22/09/2016 Newsnight


Riots in the US after the police kill a black man. Inside besieged Aleppo. Garden Bridge faces setback. The political lessons of papal elections. With James O'Brien.

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Rioting on the streets of America after yet another killing


of an African-American by a police officer.


The State of Emergency in North Carolina may be lifted


soon, but the racial divide in America seems as


The grievance in their mind is the animus, the anger.


They hate white people because the white people are


We'll ask if the current violence comes at a uniquely


Also tonight - plans for a Garden Bridge in London hit


another setback, as the Mayor orders a value for money inquiry.


I'm delighted Margaret Hodge is going to take a look at this,


because she knows, I think she can smell a dud project


I think she's going to find this one is a real dud.


We'll ask Margaret Hodge whether her report could spell


And - what can papal elections tell us about the dirty world


Author Robert Harris pulls back the curtain.


Conclaves are short, any divisions are kept


behind closed doors, and when the winning


candidate emerges, the church unites around him.


Secular politics has a lot to learn from conclaves.


Three black men have been shot dead by police


In the coming hours we will find out whether the scene of the latest,


the North Carolina city of Charlotte where Keith Lamont Scott


was shot on Tuesday, will face its third


With the national guard already in place and Donald Trump apparently


appealing for African-American votes because, and I quote,


"they have nothing to lose", it's clear that racial tensions are once


again centre stage in American politics.


One of the main demands of the protesters is that the police


video of the incident be released, but today


the Charlotte Chief of Police told a press conference that they didn't


The video does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that...


That would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.


I did not see that in the videos that I've reviewed.


What I can tell you, though, is when taken in the totality


of all the other evidence, it supports what we've heard


in the version of the truth that we gave about the circumstances


that happened, that led to the death of Mr Scott.


Let's cross over to Charlotte and talk to the BBC's correspondent


Are the authorities braced for more violence tonight? They are, and


that's why several hundred members of the National Guard have been


deployed to the streets of Charlotte. Their primary role is to


look after property, to look after buildings, so the police don't have


to do that, so the police can go out there and make arrests and do their


normal policing duties. That said, there is still a lot of tension in


this city. The pressure group that campaigns on behalf of black people


says that effectively putting the National Guard on the streets


militarise is the situation and couldn't raise tensions rather than


throw at them. What we are expecting in the next few minutes at police


headquarters is the family may get to see, the Scott family may get to


see that controversial police cam video shot on Tuesday was Keith


Lamont Scott was being shot by the police. The police are going to see


it, and what their verdict is on a video, I think, will be crucial to


the atmosphere in this city. Gary O'Donoghue, many thanks indeed. The


bigger picture is worth a glance at now.


Just days ahead of the first Presidential debate.


The political pantechnicon that is Donald Trump's Presidential


campaign rumbled into and out of Toledo, Ohio this week


as the country reacted to not just the racially charged rioting


in Carolina but also, of course, the terrorist attacks


Emily Maitlis has been keeping tabs on this most controversial


of candidates, and wondering whether a year of remarkable


reverses for the political status quo could yet witness an even bigger


upset, and she's in Toledo for us tonight.


I think that is right. Whether you are talking about rioting on the


streets or the shooting dead of black men by police in Carolina, as


you have just heard about, or if it is those thwarted terror attacks in


New York and New Jersey, Americans right now waking up to a sense of


something deeply unsettling in the state of their country. Clearly both


candidates are offering very differing political solutions, but


when an electorate keeps hearing about a country that is polarised,


that is divided, that is unjust and doesn't seem to be getting any


better, perhaps it is for them to start looking to


that candidate of change, the candidate that talks about fixing


things, fixing things we know is a very Donald Trump sort of phrase. We


are in Toledo, Ohio, a crucial swing state Trump is going all out to win.


