A look at splits in the Tory cabinet, HS2 and why so many people failed to predict the election result. Plus an interview with former US Navy admiral William McRaven.
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Is this Government in the UK right now hanging on, needing time,
With big announcements on schools and transport today,
the Conservatives are projecting themselves as full of purpose,
But tomorrow Theresa May will read the riot act to the Cabinet,
telling them to stop the Brexit backbiting and leaks over
Yes, we've had some changes in and around Downing Street,
and changes to some of the way in which government operates
to reflect an understanding of some of the things that went wrong a few
months ago, but I see someone who's in control of her brief.
Meanwhile, those who failed to predict the last election
I nearly swerved off the road. I was driving at the time.
I have to say, no, I think it's possible you end up
with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.
So you accept that he could possibly win?
I think that you can't rule anything out in today's politics.
And the American four-star admiral, who masterminded the hunting down
and killing of Osama Bin Laden, joins us with his reflections
There are a lot of sharks in the world.
If you hope to complete the swim, you will have to deal with them.
So if you want to change the world, don't back down from the sharks.
MPs break up for summer this week, but things have already
Try as it might to show us that there is a Government
getting on with business, the frame is always the same:
Cabinet debate out in the open, and a leadership campaign
So, for example, today, the Education Secretary promised
extra funding for schools in England, but she could not
It had to come out of her own department's plans,
which invites us to think she's been in a battle with the
After a weekend of briefing - at the Chancellor's expense -
we learned today that the Prime Minister was poised to tell
But she does not have the authority that she once did.
Right now, the Brexiteers in the party are willing her to stay
in place, believing that a new leadership election might lead
Nick, what is Theresa May going to say to them tomorrow? As you were
saying, the Prime Minister will open the Cabinet meeting with a stern
warning to ministerial colleagues that what happens in Cabinet stays
in Cabinet. Now, on one level that shows she's in agreement of Philip
Hammond, the Chancellor. He believes this has come from within the
Cabinet. He's very unamused by it. At that point, the Prime Minister
and the Chancellor then part company. In Downing Street, the view
is that the leaks were not prompted by a Brexit plot, but by frustration
at the Chancellor's rather dismissive attitude occasionally
towards colleagues. But the Chancellor actually does believe
that a Brexit colleague or colleagues were behind the leaks. He
believes that his talk of a reasonable transitional period after
we leave the EU has upset colleagues. He was talking over the
weekend about how it could be two years, possibly it could even be
five years and I'm told, he would like to have agreement within
Government on this by September. On the transitional arrangements?
That's right, within Government on that by September. Of course, the
longer the transitional period it is, the more difficult it is for the
UK to negotiate its own trade deals with countries outside the EU. Many
of the hard Brexiteers don't want it to drag on that long. All this
bickering, how's it going down? This afternoon I spoke to Sir Nicholas
Soames, the grandee, he reflected the frustration of many Tory MPs
when he told me, "I feel deeply ashamed that there are elements of
my party who are behaving in a way that is beyond contempt at a time
when the country is facing the most difficult negotiations since 1940."
Important to say, he was a Remainor. But 1940 is the year that his
grandfather, Sir Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. There are
many Tories saying all this sniping is explained by the Prime Minister's
weak authority after the election and they wonder whether she will
make it through the Autumn. But other figures are saying, Theresa
May is slowly recovering her authority and one senior figure said
to me, "I hope the Prime Minister comes back rejuvenated with lots of
authority after the summer holiday and gets rid of, sacks the trouble
makers." Why is it the Brexiteers who are keen on keeping her? What do
they fear would happen? Probably the Conservative Party would vote
another Brexiteer to lead them if it wasn't Theresa May. There are those
who say that when the Prime Minister said, after that vote, that Brexit
means Brexit and she talked about the UK coming out of the single
market, coming out of the customs union, because she believed that the
vote showed that the British people no longer accepted free movement and
no longer accepted the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice,
the feeling was that was what the so-called hard Brexiteers wanted.
But there are big Remainers on her side, who's the effective Deputy
Prime Minister, Damian Green, big Remainor.
One of the big announcements today, concerned High Speed 2.
Details of the northern section of the route
and some contractors for the first southern phase were published.
