01/03/2017 Newsnight


01/03/2017

Right to remain for EU Nationals in the UK? Will Brexit reignite troubles in Ireland? Armando Iannucci on satire in 2017. And blasphemy in Pakistan.


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Transcript


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It absolutely clear that people from other European countries who are

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living here have their rights protected.

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And today the House of Lords upheld that same idea.

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It's not the vote the Government wanted.

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It takes away negotiating flexibility,

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We'll examine the case for and against making promises

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Also tonight, how can we leave the EU customs union without having

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Programmes like this took a long time to get over

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being satirised by Armando Ianucci like this in 1994.

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So how might he go about doing the same

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Also tonight, how can we leave the EU customs union without having

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a hard border between the Republic of Ireland

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If you set up border checks, you are setting people up in static

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positions which makes it incredibly easy to shoot at them and as soon as

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they come out of those checks they will be easy to shoot out. -- shoot

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at. The Lords have thrown the first

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spanner into the Brexit works so carefully constructed

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by the Prime Minister, voting to amend the Brexit bill

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to tie the Government's hands by giving EU citizens here

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a guarantee of a right to remain. Now the plain truth is,

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there is little controversy over the substance: the Government wants

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the EU residents here just as the Lords do and the Leave

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campaigners in the referendum did. The issue is about whether you

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negotiate their guarantee of residence in return

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for assurances over the rights Or should we make the

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guarantee unilaterally? It was hard fought

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in the Lords today. If we are to be concerned about

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anybody's rights after Brexit, to live anywhere on this continent of

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Europe, it should be our concern for the rights of British people to live

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freely and peacefully in those other parts of Europe. Somehow or the

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other, today we seem to be thinking of nothing but the rights of

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foreigners. My lords. All our debate has been based on the premise that

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somehow we will get what we want in the end because there will be

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reciprocity. But supposing there is sent. Will we really at that point

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turnaround to EU nationals in this country and say on your way. Will we

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say take your children out of the schools? Will we say to the elderly,

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please go away from our care homes? My lords, this idea of it as a

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negotiating point, which I agree it is being used as, is totally

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unrealistic and totally unacceptable.

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Well, the signs are the government will try to overturn

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But for Europeans here, it's a bit fraught.

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Most have been here over five years and are already entitled to get

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permanent residency - but they have to fill out a huge

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form, go through various hoops, some potentially impossible,

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and even then there is a good chance of rejection.

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So some kind of automatic recognition of a right to remain

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is key, and especially so for those here for less than five years.

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John Sweeney has been meeting some of those affected.

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The question is that the motion be agreed to? As many of that opinion

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will say content. To the country, not content. Clear the bar. Not the

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dog and duck, but the House of Lords tonight fired the first shot against

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the government's plans to deliver Brexit. Until the day before

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yesterday, well, the end of 2015, members of European Union states had

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a right to live in Britain. Enter the Home Office. The people who work

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in this building behind me came up with this. It is a native 5-page

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form you have to fill in and people who have done that say the whole

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process is a nightmare -- and 85-page form. Brexit is beginning to

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bite in parts of Britain you would least expect. Welcome to Surrey's

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stockbroker belt. Cave, originally from France, has applied for for

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permanent residency repeatedly. Yesterday she got her third

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rejection letter -- Aurelia cave. I was told I could send a certified

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copy of this passport knowing they had the original previously. This

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application was rejected on the basis that they needed the original

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of the passport. But they had a certified copy? Indeed. Are they

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making life deliberately difficult for you? I feel like it really, yes.

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I don't understand the rejection. My kids are British, my husband is

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British. I never asked anything from them, I just want this card for

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reassurance and I felt like I was dealt with really unfairly. Aurelia

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is on the neighbourhood watch committee. Twenty20 coppers came

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round to talk about a burglary, her youngest son thought the worst. He

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said, you are not taking my mum, you're not taking my mum. When the

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police arrived? Yes, because he thought they were coming to get me.

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Sabine von Toerne is a midwife originally from Germany who has

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lived in Britain for 13 years. Her eight-year-old boy was born here.

