15/07/2017 Dateline London


15/07/2017

Foreign correspondents currently posted to London look at events in the UK through outsiders' eyes, and at how the issues of the week are being tackled around the world.


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Transcript


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They're leaders, but are they leading?

:00:26.:00:29.

Donald Trump was treated like - well, royalty -

:00:30.:00:32.

in Paris as the French celebrated their revolution

:00:33.:00:34.

In London, Theresa May was trumpeting a different sort

:00:35.:00:39.

of revolution, publishing the legislation that will take

:00:40.:00:41.

Yet Mrs May is a much diminished figure after losing her

:00:42.:00:49.

parliamentary majority, and President Trump is distracted

:00:50.:00:53.

by the investigation into links between his campaign -

:00:54.:00:55.

It can't be often that they envy Iraq's Prime Minister,

:00:56.:01:00.

but it was Haider al-Abadi who looked like a leader as he held

:01:01.:01:03.

the flag of Iraq aloft on the streets of Mosul,

:01:04.:01:05.

celebrating the rout of Islamic State.

:01:06.:01:07.

To discuss leadership this week, I'm joined by four leading

:01:08.:01:09.

American journalist Stryker McGuire, who's London editor

:01:10.:01:14.

for Bloomberg Markets, Polly Toynbee, columnist with The Guardian

:01:15.:01:18.

newspaper, The Portuguese writer Eunice Goes and Mustapha Karkouti,

:01:19.:01:20.

And leadership. Is he right? It is true we have a leader in this

:01:21.:01:42.

country at the moment, we have an incapacitated and powerless Prime

:01:43.:01:45.

Minister who has lost her majority and has to depend on eccentric

:01:46.:01:54.

Northern Irish MPs. And at the same time, we have a country that is

:01:55.:01:59.

being driven by its people, driven by the results of the referendum.

:02:00.:02:03.

Nobody dares say we're going to look at this again. The people haven't

:02:04.:02:09.

really changed the mind as much as we can see. Some slight move but

:02:10.:02:13.

basically people want out, and yet more more we get into the detail of

:02:14.:02:17.

what I would means, the more shocking it looks for the future of

:02:18.:02:21.

this country. So we are in a state of paralysis, and until people

:02:22.:02:25.

change their mind, a government is forced to continue to do what it

:02:26.:02:30.

increasingly knows is a catastrophe. Eunice Goes, how does it look from

:02:31.:02:36.

the continent as they see Britain's domestic problems and at the same

:02:37.:02:40.

time negotiations are continuing? There will be another round in the

:02:41.:02:43.

week ahead. I think a lot of people are quite baffled with the mess of

:02:44.:02:48.

the negotiations, with a lack of preparation from the British

:02:49.:02:52.

government and the officials are preparing the Brexit negotiations.

:02:53.:02:59.

Every week we hear this is about the reverberations of yet another thing

:03:00.:03:03.

that was not thought through. Like leaving the Euratom. Every week we

:03:04.:03:09.

are learning about ramifications of big things that should have been

:03:10.:03:12.

thought through before the referendum, but we are now two years

:03:13.:03:17.

after. We are analysing. And at the same time I think the European Union

:03:18.:03:21.

is now scenting the weakness inside Theresa May's government. And if the

:03:22.:03:26.

European Union has not changed its habits they are going to exploit

:03:27.:03:29.

that weakness as best as they can. They will try to have the best deal

:03:30.:03:33.

they can from a European point of view. All the charm and niceness

:03:34.:03:40.

thrown at Britain, all the sense that there might be some

:03:41.:03:43.

flexibility, I would be careful with that, because they also sent

:03:44.:03:49.

weakness and the possibility that Britain might in the end not leave

:03:50.:03:53.

the European Union. And that weakness, Polycom is the fault of

:03:54.:03:56.

British voters, because they took away Theresa Mays majority. There

:03:57.:04:03.

was this announcement that we would leave the agency come hell or high

:04:04.:04:05.

water and some backbenchers kicked up a fuss that they might have some

:04:06.:04:10.

sort of agreement and carry on in parallel. That is a demonstration of

:04:11.:04:16.

the problems Theresa May faces. It is a terrible problem, because the

:04:17.:04:19.

British people were lied to about how wonderful it would be to leave

:04:20.:04:23.

