23/08/2017 Newsnight


23/08/2017

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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Transcript


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Really has the United States traditional motto felt less

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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painting but seen by numbers, autistic writer shares his

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

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

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a shape - complete with colour and texture,

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and occasionally motion, a neurological phenomenon

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scientists call synaesthesia. The next US election

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

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the campaigning is well underway. In the early hours of

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

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

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

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

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were made about the, as he would put it,

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

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

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but first, Gabriel Gatehouse reports from Phoenix,

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where America's increasingly polarised political debate spilled

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

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

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

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Charlottesville is still fresh in the memory. Two radically opposing

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

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see anybody get hurt. The bikers condemned white supremacists and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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sweltering afternoon as they watched Donald Trump supporters arrive.

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

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

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

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

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is really extraordinary that the sitting president, with all the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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He quoted selectively from his own response to Charlottesville,

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

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

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

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

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increased. There were more heated arguments,

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

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numbers and you are lying. Percentage per capita of the

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

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trouble came not between supporters and opponents of the president but

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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deceptions and accused the journalists of fomenting

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

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

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between the press, the white house and the public?

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

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

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the Associate Editor of the Washington Post,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hillary Clinton was running a paedophile ring out of a specific

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

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

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

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

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

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

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complete fabrication! It is fortunate that the customers and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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of consensus about literally a chronicle of events, inside the

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

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Harvard University report which studied the coverage that President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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understand its dimensions and its potential staying power, but it

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

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

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position that the media enjoyed up until this president was pretty

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

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

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

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

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able to communicate directly with that many people, without the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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sustainable? The relationship between the White House, the

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

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

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

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Thank you for your time. How much jurisdiction will European

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judges have over our laws For the government the answer

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

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

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of her red lines: Having full control over the law

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

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after we we leave the EU and the transition is

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

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a discussion document. So, when will we "take

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back control?" Chris Cook has been taking a look

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

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about life after we leave EU was that the European Court

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

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leaving the European Union today to give up control of immigration

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

:18:13.:18:16.

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

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of our laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction

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of the European Court We want to make sure

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that we are ending, that we are ending the jurisdiction

:18:26.:18:29.

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

:18:30.:18:34.

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

:18:35.:18:37.

and they should be interpreted by our courts, including

:18:38.:18:40.

the supreme courts. That meant ending the role

:18:41.:18:43.

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

:18:44.:18:47.

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

:18:48.:18:50.

and responsibilities Let's suppose after Brexit

:18:51.:18:58.

that we sign a comprehensive free trade deal that lets European

:18:59.:19:04.

businesses trade freely The Government's plan is that

:19:05.:19:07.

here in Britain our courts should enforce those rights,

:19:08.:19:12.

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

:19:13.:19:17.

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

:19:18.:19:20.

Singapore and the members of the European Economic

:19:21.:19:25.

Area contain courts. For the same reason our government

:19:26.:19:27.

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

:19:28.:19:35.

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

:19:36.:19:37.

of agreeing rules in some deep and comprehensive free trade

:19:38.:19:45.

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

:19:46.:19:47.

the access they should under that agreement, want some way

:19:48.:19:50.

of getting readdress. So if you've been trying

:19:51.:19:51.

to export to an EU country, you think its rules

:19:52.:19:54.

are discriminating against you, you want some way of appealing

:19:55.:20:02.

to another authority, to say - actually, these people

:20:03.:20:04.

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

:20:05.:20:07.

informative and pretty useful paper. What came through most strongly

:20:08.:20:10.

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

:20:11.:20:13.

to ensure alignment between our legal system and the EU legal

:20:14.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:18.

of its priorities to ensure we can keep trading,

:20:19.:20:21.

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

:20:22.:20:23.

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

:20:24.:20:26.

not least with escaping First, a deep relationships

:20:27.:20:31.

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

:20:32.:20:36.

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

:20:37.:20:42.

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

:20:43.:20:49.

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

:20:50.:20:51.

but since all the rules and all the regulations are adopted

:20:52.:20:56.

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

:20:57.:20:59.

of Justice and this arbitration would really be instructed to take

:21:00.:21:02.

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

:21:03.:21:05.

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

:21:06.:21:08.

potential sticking point. The first is to do with

:21:09.:21:17.

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

:21:18.:21:19.

and the trade deal has to be approved not just

:21:20.:21:22.

by the European Council, but by the national Parliaments

:21:23.:21:24.

of the member states, and therefore I wonder

:21:25.:21:26.

whether all parliaments will agree to setting up a bespoke

:21:27.:21:29.

new adjudication mechanism. And the big problem is,

:21:30.:21:32.

there are still some areas like the rights

:21:33.:21:34.

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

:21:35.:21:37.

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

:21:38.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:43.

