27/07/2017 Newsnight


27/07/2017

The stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark, as both of the main political parties are split on post-Brexit immigration plans. Plus Venezuela on the brink.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

When is the free movement of people not the free movement of people?

:00:00.:00:09.

This morning the Home Secretary Amber Rudd

:00:10.:00:12.

and her Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis seemed to be talking

:00:13.:00:15.

I'll be speaking to Mr Lewis and, as Labour's got

:00:16.:00:22.

its own Brexit problems, to the Shadow Home

:00:23.:00:24.

Also tonight, we report from Caracas, as Venezuala faces

:00:25.:00:29.

This is a country that has seen many of its youngest people killed,

:00:30.:00:35.

People like these are commemorating the lives lost in this way,

:00:36.:00:42.

This is very much an open wound and the consequences

:00:43.:00:45.

Whose calling who elite, and since when was it a dirty word?

:00:46.:00:56.

You're coming across to a little bit elitist.

:00:57.:00:59.

After Emily's extraordionary encounter

:01:00.:01:01.

with Trump's new man last night, we'll ask what's so bad

:01:02.:01:05.

We are travelling in this torpedo like objects, deep under the streets

:01:06.:01:16.

of London. The Home Secretary, safely

:01:17.:01:22.

on a boat on the west coast of Scotland, broke her year-long

:01:23.:01:27.

silence on Brexit in an article in the FT to announce

:01:28.:01:31.

that there will be not be a cliff edge for EU nationals in March 2019,

:01:32.:01:34.

but rather a transition period, and that she had asked the experts

:01:35.:01:39.

of the Migration Advisory Council to examine the costs and benefits

:01:40.:01:43.

of EU migration and report Her Immigration Minister,

:01:44.:01:45.

Brandon Lewis, then appeared on the Today programme this morning,

:01:46.:01:50.

taking a different, sharper tone. Free movement will end, he said,

:01:51.:01:53.

when we leave the EU. Then she talked to him

:01:54.:01:59.

during the day. I wonder if that

:02:00.:02:00.

was a rather uncomfortable call? Immigration was a major issue in the

:02:01.:02:17.

referendum argument. Absolutely no control over huge numbers of people

:02:18.:02:22.

coming from the EU. Vote Leave and to take back control. Isn't it time

:02:23.:02:26.

we took back control? Take back control. Control the borders and

:02:27.:02:32.

control our immigration policies. That's why the government committed

:02:33.:02:36.

to making an end to free movement a red line in our EU negotiation.

:02:37.:02:41.

Today the Home Secretary asked the Migration Advisory Committee to

:02:42.:02:45.

start work on what comes next. We want a newcomer in forms, evidence

:02:46.:02:50.

-based EU migration policy. We've commissioned the MAC to look into

:02:51.:02:57.

it, an independent group. The Home Secretary set out a vague timetable,

:02:58.:03:01.

sort of, that there will be three phases. The first will end on the

:03:02.:03:10.

specified date, the day we leave the EU, probably March, 2019. EU

:03:11.:03:15.

citizens who are already here, who have five years residency, will be

:03:16.:03:20.

able to apply for a settled status and those with fewer than five years

:03:21.:03:27.

residency will be allowed to stay to clock up those five years. Even the

:03:28.:03:29.

apparently simple thing about what to do with EU citizens here already,

:03:30.:03:36.

and to take the big one, the European Union wants its own court

:03:37.:03:39.

to have some jurisdiction over these people to insure that their rights

:03:40.:03:41.

are respected, something the government doesn't like at all. The

:03:42.:03:46.

second phase is a slightly woolly transition phase, where it seems

:03:47.:03:49.

that EU residents will be able to come here but must register and they

:03:50.:03:55.

may have weaker rights than earlier writers enjoy. The idea here, the

:03:56.:04:01.

Home Office is, is to avoid a cliff edge in the Labour market when

:04:02.:04:06.

Brexit arrives. If we allow EU citizens in during the transition,

:04:07.:04:09.

will we keep the benefits of the Single Market as well? The

:04:10.:04:12.

transition proposal makes absolute sense for us in that you can see the

:04:13.:04:17.

logic in delaying the moment when we leave the Single Market, the customs

:04:18.:04:20.

union, if we do. The problem is that it may not make sense for the EU

:04:21.:04:27.

because they are hearing that we will enter free movement and they

:04:28.:04:33.

may not say that we can do that and keep the economic benefits of the

:04:34.:04:36.

market. And then the final migration system, after the transition process

:04:37.:04:40.

ends, but that could be anything from keeping things as they are for

:04:41.:04:44.

EU citizens or treating EU migrants like other migrants, a more

:04:45.:04:48.

burdensome and more capricious process. For non-EU Mashup gnaws,

:04:49.:04:57.

the current -- non-EU nationals, the UK regime is very prescriptive. If

:04:58.:05:01.

you are coming across as a sponsored worker, you can only come in for a

:05:02.:05:05.

role that requires degree level education. There are very

:05:06.:05:11.

prescriptive salary thresholds. If you're being transferred by an

:05:12.:05:15.

international company, the absolute minimum you can be paid is ?41,500

:05:16.:05:21.

per annum. Enormous government fees that must be paid by the employer

:05:22.:05:27.

and employee. ?16,000 in government fees alone if you want to bring a

:05:28.:05:30.

family of five across for five years. To work out what comes next

:05:31.:05:35.

we must answer questions about who we want coming here. This Slough

:05:36.:05:40.

