18/05/2016 Newsnight


18/05/2016

The Queen's speech. New polling on Brexit. US Senate allows 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia. A junior doctors deal? Artists Jeff Koons and Damien Hurst on their new exhibition.


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And a government dealing with dissent within opts

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My government will use the opportunity of a strengthening

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economy to deliver security for working people to increase life

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chances for the most disadvantaged and to strengthen national defences.

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We'll ask this Cabinet member if her government

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The US senate has passed a highly controversial bill that lets

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the families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia.

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One family member will tell us why they'd like to.

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Jeff Koons is a world-renowned artist and so is Damien Hirst. On

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Newsnight, an exclusive television interview about what happens when

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Damien Hirst puts on a show of Jeff Koons' work in London.

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It's not easy to write 1,000 words when you haven't got much

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to say - as some newspaper columnists demonstrate each week.

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And maybe that was the problem of the Government in

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drafting the 936-word Queen's Speech we heard today.

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It wasn't so much that the Government has nothing to say -

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it's just that with a slender majority and the party

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in the midst of a vicious brawl, getting a majority on anything

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So out came a miscellany of items in the not-so-difficult file.

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Measures to promote driverless cars, hints that we'll

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build a space port - which Twitter noted, we'll get

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And some measures aimed at enhancing social mobility.

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But of course, everything is seen through referendum glasses right

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now, so one highlight was the non-appearance of any Bill

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From Buckingham Palace, attended by an escort of Household Cavalry, the

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Queen with Prince Philip begins her drive through the capital. The

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annual ritual has barely changed in the 63 years the Queen has arrived

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at the Palace of Westminster in her coach. The Queen has thankfully

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never been burdened with having to write her speech, guaranteeing the

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message changes as Prime Minister 's come and go. This year marked the

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moment when her 12th Prime Minister, David Cameron, laid the ground for

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what he hopes will be the legacy of the second and final phase of his

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premiership. He wants to be seen as one of the great social reformers,

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such as William Wilberforce, who ended slavery in much of the British

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Empire. My government will legislate to reform prisonstoday's Queen's

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Speech included measures to enhance the life chances of children in a

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social work Bill, and measures to improve decrepit prisons. But the

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Prime Minister knows he needs to win the EU referendum to have any hope

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of fulfilling his ambitions. Even if he wins, he may have his ambitions

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clouded by two factors, the shadow of Europe and his slim majority. The

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Prime Minister showed he is walking on eggshells when two bills related

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to Europe were shelved and delayed respectively. Brexit Cabinet

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Minister 's were on their best behaviour, not least because Justice

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Secretary Michael Gove will be at the heart of delivering reforms. But

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one leading supporter of the Leave campaign suggests there could be

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trouble ahead for one little campaign suggests there could be

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aspect of the Prime Minister's deal, relinquishing the -- the veto in

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relation to eurozone rules. We have already agreed in advance to

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implement it, even though it could be harmful. That's what it is to be

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a sitting duck, or it will be if we choose to remain in the European

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Union. Today, Liam Fox insists he will accept the result of the

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referendum, but I understand that some Eurosceptics are planning to

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referendum, but I understand that use the forthcoming Tory leadership

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contest to join battle on Europe again. When the leadership hustings

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are eventually held, the candidates will be asked one simple question -

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will you agree to restore British veto? There is probably only one

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answer you can give to that question, attention the leading to

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the unravelling of the Prime Minister's EU deal, and in the heart

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of Eurosceptics, laying the grounds Minister's EU deal, and in the heart

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for a possible second referendum. But one of Boris Johnson's allies

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believes the Brexiters will be punished if they refuse to accept

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defeat in the referendum. If we were to ignore the specific mandate from

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the British people I think they would be furious. So the message I

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would send out to everybody across the political spectrum is to respect

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the decision the British people make, both in the general election

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and in the referendum this year, to rally behind the Prime Minister. If

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the referendum goes his way, the Prime Minister will still have to

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tread carefully, in might of his slim majority. The majority is very

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small. There will be more rebellions, obviously. Then there is

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the problem of Tory election expenses and by-elections looming. I

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do think it is a very comfortable position for him, even if we vote to

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stay in, which I hope we will. There are signs that the government is

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keen to avoid future Parliamentary bust ups. I understand Theresa May

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is listening carefully to Labour and Tory critics of the contentious

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investor greet Powers Bill, or snooper's charter. There will be

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some move to secure cooperation on the timing of the bill. Downing

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Street is finessing the next stage of David Cameron's premiership, but

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he will only make progress if the dark clouds of Europe are cleared.

