09/01/2017 Newsnight


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09/01/2017

In-depth investigation with Emily Maitlis. Topics include Theresa May's first six months as prime minister, press regulation and the resignation of NI's deputy first minister.


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LineFromTo

Now it's time for Newsnight

with Evan Davis.

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Spot the difference -

new cabinet - old cabinet.

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Yes, we struggled as well.

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A two-day reshuffle,

and quite a bit of a kerfuffle.

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But it leaves government disrupted

but not altogether relaunched.

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The Prime Minister has been

struggling with a pretty tough

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joint, that is raising questions

about her mastery of some

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pretty basic skills.

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Was it much ado about nothing?

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Or can it reset the Conservative's

overall direction?

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With talks between the north

and south, we'll examine the search

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for peace on the Korean peninsula.

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In the Middle East we will examine

Iran's foreign policy.

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It's accused of not

searching for peace.

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Iranian expansionism

is extraordinarily dangerous.

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First of all, they have Shia groups

throughout the region they can rely

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on that they can, if you will,

convert, or infiltrate.

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Also tonight, Toby Young steps down.

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Virgin West Coast says it will no

longer sell the Daily Mail

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on its trains.

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It seems a culture war

is raging in the UK.

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James Delingpole and Paris Lees

will tell us whether it needs to be

0:01:120:01:16

conducted with quite

so much vitriol.

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Hello.

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It's done, after two days,

government has been

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reshuffled and reshaped.

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124 jobs in government,

including junior ministers and whips

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and all the hangers on -

and about a third of those have been

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moved or are new.

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Including moves for some names

you might recognise,

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including Jo Johnson

and Rory Stewart who were shunted

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from jobs in their comfort

zone, to jobs elsewhere.

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Two important critiques

of the reshuffle are emerging though

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- the Prime Minister has said

that it makes government look

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like the people it serves,

but that is not quite true

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of the cabinet, which is a little

more public school and a bit more

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Oxbridge than it was and has

no more women in it.

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The other point, made

by the Institute for Government,

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is about the disruption to business.

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In nearly every department,

half or more of ministers have now

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been in their post

for less than a year.

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The heart of government,

which is the Cabinet Office

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will have an entirely new team.

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For what?

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Was it all worth it?

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Well, Nick Watt our

political editor is here.

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Let's talk about the handling today,

because yesterday it came

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in for quite a bit of criticism.

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It has been a tale of two

reshuffles, there is a feeling

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in the Cabinet that yesterday,

which was about the Cabinet,

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was not one of the Prime Minister's

most glorious moments with those

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ministers resisting her.

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I've been hearing scathing words

like chaotic, the Prime Minister has

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no authority, and she

can't even sack people.

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That's the Cabinet.

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Today she had a much better story

when she started moving

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through the junior and middle

ranking levels of government

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and Downing Street is saying

that the Prime Minister has created

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what they believe is one of the most

diverse governments in the history

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of this country, 37 women ministers

and nine ministers from black

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and minority ethnic backgrounds.

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I talked to a Cabinet minister

who said look at the whips office,

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six recently elected women MPs

brought into the whips office.

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They were saying it's not that long

ago that there were no women

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in the whips office and it was run

like a military operation,

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orders were barked.

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You can't do that in

the modern world so this

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is a modern whips office.

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There were some strange moves,

I mentioned Rory Stewart

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and Jo Johnson, people said wife

move them from jobs that seemed

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to be jobs they were familiar

with two things that

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are not experts on.

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Some people are spotting

a plot on the backbenches.

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What the Prime Minister did

was create a praetorian guard

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around her and then clipped

the wings of anyone who might

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possibly be seen as a

potential challenger.

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Dominic Raab, given this important

job as housing minister,

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but that is seen by these

people as a hospital pass.

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Will he ever get to grips with this

issue that nobody seems to get

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to grips with?

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Rory Stewart taken out

of the comfort zone of Africa

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to the Ministry of Justice,

somebody who made his name

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as a governor of an Iraqi province.

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And Justine Greening,

comprehensive educated Yorkshire

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woman, given an offer yesterday

that she couldn't take her mind

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off she goes.

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I've really been looking

at what Theresa May was trying

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to achieve in this

troubled reshuffle.

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Most prime ministers

are reluctant butchers.

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Margaret Thatcher lamented how

in her Downing Street years she had

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been obliged to learn the craft

of carving the joint.

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So, just how skilled

a butcher is Theresa May?

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Well, in this rather

elongated reshuffle,

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she's been struggling

with a pretty tough joint,

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and that's raising questions

about her mastery of some pretty

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basic prime ministerial skills.

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If prime ministers red reshuffles

so much, what exactly is Theresa May

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seeking to achieve here?

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Well, the answer lies in one date,

June the 8th, the Prime Minister

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is seeking to respond to the Tories'

surprise electoral setback

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by shifting the dial in three ways.

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In the first place,

she wants to restore her

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own political authority.

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Then she wants to show a more

diverse Conservative Party

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to the country.

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And finally, she wants to respond

to the concerns of voters who gave

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the Tories such a bloody

nose back in June.

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The Prime Minister gave

the impression yesterday

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that she was unable to carve key

sections of the joint after Cabinet

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ministers challenged

some of her plans.

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Tory MPs claim that the reshuffle

has exposed grave weaknesses

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in her operation, though MPs

now say she did stage

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a strong recovery today.

