05/07/2012 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.

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Tonight, the political row over the rate-fixing scandal, reaches fever


pitch as the Chancellor accuses his Labour opposite number of being


complicit in the affair. If he has any integrity on this narrow point


of his allegation, he should stand up now, withdraw the allegations,


and apologise. The idea that I'm going to take lessons in integrity


from a man who smeared his way through 13 years of Labour


Government. I have been asking Ed Miliband


whether the last Labour Government is to blame? It is the Chancellor


of the Exchequer, if he has evidence about this, let him come


forward with the evidence. Have you asked Gordon Brown? No I spoken to


him in the last 24 hours. We were once one of the world's


great military powers, but as the Government takes an axe to the army,


can we remain so? The future shape of the army has been unveiled. And


the scale of its ambitions has been trimmed back, in keeping with this


age of austerity. I will be asking the Defence Secretary if we can


still mount a mission anywhere in the globe. We will ask a


distinguished panel what they think, and what it says about Britain's


place in the world. Good evening. The level of rancour


in the House of Commons today beat anything we witnessed as the


coalition came to power. It was not a pretty sight. This was the bear


pit and both the Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor's claws were out.


George Osborne trying to put Ed Balls in the frame for the LIBOR


scandal, and Ed Balls outraged with the allegation, but aware, that


whatever the truth, the events happened in the banking crisis


within Labour's watch. The atmosphere went from bad to


worse after the vote went for a parliamentary action. It was


vicious stuff? What was whites of the eyes politics. What you have is


two of politics most fiercesome operators, they pride themselves at


being vicious about it. The question they were debating is the


big US one out there, which is who can handle the economy and banks.


The Government has assessed they are not culpable in this scandal,


actually very little will come out, so it is all to pin on the


opposition. They want to plant firmly in the minds of voters and


viewers the four Bs, Barclays Bank, Brown Balls. Once they could sort


it out with weapons, now 200 years on, political empty still goes on.


He -- Eminity. That lip curl in the Chancellor in the chamber today,


says it all. This was supposed to be parliamentary debate about what


type of inquiry for banking. It became a near brawl to decide the


biggest question in politics, who best to run the economy. I have


never seen the Shadow Chancellor and the opposition leader so


rattled. The spark was this, in an interview with a magazine, the


Chancellor named his opposite, Ed Balls. The House and the public


will judge the integrity of a Chancellor, who cannot defend here,


what he whispers to the Spectator Magazine. Mr Deputy Speaker. He has


no evidence, and knows it. Because what he said is not true, and he


knew that too Mr Deputy Speaker. We had one hour, one hour of an


attempt by the City minister to defend his conduct when he was in


office, and these scandals happened. And we have still not had from him


a simple apology for what he did. His failure of regulation. Get up


and say, not, we were all involved in this, there were Governments all


over the world doing it, just get up and say, I was the City minister


and I am sorry. I'm named, he has made an allegation, he has no


evidence, because there isn't any, because it is untrue, and he knew


there was no evidence, because he knew it was untrue, and he said it


any way. Because that is the character of the man, Madame Deputy


Speaker. The idea that I'm going to take lessons in integrity, from a


man who smeared his way through 13 years of Labour Government, who


half the people, whoever served with him, thinks he was a disgrace


in his post, is another thing. But let him redeem himself, by not,


today, blocking an inquiry into what happened under the last


Government. Take part in the inquiry. You're not prepared to do


that. Today's acrimonious events settled


the question of what sort of investigation should be conducted


into the behaviour of traders at Barclays Bank. Labour feared a


short inquiry limited the exercise to just the years it was in power.


A wider inquiry had a greater chance of reflecting what they


believe is the hands-free, laissez faire instincts of the


Conservatives on the City. Back in the chamber, as MPs


streamed out to vote. Certainly one of the men in your screen rose in


stature. Andrew Tyrie stood on the floor of the House and was press


ganged, first by Ed Balls and then the Chancellor. Labour decided not


to withhold their support from the Conservative inquiry, ensuring it


was cross-party, and Tyrie chairing it. There was room for one surprise,


the Attorney General, made a rare personal intervention, appearing to


call for a judge-led public inquiry into the wider crisis.


