10/08/2016 Newsnight


10/08/2016

The funding crisis in Britain's accident and emergency units and negotiations to repatriate the bodies of five Russian helicopter crew. With Kirsty Wark.


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Transcript


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Imagine accident emergency closed at night?

:00:00.:00:07.

Well, soon it might be a reality as hospitals struggle

:00:08.:00:09.

with lack of staff, money shortages, and increasing

:00:10.:00:11.

Lord Robert Winston and junior doctor Rachel Clark -

:00:12.:00:18.

We have an exclusive interview with the Syrian rebels holding

:00:19.:00:24.

the remains of the Russian helicopter crew shot

:00:25.:00:26.

The woman who brought the story of Adnan Syed to Serial,

:00:27.:00:32.

And this was the moment Michael Phelps won his 21st Olympic Gold.

:00:33.:00:41.

Our own Olympic great Duncan Goodhew is here to analyse the phenomenal

:00:42.:00:44.

The pressure on the NHS in England has never been greater,

:00:45.:01:04.

and perhaps the most acute pressure is on accident emergency.

:01:05.:01:07.

As an indicator of the myriad problems at A, a hospital

:01:08.:01:09.

in Lincolnshire warned today it may have to close at night, saying it

:01:10.:01:12.

Add to that the volume of traffic at A as patients substitute it

:01:13.:01:20.

for their GP surgery, and the rising demands

:01:21.:01:22.

Can the NHS in England survive without radical surgery?

:01:23.:01:25.

The financial crisis is such that the government says NHS England

:01:26.:01:28.

must save ?22 billion a year for the next five years.

:01:29.:01:33.

The English NHS is a huge old machine, which has

:01:34.:01:52.

Short, medium and long-term forces are all running against it.

:01:53.:02:00.

An A might be cut in Lincolnshire because of recruiting trouble,

:02:01.:02:04.

and a stark warning today came from a Royal College.

:02:05.:02:11.

We are seeing deteriorating waiting times.

:02:12.:02:12.

My own hospital is actually doing reasonably well,

:02:13.:02:15.

but many trusts in the country are noticing that there

:02:16.:02:18.

are deteriorating waiting times both for elective surgery,

:02:19.:02:20.

getting treatment within the appropriate time.

:02:21.:02:24.

And we are seeing increasing pressure upon A

:02:25.:02:27.

If you only looked at one graph to understand the NHS in England,

:02:28.:02:31.

This first line here shows you the change in the amount

:02:32.:02:36.

of money that we have paid to hospitals per procedure

:02:37.:02:38.

Something for which we would have paid hospitals ?100 back in 2009-10,

:02:39.:02:49.

The idea of that squeeze was that it would force hospitals to become

:02:50.:02:56.

So what happens to the costs faced by hospitals per procedure?

:02:57.:03:02.

Well, you can see from this line, first of all,

:03:03.:03:04.

But since 2011-12, hospitals simply haven't kept pace

:03:05.:03:09.

The gap between those two lines, that's the NHS's financial problem.

:03:10.:03:17.

It means that hospitals are spending more per operation

:03:18.:03:20.

So to solve the NHS's financial crisis, we have

:03:21.:03:24.

Either cut hospitals' costs, and that means lowering

:03:25.:03:30.

the top line even further, or putting more money in,

:03:31.:03:33.

The short-term response to that medium-term problem is to encourage

:03:34.:03:39.

hospitals to squeeze pay bills in particular.

:03:40.:03:42.

But that means the financial squeeze is exacerbating some long-standing

:03:43.:03:44.

We've had a history of some small, particularly rural hospitals,

:03:45.:03:53.

having trouble getting doctors to come and work there.

:03:54.:03:56.

And that seems to be a problem across the public sector in other

:03:57.:03:59.

The second issue is that some specialities are not

:04:00.:04:02.

It's partly a combination of the very high pressure of the job

:04:03.:04:10.

and the fact that we have, frankly, not trained enough and people do not

:04:11.:04:13.

want to go into those training posts in the numbers that we need.

:04:14.:04:16.

You can see why NHS managers have been so worried that the Brexit vote

:04:17.:04:20.

might make it harder for them to recruit abroad.

