certain members of Government who say they would talk about Iraq

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with the United States even in Vienna if the United States

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approaches them. The head of the National Security Council in Iran

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said that we are not going to talk with the United States, except under

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certain conditions. There are others who have even hinted that we should

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only talk to the United States if they stop supporting ISIS, which is

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amazing, to make that kind of statement. What would sensible

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members of the regime in Tehran be seeking from any talks? Well, I

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think they would like to see what the United States is planning to do,

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that is probably their first question and, secondly, the role of

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Iran could be to bring maybe some pressure on Al-Maliki to even at

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this stage of the game to try to form a more inclusive Government and

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also you know try to influence the Shi'ite militias who have been quite

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close to the Revolutionary Guards in, during their stay in Iraq. Thank

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you very much indeed. Now, as the great Mark Twain the

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difference between a tax collector and taxidermist, is the taxidermist

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leaves you with your skin! Political right-wingers have argued for

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generations the way to improve the economy is free people from

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taxation. Now the Conservative peer Lord Saatchi has produced a plan to

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abolish corporation tax, a tax on small firms' profits. Paradoxically

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he believes that cutting the tax could slash the deficit faster than

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it would levy it. In the first term Margaret Thatcher landed on a policy

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that would change the political landscape. Right to buy affected six

:17:18.:17:23.

minion people. Michael Heseltine remarked that no single piece of

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legislation transferred wealth from the state to the people. Now another

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senior Tory, with a pedigree to match, thinks he has landed on the

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same kind of game-changer. Not popcorn, but a policy some might see

:17:38.:17:44.

Asimly full of hot air. A move to abolish corporation tax for small

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businesses, which this company, going for just three years and

:17:48.:17:50.

facing their first corporation tax bill believe would make all the

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difference. Instead of spending money on corporation tax we could

:17:55.:17:58.

spend it on employing more pastry chef who make our popcorn, we could

:17:59.:18:03.

invest more in machinery to help us produce more popcorn across more

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amazing flavours as well. Free marketeers will cite the curve, the

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relationship between the rate of taxation and resulting levels of

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revenue that the Government brings in. They will argue that the lower

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the rate of taxation for businesses the greater the overall benefit to

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the economy will be. They will be persuasive, but will they be right?

:18:24.:18:30.

Let's test the claim, Lord Saatchi says the impact of the policy would

:18:31.:18:34.

be to reduce the deficit faster than predicted by the OBR. In this

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instance I would be surprised if in the short run you got more revenue

:18:40.:18:42.

from something like this, in the long run if it changed the structure

:18:43.:18:46.

of the economy that might happen. What about the claim it would expand

:18:47.:18:51.

employment faster than predicted? It might increase employment, wages,

:18:52.:18:54.

they might just increase the profits or the take-home pay of the

:18:55.:19:00.

entrepeneurs. Or it would increase competition and cartel capitalism,

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the domination of the multinational? It might help change the structure

:19:07.:19:10.

of the economy, but over the foreseeable future you are not going

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to break up capitalism as a result of something like this. It is a

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policy that doesn't come cheap, with a static cost of ?10 billion,

:19:21.:19:25.

roughly what the abolition of stamp duty on homes would cost. Businesses

:19:26.:19:30.

say corporation tax isn't the biggest worry. Most businesses are

:19:31.:19:34.

struggling with business rates, in the rented accommodation and rented

:19:35.:19:40.

kitchens we are here, the biggest challenge is moving from a place

:19:41.:19:44.

with business rates to our own dedicated facility. The greatest

:19:45.:19:49.

worry says the IFS and the TUC and others is it would increase the

:19:50.:19:54.

likelihood of tax avoidance, once you have tasted the no increase in

:19:55.:19:59.

tax on the company and profits made, the opportunity for getting around

:20:00.:20:04.

the tax system all together would would be irresistable. Is this what

:20:05.:20:09.

the Treasury wants to sign up to? Lord Saatchi is here with us now,

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how would you pay for this to start with? I will answer the question,

:20:14.:20:16.

but before I do, as you have given me the honour of being one of your

:20:17.:20:20.

last interviews on Newsnight. This is going to be embarrassing. What is

:20:21.:20:26.

this gift? On behalf of all your victims, it is... "The Road To

:20:27.:20:35.

