30/06/2014 Newsnight


How will Israel respond after kidnapped teens are found dead? Rolf Harris, undercover inside Al Qaeda, Len McCluskey, and the lost art of conversation. With Laura Kuenssberg.

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The can he kidnapped Israeli teenagers are found dead, in a pit


on the West Bank. Hamas is getting the blame. And if history is a


guide, the Israeli response will be emotional, but could it also be


disproportionate. We hear from the Israelis and Palestinians. Also


tonight: # Your run own body


# Let me run mine Another well-loved children's


entertainer turns out to be a predatory hypocrite. Rofl Harris is


found guilty of sexually assaulting children. We asked would we notice


the same crimes today? The first UK TV interview with the


western intelligence agent who says he infiltrated Al-Qaeda. If I made a


mistake talking in my sleep or anything, I would have been exposed


and I would have ended up being crucified.


Hamas will pay, the Israeli Government is already promising


fierce punishment for the deaths of three teenage Jewish settler, found


dead, hidden under rocks in a field near Hebron in the West Bank. Let's


go straight there tonight and get the latest from the Middle East


correspondent. What is happening where you are? I'm close to the


field where that grim discovery was made late this afternoon of the


three dead Israeli teenagers. There was an Israeli search party that had


been looking in this area, which is just outside of Hebron. Here we're


only a ten-minute drive from that busy hitch hiking junction which is


where the three young Israelis were last seen alive. It is thought they


were trying to get a ride home for the weekend when they disappeared.


Now the Israeli security cabinet is still meeting tonight to try to


decide on its response to all of this. But already it has been made


very clear Israel has said consistently that it believes Hamas


was responsible for what happened to these teenagers. We have had those


strong remarks from the Israeli Prime Minister saying Hamas is to


blame, Hamas will pay. Now the Hamas spokesman in Gaza also told the BBC


that any attempt to attack the Islamist group would, he said, open


the gates of hell. And I should say the Israeli military operation to


try to find these teenagers has really targeted Hamas as well over


the past two-and-a-ha weeks. There have been more than 400 Palestinians


who have been arrested, most of them are members of Hamas. And what


evidence is there for that Israeli charge that Hamas is responsible?


Well, interestingly the Hamas leader gave an interview last week, in


which he said that Hamas had no information on the missing


teenagers, although he did praise anyone who might have carried out


their kidnapping. When we have put this question to the Israeli


military he said this is the modus operandi of Hamas, they claim Hamas


has tried to carry out abductions dozens of time in the West Bank over


the past year. And a reminder that Hamas was responsible for the


capture of the Israeli soldier held in Gaza for five years. But Hamas


hasn't itself come out saying that it is responsible. There was also


two main suspects that were named by the Israelis who had links to Hamas.


Two men who came from the City of Hebron not far away. But all of this


is so worrying for the Palestinian President, Mr Abbas, who just signed


two months ago a new political agreement with his political rivals,


and they went on to set up a new unity Government, and that new unity


Government is very much under pressure tonight. As ever in this


conflict it is one side's vitriolic word against the other, as we have


seen Israel is intent on blaming ham marks Hamas have denied


responsibility. The fear tonight is this appalling event for three


families could become part of a wider tragedy for the region.


The front page story that has gripped Israel. And now the news the


country was dreading, the three missing boys are dead. Their bodies


found under a pile of rocks in a field. 19-year-old Eyal and Naftali


and Gilad, all 16, all teenage seminary students. The hunt for the


boys became a nationwide obsession, triggering a frantic search by


Israeli forces. One of the most intensive security operations for


years. Troops combed the area near Hebron in the West Bank, where the


boys went missing nearly three weeks ago. Sweep s also extended to


Palestinian towns and villages across the West Bank. Leading to


hundreds of arrests. Including members of the Hamas militant group,


the reality Government said was responsible. And then, this evening


the breakthrough, which led to the bodies being found. The vicinity is


now being cordoned off as Israeli forensic teams and security forces


look to discover exactly what happened.


