15/04/2016 Newsnight


15/04/2016

With Kirsty Wark. More on Labour MP Ian Lavery's financial affairs. Have authorities in Norway been too zealous in child protection? And vinyl - why do we still love it?


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Transcript


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At the end of a week of more questions about the financial

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and sexual conduct of politicians and the rumour mill in overdrive

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about a super injunction, what do we have a right to know?

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Tonight we have more on the financial affairs of Labour

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And we'll be talking to the deputy editor of the Sunday Times

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and a lawyer for Hacked Off about privacy.

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It's a parent's nightmare - having your child taken

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Have authorities in Norway been too zealous in their approach

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to child protection, separating families who have

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"Marius, I think they are going to take the baby."

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And, on the eve of Record Store Day - why does

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In the Newsnight studio a rare beast - a man who cuts

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On Newsnight last night we brought you another story of financial

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morality to add to the rich mix of the Panama Papers.

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This one concerns not princes, prime ministers and presidents,

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but a Labour MP, several instances of non-disclosure of very

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large sums of money and the Labour Party hierarchy,

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who, when John Sweeney repeatedly asked for an explanation,

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Ian Lavery has been the MP for Wansbeck since 2010, and before

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that he was the General Secretary of the National Union

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As a union official he should have declared his preferential union

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As an MP he should have declared some very large redundancy figures,

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but the figures he did declare don't add up.

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Politicians of right an left are struggling to catch up with the age

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of transparency. Date dump, embarrassed David Cameron

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of his father's tax arrange. In Panama. Online disclosures led to

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Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's outing his own

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unusual relationship, with a dominatrix.

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Labour's Ian Lavery seems reluctant to provide complete answers over his

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redundancy and mortgage arrangements.

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The books of the union he used to run suggest it paid for his

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mortgage. Yesterday, we asked him a simple question, did he pay the

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mortgage off? Did you pay it off? The union... And again. Did you pay

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off your mortgage? My mortgage was paid off... And again. Had a

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financial agreement which was acceptable to both parties.

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Tonight, Mr Lavery got back to us releasing the following statement.

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The arrangement for accommodation was common for co-union officials

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across the coalfield. That doesn't answer the question, did he pay off

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the mortgage? Tonight, Mr Lavery faces fresh questions. Firstly, over

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whether his mortgage should have been declared on the union's books.

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Well the statement and annual return requires all benefits, and salary to

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be set out that are being derived from union funds, therefore, if it

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is right that that is a benefit and certainly a subsidised mortgage

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could be well be regarded as a benefit, then in those

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circumstances, I think it should have been set out on the statement

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and annual return. There is another weird thing. Last

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night just before Newsnight went on air, a Labour official told us to

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find out about the mortgage, all we had do was get in touch with the NUM

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North East area based in Durham. Today we did so, and they told us

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they had nothing to do with Mr Lavery's mortgage.

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Mr Lavery is already under investigation by the Parliamentary

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commissioner for standards, over his failure to declare 62,00 pounds in

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redundancy payments he received from 2010-2012. And then there is the

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mystery 85,00 pounds, redundancy payment, which pops up on the

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union's books in 2013. Here is what he said about it, when we challenged

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him on it yesterday. So the 85,00 pounds, it is a mystery. Well it is

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not a mystery to me. I haven't got any control. I left in 2010. I have

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told you two time, I will tell you three, four times I don't recognise

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that payment. You don't recognise that payment. So it's a mystery

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payment? You can call it whatever you want. I will tell you that... It

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is given to, it says in the books, payment for former, past General

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Secretary redundancy costs. You have one on me, I haven't seen the book

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since I left in 2010. To be fair he did tell us he did receive what he

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called the final payment of my redundancy in 2013. But not how

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much. Did Mr Lavery record this 2013

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redundancy payment to the Parliamentary register of members'

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interests? He did not. So, big questions remain for Mr Lavery and

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the Labour Party. How much was the redundancy payment in 2013? If it

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wasn't ?85,000? Why didn't he declare it to Parliament? And how

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does Jeremy Corbyn square calls for more prance transz barn is when he

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has a trade union spokesperson who refuses to tell us clearly, whether

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Well, the question of how much people have the right to know

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about the lives of public figures has loomed large, not just for MPs,

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The decision on whether to lift an injunction on reporting of one

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well-known celebrity's alleged extramarital affairs will be given

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Here to discuss the difficulty of finding a balance between press

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freedom and the right to a private life are Sarah Baxter,

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deputy editor of the Sunday Times, and privacy lawyer

