05/09/2014 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


NATO leaders continue their summit in Wales, with Iraq


David Cameron says Britain is ready to commit 3,500 troops to


David Cameron prepares the ground for British airstrikes


against Islamic State fighters in Northern Iraq - but all the signs


Nationalise the railways! Raise the minimum wage!


No, not the cry of the unions - but the latest policy pledges from the


Their leader joins us live at the start


And Meet the Neighbours - in the first of a new series profiling


the members of the European Union, Adam has been finding out what


With us for the first half hour of today's programme is the LBC


Let's start with the latest from Calais in northern France, where


there's an increased police presence after scores of migrants tried to


The local mayor says over 1,000 migrants are camped in the town and


And she's threatened to call on local residents to blockade the port


Is it the British government's response ability to stop these


migrants crossing the Channel? Partly. I speak to people night


after night on my late night show and immigration and asylum seekers


is always a hot issue, as you would expect. It is easy to say this is


France's problem, Calle' problem, get on with it but in this country,


there's a real about people coming in, in some cases illegally. What do


you do about it? You have had the authorities in Calais asking for


more cash to help them. I think that's right. It poses a massive


problem for David Cameron because as we go into 2015, and immigration is


a political issue, certainly with the Ukip threat, if he cannot be


seen to be sorting out Calais, 30-40 miles across the water, where is the


credibility in saying he can be tough on immigration, illegal or


otherwise? Those are striking pictures, watching people trying to


get onto lorries, here, trying to climb over extremely high wire


fences. But the mayor of Calais is calling for a blockade. Is that an


overreaction? You have to spend some time there. I have been watching


reports and listening to people. You had a near riot in the week, where


the guys on the ferry had to people. You had a near riot in the week,


where the guys on the ferry had staff. It is political pressure. --


they had to turn the fire hoses on to stop people getting on board.


People that ring into my show ask why people want to come to Britain,


and why they -- ask why they don't stay in France. There have been


stories of asylum offer is being given to people but they say they


want to come for Britain. They could have many reasons for that. English


is a language well spoken. And jobs, not benefits necessarily. They


have family as well. You can understand it but you get into this


whole area, how do you tell the difference between a genuine asylum


seeker and someone who quite understandably just wants to go to a


country to better their lives? The question for today is -


in a speech last night, which city did Boris Johnson say was


the best in the world? Was it a) Paris in the 19th century,


b) Athens in the 5th century BC c) New York in the 20th century


or d) London in the 21st century? And in half an hour's time Duncan


will - we hope - We are


"surrounded by an arc of crisis" according to the Secretary-General


of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. But has the NATO conference in Wales


been a talking shop? Or have member countries actually


managed to agree any concrete action on the two big issues of the day,


Ukraine and the threat from Let's hear what the Prime Minister,


David Cameron, has had to stay at the conference


this morning, on Ukraine. As Russia tramples illegally over


Ukraine, we must reassure our Eastern European members that we


will always uphold our Article five commitments to collective


self-defence. We must be able to act more swiftly. In 2002, NATO stood


down its high readiness force. I hope that today, we can agree a


multinational spearhead force, which can be deployed anywhere in the


world in just 2-5 days. This would be part of a reformed NATO response


Force, with headquarters in Poland, forward units in the Eastern allies,


and equipment and infrastructure positioned to allow more exercises


and if necessary, rapid reinforcement.


The Prime Minister there, announcing a UK commitment of 3,500 personnel


The Prime Minister there, announcing a UK commitment of 1,000 personnel


We'll discuss what that means in a moment.


First, let's take a look at the other developments.


More than 60 presidents and prime ministers have gathered for the


final day of the NATO summit in Newport. Despite talk of an imminent


cease-fire in Ukraine, an announcement of further sanctions


against Russia is still expected. These include further travel bans,


more financial restrictions on banks, and increased curbs on


defence exports. Discussion of action against Islamic State


extremists in Iraq and Syria has also dominated the conference. David


Cameron has said military action is an option. He believes there are no


legal barriers in the UK to air strikes. He added, "we have to use


everything in our armoury to wipe out Islamists terrorists". This


morning, NATO defence ministers have met to discuss initial -- additional


help to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces.


Let's get the latest from the NATO summit


and speak to the BBC's assistant political editor, Norman Smith.


We had from the Prime Minister, 3500 troops being committed to the rapid


reaction force but it is now 1000. What was the confusion? The 3500


troops will go towards exercises in Eastern Europe in the next two


years. They are military training exercises. There will still be the


formation of a rapid reaction force, 4000 strong, with 1000


British troops, led by a British general but based in Eastern Europe


with headquarters in Poland. The clear message is meant to be


directed at President Putin, in other words, back off, NATO is


getting serious about organising along your borders. That coincides


with what is in effect a rebuff to President Putin's offer of a


cease-fire. If you speak to senior figures here, it has been dismissed


out of hand. They simply don't believe President Putin is serious.