Unsurprisingly there has been shock and distress from many Israelis,


already groups have gathered near the scene to pray and comfort each


other. The Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who already


warned Hamas that a -- at a cabinet meeting today, he said the boys had


been murdered in cold blood and Hamas would pay. Meanwhile the


Palestinian President, Mr Abbas, who has already condemned the abductions


today summoned an emergency meeting of his minister. He has been under


pressure from Israel to end his recent reconciliation with Hamas,


that pressure has now intensified. We believe there should be an


unequivocal message to the Palestinian leadership, President


Abbas, you formed a act with Hamas and we believe that pact has


directly led to these Merced. By allowing Hamas to re-establish its


presence on the West Bank you have allowed this attack top happen. We


believe that all people who oppose terrorism and believe in peace


should call upon the Palestinian leadership and President Abbas to


break his pact with ham marks to annul the pact. Already tensions are


escalating, here Israeli-Arabs protesting at the re-arrest of


hundreds of Palestinians because of the abductions. The crowd was


dispersed by Israeli riot police. In other incidents five Palestinians


lost their lives. There has been new violence too between Israel and


Hamas, this was Israeli retaliation for an earlier Hamas rocket attack


from Gaza on an Israeli factory. Ham marks which rejects Israel eights


accusations that it kidnapped the boys, tonight warned that any


military response by Israel would open the gates of hell. It is all a


far cry from the peace deal that John Kerry hoped to reach between


the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Tonight President Obama condemned


the boys' murders, but above all urged restraint on all sides. At


this fraught moment that may be more of a hope than a likelihood. The


Israeli ambassador to the UK joins us, what evidence does the Israeli


Government have for blaming Hamas? Well obviously we don't share all


our evidence publicly, particularly when the search for the two


perpetrators is still under way. But a number of things are in this


tragic moment very clear. Hamas is an organisation which has been


calling for kidnappings. We have seen that since the beginning of


last year there were over 49 attempts, mercifully most of which


were frustrated, almost all but one were frustrated. We had them talking


about blessed are the hands of those who perpetrated this. That is not


the only attempt this murderous organisation is making to kill


Israelis. We have had in the last 24 hours 16 rockets fired from Gaza on


towns and villages inside Israel. On this specific case, are you


satisfied that there is concrete, direct evidence that this appalling


murder, these appalling three murders were carried out by Hamas?


The answer is yes, we are absolutely clear, that is the basis for the


investigation so far. And that is the basis for our response. What


will that response be, the language already from the Israeli Government


tonight has been extremely strong, very incendiary, talking about


punishment, talking about vengence? I don't think it is right to call it


incendiary, you are talking about three teenagers on their way home to


their parents and brutally murdered in cold blood. We have had over 200


missiles fired from the Gaza strip since the beginning of this year. We


are talking about an organisation that doesn't dream of peace, but


dreams of the brutal murder of Israelis. We need to respond to that


organisation in a language it understands. At the moment Israel is


threatening the eradication of Hamas, to quote one of your


ministers, does it not behove the Israeli Government to have a moment


of calm so the death of these three teenagers does not turn into a much


wider, much more significant conflagration, with more blood being


spilled? As we are sitting here the Israeli security cabinet is


deliberating yours correspondent described T we are aware of concerns


of escalation and proportionality and so on. But we have to bear in


mind that we are dealing with an adversary that doesn't bother itself


with those calculation at all. There is no symmetry. This is an


organisation that raises its children to praise and emulate


suicide bombers, which is firing missiles as we speak, and which has


been attempting repeatedly to kidnap and murder Israelis. So any response


to this would be justified in your view? As I said we are the side of


this equation where tragically we grapple with these issues. It would


be far easier if there was more clarity on the Palestinian side.


What is so frustrating is Abu Mazin, who presents himself as a partner


for peace, seems to think you can sit down being partner of peace


while at the same time embracing this Hamas, terrorist organisation.


Joining us from the West Bank is the leader of the secular Palestinian


national initiative party. Thank you for joining us. The reality


Government is entitled to retaliate are they not? No they are not. First


of all I think the main person responsible for the tragic that


happened is Mr Netherton -- Binyamin Netanyahu himself. He's responsible


for the tragic death of more than ten minutes so far who were killed


by his army, including three children. I don't think... You are


suggesting these young teenagers had it coming are you? Because they were


somewhere geographically? They should not have been in illegal


settlements which are considered illegal by international law and a


violation of international law, that is what all countries of the world


are saying. And Mr Binyamin Netanyahu should have protected them


and not tending them to these places. More than that he's now.


