16/08/2016 Newsnight


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

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For many he was the most annoying man in the country.


But he was also one of the most dangerous.


But alongside Choudary, another man was convicted.


Less flamboyant in the media, arguably more of a threat.


We have an interview with him, from earlier this year.


This term radicalising, you need to define it.


Is Jeremy Corbyn radicalising the Labour Party, for example?


By the time this airs, you might be in jail.


Yearn for the days of the old British Rail?


This is the Night Mail crossing the border, bringing the cheque


Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,


the shop at the corner and the girl next door.


Jeremy Corbyn wants the trains back in public ownership.


We'll ask his transport spokesman if that's a good idea.


And Ainsley Harriet clambers off our Throne of Games to get


For years, he enjoyed needling everyone with his silly


pronouncements, that Buckingham Palace will become


But Anjem Choudary was not just a harmless controversialist -


he spread hate for two decades, attempted to radicalise others


and for some of that period invited them to join so-called


Islamic State, an organisation proscribed under the


He could now be handed a maximum jail sentence of ten years.


But, while Choudary is very well known, alongside him was another


character, Mizanur Rahman, a character who had also done a lot


to attract vulnerable minds to jihad.


The police said that Rahman and Choudary had stayed just


within the law for many years, but when they pledged an oath


of allegiance to IS, they had stepped over a line


Talk a bit about Anjem Choudary and when he came from. He was not always


part of the Islamist scene, he grew up in London and when he went to


university he reportedly drank alcohol and had girlfriends. But


after qualifying as a solicitor he helped to found a radical group


outward jackaroo which was subsequently banned. It kept


changing its name all the time to evade the attention of the


authorities. And Anjem Choudary became a source of frustration to


the authorities who thought he was dangerous but not quite ever


breaking the law. Until now. Because today restrictions in court were


lifted allowing us to reveal that three weeks ago he was convicted of


having pledged support online to Isis and having encouraged in his


videos others to support and join the group. This is a significant


moment, the general of Anjem Choudary, he has linked -- been


linked to 100 British jihadis. The followers for example of his when


fourth in the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. We know other


followers of his way involved in 2010 plot to blow up the London


stock exchange. Not as Tierney UK, a large number of people have gone to


Syria for example, some quite high profile like one who took his young


family to Syria. And another killed in a drone strike in Syria last


year. Others whose names have never come into the public domain. Once I


logged off, a follower from north London who went out to Syria. And


another one of his followers to the right of the screen, and I


understand that he is now dead. That is Anjem Choudary, and also was this


other guy and most people will not have heard of him I think.


Absolutely, there is a clique around Anjem Choudary, some of them have


higher profiles. His co-defendant Mizanur Rahman in my view was just


as significant and perhaps even more so than Anjem Choudary when it comes


to the Syrian conflict. How is the campaign to move Britain


over to sharia law coming along? Anjem Choudary attracted


headlines but amongst jihadi circles he gradually


became less significant. In recent years it was his


right-hand man, Mizanur Rahman, Rahman had spent four years in jail


already for soliciting murder For Islam to prevail,


for sharia to be implemented, to support the state, to help,


it is not just about financing. Just like Anjem Choudary,


Mizanur Rahman was someone that provided the theological basis


for people to go But what was different,


what sets him apart from someone like Anjem Choudary is the fact


that he was very willing and active in engaging directly


with people over social media, Giving direct advice,


theological advice. In January whilst he was still


on bail, I met Rahman. Like Anjem Choudary,


he has always been someone These terms, radicalising,


you need to define it. Is Jeremy Corbyn radicalising


the Labour Party for example? If you mean am I debating people


and convincing people that my ideas might be correct, well,


that's what you do in a debate. Even if those ideas at times


break the law? We have already established


that we stay within At times they break


the law. By the time this airs,


you might be in jail. Because there is a political system


in place which doesn't really Rahman tried to be careful


in his language. This was an exchange of text


messages between him Choudhury says to Rahman,


"open support for Isis or Jabhat Rahman replies, "maybe condemning


Shia and the Free Syria Army and a general call for


sharia in Syria without The declaration of a caliphate


by Isis pushed Rahman towards more explicit support,


but without a passport, One Twitter exchange he had


with a young American Muslim He is asked if preaching is more


important than helping He replies, preaching is important,


but it's also obligatory A few months later, the American


was arrested at an airport And the concept of a Khilafah


is 1400 years old. You know, someone does not have one


twitter conversation and they decide to change their whole


life based on one tweet. Rahman insisted in court


to that his talks were about general There is a network around these


people. What does the conviction of these paired mean for that network?


