22/01/2018 Newsnight


22/01/2018

With Evan Davis. Should we plan for war with terrorists or Russia? Plus UKIP in chaos, meet the PM's top Brexit advisor and should African women stop kneeling in greeting?


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 22/01/2018. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

This programme contains scenes

of Repetitive Flashing Images.

0:00:030:00:08

For three decades, we've persuaded

ourselves we don't need

0:00:080:00:10

to fight other countries -

that war had changed,

0:00:100:00:12

it was all about insurgents.

0:00:120:00:14

Well, is it time

to change our minds?

0:00:140:00:17

Russia, I think, could initiate

hostilities sooner than we expect.

0:00:170:00:21

And a lot earlier than we would

in similar circumstances.

0:00:210:00:24

I don't think it will start

with little green men.

0:00:240:00:27

It will start with

something we don't expect.

0:00:270:00:29

Britain is set to have a new

Strategic Defence Review this year.

0:00:290:00:32

The Generals are making

the case for more money.

0:00:320:00:35

So tonight, we'll take a good look

at what our defence is for.

0:00:350:00:39

And we'll hear a view

from the US, too.

0:00:390:00:41

What do they think our

money should be buying?

0:00:410:00:44

Also tonight: They say attack

is the best form of defence,

0:00:440:00:47

which explains why the Ukip leader

is out to fight his

0:00:470:00:50

rebellious colleagues.

0:00:500:00:52

I shall respect the next steps

in the constitutional process,

0:00:520:00:55

and will therefore not be resigning

as party leader.

0:00:550:00:59

We tried the men in grey suits,

perhaps it's now time

0:00:590:01:02

for the men in white coats.

0:01:020:01:04

I don't know, he seems to me to have

lost all touch with reality.

0:01:040:01:08

We'll ask Ukip old-timer Suzanne

Evans whether the party is now over.

0:01:080:01:14

And, forget David Davis -

this is the man running Brexit

0:01:140:01:16

for Britain: Civil servant Olly

Robbins.

0:01:160:01:18

But Brexiteers worry that Whitehall

are not all with the programme.

0:01:180:01:23

The officials will do their best

to frustrate this process,

0:01:230:01:28

because as I say, it goes

against the grain so fundamentally.

0:01:280:01:34

And, should the tradition of African

women kneeling be scrapped?

0:01:340:01:39

Is it part of a proud heritage,

or an obstacle to social progress?

0:01:390:01:47

Hello.

0:01:520:01:53

What is our defence budget for?

0:01:530:01:55

It's about 2% of our national

income, going up to about £40

0:01:550:01:58

billion a year by the end

of the decade.

0:01:580:02:01

Unfortunately, £40 billion doesn't

buy you as much is it used to.

0:02:010:02:04

And the Head of the Army,

General Sir Nick Carter,

0:02:040:02:06

set out the arguments for spending

more today - mostly by reference

0:02:060:02:09

to the threat of a stronger Russia.

0:02:090:02:11

Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael

Fallon said tonight we should aim

0:02:110:02:14

to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence.

0:02:140:02:16

But, you can't decide

what the right level of spending

0:02:160:02:18

is until you know what it's for.

0:02:180:02:20

You have to give the military a big

budget or narrow priorities -

0:02:200:02:23

you can't expect them to do

everything with nothing.

0:02:230:02:25

So, is fighting Russia what we think

British defence is about these days?

0:02:250:02:28

Or any country?

0:02:280:02:29

Britain is set to have a major

review of priorities this year -

0:02:290:02:32

which actually explains why

Sir Nick Carter made his pitch

0:02:320:02:35

today, so we'll look at some

of the central questions.

0:02:350:02:37

First, here's our Defence

Editor, Mark Urban.

0:02:370:02:42

So, the defence review that dare not

speak its name is dead,

0:02:420:02:50

long live the Strategic Defence

and Security Review.

0:02:520:02:54

It's not a pretty story

from the Government's point of view.

0:02:540:02:57

Faced with higher costs for buying

equipment from abroad

0:02:570:03:02

and an overset programme,

the Cabinet Office started looking

0:03:020:03:04

for cuts late last summer.

