01/07/2016 Newsnight


Post-Brexit polling, Tory leadership latest, Burnley voters on Brexit, the political mood in France, Kazuo Ishiguro and have British politics realigned? With James O'Brien.

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I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that


steers the country to its next destination. When you voted leave,


was it about the EU, was it about change of any kind? Or was it about


something I haven't mentioned? Is everything. Right. I no longer had


confidence in his leadership. I feel that I've served in the best way I


can. Today at Westminster in the last few minutes there are more


labour resignations, three Shadow ministers... Get an election and he


will get in. And I thought I was having a bad


day! You were fighting for the exit. The British people voted in favour


of the exit. My pitch is very simple, I'm Theresa May and I think


I'm the best person to be Prime Minister of this country. I'm really


sorry to interrupt, just hearing that Michael Gove is preparing to


announce his candidacy as well. What is your to Michael Gove?


That person cannot be me. I came reluctantly but firmly to the


conclusion that I should stand and Boris should stand aside. I cannot,


unfortunately, get on with doing what I want to do, so it will be up


to someone else now. I wish them every possible success.


For once, the cliches seem almost inadequate.


It really was a political earthquake.


We really are in uncharted waters and we really do have no


So, the search for clarity, and maybe even some


And while it's a little previous to suggest that


much dust has settled, a week has now passed


since the Referendum result was revealed, so we have,


at least, had some time to consider its possible ramifications.


Time now, then, obviously, for a poll examining where we were,


where we are and where we think we might be going with Brexit.


It's thrown up a few surprises and some rather bad news for anyone


hoping that they'd seen the back of the ballot box for a while...


Have you had enough of voting yet? Apparently not. In fact almost half


of voters's polls said Britain should hold another general election


before the UK starts to negotiate Brexit, so that each party can set


out its own vision for life outside the EU. And maybe this is why. 59%


told us they were not confident in Britain's political leaders getting


the best possible Brexit deal for Britain. That rises to 76% of Remain


voters. And what about buyers remorse? Those voters who supposedly


want to change their minds. They do not. 92% of respondents said they


would definitely vote the same way. But of them, 5% of And voters said


they would now change their vote, compared to just 2% of Remain


voters. And finally, imagine if this all just went away. More than a


third of voters said they think it might. They don't know if Britain


will actually leave the EU and 16% in the UK will actively defied the


Brexit vote and find a way to stay in.


Of course, that's only part of the post-Ref picture.


The real action is unfolding at Westminster where just


about everything is up for grabs on both sides of the House.


To provide a measure of the mayhem, no pun intended, you could probably


argue tonight that the Parliamentary party which didn't want a leadership


battle is having one while the Parliamentary party that


desperately does want one, isn't.


Newsnight's political editor, Nick Watt, is filling his boots.


