11/08/2014 Newsnight


What's happening in Baghdad and to the Yazidis? What has the NHS learned from war medicine? Scottish independence campaign wobbles? With Kirsty Wark.

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Tonight a political crisis and a humanitarian disaster unfold


together in Iraq. Thousands of people are still facing


danger. Four helicopters managed to rescue a few desperate refugees.


Special Forces take up discreet positions in Baghdad, as the Prime


Minister refuses to leave office. We will speak to the Kurdish high


representative in the UK, and the American architect of the post-war


Government. The fake Camp Bastion hospital with fake injuries, not in


Afghanistan but in York. How the lessons of war medicine are being


used to educate the NHS. We have moved to something akin to the


Ferrari pit stop, where there is a whole team of people stood around


the patient ready immediately to get to grips with what they have to do.


Good evening, tonight there is stand-off in Baghdad. Nouri


Al-Maliki is defiantly refusing to stand down as Prime Minister in


favour of fellow Shia Haider Al-Abadi, calling it dangerous


breach of the constitution. It is not clear if the troops on the


streets are loyal to Maliki or not. But the vacuum in Government adds


more instability as the Islamic State fighters hold their positions


despite US air strikes. The US administration is providing weapons


to the Kurdish Peshmerga fighting IS, but it gives little relief to


those in the searing heat. It is a country that has become used


to chaos. Tens of thousands of the sect have fled from IS, and are


still trapped on the mountain. A Kurdish helicopter flies in across


enemy lines. There is frantic scramble, just a few children


escape. This is a bleak day for Iraq. On the battlefield another


victory for IS, yesterday they lost ground to the forces of the Iraqi


Kurds, now they have captured a town just zero 70 miles from Baghdad.


While in the capital a major political battle that will have


far-reaching consequences for the future of the country. It centres on


the simple question, who will be the next Prime Minister? This is Haider


Al-Abadi on the right. The man backed by the country's new


President, Faud Masum, by the US and the UN and the EU. Al-Abadi had been


Deputy Speaker of the House, but today was invited to take over as PM


by the President. It is hoped he will bring change and create a more


broad-based unity Government that Iraq desperately needs. But it won't


be easy. It all depends on the current Prime Minister, Nouri


Al-Maliki, a man accused of monopolising power, and following a


sectarian agenda that has alienated Iraq's Kurds and Sunnis and helped


gain support for the Sunni forces of Islamic State. Al-Maliki has refused


to step down, before the President's announcement he deployed militia's


loyal to himself on the streets and supporters took to the streets. He


said the decision to replace him was a dangerous violation of the


constitution, and said we will fix the mistake. He still has the


support of loyal party members, but other state of law members, part of


his larger political block, more crucially there are between 10,000


and 20,000 Iraqi soldiers who are loyal to him, not to the state of


Iraq, and they depend on Maliki, he controls elite Special Forces who


have been moving around in the Green Zone and outside Baghdad, they have


deployed in force and it is sending a signal to others that he's still


in charge. The US want him to go, the EU want him to go and the UN


want him to go, what can they do about it? It is interesting in


itself that Secretary of State Kerry, and the United Nations have


support against Haider Al-Abadi, a clear move against Nouri Al-Maliki.


