Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. She is joined by former Conservative cabinet minister Oliver Letwin to discuss EU trade negotiations.
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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.
As International Trade Secretary Liam Fox sets out his vision
for post-Brexit trade deals, we look at the challenges
Is Theresa May about to give the green light
With rumours of a possible Commons vote next month,
we'll ask former Government bigwig, Oliver Letwin.
After Labour announces it would implement a total ban
on fracking for gas, does the controversial technique
We'll hear from the energy boss who's just imported a tanker
And does how a politician stands make a difference to how
We'll discuss whether "power-posing" is all it's cracked up to be.
All that in the next hour and with us for the whole
of the programme today, a man who has spent the last six
year at the heart of Government, serving throughout the coalition
as minister for government policy and before that,
many years at the centre of the Conservative
Let's kick off with the reports this morning that Theresa May could be
preparing to give the green light to Heathrow expansion-
despite opposition from some Conservative MPs.
The Financial Times reports on its front page today
that the Conservative Party chairman, Patrick McLoughlin,
has been crunching the numbers and that he believes the PM
would win a vote in parliament on the controversial plans.
Oliver Letwin, you were on the cabinet committee for airport
expansion until you left Government this summer -
do you think Theresa May is going to push ahead with this?
I have no way of telling. As soon as you leave, you know nothing about
what is going on. Did you get any impression before? Not really. But I
think it is pretty certain that the government will have to decide in
favour of one or the other. I don't believe we can do without some
airport expansion in the London and south-east area, so the question is
which and where. If we look at Heathrow, we know there is fierce
opposition in the Cabinet, not least from Justine Greening and Boris
Johnson. So do you think the Prime Minister has enough votes to drive
through a policy of expansion to airports? That, I also don't know
because I am not the Chief Whip and I have not done the analysis, but my
guess is that probably, across Parliament as a whole, there would
be a majority in favour. I would be surprised if there were not. I would
vote for Heathrow expansion because I think it is a natural thing. It is
a hard and it has advantages from that point of view. But what will
she do with the members of her Cabinet who would vote against,
Boris Johnson and Justine Greening? I don't know, but one way of dealing
with it is to have a free vote. And she could then rely on enough Labour
support as well as support from the Tory backbenches. The Liberal
Democrats only have eight MPs more obviously. This has now got to a
point where delay would be seen at by many as the worst option. Delay
would be the worst option. My guess... But you have been at the
heart of government for a long time and this issue has been discussed
time and time again. But I am not informed about the SNP. My guess is
that from a Scottish point of view, having Heathrow expand would be a
good thing because there are a lot of flights to and from... I think
they would vote in favour. But from what you know, do you think most of
your colleagues have now been persuaded that expansion at Heathrow
is a necessity from an economic point of view? I would guess that
there is a substantial view across Tory MPs as a whole that we need
expansion of one airport or the other. I doubt there are huge
passions pro one or the other. My guess is that whichever the
government goes forward probably get a majority.
Our guest of the day, Oliver Letwin, was responsible for writing the 2010
Conservative Manifesto, and so the question for today is -
Was it Battersea Power Station in London, The Eden Project
in Cornwall, The Lowry Arts Centre in Salford Quays a smoothie
At the end of the show, Oliver will give us the correct answer.
Liam Fox, Theresa May's international trade secretary,
has been setting out his vision for post-Brexit trade
Speaking in Manchester, Liam Fox said the UK has a golden
opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in the world.