Retaliating and he wants to retaliate, without even bringing a


single proof that any Palestinian was responsible for their deaths.


There is very strange. Are you not suggesting that any settler is fair


game. President Netenyahu didn't kill these people himself? I don't


like anybody to be killed, but I'm saying no security or real peace


will be available either to Palestinians or Israelis, unless the


Israeli military occupation is ended. Unless the system of


apartheid, discrimination, and oppression of the Palestinian


people, during an occupation that has become the longest in modern


history, for 47 years we have been oppressed. And unless this ends, the


main cause of insecurity, the main cause of suffering, which is mostly


on the Palestinian side is this Israeli military occupation. Mr


Netenyahu has broken the peace process before, and undermined any


possibility for a two-state solution. Now he's trying to use a


tragic death to escalate a new war. Can you be sure that Hamas are not


behind these three deaths, are you sure of that? What I'm sure about is


that Hamas has said very clearly that they are not responsible for


this. No Palestinian group has declared responsibility for it. I'm


sure that the Israeli Government, Mr Netenyahu and the Israeli ambassador


in London, could not provide up to this moment any single proof that


any Palestinian was responsible for this. But at the end of the day, the


overall cause of all suffering here is the continued military occupation


of Palestinian territories and the lack of peace which Israel is


responsible for. You brokered the deal with Hamas to put together this


new Government, which is only weeks old. How will you be telling others


to respond. Hamas is already saying tonight, they are talking about


opening the "gates of hell" if there is retaliation from Israel, what


will you be saying? I would say that Hamas can be approached to accept


nonviolent resistance, and accept this as a form. And Hamas, in my


opinion can be convinced to accept a two-state solution if Israel is


ready to end the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people


and this apartheid, illegal system. For everybody's sake this is the


best way forward. You know we have been conducting nonviolent, peaceful


resistance, and the response we get from Israel is attacks and gun shots


from the Israeli army which killed two very young boys, children,


basically, who are 15, 16 years old, just before this incident happened.


What I'm saying is there should be not double standard. All lives,


Palestinian and Israelis are precious and should be observed


through peace. Thank you very much. Rofl Harris


said the most important thing for him was not to con public. But in


fact his whole public persona was a fraud. He was a mildly irritating


children's entertainment, but a man who used that status to abuse


children over two decades. He was not, in the end, too famous or


powerful to face justice. After years of silence his victims'


stories were told and believed. An entertainer for 60 years. From


children's programmes to prime time TV. From black and white to full


colour. Today though Rofl Harris left court with that reputation in


pieces. Guilty of a series of historic sex offence, one against a


girl as young as seven. The victims in this case have suffered in


silence for many years and have only recently found the courage to come


forward. I would like to pay tribute to the bravery they displayed in


coming to court and giving evidence. That bravery and determination has


seen Rofl Harris brought to justice and held to account. 30 years ago


Harrison Harris was already a veteran of Saturday night TV. I had


a curious catch phrase I use at every available opportunity at that


stage, I would say without thinking "I never touched her your honour"!


The women central to the case said it was around this time she was


first abused, on holiday, then at his home. By the early 1980s he had


moved to the quiet village of Brae Berkshire, he was a family man and


she a close friend of his young daughter. She told the court she was


13 at the time, terrified and didn't feel she could say no. From behind


the curtain she said how the abuse continued on and off for more than a


decade. She said it turned her into an alcoholic. In 1997 Harris wrote


this letter to her father, in it the star asks for forgiveness, saying


they did had a relationship but it was consensual and didn't start


until she was 18. Her family didn't believe him, nor did the jury. It


was after watching the Queen's Jubilee Concert that the same woman


felt she was strong enough to call the police. Saying she could never


get away from that "bloody man". His arrest led to a wave of publicity


and others came forward, one groped outside a community centre in


Portsmouth when she was seven or eight years old. Another this


celebrity sports event in Cambridge when she was 16, Harris denied


visiting the city until this old footage was played in court. He put


his hand on my thigh. Then there was Tonya Lee, the only one of the


victims to wave her anonymity, after selling her story in Australia. She


was 15 when she was sexually assaulted in a pub in East London. I


wanted to scream but I didn't. I knew what he had done was wrong. I


was embarrassed as well, and then I thought, I didn't want to tell


anybody that he had touched me. The court heard from witnesses across


the world with similar stories, from Darwin, from New Zealand, from


Malta, one make-up lady said they had a nickname for him, "the


octopus". Can I say how lovely you look. You smoothie. Harris's defence


claimed he was just a touchy, feely sort of person, somebody who could


be tactile and affectionate with men and women. In court old colleagues,


like the director Dougie Squires stood up to say they hadn't seen


anything inappropriate at work or anything that had crossed the line:


