With Evan Davis. Discussion includes the latest on the Labour reshuffle, Iran and the Saudis, and the new director of the National Gallery. Plus, the MP who sexted a teenage girl.
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It's an awkward new year dilemma for Jeremy Corbyn -
does he build a Shadow Cabinet more to his liking, but risk a rebellion
A day of non-stop reshuffle buzz, but it's not yet looking a night
of the long knives for Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary
I think it would be a great shame to move a politician
who is completely competent and equipped to do the job
of Shadow Foreign Secretary on the basis of a disagreement
We'll get the latest and the lowdown on Labour's top team,
We speak to the Labour MP who lost the party whip for sexting
I can't deny the fact that I prefer young women,
you know, and different people have different preferences.
My last girlfriend was 17 years younger than me.
And then we talk to the new director of the National Gallery,
I think there can be big changes, particularly the way the gallery
presents itself to the outside world, in a sense to that huge
number of people who will probably never come to see the National
Through the holiday, we were told Jeremy Corbyn
was preparing a reshuffle of his Shadow Cabinet.
The talk was of a revenge reshuffle, "Corbygeddon".
Perhaps a lot of that chat got out of hand.
But today, the reshuffle shuffle got going, and yet amazingly,
Hilary Benn and Maria Eagle went to speak to Mr Corbyn,
but they have said nothing about their positions.
Does that suggest they're still in the Shadow Cabinet?
Or has the leader not finalised his decisions?
Or has he been stymied in his desires?
It does seem he has not gone for the nuclear option
of sacking his Cabinet opponents forthwith.
But nuclear opinions were never his thing.
Let's hear about the day and the dilemma from our political
Opposition front bench reshuffle. Three words that don't exactly
scream compelling must-see drama. Labour after all has just lost a
general election. Surely only a few sad obsessives much care who is
being promoted or demoted this far from the next one? But actually
stick with us, because this opposition front bench reshuffle is
a bit different. Why? Well, in this reshuffle some say there's a battle
going on for the whole future and heart of the Labour Party. Labour's
Shadow Foreign Secretary might not be the biggest Ben in Westminster,
but Hilary Benn grew in reputation markedly after the Iraq debate last
month. One problem though, he was saying the exact opposite of his
leader. For that reason one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest political
friends told me Mr Benn can't stay in post. Imagine in Tony Blair's
Premiership, if Mo Mowlam our Northern Ireland Secretary had come
out and said I am opposed to the Prime Minister negotiate ing with
the IRA, he would have moved her. Jeremy's been tolerant about dissent
or disagreement, but there's a problem with your front bench
spokesman is disagreeing with you. If Hilary Benn had been... Is this a
leadership challenge, is it an attempt to undermine the Prime
Minister? It is another Labour split. What we are trying to get
back on to focusing on key issues like the economy. We must now
confront this evil. What particularly irked Mr Corbyn was the
reaction in the chamber to Hilary Benn's speech. The cheering, the
applause, appalling jingoism, the Labour leader called it.
CHEERING. It is the leader's prerogative, it is their right to
pick their own team. Of course that's the case, but I think it
would be a great shame to move a politician who is completely
competent and equipped to do the job of Shadow Foreign Secretary on the
basis of a disagreement on a free vote. Not a whipped vote but a free
vote. One of Mr Corbyn's key advisers told Newsnight this is
emphatically not a revenge reshuffle. More it is an attempt to
establish some coherence in some of the Labour Party's policy positions.
Namely defence and foreign affairs. But in this is there an admission
that Mr Corbyn's plan to usher in a new style of politics based on
grown-up disagreements, open discussion, has failed? On the basis
of that intelligence, the other name in the frame then is mooria eagle,
Shadow Defence Secretary. She favoured renewing Britain's nuclear
deterrent. Of course, of course, does not. You are working with Maria
Eagle on this defence review. If she were removed midway through that
process or even the beginning of that process, what would it say
about that review? It is only just starting. We are going to focus on
facts. The current episode of Labour's drama may well be concluded
some time tomorrow, but the wider story of the battle going on inside
the Labour Party looks set to run for a few seasons yet.
