06/09/2017 Newsnight


Is Aung San Suu Kyi destroying her reputation in Burma? Plus the effect of the UK's post-Brexit immigration plan, Hurricane Irma and Eurythmics' Dave Stewart. Kirsty Wark presents.

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Ang Sang Suu Kyi, once feted as the woman who can do no


wrong on the world stage, now she's being cast as the bad guy


Her office is accusing international aid workers


There's talk of crimes against humanity and even


We ask a human rights activist and a campaigner


Hurricane Irma continues to bring havoc and death


to the Caribbean, as it heads towards Cuba and Florida.


We'll hear from an eye witness to the strongest


And Eurythmics' Dave Stewart returns to the stage, flying solo.


I think Annie and I...will be joined at the hip for ever.


Yeah, I would say we definitely will.


Fake news - not two words from Donald Trump,


but from the famous Nobel Peace prize-winning leader of Burma,


Ang Sang Suu Kyi, praised by everyone from Barack Obama


She is seeking to deflect the Rohingya crisis that has so far


sent almost 150,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing


Her government denies the Burmese military have laid land mines along


the border between the two countries, but the BBC


at least three injuries from land mines just this week.


At Westminster, the Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi called the recent


violence against the Rohingya a campaign of "ethnic cleansing",


and she went on to condemn the international community


for "effectively remaining silent as we watch another Srebrenica


Ang Sang Suu Kyi insists that the crisis is being


distorted by a "huge iceberg of misinformation" promoting


Here's our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban.


These scenes are causing a global impact.


An exodus of Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing security


operations by the Armed Forces of Burma, or Myanmar.


Today, the head of the UN criticised that government's offensive


and urged the granting of full human rights to the Rohingya.


I appeal to all - all - authorities in Myanmar,


and military authorities, to indeed put an end


in my opinion, is creating a situation that can


And the crisis is doing nothing for the international reputation


Once imprisoned and a symbol of the country's yearning


for democracy, she has since 2015 been a leading member


Now she is denouncing the press for reporting the Rohingya mission,


making references to fake news and an "iceberg of misinformation".


From her education in Britain to today's crisis, it's


She kind of melded very brilliantly for a while the whole Western,


British democratic politics with this kind of discourse,


you had Oxford, with the Burmese Buddhism that she grew


up in and with the whole independence philosophy


These were very disparate things which she melded very successfully.


But that is a hard mix, or fix, to maintain indefinitely,


both from a psychological point of view and from a practical point


of view, and unfortunately, I think that she's lost the plot.


During the long years of house arrest, Aung was championed


In fact I very often thought I'm quite free,


I don't know why people say I'm not free.


After her release five years ago, she campaigned


The belief in spiritual freedom does not have to mean an indifference


to the practical need for the basic rights and freedoms that


are generally seen as necessary that human beings may live


A basic human right which I value highly is freedom from fear.


She is very much an insider, her father having founded


modern Burma and belonged to its military elite.


And in the current confrontation between the army and the Muslim


minority, she stands against militancy and


Well, I'm upset that she hasn't abided by her own


which made her such a great person, the values which are important.


She's there, she's queen bee, she's got the power,


she's got the following, she's where she wants to be.


She's not particularly bothered, as far as I can tell,


about what the outside world thinks any more.


With the campaign against the Rohingyas still underway,


the Burmese Government is taking a defiant line -


consequences of the operation have caused some at least to think again


Akshaya Kumar is the deputy United Nations director


at Human Rights Watch, and she joins us from New York.


Good evening to you. First of all, can you describe what you think is


the plight of the Rohingya people just now? What our researchers have


been able to find is incredibly disturbing. We know that almost


150,000 people have been forced to flee for their lives across a


dangerous river into Bangladesh. Many are hungry and tired and many


are reporting that they've lost their family members in attacks by


the military, by security forces. They feel persecuted and this


doesn't come just from this incident but also from the systematic


discrimination that this community faces for so many years inside


Myanmar. You will have heard today that this has been called fake news


by Ang Sang Suu Kyi? That's right. She says we are dealing with a


terrorist threat, and I have to say that yes, there have been some


pieces of misinformation, some photos circulated from other


conflicts which are purported to come from the crisis. With what


we've found independently, through our own satellite imagery analysis,


is that over 20 front unique locations in the northern part of


Rakhine state have been eliminated - not all of this can be dismissed as


fake news. What power do you think Ang Sang Suu Kyi has to stop this?