Because of the depais when parliamentarians were routinely


lairy, the two chambers are a sword's length apart. Between Ed


Balls and George Osborne today, it was probably quite a good job.


Earlier I spoke to the Labour leader at Westminster. You don't


vote for the parliamentary inquiry, and yet you say you will co-operate,


it is politicing, isn't it, naked politics? No, it is about the


family I met this morning, call the Hendersons, a small business,


driven to the brink of bankruptcy because of what the banks' did. For


them I wanted a full, open, judge- led inquiry, because I thought it


was the only thing to get to all the issues. This one won't work


then? To all the issues people are facing and get to the bottom of


what happened and stop it happening again. We will co-operate with it


because parliament has voted that way, it is the right thing for to


us do. We will not defy the will of parliament. We will co-operate with


the chair of the Select Committee, but I will continue to press my


case for the open inquiry we need. I think it is still what the


circumstances demand. Look at what was going on in the House today,


you said in your leadership speech of 2010, you said, let's be honest,


politics isn't working and people have lost faith in politicians and


politics is broken. The practice and the reputation and the


institutions, you are in and and you find it depressing? I find that


at Prime Minister's Questions too. It is not a great advert for


politics. But I have to say when you have a Chancellor of the


Exchequer who starts throwing around allegations, which he then


can't substanceate, it is only right the shad -- substantiate, it


is only right the Shadow Chancellor challenges him. Why did passions


run high tonight, at least on our side, let me make the point. I feel


we have seen scandal after scandal in the banking system, I think the


response of politicians on all sides has been inadequate. I make


the parallel with pack hacking lasty, I think it is a moment when


politics needs to rise to the challenge, and the challenge is why


does an inquiry matter, it sounds technical, but it is important


because it can get to the truth. The truth may be difficult for you,


because it may mean there was bad practice in the last Government?


tell you one thing we got regulation wrong in the last


Government, we weren't tough enough. You might have got LIBOR wrong too.


Can I quote from the memo sent to the chief executive of Barclays.


That Paul Tucker, from the Bank of England, received calls from a


number of senior figures among Whitehall to question why Barclays


was always towards the top end of the LIBOR pricing. Have you any


idea who these figures in Whitehall are? No idea at all, that is why we


need the proper inquirey. The irony of this argument, Kirsty, is I have


been arguing for what some people would say was against the narrow


party interest, which people might say Labour wants to avoid skrutnee.


I have been ageing for the judge- led inquiry, for judges to get all


the e-mail, if a Select Committee can do that, great as well. Why do


I say that? Because I don't think we should be afraid of the past.


I'm a Labour leader who says we move on from the past. We learn the


lessons. Only when the past is sorted out? Sure that is why I want


a judge-led inquiry. If you have this accusation that there were


senior figures in Whitehall, what have you done, for example, today,


to check it out, have you spoken to Ed Balls? He made his position


clear, totally untrue. Have you made any inquiries or conversations


with the Bank of England? It's totally untrue. I do say this about


politics, Kirsty, that part of the problem is when allegations are


flung around, and are reported in good faith, and turn out to be


total -- totally one true. And even the Chancellor's aides are saying


they have nothing to back up the allegations. Yes, but these


allegations, as you know, the Chancellor has done an interview


for the Spectator Magazine. In that interview he says, more or less


he's pretty sure, that these calls or conversations came from within


Brown's circle? Fine, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer has


evidence about this, let him come forward with the evidence. That's


fine. Did you ask, or have you asked Gordon Brown? I haven't


spoken to him within the last 24 hours. Why not? Because, Kirsty, I


have a responsibility as leader of the Labour Party to make sure we


get to the bottom of these allegations. Ask Gordon Brown?


