18/08/2016 Newsnight


Could one iconic image of an injured Syrian boy help prevent further needless deaths? Plus the Garden Bridge row, Rod Liddle on Labour and Steve Smith's Olympics.

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Tens of thousands of children have died horrific deaths


Can this desolate image of Omran Daqneesh, who miraculously


survived an air strike, help prevent further


I'll be asking our own Lyse Doucet, the International Rescue Committee,


and a war photographer in the Middle East.


Vote Labour to stay in the European Union and to have


The columnist, Rod Liddle, on why Labour holds no appeal


And who better to ask whether these have been a vintage


Oh, my God, we had the St John Ambulance


You might not know his name, but you will most likely know


what five-year-old Omran Daqneesh looks like - the traumatised,


bloodied and almost resigned looking little boy in the ambulance


after an air strike on a rebel-held neighbourhood


He stares at the camera as if to say - this is what is happening


to thousands of children because adults are making


The image has been viewed by millions,


but will it have any impact on the conflict in Syria?


Here's Secunder Kermani and his piece features


On average, one Syrian child has died every two hours for the past


five years. Most will never make the front pages of newspapers. But even


amongst the international weariness that is greeting the Syrian


conflict, these images from Aleppo still have the capacity to shock.


Five-year-old, Omran Daqneesh, is filmed by activists as he's rescued


from the rubble after an air strike on a rebel-held part of the city.


He is placed alone in the back of the ambulance. Despite the


devastation he's witnessed, he doesn't shout and scream, but


silently wipes his eyes. It's an awful image and it's gone around the


world, but it's far from unusual. Omran is very lucky because


the camera took the picture of him, but most of the kids


they were killed without any trace. They just pass away


and no-one knows them. Omran is very lucky because


the camera took the picture of him, Every day, when we go


to the locations, when we go to the bombing, most of the victims


are kids, are babies, The sign this boy is holding up


alongside a picture says, "save me" Activists have been trying to draw


the attention to the children's plight in Syria they have tried to


capitalise on the game pokeman Go. 400,000 people have been killed in


the conflict, it's believed. Some reports estimate that includes


20,000 children. The vast majority have been killed by the Assad


regime. Through its use of air strikes.


A meeting was cut short in frustration of the failure to allow


aid into the besieged areas. No humanitarian aid is reaching


anywhere in Syria. The Russians will allow a 4 #-hours truce next week.


Who would account against more terrible images appearing on you are


our scenes. The picture is being compared to the boy drowned in the


Mediterranean fleeing Syria. How much of a turning point in the


refugee crisis was that in the end? Here's one of the images being


shared online of the two of them together.


Omran Daqneesh is out of hospital now.


We're joined by Muhammed Muheisen, Associated Press Chief Photographer


for the Middle East and by Sanj Srikanthan,


the Director of Humanitarian Policy for the International Rescue


First, our chief international correspondent, Lyse Ducet.


This comes at a critical moment for Syria. What do you think? There is


only months left before Secretary of State John Kerry has to say - I did


my best, but I didn't succeed. He is giving it another push. It has been


months now that he has been talking, often alone, with Russia's Sergei


Lavrov to try to get some kind of a hes cessation of hostilties, a


truce, as they call it, to allow them to return to talks. The road to


any peace, if it's possible at all in Syria, goes through Moscow and


Washington. Will this image in its own way put pressure on Putin and


Obama? Everyone is mentioning it. John Kirby mentioned it at the state


department. Everyone is talking about it. What Syria needs now is


action. There is such a knot now, there is not a conflict in the world


now. He talk about it as being the worst conflict he has intervened in.


He intervened in a lot. You have Russia, the United States, you have


Iran all of the Gulf States. Kurds. The Syrians and the so-called


Islamic State and the groups linked to Al-Qaeda. If it's almost


intractable, Obama's got four months? John Kerry still says he


thinks there is a way out. He's known to be an optimist. The


Russians want to find a way out. To use the phrase - they don't want it


to become another Afghanistan. Aleppo is the prize in a very big


contest for a struggle for control in the Middle East. It's - for Syria


it's a devastating war, a proxy war, Caesarean war and a new cold war.


You have to stop all of them if you are going to stop it. Muhammed, as a


photographer, tell me what your reaction was to that image.


