12/03/2018 Newsnight


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12/03/2018

Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. How can we punish Russia? Bullying in parliament. Poland versus Brussels. Ken Dodd.


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Tonight, the PM lays down

the gauntlet to the Kremlin.

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We will consider in detail the

response from the Russian state.

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Should there be no credible

response, we will conclude this

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action amounts to an unlawful use of

force by the Russian state against

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the United Kingdom.

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the United Kingdom.

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has 24 hours to come

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up with an explanation

for the Salisbury attack or Britain

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will consider it an unlawful use

of force against the UK.

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The nerve gas crisis is escalating

into a full-blown crisis.

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Authoritarianism is on the rise

in Poland and it's spooking the EU.

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Europe threatens to remove

Warsaw's voting rights,

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while the Poles resent

Brussels' high handedness.

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I will be recommending a short,

independent lead inquiry looking

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into allegations of bullying by

staff.

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into allegations

of bullying by staff.

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Newsnight's bullying

of parliamentary staff provokes

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action from the Leader of the House.

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But does her promise satisfy the MP

who brought the issue

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to the commons today?

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And Steve Smith recalls

the moment Ken Dodd revealed

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his love of Newsnight.

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Why did you decide to talk to us?

I

thought it was about time you had a

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bit of encouragement.

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bit of encouragement.

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Good evening, so what happens now?

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Good evening, so what happens now?

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Moscow has been given 24 hours

by the UK government

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to explain what happened

in the Salisbury chemical attack.

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The Foreign office has summoned

the Russian ambassador to explain

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whether the poisoning

of Sergei Skripal and his daughter

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was a direct action by the Russian

state or the result of that

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government losing control

of its stock of nerve agents.

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This afternoon in the Commons,

the Prime Minister stated

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that the chemical used was a weapons

grade state-produced substance

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from Russia's Novichok programme

and said if no credible response

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was forthcoming from Russia

by the end of tomorrow Britain

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would conclude the action amounted

to a use of force

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on British territory.

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So, after firm words from the PM

the ball is now in Russia's court.

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What happens next?

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Let's ask Mark Urban our diplomatic

editor, who's been on this

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from the beginning.

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Talk us through what we know of the

nerve agent or the programme,

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Novichok, mentioned for the first

time today.

At the risk of sounding

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like a pedant it is pronounced

Novichok. It defines things in quite

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a few ways, but it is still quite a

broad category. There are something

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like 100 different agents that are

contained within that programme.

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Firstly, let's talk about what it

now makes clear. For a few days they

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did not know what they were dealing

with. The Novichok agents were

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designed not to be detectable by

standard Nato chemical agent

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detectors. That would explain a lot

of things including why those

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warnings to people at Salisbury did

not come for a few days, because

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they had not detected it for the

first few days and that also

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conditioned the treatment that was

given to Sergei Skripal and his

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daughter. They were treated for

nerve agent poisoning relatively

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quickly, but they did not know what

they were dealing with. The normal

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ones like sarin are detectable.

Secondly, it may add some insight

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into why this may have happened

earlier than many people think. The

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table was found to be contaminated

in a restaurant and it could easily

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have been a few hours before the

pair were finally seriously ill.

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Various theories, could it have been

a liquid put on their food? That has

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already been touted. Other people

are looking at one of the other

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Novichok agents which is a powder.

It could have been in the

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ventilation system or in the car, so

when it started it blew into the car

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and it was contained within that

Shell. They parked and then they

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went to the restaurant and they were

shedding contamination there and in

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the pub before they fell ill. All of

these things have been defined and

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now increasingly it will define the

politics, including the drama today

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in the Commons.

We know we are in a

diplomatic stand-off. The Russians

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have been given 24 hours to provide

an explanation of how one of the

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nerve agents ended up on British

streets. An ultimatum after an act

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of apparently shocking recklessness.

It is not a new strategy for Russia

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for the breadcrumbs so to speak to

lead back to the Kremlin. Part of

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this is revenge, but the bigger part

is really about delivering a message

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to Russians inside Russia, to

Putin's own electorate in advance of

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the elections. And his security

services who are enabling him to

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remain in power.

As investigators

took samples late last week, the

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diagnosis of Britain's chemical

warfare community became clearer.

