03/12/2015 Daily Politics


03/12/2015

Jo Coburn with analysis and fallout from the vote on Syria. Quentin Letts discusses political fiction. Plus a look back at a significant 1872 by-election.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Afternoon folks and welcome to the Daily Politics.

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The ayes to the right 397, the noes to the left, 223, so the ayes have

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Parliament decides and RAF tornadoes take off for their

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first sorties over Syria - but will MPs votes hasten the defeat of IS?

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Last night's vote left Labour MPs and the Shadow Cabinet split.

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What will be the consequences for Labour MPs who defied

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the apparent will of the majority of party members?

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IS, Isis, Isil or Daesh - what should we call the Islamist

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And after a dramatic night in the Commons,

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why the palace of Westminster is such a popular setting for fiction?

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All that in the next hour, and with us for the whole

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of the programme today, the Daily Mail's parliamentary

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So the Government won last night's vote with 397 in favour

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In the Conservative Party there were seven rebels who voted against

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the airstrikes, and seven who abstained on the Labour benches.

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153 voted against the government, 66 in favour

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And that balance was reflected in the Shadow Cabinet,

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with 17 voting against extending airstrikes but 11 voting in favour,

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So we heard David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn opening the debate

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Let's get a taste now of some of the other contributions in over

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10 hours of deliberations ahead of last night's vote, including

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an impassioned plea from the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Hilary Benn, for

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Labour MPs to support the government's plan to extend air

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I find this decision as difficult as anyone to make.

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I wish I had, frankly, the self-righteous certitude

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of the finger-jabbing representatives of our new

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Who will no doubt soon be contacting those of us who

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But I believe, I believe that Isil-Daesh has to be

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confronted and destroyed if we are to properly defend

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I believe that this motion provides the best way to

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When you are thinking about the hard choice that has to be

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You may feel pious about it, looking back on the wrong decision

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But a very similar decision confronts us tonight.

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Instead of having dodgy dossiers, we now have bogus battalions

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This twisted perversion of Islam that is to Islam what fascism is to

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nationalism, that is to Islam what communism is

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to socialism, this vile, Stalinist death cult, this dreadful regime,

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Sadly, the only way to stop it is not through talks.

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These are people, this is a group that does not wish to speak to us.

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They have defined us clearly in their theology as infidel.

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They have taken the readings of Mohammed of the Wahhab and

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They have defined us, sir, as people who must die or convert.

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We are being asked to intervene in a bloody civil war of huge complexity.

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We are being asked to do it without an exit strategy

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and no reasonable means of saying we are going to make a difference.

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We should not give the Prime Minister that permission.

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I hope the house will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to

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my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the house.

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As a party, we have always been defined by our internationalism.

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We believe we have a responsibility, one to another.

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We never have and we never should walk by

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And we are here, faced by fascists, not just their calculated brutality

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but their belief that they are superior to every single one

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of us in this chamber tonight, and all of the people we represent.

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They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt.

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They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make

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And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated.

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And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists

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and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigades in

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It is why this entire house stood up against Hitler and Mussolini.

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It is why our party has always stood up against the denial

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And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil.

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It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria.

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And that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for this motion tonight.

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A snapshot of some of the contributions in the debate on

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Syrian air strikes finishing with Hilary Benn, widely regarded as the

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standard speech of the ten hour debate. It prompted applause on both

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sides of the House of Commons, which under parliamentary convention you

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are not meant to do. Quentin, how did it shape up as a parliamentary

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occasion? Not particularly well until half past nine. Then it really

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took off when Hilary Benn was on his feet. It was most like seeing a

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plane take off from an aircraft carriers. We shot off the runway at

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speed. That was a speech, as you got a flavour there, it had repetition,

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variety, emotion, anger. It also directed against the fascists of our

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enemy. That was what was brilliant about the speech. He computed it

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through a perfectly reasonable Labour ideology of standing up

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against fascists and his own side suddenly saw there was a good reason

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for supporting the bombing action. Do you think he swung some Labour

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votes? I do. Stella Creasy has said she was persuaded. I suspect some

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others work, too. It was a slightly bigger majority than expected. The

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day began with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

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David Cameron made a stupid mistake when he made a remark that a private

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meeting of Conservative MPs about some terrorist sympathisers opposing

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the war. Stupid thing to do. That led to lots of interruptions of his

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speech. Jeremy Corbyn started pretty well by attacking Mr Cameron on that

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point. Once he had gnawed the meat of the bone on that particular

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pointy and very little to say. He was really dislodged by a question

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from John Woodcock about whether or not he supported action in Iraq. And

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after that, Mr Corbyn was going nowhere. He responded to that in a

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rather tetchy way. We saw perhaps that Jeremy Corbyn is not quite as

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tolerant as congenial a colleague as he might claim to be. We saw 's

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strong speeches from Margaret Beckett and Alan Johnson. There were

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Tory rebels as well. Seven voting against the Government, seven

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abstaining. Any strong contributions from them? Use -- might you saw some

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clips area. A Conservative MP from Twickenham was close to tears at one

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point talking about the emotion. I think if you are an MP you should

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not be a big Bertie about this but she was obviously moved. Margaret

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Beckett, very strong. That speech was text and around two Labour

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waverers. And Julian Lewis, a powerful voice in the Conservatives,

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was raising some questions that he would say, perhaps we might agree,

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the David Cameron was perhaps not quite able to answer, about the

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strength of the Syrian Armed Forces. Where does Labour go from here? I

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think it goes into a therapy suite! I cannot see there is much

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likelihood of the two sides of the Labour Party getting on with each

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other. It is ludicrous. In the press lobby at Westminster you have two

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teams of briefers. One briefing for war, the other against. This cannot

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continue. You need unity as a party if you are going to make sense of

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the political arguments. Technically I said Labour rebels.

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They were not rebels in the sense it was a free vote. No but I think we

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can understand there was a tremendous amount of pressure on

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Labour MPs to do as Jeremy Corbyn and the Stop the War Coalition

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wished. In that sense there was a rebellion, a rebellion against the

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corporate leadership. It is a nice point about whether it was whipped

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or not but that is the basic reality.

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After last night's vote, RAF planes wasted no time embarking

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on a campaign they've been planning for months.

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Four RAF Tornados took off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus

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It's the first sortie in a mission that will also involve

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Tornado planes can carry the Brimstone missile - a weapon that's

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particularly effective at hitting moving targets with great accuracy.

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There are hundreds of different armed groups fighting in Syria,

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The government's forces are concentrated

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around Damascus and in the west of the country.

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To the north and south of them are the so-called moderate rebels,

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In the north, along the Turkish border, there are the

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Our bombs will be targeting so-called Islamic State.

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They control a huge swathe of territory across Syria and

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The Defence Secretary has confirmed that last night they hit the

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Omar Oil Fields in eastern Syria, very close to the Iraq border.

