15/07/2017 Dateline London

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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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They're leaders, but are they leading?


Donald Trump was treated like - well, royalty -


in Paris as the French celebrated their revolution


In London, Theresa May was trumpeting a different sort


of revolution, publishing the legislation that will take


Yet Mrs May is a much diminished figure after losing her


parliamentary majority, and President Trump is distracted


by the investigation into links between his campaign -


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


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


the flag of Iraq aloft on the streets of Mosul,


celebrating the rout of Islamic State.


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


American journalist Stryker McGuire, who's London editor


for Bloomberg Markets, Polly Toynbee, columnist with The Guardian


newspaper, The Portuguese writer Eunice Goes and Mustapha Karkouti,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the negotiations, with a lack of preparation from the British


government and the officials are preparing the Brexit negotiations.


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


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


are learning about ramifications of big things that should have been


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


economic situation where half the population have had no increase in


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


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


expressed in the General Election that came afterwards. Some will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Theresa May stays there, precariously balanced between the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


France and Germany. Tony Blair suggested in his comments this


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Macron was elected at this particular juncture and has lost no


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the presidency Hollande in particular France was extremely weak


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


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


delivering on domestic reform? Because in a sense Nicolas Sarkozy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


reaction and they have been elected because of this surge of


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


leaders reluctant to leave because they are terrified of getting a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of national sovereignty, this concept of sovereignty that is being


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


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


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


questions of technological advancement... They are so dependent


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


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


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


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


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


some senses have lost the notion that actually democracy is a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


things that matter desperately to people's jobs in particular


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


After his European tour, Donald Trump is back


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


new healthcare bill with which he hopes to replace


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


signature reform of his predecessor Barack Obama.


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


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


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


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


removed from the levers and the gears and the mechanisms of


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


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


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


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


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


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


causing serious problems for the people who are actually writing the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


huge opposition within the Republican party at that level, but


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


extremely worrying when we see the mixing of his private business


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


American Public policy, in particular diplomacy. This is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


little lower, but the problem is until the Republican legislators


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


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


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


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


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


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


congressman. Mustapha Karkouti, I started the programme talking about


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


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


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


straightforward? Is anything straightforward in Iraqi politics


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rehabilitate positively. Not socially, economically, but


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


perfect Islamic State that would eventually grow and take over the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


London for this week. We're back next week


at the same time.