15/08/2016 Newsnight


With Evan Davis. How are Great Britain doing so well in Rio? A look at tensions in Ukraine. And is Joseph Chamberlain Theresa May's hero?

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The national anthem is ringing out across Rio this month.


After a summer of the strangest political


shenanigans, is sport making Britain look serious?


We're on the medal trail tonight, symbols of success


that have the power to lift a nation.


So how exactly have we


The woman in charge of UK Sport will tell us what


we're doing right and whether it can last.


The most unfriendly rivalry - in Donetsk and on the


Crimean peninsula, new tension between Russia and Ukraine.


We'll ask if Brexit Britain should be


trying to reset its relationship to Russia.


And it is this man, Joseph Chamberlain, the new Guru


He promised better housing, minimum wage, to crack down


He promised many things that Theresa May promised the


Are you one of those people who can't help poring over the medal


Taking delight in the fact that Britain, number two,


are ahead of China, for the moment at least?


It is certainly more fun when your country is doing well,


and for the third Games in a row, Britain is looking


It wasn't always like that - some of us can remember our typical


haul of three or four gold medals, the numbers we achieved at Munich


Five golds was a good Games haul - Barcelona in 1992, for example.


After the embarrassment of Atlanta, we went up one gear,


and then after Athens, we went up another.


Other countries have seen their fortunes shift,


too: Australia had no golds in Montreal but rose


Fortunes wax and wane, and fortunes are spent.


Given the capacity of the Olympics to instil feelings of national well


being, it's worth asking, what is it that makes


What have we done right, and is it going to last?


Let's start with some facts and analysis from Secunder Kermani.


We must be doing something right. Yesterday, we won five gold medals,


and there were more today. In Atlanta in 1996, Great Britain won


just one medal. Is this all simply the result of more and better


focused funding? In Sydney in 2000, Britain's Olympians received ?59


million in funding. They won 28 medals. That's around ?2.1 million


per medal. London 2012, Olympians received ?264 million and won 65


medals, just over ?4 million per medal. This time round,


they got ?274 million, and if, as looks likely, they reach their


target of 48 medals, that would work out at ?5.7 million per medal, and


it would be Britain's most successful overseas Olympics. I am


most surprised by how people are surprised by how well we're doing.


We have increased funding, good systems and structures in place, and


in the past, we went to the Olympic Games would hope rather than


expectation. Given the investment we have made in the last 20 years so,


we can expect rather than hope. You might have thought that the bigger


and richer a is, automatically the more medals it gets. This graph


compares total medals won in 2012 with GDP full stop America, for


example, lots of money, lots of medals. But it's not quite that


straightforward. India, with a big economy, underperforms massively,


while Cuba does better than you would expect. Britain is above the


line, which means it did well. With population, the correlation is even


bleaker. Outliers like India, massive population but few medals.


Cuba, small population but many medals. These are more pronounced.