-based employment agency is worried about prioritise in skilled workers.

:05:41.:05:45.

The majority of the workers that we provide, hundreds on a daily basis,

:05:46.:05:49.

are working in the elementary sector, they are blue-collar

:05:50.:05:53.

workers, and I don't think a points-based system is the right

:05:54.:05:56.

kind of approach to continue to attract that kind of Labour for the

:05:57.:06:00.

UK market. The points-based system may cater for highly skilled

:06:01.:06:05.

migrants but it certainly wouldn't recognise, in my experience, the

:06:06.:06:09.

people with a low skill base that the country so much needs. He isn't

:06:10.:06:15.

the only businessman lobbying. We've had everything from businessmen

:06:16.:06:21.

saying that we need banks talking about contingency planning and

:06:22.:06:23.

possibly moving their headquarters elsewhere. Disputes on this theme

:06:24.:06:30.

are rumbling along in government. Keeping business happy overall,

:06:31.:06:33.

while meeting the 100,000 net migration target may prove

:06:34.:06:37.

impossible. You can't take control of everything.

:06:38.:06:40.

Well, why has the commissioning of the report by the Migration Advisory

:06:41.:06:43.

Committee, accompanied by a six-page letter setting out a three-phase

:06:44.:06:47.

transition period for EU nationals living and working in the UK, caused

:06:48.:06:50.

If the transition lasts for years, and EU workers are merely

:06:51.:06:55.

registered as being in the UK, does that constitute the end

:06:56.:06:58.

of freedom of movement on March 2019 or not?

:06:59.:07:02.

Earlier I spoke to the Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis.

:07:03.:07:07.

I asked why the report wasn't commissioned a year and a month ago,

:07:08.:07:14.

straight after the Brexit vote. We've commissioned today, and the

:07:15.:07:18.

work with the Migration Advisory Committee will start and we will

:07:19.:07:23.

have interim reports as well. Later this year I will publish a white

:07:24.:07:32.

paper. In early 2018 we will bring an immigration bill. The Home

:07:33.:07:36.

Secretary has made it clear that there is a transition period of up

:07:37.:07:40.

to three years after March, 2019, went EU nationals can simply turn up

:07:41.:07:45.

and register to stay. And yet you say that freedom of movement will

:07:46.:07:51.

end in March, 2019. Which is it? Freedom of movement will end when we

:07:52.:07:55.

leave the EU, it is one of the four pillars. We get control back of the

:07:56.:08:00.

immigration system. My understanding is that up to three years

:08:01.:08:04.

afterwards, workers in the European Union can come and simply register,

:08:05.:08:09.

which is not controlled, they can register and in the transition

:08:10.:08:12.

period, up to three years, they can stay. Is that right? We haven't

:08:13.:08:16.

outlined the detail of what will happen. Amber Rudd did. She didn't.

:08:17.:08:23.

We've announced that the Migration Advisory Committee will look at the

:08:24.:08:27.

impact of Labour and the European migration on our Labour market in

:08:28.:08:32.

the UK and that will inform government policy. Government will

:08:33.:08:37.

set policy. The framework will be what the immigration system will be

:08:38.:08:41.

in the immigration bill in 2018. We don't want a cliff edge, we want

:08:42.:08:45.

business to grow and develop. You say that they will be no free

:08:46.:08:48.

movement of European workers after March, 2019 but the Home Secretary

:08:49.:08:52.

says there will be transition arrangements for to three years

:08:53.:08:55.

where European workers can come here and work. Which is it? They are

:08:56.:09:00.

compatible, they go together perfectly well. When we leave the

:09:01.:09:04.

EU, by definition, freedom of movement will end. There will be a

:09:05.:09:12.

system, after March, 2019, which will be our new system and there

:09:13.:09:15.

will be a period of that, a transition system including a number

:09:16.:09:20.

of things, for example EU citizens looking to get settled status in the

:09:21.:09:25.

UK, who have qualified, after that negotiation. There will be a grace

:09:26.:09:28.

period of two years for them to deal with it. We will say to people

:09:29.:09:32.

coming to this country that they will potentially have to register so

:09:33.:09:37.

we know who is here. That isn't controlling them. If this committee

:09:38.:09:43.

identifies a need for workers, say, 200,000 of various skills, would you

:09:44.:09:48.

accept that advice? I won't prejudge what the committee will do, they are

:09:49.:09:51.

independent, they will give interim reports. They will also be looking

:09:52.:09:56.

at what industry needs in terms of the proportion of workers. If the

:09:57.:10:02.

advice is 200,000, are you going to say that isn't acceptable? The

:10:03.:10:06.

decision on policy is a matter for the government and we will outline

:10:07.:10:09.

that in the immigration bill next year. There is no mention of keeping

:10:10.:10:14.

immigration to the tens of thousands, even as an aspiration. It

:10:15.:10:21.

wasn't mentioned and it is a manifesto commitment. It is a

:10:22.:10:23.

commitment and we have stuck to that, we are the only party saying

:10:24.:10:26.

we understand that people in this country want to see us having

:10:27.:10:33.

control of the borders, reducing migration to sustainable numbers and

:10:34.:10:36.

we are determined to deliver that but we want to do it in a way that

:10:37.:10:39.

allows the economy to flourish and we believe you can do both. How do

:10:40.:10:44.

you know you can do both? The HR directors said that 65% of our

:10:45.:10:52.

workers are EU nationals. You need low skilled workers. Can they come?