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Nerve agent, part a family nicknamed

Novichok in the old Soviet Union,

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highly potent and very hard to

detect. The Prime Minister today

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called out Russia.

On Wednesday we

will consider in detail the response

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from the Russian state. Should there

be no credible response, we will

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conclude this action amounts to an

unlawful use of force by the Russian

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state against the United Kingdom.

And I will come back to this house

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and set out the full range of

measures that we will take in

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response. Mr Speaker, this attempted

murder using weapons grade nerve

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agent in a British town was not just

crime against Sergei Skripal and his

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daughter. It was an indiscriminate

and reckless act against the UK,

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putting the lives of innocent

civilians at risk.

What of Russia's

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response?

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response? Steve Rosenberg caught up

with Vladimir Putin electioneering.

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Is Russia behind the poisoning of

Sergei Skripal. Get to the bottom of

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things there and then we will

discuss it came the reply. Novichok

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is a family of about 100 nerve

agents developed as the Soviet Union

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was on its last legs. The chemical

principles are well understood, but

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the processes in constituent

chemicals create a highly signature.

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It is possible to determine the

exact structure of the molecule.

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Because of that it is possible to

determine which pre-cursors were

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used in the manufacture of that

agent. It is possible because of the

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knowledge about the precursor is to

reconstruct the method of synthesis

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and these are tell-tale signs like

fingerprints.

As the clock ticks

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away on Theresa May's ultimatum to

the Russians, the wires will be

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burning between the Foreign Office

and allied ministries across Europe

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and of course the State Department

in the United States. What the UK

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will be trying to find out is how

much support there is, whether

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solidarity in backing Britain in its

calls for sanctions against Russia

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extends beyond the rhetorical. The

Prime Minister did leave one

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possible route out for the Kremlin,

alluding to the possibility that

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Novichok, a banned weapon in any

case, might have been used without

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government authorisation.

It could

be that it was stolen or sold at an

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earlier date to another entity. In

which case the question is what is

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happening? Why did that happen? What

is the security here? How could this

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have been allowed to happen? That is

a very different set of questions.

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But if Russia continues to deny

everything, Britain will likely by

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Wednesday afternoon be asking its

allies to endure the pain of

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applying new sanctions.

This is a

threat that suddenly came to

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fruition in the UK. It does not mean

it would not happen in other Western

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countries and together we need to

take action, whether it comes in the

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form of declaring Russian officials

persona non grata in the UK, or

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sanctions against specific Russians.

There is a cost we will pay, but if

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we do not face the cost now, we may

pay more in the future.

This is

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developing into a fully fledged

diplomatic crisis and Britain soon

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could be putting forward a whole new

raft of measures against Russia.

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And what response from

the Russians tonight?

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Putin brushed off the question

saying the British need to get

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to the bottom of it first.

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The Foreign Ministry

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called it a circus show.

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Joining me now, Amy Knight,

a world expert on the KGB,

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and Sir Tony Brenton,

British Ambassador

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to Moscow until 2008.

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Nice to have you here. I will start

with you, Amy. Theresa May laid out

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those two options. The Russian state

or a rogue perpetrated that has

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borrowed the agent. What do you

sense that this is?

I think the

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Kremlin will undoubtedly not admit

it is the Russian state that

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committed this act. But I think the

likelihood that rogue elements got a

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hold of this nerve gas and were able

to transport it or bring all the

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pre-cursors and make this, I think

it is highly unlikely. The FSB is

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the agency that is in charge of

these sophisticated laboratories

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that do this and it is really

unlikely that this would have

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happened.

Mark was espousing some of

the theories of what might have

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happened on that day. Do you think

this went according to plan or did

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something go wrong?

You know, I was

surprised by the fact that this

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substance was actually allowed to

damage other people and put people

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in hospital. Even Sergei Skripal's..

But if you look back at the

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Alexander Litvinenko poisoning, that

was also handled very carelessly. We

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know that the two gentleman work

hired by the FSB to poison Alexander

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Litvinenko. I was surprised at the

lack of professionalism if you will,

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but presumably this can happen.

But

you still think that Putin's

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fingerprints are ultimately on this

or you think it might have been

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people acting, believing it was what

he would have required?

