16/06/2014 Daily Politics


16/06/2014

Jo Coburn presents the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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LineFromTo

Afternoon folks, welcome to the Daily Politics.

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On the brink of all-out sectarian war.

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As Iraq slides into chaos, the Foreign Secretary,

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William Hague reiterates there'll be no British military involvement.

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The US is said to be talking to its arch enemy Iran over what to do.

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We'll be asking does the West have a coherent foreign policy any more?

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The Chinese Premier's in London on a mission to change "misgivings and

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Nick Clegg's been outlining plans for the Liberal Democrat

:01:02.:01:08.

Will it be worth the paper it's written on?

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Now his former right-hand man is dishing the dirt.

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All that in the course of the next hour.

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Let's begin, though, with the crisis in Iraq.

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The debate over just how the west should intervene over the situation

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there is likely to intensify this week as more reports of fierce

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The militant group Isis appears to have caught the Iraqi government

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and a number of world leaders off guard, but just who are they and

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The name ISIS stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, which

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It grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq and is a Sunni militant group

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fighting what it regards as an oppressive Shia regime in Baghdad.

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Led by this man, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group wants to

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build a strict Islamic caliphate straddling between Iraq and Syria.

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Isis already has large areas of both countries under

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its command, including the key cities of Tikrit, Mosul and Faluja.

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Their control has given them access to vast amounts of wealth

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The organisation is notorious for imposing a strict literal

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Yesterday saw the release of a number

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of images reportedly showing ISIS fighters executing a group of Iraqi

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soldiers, although the pictures have yet to be independently verified.

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Yesterday, the former Prime Minister,

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Tony Blair, defended Britain's role in the Iraq war arguing that

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the invasion in 2003 was not the cause of the current crisis.

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Again, as I've said many times, of course you regret the loss of life

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and the difficulties we encountered. Did you say to me where I would have

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preferred a situation where we left Saddam Hussein in 2003 in place,

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would the region be more stable, my answer to that is unhesitatingly no.

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However, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has this morning

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been highly critical of the former Prime Minister

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and said the war in 2003 is partly to blame for the current problems.

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What I'm trying to say is that Britain should be engaged with the

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world and be positive about the good things we can do, but in order to do

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that, you've got to be honest and realistic about where it has gone

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wrong. And it has gone wrong. Andy Payton we opened the way to a lot of

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sectarian bloodshed -- and it paid to a lot of sectarian bloodshed --

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and it patented leak went wrong in 2003. And that was not the case

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before the invasion of Iraq. What would your message to Tony Blair be

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today? I can understand that he feels very shattered and guilty

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about the whole thing, but my general message would to be put a

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sock in it, and paper bag on head time is my advice.

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Well, earlier I spoke to our Correspondent,

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I asked him whether the government forces were in a state to push back

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against ISIS? The Prime Minister has said that they would start fighting

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back soon. They in a town called Samarra, which is 70 miles north of

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Baghdad. They are preparing to push forward from there towards Tikrit,

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and they are mobilising somewhat ominously, large numbers of Shia

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Muslim volunteers, who are being registered at special centres that

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have been set up. It looks a little bit like an act of desperation, to

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rely on civilians wielding pitchforks. It's not quite like

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that, but it is the image it brings up. They say they can, but there is

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a lot of doubt, because they fled from Mosul with little resistance

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and the officer corps is clearly quite poor. A lot of the officers in

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the old army with years of experience fighting the Iranians and

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others, they defected because they were Sunni Muslim and were sent home

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after the Americans dissolve the Iraqi army. They make up the

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backbone of some of the fighting going on from the rebel side. That

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is one reason why the Iraqi army has put up such a poor show. What about

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the international response? We've heard in the last hour or so that

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the Iranians have rejected the idea of talks with the Americans, but

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where you are, are you hearing intelligence that the Americans are

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probably preparing for a bombing campaign? I think it's hanging in

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the balance. I don't think they want to wade in on one side in a very

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divided and polarised situation. They are not too happy about the way

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the Prime Minister has handled things. He is quite close to Iran as

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well, but the way he alienate it large sectors of Sunni Muslim

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opinion, they don't want to see -- seem to be wading in on one side.

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They want to see him or someone else pulled together and national unity

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government where they could bring the Sunni Muslims on board and drive

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a wedge between the disgruntled men who joined the campaign against the

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government, and the extremists of ISIS, the Al-Qaeda related people.

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That's a hard thing to do, but the Americans don't particularly want to

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get involved in hostilities on behalf of people in factional

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situation like this. With me now is the Conservative MP,

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Rory Stewart, he is the new Chairman In 2003, he served as a Deputy

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Governor in southern Iraq, appointed We're also joined by

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Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Lib Dem leader, and by the

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journalist John Rentoul who writes John, first of all, referring back

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to Tony Blair and Boris Johnson. Who is right in terms of how much the

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2003 invasion has to answer for what is going on now? Obviously the 2003

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invasion had a bearing on what is happening now, but you could equally

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say that the failure to intervene in Syria was responsible for ISIS

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coming over from Syria, which is where they got their trained men and

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materials and the weapons from. I thought Boris Johnson was

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unnecessary in using the language of mental health to dismiss Tony

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Blair's contribution. If you look at what Boris Johnson was saying should

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be done, it was pretty much the same as what Tony Blair says. Let's

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discuss what we should do now rather than what happened 11 years ago. Is

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it time to stop going over the recriminations of whether we should

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or should not have gone into Iraq, bearing in mind this is a threat

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happening right now? The Chilcot Inquiry still has to come, and that

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is bound to renew the debate, but to some extent I agree with John. It is

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facile to say that the invasion of 2003 had no influence on today's

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events, but it's equally facile to say that without it to say that

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without it the place. The truth is, it's a complex situation, made

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complicated further by Syria and by the fact, as we heard earlier, that

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the government has been pretty inept. My hope is that both the

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United States and Iran, inspired of what has been publicly said, -- in

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spite of what has been publicly said, realise they have a common

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interest in ensuring the integrity of Iraq is protected, as indeed do

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all this. Because further instability in the Middle East, for

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a no go area of everyone, except terrorism, which extended from the

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northern part of Iraq into Syria would be an enormously helpful thing