Europe but also, underneath it all was real anger at a very bad

:04:24.:04:28.

economic situation where half the population have had no increase in

:04:29.:04:33.

their pay for ten years, housing costs have gone through the roof,

:04:34.:04:37.

and so it was a means of expressing and other anger, which of course the

:04:38.:04:40.

expressed in the General Election that came afterwards. Some will

:04:41.:04:44.

interpret the General Election is people saying, we don't want a hard

:04:45.:04:47.

wrecks it because it is making things even worse. And there is a

:04:48.:04:53.

kind of stasis, but the government written down the middle between

:04:54.:04:58.

people who think it is a disaster to leave, and the lunatics who created

:04:59.:05:01.

this idea, this fantasy of a first place that somehow leaving Europe

:05:02.:05:05.

was going to be the answer to all our problems. And nothing has been

:05:06.:05:09.

resolved between the two halves of the government, and that is why

:05:10.:05:13.

Theresa May stays there, precariously balanced between the

:05:14.:05:18.

two sides will never agree. It's not just the government. When it comes

:05:19.:05:21.

to weakness and rack said, look at the Labour Party. Imagine if the

:05:22.:05:26.

Labour Party were led by a real pro-European and the Labour Party

:05:27.:05:29.

were strongly pro-European. Imagine how different it would be and how

:05:30.:05:34.

much more weakness they would sense in Europe. You can most here that

:05:35.:05:42.

lament in Tony Blair's voice, saying that Labour put himself in the wrong

:05:43.:05:45.

position and when getting some of the blame if Brexit does not work.

:05:46.:05:51.

Having labour will end up there, but it is very precarious, because any

:05:52.:05:56.

Labour seats voted for Brexit. They are inching their way forward,

:05:57.:06:00.

including Jeremy Corbyn. His own instinct might be anti-European, but

:06:01.:06:04.

not that much. If he ever becomes Prime Minister, it will be on the

:06:05.:06:10.

back of the Brexit question. They are trying not to move faster than

:06:11.:06:12.

the people are moving. It's very tricky. A week Europe is not good

:06:13.:06:20.

for the world, no doubt, world stability. And with the changes in

:06:21.:06:23.

America as well. The new leadership in America would take advantage of

:06:24.:06:28.

this shaky situation in Europe to serve its own interests. As far as

:06:29.:06:34.

the Arab point of view, it is the same, they would rather have a

:06:35.:06:39.

unified and strong Europe leading the region. And we have a European

:06:40.:06:46.

leader who is at least giving the impression of that. He sent his

:06:47.:06:49.

Foreign Minister after the Gulf, I am talking about President Emmanuel

:06:50.:06:54.

Macron of France, taking a lot of diplomatic initiative. Now in the

:06:55.:06:59.

Gulf, trying to work as an honest broker. Is he filling a vacuum of

:07:00.:07:06.

leadership? Partly, certainly, there is no doubt about that. His first

:07:07.:07:10.

visit abroad was to Mali in Africa, which is very significant. This is a

:07:11.:07:17.

clear message to the world that we are going to play a part. And he is

:07:18.:07:24.

right doing that. And he should certainly lead Europe as well in

:07:25.:07:31.

this direction. There are huge problems in the Middle East, in

:07:32.:07:35.

Africa, in Asia, that cannot be sorted out. The United States itself

:07:36.:07:41.

cannot sort this out from even the United Nations. Europe has got the

:07:42.:07:47.

weight, the wealth, and certainly the leadership in this way. If you

:07:48.:07:54.

had Emmanuel Macron to Angela Merkel of Germany. Eunice Goes this

:07:55.:08:00.

question of the duality, we are voiced by the engine of Europe being

:08:01.:08:03.

France and Germany. Tony Blair suggested in his comments this

:08:04.:08:06.

weekend that you're also felt diminished by the prospect of

:08:07.:08:11.

Britain leaving, then Europe would be weaker and less influential in

:08:12.:08:15.

the world. Is that how people see it in Brussels, in Paris, in Berlin?

:08:16.:08:21.

They do, but they will never admit to it, and they are also trying to

:08:22.:08:24.

make up for the loss of Britain. Europe is moving very fast and

:08:25.:08:30.

making up for Britain leaving. We need to try to cover the ground that

:08:31.:08:34.

