17/06/2014 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics.


The Iraqi government asks the United States for air strikes


Reports this morning say parts of the city of Baquba,


just 40 miles from Baghdad, have been taken over by the rebels.


In a sign of thawing relations with Iran, the Foreign Secretary,


William Hague, announces the UK will re-open its embassy in Tehran.


The Government needs to spend more on flood defences -


We'll hear from the MP whose report on the winter floods says ministers


have got their priorities wrong, as well as the Floods Minister himself.


And we hear from a political legend - Baroness Trumpington - who tells


me about life in the Lords, Margaret Thatcher, and that V sign.


All that in the next hour. And with us for the whole programme


today I'm joined by two big beasts from the Scottish political jungle.


The former Scottish Secretary, Michael Forsyth,


from the Scottish political jungle. The former Scottish Welcome to you


both. Michael Forsyth,


Let's start with breaking news this morning - the Foreign Secretary,


William Hague, has announced that the UK will start to restore


diplomatic relations with Iran. How good a decision is this? I think


it is a good reason. Any influence that can bring the different warring


parties back from the briming and a potential civil war between sunny


and Shi'ite is to be welcomed. But also for the other reason, which is


trying to get Iran's nuclear weapons programme sorted out and I think


having full diplomatic relations is conducive to that being more rather


than less likely. Do you agree with that? I mean there has been a


thawing of relations we have been told for sometime and it has been


under discussion what the relationship should be between


Britain and Iran. Do you think, first of all, that Iran is the key


to trying to stabilise the region with events unfolding in Iraq? I


think it is unfortunate that things have been so bad between us and


Iran. I think quite a will the of the credit - while we are all


agreeing - goes to Kathy Ashdown who has done a fantastic job at a


European level, trying to restore diplomatic relations and trying to


persuade Iran they might have a civil nuclear programme but them


having nuclear weapons would be a very destabilising thing. So this is


part of a process - of course there is the current problem in Iraq,


which is very serious indeed, and if we can get the Iranians to help to


deal with the instability that's obviously important. But this, of


course, a country that has been blamed for exporting terrorism. Its


ties with Hezbollah and of course the issue of whether it is


developing a sinister nuclear programme, is this really who we


want to have having warm relations with? The lessons from the Middle


East is there are many things one can take exception to in many places


but the lesson from Iraq and the instability that was caused by the


UK's intervention together with the United States, lifted a lid on the


pressure cooker. And has helped unleash forces which are very, very


difficult to control. We need to look at every possible avenue to try


and get countries that have influence on the different sides to


use their good offices to try to get people to come back from the brink.


So, by maintaining a embassy in different countries and one has


embassies in one countries with all kinds of regimes, whether one likes


them or not, it is the right thing to do, to try to get things on to a


diplomatic route as opposed to the potential for all-out war in Iraq.


This has been a turn around. Painted by many people, when you think of


the axis of evil, arch enemy, Iran, certainly of the United States, if


not of the West as a whole and here we are moving into a different


phase. There is nothing new in that. You only have tolike at which side


we were backing in the Iran/Iraq war. If you think back a few months


ago, people were arguing we should be supporting the opposition


militarily in Syria. Of course, they are the same people who are now


threatening the stability of Iraq. So, I think what we have to


recognise is what is going on here is, there is an age-long war between


the sunnies and the Shi'ites and it is very important -- sunnies and


sheitis and it is important to establish responsibility and I'm


afraid past interventions have made things worse rather than better. We


will come on to that later. This morning we learn that


Michael Gove has decided to get tough on school meals,


so our question for today is: What does the Education Secretary


intend to ban Is it A, ketchup, B, salt, C,


French food or D, deep fried food? At the end


of the show our guests will try to What makes someone British?


This morning the latest British Attitudes Survey was


released and it shows that our views have changed in the last few years.


The survey asked people what makes someone truly British.


95% of people believe you must be able to speak English.


that's gone up from 86% in 2003. Over three-quarters said you must


have lived in Britain all your life. In 2003, that figure was 69%.


Just under three-quarters of those polled said it's important to be


born in Britain to be considered British and around half said it's


important to have British ancestry. That's up from 46% in 2003.


The survey also found a tougher stance on immigration.


Just over 60% of those questioned said immigrants


should wait three years or more before they claim welfare benefits.


More than 40% of people think immigrants increase crime rates,


that's up from 37% in 2003. We've been joined by Penny Young


from NatCen Social Research, which compiled this report.


Welcome to the programme. Just tell us, how do you do the research? We


do a survey each year. We interview about 3,000 people across Great


Britain. It is a very high-quality sample. We make great efforts to get


people to participate. How do you do that? What sort of people are you


getting to take part? We make sure it is representative sample. We


don't interview people on the street. We pre-select addresses.