Well, here with me are Ayesha Hazarika,
former special adviser to Harriet Harman,
Danny Finkelstein, Conservative peer and columnist in the Times,
Owen, you can make sense of what's happened today, why there was all
this talk about a reshuffle and then nothing happened? It is not exactly
clear what's happening but hopefully tomorrow it will be a tad clearer.
What he has to do though, the essentials of what he did when he
came to power were right, in terms of the Shadow Cabinet, even though
it was done in a chaotic way, because that whole team are not
people who've spent years preparing for power with a team around them.
It is a unique situation. Where they went wrong in particular, and I said
this at the time, was the lack of women this those top four positions.
There's lots of capable women on the backbenches and the front bench
team. I think what should happen now is an attempt to redress that
balance. Particularly with the top four. The same time, I find this
navel gazing on behalf of the Labour Party on all sides bleak. We have a
Conservative Government now which is going to preside over cuts to
universal credit, which will hammer middle of course families for the
next few years. Flooding in parts of the country, and cuts to the flood
defences. A Government in alliance with a Saudi dictatorship which is a
threat to the security of our citizens, and yet we are talking
about the make-up of the Labour frontbench. Do you blame Jeremy
Corbyn for that or the media? It is everyone. What has to happen is the
Labour leadership needs to create an inspiring group that people
understand. Part of that is definitely where I can see the
problem with Hilary Benn, and man I have huge respect for, but it is an
odd situation when on matters of war and peace the leader and the Shadow
Foreign Secretary are facing in different directions. I understand
the need for could heerns. That should interest been addressed early
on, but they've got to focus now above all else on an inspiring
credible alternative. Are you saying they should sack Hilary Benn or not?
I'm open minded about that. Ky see the point about... I think Emily
Thornberry would be a good Foreign Secretary. Airia, I want to keep off
the women thing for a moment. Danny, should he sack Hilary Benn?
Definitely. Ken living stone is right. I never thought I would hear
you say. That The leader of the Labour Party has the right and the
duty to create a Shadow Cabinet that can reflect his views. In particular
Jeremy Corbyn has got an anti-imperialist view of foreign
policy. That's one of the reasons he was elected leader. He has to be a
Shadow Cabinet and leadership that reflects that. He didn't have that
at the moment. He was forced into the free vote against his wishes.
That have happened I said he has to have a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. He
would be wrong to back off doing it. Aisha, would that cause a rebellion
in the enter of the right of the party? It would create a huge
impasse in the party. He should not sack Jeremy Corbyn... Hilary Benn.
Corbyn has credit for trying to do things differently. He should have a
broad tent Shadow Cabinet. I think it is something that is ironic to
have stood on the new politics and inclusive and then sack somebody
because they voted against you, when Jeremy Corbyn has rebelled against
the whip many, many, many times. What does Labour stand for on
foreign policy if the leader of the party and his Shadow Foreign
Secretary don't agree on the core foreign affairs issues? But Jeremy
Corbyn isn't going to agree with many of his PLP and Shadow Cabinet.
He has won the support of the membership but not the PLP. Can the
party exist with this broad church approach? That's the bit that looks
messy. Within limits. Look, when Tony Blair moved Robin Cook as
Foreign Secretary in 2001 he wasn't purging Robin Cook. He was on the
basis of Robin Cook having differences in opinion which erupted
in the aftermath of the Iraq war. Emily Thornberry isn't a Corbynista.
