06/09/2013 Daily Politics


06/09/2013

Andrew Neil has the top political stories of the day, including the Syria crisis.


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

:00:40.:00:48.

World leaders gathered in St Petersburg to argue whether Syria

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

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

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international talks and get the latest from Westminster, Paris and

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Brussels. We report on the Battle of

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

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

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tomorrow after a general election chock full of gaffes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:01:57.:02:01.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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people validates difficult decisions. The fact is it was not

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

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

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

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

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

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Petersburg. Although it is meant to be a forum

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for discussing the world economy, it has been comprehensively

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overshadowed by Syria. The world leaders discussed the crisis over

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

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

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another nail into the coffin of international law. Although

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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international community do not do anything, not only will Assad

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

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complete chaos where we see extremist elements are imposing on

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

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

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providing vital assistance on the humanitarian, political and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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make any decision about military action. That is something that

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

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happy with the evidence from American intelligence, German

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intelligence, the evidence that is open source, British intelligence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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decision, that any decision regarding military action should be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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rebels. I think he perfectly concluded that the Labour Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:16:39.:16:44.

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

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

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

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

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Assad used chemical weapons against? The government are not

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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producing two QA extra justifications for how it makes

:18:05.:18:08.

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

:18:08.:18:16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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action and until that position changes, the Prime Minister cannot

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

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

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

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are dealing with? That is harder to answer.

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

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

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

:19:48.:19:53.

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

:19:53.:19:55.

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

:19:55.:19:59.

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

:19:59.:20:03.

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

:20:03.:20:12.

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

:20:12.:20:15.

daily digests. When I used to work as a

:20:15.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:26.

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

:20:26.:20:30.

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

:20:30.:20:34.

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

:20:34.:20:38.

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

:20:38.:20:43.

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

:20:43.:20:47.

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

:20:47.:20:55.

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

:20:55.:21:01.

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

:21:01.:21:07.

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

:21:07.:21:13.

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

:21:13.:21:17.

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

:21:17.:21:21.

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

:21:21.:21:25.

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

:21:25.:21:30.

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

:21:30.:21:33.

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

:21:33.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:44.

there is friendly competition. We have software telling us who

:21:44.:21:48.

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

:21:48.:21:52.

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

:21:52.:21:56.

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

:21:56.:22:00.

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

:22:00.:22:09.

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

:22:09.:22:15.

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

:22:15.:22:18.

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

:22:18.:22:23.

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

:22:23.:22:27.

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

:22:27.:22:32.

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

:22:32.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:43.

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

:22:43.:22:48.

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

:22:48.:22:52.

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

:22:52.:22:57.

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

:22:57.:23:01.

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

:23:01.:23:05.

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

:23:05.:23:11.

folder? ! Adam Fleming reporting. And we have

:23:11.:23:16.

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

:23:16.:23:19.

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

:23:19.:23:21.

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

:23:21.:23:28.

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

:23:28.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:39.

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

:23:39.:23:46.

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

:23:46.:23:49.

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

:23:49.:23:59.

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

:23:59.:24:03.

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

:24:03.:24:08.

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

:24:08.:24:13.

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

:24:13.:24:18.

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

:24:18.:24:22.

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

:24:22.:24:28.

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

:24:28.:24:33.

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

:24:33.:24:37.

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

:24:37.:24:43.

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

:24:43.:24:50.

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

:24:50.:24:57.

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

:24:57.:25:00.

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

:25:00.:25:07.

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

:25:07.:25:12.

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

:25:12.:25:16.

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

:25:16.:25:21.

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

:25:21.:25:26.

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

:25:26.:25:28.

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

:25:28.:25:33.

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

:25:33.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:49.

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

:25:49.:25:54.

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

:25:54.:26:02.

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

:26:02.:26:06.

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

:26:06.:26:11.

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

:26:11.:26:14.

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

:26:15.:26:20.

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

:26:21.:26:25.

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

:26:25.:26:31.

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

:26:31.:26:37.

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

:26:37.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:49.

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

:26:49.:26:53.

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

:26:53.:26:56.

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

:26:56.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:02.

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

:27:02.:27:06.

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

:27:06.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:13.

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

:27:13.:27:17.

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

:27:17.:27:21.

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

:27:21.:27:24.

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

:27:24.:27:28.

dominating the campaign. Here is a round-up.

:27:28.:27:39.

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

:27:39.:27:48.

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

:27:48.:27:56.

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

:27:56.:28:05.

