14/11/2017 Newsnight


14/11/2017

With Evan Davis. What is the best way to deal with Russian twitter trolls? Plus a potential a coup in Zimbabwe, satire and the status quo, and Grenfell.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Could you have known

that these tweets were spread

0:00:160:00:18

by one mischief-making

Russian Twitter account?

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No.

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And that's the problem.

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Garbage online, much

of it from Russia,

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and deliberately designed to cause

trouble, is evidently polluting

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public discourse not just

in the US, but here as well.

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Can we stop it or are

we just forever stuck

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with the Kremlin trolls?

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Has perfected the art of driving

wedges into political systems and

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their adversaries, and they've

perfected this in the 60s and 70s.

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Also tonight.

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We've already passed about I think

ten tanks and it seems like more and

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more are heading towards Harare.

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Military vehicles heading

for the Zimbabwe capital.

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For a moment, it looked

like the army might be booting

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President Mugabe out today.

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What is going on there?

Here in

Harare the military have threatened

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a wreck intervention in the affairs

of the ruling party, adding a twist

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to the raging power struggles over

who will succeed the 93-year-old

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president.

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We'll hear live from Zimbabwe

about the struggle to succeed

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the world's oldest head of state.

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Hello, nice to meet you.

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And visiting the UK

from the Philippines,

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the niece of a victim of Grenfell,

meets her aunt's neighbours

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to try to make sense of the tragedy.

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Hello.

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For months now, we've gazed

at the US as it deals with apparent

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Russian interference

in its political affairs.

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Well, as we tend to do

what the Americans do,

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but with a lag, it was only a matter

of time before concern about Russian

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meddling would come here.

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And come here, it really now has.

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The Sun and Times are both reporting

tomorrow that the head of

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the National Cyber Security Centre

says British energy companies have

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already been hacked,

a clear threat to clean running

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of our infrastructure.

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That is one kind of problem.

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Last night, the Prime Minister used

a rather interesting phrase

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in condemning the Russians:

the country, she said, is attempting

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to "sow discord in the West

and undermine our institutions."

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In short, Russia has no agenda

but is just trying to cause trouble.

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It's a rebel country

without a cause.

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Now, you might say, why worry

about Russian fake news and election

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lies, we generate plenty

of all that ourselves.

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But we're divided enough

at the moment, without Russia

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stirring things up.

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So how worried should we be?

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Here's our diplomatic

editor Mark Urban.

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I own nothing in Russia.

From

America to France or even Catalonia

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the accusations have been emphatic

that Russia has used information

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warfare to disrupt western

democracies, so division and reap

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political rewards.

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By their own criteria

inside the machine, as it were,

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which is doing this,

it's being seen as a major

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success and, of course,

it's important for these particular

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agencies within the military,

within the security apparatus to be

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successful, to get more funding.

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There's a good deal of competition

among the agencies in this business

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so I think from a Russian point of

view, from the professionals doing

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it, it's been a success.

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But how does Britain fit into this?

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This week it emerged

that messages like

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this one on Twitter had come

from a bot or an automated account.

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It was linked to Russia

and intended to

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divide Britons and stoke

prejudice against Muslims.

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Russia has perfected the art of...

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Driving wedges into existing cracks

of political systems

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of their adversaries.

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And they've perfected

this art already

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in the 1960s and 70s,

in the Cold War we used to call

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these operations active measures.

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Today, of course,

social media are a prime

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amplification tool

of active measures.

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Theresa May's tough talk on Russia

yesterday echoed that of

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her intelligence bosses

earlier this year.

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When the chief of MI6, speaking at

the service's Vauxhall Cross HQ made

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this accusation.

The connectivity

that is at the heart of

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globalisation can be exploited by

states with hostile intent to

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further their aims deny belief. They

do this through means as varied as

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cyber attacks, propaganda or

subversion of democratic process.

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The Prime Minister's charge against

Russia is completely in line with

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the assessments of her nonpolitical

intelligence chiefs. But, like a lot

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of intelligence, it's short and hard

fact or specifics and what nobody in

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Whitehall is alleging is that the UK

has come under a similar information

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wars deluged to that which hit

America in the summer of 2016.

What

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we've seen in the US is hacking,

leaking, and then amplification of

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this content and social media,

including fake news. What we've seen

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in Germany, France and the UK is not

so much hacking and leaking, almost

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none of that, in fact, almost no

leaking, certainly, instead

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amplification operations and social

media which tried to amplify wedges

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and divisions.

Russia's response

came from the Foreign Ministry whose

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spokeswoman added the prime Mr's

attack was an attempt to distract

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from the problems of Brexited. In

unleashing social media, exploiting

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hacked documents and financing

fringe parties, Russia may

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destabilise the international system

in unpredictable ways.