Well, in some ways, Burma's government is now split between the


military and the civilian side, but what Ang Sang Suu Kyi has is quite


unique because she is a Nobel peace laureate, is the power of her voice,


her conviction and the power to stand up for all people within the


country, including the much maligned and attacked Rohingya community, and


today she just hasn't done that. In the lectures for the BBC she talked


about basic human rights for all - now, was that just for public


consumption or do you really believe that she is equivocating over this


or that she genuinely believes? Does she believe the range or do not have


the same human rights? It is hard to know what's actually motivating her


at this point in time. There could be some political calculations. She


is at the end of the day an elected politician. But her words, the


words, they stand for themselves. She has spoken out for human rights


for all people, whether baby citizens or not. So, any of this


domestic rhetoric that says these people do not belong here should not


matter, because they don't deserve to be killed and persecuted and


driven from their homes by rapes or killings by the military. Finally,


do you think there is something the Nobel peace committee should do,


there is talk of rescinding her prize which they say they can't do,


but should there be some censure? The prize itself is irrevocable but


it does stand for some principles. We've already seen a few Nobel


laureates reach out and asking Ang Sang Suu Kyi to do the right thing


and to stand up. Many more of these laureates can do that and we can


only hope that their voices will prevail on her to take the right


decision to cooperate with the UN and to stop obstructing the delivery


of aid and to allow independent human rights investigators in to


determine what is the truth and what is fake news.


Labour MP Rushanara Ali is the chair of the all-party


Good evening. Do you think that she was massively lauded by Barack


Obama, Angela Merkel, the BBC lecture, she opened your party's


headquarters - was it a huge miscalculations? I don't think it


was a miscalculation. I think the international community rightly


agonised her sacrifice and her fight for democracy in her country. And


that was the right thing to do. But I think what we failed to do is to


recognise that the transition to democracy was not going to be a


smooth one, and one of the things that I and many other


parliamentarians, one of the challenges which we expressed would


continue, was that if we remove sanctions very rapidly, we would


lose the leverage to influence the government, which even with


democratic transition, it is an in perfect democracy, 25% of


parliamentarians are still from the ruling military, who control defence


and security and much else, they hold the balance of power


ultimately. Maybe there was a missed cut elation. We heard her


biographers say that she was very much steeped in the military, she


was part of the whole state idea and perhaps she was pulling the wool


over our eyes? I wouldn't say that but I think that sometimes, because


of her persona, because of her campaign and being under house


arrest, many of us, I did and many of us... Were beguiled? Looked to


her as a symbol. And it's been deeply disappointing that she has


not stood up for the rights of the minority is, particularly the


Rohingya. I visited Burma in 2012 after the attacks on Rohingya


Muslims, where over 100,000 were displaced, and subsequently, they


don't recognise the Rohingya, they don't recognise the disappeared


ones. Exactly, she consistently accused... She was never clear about


the Rohingya comma she always equivocated about the Rohingya. Yes,


and many yes. Terrines in this country and in other countries


raised alarm bells about that. -- and many parliamentarians. So what


happens? Your colleague has talked about the ghost of Srebrenica, the


ghost of Rwanda - can anyone stop her? Well, it's not just Ang Sang


Suu Kyi, it's the military, it's the military who is dictating what is


happening and it is convenient for them that much of the attention is


on her, understandably. Except that if she is queen bee, she could exert


more power? She should use her voice, that's true, and she hasn't,


and that's deeply disappointing. But what we really need to do urgently


is to apply serious pressure through the international media and the


international community and the United Nations on the military,


because they are prosecuting these murders, they have killed thousands


and thousands of people, half a million people have been displaced


and art in refugee camps in Chittagong in Bangladesh. Thousands


of people have been displaced. This remark about fake news is shocking.