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Expectations were far too high

on the run in because I always

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thought it would be a moderate

reshuffle, only two or three

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jobs needed changing.

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Every reshuffle I'd ever seen

hits a problem somewhere

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when administered doesn't want to go

somewhere and they want to keep them

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in the Cabinet, which happened here.

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-- when a minister.

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Suella Fernandes, who has

coordinated the main backbench

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Brexit group takes her first step

on the ministerial ladder

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in the Brexit department.

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Other new ministers include the QC

Lucy Frazer, who becomes a justice

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minister and a former

entrepreneur Rishi Sunak,

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who joins the housing ministry.

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The Prime Minister invited a record

number of women appointed

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to the whips office

to Downing Street, and No 10 says

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Theresa May has created one

of the most diverse governments ever

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with 37 women and nine ministers

from minority ethnic backgrounds.

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It's probably the most diverse

governments Britain has ever had,

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that's a good thing.

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But more importantly,

the reshuffle is pretty much over,

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senior Cabinet level right the way

through to junior ministerial roles,

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we've got some really good

high-quality people.

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The Tories were shaken by the way

in which voters from their mid-40s

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downwards preferred Labour

in the election, with concerns over

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housing a key grievance

amongst younger voters,

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there is a renewed focus on this

in a newly rebranded department.

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All age groups in that election

will also alarmed by the confusion

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over social care, so Jeremy Hunt

takes overall control

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of that policy.

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The challenge will be to show

that these changes amount to more

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than shiny new

departmental nameplates.

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While the Prime Minister has been

panned for tinkering

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with her Cabinet, in this reshuffle

she has gone further

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than the limited changes

she made in the summer.

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So, progress since her Midsummer

nightmare when her first

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priority was survival.

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But this is still not

Theresa May's ideal reshuffle.

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Had she done better in the general

election there would have been

0:08:290:08:32

changes at the most senior

level of the Cabinet.

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The Prime Minister tied up the loose

ends of her reshuffle this evening.

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The troubled Cabinet changes show

Theresa May cannot altogether escape

0:08:410:08:43

the shadow of the election

but at junior levels

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there was a more decisive

Prime Minister on display.

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Nick Watt with an Atkins

diet metaphor as well.

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I'm joined by Kelly Tolhurst,

Tory MP for Rochester in Kent

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and as of today an assistant

government whip.

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One of those ones that Nick

was referring to earlier.

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And in a moment I'll be speaking

to Camilla Cavendish,

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director of the 10 Downing Street

policy unit under David Cameron

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and to the journalist Paul Mason.

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Good evening to you all.

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Kelly, can we start with you?

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It's interesting they have put

you up, the government have chosen

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to put you up to speak

for the government today,

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working-class background,

not one of these Oxbridge posh boys

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in the Cabinet, do you think this

is a time for the party to try

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and put forward a different face?

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Well, I think, for me,

I'm a conservative and always have

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been and I have become

a Conservative MP, and for me

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I think the last two days,

especially what has happened today,

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has shown really what the true

Conservative Parliamentary party now

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is, and they do include people

like myself, and it's been really

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good to be given the opportunity

to go into the whips

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office this afternoon.

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Theresa May explicitly said one

of the objectives and achievements

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of this was to create

a government that looks more

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like the country serves.

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Last count there were more than 30,

30 5% women in the country.

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Are you happy with

the way that's gone?

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I think we have got record numbers

for us women into government

0:10:200:10:24

positions.

0:10:240:10:25

Is more reflective of

the people we serve.

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It's true we need to do more

but today is a great step forward

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and I think with what's happened

in the whips office,

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it is a real indicator to show

that that's changing.

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In fairness, you don't really get

to speak on any issue

0:10:360:10:39

in the whips office.

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Cabinet average age, 51,

it was 52, not much changed.

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In the Cabinet there is want black

or ethnic minority member

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of the Cabinet.

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48% Oxbridge, 34% went

to a public school.

0:10:480:10:55

Does it make sense to sort of shout

about how you are creating

0:10:550:10:59

a government that looks

like the country serves,

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if you've got 34% public school

people in the Cabinet, 48% Oxbridge?

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Is that a thing to shout about?

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Well, I think we need to look

at the government positions

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as a whole, and also look

at the people that came in in 2015

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and have come in this year,

and myself, having not been

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to university, and had

the opportunities to work hard,

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and to become a member

of Parliament, there are more people

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like me that came in in 2015

and I think if you look at this

0:11:250:11:29

as a whole we are from a more

diverse background, therefore I do

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think some of the changes

are reflected.

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Is your line that this

will pass through?

0:11:340:11:36

That the Conservative Party,

at the moment boasting around done

0:11:360:11:39

about its government's

representative nurse

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when it is half public school?

0:11:400:11:47

The parliament to party has changed

significantly in the last two years

0:11:470:11:50

with the 2015 intake and 17.

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Today's appointments have made

a difference and I think

0:11:540:12:00

we are moving forward.

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The big mission is about

rejuvenating this government,

0:12:060:12:08

we know Brexit has got to be done

and Theresa May wants

0:12:080:12:11

to move beyond Brexit.

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In a couple of sentences,

what is the big idea,

0:12:150:12:20

apart from Brexit?

0:12:200:12:21

What are you going to do?

