23/02/2017 Newsnight


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

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 23/02/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



I am never going to step down. You can't get rid of me!


Supreme Court Justice, American liberal hope,


An extraordinary rare interview with Ruth Bader Ginsberg


The true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle.


And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it will come back.


As the polls close in two critical by-elections,


we're live at both counts with a political ear to the ground.


As the US Secretary of State meets his Mexican counterpart,


we're in the border town of Nogales, where they've had


No wall, no matter how beautiful or how big or how


expensive, is going to stop people that are desperate, people that are


And when you're sick of minding your language.


You are not free to express your opinion. Because you are racist, a


bigot or homophobic or depending on the topic, you are no longer allowed


to an opinion. Has the rise of political


correctness unleashed Good evening, any political storm


that is happening in Stoke right now has been overshadowed by Doris


on their doorstep. But as we come on air,


two critical by-elections The counting is just beginning


and it looks like a long night ahead Our political editor Nick Watt


is in Stoke and the BBC's political correspondent Tom Bateman


is in the Copeland constituency. They have both been reading the body


language as the polls close and the politicians come to the card. What


are you hearing so far? In normal times we would not pay much


attention to these Labour seats that have been in the party's hands for a


combined 149 years but these are not normal times and these by-elections


in Stoke and Copeland will give us some idea of how Jeremy Corbyn is


going down in a part Britain that is not really his natural territory.


Natural, strong Labour areas that voted in favour of leaving in the


referendum back in June. What did we learn? Do not make predictions


before the votes have been counted so I will take the safer course of


action of reporting on what the parties say. In Stoke, Labour say


they think they might squeak ahead of Ukip, two factors in their


favourite- Paul Nuttall, the leader of Ukip with those difficult


questions about his involvement in Hillsborough and the second, they


genuinely think they have been connecting to those voters who


supported Leave in the referendum. Ukip say, don't count us out, they


had a reasonable pace, second place in the General Election, 22.7% of


the vote but the problem was they said they had no idea where those


voters were so they got out there, shoe leather operation, they say


they know where those voters are, they had 500 volunteers on Saturday


and 300 today. Over in Copeland, Labour is more nervous, they say,


look at the mathematics, essentially a simple two-way contest between


Labour and the Tories and the Tories were just 2500 votes behind Labour


in the General Election in a contest in which the Tories were just 6.5


percentage points ahead of Labour. In some polls, the Conservatives are


13 percentage points in front of Labour so as Labour sources say, do


the maths! It is looking tricky for them. Tom is and Copeland. Are the


Tories accepted? -- excited. Ritchie bullish but cautious and where they


went to a couple of activists, my first question was, will you win?


They laughed and said, we will not make predictions but the mood is one


of confidence, fairly bullish. Adding to that history, you must go


back to 1935 to find the last time the Conservative was representing


this part of the world and this should be an area that in a time


like this when Labour is in opposition, they should be holding


very easily and yet they have fined over the years that lead crumbling


and they have found a pretty tough fight here. On the doorstep. With


Jeremy Corbyn's leadership a significant issue in a part of the


world which is so heavily dependent on the Sellafield nuclear plant and


10,000 nuclear jobs and also on plans for another 20,000 jobs at a


new plant. That has been a tough issue for Labour and has been


something of a bare-knuckle fight in this election campaign. The parties


have been trading blows over not just that but also concerns about


the downgrading of maternity services and other wards at the West


Cumberland Hospital here at Whitehaven and Labour have been


trying to make that the big issue and they have been less visible here


tonight. If we run through that scenario that has been suggested,


that Labour could hold Stoke but possibly lose Copeland, what would


you imagine is the effect on Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow? They say that the


best form of defence is attack and I am told that if Labour loses one of


these sets, tomorrow, supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are going to mount a


pretty serious offensive against his internal party critics. I have been


told they are preparing for what is described as a day of reckoning.


They will ask questions, they will say, is it not strange that these


by-elections were triggered by people who then got jobs who were


some of the strongest critics of Jeremy Corbyn and those supporters


are also going to say, how interesting it was that in the final


week of that by-election campaign, Tony Blair sought to try to overturn


the Brexit result, as one source said to me, to challenge the


carefully nuanced position of Labour on Brexit and they will say in the


final days, Peter Mandelson saying, he tries every day to work to


undermine Jeremy Corbyn. What that tells us is supporters of Jeremy


Corbyn fear that there might well be an attempt, another move against


Jeremy Corbyn if he fails in these by-elections or in one of them and


they want to nip this in the bud. Here I am in Stoke, Tom is and


Copeland, the ballots have just arrived, they are starting to count


and it is not until three ATM in Stoke when we will get results and


let us not make any predictions until those votes have been counted.