They react as

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they reacted to Prime Minister's

speech yesterday with denial and

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ridicule. On the other hand they are

not very good at predicting western

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responses to these actions. In fact,

very few actors are able to do that.

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In Washington, Senate hearings have

brought to life hacking as well is

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evidence of millions of bot accounts

amplifying Kremlin talking points

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while masquerading as patriotic

Americans. While similar charges are

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being made in the UK, the same

detailed case has yet to emerge.

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We asked the Russian foreign

ministry to join us on the programme

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today but nobody was available.

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In a statement, the ministry said

Theresa May's comments

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were "irresponsible and groundless."

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It added...

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"British society is

currently not going

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through its finest hour due

to the ongoing process of exiting

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the EU and internal splits.

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It is understandable that

an external enemy is direly needed

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to distract public attention

for which role Russia

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has been chosen."

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To discuss this, I'm joined

by the political analyst Matt Turner

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from Evolve Politics

and Professor Anne Applebaum

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from the LSE, she's written

extensively about Russia for years.

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How serious a problem is the kind of

fake news, false tweeting?

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Essentially, social media has been

created for this purpose. What you

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can do using the analytic tools that

Facebook is you is addressed

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different kinds of messages to

different parts of society. Russia

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was probably the first major country

to understand how those could be

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used to manipulate politics but I

think there will be many others. It

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is a mistake to think this is just

about Russia.

Give me an example

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about which you have concern of a

way in which the Russians have

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successfully meddled in western

politics?

So, we now have had a

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number of examples that have been

revealed during US congressional

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hearings, for example of Facebook

website set up in places like Idaho,

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where actual events were organised

and Facebook inviting people to come

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and condemn immigration which turned

out to have been fake Russian

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websites and they were being

operated from Russia.

Do you know

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how money people turned up to these

things?

In some of them, they did

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turn up and stop one of the

difficulties, where I sense you are

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going, it is difficult to measure

how well this works but then we run

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into the problem of how you measure

any political advertising or any

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advertising. Facebook has a funny

dilemma because they want to say

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that none of this matters but if it

doesn't matter...

What is the point

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of advertising on Facebook. Yeah. I

know you are a bit more sceptical

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about how powerful this has all been

and how worried are you by the sorts

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of things Professor Anne Applebaum

has been describing?

Are not as

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worried as Theresa May. All those

social media over the past five

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years has become more and more

relevant and prominent and more

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people getting their news from

social media, that is what we've

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benefited from, I want to stress

broadcast media and the traditional

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print press have more of an

influence, it is where most people

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get their news as opposed to social

media. I do believe that is changing

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and people, including myself, and

Russia are taking advantage of that

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but I think the British government

and traditional media are taking

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advantage of that as well.

Do you

accept the Russians are doing this

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stuff, they are throwing out all

this rubbish and trying to confuse

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and divide? Do accept that?

For

sure. I've seen lists of Twitter

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bots linked to Russia which is

undeniable but I dispute the

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tangible impact that is having on

elections and public opinion. If you

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look at studies done on social media

it specifies that it increases the

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intensity of political engagement as

opposed to changing public opinion.

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My initial starting point would be

that the people who believe the

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anti-immigration message coming from

one to regard the people who already

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believe that message. You're not

going to convert people with this

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kind of stuff.

There are a couple of

things. Nowadays of course social

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media often becomes broadcast media

or leads to mainstream media story

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so it is difficult to separate them.

It isn't as if it is the people on

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social media affected. President

Trump tweets, most people learn

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about them because they are on

television. That is the way in which

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they get across. It is important to

understand the Russian method, which

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isn't blindingly original, is to

identify these very passionate and

0:11:160:11:23

obsessed groups...

Yes.

Which exist

and which can be found through

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social media analytics. And then to

increase their energy, increase

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their passion, persuade them to

vote, persuade their friends to

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vote. On the other hand, persuade

others not to vote. They were using

0:11:390:11:43

these fake black lives matters

Facebook pages in the United States

0:11:430:11:48

to persuade potential Hillary voters

not to vote. I don't think anybody

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is claiming that they have changed

our way of thinking. This is a way

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of finding out what social divisions

already exist, working with them and

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exacerbating them.

There is an

argument that people have used that

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these have interfered in elections,

Brexit and Trump, and people will

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say that as an excuse by people who

lost those elections.

That is

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something I would agree with. It is

an excuse, a hyperbolic one at that.

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To be honest with you, much more of

a reason why the Clinton campaign

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lost and they remain campaign lost

is because the campaigns would die

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in the first place. It is dangerous

territory here when we go into using

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the term Russia as a catchall phrase

to kind of justify the fact we

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should show trust in our current

inept leaders and candidates when,

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in reality, they are covering their

own tracks.

