05/04/2017 Newsnight


05/04/2017

Has President Trump changed his mind on Syria? French miners prepare to vote. Ken Livingstone is back in trouble. Fay Weldon's She-Devil gets a sequel.


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Transcript


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It's very, very possible - and I will tell you it's

:00:08.:00:10.

already happened - that my attitude toward Syria

:00:11.:00:11.

Is President Trump - accused of inappropriate respect

:00:12.:00:21.

for President Putin - about to get tough on the Russians

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When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty

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to act collectively, there are times in the life

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of states that we are compelled to take our own action.

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We'll ask what the US can do, and what it means for the reset

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I visit the old coal-mining territory in northern France.

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Home of Europe's's tallest slack heap. Is anybody here buying into

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the promises of politicians?. Find the woman and there the she

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I have changed somewhat, but a lot of the early feminists

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haven't and they go on seeing men as the enemy.

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I don't see men as an enemy, or an oppressive force, anymore.

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I tend to see women as rather the oppressive force at the moment.

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Since the start of the Syrian civil war, adjectives

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become worn out from over-use, not least from describing

:02:02.:02:04.

the brutality of Bashar al-Assad and his military.

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Listening to much of the reaction to yesterday's reports

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of a chemical attack, one could only be struck

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by the apparent powerlessness of the West to prevent cruelty

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For some, Donald Trump was the problem - he had shown

:02:14.:02:17.

a disregard for Syria and respect for Russia, offering Assad and Putin

:02:18.:02:20.

But at quarter to five our time, a dramatic shift in approach.

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The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, made an excoriating

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attack on Russia and Assad, with a suggestion the US might

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The President himself also had strong words.

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That the administration is about to take a new and decisive

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step towards intervention, or that it is just

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And I should warn you - Ambassador Haley held up some

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graphic images of some of the victims of the attack today

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About all everyone agrees on that this was chemical weapons. Who

:03:01.:03:14.

carried it out, though, that is what is at issue. The Western powers,

:03:15.:03:22.

including Britain and supporters from the region, were congregating

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in Brussels today for yet another serious conference. Here, a

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consensus on who is to blame is easy to find. All the evidence I have

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seen suggests that this was the Assad regime who did it, in the full

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knowledge that they were using illegal weapons, in a barbaric

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attack on their own people. What to do about it, though? The question a

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leading international agreements so many times and every time, the death

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toll in Syria has grown and grown. The UN Security Council has convened

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many times since Syria's barbaric Civil War began but nothing said

:04:03.:04:08.

emission chamber has halted the carnage for a second. Russia

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sometimes joined by China has vetoed concerted action. Today, yet another

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emergency session with the same strong condemnation from some around

:04:19.:04:24.

the table. Yesterday, we sought the consequences of those vetoes. Those

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consequences are painted on the stricken faces of the children in

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Syria. But Russia is supporting and supplying President Assad, it

:04:35.:04:37.

contends that the chemicals were released when a rebel munitions

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store was hit by a Syrian covenant as strike. The rebels, Russia says,

:04:41.:04:44.

using the chemical weapons to draw the US into the conflict. The

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turning point in the use of toxic chemicals in Syria and weaponise

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chemical agents, that the turning point was the establishment by the

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previous US administration of the so-called red lines. Crossing those

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red lines was supposed to lead to intervention, military intervention

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in the Syrian conflict. That decision served as a starting point

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for future provocations eye terrorists and extremist ructions

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with the use of chemical weapons. It is impossible to say without

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independent scientists on the ground, but from this distance, the

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Russian explanation of a rebel chemical munitions store being hit

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gets little support. We would not see this many deaths around. We

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would not see this many suffering around. This is for sure the

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Government or the Government affiliated agencies. Bombing the

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Idlib province and the people deliberately using a nerve gas.

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Foaming at the mouth, suffering convulsions. America is convinced

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the US Ambassador to be when major the Russians and Syrians could see

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pictures of some of the dead. And she hinted at a strong US response.

