09/06/2011 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. The coalition is criticised by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Has he overstepped the mark?

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This programme contains strong language.


What a difference day makes. Tonight, following a Newsnight


investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service has launched an


independent inquiry into the Mark Kennedy undercover cop case.


This time last night I revealed evidence that showed the CPS had


failed to disclose information they held about the undercover policeman


at a criminal trial. This vital information could have prevented


the convictions of 20 environmental campaigners. So was it incompetence


other a deliberate attempt to conceal. We have a reaction from


the head of the CPS, Kier Starmer. I have decided to set up an


independent inquiry, headed up by a senior legal figure, to work in


tandem with the IPCC investigation. The Archbishop of Canterbury


preaches on politics, a stinging attack on raft of Government


policies that he says nobody voted for any way. Tonight, the


Government returns fire. All I'm saying to the Archbishop


today is you are more than welcome to tell me in secret and public


that I need to modify certain things, please don't come and tell


me that what I am doing some how is setting out to punish people.


the Arab Spring melts into summer, we have been to meet student who is


feel their voices alone are not enough.


I have come to the Gaza strip, one of the most enclosed societies on


earth. To find out what freedom the Arab Spring can bring to


Palestinians here. Good evening, the strange case of the


environmentalist, the undercover police officer, and the attack on a


power station that never actually took place has already given rise


to seven distinct inquiries, today the number rose to eight, when the


Director of Public Prosecutions called for a senior judge to


investigate evidence, first revealed on this programme last


night, that the Crown Prosecution Service had misled the courts and


broken its own rules. Richard Watson who has pursued this


story from the start is with us? is one of the rare journalistic


moments where you can see cause and effect. The story concerns 26


environmental campaigner who is were due to take environmental


action at Radcliffe on soar power station in the East Midlands -


Radcliffe on sore power station in the East Midlands. The role of Mark


Kennedy was not known to the group, he had infill traited them and was


gathering evidence at that time - infiltrated the group and was


gathering evidence against them. After some insidious work by


environmental campaigner, that fatally then undermined the


prosecution case. The trial of the second tranche of these people, six,


collapsed in January this year, immediately the CPS said that they


had only just discovered this extra new information concerning the


undercover activities of Mark Stone. Last night we revealed that is not


the case, there were senior lawyers in the CPS discussing the


sensitivites of this case back as far back as 2009. Last night on the


programme we had the former Director of Public Prosecutions


saying this is extremely serious, it is his pressure that we have


seen in the CPS today. The inquiry conducted by an independent figure


is much more likely to gain public confidence and get to the truth.


And when you are looking at such a serious situation where a number of


people might have been acquitted due to the absence of the material,


you need a public inquiry. How has the CPS responded?


