27/02/2013 Newsnight


Last day of campaigning for the Eastleigh by-election, has the euro crisis been resurrected by Italy's inconclusive election? Plus Tony Blair proposes intervention in Syria.

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Tonight, on the eve of the by- election in Eastleigh, our -- are


Liberal Democrats speeding towards With the near full moon. Lib Dems


are quietly confident they will retain the seat. UKIP could


listened up being the big story tomorrow.


Also tonight, thought the eurocrisis was dead and buried,


well with no clear winner in Italy's election, it is back on its


feet. Paul Mason will have graphs and zombies.


The second part of our interview with Tony Blair, ten years after


the Iraq invasion. He pushes for intervention in Syria, and gives


the UN Security Council short shrift. There are things we could


be doing to help change the balance of power in the struggle. My


anxiety is we are about to learn again the lessons of the


consequences of non-intervention. You may have thought you already


knew this, new research suggests there is a direct link between


sugar and diabetes. We hope you like your science sweet. Good


evening, the trigger for the Eastleigh by-election may have been


the unedifying scenes of Chris Huhne pleading guilty and his wife


taking his speeding points. But the allegations made against former


chief executive, Lord Rennard, allegations he vehemently denies


and dominating the headlines in the last few days. Can the party hold


the seat despite it all. Our political he had has been chasing


around in Eastleigh on a frenetic day of last-day campaigning.


# War what is it good for # Absolutely nothing


Not the Wild West, but wild Eastleigh. How are you doing gents.


The hoopla unfurling down the length of this high street is for


the election of a new MP all right. But it is a yardstick too of how


the three parties may fare in the big one. The 2015 general election.


The Conservatives are on the hunt for votes. It is teatime in a truck


depot. Since the allegations about Lord


Rennard emerged, the race has got tighter and the Tories have got


busier. Lib Dems sources report an inflation of Conservatives in this


area, as they sense vulnerability in the Lib Dems. Behind both of


them, UKIP is rising up fast. The Tories need to grab place like


Eastleigh off the Lib Dems, but the votes of a few truckers wouldn't go


amiss. Thatcher won the blue collar vote in 1979, Blair in 1997,


Cameron has bent yet persuaded them. We are playing to win. We want to


win this by-election, it is a very important by-election. I have


learned, for a long time the BBC had lost a by-election, and the


electorate said I had won it, not to take elections for granted.


Labour came second here in the 1994 by-election, but it is fighting not


to be pushed into fourth place by UKIP. Labour gambled on a celebrity


candidate, but was he the right celebrity in Eastleigh.


REPORTER: Do you know what John's day job is? A writer. There you are.


The party came second in the 1994 by-election, but it is fighting not


to be pushed into fourth by UKIP. We are the opposition and we want


to become the Government. Part of that strategy is showing that we


are determined to work not just in one part of the country, where we


have been winning by-election, but in every part of the country.


think they could do well, possibly come first, maybe beat the Tories


to second. Nigel Farage looks like he's doing the crossword here, but


he's analysing polling figure, they have put immigration front and


centre. Right from the very start we have


said we are the party that believes in a sensible, controlled approach


to immigration. Like Australia. We want good migrants to come to


Britain. We do not want foreign criminal gangs coming to Britain.


I'm afraid, which ever way you look at it, Romania and Bulgaria are


countries plaged with crime. And we do not want some of those people to


have open access to this country. What have students made of this by-


election, how might they vote? Tories? Why? Because I think they


are going to get Van Outen of debt and put this country back in the


economic climate. Definitely Lib Dem. Why? Because they have done a


lot for eastly there is the stuff with Huhne and stuff, you can't


deny they have improved the area vastly. Why does UKIP look like it


is doing so well? I am' sur -- surprised -- I'm surprised. On


their posters it is them saying we are different. Everyone wants


somebody doing something, they don't care what they do. Over to


the deferpbsd of this seat, the Liberal Democrats. -- defenders of


this seat, the Liberal Democrats. You know very well that I'm in a


decent, honourable team player, and I do what the thought police tell


me to do. I will go round the corner. I will go round the corner


and ondo some canvasing. You can only see ten activists now, but


around the constituency there is hundreds. The Liberal Democrats


think if they hold tight to Eastleigh they can hold tight to


the general election strategy until 20 15. That is until the Rennard


allegations. Does your party have a problem with women? My answer to


that is straight forward, no. women are saying that they do?