Nick, you have found out about a plan to help ease Jeremy Corbyn out


of the door? Yes, all the signs from the Shadow Chancellor today John


McDonald work that Jeremy Corbyn is not going anywhere and he's going to


stay. But I understand there was a delegation of Shadow Cabinet


ministers yesterday who tried and failed to meet Jeremy Corbyn to


suggest a plan to allow him to resign with dignity. They were


suggesting that a commission could be set up over the summer and that


would in trench some of his ideas about how you democratise the Labour


Party and would also push on the party to commit to some of his core


policies on inequality. If that could happen and some of the


leadership contenders could agree to that, he would perhaps pre-announced


his retirement and he would go after the Labour conference. What is


really interesting about this is that people like John McDonald are


very wary of this because they are scared that the moment he gives up


the power, that is it for the left. But I understand that some members


on the left who were in that room last year when his candidacy was


approved that they thought with great reluctance and sadness that


this may be the wise thing to do because they fear that the party


could divide. I hesitate to ask, but more bad news for the Labour leader


tonight? Yes, an interesting YouGov poll of Unite members, whose general


secretary is one of Jeremy Corbyn's most ardent supporters and this


shows that 75% of people who voted Labour in the general election last


year believe that Jeremy Corbyn will not be Prime Minister. It wouldn't


surprise me if Jeremy Corbyn's opponent in the Labour Party picked


up on this to challenge one of his central arguments. That Central


argue it is, I may not have any support at Westminster but I do have


support in the wider labour movement. Important health warning,


election day to admit that YouGov were not able to do the full waiting


you would normally expect because they do not know the full and exact


demographic breakdown of Unite members. But we shouldn't forget


that there is a contest to choose the next Prime Minister of this


country, so what I thought I would do is take a look at how that is


going and also see how the front runner, to reason may, is getting


on. Who would have believed it? The


plodder of the Cabinet who issues the political gossip and the party


circuit is emerging as the front runner in the Tory leadership


contest. She brings to her work eight professionalism, dedication


and hard work, a willingness to confront difficult problems, and


that may be in great measure due to the fact that she is a woman. Which


is probably a positive at the present time in my view in terms of


our national politics. There is an unmistakable buzz around the Home


Secretary and her rivals are concerned. 36 hours ago, Boris


Johnson appeared to be the slam dunk candidate in the Tory leadership


contest. After his former friend Michael Gove ended his lifetime's


ambition to be Prime Minister, the question tonight is whether the


Theresa May juggernaut is unstoppable. Like it or not, Theresa


May is now defining this leadership contest and even influencing wider


government policy. It's incredibly important we maintain fiscal


credibility... George Osborne indicated today that he would


abandon his plan to achieve an overall budget surplus, a day after


the Home Secretary said she would do just that. And at his campaign


launch, Michael Gove had his sights set on Theresa May when he said that


the next Prime Minister must be a Brexit supporter. But Michael Gove


knows he has too overcome the perception that he is guilty of a


double act of treachery against two old friends, David Cameron and Boris


Johnson. As we see here today, you have to conclude that it looks as


though he has gone over the Reichenbach falls with Boris


Johnson, taken him over the falls but done some damage to his own


reputation. He's now gone down into the marketplace and has been


swinging punches like the rest of them. Fans of the Justice Secretary


say he has the brains and personal touch to make it. He is a powerhouse


of a man, an intellectual I've known for 30 years, I've watched him


develop. He's a radical reformer and a man who has always led his


politics by conviction. He's the one who persuaded me to in politics. He


has the same vision for our country that I do, which is that we can


really bring everyone together. But momentum appears to be building up


behind Andrei led ' -- Andrea Ledsom. Perhaps she


could become the main leadership challenger to Theresa May. William


Hague was a religiously junior figure in 1997. Iain Duncan Smith


had been a Maastricht rebel. So Andrea Ledsom could come from the


outside to give Theresa May a run for her money. Some of Theresa May's


supporters hope this contest could be over by next week. They are no


others that if this goes to the second stage, decided by grassroots


Tory members, the support for the Remain side could count against her.


The main test for Theresa May is whether or not she could persuade


that Tory members should elect her when she was four Remain Ulster and


the majority evidence was that a majority of them were four Leave.


British politics is being refashioned right in front of our


eyes. But even in the middle of a revolution, perhaps it will be the


steadiest member of the crew who will guide us to the next stage.


The one in Burnley next where, you'll recall, we canvassed


the immediate post-Vote feelings pretty comprehensively.


Will feuding friends forgive and forget?


In a moment, Nick Blakemore will find out, but first a quick


reminder of how this particular patch of Lancastrian land lay last


I'm over the moon. I don't know what to say. We did it! Is everybody woke


up in time. Everybody listened. Everybody understands. Yes it's


going to be rough at the beginning, but... We've done it.


Just to warn you, you may hear some strong language in the background of


Nick's film. We've got to work together to make


this work. It's like anything, you either go for it or you are left


behind. We are all in the same boat. We now move forward. We are not


Leave and Remain, we are united kingdom. No, we are Leave, we've


left. We have to remember that a large proportion of this country


voted Remain. This time we will just carry on. As


it were. We just want people to know that England is not an easy touch.


You know what I mean? You can't just come here and take, take, take. To


enjoy the advantages of this country, you have to contribute.


It's as simple as that. Wider you think we voted for leave? Tired of


paying out for people who think it's a career option to just be a dosser


and get a council house and take, take, take. We are all hard working


men and that's what we're sick of. I actually voted In last week. The


reason was because... I just feel that Britain has a massive role to


play in the European Union and it doesn't make sense for me to come


out of that. I'm a second-generation Italian, so my mum and dad came over


here. What I think the biggest thing is that... I was born here but all


my friends around here have no issue whatsoever with any foreign people


coming to this country, because, as long as the foreign people that come


here contribute, that is the main thing. The biggest problem this


country has is foreign people who come over here and grab off the


state, that is the biggest issue. I did, yeah, definitely. I voted


Leave, which the majority of people round here did. I'm not sure if it


were the right thing all the wrong thing, we will soon find out. People


are making laws now that we don't even vote on. That's my biggest


gripe. I would definitely say that we've seen a decline in our living


standards, especially in the north-west. The North of England. I


have family who live down south, like Basingstoke, and you go down


there and it's like a different country. We talk about what's


happened down south compared to us in the north-west, but if you think


about it, we have a say on where that money goes. I would say to


anyone who is annoyed about this referendum, annoyed that we voted to


leave and they voted to remain, get involved in politics right now


because right now it's the biggest change you can make. I would say


that if that is going to be a left wing ever again, they've got to


realise that they're not the super Internet legend people that they


think they are. They have to respect the voice of normal working people.