Where progress has stalled at the multilateral level, the UK must be
ready to look at more bespoke Ilori lateral and bilateral arrangements
to make sure the global marketplace remains fair and free. We cannot
allow foot dragging by those unwilling to seize the benefits of
free trade to hinder progress on important issues for the rest, such
as eradicating nontariff barriers in services, digital or intellectual
property. Much of the focus so far has been
on what relationship Britain After all, the UK can't enter
into formal negotiations with any other country while it's
still a member of the EU - so that's two years
after article 50 is triggered. Our Ellie has been talking to two
former international trade negotiators to see what they think
of the longer term job about the new trade
agreement with Britain. To prosper in the future,
it must be again, but getting other countries to queue up to sign
on the dotted line will not be easy. How much Britain continues to look
to Europe will affect relationships and deals
for countries further afield. It would be difficult for us
to have a free trade deal with the UK or for the UK
to negotiate free-trade deals with countries outside the EU if it
stays in the single market or if it opts for a customs
union with the EU. Maybe some advantages for Britain
in doing that, but it's hard to see how we would negotiate a free trade
agreement with UK alone The EU and Canada are about to sign
a comprehensive economic and trade agreement,
or Ceta, which will eliminate nearly There is talk in Westminster that
Britain should push So what does one of the negotiators
who worked on that deal think For Canada, it would be working
out its economic relationship with other partners in North America
and then going on to the rest I assume the UK will pursue
the same kind of analysis - "We have to sort things
out with Europe first". From there, it needs
to get its relationship The WTO is kind of the baseline
from which it can build other free-trade agreements with either
bilateral or multilateral partners. It's like having a floor in place
so that you can build the stairs. Most of Britain's trade
negotiations will be the new Department for
International Trade. But as well as a new sign,
the department will also need some We haven't needed them
for more than 40 years, I have been told trade
negotiators from Canada, New Zealand and Australia have
already been in to gain real life -- to talk about their experiences
of negotiation. Finally, a little birdie told me
that former foreign trade negotiators have also been
approached by the Government Then there are the rumours that
Britain could just borrow some. We think the ideal would be for us
to lend a few of our negotiators with Australia so that
we can get an optimal outcome, but perhaps the British
government would draw They run courses in negotiation
at the London Business School. Crucially, the tutors insist
that the skills are easily learned, Experts estimate that Britain
could need up to 700 trade negotiators over several years
to get the job done. We've been joined from Cardiff
by the Ukip member of the welsh assembly, Mark Reckless,
and from Brussels by the Liberal Democrat
MEP Catherine Bearder. Oliver Letwin, you were involved in
this before you lost your job. Do you favour the UK cutting loose in
what they call a source of hard Brexit from the customs union, and
then try to negotiate some sort of relationship with the EU? I don't
think those decisions you can make unilaterally. The question is what
is doable with our EU partners. And what is doable? I don't know yet.
What I am clear as about what we need to get out of it. The first
thing we need is clarity that we will be able to sell retail,
financial and professional services into the European markets. That is
crucial for the City of London. So access to the single market.
Specifically for retail and financial services. Secondly, we
need a continuation of the zero tariff regime we have on exports and
imports of goods, which is relatively easy to achieve because
it is in the mutual interest. Thirdly, this is what makes the
first in particular are very difficult, we need to reassert what
the British people have voted for, which is control over migration. The
question is, how to put that package together. Some say you want to have
your cake and eat it. Correct. But would you be prepared to take some
element of freedom of movement in order to guarantee your first point,
the retail services and financial services sector being preserved?
Speaking for myself if I was a one man show and the only person in the
UK, yes, I would. But the people of our country didn't vote for that.
They voted for absolute control over migration. Mark Reckless, what trade
agreement should we have now and how should we go about it? Well, we have
trade arrangements now where we trade freely with the European
Union, and I expect they will be maintained. They are the status quo.
It may be described as a temporary arrangement, but the reality is that
five people are employed in the EU exporting to the UK for every three
who are employed in the UK exporting to the EU, so it is strongly in our
mutual interest and I expect that will continue. There was an
expectation that both you and Oliver Letwin hold onto, which is the idea
that because of the arrangements in terms of exports, Germany will be
keen to cut that sort of deal. But actually, the head of Germany's
industrial federation has said there will be no access to the single
market for the UK without freedom of movement. Then there would be
significant tariffs on his members' goods being
sold to the UK. He seems prepared to take that risk. I think that is
unlikely and I wonder if you correctly understood what he said.
They have put out statements before saying free trade must be maintained
with the UK. So Catherine Bearder, it is bluff from the Germans and
also from Matteo Renzi in Italy today to try and say that there will
not be a favourable deal for the UK. In the end, practical matters will
come to the fore, particularly when it comes to business. You have to
get it right. We don't have access to the single market. We are a full
member of the European Union. In the same way that Wales is a full member
of the UK. So there are no restrictions on trade. If we are
coming out, they will say that the rules are that you are a full member
and you have to sign up to full movement. If you are outside that,
the rules will be different. America trades with the European Union.
There American banks working within the European Union. They have to
abide by the rules. At the moment, as a member, we don't have all that
rigmarole. The American banks will have regulatory equivalents of what
happens in the EU, and that will allow all banks within the EU to be
able to passport services into the EU. So I don't see that as a
challenging area. What I do think we will be able to do is open up a
third markets overseas, particularly to our tradable services which
offers real opportunities to improve the prosperity of the United Kingdom
in the future. Catherine Bearder, is that not possible? Well, why would
the European Union give it to us? At the moment, we are a full member. We
abide by the rules, and that is accepted. Why would they give us the
same access when we are outside? Because that is what its own rules
say. Oliver Letwin, you seem to be facing the prospect that you could
not have both and that you would be prepared to give on freedom of
movement, which Theresa May has indicated she feels Britain cannot
do because of the result of the referendum. If that is the case,
what would happen to things like passport in for financial services?
How disastrous would it be? I think Mark is right that Miffid2
allows countries to export the financial services without going
through great great morals. The question is Binny to get some kind
of guarantee we would continue to have that access but they're all
sorts of things we have to trade in this very complicated situation.
