Catalonia on the brink. Is Saudi Arabia reforming? Companies prepare for no Brexit deal. Are universities a Remainer bastion?
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The scene this evening outside the
Catalonian parliament in Barcelona.
Supporters of independence brace
themselves for battle.
Without quite knowing
when, where or what form
the battle will take.
At this moment, Mr
Puigdemont, you are putting a
generation in jeopardy. Tomorrow
rests on your shoulders.
Tomorrow come two crunch votes,
the Spanish will decide
whether to take control of
Catalonia, Catalonia will decide
whether to declare itself
The country stands
on the brink of a showdown.
We'll ask if there's a way back
from constitutional conflict.
Something's up in Saudi Arabia.
Is it really possible
that we'll be holidaying there,
on the Red Sea coast
by the end of the next decade?
The Saudi crown prince has outlined
big plans to beat back the forces
of conservatism and to take the
kingdom into a new era of normality.
We'll ask if the Saudi prince's plan
is ever likely to succeed.
And are our universities
a bastion of left wing remoaners,
and if so, does it matter?
The Daily Mail's
Stephen Glover takes it up
with a professor of philosophy.
Hello. After a day of some confusion
in Catalonia, Spain this evening
stands on the brink of a serious
clash between region and nation.
After some dithering,
the Catalan president
Carles Puigdemont decided
not to call an election.
Instead, he said the Catalan
parliament will decide
on whether independence
should be declared.
The vote is expected
to happen tomorrow.
Meanwhile in Madrid,
the Spanish senate will also vote
on whether to invoke Article 155,
allowing the national government
to take control of Catalonia.
A test of strength may follow,
who will the Police
in Catalonia obey?
Can a government run
a region against its will?
And will the pro-independence
politicians in Catalonia remain
united in their determination?
Well, it's a volatile situation,
and our diplomatic editor Mark Urban
is outside the parliament.
Is that a City in turmoil this
It's not, and in fact, the
demonstrations we saw earlier in the
day from militant separatists not
really more than a few thousand,
even those have dissipated now and
the streets are largely quiet. But
everyone you talk to hear is full of
a sense of anticipation about
tomorrow. Now, if there are people
that don't believe in quitting
Spain, its anticipation tinged with
trepidation. The separatists, it is
tinged with possibility. People in
the centre ground of politics here,
a parallel with Brexit, they believe
if the parliament vote tomorrow is
one of separation, somehow things
will be sorted out, and life will
not change in a major way. But
still, all sorts of tensions on the
two flanks of this question.
either side back down now, that is
the crucial question this evening?
You are right. It is absolutely a
crucial question, given that both of
committed to certain courses of
action tomorrow. It seems the
Spanish Prime Minister has talked
about using the nuclear option,
so-called article 155 of the
Constitution. Some people are
saying, there is a certain amount of
wriggle room. But he seemed to be
committed to going forward on that
route, regardless of what is said or
decided in Catalonia. For their
part, the Catalans are also
committed to this vote on
independence, and most people think,
even though there are splits within
the President's party, they will
boat to go that way. How can it be
resolved? It is really, really
unclear whether it can be, hence the
strong sense of people almost
trembling with the possibilities of
what tomorrow will bring. Hence
also, a meandering around
politically dumb by the President
throughout the day in Parliament.
Nothing happened quite as expected
today in the Catalan parliament.
Elections were going to be called,
then they want, and as one timed
event or another slipped and
vanished, the press pack were
suitably laid-back. Instead, he
promised a parliamentary vote on
independence, separatist deputies
I was prepared to call
these elections on the sole
condition that we were given
guarantees that they would be held
in an absolutely normal manner. But
there are no such guarantees that
would justify calling these regional
Pro independence deputies who
thought he'd lost his nerve were
jubilant. The president has said he
won't call elections, and he'll give
the whole matter to Parliament to
decide. And these people are happy,
because they favour independence,
and they think parliament will, too.
