27/05/2016 Newsnight


27/05/2016

Tory divisions over Europe; an extra British warship for Libya; Charles Moore on Brexit; would background checks for government jobs help social mobility? Kirsty Wark presents.


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The one thing which is absolutely dependable, is that anything Boris

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says, you can find him saying the opposite only

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The Conservatives are at each other's throats

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In an exclusive interview Chris Patten doesn't hold back.

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I'll be asking Jacob Rees-Mogg who called Michael Heseltine

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a frightful old humbug, if the rancour runs too deep

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The Prime Minister has announced that we are upping our engagement

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with Libya, sending a warship to the territory, and personnel

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The way it has been dealt with in Iraq and Syria has shown to be

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reasonably successful. And I think taking that model and transposing it

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to Libya, has to be a good thing. What kinds of backgrounds do these

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city idiots come from? The government wants a background

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checklist for job interviews to stop An economist and expert

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on social mobility backs it. A public school educated solicitor

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thinks it's a terrible idea. The closer to the date

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of the referendum we get, the more difficult it is to see how

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the Conservative party is going to bind itself together again,

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the more visceral the language, the thicker the mud

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that's being slung. If the issue of the EU

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is at the heart of their political credo, how can Cabinet mnisters

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so opposed to each other sit around And then there's Boris,

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not in the Cabinet, but a big beast roaring at David Cameron -

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just yesterday - about the scandal of the government's failure

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to curb immigration. The former Tory Chairman Chris

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Patten, and current Chancellor of Oxford University -

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a big beast himself - has given an exclusive interview

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to Newsnight's David Grossman in which his criticism

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of Boris Johnston in in which his criticism

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of Boris Johnson in Does it make you proud that the main

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protagonists on either I'm proud of two of them,

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I'm not sure about the other two! Particularly since their regard

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for the truth seems They seem to economise on the verite

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to a certain extent. Let's talk about how

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the campaign is going, in your view, through

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some of those people. I was looking back at some

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of the archive and there was a wonderful shot of you coming

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down the stairs of Central Office in about 1992, I think it was,

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and following you is a young man wearing red braces,

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who is recognisable What do you think about his

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contribution to all of this? For a start, we wouldn't be having

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a referendum were it not for him. Well, I think we wouldn't be having

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a referendum were it not for the way that this psychodrama has engulfed

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the Conservative Party ever since the ERM debacle,

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and I suppose ever since Margaret I think she was got rid

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of because of the poll tax, rather than Europe,

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but that's another matter. I think David Cameron

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is incomparably the best qualified I'm not known to be terribly servile

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in my attitude to people, but I think he's clever,

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he's got good judgment, and if anyone can put this wreckage

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back together again after - I hope - we have voted in favour

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of staying in the European Union, I just hope we don't go

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through all this again. Yeah, I worry that for a lot

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of the Brexiteers, in a sort of spittle-flecked way,

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this is a never-end-um, What do you make of Boris Johnson's

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contribution? Jean-Claude Juncker has said

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he's making stuff up. Yes, of course he is,

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but he always has. One thing which is absolutely

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dependable is that anything Boris says, you can find him saying

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the opposite only So I don't take his intellectual

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contribution to this campaign, although he is

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a perfectly clever man. I think one of the things he resents

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is that he didn't get as good But Boris just makes it

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up as he goes along. And you come across people

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like that. There is a sense in which you can't

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call Boris a liar. I think he's one of those people

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in life who simply doesn't really understand the difference

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between fact and fiction. And if he can make a good joke

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by saying something, or if he can write a newspaper

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article by referring to Hitler and the European Union, he does it,

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and he doesn't think about it. But he will be saying the opposite

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in a few months' time. You know what Boris Johnson

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would say if he was sat here? He would say, Chris Patten,

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he was somebody who advocated We would be in a much bigger mess

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if he had had his way. Why should we listen to him

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on this matter? Actually, what I was really

