Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark. Reuters story on Myanmar killing that they say got reporters jailed; council funding; British jihadis captured.
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Images of a massacre.
Reuters publish the investigation
that they say led to their reporters
being jailed in Myanmar.
They claim for the first
time to have evidence
from within the Burmese security
forces themselves of attacks
on the Rohingya carried out by them.
The Editor-in-Chief of Reuters
is here to tell us why they have
published even while their reporters
remain in a Burmese prison.
It's here, it's there,
MPs are in Washington tackling
the tech giants over fake news.
One of the few people Donald Trump
follows on Twitter is here to bite
back against the mainstream media.
And the power of the humble T-shirt
- remember this unique one?
The designer, campaigner and queen
of the political tee,
Katherine Hamnett, talks
about the day she made
it and wore it.
The Rohingya crisis has led at least
half a million Rohingya Muslims
to flee mainly Buddhist Myanmar
in the past six months,
escaping from a brutal military
crackdown and the torching
of whole villages.
It has sullied the international
reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi
and has also posed grave risks
for some of those covering it.
In December of last year two
journalists for the Reuters news
agency were arrested in Myanmar -
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oe.
They are still in jail,
awaiting trial for allegedly
obtaining confidential documents.
It was known that the two
journalists were covering
the aftermath of some of the brutal
violence against the Rohingya.
But since their arrest rumours have
circulated around what those
journalists were investigating.
Tonight, Reuters have published
what they believe is the real
reason for their arrest,
revealing the story that those
journalists were working on -
a detailed investigation into a mass
execution in a village
in Eastern Myanmar.
And we've seen their report.
Our reporter, James Clayton,
is across the story
and is with me now.
What has happened tonight? Watchers
have tonight decided to publish a
story that it claims is on the
international public interest and
why they have published is they have
been working on the story for weeks
and they have been in touch with
those journalists in Myanmar in a
prison there and they say they have
their consent to publish their
story. What were they investigating?
Reuters say the investigation is the
first to obtain evidence from some
of the perpetrators of this horrific
violence so they spoke to police
officers in Myanmar and Facebook to
members of a paramilitary group and
this spoke to local villagers in Inn
Din and what they managed to amass
was testimony of really quite nasty
crimes and they implicate the
military, they found pictures were
given pictures of an execution
before and after and they spoke to a
local Buddhist man who confessed to
the murder in cold blood of the
Watchers say they
have the consent of the journalists
but they know the real reason they
might have been arrested was the
story they were working on.
might the consequences be? We do not
know, it has literally just dropped.
Clearly, Reuters are taking a
calculated risk by publishing
tonight. On the one hand I am sure
watchers will say, this is the real
reason why our journalists were
arrested and on the other hand, the
Myanmar government might say,
actually, we don't like the story,
it might anger them. And both
journalists are being held by the
authorities in Myanmar. We will
speak to the editor in chief of
Reuters but first of all, we have
put together some of the claims that
Reuters are making and a word of
warning, some of these images are
On the 12th of December last year,
two Myanmar journalists working
for the Reuters news agency,
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo,
travelled to a restaurant
in northern Yangon to meet
two police officers.
They never came home.
They were arrested and later charged
under the Official Secrets Act
for allegedly obtaining confidential
They are being held
in a jail in Yangon.
Tonight, Reuters have
published what they believe
was the real reason
for their journalists' arrests.
An investigation that focused
on the village of Inn Din.
The violence that took place
here in late August and early
September last year was echoed
across parts of northern
These before and after satellite
images show the extent
to which the Rohingya part
of the village was
burnt to the ground.
Only the Buddhist area
to the top left was spared.
But what Reuters claimed to have
found was even darker.
Their journalists had been told
by a number of sources that ten men
had been picked up from a crowd
of Rohingya Muslims -
shopkeepers and students
- and executed.
Reuters claim that after
a day of interrogation,
they were led into a wood.
Reuters say these images -
that the agency has
published tonight -
were given to their journalists
by a local Buddhist.
We have decided to blur parts
of this graphic image.
It shows the ten men
in a shallow mass grave.
You can identify many of the men
by the clothes they are wearing.