way we get to the bottom of the allegations by having the full


inquiry we need. It is not about me doing the investigations. You are


the leader of the opposition, this is an accusation of something done


under the last Labour Government's watch. Gordon Brown was at the


centre of this, wouldn't it actually be sensible, wouldn't it


be curious, rather than incurrous to speak to Gordon Brown and


Darling about this? No, I think my job is to say what is right for the


country. What is right for the country is the full inquiry we need,


calling all the people before it. Here is the really important thing,


the really important thing is to sort out the problems of our


banking industry. Some of them created under the last Labour


Government? Some of them, yes. The hundreds of thousands of decent


people who work in the banking industry, who will be looking on as


appalled as I am and you are about what we have seen in banking.


People like the Hendersons I met this morning, it is for them we


have to have the big change that we need. If I was coming to this


interview saying, Kirsty, I don't want any inquiries, because I don't


want to look at the past, you would have a right to say why not get to


the bottom of this. I'm the one who wants the inquiry. I don't


understand, you speak to Ed Balls, obviously he's in the Shadow


Cabinet, but Gordon Brown, it's still, you know, a politician, and


was very close to all this. He was at the heart of it. A lot of the


mistakes were made under his watch. Wouldn't it be sensible for you to


speak to him, and actually find out, why won't you speak to him?


course I will speak to him. I speak to him regularly. Why not today, I


would have thought? Because I have to say to you that I don't think,


saying it is my job to investigate the detailed allegation about Paul


Tucker and Bob Diamond, my job is to say how do we change things for


the future? For 20, 30 years there has been a tendency in this country,


and this is much greater than the history of LIBOR towards


deregulation, and light-touch regulation, shared by both parties,


it was wrong, and it has to change for future. Let's not forget who


matters, it is not the insiders at Westminster, it is people like the


family I met this morning, who are saying, they have been mis-sold.


Their mis-selling has nothing to do with LIBOR t won't even be within


the scope of this inquiry, that is why the inquiry will remain


inadequate. It is for them we have to get to the truth and move


forward. Finally, wave after wave of problems of possible implication


of politicians in all sorts of murky stuff, what would your father


think about it all? I think he would think that the most important


thing of all is that politicians speak truth to power wherever it


lies. Whether it lies in the banking system, whether it lies in


the press, whether it lies in our energy companies. To that extent


I'm my father's son, or I hope I am. These men have to co-operate on


this inquiry. But there is a sense tonight that there is a change in


the Chancellor's stand? There was a sense there was a change for about


20 minutes! Hostilities are not called off at all. The Chancellor


was seen to have slightly clarified what he said in his magazine


interview, all he's doing is drawing attention. Ed Balls in the


Commons today said he had been accused by George Osborne of being


clearly involved. No, if you look at the paragraph, Osborne is


accusing those "closely" linked to Brown as being involved A few


sentences later, he says Ed Balls has questions to answer, that is


not as strong as Ed Balls said in the chamber he was being accused of.


It is close text actual analysis, not hostilities called off. They


have to co-operate. It is highly likely this narrow inquiry sprawls


and sprawls, and falls down under the pressure of the parties not


being able to co-operate in the long run. Once the cry was to join


the army and see the world. Today the question is how much of an army


will there be to join. And where in the world will a much reduced


fighting force army do its soldiering? The bald facts are


these, the army will be cut by one fact to 82,000, and reservists will


double in numbers and take up the slack. There will be two tranches


of redundancy next year, and the following wurpbgs with highly


trained soldiers, some just back from Afghanistan, in the job market.


We will discuss what impact this will have on our historical and


cultural view of ourselves. First here is our defence editor.


When this place was built, national security outranked all other


political concerns. But these days the Tower of London


sits under the shadow of mam Monday. And the army, once more, must


adjust to woorld in which available financial resources are shrinking.