-- three o'clock in the morning. We will be back as we hear more.


Tonight, we bring you an extraordinarily rare


voice here on Newsnight, one of the eight serving members


Ruth Bader Ginsberg became just the second woman to be elected


At 83 years old, she has exploded into something of a pop icon


amongst young liberals, blistering in her dissent


The US Supreme Court is possibly the single most influential body


in deciding the direction of America's cultural and social


laws, more politically potent even than the president.


Tonight, Justice Ginsberg tells us of her fears for America now


and the parallels she draws with America's past.


To grasp anything of the American political system you must understand


the importance of the Supreme Court. This is where the most highly


disputed issues, slavery, segregation, gun rights and freedom


of speech, get debated and this ostensibly neutral body is perhaps


the most highly politicised in the land. The bench is usually made up


of nine justices on the bill is currently a vacancy following the


death last year of Anton Scully. Four liberals, four Conservative and


they hold those positions for my. With bigger Ginsberg was appointed


by President Clinton in 1993. A passionate advocate of women's


rights, she spent her early career with the American Civil Liberties


Union. Here to comment is liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. In


latter years she has become a cultural phenomenon. Her character


is portrayed in Saturday Night Live. Justice Ginsberg blasted Trump as a


figure who has a go. She shocked the establishment last year by breaking


convention that justices do not comment on current events by making


clear opposition to the then candidate, Trump, later apologising


for those remarks. I just want to say... I will get some relief from


death. She has a lifelong passion for opera and it was at the final


dress rehearsal of this one at the Kennedy centre in Washington, and


Opera are looking at the moral ambiguity of the death penalty in


America, that USENET's millilambert sat down with her for her first


interview since the victory of President Trump. -- that Newsnight


sat down with her. It was a great man who once said


that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald


eagle, it is the pendulum, and when the pendulum swings too


far in one direction, Some terrible things have happened


in the United States, but one can only hope that we learn


from those bad things. Think of when I grew up,


at the time of World War II. The irony was we were fighting


a war against racism, and yet by an executive order


of President Roosevelt, people who had done nothing wrong,


except they were of Japanese ancestry, were interned in camps


far from their homes. It took a long time


for the United States to realise But ultimately the President


acknowledged that there was no reason to intern people of Japanese


ancrestry, and Congress passed a bill providing compensation


for the people who were interned, But do you see echoes


in that kind of historical Well, I would say that we are not


experiencing the best of times. But there is hope in seeing how


the public is reacting to it. The Women's March, I've never seen


such a demonstration, both in numbers and the rapport


of the people in that crowd, there So yes, we're not experiencing


the best of times. But there is reason to hope


that we will see a better day. What is it about the current climate


that most concerns you? Our legislature, which is the first


branch of government, But I can think back to 1993,


the year that President Clinton nominated me for a vacancy


on the Supreme Court. I have spent ten years


of my life litigating gender I was one of four general counsel to


the American Civil Liberties Union. And yet the vote to


confirm me was 96-3. No-one raised a question


about my affiliation with the American Civil Liberties


Union. That kind of rapport


doesn't exist now. But my dream is that we


will get back to it. One day - I think it


will take strong people from both parties to say,


"Let's get together and work I mean, you mentioned


the legislature, but I'm thinking of you specifically as a judge


at this point - there's been a lot of outspoken criticism of both


individual judges and the judiciary as a whole, one being called


a "so-called judge". You know, as someone


who's served a lifetime in the courts, how do you feel


about the new administration's You are 83, you are the oldest


serving member on the Supreme Court. How do long you think


you can do this? At my age, you have


to take it year by year. I know I'm OK this year -


but what will be next year? I'm hopeful, however,


because my most senior colleagues, the one who most recently retired,


Justice John Paul Stevens, Since you made a Supreme Court


judge, how do you feel women's equality and women's


rights have changed? If you just look at the numbers,


when I became a Supreme Court Justice, there were six women


in the Senate, now there are 20. I was the second woman


on the Supreme Court, and when Justice O'Connor left,


I was all alone. Now I have two colleagues,


Justice Sonia Sotomayor People ask me, "When do think


there will be enough?" We've had nine men for most


of the country's history, and no-one thought that there


was anything wrong with that. I want to return to something that


we talked about at the beginning, that is to do with the sort


of erosion of facts and truth. It just feels like there's less