They go to the addresses and they try really hard to get the right


person to take part. So we have a high response rate on it. As Britain


becomes more diverse, you might expect people to become more relaxed


about what it means to be British. Is that the case? Well, not quite.


We were really interested particularly, you know, with


so-called Trojan Horse and the rise of Euro-scepticism and so on to


really look at Britishness and what makes you truly British. In


particular, is it something you can acquire or is it something you were


born with? acquire or is it something you were


born One of the key findings in changes, compared with ten years ago


s now pretty much everybody thinks you must be able to speak English


s now pretty much everybody thinks you must be able to to be considered


truly British. It was high ten years ago, it was 86%. So that's a real


shift. It is now a unanimous view. What about the impact of


immigration? What does the survey tell us about that, apart that


broadly people's views seems to have hardened? It is a mixed picture in a


sense in terms of immigration. On some things it has definitely


hardened. People are much less relaxed, for example about high


grants having the same legal rights as settled citizens. That's


toughened. There are small rises in terms of the percentage who think


that the impact of immigration is positive on the economy and on our


cultural life but nevertheless, what we see - these figures object cure a


lot of differences within the population and there are different


views. One of the most striking views is if you have a degree, you


are very positive about the impact of immigration on the economy and on


the cultural lifetime nation. Everybody else, it is a negative


effect. So, in a sense, there are two sections within the British


public, with very different views. In terms of the responses, where


people live, was there a big difference between people who lived


in England or English and Scottish participants, towards immigration?


The key finding we found is actually the big differences between London


and the rest of Great Britain. It is a very striking finding. People in


London are really about twice as positive as the rest of the UK. It's


a very different finding. Now that's partly explained because it is


younger, more mobile population, clearly more migrants. People have


more contact with migrants, better educated and so on. But it is a


striking finding. Again, one of the key themes in the report is one of


polarisation, we find that again on what makes you British. There is a


significant minority of about one-third who are relaxed who think


you can acquire British identity but everybody else thinks you have to be


born, three-quarters says you have to be born. Does that worry you, the


changes in statistics, now that so many people think that in order to


be British you have to be born here and certainly to speak English. I


thought it was a very interesting report. What it seems to me is it


shows what happens if you lose control of your borders and you have


substantial immigration, which is what happened under the last Labour


Government. I think it is quite important that we recognise that the


experience which people who are not graduates, who are struggling to be


find work, living in perhaps deprived areas, struggling to find


housing, then it is much more of an issue for them. I'm not surprised by


the numbers. On the business of having to speak English,ing I mean I


think that should be absolutely the law. I don't think you should be


allowed to come into Britain unless you can speak English. It has become


more of an issue now, I think, because there are so many people in


our country who do not speak English. Annous combha what about


your response. You are saying there is a more mixed Piccadilly tour,


people are more positive about the economics -- more picked picture.


That would be the case in my part of the world in the north of Scotland


where people who have come from other European countries are now a


vital part of our local economy. It is not part of the Social Attitude


Survey so, it is not a criticism but I would draw attention tote fact


that at the time of the last survey when it was taken, last year s about


the beginning of the time when an unprecedented amount of media


coverage was given to an anti-immigration party using


anti-immigration rhetoric, a political party which I'm very


disappointed did so well particularly down south. In Scotland


UKIP only polled fourth. Something I'm pleased about. Indeed, nobody


should downplay the risks of anti-immigration rhetoric on public


opinion and I think that some of that is being reflected in some of


the findings that have been published today. You are shaking


your head. Let me bring to you something else, Michael Forsyth.


Research shows people in England and Wales are not necessarily as hostile


to the idea of Scotland continuing to use the pound in the convenient


of a "yes" vote. What do you say to that. I would be very interested -


if they have asked people - would you like to guarantee the savings


deposits of people in a foreign country like Scotland, whether you


would have got the same answer. I think it is a question - not being


patronising at all, but it is a question that most people don't


understand theism gaugeses or the difference between a money union or


a dollarisation. How was the question posed? I must admit we


didn't ask it quite like that. Quite in the leading way that Lord Forsyth


mentioneds. Nonetheless it is important to understand where people


are coming from. There are interesting findings south of the


border in terms of how people would feel. What we were interesting in,


is what would happen if Scotland does votele. On some things, for


example, the English and Welsh have firm views. They say - actually we


thinks the Scots should face up to whether they should choose a British


or Scottish passport. Actually we think they should face up to try


department and we would take them up to. But on other thing, the BBC and


the Queen, people south of the border are relaxed for the Scots to


carry on. So the interesting thing, post a "yes" vote we would still be


interested in the Queen, the about BBC and Stlictly. This is debated in


a Scottish context, the social union, the things we would share and


would continue to after a "yes" vote. This is the first detailed


examination of views in England and Wales on this subject I'm delighted


there is a such a positive view across all of the subjects when it


comes to those things that we plan and wish to continue sharing because


we value the social union rather than reacting to the smears and


fears we have had from the "no" side. We will leave it there.


