Andrew Neil is joined by journalists Toby Young and Polly Toynbee to discuss the outcome of the Sleaford by-election and foreign secretary Boris Johnson's performance.
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Welcome to the Daily Politics. on BBC Two.
The Conservatives secure a commanding win in the Sleaford
by-election while Labour slump to fourth place.
We'll hear from the Labour MP who says his party is heading
the crowd-funded campaign which wants to shake
I thought they were quite shaken up already.
And with us for the whole of the programme today,
the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and Toby Young, associate
So, another by-election last night, just one week after the Lib Dems won
Richmond Park with a huge swing from the Conservatives.
Unlike a week ago, though, last night's result
The Conservatives held on to Sleaford and North Hykeham
Their candidate, Caroline Johnson, received just over 17,500 votes.
Second place went to Ukip with just under 4,500 a majority
But the big news of the night was that Labour were pushed
from second into fourth place, behind the Liberal Democrats,
Here's the Conservative victor, Caroline Jonson, speaking
I look forward to strengthening the Government's majority in parliament,
so that Theresa May, our Prime Minister, can get
on with the job of triggering Article 50, leaving
the European Union, and building a country and
That's the new Conservative MP for Sleaford.
We did ask the Labour Party for an interview, but no
We've been joined by the Labour backbencher, David Winnick.
Welcome to the programme. This was a election, a safe Tory seat, you
expected to lose it, Labour slipped from second to fourth, but is it
really that disappointing? Yes, it is humiliating, it is a set like
Richmond last week which we have never won, that includes 1997. But
we were second in the general election, and to be beaten into
fourth place by the Liberal Democrats was humiliating. What do
you mean when you talk about a bunker mentality at the highest
levels of the Labour Party? What I mean is there are those who don't
seem to grasp that if you have rallies of the faithful loyalists,
activists on the rest of it, that is fine, but you can lose touch with
the real world, and my fear is that we are not in touch of ordinary
people anywhere to the extent that is necessary that could make a real
impact in the country. In what ways are you not in touch? We are not in
touch because day in and day out, you can take this as a commercial if
you like, everyday, Labour MPs put the case for what is happening in
the country, how many people, millions, suffering as a result of
the cuts, Labour councillors up and down the country doing their duty,
and the reason why they were elected in the first place. But we are not
perceived by so many people as acting in their interests. And that
produces... A sense that you are not in touch with ordinary voters? Yes.
Polly, the results are not great for Labour, pretty good for the Tories.
It is OK free Ukip, I would suggest. It is pretty good for the Lib Dems,
very bad for Labour, I think that would be fair to say. And as we came
on air, YouGov announced its latest poll which I think we'll be in the
Times tomorrow, and it has the Tories now at 42%, pretty - them,
but more interestingly, Labour down to 25. Ukip 12, Lib Dems 11,
statistically even stevens. But Labour at 25, it highlights what
David Winick is saying about the by-election result. At least they
didn't lose their deposit in the by-election, which they did in the
last one, which was an extra humiliation. I think it really is
time for Labour Party members to look at the facts in the face, not
what they wish they were but what they are, and however much people
might admire Jeremy Corbyn for allsorts of admirable qualities,
just realised that you have a fairly short window as a leader to
establish a reputation, and when people decide it is not you, you
don't look like leadership material, they don't change their mind. I
think the Government is going to be in real trouble within the next two
years, I think the negotiations will go badly and all sorts of people
will face up to what it really means, the sacrifices. Getting
sovereignty back will mean such heavy sacrifices, mostly for the
same people who are experiencing the cuts at the moment, and Labour will
not dare to say, we said this all along. Not a great result for you.
Sharer of the vote fell by 2%, and it is share that matters when
turnout is low. I would guess the Government, given they were more
frightened of Ukip then Labour, they will be quite happy with this
result? I think it does show that in constituencies where conservatives
are likely to win, Ukip probably won't do terribly well, because a
lot of the people who would vote Ukip if they thought the alternative
was between Labour and Ukip would happily plump for a Conservative
candidate and not risk dividing the opposition vote. The difficulty
Labour faces is in constituencies in its northern heartlands where labour
is first but in constituencies that voted to leave with a Remain MP, Ed
Miliband, Tristram Hunt and others, that is going to be the issue. All
of the issues are seen through the prism of exit. It usually ends up
some way coming back to Brexit. If you are a real Brexiteer and you are
happy leaving the EU, you might vote Tory or Ukip. If you are angry with
what is happening, and reluctant for it to happen, you might even want to
stop it, you vote Lib Dem. Where does Labour fitting? It is a fair
question, and we have to make our position clear. I was very much in
favour of remain, not quite as fanatical as Polly, we disagreed
over 30 years ago because she didn't do much service for the Labour Party
then, but we won't talk about that. Toby was only in shorts then, let's
not go back there. I think we have to honour the majority decision, and
a feeling in the country among many people who voted leave, who takes
the view that we are ambiguous or not willing to accept a majority
decision. I disagree with that majority decision, and I am very
much pleased that the vote in the House of Commons this week, we made
it clear that we stand by what the Prime Minister said, that article 50
will be implemented no later than the 31st of March. In many parts of
the country, people who didn't normally vote in general elections
let alone local elections certainly voted in the referendum, and if
there is this cynical view that no one is taking any notice, we have
been proved right, voting is a waste of time, we have to demonstrate...