For that reason, they are going ahead with a new raft of sanctions,


regardless of the cease-fire. What we are seeing is a definite


hardening in attitude of Western leaders towards President Putin. The


view is, unless the West stand up, President Putin will keep demanding


more, and pushing further. David Cameron seems to be preparing the


ground, if those conditions are met, for UK involvement in air


strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and possibly Syria. I think that is


true. I do think we are at the point of action but I think we are now in


a waiting game, waiting firstly to see whether a genuinely inclusive


government is formed in Baghdad, and secondly, whether other neighbouring


countries in the region get their acts together and actually start to


put together forces and resources to confront Islamic State. Thirdly,


crucially, we're waiting for President Obama. Everything is


predicated on his decision to go for air strikes in Syria. But if you


speak to the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, it is clear in my


mind that they are up for air. Thank you for joining us.


And we've been joined by former British


ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer.


Labour's shadow defence secretary, Vernon Coaker


joins us from our studios in Westminster.


David Cameron has said that he won't rule out UK participation in air


strikes. Waiting for President Obama, what sign is there that he is


actually going to call in Britain to make a contribution? We have not


seen a public sign yet but I would be most surprised if President Obama


decided he did not want British help in any air strikes or anything else


we might do in the region, and not just British. It could be that Obama


is looking for a coalition of the willing inside the NATO membership.


All this will unravel over the next few days and weeks. The most


important thing I heard said by David Cameron, and I am sure the


president subscribes to this, is that we do actually have the outline


of a strategy, a three pronged strategy. It has changed from


President Obama's initial pronouncement that he did not really


have a strategy? Taylor he has been given a lot of stick for that and I


think very unfairly. He is right, as the Prime Minister is, to be careful


about the next steps in Iraq. I think he will be able to come out of


the NATO summit saying that they have something like a strategy. It


is military, political, they are waiting for a new Baghdad government


next week and it is diplomatic, in other words, trying to bring in the


big regional powers. Like the Gulf States and Iran although that could


be a problem. It could be but it is not impossible. Vernon Coaker, will


Labour support UK air strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq? As it stands,


we have had no request from the British government, and no


discussions with the government about that. We have shown in the


past that we supported it where we felt it was appropriate in Libya. We


were not prepared to support it in Syria. If the government comes


forward with proposals, we will consider them on the basis of the


purpose of the air strikes, and what support there is in the region and


some other things. But the government needs to be clear to us


about what they are proposing to do and why. I think the discussion is


being framed along those lines. I put you the scenario which would


proceed air strikes. President Obama calls on the UK Government to join


air strikes, on the basis that there is some kind of government in


Baghdad, and there are players involved. Will Labour, at that


point, get behind it? As I say, we need to consider the proposals. If


those were the proposals, would you be happy to be there? You cannot say


that without knowing the actual proposals. What does it mean to say


there is a regional alliance? We need to be clear about the purpose


of the air strikes. What are you... Frightened is not the right word but


what are you worried about when you say you need to know the nature of


it? Those are the conditions as I understand them. They may change but


if those conditions were still put to you, what would worry you about


it? You would want to know exactly, in clear terms, the purpose of the


air strikes and their outcome. You would want to know who among the


regional countries were supporting what you are doing. In other words,


you have to have some clarity about this. It is not an objection one way


or the other. It is not to say we are in favour or against what we


need clarity from the government about what they are proposing and


then we could look at the proposals, discuss them and decide on that


basis whether we would support them or not. That is Iraq and I cannot


get you to commit one way or the other, maybe Ferran. What about air


strikes in Syria? Many voices say you would have 2 attack ISIS in


Syria as well to make it effective if you are going to defeat the


enemy. -- have 2 attack. Would air strikes without President Assad's


permission be illegal? Again, you would need to know the legal base.


It is difficult. You would need to know, and any action against ISIS


need a legal basis. That is what we said about Iraq. A legal basis is


absolutely vital to proceed. Taking up that point, it is true, bearing


in mind the kind of problems we have had in the past over things like the


invasion of Iraq and the legality of war, as Vernon Coaker got a point


about making sure it was legally tight before air strikes in Syria


took place? I am not a lawyer and I don't know but I do know that it


makes no sense to confine attacks on ISIS within Iraq alone. What they


have introduced into the equation is something quite new, a terrorist


organisation which elides frontiers, namely that between Syria and Iraq.


