17/04/2012 Newsnight


17/04/2012

With Jeremy Paxman. Can arrested Abu Qatada be deported? More on the death of Neil Heywood. News of UKIP and the Tories. Plus Irvine Welsh on Scottish independence.


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Transcript


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The Home Secretary says the man once called the spiritual head of

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the British mujahideen, is on his way out of the country. Is all

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today's very public bustling into cars, a distraction, with the

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European Court of Human Rights, still in the driving seat, yet

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again. At least the Home Office can say he's now behind bars. But why

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can't we just put him on a plane to Jordan?

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The mysterious death of a British businessman in China gets no less

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perplexing, will we ever learn what happened. And then...You Have the

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charisma of a damp rag, and the appearance of a low-grade bank

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clerk, the question I want to ask, is, who are you? As polls suggest,

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this man's party is the new third party in British politics, how much

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of a threat is UKIP to the Conservatives?

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Doesn't it make you proud to be Scottish. It's shite being Scottish.

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With we're the lowest of the low, we can't even find a decent culture

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to be colonised by. Irvine Welsh, ask can the United

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Kingdom be called off. This programme contains strong

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language. He has made a monkey out of British

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Governments for over a decade, finally Abu Qatada, the man who

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thinks it is a holy duty to murder women and children, is to be

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shipped out of the country. At least, he might be, if the European

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Court of Human Rights gives its blessing. Ground hog day is here

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again. He's in custody tonight, and the Home Secretary claims she's now

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got assurances which will ensure his removal from Britain. But, it

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will still take time, and it's still likely to hang on the

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European Court, which Britain is unwilling to defy.

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Tonight Abu Qatada is behind bars once more. Described by a judge as

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Osama Bin Laden's righthand man in Europe it's regarded by

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Intelligence Services as a significant threat to national

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security. Over more than a decade, successive

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Governments have tried to have him deported, but without success.

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Today, as he was arrested at his house in west London, the Home

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Secretary was preparing to tell the Commons that she was confident that

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the next time he was released from prison, it would be to board a

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plane from Jordan. We have obtained from the Jordanian Government the

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material we need to comply with the ruling of the European Court. I

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believe the assurances and the information we have gathered will

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mean that we can soon put Qatada on the plane, and get him out of our

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country for good. Abu Qatada's departure has been prevented by the

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European Court of Human Rights. Its initial concern was that he would

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be tortured if he faced trial in Jordan. When the Jordanian

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authorities guaranteed he wouldn't, in January, the court found a new

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concern, not that he would be tortured, but that evidence

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obtained by torture would be used in his trial.

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The court blocked deportation because it said that the court

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found that torture was widespread in Jordan, as was the use of

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torture evidence by the Jordanian courts. It marked the absence of

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any assurance by Jordan that torture evidence would not be used.

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Thus, it said, deportation to Jordan would give rise to a

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flagrant denial of justice. The Home Secretary, then, travelled

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to Jordan to try to secure the assurances that she hoped would

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satisfy the European Court. Jordan has changed its constitution

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to ban torture evidence, and given detailed assurances that the Home

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Secretary says guarantee a fair trial.

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The Home Secretary, though, has been repeatedly asked why not

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simply ignore the European Court and deport Abu Qatada any way.

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reality, we simply could not do this. As ministers we would not

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just be breaking the law ourselves, but we would be asking Government

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lawyers, officials, the police, law enforcement officers, and airline

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companies, to break the law too. This approach has brought some

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plaudits from unusual quarters. It is not often that you will hear

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me, the director of Liberty, say this about a Home Secretary, any

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Home Secretary, but I got have give Miss May some credit today. Because

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I have waited quite a long time in my career for a Home Secretary to

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stand up in the House of Commons, on a difficult, unpopular

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immigration case, and say, the Government must obey the law.

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Of course she was unhappy with the decision of the court of human

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rights, that Mr Qatada couldn't be sent to be tried on the bay sifs

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torture evidence, of course she's - - basis of torture evidence, of

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course she's frustrated by the time it has taken, but she has said we

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have to follow the rule of law and process. Whilst the former Home

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Secretary, who began attempts to deport Abu Qatada, congratulated

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Mrs May, the woman who wants to be Home Secretary, wasn't nearly so

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impressed. The Home Office should have acted faster after the

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European Court judgment in January, and had we not had that early drift

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and delay, Abu Qatada might not have been released in the first

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place. And Theresa May needs to watch her own side carefully, there

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appears to be limited patience on the Conservative benches. It is

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hard to think of another case which so clearly sums up what is wrong

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with the logic of the European Court of Human Rights. British

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courts should have the final say of who stays in our country, not a

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foreign court in Strasbourg. What we need is that British Bill of

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Rights, as others have mentioned, declared senior to Strasbourg, and

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a Supreme Court over the road, that lives up to its name.

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Government has a brief window of opportunity. At the moment we hold

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the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe, and, tomorrow,

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the Government begins its conference in Brighton, trying to

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get reform. But to do so is a big ask, it needs to get the agreement

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of all 47 countries in the Council of Europe, and that, as things

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stand today looks a distant prospect in terms of the

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fundamental reform the Government is looking for.

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Conservative MPs will certainly be watching negotiations closely.

