06/09/2013 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks, this is the Daily Politics. Our top stories today:


World leaders gathered in St Petersburg to argue whether Syria


with Russia saying the US military strike would drive another nail into


the coffin of international law. We will have the latest on the


international talks and get the latest from Westminster, Paris and


Brussels. We report on the Battle of


Westminster e-mail newsletters as top political hacks go toted toe


armed with a humble laptop. And Australians go to the polls


tomorrow after a general election chock full of gaffes.


No one, however smart, however well educated, however experienced is the


suppository of all wisdom. You would have to have a heart of


stone not to laugh! All of that for the next hour. For the next


half-hour, the editor of prospect magazine, Bronwen Maddox. We will


discuss the latest from the G20 meeting in St Petersburg in a


moment. First, Tony Blair. He has given an interview to BBC Four about


the crisis. He said there was no doubt the debate was hugely


influenced by what happened in Iraq. I said we had to support action in


Syria before the vote and I said after the vote I was disappointed by


it. This is something where I have to disagree with the leadership of


the party. I know it is a difficult position for political leaders to be


put in when they have to take decisions like this but my position


on these issues is pretty clear over a long period of time. You can hear


on these issues is pretty clear over more on what he said on Syria and


what it means for Britain. That will be broadcast on Monday at 8pm on BBC


Four. He has his own distinct position on these matters, but would


it be true to say there are quite a few doubts in the Labour Party about


the position Labour has found itself in now? I think that is right. I


think Tony Blair is being a bit unfair to Ed Miliband, if that is


possible, by saying the Labour leader had taken a firm position


against military action. Whereas Ed Miliband was careful to say I am not


backing it at this point on the evidence that has been given which


is why I am voting against this, but I am not ruling it out completely.


This has hardened up as the debate has gone on and people have taken


the view that Labour is against it. Quite a few MPs have said we do not


want to be boxed into that position, we want them to say we do back this


is the evidence improves. Is he probably right that if it had all


gone swimmingly in Iraq after the invasion, even if weapons were not


found, as they were not, but it had turned into a kind of North


Islington democracy blooming in the desert, then the country's attitude


would be different? Is he right? I am sure he is right. Even if you set


aside questions of whether it was legal or not, success for a lot of


people validates difficult decisions. The fact is it was not


just a mess, and a mess where a lot of people got killed, mainly


Iraqis, but one which shows errors of judgement from Western countries.


That is what people are recalling from. It is the carnage of the


aftermath. A sense that we could control it and then the realisation


that we could not. Interesting. So, the G20, are meeting in St


Petersburg. Although it is meant to be a forum


for discussing the world economy, it has been comprehensively


overshadowed by Syria. The world leaders discussed the crisis over


caviar and blini last night for dinner. That seems to have confirmed


the split for major powers. Russia has said a US strike would drive


another nail into the coffin of international law. Although


President Putin says he does not rule out any military action through


the UN, nobody really believes him. The Americans certainly do not. They


do not think he does all credible. They have accused Russia of


continuing to hold the UN security Council hostage. What of written?


The effects of the decision not to intervene are still being felt.


David Cameron said those who opposed military action would have to live


with the way they voted. He also announced that the UK would have to


give an extra £52 million in humanitarian aid for Syria, some of


which would go to help Syrians targeted by chemical attacks. And


amid accusations that Britain has been sidelined in St Petersburg, a


senior Russian aid has been quoted as saying it is just a small island,


no one pays any attention to them. Comments the Russians have denied.


Let's hear what George Osborne had Comments the Russians have denied.


to say about this this morning. The House of Commons has made its


view clear at that military action in response to chemical weapons. I


am happy with the way I cast my vote. People who cast their vote a


different way have to account for that. Britain is today leading


efforts to step up the humanitarian response to what is happening in


Syria, the tragedy of 2 million people leaving that country, fleeing


for their lives. I'm joined from Paris by Emma


Suleiman, whose is a spokesperson for one of the main Syrian


opposition groups. We spoke on the day that Parliament was debating


whether or not we should be part of any military intervention or attack


on Syria, we now know the results. Are you disappointed that Britain


will not be part of any military attack on the Assad regime? Of


course we are very disappointed today. We were hoping for Britain to


stand by the whole and go for severe action against Assad and here I have


to highlight that this is a strike to end the war, not to start a new


war. What we felt actually was the discussion at the Parliament was


more about Iraq 2003, not Syria 2013. I think there is a


misconception about the Syria case here. I believe Syria here is more


like Bosnia's case where there is an urgent need for humanitarian


intervention and to end this conflict. All right. But the


British, can I just interrupted and ask another question, the British


have voted no. There was no agreement in St Petersburg. And it


is by no means a foregone conclusion that Mr Obama will get his majority


in Congress. And even Francois Hollande is not risking a vote in


the National Assembly that would bind him. It is possible, is it not,


that there will be no attack as Mac yes, it is very possible. If there


is no attack we will not see an end to the daily misery that we live.