Reuters journalists were told
by the man who dug the pet that
eight of the men were shot
by soldiers and two were hacked
to death by the villagers.
Back in Myanmar's capital,
Naypyidaw, at the same time
as the journalists' arrests,
Myanmar authorities were themselves
looking into the execution.
On the 10th of January
the military announced
on its Facebook page that they had
undertaken their own investigation
and that soldiers and local
Buddhists had indeed taken part
in the killings.
But the military were forced to kill
the "Bengali terrorists", they said,
because police stations
were being attacked by Rohingya
militants and it was unsafe
for them to transport them.
A decision was made to kill them,
says the military statement.
But Reuters say that Buddhist
villagers their journalists
interviewed reported no attack
by a large number of insurgents
on security forces in Inn Din
or that the ten men had any
connection with terrorism.
The news agency claims
their journalists also gathered
unique evidence of military
involvement in attacks
on Rohingya Muslims.
Speaking to not only local villagers
in Inn Din but police officers
and members of the paramilitary.
One man who spoke to the two
journalists described finding four
Rohingya Muslims hiding
in a haystack.
One of the men had a mobile phone.
The soldiers told him to do
whatever you want to them.
"And so I started hacking him
with a sword", he said.
"A soldier shot him
when he fell down".
Reuters has cross-referenced
testimony from Buddhists
on the ground with Rohingya refugees
over the border in Bangladesh.
Newsnight is unable to verify
the claims made by the agency.
But Reuters claim that their account
marks the first time soldiers
and paramilitary police have been
implicated by testimony
from security personnel themselves.
It is clear incarceration
is taking its toll on Wa Lone
and Kyaw Soe Oo and their families.
Reuters believe that the evidence
the journalists obtained is the real
reason for their arrest.
But the Myanmar authorities
are continuing to pursue charges
against the two journalists.
Will telling this story help
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo?
We will find out in court.
A Myanmar government
spokesman told Reuters...
Joining me now from
New York is Stephen Adler,
editor-in-chief of Reuters.
Good evening. You heard James
Clayton saying that, in fact, this
is taking its toll on both men and I
want where you decided to publish
We believe this is a story
of vast global importance and we
have a responsibility to publish,
that is what we do as journalists,
we report stories fairly and
honestly and we publish them and we
thought it was important enough and
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo agreed and
you will see that their names are on
the story. Anybody can see the
story. They fully support us
A very brave thing for
them and for their families to do
so. I am sure you do not do this
lightly, what is the next step for
We certainly do not do this
lightly, but we did not take the
legal considerations into hand in
deciding to publish. We are
concerned about security but we
believe that when the story is known
by people that it will be helpful to
them because it really gives a very
careful, well sourced account of
what happened and those facts
support the idea that they were
reporting, not violating any law.
You think you have come upon the
real reason for the arrests, that
they had this material, and the
authorities could go either way, as
with that statement, if these
investigations are true, they would
move along the lines of the law that
exists. What do you take to mean by
Again, I think the point
really is that we have to go forward
and report the story and we have to
tell the world about it. I think it
provides a tremendously valuable
service, our journalists agree with
that and we think that as the facts
come out, it will be favourable to
our journalists and what we're doing
but you must consider there are
tremendous risks doing journalism
anywhere in the world. Reuters
journalists take that risk every
time, like BBC journalists and
journalists everywhere. That is part
of the job and we are hopeful and we
hope the government will release
them shortly. I will also say that
it is very important for the world
community to care about this and
governments all over the world will
take an interest, representatives
from many countries attended the
last hearing and there is another
next week and we are hopeful that
the support we are getting and this
information coming out will be
What were the
considerations? You talked to the
journalists but what were the other
considerations about how this story
We are going to go
forward and continue reporting on
Myanmar, we won the Pulitzer Prize
in 2014 for reporting on human
trafficking of Rohingya Muslims and
it is important to continue so while
we have no certainty as to how
things will proceed, we think it is
our responsibility to give
For the first time, who
not only have members of the
security forces but Buddhist, a
villager, confessing to this
If this is about the
sourcing of the story...
significance of the information that
has been found from the side of the
I understand. What is
important about this story is that
we heard from Buddhist villagers and
Rohingya Muslims and members of the
military and police and what is so
compelling about this story is the
information that comes together for
these different places so you are
not seeing one or the other side
presenting information but this
story is being woven together with
people and monitoring what happened
and I think it is very important
because I think this has often been
seen as merely a conflict between
two sides but there are facts here
and we have established those facts
by talking to many people on the
ground using traditional reporting
methods, just interviewing people.