:10:53.:10:56.

We need to make sure we are developing the skills we need for

:10:57.:10:59.

the future in this country and attracting the brightest from the EU

:11:00.:11:04.

and around the world. It is in the brightest and best necessarily, this

:11:05.:11:06.

isn't to demean people but people want workers in food processing

:11:07.:11:13.

workers, hotels, baristas, they are the kind of low skilled workers that

:11:14.:11:19.

we don't have. Are you going to train people to be low skilled

:11:20.:11:22.

workers? One thing we must ensure we are doing, how we make sure we are

:11:23.:11:33.

getting the best opportunity. We can reduce the net migration down to the

:11:34.:11:36.

tens of thousands, while still making sure we have an economy that

:11:37.:11:40.

is thriving and seeing growth for our country. What kind of economy

:11:41.:11:45.

are we talking about? Do you believe in a centrally planned economy, you

:11:46.:11:52.

know what is going to happen, 3000 BMW workers, 500 hairdressers? You

:11:53.:11:55.

don't know, and you might be short of these people. That's why we have

:11:56.:12:01.

an immigration policy that has the flexibility to deliver for the

:12:02.:12:05.

economy. That's why we're talking to different sectors, as I did to the

:12:06.:12:08.

financial sector today, and we are getting exposed to look at the

:12:09.:12:12.

economy. I'm not going to prejudge what the immigration policy will be.

:12:13.:12:16.

That is a matter for the immigration bill in 2018.

:12:17.:12:18.

Our political editor, Nick Watt is with me.

:12:19.:12:21.

What have you learned? Your first question to him was why didn't you

:12:22.:12:28.

commission it a year ago, it is a tight timetable. I understand Amber

:12:29.:12:32.

Rudd was keen to get going on the project sometime ago the general

:12:33.:12:35.

election. That obviously didn't happen and as I understand it Amber

:12:36.:12:40.

Rudd has found it easier to get approval after the changes that took

:12:41.:12:47.

place in Downing Street after the general election. Preparatory work

:12:48.:12:50.

has been going on in the Home Office on this for some time. It's

:12:51.:12:54.

interesting that Amber Rudd is one of a trio of Cabinet ministers who

:12:55.:12:59.

have been pushing for a more relaxed position on this to avoid what they

:13:00.:13:04.

are calling a cliff edge Brexit. No suppliers that Philip Hammond is in

:13:05.:13:07.

the group but David Davis, the Brexit sev Terry, is in that group

:13:08.:13:13.

-- Brexit secretary. He got into trouble when they went beyond the

:13:14.:13:18.

agreed script, that the UK must attract the best and brightest after

:13:19.:13:21.

Brexit. He said that we need an immigration policy that will avoid

:13:22.:13:25.

shortages in the Labour market. Not happy in number ten when he said

:13:26.:13:26.

that. Thank you for joining us. If the government seems to be

:13:27.:13:29.

at sixes and sevens over Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow

:13:30.:13:32.

Secretary of State for International Trade have put

:13:33.:13:35.

the clear message out on the airwaves and in print over

:13:36.:13:37.

the last few days that Labour backs an end to the Single Market and says

:13:38.:13:40.

no to a Customs Union. But last night the shadow

:13:41.:13:47.

Chancellor John McDonnell seemed to contradict his leader,

:13:48.:13:49.

saying that Labour was not ruling out membership

:13:50.:13:51.

of the Single Market at all. Earlier I met up with

:13:52.:13:53.

the Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbot, and first

:13:54.:13:56.

asked her for her reaction to today's Government

:13:57.:13:58.

announcement on immigration. The government's in a mess

:13:59.:14:03.

about immigration. They were happy to pander

:14:04.:14:04.

to Ukip voters during the general election,

:14:05.:14:09.

but, belatedly now, they have realised the very vital role that EU

:14:10.:14:13.

migrants play in the economy. I'm glad they are going to get

:14:14.:14:18.

some expert advice. I don't understand that they are

:14:19.:14:23.

seeking the expert advice a year after we voted to come out

:14:24.:14:26.

of the European Union. But some facts will be better

:14:27.:14:30.

than urban myths and some light will be better than the heat

:14:31.:14:33.

which is sometimes generated Let's look then at Labour's position

:14:34.:14:35.

because Barry Gardiner, the shadow international trade

:14:36.:14:43.

secretary, wrote in the Guardian that Labour's position is out

:14:44.:14:49.

of the Single Market, out of the Customs Union

:14:50.:14:54.

because you'll be a vassal state and actually what we need

:14:55.:14:56.

is a bespoke agreement. The Labour Party made it very

:14:57.:14:58.

clear in its manifesto, that it wants a Brexit which puts

:14:59.:15:06.