In terms of what we

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should do about this, isn't the best

thing to do about this is tried and

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educate everybody not to believe

everything they see online,

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particularly a Twitter account where

the person doesn't have an ordinary

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name or picture of themselves?

We

are just at the beginning of

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understanding how this works. Think

about the invention of the printing

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press in 15th century and how much

that changed politics and religion

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and relationships between nations

over a number of years. We are at

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the beginning of a process like that

now where this is going to change

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everything, really, about the way

our institutions work. At the

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beginning, one of the solutions is

going to be media literacy, teaching

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people to understand it, down the

line beginning to understand how

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these divisive campaigns work and

finding antidotes.

Do you agree on

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that?

I think the trouble which we

have here is essentially people are

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already combating it themselves. It

hasn't impacted the election in the

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first place. The snobbish

insinuation people are almost too

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stupid to realise and are going to

take notice of a Russia Twitter bot

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and change their minds I think,

again, that kind of inference is one

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of the main reasons why people have

lost trust in establishment

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politicians in the first place, the

insinuation people don't know what

0:14:100:14:13

they want.

Thank you.

0:14:130:14:18

Now, nation, take note,

we are about to give

0:14:180:14:20

you a fleeting look at our famous

Brexit countdown clock.

0:14:200:14:22

Because today MPs embarked

on the next stage of the Brexit

0:14:220:14:25

legislative process,

with line by line debate

0:14:250:14:26

of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

0:14:260:14:28

Two amendments attempt to enshrine

in law the date of Brexit.

0:14:280:14:30

One, from Labour's Frank Field,

set the date as 30th March 2019.

0:14:300:14:33

That one's gone now.

0:14:330:14:36

But a government one

enshrines the official date

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of 29th March and the time

as, well, 11pm.

0:14:380:14:43

And as you can see, that is almost

exactly 500 days away.

0:14:430:14:53

If only we'd just put this

item 15 minutes later.

0:14:560:15:00

But it's not just the clock

giving us numbers today.

0:15:000:15:03

The parliamentary arithmetic

is on everybody's minds, too.

0:15:030:15:04

Are there enough Tory rebels

to defeat the government on crucial

0:15:040:15:07

aspects of the bill?

0:15:070:15:09

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Westminster

leading car makers were quoting some

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pretty interesting numbers too

on how Brexit might

0:15:110:15:13

affect their trade.

0:15:130:15:17

Our political editor Nick Watt

is with me for the politics,

0:15:170:15:19

Helen Lewis, our business editor,

is also here.

0:15:190:15:29

Nick, take us through what happened

today on the bill and the numbers of

0:15:290:15:34

MPs who could prevail.

It was the

first vote at committee stage today

0:15:340:15:39

on the bill. A couple of

uncontroversial votes and the

0:15:390:15:46

government supports 318 MPs, not a

bad base but there is a

0:15:460:15:49

controversial decision to amend the

bill to put on the face of it the

0:15:490:15:53

exact date of withdrawal. Tory

rebels furious with that, they say

0:15:530:15:57

there was another amendment saying

the government would be able to

0:15:570:16:01

change the date through the stroke

of a pen known as the statutory

0:16:010:16:08

instrument. A number of Tory MPs say

they cannot support that amendment

0:16:080:16:11

and hear the front page the Daily

Telegraph, the Brexit mutineers,

0:16:110:16:15

reporting the rest 15 of these Tory

MPs who have informed senior party

0:16:150:16:18

figures that they cannot vote for

that. One of those the former

0:16:180:16:22

Chancellor Ken Clarke and he was

really annoyed when he was talking

0:16:220:16:26

about this this afternoon.

0:16:260:16:33

I am the rebel.

0:16:330:16:34

I espouse the policies

the Conservative Party has followed

0:16:340:16:37

in the 50 years, of my

membership of it until we had

0:16:370:16:39

a referendum 18 months

ago and I regret I have

0:16:390:16:42

not yet seen the light.

0:16:420:16:43

And I ask the government

to reconsider silly amendments

0:16:430:16:45

thrown out because they got a good

article in the Daily Telegraph,

0:16:450:16:48

which actually might do harm.

0:16:480:16:56

We have just had Remembrance Day.

0:16:560:16:58

I just simply want people to reflect

on the fact that for one moment

0:16:580:17:01

they might just recall the fact

that those millions of people

0:17:010:17:05

who died in both world

wars died for a reason.

0:17:050:17:12

It was to do with sustaining the

freedom and democracy of this House.

0:17:120:17:20

Derry have the Tory party warhorses.