Sadly Scotland didn't qualify for the World Cup but that's OK because


there's another major news event to get Scots arguing down the pub.


The independence referendum on 18th September.


There's a different story to cover every day, so here's


Adam to bring us up to date. A busy time in the referendum campaign. The


pro union campaign revealed its plans. Nicola Sturgeon unveiled an


interim god Egyptian. JK Rowling donated ?1 million to the no


campaign. Alex campaign Ruslan Tuchin Alex Salmond was accused of


smearing and activist. Before Christmas, the polls were


pointing consistently towards a 3-2 majority for the no vote, just over


60%, under 40% saying they would vote yes. Look at the same picture


now, it is only 56% for the no campaign. The polls are showing


this. What about the campaign on the ground? First stop, on Glasgow South


Side. What struck me is how the campaign has tweaked its message so


there is a leaflet that appeals to everyone.


We have the official Yes Scotland is that, green leaflets, labour for


independence leaflets, bicycle independence, all the information


for the different parts of the campaign. The grandma shopping


bags, are they freebies for older voters or for campaigners?


They could be either. They reckon their secret weapon isn't free bags


but mums like Anna, apolitical but passion for independence.


When I am with friends who know I am campaigning, asking my opinions,


asking how the campaign is going. It has created a sense of enthusiasm. I


have not seen that before. Now to Edinburgh and the no campaign who


preferred to be called the Better Together campaign and who want to


talk about the facts. The leaflets don't give the


information, so here are the facts about the currency which is a big


issue in this campaign. Jobs, shipyards. But the campaign has been


criticised for being too negative so they have unveiled a new slogan, No


Thanks. The activists have been told to be patriotic and personal.


I grew up in London. Do you have issues with explaining you spend a


bit of your life down south? Not at all. I feel this campaign is about


keeping together. The fact I grew up in England, I was 11 when I moved


back, I feel that strength is our message. They are running a phone


campaign called Blather Together, a joke will get only if you have lived


here. It's not just the big boys of your


Scotland and better together involved in this referendum. There


are loads of other players. For example, all the main political


parties are each allowed to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on


campaigning, and then there are the associated groups in the worlds of


religion, creative arts and business. I just found one on


Twitter called Grannies For The report would be complete without


an obligatory time reference, there are just 92 days to go.


And my two guests throughout the programme today, Michael Forsyth and


Angus Robertson, are on opposing sides in the referendum debate.


Michael, we saw both campaigns. Have you been impressed with the Better


Together campaign? It got off to a slow start. There


was some complacency but they are winning the argument is hands down.


Whenever anyone comes out in support of the Better Together campaign, the


Secretary-General of the NATO alliance, or the Pope who indicated


he was worried about division, this is published by the other side. On


the big issues, the currency, membership of Europe, the natural


services, we are accused of scaremongering and being negative.


People are beginning to realise the importance. I spoke at a meeting on


Sunday night at five pm., and 500 people turned up, in a debate where


I have never known so much interest in a political issue. It is good we


are having that. On the campaign, has Alistair


Darling done a good job, was he the right figurehead?


He has done a good job. It is great Gordon Brown and others have become


involved. A bit late? It is a bit late. I would have liked to have


seen every household getting a leaflet setting out the positive


case for our continued membership of the UK. The SNP have been using


Government resources to put across their propaganda which is another


issue. You have been using Government


resources for propaganda? The UK government is spending


?700,000 on giving information to every household. The debate is


happening in every community in every village and town. There is


unprecedented turnout at these meetings. A tremendously healthy


thing. The debate is overwhelmingly positive. It is one that is


respectful, one that people listen to. In the darker recesses of the


Internet, there are those who use language which every side would


deprecate. Alistair Darling describing the First Minister,


comparing him with Kim Donald John. I want to concentrate on the


positive. -- Kim il-Jong. I condemn anybody who uses intemperate


language. He makes accusations about people's motives. This is a


democratic debate about how we should be governed. It is not about


where people come from, it is not impugning people's motives.