Thank you so much for joining us.
I'm joined now by the Labour
MP Rosena Allin-Khan,
who has visited Rohingya refugee
camps in Bangladesh.
What is your response?
we have seen mirrors the testimonies
I have heard and the injuries I
experienced when I went to work in
the camps as a doctor. It is deeply
upsetting, you have seen the images.
This is not going to be the first
such a card that we see, more and
more evidence that this is going to
unfold and currently we have been
bystanders to a genocide.
reporters, in jail, they want the
story out there?
Let us be clear,
this evidence marks a turning point
because for the first time since
they started to unfold in August, we
have heard from the perpetrators
We cannot deny this
evidence. What does this tell us
about what might move and change and
also what the Burmese government
The deep disappointment thus far is
that it has been termed ethnic
cleansing which is not a crime
according to humanitarian law but
nothing short of a referral to the
International Criminal Court will
Actually from the
announcement -- will do. They do not
deny that this might have happened
and surely that is a move forward?
To be honest, I place very little
trust in what their government says.
They conducted internal
investigations last year that
yielded results that showed that
they were not guilty of any crimes.
If they are happy to have an honest
and transparent investigation, they
need to allow external investigators
to come into the country.
fact that for the first time they
acknowledged the atrocities that
have taken place, that there are
problems, that in itself is surely
you will press forward on?
Absolutely. You are correct, but I
think the acknowledgement is
important but it has to be followed
up and properly investigated and
they need to allow external
international investigator to come
and look at this because it needs a
referral to the International
Criminal Court. This will not be the
only grave found. Even last weekend
we heard evidence of genocide. We
have heard of mass graves where
people have been systematically
dehumanised by the use of acid, the
very definition of genocide.
the last few months the
international reputation of Aung San
Suu Kyi has altered immeasurably,
and if this is the case, this will
change it again. What will happen do
I want Aung San Suu Kyi
to use the position she has Tuchel
for the correct thing to happen,
this has to be investigated
properly. She has called it a fake
news, she had a bystander, our
government also has to apply more
pressure. We have a seat at the
Security Council, where not doing
enough, the international community
needs to stand together, stand up
and say, look, we have seen this
evidence, the army had admitted it
itself, what is Aung San Suu Kyi
going to do about it? Let's have a
transparent process of investigating
this and make sure the perpetrators
of these he describes are brought to
Thank you very much.
US officials have said tonight that
two British men believed to be
members of the Islamic State group's
most infamous cell have been seized
by Syrian Kurdish fighters.
Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee
Elsheikh were the last two members
of the four man cell nicknamed
'the Beatles' to remain at large.
The alleged ringleader of the group
was Mohammed Emwazi -
also known as Jihadi John.
I'm joined by the BBC's security
correspondent, Gordon Corera.
This news broke this evening,
British officials are not yet
confirmed it but an American
national security official I spoke
to said that these two men had been
captured. They were part of this
four man group, slightly
unpleasantly called the Beatles
really pulls the people they were
holding hostage could not see them
because they wore masks but they
could hear the British accents of
the men and they were involved in
terrible mistreatment including the
killing of around two dozen hostages
including British aid workers Alan
Henning and David Heyes. The group
were sought by the intelligence
agencies and authorities, one,
Mohammed Emwazi, was killed, another
is in jail in Turkey and now these
two captured by Kurdish forces who
had their suspicions about the men
and approached US special operations
command who had access to them and
appear to have used biometrics to
confirm their identity and that
happened in mid-January.
them alive was important but what
happens next and what does it tell
us about foreign fighters?
happens next is interesting. There
will be people in the US who will be
preparing a case to put them on
trial, they had been involved in the
killing of American hostages Steven
Sotloff and James Foley amongst
others, and it is possible the Trump
Administration might want to put
them in Guantanamo Bay. That is less
likely but Donald Trump has talked
about it recently. It might not be
such an issue for the UK Government
because it is thought possible that
there are citizenship may have been
stripped of them, that has not been
confirmed but reported in the
A significant night.