Assad continues to abuse his people. And he did not stop, by the way, he


trusts that Russia will continue to do his diplomacy and continue to


lobbying to secure that Assad stays in power. As long as Assad believes


he is going to win, he is going to continue. Nothing suggests that


diplomacy so far had forced Assad or forced him to accept a dialogue or a


compromise unfortunately. Today, if doing nothing, if the West or of the


international community do not do anything, not only will Assad


continue to kill his own people and destabilise Syria, also there is


complete chaos where we see extremist elements are imposing on


the liberated zones and we do not see any real support for the


Democrats. Don't get me wrong, Britain on the other side has been


providing vital assistance on the humanitarian, political and


diplomatic side, but that is not enough. Emma Suleiman, good to talk


to you again, thank you for joining us. We are joined by the Times


to you again, thank you for joining journalist, soon-to-be Conservative


peer, Danny Finkelstein. And in Birmingham by the shadow Europe


Minister Emma Reynolds. Wasn't there a time when the Labour Party stood


to help people like Emma Suleiman, and now you are not? Let me be


clear, the Labour Party condemns the violence that we have seen in Syria


over the last few years and we stand by part of the international


community in wanting to see an end to the Assad regime. What we were


voting on last week was a call for evidence to be produced, the 4-wheel


make any decision about military action. That is something that


Labour MPs but also Conservative MPs and Lib Dems MPs voted on. Are you


happy with the evidence from American intelligence, German


intelligence, the evidence that is open source, British intelligence


intelligence, the evidence that is now from Porton down. Do you have


enough evidence to continue? The UN weapons inspectors are still to


produce their report. It is worth pointing out that at the end of that


debate last week, although Britain did not rule out military action in


principle, it was the Prime Minister and the government after the vote


that took that option off the table. Is there any doubt in your mind that


the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people? We


were asked to vote on this last week when the UN weapons inspectors were


still in Syria. I am asking you this on Friday morning, is there any


doubt in your mind? We have not seen the report 's yet. So there is


doubt? There is a possibility and it is very likely that it was chemical


weapons but we did not have any evidence of that when we voted last


Thursday. Quite a lot of evidence is still being presented and you are


saying it is only possible that he used chemical weapons. What more do


saying it is only possible that he you need? What difference would it


make? Supposing it is proved be on doubt that he used chemical


weapons, what difference would it make to your policy? We were clear


last week that there would have to be evidence before making this


decision, that any decision regarding military action should be


taken. David Cameron chose to recall Parliament early last week. I am


sorry, that is nothing to do with the question I have asked. I have


asked you that even if it is shown beyond doubt that chemical weapons


have been used, how would that change Labour policy? We are not in


that place now because David Cameron stood up in the British Parliament


last week and gave his word to the British people that the UK would not


use military force in Syria. All right, you are not answering the


question. Don't go away, I will try with another question later. Let me


bring Danny Finkelstein in at the moment. Why did Mr Cameron, almost


in a fit of pique after he lost the vote, pick up the toys and run out


of Parliament? Should he not say, I get it now? If events change and if


chemical weapons were used again, if the weapons -- evidence is


overwhelming, say I will be back? He cannot act without the support of


the Labour Party because there are a lot of rebels and Liberal Democrat


rebels. I think he perfectly concluded that the Labour Party


would not support action. I was listening their very carefully. We


still do not know whether or not when the evidence is there, and all


of us know really what did happen, even if when the formal evidence is


presented, we do not know whether Labour will support action. Even if


he does not know, surely it makes sense, that even if he knows he


cannot square Labour on this matter, that if more evidence comes, if


there are developments, if Mr Assad uses chemical weapons again, he is


going back. Why did he tie his hands? It is a very difficult


medical cult elation. He could have left it open. I think he realised he


could only get a majority with Labour's support. He does not want


to be like Lucy and Charlie Brown with the ball, continually running