jobs and the economy first and we are not, at this stage,

:15:07.:15:09.

taking any options off the table. But Barry Gardiner seemed

:15:10.:15:15.

to suggest that actually, out of the single market,

:15:16.:15:17.

out of the customs union He may seem to suggest that,

:15:18.:15:19.

but at this point, we are not taking We believe in looking

:15:20.:15:24.

at where we want to go and what we want from these

:15:25.:15:28.

negotiations, were we conducting them, is to have the benefits

:15:29.:15:30.

of being in the single market We are about looking

:15:31.:15:33.

at ends, not structures. So in fact, your view

:15:34.:15:39.

is, we could still be My view is, we shouldn't take

:15:40.:15:42.

options off the table. This is Britain's future,

:15:43.:15:46.

this is our children's future. It would be irresponsible to take

:15:47.:15:48.

options off the table. Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday,

:15:49.:15:56.

the benefits of the single market are dependent on membership

:15:57.:15:58.

of the EU, making it quite clear that he believes we should be out

:15:59.:16:01.

of the single market. I was with Jeremy Corbyn this

:16:02.:16:04.

afternoon and he is quite clear, we are not taking options

:16:05.:16:06.

off the table. There will be no bigger,

:16:07.:16:09.

or more important negotiation in my political lifetime,

:16:10.:16:12.

it would be foolish at this stage But he said, we should be

:16:13.:16:16.

out the single market. He made it perfectly clear,

:16:17.:16:22.

Andrew Marr pressed him on it What we're saying is that

:16:23.:16:25.

when we come out of the single market, freedom of movement

:16:26.:16:29.

will obviously fall. But, we're not taking

:16:30.:16:32.

options off the table. But what Jeremy Corbyn was saying

:16:33.:16:39.

is he wants to stop, what do you call it,

:16:40.:16:42.

unscrupulous agencies Are you sure that Jeremy

:16:43.:16:51.

Corbyn voted to Remain? It's almost trying to undermine

:16:52.:16:53.

all the hard work he did and all of us did, to try and get

:16:54.:16:59.

the right result. But if you have the Labour

:17:00.:17:01.

leader saying he wants to leave the single market,

:17:02.:17:04.

that that is the option. If you've got your shadow

:17:05.:17:06.

international trade secretary saying leave the single market,

:17:07.:17:08.

leave the customs union, that looks like Labour is actually

:17:09.:17:10.

supporting a hard Brexit and there is very little evidence

:17:11.:17:14.

to show that Labour is doing You will see what we're doing

:17:15.:17:17.

to stop a hard Brexit I can assure you that our vision

:17:18.:17:23.

for this country going forward, is very different from the view

:17:24.:17:29.

of Theresa May and Once one of South America's

:17:30.:17:35.

richest countries, Venezuela, now teeters

:17:36.:17:42.

on the brink of civil war. Months of protests against

:17:43.:17:45.

President Maduro's government have Inflation, malnutrition and even

:17:46.:17:48.

starvation are on the rise in a country with some

:17:49.:17:55.

of the world's largest oil reserves. The BBC has spoken to activists

:17:56.:17:58.

who say the government is using torture, and imprisonment

:17:59.:18:00.

without trial, against those who oppose it, a claim

:18:01.:18:04.

the government denies. This weekend huge protests

:18:05.:18:07.

are expected in a showdown ahead of a vote to elect an assembly

:18:08.:18:10.

to change the constitution. Opposition parties say this

:18:11.:18:13.

would create a dictatorship. So who are the people hoping

:18:14.:18:17.

to overthrow the President? Vladimir Hernandez

:18:18.:18:20.

reports from Caracas. Once the richest jewel

:18:21.:18:24.

in Latin America, it's now a country drowning in political

:18:25.:18:31.

and economic chaos. As his people rage, President

:18:32.:18:35.

Nicolas Maduro's grip on power has It's feared a new constitution

:18:36.:18:39.

will establish a dictatorship. The BBC has heard disturbing

:18:40.:18:46.

allegations of state torture I've been to Caracas to meet

:18:47.:18:50.

the resistance to the Maduro regime and to find out what future lies

:18:51.:19:00.

in store for this troubled country. By the time Maduro

:19:01.:19:06.

came to power in 2013, Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution,

:19:07.:19:10.

begun by his charismatic predecessor, Hugo

:19:11.:19:16.

Chavez, was in chaos. Price regulations and the state

:19:17.:19:18.

control of industry When the oil price fell,

:19:19.:19:23.

Venezuela's extravagant The country found itself borrowing

:19:24.:19:27.

heavily and increasingly reliant In the last quarter years

:19:28.:19:30.

the economy has shrunk by a third. The IMF estimates that inflation

:19:31.:19:36.

is running at over 700%. Three out of four Venezuelans lost

:19:37.:19:41.

an average of 18 lbs Corruption helps the regime

:19:42.:19:47.

to stay in power. The army are kept onside

:19:48.:19:53.

by being given charge In March, Maduro's Supreme Court

:19:54.:19:56.

declared the opposition led National Assembly

:19:57.:20:03.

to be illegitimate. Demonstrations and violent clashes

:20:04.:20:07.

with the security forces followed. Over 100 people have

:20:08.:20:11.

died and thousands more In May, president Maduro called

:20:12.:20:13.

for a new constitution in an attempt It's hard to get the government

:20:14.:20:19.

to talk to the media but the minister in charge of food

:20:20.:20:27.

distribution, a key job in today's Venezuela,

:20:28.:20:30.

did agree to talk to me. In the Chavista worldview,

:20:31.:20:36.

there is a familiar bogeyman. The opposition,

:20:37.:20:38.

unsurprisingly, disagree. Former presidential candidate

:20:39.:21:22.