Thank you very much.
Local councils all over England
are using words like "severe
and "a grave financial future."
Such is the squeeze
on local finances -
and most importantly
for the government, some
of the biggest calamity
is in staunchly Tory territory.
Services at risk are everything
from social care to education
to refuse collection.
Research carried out by the Local
Government Information Unit
and the Municipal Journal found that
80% of councils fear
for their balance sheets.
Council tax will rise
in 95% of authorities.
The research comes as
County Council imposed emergency
controls on its spending,
the first local authority in 20
years to resort to that measure,
and there are calls in councils
across the country for a fundamental
redesign of the financial system.
Our political editor, Nick Watt,
has been to another Tory
heartland facing the squeeze.
In one of the bleakest corners of
England's pleasant pastures, the
troubles of austerity should be a
world away -- LI theist. But true
blue Surrey has run up the deficit
to rival the Schauble in the
nation's books clocked up at the end
of the new Labour era. I am on the
Wentworth estate, the millionaires
Row of Surrey. This area was once
home to Sir Elton John and for a
period to the late General Augusto
Pinochet and it lies in the heart of
Chancellor Philip Hammond pros
Runnymede and Weybridge constituency
which is one of the most affluent in
Britain. And yet the challenges
faced across the country of an
ageing population and spending cuts
are leaving this area with some
serious fiscal challenges. Surrey
County Council is warning of the
most difficult financial crisis in
its history. As document showed it
is running a £105 million deficit.
That represent a funding gap of
12.4%, nearly double the English
average. The council, which spent
71p in every pound on adult and
children's social care, is digging
deep into its reserves to keep
I'm not going to pretend
Surrey is a poor county because
accords its not but since 2010 when
David Cameron became Prime Minister
Surrey has lost over £500 million of
funding and it has meant that most
of the police station in Surrey have
been closed, apart from four or and
thou they are starting to close fire
stations. -- now they are starting
to close fire stations.
complained that Surrey two specific
financial challenges. In the first
place it spent a lot of money on
public services which this minister
supports but secondly it's relative
wealth means that Surrey has faced
what he described as stingy
financial settlement from Whitehall
under a funding formula that target
resources at less affluent areas.
worked for the CAA be see all the
problems that come on with lack of
social care. I don't blame councils
-- the CAB. They are being starved
for cash by the government.
had experience with our mothers in
social care come in the Midlands and
down here, and I must admit the
social care was better in the
Midlands. Surrey might appear to be
a very affluent county but it does
not mean to say that it has
been seeking additional government
money for quite some time and
obviously that is a process of
negotiation between Surrey and the
government but clearly I have some
sympathy for them because of their
ageing demographics. But there is a
large number of other services that
Surrey County Council provide that
have to be looked at very carefully
to make sure they are structured in
the best way to get the best value
Surrey County Council
said in a statement... We have
agreed a three-year budget despite
the severe financial pressure we and
councils across the country are
under due to rising demand for our
services and fall in government
funding. We're been successfully
managing the growing need for adult
social care, children and other key
services, partly through making
savings of £540 million since 2010
and have made sure we keep within
our overall budget. In a tranquil
riverside setting where English
liberties were proclaimed just over
800 years ago, Surrey invites
visitors to celebrate its history.
Little did the county note that
today's politics would encroach on
this rural idle.
In Washington today MPs
from the Digital Culture,
Media and Sport Committee
were grilling Facebook,
Google and Twitter on -
among other things -
their response to fake
news on their platforms.
Here is the committee chair,
Damian Collins, grilling Twitter.
What were talking about is lies,
someone who is deciding to spread
lies about somebody else.
They're not harassing them,
they're not intimidating them,
they're not inciting violence
against them, they're
just spreading lies.
And they're using the anonymity
of Twitter to do that.
There's basically nothing
you will do about it.
