'The Martin McGuinness I Knew' Newsnight


'The Martin McGuinness I Knew'

Tony Blair's chief of staff remembers Martin McGuinness. Plus Obamacare's replacement, legalising drugs and is the glass half empty or half full over Brexit?


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Transcript


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He took the long road from IRA commander to Deputy First Minister

:00:00.:00:09.

At the end of the day it will be the cutting edge of the IRA that will

:00:10.:00:13.

bring freedom. People look at me in

:00:14.:00:14.

the round and they know that in my younger days I was

:00:15.:00:19.

involved with the IRA but they also know that I've been at the heart

:00:20.:00:23.

of the peace process for over Political leaders from across

:00:24.:00:26.

Britain, America and Ireland have praised Martin McGuinness's

:00:27.:00:29.

contribution to peace. In a way his intrinsic nature never

:00:30.:00:30.

changed from the time he was in the Bogside to the time

:00:31.:00:33.

he was the Deputy First Minister. But what peace is there

:00:34.:00:38.

for the families of innocent I'll be talking to a man whose

:00:39.:00:40.

father took a bullet And what now for the

:00:41.:00:45.

Republican movement. Is Martin McGuinness's dream

:00:46.:00:55.

of a united Ireland getting closer? Finally we won a big tax cut but we

:00:56.:01:05.

can't do that until we keep our promise to repeal and replace the

:01:06.:01:06.

disaster known as ObamaCare. Emily goes in search of the next

:01:07.:01:09.

American health system. TrumpCare is moving

:01:10.:01:12.

in the right direction. They're saying, it was too

:01:13.:01:13.

high, a lot of people And we continue our pastoral care

:01:14.:01:17.

series helping Remoaners Now that we are leaving we can

:01:18.:01:21.

at least have an honest conversation about who we want to come

:01:22.:01:27.

here and how we treat So with my glass half

:01:28.:01:30.

full here's to Brexit. The death of Martin McGuinness,

:01:31.:01:41.

from a rare heart condition, has aroused mixed emotions among

:01:42.:01:49.

former Prime Ministers, political opponents in Northern Ireland

:01:50.:01:52.

and the families of IRA victims. He travelled a long way from a job

:01:53.:02:02.

in a butcher's shop in Derry, to IRA Commander in the city,

:02:03.:02:06.

to a key architect of Northern Ireland's peace,

:02:07.:02:08.

and finally a decade as Deputy First Minister

:02:09.:02:10.

of Northern Ireland, but along that way many innocent

:02:11.:02:12.

people were murdered. From Tony Blair to John Major

:02:13.:02:14.

to Theresa May, the consensus is that without him

:02:15.:02:16.

the Good Friday Agreement The Queen, whom he praised

:02:17.:02:18.

for her contribution to peace, has sent a personal message

:02:19.:02:22.

to his family. Bill Clinton said that he believed

:02:23.:02:25.

in a shared future, and refused However, for many families

:02:26.:02:28.

of the IRA's victims, the past is ever present and some

:02:29.:02:33.

do not even know where In a moment I'll be speaking

:02:34.:02:36.

to Austin Stack, whose father But first Jonathan Powell

:02:37.:02:40.

was the Government's chief negotiator on Northern Ireland

:02:41.:02:45.

from 1997 under Tony Blair. When he first met the IRA leader

:02:46.:02:49.

in October of that year Many years later he invited

:02:50.:02:52.

Martin McGuinness to his wedding. Martin McGuinness's life

:02:53.:02:56.

was an extraordinary journey. As far as the Provisional

:02:57.:03:08.

IRA is concerned the fight will go on until

:03:09.:03:17.

the four demands are met. To hard-line politician

:03:18.:03:19.

in the 1980s. At the end of the day

:03:20.:03:23.

it will be the cutting edge of the IRA which

:03:24.:03:28.

will bring freedom. To uncompromising

:03:29.:03:30.

negotiator in the 1990s. Well, we are not going to give

:03:31.:03:31.

them their new Stormont. And finally Deputy First Minister

:03:32.:03:50.

sharing power with his For over 40 years he was

:03:51.:03:52.

at the centre of the The Troubles, as leader

:03:53.:03:55.

of the Derry Brigade, IRA chief of staff and head

:03:56.:04:00.

of Northern Command. But ultimately he helped bring

:04:01.:04:02.

the violence to an end. I spent a decade negotiating peace

:04:03.:04:05.

with Martin McGuinness. The first time I met him,

:04:06.:04:08.

like most people, I saw a terrorist. When I left government

:04:09.:04:13.

