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ABC Fora with Tony Jones -

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I'm Tony Jones. Hello and welcome to ABC Fora. how to run an electric car, This evening - into giving money to the arts, how to talk big business of stencil graffiti. and a short history

for as long as I can remember, But first, survey after survey have suggested well-respected as used car salesmen. that journalists are about as to tell the truth? So can the media be trusted in the latest IQ2 Debate The proposition posed was that it can't be. journalist and Crikey founder, We join the event with former definitely can't be trusted. Stephen Mayne, arguing that the media APPLAUSE

Stephen Mayne. is well and good. Mark Scott, everything you say at the ABC, Morris Newman, But I'm concerned your chairman song sheet. doesn't sing from the same about the press at the ASX AGM This is what Morris said on September 24 last year,

in equity prices "The general downturn also saw our supervisory role

especially from the press. come under attack,

Much of our time has been spent separating truth from falsehood. Being held to account is one thing, is something quite different. but undeserved public vilification misinformed, So much of it has been mischievous, and or just plain wrong." he's talking about. That's not a single-row column the entire coverage of regulation The ABC chairman was slating

by the broader business media. isn't the only media heavy And Mark Scott's chairman that the media don't tell the truth. who passionately believes media colleagues for defamation The following people have sued in the Australian courts - Derryn Hinch, Col Allan, Mark Day, John Laws, Alan Jones, Steve Price, Chris Anderson, Tony Bell, Kerry Packer, Piers Ackerman, Peter Blunden, George Bushman, Richard Carleton, Eddie McGuire, John Singleton,

Ron Walker. and even Fairfax Media chairman, at spouting the truth, If the media is so good or even just correcting mistakes, why have so many media luminaries wig-wearing colleagues to litigate? hired Julian Burnside's LAUGHTER whether the media tells the truth, If this debate is all about long serving editor surely we should turn to the former and publisher of the truth, Mark Day, elder statesman who at 66 is the respected of media commentary in Australia. for The Australian this millennium Day wrote three columns by the women's magazines detailing the outrageous distortions in their coverage of Nicole Kidman. Day should know, given his wife Wendy Australian publicist since 1987. has been Nicole's

his January 9, 2003 column. I'm going to quote from "In the past year alone, from New Idea in January, Kidman faced a cancer scare in Woman's Day in February, signed the richest movie deal ever a terrifying panic attack went to hospital suffering in New Idea in March, with Russell Crowe in Mexico in July, had a secret affair followed by a shocking love triangle Ben Affleck, Crowe and Tobey Maguire involving a wild night with in Woman's Day in July,

with former husband Tom Cruise had a holiday from hell in New Idea in October, and his new woman Penelope Cruz while promising to marry Crowe was involved in a sex scandal in New Idea in November, dated Vin Diesel in December to an astonishing secret pact while at the same time agreeing and presumably the New Idea reporter, between Tom, Penelope

LAUGHTER who quoted every word directly."

Wooo! "All that in a year, in any of it. Not a jot." and not a skerrick of truth Day concluded, and I quote again, have bottom lines to protect, "James Packer and Kerry Stokes any commitment to the truth but to do so by abandoning They should be ashamed." is unconscionable. Mark Day works for Rupert Murdoch - Now remember, the king of trash and someone, who along with Kerry Packer, magazine industry for decades dominated Australia's until selling out in 1998. These days, the trash mags, and Stokes, controlled by private equity and Day still says, "The situation has not improved." and Channel Nine finally last year, Whilst James Packer exited ACP for much of the past decade it was he and Kerry Stokes

who were also responsible prime time rubbish for serving up complete and A Current Affair, on Today Tonight for Seven and Nine respectively. of the Australian media, These are not just Wild West extremes in the Internet ether, crazy bloggers buried

most widely watched TV shows these are Australia's and biggest selling magazines, and the powerful media families the same treatment to each other. don't dish out on October 12, 1998 James Packer put out a press release to Kate Fischer was over. announcing his engagement Big story. Murdoch paper the following day. Not a word was reported in any In keeping with a cosy agreement between Australia's two most powerful families private lives. not to report on each other's not reporting it. That's called hiding the truth, struggle with the truth Sometimes these big media companies

to their own operations. when it comes confiscated my recorder Kerry Stoke's spin doctors at last year's Seven Network AGM. are refusing to provide And still to this day of the public AGM. a transcript or audio file The truth is what was said, why hide any formal record of it? the latest edition of Private Eye, Similarly,

has three stories on the notorious the British magazine

by Rupert Murdoch's British tabloids. phone tapping scandal that the $1.5 million settlement Private Eye reveals Association boss Gordon Taylor with Professional Footballers by the full News UK Board was approved and that included James Murdoch. a single word on the scandal. The Sun is still yet to report to publish the truth. It wantonly refuses to happily break the law The Sun is prepared

on others getting private information but won't report police, newspaper, and parliamentary revelations about its own dirty tactics. Even worse, Rupert Murdoch has just reported Rebekah Wade