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When United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act

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collectively, there are times in the life of states, that we are

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compelled to take our own action. It seems that President Trump is in the

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process is very calibrating his Syria policy. It crossed a lot of

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lines for me. When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies,

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little babies. Till now, the President has seen so-called Islamic

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State is the bigger threat to American interests. I think the

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President, as a result of this chemical weapons attack, has reached

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the conclusion that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a major asset for

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violent extremism. But what follows from that realisation, what the US

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can do to hurt the Assad regime without coming into conflict with

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Russian forces, is by no means clear.

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Well, new President, a different approach.

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Is this the first opportunity for President Trump to show

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what he can achieve, or the first sign that he's

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going to achieve little when it comes to influencing Russia

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Joining me now from New York is the Foreign Policy

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Strategist Nancy Soderberg, who served as Deputy

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National Security Advisor under President Clinton

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Good evening. Do you regard what happens today as a shift in American

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policy, a serious shift, or just more words? I think it is a serious

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shift. President Trump cannot ignore the pictures of his UN Ambassador at

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the United Nations and it will drive a wedge between him and President

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Vladimir Putin with whom he has been confusingly cosy. He has got to have

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a policy that puts America on the right side of history. We do not

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have one yet, we have not seen it yet, but I think we are going to try

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diplomacy and perhaps, we have to do something about the remaining

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stockpile in Syria of those chemical weapons. Just give one option that

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you think is a viable or plausible option that he might now pursue.

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Well, I think he has got to recognise that the Russian policy is

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a failure in Syria. They promise to get rid of chemical weapons and they

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have not, so he has the tough talk to her Putin and say we have to

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solve this issue, defeat Isis and have a peace plan to rid the country

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of Assad. That is in two stages and will be difficult and will require

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diplomacy which we have yet to see from this team. But that does not

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involve taking what I would think is unilateral action of going in and

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doing anything, that is more talk and more diplomacy. Is that going to

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leave America looking a bit week, with the day Nikki Haley saying

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sometimes you have to act on your own comic you would look like you

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have caved again? No, they have to do something to get rid of those

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chemical weapons and that could either involve the Russians going in

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and doing it as they should have the first time in 2013, they promise to

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get rid of all of it, secondly, if they do not do it, I think the US

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would be justified in trying to capture that. Unilateral military

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intervention to get the chemical weapons is very, very difficult. A

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negotiated effort with the Russians upfront to make up their faulty deal

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from 2013 would be first, but I think President Trump is very

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serious about taking action to address the chemical weapons threat

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if the international community and particularly Russia fails. Quickly,

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Nikki Haley and the United Nations pointed the finger very directly at

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Russia and talked about Russia. President Trump did not mention

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Russia, he was talking about Bashar al-Assad. Is that an interesting

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distinction between the two of them, they entirely on the same page on

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this? No, I don't. I think what Nikki Haley was doing at the UN was

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to have her moment were akin to the Cuban Missile Crisis when our

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Ambassador showed for the first time the satellite pictures of Cuban

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missiles, Russian, Soviet missiles in Cuba, this is the pictures and

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the evidence. You cannot deny that this is the truth. She is trying to

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corner the Russians and the President has not got there. Our

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Secretary of State is mute. I think they do not have a coordinated

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message. I think they will get one but it is a little confusing now.

