13/07/2017 Newsnight


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13/07/2017

Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, with Kamal Ahmed. Including government review of building regulations, John McDonnell, and Liu Xiaobo remembered.


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Grenfell - the regulations not fit for the job.

:00:00.:00:09.

It wasn't just horrific flames but poisonous gases that killed.

:00:10.:00:13.

Could changing rules on cladding have contributed?

:00:14.:00:17.

So, this small amount of material, if it

:00:18.:00:22.

burned in a house or flat, would be enough to fill the whole house or

:00:23.:00:26.

Enough to stop you escaping and kill you.

:00:27.:00:29.

We'll be asking, just how long will it take before

:00:30.:00:32.

we can trust the rules will improve safety and not undermine it?

:00:33.:00:39.

As that Great EU Repeal Bill is finally published, we ask,

:00:40.:00:46.

I'm hoping the government are going to let us amend our lot of this bill

:00:47.:00:53.

and on that basis we might be able to support it.

:00:54.:00:56.

But we can't at the moment because it is so

:00:57.:00:58.

# I could kill, but I don't care about it.

:00:59.:01:03.

And we catch up with the man who wrote this song.

:01:04.:01:08.

What have you been doing in the years when we haven't

:01:09.:01:11.

Hmm, I suppose it was like spiritual research,

:01:12.:01:17.

Grenfell is one of those events that changes attitudes and opens our eyes

:01:18.:01:35.

to subjects that before the horrific events of a month ago

:01:36.:01:39.

were the preserve of experts, bureaucrats and the people -

:01:40.:01:41.

often ignored - who were living every day with risk.

:01:42.:01:45.

Tonight, Newsnight has new evidence that building regulations

:01:46.:01:48.

We reveal that the Government is preparing a major review

:01:49.:01:54.

of those regulations, and show that honourable efforts

:01:55.:01:57.

to make buildings more energy efficient could have inadvertently

:01:58.:01:59.

Tell us what this review is going to look at. The big thing is to

:02:00.:02:17.

understand is the government has been looking at local authority

:02:18.:02:23.

housing and social housing and the cladding and what came up is the

:02:24.:02:26.

astounded to discover that the rule book they thought they had written

:02:27.:02:30.

is simply not is what is being practised on the ground, there is a

:02:31.:02:33.

gap between where they expect standards to be and where they are.

:02:34.:02:38.

This review is working out whether the rule book is a problem or

:02:39.:02:41.

implementation of the enforcement? All of these things are on the

:02:42.:02:47.

table. The big issue is, how long will this take? People are living in

:02:48.:02:57.

these flats all around the country. Local authorities are dealing with

:02:58.:02:59.

short-term issues but longer term the government will have to do

:03:00.:03:01.

something about this and this review will clash with the judicial enquiry

:03:02.:03:04.

and the police investigations and they will be asking the same

:03:05.:03:08.

questions so it will take a long time and we have made a film today

:03:09.:03:12.

that explains just how troubled and difficult rebuilding regulations now

:03:13.:03:22.

really are. The Grenfell Tower fire had a lot of causes, direct and

:03:23.:03:26.

indirect but the problems here and those discovered in other tower

:03:27.:03:31.

blocks reflect that building rules have not kept pace with construction

:03:32.:03:35.

methods. The government have prioritised insulation over fire

:03:36.:03:41.

safety and it is quite a tempting proposition because insulation

:03:42.:03:47.

affects every building, fires only affect a very small number. Thermal

:03:48.:03:52.

efficiency is the part of the building codes that have changed

:03:53.:03:56.

most in the last 40 years. After the oil shock in the 1970s and more

:03:57.:04:02.

recently because of concerns about climate change and fuel poverty.

:04:03.:04:05.

Quite rightly, the rules have aimed for ever warmer homes. What do those

:04:06.:04:12.

changes over the last few decades mean in practice? Here is a thought

:04:13.:04:18.

experiment that might help you get your head around this. Suppose you

:04:19.:04:22.

have a bare brick wall adjective do something to get it past a building

:04:23.:04:26.

inspector concerned about thermal efficiency? In the 1960s all you

:04:27.:04:29.

needed to do was the equivalent of sticking a very thin sheet, just 15

:04:30.:04:36.

millimetres of old-fashioned mineral bull insulation, and you would be

:04:37.:04:42.

fine but standards have risen and by the 1990s you would need to stick

:04:43.:04:47.

around 90 millimetres to the wall to get it past the inspector. These

:04:48.:04:53.

days, you need to stick around 120 millimetres to the wall to get it

:04:54.:04:58.

through that inspection. The thing is, builders don't build to the

:04:59.:05:03.

minimum standards and at Grenfell Tower, the cladding introduced a

:05:04.:05:06.

level of insulation that was equivalent in our experiment did 200

:05:07.:05:11.

millimetres of insulation to the wall. The Grenfell planning

:05:12.:05:15.

application explained... There is another reason why

:05:16.:05:34.

