12/08/2014 Newsnight


12/08/2014

Iraq, refugees and oil. Eddie Izzard and Amanda Palmer on Robin Williams. Amazon and the authors. A pauper's funeral.


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The images of desperate families, thousands of them still stranded on

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Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq are beamed around the world. After ten

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days only these fortunate few have made it to relative safety. Here

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refugees from the mountain have been pouring in all day, tonight the

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lucky ones will have found shelter in derelict buildings and schools.

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But all are still worried about those they left behind, nobody knows

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exactly how many are still stranded on that mountain tonight. We are

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sending Tornadoes and Chinooks to support the aid effort. What is

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driving the US response, the humanitarian crisis or the black

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stuff. They dig graves four deep, one on

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top of another, it is cheaper than cremation, this is how we bury the

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poorest people in Britain. We are on our way to the cemetery now, we are

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due there at two, we are trying to make it as good as we can for him

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really. And... Nanu Nanu. His comedic genius

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enthralled millions over a decade and the manner of his death has

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shocked and saddened us all. Our guests share their memories.

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Good evening, the race to save thousands of people stranded and

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under siege by Islamic militants in the searing heat of Mount Sinjar

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intensified today. With RAF Tornado jets and a small number of British

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Chinook helicopters now joining the US military involved in the

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humanitarian relief he have Ford, even if the Yazidi are eventually

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brought to safety, is there the international will to create a

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coalition to help the Iraqi Government to defeat the militants.

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Is there any attempt to engage IS militarily. First we go over to

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Iraqi Kurdistan. Who has been arriving today. We have stood at the

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border today and we saw hundreds and hundreds of Yazidi refugee families

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walking across, they carried nothing but their children and a few meagre

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supplies. They were the survivors of the mountain. Some have walked for

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days, others for hours, getting lifts where they could. They were

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brought down from the mountain by PKK fighters, who saved their lives,

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getting them past Islamic State checkpoints and finally to relative

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safety here in northern Iraq. They came with nothing, driven out of

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their homes. We talked of survivors who talked about relatives being

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killed, shot or stabbed, and women and children being deliberately

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targeted and stabbed. Many of them tonight of course seeking shelter

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here. Some in derelict buildings, others on the floors in schools with

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very, very meagre ration, all in desperate need of help. From the

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stories that you hear from people coming in today, have we any

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reliable estimates as to who is actually left on Mount sin area, how

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many? Don, on Mount Sinjar, how many? We don't know how many, the UN

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has said it is not clear. There is a long mountain range and there are

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many thousands we believe. These are the people who are the frailest,

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those less able to walk. One man I spoke today said what they needed

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were blankets to carry the elderly, the sick and small children who

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couldn't walks the distance. They are hoping for more supplies to be

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dropped on the mountain. That is difficult, one helicopter carrying

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humanitarian aid, bringing refugees out crashed on the mountain killing

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the pilot and injuring many. So this is dangerous and they have to fly in

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over hostile herry. Many of those helicopters shot as they go with

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refugees on board. Whilst the Government here seems to be

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increasing its commitment to the humanitarian mission in Iraq with

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helicopters on the way, it is still resisting pressure to join in US air

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strikes. So why the reluctance? Perhaps the memory of the vote

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against military action in Syria when parliament was recalled almost

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a year ago loomed large. Our investigations correspondent has

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been looking into the calculation being made in Whitehall and is here

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now. What is being discussed in Whitehall, and we have a ComRes poll

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tonight that suggests a majority of those polled are in favour of

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Britain joining America in air strikes? There is some contingency

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planning going on at the Ministry of Defence. But at the moment there

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just isn't the appetite to extend this beyond the purely humanitarian.

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As you said there are Tornadoes in the air, they will be joined by

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Chinook helicopters. We can safely assume there are a small number of

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British Special Forces on the ground to help co-ordinate the aid effort.

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As far as taking it beyond that, I don't think there is the momentum

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yet. One source said to me tonight that the idea of British troops on

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the ground in Iraq was a complete non-starter. It just won't happen.

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Of course history doesn't help us here, because we put boots on the

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ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, we didn't in Syria, we had a limited

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campaign in Libya. But of course none of these campaigns ended up the

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way we wanted. But as these pictures are beamed around the world more, as

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a kind of rumble comes at the thought of possible genocide, you

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have tornado, supposedly on reconnaissance surveillance and

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Chinook, we know they are taking in weapons, delivered by the Americans

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for the Kurdish fighters of Peshmerga. What about an unofficial

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mission creep? There is certainly that danger. There are three factors

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that we have to look out for over the coming days. The first is, will

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the situation on the ground change? One source said to me tonight that

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if there was another seismic event, another humanitarian catastrophe

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then ministers would have to rethink. The second thing as you

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said there is a ComRes poll out that shows 45% people are in favour and

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37% against air strike, that is not overwhelming but ministers look at

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that. The most important thing is the Americans. So far the Americans

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have not asked us, so I understand it, to get involved in air strikes.

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And of course they haven't asked because they are not sure they will

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get the right answer. Because they got the wrong answer over Syria.