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in favour of, and I don't want to get into complicated

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details, was a common currency, I put my hand up, everybody

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occasionally makes a mistake, Though it's worth making

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this additional point, that I think if we had joined

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the euro, it might have avoided some of the mistakes that have

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been made since. As a former chairman

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of the Conservative Party, how does David Cameron bring

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the party back together again? I think it would be very

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difficult for him. Are people like Mr Gove

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and Mr Johnson, Mr Duncan Smith - once the quiet man of British

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politics, happy days! Are they all going to require

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Mr Cameron to go cap in hand around Europe for the next few years trying

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to negotiate new trade deals and new agreements with the

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European Union? If we vote to stay in,

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which I hope we do, he will have to balance managing the party

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with making sure that people I'm sure he will know now,

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to borrow a phrase of Ken Clarke's, or a metaphor of Ken Clarke's,

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that there are some people on the right, you give them a bun

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today and they come back I think some people have to be made

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aware of the fact that we only have But he will have to try to bring

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the party together. It will be easier, if,

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as I said earlier, it will be easier if people accept the result,

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and accept that we don't go I'm joined now from Bristol

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by the pro-leave campaigner and Conservative MP,

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Jacob Rees-Mogg. Somebody Chris Patten called a

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spittle flecked Brexiteer. Good evening to you. Chris Patten

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called it the Conservative psychodrama. I wonder if you think a

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lot of the anger and division is synthetic or very deeply felt and

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difficult to reconcile? Well, Lord Patten is a very great family

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friend, a good friend of my father's and was very generous to me when I

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was younger. He's a man of endless good humour and I think his anger is

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almost certainly synthetic he's far too similar -- civilised a man to

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believe a lot of what he said to you in that interview. Does he, like

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Boris Johnson, not understand truth from fiction? I wouldn't say that,

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he's a political pugilist and he recognises that Boris is twice as

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trusted as the Prime Minister on the European issue so he's trying to

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bash down Boris to support the prime and Esther's position. From a

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pro-Remain point of view, it's a rational thing to do. -- Prime

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Minister. You have called into question the veracity of what Chris

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Patten said, yet he is very heartfelt in what he is saying about

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the manner in which this debate is being conducted. Lord Patten has

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always been a political showman. He is very good at the theatrical part

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of politics. He has made an intervention in accord with that.

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He's also a passionate pro-European and always has been. What he's doing

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isn't unreasonable. I see why the remaining party want to damage Boris

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Johnson because he's hugely popular and trusted across the country and

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has been putting the Leave I didn't across very well. Let's talk about

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Boris Johnson. -- the Leave argument across. He makes it up as he goes

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along, says Chris Patten. You could take that to be something relatively

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funny, like you can't have a handoff bananas in the European Union, it's

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only got three fingers. You could also talk about him in voting the

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memory of Hitler when it comes to a European superstate. -- invoking.

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Are these things helpful to this debate? I think almost everything

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Boris has said is factually accurate. When he appeared before

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the Treasury Select Committee he was singularly accurate and well briefed

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and the things he was asked about turned out to be correct. In

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comparison with other people who have tried to create a superstate,

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you can go back to Charlemagne. What Boris said was factually true. Will

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you take something more to do with the economy? The committee's report

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today was unanimous, it was unanimous in saying that the Leave

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campaign's idea that the European Union sucks up ?350 million of

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British money per day was wrong and highly misleading. Those are the

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kind of figures Boris Johnson is putting about. It was a unanimous

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report. Did you go along with that report? Did you have your finger is

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on toes crossed? I don't want to be pedantic, but nobody said ?350

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million per day. A week, I'm sorry. That was inflammatory language!

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You're getting more inflammatory than the Brexiters! Not a precedent

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for the BBC! That figure is the grace figure which excludes the

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rebate. It's a bad figure, I have always said that, and I go along

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with the report. More importantly it said the Chancellor's thoughts to

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the Treasury report did not reflect the report. For the Chancellor of

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the X to get to say some thing not strictly true is much more worrying.