CEO of his British newspapers when she was editor of The News Of The World and The Sun when much of the illegal phone tapping was going on. One thing's for sure, beat-ups, concoctions and sensationalism sells. When Rupert Murdoch bought The Sun in 1969 for an initial ?250,000 he gloated that turning a boring, pro-Labour broadsheet into a screaming tabloid left it delivering profits ?250,000 a week within six months. 40 years later, many a profitable untruth has been published by the world's biggest selling daily newspaper. I've had about five hours of exchanges with Rupert Murdoch

at ten different News Corp shareholder meetings since 1999. In 2007, he wouldn't even admit that he might never have been elected to the board of News Corporation at an AGM over the previous 55 years. In 2002, I ran for News Corp's board and Rupert completely censored the platform, refusing to even tell shareholders my age. Something that hadn't happened in any of my other

35 public company board tilts. That's Rupert for you. Propagandist-in-chief to justify invading Iraq to promote democracy. But a fair election on the News Corp board with all candidates explaining themselves? Forget about it.

My final observation is similar to Jonathan's. The media is obsessed about scoops, not the truth. As Peter Costello writes in his updated memoir to be released this week, "I was offered many exclusives by the media for the retirement announcement. The media offers favourable coverage for an exclusive. But if someone else gets the scoop, the rest of the media will often ignore it or punish them with a negative story."

Indeed, The Age has produced a series of amazing exclusives this year about a 50% owned and Reserve Bank chaired note printing company

paying millions in facilitation fees into bank accounts in offshore tax havens like the Bahamas. After the AWB revelations, this was an incredible story that The Age has broken. Yet the rest of the media has barely followed it up because it's not their yarn. There's been a couple of pages in The Herald Sun on page 30-something and that's about it. If the media were fair dinkum about the truth they would get behind The Age's amazing revelations and go with it,

but they're more interested in just finding their own scoop rather than grabbing and expanding on a very, very significant story. Similarly, the media is up in arms this week about business doing cash for access deals with political parties. Yet the media are forever doing positive coverage for scoops deals

with their own sources. And if one outlet gives positive coverage, the rival paper or TV show will do a hatchet job. It's so often got little to do with actually telling the public the truth. The truth really doesn't stand much of a chance with the media.

If the trashy mags aren't making it up, someone else is illegally bugging you, Rupert Murdoch will personally censor any attempt to bring democracy to his News Corp, Kerry Stokes won't even confirm what was said

at his public company AGM,

and if you have a go at any of these precious turkeys they'll probably sue you for defamation

or assault you live on national television. LAUGHTER Now we've barely touched on cash for comment. I'm going to leave Burnside to deal with that tawdry, sordid episode. How on earth Burnside can finish up on this side of the debate

after prosecuting Jones and Laws over cash for comment is beyond me. Good luck, Julian. APPLAUSE Julian Burnside. That's the great thing about Stephen, he knows so many facts and he tells you all of them, he can't help himself. And yet he sits there saying that journalists can't be trusted with the truth. Of course they can. I was a bit diffident about undertaking this enterprise tonight because I didn't know which side I was going to be on. LAUGHTER My diffidence was increased when I learned who our our opponents were going to be, because they're all media experts and I was horrified to hear that they were going to be speaking

in support of the proposition.

I would've thought it would be reversed.

Now, I don't hold any candle for the media. In the last decade, I've had the rather uncomfortable experience of being attacked in the press by people like Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson. Sort of like being mauled by dead sheep... LAUGHTER doesn't hurt, but you really feel you need a shower afterwards.

LAUGHTER But it's quite interesting when you think about it. Given that these three in support of the proposition are all media experts, they haven't put up much of an argument on their case

because they really wanted to be on our side. That's quite clear. They're just shooting at the wrong target. Now my training urges me to try and explain briefly

what it is we are saying and what we're not saying. We're not saying that every part of the media tells the truth all the time. That would be ridiculous for the reasons that Catherine pointed out in her post-modern spray. It's absolutely right. No-one tells the truth all the time and it would be ridiculous to expect the media to all the time.

Really, the point is that the other side, having gone through the entertainment of giving us examples of falsehoods, misleading nonsense and so on that you hear in the media, none for which they will personally take responsibility, mark you, but they haven't identified any important truth that has remained undisclosed. Even Stephen Mayne with his frustrations with certain boards has been able to reveal the truth, and he does relentlessly,

without being provoked, and all the better for it. He makes our case. Now, let's not forget the famous occasions when seriously unpopular truths have been revealed by the media. Remember the coverage of the Vietnam War? Those of you who are old enough to remember it. A war that was brought into complacent living rooms and which gradually shifted public opinion

to the point that they thought the war was wrong. And remember especially that terrible photograph of the naked child running in flames from her burning village? That was the photograph that no-one could hide from. That told a truth that no-one could deny. Remember the very recent example of the UK MPs expenses rorts. People had been trying for years to get the truth of that.