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Indeed. Thank you very much indeed. Two MPs who joining the call tonight

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for parliament to be recalled so this can be properly debated are

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Labour's Diane Abbot and David Lee from the Conservatives. First of all

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Diane Abbot, why do you want parliament recalled? The region is

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involved in crisis you have the Syrian crisis, Gaza and now this. We

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need to stiffen the Prime Minister's line on Gaza and the state of

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Israel. And we do need to discuss how we can make the most effective

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humanitarian intervention in Iraq. We have a situation here where you

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might want more humanitarian mission, you might want more

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helicopter, you might want more planes, but if, as Caroline Wyatt

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says, in order to get to the Yazidis on the mountain, they have to go

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through fire, surely any humanitarian mission would have to

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be able to defend itself? We need an international military effort.

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Including Britain? This has to go to Security Council. This was what was

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wrong the original war, I do not believe parliament will vote for

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another unilateral American-British strike. You want parliament

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recalled, do you want military strikes by Britain? Let's be clear

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about what we are facing here. A massive humanitarian crisis millions

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of refugees, widespread carnage, we are also facing an ideolgical crisis

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here, the spread of Islamist thinking throughout the region and a

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regional challenge. We need a strategy actually that approaches

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the region as a whole. You voted against intervention in Syria? At

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the time the reason I voted against it because I thought we were not

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clear about who we were supporting. I was not against intervention, I

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was against the intervention that was being suggested because there

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was no strategy underpinning it. But here you two are from different

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parties coming out tonight. The minority of MPs it says, calling for

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the recall of parliament and you don't even have your Prime Minister

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on board? I think you will find that increasing numbers of MPs think we

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should come back and discuss the situation in the region. Let me say

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this, the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and

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expect a different result. Another unilateral British-American strike

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in Iraq will end badly. This has been called genocide, is that a word

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you would use? I think there is the potential for this, I think this is

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the biggest challenge we have faced in 70 years. This could become a

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regional issue and much bigger. I'm under no illusions, we are already

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seeing this flag being flown in this country. There are over 500 British

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known to be there. I have heard reports of dead ISIS people with

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Liverpool Football Club membership cards. Turkey needs to close the

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border, the regional powers need to step up. This is a British problem.

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There is no British military. We need to challenge. This is a pretty

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dangerous role? They need to step up to the responsibility. There is no

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British military solution to the issue. We need to go to the UN. That

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is what the UN is for. Is an international military solution,

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which might include more forces, not in the air, but on the ground, a

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possibility, and if it is, do you think British troops should be

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involved? I think that the solution to this is going to take longer than

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electoral cycle, this is going to take decades, this is going to need

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staying power and we need a strategy. Part of which will require

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military force, but it will also require putting the biggest brains

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in that region together to think about the future they want to have.

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The borders concernedly are not being respected. We have to have a

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view that the future of this region may have different countries in it.

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If you agree that this is genocide, if you don't take action over this

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what do you take action over? You go to the UN. People seem to have

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forgotten what the United Nations is for. Let's go to the UN and have a

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genuine international intervention. Wait a minute are you suggesting for

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a minute that the Americans are wrong to take military strikes on

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their own? Barack Obama has domestic consideration, I can't speak to what

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the Americans are doing. I'm saying we have forgotten the role of

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international institutions. This is a serious issue and all the more

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reason to go to the UN. They are right for the air strikes to be

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taken place, I don't need to be told about the imagery, I have watched it

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and seen it. Do you want David Cameron to recall parliament now?

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Yes I do, I wanted to him to recall it over MH17 and Gaza. These are

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three big issues in the last four-to-six weeks and should be

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debated in the House of Commons. Thank you very much indeed. In the

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US President Obama has been accused of dithering over air strikes over

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Islamic State from amongst others. Hillary Clintoned, who appeared to

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castigate the President over the significance of their threat. Why

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did he act when he did. There is the might of the Yazidis, but with the

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Islamic State 40kms from Irbil, was it American investment and oil-rich

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Kurdistan were suddenly in danger? In this town in northern Iraq,

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Kurdish fighters prepare for the next battle with the heavily armed

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militias of IS. IS took the town a week ago, the Kurds managed to

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retake it on Sunday after American air strikes pushed the IS forces

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back. The US has begun plying the Kurds with arms and ammunition, but

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they say they urgently need more. TRANSLATION: All these weapon, PKCs,

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IPCs, snipers, mortars, antitanks, all the weapons the other countries

:12:22.:12:24.

have, especially with the Americans with its advanced military. The

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Kurdish Peshmergas are experienced fighters, they fought back the Sunni

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extremists of IS. This is the city that the US and the Kurds are so

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desperate to defend. Irbil, the oil-rich capital of the Kurdish

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regional Government, where the Americans have a consulate and other

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facilities, and many other international companies have

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offices. Back in the days when the US was close to Saddam Hussein, and

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the Kurds were fighting against him, they complained they were ignored by

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the Americans. Even after the chemical attack in 1988. But all

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that has completely changed. Last week President Obama stressed his

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support for the Kurds. I do think the Kurds used that time that was

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given by our troop sacrifices in Iraq, they used that time well. And

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they, the Kurdish region is functional, the way we would like to

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see it, and it is tolerant of other sects and other religions in a way

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that we would like to see elsewhere. So we do think that it is important

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to make sure that space is protected. Iraqi Kurdistan is of