It is very hard to be certain about the future. As Professor Sir


Michael Howard once said, the important thing about trying to


predict the future is not to be so wrong as when the future reveals


itself you can't adjust quickly to meet the new circumstances. That is


what the Government needs to do, to manage the risk it has taken or


board, and make sure it can adjust quickly in new circumstances if


they present themselves. Here the harvest of foreign Vic tree, these


French guns taken at Waterloo -- Victory, these French guns taken at


Waterloo on display. How do we maintain our reputation.


People make comparison with previous demobilisations, including


the one after water loo. But these days Britain's global commitments


are very much reduced, and the political will to use force, dit at


the moment it is hard to see that any of -- Tito, it is hard to see


that -- ditto, it is hard to see that any of the regiments will be


reinstated. When the Cold War ended Britain had 149,000 soldiers, after


the cuts it will have 82,000. While the numbers is not cut in half, the


UK will field a single armoured division, compared with three in


1991. There will be career compression and further redundancy,


whether you like it or not, if you are reducing 20%, things like


opportunities to command regiments at Lieutenant Colonel rank will


diminish. Opportunity to command companies and squadrons for Majors,


will diminish, that is a fact. Announcing its plans, the


Government conceded morale was fragile. But the head of the army


believes a balanced force will result from the plan. What today is


really about is the structure of that army, the way in which we


shall be reshaping it to be an army fit for the future. A place where


our soldiers will have challenging and rewarding careers.


Of course, the professional horizons of the army have narrowed


with the retreat from empire. Postings like Singapore, Hong Kong


or Aden, have disappeared, even Germany is being wound down. Where


as 21 years ago a British general commanded an army group of more


than 200,000 NATO soldiers, bit late 1990s, core command, about


80,000 was the summit of their ambitions, and today a division of


about 20,000, is the highest scale of war the army will train for.


For six years the Helmand commitment has shaped the army. We


filmed the Green Howards in one of the toughest parts of the Afghan


province. Chris, one of the young soldiers featured then, was founded.


He's till -- wounded, he's still serving, but his battalion will go,


as part of today's plan, and his sister decrys the redundancies now


taking place. It is heart-breaking, I went to the pass out parade when


they came home. The first soldiers to go and receive their medals,


were the injured soldiers. And everybody cheered, and it was


heart-breaking, it was really heart-breaking, and to see that


udisbanded and got rid of, they are a team a family, I find it shocking.


Once today's plan goes into effect, even a sustained commitment, the


size of Helmand, would require the use of whole units of reservists.