The MPs had been resisting FOI requests. But eventually the press managed to get it, the media succeeded in revealing the truth, and Douglas Hogg's boat will never again be dredged at public expense and Jackie Smith's husband is going to have to pay for his own pornography in the future. The saga of Dr Haneef. In the midst of an atmosphere of xenophobia and racism and fear and panic about security,

fearless reporting by The Australian newspaper revealed a truth that we would never had discovered without the media. And remember the Cornelia Rau affair? The government was very unhappy to have the public learn that a girl who looked just like one of us - blonde and pretty - had been held in immigration detention illegally for over a year and the truth got worse when the ABC's Four Corners programme showed her being bundled

naked and afraid out of her quarters, begging plaintively for her teddy bear. We learnt the truth in that about the horror of indefinite detention in prisons in the desert and the callousness of the private prison operators who run the detention centres. I know by instinct that the audience here tonight probably came in feeling disposed against the case

that we have tried to make. Because, like you, I know how bad the press can be at times. But reflect on this, where would we be without the media? Would the world be better or worse without the media? Imagine life without The Sydney Morning Herald, without Crikey, without The Mayne Report, without Media Watch. Imagine life without Radio National. Our access to the truth would shrink dramatically.

We would be reduced to gossip and history books to get an idea of what was going on in an increasingly complex world. Do you think you would know more truth without the media or less? Clearly, you'd know less. Don't be too much distracted by the rubbish component in the media.

That's inevitable. That doesn't disprove our case in the least. Take Media Watch as a good example of this. It was terrific that Jonathan was prepared to come and actually argue the case that he did. I thought that was really a good start. Tremendous. Last night's Media Watch was some of the most lacerating television I've seen. It was fantastic. A cracker of a program. It revealed on the one hand, the rubbish component of Kyle Thingumabob and Jackie O doing the most dreadful tasteless stunt with a girl. Thinking that a lie detector test was needed, perhaps that tells you where they stand on the truth. Shocking. Shocking behaviour by those two. But Jonathan Holmes brought us the truth and not only showed us exactly what had gone on and what form they had in the past, he also reminded us on the way through

of the need for decency in media coverage.

And remember ten years ago, the same program, ten years ago this year, revealed that John Laws had surprisingly changed his attitude to the banks and then revealed in a subsequent program that John Laws had been receiving large wads of cash from the banks. Now, who could forget Alan Jones in that? Believe me I've tried to forget him.

LAUGHTER He's dedicated to the truth. He said at the enquiry, "I want to say emphatically that those arrangements have never influenced what I've said or not said. And John Laws said there was nothing sinister, dishonest or untoward about my arrangement with the banks. I was paid to speak my mind, not to change my mind." And even the prospect of increased pay wouldn't deflect him from the truth. On 24 February, 1998, he wrote to his manager Harry M Miller saying, "Dear, Harry. I notice the press release from Walker Corporation

talking about the net profit before taxation of $18.6 million. An increase of 107%.

They're boasting about all of that, are we being paid enough? Let's face it, they wouldn't be in the public place with moi. Tell me what you think." I was really tempted to tell him what I thought. But he told us that when he wrote that note he did not have in mind the fact that his contract with Walker Corporation included a share price incentive. And, of course, we believe him because Alan Jones is an honest man and like others in the media we can trust him to tell the truth. But, of course, whatever view you take about the truth the only real question is the time at which the truth was revealed.

And by the end of what Media Watch had done in relation to cash for comment and by the end of the enquiry,

which was provoked by the Media Watch reports, we all had a pretty fair idea of what the truth was regardless of what Alan Jones said. The rubbish and the falsehoods and the bad taste that we see in the media is just a necessary evil, but without the media we would never get the truth.

Now, the thing that worries us often is that other people's idea of the truth doesn't correspond to our own. During the recent unpleasantness called the Howard years, the press very often... LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE ..the press very often reported a range of opinion that tended to be skewed in the general direction of the Howard Government. It's easy to identify members of the press

who were leaders of that same fan club. But even despite the extraordinary biasing influence of a government that was pretty much dedicated to the idea of turning the press to its own view of the world, nevertheless the truth about most important matters got out. And without the press, frankly, we wouldn't have had the news at all. Trust me, don't trust them. You can trust the press to tell the truth. APPLAUSE Well, that was Julian Burnside arguing that the media can be trusted to tell the truth. And his team was certainly persuasive. A pre-debate poll showed that 64% of the audience

thought that the media cannot be trusted, but after hearing both sides of the argument the audience opinion had shifted and Burnside's team was voted the winner 46% to 45% with the rest undecided.