So how do you explain these results? It might come down to the things


such as the health of the population, Government policy,


cultural importance of sport and other factors. You have to have the


will and commitment to do that. In India, they have a vast population,


which would presumably generate hundreds of thousands of Olympic


athlete if the nation were really committed to developing them, but


they are just not. Addicting the Olympics and understanding results


has become a bit of an obsession. This formula was formulated by


German academics. It includes GDP, whether there is a centralised


economy, and whether the population is mainly Muslim, which can affect


how many female athletes there are. A colleague of mine at the


University of Colorado carried out an exercise when he compared the


prediction of the models. The model predicted pretty much everything. It


is hard to make like-for-like comparisons between competing


nations and their level of funding, but Britain has been spending more


than its other less successful rivals. For now, though, few will


complain. It is worth saying, by the way,


that there has been medal inflation: there are a lot more events


in the Olympics these days. So there are 306 gold


medals this year. Liz Nicholl is the Chief Executive


of UK Sport and she joins Lovely to speak to you, and


congratulations on what is going on over there. On the target, the 48,


we will bust through that, won't we? Are you thinking it is possible


Britain will outperform its London 2012 performance? The target, as you


said, is at least 48. And yes, we are on track to achieve that over


the coming days. Will we reach 66? Who knows? We know there is a good


number of possible medal opportunities over the next week,


and we will have to see where we get to. There is very little... The


space between a fourth and a third and a second and a first is minute,


so we will have to see how it plays out here in 30. It is costing us,


depending on how many medals we end up with, around ?5 million of


investment per medal, isn't it? Do you think about those figures, what


it costs to get one in swimming and one in hockey? Do you work that way


in working out the funding allocation? We work it out by


identifying the athletes that have the potential to deliver medals in


the Olympic Games environment, and then the sport developed a strategy,


and we call that a what it takes to win strategy. It is omitted to us at


UK Sport for review, and that will include what it takes to surround an


athlete with world-class coaching, sports science, sports medicine,


competition opportunities, innovation work where appropriate,


and alongside that strategy, like in any business, we have a what it


costs to win assessment. Each sport has unique check the wood features,


and we have done a lot of work to prepare for our big Tokyo investment


in December. My understanding was, which you haven't talked about, that


we have the most brutal system of the big countries in terms of


punishing sport that don't do very well, taking money away, and giving


it to spot that don't do so well, which a lot of people say is


perverse because you are taking money from the ones that need it. Is


that a big part of it - the carrot and the stick? No, there is no


punishment and no reward. We invite hast -- reinvest National Lottery


funding. Our aim is to support every athlete with medal potential in any


Olympic sports that are competing at the games, so it is a fair system


that gives the opportunity to every athlete of equal talent. If they


have the talent to deliver a medal, we support them. We are always


investing in future potential, so we are not punishing past performances


if they were not as successful as they should have been. We are


investing in future potential of athletes. We have invested


significantly in Rio, and our plan is to invest in Tokyo. Is it


possible, particularly looking at our performance, because you put in


a lot more money and got more medals, but everyone is not going to


start doing what we are doing. We are getting into an arms race. We


will have to spend ?10 million per medal next time. Is that something


that could happen? No, I think that we need to be very smart about the


way that we invest the National Lottery and Government exchequer


funding in the right athletes and the right sports for the right


reasons. A lot of other countries are copying our system here, which


has been incredibly successful, as you can see from the performances


and results to date here in Rio. So, yes, there will be other countries


investing, competition will get stronger, the spread of medals will


go wider across more nations as other countries actually look to try


to copy the successful system we have created here. You know there is


a bit of a pattern to host nations, is in their? They do well in the


games before the one-day house, they do fantastically well in the one-day


host and then there is a depreciation effect where it tails


off. Argue confident that we can buck that trend? Do you think we


will have a similar target in Tokyo? Might we expect 50 or more medals in


Tokyo? I am confident that with the support of the National Lottery


players, with the continued support of Government, that we can live


sustained success with British athletes in the Olympic and


Paralympic games environment. I'm confident that, in fact, we can


build on... You are right - before the home games, there is an uplift


because there is a stronger strategic focus on trying to deliver


something that will make the nation proud. We saw the impact of that in


Beijing. We saw then the full benefit in London. And since then,


the athletes that we have funded have been delivering volunteer days


to inspire the next generation, so that special impact of success that


we felt in London, that we are feeling now from the performances


here, is also giving added value to the country, to the nation, by


inspiring the next generation of talent to come through with an


ambition to achieve great things in the Olympic environment. Let's hope


so. Liz Nicholl, thank you very much indeed. Enjoy the evening air.


The festering tensions between Ukraine and Russia have


In the last few days, the Russians have claimed that


Ukraine orchestrated some kind of terrorist attack on Crimea that


killed a Russian soldier and security officer.


But both sides appear to be putting their military on alert.


Let's talk to Tom Burridge, who is in Kiev.