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I certainly think that the credibility of human rights, and

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the UK's position, regarding the convention, are dependant upon us

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getting a decent result, which sees us fully signed up to the

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convention, but reform of the Strasbourg court, which has led to

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too much judicial legislation, and frankly too many novel rights,

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which conflict with our tradition of law and liberty. If Abu Qatada

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is deported, it will be seen by the Government as a big win. However,

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there are at least 15 similar cases still pending, the Home Secretary

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desperately needs the whole system reformed, if she's not to spend all

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her time shuttling around the hotter parts of the globe, begging

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assurances from foreign Governments. Let's explore this a little further,

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with the Conservative MP, Nick Bowles and Diana Johnson, the

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shadow minister. When is he off then? I don't think any of us know,

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because there is a court process. Today is a step forward. It might

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be months and months, maybe not even this year? It could be months.

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The important thing is the law on which they can mount an I peel is

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narro, the European Court only questioned -- appeal is narrow, the

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European Court only questioned the use of torture evidence in the

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trial. They may not be granted appeals at the various stages.

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you want to congratulate the Home Secretary on doing something you

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failed to do during nine years in office? I'm certainly very pleased

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he's in custody this evening. I think the fact that he was given

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bail was because actually the Government didn't act quickly

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enough once the European Court. Hang on a minute, you had nine

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years in Government, during which time he made an absolute monkey of

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you? There were various appeals going through that period, and now,

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on reflection. He was also granted bail at one point during the Labour

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Government. It is a problem that is affected us all. We need the

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domestic courts and the European Courts, the Government are

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considering the reforms they want brought forward, we are keen to be

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part of that discussion. You would like to congratulate the Home

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Secretary on what she has done? very pleased he's in custody and

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deportation is back on the agenda. Because you failed? I think that is

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what the general public want to see happen. Let's get on with it.

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must be so pleased to have the Head of liberty cheering you on --

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Liberty cheering you on? It is nice, she has been the scourge of many

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Labour home secretaries. And some Conservatives one? It is good to

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see her congregate late us. It is a good point to make that the Home

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Secretary and the Government can't ask a whole lot of people to break

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the law, while we are part of the European convention. It is pretty

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gutless. I thought he were elected to represent the interests of this

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country, clearly you have decided not in the interests of the country

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this man is wandering around, or even in a prison here, you want him

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out of the country. Why don't you just put him on a plane? What would

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be gutless, and also witless, would be, firstly, to get ourselves into

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a position where we are forced to take him back, and forced to pay

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him compensation, because we have not been through a process that

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would stand up in court. We are doing both of the right things. We

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are securing the guarantees from Jordan, that no previous Government

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ever got, about how they will conduct their legal process, and we

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are securing changes, we hope, through the Council of Europe, to

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the way that the European Court operates in the future. That is the

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right way to deal with it, to stop them doing it again in future,

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change their method of behaviour, and this won't happen again. We are

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at the start of this process, this could take many months, if not

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years to go through the process. are back at more or less square

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one? I'm worried we are, I'm worried, with the Home Secretary

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deciding not to go to appeal with the Grand Chamber of the European

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Court of Human Rights, but we could end up back in there in years to

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come if the appeals process follows all the way through. The Labour

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Government spent nine years not deporting Abu Qatada, I'm rather

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hopeful that we will have reported him before there is a Labour Home

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Secretary in office again. You are just back from Jordan? I went to

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Jordan. Are you satisfied with the assurances given there that the

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Jordanians will not introduce torture take -- evidence taken

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under torture? Of course they have amended their constitution now.

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are satisfied are you? There are probably steps to be taken. Do you

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know, are you satisfied? I think overall the Jordanian authorities

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have given the guarantees we all want to see in this case. You are

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satisfied with their assurances? think they are in good faith, yes,

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I'm satisfied with what they have said to the Home Secretary, now we

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have to see whether the courts take the same view. And if the courts

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don't take the same view, you think the court was wrong, presume below?

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Obviously Mr Qatada will have his lawyers advising him. I'm asking

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you your view? Already his lawyers have said they will be appealing

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the deportation and want to go through the various stages. I feel

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having gone to Jordan, having spoken to ministers there, that

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they are act anything good faith, and hopefully the assurances will

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stand up. What would you have done if you were in Government for the

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last two years? Hopefully we would have acted quicker, as soon as the

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decision was made by the European Court, we would have acted, so Mr

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Qatada didn't end up getting bail. That was of grave concern that he

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:11:58.:11:59.

was out there in the community. I'm pleased he as back on custody.

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was under more stringent conditions than the Labour Government put him

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under. That was only introduced because the court was not satisfied

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that the Government was acting quickly enough in deportation.

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Jeeves out on bail during the time of the Labour -- He was out on bail

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during the time of the Labour Government. The orders now you have

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available are much weaker than control orders. What is frustrate

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beg it, there are many difficult problems -- frustrating about it,

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is there are many difficult issues, we are wrestling with it, and the

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Labour Government did too, it would be nice to say, well done for

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progress, and let's see what happens? We have said that we want

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to identify concerns outstanding. The frustration for the ordinary

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citizen is we listen time after time to members of your party and

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your leader telling us it was outrageous that Governments of this

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country were not allowed to decide who should be free to be in this

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country, and when it comes to it, when the Civil Service and the

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Civil Service lawyers say, Home Secretary, you might be in defiance

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of the European Court, you all bend the knee? That is not true, Keneth

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Clarke the Justice Secretary, tomorrow, is going to Brighton,

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where all the members, let me finish. 47 states to agree with

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him? That is how you change things, you don't change things by wave ago

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wand, I know it works in television, but in Government you have to

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negotiate with your treaty parties. David Cameron said precisely that?