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course attractive to America because of the oil. It is also a stable,

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democratic and tolerant Muslim state. At the moment it is the only

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secure, let as say, until recently it was the only secure and I could

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say stable region in the Middle East. Iraqi steward Kurdistan is

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wealthy, it has massive oil reserves, there is a new oil

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pipeline through Turkey, built by the Kurdish government Government,

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and production has been averaging 84,000 barrels a day. It is

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surrounded by the Kurdish populations of Syria, Iran and

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Turkey, giving it strategic importance. Speaking as a military

:14:36.:14:42.

man and as you know an ex-NATO committee chairman. I would say that

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Prague matically speaking if you look at a map of the world and look

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at Turkey and Europe, that little bit of Kurdistan is like the end of

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a comma. It is pragmatically speaking effectively the new south

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eastern border of NATO. It remains to be seen whether the chaos

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elsewhere in Iraq and the new arms supplies from make lead to pressures

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for full independence for this semiautonomous state. For the at the

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moment it is a country that's not quite a country, and the success

:15:15.:15:18.

story of the chaotic Middle East. But for that success to continue,

:15:19.:15:22.

the threat from Islamic State has to end.

:15:23.:15:30.

Foreign affairs expert and Dean of Columbia University and covering

:15:31.:15:34.

Iraq for the New Yorker joins me now. What would you say is driving

:15:35.:15:40.

President Obama's intervention? I think he was advised last week that

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there was a serious danger that the Islamic State could attack Irbil and

:15:47.:15:51.

if not conquer it, certainly create a nasty fight in the city. That,

:15:52.:15:59.

combined with the humanitarian crisis on Mount Sinjar caused him to

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react after a long period of being reluctant to do so. Do you think in

:16:05.:16:10.

a way oil was the driver? I think it was interesting in the clip you

:16:11.:16:13.

played where President Obama was explaining his decision, no I don't

:16:14.:16:16.

think oil was the driver. But I thought it was unseemly for the

:16:17.:16:22.

United States to announce this momentous decision after all the

:16:23.:16:26.

President came to power promising to end the Iraq War, it is a very

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important moment for him to deciding to back to combat. Without

:16:31.:16:32.

acknowledging that the reason there were thousands of Americans in

:16:33.:16:36.

Irbil, who had to be protected from the possibility of the Islamic state

:16:37.:16:42.

entering the city is because Kurdish success and independence, all the

:16:43.:16:46.

qualities your correspondent described rely on oil production.

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The site of about 300,000 barrel days of oil production. The

:16:53.:16:55.

Americans are there, along with many people around the world to get that

:16:56.:16:59.

oil out of the ground. And given how poorly we were served by our

:17:00.:17:03.

political leaders in 2003 as they explained the reasons for going to

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washes I just felt it was sort of unseemly not to maintain silence

:17:10.:17:14.

about the fact that oil is at the centre of the Kurdish dilemma. You

:17:15.:17:17.

have called it absolutely the oilman's town. Just how disastrous

:17:18.:17:26.

would it be if IS got their hand on it It is not just Irbil but to the

:17:27.:17:32.

south in Kirkuk where the oilfields are located and where I think the

:17:33.:17:36.

Islamic State has design that is are even more ardent than on Irbil,

:17:37.:17:41.

because that is an area that has historically been disputed between

:17:42.:17:46.

Iraqi Arabs and Kurds. It may be easier for the Islamic State to

:17:47.:17:49.

build support in attacking oilfields and capturing some of that oil

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production. Isn't it ironic that we have, you know, Barack Obama calling

:17:55.:17:59.

now for this Government, a new Government of unity in Iraq and

:18:00.:18:03.

backing the new Prime Minister against the outgoing Nouri

:18:04.:18:08.

Al-Maliki, at the same time beefing up Iraqi Kurdistan to the point

:18:09.:18:12.

where quite possibly America's idea that it would become an independent

:18:13.:18:17.

nation, therefore undermining the whole idea of a united Iraq? This

:18:18.:18:23.

has been a strain, you are dead right. This has been fault line in

:18:24.:18:28.

American policy going back to the Bush administration. The premise of

:18:29.:18:34.

the policy has been to promote unified Iraqi constitutional

:18:35.:18:39.

Government in Baghdad, multisectarian power sharing,

:18:40.:18:41.

sharing oil revenue, at the same time American policy has passively

:18:42.:18:48.

allowed Kurdistan, because it has been successful and stable to build

:18:49.:18:51.

up independent wealth, independent oil contracts, now they are pursuing

:18:52.:18:55.

independent sales of oil abroad, and so at the very time when American

:18:56.:19:00.

policy seeks to stitch Iraq together under great pressure, it is also

:19:01.:19:05.

supporting Kurdistan, which has been tugging at the seams of Iraqi unity

:19:06.:19:11.

for some time. Thank you for joining us. Robin Williams was the go-to

:19:12.:19:16.

comedian and actor for many of us, he lit up any scene with his

:19:17.:19:20.

unpredictability, Gooch ball stories and air of compassion. His death has

:19:21.:19:23.

left millions of fan, fellow comedians and the American President

:19:24.:19:27.

bereft, then tonight we learned the sad news the actor and comic,

:19:28.:19:30.

suffering from severe depression had hanged himself at his home. The man

:19:31.:19:39.

who came alive as Mork of Mork and Minutedy, and dazzled as Mrs

:19:40.:19:44.