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Well, the government is committed

to delivering Brexit,

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it's massively important.

0:12:250:12:26

Apart from Brexit?

0:12:260:12:27

My constituency is still the focus

but we have also said,

0:12:270:12:30

and Theresa May has been clear,

we cannot forget that domestic

0:12:300:12:33

agenda and there are things

like the NHS, the environment.

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What are you going to do?

0:12:350:12:37

Well, one of the things

we are doing is focusing,

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as you know, we have been speaking

about the NHS and winter crisis over

0:12:400:12:44

the last couple of days.

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It is something we are looking at.

0:12:460:12:50

Kelly, I'm so sorry,

but speaking about the NHS...

0:12:500:12:53

You are struggling to say

what the big mission is.

0:12:540:12:57

There must be some sort of...

0:12:570:12:59

Has the party been told this

is what our priority is?

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Reinventing capitalism

and we are going to do these 100

0:13:030:13:05

things, or build

a powerhouse in the North?

0:13:050:13:07

Saying we are going

to talk about the NHS.

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It's one of the things that matter

to the people of this country

0:13:130:13:17

and one of the things about this

Cabinet reshuffle has been

0:13:170:13:20

about having the reshuffle

and being very clear,

0:13:200:13:24

the Prime Minister has

been very clear about

0:13:240:13:28

what she wants to deliver.

0:13:280:13:29

It's not just Brexit, absolutely,

it is still the main focus,

0:13:300:13:32

but it is around working

towards those things that matter

0:13:320:13:35

to people domestic is.

0:13:350:13:42

to people domestically.

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With the greatest respect,

I've tried giving you a chance

0:13:440:13:46

to say what the mission is,

and the fact that you are sort

0:13:460:13:50

of struggling to say what it is,

or am I just being unfair?

0:13:500:13:53

Well, I think maybe

you're being unfair?

0:13:530:13:55

We've been clear about what we want

to do, there are key thing is,

0:13:550:13:59

we can list them for you,

we need to make sure the economy

0:13:590:14:03

continues to grow, we want people

to be getting opportunities to have

0:14:030:14:06

better paid jobs.

0:14:060:14:07

We've had the industrial strategy

just recently announced.

0:14:070:14:09

That is massively important for

certain areas of the United Kingdom

0:14:090:14:12

and the economy.

0:14:120:14:15

The NHS is included in that.

0:14:150:14:16

There are a number of things

that we have been clear

0:14:160:14:19

on and our Prime Minister has been

very clear about command the last

0:14:190:14:23

two days and changes that have been

made will hopefully drive forward.

0:14:230:14:26

Please stay there.

0:14:260:14:27

Let me turn to our other two guests

because the big question is,

0:14:270:14:30

does this reset the

Conservative Party?

0:14:300:14:39

No.

0:14:390:14:40

I think today was

better than yesterday.

0:14:400:14:42

What this reflects is,

we have a Prime Minister leading

0:14:420:14:44

a minority government.

0:14:440:14:46

She was never going to be

able to do a reshuffle.

0:14:460:14:50

They have to fill in the gaps

in the domestic policy agenda

0:14:500:14:53

and make good on the speech she made

at the beginning of this

0:14:540:14:57

about social justice

and managing that.

0:14:570:15:03

That means they have to do

much more on housing.

0:15:030:15:09

It would be great if they could

integrate the NHS and social care.

0:15:090:15:13

There are a whole series

of unfinished things that need to be

0:15:130:15:16

done, partly because of Brexit

but partly because of drift.

0:15:160:15:19

Whitehall have been virtually

frozen for 18 months.

0:15:190:15:21

The question about this we shuffle

is, can some of these people...

0:15:210:15:24

Some of the junior

people are really good.

0:15:240:15:27

Can they unfreeze the system

or is the shadow of Brexit

0:15:270:15:29

going to loom over them?

0:15:300:15:36

I congratulate Theresa May

for appointing a diverse junior

0:15:360:15:38

layer of the Cabinet.

0:15:380:15:42

They will find out how little power

you have as a junior minister

0:15:420:15:46

but how hard it is to get things

done if you are not part

0:15:460:15:50

of the inner elite that runs

Britain, from which the core

0:15:500:15:53

of the front bench is drawn.

0:15:530:15:54

The Oxbridge set of people.

0:15:540:15:56

They don't just wield political

power, they wheeled social power.

0:15:560:15:59

The whole Toby Young episode.

0:15:590:16:08

This is like the BBC.

We did a

survey on this programme and it was

0:16:080:16:18

worse when I worked here. This was

an attempt by Joe Johnson to stick

0:16:180:16:26

it to student unions and have a good

go at them, like Donald Trump, and

0:16:260:16:33

have a go at them on the right wing

agenda. That is the agenda of the

0:16:330:16:38

elite Tory Party we are dealing

with. Welcome to reality for all the

0:16:380:16:44

black ethnic minority and women

who want to bring the normal world

0:16:440:16:47

into the Tory world.

0:16:470:16:53

Can I just butt in on that?

0:16:530:16:58

That is not the party I recognised.

0:16:580:17:00

I don't recognise your sort of

0:17:000:17:07

As a backbencher, I have

had many opportunities

0:17:070:17:09

to influence from within.

0:17:090:17:13

I don't want

to only talk about this. The

0:17:130:17:24

handling of the reshuffle,

the fact that it was perceived to be

0:17:240:17:27

botched yesterday,

what does it tell us

0:17:280:17:29

about the Downing Street operation?