That is not

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the way things operate. I have heard

this theory before in regard to

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other crimes and so forth. This kind

of action would not have been taken

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without the explicit approval of

Vladimir Putin. Of course there will

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never be a smoking gun because that

is not the way things work. He will

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just continue to deny and denied. I

am sure they will say that they will

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investigate it and tried to get to

the bottom of things, but as you

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know, Vladimir Putin and his very

close colleagues control all of the

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investigative organs. So there is no

possibility of Russia having any

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kind of an independent investigation

of the circumstances of this

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poisoning.

Let me pick up on that

point. What does Russia do now? If

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you were in that Foreign Office

meeting tomorrow, would you expect

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the Russian ambassador to turn up?

What would you expect him to say?

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I'm sure he will turn up and what he

will say is we did not do it and we

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do not believe anybody from our side

did it either. It is clear we will

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get a negative response the

Russians. And again the question has

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been put to them in that way.

Has

Theresa May taken a gamble or has

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she played a blinder? Does Russia

care?

I they spooked by this at all?

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I do not think she has taken a

gamble, she is responding entirely

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properly to an outrageous attack on

the UK. Do the Russians care? That

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depends on how we now respond. We

have got a range of sanctions at our

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disposal. We can make life

uncomfortable for Russian

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intelligence agencies working in the

UK. We can hit Russian money in the

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city. But the crucial question is

how much support we can get from our

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allies. Our action by itself will do

some damage. But if the West at

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United 's lead, that will have much

what impact.

We are pretty much

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alone at the moment. From the looks

of it we have not got trapped coming

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to our aid. We have not got the EU

necessarily rallying round at this

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point, how are we, have we?

Around

the Alexander Litvinenko affair, the

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lack of support was disappointing.

The Europeans in particular were

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knocked over and beyond rhetoric.

The position has changed a lot. All

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of the West is much more at

loggerheads with the Russians than

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we were in 2006, so there is more

scope for persuading our western

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partners. This has happened on our

streets today, it will be on your

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streets tomorrow. But a lot comes

down to the skill and

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professionalism and persuasiveness

of the British diplomats and

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ministers over the next few days.

Do

you think Donald Trump will have to

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start taking this seriously? Will he

have to come out against the

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Russians if this is where it leads?

You know I think it is interesting

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that timing of this incident. Not

only did it occurred two weeks

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before the Russian presidential

election, but also it occurred at a

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time when the tram administration is

totally caught up in scandals. So I

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think first of all the tram

administration is very distracted,

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so they are not likely to be able to

react as well as they might if

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things were going smoothly in the

White House. Secondly, we know

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Donald Trump has bent over backwards

to apologise for everything that

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Vladimir Putin has done. He has gone

on record as saying that he does not

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believe Vladimir Putin ever commits

any kind of political killings. I

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think it is unlikely that we are

going to get any initiative from

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Donald Trump. That said, there are

people in the White House and in the

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Congress who have been very

proactive when it comes to this kind

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of thing. So we might see something

from them. But I hesitate to say

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that it is going to be as strong as

it might be if we had an

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administration that was much more

realistic about Russia.

Thank you

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very much.

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The Leader of the House of Commons

has ordered an independent inquiry

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into allegations of bullying

of staff by MPs after

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an investigation by this programme.

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In one of the more uncomfortable

sessions for the House,

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the Speaker John Bercow,

one of those MPs named

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in our investigation,

presided over today's proceedings.

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Andrea Leadsom said the reports

of bullying were of "huge concern"

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and that a short inquiry

would assess whether current

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procedures to protect people

who work for the Commons

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were fit for purpose.

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Ms Leadsom chose not to address

a question on Mr Bercow's own future

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but insisted bullying must be

stamped out wherever it is seen.

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Chris Cook and his producer Lucinda

Day broke the story for Newsnight.

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Here's Chris on the latest.

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Last week Newsnight revealed a

problem inquest Mr, an issue with

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the so-called plumptiousness, the

apolitical class who make the place

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tick, who say they serve bullying

from MPs and they say they don't

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trust management processes to

protect them. In large part because

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of serious cases where MPs can be

involved in judging one another.

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Management have told us to report

stuff but if I said something I

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would be moved. I haven't seen one

case go against them.

The response

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from the Commons authorities is

pretty dismissive, for example we

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told you how a serving Clark told us

how she lived in a culture of fear.

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The authority said that was a

grotesque exaggeration. Today we

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reported on a new development. We

got hold of a letter from the clerk

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of the House of Commons, completely

changing his position. The letter

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was sent to the House of Commons

clerks.