But the focus has got to be on holding the military rulers to


account, because they're still calling the shots. However, who are


the ones to put Russia on Burma? I wonder if there is the possibility


that all of those people, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, should be


shaming her into standing up to the military? What I would say is that


she needs to stand up to the military, but the international


community and Western leaders need to stand up to Burma's military. The


United Kingdom, I coordinated a letter to Boris Johnson last year


after the last episode of violence that resulted in thousands of people


being killed and displaced and we got a response from a junior


minister. This time he took a good few days before he made a statement,


which was pretty tame, frankly. And we are still providing military


training, spending hundreds of thousands of pounds, and those


issues need to be reviewed. It's questionable whether that kind of


effort is actually going to work, because it's not so far, the


military are doing nothing but causing greater harm and prosecuting


murder. Do you think that now and forever more, Ang Sang Suu Kyi's


reputation is tainted? Absolutely, but the reputation of the country


overall is tainted. We've got to exact rate pressure both on her and


on the military. Thank you for joining us.


It's been just 24 hours since the Home Office plans


for immigration post-Brexit were leaked by the Guardian.


Under the draft plan, firms would have to recruit locally


unless they could prove an "economic need" to employ EU citizens.


Now, we must emphasise that the Government has said these


plans are just a draft, and since it was put together,


there have been six more versions of the plan.


Still, firms that rely on EU workers have warned of the "catastrophic"


impact of the proposals and the "massive disruption"


David Grossman has been taking a look.


How many copies, Hauman experiments and how much fruit did EU migrants


provide Britain with today? The Brexit folk show that for many, the


rate and scale of EU migration has been too great -- Brexit vote. How


to cut it without damaging the economy is a difficult balancing


act. Thanks to a leak in a policy document, we have clues now as to


what Whitehawk is thinking. It is only a draft so I suspect it will go


to a few changes but it is broadly on the right lines. It is to be


welcomed, if implemented as proposed, and we would see a


considerable significant reduction in the numbers coming from the EU


which is what people broadly voted for a year ago. According to the


document, the unrestricted flows of EU migrants will come to an end. In


the future they will blow builder to allowing only those who make a


valuable contribution -- they will be filtered. That will be on skills


and salary and social impact. To be considered valuable to the country


as a whole it says that immigration should benefit not just the migrants


themselves but also make extinct residents better off. -- existing


residents. The government says it will not comment on the substance of


the league. We are told this is an old draft, but Theresa May was clear


today that post Brexit much will have to change. We continue to


believe that it is important to have net migration at sustainable levels,


the tens of thousands, because of the impact particularly it has on


people at the lower end of the income scale in depressing wages.


But some economists say there is little evidence that EU migrants


suppressed wages. Britain needs overseas workers because


unemployment is low and there is no obvious alternative to the workers,


they say. The employers we have spoken to have talked about


targeting former offenders, women going back to the labour market


after a period out of work, always talking about school leavers. They


are desperately trying to tap into those sources of labour but the fact


is that those sectors have always employed migrants and always been an


attractive to British workers said it is hard to see how any group or


even set of groups is going to meet employers need if there was a


reduction in EU migration. Workers would, according to the document, be


treated differently based on their level of skill. Higher skilled


workers would have the chance to come to the UK for three to five


years while lower skilled workers would just have to years residency


and rights to bring family and this could be restricted. Employers who


still had to recruit low skilled workers from abroad might have been


paid a skilled tax to help train UK workers. The implication is that


employers might have just pay a bit more to attract UK workers. None of


our research suggests that the reason we can't get workers is


because of pay, there are cultural issues white UK workers do not want


to do these jobs. We can work on that. There might be scope in the


future for looking at automation and technology at an answer to replacing


some of these jobs but the facts on the ground are that overseas workers


currently primarily from the EU make up a lot of these jobs. Agriculture


and horticulture rely on them at the moment. Even in high skilled sectors


like sound and research which would supposedly be favoured in the new


system, there is concern. Our scientific workforce in the UK is


made up of a wide range of people from all over the world and a wide


spectrum of different talents and skills, from the technicians and


from the early career researchers right through to professors and


CEOs. The risk of putting salary and other criteria like qualifications


on a migration system is that you may inadvertently cut out access to


the UK from some of those people. You could have a Ph.D. In science


and be extremely expert in your field and not meet the current


salary threshold for migrants from outside the EU which is around


?21,000 a year. Immigration is where two Brexit realities collide, want


economic and one political. Picking its way through this is one of the


most significant challenges faced by the government.