She supported the bombing of Iraq. The differences would be more
manageable. When you have a leader and a Shadow Foreign Secretary
facing in different directions on and a Shadow Foreign Secretary
war and peace it is difficult. I opposed to bombing of Syria but I do
think the moment the priorities facing this country are issues of
domestic policies. This constant focus on foreign policy issue, all
sides have to take responsibility. A certain part of the PLP want him to
go, so what he has to do is make sure he keeps with the activists and
the members who elected him, and keeps faith with the reason they
elected him, for a strong, coherent left-wing platform. He has won the
right to put that to people. If you lose half the shadow Cabinet as a
result of taking your kind of advice, are you've got a problem. I
think only a portion of the PLP would go as far as to rebel against
him. Those people are incapable of being bought off by him keeping
Hilary Benn. If he keeps Hilary Benn this time they will bank the fact he
nearly sacked him and didn't. They will assume they can push him on
other issues. He is weak, because he doesn't have the support of the PLP
and his Shadow Cabinet. His best bet, and the thing that's
frustrating, and so many people have contacted me to say this, we
shouldn't be starting 2016 with a massive story about a reshuffle.
They had a rail announcement to make today. Correct. The doctors are
about to go on strike. Floods et cetera. I want to return to the
women issue. We'll watch your fame later.
One man who has not been featuring in the reshuffle is the MP
This evening he confirmed he is now subject to a police investigation
into a historical rape allegation - allegations he described as
We talked to him today, but before that investigation became
For months, Mr Danczuk's been in the public eye -
his relationship with his former wife, Karen, was already
His subsequent breakdown played out in the tabloids:
Revelations that he sent sexually loaded texts
to a 17-year-old girl saw him stripped of the Labour Party whip.
Mr Danczuc's reputation was made in the newspapers -
Newsnight can reveal that Mr Danczuk has been taking payments
from a photo agency that takes pictures of him and sells them
Simon Danczuc, you have said that there's no fool like an old fool,
but do you accept that this sex thing was wrong?
but do you accept that this sexting was wrong?
Absolutely, I have said it was inapprropriate and I've
apologised for that unreservedly.
I think you have to see the context of this.
This young woman got in touch with me some months ago.
During the course of several months we had
exchanges across social media and just at a low point in my life
sexual texts and I responded accordingly and I shouldn't have
Was it wrong though, because in your defence you have
been quoted as saying some men prefer blondes,
some men prefer brunettes, you prefer young women.
In itself that sounds a bit icky, doesn't it?
But I'm just making the point, I can't deny the fact that I prefer
young women and different people have different preferences.
You know my first wife was ten years younger
than me, my second wife was 17 years younger than me.
My last girlfriend was 17 years younger than me and I was just
making that point, but of course I accept I have made a mistake
and I have apologised for that and I think
And a 17-year-old, let's just be clear a 17-year-old is too
Yeah, absolutely, but you have got to bear in mind this is somebody
who I have only ever communicated with
across social media, I've never spoken to her,
Because the way it has been reported it is almost as if you're
Do you accept that that is how it appears?
No, well, the only reason it appears like that is because the tabloid
newspapers have decided to report it in that way.
They have conflated several months of pleasant exchanges
of messages into what appears to be from them into just a few days
of activity and that is just not the case.
Has this young woman Sophina, been in touch with you recently?
Yes, she has been in touch, a day or two she sent me a message
saying she was sorry for what happened during
the course of the last few days and I'm grateful
I communicated via the newspapers to say that I was sorry,
not just to family and friends and constituents, but also sorry
But I was pleased to receive the message from her saying that
and I think it shows a sign of maturity on her part.
Aren't you fearful though that this work that you've done,
particularly what you have done on Cyril Smith,
will be tarnished and undermined by the current allegations
I have apologised for the mistakes that I have made and my credibility
And I have to work harder than ever before.
Over the years, do you think that it was
to be a mistake for you to court the media in the way that it appears
No, I think I have been involved in the media in terms
of getting a message across and if you're running
a campaign where you want to get certain messages across,
then there's a variety of ways of doing it,
whether it's doing it in the chamber in Parliament and also
whether it's through different forms of media.
