24/01/2018 Newsnight


24/01/2018

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.


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Transcript


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Tonight, the Presidents Club

shuts down, the charity

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money is handed back,

and Britain's business and political

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elite run for cover.

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But this annual event has been

going on for 30 years,

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so are people really shocked,

or have they just been exposed?

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We ask government

minister Margot James.

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We'll discuss with a woman

who previously worked

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as a hostess at the event

and another who was asked to,

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but turned it down.

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Also, a rare interview

with a firefighter who tackled

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the blaze at Grenfell.

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How are those on the front line

coping more than six months on?

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I still feel guilt

and I think I will

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feel eternally guilty.

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My job, the reason I joined this

job, is to make sure the person

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I'm saving doesn't die.

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Ultimately, that's the point,

the black and white of my job.

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So, when so many innocent people

lose their lives it's very,

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very hard to take.

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Is Cape Town about to become

the first global city

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to run out of water?

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We'll ask the politician

who's trying to halt

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an unprecedented crisis.

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And the death was announced

this evening of the Fall

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singer Mark E Smith.

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We look back on a life

of Manchester, music and colourful

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appearances on Newsnight.

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And I allowed to speak now? Yeah, go

ahead.

Yeah, what ever you say. Are

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you the new DJ?

Yeah, probably,

probably.

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And we'll speak live

to his friend Tim Burgess.

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Good evening.

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The Presidents Club's "men only"

annual dinner has been

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taking place for more than 30 years.

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But on the strength of one

excoriating investigative report,

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and 24 hours of public outrage,

it has just announced

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it's shutting its doors.

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Tonight, as charities handed back

the money they received

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from the fundraiser,

and a chief organiser was fired

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from his role in government,

it is easy to see why business folk

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could not move quicker to distance

themselves from the event.

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Tonight, a minister told me

it was a watershed moment.

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Yet even in 2018, when allegations

of sexual abuse and misuse of power

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have permeated pubic discourse

for months, more than 300 men chose

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to go to an event where the only

women they would find would be

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working as hostesses.

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Forced to have their underwear

dictated to them, their mobile

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phones removed, and sign disclaimers

that absolved the club

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from any blame.

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So, have attitudes really changed?

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Or just been exposed?

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And what real consequences

will there be and should

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there be for those involved?

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Here's Helen Thomas.

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It has been a day of outrage.

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Women were bought as bait.

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The organisers chose to make

this a men-only event.

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They chose to treat

the hostesses in this way

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to make them parade

across the stage in front of men,

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to make them wear black,

skimpy outfits and specify

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the colour of their underwear.

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A charity is prepared

to facilitate that

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behaviour as long as wealthy men

open their cheque

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books beggars belief.

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The revelations from the Presidents

Club pose many questions.

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Not least how is it that an event

which seems to have been running

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in roughly this form

for at least a decade has

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attracted so little scrutiny.

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But, there's been

soul-searching elsewhere, too.

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What is acceptable in the name

of charity fundraising

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and what checks could or should

charities be doing

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on their donations?

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In 2016 alone, nearly 60

charities received a donation

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from The Presidents Club,

according to its accounts.

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If fundraising isn't

being carried out in a way

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that is generally acceptable,

and ethical, then the fact that

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you raise lots of money is,

in a way, neither here nor there.

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We want fundraising by charities

to be open, honest and respectful

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of those who donate.

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It's really important

because it is about public trust

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and confidence in what charities do

and how they do it.

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The Presidents Club wasn't

being entirely straightforward.

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Last week's auction included a tour

of the Bank of England

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and tea with the governor,

Mark Carney.

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Newsnight understands that

that had previously been

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sold at another event -

for the Lord Mayor's

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Appeal last November.

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And that Bruce Ritchie, the

Presidents Club's joint chairman,

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was the buyer.

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The bank says it was resold last

week, without its permission.

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And that the successful

bidder will not be taking

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tea with the governor.

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Given the importance of its annual

event to fundraising,

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the charity disclosed almost no

details about it.

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In 2016, the dinner raised

nearly £1.6 million.

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It cost almost £600,000,

according to its accounts.

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Many charities would be

pleased with that ratio.

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Look back to 2013 and it's

a different story.

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The event raised £264,000

but cost £400,700.

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True, the dinner also generated

donations accounted for seven

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leave from event income,

usually £2000 or £3000.

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But still, from 2012 to 2015,

the cost of putting

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on the dinner was roughly the same

or higher than the amount

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it paid out to charity

beneficiaries each year.

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The Presidents Club

declined to comment.

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Charity sector experts told us that

sometimes these big, glitzy dinners,

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even those without 130

hired hostesses, don't

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make a great profit.

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Still, they said, the Presidents

Club governance looked weak

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for a charity of its size.

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It only had three trustees, all men.

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Still, the head of fundraising at

one well-known charity told us that

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their checks wouldn't have

picked up an event of

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this type and they said,

if they had questions

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or concerns, they weren't sure

which of the sector's regulators

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and watchdogs they

should ask for help.

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So, at the moment,

the Charity Commission

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for England and Wales,

we have just about

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300 civil servants

working for us across

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167,000 charities.