I invited him to my And now he's gone I think we're

:04:14.:04:18.

in danger of underestimating Derry today is a beautiful

:04:19.:04:23.

city at peace. But in the early 1970s

:04:24.:04:30.

it was at the centre of a bloody war between the IRA

:04:31.:04:33.

and the British Army. Denis Bradley was a local Catholic

:04:34.:04:38.

priest trying to keep He had the looks and the charms

:04:39.:04:42.

and the ability to go places where other people

:04:43.:04:54.

perhaps didn't go. That gave him confidence,

:04:55.:04:57.

it gave him an insight, and then he discovered that he wasn't too bad at

:04:58.:05:01.

it, that he was as good as the rest at it, and perhaps even better,

:05:02.:05:04.

that he had a natural instinct for There was no argument about

:05:05.:05:08.

whether he was an IRA man or not. He was highly respected

:05:09.:05:23.

among the hard men, and the harder they were the more

:05:24.:05:25.

respect they had for him. So he was certainly

:05:26.:05:30.

on the tough side of the I met him in June 1972 in Derry

:05:31.:05:34.

in what was then free I was told there were

:05:35.:05:41.

going to be talks And I met Martin,

:05:42.:05:46.

that was the first time I'd met him, 45 years

:05:47.:05:50.

ago, a long-time. But for many in Northern Ireland

:05:51.:05:54.

Martin McGuinness was the You will never defeat

:05:55.:05:57.

the Protestant people of Ulster! What would your

:05:58.:06:02.

dad have thought of Martin McGuinness

:06:03.:06:07.

was evil personified. He was the man who was terrorising

:06:08.:06:14.

Northern Ireland and he was everything that every Ulsterman,

:06:15.:06:21.

every Protestant, every Unionist So when did the hard man change

:06:22.:06:23.

into a peacemaker and why? By the late 1980s the violence

:06:24.:06:36.

had reached a new peak - with the Enniskillen

:06:37.:06:49.

bomb even IRA leaders, including McGuinness,

:06:50.:06:51.

realised they'd gone too far. It's really desecrating the dead

:06:52.:06:53.

and a blot on mankind. A corner was turned and in the midst

:06:54.:06:55.

of the violence the IRA started reaching out

:06:56.:06:58.

secretly to the British. I think after the Enniskillen

:06:59.:07:09.

bombing that is when Martin McGuinness became

:07:10.:07:14.

moving from the hard man Denis Bradley was one of those

:07:15.:07:16.

in Derry who facilitated the secret back channel between

:07:17.:07:20.

the IRA and the British I think that McGuinness was quicker

:07:21.:07:22.

and earlier into the fray of peacemaking than anybody else

:07:23.:07:29.

within the Republican movement. The back channel for

:07:30.:07:32.

the British government It was never comfortable

:07:33.:07:33.

for the IRA either. There's only two ways

:07:34.:07:42.

that a conflict ends, and Martin, I think,

:07:43.:07:44.

very well knew it. One is an absolute victory

:07:45.:07:50.

and defeat, one side over another. And if that is not

:07:51.:07:53.

possible, and in most modern history it hasn't been

:07:54.:07:56.

possible, then you discover that, you know, negotiations

:07:57.:07:59.

are a part of where you go. In the end the link collapsed

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because mistrust between In 1996 the IRA went back to war

:08:03.:08:04.

with the Canary Wharf bomb. When Tony Blair came

:08:05.:08:15.

to government in 1997, he made peace in

:08:16.:08:17.

Northern Ireland his first priority. I first met Martin

:08:18.:08:22.

McGuinness here in Castle Buildings on 13th October 1997

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along with Tony Blair. It was the first meeting

:08:29.:08:30.

between a British Prime Minister and Republican

:08:31.:08:32.

leaders since 1921. We arranged the meeting

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in a small windowless room so no one could take photographs

:08:37.:08:39.

of us meeting Republican leaders. I declined to shake

:08:40.:08:42.

hands with Martin Tony Blair was more

:08:43.:08:44.

sensible and shook them by the hand as

:08:45.:08:47.

he would anyone else. It was here that the

:08:48.:08:50.

peace process began. I remember Martin being,

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you know, there is a lot of accumulated pain and hurt that he

:08:55.:08:59.

wanted to express and that he was very determined to give me a lengthy

:09:00.:09:04.

and detailed account of why the British were to blame

:09:05.:09:07.

for the problems of Ireland. But the importance of the meeting

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was that it happened. When we came to government

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Martin was made the chief If he was involved the people

:09:16.:09:17.

got to have some sense. My wife always says she would trust

:09:18.:09:26.

Martin McGuinness with her life. She doesn't say that about me

:09:27.:09:30.

but that's another story. So I suppose people

:09:31.:09:40.

had that sense of You always felt as a

:09:41.:09:41.

chief negotiator that somebody had to sell

:09:42.:09:45.

this to the troops. If a deal was done with Martin

:09:46.:09:47.

he could deliver and he was And I think that was

:09:48.:09:50.

the distinction. I'm not saying the selling powers

:09:51.:09:55.

of Gerry were not considerable but I think Martin was the person who had

:09:56.:09:58.

the ability to sell it. became Deputy First Minister sharing

:09:59.:10:01.

power with Ian Paisley. My main memory of that

:10:02.:10:13.

day was the two of them sitting on the sofa

:10:14.:10:15.

in Paisley's office trying to outdo each other in terms

:10:16.:10:19.

of telling jokes. We were nearly sitting

:10:20.:10:21.

on each other's knees. And big Ian kind of tended to take

:10:22.:10:29.

