24/09/2014 Newsnight


24/09/2014

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


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An all-party basis. The President who promised to end the war on

:00:23.:00:33.

terror appears to have embarked on another, President Obama says might

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is the only way. There will be no reasoning or negotiation with this

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random evil. The only language understood by killers like this is

:00:44.:00:47.

force. How far will Britain go at America's side, the former

:00:48.:00:49.

Attorney-General is here. How much money would a "Mansion Tax"

:00:50.:00:55.

make under Labour, what would it do to the housing market in Ed

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Miliband's borough, we have a candid assessment. It would crash, most

:00:59.:01:06.

certainly. And jailed for watching a men's volley ball watch, a

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British-Iranian woman is languishing in a notorious prison. We have an

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interview with her brother. Good evening the divisions from the

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last Iraq War over a decade ago have barely healed. But tonight Britain

:01:25.:01:28.

stands on the brink of involvement in another war on terror. On Friday

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MPs will debate in parliament air attacks on Iraq. The Prime Minister

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says he's responding to a request from the Iraqi Government to support

:01:42.:01:48.

the war on ISIS. I'm confident we will get it through parliament on an

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all-party basis, it is right for the country to be united at this time.

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We will be voting on taking part on national action against ISIL in

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Iraq. If there was a suggestion of taking action in Syria, that would

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be a separate parliamentary vote and debate. I want to be clear, we will

:02:08.:02:10.

take action in the way I have set out. Allegra Stratton is here. It

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feels from that language it is pretty much a done deal. Now about

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24 hours it was not a done deal. The Tories had to wait until the Labour

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conference was out of the way, and for Ed Miliband to assemble the

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Shadow Cabinet and get agreement, they agreed they would support the

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strikes. The reason there is such a feeling between the two parties is a

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year ago Ed Miliband, David Cameron felt, gave assurances he would

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support that action then and there was a sense that Ed Miliband did

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reign nations. Until the Conservatives felt they got the

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appearances today from Labour, they weren't going to bank on anything.

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So are you expecting any rebellion on this, it is limited? It would be

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very limited, of course there will be rebellion, there is still

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soul-searching, it is not easy for many people on all sides of the

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house. Labour MPs who have massive problems in their constituencies.

:03:09.:03:12.

The questions on Friday people will be asking about is, will it be

:03:13.:03:15.

lengthy air strikes. People this evening don't have the answer to the

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questions. The reason why it will probably be straight forward is it

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is incredibly limited. David Cameron wouldn't get action in Syria through

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the House, so it is just limited to Iraq. But David Cameron himself

:03:27.:03:30.

talked about Syria this evening, but also people that I have spoken to

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have also said Syria comes round at some point soon, it is not going

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away, we have to deal and think about this. Thank you very much.

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Meanwhile in New York a President whose foreign policy has been

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characterised as hesitant by critics had the UN call to war. He was unam

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big arcs he called for a broad coalition to fight ISIS, and to

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dismantle what he called the network of death. Today the leaders met with

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Iran since the 1979 revolution about Islamic State. This is a new but not

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all together convincing alliance introducing it to the world.

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How important is this question of legality to the British Government?

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Government legal advice is 100% sure that it would be legal for the UK to

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start strikes tonight. Without any further endorsement, but then going

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to parliament in what he described as a belt and braces option. In

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other words, they feel that the letter given by the Iraqi Prime

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Minister to the Security Council last night, asking for assistance,

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provides the necessary invitation, the authorisation and the

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legalisation of force. So quite interesting to see them talking in

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those terms. Presumably they say so because they are confident of

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getting through the Commons on Friday.

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I called Obama's speech a "call to war" earlier today, how big does he

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see this coalition getting? It is interesting, you know, even at the

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weekend quite a lot of us were a little bit cynical about the

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40-nation coalition. Would some of them be promising to look at

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passports a bit more carefully. Then of course we saw the five gulf

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states taking part, with combat careful over parts of Syria. Now we

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hear the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, and possibly the UK are

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going to join France among the other NATO countries who are willing to

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get involved and do air strikes in Iraq. It is expanding, but it is

:05:49.:05:53.

what they call a comprehensive strategy, there are other key parts

:05:54.:05:56.

to it. None more so than the part supposed to be played by Turkey, in

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that Security Council session tonight. The President of Turkey was

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sitting there and part of it, he voted for steps that would cause him

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to have to clampdown on militants going through his country. That is

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an absolutely critical aspect of the strategy, put forward by President

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Obama which has been the main theme today. President Obama has used this

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week as a matter of the moment and laying out his views to world

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politics. Key to that was his speech at the council, only the second time

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a US President has chaired this body. He wanted to drive home the

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seriousness of his new strategy against the so called Islamic State.

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Our intelligence officers estimate more than 15 thousand fighters have

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travelled there in the last 15 years. Many joining the Al-Qaeda

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affiliates and ISIL, which threatens people across Syria and Iraq.

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Earlier in the day he address the bigger audience, the General

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Assembly and world opinion. He hit back at Russia for its behaviour in

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Ukraine, and others for not doing enough to halt the spread of Ebola,

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and what he called the cancer of terrorism. I have made it clear that

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America will not base our entire foreign policy to reacting to

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terrorism. Instead we waged a focus campaign against Al-Qaeda and its

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associated forces, taking out their leaders, denying them the safe

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havens they rely on. At the same time we have reaffirmed again and

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again that the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam.