0:17:330:17:35

The senior management of the house

are acknowledging that they got the

0:17:590:18:02

tone of their response to

Newsnight's reporting wrong, they

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acknowledge there is a problem with

bullying and harassment in the

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Commons and that the policy in place

to deal with it is inadequate and

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must be looked at again.

The letter

was seen as a step forward but we

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gathered testimony revealing

continued concerns among serving

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clerks. He makes no apology or

commitment...

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The people who have that power are

the MPs. They met today to discuss

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our report. We revealed that John

Bercow is accused of bullying. He

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denies it and chaired the session.

The commission will meet on Monday

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the 19th of March, next Monday and I

have given notice to my fellow

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members that I will be recommending

a short, independently lead in

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Querrey by the house commission

looking into allegations of systemic

0:19:270:19:34

bullying of parliamentary staff --

independently lead enquiry. I

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propose the enquiry should hear from

current and past staff members about

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their experiences and help to

provide them with closure where

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possible.

It's unclear whether this

enquiry will name MPs or just

0:19:440:19:52

discuss the culture. That's for the

House of Commons commission to

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discuss next week. A panel chaired

by John Bercow. Some MPs today were

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concerned about overreaction. Here

is Paul Farrelly who denied

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allegations of bullying last week.

Before members jump to judgment on

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what was a very selective BBC

broadcast, approaching the cases

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that have been raised in a more

balanced way.

A consensus has

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emerged that something must be done

and the enquiry should help to

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decide what. The clerks won't be

left out of efforts to reform

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Westminster but any system where MPs

and still make decisions on

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sanctioning MPs will not have the

support of staff. That was Chris

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Cook.

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I am joined now by the MP

Caroline Lucas, the co-leader

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of the Green Party.

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And the MP who tabled the urgent

question leading to Andrea Leadsom's

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statement. Did it go the way you

hoped?

There was a change of tone,

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which was welcome. There was a

change or deciding the complaints as

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exaggerated. That was positive. We

had acknowledgement that the new

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procedures will be expanded to

include all staff, which is good,

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but where it fell short is the lack

of real grappling with the fact that

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the whole process from start to

finish has to be independent. This

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new enquiry that Andrea Leadsom

announced is supposed to be

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undertaken by the House of Commons

commission, in other words another

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set of MPs. If this saga has told us

anything it is that you cannot have

0:21:240:21:31

MPs judging other MPs. It doesn't

work, it won't breed confidence. So

0:21:310:21:37

in the new procedure and the old one

we have to look at, we have to get

0:21:370:21:41

rid of any sense that this is MPs

marking their own homework.

Did you

0:21:410:21:45

feel today that there was the

appetite to recognise that and

0:21:450:21:49

change it?

Not to the degree that

I'd have liked. Some MPs get it

0:21:490:21:55

across the house. But the fact that

the leader of the house can be

0:21:550:21:58

proposing another process that is

not independent, the commission

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looking at cases indicates a lack of

understanding. We cannot have MPs

0:22:050:22:09

making those key decisions on fellow

MPs.

That is mirrored by the

0:22:090:22:13

situation today, John Bercow

presiding over and calling on you to

0:22:130:22:19

make the urgent question. Is that

the sticking point, that actually

0:22:190:22:23

while you've got the judge and jury

in the same place, you can't get to

0:22:230:22:28

the bottom of it?

The position of

John Bercow today was different in

0:22:280:22:33

the sense that we weren't talking

about live complaints that are

0:22:330:22:37

current under existing guidelines

being discussed this was about a

0:22:370:22:41

structure, the systemic issue and to

be fair to him he's been very good

0:22:410:22:44

at calling urgent questions.

Does he

need to say something publicly about

0:22:440:22:51

the allegations about himself?

I

think it would clear the air if he

0:22:510:22:55

did, but there has to be an

investigation and at the moment

0:22:550:22:58

we've only had allegations from one

side which have been refuted. We

0:22:580:23:02

need an investigation. But it cannot

and must not be an investigation

0:23:020:23:08

undertaken by MPs. That can have no

credibility with the staff.

Do you

0:23:080:23:14

think there is a need, and appetite

to get to the bottom of this or

0:23:140:23:18

whether there is a bit of

politicking going on, especially

0:23:180:23:21

concerning the speaker's job, as he

has made a lot of enemies in the

0:23:210:23:26

job.