Well, if you'd like to see that debate in full, including arguments from Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes and the ABC's managing director Mark Scott, join me next Thursday evening at 5:30 here on ABC2 for Fora: Extended Mix. Well, electric vehicles have existed since the 19th century but they've never been mass produced. So as alternatives to oil become increasingly desirable, is it time to start seriously considering a major shift towards electric cars? Shai Agassi thinks it is. He's been researching the practicalities of electric car production and use. Delivering the first of the 2009 Alfred Deakin Innovation Lectures in Melbourne recently, he presented his vision for the future. My name is Shai Agassi I am the founder and CEO of Better Place. I am an imagineer. I imagine the future and engineer towards it. And a lot of people have this tendency to do engineering forward, in which case we're bound by what we see around us.

And a lot of people tend to do imagining... I've been blamed to be only imagining which is through the Disney thing - hope for the best and it will happen. I don't believe in either. I don't believe in imagining without engineering. I don't believe in engineering within the constraints of what we do today. You have to have both if you want to solve big problems and if you can't apply the methods that got us into trouble to getting us out of trouble. We're very lucky to have a situation today where we have created a glorious disaster. We have the entire planet climate changing on us at speeds that we have not seen before. We are running out of oil. The entire car industry is falling apart. The economy is in a global recession. Jobs are short. And it's such a great opportunity because you can't solve one of these elements and ignore the other ones. We cannot solve for the car industry by creating more cars of the past. That won't work.

We cannot solve climate by destroying the economy even more. We can't save the economy but then destroy the planet because ten years from now, what good would it do us? So we have to start thinking in holistic ways and we have to start asking ourselves the real big tough questions and we have to solve for them at scale. to go build one electric car. It's not good enough to build one beautiful green building.

We have to start asking the real big question. So I got tackled with an enormous question, one of those open-ended conversational starters you shouldn't throw at a 40-year-old because they create a midlife crisis. How are you going to make the world a better place by 2020? Open-ended but limited in time. And I came back from that question in a World Economic Forum in 2005 with another question in my mind. How would you run an entire country without gasoline, but without altering the way we live?

Not by forcing people not to drive, not by building the way we build cities. But in a way that is pragmatic, based on the science that we have, off the shelf, not in some lab, in some research somewhere down the road, without inventing new economics and working within the confines of consumer tastes as we know them. How would you run an entire country without gasoline? It took me the better part of two years to come up with an answer. I went down every possible mistake. I started thinking it would be biofuels and I ran through six months of assessing every possible biofuels and realising at the end of the day, with all the incentives and everything that was put in place in places like the US, for example, we generate five days worth of driving from biofuels

and the other 360... You know how we say there's 360 days in a year? It's the other five that we do with biofuels and the other 360 we do with oil. That's with massive investments

to the tune of about $90 billion over the last five years. And realising that in this case it just doesn't scale.

I went down hydrogen. I was absolutely positively sure it will be hydrogen. Only to realise that that's probably the stupidest idea ever invented by mankind. You take an electron, you pack it with a proton that's 2,000 times bigger, you send it all the way to the car, you build a whole new infrastructure at hundred billions of dollars, only to strip the proton from the electron and use the electron at the car. That's not a smart idea given the fact that we've built the grid, man's greatest accomplishment, that actually knows how to send the electron without the proton. In that case, why do you pack it? That brought me to the idea that you actually... The only way to do is by going directly to electrons. And you need to build an electric car and an infrastructure that will solve the issue for an electric car. That created our base hypothesis. In other words, we translated the question or how do you run an entire country without gasoline to the following hypothesis. It will sound...almost stupid in its simplicity but interestingly enough, nobody has ever answered that hypothesis before. If you will give consumers, as they come to the car dealership, a car that is more convenient that costs less than a gasoline car, by and large, they will buy it. At which point, they will be willing to pay the same amount of money per kilometre to drive that car as gasoline, as petrol, in the station. Now, everybody goes like this - sounds logic. Yet every attempt in the past has gone against that hypothesis. We figured out that cars limited by the size of the battery, as a result of the fact that it's limited by the size of the fact that battery lets you build a small car that will be a bit lighter,

let's give up two seats, make it tiny, sort of like a golf cart, only with a roof. Then it has limited range to drive

but because we put the battery inside and we'll make a small number of them, it will cost $40-50,000. So we ask the consumer to go buy a car that is less convenient and costs more, then we got surprised by the fact that they just didn't do it.

Very few of them did and we got surprised by the fact that there is no adoption which was proof to the fact that everybody wants to buy oil. Hence, we got to stay on oil. We came back with the exact opposite set of questions. How would you make a car that goes on a battery much like the one that is depleting from my jacket... Sorry. How would you go in a car that goes on a battery that's limited by today's science to about 120 miles, 100-120 miles, that would still be more convenient than a gasoline car? As you can see, this is a fractal of questions

that we started to unfold over the last four years. We found out that the answer is actually in infrastructure, much like every solution we know today that we use on a day-to-day basis, the answer comes in the form of infrastructure. We didn't start with Google, we started with fibre in the ground. We didn't start with cell phones, we started with towers.