Doubtfire, and comic genius and inspired a whole host of stand-ups,

:19:45.:19:48.

in a moment we will discuss his life. But first here is our

:19:49.:19:56.

appreciation. Born in Chicago from British stock. He could do it all,

:19:57.:20:01.

from stand-up to slapstick, to darker, serious roles. Please

:20:02.:20:08.

welcome Robin Williams. He learned his craft in the early 70, battle it

:20:09.:20:13.

out on the live circuit. His energy infectious, his audience often in

:20:14.:20:18.

tears. You are following me, they are after me, they are after me,

:20:19.:20:23.

they are after me. Siberian mine, here we go. But his big break came

:20:24.:20:33.

on TV, a small role as a confused alien in Happy Days. I mean you no

:20:34.:20:43.

harm, Nanu-nanu. That became the sitcom, Mork and Minutedy, a huge

:20:44.:20:48.

hit at the time. But Williams will be probably best remembered for his

:20:49.:20:54.

big screen roles. Surprise. From fun Disney block busters to intelligent

:20:55.:21:05.

drama. Dead Poets Society, and Good Morning Vietnam, brought on the

:21:06.:21:10.

critics. Good Will Hunting won him an Oscar. You know what occurred to

:21:11.:21:16.

me. You're just a kid, you don't have the faintest idea of what you

:21:17.:21:23.

are talking about. Why thank you. Today fans were laying flowers and

:21:24.:21:28.

leaving messages next to that same bench in potsen to. -- Boston. Since

:21:29.:21:34.

the start of his career Williams had been open about his struggle with

:21:35.:21:38.

depression and drugs. Look at you drinking wine, and me just out of

:21:39.:21:43.

rehab, thank you. It is like having a doughnut in front of a diabetic,

:21:44.:21:48.

it is OK. You will mind me and Amy Winehouse going

:21:49.:21:51.

# Trying to get me back to rehab He returned to treatment just weeks

:21:52.:21:56.

before his death. One of the quickest, most intelligent and

:21:57.:21:59.

gifted comedians of his generation. He leaves behind three children,

:22:00.:22:03.

four unfinished films, and an influence that is far reaching and

:22:04.:22:08.

in ble. To discuss Robin Williams and his

:22:09.:22:14.

legacy is the comedian and writer Eddie Izzard and Amanda Palmer. You

:22:15.:22:19.

knew him well, what was the source of his genius? I think he must have

:22:20.:22:24.

got it through his parents, it is genetic, I think some of these

:22:25.:22:29.

comedy tends to come through parents and stuff. He had that and nurturing

:22:30.:22:35.

that and pushed it and made it work. When I was at stand-up workshops,

:22:36.:22:40.

learning to do stand-up because I only did sketches there were

:22:41.:22:44.

different types of stand-ups you could be, one was the God-like

:22:45.:22:47.

genius and that was the Williams. You can get to that, but only if you

:22:48.:22:56.

are crazy. All through his career he headed back to stand-up all the

:22:57.:23:00.

time, he loved that immediate engagment with the audience? He did

:23:01.:23:04.

love it. I wondered, I actually think he could have done it more,

:23:05.:23:07.

because I think what happens in America if you get successful in

:23:08.:23:10.

comedy you will go into a television series or film series, that becomes

:23:11.:23:14.

key, it is a different thing to stand-up. So I feel he did

:23:15.:23:20.

occasional stand-up tours after taking off into such a huge way. But

:23:21.:23:25.

not all the time. It was, he was so wonderful at it, I don't actually

:23:26.:23:29.

know why he didn't come back to it more. What do you think was the

:23:30.:23:33.

source of his vulnerability, often I think when you see expressions that

:23:34.:23:37.

are used in lots of films, he looked so kind of sympathetic towards the

:23:38.:23:42.

other characters, he had this incredible kind of warmth? I mean

:23:43.:23:47.

that was just Robin, he was a nice guy, when I first met him on a film

:23:48.:23:55.

he was just very welcoming. And I said can you watch my video and he

:23:56.:23:59.

watched it immediately, which was very, you would expect a lot of

:24:00.:24:03.

pullback on that, but he was just, he was just a decent person. For a

:24:04.:24:10.

lot of us he was right up there and it is too sad. In a strange way he

:24:11.:24:16.

was nurturing of other people's talent and needed a lot of nurturing

:24:17.:24:20.

in himself, in the end that is obviously what happened? I don't

:24:21.:24:23.

want to get into that, but depression it clinical and some

:24:24.:24:26.

people have it and some people don't. It just is a disease, you

:24:27.:24:34.

know. He was brilliant and he, it would have been wonderful if he

:24:35.:24:41.

could have gone on. Amanda Palmer I think I'm right in saying that you

:24:42.:24:44.

tweeted last night that what you wanted was an emergency screening of

:24:45.:24:49.

a Robin Williams film for you all, I think it was Good Morning Vietnam?

:24:50.:24:58.

It was Dead Poets Society. How did you first encounter him, years ago?

:24:59.:25:02.