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That's not a lot.

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Our capacity is very stretched.

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We've had some good news

this week, in fact,

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that the Treasury has recognised

the demands on us, the volumes,

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and has agreed, on a

short-term basis, to give

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it a bit more funding,

£5 million a year more funding.

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The Charity Commission has

launched an investigation.

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The fallout from last week's 5-star

dinner is only just beginning.

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Earlier, I talked to

the Culture Minister Margot James.

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I asked what she thought

the Presidents Club event showed.

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Well, I think it represents the very

worst form of sexism

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with a smile on its face.

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You know, very clubby,

apparently a "men only" event, and,

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at which, women were

paraded around in a sort

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of "paid for" hostess role.

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A lot of stuff gets done in the name

of charity, I guess.

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Do you think charities have

to be the moral arbiter

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of these kinds of events?

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Well, I think you can expect them

to be, if they're organising them.

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I mean, this organisation,

The Presidents Club,

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they booked these hostesses.

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They sanctioned the conditions

under which they worked,

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the nature of the clothing,

or lack thereof, that they

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were allowed to wear,

and what we've heard about the sort

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of instructions they were given,

as to how they were supposed

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to entertain the men

attending the dinner.

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The organisers put disclaimers out,

warning that they couldn't take

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responsibility for anything that

happened to the women there.

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That breaks the law, doesn't it?

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I hope so, yes.

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Certainly, that would be something

I would want to be investigated

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and I know that the minister

responsible, who answered

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the question very, very effectively

in the Commons earlier,

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Anne Milton, is going to look

into whether there has

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been any legal breaches.

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Quite right, too.

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When you see all these men,

the organisations, the business

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figures distance themselves today,

in the last 24 hours,

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from The Presidents Club,

what does that tell you?

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Well, I think, actually,

it gives me signs of hope.

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I don't think 20 years ago

they would have been bothered.

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So, I think that it's a watershed

moment in the excess

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of this kind of culture.

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And I think that charities

and companies will think long

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and hard before they hire women

to be groped by men or certainly

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to entertain men in this kind

of environment in the future,

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under the guise

of charitable giving.

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You say it's a watershed moment.

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Clearly, you're horrified

by the reports you've read.

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But I wonder if you can honestly say

that you're shocked or surprised.

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Um, I am surprised that such

an event happens with so many

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captains of industry

and banking and what have

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you in the Dorchester Hotel.

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The Minister for Children and

Families, Nadhim Zahawi, was there.

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Are you comfortable with him

carrying on in his government role?

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Yes, I am because he

didn't stay long.

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In fact, he left after

an hour and a half.

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I think he left at 9:30 pm.

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I've spoken to him.

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I wanted to get the facts.

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He went home very shortly

after the hostesses were announced

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by the presenter and paraded

around the room.

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I think that that indicates to me

that he was shocked by the events,

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didn't like the culture,

the atmosphere, and left.

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Why wouldn't he report it, though?

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Why wouldn't he leave an event,

saying that was deeply

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uncomfortable and tell someone?

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Well, I think he went

home and told his wife.

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But, the point is that

I think events degenerated

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further into the evening.

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I mean he...

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I have been to, sort of, big dinners

occasionally and you're barely

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in the main course by 9:30 pm.

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So, I think he probably didn't

realise how bad it got.

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Your thoughts now

on "male only" events.

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Nadhim Zahawi wrote today

that he was never going

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to attend another one.

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No.

I think that's very wise.

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What about male-only clubs?

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Well, I think they should

be things of the past.

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I was at an event a couple of years

ago and I went to have a meeting

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after the breakfast in the drawing

room of this club in Pall Mall,

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The Travellers Club,

and I was told to move.

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No women in the drawing room.

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I mean, this kind of thing,

this disdain, lack of equality,

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demeaning attitude

that devalues women has got to end.

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Joining me now is Carolyn Mason,

managing director

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of Exhibition Girls Limited.

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She was a hostess at

The Presidents Club, five years ago.

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And Gina Miller, a prominent

business woman and city figure.

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She was also asked to be a hostess

and I will bring back in. What was

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it like when you worked there?

Do

you recognise this? I would say that

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The Presidents Club in general was

an unusual event. The girls who work

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at it... It wasn't a standard event

in the fact that they were... So

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many of us working at this event. I

wouldn't say, as I was saying to

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Jena earlier, it was not a

representation of a normal event I

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would be staffing. We staff for

charity events, evening events, with

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professional girls and hostesses to

work.

When you were there, the kind

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of things we have heard is that it

was uncomfortable for the women,

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phones were removed, there was

groping, harassment, there was new

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behaviour on all levels. Is that

something that you experienced or

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recognised? -- there was lewd

behaviour.

What I wanted to say

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today is that this is not a

representation of the corporate

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event industry. This is a

professional industry. The girls,

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the hostesses they are there to do a

job, they are events assistance,

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they are there to support the event

in terms of hospitality.

This one,

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did it have a reputation? Was it

notorious?

This was unusual. In

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terms of the friends who work in the

industry. We talk about this event.

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It was unusual because there were so

many hostesses in correlation to

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attendees at the event.

Did girls go

back, women go back year after year.