Serfdom". The first edition in the very important book in the history

:20:36.:20:39.

of politics. Wasn't this Margaret Thatcher's great text? It is written

:20:40.:20:47.

by Von Hayer and her mentor in many ways. I'm looking forward to reading

:20:48.:20:55.

it. Your victims wish you well. On to the question, yes, how would you

:20:56.:21:00.

pay for this? Can I put it, can I ask that directly, I will put this

:21:01.:21:04.

into the context, if I may, on Wednesday 900 people are coming to

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the Centre for PolicStudies '40th an versery, the Thatcher conference on

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liberty. And 31 think tanks from around the world. They are coming

:21:15.:21:21.

and there is an amazing galaxy to address the question of freedom and

:21:22.:21:28.

liberty. Our aim in the Centre for Policy Studies, as in the aim of

:21:29.:21:33.

founding the centre is to enhance freedom. We will be publishing on

:21:34.:21:38.

Wednesday some research, some polling, which people will find, I

:21:39.:21:43.

think, very distressing. It asks who do you trust? Big companies or big

:21:44.:21:52.

Government? It finds that 70% of people distrust big Government and

:21:53.:22:01.

that 70% distrust big companies. Therefore our aim is to increase

:22:02.:22:06.

people's freedom and our method of doing that is to say that people who

:22:07.:22:10.

are starting up new companies, or who are in small companies, that is

:22:11.:22:15.

companies with less than 50 people, will pay no corporation tax, and by

:22:16.:22:20.

the way, no capital gains tax when the companies are sold. These

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companies pay no corporation tax. Can I ask you the question again

:22:29.:22:31.

then, how do you pay for that? The cost of doing that is ?11 billion.

:22:32.:22:37.

So it is around that in the national accounts, it is a significant sum.

:22:38.:22:41.

So your question will be where will this money come from. That is what

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it is? Good. The answer is that following the advice of deep throat

:22:48.:22:53.

in Watergate, you remember that he said "follow the money", and what

:22:54.:22:58.

the economist who have produced this policy have done is to follow the

:22:59.:23:04.

money. That ?11 billion which is in that second lost to the Treasury

:23:05.:23:07.

were does it go? That's what they have done. It doesn't stay under

:23:08.:23:11.

people's pillows, that is in nobody's interest. Thanks to the

:23:12.:23:15.

Treasury, the Treasury has recently published its own report on what

:23:16.:23:18.

happens when corporation tax is reduced. They find that the money

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goes in three directions, it is paid in dividends, which then involves

:23:25.:23:29.

more income tax, it goes in hiring more people, which means less

:23:30.:23:33.

welfare payments for the Treasury and more income tax for the Treasury

:23:34.:23:38.

and it goes in the third direction in further investment which speeds

:23:39.:23:41.

growth. Therefore we are going to say on Wednesday that this policy

:23:42.:23:46.

recovers the ?11 billion. And there is the very nice man from the IFS as

:23:47.:23:53.

he said can reduce the deficit faster than the OBR currently

:23:54.:23:57.

predicts. It is interesting you should choose this tax as opposed to

:23:58.:24:02.

the tax that businesses care about more, like business rates and VAT

:24:03.:24:06.

for example? Why not tackle those? Well you could, one could try to

:24:07.:24:11.

abolish all tax, if you like. But what we are interested in doing is

:24:12.:24:16.

abolishing two taxes. Corporation tax only on small companies, with

:24:17.:24:20.

less than 50 employios, and capital gains -- employees, and capital

:24:21.:24:25.

gains tax that those who sell shares in small companies don't pay tax. If

:24:26.:24:30.