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That is typical of this administration, they are not well

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coordinated with one message. Some people say sometimes been a bit

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unpredictable and confusing, nobody knows what you're doing, that can be

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an advantage in these situations, you can get away with stuff nobody

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else can. I think below -- people believe President Trump when he says

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he will make sure this is addressed alone if we have two, I don't think

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President Trump knows what that is exactly. This forces President Trump

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to confront the Russian behaviour which he has been unwilling to do so

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far. There is no doubt the Russians could move to prevent this and did

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not get all the weapons initially, they are pretending this is the

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rebels, the same playbook they played in 2013 when this crisis

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happened before. Russian policy is an absolute failure. It opens the

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door for President Trump to try to get the Russians to do the right

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thing here. Given their relationship, he may be the one

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person that can hold that. If they can get that deal, he will have

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accomplished something important, and that is going to be the first

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test of this presidency. Nancy Soderberg, thank you very much

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indeed. Listening to that was

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Dr Leslie Vinjamuri, an expert in conflict and US foreign

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policy at Chatham House and SOAS. Did you think this was significant

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when you heard President Trump say he had changed his mind about Syria?

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It was significant because Trump backed himself into a corner. He has

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been criticising the Obama administration for a long time and

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failing to force the red line. He said many red lines were crossed and

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more than a red line. So people will be looking to see what he does. Much

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of what Donald Trump has been doing in the last months has been about

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his concern for his popularity at home. So that audience now, the

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expectations of that audience, has been raised. But she is exactly

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right, it is not very obvious what one does do, using Russia has the

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greatest love it over Assad so that is important, but whether Donald

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Trump has leveraged over Russia remains to be seen and there is no

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real strategy out of the administration. This is the most

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fascinating things, have we learned anything about Donald Trump and

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Russia? This is what everybody has been talking about for the last four

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months. Is he compensating for the fact people think he is close to

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Russia, does he have any sway over Russia? Donald Trump, when he spoke

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today about Syria and about the chemical weapons, again, I think he

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was speaking to a domestic audience and he was launching a critique of

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the past administration. It was a little bit less about Russia. But

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this puts him in a very difficult position because without the help of

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Russia, there is not much you can do about Assad. Everybody says that,

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can the US, the one thing I have heard described you can do, you

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could just go in and punish Assad for this. So he thinks about it the

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next time, you could just bomb and airfield. Not get in the way of the

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Russians and not get drawn into the fight but say, you did that, we do

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this, don't do that again. Is that plausible or does Russia have

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control of the airspace you could not do anything? The key issue is

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whether the current administration will think and deliberate carefully

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enough. If they were to decide to use military force for the specific

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aim of taking out whatever chemical weapons remain in Syria and whether

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they would go through the kind of process that would be absolutely

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essential to achieve that, and that would not be easy to achieve in any

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case. I think that is an incredibly difficult to quote you do not know

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where the chemical weapons are. And the broader question is how to solve

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this crisis, this ongoing conflict in Syria. They are two issues and

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the two issues will come together in the mind of the American public.

:14:59.:15:00.

Thank you very much. Another day in which comments

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of Ken Livingstone have distracted He was suspended from standing

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for office within the Labour Party yesterday, not expelled,

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for his views on Hitler and zionism. But he was on this programme

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last night, and carried on the argument without apology,

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to the disappointment of many. His latest comments

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mean there is now to be It's all getting in the way of a big

:15:20.:15:22.

policy announcement - unless the policy was designed

:15:23.:15:29.

to distract from Ken? We'll ask a Shadow Cabinet

:15:30.:15:31.

minister in a moment. But first, our political editor

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Nick Watt is with me. Let's take a break from him, what is

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the policy and how will they get away from this Ken Livingstone

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affair? Jeremy Corbyn complained earlier the week that Labour never

:15:49.:15:51.

focus on party policy and are obsessed with his leadership so they

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will announce a policy tomorrow which will attract a fair amount of

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attention. Labour say a future Labour

:15:59.:16:01.

government would fund free school meals for all primary school pupils

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to be funded by, wait for it, charging VAT on private school fees.

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He is going to cite research from the Fabian Society back in 2010,

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which said this would raise about ?1.5 billion a year.

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It's interesting to note that there was an identity Michael Cole

:16:22.:16:28.

identical policy on this in the Labour general election of 1993.