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

:28:05.:28:14.

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

:28:14.:28:23.

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

:28:23.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:42.

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

:28:42.:28:45.

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

:28:45.:28:49.

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

:28:49.:28:56.

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

:28:56.:28:59.

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

:28:59.:29:06.

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

:29:06.:29:11.

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

:29:11.:29:16.

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

:29:16.:29:22.

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

:29:22.:29:26.

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

:29:26.:29:32.

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

:29:32.:29:38.

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

:29:38.:29:42.

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

:29:43.:29:49.

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

:29:49.:29:55.

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

:29:55.:30:05.

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

:30:05.:30:08.

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

:30:08.:30:13.

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

:30:13.:30:18.

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

:30:19.:30:23.

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

:30:23.:30:30.

streak of aggression in him and there is that extraordinary

:30:30.:30:35.

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

:30:35.:30:36.

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

:30:36.:30:42.

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

:30:42.:30:46.

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

:30:46.:30:51.

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

:30:51.:30:55.

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

:30:55.:30:59.

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

:30:59.:31:03.

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

:31:03.:31:12.

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

:31:12.:31:16.

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

:31:16.:31:22.

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

:31:22.:31:26.

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

:31:26.:31:31.

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

:31:31.:31:35.

about patents in and restoring the government to Australia. John

:31:35.:31:43.

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

:31:43.:31:50.

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

:31:50.:31:59.

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

:31:59.:32:03.

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

:32:03.:32:10.

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

:32:10.:32:14.

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

:32:14.:32:20.

implementing Julia Gillard's education reform and her disability

:32:20.:32:24.

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

:32:24.:32:30.

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

:32:30.:32:35.

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

:32:35.:32:39.

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

:32:39.:32:48.

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

:32:48.:32:52.

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

:32:52.:32:57.

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

:32:57.:33:04.

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

:33:04.:33:08.

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

:33:08.:33:14.

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

:33:14.:33:18.

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

:33:18.:33:24.

enviable informants but this has turned into an election about living

:33:24.:33:29.

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

:33:29.:33:34.

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

:33:34.:33:41.

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

:33:41.:33:45.

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

:33:45.:33:51.

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

:33:51.:33:58.

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

:33:59.:34:04.

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

:34:04.:34:06.

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

:34:06.:34:09.

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

:34:09.:34:14.

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

:34:14.:34:18.

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

:34:18.:34:23.

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

:34:23.:34:28.

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

:34:28.:34:31.

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

:34:31.:34:34.

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

:34:34.:34:39.

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

:34:39.:34:43.

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

:34:43.:34:47.

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

:34:47.:34:51.

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

:34:51.:34:57.

A European Parliamentary committee held hearings on US fugitive Edward

:34:57.:35:04.

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

:35:04.:35:09.

institutions. MEPs do work to make work.

:35:09.:35:11.

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

:35:11.:35:21.

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

:35:21.:35:26.

Are unlawful actions and threats against Gibraltar are unacceptable.

:35:26.:35:36.

The European Parliament calls for a European defence force under

:35:36.:35:42.

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

:35:42.:35:48.

Chancellor Angela Merkel traded blows over tax and spying with her

:35:48.:35:56.

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

:35:56.:36:03.

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

:36:03.:36:13.

Kamall add Richard Howitt. The German election campaign, is

:36:13.:36:19.

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

:36:19.:36:23.

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

:36:23.:36:28.

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

:36:28.:36:34.

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

:36:34.:36:38.

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

:36:38.:36:44.

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

:36:44.:36:48.

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

:36:48.:37:01.

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

:37:01.:37:12.

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

:37:12.:37:21.

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

:37:22.:37:27.

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

:37:27.:37:31.

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

:37:31.:37:36.

European countries. I would suspect the Conservatives there are pretty

:37:36.:37:41.

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

:37:41.:37:44.

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

:37:44.:37:52.

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

:37:52.:37:55.

They have found agreement on cutting the EU budget, including

:37:55.:37:59.

repatriations powers back from Brussels stock that is why we would

:37:59.:38:08.

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

:38:08.:38:12.

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

:38:12.:38:16.

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

:38:17.:38:21.

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

:38:21.:38:28.

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

:38:28.:38:34.

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

:38:34.:38:38.

social Democrats are the German Labour Party, they are your

:38:38.:38:44.

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

:38:44.:38:50.

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

:38:50.:38:53.

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

:38:53.:38:58.