The torture of being there for six weeks listening to some people who


defended him and some people accusing him, which is right or


wrong, and only he probably knows the truth. But the torture of it is


a penalty in itself. That is the humility of being there is


punishment in itself. What happens now, the punishment has been


administered, if that is the right word. This is the most high-profile


result yet for Operation Yewtree, the investigation set up after the


Jimmy Savile's scandal. There no suggestion that the two offenders


are connected. For years he did work closely with children and young


people, even fronting a film highlighting the danger of child


abuse. It is that sort of touching I want to talk about today, it helps


you to understand the sort of touching that doesn't make you feel


too good. Rofl Harris's wife, Alwen returned to the family home alone


this evening, her husband's career over and his reputation damaged


forever. Once again the questions will be asked. How did this happen


so many times? For so long? Without the authorities, his employers or


anyone else stopping it? With us now are the former Director of Public


Prosecutions Kier Starmer, who was in charge at the CPS when they made


the decision to prosecute Rofl Harris. And we have a representative


from the NSPCC. It is almost impossible to believe some of that


archive when you see T when you took the decision he is CPS, how


confident were you that the charges would stick, given his public image


and persona? I was confident in the decision, but his persona is very


important. It is very difficult for victims of sexual abuse to come


forward. In ordinary circumstances it is particularly difficult where


there is a celebrity involved, because very often victims feel they


are simply not going to be believed against someone such as Rofl Harris.


It was exactly the same with Jimmy Savile, where very few victims did


come forward in that case they felt they couldn't think Jimmy Savile on,


or that they would be believed. That is a critical part of this whole


case. What also about the difficulties of historic testimony,


I mean we saw from this court case, for some of the people giving


testimony they were reaching back 20, 30 years, that wasn't always


straight forward. It was sometimes problematic? It is, it makes the


cases much more difficult, but one thing very important in creating a


better environment for people to come forward is to bust the myths,


so people will come forward quickly if they have been abused. There is a


myth, it was very long after the event before victims felt they could


come forward. We have to recognise that is part of the way we respond


to this sort of offending. It does create difficulties, but let as bust


some of those myths. Operation Yewtree yielding results now for the


authorities, it is an unusual spasam of prosecutions and an outpouring of


looking back over the years. Do you think it will contribute to change


for victims? It has already, not only with Operation Yewtree, but we


have heard from the helpline service about a number of people who are not


only reporting historical abuse but also what is happening now in our


communities. I think there is a huge sea change both in public


confidence, with police and CPS, and also with children Children's


Services and being able to address these disturbing string of events


occurring. I think it will encourage victims to come forward if they have


concerns about what happened to them in the past by other people in


authority. What kinds of numbers are you talking about, a surge of new


reports coming forward? We have seen since Operation Yewtree started back


in October. We are seeing on occasions a doubling or trebling of


reports to our helpline service. There is a significant increase now


in people coming forward and giving information about children at risk.


Of course that is happening at a time when the prosecuting


authorities and the police are having to do more with less


resources, a doubling or trebling of people coming forward, can they cope


with it? Yes they can, and there is resources to deal with it. One of


the critical things that shouldn't be missed at the heart of this is


anonymity. Very often victims find it difficult to come forward, but


will come forward if they know there is another victim out there. Whilst


everybody understands and sympathises with an innocent person


who is wrongly charged with rape or some other offence, what this case


shows is that anonymity would have served an injustice, because some of


the victims would not have come forward. In fact, had there been


anonymity, which some people argue for, which is until conviction, your


headline tonight would be "it's Rofl Harris" because you wouldn't have


known that until tonight. This goes to the heart of the very important


debate about anonymity. We are still getting people coming forward and


giving us information about Rofl Harris as well. Even tonight? I


think it is really important that if we remove anonymity in some of these


case, and it should be judged on a case-by-case basis, it gives you a


greater degree of confidence for people to come forward and provide


valuable information for the investigation. Very briefly, do you


think there is a danger that with Operation Yewtree that such a huge


phenomenon, is it a danger that we will focus on it so much that in the


end we will think we have dealt with this problem and it is all in the


past? No, what it does is remind organisations that what you have to


have in place is very robust reporting procedures and also a


culture that allows people to speak out. There has to be a cultural


shift, we are in the foot hills, a huge amount to do, a step forward


but let not anybody think we are where we need to be on this.


