11/05/2016 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, with Evan Davis.

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Facing destruction, or business as usual?


Where will the BBC be this time tomorrow?


The government is to set out its plans to change the way it's run.


If it didn't already exist you wouldn't invent it,


But it does work in practice and so it would be an act


of vandalism to get rid of it from a purely Tory point of view.


to independent public service broadcasting.


Censorship in China. Hello and welcome to BBC World News, what


happened to the golden era of British relations...


The Chinese evidently don't want to know what the Queen said about them.


So tonight we'll ask where relations between Britain and China now stand


and bring you fresh clues about what caused the row.


And a rare chance to hear from the mime artist who inspired -


Splendid, shining, always inspired creature.


When he was on the backbenches, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale


was for years pre-occupied by the BBC and the media landscape.


He was seen as a critic, describing the licence fee


Well, tomorrow, from the front bench, he gets to actually shape


policy, with a White Paper on the BBC, and the renewal


That poll tax will survive but there will be changes to the way


It's all about whether the Government will end up having


too much say in who runs the corporation.


Now, just before we get into this, the key background you need


is that there are two BBC boards at the moment, the real


one that runs the BBC, and is appointed by the BBC.


And the BBC Trust that supervises the BBC and is


Our political editor Nick Watt is with me.


What do you know about what will be in this white Paper? I have been


talking to my sources. There is an official government note out of


which cannot be reported until midnight. The government has decided


it does not want another row will stop it has the junior doctors and


teachers on its back. It looks like they have reigned in the culture


Department through an intervention. -- another row. The want to say that


they are protecting its historic independence. You will see this in


the new board. What they will suggest is that the BBC will have


the ability to ensure that it, not the government, can have a majority


of members on that board. The government will appoint the chair,


the deputy chair, but they will have to consult for the nations and


regions. Then the BBC will have to decide so it can have a majority.


And the medium remit, inform, entertain, and educate, that will be


there but there will be some tweaks on the remit. With regards to the


things we have been told to prepare for, it sounds like it has been a


bit Watership Down. Will it still be controversial? There will be


concerns. The Tories, Labour and Lib Dem people will say, is there not


some interfering on the board? Some senior Tory members are concerned


about the chair of the current trust. There is a suggestion she


will move to be the new head of the new board. Words that she is not


very effective and was appointed by George Osborne and perhaps we need a


bit more independence. Labour politicians, some mainstream ones,


will be saying we don't like the way the left of the Labour Party have


been attacking the BBC. But this has been a debate within the


Conservative Party so we thought we would take a look at the


Conservative relationship with the BBC down the decades.


A national treasure is celebrating his 90th birthday this week.


Prompting joy amongst his friends and a rare moment of consensus


amongst our political leaders. Would the Prime Minister join me in


wishing Sir David Attenborough a very happy 90th birthday. I


certainly join you in wishing a very happy birthday to David


Attenborough. Sir David Attenborough is pretty much the same age as the


BBC. Since the early days of public broadcasting in the 1920s arguments


have raged about the BBC's role. At this year is no exception. Following


the lefty Lovie exterior at the weekend, does my right honourable


friend agree that scrapping the discredit of BBC trust, asking for


more transparency in a publicly funded organisation, and wanted the


BBC to be instinctive and impartial is hardly the end of public service


broadcasting as we know it. CHUCKLES


The Conservative Party has had tortured relationship with the BBC.


Conflicting emotions about its place in our life 's world within the


heart of many a Tory. There are many conservatives that dislike anything


that seemed to be a publicly funded state institution. -- in our life


swirled. There are things that reflect the national character. It


would be an act of vandalism to get rid of it, from a Tory point of


view, because it is an institution that works. When you think of people


who like Strictly, who like the Archers, they are mostly


conservatives. The culture Secretary John Whittingdale knows the danger


of crossing Ambridge fans as he embarks on the first renewal in 20


years by a Conservative government of the BBC royal charter. What is


interesting is that even in the 80s when there were concerned up and


down Westminster and Whitehall about the political passing of the BBC.