Sometimes, unfortunately, we ascribe far too much importance to the


darker recesses of Facebook or Twitter, and it is beyond me. Any


time anyone is intemperate, I will condemn it. Michael, you said in the


past there are Conservative MPs in England who want Scotland to vote


for independence because it would electorally be better for the


Conservative Party. Who are you referring to?


There have always been a few people who have taken the view if we didn't


have Scotland, we wouldn't have 49 Labour MPs coming down. It is what


Labour bought when they set up a Scottish Parliament, they thought


they would dominate. But we have ended up with a nationalist


Government. Things don't always work out. We United Kingdom. We want


proper representation from Scotland. It is important to maintain that


union. The Scottish Conservatives are behind more devolution for


Scotland, is that something you support?


That is not an issue for now. The issue for now is whether Scotland is


going to be part of the United Kingdom.


If we are going to talk about more powers for the Scottish Parliament,


then that is not just a matter for Scotland but for the UK as a whole.


Are you against more devolution for Scotland? If you are going to give


more powers, we have two address the West Lothian Scotland -- question.


That is about what are the walls of the club? We are deciding whether


Scotland remains in the club. And this, on key issues like the pound,


monarchy, why would anyone risk to go back to the beginning of the


Better Together campaign? The reason I am


Better Together campaign? The smiling is in that report, the


no vote claiming to be in support of more powers, they were demonstrating


their support for this on top of Carlton Hill at a monument better


known as Edinburgh's folly. An apt choice where they chose to


demonstrate their support for further devolution. The leader of


the Scottish Conservative Party was elected on a platform of a line in


the sand. How credible is that? We were told in the 1970s to vote no,


then had 18 years of Tory Government with no further devolution. He is


not answering the question. Alex Salmond was opposed to devolution.


One thing we have in common. He was against devolution because they


thought it would spike their guns. I was against because I thought it


would give the SNP a platform to break up the UK. The idea of going


back and looking at what they said in the past, the issue for now is


whether we want to destroy the UK. As people in Scotland are aware, the


offer was on the table when we knew there was a referendum for the no


side to state exactly what they wanted. They weren't prepared to


come up with detail. We are supposed to believe that they are going to


deliver a fantastically improved package of governance when they


can't provide details. Have you provided detail on things like the


pound, membership of the EU. A good question, I have before me


what a yes vote will mean, the most detailed proposal provided. I have


glimpsed that, does it answered those questions? Scotland's future,


an anagram is fraudulent cost. It does not have any answers to the key


questions. It does say we would have an entry into the Eurovision Song


contest, but does not deal with our position and able to join the EU, or


how we would defend ourselves against a nuclear deterrent. Do you


both agree, though, watching that film, that actually in these closing


few weeks, is it more about Hearts and minds? Yes, heart and head. I


think it is about Hearts, history and heritage. Paul says, why can't


Scots who are born in Scotland vote, because they happen to live in


England, Wales and Northern Ireland? The voting rules which have been


agreed to follow the president of past referenda. -- precedent. I can


understand why they would wish to take part but there isn't a


tradition of extraterritorial voting in the UK. The way the system has


been organised is exactly the same as it has been for previous


referenda. Colin says, who qualifies for a


Scottish passport in the event of a yes?


Really that is a question for the people who want to break up the UK.


There are 800,000 Scots in England. In Scotland, if they vote yes to


separatism, they will become foreigners in their own country,


that is a huge step and will cause resentment on both sides of the


border. 40,000 English people live in Scotland who will be turned into


foreigners and who will have to choose their citizenship. It is a


nonsense, citizens of the Irish Republic are not considered


foreigners in the UK. We are in favour of a grown up relationship


between the nations. The elements of the social union we value, a shared


head of state, shared TV programmes, but of course there will be a


Scottish passport. For those who haven't taken the opportunity to


read about this, page 222 of the White Paper, on citizenship and


passports, is very detailed. I look forward to having a Scottish


passport. PJ says what happened to the big UK


civil service officers in Scotland, do they close?


Not at all, we require Government ministries in Scotland. The vast


majority of 77 deal with the administration of reserved powers in


London. -- majority of civil servants.


This morning a committee of MPs has published its report


on the winter storms during which over 7,000 homes were flooded.


Eleanor Garnier is outside the Palace of Westminster,


Last winter was the wettest in more than 200 years in England and the


way. There were record levels of water which meant widespread


flooding and widespread misery. There were more than 150 severe


weather warnings. Parts of Somerset remained underwater for three


months. Joining me to discuss the report today is Anne McIntosh, and


the Floods Minister. You said the Government has got its spending


priorities wrong. We would like to return to more


money being spent on dredging and maintenance to clear the backlog.


