08/09/2016 Newsnight


Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark including May's Grammar School plans and more on the Saudi arms ban row.

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Grammar schools, faith schools -what's the Government really


If what Mrs May is planning is an expansion of today's


type of grammar school, then that will not


In fact, it will be a social mobility disaster.


We've got exclusive details of Theresa May's plan


to open new grammars, encourage new religious schools,


and to get universities and private schools involved


Also tonight, more revelations about the Commons committee split


over whether to block arms exports to Saudi Arabia.


We'll be joined by a senior MP from the committee charged


I mean, you can say, oh, isn't that a terrible thing.


The man has very strong control over a country.


It is a different system, and I don't happen


But certainly, in that system, he has been a leader more


than our president has been a leader.


As Donald Trump sings Putin's praises, and the polls tighten,


our commentators in the US pick out their standout campaign moments


And I'll be asking this writer and director


how he is remaking horror with his debut film,


set in Tehran, with not a female cliche in sight.


Earlier today Newsnight exclusively revealed that a new green paper,


is set to propose the opening of new grammar schools.


will also propose allowing further selection by faith,


and place requirements on universities and private schools


Our policy editor, Chris Cook, has had first sight of the paper,


would make selection a key factor in English education,


and a defining feature of Theresa May's leadership.


This is a pretty big deal. It is a very big deal, and a way to think of


it is, marking a moment when the Government change. It has been the


idea since 2007 that grammar schools don't work, and they kept saying


they were moving on from that. It is also intrusive into the private life


or private schools, which is a big change. It also intrudes into


universities, a game, a big change. Theresa May and universities don't


get on all that well. And finally, it shows a lack of nervousness about


faith schools, which Michael Gove was always prone to. Here is my


report. This week, the Government confirmed


its intentions over new grammar schools in England. Newsnight can


reveal it is part of a four pronged plan to improve social mobility, a


plan that is certain to attract controversy, not least because of


the research that has gone on into grammar schools. The evidence is


conclusive, that they do not improve social mobility. If you're just


looking at kids who are high attaining at primary school, about


40% of poor kids actually get into grammar schools, compared to about


two thirds of other kids. Poor kids actually stand much less chance of


getting into grammar school, even when they are performing well at


primary. The test for the Prime Minister, she is thinking about the


next generation of grammar schools, is, how can you avoid that form of


social selection, and in particular, returned to the bad old days when


there was great education for a few - excellent - and then second-rate


education for the many in secondary moderns. Newsnight has learned that


the Government's preferred way of opening new grammar schools is to


mandate them to take a proportion of their intake from advantageous --


disadvantaged as goals. They also want private schools and


universities to stop sponsoring academies. Finally, they want to


encourage new faith schools by encouraging religions to operate


schools where they select on the basis of religion. The remaining


grammar schools still have fans, particularly in Kent. Parents in


Kent as a whole C gamma scrolls and faith -based schools as engines of


opportunity and aspiration. So how good are Kent's schools? Let's show


a grasp of performance in schools are crossing. This shows attainments


in maths GCSE are crossing, starting with the poorest neighbourhoods on


the left, through to the richest neighbourhoods on far right. The


slide -- the line slopes upwards. How does Kent do? We can draw the


line in for Kent and Medway. Watch can see is, that line, first of all,


is below the line for the rest of England, so the school system is a


bit lower performing. You can also see that it is much more steep, so


poor children are further behind in Kent than they are in the rest of


England. The grammar advocates are right, though, that good


comprehensives tend to be nearer expensive places to live. If you


look at the earnings of people who grew up in grammar school areas


compared to similar comprehensive areas, you see that if you are a top


earner from a grammar school error, great, you will be earning 10% more


than a top earner from a comprehensive area, but from people


at the bottom of the income distribution, if you are a low


learner from a grammar school area, you are earning 35% less. It is


making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Can we do better? This is


footage from the popular charter school system in America. Each has a


number in what we would call a tombola. 20.