HS2 is not a new policy, but it was a perfect way
of changing the subject from the Government's troubles.
Yet even here, there are questions about money,
and there are divisions in the Cabinet.
Liam Fox, for example, campaigned against it
before he was appointed International Trade Secretary.
Earlier today, I sat down with the Transport Secretary,
Chris Grayling, to talk about HS2, and the Government's predicament.
And I asked him whether he was 100% sure that HS2 was going to happen.
Yes, because the work has started already. On the first phase from
London to Birmingham, the enabling works are being done. The contracts
we've let today are for the first full part of the work. This is going
to happen. But it has to happen. People tend to misunderstand what
HS2 is about, it's a capacity project more than anything else.
Look at the West Coast main line, one of the busiest railways in
Europe, congested with commuter trains, freight trains, if it can
cope with the demand of the future we have to move the express trains
to a different line, get more freight off the roads onto the
railways, create more commuter space and do so by building a
state-of-the-art new high speed route we can be proud of. You don't
know the final cost and there are reports that the cost may be way
higher than is currently being talked about. So in a way, by saying
it's definitely going to happen, without knowing the cost, you are
saying - we will pay whatever it takes. We know what it's going to
cost. It's going to cost 55. ?55.7 million. Billion. Billion. You don't
know that until you've got builders to say they will build it and
guarantee that price. We've got a pretty good track record in recent
years. Look at cross-rail, it's going well. It's on time. It's on
budget. It proves that we in this country can deliver things. The
reports in the last few days, utterly spurrious. The argument this
is going to cost five times as much as HS 1, coming from people who have
no involvement in the project, I don't take that seriously at all.
You are saying, on this issue, there is complete clarity at the heart of
Government, Treasury, Cabinet, policy makers, civil servants - this
is going to happen, it must happen and everybody is on board. Not only
that, it is happening now. Is it your contention in other areas, the
Government is as decisive and clear about the direction it's going to
take. My answer to that is yes. What people look at is - does the Cabinet
ever have discussions and debates. Of course we do. We're not clones.
We have different views. We argue the case. We put forward our views.
We reach consensus and move ahead with it. That's the way Government
should work. I have been confused on quite a few areas as to what the
policy is. Let's start with one of yours, not rail - third runway at
Heathrow. Is that definitely going to happen? Yes, we are in the middle
of what is a 12-month process that leads to what is effectively
outlying planning permission. It's set out in statute. Set out in the
2008 planning act. It involves a period of public consultation, we're
going through that at the moment. We just completed that. There's a
period of Parliamentary scrutiny, slightly delayed because of the
general election. We will bring this to a vote in the first part of next
year. We'll table those proposals formally for Parliament to approve
in the first part of next year and as long as Parliament approves it, I
believe it will, the project will go ahead. No back tracking on that. No
back tracking. You've sorted out my confusion on that one. Public sector
pay - the policy as expressed was a 1% cap through to the year 2019/20.
Does that remain the Government's policy? As of today, that is the
case. I know that we've had debates and discussions in the public arena
politically about this. We have to find the right balance. One of the
things I'm proudest of, that our economic policy in the last seven
years has led to the lowest unemployment since the 1970s. Youth
unemployment has pretty much halved. I don't want to lose that progress
by letting go of the policies that have delivered it. But at the same
time, all of us want to spend more money on public services. All of us
want to spend more on public sector pay. Government is about getting the
balance between the two right. As to what we do - we've had a number of
messages from different circles in the last few weeks, as to what we
do, we will see when the budget comes. As of today beare determined
to see through the policy which brings down the deficit. We will
carry on with that focus of bringing down the deficit. Not quite the
clarity on that one as HS2 and the third runway, what is the policy,
the aspiration or the expectation on a transitional arrangement with the
EU? We've had Liam Fox saying well, it might have to be a few months.
The Chancellor saying it's not going to be a couple of months, we're
talking about something more like a couple of years or more. What is the
policy on transitional arrangement? Well, the exact detail of the
transition from in to out will come out of the negotiations. I can tell
you clearly what the Government's policy is on Brexit. Just the policy
on the transitional arrangement. Are you saying we basically don't know
whether we are seeking a transitional arrangement of two
months or two years? Is that - we don't even know what our starting
point is? All of this will depend on the position of the European Union
and how the negotiations go. It is perfectly plausible that we could
leave without a transitional arrangement, if the agreements were
in place for future trade, if the agreements were in place for the art
partnerships in the future. You can't really answer the question.