0:03:040:03:05

People in Whitehall told me it

couldn't be called a review

0:03:050:03:09

because the then Defence Secretary,

Michael Fallon, had conducted one

0:03:090:03:12

of those in 2015 and didn't

like the optics of having to do one

0:03:120:03:16

again so soon.

0:03:160:03:17

But it went deeper than that.

0:03:170:03:22

As the Cabinet Office

conducted its capability refresh,

0:03:220:03:26

as some people called it,

it started to look at possible deep

0:03:260:03:28

cuts to Britain's Armed Forces.

0:03:280:03:30

Details then leaked,

and MPs became outraged.

0:03:300:03:34

Newsnight's learned

that the Royal Navy would lose its

0:03:340:03:40

ability to assault

enemy-held beaches.

0:03:400:03:42

Critically, when Newsnight broke

the news that there were plans

0:03:420:03:46

to get rid of the amphibious landing

fleet, it touched off angry scenes

0:03:460:03:49

in Parliament.

0:03:490:03:50

Why should thousands of soldiers,

sailors and airmen be

0:03:500:03:56

lost, elite units be merged,

or aircraft, frigates and vital

0:03:560:04:02

amphibious vessels be scrapped long

before their out of service

0:04:020:04:04

dates?

0:04:040:04:05

When Michael Fallon resigned

in November, his successor, Gavin

0:04:050:04:08

Williamson, got the Prime Minister's

backing to stop the original

0:04:080:04:10

cost-cutting exercise.

0:04:100:04:13

Now we can expect a full

Strategic Defence and

0:04:130:04:19

Security Review in

the spring and summer.

0:04:190:04:24

And today, the Army Chief

0:04:240:04:26

set the stage, warning that Britain

must do more to counter Russia's

0:04:260:04:33

enhanced military capabilities, and

0:04:330:04:34

willingness to use them.

0:04:340:04:35

I believe our ability

to pre-empt or respond

0:04:350:04:37

to these threats will be eroded

if we don't match up to them now.

0:04:370:04:40

They represent a clear

and present danger.

0:04:400:04:43

Critical to the exercise now is not

just an attempt to balance

0:04:430:04:51

the books, but to define the purpose

of the British Armed Forces

0:04:520:04:55

post-Brexit.

0:04:550:04:56

What hard power role does global

Britain expects to play,

0:04:560:04:58

and how much will that cost?

0:04:580:05:04

If Britain keeps on cutting.

0:05:040:05:07

An army of 60,000 was mooted

in the last exercise.

0:05:070:05:15

But what role can it

really play in helping

0:05:180:05:20

its friends, or making

any

0:05:200:05:22

realistic preparations for war

against another state?

0:05:220:05:23

And Mark Urban is with me now.

0:05:230:05:25

Ye used the word cutting, Mark. An

existing policy, is spending going

0:05:250:05:31

up?

Cutting of capability is what

was in visit in this exercise in the

0:05:310:05:36

last few months. The Gus MacPherson,

we are spending more and more. --

0:05:360:05:41

the Government says. It is more and

more each year, a guarantee to spend

0:05:410:05:45

more of the information on

equipment. It's not enough, though.

0:05:450:05:51

Critically, the appreciation of

sterling on big programmes like the

0:05:510:05:55

F-35 fighter, Trident replacement,

has bitten in far more deeply than

0:05:550:05:59

those rises can cope with. The

forces have done what they've been

0:05:590:06:03

doing constantly since the war,

they've overstepped the programme.

0:06:030:06:07

They've put into many things, they

cannot afford all of their

0:06:070:06:10

ambitions.

We are going to have the

Strategic Defence Review this year.