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We'll talk to Liz Truss shortly, Secretary of State for Environment,

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But before we do, it's been a busy old day in politics,

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because not only did we have a Queen's Speech,

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there was also a settlement in the junior doctors dispute.

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Everyone says you shouldn't talk about winners and losers,

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but if you do want to, it does look like the

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Won the battle, but maybe losing the NHS.

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What exactly is the settlement, and what have the government got out of

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this? The last time there were talks, they ended when the BMA, the

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doctors union, declined to talk about reducing overtime for doctors

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who work on Saturday. The government wanted that because they want to

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move to what they called the seven-day NHS. The BMA wouldn't even

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talk about it and the government withdrew from talks. Then there were

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strikes. The deal agreed today doesn't give overtime for normal

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work on a Saturday or Sunday, which has been a bit of a shock to a lot

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of junior doctors, who didn't know it was on the table. You do get a

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bit of extra pay if you work enough Saturdays and Sundays, but it is not

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the volumes you get at the moment. The total effect, from the

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Department of Health's perspective, is that they think there is roughly

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a 30% cuts to the cost of staffing in a facility with junior doctors

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compared to the current situation. A really big saving. A lot of people

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think the seven-day NHS is about to happen, but there's quite a lot

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going on in the NHS. That isn't a foregone conclusion because the BMA

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members have to vote. The bigger point is that the NHS is in

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difficulty. Around 87% are seen within four hours. The target is

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95%. There's all sorts of measures where things are not going badly

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wrong. 2 million people turned up at a accident and emergency. The NHS is

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going at the same speed but it hasn't kept up with a wave of

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demand. You see that with performance measures and on the

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financial side as well. Thank you. The Environment Secretary

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Liz Truss is here. Can we start on the NHS. What do you

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make of it? I am pleased there has been a resolution on this dispute.

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Jeremy Hunt has set forward a very important reform agenda, a seven-day

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NHS, which we need to see in order to see the improvements in care we

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want to see as a nation. We are investing more money in the NHS,

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which is important. Can we not argue that this is just one enormous

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distraction. The service is drowning at the moment, according to Chris.

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30% of page -- 13% of patients are waiting to be seen more than four

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hours at A Huge deficits last year. Finance chiefs at hospitals

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are expecting the same to happen this year. Has this not just been a

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terrible waste of everybody's time and effort while the NHS is in a

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real problem? We are seeing rising demand for NHS services. We are

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seeing the increasing cost of things like drugs. Jeremy Hughes doing a

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fantastic job. Having a big, distracting strike on another issue?

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Getting to where we want to in terms of a seven-day NHS, which has huge

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public support and is a manifesto commitment. But achieving that

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agreement with doctors. Doctors worked very hard and are the

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backbone of the NHS. I think the public will be very pleased that we

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have got to a resolution on this issue, and we are moving forward on

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this seven-day NHS. On the Queen's Speech, a lot of people have said it

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is somewhat watered down. There's not a lot in there. I think it is

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nonsense. I was surprised that one of the big decisions we were going

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to get, airport capacity in the south-east, didn't get a mention. We

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are looking at airport capacity and a decision will be made on that.

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That has been heavily trailed already. There are two important

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bills. There are over 20 bills in the Queen's Speech, covering all

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kinds of areas, such as improving our productivity and social mobility

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as a country. Prison Reform Trust and been done since Victorian times.

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This is the biggest reform of Britain we've seen for a generation.

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University reform, new universities established, looking at the quality

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of teaching... This is a substantial Queen's Speech with very important

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bills which are addressing the key issues we face as a country, which

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is we have the second lowest productivity in the G7, and we have

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very low rates of social mobility. What about the British bill of

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rights? In the Queen's Speech last year, the Queen said, my government

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will bring forward proposals for the British bill of rights. If that

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happened? The government has been working hard on this. She didn't

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bring it forward, which is why she said the same this year. Are we

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going to hear it every year, or will it happen? It is a very complicated

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legal issue. There are lots of ins and outs to discuss. You started

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talking about it when you were and outs to discuss. You started

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opposition. We are damned if we do, downed if we don't. If we put

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something forward before it is ready, we get criticised. We are

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working on something that is very important, bringing more

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working on something that is very sense to human rights decisions.