:04:21.:04:23.

Remember, the fall in sterling will be felt most keenly by people

:04:24.:04:26.

who plan their lives in other currencies.

:04:27.:04:29.

These are times historians will pore over,

:04:30.:04:31.

Let's get two medical perspectives on this now.

:04:32.:04:39.

expert and Labour peer, the reproductive health

:04:40.:04:42.

and from Rachel Clarke - a junior doctor who has worked in A

:04:43.:04:51.

Lord Winston first, the financial gap is a given. Does it have to be

:04:52.:04:58.

some radical change? I think one of the first things the government has

:04:59.:05:04.

to think about is, how is it to manage to dis- incentivise one of

:05:05.:05:09.

the most altruistic, most well-qualified, one of the most

:05:10.:05:12.

intelligent workforces in the country? From the age of 16 these

:05:13.:05:15.

people have wanted to go to the health service and now they want to

:05:16.:05:18.

leave it early. They have been trained at a very high level at a

:05:19.:05:25.

great cost. Now one of the key issues with A, general

:05:26.:05:28.

practitioners are wanting to leave because they are so dis-

:05:29.:05:32.

incentivised because of the way they restructured the health service with

:05:33.:05:37.

the disastrous 2012 act. Rachel, as somebody who worked in A a year

:05:38.:05:42.

ago, tell me the good things and bad things. Before you start your first

:05:43.:05:49.

A job, people say to you, it's a battle ground, and it is. There is

:05:50.:05:55.

blood and gore and drunks and abuse. But none of that actually makes it

:05:56.:06:00.

bad, necessarily. It makes it an environment where you can strive to

:06:01.:06:03.

be the best doctor you can, you can save lives everyday. It could be

:06:04.:06:08.

everything you want as a medical career. But, the brutal truth of the

:06:09.:06:13.

matter is, in every A wrote there are among junior doctors. But there

:06:14.:06:19.

are no restrictions on the number of patients coming in so the doctors

:06:20.:06:24.

left are having to do the jobs of two or more doctors. And that is

:06:25.:06:29.

unbearable. You literally might have somebody in the first bed who has

:06:30.:06:33.

just had a life threatening heart attack and the second bed might have

:06:34.:06:37.

somebody with a stroke. Both lives are in your hands and how do you

:06:38.:06:41.

look after them both? The Lincolnshire hospital is thinking of

:06:42.:06:44.

closing night, isn't that unthinkable? It's absolutely

:06:45.:06:49.

catastrophic. It means millions of people in that environment will

:06:50.:06:52.

suddenly be denied emergency care and they will go to other A,

:06:53.:06:57.

swamping those who probably also have gaps in their rotors. The idea

:06:58.:07:02.

this is happening up and down the country, and the Health Secretary is

:07:03.:07:05.

turning a blind eye to it, he's not being upfront about it. What do you

:07:06.:07:12.

think might be done to alleviate the situation? One of the things we

:07:13.:07:16.

should not do is to have a ridiculous idea meant with junior

:07:17.:07:20.

hospital doctors over working at weekends when we are closing

:07:21.:07:26.

hospitals at night-time. That shows the kind of thinking from the

:07:27.:07:30.

Secretary of State. First of all, we should tell the truth about what

:07:31.:07:33.

happens at the weekends and wider deaths he records isn't related to

:07:34.:07:37.

staffing. It's very important for the health service not to be a

:07:38.:07:42.

political football. We are in a situation where the Tory party is

:07:43.:07:45.

unopposed by a weak opposition and that doesn't help. Looking at you

:07:46.:07:51.

with your medical hat on, what do you think can be done, particularly

:07:52.:07:57.

in A? For example, and this might be unpopular, our patients part of

:07:58.:08:01.

the problem? You have to go to primary care and see how it has been

:08:02.:08:06.

delivered. At the moment most general practitioners are totally

:08:07.:08:10.

dissatisfied because they are running the health service as

:08:11.:08:13.

commissioners instead of looking after the health service. What would

:08:14.:08:18.

you do in A, bring in privatisation? You could bring in

:08:19.:08:22.

private practice, and I speak as a member of the Labour Party, we could

:08:23.:08:27.

have private practice but make sure it's inside the health service or

:08:28.:08:30.

the profit goes to the health service and not to private providers

:08:31.:08:35.

who could tender outside. You might have in A, and you would go there,

:08:36.:08:39.

but if you can afford to pay you would go faster? It wouldn't help

:08:40.:08:45.