up a fair bit of space. It was amazing how like at

:10:30.:10:32.

the crack of a switch to put a light on that they seemed

:10:33.:10:42.

to have said listen, we've been through all of this,

:10:43.:10:45.

you were on that side, I was on this side,

:10:46.:10:48.

terrible things happened, The terrible legacy of the victims

:10:49.:10:49.

which we all can never forget. But that these people

:10:50.:10:53.

were prepared to give it a go. How do you manage to build

:10:54.:10:56.

a relationship with someone who had been, as you say,

:10:57.:11:01.

the personification of evil? The two of them did sit

:11:02.:11:04.

down and had a very, I was privy to part of that

:11:05.:11:06.

conversation where my father said to Martin we can have a battle

:11:07.:11:12.

a day, we can make the community

:11:13.:11:14.

out there depressed, or we can actually hand in hand take

:11:15.:11:19.

this country forward Martin McGuinness risked not

:11:20.:11:21.

just his career but his life to make He achieved things

:11:22.:11:27.

as a politician he Now he's gone, a new

:11:28.:11:30.

generation who weren't involved in The Troubles have to see

:11:31.:11:35.

if they can continue his legacy. I worry because frankly this process

:11:36.:11:39.

in Northern Ireland is still fragile and unless there is a continual

:11:40.:11:42.

commitment by all the parties including the British government

:11:43.:11:48.

then it's at risk, frankly. We are past conflict,

:11:49.:11:51.

apart from a small number of people who are trying to

:11:52.:11:56.

draw us back into it but they have I worked with Martin

:11:57.:12:00.

McGuinness for ten years. At first I did so with

:12:01.:12:09.

grave reservations. Over time I came to realise that

:12:10.:12:11.

if you're going to make peace you have to talk

:12:12.:12:14.

to your enemies. For some he will always be viewed

:12:15.:12:16.

as a man with blood on his hands but I believe his legacy will

:12:17.:12:21.

be as the hard man who changed to negotiate peace, and perhaps most

:12:22.:12:25.

importantly, to make I ultimately take the view

:12:26.:12:27.

if Martin McGuinness helped us achieve peace in Northern Ireland,

:12:28.:12:37.

do we then hate our opponents, or end up recognising that without them

:12:38.:12:45.

we actually couldn't In a way his intrinsic nature never

:12:46.:12:48.

changed from the time he was in the Bogside to the time

:12:49.:12:54.

he was the Deputy First Minister. I think what changed

:12:55.:12:57.

was his deep-seated belief that the next generation had

:12:58.:12:59.

to live in a different environment from his, and that is

:13:00.:13:09.

really what impelled him, again, to become

:13:10.:13:10.

the greatest advocate and deep

:13:11.:13:13.

practitioner of peace. He's from the Bogside.

:13:14.:13:16.

That has never left him. To have been part of achieving peace

:13:17.:13:20.

and to find a peaceful way to achievement for a wee lad from the

:13:21.:13:23.

Bogside. There were many victims

:13:24.:13:32.

of IRA violence. Mr Stack was the chief prison

:13:33.:13:38.

officer at Portlaoise High Securtiy prison, where a lot of IRA

:13:39.:13:41.

prisoners were held. He was shot in the back

:13:42.:13:43.

of the neck in 1983, It was Just three years ago

:13:44.:13:46.

that the IRA acknowleged their involement after Gerry Adams

:13:47.:13:50.

facilitated a series of meetings with his son Austin

:13:51.:13:52.

who is in our Dublin studio now. Good evening. I wonder if you think

:13:53.:14:11.

the actions of Martin McGuinness as a Democratic politician out way all

:14:12.:14:17.

the hurt and the harm done to families and indeed the victims of

:14:18.:14:23.

IRA violence. First of all, just express my sympathies to the family

:14:24.:14:28.

of Martin McGuinness and I think this evening when we talk about

:14:29.:14:31.

Martin McGuinness we should bear in mind that his family are morning and

:14:32.:14:36.

I just want to express my pimp -- my sympathies to them. To answer your

:14:37.:14:40.

question I think when we look at the legacy of Martin McGuinness what we

:14:41.:14:44.

need to do is to look at this totality of that legacy. There's no

:14:45.:14:49.

denying that Martin McGuinness in the latter years moved into the

:14:50.:14:53.

political domain but we also should not deny and should not shy away

:14:54.:14:58.

from examining Martin McGuinness and his past. You have to bear in mind

:14:59.:15:06.

that Martin McGuinness and his organisation were responsible for

:15:07.:15:09.

thousands of murders, thousands of atrocities. And Martin McGuinness

:15:10.:15:18.

never, he is lauded as a peacemaker today but from our perspective as

:15:19.:15:22.

victims Martin McGuinness had never at any stage tried to reach out to

:15:23.:15:27.

the victims, he never tried to reconcile with victims. And he never

:15:28.:15:31.

acknowledged the victims. I can point to several incidents I know

:15:32.:15:36.

certainly my good friend David Kelly whose father private Paddy Kelly was

:15:37.:15:43.

shocked by the IRA, David approached Martin McGuinness asking him for

:15:44.:15:46.

answers in 2011 and Martin McGuinness shunted him away with the

:15:47.:15:52.

words, just move on, you. So from that perspective, as victims we

:15:53.:15:58.

would have a very different take on Martin McGuinness and his legacy and

:15:59.:16:01.