There are also lots of things we need to arrange. My experience of
negotiating, which I have done quite a lot of over the last many years is
if you reduce these things too stark simplicity is no way that goes down
well on TV so to speak, it all goes wrong. But you have to do is very
subtly unpick all of the many elements and work through them so
you get a package. You should not think it on the EU and us. There are
27 other member states. You have to knit this thing together. So it will
become bigoted and take a long time. A new report says by cronies to
spend ?500 million per year on new staff. Brother to get the EU out of
unnecessary speculation, we will engage in more bureaucracy to try
and unpick this very complicated process you have just outlined. You
have to put this in some context, ?65 million a year compared to ?700
billion a year. If you get the deal you want. That is 10,000 times as
much. If you are going to get the deal you want and we don't know that
at this particular stage. There are reports in the Financial Times that
says there was a shortage of space, staff don't have anywhere to work in
the Brexit department. Laptops are being shared. These are the kinds of
problems you get over matters of weeks, of course it is makes good
press but it is very dreary. There is a big game of multi dimensional
chess that has to be played, and it is going to take a long time to get
it right. I think Theresa is a very good long-distance persistent
negotiator and I suspect at the end we will get our cake and be able to
eat it. Catherine Debrunner did, though you go. It takes an awful
long time, Whitehall has its own problems and it will gobble up a lot
of that money promised to the NHS in the referendum. It will take years.
The Canadian free trade agreement has taken years. And store has to be
ratified. Yes, and they are now really concerned because if we are
outside that a large part of the trade agreement was because the UK
was involved. So it has to be done sector by sector, you are talking
about toys, chemicals, drugs, agriculture and the chemicals you
can use and the methods. It just takes forever to do a trade
agreement. At the moment, our businesses have access, and we are
making those rules. Outside it will take forever. Are you going to tell
those businesses that they can just go and wait for five years while we
are busy negotiating? What about the uncertainty question, Catherine
Bearded, that is raised, because if the UK isn't definitely leaving the
customs union, and I suppose we don't yet know, in a way what is
Liam Fox going to do over the next few years as head of International
trade? Because while we are still a member, we are forgiven from
negotiating our own bilateral agreements with third parties. We
are forbidden from agreeing them, we can discuss. I think it is quite
clear we are going to leave the customs union. But there can be
lengthy trade discussions but while they are going on, the status quo is
that we have free trade and open access, so unless Catherine Bearder
thinks that we will pay far more of that than we would then what will
happen is there will be a transitional arrangement where we
have the status quo, we transition to whatever these longer-term
arrangements are back on the basis that we can negotiate with Canada,
we can negotiate with the United States, and rather than having this
very complex, restrictive and frankly protectionist negotiation
that the EU can, we can open up my kids much more and go back to the
principle of actually having mutual recognition of our regulation.
Instead of agreeing a single set, everyone has to fly to trade,
actually as long as you are compliant with one set of
regulations, then your goods and hopefully many sector services are
accepted as well. Mark Reckless, think you have lost your earpiece,
over the net when, are you happy with the three Brexiteers? Yes, a
very formidable team. Do you think they will get on? The media is
reporting that is already some sort of discord between the three of them
but is it an impossible task for them as a trio to come together and
bring forward some sort of coherent plan when they are approaching it
from such different angles? I was constantly told during the years of
the coalition that it would fall apart. Politicians are grown-ups,
they work these things out, of course it makes good press. We might
put it back to you if it does. The critical point is that it is not in
the end anyone else, my whole experience over the last few years
is that when you are negotiating these kinds of things, in the end it
is done head of government to head of government. This is Theresa may
have will have to carry this. I have had many years of experience and I
don't envy the people on the other side of that table, because she's
very good at it. In the end it would be her that drives it, in the end it
is down to Theresa. Catherine Bearder and Mark Reckless, thank you
very much, we will be revisiting this.
My guest of the day today - Oliver Letwin - has been at the top
of the Conservative Party, and at the heart of Government,
But for much of that time he's kept a very low profile, beavering away
behind the scenes - ensuring the smooth running
of the coalition government from 2010 to 2015, helping
David Cameron to implement his 2015 manifesto, and finally -
for just two weeks - leading the government's fledgling
Brexit unit after the referendum in July.
Mark Lobel has been checking out Mr Letwin's political journey.
Advising Margaret Thatcher on education, Oliver Letwin
was already a Number Ten insider in his 20s.
When Mrs Thatcher left Downing Street, this Eton-educated
son of academics sought to enter parliament himself, and spoke
to the BBC about how to give state schools a better sense of identity.
Simple things, like giving them school songs and school
histories and other things, which are traditional
After two failed bids to become an MP, Oliver Letwin's efforts
blossomed in West Dorset, just as New Labour took over.
He's caught the eye of Tory leaders ever since, first
in William Hague's Treasury team, but things got wobbly as the 2001
general election approached, when he briefed the FT that a Tory
government would cut taxes by much more than first thought.