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Will it come this year? We are working on proposals and it's

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important to get it right. And working on proposals and it's

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another one that David working on proposals and it's

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tantalise the party with. He said we would set out proposals to make

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cleared the British Parliament's sovereignty. What happened to that

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Bill? We are in the middle of a referendum campaign. We are voting

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for that on June the 23rd. During that campaign, the British people

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have to make a decision about whether they want to be in or out of

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the EU. I am a big supporter of Remain. I think we will be better

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off, safer and more secure, but the British people have to make that

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decision. The sovereignty bill can only follow when we have decided

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whether we are in or out of the EU. It would be premature to do that

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before then. He said back in February it would be in the coming

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days. The general point here is that everything is about trying to hold

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the party together, which means tantalising each side of the party

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with things they want. David Cameron has to offer these things every now

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and then to some of his party to keep them loyal. Isn't that the

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correct way to drive this government? What is driving the

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government is the core issues facing this country, such as improving our

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productivity, so we can earn more, improving our social mobility, so

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that people are not left on the scrapheap. For me, that is why I

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went into politics, because I care about making sure we have a society

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of opportunity. That is what motivates us as conservatives.

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Last one, is the referendum going to settle the issue of British

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membership of the EU? We last had bought 40 years ago, the year I was

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born. We are having vote now. What I want it to do is to settle that

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question. I strongly hope that we secure a significant result. For the

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Remain a side of the debate. I think that is important and I think it

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would be good for the country. And if you get a leader who is a sceptic

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and even some on the sceptical side, the Brexit side, say they will

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accept the result and are hoping for a Brexit leader. Does that work? Do

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you think a Brexit leader of these Conservative Party can make the best

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of our relationship with the EU? Well, first of all, we have to have

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the vote and it is a decision for the British public. This is not

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about the Conservative Party or who is the next leader, this is a

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serious question for our country. What I worry about is that the

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public out there needs to think about the economic impact, the

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impact on their family and jobs and the opportunities for their

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children, to do things like travel overseas. This should not be about

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the Conservative Party. That is not what this decision is about. Liz

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Truss, and do very much. -- thank you very much.

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Now ironically, while we discuss all this, the referendum polls have

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You never have any idea of how much weight to put

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on these things now, but a phone poll in

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the Evening Standard tonight put Remain on 55%, Leave on 37%.

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Do they think something has happened or are they dismissing this?

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Officially there is no display since complacency in Number Ten and the

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prime minister's director of Communications is going to take a

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sabbatical and work for the campaign but in private, senior Tories are

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saying that they think the referendum is moving the way of In.

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Also, there was a poll in the daily Telegraph yesterday commissioned by

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Lynton Crosby who ran the election campaign for the Tories last year

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and he wrote a piece saying that time was running out for the Brexit

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campaign. But when we talk about polls, we need to have a health

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warning because they go down and they go up and they can be wrong.

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But in private, the Tories are saying that they are saying that

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they hope that they can finally defeat the Conservative Eurosceptic

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right that they say it has bedevilled the party with the vision

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for the last quarter of a party. But Suzanne Evans will say that the

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remains side is a complacent and out of touch campaign, and that they

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should talk to Heartland MPs, who have an ease about the referendum.

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The broad thrust of the campaign, what is happening? There is a letter

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out tomorrow. What a surprise (!). Who would've thought? Michael

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Bloomberg saying don't leave, it will risk the economy. Thank you

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very much. Now we're joined in the studio

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by Suzanne Evans from Vote Leave. Do you sense that the polls have

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moved against you? Is that imagination or not? There is only

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one poll that counts and that is the one when the ballot papers are

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counted. We know that polls can be misleading, as we found out to our

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cost in the general election. They say a week is a long time in

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politics, 38 days is a chance to do a very positive, optimistic

:18:31.:18:33.

campaign. And I am still very confident that we can win. We have

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the arguments in our favour. They are pulling out the big guns. I had

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to laugh at you laughing about another letter. I think the public

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are getting bored of this tit for tat, these big business leaders

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coming out to support remaining in the European Union. But what are