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He said we will have to change the way the European Court operates F

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it doesn't change, if we don't get that agreement, then we have other

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possiblities we could look at. They are not possiblities anyone would

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welcome, to withdraw from the Convention on Human rights, we are

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quite right to try to change the way the court operates, by getting

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the agreement of member states, all in a conference centre in Brighton

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for Keneth Clarke for a negotiation. We have been in it for 30 years?

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They will be there for two days, let's hope they sort it out.

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think they will sort it out? Lots of people are frustrated by the

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same things, we are all maddened by it, we need to persuade them all to

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come to our way of thinking. Let's see if you can do it in a couple of

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days? Let's see, we are going about it in right way.

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We want a full investigation, and we want it free of political

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interference, of the burden of the demand from the Prime Minister to

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the man in charge of China's propaganda today. It is over five

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months since the mysterious death of a British businessman in the chi

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of Chongqing, the delay and private protestations from the Foreign

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Office, are small parts of what is becoming a tangled tale.

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The plot is so elaborate it is all but impet traibl, but the death of

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the British business man is real enough, as is the sudden end of the

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career of the Chinese politician. And the murder charge now facing

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the Chinese politician's wife. She's accused of having the

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Englishman murdered. All the rest, method, motive, indeed whether

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there really was a murder, remains a matter of conjecture.

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Neil Heywood was found dead in November, supposedly from drink, he

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was cremated, months later, Chinese officials suggested he was murdered,

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for threatening to expose the financial dealings of a

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politician's wife. The upshot, she as charged with murder, and her

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husband, one of China's most controversial leaders, xielxielxiel,

:15:29.:15:39.
:15:39.:15:41.

is ousted, and impli -- Zhang Xiaojun, is ousted and implicated.

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Either is possible t would appear that Mr Heywood's death was some

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what suspicious, the two things might not have been originally

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related to begin with, and they become related as a result of

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political need by the top leadership to remove Bo Xilai from

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power. David Cameron met Alexa Chung, who

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assured him the case was -- Abdullah Ahmed Ali assured him the

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We have demanded an investigation, and the Chinese authorities have

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agreed to discuss that, there is a further discussion this afternoon

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between my rightenable friend and the visiting member from the bureau,

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Mr Chung, and I will follow up on this extremely carefully and

:16:35.:16:45.
:16:45.:17:14.

vigorously. In his statement today, Could the Foreign Secretary have

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done more? He knew back in February that something badly wrong had

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happened, he called an investigation, he should have

:17:20.:17:26.

announced that there and then. But you have got this philosophical,

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ideolgical approach, that says don't raise difficult questions

:17:29.:17:34.

with difficult regimes. All that matters is trade and business. That

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is important, vital for Britain, but we can't give up our broader

:17:38.:17:43.

responsibility, whether it is human rights, or in this case, something

:17:43.:17:47.

very bad that has happened to a British citizen. In Britain, the

:17:47.:17:51.

focus is on the mysterious death of a British subject, but in China

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it's all about the demise of a political maverick. Bo Xilai was

:17:55.:18:01.

one of the Princelings, promoting rapid growth, while also declaring

:18:01.:18:06.

faith in social equality, he was the coming man. He is somebody

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willing to use any method possible, he's a man of extraordinary

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charisma. He wanted to use that charisma to generate public support

:18:19.:18:23.

to further his career. Once he gets to the very, very top, as a member

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of the standing committee of the politic bureau, what he would do we

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don't know, now we will never find out. In China, and among comien

:18:31.:18:39.

niece exiles abroad, there is bound -- Chinese exiles abroad there is

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speculation. Bo's son is at Harvard and is attracting traffic. There is

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stories about his luxuries and lavish, and luxurious party

:18:49.:18:53.

lifestyle. So there is interest in China, in what is going on? People

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are very interested, especially that there is so many rumour about

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it. This is alleging that another senior official is involved in this

:19:02.:19:08.

whole thing, and he's going to be the next person to be investigated.

:19:08.:19:15.

He's under suspicion, this is a big deal, because he is one of the most

:19:15.:19:22.

senior politicians in the poll lit bureau. The main line of inquiry is

:19:22.:19:26.

that Neil Heywood fell out with Bo's wife, a friend and business

:19:26.:19:32.

partner, over money. There a lot of speculation that he was involved in

:19:32.:19:38.

helping the family to deal with over's assets. Is that a common

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occurrance with anglo-Chinese relations? It is common for a

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significant number of senior Chinese Government officials to

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have very expensive, large offices, assets, that are not commensurate

:19:51.:19:57.

with their official income. They certainly require help to

:19:57.:20:05.

manage those overseas investments and properties.

:20:05.:20:09.

Whether it was a row over money laundering, and whether Neil

:20:09.:20:14.

Heywood was really murdered, is unknown. Bo's former police chief

:20:14.:20:21.

appears to have the answers, he's incommune kaid dough in custody.

:20:21.:20:31.
:20:31.:20:37.

Two men maybe able to share light on this are my guests. Cameron has

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asked for a full and unpolitical inquiry, will that happen? I don't

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think it is, there is no body, the body was cremated within days of Mr

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Heywood dying. The decision has been made at the highest level in

:20:51.:20:55.

