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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  June 2, 2018 10:45pm-11:01pm BST

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as the are abandoning their position as the party of meritocracy, says priti patel. formic development secretary. to be absolutely certain, ijust looked up the definition of meritocracy and the definition of people, the holding of power by people, the holding of power by people of merit, the class of educated or able people. so she is saying, the foreign minister, and there may be an element of sour grapes because she lost herjob, she is saying the party has no merit. people have absolutely no merit and she cites all sorts of examples to back up her claim. she said there is scant evidence of meritocracy or freedom within the party, by contrast she says margaret thatcher was in tune with the hopes and aspirations of the british people. this lot are not, they are very lazy in their battle for ideas with the labour party. do you think she has a point? priti patel was sacked last year from her position as
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international development secretary because there were a number of meetings she had with israeli officials. she didn't tell the foreign office about them, so she basically went a little bit of rogue, lost herjob. she is a powerful voice in the back benches but i am surprised to see this interview here. she is really, really slating her own party in a dramatic way. i think this fits in again with the peace we started within the observer about michael gove being a better leader than theresa may, another massive dig at theresa may, another massive dig at theresa may's leadership. i think to say your own party is very, very lazy will be seen as hugely disloyal. i don't think priti patel... she got away with it when chicle gum the nasty party. from a position of power. —— when she called them a nasty party. position of power. —— when she called them a nasty partyi position of power. —— when she called them a nasty party. i don't think priti patel will have a bunch of cheerleaders around her saying, great interview, that's how we all feel right now. it highlights the divisions in the party, notjust an brexit. it highlights massive
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unhappiness. and divisions in the labour party as well. because there hasn't been a great deal of domestic policy, i don't think conservatives have been able to project their ideas very well, everything is tied up ideas very well, everything is tied up with brexit. i think she is highlighting a bit of a stagnation in the party in general. that is a really good point. that's why the conservatives are trying to get the younger members involved and have lots of think tanks and drinks began the members. nando's! it feeds into that argument. we have run out of time. thank you both. that is it for the papers, jon and kate will be back 11:30pm for another look at the papers. next on bbc news, it's time for meet the author. two political murders more than three decades apart and a web of conspiracy or so some say. the shape of the ruins takes us into the cauldron of politics in colombia and assassinations in 1914 in 1948 that became emblems
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for much of the violence and chaos that enveloped the country. the authorjuan gabriel vasquez is also a character in his own book, exploring the history of these bloody events in the labyrinthine story where the truth is elusive in a dark and conspiratorial world. welcome. what made you decide to put yourself in the novel, as a way of bringing the story to life? yes. the origin of the novel has a very personal direct importance for me. in the year 2005, much as told in the book, my twin daughters were being born in bogota and right at that
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time i met this doctor who invited me to his house, telling me that he had something to show me, he had something that nobody else had in the world. he wanted to show me this mysterious thing. it turned out to be a vertebra ofjorge eliecer gaitan, a colombian liberal leader, murdered in 1948. and not only that but also a part of the skull of rafael uribe uribe, another colombian leader, murdered in 1914. so having these bones in my hand and then going back to the hospital to take my girls in the same hands, that was the origin of the novel that suggested the idea of the inheritance of violence. i thought how could i protect these girls from the past violence of the country? and it was such a potent thing, that
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i decided that inventing a narrator to tell this would just ruin the whole idea. you couldn't take yourself out of the story after that experience. exactly, exactly. i had to putjuan gabriel vasquez as a narrator in order not to undermine, i guess, the personal importance the whole thing had for me. one of the powerful things about this story is that sense of, you know, a piece of information being passed and a quest beginning. yes. which becomes something that has to be satisfied, it has to be completed. it can't be left. yes. the idea of investigation is very important in the novel. my novels are always built in the shape of a quest. but this one much more so than the other ones because it became an obsession for me personally. to know, first of all, how had these human remains, really, the human ruins of a title, how had they been inherited from generation to generation until they ended up in the hands of this person who was able
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to show them to me? but also the whole novel turns around mysteries, historical mysteries, places where history has lied to us. and so we have to try to use storytelling to shed some light on these dark places. the two impulses i suppose that collide, and people will be familiar with this in other settings, first of all the urge and responsibility to dissect something rationally, to establish the history. but the second thing is a constant attraction to conspiracy theories, to mysteries, to dark explanations which, to some extent, we all have, to some degree. i agree. some, of course, much more than others. i agree, yes. one of the main tensions in the book is that tension that exists between the narrator, juan gabriel vasquez, who doesn't believe in conspiracy theories, who has a vision of history that relies much more on chance and coincidence and human passions. and the other main character
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was this guy called carlos carbello, who deeply believes everything happens for a reason. there's always somebody pulling the strings. and that's a very fundamental schism that we find in ourselves. some people have solved it, some people haven't. the other aspect of it, of course, is that this isn't an investigation that is purely for intellectual interest. it's an investigation into two events. are they connected or aren't they? what do they have in common or not? they had a great deal to do with shaping the future of your country, at a rather chaotic time. so it's one of intense importance to someone of your background. yes. the murder of a gaitan in 1948 really shaped the second half of the 20th century.