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It was a confident eO'vagus, that might have annoyed Russia

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It was a confident eO'vagus, that but found plenty of approval from

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his powerful audience. How was President Obama's speech

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secretary-general? Excellent. I took notes of a strong statement that the

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only language understood by killers is the language of force. I fully

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agree with the President that is why I think the international community

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as a whole has a responsibility to stop the advance of the terrorist

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organisation ISIL and eventually defeat it. Has the President

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answered domestic crickets who say he has failed to lead in

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international politics. That is unfair criticism, and whatever

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domestic politics go on here, I can't really comment on those

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efforts, but for from our point of view specifically dealing with the

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issues we face in NATO, we are rather pleased with him.

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The campaign against militants in Syria and Iraq now requires urgent

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action from the broader coalition that America has gathered here, 40

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or so nation, on the fringes of that, still tight lipped, the UK. As

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new the UK, Denmark and others must decide whether or not to strike

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immediately. How important is it for them to do so. Other countries have

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already done so. Is it necessary for them to do so? If you ask me in my

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personal capacity, the answer is yes. I appreciate the United States

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has taken the lead on this, I think the United States should be followed

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by other NATO allies. It is the urgency of the Middle East crisis

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that has defined the President's week here. Whatever other issues he

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is juggling, and however much he prejects comparisons with his

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predecessors. The President is receiving plain Detective Chief

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Inspectors today, as a confident assertion of American leadership.

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There is also something rather mournful about it, man who spent

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five years trying to redefine America's relationship with the

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Middle East and Islam, is now defaulting back to something very

:10:16.:10:20.

similar to what George W Bush called his war on terror.

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If that unending quest for security is a grim necessity, it is hardly

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the kind of of idealism that US Presidents seek to inspire the

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United Nations. With me now is Lord Malloch-Brown,

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who was deputy General Secretary of the United Nationses in 2006, and

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Conservative MP and chair of the defence elect committee Rory

:10:47.:10:50.

Stewart. Welcome to you both. Rory Stewart, I'm wondering if you heard

:10:51.:10:55.

a confident assertion of American leadership, from Obama's speech? It

:10:56.:10:58.

is clear he wants to act. But there is still a lot of questions which he

:10:59.:11:03.

himself poses again and again, which is, what next? He said two weeks ago

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he didn't have a strategy, he now says he does. If you look carefully

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at it, it doesn't yet go much beyond air strikes. The big question

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remains the political question, how do you get the other regional people

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involved, how do you deal with Islamic State and the Sunni

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population. He has got the UK and regional powers, you would expect

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the UK to follow suit presumably and agree to strikes? I think that is

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likely, yes. If you were hearing the statements from Ed Miliband, and the

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fact that what the Prime Minister is asking for is limited. He's not

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asking for strikes in Syria. I would have thought the likelihood is

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parliament will vote on Friday for strikes. The question of the

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regional players is more complicated. You are absolutely

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right, the strikes have taken place, but the funding is very important.

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Downs like Turkey are very important. They haven't yet

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participated. That is the biggest player on the Syrian Iraqi border,

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we have to watch that awfully. On a UN level now, what is the process,

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does this go round in circles looking for resolution like last

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time? No, because actually a request by a country for support for its own

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security, that's it. You actually don't need a Security Council

:12:15.:12:19.

resolution, it is nice to have, but it is not necessary. Frankly nor is

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it necessary for limited strikes on Syria if those strikes are aimed at

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those hostile elements that are trying to undo the Iraq Government.

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I mean that again falls under the umbrella of responding to requests

:12:37.:12:39.

from the Iraqi Government to defend its security. Are we wrong to

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isolate the one from the other? I think we are, the risk of striking

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into Syria is we again, like with Libya or like with Iraq, in 200 #,

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that a limited purpose gets dragged into a bigger regime change purpose,

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and that would be wrong. But in terms of doing the job now, the

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surgical strikes against ISIS in order to reduce and contain its

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military effectiveness, I think we're sort of tying, unnecessarily

:13:09.:13:14.

tying our hands behind our back. What about the whole question of the

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UN Security Council, China and Russia, traditionally opposing what

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the western powers do. That is not going to happen here, it is not even

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going to go to council? As I say, I think like what will likely happen

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is it will come to the council, because the Iraqis you know in part

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address their plea to the council. My suspicion is it won't come to a

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vote, because it will be talked out and extensively talked out, which

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will allow the Russians and Chinese say it has been to the council, and

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they have not been bypassed where it will avoid a situation where the

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Russians feel obliged to veto. As I say, it is completely different to

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Syria last year. That was attacks on a Government, which was still,

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however ouch you dislike it the recognised Government of the

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country. This is a response to a request by a Government to help

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defend its territory. Do you think the defeat of ISIS is possible? It

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is going to be very, very difficult. If everybody says the two things you

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need are the regional players on side and the local population

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against them, there is not much sign of that yet moving. And remember

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there are going to be players who will disrupt this. It is not clear

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really where in the end Iran, Russia, Syrian leadership will come

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down. They will be worried, they can see Saudi, and others striking, you

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will wonder where they will turn next. I don't think anybody who

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pretends they can get rid of the Islamic State, as opposed to contain

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them. We can get rid of their equipment, but get them out of

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places like Raqqa, and Mosul, very difficult. It is easy to look back

:15:01.:15:05.

at the places it could be involved, when you look at the political

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problems President Obama face, was he wrong to pull out of the surge

:15:09.:15:12.

when he came to power, does that seem fundamental to the issues now?

:15:13.:15:17.

