19/06/2014 Newsnight


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

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The President who voted against Bush's war, says America would be


ready to act. But Obama won't send troops into direct combat. Yet extra


military personnel are on the way. There are cries of "betrayal" in


Baghdad. We will be prepared to take targeted and precise military


action, if and when we determine that the situation on the ground


requires it. They said Twitter can be a force for good, and make lots


of money. But is the billion dollar business living up to that? One of


the company's founders is here. What is this? Not exactly capability


brown, but a rather more elegant gardener has designs on the Thames.


To make a bridge which crosses this, to me one of the most important


rivers in the world, the River Thames, and to have a garden on it


seems something almost dream-like, almost a magical quality. Good


evening, so America could return to Iraq, with an extra 300 military


advisers on the ground. And what President Obama described as precise


and targeted action, if it proves necessary. But that's only a partial


answer to the cry for help from what remains of the Iraqi Government, but


even limited American intervention in the dangerous and discoughing


state is proving controversial. For those expecting American pilots to


light their afterburners and take to the skies to pummel ISIS, today was


a disappointment. But the Washington debate has now gone to full throttle


over whether to help Iraq and there's movement. For the moment,


just a few hundred Special Forces' advisers will go in. It is not for


the United States to choose Iraq's leaders, it is true that only


leaders with an inclusive agenda will truly bring the Iraqi people


together and help them through the crisis. Meanwhile the United States


will not pursue military actions that support one sect inside of Iraq


at the expense of another. Ies that's the same movement as ISIL is


the game-changer for Washington. Its advances have been sufficiently


alarming that they have forced the President to overturn one of his


policies, complete disengagment with Iraq. This is a President adverse to


getting America endangled in the Middle East or conflicts around the


world in any way. He feels it is a time to consolidate and focus on


problems at home. For him to go back to Iraq, looking at military


options, getting ourselves entangled in the very complicated politics of


that country has to be extremely painful for him on a personal level


and also on a larger strategic level, I think he has to feel this


is a tremendous disappointment and tremenduously bad for US national


interests. The most urgent problem the Iraqi Government faces is at


Baji, where an oil refinery providing 40% of the country's


petrol is close to be overrun. Near Baquba, militias have been fighting


to keep ISIS out of the town. And around Kirkuk, Kurdish forces are


trying to defend their recent gains against the Sunnis. Even if a timely


air strike could help in any of these situations, many Americans are


concerned about the political message it might send. The White


House wants a national unity Government, Shia, Sunni and Kurd,


one that could halt the fragmentation of Iraq. President


Obama has been quite clear on this, this cannot be the United States


being the air force for Shia militias or a Shia on Sunni Arab


fight. It has to be a fight of all of Iraq against extremists who do


happen to be Sunni Arabs. Downing Street too is looking beyond Nouri


Al-Maliki, who it blames for what has happened. There is no doubt that


the Government of Iraq has not given enough attention to healing


sectarian divides, to including Sunni and Kurds in the Government,


to bringing the country together. We have to examine why we have this


crisis in the centre of Iraq, and it is that combination of poor


governance, of ungoverned space, of encouragement of extremism, which


has created this space which is going to be potentially a haven for


terrorism with all the dangers that I pointed out in the House of


Commons yesterday. Iraqi forces, so their Government insist, are


fighting back. And since make is so -- America is so worried about being


seen as stepping into a sectarian and Al-Maliki fight, unless the


Government changes or Baghdad is directly threatened that won't


change. These are fighters in pick-up trucks and small vehicles,


they can be hard to isolate, identify and strike without


significant collateral damage or accidents that kill civilians


nearby. Finally, without it seeming as though we are propping up


essentially a Shi'ite dictator whose record of governing we don't really


approve of and the risk is that moderate Sunnis, other than these


radicals who we would be happy to wipe out, might think we were taking


the sides of the Shi'ites in the on going sectarian battle. There are


too many unknowns still for the USS Bush to launch its planes on bombing


raids over Iraq. The key uncertainties, of course, are


political, but tonight, with President Obama's announcement, they


are starting to address some of the practical, military obstacles to


using these weapons effectively. Mark is here to unpick some of this.


You talked there about the practical obstacle, what do you mean by that?