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-- of the exchequer to say something. Whichever way this vote

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goes, can the DNA of the cabinet remain the same, all will be

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Believers have to remain -- have to leave the Cabinet? -- will be

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Levers. I'm campaigning to leave because I believe in British

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democracy. If British people vote to remain, I must accept that and shut

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up. If on the other hand they vote to leave, the remain side have to do

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take it as well. It goes to the heart of great divisions in the

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Cabinet. Four weeks out from the referendum, the language, and I have

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to say you yourself through a quick stone at Michael Heseltine, the

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language of the campaign over the next few weeks will not become

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milder. Definitely not. But Michael Heseltine is big enough to cope with

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being called an old humbug. I doubt it will have disrupted his sleep for

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a second. In politics people make their arguments forcefully and

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passionately and throw the odd insult about. Afterwards we all

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settle down. Look at the Prime Minister and Nick Clegg in Downing

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Street garden they formed the coalition. I wonder if you agree

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with Chris Patten, that it's inconceivable that if vote Leave

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wins and we are out of the European Union, is it inconceivable to you

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that David Cameron would remain as leader, especially if he had to go

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cap in hand to make trade deals and so forth? Do you think if Britain

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votes to leave, David Cameron would leave number ten? I actively want

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the Prime Minister to stay in those circumstances, because the first

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thing we would have to do is improve our relationship with our European

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friends and neighbours and he has bent a lot of time talking to them

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and is in the best position to get the ball rolling. He will need tough

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negotiators beneath him, but I'm a great supporter of the Prime

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Minister in everything other than Europe. If we vote to leave, he will

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have to get on with getting us out and I will give him the support to

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do that. David Cameron made an announcement

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today at the end of the G7 summit in Japan which signals an upping

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of the Uk's engagement with Libya. The Royal Navy is preparing

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to deploy another warship to the Mediterranean to help

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tackle people smuggling Britain will also send a training

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team to the North African state. The Prime minister said

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it was in Britain's interests to support the new national unity

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government, to help it grow, to help it have the ability to

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control the country, but he refused to comment on reports that British

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special forces are already engaged in fighting so-called

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Islamic State in Libya. Last month, when reflecting

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on his presidency, President Obama said that his worst mistake

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was failing to plan for the day after the uprising in Libya,

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and also made a rare criticism of David Cameron for becoming

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"distracted" after the intervention. Here's our diplomatic

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editor Mark Urban. A powerful warship like a type 45

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destroyer, seen here practising its drills,

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offers the chance to ramp up operations against

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the Islamic State group. It could also be used to cordon

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to British and Libyan vessels trying to intercept weapons

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and people smugglers. All these options were opened up

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by the Prime Minister's Britain should be helping,

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we are already part And we want that to move to the next

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stage of working with a Libyan government to stop boats leaving

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in the first place and, over time, As we have seen in the eastern

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Mediterranean, that's what works. But many a plan for relaunching

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Libya and its security forces Last month, Foreign Secretary Philip

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Hammond visited Tripoli and inspected the fledgling navy

:15:20.:15:26.

that Britain hopes to build up, so it can police

:15:27.:15:31.

migration and smuggling. But, we have been told,

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the Libyans didn't sign off on his proposals,

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and until Libyan and legal requirements are satisfied,

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a new international naval mission Anyone in the military who operates

:15:40.:15:42.

in a foreign country needs to have a legal status

:15:43.:15:51.

of forces, a legal agreement. That starts with the United Nations

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resolution. From that perspective,

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any military commander going out to Libya would want to have

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reassurances from the government So a comprehensive approach

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to tackling scenes like this, where a grossly overloaded people

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smuggler's boat capsized this week, remains elusive, while the British

:16:13.:16:16.

government would like Libyan coastguards to be able to stop this

:16:17.:16:20.