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She has not been rejected, she cannot even apply. You were training

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at the NHS and you now work for the NHS? Correct, yes. But that doesn't

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count? Well, because I have only started work two years ago, in

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February 2015, and before I was a student, did not have specific

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insurance, I now haven't got the years together, sufficient years to

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get by permanent residency document. Did you ever imagine when you first

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Kenya all these years ago that it would end up like this? No, I would

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never have imagined this. I basically thought after 1989 that we

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were free to go wherever we liked. I would never have imagined that I

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could end up being a second-class citizen and that my rights could be

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questioned in any way. It makes me sad, disappointed, angry and a bit

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helpless, although I am trying to do something about it. Are you

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sleeping? Not always that well. It depends. If I had a very hard day at

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work I might fall into my bed and sleep, but there are definitely

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nights where I am kept awake because I am thinking about my future. NHS

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nurse Joan Pons Laplana has lived and worked in Britain since 2000. Do

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you consider yourself British or Spanish? My passport says I am

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Spanish, my heart says I am British. For the last eight months I feel my

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life has been put on hold. It is a situation where the government don't

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want to guarantee a right to stay, I feel they took my voice away because

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I was not able to vote at the referendum. They decided my future

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without me. For that reason, I feel a bit angry towards the government.

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John Sweeney there. Nicolas Hatton is the co-founder

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of the pressure group The 3 Million which campaigns for the rights of EU

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citizens who live in the UK. And Peter Bone is the Conservative

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MP who co-founded the pro-Brexit Good evening to you both. Nicolas,

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you have been here for a couple of decades. 21 years. Are you seriously

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fearful that you will be deported? No, I'm not fearful. I am not in the

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risk population I think, but some people are. I think that what we

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have seen today is a message of hope for Parliament, because finally we

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have got a majority in parliament, in the Lords to say we can't vote

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you the rights to stay but we are worried because we never had this

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before. We never had a message from the top saying yes, you could stay.

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It could well be overturned and then we will be back to where we were and

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we will be invoking Article 50 in a couple of weeks and we will not have

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a guarantee. Exactly. For some people it is quite tragic. They feel

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they are being rejected by the Home Office when they apply for their

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card or permanent residents and now they feel what will happen to me if

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there is no guarantee? Peter Bone, I just want to imagine after two years

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of negotiations it fails and we crash out, this is a possibility the

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Prime Minister has talked about and the Chancellor has talked about, and

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no agreement is reached and one country says we will kick the

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British back home now, what are we going to do? The truth of the matter

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is, and we all know, and this is a little bit of a Sherard is that EU

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citizens here, certainly before the 23rd of June will be allowed to stay

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and you have already pointed out somewhat that if people have been

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here for five years they have residency. I saw those hard cases

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but you know, if they pop down to the local MP he would sort it out

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for them. It is a 3 million. I suppose the question is, if we all

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know, and when the Spanish sake, OK Brits, you go home, we will have an

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argument about Gibraltar and send you home, we will not say a million

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Polish people have to go back to Poland, why do not guarantee that if

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you were here before June 23 or much the 15th or whatever, you are

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allowed to stay? That is a perfectly arguable point. I remember having an

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arc and with Will Straw who said we will send everybody he. -- I

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remember having an argument. It is outrageous you said there is no

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guarantee that people will be sent home. There is no suggestion, is

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there? But why did the government... You know why. No, I don't. This bill

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is about invoking Article 50 and the will of the British people to tell

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Brussels we are leaving, nothing else. Give me the other reason. On

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the general principle of the thing, there are a million British people

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in the EU and we are looking after their interests. Lord Tebbit put it

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rather bluntly. How are we looking after the interests of British

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people in Spain? To make sure the argument goes we will agree this

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very rapidly. If the Spanish used our people as a bargaining chip you

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are saying that we will take Nicolas and others and threatened to send

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them home that you have just told me we will not do that so we don't have

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a bargaining chip so why did we just say it? You can make that argument.