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for them in the prosecution of their barbaric way of life. That is why it

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is so important that we have barbaric way of life. That is why it

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is so important that action which has the effect of maintaining the

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sovereign Iraqi government. We will come back to the action that can be

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taken, but let's go to the Syria intervention that never actually

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occurred. Do you think that has been critical in allowing the space for

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ISIS jihadist 's to create a power base not only in Syria, but also

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take advantage, as many critics have claimed, of the Prime Minister's

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relentless Shia Muslim agenda, to do what they are doing now? I think

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that's undoubtedly the case. I'm not an expert on Syria. In Syria, we

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would have had to intervene much earlier than ever suggested

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would have had to intervene much anybody to produce some kind of

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decent outcome. Actually, all that was proposed last August was a

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punitive strike was to persuade Bashar al-Assad to not use chemical

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weapons. It had gone ahead, I think it might have been worthwhile, but

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don't think it would have stopped the Civil War in Syria ISIS coming

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into Iraq. -- or ISIS coming in. Has he pursued this Shia Muslim-led

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agenda, the prime Minister? He is a man of the West, and that was the

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mistake. There was an election. It's interesting what Jim Weir -- Jim

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Muir said earlier, that there should be a government led by somebody more

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temperate in their views. But what was proposed last September was to

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bomb Bashar al-Assad. That would not have weakened these people, and it

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might have strengthened them. That could have been a recruiting

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sergeant for them. But if we come back to who should be running Iraq,

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the West does have themselves to blame in terms of pulling out too

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early, allowing Nouri Al Malachy to pursue the agenda with tacit support

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from people on the ground. I was in the United States last week and I

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saw people say it was Barack Obama's polled for pulling out, but

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the Prime Minister of Iraq did not want to say -- Barack Obama's fault.

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It has turned into the Americans and Republicans against each other. It's

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a bit like the argument of whether the invasion of 2003 caused this. It

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is not the sole cause. What that requires now is a common approach by

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people who have influence, and the truth is, the UK does not have

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influence. We are entirely subordinate to the US in this. We

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can give them some technical assistance, the much admired special

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forces might be engaged in some activity, but the truth of the

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matter is, the solution to this lies in Washington and at the desk of

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Barack Obama which might explain why he's making -- taking so long to

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make up his mind. Do you agree that we can and we often shouldn't do

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anything? I don't know. We should listen to people like Tony Blair who

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have experience and have thought about it, instead of insulting him

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by calling him mad or rate war criminal. I love and respect Menzies

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Campbell. He opposes war in a constructive and measured language,

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which is the sort of thing we should have in this debate. But if you're

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listening to somebody like Tony Blair who has, in many quarters been

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vilified for 2003, and calling for more intervention, which is his only

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line, to go into Syria and then into Iraq, you can't say it was a

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resounding success, so why would you listen to Tony Blair? Because he has

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actually thought about it and he has important things to say. Boris

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Johnson, who calls him mad, proposes the same thing and says we should

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help the Prime Minister as much as possible. Would you listen to Tony

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Blair and his suggestions? I did have do for quite awhile on some

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television channels. I thought it was long on analysis and short

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solution. Much of what he said I was agreeable to, but then he said in

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general terms something has to be done. But if you leave the gap but

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something has to be done, in the mind of somebody like me, the

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something to be done, the thing that comes to mind is military

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intervention. Philip Hammond just ruled that out in the last hour.

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William Hague ruled it out this morning on the Today programme, and

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there is a statement in the House of Commons where it will be ruled out

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again. The fact is, the US will look to us for the assistance we can

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provide which does not involve boots on the ground. As our closest ally,

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we will be under pressure to assist. How long can we allow the vacuum to

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continue? It Barack Obama does not come up with some sort of coherent

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plan, do we sit here and wait for direction from Washington? What else

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can we do best we can't go in on our own. We don't have the Armed Forces

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that we had in 2003 -- what else can we do? We cannot go in on our own. I

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hope that they will consider that there is a possibility of some kind

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of agreement with the Iranians. You can't want to leap into bed with the

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great Satan, as they describe the US, without some sort of

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explanation. So far there is no obvious explanation. But remember

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that back channels are as important in diplomatic exchanges as what is

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said in front of the TV cameras. What about Iran and Saudi Arabia? If

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you're looking at the big sponsors Shia and Sunni Muslims, is that the

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way to go and what can Britain do? I'm not the expert. People like

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Menzies Campbell and Tony Blair have views on this and we should listen.

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But we should also accept, as Sir Menzies does, that this is

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America's problem. We can't act on our own. All the debate in this

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country is focused entirely on it Tony Blair do this, did he get it

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wrong? It was in his war, it was George Bush's war. He had to support

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it or not. If we could perhaps reduce the level of debate somewhat.

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We are where we are, and it is quite right to identify it ran Sidey

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Arabia. Both of them in their own ways would have their interests

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materially registered by terrorism, so looking from outside, there is

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compulsion. But this dispute goes back to the seventh century, so it

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is difficult to persuade people to accept the situation. We are looking

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to something approaching partition and a change of boundaries. And we

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have not yet mentioned the Kurds. We could be looking at dividing the

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region into three, which would be very unstable, and against our

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interests. I apologise for Rory Stewart. We thought he was coming.

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Maybe he is still in the building. Thank you, gentlemen.

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It's three months to go until the Scottish independence

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referendum and both campaigns are holding events in Edinburgh today.

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In a speech this morning Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is

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laying out the Scottish government's plans for a draft constitution

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And then later this afternoon, the leaders of the Scottish Tories,

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Labour and Liberal Democrats are releasing

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their plans for further devolution in the event of a no vote.

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I can speak now to Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Scottish Green

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party - and supporter of independence - who's in Glasgow.