Let me just ask you this. What... Jeremy Corbyn won in 2015. He was
challenged and one again. He is the leader. If you think this is a bad
situation, how do you get out of it? Jeremy Hunt been re-elected. I never
voted for him. But how do you get out of it? I remain broadly on the
left, but he has been re-elected. We know that. How do you get out of it?
He is going to lead us into the general election, and that was the
decision of the party membership. I would say from that, you don't get
out of it. That was the implication of that answer. I think it is quite
clear that if you really mean that, if the Labour Party really means
that, that Corbyn is still going to be leader in 2020, we are looking at
catastrophe. We are looking at a serious wipe-out, which is terrible.
The only way to get rid of Corbyn is if Labour loses a general election,
and even that isn't guaranteed, and that is why Corbyn are supporting
the article 50 Amendment, because they don't want to trigger a general
election. It could be a long time until the general election unless
the Prime Minister looks differently at the by-election last night.
The question for today is who has been watching a basketball game
Was it a) Time Person of the Year 2007, Vladimir Putin?
b) Time Person of the Year 2016, Donald Trump?
c) Time Person of the Year 2000 and 2004, George W Bush?
At the end of the show, Toby and Polly will give
I have utmost confidence in them! It has often been misplaced, of course!
The Foreign Secretary is visiting Bahrain today only 24 hours
after Downing Street said his views did not represent Government policy.
The rebuke from Number 10 came after Boris Johnson said
the UK's ally, Saudi Arabia, was "playing proxy wars"
Boris Johnson made his first major speech as Foreign Secretary last
week, but his first five months in the post haven't
The Italian Economics Minister accused him of being "a bit
insulting" last month after Mr Johnson reportedly told him
that Italy would sell less prosecco if the UK wasn't given access
The Foreign Secretary has also had to endure jokes
When we came to Birmingham this week, some big questions
Are we ready for the effort it will take to see it through?
Can Boris Johnson stay on message for a full four days?
Chancellor Philip Hammond joined in, teasing Mr Johnson
about his failed campaign for the Tory leadership campaign
Tory MP Jake Berry said recently that the Foreign Secretary had been
the victim of "sniping from the comfort of Whitehall",
Foreign Office mandarins have also reportedly asked ministers to stop
calling Mr Johnson "Boris" and instead refer to him
But Boris was slapped down by Number 10 yesterday after he accused
Saudi Arabia of engaging in "puppeteering and playing proxy
The Prime Minister's spokesman said in response,
"The Foreign Secretary's views are not the Government's position".
Well, joining us now to discuss this further is someone who knows
what it's like to be a Conservative Foreign Secretary -
Welcome back to the programme. Is it sustainable for the Prime Minister
to have a Foreign Secretary whose remarks regularly do not reflect
Government policy? All ministers occasionally go off message, so
these things are not unknown, and we mustn't get too excited. However, if
it comes a serial activity, it becomes more controversial. And
there are signs it is becoming a serial activity. We have had the
customs union, he was slapped down for that. We have had him in this,
several other areas where he has kind of gone off piste. Boris is a
one-off character, he has got remarkable intelligence and ability,
he has moderate views and is not a wild extremist. But he has made his
reputation as a celebrity, and you cannot compare that with being a
Foreign Secretary. Harold Macmillan was briefly Foreign Secretary, and
he said that Foreign Minister is are either dull or dangerous. Boris
Johnson is not dull. I watched him and his remarks on
Saudi Arabia. He was not speaking as Foreign Secretary. He was speaking
as a pundit. I could have made that remark but I am a journalist. He
cannot speak as a pundit and be Foreign Secretary. That is right.