We didn't start with cars, we started with gas stations before major adoption has happened. And so, when you start thinking about it, why would we get a new form

to be the prevailing form of transportation without any infrastructure to support it? In the ground before we start. Now, we know the limitations on that car, we figured out you need to be able

to create more convenience than a gasoline car, and so the definition of convenience came to us in the form of the opposite of inconvenience. When you buy a car, you want to drive it all the time, everywhere you go, otherwise you would use a bus or a train. The only inconvenient moment you have

is going into a gas station, filling up your car with petrol. Is it petrol or gasoline here?

Petrol, you fill it up with petrol. How many times do you do that? When you ask most drivers, they'll tell you roughly about once a week. So the number, the magic number is 50 times a year. When you ask them, "How long does it take you to go through the gas station, the petrol station?" They'll tell you, "About five minutes." That's a lie, it's about 7-8 minutes but we forget the entry,

the exit, the credit card and the ice-cream moment, cos those are good moments, they're not bad moments. So we remember five minutes, 50 times a year,

and that became our bar. We have to create a car that will stop for less than 50 times a year in less than five minutes, on a battery that can take you about 120 miles, about 200km, 160-200km. And we came up with an answer, I won't go into all the details, but it actually is a duel strategy to bring energy into your car. The first is the longest extension cable on earth. It connects the grid that brings electricity to your home and your work and to downtowns everywhere to the parking lot - it's the last foot that was missing. In a sense, wherever we park a car, we will have a charge spot, so that when you stop your car, you plug your car in, and when you come back to your car, magic happens, it's always full. It's not a very high-end magic because it's called the socket, we've seen it in the home. It's a very secure one, we make sure that kids can't get electrons into their body using the same cable. We make sure that we know how to flatten the curve on loading, so that when all the cars plug in at eight o'clock in the morning, lights still stay on in the building cos we flatten the curve on who gets to charge when, but by the end of the day, what we created was an edge to the existing grid, that makes sure we can charge all cars, so that when you come back to your car, it is always full.

Imagine that contract with BP or Chevron or Exxon, that whenever you parked your car, they'll be a truck that will zoom in and fill you up.

That'll be a good contract, right? That means we need to solve for the other situation, the exception, which is the long drive. The drive that I go more than 200km and I don't want to stop and charge for about two hours, which is what today's electric vehicles have asked you to do, cos if you stop and charge for an hour or two hours, that's a bus ride, that's not a car ride. If you do it every 200km, it's annoying,

and if it's annoying, it's not convenient buying that car. and so you will not even consider to put energy into the car So we figured out the second way is to switch the battery. from about two centuries ago. We actually took that technology

from one place to another, When you wanted to take a horse ride you would go on the carriage, really, really fast, your horses would ride

you would get to a stop, and you keep going. they'll switch the horses Instead of feeding them and waiting to rest, so that we keep going. for about four or five hours for them is we need to switch the battery. So what we figured out How do you switch the battery? it looks like a car wash, You come into a station, a full battery comes in your depleted battery goes out,

and you keep driving. which we imagined two years ago That machine has actually been engineered and demonstrated in Japan two months ago and the amount of time it takes to do that entire switch, entry to exit, is 40 seconds. You sit in your car, your dashboard becomes a retail spot,

so you can order your sandwich and your bottle of Coke... a minute later, ..and when you come out you're on the road again. So if you want to go 600km, you need to do two stops, they'll take you two minutes - than one gas station - it's actually shorter and if you're driving with kids, at least two more times you'd actually need to stop we can't take care of. for the other tank

you more convenience than gasoline. In other words, we have given to switch the battery? How often would you stop Probably 10-15 times a year, you'll stop for gas. less than the number of times more than 200km in one stop. It's the times you'll drive Less than five. How many minutes would you spend? charge spots plus gas stations - The combination of the two - the same amount of money costs roughly to build for a country or a region as gas stations used to cost for cars. In other words, the cost of distribution of energy is less than the cost of distribution for petrol today. That was Shai Agassis explaining how electric cars could be run. To hear more of his ideas, go to our website at: have a society responsibility Next up, does the private sector to donate to the arts? Michael Lynch certainly thinks so. arts organisations He has run some of most important in Australia and the UK, and the Sydney Theatre Company. including the Sydney Opera House