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It is targets in Raqqa - IS' de facto capital

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- that are likely to be the focus for the bombing, which is

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Meanwhile, the Russians have said they soon hope to have more than

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They also claim to be hitting IS targets, but intelligence suggests

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that many of their bombs are, in fact, falling on targets of the

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moderate rebel forces that we're relying on to fight the ground war.

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This is what the Defence Secretary said this morning.

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There was a lot of talk in the House of Commons about bombing Raqqa.

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This is about cutting off the Daesh terrorists, cutting off their supply

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routes, dealing with the oil and the smuggling and making sure that they

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can't reinforce their efforts in Iraq and that they don't become a

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safe haven for terrorist attacks in Britain. There are plenty of targets

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in eastern Syria that the French and the other air forces involved

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With this strong decisive vote in the House of Commons, the RAF is now

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able to strike in Syria, just as it has already been striking in Iraq.

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That was the Defence Secretary. We're joined by Frank Gardner and by

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Crispin Blunt. Frank Gardner, the Tornado jets had

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their first bombing raids in Syria. They chose to go to these oilfields

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in the east. They have already been attacked by American and other

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allied planes. On October the 21st there was a much bigger attack than

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there was last night. What happens next in the British effort over the

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skies of Syria? Well, the Tornado pilots did not choose the targets.

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They were selected for them. They were selected by the operation

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centre and cat are but it would have been done with political approval by

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Michael Fallon. It was done very carefully. You can imagine how

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politically disastrous it would be if the very first air strike carried

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out by an RAF plane went and mistakenly bombed a school or a

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hospital, or there were civilian casualties. The RAF say that in over

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400 air strikes they have conducted in Iraq over the past year, there

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has not been a single civilian casualty. It is hard to validate

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that on the ground. You cannot do the bomb damage assessment. You have

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no freedom of access. They have not had any reports of civilian

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casualties. Where do they go from here? Britain is sorting into a

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wider air campaign predominantly by the Americans but also that the

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French and in conjunction with the Russians, who are doing their own

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targeting. Britain will have some say in what the targets are. They

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have got officers and analysts in Qatar who are poring over satellite

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maps and intelligence and looking at what the targets are. But

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essentially we will be a small cog in a very big machine run by the

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Americans. The oilfields are being hit, the

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ones under control of Islamic State because they get revenues from them,

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by selling the oil to be but you live in areas controlled by Islamic

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State. But we are told it is also exported and Turkey has been

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mentioned as somebody who pays for this oil. Do we have any evidence of

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where this oil is going beyond that which is not sold domestic league?

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Yesterday, the Russian military rolled out what they said was

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conclusive satellite evidence of the supply of Isis controlled oil to

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Turkey. It is part of the ongoing spat between anchor and Moscow. What

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actually happens in practice is that oil is produced in eastern Syria and

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sold by Isis to middlemen, smugglers. Then it gets transported

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across-the-board -- across the border into Turkey and is also sold

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to the Assad regime. It is hard to find evidence to say the Turkish

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government bought the oil or the Syrian government did. These are

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paperless transactions, it is no good trying to hit the banking

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system because it's not done through that, it is cash in hand through

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smugglers and middlemen. It's been going on for quite some time. I have

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to say that the Russians have taken an incredibly proactive role in

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hitting the vast com boys of oil tankers that are the economic

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lifeline for Isis. They have really been the first to do this in a big

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way. The lead is now being followed by the Americans. There is a kind of

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belated attempt to choke off Isis' revenues from oil. Don't go away

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because we've got lots more to talk about with you and Crispin Blunt.

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We're joined now from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus by our correspondent,

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That is the base where the RAF jets left overnight. It is busy and

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crowded in the skies in the conflict area in Syria. How difficult is this

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mission for the British jets and their fighter pilot? Essentially, in

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terms of the risks because the skies are so crowded, certainly, obviously

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as far as Britain and the coalition led by the US are concerned, it is

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absolutely all coordinated with them, through the air operations

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centre in Qatar. They will be coordinating, deciding which planes

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are going where, from which country. That is all co-ordinated.

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To what extent it is coordinated with Russia is another matter but my

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understanding is there has been an agreement between the US and Russia

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to prevent any accidents happening. In theory, it should all be

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co-ordinated to prevent any problems. They have returned safely

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from the first mission. What is the scope, looking ahead, to the British

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air offensive? In terms of the number of aircraft, it is about to

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double. They have eight Tornados based here at the moment but there

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are another eight on the way. Six typhoons and another two Tornados

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coming and also a transporter bringing all the ground staff and

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the crews, etc, over. In terms of capacity, it is about to double. In

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terms of scope, how often, the targets they are going to hit, is

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another matter. The targets are more difficult because ice is clearly

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know they are under attack from multiple air forces from different

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countries. They can't be as open as they were being above ground. They

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need to be much more hidden, particularly in Raqqa. There are

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reports that they are much more mingled into the civilian

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population. As we saw from Sinjar, which was retaken by the Kurds

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recently, the Isis militants had been digging tunnels to protect

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themselves there. The targets are more difficult but there is a

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significant intelligence gathering operation going on, not fees with

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the bridges biplane which has been flying over Syria for some time. One

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of the criticisms here has been that British forces will make little

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material difference to the offensive already underway in Syria. What is

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your assessment? I think that probably, any contribution is going

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to be welcomed, however small. Obviously, it is limited because the

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RAF as limited resources so it is a limited contribution but it does

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help. Certainly, the RAF are talking up the technology they have. There's

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been a lot of talk about the Brimstone missile which is very a

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it, which poses less risk of civilian casualties. -- very

:20:16.:20:20.

accurate. They say it is fairly unique so they can bring it to the

:20:21.:20:24.

operation. It means with extra crews and aircraft coming in, it takes the

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strain off some of the other countries. It is a contribution but

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absolutely, yes, it is limited. But again, the other issue is if bombing

:20:33.:20:38.

really works, whether it will succeed in defeating Isis.

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Obviously, everyone says it won't, it can impact and weaken them but it

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won't be defeated until brown forces go into absolutely take them out.

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Richard Galpin in Cyprus, thank you. Frank Gardner is still with us in

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Broadcasting House and Crispin Blunt is with us in the studio. Crispin

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Blunt, let me come to you and pick up the points made from Cyprus on

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ground forces. The government has made something, some would say much

:21:06.:21:10.

of the 70,000 disparate fighters on the ground that are not part of

:21:11.:21:16.

Islamic State and not part of al-Masirah and other hardline

:21:17.:21:23.

organisations -- al-Nusra. But aren't these the people the Russians

:21:24.:21:28.

are striking? They appear to be. What is happening here is that you

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have an exercise of the Russians trying to strengthen the regime's

:21:32.:21:35.

position by some of their targeting on Isis but some on these people.