He made the right decision, it was difficult but the right decision. In

:15:18.:15:19.

the end what we learned about the surge is it was not sustainable. It

:15:20.:15:23.

was military move, how much they talked about politics, it was

:15:24.:15:27.

military. And yet it is a mess now? It was inevitably going to be a

:15:28.:15:31.

mess, unless you could sort out the politics in Baghdad, it didn't

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matter you had #130E,000 troops on the ground and spending $100 million

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a year, it was only going to last two or three years. The diplomacy

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element between the US and the UK, clearly America will be happy to

:15:44.:15:47.

have us on board as far as that goes tonight. But we are a minor player

:15:48.:15:52.

aren't we? We have already put caveats on, how useful are we? There

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may be some intelligence assets, Cyprus bases, other things which are

:15:57.:16:01.

of a little bit more use than is immediately visible. But really the

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utility of this is solidarity with the United States. Solidarity with

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the international community and in response to Iraq's requests. The

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marginal military value is limited. I think the risk is, even when the

:16:17.:16:22.

UK went in as an alleged equal partner in 2003 in Iraq, we actually

:16:23.:16:27.

quickly found that we were a junior partner, and the strategy was

:16:28.:16:30.

determined in Washington. More so this time. And the real core risk

:16:31.:16:35.

here is that we get dragged into a long conflict. The surge didn't end

:16:36.:16:40.

too soon to pick up on what Rory was saying, you know, what it

:16:41.:16:44.

demonstrated instead was that there aren't military solutions in this

:16:45.:16:48.

region, and we shouldn't fall back into the trap of believing there

:16:49.:16:50.

are. We have learned tonight that amongst

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those killed in the strikes, last night were British-born Jihadis,

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Secunder Kermani has more. Tell us what you know? We heard about a

:17:01.:17:05.

19-year-old from Brighton who travelled to Syria in February. We

:17:06.:17:09.

believe he was killed in a US air strike outside the city of Aleppo on

:17:10.:17:12.

Monday evening. We also believe that he was part of the Al-Qaeda

:17:13.:17:19.

affiliated group. His mother spoke to the BBC earlier tonight and she

:17:20.:17:24.

said she had no idea how he became radicalised. I'm just saying whoever

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was responsible brain-washing my son, to take this kind of measure,

:17:30.:17:35.

to go there, hall will judge between me and then on the day of judgment.

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I have a source and he told me that was not the only British citizen to

:17:43.:17:47.

die in the air strikes. He told me three other men, all of Bengali

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heritage, all from London were also killed alongside Syrian and Dutch

:17:55.:17:57.

fighters. America says it was targeting in the air strikes a group

:17:58.:18:01.

plotting attacks on western interests. My source told me these

:18:02.:18:06.

men had travelled to fight against the regime of Assad, which is

:18:07.:18:10.

accused of widespread atrocities of the Syrian population. The group

:18:11.:18:14.

they were part of, it is part of Al-Qaeda, it is a Jihadist

:18:15.:18:22.

organisation, but it is also a lot less extreme than Islamic State,

:18:23.:18:27.

ISIS, in some places in Syria it has been fighting against ISIS. I spoke

:18:28.:18:33.

to a member of the moderate Syrian opposition outside Aleppo, a group

:18:34.:18:38.

pro-democracy, anti-Assad and anti-ISIS. He fears that the US

:18:39.:18:44.

strikes against this Al-Qaeda group will push them into a Jihadist

:18:45.:18:47.

alliance with ISIS, that would make the lives of him and others in the

:18:48.:18:50.

democratic opposition more difficult.

:18:51.:18:56.

A few months ago there was let's say troubles or problems between these

:18:57.:19:04.

two sections of Al-Qaeda. They will join each other to fight against

:19:05.:19:11.

let's say the people supporting the Allies. A French hostage was killed

:19:12.:19:17.

by a group also linked to ISIL what do we know about that today? A 55

:19:18.:19:23.

-year-old French man hiking in Algeria, kidnapped over the weekend

:19:24.:19:26.

by a Jihadist group that declared its support for ISIS. They

:19:27.:19:32.

threatened to kill this man, Herve Gourdel, if France continued its

:19:33.:19:36.

support for America and other western air strikes against ISIS in

:19:37.:19:42.

Syria. But today they released a video of his beheading, the French

:19:43.:19:45.

President, Francois Hollande, said it was a cruel and cowardly act but

:19:46.:19:50.

felt that France would not give into blackmail like this. Thank you very

:19:51.:19:53.

much indeed. Let's take all the threads that we have heard this

:19:54.:19:57.

evening so far and cross to York once more, we can speak to Marie

:19:58.:20:02.

Harf of the US State Department, who speaks from there. Thank you very

:20:03.:20:06.

much for joining us, we appreciate your time. Your response to

:20:07.:20:09.

Britain's position tonight, can you fight ISIS in Iraq and not in Syria?

:20:10.:20:20.

A few points we know ISIL has grown strong in Iraq, that is why the

:20:21.:20:23.

United States has taken direct military action against them there.

:20:24.:20:25.

A key part of the strategy is pushing them back from the territory

:20:26.:20:29.

they have already taken in Iraq. We obviously know there is a key point

:20:30.:20:34.

of the tragedy that involves Syria, that is why we have taken action in

:20:35.:20:38.

Syria. Each country will make their own decisions on being part of the

:20:39.:20:41.

coalition, not all of that is military, a lot of it will be

:20:42.:20:43.

nonmilitary. Things we need other people to do. It seems extraordinary

:20:44.:20:52.

that in 2009 Obama came with the new chapter in US international

:20:53.:20:54.

relations and the language tonight is pretty much a call of war. Is

:20:55.:20:59.

there acceptance now that the only way to fight terror is militarily. ?

:21:00.:21:06.