If I could, the anonymity
on our platform is not a shield
against breaking our
terms of service.
Telling lies on Twitter
isn't a breach of the
Telling lies on Twitter isn't
a breach of the community guidelines
and wouldn't require action to be
taken against the account.
That's what you're saying, isn't it?
If that's the only ground...
We do not have rules based on truth.
So is fake news such a big deal that
it's necessary for UK politicians
to head to Washington for,
or is the DCMS committee getting
a bit overexcited about a term
that has had its day?
With me in the studio
is the right-wing
campaigner and best-selling
author Ann Coulter -
one of the very few people
Donald Trump follows on Twitter,
and joining me from LA is the writer
Good evening. Ann Coulter, does fake
news damage society?
Yes, that is
why Donald Trump keeps attacking it.
We live in democracies, people are
to be informed.
to be informed. And people at
allegedly serious networks are
putting out lies. This happened long
before Trump, Ferguson ripped the
country apart the alleged shooting
of an unarmed black man and went
Trump came along it has gone through
If you are in a situation
in an election campaign and a
website which gets hits from nearly
800,000 people says that members of
Hillary Clinton's campaign were
involved in a Satanic cult, that
matters, doesn't it? Or does it not?
Should the tech giants be filtering
The internet is the only
place people can get the truth,
maybe not from the website you just
mentioned but 800,000 viewers,
Hillary Clinton spent $1 billion...
This idea that what is putting likes
of Facebook swung the election is so
insane, that is fake news -- bots.
You believe things like CNN, CNN,
ABC, they've put out fake news?
Intentionally, the claim that Donald
Trump admitted to groping a woman's,
you know, blank, is alive. They edit
the tape to lie about it. You can
win that is a summary judgment case
in court and the editor that part of
the quote out.
If it damaging to
have not only fake news but actually
the idea that it doesn't necessarily
Yup hit on something quite
important, the distinction between
censorship and what is going on out
is important. Fake news, what we
have come to call that, which is
actually lies, the point is not just
to spread lies, it is to make people
unsure of the distinction between
what is true and what is false. When
people have eroded trust in the news
media which is what Ann Coulter is
trying to do right now, erode trust
in honest journalistic networks,
when people cannot trust their
media, they often prefer to believe
convenient lies to hard truths. But
there are still people out there who
believe in the power of honest
journalism and the power, in real
democracy, which involves people
being really informed and there are
people out there who believe that
people in power should not just to
be allowed to dictate what is true
and what is false. Some of those
people are sitting around you in a
studio right now, they are working
in a BBC studio, and some people
watching at home, people who believe
there is a distinction between truth
and falsehood and that distinction
matters. I would encourage...
situation where if you are saying
that the mainstream news networks
readily pile out fake news, are you
not just aiding the despot who say,
it's all about fake news from CNN,
even the BBC, so we won't believe
it? You are helping people by
undermining the probity of
I am citing laws that have been put
on it, it doesn't mean you believe
everything. I agree with you guessed
that the issue is censorship, who is
deciding? I have just listed... 20
lies that have been and continue to
be put out by the media, they claim
that Donald Trump mocked a disabled
man, not only was alive but the
Washington post you that was a lie.
Video proving that was alive. And
you're only light is some website
said he is part of a Satanic
cults... How about, she defended...
It doesn't matter if a is told...
course it does! The lies that are
told about Donald Trump...
Satanic cult? Are you finished? May
I speak? The word salad that you
have heard is exactly what we're
talking about, what she wants to do
does not make a distinction between
what is true and not true, it is
just to confuse people and make it
easier for people in power with no
scruples to just decide what is true
and what is false and this culture
is a troll with no credibility and
so is the President but we should
not take this as the basis upon
which what we can decide is true or
Once you start essentially
filtering or censoring, then who are
the deciders? There is no such thing
as absolute truth. There are nuances
That is why we have
journalism. You have worked at the
BBC for a very long time, everybody
in the studio has worked for a long
time, journalism is still at think
that exists and matters and should
be a distinction.