up, only for Ed Miliband to pull the ball away. Like there is in the


Conservative party, Labour is split on the question of action. Ed


Miliband will probably lead in a different way and decide to ask more


questions, rather than act. You do not want to be in that position


forever. Do you agree with this political calculation. Do you agree


that he should say, if events warrant it, I should come back? I


think he made the right decision. He does not have a majority in his own


party. If chemical weapons are used to, what would be the policy of


labour? We have to judge what happens and the evidence, but we are


in a difficult position now. The discussion you have just had in the


studio suggest David Cameron was not obliged to say what he did say at


the end of the debate last week, but he has said that. We are in that


situation. I am asking what your policy would be. I ask because we


have been briefed Labour would only change its policy if there were


significant changes and the examples we were given of the record by a


Labour aid was if Al-Qaeda got position of large stockpiles of


chemical weapons or if there was a direct threat to the National


security of Britain. I ask the question because these conditions do


not include Assad using chemical weapons against. So I ask you, what


would Labour 's policy be if chemical weapons are used again?


Given what happened last week, there would have to be a substantial


change in the situation in Syria and those examples have been given,


particularly if Al-Qaeda gets its hands on chemical weapons and starts


using those. I have got that, it is a simple question. Not necessarily a


simple answer, I understand that, or is it a yes or no? If chemical


weapons used again, would Labour change its mind? You said you would


if Al-Qaeda got chemical weapons, would you change your mind if Mr


Assad used chemical weapons against? The government are not


going to bring that back to Parliament. I am asking about Labour


policy. The sensible way forward would be if the conditions change


that the Prime Minister and Ed Miliband, and there have been


difficult days in the last week, but it is still in the national interest


for those leaders to come together to discuss things if the -- if the


situation changes. Thank you for joining us from Birmingham. Do you


situation changes. Thank you for get the feeling both the main


parties have got themselves into a mess? This is fascinating and the


politics is so bad. The political decision on both sides, starting


with David Cameron, he did not have to have a vote and he ignored the


lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan, get the evidence clear. But having


lost the vote, he did not have too boxed himself in. But Labour


producing two QA extra justifications for how it makes


change its position and Al-Qaeda is a very special case, why bring that


up? Why not go for the obvious one, supposing Assad uses them again?


Both should leave open the route to taking action and not too boxed


themselves in. If Assad uses chemical weapons. Where would the


government be, where would this country be if he uses chemical


weapons against? The Prime Minister is in favour of using action to deal


with the situation now. The people who oppose that have got to explain


whether they would change their mind in different circumstances. If I was


Assad listening to this right now, I could use them again when ever I


want. You have to use a sober judgement as to whether what we


heard from Emma constituted real question is always just a way of


putting off deciding on action. I think Labour would not support


action and until that position changes, the Prime Minister cannot


act. That is not the fault of labour but a lot of Conservatives will


not. You said, what more evidence do you want? I want to know who


directed those weapons, is it Assad or the generals, is it a regime we


are dealing with? That is harder to answer.


Who do you think sets the daily news agenda here at Westminster? The


Prime Minister? As if! The editor of the Today programme? He wishes. Now


you are talking! A lot of the day's big stories are shaped by a series


of emails sent out by a handful of influential journalists to their


subscribers. And competition is stiff to be the most influential of


all. Here is Adam with the latest in our series:


it is seven o'clock and the deputy editor of the Telegraph has already


been up for two hours scanning the papers for gems he can put into his


daily digests. When I used to work as a


correspondence, they used to wish I had a crash course of what is around


in the papers so I could sound more informed than I was. So when I


started doing this e-mail, I gave my colleagues something useful to allow


them a short cut to the things that really matter. He is helped by a


colleague in the office who -- in the office who has been not only.