-- super intelligent. I see the pros and cons, either way,


to be honest with you, I think, putting it bluntly, we are going to


get screwed, either way! Joining me now is the


novelist Kazuo Ishiguro. Japanese-born, raised in Surrey and,


as the author of The Remains of the Day, the man responsible


for a lyrical evocation of interwar England so powerful and convincing


that it won the Booker Prize Kazuo, I mention those


three parts of your past because they paint you,


perhaps, as a literary poster boy for a multi-cultural,


integrated Britain. Yet you write in today's


Financial Times of your fears that that Britain may be


under mortal threat. Mortal threat may be putting it


melodramatically but I think this is very serious, in my whole life time


here, I have never felt this anxious... The nation is bitterly


divided. It is leaderless, it is very anxious. If I was a strategist


for the far right now, I would be getting very excited, this is


probably the best opportunities in the 1930s to push Britain towards


some kind of neo-Nazi racism, and I think that we have got to... All the


decent people in this country, and I mean people on both sides of the


referendum divide, they have got to rally around some kind of decent


heart of Britain, and I think that's decent heart... I do not doubt it.


Grimm Tales this week. I was shaken, I was a firm remained person, and I


was shaken, like a lot of people. -- grim tales. -- Remain person. I have


faith about the essential decency of this country, speaking as someone


who grew up as the only visible foreigner at school, the only


foreign boy at school, the only foreign kid in the gimme nitty, over


the years I have lived in various parts of Britain, where very large


numbers of immigrants came from the Asian subcontinent, the Caribbean,


West Africa, during a time of enormous economic turmoil in the


1970s and 1980s, people like the national front and the BNP have


never gained a whole. Just as it was in the first half of the 20th


century, basically, and I can tell from my perspective, I can tell you


everything I know about this country, it is essentially a very


decent, tolerance country, it does racism very badly, even worse than


football! LAUGHTER When fascism was rampaging across


Europe, in the first of the 20th century, it could not get a foothold


here. But, I think... We should not be complacent now. The country does


need... The decent part of the country needs something to rally


around. Let's identify what that is, plenty of people will be watching


this, as you refer to in your piece, who wanted to leave the European


Union, and will be just as haunted by this spectre as anybody on the


Remain side, it is a challenge to separate the toxicity which seems to


have been emboldened by the result and the people who will be just as


alarmed by that emboldening as any DLs, how can we do that? I believe


that the majority of people who voted leave are not racist, some


are. -- as anybody else. At a local level, I would like to see some kind


of campaign declaration, a petition, I cannot do it, I am from the


Remain, I would like them to clearly say that they are against xenophobia


and racism that is threatening to take over. Have you experienced any?


No, just reading, a lot of people are anxious, we have heard reports


of... Things that were not acceptable seeming to be acceptable


now. People being told to go home. It is at that level at the moment. I


do not know how deep it goes, I would like to see the people from


the leave camp clearly isolate the racists by saying, this is not us. I


would even offer them a slogan, "Leave Racism", with a hashtag as


well. Everything needs that this -- these days. I would like to see


another referendum, we need a new mandate about what kind of Brexit we


are going to go for, for the new Prime Minister, whoever it is. We


need some kind of discussion. You have pulled the pin on the second


referendum grenade, just as our time together comes to an end, we will


have to leave it there, thank you very much joining us. -- thank you


very much for joining us. Of course, the referendum


shockwaves reach much further And few countries have been


watching events here more One of the original architects


of the Common Market and, of course, long a historical obstacle


to the UK's membership, the country today hosts a growing


strain of Gallic Euroscepticism and may be developing


an appetite for what has Newsnight's Gabriel Gatehouse has


been taking a breath of French air to find out how events on this side


of the Channel have I always wanted Britain to be


part of European dreams. VOICEOVER: It may look


like life as normal. But make no mistake,


Brexit was an earthquake. I was like, no, no!