Beijing that Bo Xilai will be demoted, and therefore, his wife

:20:55.:21:01.

has been arrested, and it is a massive political issue in China.

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So, the decision has already been made.

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The Chinese officially announced a reinvestigation into the case, but

:21:12.:21:16.

it seems they have already pretty much drawn the conclusion. There is,

:21:17.:21:20.

in the meantime, tremendous speculation, we don't know if it

:21:20.:21:24.

was a death from natural causes, or if it was a murder, as some people

:21:24.:21:27.

allege, we just don't know. Are we ever likely to know, do you think?

:21:27.:21:34.

It is very difficult, but the fact that they made the announcement in

:21:35.:21:41.

conjunction with the police chief, who tried to seek asylum from the

:21:41.:21:49.

United States, who, as was said, was so close to Bo Xilai. That

:21:49.:21:56.

could be interpreted as a move, a political move, but many people in

:21:56.:22:06.

China do believe that something suspicious happened, in this case,

:22:06.:22:11.

I think, even though Bo Xilai HIVself wasn't, and hasn't been

:22:11.:22:16.

accused of anything, except as a member of the family.

:22:16.:22:21.

Interesting as we saw in that piece of tape there. The way in which the

:22:21.:22:24.

Chinese websites are dealing with all of this. Presumably there is

:22:24.:22:28.

lots of people tweeting to one another about it too. This is a

:22:28.:22:33.

very, very interesting predicament for the Chinese Government isn't

:22:33.:22:43.
:22:43.:22:43.

it? Absolute game changer, I would say. On the day that Wang Lijun,

:22:43.:22:48.

Bo's righthandman, drove 300 miles to the British consulate, the web

:22:48.:22:53.

erupted on the microblogs, there are many people on there, Twitter

:22:53.:22:57.

is blocked, but they have their own variance of Twitter. And everyone

:22:57.:23:00.

is talking to everyone else. In the past there was one voice, and

:23:00.:23:04.

everyone listened to it, it was the voice of the Communist Party, and

:23:04.:23:08.

that is changing, the whole dynamic of this. A lot of this information

:23:08.:23:14.

is not untainted, a lot of it is put out there, in a proper gand da

:23:14.:23:21.

offensive, by the -- propaganda offensive, this is a very God way

:23:21.:23:24.

of dealing with political problems -- good way of dealing with

:23:24.:23:28.

political problems and opponents? It is difficult to say which bit is

:23:28.:23:36.

propaganda, and which bit is rumour or the truth. I think we will have

:23:36.:23:42.

to wait until a proper procedure, proper investigation has been

:23:42.:23:46.

carried out, before we draw our own conclusions. We need to look at the

:23:46.:23:51.

evidence. I thought we agreed a proper investigation was extremely

:23:51.:23:56.

unlikely? We will have to go through the process, or the motion,

:23:56.:24:06.

they will only have to wait for any announcement of any new findings.

:24:06.:24:12.

There is a saying in Chinese, there is no war without a crack, that the

:24:12.:24:17.

wind can -- no wall without a crack that the wind can flow through.

:24:17.:24:21.

it a new way of dealing with political opponents? In many ways

:24:21.:24:25.

it is a time honoured way of dealing with political opponents,

:24:25.:24:30.

go after their relatives, use their second in commands in all sorts of

:24:30.:24:33.

ways. The difference is the environment in which it is played

:24:33.:24:38.

out. In the innuendo, the putting out there of stories of one kind of

:24:38.:24:42.

another, spreading not through the official media, this is very

:24:42.:24:46.

interesting? It is interesting, it could come back and bite them. That

:24:46.:24:50.

is why it is so interesting. They are feeding, the Government feeds

:24:50.:24:59.

stuff into the semi-free media, the semi-free microblogs, of course it

:24:59.:25:07.

is sensored, there are thousands of censor, but there are millions on

:25:07.:25:11.

the micro blogs. At the same time there is allegations of corruption,

:25:11.:25:15.

millions of dollars being spirited abroad, coming out, and Chinese

:25:15.:25:18.

people are having to have the lid lifted on the politics.

:25:19.:25:28.
:25:29.:25:30.

Where do you think it goes next? think when the announcements are

:25:30.:25:36.

made, or anything, people can predict, it will be a justification

:25:36.:25:44.

for the central party commity to -- central party committee to trip Bo

:25:44.:25:50.

Xilai of power. It is an evidence, anecdote or foot note for that.

:25:50.:25:56.

Those who are going to take over the baton in October, or even later,

:25:56.:26:02.

some people are saying probably the progress will have to be post pond,

:26:02.:26:05.

we will see more -- postponed, we will see more things coming out.

:26:05.:26:10.

Thank you very much. We will have more on China tomorrow night when

:26:10.:26:16.

sue Lloyd Roberts will be speaking to the Dalai Lama about the self-

:26:16.:26:20.

immollations in Tibet about the protests of Chinese rule.

:26:20.:26:27.

These leaders are very foolish, narrow-minded authoritarian people,

:26:27.:26:32.

only their mouth, no ears. Never ready to listen to others' views.

:26:32.:26:37.

There is a spring in the step of the leaders of the UK Independence

:26:37.:26:41.