This is what I'm hearing, the American troops, special operations


forces are already going in. They are going to set up two high-tech


ops rooms, one in Baghdad and one in the Kurdish area. They will be used


for fusion of evidence, taking images from drones unmanned


aircrafts and satellite, all the stuff the NSA gathers, including


people's social media, and all the rest of it, putting it together into


actionable intelligence. That could be used to direct the Iraqis, to


launch American air strikes or even other American actions in the area.


What does make do if Al-Maliki refuses to go, what are the


immicationcations there for whether or not they strike? It does seem to


be a very difficult problem. Listening to President Obama today


it occurs to me the Americans might do what they have done in Yemen and


Pakistan and Libya, put the problem to one side. If they decide it is in


the US national interest to hit ISIS, put the architecture in place


to do it in a time and place of their own choosing. Decide it is in


the US national interest to hit ISIS, put the architecture in place


to do it in a time and place of their own choosing. A key


facilitator and supporter from Baghdad is with us tonight.


President Obama has described what could be targeted action and precise


action, what do you understand that to mean? Well I think the President


has decided to send a team of 300 in part to buy time to get a better


sense of what is going Onyango the On on the ground in case action


against ISIS is taken. But at the same time to buy time on the


political process for a Government of National Unity to at least see if


a unity Government can be formed. He has precluded immediate military


action, but has done enough to gain credibility with the Government that


military action might come and to energise the political process, in


my judgment. Given what's happening on the ground, does he have time,


given how desperate the situation is? As the report now indicates that


Baghdad is not in danger of falling, the situation may not be as urgent


as some believe it is. If Baghdad was in danger of falling, military


action might take place soon and quickly. I think the President is


preparing for possible military action, but at the same time I think


he wants to wait if it is not urgent, if immediate action is not


needed to deal with the political basis of the problem. Because there


is sectarianism that is fuelling, in part, this brutal for that has


gained ground, ISIS. I think's trying to get to the -- I think he's


trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Does Al-Maliki have to go


for a new political and potentially table situation to be set up, you


backed Al-Maliki, did you back the wrong man potentially table


situation to be set up, you backed Al-Maliki, did you back the wrong


man? In 2006 he was one of the broad coalition who had the right ideas


and he was the better of the two and formed a Government. In the 2010


selection in the aftermath of that, while Al-Alawi gained more seats, he


was not allowed to form the Government and the constitution was


not followed. I think with polarisation, sectarian, because of


Syria, the withdrawal of US forces, and the increased Iranian influence


and the intermingling of Syria and Iraq conflicts, Al-Maliki has become


more difficult to work with in terms of the Sunnis and Kurds and I think


that the time has come to see if a new Government that can unite the


Iraqis can be formed. The timing is good because the election results


were just announced so a new Government has to be formed. And


Al-Maliki does not have the votes by himself to form the Government,


although he's in a relatively strong position. But I think a unity


Government is needed as the President said. So you clearly think


that Al-Maliki should move on in some way, but what do you think


America should do in terms of this potential military action, putting


advisers on the ground may not be what Baghdad wanted but it is still


a serious and significant step. What next? What about air strikes? That


will have to wait as to what the assessment is, the main purpose of


the 300 is to do an assessment of what Iraqi units are like, those


that remain. What help do they need, get a better sense of the situation


on the ground, in terms of ISIS and other Sunni groups they are also


helping ISIS. To develop a strategy, not only working with the Government


but the local forces, Sunnis who can help us like they did during the


surge, the Awakening Movement to work against the ISIS group, but all


of that will depend on whether a unity Government is formed that is


acceptable to the Sunnis and Kurds. Because without that military action


by itself can do some counter terrorism benefits but will not


solve the problems of Iraq. Briefly, you were involved right at the start


of this, as part of George W Bush's administration. Did you always think


this might happen, that you might see Iraq tearing itself apart in


this way? Well, our hope was obviously for Iraq not to fall


apart, to give the Iraqis an opportunity to accept each other and


come together to form a Government that could put it on the path


towards freedom and increase the economic prosperity. But in your


gut... But the process has been. In your gut, did you always have a


sense or fear that we might see this happen? At least what I did


personally this was going to be far more difficult and take a lot more


time because we know in societies made of different groups, without


much experience in democratic rule, state and nation building can take a


long time. The experience of Europe itself indicates that. Thank you


very much indeed for joining us from Washington:


You can hardly move for pundits gasping to comment on Ed Miliband's


leading of Labour Party and his getting to Number Ten. What is less


readily available is a clear sense of what Ed Miliband would do if he


were to end up as Prime Minister. Rogue messages from a Labour Twitter


account suggested free owls for all as one idea. In a moment we will


talk to one of Ed Miliband's team. Today he filled in one of the policy


blanks with what appears to be a real idea, removing jobseeker's


allowance for the under 21s. In my view we should not allow the


contributory principle to receive further, instead we should


strengthen it. As one example the next Labour Government will change


the way jobseeker's allowance works, to make sure that someone who has


been working for years and years, paying into the system gets more


help if they lose their job than someone who has just been working


for a couple of years. Well the Shadow Business Secretary is with us


in the studio. Thank you for coming in. After all the talk of radical


ideas that we have been promised in recent days, Ed Miliband today came


up with a policy that will save ?100 million and isn't particularly


different to what the Government is doing in some areas, or one of your


previous policies, it is not exactly radical is it? It is different to


what the Government has proposed, but let's look at the


what the Government has proposed, here, we have too many people in our


country who are not connected, plugged in to the global economy,


and amongst those are young people who have been in receipt of benefit.


Now, what we know is that seven out of ten 18-21-year-olds, who have


been on jobseekers allowance are on it for the second time. That tells


you they are not getting into sustainable work, and also we have a


situation where they don't have requisite skills to get into that


work. What will you do about it? That is what the prose posals are


about. We can -- proposals are about. We can have a debate about


what is radical, but what matters to viewers is what works. We want to


make sure that the young people are getting skills to plug them into the


global economy. As you know well, all the polling suggests and most


people in your party believe, it is for your party to restore an image


of economic competence, this first radical policy will save about ?100


million, George Osborne says he's going to save ?12 billion from


welfare? With the greatest respect this isn't the first policy, we have


said we will use the money Government spends through


procurement, to boost the numbers of apprenticeship, we have made we will


put in place a job guarantee for young people out of work for more


than a year and adults out of work for more than two years. We have


talked about how we actually transform and reconsignificant our


economy, so we have better wage and higher skilled work, to say this is


the first of one of the policies. Labour has to talk about significant


cuts, so on welfare what else would you cut, George Osborne says ?12


billion after the next election, beyond today what will you save


there? George Osborne hasn't specified where the cuts will come


in the next parliament. What was what would you cut? We have already


accepted in this parliament the switch from the up-rating of


benefits from RPI to CPI, that made a saving at the beginning of the


parliament. Which the Government has counted in, what else would you cut


on welfare? The best way we can reduce the benefits bill is getting


more people into work and in respect of those people. And by the way the


benefit that is they have been having to pay out because there have


been large numbers of people unemployed throughout this


parliament, costing way over ?10 billion. We also need to raise the


wages of people in work. Which is spending more money by increasing


the minimum wage, you are not cutting the welfare budget? You have


just said which is wrong that increasing the minimum wage will


cost the Government money. What it will do is employers pay more, that


reduces the amount of benefit Government pays out and reduces tax


credit. If people are able to get jobs? If you are talking about


getting more people on to a living wage by making work pay contracts,


that is fully costed and fully funded. Let's look at the other


areas you may or may not cut money. The NHS budget the Government are


ring-fencing it, would you touch that? You are asking me first of all


spell out Labour's manifesto in ten months time. You are also asking me


to tell you what is in the first budget. We are clear what we will


done d'oh in getting the publicens ifs back on to an even footing after


this Government will borrow ?190 billion. It is about the level which


you are willing to give to restore a picture of economic competence? We


have given more detail in terms of how we will reduce the deficit, at


this point in a parliament, than any other opposition? A generation, we


said no borrowing to fund day-to-day expenditure. If it is so convincing


why is Labour consistent leeway behind the Government in terms of


trust on economic competence, you are 13 points behind right now. The


Conservatives' message at the election will be you cannot trust


Labour at the economy, that will be their one sentence, what will


Labour's one sentence message at the next election be? I don't agree with


you, because you are quoting to me different polls, what I do know is


that since 2010, the Labour Party has put on more than 2,300


councillors, we have votes that delivered more, in the marginal seat