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Welcome to the programme. What would be in this draft interim

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constitution? The Scottish government has published today

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consultation and a draft interim is gone -- constitution. There is a

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strong thread of social justice in there. It is not intended to be the

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permanent constitution, which would be developed afterwards. It is

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important to keep the momentum and keeping gauge meant all the way

:18:08.:18:10.

through from the referendum to transition. But there is a strong

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element of social justice on issues like human rights, equality,

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disarmament, many of the powerful issues which are motivating people

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to vote yes in the referendum. Wider Scotland need a written

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constitution? It is an important symbol of the modern country we are

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trying to build. The idea of a comprehensive written constitution

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that everyone can read and understand is necessary to hold

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Government accountable. Britain does have hundreds of years of

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constitutional documentation, but you need to be a lawyer to

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understand any of it. Constitution is important for the citizens of the

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country to power accountable. You said it is draft, interim, there

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will obviously be discussions. But you want an independent Scotland to

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be nuclear weapons free, enshrined in law. So it means a nuclear

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deterrent would not be able to be used as a bargaining chip. I

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wouldn't want it to be. I would want a very clear statement that says we

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get rid of nuclear were and as quickly as Austevoll. I am not

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consulting on this, I am in an opposition party. I am on the yes

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side of the referendum debate, but I will be responding to this

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consultation just as everybody else is, and I will have ideas on how it

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might be improved, for example ensuring the natural resources, the

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land of Scotland, is held in the common good. There are important

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principles about the ownership of Scotland which need to be addressed

:19:57.:20:00.

if we are to close the gap that we were rich and poor. The Herald

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reports that an independent Scotland would borrow billions of pounds, so

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to close that gap you are talking about, are you prepared to do that?

:20:12.:20:15.

Would you support a Government that would borrow billions of pounds to

:20:16.:20:17.

support the gap at wing Richard Poor? What John Swinney has said is

:20:18.:20:29.

that he would favour a stimulus approach, are wing to invest. --

:20:30.:20:39.

borrowing to invest. That could be achieved partly through are wing,

:20:40.:20:43.

but the emphasis needs to be on taxation as well. But I certainly

:20:44.:20:55.

welcome the idea of an end to the austerity agenda. Thank you very

:20:56.:20:58.

much. And joining me from our Edinburgh

:20:59.:21:01.

studio is the leader of the Scottish The three prounion parties in

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Scotland supports devolution but have different plans. What is

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important is that the SMP and others would like to see more powers. This

:21:26.:21:31.

is a choice between two different visions of Scotland, one a separate

:21:32.:21:41.

independent country, and one a strong Scotland within a strong

:21:42.:21:48.

United Kingdom. Can you give any specifics as to the powers Hollywood

:21:49.:21:57.

will get? We will be working our way through this. It is about fiscal

:21:58.:22:01.

accountability, taxation, a more coherent welfare system and looking

:22:02.:22:06.

at how you decentralise power is out of the Scottish Parliament. The

:22:07.:22:13.

issue here is looking about what works best. We know that for the

:22:14.:22:21.

SNP, no powers will ever be enough, but we want to ensure we strike a

:22:22.:22:28.

balance between a strong Scottish Parliament and the best of both

:22:29.:22:36.

worlds. So why won't labour for the Scottish Parliament full income

:22:37.:22:40.

tax-raising powers? One of the benefits of being in the United

:22:41.:22:43.

Kingdom is we are able to share and resources. So we want to make sure

:22:44.:22:55.

that we get the balance right, because for too long, Scottish

:22:56.:23:02.

Parliaments have had no accountability for raising money,

:23:03.:23:06.

and we want to strike that balance. You say you want clear-cut plans

:23:07.:23:10.

from the other side, but your campaign to some extent has been

:23:11.:23:12.

about knocking their plans down rather than producing your own

:23:13.:23:17.

positive narrative about what would be on offer. I don't accept that is

:23:18.:23:26.

true. Scotland is strong enough and confident enough to work with

:23:27.:23:29.

neighbours across the whole of the United Kingdom. We cannot say that

:23:30.:23:40.

all our ills have been as a result of being done down by the rest of

:23:41.:23:46.

the United Kingdom and me -- we must separate off. We don't need to be

:23:47.:23:53.

separated to be able to stand strong and tall within the United Kingdom.

:23:54.:23:57.

China's prime minister, Li Keqiang, arrives in the UK today for a

:23:58.:24:00.

three-day visit before jetting off to those other well-known economic

:24:01.:24:02.

Mr Keqiang says he wants to "present the real China so as to

:24:03.:24:06.

The Government however will be less concerned with perceptions

:24:07.:24:10.

They're hoping to secure some serious Chinese investment.

:24:11.:24:15.

Our reporter Eleanor Garnier has been taking a look

:24:16.:24:17.

London's Chinatown, but the Chinese premier will be too busy taking tea

:24:18.:24:37.

with the Queen to put a visiting here. In search of a little luck, I

:24:38.:24:41.

went along to find some Chinese words of wisdom. Everything will now

:24:42.:24:48.

come your way? And troubled economies are trying their luck,

:24:49.:24:51.

too, looking to Chinese investments to help turn their fortunes around.

:24:52.:24:56.

Whether it is paying hundreds of millions for a 10% stake at

:24:57.:25:01.

Heathrow, spending billions building railway in East Africa or pouring

:25:02.:25:04.

millions into upgrading a Greek port, all around the world, China is

:25:05.:25:11.

investing, and fast. China above all is investing in the developing

:25:12.:25:16.

world. It's now accounts for more lending to the developing world than

:25:17.:25:22.

the World Bank. It is focused in particular on East Asia and also

:25:23.:25:29.

Africa. It invests mainly in commodities, but increasingly also

:25:30.:25:35.

in manufacturing and capacity. And also in other significant areas of

:25:36.:25:41.

investment, in Latin America. But it is not just investment in

:25:42.:25:46.

infrastructure and energy. Wealthy Chinese people are being cleared to

:25:47.:25:56.

leave -- are coming to Europe in return for investing is little as

:25:57.:26:06.

500,000 euros. Remember this? David Cameron's visit to China last year.

:26:07.:26:10.

It went some way to warming up the diplomatic relationship between the

:26:11.:26:14.

two countries after things had got a little frosty because of the PM's

:26:15.:26:19.

meeting with the Dalai llama. And on this return visit, one expert told

:26:20.:26:28.

me that he will be careful to be seen to be calling the shots. When

:26:29.:26:32.

the British premier visited China, they welcomed it quite understated,

:26:33.:26:41.

the way the government would like it to be. When the Chinese premier

:26:42.:26:45.

visits the UK, the Chinese government would

:26:46.:26:47.

visits the UK, the Chinese is a much more positive development,

:26:48.:26:51.

so I think the Chinese media will also projected as a much more

:26:52.:26:56.

positive and successful event. I'd like China's got plenty of dough,

:26:57.:27:11.

and the UK needs it. Expect lots of wooing as the UK competes with many

:27:12.:27:14.

others after China's good fortune. Joining me now is the Business

:27:15.:27:17.