developers have gone well beyond the basic requirements for energy

:05:35.:05:40.

efficiency. At Grenfell Tower, the renovation actually got funded in

:05:41.:05:45.

part by something called the energy company obligation, our public

:05:46.:05:48.

policy intervention by the government which forces energy

:05:49.:05:52.

companies to put money into making older buildings more energy

:05:53.:05:56.

efficient. In the Grenfell Tower case, that money went into a new

:05:57.:05:59.

district heating system, not insulation. But if you go down the

:06:00.:06:05.

road, that is the Ed Woodward 's estate and in that case the

:06:06.:06:11.

eco-money went straight into a new noncombustible insulation on the

:06:12.:06:18.

outside of the towers. These policies, regulations and

:06:19.:06:20.

initiatives are sharpened up incentives for builders to try new

:06:21.:06:28.

insulators, like so-called PIR plastic foams, the insulation at

:06:29.:06:32.

Grenfell Tower. It is a better insulator and therefore it is going

:06:33.:06:39.

to give better heat economy for the same thickness of material or the

:06:40.:06:44.

same weight of maternal. It is cheaper and it is lighter so it is

:06:45.:06:47.

going to require less material to hold it in place and it is going to

:06:48.:06:53.

require less cost in terms of lifting it up to whenever you are

:06:54.:06:58.

going to install it. But it obviously has this big drawback in

:06:59.:07:03.

terms of fire safety but the phone is organic based and is combustible.

:07:04.:07:08.

The rules advise that insulation in tall buildings should not be

:07:09.:07:13.

flammable but in the lead to is, I rule was introduced stating you can

:07:14.:07:17.

use such combustible materials on a tall building if it passes the test.

:07:18.:07:21.

You have to replicate the design you want to install and then set a fire

:07:22.:07:29.

under it. But here is a video produced by insulation manufacturer

:07:30.:07:35.

for its customers. As an alternative to a full test, it highlights a

:07:36.:07:41.

desktop study. If an engineer believes something similar to your

:07:42.:07:45.

design has already been tested, you don't need to test yours. Newsnight

:07:46.:07:51.

has already revealed how some engineers really stretch the

:07:52.:07:54.

definition of what is similar in these desktop studies to avoid

:07:55.:08:00.

further tests. For example, we have shown how tests using ceramic tiles

:08:01.:08:04.

have been used to justify avoiding testing with aluminium panels. Two

:08:05.:08:11.

different substances. We have revealed how some building

:08:12.:08:13.

inspection agencies have been routinely signing on using

:08:14.:08:18.

combustible insulation and exterior cladding without even so much as a

:08:19.:08:25.

desktop study. So there has been too little testing and the ones that

:08:26.:08:29.

have been done are confidential. The trouble is some manufacturers we

:08:30.:08:33.

know have an extensive library of the full-scale tests to prove their

:08:34.:08:38.

material. Others, it is difficult to discern whether they have or not so

:08:39.:08:43.

reliant on the way they market the product to us. If you see a claim

:08:44.:08:47.

saying this product is suitable above 18 metres and then you read

:08:48.:08:55.

governing authorities' literature endorsing that, we will believe that

:08:56.:09:01.

is suitable. One company that ensures industrial buildings got

:09:02.:09:04.

worried about the tests themselves. We have seen several fires involving

:09:05.:09:10.

combustible insulation and we were concerned that the laboratory tests

:09:11.:09:13.

on this type of plastic insulation did not reflect the risk in the real

:09:14.:09:20.

world. Normal lab test installation is installed to perfect standards

:09:21.:09:24.

but if you years ago the insurer commissioned tests on this widely

:09:25.:09:29.

made insulation type installed with real-world, normal workmanship. The

:09:30.:09:33.

traditional insulation held out for one hour. But the combustible PIR

:09:34.:09:40.

insulation did not. The fire monitoring equipment was destroyed

:09:41.:09:44.

in about 70 minutes by the heat. A much worse performance than previous

:09:45.:09:49.

lab tests suggested. There is also a problem with toxicity. The trouble

:09:50.:09:54.

but this material is that it has got a lot of nitrogen in it and when it

:09:55.:09:59.

burns, it produces both carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide and so

:10:00.:10:03.

the small amount of material, if it burned in a house or a flat, would

:10:04.:10:08.

fill the whole flat or house with toxic smoke, enough to stop the

:10:09.:10:14.

escaping and killed you. Hospital discharge papers from one Grenfell

:10:15.:10:18.

resident seen by Newsnight showed they had cyanide poisoning.

:10:19.:10:22.

The British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers' Association said...

:10:23.:10:31.

They also stated that the design of the

:10:32.:10:41.

The government has been shocked to learn this month how far far

:10:42.:10:53.

standards are from where they had expected. That is why they believe a

:10:54.:10:58.

review is now necessary. Chris Cook, there.

:10:59.:11:00.

Jonathan O'Neill is Managing Director of the Fire

:11:01.:11:01.