There is scepticism among many regular soldiers, that the reserve


forces of today could do this. The plan of an army of 1 10,000, is


very much preddikaited on a big chunk of that, 50,000 being from


the reserves. It is a risk, the Ministry of Defence knows it is a


risk and it has to manage that. To make the plan work, it has to be


managed properly let's put the shoulder to the wheel and make it


work. We know the budgets for training exercises, that type of


thing, are often the first to be cut, when there is a pinch. If that


is the case, the plan is doomed. When the ravens leave the tower, so


the legend has it, Britain's greatness will be over. They are


still here, and that other embodiment of national pride, the


army, is still in residence too. But that force is being cut, once


again, and today it symbolises a diminished power, struggling for


relevance, in an uncertain world. In terms of future deployment, for


example, if there was another call on us like Helmand, what would


happen? Initially, the answer seems straight forward, the high-


readiness brigades would be able to do it. As it is sustained and goes


on, there would be more reliance on reservists. That seems to worry a


lot of people I speak to in the forces. One used the term of a


"Temkin village", because it is not as good to rely on the reservists


and other aspects not appeared to be thought out. The Government


saying that we have the fourth- biggest spend in the world on


defence what does that mean? It is true, Britain does still spend a


lot on defence. You can see it as a source of pride and punching above


our weight. You can see it in some ways that we don't get that much on


what we spend in full structure. There are other countries, like


France, which doesn't actually spend radically different amounts,


the UK has a similar profile in international affairs. At this


particular moment it may be they have a terrible reckoning coming


through, and delivering significant capability. A carrier air wing, and


40% more deployable units in their army, I would reckon, and all sorts


of other capablities that Britain doesn't have any more. In that


sense Britain does seem to have fallen back, it is a question of


whether now they have done that they have put the fores on a


sustainable foot -- forces on a sustainable footing. We have Philip


Hammond, the Defence Secretary. Presumably this will affect foreign


policy, where we go in, how long our deployment remains and so


forth? We set out in the strategic defence and security view, in 2010,


our broad strategic approach. And the level of our military ambition


within that. What we have announced today is the structure of the army,


one part of our Armed Forces, how it will be structured to deal with


the smaller total regular forces that we announced last year. And


what the chief of the general staff has said very clearly is that with


this construct, he can deliver the military output required of the


army to give effect to the 2010SDSR. We set out what we want to do, now


we are setting out how we are going to do it. You heard it said that


reliance on reservists would be a risk. For example, in Helmand


n2006-2012, you have many thousands of troops, now you would have to


rely on reserve is, getting them up to 30 though, getting employers on


side in a recession, how do you do that? The General is right, this is


a risk and they that needs to be managed. That is the key. We have


set aside �1.8 billion of additional funding for reserve


training, equipment, kit, to make sure the reserves get a proper deal.


15,000 to 30,000, do you accept something like Helmand would be a


risk because you would be relying on reservists? We would rely on


reservists in a sustained operation, in the second and third years.


Helmand? Yes. And these dangerous territories? The point is this, for


years now the reserves have not been properly resourced, the last


Government cut their training as an easy way to cut the defence budget.


You can't expect to have effective reserves if you don't train them,


if you don't qip them, and if you don't make a two-way bargain with


them. They must train and be available for deployment, but the


Government must fund that training. There is a three-way bargain,


because it is about the Moyers as well. I know you did a big --


employers as well. I know you did a big consultation on this, but it is


a big ask for employers. What about reservists that go away for six


months? We look at the whole range of options, we have a limited


amount of resources but will look at how best to engage with


employers. I'm confident large employers will step up to the


challenge. The public sector will step up to the challenge. If there


needs to be legislation, we will do that. You accept there can be a


discrimination, an employer looks at a series of potential employees


in front of her, and realise they might be without him or her for six


months. Would there be legislation against discrimination? And an


employer can't ask someone if they intend to get pregnant over the


next five years, and maybe not asking about the reserves may be


the way. If we were in two theatres like Afghanistan and Iraq together,


that would be a big ask for this formation? That would be very


challenging. We might be able to do it? Our expectation it is we would


be working with allies, primarily NATO, but other allies as well.


does change, and maybe for the better, maybe we shouldn't be


saying, actually, we can go around being the world's policeman, maybe


we should be saying we don't have the capability to go and help the


Americans in Iraq, in a future theatre of war? It is not about


helping the Americans, it is about being able to protect our national


interest where it is placed at risk. As Mark just confirmed, we do have


the world's fourth-largest defence budget, you wouldn't sometimes


think it given what the British media says about our defence


capablities. If we were faced with a position now, with the new formed


army, a position of having to do Iraq and Afghanistan at the same


time, you accept we couldn't do that? We would be really struggling


to do Iraq and Afghanistan on a sustained basis. Tony Blair got us


into a position where we were doing those two operations. But the the


army was put into massive overstretch in consequence. It was


underresourced. But they did it then? We are still paying the price


today of the stress placed on the army during that period. Do you


accept we are retreating from the world's stage? We are still one of


the world's leading military powers. We have huge capabilities, hugely


capable Armed Forces, working with our allies, we can project


significant military effect to give muscle to our foreign policy.


you know, when you look at the changing political balance in the


world, you wondwhreer we should have a permanent seat -- wonder


whether or not we should have a permanent seat at the security?


think we should. We are one of the world's legitimate nuclear powers.