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your tactics for the rest of the campaign? There is obviously been a

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debate about how far you should push the migration issue and it is quite

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clear that it is an area of huge public concern and clear that you

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have more options outside the EU than inside the EU on what to do

:19:04.:19:08.

with migration. Absolutely. The Queen's Speech, they were talking

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about the security of the British people, securing our borders and

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making sure that wages rise and the welfare bill reduces. Well, you

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cannot do that within the European Union because we have no control of

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our borders. But are you going to make more of the immigration

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argument? Because there has been a debate about how migration should

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feature. Vote Leave is very much making the migration argument. But I

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think also that we recognise that most people who are concerned about

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migration, that is one of the motivating factors to vote to leave.

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I do not think it is something that we need to do overkill on. As the

:19:48.:19:54.

campaign banked on process things too much? There was a big argument

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about the debate and Cameron was up against whoever, and a lot of people

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thought that did not work for you, apart from looking a bit impetuous

:20:03.:20:07.

it was just the wrong subject to be talking about. I think the TV

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debates will possibly be a game changer and that is why I am saying

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we're certainly not given up yet. The government should be complacent.

:20:14.:20:18.

I think that if you look around what is happening, the U-turns we have

:20:19.:20:24.

had on academies and junior doctors today, on child refugees, they seem

:20:25.:20:27.

to be bending over backwards to make sure they do not do anything to

:20:28.:20:32.

upset the Remain campaign. And the TV campaigns could be -- the TV

:20:33.:20:38.

debates could be a game changer and I am looking forward to

:20:39.:20:40.

debates could be a game changer and has been another debate on your site

:20:41.:20:45.

about whether there is too much of one two individuals,

:20:46.:20:46.

about whether there is too much of Boris Johnson. Do you think that

:20:47.:20:47.

there has been too much Boris Johnson. Do you think that

:20:48.:20:52.

one or two and needs to be broader front than Boris? We don't put

:20:53.:20:58.

people forward in isolation. We know that Boris is one of the most

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trusted people in the EU -- on the EU, and that is why he has been

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front and centre. But there is room for other people and we have been

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using others. But the media have not picked up on that because Boris is

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the big celebrity, if you like, but I heard Andrea Leslie and speak

:21:13.:21:20.

yesterday about how the EU threatens our energy security. We know that

:21:21.:21:25.

our energy bills have tripled because of these tariffs and levies

:21:26.:21:26.

imposed by the EU. because of these tariffs and levies

:21:27.:21:32.

Cleverly was in, talking because of these tariffs and levies

:21:33.:21:37.

EU tariffs outside the European Union keep poorer African farmers

:21:38.:21:39.

poor. Either Union keep poorer African farmers

:21:40.:21:45.

cares about the developing world trade,

:21:46.:21:49.

cares about the developing world Farage said that the referendum may

:21:50.:21:50.

not end the matter. Farage said that the referendum may

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it was close, it would be unfinished business by a long

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it was close, it would be unfinished view? I think in the short term, the

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referendum is going to decide the matter. I have always felt that

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referendum is going to decide the we vote to remain, then the European

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Union, based on past behaviour will take that on a mandate to push

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forward with whatever it wants. And any future

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forward with whatever it wants. And Cameron or whoever it might

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forward with whatever it wants. And there is a point where we want to

:22:23.:22:26.

say no to the EU, they will turn around and say, I'm sorry Mr Prime

:22:27.:22:31.

Minister, or Mrs prime minister, your people voted

:22:32.:22:36.

Minister, or Mrs prime minister, do not have a mandate. But it cannot

:22:37.:22:40.

come back in five years, can it? What is it, ten, 20, 30 years? If on

:22:41.:22:43.