He joins us from Worcester. Thank you for joining us. The testing

:11:02.:11:19.

regime is obviously flawed. You presumably welcomed this

:11:20.:11:21.

announcement that there will be this review and overhaul? Well, we have

:11:22.:11:29.

been calling for a review for some time so if a review is announced, it

:11:30.:11:36.

is very welcome news. And very refreshing that actually, your

:11:37.:11:39.

report has shown some of the problems are with the testing regime

:11:40.:11:43.

because as the film rightly pointed out, the tests are done on perfect

:11:44.:11:50.

insulation and we know that actually, the insulation is not

:11:51.:11:53.

perfectly encapsulated all the time and the test does not include

:11:54.:11:57.

windows or penetrations in the cladding and we would like to see a

:11:58.:12:02.

more realistic test, assuming we get a building regulations review as

:12:03.:12:05.

soon as we can. Isn't the problem that you have raised these issues

:12:06.:12:09.

time and time again and does not seem to have been much action? Why

:12:10.:12:16.

do you think that was? I think there has been a real difficulty. The Fire

:12:17.:12:20.

and Rescue Service have been so successful in reducing the number of

:12:21.:12:25.

fire deaths and injuries over the last decade that I think there was a

:12:26.:12:29.

genuine belief by ministers and others that the fire problem had

:12:30.:12:34.

gone away. In reality, we knew there were more combustible materials

:12:35.:12:39.

being introduced to the building process and that required... It was

:12:40.:12:43.

likely to require a different fire dynamic and that is what we were

:12:44.:12:46.

concerned about and that is why we are asking for building regulations

:12:47.:12:52.

reviews. You say that more combustible materials were being

:12:53.:12:57.

added to the cladding. Why? It is not just cladding, it is throughout

:12:58.:13:02.

the building process. There are different insulation requirements

:13:03.:13:04.

that have been introduced over recent years and the easy option is

:13:05.:13:11.

to be putting in the lighter, more combustible materials. The problem

:13:12.:13:18.

stems from a term called limited, stability, in reality we have

:13:19.:13:21.

combustible and noncombustible and it should be that simple, when you

:13:22.:13:26.

add terms like Limited, stability, it adds a grey area of

:13:27.:13:30.

interpretation and as a report said, that is where problems can occur and

:13:31.:13:36.

that has been a real concern. For high occupancies, noncombustible

:13:37.:13:42.

materials must be the absolute priority. The question I asked Chris

:13:43.:13:46.

before we saw that film was about the issue of speed. People are

:13:47.:13:52.

living in blocks with this type of material in them across the country.

:13:53.:13:58.

How quickly can a review of this type, with such congregated

:13:59.:14:02.

regulations, changing those regulations, how quickly and with

:14:03.:14:06.

what speed than any review take place and can changes be put in

:14:07.:14:11.

place so people are safer? Well, building regulations offer new build

:14:12.:14:18.

and refurbishment and we are where we are the building environment as

:14:19.:14:22.

it stands. There is a safety case and the government are doing all

:14:23.:14:25.

they can to understand how large this problem is with social housing.

:14:26.:14:29.

And the tests they have commissioned will go some way to solving that

:14:30.:14:36.

problem the issue we have got is, what are the problem insulation is

:14:37.:14:40.

and how to be fully encapsulated them so they do not cause any

:14:41.:14:47.

problem? As the tests have shown, fully encapsulated insulation can

:14:48.:14:53.

perform very well in a test. I am assuming that these things could

:14:54.:14:57.

take years to study and analyse. Is that the sort of time frame?

:14:58.:15:03.

Typically, and I sat on a number of different reviews over the last

:15:04.:15:09.

couple of decades, it normally takes 18 months to around two years for a

:15:10.:15:14.

review and we would be very keen to urge the government to start that

:15:15.:15:21.

review immediately and things can be short cut quickly, tests can be

:15:22.:15:25.

commissioned, it depends on the resources the government are

:15:26.:15:29.

prepared to throw at us. And also, to be honest, what evidence we can

:15:30.:15:32.

make available. It is sometimes difficult to get ahold of government

:15:33.:15:36.

statistics which can make a big difference to make the changes that

:15:37.:15:38.

are required. It's about trying to read gain trust

:15:39.:15:45.

and faith in the regulations which have been so damaged by the events

:15:46.:15:50.

one month ago. Without a doubt. We have been calling for the Government

:15:51.:15:55.

to review the basis of those regulations. At the moment they are

:15:56.:15:58.

life safety regulations, and quite likely serve. We don't have any

:15:59.:16:05.

building section within it. We had the local building act, which gave

:16:06.:16:08.

an element of building protection and resilience to the built

:16:09.:16:13.

environment. That was repealed under the last government. And so those

:16:14.:16:16.

types of protections, which are common throughout the world, just

:16:17.:16:20.

don't exist in UK Government building regulations any more.

:16:21.:16:24.