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Was there a sense they knew then

what -- they knew what they were

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getting into, they didn't mind, the

pay was good or was its new women as

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they didn't know what to expect?

It

was at the Dorchester Hotel, a set

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time, I didn't feel unsafe working

at this event. It was the amount of

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girls that were at this event.

Personally, I didn't feel at risk or

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at any time... I wasn't aware that

the girls around me were. It was

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again and it was an auction. There

was limited time -- it was a dinner.

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There was a bar environment after

the event. I wouldn't say this is a

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standard corporate or charity event.

I want to come back to your business

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in a second, the Gina

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I want to come back to your business

in a second, the Gina, you were

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asked to be a hostess at The

Presidents Club in the 90s.

This

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event is notorious. I have come

across it twice, once when I was a

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single mother, student, like lots of

the girls that were hired. For extra

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money, you do it, part-time

actresses, streams, what ever. I

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have spoken to girls who had been at

this event and said it was very

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uncomfortable. And that they felt it

was actually something that they

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didn't feel safe at. I had heard

that so I turned it down. Later,

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2004, 2005, when I was running my

agency in the city I heard about it

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again. I hadn't heard about it since

then. I had presumed it had become

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an PC and that it had disappeared. I

was very surprised to hear it was

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happening now.

It shot you?

It

shocked me that it was going on.

--

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it shocks you?

In the background of

Harvey Weinstein.

Why would you turn

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up to an event like this in the

environment in which we are in at

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the moment?

Are we in a different

environment?

I think we are.

The

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public at which has been

considerable today that 300 or so

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men still attended the event last

week.

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This is not a normal charity event.

To try to tar fundraising charities

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as these sort of events is

completely wrong.

Do think it is

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one-of-a-kind?

Yes. The type of men

who attended our captains of

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industry, men with real power and

influence and many men who, by day,

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are spouting equality for women and

at night they are going to events

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like this. It is completely wrong.

What does that say that the cultures

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they are perpetuating in their own

organisations?

Tell us about your

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business. You run and events

management team and hire women.

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Would you ever imagine putting on

those sorts of requests about what

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women wear and having their phones

removed or things like that or do

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they signed nondisclosure agreements

that is it normal? If it is normal,

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explain to us.

A lot of people do

not understand the hostess industry

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in general. We are event support. It

is very professional. The girls are

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engaged to support events in a

capacity of professionalism. They

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are used as meet and greet and

hospitality. Not just girls. I am

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proudest is a professional

environment. I have had a business

0:16:390:16:42

for five years and have worked in it

for six years myself. I would not

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put girls in a position where they

feel uncomfortable.

Do you think

0:16:470:16:52

your industry is now in trouble as a

result of this?

I guess that is why

0:16:520:16:57

I wanted to come on today foot of

this industry provides great

0:16:570:17:03

professional safe work for

actresses, dancers, and models. I'd

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feel it is positive. Students as

well. It is a positive and safe

0:17:080:17:13

industry. What I did want to bring

up is I do feel there should be more

0:17:130:17:20

regulation of this industry. I am

very pro-employee rights, agency

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rights. I have been speaking to my

local MP about this. I thought there

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should be a high level of

protection.

One question is where it

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starts being hypocritical. There are

plenty of women who work in this

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industry, as Carolyn was saying. It

might come across... Does it sound

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to you like a sexist industry, an

industry you would want to tell

0:17:460:17:50

women in general to get out because

they are being hostesses?

I think it

0:17:500:17:56

is this eventful more to say about

the men in this event and the

0:17:560:18:01

organisers of this event. Feeling

you can use them. Would be just as

0:18:010:18:06

bad if it were men being told to

wear tight trousers and butter now

0:18:060:18:10

shouts. The fact is the NDA is in

particular, you cannot sign away

0:18:100:18:16

your what -- your rights. You cannot

sign something where you agree harm

0:18:160:18:23

against yourself and stop it is

being used, not because it is

0:18:230:18:28

legally binding that as a bullying

tactics.

We do have a role to play

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for that we are hired as

hospitality. We are signed as meet

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and greets. This is an actual job

that girls are providing. We are

0:18:420:18:47

event support. It is about making it

run smoothly.

Thank you both very

0:18:470:18:52

much.

0:18:520:18:55

The fire at Grenfell left a profound

effect on a whole community.

0:18:550:18:58

Not just those who suffered

so terribly from its effects,

0:18:580:19:00

but also those who came

to their rescue that

0:19:000:19:02

dreadful night in June.

0:19:020:19:04

Many of the fire fighters

have sought counselling

0:19:040:19:05

and support since then.

0:19:050:19:06

124 have received it directly,

another 500 have been contacted

0:19:060:19:10

by London Fire Brigades Counselling

and welfare teams.

0:19:100:19:15

At its helm is Dany Cotton,

the first ever female boss

0:19:150:19:18

of the London Fire Brigade,

who in her first year, oversaw

0:19:180:19:22

London's repeated terrorist

attacks and Grenfell.

0:19:220:19:25

Tonight, we speak to her and to one

of her firefighters.

0:19:250:19:28

Ricky Nuttall wrote an emotional

poem in the week after Grenfell.