those two abolitions don't have a similar effect to the effect of

:24:31.:24:35.

buying your own council house in terms of cultural affects and social

:24:36.:24:42.

impact. Wouldn't one effect be, as was suggested earlier, to encourage

:24:43.:24:46.

people to avoid tax because they would choose, well I don't pay any

:24:47.:24:50.

corporation tax, I'm a small business, why not just pay myself

:24:51.:24:53.

through my company as opposed to taking it as income and paying

:24:54.:24:59.

income tax? The thing is this policy doesn't involve any new legislation

:25:00.:25:02.

or new definitions of small companies. There are things called

:25:03.:25:06.

small companies now. There is a small company tax regime. There are

:25:07.:25:10.

different laws and different rules which apply to small companies as

:25:11.:25:13.

they exist now this is most certainly going to encourage people

:25:14.:25:18.

to be small companies. And you honestly believe this could be

:25:19.:25:24.

afforded at a time of financial stringcy. The cost is ??11 billion.

:25:25.:25:30.

A lot of money? According to figures by the IFS has looked at, that money

:25:31.:25:35.

is recovered in four years and the result in terms of the deficit...

:25:36.:25:38.

The Treasury don't think it would be recovered in four years, they think

:25:39.:25:42.

it will take 20 years to recover 60% of it? We don't know what the

:25:43.:25:46.

Treasury is saying about it, they are considering it. The case that

:25:47.:25:50.

has been put to the Treasury and which the IFS was commenting on is

:25:51.:25:54.

that we are looking here for more freedom. This is in effect a social

:25:55.:26:00.

policy. Not an economic policy. It is a social policy, being brought

:26:01.:26:10.

into effect by economic means. The affect of the social policy we are

:26:11.:26:15.

looking at is Britain to have a more get-up-and-go dynamic entrepeneurial

:26:16.:26:22.

culture. If the abolition of the taxes for small companies doesn't

:26:23.:26:25.

get people out of bed in the morning, nothing will. Thank you

:26:26.:26:29.

very much and thank you for the book.

:26:30.:26:31.

Government ministers worrying about what children are taught in schools

:26:32.:26:35.

have made much in the last couple of weeks of claims that Islamic

:26:36.:26:39.

fundamentalists were trying to imbue young people with a warped view of

:26:40.:26:43.

the world. It has led to much concern about British values. But do

:26:44.:26:47.

these concerns extend also to schools of other faiths which teach

:26:48.:26:51.

extreme interpretations. Parents are allowed to choose an education for

:26:52.:26:55.

their children, which fits their religious convictions. But where

:26:56.:27:02.

does belief end and bigotry begin. We report on what's happening in a

:27:03.:27:11.

number of Christian schools. When the Trojan horse allegations hit the

:27:12.:27:15.

headlines, Education Secretary, Michael Gove, declared that no pupil

:27:16.:27:23.

should be exposed to extremist views on radicalisation while at school.

:27:24.:27:25.

The Government has made it clear there is no place for religious

:27:26.:27:28.

extremism in Britain's state schools. But some private schools,

:27:29.:27:32.

which don't receive Government funding are openly teaching what

:27:33.:27:37.

could be described as a hardline Christian agenda. Private or

:27:38.:27:43.

independent schools do not have to teach the National Curriculum. And

:27:44.:27:47.

at least 30 private schools in the UK, and some home schooling parents,

:27:48.:27:52.

teach the accelerated Christian education, or ACE curriculum. It is

:27:53.:27:57.

marketed as a Bible-based curriculum, designed to protect

:27:58.:28:06.

children from secular lies. In science lessons pupils are taught

:28:07.:28:10.

that the theory of evolution doesn't stand up, that the earth is just a

:28:11.:28:14.

few thousand years old this instead of the 4. 5 billion years old that

:28:15.:28:20.

scientists believe, and the curriculum explicitly states that

:28:21.:28:23.