and less that one can be sure of, and I wonder, not just in the news,


but in all sorts of ways, I wonder if that is something that


strikes you, as you look around? What is important is


that we have a free press, Think of what the press has done


in the United States. That story might never have


come out if we didn't Do you feel that it may be


something that is forgotten? I read the Washington Post


and the New York Times every day, and I think the reporters are trying


to tell the public Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme


Court justice. US Secretary of State


Rex Tillerson met his Mexican


counterpart this evening. He was told of Mexico's


deep concerns over their The rallying cry on Trump's campaign


trail was, of course, that vow to build a wall to keep


Mexicans out. It's a vow that received


no shortage of criticism. But anyone thinking this


was something new would be wrong. There is already a wall


between the two countries, near the border town of Nogales,


which has existed since the 1990s. The US-Mexico border


stretches for 2000 miles, 700 of which already have


some sort of barrier. We don't know how many people


it has deterred, but getting round it


requires some skill. In Nogales, the first fence


went up in the '90s, The cartels, who control the drug


trade and the people smuggling, I'm joining a patrol


of the water tunnels that run under the border connecting Mexico


and the United States. We don't know who we might run into,


so the police go ahead of us. They use the cover of darkness


and wait for the right moment to head towards the US end


of the tunnel. So the policeman just told me that


after they turned on the flashlight, they saw someone, and this


person ran away. Minutes later, we catch a glimpse


of him in the distance. Sergio is pointing at


this person with a flashlight. Sergio believes it's better


to back up and alert the police we are heading toward


the entrance of the tunnel. The traffickers use not only


the subterranean infrastructure. more than 110 tunnels


built by Mexican cartels. and they make Nogales


the tunnel capital of the border. In this cemetery,


one of them hides in plain sight. This is the entrance of a tunnel


which was recently filled in. They used to carry drugs


to the other side of the border, and as you can see, the fence


is just about 100 metres from here. Tony Estrada has been


a sheriff for 25 years. He isn't sure the wall


President Trump wants to build If you do anything,


they'll go under it, they'll go over it,


they'll go around it. So it's a phenomenon that is


not going to stop, and no wall, no matter how beautiful,


how big or how expensive, is going to stop people


that are desperate people, that are needy,


and people that are poor. Estrada says the deportation raids


taking place in the US show that the authorities


are missing the point. Illegal immigration,


as far as I am concerned, pales, When you are spending all your


resources on illegal migration, and you're talking about relocate,


identifying people who are leaving the community, that have families


and are contributing, it's useless, it's not putting your resources


to the best. Criminal aliens, I've said it


for years, let's go after them, let's go after the criminal agents,


but don't bother anybody else. This shelter in Nogales


opened three decades ago. Since then, it has received hundreds


of thousands of migrants. We find hope and faith,


but also sadness and pain. Eusebia Ortiz


was deported a day ago. She tried to enter the US after


coming to Mexico to see her family. She has lived for 13 years


in Florida picking tomatoes. Despite the risky journey,


she's already planning to go back. If anyone is able to judge


the success of a war, This one says


it has reduced numbers. He was happy to appear on camera


but asked us not to name him. For him, a bigger wall could mean


fewer clients but more money. of the mixed and complex


nature of border towns, and of the unintended consequences


of building barriers. but others will find


another way round. I spoke to Vincente Fox,


former President of Mexico. I began by asking him whether,


for all his concern, about President Trump's border wall,


the reality is that these walls have contributed to reducing


Mexican immigration to the US? There is strong language


in this interview. it is that Mexixo is building


opportunities for its own people - in our part of Mexico, with full


employment right now. It is about 60% of


the population here. And it is because of


the capacity, the productivity, the quality


of Mexican workers. So, yes, the trend is reversing,


and this is something that I am sure it was spoken


about this morning in the meetings between


the Secretary of State, the Homeland Security


and the Mexican authorities. I think it was a great victory


for Mexico because these envoys of the Emperor Trump


to Mexico came with instructions to advise Mexico about deportations


and about the wall. And everything was rejected


by Mexican authorities. So, it is incredible,


this way of working of Senor Trump. He is speaking one


language and one message. He was very aggressive again


on saying that he will deport most every single Mexican


that is undocumented in the states. Number two, that he


will build the wall. But his two envoys here


spoke very soft language. Just to clarify, do you think


he will effect a military operation in terms