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You have got the Saudis and other countries who are continuing to

:21:40.:21:43.

provide lethal weaponry, which we are not, to these people, to try to

:21:44.:21:49.

strengthen their position before we get into ceasefire talks. Frankly,

:21:50.:21:55.

this should stop on both sides. We need a ceasefire and we need the

:21:56.:21:58.

transition process to happen so we can get both of these forces after a

:21:59.:22:03.

ceasefire, and with a transitional government then turning their guns

:22:04.:22:08.

on Isil. That is not going to be enough, 70,000, the Syrian army,

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with 200,000 plus effective, I understand, is not going to be

:22:15.:22:18.

enough. They are going to need significant support from the

:22:19.:22:20.

surrounding Sunni nation in a military said on the ground and very

:22:21.:22:25.

possibly from the rest of the international community as well in

:22:26.:22:29.

order to take on these 20-40,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, many of

:22:30.:22:34.

whom are determined to fight to the death. But none of that is going to

:22:35.:22:40.

happen very quickly. If it is to happen, doesn't it mean that Britain

:22:41.:22:46.

has two except that for a transition -- has to accept that transition

:22:47.:22:49.

period of indefinitely, President Assad is there and not much on the

:22:50.:22:53.

ground can happen without the Russians being onside? Things are

:22:54.:22:58.

moving. Our language has changed about President Assad. What the

:22:59.:23:04.

Foreign Secretary was saying to the select committee in the summer was a

:23:05.:23:07.

very firm line on Assad and by September, it changed. We are

:23:08.:23:12.

envisaging a role for Assad at the beginning of a transition process.

:23:13.:23:16.

If we and the Americans have dropped the precondition that he must go

:23:17.:23:19.

before talks can be entered into, that is enabling the talks to happen

:23:20.:23:23.

and with a target date of them starting on January the 1st, the

:23:24.:23:28.

Saudis are assembling the opposition spokesmen for these talks now, it

:23:29.:23:33.

seems, in Riyadh. There is a date, the 1st of January, for the talks to

:23:34.:23:38.

commence. The Russians need to deliver the Assad government to the

:23:39.:23:41.

talks because they have got to get out of the position they are in

:23:42.:23:44.

otherwise they will be there in definitely trying to support a

:23:45.:23:47.

regime under assault from well over half its population. Frank Gardner,

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the politicians on both sides of the debate yesterday, those who were in

:23:53.:23:57.

favour of bombing and those who were against, made much of the Vienna

:23:58.:24:00.

talks, said there was real progress being made that some kind of deal

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could be done among the disparate anti-Assad forces but also involving

:24:07.:24:13.

Mr Assad and involving the Russians. Are they not really, this diplomatic

:24:14.:24:16.

move, aren't they really still at ground zero? No, if you were to use

:24:17.:24:23.

the analogy of Matt Every, I would say they are at camp one, no longer

:24:24.:24:28.

at base camp. They are not very far up the mountain but slightly ahead

:24:29.:24:32.

of where they started. The big difference, I think, the big

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positive is, and I never thought I would hear myself say this, is that

:24:38.:24:40.

Russia is involved. When Russia joined in the air strikes on their

:24:41.:24:45.

own agenda at the end of September, a lot of people, huge amount of

:24:46.:24:48.

people, especially in the Middle East said it was a disaster and it

:24:49.:24:51.

would be another Afghanistan, which would mobilise the whole Middle East

:24:52.:24:55.

against them. It has not done that. It is true that a lot of the

:24:56.:24:59.

strikes, in fact the bulk of them have been hitting what most beagle

:25:00.:25:01.

would consider to be the wrong targets. They have been hitting the

:25:02.:25:07.

non-Isis rebels who are the biggest threat, just as Crispin Blunt said,

:25:08.:25:11.

to President Assad. But the fact is, they are at the table and so is

:25:12.:25:16.

Iran. Both of those countries are the ones who can, when they choose,

:25:17.:25:20.

at the right time, make Assad go. The problem here is that if you

:25:21.:25:24.

force President Assad out in a rush, you risk the whole regime

:25:25.:25:30.

collapsing and the next thing will be Isis in the massacres and nobody

:25:31.:25:35.

wants that. The trick is to get -- in Damascus and nobly wants that.

:25:36.:25:39.

The trick is to get enough of the regime to leave so it is except a

:25:40.:25:42.

ball to the rebels who have spent the last four years fighting the

:25:43.:25:45.

Assad regime but not so many that the entire country collapses and you

:25:46.:25:48.

have total and keep throughout what is left of Syria. I would suggest

:25:49.:25:53.

that is quite a mid-Ishant's trick that will be required. It is -- a

:25:54.:26:00.

magician's trick. This diplomatic process has been going on the whole

:26:01.:26:03.

time and has not been very effective so far, not for want of trying.

:26:04.:26:07.

People ask why people aren't talking but they are. Part of the problem is

:26:08.:26:10.

that the people who have been turning up to the smart, fancy

:26:11.:26:13.

hotels in Geneva and elsewhere have not really been representative of

:26:14.:26:18.

the people doing the fighting. The people doing the most effective

:26:19.:26:20.

fighting against President Assad have been the Islamists, who said we

:26:21.:26:29.

do not share the West's vision of a future for Syria. They are not

:26:30.:26:31.

really pluralistic. The people who have spent four years in the

:26:32.:26:34.

trenches, as it were, fighting away, if they are of a Sunni Islamists

:26:35.:26:37.

went, they will not be interested in sharing government and power with

:26:38.:26:40.

Allah whites, who they have been fighting, or Christians for that

:26:41.:26:43.

matter. There is a long-term problem. But the government's view

:26:44.:26:48.

and maybe I will let Crispin Blunt say what that is because I don't

:26:49.:26:52.

want to be accused of being a spokesman for anyone! Quite right.

:26:53.:26:59.

Not that he is, either. Are the allies all in place? We learn that

:27:00.:27:07.

Turkey is keeping the border open for its own reasons, it could be

:27:08.:27:10.

buying Islamic State oil and we have learned recently that both the

:27:11.:27:13.

Saudis and the UAE have moved their fighter planes, their bombers away

:27:14.:27:21.

from action in Syria or Iraq to the Yemen, where they are leading the

:27:22.:27:27.

war themselves. Can we count on them? Hopefully, Yemen, there is a

:27:28.:27:33.

prospect of some kind of settlement there. It has been made much off by

:27:34.:27:39.

the Saudi Foreign Minister for at least a month but they are still not

:27:40.:27:44.

there yet. There is a hope that there would be the forces of the

:27:45.:27:48.

Emirates and Saudi Arabia are available to redeploy. There's no

:27:49.:27:51.

shortage of aircraft which is the issue in the Syrian theatre. To use

:27:52.:27:58.