Mrs Thatcher was still not willing to take serious political measures


which would have constraint it. These instincts often coexist within


the same politicians. -- constrain it. That is because they understand


and admire many of the things the BBC does. David Attenborough's


birthday this week is a classic example of that. They're also very


concerned about the effective and fair proper spending of public money


in a license fee arrangement which socially quite regressive. Memories


of the rows between the BBC and the Thatcher government still run deep,


particularly over the reporting of Northern Ireland and the miners


strike. The BBC director-general lost his job after the man appointed


by the Margaret Thatcher to chair the board of governments flexed his


muscles. One figure at the heart of some of those rows in the 1980s


dismisses fears that history will repeat itself. Absolutely that is


not crossing the line. When I was the controller of BBC One misses


that was at the height of her powers. She packed the board with


one of us and the processes today for appointments, even if government


appointments, these are public appointments, everybody knows about


it, there are no secret votes, no jobs for friends, it doesn't happen


any more, it is much more open. -- this was at the height. Others


disagree. There needs to be clear distance between the government of


the day and the people who are deciding when and where and how the


BBC is covering news. The government insists it is protecting the BBC's


historic independence and we will find out tomorrow morning whether


MPs agree. Joining me now are two


Conservative politicians - the former Conservative Chairman


Lord Fowler, and Andrew Bridgen MP, chair of the regulatory


reform select committee. Good evening. The controversy, I


suppose, is government directly appointing people who will be


directly running the BBC. What do you feel about that? Well, what I


did feel until I heard the preamble to the programme, is that there are


great dangers in that. But if the story is that John Whittingdale has


great dangers in that. But if the changed tack, and that we are now


going to have a truly independent board, then obviously that is


something to welcome. There is a real problem with the BBC right at


the centre of it. This is my concern all along. We have been through this


great consultation. Almost everybody has been consulted. And at the end


of the day we have a white paper. has been consulted. And at the end


Then we think, well, now we have the bill, but you don't. The decision


rests with the government. I think this is a central issue which at


some stage we need to face. That it shouldn't be left on ministers to


decide. It should be parliament, and particularly


decide. It should be parliament, and You don't get to vote on it but you


can debate on it. Let's be clear, the government will appoint people,


directly, to the government will appoint people,


runs the BBC. Not a majority but it the government will appoint people,


and you are the government will appoint people,


that? I would prefer it if all of the board were independent members


and were appointed by an independent commission. But if the compromise is


the kind of compromise you set out I don't think everybody is going to


die in a ditch. We shall have to see the detail and what the numbers


actually are. Is it going far enough for you? You have been a critic of


the corporation. I am a critic of anything that has authority and


power without accountability. The government appointed all of the


members of the trust previously. The new board will begin new structure.


The unitary board will be responsible. I laid down an


The unitary board will be the TV licence. That led to the


Perry review. I have to accept that it did not go ahead. What I want to


see is a structure, a structure for the BBC to go forward to thrive in a


rapidly changing marketplace and respond to that. Before we leave


that, it is important to say that the BBC trust, which we all... I, as


chairman of select committee at the time, we all advised against that.