0:17:290:17:31

There was a famous story about Tony

Blair and a guy I have forgotten.

0:17:310:17:34

Moving round the whiteboard and his

name came off. He never got into the

0:17:350:17:46

Cabinet because his name fell off.

0:17:460:17:48

Perculiar and arbitrary.

0:17:480:17:49

That said, the media management was

0:17:490:17:50

a bit surprising. Theresa May as

Home Secretary I always admired. She

0:17:510:17:54

did not like all this presentation

stuff will stop when you get into

0:17:540:18:09

Number 10 you need to do the stuff

properly. Unfortunately they

0:18:090:18:12

oversold the idea that big beasts

would be moved in this be a huge

0:18:120:18:15

clear out of the new generation. She

has not brought in Mercer, who is

0:18:150:18:19

regarded as a future leader. It

looks a bit limp.

Where does Theresa

0:18:190:18:23

May go from here?

0:18:230:18:24

The problem she has

is it is an Administration,

0:18:240:18:26

you need an overarching,

moral purpose.

0:18:260:18:28

She cannot write the idea

0:18:280:18:29

down which is what does Britain

looks like after Brexit? The cabinet

0:18:300:18:33

would then split, you can do more

if you have a moral purpose.

0:18:330:18:42

The problem is

0:18:420:18:43

identifying just about struggling

people, managing people, is not

0:18:430:18:48

identify what you will do for them.

Right now we all know you are

0:18:480:18:54

absolutely right to raise the NHS,

it is on everybody's minds.

0:18:540:19:10

A guy who has overseen

the cancellation of

0:19:100:19:12

non-urgent operations was

reappointed with more power because

0:19:120:19:14

Theresa May did not have enough

power to sack him. Insofar as people

0:19:140:19:18

are seeing politics, no one is

obsessed with who is a junior

0:19:180:19:21

minister but they are concerned that

relatives being left on trolleys and

0:19:210:19:24

being made to wait in waiting rooms.

0:19:240:19:26

The person was promoted.

0:19:260:19:27

That was done by NHS England.

0:19:270:19:29

That is the sort of human shield

for the Government, isn't it?

0:19:290:19:32

Because of the Tories act in 2012

Jeremy Hunt had less power

0:19:320:19:35

than he should have.

0:19:350:19:37

You have to integrate the NHS...

0:19:370:19:41

How long have they been

in power to do that?

0:19:410:19:47

It is whether the budget

and the money will move

0:19:470:19:50

with the title.

0:19:500:19:54

Would you like the idea

of combining, integrating health

0:19:540:19:56

and social care?

0:19:560:19:57

That was in the name they gave

0:19:570:19:59

Jeremy Hunt yesterday. Is it just a

0:19:590:20:01

name or something substantive going

on?

0:20:010:20:08

It was right that change was

0:20:090:20:11

made. There is a correlation between

the two and the two have to work

0:20:110:20:15

together. The biggest challenge we

have as the NHS, as the population

0:20:150:20:26

grows and the treatment gets better,

the pressures on the NHS continue.

0:20:260:20:29

Going forward we are looking at

those areas combining and the Health

0:20:290:20:32

Secretary has an opportunity to make

the changes where he feels he is

0:20:320:20:36

needed.

We really do need to leave

it there. Thank you.

0:20:360:20:39

It's been a busy day in Panmunjom,

the so-called "peace village"

0:20:390:20:42

in the demilitarised zone

on the border of North

0:20:420:20:44

and South Korea.

0:20:440:20:50

There have been talks

there today, between the two

0:20:500:20:54

countries and they appear

to have gone smoothly.

0:20:540:20:56

Five officials on each side

attended, apparently

0:20:560:20:58

with a CCTV feed to the leaders

of the countries.

0:20:580:21:01

Now when enemies want to bury

the hatchet, they often start

0:21:010:21:04

with little gestures,

and avoid raising the things

0:21:040:21:06

that have divided them.

0:21:060:21:07

So it is with the North and South,

not agreeing the big stuff,

0:21:070:21:11

that North will throw

away its nuclear weapons.

0:21:110:21:13

But agreeing that the North

will take part in the

0:21:130:21:15

forthcoming winter Olympics.

0:21:160:21:16

There was more to it than that -

but is it a real step to stability?

0:21:160:21:21

Our diplomatic editor

Mark Urban reports.

0:21:210:21:22

Well, this is something,

surely, a thaw of sorts.

0:21:220:21:29

Face to face talks, a commitment

from the North to send cheerleaders

0:21:300:21:33

and athletes to the Winter Olympics,

and a resumption of schemes

0:21:330:21:36

to reunify families

divided by the Korean War.

0:21:360:21:38

Kim Jong-un is on a charm offensive.

0:21:380:21:40

The Panmunjom talks are the only

game in town right now.

0:21:400:21:43

And I think the South Koreans

would do well to try

0:21:430:21:46

to keep them going.

0:21:460:21:48

There are a lot of issues that are

Peninsula issues and that the US

0:21:480:21:52

should be careful not

to appear to be thwarting.

0:21:520:21:55

If there's a perception

in South Korea that the US is

0:21:550:21:58

keeping South Korea away

from its northern cousins

0:21:580:22:05

for the purpose of family

unification and issues like that,

0:22:050:22:08

I don't think that will help the US.