Britain used to cover, and I think it is very significant that Emmanuel

:08:35.:08:37.

Macron was elected at this particular juncture and has lost no

:08:38.:08:43.

time in trying to show that actually France is here, France is back,

:08:44.:08:48.

France is going to be a country that makes a power that makes a

:08:49.:08:51.

difference in the world. It was very significant that his first steps

:08:52.:09:00.

where in terms of strengthening links with Germany and the engine of

:09:01.:09:03.

Europe, and also in steps towards Russia, the right of states, this is

:09:04.:09:08.

about showing that France matters. Like Britain, France is a country

:09:09.:09:12.

that has its delusions of grandeur and wants to punch above its weight,

:09:13.:09:17.

and so far it is early days. Macron is doing very well. He is giving a

:09:18.:09:21.

very different image of France, because in the past ten years under

:09:22.:09:27.

the presidency Hollande in particular France was extremely weak

:09:28.:09:31.

and irrelevant. In European politics and was irrelevant, and Emmanuel

:09:32.:09:35.

Macron seems determined to change that. I much desired dependent on

:09:36.:09:39.

delivering on domestic reform? Because in a sense Nicolas Sarkozy

:09:40.:09:45.

promised it, Francois Hollande promised it, and neither could pull

:09:46.:09:51.

it off. That is the question. Because so far he is presenting all

:09:52.:09:55.

the reforms that Europe has been demanding, in terms of labour market

:09:56.:09:59.

reforms, liberalisation, and so on. He has a parliamentary majority to

:10:00.:10:04.

approve legislation, but what is going to happen in the streets? The

:10:05.:10:12.

streets in France... The irony for Britain leaving now is that at the

:10:13.:10:15.

time of this ridiculous campaign for Brexit began, they said that Europe

:10:16.:10:20.

is falling apart, all Europe is not the future, France is dilapidated.

:10:21.:10:26.

Now suddenly we see a vision where for one thing the European Union is

:10:27.:10:30.

growing faster than we are, we are at the back of the line for G7

:10:31.:10:37.

growth. But France and Germany look very united, very strong. Europe

:10:38.:10:41.

seems to have new strength and energy and enthusiasm, and we have

:10:42.:10:44.

been left behind. We are the ones who are going to feel like the

:10:45.:10:48.

outsiders, unimportant. We will be the flyover zone for anybody else.

:10:49.:10:52.

Nobody will come and talk to us, they will be going to Germany and

:10:53.:10:58.

Paris. I think what Eunice Goes says about the streets, it seems far

:10:59.:11:01.

away, but it is so important, and it is what links to people who are so

:11:02.:11:04.

analyte which is Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump. They were both elected

:11:05.:11:10.

by amazing disaffection and anger at the grassroots level. If they don't

:11:11.:11:17.

succeed, where is that anger going to go? This is something that

:11:18.:11:21.

worries a lot of people, because this is not just France and the US,

:11:22.:11:28.

it is other countries as well. This pent-up anger against the

:11:29.:11:32.

establishment, against anybody who is on top, is Willie dangerous. But

:11:33.:11:38.

does that affect the code of leaders we get? If there is this kind of

:11:39.:11:41.

reaction and they have been elected because of this surge of

:11:42.:11:45.

disaffection, is there a danger that compromises the issue and makes

:11:46.:11:47.

leaders reluctant to leave because they are terrified of getting a

:11:48.:11:52.

similar response, similar anger and similar objection? Certainly, no

:11:53.:11:58.

doubt about that, but in France's case, certainly the establishment is

:11:59.:12:02.

crumbling, it has crumbled. It is gone. This is new blood. We don't

:12:03.:12:08.

know yet. But I think Emmanuel Macron has a better chance, lots of

:12:09.:12:14.

chances to lead France, and within Europe as well. And with Angela

:12:15.:12:18.

Merkel who seems to be at the moment... She is up for election in

:12:19.:12:23.