That's an issue for the inquiry. We have a national record, we have a


local record to stand on. I think that stands us in very good stead


for Thursday. We are not complacent or taking it for granted. We have


an outstanding candidate what implications there are for the


general election is interesting but a discussion for another time.


These people are past their sell- by-date, they must not be voted


into power to reek further havoc on the community. UKIP could do


surprisingly well, leaving the two largest political parties, the


Tories and Labour to do soul searching. If the Pope joins the


region we will join you. He will join us, make it sooner rather than


later. But the greatest prize may be to the people of Eastleigh,


peace, at last. Here is the list of all the canned


date -- candidates standing in the by-election tomorrow, all 14 of


them. We go to Eastleigh now. How high stakes is this for all the


parties. The Liberal Democrats must be desperate for it to be over?


They wanted it to be a three-week by-election because they knew they


could do a sprint, but they probably couldn't do a marathon.


Tomorrow we think they probably will fall over the finishing line,


keeping this seat. They have been pouring every resource they can


into it, so much so that last week when it was half time they brought


lots of students down. The allegations against Lord Rennard


haven't really played with the voters. I would struggle to tell


you one mentioned it to me today, and we have been around a lot. The


way it has played is you have the other parties scenting blood, and


sending more people down than they might otherwise have done, thinking


there might possibly be vulnerability there. If it had gone


on longer than it has done, they may have been right. One very


senior Liberal Democrat let it be known today f it was one more week


to this by-election, they think UKIP would pip it. By-elections are


famously about local issues, on that basis the Tories and Labour


must be kicking themselves for not having done a lot of the ground


work earlier? You saw in our package, Nigel Farage just to


theing up numbers. He believes the polling companies have


underestimated them, and he showed us all his little biro numbers. He


thinks they could come in at 27.5 points, that would give the Tories


a massive headache. People I have spoken to in the Conservative Party


today agree with him, that it is looking like it could be close


between themselves and UKIP for that prized second position. The


problem would then be, David Cameron, bet a lot on a huge speech


about Europe, a Europe speech that was supposed to stem a lot of this


anger, and it would become apparent this time tomorrow or two days,


that hadn't worked. Equally for Labour, you saw in the package,


Douglas Alexander saying, far from this being Labour's 258th target


seat, very down low on the list, but this place matters to Ed


Miliband's one-nation Labour Party. If they come fourth it isn't great


for them. In a moment, the economic nightmare


borne of Italy's political uncertainty. And part two of our


interview with Tony Blair ten years after the invasion of Iraq. You get


rid of dictators like Saddam, and confront Iran and hope there is


change there too. Italy is in a parlour state, without a Government


or the early prospect of one forming, following the country's


inconclusive general election. As the horse trading gets under way in


the attempt to form a working administration, the politicians are


fiddling while the economy is burning. It is spreading like a


bushfire through the eurozone. Here is our Economics Editor, Paul Mason.


It was dead and buried, we thought. But now the eurocrisis is back,


little a cheesey film dell'orrore, that is Italian for horror movie.


It has people biting their knuckles all across Europe.


As in most horror films, there is an old man who doesn't get it.


Mario Monti, the unelected Prime Minister who ran the country as a


technocrat. He polled just over 10% and is finished. Now, a massive


plot inflection. This man, Beppe Grillo, the stand-up comedian,


whose brand-new party scored more than 25%, and holds the balance of


power. In -- TRANSLATION: From all this rage we created hope. There


was no hope, it was anger without hope. It is anger without hope that


creates violence. But anger with hope is a different kind of anger.