If you are going to do something against them which is going to be


militarily, politically and diplomatically effective, you have


to take them as a whole, not in an Iraqi chunk and then a Syrian chunk


to be left hanging around. I don't know the legal imprecations, but the


other reasons are very compelling, for going into Syria. --


implications. Just for one moment, putting legal issues aside, because


we will discuss them separately, but do you agree that any strategy of


air strikes has to be one that includes both Iraqi targets and


Syrian targets? All I would do is point to the evidence we have so


far. We supported American air strikes in support of the


humanitarian mission and what they were doing. Those air strikes in


Iraq were successful in holding the advance of the ISIS forces. But not


defeating them which is what the Prime Minister set and Ed Miliband


says he supported mum that. Clearly in terms of Iraq, we have 40 of the


advance -- vaulted the advance which has allowed the Kurds to regroup and


now the Iraqi government has space to produce the type of inclusive


government we want to see there. Do you regret in any way Labour's


refusal to support earlier this year David Cameron's attempt to get some


kind of mandate for air strikes against President Assad? No, I


don't. What you have to do is look at the issues as they arise, the


context in which you are asked to make decisions. That was the right


decision about Syria. As I said, we are not a party that opposes


intervention per se, as we showed with respect to the support we gave


air strikes in Libya. But let's look at the context within which we are


asked to make these decisions, see what the purpose and outcome is and


when we get the request, we will look at it. What do you say about


going ahead with air strikes without a Parliamentary mandate? It is


dangerous. Going back to the conversation we had earlier, the


countdown to next year's general election, political capital powered


be lost. The one thing that has not been considered is the support of


the British people. It is all well and good politicians debating this,


and it is right and proper, but in a survey this week, 50% of people


surveyed by the Independent newspaper were against air strikes


and there was more opposition to boots on the ground. There's a real


responsibility to bring the British people onside. I think it has


changed in the last few days, particularly with the second video


being released and a third, British captive. I think a poll now would


show more support but the British people need to be behind this. Is


that do with the Labour's reticence? Possibly.


Do you think we will be bombing those targets in Iraqi in a few


weeks? It is possible because it is possible to demonstrate that bombing


in Iraq and in Syria is quite a different case from that made last


year to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Those who support


intervention now have to show that it is different to the situation


last year, and I think that can be very easily done. Vernon Coaker,


briefly, before we turn to Ukraine, have you and other shadow ministers


been talking to Labour MPs about whether they support air strikes?


Obviously not in a formal way that the Conservatives are doing, asking


MPs if they support air strikes. What are you doing? You informally


meet with members of your own party and there are discussions going on.


And what is the reaction? Labour MPs go back to the point I was making,


what is the context and the purpose and the outcome? Thank you. We have


heard that 1000 UK troops will be committed to the rapid reaction


force. Will that frighten President Putin? It will make him anxious.


NATO has always been the bogeyman for the Soviet Union and now for the


new state of Russia under Putin, and he needs to congratulate himself, I


think, in having revived single-handedly a NATO alliance that


was moribund and lacking in papers until he went into Crimea and then


Ukraine. This is one of the unintended consequences of his


invasion. The message to Putin, and whether it will worry him or not I


don't know, but he needs to listen carefully, is that it is not about


Ukraine. Ukraine is not likely to be a member of NATO in the near future.


The Prime Minister referred specifically to Article five,


obligations of the NATO treaty. That refers to current members of NATO


and the message to Putin is don't you dare mess with the Baltic


states, with Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, in the way that