0:22:080:22:10

With just a couple of days

until the opening of the Winter

0:22:100:22:13

Games in South Korea,

the venues are ready

0:22:130:22:16

in the world is watching.

0:22:160:22:17

North Korea now says it

will send delegates,

0:22:170:22:19

as it did to the 2006

Olympics and World Cup.

0:22:190:22:29

And for the South, this is a timely

gesture that just might unlock

0:22:300:22:33

the bigger issues at stake.

0:22:330:22:34

I believe we can make

the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a

0:22:340:22:37

kind of turning point in

the escalating tension on the Korean

0:22:370:22:40

peninsula and engaging

in a direct dialogue

0:22:400:22:42

and exchanges with the North,

and further creating

0:22:420:22:44

an environment conducive to more

0:22:440:22:46

serious negotiation on nuclear

and ballistic missile issues.

0:22:460:22:56

But lest we thought

peace was about to break

0:22:560:22:58

out, North Korean officials

delivered another message today,

0:22:580:23:00

telling southern counterparts that

Kim's nuclear weapons target only

0:23:000:23:03

America and not the South.

0:23:030:23:11

A version of an old

mantra designed to sow

0:23:110:23:14

divisions between America

and its Korean ally.

0:23:140:23:16

I think it's a pretty typical ploy.

0:23:170:23:20

You have to bear in mind

the North Korean view of South

0:23:200:23:23

Korea - South Koreans are great

except that they are dominated by

0:23:230:23:27

their puppet master,

the United States, and don't stomach

0:23:270:23:29

if only the puppet master

were removed,

0:23:290:23:31

South Korea and North Korea

would have a terrific relationship.

0:23:310:23:34

But if the Americans are suspicious,

what about Moon Jae-in,

0:23:340:23:37

South Korea's President

and long an advocate

0:23:370:23:38

of better relations with the North?

0:23:390:23:51

The South Korean President Moon has

for decades been for improved

0:23:510:23:54

relations between North and South,

for engagement between North

0:23:540:23:57

and South, which is very

much on a different

0:23:570:23:59

page than President Trump

and his preference for maximum

0:23:590:24:02

pressure on North Korea.

0:24:020:24:04

Today's North Korean initiative

hasn't met with universal approval.

0:24:040:24:07

Even in the South, where some

people demonstrated

0:24:070:24:09

against improved relations.

0:24:090:24:12

When the Winter Olympics are over

the nuclear issue will

0:24:120:24:15

remain unsolved, the Korean

peninsula on the brink.

0:24:150:24:23

We live in divided times.

0:24:230:24:25

Anyone who peruses

social media will see

0:24:250:24:27

a clash of values play out daily

in vicious zero sum argument,

0:24:270:24:30

on any number of issues.

0:24:300:24:31

Today's examples?

0:24:310:24:33

One was the right wing

controversialist Toby Young stepping

0:24:330:24:36

back from his appointment

on the board of the new English

0:24:360:24:39

university regulator,

the Office for Students.

0:24:390:24:41

Having spent a decade trying

to be controversial,

0:24:410:24:43

he turned out to be too

controversial for

0:24:430:24:45

a public appointment.

0:24:450:24:49

The second story was

Virgin West Coast trains,

0:24:490:24:51

stopping its sales

of the Daily Mail.

0:24:520:24:53

"We've decided that this

paper is not compatible

0:24:530:24:56

with the Virgin Trains

0:24:560:24:57

brand and our beliefs,"

the company said.

0:24:570:25:03

It did also point out that it barely

sells any copies anyway.

0:25:030:25:07

The Mail called the

decision disgraceful.

0:25:070:25:08

While very different,

the two stories are just today's

0:25:080:25:11

examples of a culture war

that is currently being fought

0:25:110:25:13

on social media and beyond.

0:25:130:25:15

What characterises the culture war

is its preoccupation with words

0:25:150:25:17

and gestures.

0:25:170:25:28

Toby Young for example

is on one side of it -

0:25:280:25:31

a self proclaimed provocateur.

0:25:310:25:32

To be frank, he probably didn't even

believe half the obnoxious stuff

0:25:320:25:35

he wrote, he just wanted

to offend what he saw as

0:25:350:25:38

mainstream opinion.

0:25:380:25:39

He's the personification

of the conduct of

0:25:390:25:41

the culture war under way.

0:25:410:25:42

At times he's been

vitriolic, relishing a

0:25:420:25:44

fight with those on the other side.

0:25:440:25:46

If that can be said of those

on the provocative right,

0:25:460:25:49

is it the same on the progressive

side as well?

0:25:490:25:52

Over in the US, Google

are being sued by

0:25:520:25:54

James Damore, the coder

sacked after writing

0:25:540:25:56

a controversial - not very PC -

memo, critiquing the company's

0:25:560:25:59

diversity policy.

0:25:590:26:07

He said he and others

had been discriminated

0:26:070:26:09

against as white males.

0:26:090:26:10

Certainly he was vilified on social

media for saying and thinking

0:26:100:26:13

the wrong thing.

0:26:130:26:18

It's seen by the right as a case

of the left's intolerance.

0:26:180:26:21

Every day these kinds

of arguments are

0:26:210:26:23

erupting, even where

they don't need to.