Party, they still have no Members of Parliament, but the latest

:26:41.:26:44.

opinion poll today suggest they have replaced the Liberal Democrats

:26:44.:26:47.

as the third party in British politics. You can tell they are

:26:47.:26:51.

doing well, because Conservative ministers are using expressions

:26:51.:26:56.

like "swivel-eyed" about them, there are dark unsubstantiated

:26:56.:27:01.

rumours about a couple of Tory MPs thinking of defecting to them.

:27:01.:27:06.

Could the people once described as "fruitcakes" by David Cameron,

:27:06.:27:11.

cause serious damage to his party. When the North Sea has a wild day,

:27:11.:27:16.

this town is prone to flooding, it was at its worst when once a

:27:16.:27:21.

European wind storm sent a vicious squall to Thurrock. 50 years on

:27:21.:27:27.

political wind storms come fairly frequently from the continent, the

:27:28.:27:35.

sitting Tory MP won it by 93 votes, but 3,000 votes went to UKIP. Today

:27:35.:27:40.

U kil kip polled third in the opinion polls -- UKIP polled third

:27:40.:27:44.

in the opinion polls, causing concern for the Liberal Democrats

:27:44.:27:48.

but also for the Conservatives. The problem for some is so deep that

:27:48.:27:52.

they could use a majority in the next election. One worrying fact

:27:52.:27:56.

for the Conservatives is that in the 2010 election, when UKIP won 3%

:27:56.:28:00.

of the vote, one third of what they polled today, there were 2 sit sis

:28:00.:28:05.

where their vote was larger than the -- 22 sit sis, where their

:28:05.:28:10.

society -- constituencies, where their vote was larger than others

:28:10.:28:13.

other parties. I don't think that the Conservative

:28:13.:28:18.

Party can take its own supporters for granted. Clearly the polls are

:28:18.:28:22.

showing that there has been some movement from the Conservative

:28:22.:28:27.

Party to UKIP, possibly from Labour to UKIP as well. I think that if a

:28:27.:28:31.

Conservative Party has a robust euro-sceptic policy in the future,

:28:31.:28:37.

hope leefl in the near future, that we will be -- hopefully in the near

:28:37.:28:42.

future, we can attract those gone to UKIP, and hopefully those who

:28:42.:28:47.

have found a home there over the past few years. Nigel Farage, the

:28:47.:28:51.

leader of UKIP, has made it his name to replace the Liberal

:28:51.:29:00.

Democrats as the third party. There is policies on national rail

:29:00.:29:02.

alongside Europe. One political operation working out of the back

:29:02.:29:06.

of a local pub has a different perspective. If you were consulting

:29:06.:29:09.

on this, people would feel more respect for the politicians and

:29:09.:29:13.

think they have listened to what I have to say. The people's pledge

:29:13.:29:18.

are campaigning for a referendum on the relationship with Europe, they

:29:18.:29:23.

think as it stands populations are ignoring popular opinion. UKIP is

:29:23.:29:28.

successfully capitalising on this. The people's pledge, it is a pro-

:29:28.:29:35.

referendum majority at the next election. You need MPs to get the

:29:35.:29:39.

referendum out. We are starting that process, you need Members of

:29:39.:29:43.

Parliament in order to progress there. The threats to Cameron are

:29:43.:29:45.

by UKIP, could be half-a-dozen seats the next general election,

:29:45.:29:51.

but a much bigger threat...What your proof of that? On the ground

:29:51.:29:58.

here, UKIP polled 3,500, we polled 13 though, nearly four-times as

:29:58.:30:03.

much. Any -- 13,000, nearly four- times as much. Any UKIP threat to

:30:03.:30:06.

Cameron is a temporary one. It might cost half-a-dozen seats in

:30:06.:30:10.

the next election. The real threat to Cameron is if the Labour Party

:30:10.:30:13.

comes out in favour of a referendum, he will lose another general

:30:13.:30:18.

election, not in coalition but going into opposition. This

:30:18.:30:23.

experience in Thurrock suggests not all seats with bulky UKIP votes

:30:23.:30:27.

would necessarily go to the Tories, but as likely to any other

:30:27.:30:31.

political party. But the clamour in the Conservatives is strong, and

:30:31.:30:35.

they want the fightback to go-to- start now. Sooner or later the

:30:35.:30:38.

Conservative Party will have to address the European question, most

:30:38.:30:41.

people alive today haven't had a say on the European question. We

:30:41.:30:44.

will have to have that referendum. When that commitment comes forward,

:30:44.:30:47.

I think we will be able to attract back those Conservative members

:30:47.:30:52.

that have gone to UKIP, and those UKIP members not part of the

:30:52.:30:55.

Conservative family for many years. There is real anxiety among

:30:55.:30:59.

Conservative MPs over this issue. They say in the forth coming

:30:59.:31:03.

boundary reviews, if MPs lose their seats, then they may as well defect

:31:03.:31:07.

to UKIP, go down in a ball of flames in the words of one MP we

:31:07.:31:11.

spoke to. Downing Street, however, does not sympathise, they point out

:31:11.:31:17.

two things. Firstly, they say often people who vote UKIP, vote UKIP for

:31:17.:31:21.

incoherent reasons, if they chase those voters, they too would look

:31:21.:31:26.

incoherent, and secondly, they reiterate, the key to them for the

:31:26.:31:30.

majority of 2015, lies in winning over Lib Dem and Labour swing

:31:30.:31:36.

voters, not UKIP. UKIP is not to be dismissed lightly,

:31:36.:31:40.

last year they came second, although distant, to Labour's win

:31:40.:31:44.

in Barnsley's by-election. We have a problem convincing people that we

:31:44.:31:49.

are the most euro-sceptic Government ever. Because Europe is

:31:49.:31:52.

not a particularly important national issue. If you look at

:31:52.:31:55.

recent polling, only 5% of people said our relationship with the EU

:31:55.:31:58.

was the most important thing on their mind. The most important

:31:58.:32:03.

things are jobs, the economy, the health service and immigration. So

:32:03.:32:06.