The issue on this occasion is not whether what he said was reasonable
or unreasonable, whether it was accurate or not accurate, it was not
UK foreign policy. If Boris does not like current foreign policy in the
Middle East, the Foreign Secretary has more power, influence, than
anyone else in the United Kingdom to change foreign policy. Occasionally,
when I had disagreements with John Major, which was very rare, I would
have a private conversation with him. Occasionally I might have him
agreeing with me and more of -- and usually I would agree with him. If
people want to know what Britain's policy is, listen to what the Warren
Secretary is saying is if he has his own reservations, he must keep them
to himself. -- the Foreign Secretary. Because of Britain having
a global foreign policy, and being a permanent member of the Security
Council, that means the words of the Foreign Secretary, whoever it is
common to carry more weight. There is a double problem. The first, the
timing could not have been worse. Having lunch order sooner with the
king of Saudi Arabia at the time, did not help. I think Boris Johnson
can still get out of this drama if he can realise and permanently
remind himself that when he speaks in public on any occasion he had to
confine himself to foreign policy. If he does not like it, he is the
person best place to try to change it. Boris Johnson can be his own
worst enemy. We all know that. Even his Cabinet colleagues have ramped
it up by making fun of saw examples of that. It adds to the narrative
that perhaps, which is what the Labour Party line has been, this man
is not fit to be Foreign Secretary. Is there a conspiracy to amplify his
mistakes? I don't think so. I think he will survive. He will soldier on
for quite a time stop what he said about Saudi Arabia fits the
definition of a political gaffes, given by the American political
commentator saying when a politician speaks the truth, especially if it
is a truth they are not meant to say, one of the difficulties that
Boris faces is one faced by all journalists, especially if they have
earned bread-and-butter as columnists. As colonists you are
paid to say something provocative and interesting each week. As a
front-line senior politician you are expected to say something pretty
dull. As a career politician, that comes as second nature. For him, he
finds it very difficult to rein himself in a not say anything that
is likely to be picked up. You could take the view this is quite
refreshing custom he is saying something that many people think
about Saudi Arabia. Counter to that is that these are uncertain times
for Britain's position in the world. The rest of the world is looking at
us to see what is the shape of our foreign policy in a Brexit
environment. This sort of thing does not help. I would be delighted if we
broke our relationship with the Saudis are no longer sell them ?3
billion worth of weapons with which they are absolutely destroying
civilians of the Yemen. I would be delighted if we spoke up against
them. In particular, their particular extreme religious cult,
which they have deliberately spread around the world, and is so
dangerous, that will not happen. We're now going to be sending out
Boris and Liam Fox on their knees, begging everyone around the world to
make a trade deal to make up for the trade we have with Europe. We are
going to be in no position to be making moral gestures. We have to
stop those imperial fantasies. We are going to be in a very bad state.
I do not see Boris as being the person who will make new friends for
us all who will make a principled stand either. The Foreign Secretary
ship was very much a second chance for Boris Johnson. He had been
involved in this incredible car crash with Michael Gove, which they
both seem to have had mutual assured destruction of their political
careers. Out of the blue, the Prime Minister gives him a second chance.
Are you surprised he has not grasped this with both hands and changed his
ways? I think he has grasped this with both hands. He is a bright guy.
He has known perfectly well that he has two curb his journalistic
instincts. When you are 52, he is 52 now. He has spent his whole life is
not having to behave in a restrictive way of that kind. He has
created his reputation by his enthusiastic commentaries on various
matters and he finds it incredibly difficult to resist saying something
that he believes is stimulating and interesting, not realising, at that
precise moment, the damage it is doing. And it has done damage. One
factor is it would be very difficult for Theresa May to sack him. He
would effectively of the opposition. But it would be a comment on her
judgment to do it so soon. Knowing that, you has a bit more licence to
say these things. You cannot be a sociopath in a job like that. You
cannot be someone with no self-control. It is like when Donald
Trump tried to excuse himself for the inappropriate remarks about
women by saying he was younger then. He was only 54!
This morning, peers have been debating -
at times a little rancorously - a proposal that could reduce
the size of the House of Lords by cutting the number
A Private Member's Bill introduced by Labour's Lord Grocott
suggests abolishing the by-elections that are used to fill
vacancies when a hereditary peer dies or resigns.
It is one of the anomalies of the House of Lords that the only people
who are in some way elected are the hereditary peers.
However, peers opposed to the idea could talk it out of time,
and have tabled nine pages of amendments for the one-page bill.
Yes, they do take themselves seriously.