September and all the surveys suggest you will be re-elected. Yes,

:12:24.:12:27.

but in Britain's case, I think we will wake up one day in maybe two

:12:28.:12:35.

years when Brexit is totally signed off, and we will become poorer. And

:12:36.:12:39.

people will ask, did we leave Europe to become poorer? Which is,

:12:40.:12:50.

fundamentally... But might they also say, and you were hinting at the old

:12:51.:12:53.

ways you really do sometimes behave, might they also say, we are poorer

:12:54.:12:59.

but we are freer? Freer to do what, exactly? Our own thing. Possibly,

:13:00.:13:06.

there is that illusion. I do think it is an illusion, because this idea

:13:07.:13:11.

of national sovereignty, this concept of sovereignty that is being

:13:12.:13:16.

used does not make any sense in the real world. What does it mean to be

:13:17.:13:20.

free and be in control of your own destiny when questions like climate

:13:21.:13:27.

change, even diseases, terrorism, economic growth, migration,

:13:28.:13:32.

questions of technological advancement... They are so dependent

:13:33.:13:37.

on transnational links full stop what a slogan it was, "Take back

:13:38.:13:43.

control". Everybody, wherever they are, any stratum of society around

:13:44.:13:47.

the world, has a sense that everything is out of control. Power

:13:48.:13:51.

is always somewhere else, it is not where I can control it. This is

:13:52.:13:55.

called a democracy, yet I personally cannot control anything. People in

:13:56.:13:59.

some senses have lost the notion that actually democracy is a

:14:00.:14:04.

collective thing, and there is much more me, me, me. I losing my power,

:14:05.:14:09.

and a big win to get back to a certain amount of basic political

:14:10.:14:12.

education as to what it means to govern collectively. Do you think

:14:13.:14:16.

there is any possibility that Brexit won't have an? -- Brexit won't

:14:17.:14:29.

happen? What Tony Blair was talking about, outer circles that we might

:14:30.:14:32.

stay within... It is most too late for that. If we have a transition

:14:33.:14:36.

that goes on and on, almost indefinitely, where we stay as we

:14:37.:14:42.

are while we continue negotiating. After all, the build-up was

:14:43.:14:46.

published this week, 1000 clauses to be debated of technical important

:14:47.:14:50.

things that matter desperately to people's jobs in particular

:14:51.:14:55.

industries, I think it is a possibility. But we spent to much

:14:56.:15:01.

time talking to people like us. I get out there a lot and talk to

:15:02.:15:04.

places that voted to accept, and I see no change -- places that voted

:15:05.:15:11.

Brexit. It will say, I don't want to know, I don't want to know the

:15:12.:15:14.

details, don't tell me that, I just want out. I figured us in the same

:15:15.:15:18.

realm of likelihood is impeachment for Donald Trump. It is possible,

:15:19.:15:23.

but it really doesn't feel likely at this point.

:15:24.:15:31.

After his European tour, Donald Trump is back

:15:32.:15:35.

For him, the big legislative doubt is over the "beautiful"

:15:36.:15:40.

new healthcare bill with which he hopes to replace

:15:41.:15:43.

the Affordable Care Act, the hated - to Mr Trump's base -

:15:44.:15:46.

signature reform of his predecessor Barack Obama.

:15:47.:15:52.

Haider al-Abadi, but does not fight over the health care bill tell us

:15:53.:15:57.

about Donald Trump's approach to leadership? -- Stryker McGuire, what

:15:58.:16:04.

does that tell us? He was always good to be a different kind of

:16:05.:16:07.

leader. He was elected, but he behaves like an oligarch. He is very

:16:08.:16:13.

removed from the levers and the gears and the mechanisms of

:16:14.:16:17.

government. I don't think he could care less about that. With him, so

:16:18.:16:24.

much as personal. This is so much more about a bummer, the person, --

:16:25.:16:32.

Barack Obama, the person, than about people might health care. Between

:16:33.:16:41.

18-20,000,000 people. But he is very removed from that. He just wants

:16:42.:16:46.

things to happen because he wants them to happen, therefore this

:16:47.:16:49.

should happen. He gets angry when they don't happen, and this is

:16:50.:16:54.

causing serious problems for the people who are actually writing the

:16:55.:16:58.

bill. I don't think he wrote the bill. Shocking revelation! He is

:16:59.:17:05.

just not that kind of guy. What is going to happen when that many

:17:06.:17:10.

millions of people have lost their health care in excess elections?

:17:11.:17:17.

