10/02/2018 Dateline London


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10/02/2018

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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LineFromTo

Hello and a very warm

welcome to Dateline London.

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I'm Jane Hill,

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today we look at some very

tough talking in this

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week's Brexit moves -

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We wonder how long President Zuma

can survive in South Africa?

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and as the Winter Olympics kick off,

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what diplomatic benefits

could follow the

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sporting endeavours?

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My guests - The Times

columnist Iain Martin,

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and the American writer

Jef Mcallister, Agnes Poirer

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of France's Marianne magazine,

and Nesrine Malik, now a columnist

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for the Guardian newspaper.

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Welcome to you all.

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The EU is having some problems

understanding the UK's position.

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The Chief Negotiator Barnier didn't

pull his punches on Friday

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at the end of a week of technical

discussions in Brussels.

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He said a transition period once

Britain leaves the EU

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next year isn't a given,

and that the UK decision to quit

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the customs union and single

market means Irish border

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checks are unavoidable.

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The British cabinet minister

in charge of talks, David Davis,

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said he was "surprised" by such

comments after all the

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work that's gone on.

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Iain, what is happening?

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In the's attempted to leave the

European Union, and the Brits have

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always been really good at comedy

and forests. Viewers will be

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familiar with Monty Python. The

Cabinet is split. It doesn't yet

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have an agreed negotiating position

in terms of what it wants to ask the

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European Union for in March when the

next round of talks begin. Which is

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obviously troubling the European

Union. The European Union has its

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own problems as well, there are a

lot of moving parts in this. It's

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turning almost into a crisis. But it

is happening. It almost one year to

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go until Brexit. I suspect there

will be some deal at some point.

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Britain is not doing its reputation

for diplomatic skill any good at the

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moment, and it seems bizarre that

this close to Brexit the Cabinet and

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Prime Minister, who is of course

under a lot of pressure, and under

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pressure from some conservatives to

go, don't yet know that they what

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sort of relationship they want with

the European union have to words.

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And you think that is still the

genuine case inside the cabinet? Or

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they don't want to reveal their hand

to the public or anyone in Brussels.

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Despite the fact we have this

cabinet meeting where some of these

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things were thrashed out recently,

they just can't reach agreement?

We

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have to be careful of exaggerating

that, because the cabinet has moved

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a long way since the Brexit

referendum in 20 months ago, so the

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eye agreed that the UK is leaving

the European Union and single

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market, it has to leave the customs

union, because that is in the

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European treaty. There is an

argument about what nature of free

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trade agreement they should try and

seek with the EU and if the EU will

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allow UK to have such a deal. The

primary sticking point is customs

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arrangements and whether the UK

signs a replacement for existing

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customs union, something like Turkey

has, because Turkey is a member of

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the different customs union with the

EU, or whether the UK tries to do it

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all with a free trade agreement. You

would expect by now there are to be

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a clear position on that, but as I

said, they have moved a long way.

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The UK is leaving for probably a

much harder Brexit than might have

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been the case a year or a year and a

half ago, so it has having a more

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pure Brexit. On that final sticking

point, the customs union, that could

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be where there is a lot of

parliamentary fireworks over the

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course of the next six months. That

might be where MPs, because remember

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that Theresa May does not have a

majority at, or only a majority with

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the help of the minority party, that

might be where rebellion of MPs

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brings the whole thing clashing

down.

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Agnes, seems some in the EU

are considering changes

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to the Brexit schedule?

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It is nice to hear you who are in

favour of Brexit.

Yes, very much.

I

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wish you were doing the negotiation,

actually.

We could put him forward.

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You were talking about a comedic

forests, and I will try not to

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laugh, because I keep getting

e-mails from people saying," stop

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laughing whenever Brexit is

mentioned." Be pragmatic and

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likeable Brexiteers but I know... On

the other hand, you can understand

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were at the British Government is

doing and some Brexiteers like Jacob

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Rees Mogg do so badly for the image

of Britain because friends of

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Britain make me on the continent

don't understand what is going on,

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really. One day we are Burmese to,

another day we are laughing our

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heads off, and then we are in

despair. -- bemused. I think Jeremy

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Corbyn would do such a better job

than Theresa May in terms of

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negotiating Brexit, the cops he is a

Eurosceptic and a Brexiteer. He

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long-stay party that is

pro-European, but he would do such a

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better job. I admire Michel Barnier

in Brussels because they are keeping

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their cool. If we look back at

December, Brussels helped Theresa

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May saved face. They said OK, this

is fine, EU citizens will retain

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their rates during the transition

period, we all move on to start

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negotiating trade deals in March."

Which is again if we don't belong to

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the customs union, then you need a

hard border.