But in the last hour were about to

0:17:200:17:28

get more votes on the continuing

role of the European Court of

0:17:280:17:35

Justice and Oliver Letwin has said

in that area the bill is a mess and

0:17:350:17:39

unless the government amends that it

would be massacred in the House of

0:17:390:17:41

Lords.

Moving on to the business side, we

0:17:410:17:46

had car companies appearing before

MPs today, what did they have to

0:17:460:17:51

say?

The headline grabber was Aston

Martin and they spoke about no deal

0:17:510:17:56

Brexit being semi-catastrophic in

their words. So cars built in the UK

0:17:560:18:01

are certified here by the UK

regulator and that certification is

0:18:010:18:06

valid overseas and recognised. They

said in an acrimonious no deal

0:18:060:18:09

Brexit they might have to shut down

production and find another means to

0:18:090:18:14

be certified. So that was the

doomsday stuff. Some numbers as

0:18:140:18:19

well. The numbers which illustrate

the challenge of planning, Honda, a

0:18:190:18:26

top five car-maker, 14% of

components come from the EU. That is

0:18:260:18:31

2 million components every day

arriving on 350 tracks. And that is

0:18:310:18:37

just manufacturing, the only keep

one of our worst of stock at its

0:18:370:18:43

factory in Swindon. So they're

thinking about how much stock they

0:18:430:18:46

need, where they store it, how to

cope with delays. And talking about

0:18:460:18:52

a 15 minute delay meaning eight and

£50,000 in extra costs. They think

0:18:520:18:55

it would take them 18 months to be

ready to leave the customs union and

0:18:550:19:00

deal with the extra customs volume.

So an insight into some of the

0:19:000:19:04

complexity around that.

Before we

move on to long-term trade deals we

0:19:040:19:10

have to get past go. And that means

getting out of these divorced talks.

0:19:100:19:17

Tell us what is going on there and

what we expect tomorrow?

Well

0:19:170:19:24

Theresa May will be lampooning

European Parliament next week

0:19:240:19:28

because they must approve the deal.

She is meeting one member of the

0:19:280:19:37

largest centre-right party. And it

has been said there would be no deal

0:19:370:19:43

by December because the UK has got

to pay three times the amount

0:19:430:19:50

proposed. But interestingly today

William Hague in his Daily Telegraph

0:19:500:19:55

column said the government should

put a larger sum on the table

0:19:550:19:58

because he said it would unlock the

talks on the future, on the

0:19:580:20:03

transition. We taken seriously not

just because he's a former Foreign

0:20:030:20:12

Secretary but he said early election

when Theresa May was saying no early

0:20:120:20:16

election.

Now there is confusion

tonight in Zimbabwe as to whether

0:20:160:20:24

there is a cool underway.

0:20:240:20:31

-- a coup.

0:20:310:20:36

It might be the end of the world's

oldest head of state,

0:20:360:20:39

93-year-old Robert Mugabe,

who's been in power

0:20:390:20:41

for over 37 years.

0:20:410:20:42

Military vehicles were reported

to be on the streets

0:20:420:20:44

of the capital, Harare.

0:20:440:20:45

In the end, it seems it was not

a coup, but something

0:20:450:20:48

is clearly up in that country.

0:20:480:20:49

It's all about who will

succeed President Mugabe.

0:20:490:20:51

His wife, Grace, is a front runner,

but to maximise her chances,

0:20:510:20:54

Mr Mugabe has knocked one or two

rivals out the way.

0:20:540:20:57

The commander of the defence forces

was angered by the sacking

0:20:570:20:59

of a vice-president,

and there is now a war

0:20:590:21:02

of words between the army

and the ruling party.

0:21:020:21:05

Where will it end?

0:21:050:21:07

The BBC's Shingai Nyoka

reports from Harare.

0:21:070:21:15

Military vehicles moving around

Harare today sparking a flurry of

0:21:150:21:21

social media activity and

speculation. So far it seems the

0:21:210:21:25

speculation was wrong. And this is

the reason for the tension. This

0:21:250:21:35

extraordinary press conference

yesterday was the first indication

0:21:350:21:38

that the military could be prepared

to break loyalty with its commander

0:21:380:21:43

in chief President Robert Mugabe.

We

must remind those behind the current

0:21:430:21:52

treacherous shenanigans that when it

comes to protecting us the military

0:21:520:21:59

will step in.

They're unhappy with

the sacking of long-term party

0:21:590:22:03

member Innocent. They believe the

former party is purging itself

0:22:030:22:10

former competence. In favour of the

generation.

It is pertinent that the

0:22:100:22:20

defence forces remain in respect to

the games of the struggle and when

0:22:200:22:29

these are threatened were obliged to

take corrective measures.