Jonathan O'Neil, thank you very much for joining us.

:16:25.:16:28.

We did ask the Government for an interview, but they told us that

:16:29.:16:31.

nobody was available. Today, it wasn't just Brexit

:16:32.:16:36.

and the publication of that excitingly titled European Union

:16:37.:16:38.

(Withdrawal) Bill that was the centre of attention -

:16:39.:16:40.

what we used to know The Brexit effect on the economy

:16:41.:16:43.

also hoved into view as the Office for Budget Responsibility -

:16:44.:16:47.

the OBR, the Government's official economic watchdog -

:16:48.:16:49.

published its first ever And it certainly said

:16:50.:16:51.

there were a few - high levels of debt,

:16:52.:16:57.

a continuing deficit, an economy now less able to deal

:16:58.:17:00.

with shocks than it was before Is this really the time

:17:01.:17:03.

to be ending austerity? The OBR called for public

:17:04.:17:10.

finance "prudence", and I asked John McDonnell,

:17:11.:17:13.

Labour's Shadow Chancellor, if borrowing more now would really

:17:14.:17:16.

make for a strong and stable economy, and whether being prepared

:17:17.:17:20.

to vote against the Brexit Bill was really an attempt to derail

:17:21.:17:23.

the whole process. If you look at the underlying

:17:24.:17:38.

references that are coming from the OBR, it's about seven years of

:17:39.:17:42.

austerity. It's about productivity stagnating from nearly a decade. Low

:17:43.:17:47.

wages, wages falling back as well. Business investment growth falling

:17:48.:17:50.

back. There's a sort of cocktail of desperate elements within the

:17:51.:17:54.

economy now. That puts the economy at risk. One thing within the OBR

:17:55.:17:58.

report which was interesting, they touch on the Grenfell fire. Do you

:17:59.:18:02.

think there is going to be a cost attached to putting in proper

:18:03.:18:05.

policies that can deal with things, the outcome of things like that?

:18:06.:18:11.

From what we so -- from what we have heard so far, it could be

:18:12.:18:14.

significant and we have to recognise that. The overall issue, how do we

:18:15.:18:18.

get our housing programme back in line? Robert Chote suggested, some

:18:19.:18:24.

would say, from his OBR report, but actually the prudent management of

:18:25.:18:28.

the public finances, austerity, if you'd like, is actually a good thing

:18:29.:18:31.

to do when you have very high levels of debt. Use till have a deficit all

:18:32.:18:36.

of these years after the financial crisis -- you still have a deficit.

:18:37.:18:40.

Actually it is time to fix the roof while the sun is shining. We are a

:18:41.:18:45.

whirlwind at the moment. Lack of investment, austerity measures,

:18:46.:18:48.

which have largely hit people who need the money, who would spend and

:18:49.:18:52.

help grow, and consumer debt increasing. It is just pure

:18:53.:18:57.

management. Can we move on to the issue of Brexit? We have had the

:18:58.:19:01.

publication of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, as it is now

:19:02.:19:05.

called. You have immediately come so too will not support it. Is there a

:19:06.:19:09.

danger for you that the public who voted to leave the European Union

:19:10.:19:12.

will look at Parliament on the, you're simply blocking the public

:19:13.:19:16.

will? The public is expecting us to take back control to Europe and then

:19:17.:19:20.

give it to the executive, to the government. By Henry VIII powers. Is

:19:21.:19:27.

that your big issues? If you hand to the executive, we have taken control

:19:28.:19:30.

from Europe and given it to the Government and there is no

:19:31.:19:33.

parliamentary discussion or control, that can't be right. We are saying

:19:34.:19:37.

that we need a different type of Bill. I hope the Government will

:19:38.:19:42.

hope us and a lot of this bill. We can't at the moment because it is so

:19:43.:19:45.

undemocratic. I think they should withdraw this and bring something

:19:46.:19:49.

forward. If not, we'll amend it as best we can. What is more important

:19:50.:19:59.

to you, Mr McDonnell, getting rid of the Prime Minister or getting out of

:20:00.:20:02.

the European Union? Look, the most important thing for me is about the

:20:03.:20:05.

future of the country. At the moment, the problem that we've got

:20:06.:20:07.

is that the future of our country is being held back because we have a

:20:08.:20:10.

weak or no Government in power at the moment. They are in office, but

:20:11.:20:13.

not in power. You can see my point that by frustrating the Brexit...

:20:14.:20:18.

