23/08/2017 Newsnight


Newsnight looks at Trump's 'Divided States of America'. Will the UK leave the ECJ's jurisdiction? Also gang violence in Birmingham and seeing by numbers.

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Really has the United States traditional motto felt less


relevant, as rival groups and protesters clashed outside a rally,


is the hyper charged policy poisonous? The motto, e pluribus


unum. It's difficult to see them finding any kind of common ground.


18 men from two of the most notorious gangs in Birmingham are


banned from the city centre, our police finally getting to grips with


the gang problem, we hear from the mother of one innocent victim. I


I felt angry and disgusted to see that 14 years on, the same gangs,


the same two names, still terrorise and parts of Birmingham. Not


painting but seen by numbers, autistic writer shares his


experience with savant syndrome and synaesthesia. In my mind, each


number had a shape. -- In my mind, each number had


a shape - complete with colour and texture,


and occasionally motion, a neurological phenomenon


scientists call synaesthesia. The next US election


is in on the 3rd November 2020. But, for President Trump


the campaigning is well underway. In the early hours of


this morning, our time, the President took to the stage


for nearly an hour-and-a-half at his "Make America Great Again"


rally in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a classic Trump performance,


one of promise, defence, Some of his most barbed comments


were made about the, as he would put it,


"fake news" media, blaming them for giving far right


groups "a platform". We'll talk about that in a moment,


but first, Gabriel Gatehouse reports from Phoenix,


where America's increasingly polarised political debate spilled


out onto the streets. VOICEOVER: Bikers for Trump, they


came to Phoenix, to show support for their president, and, they said, to


stop protest is from harassing those who wanted to attend the rally.


Charlottesville is still fresh in the memory. Two radically opposing


visions for America clashed, but was built, people died. We don't want to


see anybody get hurt. The bikers condemned white supremacists and


neo-Nazis, and so, eventually, did Donald Trump, but he was slow and


equivocal. Many saw in him a president who emboldened racist. For


all of us to protect people from threats of violence by protesters.


America is in the grip of a cultural war so polarising, you might wonder


whether these two sides lived on the same planet. Basel has emboldened


people for the last eight years to come out and be violent because


there has been no consequences for any of it, telling people that the


only person in the world that can be a racist is a white man. So, yeah,


it concerns me that that is the atmosphere in the country.


Off-camera, one man told me he hated black people. On camera, others


rejected the Ku Klux Klan, more reticent, but no less angry. I think


they are trying to start a civil war, to be honest. Who? The


government. Why would they do that? I don't know, who knows. I would be


the first to take up arms, man, take up arms, for my country. If they


come down on our soil, I am ready to defend it, that is the way that I


look at it. All these other liberals, goody-goody, they want


everybody to... This and that... Nothing ever gets done, all talk,


all behind doors. We need to bring more stuff out, get things more


done. Do you think Donald Trump is getting things done? Slowly, yes,


he's trying, I believe he is really trying, he has to clean up the


mess... Clean up the parking lot to make it liveable. Shame on you,


shame on you. In downtown Phoenix, protest is gathered throughout the


sweltering afternoon as they watched Donald Trump supporters arrive.


Shame on you, racist! Neo-Nazi sympathisers! Get out of here! Each


side taunted the other, across a police cordoned designed to prevent


a repeat of Charlottesville. If you have been shot by a police officer


while resisting arrest... You might lead out and die... -- bleed out. It


is really extraordinary that the sitting president, with all the


respect Americans have for this office, could produce this kind of


reaction, that the Gulf between this side and that side is so great that


it is very hard to see them finding any kind of common ground at all.


Both sides in vogue those same three letters, USA, but in Trump's


America, they are having trouble on agreeing what USA should actually


mean? Do any of you have any understanding about where the people


on the other side of the barricades are coming from? You do? Raise your


hand, if you do. You have family... Right... Tell me about that. They


feel very strongly that what Mr Trump began with the ideas about the


economy, meant something, and that he can make change. And they, I


don't think, are willing to now say, that is not working, it is


backfiring, it is turning into a campaign of hate... And we are


having trouble talking to each other. If that is happening in my


own family...!... I'm pretty sure that a lot of people over there are


having those same kinds of emotions. Arizona has some of the most relaxed


gun laws anywhere in the United States, and on both sides, weapons


were paraded in plain sight. I'm an American. There were some angry


confrontations, but no violence. Between Trump's supporters and his


detractors, his presidency may be divisive but it is also invigorating


political debate. Trump is getting nothing done, the only thing he has


signed his legislation... No, you are wrong.