Brussels, ironically,

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Jean-Claude Juncker did intervene to

rescue Theresa May and the British

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position, but it is worth asking why

that happened? A lot of that was to

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do with pressure from German

industry. A lot of that was to do

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with pressure from Jean-Claude

Juncker, who is of course a former

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Prime Minister of Luxembourg, which

is essentially an offshoot of the

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City of London. There are other

things happening in European

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politics. Germany doesn't have a

Government.

And is... Michel Barnier

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and John called younger, I'd be

keeping their cool or idea

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deliberately so trying to remind

people that time is running out?

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Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude

Juncker, I they keeping their cool

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or are they deliberately trying to

remind people that time is running

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out?

The Japanese trade senior

executives who went to Downing

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Street this week, for them to put

their heads above the parapet the

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way Japanese businessmen work, to

interfere unhappy because they

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produce because that Britain makes

and half of those get exported to

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Europe and if this goes to a

non-European Union arrangement,

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those are a temper sent out at least

and some of these points move across

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the Channel three times before the

end up in the car and you can see

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how unbelievably difficult it is.

Gary Younge said the Brexiteers I

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like the dog that chased the car and

finally caught it. They don't really

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know what to do. They cannot drive

it. I feel that all this wrangling

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when you're facing an entity when 27

countries each can veto what ever

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they come up with. Even if German

manufacturing wants Elizabeth Morton

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leeway, now they can get that. I

just don't see this working out.

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It's a Michael shisha. One of the

main thing is that the European

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Union wants and needs to have

because its budget runs up to 2020

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and the UK as the second-largest

contributor pays £10 billion a year.

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10 billion...

It is a significant

amount. You try at skiing German

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electors at the moment to stump up

an extra £20 billion because the UK

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doesn't get Canadian. I think it

will happen, I am acknowledging that

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the Brits are making a mess of it.

The British system is like a school.

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When you know the headteacher has

lost control and has no authority,

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there is complete medal and chaos

amongst pupils. That is why

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advocated street after she lost her

majority that the UK needed a new

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Prime Minister, someone to set a

clear direction. I think there will

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be a deal, but it is a mess.

That is

enough Brexit for now. Plenty more

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to come in future weeks, thank you

very much.

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Much to many people's

surprise, Jacob Zuma

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is still President of South Africa.

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He has refused to resign,

and hand over to Cyril Ramaphosa,

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despite repeated requests

from senior ANC officials -

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the parliament took the highly

unusual step this week of postponing

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the annual State of the Union

address, worried about

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protests and disruption.

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Jacob Zuma has always denied

the numerous charges

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of corruption against him.

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Nesrine, you watch these

things closely, how much

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longer can he cling on?

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I am surprised he has been

challenged, because it looked like

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until recently, he wasn't going to

go away, because he had so much

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invested historical legitimacy of

the ANC. He has been at it for

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decades and there were not other

figures I could match his historical

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status. People feel that he

shouldn't just go, he should be held

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accountable for crimes and

corruption. There is another school

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that thinks we don't want to have

egg on the face of the ANC. This is

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a man who thinks that the entire

anti-apartheid regime was invested

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and should be allowed to go in

dignity. He was caught in between

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and does not want to be tainted by

him, but also does not want to look

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like he completely cutting links

with the history of the ANC. It is

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less about him and more about

history of post-apartheid black led

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politics in South Africa and how

people don't want it to be sullied

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as a failed experiment of corruption

and how other people want it to be,

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you know, a bat on should be passed

seamlessly and effort but play.

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Jacob Zuma knows all of this and he

is sitting tight hoping that he can

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negotiate the best deal, his salary

and pension and not give up any of

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the perks and benefits. What

ultimately happens to him depends on

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which one of these factions wins and

which Cyril Ramaphosa believes is

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best for his leadership going

forward.

There have been so many

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allegations of corruption for so

many years. Where are the voices

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saying, "This is tarnishing the

brand?"

They are there and they feel

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that for the ANC to be able to break

with this tarnished past there needs

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to be accountability, but, like I

said earlier, there is also another

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defensive group, which I kind of

understand, that thinks, "It's

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corruption, but it is our

corruption, and we need to make it

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go away quietly and not give other

people the chance to weaponised

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Jacob Zuma's corruption against the

ANC."

1's corruption set into

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institutions like this, he is not

the only one taking money and

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usually there are genes and it's

certainly very top. Assuming he

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doesn't get into power, there are

institutions fighting corruption and

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it is a complicated country. They

are all trying to make it clean, but

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I think it is Quinn to be very

difficult after the long history of

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corruption for the next person, not

just for historic reasons, but

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because argued with their hands out.