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Theresa May is a very sensible person. She likes to adopt all the

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eyes and crossed the Tees. Nicolas, you heard Peter Bone say and he is

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probably right that they will not send people home because we need

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them to run the health service, does that give you any reassurance? I

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think Peter might not understand the environment for, the hostile

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environment at the Home Office for any migrants and foreigners,

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including EU citizens now. We see this 85 page form. I would fill out

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the form, no problem. But there is a 28% refusal rate on that form, a

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rejection rate. We should all be able to stay. It doesn't matter

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whether we have a certified copy of our passports. The truth of the

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matter is if someone came to senior researcher in the form is dull that

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wrongly, I helped them to get it correct. That is about filling out a

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form -- if the form is filled out wrongly. There are people who were

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turned down because they did not have a continuous health insurance

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policy. They may not have been here, the they may have been away for two

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years. All I am saying that the 3 million figure is wrong but

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actually, the truth of the matter is, all three of us around this

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table know that in some time in the next few months there will be an

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agreement. It is not us who are not agreeing, it is people in the

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European Union. It is the German Chancellor who does not want to

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agree with it. If everyone agreed we could settle it tomorrow. Beat you

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have already said we are going to keep them anyway, Peter, so I come

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back to this troublesome point I do not understand how that if Spain

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uses our citizens there is a pawn in their fight with us over Gibraltar

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and send them back here, are we going to say to Poland you have to

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take a million Polish people back? Of course not. Would then the art

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would not be with Spain? It would be. A lot of immigration is a

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national matter anyway. If we want to talk about Gibraltar, Spain

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better keep its hands off Gibraltar. My view is Gibraltar should have the

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protection of the united kingdom but that is another discussion. Do you

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understand the anxiety and stress that people are feeling because they

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do not have the certainty. I feel my future will stop in two years' time.

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I am here to reassure me. My next-door neighbours are Polish. --

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I am here to reassure you. The vast majority of people know they are

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safe. It is only people who are talking up the problem who are

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creating the anxiety thank you. It is election day in

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Northern Ireland tomorrow. Such treats are meant to come along

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only every five years, but the two main parties

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in the governing coalition And so only ten months

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after the last election, Sinn Fein pulled the plug

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on the Executive after a row about the escalating costs

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of a renewable heating scheme. But Brexit, and deeper differences

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over the legacy of the Troubles also divided Sinn Fein

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from the Democratic Unionists. The expectation now is that those

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two old governing parties will be back as the potential

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new governing parties post-election. Now in case you'd thought

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you could peel your eyes away from politics in Northern Ireland

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as having become prosaic, Our political editor

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Nick Watt reports. Over the past quarter of a century

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Northern Ireland peace process has ebbed and flowed. Now after a decade

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of unbroken power-sharing, the political settlement is facing a

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grave challenge. Northern Ireland has been transformed beyond

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recognition since I first reported from here in the days when armed

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squaddies still patrolled the streets. Now Belfast is a thriving

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city with gleaming new buildings. But almost 20 years on from the Good

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Friday agreement, ancient divisions are haunting the selection. Very old

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memories of the border have been thrown up by the very new challenge

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of Brexit. Northern Ireland's largest party the DUP supported

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Brexit. But nationalists voted overwhelmingly in favour of remain

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amid fears that Brexit could lead to an EU border cutting across the

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island of Ireland. The former American senator who chaired the

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Good Friday agreement has told Newsnight he hopes the UK Government

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will ensure there no return to the hard border of the past. I can look

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my first days there when it was very difficult to move back and forth

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across the border. It was heavily militarised and there has been a

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huge difference now with people moving freely back and forth,

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reducing stereotypes, reducing the possibility of demonising those who

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are other in any way. One of the architects of the peace process

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believes the UK decision to sever most of its links with the EU

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customs union means a hard border will be unavoidable. The possible

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return of customs officials at new Borders boasts an seen in decades

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could be used by dissident republicans to justify their

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campaign of violence. Of course there is no doubt about it, I don't

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think it will set of those people who, small as they are and almost

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dangerous because anyone who plays the game of armed struggle or

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violence is always a danger. They would see checks on the border and

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customs offices on the border and the identification of the border as

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in some way justifying the kind of things they always have in their

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mind. Tony Blair's former chief of staff issued a more stark warning. I

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think it would be dangerous if you have a hard border, if you put in

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blocks along the border people will try to destroy those that will

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create problems. If you set up border checks, even if they are ten

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miles one side or other of the border you are setting people in

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static positions which are easy to shoot out and as soon as they come

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out the other easy to shoot at. The distance are tiny, they are not

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compatible to the old IRA but it takes few people to start murdering

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offices in those circumstances and once they start it's hard to know

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how to react, you get into the cycle of radicalisation, repression, all

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over again and that's not what we want. An adviser to the former First

:18:49.:18:53.