Presumably through your lens you see images like that practically every


day in Syria? It's a very sad. It's a haunting image. It's a single


image that tells the story of a five-year-old in a growing conflict.


That the power of photography or the power of this image. That this image


is trending right now. It's reaching the heart of the public and that's


the biggest recognition of a picture when it reaches the public and


people start to feel con nexted. If I'm a father and I have a child, I


would look at my child and say - I'm lucky we have a roof. As a


photographer, when you both see, when you take and see, as was in our


reporter's package there, images of many dead children in Syria, why is


this image of a survivor, in a way, been the one that has arrested


people's attention? This image shows a hopeless child, left alone in the


back of an ambulance in a way it tells - it talks about the whole


story. How the situation is hopeless. That the child was left


alone, waiting for help. It's a child. Children are the real victim


of this conflict. It's not just a picture, I think it's the whole


story by itself. I want to put that to you, first of all, now, Sanj


Srikanthan. Is the whole story because the children have no futures


if it's not resolved? That's right. They haven't had a future for five


years. They've lived through war. Over a million were born and have


liveded and only known conflict. So what was sad about that photo and


the video was that that child is beyond terror. He's in a place that


no child should be. He's been schooled in trying to avoid air


strikes and doing all those kind of things. We look at that image, we


wonder if it will make any difference. Do you think it will? We


know the image of the boy in the Mediterranean arrested the world's


attention. Only for a time. There is a window an opportunity to get a


ceasefire into places like Aleppo that haven't received aid since


early July. If that image can achieve that. That's not the


solution we are looking for, which is a permanent peace, it's


something. When we have... The fact is that little boy is sitting there.


We know people on both side of the divide are willing to put children


on the front-line anyway there is a cynicism, isn't there? Aid workers


are the most cynical of trying to do their best in these times, is that


both sides are more interested in winning the conflict than saving


children's lives. That's the sad true. Muhammed, are you very.


Aware when you're taking a photograph of the photograph that


might be counter into youively that might make a difference It depends.


What I believe... The importance of photography, the importance of being


there, that sometimes there are many events happen that wasn't captured


or documented, so it feels like it never happened. Luckily, this


picture was captured and went out there. This is also the importance


of journalism, photojournalism. If we have access to document things we


will see a lot of that. I believe there are dozens of images


happening, and no-one captured it. So it never made it out there. Do


you believe your work can make a difference Of course. Of course. I


think, simply, when the pictures start... Goes out there, people


start talking about it. It already created a change. It reached


people's hearts and minds. Changed people's way of looking and thinking


of things. Instead of thinking of Syria, now there is a name, there is


a killed call Omran. It makes people think. Instead of not what is


happening in Syria because it doesn't involve them right now.


People are aware there is a conflict going on. It's a reminder. It's a


reminder. Thank you very much. There will be a temptation, wouldn't


there, for aid agencies and so forth and different rescue missions to use


an image like this? I don't think we use the image, it's happening every


day. In fact, the photographer who took it said - I was surprised


because I take photos like this every day. It's the reality. I think


if people who watch the image and see the story behind it realise the


sacrifices, not just families are making, but the 35 remaining doctors


in Aleppo are making I think that's something worthy. We forget the


doctors are few and far between now. We should say that five children did


die today. Perhaps we shoulded have their image up as well? Images like


this they strike a chord with the public. It gives ammunition to the


would be peacemakers. Whether it's enough for the real ammunition on


the ground which grows more violent by the day is the question now.


Thank you all very. Indeed.


On Newsnight last night, we revealed that the gap in funding


for the Garden Bridge was far bigger than the Trust had previously


admitted - some ?56 million, rather than ?32 million.


The Chairman of the Trustees, Lord Mervyn Davies, told Evan


that the project had become more expensive and also that the bridge


would not be open in 2018, but rather 2019.


But straight away this morning, the Trust issued a statement


The statement was one thing, straight after the programme, the


second was the language of the statement? Absolutely. It used


phrases like, "this is a crucial time" it was pleading with the


Government not to withdraw its support - It "would be a tragedy"?