I think we should look at the whole of the legacy and not just the

:16:02.:16:05.

latter years. It is inevitable perhaps when use see archive footage

:16:06.:16:11.

of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, it looks like a different era and four

:16:12.:16:16.

order -- in order for peace to work and continue working is it

:16:17.:16:20.

inevitable that that would end up coming to the forefront and actually

:16:21.:16:27.

the legitimate grievances of many victims families are not satisfied

:16:28.:16:30.

but perhaps sidelined. That is exactly it. It appears that the

:16:31.:16:37.

feelings of the victims have been shunted to one side and this evening

:16:38.:16:41.

my thoughts would be with some very good friends of mine in Enniskillen

:16:42.:16:52.

and Claudy listening to the plaudits being thrown the way of Martin

:16:53.:16:55.

McGuinness, people who lost loved ones, people who are physically

:16:56.:16:59.

injured and still in great pain today. In Enniskillen. Those people

:17:00.:17:07.

have been traumatised again today by the plaudits thrown to Martin

:17:08.:17:13.

McGuinness and for them the legacy is very real. And those people are

:17:14.:17:17.

suffering today. And from that perspective we should just bear that

:17:18.:17:24.

in mind. And that is real, the footage as you describe it is old

:17:25.:17:27.

and seems to be from a different era but today the victims are still

:17:28.:17:31.

suffering, there are still in that space. I wonder with so many of our

:17:32.:17:40.

generation, some dying prematurely, but moving on, whether you're

:17:41.:17:47.

optimistic for continued peace? I'm always optimistic and fully

:17:48.:17:51.

supportive of the peace process. And supportive of peace. But what myself

:17:52.:17:56.

and other victims are conscious of is there has been, you know, pretty

:17:57.:18:02.

much nonexistent attitude towards us. Particularly people of the ilk

:18:03.:18:10.

of Martin McGuinness did not try to reach out to us. When he reached out

:18:11.:18:14.

to political unionism he never reached out to the victims. He never

:18:15.:18:19.

tried to reconcile with the victims. And for peace to work in its

:18:20.:18:24.

totality the victims must be included in the process. And that

:18:25.:18:29.

has never happened. Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

:18:30.:18:31.

Joining me now in the studio is Irish historian and columnist,

:18:32.:18:33.

And from Salford, professor of politics at the University

:18:34.:18:36.

of Liverpool, Jonathan Tonge, who directed the 2010

:18:37.:18:38.

and 2015 Northern Ireland general election surveys.

:18:39.:18:43.

Good evening. Ruth Dudley Edwards, Martin McGuinness was the main

:18:44.:18:54.

proponent of United Ireland, do you think that is closer now or further

:18:55.:18:58.

away or does his passing actually change that equation? I do not think

:18:59.:19:04.

his passing changes it but we should remember if there was any chance of

:19:05.:19:08.

United Ireland the IRA said it backed by generations. There was

:19:09.:19:12.

always a possibility, given the right kind of approach and approach

:19:13.:19:17.

of friendship, that both sides of the border might get to know each

:19:18.:19:23.

other and that organically trade might occur, friendships might

:19:24.:19:26.

develop and that in due course, possibly people might see the

:19:27.:19:30.

possibility of a united Ireland. But once the are a decided to try to

:19:31.:19:35.

bomb and kill Unionists into a united Ireland, they wrecked it. Do

:19:36.:19:41.

you take that analysis, Jonathan, or do not have a different attitude

:19:42.:19:46.

towards the possibility of United Ireland? That is the reason why

:19:47.:19:49.

Martin McGuinness move towards peace. Even with the huge bombs of

:19:50.:19:55.

the 1990s which flattened London and Manchester, even then the IRA could

:19:56.:20:00.

not force a united Ireland. What you've seen is Sinn Fein making huge

:20:01.:20:05.

political progress since the IRA ceasefires of the 1990s. It has been

:20:06.:20:09.

growth of almost every election for Sinn Fein since that period. And

:20:10.:20:14.

Sinn Fein is very much on the march, buoyed by a successful election

:20:15.:20:19.

earlier this month in the north. It is more likely than not that at some

:20:20.:20:26.

stage they will sit in government in the South and I do think a united

:20:27.:20:29.