While Tony Blair's government cleared out most of the hereditary
peers in 1999, they agreed that 92 would be allowed to remain
When one of these 92 peers dies, or resigns, a by-election
is held to replace them, and usually only hereditary peers
of the same party are allowed to vote for the replacement.
You see what I mean by restricted constituency.
Lord Grocott's bill proposes abolishing by-elections and not
filling any vacancies that arise, although the status of current
With hereditary peers currently counting for one in every 11 peers,
that could mean the upper chamber becomes smaller over time.
However, this wouldn't necessarily follow, as the PM and the political
parties can always recommend the creation of more peerages.
The Conservative peers, who tabled most of the amendments, are busy
But we can hear what one of them had to say a little earlier.
Removing the hereditaries, which is the inevitable result
of removing succession to hereditaries leaves a
That is not, I believe, what the public wants.
The latest opinion poll I could find shows that 60% of the
Those figures replicate earlier opinion polls.
My Lords, an appointed House is not what the House of Commons
Let us remove all of us hereditaries but only on the condition that
I believe keeping hereditaries will help us to achieve
a Democratic, elected House, sooner rather than later.
And we can talk now to the Labour peer Dianne Hayter, who has stepped
I thought Earl Caithness made a rather attractive proposition. Get
rid of all the hereditary peers and the appointed peers. Job done. It
would be good if we could get rid of many of us in the House of Lords. We
had a good debate on Monday where we think we are too big and ought to be
reduced in size. There is a demand for that. What is interesting about
the debate today, it is all men. You only inherit as a man. Wanting to
keep a whole group of men, 92 men. Not just that they should be there
but when they go, when they die, a sickly, their sons or grandson 's
should inherit. They want to keep a block of people who were appointed
originally, it was their fathers, their grandfathers, their
great-grandfathers, or in one case, a great-great-grandfather who was
appointed to this House, and they want that to continue down to their
sons and grandsons. This modest measure is simply to say, look, the
hereditary day has gone when the pleasant lot do, one by one, or each
year, a few dive. We should stop those by-elections and stopped the
next election of sons or grandson 's coming here. More seriously we need
a reduction in the size of our chamber we can do the serious work
will stop we have been talking about Brexit and foreign affairs. We have
a serious job to do. We need to make our size smaller so we can do that
job better. What size should it be? Smaller than the House of Commons.
We need enough to have the expertise was one of the things we have in the
House of Lords, we do not just have people who come from a political
background. They come from civil service, science and doctors,
industry and trade unions. There is a wide range of experience we want
to hold onto. None of the people watching this programme have chosen
these people. No but what is interesting is that people who have
come here have made a career and often been chosen by others. They
may have become the head of the civil service or the head of a big
charity. They will have been chosen, albeit by a different electorate but
people who know their particular profession well. The US Senate, the
most powerful legislative body in the world, has 100 members. Wider
you need 500? We're a part-time House. Many of us are part-time. We
continue. You think of people who continue as doctors and lawyers.
Actually a number of our members are part-time and they come in with that
expertise that is not the case of the Senate. I am not saying there is
a specific number. We need to look up what is the function of this
House and have the appropriate number to do the job we need to do
as the second chamber. It is not the same as America. The Senate was set
up in a different way. Not always successful, for a different reason.
We need something that is appropriate for the United Kingdom
will stop the United Kingdom in this century. And we need to create
something that really works for now. If you got your way, you would get
rid of the ones who were elected by a ridiculously small constituency...
What would stop a future government replacing these numbers by more
appointed peers? Prime Minister 's love to do that. They say they will
not in opposition but when they are in Ten Downing Street, they cannot
stop themselves. That view is very strongly held. The last Prime
Minister appointed more than any other. There were 240 the last Prime
Minister appointed. That is very strongly felt that there has to be
some sort of cap or restriction. Otherwise it would be very hard to
get rid of a whole lot of peers, as we should do. Why not just get rid
of the 92 now? Why not say, it is 2016, a hereditary principle should
play no part, just get rid of them? There is an argument for that. This
bill in front of us today was more modest. It was saying sons and
grandsons. What is interesting in the question you pose, if we cannot
really get that through our House at the moment, we had the hereditaries
talking out by putting down wrecking a moment to even get rid of that
modest bill. The challenge you are giving me, to which I would be very
sympathetic, is how could we get that through this we cannot get
through this very modest one? The sons and grandsons of people... You
have made that .3 times. As a woman the 58 act two women into
Parliament. We will stop on that. I take the point.