Some people are using this for

political ends. James Diedrich got

0:23:260:23:32

up to criticise John Bercow for

deciding over the proceedings today,

0:23:320:23:38

that MP has no love for John Bercow,

for many years. Yes, people are

0:23:380:23:42

using this to settle scores and

that's disappointing because what's

0:23:420:23:46

at stake is the well-being of staff

who work very long hours, everyday

0:23:460:23:52

for MPs, so we have to tackle the

underlying culture of privilege

0:23:520:23:57

allowing MPs to think they can act

in ways that would not be accessible

0:23:570:24:00

in any other workplace. Parliament

should be the beacon of best

0:24:000:24:06

practice rather than constantly

running to keep up.

Thank you for

0:24:060:24:08

joining us.

0:24:080:24:09

When it comes to picking fights

with the EU Britain is not alone.

0:24:090:24:12

Poland is now in the dock.

0:24:120:24:14

It's popularist right-wing

government stands accused

0:24:140:24:16

of threatening the independence

of the judiciary by

0:24:160:24:18

greatly increasing it's

control of the courts.

0:24:180:24:22

This has led the European Commission

to trigger an unprecedented Article

0:24:220:24:25

7 proceeding against Warsaw.

0:24:250:24:27

If Poland fails to back down by next

Tuesday, March 20th,

0:24:270:24:35

it could ultimately lose it's

EU voting rights.

0:24:350:24:39

There are also widespread concerns

that the authoritarian policies

0:24:390:24:42

of the ruling Law and Justice Party

are threatening liberal democracy

0:24:420:24:45

by attacking the media,

curbing civil rights and encouraging

0:24:450:24:47

cultural and religious intolerance.

0:24:470:24:50

Mike Thomson's been to Warsaw

to find out more about Poland's

0:24:500:24:53

creeping authoritarianism.

0:24:530:24:56

We should get back to our tradition.

0:24:560:25:00

We do not need to

learn from the West.

0:25:000:25:06

This is against the mainstream,

against the elite.

0:25:060:25:08

It's the right direction.

0:25:080:25:10

We are very much afraid.

0:25:100:25:18

We are closing our society,

just to our nation,

0:25:180:25:20

and that's not good.

0:25:200:25:21

The world is multinational.

0:25:210:25:24

Ever since Russian forces left,

25 years ago, Poland has

0:25:240:25:30

faced an identity crisis.

0:25:300:25:34

What does it mean to be Polish?

0:25:340:25:36

At first, the Euro

way was the only way.

0:25:360:25:40

But now, a new nationalism

is sweeping the nation.

0:25:400:25:48

In power since 2015,

the right-wing Law and Justice party

0:25:480:25:53

has tapped into dissatisfaction

with liberal, western values.

0:25:530:25:57

Emphasising a traditional idea

of Polishness, which promises

0:25:570:26:02

to give people back their pride,

culture and self-belief.

0:26:020:26:08

But many here fear that what they

regard as the authoritarian

0:26:080:26:11

political party behind all this

is hijacking the government,

0:26:110:26:16

by subverting the judiciary,

muzzling the media and curbing civil

0:26:160:26:18

rights.

0:26:180:26:19

I'm here to investigate whether such

claims are justified

0:26:190:26:24

and if we are really seeing

the beginning of the end of liberal

0:26:240:26:27

democracy in Poland.

0:26:270:26:29

This is Ostrow Mazowiecka,

a Law and Justice stronghold.

0:26:290:26:37

Like many parts of rural

East Poland, people have long felt

0:26:380:26:41

neglected by liberal politicians

and the urban elite.

0:26:410:26:46

Here at this windswept paving stone

factory on the edge of town,

0:26:460:26:50

there is resentment about the way

foreign EU leaders are criticising

0:26:500:26:53

the party they support.

0:26:530:26:55

This man has worked at the plant

for more than 25 years.

0:26:550:27:03

The town's mayor insists

people here have long been

0:28:060:28:11

ignored and talked down to.

0:28:110:28:14

He says his party are giving

them back their dignity.

0:28:140:28:17

Pride, both personal and national,

isn't the only thing

0:28:460:28:48

being given to people here.