Look, in the register of members' interests,
you got paid ?1,100 by an agency called Famed Flynet,
which is a photographic agency, from what we can see,
this is an agency that follows you around, takes
pictures of you, and then sells them to tabloid newspapers.
No, well, what I have done with that organisation is provide
media advice and given them ideas about what they might and might
That is my choice, if I want to do that type of work, and I don't
make any apologies for it, there is nothing against doing that.
It provides an insight and some transparency in terms of my life.
Not anything that I have ever shied away from.
But it could look like you're tipping them off about where
you're going to be so they can take photos of you to sell to tabloid
Well, but I have just made the point I advised them...
No, the point I'm making is I advise them on a whole
range of different issues and I have done for some time.
Of course I receive payment for that and I
declare it properly in the members' register.
So that it is transparent and open so they can see it.
That's right, about photos and everything else,
That is clear in the book of members' interest.
I'm declaring what I'm doing and being honest
But on this case, sorry I need to press you on this,
I mean how many MPs have a relationship,
a financial relationship with a photographic
agency that is taking pictures of them and then receiving
That's surely got to be wrong hasn't it?
No, I don't think it's wrong at all actually.
How should you view the latest breakdown in relations between Iran
Is it religion - the latest instalment of that ancient
Is it geo-politics - the rivalry between two
Or is it an internal Saudi problem - the killing of a prominent Shia
by the Saudis, simply an attempt to pacify hardliners in the country,
by showing the authorities can be tough on Shiites?
Whatever the cause, antagonism in the Middle East has been
the order of the day - other countries weighing
We asked the eminent historian Professor Ali Ansari,
from St Andrews University to give us his take on the context,
cause and consequence of Saudi/Iran trouble.
If you look at the contemporary Muslim word, about 90% are Sunnis.
They're considered the more orthodox branch and 10% in Iran, Iraq, and
elsewhere are Shias. The main differences are partly theological
and another part being on the succession to the prophet, which
goes back centuries and these two conflicts, one political and one
intellectual are the ones that divide the Muslim communities. The
disputes around the succession of prophet come to the head between the
conflict between the grandson of the prophet and the Yadid and they clash
in what is now southern Iraq around 680AD and in an uneven contest where
one side is outnumbered, they're slaughtered and that is is seminal
moment, the seminal martyrdom that crystallises Shia identity for the
future. These divides are not inevitable. During the Iran/Iraq
war, Shias fought against the Iranians. They may have done so less
willingly. The Iranians were scathing about them and didn't them
to be to be true Shia. The Iraqi state in some ways worked. The real
problem now is that there could be potential frictions emerging in the
Persian gulf, you can find stuff in Bahrain, Iraq and Syria. The real
issue with the break down in Saudi/Iran relations is the finding
of a solution in Syria is going to be more difficult. And so the
relative optimism we may have had at the end of 2015 now we are going to
find ourselves in a much more difficult situation.
A little earlier, I managed to get the Iranian position
from Professor Mohammad Morandi from the University of Tehran.
I began by asking him if he saw Saudi/Iran problems,
as simply part of an ancient religious conflict?