Minister Michael Fallon and the What will success look like for you

:27:18.:27:27.

on this trip? Continuing to strengthen the trading relationship

:27:28.:27:32.

we have with China. It is a very important business partner for us.

:27:33.:27:42.

Exports are up 15% last year. It is very important for us to make this a

:27:43.:27:46.

full two-way relationship with a valued partner. They invest in us in

:27:47.:27:53.

infrastructure, in oil and gas, but we also invest there. Are we reliant

:27:54.:28:00.

on the Chinese for British infrastructure investment? Not at

:28:01.:28:08.

all. This year, Siemens are investing, and Japanese companies

:28:09.:28:14.

are investing in our cars. We welcome the Chinese investment, they

:28:15.:28:19.

are a big part of it. It is a big part of EDF, the French company, and

:28:20.:28:28.

its plans to build a nuclear reactor in Somerset. But do we need to

:28:29.:28:33.

ignore human rights questions to make this a priority? China is a

:28:34.:28:39.

valued trade partner. We have a human rights dialogue with China.

:28:40.:28:44.

The Prime Minister will obviously continue to raise human rights and

:28:45.:28:49.

human rights cases. There are important issues coming up like the

:28:50.:28:52.

election for the chief executive of Hong Kong. But we should allow these

:28:53.:28:56.

issues to get in the way of a very old and deepening trade

:28:57.:28:59.

relationship. Do you agree with that? Would you risk upsetting the

:29:00.:29:07.

Chinese by raising human rights? Not at all. This relationship does come

:29:08.:29:14.

with responsibilities. It is right for the prime Minister to be raising

:29:15.:29:17.

the concerns that UK nationals have about investment in the UK, and

:29:18.:29:20.

making sure that that in estimate comes with significant

:29:21.:29:24.

responsibilities about human rights issues. Hopefully the premiere of

:29:25.:29:29.

China will take those issues on board. Do you think he actually

:29:30.:29:35.

will? It is important that he does. If China is going to be a world

:29:36.:29:39.

player, it needs to play in the world environment in the proper way,

:29:40.:29:43.

and that is a significant responsibility. And Michael Fallon,

:29:44.:29:47.

if they don't take on these concerns, will you stop or at least

:29:48.:29:51.

restrict the two-way trade investment? These are not opposites.

:29:52.:29:58.

These are things we do with a mature trading partner. We raise these

:29:59.:29:59.

issues is the oldest and most important

:30:00.:30:38.

ally in that respect. But you said you wanted to view it as we do the

:30:39.:30:43.

relationship with the US? It is getting to that scale. There is big

:30:44.:30:47.

investment on both sides. China is an important trading partner for us.

:30:48.:30:52.

We are not part of a security alliance with China, so there are

:30:53.:30:55.

differences, but we want China to play a full role in the

:30:56.:30:58.

international community. They have been extremely helpful in dealing

:30:59.:31:02.

with issues with North Korea, for example, and it's important that the

:31:03.:31:06.

relationship is deepened and it is not just trade. In government, will

:31:07.:31:10.

you do anything different here? There is a problem here, because the

:31:11.:31:14.

office of budget responsibility said the trade gap is widening and it is

:31:15.:31:19.

a drag on growth. We are relying on housing bubble that spin

:31:20.:31:24.

artificially made, so we have to get exports. We have a target of ?1

:31:25.:31:29.

trillion exports by 2020, and that just won't happen with the current

:31:30.:31:33.

rate. They are an incredibly important market for trade to

:31:34.:31:36.

rebalance the UK economy. So you would not do anything different? You

:31:37.:31:40.

have laid at the reasons we are in this situation, but you wouldn't do

:31:41.:31:43.

anything different with regard to China? We want to have Chinese

:31:44.:31:48.

people coming here. The Visa problems are a significant issue. We

:31:49.:31:52.

need the cat connectivity -- the connectivity with China. We also

:31:53.:31:57.

need to have the export guarantee schemes announced two years ago,

:31:58.:32:01.

?5.5 billion of UK taxpayer cash, and not one business has applied for

:32:02.:32:06.

it. We need businesses exporting to rebalance the economy. Do you accept

:32:07.:32:11.

that government restrictions on immigration have harmed relations,

:32:12.:32:16.

because the Chinese have repeatedly said that they have stopped Chinese

:32:17.:32:21.

people coming over here, whether it is students or business people

:32:22.:32:23.

question the last Labour government did nothing about Chinese trade. In

:32:24.:32:31.

terms of visas, there are 90,000 Chinese students in this country. We

:32:32.:32:35.

have more Visa centres in China than any other country in terms of

:32:36.:32:40.

processing applications. 96% of people in China applying for a Visa

:32:41.:32:46.

get one. Well why has Downing Street just put out something that they

:32:47.:32:51.

will ease restrictions to Chinese visitors, so that means they've been

:32:52.:32:56.

restricted. We want to make it easier, so that is why we opened

:32:57.:33:01.

more centres and it easier for companies to get visas for the

:33:02.:33:03.

people they want to bring in. You can always improve these things.

:33:04.:33:07.

There is a significant contradiction there. While we welcome Chinese

:33:08.:33:11.

investment in the UK and we need to increase exports, we are turning our

:33:12.:33:14.

back on the EU and they are our biggest exporting market. So we have

:33:15.:33:20.

the government saying we need as much Chinese investment and

:33:21.:33:24.

exporting as we can get, but we will risk the relationship with the EU

:33:25.:33:28.

for political propaganda purposes. We are reforming our relationship

:33:29.:33:31.

with the EU, as the Chinese understand that, just as the

:33:32.:33:35.

Japanese and Americans do. We want to make it competitive, less

:33:36.:33:38.

bureaucratic, less harmonising and we want to focus on the things that

:33:39.:33:42.

really matter. They understand that perfectly well. One of the reasons

:33:43.:33:45.

the Chinese invest here is because we are full members of the EU. How

:33:46.:33:50.

would they feel if Britain left the EU in 2017? Like the Japanese and

:33:51.:33:56.