Tom, you have been to the unrecognised border between Crimea


and Ukraine. What is happening there? Essentially, Ukrainians


crossed the border, hit the beaches, see family friends, pretty much


business as usual this weekend, a relaxed atmosphere at odds with the


tension we have seen between Moscow and Kiev in recent days. We saw no


evidence of a Ukrainian military build-up in the region, even driving


around, which tallies with the idea and a belief of most people that


some sort of military incursion from the south by Russia is unlikely, and


this tension is more likely to do with the wider Ukrainian - Russian


relations. The Russians said there was some kind of incident and a


Russian soldier was killed, so what is the truth of it? What we know


about what actually happened? It is hard to answer. With Russian


involvement and strategy vis-a-vis Ukraine, we saw it with the


annexation in 2014, the line between fact and fiction is often blurred


and it makes it harder for western countries to respond with their own


strategy. We know that around the time of this alleged plot, there was


some incident, some reports of firing on the administrative border


between Crimea and southern Ukraine, but one element of the Russian


account of events, if you like, doesn't seem to stack up and stop


the Russians said there was an artillery bombardment by the


Ukrainians into Crimea just around the time, just after, basically. In


this day and age, you would expect there to be some video evidence, and


we have not seen that so far. We interviewed the brother of one of


the Eurocrat is who is being detailed -- Ukrainians who is being


detained and accused of being a plotter, creeping into Crimea to


carry out this alleged attack. On the face of it, he doesn't seem to


have the profile of a special Ops soldier. In the words of these


brother, he was overweight, could hardly run 100 metres without being


out of breath. Until recently, he was a minibus driver at a nuclear


power plant 150 miles from Crimea, and on the face of it, his brother


's account, his animosity and his claim that his brother is a victim


of a bigger political picture seems genuine. Tom, thank you very much.


Well, there is basically one big strategic choice in foreign policy:


It is a question that's at the heart of our relationship with Russia.


Remember that Britain is looking for new post-Brexit relationships.


And remember, too, we no longer have the energy independence


We're joined by Sir Tony Brenton, former British Ambassador to Russia,


and Nancy Soderberg, who was Deputy National Security


Good evening to you both. Nancy Soderberg, do you think this is a


time for conciliation or toughness in relation to Russia? Vladimir


Putin all now understands toughness. The United States has gone through


this, we tried a reset and it didn't work. He is looking for a fight and


we need to make sure he does not get another one in Georgia or Ukraine. I


think he is trying to fabricate incidents and make up the mess, the


UK is moving troops and making it clear we will defend our friends and


that's the only message she will understand. I don't entirely agree.