0:06:100:06:16

Let's suppose we are going to do one

now in our guests with what the

0:06:160:06:20

priorities are. What is the question

and white with you the most critical

0:06:200:06:24

question is, the average member of

the public

thinks the Armed Forces

0:06:240:06:28

are here to fight other countries if

that really has to happen. But the

0:06:280:06:32

truth is, since the end of the Cold

War, Britain simply doesn't have

0:06:320:06:36

that ability any more. And you can

park Russia and China. I mean, they

0:06:360:06:42

really mega- once, for a bit. Any

country or non-state actor, and

0:06:420:06:46

there are some, that can attack

warships with fast at supersonic and

0:06:460:06:51

shipping missiles, people with

submarines, that could be Iran,

0:06:510:06:56

North Korea, people with

sophisticated air defence networks,

0:06:560:06:59

all of these countries have

capabilities that the UK, really

0:06:590:07:05

either match, resist or take on.

Even the air defences of a country

0:07:050:07:09

like Syria were causing

consternation in the MoD when they

0:07:090:07:13

were asked seriously to look at 2013

at whether or not the UK could do

0:07:130:07:18

strikes. It is really about any

other country with sophisticated

0:07:180:07:24

weapons, fast jets, missiles,

submarines, and, critically, once it

0:07:240:07:28

starts, the stocks of things like

torpedoes, anti-aircraft missiles,

0:07:280:07:33

artillery shells, are so low that

Britain couldn't fight literally for

0:07:330:07:36

more than a day or two.

Mark, that's

a good question, thank you very

0:07:360:07:41

much. Let's raise that.

0:07:410:07:43

Joining me now is Conservative MP

and former British Army

0:07:430:07:45

Captain Johnny Mercer.

0:07:450:07:49

I'm also joined

by military historian

0:07:490:07:51

and commentator Max Hastings.

0:07:510:07:52

And Kishwer Falkner,

Liberal Democrat peer and former

0:07:520:07:54

National Security Strategy Committee

member.

0:07:540:07:58

Former Assistant US Secretary

of Defense, Graham Allison -

0:07:580:08:00

he's now Douglas Dillon Professor

of Government at the

0:08:000:08:02

Harvard Kennedy School.

0:08:020:08:03

He joins us from the US.

0:08:030:08:07

I will start with you if I may,

Graham Allison, thank you for

0:08:070:08:11

joining us. I want an American

perspective on a medium power,

0:08:110:08:16

medium-sized power, just off Europe,

across the Atlantic, watch it we be

0:08:160:08:21

spending on defence and what do you

think of our role is being so what

0:08:210:08:25

should we be spending?

It is a tough

set of questions and I know people

0:08:250:08:31

will struggle with it. But I think

Britain historically has played a

0:08:310:08:36

crucial role of leadership in

Europe. Britain will not be able to

0:08:360:08:39

defend its off against Russia. But

Britain as part of an alliance can

0:08:390:08:43

hope to create a stable Europe,

which in fact we've actually done

0:08:430:08:48

and seen in the period since World

War II, including after the Cold

0:08:480:08:52

War. So, Britain's military forces

are most of all about getting it a

0:08:520:08:56

seat at the table and a voice in

trying to shape sensible policy in

0:08:560:09:01

Europe.

0:09:010:09:09

Europe. And indeed in the

relationship with the US.

That's a

0:09:090:09:11

really clear answer. Let me put this

to you, I think we get a seat at the

0:09:110:09:14

table if we spent 2% of our national

income on defence, that is the

0:09:140:09:17

native target. Most other Nato

countries are not even spending

0:09:170:09:19

that. Should that be our aspiration,

or should we go further to attain

0:09:190:09:25

that medium power role for

ourselves?

I believe the 2% is

0:09:250:09:31

important symbolically, because

persuading Americans that we should

0:09:310:09:34

spend more of our taxpayers' money

to defend Europe than Europeans do

0:09:340:09:40

is not a long-term winning

proposition. Trump expresses the

0:09:400:09:45

scepticism, it has a widespread view

in the US. I don't agree with that,

0:09:450:09:51

but certainly the majority would do

so. I think that having, that

0:09:510:09:56

keeping the US significantly in the

game and having Europeans play their

0:09:560:10:00

part is very important. Secondly,

more important than how much money

0:10:000:10:04

is spent, I think it's crucial to

meet the 2% criteria, but more

0:10:040:10:09

important is what to buy. And I

think unfortunately, both in the

0:10:090:10:14

American defence budget and in the

British defence budget, we are way

0:10:140:10:18

too far in the legacy systems that

are hugely expensive, and too short

0:10:180:10:24

on new technologies that could make

a more significant difference.