Exactly. A tragedy perhaps for the taxpayer who has already spent ?36


million, that is never coming back. Infect, what the Trust was saying


was that, if the Government doesn't agree to extend an existing


arrangement where it's underwriting the project, then it's doomed. There


was a real sense of worry, of nervousness. On the part of the


Trust. Hands up the back? There is a lot of money to raise there. Are


other existing hurdles. Also, viewers might remember that last


months Newsnight explained that the mood in Government towards this


project is cooler than it has been. The London Mayor has voiced


concerns? The London Mayor and George Osborne, one of its greatest


fans have gone. Whitehall sources told us today that they reject the


idea that the fate of the bridge is in their hands. They say that's not


fair. In fact, it's the Trust who have to get a hold of this project.


It's for them to say if they can make it work and for them to


ultimately pull the plug if they can't. It's seems an unhappy


partnership at the moment. Are the Trust looking for more money from


the Government? That's an interesting question. We we don't


quite know. One of the things about this project is, it's so secretive,


maybe too strong a word. There is so little information out there.


Opaque? Opaque. Little information in the public domain. The Trust have


been quite clear about what they're asking. This is how they described


the current situation: But our understanding is that the


government is less clear about that. They are concerned that if they


agreed to extend the underwriting for another year, they could be


liable for more money. We are told categorically there is no more. They


have pledged ?30 million and that is it. They said they are not in the


business of backing white elephants. The future of the bridge is still


uncertain. Thank you for joining us. When the Labour Party meets


for its annual conference in Liverpool next month,


there will be a "me and my political shadow" moment -


well, the whole four days actually. Momentum will be in town and both


Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell will be preparing two speeches each


- one for the Labour conference delegates,


the other for Momentum's membership. For the writer and sometimes


splenetic columnist, Rod Liddle, this might be the moment that


sends him over the edge, as he ponders on why Labour's


lost its way and its working-class He begins his report


for Newsnight in Middlesborough, This is Teesside,


about as resolutely, uncompromisingly Labour


as anywhere in the country. And yet like almost all


working-class areas beyond London, Teesside is rapidly


becoming disenchanted with the party Brexit was a real


glorious revolution, a sort of cri de coeur


on the part of people who felt


marginalised, unlistened to and increasingly averse from the liberal


politics of both the Establishment, and crucially, for this


issue, the Labour Party. Because while this


is Brexit heartland -


70% voted to Leave in Hartlepool over the water,


66% back there in Middlesbrough -


it is not just about that. It's also about having


respect for the family, for the country, a sense of


patriotism and belief in Britain. It's about doing a fair day's work


for a fair day's pay and also not being paid welfare -


if you don't give, you don't get. The current Labour Party is largely


immune to the aspirations of ordinary


working-class voters, when it is not I thought I'd present


a cheerful parody of Labour's current mindset


to the people of my hometown. In exactly the spot,


as it happens, where I once sold The Socialist Worker


as an imbecilic youth. Vote Labour to stay


in the European Union and to Bring the experience


of Islington to Middlesbrough. Vote Labour for Fairtrade coffee,


muesli, solidarity with Cuba, peace, love,


happiness everywhere Are you a Labour voter?


No. Have you always voted Labour?


Always. And do you like Labour now


under Jeremy Corbyn? To tell you the truth,


I don't like any of them. Do you think they are out of touch


with the Do you think we need more


immigration in this country? You're having a laugh, aren't you?