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Good evening to both of you. Where do you stand on what people have the

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right to know about people in public life? Sarah? I stand in favour of

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maximum freedom, and the right to know. I don't think we should be

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too, we shouldn't sensor ourselves and think, this story is not quite

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right for the public, I think the public pay good money to read good

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stories and our buyers should be in Fay of disclosure. This is? Terms of

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politician, public figure, who say one thing and do another. Where is

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your line in the sand about who you report on is this We make the

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judgments all the time but pretty much even in this world says one

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thing and does another if you look closely, with celebrities, I used to

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edit the Sunday Times magazine, you wouldn't believe the amount of PR

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control that goes on. Every day I was in hand-to-hand combat with PRs

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saying you can't say this. They would try, we were one of the few

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publications that wouldn't given copy approval, so then they turn

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round and say hang on, when we have a story that is interesting to

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reader, they don't want you do know about it I am not sympathetic. You

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take the same view? I don't. , I think it depend what the Tory is

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about. I know you say good monetary policy for good stories. We don't

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pay for stories on the Sunday Times. I suns you say your eunderstand you

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say your readers pay good money. Some stories are not in the public

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interest and also the public aren't interested in them. I wonder, what

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the drive for greater transparency has come from is it because we don't

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trust politicians any more, or is it because we are a much less

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deferential society and rightly less deferential? 'T trust politicians

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any more, or is it because we are a much less deferential society and

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rightly less deferential? I would "degree with that, and the thing

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about the internet and twitter and blogs is it gives far Mr People a

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voice, and that voice, I think has become a democratic voice, so it is

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not just what the newspaper has printed and what is on the front

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cover we hear about, and that we discuss, and that I think has led to

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greater transparency but it there is, I think a big difference between

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scrutiny and transparency, where you have something that is in the public

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interest, a public figure and an entertainer and their private life.

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Let us talk about the MP Ian Lavery here, because we have talked about

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whether or not he told the yuen -- union, about his morn and also

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whether he disclosed in Parliament. At what point do you start

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investigating someone who is now in public life, because if you went

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right back to Year Zero, a lot of people wouldn't go into public life

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because not even has a clean past. Of course the Sunday Times has been

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investigating Ian Lavery. My colleague James Lyons did an

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excellent job of exposing some of the things that were going on at the

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Northumberland numb which now only has six members yet spent a lot of

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voluntary contributions from miners who had industrial injuries on

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paying the wages of staff. So where we see a scandal, there is no

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statute of limitation. Do you think... That should be a lesson to

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people who are thinking of wrongdoing. Do you think that would

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put people off going into public service, from the point of view when

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they start they would expect to be scrutinised but in a previous life,

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do they expect their previous life to come for attention? I think in

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that case if you are already a public figure and a union loader at

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the time it is not... A public official. It is not appropriate.

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However if you are at university and during your time at university, you

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have various private conversations you go to parties and you are not a

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public figures in fact you haven't decided what you are going to do.

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Everyone can find out about it because of coarse you can say public

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domain on Facebook, how much scrutiny, you have to have the

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personal Auton hi to be able to without being in fear. Do you agree

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that? I don't. The more transparent we are becoming, the more tolerant

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we are become, I am sure it doesn't feel like that to speech who have

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had a minor misdemeanor and are pulling up years later. I think you

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can laugh things off. If you are looking to victims of the press and

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you can see the effect it has on their life it makes you take a

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different view. Now the case of John Whittingdale. Interestingly, I think

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you probably take a different view on this. John Whittingdale had a

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relationship with a woman who turned out to be a sex worker, that

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relationship finished, a good while before he then became Culture

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Secretary. But the fact was he was looking at press regulation and

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papers knew about what was going on, is he a legitimate cause for

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investigation? What I find out is astonishing which Hacked Off which

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Charlotte was involved with which exposed hip. He was a single man,

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with a girl who he claims hid, he didn't know... So, I think the point

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of this is the decisions they seemed to be very surprising, that the

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independent decisions were made not to run the story. It wasn't

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surprising at all. At the same time at the Brooks Newmark. What hacked

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off were saying it was about editorial... It would have felt

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personal to him. Going through the courts at the moment and due on

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Monday, is a decision over a privacy injunction that was challenged by a

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newspaper in your stable, a well-known male celebrity and it is

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all over the internet but not in The Papers and not on Newsnight. Where

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is the public interest in that? I think there is no public interest in

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that story. I think that if you make a private decision within your

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relationship, that you are going to open your relationship out, you

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shouldn't be under some kind of duty to send some kind of Press

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Association message saying we have had this conversation, you have to