Maria Corina Machado thinks there's far more to the resistance

:21:23.:21:26.

than the violent protest. You don't have to look far to find

:21:27.:21:54.

who she is talking about. Street kids like these appear

:21:55.:21:57.

at every demonstration. Their enthusiasm to take

:21:58.:22:01.

on the security forces, while brave, I saw it for myself

:22:02.:22:05.

and the very next protest. This is one of the most

:22:06.:22:13.

controversial aspects Small pockets of demonstrators

:22:14.:22:15.

at the end of the protest come to places like this,

:22:16.:22:21.

a military base, In there, there are already

:22:22.:22:23.

scuffles, with some people telling them, don't do it,

:22:24.:22:27.

you are valuable, you are a young life, don't lose it, because over

:22:28.:22:30.

there the National Guard is already This residential block is called

:22:31.:22:33.

Los Verdes or the Greens. It's been a focal point

:22:34.:22:43.

of vociferous anti-government Neighbours here set up

:22:44.:22:46.

barricades on a regular basis and clashes with the police

:22:47.:22:52.

and National Guard are frequent. One evening, the government

:22:53.:22:55.

said, enough was enough. When she heard the police

:22:56.:22:58.

begin their assault, one of the residents,

:22:59.:23:22.

Camila, went to hide Even though she told

:23:23.:23:25.

the police she was pregnant, They kept on beating us,

:23:26.:23:33.

even when they took us They told someone, come on,

:23:34.:23:38.

I'm going to kill you, Because this is a dictatorship

:23:39.:23:42.

and they nick whoever they want to, whether you are doing

:23:43.:23:50.

anything or not. Camila was taken to some of Caracas'

:23:51.:23:55.

worst prisons before He was arrested at a demonstration,

:23:56.:23:57.

accused of belonging They grabbed me from behind,

:23:58.:24:08.

there must be 18, 20 cops While they were kicking

:24:09.:24:15.

and hitting me, they put me on a bike and took me

:24:16.:24:20.

to the headquarters Originally designed as a futuristic

:24:21.:24:22.

shopping centre, today the Helicoide is a place whose name makes even

:24:23.:24:33.

the hardened shudder. Held in overcrowded cell

:24:34.:24:38.

for over two months, Simon witnessed prisoners returning

:24:39.:24:41.

from interrogation with tell-tale One got back, you could

:24:42.:24:44.

tell he was frightened. He couldn't stand up

:24:45.:24:52.

straight and you could see And the other guy, you could see his

:24:53.:24:54.

black eye, it was all bruised, so you could see they have

:24:55.:25:00.

given him shociks. so you could see they

:25:01.:25:06.

have given him shocks. Later on, several officers

:25:07.:25:08.

there told us, we are going to give And we're going to grab

:25:09.:25:11.

those two and soak them. But intelligence agency officials

:25:12.:25:15.

ignored a release order and he was only freed a month

:25:16.:25:28.

and a half later. But far from being intimidated,

:25:29.:25:31.

the opposition are Whilst we were filming with former

:25:32.:25:33.

presidential candidate Maria Corina Machado,

:25:34.:25:37.

we witnessed an extraordinary This is the Attorney

:25:38.:25:40.

General of Venezuela. She's now playing key

:25:41.:25:45.

role in this crisis. Many in the opposition,

:25:46.:25:55.

like Maria Corina Machado, believe that behind the bluster,

:25:56.:26:32.

the endgame being played out. The president, though,

:26:33.:26:45.

sees a very different future Whilst their politicians fight it

:26:46.:26:47.

out, the students of UCV, the largest university in Venezuela,

:26:48.:27:06.

continue their own Personally, I don't mind giving

:27:07.:27:08.

up my life out there in the streets, A constitutional assembly

:27:09.:27:13.

is now set to draw up At least, that is

:27:14.:27:24.

the government's plan. It's a future that very few

:27:25.:27:29.

in the country are relishing. And you can see a longer version on

:27:30.:27:44.

our world at 8:30pm on Saturday night and 9:30pm on Sunday night and

:27:45.:27:46.

also on the iPlayer. Within the past few hours

:27:47.:27:48.

the government in Venezuela has banned all protests against this

:27:49.:27:51.