Americans I'm sure they want us to stay in the EU, but they understand

:33:57.:34:00.

that Europe has to reform. And so do the other member states of Europe.

:34:01.:34:03.

They understand that Europe needs to reform and they see the way now

:34:04.:34:08.

through the free trade deals to an expansion of growth across small

:34:09.:34:13.

trade, and China and Britain's trade relationship is a part of that. This

:34:14.:34:17.

is an area of growing trade that creates jobs both here and in China.

:34:18.:34:22.

And the EU free-trade deals are fundamental to the relationship with

:34:23.:34:26.

China and the rest of the world. The Japanese, the Americans and the

:34:27.:34:29.

Chinese want us to stay in the EU but our own Prime Minister is

:34:30.:34:32.

unclear if he wants to stay in the EU. The CBI have said this and the

:34:33.:34:39.

EU, it is critical to the UK economy for them to stay in the reformed EU

:34:40.:34:44.

system with reform. It's a busy start to the week, along

:34:45.:34:48.

with the Chinese premier arriving in the UK and an interim constitution

:34:49.:34:52.

arriving in Scotland, the public sector union, Unison, has arrived in

:34:53.:34:54.

Brighton for their week long annual conference, where they're expected

:34:55.:34:57.

to debate strike actions And a new law comes

:34:58.:34:59.

into effect making forced marriage a criminal offence in England

:35:00.:35:04.

and Wales, punishable with up to Tomorrow,

:35:05.:35:06.

DEFRA publishes its report on Winter Floods, setting out what needs to be

:35:07.:35:12.

learned from last winter's crisis. And the government serves up

:35:13.:35:18.

its freshly prepared Food School Plan, aimed at improving both

:35:19.:35:21.

school dinners and food education. And on Wednesday,

:35:22.:35:26.

the Bank of England appoints former White House economic hotshot

:35:27.:35:29.

Professor Kristin Forbes to Welcome to Jim and Isabel. Isabel,

:35:30.:35:48.

what has been the response of Westminster to Tony Blair's comments

:35:49.:35:54.

and Boris Johnson's response? I think there are people on both sides

:35:55.:35:57.

of the debate of intervention who agree with Boris Johnson, and they

:35:58.:36:01.

wish that Tony had Blair did keep quiet when these matters, because he

:36:02.:36:05.

does poison the debate about intervention -- Tony Blair. Just as

:36:06.:36:09.

he did about the debate in Syria. He tends to bring this back to events

:36:10.:36:14.

in 2003, but we are talking about what is happening in Iraq now rather

:36:15.:36:17.

than digging through the lessons of history. In terms of the government

:36:18.:36:22.

response, Jim, it's clear there won't be any deployment of boots on

:36:23.:36:25.

the ground. There are no soldiers going over. What can Britain do

:36:26.:36:31.

except, as my guests earlier said, wait for America and Washington to

:36:32.:36:36.

decide? That was what Nick Clegg was saying at his press Conference, that

:36:37.:36:39.

he will provide support to America and Britain was provided

:36:40.:36:44.

intelligence -- will provide intelligence. There is the

:36:45.:36:46.

possibility of special forces going in but I doubt we will hear

:36:47.:36:51.

confirmation of that. Let's move onto special advisers, and I see you

:36:52.:36:58.

laughing, Isabel, and the special adviser to Michael Gove. His

:36:59.:37:00.

comments were strong. Does this leave Michael Gove in a difficult

:37:01.:37:05.

situation? I don't think Michael Gove is ever in a difficult

:37:06.:37:09.

situation. People say it might be awkward during education questions,

:37:10.:37:12.

but normally Labour thunder ratting across the Commons and the response

:37:13.:37:17.

with ornate words that means he avoids answering the question, and I

:37:18.:37:22.

suspect he will do it today. Jim, is it for time Dominic Cummings to bow

:37:23.:37:26.

out of the public debate? I'm not sure anyone can can control him. He

:37:27.:37:30.

seems to be having so much fun with this, briefing against everyone and

:37:31.:37:33.

not caring what anyone thinks. You could see how riled Nick Clegg was

:37:34.:37:39.

this morning, saying that he had deep issues with anger, and people

:37:40.:37:42.

like these get above their station when they get within a sniff of

:37:43.:37:47.

power. I think this one will run. And the reaction from ten Downing

:37:48.:37:53.

St? He has been unhelpful to number ten. Their responses that David

:37:54.:37:56.

Cameron has faith and trust in all his advisers, because Dominic

:37:57.:38:01.

Cummings criticised the operation in number ten, but the criticism also

:38:02.:38:06.

went to David Cameron's wrap dashboard for Michael Gove's

:38:07.:38:10.

reforms, which suggests that the Prime Minister is not committed to

:38:11.:38:11.

the Ed Miliband has been getting

:38:12.:38:22.

themselves along with others about the photo shoot for the World Cup.

:38:23.:38:25.

Were they right to apologise or should they have stood their ground?

:38:26.:38:30.

We are into another phase where posing with a newspaper that read by

:38:31.:38:33.

more than anybody a country demands a republic -- an apology from the

:38:34.:38:42.

prime minister. When he telephoned labour Liverpool politicians, they

:38:43.:38:44.

were furious. He said he did not know how he could go out on the

:38:45.:38:49.

doorstep and tell to vote for Ed Miliband as prime minister given

:38:50.:38:52.

that he had posed with the Sun newspaper. An almost impossible line

:38:53.:38:54.

to tread Vura Labour leader given how much -- for a Labour leader,

:38:55.:39:02.

given how much the Labour base is mistrustful of the sun. Do you think

:39:03.:39:07.

the people around Ed Miliband made a mistake and setting it up in the

:39:08.:39:10.

first place or agreeing in the first place? There was a mistake and that

:39:11.:39:15.

there wasn't a strategy. If he had decided to pose with the Sun

:39:16.:39:18.

newspaper, he should have thought ahead and thought about the problems

:39:19.:39:22.

it might cause for some groups. The Liverpool Labour MPs did not know

:39:23.:39:26.

about the photo until it emerged on Twitter, and that is one reason why

:39:27.:39:31.

they were upset. This is the problem with the team, they don't have that

:39:32.:39:35.

kind of strategic thinking. There's lots of different people all doing

:39:36.:39:39.

slightly different things. What about Ed Miliband himself? Should he

:39:40.:39:44.

have seen it coming? He doesn't seem to have been calculating about this

:39:45.:39:46.

and in the end he's upset everyone. He then apologised for posing the

:39:47.:39:51.

newspaper, and then they wrote an aggressive leading article next day.