We already have
the situation where you tweeted what
reported to be a Muslim man
attacking a young Dutchman and you
have 1.8 million and Donald Trump
retweeted that and you did not even
know where that came from. Without
checking it. And you're somebody in
the public eye.
You regret that? I
have seen no proof that it is untrue
and your question is correct, who is
deciding what is true? I keep citing
things that are provably false. It
wasn't true! Your guests say that
journalists will decide, our country
was ruled by the Ferguson shooting
for a year and that turned out to be
the biggest lie ever invented by the
Thank you very much. That is
Two days after the Guardian
newspaper reported that two
Freemasons Lodges are operating
secretly at Westminster,
with their members' names protected
under the rules of freemasonary,
the United Grand Lodge of England
has fought back with full page
advert in newspapers including
today's Times headlined
'Enough is Enough'.
Signed by their Chief Executive,
Dr David Staples,
he writes that its 200,000
plus members are stigmatised
and discriminated against.
So, the letter states,
over the next six months
the Freemasons will by running
a series of open evenings
for people who want to know
who they are and what they do.
Our reporter David Grossman, though,
is getting ahead of the crowds.
If you're like me, you haven't spent
too much time thinking
about the Freemasons or what goes
on in a place like this.
This is Freemason's Hall in London.
But today, the Freemasons do want us
to think about them.
They have taken out a full-page
advert in the newspapers.
"Enough is enough", it says.
And in this letter, they say
the Freemasons are unfairly
stigmatised in the media
and by wider society.
We have been invited in to see
what goes on here by the chap
who wrote this letter -
Dr David Staples,
the Chief Executive.
Nice to meet you.
We have come about your advert.
We were told we could go anywhere,
see anything and talk to anyone.
Could we see a lodge
meeting, we asked?
No problem, they said.
Well, there was a problem.
We have to find one?
We have to find one.
Do you want to stay here
and I'll nip upstairs?
OK, thank you very much.
Once we found the meeting,
it was full of smartly dressed men
wearing aprons and sashes.
What is the dagger for?
That is a ceremonial thing to guard
the entrance of the lodge.
This chap here is called
the inner guard.
You're the inner guard?
And what do you do
as an inner guard?
I knock on the door,
let people in and...
Make sure people
are dressed properly.
Do you understand why some
people will look at this
and go, it's sinister,
it is all cloak and dagger?
I mean, there's literally
a dagger there.
We have just not done enough to show
people who we are and what we do.
We have allowed members of the media
space in the last 20 years
to have the same old hackneyed
conspiracy theories, the same
old jokey things about trouser legs
and all the rest of it.
That is not who we are.
The reason for the "enough
is enough" message in the papers
today was a story on Monday.
A secret cabal of Freemasons
at Westminster involving
journalists and MPs.
David says there is no
truth behind any of it.
The reality is, today,
he says, that masons
are discriminated against.
I have barrister friends
and they don't want to let people
know that they are Freemasons.
Not because they are involved
in anything furtive or secret
but because they don't want to be
associated with the myth
of all the corruption.
And it is detrimental to them to be
a Freemason in the open.
There is policemen, completely
the reverse of what is reported,
there is policemen who I know
who are absolutely clear
that if they are outed
as Freemasons, that is the end
of their career prospects.
Big exposes of Freemasonry
in the '70s and '80s alleged
the police were riddled with secret
backscratching and worse.
Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw
said in 1997 that masons
in the police and judiciary
should be identified.
He eventually backed down
in the face of a legal challenge.
But at the same time
as being seen the sinister,
Freemasonry also has
a comic reputation.
Having once identified a Mason,
immediate steps must be
taken to isolate him
from the general public.
The final part of my tour
was the Grand Lodge,
a sort of cathedral of Freemasonry.
Lots of symbols, an all-seeing eye
to symbolise the belief
in a higher power.
The trappings of religion,
but I was told it certainly wasn't.
Every Freemason has to have a faith.
You don't have to
believe in one God.
You can't be atheist or agnostic?
You have to believe in something
greater than yourself
because you have to believe that
you have to behave yourself or else
there is something greater
than you that is going to notice.
And that is what holds
But holds people together
to what purpose?
I ended my tour not fully
understanding much more
about what Freemasonry actually is.