But if he leaves it to a
parliamentary vote, having a slim
majority of assent within his own
party, will there be majority for
It's come to the moment
of truth, and we feel the nerves
appropriate to such a man. We think
tomorrow, in the parliament, the
favour for independence will end up
As this played out, the government
in Madrid mulls the position of
emergency rule on Catalonia,
something that could also happen to
one. Each side apparently determined
the other should make the bigger
In order to come back
within the law, where you are, where
we are, where the government is, and
since Saturday, nothing relevant has
happened. But we have heard nothing
Tonight, the parliament is debating
a motion for independence with
predictions, if anything is still
predictable here, that it will come
tomorrow morning at 10:30.
Outside, separatists scenting
victory in joy a carnival
I think the real battles darts from
the declaration of Independence. And
for that, we need the support of our
president. Which we are not sure we
What is the Catalonian government
doing quiz on what is the Spanish
are doing? It has been tense. The
people here are ready to speak for
what they passionately believe in,
which I think its independence.
Mark Urban reporting from Barcelona.
I'm joined from Barcelona
by the pro-independence
activist Anna Arque Solsona,
and via Skype from Madrid
by Alfredo Pastor, he's the former
Spanish Economic Minister.
Good evening to you, Alfredo Pastor.
What is the best way out of this
situation as we stand here now?
Easiest one seems to be for the
president of of the Catalan
government to call an election. That
is the easiest one.
Right. Now talk
me through what happens if he
doesn't do that. Talk me through
what happens if they do vote through
this declaration of Independence.
The motion can be carried, it may be
carried or it may not. A majority is
a very weak one. It would be for
five independence for it to be
declared. No one is going to
recognise. Then, of course, article
155 would be set in motion.
Does Carles Puigdemont, does he get
arrested and sent to jail?
I have no
idea, but I wouldn't be surprised.
You wouldn't be surprised if he was
sent to jail?
I wouldn't be
surprised, no. Justice is when slow
in Spain, but sooner or later, the
clearing independence like that is
not something... It is not allowed.
Do you think the Spanish government
can keep hold of it as the federal
government can hold Catalonia by
force? Do you think that is a very
good idea? If Catalonia doesn't want
to be part of Spain, you can hold it
there, and you can force the police,
sent in the Army, keep it and occupy
Catalonia does not have one
single voice. There is a large
number in Catalonia who would prefer
not to be in Spain. I'm not sure
that all of them have weighed up the
costs and benefits of that
carefully. But the fact that many of
them, many more than the Spanish
government thought, are in favour of
independence. But they are by no
means a majority. Even the
government tried to hold even this
large group of people by force, that
cannot continue indefinitely.
go over to Anna Arque Solsona. You
are in favour of independence, what
is the right thing now, to hold an
election in Catalonia? This is what
the president of Catalonia pulled
away from today. With the right
thing to delay the election and
withhold the crisis that is
Well, I think
that tomorrow is a perfect day to
lift up the suspension of the
declaration of Independence. That is
the mandate of the people, that was
the result of the referendum, to
which 43% of the population voted,
even though the violence that we
suffered that day from the Spanish
police against unarmed people, even
though we do have a mandate, and
that is in favour.
interrupt, but if you are so
confident of this strong
independence, then great, have an
election. You will obviously have
the independent forces win with a
thumping majority, and you can go
ahead because you have more
legitimacy than that referendum.
Well, but there's really no point
for an election. We had elections,
that's why we have an absolute
majority of members of the
parliament in favour of the
independence, and that's why we've
been able to pass through two laws.
One of them, the referendum, the law
for the referendum, for soft
determination. We have achieved that
because we already had elections,
and we have already won the absolute
majority. That's why we did the
referendum. And now, people have
spoken, the same way as Brexit
referendum people spoke.
is democracy, that is what it is all
When Carles Puigdemont is
sent to jail on Monday because the
Spanish novelties don't agree with
your assessment, when that happens,
who runs Catalonia, and what is
going to have an? What do you
actually expect to happen on Monday
if you declare independence and
banish pass article 155? -- the
Spanish pass Article 100 55.
important to remember, in Spain at
the moment, there are two people in
Spain just to organise a peaceful
demonstration. They do have two get
to arrest President Puigdemont, and
maybe it is not that easy, because
he is the person of this country,
elected democratically and legally.