Inside the conference centre, the president was on classic form,


untethered from the teller prompt, his routine is a compelling hybrid.


He didn't say it fast enough... He didn't do it on time... Why did it


take a day... He must be a racist... -- teleprompter. It is part stand-up


comedy, part the work of a demagogue. The very dishonest media,


those people right up there with all of the cameras... BOOING


He quoted selectively from his own response to Charlottesville,


accusing the media of doing exactly that as well. This is Donald Trump


in his element, with all his contradictions and his audience love


him for it. CHANTING By the time it was over, night had


fallen, the protesters were still there, the police presence had


increased. There were more heated arguments,


detailed debate about race, crime, statistics. You are holding the


numbers and you are lying. Percentage per capita of the


representation of the United States... No... Per capita! But


trouble came not between supporters and opponents of the president but


it when protesters and the police. You have a responsibility, not to


him, but to us! Officers said that the anti-trumped demonstrators threw


rocks and bottles, they responded with tear gas, pepper spray and


flash bangs. Go, go, go! The police are advancing out, all the people


from the rally have been led away, this is now between the police and


the anti-Trump protest is. It took several hours to clear the


streets... Acrid clouds of tear gas lingered, as the protesters


dispersed. It was heavy-handed but they kept the peace, the day ended


without serious violence. But with divisions as entrenched as ever.


If there's a debate about how voters see Trump,


there's no question over how the President sees the press.


In his latest attack he said it's time to expose the crooked media


deceptions and accused the journalists of fomenting


divisions trying to take away America's history and heritage.


So, is this bluster or a real threat to the relationship


between the press, the white house and the public?


And how much blame does a partisan press have to take?


Eugene Robinson, is the Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board and also


the Associate Editor of the Washington Post,


Initially, then, your reaction to what we heard from the president in


Phoenix. It worries me, speaking with my Pulitzer prize hat on, right


now, that these kinds of attacks... We are used to politicians running


against the media, that is a standard sort of technique, and we


have thick skin. If you are a journalist, you ought to have a


thick skin, that is fine. As an Trump's rhetoric is something we


have not heard, referred to the media as enemies of the American


people, he has said, as he did last night, they don't love their


country, they don't want to make America Great Again they don't want


to make America great... And he has escalated the rhetoric in a way


that, frankly, worries me. It could be dangerous. It is very troubling.


I think it is something we need to speak out about. Define


dangerous...? You perhaps are familiar with the story...


Pizzagate... The e-mails of the campaign chairman, John Podesta,


were hacked, a lot of them were about ordering pizza, because that


is what political campaigns do... They order pizza, working late into


the night... And spirited theorists saw these e-mails, and they deduced


there must be some kind of code, and somehow lead to the conclusion that


Hillary Clinton was running a paedophile ring out of a specific


pizza restaurant, here in Washington...! So, one month after


the election, a man from North Carolina drove to Washington, went


to the restaurant, carrying a loaded military style automatic rifle...!


He fired a shot, and he demanded to be taken to the basement of the


restaurant, so that he could free the enslaved sex enslaved children!


There is no basement, of course there were no children, this is


complete fabrication! It is fortunate that the customers and


employees were not injured in this incident and the man was arrested.


But the potential for disaster was there. A restaurant where parents


take children to eat. It is not a leap to worry that such a thing


could happen to a newsroom. Let's ask you, we saw in the report from


Phoenix tensions running high on both sides, both extremes, the story


you have told us about the pizza restaurant, how much is that the


real America that we are seeing? My view is that, neither America is


more real than the other, no one's America is more real than anyone


else's, here is what bothers me... It seems to me... In the piece your


correspondent did, at one point, there was an argument on the street


over a statistic, over facts, we oughta be able to agree on facts.