The single change we would like to see which is what the Secretary Of


State asked for is to remove the artificial distinction between


capital spending and revenue spending, to have a total


expenditure budget. On the first point, do you agree to


maintenance, things like dredging, when neglected, and instead there


was an obsession with new flood defences?


I do not think you can choose between one or the other. We have


detected many more communities under this scheme. We need to work with


local partners to get the most out of


this scheme. We need to work with local partners to get the most money


invested. local partners to get the most money


That is something we are doing in Somerset.


Even if the revellers have been better maintained with board


dredging, it wouldn't have prevented the flooding.


No, it is like the health service, we will never have enough money to


spend on all of the projects the Government would like. We would like


to support the Government, labouring in new public sector and private


sector funding. Why not get pension funds to invest in these real


infrastructure projects. spending? We have to make sure it is


new money, not money being used to rob peater to pay Paul. Teet of the


floods, David Cameron said that money would be no object. But it


seemed to be taking a very long time for this help to get through. For


example, to farmers, whose land was destroyed. Certainly the money is


there. It is making sure that farm remembers able to apply for T we


simplified the o process and applications are going up. The key


question is how we spend the money we are investing. The coalition is


spending more in Norman Lamont. We want to get the best use of that,


use the local knowledge. It will be a combination of schemes, with


capital and working on the maintenance issues and looking at


the ways we can hold water back higher up catchments. Each catchment


is different. We have to manage it in a different way. Your committee


is saying invest in prevention, rather than spending on the clear-up


is obviously the priority. How are you going to convince Dan and his


colleagues that that is exactly what is going to happen? Well, I believe


that the single thing is to merge the budget and stop this the a fish


argument about whether it is capital or rev UN we support in my own area,


we've benefited from the upstream management scheme, retraining it and


stopping it going through into towns like ours, it could work in the


Somerset levels, and working more imagine in a #2i68. Having


infrastructure and flood defences where needed. Having softer flood


defences and regular drainage and maintenance but working, as Dan has


said, with the locals, which is vital. Can you guarantee that the


Somerset levels cannot flood again next year As a Government we cannot


stop it raining. You set out in your piece how much water fell. But we


can do things to help, we can use that local knowledge. The dredge


something under way and demunts across the country there will be


flood schemes -- under way and communities across the country,


there will be flood schemes under way and the money invested Where


drainage exists we ought to allow them to use more of their own


resources and own engineering skills and knowledge to hold back the water


more effectively. And finally, are you convinced, now your report and


its findings will be taken up and followed through? Well, Government


has two months in which to respond. We'll debate those issues when we


hear a response but we believe we are pushing at an open door.


Well, clearly those who hadhomes and businesses devastated by the floods


will be hoping the Government has got its priorities right. And one


final point from the report, the committee claims that because


climate change is so unpredictable, the risk of flooding will continue


to rise. ! Well, with that risk continuing and none of us left in


any doubt S it about more money being spent on flood defence. -- any


doubt. Is it about more money? No, that is important but where I live,


my village has been flooded many times seriously. I went to a public


meeting and there were experts who commissioned reports from


consultants and the locals said - there are two trees in the river and


we stopped cleaning out the river and there has been a change to the


road which has - people don't listen to local opinion. The local


authorities, in the old days, used to lack at the roads every year and


expect the culverts and make sure the drains were maintained. But that


costs and Yes and is easy to cut and that's why when we get the flash


floods and systems can't cope. The answer is, as the report says, we


need to put more money into minute tennance and maintaining our river


banks and drainage systems and that has been lost because as a


short-term measure with long-term and devastating consequences. But


also because central government has cut the amount of money going to


local authorities and as you say they make the decisions... In


England and Wales. Thank you. It has had an affect. And the freezing of


the council tax which means resources are limited. The truth of


the matter is you can't have good local Government if they haven't got


the resources to carry out long-term projects in the long-term interests


of the communities. Flooding is an example of that.


All right. Let's leave it there. Let's return to the crisis in Iraq.


Yesterday the Foreign Secretary William Hague made a statement to


the House of Commons about the ISIS insurgency there. Here's some of


what was said. Our national interest lies


in supporting a sovereign and democratic Iraq to resist these


threats, offering assistance, where necessary and working with others to


prevent the spread of terrorism in Iraq and throughout the region.


We are taking action in three areas: promoting political unity


among those who support a democratic Iraq, offering


assistance where possible and alleviating humanitarian suffering.


We have made it clear that this does not involve planning


a military intervention by the UK. For most British people,


including many of us who supported the action at


the time, the fears of those opposed to the intervention have been


vindicated by subsequent events. It is futile to deny that subsequent


history as surely as it would be folly to repeat it.