At the end of the day they can't do anything. For the Islamic State this


is just the sort of chaos they want. Especially on a day the US revealed


it has begun urgently shipping arms and ammunition to the Kurdish forces


to stop the IS advance towards Erbil. American air strikes have had


an affect, boosting more rail. Islamic State have made dramatic


advances from Syria across northern Iraq. But yesterday the Kurdish


Peshmerga forces took two towns back from IS. Both of which guard the


approach to Erbil. Though today IS hit back by taking a town defended


by the Kurds. What weapons do they need? They are trying to defend over


600 miles of border so it is difficult for them to defend in


depth with the resources they have got. They have lost territory and


need to reinforce territory to regain it. Air transport would be an


ideal solution for them, as well as heavy weaponry. So what happens next


for Iraq? Tonight there are warnings if Nouri Al-Maliki refuses to step


down as Prime Minister the country could face new chaos. Iraq will


break up. There is going to be absolutely no possibility for Iraq


to come back together as a nation state, and I think it will lead to


further Civil War and the break up of the Iraq as we know it. Iraq


desperately needs a broad-based new Government to lead the fightback


against IS as the humanitarian crisis continues. What Maliki does


next could prove crucial. We have the Kurdish regional


Government's high representative in the UK joining us now. I want to ask


you about Nouri Al-Maliki later, first of all, can we just talk about


what is happening on the mountain, it is so hard to get absolute


intelligence about how many people are still on the mountain, and what


are your people telling us? It is hard to get accurate numbers and


something we are talking about ourselves. The estimate is anything


between 50,000 and 150,000 people are stranded. We saw today that four


Iraqi helicopters managed to get just dozens. And the Kurdish


fighters have brought some but it could be as many as 50,000? Yes, we


don't know the numbers. Tell us about what is happening with IS,


particularly the disappearance of women? There are terrible reports


about the barbarism and savagry of the conduct of IS or ISIS. One of


the things that we have heard about is 300-500 Yazidi women were


abducted and are being held in a building in Mosul. Some reports say


they have been sold into sexual slavery, others that they have just


been used as concan you on-- concubines, this is horrific and


disaster. What have you heard that is going on with that and also with


other atrocities? We just hear terrible things, these anecdotal


stories, and of course the people who are being brought down from the


mountain in Sinjar, they are also telling terrible stories of dogs


eating dead bodies on the mountain. We know that the US has the person


merger but we don't know what -- person merger but we don't know what


arms. Have you any evidence on that? We don't know what is supplied but


what we need is weaponry to match what IS has. And IS has quite


substantial stashes for what they have in Mosul. Looking at the


question about Nouri Al-Maliki tonight refusing to go, what do you


make of that, and do you think can he hold out? It is yet again another


disaster politically for Iraq. You know, we were hopeful earlier today


when we heard that President Masum had appointed a new Prime Minister


and we felt that this was progress and now we feel yet again we have


managed to pluck defeat out of the jaws of victory, as the expression


goes. It is very difficult to know what will happen, do we now have two


prime ministers in Iraq, and what will the situation lead to? Thank


you very much indeed. As political wranglings over the Prime Minister


continues, the US has made its efforts to destablise rebels in


Iraq. President Obama made it clear it is the Iraqi Government not the


US who must solve the problem. There is no American solution to the


crisis in Iraq, the only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come


together and form an inclusive Government. One that represents the


legitimate interests of all Iraqis and one that can unify the country's


fight against IS. The presidential envoy to Iraq after the US led


invasion in 2003 is joining us now. Good evening to you. First of all, a


response to what President Obama has now said. President Obama has said


it is up to the Iraqi Government to sort this out, we don't appear to


have a proper Iraqi Government. Should the US be doing more? You


know I think first of all the President needs to be congratulated


for making a stuff decision to re-engage in Iraq last week. It was


not easy. My concern is the steps announced so far is seems to me are


not commensurate with the three objectives he has stated. You have


said that no boots on the ground is quite different from combat forces?


What do you mean by that and what would you like to see going in? We


know there is special ops in and air strike what do you want to see?


There are three areas we need to operate in. First of all assist the


Kurds, it now it sounds finally we have started giving them some


weapons. They will need stepped up intelligence, they may need some


assistance in planning special operations, sooner or later the


issue won't be air power it will be retaking cities, which will involve


special operations. Do you mean by that you mean there will be hundreds


of special American troops on the ground or thousands? There are


already hundreds there, I have read 800, I'm not aware of the exact


number. But it is more a question of planning than actually carrying out


operations. The second thing we need to do, once the Government is


resolved, and I think it actually will be resolved, once the


Government is resolved we need to help the Iraqi Government


reconstitute the Iraqi army. Maliki's most serious mistake that


he made was basically purging that army of trained officers, trained by


our army back in 2006/07. So we have to help them reconstitute. And


finally, this is the area where I think the President's policy needs


the most evolution, he stated in an interview with the New York Times


over the weekend that we would not allow t establishment of an Islamic


caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Well in fact they have already established


it, at least they have announced it. And that is an American interest to


stop that, it is not just a problem for the Iraqis. It is, as he said


tonight something the Iraqi Government needs to be concerned


about, but we need to be concerned about it. The establishment of that


is essentially a failure of American foreign policy? By the President's


own definition he said we would not allow it and now it has happened.