He has been here many more times than Hillary Clinton and ahead of


that first critical presidential debate, the first time Donald Trump


and Hillary Clinton will sit on the same stage together, going


head-to-head, we spoke to a Republican strategist called in by


team Brexit to give them a little advice ahead of their own televised


debates. Have a look. And we will make


America great again! Take back control of this country


and our democracy... And we will make


America great again! If we vote to Leave,


we take back control. And yes, we will make


America great again! The echo of insurgency both sides


of the Atlantic Ocean... And turn the page to a bright


and shining future. 2016, it once seemed, would be


the year things almost happened - the rising of populist movements


around the world, but after the Brexit vote,


suddenly we realised that voice didn't just have the power


to unsettle but to upend. It was a moment many on this side


of the ocean fully woke up to Trump. I certainly think that the Brexit


has energised a lot of voters I think for folks who didn't think,


who don't think that Donald Trump can win, they now believe that


Donald Trump can win. I also think that it has invigorated


the hope of folks who think we can't Brett O'Donnell, a Republican


strategist who's advised former presidential candidate Mitt Romney,


was called in by the Leave EU team to help them


prepare for the debates. We were very careful about trying


to characterise this is taking back control of your country,


as opposed to losing And being hopeful about your


country, as opposed It's about using the phrase "Take


back control of our NHS", "Take back control of our school


system", "Take back control of our trade", "Take back control


of our borders", "Take back control The Brexit Trump analogy


is far from perfect, but they each speak to a sense


of reclaiming, and that, I think, is key -


whether it's about your borders, or your former greatness


as a country - it appeals to a people who feel that something


slipped out of their grasp, And put like that, it no longer


sounds like protest Toledo, Ohio is a midwest town


with manufacturing in its soul. Glassware and car parts,


gasworks and tyres, but it's a town that's slumped, as


manufacturing headed east. An economy in decline has brought


many here a rally for Trump. I will not tolerate anyone violating


Mr Trump's right to speak here today, or your right


to assemble and to listen Do not physically


engage the protesters. They embrace their new-found


identity as "deplorables", after Hillary's comments


about racism and xenophobia I think it's disgusting that


a presidential nominee could call a large segment of our


population deplorables. If she would win, she would be


president of everybody. And as we move through the queue,


I'm curious to know if the same factors that drove Brexit,


are driving Trump. The dilution of the American culture


is deteriorating the structure, In Europe, you guys have a big


problem, because there's no borders. I think it's sad that these illegal


immigrants get all this freedom and we have veterans


who are homeless, who can't afford health care, who have to wait


months on top of months. They've been waiting


since 9 this morning. Donald Trump finally


arrives here at 2.30. This is a movement, and we're


taking our country back for the people,


we're taking it back. "We're taking our country back,


we're taking it back". That kind of easy slogan has proved


critical to his messaging during this campaign,


whether it means jobs, It's about drilling a message home


time and time again. He tells his fans, they tell others,


a kind of verbal pyramid selling which has proved


so utterly effective. In downtown Toledo,


I meet Mike and Ed - I don't think that she is saying


anything, what she is going What's he going to do to make


America great again? But they agree on one thing,


that the Democrats lack It has been harder for her to reduce


her message to something that connects every day


with the marketplace. What I might call


kitchen table life. People are sitting around,


not thinking about politicians They're thinking, how


can I pay my bills? My car needs a muffler,


my rent is due. They are not thinking


about politicians and what it means. Until politics starts


looking like this... The shooting of yet another black


man by police has hit a deep nerve in America,


and brought protests out The black vote is overwhelmingly


Democrat, but the protest may harden parts of the white vote behind


Trump, and polarised America may well play


into his narrative. An America that's divided,


an America that's uneasy, an America that is, he'll them,


broken, is an America Let's pick up where Emily


left off in her piece - the protests over the shooting dead


of a black man by police A little earlier I spoke


to North Carolina congressman His district covers


the City of Charlotte. I began by asking him


about the prospect of a third night Well, my hope is that


calm will prevail. Frankly we need the spirit


of Martin Luther King, the great statesman who, yes,


he went to the streets We need the spirit of


the leaders to come out today, from President Obama,


from the Attorney General, from pastors, from lay people,


to go to the streets, African-American leaders,


and ask for calm and ask for discipline in what they want,


to share their grievances The chief grievance


of the protesters? It began long before two nights ago


when there was a shooting. I think that was the effect,


the culmination, frankly, 1965, President Johnson,


with good intentions, launched the Great Society,