and take migrants back A threat to the whole project

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remains from Islamic militants An effort against them sparked

:16:24.:16:35.

accusations of mission creep. The complexity of the situation

:16:36.:16:39.

in Libya plays into a whole bunch of other questions about the kind

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of assistance that should be available to the new government

:16:43.:16:45.

of national accord, and the incredibly delicate

:16:46.:16:47.

political situation in Libya where there is now a real potential

:16:48.:16:50.

of Libya going back to civil war The Libyan affiliates

:16:51.:16:57.

of Islamic State now hold much of the coastline,

:16:58.:17:03.

with one pocket centred on Sirte Britain's role in the struggle

:17:04.:17:07.

against them includes intelligence gathering by HMS Enterprise,

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a survey vessel, and a secret spy planes flying from

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Akrotiri in Cyprus. Special forces, the Royal Marines

:17:17.:17:21.

SPS, have long been active on the coast, and were this week

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reported to be operating As for sending more,

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the Royal Fleet auxiliary in the region could support more

:17:32.:17:35.

special forces or training missions. And a frigate or destroyer

:17:36.:17:38.

destroyer also soon be sent. For the time being though

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much of the British Islamic State is one

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of the greatest threats not just to Britain,

:17:46.:17:54.

but to the world. And the way that it has been dealt

:17:55.:17:56.

with in Iraq and Syria has shown And I think taking that model

:17:57.:18:00.

and transposing it to Libya For the past five years,

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the Royal Navy and British special forces have been in and out of Libya

:18:14.:18:20.

and it has rarely been simple. Now there is the prospect

:18:21.:18:23.

of a more ambitious mission, and everyone from operational

:18:24.:18:26.

commanders to MOD lawyers will be These are some of the questions that

:18:27.:18:29.

have been drawn up by Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock,

:18:30.:18:52.

for people applying for jobs to try to stop discrimination

:18:53.:18:54.

against the poor. Because rather than social mobility,

:18:55.:18:56.

the UK suffers from social The questions will be drawn up

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as a national standard, applied to civil servant job

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applicants, and the government Perhaps the test could be applied

:19:06.:19:07.

to would be Cabinet Ministers. Half the Cabinet were privately

:19:08.:19:12.

educated, despite the fact only 7% Joining me to discuss this

:19:13.:19:16.

is solicitor AbiJit Pandya, and from the think tank,

:19:17.:19:24.

Class, the economist Faiza Shaheen. Good evening. In fact, the EU

:19:25.:19:37.

referendum campaign probably demonstrates this problem quite

:19:38.:19:42.

acutely. The four leaders of the campaign all went to Oxford. Three

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out of the four are privately educated. Surely that is an

:19:49.:19:52.

indication something has to change? I don't agree there is a problem. If

:19:53.:19:59.

you look at the facts, last year 517,000 people were privately

:20:00.:20:02.

educated out of a total of 8.2 million in this country. That saved

:20:03.:20:06.

the Department of education ?3.5 billion. That is ?3.5 billion which

:20:07.:20:13.

would go to poorer children, children whose parents cannot afford

:20:14.:20:16.

private education. To suggest private education somehow undermines

:20:17.:20:22.

opportunities in terms of the level of education poorer children get, is

:20:23.:20:33.

deceiving. These potential measures, whether or not the applicant was

:20:34.:20:42.

eligible for free school meals, the qualifications of their parents,

:20:43.:20:45.

professions, income or wealth, isn't the danger that what you do is you

:20:46.:20:50.

penalised the child for a decision made by the parents? No, is

:20:51.:20:55.

happening is we have 50% of the Cabinet who went to private school,

:20:56.:21:01.

we have 40% of the BAFTA winners went to private school, we have a

:21:02.:21:04.

situation in law and journalism were if we had that situation in

:21:05.:21:08.

football, we would not have David Beckham Morra Wayne Rooney today.