0:10:240:10:27

That's the place where I would drill

down if I were part of the British

0:10:270:10:31

strategic review.

Graham Allison,

thank you so much, that's a really

0:10:310:10:35

clear start to this does the

Goschen. Let me turn to my other

0:10:350:10:39

guests. Max Hastings, I want you to

paint for me a scenario that we

0:10:390:10:43

couldn't deal with now but you think

we should be able to deal with,

0:10:430:10:45

because you

0:10:450:10:54

because you think we should be

spending more.

The Russians our

0:10:540:10:56

overtime trying to push the

frontiers, especially in the Baltic

0:10:560:10:58

states. We have a small contingent

in the Baltic states up in the

0:10:580:11:01

moment. What Nick Carter was saying,

this is intended as a wake-up call.

0:11:010:11:04

In recent years, we have been

looking overwhelmingly at a

0:11:040:11:05

terrorist threat to Britain and we

have been worrying most about what

0:11:050:11:08

terrorists can do on the streets.

Nick Carter says we are living in a

0:11:080:11:12

new World...

It is an old world,

isn't it?!

Not quite. The old idea

0:11:120:11:18

that you have a state of peace and a

state of war is off the agenda. What

0:11:180:11:23

Graham Allison among other people

have written a very vivid account of

0:11:230:11:30

in the last year or two is that we

have moved into a new world in which

0:11:300:11:34

we are never going to have,

hopefully, we may not have a big war

0:11:340:11:37

but we are very unlikely to have

absolute peace. And we are going to

0:11:370:11:39

be having to cope with all sorts of

threats of different levels.

0:11:390:11:43

Electronic threats, cyber threats,

and also perhaps low-level military

0:11:430:11:47

threats in places like the Baltic

states. Nick Carter said today, you

0:11:470:11:51

said one platoon of boots on the

ground is worth more than a squadron

0:11:510:11:54

of aircraft. At the moment, last

summer, an American general said to

0:11:540:11:59

me, very frankly and bluntly, he

said the British Armed Forces have

0:11:590:12:04

now become so small that they are

not taken seriously by either your

0:12:040:12:07

friends or your enemies. And I said,

I hope the next time that you see

0:12:070:12:11

our Prime Minister, you say that to

her. Americans are often too polite

0:12:110:12:14

to us, they don't tell us what they

are really thinking.

That's the

0:12:140:12:20

scenario, a Russian incursion into

Estonia or something like that where

0:12:200:12:25

we want to be players. Do you agree

we should be able to make a real

0:12:250:12:28

contribution on an occasion like

that was not absolutely. We are

0:12:280:12:31

committed to it through Nato

membership

apart from anything else.

0:12:310:12:35

But it also comes back to a

situation where we can't... The

0:12:350:12:39

public have got to use the wars of

choice. Was in far-away places where

0:12:390:12:44

we have informed debate, we have

debates in Parliament and then we

0:12:440:12:47

decide whether we want to intervene

or not. Wrongly, in my opinion, in

0:12:470:12:52

2013 on Syria, when we should have

intervened. But I don't think the

0:12:520:12:56

public understands that there is

such a thing as a potential European

0:12:560:13:01

theatre. And there is such a thing

as state to state warfare in a way

0:13:010:13:06

that they haven't seen in new

generations.

Quickly, Johnny Mercer,

0:13:060:13:11

do you agree that we need to be able

to deal with that kind of situation.

0:13:110:13:15

I just want to see if you all agree?

The only thing that should define

0:13:150:13:19

the size and strength of the Armed

Forces is the Afri Sarries we are

0:13:190:13:23

against. You could talk about 2%...

You could say, Estonia, we don't

0:13:230:13:28

have to care about it?

That is a

line on the ground, it's the whole

0:13:280:13:33

process of Russian aggression and

what they have done in Ukraine and

0:13:330:13:36

how it has

0:13:360:13:44

how it has manifested itself in

different types of what.