Minister David Trimble believes today's so-called soft border may

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eventually be preserved. It may be a soft border, two or three years from

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now is when you would want an election when some of these issues

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might have been amicably sorted out. This is a dreadful moment to have

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one. Concerns over Brexit will complicate attempts to re-establish

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the power-sharing executive. If the two largest parties in each

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community, likely to be the DUP and Sinn Fein once again, failed to

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reach agreement then the UK Government may be obliged to

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reimpose direct rule. I think there is every danger we could go back to

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direct rule and I hope that focuses minds in Northern Ireland, Dublin

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and London. I think it's a mistake for the British government to stand

:19:39.:19:42.

back quite so far on this issue. That was the problem in the 60s, the

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British government tried to ignore it, the Home Office was responsible,

:19:48.:19:51.

letters were returned, but this is something to do with us and we have

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to play a role. The collapse of the power-sharing executive has

:19:58.:20:00.

exasperated Jonathan Powell, a veteran of the Good Friday

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agreement. I think it's interesting people as different as Martin

:20:08.:20:10.

McGuinness and Ian Paisley were able to make this system worked. Two

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sworn enemies who played crucial roles in bringing about the troubles

:20:15.:20:19.

yet they were able to make the power-sharing executive work. The

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real question is can a new generation, who are not themselves

:20:24.:20:25.

involved in the troubles, even if their families had been, can they

:20:26.:20:32.

make a new system work? Northern Ireland's divided communities are

:20:33.:20:34.

heeding familiar songs which has something of a retro feel. Bertie

:20:35.:20:40.

Ahern says people waiting for normal bread-and-butter politics should be

:20:41.:20:45.

patient. I remember when I was a young politician may be in the late

:20:46.:20:49.

70s, an old politician from one of the southern counties said to me

:20:50.:20:55.

that he detected in the 1977 election that the Civil War politics

:20:56.:21:02.

was coming to an end. So, that was the south, I don't expect the north

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to move. Maybe not a slow but not as quickly either. After three decades

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of violence the Good Friday agreement was designed to end the

:21:13.:21:16.

conflict by giving all the main parties a seat in government, in a

:21:17.:21:22.

system which defies the usual rules of democratic politics. The

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agreement was structured in a way to meet the needs at that time. That

:21:26.:21:31.

require power-sharing. It acquired institutions that are unique to the

:21:32.:21:36.

circumstances. When and how those institutions should be altered or

:21:37.:21:42.

modified or changed is up to the people and the political leaders of

:21:43.:21:46.

Northern Ireland. They are the best judges of that. They will make that

:21:47.:21:49.

determination because they are the ones affected by it. I did not

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expect when I along with my colleagues drafted document that

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became the Good Friday agreement, we did not expect that that would be

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written in stone. Northern Ireland's parties have tried to form a more

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democratic system to sit in cross community opposition. This is a

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tricky sell at election time. I think the developments with parties

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are quite interesting, the idea that they would have if not a formal vote

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sharing agreement across the sectarian divide, is a progressive

:22:31.:22:36.

development. Now they are, some people describe Northern Ireland as

:22:37.:22:40.

almost like two separate electorates, nationalists and

:22:41.:22:44.

unionists but if they cooperate in this way that changes that to some

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degree. A conflict which once seemed intractable has been largely quiet

:22:53.:22:57.

for the best part of two decades. Nobody is predicting a return to the

:22:58.:23:01.

violence of the past but these elections show that the Northern

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Ireland political settlement has entered a fragile face. -- says.

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And Nick Watt is at Stormont for us tonight.

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The election may not resolve very much, what happens next do you

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think? If the polls are to be believed then the DUP and Sinn Fein

:23:24.:23:27.

will emerge once again after these elections as the two largest

:23:28.:23:32.

parties. What that means is the onus is on them to restore the

:23:33.:23:36.

power-sharing executive. As things stand it looks pretty difficult to

:23:37.:23:40.

see how they are going to hammer out a deal. What that could mean is that

:23:41.:23:46.

the UK Government on the 45th anniversary of the first imposition

:23:47.:23:50.

of direct rule from London over Northern Ireland at the height of

:23:51.:23:54.

the troubles, that Westminster could once again take charge of all of

:23:55.:23:59.