and the impact of that has frankly There are African-American people


today who are more removed from our economy


than any other time. In fact, sadly, as a result


of the policies that the president, and I say with good intentions,


followed the last eight years, that the demographic group that has


been hurt the worse, are the low income, minority people,


they have grown zero in our economy. With respect, congressman,


I don't think the people on the streets last night


and the night before were protesting against Lyndon B Johnson's almost


half a century old policies. What is their grievance


in their mind? The grievance in their mind


is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white


people are successful We have spent trillions


of dollars on welfare, but we put people in bondage,


so that they can't be all that America is a country of opportunity


and freedom and liberty. It didn't become that way


because of the great government who provided everything


for everyone. No, the destiny of America,


the freedom to come to this country, why they're still coming


to our shores is because they can take their work ethic


and their hard effort, and put a cap on their risk


and build out their lives. A black man gets shot


by a black police officer and the people protest


because they hate white people? Yeah, that's what


they're saying on TV. That was the brother


of the man who got shot. He said in a very vulgar way,


he hated all white people. There's nothing racial


about what happened. You look at the educational system,


70% of all African-American children This is tragic, and it's


a breakdown in our society. The perception that the African


Americans expect a different degree of treatment from American police


isn't part of this at all? Do you think our African-American


chief of police or an African American officer wants to degrade


somebody from his own race? I ride shotgun with our police,


from 10pm to 6am, I've done These people are valiant,


courageous people. There's issues on the streets every


night. They are courageous people, our law


enforcement, and I value them. People are instigators,


who incite these riots. That's why I'm calling


for the spirit of Martin Luther King to return, to not allow


the agitators to come in and exploit these situations,


and that's what they're doing. Doctor King, of course,


spoke of the need of love to be I sense from some of your comments


you're probably also Is it somehow fighting hate


with love to employ some of the rhetoric he employs,


with regards to Mexico of the rhetoric he employs,


with regards to Mexicans being rapists and murderers,


or the birth story? You have come out and in


support of Donald Trump. You cite the memory of Dr King,


and I can't quite square I missed your last comment,


did you say nobody is perfect? But the policies of the last 50


years have enslaved these I'm looking ahead


to the next five now. I just wonder how you square


admiration for Donald Trump, who has cast aspersions


upon the very circumstances of an African-American's birth,


while also calling for the spirit of Dr King to be brought to bear,


upon the current violence. What I'm for is freedom


and opportunity and liberty, and that's what our Republican House


members stand for. To go to a better way,


you'll understand what we're about. We are about our agenda,


an agenda for creating greater We want Donald Trump to embrace us,


and we believe he will Congressmen Robert Pittenger,


thank you very much indeed. Joining me now from New York


is The Daily Beast's Let's begin, it's hard to know where


to begin... Let's begin with the claim there was no racial element to


what is happening in Charlotte at the moment because the chief of


police is African-American and the officer who fired the fatal shot is


also African-American, BoGo this isn't an issue of race.


I think it's a misnomer first of all to believe that an officer of the


law who happens to be African-American does not also


harbour some level of implicit, if not explicit bias against other


Americans, whether or not they are white or not white,


African-American, Hispanic or otherwise. So that has been proven


to be true in test after test. So for many African Americans,


specifically living in Charlotte, this is a racial issue. If you look


at Charlotte and its fabric, its economic and racial disparities and


disparities among racial intolerance lines it's a very fragile fabric


that has existed over these last several decades. If you look at what


happened last evening, yes, there was a flash point of an --


African-American man who was disabled with the community says was


unarmed, the police officers say he was armed, who was shot as he waited


for his trial to get off a school bus. That was not necessarily the


cause of the uprising. It was simply the flash point. The cause is the


decades upon decades of economic and racial inequality in and around


Charlotte and in and around other US American cities.


It's not simply the case that, as the congressman suggested, they hate


all white people? No, not at all. What people hate is


the injustice they see reflected in this system. If I'm looking at the


cultural ins of the congressman IC uprising in the streets and


lawlessness that ought to be checked and a system that is fair to me and


people like me. I don't see the system from the other side from


black and brown people who happen to live in this country who are apart


on the other side of the occasion, who don't carry the same level of


privilege of not being able to see all being affected by implicit bias.