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

:21:44.:21:46.

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

:21:47.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:53.

proposals would allow a business which has difficulties exporting

:21:54.:21:57.

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

:21:58.:22:01.

and make their claims This would all have to be done

:22:02.:22:04.

between the UK Government and the European Union,

:22:05.:22:09.

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

:22:10.:22:13.

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

:22:14.:22:16.

enforceable in the same Our government now has a settled

:22:17.:22:18.

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

:22:19.:22:23.

away, and businesses in particular may worry about how

:22:24.:22:25.

they enforce their rights. In 2003, two innocent girls

:22:26.:22:35.

were leaving a party in Birmingham. Charlene Ellis

:22:36.:22:39.

and Letisha Shakespeare were gunned down in a gang related

:22:40.:22:43.

drive by shooting. The feuding gangs were the Johnson

:22:44.:22:46.

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

:22:47.:22:49.

is still dealing with gang violence in the city and specifically

:22:50.:22:53.

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

:22:54.:22:56.

what police are calling the largest Think of a gang injunction

:22:57.:23:01.

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

:23:02.:23:09.

than a criminal conviction and is designed to disrupt

:23:10.:23:12.

and prevent gang related For the next two years,

:23:13.:23:14.

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

:23:15.:23:20.

and must register phones A little earlier I spoke

:23:21.:23:23.

to Marcia Shakespeare, How she felt when she heard the

:23:24.:23:34.

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

:23:35.:23:37.

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

:23:38.:23:42.

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

:23:43.:23:46.

are still terrorising parts of Birmingham,

:23:47.:23:49.

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

:23:50.:23:59.

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

:24:00.:24:02.

when I met some Bloods and Crips over there,

:24:03.:24:04.

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

:24:05.:24:07.

why these gangs are continuously happening and continuously

:24:08.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:17.

with a number of fatal shootings, not necessarily involving any

:24:18.:24:21.

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

:24:22.:24:23.

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

:24:24.:24:31.

young boys in particular, they state that the problem

:24:32.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:42.

being attacked by people, large groups are trying

:24:43.:24:44.

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

:24:45.:24:52.

a lot of the young people have decided to join

:24:53.:24:55.

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

:24:56.:24:57.

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

:24:58.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:10.

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

:25:11.:25:12.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commission said

:25:13.:25:15.

in an interview today that what will help back it up

:25:16.:25:19.

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

:25:20.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:29.

they will phone the police and therefore the police

:25:30.:25:31.

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

:25:32.:25:34.

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

:25:35.:25:39.

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

:25:40.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:48.

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

:25:49.:25:56.

and also trying to attack them or family members.

:25:57.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:02.

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

:26:03.:26:06.

the difference between tagging and gang injunctions.

:26:07.:26:09.

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

:26:10.:26:12.

I appreciate you're not the architect of it,

:26:13.:26:17.

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

:26:18.:26:19.

You almost need like a witness protection programme,

:26:20.:26:21.

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

:26:22.:26:24.

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

:26:25.:26:27.

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

:26:28.:26:35.

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

:26:36.:26:40.

that a lot of the witness protection, many family

:26:41.:26:43.

members have had to move towns, cities and countries.

:26:44.:26:47.

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

:26:48.:26:50.

even though you have gang injunctions, it cannot

:26:51.:26:54.

There have to be other things in place.

:26:55.:26:59.

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

:27:00.:27:04.

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

:27:05.:27:08.

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

:27:09.:27:12.

monitoring and seeing these people within the gangs?

:27:13.:27:17.

You've also got social networks where people obtain

:27:18.:27:20.

different sim cards, where they can actually make

:27:21.:27:23.

different phone calls and they can contact people.

:27:24.:27:25.

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

:27:26.:27:35.

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

:27:36.:27:37.

Do you think they have the necessary resources?

:27:38.:27:40.

Finally, what sustains you in your work?

:27:41.:27:44.

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

:27:45.:27:55.

people within Birmingham, however it's about

:27:56.:27:57.

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

:27:58.:28:05.

and they're not educated, because unfortunately sometimes

:28:06.:28:09.

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

:28:10.:28:12.

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

:28:13.:28:20.

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

:28:21.:28:23.

Marcia Shakespeare, thanks for joining us tonight.

:28:24.:28:25.

Kirk Dawes used to work for the West Midland Police.

:28:26.:28:30.

He founded The Centre for Conflict Transformation,

:28:31.:28:33.

which was credited with reducing gangland violence in the city

:28:34.:28:36.

between 2004 and 2012 - when it was shut.

:28:37.:28:41.

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

:28:42.:28:48.

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

:28:49.:28:54.

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

:28:55.:28:59.

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

:29:00.:29:03.

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

:29:04.:29:09.

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

:29:10.:29:13.