even on scientific matters the Bible is the final authority. We spoke to

:28:24.:28:28.

one ex-pupil who has campaigned against the curriculum. I think that

:28:29.:28:34.

essentially allowing the ACE curriculum means we are letting

:28:35.:28:37.

children be lied to. They are telling them things as though they

:28:38.:28:41.

are facts that are not fact. My parents sent me to an ACE school

:28:42.:28:46.

when I was 11, they wanted a Christian education. I think the

:28:47.:28:49.

curriculum was more extreme than they realised. I came out of my ACE

:28:50.:28:54.

school believing it was against God's will to provide healthcare or

:28:55.:28:59.

benefits to citizens, I was misogynistic because I was taught

:29:00.:29:02.

that women should submit and obey their husband, I believed science

:29:03.:29:05.

could show us that homosexuality was immoral and wrong. The ACE biology

:29:06.:29:14.

textbook mixes questions on cell division and photo synthies with

:29:15.:29:22.

statements like a"abortion is murder", "homosexuality is sin" and

:29:23.:29:27.

"sides is a direct consequence of violating God's laws". Michael Rice

:29:28.:29:34.

is a professor of science education and Anglican priest. He believes the

:29:35.:29:38.

ACE curriculum is letting pupils down. The ACE curriculum they are

:29:39.:29:44.

pretty fundamentalist so they are right at one end of the spectrum.

:29:45.:29:48.

One of the disappointments to me is the way that some ACE schools are

:29:49.:29:52.

clearly giving the impression that you can't have a strong religious

:29:53.:29:57.

faith and accept the mainstream scientific understanding of the

:29:58.:29:59.

world. What you want is all students, whatever sort of school

:30:00.:30:03.

they are going to, to realise that the theory of evolution is very,

:30:04.:30:07.

very widely accepted in the scientific community, but it doesn't

:30:08.:30:13.

help students from fundamentalist Christian families to leave school

:30:14.:30:17.

thinking that the theory of evolution is just rubbish. But

:30:18.:30:22.

currently parents have the right to educate their children in line with

:30:23.:30:27.

their religious beliefs. The 62 pupils at this Christian school near

:30:28.:30:32.

Swindon learn the ACE curriculum. We spoke to two senior pupils. The

:30:33.:30:39.

curriculum is based on an American fundamentalist viewpoint. That's

:30:40.:30:43.

shipped over to here and the teachers then kind of deliver that

:30:44.:30:48.

to us in a way that associates critical thinking and other ways of

:30:49.:30:53.

learning. I guess the influence of God really plays a big part in

:30:54.:30:58.

science and how we view that and how we a taught that. There are a lot of

:30:59.:31:03.

people in the school that may not 100% believe in creation or

:31:04.:31:06.

evolution, but I believe that the world was created and that's just my

:31:07.:31:10.

opinion, but we all have our own opinion in the school and no-one is

:31:11.:31:15.

forced to believe certain things. I asked the headteacher why

:31:16.:31:19.

creationism is taught to pupils in science lessons? We teach them that

:31:20.:31:24.

there are these two sides to the argument. The ACE programme teaches

:31:25.:31:30.

that, with a heavy emphasis on the creationism being the Christian

:31:31.:31:34.

viewpoint. And no, I don't believe that it harms their education at

:31:35.:31:41.

all, after all, if we are talking about choice in education, then the

:31:42.:31:49.

choice to believe in any kind of area that one chooses must be open,

:31:50.:31:54.

presumably. It would be perfectly OK for you to teach your pupils that

:31:55.:32:00.

the earth was flat? Unless, not if I didn't believe that to be the case,

:32:01.:32:06.

obviously. So if that was in the Bible, you would teach that, that it

:32:07.:32:13.

was perfectly OK to hold that as a scientific viewpoint? Not

:32:14.:32:18.

necessarily. What the world doesn't like about bibically-based views is

:32:19.:32:22.

there are absolutes in there, and that is not a very well received

:32:23.:32:27.