you have done with Ukraine. Because if you do that, we invoke the


article and we are on the edge of war, you see. And that is if you


attack one NATO nation then you attack them all. Do you support


tougher sanctions? We certainly support the toughening of sanctions


with respect to Ukraine and as far as NATO is concerned, the


announcement today about the spearhead to the Iraqi reaction


force -- rapid reaction force, I think that is also good and


reassuring. Will it work? I think it will. On it though it is not


sufficient but alongside other policy proposals being made. -- on


its own. If you look at NATO allies in Poland and the Baltic states,


they are anxious to be reassured. It is ironic that is happening on a day


when the Government is having trouble recruiting reserves. But


this specific point about the spearhead is a good thing. You would


support more defence spending, would you? I would certainly support


ensuring that the defence capabilities that we have got are


matched by the policies the Government pursue, and with respect


to reserves they are failing on that. Would Labour commit more


resources and money to the armed forces? We support the Government up


until 2015 and after that it will be a question of the next spending


review. Thank you very much. A rally demonstrating against


the Government's health reforms is It's the culmination


of a month-long march that began in Jarrow and followed the route of


the original 1936 Jarrow Crusade. Named 999 Call For The NHS,


the group is protesting against what they believe is the increasing


privatisation of the health service. Adam Fleming joined them for part


of the walk. I got up with the Jarrow marchers


bright and early at a community centre in Luton where they had spent


the night kipping on the floor. They were getting ready to March 11 miles


to St Albans. Such a long way but such a small breakfast. It has been


hard to deal with people's generosity on the march. People have


been so kind, and we have been offered so much food and cake and


hospitality. People have baked for the march and the NHS continually


and it has been wonderful that people have put time and effort and


care into it. We have been finding it hard to beat all the cake. A core


group of 20 started off in Jarrow in mid-August and when they reach


London on Saturday, they will have marched 280 miles. It is a mixture


of trade unionists and lefties and those that say they including a


nurse and psychiatrist. They have been joined by all sorts of people


along the way. It was the brainchild


of some campaigners from Darlington, You have to make sure everyone gets


up on time and their luggage gets on the buses and that everyone is


ready to go, fighting fit. The reason why they are is


the amount of people that have just come out


and joined us for the march, shared They are following the footsteps of


the original Jarrow March of 1936. They were highlighting a lack


of jobs in the North. What motivates the modern-day


marchers is the health service, which they fear is being flogged


off without the public noticing. That is denied by the Department of


Health, who told us 6% of the NHS budget goes to the private sector,


and that number has hardly changed But these people feel


so passionate about the National Health Service, they really


are prepared to go the distance. We've been joined by


Dr Louise Irvine from the National Health Action Party which supports


the march, and by Julia Manning from the 2020 health group which supports


the Government's NHS reforms. Can I start with you? The NHS is


still free at the point of use. Do you think the public cares who


provides the health care as long as they are not paying for it directly?


Well, for the public it is very important that health remain free at


the point of use, but how it is organised and delivered is also


important and I think if the public knew the amount of wasted that there


is in the privatised system, and the risks of destabilising NHS care, but


also the risks of poor quality care, they would care very much about who


provide the care. What examples have you got poor quality care being


provided by private providers? Well, Circle took over the provision


of out of hours services in Cornwall, and have lost the contract


because of the poor quality. They were putting in misleading reports


and results. There have also been two cases recently of cataract


operations which were being done by private providers. They have been


pulled because of poor results. What do you say to that? There may be an


argument that some of the public cares about what happens in the NHS


but many will want a decent quality of care provided by whomever, so


long as it is free at the point of use but not if the care is


substandard and dangerous. I think this march is a fantastic display of


public support and commitment to the NHS, which we absolutely agree with,


and we want to see the NHS fit for the future and the 21st century. In


terms of the concerns around privatisation, the reality is that


the NHS is a partnership between independent providers and public


sector providers. The amount of money the NHS budget spent in the


independent sector, so IT support, GPs, drugs, the whole thing, it is


actually 28% already. It is a partnership and without each other


the system would fall down. People are worried that private sector


provision will begin to engulf parts of what they feel is a health


service that will lose its identity. I don't think it will lose its


identity. I think everybody is committed to the same core


principles and what is really important is that we recognise


fantastic independent providers. Nobody wants to get rid of Macmillan


nurses and nobody wants to stop the provision of wheelchairs for


children. It is a great partnership and we should celebrate it. Isn't it


true that the NHS has always been a mixture of public and private


providers and what is being said is emotional but in reality has always


existed? This is a way of misleading the public, talking about Macmillan


nurses, the charity, and GPs who are independent contractors but very


much part of the NHS. We do not have shareholders, we do not draw profit


into the pockets of shareholders. The problem is the company is taking


these contracts are big private equity funds, hedge funds, out to


make major profit from the NHS. That is a real risk. The number of


contracts that has gone out to the private sector has increased three


times in the last year. It is only last year that the regulations came


out. The provision percentage has not increased. The health and social


care act was fermented two years ago and the regulations that enforce it


would just one year ago. -- was implemented. And we have seen


contracts going out to the private sector since. We used to have a cap


on profits and we should have that. You admit it is a dangerous


precedent to allow companies to focus on profit rather than care? I


think any company that does not focus on the care they are providing


should not be providing services to the NHS. But how on earth do you


stop that? It is quite difficult to unravel what is going on in the


NHS. The public may be very worried about what they see happening. Yes.


There is a responsibility on both your parts and language is so


important. When you use the P word, toxic privatisation, people pony up


on the radio and think that you can only have treatment if you get your


credit card out. You have to be very clear about what your concerns are.


The word privatisation can be misused and abused. I think there is


a point here that the majority of patients, and this is the battle you


have, don't really care whether care comes from, so long as it is first


class. -- where the care comes from. By the definition of the World


Health Organisation and Oliver Letwin, who wrote about privatising


the world, where public sector services are put over to the private


sector to provide, that is privatisation. The Government does


not want to use that word because it knows it is toxic and the public


does not want it. The debate needs to be about how we find the NHS in


the future, what services are provided by the NHS because it can't


do everything. It raises our expectations about what is possible.


We need that public debate and it needs to be about the inequity that


is increasing as well. You can have one treatment in one place and not


in another and that is what we need to be debating. I will leave it


there. Thank you very much. What do you do if you're


a left wing voter disillusioned with Well, the Green Party of England


and Wales hopes you'll join them and they reckon they might just have


the policies to entice the left The party is meeting


for their annual conference in Birmingham as they look to add


to their one MP gained in 2010. They want to renationalise


the railways, something they say is They also want to introduce


a wealth tax on the super rich with The party would also legislate


for a living wage which will rise to ?10 an hour


by the end of the next Parliament. To discuss


their prospects we're been joined from Birmingham by the leader of


the Green Party, Natalie Bennett. Welcome back to the daily politics.