Sunday's controversial vote on an assembly to draw up

:27:52.:27:53.

a new constitution... From tomorrow anyone taking part

:27:54.:27:55.

in a rally or march could be jailed I'm joined live now by the Times

:27:56.:27:58.

correspondent in Carracas, As a result of that, what is

:27:59.:28:16.

happening on the streets of Caracas? We have had reaction from our

:28:17.:28:21.

position that they will be banning hard-core for five days. The

:28:22.:28:26.

opposition says it plans on Friday in Venezuela to have a massive march

:28:27.:28:31.

from all over the country, censoring on Caracas, to try and stop what it

:28:32.:28:35.

says is the last chance it has before there is a complete political

:28:36.:28:40.

reset if this constituent assembly happens on Sunday. Meanwhile, this

:28:41.:28:45.

is the second day of a national strike called by the opposition

:28:46.:28:49.

against the government. It has been pretty effective in Caracas, most

:28:50.:28:55.

shops are shut, very few cars on the streets. In some ways, a silent

:28:56.:28:59.

protest, trying to contradict what the government is saying. The

:29:00.:29:03.

government says it is still leading a popular revolution and the people

:29:04.:29:07.

are behind it and if the people want to change the constitution, the

:29:08.:29:12.

opposition, by holding this national strike, they are saying, look at

:29:13.:29:17.

there, the people are not with you. Thank you very much.

:29:18.:29:20.

If there's one word which has become nuclear charged in the last decade,

:29:21.:29:23.

and has dominated the political discourse it is the word "elite".

:29:24.:29:26.

It's an insult that has been spat out Westminster politicians,

:29:27.:29:28.

flung at practically everyone in Washington, think Trump's battle

:29:29.:29:30.

cry "drain the Swamp - and swept away the political

:29:31.:29:33.

establishment in France.- it has thrown up Donald Trump

:29:34.:29:38.

and Emmanuel Macron, and almost did for Theresa May,

:29:39.:29:40.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of Elite is "a select group

:29:41.:29:46.

that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest

:29:47.:29:49.

And last night on Newsnight, this is what happened Emily asked

:29:50.:29:52.

the new White House director Communications Antony Scaramucci -

:29:53.:29:55.

what part of Donald Trump was not elite?

:29:56.:29:59.

What's happening right now, which I love, is that the elites

:30:00.:30:02.

and the media establishment that want to hit the president

:30:03.:30:04.

on Russia everyday, they recognise there is nothing

:30:05.:30:06.

What part of Donald Trump is not elite?

:30:07.:30:09.

The business side or the politics side, or the inheritance side?

:30:10.:30:12.

What part of Donald Trump, many people in the UK

:30:13.:30:14.

There's so many things about the president.

:30:15.:30:17.

He's a celebrity, he's a billionaire.

:30:18.:30:18.

How about the cheeseburgers, how about the pizza that we eat.

:30:19.:30:21.

Everyone eats cheeseburgers and pizza, what are you talking about?

:30:22.:30:23.

You are coming across a little bit elitist,

:30:24.:30:26.

so let me just say something to you, OK.

:30:27.:30:28.

I grew up in a middle-class family, OK.

:30:29.:30:30.

We had virtually a tight budget and little to no money.

:30:31.:30:32.

I spent 30 years of my life trying to get into the global

:30:33.:30:36.

elites so I could stand here and serve the president.

:30:37.:30:38.

Do you know why I missed the movement?

:30:39.:30:41.

As I tunnelled myself into elites, we had this circular conversation

:30:42.:30:44.

about what was going on, which was completely wrong.

:30:45.:30:47.

Donald Trump is not elite then, he's not an elite?

:30:48.:30:49.

He knows how to operate in an elitist world and he has

:30:50.:30:54.

unbelievable empathy for the common struggle that's going

:30:55.:30:57.

on with the middle-class people and the lower middle-class people.

:30:58.:31:05.

So, eating cheeseburgers and pizza is the latest

:31:06.:31:08.

I'm joined by the former executive editor of The Times,

:31:09.:31:16.

Roger Alton, and Dr Faiza Shahenn, the Director of the Centre

:31:17.:31:19.

Good evening to you both. Roger, is membership of an elite a useful

:31:20.:31:33.

distinction or simply a kind of insult? Trump uses it as an

:31:34.:31:35.

all-purpose swearword about the media because he has a problem with

:31:36.:31:42.

the media and of course, vice versa, I sort of sympathise because the

:31:43.:31:45.

media spends all its time attacking him, and he them, so he uses an

:31:46.:31:48.

all-purpose swearword to say you are an elite. But there is a serious

:31:49.:31:55.

issue about a bunch of people who set themselves up, I think that's

:31:56.:32:00.

what the Sophy was referring to, sometimes also overhear, setting

:32:01.:32:05.

themselves up as the custodians of the opinions that matter and if you

:32:06.:32:11.

don't share their views on Europe, then you are out of the window --

:32:12.:32:16.

that's what the Mooch was referring to. If you don't share those

:32:17.:32:20.

opinions, then you are part of the elite. Is that a problem? You aren't

:32:21.:32:26.

necessarily saying that elites are a problem? I think the self appointed

:32:27.:32:32.

elite is a problem. I'm a fan of excellence, a sporting team,

:32:33.:32:35.

England, excellent, that is simple to understand. Is there a catch all

:32:36.:32:42.

that elites, cultural, political, the law, naturally look after

:32:43.:32:49.

themselves, it is an attitude, but is it a negative thing? I agree that

:32:50.:32:55.

what we saw there, the use of the term elite to shut down

:32:56.:32:58.

conversation, that the word is being used to manipulate people. But there

:32:59.:33:04.

is real anger behind that. Why have Trump and others used the word?