More? Sir, what we want in this country


is more immigration, correct? The power in the Labour


Party has not resided These days, it lives


somewhere else entirely. This is Islington, of course,


and this is my granola, pistachio and blueberry


porridge with Greek yoghurt. This is Jeremy Corbyn's neck


of the woods, of course. At one point under Jeremy,


there were three members of his Shadow Cabinet from Islington


itself, more than in the entire I don't know if that


is still true today because I don't know who's


in the Shadow Cabinet. One minute they're there,


the next minute they're sobbing their hearts out


on The World At One. The place has become a sort


of byword, a cliche, which somehow represents


the distance between Labour I'm here to meet someone who might


offer the party a little hope. Lord Glassman, architect


of New Labour, and adviser Why is Labour in the trouble


it's in, do you think? Well, it's just lost its


relationship with the working class, and with working-class leadership,


with working-class values and And that's what we are seeing


is supposed to be Labour. How it happened has been


a long time coming. It was always a coalition


between the progressive middle-class, reforming,


Fabian and more conservative socially and more economically


radical working-class. But over the years,


the sort of university Social democrats across Europe


are facing a really difficult strategic dilemma because on the one


hand, they have half of their electorate or so that is comprised


of traditional, blue-collar workers. On the other hand, they've got


urban, middle-class, cosmopolitan, And those two groups think


fundamentally differently about the key issues of the day,


in particular immigration It's sort of Labour's


Clause Four for today. The activists and many of the MPs


won't go near it because of course, that massed ovine middle-class bleat


of "racist" as soon as you raise the issue of immigration will be


forthcoming from them. And yet, there's no antipathy


in these places in the north The antipathy is towards the people


who allowed uncontrolled immigration to change the culture of their towns


and also to undercut their wages. And yet, the problems


in the party seem intractable. A leader without the


support of his MPs. MPs without the support


of the activists. And the activists miles out


of step with the voters. He was a Labour Party member until


he was suspended earlier this year pending investigation. Barbara Ntumy


from Momentum joined us as well. What do you make of Rod Liddle's


analysis? I think it is stuck in a narrative that he's trying to


create. I grew up in Barnsley, a working-class town and in the same


way as you have Islington, which is consistently rated one of the


poorest and most deprived areas in the country, in Barnsley, you have a


place where more affluent and well off the bowling as opposed to the


General working-class. The idea that just because people live in North


London and in Jeremy's constituency, they don't understand what ordinary


working class people go through is just nonsense. But Owen Jones, a


supporter of Jeremy Corbyn said what he said was the party has got to


deal with anxieties over immigration. Do you accept there are


anxieties? Since 1940, every party in this country has sought to


restrict immigration at the expense of immigrants. Immigrants you don't


make laws on and enforce them cannot be blamed for low wages. The


government has to enforce the wage and the law. I don't understand


where this narrative... Actually, I do understand where this narrative


comes from, with constructed narrative and found someone else to


blame for the back employers are not willing to pay what wages are. But


you accept that what we might call some traditional Labour supporters


have anxieties over immigration? Their communities are being


irrevocably changed. When we say traditional Labour voters, black


people who have come from this country since the 1940s have been


traditional Labour voters. Do their concerns when it comes to inequality


and being able to access jobs not matter? Rod Liddle, the fact is


whatever Brexit does, it doesn't... No one is going to be repatriated so


in effect, that is not the issue. The issue is going to be jobs and


wages. That is what Labour supporters are about. Lets put to


rest the idea that this is a key of some kind because between 7019 80%


of people in the country what immigration restricted, every


opinion poll going back over the last ten years shows that.


Increasingly, a greater proportion of black and ethnic minority


immigrants want immigration restrained, more than 50%. The idea


that this is just some old-fashioned, old hack, harking


back to the old days is absurd. It is an absurdity. I find it slightly


hilarious that someone who is a radical, a Labour Party radical, on


the left wing of the party, should be so fervently in favour of the


free movement of labour and capital. If you knew your marks, you would


not be in favour of that. It is the thing which depreciates the wages of


the lowest paid and it is also obviously the being who -- to the


grotesque exploitation of the immigrant labour force which we see


everyday in the newspapers. Rod Liddle is right, it has affected low


skilled workers? That has always existed. This is not new. What we


should be doing it again, in the way the European Union provides, legal


routes for people to come to do low skilled wages but actually, the


issue is, when you have a town like my Barnsley which gets barely any


investment and creates jobs, the opportunities for people are to in


the bread factory, the fashion factory or the check in factory.


Those are the options. College funding has been consistently


slashed. What other opportunities are there for people? You don't


blame someone who's left everything in Europe to come and work in a low


skilled cleaning job in a hospital. Are you saying that Labour


supporters who do think immigration is an issue need to be re-educated?


I'm not saying we need to be re-educated. People react to their


realities but actually come immigrants aren't the problem. The


fact we're not creating more opportunities for people to progress


and get access to education and better is the problem. The


government needs to do that. Where I think Barbara is absolutely right is


about the levels of investment which this government has put into places


like Barnsley and a lot of the North of England. It has been lamentable.