0:26:230:26:26

Like Virgin - they're not banning

customers from bringing their own

0:26:260:26:29

copies of the Daily Mail

on to their trains, obviously,

0:26:290:26:33

but justifying the decision not

to sell the Mail in terms

0:26:330:26:36

of politics rather than

commerce ramped this up

0:26:360:26:38

as another divisive issue.

0:26:380:26:39

Again, on social media,

the debate polarised

0:26:390:26:41

around extreme positions

expressed strongly.

0:26:410:26:45

Each side's undoubtedly sincere

in its thoughts and really

0:26:450:26:48

believes the other is a threat

to either decency or free speech.

0:26:480:26:53

But is the virulent argument

a healthy sign or a vibrant

0:26:530:26:56

debate, or a sign that shared values

have more or less evaporated?

0:26:560:26:59

Build that wall.

0:26:590:27:00

Build that wall.

0:27:000:27:01

Build that wall.

0:27:010:27:18

With me now are two worriers.

0:27:180:27:20

Paris Lees is a broadcaster

and equality campaigner.

0:27:200:27:22

James Delingpole is

a columnist at The Spectator.

0:27:220:27:28

And writes the Breitbart.

0:27:280:27:29

James, Toby Young.

0:27:290:27:30

He tries to be controversial.

0:27:300:27:33

He cannot be surprised people say

we do not want to on a public body.

0:27:330:27:37

I don't think Toby

thinks, how can I be

0:27:370:27:40

controversial today? He just reacts

0:27:400:27:45

in the moment.

0:27:450:27:49

You use twitter, we react.

0:27:490:27:50

We get an instant thought and think,

0:27:500:27:56

The feeling dissipates

once you have got

0:27:560:27:58

the words out. We do not set out to

be deliberately offensive most of

0:27:580:28:02

the time.

Do you think he has been

badly treated?

We are talking about

0:28:020:28:06

separate issues.

0:28:060:28:09

Does Toby Young says some

spicy things on twitter?

0:28:090:28:12

Yes, he does. Should Toby be on the

office for students board, yes he

0:28:120:28:20

should. They are completely

different things he has worked in

0:28:200:28:27

the educational sector

and is a good man for the job.

0:28:270:28:30

Paris, do you see some

0:28:300:28:36

value in provocateurs trying

to challenge your views and those

0:28:360:28:38

of your friends, who probably think

quite alike on most of these issues?

0:28:380:28:48

Absolutely. I have written things

which people were deemed to be

0:28:480:28:51

provocative in the past. The idea

that Toby Young does not set out to

0:28:510:28:55

do that. This man published Julie

Birtles rant about transsexuals as

0:28:550:29:03

bedwetters and bad wigs

and dicks in chicks clothing.

0:29:030:29:05

We know 45% of trans

people in the UK have

0:29:050:29:08

attempted suicide. Are we saying it

is OK to bully people? No. I'm glad

0:29:080:29:12

people are waking up to that.

Can I

ask you about the manners? I'm

0:29:120:29:16

looking at some of your stuff or. It

is not very well mannered. Would you

0:29:160:29:20

agree?

0:29:200:29:30

The terrible thing is that secretly

in the green room before we came on

0:29:300:29:34

Paris and I have been getting on

like of dumb at a house on fire.

0:29:340:29:38

Forget about Paris.

Probably our

natural mode in her life is we are

0:29:380:29:42

delightful people, but sometimes

maybe Twitter brings out our kind

0:29:420:29:44

of edgier side.

0:29:440:29:47

Do you stand by what

you put on Twitter? I will take one

0:29:470:29:51

example, when are we allowed to say

that Brendan Cox is a total arse?

0:29:510:29:55

That was December, six months

after his wife was assassinated.

0:29:550:30:00

He probably said something

to provoke that, this

0:30:000:30:02

is just my policy, I

0:30:020:30:03

cannot speak for Paris. My policy is

if somebody says something really,

0:30:030:30:12

really stupid then I am going to

call them on it.

Can't you be well

0:30:120:30:16

mannered? Understand where they are

coming from and correct them. One

0:30:160:30:19

thing that characterises all of this

is people going from zero to

0:30:190:30:22

shouting and angry and swearing

without the steps in between.

0:30:220:30:30

In the great scheme of things,

how bad is calling somebody an arse?

0:30:300:30:34

This is something I've

been thinking about

0:30:340:30:35

recently in the sense of being

0:30:360:30:41

complicit in this.

0:30:410:30:42

People would regard me

as quite a hostile, angry

0:30:420:30:49

You know, I've called people bigots

before and said things that maybe

0:30:490:30:52

I've regretted, and I

think that actually it is going a

0:30:530:30:55

bit far actually and I think people

are getting really polarised and I

0:30:560:30:59

think we all need to look at our

role within that and how we have let

0:30:590:31:03

it get this bad.

The key thing,

you've taken great joy today in the

0:31:030:31:07

fact the Daily Mail isn't on Virgin

Trains.

It's fantastic.

You are sort

0:31:070:31:11

of cheering and clapping. Have you

ever tried to reach out to any of

0:31:110:31:15

the readers, it's one of the most

widely read papers in the UK, to

0:31:150:31:18

save let me understand where you are

coming from as well as you

0:31:180:31:22

understand where I'm coming from?

0:31:220:31:24

I have co-founded all about trans

when we take young trans people

0:31:240:31:27

to meet people in the media,

often times people that produce

0:31:270:31:30

shows like this.