I mean it was years ago. It feels like he was one of those people who

:25:03.:25:07.

raised me in the 80s, because I was stationed in front of television

:25:08.:25:11.

watching his movies from before I can remember. I think the first one,

:25:12.:25:16.

I mean there was Mork and Mindy, but the first one was Moscow on the

:25:17.:25:23.

Hudson. That was absolutely a brilliant film not mentioned much,

:25:24.:25:25.

and I thought he was wonderful in that? Yeah, I mean it is like he has

:25:26.:25:34.

been such a permanent part of the landscape, I was so, I was so

:25:35.:25:39.

shocked to hear that he was gone. Because he's always there. And of

:25:40.:25:43.

course now of course the Twitter reaction has been phenomenal, and

:25:44.:25:49.

you are avid on Twitter. You get the sense of just how many people's

:25:50.:25:55.

lives he touched? Yes, one of those beautiful things happened today

:25:56.:25:59.

where a lot of people were talking about Dead Poets Society, that was

:26:00.:26:03.

just one of those films with moments that resonated so deeply with

:26:04.:26:07.

people, especially because of the suicide in the film. One my fans

:26:08.:26:13.

sent me a picture of himself standing on a desk with the hashtag

:26:14.:26:27.

#ohcampaignmycaptain. I sent one back with the one I had. It turned

:26:28.:26:31.

into this beautiful viral tribute by hundreds of people taking pictures

:26:32.:26:35.

of themselves standing on desks. You got a sense looking at the comments,

:26:36.:26:40.

different films really touched and changed people at different times.

:26:41.:26:44.

One of my fans tweeted about being on the brink of suicide himself when

:26:45.:26:50.

he saw Dead Poets Society and said that film pulled him back from the

:26:51.:26:56.

edge. So the profound irony of it all is heavy. You got a sense that

:26:57.:27:02.

he delighted in some of his roles. Mrs Doubtfire was a role made for

:27:03.:27:06.

adults as well as children? Yeah, I mean when he was doing comedy he

:27:07.:27:10.

would do a thing which, I'm not sure if all of us comedians do, he was

:27:11.:27:15.

making himself laugh. I'm pretty shower he was the first person --

:27:16.:27:19.

sure he was the first person in his audience. When I did this film with

:27:20.:27:27.

him, the one I did, Gerard De Pardieu, he was in front of him ad

:27:28.:27:31.

libbing and I started ad libbing and he was looking at us and I don't

:27:32.:27:35.

know what he was thinking. Apparently even in Aladdin he was ad

:27:36.:27:42.

libbing? It is all filmed beforehand, that is what he would

:27:43.:27:45.

have done, he would have just gone off, the script would have been

:27:46.:27:48.

there and he would have gone off seven ways to Sunday. What influence

:27:49.:27:52.

do you think he had on other performers and people like you?

:27:53.:27:59.

Huge. It was immensely huge, you can't actually try to be someone.

:28:00.:28:02.

You can't say I want to be that person, you can add little bits on

:28:03.:28:08.

to your own style. My style was more Woody Allen with Billy Connelly and

:28:09.:28:13.

Richard Prior mixed in. He hit this God-like genius place of being able

:28:14.:28:16.

to do anything, it was political, fast, impression, he would run

:28:17.:28:20.

through the audience, which was more like street performing, which was

:28:21.:28:23.

unusual for stand-ups to do, they don't usually move off the stage. He

:28:24.:28:28.

had this ability to take a room and take it to the stars really. You

:28:29.:28:32.

mentioned Richard Prior and Connelly, where would you rank him

:28:33.:28:43.

on the pan pantheon? He's right up there, and there should never be

:28:44.:28:46.

number ones in creative things, but he's in the top ten of all time.

:28:47.:28:52.

Maybe the top five. It is just, it is rather tragic. I didn't want to

:28:53.:28:55.

come in here and do this, I thought I was discussing this with Steve

:28:56.:29:01.

Coogan it looks like everyone jumps on telly and talks about people. I

:29:02.:29:05.

wanted to say we're going to miss him. Thank you very much.

:29:06.:29:11.

The battle between the on-line retailing megastore Amazon and the

:29:12.:29:15.

international publishing house has reached epic and nasty proportion,

:29:16.:29:19.

Amazon wants the publisher which includes imprints of Little Brown

:29:20.:29:24.

and others, to drop the price at which it sells e-books and

:29:25.:29:27.

publishers and authors are resisting. More than 900 authors in

:29:28.:29:31.

the Sunday Times, many of them not published by the publishing

:29:32.:29:35.

housemaid their anger claim. In a moment, the best-selling thriller

:29:36.:29:42.

writer Lee Child who has sold 100 million books will tell us why he's

:29:43.:29:46.

on the warpath against Amazon. First we have this. Here is a mystery

:29:47.:29:58.

worthy of Chandler, a search for truth as riddled with conspiracy

:29:59.:30:05.

theories as a Dan Brown novel. Both sides will say their motive is love

:30:06.:30:10.

of authors and books in general. Is there something else behind this, is

:30:11.:30:15.

the real root of this not laugh but that other great human motivator,

:30:16.:30:21.

money. Amazon, according to some observers is preparing for a world

:30:22.:30:24.

without publishers, a world where the vast majority of books are made

:30:25.:30:30.

not of ink and paper but ones and noughts. Amazon wants to position

:30:31.:30:35.

itself as the publisher of the future. They have a large e-book

:30:36.:30:40.

sales team, they have their own in-prints, their own brands, they

:30:41.:30:45.

have plenty of home brew and I guess indie authors on the site. They are

:30:46.:30:49.

ready to take the next leap and almost bypass these publishers

:30:50.:30:54.

completely. Hachett is one of the world's biggest publishers with

:30:55.:30:59.

thousands of different titles, Amazon is trying to get them to cut

:31:00.:31:03.

the cost of e-book, until they do sales of some titles on Amazon have

:31:04.:31:08.

been affected. Authors say it is hurting them, 900, including Stephen

:31:09.:31:16.