Who is good to run in case the
Spanish state goes once again way
beyond the democratic framework that
we have given, all of us, in the
European Union? Nothing, another
person will be in charge of...
there be violence?
Article 155 is
not going to be able to be
You need the
people to obey.
We have little
time... Sorry to interrupt. We have
little time, do you think there will
be violence if Spain tries to take
control of Catalonia, or partial
Not from the
Catalan side. All the violence that
we have experienced has been from
the Spanish state.
Sorry, I had to cut you off. I want
to put that point to Alfredo Pastor,
do you think there will be violence?
If the Spanish state, if it sees it
can't control Catalonia peacefully,
will it use tanks on Monday?
there will be no tanks. There will
first be demonstration by peaceful
people, who will probably start
breaking things after a while, then
the police will have to come and
things are about. That kind of
street violence will happen, but
there will be no tanks. It will be
an pleasant, the problem in the long
run, the wounds will take time to
We need to leave it there. We
don't have any more time. But we
will be watching obviously
everything that happens over the
next few days. Thank you, both, very
A boring old conference
for investors held in the Saudi
capital Riyadh would not normally
move the news dial here.
But a bland-sounding
gathering this week,
the Future Investment Initiative,
has really put on show,
a Saudi ambition for a momentous
change of direction.
A transformation of the world's
strangest, and least liberal
countries and one of our most
problematic allies could be
transformative of the region.
A tie-up with Richard Branson
announced this week,
and his company called Virgin,
is but one sign of the culture
change apparently underway.
The Crown Prince, Mohammed bin
Salman, heir to the throne,
looks like one of those Gorbachev
types that come along
from time to time.
An insider who thinks the regime
in which he operates
is dysfunctional, and needs to be
One concrete ambition
is an investment of half
of $1 trillion in a new futuristic
city on the red Sea
coast called NEOM.
A place where pioneers and thinkers
and doers can exchange ideas
and get things done.
The promotional video shows just how
different they intend it to be
from the stultifying,
repressed images we
normally see from Saudi.
mountains, plains, valleys, coast,
coral reefs, islands,
mountains that are covered
with snow in winter,
mild weather in summer,
10 degrees less than the other gulf
cities and capitals.
The political will is strong.
The popular will and
desire is strong.
All the elements of success exist
to create something great
within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
That's the Crown Prince bin Salman.
He's only 32.
And the recently appointed heir
to the Saudi throne,
replacing his cousin in the role.
He's already impressed
With energy that flows
from the sun and wind.
One objective is economic,
preparing the country
for when the world weans
itself off oil.
It also needs jobs to occupy
its youthful population.
More than two thirds
of the population is under 30.
But another objective is cultural,
the country has become a beacon
of ultraconservative Sunni thinking.
The Crown Prince made an astonishing
admission to the Guardian this week.
What happened in the region
in the last 30 years
is not the Middle East,
after the Iranian Revolution in 1979
people wanted to copy this model
in different countries.
One of them is Saudi Arabia.
We didn't know how to deal
with it and the problems
spread all over the world.
Now is the time to get rid of it.
Change has already been evident.
Women being given licence to drive.
An obvious step to us,
but a huge change in Saudi Arabia.
The vicious war in Yemen might be
seen as just one sign
that the country is not close
to a humane presence in the region.
And then, of course,
there is the problem
of resistance within.
Will a Crown Prince beat the forces
whose status and power has
derived from the old order?
Saudi Arabia as a new Dubai?
Well, Dubai has its issues, but
nothing compared to those of Saudi.
So is reform for real?
I'm joined by the Saudi
journalist Abeer Mishkhas,
who returned just this week
from Riyadh, and by Nesrine Malik
another journalist who herself used
to live in Saudi Arabia.