This is what's really in trusting. We sort of climate change and now we

:17:18.:17:20.

see it with health care. Local government in the United States, the

:17:21.:17:24.

city 's mother state governments, governors had a meeting recently,

:17:25.:17:30.

this week in Boston, and governors are overwhelmingly opposed, because

:17:31.:17:35.

they are right there, they don't in the dirt with the health care bill

:17:36.:17:42.

and all of its repercussions. And so what is going to happen is there is

:17:43.:17:47.

huge opposition within the Republican party at that level, but

:17:48.:17:51.

even in the Senate. In the Senate you have moderates who are against

:17:52.:17:54.

it cos they don't want all these people to lose their health care,

:17:55.:17:57.

and then you have extremists who are against it because they just don't

:17:58.:18:00.

think there should be health insurance. It depends where you sit

:18:01.:18:06.

which group you regard as moderates in which you regard as extremists.

:18:07.:18:09.

They could say that ideological EB have a position. The point is you

:18:10.:18:12.

could have a coalition of different interests. And I think the

:18:13.:18:21.

hardliners are more likely to wind down the moderates, the moderates

:18:22.:18:25.

are fewer in number. But even if something were to come out of the

:18:26.:18:30.

Senate, they now extended the legislative terms of that that could

:18:31.:18:32.

possibly happen, even if that were to happen, that is far from the end

:18:33.:18:40.

of the story. The point you made earlier, Mustapha Karkouti, about

:18:41.:18:42.

leadership, that the establishment has crumbled in France, the problem

:18:43.:18:46.

Donald Trump has a few wants to lead is that the establishment in

:18:47.:18:48.

Washington still seems very much alive. Very much, certainly. That is

:18:49.:18:55.

his trouble there, he cannot make a lot of changes. He is against a huge

:18:56.:19:00.

wall. The establishment is still strong and sound. Both parties. The

:19:01.:19:15.

idea is the establishment finds it also strange and difficult to deal

:19:16.:19:18.

with the businessman who is still running the White House as a

:19:19.:19:26.

businessman. As we all know, the man has no political experience

:19:27.:19:31.

whatsoever. Parachuted into the White House to run the biggest, the

:19:32.:19:36.

most important, the most influential country in the world. And the

:19:37.:19:41.

largest economy. One could must feel sympathy for him! I think he is

:19:42.:19:48.

extremely powerful in the sense that so far the checks of the American

:19:49.:19:51.

Constitution on his power have not really worked. I think it is

:19:52.:19:55.

extremely worrying when we see the mixing of his private business

:19:56.:20:00.

interests, his family, the way they are all meddled in all areas of

:20:01.:20:03.

American Public policy, in particular diplomacy. This is

:20:04.:20:06.

extremely worrying and is not supposed to happen in a democracy,

:20:07.:20:10.

and yet the two houses of the American Congress are not saying a

:20:11.:20:13.

thing. There are no enquiries, there are no questions. There are

:20:14.:20:19.

enquiries, but there is a kind of normalcy. But he hasn't done

:20:20.:20:26.

anything. His first 100 days have been most vacant and vacuous in

:20:27.:20:30.

which nothing has happened. The checks and balances are working to

:20:31.:20:34.

some extent. He thinks he can just order what everyone's and the

:20:35.:20:40.

result... One thing we have enquiries about is the Russia

:20:41.:20:44.

connection, if there is one, and there are a lot of enquiries into

:20:45.:20:48.

that. We have it catching his family because his son had this meeting,

:20:49.:20:51.

and one of the people at the meeting was apparently a former Soviet spy.

:20:52.:20:56.

Some are involved in Soviet intelligence. And yet it doesn't

:20:57.:21:04.

seem to be hurting his popularity. More than popularity, it seems to be

:21:05.:21:09.

able to carry on. His sons who are running the business of making

:21:10.:21:12.

statements about American diplomacy. I don't think this is normal. His

:21:13.:21:16.

daughter, still in charge of a business, shows up at a G20 meeting

:21:17.:21:20.

I don't think this is normal. It should not be allowed. He is the

:21:21.:21:26.

most unpopular president for this period of time in memory. But the

:21:27.:21:31.

frustration that you are depressing is that it doesn't seem to matter.

:21:32.:21:36.