I think you have seen the President, this President, President Obama,

:21:07.:21:11.

throughout his whole entire administration take the threat to

:21:12.:21:13.

terrorists when they threaten the United States. If you look at

:21:14.:21:20.

Al-Qaeda in packs stand and Afghans -- Pakistan, and Afghanistan. He has

:21:21.:21:24.

never hesitate today take action. This is the next phase in the war

:21:25.:21:28.

against the Jihadists who are trying to kill Americans and other people

:21:29.:21:31.

in the region. This was the man who defied the words of John McCain,

:21:32.:21:36.

when he was running for President, stopped the surge, pulled the

:21:37.:21:40.

soldiers out, at a time when they could have stopped the mess that we

:21:41.:21:45.

are in now, isn't that the legacy? Not at all. The war we are going to

:21:46.:21:49.

be undertaking against ISIL looks nothing like the war that the

:21:50.:21:52.

previous administration went to in Iraq. These are wholly different

:21:53.:21:57.

military operations. What we are undertaking is targeted counter

:21:58.:21:59.

terrorism operations against a group. I would agree with your

:22:00.:22:02.

previous guest that nothing militarily we could have done would

:22:03.:22:07.

have prevented this rise of ISIL, there was a political vacuum in Iraq

:22:08.:22:10.

that led to sectarianism and the breakdown we saw in the Iraqi

:22:11.:22:14.

security forces. That is what we are trying to come back from right now

:22:15.:22:18.

and helping the Iraqis. It is interesting when you talk about

:22:19.:22:20.

targeted military operations. I don't know if you heard our

:22:21.:22:24.

correspondent just then, who said, look, the US has targetedies

:22:25.:22:29.

circumstance but it issing will -- targeted ISIS, but also groups like

:22:30.:22:38.

other groups fighting ISIS. You have to be watchful if you are pushing

:22:39.:22:43.

two groups closer together to create a greater ISIS force? That is a

:22:44.:22:48.

simplistic reading of the situation. When we decide who to go for in

:22:49.:22:52.

Iraq, whatever group, they have to present a threat to the United

:22:53.:22:56.

States or our partners. It has to meet that criteria. So we believe

:22:57.:22:59.

these all presented threats to us or Iraq, that is why we took the

:23:00.:23:02.

action, that is the standard we use going forward. Realistically, and we

:23:03.:23:06.

know that President Obama has said this is just the beginning, this

:23:07.:23:10.

will amount to boots on the ground in some form, won't it? Not American

:23:11.:23:17.

boots on the ground in combat roles, we have been very clear about that.

:23:18.:23:21.

The boots on the ground we need are the Iraqi security force, the

:23:22.:23:24.

Kurdish forces, to get back on their feet, that is what we are helping

:23:25.:23:27.

them do, and also the Syrian opposition, that we are supporting,

:23:28.:23:31.

through a train and equip programme to help a moderate opposition force

:23:32.:23:36.

grow there. To be clear there will be no American boots in a role in

:23:37.:23:40.

combat, the President has been very clear about that.

:23:41.:23:49.

The inquiry e into the last Iraq War wasn't been finished, Lord Goldsmith

:23:50.:23:53.

was accused of changing his advice on the legality of military action

:23:54.:23:57.

days before the invasion. What would Dominic Grieve make of the same

:23:58.:24:01.

question this time round, the Attorney General. It is more

:24:02.:24:05.

straight forward this time round? Very much so in so far as the

:24:06.:24:11.

request of the Iraqi Government for azest tense. They are en--

:24:12.:24:15.

assistance. They are entitled to ask for assistance. There is internal

:24:16.:24:20.

armed conflict in parts of northern Iraq. In addition there seems to be

:24:21.:24:23.

some evidence that some of the attacks are spilling over the border

:24:24.:24:27.

to Syria, they are entitled to invoke the right to self-defence. As

:24:28.:24:31.

long as the Prime Minister considers that the United Kingdom can help in

:24:32.:24:41.

that, and that we can use reasonable, necessary and

:24:42.:24:44.

proportionate means to stop unlawful activity taking place. So long as he

:24:45.:24:48.

also pays close attention to ensuring that the law of war is

:24:49.:24:53.

observed. International humanitarian law which is a challenge when you

:24:54.:24:57.

deal with partners who don't always accept proper human rights

:24:58.:25:00.

standards. Then the intervention by ourselves or anybody else in support

:25:01.:25:03.

of the Iraqi Government will undoubtedly be lawful. Why then

:25:04.:25:07.

would he rule out Syria from what you have just said? I think Syria is

:25:08.:25:12.

more complicated. There are grounds on which we could OK properly

:25:13.:25:15.

intervene in Syria to begin with, there is no doubt that the Iraqi

:25:16.:25:18.

Government, if they are being attacked from across the Syrian

:25:19.:25:22.

border by IS are entitled to go across into Syria in order to stop

:25:23.:25:28.

those attacks. Just to make that clear, if we don't follow up action

:25:29.:25:33.

in Syria, what we're essentially doing is an operation to get ISIS

:25:34.:25:37.

out of Iraq and nothing more? There is no doubt that getting ISIS out of

:25:38.:25:48.

Iraq is one legal framework. But militarily very ineffective? Quite

:25:49.:25:52.

possibly. We know from what the United States is doing they are

:25:53.:25:55.

taking military action in Syria as well. I think it is right that

:25:56.:25:59.

military action in Syria comes under a rather different legal framework.

:26:00.:26:03.

But that is not to say it would be improper, but the Prime Minister

:26:04.:26:08.

would need to be satisfied that different criteria were met before

:26:09.:26:11.

doing it. And there is the problem about the Syrian Government itself.