Think that is what Cyril Ramaphosa's

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problem is now, because he doesn't

want to make it look like he is

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sanctioning this system, which

doesn't begin and end with Jacob

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Zuma, but at the same time, he

doesn't want to rattle the

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infrastructure of corruption which

exists. He doesn't want to make it

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look like... It reminds me of the

transition in Angola when he left

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his position and handed off to other

people and Meacher that this network

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of patronage and corruption... It is

a system of patronage and made sure

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it existed so he could still

maintain his interests. This network

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exists in business, economy, it is

one of the reasons why South African

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economy is in such dire straits and

has been presented long time is

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because there is this cabal of

business interests.

Also be trade

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unions. The most troubling aspect of

this is the economic component. Just

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look at the numbers, unemployment

above 25%, looking at the living

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standards that have gone backwards.

If you get this tainted it happens,

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then we all have to hope it makes

some kind of difference. He is still

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going to be a former trade unionist

and businessman himself, he is still

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going to be a creature of those

interests. Trade unions are

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extremely powerful. The Communist

party of South Africa is a very

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powerful Communist of that coalition

holding it all together. South

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Africa needs radical economic

reform, market-driven reforms that

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encourage foreign investment, it

needs reform of its political system

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so that you have stability and the

rule of law and corruption is driven

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out. The may well get office, but

good luck to him in terms of

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changing that.

Does that benefit the

people, the politicians? -- the

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population.

What will it take when

you look at those economic numbers

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and corruption and the cronies and

those built into the economy. What

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will it take for voters to try

something different? One of the

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lessons of global politics in the

last few years is people when

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tested, strings things can happen

and new forces can emerge and I just

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wonder if South Africa is one of

those places where they might.

The

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problem with the ANC is it is sort

of like the Muslim Brotherhood in

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the Arab world, they have spent so

much time in opposition that once

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the establishment was overthrown

there is nothing else. There aren't

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many people that associate of the

ANC with anti-apartheid opposition.

0:17:100:17:14

It will take a long time for another

party to develop. It is a long

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history of apartheid and who was in

opposition at the time.

I don't see

0:17:200:17:24

Jacob Zuma ever going to jail

because of that because he is such a

0:17:240:17:33

Smith operator. The next election as

next year and the heartbeat is

0:17:330:17:38

really for Cyril Ramaphosa and he is

going to negotiate something. They

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are outsmarting each other, but in

the end...

Thank you.

0:17:430:17:54

stadium in PyeongChang,

as athletes from North

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There were huge cheers

from the crowd in the Olympic

0:17:570:17:59

stadium in PyeongChang,

as athletes from North

0:17:590:18:01

and South Korea arrived under one

flag during the opening ceremony

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of the Winter games.

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Now, as the sporting

competition is under way,

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the North's Kim Jong Un has invited

the South Korean President Moon

0:18:070:18:10

Jae-in for talks in Pyongyang -

it would be the first meeting

0:18:100:18:15

of Korean leaders in

more than ten years.

0:18:150:18:17

Jef, how should we read

this invitation?

0:18:170:18:23

Why not? It is pretty interesting.

For the Nord, it is a no-brainer.

0:18:230:18:29

They have their nuclear weapons, the

hydrogen bomb, the nuclear vessels

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that continue to fly, why not appear

to be magnanimous? Why not make it

0:18:340:18:39

harder for a Donald Trump to do the

bloody nose attack that Washington

0:18:390:18:42

keep stocking about? Why not divide

South Korea from Washington and

0:18:420:18:48

Japan? It is a skilful thing and

doesn't cost anything. Trump might

0:18:480:18:52

try to take credit in his way. I

have been rattling my Sabre and know

0:18:520:18:58

something is happening, let's see

what happens. That is the deal-maker

0:18:580:19:02

of Donald Trump, and in fact there

is no solution to the North Korea

0:19:020:19:07

problem, they have the weapons, they

are not giving them up. There are a

0:19:070:19:11

lot of voices in Washington that

understand this, but I think that

0:19:110:19:16

makes as much harder for him to try

anything radical. Even if Mike Pens

0:19:160:19:21

is saying it is an evil regime and

we have to fight, fight, fight.

Mike

0:19:210:19:27

pence looked particularly

uncomfortable during that opening

0:19:270:19:34

ceremony, didn't he?

I have to say,

I am always very sceptical when the

0:19:340:19:39

Olympics and the IOC get involved in

a political story. It's one of the

0:19:390:19:44

most political and questionable...

Is the IOC anything to do with this?

0:19:440:19:53

North Korea will not listen to

Donald Trump, but they will listen

0:19:530:19:57

to the IOC.