to the ABC board. He was recently appointed Arts And Public Life lecture, Here delivering a Currency House to raise money he describes the efforts required of London's Southbank Centre, for a major refurbishment until recently. where he was chief executive It was four years and a week ago an article by their arts editor that the Evening Standard ran Norman Lebrecht. and deputy editor of the paper, Why Do So many Aussies Run The Show? It was headed And it finished, "Aussies go home." communications channels Due to the extraordinary England and Australia, that now exist between it was reprinted in The Australian, I hope they're not in the room - then some bright person - August art gatherings invited Lebrecht to speak at without any attempt in Sydney and Melbourne in the article to respond. to allow people referred to the perfect opportunity to respond, Today provides me with as I can with glee report on the Evening Standard, that last week Norman lost his job with the new editor, having fallen out Tattler magazine, who's about 31, the former editor of

in English journalism and has a fearsome reputation oligarch owner, Alexander Lebedev. and the Standard's Russian the biggest stir in Australia, Seven years away, that article caused it caused little stir in Britain. but I have to tell you,

asked about it here. My wife and I are still being

between competitive arts centres" Norman - "An unhealthy congruence was his bizarre contention. it pretty well sand without trace. But in the you know, Evening Standard on 6th July 2005, It was published in the London had won the 2012 Olympics the same day it was announced that the London Underground was bombed and the next morning, with 52 dead. I closed Royal Festival Hall It was also in that week that for the first time in 54 years had taken me to Britain, to commence the task that of the hall to begin a two-year transformation ?118 million, that would end up costing

at that time, AU$260 million. with a huge party We closed the building for the staff, artists and friends, regretfully, including 200 people that,

we'd made redundant that week. that night I only got one abusive comment who had left of her own accord and it was from a New Zealander some months before. So off we went. the South Bank is a large site, To those that don't know it, 21 acres to be precise. from Westminster Bridge Running along the Thames to Waterloo Bridge, ferris wheel that is the London Eye, it contains one leg of the huge Hayward, the Queen Elizabeth Hall plus the Royal Festival Hall, the and the Purcell Room. It's in a historic site, for the 1951 Festival of Britain, having been the venue is the only remaining structure. of which Royal Festival Hall It runs a program of artistic activities across music, in all its forms, dance, literature, circus,

visual arts and anything else you can imagine.

Indoors and out, free and ticketed, 363 days a year. of ?43 million a year It has a turnover, in 2008/2009 comes from the Arts Council, of which about 50% commercial income and fundraising. and the rest from box-office income, was to turn the precinct The idea of the renovation project towards the river. that was no piece of genius, For anyone who had been here, 54 years looking the other way, but to the British, who'd spent it seemed to work, shopping, drinking precinct creating a new commercial, eating, that Britain is now in which now, despite the torrid times turns over ?40 million a year, to South Bank Centre returning almost ?7 million a year to their artistic program. as a contribution between 2005 and 2007, In those two years, itself, we completely restored the hall fundamentally changing the acoustic, creating a new concert platform, and its large public areas transforming the hall into a thing of beauty, from very worn-out shabbiness something akin the early '50s and '60s. of what my team was able to to I am immensely proud to bring this place back to life. It was done in a low-key way, behind the scenes, without any big dramas. Cut forward to the reopening in 2007, huge public interest when the opening was greeted with and critical acclaim. this other article, I'm not going to talk about very nice article but there was another around the opening week in 2007 which talked about the project, what had been achieved, what we'd been able to do in terms of the acoustic, then drew my fire on a number of issues - the difficulties of getting corporate Britain on-side with the project, specific issues I had with the project to that point, and in particular what I had referred to as obscene, the idea that a group of British businesses had paid ?50 million for Damien Hirst's diamond-studded skull. At that point, I was feeling, it's all been good so far

but it's time to raise the prickle factor.

Cut forward to the second week of April this year, when I prepared to leave the South Bank Centre. My next big headline - "They're a bunch of bastards", once again screaming from the Evening Standard. In these august halls, it was an error to use that word in the British environment. I can see that now, not because I recoil from the sentiment, but because it drew attention away

from the serious point I had wanted to make and because it brought out some grovelling responses from the arts industry. More about that in a minute. The comment came when I was asked to reflect for a second time on my time at Royal Festival Hall

and the South Bank Centre and what I said was that my greatest disappointment had been corporate Britain's failure to back worthy causes at a time of unprecedented excess, and that those who had benefited from huge salaries and bonuses must return more to society. "At a moment when corporate Britain was making more money than they'd ever made, they were prepared to leave it to the individuals, the public and the audiences of this place." I stand by that. Each year at bonus time, we would read reports of the quantities of Cristal champagne being sprayed around restaurants by the young turks of the city, of the flashy cars and apartments they purchased. Meanwhile their bosses were stashing much more serious sums.