I think we are having almost too much of a focus on the European

:32:06.:32:15.

issue, and not enough focus on some of the big picture issues.

:32:15.:32:20.

gaining 100 votes the Tories could be denied by UKIP Thurrock at the

:32:20.:32:24.

next election. Their ambitions of replaces the Liberal Democrats as

:32:24.:32:28.

the third party, they need to gain their own seats, not depriving

:32:28.:32:34.

others of their's. Let's discuss this with two people

:32:34.:32:37.

with opposite political journeys, Lord Hesketh served with Margaret

:32:37.:32:41.

Thatcher and John Major. He defected to UKIP in October last

:32:41.:32:46.

year. Frf Westminster we are joined by George Eustice, the Conservative

:32:46.:32:52.

MP, once David Cameron's press secretary. He was previously a UKIP

:32:52.:32:57.

candidate in the 1999 European elections. What does I kip offer

:32:57.:33:02.

you that the Conservatives couldn't? I don't think -- UKIP

:33:02.:33:05.

offer you in with what the Conservatives couldn't? I don't

:33:05.:33:12.

think it is in terms of offer, I first canvased, aged seven, for

:33:12.:33:20.

Harold Macmillan in 1959, I think I was nine to be accurate. I think

:33:20.:33:30.
:33:30.:33:31.

for me, the defining moment was when the, Mr Cameron reneged on the

:33:31.:33:39.

referendum. It is all very well to call us "swivel-eyed" and

:33:39.:33:43.

"fruitcakes", but I have been Government Chief Whip and Treasury

:33:43.:33:47.

of the Tory Party. It doesn't stop you being a fruitcake? If that is

:33:47.:33:56.

the case, it says a lot of the Tory Party and the future to come.

:33:56.:34:01.

have made the opposite journey, you accept these guys are a real threat

:34:01.:34:05.

to you? UKIP has been around for ten years. I remember when I was a

:34:05.:34:09.

candidate for them in 1999, there was a poll that showed UKIP had 15%

:34:09.:34:14.

of the vote. They had done particularly well in the last three

:34:14.:34:18.

euro elections, I don't doubt they will do quit well in the next one.

:34:18.:34:22.

They are a protest vote. -- quite well in the next one. The real

:34:22.:34:29.

thing for me, is I am someone who wants repatriated powers from

:34:29.:34:33.

Europe, and the immigration process reversed. We can only do that with

:34:33.:34:35.

a Conservative Government, we have a euro-sceptic Conservative Party,

:34:35.:34:39.

and Prime Minister. What people have to stop doing is ending this

:34:39.:34:43.

game of arguing about referendums, that is what you do when you try to

:34:43.:34:47.

stop something happening, and argue to take powers back, that doesn't

:34:47.:34:55.

require a referendum. Lord Hesketh? A simple answer is UKIP is part of

:34:55.:35:00.

a bigger issue, within all of modern politics in the west. If we

:35:00.:35:04.

are in Marseille last weekend, for example, you will have seen the new

:35:04.:35:12.

French left rallies in unprecedented number. You will see

:35:12.:35:19.

Tea Party in the United States. You will see political groupings, which

:35:19.:35:23.

are novel and growing. Growing for a simple reason. In your case,

:35:23.:35:28.

single issue? Not at all. My job in UKIP is to be the defence spokesman,

:35:28.:35:32.

because I think the Government has done an appalling job, basically

:35:32.:35:37.

because they believe what they are told by the Ministry of Defence.

:35:37.:35:41.

That is what my main occupation is at UKIP, when I'm not actually

:35:41.:35:46.

working. The reality is, people are deeply

:35:46.:35:51.

disillusioned by being lied to, by many stream political parties

:35:51.:35:56.

across the spectrum. We didn't have to go to North Africa and see what

:35:56.:36:00.

happened in the Arab bring. It is all part of something bigger.

:36:00.:36:05.

George Eustice, you do accept there is widespread disillusion both with

:36:05.:36:09.

you and the other mainstream parties? There is always

:36:09.:36:12.

disillusion with mainstream political parties. We are in a

:36:12.:36:14.

democracy, I'm somebody who believes small parties should have

:36:14.:36:18.

a right to stand, and stand and make their case. I don't have a

:36:18.:36:23.

problem with that. As somebody who has stood for UKIP and has worked

:36:23.:36:27.

with them, I have no doubt there is well meaning people there who think

:36:27.:36:32.

they are doing the right thing for the country. They are a counter-

:36:32.:36:35.

productive reliability. Lord Hesketh is snorting here? I think

:36:35.:36:38.

it is extremely generous that we are being told that small parties

:36:38.:36:42.

should be allowed to stand. We are only a few yards away from getting

:36:42.:36:48.

back to the kind of extremism that existed in Europe before 1939, it

:36:48.:36:53.

is the most lid cus statement, to be perfectly frank, the reality is

:36:53.:36:56.

the Conservative Party are suffering because, firstly, you do

:36:56.:37:01.

not have a euro-sceptic Prime Minister. You have a Prime Minister

:37:01.:37:05.

who was advised by the Foreign Office, produced the document, that

:37:05.:37:08.

no-one could believe wouldn't be signed, because Sarkozy lost his

:37:08.:37:13.

temper it was signed. He was the first Prime Minister to wield a

:37:13.:37:17.

veto? A veto on what. You have to remember that this Government has

:37:17.:37:23.

brought in the EU Act, which now has a referendum lock. So it is

:37:23.:37:26.

impossible now, we are in the same situation as Ireland now, it would

:37:26.:37:31.

be impossible for a Government to pass further powers to the European

:37:31.:37:33.