APPLAUSE Lottery is not everyone's favourite


way of doing things. They would prefer to have their child go to


their first choice school, but when schools are Rover scribed -- are


oversubscribed, you can't do that. It is a way of allocating scarce


Resorts is. Fixing admissions so that a school's intake represents


the whole area is one solution. -- scarce resources. When you have


poorer kids who are 35% less likely to be high income earners as adults


than less bright kids who come from wealthy backgrounds, that is a


failure in the state education system. It is a failure probably in


our society. Mrs Wright is -- Mrs May is right about the diagnosis.


The danger is that she is wrong about the prescription. The next few


weeks will be dominated by arguments about whether new grammar is likely


the old ones, about the virtue of faith schools, and about whether the


Government has the votes it needs to get its plans through Parliament. We


asked the Government for an interview, but they declined.


We're now joined by Neil Carmichael, Conservative Chair


This is big, isn't it? It is, it is a big change from what we expected a


few weeks ago. Last year and you said you supported the extension of


existing grammar schools but were against new ones, if that still your


position? Existing grammar schools can and should be extended if that's


what they want to do, and we have seen it happen already in Sevenoaks.


The question is about scale and speed, and it's also about the


fundamental issue of, is this going to help social mobility? Will it


actually deliver for 16, 17, 18-year-old children the right


opportunities? I'm not convinced it will. Let's go one now from talking


straightforwardly about grammar schools to talking about a really


massive change, and that is the movement of 50% intake to faith


schools to 100% thought that signals a complete change of direction for a


Conservative Government. It does. We were talking about that in the


education select committee earlier this week. Partly because we are


looking at what constitutes a good multi-academy trust, and this is


going to be very much part of the discussion. Your discussion centred


on the good mix rather than 100%? We have to focus on the quality of


teaching that happens in the classroom and the ability of


teachers to reach into those children who really need to be


helped in terms of social mobility, and I think that if we are always


talking about structure and not talking about what is happening in


the classroom, we sometimes miss the point. Argue uncomfortable with this


degree of selection? Selection is OK providing it is within a context of


a fair range of choice and is not a blunt at 11 plus system. I am


opposed to that. -- a blunt in 11 plus. And that children will be


fluid enough to move from one system to the other. It sounds like this is


not your kind of conservatism, what is being offered in the Green paper


that is coming out tomorrow, that you would like a much more mixed


approach. What matters is social mobility, and what also matters is


that we make the best use of the talent available in our country.


This will become more and more important as we move closer to


leaving the EU. It seems that this is very much Theresa May's view of


how she would like Conservative education to be. What do you believe


his/her motivation for this? I think she is right to be worried about


social mobility. I think she is absolutely right to want to give


every child an opportunity to get up the ladder, so to speak. I think


that the key is to make sure we have good schools all over the country so


that children can get to a good school, wherever they are. If the


final bill to be put before parliament looks a lot like this,


would you vote for it? I would be looking for certain things. One is a


holistic approach. I am interested in bringing in the Independent


schools. I think it is good for universities to have a role in this,


because education is a linear thing, not just blocks of this and blocks


of that. If it looked like this for your final vote, would you vote for


it? I want to emphasise that this is a consultation process. It will be a


Green paper. Theresa May says she looks at the evidence and then makes


a decision, and so will I. It sounds like you are undecided. This may not


pass without a majority. There is a political challenge there. It was


not in the manifesto, but it is something which the Prime Minister


is entitled to do as our new leader. I am as ambitious as she is in


making sure we have an education system fit for what we see as our


future - a modern Britain in a modern world. Thank you for joining


us. This week, Newsnight has exposed


extraordinary disputes within an influential


Parliamentary Committee over British arms


sales to Saudi Arabia where many civilians


have been bombed. Today, Crispin Blunt,


one of the key MPs on the committee, who appears to want to water down


key passages in the report, complained in Parliament


about the documents being leaked even calling for private


investigators to be called in. The draft report, revealed


by Newsnight on Tuesday, that weapons supplied by a British


company had been used to violate international humanitarian and human


rights laws in Yemen. Yesterday, we revealed that some


members of the committee attempting to water down


the language of the report. For example, in this


passage of the report, Crispin Blunt and John Spellar


wanted to downgrade the phrase "very serious evidence"