I singled out Goldman Sachs because it had been reported the week before I left that despite the havoc wrought by the banking sector, they were about to again award themselves vast bonuses. The point I wanted to emphasise, that I was not aware of a single contribution to our fundraising from the City finance bosses and their firms. Instead, it was private individuals, including small sums from 20,000 ordinary people who felt great affection for Royal Festival Hall,

plus the usual array of trusts and foundations who contributed nearly all the money for the cause. There was an exception in that I had received ?1 million from Shell,

a multinational corporation, and JP Morgan, an American bank. And that was Michael Lynch. And if you'd like to hear the rest of his address, head to our website where you can watch it in full, or download it for later. Well, finally today, when a piece by the street artist Banksy sold for ?102,000 at Sotheby's in 2007, it was clear that stencilled graffiti had entered the mainstream.

But this form of graffiti has a long and underground history. Here, the author of Stencil Nation, Russell Howze, provides an introduction to this fascinating art form. So these are the aerosol pioneers. These are the folks that influenced Banksy, or at least influenced a lot of us, a lot of the artists that are doing stencils today. We'll start with John Fekner. In the 1970s, he started taking spray cans and cutting out big huge stencils of words. He called it single word poetry. And he is the master of locations. One of the things that makes Banksy so good, there are a lot of things that make his stencil art really good, but one thing is that he picks a very clever location most of the time.

And so John Fekner was always about locations. He was really good at picking locations. Early liberated billboard there from 1980. He mostly worked in the New York area. And he's a musician, predominantly. He's not a stencil artist, really. And then in Paris, in France again in the 1980s, Black Larat started stencilling, he just had a book come out last year, and is almost instantaneously, he was stencilling, and then literally there are at least 15-20 people doing stencils. Jef Aerosol, I featured as one of the aerosol pioneers. And this is a photograph from one of he and his work in 1985. And he is still stencilling today, and he's one of the godfathers. So, that's a piece from 2006. That is on a piece of paper. So, basically, in his studio he's done like this beautiful two-four colour piece. And when you do stencils on paper, you can roll it up in a tube and you can hop a bus. You don't have to worry about bending up your stencils,

or you don't have to worry about them sticking together, and then when you go into the town and you just mix up a little wheat paste and put them up. So, again, in the early 1980s, all of these artists were seen as punks with totally destroyed clothing, they would stencil their clothes, punk bands would come through town promoting their shows. They would stencil the streets promoting their shows, promoting their bands. Scott Williams here in San Francisco was noticing all of that,

and there is an artist here, punk artist here, named Car Crash. And she was making stencils and she kind of gave him the basics and he just instantly became obsessed. This is one of his earlier pieces. He is still stencilling today. He lives down in the Mission District. He's doing one of a kind books. He works with airbrush. He inhaled a little too much spray paint over the decades and doesn't like the smell of it any more. That's what he says. So, this is an airbrushed piece. It's really small. This is probably only about 15 inches tall, but he is one of the great examples of the mad, obsessed stencil artist. Again, we don't just take a pencil and write an illustration on a piece of paper, we spend hours and hours cutting these things out, and then we think about spray painting them or putting pigment through them. It's just a different process, often laborious. Some of Scott's work here, it's a little more simple but still just crazy stuff. I was also tipped off that activists here in San Francisco, DS Black, he had been photographing graffiti since the 1980s, for decades, so I tracked him down and started asking him nicely if he could submit some photographs from the 1980s and 1990s for the book. And so he went through actual slides and found a slide scanner and actually scanned some up from me. This is from 1989. MAN: He still photographs stencils like that? Yes.

Yeah, he's still photographing graffiti. He does all kinds. I think he does like the concrete scrawls. He photographs all kinds of stuff. And a lot of times he puts his feet in for scale, so you can have an idea of how big the pieces, especially if it's on the ground. And this is from 1990 from the first Iraq War. Still ringing true today. So, the next section that we'll go into are the artist themselves, featured artists, maybe about a dozen. This section is going to be in alphabetical order with two artists per slide.

So, we'll start off with Adam 5100 and Amy Rice. Adam is an artist here in San Francisco as well. And I love every time I see this slide, I love the fact that these two photographs are together, because, again, they're using the same tool. They're using cut-out stencils and spray paint. But they have very different ways of expressing themselves with pictures. Adam's always got shows around, he's always doing art exhibits,

so if you're interested in checking that out, his website is in the book and easy to find on the Internet. And then we have Arofish and Banksy. Very similar styles, they're both from the UK, of course. The Arofish has a more activist angle on it. He actually went through a phase where he was going into warzones doing stencils - this one's from Lebanon. I also have photographs from Iraq and from Palestine as well.