:21:09.:21:13.

The reasons that we have to think about these measures is because the

:21:14.:21:17.

situation so bad. There is no perfect solution. Does it feel like

:21:18.:21:27.

a blunt instrument? No. There are some better measures than others.

:21:28.:21:31.

For some young people from certain backgrounds, getting to the doorway

:21:32.:21:34.

you can even write that application has been much harder. It is not

:21:35.:21:39.

about positive discrimination, it is about levelling the playing field.

:21:40.:21:43.

Do you accept it is harder for children from state schools who

:21:44.:21:50.

perhaps do not have the support and all of the other things that go with

:21:51.:21:53.

the private education, the feeling of certainty, the feeling of

:21:54.:21:56.

confidence, the feeling that you can do something and nothing is barred

:21:57.:22:00.

to you that macro that that is not open to a lot of children and that

:22:01.:22:06.

is a bad inequality? I do not concede the point it is an

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inequality. No, I don't. If you have got there on merit because your

:22:14.:22:16.

parents have actually facilitated that, that is merit. It is not merit

:22:17.:22:27.

his money. That is the -- your view of merit. Tony Hibbert your

:22:28.:22:31.

situation. Your parents came to this country before you were born. They

:22:32.:22:35.

thought sending you to private school would give you a better

:22:36.:22:40.

chance in life? That is right. That is not the same as persecuting

:22:41.:22:43.

people for not going to private education. When you say inequality,

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that is a broad term with significantly nebulous meanings.

:22:51.:22:56.

Let's college life chances. There are plenty of people who are

:22:57.:22:59.

successful. It is how you measure success. The argument you are

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putting forward is a particular type of job and Society, a select one,

:23:06.:23:10.

and the vast majority of people do not become Cabinet ministers, is

:23:11.:23:14.

being infiltrated by people from a select background. That is not the

:23:15.:23:17.

grounds to change all opportunities across the board. It is across the

:23:18.:23:23.

board. Even in acting and creative sectors now. This is very costly. It

:23:24.:23:30.

is not just costly in terms of the influencers and the types of

:23:31.:23:32.

policies and decisions that are made by people that do not experience

:23:33.:23:41.

what most people in society do... I want to know if I am employing

:23:42.:23:45.

someone that they are motivated, by knowing they have gone to a state

:23:46.:23:48.

school and worked really hard, that is levelling the playing field.

:23:49.:23:51.

Right now they are discriminated against. What happens when you have

:23:52.:24:01.

a blind aptitude test? Is that in itself an indicator? Some of these

:24:02.:24:05.

blind aptitude tests have their own vices. They can be better. Take for

:24:06.:24:11.

instance the Oxford interviews. That bias is towards a certain type of

:24:12.:24:16.

confidence that you will have if you went to private school. Your parents

:24:17.:24:22.

decided to send you to a private school because they thought it was

:24:23.:24:24.

better for you than a state education? That was their specific

:24:25.:24:29.

view. Other parents may think differently. Other parents may want

:24:30.:24:34.

to spend their money taking their children to water ski rather than

:24:35.:24:38.

send them to private school. That is a decision for people. Not for the

:24:39.:24:47.

state. Do you agree that often the companies that do best have a very

:24:48.:24:51.

diverse group of people on the board, who bring different

:24:52.:24:58.

experiences and different attitudes? Why would you need to change the

:24:59.:25:02.

rules if that is already happening? My point at the start was that half

:25:03.:25:10.

a million people in this country save ?3.5 billion for people who

:25:11.:25:17.

cannot afford... It is important. If you want the resources for people

:25:18.:25:20.

who can't afford it, the best way to do that is get more people in

:25:21.:25:25.

private education. We cannot have people living segregated lives like

:25:26.:25:29.

that. When you have private school and private health care, they are

:25:30.:25:33.

less willing to put back in. That is why we see tax avoidance. It is a

:25:34.:25:36.