The Pulitzer Prize has been around for 101 years, all the journalists


and playwrights and authors and poets, and composers, who have won


Pulitzer Prizes, they share one thing in common, all engaged in a


search for the truth. We must believe that there is truth, that


truth does exist and that it can be ascertained as near as possible and


we can agree on at least what the facts are, and then, let's argue


about them, let's agree on what the facts are. And now, sadly, that sort


of consensus about literally a chronicle of events, inside the


facts, that consensus seems to have broken down. When you look at a


Harvard University report which studied the coverage that President


Trump got in his first 100 days, in print and on television, it reported


the coverage was 80% negative. How fair is it to say that perhaps this


is not wholly a one-way street, there is some blame from the media?


I suppose it is a matter of degree... I certainly cannot or


would not defend every single-storey that has been written, but this is a


president who speaks in ways no president has, including a total


disregard, at times, for fact. That is the truth. If he does it again


and again, four times in a day, which is not uncommon!... Then it


will be reported four times in a day, and the fifth story will report


that he said something that actually is based in fact, and so, there you


have your 80% negative and your 20% positive. It is an unusual


situation, granted. But, what are we to do, except report the facts, as


we know them. That is what you and your colleagues must do. How much


are you in and your colleagues, how much are you victims of a cultural


conflict being played out? I don't think we're victims at all.


We are certainly privileged to do what we do, I've done it my entire


career and I think journalism is an incredible way of seeing the world,


and I think it provides a real public service. But yes, there is a


real cultural divide in the United States. I'm not sure we fully


understand its dimensions and its potential staying power, but it


exists and we report on it and try to understand it, try to help


Americans understand it. Is it in any way fuelled by bitterness? The


position that the media enjoyed up until this president was pretty


strong, but now we have a president who takes to twitter, who goes over


the heads of you and your colleagues. How much is that the


feeling from the media side? Well certainly we are in a new era when


the president, who has umpteen million followers on Twitter, is


able to communicate directly with that many people, without the


intervention of the media. That is something we all have to get used


to. We all -- also have to get used to the fact that on the web the


traditional barriers of entry to be a major player in media have fallen.


So you don't have two build a printing plant and buy ink by the


barrel and paper by the time and higher press men and all of that. In


fact, you set up a website and on the web we are all equivalent,


basically. And so that's a new environment and we have delivered by


our wits, and trust that the cream rises to the top. Briefly, is this


sustainable? The relationship between the White House, the


president and the media? Well, it will be sustained because there will


be the White House and the media, the relationship I hope that yours


and call soft some. We will have to because we're not going anywhere.