:26:12.:26:15.

The Prime Minister has made it clear, for very good reasons that he

:26:16.:26:18.

doesn't wish to engage with the Syrian Government, because its own

:26:19.:26:23.

reputation in terms of human rights violations is so appalling. But they

:26:24.:26:29.

are de facto the Government of Syria, although they the writ

:26:30.:26:33.

doesn't run in the areas where the military operation also likely to

:26:34.:26:40.

take place. It is about the intervening and the consequences in

:26:41.:26:43.

creating a vacuum, and whether at that stage it wouldn't be better to

:26:44.:26:45.

involve the United Nations and act on a UN resolution. When you talk

:26:46.:26:50.

about criteria you are saying you wouldn't do Syria without through

:26:51.:26:55.

the whole chapter and verse on the UN resolution? I'm not saying you

:26:56.:26:59.

have to have one to go in. If you didn't consider you could get a

:27:00.:27:03.

suitable UN resolution in Syria, you could take action under the doctrine

:27:04.:27:11.

of humanitarian necessity, if it was preventing Kurdish villages being

:27:12.:27:15.

wiped out or other minorities, genocide being committed against

:27:16.:27:18.

them. As I say the Iraqi Government is entitled to take military action

:27:19.:27:22.

across the border if the attacks are coming KR from across the border.

:27:23.:27:27.

There is no doubt that the Iraqis' allies can act in concert with them

:27:28.:27:31.

for that purpose. If America is already in Syria what does that say

:27:32.:27:35.

about the legality, are they doing something illegal that we are not

:27:36.:27:39.

following, or is it OK for them but not for us? The United States, I

:27:40.:27:42.

think, has always approached these matters in a slightly different way

:27:43.:27:47.

from the way we do ourselves. Just listening to the lady from the state

:27:48.:27:50.

department a moment ago. She made quite clear that under the doctrine

:27:51.:27:55.

that the United States has had, ever since the 9/11, it will pursue

:27:56.:28:00.

Al-Qaeda and its affiliates anywhere in the world. Including against the,

:28:01.:28:05.

if a Government won't co-operate with them, it will do it whether or

:28:06.:28:08.

not that Government wants it. Some of the interventions in Syria are

:28:09.:28:12.

almost certainly taking place under that heading. Others may be taking

:28:13.:28:16.

place under a different heading, but the United States has never

:28:17.:28:22.

clarified its view as to whether the doctrine of humanitarian necessity

:28:23.:28:25.

is one it embraces. It undoubtedly does it in reality, but it has never

:28:26.:28:29.

actually explained it in legal terms. Is your gut feeling from a

:28:30.:28:34.

moral interventionist perspective that David Cameron would want to go

:28:35.:28:38.

into Syria and we probably will? I don't think I can answer it. The

:28:39.:28:44.

Prime Minister has a two-fold issue tomorrow, firstly he has to persuade

:28:45.:28:48.

parliament, not so much about the morality, I think most

:28:49.:28:50.

parliamentarians looking at what is going on must conclude it is

:28:51.:28:53.

difficult to think of anything much worse than IS. That's the

:28:54.:28:57.

difference, isn't it, between this and last year where there w anxiety

:28:58.:29:05.

that destroying President Assad would bring something worse. Do you

:29:06.:29:08.

think we could go into Syria? There is a proper basis for the United

:29:09.:29:13.

Kingdom to go into Syria, but I want to emphasise that base has to be

:29:14.:29:17.

established. I don't have the intelligence. Quite apart from

:29:18.:29:21.

anything else, it would be the law officers who would have to consider

:29:22.:29:25.

that, and I wouldn't in any way prejudge that issue. There are

:29:26.:29:28.

circumstances which in my view it would be proper to intervene in

:29:29.:29:33.

Syria. Thank you very much indeed. Now, much has been made of the stuff

:29:34.:29:39.

that Ed Miliband left out of yesterday's speech. Perhaps

:29:40.:29:41.

obscuring the stuff that he put in. One of the bolder or riskier ones

:29:42.:29:54.

were the "Mansion Tax". What would the cash raised buy for the NHS. We

:29:55.:30:04.

have been crunching the numbers. This is probably what you think of

:30:05.:30:09.

when you hear the word "mansion", but in London property have risen so

:30:10.:30:15.

much in the past years, that homes like this will be caught in the ?2

:30:16.:30:20.

million limit. This is how it rolled in Camden, near Ed Miliband's old

:30:21.:30:29.

home. And the former Prime Minister. But he couldn't afford to live here

:30:30.:30:33.

now. The basement and this bit is going for ?1. 5 million. The levy

:30:34.:30:40.

would raise ?1. 2 billion, that is ?11,000 for each home worth more

:30:41.:30:44.

than ?2 million. The proposed tax would be progressive, four bands

:30:45.:30:47.

being charged in increasing amounts. Around 80% of the homes affected

:30:48.:31:03.

would be in London. In fact, just three borough, Kensington and

:31:04.:31:05.

Chelsea, Westminster and Camden would pay around two thirds of the

:31:06.:31:10.

total bill. Although even in London, ?2 million properties are hardly the

:31:11.:31:16.

norm. The same architect that designed these did several around

:31:17.:31:20.

North London only worth up to ?500,000. It is just by Vertonghen

:31:21.:31:30.

it -- virtue of the area. 30% of the properties affected by the "Mansion

:31:31.:31:39.