0:19:280:19:31

It's the first time

he's spoken publicly

0:19:310:19:33

about what happened on the night,

and the impact it had.

0:19:330:19:41

I still feel guilt and I think

I will feel eternally guilty.

0:19:490:19:53

When so many people,

innocent people, lose their lives,

0:19:530:19:55

it's very, very hard to take.

0:19:550:20:00

I would defy anyone who attended

that night not to have been

0:20:000:20:02

affected, in some way.

0:20:020:20:03

And it definitely did affect me.

0:20:030:20:05

The whole incident

was so overwhelming.

0:20:050:20:11

You know, I've, sort of,

gone to work one person and I've

0:20:110:20:14

come back, effectively,

a different person.

0:20:140:20:16

With the police investigation

and inquiry ongoing,

0:20:160:20:18

it's very rare for firefighters

to speak publicly about

0:20:180:20:20

what happened at Grenfell.

0:20:200:20:28

Right, stretcher and myself

are both in the system.

0:20:310:20:34

And this week, the London Fire

Brigade gave Newsnight access to two

0:20:340:20:37

staff members who were there.

0:20:370:20:38

During a training session

at London's Chelsea fire station,

0:20:380:20:40

we met Ricky Nuttall,

a firefighter from

0:20:400:20:42

Battersea Red Watch,

who went into Grenfell

0:20:420:20:44

more than once.

0:20:440:20:48

And the commissioner,

who led the operation that night.

0:20:480:20:56

It was...

0:20:580:21:01

It was immediately obvious how

serious a fire it was

0:21:010:21:03

and how bad a fire it was.

0:21:030:21:05

You know, you get called

to a high-rise fire and you expect

0:21:050:21:08

to see flames in a window.

0:21:080:21:09

Not...

0:21:090:21:10

Multiple windows.

0:21:100:21:11

I think, for me, the main image that

will always last in my memory

0:21:110:21:15

is when I first arrived.

0:21:150:21:16

And when I looked up

at the building and thought to

0:21:160:21:19

myself, "This just can't

be happening, here".

0:21:190:21:22

And, for me, the responsibility was

absolutely enormous, on that night.

0:21:220:21:30

You know, I haven't been backwards

in coming forwards about saying

0:21:300:21:33

I went and sought counselling quite

early with our counselling

0:21:330:21:36

well-being team.

0:21:360:21:38

I know that when I joined,

a very long time ago, you know,

0:21:380:21:41

we didn't much talk about stuff,

because we just got on with stuff.

0:21:410:21:44

And, actually, that

was the way it was.

0:21:440:21:46

Most of the firefighters around this

table attended the Grenfell fire.

0:21:460:21:49

I saw my counsellor last week.

0:21:490:21:51

Their Commissioner's been open

about the psychological impact

0:21:510:21:53

and the experience on her.

0:21:530:21:56

The LFB has had a mental

health awareness drive

0:21:560:21:58

to support its staff since the fire.

0:21:580:22:05

The watch at the fire station

are quite a close watch.

0:22:050:22:08

They've been there for each

other and talked about

0:22:080:22:10

things in great depth.

0:22:100:22:11

124 firefighters have received

individual counselling,

0:22:110:22:12

directly related to Grenfell

in the months since.

0:22:120:22:17

You don't realise you're

going through it.

0:22:170:22:19

It's only when you start coming

through the other side,

0:22:190:22:21

you look back at your

mindset, your attitude.

0:22:210:22:24

For Ricky, Grenfell

was the catalyst for his own mental

0:22:240:22:26

health difficulties.

0:22:260:22:28

He too is having counselling.

0:22:280:22:30

It's the first time he's spoken

to the media about what happened.

0:22:300:22:33

The sheer scale of the incident was

like nothing I've ever seen before

0:22:330:22:37

and, hopefully, will

never see it again.

0:22:370:22:40

So, any feelings after that,

they, sort of, reared

0:22:400:22:44

their heads at a later point.

0:22:440:22:47

You know, in the days and the weeks

and the months afterwards.

0:22:470:22:50

Did you hit a crisis point?

0:22:500:22:51

I mean, how did you realise?

0:22:510:22:56

One morning I, literally, just...

Sort of...

0:22:560:22:58

I guess...

Had a form of a breakdown.

0:22:580:23:06

You know, I started crying

and I couldn't stop

0:23:060:23:09

for a good few hours.

0:23:090:23:10

And I phoned my girlfriend

and I phoned my dad and I spoke

0:23:100:23:13

to family and I'm very lucky that

I've got a very close family.

0:23:130:23:16

Who I can rely on.

0:23:160:23:17

But that was the moment, really,

that I realised I need...

0:23:170:23:20

You know, this is...

0:23:200:23:21

I'm not in a good place,

I need more help here.

0:23:210:23:25

I was offered, by my GP,

when I spoke to my GP,

0:23:250:23:28

she asked me, "You know,

do you need time off work?"

0:23:280:23:31

And, to be honest with you,

that's the last thing I wanted.

0:23:310:23:34

I wanted to be at work, sort of,

speaking to people that have been...