Our political editor, Nick Watt, is here.


This has caused quite a reaction. London method of Khan said it would


strangle the London clinic and Nicky Morgan said she was concerned about


it. The significance of this if it is the first definitive account of


how the UK will seek to control immigration when we have left the EU


and as David was saying, it will be a relatively benign system for


higher skilled workers but there will be more restrictions for low


skilled workers. It was interesting to date, Jeremy Corbyn was silent on


this. I spoke to a number of pro-European Tories and one


pro-European cabinet member said that they hope that when people look


at this they will seek that it is not that bad, quite soft, and it


seeks to answer the dilemma. How do you take back control of immigration


and bring the numbers down but do it in a way that does not harm the


economy? One thing I have learned this evening, an idea from this


draft that has been absolutely rejected is that in the transition


period immediately after we leave the EU there is an idea for EU


citizens who want to stay in the UK for a little longer would have to


give their fingerprints. I spoke to a senior cabinet member who said


absolutely no way, that is out. What about the idea of transitional


arrangements? What does this tell us? Overlooked in this document is


the most detailed account of how the government will deal and manage with


this transitional period which is officially known as the


implementation phase. Ministers are been quite cagey about saying how


much it'll last. In this document it says it will last for at least two


years and, on the rules for migration in that transition period,


they hug the rules on EU free movement very closely. If talks


about how you would have to register, that is consistent with EU


law and in fact that is the rule that applies in Germany. It is


interesting, there is a Cabinet committee that oversees this


negotiation, six members, and they recently agreed there should be this


transition which is following on from the intimidation phase outlined


in Theresa May's Lancaster House speech. They did not agree the


timing but what I have learned is that Boris Johnson is pushing back


and he is saying, make sure this last no longer than one year. That


is not what is in this document. State but because I will come back


to you. -- stay put. Well, one of the key sectors


that could be affected by these leaked proposals


is hospitality and tourism. 4.6 million people


work in the industry, an estimated 700,000


of which are from Joining me now is Ufi Ibrahim,


the chief executive of the British Hospitality


Association. Good evening. I know that the


hospitality industry has been kicking up today but you would say


that because, in a sense, a lot of what you do survives on cheap labour


and a lot of European nationals are prepared to come and work for the


lowest wages within the law. The Prime Minister talked today about


depressing wages by employing EU nationals but there is no evidence


to support that and in fact the evidence suggests otherwise. The


truth is that in the United Kingdom at the moment we have the lowest


level of unemployment that we have had for the past 40 years. Any


further southern or material change to the supply of labour to the UK


workforce would be significantly damaging for an industry that


already find it very difficult to find people to actually employed


here in the workforce. Perhaps it is because the conditions are not


attractive enough in that there is not enough support and training and


I would put it that perhaps the hospitality industry has been quite


lazy because they're rather half a million unemployed between 18 and


24, and actually you could encourage them more through colleges and


on-the-job training but it is easier to pick up an incredibly


enthusiastic person from Europe who speaks three languages and is


prepared to work long hours and for low pay. At an industry we reject


the argument that the British individual is not attractive to work


in our industry. What are you doing to attract them? Our industry


employs 3.2 million people directly in the UK, 700,000 of which are EU


nationals. 75% of waiters are from outside the UK. Going back to the


original question, in our industry we have serious numbers of people


who started out at the entry level and have made it to being the senior


executives in the business and in fact two thirds of all senior level


executives in the industry started with very little qualifications and


experience and started at that low level which proves the point that


the industry is actually one of the great meritocracy is of the UK. Huge


training possibilities and development possibilities. That is


the opposite to one of the contributors of the film who said


they found it hard to attract UK born people do these jobs. It


suggests that with a bit more effort you could employ British people in


British jobs as it were. I think the reality is that all businesses