The Earl of Limerick, how did he come to be elected? He penned a
poem. I do have it, sadly. What the constitution kinky view that kind of
-- what kind of constitution can give you that kind of approach? I
rather sympathise with the Earl of Caithness's point. What is the
purpose for this if you don't accompany it with a proposal to make
the House of Lords more democratic and introduce elected peers. The
problem with that is there is no appetite to reform the House of
Lords and make it more democratic, because if it is more democratic,
there is less of a case for withholding power, and then you end
up with a much more bicameral legislation like America. The
problem is perhaps with the approach, that it really is just
tinkering at the edges. It is preposterous, the whole thing. Since
1911 when Lloyd George started it, they tried to reform the House of
Lords. Tony Blair managed at least get rid of most of the hereditary
is, but every time they make specious arguments like this where
they let the best be the enemy of the good, and instead of making
gradual reforms, they say, unless we reform everything we can't reform
anything, so nothing changes. Because that goes way back to
Michael foot and Enoch Powell, they had a kind of Faustian alliance on
that. British politics, it
doesn't come cheap. In the last quarter,
the Labour Party received more than ?3.7 million,
The Conservatives got just under three million,
But now a new political movement is harnessing a newish idea
and trying out crowd-funding - tiny donations from lots of people.
In the popular imagination, this is where the main political
For the Tories, it's people like these.
People whose hats are flatter, not-so-rich people who pay
Pretty much it's always worked the way it has, and, we assume,
Our politics is getting more extreme and more divided.
But like so much in 2016, could that be about to change?
This lot, known as More United, aren't a political party.
But they do want to shake up politics.
We're going to find a decent, progressive candidate out there.
Then we are going to crowd fund to get them elected.
I don't care what party they're from.
Their plan is to target money at the candidates they
want in around ten marginal seats in the next election.
From any party, as long as they support certain values.
Like being pro-EU and pro-immigration.
We must enable these people to win these elections.
That involves pamphlets and IT support, all sorts of
One lesson I have learned - one lesson looking
back through history - to run
a successful political campaign, you do need money.
We need to channel money to progressive people in
Parliament, who are going to try to carry the values we
hold dear and think are worth fighting for.
They've raised more than ?170,000 of small donations in
More United is an incredible political crowdfunding project.
We've seen over 4000 people across the UK
pledging to support the organisation and their aims and goals.
At crowd funder, in total, there's been
over ?1 million raised for political crowdfunding projects across the UK
and that equates to about 35,000 people backing political movements
That's a lot of people here in the UK.
So could Britain's political parties take
One expert says we shouldn't get carried away just yet.
It's not really a model for funding parties more generally.
The difficulty for parties is not usually raising money at election
Models like crowdfunding will work for elections -
or one-off events - but they're unlikely
to work as a stable means of funding parties.
There's another very British sticking point.
Historically, unlike our American friends, us Brits don't like putting
our hands in our pockets when it comes to politics.
So, the funding revolution may have to wait.
Good to see the production team in black there!
And we've been joined by Dan Snow who, as we saw in the film, is a key
Good to be back. Is this a Remain front organisation? No, because
whatever we think, we are leaving the EU. It is much bigger than that.
A lot of people are looking at the global situation at the moment, and
it is getting a bit nasty. What can you do? You can join a political
party, I'm not really a partisan person. It doesn't seem for me like
that is the answer. But we want to do something. We see France, the
USA, a narrow escape in Austria, and we have all sorts of things coming
down the pipeline, so frankly it is not even a Brexit issue, we are just
determined to make a stand. It is people giving small amounts of money
to try to safeguard the thing we have achieved, this progressive
society we have built. What we have done in the 21st-century is build
such an incredible society, we have forgotten to sit back and enjoy it.
This is a group saying, we are proud of this and we are going to fight
for it, and as of the tide of extreme is arises, we will build a
barrier. You backed Sarah Olney in Richmond, can you think of a
pro-Brexit candidate you would back? Toby, you backed Brexit, but you are
worried about the rise of racism, I think we would have a lot in common.
We like to bring people together on this programme. We failed with
Malcolm Rifkind! Gregg I welcome any initiative to bring people who are
not normally involved in politics into politics. As more organisations
like this to make interventions into by-elections, in general election, I
think Brexit will be the beneficiary, because there are more
constituencies where there is a disconnect between the way the
constituency voted and the way the MP voted. If you have a candidate
who like Toby voted for Brexit for all the best reasons, at a
sovereignty and to Moxey and wanting to be more open, ideas I didn't
agree with but I totally respect it, if there is a candidate like that
running against someone who has extremist views and doesn't share
our core philosophies, we would absolutely look at that. But the
point is, it is exciting, it is young people, it is crowd sourcing,
so we go to our members and we have a list of criteria and seats that we
think we can win in, seats have to be winnable. But you won't put up
your own candidate? We identify people from the Conservatives, right
the way through any party, so it is not narrowly partisan. It is for
people who are worried about the language and want to make a stand.