of human rights violations and to remove altogether a reference


to cluster munitions Today, we spoke to one


member of the committee who believes that


Britain may well have There is a very serious risk that


Britain is breaking its own laws, but the international treaties


which we are party to. about potential breaches


of humanitarian law where we may not be able


to sure that the arms


we are exporting are not going to be


used against civilians Crispin Blunt told


Parliament he was outraged the committee was unable


to deliberate on its report without it being


leaked to Newsnight. Newsnight reported


extracts of the amendments tabled by the right


honourable member and myself which can only have come


from the consolidated which was circulated to members


of the committee on Tuesday. of such deliberate


and repeated leaking of information Would you confirm that it


would not be open to the Privileges Committee


if it is referred to them to call in the police,


because it is not a criminal matter, on the services of private


investigators who have the capacity to interrogate


the electronic records, including deleted e-mails of potential sources


of this confidential and private consideration of select committees


in this instance of the greatest seriousness involving


life and death issues seriousness involving life and death


issues and the employment of tens Our political editor,


Nick Watt, is here. So, you have news


from that committee? We understand there was a bloody


meeting of arms export control committee last night, they were


bitterly divided over whether to say that British arms were used


unlawfully by the Saudis in that conflict in Yemen. There is absolute


fury. Every member of the four select committees that act as the


feeders to this export control committee have received e-mails


asking whether they were the source of the leak and I understand there


is a lot of chat about MPs saying, our e-mails and phone records going


to be trawled through? I managed to bump into the Middle East minister,


as he was heading back after a difficult week in Parliament,


interestingly he told me that the Saudi Foreign Minister told a


meeting of MPs yesterday at Westminster, 60 MPs, that yes, Saudi


Arabia has bombed schools in Yemen but crucially said they were being


used as munition dumps. But it was said that the Saudis have got to get


much better at explaining the situation is and crucially saying


that if there are allegations that international humanitarian law has


been broken, it is for the Saudis, in the first instance, to


investigate that, if Britain is unhappy, it will sanction an


independent international examination, and it was an error of


the government to say that it was Britain that does the first


investigation, in fact it is the Saudis.


Crispin Blunt is chair of the Foreign Affairs Select committee.


He is also a key member of the committee on arms export controls.


Good evening. You were very unhappy that we are talking about this, why?


The select committees, this is a rather peculiar select committee, it


is composed of four working together, but any select committee


going through the process of consideration for a report will


usually start off with a draft from one person uses the chair of the


committee, presenting a draft to his colleagues for consideration. --


from one person, usually the chair of the committee. Given the


circumstances of this committee, 44 members potentially, what you


presented last night and the night before was the opinion of one member


of that committee. Which had yet to have any discussion or consideration


by the rest of the committee, and then in those circumstances you


purported to put forward that this is the likely conclusion of the


committee, before any of the other 43 members have the opportunity to


make a contribution to the discussion about it. The way that


select committees work, there is often a discussion, sometimes around


drafted amendments drafted in, around how to get to a place where


generally select committees will agree conclusions. We made it clear


that it was a draft, we made it very clear. He certainly did not


contextualise it. I thought that we did say it was a draft. You said it


was a draft but but... But what did you do... What you did not explain


is that it is a draft from one person. Let me put it to you, you


would surely be the first to agree that there is a public interest in


all of this, if it is proved that Saudi Arabia has been... I would


hope... British weapons... ... Public interest... I would hope


there is a public interest in everything that select committees


are doing otherwise you would wonder why they are conducting enquiries,


the process by which select committees work to depend upon


within the committee people being able to have a discussion around the


issues concerned, and what we would normally... What would normally


happen, the practice my committee, would generally be that I would put


a draft report to the committee, I would have taken the trouble to have


a decent understanding of where the different members of my committee


stood on the issue and I would try to put forward a text which I


thought the committee was going to agree to, or one which was going to


command majority support. Then they have the opportunity, in informal


session, to have an informal discussion about the direction of


the report, informal discussion about the particular amendments to


it, you go through peoples considered amendments in detail. And


then, if there still remain disputes, formal proceedings of the


committee, recorded for everyone to see, if there are recorded votes,


where there are disagreements of opinion, it is all completely


transparent. Lets, let's am a let's look at... Let's look at this, we


will go to a graphic, you may probably have seen this, this is the


initial report: you change that to remove


allegations... And to include the targeting of civilian areas...