Nancy is right we need to be on our guard and not offer the Russians any


opportunities to exploit any disagreements. But over the last


three years we have been sliding rapidly towards people are


describing as a new Cold War. Those of us who remember the old Cold War


will remember it was fantastically expensive and occasionally very


dangerous and it seems to me we need to look for ways to stop that slide,


looking for ways of cooperating with Russia where we can. Syria is an


obvious example, the United States is already finding ways to work with


the Russians to help get the situation under control. I don't


think you will disagree with that Nancy Soderberg? We obviously need


to Russia on our strategic challenges not just in Syria but


also Iran, they continue to support our arms control agreements in those


pictures but on territorial disputes and brute force against not only


their own population but some of their neighbours I think we need to


stand up to that. Of course I am a diplomat as well and believe in


diplomacy but I think with Russia he does not understand consolatory


messages and will take every and she can. We are having this debate in


the United States with our own presidential candidate on the


Republican side questioning Nato and are use of nuclear weapons. I think


any source of weakness which would come from the United States would be


dangerous for Britain and all our allies in that region. You will


agree where cooperation is useful we should cooperate but it's on the


other things, it is how you can overlook the fact how the Russian


state appeared to be involved in the assassination of a British citizen,


they invaded Crimea, took it from a sovereign nation. That is all true,


Russia is a pretty difficult international customer. But it's


also true that Russia is not the great threat which it has been


presented as in Washington and London. It's important to remember


at that Russia spends on its defence about one tenth of what we in need


to do. It has at no economy about one 20th the size of us. It sees


itself as threatened by us. You are any classic situation where each


side sea itself threatened by the other and you need to look for ways


to get those false impressions on both sides down. A quick answer on


that Nancy Soderberg? It is Russia creating false impressions by saying


it had to go to the Ukrainian defence. We have to look at areas of


cooperation but Russia is a very dangerous regional power, it's no


longer a superpower so we are not headed towards a new Cold War but we


are headed towards a possibility of not having a partner in Russia and


having a regional, very weak governmental lashing out in a


dangerous way. We need to try and contain them as we did in the Soviet


Union but on a much smaller scale. This president is not one who will


understand anything but strength from Nato and it's important to


convey that. You will not agree on that point but let asked if Brexit


makes a difference, does it mean we need to Russia as a friend, is it


time for a re-set? I don't think Brexit makes a huge difference, at


the harder end of that, our position on this I understand will not change


very quickly and from the EU point of view, one thing we have brought


to their party has been our foreign policy and defence expertise and I


am sure they will want to maintain those links as strongly as they can.


Nancy Soderberg I am guessing you will worry about the effects of


Brexit, Britain was pulling the UK towards your position? -- pulling


the EU to urge position? I think it's a mistake for the UK to pull


out of the EU, I think a stronger EU is in everyone's interest. I can


guarantee Vladimir Putin is loving this debate about watching Europe


fall apart amongst itself over no big issue. I think it's unfortunate,


I think it is survivable but it doesn't help put a unified front


against Russia when the biggest foreign policy power, the most


respected part of the EU, frankly, Leeds. That's not good for anyone.


Nancy Soderberg, Sir Tony Brenton, thank you very much.


Theresa May has been Prime Minister for over a month now,


but it still doesn't feel like we really know


Early days, but maybe we have a clue as to her thinking in the fact that


on the steps of Downing Street she name-checked Joseph Chamberlain,


a politician who helped define modern Conservatism.


He wasn't really a Conservative at all.


He was a radical and a liberal who built his career by building


Lewis Goodall reports on Joseph Chamberlain


In 30 years, Birmingham grew into a dirty,


The transformation that was to come was more astonishing.


Elegant thoroughfares, sewers, clean water,


beautiful civic buildings like the law courts


One man is responsible for this - Theresa May's new lodestar.


You could say that Joseph Chamberlain


was Britain's first truly modern political


political organiser, someone who was truly transformative.


He turned Birmingham from being just a quiet,


provincial backwater into one of the most advanced and progressive


Joseph Chamberlain became mayor of the city


This Victorian chameleon was a radical liberal, a guardian of


the working class, and a godfather of municipal conservatism, and he's


The political hero of one Nick Timothy, Theresa May's


chief of staff and most trusted adviser, is none other than


And who should be mentioned in her first policy speech


From Robert Peel to Lady Thatcher, from Joseph Chamberlain to Winston


Churchill, throughout history, it has been the Conservative Party's


role to rise to the occasion and to take on the vested interests before


Listen to the kind of language she uses -


We don't just believe in individualism


We value the role that only the state can play.


Chamberlain took the waterworks and gas supply


into city ownership and disease fell.


This was local nationalisation, and the profits were


This was the Civic Gospel, that famous Victorian morality.


The Civic Gospel was born of a religious idea.


Chamberlain was a Unitarian and a nonconformist.


His approach terrified the middle classes of the


day, who saw him as a gas and water socialist.


We have not the slightest intention of making profit, he said.


We shall get our profit in the comfort and health of our


I think it was Chamberlain's business sense to take


that risk, to see that there was potential that they could gain


profit, and that that profit could fund


other ventures, such as the


building of the museum and art gallery which we are standing in


The university is one of Chamberlain's most abiding legacies.