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That manifesto went much further and talked about phasing out private

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schools. Let's talk about Ken Livingstone now, bringing us

:16:40.:16:42.

up-to-date on the sequence of events since last night? There was uproar

:16:43.:16:47.

in the party after that decision, as you say, not to expel Ken

:16:48.:16:52.

Livingstone from the party, about 100 Labour MPs, including members of

:16:53.:16:55.

the Shadow Cabinet, said the Labour machinery did not act in their name

:16:56.:17:00.

and this afternoon Jeremy Corbyn criticised his former comrades on

:17:01.:17:05.

the left, for refusing to apologise for his remarks and endorsed that

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referral of Ken Livingstone to Labour's ruling National executive

:17:11.:17:12.

committee. Tomorrow, Theresa May will wade into

:17:13.:17:16.

the row and says the Labour Party has betrayed the Jewish community by

:17:17.:17:21.

letting Ken Livingstone off the hook. She will be talking at the

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launch of the Conservative campaign for the local elections on the 4th

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of May where she will essentially say that under Labour, council tax

:17:31.:17:35.

doubled but Conservative councils made sensible savings while keeping

:17:36.:17:38.

council tax down. Thank you.

:17:39.:17:39.

Barry Gardiner is the Shadow International Trade Secretary,

:17:40.:17:41.

and was one of more than 100 MPs who signed a letter today

:17:42.:17:44.

criticising the party's response to the Livingstone saga.

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I think that that letter, the words were "The Labour institutions have

:17:50.:18:00.

betrayed our values". Do you believe that? I do. I joined the Labour

:18:01.:18:07.

Party to fight bigotry and racism. To fight injustice. Not to turn a

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blind eye to it. That is why many of us were incensed at the National

:18:13.:18:18.

Constitutional committee's response. To actually find that Ken

:18:19.:18:26.

Livingstone had done what had been alleged, namely he had brought the

:18:27.:18:30.

party into disrepute, with these grossly offensive remarks. That he

:18:31.:18:36.

had not apologised for them. And the sanction that was there, provided

:18:37.:18:42.

for, was not used and he was not expelled from the party.

:18:43.:18:46.

That is absolutely wrong and sends the message to people that is

:18:47.:18:49.

contrary to everything the Labour Party was founded on, and everything

:18:50.:18:53.

the Labour Party stands for. Jeremy Corbyn, today, seemed to share quite

:18:54.:18:57.

a lot of those views. That it was terrible he had not

:18:58.:19:02.

apologised and continued talking about it. But, he also said to

:19:03.:19:06.

regional papers this afternoon that he does want Ken Livingstone to

:19:07.:19:10.

contribute to the fight of the Labour Party, including the fight

:19:11.:19:14.

for antiracism, the fight against racism.

:19:15.:19:17.

Now, you could not share that view with Jeremy Corbyn? You do not want

:19:18.:19:22.

Ken Livingstone in your camp fighting for anything? Let me be

:19:23.:19:26.

clear, Ken Livingstone is a consummate politician, I do not

:19:27.:19:30.

think any of doubt that, he's a very intelligent man. If he were to

:19:31.:19:36.

repent, if he were genuinely to be sorry for the gross offence that he

:19:37.:19:41.

caused, I would welcome that. But, Ken Livingstone knew what he was

:19:42.:19:45.

doing when he weighed in to that original argument. He knew deep

:19:46.:19:48.

remarks he made were likely to cause offence. He has continued to try and

:19:49.:19:56.

dance on the head of a pin about the particular words that he used, being

:19:57.:19:59.

misinterpreted. But the fact is, he hasn't come out,

:20:00.:20:05.

as he should have done, contrite and apologised for the offence he

:20:06.:20:11.

caused. Many people focus on the anti-Semitism part of this but some

:20:12.:20:14.

think it is the whole affair which makes the party look on hinged?

:20:15.:20:20.