of deporting Mexicans? No, what I think he said was,


he said here, is that they were going to do it with full


respect to human rights. Although Trump keeps


talking differently. I am sure this is a great


defeat for Trump You say it is a great


defeat for Trump, but you know what he said,


he said he will be reviewing foreign aid to Mexico,


he suggested a levy of 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay


for the border wall. He is going to negotiate


trading partnerships. This does not sound


like victory for Mexico. That is another one of his


crazy, ignorant ideas. Because that border tax


has to have an allowance from the World Trade


Office, the WTO. If not, he cannot apply


it or he will have to


leave that organisation. And that means the United


States will have to cancel all trading with


the rest of the world. he will get the same


on the Mexican side. Don't forget that we import


as much as we export in the relationship between Mexico


and the United States. He has also said he will send


immigrants home through Mexico, even if it is not


their country of origin. He has a very strong response today


from our authorities, and I congratulate our


authorities that they stood firm. Not accepting any


of these crazy ideas. And let us see what his envoys


come back to tell him. Because Mexico is fighting,


and Mexico will not cede. You keep on talking about this


defeat but I am trying to work out, what can Mexico do in practical


terms, to hit back? If the wall is built


and your country is taxed, if trade negotiations do not go in your


favour, what can you actually do? First, we're not


playing for that wall. Number two, in trade, we have a lot


of leverage in negotiating Not only with Mexico


but the rest of the world. Number three, this


aggressive policies from Senor Trump are causing


in the state of California, 33% of the people


are ready to Calexit. Imagine California, the seventh


largest economy in the world, So he had better keep quiet,


he had better come down. He had better start


acting like President, he better start respecting everybody


else so that he can be respected. The former president of Mexico


speaking to us from Mexico. The true fickleness of football


success was exposed in all its glory this afternoon with the sacking


of the man who achieved the impossible just


a few short months ago. Remember when manager


Claudio Ranieri sealed the title for Leicester with a 1000-1 chance


and was hailed as a hero? Gary Linker called it


gutwrenchingly sad. Former Leicester Striker Tony Cottee


suggested the club had Jonathan Ashworth is the MP


for Leicester South. I understand you have


a little guy at home who's going to be very


unhappy when he wakes up. Well, it is a little girl, and I am


not sure she quite realises who he is, but she was very excited last


season when I took her to a first football game at the King Power


Stadium, and she certainly got into the spirit of things. We went to the


celebrations party in the local park where the bus, which we have just


seen, came with all the players. So she is going to be, she is going to


be pretty upset when she finds out that the guy who took Leicester to


this famous victory has been sacked, yeah. What does it tell you more


broadly, this acting? I think it is really sad, and it is not very


classy, really, is it? We know that we are not having a good season,


although we are still in Europe, and the game against Sevilla, we did get


a goal. I think we would like to have seen what happens with that


European campaign before this decision, but it was a tremendous


fairy tale, wasn't it, last season? The whole world was talking about


Leicester, no-one believed it could have happened. It gave the city a


tremendous buzz. I'm just wondering what kind of message this sends out


to young people, is this what happens when something great echoes,


you get fired when you cannot repeat the same thing? That is exactly


right, and it does feel like a panic move. It does not seem very classy,


the comments from Gary Lineker are absolutely right. Look, we all want


the club to stay, we don't want to see them relegated, but I think they


should have given him a chance, and if they have done this now, if they


get a new manager in and the club does get relegated, there would be


quite a lot of angry fans in Leicester. Let me just ask you


something, it nine months ago somebody told you Jeremy Corbyn was


still in his job and Ranieri was out of phase, what you would have made a


bit?! Two big by-elections tonight, what is your thoughts on the way


they will go? That is quite a mischievous statement! On the


by-elections, we will take not think for granted, we have to win them


both, I do not know what is going to happen, I have campaigned in both of


them, we all know the opinion polls have been difficult, but Labour has


to win in these places. Some suggestion from our political editor


that if Labour loses Copeland, the Corbyn strategists will try to blame


the Blairites for coming out in force over the last couple of weeks,


watched you make of that? Well, I didn't say that report. What I would


say is, well, let's see what the result is, but if we lose, we have


to ask ourselves some questions. I am the Shadow Health Secretary, it


is the responsibility of all of us in leading positions to reflect on


the results and work out what we are going to do to win people's trust


back in the future, if we do lose, I do not know what is going to happen.