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have personal autonomy in your relationship. I am not worried that

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John Whittingdale's relationship has doll light. I am not worried if this

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injunction is lifted and we hear more about this celebrity couple. I

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really think in the end people will say, now, what was that, why, it is

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nice work for lawyer, they are earning a lot of money fighting

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privacy case, but really, it is like, you know, Canute holding back

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the tide when the internet has the details. If you say look, you can

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read it somewhere else, what position are they left in, if they

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can't assert their right? People will turn round and say we can

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publish what we like. If they are embarrassed about their behaviour

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they need not indulge in it. Five people from Birmingham have

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been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences,

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as part of an investigation launched after the recent attacks

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in Brussels and Paris. One of the men was arrested as he

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arrived on a flight into Gatwick. We understand the arrests

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were as a result of co-operation between MI5 and the French

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and Belgian authorities. Our reporter Secunder

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Kermani is here. What do you know about this? What we

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know is that three men and a woman were arrested last night in

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Birmingham. That another man was arrested this morning as he arrived

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at Gatwick Airport. He was flying in from Morocco. Police have been

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searching a property in Birmingham and bomb disposal experts were

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called briefly, but police say they have no information that an imminent

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attack was planned in the UK. But Whitehall officials say the arrests

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are significant and part of an extensive investigation into the

:14:36.:14:40.

attacks in Paris and Brussels and they say as well that the Moroccan,

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I have learned that Moroccan intelligence services were involved.

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What new details have you learned about the suspects? What we have to

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bear in mind is the suspects haven't been charged yet. The police are at

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an early stage of the investigation. But I have been speaking to a well

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placed source who says that the members of this group that were

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arrested are suspected of being involved in the logistical support

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for the attacks in Paris and in Brussels. And I understand that the

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group was under surveillance for a number of months, but they were

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allowed to continue so the authorities could see who they were

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interacting. And that came to an end when one of the members flew back

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into the UK. They're still yet to be charged and a decision will be made

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over the weekend. Thank you. This week the name of 21-month-old

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Ayeesha Jane Smith was added to the list of toddlers and young

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children killed by relatives known to the social services -

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everyone remembers Victoria Climbie and Baby P, and there

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are sadly many others. Ayeesha's mother, Kathryn Smith,

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will serve a minimum of 24 years for viciously

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torturing her daughter to death. Every day social workers have

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to make difficult judgements, and when they are looking at best

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practice, Norway's often cited as a country that devotes more

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attention and resources Thirty-five years ago, for example,

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it was the first state in the world to appoint a children's ombudsman -

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an independent official to protect their rights,

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an idea that's been copied in the UK But now the country's social

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services are being accused by campaigners at home and abroad

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of an excess of zeal - of taking children into care

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without good reason. It is a house that had

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five children. Their father plays

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one of his favourite songs - not to entertain anyone,

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just to calm his nerves. Their two girls aged eight and ten,

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their two boys aged two and five and their baby

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were taken away in November. And Ruth and Marius's

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world fell apart. I was waiting for the girls to come

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home from school. And it passed 10 or 15 minutes

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and they didn't come. I saw it came, two black cars,

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one continued driving on the Inside the car was a child

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protection officer. She said the two girls had

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been taken away in the other black car and two older boys

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were being taken away too. They still had the baby,

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but not for much longer. It was the second day in the evening

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we saw two cars driving here and two black cars again and I said,

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they have brought the kids home. Were you excited, you got really

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excited when you saw those cars? Then I saw four policemen

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coming out of the car. I told Marius, I think they're

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going to We were questioned about why

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they were in the home. We admitted spanking

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the kids, but not... Not every time when they would

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do something bad. They didn't find any

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physical marks or anything like that when they had

:18:40.:18:43.

medical examination of them. It's very clear until

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the smallest detail. It is not allowed for any

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physical correction. Their lawyers wouldn't let me ask

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any more questions, because they're still under investigation

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and the authorities aren't allowed to discuss this or any other

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individual case to protect Beginning on November

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16th when the Norwegian authority for child protection,

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the Barnevernet, had taken away Claims that Marius and Ruth's kids

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and hundreds of others have been taken without reason have triggered

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demonstrations all over the world. Even if the protestors

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can't know all the facts. The campaign's strong abroad,

:19:32.:19:34.

because Marius is an immigrant from Romania and the

:19:35.:19:36.

couple belonged to an evangelical Christian community

:19:37.:19:39.

with global links. But in Norway today,

:19:40.:19:44.

there are solid members of

:19:45.:19:45.