areas where we need to win back support for a majority. What would


the one sentence be in the next election? I won't give you the strap


line for the 2015 manifesto. We know the Conservative message? If you let


me answer the question. We would love to hear the answer? We want to


empower people to meet their aspirations and dreams and to ensure


that everybody in this country can see the benefits that a 21st century


Britain can bring. The prosals we are talking about -- proposals we


are talking about today seeks to plug young people into the global


economy to see the benefits, where we know not enough of them are


seeing them, with 850,000 young people out of work. The talk about


aspirations and living dreams how does that compare to the trusting


message on the economy, and the Government's message which is don't


give the keys back because you crashed it last time? First of all


people are in the future business, what they want to know, and this is


in my constituency in Streatham people want to know, my 15-year-old


child now when they are 25 after two terms of Labour Government, what


will be the opportunities what will be the jobs that they can do. We're


very clear, we want to make sure they get the skills so they can get


really, good secure work that pays them a wage they can live off in a


variety of different industries, which we know the UK are


world-beating in, that is what we are in the business of doing. Thank


you for coming in, and when you have that one sentence please come back


and tell us, thank you. What could be more charming than a


stroll by the river, a stroll across the river, of course, a dream of the


actress, Joanna Lumley, who in planning a garden bridge across the


Thames is following roles as an Avenger, a permanently tipsy


magazine editor, saviour of the Gurkhas, and animal rights


campaigner with another gardener in chief. She gave us a look at her


plans. City living can be wonderful, all


that hustle and bustle, but getting around can also be tough. Like most


city dwellers I sometimes long for a haven, away from the noise and rush.


Now here we are in the middle of London, this is the top of the Queen


Elizabeth hall, this is the roof top garden they have built up here,


completely wild, I'm surrounded by vegtables and plants and bees and


the sound of birds twittering, and beyond that, the City, the concrete,


the hard business of a city at work. It is fantastic, this juxtaposition


of something really strange, gardens in strange places, that is paradise


for me. For the past 17 years I have been working on and dreaming of a


bridge which will cross done in complete silence, a bridge with a


garden on it, a pedestrian bridge with a garden on it. Now, I hope, my


dream is becoming a reality. The with a garden on it. Now, I hope, my


planning work has already begun. The designer is Thomas Heatherwick, the


Da Vinci of our day, the man behind the petal flowers of the Olympic


cauldron. His garden bridge is equally powerful. It will run from


the Temple on the north side to the south side on Queen's Walk. To make


a bridge which crosses this, to me one of the most important rivers in


the world, the River Thames, and to have a garden on it seems something


almost dream-like, almost a magical quality. To be able to walk through


trees and grass with birds and bees over the river, in the centre of a


huge vibrant city. The garden will be filled with trees, 270 of them,


as well as shrubs and wild flowers. Winding paths will snake around


woodland copsess and glades. It will be a destination in its own right. I


hope pedestrians will spend time there, crossing slowly rather than


racing across. The idea for integrated greenery in urban setting


has been used elsewhere, New York's High Line is one example. It is a


concept that is now increasingly popular here in the UK. When cities


were much smaller, people had easy access to the countryside, and then


with the Industrial Revolution all over the country the countryside in


a way receded, the Victorians understood that and then they


brought green back into the city. I think we have really, since then,


moved away from that, I think cities have become denser, noisier, busier,


and I think now we are beginning to realise the value of urban green


extends far beyond the fact that plants and green provide an


aesthetic qualities. This is pretty much where the bridge is going to


be, coming from Temple Tube across there right across to the ITV


television studies on that side. It teams extraordinary in four years


time we will be going underneath it. Why four years? Because the race is


on. Because of the huge infrastructure changes that will go


on in London a great big super sewer will be built on this side, work has


to start on the bridge in 2015 and it has to be completed by 2018, it


is thrilling, we can see the finishing tape already. What to do


in that time, raise the money and build the bridge. Raising the money


is hard but not impossible, because so many people are behind this.


Everyone we have spoken to has fallen in love with it, which is


fabulous, because it is my idea. The bridge is going to cost abou ?175


million, we shouldn't be scared of the number, it will be an iconic


wonderful piece of London skyline. It is something that London and the


UK generally can be very proud of. It is going to cost about ?2. 3


million to run it once it is built. We're obviously from a fundraising


perspective looking at raising the money to build it and maintain it.