0:23:340:23:37

That were there at the incident

with me and that, you know, have

0:23:370:23:41

had their own struggles and stuff.

0:23:410:23:43

Because you belong there, you know,

they're like a second family.

0:23:430:23:46

How valuable has it been,

the fact that your boss,

0:23:460:23:50

your top loss, Dany Cotton,

has talked very openly

0:23:500:23:52

about the counselling she is having?

0:23:520:23:53

I think it's...

0:23:530:23:55

Unquantifiably important.

0:23:550:24:00

I think it just reassures people

when you say, "OK, you know,

0:24:000:24:04

I haven't got anything to be fearful

of here, no-one is going to throw me

0:24:040:24:07

on the scrapheap, I'm

having some problems,

0:24:070:24:09

but so is the Chief".

0:24:090:24:11

Ready when you guys are...

0:24:110:24:14

More than half of a firefighter's

working life is spent

0:24:140:24:17

in training scenarios.

0:24:170:24:19

It's been widely reported

that the fire at Grenfell didn't

0:24:190:24:22

behave as firefighter had expected

it to, but here, they believed

0:24:220:24:26

they were as prepared

as they could have been.

0:24:260:24:30

Casualties on the deck.

0:24:300:24:34

You know, I'd be lying if I said

I wasn't apprehensive

0:24:340:24:36

about going in, if I didn't feel

a bit scared.

0:24:360:24:39

But I felt confident

in the capabilities of my equipment

0:24:390:24:41

and the capabilities of myself,

through the training I had received.

0:24:410:24:44

And with the people

I'm going in with.

0:24:440:24:46

You know, they're people that

I work with most days

0:24:460:24:48

of the week for a lot of years.

0:24:480:24:50

They're people that

I trust with my life.

0:24:500:24:52

The conditions themselves weren't

too dissimilar to any others.

0:24:520:24:54

The effort you had to

put in was different,

0:24:540:24:57

because of the length of time

you were in the incident for.

0:24:570:24:59

In a two-storey building,

going up one flight of stairs...

0:24:590:25:02

Going up a flight of stairs

in a fire condition is hard work.

0:25:020:25:05

It's smoky, you have

poor visibility.

0:25:050:25:10

Going up one flight of stairs

in Grenfell was exactly the same.

0:25:100:25:13

With the difference that you've got

to go up to 20 flights of stairs

0:25:130:25:16

or 15 flights of stairs.

0:25:160:25:18

Which, obviously,

is much more taxing.

0:25:180:25:19

The conditions were very, very hard.

0:25:190:25:27

After Grenfell, fire stations

across London received an outpouring

0:25:280:25:31

of support from the public.

0:25:310:25:34

The horror of the tragedy

affected so many.

0:25:340:25:37

And there are questions

about whether more lives

0:25:370:25:39

could have been saved.

0:25:390:25:41

Our filming was agreed

on the basis that neither

0:25:410:25:43

could talk about the specifics

of what happened, because of

0:25:430:25:45

the ongoing investigation.

0:25:450:25:48

But I did ask the Commissioner

about the "stay put" advice

0:25:480:25:50

given to Grenfell residents.

0:25:500:25:53

Do you ever, in the middle

of the night, wake up,

0:25:530:25:56

as part of your coming to terms

with this and think,

0:25:560:25:59

"Did we give the right advice?

0:25:590:26:00

Should we have told

people to leave?"

0:26:000:26:02

I can't answer that.

0:26:020:26:04

Because of the investigation?

0:26:040:26:05

Because of the investigation.

0:26:050:26:06

That is absolutely right,

that is part of the investigation

0:26:060:26:09

and it needs to come out,

as part of that, so, you know...

0:26:090:26:12

But, the whole purpose of what we do

and the advice we give is normally

0:26:120:26:16

based on an absolute sound set

of principles about how

0:26:160:26:19

buildings behave in fire.

0:26:190:26:21

And the normal advice

about staying inside,

0:26:210:26:23

if your flat is not affected,

is the right advice to give,

0:26:230:26:26

because that's what goes

in, day in, day out,

0:26:260:26:28

through the whole of the UK.

0:26:280:26:29

You know, and that's the way that

buildings should respond.

0:26:290:26:32

So...

0:26:320:26:33

I just don't want to do anything

to jeopardise the inquiry.

0:26:330:26:36

It's really important to me

that people get answers.

0:26:360:26:41

You question yourself for weeks

and months afterwards,

0:26:410:26:42

"Did I do everything?

0:26:420:26:44

Could I have pushed a bit harder?

0:26:440:26:45

Could I have done

anything different?"

0:26:450:26:48

As long as you can answer those

questions honestly to yourself

0:26:480:26:51

and know that you couldn't have

pushed any harder and know that

0:26:510:26:53

you did do everything you could,

and, literally, went out of your way

0:26:530:26:57

as much as possible to help those

people, which I did,

0:26:570:26:59

and I'm happy and confident that

I did, then at least

0:26:590:27:03

whether the guilt is there

or not, I can square that

0:27:030:27:06

away as unwarranted.

0:27:060:27:09

For me, you know, it is about

knowing that people gave their all.