Serious discrepancies. You have said something that is completely


incorrect, you have said that I have changed that, I will not comment on


the proceedings of the committee because there is no way whether you


can know whether that was changed or not. INAUDIBLE QUESTION


I'm not going to comment on the internal proceedings... This report


is still in the process of consideration. It is now in the


public domain. The draft is in the public domain. You have put the


draft in the public domain, I am not going to be further party to that.


The agreed line from the committee is that for the purposes of you and


everyone else and the press, is the proper one, this is still being


considered, and there will be no further comment until this report.


Is it safe to say that the draft... Let me finish the question, is it


safe to say that the draft of the report, which we received, which


will broadcast on Tuesday night, which was pretty robust about


possible involvement of British made weapons in Saudi civilian targets,


do you demur from that? I do not, from the fact that you got hold of a


draft of... The issue here is one of process, what is the ability of


select committees to properly hold the government to account, and to be


able to have discussions between themselves. This is not just about


this issue, it is about every piece of work. 67 amendments... Is that


not... What that means... What that means... Kirsty, I am not... Kirsty,


I'm not discussing... I am not discussing, I'm not entitled to


discuss the workings of this enquiry, on this committee, it is


still being considered in private. Did you agree with the original


draft? Did you agree with the original draft? I'm not going to


answer that question, the point is, you, I do not think you improperly


obtained the material you got, but it was certainly improperly given to


you, the reason it is improper, and the reason... It is now in the


public... Surely the electorate has the right to know that there is a


serious disagreement in a key committee about whether British arms


are being used to target civilians in Saudi Arabia. We already know


from Nick Watt, that the Saudi Foreign Minister himself has said,


that schools had been hit. How select committees work is that the


chair put forward his draft, there is then the opportunity for all


members to put forward amendments, informally, have a discussion as a


committee, then you get to what is largely and usually can be a


completely agreed text, and then published unanimously, everyone


looks... Wait, what the collective view of the committee is. We are in


a situation now where the meeting last night. Kirsty, let me then it's


plain what happens if there is a disagreement, if at the end of this


there remains a formal disagreement between members of the committee


about the conclusions of the report, then there is a formal recorded


vote. Then people can see where people on the record... Let's be


quite clear... On the record, on the record. Lets be fair about what


happened last night, I have been told that you walked out because you


did not think you would get the amendment through, if you walked


out, the meeting would not be chorus, a vote would not be taken.


That betrays a misunderstanding of how this particular... Did you walk


out? There was not a vote? Whatever comes out of this particular


oversight of arms export control committee... Did you walk out? Did


you walk out of the committee? I'm not going to talk about a committee


process that is still under consideration. The suggestion is


that... The issue... The suggestion is that this report could not be


voted on because you walked out last night because you are unhappy that


your amendments did not get through, watering down this report, did not


get through. The reason why this is so serious is because select


committees are meant to work on a basis of trust, that the discussion


you have is not, during the course of the discussion, then subject


to... The contextualisation you put this in last night, meant that...


About 26,000 people have received... Crispin Blunt, please eff off...


Those kind of messages, they are a product of the contextualisation.


That you provided. It is completely improper. The way that the


information was given to you. Thank you very much, Crispin Blunt.


From now until the US presidential elections in November,


we'll be convening a pair of guests in America each week


to pick and discuss standout moments of the campaign,


as we try to divine the big issues on which the voters will finally


decide whether Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump


This week our guests are senior political correspondent


and former director of strategy for David Cameron,


now political commentator, Steve Hilton.