We are containing the rage, so they should thank me. It is a democratic


rage that is needed to go forward. With the rise of the Five Stars


Party, there is political deadlock. Both traditional bloc, centre left


and right, made noises against austerity. But Grillo's party made


low noises against t and people expect him to force through change.


We are looking at party movement that has huge support among young


voters. There is clearly a generational confrontation going on.


Young voters are clearly on Grillo's side. And now clearly that


they have so huge support of so many MPs and senators, that


expectations are running high. Because Grillo has promised to open


up the Italian parliament like a tin of tuna, they want more


transparency andless bureaucracy. They want more efficient


politicians, less perks, lower salaries. They want a whole lot of


things from Beppe Grillo and his movement. Mr Grillo himself can't


enter parliament due to a manslaughter conviction after a


fatal car crash. The Italian election has gone off script. Last


summer the European Central Bank put the dampers on the crisis by


offering to buy unlimited amounts of Italian and Spanish debt. We


called it then the "virtual bail out", because they didn't need to


do anything. But Italian voters seemed to have concluded that if


the bookie jar is bottomless, better to vote for the people who


say, dip into it some more. Here is the result. Italy's bond yield, its


cost of Government borrowing, which had fallen sharply after the ECB's


move, last summer, spiked up towards 5%, moving more in day than


it normal low would in a year. If this goes further, and drags


Spain up as well, the ECB may actually have to start buying the


bonds. Italy accounts for about 17% of the


eurozone's GDP. It is huge. It is a very big economy, it is one of the


founding members of the eurozone. So it is one thing when Greece


looks a little bit shaky, and has some political instability. The


eurozone could probably have survived that, it cannot survive it


if Italy is going to be locked out of the bond markets. And also to


need a bail out if it doesn't have a Government to ask for one. We


could be looking at an Italian default, that is worst case


scenario and not the base case, but it is a risk now, where investors


didn't think it was for the last couple of months. That is a really


big deal. Europe does not need a rerun of the crisis, growth is set


to be very low this year. Low in France, low in Germany, and the


once-booming netherlands predicted to be in recession all year. Enter


Bersani by-election the smart money is for this man, the centre left


leader, to form a Government with Grillo's party offering support on


a case-by-base basis. But that kind of Government moves slowly, and the


markets can move fast. Tonight Silvio Berlusconi, who still is


clinging on for a sequel, issued this video message to his


supporters. TRANSLATION: I wish to hug everyone, one by one, to thank


them for renewing their faith in me and our political mission. Backing


our wish to defend the family businesses and our love for freedom


and Italy. To some, being hugged by Berlusconi would itself be a


horrifying thought. The problem with the great euro-horror movie is


everyone can hear you scream. Just before we came on air, I spoke to


the vice secretary of Pier Luigi Bersani's democratic party. I began


by asking him whether he thought the democrats could make a


coalition deal with Berlusconi, or the Five Star movement? We will do


our best to avoid economic and economic problems in Italy. For


that we need a Government, the only way to do that now is to form a


minority Government. We ask the other Members of Parliament to


allow our Government to start. We think it would be now impossible to


form a coalition Government with Berlusconi, or a coalition


Government with Grillo, for different reasons. With Berlusconi


because Berlusconi is our main opponent. With Grillo, because


Grillo is not a party, he's not a traditional party, he's a movement.


With them, maybe, we can be able to reach agreement, issue by issue.


The main problem is the beginning of the new Government. The birth of


the new Government. But, Mr Grillo thinks that you will do a deal with


Berlusconi. If Grillo won't do a deal with you, in order to get some


stability, would you do a deal with Berlusconi? We know that today is


impossible to form a coalition Government as the one you have in


the UK, or the one they have in Germany. So we will try to form


this minority Government, and to try to reach votes in parliament.