:33:05.:33:08.

Because people are getting rightly angry about the small group of

:33:09.:33:12.

people who have huge power and influence in our society, the

:33:13.:33:16.

judiciary, the media, whether it is the way in which they are gaming the

:33:17.:33:20.

system to make sure they day at the top. It is quite a dirty reality. Is

:33:21.:33:28.

that a modern version of it? Perhaps in the past, elites have been

:33:29.:33:33.

incredibly influential and powerful, for instance I don't think without

:33:34.:33:39.

an elite you wouldn't have had such a big women's suffrage movement.

:33:40.:33:43.

There are many examples of working-class struggles. It was a

:33:44.:33:49.

mixed struggle actually. There are a number of things. Change doesn't

:33:50.:33:52.

always come from the elite, there were many examples. The weekends we

:33:53.:33:58.

have didn't come from the elite, it is making the elite change. What we

:33:59.:34:02.

are seeing now politically is a movement of people who are very

:34:03.:34:09.

angry, who have very little trust. The Grenfell survivors, when they

:34:10.:34:13.

hear about the town leader not having been to a tower block, they

:34:14.:34:17.

feel that they do not share their struggle. Isn't that a cheap jibe in

:34:18.:34:22.

a way? You can say that it is a cheap jibe that works, from somebody

:34:23.:34:28.

like Trump, but what constitutes an elite? Of course he is an elite but

:34:29.:34:32.

he has managed to corral the word to himself. He has a connection, his

:34:33.:34:40.

support has barely moved, a lot of people still like him and they don't

:34:41.:34:45.

like that kind of liberal American press which thinks it can run

:34:46.:34:49.

everything and to a certain extent in this country as well. It says

:34:50.:34:55.

what of ridiculous word, it is good to have excellence, but not to have

:34:56.:35:00.

self appointed elites. Why is having an elite synonymous with being

:35:01.:35:04.

excellent? I don't understand. We make that confusion. They are there

:35:05.:35:09.

by lottery of birth. Bayard. Presumably you could have an elite

:35:10.:35:16.

that forces change through its acumen of knowledge and excellence.

:35:17.:35:26.

-- they aren't. What happens is that, the elite are not

:35:27.:35:29.

necessarily... If we think about what the elite means, they generally

:35:30.:35:33.

come from wealth, went to private school, went to elite is the tuition

:35:34.:35:37.

is, so they may have had a privileged life. -- elite

:35:38.:35:46.

universities. When they are writing our policies, our laws, writing our

:35:47.:35:49.

screenplays, they are really skewing our idea, across the board, but I

:35:50.:35:58.

really skewing... Screenplays? Something we see in many areas,

:35:59.:36:02.

dominated by certain people from certain backgrounds. Is it

:36:03.:36:06.

necessarily harmful to have elites? It isn't, you need elites, you don't

:36:07.:36:10.

want self appointed elites, you need people who are excellent. You want

:36:11.:36:15.

people who are very good running things. I think we are defining

:36:16.:36:18.

elites differently. Thank you for joining us.

:36:19.:36:19.

How was your journey home this evening?

:36:20.:36:20.

Did you perhaps fantasise about a private train,

:36:21.:36:22.

travelling effortlessly, on time, and invisible to sweating,

:36:23.:36:25.

cursing commuters thronging the streets a few feet from you?

:36:26.:36:28.

The Mail Rail was an underground railway which moved letters

:36:29.:36:34.

and parcels across London for 80 years, avoiding the crowded

:36:35.:36:37.

One of London's hidden wonders, it's been mothballed

:36:38.:36:40.

for more than a decade, but it's being brought

:36:41.:36:42.

back to life as visitor attraction from September.

:36:43.:36:47.

We have this exclusive preview from Stephen Smith, which contains

:36:48.:36:49.

It's one of London's best kept secrets.

:36:50.:37:04.

An underground railway that almost nobody has travelled on, until now.

:37:05.:37:10.

For almost 80 years, trains ran clear across the capital,

:37:11.:37:13.

six miles from east to west, with never a problem

:37:14.:37:16.

This is the forgotten labyrinth of the mail rail.

:37:17.:37:24.

It's a wonderfully intimate experience.

:37:25.:37:28.

Possibly a bit cramped for some, but we are travelling in this kind

:37:29.:37:32.

of torpedo-like object deep under the streets of London.

:37:33.:37:36.

Unbeknownst to the thousands of commuters up above.

:37:37.:37:42.

Riding alongside Newsnight on this maiden-ish voyage

:37:43.:37:46.

30 years clocked up on the mail rail, but this is his first

:37:47.:37:52.

This is a luxury, riding around in this train, it's smooth,

:37:53.:38:00.

and it's much more roomy than the wagon I was

:38:01.:38:02.

That was built in 1927 and you feel every lump and bump

:38:03.:38:08.

I know there's a sort of graveyard for old trains down here,

:38:09.:38:16.

do you see a lot of ghosts as you go around yourself, your

:38:17.:38:19.

Here is loaded with echoes for me, the memories of people I've known

:38:20.:38:24.

working here and every event linked to a place somewhere on the railway.