the establishment who also think the country's child

:19:46.:19:48.

protection system is out of control. Ingla is head of state archive

:19:49.:19:53.

in the city of Bergen. I grew up believing

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that the Norwegian system was the best in the world,

:19:58.:20:00.

best for children. The UN are stating

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that all the time. Then suddenly I discovered that this

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cannot be the case, and that was because of

:20:07.:20:11.

things that happened in my Because of what happened to this

:20:12.:20:14.

little girl, his grand daughter, who was taken

:20:15.:20:18.

away several years ago. The Norwegian child child protection

:20:19.:20:22.

service known as Barnevernet said But that is not how

:20:23.:20:24.

it looked to Ingla. So this was the passive,

:20:25.:20:34.

non-sounding child. How long is this

:20:35.:20:41.

before she was taken? This is in the middle

:20:42.:20:44.

of November, so this is is basically

:20:45.:20:46.

two months before she was taken. She was put into

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emergency fostering, because the child protection service

:20:52.:20:54.

said she was suffering serious psychological harm, because her

:20:55.:20:56.

parents count meet her They said her mother, who is from

:20:57.:20:58.

China and has now gone back there, was depressed and her father,

:20:59.:21:05.

Eric, was simple, though he has never been diagnosed with any

:21:06.:21:09.

condition, other than a slight lack of short-term memory

:21:10.:21:12.

when he was small. I did everything, I changed nappies,

:21:13.:21:18.

I change nappies and I Just days before child

:21:19.:21:23.

protection started their urgent assessment of the family,

:21:24.:21:30.

a doctor at the local health clinic found the little girl

:21:31.:21:33.

was developing normally, but Barnevernet said

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later that even if they had known that it

:21:36.:21:37.

wouldn't have affected their We put forward a huge report

:21:38.:21:40.

on my son's psychological They haven't mentioned

:21:41.:21:45.

that by one word. So they're closing

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their eyes and they say that we can only rely

:21:57.:22:02.

the assessments that these persons working for Barnevernet have made.

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Of course, parents whose children are taken into care in any country

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are nearly always angry with the system, but I'm astonished

:22:17.:22:18.

It devotes more resources and attention to children

:22:19.:22:22.

and their rights than almost any country on earth and child

:22:23.:22:26.

protection usually just provides guidance to parents with problems,

:22:27.:22:29.

it is only in what they regard as extreme cases they they seek

:22:30.:22:32.

The number of children and young people taken forcibly into

:22:33.:22:36.

Partly as a reaction to the state's failure to protect an eight-year-old

:22:37.:22:46.

boy, Christopher, who was beaten to death by his step father in 2005.

:22:47.:22:50.

More than 150 leading Norwegian professionals

:22:51.:22:56.

- psychologists, lawyers social work experts -

:22:57.:23:01.

have written a letter saying the child protection service

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is a dysfunctional organisation that makes major miscalculations with

:23:05.:23:06.

So how does the Norwegian Government feel about

:23:07.:23:14.

We don't have many children in alternative care, compared to, for

:23:15.:23:22.

So why there is so much attention to the Norwegian system?

:23:23.:23:28.

There is evidence that parents say isn't accepted.

:23:29.:23:35.

That is a concern we looking into and that is why we want

:23:36.:23:38.

to look into the child welfare to see what goes wrong and also

:23:39.:23:42.

Could children be taken off parents simply because

:23:43.:23:46.

the parents had exercised mild corporal punishment.

:23:47.:23:58.

It is important we have programmes helping parents

:23:59.:24:01.

avoiding to use corporal punishment in the child's upbringing.

:24:02.:24:05.

That is actually an answer to your question.

:24:06.:24:09.

But parents have to know the law and live by the law in Norway.

:24:10.:24:12.

Ruth and Marius's background is religious.

:24:13.:24:23.

All her family are Pentecostals and he is a foreigner from Romania.

:24:24.:24:28.

Their supporters think they're victims of discrimination and in

:24:29.:24:32.

Norway children with an immigrant parent are four times more likely

:24:33.:24:34.

than others to be removed by force from their families.

:24:35.:24:38.

But there is no means of knowing if cultural

:24:39.:24:40.

difference has been a factor in this case, or the others I have

:24:41.:24:43.

Child protection denies any prejudice.

:24:44.:24:47.

After the children were taken, Ruth and Marius say

:24:48.:24:49.

they offered to fix whatever needed fixing about the way

:24:50.:24:54.

But they said child protection didn't even want to

:24:55.:24:58.

discuss trying to reunite the family.

:24:59.:25:00.