Northern Ireland. The signs are that James Brokenshire, the Northern

:24:00.:24:03.

Ireland Secretary, is determined to do everything he can to ensure that

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mammoth step does not have to be taken, so what that means is very

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serious talks amongst the parties. But they cannot go on forever, the

:24:14.:24:18.

legislation talks about how they can last for a reasonable period of

:24:19.:24:23.

time, it was interesting that Bertie Ahern, the former Irish Prime

:24:24.:24:26.

Minister, said in my interview that perhaps the rules could be tweaked

:24:27.:24:30.

to allow those talks to last as long as six weeks. There is even talk of

:24:31.:24:36.

possibly having a second election to concentrate minds. But I have to

:24:37.:24:40.

say, in the rain here in Northern Ireland I do not truly detect much

:24:41.:24:44.

appetite for yet another election. Thank you. You can see a combines a

:24:45.:24:52.

guide to the parties and candidates in tomorrow's election on the BBC

:24:53.:24:53.

News website. One thing about President Trump

:24:54.:24:55.

that everyone will agree on is that he has smashed

:24:56.:24:57.

the old rules of political communication, he's dispensed

:24:58.:24:59.

with the conventions of political spin and obfuscation,

:25:00.:25:01.

and re-set the relationship Now there is one man who did more

:25:02.:25:03.

than anyone to expose the nonsenses of those old rules,

:25:04.:25:10.

Armando Iannucci, the creator of The Thick Of It, bitingly

:25:11.:25:13.

satirising political spin and the clenched-butt message

:25:14.:25:16.

control of New Labour. And, back in the '90s

:25:17.:25:19.

producing The Day Today, parodying programmes like this,

:25:20.:25:22.

with fake earnestness, Susanna has broken

:25:23.:25:24.

through to the front line, This is the very heart

:25:25.:25:29.

of the conflict. The men here have been fighting

:25:30.:25:36.

nonstop for three days. We drove in at night,

:25:37.:25:40.

straight into the The air now is thick

:25:41.:25:42.

with what they call We are under strict

:25:43.:25:50.

instructions not to With no cover, we run across open

:25:51.:25:55.

space to a nearby house. We found an injured

:25:56.:26:06.

man, we did our best. There was a family

:26:07.:26:09.

sheltering in the back We had no tounge in common

:26:10.:26:13.

but through the universal language of mutual need,

:26:14.:26:17.

I knew she was saying, come, set your equipment up in our refuge,

:26:18.:26:22.

the world must see this mess. These brave people

:26:23.:26:25.

are now sleeping but they know that tomorrow our aerials

:26:26.:26:27.

and transmitters could make this Well, Armando Iannucci is with me -

:26:28.:26:30.

the world has changed since The Day Today,

:26:31.:26:39.

and The Thick Of It, and indeed since Veep -

:26:40.:26:41.

the series he created in the US. For him, the world and comedy? As

:26:42.:26:55.

you look at the world are you laughing at politics? No. I should

:26:56.:27:01.

be but, I am an avid watcher of political shows. It is how you are

:27:02.:27:08.

so good I admit mimicking. I got heavily involved in watching

:27:09.:27:15.

American election coverage until the result and then I actually could not

:27:16.:27:19.

watch television for about a week or indeed read a newspaper. You are on

:27:20.:27:25.

Twitter a lot talking about Donald Trump, we had Tom Friedman at the

:27:26.:27:28.