King and John Grisham have signed a letter saying they have been

:31:17.:31:20.

affected by this. This is one of the novelists who signed the letter. The

:31:21.:31:23.

industry is changing, there are a lot of negotiations to go on between

:31:24.:31:28.

Amazon, the sellers, and the publisher, that is fair enough. That

:31:29.:31:31.

they need to have those negotiations. But what Amazon has

:31:32.:31:37.

done has used authors in this, and to the detriment of writers' sales.

:31:38.:31:42.

You don't see any e-books on the secondhand book stalls of London's

:31:43.:31:46.

South Bank, but there is plenty of evidence of a previous publishing

:31:47.:31:52.

revolution. Amazon's argument is essentially this the e-book is

:31:53.:31:56.

nothing more than the modern equivalent of the paperback. When it

:31:57.:32:01.

was brought in, it radically reduced the cost of reading, and brought in

:32:02.:32:06.

a whole load of new authors and reader, and it was at the time

:32:07.:32:10.

fiercely resisted by some elements of the publishing industry. In

:32:11.:32:15.

response to the authors' united letter, Amazon responded with a

:32:16.:32:20.

website called Readers Unite, on it they say books compete against

:32:21.:32:24.

mobile games, television movies, Facebook blog, free news sites and

:32:25.:32:28.

more. If we want a healthy reading culture, they say, we have to work

:32:29.:32:31.

hard to be sure books are competitive against these other

:32:32.:32:34.

media, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less

:32:35.:32:39.

expensive. Amazon say that dropping the price of an e-book from $14. 99

:32:40.:32:48.

to $9. 99 would give authors a 74% sales boost. That means if an author

:32:49.:32:56.

sells 100,000 copies at $14. 99, it will be 174,000 at $9. 99, it would

:32:57.:33:03.

be more money. So says Amazon, everyone wins. But not every author

:33:04.:33:08.

is buying the logic of those numbers. Amazon's argument is

:33:09.:33:13.

predicated on the fact that all books will sell the same amount.

:33:14.:33:19.

Perhaps it is true that a better-selling author will, if you

:33:20.:33:24.

lower the price below ten dollars for a really Goodselling author they

:33:25.:33:27.

will earn more. That isn't true of the broad range of the industry. How

:33:28.:33:33.

does this particular story end? Well it is not clear, like any great tale

:33:34.:33:40.

it will keep us guessing to the last page.

:33:41.:33:43.

We asked Amazon to come on, but joining us now is Lee Child, the

:33:44.:33:47.

best-selling writer. Amazon among others has made you a very rich man,

:33:48.:33:51.

why are you biting the hand, you are not even a Hachette author? I love

:33:52.:33:57.

Amazon, I have grown up with Amazon, they started around the same time I

:33:58.:34:01.

started, I have a lot of good friends there. The point is exactly

:34:02.:34:06.

that. If you have a good friend who is misbehaving, you don't

:34:07.:34:09.

immediately shoot him in the head and bury them in the woods. You take

:34:10.:34:13.

them aside and have a quiet word with them and you say come on pal,

:34:14.:34:18.

you are out of line, shape up and behave properly. That is what the

:34:19.:34:22.

authors do, me and the other 900 authors that is what we are saying.

:34:23.:34:25.

Do you buy the argument that this is just the version of the pre-Second

:34:26.:34:32.

World War move to paperback? No Amazon sold that sort of stuff,

:34:33.:34:36.

there is a specialised branch of science you can examine the

:34:37.:34:40.

propositions with, it is called arithmetic, their numbers about how

:34:41.:34:45.

many people will buy it at $15 and how many people will buy it at $10,

:34:46.:34:50.

Amazon does not run two different patrol legal universes selling at

:34:51.:34:53.

two different price, the best they can be saying is for every 100

:34:54.:35:00.

people buying at $15, there are 174 at $10. What publishers do is sell

:35:01.:35:05.

the hundred to the people prepared to pay $15 and those prepared to

:35:06.:35:10.

sell $10 and make more money than Amazon says they will make. We are

:35:11.:35:14.

talking about the argument about more people reading the books in a

:35:15.:35:17.

minute, do you think that am zone is squeezing the author, they may be

:35:18.:35:21.

squeezing the publishers but are they squeezing the author?

:35:22.:35:26.