Well when they were arrested in September 2014, at the time the


authorities I think are desperate to crack this network, not just in the


UK but have franchises across Europe, Belgium, Holland and


Denmark. They were worried about the possibility of attacks here and


subsequently with this conviction, the network has been significantly


disrupted. We have seen large numbers of the network who have


already gone to Syria. And I can reveal that recently quite a large


number of the followers of Anjem Choudary have been placed on


terrorism prevention orders and they're under curfews and restricted


access. For headline writers,


the words rail and misery seem to flow on to the page together,


like fat and cat or rip and off. And today, there are those headlines


of rail misery again - regulated train fares


are going up, we learned this The usual understandable


anger erupted, what with And from the Labour leader,


a potential solution. He called it Transport Tuesday -


jumping on the Super Saturday bandwagon perhaps -


and the solution he promised was public ownership


of the railways. There is one specific pledge: I'll


quote it to you, from "The plans could see rail passengers


save 10 per cent off So the big question is,


complain as we might about our trains, would public


ownership be a solution or a distraction to the problems


of running a railway. We'll talk to Labour's transport


spokesman shortly but first, Chris Cook looks at what


nationalisation might mean. The idea of allowing companies


to run train services was simple - in return for making a profit,


private investors would take some risk off the taxpayer,


encourage innovation, and use their balance


sheet to invest. The misery of Southern Rail


is the latest chapter in a long Industrial action, cancelled


and overcrowded trains, and growing political


support for renationalisation. The best way is for the public


to run it, as the public ran the East Coast Mainline,


at a profit. This is not a sensible way


of running a public railway system which we have all paid


for through huge levels of public investment in the track


and signalling systems. Today we learned that


fares will rise by 1.9% in January in Great Britain,


while consumer price And research by trade unions


suggests rail fares have increased at double the speed


of wages since 2010. Many of the problems we have


with our dysfunctional privatised system as it stands at the moment


is precisely that the fragmentation and of course the cost of that,


which means that instead of our fares going to invest


in the rail system, instead they are going out into the hands


of private shareholders. The underlying problem


is that our railway Back in 2011, an official report


implied a journey that would cost around ?1.20 in fare and public


subsidy in other European countries So, our fares in 2011 were about 30%


higher than those of our peers. The most important reason


why our rail is so important The flip side of our very


beautiful Victorian stations is we have a lot of Victorian rail,


which is expensive We are also, as a country,


tending to run a lot more services with relatively


few passengers on them, and that, too, boosts our


underlying cost base. Those unusually high costs mainly


relate to Network Rail, which runs the track,


and that's already nationalised. The private train operating


companies, they made over ?200 million of profit last year,


but that money would only fund Advocates for franchising see that


as a price worth paying There is one big number


that matters most. Under British Rail, numbers using


the railways consistently fell. Since 1995 when it was privatised,


journeys have doubled in just 20 years, but I think that franchising


has a lot of problems. It's not necessarily a natural


way to run railways. All across the world,


including here, companies build their railways up,


track and train together. Separating them as we do,


forcing them to be separate, Southern's recent woes may be


another cause for pause. In this case, a private company


doesn't actually have that much They are just being paid a fee


to administer the railway Right now, it strikes me


that we are getting We have the privatised system


plus a government that What we would have I think


if the company were properly in public hands, and I don't just


mean the state, we could have more imaginative systems of mutuals,


local authorities getting more involved, but if it were in public


hands, for a start, the contract would be fully public


so we could see what the terms were, and it would be fully accountable


to the public as well. Would a nationalised


rail system necessarily Governments are always


struggling to contain the cost They are always under pressure


to spend more on education. And the experience of British Rail


suggests that in that context, it is very hard to politically make


the case for spending Britain certainly botched


the franchising of its rail services, and we have all paid


the price, but renationalisation Shortly before coming on air, I


spoke to Andy Mangan on from Labour. He is the Shadow Transport


Secretary, and asked how his party would cut 10% from rail fares. It


would come from the savings that are to be achieved by getting out of


this treble franchising system that leaks so much money out of the


system. If we can end that, we have a fund available to deliver those