first response was interesting, their first response was to launch


an internal review inside the CPS, which they said was completed on


the 21st March. It seems that internal review didn't uncover some


crucial information about the knowledge of some CPS lawyers about


the activities of Mark Stone. My colleague, Peter Marshall today,


spoke to Kier Starmer, the director of the public prosecution, this is


what he had to say. What I have decided today is to set up an


independent inquiry, headed by a senior legal figure, to work in


tandem with the IPCC investigation. The idea is that together they can


look at the conduct of the police and the CPS together, accessing all


the same material and share their findings. Who has primacy at the


end, when they come to the conclusion? There is no primacy,


that is why this particular arrangement has been set up. I was


very keen that there should be a consistent approach, and the


conduct of both sides, the police and the CPS, should be looked at by


reference to the same material. is a disturbing situation, what


seemed to happen in your department on your watch? I'm not going to


predetermine the conclusions. I would not have set up this


arrangement if I wasn't taking the issues very seriously. This has


been a huge long-running case, do you think the independent inquiry


will find the answers for some of the critics? To give the CPS some


credit, clearly they have moved their position from having an


internal review into an individual inquiry with a senior judicial


figure. That must be welcomed by most people. However, I think the


defence lawyers and the campaigners themselves, will be unhappy with


this. There have been a shrew of inquiries, really. And what defence


lawyers like Mike Schwarz, who is representing these campaigners says,


is that there should be one overarching inquiry. One gets the


impression that the authorities are making it up as they go along. This


is on my last count the seventh or eighth inquiry set up. What is


needed is a single organisation with power teeth in respect of the


public, looking independently and authoritatively at all of the


issues. The issues including things like the operation and


accountability of undercover police officers. Disclosure by the police


and the CPS, looking at all of these issues. We have such a bod he


yoo, the Court of Appeal looking at the safety of the - body, the Court


of Appeal looking at the safety of the convictions, the 26 activists


convicted last year. I'm joined by my guest, one of the defendants in


the case, Oliver Knowles, whose case collapsed when the undercover


cop's evidence came to light. Oliver Knowles, you must be pretty


pleased with what's happening to? I'm not, - today. I'm not, another


day another inquiry, this is number eight. The problem is each of the


inquires is looking at an isolated component of the bigger picture. We


don't have a single inquiry that is looking at the breath of the story,


the undercover police investigation, the role of PC Kennedy, now the


role of the CPS. I think we need that. Up until yesterday we had


police investigating police, we had the Crown Prosecution Service


investigating the Crown Prosecution Service, we need an overarching


inquiry that gives us all those answers. This is an independent


inquiry announced by Kier Starmer a very distinguished judge will take


it on. Are you not prejudging it to say it is not enough? There are so


many serious issues down on the table, the allegations in the last


couple of days that the Crown Prosecution Service have been


suppressing evidence is part of that. But there are many other


serious issues. We have police officers who are routinely using


sex to solicit information from activists, we have police officers


alleged to have acted as agent provokeures. We have police


officers - provocatures, we have police officers working for private


investigation companies and selling that to corporations. There are a


huge range of issues. We don't have somebody stepping back and looking


at the information. You were minister of policing 2006-2008, how


do you responded to to the inquiry? I understand the problem about


inquiryitis, and so many reviews. What has happened in this case is


serious enough that it is right that the CPS have given it to an


independent legal figure, I think he said, we shall see, and deals


with the complexties and what went wrong with the specific case. I


equally agree there should be a wider look at, I'm not sure of the


vehicle that looks at lessons from the specifics in this case, larger


lessons around undercover policing generally and how that is


controlled. Even Hugh Ord said in February that ACPO should no longer


do it, or senior officers shouldn't do it on a retrospective basis, the


judges should sanction the operations in the first place.


was wrong with the operation, there were plenty of operations under


your watch. This particular unit its funding doubled under your


leading? Much of that would have been in areas not linked to the


sort of protests that Oliver was involved in. There needs to be a


real debate, I think, almost about the politics of policing and the


politics of protest, that says when is it appropriate to have


undercover police work, there are cases when it would be entirely


appropriate. We heard there were vast amounts of money being wasted


in those operations? Maybe longer term, all that needs to look at, or


needs looking at I don't really know the ins and outs of the


details. We need to sort out this case. We need to have proper


protocols and transparn sis in place about undercovering policing,


and a wider approach to politics and policing.


This seems to get out of hand including the period when you were


a minister. I accept that. What I'm saying is these are operational


matters and matters for the CPS, none of these matters should be


matters that ministers should be involved in at all. That way lies


madness, which is why the crime and policing commission is a bad idea,


bonkers. Getting to the Centre of confidence, and conspiracy is an


issue, these are real concerns about democracy, they need


addressing. It is all around case that didn't result in anyone going


to prison, it was around an attack on a power station that didn't


actually happen. Oliver, an enormous amount of public money


will be spent on this case, do you think we have got it out of hand


and are reading too much into it? That is the core question here.


Quet is, to what extent was this operation - quite, to what extent


was this operation proportional, on whose remit? The action if it had


gone ahead would have certainly stopped carbon emissions, it would


have cost large corporation some money, but it was, at so no point,


a threat to the public. Millions of millions of pounds, and thousands


of hours of policeman power was spent looking into this operation.