But let's start with the BBC's
Frank Gardner who knows
the country extremely well.
Frank, tell us about this Crown
It's impossible to overstate
the changes this man is making. By
Saudi standards it is moving at a
lightning pace. These are changes
nobody could imagine possible
happening so quickly. The man who
runs the economy, the defence, the
Royal Court, just about everything,
has turned around and told the
people of Saudi we have been getting
it wrong, it is time to stop
And he has the support of
the King, presumably, because he was
promoted by him a few months back.
He does. I met them both in 2013 in
the king 's palace. I didn't even
know who he was. I said what you do
for a living, he said he was a
lawyer. At the time he was
relatively obscure. But he has risen
to prominence. He has made some
mistakes. He started this
catastrophic war with the Yemen.
Nobody is winning it. The Yemenis
are losing it by the thousands. Is
also involved in a spat with Qatar.
But this is a bold step that many
people of Saudi belief should be
done. They need to find an
alternative to oil and they need to
join the rest of the 21st-century.
Let me turn to my two guests. Do you
think this is for real? Often people
talk about reform but it isn't
I think it is for real. There
is a huge wave of feminism in the
country. Something nobody talked
about before. Talked about how we
had a problem with... With the
religious establishment, with the
ideology. And to say that we had all
of that time, we wasted 30 years, we
won't waste another 30 years, and we
have to do something about it. I
think this is something somebody was
so happy to hear.
people talking about it?
well, at least the people I have
seen and talked to, they are very
optimistic. They are thinking about
what is going to happen in the
Do you feel this is real?
One thing you could do is liberate
it now, say we will take people out
I believe it's real. One
issue is that in the short term a
shifting of tectonic plates, is a
completely revolutionary, is
something we did not expect to see
in our lifetime? Absolutely yes. My
concern is in the application and
the suggestive mistakes that he has
made, which you have mentioned, and
in the past few weeks, since he has
started to confront the religious
establishment, people have been
thrown in jail, banned from
travelling, and every high-profile
youth religious scholar and TV
presenter was banned from
travelling. That was just a day. My
concern is, is the application going
to be as smooth, and is the support
for him confined to Cosmopolitan,
elites, but in the hinterlands which
one of the senior royals referred
to, the people in the small towns
that haven't really, you know, come
with The Times, are they going to be
You support the guy
obviously. Why is there still such
repression today? You could start
liberating more quickly for this
programme, you don't have to
It's very hard. You
are talking about a country that has
been kept behind everyone else for
years and years. Now he is wanting
all of these changes. You cannot
imagine how much resistance there
was for the driving of women. There
still is. If you listen to people
talking about it, people are still
complaining, some people are not
happy with what the crown prince is
talking about. He has to fight all
that. But he is supported by all of
the young people of the country, who
have been travelling abroad, who
have studied abroad, you want to
find new jobs, who want to stop
travelling to other countries to
feel free. They want everything in
Should people worry
that the Crown Prince may mean it,
but the forces of conservatism are
just too strong postmark
assassination, you could imagine a
number of things, couldn't you? --
are just too strong?
I do worry. The
current generation has been on the
Internet, on social media for the
past 15 years. It is a very
different bedrock to people who have
tried reform before him. I'm not
concerned about the tailwind behind
him. I don't think there will be
that much resistance from the
establishment. I'm concerned about
the lessons that are learnt from the
last 30 years, as he refers to it, I
am afraid that those lessons will
not be learnt, in that there was
complicity on the half of the Royal
family to inject extremism and
radical language into the public
address of the country.
Yes. This wasn't something
that was imposed by some disembodied
rich establishment, it was with the
full sanction and complicity of the
Royal family. To deny that was
something that they did and they
need to undo will be one of the big
We are not talking about
democracy in 2030, are we, or is
that the ultimate vision?
not get starry eyed. He is a
Democrat. Lots of people are getting
locked up for things they have said
on social media. It's not a
Western-style democracy, his aim, he
is aiming to liberate the economic
power of Saudi Arabia. To find jobs
for these millions of people pouring
out of schools and universities. The
risk is that there will be dark
forces gathering, people who don't
like what he is doing, and they will
remember what happened to the 1960s
moderniser. The Conservatives
opposed women's education,
television, he overruled them,
ultimately he was assassinated in
1975. God willing that isn't going
Yemen is a blot on the
Saudi copybook of a serious kind.