You can't do that! On the side of the far right,


it has come as a divine surprise. because as a disease


it is very profound. In the run-up to the referendum,


Newsnight met George Bertrand, one of the founding fathers


of the European Union. The results for Britain


are extremely complex But it is not only a domestic issue,


but as it concerns us too. Mr Bertrand played a prominent role


in shepherding Britain We consider Britain


as an exceptional country. As itself, the role it


has played in two wars, the way democratic


life was developed... At the same time, we were absolutely


aware that Europe without The English Parliamentary tradition


has a very positive influence an unpopular centre-left


government is trying to force through reforms


to the labour code. The French,


of course, are no strangers to this kind


of labour protest. is a flight from the centre


to the left and to the right. On the left, they see the EU as part


of a neoliberal project which they blame for austerity,


inequality and rising unemployment. And yet even here, some


are dismayed by Brexit. It's shit, but we can't,


as we say in French, The baby out with the bath water.


Yes, we can't do that. In France, discontent


with the political The chief beneficiaries are not


on the left but on the right. The Front National was once a fringe


movement, the preserve of ageing


ex-colonialists bitter Like the left, young FN supporters


rail against globalisation, but for them, Brexit


is a cause for celebration. Polls suggest that the


Front National could win The polls also show a rise


in Eurosceptic sentiment. And the Front National leader,


Marine Le Pen, has promised It's the same cocktail


than for the Brexit. Anti-immigrant feeling,


because it's an open door to immigration,


refugees and possibly terrorism, so the second


issue is insecurity, And the third idea is anti-elites,


the idea that the people who govern us, they are so far away,


they don't understand In a country with a proud,


democratic tradition, Sure, they can vote for a choice


of parties and politicians, in a language they no


longer understand. In corridors of power across Europe,


politicians, the centrist establishment, the people


who by and large have governed this continent since the end


of the Second World War, are suddenly realising that


for a whole variety of different reasons, vast swathes


of their electorate simply don't believe


in them any more. It's not that the centrists aren't


aware of the problem, they are. They just don't seem to know


what to do about it. People have a sense


that they are losing the control the arrival of huge companies


from the other side of the world, You are losing control


of the economy, you are losing control of the people


coming into your nation. A lot of poor whites consider


they are losing money, they are paying money


for the newcomers. And I sense this anger all over


the country here in France. that has no impact on these


issues but you know, Because of lack of


courage, essentially. For some, Brexit presents


an opportunity for renewal. For others, it is a dangerous


gamble. I'm angry because we are putting our


respective security In spite of the economic and social


divisions in Europe, we are the most balanced


part of the world. The most human part


of the world, the most socially-advanced


in the world. Lose by 4% of the vote


in a General Election and you find yourself in strong Opposition


with a fighting chance of halting legislation


and embarrassing the Government. Win 48% of the vote in a Referendum


and you find yourself Politically your position is,


in many ways, no stronger With all the Conservative leadership


candidates now fully committed to Brexit and the winner of course


guaranteed to govern, what will Some suggest we're approaching


a fundamental redrawing of traditional party politics


but few are prepared to predict Joining me now to survey


the scene are... The journalist and broadcaster Paul


Mason, The Times columnist Phil Collins, and adviser to Nick Clegg,


Polly McKenzie. I would like to begin by asking you a


very simple question, who is in the biggest mess at the moment, the


Conservatives or the Labour Party? Polly, I will start with you?


Probably the Labour Party, because at least the Conservatives have a


process which will get them to a leader they will all be happy with.


Whereas the Labour Party, frankly, this could go on for months or even


years. The Conservative Party's mess is more important because they are


visiting it on the rest of us, on the country. Their mess is more


important in that sense, but the bigger mess if it weren't for that


important fact is the Labour Party, which is facing the prospect it


might not even exist soon. An existential threat to the Labour


Party, Paul Mason? I noticed your political editor, comprehensibility


was on the inside sources at Westminster said there had been tout


-- omitted that there had been thousands of people on the streets


tonight supporting Jeremy Corbyn. What you've seen is the equivalent


of the Haka before the rugby match. If the rugby match actually kicks


off, it could get brutal. I'm a Labour member and I voted Remain. We


need to find a way to DS can it. These young central MPs have no idea


what an actual struggle inside the labour movement looks like. Those of


us who saw the miners strike and have seen what people are getting


for right now fear... It is, it won't disappear. However, it may


seriously split. Who speaks for you at the moment, politically? As a


Corbyn friendly Remainer? Jeremy Corbyn. He is speaking but we, the


wider Labour family, have to find some way of de-escalate think this


and focusing on the policies. The fact is, Corbyn and John McDonnell


have scored a fantastic success this week, knocking George Osborne away


from his fiscal rule. I would be arguing for investment tax and


spending to boost investment. That all needs to happen but of course


it's going to Canon straight into the Brexit negotiations. We need


both parties to be on the ball and thinking in a interest and national


interested way. Phil Collins, the credit for the fiscal retreat of


George Osborne being handed to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. I


will let you respond to that in a second. I'm also interested in the


notion of Jeremy Corbyn beating for Labour remainders, while Remainers


in the main laying him for the Brexit. Which I think is very harsh.