:38:25.:38:29.

ARCHIVE: Once aboard, parcels and letters travel over

:38:30.:38:31.

Miniature engines, running on a two foot track give the whole thing

:38:32.:38:38.

the Alice in Wonderland fascination of model trains and

:38:39.:38:41.

It was 1927 when the first wagons of letters and parcels rolled

:38:42.:38:47.

through the narrow tunnels of the Post Office railway,

:38:48.:38:49.

The idea was to keep the all-important mail free

:38:50.:38:54.

The Mail Rail employed hundreds of staff and moved

:38:55.:38:58.

They made their own entertainment in this twilight world,

:38:59.:39:09.

They worked out they'd have enough time for a throw each,

:39:10.:39:15.

And they couldn't leave their station, they couldn't walk off,

:39:16.:39:19.

so while they were standing there they had a game of darts.

:39:20.:39:24.

But according to Royal Mail, the railway became more expensive

:39:25.:39:28.

than moving post by road, so in 2003, the last postie turned

:39:29.:39:31.

I remember 2011, the first time I got to come down to the Mail Rail,

:39:32.:39:44.

to see whether there was the chance of opening it up.

:39:45.:39:47.

It was much like the Mary Celeste situation, the last rota

:39:48.:39:50.

from the last week of operation was still on the notice board.

:39:51.:39:53.

There was sort of unfinished cups of coffee, bits of chocolate bars,

:39:54.:39:57.

there were people's belongings left in the lockers, their

:39:58.:39:59.

And that really was part of the appeal.

:40:00.:40:04.

And when we have brought our friends and those who might come to ride

:40:05.:40:08.

here in the intervening years, they've always said, try and leave

:40:09.:40:10.

The platform you are about to see looks much as it did on the day

:40:11.:40:16.

But now the railway is reopening as a visitor attraction with two

:40:17.:40:23.

battery-powered trains specially made in the UK, getting

:40:24.:40:27.

He's writing to the famous poet WH Auden at the GPO film unit.

:40:28.:40:41.

This is the night mail crossing the border, bringing the cheque

:40:42.:40:44.

Ah, yes, WH Auden and his celebrated poem to the post, the night mail.

:40:45.:40:55.

What is it about railways and the postal service that we seem

:40:56.:40:58.

It is a perfect storm for nerds, a railway,

:40:59.:41:04.

But for the rest of us, assuming we're not nerds,

:41:05.:41:14.

which is a big assumption, can enjoy it too, perhaps?

:41:15.:41:17.

Also because it looks like the log flume at Blackpool Pleasure Beach,

:41:18.:41:20.

presumably it goes quite fast, so you've got the basic

:41:21.:41:23.

You can feel when it's going down or up, which is

:41:24.:41:29.

And no disrespect, I like the unvarnished quality of it.

:41:30.:41:35.

You can see the stalagtites, or is it stalagmites,

:41:36.:41:37.

You can see the cladding, the rings that are put

:41:38.:41:42.

We are occasionally asked whether, like so many London Underground

:41:43.:41:50.

terminals, you might find a mouse or a rat down here.

:41:51.:41:53.

Because there were no people riding the trains and because there were no

:41:54.:41:56.

passengers on the platforms, there was no food for such things,

:41:57.:41:59.

so unusually for underground London, it was a relatively rodent free

:42:00.:42:03.

We've left Stephen Smith down there! The front page of The Times

:42:04.:42:23.

tomorrow, the Irish want a sea border with the UK after Brexit,

:42:24.:42:28.

Theresa May suffering a new setback in the negotiations of the Dublin

:42:29.:42:33.

have said that the proposed Irish border was unworkable. It will

:42:34.:42:36.

antagonise the DUP because it will object to any implication that

:42:37.:42:40.

Northern Ireland should not be treated as part of the UK.

:42:41.:42:42.

Before we go, 50 years ago today, the law in England

:42:43.:42:44.

and Wales changed - homosexuality was no longer illegal.

:42:45.:42:48.

One of those who spoke in favour of the law was the Earl of Arran.

:42:49.:42:55.

Here's an excerpt of his speech in 1966 -

:42:56.:42:57.

voiced for Radio 4 by the actor Alan Cumming -

:42:58.:42:59.

Because of the bill now to be enacted, perhaps a million human

:43:00.:43:06.

beings will be able to live in greater peace.

:43:07.:43:08.

I find this an awesome and marvellous thing.

:43:09.:43:12.

The late Oscar Wilde, on his release from Reading jail,

:43:13.:43:16.

wrote to a friend, "Yes, we shall win in the end but the road

:43:17.:43:20.

will be long and red with monstrous martyrdoms."

:43:21.:43:24.

My Lords, Mr Wilde was right, the road has been long

:43:25.:43:27.

and the martyrdoms many, monstrous and bloody.

:43:28.:43:32.

Today, please God, sees the end of that road.

:43:33.:43:39.

It isn't really the kind of whether we'd be hoping for at this time of

:43:40.:43:45.

year but in

:43:46.:43:46.

The stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark, as both of the main political parties are split on post-Brexit immigration plans. Plus Venezuela on the brink, the secret mail railway under London, and what is elitism?


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