0:31:300:31:31

That's you trying to get

them to understand you,

0:31:310:31:33

I've asked whether you have

tried to understand them.

0:31:330:31:36

Of course, when we come to meet them

we are trying to see

0:31:360:31:39

what their level

of understanding is.

0:31:390:31:42

But what about your

understanding of them?

0:31:420:31:44

Of course we are trying

to understand where they are coming

0:31:440:31:48

from and trying to further

the conversation and realise

0:31:480:31:51

what their awareness is.

0:31:510:31:52

Let me put the same

question to you, James.

0:31:520:31:54

Do you ever seriously try and engage

with anyone who thinks

0:31:540:31:57

differently to you?

0:31:570:32:00

We need to differentiate

between on a personal level,

0:32:000:32:02

should we all get along, you know,

when we meet somebody

0:32:020:32:07

at Glastonbury, having

a joint with them, yeah,

0:32:070:32:09

peace and love, man.

0:32:090:32:17

But it's very, very silly to imagine

that if only we all agreed and got

0:32:170:32:21

along somewhere in the squishy

middle the world would be

0:32:210:32:24

a better place.

0:32:240:32:24

There are certain issues

in the world where there

0:32:240:32:27

are very different views.

0:32:270:32:28

On the economy, for example,

on the size of government,

0:32:280:32:31

on what to do about immigration.

0:32:310:32:32

You are never going to get this

neutral point in the middle

0:32:320:32:36

where the rightness and truth is.

0:32:360:32:37

I'm sorry, we have to leave it,

you've had a constructive debate.

0:32:370:32:40

We overran on the first discussion.

0:32:400:32:42

Thank you, both.

0:32:420:32:45

This could be a decisive

year for Iran.

0:32:450:32:48

It started with protests that spread

across the country -

0:32:480:32:51

and although the authorities

say they are waning,

0:32:510:32:53

they have taken some extreme steps

to try and douse down the flames

0:32:530:32:56

of discontent - blocking access

to the messaging app,

0:32:560:32:59

Telegram and making

thousands of arrests.

0:32:590:33:02

Now, one trigger for those protests

was a leaked government budget

0:33:020:33:05

which cuts subsidies

and hikes up fuel prices,

0:33:050:33:08

while significantly

increasing military spending.

0:33:090:33:11

Iran is ramping up financial support

to proxies across the region,

0:33:110:33:14

which has fuelled the anger of some

Iranians concerned about the state

0:33:140:33:17

of their own economy -

and fuelled anxieties across much

0:33:170:33:20

of the world.

0:33:200:33:21

BBC Persian's Jiyar Gol

now investigates.

0:33:210:33:24

In towns and cities across Iran,

poverty, unemployment and corruption

0:33:280:33:32

has drawn tens of thousands

to the streets to protest

0:33:330:33:35

against the Islamic regime.

0:33:350:33:40

These are not the only

reasons for the protests.

0:33:400:33:45

There is also disquiet

about the billions spent

0:33:450:33:48

on Iran's foreign adventurism.

0:33:480:33:51

"No to interference

in Lebanon," they are chancing.

0:33:510:33:54

"No to Gaza."

0:33:540:33:55

-- chanting.

0:33:550:33:57

"Leave Syria."

"Think of us."

0:33:570:34:02

The supreme leader lives like a god.

0:34:020:34:04

We, the people, live like beggars.

0:34:040:34:11

Over the past three decades,

Iran has spent billions of dollars

0:34:110:34:15

in an attempt to increase

its influence in the region.

0:34:150:34:20

Tehran now controls a route

all the way to the Mediterranean

0:34:200:34:23

via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

0:34:230:34:27

And Iran is involved

in a devastating proxy war

0:34:270:34:30

with Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

0:34:300:34:33

The Iranian expansionism

is extraordinarily dangerous.

0:34:330:34:37

First of all, they have Shia groups

throughout the region they can rely

0:34:370:34:41

on, that they can, if you will,

convert or infiltrate.

0:34:410:34:45

And the man responsible

for Iran's military operations

0:34:450:34:50

in the Middle East is

General Qasem Soleimani,

0:34:500:34:52

the commander of the elite

Qods Force, a unit of

0:34:520:34:55

Iran's Revolutionary Guard,

which operates on foreign soil,

0:34:550:34:57

organising training

and funding militia groups.

0:34:570:35:04

A man feared by many and labelled

as a supporter of terrorism

0:35:040:35:08

by the US, General Solemani,

who once operated in the shadows,

0:35:090:35:17

is now one of the most powerful

commanders in the region.

0:35:170:35:20

He played Al-Qaeda.

0:35:200:35:21

He was the man in charge

all the way through.

0:35:210:35:24

He was always one

step ahead of them.

0:35:240:35:26

He used them.

0:35:260:35:30

They helped him, in his regional

designs on where he wanted to go

0:35:300:35:33

with the Qods Force and Iran.

0:35:330:35:35

To understand the power

and influence of General Solemani

0:35:350:35:38

and the Qods Force, you have to go

to the Iran/Iraq border.

0:35:380:35:44

In 2001, when the US

attacked Afghanistan,

0:35:440:35:46

many Al-Qaeda members came

to this mountainous area

0:35:460:35:48

to establish a foothold.