June the 4th, the What is it, ten, 20, 30 years? If on

:22:44.:22:46.

moves forward with a proposal for will be upset and realise they have

:22:47.:22:56.

been hoodwinked. If Turkey is fast-track entry, I think it is

:22:57.:22:57.

going to come around one that you might hear

:22:58.:23:04.

a lot more about. It voted unanimously

:23:05.:23:07.

for something called the Justice Against Sponsors

:23:08.:23:09.

of Terrorism Act. Normal practice is

:23:10.:23:14.

that countries can't be sued in the courts

:23:15.:23:17.

of other countries. Countries have sovereign immunity,

:23:18.:23:19.

which for example, stops you suing the US government over here,

:23:20.:23:22.

for contributing to climate change. The Senate Bill removes sovereign

:23:23.:23:26.

immunity in cases where nations have been involved in

:23:27.:23:29.

terrorism on US soil. The immediate significance

:23:30.:23:40.

is to allow the families of victims of 9/11 to sue the Saudi

:23:41.:23:42.

government in the US for any role Saudi officials might

:23:43.:23:44.

have played in the attacks. But the Bill opens up a can of worms

:23:45.:23:47.

in international law. President Obama doesn't like it,

:23:48.:23:51.

as it invites other countries It also threatens

:23:52.:23:53.

US-Saudi relations. It's not clear how

:23:54.:23:55.

the bill will fare. However, the 9/11 families have

:23:56.:23:57.

already chalked up one victory - President Obama has said

:23:58.:24:00.

he will release 28 redacted pages of the official commission

:24:01.:24:02.

into the World Trade Centre attacks that will open up questions

:24:03.:24:05.

about Saudi involvement. Joining me now from Washington DC

:24:06.:24:11.

is Terry Strada, the wife of 9/11 victim Tom Strada and now chair

:24:12.:24:17.

of 9/11 Families Survivors United Good evening to you. Thank you for

:24:18.:24:30.

joining us. Why do you want the right to sue the Saudi government?

:24:31.:24:36.

Because we want to hold them accountable. We want to hold the

:24:37.:24:41.

people that were behind, financing and aiding and abetting terrorists

:24:42.:24:45.

here, accountable in a court of law. We want justice for the murder of

:24:46.:24:51.

our loved ones. And in your suspicion, how high up do you think

:24:52.:24:57.

Saudi complicity might have gone? Well, we have evidence that the

:24:58.:25:00.

Saudis were definitely involved. Also within these 28 ages that you

:25:01.:25:06.

spoke of, it points the finger at Saudi Arabia. How far it goes

:25:07.:25:11.

exactly, I'm not sure, but that is a good reason to bring it into a court

:25:12.:25:21.

of law and let the investigation continue. They did not get to fully

:25:22.:25:25.

investigate the Saudi involvement. We need to know how far up the

:25:26.:25:29.

scores. And one of the people, John Leeman, has seen the pages and has

:25:30.:25:35.

broken ranks and talked about this and he said that he saw no evidence

:25:36.:25:39.

that the Saudi government as an institution was involved in the

:25:40.:25:42.

attacks. So I am wondering whether the Saudi government is the right

:25:43.:25:46.

target or whether it is the individuals, employees of the Saudi

:25:47.:25:51.

government, who should be the appropriate target of legal action.

:25:52.:25:58.

OK, so who was directing those employees of the Saudi Arabian

:25:59.:26:00.

government to carry out the attacks? I think we need to further the

:26:01.:26:04.

investigation. I think we need to look into it further than we have

:26:05.:26:08.

and I think we need to let the evidence that we have collected

:26:09.:26:12.

against the Saudis into a courtroom so that we can finally see, and let

:26:13.:26:17.

everyone see what we know, which is that the Saudis were involved in

:26:18.:26:22.

9/11. The Saudis will not recognise American courts' writes to tell them

:26:23.:26:26.

to pay fines or civil penalties or whatever. So what do you think will

:26:27.:26:32.

happen? If you go to a US court and win a victory against the Saudi

:26:33.:26:36.

government, what is the outcome? What are you looking for? We are

:26:37.:26:40.

looking for accountability and we are looking to hold them accountable

:26:41.:26:44.

for the role that they played in murdering 3000 people on American

:26:45.:26:47.

soil. It was the worst terrorist attack in America and it was a

:26:48.:26:51.

horrific attack. We want to hold them accountable because if we do,

:26:52.:26:55.

then they will not continue funding terrorism and we will not continue

:26:56.:27:01.

to seek the rise of Isis and what it is doing across the world. It is

:27:02.:27:06.

time to make the Saudis on up to the role they play in funding terrorist

:27:07.:27:12.

activities and aiding and abetting the hijackers while they were here

:27:13.:27:17.

in this country. If we do not hold them accountable, they will not

:27:18.:27:19.

stop. The biggest thing I am concerned about is our future and

:27:20.:27:23.