To what end? That is why I talk p the politics of protest. He were


going to, at some stage, break the law. It is not for me or you to


determine what laws should be broken or otherwise, but there are


fundamental elements to the policing of it and the


proportionality of it. If people start to worry that this is common


practice, the CPS now working ever more closely with the police, that


has been part of the policy to work more closely s that the ultimate


danger of this, that people will not trust what the CPS is doing,


what the police is doing what they are doing together? It chips away


at the integrity and objectivity of the CPS and the police and,


ultimately, the right to protest, which is why I agree there should


be a wider debate, even around whether Kennedy, how much he was


provoking and having a provocateur role. You think that Kier Starmer's


position is rather safe, you think, it is rather late to come to this


and there are serious allegations to this? I won't prejudge the


review, let's have the independent review and see what it does and see


what it does to the CPS internal processes. This is why we need the


bigger overarching inquiry. It starts the Court of Appeal, it has


to. We have 20 activists who have conviction that is may not be safe.


I'm sure a lot more public money will be spent.


Tell us how you really feel, Archbishop. Today the head of the


Church of England said the Government of this country was


scaring people with radical long- term policies which nobody voted


for, raising questions about the nature of our democracy.


That's not the first time that a sitting Government has taken brick


bats from the Clergy, on this occasion the Government in question


has come out fighting. It has been a bit of a hellish week


for the Government. Backtracking on NHS reforms and on prison sentences,


the last thing they expected...was damation from the church (thunder


claps) As guest editor of the New Statesman, the Archbishop of


Canterbury points to bafflement and indignation over health care


reforms, he says we are being committed to radical, long-term


policies, for which no-one voted. The Prime Minister's response was,


well, dam you too. The darpblg Bishop of Canterbury


should be entirely - the Archbishop of Canterbury should be entirely


free to express his views. I can say I entirely disagree with the


issues he has expressed, particularly on debt, welfare and


education. This found a February of the Conservative Christian


fellowship saying that the Archbishop needs to make sure


Anglicanism needs to remain there. It is important that the leader of


a flock that is in decline not to create more disunity. He should


only speak on a subject if he's really certain of his argument. I'm


afraid this is a little bit typical of the Archbishop of Canterbury, it


is quite academic, hard to understand some of the points he's


making, yet he has generate add lot of controversy, I think with very


little gain. Let's example some of the


Archbishop's proclaimations in greater detail. Politicians don't


really treat their manifestos as tablets of stone, often in


Government policies that were proposed at the election time can


be ditched, others produced. But is there really any basis for him to


say that no-one voted for the current health and education


reforms. It is true that the specific


reforms for the NHS were in neither manifesto, although the


Conservatives did mention a reform plan that would give every patient


the power to choose any health care provider that meets NHS standards


and the Liberal Democrats said Primary Care Trusts would be


replaced. As for education, the Liberal Democrats proposed a pupil


premium and the Conservatives put forward a plan for the schools


revolution. Neither manifesto said that tuition fees would go up.


With neither party able to command a majority on their own, the bigger


question is do they have a man died? It is interesting when we


look at the vote share last year and back in 2005, actually the


Conservatives received a greater proportion of the national vote in


2010, than the Labour Government in 2005, the coalition Government have


had to make compromises, and actually they have had to give in


both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, and now actually


the public need to hold the Government accountable to the


coalition agreement, rather than what they said in the manifestos.


When you are looking at mandate before the general election,


particularly in our country, we haven't had a coalition since the


1920s, then you look at one party, you don't look at what the


combination might be. So we're in a new game and situation. It is not


very far between the Archbishop's residence here at Lambeth Palace


and the politicians at Westminster. You could say it is little more


than shouting distance away. But sometimes it seems as though there


is a much bigger gulf between church and state. In this week's


New Statesman, one of the guest contributors is none another than


the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, but apparently


he didn't know just how critical the guest editor was going to be.