Of course, it is weak and very difficult as a situation, but it is


the only way to avoid, for Italy chaos. And we ask for everybody


taking his responsibility for what concerns our responsibility. We


think that on the economy, Europe and institutional changes, it is


possible to have in the next months important reforms. We will try all


our best to reach these reforms, in parliament, with the votes of our


Members of Parliament. What if you fail? What if you can't do a deal?


We are very worried about the risk of economic chaos. We very much


worry about the risk of exporting the virus of instability in the


rest of the eurozone. Of course the big risk is that without a


Government the rising of interest rates will create a situation of


instability and this instability can be exported into the rest of


the eurozone. This is why we will do all our best to form a


Government. How would you describe Silvio Berlusconi, then? Berlusconi


is our main opponent. He's our main opponent. He did a lot of mistakes


for the country. Of course we have to avoid having new elections


immediately after these elections. Because the populistic majority


with Berlusconi or Grillo will create a very negative situation


for the country. This is why we need to avoid new elections. We


need to have a Government today. Thank you very much for joining us.


I'm joined now from Rome by a senator in Berlusconi's People of


Freedom Party. First of all, you heard Mr Letta saying there that


chaos is looming ahead. There will be no coalition, but would you


support the democratic party in a minority Government? Well, I'm glad


that Mr Letta changed his mind. He was the very first to say that we


should go to new elections when he saw the first results. Then I'm


glad that he changed his mind. Today Berlusconi made a very


specific proposal there, the same that he made during the electoral


campaign. Of course we know that we can't enforce all those reforms


that we would like to have, but we would like to have some answers


about issues. They cannot ask our support, attacking us all the time,


and not telling us what they want us to support. What they are going


to do for the Italian economy. We just hear them speaking lots of


parties, laws that are in the interests of the politicians and


they are not saying nothing to address the economic crisis. We


have proposals about the tax rebate for those who are there. It is too


late for you to do that. The only way to get stability. The only way


to get stability is to get a Government on the table quickly. If


it means supporting democratic parties and minority Government?


You are saying it is too late. Thank you for interrupting me. But


you are saying it is too late. Too late for what? We had the results


yesterday. What, we should have done those proposals before the


elections? We didn't know the results yet. I don't know why you


are telling me that it is too late. It is not too late for Mr


Berlusconi, given that it's, people would say it is the behaviour of Mr


Berlusconi which has led to the uprising of people like Beppe


Grillo, because the disaffection of the political system has grown so


great? Well, by the way I can't hear you very well. I understand


that you are saying that it is Berlusconi's fault that Grillo took


all those votes. Actually Grillo has had the support of many medias,


because they thought that Grillo would take away votes from


Berlusconi. Instead Grillo is taking away votes also from the


left party. This is as a result of a propaganda war against Berlusconi,


with the judiciary and the populisim of Grillo and any


organisations, the result is the democratic party is trying to court


Mr Grillo, and Mr Grillo has refused, rejected that attempt.


Just calling Bersani a zombie, and a walking dead man, and a failure.


So I don't think that you can blame Berlusconi for all that what


happened in Italy. What happens next? We have a situation in the


economy where people are talking about the virus that actually


Italy's problems are bad enough for the Italian people, economic


problems, but they will become economic problems for the eurozone?


Sure this is why Berlusconi, he already did that yesterday, not


personally him, but through some aides. But today he personally


offered to anyone who was, of course Bersani at first, of course,


because he has the majority at the House. He offered the collaboration


for all those who want to have a tax rebate spending cuts to revive


the economy and institutional reforms. Now we want answers about


issues, they can't ask just to have our support without telling


anything about what they are going to do. And after they have attacked


us, and just proposing something that it is absolutely indifferent


to the economic crisis that won't create any jobs, and won't help the


country. If they are changing their mind that's good, we are ready to


take our responsibility. But which can't just say, yes, because they


insult us and then they ask us for our support.