:39:52.:39:55.

So he has annoyed everyone. That was very successful of them. Jim,

:39:56.:39:59.

looking briefly manifestoes, because the Liberal Democrats have been

:40:00.:40:02.

talking about theirs. Will anybody ever take any notice of what is

:40:03.:40:07.

written in them again? Even Nick Clegg said it wasn't even worth

:40:08.:40:11.

putting together a coalition manifesto any more, because we don't

:40:12.:40:14.

know what it will be until after the result. Basically the tone this

:40:15.:40:18.

morning was, you elect the MPs you want, and we will sort out what

:40:19.:40:22.

policies the government will deliver the next five years. I just don't

:40:23.:40:27.

really see. No one is really too hopeful of a majority on either

:40:28.:40:31.

side. Maybe they are not really worth the paper they are written

:40:32.:40:34.

on. Jim, Isabel, thank you very much.

:40:35.:40:36.

And with us for the rest of the programme is the Treasury Minister

:40:37.:40:39.

and Conservative MP, Andrea Leadsom, Labour's Meg Hillier, and from the

:40:40.:40:42.

Now let's talk about the Liberal Democrats, because

:40:43.:40:45.

Nick Clegg has been outlining the party's pitch to voters

:40:46.:40:48.

This is what he had to say at his press conference earlier

:40:49.:40:52.

This will be an independent, Liberal Democrat manifesto from an

:40:53.:41:05.

independent Liberal party. It will not be written with an eye to what

:41:06.:41:08.

Labour or the Conservatives think or might sign up to. It will be written

:41:09.:41:14.

with an eye for what Britain needs. It will be written as an answer to

:41:15.:41:19.

one simple question. How can we build opportunity for all? Cars, for

:41:20.:41:23.

liberals, no matter what your background, your race -- because,

:41:24.:41:28.

for liberals, no matter what your background, your race, your colour,

:41:29.:41:32.

your sexuality, we believe in you. We don't write anybody. Britain must

:41:33.:41:38.

move from austerity to ambition and think about how a restored economy

:41:39.:41:42.

should function. Just very recently the Chief Secretary to the Treasury,

:41:43.:41:47.

Danny Alexander, a positive growth force from the IMF said they should

:41:48.:41:53.

not review their austerity policies -- policies. So which is it? We have

:41:54.:41:58.

managed to do the hard job of turning the economy round in the

:41:59.:42:01.

last four years, but we have to make sure we do it in a way that makes it

:42:02.:42:05.

fairer for all parts of society. Right behind Nick Clegg it had

:42:06.:42:12.

stronger economy, fair society. The bit that comes after that is

:42:13.:42:15.

enabling everybody did get on in life, and that's the important part

:42:16.:42:20.

we need to deliver. Because you failed to deliver it in coalition

:42:21.:42:24.

over four years? Absolutely not. If you look at the people premium. That

:42:25.:42:30.

will be ?2.5 billion that will make sure the most disadvantaged children

:42:31.:42:34.

in society are given help to ensure that they keep up with their peers.

:42:35.:42:38.

That is making sure that we are creating a fair society and helping

:42:39.:42:42.

them get on in life. There is much more to do. The indication is the

:42:43.:42:48.

austerity has achieved what the government set out to do, so you

:42:49.:42:52.

have got rid of the deficit and debt is falling as a proportion of GDP.

:42:53.:42:56.

These are things that were promised by George Osborne, and the

:42:57.:43:00.

timetables have been missed. So you have not finished the austerity

:43:01.:43:03.

project, and if you leave the austerity policies behind, you will

:43:04.:43:08.

end up in another financial mess? Austerity in itself does not mean we

:43:09.:43:11.

should not have ambition for those people in society who we can help to

:43:12.:43:17.

get on. So austerity will continue, won't it? It has to, because the

:43:18.:43:22.

finances were in such a poor state. But Nick Clegg said they would move

:43:23.:43:26.

from austerity to ambition, but the Liberal Democrats said out of the

:43:27.:43:34.

rubble of the 2008 crash we must build a new economy. We can no

:43:35.:43:38.

longer accept a society of inequality in opportunity. We cannot

:43:39.:43:41.

mortgage the future of our children by ignoring the threat of climate

:43:42.:43:45.

change. It sounds like a man who's not been in government for the last

:43:46.:43:48.

four years. Not at all. There were difficult decisions are made, and we

:43:49.:43:53.

made them. There will be more difficult decisions in the next

:43:54.:43:56.

parliament, but it doesn't mean we can't have an eye on the future and

:43:57.:43:59.

making sure we are creating a society that will help the poorest

:44:00.:44:02.

and the most disadvantage and help to get them a foot on the ladder so

:44:03.:44:09.

they can catch up with their peers. In the past, they have been

:44:10.:44:14.

forgotten about. What about a red lines. What would be red line are

:44:15.:44:20.

you? Would it be a mansion tax? I'm not going to talk about red lines.

:44:21.:44:24.

You are putting together a manifesto, so there must be some,

:44:25.:44:29.

surely? We will wait to see what the electorate says. So who is the

:44:30.:44:34.

largest party. Depending on where we negotiate depends on who we get.

:44:35.:44:41.

Let's not concentration -- let's not concentrate on negotiation. What

:44:42.:44:44.