Tax" are detatched houses, the rest are semi-detatched, terraces and

:31:40.:31:40.

flats. The tricky part of the tax is valuing homes. Newsnight understands

:31:41.:31:42.

that Labour are considering using the method applied to the called

:31:43.:31:46.

annual tax on enveloped properties, introduced by the Chancellor. Since

:31:47.:31:51.

2013, if you have owned a property worth more than ?2 million through a

:31:52.:31:55.

company, then every year you had to get that property valued and submit

:31:56.:31:59.

that valuation to the Government. They then present you with a tax

:32:00.:32:04.

bill. If you submit a number that turns out to be wrong and the

:32:05.:32:08.

Government challenge you. You don't just have to pay the tax bill but a

:32:09.:32:12.

substantial penalty. It is this system that Labour are looking to

:32:13.:32:17.

roll out to all properties worth more than ?2 million. At the moment

:32:18.:32:21.

only 1,000 properties a year are subject to this valuation procedure,

:32:22.:32:26.

expanding that to over 100,000 might be tricky. Aside from surveyor, the

:32:27.:32:31.

big beneficiary of the policy is supposed to be the NHS. Labour have

:32:32.:32:38.

pledged to set aside ?2. 5 billion for an NHS Time to Care fund, this

:32:39.:32:45.

is compared to an NHS budget of ?100 billion. They say it would pay for

:32:46.:32:52.

3,000 midwives, 5,000 care workers, 8,000 GPs and 20,000 nurses. In our

:32:53.:32:56.

view you need more than ?2. 5 billion. We think something between

:32:57.:33:01.

?4-?5 billion extra a year over the next ten years would be sufficient

:33:02.:33:06.

to sustain the NHS in good standards of patient care and to support the

:33:07.:33:11.

investment we desperately need in transforming how care is delivered.

:33:12.:33:15.

More care closer to home. More emphasis on prevention, less

:33:16.:33:18.

reliance on hospitals, that's what we all want to see.

:33:19.:33:23.

Even if Labour have found way to make the "Mansion Tax" work. Health

:33:24.:33:26.

economists doubt that it alone would be enough to cover the NHS needs.

:33:27.:33:35.

The Sturgeon is a different creature to the salmon, lower profile, not

:33:36.:33:40.

known for its leaping displace, but the SNP's deputy leader suggested if

:33:41.:33:45.

she was successfully elected for the party's new leader, the struggle for

:33:46.:33:50.

independence would condition. Nicola Sturgeon declared her candidacy for

:33:51.:33:53.

the post, and said the independence question could be re-opened in as

:33:54.:33:57.

little as five years, if London failed to deliver on promises to

:33:58.:34:02.

Scotland. She gave this interview. If Alex Salmond symbolised the

:34:03.:34:05.

nationalists before September 18th, then Nicola Sturgeon is the face of

:34:06.:34:10.

the future. Barring an unforeseen challenge, she will certainly be the

:34:11.:34:14.

first female First Minister of Scotland, and today although she

:34:15.:34:19.

praised her predecessor, she made it clear she is her own woman. We would

:34:20.:34:24.

not have come so far as a nation without Alex's vision, tenacity and

:34:25.:34:27.

statesmanship, but the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow

:34:28.:34:31.

require a different approach. They will demand the ability not just to

:34:32.:34:34.

argue case with determination and conviction, but also to reach out,

:34:35.:34:39.

to work with others and seek common cause on the issues that unite us.

:34:40.:34:44.

Everything has changed so quickly in a country which has deliberated and

:34:45.:34:48.

debated the referendum for nigh on two years. It was just six days ago

:34:49.:34:54.

that Scotland was in a frenzy of excitement on referendum day. It was

:34:55.:34:58.

the broadest and deepest political engagment I have ever known in

:34:59.:35:01.

Scotland, and the discourse was passionate and in the main

:35:02.:35:07.

harmonious, even though families and friends were often split between yes

:35:08.:35:13.

and no. The turnout, 84. 5% was a testament to people's involvement in

:35:14.:35:21.

democracy. The world was watching. There is a sense that since the vote

:35:22.:35:25.

Scotland has changed, for some teenagers who voted for

:35:26.:35:28.

independence, there is a new campaign, the generation yes

:35:29.:35:31.

movement. The ranks of the SNP have swelled to make the third largest

:35:32.:35:35.

party in the UK. And for the unionist, devolution is on the move.

:35:36.:35:39.

And as Alex Salmond said, the coalition's feet will be held to the

:35:40.:35:43.

fire to cement new powers for Scotland.

:35:44.:35:48.

Nicola Sturgeon, a former lawyer and formidable brain has said she will

:35:49.:35:52.

co-operate with the Swift Commission on devolution. You think you might

:35:53.:35:57.

be keen to vote? Her belief in independence is unshakeable and goes

:35:58.:36:02.

back to her membership of the party at the age of 16, when I was

:36:03.:36:06.

politicised by the unemployment and industrial decline in her native

:36:07.:36:10.

Ayrshire in the Thatcher years. It is not just in the Scottish

:36:11.:36:15.

Parliament Nicola Sturgeon wants to pursue greater Home Rule, she wants

:36:16.:36:18.

to up the engagment with parliament. At the moment there are six SNP, MPs

:36:19.:36:25.

they don't vote on legislation, she's determined to build on the

:36:26.:36:28.

Scottish vote and increase the number of MPs. Nicola Sturgeon says

:36:29.:36:31.

Gordon Brown, speaking with the authority of the Conservatives, the

:36:32.:36:35.

Liberal Democrats and Labour, made a clear and unmistakable promise. The

:36:36.:36:39.

package to be delivered by January next year is to be Home Rule and

:36:40.:36:43.

something near to federalism. The question is, what will the new First

:36:44.:36:47.