how do we prevent our future from terrorism. First of all, we have to

:27:24.:27:27.

hold people accountable for 9/11 and we need to know the full truth

:27:28.:27:31.

before we can never really protect ourselves going forward. What do you

:27:32.:27:35.

think of the legal argument? Clearly President Obama is not keen on this

:27:36.:27:41.

idea. The legal I demons around sovereign immunity, I don't know if

:27:42.:27:45.

you can hear me but sovereign immunity, that it sets a precedent

:27:46.:27:48.

that other nations will then want to sue the US? Have we lost to? I lost

:27:49.:27:56.

it just for a second. I am interested in the legal argument,

:27:57.:27:59.

whether there is weight in the President's legal argument that

:28:00.:28:03.

other nations will then start suing America? Iraqis could start suing

:28:04.:28:07.

Americans in Iraqi courts. Le Bataclan? Absently not. -- will that

:28:08.:28:18.

happen? Absolutely not. Within our sovereign immunity laws, there is an

:28:19.:28:23.

exception that you can hold people accountable for acts of terrorism.

:28:24.:28:26.

That has been misinterpreted by the court. We are trying to fix that

:28:27.:28:33.

issue with the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, to hold

:28:34.:28:40.

people that aid and abet terrorism on American soil that happens to

:28:41.:28:45.

injure or hurt Americans. It does not change what other countries can

:28:46.:28:49.

and cannot do. They are entitled to have whatever laws they want,

:28:50.:28:54.

whether we have this bill or not. Think is much. People will be

:28:55.:28:57.

watching this great interest. Thank you very much.

:28:58.:29:01.

Sit back now, and prepare for a feast.

:29:02.:29:03.

And I'm not talking about lingiuni with spicy tomato sauce and mussels.

:29:04.:29:05.

No, a major new art exhibition has just opened its doors in London.

:29:06.:29:09.

It brings together two greats of the art world,

:29:10.:29:11.

And Kirsty Wark got to join them for a sneak preview.

:29:12.:29:23.

They were once the enfants terribles of art world,

:29:24.:29:25.

whose work had the power to cause shock and outrage as well

:29:26.:29:29.

Now, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are giants of modern art.

:29:30.:29:33.

Their work sells for millions, and they've come together at Damien

:29:34.:29:40.

Hirst's new gallery in Newport Street in London's Vauxhall,

:29:41.:29:42.

for a free exhibition of Jeff Koons' art.

:29:43.:29:49.

It's the first show of Jeff Koons work in this country

:29:50.:29:51.

since 2009, and it comes from Damien Hirst's own collection.

:29:52.:29:58.

They curated the exhibition together, but this is the moment

:29:59.:30:12.

In the first gallery are some of his early

:30:13.:30:16.

ready-made works, inspired by his hero, Marcel Duchamp.

:30:17.:30:18.

Hirst has been a huge fan of Koons' work since his student days.

:30:19.:30:33.

And now he's able to buy just about anything he wants.

:30:34.:30:39.

That was the piece I bought from Larry, the first piece.

:30:40.:30:46.

In 2013, Koons broke the record for the most expensive work

:30:47.:30:54.

monkey, fetched more than $58 million.

:30:55.:31:06.

It feels like you couldn't really do the show without it.

:31:07.:31:10.

And as if you've built this room for it!

:31:11.:31:12.

The surface is cast in stainless steel.

:31:13.:31:14.

Yeah, I've got no idea how you achieved that, because there's

:31:15.:31:18.

always a little ripple in the reflection,

:31:19.:31:20.

because the reflection is always so pure.

:31:21.:31:22.

One room is not for the faint-hearted.

:31:23.:31:27.

When did you get these pieces, Damien?

:31:28.:31:29.

While the huge bowl of eggs symbolises creation

:31:30.:31:34.

and birth, the other images are still controversial.

:31:35.:31:42.

starring Ilona Staller, better known by

:31:43.:31:45.

# Ah, love to love you, baby... #

:31:46.:31:58.

I fell in love with her for who she was, exactly the person,

:31:59.:32:05.

but it ended up it did not work out, so it was really about acceptance.

:32:06.:32:10.

# Ah, love to love you, baby... #

:32:11.:32:14.

When I first saw it I was like, he's lost it.

:32:15.:32:17.

I just thought, why would you want to go that far?

:32:18.:32:24.