Then Chancellor Gordon Brown held up a Wanted poster.
Bloodhounds were employed to sniff him out.
When he finally resurfaced to find the Tories still in opposition,
new leader Iain Duncan Smith made him a Shadow Home Secretary.
And the next new leader, Michael Howard, appointed him
Shadow Chancellor as they fought the 2005 election together.
Oliver is, as everybody knows, very clever.
He's got a very inventive and fertile mind.
So I didn't really think hard about appointing him
He's quite transparent, and you don't have to worry,
as you do sometimes with some people, over whether they're playing
games or what lies behind whatever they're suggesting.
With Oliver, what you see is what you get.
Mr Letwin was also one of the earliest backers
of the next Tory leader, David Cameron, and having
made his own ideological journey more towards the centre,
quickly became the future PM's policy chief as the 2010
With a hung parliament, he became a chief negotiator
during coalition talks with the Liberal Democrats.
He's somebody that you get a strong impression is in it
for the public interest and not for his personal interest.
So he was a very easy, engaging characters to work with.
And even on those occasions where he was having to champion
things for his party that he didn't always believe in,
he had the decency to look uncomfortable and embarrassed.
During the coalition, the two men met to work
through policy areas, from the Queen's Speech to regular
I guess we had a form of cafeteria government,
where Oliver and I met once a week, I think it was a Tuesday morning
at 7.30 in the Downing Street cafeteria on the lowest
And over a kipper or some porridge or something, we would
have a list of five, six or seven difficult issues,
and we would work through them and see if we could gain agreement
so that as little as possible needed to go to Cameron and Nick Clegg.
But the Cabinet Office minister's attempts to keep a low profile came
unstuck when he was caught dumping Parliamentary papers
and constituents' letters in a park bin.
I have to apologise to constituents who wrote to me,
because I think you're right, on reflection, that I shouldn't have
David Cameron stuck by his man until his last political breath,
appointing him to lead a Brexit unit last June.
Perhaps Mr Letwin's desire not to climb the political ladder helped
convince Tory leader after Tory leader to keep him
But it was pulled from under his feet, with the rest
of Cameron's old guard, by Theresa May.
Well, Oliver Wright when, hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane.
Let's return to one of those intriguing moments, when you put
confidential vapours into the bin at Saint James 's Park on five separate
occasions, why? Just to correct you, they were not confidential papers,
they were letters from constituents. They were not confidential papers,
just to be clear. And I shouldn't have put them in the bin, no, I
should have shredded them, which I have done since. Was just an
absentmindedness, just one of those things? I really didn't think about
it, and I should have thought about it. I was in the habit then as I am
now of dictating my constituents correspondence early in the morning,
and I was walking in the park are needed to get rid of them, and I
should have put them in the shredder, which I have done since.
In terms of the long span had been in power in one way or another, but
the Jews the most sleep over? Oh, I'm not prone to losing sleep, but I
buried a lot -- Watt what did you lose the most sleep over. I would
turn on the radio or read my blackberry, which I have a summary
of the overnight use and think I have to do something about that.
Then I wouldn't rush into Downing Street and try to get the machine to
do something about it. It was a constant business of trying to
manage things that problems did not turn into crises. Which ones did?
Brother occasions, policies, that ended up becoming crises? I think of
the poll tax with the one of them. Were those when you said a mistake?
That wasn't when I was in office, of course, I think the poll tax was a
disaster. But you were an adviser. That was a very long, slow burn
thing. I left halfway through the middle of that thing. So you didn't
lose sleep? No, because I was not implement in the policy. I think in
retrospect it was completely the wrong policy but that is a different
matter. I am talking about a crisis or a problem in the things happening
moment to moment. As an example, almost every winter we have problems
with the flooding. The nation has problems with the flooding. And it
continues. It does, but gradually I think we are getting it under some
kind of control. I used to wake up worried endlessly, have we done
enough, what can we do to respond to it, how can we deal with this
particular incident? But then things will just blow up out of nowhere.