kind of concept. Do you subscribe to those absolutes? Yeah, I do. Like

:32:28.:32:35.

many other ACE schools, Ofsted rated this school as good, and said that

:32:36.:32:39.

the curriculum was good. But what happens when pupils leave? ACE

:32:40.:32:46.

pupils don't sit GCSEs and A-levels but instead earn the international

:32:47.:32:52.

certificate of Christian education. Or ICC E. But unlike mainstream

:32:53.:33:02.

qualifications, the ICCE is not aid and I credited by the exams

:33:03.:33:07.

regulator, for that reason some universities won't accept it. In

:33:08.:33:14.

essence, ACE could be regarded as a fundamentalist curriculum,

:33:15.:33:17.

delivering a little known qualification, all with Ofsted's

:33:18.:33:24.

blessing. My guest is the current President of the Association of

:33:25.:33:31.

Science education and has back add new law to prevent creationism being

:33:32.:33:38.

taught. And my other guest has attended an ACE school and involved

:33:39.:33:46.

in promoting it. Why do you think ACE creationism in science classes?

:33:47.:33:50.

There seems to be some attack on ACE students and saying in some way they

:33:51.:33:54.

are unable to have a decent academic education. That was not my why. If I

:33:55.:34:00.

could address this issue first. I'm asking you a straight forward

:34:01.:34:04.

question why is it taught in science not religion? It is taught in both.

:34:05.:34:08.

It is a potential answer to a question that all of us must face

:34:09.:34:13.

which is not only how did we get here but questions like why are we

:34:14.:34:17.

here? Questions like what meaning does life have and where do we go

:34:18.:34:20.

when we die? These are fundamental questions that many people ask,

:34:21.:34:23.

rather than closing down questioning in students and saying we have come

:34:24.:34:26.

to one understanding of the world, we need to be open to questions. It

:34:27.:34:31.

is a met at that physical question, not a science question? Why are we

:34:32.:34:38.

here is a met at that physical question not science question. This

:34:39.:34:44.

is potentially true. Yet you teach it in science? I don't teach

:34:45.:34:48.

anything. I'm a former student. It is your organisation? It is not my

:34:49.:34:51.

organisation. It is an organisation you believe in? Yes I do. May I just

:34:52.:34:57.

explain why I believe in it. My sister is PhD. Let's Alice Robert

:34:58.:35:05.

have a go. Alice Roberts is a PhD and understands the importance of

:35:06.:35:08.

academics, my brother is studying masters, I graduated philosophy and

:35:09.:35:15.

politics at York, to suggest that they are academically impeded is

:35:16.:35:18.

nonsense. We saw a couple of very smart young students at the school,

:35:19.:35:23.

the question is not their education? Was implied in the video. I don't

:35:24.:35:28.

think it was, clearly there were able students there what is the

:35:29.:35:31.

problem? The problem is basically that of standards. But you saw

:35:32.:35:36.

perfectly able students there, going off to Cambridge? But being caught

:35:37.:35:40.

that evolution and this is from their textbook, being taught that

:35:41.:35:43.

evolution is scientifically unsound, which is patently not true.

:35:44.:35:47.

evolution is scientifically unsound, Evolution is a theory? So is the

:35:48.:35:51.

idea that the earth goes round the sun rather than the other way round,

:35:52.:35:54.

these are scientific theories. That is a disproven idea? We can

:35:55.:35:58.

establish that the earth is not flat as was said in the piece, the earth

:35:59.:36:03.

isn't flat we know it isn't, empierically we know it is round?

:36:04.:36:07.

Empierically we know evolution has happened. There are numerous lines

:36:08.:36:11.

of evidence, there is no debate in science about this. And the

:36:12.:36:14.