We have a powerful nuclear deterrent, we have one of the most


effective armed forces in the world. Well respected. We project


significant amounts of soft power, our Armed Forces are not only in


the business of Kennettic powered delivery, -- kenitic powered


delivery, they do a lot of stablisation in Third World


countries. It was said it was not as good in chance, our capability?


France is in a position where it is on the brink of a fiscal consol


itself. We are all waiting to see - - consolidation itself, we are all


waiting to see what the French defence budget will look like, I


wouldn't put bets on it tonight. Can I bring it back to the soldier


in the battalion, you will have two tranches of redundancy in 2013, you


hope there will be a lot of natural redundancies, people wanting to


leave, there may not be, people doing compulsory redundancy. What


do you say to a soldier, given so much training, and been perhaps in


Afghanistan and Iraq, in various theatres, who comes back and


realises that he has got no longer place in the army, which is his


home, and actually not much of a likelihood of getting a job? First


of all, nobody wants to make redundancies, we announce that the


regular army would be smaller last year, we have already started a


redundancy programme, and the army also has a programme to slow


recruitment so that we minimise the level of redundancy required to get


over the next few years to this smaller size. Where people do have


to be made redundant, the army has a very effective package of support


available to them, to prepare them for civilian life, and to help them


find jobs. Actually, ex-service people are very much sought after


by employers for very good reason. Unemployment rates have very high


among ex-servicemen now? Unemployment rates are, sadly,


higher than we would like across the country. But if you ask


employers with people coming out of the services with the police


Palestinian and -- discipline and education they have is suitable for


employment. Employment for army personnel is significantly higher


it is said? I would contest that. Listening to that is General Sir


Mike Jackson, the professional head of the army in 2004, brought in


significant reforms to its structure. A military head, and a


corporal shot and blinded while serving with the Royal Battalion.


My other guests also. In the big picture, how do you think this will


affect, both the perception we have of ourselves, as a nation with


great military capability, and the perception that other people have


of us? We have always had tremendous self-image as a military


nation. At the same time I would not be sad to see the cliches going


about punching above our weight. I think we have to be very realistic


about what we can do in the world, I don't think we should make any


pretences about it. You heard it said there, that if faced with


Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time, with this new formation, it


would simply not be possible. Where does that place us? What does that


say about us? In any case we have come out of Iraq and Afghanistan


much more realistic about what we can. Do the and the Americans, our


-- can do. And the Americans, our main allies, have done that too. We


can do less than in the past. you think as a nation or series of


nations, that is good for us to know and accept? It means we won't


take on more than we can do. That is the real politic of this,


that we won't be the force we once were in terms of being able to move


in for sustained deployment? Well, I'm not sure that's quite right.


First of all, it is for Governments to decide the size of the resource


envelope in regards to defence. It is the army's job, and the sister


services, to get the best military capability we can from the


resources allocated. We also have to meet the requirements of the


Strategic Defence and Security Review, which are quite specific. I


won't bother you with technicalties. But just on two operations, one


enduring, and one "one-off" six month, is within that envelope. I


think what the army has actually come up with is a very innovative,


and interesting solution to what happens when we stop campaigning,


which we are told we will do by the end of 2014. In an uncertain world


what will the army be asked to do next? We don't know. So a balanced


and flexible course is the very sensible answer. From the soldier's


point of view, you are a former corporal, Simon, what is morale


like, we have heard about unemployment. What is morale like


amongst serving soldiers? There is a lot of uncertainty now. Back in


camp people are not sure what is going on, so that they wrap


themselves up in work. The professionalism of the guys and


girls on the ground, means they just carry on following their oath.


There has to be some effects out on the ground with the guys. The


professionalism means they will carry on doing the job they have to


do. Everybody would be concerned about going to work and coming back


not sure of a job when they finish. That day out there is six months on.


You have no idea how long you have to prepare. I know there is things


put in line, they don't have access to the media and information. They


are hearing bits and pieces t will just scare the guys. When you came


out you were severely wounded, you lost all but 15% of your sight.