New York Times on the programme and said if you try to take the guy on

:27:29.:27:33.

he will suck your brain out and I wonder... That is his genius I think

:27:34.:27:41.

the great mistake is to portray him as an idiot. Because he's not. He

:27:42.:27:45.

knows what he's doing and he's very clever, he's a very clever salesman

:27:46.:27:49.

and that is what he has been doing for the last year and a half,

:27:50.:27:54.

selling this model of the successful businessman believes everything he

:27:55.:27:59.

says and is persuadable enough to get a sizeable amount of the

:28:00.:28:07.

electorate to vote for him. How did we get here? Let me put a suggestion

:28:08.:28:13.

to you, you spent the 2000's mockingly controlled and careful

:28:14.:28:18.

politics of new Labour, the message clearly donated, the PC stuff. And

:28:19.:28:24.

the public rebelled against it, they took your message and said... Are

:28:25.:28:32.

you saying I am responsible for Donald Trump? No, but you have to be

:28:33.:28:38.

careful what you wish for. Some of The Thick Of It arose from genuine

:28:39.:28:41.

frustration and anger, in my case that we could go to war with Iraq

:28:42.:28:46.

despite millions of protests on the street and every expert saying it

:28:47.:28:50.

would be a disaster and it proved the case. I took that sense of

:28:51.:28:54.

frustration, the sense that politicians were not connecting with

:28:55.:28:58.

the people and produced something like The Thick Of It which was also

:28:59.:29:02.

looking at the notion that politicians were concentrating more

:29:03.:29:05.

on a smaller and smaller group of people, the middle England, the

:29:06.:29:14.

squeezed middle. The tiny amount of people who can swing an election. In

:29:15.:29:20.

the course of doing that taking for granted everyone else. And as the

:29:21.:29:24.

years have gone by, that group of people we have taken for granted is

:29:25.:29:30.

becoming 85% which is why you get the frustration. You told the

:29:31.:29:35.

Financial Times in 2012, you said all of this, seething anger,

:29:36.:29:38.

everything has become poorer lies to, people do not mind system is

:29:39.:29:41.

being held up to ridicule because it articulates what they are feeling.

:29:42.:29:45.

But you have just given an accountant of people who felt cut

:29:46.:29:49.

off from politics, that is what the populists as people call them, that

:29:50.:29:53.

is the appeal, that is what Donald Trump says, they forgot the rust

:29:54.:29:59.

belt of America. But you do not like Trump and are not a fan, so the

:30:00.:30:04.

people who were left out did not like the things you wanted, they

:30:05.:30:08.

wanted other stuff. People were being left out on the right and left

:30:09.:30:15.

which is why in the UK we have Momentum and Ukip, and the rise of

:30:16.:30:20.

personalities. Instead of parties we have got Jeremy Corbyn's Labour and

:30:21.:30:25.

Boris Johnson conservatism and Theresa May conservatism, we have

:30:26.:30:29.

got factions, nothing which resembles the two or three party

:30:30.:30:34.

system we had in the 50s and 60s through to the 70s. You mention

:30:35.:30:40.

Jeremy Corbyn, one of the things you parodied was the severe control of

:30:41.:30:48.

pagers and people having to give out the line. Nobody would say that

:30:49.:30:50.

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour is controlled. Does it work or does it

:30:51.:30:56.

not work? What happens is you get this frustration with the intense

:30:57.:31:02.

media management, people are hungry for something that is entirely

:31:03.:31:05.

different which is why we go to Boris Johnson because he mumbles and

:31:06.:31:09.

has hilarious hair or Jeremy Corbyn because he wears a vest and has a

:31:10.:31:14.

beard. That has an instant appeal and I can see why it has an instant

:31:15.:31:18.

appeal. Then you get to the point of trying to work out how you can

:31:19.:31:23.

actually control a party and get back into government and that is

:31:24.:31:28.

when the chaos approached the politics does not work. You have

:31:29.:31:32.

lampooned politicians, do you respect or pity them at all, do you

:31:33.:31:38.

basically, because a lot of them are lovely people...

:31:39.:31:48.

I find the most sympathetic characters in The Thick Of It the

:31:49.:31:55.

politicians. It is the strange young people she surrounds herself with

:31:56.:32:00.

who have a degree in PPE from Oxford and very little else who are trying

:32:01.:32:05.

to run her department that I think is the real danger. You took some of

:32:06.:32:14.

the humour to the states with Veep, about a vice president who wants to

:32:15.:32:19.

be president. Is it exactly the same, you, a British guy, from

:32:20.:32:22.

Scotland, you can take the same humour and it works there or did you

:32:23.:32:28.

have to employ lots of writers. I might be deported if I do it now.

:32:29.:32:38.