As best as I could make out,
it's a sort of networking
club based on principles
of self-improvement and altruism.
But in the mysticism and the ritual,
there is plenty of room
for outsiders to see anything
they want, good or bad.
In this age of mass
there is still a place
for one of the simplest,
most powerful instruments
of information and opinion -
the T-shirt, or slogan tee.
The utilitarian garment,
which been emblazoned
with everything from the OZ trial
to the Rolling Stones logo,
ripped, safety pinned,
and ripped off from one designer
to another, is as much part
of our social history
as our fashion history.
It's being celebrated
at an exhibition at London's Fashion
and Textile Museum.
This unique T-shirt, though,
is only in the Newsnight studio,
not the exhibition.
It was made minutes before and then
worn by the designer and campaigner
Katherine Hamnett when she met
Mrs Thatcher on 17th March 1984.
So who better to meet me
at the exhibition than the Queen
of the political T-shirt?
So this, this is your first T-shirt?
It actually came out
with an argument I had with Lynne
Franks, who I think you know.
Because she was doing this Buddhist
exhibition and I said, nobody's
going to bother to go,
it's just not putting it over.
I said the only way you can get
this message over is,
how about printing it in huge
letters on a T-shirt?
This whole idea of
making a statement in a
T-shirt, where did
you get that from?
Well, I was kind of frustrated,
you know, during sort of
Thatcher's years because we felt
we had no voice, democracy slipping
through our fingers,
And I thought, well, at least
if you could do something that
people could read from 200 yards
on your chest, you know...
It gives you a voice.
Tell me about this one.
This was actually taken from a BBC
poll, taken before we decided to
invade Iraq and it was 91% of people
polled were against invading Iraq
without a second resolution.
And we did this the
moment the poll came
It was done at a local Snappy Snaps.
Do you ever irk people
with the T-shirts, do you think, you
know, annoy them?
I don't know and I
don't care actually.
You know, be irked, you know.
Do you go to bed at night and think,
God, what can I do a T-shirt
What would be really good?
No, they're kind of cries
from the heart, they come by
themselves, like this one.
Like, I just couldn't
stop myself I feel so
passionately about it.
You know, I thought I'll
actually wear this,
tell you when you came,
I'm wearing this or nothing else.
Use a condom, don't shoot.
All these, you look at those
and say these are Katherine
Hamnett T-shirts but of course
they're not all like that, are they?
I mean, the trouble is that lots
of people want to appropriate your
Does that matter?
They were designed to
be copied but then I
think it's really sad if they copy
the style and just write something
rather drivelly, you know,
something a bit pathetic.
It's a shame.
Is there something about the T-shirt
that then creates a tribe?
Immediately if you have the same
T-shirt on as that person and have
the same sentiment as that
person in your head,
the T-shirt gives you
sense of belonging?
Well, I think you're
friends, aren't you?
You know, because you
have the same values,
and you believe in the same
things, it's nice.
Then when it came to the punk
movement, it was about ripping
up T-shirts, deconstructing them,
again, that was fashion.
I think punk was amazing.
I mean, it was fascinating
and they did the big
sort of anarchy, you know,
in the UK,
all of that, and, you know,
I think a slight
misunderstanding of the word anarchy
because they thought it was just
smashing down everything
and actually it means a leaderless
society, a society that is so well
run it doesn't actually need
leaders, like a direct
So, it was inspiring,
it was a very exciting time.
That's almost it from us.
Before we go, Elon Musk may have
put a car into space,
but now we have the first rave
in zero gravity.
20 clubbers from around the world
were selected by promoters
BigCityBeats to go up in a special
Airbus A310 to dance -
and float - to a set
from superstar DJ Steve Aoki.
So here they are getting
very high indeed.
MUSIC: Signalrunners - "Corrupted"
# A rocket's kick
# A cold pin prick
# A missile launch
# Corrupted this
# Calculated risk
# Was worth a lot
# Corrupted was the name of the game
# They'll take that then
they'll give it away
In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.
Reuters story on Myanmar killing that they say got reporters jailed; council funding; British jihadis captured; fake news; freemasonry; Katherine Hamnett.