0:27:090:27:12

I saw firefighters who were lying

on the ground, exhausted,

0:27:120:27:15

completely and utterly drained.

0:27:150:27:18

And yet, within ten minutes,

they wanted to go back

0:27:180:27:20

in and recommit and do it all again.

0:27:200:27:22

Because everybody just had that

absolute sheer sense of purpose.

0:27:220:27:28

My breaths were too few.

0:27:280:27:30

My body exhausted.

0:27:300:27:34

Now mentally, too.

0:27:340:27:37

The silence of death...

0:27:370:27:39

Immediately after Grenfell,

Ricky wrote a poem to try to make

0:27:390:27:42

sense of what happened.

0:27:420:27:44

It's now been made into a video

to get the message out further.

0:27:440:27:48

One firefighter's feelings

shared by many, no doubt,

0:27:480:27:49

about the impact of the fire.

0:27:490:27:53

I just felt broken.

0:27:530:27:55

Heartbroken by what had happened,

heartbroken to think

0:27:550:27:57

about the people that had suffered.

0:27:570:28:00

Heartbroken that I couldn't do more.

0:28:000:28:04

So I don't think I'll ever...

0:28:040:28:08

Sort of, you know, square

Grenfell away as, "Oh,

0:28:080:28:11

I'm fine about that," I won't ever

be fine about it.

0:28:110:28:16

I don't think anyone will.

0:28:160:28:22

Cape Town - one of the most

beautiful cities in the world -

0:28:220:28:25

is on the brink of crisis: a drought

so severe the city's taps

0:28:250:28:28

may run completely dry.

0:28:280:28:31

Years of unseasonably dry weather

means the sprawling city,

0:28:310:28:35

home to four million people,

could become the first major

0:28:350:28:38

metropolis to run out of water.

0:28:380:28:42

Experts believe unless residents

come together to radically reduce

0:28:420:28:45

the amount they use,

the taps and toilets

0:28:450:28:47

will run dry on April 12th.

0:28:470:28:50

It's an event the authorities

are calling "Day Zero".

0:28:500:28:55

Over the last two years, the city

has seen historically low rainfall,

0:28:550:29:03

with 153.5mm recorded

at Cape Town's airport

0:29:030:29:07

in 2017 compared to more

than 500mm in 2014.

0:29:070:29:10

If that happens, businesses say that

overnight they will have

0:29:100:29:14

to shut down or cut back on staff,

putting more pressure

0:29:140:29:16

on South Africa's stagnant economy.

0:29:160:29:17

The city's residents are already

heavily restricted on how much water

0:29:170:29:20

they can use and have been told

to cut down even more.

0:29:200:29:23

Well, a short time ago

I spoke to the Premier

0:29:230:29:26

of Western Cape, Helen Zille.

0:29:260:29:27

She is the former leader

of the Democratic Alliance and has

0:29:270:29:29

been in charge of the Cape Town

region as both Mayor

0:29:290:29:32

and Premier for over a decade.

0:29:320:29:36

I asked her what she expects

will happen in the city

0:29:360:29:38

when Day Zero hits.

0:29:380:29:42

Well, first of all, we are trying

to prevent Day Zero,

0:29:420:29:44

for all we're worth.

0:29:440:29:47

But, when the dams are,

on average 13.5% full,

0:29:470:29:49

we will announce Day Zero.

0:29:490:29:53

That means that the taps to much

of Cape Town will be switched off

0:29:530:29:56

and we will have to rely

on the distribution and the fetching

0:29:560:30:00

of water for people to have drinking

water in their homes.

0:30:000:30:06

Do you actually think the taps

in Cape Town will run dry then?

0:30:060:30:12

Well, there is a chance of that.

0:30:120:30:13

There's no doubt about that.

We're not too far from 13.5%, now.

0:30:130:30:18

We're at 26% and we have a way to go

till the winter rains come.

0:30:180:30:24

So, unless every single person

cuts water consumption

0:30:240:30:25

for all their usages out

of the municipal system to under 50

0:30:250:30:32

litres per person per day,

we will hit Day Zero.

0:30:320:30:35

We're doing everything

we can to prevent it,

0:30:350:30:36

but that is the reality.

0:30:360:30:39

Our viewers will know that Cape Town

is a city of huge inequality.

0:30:390:30:43

There is enormous wealth, gardens

with sprinklers, swimming pools.

0:30:430:30:45

Is water still going

into those resources now?

0:30:450:30:48

Definitely not.

0:30:480:30:51

People are not allowed

to fill summing pools.

0:30:510:30:54

People have not been allowed

to water their gardens

0:30:540:30:58

for a very long time.

0:30:580:31:00

People have been very innovative.

0:31:000:31:02

What are we to make,

then, of these reports

0:31:020:31:04

of resentment of anger,

that some citizens feel about others

0:31:040:31:09

overusing their water,

refusing to modify their behaviour?

0:31:090:31:13

Yes, there is a lot of anger, and I

can understand that, absolutely.

0:31:130:31:17

You know, South Africans

are very good in pulling

0:31:170:31:19

together in a real crisis.

0:31:190:31:24

But our back has got to be

against the wall,

0:31:240:31:26

before we can read

the writing on it.