Let's pick up on that last policy proposal about a living wage rising


to ?10. Have you got businesses on side? I think very much though.


Businesses recognise that the low pay economy is doing them out of


customers and opportunities to provide the services and goods that


people need. Have you got any names about who has signed up? No, I am


not going to give you any names. What I am going to talk about is how


we are saying today that we need to make the minimum wage a living wage.


If you work full time, you should earn enough to live on, and a survey


has shown 76% of the public agree with that statement. The living wage


is a basic principle. We have to offer people hope for the future as


well. So many people are struggling to pay bills, facing payday loans


and credit card bills, and we need to offer hope that things will get


better in the future. We also want to... That is what the offer of ?10


an hour for everybody by 2020 offers. You are criticising the


Labour Party for signing up to the same spending limits as the


government, especially initially, but what limit on public services


are you add a catering? We need to restore the pay of public sector


workers and we also need to restore the level of services. The fact is,


we are cutting back so much on youth clubs, social care, there are so


many areas, like social care workers... How much would you spend?


In terms of the 2015 general election, we will have a fully


costed manifesto, as we did in 2010, setting out the full details. But we


want to start the election campaign here. We want a sales Territories


are failed model. We have a situation where the economy at the


moment, rich individuals and multinational companies are not


making a fair contribution in tax or in wages. The 99% of us simply are


not getting a fair share of Britain's wealth. We are, after


all, the world's sixth richest economy. Some of the policies you


advocate, you share with the Labour Party. Are you in danger of not


achieving your policies, for instance the increased minimum wage,


the mansion tax you have talked about, on a higher top rate of tax,


all of which the Labour Party is proposing? Will you split the vote


and not get anywhere near any of the proposals? If we look at the detail,


the Labour Party is making noises about lots of these things. Henri


nationalising the railways, Caroline Lucas has a Private members Bill


before Parliament that says we should simply, as the train


operating companies' contract slats, allow them to come back into public


hands and run them as a public institution. Labour say they will


create a public company, which bids into this failed, fragmented


privatised system we have now. That is not renationalisation. It is


supporting the model we have a ready got. If you look at the living wage,


I believe Labour's position if they want to ask companies nicely and


offer them tax breaks for the living wage. We are saying that white to


become if you work full time, you should have enough money to live on.


Do you think Natalie Bennett is making an offer, and her party is


making an offer, which will have a broader appeal than they have had in


the past? Two I think it is. I spoke to Natalie last night about one of


the policies and they are broadening their range of policies, broadening


from just being about the idea of the environment which is a


perception a lot of people have. Where it goes is interesting because


it may well take votes from Labour and the Lib Dems. It may well spin


to the slightly centre-left chunk of the electorate. -- splinter. I think


that might be a good thing but whether or not it will translate


into MPs in 2015, no one knows. I also think, about fracking, the


Green party will pick up votes from people who don't want it in their


back garden. Thank you for joining us.


Before we say goodbye to Duncan, let's see if he worked out


The question was which city did Boris Johnson say last night was


Was it a) Paris in the 19th century b) Athens in the 5th century BC,


c) New York in the 20th century or d) London in the 21st century?


So Duncan, what's the correct answer?