Downing Street apparently weren't told about the Archbishop's


comments until yesterday. But compared to previous spats between


the Government and the Church of England, there is far less fire and


brimstone in this particular encounter. In 1985, during Mrs


Thatcher's second term, the then Archbishop of antbury, Robert


Runcie, published Faith in the City. Setting out 23 recommended details


to Government, more a mini- manifesto than a work of scripture,


it called for higher child benefit payments, more council housing and


assisting families in poverty without stigma. The current


Archbishop of Canterbury chides Labour for not giving a full


account of what they would do differently. His criticism of the


Big Brother society is based as much on presentation as policy,


calling the phrase itself "painfully tale". I support The Big


Idea society as an intellectual project, it is important for the


Prime Minister to realise people don't get it still, despite a


number of relaunches and a number of prime ministerial speeches. I


would like the Government to actually talk much more about the


things very concrete things that it is going to help people out of


poverty. But on welfare reform, the Archbishop is more outspoken,


I note Iain Duncan Smith is saying today he's not talking about the


deffering or undeserving poor. A lot of commentary coming from the


Conservative Party, particularly from the backbenches, and a variety


of media sources close to the current Government, are actually


saying exactly those things, and that does start to create


divergence and conflict within society, which is not constructive.


Westminster's garage goils are supposed to ward off evil spirits,


but the Government mighting comprising ways of keeping a man of


the cloth in the distance while taking painful decisions.


I caught up with the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan


Smith, and asked him how he reacted to the Archbishop's remarks. Are


you worried the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks this Government


lacks legitimacy? I would be worried he made the statement, I


think he's wrong. He's allowed to stay what he wants. He's wrong


about that. The point about democracy is you accept what the


public decide at the ballot box, they decided they didn't want any


one of the three parties that were the main parties, they chose the


Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition.


That's what we have done. We are proceeding on the bays of our


manifestos merged - basis of our manifestos merged together with


some things brought in. He doesn't think it is reasonable. He says the


widespread suspicion that this has been done fortuneistic and money-


saving reasons allows many to dismiss what there is of a


manifesto. The Government needs to hear how much plain fear there is


around such questions at present. It is not helped by the quiet


resurgeonence of the seductive language and deserving and


undeserving poor. Does it bother you that the Archbishop of


Canterbury says this about your Government? It doesn't, I don't


agree with him in his final conclusions. I would ask him what


he really thinks democracy is all about, with whether or not at the


ballot box at the time of the election was set in concrete,


nothing changes when events change. When you see the circumstances of a


problem are when they unfold in Government you do nothing because


you didn't spell it out at the time of an election. Democracy and life


is not, that it may be like that in church, but it is not like that in


Government. Do you think there is such a thing that there is a


deserving or undeserving poor? have never used that language, I


don't believe in, that I believe a system we have created, that has


become so complex and counter- productive, that rewards bad


behaviour, and penalises people who try, those want to go get back to


work. What is bad behaviour, I'm interested, if you are looking it


cuts you are introducing, the benefit cap, it looks like bad


behaviour is having a lot of kids, they are being penalised for having


a lot of kids? The system now, if you want to go back to work, even


as a lone parent if you go back, the only point of work you could


enter in part-time work is 16 hours, the last Government said that was


the only bit they would support you on. If you did hours more or less


you will lose at rates of 97p in the pound for every pound you earn.


What a disincentive to work your way out of problems. By the way you


might need ten hours not 16 hours because you have caring


responsibility. The system we have set is so complex because it takes


money away from people that need to have more money, secondly, they


don't understand the system. The point I am a making here is that


system penalises the people when they try to do the right thing.