The question is what do we do now? It seems to me sooner or later the


President will have to broaden the air campaign against ISIS, the


Islamic extremist, in Iraq and perhaps in Syria. Let me take you


right back to Nouri Al-Maliki, basically Nouri Al-Maliki is, as he


believes, still the Prime Minister, but at the time, when he first came


to power he was backed by the US, he was lauded by George W Bush, that


has proved to be a big mistake, hasn't it? I think Maliki has


certainly made a real mess of a lot of things, in particular what he did


with the well-trained, American-trained army, which


collapsed as we all saw in the north as soon as they faced these Islamic


extremists. He was devisive from the start, he wasn't inclusive of the


Sunnis and that was failure of understanding of the Americans as to


his character? Well, yes and also it was a factor that we exacerbated by


the withdrawal of the American troops. It was the day after


President Obama told him we were going to have no troops at the end


of 2011, the very next day in Baghdad that Al-Maliki issued an


arrest warrant for his Sunni Vice President. He has been hostile to


the Sunnis and that is a very serious mistake. You have talked


about Al-Maliki's failure to make the most of American-trained forces


and the removal of the cadre, the officer cadre. Right back, wasn't


one of the problems was the policy that you and others constituted was


the purging of the Armed Forces way back at the beginning, the


debafication of the Sunnis, do you think if they had been left in place


Iraq would be in such a precarious situation? I don't think it


materially affected the situation. Basically what we did was build a


new Iraqi army, which is the Iraqi army that defeated Al-Qaeda by the


end of 2009. Al-Qaeda was defeated by the Iraqi army. An army trained


about the American army, and they collapsed in Mosul. In front of the


IS? They melted away because they were commanded by Al-Maliki's Shia


cronies put in there. Anybody who knows anything about the military


knows if you have an officer leading your platoon who you don't trust you


won't fight for him. Those four divisions collapsed up there because


the Prime Minister had put in untrained, in most cases, not


trained at all, Shia who were loyal to him. You are quite right when you


said he has pursued a sectarian political policy. That is absolutely


right. A real mistake. Sorry to interrupt, was he not in a sense set


on that path, or different almost free rein to do that, by the fact


that after this purging by the in coming forces of the Sunni, if they


were left in place we wouldn't have that? If they were left in place we


would have Saddam in place. And both we and the Iraqis would be a lot


worse off. Now the sectarian problems... It is a separate


problem, excuse me, it is a separate problem, you removed Saddam, you


didn't have to remove the whole group of Sunnis in power? It is not


a separate issue. Look we can relitigate it all if you want, we


are where we are, I agree that Al-Maliki has pursued a sharply


sectarian policy. One that he accelerated when he learned that we


were going to have no troops there any more at the end of 2011. And I


think, I hope that he will now find way to disengage from this stand-off


that your reporter talked about earlier that is going on in Baghdad


tonight. And that we will see a new Prime Minister put together a new


Government that we can help reconstitute this army. But if those


troops on the street are at Al-Maliki's behest and there is


trouble, you heard what experts said in the package there, this will be a


disaster for Iraq. If there is a meltdown in Baghdad, Iraq


essentially will break up? I agree that if those troops wind up


fighting to keep Al-Maliki in place then we are in a new ball game


entirely. I'm not yet confident that is the direction it will go. There


is certainly a risk and the risk is very great if it goes that


direction, there is no question. In terms of the in coming Prime


Minister, in who you know from a previous incarnation, have you any


evidence that he would be more inclusive? You are betting the house


on that, is there any evidence that he would be? I don't think we're


betting the house, I think the Iraqis are betting the house.