Thank you for your time. How much jurisdiction will European


judges have over our laws For the government the answer


is simple - none whatsoever. But, as with all things Brexit,


it may be more complicated. For Theresa May this is one


of her red lines: Having full control over the law


is an essential part of the UK So, you'd expect that


after we we leave the EU and the transition is


done, that's it... Today, the Government set out


a discussion document. So, when will we "take


back control?" Chris Cook has been taking a look


at what ministers want. One of the things we thought we knew


about life after we leave EU was that the European Court


of Justice wouldn't be part of it. But let me be clear, we are not


leaving the European Union today to give up control of immigration


again, and we're not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction


of the European Court of Justice. So we will take back control


of our laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction


of the European Court We want to make sure


that we are ending, that we are ending the jurisdiction


of the European Court of Justice. For some Brexiters it was enormously


important that all of our laws should be written by our parliaments


and they should be interpreted by our courts, including


the supreme courts. That meant ending the role


of the European Court of Justice. The ECJ is the body that make sure


EU law is evenly applied It's a thing that turns the rights


and responsibilities Let's suppose after Brexit


that we sign a comprehensive free trade deal that lets European


businesses trade freely The Government's plan is that


here in Britain our courts should enforce those rights,


with no cases sent to the ECJ. The thing is, though,


to take a few examples, the EU's agreements with Canada,


Singapore and the members of the European Economic


Area contain courts. For the same reason our government


is proposing a new UK-EU court. We need a sort of enforcement


mechanism, that's really Because if we've gone to the bother


of agreeing rules in some deep and comprehensive free trade


agreement, the people who feel perhaps they're not getting


the access they should under that agreement, want some way


of getting readdress. So if you've been trying


to export to an EU country, you think its rules


are discriminating against you, you want some way of appealing


to another authority, to say - actually, these people


aren't abiding by the rules. I think, overall, this is a really


informative and pretty useful paper. What came through most strongly


for me is the fact that so much attention is being devoted to how


to ensure alignment between our legal system and the EU legal


system after we've left, means the Government now has one


of its priorities to ensure we can keep trading,


by making sure our legal system is as closely aligned to that


of the EU as possible. But there may be problems,


not least with escaping First, a deep relationships


with the EU probably means But the more we do that,


the more the ECJ will matter. For example, in the field


of aviation, outside the EU, if there is an arbitration panel,


and these arbitrations wouldn't be at the European Court of Justice,


but since all the rules and all the regulations are adopted


at EU level, they continue to be interpreted by the European Court


of Justice and this arbitration would really be instructed to take


all that case law into account. Second, the EU may want


a bigger role for the ECJ For me, there are two


potential sticking point. The first is to do with


the ratification, because, remember, this is about the trade deal


and the trade deal has to be approved not just


by the European Council, but by the national Parliaments


of the member states, and therefore I wonder


whether all parliaments will agree to setting up a bespoke


new adjudication mechanism. And the big problem is,


there are still some areas like the rights


of EU citizens in the UK, where the EU is insisting that


EU law should apply, and for that you have to have a role


for the European Court of Justice. And there's no obvious


or easy way round that. Third, you can have enforce your EU


rights at a local court, but who will get to take cases


to the new EU-UK body? It's not clear to me that these


proposals would allow a business which has difficulties exporting


to France, for example, to actually access a court directly


and make their claims This would all have to be done


between the UK Government and the European Union,


and so not only business, but if there rights also for people


to move, or other rights, they would not be directly


enforceable in the same Our government now has a settled


view on which court should be supreme, but the ECJ may not go


away, and businesses in particular may worry about how


they enforce their rights. In 2003, two innocent girls


were leaving a party in Birmingham. Charlene Ellis


and Letisha Shakespeare were gunned down in a gang related


drive by shooting. The feuding gangs were the Johnson


Crew and the Burger Bar Boys. 14 years later, West Midlands police


is still dealing with gang violence in the city and specifically


the same two gangs which killed Today, those gangs were given


what police are calling the largest Think of a gang injunction


as similar to an ASBO. It requires a lower burden of proof


than a criminal conviction and is designed to disrupt


and prevent gang related For the next two years,


eighteen men, aged between 19-29 are banned from parts of Birmingham


and must register phones A little earlier I spoke


to Marcia Shakespeare, How she felt when she heard the


names of the two gangs who killed her daughter again today.


I felt angry and disgusted to know that 14 years on,


I'm constantly hearing the same gangs, the same two names


are still terrorising parts of Birmingham,


and I can't understand why they are not stamped out.


I know when I went and did some initial research within New York,


when I met some Bloods and Crips over there,


and they seemed to be quite faded, so I can't understand


why these gangs are continuously happening and continuously


So there's been a marked uptick in violence this year,


with a number of fatal shootings, not necessarily involving any


of the people who are subject to this injunction, but why do


Well, I know from speaking to young people who I work with,


young boys in particular, they state that the problem


is what they're getting is they're walking on the streets,


and when they're walking on their own, they're


being attacked by people, large groups are trying


They're been threatened with knives, and because of this


a lot of the young people have decided to join


gangs, because they feel safe if they're within a group,


So that is another area that also needs to be challenged,


about young people joining gangs, because...for protection.


It's not just the knives or the weapons, they're actually


The West Midlands Police and Crime Commission said


in an interview today that what will help back it up


is that the eyes and ears of the community will focus on these


people and if they see any of these gang members in the wrong area,


they will phone the police and therefore the police


You'd have to be mighty brave to shop one of these gang


Yes, because I know from my case, through the trial, it took a lot


And even when they did come forward, there were points when they actually


decided they were going to turn around and not give evidence,


solely because of the threat level of the gangs trying to control them,


and also trying to attack them or family members.


So yes, although you've got the gang injunctions and it states it that it


will stop gangs going in different areas, I can't see


the difference between tagging and gang injunctions.