Now though, since we filmed with the couple, their baby son has

:25:01.:25:04.

But they fear there is still a long way to go before they know whether

:25:05.:25:11.

the other four children will ever be returned.

:25:12.:25:16.

And you can see a longer version of Tim Whewell's report from Norway

:25:17.:25:19.

on Our World on Saturday and Sunday evening at 9.30pm on

:25:20.:25:22.

Sales of vinyl are up more than 60% this year,

:25:23.:25:28.

and Record Store Day, which is tomorrow, has become

:25:29.:25:30.

But an ICM survey has revealed that almost half the people who buy vinyl

:25:31.:25:35.

So what is the allure of vinyl, that artists from Foals

:25:36.:25:41.

to Primal Scream to Kanye West are choosing it for their new releases?

:25:42.:25:44.

Is it about the sound, or the artwork, or is vinyl

:25:45.:25:46.

Joining me is Frank merit, who runs a studio and says last year they had

:25:47.:26:06.

a backlog of orders for five months. You have vinyl with you. What do you

:26:07.:26:15.

have? Myles Davis, Kind of Blue. A classic record. What about the

:26:16.:26:22.

quality of vinyl versus down load. From a bit size, an mp3 is about the

:26:23.:26:32.

tenth of a size of a CD final and vinyl is infit nit in its quality.

:26:33.:26:37.

Why are people buying vinyl, but half are buying it and don't listen

:26:38.:26:43.

to that music on vinyl? It doesn't surprise me, I think it is to do

:26:44.:26:50.

with ownership and the fact that we remember as vinyl buyers, we

:26:51.:26:54.

remember our first record. Do you remember your first record? Yes The

:26:55.:27:00.

Kinks Dead End Street. I can remember the shop and the time of

:27:01.:27:04.

year. It was a thing. What about you? Europe The Final Count down!

:27:05.:27:12.

But it was something and a lot of it to me was about the album covers and

:27:13.:27:19.

the art which is being re-created on CDs, but it is different on vinyl.

:27:20.:27:25.

You have a large format and you can really go to down on your design and

:27:26.:27:33.

you know here the sleeve is on both sides and it opens up, double

:27:34.:27:40.

sleeve. Beautiful artwork. Yes. Importantly as well, we remember our

:27:41.:27:46.

first records. Who remembers their first mp3? That lot of people buy

:27:47.:27:53.

vinyl and don't own a record player. That is the ownership aspect, one

:27:54.:27:59.

wants to give ones support to musicians and to small independent

:28:00.:28:04.

labels who you know, they don't make much from making records, the

:28:05.:28:08.

profits are low. And it is a passion that people want to. That whole

:28:09.:28:14.

thing about trying to get people back to vinyl, such as The Foals

:28:15.:28:20.

releasing EPs on vinyl and then on to down load, are they doing that

:28:21.:28:24.

because it is a passion for vinyl, or because they feel is a cachet and

:28:25.:28:30.

they want people to feel that? It goes back to ownership aspect and it

:28:31.:28:34.

shows commitment and that someone is going to go to a shop or buy a

:28:35.:28:39.

physical product and own it and they're going to love that product

:28:40.:28:43.

and feel it. The texture of the sleeve. It ages and reacts to its

:28:44.:28:48.

environment. If you mistreat a record it will get crackly. If you

:28:49.:28:54.

love it and look after it, it will play beautifully. Is this going to

:28:55.:29:00.

be, you say you have a bag log of orders, do you think we are going

:29:01.:29:06.

back to vinyl completely? No, I don't think so. Vinyl sales globally

:29:07.:29:14.

are around the two to three per cent mark of audio sales. Like you have

:29:15.:29:23.

your kindle and your book? Yes, vinyl, record sales are on the up,

:29:24.:29:28.

50% on average each year. And record players are also on the up. Thank

:29:29.:29:36.

you. Time for a one paper tomorrow morning and is the The Times and it

:29:37.:29:43.

is another financial story, it is the Blair rich project and there are

:29:44.:29:50.

secret trusts for Tony Blair's earnings.

:29:51.:29:53.

That's almost all we have time for tonight, but before we go,

:29:54.:29:56.

an extraordinary piece of public art has emerged in the Egyptian

:29:57.:29:59.

capital of Cairo - a mural, spreading over 50 buildings.

:30:00.:30:01.

The artist, El Seed, managed to evade government censorship

:30:02.:30:03.

by painting his mural in fragments and working in a poor,

:30:04.:30:06.

often overlooked area of the city, where Egypt's

:30:07.:30:09.

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