Good evening to the both of you, yet again, it has been pretty


extraordinary, this week, claim and counterclaim, great praise for


Vladimir Putin, from Donald Trump. First of all, what caught your


attention this week in the campaign? That commander-in-chief forum was


something else! It was full of all kinds of moments that would make you


question Donald Trump's usability for president. The moment I felt


stood out was not one of the more grandstanding ones, it was very


subtle, a female veteran who works with suicide prevention, she asked


about the issue, a terrible issue here in the United States. She said


something about how 20 veterans everyday commit suicide. Donald


Trump corrected her! I think that says about who he is as a person and


what he does and does not know about the militarist. -- the military. It


is almost impossible to conceive that this is happening in our


country. Actually, he was trying to be sympathetic, wasn't he. He


betrays that he does not know what the issue is, really, he keeps on


saying they need help, they need help, then he says something about


how they might be killing themselves over the long wait times, for


physical health issues, at the VA, and it is one thing to say that they


need help. That is a little condescending. All Americans need


help, all veterans need help. This suicide epidemic is an issue that


has to do with creating social networks, creating a better safety


net for these veterans. Steve, is the problem that this makes Donald


Trump sound glib, just another thing... Another thing that he can


toss out of the way. I think it is kind of marginal to the real appeal


that he has, which is precisely that he does not speak in the same


carefully crafted way that other politicians do. That is really the


source of his appeal. That has become evident this week. The polls


have tightened, this looks like a race that is essentially tied. He is


talking in a different language, he's saying things like, we must


keep this secret, how I am going to deal with the Middle East is


something you only find out if you make me president! LAUGHTER


There is an argument, which he has made directly, is that being


unpredictable in relation to foreign and security and defence policy is a


good idea, it is not a good idea to telegraph intention to your enemies


if you want to beat them. There is a kind of substantive argument


underlying that remark. I want to look at something that has dogged


Hillary Clinton, not through this campaign only, but also when she was


secretary of state, the issue of her health, she had an extended coughing


fit. I want to show you a little bit of that now.


Is there a serious issue about the way that people are reviewing both


candidates, but particularly Hillary Clinton, in terms of stamina? I am


sorry we had to watch that again. I think this is a sideshow issue, if


it is an issue at all. Millions of people saw that will stop people did


not see that a week ago she released a mental health plaque from that


dealt with suicide of veterans really directly and I haven't heard


anyone talk about that. There are issues we need to talk about, but


her health is pretty marginal. I get postnasal drip all the time. Maybe


that is what is going on with her. Donald Trump's doctor is also not


very... Made me confident about his health, but I would prefer to get


the issues. Steve Hilton, this is seized upon because of her past


health problems - is she healthy enough to be commander-in-chief? Not


only trumped by people in his campaign are feeding that out. I


agree with what we just heard about this. -- not just Donald Trump. One


of the things I admire about Hillary Clinton, not necessarily her


positions and policy platforms, but you can't deny that she is an


incredibly strong, tough resilient politician who has been there for


decades and is still there fighting for what she believes in. The notion


of a health problem, I agree, doesn't feel a serious part of the


campaign. Interesting that if you look at one statistic, it has been


227 days since Hillary Clinton held a press conference. What does that


say about the way she wants to campaign? I wonder if she held that


conference because she knocked it out of the park at the


commander-in-chief debate. She had momentum underneath. I am one of the


people who feels like our press corps doesn't necessarily do a great


job covering the presidential campaign when they have press


conferences. I think more conferences are better and she does


more of them. Whatever prompted this, I hope she does more. We can


do our part in the press to make this more about issues without her


having to give a press conference. If you were advising Hillary


Clinton, Steve, would you tell her to get in front of the press or stay


away? It is not to do with that but whether she has a message that


really mobilises people and persuade them that she would make a great


president. I think the problem right now for her is that she doesn't


really have that. Our only messages that she is not Donald Trump, and


that is not getting anyone sufficiently excited or engaged in


her campaign. Thank you both very much. Until next week, thank you.


Do horror films have a problem with women?


After all, they're hardly famous for feminist plots...


Weak women, mad women, women who fall over


Now a film is challenging these conventions.


It's the debut by British-based Iranian director Babak Anvari.


It was snapped up by Netflix when it premiered at Sundance this year


and it's about to open in cinemas here.