Banging on about Hitler and Zionism, partly it has taken 11 months to get

:20:21.:20:24.

from his first comments to where we are now, and that you haven't

:20:25.:20:28.

managed to agree a line, constitute committees have come up with one

:20:29.:20:32.

thing and then 100 MPs have shown that the immense and passion that

:20:33.:20:35.

you have. Then, the second enquiry, and the

:20:36.:20:39.

leader giving slightly mixed messages about the role of Ken

:20:40.:20:41.

Livingstone. Do you not think that the party

:20:42.:20:46.

comes across as not looking like it can organise anything? The National

:20:47.:20:49.

Constitutional Committee was set up a number of years ago to be able to

:20:50.:20:54.

take this away from the National executive and take it out of the

:20:55.:20:58.

politics of politics, if you like. And, to set in place a way of

:20:59.:21:04.

dealing with things like this. The problem is, it hasn't done that

:21:05.:21:09.

effectively. Therefore, Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely right, that it

:21:10.:21:13.

must now go back to the NEC, the National executive committee, the

:21:14.:21:19.

governing body of the party, to look at this again.

:21:20.:21:23.

This is not just about Ken Livingstone, although he, I'm sure,

:21:24.:21:27.

is always keen to make it about Ken Livingstone. This is about the way

:21:28.:21:31.

in which the party organisers from the bottom-up, the way in which it

:21:32.:21:35.

operates from the bottom-up, and we must get it right.

:21:36.:21:39.

Unless these fundamental values are at the core of the Labour Party,

:21:40.:21:43.

then it is not the Labour Party as was founded, and it is not the

:21:44.:21:47.

Labour Party that many of us joined. We want to see it right in the

:21:48.:21:51.

future. Like it or lump it, no matter what Theresa May says

:21:52.:21:55.

tomorrow, it is the Labour Party in this country which is the best

:21:56.:21:59.

political vehicle for justice, for fighting racism, and...

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You are sounding very angry and quite disenchanted, if I may say so,

:22:05.:22:09.

with your own party. Not at all. Some would say it is with your own

:22:10.:22:13.

leader? I think that Jeremy's response today was exemplary and his

:22:14.:22:19.

response, having referred it initially to the NCC, he was

:22:20.:22:22.

absolutely right, as all of us should be, to be kept out of the

:22:23.:22:27.

process of discipline. You face your elections on May the 4th, local

:22:28.:22:31.

elections, and agree it would be a disaster for your party to lose

:22:32.:22:35.

seats in those local elections? No opposition party has done that

:22:36.:22:40.

since 1985 in a local election... We want to win the seat and not lose

:22:41.:22:44.

them. We want to win all of the seats that we fight in. The more

:22:45.:22:49.

labour representatives there are in local councils, the more seats that

:22:50.:22:53.

are in local councils, the better we are able to highlight the fact that

:22:54.:22:59.

this is a government which has just cut 8% of the education budget, and

:23:00.:23:03.

we are able to highlight the cuts to social care in this country and

:23:04.:23:08.

highlight the way in which the National Health Service is not able

:23:09.:23:10.

to meet the targets that this government has said. Every Labour

:23:11.:23:18.

councillor, every Labour mayor, will enable asked to do that better.

:23:19.:23:23.

Barry Gardiner, thank you. -- will enable us to do better.

:23:24.:23:26.

The French had a Presidential election TV debate last night.

:23:27.:23:29.

Eleven candidates on stage for four hours.

:23:30.:23:30.

Interestingly, the debate winner in the follow-up poll

:23:31.:23:34.

was the radical left winger, Jean-Luc Melenchon.

:23:35.:23:36.

He's been gaining support, and it's now possible that the two

:23:37.:23:39.

main parties in France will come fourth and fifth in this

:23:40.:23:41.

Well, for an explanation, I've been to the northern

:23:42.:23:53.

Just an hour from Calais, it was the heart of a huge coal

:23:54.:23:57.

That's long gone,of course and the population there

:23:58.:24:00.