Although the Vice President has congratulated him. He was a minister


of communications in the very first interim Government. He showed some


courage there by proceeding to open the country for the first time to


cellphone usage. They are now 23 million Iraqis with cell phones. I


had a lot of dealings with him, but I don't have a judgment as to how he


will perform as Prime Minister because I haven't seen him for ten


years. He has been in a higher position since then as Deputy


Speaker. He comes from the same wing of the party as Jaffrey, who was the


first Prime Minister. He said in an interview in the Huffington Post,


that he would take assistance from anyone to deal with IS, including


the Iranians. You of course had urged the Americans to move faster


in combatting IS. But the thing is, if people like him feel the


Americans are not doing enough what is to stop him turning to the


Iranians? Well, the Iranians obviously it is a complicated


situation for them too. They certainly have, one has to say, been


strengthened in the last ten years in their position in Iraq. There are


reports that the Iranians also have told Al-Maliki it is time to move


on. I don't know if that is true. It is certainly true that Grand


Ayatollah Sistani has called for a more inclusive Government. He


doesn't represent the Iranians obviously. But there is a lot of


pressure are on the Shia side for Al-Maliki to move aside. One final


question. Surely if you have IS, supposedly, beheading people,


burying them alive, crucifying people, abducting 300 women if that


is not a cause for action what is, if you didn't go into Syria is there


any chance you will help sort this out? If I were advising the


administration, as I said earlier, I would now call for a broader


military air campaign against the Jihadists, not just because it is in


Iraq's interest, but because it is in America's interest. We saw the


problem when the balance tan took over Afghanistan -- the Taliban took


over Afghanistan. The identity of the group that calls itself Islamic


State and which has called a caliphate is not entirely clear.


Their stock has risen massively ever since they routed Iraqi forces in


June and taking control of sophisticated US weaponry which they


deployed in tandem with barbaric violence, including beheadings and


crucifixions. The self-style caliphate spreading


across Syria and Iraq is redrawing the boundaries in the Middle East,


in creating huge unease both there and in the west. Islamic State as


ISIS now brand themselves control significant parts of Iraq and Syria.


Including cities, oilfields and border crossings. At the centre of


the group is this man, Badadi, Islamic State fighters pledge


allegance to him directly, his only public appearance is from a mosque


in moss sell last month. The reaction to ISIS supporters is


precisely what you would expect from a cult, it is just never ending


praise for Bagdadi in this uncritical admiration of him. It is


indigive of just how -- indicative of how much the Islamic State


resembles a classic cult. With a declaration of a caliphate, he's now


the new figurehead of global Jihad. Vice Magazine filmed celebrations


amongst his supporters, with the declaration also brought Bagdadi


into conflict with others in the Jihadi sphere, notably Al-Qaeda.


Islamic State has fought with the officially sanctioned Al-Qaeda


affiliate in Syria. Just like Bagdadi, the founder of the Islamic


State's predecessor in Iraq had a tense relationship with Al-Qaeda. He


was famed for indiscriminate bombings and videoing beheadings of


his captives, tactics Al-Qaeda criticised for being too extreme.


Bagdadi appears to favour the brutal approach. These pictures of captured


Iraqi Shia soldiers before they were massacred. Al-Qaeda was very unhappy


with Zakawi because he was killing a lot of Muslims and engaging in


violent tactics and killing a lot of Shias, a lot of things they


considered to be unproductive, and Bagdadi today is the air heir of


that tradition and approach, which is completely different from tactics


and strategy and even ideology. Vice magazine filmed the Islamic State


morality police on patrol, unlike his predecessor, Bagdadi and the


Islamic State have been far more involved in the governing of a


functioning state, even producing detailed financial accounts. I think


for ISIS to be able to control territory in two different countries


with a large number of fighters requires a very high degree of


organisational sophistication. Their record keeping is part of that.


Al-Qaeda kept records as well, but for ISIS to do it on the scale they


have done with the precision they have done certainly suggests a level


of sophistication and meticulousness that is impressive. The test now for


Islamic State is alongside military gains they can keep hold of the


territories without alienating the populations under their control.