Frank's analogy of base one, at least we are there and you can see a

:27:59.:28:01.

route to the summit which you could not see before. There were always

:28:02.:28:05.

barriers in the way, conflicting national interests which would

:28:06.:28:08.

always prevent the international community getting there. Now those

:28:09.:28:12.

have been cleared out of the way. You can see in the detail in Vienna

:28:13.:28:16.

Wyatt is going to work. Jordan, for example, is identifying which of the

:28:17.:28:20.

Islamic groups are so beyond the pale that they will never be part of

:28:21.:28:23.

a transitional governor at because they reject the whole concept. In

:28:24.:28:29.

addition to Isil and al-Nusra. The process is in place and it is in all

:28:30.:28:36.

the nations' interests to defeat Isil, bring the civil war to an end.

:28:37.:28:39.

You have the unity of interest which I believe is means that finally the

:28:40.:28:44.

international community might get its collective act together, and can

:28:45.:28:48.

see a way to sorting this. Frank Gardner has gone to do another

:28:49.:28:51.

interview because he is a man much in demand for obvious reasons,

:28:52.:28:55.

because he is across the street like no one else. One other question for

:28:56.:29:00.

you, meanwhile, the British role in the bombing raids continues. Do you

:29:01.:29:05.

by the government's emphasis on how the Brimstone missile is so superior

:29:06.:29:09.

to anything else that anyone else has? Well, it is a marginal

:29:10.:29:15.

additional capability to the whole effort of the coalition. If you need

:29:16.:29:19.

to take out a target with a low lethality warhead, so there is

:29:20.:29:23.

rather less collateral damage than other weapons would create, with a

:29:24.:29:30.

high precision capability, Brimstone is your weapon. But it's marginal?

:29:31.:29:36.

If you have France, Russian and US air forces queued up over Syria and

:29:37.:29:38.

the target appears, the likelihood of them saying, "stop! Wait for the

:29:39.:29:45.

Royal air force to get loaded up and fly over and do this because they

:29:46.:29:49.

have exactly the right weapon buzzword, you probably want to

:29:50.:29:52.

engage the target that is a beard but if you can plan these things and

:29:53.:29:55.

you have the time to do all the planning, to get it right, then it

:29:56.:30:00.

is a good bit of extra. How many of these missiles do we have? I don't

:30:01.:30:06.

know but they are not as expensive as some. The Saudis are the only

:30:07.:30:09.

other country that have bought this missile. Have they been using them?

:30:10.:30:14.

Apparently they are using them in the Yemen. Not in Iraq or Syria?

:30:15.:30:19.

They have the capacity to use them over Syria but for them, the Yemen

:30:20.:30:24.

is their current preoccupation. So is the claim fewer civilian deaths,

:30:25.:30:29.

is that the idea? That is one of the benefits, one of the claims being

:30:30.:30:33.

made for this missile. But the one thing we do know is that there have

:30:34.:30:36.

been many civilian deaths in the Yemen but we need to leave it there.

:30:37.:30:41.

So Her Majesty's Armed Forces are now at war with Isis militants

:30:42.:30:44.

in Syria, but another war has been raging in the run-up to the vote

:30:45.:30:47.

and that's the one inside Her Majesty's Official Opposition.

:30:48.:30:49.

Labour MPs who backed airstrikes came under pressure on social

:30:50.:30:52.

And some were sent graphic images, which included dead children.

:30:53.:30:58.

They have also been threatened with deselection.

:30:59.:31:01.

That means they would no longer be the Labour Party candidate in their

:31:02.:31:06.

And anti-war demonstrators protested outside the home of Stella Creasy,

:31:07.:31:12.

the Labour MP for Walthamstow in North London.

:31:13.:31:14.

And on Twitter this morning, left-wingers are calling

:31:15.:31:16.

on the 66 Labour MPs who backed military action to be deselected.

:31:17.:31:20.

We're joined now by Nancy Taffe, a member of Waltham Forest for Corbyn,

:31:21.:31:23.

who is active in Stella Creasy's constituency.

:31:24.:31:34.

You would like to see Stella Creasy deselected, is that right? Yes, I

:31:35.:31:42.

would. I am active in Waltham Forest for according. One of the things we

:31:43.:31:47.

are arguing for, Stella has called a meeting this weekend in her

:31:48.:31:50.

constituency, and we will be putting a motion to that meeting calling for

:31:51.:31:56.

her resignation, for a vote of no-confidence because of her role in

:31:57.:32:02.

voting for this war. We believe that the majority of residents in Waltham

:32:03.:32:05.

Forest are opposed to her actions. And it is an absolute disgrace that

:32:06.:32:11.

she called a meeting before this vote where the constituents were

:32:12.:32:14.

urged to turn up and express their opinions. They did so. She took a

:32:15.:32:20.

photograph. She tweeted it and said the majority of people at the

:32:21.:32:25.

meeting did not support air strikes on Syria, and yet she went ahead and

:32:26.:32:30.

voted for them. Are you working with the Labour Party locally on this

:32:31.:32:33.

attempt to have heard deselected? You say she is holding this meeting

:32:34.:32:40.

on Sunday. I cannot speak for the Labour Party in Walthamstow. I'm a

:32:41.:32:44.

member of the Socialist party. But within the community in

:32:45.:32:50.

Walthamstow, among activist inside and outside the Labour Party, there

:32:51.:32:53.

has been a huge swell of sentiment against this war, which was

:32:54.:32:59.

expressed in a local demonstration outside a local mosque. Of lies are

:33:00.:33:05.

being told about that demonstration. It was families with candles and jam

:33:06.:33:10.

jars. We marched from the local mosque to the Labour Party offices

:33:11.:33:15.

and one of the chance was, what do we want? Peace. When do we want it?

:33:16.:33:22.

Now. What evidence you have that those people who are against air

:33:23.:33:26.

strikes want to get rid of Stella Creasy as their MP? You just have to

:33:27.:33:31.

look at what is happening on social media amongst many people who said

:33:32.:33:36.

they voted for Stella Creasy, people who said they went out and campaign

:33:37.:33:40.

for Stella Creasy. I stood against Stella Creasy as a socialist. But

:33:41.:33:46.

there are people who genuinely believed that Stella Creasy was

:33:47.:33:51.

anti-war because she always said she was anti-war. Genuinely believed

:33:52.:33:55.

that she stood as a socialist. And on that one issue, very important

:33:56.:34:02.

issue, you think all of those people would now like to see her

:34:03.:34:07.

deselected? What we are saying is, we will be putting this motion to

:34:08.:34:12.

the public meeting. We will take this motion throughout the

:34:13.:34:15.

constituency of Walthamstow and we urge other Labour Party members in

:34:16.:34:19.

ward to take this motion or similar motions to demand mandatory

:34:20.:34:24.

reselection. They called a conference to change the rules. You

:34:25.:34:32.

could easily have a conference to make mandatory reselection in the

:34:33.:34:36.

heart of the new Labour project, the Corbyn project if you like, and make

:34:37.:34:40.

this a Democratic party to readmit people like myself back into the

:34:41.:34:44.