In the run up to the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion,


Newsnight has conducted a long interview with Tony Blair. Re-


examining the decisions he made and the impact that has had on trust


between politicians and the people. Part of that interview was included


in our special debate on Iraq last night. Tonight, here's a second


part. In which the former Prime Minister, who is a Special Envoy to


the Middle East, talks about the dangers supposed by Syria and Iran.


We began, however, by discussing the role of intelligence leading up


to the Iraq War. When was the moment that you knew


that there were no weapons of mass destruction? The moment that we


knew that the intelligence was wrong was obviously when the Iraq


Survey Group finally reported. It is very important that people


understand what they did report and what they didn't. Their eventual


findings were, yes he had put his programme into abeyance, but he


retained the intent and expertise. I have no doubt at all, that had we


backed off he would have been back to it again. You couldn't go to war


on an intention. The only way you could invade Iraq was if you were


absolutely certain. The only legal basis that he certainly had WMD,


not an intention? Exactly, that is why I say to people. How many times


have we been over this argument. If people want to see the intelligence


we relied on, the simplest thing is they read the Joint Intelligence


Committee reports that are now freely and public low available.


Exactly a year -- Publicly available. Exactly a year before


the invasion. You wrote to your Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell,


you said, "We have to resword the story and the message, because it


has to be about the nature of the regime". That came out at Chilcot.


Can you see why people thought they were misled, a year beforehand you


were thinking about the best way to make the case? You are obviously


going to think of the best way to make the case if you believe it.


that a case of making the case and trying to find the evidence to fit


that? If you are in any doubt, if your problem is a "deceit" problem,


look at the Joint Intelligence Committee reports. The point is


this, however, the nature of the regime, this is why this


distinction between the nature of the regime, and the use of WMD, is


always well, not so much a forced one, but one lacking in common


sense. The reason why we fear Iran with a nuclear weapon today, is in


part because of the nature of the Iranian regime. If the Iranian


regime were a democracy with a benign view towards the rest of the


region, we still probably wouldn't want them to have a nuclear weapon,


but it would be a completely different proposition. The thing


was, even then, you have got Saddam then, but you also had Assad's


father, WMD in Syria. Abuses of human rights then. The thing is, in


a sense you either, you go in with WMD, it matters, surely, it matters


then and it still matters about whether or not there were WMD


because, it is a question of trust between politicians and the public,


isn't it? It is a matter of trust. And when the allegation was first


made that people are being deliberately misled, we had a six-


month Government inquiry, it was the first time Government and the


Intelligence Services, everybody gave evidence. It took six months.


The judge that we put in charge was someone was absolute impeccable


integrity, nothing to do with politics, that was the Hutton


Inquiry. When he came out with the verdict that there was no deception,


people didn't like it so they trashed the report and the judge. I


agree with you, of course it is a serious issue about trust in


politics. The fact is there have now been five different inquiries


into the same issue. As I say, the simple thing is, if you are a


member of the public and you don't know whether you were deliberately


misled or not, go and read the Joint Intelligence Committee


reports. Isn't it terrible that in this country now we can't go to war


on the basis of intelligence again k we? I think, I don't think


whether we go to war on the basis of intelligence or not is really


the issue. I think what is the issue, frankly, after Iraq and


Afghanistan, is whether we disregard the price of any such


intervention as too high. Well, yes. I was wondering about that, after


Iraq, do you think that you could ever make case for moral


intervention? Yes, of course. talk about Iran. You talk about


Syria? Yes. Look at what's happening in Syria today. Now,


because we don't have troops there, it is not on our television screens


every night in the same way. If this carries on much longer in


Syria, there will be virtually as many people proportionately killed


in Syria, as in the whole of the conflict since 2003 in Iraq, and


we're at the beginning of this process now. You have a dictator


there literally wiping out whole villages, using scud missiles and


heavy artillery. We are not intervening.