My get out of jail card was I was working last night so I did not see


it. I would like to think it is London but he's besotted with our


things and was also born in New York. I'm going with Athens. I have


to be honest, I'm not sure whether the right answer was Athens or


London. But you're right! In a moment, we'll be turning


our attention to the latest But for now, it's time to say


goodbye to my guest Duncan Barkes. So for the next half an hour we're


going to be focusing on Europe. We'll be discussing Europe's


approach to the crisis in Ukraine, the line-up of


Jean-Claude Juncker's new Commission, and Adam reports from


Croatia - the EU's newest member. First though,


here's our guide to the latest Germany breaks its post-war policy


of not sending arms to conflict zones and authorises the arming


of a 4000 strong battalion of Kurdish fighters to battle


Islamic State in northern Iraq. The newly designated EU foreign


affairs chief, Federica Mogherini says NATO


countries bordering Russia need more than a paper pledge that NATO will


step in if it comes to fight. You lost


your independence once before. With NATO,


you will never lose it again. Strong words from the president


as 60 world leaders meet in Wales for the latest NATO summit,


with security issues A potential Merkel headache with


a victory for the For the first time,


a party against the euro won seats New rules banning the manufacture or


import of over 1600 watt vacuum cleaners led to a huge rush on


the things before the ban came in. And with us for the next 30 minutes,


I've been joined by Ukip's Jane Collins, and Catherine


Stihler for the Labour party. Let's take a look at one


of those stories in more detail - the EU's response to the


Islamic State militants in Iraq. Jane, should ransoms be paid to


ISIS, to release hostages? It is a very emotive question. I think once


you start doing that, you are going down a one-way street and you can't


come back. So, no. So your position is never to pay ransoms to


terrorists, to have a British hostage release? Once you have done


it, as I say, you open the door to the one-way street and there's no


turning back. Do you agree, and with the Prime Minister being, as was


said in some of the papers, quite hawkish on this? I agree. There are


other ways to deal with the situation. None of us want to be --


this to be the way it is but we have to use other means than paying


ransoms. The German parliament is arming a battalion of Kurds, to some


extent, changing a decades-old commitment not to get involved,


certainly militarily, in international conflicts, and


therefore, a minister has recently given a speech advocating more


masculine German policy. Do you think that it would be a good idea


for a concerted EU effort to do things like arming the Kurds? In


Iraq at this moment in time, and remember, we are virtually guilty of


causing the situation with this illegal war and we have got the two


sides now that we are struggling to get some kind of stability and it is


looking impossible, but I think with the Islamic terrorist groups and


everything, there has never been a better case for armed intervention


in Iraq. So you are saying that we caused it in 2003? We went into an


illegal war, led by Tony Blair. Do you think that has led to the rise


of ISIS? They have taken advantage of a destabilised country. What


about the situation in Syria? Should the UK Government have led air


strikes in Syria earlier this year? The thing is, Ukip disagreed with


arming the rebels. The very same people now are using the arms


against us. They would say they are not the same people. They were the


moderate resistance. Do you think that Ed Miliband should firmly stand


and support air strikes if America calls on Britain? I think we have to


work together to find solutions to the ISIS threat which is why we are


working in NATO. I think at the moment, we have to look at all the


options. However, at this moment, we had to negotiate a make sure we are


working together. Who are we negotiating with? With our


colleagues and alliances. I don't think that we can rush into things.


It is such a serious situation, we have to make sure the humanitarian


situation, looking at what is happening with the Christians and


other religious minorities in Iraq, we have had a humanitarian effort


and obviously, that cooperation which is essential. But now we have


to work together with NATO and across the EU to tackle this serious


and poisonous threat. I agree it is a terribly poisonous threat but you


can't negotiate with terrorists and that is the main problem. I was not


say negotiate with terrorists. We have to work together. With other


regional powers? Or within the EU? That is something the Europeans...


Isn't this the time we need EU allies more than ever rather than


being isolated and out of Europe, it is what Ukip once? I totally


disagree. I think we can have our input in these situations quite


positively, without having to be part of the EU. I think we have to


work together. North and south Iraq really need to split. I completely


disagree with that. It is so destabilised, and we can move some


of the Christian populations through to the Nineveh plane for safety. We


should be helping the Iraqi government, recognising the Sunni


minority to make sure their voices are heard. This has been the big


problem with Iraqi democracy, the minorities have not been heard. We


have to work hard to make sure it happens. You want to see the


break-up of Iraq because you don't think the different tribal groups...


It is just not working and until it stabilises, it won't.


The EU is piling more pressure on Russia over the crisis


in Ukraine, with deeper economic sanctions targeting state-controlled


banking, energy and defence sectors under discussion.


France has already halted the delivery of a warship to Russia


this week, one of two that were on order before the existing


Now more of President Putin's inner circle,


dubbed "Putin's Cronies" could have travel bans imposed on them.


And if that doesn't persuade Putin, there are suggestions that the EU


could recommend that Russia be banned from participating


in sporting events, including stripping them of the 2018 World Cup


Jane Collins, what do you think about 1000 troops being committed to


a rapid reaction NATO force? Can I just address the fact we have 30


soldiers already on exercises in Iraq? Sorry, in Ukraine!


Ukraine is not part of NATO. We have no benefit in actually interfering


in this situation. Really? We have had America and the EU


pushing/insurance, and interference. Don't get me wrong, we don't condone


President Putin's annexation and acts of aggression. Do you think he


has a right to do it? No, we are saying we don't condone the


annexation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. So you approve of what he


is doing? I have just said we don't. But you don't think it's worth


trying to stop him? We are saying that what he's doing is wrong. We


don't think it is right but what we are saying is, there is no benefit


for the sanctions, going in hard, like they are doing, to the UK. What


do you say to that? Sanctions have to be a measure. I disagree


completely, we have to work together in the European Union. This is a


near neighbour, a foreign power has invaded the eastern part of a


sovereign country. This is the most serious crisis in Europe since NATO


went into Serbia. This is something that is really critical. I think at


the moment, when you look at what is happening in a sovereign state,


where a foreign power has invaded, and also, the fact that many of our


Eastern European neighbours, who are now full members of the EU, their


viewpoint of Russia and Russian power, don't forget, is Dhoni had a


cyber attack. And countries like Poland. The fact is, countries like


the EU and America encouraged a clue to depose an elected president. -- a


coop. But what about the people living there. And look as what -- at


what has happened with MH17, not being able to get to the crash


site. President Putin plays it both ways, one minute saying he has


nothing to do with the people creating havoc in eastern Ukraine,


but on the other, trying to organise a cease-fire. I am pleased with what


is happening with Belarus today. What about the Prime Minister today?