Ireland is back on the agenda. Certainly it is being talked about

:20:30.:20:33.

seriously. Brexit provides a material change in circumstances to

:20:34.:20:37.

quote Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish case that could lead to

:20:38.:20:42.

united Ireland. Soft nationalists basically have accepted devolved

:20:43.:20:45.

power-sharing within the United Kingdom but firstly you have not got

:20:46.:20:49.

that with the collapse of the institutions in the north, and

:20:50.:20:52.

secondly soft nationalists have accepted the border is a fact but

:20:53.:20:58.

they will not accept a water as a fence again if that happens as a

:20:59.:21:01.

consequence of Brexit. That brings the United Ireland idea back on the

:21:02.:21:07.

agenda in a way you have not seen in recent times. So in a sense not just

:21:08.:21:13.

down to demographics, tectonic plates shifting a bit faster, not

:21:14.:21:17.

only with Sinn Fein gaining ground in the north and the South, and

:21:18.:21:22.

indeed the reaction to Brexit, but also just a feeling in the north,

:21:23.:21:26.

you have Unionists, Protestant children taking Irish citizenship as

:21:27.:21:31.

they can under the Good Friday agreement. Different attitudes from

:21:32.:21:37.

younger generation. Yes and quite a lot of people think of themselves

:21:38.:21:40.

now as Northern Irish rather than Irish or British and that is

:21:41.:21:44.

developing a sense of Northern Irish identity. But do not get carried

:21:45.:21:51.

away with this United Ireland business, Gerry Adams is calling for

:21:52.:21:54.

a border poll but the south of Ireland does not want it and the

:21:55.:21:57.

Northern Irish would not vote for it. A very small part of the

:21:58.:22:02.

Catholic community in Northern Ireland would vote for it. It is not

:22:03.:22:09.

possible economically. And I would also say that Martin McGuinness, his

:22:10.:22:14.

death is a hell of a blow to Sinn Fein. Massive blow. He was their

:22:15.:22:19.

strategist, he had more brains than most of the rest put together. He

:22:20.:22:25.

also was not impeded by the vanity and egotism of Gerry Adams which

:22:26.:22:29.

gets underway, which makes and confrontational and very bad at

:22:30.:22:32.

diplomacy. Gerry Adams can do the hard man, he cannot do the winning

:22:33.:22:36.

personality. You cannot do that charm in the wake Martin McGuinness

:22:37.:22:40.

could. So they're missing Martin McGuinness and they will be

:22:41.:22:44.

something I think in the south. I wonder then, it is a big leap to

:22:45.:22:49.

talk about this, but if you think there are no kind of figures of

:22:50.:22:56.

stature, if you do not take the others that are there now into play,

:22:57.:23:01.

no figures of stature. Is there a danger then that there is going to

:23:02.:23:05.

be something that might approximate to return to violence? I do not

:23:06.:23:09.

think there is any prospect of that. One of the most successful things

:23:10.:23:13.

Martin McGuinness did was to marginalise the dissidents. That was

:23:14.:23:16.

not as easy as people might imagine. The worst atrocity of the troubles

:23:17.:23:21.

came after the Good Friday agreement with the Omagh bombing which killed

:23:22.:23:24.

29. Martin McGuinness took personal risk in trying to marginalise those

:23:25.:23:28.

groups. In terms of the broader picture Sinn Fein has defined a

:23:29.:23:33.

replacement ultimately also for Gerry Adams, he is broadly the same

:23:34.:23:38.

age as Martin McGuinness and the longest serving leader anywhere in

:23:39.:23:43.

Europe. He has been Sinn Fein president since 1983. So potentially

:23:44.:23:46.

there is a huge void at the top of Sinn Fein when Gerry Adams quits

:23:47.:23:50.

politics. But I think they have been preparing for some time now. And I

:23:51.:23:56.

think if you had all Ireland poll it be interesting, the mathematics, on

:23:57.:24:00.

whether there would be support for a united Ireland. Do you agree that a

:24:01.:24:05.

number of Catholics would not supported in the north, the South

:24:06.:24:10.

would not want it because of the economic consequences? I think

:24:11.:24:13.

plenty of Catholics are comfortable with devolved power-sharing within

:24:14.:24:16.

the UK but at the moment that does not look as if it will be coming

:24:17.:24:20.

into place. The institutions are in trouble and Sinn Fein said they will

:24:21.:24:27.

not work with Arlene Foster. So you will have Northern nationalists

:24:28.:24:30.

taken out of the EU against their will. Also some Unionists are

:24:31.:24:35.

unhappy with that, 30% of the DUP vote voted to remain in the European

:24:36.:24:40.

Union. So there is unhappiness, the situation has changed in terms of

:24:41.:24:44.

the discussion at least. Thank you both very much.

:24:45.:24:46.

And now - it's a big week for one of Trump's

:24:47.:24:49.

biggest campaign pledges - as repeated last night

:24:50.:24:51.

at a rally - to "end the catastrophe of Obamacare."

:24:52.:24:53.

This is perhaps the first big legislative test of

:24:54.:24:59.

Trump's administration - and it's left his own

:25:00.:25:01.

On the campaign trail his rallyng cry was that he would repeal

:25:02.:25:07.

And that's exactly what he's trying to do now.

:25:08.:25:14.

But what he's suggested as an alternative is hated by pretty

:25:15.:25:16.

Republican moderates think it will adversely hit

:25:17.:25:24.

the elderly and the poor, right wing republicans say it's just

:25:25.:25:27.

Obamacare-lite and way too expensive.

:25:28.:25:28.