Nobody is expecting for there not to be a transitional arrangement. We
don't know what it's going to look like. We have a Philip Hammond verse
and Liam Fox version, they're completely different to each other.
It's quite possible we will end up with a transitional arrangement. So
there's a third position, that we won't have an arrangement. This is a
negotiation. Can you see why the world feels the Government is,
perhaps, less clear about its policies than you are about HS2?
That in all these areas, there has been a confusion on the part of
public and business as well. I don't accept the principle of confusion.
We have a clear objective - to leave the European Union but to leave it
on good terms, with good friends and neighbours, with as close as we can
possibly secure the current trading arrangements. Let me ask you one
last one, how is Theresa May - I know she's a friend of yours, you
were an early supporter in the leadership campaign last year - how
is she faring through all this? Is she coping with the stresses of
being buffeted around by so many different pressures? If you sat
around the Cabinet table before the general election, and you sat around
the Cabinet table after, you would see the same person sitting there
and the same exposed personality sitting there. Yes, we've had some
changes around Downing Street and changes to some of the ways in which
Government operates to reflect an understanding of some of the things
that went wrong a few months ago. I see someone who's in control of her
brief, who is very much doing the job of Prime Minister and will get
on with that and deliver a successful outcome to Brexit as well
as the other things we need to do as a nation. Thank you very much.
There was an announcement on schools funding today. An extra 1. ?1.3
billion a year paid for in some arcane ways of taking money out of
the capital budget of the Education Department and the budget for free
schools. Now this should ensure there's no real terms reduction in
per pupil spending on schools. With me now is Angela Rayner,
the Shadow Education Secretary. Very good evening. Thanks for coming
in. It seems like the Government is listening and is responding to what
it has probably correctly perceived as a dissatisfaction with funding
for schools. Well, there was an amazing campaign led, extraordinary
campaign led by the parents of pupils concerned about the school
funding cuts and the head teachers, which was unprecedented in the way
that they've writ ton parents and said we can't afford to provide
school books and carry out the curriculum. They led the campaign.
The Government have took heed of that. Of course, they've cut school
budgets by 2. 8 billion. Those cuts are happening now. These are cuts
that were further planned in future years. They're putting money in.
It's churlish to complain, particularly, you didn't like the
free schools budget, did you? Well, I felt that some of the money that
was spent, if you look at the National Audit Office and the Public
Accounts Committee that have said about the money wasted on free
schools that weren't in the places we required them. I can't understand
why you don't see this as a good news day and say Theresa May,
Justine Greening, thank you very much. Unfortunately it's not new
money. 2. 8 million is still missing from that. The teachers have written
to parents saying we haven't got the money this year, they aren't getting
extra money this year. Come September, that money will still be
gone from their budgets, those teaching assistants will not be in
their jobs. Right. But they are on course to be by 2022, spending 4
billion extra on schools. They're saying they're not going to cut
budgets any further. We have to look at the detail. There's no new money.
That's the important thing. They've taken it out of one hand - And put
it into another. They're not clear about where the money is coming
from. That's a concern. We know that we need school places. We know that
there's a crisis in terms of our class sizes are increasing. If
they're not creating free schools, which I prefer actually local
authority schools, then they need to be putting the money in there.
What's interesting and people have argued this against your party's
policies, if schools are in need of so much money, why would you have a
policy of spending twice as much than you were planning to spend on
schools on wealthier university graduates by aboll Loans, but
abolishing fees. That was the most expensive thing in your manifesto.
It was going to do nothing for schools. Over 50% of the money that
we raised in the manifesto went on our national education service. You
put 6 billion on schools, including school meals. We put 6 billion - The
Government are putting 4 billion. But 11 billion on university
students. Yes, because we didn't feel they should carry that burden.
We put money into early years. That's important. Saving the Sure
Start centres - Was that part of the 6 billion? No, it wasn't. It was
half a billion on top of that, which was to protect Sure Start centres,
we've lost 1200 of them. They've been lost since the coalition came
to power. I've been clear, if we had an extra ?1 it should go into early
years. I think the early years stuff - Just to come back to the point of
tuition fees, we've got a crisis in our country of skilled workers.