What was like for you to come out, and adapting to the natural world,


and all these soldiers feeling the need to take voluntary redundancy


or be faced with compulsory redundancy? It is frightening,


especially with the those with disabilities. There are many who


have done action on the frontline and they have things to deal with


mentally. For me it scared me, all of a sudden, not only have a lost


my job, but my career, a family that have been there. Even the


thing of hand anything my ID card, I have been told to treasure and


nuture that, and all of a sudden having to give it back like it


meant nothing to me. All these things of adapting back into


civilian life, it is terrifying. When you look at housing and stuff


as well, it is hard. How do you think we will have to change the


feeling of what we can actually do in the world. You were talking


about the closure of punching above our weight. Will we see a


difference in foreign policy? army has to pond respond to the


foreign policy de-- respond to the foreign policy desessions, and


having to take into account the relative restrictions there. We


will still be part of a NATO alliance and operating with allies


as we have had to do for a very, very long time. What do you think


about the idea that the ple de employment of reservists -- the


deployment of reservists will become much more important in


sustained operations? They have been used in other countries in


greater proportions than by the British army. We have to get used


to the idea, it is a question of adapting the systems to it. Do you


think in this country employers are ready for that kind of upping twice


from 50 to 30,000? As the Defence Secretary has said t I think it is


incredible. It is really very hard to see how it is going to work. Not


only are employers going to hate it, particularly small ones, but


employees in this tough environment, going out, trying to get a job.


They have no incentive, not only to be part of the reservists but


joining it. The idea of being a reservist, the idea of always being


in the reservists or the TA, but if you are mopping-up operations and


facing the matter of the legislation and the employer, do


you think people will be so keen? It is a challenge, let's give


credit where it is already due, for the numerous, now, interventions,


which have taken place since the end of the Cold War. At any one


time, somewhere around 10% of the deployed force have been reservists.


This is not a new thing, we are all, to some extent, down the road. We


are asking them to up the game. tradition has been of the effective


soldier. I wonder how you feel about the idea that more reservists


have to step up to the plate? have massive respect for reservist,


I served with them on the frontline. We have relied on them for many


years now tauls the case, regardless of legislation and law,


tuls it is always a thing you know reservists - it is always a thing


you know reservists can say no and the employer can say no. The


professionalism means they will keep going and pushing until they


break, but the reservists might crack. What about that, they keep


going until they snap? Two aspects. There is the whole employment


dimension, civilian employment dimension, I'm pretty confident


that the law will have to change to give better protection to the


reservists and in civilian employment. However, you can't


produce a law which keeps families happy. There is that family


dimension as well. Which is going to be, I think, requiring a culture


change as much as a legal one. the beginning we were talking about


others' perception of us in the world. And Philip Hammond saying


there is no reason why Britain wouldn't retain a place in the


Security Council. But, do you think in the long-term, as things change,


that isn't necessarily a given. That we will have to see ourselves


differently in the world and other people will see that too? Holding


on to Trident is the key to holding on to the seat at the Security


Council. Whether we can afford Trident is a different matter.


Should those resources be deployed within the Armed Forces themselves.


I have to come in, we can afford Trident, the question is whether we


choose to. Should we choose to afford Trident? I'm dubious, but I


know I'm going to be overruled here. Outranked. But if the holding of a


nuke clear weapon gets your place in the permanent seat on the


Security Council, in future years many other countries will want the


place on the Security Council by the same token? That is certainly


true. The whole question of the Security Council is bound to come


under change. Europe obviously is demanding a seat for the Europeans.


We may be in retreat from that? The council is not going to look


the way it does now, probably in 0 years time. But any way it will be


interesting to see how soon this is tested. The testing of it, we are


talking about lots of change. Many things have to be put in place to


make this work. You are talking about redundancies, but also in the


year after talking about doubling the reservists in a quick time?