We have the Middle East correspondent for the Independent


Newspaper and author of The Jihadis Return: ISIS. First of all, do you


think IS is ultimately much more of a threat than Al-Qaeda? Much more of


a threat, yes. It is far bigger by a factor of 100 or more, it is much


better organised. Al-Qaeda was always a rather rag-bag of people.


It was never much of an organisation. Although when it was


demonised after 9/11 the appearance was given that it was a sort of


well-structured group. But it is very different from ISIS, which is


truly dangerous and better organised and more experienced. Do you think


it is fair to say that the west created Islamic State? Yes. I mean


they created the context in which it could grow through the war in Iraq


and then they did something very specific in 2011 that they encuraged


the rebellion -- encouraged the rebellion against President Assad in


Syria, taken over very rapidly by Jihadis. And this is where ISIS was


able to grow. Iraqi politicians were warning at the time, they suddenly


told me every time I saw them that if this war in Syria goes on it will


destablise Iraq. The Civil War will come back there. There was a


complete lack of understanding of that in Washington and London. Is


there also a lack of understanding that ISIS can be defeated by air


strikes? You can do something through air strike, particularly


around Erbil, this is fairly flat country, there is no cover and


trees. You can stop them on the roads. But it is not going to defeat


them. Other parts of the country are much more urbanised, more difficult


to use aircraft, you also need good intelligence. In 2003 American


aircraft were very active in this area. And then they had forward air


observers with radios calling in air strikes from overhead. That works


fairly effectively. But ISIS is very well organised, its fighters are


very fanatical. It has about three or four successful military


campaigns under its belt since it took Mosul on the 10th June. It was


fighting pretty well before that, though nobody really noticed it in


Fallujah. Is the best way to guarantee the defeat of ISIS a


unified, functioning Government in Baghdad? Yes, I mean it is. But how


you get that, that is what we haven't had for about half a


century. And there isn't much sign of it. In Baghdad people say well,


Washington is encouraging them to have an inclusive Government, that


will include some Sunni who we didn't share power with before. Hold


on a minute the Sunni have already taken the Sunni provinces so you are


offering to share power with people who have already taken power where


they live. Then you have the Sunni politicians in Baghdad who don't


dare go back to their homes because their heads will be cut off. Even if


there is a unified Government in Baghdad, in that Government there


will not be Sunnis who will be able to take onnies skis? -- on ISIS? No,


Al-Maliki going is not a piece of magic which is going to solve these


problems. I mean Al-Maliki was a terrible Prime Minister, he's


responsible for many things have have gone wrong. But he's not


responsible for everything. And things aren't just going to click


into place because he goes. There is a hope among the Shia and foreign


Governments that Al-Maliki goes, the Sunni community gets what it wants,


then it turns on ISIS and kicks them out. And we have an agreement. But I


mean just look who they are facing, ISIS is well prepared for a stab in


the back, anybody who tries to do that to them they will kill them


first. So I don't think this is going to happen. There isn't any


sign of the Sunni community redividing and part of it pledging


its loyalty to Baghdad instead of the new caliphate. Thank you very


much indeed. Now as the British Army's withdrawal from Afghanistan


approaches, there is much talk of their legacy in the region. What of


the legacy at home? Emergency medicine doctors we have been


investigating about the valuable experience it might bring to the


NHS. At a fake Camp Bastion that craters for researching entirely


fake injuries. This is Camp Bastion Hospital but it


isn't Afghanistan it is York. Here the army have set up a simulation of


the entire military field hospital, these medics are the last hospital


team deployed to Afghanistan, where they will face casualties for real.