We are confident we can do that. By October we should know whether this


project that we have worked on and nutured for so long will finally


become a reality. I hope it does. And I hope it inspires other people


in other cities to create their own garden bridges. After all, I think


there is room for a few more flowers in all our lives. Now the Oxford


Union has been an effective play pen for establishment wannabes for


nearly 200 years. It is probably the country's most famous debating


society, and members who earn their stripes in its sessions include Tony


Blair, Attlee, Asquith, Gove, hissen Tyne and Boris Johnson. But the


Union has been caught up in a different controversy of late.


Campaignsers pressured speakers to stay away, after the current


President of the Union, Ben Sullivan was arrested on suspicion of rape.


The police dropped the case yesterday. It has reignited


questions over whether the accused should have his identity kept


secret. Ben is here now and as well as Sarah who was involved in the


campaign to boycott the Union. We won't go into the case because the


charges have been dropped. You believe those accused of those kinds


of offences should have anonymity? To some degree, I'm not as extreme


as some those who feel you should have your identity not revealed


after charge or conviction. I think there should be happy medium where


your identity is not released straight away. It should be


protected until at least a preliminary investigation. Why


should we give protection to people accused of those kinds of offences,


it is not for people accused of any other kinds of offences, it can


encourage other people to come forward? That is completely true,


that is why I would say not everybody's identity in cases like


this could be kept secret, I'm aware it can be extremely helpful for


police investigations for people's identities to be revealed and for


people to come forward. These are incredibly poisonous allegations and


incredibly difficult to deal with. As you know obviously those


complainants are given anonymity n this country when we introduced


anonymity for complainants it was for those accused as well, only to


revoke it a few years later. What has it been like for you, there has


been an extraordinary international attention on the Oxford Union, what


is the experience like? It has been very difficult, very harrowing, I


think, it puts things in perspective and changes your priorities to say


the very least. It has been very, very difficult, I'm very thankful to


everyone has given me all sorts of support, my friend and family. My


committee has been loyal and supportive, I'm grateful for that,


it has been extremely difficult. Sarah Pine, doesn't Ben's experience


illustrate exactly why there should be anonymity for those accused? No,


I don't think so. I think in these cases what tends to happen is that


if someone is able to be named this can encourage other people to come


forward. You look at cases like the Jimmy Savile case, and scores of


people would not have come forward unless he could have been named in


the press. Being able to name people is something that helps police


investigations go much smoother, because it can encourage more people


to come forward. But Jimmy Savile was extreme example and somebody who


had passed away, he was dead before these accusations came into the


public domain, it is a very different case isn't it? I don't


think so. Because I think there are other reasons why it is important to


be able to name people who have been arrested for these crimes. For


example like you said, don't keep anonymity for people that are


arrested of other crimes, by making this crime a special case it sends a


message that survivors of sexual violence, whoever they may be should


not come forward because they won't be believed, that the state will act


to protect any potential perpetrators more than they will any


potential victims. What about the principle of innocent until proven


guilty, we are not talking about the particularities of this case. But


here, you are involved in a campaign to encourage a boy coat of --


boycott of an internationally renowned organisation, did that


break the principle that have? I have never passed a judgment on


Ben's case, I think it is inappropriate, however... . What


about the boycott That never broke innocent until proven guilty. The


general secretary of Interpol, an internationally renowned lawyer and


expert on these matters said that it is always appropriate, when someone


is arrested for these crimes that they stand down or are suspended


until any investigations are completed. That sends a very


respectful message to any survivors of sexual violence, because it shows


that what they say and any allegations that they make will be


taken seriously. One Show in four women whilst -- when one in four


women whilst at university will experience sexual assault, this is a


particularly poise I don't knowous approach. You took part in a


campaign that whipped up something that was not proven, that does


violate the principle, does it not? We had campaign that was based upon


the fact that the Union should not have acted in the way it did. It was


never against Ben, we talked about the way the Union allocated its


funds for his legal fees and they had no policy to deal with these


sorts of things, we talked about the messages continually being put out


by the Union, you said it was a campaign against one man, it was a


campaign against an institution. But there was a national, indeed


international outcry you had Nobel Prize whippers refusing to appear --


winners refusing to appear at the union. Was it appropriate for you to


invite that kind of scrutiny and attention? I have absolutely no


regrets regarding the campaign. I just like to say I agree with a lot