So I think there are cultural lenses at play here. The congressman sees


his version of truth and then the young people on the ground see their


day-to-day Myers and their truth and both of them have two square and


that is where the divide lies. What do you feel, Goldie Taylor, new


here and elected politician like that described African-American


people as not liking white people because white people are successful


and black people are not? I will put him up against every


black doctor and lawyer that I know in this country, company CEO, US


congressmen and women. I will put him up against every heart surgeon,


every black heart surgeon I know, every schoolteacher, every police


officer and then talk about what success means in the


African-American community., people with college degrees in the African


American community than at any time in history and employment Dummigan


employment rates have halved under Obama. Has never been a better time


for African-Americans in this country. To say it is perfect be


wrong, but to say we are in a time that is as bad as Jim Crow that


existed over 50 years ago, to say it is as bad as when the EPM system


existed in this country, or as bad as slavery, or the vicious maligning


of human rights in this country we are simply not therefore stop this


country has made a hell of a lot of progress.


You mentioned President Obama and the prospect of President Trump is


Hoving interview. Is this not helping him if he is the candidate


of change portraying chaos, then seems like the ones we've seen in


Charlotte somehow create the idea there is really something that needs


to be fixed? That's the fear, if you watch these


kinds of uprisings, if you watch the terrorist attacks in New York


recently when you had a young man planting pressure cooker bombs


around the city, some would say that that would indeed help the Trump


candidacy if you live in that kind of fear. But there are others on the


other hand who say Trump is not the answer to those kinds of dilemmas,


that we need a more comprehensive approach to immigration, a more


comprehensive approach to unemployment, a more comprehensive


approach to fixing public education. Trump doesn't give policies, he


gives, I will fix it and I'm the only one. America is looking for


change but I think it's difficult, quite frankly, to articulate a


comprehensive policy that we need. Goldie Taylor, thank you for your


time tonight. Thank you. The precarious ceasefire


in the Syrian civil war finally collapsed overnight as rebel-held


areas of the already devastated city of Aleppo came under


heavy aerial bombardment. Reports out of the city suggest that


incendiary bombs were dropped on the Bustan al-Qasr district,


killing at least 13 people, Tonight the Syrian army announced


the start of a new military offensive in the city,


urging civilians to avoid areas Let's cross to Aleppo now and speak


to Ismail Alabdullah. He works for the White Helmets,


a group of volunteer rescue workers who try to help victims


of the violence. If the picture seems dark, that's


because there is currently no electricity in his building tonight.


Ismail, can I begin by asking what you have been doing today?


Actually, today, we responded to many sites of bombing, lots of


people are under the rubble in many neighbourhoods. Last night it was


like hell in a Aleppo city and all of the neighbourhoods in Bustan


al-Qasr. We worked more than 24 hours to pull bodies from the


rubble. Since the ceasefire ended at seven o'clock two days ago many


people died almost 30 people on that night in just four hours. All of


died. Yesterday there were air strikes. Bombs killed 13 people,


like you said. Before the ceasefire ended everything was OK and people


were happy, walking on the streets, celebrating Eid and everything has


changed. The situation has become heavy bombing. The aid situation


remains precarious. Are any supplies reaching the city? Can I ask what


you have eaten today? Today I just have eaten some rice


from my friend. The other day I was looking for something to eat. I'm


not afraid for myself. I'm scared about the people, about the kids,


about the many people around Aleppo city. We have not received any aid


for two months, medical care, we are suffering from a lack of medical


supplies. We don't have enough doctors. Even electricity and the


electricity went off since almost three months. We have just


generators working for the hospitals. And in a few days we will


run out of everything. Even for water, we don't have drinking water.


We have just water from the well is that cannot be drinkable. The


situation has become worse and worse and worse. I think the line has


defeated us, and so indeed has the clock. Ismail alla Abdullah, thank


you for your time this evening. Modern politicians seem increasingly


obsessed with their legacy but it's fair to say that one of the biggest


bequests of Boris Johnson's London mayoralty is looking


decidedly troubled. His successor Sadiq Khan today


announced a comprehensive review of the so-called Garden Bridge


and appointed the former chair of the Commons


Public Accounts Committee, In a moment she'll tell us how


she plans to establish whether the ?60 million already


spent represents value for money for taxpayers


and whether transparency standards have been met


by the public bodies involved. But first, a report


from Newsnight's Hannah Barnes. At a cost of ?185 million


and now running a year Garden Bridge has barely been out


of the headlines in recent months. The choice of Dame Margaret Hodge


lead a review into how the Garden Bridge has


been handled so far is an interesting one.


As chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee,


Hodge was famous for her fearless questioning and not shying away from


holding the most powerful and influential players in industry and


You're a company that says you do no evil,


Dame Margaret will look at whether the


Garden Bridge has achieved value for money from the taxpayers'


Some say Hodge's appointment is politically


motivated, but others, who are critical of


the plans, welcoming the London Mayor's decision.


I'm delighted Margaret Hodge is going to


take a look at this, because she knows, I think


she can smell a dud project when she sees one.


I think she's going to find this one is a real dud.


If this was built entirely with private money, and there was


enough private money to ensure it wasn't a liability on the taxpayer


in future, I's still think frankly it was a waste.


This is just a bad way to think of spending public money


and the sooner it's scrapped, the better.


Last month Newsnight revealed the funding shortfall for


the project was significantly greater than the public had been led


On top of the 60 million of public money pledged, the chair of the


Garden Bridge Trust, Lord Davies, told us that ?69 million had been


Since that appearance by Lord Davies more than a month ago, the Garden


Bridge Trust doesn't appear to have raised any new private money.


Indeed, just earlier this week, it told the Times newspaper that


private fund-raising still stood at ?69 million.


So despite the fact that those behind the Garden Bridge


have made it very clear that this is now a critical


time for the project, the money that they desperately need


to make this project happen just isn't materialising.


Letters and e-mails released this week under the


Freedom of Information Act have shown that the Garden Bridge came


perilously close to being pulled earlier this summer.


In an e-mail on the 11th of July, a senior civil


servant at the Department for Transport explicitly asked the


Garden Bridge Trust whether without the government


agreeing to extend a guarantee to underwrite the bridge,


the trustees would be unable to continue with the project.


Bee Emmott, the executive director of the garden


Bridge trust replies, yes, trustees need this


to demonstrate we are we are growing concern.


Without the underwriting they would struggle to demonstrate


Another letter has raised concerns for Will Hurst


On the 11th of July the trough's German, Mervyn Davies wrote to one


of the transport ministers, explaining that there were all sorts


of problems with the project, that it might need to be terminated


in the next few months and that they had stood


Now, on the very same day it turns out the garden bridge trust


was telling the Evening Standard, and therefore Londoners, that


They also released a statement on their website, this


is the garden bridge trust, saying construction has not been


halted because construction hasn't yet started.


I think the documents disclose something that's really


At the same time that the Bridge Trust was writing to the Minister


in the Department for Transport to say they've had to put work


on hold, they were telling the London Evening Standard that


everything was going absolutely swimmingly.


Now you know, that's at best misleading, at worst it's


A spokesperson for the Garden Bridge Trust said there is no deception,


you are comparing a letter to our delivery partner,


outlining funding risks where we discussed the worst-case


scenarios, with a press statement that clearly talks


about the operations work the team is doing to move ahead on all


the planning activities required to enable construction to commence.


Dame Margaret's review will cost ?25,000 and Sadiq Khan has promised


It will then be in his power to decide whether the


We did ask to speak to someone from the Garden Bridge Trust


No matter, with me now is Dame Margaret Hodge,


has been asked by the London Mayor to look into this project.


Did Sadiq Khan tell you why he wanted you particular for this job?


I think it's my experience over the five years of the last Parliament,


when I was responsible for China Public Accounts Committee, and our


job was to look at value for money for public expenditure. What I'm


looking for in this project is not the project in its totality, it's


the Garden Trust. If they raised money privately that is brilliant,


I'm looking at the Public expenditure part of it, the ?60


million promised, of which ?40 million has been spent, to see


whether it is value for money, whether the procurement process was


best practice and whether there was proper transparency in the decisions


that were taken. Do you still fancy the job having seen that report?