Inevitably by connection. They are squeezing the customer most of all

:35:27.:35:30.

by depriving the customer of what they want. What does the customer

:35:31.:35:35.

want? ??FORCEDYELL The customer wants the books she wants to read,

:35:36.:35:39.

and Amazon is not delivering them at the moment. They are doing a go-slow

:35:40.:35:44.

on Hachette authors? They came out and said they are taking steps to

:35:45.:35:49.

reduce the play of Hachette books. So the customer waiting for her

:35:50.:35:52.

favourite book is not getting it. Very weird for a customer-centric

:35:53.:36:03.

company. They are using the customers as pawn, you have to ask

:36:04.:36:06.

what is behind that. If more people read because of e-book, let's take

:36:07.:36:11.

you, your new book is coming out next month, it is ?20 but on Prime

:36:12.:36:16.

it is ?so and the kinkedle offer will be -- the kinkedle offer will

:36:17.:36:24.

be ?8. 03. If people can't afford it at ?20 they can at ?10 you will get

:36:25.:36:28.

a new reader. I don't think there is a significant number of people who

:36:29.:36:32.

will say ?8 is better than ?10 having bought the machine. I don't

:36:33.:36:35.

think that is a significant difference. Is the difference now

:36:36.:36:38.

that people might not like the Kindle as it stands right now, but

:36:39.:36:44.

technology moves so fast, times within months and years they will

:36:45.:36:48.

produce something more akin to the paperback experience but on Kindle?

:36:49.:36:55.

We already have the paperback, Amazon is fatastically ambitious

:36:56.:36:58.

they want to change the world and dominate, and the Kindle hasn't

:36:59.:37:04.

worked as well assam zone wanted it to. -- as Amazon wanted it to

:37:05.:37:12.

America is two years ahead of the UK market, the Kindle is so 2012, some

:37:13.:37:18.

people tried it and liked it and some didn't, and most people

:37:19.:37:20.

completely indifferent. It has settled into a good solid niche,

:37:21.:37:24.

fine from a business point of view, but not good enough for Amazon, they

:37:25.:37:27.

want to take over the world. If something comes up that is genuinely

:37:28.:37:32.

much better than Kindle, you would agree that authors might be a bit

:37:33.:37:37.

luddite? I don't care how it is delivered, I mean they can hire

:37:38.:37:45.

Scarlet Johansson to whisper it in your ear, fine, as long as you hear

:37:46.:37:49.

my story. Books can't get any cheaper than now, it is not feasible

:37:50.:37:54.

to make them any cheaper, they are extremely cheap right now. In

:37:55.:37:59.

Charles Dickens' England they were seen as shameful and reserved only

:38:00.:38:03.

for those suffering extreme destitution, but pawers' funerals

:38:04.:38:15.

not -- paperes' fume recommends are about, local councils have a duty to

:38:16.:38:20.

fund them. It is a sign they are on the rise. It is a sign they are

:38:21.:38:24.

hidden, we have been to Leeds to follow the story of one man's death.

:38:25.:38:33.

At this cemetery in in Leeds they have just buried man on top two of

:38:34.:38:40.

others. Eventually there might be four or five people in this one

:38:41.:38:45.

plot. People who often die alone, without the means to pay for their

:38:46.:38:58.

own burial. This is what used to be called a pauper's grave, and more

:38:59.:39:03.

and more are being dug across the country. This man was someone we

:39:04.:39:10.

wanted to find out about him. There are people who haven't got family or

:39:11.:39:14.

friends or anyone there is sadness there when you are doing it,

:39:15.:39:18.

unfortunately it is part of the job, you know you are helping somebody at

:39:19.:39:22.

the end of the day. Ahead of the funeral, this social worker is

:39:23.:39:26.

overseeing arrangements. Last year in England alone, local councils

:39:27.:39:30.

paid for more than 3,000 people to be buried in this way. I wouldn't

:39:31.:39:37.

like it if somebody I loved or was being buried and nobody else was

:39:38.:39:45.

there. Local councils must bury people whose relatives are unwilling

:39:46.:39:51.

or able to afford their funerals. Bilal has found out that Malcolm had

:39:52.:40:00.

no family and no funds. We know the 64-year-old had lived here and

:40:01.:40:03.

become increasingly reclusive over time. We have come to meet a

:40:04.:40:08.

neighbour, Leslie, who worried when she hadn't seen anything of him for

:40:09.:40:12.

a bit. We know his habits and going to the shop once day, when we hadn't

:40:13.:40:17.

seen him for a couple of days we investigated to see if he was OK.

:40:18.:40:22.

The estate agent that has been helping him out came down with a key

:40:23.:40:26.

and unfortunately we found him dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs.

:40:27.:40:30.

There is something very poignant about the fact that the social

:40:31.:40:34.

workers are involved, the fact that probably it will be the Leeds

:40:35.:40:38.

council who pay for the funeral. Did you hear of any relatives? No. I

:40:39.:40:43.

have never seen visitors go to Malcolm's house at all. No friends,

:40:44.:40:48.

no family or anything. So as far as we were aware had he nobody. It

:40:49.:40:56.

appears Malcolm was an agonisingly shy man. We couldn't find a picture

:40:57.:41:01.

of him anywhere, we knew he was a printer until he was injured in a

:41:02.:41:04.

bicycle accident. He lived here first with his parents and then

:41:05.:41:08.

alone for nearly 40 years after they died, becoming more and more

:41:09.:41:12.

withdrawn. It seems he left nothing. Leslie and her neighbours have

:41:13.:41:18.