Zimbabwe

0:22:290:22:35

's independence came 37 years ago

and Robert Mugabe has been at the

0:22:350:22:39

helm. He is the world's oldest

sitting head of state and many

0:22:390:22:44

believe his power has been derived

from the military and war veterans.

0:22:440:22:48

They said they would not salute a

leader who did not fight in the war

0:22:480:22:53

against colonialism. Elections with

the opposition have been disputed

0:22:530:22:57

and often violent and in return for

their loyalty they have been

0:22:570:23:00

rewarded with lucrative mining deals

such as this in the diamond fields,

0:23:000:23:06

once jointly operated with the

Chinese military. But their position

0:23:060:23:10

is threatened now. And because of

her, Grace Mugabe is 52 and had

0:23:100:23:17

never fought in the war. She is on

Paula Jacklin about it. At this

0:23:170:23:22

rally a few weekends ago she

volunteered herself for an executive

0:23:220:23:24

post. Dashed she is unapologetic

about it. Sharp tongued, she has

0:23:240:23:32

often scolded military and war

veterans for holding the party to

0:23:320:23:34

ransom. Grace Mugabe has the backing

of the youth who said they will

0:23:340:23:43

defend the party against threats

from the military.

Defending the

0:23:430:23:54

revolution and leader of the

President is a principle we are

0:23:540:24:00

prepared to die for.

The curtain

appears to be falling on Zimbabwe 's

0:24:000:24:04

liberation war pass. War veterans

were arrested last year for --

0:24:040:24:10

arrested last year for calling

President Mugabe a traitor.

We

0:24:100:24:14

agreed that this national army which

developed from the guerrilla army,

0:24:140:24:22

it should have protected the

interests of the people, political,

0:24:220:24:25

economic and other way.

Others

believe the stand-off with the

0:24:250:24:30

generals assist test of Mugabe's

power.

This is looking like a sign

0:24:300:24:39

of weakness. Mugabe is considering

his position. There was this

0:24:390:24:48

conversation between party and

state. If you recall Mugabe two

0:24:480:24:53

years ago specifically thanked the

military for rescuing him and his

0:24:530:24:57

party from defeat in the elections.

So here has been quite comfortable

0:24:570:25:04

with the interference of the

military when it has been on his

0:25:040:25:08

behalf. Now the military looks like

interfering in politics against him

0:25:080:25:12

he being a bit more uncomfortable

that.

As the politicians squabble

0:25:120:25:17

the economy is taking a tumble and

as ordinary people are hardest hit,

0:25:170:25:22

food prices are rising and

unemployment is at 90%. The

0:25:220:25:27

stand-off continues between the

military and President Mugabe. The

0:25:270:25:31

president has not commented on the

general statements but he has the

0:25:310:25:36

power to fire them. The country

waits for his next move.

0:25:360:25:40

Shingai Nyoka there.

0:25:400:25:41

Interestingly, of course,

the vast bulk of Zimbabweans have

0:25:410:25:44

never known any leader other

than Mr Mugabe, nor, indeed, has

0:25:440:25:47

the young nation of Zimbabwe.

0:25:470:25:48

So, where does this go?

0:25:480:25:50

Joining me now live

from Harare is freelance

0:25:500:25:51

journalist Rashweat Mukundu.

0:25:510:25:53

He was the director

of the Media Institute

0:25:530:25:55

of Southern Africa Zimbabwe.

0:25:550:25:57

And here in the studio

with me is Alex Magaisa.

0:25:570:25:59

He was a chief advisor to former

Zimbabwean Prime Minister

0:25:590:26:01

Morgan Tsvangirai.

0:26:010:26:04

Mr Tsvangirai, you will remember,

was the opposition leader before

0:26:040:26:06

agreeing to join Mr Mugabe's

government for a time.

0:26:060:26:13

Just tell us who is in charge

tonight, is it Mugabe ordered the

0:26:130:26:20

Army?

That is the question that we

are all asking right now. And today

0:26:200:26:29

there's very little information on

what going on. The latest we have is

0:26:290:26:36

that from Facebook, Twitter post

that the military has taken over the

0:26:360:26:43

state broadcaster and surrounded the

residents of the president. But that

0:26:430:26:51

is not substantiated. So right now

there is a lot of information

0:26:510:26:57

floating around but without any

official statement. Were hoping to

0:26:570:27:04

hear from the military, if they have

taken over the strip broadcaster but

0:27:040:27:09

so far no statement has come. --

state broadcaster. So until that

0:27:090:27:14

time there will be this tension and

lack of information.

What is on

0:27:140:27:21

television at the moment, what is

the state broadcaster saying?