Minister of Scotland do if they fail to deliver on that promise. Nicola

:36:48.:36:55.

Sturgeon spoke to Kirsty in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

:36:56.:36:59.

Barring a thunder bolt, you will be First Minister of Scotlands? Never

:37:00.:37:05.

discount the possibility of a thunder bolt! It is fair to say on

:37:06.:37:08.

the night you thought you won the vote? I campaigned all day in

:37:09.:37:12.

Glasgow and we did in Glasgow, I believed we were going to win. I

:37:13.:37:15.

think it is fair to say those of us involved in the yes campaign thought

:37:16.:37:18.

for the last few days of the campaign we were on course to win.

:37:19.:37:22.

We did very well. Were you preparing for negotiations? We had been

:37:23.:37:25.

preparing in the Scottish Government for some time to make sure that we

:37:26.:37:28.

were as prepared as possible if there was a yes vote. I felt huge

:37:29.:37:33.

disappointment on the night. Not disappointment just for myself, but

:37:34.:37:37.

disappointment for the 1. 6 million people across Scotland who voted

:37:38.:37:42.

yes. It is interesting, right up to the first poll that came out after

:37:43.:37:45.

the vote close you thought you had won? I thought we had won,

:37:46.:37:48.

absolutely. You said this morning you would take a different approach

:37:49.:37:52.

to Alex Salmond, what does that actually mean? What that means is

:37:53.:37:56.

recognising that the different time we have moved into now in Scotland

:37:57.:38:00.

demands a different approach. So, yes, I will argue my corner, I will

:38:01.:38:06.

argue it passionately, I will argue it with determination like Alex

:38:07.:38:10.

would have done, but I will try to try to reach out across the party

:38:11.:38:15.

divide and those who are now politically engaged and not in

:38:16.:38:18.

political parties and try to focus on not just what divides us, there

:38:19.:38:23.

is a real focus in Scotland on the yes and no and what we disagree,

:38:24.:38:27.

that is understandable. Is that embargo Alex Salmond was quite

:38:28.:38:32.

pugnacious? He was a great man and great friend, I won't sit here and

:38:33.:38:36.

pick holes in his character. Different times demand different

:38:37.:38:41.

skills. I want to try to have an inclusive style of leadership. Do

:38:42.:38:44.

you accept that the majority of people in Scotland, as of now don't

:38:45.:38:49.

want independence? We didn't win the referendum. Do you think as Alex

:38:50.:38:52.

Salmond seems to think, that this issue is over for a generation?

:38:53.:38:56.

Circumstances and the mood of the people of Scotland will term if and

:38:57.:39:00.

when there is another referendum. I don't think any politician, even if

:39:01.:39:04.

they wanted to, can set a limit on the ambition of the Scottish people.

:39:05.:39:07.

I'm not planning another referendum right now. We have just had one. But

:39:08.:39:10.

circumstances will dictate what happens in the future. So you are

:39:11.:39:14.

not planning a referendum soon, but do you rule it out for example in

:39:15.:39:18.

the next five years? I won't rule it out or in. The fundamental point I'm

:39:19.:39:23.

making here is that it is not in the gift of politicians to say to the

:39:24.:39:26.

Scottish people you will not for five or ten years, no matter the

:39:27.:39:30.

circumstances, get the chance to say that you want to make a different

:39:31.:39:35.

decision. You have said that what Gordon Brown promised on behalf of

:39:36.:39:39.

Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives was Home Rule towards

:39:40.:39:43.

federalism. What do you actually mean by that? It is now for us all

:39:44.:39:47.

to define what that means, I'm very clear what I mean. I think we need

:39:48.:39:51.

powers in Scotland that allow us, as a parliament, to create jobs to grow

:39:52.:39:56.

our economy, to make sure that we can tackle better the inequality

:39:57.:40:01.

that scars our nation. I met with Lord Smith yesterday who will lead

:40:02.:40:04.

this process, I have indicate today him that we will be active

:40:05.:40:07.

participants in this process for change. What are you actually going

:40:08.:40:11.

to ask for? We will be looking for the maximum powers over tax, we will

:40:12.:40:14.

be looking for substantial powers over welfare. We will be look for

:40:15.:40:20.

powers that give the parliament greater fiscal responsibility and

:40:21.:40:23.

accountability. We will look for powers that enable the Scottish

:40:24.:40:25.

Parliament on issues that are devolved to us to speak up in Europe

:40:26.:40:31.

on these issues. Do you think, as one of your MSPs has been blogging

:40:32.:40:36.

that you should go into the general election on a devo max ticket. By

:40:37.:40:43.

that I mean everything devolved bar foreign affairs, defence and

:40:44.:40:46.

macro-economics? We will be campaigning from now until the

:40:47.:40:50.

general election to make sure that the substance and the rhetoric of

:40:51.:40:54.

what is delivered matches what was promised. We did have language used

:40:55.:40:59.

during the final stages of the referendum campaign, of devo max, of

:41:00.:41:03.

near federalism, Home Rule. That has to be delivered. This scenario was

:41:04.:41:08.

talked about a lot during the referendum campaign, that there is

:41:09.:41:12.

an in coming Conservative Government committed to a referendum on Europe.

:41:13.:41:16.