And then afterwards, a couple of years later, I was like,

:32:25.:32:27.

For a while, they were my favourite pieces.

:32:28.:32:45.

Damien, how old will you. Can you remember when you first saw Jeff's

:32:46.:32:54.

work? I was a student, so the early 80s, maybe 85. I saw it in the

:32:55.:32:59.

visage Gallery in the New York Cammack now show, in 86 or 87.

:33:00.:33:11.

Tutors didn't like it,. And with the New York now show, they just said,

:33:12.:33:16.

that isn't art. I liked it because it was totally against what my

:33:17.:33:21.

tutors believed, and so simple and easy. Did you think you would end up

:33:22.:33:26.

being one of Jeff Koons' major collectors of art? Never. I looked

:33:27.:33:32.

at the work at the time, and I felt I could never possess anything like

:33:33.:33:36.

that. To be in a position where you can... I have Jeff 's Mac work in my

:33:37.:33:45.

house, a little piece by the TV, so I end up not looking at the TV and

:33:46.:33:50.

looking at the peace instead! When we use first aware of Damien's work?

:33:51.:33:55.

We were at an exhibition together in Germany. This would have been around

:33:56.:34:04.

1991. When you did the puppy. The giant puppy made out of flowers. We

:34:05.:34:10.

spent time together. Our families hung out. Damien McBride father, and

:34:11.:34:15.

my mum was there. I know Damien's mother. It was wonderful that we

:34:16.:34:22.

spent time together in this small German city, and that's where we

:34:23.:34:27.

befriended each other. When you started collecting Jeff's work, you

:34:28.:34:32.

were developing as an artist as Jeff was also developing as an artist. Is

:34:33.:34:36.

that one of the reasons why you wanted to collect? I'd been selling

:34:37.:34:41.

work and I had some money coming in, so I felt I could justify buying

:34:42.:34:46.

things that I'd always loved. One of the first pieces I bought was the

:34:47.:34:53.

hoover downstairs. I said to Larry, who has a gallery in New York, how

:34:54.:34:58.

much is that? I said, will it go up in value? He said, if you are buying

:34:59.:35:05.

it for that reason, don't buy it! Damien, you have the space, and you

:35:06.:35:10.

decided you would show Jeff's work. Why was it important to put Jeff's

:35:11.:35:16.

work together? I always thought I wanted to do an exhibition of Jeff's

:35:17.:35:21.

work. He's a difficult artist to collect because you want one of

:35:22.:35:26.

everything. It's quite a commitment. I always thought I would love to

:35:27.:35:31.

have enough to do a really great show. There's a few pieces I haven't

:35:32.:35:36.

got, one of the ones I always wanted was one of the wooden pieces, and a

:35:37.:35:44.

ceramic peaks -- surround it peace. I don't feel like anything is

:35:45.:35:49.

missing. It feels absolutely complete, from entering with the

:35:50.:35:54.

first inflatable flowers, to ending here with an elephant. Do you see

:35:55.:35:59.

your life flashing before you? I see a creative life. Working with

:36:00.:36:07.

objects, working with metaphor. What I really find important in this

:36:08.:36:09.

exhibition is the friendship with Damien. That is what is really

:36:10.:36:14.

important to me, that Damien would collect my work. This interaction is

:36:15.:36:20.

what I really walk away with. With Jeff's work, I think the word is

:36:21.:36:28.

celebration. I'm a bit more prone to darkness here and there, but I think

:36:29.:36:33.

art in itself, even if you are making something negative, it is a

:36:34.:36:38.

positive thought. It's difficult for someone to come in here and not

:36:39.:36:43.

absolutely love it. When you see kids in a Koons exhibition, they are

:36:44.:36:50.

just running round, loving it. Right now, we are sitting in front of

:36:51.:36:55.

Play-Doh were one of your biggest and heaviest works that Damien has.

:36:56.:37:03.

Why did you buy this piece of work? When I saw it, it seems to be the

:37:04.:37:07.

basis of all art. It seemed to say everything. I have a young son, and

:37:08.:37:16.

he made a mound of Play-Doh. I was looking elsewhere, and he said, dad.

:37:17.:37:20.

I turned, and he had the mound right here. And he said, there you go.

:37:21.:37:28.