Under The Shadow is terrifying but starts as a social drama centred


on a woman and her young daughter who are all but confined


to their apartment in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war.


After a missile attack a demonic presence enters


Well, in a moment, I'll be talking to the director of Under the Shadows


and a feminist horror fan from the British Film Institute,


but first, we asked the veteran film critic Kim Newman to pick his top


The kitchen in the 1990s, popcorn on the stove, perhaps.


Here we meet the most literally disposable woman in horror films.


The Victim, the pretty girl terrorised and killed.


The woman who knew that there was a conspiracy to get her.


What have you done to it?! What have you done to its eyes?!


Another image of woman in horror, the Protective Mother,


fighting the monster for the life and soul of a child.


Here in Hammer's Dracula, we have the powerful archetype


of woman as vampire, as monster, as Femme Fatale.


Rural dereliction, here we encounter the final horror heroine,


the girl who outlasts all her friends and defeats the monster.


We're joined by the director of Under the Shadows, Babak Anvari,


and horror fan Anna Bogutskaya from the British Film Institute.


She is really here because she loves horror. Making this film, you took


as its basis in your childhood growing up under attack. Yes. I was


born in Iran during the Iran- Iraq war, right in the middle, and by the


time it ended, I was more or less the same age as the child in the


film, so it was basically tapping into all those memories, what I


remember from wartime. And being confined in a house, underground.


Yes, going downstairs, all of that. What was the spur to make this


horror, where the woman is the central protagonist and the saviour?


The spark of the idea came from the conversations I had with my mum,


because my dad is a doctor, a young doctor in the 80s, like the father


and a film, and he had to serve on the front line. My brother and I


have fears and night terrors, still do, and I was having a conversation,


and my mum blamed that on herself. She had anxieties. When you look at


those films there, you basically want to make a different kind of


film. You'll a different kind in what sense? Putting women in the


role of central protagonist who takes all the big decisions. The


feminist film. I didn't set out are set an agenda to write or direct a


feminist horror film, it just came naturally, because the main


protagonist is female. Anna, looking at your interest in horror, do you


see a difference between this and the majority? What I think is so


special about Babak 's film is that the centre role character -- central


character is deep, complex, and that is what makes it fascinating and


makes you engage. It is a slow burn horror. By the time the scares come


along, you are completely with them. She draws you in and you are on her


side. I wonder if in the genre there is a contradiction, or is it just


the way the genre has been prosecuted in the past that there is


a contradiction between horror films and feminist films? There is trouble


in the genre. There are always films that are very conflicted and don't


have the most positive portrayal of women, but actually, horror


audiences have notoriously been 50-50s but between men and women, so


the audience for horror films has always been equally female. I know


that Netflix snapped it up, and we are going to see it, the


psychological horror is on so many levels. It is about a woman and her


child, it is about existential danger, and it is about urban myths


about demons that will come and get you, and your mother is not able to


protect you. And herself doubt - can I protect this child? It is a


universal thing for all mothers at home. If women are re-big audience


for horror, what are they looking for? So many of the horror films of


the past do portray women as victims. Women don't particularly


want to see themselves as victims. In the video, it touched on it. The


final girl standing calls for the audience to identify with her


because the audience wants to survive. They won't identify with


the killer of the bad guy, but rather with the survivor. This film


does not take sides in the war, but I wonder if it will be able big hit


-- since it will be a big hit, what the view of the authorities in Iran


is. Women in Iran are notoriously much stronger than they are


portrayed, by and large, by outsiders. It is a big question to


ask the authorities, but it is not going to get a cinema release. I


think they usually have an issue with films being made about their


run outside Iran. It has a huge film industry. It's in the RC, it has


subtitles, but presumably they will be under the table somewhere. --


Farsi. We learned of the death of scar-


reggae pioneer Prince Buster. -- ska. Here in one of the first number


according is of him on film. This is Prince Buster performing. This song


is Wash, Wash. # Don't You Hear Me


# Wash, Wash # Yeah,


The Weather Is Unsettled Over The Next Few


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

May's Grammar School plans revealed.

More on the Saudi arms ban row.

US election panel.

Feminist horror films.

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