What I want

0:13:440:13:46

to get is how much extra we have to

spend in order to deliver that. We

0:13:460:13:49

are at 2% of GDP. 2.5%, 3%, what is

it?

The chap from America had it

0:13:490:13:52

spot on. That is a signal of intent.

The real question is, what is the

0:13:520:13:56

future of the British Armed Forces?

What do we want from them, what is

0:13:560:14:00

the threat we are up against?

If we

want to go into Estonia and make a

0:14:000:14:05

contribution...

It should be

welcomed that Nick Carter has come

0:14:050:14:08

forward with a light in point of

view that the character of conflict

0:14:080:14:10

has changed, we have to have a

national discussion, because

0:14:100:14:15

taxpayers pay for it ultimately.

I

will come back to you. What do you

0:14:150:14:19

think we need extra to spend?

0:14:190:14:24

The right way round to look at this

is not to say, should it be 1%, 2%,

0:14:240:14:30

we should be saying what can we do

in the New World. We have had

0:14:300:14:35

defence review after defence review,

and they are always a joke. We have

0:14:350:14:39

so many ring fenced areas. I believe

that the Trident nuclear deterrent

0:14:390:14:43

is no longer relevant to the

particular situation we are in. But

0:14:430:14:49

no British political party is

willing to talk about that. Nobody

0:14:490:14:53

is willing to talk about

0:14:530:15:00

is willing to talk about scrapping

the Gurkhas. Until we have a

0:15:000:15:02

realistic defence review in which we

look realistically at the threats

0:15:020:15:04

out there and what we want to

achieve, until we stop playing

0:15:040:15:08

political games, we are not going to

have credible Armed Forces.

Do you

0:15:080:15:13

have an idea? I buy everything USA

in, you need to work out what you're

0:15:130:15:17

going to do. And the Chancellor, you

are the Defence Secretary, how much

0:15:170:15:22

actually do you need, 2 billion, 20

billion?

You need a fairly

0:15:220:15:28

significant chunk extra. It is

impossible to put a figure, but

0:15:280:15:31

there are a couple of things you

could do. You could remove cyber

0:15:310:15:38

from the budget and have a corporate

levy or something like that, because

0:15:380:15:44

our cyber defence capabilities are

used across the board by public

0:15:440:15:49

institutions and things like that,

you could look at the defence review

0:15:490:15:54

and the capabilities that you need,

and then very carefully see where

0:15:540:15:59

you can get the maximum value added.

We have got two aircraft carriers.

0:15:590:16:03

We know that we will never be able

to have task force groups for both

0:16:030:16:08

of them, so we need to think how we

ended up having two. It is done for

0:16:080:16:14

political reasons.

The most

important point in this whole debate

0:16:140:16:20

is this is an attempt, rather brave

attempt, backed by the Defence

0:16:200:16:25

Secretary, to try to get the British

public to look at what is going on

0:16:250:16:28

out there in the world.

He is the

elected MP and has voted to deal

0:16:280:16:32

with. Extra money for the NHS

defence?

The NHS in some ways is

0:16:320:16:38

similar because the challenge

throughout the NHS is changing all

0:16:380:16:40

the time. With defence, it is the

same. The threat is changing. And as

0:16:400:16:46

politicians, we have to meet that.

There is no use having your...

You

0:16:460:16:52

want more money... You want more

money on defence, more money on the

0:16:520:16:58

NHS, you're not going to have extra

borrowing. You need taxes to go up.

0:16:580:17:03

It is not a grown-up question to say

it is got to be the NHS or defence.

0:17:030:17:07

In a grown-up world we have to look

at the whole range of issues facing

0:17:070:17:10

government, and it is what happening

at the moment is that government has

0:17:100:17:14

to become so fixated with the NHS

and social spending that we are not

0:17:140:17:20

thinking nearly hard enough about

security.

But if taxes have to go

0:17:200:17:24

up, they have to go up.

Thank you

all very much indeed.

0:17:240:17:30

Well, having talked about defence,

we can turn to war now -

0:17:300:17:33

as that is where Ukip

finds itself at.