There we are, I will get a van load of stuff delivered tomorrow to my


house, so I will have really exciting reading over the weekend. I


get access to all the papers that City Hall have, so I will stop with


that. There have been various reviews. I will go through that. I


hope everybody will talk to me, including the Garden Trust and after


I've read the papers I will have a clear review of who I have to talk


to and what questions that need to ask. And you arrive at this task


with your impartiality scrupulous, but you do possess teeth and they


are teeth you are not afraid to bear in the chairmanship of that Public


Accounts Committee. Have you been entrusted with enough power,


conclusions depend on, to end this project before it's begun? I'm not


going in to end this project, I am impartial. Is that on the table as a


possibility, if your findings... The decision in the end is for others,


not me at all. The power lies more with the Department for Transport


and the male's office. That your advice could constitute a caution?


Let's see. I'm trying to work out what powers you have. I've got the


powers to look at everything, all the papers in City Hall. When I was


doing the Public Accounts Committee, we had to sometimes fight to get


access to papers. This time I'm told everything that goes into City Hall


is there. I hope people will come and talk to me about it. Will you


encourage them to do so? I want to clarify how as a layman howl nearly


?40 million can be spent on a budget before a brick has been delayed or


ground has been broken, do we know? That is the question I will have to


ask. That is your starting point. Dame Margaret Hodge, thank you.


A fictional account of the 72-hour long deliberations of Roman Catholic


cardinals charged with electing a new Pope may not offer


immediately obvious lessons for the British Labour party.


But the bestselling author, and former confidante of Tony Blair,


Robert Harris has extrapolated precisely that from his


Papal elections are a famously secretive process with their roots


in the thirteenth century culminating, of course,


with the release of plumes of white smoke so we thought


we'd charge Harris - once a reporter on Newsnight


of course - with explaining what lessons the papal politicians


might have for their secular cousins.


I wanted to write a novel about the election of a Pope,


not because I'm a Catholic which I'm not, but


because I'm a political writer and a conclave is the oldest


and most secretive electoral process on Earth.


I was allowed to go behind-the-scenes of the Vatican to


see the places where a conclave takes place,


in the corridors and in the bedrooms of the Cardinals where they gather


to discuss the candidates, in the room where the new Pope


is dressed and even allowed to follow the walk he takes soon


One aim of the novel was to take the reader inside


Another was to see whether this 700-year-old ritual, this


extraordinary coalition between the sacred and the profane still had


lessons to offer modern politics, in particular in this season of


It's a fairly reliable rule of recent papal elections that


whoever starts as favourite ends up losing,


as is often said to be the case in Tory leadership elections.


The Cardinals may not know who they want to choose as Pope,


but they often know who they don't want and the favourite


Unless a popular incumbent is standing again which obviously


is never the case with a conclave, elections are very much an


opportunity for change and most of the Popes elected over


the last 60 years have been, in a way, change


There is a warning here for Hillary Clinton above all,


because if even the elderly Cardinals


of the conclave want to see a change, how much more


so do millions of voters in the United States?


When the cardinals gather in the Sistine


Chapel, the first thing they do is pray that the holy spirit will come


among them and guide them to a candidate.


And once one of their number begins to attract a lot of


votes, inevitably they have the aura of being God's chosen.


What in a secular election a psephologist


Whether or not you believe that Jeremy Corbyn is the second


coming, it was certainly wise of his supporters to colonise that


particular word and his opponents have been on the defensive ever


Cardinals in a conclave are traditionally supposed to insist


that they have no desire to become Pope.


Nevertheless, those popes who are most successful, John XXIII,


John Paul II and the present Pope seemed to come almost


from the start, project an aura of confidence.


It's important to appear at ease in the role and it's also


Any divisions are kept behind closed doors.


And when the winning candidate emerges, the church


Secular politics has a lot to learn from conclaves.


Conclave, from the Latin conclavis - with a key.


Since the 13th century this was how the church had


ensured its Cardinals would come to a decision.


They would not be released from the chapel except for


meals and to sleep until they had chosen a Pope.


Finally the cardinal electors were alone.


The nation was rocked again today with further news of defections


from the Great British Bake Off team, as the show makes its


This morning we learned that Mary Berry will not be making


leaving Paul Hollywood as the only on-screen talent left.


If you're a fan of the show, though, don't worry.


We've got hold of a sneak preview of how the new show might look.


What we want to do is take it back to basics a little bit.


But that doesn't mean that the judging's


We've never done anything like this on Bake Off


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