A As somebody who works in A still, I can offer two other

:08:46.:08:48.

suggestions. The first is that you have to be honest and candid about

:08:49.:08:53.

the lack of doctors and you have to recruit more. Jeremy Hunt and his

:08:54.:08:58.

government don't want to do that because it costs money. But if we

:08:59.:09:03.

don't do that we deny the population a safe standard of care. Secondly,

:09:04.:09:10.

and your film doesn't make clear, what the statistics don't point out,

:09:11.:09:15.

year-on-year since 2010, the share of GDP this government spends on

:09:16.:09:19.

health has gone down. It's now at 6.7%, almost the lowest in Europe.

:09:20.:09:27.

Let's have practical solutions. How do you educate patients about going

:09:28.:09:33.

to A and is not going to it in the first instance? You have to provide

:09:34.:09:36.

primary care with the general practitioners, and if the GPs are

:09:37.:09:41.

not there, they have to go to A That's what happens at the moment. I

:09:42.:09:48.

routinely see patients who are life threatening me sick, at death's

:09:49.:09:52.

door, and then people who have had a tummy ache for 30 years. Of course

:09:53.:09:57.

that end of the extreme shouldn't be there, but if you are a worried

:09:58.:10:00.

mother told by a GP receptionist that it will be three weeks before

:10:01.:10:06.

you get your child to a GP, what will you do? The crisis isn't just

:10:07.:10:10.

in A, it's in general practitioners as well. In some GP

:10:11.:10:15.

training rotors there are 50% gaps. There are nowhere for patients to

:10:16.:10:21.

go. If the government will not be honest, will not fulfil their duty

:10:22.:10:24.

of candour with the electorate to come clean about that, then they are

:10:25.:10:29.

being dangerous and threatening and endangering patients. Once before,

:10:30.:10:36.

Gordon Brown put a penny on national insurance, and said it could be for

:10:37.:10:42.

the NHS. Is it time to hypothesise taxes for the NHS? I don't think

:10:43.:10:45.

that's the right way to do it at all. Very few people who work in

:10:46.:10:49.

health service believe that's the answer. We have done is create a

:10:50.:10:54.

very unwieldy structure. Your film focuses on so many different

:10:55.:11:00.

problems. Let me put it to you, the NHS is not fit for purpose and that

:11:01.:11:05.

isn't just do with money, it's the way we deliver it. And it's also

:11:06.:11:09.

with how we encourage staff to come into it. We make it difficult to

:11:10.:11:17.

recruit staff, we don't even provide work experience. They're all sorts

:11:18.:11:19.

of things at every level that haven't been thought through. Why is

:11:20.:11:24.

it impossible to have this kind of debate? Because we have made the

:11:25.:11:27.

health service into a political football. As Rachel says, we are not

:11:28.:11:31.

having an honest debate and until we do it will be a major problem. I

:11:32.:11:38.

would say one of the problems is, Sir Robert Francis, who investigated

:11:39.:11:41.

the horrors of mid Staffordshire said that junior doctors were the

:11:42.:11:45.

eyes and ears of the health service, and we are, we see things crumbling

:11:46.:11:48.

around us at the moment and we are packed with solutions, we know how

:11:49.:11:52.

to do things differently. The government could listen to us, but

:11:53.:11:57.

instead they impose policies from on high, such as the notorious

:11:58.:12:01.

seven-day NHS, and that is a disastrous way to do things.

:12:02.:12:04.

When the Syrian opposition shot down a Russian military helicopter over

:12:05.:12:07.

Idlib province ten days ago, killing five people, it was the largest

:12:08.:12:10.

single loss of Russian life since their involvement in support

:12:11.:12:12.

The rebels are now trying to barter the bodies and the remains,

:12:13.:12:17.

in exchange for opposition prisoners.