Then applies the finishing touches as he takes his daughter to school,


mainly on the top deck of the boss. That is because it to show bit of


news happens at ten past eight, the big interview on the Today


programme. At 8:30am, the e-mail is off to subscribers. The number is


secret, but it is in five figures and includes very influential


people. There are a lot of meetings early in Westminster and a crucial


one is the 8:30am Downing Street meeting and my aim is to get it to


people in time for that meeting so the people in number ten get to read


it before they sit with the Prime Minister and discuss what is going


on. At the same time, Paul Waugh of Politics Home has been trying to


reach the same website with The Waugh Room, he he claims to have


introduced the daily e-mail to British politics. It is not free and


there is friendly competition. We have software telling us who


receives the e-mail and where they are and whether they read it or not


and how much they read. For the moment, a big majority of them open


it every day and read it. That could moment, a big majority of them open


change because it is a fickle market. Have you a bigger open rate


for Paul Waugh? He works as hard as me and he produces an excellent


e-mail. Each morning, Westminster is bombarded with e-mails attempting to


set the agenda. This is from Conservative home, and others from


elsewhere. At the other end of the Conservative home, and others from


day, the Spectator magazine is getting in on the burgeoning evening


market with an e-mail written I Isabel Hardman who has noticed a new


trend. People are keen to get the verdict so the Tories would be keen


to say, obviously, Prime Minister 's questions was a win for us, and you


can mention this in the e-mail. And there is an enthusiasm for putting


stories in briefing because people read it and if they have something


that will not wait until tomorrow, they can get it out and people will


take it home. Newspapers have always picked themselves up but this seems


like a new breed of super commentator. Where is my spam


folder? ! Adam Fleming reporting. And we have


been joined by Paul Waugh, editor of the website Politics Home, who is


also in on the political email game. His offering is called The Waugh


Room. Get it? ! You have got your His offering is called The Waugh


website, Politics Home, Ben has got his newspaper, why do you toil to


send out these e-mails? It is a lot of work and we get up very early. To


beat Ben Brogan, even have to get up very early! Have you got a slave


like him? I do not, we submit a separate e-mail and everything in my


e-mail is written by me. The reason people read it, people at number


ten, and the media, this because it is political intelligence in both


senses. It is early, direct, simple to open. Is it because we are lazy


and cannot we -- and cannot be bothered reading the papers? It is,


but the Internet does not work unless you make life easier and that


is the point. On your readership, by the way, do you have a higher


opening rate of e-mails? We have a very high rate, about 90%. We did a


survey recently. The point is that they sign up to our e-mails and they


pay for it and you will open it if you pay for it. But then, it is


free. It is £1 50 per week, virtually nothing! That is quite a


what. Less than a Cup of coffee.You are right! Among your readership,


what kind of addresses have you got? Dave at number ten? Read Ed at


Highgate? We have them all, the Prime Minister once said, thank God


for your morning -- for your morning memos, I find out what is going on.


A lot of MPs say the same thing and they like it because they are going


beyond the medium we things. So are people trying to influence what you


put in that because it is a way of getting to these people? Absolutely,


like any kind of journalism. Isabel is right, there is a spin war going


on and I get text messages from all sides. The smarter ministers know


what to drop gently because it is a sides. The smarter ministers know


mixture of gossip and a summary. So they are becoming quite powerful?


Yes. I am launching one next week called, so what, what next? What is


that going to be about? It will give you a verdict and it will tell you


what happens next. A verdict of what has happened in the day. Will you


make money or is it just a service? We are very commercial. Is that a


yes? That is a yes.We are now getting e-mails in the morning and


e-mails telling us what happened in the day and that drove the story


forward to the next day, what next? We have exhausted the time frame


because we get morning e-mails. Sometimes a week evening. This comes


from the United States, in America, you often have to see the future in


politics. It is powerful, and e-mail, it is an incredibly powerful


tool for getting a message. I read The Waugh Room and Ben Brogan. I


will have no time to read the newspapers! That is the aim!Not


good news for newspapers! Now, are you craving a bit more


back-stabbing to your politics? Or perhaps you are after one or two


more sexist gaffes? Well, look no further than our dear friends Down


Under, who are currently gripped in election fever, ahead of a general


election tomorrow. On the one hand, Australians can opt for current


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd from the Labour Party. He is the one who was


ousted by Julia Gillard before the 2010 election, and then got his own


back in June this year when her forced her out. And on the other


hand, there is the frontrunner and gaffe-connoisseur Tony Abbott. Are


you still following me? He heads the Liberal Party and has a lead in the


polls, thanks to tough policies on asylum and a promise to repeal


Labor's carbon tax. But it is not both men's policies that have been


dominating the campaign. Here is a round-up.


No one, however smart, however well-educated, however experienced,


is the suppository of always done. -- of all wisdom. He has given you a


few tips? I have taken them on board and some days I have my hair just


highlight -- just how I like it. They are younger, they are feisty, I


can probably say with a bit of sex appeal. Do you want to know who to


vote for? I am the guy with a not bad looking daughters. -- the knot.


This is the election of 2013 in Australia, not 1813! And we have


been joined in the studio by Jason Groves, President of Australian


Liberals Abroad, and from Sydney by John McTernan, who used to work for


Tony Blair and then worked for the former Australian PM Julia Gillard.