0:31:260:31:28

What I'm saying to South Africans

now, especially Capetonians,

0:31:280:31:33

is that our backs

are against the wall,

0:31:330:31:36

is that our backs are against

the wall, and let's do what we've

0:31:360:31:39

done many times before in Cape Town

and in South Africa,

0:31:390:31:43

particularly, and pull ourselves

out of the hole we've

0:31:430:31:45

dug by our bootstraps.

0:31:450:31:47

You have said in the past

that this is a challenge that

0:31:470:31:49

exceeds anything a major city has

had to face anywhere in the world

0:31:490:31:53

since World War II or 9/11.

0:31:530:31:54

Is that hyperbole or do you believe

it's that serious, now?

0:31:540:31:57

Well, I believe running out

of water is that serious.

0:31:570:31:59

There are four and a half million

people in Cape Town.

0:31:590:32:02

If municipal water systems run

dry in a city of this

0:32:020:32:05

size, it is serious,

and it is that serious.

0:32:050:32:10

I'm not saying it's

bigger than 9/11, but I'm

0:32:100:32:12

saying it poses as much

of a challenge as a catastrophe such

0:32:120:32:15

as 9/11 did, but in

a completely different way.

0:32:150:32:20

So, that's why we have all hands

on deck, but we have more time

0:32:200:32:23

to prepare than they did at 9/11

and that's what makes a difference

0:32:240:32:27

and we have to be prepared.

0:32:270:32:29

Do you have a message,

at this point for Western leaders,

0:32:290:32:32

for your leaders watching this,

to try and understand

0:32:320:32:34

the gravity of the situation?

0:32:340:32:40

My message is simply this:

we have to keep our water

0:32:400:32:42

consumption until the rains come

and even after the rains have

0:32:420:32:49

come, to below 50 litres

per person, per day.

0:32:490:32:55

This drought could never

have been foreseen.

0:32:550:32:58

The South African Weather Services

have said to me that their models

0:32:580:33:01

don't work any more,

in an era of climate change.

0:33:010:33:03

The climate change projections

were to have hit us in 2025.

0:33:030:33:06

They came ten years before that.

0:33:060:33:09

This is very real

and very challenging.

0:33:090:33:12

And we all have to pull together,

when the experts can't predict

0:33:120:33:16

anything any more, and we have

to make sure that we control

0:33:160:33:20

what we can control,

which is our own behaviour.

0:33:200:33:23

And make sure we are ready

for Day Zero and that we're

0:33:230:33:29

pulling together as,

really, South Africans can

0:33:290:33:31

do, when they need to.

0:33:310:33:36

Earlier this evening,

the death was announced

0:33:360:33:39

of Mark E Smith, founder,

frontman and sometimes

0:33:390:33:41

fearsome capo of the British

post-punk rockers The Fall.

0:33:410:33:44

He was 60.

0:33:440:33:47

Mark E Smith was one of many

stars-to-be who attended

0:33:470:33:49

a near-mythical Sex Pistols gig

in his native Manchester in 1976,

0:33:490:33:52

and decided a career

in music was for him.

0:33:520:33:54

Through four decades,

and more than 30 albums,

0:33:540:33:58

Smith was the one constant

in The Fall, parting company

0:33:580:34:01

with more than 50 band

members and entourage,

0:34:010:34:03

including a number of his own wives.

0:34:030:34:05

Many fellow musicians have

been offering tributes

0:34:050:34:08

to Smith this evening,

though it's doubtful if any

0:34:080:34:13

of them will quite compare

to his own farewell to his champion,

0:34:130:34:15

the late DJ John Peel.

0:34:150:34:17

That made for one of the truly

memorable Newsnight moments,

0:34:170:34:19

as Stephen Smith reports.

0:34:190:34:22

I came top in English, like, two

years on the run and they never

0:34:270:34:32

thought it was me. I like that, it

was good being a Smiths, you get

0:34:320:34:41

away with murder, you know.

0:34:410:34:44

Even by the standards of punk, from

which The Fall emerged, Mark E Smith

0:34:490:34:54

was unlikely front man.

Let me tune

it up. Just play it. Couldn't play

0:34:540:35:02

an instrument, couldn't dance and

with a vocal style once described as

0:35:020:35:06

a unique one note delivery somewhere

between amphetamine spiked rant and

0:35:060:35:11

alcohol Yadav yarn --

0:35:110:35:20

alcohol Yadav yarn -- alcohol

yaddled yarn.

But he outlasted

0:35:200:35:23

almost all of his contemporaries,

becoming a unique and influential

0:35:230:35:27

figure in British music and culture.

He was the one constant of The

0:35:270:35:33

Fall's line-up. By one estimate, the

band got 366 members in its four

0:35:330:35:38

decades or so. Smith said he was the

only man apart from Kalex Mac prince

0:35:380:35:42

who could recruit talent off the

street. -- apart from Prince.

0:35:420:35:51

As for his songwriting, one critic

called it a kind of northern English

0:35:510:35:57

magic realism that mixed industrial

grime with the North Lake that with

0:35:570:36:02

the unearthly and the uncanny.