Should we trust a guy who is behind
that to be the reformer?
get everything you want from the
same person. You said Gorbachev.
Gorbachev did help in that way. At
the time it was not seem that way by
those in the soviet Union. You
always have to see everything.
going to be a mixed bag. OK. An
interesting one to watch. Thank you
all very much.
The government means business
when it comes to Brexit,
even if we are not quite clear
what exact line of business that is.
Yet, it's real businesses that
will be on the front line of dealing
with any consequences.
In as far as a community can be said
to have a view on Brexit,
the business one has been
against it, or in favour
of the softer variants of it,
with a decent transitional period.
And above all, there's no enthusiasm
for a no-deal outcome.
In fact, real concern at it.
But while they might want it,
businesses have to be ready for it.
-- But while they might not want it,
businesses have to be ready for it.
Helen Thomas has been finding
out what that entails.
Before any big adventure,
it's wise to plan ahead.
Avoid getting left out in the cold,
go equipped for unexpected hazards.
Preparation can be the key
to a successful trip.
The government can't quite
get its story straight on whether
no deal is a negotiating tactic,
or a real possibility.
We are seeking to get a deal.
That is by far and away
the best option.
The maintenance of the option of no
deal is for both the negotiating
reasons and sensible security.
But with 17 months
to go, businesses are
starting to get ready.
I think firms are preparing
for the possibility of no deal,
because it's a logical possibility.
I think they are still optimistic
that we will strike a deal,
because it's in everyone's interest
to do that.
Particularly the larger firms, I'm
hearing more and more that they have
prepared contingency plans.
Some of them have
pressed a few buttons.
But what a number of them say to me
is, it's not one button,
a button every few weeks
as they adjust to new
assessment of the risk.
This isn't really about whether
Brexit is good or bad for Britain,
it's about being ready for anything,
being prepared for a no deal Brexit.
Broadly, that means leaving
the EU in March, 2019,
without the kind of comprehensive
free trade agreement
the government says it wants.
But even that isn't clear-cut.
People happy for us to leave
without a deal concede we might need
some basic agreements to keep planes
flying, say, or to stop a meltdown
in financial contracts.
In finance, no deal means no access
to European markets.
That risks cutting off
an industry that accounts
for 12% of UK tax receipts,
but regulators have forced banks to
get on with their no deal planning.
What they've done is they've
looked at the various
locations across Europe,
decided which one is the best one
for them, so maybe a place
where they have existing operations,
maybe that there are
They have started to acquire
a premises, so they've
got their offices,
they've started thinking
about the people they need
to move to those locations.
But crucially, they've started
to get the authorisations they need
to enable them to do
business in April, 2019.
Ingredients for Eisai's cancer
and epilepsy drugs crisscross
several borders before being made
in the UK for sale worldwide.
The rules say drugs
for sale in Europe must be
tested in an EU country.
So with no deal, Eisai,
a Japanese company,
needs a new facility.
We can't afford to wait any longer.
We're having to go out for tenders,
we're having to look to move that
part of the testing operation,
not the manufacturing,
but the testing to an EU member
state, and put things in place.
Ensuring no disruption
to drug supply in 2019
means spending money now.
We're talking many millions
of pounds to do this.
This is something
which will have no gain.
Literally, it will mean
we are doing in April, 2019,
what we would have been doing,
shall we say, in February, 2019,
so there is no gain.
Money that could have been spent
for developing new medicines,
bringing new cures to patients.
Other industries are planning, too.
One car maker told us
their manufacturing setup might not
work in a no deal outcome.
It could need more parts on site,
and new storage facilities.