It represents the power of civic pride that made


Birmingham the first of


In the shadow of the old Joe clock tower, Malcolm Dick explains


Chamberlain's primary contribution to Conservative history - the appeal


We can see him emphasising a social reform


strand, at least in as far as linking working-class aspirations,


social and economic aspirations, with the state.


And a tradition of strong local authorities versus a


Chamberlain began life as a liberal, but split over home-rule, founding


Then he took them into the Conservative Party.


He believed in the union and in


policies that appealed to the working class.


But Chamberlain was also an avowed imperialist.


He was colonial secretary and progenitor of the


He wanted the Empire to be a single trade block.


He designed Corporation Street, a Parisian-style


boulevard running through Birmingham to sell its wares.


And the taxes on those goods would be


Imperialism was probably his fatal mistake, but a politically


He promised better housing, old-age pensions, the


minimum wage, to crack down on immigration.


things that Theresa May promised the day.


It is the only industrial city where the


Conservative Party has survived in significant numbers.


A strong presence in the council chamber


Their local leader relishes a Tory shift


I think we will see a focus on an industrial


Theresa May talked about the importance of


making sure that key industries aren't taken out of the country.


And I think we will see some changes on


devolution, a speeding up of the devolving


strings to allow cities to really make the best deal they can.


Theresa May has been in politics for 30


years, and Home Secretary for the last six, yet


we know surprisingly little about her political beliefs.


Chamberlain may well be her lodestar, and if he is, the


Conservatives are in for a bit of a shock,


strand of conservatism and Conservative thought that would mark


the biggest departure for the party since 1979.


Churchill said of Chamberlain that he was a politician


If Theresa May is serious in reawakening this


strand of thinking, she may well yet manage the same.


Back to the Olympics now, and time to join one of the country's


Not Stephen Smith, needless to say, but the evergreen former Olympics


and Match of the Day commentator, Barry Davies.


Will Stephen Smith complete his Olympic marathon?


Oh, you can really feel it in the pelotons.


Just getting into the spirit after Jason Kenny and Laura Trott,


It was for me, I didn't get off the couch until four.


I must say it's an absolute treat to have a proper


I think it's exhilarating stuff, we're doing far better


I wonder if I'm really setting the right tone sitting on a sofa


Is this what Lord Reith had in mind when he began sports coverage?


COMMENTATOR: Into the finishing straight, Jason Kenny has got this


and Jason Kenny wins the gold medal for the second time!


You half expect the lead guy to throw some tacks over


COMMENTATOR: It is gold medal number five.


And Max Whitlock has gone ahead of Louis Smith.


Do these guys basically dislike each other?


They can't help but be sore and jealous if things don't


I mean, I know the Americans like to say we are only


going for gold but if you get a medal you have done darn well.


The contrast this summer between the Olympians


with the performance of the England team at Euro 2016.


The major difference is that these guys, certainly


in their first Olympics, have to do something


They are not making money at an early stage of their lives.


Some young footballers are making a lot of money for their potential,


Can you remember some Olympic moment, maybe you had an iffy tummy,


I did an Olympic Games, doing the opening


By making sure you are prepared for the disaster.


Do you wish you were out there this time?


Talking to you is worth probably a copper.


It's always good to see a sportsman working hard.


At the height of his game, yeah.


But if you're an older viewer and you have a funny feeling


that the Olympic women's gymnastics are a little bit more...


Well, more everything than you remember from your youth,


we leave you with this rather clever comparison made by the music channel


MTV which suggests that you're absolutely right.


Hello. After a day in which we saw sunny skies from Shetland to the


Channel Islands, a fine start to Tuesday morning. Things will be on


the cool side in the countryside but quickly warming up as blue skies for


most of the day, some cloud towards eastern coasts. For most, sunny


skies throughout. Northern is


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