Something needs to be done. A new Labour programme would devolve more


power to the region and put far more investment into them. But I think it


is cloud cuckoo land to believe that... To try to say that


immigration hasn't cause these problems. I didn't say that


immigration hasn't caused these problems. I said it is not the sole


purpose of the narrative that you like to say that it is. What is the


problem with demonising groups of people? That is what it is because


when you get on TV and you say people are coming here to work three


or four jobs in order to provide and their families... You misunderstand.


You misunderstand and that is the problem. I can't speak and this is


pointless. The point is that people should have opportunities which this


government has failed to do. That is painted nonsense. I'm not demonising


immigrants whatsoever and I wouldn't. I think the immigrants who


come here worked very hard and I'm deeply opposed to David Cameron's


plans to withdraw benefits from them, for example, like Polish


immigrants, I think it's disgusting. People should be treated equally by


the fact is, successive reports have shown that large-scale immigration


and the larger scale, the worse it is, depresses the wages of the


poorest people. People who have fought for years to have a decent


stab dog living. Per the closing minutes, you characterise Momentum


as being a party of the middle-class kind of liberals, the Islington set.


Actually, Momentum, you have to say, is a broad swathe of support in all


areas of England. Well, it's certainly got a broad suite of... It


controls the Labour Party. There is no question about it, it controls


the Labour Party. I would probably agree with Barbara that I don't


think Jeremy Corbyn should have been challenged in the leadership


election. He was democratically elected, for whatever fatuous


reason, the party was opened up to hundreds of thousands... The reason


why Jeremy was elected was because he does speak to those working class


people in Middlesbrough because he's talking about investment. He really


doesn't. There is no appetite whatsoever for Jeremy Corbyn. He


talks about cradle to the grave education that people are not able


to have now. Does he continually talk over other people as well?


Labour is gaining more working-class voters under him. 28% in the polls.


One accusation I want to put, is Rod Liddle said, Momentum controls the


Labour Party. It does. Labour Party members control the Labour Party.


They are the people who are active and involved. I'm a member of the


Labour Party. I don't disagree, I think that is fair, I think I be mad


Labour has been taken over largely by Momentum and people who support


Jeremy Corbyn -- Jeremy Corbyn. I don't have an argument about that


but the fact he's deeply unattractive to any bird in the


north of the country... But we are allowed to organise. We are going to


leave it there. Of course you are. Thank you for joining us.


True story - our special Olympics feature, Throne of Games,


was only meant to be a test broadcast, to put the new


BBC transmitter at Theydon Bois through its paces.


But then it snowballed into a phenomenon, with one leading


critic describing it as "must-flee television."


Tonight our man, Stephen Smith, is joined by wine queen,


as he soaks up more Brazilian culture from


Stephen Smith, a smudge of chalk on the leotard


I've got the noted wine expert Jilly Goolden


coming here in a minute and no hospitality budget.


Still, although I'm not officially qualified


as a sommelier, how hard can it be?


I've got something for you here, Jilly.


Here we are, Jilly, here's some wine I made...


I'm getting base notes of licorice, jasmine


My God, we had the St John's ambulance here for Angela Rippon,


Brazil's got a big handicap when it comes to making wine in that most


That looks like the wrap party for Food and Drink.


Well, if you've got it, flaunt it, I suppose.


Is it true that you were the first person to bring


I decided to describe it in terms of everyday sense and flavours.


So my best one was the gamay grape which makes Beaujolais,


and that smells just like trainers running on hot tarmac.


This is a bit more like the inside of the trainers,


Trainers! Very Olympic.


I'm not sure we know how to respond to this as a nation.


We are used to being slightly rubbish and plucky losers.


I hope we don't get too pumped up, actually.


I quite like the sort of modest Brits.


Fifth in the World Championship final this year.


A consistent performer, reached the semifinals


They must do lots of practising for falling off.


Of all sports, which would you like to be the top athlete in?


I can see myself in the dressage with all the gear.


We'd be in it together because that would be mine.


They'd have to give us some credit for that,


Percent of the inside of trainers X Mac that's all we have time for


tonight. Good night. -- the scent of the inside of trainers!


After a wet start to the day in Northern Ireland, improving into the


Could one iconic image of an injured Syrian boy help prevent further needless deaths? Plus the Garden Bridge row, Rod Liddle on Labour and Steve Smith's Olympics.

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