I'm not sure if it was today, but on Ukraine, dismissing President


Putin's 7-point plan. President Poroshenko, talking about the


cease-fire. Belarus are coming together to talk, as far as I


understand, and that might be happening as we speak, maybe later


but it is important we recognise that is happening. We welcome that


because we need to make sure there's a cease-fire. Are you not worried


about what is going on in eastern Ukraine in terms of how it could


affect other Eastern European countries and the rest of Europe? Of


course it is worrying but we see any benefit in putting armed troops on


the ground. -- we cannot see. But sanctions is what we are doing. But


they are not touching gas and oil, so they are completely toothless. We


are going to leave it there. The buzz


in Brussels this week has been all about who Jean-Claude Juncker will


choose to be his new commissioners, when he takes over from Jose Manuel


Barroso as President of the Will he have enough


women candidates? Will he rearrange the Commission?


And who will get the best jobs? two months left of weekly meetings


before their replacements take-over. Appointments to these jobs are


closely scrutinised. They are powerful positions because the


Commission is the only part of the EU that can propose new laws. It is


up on the 13th floor office building, the home of the European


Commission, that you will find the President, soon-to-be Jean-Claude


Juncker, and his 27 commissioners. There is one commissioner from each


member state and each looks after a different policy area. It is the


President who decides which portfolio each member state gets, so


will this week he has been interviewing the candidates.


Surprisingly he seems to think I might have a chance. What job are


you going to give the UK candidate? Are you a candidate? Sadly, I am


not. The Denmark representative has been head of the climate Commission


for five years and knows all about the gruelling process of getting the


job. You come from your national Government normally and you know


about politics but this is a different kind of world. You have a


certain humility in your approach, but you also know for instance that


that first meeting with the President-elect is extremely


important because that is where it is to find what you are going to do.