Jason, you are 10,000 miles away and about 40 years behind the rest of


the world when it comes to women. No, the idea that any party reader


led by somebody who is anti-women could be successful in modern-day


Australia... May be just patronising and stuck in the 1950s! The


difference between Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard is he


is a real person, a real Australian and somebody Australians warmed to


with all of his expressions. People do not understand what they have got


with Kevin Rudd, it is a confected image. We have a delay, but let's


see how it goes. Given that Tony Abbott has been pretty prone to


gaffes in this campaign and in previous years, why does it look as


if the party -- why does it look as if Labor will lose by quite a what?


I think the Labor Party damaged itself a great deal. They were neck


and neck with the Liberal party in the polls and Julia Gillard was by


far the preferred Prime Minister. All the way through, the most


difficult time she had had, all the focus groups said they liked Julia


because she was clever. They wanted a smart Prime Minister. They have


always had a hovering question about Tony Abbott's character. There is a


streak of aggression in him and there is that extraordinary


patronising, condescending, sexist tone which has let out during the


campaign. If we had had a good run tone which has let out during the


at it when we did, Julia beat Abbott soundly as preferred Prime Minister


but this year there was too much noise and too much internal politics


in the party. Other than the problems which the Labour Party has


faced, which would be huge given the number of times they have changed


their leader, if Mr Rabbitte does win and all the polls suggest he


will win, what other than the Labor Party will have one it for him -- is


Mr Abbott does win. The last six years have been a series of


fiascoes. Not just the leadership with Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard


but the squandering of a uniquely good set of circumstances which they


inherited from Howard. The carbon tax, the mining tax, the free money


giveaways, the ways they have mismanaged every type of reform is


about patents in and restoring the government to Australia. John


McTernan, I understand the bookies say it is a 98% chance that Tony


Abbott will win. What will happen to the Labor Party if it goes into


opposition? There is one oddity about this election which is Tony


Abbott, if he does become Prime Minister, he will have a government


term, maybe two terms defined by the Labor Party. He will either be


trying to repeal what they did with the carbon tax and he is omitted to


implementing Julia Gillard's education reform and her disability


care package. In a funny kind of way, he comes in with no policies of


his own, apart from one which is resented by his backbench and hated


by business which is a big tax on business to pay a very generous


paternity leave. The Labor Party in opposition will have to do what a


good party in opposition does which is decide why it lost the election,


agree quickly that they will take it on the chin from the public and then


start to hold the government to some scrutiny. We have not got too much


time so I had to bring Bronwen Maddox in. What is the significance


of a Conservative victory in Australia? I think this is a serious


election. Underneath all the personalities and jokes. It is about


a kind of economic unease which has been a couple of decades of strong


enviable informants but this has turned into an election about living


standards, worry about what will happen to Australians, a very


resource rich economy. These worries are there. It is not just about


1-party sniping at another, it is about the future of the country and


people saying very clearly, we are worried. Is Mr Abbott wins, what is


the first important thing that he will do? Repealing the carbon tax is


one thing he will do. This has stifled investment in Australia and


cost a lot of jobs. It has had a big impact on how businesses can grow.


Talking to people here I have run impact on how businesses can grow.


into a couple of people who have moved to London because they could


not get jobs in their chosen field in Australia. Australians are always


moving to London, including yourself! I will be up watching the


results come in. It will be interesting to see, even if it is a


foregone conclusion. Coming up in a moment, it is our monthly look at


foregone conclusion. Coming up in a what is going on in European


politics. For now, it is time to say goodbye to all of our guests,


including Bronwen Maddox. For the next half hour we will be focusing


on Europe. We will be discussing Greece, the eurozone reaction to the


crisis in Syria and the role of the European Court of Justice. Here is


our guide to the latest from Europe in just 60 seconds.


A European Parliamentary committee held hearings on US fugitive Edward


Snowden's allegations that America's NSA had spied on European


institutions. MEPs do work to make work.


They voted to tackle unemployment, create jobs and tackle movement of


workers. Spanish relations in Gibraltar are tense than the Armada.


Are unlawful actions and threats against Gibraltar are unacceptable.


The European Parliament calls for a European defence force under


European command. And 15 million were gripped by a TV duel as German


Chancellor Angela Merkel traded blows over tax and spying with her


rival. Most said it was a dead heat, both claimed victory.