Union without there being a referendum. That is the right time

:37:33.:37:38.

to use a referendum, to stop powers going away, not if you want to try

:37:38.:37:42.

to bring powers back. UKIP had a role to play 15 years ago to get

:37:42.:37:46.

this up the agenda. It is a redundant, counter-productive

:37:46.:37:49.

organisation. In terms of whether it damages the Conservative Party.

:37:49.:37:57.

There is no doubt most of its activistsics like Lord Hesketh, are

:37:57.:38:02.

Conservatives. They draw support from across the spectrum, they need

:38:02.:38:05.

to do the serious work of renegotiating our relationship with

:38:05.:38:10.

the European Union. Let me ask you one simple question. If support for

:38:10.:38:14.

UKIP were to cost the Conservatives an overall majority at the next

:38:14.:38:17.

election, would that be a good thing? They would only have

:38:17.:38:20.

themselves to blame. I'm asking whether you think it would be a

:38:20.:38:30.

good thing? It is not my position to make that judgment. Yes it is?

:38:30.:38:35.

You would rather see a Labour and Lib Dem coalition than a

:38:35.:38:37.

Conservative Government? Politics are about the art of the impossible.

:38:37.:38:41.

Then it would be impossible for the Conservatives to form a Government.

:38:41.:38:45.

I'm sorry, there is a large body of opinion in this country, not just

:38:45.:38:55.
:38:55.:38:55.

confined to the Conservative Party Tont make a mistake about it.

:38:55.:38:59.

asking a question you seemed to decline to answer. The question is

:38:59.:39:04.

what is the realistic outcome, and the outcome of behaving in the way

:39:04.:39:07.

Mr Eustice and his colleagues are behaving, could result in that.

:39:07.:39:12.

They would have only themselves to blame. If you happen to be watching

:39:13.:39:17.

mainstream BBC north of the border, you won't be seeing this, Free

:39:17.:39:20.

Newsnight, or whatever it is called in that part of the country, is

:39:20.:39:24.

evidence of the extent to which Britain, as a whole, is joined

:39:24.:39:29.

together still by an active union, but an active union increasingly

:39:29.:39:32.

frayed around the edges. The year after next, the people of Scotland,

:39:32.:39:36.

but not the people of England l get the opportunity to decide whether

:39:36.:39:40.

they want to end the union all together and become independent. In

:39:40.:39:45.

a moment we will see if one of Scotland's best known writers,

:39:45.:39:49.

Irvine Welsh, can persuade the historian, Tristram Hunt, that the

:39:49.:39:53.

union has had its day. Here is how some of his characters addressed

:39:53.:39:58.

their national identity, in the film of his book, Trainer, with

:39:58.:40:01.

some -- Trainspotting, with some typically strong large Doesn't it

:40:02.:40:05.

make you proud to be Scottish? is shite being Scottish, we are the

:40:05.:40:11.

lowest of the low, the scum of the fucking earth, the most wretched,

:40:11.:40:14.

servile thrash ever shat into civilisation. Some people hate the

:40:14.:40:20.

English, I don't, they are just wankers, we, on the other hand, are

:40:20.:40:25.

colonised by wankers, we can't even find a decent culture to be conised

:40:25.:40:30.

by. We are ruled by a few arseholes, it is a shite state of affairs to

:40:30.:40:35.

be in, Tommy, and all the fresh air in the world won't make fucking

:40:35.:40:40.

difference. With us now is Irvine Welsh, and

:40:40.:40:47.

with us also Tristram Hunt. Now, are you surprised to find yourself

:40:47.:40:53.

a nationalist? Yeah, I don't really see myself as a nationalist, I see

:40:53.:40:59.

much more of the union being in a secular decline. I see the union as

:40:59.:41:03.

very much conceived to facilitate British imperial expansion and

:41:03.:41:07.

British industrial expansion, sustained by a kind of welfare

:41:07.:41:11.

state, and the two world wars, and all these things no longer exist,

:41:11.:41:16.

they have gone. I don't see what is driving the union, what is holding

:41:16.:41:19.

it together. What is driving the union now? I think that is a very

:41:19.:41:22.

compelling point. What was so interesting about the Trainspotting

:41:22.:41:26.

piece there was to suggest that the Scottish had been colonised, but

:41:26.:41:29.

the Scottish themselves were colonisers as part of the imperial

:41:29.:41:33.

project, when we look back at the creation of Britishness, whether it

:41:33.:41:40.

is Protestantantism, or imperialism, many of those driving influences in

:41:40.:41:44.

the 20th century have frayed. Just because that kind of construction

:41:44.:41:48.

of it is not there, it would be wrong to suggest that the

:41:48.:41:52.

attributes of nationhood have some how all together lost. I personally,

:41:52.:41:55.

very strongly believe, that Scotland, England, Wales, Northern

:41:55.:41:59.