What is your true portfolio for the next five years? Lauderdale, what


position are you getting? How did the interview go? Very positive,


thank you. A positive candidate! The new portfolio is already taken. All


the other jobs are still up for grabs, which means journalists still


have plenty to gossip about. The most sought-after jobs are generally


speaking economic ones. Save economic affairs, trade, the


internal market, competition, those areas. Britain has said that is what


he wants, a top economic job. But if he gets energy and to change, you


can argue that energy is crucial to the economy, so whatever he gets as


long as it is in economic area, he will be able to sell. Ultimately


decisions will be taken in the European Parliament when MPs will


vote on the package of commissioners and their portfolios. Vivian Reding


used to be the Vice President of the Commission. She is also from


Luxembourg and says the number of women candidates is an issue. Women


are half of the talent, half of the knowledge, half of the


responsibility, so let's also carry half of the doing, what we are


standing for. I have the impression that in some member states


unfortunately, this is not taken seriously. If everything goes to


plan, new commissioners will be in these suits by early November but it


is an incredibly complicated process. Even after Jean-Claude


Juncker has made up his mind, it is still not a done deal. Jane and


Catherine are still with me and we have been joined by Syed Kamall from


the Conservatives. It does not look like Lord hill will get one of the


top economic jobs. We don't know. We have just seen the draft Commission


plan but if it is true that he might get the energy portfolio, that is


crucial. Look at what David Cameron and Obama are talking about at the


moment, reducing reliance on energy from Russia. You can't have a modern


digital economy if you can't switch on the lights. One of the


commentators in that film said that the Government will argue any job is


crucial to the economy because everything is crucial to the


economy, and it is not the same as getting one of the top economic


portfolios. Jean-Claude Juncker has made it clear that he is going to


change all the portfolios so it will not be exactly the same. If someone


had asked me what we would like a few weeks ago, energy would have


been one of the top ones. Sounds like he will get that then! Is that


what you know? I don't know. Tell us on Daily Politics! If he gets it,


great. Which other top economic portfolio would you have liked for


Lord Hill? I like to see things like international trade. We are very


interested in monetary affairs and that is a crucial industry for


Britain. Whatever happens, British MEPs will continue standing up for


that crucial industry. Do you accept that without occupying one of the


top economic portfolios, Britain's influence in the discussions between


austerity and spending, now rife in the European Union again, will be


diminished? Not at all. Commissioners all discuss the issues


and commissioners often bring up issues not strictly related to their


portfolio. It is interesting that it is not just energy but climate


change. Paris conference next year, it is a very important issue to deal


with. Of course. Wouldn't it be better if the UK was occupying one


of the top your league economic roles? Of course. Everything is


based on the economy. It is a Mickey Mouse appointment, really. Climate


change is not Mickey Mouse! It is for him because he will be made very


unpopular at home because energy bills will go up. He is going to


push through European legislation, which will increase wind farms and


it is going to... All right. It will. It is pensioners and young


families and their bills will go up and he will not be popular. Jane is


talking about the portfolio. Is it because Lord Hill was not well known


to anyone, particularly Jean-Claude Juncker, that actually his chances


of getting a key role were also reduced? If you look at most of the


commissioners, most people do not know many of them. Not outside the


Brussels Circle. But everyone I have met across the political spectrum,


they have all said they have been impressed with Lord Hill. How many


former Prime Ministers will be chosen as commissioners? Some


clearly have been. Former Prime Ministers are much more important.


But just because you are former Prime Minister does not mean you are


an effective commissioner. I accept that but it is all about profile. It


is not, actually, it is about being well respected in British


institutions. Jean-Claude Juncker had to Google Hill! It is the job


you do in Brussels that is crucial. But Britain is not well respected in


Europe. Is that UKIP's fault? But the single market is not there any


more. Consumer rights is not there any more. Those are the things that


I wonder about. There is better regulation. The German has got the


trade portfolio and the French have got competition. These rumours and


we will find out next week. But we have to look at this. These people


have to go through a hearing process that is very tough, and then they


have to be voted into Parliament, so there is some time to go before we


see these commissioners approved. I am pleased to see that there are now


nine female candidates. I welcome that. I would rather see no


commissioners. We don't have a British Commissioner. Are EU


commissioners. Right, but they are working on behalf of the UK as well.


You would not think so if you saw what was happening. Should the


public know more about what the commissioners do and who they are?


Yes, I think that is important. I spoke to the committee at the House


of Commons this week, and I made the point that whatever you think of the


EU, we are members, and legislation that is created in Brussels


eventually becomes law in Britain, and we have to recognise that. What


reaction did you get? Very positive. People want to know who these people


are. People are recognising how many laws are made in Brussels. Do you


think there would have been more chance of getting a top job if David


Cameron has nominated a woman? You are saying that Hill's job is not a


top job. I am not saying that but it is how it is regarded in


Conservative circles. If you look at the crucial issues, energy is one of


the top issues. Now, hold onto your hats, we've got


something very exciting in store. Yes, it's the first in a new series


of films called Meet The Neighbours. Adam's going to profile


the EU's 28 member countries. He started off in Croatia,


the EU's newest member, where he got Can I start with you? The NHS is


still free at the point of use. Do -- where he got into a bit of a


fight. I am finding out about life


as a gladiator in a town Yes, another empire was


here long before the EU. Would you rather be a subject of


the Roman Empire or the EU empire? OK, Roman empire was


definitely more cruel. This is a country which is used


to joining and leaving things. I was born in Yugoslavia


and my kids in Croatia, Yes, listen, some countries will


never go through what we have gone through in the 20th century


for another thousand years. Nowadays,


Croatia is famous for tourism. But a big industry here is


shipbuilding, so big that you need Right, over there are two ferries


going to Turkmenistan, a massive fishing boat going to Russia, and


this monster is an oil tanker that The country's shipyards were state


run, but they had to be sold off, Brussels also insisted


the country bring lots of sectors up to European standards, from


the police to the sewage system. Now let's get a taste of


the politics. This restaurant's name translates


as cock-a-doodle-doo. The left-wing parties that form


the Croatian government signed their power-sharing deal here,


so they are known There were many courses,


and they were all different, It was good food and good wine,


so with that came good ideas. Another regular diner was


the former Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, who was jailed earlier


this year for corruption on a massive scale, something that


is often on the menu in Croatia. But here is one customer


who is squeaky-clean. Marina is part of a brand-new Green


party The general impression is that


our politics is all about obtaining positions of power and privileges,


well-paid positions, for those who And then not caring


about the rest of the world. But the problem people worry


about most here is the state Croatia has been battling


a fierce recession for six years. Not everyone is convinced that


joining the EU will shield them Not a resounding success for Croatia


then, since it has joined the EU? Talking to Croatian colleagues, I


think Croatia has welcomed being a member of the European Union and


access to the single market. The fact that 4.4 million people across


Croatia are now European citizens. So why is the economy not doing


better? We would all agree that across the European Union our


economies have been hard-hit by the financial crisis are improving and


progressing. The only member state, when I wrote to every EU country,


who said there had been no short cuts. 18 billion spent on them in


2013. Tourism has not taken off as they hoped. 20% unemployment. I


don't see where there benefits. Nothing evident that it has been


beneficial joining the EU. That is it for today. Thanks to my. Goodbye.


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