sorts of cuts. It is something in the order of ?1.2 billion going out


of the system on an annual basis. You say that, but I am looking at


the profits made by those companies. It is not a particularly profitable


business. Total profit of ?220 million in 2014-15. Passenger


revenue is getting on for ?9 billion. One is diddly squat, one is


a large number. If those operating costs were removed by having so many


operators in the system, we have ridiculous multiplicity of providers


in our country. There are so many players in the railway system that


costs escalate. You're going to have a Western Railway, an East Coast, a


Southern, they will still be there. That's right, but at the moment we


have a subsidy system going straight into these companies, often to


Germany, to France, all across the European Union. We are subsidising


some of them, but we make money from some of them. The profits which leak


out are approximately 2.5% of passenger revenues. You cannot cut


rail fares by 10%. You still have 7.5% to find. Research that the TUC


have conducted shows that millions can be taken out of the system on an


annual basis by changing to directly operated railways. Look at what


happened with East Coast, ?1 billion was returned to the Treasury over


the duration of that franchise. The TUC report makes estimates of these


interface cost, one company having to deal with another and work out


whose fault it was that the train was rape. The McNulty report said


that much more can be gained by improving the performance of the


current system rather than embarking on a costly programme of


renationalisation of which is unlikely to lead to an overall


reduction in costs. So, McNulty doesn't think that there is a big


cost saving to be found. But it isn't an expensive process if you


are just allowing franchises to get to them natural termination point


and not be renewed. There are no acquisition costs involved in the


process if they follow one after the other. We would be saving ourselves


fortunate over the term. What might you would agree that this comprises


a top-down reorganisation of the railways, wouldn't you? You want to


describe it that way. Because you have franchises regularly coming up


renewal, it is gradual. It is a top-down reorganisation. Why can't


we have the confidence to do what has been done in Germany and France,


and in Holland? They are content to have their infrastructure and their


operators being under state control. They are extracting value in this


country and taking it back over there. They are taking out a tiny


proportion, 2.5%. But that is a lot of money. The 10% cut in rail fares


is reliant on making hundreds of millions of pounds of savings which


the guy who's estimate of the savings you are quoting does not


believe our there to be made. You have different commentators coming


up with different figures. You quoted the TUC, who are quoting


McNulty, and McNulty says you cannot make those savings. I respectfully


disagree. There are people like Southern who are getting millions of


pounds by way of salaries and bonuses for running the most


appalling service. We hand over ?1.1 billion to that company and it


doesn't matter what happens in terms of the service they provide, they


get paid, come rain or shine. It is unacceptable. In that respect, you


make an interesting point, because is the truth about not that this


railway system in our country is government-controlled already?


Network Rail is part of the public sector. Southern, the Government


gets all of the revenue from the passengers in the case of that


franchise. It instructs Southern on how to manage the service. It has


told Southern to stick to its rules on driverless trains. It is a public


ownership of the railway. Not at all. They are given that money


whether they perform well or indifferently. As we have just seen,


they have taken 341 trains off per day. At the Government's decision.


That is a Government decision, not a Southern one. They should be told to


get things back in order, then. It is a distraction, the discussion


about driverless trains. You want the Government have more say in the


well but clearly not the Conservative Government because you


say they do not run Southern very well. If your team runs the


railways, will you run it better than you run the Labour Party? It is


about having the freedom to do what was done by directly operated


railways between 2009 and 2014, and look at the success they made of the


East Coast service. The highest rate of customer satisfaction, good


industrial relations, a very successful service, so it is freeing


us up from this rigour of trying to produce dividends and profits to


third parties and foreign state-owned companies. Some will say


this is ideological. Do you believe that BT should be brought into


public ownership as well? That is not my view. Do you think it was


right to privatise it? In the fullness of time, I think all of


these services can be looked at. Why are we looking at six companies


providing energy when what people want is reliable energy as cheap as


possible? They don't want to be in competition and trying to switch


providers. They simply want to have a good service, reliable and


affordable. At the moment, those things don't exist. We have been a


big can of worms there. Andy McDonald, thank you very much.