The Labour government went ahead and put it in. It is very welcome, the


BBC trust -- the fact it has gone. Government can go over the opinions


of the mass of people and the mass of politicians. As I understand it,


leading up to the failure of the trust, this 11 year period which


will be a health check five-year stint away to make sure the


government system is working, which is very sensible. -- which will be a


health check five years into it. Doesn't it always feel like it is


always coming up to another review? No, it will be a health check of the


government's regime. The last one failed. It isn't a health check on


the BBC, it is on the regime. That's right. And there have been scandals


recently. You have got to be careful that you don't get into a situation


where it feels like the BBC is always under investigation. No


business can act like that. It should be under constant


examination... It should be but from the independent board. If you are


going to have examination, call it what you will, at five years, and


then 11 years, the impression is going to be that government


ministers are looking over the shoulder of the BBC. We don't want


to go back to what I regard as the old nationalised industry where


ministers got involved. When the BBC is receiving the thick end of ?4


billion of taxpayers money every year I think there needs to be a


level of accountability. With the new charter, that will be increasing


by inflation. But you have to decide who actually does the process of


accounting. That is the crucial question. Do you think it is


appropriate for the governing party to play a big part in holding the


state broadcaster, let's call it that, to account? The government is


elected, after all, does that give us mandate to regulate? Because the


BBC is receiving such amounts of taxpayers money, which is 2.5 times


the amount of Commonwealth office Budget, the government has a


responsibility to the taxpayer to ensure that is delivering value and


acting within its charter specifications. In Poland at the


moment there is a big controversy, it's been criticised by everybody


because it is changing its media government arrangements by putting


government appointees on the board. I think one of the crucial things


about this review, this charter, is going to be to see how much


micromanagement the Government is going to do, and as far as I'm


concerned, Iran's number of nationalised industries when I was


doing transport, but if you took reduce rail for example, civil


servants and Ministers had a look at the organisation, then the Prime


Minister had a look at the organisation. It is a bad way of


running a big organisation in this country. We have to look at the


whole white paper as a whole, we need to have an open mind. It does


feel as though it has been watered down, I wonder if that is a pattern,


that there is a lot of tough talk and a bit of BBC bashing, the Tory


party and the BBC not always the best of friends, but at the end of


day, it perhaps does get watered down, is that the perception? The


perception is everyone wants to reform the BBC and various things in


it, and events happen that supersede those. There are certainly events


going on at the moment which are important to the future of our


country, perhaps even more important than the future of the BBC. It


should be said just before we end that the BBC is one of the most


important institutions in this country, and a world leader, and if


we have got any sense, we don't take out of it. Thank you both very much


indeed. The Queen's inadvertent reveal


yesterday, of some of the behind the scenes tensions during the state


visit of China's President Li Xiaoping last year,


perhaps inadvertently also showed just how well the trip went -


that on stage, so little Those smiles all round,


were a display of true But tensions there were -


and about more than simply a bit Our diplomatic editor Mark Urban has


been combing through the footage and has discovered some fresh clues


as to the arguments going on. The Queen's ride with President Xi


in his state carriage was intended to personify


a golden era in relations. But reports that British police had


stopped a Chinese intelligence officer being inserted into that


carriage as an interpreter are apparently confirmed


by a conversation at that The Met police tonight declined


to comment on that and an earlier part in the same conversation


when the Queen revealed her views It was during that visit that


Chinese student demonstrators tried to drown out and screen off Tibetan


and other protesters. They complained at the time


that they had been given too little space by the police so as not


to upset the Chinese. Many in the Foreign Office felt


the visit marked their final defeat in China policy by George


Osborne and the Treasury. China policy was taken over


by George Osborne and a number of people in the Treasury


obviously as his advisers, That battle between those who wanted


to put trade first and those who had favoured a more assertive policy


has ebbed and flowed His decision to meet the Dalai Lama


in 2012 caused a deep freeze in relations with Beijing


that the Chancellor It certainly is the kind of thing


that the Chinese government complains about very publicly,


but actually, if you look at what the Cameron government seems


to care a great deal about, which is trade and investment,


it had almost no impact at all. So the Prime Minister


was not welcome in China, but actually, business went


on pretty much as usual, and you will find that the Chinese


are pretty pragmatic In his fight to push past


the Dalai Lama meeting, the Chancellor travelled to the east


of China and embraced Chinese bond As the prospect of a Chinese


presidential visit grew, the Queen was pressed


into the effort, meeting When arrangements were being made


for the Chinese premier to visit, there were some quite robust remarks


about the visit being cancelled if he was not granted an audience


with the Queen, for example. And we seem to be


seeing similar stuff. It all has to do, I believe,


with the culture of a communist bureaucracy, where officials