It is

0:27:210:27:27

carrying on as if nothing has

happened. I think for the benefit of

0:27:270:27:32

listeners, there was a statement

from the ruling party. They're

0:27:320:27:45

condemning the military for

interfering in politics. And

0:27:450:27:52

insinuating that what the military

have done is treasonous. Right now I

0:27:520:28:00

was just watching the state

broadcaster and they're playing

0:28:000:28:03

music, there's no statement. They

did not have the national news, the

0:28:030:28:11

last bullet in the normally carry in

the night.

It appears what is going

0:28:110:28:17

on is an almighty power struggle.

For the job of Robert Mugabe.

0:28:170:28:23

Definitely. The situation is very

fluid as has been pointed out. No

0:28:230:28:29

one knows what exactly is going on

and it is not clear who was in

0:28:290:28:33

charge. This is a combination of an

intense succession battle that has

0:28:330:28:40

been taking place for two or three

years now. With the former vice

0:28:400:28:44

president who was sacked three years

ago and now another vice president

0:28:440:28:48

sacked last week and this is the

reaction from the military. Which is

0:28:480:28:55

critical of President Mugabe.

And

this is heightening tensions. Can I

0:28:550:29:02

ask in your preferred to be the next

president? One of these who fought

0:29:020:29:10

in the independence battle or Grace

Mugabe?

Well both factions, one for

0:29:100:29:20

the vice president and the other for

the President's wife, they're both

0:29:200:29:25

Zanu PF through and through. So it

is a very difficult choice for

0:29:250:29:29

Zimbabwe. But at the moment my

observation is that the people are

0:29:290:29:34

opposed to the idea of Grace Mugabe.

Anything but the Maghaberry family.

0:29:340:29:45

Do you think you'd ever step down

voluntarily? Do you think he'd see

0:29:450:29:49

his time is up? He is going to be

taken out there by the army if he

0:29:490:29:53

needs to step down, isn't he?

I've

never believe that President Mugabe

0:29:530:29:59

would retire voluntarily. My thought

has been that he would like to be

0:29:590:30:03

president for life. And what is

happening now we can now see a

0:30:030:30:07

pushback from some of his former

allies who are obviously very

0:30:070:30:11

frustrated by his rule.

It is

amazing, very briefly, that he

0:30:110:30:15

hasn't sorted out a succession.

Absolutely, this is something we've

0:30:150:30:20

all been saying, he's had ample

opportunity to find a successor to

0:30:200:30:24

sort this out and retire, go out

into the sunset and enjoy his life

0:30:240:30:27

but he hasn't. And he has brought

all of this upon himself.

Thank you

0:30:270:30:34

both for updating us about the

picture. Seems like a big night in

0:30:340:30:37

Zimbabwe.

0:30:370:30:38

Let's take a Viewsnight pause now.

0:30:380:30:39

Two minutes without news,

but lots of opinion.

0:30:390:30:41

And today it's John O'Farrell,

author, comedy writer,

0:30:410:30:43

former Spitting Image writer,

indeed, and one time

0:30:430:30:45

Labour Party candidate.

0:30:450:30:46

His chosen subject?

0:30:460:30:47

Satire.

0:30:470:30:49

It was five months ago today,

that Grenfell Tower caught fire,

0:32:520:32:54

became a national tragedy

and a symbol of some kind

0:32:540:32:57

of appalling British failing.

0:32:570:32:58

Now of course, in the aftermath,

there is an official inquiry,

0:32:580:33:01

a police criminal investigation,

and there are the coroner's inquests

0:33:010:33:04

into each of the deaths too.

0:33:040:33:06

Do these succeed in providing any

consolation to the friends

0:33:060:33:08

and relatives of the deceased,

particularly bearing

0:33:080:33:11

in mind that many of those

who died came from abroad,

0:33:110:33:14

and that's where many

of their loved ones are?

0:33:140:33:18

From our coverage of the fire,

you might remember that one Filipino

0:33:180:33:21

woman, Ligaya Moore died on the 21st

floor of Grenfell.

0:33:210:33:25

Well, Ligaya had

a memorial service today.

0:33:250:33:27

Her remains, having now been

released by the coroner, will be

0:33:270:33:30

repatriated to the Philippines.

0:33:300:33:33

Our reporter Katie Razzall has spent

time with Ligaya's niece

0:33:330:33:35

on her visit to Britain,

as she tried to make sense

0:33:350:33:38

of what happened to her aunt.

0:33:380:33:42

Well, maybe Aunt Ligaya was

sleeping, maybe she didn't wake up.

0:33:430:33:47

Maybe she just stayed in her room.

0:33:470:33:50

So I think it would be much better

if she just died in her sleep.

0:33:500:33:54

And never experienced the pain.

0:33:540:33:57

May's aunt, Ligaya Moore, died

on the 21st floor of Grenfell Tower.