We're coming out of Europe and we need skilled workers. If we don't
start investing in young people and giving them those opportunities and
saddling with that debt is not the way to do it. We have to start
tackling that crisis. You broadly speaking accept the analysis of the
Office for Budget Responsibility which last week gave a warning on
fiscal risks basically. It came out with some interesting lines, in many
recent fiscal events giveaways today have been financed by takeaways
tomorrow. The risk is tomorrow never comes. New unfunded giveaways would
take the Government away from fiscal targets. Do you accept that or not?
Our manifesto was funded. We talked about investment in our future and
in our regions, the regional banking structure, about skills that our
regions require. Businesses tell me, when I go round to business Is, they
say to me, Angela, we don't have the skilled workforce that we require.
That's why they go to Europe and other places. One thing in your
manifesto, in the election that was not costed was the promise to
students who have already graduated and paid ?9,000 - Retrospective
debt. Yes, presumably that has gone then?
No, it was an aspiration Jeremy said, that he would want to look at,
but it was never in the manifesto. So don't bank on that happening if
you're one of those people? It is not a case of banking on it. That
?100 billion of debt is what this Government have saddled current
students with. If we were in government we would abolish tuition
fees, and we would look at that as an aspiration. We have not made any
promises on the ?100 billion of debt this Government has created on these
students of today. We have said if we get into power we would abolish
them from that day forth, and we would look at what we could do but
not make uncosted promises. Angela Rayner, thanks ever so much. Thanks.
Well, we've discussed today's politics, but how we got
here is, of course, the result of one of a spectacular
Theresa May wrongly thought she'd win big and called an election.
But in her defence, she was not alone.
The mainstream media thought the same, as did
most of the pollsters, the psephologists, most Tory
and Labour MPs, the bookies, Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
A second election in a row with a result we didn't call right.
You can add Brexit and Trump if you like too.
So the question for the political class is:
Does anybody understand the new rules of our
We are all pondering on this at the moment, none more
than Newsnight's editor, Ian Katz, who has been spending some
time trying to find out what went wrong with the forecasts.
A warning - there is a little bit of late night bad language.
These are disorienting times for those of us
in the business of covering, and practising, politics.
The old indicators don't seem to work any more.
Every election seems to bring another surprise.
It feels a bit like the instruments, the instincts we've used for decades
to navigate the political landscape, are broken or obsolete.
Has politics changed in some profound way many of us
Or have we just been through a series of freak political
For me, the challenge facing the media and political
establishments was brought home rather brutally, and quite
literally, by my 18-year-old daughter the morning
Remind me what you told me the day after the election.
That I'm not going to believe anything you say about politics ever
again because you've got everything wrong.
Fortunately, I wasn't the only one feeling a little sheepish
when Big Ben struck 10pm on June 8th.
DAVID DIMBLEBY: And what we're saying is the Conservatives
are the largest party - note, they don't have an overall
There was a little cry of despair, and my head hit the table.
You can't rule anything out in today's politics.
When you've been wrong about something, it's always a good
idea to go looking for someone who's been, well, wronger.
When it comes to the 2017 election, the highly respected
pollster Marten Boon got it spectacularly wrong.
In its election poll, his company ICM predicted
That's ten points more than they achieved.
We were bamboozled by the turnout, which we predicted wouldn't
And I have to hold up my hands and say that -
you know, I made a call and it was the wrong
call, and the result was a poor poll performance.
Why would anyone take the polls seriously again?
It's a very good question, and we have to move things on.
The problem for me is that the techniques
which didn't work in 2015 - ie we undershot the Labour score,
as historically we've done as pollsters going back almost
And indeed the techniques which the likes of myself applied
in 2017 wouldn't have worked retrospectively in 2015.
If you were in the schedule and you are a politician or a CEO
of a company which had failed in this way, we'd be saying,
I thought about resigning publicly, after 2015 actually -
I openly considered whether it was worthwhile
subjecting my company ICM to the brickbats of misfortune
We in ICM and we in industry do need to think seriously
about whether classical orthodox polling techniques are something
Another person on the long list of those admitting,
through somewhat gritted teeth, that they underestimated Corbyn
Back in April she said Corbyn staying on as party leader would be
And do I have to re-evaluate the way that I am about politics?