With us for the next 30 minutes I have enjoyed by two MEPs, Syed


Kamall add Richard Howitt. The German election campaign, is


Angela Merkel gets re-elected, what would be the significance of that


for the rest of Europe? It might see the rest of Europe read out after


holding their breath for a long time. So much has been, let's see


how German domestic opinion comes down, don't frighten the domestic


opinion before the elections. I do hope the SDLP party will win. I


think they may well be in the coalition. That would be with Mrs


Merkel, it will be a grand coalition. It will be a traffic


light coalition. They are into that colours. If Pearce dined Brooke


comes in, they are they do need to see more stimulus, allow some slack


for recovery in Europe but also in Britain's interest as well. Mrs


Merkel's people have been talking about perhaps looking for a way to


get some repatriation of powers back from Brussels for all the major


European countries. I would suspect the Conservatives there are pretty


anxious to see Mrs Merkel re-elected and not hobbled in coalition with


the social Democrats who do not want to see a repatriation? Absolutely.


It has been positive that Mrs Merkel and Mr Cameron have found agreement.


They have found agreement on cutting the EU budget, including


repatriations powers back from Brussels stock that is why we would


like to see Mrs Merkel re-elected. Is it not surprising that in a


eurozone crisis, in a time of hardship and austerity for a lot of


Europeans, that the main centre-left party in Germany, the social


Democrats, should be doing so badly? When I looked it was only about


22%. If there is to be a left of centre coalition, a red Green


coalition, they are not far short of 50%. That is income edition. The


social Democrats are the German Labour Party, they are your


equivalent. Why would a left of centre party, relatively moderate


left of centre party, do so badly in times of economic difficulty? I


celebrate they are our partners, we work closely with them in the


European Parliament. There have been five successes elections in Germany,


each one of those has been won by the social Democrats. It has been


the best guide to how future federal actions come down. Yes, Merkel has


the lead at the moment but it is a actions come down. Yes, Merkel has


very soft lead. Let's see what happens. Indeed, let's see what


happens. MEPs discuss the prospects of the


eurozone with the president of the Euro Group. Latest figures from the


European Central Bank suggest the outlook for the eurozone this year


has improved a bit. It improved by 0.3% in the second quarter. Not a


huge amount, but more than was expected. There are concerns that


some countries will still need further financial assistance. Since


2010, European leaders have committed 500 Elidh new rows in


bailout funds to Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. -- 500,


euros. Now there is talk of a possible bailout for Greece again.


The International Monetary Fund estimates that Athens will need 11


billion euros for new financing on top of what has already been agreed.


Speaking to MEPs, European President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Greece


would definitely need more help next year. It is clear that despite


recent row Gres, Greece's troubles will not have been completely


resolved by 2014. It is realistic to assume that additional support will


be needed beyond the programme. In this context, the Euro Group has


indicated clearly that it is committed to providing adequate


support to Greece, during the current programme and beyond, until


it has regained market access. We are now joined by the financial


commentator Louise Cooper. Another bailout, seems to be on the cards


which will upset a lot of people. The break-up of the eurozone, the


exit of Greece, all of that seems to be on the table. There are a couple


of things which have happened. First of all, we have a new boss at the


European Central Bank, marry draggy. Under him the European Central Bank


is more political, very different from the previous boss. The second


thing is the prospects for the whole of the eurozone has been


significantly improving over the last few months. The combination of


those things is we are no longer expecting the eurozone to implode.


What are the politics then of Greece getting another bailout? If Greece


gets another bailout, won't others come back for another bailout?


Exactly. To be honest, 11 billion euros is tiny. Markets are


completely ignoring it. It is nothing we did not know. It is


almost irrelevant. But today we are already seeing reports that Ireland


is saying, you know what, we would like a 10 billion or 11 billion, two


credit line to help us of. Portugal expects the same as well. Do we know


what the Greeks have done with their bailout? It is interesting when you


ask them, they say we have implemented several measures. Greece


is basically a very sick patient and all we seem to be doing is providing


a very expensive sticking plaster rather than solving the fundamental


problem. One solution is to exit and the other solution which would be a


psychological blow would be for the country to leave the euro, the other


solution is that there will have to be fiscal transfers, money from the


rich countries to the poor to keep it together. We have not done


either. Until then we will apply expensive sticking plaster. We have


heard from Louise and we know from the market is not going to implode.