Once we had a massive problem with backlog of passport agency
applications and you have to do with that. What about the cutting taxes
by 20 billion in 2001, when we couldn't find you? I was a
correspondent at the time and we were looking for you. I was rushing
around West Dorset making speeches, you could have family perfectly
easily! First of the think it was very silly in retrospect to arrange
for me to disappear. What should have happened as I should have been
sent on a podium to expand exactly what I was saying, and I learn from
that episode, that when things go wrong you are much better in front
of cameras than out of you. . You think of the Andrew Lansley has an
social care bill, you posted once you had been through it line by line
but given how divisive it ended up, how much worse was that before it
was published? I think the direction of that was right. But I think we
made some errors, because I don't think we realised at the time just
how difficult it is to knit together the various aspects of health and
social care. And I think that we really have been learning over the
past few years as a country is that in the end it is about the person,
and they don't come in sort of strict bureaucratic pockets. This
elderly and frail person is not a patient in the NHS, or an object of
care by social care, it is one person and we need one integrated
system to look after them. And gradually I think Jeremy Hunt is
getting towards that. Do you wish you had killed that the dead? Think
you would have been better to have attended at that time to the
creation of the seven-day NHS as we can to do later, rather than getting
distracted interchanges, which while I think you are perfectly sensible
in principle, did not advance the really difficult agendas. You have
been involved as we have now uncovered in people in similar
different areas of government. Would you rather just have had your own
department, you know, one of the big departments yourself to run? Oh no,
not at all, partly because it is totally fascinating to be at the
centre of government. You really feel you are making a difference Day
by day. But partly also because it is a question of each person having
their own strengths and weaknesses, and there were colleagues of mine
vastly better at front line politics than I was ever going to be. But I
think that I was able to do very often was to get to the bottom of
what was really going on in the machine, and in the country, and
then try to find some way of correcting what was happening.
Not one department you would have fancied running? No, I was happy
where I was. Greg Oliver's diaries say you were predicting that Michael
Gove would win the Conservative leadership election. Which one?
After the referendum. Telemachus sorry, I thought you were talking
about 2010. Sorry, I am taking you backwards and forwards across the
history of the Conservative Party. I thought it was more likely to be a
Brexiteer than not. And I thought therefore that it would be Boris.
Then it was clear that Boris was not going to win because he had stepped
down, so the question was over Michael Gove or Andrea. As it turned
out, it was Andrea. In the end, I think the Conservative Party made
the right choice. Even though you thought it should have been a
Brexiteer? No, I thought it would be. So you did not favour a
Brexiteer like Michael Gove or Boris Johnson, you just presumed it would
be? Correct. I can now say I own view. I swore a vow of silence at
the time because I was preparing for whoever was going to be the next!.
My view was that Theresa was the right candidate, and I still hold by
that -- she was going to be the next Prime Minister. Ken Clarke has said
David Cameron will be remembered as being the man who made the mistake
of taking us out of the European Union. I think David Cameron will be
remembered for lots of things, rescuing this country from the brink
of bankruptcy and initiating public service reform. Of course, people
will also remember the referendum. There will also remember other
referendums which went the other way. Scotland was a great success.
What is your assessment of the Remain campaign now, bearing in mind
that it failed? We know it wasn't a successful campaign. I think it was
probably wrongly targeted. In retrospect, it would have been
better to make a less strident argument of a more detailed car. For
me, as someone who had been a long term Eurosceptic but voted for
Remain, the reason was not because I thought that disaster would strike
one way or the other, but because I thought on the balance of risk,
there was greater risk to leaving than remaining. So the punishment
Budget was a mistake? I think altogether, the campaign was to be
high-intensity and it would have been more persuasive to people in
the middle ground who had not made up their minds if we had argued what
was true, which was that it was a balance of risk and you were trying
to choose the less risky course of action for this country and there
were risks on either side. And I think that kind of tone, which was
not the tone on either side, would have been more persuasive. Did you
try and persuade David Cameron and George Osborne of that? No, because
I see these things in retrospect and I believe them, but I am very
conscious that I have been one of those people who is least adept at
planning election campaigns. It is not my forte. What are you doing
next? I have many plans. I am just in the middle of founding a red tape
Institute, which is going to identify, on a cross-party basis,
the areas of regulation that we will be able to get out from post-Brexit
and do so quickly because of consensus across the parties. That
could be a significant contribution. I am also writing various books. So
you will be a sort of adviser to the post Brexit process. No, I have
mercifully been spared being an adviser any further.
When you see the union jack fluttering in the breeze,
For thousands of years, flags have represented a people's
hopes and dreams. We wave them.
And still in the 21st century, die for them.
Tim Marshall, former diplomatic editor at Sky,
has a new book out "Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags" -
Worth Dying For - The Power and Politics of Flags,
Let's start with the Union Jack. We have a picture, in case anyone
doesn't know what it looks like. What is the story behind it? It is
the story of our union, the story of the legend of St George, the legend
of St Andrew, King Angus in Scotland. Said Andrew looked up at
the sky before going into battle and saw this great white Cross, hence
the saltire. Then they added things on. Unfortunately, we did not put a
dragon in, which is problematic with our flag. And then after 1707 and
the act of union, here we are. But what you really see in it is down to
you. It is in the eye of the beholder. I think it is quite a good
flag. It is certainly one of the best-known in the world. It has
endured. But there will be people who look at it, and there was a
nickname in certain quarters, the butcher's apron, because if you are
that particular beholder and you look at that flag, it means
something very different. Let's talk about symbolism. Why are they so
symbolic for many people, whether it is on porches in the states all
waved at various events during the year to denote patriotism or burnt
or whatever it is, they are very important. Because it is the
embodiment of ideas. There are so many examples. The Ethiopian flag is
a good example, red, gold and green. The only African country not to be
fully colonised was such an inspiration to the rest of Africa
that when the African countries began to become independent
themselves many of them took inspiration from red, gold and
green. These are just colours, but what they mean to people who look at
in Africa is freedom, independence and standing up against the outside
oppressor. How old or how recent our flags? You will get letters, several
of them. I get them all the time! It depends on your definition of a
flag. 20,000 years ago, I'm sure somebody stuck a skull on top of the
post and carried it in front of them. Is that a flag? Maybe not.