:12:18.:12:19.

Our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban has spoken exclusively to the rebels

:12:20.:12:23.

who have the bodies, and reports on how negotiations are impacting

:12:24.:12:25.

on the Erdogan-Putin summit in St Petersburg.

:12:26.:12:31.

On the last day of July a Russian helicopter returning from a mission

:12:32.:12:35.

into Aleppo was shot down by Syrian rebels.

:12:36.:12:39.

As jubilant locals picked over the wreckage,

:12:40.:12:47.

the bodies of two crew members were defiled.

:12:48.:12:49.

And the stage was set for a secret negotiation that shows how

:12:50.:12:52.

the warring parties would use anything or anyone in their cars.

:12:53.:12:56.

the warring parties would use anything or anyone in their cause.

:12:57.:12:58.

This afternoon, we contacted the prisoners committee

:12:59.:13:00.

of the Syrian resistance that says it is now holding the dead crew

:13:01.:13:03.

and wants concessions before returning the remains.

:13:04.:13:10.

TRANSLATION: Any further details can be negotiated directly

:13:11.:13:12.

Hence we cannot discuss the details now.

:13:13.:13:22.

The committee sent us these images as proof that it holds

:13:23.:13:25.

Three crewmen have been identified by Russian

:13:26.:13:28.

journalists as Oleg Shelamov, Roman Pavlov and Pavlo Shirahov.

:13:29.:13:34.

Who the other two were and whether one of them is the woman

:13:35.:13:37.

The Syrians told us three bodies were burned beyond recognition.

:13:38.:13:48.

But in a conflict where so many have died without trace,

:13:49.:13:52.

and the Russians have been accused of merciless bombing,

:13:53.:13:54.

is getting the bodies back even a priority?

:13:55.:13:58.

It is very important to get these bodies back because we

:13:59.:14:01.

And this is message for all the people around the world.

:14:02.:14:20.

As Syrians, we're looking to respect others.

:14:21.:14:21.

The issue of the pilots has been raised on the margins of this week's

:14:22.:14:25.

The initial rebel demand that the Syrian government release

:14:26.:14:28.

all 140,000 prisoners it holds is now giving way to a more

:14:29.:14:31.

realistic discussion about possible humanitarian access.

:14:32.:14:35.

The idea being that Russia might deliver the Assad government

:14:36.:14:37.

TRANSLATION: We welcome any international mediation,

:14:38.:14:47.

especially from the Turkish government, because they have stood

:14:48.:14:50.

We are very flexible, open to other possibilities,

:14:51.:14:56.

and we shall use all available methods to release the prisoners

:14:57.:14:59.

It is in trying to help broker a deal that Anasol Shami has

:15:00.:15:11.

gone to St Petersburg this week, and believes it could happen.

:15:12.:15:16.

Like the prisoners, which are not killers, you understand me?

:15:17.:15:23.

Some prisoners, they are political prisoners.

:15:24.:15:28.

With heavy fighting going on around Aleppo, neither side

:15:29.:15:30.

But the talks over the pilots' remains reveal how channels

:15:31.:15:37.

between Syrians remain open when it is in their mutual interest.

:15:38.:15:44.

And now to Newsnight's much-laurelled Olympics coverage,

:15:45.:15:47.

brought to you from a storied sofa not a million miles from here.

:15:48.:15:50.

In a case of life imitating art, the diving pool

:15:51.:15:52.

Stephen Smith's bathtub has been that colour for days.

:15:53.:16:06.

Throne of Games, analysis as clear as a Russian

:16:07.:16:08.

When you're preparing for an event of this size,

:16:09.:16:15.

it all comes down to two words - professionalism.

:16:16.:16:20.

The top athletes will tell you, if you can drag yourself out

:16:21.:16:23.

of bed even when it's the last thing you want to do,

:16:24.:16:26.

You know, it came as a horrifying surprise to me that it wasn't

:16:27.:16:48.

Are they allowed to punch each other?

:16:49.:16:54.

I think that is frowned on technically.

:16:55.:16:58.