Do you think we should intervene? As I have said on many occasions,


we don't have to put our own boots on the ground, I do think we should


be taking a far stronger line on Siria. I think, in the end, if --


Syria. I think in the end, if we don't intervene, and you carry on


with this number of people dying, you carry on with the situation


where increasingly I think you will find in the opposition forces it is


the more extreme elements that take charge. We are going to end up with


a very, very big problem further down the line. So my view is when


you debate the wisdom of intervention versus non-


intervention, non-intervention is also a decision, it is a policy and


has consequences. Yes, but if it is not boots on the ground, it is


bombs from the air, for example, you would have to have a legal


basis for going into Syria. You will never get that through the UN?


It is very difficult to get it through the UN. What would you do?


Sometimes he look at the UN Security Council as if it was the


Supreme Court of justice. It is a group of political leaders looking


at their political interests. In my view, of course we should try to


get a diplomatic solution. Even though we should be trying to work


with the Russians and Chinese and others to get a way through. But


there are things we could be doing to help change the balance of power


in this struggle. And my anxiety is that we are about to learn again


the lesson of the consequences of non-intervention. We went through


this with Rwanda genocide and again in Bosnia, we didn't intervene,


250,000 people died before we finally realised in the end these


are struggles in which our own interests, quite apart from the


humanitarian aspect, are dramatically engaged. I still think


in respect of Iraq and Afghanistan, once those conflicts got beyond the


ray genome change stage, Saddam was toppled, the Taliban driven out of


Afghanistan, and they then changed into these deep-seated sectarian


conflicts, we have an interest in ensuring that the sensible people


win those conflicts. The problem is now, is that we are pretty sure


that Iran has weapons of mass destruction at some level, or on


its way to getting them. As a result of what happened in Iraq,


Iran is an absolute powerhouse in the region. This is the number one


enemy of the west, number one enemy of America, and as a result of the


problems in Iraq, Iran is gaining power, and another foothold in


Iraq? This is, in my view, the worst geopolitical argument I have


come across. This parliament that some how we should have kept Saddam


in power in order to act as a bulwark against Iran. That was the


policy of the west, in the 1980s. We supported Saddam, in his


struggle against Iran. The consequences were, a war in which


there were one million casualties. Hundreds of thousands of people who


were killed, largely by the use of chemical weapons and other


artillery from Saddam. Without of that came two things, first of all,


the absolute belief by Saddam that the existence of chemical weapons


was essential for his regime. That is why he should he managed to push


back the Iranians. And the Iranian nuclear weapons programme was borne


out of their belief after that struggle that conventional weapons


were not enough. When you look back in history, the idea it is a


sensible policy to support people like Saddam to be a bulwark against


Iran, it is not the right policy. The right policy is you get rid of


dictators like Saddam, and you confront Iran and hope there is


change there too. You have to confront these countries, I would


suggest, without putting any British forces anywhere near them.


Because, frankly, the British public has no appetite for that.


And obviously you saw in Obama's address, he's not going on any


foreign adventures either? I agree, there is a huge reaction. Of course


there is going to be, minutes any form of intervention. All I'm


saying to you is, that is the argument now. Let's wait and see


how that argument is, particularly after what is happening in the


Middle East. Look at the Middle East today. You have Syria, as I


say, which is in a state of disintegration, with thousands of


people dying every month. You have Iran trying to get nuclear weapons


capability. Further awe field you have Pakistan, Afghanistan in state


of great uncertainty. You have Yemen. You have Libya and Tunisia


and Egypt, after their revolutions. Now with huge uncertainty as to


what happens. You agree, you do agree with the revolutions in Egypt


and so on. Although you did support Mubarak, you do agree with the


revolutions? I do, I also say the revolutions aren't the end, they


are the beginning. And what we are going to have to understand in the


west is, it's OK to say we will disengage and let these countries


get on with it. Of course we are trying 0 do what we can to help,


those Governments in Libya and Tunisia and Egypt, but it is going


to be a long, hard struggle. I would actually watch Egypt in


particular. I hope that in the end that can be stablised. It may not.