Fast forward, and you have got cloth, but if you put paint onto
cloth, it is pretty heavy and then if it rains, you will fall backwards
off your horse into battle. So silk - the Chinese invented Suk. About
3000 years ago, you can start colouring silk and carrying it into
battle. Take that along the silk road, and you meet the Arabs. The
Arabs then start to have their own flags. In the Crusades, we have this
unfortunate collision between the two, but a lot of Europeans thought,
that is a good idea. From that comes the European flags. From there comes
heraldry and out of heraldry comes the national flag we see today.
Let's look at Chinese flags. What does that flag is a? It's says
communism! With Chinese characteristics, which is capitalism
now. The colour red says communism. The big star is the Communist party,
and it dominates the flag. Behind it are the four categories of the
Chinese. There are the presents, the proletariat. There are the
bourgeoisie, and then very cunningly, there is the patriotic
capitalists. That was very far-sighted of the Chinese in the
1940s. Now the last one dominates the other three, but dominating them
all is the party. Do you have a favourite flag? I think the Union
Jack. Other than that. It something you interested in's it is something
I am moved by, for the reasons Tim says. And I think it is above the
fray. It is outside politics, like the Queen. It is something we can
all unify around, rather than being divided. It is something we are
supposed to unify around, but it can be divisive. Are you uniting around
the EU flag? I meant the Union Jack. Almost all of us feel British. I
accept that if you are in Scotland and use of Independence, you might
pick a different view. But most of us who believe in the union believe
in the flag because it is outside the disputes about everything else.
What about the difference in style and imagery? You talked about
Ethiopia. European style flags and flags from the Arab nations, is
there a big difference in what they are trying to say? Yes. This is
blindingly obvious, but worth pointing out. Obviously, the
Christian symbolism fades. You have the Scandinavian cross in the north.
The Portuguese flag has the five stigmata of Jesus on it, the Greek
flag has the cross. That starts to fade as you head into the East. Two
things happen then. One is that you have the Arab colours of revolt. The
Saudi flag has the profession of faith on it. That is so obviously
not European. The Arab flag is a revolt. There were three Islamic
dynasty is. All three are represented on the Arab flag of
revolt, the red, green and the red, green and black. That was to bring
together the Shia and Sunni dynasty is to become pan Arabic. That is why
so many of their flags are those colours. The Saudis decided that
they were different and they were the true holders of the faith.
Interestingly, along come Isis. They no longer have green, because that
is associated sometimes with the Shia faith. If you look at the
difference between the Saudi flag and its calligraphy and beautiful
green, and the ragged, old-fashioned, brutal flag. Firstly,
it is square, because Mohammed's flag was supposed to be square. And
they want to go back to that. That is the point. The calligraphy says
sixth century. We are the rough and ready, original Sunni Islam. And the
white is the stamp of Muhammad. It is very similar to some of the
letters in the museum in Istanbul. That whole flag screams, we are the
authentic voice of Islam, in opposition to the others. That is
the politics of flags. You are fascinated by this. It is a vehicle.
I like talking about current affairs.
Earlier this week, the first ever US shale gas to be imported to the UK
The shale gas, extracted using the controversial fracking
technique, was bought by Ineos, the oil refinery at Grangemouth,
because they say it was cheaper to import than extracting gas
Also this week, Labour's shadow energy secretary,
Barry Gardiner, announced at the party conference
that his party would ban fracking in the UK if they form
and they give rise to real environmental dangers.
But technical problems can be overcome.
So on their own, they are not a good enough reason to ban fracking.
is that it locks us into an energy infrastructure
long after our country needs to have moved to clean energy.
that a future Labour government will ban fracking.
We've been joined by the director of Ineos, Tom Crotty.
What is your reaction to what Barry Gardiner said, band fracking if
Labour comes to government? I think it is misguided and misinformed and
it misses the point, which is that there are so many jobs in this
country dependent on supplies of gas. We hit our homes with gas.
Industry uses gas. To assume that there was a bright new tomorrow and
we flick a switch and that goes away is naive. But is he right to say
that fracking locks us into fossil fuels? No. Gas is a required fuel.