If it were a Hollywood blockbuster you wouldn't believe it, a member of


a biker gang becomes a Muslim and makes friends with some of the


biggest extremist, then he last has a change of heart, and gets in touch


with Security Services and infiltrates Al-Qaeda. It is a true


story, but it doesn't have a happy ending.


This is Morton Storm in 2005, the Danish extremist protesting in


London. This is his image eight years later, his image pinned on the


wall, extremists want to kill him for betraying Al-Qaeda. If I went to


sleep and talked in my sleep I would have been exposed and ended up being


crucified. His account of seven years under cover for western


intelligence inside Al-Qaeda makes terrifying reading. He says Danish


intelligence, MI5, MI 6 and the CIA were all happy to use his contacts


for terrorists at the highest level. Especially in Yemen where he was a


trusted contact of this man, once considered one of the most dangerous


terrorists in the world. We have people from Mexico, America,


Britain, when he came out of prison, that is why we became friends. In


his first UK TV interview he started by telling me about his early


troubled childhood in Denmarks, spells in prison, gangs and Islam.


There was violence and conflict in your life, talk to me about that? I


could see like many kids neglected by parents. I was kicked out of five


schools when I was young. I couldn't sit still. But I went into this


library and picked up the biography of the Prophet Mohammed and read the


whole book in one day, that is something I never did before. It


totally caught me and I was so convinced from the moment I was such


a different person when I entered the library and when I left. While


praying at Regent's Park in London, met a man who offered him help to


travel to Yemen and study a fundamentalist version of Islam. I


returned from Yemen with more hatred in me. You thought you were the


chosen one and everyone else was wrong. In Luton and London he became


a supporter of Omar Bakri Mohammed, excluded from London but never


convicted. He started attending his meetings, fired up about injustices


in the world, he saw it his duty to protect Muslim lands, Jihad. He's


two tongued, and two faced, I was shocked when I later discovered how


he had this split permity. He would have the public face but privately


would he say that Jihad was permissible inside the UK? Yes he


did. His fatwahs have made young people commit terrorism within


Europe and outside Europe. In 2006 he hoped to travel to Somalia to


help fight for an Islamic state. When he couldn't go it undermined


his faith that his Jihad was ordained by God. He had a crisis of


faith. I said goodbye to my family and didn't expect to come back. You


thought this was your religious calling? That was it, it was my


call. To fight Jihad and you were stopped. Absolutely. He decided to


renounce Islam, privately, and use his contacts to work in the


intelligence world. That is quite a radical thing to do. But I think my


life has always been radical. I always lived in the extremes of life


from eight years old, I knew I could be different and I knew the only


people could be close to people like that is people like me. His contact


list was priceless, he got to know the British shoe bomber Richard


Reid, and the 9/11 accomplice. The man who recently became Britain's


first suicide bomber in Syria, and the Yemeni-based American cleric.


Dubbed the Bin Laden of the internet. He played key roles in the


attack at the military base and two plots designed to bring down


passenger planes. His extremist lectures and bomb-making


instructions posted on-line were proving popular with Jihadis


on-line. Morton was his friend and willing to help with the west. He


offered to find him an English-speaking wife. I just want


to tell you that right now I feel nervous... This is the woman he


found and this is the private encrypted video she sent to him. She


travelled to Yemen and married him, who was delighted. Her suitcase was


bugged so he could be traced, arriving in Yemen she was told to


leave all her luggage behind, so the American plan failed. The Americans


were furious and angry, we did fall out. The methodology of working with


this. And they didn't want to talk to me for six months. He was skilled


by a drone strike in 20 11 and though the suitcase plan fails,


Storm says it was his other work that traced him and the CIA owe him


a big success fee they promised. Do you think the Americans still owe


you $5 million. Yes of course they do. Why? Because I have done a lot


of work for them, I carried out the mission that led them to the world's


most wanted terrorist. Storm claims he even secretly recorded his CIA


handler in an effort for recognition.