Labour Party so we have a genuine anti-austerity and anti-war party.

:34:45.:34:48.

I'm going to welcome viewers in Scotland. In the studio is Labour MP

:34:49.:34:59.

John Mann and Shelley Asquith from the pro-Corbin pressure group,

:35:00.:35:03.

momentum. Does Nancy Taaffe have the right to try to use the democratic

:35:04.:35:08.

process is available to her to try to deselect the Labour MP, Stella

:35:09.:35:14.

Creasy? She stood against the Labour Party. She got a pitiful vote. And

:35:15.:35:17.

she is part of the militant tendency. We don't want them in the

:35:18.:35:23.

Labour Party. They are nothing to do with the Labour Party. Her language

:35:24.:35:30.

shows the obscure nature of these Trotskyites, who talk to themselves

:35:31.:35:34.

all the time but claimed to talk on behalf of the people. Nancy Taaffe,

:35:35.:35:40.

what do you say to that? I wish that John Mann would engage in political

:35:41.:35:44.

debate rather than slurs. It would be easy for me to say he is a member

:35:45.:35:49.

of the millionaire tendency, he represents a past, a romp that

:35:50.:35:57.

existed around Tony Blair. And the Corbyn supporters represent the

:35:58.:36:01.

future. What is happening inside Walthamstow Labour Party in the

:36:02.:36:04.

general community is a warning to people like John Mann, who are

:36:05.:36:10.

sitting comfortable on their nice MP salaries, who march into the

:36:11.:36:13.

chamber, vote for war and then accuse all of those good anti-war

:36:14.:36:16.

activist outside of being irrelevant. We will come back to

:36:17.:36:22.

John Mann, who did not actually vote for air strikes. That shows it is

:36:23.:36:28.

nonsense. She cannot even work out who voted what. What they are doing

:36:29.:36:32.

to Stella Creasy is outrageous. Bully boy tactics. We had them from

:36:33.:36:40.

the militant tendency before with Peter Taff, I don't know if he is a

:36:41.:36:45.

relative. He was a nasty person. I saw their bully boy tactics, trying

:36:46.:36:50.

to abuse people, break-up meetings. We had that in the late 1970s. The

:36:51.:36:55.

militants were in the middle of it. If that comes back into the Labour

:36:56.:36:59.

Party, the Labour Party is dead and buried as a credible force.

:37:00.:37:04.

Can I come back on that? That is an insult to all good socialist in the

:37:05.:37:09.

Labour Party who fought Blair. Do not forget, the legacy of Blair has

:37:10.:37:13.

been played out in the politics of John Mann. These are the people who

:37:14.:37:17.

hijacked the Labour Party. He can make all of the personal slurs he

:37:18.:37:21.

wants, but he represents the old Blairite right. We need to get rid

:37:22.:37:28.

of MPs like him. Nancy Taaffe is appealing to Labour

:37:29.:37:33.

Party members, perhaps like you. Is that what you want to see in the

:37:34.:37:37.

Labour Party? This sort of squabbling, which is quite brutal.

:37:38.:37:42.

Of course not, we what we want to see healthy debate. Abuse thrown at

:37:43.:37:49.

anyone on either side is totally unacceptable and cannot be

:37:50.:37:53.

tolerated. It should be investigated by the NEC. But that is a small

:37:54.:37:57.

minority of people who have been vocal about Labour not supporting

:37:58.:38:03.

the war. There are a lot of people who have been protesting peacefully

:38:04.:38:07.

and holding people to account. You say the abuse should stop and it is

:38:08.:38:12.

not acceptable, it should be investigated by the NEC if there are

:38:13.:38:16.

concrete examples. Wets look at some of the tactics used and deployed.

:38:17.:38:20.

John Mann has said some of it is disgraceful. Tweeting MPs with

:38:21.:38:25.

pictures of dead children, is that acceptable? I'm not going to sit

:38:26.:38:31.

here and say what is acceptable and what is not. If it is illegal abuse

:38:32.:38:36.

it should be reported. I think that things like marching outside a

:38:37.:38:39.

constituency office, as somebody who has worked in a constituency office,

:38:40.:38:44.

I think that is legitimate. But it is about how that is conducted. This

:38:45.:38:48.

is an issue that gets people very emotive and people will want to hold

:38:49.:38:55.

their MPs to account. There is a difference, isn't there, between

:38:56.:39:00.

tweeting examples of dead women and children for people who voted for

:39:01.:39:04.

air strikes, and people legitimately pro-testing outside the homes and

:39:05.:39:08.

offices of MPs? What is wrong with that? It is a coordinated attempt to

:39:09.:39:15.

bully people. I was still getting abuse this week. I will not use the

:39:16.:39:19.

language because it is highly inappropriate. There is not a word I

:39:20.:39:26.

have not been called. That is just in the last week. As it happens I

:39:27.:39:30.

totally disagreed with David Cameron. I was part of creating the

:39:31.:39:34.

amendment that was put forward by Graham Allen and others. But

:39:35.:39:41.

nevertheless, I still got the abuse. What has been done to Stella

:39:42.:39:48.

Creasy, this isn't socialist democratic progressive politics.

:39:49.:39:52.

This is the mob. I think what Jeremy Corbyn needs to do is to remove

:39:53.:39:56.

these people from the Labour Party. We don't want them, we don't need

:39:57.:40:02.

them. If momentum agreed with that, they could join in. I have noticed

:40:03.:40:05.

what they have been saying in Nottingham, rather and Lincolnshire

:40:06.:40:14.

to me. It is unacceptable. You part of the bully boy tactics? Of course

:40:15.:40:19.

not. I am not involved in bullying anybody. I e-mailed my MP like lots

:40:20.:40:24.

of different people. They are not all doing that, are they? There is

:40:25.:40:30.

an echo chamber as well. Of course it is unacceptable but most people

:40:31.:40:34.

just want answers, just want to hold their MPs to account. Should MPs do

:40:35.:40:39.

with their local parties tell them to do or use their own judgment? If

:40:40.:40:42.

they were elected, like Stella Creasy, with more than 28,000 volts

:40:43.:40:50.

compared to Nancy, who got 394, but Nancy said she made a mistake,

:40:51.:40:54.