I served in the British Army for four years. Now I'm an emergency


medicine doctor in the NHS. I have come to see what civilian medicine


can learn from medical simulation at this level. It is a method called


macro-simulation, replicating exactly the conditions medics will


face in the field. Today starts with a helicopter rescue. I'm now in a


replica of the helicopter they use out in Afghanistan. The team behind


me are prepping to receive three casualties that are going to arrive


all at the same time. This place is about to get incredibly busy. The


scenario is so realistic that the medics are engulfed in the roar of


rotar blades and the heat of a helicopter engine. It is really dark


in here and there is even the smell of aviation fuel. In Afghanistan


when they are flying the lights have to be out. And that's exactly what


they have done here. I can see little red torches for light. After


treating their patients in pitch darkness, the medics have to


transfer them the moment the helicopter lands. So what we have


got now is the casualty who has been packaged up and has been stablised


on the helicopter and is now being transferred into the hospital. The


casualties are rushed into one of the most advanced simulated


hospitals ever built. It is essentially a hospital with the roof


taken off, and below us we have got 450 personnel, and this is the first


time that they will have all come together to work. Every medic is


being closely monitored. In charge of the whole operation is doctor and


army Brigadier Kevin Beaton. He was my squadron commander in Bosnia and


inspired me to study medicine. He spent the last ten years ago driving


innovations in medical training. We use video and sound to record all of


the activities at the various stages. That screen is showing a


patient actually being treated inside the helicopter simulator. And


we can switch between all of these different scenes and shots of what


is going on to get a feel for how each department is performing. I


think the best analogy that we have found is we have moved from driving


your car into the local Kwik Fit to now something akin to the Ferrari


pit stop at a Formula One event. Where there is a whole team of


people stood around the patient ready immediately to start get to go


grips with what we have to do. Research into macro-simulation means


it improves team work which improves chances for patients. Research shows


it contributes to reduced risk to patients. Another study called it a


finishing school for experts. The principle behind macro-simulation is


that it is as close to reality as possible. Actors and make-up artists


mimic even the most severe injuries. Here we have a casualty that we are


making up with multiple fragmentation wounds, mostly to both


lower limbs. We have smaller peppering, and then we have got


quite substantial deep into this side. It looks gruesome but it is


fake it is not real. I have never seen anything like this working with


the NHS, I'm an emergency medicine doctor and I have not seen this


level of simulation. But I certainly think we could do with it. With the


British Army withdrawing from Afghanistan, this precise replica of


Camp Bastion will be dismantled. But macro-simulation will continue and


it has already shift the frontier of medical training. We are better now


at preparing ourselves to give good medical care to our people than I


think we have ever been. Although simulation training is currently


used within the NHS, it is not at this scale or sophistication. It


tends to focus on individuals and specific techniques rather than


developing the skills of the whole team. There are 147,000 doctors


working in the NHS. But only about 6,000 of them attended simulation


training last year. The NHS has its own set of unique challenges, but


the evidence from the military indicates that macro-simulation on


this scale brings real benefits both to medical teams and their patients.


Having witnessed it in action today I'm personally convinced it has the


potential to make a real difference in the NHS.


It is fewer than 40 days until the Scottish referendum and displaying a


split personality of which Robert Louis Stevenson would be proud of,


according to a study voters are anxious about the outcomes of


independence but support has increased. On the all-important


question of the economy the survey finds the referendum campaign has


increased the amount of voters who think the economy will be worse


under independence, from 34% in the last four years to 44%, on currency


76% want to keep the pound. It is the most detailed piece of research


ahead of the vote. Here is a summary of the findings.


The three years that lie ahead of us now, are the most important in our


party's history and our country's recent history. Delegates, it is


game on for Scotland! Yes I certainly seemed to have mobilised


the potential vote, this level of support for independence is towards


the high end of what it has been over the last dozen years or so. But


it is not clear that the yes side have made the kind of progress that


will be needed to move from the baseline support to the 50% vote


they need in the referendum. You can't tell us what currency we


will have. Alastair you will pick the pound because it belongs to


Scotland as much as England. No other question you ask about


independence demarcates voters into the yes and no camps as sharply as


the economic issue does. The economic issue has been prominent


from the beginning of the referendum campaign, it has always looked like


the most important issue, it has simply become more important when


deciding to vote for origins independence.