0:33:570:34:02

She was a very happy lady.

0:34:020:34:04

I couldn't imagine a very

happy person and a lady

0:34:040:34:08

who laughs very loud,

was silenced by fire.

0:34:080:34:13

She has come to London

from the Philippines

0:34:210:34:23

searching for answers.

0:34:230:34:25

Her aunt's remains were only

identified almost four

0:34:250:34:27

months after the fire.

0:34:270:34:30

They found a tooth that

they got from the flat.

0:34:300:34:35

And then they positively identified

that it is really Aunt Ligaya.

0:34:350:34:40

They told us that

the temperature of...

0:34:400:34:45

the heat was double

the heat of a crematorium,

0:34:450:34:51

so you could imagine that

really nothing could be

0:34:510:34:53

positively identified.

0:34:530:34:58

So it really took them

a while to identify Aunt Ligaya.

0:34:580:35:02

These are Aunt Ligaya...

0:35:030:35:05

these are the things

that we got from storage.

0:35:050:35:08

Actually I had at least six boxes

which I collected there.

0:35:080:35:15

And she has these letters,

these are some of the letters

0:35:150:35:17

which we sent her, actually.

0:35:170:35:21

May has chosen these to take back

to the Philippines as keepsakes.

0:35:210:35:24

Her aunt had married an Englishman

and was one of the first residents

0:35:240:35:28

of Grenfell Tower back in the 1970s.

0:35:280:35:31

These are the books

I think which she bought.

0:35:310:35:34

Yes, that's her

handwriting, actually.

0:35:340:35:37

Her aunt put some of her

possessions into storage

0:35:370:35:39

some time before the fire.

0:35:390:35:42

These are recipes,

look how old it is.

0:35:420:35:45

I think she loved to cook

but when uncle Jim died, you know,

0:35:450:35:48

she never wanted to cook any more.

0:35:480:35:50

Yeah.

0:35:500:35:51

And that was ten years ago?

0:35:510:35:52

Yes, that was ten years ago.

0:35:520:35:54

Ligaya Moore was the 68th

person to be identified

0:35:540:35:57

in the Grenfell Tower investigation.

0:35:570:36:00

How soon did you let go of hope

that she might have survived?

0:36:000:36:04

Actually, we never did.

0:36:040:36:06

We never did.

0:36:060:36:08

We hold on.

0:36:080:36:09

Actually we hold on until...

0:36:090:36:13

Until finally the news came out

that she was positively identified.

0:36:130:36:20

We hold on because we still hope

that she might just be, she might

0:36:200:36:24

have had amnesia or something.

0:36:240:36:27

And she's here and

she's still alive.

0:36:270:36:30

So we never lose hope, actually,

until they positively identified

0:36:300:36:36

that she really perished

in the fire.

0:36:360:36:43

May's aunt and five other people

from Grenfell's close-knit 21st

0:36:460:36:49

floor died on the night of the fire.

0:36:490:36:55

Nine neighbours survived,

including Marcio Gomes,

0:36:550:36:58

who escaped the burning building

with his family and another.

0:36:580:37:01

They had been told to stay

put and await rescue.

0:37:010:37:04

But it never came.

0:37:040:37:06

May wanted to meet her aunt's

surviving neighbours.

0:37:060:37:09

Hi.

0:37:090:37:10

Hi, I'm Marcio.

0:37:100:37:11

Hi, I'm May.

0:37:110:37:12

Nice to meet you.

0:37:120:37:13

Nice to meet you.

0:37:130:37:14

How are you, May?

0:37:140:37:15

She was a lovely person.

0:37:150:37:16

As you know, anyway.

0:37:160:37:18

On that night five months ago Marcio

tried to knock on May's aunt's door.

0:37:180:37:22

But the smoke was too thick.

0:37:220:37:24

It is unfortunate that

she died like this.

0:37:240:37:30

It should never have

happened in the first place.

0:37:300:37:33

Yeah, it shouldn't have,

it shouldn't have.

0:37:330:37:35

Yeah, it's very painful.

0:37:350:37:37

I know, I know.

0:37:370:37:39

Especially that we were

miles apart from her.

0:37:390:37:42

Of course, because you

are in the Philippines.

0:37:420:37:44

Yeah.

0:37:440:37:45

I really don't know

what happened to her.

0:37:450:37:47

What she's doing, actually.

0:37:470:37:48

I presume she's sleeping

when it happened.

0:37:480:37:53

Yeah, I don't think she suffered.

0:37:530:37:56

It would have been on this side,

you see where the scaffolding is up.

0:37:560:37:59

Yeah.

0:37:590:38:00

She would have been exactly

where those poles are.