Oh, no, we are not... Theresa May has to resign and you get the

:20:19.:20:21.

election that you want. Theresa May's Dever registration is more

:20:22.:20:25.

important. You are wrong, missing type to get. The most important

:20:26.:20:35.

thing for us is the good governance of this country so quite we have had

:20:36.:20:38.

an election, a referendum. And you lot down here in Westminster cannot

:20:39.:20:40.

get anything done. We have said time and time again that on the number of

:20:41.:20:43.

issues we can cooperate but we cannot support what they are doing

:20:44.:20:45.

at the moment because it is undermining our economy and ability

:20:46.:20:48.

to get this new relationship with Europe that we need. You're not

:20:49.:20:50.

going to get those kind of concessions, so Brexit will not

:20:51.:20:53.

happen with any speed whatsoever. I think this Government is falling

:20:54.:20:56.

apart rapidly on the Conservative Party is splitting about five

:20:57.:20:59.

different ways. On that basis, the only responsible thing for them to

:21:00.:21:03.

do in the interest of the country is to stand aside and let some deals

:21:04.:21:06.

form a government. You support being out of the Single Market when we

:21:07.:21:11.

leave the EU. We want tariff free access to the market itself and we

:21:12.:21:15.

want to negotiate that, we think we can. You agree with Kier Starmer

:21:16.:21:19.

when he says that leaving your item is not a good idea, the European

:21:20.:21:23.

Union's nuclear safety agency would not be a good idea for the UK. There

:21:24.:21:27.

is a whole series of bodies like that that we've got to maintain

:21:28.:21:31.

either a membership or a relationship of. What people may not

:21:32.:21:35.

understand is that the Article 50 process says, we would leave those

:21:36.:21:38.

agencies. You backed by Article 50 treble. So surely you are changing

:21:39.:21:43.

your mind between triggering Article 50 and think, actually, we want to

:21:44.:21:49.

stay in bits of it. There is a whole series of consequences that we need

:21:50.:21:53.

to examine. That includes these individual agencies, and there are

:21:54.:21:56.

dozens of them that we have to go through. It might well be those

:21:57.:22:00.

individual agencies that we maintain a relationship of some sort or

:22:01.:22:03.

maintain a membership of. That would be part of the negotiations. Why did

:22:04.:22:07.

you vote for Article 51 and made it clear that we should be leaving

:22:08.:22:15.

Euratom. It started the negotiations of... That was more important? It

:22:16.:22:20.

is, we need some form of stability with these relationships because it

:22:21.:22:24.

will give stability to our economy. As the OBR pointed out today, like

:22:25.:22:28.

stability will have a long-term impact on our economy. Doesn't it

:22:29.:22:32.

seem to the public that you are trying to unravel Brexit? Not at

:22:33.:22:36.

all. We have accepted the outcome of the referendum and we are leaving

:22:37.:22:39.

the European Union. Ms McDonnell, thank you. John McDonnell there.

:22:40.:22:47.

What do Labour's tactics, mean for its chances of progress?

:22:48.:22:48.

Our Political Editor, Nick Watt, is here.

:22:49.:22:52.

Mix, what exactly are Her Majesty is opposition up to, do you think? At

:22:53.:23:00.

what level they are playing a game that is intended to an seat Theresa

:23:01.:23:03.

May, but they would also say that they are not trying to block Brexit

:23:04.:23:07.

but they are trying to fashion a different sort of Brexit. But what

:23:08.:23:12.

is interesting about that Labour announcement is that they are

:23:13.:23:15.

prepared to vote against this Bill at its second reading in September

:23:16.:23:20.

and major changes are introduced, that has emboldened the so-called

:23:21.:23:23.

soft Brexit Conservatives. They now believe that they have the numbers

:23:24.:23:27.

in Parliament to make very serious amendments to the bill when it is

:23:28.:23:30.

considered at committee stage in the autumn. And on top of that, they

:23:31.:23:34.

believe that they can exploit rule number one of the Government Chief

:23:35.:23:39.

Whip Gavin Williams, and that is, never lose a vote in the House of

:23:40.:23:45.

Commons. And what they think is that the mere prospect of defeat in

:23:46.:23:47.

Parliament will persuade the Government behind the scenes to

:23:48.:23:50.

soften its stance in a number of areas. For example, they think the

:23:51.:23:54.

transitional phase after the UK immediately leaves EU, maybe we will

:23:55.:23:59.

get a softening there. And in the future relationship, the Single

:24:00.:24:03.

Market with the customs union and the European Court of Justice, maybe

:24:04.:24:06.

there will be a softening in those areas. Does this really mean, I

:24:07.:24:09.

mean, that is interesting from the Remain's point of view, does it mean

:24:10.:24:15.

the Government's position is even week -- we get to the point that

:24:16.:24:20.

they cannot get through exit legislation? They are potentially

:24:21.:24:25.

weak. It takes just seven Conservative MPs to vote against the

:24:26.:24:29.

Government. If all the opposition parties vote one way, then the

:24:30.:24:33.

Government will be defeated. Also, the Scottish and Welsh Government

:24:34.:24:36.

said today that they are prepared to block this legislation, although it

:24:37.:24:40.

is important to say that it is just by convention, they do not have a

:24:41.:24:43.

legal actual power of veto. But the Government believe it has cards to

:24:44.:24:50.

play. To the soft Brexit Tories, you may think that Jeremy Corbyn is a

:24:51.:24:54.

friend on this but he is a Ben Wright Eurosceptic who is involved

:24:55.:24:59.

in a simple power play to bring down Theresa May. Do you really want to

:25:00.:25:02.

be part of that? Add to the Labour Party, ministers are saying, with

:25:03.:25:07.

your tactics you may get a nice reception on those areas, remain

:25:08.:25:10.

areas that voted in Labour MPs, but don't forget those traditional

:25:11.:25:15.