But it is still going, you are not involved any more? After four years

:32:39.:32:42.

of jet lag and flying backwards and forwards, I think it is a British

:32:43.:32:46.

thing, we only do three or four series of something but in America

:32:47.:32:52.

you are expected to do 29 series of 13 episodes a year and then died.

:32:53.:32:58.

What about news. The Day Today, have you seen any improvements in the way

:32:59.:33:05.

news is covered? What is interesting is the whole business of fake news.

:33:06.:33:07.

The fact that the Internet now allows anyone saying anything to

:33:08.:33:11.

make it look as valid as the Telegraph or the Guardian or the BBC

:33:12.:33:16.

website, because it is there in typeface. That is a real problem. I

:33:17.:33:22.

think what the rise of Trump or his attack on the news may do is provoke

:33:23.:33:28.

people like you into thinking afresh about how you make the news, how you

:33:29.:33:34.

shoulder the news isn't fake. I felt it was interesting the advice he had

:33:35.:33:37.

yesterday following journalists in the White House. -- you had

:33:38.:33:43.

yesterday. People want to come to a place which has a heritage. It is

:33:44.:33:49.

important for the established news programmes to show the decisions you

:33:50.:33:53.

have to make on a daily basis. Could you make a comedy like The Thick Of

:33:54.:34:01.

It now? I think it would be very difficult and I am not inclined to

:34:02.:34:04.

you because I am more interested in trying to energise 16 and

:34:05.:34:07.

17-year-olds into politics. That is the frightening thing. They don't

:34:08.:34:11.

vote, well, they cannot because they are 16 and 17 but 18-year-olds do

:34:12.:34:16.

not vote in the numbers that people over 35 and 40 vote and I think that

:34:17.:34:20.

is because they have been turned off by party politics. It was really

:34:21.:34:23.

interesting in the Scottish referendum having the votes for 16

:34:24.:34:28.

and 17-year-olds, because it galvanised them and told them their

:34:29.:34:31.

view was important and it made them examine the issues and I only wish

:34:32.:34:40.

that opportunity had been presented to us all in the general election.

:34:41.:34:42.

Armando Iannucci, thank you for talking to us.

:34:43.:34:43.

Blasphemy is one of the most emotive issues in the Muslim world -

:34:44.:34:46.

particularly in Pakistan where it's legally punishable by death.

:34:47.:34:48.

Though no-one there has been executed for it -

:34:49.:34:51.

many accused of it have been lynched.

:34:52.:34:52.

And one man - Mumtaz Qadri - killed a politician

:34:53.:34:55.

who simply spoke out against the blasphemy law

:34:56.:34:57.

and remains a hero to many for that murder.

:34:58.:34:59.

Qadri was executed by the Pakistani state

:35:00.:35:00.

Secunder Kermani went along to the events commemorating him -

:35:01.:35:05.

to try and explore what's behind his popularity -

:35:06.:35:07.

and what it tells us about Pakistani society.

:35:08.:35:14.

Thousands turn out to honour a convicted killer.

:35:15.:35:19.

They're here in support of a man called Mumtaz Qadri,

:35:20.:35:22.

executed last year for murdering a high-profile Pakistani politician

:35:23.:35:26.

who was trying to reform the country's blasphemy laws.

:35:27.:35:30.

The authorities executed Mumtaz Qadri on the 29th

:35:31.:35:33.

of February last year, perhaps thinking the fact

:35:34.:35:35.

it was a leap year would make it harder for his supporters

:35:36.:35:38.

The figure of Mumtaz Qadri and the issue of blasphemy has

:35:39.:35:45.

become symbolic of the tensions at the heart of Pakistan's identity.

:35:46.:35:52.

Earlier in the week we visited the shrine that houses

:35:53.:35:54.

They are also constructing a mosque and a seminary here.

:35:55.:36:01.

Built with donations from the public, it receives

:36:02.:36:03.

a steady stream of visitors of all ages.

:36:04.:36:08.

Mumtaz Qadri was a police bodyguard who shot the politician he was meant

:36:09.:36:12.

But his supporters don't see him as a traitor,

:36:13.:36:16.

rather as someone who died trying to preserve Pakistan's Islamic

:36:17.:36:19.

character, exemplified in their view by a law that holds blasphemy

:36:20.:36:22.