On this programme, we first posed the question, what does


Brexit actually mean, back on October 28th last year.


We didn't manage to get an answer then, and even though a lot of water


has passed under the bridge since, it's fair to say we still don't


Last year, we took a first look at some of the popular options:


Norway and Switzerland for example, and these were much discussed


But we missed one then, and it hasn't had much pick up


OK, so it is not a very big country, but like Norway, it's


in the European Economic Area - unlike Norway, it has restrictions


Helen Thomas is in the principality to see if its status could possibly


This is Liechtenstein's idea of how to celebrate a national holiday.


A garden party, the Royal Family on display, a rather familiar tune.


And of course, a hefty dose of national pride.


Liechtenstein clearly has a lot to recommend it.


Glorious weather, beautiful scenery, and quite a catchy national anthem.


But from the UK's point of view, the country also has


Liechtenstein, like Norway, is part of the single market


through its membership of the European Economic Area.


But the country also has a tightly controlled quota


Now, that is a combination that some in Europe claim is impossible,


that the four freedoms of people, goods, capital and services


An example to point to as the UK starts the long and complicated


process of extricating itself from the EU?


There's an important thing I think is, it's not specifically


What they're doing is adopting what are known technically


as safeguard measures which then brought them a treaty change.


But it doesn't just apply to Liechtenstein.


This is not specifically a Liechtenstein solution.


And when the EEA was first set up there were actually four countries


which took advantage of these provisions.


There are some subtle differences between Liechtenstein and the UK.


The UK's population is about 1750 times larger.


And Liechtenstein is about half the size of the Isle of Wight.


So you see, it's really a small country, and for that,


Without control, we have a lot of people, a lot of aliens


in Liechtenstein and that would be a big problem for Liechtenstein.


So it's not clear that the UK will get an invitation


It's starting from a different position and that's one reason


to question whether the model would work for the UK.


It doesn't set a legal precedent given that the provisions under


which Liechtenstein has been able to negotiate their situation is one


under the EEA agreement of which the UK is not yet a member.


The Prime Minister doesn't think the same deal will be on offer.


Yeah, I think nowadays it would be almost impossible for Liechtenstein


But I think when we would today negotiate such a solution,


And you see the discussions in Switzerland, also in the UK,


free movement is one of the pillars of the EU.


And it's quite difficult to get that special situation.


The mechanics of how the UK could replicate Liechtenstein's


We would need to join both the European Free Trade


Other members could block that happening.


But some in Liechtenstein think the UK has scope to negotiate.


of the EEA or yet another concept, is open.


And I would think that with this Brexit and the pressure from other


EU countries, that this immigration issue has to be changed.


And it can only be solved with changes.


With that, I think that plays into the hands of Britain.


Embracing Liechtenstein's model wholesale may prove complicated.


But its unique situation could prove an illuminating example.


The UK will be looking for any chance to ensure negotiations


While some of you have been contemplating what the offspring of


Laura Trott and Jason Kenny could achieve in future Olympics, we have


been looking at matters closer to home.


I say sofa, it's more like a patchwork quilt of


I'm so glad the Olympics is only once every four


I've been watching you night after night,


and you're starting to look a little bit pasty.


Because you're not eating the right things.


A little coconut milk going in there.


If you can't get yak, go straight to coconut.


It's so much better when you've cooked it yourself.


In the old days, she'd have missed the tape.


Because his upper body is somewhere across the line.


Should this be track, or should this be in


There's a lot of diving going on here, isn't


He looks like he's just fallen out of a


Is this speeded up, or is this normal?


People say, oh you can get up and watch it in the morning.


If it was me, I'd have the old waistband up here.


Well, partly that, but you're not allowed to


Would you like your kids to box, though?


Mind you, you might have to spar with them.


Have you had any problems with the hips?


Well that's great, come on, I'll show you this wonderful...


You've been watching Stephen Smith's Throne of Games.


And you wonder why Julian Fellowes has taken


Don't worry, there will be another programme later today! Good morning!


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