Democrats of course never wanted to see it repealed at all.

:25:29.:25:33.

This morning we saw President Trump up on Capitol Hill trying

:25:34.:25:35.

to win his party round before that critical House vote on Thursday.

:25:36.:25:41.

He suggested they were fools not to come together,

:25:42.:25:46.

that they risked losing their seats if they appeared disunited.

:25:47.:25:51.

But as of tonight the feeling here in DC is that he's

:25:52.:25:54.

There is a core of around 40 ideological republicans called

:25:55.:26:00.

the House Freedom Caucus who are willing the bill to fail.

:26:01.:26:11.

The bill would be sunk if 22 or more of them vote against it.

:26:12.:26:16.

There's talk of putting vice president Mike Pence on the Hill

:26:17.:26:18.

for the next two days solid to talk them around.

:26:19.:26:21.

But what do the patients make of all the politics?

:26:22.:26:23.

We went to Trump country - some hours north of

:26:24.:26:25.

For the first time in 24 years the people

:26:26.:26:34.

This county, Fulton, heavily rural, elderly and white,

:26:35.:26:43.

They took a gamble he'd deliver what he promised,

:26:44.:26:51.

After he came along and he started making sense about a lot of things

:26:52.:26:59.

that I've been thinking about for years and years,

:27:00.:27:03.

the changes that had to be done, I decided to change my politics

:27:04.:27:06.

Trumpcare's moving in the right direction.

:27:07.:27:15.

I think it's going to be a lot better than Obamacare.

:27:16.:27:21.

It was too high, a lot of people couldn't afford it,

:27:22.:27:26.

Now a key pledge on the campaign trail in places like this was that

:27:27.:27:39.

promise to repeal Obamacare, the health care programme that

:27:40.:27:42.

encouraged, some would say forced, millions of Americans to buy

:27:43.:27:45.

insurance and that expanded Medicaid, free insurance

:27:46.:27:48.

for the most vulnerable, through government subsidies.

:27:49.:27:54.

Next is an executive order minimising the economic burden

:27:55.:27:56.

of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...

:27:57.:27:59.

Republicans have long argued it was too costly for government

:28:00.:28:01.

and premiums were too high for patients.

:28:02.:28:04.

It was repealed on day one by executive order,

:28:05.:28:07.

but this month the President produced his own plan.

:28:08.:28:11.

We came to the Fulton Medical Centre to see what they make of it.

:28:12.:28:15.

Just a decade old, it puts diagnosis, surgery,

:28:16.:28:17.

emergency services, and an elderly care home, all under one roof.

:28:18.:28:22.

Margaret Black has spent three months here.

:28:23.:28:25.

Do you know what the cost will be to you?

:28:26.:28:28.

Well, I know I had three trips to Pittsburgh in the ambulance,

:28:29.:28:34.

And if that was taken away, if your employer didn't have

:28:35.:29:08.

I mean, I wouldn't have the money to pay it.

:29:09.:29:13.

Under Trump's plan, employers would no longer be held responsible

:29:14.:29:15.

Some believe that change is badly needed.

:29:16.:29:19.

I think that it needs to be revamped.

:29:20.:29:21.

Companies that offer health care like my husband's,

:29:22.:29:26.

which we are fortunate for, that's a great thing.

:29:27.:29:29.

But there's companies out there that can't afford to pay

:29:30.:29:33.

They're going to end up shutting their doors, and that's

:29:34.:29:44.

Broadly, this plan would cost the government

:29:45.:29:47.

Let's show you how that could look in practice.

:29:48.:29:50.

Under Obamacare, Medicaid was expanded in the majority of states.

:29:51.:29:52.

Large employers were obliged to provide insurance to their workers.

:29:53.:29:55.

Health insurance became mandatory, with fines for those who didn't

:29:56.:29:57.

enrol, and there was a cap on the difference insurance

:29:58.:30:00.

Under Trumpcare, they intend to cut Medicaid expansion and stop any more

:30:01.:30:06.

They will free employers of the obligation to

:30:07.:30:08.

They'll stop insurance being mandatory, but say those

:30:09.:30:11.

who go two months without it may face higher policies.

:30:12.:30:18.

They'll use tax credits to help people buy it and they'll make

:30:19.:30:21.

major cuts to women's health programmes including

:30:22.:30:23.

The moment the presidential plan emerged, it appeared he had pulled

:30:24.:30:27.

Infuriating both those on the left of his party,

:30:28.:30:30.

worried that it would leave many Americans unprotected,

:30:31.:30:33.

and those on the right who have called it Obama-lite.

:30:34.:30:37.

Hated the fact he hadn't got rid of it completely.

:30:38.:30:39.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office - think along

:30:40.:30:46.

the lines of our OBR - predicted that 24 million

:30:47.:30:50.

more Americans would be uninsured by the next decade

:30:51.:30:52.

Older, poorer people, would be worst hit.

:30:53.:31:02.

I asked the head of emergency services, Dr Douglas Stern,

:31:03.:31:04.

I don't think that is an exaggeration.

:31:05.:31:07.