The number of women's teams, British women's teams that

:16:59.:17:00.

are incomparably better, internationally speaking,

:17:01.:17:01.

Women are just better at stuff.

:17:02.:17:11.

And everybody goes, do women even box?

:17:12.:17:26.

Well, surely our friend Nicola Adams has changed perceptions there.

:17:27.:17:28.

She's one of the faces of Team GB, isn't she?

:17:29.:17:34.

Do you know what, judo, it looks like two kids fighting

:17:35.:17:37.

It looks like one of them has some Opal Fruits

:17:38.:17:40.

and the other one's like, gimme an Opal Fruit!

:17:41.:17:42.

I think that would give it some extra zing.

:17:43.:17:46.

We need to talk about the colour of the pool because...

:17:47.:17:49.

Did the guy forget to go out with the chlorine,

:17:50.:17:51.

is that what it is, the pool boy didn't show up?

:17:52.:17:57.

I would like to know when they have to start synchronising.

:17:58.:18:00.

Is it when they come out of the loo, when they open the door?

:18:01.:18:03.

I guess their outfits have to be the same.

:18:04.:18:06.

I mean, do they synchronise from the morning just

:18:07.:18:08.

What do you think would be the easiest

:18:09.:18:13.

Yeah, because the difference, the tolerances between competent

:18:14.:18:24.

The number 16 seed causing a major potential shock.

:18:25.:18:36.

Hang on a sec, I thought the other one just stabbed her.

:18:37.:18:39.

It will be interesting to see where she is...

:18:40.:18:53.

You've been watching Throne of Games.

:18:54.:19:07.

Trust me, no-one's getting paid more than the Prime Minister for this.

:19:08.:19:12.

Now - we thought we'd take a moment to talk about possibly the greatest

:19:13.:19:19.

Olympian of all time: the American swimmer Michael Phelps.

:19:20.:19:21.

More than one hundred countries have won fewer gold medals

:19:22.:19:26.

Sixteen years after becoming an Olympian -

:19:27.:19:34.

and ten years older than the age at which most swimmers peak,

:19:35.:19:37.

he took gold again last night for the 200m butterfly.

:19:38.:19:40.

Duncan Goodhew knows what it feels like to win gold -

:19:41.:19:44.

he triumphed in the 100 metres breaststroke in the

:19:45.:19:46.

Have you been glued to the set? I have, and I only won one gold medal,

:19:47.:19:59.

and when you look at what Michael Phelps is done, it is extraordinary.

:20:00.:20:02.

His achievements are almost superhuman. I grew up with Mark

:20:03.:20:07.

Spitz and we thought, how can anybody win more than nine gold

:20:08.:20:12.

medals, seven in one games? And now enter Michael Phelps. He seems to

:20:13.:20:17.

have broken through on so many different levels. And if you just

:20:18.:20:25.

play your mind back, you have one gold medal, the heats, the

:20:26.:20:30.

semifinals and finals. But if you want to get two, then they are going

:20:31.:20:34.

on in sequence, so you were going back to back. So how do you keep

:20:35.:20:40.

emotionally up, and not tire of it? When you are looking at him,

:20:41.:20:44.

ordinary think about him? It is just extraordinary. I interviewed him for

:20:45.:20:47.

the Financial Times when he was just breaking through, when he was 17

:20:48.:20:52.

years old. Both him and his coach were convinced that one gold medal

:20:53.:20:58.

would satisfy. One gold metal would satisfy most people! -- gold medal.

:20:59.:21:05.

For him, he knew he was talented and it was reflected in everybody around

:21:06.:21:09.

him. And he had that enormous support. Physically, he has changed

:21:10.:21:14.

massively in that time. It has been a real journey. He has changed his

:21:15.:21:21.

shape. Some archaeologists have found that gladiators grew longer

:21:22.:21:25.

arms. I think with Michael Phelps, he has grown more like a fish by the

:21:26.:21:28.

moment. He is extraordinary in the water. And he is not exactly Mr

:21:29.:21:38.

super healthy. He used to eat 10,000 calories a day. You have to swim

:21:39.:21:44.

that much. When you talk to Olympic athletes, they all accept that

:21:45.:21:47.