In the course of that referendum, England votes to leave and Scotland

:41:17.:41:20.

votes to stay. Do you think that would be seen as a UK-wide single

:41:21.:41:25.

return, it is a were, or do you think that there would be grounds

:41:26.:41:29.

then for going after a referendum for independence? That is one of the

:41:30.:41:33.

circumstances that would make many people in Scotland think it was time

:41:34.:41:37.

to think again. In your opinion do you think people in Scotland would

:41:38.:41:40.

want to leave Europe? No. I don't think people in Scotland would want

:41:41.:41:48.

to leave Europe. SNP MPs don't vote on English legislation should Labour

:41:49.:41:52.

MPs be doing the same? If I was English I would see the great

:41:53.:41:55.

argument for the fact that on English issues Scottish MPs don't

:41:56.:42:01.

vote. What I don't think think is acceptable, given the promises made

:42:02.:42:05.

is what David Cameron suggested in the early hours of Friday morning is

:42:06.:42:11.

that issue should run in tandem to deliver the promise made to

:42:12.:42:16.

Scotland. The promise made was made unconditionally. Do you believe you

:42:17.:42:19.

will be the First Minister of an independent Scotland one day? I

:42:20.:42:22.

would love to think so, but that is in the hand of the Scottish people.

:42:23.:42:25.

I will focus for the meantime on my campaign to be the First Minister of

:42:26.:42:29.

the devolved Government, I think that is probably what I should focus

:42:30.:42:32.

on at the moment. Thank you very much much. Where It is nearly three

:42:33.:42:37.

months since a British Iranian woman was thrown into jail in Tehran. Her

:42:38.:42:42.

crime, watching a men's volley ball match. Ghoncheh Ghavami is in a

:42:43.:42:49.

notorious prison. She believed the rule over women spectators had been

:42:50.:42:53.

overturned. Her plea fell on deaf ears. We caught up with her brother

:42:54.:42:58.

Iman. Three months ago this London law

:42:59.:43:02.

graduate had a great deal to look forward to. But for the last 87 days

:43:03.:43:08.

she has been held in Tehran's notorious prison. Nearly half of

:43:09.:43:15.

that in solitary confinement. Dwarf Ghoncheh Ghavami was apparently

:43:16.:43:17.

taunted by prison officers who said she wouldn't get out alive. Her

:43:18.:43:23.

crime, watching volley ball. Her family are desperate. She's a very

:43:24.:43:29.

energetic, passionate 25-year-old woman. Her plan was to visit family

:43:30.:43:38.

and do some volunteering with street kids. She was actually working

:43:39.:43:41.

volunteering with street kids and teaching them how to read and write,

:43:42.:43:46.

I think that was the highlight of her stay at that point in Tehran.

:43:47.:43:52.

That was the joy of being half British, half Iranian. She flitted

:43:53.:43:56.

between her home in west London and her parents' place in Iran. All that

:43:57.:44:01.

changed on June 20th. With thousands of others, she went to watch the

:44:02.:44:06.

national theme play at the stadium. -- national team play at the

:44:07.:44:13.

stadium. Iman says his sister thought a ban on women watching

:44:14.:44:17.

men's volley ball was lifted, she was wrong. She was arrested and

:44:18.:44:20.

questioned for four hours. Days later when she returned to a police

:44:21.:44:24.

station to collect her things, she was arrested again and thrown in

:44:25.:44:28.

jail. The authorities took my dad and her home and they confiscated

:44:29.:44:36.

her books, her phone, iPad, two or three laptops and they took and we

:44:37.:44:42.

didn't hear from her for the next 11 days. After 11 days she made a phone

:44:43.:44:48.

call and we found out that she was being kept at the prison. My parents

:44:49.:44:53.

were devastated. My mum she is restless all the time, my dad, I

:44:54.:44:57.

mean, he has aged like ten years in the past three months. This is

:44:58.:45:02.

Ghoncheh Ghavami in June last year on an Iranian election day, her

:45:03.:45:06.

finger inked like that of the man she wanted to become President,

:45:07.:45:15.

Hasan Rouhani. Now her family hope they can end her nightmare. Do you

:45:16.:45:21.

think the British diplomats might hesitate because of the country's

:45:22.:45:26.

role in the region? My his Sister's case has nothing to do with

:45:27.:45:30.

politics, it is more of a human story, all we want is to bring her

:45:31.:45:36.

back home. So you might think it ideal that Rouhani and David Cameron

:45:37.:45:39.

should meet today. Although the Prime Minister expressed concern

:45:40.:45:42.

about the case, her family fear the British won't want to be too

:45:43.:45:48.

critical. The west is wooing Iran right now, they have a common enemy,

:45:49.:45:55.

so called Islamic State. I think they want to arrest and keep her in

:45:56.:46:03.

prison for 85 days. And 41 days in solitary confinement, purely for

:46:04.:46:07.

attending a match. This week, finally, she was charged with

:46:08.:46:12.

propaganda against the state. Her brother travelled to New York in the

:46:13.:46:16.

hope of meeting President Rouhani, thus far he has been illusive. Let

:46:17.:46:23.

me just take you through the papers before we go. The Times has

:46:24.:46:30.

Cameron's call to arms for bar on barbarians.

:46:31.:47:14.

That's it, as you saw the news today, the Dowager Duchess of

:47:15.:47:21.

Devonshire, the last surviving Mitford sister has died. She gave

:47:22.:47:25.

one of her last interviews to Newsnight four years ago. We leave

:47:26.:47:37.

you with a brief exchange. You must have been the only woman in

:47:38.:47:41.

the world who danced with JFK as a young man, and within months took

:47:42.:47:46.

tea with Hitler? Isn't it extraordinary for that to have

:47:47.:47:49.

happened to you? Isn't it strange, but that is the sort of thing that

:47:50.:47:56.

did happen.

:47:57.:48:04.

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