Stella Creasy, involving for air strikes. Should MPs do whatever

:40:55.:40:58.

their local parties tell them to do? No, I think they need to listen to

:40:59.:41:03.

the wider constituency. She has got a mandate. You have to balance what

:41:04.:41:08.

you think is right and what your constituents are telling you. She

:41:09.:41:14.

came to her own decision in the end. You have to have the balance and you

:41:15.:41:18.

have to listen to the electorate. Would you like to see people like

:41:19.:41:23.

her deselected if they do not reflect the view of the majority of

:41:24.:41:25.

Labour Party members in constituencies? No, I don't think

:41:26.:41:31.

that is the answer. John and Jeremy have said there will not beady

:41:32.:41:37.

selections. I don't see that happening. But there does need to be

:41:38.:41:41.

some level of accountability. I think that is what we are going to

:41:42.:41:44.

see from the membership and from the wider electorate. Nancy Taaffe says

:41:45.:41:49.

she would like to come back into the Labour Party. Would you like to see

:41:50.:41:57.

that happen? The Socialist Party is a rival party. A party against us.

:41:58.:42:04.

Currently that is obviously not the way it runs. If she was to come back

:42:05.:42:09.

would you welcome her? It comes under certain rules and regulations,

:42:10.:42:14.

I suppose. I don't know. But you do agree with her on her views on the

:42:15.:42:20.

war? We definitely agree on air strikes in Syria. Nancy, sorry.

:42:21.:42:31.

Firstly, Stella Creasy is a member of the co-operative party and the

:42:32.:42:34.

Labour Party. She has a dual membership. The Labour Party was

:42:35.:42:38.

born out of a federal structure. There is no reason why I cannot be a

:42:39.:42:41.

member of the Socialist Party and the Labour Party under a federal

:42:42.:42:46.

structure. We have heard of John Mann talking about expulsions and

:42:47.:42:51.

suspensions. There is no more a bullying tactic than that. We oppose

:42:52.:42:57.

all personal slurs, all bullying tactics, but we are struggling for a

:42:58.:42:59.

democratic accountability within the Labour Party. Corbyn himself has

:43:00.:43:04.

said we have to wait three years. If Stella calls a meeting and absorbs

:43:05.:43:09.

all of the anger and thinks nobody can touch her, nobody can deselect,

:43:10.:43:13.

she will betray the members in Walthamstow.

:43:14.:43:21.

So now we're bombing them in Iraq and Syria.

:43:22.:43:23.

During yesterday's debate David Cameron said that henceforth

:43:24.:43:30.

But the BBC came under fire from one MP for the terminology it uses.

:43:31.:43:37.

Can I thank you for that change in terminology and all members of

:43:38.:43:42.

Parliament across the House for their support in this. Would the

:43:43.:43:46.

Prime Minister join me in urging the BBC to review their bizarre policy?

:43:47.:43:51.

They wrote to me to say they could not use the word Daesh because it

:43:52.:43:54.

would breach their impartiality rules. We are at war with

:43:55.:43:59.

terrorists. We have to defeat their ideology. We have to be united. Will

:44:00.:44:04.

he join me in urging the BBC to review that bizarre policy?

:44:05.:44:10.

I agree with my honourable friend. I have already corresponded with the

:44:11.:44:15.

BBC about their use of IS, Islamic State, which I think is even worse,

:44:16.:44:21.

frankly, than either saying so-called IS or indeed Isil. But

:44:22.:44:25.

Daesh is clearly an improvement and I think it is important that we all

:44:26.:44:27.

try to use this language. Rehman Chishti joins us now,

:44:28.:44:29.

along with Shashank Joshi, Senior Research Fellow at the

:44:30.:44:32.

Royal United Services Institute. Welcome to you both. You are a

:44:33.:44:42.

politician. What has it got to do with you what the BBC says? We are

:44:43.:44:47.

not a state broadcaster. It has nothing to do with you. What it has

:44:48.:44:51.

to do with me is like everyone else, the first duty of the state is to

:44:52.:44:55.

detect its citizens there when I see a report by a military expert who

:44:56.:45:00.

says Miniter reaction can to grade, contain and control Daesh but you

:45:01.:45:04.

have to defeat the entity, the idea. For me, when you see the BBC using

:45:05.:45:08.

the word Islamic State, this terrorist organisation has

:45:09.:45:13.

deliberately chosen to call itself Isil, Isis, Islamic State, to give

:45:14.:45:18.

it the legitimacy and the appeal which is sucking in thousands of

:45:19.:45:22.

people from around the world to its poise and ideology, including 800

:45:23.:45:26.

from here in the UK, then on that basis, I think we have a more

:45:27.:45:29.

responsibility to defeat them in their entirety by using force but

:45:30.:45:34.

also defeating the ideology and appeal. If we call them what you

:45:35.:45:37.

want, they are going to lose but your muck that's it? They will lose

:45:38.:45:42.

in relation to recruiting people to their poisoned ideology. Why? Orange

:45:43.:45:47.

maggot let me give you an MOD reference, Isil's strength is based

:45:48.:45:51.

in large part on the success of its brand image which is due to the

:45:52.:45:56.

group's ongoing appeal and recruitment efforts. Yes, you can

:45:57.:45:59.

destroy an entity but when you get the poisoned ideology, sucking

:46:00.:46:03.

people in from the UK, we have a duty to ensure we use the right

:46:04.:46:12.

terminology, not to let anyone get sucked into this poisonous ideology.

:46:13.:46:14.

There's a bomb and we have two address it. Is there a problem? It's

:46:15.:46:17.

very when tensioned but Daesh means Islamic State, it's the same thing.

:46:18.:46:22.

It doesn't. It in Arabic acronym that means Islamic State. You are

:46:23.:46:25.

telling us what we should do but you can't agree with what it means? I

:46:26.:46:30.

recognise some in the region feel it has pejorative connotations because

:46:31.:46:36.

it is an acronym and it sounds a bit silly. You don't get to dominate the

:46:37.:46:43.

conversation. You finish your point and I will come back for you. What

:46:44.:46:55.

does the D stand for? State. It is DA I S H. The way we spell it and

:46:56.:46:59.

the way the French cosmic spells it is D8 E S H of someone who so is

:47:00.:47:03.

discord and is a bigot. That is why we should refer to them in that way

:47:04.:47:13.

and you used the word Daesh in your article before. I comply with the

:47:14.:47:17.

house styles of the publications are right. I don't have a problem with

:47:18.:47:20.

using it, I don't think it is offensive and I agree many people

:47:21.:47:24.

feel has some satirical value and that is a good thing. But overall,

:47:25.:47:28.

the amount of time we devote to this absurd issue in every parliamentary

:47:29.:47:33.

debate I watch on this subject makes me despair. That is five minutes we

:47:34.:47:36.

could be debating issues of ground forces or strategy. Its displacement

:47:37.:47:43.

tactic like a politician because someone like you commie Hajrovic fun

:47:44.:47:46.