of what Sarah just said, for one second I don't think she has broken


the principle of innocent until proven guilty, some people have but


Sarah never has, and I'm incredibly grateful for that, honestly. I think


it has obviously been a very difficult time for me and my


committee, for the union, obviously I said before my family. I don't


agree with everything Sarah said about the boycott. But I do think, I


don't doubt that the organisers do have good intentions, I do agree


sexual violence at university is a serious problem at Oxford and other


universities. We need to be careful not to let individual cases get


intertwined with the general, because a general problem, just


because there is a general problem that doesn't mean an individual is


necessarily... Thank you very much indeed for coming in to discuss this


tonight. Now then, the former FA cup and UEFA Cup winner Garth Crooks and


former Spurs and Newcastle winger who won 17 caps for France, David


Ginola, join me to conduct a sad post ortem on England football, it


didn't go too well tonight. Here we have two of the industry's finest to


dissect what went wrong. The finest. David is pointing to you first, is


that it, is it all over, does this small tiny shred of mathematical


miracles? I'm very disappointed, I have just left a huge audience of


people and pundits and we are all shocked and saddened. I think it is


a night for hysteria, to be honest. I think it is a night for calm


reflection. Calm reflection in football! We don't get much of it,


do we. To be honest with you. I have just decided with David here, and he


has some very strong issues about the way the English play or the


national team play. As a team. There are many points that he makes that I


would agree with, but you know what I think we have to be very careful


not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Let's hear some of the


strong points, what is your diagnosis on why it appears to


happen again and again? I'm pretty sad about not just the result but


the manner. You expect a team to go to play in the World Cup in Brazil


first of all to enjoy yourself. You need to see players to really enjoy


themselves on the football pitch, playing together, as a team, playing


for England for the people back in England, watches the games. I was


watching the game with 200 fans tonight. They were so disappointed,


obviously they were disappointed they lost tonight and against


Uruguay, it is almost done. They realised they will go back to


England with plenty of regrets. Expectations were lower, shouldn't


people just accept it? If you look at the squad and take players


individually, you can see quality there. You can see plenty of


qualities. Your spent they should be better but they don't play as a


team? It is no way if you, you need to pass the ball more than three


times without losing it, you need to possess the ball. This is the key in


modern football. So Garth is that true, should England fans be feeling


let down because they don't gel together as a team? English fans


when they lose feel let down, we are all disappointed tonight. Maybe they


should have lower expectations. We are playing a better brand of


football than we were ten years ago, it is more pleasing on the eye, we


try to pass, maybe not with great success. It is not getting them very


far, tonight Uruguay have got three million people and they managed to


beat the team? But they have a very good football team. Why is that


then? They have a very good football team. And so do Italy. They both


have very good football teams. I'm not making any excuses for the fact


we have lost, we are disappointed. I can't affect the result, I'm trying


to look ahead and say, look what positives can we get out of the fact


that we have Ross Barclay, Sterly, Lelana, new exciting players coming


through. We mustn't lose sight of that. I have a slight problem with


this, because he mentioned those players, and they are very, very


talented players, but when you look at them playing for their clubs they


are different players. They are much better playing for the clubs? I have


been in a situation like that, playing for my country, and it is


more difficult. Because you don't have much time to spend with the


other players to work on the tactics on the relationship, on the links


with the players. So you need to be intelligent, you need to be smart,


you need to be quick. Shouldn't players be playing their heart out


for their country, more so than for their club, how does that stack up?


That is what David is talking about. He's talking about synergy, he's


talking about all being able to connect. Liverpool who had a great


season, Manchester City and Arsenal, it doesn't click in five minutes, it


takes years. National teams don't quite have that. These days you get


a month. Just finally to both of you, should Roy Hodgson stay in his


job? Absolutely, come on. Come on. Absolutely stays in the job. Come


on. England needs stability, they need to look at the future in a


brighter way. They have got talented players, we talk about it and this


is the bright future of England. But, to win major competitions they


need to play as a team and not as individuals. We are disappointed but


we are not hysterical. Thank you both very much for coming in. And


who knows, Costa Rico Italy. Snore if you like, ignore at will, but


more than a quarter of a billion people are signed up to the social


network Twitter, its shares trade at nearly $40 a piece. Many of the


world's leaders and footballers are falling over themselves to share


their thoughts in 140 characters or less with those who have been game


enough to follow them. Whether mainstream popularity like that


turns out to be the death knell of what was once deeply cool, Twitter


is a significant part of the on-line and political landscape.