I am not saying it will be easy. See Greece has done nothing, I do not


defend parts mistakes in Greece -- past mistakes in Greece. It has had


the biggest fiscal retrenchment of any country in history. Public


service cuts, tax increases, has that austerity message worked? No,


it has had the biggest GDP reduction, three years, 12%. You go


to Greece, you see prostitution, UC suicides shooting up. The idea that


they have done nothing, I am afraid you have got to open up your eyes


and see it. This is going to be a bailout that written will not pay a


penny for in the eurozone, yet British businesses and British jobs


are going to be supported by that taking place. Why should we be


against it? Europe may not be sliding into further recession. The


eurozone may slide in intact. Would I be right in thinking there will be


eurozone may slide in intact. Would a long slow painful recovery and if


you are young and unemployed in Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, it


will be a long time before you get a job? Absolutely. The damage done to


the Greek economy cannot be underestimated. We are talking about


Greece, it is getting slightly better, but the economy is still


contracting. Second quarter GDP figures, the Greek economy


contracted by 3.8%. A quarter of the rate? That is a year-on-year rate.


You compare that to the first quarter of 2012. Still disappearing


but Dave smaller rate? Yes, it is still contracting but not


contracting quite as fast. It is decelerating. It is not great, it is


not getting worse, it is marginally improving, but the Greek economy has


some substantial challenges yet and the process is incredibly slow,


because of the political problems, both in Greece and across the euro.


That is the problem. The process is so slow that it takes time. They are


in budget surplus. What is holding them back is the debt, otherwise I


agree. The debt is the problem, 11 billion bailout is irrelevant, the


big picture is Greece still has enormous debt. It has accumulated


national debt. It had 100 billion euros of debt reduction and it needs


another at that is politically of the table. Is the conclusion not


just for Greece, but would it not be fair to say the prognosis for the


Eurozone in the years ahead, the next two, three, five years, is not


depression but pretty much stagnation? It is pretty much


stagnation. If you look at any successful currency union, what you


have, whether it be sterling in the UK or dollars in the United States,


you have a situation where the rich part pay for the poor parts. When I


talk to my German political friends, they say they know eventually, they


will have to pay by fiscal transfers. I could not say that by


the election -- before the election, and they say, why should we pay when


we have tightened our ballot -- our belt and the Greeks have not? Thank


you, we will see what happens. World leaders, meeting at the G20 in


Syria, have been unable to reach agreement on what to do about Syria.


And there is a similar diversity of views at the European Parliament. Jo


Coburn has been in Brussels, gauging the range of opinions.


100,000 people have been killed so far in the Syrian conflict.


100,000 people have been killed so Diplomatic efforts to end the


bloodshed have failed but images of people choking to death after a


chemical attack on a suburb of Damascus was a game changer. It


crossed the red line drawn by the US President and a military strike


against the Assad regime seems imminent. The only European country


likely to join forces is France. The pressure on the Assad government and


the decision of Assad and this dictator is very important. If we do


not have any threats, there is no way to change his mind. In the UK,


it has been a different story, after MPs rejected any British military


action against Syria. Even the principal of intervention was voted


down, with blame on all sides. The Prime Minister ruled out a further


vote. Some MEPs believe that may have to change. If there is another


vote for another reason, another atrocity or say more pressure from


our allies or whatever, I suspect atrocity or say more pressure from


the vote would go through. I am not, I know the Prime Minister has


said, but I would not say never to these sorts of things. We have to


keep all options open. The capital cities in Europe seem a long way


from the crisis in the Syria and while politicians have been


agonising about taking political action against the Assad regime, the


public is broadly sceptical about another war in the Middle East which


they fear could make things worse. If an intervention takes place,


especially an attack against the Syrian army, it will not lead us to


any solution of this humanitarian tragedy. The European Union has been


notably quiet Syria, more involved in the crisis in Egypt's. Some


believe that is the wrong approach and want the leaders in Europe to


play a more prominent role. I believe the high representative and


others have been remarkably quiet and I do not think that is an


appropriate response in light of the urgency that the international


community is facing with chemical weapons being used, with the


humanitarian disaster growing every day and with the global discussion


about how to end the killing of the people in Syria and how to enter


that war. The prospect of increasing numbers of Syrian refugees arriving


at the Borders of Europe may demand a clear response from the EU. 2


million people have fled and true macro. But politicians in Brussels


are divided. -- 2 million people have fled Syria. It is impossible


for Assad to use aeroplanes, helicopters and even missiles to


launch his weapons and his chemical weapons in particular. Syria has


dominated discussions, with world leaders gathered in St Petersburg


for the G20 summit. Finding a solution will take much longer.