0:28:480:28:55

Welfare payments for anyone

with children is yet another

0:28:550:28:57

very popular policy.

0:28:570:29:01

27-year-old Monika,

struggling to raise three

0:29:010:29:06

children in her tiny flat,

has long felt let

0:29:060:29:08

down by politicians.

0:29:080:29:10

Not any more.

0:29:100:29:13

Which party do you think

you will give your vote

0:29:130:29:15

to in the next election?

0:29:150:29:22

This gathering in the capital,

of older urbanites, looks a world

0:29:590:30:02

away from those in Ostrow

Mazowiecka.

0:30:020:30:05

But appearances can be deceiving.

0:30:050:30:08

Here at this right-wing

club in central Warsaw,

0:30:080:30:13

liberalism is under attack.

0:30:130:30:17

For the last hour or so we've been

hearing all about concerns over

0:30:170:30:20

the Pope's policies towards gay

marriage and divorce,

0:30:200:30:22

but it goes much deeper than that.

0:30:220:30:25

People here have big issues

with the whole subject

0:30:250:30:28

of Western democracy itself.

0:30:280:30:31

We were robbed, we have debts.

0:30:310:30:35

Most of the rules were

very poor, very bad.

0:30:350:30:38

We were servants, servants

to the Western capitalists coming

0:30:380:30:40

to Poland from 1989.

0:30:400:30:48

In Jan's view, the majority of Poles

have seen few real benefits

0:30:480:30:51

since the fall of Communism.

0:30:510:30:53

Who gained freedom, I'm asking?

0:30:530:30:55

Who?

0:30:550:31:00

Was Communists, their friends

and families and their

0:31:000:31:02

supporters, that's it.

0:31:020:31:04

One third is for the

rest of the people.

0:31:040:31:06

Very simple.

0:31:060:31:08

We should really pursue our own way

and our own tradition.

0:31:080:31:12

Of course it's very difficult

but there is a good

0:31:120:31:15

saying, can you count?

0:31:150:31:16

If you can, count on yourself.

0:31:160:31:22

But if Poland carries on down this

path, the biggest beneficiary of EU

0:31:220:31:27

grants can't count on the support

of the EU.

0:31:270:31:35

Brussels has condemned its move

to take over the appointment

0:31:390:31:41

and disciplining of judges

and to make them retire earlier.

0:31:410:31:49

But the party's vice president

in the European Parliament sees this

0:31:490:31:52

as an unwarranted interference.

0:31:520:31:59

Mainly when I'm talking

with my colleagues in

0:31:590:32:03

the European Parliament I always

say, OK, you are criticising Poland.

0:32:030:32:06

Look at your country.

0:32:060:32:12

I cannot accept situation

when the people from the other

0:32:120:32:14

countries which are not informed

about the situation,

0:32:140:32:16

do not speak Polish,

do not visit Poland,

0:32:160:32:18

they compare the situation of Poland

to Russia, Turkey, two different

0:32:180:32:22

undemocratic countries.

0:32:220:32:28

Some believe the government

is playing an Poland's many

0:32:280:32:30

reminders of invasion,

to blame foreigners for their woes.

0:32:300:32:38

This government needs enemies,

you know, they are in desperate

0:32:430:32:46

search for enemies.

0:32:460:32:48

Each and every month

they invent a new enemy.

0:32:480:32:50

The European Union is one.

0:32:500:32:51

Germany is number one.

0:32:510:32:55

It is a very successful mechanism

for attracting people

0:32:550:32:58

and the name of the game again,

with this electorate, as I described

0:32:580:33:01

it, is a kind of simplicity.

0:33:010:33:04

Proud of being Polish,

there is this megalomaniac history

0:33:040:33:09

that is being proposed,

offered anew, which is not

0:33:090:33:14

necessarily is a real history.

0:33:140:33:17

Civil rights groups

have come to fear that

0:33:170:33:19

they're on this list too.

0:33:190:33:22

Through these doors is the offices

of a women's rights charity.

0:33:220:33:25

Just a few months ago,

police went through here,

0:33:250:33:28

up the stairs and raided the office,

taking with them dozens

0:33:280:33:30

of confidential files, none

of which have yet been returned.

0:33:300:33:38

Of course it was very shocking

for us and very scared,

0:33:390:33:43

especially when it was a day

when we had clients in our offices.