After shock election results, news organisations like the BBC tend
to say, "If only we'd listened more carefully to what was
The trouble is, says Jess, what she was hearing was very
What we potentially missed in classic campaigning
and classic polling - I imagine this is how
they do the polling - is the people we're talking to.
And still I'm driving around my constituency thinking,
Like, I want to find those people and know exactly why they went
out and voted Labour, because there are definitely
people who'd never voted before, younger people -
we just weren't talking to the right people.
We always go back and talk to the Labour promise,
You wouldn't waste your time in an election campaign bothering
with people who have no voting record.
Someone who isn't reaching for the sackcloth and ashes just yet
if ITV's political editor Robert Peston.
He may not have seen the election result coming,
but he can claim to have been more upbeat about Corbyn's
The old rules have gone, and we've got to try and make sense
And the truthful answer is that, you know, we are all
Millions and millions of people in rich countries are saying
that the way things worked in the past cannot go on.
Their interests are not being served by the establishment.
Now, that doesn't mean that Jeremy Corbyn definitely
becomes Prime Minister, but it absolutely means
that the old rules are useless in making an assessment
about whether he's going to be Prime Minister.
Where were you when you heard the exit poll for last month's election?
I was at home, watching the election.
Did you shed a little tear like Theresa May?
The man who, perhaps more than any other,
could claim to have divined the rules of modern
His Tory successors David Cameron and George Osborne revered his
political judgment so much they called him the master.
You've obviously reflected quite a lot over the last month
Was there anything about it which made you question what you thought
In the sense that, and not just this election result, but Brexit,
the Trump victory in the US, what's happening all over Europe.
Did you see any of the other two coming, by the way?
For most of my political life, I've been saying, I think this
is the right way to go, and what's more it's the only
I have to say, no, I think it's possible you end up
with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.
So you except that he could possibly win on the platform he is on?
I think you can't rule anything out in today's politics.
But it doesn't stop me believing that if we deliver Brexit
and at the same time are delivering the programme that he has
at the moment, unreconstructed, unchanged, we will be in for a very
I still believe the surest route is through the centre.
But I think you can't say in today's politics,
particularly if you've gone through three things -
the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn doing so well
- and if you're in my position and you haven't got those
things right, you've got to accept it's possible that
But, no, I haven't changed my basic view, and why should I?
But that's a really interesting thing, because the events
of the last years haven't challenged any of your beliefs.
I mean, I find myself looking at some of these things, thinking,
I don't know what I thought I knew about politics.
No, no, you've got to distinguish between two separate things.
One is accepting that there is something going on in politics
that you didn't get and don't fully understand.
We are completely on the same line with that - I agree.
That's why I'm studying it, very hard.
The other thing is to work out what you believe in.
Does the fact that the British people voted for Brexit mean that
No, I think it's a disastrous mistake for the country.
Not everyone is flagellating themselves are getting yet another
A few, like the Cole missed Rod Liddle, are feeling quite smug. --
like the columnist Rod Liddle. The suggested before the election that
it would leave us probably where we are. Don't think because you believe
Jeremy Corbyn is our jackass that everyone else in the country
believes Jeremy Corbyn is a jackass. It starts with not following the
herd, but even he admits his record is not entirely unblemished. I got
Brexit wrong. Much as I voted to leave, I thought that probably in
the end we would vote to remain, and I think most people thought that.
You got your own patch wrong intent as well? Yes. Middlesbrough, South,
because it was marginal ball, and -- marginal and we knew Canterbury was
a safe seat for the Tories, so we got that one wrong. Bloody students.
Ah, yes, those pesky students, assuming they would stay in and
watch Love Island rather than going out to vote is another reason we got
it wrong on June eight. Matt Turner was to run Evolve Politics, one of
the handful of Corbyn supporting website that claims to have their
fingers closer to the national polls than the mainstream media. He has
ventured into the heart of the beast to explain what he could see that we
couldn't. We had our ear to the ground. We give a more accurate
reflection of what people were actually feeling. The same could
probably be said of the new up-and-coming right-wing press
sites. People accused us of being in a bubble when we accurately
predicted a hung parliament. If anything, the rules have changed.