Let me come back to the funding. Mr Obama's first campaign in 2008 was
funded from lots of small donations, tens of millions of people gave less
than $25. Only ?30,000 has come from small donations? I don't think that
is true. I don't think it is like BAE Systems writing is hundred
thousand pounds. Your press releases you have funding total of hundred
and ?71,000, and the funding from small donations on the press release
is just under 30,000. That is 5000 people. Tony Watt the press release
says, what is a small donation? Where did the other donation come
from? This is 4500 people on a crowdfunding website that gave us a
small amount. No big corporate donors, nothing. Every single penny
has come for the website. If they have chosen to give more than ?500,
good for them. Do you know what the average is? No. What do you make of
it? I think it is a nice idea. It is good to remind people of the value
of essential democracy, because when you get the Daily Mail saying
enemies of the people about the High Court, you begin to feel that the
whole fabric of everything that we have built up over hundreds of years
begins to shake and break, so I am glad that you are real week and in
people to the idea of common ground and how democracy works. But on the
other hand, we have a really divided political system, and it is naive to
say it doesn't matter which party you belong to. On the one side,
extreme austerity, on the other side, the Labour Party is not very
effectively countering it, but at least they are making the case about
the NHS, about social care, and these are important divides, you
can't just move it all over. But you can try and make each party the best
they can be, see you can intervene asserting elections to try to make
sure that good people get into the House of Commons on all sides of
Parliament. It is not as exciting as Donald Trump's call but the whole
thing is corrupt and everything is a disaster, but we are saying we think
things are pretty good, the achievement of building a
progressive society which is broadly at peace and crime is low, we need
to celebrate this and talk about this, and we live in a world where
young people are turning their backs on democracy and think it isn't that
important. We are so many generations away from the great
struggles of our ancestors that people are taking these things for
granted. I don't want to join a political party, I have voted for
loads of different people. But lots of people are saying, what are we
going to do about this? Some of the things going on in this country and
particularly abroad. The system has its flaws, the floors are in our
political system, it is hard to intervene, as you know, with first
past the post, but it is something. We need to move on, I'm afraid. It
is a packed programme today. Come back and tell us how it gets an. I
will. Thank you very much. A shop in north London which aims
to sell "quintessentially British" The shop opened a couple
of weeks ago and since then the owners says dozens of members
of the public have gone in and accused him and his
staff of being racist. The shop is called Really British,
and it's in Muswell It sells British-themed
memorabilia and trinkets, and its stated aim is to celebrate
British culture. But many people have felt that,
in light of the recent EU referendum, the shop's all-British
theme is divisive and offensive. After the flurry of complaints,
some members of staff even But as well as negative comments,
the owner says he's also received hundreds of messages of support
from around the world. And joining me now is the owner
of Really British, Chris Ostwald. And you have brought a number of
your products. You opened the shops a couple of weeks ago? Yes, two
weeks ago. And what happened since? The first day was really good, lots
of interest, and then gradually we are having people coming in saying
it is racist and that the name Really British is offensive. Who is
saying that to you? Local English people who have been there for long
time, they say, we have been in Muswell Hill for years, this is
disgusting, you cannot call a shop British, we should be ashamed of the
word Rajesh, this whole Brexit thing is just too sensitive. Do you think
that is the main consensus, that the remains/ leave divide has made this
thing more likely to happen? It seems that is part of it. Apart from
the union Jack itself having maybe been used by some other factions and
people saying the union Jack represents this all that. I say it
represents Great Britain, and Great Britain is something we should be
proud of. It has such a lot of English eccentric products, our
English quintessential ways, that is what the shop is meant to be
celebrating. The things you sell do not look too offensive at all.
Particularly British Picadilly, which is just a funny sounding name
to put on a product, it is made in England. How bad has it really been?