swimming is the most demanding of all sports. I think it is because

:21:48.:21:51.

you are lying down, you can wrap up the engine and keep going for

:21:52.:21:57.

longer. If you are running, your body is pounded, and you have to get

:21:58.:22:02.

the blood up through your legs. But he has obviously calibrated what he

:22:03.:22:07.

is doing as he is getting older. At 31, he is way beyond the age that

:22:08.:22:12.

most athletes and swimmers peak. How is he changing it? What is the game

:22:13.:22:16.

plan? For him he was obviously really upset to lose in the 200

:22:17.:22:20.

metre butterfly in London and that really rankles. Now he has got a

:22:21.:22:26.

young child and he has settled down a bit. From what I understand of his

:22:27.:22:32.

attitude, it has changed things massively over the last couple of

:22:33.:22:36.

years. And we are seeing the results of that. But also what he is doing,

:22:37.:22:42.

he is going for 100 metres and 200 metres, so it is, dare I say it, a

:22:43.:22:49.

quick blast without having to deal with the stamina. I am very much for

:22:50.:22:57.

the taps. Seriously, I think you have to look at him as the man. Can

:22:58.:23:03.

anybody beat this? It is going to be tough. But they did beat Mark Spitz.

:23:04.:23:06.

The relays make the difference for him. As an American, he has nine

:23:07.:23:13.

gold medals on the relay. Unless it is another very strong country, to

:23:14.:23:18.

win those kind of numbers again will be difficult. But never say

:23:19.:23:22.

impossible because another Michael Phelps will probably come along.

:23:23.:23:23.

Thank you very much indeed. Serial is the most popular

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and downloaded podcast of all time. It reinvented story telling

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for a new generation. The true story of the US murder

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conviction of seventeen year old Adnan Syed reached more

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than 500 million international Now lawyer and family

:23:34.:23:35.

friend Rabia Chaudry, who brought the story to Serial,

:23:36.:23:39.

and has worked to overturn his conviction, has written

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about the phenomenon. In case you didn't tune in,

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journalist Sarah Koenig explored the case of Adnan Syed,

:23:53.:23:57.

a 17-year-old American high school student of Pakistani

:23:58.:24:00.

origin who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend,

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Hai Min Lee, in 1999. This is a global cell link,

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prepaid calls from... ..an inmate at Maryland Correctional

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Facility. He was sentenced to

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life plus 30 years. The case rested on a 21 minute

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window, the time frame in which the prosecution alleges

:24:27.:24:31.

Adnan left school and But the podcast raised a number

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of questions about whether it was In particular, a key witness

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who could have served as an alibi And crucial cell phone evidence

:24:38.:24:41.

that was used to locate Adnan Syed at the scene of the murder

:24:42.:24:48.

was unreliable and not cross In June this year,

:24:49.:24:51.

a judge ordered a retrial. The world now waits

:24:52.:24:59.

for the next chapter of this I feel like I want to shoot myself

:25:00.:25:01.

if I hear someone else say, I don't think you did it

:25:02.:25:12.

because you're a nice guy. But I have heard people say that

:25:13.:25:15.

to me over the years, I would love them to say,

:25:16.:25:17.

I don't think you did it because I looked at the case and it

:25:18.:25:22.

looks kind of flimsy. Earlier, I spoke to lawyer

:25:23.:25:25.

Rabia Chaudry, a family friend and campaigner for the innocence

:25:26.:25:27.

of Adnan Syed, about her new book on the case which comes

:25:28.:25:30.

out in the UK tomorrow. I began by asking her

:25:31.:25:32.

about the impact Serial Cereal had a tremendous impact. We

:25:33.:25:46.

never would have gotten this far without the work they did, the

:25:47.:25:51.

storytelling they did. Without it, we would still be at a dead-end in

:25:52.:25:56.

the case. And what was the contribution made by the listeners,

:25:57.:26:00.

as they became more engrossed in the podcast? So many of the listeners

:26:01.:26:06.

did not just look at this as entertainment, they came out and

:26:07.:26:09.

supported us. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars

:26:10.:26:13.

because of listener donations. They have written thousands of letters to

:26:14.:26:17.