Yet it is also facile to suggest that the crisis affecting Iraq today


can be attributed solely to the consequences of intervention.


Such an account denies the truth that the slide towards


crisis in Iraq has been exacerbated by the civil war in Syria.


Mr Speaker, it's Foreign Secretary today and in his statements over


recent days, confirmed that British military intervention in Iraq,


is not being contemplated. I welcome this assurance.


The Foreign Secretary was a minister in John Major's government.


A government which did use military intervention to impose


a no-fly zone to protect the Kurds. That policy was continued under


the Tony Blair government and enhanced under that government.


Therefore, is it not the case, that if there is a request


from the Kurdish regional government for assistance, we should give it


sympathetic consideration? Tony Blair took the UK to war


in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction, which never existing.


Never existed. And he was then rewarded remarkably


with the post of a Middle East peace envoy.


Given his dangerous and ill-judged comments in


the last days, described by his own colleague, the Mayor of London as


"unhinged", does he not agree that Tony Blair should not continue in


post, as a Middle East peace envoy? No, I don't agree with that.


Nor do I think that recent events in Iraq should be turned


into a proxy debate about Tony Blair and everything that he has ever said


or done. In any case,


we have set up an inquiry in this House, into the Iraq war, and that


inquiry will report in due course. Defence Select Committee, Rory


Stewart. Welcome to the programme. We will


come back to the issue of history and context and the 2003 invasion


but can we concentrate for the moment on what is happening right


now N your mind how much of a threat does Isis pose to the Middle East


and in general, the world? Very considerable. It is great nightmare


scenario. When people were talking about Iraq in 2007/8. They said a


jihadist controlled failed state was what the entire operation was


supposed to avoid and it is what we now have. Would it have happened if


Sunnis in Iraq... That is that's a very good point. There is a lot of


re-Septemberment against the Shia government. Malaki has been


resistant to reaching out. In a hypothetical world you could imagine


that happening but realistically there hasn't been much sign of that


or much evidence that's the way things will go in the future. How


well-funded and well-armed is ISIS. They now seem to be well-funded they


have helped themselves to over $1 billion of cash. Even when they were


operating on more of a shoe string, getting money from individual


businessmen funneled through Kuwait or coming from Europe, they were


proving effective and they must be much larger than some of the


intelligence agencies were suggesting or they wouldn't be able


to take a city of 2 million people. What about the state of the Iraqi


Army? Very worrying again. We have been pumping an enormous amount of


training and energy into making this Iraqi Army. $14 billion a year is


spent on the Iraqi Army. It is one of the large armies per capital is


it is not doing its job if we are talking about a collapsing army and


are talking about ISIS forces coming closer, although it is reported they


were held back outside of Baghdad. What exactly is the prospect of bag


saying as a country or is it on the verge of collapse? It is difficult


to predict. I don't think anyone saw this - predicted this four weeks


ago. Why not? Western intelligence agencies criticised for failing to


predict what might have happened. Why wasn't it seen We haven't been


concentrating on Iraq, I think. That's all of us. Politicians, the


media, think-tanks, we have been focussed on Syria and recently on


Ukraine. We can now see over the last 12 months Isis has been


developing in Iraq. And in Syria too But Mosul, almost 10% of the


population there, if you'd suggested a group we had been told was 2,000,


to 3,000 fighters would be able to do that, I don't think anyone would


believe T where do we go in the future? You are right it'll increase


the demand for an autonomous Sunni region. You back the idea of no


intervention. That seems to be agreed across parties. What should


be the British Government do? Firstly, understand the situations.


I think your point is a really good one. We clearly have been taken


aback by the speed of this. We need it get diplomats on the ground, more


diplomats, more zwraunding more focus. And above all, we need to


work out what we can do rather than saying what we ought to do. You are


nodding Angus, the antiwar stance you and your party have taken, let's


return to the comments made by Tony Blair. Is it really the right time


to be going over recriminations that are made about what happened and


uted reasons for the invasion in 2003 when we have a very serious


situation here right now? Well, unless we get to the bottom of the


stakes mistakes that have been made, there is possibility that we may


repeat them. I'm glad there seems to be all-party consensus that military


intervention is not the right thing but we have to learn the lessons. We


don't have the conclusions of the Chilcot Inquiry. I think it is


possible to do both things. I think we have to make sure we learn the


lessons of what happened in the past. I endorse what Rory said on


where we are now, we must understand what is going on. The forces behind


the conflict and the potential for a full-on civil war between Sunni and


Shi'ite and then not just in Iraq bus this goes across all kinds of


borders, is absolutely calamitous and the ability of anybody of good


faith, wherever in the international community, of having any impact is


going to be very, very small. We have to invest what we can down the


diplomatic rout. We have to make sure we are doing everything down


the humanitarian route and it is only when we fully understand what


is actually happening and how one could make a positive impact,


increasingly through proximityies and neighbours that can exercise


influence, that one can try to pull people back from the brink but it is


important to understand potentially how calamitous. It is bad enough for


those who have lost their lives and the hundreds of thousands of people


who have had to leave Mosul and elsewhere, it is awful but it can


get much worse and in pretty short order. What about Nouri Al-Maliki


call for air strikes? Would you back that intersfrenges Washington?