0:38:000:38:02

Yeah.

0:38:020:38:03

On that side of the building.

0:38:030:38:05

OK, OK.

0:38:050:38:06

I'm very happy that

your family is safe.

0:38:060:38:08

Thank you.

0:38:080:38:10

Unfortunately we just

couldn't take everybody out.

0:38:100:38:13

Yes, we understand.

0:38:130:38:16

At least I think she

is watching over us.

0:38:160:38:20

Yes.

0:38:200:38:21

Definitely, definitely.

0:38:210:38:22

She is watching over us, yes.

0:38:220:38:24

But it is kind of painful.

0:38:240:38:26

Too many emotions.

0:38:260:38:27

Yes.

0:38:270:38:30

We have been through that

quite a few times now.

0:38:300:38:32

It never gets easier.

0:38:320:38:34

Yes, it doesn't.

0:38:340:38:36

Yeah, I agree.

0:38:360:38:37

You just learn how

to control it better.

0:38:370:38:39

Yeah.

0:38:390:38:41

They are united in grief.

0:38:430:38:45

Marcio and his wife Andrea escaped

Grenfell with their two daughters,

0:38:450:38:49

but their son to be,

Logan, was stillborn in hospital

0:38:490:38:51

as a result of the fire.

0:38:510:38:54

It looks like so insensitive

when you ask, how are you and how

0:38:540:38:58

are you doing, after what happened.

0:38:580:39:01

It looks like so insensitive

because I do understand.

0:39:010:39:05

Well, we are still

staying in a hotel.

0:39:050:39:09

And they've been, you

know, very kind to us.

0:39:090:39:12

And generous.

0:39:120:39:13

They look after us.

0:39:130:39:14

It's quite a long time

staying in a hotel.

0:39:140:39:16

It's a hotel, you know.

0:39:160:39:18

It's not really a house

that you can...

0:39:180:39:20

No, you can't really move

on while you're staying in a hotel.

0:39:200:39:23

140 Grenfell households

are still living in emergency

0:39:230:39:25

accommodation, mainly hotels.

0:39:250:39:29

But I mean, it's not just us.

0:39:290:39:31

There are a lot of residents

still living in hotels.

0:39:310:39:34

You know.

0:39:340:39:35

I think it's about half

are still staying in different

0:39:350:39:38

hotels in different locations.

0:39:380:39:41

I do remember a few Christmases ago

I think it was where she came over

0:39:410:39:45

to us and knocked on the door

with mince pies.

0:39:450:39:48

Mince pies, yes.

0:39:480:39:50

Just to give to the girls.

0:39:500:39:51

You know.

0:39:510:39:52

And obviously for us as well.

0:39:520:39:54

But mainly for the girls.

0:39:540:39:55

Yeah.

0:39:550:39:56

And I remember she used

to come and bring us that.

0:39:560:39:59

Oh, thank you very much.

0:39:590:40:00

She used to love Christmas.

0:40:000:40:02

Yeah, she really used to enjoy it.

0:40:020:40:04

Yeah, yeah.

0:40:040:40:06

I just remember once

in the lift, I don't know,

0:40:060:40:09

maybe she liked her sweets as well,

she took sweets out of her bag

0:40:090:40:13

and gave them to the girls.

0:40:130:40:16

"And this for you two as well!"

0:40:160:40:18

You know.

0:40:180:40:20

You look like her.

0:40:200:40:21

Yeah.

0:40:210:40:24

I don't think that you do,

just that, it's exactly like her!

0:40:240:40:28

When she's finding something funny!

0:40:280:40:34

Every time we talk about her,

you learn something about her.

0:40:370:40:41

I think it's one way of accepting,

I think it's part of healing.

0:40:410:40:46

Now I understand why she loves

this country very much.

0:40:460:40:49

And she met the love

of her life here.

0:40:490:40:52

I really would say that she lived

a full life, she really

0:40:520:40:55

lived her dream, yeah.

0:40:550:41:02

That's it for tonight.

0:41:020:41:10

It's been announced just from the

last few minutes that Australia has

0:41:100:41:13

voted yes in a national vote on

same-sex marriage. I went for it by

0:41:130:41:19

61% to 39%. Emily is here tomorrow.

0:41:190:41:26

We leave you with the last seconds

of the much talked about Marks

0:41:260:41:29

and Spencer Christmas ad,

which the Advertising Standards

0:41:290:41:31

Authority has now confirmed

as cleared for broadcast -

0:41:310:41:33

despite Santa being heard

to say something extremely

0:41:330:41:35

offensive to Paddington Bear.

0:41:350:41:36

Apparently it's all in our heads.

0:41:360:41:40

I almost forgot. Merry

0:41:400:41:52