It's often said the populist far right, Front National, flourish

:24:01.:24:15.

there, but in people are often clutching at someone, anyone,

:24:16.:24:17.

What I didn't find there, is anybody supporting either

:24:18.:24:20.

The French spent billions shutting down their old coal mines.

:24:21.:24:37.

In the north of France, it was the early '90s they went,

:24:38.:24:40.

but the relics of that past are hard to miss.

:24:41.:24:45.

But, yes, the country did shut them down all the same.

:24:46.:24:48.

He started working in the mines at 14.

:24:49.:25:23.

So is there life when the mines have gone?

:25:24.:25:25.

In Northern France, they have done their very best.

:25:26.:25:28.

A novel use for a spoil tip, a dry ski slope.

:25:29.:25:33.

But how does this play in the upcoming presidential election?

:25:34.:25:35.

Will this part of France conform to the global pattern

:25:36.:25:40.

He thinks it's not all about the Front National.

:25:41.:26:13.

It's easy to say that places like this have been forgotten,

:26:14.:26:16.

I'm really not sure it's that simple.

:26:17.:26:22.

This, for example, is the fantastic Lens Louvre museum.

:26:23.:26:24.

It's the only branch of the Paris Louvre

:26:25.:26:26.

They've made a real effort, but the truth is, nobody anywhere

:26:27.:26:30.

How would you bring economic drive, jobs and status to areas that

:26:31.:26:37.

Culture is a favourite French revitaliser.

:26:38.:26:47.

The Louvre is on the site of an old mine and here,

:26:48.:26:50.

a few miles from Lens, is another pithead turned

:26:51.:26:52.

This old cloakroom and shower room is the exhibition site.

:26:53.:26:58.

Former miners still gather on the site.

:26:59.:27:01.

They recognise the effort that's been made, but

:27:02.:27:05.

Tell me about the best days, the best days ever, of this region.

:27:06.:27:25.

When was this region, do you think, at its absolute best?

:27:26.:28:10.

Would they believe anyone promising jobs now?

:28:11.:28:50.

Back to Lens, where I must catch sight of the local natural scenery.

:28:51.:28:58.

A sign of just how dominant coal was here.

:28:59.:29:10.

Well, the view is spectacular, but there's one thing that you can't

:29:11.:29:13.

see, which is that over there - about a 40-minute drive away,

:29:14.:29:15.

not so far - is Lille, France's fourth biggest city.

:29:16.:29:23.

And everybody agrees there are more jobs over there.

:29:24.:29:25.

Indeed, economic opportunity has tended to gravitate

:29:26.:29:27.

But for the people here - and remember, we're not

:29:28.:29:33.

talking small villages, this is secondary towns and cities -

:29:34.:29:35.

There's definitely a gulf between the big metropolis and the rest.

:29:36.:29:42.

Here's not the place to find the old, but you

:29:43.:29:49.

It is among them, polls show, you find most support

:29:50.:30:02.

What's most striking is how far the Front National has

:30:03.:30:38.

These two would never have voted for Jean-Marie Le Pen.

:30:39.:31:06.

So you would never vote Jean-Marie Le Pen?

:31:07.:31:09.

An array of products of offer and an array of views.

:31:10.:31:20.

This strikes me as a community groping for some kind of change,

:31:21.:31:23.

unsure if it's possible, and divided over who can deliver it.

:31:24.:32:13.

Areas of industrial decline are common in the West

:32:14.:32:15.

and there's a clear, if unsurprising, political pattern -

:32:16.:32:17.

In fact looks at the first round that election.

:32:18.:32:41.

Fay Weldon is a prolific writer who, in her 86 years, has written

:32:42.:32:44.

more than 30 novels, but it was when she was 52

:32:45.:32:46.

that she wrote her most celebrated and famous work,

:32:47.:32:49.

It was a raging and funny revenge novel about a woman's take-down

:32:50.:32:53.

of her adulterous husband and his more beautiful,

:32:54.:32:55.