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because he was supposed to be the progressive performer and so on, an attractive figure. the politician who was going to change columbia forever, in a good way. yes. and his murder is, for many historians, this we agree on, is the origin of violence we're trying to finish right now, we're trying to end right now with these negotiations that have been going on between the colombian government and the farc guerrilla. this violence comes in a direct line from that murder. but if there's something that we all agree upon us colombians, that we don't know the truth about this murder. still. still, still. it's still a mystery. a place of shadows in our past in colombian history. and i think all countries share this, this moment in their past where, in an act of violence, the future is shaped. but what actually happened
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there remains in the shadows. it's as if those in charge of telling history were editing the story. and, for me, novels have always been a way to try to contradict that falsified the version of history, or try to illuminate it a little bit. and the fact that you've got two assassinations 30 years apart, both of which were pivotal in the way the country developed, and appear to be quite different in character, but of course it's very difficult not to become obsessed, as you reveal in this story, about possible connections. yes. the idea of obsession is very important in the book. my character and my narrator are both obsessed with the idea of finding the truth behind these murders, but also behind the conspiracy theories that have been used by colombians to explain these murders. we have a deep desire
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and a need to explain things, even if they are inexplicable, even if the facts are not there to produce an explanation. well, we've got to find them, so we have to import the facts from somewhere else. this is an unavoidable characteristic of societies, of human beings. we'd rather take a lie than no explanation at all. and of course the conspiracy theorists take advantage of this of this... of this trait of human beings and societies. the feeling that history has lied to us, or that there are secrets or mysteries or dark places in the history, in the versions of history, that we have inherited. and literature, imaginative literature, fiction, just raises its hand and says, hey i know how this might have happened, or i can sell you a version that we may have as citizens to illuminate, to find a little a different kind of truth.
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it's not a factual truth. it's an emotional truth, a moral truth, about these events and this is what i try to do. which means that it's a very contemporary story. i hope so. in a curious way, it always will be because these are impulses that won't go away. thank you very much for allowing me to say that this is not a historical novel about the history of colombia. it explores the history of colombia from a present, contemporary point of view and in that way it's an investigation about the past, an investigation about memory which contains, yes, at its core, a version of colombian history. but it's very important for me to underline that it's not a historical novel. juan gabriel vasquez, author of the shape of the ruins, thank you very much. it was a pleasure, jim. hello. this evening it in scotland,
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parts of northern and eastern england seeing the thundery downpours. for many of us, a fine into the day with some warm sunshine around. tomorrow, with a bit more of that warm sunshine, temperatures will end up a bit higher compared to today. this is the picture going into the night. those thunderstorms slowly fade. we will keep some outbreaks of reagan, particularly into southern scotland and still overnight, some of that could be quite heavy. you can see where the clearer skies, the bulk of england and wales, but there could be some mist and fog patches as temperatures dipped into single figures. most of us dipped into single figures. most of us around 10—14d sunday begins. the cloud for the central belt southern scotland and northern england, any outbreaks early and will play but we keep a good deal of cloud through the day northern scotla nd cloud through the day northern scotland seeing some sunny spells
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but a chance of slow—moving thunderstorms. maybe an isolated shower in northern ireland. for the rest of england and wales also but some warm sunny rest of england and wales also but some warm sunny spells. temperatures in the warm spots it in the mid—20s. let's ta ke in the warm spots it in the mid—20s. let's take a look at things late afternoon, a closer look at these thunderstorms affecting parts of scotland, particularly in the west, where if you catch one you could see a lot of rain in a short space of time, frequent lightning and hail possible. further south, time, frequent lightning and hail possible. furthersouth, northern ireland, the rest of england and wales, you can see how isolated the showers are. for most places, some warm sunshine around, a little cooler on the north sea coast compared with inland. that theme continues as we go into monday. low pressure to the south becoming less ofa pressure to the south becoming less of a player, high—pressure to the north—west of us, and north—easterly flow around that and for monday, plenty of cloud and lower temperatures for many of us as a result, especially along those north sea coasts. monday's weather... still some sunshine around. westernmost parts of scotland,
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northern ireland, western areas of wales and england there could be one oi’ wales and england there could be one or two showers developing. in the sunny spells, it turns out to be pleasa ntly warm sunny spells, it turns out to be pleasantly warm but where you have the cloud and particularly on the north sea coasts, it will be cooler compared with the weekend. temperatures recover a bit towards midweek sunshine becomes widespread once again. later in the week, still a few showers, typically in southern parts of the uk. this is bbc news. i'm reeta chakrabarti. the headlines at 11:00: the bbc learns that police have reopened an investigation into one of the central figures in the jeremy thorpe scandal of the 19705. the united states accuses china of "intimidating" its neighbours by continuing a military build—up in the south china sea. washington says the issue of us troops based in south korea will not be on the agenda at president trump's summit with kim jong—un. visa says its services are now operating at full capacity after customers across europe were left unable to make payments. the new prime minister of spain,
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pedro sanchez, is officially sworn into office. also in the next hour, we'll have another look at the sunday papers. joining me tonight are broadcaster john stapleton


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