0:33:430:33:49

When the police came they took not

only all the financial documents

0:33:490:33:52

but also the documents

concerning very sensitive

0:33:520:33:55

data of our clients.

0:33:550:34:03

Sometimes we think how big an impact

it had not only on us,

0:34:070:34:11

on our situation, the trust

of our clients, how safe they feel.

0:34:110:34:13

She suspects that her organisation's

biggest crime is championing women's

0:34:130:34:16

rights rather than the kind

of traditional family

0:34:160:34:18

values espoused by the

Polish Prime Minister.

0:34:180:34:25

So, how is this all

being allowed to happen?

0:34:250:34:32

Neither will campaigns backed

by this judge to keep Poland's

0:34:550:34:57

judiciary independent.

0:34:570:34:59

But why is the government

is so intent on eroding this?

0:34:590:35:05

Law and Justice have insisted that

all they're doing is redressing

0:35:270:35:30

the long-standing liberal bias

in the country.

0:35:300:35:35

But is it not really

a naked power grab?

0:35:350:35:43

This was in your questions about

fundamental rights, civil rights.

0:35:490:35:51

I can assure you, they are not

in danger, in this country.

0:35:510:35:54

The professor believes things cannot

go on the way they are indefinitely.

0:35:540:35:59

One of the things that we have

to emphasise about the Poland

0:35:590:36:02

of today is that we have

a constituational crisis.

0:36:020:36:06

We have a separation of powers

that is nonexistent here,

0:36:060:36:10

the rule of law has been violated

on many occasions by the president

0:36:100:36:18

and by this party.

0:36:180:36:20

This is a violation of the existing

binding constitution

0:36:200:36:24

and we are asking ourselves,

when will it be that these people

0:36:240:36:27

will face the state tribunal?

0:36:270:36:30

Because this is the obvious thing.

0:36:300:36:31

I think it will happen

sooner or later.

0:36:310:36:34

Poland's radical policies

are flying high for now,

0:36:340:36:38

kept aloft by populist answers

to the nation's identity

0:36:380:36:40

crisis and the woes

of its marginalised rural poor.

0:36:400:36:46

But gathering storm clouds may yet

force Warsaw to change course,

0:36:460:36:52

as the battle with Brussels nears.

0:36:520:36:57

Mike Thomson reporting.

0:36:570:36:59

We did ask the Polish

government for an interview

0:36:590:37:02

but no one was available.

0:37:020:37:04

Ken Dodd used to say

that he loved to watch Newsnight

0:37:040:37:07

last thing at night.

0:37:070:37:08

"It's saved me a fortune

on milky drinks."

0:37:080:37:10

He might have stayed up

for this one though,

0:37:100:37:12

a tribute to a comedian

who was called many things,

0:37:120:37:14

perhaps the nicest of which was

simply "life affirming".

0:37:140:37:17

Ken Dodd was was

the son of a coalman.

0:37:170:37:19

He never left the home

in Knotty Ash, Liverpool,

0:37:190:37:21

where he grew up and indeed died

there aged 90 this weekend.

0:37:210:37:25

Stephen Smith looks back on the work

of one of Britain's greats.

0:37:250:37:28

The one and only Ken Dodd!

0:37:280:37:36

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen,

I feel absolutely tattyfilarious

0:37:410:37:43

and full of plumptiousness.

0:37:430:37:48

What he had in spades was that

very peculiarly British

0:37:480:37:51

quality of total daftness.

0:37:510:37:57

It makes me absolutely

disconficurated to see that

0:37:570:37:59

so many of you have turned up

for the free soup.

0:37:590:38:02

He hung out with the Beatles

and they shared jokes about hair.

0:38:020:38:05

Lovely hair.

0:38:050:38:07

Lovely hair.

0:38:070:38:09

We call it "herr" in Liverpool.

0:38:090:38:11

We say Judy with the "ferr herr".

0:38:110:38:12

Only the Fab four themselves had

bigger hits in the 60s.

0:38:120:38:15

Ken Dodd even held the record

for the longest run

0:38:150:38:17

at the London Palladium.

0:38:170:38:19

42 weeks.

0:38:190:38:22

To go to one of his gigs wasn't only

a kind of beautiful experience

0:38:220:38:25

of Stockholm syndrome,

as he kept you inside that theatre

0:38:250:38:31

until you submitted to his humour,

but it was also to hear jokes that

0:38:310:38:35

might have been in

circulation are centuries.