LAUGHTER

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If you look at the political

rhetoric at the opening, they even

0:20:000:20:05

had John Lennon's imagine at the

opening ceremony, I am weary of it

0:20:050:20:15

having a little impact. I think it

is ultimately about the sport and I

0:20:150:20:19

am not a great fan of winter sports,

but like what people, you do get

0:20:190:20:24

sucked into watching this

extraordinary display of people you

0:20:240:20:28

have never heard of watching these

amazing sports. It is somehow

0:20:280:20:32

captivating, but I do think there is

a legitimate claim that Donald Trump

0:20:320:20:36

can make about the fact that he has

kept the North Koreans guessing. It

0:20:360:20:41

does seem to have created some sort

of movement. It that it has

0:20:410:20:47

encouraged the north Koreans to do

do something, as you suggest, to do

0:20:470:20:51

something to their advantage. Its

movement that hasn't been made

0:20:510:20:57

before.

The Senate has been making

movement, bring this to our nation.

0:20:570:21:05

This man was elected partly on a

platform of trying to engage a

0:21:050:21:09

little more. -- the cap back says.

We think of them as very different,

0:21:090:21:19

but they are not as completely

alienate it from each other as

0:21:190:21:22

people think. There are families

split across the two countries. It's

0:21:220:21:30

not what you would expect. People

assume that the South Korean

0:21:300:21:34

population is threatened and annoyed

by this North Korean neighbour, but

0:21:340:21:40

it is sort of scene...

If they are

threatened and annoyed by the North

0:21:400:21:45

Korean regime, if you look at the

number of people at risk of a North

0:21:450:21:49

Korean attack, that is what really

drives people there, the idea of

0:21:490:21:54

having a lunatic dictator just north

of them with McLear weapons.

There

0:21:540:22:01

is fraternal gangsta between the

countries that people underestimate.

0:22:010:22:04

I think maybe Donald Trump can claim

that is something that he did. --

0:22:040:22:13

fraternal thanks thanks.

0:22:130:22:21

Maybe it is global people hating

Donald Trump and getting together. A

0:22:260:22:34

perverse motivation for all the

little people to get together. The

0:22:340:22:37

one thing everyone can agree on is

that they hate Donald Trump.

I am

0:22:370:22:42

not sure that is true for the

Japanese. One of the main is trying

0:22:420:22:46

to do is to help the Japanese, who

are understandably incredibly

0:22:460:22:52

concerned. He's worried about

Chinese expansion. He wants to

0:22:520:22:56

reassure the Japanese that he has

their back and the real dividing

0:22:560:23:05

line and the American fear is that

the South Koreans would be prepared

0:23:050:23:09

to do a deal with North Korea that

didn't have a nuclear question

0:23:090:23:15

addressed within it, because nuclear

weapons are in the North Korean...

I

0:23:150:23:19

don't think that we are talking

about Kim Yong, but for all the docs

0:23:190:23:27

that he is a madman added lunatic, I

think that was really clever. --

0:23:270:23:32

talking about Kim Yong

0:23:320:23:40

-- talking about Kim Yong Un.

0:23:400:23:43

the same week you have them parading

missiles in the country and then he

0:23:430:23:48

sends his sister to South Korea and

they are having kimchi together and

0:23:480:23:56

apparently it's a sign that

everything is going to be well. I

0:23:560:23:59

think we shouldn't underestimate

North Korea and every little helps.

0:23:590:24:07

Like you, I am not a great fan of

the IOC or winter sports. It is soft

0:24:070:24:13

power. The region and Japan, they

don't know what to do any more, all

0:24:130:24:25

those missiles flying over their

heads. Wait and see, but I think

0:24:250:24:31

it's a clever move.

Soft power can

be beneficial. It can be... A

0:24:310:24:37

sporting event doesn't have to be a

fig leaf, it can oils on wheels.

The

0:24:370:24:43

difficulty is, is an end to game

possible with the North Korean

0:24:430:24:47

regime the way it is? Will be be

willing to make any significant

0:24:470:24:54

concessions. They have gotten closer

before, you can see ways that it

0:24:540:25:02

might be possible and South Korea

would like to make some kind of the

0:25:020:25:09

deal, but the nuclear weapons are

probably off the table, because the

0:25:090:25:14

North Koreans are not going to give

them up. That is their protection

0:25:140:25:17

against Donald Trump and anybody

else who wants to do something about

0:25:170:25:20

it.

That means an international deal

is not feasible.

In the long run, it

0:25:200:25:27

is like Iran. In 20 years, the hope

is that the regime collapses of its

0:25:270:25:38

own weight.

The North Korean regime

is a regime like nothing else. I am

0:25:380:25:45

old fashioned, I am on the side of

the democracies.

We all are.

Right

0:25:450:25:52

now, we have to draw it to a close,

because we are all keen to watch the

0:25:520:25:56

Bobsleigh and the ice-skating. I

have two let you leave to consider

0:25:560:26:02

your enthusiastic viewing of the

winter Olympics. That is offer this

0:26:020:26:07

week. We do hope you can join as

next week at the same time. Thank

0:26:070:26:11

you for being with us.

0:26:110:26:22