I'm well aware of the fact that whilst many people have made up


their minds, there is still quite a large number of people who have


still to decide which way they are going on the referendum. We have


just six weeks to convince them. I relish the position of being the


underdogs, I think that is the best position to be in a campaign. The


trick is not to be ahead today, it is to be ahead on September 18th,


that is what we intend to do. To discuss an independent Scotland


economic prospects from Inverness, we have an economist and currency


expert, Sir Ronald McDonald. And we have our guest who is campaigning


for independence. If more people this year believe the economy would


be worse under independence than they did last year, less than 40


days out you have lost the argument? That is not what we are saying on


the ground. We are engaging with business and the public. What we are


seeing is when we explain in Scotland we generate more tax per


head, we have got higher GDP, 15%, than the rest of the UK, and


Scotland has a vibrant economy, not just oil and gas, life science,


manufacturing, education, financial service, we see people coming


towards the economic argument that is moving towards yes. That is


anecdotal evidence from you on the streets, that is not the same as


having a proper survey of attitudes and views of Scots? Well in terms of


polls and surveys I will leave crystal ball gazing to the


politicians and the pollsters. We are speaking to the public out there


every night doing that. We are getting back that people are moving


towards a yes vote in terms of the strength of the economy. You have


studied the economy and the currency. Presumably this move


accords with your view, perhaps not from you but people like you engaged


in a Project Fear in the economy, maybe that is taking hold, the fear


rather than the facts? I think there is a huge amount of uncertainty


around the economy, particularly over the issue of currency. In


coming at this as an economic analysis, I believe that the real


issues have not been played out to the public. A bit late now? Not in


the currency, people don't understand why for example the pou


wouldn't be a suitable mechanism for an independent Scotland. It is


really the worst of all worlds for an independent Scotland. I mean I


can see why in the survey people have said they would like the pound,


because it will remove uncertainty. But because Scotland is going to be


such a different economy post-independence, it is a crazy


idea to set the pound as the centre of your macro-economic policy. Well


there is the view of a currency expert, so why don't the yes


campaign simply come out and say, look, there is a Plan B, and unlike


George Osborne, there is a Plan B, there is a different way of doing


it, it is with a Scottish currency, pegged to sterling. But this


insistence of hanging on to the idea of some kind of monetary union when


you know that all the opposition leaders are dead against it? It is


interesting that Ronald's fifth world was a currency issue, the


currency issue became the last bastion of the scare tactics of


Better Together. The Scottish Government have made it clear what


their position on this is. The UK Government have made their position


clear on this. The reality is no Chancellor of the Exchequer,


especially in an election year will make it more difficult for


businesses in England and Wales to transact with Scottish customers, it


is economic and political vandalism to suggest that would be the case.


Let's turn it on its head, would Scotland, using sterling, be good


for the rest of the UK? Well, it would be in a sense, but if we are


talking about comparing say a flexible exchange rate or separate


currency, which I think is what the SNP are on about, they are referring


to this 400 smell I don't know or five hundred million transaction


cost the rest of the UK will have to bear. What they would continue to do


is invoicing in sterling, all of the costs would be born by the Scottish


business and public. Moving on to the question of oil, so much is


hinging on oil, and yet the reality is of huge price fluctuations, the


yes campaign say a barrel of oil in 2016 will be $110, the Office for


Budget Responsibility says $98. You cannot base an economy on the


fluctuating price of a barrel of oil? That is what I said at the


start, we don't balance our economy on oil and gas. Without oil and gas


our GDP is the same as the rest of the UK. When we look at oil and gas


in terms of North Sea gas and as you know yourself there is huge finds


around about the west of Shetland, oil and gas will be here for many


years to come, there is no doubt about that. It is only the OBR who


think that oil price also go down, most suspect it will be going up.


Thank you very much indeed. Tomorrow morning's front page, just beginning


with the Times: That is it for tonight, we leave you


with a wit of free running which is defined as the art of expressing


yourself in your environment, usually urban without limitation of


movement. This was a French free run family doing exactly that on the


roofs of Paris, when they acted out the newest version of the video game


Assassins Creed, set in the French Revolution.


We're flooding on going watch. Away from tomorrow morning we


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