Labour areas that voted Lees. Nick, thank you.

:25:16.:25:18.

Liu Xiaobo - Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner -

:25:19.:25:20.

In his life, the authorities tried to muzzle him.

:25:21.:25:25.

He was serving an 11-year prison term - one of many

:25:26.:25:29.

since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

:25:30.:25:34.

In his death, leaders, friends, writers around the world,

:25:35.:25:36.

One of them is a Chinese writer Diane Wei Liang,

:25:37.:25:42.

Welcome, thank you for joining us. Take us back, Diane, if you can, to

:25:43.:25:59.

the time of Tiananmen Square and the sort of figure that Liu was for you?

:26:00.:26:08.

Well, I knew Liu Xiaobo before Tiananmen through his writing. He is

:26:09.:26:17.

a poet, and he's written about reflections, on China and the

:26:18.:26:24.

Chinese system. And at Tiananmen, the students were there since May of

:26:25.:26:30.

that year. And Liu Xiaobo came later and joint in the protests. At that

:26:31.:26:34.

time, we did not understand his wisdom. On the June the 4th, when it

:26:35.:26:40.

was clear the government was going to crack down on the Tiananmen

:26:41.:26:46.

protesters. The talk was, as you can understand, being very young, was to

:26:47.:26:54.

be ready to die for the country. And it was to the credit of Liu Xiaobo

:26:55.:27:02.

and the others, older, wiser individuals, that he negotiated a

:27:03.:27:06.

safe passage for students to leave Tiananmen Square on June before. So,

:27:07.:27:13.

for many protesters -- June the 4th. We owe our lives to Liu Xiaobo.

:27:14.:27:17.

Goodness, how many people, lives do you think could have been saved by

:27:18.:27:21.

his wife council, I assume is how you felt it? Absolutely thousands --

:27:22.:27:27.

his wise counsel. There were thousands of protesters who still

:27:28.:27:29.

remained in Tiananmen Square. And Liu Xiaobo and others negotiated

:27:30.:27:38.

safe passage. And most importantly, convinced the students to withdraw

:27:39.:27:42.

from Tiananmen Square. How do you think he was treated in his time in

:27:43.:27:49.

China? Obviously famous around the world, but actually in China, maybe

:27:50.:27:53.

for very obvious reasons, not as well-known. How did the Chinese

:27:54.:27:57.

authorities deal with him, post-Tiananmen Square? After

:27:58.:28:03.

Tiananmen, for a period, he was allowed to write, and although his

:28:04.:28:08.

job was taken away, he lost his lectureship at Beijing University,

:28:09.:28:17.

he kept on writing. And he -- his books, unfortunately, were banned in

:28:18.:28:21.

China. And most Chinese do not know who he was. In a way, his impact in

:28:22.:28:29.

China was minimum. But his writing, in some ways, I think it should be

:28:30.:28:33.

one of his legacy is that they have been published. In the West, they

:28:34.:28:38.

are published. In the Chinese language in Taiwan. And they

:28:39.:28:44.

summarise his views of nonviolence, of reflection. Liu Xiaobo was a soft

:28:45.:28:48.

speaking intellectual. His work was very much on reflection. And his

:28:49.:28:55.

slogans, titles of books, include, We Have No Enemies And We Do Not

:28:56.:29:02.

Have Hatred Will Stop and he has very much call for a rethink of what

:29:03.:29:07.

Chinese society should be and what can be. Do you think that receiving

:29:08.:29:12.

the Nobel Peace Prize was something which then protected him against the

:29:13.:29:16.

authorities? I mean, how would something like that be viewed by the

:29:17.:29:17.

Chinese authorities? Many people who grew up in China

:29:18.:29:28.

during the Communist time, winning the Nobel Prize was the time that

:29:29.:29:36.

sealed his fate. Winning the prize petted him as an individual against

:29:37.:29:40.

the state and the state is always all-powerful. That is the struggle

:29:41.:29:45.

Liu Xiaobo had very little chance of winning. The Chinese state got more

:29:46.:29:52.

aggressive against dissidents at the moment, is there a record getting

:29:53.:30:01.

worse? For the past 30 years, the Chinese state is extremely powerful

:30:02.:30:08.

and for individuals like Liu Xiaobo, whose work in writing books and

:30:09.:30:15.

criticisms and signing a petition, called chapter 08, signed by a few

:30:16.:30:24.

thousand people and was never published and the crackdown is very

:30:25.:30:28.

heavy-handed and this is something that always seems to me to be

:30:29.:30:33.

incompetent civil that the state would want to treat an individual as

:30:34.:30:43.

such. But this is what marks China is a different system, they do not

:30:44.:30:47.

tolerate dissident voices. Thank you very much for coming on tonight.