That is a negative point. On the point of the cap, which you asked


about, which I will come back to, it is simply establish ago very


simple point. Tax-payers need a bit - establishing a simple point. Tax-


payers need fairness too. People in my constituency work for fairly low


incomes, they get up early and commute long distance, they work


hard, they don't want to see people on benefits in places and in houses


they could never afford if they were back in work. They say there


is a fairness to say average earnings is a reasonable point to


say nobody should be earning on benefits more than average earnings,


more than I am earning working hard on low earnings. It seems as if you


are punishing people who are unemployed, and those who have


children, many Christians might be worried that your punishing


children in the families? I don't believe we are, all the


arrangements we have made for the housing benefit changes, we will


help people where they have to move and change. That is a process that


we will go through. The key point I want to make about the cap, which


is simply to say, look, this point about fairness cuts both ways, both


those on benefits wrecksed into to support - need to support and help


them, we are doing that with the reforms to the benefits system and


the back to work programme. The key thing is, however, we recognise


tax-payers, paying this money, often on average are on low


earnings themselves, want to recognise that people on benefits


aren't in a position to be able to live a life on a higher level of


income than they get. It is interesting you say that, in the


past you are a committed Christian, you have spoken about this issue,


with the sense of someone who actually saw it also as a moral


obligation to try to bring people out of dependency, is that right,


that you actually feel it is partly a moral duty to bring people out of


poverty and dependency on benefits? It is a personal commitment of mine


to make sure that the system I reform is a system that benefits


the poorest in society. The Universal Credit that we are


bringing forward, 85% of the gains will go to the bottom 40% in


society, it will lift nearly a million people out of poverty as a


result of the benefit changes. policies do you point to in the


Government that show that this is a Government that a Christian can


support, what kind of policies would you point to? I have never


gone after a Christian vote in my life, I don't intend to start now,


I go after people's rational. hear the Archbishop of Canterbury,


and ask is this a Government at odds with the main religion of this


country, how would you reassure them? It isn't about, that he's


wrong, because whether you are a Christian or not a Christian.


should ask yourself a simple question, is it fair that somebody


who wants to try to do the right thing, says to me, which they do


all the time, it is not worth my while entering the world of work


because I get penalised if I do, is it right to have families, three


and four generations right now who have never held a job in their


lives. And children are growing up for the first time, in my


recognition, never believing they will outdo their parents in their


future careers, this is an absurdity. This is the moral point.


If people want to talk about morality, I asked the question to


the Archbishop, why has he not said that this system is fundamentally


broken, it is in his standpoint immoral to trap people in this


position. He should be out speaking about this, alongside us, yes, to


say, watch what you are doing here, be careful of what you are doing


here, I fully accept, we are open to, that that is what I and the


Liberal Democrats debate every day, are we being too hard here, nobody


is trying to punish anybody. What we are trying to do is create


finally system that rewards those that make the effort and assists


those when they did, that is not here today.


He just don't get t the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't get morality?


I don't know whether he gets morality or not, he's the bishop


and more or less there. You are making a moral point about the


society? The big point here, if you believe in it you can say it is a


moral practice, if not it is practical purpose, the two come


together, the practical and moral purpose is this we can't go on


having five million people and growing in number, trapped on


welfare dependency, putting Ngoga back into the community, sitting on


begin - putting nothing back into the community. Five million people


sat for ten years under the Government without any work,


written off, forgotten about, never seen by anybody, this is not right.


When I came in I had a purpose to change this, all I'm saying to the


Archbishop today is you are more than welcome to tell me in secret


or in public that I need to modify things, please don't come and tell


me that what I'm doing is setting out to punish people. It is not to


punish people, but to help them do the right thing for them and their


families. If you want to help that group that is a purpose about their


salvation in a general sense, getting them through to work to


have kids with aspiration, the answer is to work to change the


system so they have a shot again, like they might have done 30 years


ago, at a life that I would expect my children to live, they have a


shot at that. Thank you very much. We are going to go back to the


issues of religion and politics in a minute. First something


completely different. After four years of turbulent rule in the Gaza


strip, the Islamic militant group Hamas said this week it was


considering not participating in future Government. The hope is in


doing so it might help end Gaza's state of miserable isolation from


the rest of the region and the world. The winds of Chiang Mai be


sweeping the Middle East, but in Gaza, as usual, the direction of


change is harder to read. We have been there to find out what the


Arab Spring has meant for its increasingly restless population.