Nick has done today set out a vision of what the Liberal Democrats want

:44:45.:44:47.

to achieve in the next Parliament. It's up to the other parties to do

:44:48.:44:50.

the same, then we will have each put our vision in front of the

:44:51.:44:54.

electorate of the UK, and it's up to the people to decide what they want

:44:55.:44:58.

to achieve in the next Parliament. We each have to sell a positive

:44:59.:45:00.

vision for what we want to achieve. Well, all the parties are

:45:01.:45:04.

deliberating and cogitating But how important is it to get

:45:05.:45:05.

your manifesto pitch spot-on? And this time round,

:45:06.:45:10.

might the parties consider playing Anyone who needs to ask why are

:45:11.:45:41.

manifested needs to be got right has forgotten the so-called long suicide

:45:42.:45:52.

note of Labour. Manifestoes have to be realistic and believable like

:45:53.:45:58.

never before. All parties ought to have known that if you don't end up

:45:59.:46:06.

with and -- a majority, you won't be able to deliver your manifesto. The

:46:07.:46:13.

problem, and in fluent Lib Dem that is pronounced tuition fees, is that

:46:14.:46:18.

unfulfilled promises can look like deliberately broken ones. Never

:46:19.:46:23.

overpromise. Always under promise and overdeliver and it comes to the

:46:24.:46:29.

manifesto. We saw what happened to the Lib Dems when they made up, some

:46:30.:46:34.

tuition fees and were not able to deliver it. Manifestoes are vitally

:46:35.:46:47.

important to restore trust and credibility. What has hung parties

:46:48.:46:54.

is that voters don't trust manifestoes any more than promises

:46:55.:46:59.

to be different. So should the manifestoes be so honest that they

:47:00.:47:03.

acknowledge parties may have to compromise with another party? It is

:47:04.:47:08.

not our duty to start hedging our bets. Bid if there is a hung

:47:09.:47:13.

parliament, we have to assume there is a clear result to the general

:47:14.:47:17.

election and let people know what our approach to all of the important

:47:18.:47:23.

issues that people worry about would be. And then they know what they are

:47:24.:47:29.

voting for. So should there be red lines in a manifesto before polling

:47:30.:47:33.

day is that know what they might get in a no majority situation after?

:47:34.:47:41.

You have undermined your ability to get what you want if you don't. All

:47:42.:47:44.

of the parties have created their own processes this time took include

:47:45.:47:48.

input from as many as possible, but when it comes to word in the

:47:49.:47:54.

document, there are things to watch. The most successful manifestoes are

:47:55.:47:57.

the ones that say the least, because that gives you the opportunity to

:47:58.:48:03.

set the tone. Margaret Thatcher's 1979 manifesto was barely ten pages

:48:04.:48:13.

long. We have a finely balanced and sophisticated way of ensuring that

:48:14.:48:17.

we come up with a manifesto that is a winning manifesto rather than just

:48:18.:48:24.

a great big wish list. In the run-up to May 2015, you can bet voters and

:48:25.:48:27.

journalists will be looking closely at the final documents to decide

:48:28.:48:31.

which of those things each manifesto actually is. Andrea Leadsom, what

:48:32.:48:38.

sort of manifesto would you like to see for the Conservative Party?

:48:39.:48:42.

Something that promises that also you don't have to go back on it, or

:48:43.:48:49.

you lay everything out as a purely Conservative manifesto regardless of

:48:50.:48:52.

what might happen in any future accommodation negotiations? It is

:48:53.:48:59.

certainly the case that we intend to win a clear majority at the next

:49:00.:49:02.

election, and what is really important to us is that we stick to

:49:03.:49:06.

our guns. We have had the worst recession since the war, and it has

:49:07.:49:10.

been much worse than was expected even at the time. Our loss of GDP

:49:11.:49:20.

was enormous, so what we have to do is to continue with what we are

:49:21.:49:24.

doing, to help businesses to create more jobs, to get our education

:49:25.:49:29.

reforms working so that young people can get onto the job ladder and so

:49:30.:49:36.

on. A pure conservative growth manifesto and no knowledge of the

:49:37.:49:42.

Liberal Democrats, then? I think that conservative values are about

:49:43.:49:46.

giving people opportunities to reflect the fact that people aspired

:49:47.:49:49.

to do better than their parents did, and they want their children to

:49:50.:49:54.

do better than they did, and that I hope will be the foundation of a

:49:55.:49:58.

Conservative manifesto. What about red lines in the sand? Top rates of

:49:59.:50:05.

tax, for example? July to bring it down a little further? In the

:50:06.:50:10.

referendum on renegotiation, with there be more specifics on Europe?

:50:11.:50:18.

That is well above my pay grade. The Prime Minister has made very clear

:50:19.:50:22.

his determination to deliver a referendum on Britain's membership

:50:23.:50:27.

of a reformed EU, and I think he will make that referendum condition

:50:28.:50:34.

but beyond that, as I said at the start, we fully intend to try to

:50:35.:50:39.

form a Conservative majority government, and to be able to

:50:40.:50:43.

continue with our current long-term economic plan. What you think of

:50:44.:50:50.

Nick Clegg saying we must have a distinct ambition away from the

:50:51.:50:54.

Conservatives? The obvious he wants to differentiate his party from the

:50:55.:51:02.

Conservatives, but the economy is still in a very difficult position,

:51:03.:51:07.

we still have a deficit and a huge mountain of debt that we have made

:51:08.:51:11.

great strides towards improving as we said we would. But we have to

:51:12.:51:16.

carry on along that path. There is no short cut or easy decisions or

:51:17.:51:20.

ability to start rowing and spending more. Or cut taxes? In terms of what

:51:21.:51:27.

you do to try to stimulator growth, that is something for the manifesto.

:51:28.:51:32.