Perhaps two years ago when we started we were living in a Labour
supporting bubbles, but certainly not now. The week before the
election we reached 70 million people on Facebook. Over a million
unique hits to our site. -- 17 million people. If anyone I think it
is the Westminster media who are now in that bubble. I never knew an
election where I saw such a gap between what was in the newspapers
and what people were talking about. I mean, you know I spend way too
much time on social media, but what people were talking about on social
media... The whole debate was going on, on social media, different forms
of people interacting with each other, particularly young people,
that really does not hit the mainstream media at all, so that is
a lesson learned. So how should we navigate our way through this new
political landscape? Acknowledging that we did not see Jeremy Corbyn's
success coming is not the same as saying our coverage was not much
good. In fact, there were lots of indications in Newsnight's reporting
that he was doing much better than the polls suggested. The trouble is
when so many voices are saying the opposite, it is hard not to doubt
the evidence in front of you. For example, getting these enormous
crowd of enthusiastic people coming to listen to him and,, you know, you
would routinely be told, well, of course, that is not a representative
sample. It is stage-managed, you know. There are millions of voters
and these are best a couple of thousand. The enthusiasm he was
generating was real. Right? And yet almost nobody believed it. So we
have just got to get better at having slightly open minds and
saying, I am seeing something quite extraordinary here and it is
different from what we saw in previous elections. It means
something. All those journalists and pollsters left feeling disorientated
after last month's result can comfort themselves with one thing.
Most politicians, including those around Jeremy Corbyn, were just as
surprised by it. In fact, one source told me that until minutes before
the exit poll, senior Labour figures had been telling him they expected
an increased Tory majority of as many as 60 seats. In the two weeks
before the actual day of the poll I was saying Labour were going to do a
hell of a lot better than most people thought, but did I think
there was going to be a hung parliament? No! Because in the way
that I do as a normal journalist, I spoke to senior Tories, spoke to
senior Labour, half an hour before I got, you know, the exit poll. Labour
was expecting a reasonable majority for Theresa May and the Tories were
expecting a reasonable majority for Theresa May, and the big mistake I
made was costing them! Do you think there has been a structural forever
change that we haven't quite got in our heads and? -- the big mistake I
made was trusting them. Or do you think the normal rules will apply
again? I think it is a really difficult question and I am not sure
what the answer is, so what I am saying is sort of... It is a work in
progress in terms of my thinking. Firstly, I think that social media,
its interaction with a polarised fragmented partisan conventional
media is creating a very divided politics, in which populism of left
and right can gain a foothold very easily. That is one change.
Secondly, I think after the financial crisis, there is a real
feeling with people that globalisation just forces things on
and many people feel powerless and left behind, and that has got to be
addressed. So those two things have changed. What in my view has not
changed is that the only things that will actually work, I mean, whether
people vote for them or not by the way is another matter, but only
things that will actually work as a modern policy agenda that will be
from a centre prone position. The fact that a man famously
unencumbered by self-doubt is struggling make sense of the
political landscape is a measure of the uncharted territory we have
found ourselves in. Whether the terrain of politics has changed for
good or whether we've been on an eventful detour, may be the most
pressing political question of our time. Whatever the answer, you'd be
sensible to ignore political predictions for the foreseeable
future. And I, for one, won't be making any.
And you can see a longer version of that interview
Ian did with Tony Blair on the Newsnight Youtube channel.
Three years ago, an American admiral gave a commencement address
to the graduating students of the University
It was ten tips for a better life, picked up from his training
This was part of the first tip - make your bed when you get up
and start the day with a task completed.
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished
It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage
you to do another task, and another, and another.
And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little
If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to do
The speech - which was full of stories of the brutal training
of the Navy SEALS special forces - became something of
So much so, that it is now a book, called Make Your Bed.