I don't think people here in Tehran would view it that way. Instead of
being Shia, Sunni conflict, people think it is Waha versus everyone
else. The Saudi have been promoting their brand of Islam which in the
view of most people in Iran is an extreme ideology. In addition, the
Saudis have been founding extremist groups across the board in the
region in Syria, Yemen and created a catastrophe that is going to
influence and affect the people here for generations to come. I hear your
blaming Wahbism, but looking at from the point of view of the west, your
own country, Iran executed 700 people in the fist half of last
year. They're not innocent of intervening in neighbouring
countries, what difference is there? First, I don't know where you got
the number 700. I don't think that is at all accurate. Almost all of
the people who have faced capital punishment in Iran were executed
because of drug offences. Major drug offences and those drug offences are
as a result of the western occupation of Afghanistan. With
regards with comparing Iran to Saudi Arabian, Iran has a constitution and
elections for the Parliament and the presidency and indirect elections
for the leadership. But Saudi Arabia is a family dictatorship. Because of
its wealth and because western country have used Wahabism, they
have remained aligned with Saudi Arabia. When people were starting to
ehope Saudi arab ya and Iran would talk over their differences and a
settlement may exist, just tell me how this ends and whether despite
the conflict, the two countries can co-operate to make a difference in
Syria, where both of you are intervening. Well I think the
Iranians again believe that they have done more than the Saudis in
trying to bring about rapprochement in the previous Iranian
administration they went to Saudi Arabia, but the foreign minister
never came to Iran and more recently when hundred of Iranians were killed
during the Haj pilgrimage, the Iranians didn't break off relations,
although the Saudis never expressed condolences or accepted
responsibility. So they have been trying hard to work with Saudi
Arabia. Thank you. We should point oit that figure of 700 executions in
Iran came from an Amnesty International report on the country.
Let's return now to where we began tonight -
the politics of the Labour Party
You'd think that shunting people around the cabinet or shadow cabinet
table should be relatively easy - it can't be harder than coming up
a seating plan for an Islington dinner party, can it?
Well, history suggests it's harder than it looks -
it's multidimensional, and given the paucity of women
in most cabinets and shadow cabinets, it certainly isn't
as simple as a case of a boy-girl-boy-girl configuration.
But let's think about the gender issue facing
Ayesha Hazarika was special advisor to Harriet Harman and has made
a short film on the subject for us, based on her conversations
Women have been key to the success of the Labour Party since its birth.
Strong female figures have served the party as MPs,
Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Leaders.
And I believe that Labour's the only party that has really,
truly championed policies that have made a difference to women's lives.
Since our new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was elected,
I think there's a problem with women in the Labour Party.
We have a male leader, a male Deputy Leader,
a male General Secretary, all our mayoral candidates are male.
And here we are in 2016 and we still haven't managed to ever
Until we recently, I was a Labour special advisor, working for former
I invited Harriet to relive the glory days of pink
transportation in a very special Newsnight limo.
Harriet, thank you so much for coming.
Does it remind you of fond memories of the pink bus?
It does - they would have been fonder memories if we had actually
How does it make you feel that we have an all-male sweep
Well I just think we can't have a men-only
leadership when we are the party for women and for equality.
And women in this country expect to see men and
women working together on equal terms.
That is what the Labour Party believes in and we can't
have an all-male leadership again therefore we have I have to change
So you would like to see the rules changed?
Yes, to stop there being all-male leadership.
In terms of your advice or your hope for
the women in the PLP and the many women in the Shadow Cabinet,
we shouldn't overlook the fact that we
have 50/50 in the Shadow Cabinet, what do you want to see them do?
The truth is that women's rights are never going to be taken forward
by men in the party, whether they are
men on the left, whether they're men on the centre, or men on the right.
The truth is it is women in the party, Labour women,
that will take forward women's rights and even
though we haven't got any women in the top leadership,
that makes it even more important for them to put
themselves forward and you know be proponents for women
One of the party's new MPs, Jess Phillips, aims to do just that.
But she's concerned that others aren't putting up enough of a fight.
I thought we would do old Labour beer and sandwiches,
Do you think the culture within the Labour Party is changing,
do you think it has become more misogynistic?
What I think is more worrying about the
culture in the Labour Party is it's very left-wing feminists are putting
up with a lot more than they would have from any other man,
because Jeremy Corbyn is saying is it.
Had Tony Blair not given any of the top
jobs to a woman, had that same make-up of his team existed,
people would rightly have been up in arms,
but it's sort a bit like some people in the Labour Party are accepting
sort of low level non-violent misogyny, because it's Jeremy Corbyn
in the future? at the title at some point
Absolutely, I would consider doing it, a long time in the future. It is
not something I am planning on doing soon but it is something I would do
in the future, yes. Over the summer, six great women went for the leader
and deputy roles and none were successful. The current Labour
Shadow Cabinet does have more women than men, which is to be welcomed.