Six months after Orlaki was killed, Storm was back under cover, trying


to find other terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda. This time he says the CIA


was willing to see him die, and he was warned off by another agent. I'm


working for them but they are planning to kill you once the whole


world will think you were a terrorist. We will west actually


believe we are the God one, once we discover the other side of it, you


get so deeply disappointed. The CIA declined to comment. We can't


independently verify Storm's story, but there is supporting material. He


says he's now in hiding in fear for his life.


The size of your check book from -- chequebooks from your backers


matters in politics. The parties need to be sure they have a supply


of readyies. Labour can be confident of support from Unite, who announced


its plans to help pay Labour's way today. But are they really convinced


Ed Miliband is getting everything right? Not quite. I spoke to its


leader a little earlier and asked what had changed to promted to's


generosity. There has been some really interesting debates taking


place in the party. John Cruddas and Anglia Eagle have been responsible


for gathering thoughts from thousand of Labour Party memories, including


trade unions. I think what's beginning to emerge is the


likelihood of a positive, cohesive programme that offers hope to the


British electorate. Today, your workers were voting to strike over


pay. At the same time, Ed Balls was on a platform talking about


restraining spending and he was talking about pulling down taxes for


business and you know the Labour leadership is committed to


restraining public pay. Ed Balls has said time and again it is no way we


should be arguing for higher pay. How do those things square? The


reality is we have always disagreed with Ed Balls about the question of


public sector pay. Whilst leaders do have to have economic credibility,


we understand that, it is about a balance and about making sure you


have credibility with workers. Our members in have had 4,000 in real


wages reduced and people can't put up with that any longer. So the


argument is that we have to persuade both Eds, if you like that there is


an alternative to the constant theme about restraint, restraint,


restraint. If you were a member of your union


who voted to strike today over pay being frozen or cut in some places,


and you saw you promising to write cheques for millions of their money


for a Labour leadership who won't increase their pay. Wouldn't you be


confused about that I? That is why Ed has to demonstrate with key here


issive package what new deal he will present to working people. He hasn't


done that? Of course he hasn't, that is the process currently taking


place, and we are urging them to do precisely that. You are right, I'm


not going to my members and ask them to start voting for a political


party that they don't see any different from this current


disastrous Conservative Government we had. I'm confident we will see


the programme that delivers and gives us hope. You don't sound that


confident, only ten months tomorrow until the elections? Ten months is a


long, long time in politics. Is sounds like you have -- it sounds


like you have had assurances from the Labour leaderships? I have had


no private assurances or private meetings. I'm confident about the


debate taking place in the policy forums. You have promised a blank


cheque with your members' money to a party you have just admitted has not


yet even convinced you they are on the members' side? There is no blank


cheque, the way we operate in my union, contrary to the media. Is our


lay member executive will term what donations we give. Do you really


feel the leadership is listening top radical ideas. Some -- to radicaled


ideas -- radical ideas. Some think that they just get left. And there


is a cynical idea that it is all about the press and local groups. I


can understand the frustration, he and Angela Eagle are doing fantastic


job. I see many of the policies that Ed has talked about, a million new


homes, given hope of apprenticeships to our young people without jobs.


Zero hour contracts being banned and increasing the minimum wage, there


is a whole litany of policy, regional investment banks to invest


in local communities. There is a whole litany ideas that need to be


knitted together in a programme. And John Cruddas has been involved in


that and I'm confident there is something we can come away with and


take into the election. We are a long way away from the general


election. You will see massive swings in public opinion over the


next 6-9 months. When did you last have a proper


conversation, yes, I'm talking to you, with your whatsapp? On your


phone and tweak David Kelly on there.


Experts say it is killing the art of discourse, many of us prefer to edit


our thoughts in a text, rather than engage on the unpredictable


face-to-face discussion. Enthusiasts for this endangered activity are


hitting back, with etiquette classes and conversations between strangers.


This is the unspeakable Steven Smith.


Has there ever been so much chatter in human history. But is anybody


actually saying anything? How has your day been, good? Would a moment


of intimacy and warmth be too much to ask for? Did you see that


incident the other day when that Suarez bit that geezer. Yeah,


whatever, yeah? That was a liberty wasn't it, blimey. I don't know


about you but I'm desperate to find meaning and contact in our howlingly


lonely digital world. I picked that Jeremy Paxman up the other day, I


would like to bite him on the shoulder! You have come a long way.