with this and you've made a bit of a name for yourself with this and that

:47:47.:47:48.

is how parliamentarians were, they can talk about it and the SNP talks

:47:49.:47:51.

about this a lot rather than talking about the issue. View have been

:47:52.:47:59.

talking about the issue as well? I have... You have a clear view of the

:48:00.:48:03.

issue? You voted for bombing? Can I say that when as individuals who

:48:04.:48:08.

deliberately used the name is lamb, it is my faith, link to a terrorist

:48:09.:48:14.

or -- Islam, my faith, link to a terrorist organisation, who have

:48:15.:48:16.

chosen to call themselves is a mistake to get legitimacy and appeal

:48:17.:48:20.

and when you see Islamophobia increasing by over 300% in this

:48:21.:48:23.

country by deliberately linking, inadvertently, a terrorist

:48:24.:48:26.

organisation with Islam, we have a duty to ensure we use the right

:48:27.:48:33.

terminology. I don't think that British has been diminished by using

:48:34.:48:37.

it with British National Party. Or Hezbollah, we don't imply it is

:48:38.:48:42.

divinely faction because it means Army of God. We use the names

:48:43.:48:45.

organisations big which does not legitimise or science in them. That

:48:46.:48:49.

is not correct because we use the word Boko Haram, a terrorist

:48:50.:48:53.

organisation in Nigeria who don't call themselves that. They call

:48:54.:48:56.

themselves the preachers of the Prophet's message but local people

:48:57.:49:01.

said, "we don't want to link our faith to this organisation" and the

:49:02.:49:05.

BBC uses Boko Haram. If they can use that as a pejorative, they can use

:49:06.:49:11.

Daesh. Is going to make a blind bit of difference to some kid in

:49:12.:49:13.

Bradford who is thinking of going to join Islamic State? Let me put it

:49:14.:49:19.

this way, two years ago, I spoke to Peter Neumann, one of the world's

:49:20.:49:22.

leading experts on counter radicalisation and extremism and he

:49:23.:49:25.

said what I say in relation to addressing this poisonous ideology,

:49:26.:49:31.

that using the right words makes a difference. When you have people in

:49:32.:49:34.

the country who are disillusioned and disturbed and some are clearly

:49:35.:49:37.

dangerous and therefore they get sucked in and if we can use a word

:49:38.:49:40.

which will help us, it won't help us completely but help us address

:49:41.:49:43.

people being sucked into this poisonous ideology, I think we have

:49:44.:49:45.

a duty to use that term. Are you poisonous ideology, I think we have

:49:46.:49:51.

aware, if your expert has ever met a kid from Bradford? The professor I

:49:52.:49:54.

reported about is the one who has been looking at the terrorists in

:49:55.:49:59.

Syria and his organisation at Kings College London is looking at the

:50:00.:50:02.

Internet they are using and their backgrounds. He's a world expert and

:50:03.:50:05.

he understood the point I've made. Maybe you should get him on? Maybe

:50:06.:50:10.

we will. The hard truth is that the people we are talking about our

:50:11.:50:13.

Islamic, people may not like their version of it but it is an Islamic

:50:14.:50:17.

and they do things in the name of that religion and it is a state, at

:50:18.:50:23.

least a proto- state. It levies commissions on trucks passing

:50:24.:50:27.

through its land, it taxes the people who are in it and it provides

:50:28.:50:32.

services. It is a proposed eight. I think we can recognise some of what

:50:33.:50:36.

they do has elements of statehood, taxation, public services, a very

:50:37.:50:40.

well structured machine which is in part inherited from Saddam

:50:41.:50:43.

Hussein's intelligence organisation. In no way does that mean we can

:50:44.:50:47.

accept it as a state in the long run. But the point is really, North

:50:48.:50:53.

Korea is the DPRK, the Democratic people's Republic of Korea. So what

:50:54.:50:58.

the East German republic! Are any of us seriously taken in by these

:50:59.:51:03.

absurd naming conventions? The Germans were Nazis so we used a

:51:04.:51:13.

pejorative term. That may have been offensive to national socialist. Our

:51:14.:51:15.

discussions on word! The BBC didn't want to put anyone up

:51:16.:51:16.

for an interview this afternoon "The BBC uses the name the group

:51:17.:51:20.

itself uses, using additional descriptions to help make it clear

:51:21.:51:24.

we are referring to the group as they refer to themselves,

:51:25.:51:27.

such as 'so-called Islamic State' We also note newspapers refer to the

:51:28.:51:29.

group as Islamic State or Isil." That's cleared that up. While we

:51:30.:51:43.

have been on air, Justice Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed the

:51:44.:51:47.

criminal courts charge will be abolished from December the 24th,

:51:48.:51:50.

saying that while the intention behind the policy was honourable, in

:51:51.:51:55.

reality, the intent has fallen short. Our legal correspondent Clive

:51:56.:51:58.

Coleman has been across this story and can tell is more. What is

:51:59.:52:04.

happening? Let me tell you why the child was so highly, perhaps

:52:05.:52:08.

universally unpopular and with just about everyone working within the

:52:09.:52:11.

criminal justice system. It was introduced in April and it is

:52:12.:52:15.

mandatory, it has to be imposed. It is not means tested and it is

:52:16.:52:18.

imposed on top of everything else, so in top of -- double fine,

:52:19.:52:23.

compensation, prosecution costs order and the victim surcharge. And

:52:24.:52:29.

it is hefty, starting at ?150 for someone who pleads guilty in a

:52:30.:52:31.

Magistrates' Court, rising to ?1200 for some of who is found guilty

:52:32.:52:35.

following a trial in the Crown Court. That has led to widespread

:52:36.:52:42.

opposition, so far, at least 50 magistrates have resigned, just the

:52:43.:52:45.

other week, we had a powerful report from the Justice committee that

:52:46.:52:50.

found that the charge is unjust and grossly disproportionate to people's

:52:51.:52:54.

ability to pay and critically, and this is based on a lot of anecdotal

:52:55.:52:58.

evidence, it creates perverse incentives for people to plead

:52:59.:53:00.

guilty, effectively making a commercial decision to avoid the

:53:01.:53:05.

higher criminal courts charge. Today, Michael Gove has bowed to the

:53:06.:53:12.

pressure and has told initially the magistrates Association and just

:53:13.:53:15.

recently to Parliament that the charge will be scrapped from the

:53:16.:53:20.