Ireland, gains more from the cohesive whole, than it would do if

:41:59.:42:05.

it split up into ethnic sensablities of nationhood? I don't

:42:05.:42:08.

think that cohesive hole is that sense of Britishness, I don't think

:42:08.:42:12.

it is served by a political union any more, though. I think that's

:42:12.:42:16.

the thing that people will think, people feel in Scotland now, that

:42:16.:42:19.

it's not so much Britishness that they are against, it is the concept

:42:19.:42:25.

of the UK, and the usual union. I think that the two political

:42:25.:42:30.

cultures have become very divergant. He's right there, they have become

:42:30.:42:34.

very different? They have, but I think that is the strength almost

:42:34.:42:38.

of the settlement at the moment, that you can have those elements of

:42:38.:42:42.

devolution, within the architecture of the UK. I think what works at

:42:42.:42:47.

the moment is, contrary to what you think, is the political settlement,

:42:47.:42:52.

I think the cultural settlement has fallen away. That is why Gordon

:42:52.:42:56.

Brown, for all his determination to build British values and a sense of

:42:56.:42:59.

Britishness, was actually going against the cultural currents of

:42:59.:43:03.

feeling of Englishness, and Welshness. Why should people in

:43:03.:43:07.

England not be allowed to express their Englishness for fear of

:43:07.:43:11.

offending Scots or Welsh, and fear of their position, they are put in

:43:11.:43:16.

the union, of oppressing Scots and Welsh. Have you a fear of

:43:16.:43:21.

expressing your Englishness? I have never felt it. I have a lot of

:43:21.:43:24.

constituents who feel their Englishness is not allowed to be

:43:24.:43:33.

expressed on the same level as Scottishness. England is a

:43:33.:43:38.

multicultural post-imperial nation trying to work out its identity.

:43:38.:43:42.

Scotland is a different society developing and a different

:43:42.:43:46.

political culture. I don't see any connection now. I think that

:43:46.:43:51.

certainly the generation, the younger generation from the

:43:51.:43:55.

Trainspotting generations, every one of them seems to be much less

:43:55.:44:00.

vested in the union. Supposing the Scots decide not to go for

:44:00.:44:04.

independence though, that self- loathing that we saw in that clip

:44:04.:44:07.

from Trainspotting, that is going to get really acute, isn't it?

:44:07.:44:11.

think it will. People realise that it is not really an option now. I

:44:11.:44:17.

think if, it is like when David Cameron said to the SNP, which I

:44:17.:44:21.

think was a very Craven thing to say, look we will give you the tax-

:44:21.:44:25.

raising powers, not on my watch, you know. He was almost saying the

:44:25.:44:31.

game is over, and it is all about legacy with politicians. Tony Blair

:44:31.:44:36.

staying in office to become a longer serving Prime Minister than

:44:36.:44:39.

Margaret Thatcher. It is the same with David Cameron, he's conceded

:44:39.:44:43.

the point and saying not on my watch, just buy me ten years of

:44:43.:44:47.

being de facto members of the union. I certainly think he's doing great

:44:47.:44:51.

political damage to the union, but I think we also have to think about

:44:51.:44:55.

the strengths of Britain, on a global stage. Whether it is the

:44:55.:45:00.

army, whether it is the UN, whether it is our diplomacy, all of those

:45:00.:45:04.

elements actually give much greater riches and influence to Britain as

:45:04.:45:08.

a whole. Not in the case, when you look at some of the decisions made

:45:08.:45:12.

in foreign policy, if you look at Afghanistan, so many people were

:45:12.:45:15.

against that war, and I don't think you can pick these kinds of things

:45:16.:45:21.

as being pluses. Do you think post people really care about the world

:45:21.:45:25.

stage? I think people do, I think people like the fact that Britain

:45:25.:45:31.

is a leader on the world stage. We are good at diplomacy, we are an

:45:31.:45:34.

influential power for a small island stuck in the North Sea. We

:45:34.:45:42.

still have that. But, that doesn't alleviate the part of what we think

:45:42.:45:46.

about our post-imperial identity. He's right, we need space for

:45:46.:45:50.

English people to talk about their English identity more actively. I

:45:50.:45:54.

don't think they can do that in the construct of the political union of

:45:54.:45:58.

the UK. I think paradoxically the way to enhance Britishness is to

:45:58.:46:02.

get rid of the political union and enhance the cultural union, even

:46:02.:46:07.

bring Ireland back into the British fold. They may have a view on that,

:46:07.:46:12.

of course. But once you have taken this kind of imperial thing out of

:46:12.:46:17.

Britishness, and it is, and you get back to being this value-free idea

:46:17.:46:22.

of people living in these islands and sharing some kind of cultural

:46:22.:46:26.

heritage, but having the different free individual political

:46:26.:46:29.

expressions, to put their own systems together and work out their

:46:29.:46:34.

own issues. That is the strength of what we can have today, which is

:46:34.:46:38.

multiple identity, whether you can be West Indian-British, Pakistani-

:46:38.:46:42.

British, ethnic-British, you can have a identity there, and a

:46:42.:46:45.

federal British identity, which gives all sorts of broader

:46:45.:46:49.

advantages, I think, to the UK. People have moved on from that in

:46:49.:46:52.

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