We need gas, even with renewables. When the sun as much and in the wind
is not blowing, you have to keep the lights on and the best back-up
system is gas. It is a low carbon alternative. Well, you disagree with
what Barry Gardiner is saying, which is hardly surprising, but he is
tapping into public sentiment on this, as is Labour, because only one
in five people support fracking. There are so many polls on this
unlike the opinion polls they are very varied. We get a completely
different result. The government's energy tracking polling show that
just 31% supported. We are going out into village halls and town halls in
the areas we are likely to do this and saying these are the facts,
because people have not been presented with facts. When they get
the fact they are in the Nutley more supportive. You talk about jobs and
you have invested an awful lot into fracking, but instead of bringing in
gas from America, why not just invest in North Sea oil and gas? We
are. Invest more. We have put a lot of North Sea oil gas rigs but there
is insufficient gas. It will be 80% import it in five years' time. Not
producing our own gas will do is replaced those imports, keep that
income within the UK, not having it going to regimes across the world
who potentially unstable and not reliable. So why should we not keep
that money in the UK? What do you think of government policy so far
towards fracking? It has been very positive, the government have been
supportive. Except it is not happening. We have started seismic
testing in the areas where we have licenses. Now we have got the
licences we are starting to work. Do you think government should have
gone further and faster with fracking? Note, I think it was quite
right to be cautious. It is the kind of thing that will only build
confidence gradually of the regulatory regime is really tight
and the environmental regimes are properly addressed. I spent a lot of
time with officials going through exactly what had been done, talking
to members of the industry and the regulators and became convinced that
we had got it straight, and I think that that's stage it was right to
license. The truth is whatever Barry Gardner says or doesn't say today
the truth is the UK will be using gas fields to come. I happen to
believe a passionate believer in climate change but we are going to
need gas. Is fracking solution? Somebody who think they have the
solution in the energy sphere you should be very sceptical about, it
is a big mix of things was that this is one of the things that reduces
our dependence on Mark Webb, Russia and the Middle East. Can you think
of three parts of the world you would least likely want to be
dependent on? It is clearly worth trying to produce our own. You say
people are not being presented with the facts, what are the facts? How
do you know the technology is completely safe? There is no such
thing as 100% safe, when you take your car to the petrol station,
there is a risk. Nothing is perfect, North Sea oil and gas has issues, we
all know that. We will make sure this is done as safely as humanly
possible because we are taking 20 years of learning from the US.
Another is right, in the early days some rogue things went on, which are
now regulated and we would not be a able to do in the UK. Regulations
are very tight. Even so, it is not happening at the moment. There are
licenses that have been taken, and applications have been made, and
they haven't gone ahead, partly because of local opposition. One
could say that the government, newcomer had been deaf to the
anti-fracking campaigners who just wanted. It is very slowly and
gradually happening, partly because we have given local population is
the right, which I think they should have, to decide whether they wanted
them in their own place. I think the regulation will make sure it is
ecologically safe and sound, but of course if you have a great big
object right next to your house, I don't know where you live, but if I
had one next to mine, I would have something to say about it, so it is
right that locals can treat it as a normal planning application, which
means it doesn't happen overnight but we should not be upset about
that. Doing these things slowly and gradually gaining popular acceptance
of the right way. Will that be quick enough here? Take us to three years
just to do the science, we won't do anything until we know the content.
We will do test drilling, which will take two or three years before we
get to think about developing. There is another option, of course,
nuclear power, and Theresa May has finally given the green light to
Hinckley. Do you support that? We think it is a sensible technology to
invest in. You are talking about electricity. 80% of this country's
houses are heated by gas. But you are still in favour of her giving
the go-ahead to Hinkley Point? We are extremely supportive of nuclear
investment, I am not sure that Hinckley is the best investment, it
is very expensive, but it is a start. When you look at things like
the strike price, it seems to be much more expensive, and not value
for money for the taxpayer. No, I don't actually think that. At ?90 a
kilowatt hour, the product from Hinckley can compete with any
totally non-carbon if as fuel. With gas, if you are going to equal that,
you would have to do something like carbon capture storage and those at
the moment are expensive technologies. So you need in the
system what is called baseload, the kinds of plants that will produce
electricity at all times of day and night and are available when the
wind is too high or too low and the sun isn't shining and salon. You can
get that from two sources, from gas and from nuclear. If we build
nuclear stations we can get it without the carbon, which is a help
towards the world's reduction of carbon, and it is more or less the
cheapest way of doing that at the moment. I think we can do better and
I think subsequent generations of nuclear, especially small modular
nuclear reactors will be more Finance Bill and probably in the end
cheaper. Do you think Theresa May did irreparable damage with China by
putting temporary hold on giving the go-ahead to Chinese investment? No,
my experience of investing -- negotiating with the Chinese... You
have negotiated with everyone! These are very grown-up, very subtle, very
intelligent. They are very sensitive. But they understand
things from a very long perspective, and a fuel leaks for Theresa to make
her mind about this, perfectly sensible for a new permanence to do,
will not fracture the relationships. I think the golden era as it's
called of UK- Chinese relationships is still going strong and it is
important it will be, because Chinese and India will be the
dominant features of the landscape of the board of the next 30 to 40
years. Wendy thing you will start packing? Emotionally within the next
five years. Tom Crotty, thank you for coming in. As we all know in
politics, just as in other walks of life,
certain things go in and out of fashion.