Only a short cab ride, but worth it to talk to you and you.


Face-to-face, just the two of us, with no electronic media or apps


coming between us. It is all too rare these days.


Very interesting, carry on. Noel Coward on seeing him in the role,


he's just a bit too plummy for my taste. As host of Radio 4's Just A


Minute, Nicholas Parsons has a front row seat for chat. But he for one


isn't wedded to his mobile. And as for Dr Dre-style headphones, won't


get him started. You look impeccable but maybe a pair of Di Canios when


you are next at Lords? Ridiculous idea, you are creating good


conversation, that is what this is about. I think you are, I'm trying


to return the ball that's all? I'm responding to what you are saying


because you said this programme would be about conversation. This is


what it is, you SPEEBLG to somebody and stimulate their cerebral parts


and come back with something and you respond. A lot of that is dying out


because Millennium Dome don't do it enough. -- because people don't do


it enough. Do you like conversation, researchers have been finding out


what is going on with people who prefer to text and talk, when they


can get a word out of them at all, of course? Not all new technology


imhi bits conversation. When I have been doing my work and I ask people


what is happening with conversation, they tell me that I tell you what is


wrong, it takes place in real time and you can't control what you are


going to say. What they mean by that is they would rather have control


and be able to do their little side of the conversation when they, you


know, when they are relaxed and they can edit. And also that they sort of


want to broadcast their little side of the conversation.


But all is not lost. Etiquette expert Diana is reviving the art of


conversation, one afternoon tea at a time. Holding classes over


sandwiches with their crusts cut of Sex for the bedroom, and religion


that can be quite inflammatory, and most people don't want to know about


the operations of our illnesses. That is helpful, what about mobile


phones. They should always be off and out of sight during meals,


meetings and parties. The person you are with is the person who is the


most important. None of us are indispensable. And very few of us


have to answer that text. And texting and talking is so rude, it


is like me having conversation with you and completely different with


you and it's like I'm ignore norring you. -- ignoring you. We are still


animal, the magnetism, and the aura. If they are not concentrating on


each other we are not giving that aura of magnetisim. We are wasting a


huge opportunity of getting to know each other bear. There is no display


in front of it, that is because the display is your smartphone. It is


probably going too far to blame the loss of conversation on Click, the


tech-fest. What have they to say about it? In speech please not 140.


Technologies is changing conversation, if that is the geeks'


fault then guilty as charged. Things move on. Continue living your life


in a way that is comfortable for you. I'm not a fan of trying to


force anyone into the next age. I'm conscious I will be a particular in


the mud that doesn't like the way things are going either. Stick with


what you are happy with and gradually things will change. Some


people will become just so irritaly convenient that you will succumb to


it. Do you know this person? I do. Do you know how? I don't know how.


Speed dating, nothing so prosaic, they have the talking habit here in


Oxford, strangers strike up conversations with one another from


a menu of topics. What have you chosen to discuss, something on the


menu? The things we are discussing at the moment, is it inevitable that


new ideas should meet with resist sense. Back-Jackie was -- Jackie was


saying that you force the ideas to prove themselves in that way. I love


meeting somebody I met minutes ago and getting a sense from here about


everything, from her personal background to her view of on


politics. And society. How The Don who oversees the sessions said we


need the "what conversation". It something very different from the


old one. The old one was to pass the time, to show respect, to do what


etiquette demanded, the new conversation has a different


purpose, it is to discover who other people are. Do we really want to do


that? You can't live in the world without knowing who other people


are. This concealment makes interaction impossible. Our goal now


is to discover who inhabits the world, individually, one by one. Do


you know what if texting and apps are not to overwhelm us, then maybe


this conversation may be the last blow for speech. Really? That is


interesting. ! Civilised conversation tomorrow night. Until


then good night. Plenty more dry, sunny weather to


come over the next few days, temperatures above average. Looking


at the forecast through the day on


How will Israel respond after kidnapped teens are found dead? Rolf Harris, undercover inside Al Qaeda, Len McCluskey, and the lost art of conversation. With Laura Kuenssberg.

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