And the television series which followed had everyone rooting

:32:56.:32:58.

for the ungainly Ruth, whose actions and articulacy fired

:32:59.:33:01.

Now the She Devil is back, but in Weldon's new iteration -

:33:02.:33:06.

Death of a She Devil - Ruth is in her eighties, harsh,

:33:07.:33:09.

embittered, and her female-only world has consigned men

:33:10.:33:11.

Weldon paints a dystopic view of feminism, earnest humourless

:33:12.:33:15.

It is a satire, but in her own life, Weldon too has had second

:33:16.:33:26.

thoughts about feminism, believing the revolution has not

:33:27.:33:28.

Kirsty met the author to talk about the return

:33:29.:33:31.

I always pretend to be happy when I am not!

:33:32.:33:38.

I must be grateful for the roof over my head and the food on my table.

:33:39.:33:51.

When you unleashed the She Devil into the world...

:33:52.:33:56.

what do you think was it about her that captured

:33:57.:33:58.

the imagination, not just of women, men too, but mainly women, that she

:33:59.:34:01.

I think it was the rage and the anger and the fact

:34:02.:34:07.

that she represented women who were not particulary beautiful.

:34:08.:34:09.

To see a large woman actually active on the screen

:34:10.:34:11.

She was not subservient, she did dreadful things,

:34:12.:34:15.

I mean, she took off in great danger to herself,

:34:16.:34:20.

inasmuch as she had no way of financially supporting herself.

:34:21.:34:23.

And that stopped many women taking off, didn't it?

:34:24.:34:25.

It was very much as women in other countries are today,

:34:26.:34:29.

that you can't be your own person because you have no

:34:30.:34:32.

Women wanted freedom and she was free.

:34:33.:34:43.

Over a decade ago, in an interview, you said - as soon as women

:34:44.:35:09.

have the choice of marrying or not marrying, having children or not,

:35:10.:35:12.

the only choice they don't have is not earning,

:35:13.:35:14.

which is a terrible loss to womanhood.

:35:15.:35:18.

If you're young, healthy, energetic, have a career,

:35:19.:35:25.

But most women have jobs, or end up with jobs, not careers, often

:35:26.:35:30.

Social change in the last 40 years has been enormous.

:35:31.:35:35.

Thanks to feminism, in a way, but you can't say

:35:36.:35:37.

Because the original feminists really didn't

:35:38.:35:40.

We saw a world of young, healthy, intelligent, striking women,

:35:41.:35:45.

and we didn't really honestly take much notice of those

:35:46.:35:48.

But you seem to be suggesting, broadly, that feminism has not

:35:49.:36:02.

turned out as well as you thought it would when you were younger.

:36:03.:36:06.

I mean, there were many, many advantages.

:36:07.:36:14.

Earning and working gives women economic

:36:15.:36:16.

I mean, they have freedom, they have power, they have all these things,

:36:17.:36:24.

but they have no rest and they look tired and they look exhausted.

:36:25.:36:27.

Feminism is wonderful for any woman under 30.

:36:28.:36:31.

Man now controls the best weapon woman ever had.

:36:32.:36:33.

In its very mood and subtleties, he can become her,

:36:34.:36:50.

But what will happen to the She Devil?

:36:51.:36:59.

So what kind of character has the She Devil turned

:37:00.:37:05.

Well, she hasn't changed, she has the same views, I think, really.

:37:06.:37:10.

I mean, I hope I have changed somewhat, but a lot of the early

:37:11.:37:17.

feminists haven't and they go on seeing man as the enemy.

:37:18.:37:20.

I don't think man is the enemy and an oppressive force any more,

:37:21.:37:23.

I tend to see women as rather the oppressive force at the moment.

:37:24.:37:26.

You have said that women now live lives easier than men and the only

:37:27.:37:29.

way men have of fighting back against the natural

:37:30.:37:32.

superiority of women is by becoming women themselves.

:37:33.:37:34.