The last few scruby miles of Egypt, the last memorial to a revolt


resonating throughout the Arab world. Five hours out of Cairo, I


have reached the once closed border with Gaza. Now open, Egypt says, in


the spirit of democracy. Revolutions lapping at the gates of


Gaza, a closed society, in several senses. I'm going through to see


what changes the Arab Spring is bringing on the other side.


Beyond a road through hopelessness. The sea a wall on one side, Israel


a wall on the other. Egyptian youth couldn't move politically,


Palestinian youth can't move at all. For all their engine power.


TRANSLATION: I wish I could drive somewhere on my bike or in my car,


like normal people in any other country. But we are besieged here.


Surreal though it seems, you can learn to dance in Gaza. But now, by


order of its Islamist rulers, Hamas, only in single-sex groups. Though,


traditionally, boys and girls perform these steps together.


feel sad, of course, depressed that I can't have my freedom in my own


country. The Government sputing pressure on us and not allowing us


to do what we love to do. Now, she has joined a group of


students whose frustration finally boiled over a few months ago. In a


Facebook manifesto, they cursed all the forces imprisoning them.


said lock Hamas, lock Israel, lock all of it. The faction is


controlling us, is trying to put every single person to be the same


thing, they are trying to look at a girl like me without putting on the


hijab, that is not acceptable. Under the cover saying we come from


an Islamic perspective and everything, we are very


conservative society, they have really kind of changed everything,


and like 180 degrees changed everything. You used to look around


you and see if somebody is watching you and listening you to see if


something is happening. We like to stay silent, not to talk not to


even think. The biggest problem which was made by the division in


the last four years, is the culture of hating. The brother, if he is


from Fatah and his brother from ham marks he should hate him. That is a


big social problem. I didn't know, if I am young I'm not accepted, no


matter what it is that I have to offer, it is not accepted. This is


exactly what we revolt against. The same demand for self-


determination by an ever-younger population, fuelled all the Arab


uprisings. But in Gaza, it is different. They have got Israel to


contend with as well as their own rulers. Any revolt here cannot be


the same as in other Arab countries, for the simple reason, that this


isn't an independent state. Palestinians who want change,


particularly in Gaza, feel they are stuck within a series of prisons,


one closed box after another. So even if they overcame the social


and political restrictions imposed by their own leaders, they would


still be trapped by the wider conflict in the region. That's


something that Arab people power alone can't easily solve.


At lost Palestinians could stop fighting one another. Confinement


has bred bitter factionalism. The Islamists of Hamas, with their


green banner, more interested, according to some, in crushing


their fine rivals and if, Fatah, than achieving Palestinian


liberation. We are sick of political games. The ridiculous


game between Fatah and Hamas, that game has ruined every single


Palestinian life. Every one of us here lost something. Three months


ago, Roba wrote Palestine" on her face, and helped bring thousands on


to the streets to call for unity among the factions. Independent


protests in Gaza are very rare, they were beaten by police. Two


months later, the yellow flag of Fatah, banned for the two years,


appeared over Gaza. The result of political weakness on both sides


they came together, the as a result of public pressure. According to


this Hamas official, it could lead to a soothing of the attitude to


Israel. Hamas are the resistance. My personal opinion is we have to


work together. We should not now say this is the option of Hamas,


this is the option of Fatah. We have to make a new strategy, mixing


the political action with the resistance.


If that idea flies, there could be hope for economic recovery in Gaza.


Many promises of foreign aid, to turn this clip top into a pleasant


promenade, have been delayed by Hamas's refusal to deal with Israel.


The position of the international community is inbetween two things,


one to help the Palestinian, and doesn't allow 0 to work with Hamas


the Government in Gaza. The Palestinian, Hamas and BA are


getting united again, and I do believe that the committee, America


and Israel, will not have any reason not to co-operate with them.


Already Palestinian sand is being mixed with Israeli gravel and


cement to rebuild the strip. An inspector checks the concrete goes


to only internationally run projects, Israel insists Hamas must


not benefit. What the owner wants now is economic common sense will


trump politics on both sides. You would be happy to recognise Israel


as a state? TRANSLATION: No-one on earth denies the existence of the


Israelis and the Palestinians. you think that the Hamas policy is


going nowhere? REPORTER: When big politicians sit together, and they


have the will to end problems, they will end it in ten minutes.