And I'm joined by the man who gave that speech Admiral William McRaven,
who is not only a retired admiral but was the man in overall charge
of American special operations forces when they took out
Very good evening to you. Thanks. Osama bin Laden, one of the most
important points in your career, any regrets? No, I think the mission
went as we planned it, with one exception. We lost a helicopter on
the compound. But having said that, you always plan for worst case
scenarios. We had a Plan A, B, C and D. Plan A went askew. We immediately
jumped into Plan B. We got our man. Was there ever any chance that he
would have come back alive, captured as opposed to killed? Absolutely. A
lot of people feel this was a kill-only mission. That was not the
case. The strict rules of engagement said that if he is clearly not a
threat, then you have to capture him, you can't just kill him. But
conversely, I made sure the guys understood if they felt that there
was at all a threat, that they had to make the right decision and they
have to do that in a split second. So you know, you're coming up onto
the third floor, people are moving around, you're on night vision
goggles, a lot of things are happening. They made the right
decision. You give them that license because they have to take the risk.
They protect themselves first. Quite a few Special Forces. After 9/11,
the Americans were accused of lawless, reckless behaviour. There
have been cases here where there have been charge that's they have
killed people, maybe in cold blood, rather than capturing them for
various reasons. I believe the Australians have had some issues as
well. Is there a culture, of course you give these people discretion,
can that turn into a problem where they abuse the power that you have
given them? Well, I think in any wartime scenario you have that
potential for the soldiers on the ground to abuse the flexibility and
latitude you give them. What I used to do, I routinely went out on
missions with my forces, so I understood exactly what they were
doing and so that they knew that I was kind of keeping a watchful eye
over them. I travelled around on a weekly basis to meet with my units.
I kept my ear to the ground. Whenever we thought that there might
be the potential for some sort of abuse, we investigated it quickly to
make sure that there was no bad behaviour. And punished - And held
people responsible, absolutely. Let's speak more about general
things. You were watching that film with Tony Blair in with me, what was
your impression as you watched that, you could probably have run that in
the United States. We had the same situation with our past election as
there were concerns about the polls. Clearly I think most of the polls
suggested that Hillary Clinton would win. Then we have Donald Trump as
the president. But I don't think that there was anything necessity
fairious amongst -- nefarious amongst the pollsters. They weren't
watching the meetings below the surface and got it wrong. Commander
in chief is Donald Trump. America, in fact like the United Kingdom, is
pretty divided. Does that make it harder for the armed forces, do you
think, to serve the country? Not at all. I served for both President
Bush and President Obama and I didn't agree with them on a lot of
things. But you have a responsibility as a man or woman in
uniform to support the Commander in Chief. The Commander in Chief
represents the people of the United States and so, I don't think the
soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have any concern about
supporting this president or any president. I mean, he's been quite
negative about certain things. You know, he mocked McCane's war record.
He picked on the Khan family, whose child was, boy was killed in action.
Right. What is the Army feeling about serving this man? I think the
bigger issue for the soldiers on the ground, in the fox hole, if you
will, are they going to get the resources they need to do their job.
What the difference between President Trump and candidate Trump,
he has said he is going to increase the military budget, so your viewers
may not be aware, for seven years we've been under sequestration. The
president has said he will open that up and give the military the
resources they need. The other thing that gives the soldiers great trust
and confidence is that we have, as the Secretary of Defence, former
marine general Jim Matis, a wonderful officer. Most of the
day-to-day decisions come to the Secretary of Defence. I need very
finally to ask you about why, it is basically a-help book, why so happen
-- self-help book, why so popular? The ten lessons I talked about when
I was trained, are universal lessons. Start the day with a task
is important. Don't quit just because times get tough is
important. Making sure that you understand that we all go through
this. Did t doesn't matter whether you've spent a day in uniform,
doesn't matter if you're a guy or a Goole, they are important -- gal,
they are important lessons. Thank you very much.
Just a quick look at the Times' front page: We were talking about
back biting in the Cabinet. May urged to sack her donkey ministers.
Squabbling Cabinet must unite PM will say. Meanwhile some of the back
biting is continuing. The Guardian leading on the schools there.
Getting a little bit extra money. That is all we have time for today.
I'm back tomorrow. Until then, good night.
Good evening, temperatures will continue to climb during tomorrow.
A look at splits in the Tory cabinet, the transport secretary on HS2 and why so many people failed to predict the election result. There is also an interview with former US Navy admiral William McRaven.
Evan Davis presents.