including the hospitality industry have come to rely on the strategic


advantage of being able to have an EU workforce. That is an absolute


reality. But it is also... The experience of most people I would


suggest is that those workers are extremely good. But the point is


that has allowed you to sit back and say, we are not going to do as much


as we could. You are talking about taking ten years as it were to fill


the gap but you have known since last June, this has been


accelerating what you do to attract local workforce. For the past three


years we have been the only industry in the UK is leading campaigns like


the big conversation which have created 67,000 new career starts for


British youngsters under 25 also Berra very few industries in the UK


that have gone the extra mile to be able to attract those sort of


individuals -- there are very few. But the point is that in the UK


there is a fundamental issue around vocational education will stop


government cannot push the whole burden of the private sector, they


must accept responsibility... What do you want the government to do to


change the way that kind of education is delivered? At the


centre is launching any proposal for immigration policy, the UK


Government must ensure that they consider a holistic mix of policies


that will be required to ensure that industries like ours will not be


harmed and that includes educational policy. The Department for Education


must come forward and propose ways in which they will promote


vocational education and I want to give you an example of something


which we are very concerned about. We were dismayed when the levels


were announced and the government said they were postponing the


introduction of T-levels in the UK, the equivalent to a levels in


vocational education, to prepare an industry like ours and that has been


postponed to 2090 and furthermore they have said our industry will not


be integrated into the T-levels in the first round. -- 2019. How was it


possible that the government that is serious about making Brexit success


is not willing to provide the whole mix of policies that industries like


ours need to do that? Thank you for joining us.


What is good to happen with the EU withdrawal bill tomorrow? -- going


to happen. It is highly likely it will get a second reading, Labour


will vote against it but the pro-Europeans in the Tories are


keeping their powder dry for when the bill is considered at committee


stage after the conference season in October. Interestingly it had been


assumed that might be the high noon moment when they try to amend the


bill to but the single market element in there. They are not going


to do that, they are going to concentrate on one key area, what


they regard as a power grab by the government. When all this EU law is


brought on to the UK Statute book, when there are thousands of delusion


that might need to be taped as they will be done through the so-called


Henry VIII clauses, ie by ministers without a debate in Parliament and


they will focus on that. Tory whips are reasonably confident they should


survive this and it will go through in October. Thank you.


There has not been a storm like it for three decades.


Hurricane Irma is making its treacherous way,


with winds of 185mph and gusts of 220mph


battering the Caribbean islands, heading to Puerto Rico,


Haiti and onto Cuba and Florida, where storm surges could be 11ft.


Earlier this evening, we managed to get through to Rupert Passat,


who is holed up with his family in the capital


We had a great view of the main harbour at Road Town on Tortola.


What does it look like when you can see out?


Well now we are actually still partially in the storm.


Where they keep all the catamarans and what have you, it is all smashed


and they're all piled on top of each other.


Because the eye of the hurricane has come straight through Road Town


harbour, so we got the first half, so to speak, of the hurricane.


And we didn't really know what to expect.


We were jumping from one room to another.


We set up in one of the bathrooms and heard lots of noises,


water started coming through the ceilings, so we vacated


that room and went into the living room and we ended up


What were the authorities telling you to do?


There's been plenty of advice and warnings.


There's the Department of Disaster Management which has


been texting and e-mailing everyone, just to make sure that


I mean it was crazy, it was total mayhem.


What was it like when you were actually in the bathroom


with the children and you could hear it battering?


At the beginning, we were just sort of, not casual about it but just


not really expecting what was going to happen.


Now we can see what's happened, all the trees have gone.


As I say, all the boats are all smashed up.


We had at least five days to plan for this.


Obviously, we got plenty of water, provisions, the odd drop of red


wine and managed to get a bottle of Glenfiddich.