The adoration for Mumtaz Qadri is matched by a hatred of politicians.

:36:23.:36:53.

Today at the rally in honour of Mumtaz Qadri, speakers railed

:36:54.:36:56.

against the Prime Minister and the opposition, portraying

:36:57.:36:59.

For the crowds gathered here, blasphemy isn't just a religious

:37:00.:37:06.

This is a kind of populist movement dedicated to opposing

:37:07.:37:11.

what they see as a more secular liberal political establishment.

:37:12.:37:19.

Dr Ashraf Jalali is one of the leading figures

:37:20.:37:22.

He sees himself as part of the battle for Pakistan's soul.

:37:23.:38:00.

Over the past decade, globalisation has brought Western

:38:01.:38:02.

culture more visibly to Pakistan, with a growing number

:38:03.:38:04.

of shopping malls, seminars and cable TV channels.

:38:05.:38:11.

That has accentuated cultural divisions within the country.

:38:12.:38:19.

This represents the divide which we have in our society

:38:20.:38:22.

and I think that divide is right, you know, with the establishment,

:38:23.:38:24.

Pakistan as a post-colonial state, because I think there are people

:38:25.:38:28.

who feel that Pakistan should become a democratic secular country,

:38:29.:38:31.

and there are others who believe that Pakistan should

:38:32.:38:34.

I think that is a consistently, I think there is no consensus

:38:35.:38:41.

in society but the state, the nature of state should be

:38:42.:38:44.

And the blasphemy law actually sharpens that divide in society.

:38:45.:38:55.

Whilst the religious right complain they are being marginalised,

:38:56.:38:58.

it is often the most vulnerable in society that are affected

:38:59.:39:01.

Mumtaz Qadri's victim was speaking out in favour of a Christian woman

:39:02.:39:09.

sentenced to death for supposedly committing blasphemy in an argument

:39:10.:39:12.

Since he was murdered, she has remained in jail.

:39:13.:39:19.

An appeal due to take place last year was delayed and her family fear

:39:20.:39:23.

judges are too afraid to hear the case.

:39:24.:39:49.

There is also now growing concern that allegations of blasphemy

:39:50.:39:51.

are being used to discredit critics of the state.

:39:52.:39:55.

In January this year, a group of liberal activists were abducted.

:39:56.:39:58.

Many believe the intelligence services were responsible.

:39:59.:40:04.

As crowds gather demanding their release, a counter

:40:05.:40:06.

campaign sprang up accusing them of blasphemy.

:40:07.:40:10.

Since they were freed, none of them have been willing

:40:11.:40:12.

to say who detained then, but one, now out of Pakistan,

:40:13.:40:16.

agreed to speak about the impact of the allegations on him

:40:17.:40:18.

In a society we have any allegation taken so seriously,

:40:19.:40:40.

so in future you say something, you do something,

:40:41.:40:43.

you are already discredited in the eyes of the people.

:40:44.:40:55.

So people see you like this person who has committed blasphemy.

:40:56.:40:57.

Next year, Pakistan will hold a general election

:40:58.:40:59.

and Mumtaz Qadri's supporters are launching their

:41:00.:41:01.

Whilst unlikely to gather many seats, they will make it difficult

:41:02.:41:07.

for anyone to challenge the prevailing notions of blasphemy.

:41:08.:41:09.

We leave you with news that Disney is to feature its first

:41:10.:41:18.

gay movie character, with a love scene no less,

:41:19.:41:20.

The film in question is the live action remake

:41:21.:41:24.

of Beauty And The Beast, Disney's exploration of

:41:25.:41:26.

The character in question is Lefou, the sidekick of the film's alpha

:41:27.:41:32.

And as fans of the 1991 cartoon version will know,

:41:33.:41:38.

this development isn't a huge surprise.

:41:39.:41:40.

# For there's no man in town half as manly

:41:41.:41:46.

# You can ask any Tom, Dick or Stanley

:41:47.:41:52.

# And they'll tell you whose team they'd prefer to be on

:41:53.:41:59.

# No one's got a swell cleft in his chin like Gaston

:42:00.:42:07.

# Not a bit of him's scraggly or scrawny

:42:08.:42:10.

# And every last inch of me's covered with hair

:42:11.:42:14.

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