raised ?45 for a wreath. The kind of funeral that he will probably have

:41:19.:41:28.

used to be called a paw per's -- pauper's funeral, how do you feel

:41:29.:41:31.

about that? Everybody goes in a box, the sad thing is not having anybody

:41:32.:41:35.

at the funeral, that is why a few neighbours have got together and

:41:36.:41:43.

would like to say goodbye to him. In the past there was a real stigma

:41:44.:41:47.

attached to pauper's funerals. If relatives could afford a Guinea,

:41:48.:41:51.

their loved ones got a shared grave with their names listed on a head

:41:52.:41:56.

stone. But the poorest were wrapped in a sheet, wheeled over from the

:41:57.:42:01.

work house and buried in communal graves. And the numbers are

:42:02.:42:06.

astonishing. Here at Leeds Beckett Street cemetery, 180,000 people lie

:42:07.:42:11.

beneath the grass, many unmarked and unremembered. We are on our way to

:42:12.:42:18.

the cemetery now. We are due there at 2.00. We are trying to make it as

:42:19.:42:23.

good as we can for him really. Tim is the local funeral director, he

:42:24.:42:26.

says he has seen a rise in the number of burials like Malcolm's,

:42:27.:42:30.

paid for by the council. Sometimes the only people who attend are the

:42:31.:42:34.

minister and undertakers. But Malcolm's neighbours are looking out

:42:35.:42:39.

for him. These people who have made the effort, or who will be making

:42:40.:42:42.

the effort to come along to the service thought something about this

:42:43.:42:47.

chap. To have made the arrangements. They have put their hands in the

:42:48.:42:51.

pockets to buy flowers so he didn't go without any flowers, they have

:42:52.:42:54.

spent time talking to the person who license taking the service, and --

:42:55.:42:59.

who will be taking the service and giving background information. He's

:43:00.:43:02.

somebody who has been respected even though he might have been a loner or

:43:03.:43:06.

someone who liked to keep himself to himself. Pauper's funerals are now

:43:07.:43:12.

called section 46 funerals. Although it is difficult to obtain figure,

:43:13.:43:16.

recent research suggests in England the numbers have gone up nearly 40%

:43:17.:43:28.

in five years. Whilst the state is the last safety net for people like

:43:29.:43:31.

Malcolm, those who have organised the service still want to send him

:43:32.:43:35.

off with as much dignity as funds allow. Another familiar sight on the

:43:36.:43:41.

lane would be Malcolm on his bees Celt, a slim dark-haired man and

:43:42.:43:47.

always clean shaven, but wearing inconspicuous clothes. The minister

:43:48.:43:52.

Victoria Carter believes it is her job to make sure everyone is treated

:43:53.:43:57.

the same in death. We always try our best to try to find out as much

:43:58.:44:02.

information as we can, to try to make the social services funerals

:44:03.:44:06.

just as personal as every other funeral. We Raul like all -- all

:44:07.:44:17.

like to be buried with members of our family, they may have been alone

:44:18.:44:22.

in life at least they are buried with people like them. We now commit

:44:23.:44:29.

Malcolm's body to the ground. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to

:44:30.:44:36.

dust. A section 46 funeral costs Leeds council around ?1700. Most

:44:37.:44:41.

here are buried not cremated because it is cheaper. To him be glory

:44:42.:44:49.

forever. Amen. In England half of the people given a section 46

:44:50.:44:53.

funeral are under 65. Three-quarters are men. Goodbye Malcolm, go in

:44:54.:45:05.

peace. Margaret and Jennifer are sisters who knew Malcolm as a boy.

:45:06.:45:10.

Do you think there is still a stigma attached to a funeral like this?

:45:11.:45:15.

There shouldn't be, because you know if you believe in God and we do, it

:45:16.:45:22.

doesn't matter whether you have a penny or a million pounds. It

:45:23.:45:28.

doesn't matter to God. What do you think this shy man would have

:45:29.:45:31.

thought about lots of you turning up for his funeral? I think he would

:45:32.:45:36.

have been shocked, to be quite honest. He wouldn't have come. No he

:45:37.:45:40.

wouldn't. He wouldn't have turned up. He wouldn't have come to his own

:45:41.:45:45.

funeral, he would have been too shy. He wouldn't have turned up! When

:45:46.:45:49.

this grave is full, there will be a head stone engraved with the names

:45:50.:45:55.

of all the people inside. For Malcolm Horncastle it will be the

:45:56.:45:58.

mark of a life lived quietly, something to remember him by.

:45:59.:46:03.

That's all we have time for tonight, we end the show with a final bit of

:46:04.:46:08.

home spun wisdom, curtesy of the late, great Robin Williams. Good

:46:09.:46:18.

night. Mork alling Orson, come in Orson, Mork calling Orson, come in

:46:19.:46:33.

Orson, yo battle star gigantic ia. What have you got to report? I don't

:46:34.:46:37.

have much value in this universe, I know a few people are happier than

:46:38.:46:42.

they would have been without me, as long as I have that I'm as happy as

:46:43.:46:49.

I can be. I will catch you next week, nanu-nanu. Some showers

:46:50.:46:59.

through the night and a fresh start to the day.

:47:00.:47:00.

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