But it's actually been so serious that we haven't really had a chance


If you don't mind me saying, Rupert, you do sound quite traumatised.


I am, yeah, stressful, very stressful experience.


It's hard to understand or to know how they're going to clear this up.


And are you managing to keep in touch with friends roundabout?


I must say, I must say, the one thing that we've been able


And what do you think happens next for you and the family?


Well, I think, if I just take a breath, I think


the next few days here and obviously regroup,


the is plenty of water that has come into the apartment.


By the looks of it, as we look down on to the capital


I just don't know where to start with this.


I think they're going to need external help to be honest.


I've never seen such devastation to be honest.


There are 50ft catamarans in the bay that have been turned over.


I'm very relieved, even though the storm is still here and it's


still hammering down, but we feel that we've seen the worst


We go to great lengths on Newsnight to bring


but occasionally, we reluctantly cede a bit of airtime to


Tonight we bring you an exclusive jam and interview with one-time


and a hugely successful songwriter and producer.


One of his early LP covers listed Edward de Bono,


the father of lateral thinking, among the credits.


And Stewart's own thoughts have been sought out by such movers


and shakers as Charles Saatchi, Richard Branson


On the eve of some rare concert dates in the UK


to mark his 65th birthday, Dave Stewart has been talking


I very rarely have played live in England.


And I'm going to the Sunderland Empire and playing live,


where I've never played since I was about 16 or 17.


So, that is obviously going to be pretty emotional for me.


# Falling on my head like a new emotion...


When you're an ultimate rock insider like Dave Stewart,


you can fly over the best session musicians from the States


for your homecoming gigs and rehearse them in a huge studio


in the basement of a London hotel which you just


Stewart has come a long way from the early days


of The Eurythmics, when a lack of funds led to inspired


Annie and I, in a boardroom with, like, gold albums...


Sort of juxtapose it and inject some kind of, you know, flip it.


A cow comes walking in the boardroom, like a huge cow,


which is very difficult to get the cow to do this.


Because you couldn't sort of key it in in those days.


Cow, yeah, wandering around and Annie was


We didn't want to do anything that had anything to do


And they put it on in MTV in America and it just exploded


at the same time as the single was going up the charts.


And this video was just on like every bloody 15


minutes or something, so Annie and I arrived


and it was like being a newscaster or something when you're on every


night but you're on like 20 times a day.


I'm sure many of our viewers who have fond memories


of The Eurythmics would wonder, is it possible you will do


something together, an album, a short tour, what do you think?


I think Annie and I will be joined at the hip for ever.


# Who's that girl running around with you


We're bound to do something, and in what shape or form it


But yeah, I would say we definitely will.


Stewart has written for and collaborated with everyone


# There's nothing wrong with you I can't fix #.


And his original way of thinking has been sought out


Listen, Nelson Mandela wants to talk to you on the phone.


And there was a speakerphone and it was like...


Like nerve-racking, and he came on the phone and he was very funny.


And then he was talking about, you know, he wanted to turn the most


negative number in his life of 30 odd years, a prison number,


he was only called by 46664, he wanted to turn it


And I said, what about making it a telephone number?


And then Nelson Mandela himself made the message when you rang it,


"Hello, this is Nelson Mandela" and blah blah.


And the longer they stayed on the phone, the more


they were donating to launch, you know, the foundation.


Is there any truth in the story that you once entertained the notion that


dogs might be able to talk, and you could investigate that


I once had the notion that hairless cats could possibly talk and be very


I didn't get too far with it, no, because when I announced this idea


at a press conference with Annie in Australia, I just


was talking about it and then we arrived in New Zealand


and the Hairless Cat Society turned up to meet me.


No, they weren't keen, they thought I was, you know,


kind of taking the Mickey out of them.


And if you fancy catching Dave Stewart live, he's


at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on Friday and


Before we go, another reminder of Hurricane Irma,


the worst Atlantic storm in nearly four decades, still


heading towards Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida.


Terrifying and destructive as it is, though, some Caribbean


islanders are apparently determined to keep calm and carry on.


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