Last Friday I thought we were going to have to close, I had four people
coming and one completely lost it and was throwing products around the
shop and saying things were disgusting, you have turned Muswell
Hill into a sewer. Did you call the police? I tried to put the point
across that it is about products not politics. Are you someone who has
had any previous political loyalties at all? Not really, I just think
everything is a mixed bag, half of what one party says is right. Are
you involved in politics yourself? No, I was asked to join the Lib Dems
as a counsellor, but it didn't happen, but that was only because of
my work. Are all of these made in Britain? No, and that is not the
idea, the idea it is celebrating our Englishness, so products are
designed in the UK, and manufacturers have to have the made
in China because of the cost. But if it is designed here, and the product
is made elsewhere but then sold here, that makes it the dish. Says
it is an ordinary souvenir shop like you get in Westminster? It is a
pretty good point. When you go around the shops around Buckingham
Palace and Westminster, they are all selling this stuff. I use a prized
by this? -- are you surprised by this? It is certainly a very
gentrified area, liberal and middle-class, I imagine it heavily
voted Remain, so I think it is symptomatic of those on the Remain
side believing in their own caricature of those on the Leave
sides so anyone who claims to be patriotic in their eyes is a bit
suspect and must be beneath the surface a little bit racist and
xenophobic. I worry a bit about Dan's campaign that he somehow
interprets the Brexit victory in slots at alongside the Trump victory
and thinks it is part of the rise of extremism and xenophobia, for an
identity kit is. Apart from all the appalling physical attacks on
foreigners. It is certainly unleashed something. But if you look
at the statistics, it is a rise from 42 attacks to 53, it is often
exaggerated. That the problem, though. What we have got is English
products mixing in with politics, and people are saying we are going
to boycott your shop selling English products, we don't think it is
right. One man said, I am glad you have opened a shop celebrating
Britishness, but you should sell Jamaican things, because Jamaicans
are part of Britain. I said anyone who lives in the UK as part of
written, but we are celebrating staff.
Do you think, if you changed the name? Change the name! That would be
a U-turn. This company were really pleased to send these socks out to
us. These are Prince Charles's socks. Does he wear socks like that?
He must do. If you called it rich dish souvenirs, that would have been
all right, wouldn't it? It is the British word that is the problem.
People have been coming in and walking out. Almost like a
rehearsed, orchestrated walking out. Do you think someone may be behind
it? A woman said, we, as a group, are going to boycott your shop. The
irony is, if you opened your shop in a more socially and ethnically
diverse area, you would probably have a huge success. I have had
success but it is among people who are not white, British. It is
essentially foreign people. It is for tourists. An American came in
and said, my wife sent me out to get a gift to send back to America. She
said get something, really British. I walked down the high street in
their original shop called really British. He bought a scar. Stay
safe. Keep us informed as to it goes. -- a scarf. I see you have
Dennis the Menace and the Beano. I chose the Beano one year and the
Dandy the next. We will move on! Now, if you're a bookworm looking
for a juicy political novel to get you through Christmas,
you'll be pleased to hear that a new set of book awards has
just been announced. It's the Parliamentary Book
of the Year Awards, and Adam Fleming has been leafing through some
of the winners. Book shops came up
with the short list. Bookish MPs and peers
chose the winners. Alan Johnson's third
volume of autobiography Alan Johnson writes about a phone
call from Tony Blair, as he was about to go
into a Thai restaurant. We exchanged a few pleasantries
before I began to wind up the conversation so I could rush off
into the restaurant. The truth was I'd never remotely
considered the possibility. What's more, for a general secretary
of an affiliated trade union, hankering after a parliamentary seat
would be diagnosed as a case "Oh," said Tony,
slightly disconcerted. "Someone told me you were keen
to come into Parliament." Best Nonfiction was Margaret Hodge's
account of her time as chair Margaret Hodge has been warned
to keep her cool while questioning the head of Google in the UK,
Matt Britton. However, at the end of a long
and frustrating session, When preparing for the session,
I'd come across Google's own company motto which read,
don't be evil. Observing the arrogant attitude
of Matt Britton at our hearing, and angered by the difficulties
in his evidence, I concluded the session by saying, "You're
a company that says you do no evil but I think you do do evil
and that you use smoke and mirrors That became the headlines
on the evening news. Melvyn Bragg won the Fiction
category with his novel set It was the injustice
of the intolerable taxes on the poorest and the anger
against the tax-avoiding rich. It was the block on betterment
and the loss of faith in authority. It was the erosion of
morality and the fear It was an attempt to recover Eden,
a leap for freedom, a cry from the depths of the souls
of the people, the true John Bew's biography of Attlee
was the Best Political Book More than anything he was left
with a greater appreciation of how It was not until the Great War that
I fully understood the strength of the ties that bind men
to the land of their birth. If anything, the experience
of the trenches intensified the sense of moral urgency
which underlay his determination He wrote, "We live in a state
of society where the vast We endeavour to give
them a freer life." There was no actual description
of the political battle that Attlee was determined to return to as soon
as the war was brought to an end. And the winner of Best Political
Book by a non-parliamentarian, It is called Citizen Clem. Many
people are regarding this as the definitive biography of Clement
Attlee. I did not read it in a night. It took longer than that. I
thoroughly enjoyed it. What struck me about this understated but
fascinating man, we associate him with the National Health Service,
the nationalisation of the row ways and other things. What comes across
in your book is how much of a real patriot he was. That explains
everything about Clement Attlee. One of the things you need to understand
about 20th-century Labour Party socialism is how tight it is. One is
an ethical commitment to one's fellow man or women in society and
another sound is this dialogue -- side if this dialogue to rights and
responsibilities. All of these things exist in British society but
are missed in British politics. Attlee has had a receptive audience.