European countries have taken positions on Syria, France, written


notably. But there has been no European Union view on it. --


Britain notably. I do not agree with it. Our representative, our high


representative has spoken out. She spoke this week, last week. What is


her policy? Her job is not to tell member states where they do not


agree, this has to be the position whether you like it or not. This is


where the Eurosceptic mindset is challenged. What is the European


Union policy towards Syria after the chemical attack? Working for a


political solution. £1 billion of humanitarian assistance, and a third


comes directly from Britain. That is fantastic and it is essential, and


the people need it. But it is not a foreign policy. It is part of a


foreign policy. And there is discussion this week in Brussels


about whether distributing masks to protect from chemical weapon


attacks... That is not a foreign policy. That is very worthwhile but


it is not a foreign policy, so I ask again, what is the European... I


cannot detect a united European... There cannot be one, it even the


countries are not united. I am quite surprised. You are arguing there is


a united European foreign policy and that seems to me that you are


arguing night is day and day is night. In France and Britain cannot


agree, there is not one. There is not one unless Foreign Minister is


agree and they do not. So there is not one! Let's compare this to the


position on Iraq or where Europe was split down the middle. There was no


foreign policy for Europe that time. Britain and France appear to have


changed sides in terms of military intervention but there are strong


voices, Germany itself, who are not prepared to sit by while attacks


take place and I believe that Europe will be part of the solution


internationally trying to build the consensus so we can get action to


change. We heard a Dutch MEP criticise the European Union and the


high representative Catherine Ashton for not doing enough. How can Europe


act as a united body of Europe is clearly not united itself on the


issue? There are huge divisions over what the response should be. You


have hit the nail on the head, what power does Europe have? We are going


to spend a lot of time and we spent a lot of time this week in Brussels


and next week intro -- and next week in Strasberg talking about this, but


we have no power when it comes to this. Assad will not be sitting in


Damascus play scheme in his boot waiting for -- sitting in Damascus


quaking in his boot waiting for the European Union to make its decision.


It is quite right it is left to member states, particularly ones


It is quite right it is left to with military capability.


Time now for the latest in our guide to the A-Z of Europe. Adam has been


to Luxembourg to visit the European Court of Justice.


This is how justice is served EU style. We are about to watch a


judgement delivered in the European Court of Justice. Airing in mind


this is not a European court of human rights that


this is not a European court of hate, this is a different


organisation in a different city, doing a different thing. This place


deals with European union organisations, countries and


companies who are accused taking the rules of the EU. Last year, they


passed judgement on whether airlines rules of the EU. Last year, they


should pay compensation if passengers are delayed, if people


from outside the EU are entitled to housing benefit, and most often the


response to national courts who have asked for clarification of any EU


response to national courts who have law. This case has been heard by a


panel of 15 judges, sometimes they're less depending on how


complicated it is. There is one judge from each member said -- each


member state, serving terms of six years, and they have a legal


background. Sitting on the sidelines, a role British courts do


not have, and advocate general. There are eight of them and this is


Britain 's, her job is to analyse cases and suggest what the court


might do. People find it easier to understand what the court is saying


and the reasoning behind the understand what the court is saying


thinking of the court if they have an advocate general 's opinion which


gives more back around and set the scene, explains what the options


were that the court had to consider. And then you might go one way or the


other. Secondly, most supreme courts, when they are dealing with a


case, have the benefit of judgements that have been given by the courts


below. With this court, many of the cases that come to ours are cases


that come straight here. Christie -- critics of the justices over the


years excuse -- accuse them of expanding pe you by stealth even if


they are not elected, but they say judges at home are not elected


either. Personally, I am amazed how much the building looks like


either. Personally, I am amazed how boutique hotel! This is a big place,


doing a big job. There are 600 new cases lodged here every year and in


the league table of which countries and up here most, the UK is near the


bottom. Not a squeaky-clean as the Feeney but not accused of being


naughty as often as France. And it is definitely not the European Court


naughty as often as France. And it of human rights! -- not a


squeaky-clean as Slovenia. Yes, it is based in Luxembourg. It


is not as controversial as the European Court in Strasberg. The


problem is to make sure people can play to a ruling. So when France is


fined over British beef, France have still not paid that and that is part


of the problem. When I did a question to the commission asking


when France would pay their final, they ignored it. But by and large,


people do follow the rulings. As they should. Tory Eurosceptics who


deliberately confuse people between the courts just want to slam the


whole thing. But we won the case on the beef ban, David Cameron is


saying over Gibraltar we will take a case, and in my view Ron glee, --


incorrectly, quite happy to use the court when it is in the interests of


Britain, but to go to the Eurosceptic press... You are off on


a party political tirade! It is a political programme! Thank you. That


is all for today. Thanks to my guests Syed Kamall and Richard


Howitt. Bye-bye.


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