His so-called base seems to be about 40 present, sometimes it did so

:21:37.:21:40.

little lower, but the problem is until the Republican legislators

:21:41.:21:49.

believe that their own seats are threatened by Trump, they are too

:21:50.:21:53.

afraid to move. So until the mid-term elections, that would be

:21:54.:21:57.

the earliest chance? Or in the run-up to them. Because people begin

:21:58.:22:02.

running early. So they have to make assumptions, they have to make plans

:22:03.:22:08.

based on how they think things are going. And if they are going really

:22:09.:22:14.

badly... You have a third of senators, and you have... Every

:22:15.:22:21.

congressman. Mustapha Karkouti, I started the programme talking about

:22:22.:22:25.

Haider al-Abadi waving the Iraqi flag in Mills. In one sense you

:22:26.:22:28.

would think his task of leadership looks easy. He has just had a big

:22:29.:22:31.

victory, that would give him a boost. But is it as simple as that,

:22:32.:22:36.

straightforward? Is anything straightforward in Iraqi politics

:22:37.:22:45.

quiz night Haider al-Abadi no doubt... The issue is much more

:22:46.:22:49.

complicated than he is trying to portray. Certainly Daesh... The

:22:50.:23:02.

group that calls itself Islamic State. It has been defeated in Iraq

:23:03.:23:11.

no doubt, but this is necessary to do that. But is it sufficient? Isn't

:23:12.:23:17.

the only thing you need to do in Iraq? Not to mention Syria, of

:23:18.:23:24.

course. Iraq itself has got on that front a step forward. But the

:23:25.:23:31.

biggest problem now starts in Iraq which is how to rebuild,

:23:32.:23:37.

rehabilitate positively. Not socially, economically, but

:23:38.:23:41.

politically. You have a new militia which took part in the liberation of

:23:42.:23:45.

muscle. Now they have to have something to do. Exactly, and they

:23:46.:23:52.

are amending a part. This militia, known as a popular mobilisation

:23:53.:24:00.

force, it is inspired by the Iranians Revolutionary guard. And

:24:01.:24:05.

they are demanding political parts to play in deciding the future of

:24:06.:24:14.

Iraq. You think there is something quite important about the idea of

:24:15.:24:24.

the caliphate having fallen with Mosul? The romance of the droopy

:24:25.:24:29.

Berlin from all over the place, that there was a place and this was the

:24:30.:24:33.

perfect Islamic State that would eventually grow and take over the

:24:34.:24:37.

world. Do you think the force of that has gone in terms of

:24:38.:24:43.

recruitment? Yes, certainly. I think the idea of caliphate itself has

:24:44.:24:50.

been used up either deliberately or totally unnecessarily. It had no

:24:51.:24:58.

future right from day one. Don't forget, the vast majority of

:24:59.:25:03.

recruits and non-Arabs. They come from abroad. They are mostly

:25:04.:25:10.

European, which is strange. You have no future with such force within an

:25:11.:25:17.

Arab environment. But the further you are from a Borough Market it may

:25:18.:25:25.

seem. I agree. In a sense, for a time it was a more effective

:25:26.:25:29.

leadership for rallying banner or democratic leadership. It was, that

:25:30.:25:35.

is why the coalition that helped Iraq defeats Daesh, they have been

:25:36.:25:47.

very critical of the' -- criticised by an international, because for

:25:48.:25:49.

propaganda purposes it is important to show to anyone who may be

:25:50.:25:55.

attracted by the romance of the caliphate, that they can have a

:25:56.:25:59.

pretty dramatic, pretty horrific and at the hands of the Iraqi army.

:26:00.:26:07.

Hopefully in that sense the kind of propaganda works. But I think we

:26:08.:26:12.

haven't seen the end of Daesh in the region. No. There are still quite a

:26:13.:26:22.

lot of work to do even in Iraq will stop. Reasons to be full. But I

:26:23.:26:33.

think even Mosul we will find out that some pretty horrendous things

:26:34.:26:36.

happened there and it will make all of us feel very queasy. But yes,

:26:37.:26:41.

there is no doubt that on balance this feels like old. Thank you all

:26:42.:26:47.

very much for being with us. That's it for Dateline

:26:48.:26:48.

London for this week. We're back next week

:26:49.:26:50.

at the same time.

:26:51.:26:53.