24th of December. Is this Michael Gove's tax credits climb-down

:53:21.:53:24.

equivalent? I don't think we can say that because Chris Grayling brought

:53:25.:53:28.

this in, not Michael Gove. But I can't remember the imposition of a

:53:29.:53:33.

financial penalty which has been so universally opposed. We are talking

:53:34.:53:39.

about magistrates, the senior judiciary, lawyers, nobody has

:53:40.:53:42.

really spoken up in favour of the charge. It was designed to partly

:53:43.:53:47.

paid for the costs of the criminal courts. Interestingly, Michael Gove

:53:48.:53:50.

has said this whole morass of fines and charges and penalties is very

:53:51.:53:55.

complex and he has ordered a review into all of that. He has not

:53:56.:54:01.

reversed the idea that guilty Biba will pay something their court

:54:02.:54:07.

costs. Lots of real-life drama in Westminster in the last few days but

:54:08.:54:10.

our guest of the day has used his knowledge

:54:11.:54:10.

our guest of the day has used his basis of a work of fiction. His

:54:11.:54:15.

novel, The Speaker's Wife, its book shelf this month.

:54:16.:54:23.

And we're also joined by former BBC political reporter Terry Stiastny,

:54:24.:54:26.

whose Westminster based novel, Acts of Omission,

:54:27.:54:28.

Westminster is full of intrigue, power and relationships but we work

:54:29.:54:34.

in this bubble, as it is sometimes called. What makes you think it has

:54:35.:54:39.

broader appeal? I think in Parliament at least, it is

:54:40.:54:43.

tremendous theatre. You have vanity sometimes in Parliament. You have

:54:44.:54:49.

been out and verbal violence, all the Vs. You have a tremendous Kofler

:54:50.:54:54.

new voices and all of these people wriggling up the greasy pole. It is

:54:55.:54:58.

tremendously jolly as a place to watch even if some other things they

:54:59.:55:01.

are talking about are so jolly witches what makes it gripping. Is

:55:02.:55:08.

that what it is? All novels need conflict of some sort and as we've

:55:09.:55:11.

seen in the last two days, you have every kind of conflict, between

:55:12.:55:15.

individuals, parties, conflicts of ideas and within families. It is

:55:16.:55:20.

great, a big called on. A lot of the best novels are set in closed

:55:21.:55:25.

worlds, whether it is the world of espionage, or in all sorts of

:55:26.:55:28.

interesting, different places where people are thrown together in that

:55:29.:55:32.

environment. You have to make it interesting make people understand

:55:33.:55:36.

why are real characters with flaws and good qualities as well. So you

:55:37.:55:40.

can make the sort of parochial, some might think, politics appeal to a

:55:41.:55:47.

more global audience like that? Absolutely, you read a murder

:55:48.:55:49.

mystery set in a big country house and you don't necessarily have to

:55:50.:55:53.

have been to one, and you can read about Tudor history and will fall

:55:54.:55:56.

and find it fascinating. It is about finding out what the world is like.

:55:57.:56:01.

Fiction gives you a bit of covering fire, too. What are you saying? My

:56:02.:56:09.

book is plainly a work of fiction, The Speaker's Wife! It is not about

:56:10.:56:13.

Sally Burgo. I did wonder when I first heard about it! You can convey

:56:14.:56:19.

troops about politics without being factual. Is it overused? Or

:56:20.:56:24.

underused as a setting, Westminster? Absolutely, you could

:56:25.:56:28.

have so many more stories. I think it's brilliant but you have to

:56:29.:56:32.

relate it to the wider world, explain why it matters and why it's

:56:33.:56:35.

not just about little people fighting each other, Wyatt matters

:56:36.:56:39.

to the world at large. It was used more, Anthony Trollope used

:56:40.:56:43.

Parliament a lot and in the 1950s we had a lot of Parliamentary novels.

:56:44.:56:47.

We've had Michael Dods but since then, not quite so much. Although

:56:48.:56:51.

Andrew Marr might have done one or two! The setting for yours is the

:56:52.:56:55.

loss of a computer disk containing the names of British informants to

:56:56.:56:58.

the Stasi which brought up issues of transparency and privacy in the

:56:59.:57:02.

background is obviously Westminster. Were you thinking of a particular

:57:03.:57:06.

audience or just writing something because of your background knowledge

:57:07.:57:10.

as a political correspondent? I was just writing a story I found

:57:11.:57:14.

fascinating, where I said to myself, what if this happened? It has a

:57:15.:57:18.

kernel of truth in something that happened but I took it further. What

:57:19.:57:22.

I also did was relating it to Berlin and the conflicts you had then in

:57:23.:57:26.

the Cold War, trying to make it not just about Westminster, where

:57:27.:57:29.

sometimes the stakes can feel small, but bigger ideas about the world

:57:30.:57:33.

around us. Your title could draw people in even under full

:57:34.:57:37.

presenters, The Speaker's Wife! There is one of them in my book but

:57:38.:57:41.

you won't find Sally Burgo. You will find a speaker who is a pernicious

:57:42.:57:45.

little hobgoblin but that again must be in tidy fictional! Entirely!

:57:46.:57:52.

I thought you regarded as documentary. I don't know why you

:57:53.:57:58.

think that. I read your column. The character of John Bercow is straight

:57:59.:58:04.

out of fiction in some ways. Not in the book! And my libel lawyers asked

:58:05.:58:09.

me today that. What about Chris Mullin's fictitious very British

:58:10.:58:14.

coup? Is that becoming a reality? You could argue he predicted Jeremy

:58:15.:58:21.

Corbyn's rise in fiction. A lot of the things have happened, discs

:58:22.:58:25.

going missing, secret going missing. The thing with my book, Acts Of

:58:26.:58:29.

Omission is that some of the people are trying to do good but they are

:58:30.:58:33.

terribly flawed. It is not a conspiracy but it is people messing

:58:34.:58:37.

up, who are out of their depth and struggling. Have you read each

:58:38.:58:41.

other's books? Not yet. You had better get going.

:58:42.:58:43.

The One O'Clock News is starting over on BBC One now.

:58:44.:58:47.

I'll be back tonight on BBC One at 11.35 for a special episode of

:58:48.:58:51.

This Week, with the latest from the Oldham West and Royton by-election.

:58:52.:58:57.

That coverage will continue through the night. Labour is battling it out

:58:58.:59:03.

with Ukip. I'll be joined by Michael Portillo,

:59:04.:59:04.

Alan Johnson, Emily Maitlis and Marin Alsop, the first woman to

:59:05.:59:07.

conduct the Last Night of the Proms. If you want to see all the

:59:08.:59:14.

candidates in the by-election, they are on the BBC website. Hope you can

:59:15.:59:15.

join us. It's a weeknight, Roger.

:59:16.:59:25.

I won't ask again. You think some loveless coupling

:59:26.:59:26.

is going to solve all our problems? It's a weeknight, Roger.

:59:27.:59:29.

I won't ask again. We just don't know who

:59:30.:59:31.

the bad guys are any more.

:59:32.:59:34.

Jo Coburn has analysis and fallout from the vote on Syria. Quentin Letts discusses his first novel and the racy world of political fiction. Plus a look back at a significant 1872 by-election.


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