The shadow women and qualities Minister is Kate Green. She's been
looking at what can be done to make sure we don't ever again have an
all-male team. It is no discredit whatsoever to Jeremy, to Tom or
Siddiq, who fought a very fair campaign and won, that we ended up
with an all-male line-up. What it made me feel instantly is once and
for all we have to make sure this can never happen again. There is
another potential problem looming for Labour women in Westminster, the
forthcoming changes to boundaries, which would reduce the number of
seats. This is likely to create a battle for the ones that remain. The
share of the women's parliamentary Labour Party, Dawn Butler, believes
those held by women should be protected. With these boundary
changes it will be a fight, literally a fight. My fear is that
women will be picked off. So that is a really big fear for me, so I have
written to the leader and the Deputy Leader, because Tom is doing the
review on how the party structures work et cetera. So yes, absolutely.
It is a huge worry for me. The kind of long term changes that Labour
women want will take time to introduce, but some changes are
happening right now. Tonight it is all about the reshuffle. My strong
advice to Jeremy is, if you want to shake things up for the better, make
sure that women get some of those top positions in the Shadow Cabinet.
It cannot just be jobs for the boys. Well, Ayesha is still with us
and we're also joined by Cat Smith, Evening to you both. Does Jeremy
Corbyn get an easy time on this because he comes from a more
left-wing part of the political spectrum? I think it is right that
we ask what our politicians are doing to promote gender equality in
the party. Jeremy Corbyn has set the standard by having a Shadow Cabinet
more than 50% made up of women when the rest of the party has a way to
go. The constituency party chairs, a third of them are women. If you look
at Labour leaders in local government, it is a long way lagging
behind the parliamentary Labour Party. These are the important
issues we should be addressing. So you are addressing that the party
has a problem, not Jeremy Corbyn personally? I would say society has
a problem with promoting women into positions of responsibility. Sexism
exist, patriarchy exists and it operates in the Labour Party as much
as any other sphere of society. Would you like in the reshuffle
Jeremy Corbyn to put a woman in one of the top jobs? I dare ask the
question, what do you think the top jobs are? The role of the opposition
is to hold the Government to account for the spending decisions they
make. Health and education are the second and third biggest spending
deficits. We already have women. I would like to continue to see a
Shadow Cabinet that's majority women in the way that it already is.
Ayesha, this concern with the top jobs as opposed to the number of
people in the cabinet, sitting round the table, that's pretty recent
isn't it? Tony Blair didn't have a woman in what we traditionally call
the top jobs until 2006. He had been in power when he put Margaret
Beckett into the Foreign Office? We always want to feel we are making
progress. The Labour Party has been the party for women. We pride
ourselves on making progress. It is not Jeremy's fault that the party
elected a clean sweep at the top. Everyone at the top, in terms of
where the power lies, are men. You're being churlish aren't you?
More than half the cabinet are women. You've got women in some of
the key jobs, if not the key jobs? What I think Jeremy should do is do
a job swap with Angela Eagle and John McDonnell. If all the jobs are
equally of merit why don't we see Angela's do a job swap job
The bunker around Jeremy Corbyn is very male as well. That is true. The
power is in the hands of the members who elected Jeremy Corbyn as leader
of the Labour Party and Tom Watson as the Deputy Leader and Sadiq Khan
as the Mayor of London. There were plenty of women candidates. Some of
whom I backed in these elections. It's the will of the membership. The
membership gave Jeremy Corbyn a clear mandate, bigger than Tony
Blair's mandate when elected leader. He has a big mandate isn't isn't
afraid to use it, but he has the power of appointment. We all know
that the top jobs are important. I think it does look bad for the
Labour Party to not have a single one of those four top jobs held by a
woman when we have got so many able women. That's down to the position
of the members isn't it? The members don't choose the Shadow Cabinet and
the Shadow Cabinet is majority women. What looks bad is the
Conservative Party, which doesn't pride itself on these issues in the
same way as Labour does, did provide how many decades ago, 1975, a woman
Prime Minister. A woman leader and then a woman Prime Minister. That
must rankle doesn't it? Not particularly. I think the Margaret
Thatcher being Prime Minister, when you put one woman being in power,
that doesn't necessarily shift the culture of the party. The
Conservative Party's cabinet is made up of 32% women. Women. We need to
leave it there. Ayesha, thank you, thank you both very much.