are desperately keen to earn brownie So determined whether Chancellor


and Prime Minister that President Xi Jinping's visit


here last year should go without a hitch,


they tried to ban various senior public figures


from seeing the Dalai Lama. They asked Prince Charles,


for example, not to do so, and for a written guarantee


from Nick Clegg that In the past seven months,


some of the sparkle has already Joining me now is the Hong Kong-born


entrepreneur Sir David Tang, who attended the state banquet


for the Chinese President during his So when you are at that banquet, was


their talk and gossip about tensions and things going on behind the


scenes? Know, everything was very friendly, and it was a very fine


banquet, no hitches at all. One of the charges is that the Queen feels


that the amp bustard, that the Chinese team were rude to the


ambassador. It could be that they were rude, it could be a


ambassador. It could be that they clash. Nobody will know because we


weren't there. There are two different cultures and two different


languages. I speak both English and Chinese, and for us Chinese even, we


are very monosyllabic and very loud and very blunt, because it is


staccato, every word is a singular sound, so even to ourselves we sound


a bit rude, so to the west and we might sound very rude. And when that


is translated into English, that is even possibly more rude. When I went


to Beijing and I wanted an alarm call, when the phone came at seven


o'clock, I picked up the phone, and at the other end, the concierge


says, get out! For the Chinese, that is not rude. So there could be a


cultural misunderstanding, one would hope that the ambassador at least


would understand. British diplomats are very soft-spoken. Did you know


anything about the row over who got into the carriage to ride with the


Queen? I think only the interpreter, who was probably the security guard


as well. He obviously spoke Chinese and English, but this whole incident


is really a storm in a teacup. If the gold commander, as she was


called, should complain about the Chinese, I can't imagine what she


would be like dealing with the Americans. All these people in dark


glasses with Ian things coming out looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.


They must have been incredibly... Do you think the Chinese care about


this kerfuffle? They appeared to care enough that they censored it


from the BBC One broadcast -- BBC World broadcast. This incident is


completely a storm in a teacup. I actually thought that it was rather


odd for the Lord Chamberlain to bring this subject up at a garden


party. They were enjoying, albeit raining rather heavily, but why do


you want to talk about somebody being rude ten months ago when you


could be talking about so many things? They could be making small


talk about the rain and the weather! Do you think the Chinese would be


surprised that it has been broadcast and publicised everywhere? I don't


think so. Not even the Chinese, but I shouldn't imagine the British


Government couldn't care less about how this was interpreted. It is


really a non-incident. The fact that they heard what the Queen said, the


Queen is perfectly entitled to her own private conversation. I blame,


I'm afraid, again the Lord Chamberlain for putting a microphone


near her and not heeding that whatever she said could have been


heard. What is the general state of Anglo-Chinese relations at the


moment? You have Chancellor George Osborne, you can't get more slick


than him, he is like an Exxon Valdez oil slick as far as the Chinese are


concerned, and they love it! Thank you very much.


The American attorney general Loretta Lynch ignited a huge buzz


of excitement this week, with some words on the rights


It wasn't even a speech as such, but merely a statement


She was announcing that the US government is taking action


against the state of North Carolina, which has courted controversy


by passing legislation that demands everybody uses the bathroom that


accords to their gender at birth, rather than the gender


The arguments have been raging on that, but the intervention


of the attorney general has been called the "I have a dream moment"


This law provides no benefit to society, and all it does is harm


innocent Americans. And instead of turning away from our neighbours,


friends and colleagues, let us instead learn from our history and


avoid repeating the mistakes of our past. Some of you have lived freely


for decades, and others of you are still wondering how you could


possibly live the lives that you were born to lead. But no matter how


isolated, no matter how afraid and no matter how alone you may feel


today, know this. That the Department of Justice and indeed the


in tire Obama administration want you to know that we see you.


Interesting to hear a comparison made to the civil rights


From bathroom rights to bigger things.


Over a few years we've seen dramatic changes in attitudes


towards trans issues, but does the comparison


to the advance in black civil rights stand?


Joining me now is Kerri Kupec, who works for the Alliance Defending


And from San Francisco, the executive director


of the Transgender Law Center, Kris Hayashi.


Thank you both for joining us. Kris, if I could start with you, how


excited are you buy that Loretta Lynch statement? The federal


government made it clear that discrimination against transgender


people will not stand, and as I watched the Attorney General speak


on Monday, I thought about all of the transgender leaders,


particularly transgender women of colour who have fought for rights,


whose work bought us to this moment, and who I no longer with us because


of hatred and violence. As a transgender man myself, someone who,


when I was born, the doctor said I was a girl, but I have always known


myself to be a man and I have lived most of my life as a man, is a


transgender person of colour, I have rarely felt truly seen by the people


and systems that make up our government, and Monday was a rare


moment where I not only felt seen, but I felt that the federal


government would join with us in this battle against discrimination.