Absolutely not. It seems extraordinary to be advocating that


in what is a civil war between two peating groups who have been


competing for more than a Millennium. It is a complicated


situation. It is Gilbert and Sullivan who warns statesmen not to


interfere in matters that they do not understand. It is perfectly


clear that people do not understand what happened is going on in


#24r50es countries. One thing I would say, these appalling


atrocities, the ordinary people who are in fear and now refugees,


putting countries under pressure, which are already end prusure


because of Syria, the most important thing we need to do is provide


humanitarian aid and support to the countries. But it is also about


bolstering some sort of Iraqi force to try to deal with it themselves?


Yes, without underunderestimating how difficult it is going to be, it


is a different situation than in 2007/8. We had over 00,000 soldiers


t wasn't just done by air strikes. It didn't achieve a lasting


solution, so we have to be realistic about what we can do. We need to be


focussed on the fact that players like Russia Ian Iraq will try to


exploited. But you sport idea of thawing relation was Iran and


reopening the embassy in Tehran.. Don't get into the mindset that Iran


is going to solve the situation. The Sunnis are angry about the Shias in


Baghdad. Given Iran a big hand will not make the Sunni insurgents happy.


In the end we will be taking sides to some extent if we are seen to


boll stert Nouri Al-Maliki government, seen to be talking to


Iran in more friendly terms than B as you said earlier, the sectarian


rift that will only intensify. It is a matter which affects a number of


countries in the Middle East and a number of our key allies. It is not


something that can be solved by launching drones or engaging in


military action. The consequences, the humanitarian consequences, will


be awful. Even those people who have been subject to invasion now by


these forces must be worrying about the counter offensive. And the


brutality is unbelievable. We can't do very much, but what we


can do in terms of what you are blind, we must do fairly quickly.


In terms of the invasion in 2003, do you think that is now cladding our


judgement? No, I think it is very useful to


look at the lessons of that. It is not a very different situation now,


to them. Similar players, similar insurgents. It would be foolish not


to look at what we did. And to learn some humility from that.


You were against the invasion in 2003, and like your party?


I thought it would radicalise people in the Middle East and cause trouble


on our own streets. You are in the Government of John


Major during the first Gulf war. It was a different matter, the


invasion of Kuwait. There is a doctrine of bringing democracy. You


cannot democratise countries of the night. It was naive. Tony Blair's


intervention has been unhelpful. He is in denial. Rory is right, there


are lessons to be learned, for goodness sake, let us learn them.


One reason to be anxious is we are relying on the Afghan National Army,


saying if we train it properly, it will be fine. We said that about the


Iraqi army four years ago. That is a reason to be concerned.


Baroness Trumpington is one of the most adored characters in politics.


And, at the age of 91, she's still going strong, regularly


attending debates in the House of Lords, giving interviews to the


Her book, Coming Up Trumps, tells the story of her fascinating life.


Fom being a land girl during the Second World War,


An advertising executive, a headmaster's wife.


All that before a long career in politics, even serving as a minister


Two years ago, she became


Two years ago, a household name when, during a


debate in the House of Lords, she stuck two fingers up at her


remarks about her age! after he made some ill-advised


Well, the clip was seen around the world, and won her a new army of


fans. I went to her home to meet her, and I began by asking if she


Oh, yes, very much so. He got what he deserved at the time. Did he see


the joke? None of us knew that was going to happen.


I thought I was doing it privately. I think he thought I was doing it


privately. But, his relations in Australia said messages, how could


you be so nasty to the lovely lady. Silly got told off by his own


family. Did you regret swearing at him?


No, he said people of my age were starting to look very old. Wouldn't


you do that? What about you as a person? You seem


to have a great sense of fun. Is that what has got you through?


Something has got me through, I don't know what it is. I think I am


terribly lucky. You see, I didn't owe anybody


anything for having got where I got. So I think I was incredibly lucky.


Did you love it in the House of Lords?


Oh, yes, such a privilege, you know. And you learn so much about this


country. One way or the other, there is always somebody who really knows


what they are talking about. Really knows the situation. You always have


somebody who has had practical experience. And you are a fall if


you argue ignorantly against them, as some do.