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

:38:58.:39:04.

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

:39:04.:39:11.

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

:39:11.:39:13.

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

:39:13.:39:18.

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

:39:18.:39:23.

happens. MEPs discuss the prospects of the

:39:23.:39:26.

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

:39:26.:39:30.

European Central Bank suggest the outlook for the eurozone this year

:39:31.:39:36.

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

:39:36.:39:40.

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

:39:40.:39:44.

some countries will still need further financial assistance. Since

:39:44.:39:50.

2010, European leaders have committed 500 Elidh new rows in

:39:50.:39:52.

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

:39:52.:40:06.

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

:40:06.:40:11.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that Athens will need 11

:40:11.:40:17.

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

:40:17.:40:23.

Speaking to MEPs, European President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Greece

:40:23.:40:27.

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

:40:27.:40:32.

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

:40:33.:40:40.

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

:40:40.:40:44.

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

:40:44.:40:50.

indicated clearly that it is committed to providing adequate

:40:50.:40:54.

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

:40:54.:41:00.

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

:41:00.:41:05.

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

:41:05.:41:14.

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

:41:14.:41:20.

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

:41:20.:41:23.

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

:41:23.:41:29.

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

:41:29.:41:34.

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

:41:34.:41:44.

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

:41:44.:41:47.

significantly improving over the last few months. The combination of

:41:47.:41:51.

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

:41:51.:41:57.

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

:41:57.:42:02.

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

:42:02.:42:13.

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

:42:13.:42:16.

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

:42:16.:42:23.

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

:42:23.:42:27.

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

:42:28.:42:38.

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

:42:38.:42:44.

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

:42:44.:42:50.

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

:42:50.:42:56.

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

:42:56.:43:01.

a very expensive sticking plaster rather than solving the fundamental

:43:01.:43:09.

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

:43:09.:43:17.

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

:43:17.:43:21.

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

:43:21.:43:25.

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

:43:25.:43:30.

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

:43:30.:43:34.

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

:43:34.:43:40.

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

:43:40.:43:46.

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

:43:46.:43:53.

the biggest fiscal retrenchment of any country in history. Public

:43:53.:43:57.

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

:43:57.:44:04.

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

:44:04.:44:12.

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

:44:12.:44:15.

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

:44:15.:44:20.

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

:44:20.:44:26.

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

:44:26.:44:29.

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

:44:29.:44:35.

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

:44:35.:44:43.

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

:44:43.:44:48.

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

:44:48.:44:52.

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

:44:52.:44:59.

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

:44:59.:45:03.

the Greek economy cannot be underestimated. We are talking about

:45:03.:45:11.

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

:45:11.:45:17.

contracting. Second quarter GDP figures, the Greek economy

:45:17.:45:24.

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

:45:24.:45:29.

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

:45:29.:45:36.

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

:45:36.:45:40.

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

:45:40.:45:44.

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

:45:44.:45:50.

some substantial challenges yet and the process is incredibly slow,

:45:50.:45:57.

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

:45:57.:46:02.

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

:46:02.:46:11.

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

:46:11.:46:18.

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

:46:18.:46:22.

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

:46:22.:46:29.

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

:46:29.:46:33.

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

:46:33.:46:38.

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

:46:38.:46:42.

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

:46:42.:46:48.

depression but pretty much stagnation? It is pretty much

:46:48.:46:55.

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

:46:55.:47:01.

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

:47:01.:47:06.

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

:47:06.:47:10.

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

:47:10.:47:13.

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

:47:13.:47:19.

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

:47:19.:47:28.

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

:47:28.:47:35.

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

:47:35.:47:38.

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

:47:38.:47:42.

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

:47:42.:47:45.

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

:47:45.:47:48.

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

:47:48.:47:49.

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

:47:49.:47:51.

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

:47:51.:47:54.

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

:47:54.:47:59.

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

:47:59.:48:03.

against the Assad regime seems imminent. The only European country

:48:03.:48:10.

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

:48:10.:48:16.

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

:48:16.:48:19.

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

:48:19.:48:31.

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

:48:31.:48:35.

action against Syria. Even the principal of intervention was voted

:48:35.:48:40.

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

:48:40.:48:44.

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

:48:44.:48:51.

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

:48:51.:48:53.

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

:48:53.:48:56.

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

:48:56.:49:02.

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

:49:02.:49:07.

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

:49:07.:49:11.

from the crisis in the Syria and while politicians have been

:49:11.:49:15.

agonising about taking political action against the Assad regime, the

:49:15.:49:19.