0:35:480:35:54

They set up bases but,

two years later, they were bombed

0:35:540:35:57

by the US.

0:35:570:36:00

This man is one of the prominent

members of the local Sufi Order,

0:36:040:36:08

a peaceful branch of Islam.

0:36:080:36:12

He claims Iran assisted this Sunni

extremists He claims Iran assisted

0:36:120:36:16

the Sunni extremists

who survived the bombings.

0:36:160:36:20

But, why would a Sunni extremist

group like Al-Qaeda,

0:36:370:36:41

an arch enemy of Shia Iran,

cooperate with Qasem Soleimani?

0:36:410:36:50

Cathy Scott-Clark has interviewed

former Al-Qaeda members,

0:36:510:36:55

who lived Iran, about their

dealings with Qods Force.

0:36:550:36:58

Iran was an enemy of America.

0:36:580:37:00

Iran was nearby.

0:37:000:37:02

The people who negotiated

from the Al-Qaeda side believed that

0:37:020:37:05

Iran, the Qods Force,

saw this as an opportunity,

0:37:050:37:09

a) to know where the

Al-Qaeda members were.

0:37:090:37:12

If you know where they are,

and you are controlling them,

0:37:120:37:15

then you can use them.

0:37:160:37:19

CIA documents declassified

in November which were recovered

0:37:190:37:23

from Osama Bin Laden's compound

in Pakistan shed a new light on how

0:37:230:37:26

Iran helped Al-Qaeda

against the US in Iraq.

0:37:260:37:31

Some of those documents suggest

Iran has had a pragmatic

0:37:310:37:34

relationship with Al-Qaeda.

0:37:340:37:35

The documents suggest Iran

and Al-Qaeda had been helping each

0:37:350:37:37

other in Syria and Iraq.

0:37:370:37:47

In 2011, when President Obama

pulled out from Iraq,

0:37:470:37:51

I was in Baghdad.

0:37:520:37:55

The next day, the picture of Iran's

supreme leader was posted

0:37:550:37:58

in Baghdad's main square.

0:37:580:38:02

Most Shia militias were more

loyal to Qasem Soleimani

0:38:020:38:04

than the Iraqi government.

0:38:040:38:16

Vali Nasr is an academic and former

foreign policy adviser

0:38:170:38:19

to President Obama's

Administration on Iran.

0:38:190:38:21

Part of why Iran has been

so successful in the region

0:38:210:38:24

is because they've played this game

of manoeuvring between different

0:38:240:38:27

factions, relying on the one

that is most naturally

0:38:270:38:29

their constituency but yet build

relations with the other side,

0:38:290:38:32

play them against one another.

0:38:320:38:34

In October, Qasem Soleimani's

father passed away.

0:38:340:38:39

We examined the footage

and pictures of the funeral,

0:38:390:38:44

just to understand what kind

of people attended the funeral.

0:38:440:38:48

For example, one of them

was the leader of Shia

0:38:480:38:51

militias in Iran.

0:38:510:38:57

Another person was a

representative of Hamas.

0:38:570:39:01

Many other people attended

to express their condolences

0:39:010:39:03

in person to him.

0:39:030:39:12

It shows how powerful

and influential he is.

0:39:120:39:15

General Soleimani financed,

trained and equipped thousands

0:39:150:39:20

of Shia militias to support Iran's

allies in Syria and Iraq,

0:39:200:39:23

including Lebanese Hezbollah,

a group which is also

0:39:230:39:25

on the US terrorist list.

0:39:250:39:30

Its leader says Iran pays the bill.

0:39:310:39:43

It's been estimated that Iran has

spent $6 billion annually

0:39:580:40:05

on the Syrian regime,

basically, to keep it afloat.

0:40:050:40:11

This is a conservative

estimate on the proxy group,

0:40:110:40:15

the Lebanese Hezbollah.

0:40:150:40:17

Iran is estimated to be allocating

$1 billion a year to the group,

0:40:170:40:23

mostly according to Israeli

intelligence forces.

0:40:230:40:31

General Soleimani says,

if Iran does not engage with enemies

0:40:320:40:34

outside the country's borders,

it will have to fight them

0:40:340:40:37

in the streets of Tehran.

0:40:370:40:41

As he tells his fighters

on the Syrian front line,

0:40:410:40:44

he is committed to expanding

Iran's regional influence.

0:40:440:40:51

But, at home, protesters

on the streets are tearing down

0:41:200:41:23

General Soleimani's banner.

0:41:230:41:23

They are warning the tens

of billions of dollars spent

0:41:230:41:26

propping up Assad in Syria

and financing Shia militias

0:41:260:41:29

across the Middle East must be

invested in their country

0:41:290:41:31

and their future.

0:41:310:41:32

We asked to speak to the Iranian

government about this report

0:41:320:41:35

but they declined to comment.

0:41:350:41:36

That's all we have time for.

0:41:370:41:38

We expected James Delingpole

and Paris Lees to be at each other's

0:41:380:41:41

throats but I think they are fixing

dinner together in the green room.

0:41:410:41:45

Emily will be here tomorrow.

0:41:450:41:46

Have a very good night.

0:41:460:41:52

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. Topics include Theresa May's first six months as prime minister, press regulation and Martin McGuinness's resignation as NI deputy first minister. Plus should UK addicts have access to an anti-overdose drug, and should colleges eschew western philosophers?