To reflect as broader desire on the streets, now change is in the air


for less ideology, and more pragmatisim.


But this big man, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, seems as hardline


as ever. Really we are not a negotiating regime. We have an


alternative, we believe that in self-defence, in defending ourself,


against the occupation, we can succeed to eliminate the occupation.


Meanwhile, with interfactional hatred here, burnt into masonry and


memory, nobody knows what will happen. Hamas bullets killed this


man's brother, Abu Maher. TRANSLATION: In the coming days we


will see if Hamas are serious or not, we will have to judge by


whatever real action we see on the ground.


On the ground, they are dancing. Within range of Israeli guns. This


time, boys only. It is one event in day of protests all around Israel's


borders, to mark the anniversary of Arab defeat, in the Six-Day War of


1967. For Gaza's young activists, marches like this are part of the


Palestinian Spring. But the unity deal has actually reduced the


impact of this one, the main factions agreed beforehand, to


limit numbers to avoid risks casualties. The small size of the


demonstration, shows, perhaps, that Palestinian unity is working, but


it is also a sign of how little ordinary people can achieve here.


Some of the angry youths, who have been questioned, or arrested, by


Hamas officials over their actism, are now pessimistic about the


chances of real change here. really disappointed because


Palestinians do want to come out. But they are afraid of the


political factions. They are afraid of the Israelis, because everyone


is working against us. As Arab Spring lengthens into Arab summer,


the beach remains the only window in what so many Gazaians feel is


their prison. Ripples from elsewhere in the Middle East have


reached here, but the young still aren't in charge of their own


desknee, and peace is no closer, without it, despite the idealism, a


new generation may grow up with closed mind, the Mediterranean the


broadest horizon they can ever grasp.


As we were discussing earlier, the Archbishop of Canterbury has


strayed once more into politic. In response we have heard not just


outrage from ministers, but some traffic in the other direction w


saugs that the Government has right on its - with the suggestion that


the Government has right on its side. It turns to the vexed issue


between religion and politics, which glib Newsnight presenters


have just summarised thus, God, how would he vote?