:30:48.:30:50.

It's the world's biggest oil company, and it could be

:30:51.:30:52.

SaudiArmaco is Saudi Arabia's national oil company,

:30:53.:31:03.

and it could be coming to London in what would be the biggest

:31:04.:31:06.

But, controversially, we might need to change our

:31:07.:31:09.

regulations here to make such a lucrative deal possible.

:31:10.:31:11.

Our Business Editor, Helen Thomas, is here.

:31:12.:31:13.

Helen, this is a pretty heady mix of high finance and politics -

:31:14.:31:17.

It might not be immediately obvious to viewers why this is important.

:31:18.:31:33.

Tell us why this matters. This is the crown jewel of Saudi Arabia,

:31:34.:31:37.

generating 70% of government revenues and it is operated

:31:38.:31:42.

basically as an arm of the state, it has built schools, hospitals, sports

:31:43.:31:48.

arenas, very unusual, it is also enormous, if they get the valuation

:31:49.:31:52.

we are talking about, it would be around 2.5 times the size of Apple.

:31:53.:32:00.

London Stock Exchange is competing with New York to be the main

:32:01.:32:05.

locations for this listing and today the market regulators proposed rule

:32:06.:32:11.

changes that as it just so happens, would be very helpful if you were a

:32:12.:32:15.

large government-controlled company looking at London. Given Brexit and

:32:16.:32:20.

that we striking out for this new world, you feel that London might be

:32:21.:32:26.

looking at loosening regulations to make her seem more attractive? That

:32:27.:32:30.

we're going to become the Singapore of Europe? What the regulator said

:32:31.:32:36.

today is they want to create this new category of listing, a premium

:32:37.:32:39.

listing but without all of the rules that used to be required. For a

:32:40.:32:46.

company like Saudi Aramco, you can get this premium prestige badge but

:32:47.:32:49.

without all of the rules attached and remember, earlier this year

:32:50.:32:53.

Theresa May did go to Saudi Arabia as part of London's lobbying efforts

:32:54.:32:57.

but I will give you both sides of the argument. Some would say that

:32:58.:33:01.

London is a very global market, it is in our interests to attract big,

:33:02.:33:08.

interesting companies. This would be lucrative, lots of fees on offer and

:33:09.:33:12.

investors don't have to buy the shares, they can look and see what

:33:13.:33:16.

the company says and make their own decision. But there is this worry

:33:17.:33:20.

that we have seen this movie before, London had a string of scandals

:33:21.:33:27.

involving foreign owned companies and there is a feeling among some

:33:28.:33:32.

investors that it is just bad practice to tweak the rules so

:33:33.:33:37.

obviously to suit one particular company that it just sends the wrong

:33:38.:33:41.

message about how London operates. Fantastic, thank you very much. We

:33:42.:33:44.

will be watching how that develops. "He was often gone

:33:45.:33:47.

but never forgotten". You may not remember Peter Perrett -

:33:48.:33:48.

lead singer of 70s rock band The Only Ones and writer of what's

:33:49.:33:51.

been described as arguably the greatest rock single ever

:33:52.:33:54.

recorded, and there's much It was thought he'd chosen drugs

:33:55.:33:59.

over everything else - but now he's back with his first

:34:00.:34:07.

solo album, and to critical acclaim. So, how did he resurrect

:34:08.:34:12.

himself and his career? Our Culture Editor Stephen Smith

:34:13.:34:14.

went to meet him for his first TV Is this your stage gear,

:34:15.:34:17.

by the way, or do you... Umm, It's what I got

:34:18.:34:28.

up in, you know. I suppose some people

:34:29.:34:30.

will be amazed to see you. You know, I surprised myself

:34:31.:34:36.

by actually returning Accompanied by his sons,

:34:37.:34:39.

Peter Perrett is back, with perhaps the most unexpected

:34:40.:34:59.

solo album of the year. It has the political bite and dark

:35:00.:35:08.

sardonic humour that his patient # Just like everybody else I'm

:35:09.:35:11.

in love with Kim Kardashian. # She's taking over from JLo

:35:12.:35:23.

as my number one #. If it provokes thought,

:35:24.:35:29.

then that's an added bonus. But really I just wanted

:35:30.:35:32.

to make people laugh. Because laughter is extremely

:35:33.:35:36.

therapeutic, especially in times Many rock fans adore Perrett

:35:37.:35:40.

for Another Girl, Another Planet, which he wrote and performed

:35:41.:35:49.

in the 70s with his then It's been covered

:35:50.:35:52.

by many other acts. To some, it's the best

:35:53.:35:57.

rock song ever. # I could kill, but I

:35:58.:35:59.

don't care about it. # And stand up straight

:36:00.:36:06.

and tall and tell about it. # I think I'm on another

:36:07.:36:12.

world with you. You know, it's been described

:36:13.:36:15.

as an adrenaline rush And, yeah, it's probably the most

:36:16.:36:26.

difficult song for me to perform, which is unfortunate,

:36:27.:36:32.

because it's like my most # I think I'm on another

:36:33.:36:33.

world with you. You know, there's three

:36:34.:36:39.

minutes of classic rock music, and I'm thinking,

:36:40.:36:44.

you know, it's perfect. I don't think it's the best

:36:45.:36:47.

song I've ever written, but it's probably the best record

:36:48.:36:49.