It might not be terribly
complicated, but rather
like the negotiations,
it all takes time and money.
There is another
source of uncertainty.
A transition period is meant to make
life easier for businesses,
giving them time to adapt,
but will it be agreed early
enough to be useful?
And even then, will it be certain
enough for businesses to hang
investment or hiring decisions on?
The longer it takes,
we will have lost time,
jobs and investment in the UK.
A drip-drip, if you like.
Our view is that the end
of the year is a key moment,
that if a transition agreement
on status quo terms could be secured
by then, we will keep jobs
and investment in the UK.
But the real prize here
is the shape of the final deal.
They don't want an extension
of the cliff edge.
So the next thing that
would have to happen is,
the first half of next year,
all eyes on that final deal.
This week, the Prime Minister
suggested a transition agreement
could only come late next year.
A bit of government backtracking
later, and don't panic,
it might land much only.
I wonder, is there anything here
that can unscramble mixed messages?
Helen Thomas there.
We did ask the department for
exiting the EU and the department
for international trade to join us
on the programme but
nobody was available.
Our political editor
Nick Watt is here, though,
Nick, you have some more details
tonight on how the government
is getting on with Brexit?
The government confirmed that the
committee stage will begin on the
14th of November, the joke doing the
rounds with the backbenches is the
government will put out a slew of
amendments to its own Bill to avoid
a Tory rebellion. Interesting, I was
talking to somebody close to the
whips, the feeling is they need to
reach out to Dominic grieve, the
former Attorney General, who is one
of the main potential rebels. It
looks like we may have a committee
of both houses to look at the
so-called Henry VIII clauses. He is
worried the changes could be made
without the government having a say.
It will be a committee.
light system. Another idea he has is
that it would bring back the
European Charter of fundamental
rights, that looks more difficult.
So, friendly messages there, but the
word from the land of the whips is,
we're being nice to you, but we
don't have too, because we don't
believe the rebels have the numbers.
The rebels are saying they mean it,
they are serious.
Universities are feeling a bit
picked upon this week.
One Tory whip appeared to be
inquiring about pro-Brexit
sympathies among the lecturers.
He denied it was an attack on free
thinking at colleges; but then
the Daily Mail today went in hard
on the idea that our universities
are a bastion of remainer resistance
to the popular will.
A kind of fifth column.
But would it matter anyway?
Do we need our academics to be
of a population at large?
Possibly, you might say,
if academics are unaware
of their own biases.
We'll argue about whether it
matters, but first a little
evidence on the subject,
from our policy editor Chris Cook.
It feels like a culture war is
underway in Britain. The Daily Mail
is clearly on one side, universities
are on the other.
You can see why the Mail is grumpy,
it's a phenomenon observed around
the world that, well,
students like dissent,
and more educated people
tend to skew more liberal.
You can see that
in the referendum results.
68% of graduates went for Remain,
but people with the most GCSE level
qualifications backed Leave
by similar margins.
There are a few threats to consider.
Students spent time with other
students, whose views are
to the left of the country at large.
So are those of their lecturers.
Here's a result of a poll from
around the 2015 election, showing
the relative support at that moment
of the four biggest parties.
And here's what things look like
just for higher education staff.
A lot more Labour and Lib Dem voters
are working on campus.
Second, universities are not
as a homogenous as they once were.
15% of academics are from
elsewhere in Europe, 16% of
research funding is from the EU,
the very internationalist bodies.
Third, the consensus
in economics or Brexit
is that it will leave us poorer.
Now, the academics may be wrong,
and consensus can be afflicted
by groupthink and bias.
But, by and large, academics
will only teach things
they genuinely believe to be true.
Well, with me is Steven Glover,
who wrote a column about this
for the Mail today,
and Professor Barry Smith
who lectures in philosophy
at the University of London.
Welcome, both of you. What was your
point today, Steven, the point of
the headline, our Remainer
universities, what was the fear
I don't write the
headlines, but the point was, there
are a lot of Remainers teaching at
our universities. And some of them
are probably putting pressure on
students to think...