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

:49:19.:49:24.

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

:49:24.:49:31.

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

:49:31.:49:41.

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

:49:41.:49:49.

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

:49:49.:49:52.

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

:49:53.:49:57.

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

:49:57.:50:01.

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

:50:01.:50:06.

appropriate response in light of the urgency that the international

:50:06.:50:08.

community is facing with chemical weapons being used, with the

:50:08.:50:13.

humanitarian disaster growing every day and with the global discussion

:50:13.:50:17.

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

:50:17.:50:22.

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

:50:23.:50:26.

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

:50:26.:50:31.

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

:50:31.:50:44.

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

:50:44.:50:49.

for Assad to use aeroplanes, helicopters and even missiles to

:50:49.:50:54.

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

:50:54.:51:00.

dominated discussions, with world leaders gathered in St Petersburg

:51:00.:51:04.

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

:51:04.:51:11.

European countries have taken positions on Syria, France, written

:51:11.:51:17.

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

:51:17.:51:24.

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

:51:24.:51:31.

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

:51:31.:51:38.

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

:51:38.:51:41.

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

:51:41.:51:46.

where the Eurosceptic mindset is challenged. What is the European

:51:46.:51:52.

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

:51:52.:52:00.

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

:52:00.:52:07.

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

:52:07.:52:13.

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

:52:13.:52:19.

foreign policy. And there is discussion this week in Brussels

:52:19.:52:23.

about whether distributing masks to protect from chemical weapon

:52:23.:52:27.

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

:52:27.:52:32.

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

:52:32.:52:38.

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

:52:38.:52:45.

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

:52:45.:52:50.

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

:52:50.:52:55.

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

:52:55.:53:01.

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

:53:01.:53:04.

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

:53:04.:53:09.

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

:53:09.:53:15.

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

:53:15.:53:19.

changed sides in terms of military intervention but there are strong

:53:19.:53:23.

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

:53:23.:53:29.

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

:53:29.:53:34.

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

:53:34.:53:39.

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

:53:39.:53:43.

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

:53:43.:53:50.

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

:53:50.:53:55.

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

:53:55.:54:00.

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

:54:00.:54:06.

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

:54:06.:54:09.

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

:54:09.:54:13.

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

:54:14.:54:21.

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

:54:21.:54:26.

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

:54:26.:54:30.

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

:54:30.:54:32.

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

:54:32.:54:36.

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

:54:36.:54:40.

to Luxembourg to visit the European Court of Justice.

:54:40.:54:51.

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

:54:51.:54:58.

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

:54:58.:55:03.

this is not a European court of human rights that

:55:03.:55:05.

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

:55:05.:55:09.

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

:55:09.:55:14.

deals with European union organisations, countries and

:55:14.:55:19.

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

:55:19.:55:21.

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

:55:21.:55:25.

should pay compensation if passengers are delayed, if people

:55:25.:55:29.

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

:55:29.:55:34.

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

:55:34.:55:36.

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

:55:36.:55:41.

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

:55:41.:55:44.

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

:55:44.:55:49.

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

:55:49.:55:54.

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

:55:54.:55:58.

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

:55:58.:56:06.

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

:56:06.:56:12.

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

:56:12.:56:13.

and the reasoning behind the understand what the court is saying

:56:13.:56:17.

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

:56:17.:56:21.

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

:56:21.:56:26.

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

:56:26.:56:31.

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

:56:31.:56:38.

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

:56:38.:56:43.

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

:56:43.:56:48.

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

:56:48.:56:53.

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

:56:53.:56:58.

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

:56:58.:57:03.

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

:57:03.:57:04.

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

:57:04.:57:11.

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

:57:11.:57:14.

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

:57:14.:57:19.

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

:57:19.:57:24.

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

:57:24.:57:28.

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

:57:28.:57:35.

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

:57:35.:57:42.

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

:57:42.:57:47.

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

:57:47.:57:52.

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

:57:52.:57:59.

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

:57:59.:58:02.

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

:58:02.:58:06.

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

:58:06.:58:12.

deliberately confuse people between the courts just want to slam the

:58:12.:58:19.

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

:58:19.:58:23.

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

:58:23.:58:32.

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

:58:32.:58:35.

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

:58:35.:58:43.

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

:58:43.:58:49.

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

:58:49.:58:51.

Howitt. Bye-bye.

:58:51.:58:56.

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