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

:29:14.:29:17.

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

:29:18.:29:23.

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

:29:24.:29:29.

question whether West Midlands police have the personnel and

:29:30.:29:33.

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

:29:34.:29:42.

services has taken away their capacity to deal with the upsurge

:29:43.:29:45.

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

:29:46.:29:49.

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

:29:50.:29:53.

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

:29:54.:30:01.

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

:30:02.:30:05.

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

:30:06.:30:08.

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

:30:09.:30:14.

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

:30:15.:30:17.

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

:30:18.:30:23.

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

:30:24.:30:26.

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

:30:27.:30:32.

about positive requirements. What are those requirements? Anything

:30:33.:30:37.

that the public authorities, with partner agencies, consider

:30:38.:30:41.

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

:30:42.:30:46.

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

:30:47.:30:49.

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

:30:50.:30:54.

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

:30:55.:31:00.

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

:31:01.:31:05.

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

:31:06.:31:08.

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

:31:09.:31:13.

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

:31:14.:31:17.

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

:31:18.:31:23.

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

:31:24.:31:26.

amount in any particular year that was given towards the interventions

:31:27.:31:30.

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

:31:31.:31:37.

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

:31:38.:31:43.

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

:31:44.:31:47.

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

:31:48.:31:51.

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

:31:52.:31:55.

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

:31:56.:32:02.

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

:32:03.:32:06.

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

:32:07.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:20.

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

:32:21.:32:24.

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

:32:25.:32:28.

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

:32:29.:32:32.

themselves. Thank you very much for your time tonight.

:32:33.:32:46.

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

:32:47.:32:48.

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

:32:49.:32:51.

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

:32:52.:32:54.

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

:32:55.:32:57.

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

:32:58.:33:00.

to have a rare and eloquent insight into the condition.

:33:01.:33:02.

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

:33:03.:33:05.

published tomorrow, is a collection of essays about languages

:33:06.:33:07.

Daniel Tammett has been speaking to our Culture

:33:08.:33:13.

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

:33:14.:33:28.

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

:33:29.:33:41.

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

:33:42.:33:42.

Surrounded... Numbers felt like my first language

:33:43.:33:51.

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

:33:52.:33:56.

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

:33:57.:34:02.

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

:34:03.:34:05.

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

:34:06.:34:09.

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

:34:10.:34:12.

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

:34:13.:34:18.

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

:34:19.:34:23.

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

:34:24.:34:27.

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

:34:28.:34:31.

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

:34:32.:34:37.

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

:34:38.:34:42.

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

:34:43.:34:51.

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

:34:52.:34:59.

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

:35:00.:35:07.

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

:35:08.:35:16.

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

:35:17.:35:21.

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

:35:22.:35:26.

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

:35:27.:35:30.

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

:35:31.:35:34.

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

:35:35.:35:41.

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

:35:42.:35:47.

Complete with colour and texture and occasionally motion. A neurological

:35:48.:35:53.

phenomenon which scientists call synaesthesia, each shape a meaning.

:35:54.:35:59.

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

:36:00.:36:10.

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

:36:11.:36:13.

conclusions, about the changing relationship between the written and

:36:14.:36:17.

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

:36:18.:36:24.

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

:36:25.:36:27.

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

:36:28.:36:32.

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

:36:33.:36:36.

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

:36:37.:36:41.

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

:36:42.:36:46.

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

:36:47.:36:49.

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

:36:50.:36:55.

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

:36:56.:37:02.

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

:37:03.:37:07.

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

:37:08.:37:14.

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

:37:15.:37:17.

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

:37:18.:37:23.

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

:37:24.:37:28.

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

:37:29.:37:35.

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

:37:36.:37:39.

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

:37:40.:37:43.

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

:37:44.:37:50.

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

:37:51.:37:52.

sculptors. One day, intent on my reading, I

:37:53.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:14.

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

:38:15.:38:18.

Half number, half word. What does pound sign

:38:19.:38:31.

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

:38:32.:38:35.

historic because it was the first time a hashtag,

:38:36.:38:38.

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

:38:39.:38:40.

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

:38:41.:38:43.

with the idea, Chris Messina, telling #newsnight

:38:44.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:48.

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

:38:49.:38:51.

of this platform to The problem with early Twitter,

:38:52.:38:53.

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

:38:54.:38:56.

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

:38:57.:39:00.

organising conversations I thought the hashtag would be

:39:01.:39:01.

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

:39:02.:39:09.

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

:39:10.:39:12.

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

:39:13.:39:14.

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

:39:15.:39:18.

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

:39:19.:39:21.

with, have conversations with and use to understand

:39:22.:39:23.

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

:39:24.:39:40.

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

:39:41.:39:42.

you with some hashtag highlights.

:39:43.:39:46.