I've ever made. In an admittedly crowded field,

:36:50.:36:54.

Perrett has been noticeable among rock musicians as a recluse

:36:55.:36:58.

and user of drugs. Apart from brief forays

:36:59.:37:01.

into recording and performing, he's gone missing for much

:37:02.:37:05.

of the last four decades. Where have you been,

:37:06.:37:08.

your fans will want to know. And what have you been doing

:37:09.:37:12.

in the years when we haven't I suppose it was like

:37:13.:37:14.

spiritual research, You know, there's certain

:37:15.:37:21.

security and comfort. One fairly lurid account described

:37:22.:37:34.

you as being sequestered in a crumbling Gothic mansion

:37:35.:37:37.

in Forest Hill. And there was a certain amount

:37:38.:37:41.

of drug dealing going on there? You know, you live

:37:42.:37:48.

in the black economy. But I guess it wasn't

:37:49.:37:58.

without cost, and you would know I believe you missed

:37:59.:38:14.

both your parents' funerals. Obviously it's not good to look

:38:15.:38:17.

back and regret things, but obviously you can't help

:38:18.:38:28.

thinking about things. But all you can do is learn

:38:29.:38:33.

from that and appreciate the people And try to give them

:38:34.:38:36.

as much love as you can. Let's talk about the vagaries

:38:37.:38:42.

of the rock life. One minute you're flying

:38:43.:38:55.

to Rio on Concorde. Sometime later you're saying

:38:56.:38:59.

that your publishing rights You weren't earning so much

:39:00.:39:01.

from publishing that I'm not allowed to talk

:39:02.:39:07.

about benefits, you know, with this government,

:39:08.:39:11.

it's dangerous territory. Because that's the worst thing,

:39:12.:39:14.

when they try and stop I was on benefits, and we did

:39:15.:39:18.

the Jools Holland show in 2008. And I tried to explain that just

:39:19.:39:26.

doing the Jools Holland Show, you know, because we were unsigned

:39:27.:39:43.

at the time, they actually paid But you don't actually

:39:44.:39:46.

make any money. Most people just go on there

:39:47.:39:49.

because they want to be on the Jools Holland Show,

:39:50.:39:51.

because it's the only show. They didn't believe me,

:39:52.:39:54.

so there's this whole investigation. And it's a stressful thing,

:39:55.:39:58.

you know, I really identify with poor people, because they know

:39:59.:40:00.

what it's like to be part # No one can love me

:40:01.:40:03.

the way that you can. Perrett's new record includes this

:40:04.:40:19.

love song to his wife, Xena, He's been clean and sober

:40:20.:40:22.

for eight years now. Taking things to the extreme,

:40:23.:40:26.

where there was an imminent possibility of the end

:40:27.:40:32.

of our existence. Especially my wife, who became

:40:33.:40:37.

a lot more damaged by it, you know, by the consumption,

:40:38.:40:43.

than I was. I realised that we owed it

:40:44.:40:50.

to the people that cared about us do, you know,

:40:51.:40:52.

have one last attempt. # If I lived my whole life

:40:53.:40:56.

again I'd choose you. You know, I feel like a total

:40:57.:41:01.

newcomer, so it's all new to me. And I'm enjoying it even more

:41:02.:41:07.

than I did in the 70s, because I'm taking it all in,

:41:08.:41:10.

there's no distractions. You know, fully focused on just

:41:11.:41:17.

enjoying that moment, Before we go, the Prime Minister

:41:18.:41:19.

revealed today in an interview with the BBC's Emma Barnett

:41:20.:41:30.

that she cried when she saw the exit Of course, the shedding of tears

:41:31.:41:33.

is not a new political phenomenon. Over the years, whether

:41:34.:41:39.

from personal grief, reversals of fortune or moments

:41:40.:41:41.

of national celebration, many # Too many teardrops

:41:42.:41:46.

for one heart to be crying. I just don't want to

:41:47.:42:16.

see us fall backwards. # You're way on top

:42:17.:42:20.

now since you left me. # You're always laughing

:42:21.:42:31.

way down at me. We've got some rain on the way

:42:32.:42:38.

tonight across northern areas

:42:39.:42:42.

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, with Kamal Ahmed.

Including government review of building regulations, John McDonnell, Liu Xiaobo remembered, and will the world's largest oil firm list in UK? Plus The Only Ones' Peter Perrett.