But as I said, I'm open-minded and hope.


I appreciate you're not the architect of it,


but isn't that where this whole idea could actually fall down?


You almost need like a witness protection programme,


if I'm going to shop some of these people,


I want to know that my family and I are going to be


Yes, and that is very hard, and I know through work previously,


working with the police in New York and the one thing they did state


that a lot of the witness protection, many family


members have had to move towns, cities and countries.


So, yes, it's a big ask, and that's why I say,


even though you have gang injunctions, it cannot


There have to be other things in place.


Now the only thing that is curious to me is, OK,


you have the gang injunctions, but who is monitoring it?


Is this a 24-hour watch, where police are within the community,


monitoring and seeing these people within the gangs?


You've also got social networks where people obtain


different sim cards, where they can actually make


different phone calls and they can contact people.


So I'm very curious to see how this is going to work.


Can I put it to you, you're quite close, obviously,


Do you think they have the necessary resources?


Finally, what sustains you in your work?


When you see young people, there are a lot of great young


people within Birmingham, however it's about


A lot of them, unfortunately, don't have the opportunities


and they're not educated, because unfortunately sometimes


they're just grouped into one particular group and they give up


So when you see hard young people, you know that you've got


to keep going to allow some young people to have those opportunities.


Marcia Shakespeare, thanks for joining us tonight.


Kirk Dawes used to work for the West Midland Police.


He founded The Centre for Conflict Transformation,


which was credited with reducing gangland violence in the city


between 2004 and 2012 - when it was shut.


He is in Birmingham tonight. The same question if I can that I put to


the campaign and victim's mother, wide Birmingham? I think that


between 2004-12, as you say, there was a lot of great work through what


was called Birmingham reducing gang violence, that enabled us to reduce


the number of firearms offences, knife offences and the like and the


number of people in gangs. Wide Birmingham? I think there is a


resurgence, in regard to some of the youngsters coming up right now. One


of the things I would say is there was a good strategy and that


strategy effectively stopped in 2012. It's fair, is it not, to


question whether West Midlands police have the personnel and


resources to implement this? It is fair. The reduction to the police


services has taken away their capacity to deal with the upsurge


they have now. What we are forgetting is the great work that


was done at that time by community groups, specialists in the role of


dealing with gangs. In essence, what you got was... If we go back to the


gang injunction itself, one big part of the gang injunctions are positive


requirements. That's what was utilised, with people from the


community, to enable us to actually become involved in moving gangs away


from their lifestyle and towards better opportunities. That's why


positive requirements are there. What we have seen today, what I've


read in the media, is quite simply lots of things around in


enforcement, disruption and the like, but I haven't heard anything


about positive requirements. What are those requirements? Anything


that the public authorities, with partner agencies, consider


reasonable. Such as... Discharging a firearm means there is a conflict


and with that conflict, just by saying X cannot meet why cannot


travel down a certain street will be in a certain part, you'd do not deal


with the conflict. A positive requirements was in the past, when


it first came out, things like mediation, conflict management, job


coaching. You have to give these people are realistic and appealing


alternative from the lifestyle they are engaged in. How cost-effective


Will this be. You and your colleagues did some research on to


the cost of policing prosecuting murders? At the moment the cost of a


murder is about ?2 million. Certainly that figure was never the


amount in any particular year that was given towards the interventions


that were being utilised, that brought the figures right the way


down. When we started mediation, for instance, it was never expected to


work but it did work we engage these people in the conflict ended up


discharging a firearm. Isn't this wishful thinking? Set for two years,


you're going to turn some of these men around in two years, pie in the


sky? I don't think so. That was set in 2004. Like Marcia sake I went to


the United States and spent a lot of time in Northern Ireland. Within two


years of gun injunctions coming in and the sort of work the community


were bringing in, the numbers fell dramatically. Lastly, the community,


the eyes and ears, shopping these gang members, you are on the front


line, how likely is that? It is difficult for a lot of people to


shop at them, but the challenge is for the community and for the


police, but I will always say you've still got to deal with the conflicts


themselves. Thank you very much for your time tonight.