You're not seriously suggesting that people change sex

:37:35.:37:39.

from male to female simply because it's easier in this

:37:40.:37:43.

Look, there are lots of sort of transgender people

:37:44.:37:54.

for whom it is really a serious business.

:37:55.:37:56.

But there is also a sort of undertone of frivolous people

:37:57.:37:59.

who, for the sake of fashion or what is going on,

:38:00.:38:02.

or the clothes or whatever, want to be the other gender.

:38:03.:38:05.

Most of them being men wanting to be women.

:38:06.:38:07.

The women who want to be men have a really hard time, I think,

:38:08.:38:10.

because it's a real serious business for them.

:38:11.:38:12.

I'm not dismissing this at all, at all.

:38:13.:38:16.

You do accept that what you say offends a lot of transgender

:38:17.:38:20.

people who feel very, very passionately that they

:38:21.:38:22.

I'm not saying they shouldn't for one minute.

:38:23.:38:31.

I wrote a comic novel about somebody who is a frivolous person and then

:38:32.:38:37.

you have to read it to see what happens, but I'm not offending

:38:38.:38:42.

transgender people or thinking there is anything wrong

:38:43.:38:44.

with changing your gender because I don't.

:38:45.:38:45.

I think it is a very personal thing, it is something very personal,

:38:46.:38:50.

but you can't sort of not say what you think.

:38:51.:38:52.

What you look at and see with your eyes.

:38:53.:38:58.

You have suggested, I think I'm right in saying,

:38:59.:39:00.

that some of the women who claim to have been sexually

:39:01.:39:06.

molested by Trump were just after money.

:39:07.:39:08.

And you argue that what is now seen as sexual harassment

:39:09.:39:13.

That is another minefield, it is like you like to just trample

:39:14.:39:17.

I worked at an advertising office in the '60s when,

:39:18.:39:24.

before feminism or sexual harassment...

:39:25.:39:27.

Sexual harassment is also very, very unpleasant,

:39:28.:39:34.

I know that as as a woman, I suffered

:39:35.:39:36.

But I also know that in a properly run and civilised office,

:39:37.:39:41.

what went on behind the filing cabinets was what made

:39:42.:39:44.

Except that it was men exercising power over women,

:39:45.:39:53.

women often did not have the chance to speak up about it,

:39:54.:39:56.

they felt they would get the sack, they felt they would be demonised.

:39:57.:39:59.

Well, if that happens, then absolutely, it is sexual harassment.

:40:00.:40:08.

But all I am saying, in those days, you did not lose your job

:40:09.:40:12.

if you did not do what people wanted you to do.

:40:13.:40:15.

Do you still think of yourself as a feminist?

:40:16.:40:17.

Yes, I do, because I want women to be happy, fulfilled

:40:18.:40:21.

and have good lives, and die happy.

:40:22.:40:22.

If you look out on the streets and you see them carrying

:40:23.:40:27.

their shopping still and struggling to get their children

:40:28.:40:29.

from the nursery and to pay the mortgage and general anxiety,

:40:30.:40:32.

which everybody now is living, then I really feel

:40:33.:40:34.

Fay Weldon, thank you very much indeed.

:40:35.:40:44.

Before we go, astronomers today begin a week of peering

:40:45.:40:52.

into the never-before-seen event horizon of a black hole.

:40:53.:40:55.

They're using the appropriately named Event Horizon Telescope,

:40:56.:40:56.

which is so powerful, it can - so it's said -

:40:57.:40:59.

While we're waiting for the new results,

:41:00.:41:05.

we leave you with this simulation made by Astrophysics

:41:06.:41:07.

It's based on our current theories about Black Holes,

:41:08.:41:11.

Hello, it looks like it is going to turn really warm across England and

:41:12.:42:11.

Wales this weekend. In the next couple of days when the sun is out,

:42:12.:42:15.

it will feel quite warm, but the

:42:16.:42:16.

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