During a period of some turbulence, we have the whole question of


international intervention in Syria and America clearly doesn't want to


get in. South Eastern Europe in a very unsettled state, America


doesn't want to touch it, telling Europeans, including Britain, you


sort it out if there is any trouble. We may have to answer these things


fast. Do you think, when you look at what moit happen in the next


four or five -- might happen in the next four or five years, that we


might be called on? Syria is a live question and south Eastern Europe,


isn't at the moment, but could be. Or Europe's borders, the Balkans


and that. Somewhere like Syria, where the deployment would be very


difficult and could be protracted, that might be something that we


maybe shy away from? I think we should certainly steer clear of


sirbia in all circumstances. It is -- Syria in all circumstances. It


is an American-led push. What would it say about us if we decided not


to follow the Americans' lead if there was a confrontation in Syria.


What would that say about us? think it would leave us in a lesser


place than so far we have been. Some may argue. That is just as


well. -- some may argue that is just as


well. That is bringing reality into play. On the other hand, I'm not of


that view. We are not alone in this global world, and stability of this


world is part of our strategic interest. We still have the


capability to influence what goes on outside. It is for Governments


to decide this, but they need to keep the tools there, in my view.


If we don't go and help in Syria is called upon what will happen next?


We will look smaller, but even ten years ago we could do less than we


took on. Britain took on some pretty big things in the south of


Iraq, Helmand, the responsibility for drugs in Afghanistan. Arguably


they were bigger responsibilities than we should have taken on,


because we didn't have the capability ten years ago to do that.


What would you feel like ifp you were still on the force and -- if


you were still on the force and you didn't go. There is a various ethos


about it, Kosovo and all sorts of places, if which don't go? We are


still in a lot of places where we don't know and people forget about


deployments. We don't think about that, we do as wl we are told, we


take an oath and we follow it. As the general said, the Government


make a decision and we go there. There would be some grumbling if we


didn't go, being bad-mouthed in NATO and not pulling our weight.


Grumbling goes on in the army, it is fact of life. Although we don't


want the commitment wrecks don't want other people to think we are


not pulling our weight. We don't want to be seen pulling our weight,


but areas like Syria may be problematic for us? They could be,


and we don't want to be in a position, because of lack of back-


up and resources, that we daren't perform as well as we should be.


you think what we are doing as a nation is providing the back-up,


the Special Forces, the intelligence, it is short-term


operations. The strategic decision would be not to go anywhere, we


won't have to stay very long? will be no doubt in any Government


in whatever hue of the United Kingdom, when confronted with the


decision of to commit or not to comi. Our Special Forces are world


class, no two ways about that. We are very good at training others.


There are training teams all over the place. They have a stablising


effect, and do, to some extent, reduce the risk of a conflict.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 43 seconds


Thank you all very much indeed. That's all from Newsnight tonight.


The tallest building in Europe had its official opening today, the


Shard, standing in the South Bank of the Thames, reaches over 1,000


feet into the sky. The Mayor of London, told French TV that the


Britains were experiencing shieden More severe weather is heading


across the UK, by the end of the night heavy rain will arrive across


eastern counties of England. It spreads across England, northern


England, into much of Wales. Torrential rain persistent. A real


risk of flooding during the course of Friday. There are a number of


warnings in force. We have an amber warning across parts of the UK. A


threat of flooding, especially across parts of the Midlands and


Wales. In the far south most places having a reasonable day, dry and


bright with sunny spells. In Wales there will be rain. North Wales in


particular having heavy and persistent downpours, the threat of


further problems. Flooding across parts of Northern Ireland, from


intense showers. In the far south there could be more rain, elsewhere


on Friday it is looking general low dry and bright. As it is across the


North West of Scotland. And generally fine further south for


Scotland at this stage. But there is more rain to come. And


particularly across central and eastern parts of Scotland. Another


cause for concern. We continue with the risk of flooding through the


weekend. On Saturday it looks across northern England and central


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