And kind of sketchy being a stencil artist in militarised areas. I don't know if you were reading the quote,

but his stencil was in a tube and he realised that it looked like a missile launcher, and there were like snipers in towers above him. So he decided to walk behind a bush to unroll his stencil. He had no idea if he would get shot or killed. And then of course Banksy, everyone knows about Banksy. Again, he adds all the elements together. He adds the politics of it, the illegality of it, the location of the image, and he just has a crazy sense of humour that it seems like everybody pretty much gets all of his funny jokes. And then we have Christine and Hao. This book, this stencil on this book cover right here is from Christine, and he has this very populist angle

on doing stencil art and doing art in general. He just recently started doing exhibits, gallery shows. Hao is one of the last true, die hard, hardcore, punk stencil artists, he keeps it real, he doesn't use computers, he doesn't do the photo-realistic thing, he has this really tribal tattoo style, freehand style, and he just cuts stencils out of it. And last I heard, he doesn't really do shows, he just keeps it real on the street. And then we have Janet Bikegirl and Klutch. Janet Bikegirl - one of the more obsessed stencil artists who likes doing bicycles.

Her goal in life is to make a stencil of every style of bike ever invented. And, of course, now there are folks all across the world tricking out bikes and making tall bikes, chopper bikes, so she's a little behind. And Klutch, this is the photograph on the slide, you see the drips in the background, so, again, he's got the drips down. And he's a skateboarder, he doesn't ride a bike. Logan Hicks and Im City. Logan Hicks, one of the masters of the photo-realistic stencil style, he works very large, I mean, like his pieces are ten feet across and six feet tall. Crazy stencil work, when you look really close, you know, like his bridge work, the bridges, the way that he cuts it out, he's just got this very unique style. Totally amazing to see his original art work. Im City and Poland, they use modular stencils and they make really nice cityscapes, we're going to see another photograph from them further in the presentation. And then we have Peat Wollaeger and Pixnit. They have really unique illustrative styles, so, Peat Wollaeger, for me it's in the eyes, you always know it's a Peat stencil because of the eyes. And he's got this crazy thing where, this is Keith Haring, right, so when he did this mural in Art Puzzle in Miami, he actually dressed up like Keith Haring. And he looked a lot like, it was crazy.

And he had a lucidor phase, where he was stencilling wrestling masks, and, of course, he's got this whole lucidor costume that he wears when he does the shows. Pixnit, she calls it urban beautification. She creates these beautiful ornamental illustrations and then cuts them out as a stencil

and then finds ugly pieces of concrete to stencil them on. Makes things pretty. And then Kim McCarthy and the Street Art Workers. Some of you may know about the Street Art Workers because a lot of time their posters show up here in san Francisco,

it's just a clandestine group of artists, activists, who submit art work to an address for a theme, and the theme for this one was corporate owned telecommunications. And then the art gets redistributed, it gets collated and redistributed back to the artist and then you get, like, ten, 12 different pieces that you can put up in your city. And then finally, the last slide features artists Swoon and Tiago. Swoon is another amazing artist.

I don't know if any of you know her work, but she works more with the cut-out paper technique. But she does accent her cut-outs with stencils, so as you see with the little red butterflies and the little red flowers, those are actual stencils. She has pieces up all around San Francisco,

15th and Julian, there's an alleyway behind that church that has some of her work,

24th and Mission, there's a beautiful, huge, like, ten feet long, maybe ten feet tall, beautiful, Day Of The Dead influenced piece that's up there. And there's a couple of other places. Ask me, I'll tell you. And then Tiago, another bicycle artist, he's a professional zoo-bomber, if that actually exists,

that might be an ironic phrase. But he's deep in the outlaw bike scene up in Portland and so he makes a lot of really great stencils about bikes. I have a couple of his works on vinyl here,

and I have one of his stickers right here.

Oh, and then this little teddy bear, that's his piece. So, I mentioned DS Black as an early documentarian. A lot of the stencil books that are out today don't really feature the people that photograph them and I consider them important citizens of Stencil Nation, so I reached out to some people who love to photograph stencils

and asked if I could present their work and these are some of the examples. This is David Drexler in Madison, Wisconsin.

David is a musician, he's not a stencil artist, but, of course, after every thaw, after every winter thaw, up there when it's springtime in Madison,

people start making stencils. And he likes photographing them. And then in the United Kingdom, we have Duncan Cumming, he is a stencil artist but he also has this amazing website on the Internet just full of graffiti, not just stencil graffiti, but full of graffiti. represented on there, He has a lot of Banksy's works of Banksy's stuff he is one of the main documenters and here's some examples from him. we have Martin Reis, And then up in Canada who is a professional photographer,

because he always has a camera, fortunate for him, around with a camera, he's always walking with Janet Bikegirl, and he became friends what a stencil was, you know, he realised his bike around Toronto, and, just when he was riding started noticing them everywhere. and author Russell Howze That was stencil graffiti enthusiast in San Francisco. speaking at the Booksmith bookshop I hope you enjoyed the show. And that's all for today,

entire presentation You can see Russell Howze's versions of everything as well as complete that's been on tonight's show

on our website at - Have a browse while you're there, you might click onto. you never know what fascinating talk next Thursday evening at 5:30 And don't forget to join me for more of the IQ2 debate right here on here on ABC2, on the media and the truth. Enjoy your evening. I'm Tony Jones. Closed Captions by CSI