Kerri, where you moved at all by the Attorney General's statement on


Monday? I was moved, but I was not moved in a positive way, as both an


attorney and a woman, I was very concerned about the words coming


from our nation's chief attorney. Yes it is important to see everyone,


as she said, absolutely, but the problem with her words is she was


ignoring and quite rightly marginalising millions of women


across this country who understandably and justifiably feel


very concerned about the idea of allowing men into intimate settings


like a women's allowing men into intimate settings


Attorney General is taking, using the Civil Rights act to take action


against the Civil Rights act to take action


that point, and you think that is an abuse of the Civil Rights act to do


that Chris? abuse of the Civil Rights act to do


privacy law is fully compliant abuse of the Civil Rights act to do


federal law. It forbids discrimination on the basis of sex,


and sex. That does not include gender identity or how one perceives


their gender and sex. The plain meaning of the text says biological


sex. The legislative history, the sponsors of the bills at the same,


in fact of the sponsors of one of the act of the Department of Justice


specifically says that the act of the Department of Justice


that facilities can still maintain sex-specific facilities. And there


is a real irony here. Protecting against sex discrimination in the


60s and 70s came as a result of combating Sextus ruination against


60s and 70s came as a result of women. Women


60s and 70s came as a result of shake in employment and


60s and 70s came as a result of these same laws that were designed


60s and 70s came as a result of to protect women are now being used


against women, and telling women that regardless of how they feel,


regardless of what their feelings and concerns are,


regardless of what their feelings into their locker rooms, and


regardless of what their feelings trump women's. Kris, hold your


discussion on the bathroom policy, I just want to know


discussion on the bathroom policy, I about using the Civil Rights act for


the transgender movement, because clearly that wasn't what was in the


mind of those who drafted that back in the 1960s. It is very


straightforward. Transgender people are protected from discrimination


under Sextus rumination law. We are protected from discrimination in


employment under title seven, transgender students are protected


from discrimination, and in the transgender Law Centre in 2012 won


the case and made very clear that transgender people are protected


from discrimination. What the eternal General did was simply


reaffirm the law. Kerri, you can't see that Mac one, he is in the other


studio. What is your problem with him going into amen's bathroom. It


wouldn't be common sense for him to go into a women's bathroom, which is


what North Carolina forces him to do.


They force those to undress. It is a fundamental right to privacy.


Everybody deserves that. This law strips the right of privacy from


everybody who understandably, and justifiably, feel concerned about


the idea of undressing in front of a biological man. I think it is not


what about the ones or what I want, but what is best for the millions of


people across this country who have concerns. Those concerns should be


recognised. These people shouldn't be slandered or attacked but should


be recognised. Do you understand that? As a transgender person safety


is important. But transgender people face disproportionate rates of


violence and harassment. There are already laws in place in North


Carolina. It is true across the country to protect women, children,


anyone from facing this. The reality of the law is that it opens the door


for harassment. Not just against transgender people but against


anybody who looks a bit different. Against anyone who doesn't fit in


the stereotypes of what a man or a woman should look like. Do you


accept transgender people as equal, do they deserve full protection


against discrimination at work in college, in housing, all of these


different areas? Discrimination and bullying should never be tolerated.


But we're not talking about that. We are talking about a fundamental,


since right to bodily privacy. We are talking about millions of people


who understandably don't feel comfortable... Really, really, was


it really a problem in North Carolina before they pass the bill,


where millions of men and women around America thinking, my


goodness, my life is ruined because my right to bodily privacy is being


undermined by transgender people using my bathroom? I'm not saying


that. I'm saying that opening bathrooms and locker rooms to


whoever wants to come in. Somebody can come in and say I identify as


such therefore I can go in. That opens the door to those who would


abuse those laws to gain access to the people inside for bad reasons.