There is a lot more in the vote to leave the European Union than could


have been solved by Jeremy Corbyn. I don't think it helps to blame him.


He was a pretty lukewarm advocate for it but that's because he was not


very good. Not because he had a particular bad day, he was as good


as he can be, which is not very good at all. Scientists say of a bad


theory, it's not even wrong. It's not even wrong to suggest that


Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell 's art claiming the credit for George


Osborne changing the rule, he has changed the rule because the country


has had a massive economic shock and we're going to come out of the


European Union. It's perfectly normal in politics to claim your


opponent's shifts. Are we looking at something more different than the


fundamental -- more fundamental than the squabbling and shifts which to


defy your world? There is no one who represents the 48% who voted for


Remain. We don't even have a mandate for a government to negotiate our


Brexit. As we were hearing earlier, we don't know what kind of Brexit we


want. And economically sensible EEA one or we just cut ourselves off and


float in the Atlantic? No one has a mandate to make that decision. What


would that realignment look like? At the moment, God only knows. There is


this growth in the Liberal Democrats but with only eight MPs it's hard to


see Tim Farron... Tim Farron has committed to a manifesto that would


involve doing everything possible to get back into the EU. I feel very


strongly represented by that but they only have eight MPs and it's


hard to see that being enough to build a new centre party. It's


possible that a break could come if Jeremy Corbyn digs in and if he is


challenged and he wins again and the 172 Labour MPs in Parliament who


have declared no confidence in him declare themselves a new party,


that's not beyond the balance of possibility at the moment. We are


closer perhaps than we've ever been before. I'm not sure it's a great


solution or a great outcome but that is entirely feasible. Have we found


something on which you can all agree, Paul Mason, that a


fundamental realignment might well be on the horizon? I think centrist


politics, which wants to rejoin the European Union after this,


proactively rejoin the European Union, would have to be a new party.


Neither the Conservatives nor Labour are going to do that, as parties.


But I think there is a problem for centrist politics. Full


they are going to be called upon to act in the national interests in a


way they are not used to defining. Watch it happen right now is they


should -- we should/ business tax and boost business investment. The


more we do that, the people across the table from us at the Brexit


negotiations are going to say hold on, this is unfair competition,


please withdraw your tax cut in order to get back into the EEA. I


favour going into the EEA and I also favour doing rapid tax cuts to boost


investment. We need a political class used to doing this sort of


thing but they are not used it, they are used to 40 plus years


multilateralism that they triggered the breakdown of. Most importantly,


there isn't anybody to make those decisions. We've had this


unbelievably hectic week in British politics but actually we have no


more clarity one week on about what on earth we're going to do next.


It's that complete vacuum, whatever negotiating strategy we adopt, the


truth is we have to start doing something because all across Europe


and especially in Brussels, people are planning for how to negotiate


this in their interests and not in ours. We have a cabinet team of


three people thinking about this. It is a mandate to leave the European


Union. How big a part do you think that will play in the Conservative


candidate battle? Will they be putting forward rival visions of


Brexit or just trying to win the party faithful in the normal way?


The overwhelming favourite, Theresa May, voted Remain. I suppose nobly


would have predicted that but no blonde would have predicted anything


this time last week. It does appear she is moving ahead. As we said in


the introduction, everyone is committed to an exit but I don't


think any of them have the first idea what it means, yet. If they do


put forward plans, they will be very meagre plans indeed. Paul Mason?


Hello? I beg your pardon, Paul, I was expecting you to respond to what


Philip said. Yes, look, what is amazing at the moment is the fact


that all the political class cannot utter the words that we have uttered


on this discussion, EEA, European economic area. It is the obvious


solution, to apply for it and design a variation on free movement, ask


for the emergency brake you can get and then go from there. You may not


get it but it's logical to go for that. What frustrates me on all


sides of Parliament is that people are not afraid to do that and that


is because the party machinery is fractured. Many thanks indeed. That


is almost all we have time for tonight. Just a bit of time left for


me to jump on a rather wonderful belch


-- a rather wonderful Welsh bandwagon.


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