There is just time in these first days of 2016, to catch one
of the great art exhibitions of 2015.
Goya's Portraits at the National Gallery -
of some of our leading cultural institutions.
Yes, there are fresh backsides on the big
the Tate galleries in London, and the National Gallery itself.
Stephen Smith has this exclusive interview with the new man
at the National Gallery, Gabriele Finaldi.
I'm impressed by Goya's extraordinary range. One of the many
hardships of this job is a private tour of the National Gallery's great
Goya show in the company tour of the National Gallery's great
museum's former Spanish expert. She has two rings, one of which has her
name on it, Australian be a, and the other has Goya's name on it. That
moment of reflection, that moment of thought before the brush touches the
canvass. The son of an Italian father, Gabriele Finaldi was raised
in London, and after a spell at the prestigious Prado gallery in Madrid,
he is back on his old turf. I live in Catford in South London and have
done since the 1970s, very proud of that. I come from quite a large
family. I'm the eldest of 8 brothers and sisters. I've got six children
of my own. Not too many of your predecessors I suspect hail from
Catford. People may find that endearing, if that isn't
patronising, that you are not limoed in from Knightsbridge. It might be
patronising, that you are not limoed quite nice to live in Knightsbridge
for central London, but for the moment that's impossible. This is a
man of parts. I used to play in a dance band as a young man. It was
how I got my way through early years of marriage and early years of PhD
wrench. Early years of PhD research. I like to accompany people singing
and so on. It is a case of musical chairs at our great cultural
institutions. The heads of the two at a time
galleries in London go on to other things, although Sir Nicholas Serota
stays put. It is an interesting change in the museum landscape in
London. I think that offers new possibilities for collaboration.
Perhaps a bit of a generational thing. Some of our more senior
colleagues are moving on to other activities. I think of Neil McGregor
at the British Museum, and there's a sense in which we are moving into a
different sort of period in museums. Mr Gabriele Finaldi says the
industrial dispute over outsourcing which closed some galleries last
year has been resolved and he promises mix of old subjects and
favourites. There can be changes, particularly the way the gallery
presents to its the outside world, in terms of to people who may never
come to the National Gallery. Clearly the technology, the
development in what can happen in digital has been so extraordinary
over last few years, and so many other museums are doing magnificent
things, that gallery can reach nowt a way it hasn't done before. The
gallery has probably more knowledge about its own collection than any
other museum in the world. That's knowledge that we want to share,
that we want to put out. You come across the most beautiful objects
ever made by human beings. They might be to do with war, with faith,
with family. But we leave you with a preview
of the work of young independent film maker,
Charlie Lyne, who is annoyed at the charges levied on young,
independent film-makers by the British Board of Film
Classification. To watch and classify a film,
the board charges more than ?7 So to annoy the classifiers,
Charlie is raising money online to submit the longest film
he can purely consisting of a single In fact, he's raised enough
to make it a ten-hour epic. But some of his supporters now
want him to to add a few sound effects and the occasional
obscene flash frame, just to make sure the
censors don't nod off.
In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.
Discussion includes the latest on the Labour reshuffle, Iran and the Saudis, and the new director of the National Gallery. Plus, the MP who sexted a teenage girl.