Take, for example, the idea that politicians should make speeches
without a jacket and tie, with their shirt-sleeves rolled up.
Or talking about what they like to listen to on their ipod.
But do you remember last autumn's political hot
Well, it turns out that the power pose fad was all in vain.
This week, one of the body language experts who popularised the idea
announced she no longer believes that 'power pose' effects -
such as increasing confidence and appearing powerful - are real.
We've been joined by James Brooke, co-director of 'Threshold' -
thank you. Are you disappointed she has rubbished the idea? It is all
about confidence, and we know people strongly associate confidence with
competence, that is the holy Grail, what business leaders and
politicians are always trying to achieve. The reason they hooked into
it was about five years ago, the study you are talking about seem to
interject the science bit. What is the science? The science, in theory,
and it is disputed, with good reason, I'll come onto that. We have
known for quite a long time that if we stand and act in a confident way,
levels of self-reported confidence increase. We feel more confident if
you act more confident. You set up straighter than! Indeed, I did. The
study out of Harvard suggested not only do we feel more confident, but
it changes the neuro hormonal balance in our brain. You mean it
gives off and orphans or something? It seems to inject a bit of
neuroscience, and there is a fair bit of evidence that if you put the
word neuroscience in something people more readily believe it is
real. So it is a self-fulfilling prophecy then. Precisely. But if you
stand more confident way, you feel more confident and you are more
likely to project what in the jargon is composed micro-signals that
suggest greater levels of confidence. We know that works. What
is questionable is the science bit. Do you think it worked for these
politicians? There is one of George Osborne standing with his legs
apart, does he look more powerful and confident? The key thing is not
get caught practising it, so people can see all the strings. My guess is
that was taken almost in rehearsal. What he is probably trying to do is
associate that space with a space where he feels powerful. I'm not
sure it was in rehearsal, if it isn't rehearsal, how does he look? I
think he is slightly showing the strings there. The science bit is
disputed, and I think that is important to say. If we are talking
about this stuff, I would say this is a hypothesis. There have been
studies that suggest it has no effect on the neuro, more balanced
that if it works for you, do it. Over there I think he has
exaggerated a little too much. We had pictures of George Osborne,
Theresa May, Michael Gove, did you get the memo? No. I suspect people
knew that I didn't matter from that point of view. LAUGHTER
I'm sure that's not the case! And secondly they may have remembered
that for the ghastly period when I was Shadow Chancellor and sent off
somebody to teach me to do these things, I turned into some of
couldn't bear and I don't think anyone else could bear much, and I
have never done it since and I don't believe in all this garbage. I think
you should just be yourself, and that is the only thing you can do.
Come on, James, show me the power pose. Not that I stand that often in
the studio, but if I were. I am going to show you what I sense
George Osborne was coached to do. The crucial thing is don't do it
live, do it as preparation. You mean like I'm doing now? OK. The first
thing is, he looks like he is expecting a 747 to fly through his
legs. Not very elegant. So exaggerated. The idea is when we are
at our most confident we take up the mess space, so that exaggerates it.
So if you are just hands on the hips. It is a quite natural, isn't
it? It is, you could call it the gunslinger pose, so it is a bit Gary
glitter, or it could be wonder woman. Do you think I project
confidence here? No, I think you look like somebody... LAUGHTER
The hypothesis... We haven't got much time. Not only are you feeling
more confident Chameera level of circulating testosterone has
increased. Oh great! The key thing is a study has come out, about two
years ago, that suggested it makes no difference to testosterone. The
crucial thing is if it works for you, do it, take the science bit
with a big pinch of salt. I'm not convinced, but one last pose. James,
thank you very much. I think we have just got time before we go to find
out the answer to our quiz, Oliver let them.
The question was where was the 2010 Conservative Manifesto -
written by our guest Oliver Letwin - launched?
Was it a) Battersea Power Station in London?
C) The Lowry Arts Centre in Salford Quays?
Or d) A smoothie bar in Notting Hill?
So, Oliver, what's the correct answer?
Ever since you posted this, I have been desperately searching my
memory. How can you not remember? I remember quite a lot about that was
in the manifesto and I can even remember sitting at a bench while
David was... You didn't put it in a bit nearby? I haven't got the
slightest idea. Extraordinary scenes, here.
The atmosphere, absolutely electric.
Jo Coburn is joined by former Conservative cabinet minister Oliver Letwin to discuss EU trade negotiations, the possible expansion of Heathrow and whether future energy policy will rely on fracking.