Twitter had sketchy beginnings, literally, its origins scrawled in


the network of Jack Dorsey, he built it with coconspirator, the first


tweet sent in 2006, one of the it with coconspirator, the first


founders Biz Stone said they can be a force for good and make lots of


money. It spread fast among the geeks, Ashton Kucher was the first


to reach one million followers, and the politicians took a long time to


catch up. The innantness of Twitter means too many twits might make a


twit! That might seem a little left behind. Twitter is the largest


political soapbox of it all, even the Pope is on board, and a Wall


Street float left its creators very wealthy men. Biz Stone has now


written the story of how micromessaging, can in his view


change the world. Spreading the news of the crash on the Hudson, well


before traditional media caught on, to providing a voice for activists


during the Arab Spring to be heard around the world. Big change can


come in small packages. Biz Stone the cofound founder is -- the


cofounder is with us now. You invented a way of sending messages


for 140 characters or less, but chosen to write a book with tens of


thousands of words, why? I was asked to deliver masterclass at a


university last year and it became something all around the world. I


noticed high schools and CEOs found the lessons I learned throughout my


life and at Twitter resonated with them. When someone asked me to write


a book, I thought what shall I write a book about it and I thought I


would base it on the lecture. You could have written it on-line, or


put it on-line for free, you chose a more traditional way of publishing?


I wanted to create an act at the artefact. I came from publishing and


I liked the idea of it. When you started out with your friends on the


west coast, it happened by accident during a hack aen to, as you


describe it in the book. What did you think Twitter would be when you


started? It was more something that was fun. We wanted to, our first


attempt at creating a start-up after leaving Google had failed, and we


just said let's just work on something that we're interested in.


That is all it was. It was just joyful. When did you realise it was


something that could actually be big and people would use it in all sorts


of different ways you didn't expect, when did you realise? My perception


of Twitter was profoundly changed in March 2007 when I went to a


technology conference and I noticed that this was the first time we were


seeing Twitter in the wild and I heard a story about a man who was at


a pub, wanted to, noticed the pub was too loud and wanted to talk with


his friends so he sent out a tweet saying let's move to the other pub,


in the eight minutes it took to move to the pub, there was lines out the


doors. Plan backfired. He sent a tweet his followers decided it was a


good idea, and they tweeted. The image was a flock of birds moving


around a bird in flight, something that looks choreographed and


planned, but the mechanics of flocking are simple. You saw it


changing behaviour? It was the only time ever seen a technology allow


human beings in real time to behave as one organism, it chilled me.


Chilled you, that's interesting, you thought that was frightening? That


was a party what if it had been, the thing I thought what if it had been


something dramatic, something important, something serious like a


disaster. That's when we went back and created Twitter Incorporated,


before that it was a protect. Ject. Then you had the American state


department not to close your servers so Twitter could be up and running


during demonstrations in Iran. Asked us. At one moment it was in a


conference for professional geeks and the next affecting


demonstrations in countries hundreds of miles away? It entered the world


stage, it became part of the vocabulary of the world stage. We


were mentioned, the Twitter brand name got linked to a lot of things.


But I always maintain that it was about the people, it was about the


brave people who were bleeding and dying on the streets and it was, if


Twitter was to be a triumph it was to be a triumph of humanity not


technology. There is a dark side to humanity, Twitter is also catnip for


people who want to abuse other people, who want to be unpleasant,


who want to post abusive sometimes graphic hidious messages. Even ISIS


have been using Twitter. How do you feel about that? In order to create


the platform for freedom of speech you have to honour freedom of


speech, you can't cure rate that, as soon as -- curate that, conditions


you do that you lose the trust of the people. People are basically and


fundamentally good, way more people are good than bad. You have to take


the good with the bad in the large scale platforms. Could Twitter


disappear, a few years ago MySpace was huge, and we have seen, tech


companies come and go, we are fickle. Could it disappear? I see


Twitter as a company of enduring value. Something that is proven that


it is of value to everyone from personal individuals to heads of


state, to organisations, so I think it is here to stay. I won't ask you


to put it into 140 characters. That's all we have time for good


night. Thanks for watching. Pressure is high this side of the


Atlantic, another dry day for most of us on Friday. Sunny spells. The


winds light for the most part, breezy around western coasts for


example, but some cloud, some sunshine. A decent-looking day


across Northern Ireland. Cloud around the northern coasts, the


cloudiest weather in the North West Highlands of Scotland up to the


Northern Isles, one or two spots of rain, cool