It is the responsibility of every Labour MP and everybody in the


Shadow Cabinet to ask questions and wonder why we didn't win, and to


make sure we are putting forward practical policies which people want


and which will command support. Has an overdose of political


correctness ushered That's the subject -


or the thesis, perhaps - of a Channel 4 documentary tonight


by Trevor Phillips, former head of the Equality


and Human Rights Commission. At its heart it poses the question -


by controlling language on race, gender, disability etc,


are we changing the way people think or just supressing


what they continue to feel? And has the gagging of certain


phrases just unleashed an anger now emerging as this


new popular fervour? Before we discuss this,


here's a little taste of that It's from a Newsnight film six


months ago when Gabriel Gatehouse visited Youngstown in Ohio before


the US Presidential elections. You are not free to express


your opinion, you know? Because you are a racist,


you are a bigot, you are homophobic. Or, depending on whatever the topic


is, you are no longer Joining me now in the studio


is one of the founders of the Women's Equalities Party,


Catherine Meyer, who also has a new book out -


"Attack of the 50 Foot Women - How Gender Equality


Can Save the World". Thank you for joining us. Will you


take that on board? Liberals can be accused of shutting down debate with


that insistence on political correctness? Are very familiar


argument but in the time since I find it the women's equality party


and the time I have been writing this book I have been examined using


-- examining the mechanisms that created this situation and I can


tell you it is a very confused cause and effect. Political correctness is


not the reason we are where we are, it is what you mean by that. The


bundle of things called political correctness. It is about a very


divided world. When you heard those men in the film saying we are not


free to express our own opinions. They will not stop having those but


they feel they cannot use that language any more. Is that the right


or wrong direction? It is missing the point. What has happened is a


failure of mainstream politics. The reason that I came up with the idea


of the party is I had seen the way mainstream parties responded to Ukip


by contorting themselves into Ukip positions, why not do the same for


feminism? If we prove it is a vote winner, maybe the parties will make


themselves like that. I doing that, by the parties taking on the


colouration of the populace, they are not challenging it, they lose


authenticity and in the search for authenticity people often mistake


people spouting misogyny and racism for truth tellers whereas they are


actually misogynists and racist. Do you agree? There is no link between


the rise of political correctness and the rise of this populism? It is


more complicated than what people... People want a reason and because


people were so caught short by Brexit and President Trump and the


20 collection here, the results of the elections in Australia, where I


used to work, they want an explanation and they want a nice,


simple model causal explanation. Political correctness might be


apart, shutting people up is not a good thing, not for civil society,


it does not help... That idea of shutting people up, does not tally


with how you think about politically correct language working? There has


been a debate around no platforming, if that is what you are talking


about? And a certain policing of language. Some of that is valid only


in the sense that that language is, as I was talking about, offensive,


but I believe in free speech, I would rather not invite some of the


people who get invited but I would not give them no platform. It does


not mean the issues are not real. One that comes to mind because it


was shortly after I arrived in the UK from Australia, it was Julie


Bindel, who I disagree with on pretty much everything but is still


recognisable feminist having no platform and I thought, I'm sorry,


unless you have two head, I do not see in what universe she is the


wrong sort of feminist. Maybe students have always done this and


the only difference is non-students are listening to students? Do you


feel embarrassed by what the Liberals have done with the policing


of who is allowed to say what? No, I think, I agree with what Helen says


about the complexity. We also bring this world with the huge digital


presence that people have, this cacophony, and if you live with this


cacophony to shut out some of those noises, they make some sense, and


that is not the way to go but it is not to blame. It is crazy. You would


want to go back to the era where politically correct language was not


used and you had vile words to describe disabled or a gay people? I


get to swing the gay one here, I grew up in the 1980s when aids was a


thing when I was coming out and I grew up in a conservative state of


Queensland and my conservative Christian friends told me that this


was the plumber's friend of God! What was your response? I made the


decision then and I have stuck to it all of my life, if you cannot handle


nasty language then public life is not for you. Suck it up? That was a


decision I made them. And growing up in Queensland, the most socially


conservative state in Australia, they handle snakes and I had to


learn to deal with it! All three of us have learned to do with it but


that is not the way it should be. One of the things we're trying to do


with the party is open it up to a wider variety of people, more


diversity, and that means trying to create a culture in which people,


women, do not have to fear going out into the public eye and do not get


called names. But that is not the same as shying away from truth


telling. Great to have you both, we have run out of time.


Kirsty will have the by-election results tomorrow. Good night.


Kirsty will have the by-election results tomorrow. Good night.


Most of us had just about managed to weather the storm, quite a serious


one. A casualty, unfortunately. It is well and truly gone and we're


left with clear skies and a touch of frost in the morning and some icy


patches and a mix of weather is on the way on Friday, some rain


Download Subtitles