God can be hard to spot in the political landscape of modern


Britain, Tony Blair was famously coy about his beliefs while still


in Number Ten, David Cameron admits that his faith grows hotter and


colder by moments and is not the rock it should be. Ed Miliband is


even less effusive when it comes to the divine. So you don't believe in


God? I don't believe in God, no, I have great respect for those people


who do. However little politicians may wish


to talk about him, his representatives on earth, do like


to talk about politic. This week the Archbishop of Canterbury's


targets were mainly coalition cuts in the big society, but in the past


he has sounded off about the war in Iraq, the killing of Osama Bin


Laden, bankers and Sharia Law. Inside parliament, those MPs who do


profess to have some kind of faith, can be found on both sides of the


chamber, apparently using their creed to guide them in debate about


stem cell research, abortion and foreign intervention. How can one


faith produce so many different political convictions, and whose


side f any, is God really on? Well joining me in the studio are


two MPs with religious conviction, from Labour, Ben Bradshaw, and from


the Conservative Party party, Nadine Dorries. What is interesting


to people, partly from this debate, and there is a broader issue, is


how you can believe in the same faith but actually think it takes


you in a completely different political direction, Ben Bradshaw,


you're a practising Anglican, how does your religion take you to your


political philosophy? It would be ludicrous to suggest all Christians


have to be Conservatives or Labour or Liberal Democrats there are


different parties within the church, there are people within the church


who put more emphasis on what Nadine does, sexual immorality and


abortion, others put it on social teaching and economic justice,


Rowan belongs to that category of Christian, it is a strong tradition


in the Labour movement. You say you chose Labour largely or partly


because it reflected your religious convictions? Partly, it isth has


often been said the Labour Party owes as much, if not more to


methodism it is a did to Marx, that is true, it has a long conviction


of coming up through the radical Anglicans in the inner city areas,


and we had the radical Anglican reports. It would be ludicrous of


me to suggest that the Labour Party has a monoply on faith, and it


doesn't, Nadine will explain why. should ask the same question to you,


how much does your faith affect where you have ended up in the


political spectrum and what you do politically? None of the issues


that I champion particularly, although they would be deemed to be


faith issues, if I were to approach any of them from a faith


perspective I would lose before I have begun, I will give an example,


I moved to have the upper limit at which abortion takes place from 20


weeks to 24 week - 24 weeks to 20, that was from the science and


morality, it seems wrong to abort babies who could live if born at


that particular gestation, although faith provide as moral framework,


in which I think all political parts and individual MPs operate.


It doesn't actually direct your policy. But it can direct people to


fundamentally different judgments. You say you see shades of grey when


it comes to abortion, you are not completely anti-abortion, but on a


lot of social issues you can have Conservative Christian who is just


absolutely the opposite conclusion about gay marriage, or any of the


social issues, that is a religious, that comes from religion? I can't


speak for other MPs, I'm sure there are MPs across the Commons, who use


their faith to make their decisions. It is very interesting, because we


had Catholic MPs in the House of Commons who didn't vote for the


abortion amendments, and yet a fundamental tenant of the Catholic


religion is life begins at conception. It is very grey and it


is difficult to understand how individual MPs, who you would think


were of a certain faith, would vote on certain issues in certain ways,


but that is the way parliament is. What is striking about the debate


today, and what the Archbishop has high loyaltyed in my interview with


Iain Duncan Smith, is - highlighted in my interview with Iain Duncan


Smith, is there is a fundamental way to respond to poverty. Ben


Bradshaw would say, the lesson of the good Samaritan is somebody gave


up their own money to help someone, they didn't ask the Government or


the authorities to help the person who had been mugged, isn't it in


some sense that's more the kind of thing we were hearing from Iain


Duncan Smith is a more religious, is more of a Christian message?


That is the point that Mrs That mucher famously made, when she was


defending her policies - Thatcher made when she was defending her


policies in the 80s. That is a way of getting people out of poverty,


some people saying that Rowan shouldn't speak about these issues


or stand up for the poor and vulnerable. If the Archbishop can't


do that, how what is he supposed to do, it is basic tenet of


Christianity. He feels passionate about it. The question was he was


impuning the morality of people like Iain Duncan Smith? He was


making the great point of view that there is bewilderment in the health


policy, the policy seems to have come from nowhere, it was ruled out


in the coalition agreement and causing disruption. All the


independent bodies say it is the weakest and vulnerable hardest hit


by the Government's policies. Tupbsable for the Archbishop to


speak bout that. You said if you did talk about


religion you would have lost the argument immediately? Absolutely,


what I would like Rowan Williams to do, I would like, when he does


speak, to speak about the issues that the people who attend his


churchs are interested. On the issue of abortion, of teenage


sexual health of teaching of abstinence in schools, on many of


the social issues he is deafening in silence and locks himself in the


ivory palaces, he never speaks on the issues that Christians are


interested in. I'm not sure they are the issues, most church-going


Christians are not concerned with those issues, they are concerned


about social issues. They have black and white views on that?


differences in the churchs are greater than in parliament. If you


look at the Church of England, and the thing that Rowan is trying to


do in holding that organisation together, with absolutely differing


views on things like gay equality, the interesting thing is we are


closer on a lot of things than people within the church itself.


are, but many, many churchgoer, I know this from the abortion


debate,were frustrated and angry that on such an important issue


that Rowan Williams and the church remained silent. He has spoken out


today, he has started? He spoke today on politics, and I'm not sure


he's any better informed on the issues he spoke about than the man


on the street. It was very difficult to understand some of the


points that he was making, I'm not sure where he had more of an


authority than anybody else to speak on the issues he talked about


today. We are going to have to leave it


there. We have just got time for the papers. We have got the


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