What is happening in Syria is, as I say, ghastly. All I'm saying to you


is, in the end the essential judgment is this, is the world


going to be safer if you leave these countries to their own fate,


in answers is. So there is a dictator in power with an


oppressive regime, we will leave them there. If the country rises up


and throws them off, well that's their decision. Or is it better to


see the forces that are trying to destablise the region and beyond,


which in my view are forces linked by a common ideology, based on a


perversion of religion, this Islamism, or is it better to see


them as part of a whole picture. That is the essential picture. The


judgment of history will be made about this, not now, because we are


in the middle of it, it will be made later. That is the essential


question. Are these separate struggles not linked really where


you have got to take a case-by-case view, or is there something that


fundamentally unites this process, and where we should see ourselves


as having a profound strategic interest in engagment. I'm in the


latter camp. But there are plenty of people who would say I'm wrong.


There are plenty of people who would say you will never be


supported by the country, because you squadered it during the war on


Iraq? Look, what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan was difficult and


long and bloody. Not because of getting rid of the regime, but


because of what happened afterwards. And what happened afterwards was


not something that occurred naturally, it occurred by the


intervention of outside forces, linking up with internal forces.


This is, as I say, precisely the problem you have everywhere in the


region and beyond. In fact, as a result of the war in Iraq, Al-Qaeda


is more on the rise than it was? think that is highly disputable. In


Iraq British forces and others did immense damage to Al-Qaeda. But the


fact is the ideology is still there, that is my point. It is a long


generational struggle. And the question is, is it a struggle of


which we should be interested and engaged, or is it one we say, look


we have had enough of all that we will stay out of it. I totally


understand why after long and arduous and difficult campaigns


people in our country and America and elsewhere say let's stay out of


it. You can just see what is happening to France and Mali, it is


hard to stay out of it, in the end, I'm afraid, the problem is still


there. In your memoirs you write about redeeming something from the


tragedies of the deaths in Iraq. In a way is your role as a Middle East


envoy some kind of attempt to atone? No. It is because I believe,


look, I set out straight after September 11th, I set out at the


party speech a couple of weeks later a global view, which is a


view I still hold. Which is after 9/11, the callous of risk has --


calculus of risk had changed, we had to take tougher lines against


those proliferating chemical, nuclear or buy lopbl kal weapons.


Secondly, I took the view that this ideology based on a perversion of


the religion of Islam had to be confronted. And one part of


confronting it is to deal with the long-running Israeli-Palestinian


dispue. Not because it is a cause of that extremism, but because


resolving it you put a huge boost in place for the modern-minded view


of the world. Which is really what is going on within the Middle East


and elsewhere. It is a struggle between the close-mind -- closed


mind and the open mind. The closed mind believes in societies run by


religion. The open mind says religion has a place in society,


but we should live together irrespective of whatever faith we


are, and we need an open-minded tolerant and democratic view of the


way we govern ourselves. Do you think you will be redeemed?


less interested in my personal position in this. That in at least


keeping people's minds alert to the possibility, that what happened in


Iraq was not some deceit or deception, it was actually a very


difficult decision, but it was a decision that became even more


difficult as a result of forces that are the same forces we are now


facing in many different parts of the world. I truly believe i may be


wrong, I tell you genuinely believe it. I think the only way we


overcome the forces in the end, is to stand up to them, to stand


alongside. Where I think the majority of people, even in Iraq


today, which is on the side of tolerance and democracy S but the


struggle is long and hard -- democracy. But the struggle is long


and hard and will take an intense amount of determination and will to


win. Thank you very much.