Government accepts this. Just because you all choose to believe

:36:15.:36:17.

the same thing doesn't mean it is true, does it? As a scientist we

:36:18.:36:21.

constantly test what we think is right against the evidence, and no

:36:22.:36:25.

evidence has come to light that disproves evolution, despite what

:36:26.:36:29.

the ACE textbooks say. My main issue is the Government is quite clear

:36:30.:36:34.

that science should be taught as a comprehensive coherent and

:36:35.:36:37.

extensively evidenced they are year, that is their own words in their

:36:38.:36:41.

advice to free school, why one rule for our state-funded schools and

:36:42.:36:44.

when it comes to independent schools we don't seem to find if science is

:36:45.:36:48.

taught properly or not. Does it matter if they are not funded by

:36:49.:36:51.

taught properly or not. Does it state? If they are private schools,

:36:52.:36:54.

why shouldn't they teach what they like? If that's an argument then

:36:55.:36:58.

they should be able to teach the earth is flat. They are not teaching

:36:59.:37:02.

the earth is flat are they? Nobody believes this. Let's be honest. If

:37:03.:37:09.

people pay for their children to be educated we know there should be

:37:10.:37:13.

standards, Ofsted visits the schools, there is a view standards

:37:14.:37:16.

should be achieved, and those standards should include the content

:37:17.:37:20.

of the curriculum not just the quality of teaching and leadership

:37:21.:37:23.

in the school which is what Ofsted has done before. Ofsted is being

:37:24.:37:28.

changed partly in response to the Birmingham schools issue. Ofsted

:37:29.:37:32.

hopefully there is going to be a tighter inspection regime coming

:37:33.:37:35.

into play, where they will look at content of curriculum. When you look

:37:36.:37:40.

at this, this textbook of yours here, it does say that the theory of

:37:41.:37:46.

evolution is false. You believe literal truth of the Bible do you? I

:37:47.:37:52.

believe that God is the creator, and do you know. Do you believe the

:37:53.:37:56.

world was created in six days? You will have to forgive me I'm not

:37:57.:38:01.

actually a scientist. I'm just asking you what you believe? Then

:38:02.:38:05.

you will bring it down to a faith question, if I believe it was or

:38:06.:38:12.

wasn't S How long did it create to create the world? You are asking me

:38:13.:38:15.

a faith-based question. But you have been taught science in school, what

:38:16.:38:18.

were you taught in science in school? I was taught the theory of

:38:19.:38:21.

evolution alongside the theory of creation. The two were presented to

:38:22.:38:26.

me. And do you know what having twoal ternives enables me to be a

:38:27.:38:30.

critical thinker. It is notable one of your great lines is that you want

:38:31.:38:35.

students to be open minded and yet you are going completely against

:38:36.:38:38.

this in what you are saying, you are saying everybody is open minded in

:38:39.:38:42.

as much as they agree with me. Not at all. Your own textbooks say that

:38:43.:38:48.

evolution is a scientifically unsound theory, which is patently

:38:49.:38:52.

not true. This is a lie which children are being taught. I know

:38:53.:38:57.

that there is certainly a lot of critque around theory of macro

:38:58.:39:02.

evolution, and all of these different areas that, again, not

:39:03.:39:05.

being a scientist, I'm not well placed to comment on. You might look

:39:06.:39:12.

at Provan John Lennox at Oxford's survey of all of this issue about

:39:13.:39:19.

whether the earth reveals a creator, in his book God's Undertaker which

:39:20.:39:24.

surveys the issue very well and is a voice worth hearing. Could have

:39:25.:39:27.

asked him to be on the programme. I don't think the issue is whether

:39:28.:39:31.

evolution has happened, whether it is a reality. The issue is whether

:39:32.:39:35.

the Department for Education and the Government, which holds a view on

:39:36.:39:38.

this which says evolution should be taught as a comprehensive, coherent

:39:39.:39:42.

and extensively evidenced theory, whether that should be extended to

:39:43.:39:46.

independent schools when assessing standards. And indeed to other

:39:47.:39:50.

theories perhaps? Yeah. Yeah. Thank you very much. The crisis in Iraq

:39:51.:39:54.

has suddenly breathed new life into one of the great issues of British

:39:55.:39:58.

domestic politics. Just how much do you dislike Tony Blair? He claims

:39:59.:40:03.

that the invasion of Iraq, which he so vehemently supported and so much

:40:04.:40:07.

of the country so vehemently didn't support has nothing to do with the

:40:08.:40:11.

upsurge of violence there. Instead it is the consequence of not

:40:12.:40:15.

intervening in Syria. He must be unhinged, says the Mayor of London,

:40:16.:40:20.