0:36:020:36:09

-- mixed industrial grime with the

unearthly. The former champion by

0:36:090:36:14

the Radio 1 DJ John Peel on it was

inevitable that grub turned to Smith

0:36:140:36:18

went John Peel died in 2004 -- that

Newsnight turned to Smith. He became

0:36:180:36:23

obsessed with The Fall from various

points, he played endlessly and

0:36:230:36:27

endlessly, must have been an

incredible compliment.

What, for The

0:36:270:36:34

Fall?

Yeah.

Yeah. Me and John had an

agreement, we were never friends or

0:36:340:36:41

anything like that. This is what I

admired about him, he was always

0:36:410:36:44

objective. People forget that.

I'm

interested to know what you thought

0:36:440:36:51

of his programme, Mark? When you

listened to it, presumably you

0:36:510:36:54

listen to it a lot.

I listened to it

in the early 70s when I was a

0:36:540:36:58

teenager and that. And I heard a lot

of Jamaican staff and German staff

0:36:580:37:04

through him. -- German

0:37:040:37:12

.

He seemed to find something for

every generation including The Fall?

0:37:130:37:18

Am I allowed to speak now?

Yeah, go

ahead.

Yeah, whatever you say. Are

0:37:180:37:24

you the new DJ?

Yeah, probably,

probably.

0:37:240:37:35

Truth be told, an interview with

Mark E Smith was sometimes even more

0:37:380:37:42

enjoyable than a new album. In one

of his last interviews, Smith said

0:37:420:37:47

"People still cross the road from

me, I've still got that, I can clear

0:37:470:37:51

a pub when I want to, it's a

talent".

0:37:510:37:57

I'm joined now by Tim Burgess

from The Charlatans.

0:37:570:38:00

He was a close friend

of Mark E Smith and he's with us

0:38:000:38:03

on Skype from Cheshire.

0:38:030:38:05

It's very nice of you to join us.

Manchester and Salford boys, you

0:38:050:38:12

must be feeling this very deeply

tonight?

I'm gutted. It's a

0:38:120:38:19

really... You know, if they really

sad night to night. -- it's a really

0:38:190:38:25

sad night tonight.

He was such a

character. We saw him at his best or

0:38:250:38:30

maybe you think at his worst in the

Newsnight Ndidi but he took so much

0:38:300:38:36

pleasure in that cantankerous nurse

and rebelliousness -- Newsnight

0:38:360:38:40

interview.

He was always

unpredictable. I have loved The Fall

0:38:400:38:45

since I was 15 years old. They had

been there all my life. Mark has

0:38:450:38:49

been there all through my life. So,

you know, it's really sad news. I

0:38:490:38:55

did get to know him. You know, we

became friends. You know, I would

0:38:550:39:01

just sit and listen to his stories,

really. He's just fascinating. You

0:39:010:39:07

know, quoting Nietzsche one minute

and then scrounging a cigarette the

0:39:070:39:13

next minutes. His favourite artist

was Weird Al Yankovich and he really

0:39:130:39:23

meant it.

He drew on everything and

he used a lot of poetry, he was very

0:39:230:39:29

lyrical. And sci-fi came into his

work as well, didn't it? Was there

0:39:290:39:33

anything he didn't touch?

No. You

know, every lyric is just pure gold,

0:39:330:39:41

really.

What do you make of that

idea, Steve was counting up the band

0:39:410:39:49

members he'd lost along the way. But

he used that amazing phrase that he

0:39:490:39:53

could recruit from the street. What

was that? Was that a very personal

0:39:530:39:58

approach? Or was it something that

he spotted in other people?

Because

0:39:580:40:04

he is a nonmusician, I think to find

a rawness in other people, that

0:40:040:40:13

helped him propel his vision. You

know, he was always in the present.

0:40:130:40:20

You know, he, kind of, you know,

always relevant. And I think... That

0:40:200:40:25

one of the reasons.

John Peel

described The Fall is always

0:40:250:40:32

different and always the same. I

wonder if you can, sort of, unpick

0:40:320:40:39

that's for us, how do you hear that?

Well, any time I ever spent time

0:40:390:40:43

with him he would always ask what my

dad did. Or what does your dad too.

0:40:430:40:51

I obviously told him he worked in a

chemical factory but he always used

0:40:510:40:55

to find that really important. I

always used to... You know, I

0:40:550:41:01

wouldn't feel satisfied that I've

had a proper conversation with him

0:41:010:41:04

unless he asked me that question.

I

guess, in some ways, we know he

0:41:040:41:10

stopped touring and his death was

not completely unexpected, but, give

0:41:100:41:17

us, if you can, your sense of the

memory or the phrase, I don't know,

0:41:170:41:21

the look that will remain with you

from his friendship.

Just... Well...

0:41:210:41:27

I mean... I'll always think of him

as a genius.

0:41:270:41:33

I can't really say much more than

that. Smiling.

0:41:340:41:41

Laughing in the pub.

It's great to

speak to you, thank you.

You are

0:41:410:41:47

welcome.

0:41:470:41:47

That's all we have time for.

0:41:470:41:48

I will be back tomorrow. I hope to

see you then. Goodbye.

0:41:480:42:01

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