He went to a top public school, he went to Oxford, he had been a major
in the Army. He went to Gallipoli. He went back in again at one stage.
He went to work in the east end. The impression I get is that was, maybe
not as dramatic as this, but it was a political road to Damascus for
him. The word I humour chores into socialism. It is not a nervous night
-- an overnight thing. He goes to the heart of imperial metropolis,
the East End, and he sees conditions that are disgraceful. It is his
patriotically that shuns him along the path to the Labour Party. In the
early days, no one saw him as leader of the Labour Party. He became
leader in quite unusual circumstances. It was the collapse
of labour under MacDonald and the national government. Labour elected
a pacifist as a leader, Lansbury. He only survive till 35. That did not
quite work at a time when Stalin and the Nazis were on the rise. A
grey-haired pacifist who seemed to lead the Labour Party into oblivion
and was hopeless for the times. It makes one think of contemporary
events. He was a reliable colleague, a committed colleague. He was very
hard-working. You do not have political careers that last decades
anymore. People flash and blame and we see the embers of that. Your
father knew Clement Attlee. Yes, he was the secretary of the Labour
Party's research department for the duration of Attlee's first
administration. I have a question. The Labour Party has had 20 leaders
since 1906. Only three of them have won Parliamentary majorities. Harold
Wilson, Tony Blair and Clement Attlee. What did Clement Attlee have
in common with the other two which enabled him to win a general
election? Simply speaking, a capacity to speak beyond the left.
That is not easy. The left in the 20th-century so fractious, difficult
and problematic. So many people around at least think they are
better fit for the job. He compares a socialist to gardening. Cripps
grew to respect at legal to keep bank rolled him initially. There is
a genuine sense as to what the nation fell broadly speaking. What
advice would you give to Jeremy Corbyn? There he is not singing the
national anthem and very unhappy with any patriotic feeling. What
could he learn? Attlee could cope with others who did not agree with
him and he brought them into his Cabinet. He let Bevan loose and
created the NHS. He had been hostile to him throughout the war. He could
live with critics. That is one thing. He would be amused and roll
his eyes. He was a loyal party man. He would be one of those sticking it
out on the backbenches, waiting for his turn. He would be utterly
bemused. What Mr Corbyn would not like is the huge efforts he went to
to tie America into the defence of Western Europe. He was instrumental
with Truman in getting Nato off the ground. Even then, he thought, that
is not enough. We may not be able to depend on the Americans so we need
to have our own nuclear deterrent. He took us down that road. With
Ernie Bevin. Wrapped in a big Union Jack, as Ernie Bevin put it in a
liquid lunch. He shunted it through because people like Cripps wanted...
You have not read this. I will give it to my partner for Christmas. You
can read it over his shoulder. There's just time before we go
to find out the answer to our quiz. The question was: Who
did David Cameron go Was it a) President Putin,
b) president-elect Trump, c) ex-president Bush or d)
former Ukip leader Farage? What is the right answer? Putin.
Bush is the right answer. They are all equally unlikely. Let's see a
picture of this historic moment. They did not understand the rules.
It is not cricket, it is just rounders really.
The one O'clock News is starting over on BBC One now.
I'll be back on Sunday with the Sunday Politics.
We are going to be looking at Brexit again. We will have our usual panel.
On at 11 o'clock on Sunday morning. It is our penultimate edition of
2016. Hope you can join me. By five. -- goodbye.
I went up to her at the end of the class -
she said, "Where did you copy this essay?"
Because she couldn't believe that a little chubby black girl
Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate. He is joined by journalists Toby Young and Polly Toynbee to discuss the outcome of the Sleaford by-election and foreign secretary Boris Johnson's performance.