0:38:350:38:40

might have been in

circulation for centuries.

0:38:400:38:42

Newsnight spoke to Ken Dodd

in his hometown a few years back.

0:38:420:38:46

If you want to enjoy

life, its optimism.

0:38:460:38:49

I always go on the stage and say,

by Jove, what a beautiful day.

0:38:490:38:57

What a beautiful day

for doing this and that,

0:38:570:39:00

what a day for ramming

0:39:000:39:03

a cucumber through the vicar's

letterbox and saying, look out,

0:39:030:39:05

the Martians are coming.

0:39:050:39:13

What a beautiful day for bouncing

up and down in a big

0:39:130:39:16

barrel of blancmange.

0:39:160:39:17

What a beautiful day

for rushing onto the Roland

0:39:170:39:20

Using the jokes, which

works to emphasise.

0:39:200:39:24

Willie works in the docks

in Liverpool and he's

0:39:240:39:26

what they call a diesel fitter,

he goes round looking in the cases

0:39:260:39:29

saying "these'll fit her",

"these'll fit her".

0:39:290:39:31

I worked for my father in a coal

business with my brother and then

0:39:310:39:34

I was on the knocker,

as you say, going around selling

0:39:340:39:37

pots and pans and tickling sticks.

0:39:370:39:39

Selling things like this,

saying ooh, missus and all

0:39:390:39:41

of that is a kind of patter,

a kind of pitch that's directed

0:39:410:39:44

at a working-class audience.

0:39:440:39:45

Here's a suggestion

from Mrs Nellie Dean who writes,

0:39:450:39:47

I think it's high time that

Ken Dodd got knighted.

0:39:470:39:49

Well, Mrs Dean, I'd like to thank

you very much for your kind letter.

0:39:490:39:53

Just a minute, that says

naughty, not knighted.

0:39:530:39:55

Class may have held Ken Dodd back,

he wasn't knighted until 2016.

0:39:550:40:03

He also faced trial over an alleged

tax fraud before being acquitted.

0:40:050:40:11

# Tears have been my

only consolation #.

0:40:110:40:14

Many admired his

0:40:140:40:16

singing voice which brought him

several hit records and directors

0:40:160:40:19

cast Ken Dodd in straight acting

roles or straight-ish.

0:40:190:40:22

But you've won the grand prize.

0:40:220:40:24

Well, what is it?

0:40:240:40:26

I've never won anything before.

0:40:260:40:27

Your prize...

0:40:270:40:29

Hang about.

0:40:290:40:32

Ladies and gentlemen,

please welcome Mr Ken Dodd.

0:40:320:40:36

Even his greatest admirers admit

it was the theatre, not telly

0:40:360:40:39

where Ken Dodd really shone.

0:40:390:40:43

Ken was addicted to a live

audience, to real people

0:40:430:40:45

sitting in rows of seats.

0:40:450:40:47

In a sense, the camera got

in the way and he never mastered

0:40:470:40:52

the camera like Frankie Howard did

or Bruce did or Eric and Ernie.

0:40:520:40:57

A live theatre, it's

a one to one experience,

0:40:570:41:01

there's not all this scrap iron

in the way!

0:41:010:41:06

Is there ever a moment...

0:41:060:41:10

Don't you dare say that word!

0:41:100:41:13

No, no, no.

0:41:130:41:14

People retire, men retire

when they stop doing what they don't

0:41:140:41:18

want to do and start doing

what they do want to do.

0:41:180:41:21

Now I happen to know that you'd

rather have an allotment and raise

0:41:210:41:24

chickens than be a journalist.

0:41:240:41:26

Geronimo!

0:41:260:41:33

# Happiness to me is an ocean tide,

a sunset fading on a mountainside.

0:41:330:41:36

I watched your programme,

it is a barrel of laughs.

0:41:360:41:39

You have some very,

very funny people.

0:41:390:41:40

# Happiness, happiness #

0:41:400:41:44

That's all we have time for.

0:41:440:41:46

Evan's here tomorrow.

0:41:460:41:49

Till then, goodnight.

0:41:490:41:52

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. How can we punish Russia? Bullying in parliament. Poland versus Brussels. Ken Dodd.