In the niche world of staggering mathematical feats, the big question


is 'Who can recite Pi to the most decimal places?' A record-holder


in the field is Daniel Tammett, who managed to recall Pi to more


He's been diagnosed as a high-functioning autistic savant,


and in his acclaimed books and lectures, he's shown himself


to have a rare and eloquent insight into the condition.


His new book, Every Word is a Bird we Teach to Sing,


published tomorrow, is a collection of essays about languages


Daniel Tammett has been speaking to our Culture


I kept a list of words, according to their shape and texture. Words round


as a three, gobble, covered, cabbage... Pointy as a 4: jacket,


wife, quick. Shimmering, as a five. Kingdom... Shoemaker...


Surrounded... Numbers felt like my first language


in a way that English never did, it felt like a foreign language, being


able to the site these numbers like a poem, composed in numbers, or


story, was, for me, a way of expressing myself, communicating


with other people. -- cite. And realising for the first time that I


had a gift for communication, which is paradoxical, because I am also on


the autistic spectrum, all with what we call high functioning autism


today, and often people on that spectrum find language difficult,


even at the highest end, but it is something I have learned how to


master. VOICEOVER: He may have started with numbers but Daniel also


has an intense relationship with words. He speaks several languages,


his new book is part travelogue, part meditation, on the subject of


how we communicate in all its variety. One of my favourite word is


Icelandic, it means midwife, but it literally means light mother, and


this is the first ten, 12 digits of pi, the number is -- the word is


Ljosmoour. How Mick Lacy did you manage to get to with this? 22,000


514. -- how many bases. How did you do that? -- how many places. When


somebody sees calligraphy, squiggles on a page, Chinese ideograms, to


have them memorise it would be impossible, but numbers, for me,


they are not squiggles on a page, they have shaped and colours and


textures and meanings. -- 22,514. These meanings are intuitive, but...


They are so full of poetry. In my mind, each number had a shape.


Complete with colour and texture and occasionally motion. A neurological


phenomenon which scientists call synaesthesia, each shape a meaning.


The meaning could be pictographic. 89 was dark blue, the colour of the


sky. Threatening storm. You are looking at, reaching some tentative


conclusions, about the changing relationship between the written and


the spoken word. In this age of digital communication. Yes. Can you


tell us about that? What is fascinating is that language is


merging in a way that linguists had not expected, 50, even 30 years ago.


We are seeing with computers now and people writing more and more online


that they are using essentially spoken language but in a way that is


written. Using the same abbreviations, the same slang. The


same expressions that we would not have seen written in the past. And


it is changing our relationship with language. There are people who say,


it is a form of dumbing down. Standards dropping... I am more


optimistic. Talking about autism, what would you say to parents, young


people, who are faced with this condition and are perplexed about


it, concerned about it. It brings benefit, there have been wonderful


poets, autism does bring benefit, and many writers in the past, maybe


that in Nabokov, Lewis Carroll, they may have been on the spectrum. We


know that there is this fantastic potential. What the barrier is in


part is society, society up until very recently did not realise that


people on the autistic spectrum had creativity and could create, they


assumed that people could memorise, that they could be like machines, in


a way, robots, calculators, but not writers, not artists, sculptures. --


sculptors. One day, intent on my reading, I


happened upon lollipop, and a shock of joy coursed through me. I read it


as, 1,011, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had yet read.


Half number, half word. What does pound sign


barcamp mean to you? Not a lot I expect, but it's


historic because it was the first time a hashtag,


as it's now of course known, appeared on twitter,


and that was ten years ago today. Here's the man who came up


with the idea, Chris Messina, telling #newsnight


about how it happened. Ten years ago today I was one


of the first users of social media, and I saw the great potential


of this platform to The problem with early Twitter,


early platforms, especially in the early days of the iPhone,


was that it was just a mess. We needed a way of actually


organising conversations I thought the hashtag would be


a great way to do that, and I wrote up my ideas,


I shared it on the web, I spent the next several years


actually promoting this idea Ten years later, I'm super thrilled


with how much it's grown, how much it's expanded and how


people are actually using it to find people who they want to connect


with, have conversations with and use to understand


the world around them. That's nearly all for tonight,


but in tribute to Chris Messina's invention we thought we'd leave


you with some hashtag highlights.


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