It is the
pressure on the students?
plenty of examples in today's Daily
Mail, universities sending e-mails
to students, exhortation is to
students to vote in a certain way.
And afterwards, other examples,
which at the worst involve bullying.
So I think it... It blew up because
a Tory MP wandered naively into a
new letter, that's how it blew up.
But it is a matter of public
interest that universities, which
are very good in this country, they
do tend to be very, very pro-remain.
Is it right that the fesses should
tell students how to vote? Is that
good practice, or advising them how
They should be putting the
arguments before them. When we hear
now from the Daily Mail that there
is a worry about so many university
professors being anti-Brexit, it
would be irresponsible not to be, if
they think they have arguments and
evidence to suggest it might be a
bad thing for this country.
not that there may be biases and
prejudices of their own, which they
are teaching students? You might
lecture students and give them both
sides of the argument, or teach them
in a Broadway, but not profit
arising to students.
We will have
two C. We have heard an act is ace
and there is anti-Brexit bias. We
have two wonder whether they are
hearing inconvenient truths. When I
hear people say, anti-Brexit bias, I
don't hear a lot of bottle of the
ordinance put forward in
universities. I hear argument is to
close down the discussion.
picture is, though, you are worried
because universities are more
left-wing than the population at
large. A lot of the copy in your
column was about left-wing voting,
rather than Remainers. If they are
pointed in a competitive way, does
it matter if they end up in quite a
different place from the population
who are less educated? Is that a
It is true that
intellectuals probably, if you pick
100, 70-80 will be on the left.
turns out to be true everywhere.
Students go to university to be
told, to be taught how to think.
That's the point of university.
don't need a newspaper to be told
what happens. But your newspaper
goes further than that!
Mail, lots of newspapers say
different things, it is just a tiny
part of the media.
But the average
professor, of course, has just one
voice, and there are lots of other
voices that affect students.
course, we don't know. I don't think
professors should be coerces and
should tell students how to vote, or
how they should think.
Barry, I am
interested in the issue of biases.
Do you accent that group thinking,
confirmation bias, where you look
for information that supports your
view. Do you think these afflict
They may do. We
teach it, we talk about it, we
expose it. Groupthink and the
consequences of that, and how it
might be set up are taught and
discussed in psychology. I think we
are aware of it some copies are, or
even government parties. The thing
we must be careful with is the idea
that our younger people, students at
university, are so impressionable,
so easily led, that if a university
professor has a view and expresses
it, they take it on immediately.
you do accept that you have these
biases, it is quite interesting to
be told by a newspaper or a
government minister what kind of
prevailing views are. It may not be
McCarthy, let's just be aware, these
are the values you are starting
with, and there may be confirmation
We need to ask that and look
at it. But look, most of the Cabinet
and most of the previous cabinet in
the Conservative government were
educated at universities. If they
are so left wing, I can't see the
effect of it seeping in. This may be
interesting, because people talk
about becoming more right wing and
Conservative as you get older. This
may be a phase they pass through.
Are you proud of Britain's
Yes. Yes, I am.
wrote about them this morning as
hysterical, patronising, elitist.
You don't sound very proud.
said was, the reaction was
hysterical. He has been called
Leninist, accused of censoring
universities, it was a
straightforward letter, completely
open, not perhaps very intelligent.
And the reaction...
point is, you are proud of our
They're not perfect.
But if you look at the University
international league tables, Al
universities are good.
both, very much.
That's about it for this evening.
But to leave you, Canadian artist
Stan Douglas has spent much
of his career exploring moments
that, in his words,
rupture the status quo.
In his latest exhibition,
on at the Victoria Miro gallery
Douglas has re-created
the London riots of 2011.
He chose images from the news,
flew a helicopter over the exact
locations and spent four months
digitally rendering the pictures.
The resulting large-format images
are incredibly detailed.
The idea is to get the viewer
to pause, and consider
how the people, the police
and objects are interacting.
Take a look. Goodnight.