I think we could have more uninsured patients and that's going to push

:31:08.:31:11.

them towards an expensive health care, the emergency department,

:31:12.:31:14.

because if someone's uninsured they're going to wait

:31:15.:31:16.

And then once they have an acute problem they're going

:31:17.:31:21.

to go in to the system through the emergency

:31:22.:31:23.

department and unfortunately, that's the highest cost

:31:24.:31:25.

So, Dr Stern, from what you're saying, this is a community that

:31:26.:31:32.

can ill afford to pay for this health care?

:31:33.:31:34.

We have some patients that are on a fixed income and usually

:31:35.:31:37.

And they're on a fixed income, they don't have the opportunity

:31:38.:31:41.

And they choose between taking their blood pressure medication,

:31:42.:31:47.

This is President Trump's first real legislative test

:31:48.:31:53.

His party holds a majority in the chamber, but needs 216 votes to win.

:31:54.:32:02.

As things stand, the rump of conservatives known

:32:03.:32:05.

as Freedom House Caucus, believe they hold enough

:32:06.:32:06.

I know, I've talked to a lot of people that

:32:07.:32:10.

So there's a pretty persuasive case made by the leadership

:32:11.:32:16.

I think there's a lot of people that have concerns

:32:17.:32:23.

You must have done the maths, do you think there's

:32:24.:32:27.

Yeah, right now we don't have the votes to pass the bill.

:32:28.:32:31.

Well no, I want to get to yes, but I want the Trump

:32:32.:32:37.

So everybody agrees, the right-wing think tanks,

:32:38.:32:43.

the liberal think tanks, both agree the architecture

:32:44.:32:45.

The President himself went to Capitol Hill this morning

:32:46.:32:53.

to lobby for the bill in his own inimitable style.

:32:54.:32:57.

Telling Republican congressmen they risked losing their seats

:32:58.:32:59.

Tremendous health care plan, that's what we have.

:33:00.:33:04.

Affordable care, American health, no one even knows what it's called,

:33:05.:33:14.

but just like Hillarycare of the 1990s or Obamacare now

:33:15.:33:17.

or who knows, perhaps Trumpcare or even Ryancare next,

:33:18.:33:23.

the sticking of the name on the bill is not about pride or posterity,

:33:24.:33:28.

it's an attempt to affix political blame if it all goes wrong.

:33:29.:33:36.

And what of Fulton and its 84% who stood so solid behind Trump?

:33:37.:33:46.

Are they watching the machinations on the Hill, the swamp,

:33:47.:33:49.

They'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now,

:33:50.:33:53.

Whether they like it if he does, it is perhaps the bigger

:33:54.:33:57.

A mother whose daughter died at the age of 15

:33:58.:34:03.

after taking MDMA called tonight for the legalisation of all drugs

:34:04.:34:06.

Everything from heroin to MDMA to cannabis.

:34:07.:34:12.

Five years ago Anne-Marie Cockburn's daughter Martha was sitting her

:34:13.:34:16.

GCSEs and thinking about studying engineering, she was a talented

:34:17.:34:18.

But she was also curious about drugs - something her mother found out

:34:19.:34:23.

after she died from taking half a gram of MDMA powder that turned

:34:24.:34:26.

Anne-Marie Cockburn is with me now. Thank you for joining us. What

:34:27.:34:40.

actually happened to Martha on that day? She went kayaking with friends

:34:41.:34:47.

on a Saturday morning, a lovely July day in 2013. And afterwards she for

:34:48.:34:54.

some reason swallowed half a gram of white powder that turned out to be

:34:55.:35:00.

ecstasy, MDMA powder that was 91% pure. Within three hours of taking

:35:01.:35:07.

it she was dead. So that was actually an incredibly powerful

:35:08.:35:11.

dose? Yes, much higher than the normal street level. I think

:35:12.:35:14.

possibly the chances are it would have killed more than several

:35:15.:35:18.

people. I've been told it was enough for five to ten people in one go.

:35:19.:35:24.

When did you find out what happened? Well, it was very quickly we got

:35:25.:35:30.

told drugs were involved. And in respect of the dosage and so on that

:35:31.:35:36.

wasn't until a few days afterwards. But initially, yes, we were told

:35:37.:35:41.

instantly she has taken something. She was with friends at the time?

:35:42.:35:45.

She was with friends but she was the only one who took it. So then after

:35:46.:35:51.

the funeral you were going through the family computer and what did you

:35:52.:35:57.

find? I found her Google history and she'd been looking for ways to take

:35:58.:36:01.

ecstasy safely. Because she was a clever girl and she wanted to make

:36:02.:36:06.

sure she wouldn't overdose. Yes. She was at that stage in her adolescence

:36:07.:36:10.

and she did want to try things, she was a curious child and I encouraged

:36:11.:36:14.

her curiosity in life, as you do as a parent as much as you can. But

:36:15.:36:21.

that was a moment when I realised the situation was that she got lost

:36:22.:36:25.

in the detail and made a great mistake. She had taken ecstasy

:36:26.:36:29.

before and I think, as any mother would, you'd had a kind of

:36:30.:36:33.

contretemps about it. Yes, I was one of those parents, I said why would

:36:34.:36:37.

you do this? She said it makes me feel happy. I said, aren't you happy

:36:38.:36:42.

anyway? She said yes but it makes me feel even happier. I couldn't

:36:43.:36:45.

believe that. I just said don't do it, don't do it, I didn't want her

:36:46.:36:51.

to do it. I said just say no. And you know what went on to happen.