Did you ever fancy becoming an MP? Yes, I tried.


I was much too difficult for them. On the Isle of Ely. And it ended up,


they called me Mrs Baker all the way through, and I was too frightened to


say I was Mrs Barker. They asked what I think. I've said, I think you


are not going to make your MP, and I burst into tears.


What about working with Margaret Thatcher? What was that like?


Well, I took the view if she was going to sack me, she was going to


sack me, so I had better be true to myself and set exactly what I


thought. And if she sacked me, so what.


Did you say what you thought to have?


Exactly. And I think it was useful for her. She was terribly kind to


me. I loved her dearly. I think she used me, because she


knew I would not just say yes to something she had said. And that I


would argue the matter. And it gave her ammunition on how to deal with


other people. There was a poor man who sat between us at a dinner. And


I started off by saying the Daily Mail is perfectly all right about


mentally handicapped. Margaret barked, the Daily Mail is never


right. Whereupon that started a verbal fisticuffs. This poor man


thought we were going to hit each other. He had to sit in the middle


of us, getting smaller and smaller. But that was the kind of thing that


happened. That was the relationship you had.


But you were friends? We work, to the last time I saw her.


What about the current Prime Minister, do you like David Cameron?


Let me put it this way. I don't think you know it Prime Minister


terribly well, but I certainly knew his father very well, and I loved


his father. And his mother. Heavenly people.


How do you know them? We lived near each other. We were


also very keen racing people, horse racing.


Right, so you knew the family. And are you proud of him as a


Conservative Prime Minister? Yes, of course. Do you think the


Conservatives will still win the next election?


I hope so, I hope so. We have got some jolly strong people, you know.


And I am pro-Europe. I do think it is terribly important that we don't


have a lot of people who haven't worked, who don't know Europe,


worked with Europe, and are entirely island minded which I think is a


mistake. So, the 20 17th issue, if the


Conservatives are still in power, is that a good idea having a


referendum? It is going to clear the air, I


think. I instantly think that the Scots, if your name is Cameron, it


must be difficult with the Scottish situation. And I think the Scots are


really led by a madman, it is absolutely crazy what they are


trying to do and I hope that their leader goes down, down, down.


Politics, do you think it is changing for the better, how has it


changed? Is it still a good thing? I don't know. I think it is hard. I


am too near the, near what goes on in politics, to be able to judge


that really, I think. What would I say? I think it has always been one


party struggling against another, it always has been, taking the best


advantage you can in a situation. And I do think, in this difficult


time, we have got some pretty wonderful ministers are a wonderful


Foreign Secretary, a wonderful Home Secretary. Those are pretty


important jobs these days. I do think it is terribly difficult in


this country, particularly with people coming in to an already


crowded island. But you are still going to enjoy


it, and life. And life. I get a hell of a kick out of


talking to people I have never met before. And the police outside the


house of lords are all my best friends. I probably shouldn't say


that, probably get them all sacked. But I love them dearly. And they are


nice to me. I like people who are nice to me, let us face it.


Don't we all? Baroness Trumpington speaking to me


earlier. Scotland being led by a madman?


I thought, what an amazing person. What an amazing life she has led.


Her views on Scottish politics are out of step with the realities and I


am not sure the name-calling behoves anybody. But I think the interview


was very nice, and you know her a lot better than I do. There are


people there who have made a contribution in the House of Lords.


Although their presence in a Chamber that is not elected doesn't seem to


me to be the best way to do democracy. A very interesting


person. Has she stuck two fingers up to you?


I sat beside her on that bench and she made her views quite clear. She


is in favour of legalising brothels, for example, in order to protect


women. She has some radical views. She was talking about speaking her


mind. She was a famous -- at a famous dinner where John Major fell


at with Margaret Thatcher, and the attempt to call the atmosphere, she


said, this is that chap, what you said if you minutes ago was


brilliant. Margaret said, what did I say? She said, to be perfectly


honest, I can't remember. Everyone fell about laughing. She has this


honesty. A journalist rang her up about her book. They said, we would


like you to comment. She said, I am not going to comment because I


haven't read it and I didn't write it. Another teaser for you, what is


Angela Merkel celebrating in this photo? Is it the prospect of John


Paul Junker becoming president? It is Germany winning in the World Cup.


There she is. With the whole team. Can you imagine any of the party


leaders do that? Let us do the quiz now.


What does the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, intend to ban


Thanks to Michael Forsyth, Angus Robertson and all my guests today.


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


Horizon investigates one of the biggest mysteries


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