misleading number. Thank you. Each week during the EU referendum

:25:37.:25:38.

campaign, we want to offer you an oasis away from the facts,

:25:39.:25:41.

fibs, flannel and fears being lobbed We bring you the thoughts

:25:42.:25:44.

of influential determinedly not attached to one camp or the other,

:25:45.:25:48.

but who who have thought deeply Tonight it's the former editor

:25:49.:25:52.

of the Daily Telegraph and the official biographer

:25:53.:25:57.

of Margaret Thatcher, Charles Moore. I've always thought it

:25:58.:26:15.

mattered that we should have And that the people you vote

:26:16.:26:17.

for govern you, and that when you are fed up with voting

:26:18.:26:24.

for them, you vote them out. In the EU, there is no such thing

:26:25.:26:27.

as the Leader of the Opposition. There is permanent government

:26:28.:26:31.

by a governing class As the day approaches

:26:32.:26:35.

I feel more strongly, partly because I have a sense

:26:36.:26:42.

that the voters are being bullied. I mean, if we want the proof

:26:43.:26:46.

that there is a sort of global elite telling us what to do,

:26:47.:26:50.

we've been given it Every famous person in every other

:26:51.:26:52.

country in the world has been telling us how to vote,

:26:53.:26:56.

and every great big organisation which does well out of the system

:26:57.:26:58.

is telling us how to vote. And the whole point about this

:26:59.:27:02.

is it's us, not great big organisations and people

:27:03.:27:04.

who run other countries. When people say that

:27:05.:27:07.

they're thinking of - they can't decide but they're

:27:08.:27:11.

are thinking they might vote Remain, I tend to raise the point of,

:27:12.:27:16.

would you feel remorse? One of the things you should do

:27:17.:27:20.

when a big decision comes is to maximise the power

:27:21.:27:23.

of your decision. If you vote Remain, you will sink

:27:24.:27:25.

without trace between the waves of Obama and Jean-Claude Juncker

:27:26.:27:29.

and Hillary Clinton and the IMF and the World Bank

:27:30.:27:32.

and the rest of them. They will be vindicated

:27:33.:27:37.

in their fundamental complacency about the running

:27:38.:27:41.

of the Western world. And your decision will

:27:42.:27:45.

have been forgotten. I see some of the commentary

:27:46.:27:50.

and they keep saying to the Leave campaign,

:27:51.:27:52.

"What are you going to do That is not the Leave

:27:53.:27:54.

campaign's job. They're not going to

:27:55.:27:57.

be the government. So there's a lot of uncertainties,

:27:58.:27:59.

not uncertainties that I think fundamentally about the future

:28:00.:28:03.

of this country, which I think is secure outside the EU,

:28:04.:28:06.

but about literally It worries me a bit but it does not

:28:07.:28:08.

worry me nearly enough No Such Thing as the News

:28:09.:28:19.

is on next, followed by Artsnight, in which Charlotte Church celebrates

:28:20.:28:25.

the joy of the human voice and meets singers who are trying

:28:26.:28:28.

to do things differently. But before we go, earlier,

:28:29.:28:31.

Barack Obama became the first US president to visit Hiroshima

:28:32.:28:37.

since his predecessor, Harry Truman, ordered the nuclear attack

:28:38.:28:40.

on the city that ended Mr Obama used his speech,

:28:41.:28:44.

perhaps audaciously, to draw some Good night.

:28:45.:29:01.

The world was forever changed here. But today, the children of this city

:29:02.:29:13.

will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is

:29:14.:29:22.

worth protecting. And then extending to every child. That is the future

:29:23.:29:34.

we can choose. A future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known as

:29:35.:29:44.

the dawn of atomic warfare, but as the start of our own moral

:29:45.:29:47.

awakening. Hello. Some fine weather this

:29:48.:30:12.

weekend but there will be a sprinkling of thunderstorms. Some

:30:13.:30:13.