Are they worth the paper they are written on? They tell a story about

:51:33.:51:39.

a party. A lot of what you deal with in government today today is never

:51:40.:51:48.

going to appear in a manifesto. I agree with Angela Eagle and others

:51:49.:51:52.

that you set out your party's store and not talk about what you might

:51:53.:51:58.

negotiate, because we want to win an overall majority, too. It gives

:51:59.:52:02.

people be economic freedom to make their own choices. Isn't it a slight

:52:03.:52:14.

of hand? The Liberal Democrats promised the tuition fees but

:52:15.:52:18.

couldn't live in the end, and we know all the explanations. Isn't it

:52:19.:52:22.

dangerous to be a hostage to fortune, to promise to introduce

:52:23.:52:27.

something quite specific or dramatic that you may not be able to do if

:52:28.:52:33.

you are in coalition? The feedback on our original pledge card was

:52:34.:52:36.

positive as they were quite pacific, but they did allow room for

:52:37.:52:39.

manoeuvre, and it is being clear about the direction, but also we

:52:40.:52:44.

ought to be honest and open and acknowledge that as soon as we get

:52:45.:52:48.

into Government, what you have been left is different to what you

:52:49.:52:52.

expected, and things may be slower or faster than you expect, there may

:52:53.:52:55.

be an imperative for running the country, that you then need to take

:52:56.:53:00.

into account the speed at which implement something. I think there

:53:01.:53:05.

needs to be better discussion with the public, that it is not just a

:53:06.:53:09.

shopping list where you choose your party, but you also get a feel for

:53:10.:53:15.

the way the party would run the country. You mentioned UKIP, who

:53:16.:53:24.

don't have a manifesto, and seem to have done quite well, certainly at

:53:25.:53:30.

the European elections. Would that be a better recipe for success, if

:53:31.:53:34.

you did allow be a better recipe for success, if

:53:35.:53:38.

for your party without it being specifically written down?

:53:39.:53:41.

for your party without it being be a mixture of both. The feeling

:53:42.:53:44.

people have about your party on the doorstep makes a big difference.

:53:45.:53:50.

UKIP shouldn't be let off the hook, they need to be pinned down, because

:53:51.:53:56.

what Nigel Farage tries to put across, in the end he has to have

:53:57.:54:02.

something to write down. He is promising vague things that he would

:54:03.:54:06.

never be able to deliver, playing on a dissatisfaction and fracturing in

:54:07.:54:13.

the political system. You need something more concrete for people

:54:14.:54:17.

to make a decision. And for them to come back and hit you over the head

:54:18.:54:20.

with when you don't deliver it, Andrea Leadsom. I think manifesto is

:54:21.:54:25.

a very important. I deeply agree that a lot of it is about not so

:54:26.:54:30.

much the words but the values that you have and the vision that you

:54:31.:54:35.

have for where you are trying to move the country to, and that is

:54:36.:54:39.

incredibly important, too. So from a conservative point of view, it will

:54:40.:54:41.

be about trying to get that long-term recovery and to move

:54:42.:54:46.

towards a position where people have opportunities to help themselves. We

:54:47.:54:51.

are very much about that. And I agree that Nigel Farage needs to

:54:52.:54:56.

start to talk about very specific ideas for how he thinks the country

:54:57.:55:01.

can develop and grow. If you were describing your manifesto, would it

:55:02.:55:04.

be austerities of the Conservatives, what would it be for Labour and the

:55:05.:55:14.

Liberal Democrats? Opportunity. Fairness, particularly for those

:55:15.:55:20.

left behind. I would probably go for two, opportunity and recovery. Thank

:55:21.:55:24.

you very much. Now the Education Secretary can't

:55:25.:55:27.

seem to keep out of the headlines, although in fairness to Michael Gove

:55:28.:55:30.

his former special advisor is making Dominic Cummings has given

:55:31.:55:33.

an interview to today's Times newspaper, and he's not very

:55:34.:55:36.

complimentary about many people. Our correspondent Chris Mason

:55:37.:55:38.

is outside Westmisnter. Andrea, do you expect former special

:55:39.:55:53.

advisers to behave like Dominic Cummings? Michael Gove has made this

:55:54.:56:01.

clear that it is nothing to do with him. He has done an incredibly good

:56:02.:56:06.

job as an education Secretary, and that is important. I believe it was

:56:07.:56:12.

reported that he was back in the Department of education to deal with

:56:13.:56:18.

the problems around the Birmingham schools. And he is still an

:56:19.:56:24.

officially informing Michael Gove, should he be? What Michael Gove

:56:25.:56:30.

needs to be known for is his own track record in that part, and there

:56:31.:56:34.

are no quarter of a million fewer children in failing schools than

:56:35.:56:38.

when took over. He has created a revolution in improving the

:56:39.:56:40.

education of our children, so he can't be held responsible for some

:56:41.:56:45.

that even a friend of his says, which was completely not with his

:56:46.:56:50.

authorisation or agreement. Sign quo she hits on the 20s as a friend of

:56:51.:56:55.

his, because it is a time when the Prime Minister has one reshuffle

:56:56.:56:58.

left in his back pocket, people are jockeying for position, and the idea

:56:59.:57:01.

that Dominic Cummings didn't have some understanding with him before

:57:02.:57:04.

coming out with this huge swathe of criticism, it helps to keep Michael

:57:05.:57:10.

Gove in the headlines and makes it difficult for him to be moved sacked

:57:11.:57:14.

if it will come to that, and it also gives him a platform after the

:57:15.:57:19.

general election. He is just a frame. He is in and out of the

:57:20.:57:25.

Department. Is he Batman and Michael Gove Robin? Or is it the other way

:57:26.:57:33.

around? I dread to think! But should he be told to shut up? Should

:57:34.:57:38.

Michael Gove be told that he needs to sever all links? If it was me,

:57:39.:57:52.

that is what I would be saying, but again, you have to look at the

:57:53.:57:55.

fantastic job that Michael Gove has done. He ought to keep his friends

:57:56.:58:05.

in check. When Dominic Cummings was on the payroll, he did at least have

:58:06.:58:09.

some accountability, now he does not. Gordon Brown's advisers were

:58:10.:58:16.

hardly held on a pedestal. Some advisers get a little above their

:58:17.:58:20.

station. They are only there because the politicians they work with were

:58:21.:58:23.

elected into government. But do they do their bidding? Is it the

:58:24.:58:26.

Minister's problem? Yes, it is. The One O'Clock News is

:58:27.:58:31.

starting over on BBC One now. I'll be here

:58:32.:58:36.

at noon tomorrow with all the big political stories of the day,

:58:37.:58:39.

and an interview with this lady. Yes, I'll be speaking to Baroness

:58:40.:58:45.

Trumpington, so do join me then. Trumpington, so do join me then.

:58:46.:58:56.

Something has got me through, and I think I'm terribly lucky.

:58:57.:59:01.

Yes, I'll be speaking to Baroness Trumpington, so do join me then.

:59:02.:59:22.

to the cutting-edge science that's driving it,

:59:23.:59:26.

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