Boris Johnson. Even members of his own party accuse Tony Blair of

:40:21.:40:27.

acting like a neo-con. Prime Minister, performer, statesman. Tony

:40:28.:40:33.

Blair you Knighted the left and swept -- united the left and swept

:40:34.:40:39.

to power on a booming economy and improvement of public services. It

:40:40.:40:41.

is a single decision most will remember him. All we are asking for

:40:42.:40:45.

in the second receipts devolution is the clear -- resolution, is the

:40:46.:40:50.

clear ultimatum that if Saddam carries on not co-operating then

:40:51.:40:55.

force should be used. Even as the death toll mounted he stood by his

:40:56.:40:59.

decision. The apology so many people want over Iraq has never been forth

:41:00.:41:05.

coming. This weekend we had a fresh reminder of how unlikely that is.

:41:06.:41:09.

Even if you left Saddam in place in 2003 there would have still been a

:41:10.:41:14.

major problem in Iraq, you can see what happens when you leave the --

:41:15.:41:18.

Tatar in place, like Assad, it doesn't go away. Mayor Boris Johnson

:41:19.:41:24.

had a different take? If you say seriously that the invasion of 2003

:41:25.:41:27.

had absolutely nothing to do with the lawlessness and chaos that then

:41:28.:41:31.

took place, then I think you need your head examined. And yet when

:41:32.:41:35.

asked in a poll this weekend which leader would most likely make you

:41:36.:41:39.

vote Labour, twice as many people said Tony Blair as did Ed Miliband.

:41:40.:41:44.

So how did the British public view this man that they once embraced. My

:41:45.:41:52.

guest iskm will you pleasist of the Guardian, and author, and the Times

:41:53.:41:59.

columnist and proponent of intervention in Iraq in 2003 and

:42:00.:42:04.

now. Is it Iraq that makes Tony Blair such a powerful figure? I

:42:05.:42:09.

don't know what you mean by powerful. He excites powerful

:42:10.:42:13.

responses? He certainly does, absolutely, passionate responses. I

:42:14.:42:20.

think an overwhelming number of people think he was desperately

:42:21.:42:23.

wrong about Iraq, and some people think he was a war criminal, I don't

:42:24.:42:28.

take that view. I think he was disastrously wrong I think he has

:42:29.:42:32.

had to justify himself and that dreadful decision ever since. I

:42:33.:42:34.

think it must be very hard to live with. He can't leave it alone. He

:42:35.:42:40.

can't just be quiet about it. He has to persuade himself, I think, that

:42:41.:42:43.

all those people didn't die in vain, that the country hasn't been in

:42:44.:42:48.

turmoil for all these years for no reason. It is Iraq isn't it? I don't

:42:49.:42:56.

know whether, Iraq is a big part of it, but when I was coming on the

:42:57.:43:00.

programme I was looking back at some of the things I was writing about

:43:01.:43:04.

the Iraq War about what I described as Blair hatred. There was a section

:43:05.:43:09.

of opinion, usually writers and other sort of people like this,

:43:10.:43:14.

artists, a feeling that Blair was an utterly fraudulent character who had

:43:15.:43:17.

destroyed some how something important about the way in which

:43:18.:43:20.

politics in Britain worked. Had diminished it down to focus groups,

:43:21.:43:27.

and had essentially given way to a sub-Thatcherite he agenda, that is

:43:28.:43:31.

if you were against Thatcher. And then also there were forces on the

:43:32.:43:36.

right, take the Daily Mail, which in 2010 did this editorial where you

:43:37.:43:42.

remember when Blair did his autobiography and gave ?5 million to

:43:43.:43:47.

armed services charities, they said for once in his lying war mongering

:43:48.:43:55.

career the former Prime Minister has done something right. That level of

:43:56.:44:01.

hate ed is not just about Iraq it is about something other. It is about

:44:02.:44:06.