:36:52.:36:55.

After that terrible tragedy occurred you then started a campaign for

:36:56.:37:00.

legalisation. I want to go back and ask, before what happened happened

:37:01.:37:08.

were you for the legalisation, or even decriminalisation of drugs? I

:37:09.:37:12.

didn't think it related to families like mine. I was blissfully ignorant

:37:13.:37:16.

but I've learned the hard way and I've learned very quickly what I

:37:17.:37:20.

really should have known then. What do you say to people who say, well,

:37:21.:37:27.

if you legalise drugs for the over 18s it's still going to be the

:37:28.:37:33.

teenagers who, even though drink's legal, who experiment, take too

:37:34.:37:37.

much, and indeed get themselves into terrible trouble? Well, had Martha

:37:38.:37:41.

taken something that was licensed and regulated with a label, with

:37:42.:37:45.

ingredients, and dosage information, she wouldn't have taken enough for

:37:46.:37:49.

five to ten people and I believe she would still be here today. You don't

:37:50.:37:52.

want to think of your child taking drugs but if they are going to do it

:37:53.:37:57.

anyway I'd rather they get something from a licensed dealer than from the

:37:58.:38:01.

black market. What do you think of the whole just say no? It's out of

:38:02.:38:07.

date, it doesn't work. I said just say no, instead of telling Martha

:38:08.:38:10.

what she needed to note based on what she was doing. We need to

:38:11.:38:16.

engage with this properly and we need to be realistic about modern

:38:17.:38:20.

society. But some, I suppose, would say that the just say no works for

:38:21.:38:28.

some kids and some just say no to heavy alcohol use works as well and

:38:29.:38:33.

it's legalised. So, actually, does there need to be a clear message

:38:34.:38:39.

anyway about drugs? About what drugs are, about handling drugs and so

:38:40.:38:43.

forth. The only way we can do that is to get it out into the open, to

:38:44.:38:48.

shed complete light on the truth of drugs, the good, the bad and the

:38:49.:38:52.

ugly and the only way we can get rid of the black market is by a legal

:38:53.:38:57.

and regulatory model meaning you can fully educate people, they note the

:38:58.:39:02.

parameters, they know what it contains and so on. You can't

:39:03.:39:04.

educate at the moment that it might have this in it or it might... In

:39:05.:39:11.

Martha's case she had no idea it was 91% pure.

:39:12.:39:15.

There will be other parents who will take a diametrically opposed views

:39:16.:39:21.

to you because they think actually nothing would be further from what

:39:22.:39:26.

they want to see that legalise drugs were on the streets. Well, I wish I

:39:27.:39:31.

had the luxury of still being a parent. On their behalf I'm talking

:39:32.:39:35.

about the subject so they don't become me. Anne-Marie Cockburn,

:39:36.:39:42.

thank you very much indeed. Thank you.

:39:43.:39:44.

For much of the last year Britain has been divided into two,

:39:45.:39:47.

at times seemingly irreconcilable tribes -

:39:48.:39:53.

Or Remoaners, depending on your point of view.

:39:54.:39:58.

But with the start of our formal divorce from the EU days away,

:39:59.:40:01.

we've been doing our bit for national unity by inviting

:40:02.:40:03.

prominent Remainers to find at least one positive thing

:40:04.:40:05.

Tonight the News Statesman's Stephen Bush raises a glass to Brexit.

:40:06.:40:14.

It's become one of the most reliable and soul-destroying

:40:15.:40:18.

cliches of our politics, that you can't talk

:40:19.:40:20.

Of course, that isn't true, as a cursory glance at a British

:40:21.:40:26.

But it is true to say that while we've been in the EU,

:40:27.:40:30.

we haven't been able to control most of the immigration to Britain.

:40:31.:40:34.

This has meant that our politicians have avoided talking up the benefits

:40:35.:40:38.

of immigration and have erected ever crueller barriers to people who wish

:40:39.:40:41.

Now that we are leaving, we can at least have an honest conversation

:40:42.:40:46.

about who we want to come here and how we treat

:40:47.:40:49.

We leave you with the camera work of Jeremy Jones

:40:50.:41:04.

Jeremy records aeroplanes taking off and landing, and he was filming

:41:05.:41:08.

at Birmingham Airport in the middle of Storm Doris last month.

:41:09.:41:12.

In a 60mph crosswind he witnessed more than a few

:41:13.:41:14.

hair-raising moments during aborted landings - none more so than this

:41:15.:41:17.

one, made by William Barron, the pilot of Monarch Flight 971J.

:41:18.:42:06.

Hello. Snow, ice and heavy rain in the forecast

:42:07.:42:07.