As a woman, if a man enters the locker room I can get the manager, I


can say, you don't belong here. Now, if we open our locker room and rest


rooms I cannot say anything until something actually happens to me. We


need to leave it. This is not about transgender people, this is about


the rights of everybody. Thank you. Well, if you are someone


who likes trans rights, you may also like the art and music


of the late David Bowie. Which brings us to a rare chance


to hear from someone who was a muse Lindsay Kemp is actually one


of the most extraordinary performers It wasn't just Bowie


he was close to, he also taught Now 78, he's the last


of the bohemians, equally at home performing mime in a striptease club


or dancing for his many Kemp lives in Italy and he hasn't


returned to the UK for 15 years. But he's back, to teach


a class at Rada in London. And to talk sex, 'Strictly' -


and Morris dancing - You see, I never walked


in the streets, I always danced. I found dancing much more


pleasurable than walking. because I didn't march,


I danced. I was doing a little


show of the tiny theatre -- I was doing a little


show at a tiny theatre David Bowie was in the audience one


night as a 19-year-old boy. He came to my dressing room


and he was like the Archangel the Archangel Gabriel standing


there, I was, like, you know, Mary, He expressed the desire to work


with me, to learn from me, and at the time I was teaching dance


classes at the Dance Centre in Covent Garden, so he enrolled


the following day. # Poor Harlequin you're quite


an exception # A troubadour


on a downer #. Kemp and Bowie became lovers


and toured Kemp's production of The Pierot In Turquoise,


which was later adapted for TV. He told me he met me just in time,


because he was on his He had been studying Buddhism quite


seriously and was considering taking He did declare later on,


Lindsay, save me from And quitting the business,


was that... And quitting the business, yeah,


he wasn't getting anywhere, he was certainly multifaceted,


a chameleon, a splendid, shining, always inspired creature,


a genius of a creature. # There's a star man


waiting in the sky # He'd like to come


and meet us # But he thinks he'd


blow our minds #. Kemp collaborated with Bowie


on the stage show of Ziggy Stardust, which was the making


of the singer, though by then their


relationship had ended. My best friend, needless to say,


you know, just like in the mags. I foolishly, and rather


theatrically, and not too seriously, attempted to cut my


wrists, you know. I was taken to the hospital,


the doctor looked at them, Oops.


and sent me back and said, Bad luck.


than me, she was revived # And she can't stop


till them shoes fall off # These shoes do,


a kind of voodoo #. Another willing pupil of Kemp's


was Kate Bush, though at first Modest, she was, she was always


at the back and I was forever having But once she started moving,


and improvising, she was dynamic. One evening, returning to my house


in Battersea, there was a record shoved under


the door, The Kick Inside, and on the record there was the song


Moving, which she wrote, His proteges have gone on to great


things, but Kemp is happy just to be on stage performing mime or dance,


whether it is at Rada this week, the billing "Lindsay Kemp


Mimes His Own Business". I worked in some of those striptease


clubs. Oh, well, it was a joy,


I liked it. For me it is all part


of my world of entertainment, It looked good, it smelt good,


and it was just full The tea rooms, I believe,


are still there. the money to enjoy, eclairs,


their delicious eclairs, I would treat myself to them


from time to time. Are you aware of the phenomena


of Strictly, over in Italy? because there was a lull


after the demise of Morris Where do you stand on Morris


dancing? That famous phrase, I'll try


anything except Morris Well, I don't think


I've tried incest yet, Nick Watt on. -- Nick Watt is here.


Cameron rejects TV debate on Europe is the Daily Telegraph headline,


what do we know about this? The government wants to avoid a row with


the BBC but there are still some ups and downs. We've heard Downing


Street has agreed the first series of elections the referendum debate.


With the BBC discussions are ongoing. That is because Downing


Street are worried about the mention of Wembley Arena. They think it


might be like what happened in Glasgow, where it was a bit hostile


in the Better Together Campaign. But a major row has broken out on the


ITV debates. They are saying that Nigel Farage is not part of the


official campaign, why you not inviting us. It looks like the


government is trying to choose its own opposition and we will sue ITV,


they are saying. Thanks very much. That's all we have time


for tonight; it's James O'Brien Probably with more on the BBC White


Paper. A largely dry and cool weekend to


come. A few showers


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