Adnan Syed and they followed the story after Serial. They wanted to

:26:18.:26:21.

know what else there was. They listened to other podcasts and

:26:22.:26:25.

continued to follow the case. And criminal investigators listened to

:26:26.:26:30.

the podcast as well. Yes, a lot of experts have come forward and

:26:31.:26:33.

offered their services. Obviously, my colleagues at Undisclosed our two

:26:34.:26:40.

lawyers who began investigating on their own. Unlike them, many other

:26:41.:26:45.

volunteers came forward and helped us continue the investigation. So

:26:46.:26:49.

the journalists working on Serial did not take a stand. They did not

:26:50.:26:54.

say innocent or guilty. What do you make of that? I cannot compel

:26:55.:27:00.

anybody to come to some kind of conclusion. Obviously my hope was

:27:01.:27:05.

that this would be somebody who would become an advocate for Adnan

:27:06.:27:09.

Syed, who would feel convinced and follow the story to that end, and

:27:10.:27:13.

look for the evidence to help exonerate him, feeling that he was

:27:14.:27:17.

innocent. When that did not happen, it is what it is. You do the best

:27:18.:27:22.

you can. And I think we have. The fact that Sarah Kane was not able to

:27:23.:27:25.

reach a conclusion is fine because many other people have taken up the

:27:26.:27:34.

case. -- Sira Koenig. In a sense, isn't it better that Serial did not

:27:35.:27:39.

take a stand because it allowed the audience to becoming grassed and

:27:40.:27:42.

engaged, and the position of the journalist was not clear. Is that

:27:43.:27:46.

not a better position to be an? Does that not hold more listeners? I

:27:47.:27:54.

think part of the draw of Serial was the sustained ambiguity. The mystery

:27:55.:28:00.

is what kept people there. But that does not necessarily mean...

:28:01.:28:02.

Undisclosed, the podcast we followed up with, it has more than 90 million

:28:03.:28:11.

listeneds. We have a clear stands. -- listens. I am not a journalist

:28:12.:28:16.

and I do not know what it means to have journalistic standards. Does it

:28:17.:28:20.

mean you have to always be neutral? I thought investigative journalism

:28:21.:28:22.

meant that sometimes you take a stand. I do not think the story

:28:23.:28:26.

would have been hurt if at the end they decided they would take a stand

:28:27.:28:30.

knowing what they know now. Very clearly in the book you made it

:28:31.:28:34.

clear that you have a low opinion of the state often and how they handle

:28:35.:28:38.

trials and there are many thousands of miscarriages of justice. Is there

:28:39.:28:41.

a danger that by focusing on this one, not for yourself personally but

:28:42.:28:46.

programmes focusing on one, it allows people to not think about the

:28:47.:28:51.

bigger picture? Actually, I think that is a great lesson from Serial,

:28:52.:28:56.

that people become interested in issues when there is a human story.

:28:57.:29:00.

When you talk about people and you say that there is systematic racism,

:29:01.:29:04.

they will say, OK, fine, too bad. But when you sell them -- tell them

:29:05.:29:09.

about a person, they are able to understand the issue and how it

:29:10.:29:14.

affects somebody. What has happened, hundreds of people have reached out

:29:15.:29:17.

to say that because of Adnan Syed's story, we were able to understand

:29:18.:29:21.

things we did not understand, how the criminal justice system works.

:29:22.:29:27.

We understand how bad lawyering can ruin a person's life. We understand

:29:28.:29:32.

bigotry. They are able to understand issues that otherwise might become

:29:33.:29:37.

intangible. I know you spoke with him recently. How is he now? He is

:29:38.:29:43.

doing well. We spoke about a week ago and ever since the new ruling in

:29:44.:29:47.

which his conviction was vacated, he has been positive. We expected the

:29:48.:29:53.

state to appeal it but he is patient and he has been patient for a long

:29:54.:29:55.

time. Thank you very much indeed.

:29:56.:30:00.

The funding crisis in Britain's accident and emergency units, negotiations to repatriate the bodies of five Russian helicopter crew and an exclusive serial podcast interview with Rabia Chaudry.


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