That was the beginning of it. You spoke earlier about the fact that

:37:29.:37:32.

your work seems more onto mystic than Damien's. Damien, you said your

:37:33.:37:40.

work seems darker. But this is the ultimate dark object. It is all

:37:41.:37:48.

about semantics. I had Elephant on my desk, and I remember looking at

:37:49.:37:53.

it and thinking that it had the same quality as the diamond skull has, it

:37:54.:37:58.

looks shiny and bright, but it looks like you can pop it with a pin.

:37:59.:38:07.

That's... It's made of material, but it is lasting 6000 years and can't

:38:08.:38:12.

tame. The casting is a 6000 -year-old process. What do you see

:38:13.:38:20.

in each other? What I love about your work, or Jeff, is that he is a

:38:21.:38:28.

contemporary, he is alive today. You can admire him from afar, but it is

:38:29.:38:34.

inspirational to see that somebody living today is making art that is

:38:35.:38:39.

on a par with all those dead guys. When whenever I think about my own

:38:40.:38:45.

work, I know my own problems and weaknesses and doubts. You go

:38:46.:38:49.

through them all to end up with good work. When I look at your work, I

:38:50.:38:54.

can't see any of it. I have to remind myself that you are getting

:38:55.:38:59.

these beautifully finished objects. Tell him that you are doubtful

:39:00.:39:05.

sometimes! What I enjoy about Damien's work is its power. It is

:39:06.:39:10.

really visually... There is a strength there, which is always very

:39:11.:39:17.

confrontational in its power. The type of images, objects, things that

:39:18.:39:24.

are brought together, are extremely well thought out, construct it.

:39:25.:39:31.

There's a natural quality about it. Even though they are different

:39:32.:39:34.

things, they unify themselves so well. It's just an amazing intellect

:39:35.:39:42.

and thought. This idea of a discussion about power and control,

:39:43.:39:48.

and giving up control. I think that is extremely strong in

:39:49.:39:51.

and giving up control. I think that work. When I look at the butterflies

:39:52.:39:54.

that are painted into the surface, it is a profound discourse. You both

:39:55.:40:00.

have attracted a lot of attention because of the vast amount of money

:40:01.:40:10.

have attracted a lot of attention think, in a way, that sometimes

:40:11.:40:13.

obscures your art? I think that money can secure

:40:14.:40:16.

obscures your art? I think that in England. People think

:40:17.:40:19.

obscures your art? I think that artists need to be poor, or you

:40:20.:40:24.

cannot have a focus of money. When I made some money, it changed

:40:25.:40:29.

everything for me. I notice that businessmen started taking me

:40:30.:40:33.

seriously. The audience is changed. Money is a huge part of my life. I

:40:34.:40:39.

always thought it was is important as love or death. It's something you

:40:40.:40:44.

need to understand and respect. It shouldn't be

:40:45.:40:49.

need to understand and respect. It word. Once you have made the art and

:40:50.:40:51.

someone has bought it, word. Once you have made the art and

:40:52.:40:57.

it as a commodity rather than something they love? I was brought

:40:58.:41:00.

up to be self-reliant. I would sell drinks on golf courses, and maybe

:41:01.:41:07.

the ninth hole is a way make money, or I

:41:08.:41:13.

wrapping paper and chocolates. I enjoyed the

:41:14.:41:15.

wrapping paper and chocolates. I to be part of a dialogue with people

:41:16.:41:24.

like war hole or Salvador Dali, or Picasso or Leonardo. To be in a

:41:25.:41:32.

dialogue with the group. Here to be involved with Damien. It's an

:41:33.:41:34.

international discourse, and there international discourse, and there

:41:35.:41:37.

are hundreds of thousands of other people we are connected to, and we

:41:38.:41:40.

are having a dialogue people we are connected to, and we

:41:41.:41:43.

talking about art and how it's changed. It's changed my life and

:41:44.:41:49.

made my life more vast than it would have been if I didn't get involved

:41:50.:41:55.

in this dialogue. People are supportive to that ongoing dialogue,

:41:56.:42:00.

hopefully it's just a symbol that you are contributing in some way.

:42:01.:42:03.

Thank you both very much indeed for this interview. Thank you.

:42:04.:42:10.

That exhibition is at the Newport Street Gallery in London,

:42:11.:42:12.

and you can watch a longer version of that interview

:42:13.:42:16.

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