Tony Blair, accept the terrible phrase as a "change agent". He's

:44:07.:44:12.

associated with a level of change in this country with a lot of people

:44:13.:44:17.

found discombobulating and difficult, there are aspects of his

:44:18.:44:21.

character they don't like either. Because he achieved significant

:44:22.:44:24.

difference in this country? Because the country changed such a lot while

:44:25.:44:27.

he was Prime Minister actually, and he stands in, actually in a funny

:44:28.:44:31.

kind of way as the same way as Polly and I do in a much more diminished

:44:32.:44:36.

way as being the sorts of people who have brought immigrants in lark

:44:37.:44:40.

numbers of this country, as the sort of people who like the European

:44:41.:44:43.

Union, and the sort of people who would have given us

:44:44.:44:44.

Union, and the sort of people who euro, et cetera, et cetera. He was

:44:45.:44:49.

the representative of it. I think that is partly true, of course we do

:44:50.:44:55.

have an 80% right-wing press who detest anything that Labour does and

:44:56.:44:59.

wish to trash his record. What is interesting about him and why there

:45:00.:45:04.

is quite so much hatred he is has been such a bad custodian of his own

:45:05.:45:09.

reputation. First of all he spends his whole time on foreign policy

:45:10.:45:15.

which is his weakest point, he spent very little time talking about the

:45:16.:45:18.

good things he did. The definitive survey of his social policies came

:45:19.:45:24.

out, produced by the LSE, just looking at how much he improved

:45:25.:45:30.

education, poverty, a million pensioners taken out of poverty,

:45:31.:45:35.

Sour Start, childcare, huge social reforms, very important, very

:45:36.:45:38.

successful. You would never guess that from a post-political career

:45:39.:45:44.

given council to the Government of Kazakhstan. That is what is so

:45:45.:45:49.

strange. If behaved like Jimmy Carter and gone and done good works

:45:50.:45:56.

and not made skill squillions of money and not lived in a jet set

:45:57.:46:01.

with highly unsuitable people. If he had given himself to the things he

:46:02.:46:06.

did best and emphasise that part of his time in power, I think he would

:46:07.:46:10.

be seen differently now. Mostly people really care about their

:46:11.:46:13.

legacy, he seems to have squadered it. I will really disappoint you

:46:14.:46:21.

here, Polly is right! A lot of these things, when texts turn up from Tony

:46:22.:46:27.

Blair to Rebekah Brooks that I'm right behind you, there is a cast

:46:28.:46:31.

loyalty going on here between people who ran things that doesn't look

:46:32.:46:35.

good to people outside. Even if the vast bulk of the money he has got he

:46:36.:46:38.

has put into charities, and he has. I don't know about the vast bulk, he

:46:39.:46:43.

still has a huge lot yet. He has. The relationship with the Murdoches

:46:44.:46:49.

is toxic, and peculiar, weird, the stories coming out since, and he has

:46:50.:46:53.

fallen out with Murdoch. Do you think he's unhinged as Boris says? I

:46:54.:46:59.

think pots Blairex after anybody has been -- I think possibly aft eight

:47:00.:47:07.

years in politics it is enough. He is hypernormal in a way, that means

:47:08.:47:13.

he's a bit bonkers, it is a bit odd to have Boris going around telling

:47:14.:47:18.

people they are unhinged. That is enough for now, that is all we have

:47:19.:47:21.

time for tonight, good night.

:47:22.:47:27.

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