You can catch up with our debate on Iraq, ten years on, on the BBC


iPlayer. Before the end of the programme we will have the front


pages. First, the idea that there is a link between sugar and


diabetes is quite a common one. Chances are you put that down to


sugar leading to obesity, and hence to diabetes. But a new expensive


epidemiological study, published today, and looking right across


populations. Reveals that our own sugar intake might be connected to


diabetes, unconnected with obesity. We look at what the research can


mean for all of us. It is not just the sugar we add to


our food, ow the sugars hidden in our every-day diet that can affect


our health. This latest research is attracting attention because it


looks at data from 175 countries over the past decade. The


scientists found a link between increased availability of sugar in


a population's food supply, and the amount of diabetes in that


population. The standard mantra was that a calorie is a calorie F you


take in more calories than you burn, you will get obese and are at


higher risk for diabetes. We are finding that may be oversimplified.


That many people not yet obese are at high risk of diabetes, and many


obese are not at high risk for diabetes. It is more complex,


obesity is a problem, but the type of calories you eat may be


pertinent to your risk, and sugar calories may be more pertinent than


other sides of calories. He says he's not playing down the risk of


diabetes from obesity, but his work, published in the peer journal, plus


plus, suggests sugar is playing a role in its own right. The


researchers found each 150 extra kilo calories per person per day,


brought a rise in diabetes of 0.1%. If those 150 extra kilo calories


were sugar, the pref veins of -- prevalence of diabetes was 1.1%,


even including obesity, ageing, physical activity, other types of


calories and eco and social variables. In other words, the more


sugar there is in a population's diet, the higher the prevalence of


diabetes in that population. This research did not track what was


eaten person-by-person, it looked at the population as a whole. Nor


did it attempt to distinguish between type I diabetes, which


tends to appear in the young, and requires insulin injections, and


type II, which people tend to develop over their lifetime.


Delegates at a conference in Manchester today, were looking at


the public health challenges of obesity, including diabetes.


Professor Simon Capewell worked on a report on obesity published last


week by the academy of royal colleges. It called for a ten-point


action plan, including a 20% tax on sugary drinks. This is a very


helpful paper, because it eases out the independent --tiess out the


independent contribution of sugar in the diet. And diabetes numbers


have been going up steeply around the world, over time, one of the


big contributors has clearly been increasing body weight. Obesity.


Until recently the assumption was sugar just makes a contribution


because it increases body weight. This paper and other analysis now


clearly shows that even after you allow for the increase in body


weight and put that to one side, sugar by itself also independently


increases diabetes. The charity Diabetes UK says the findings


warrant further research. It is certainly is an interesting study.


The researchers themselves were surprised at some of the findings,


so Diabetes UK will be looking very carefully to future investigations.


But what we must remember, with diabetes, it is not just about


sugar. It is about high blood pressure, it is about high blood


fat as well. There is a lot of things go into the problems


creating diabetes. Would you advise anybody with diabetes to alter


their diet at all as a result of this study? People with type I tie


beauties is ignore it and -- diabetes can ignore it and carry on


as before. People with type II diabetes might think that by


cutting sugar out of their diet they can solve the whole problem.


So we will continue to advise people to eat a healthy, balanced


diet. The UK organisation funded by sugar manufacturers, to speak on


their behalf, reacted coolly to The doctor agrees his findings


cannot and do not prove that sugar causes diabetes, that would require


controlled trials looking at individuals, and how much sugar


they eat. We need to next do a clinical trial, where we try people


out on low-sugar diets and see what their diabetes risk is in the


future, compared with the average diet in the population. Other than


feeding people sugar to see if they develop diabetes, which would


clearly be unetle ka, that future work may -- ethical, that future


work may be the best way to understand just how important this


sugar signal really is. Tomorrow morning's front pages,


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 45 seconds


We will be covering the Pope's final day in office tomorrow. Today


he waved to the crowds of Vatican Square, toured in the Pope-mobile,


Last day of campaigning for the Eastleigh by-election, has the euro crisis been resurrected by Italy's inconclusive election? Plus Tony Blair proposes intervention in Syria. With Kirsty Wark.

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