0:17:330:17:35

The leader, Henry Bolton,

is not resigning.

0:17:350:17:36

He came out just after 4pm this

afternoon to tell us that.

0:17:360:17:39

But 14 or 15 of his

senior colleagues -

0:17:390:17:41

we've literally lost count -

have quit their roles

0:17:410:17:44

because they want him to go.

0:17:440:17:45

The party's National Executive

Committee had already voted

0:17:450:17:47

no confidence in him,

but Mr Bolton chose not

0:17:470:17:49

to bow to the pressure,

and instead promised to take

0:17:490:17:52

on the party apparatchiks.

0:17:520:17:53

He said he'd "drain the swamp".

0:17:530:17:54

John Sweeney has been

following today's Ukip developments.

0:17:540:18:02

This happy breed of men, this little

world, this precious stone, is now

0:18:110:18:20

banned in with shame, with inky

blocks and rotten parchment. That

0:18:200:18:27

Ukip, that was want to conquer

others,

0:18:270:18:36

others, hath made a shameful

conquest of itself. Four years ago,

0:18:360:18:43

Ukip won more votes than any other

party in the European elections.

0:18:430:18:48

Eventually forcing David Cameron's

hand to call the Brexit referendum.

0:18:480:18:53

I will go to Parliament and propose

that the British people decide our

0:18:530:18:55

future in Europe through and in/ out

referendum on Thursday the 23rd of

0:18:550:19:02

June.

That one, then Nigel Farage

quit, Diane James was queen of Ukip

0:19:020:19:09

to 18 days, then came Paul Nuttall,

who fell after the party got a

0:19:090:19:14

drubbing in the general election.

Next, Henry Bolton. The former Army

0:19:140:19:19

trooper made a splash when he said

he could kill a badger with his own

0:19:190:19:24

hands. When it came out that he had

left his Russian wife from model

0:19:240:19:27

half his age, that was bad. When she

was found to have tweeted racist

0:19:270:19:32

claptrap about Prince Harry's bride

to be, Meghan Markle, that was bad

0:19:320:19:38

bad. Today Mr Bolton put his foot

down.

I shall respect the next steps

0:19:380:19:46

in the constitutional process, and

will therefore not be resigning as

0:19:460:19:49

party leader. I shall repeat, I will

not be resigning as party leader. It

0:19:490:19:54

is now time to put an end to the

infighting that has been going on

0:19:540:19:58

within the party for some time. And

to remove those who have been part

0:19:580:20:02

of that. In a single phrase, it is

time to drain the swamp.

This swamp

0:20:020:20:09

dwelling disagrees.

I think it is a

foolish decision. I have no reason

0:20:090:20:14

to believe that the party will

support him. In fact, I think he

0:20:140:20:17

will go down to an overwhelming

defeat, which will add further

0:20:170:20:23

humiliation to his recent

experiences. I think it is all very

0:20:230:20:26

sad. We tried the men in grey suits,

perhaps now it is time for the men

0:20:260:20:31

in white coats. He seems to me to

have lost all touch with reality.

0:20:310:20:35

The troubled leader, when looking

for a shoulder to cry on, and

0:20:350:20:39

tonight found anything but.

You have

turned this into a soap opera, and

0:20:390:20:45

in doing so have brought the party

into disrepute.

I wouldn't agree

0:20:450:20:49

with that, Nigel. At the meeting

yesterday, there wasn't one charge

0:20:490:20:53

laid against me apart from that I

had left my wife.

What is Henry

0:20:530:20:58

Bolton do if it all goes wrong next

month?

I'll cross that bridge when I

0:20:580:21:02

come to it. I am still going to be

campaigning solidly. I am not going

0:21:020:21:07

to go away in that respect, no way.

Henry Bolton can't last long, so

0:21:070:21:12

focus returns to the party's once

and perhaps future king. Someone

0:21:120:21:18

once said of Nigel Farage he doesn't

just want to be the bride at the

0:21:180:21:21

wedding but also the corpse at the

funeral. With Ukip going the way it

0:21:210:21:26

is, he may well get his wish.

0:21:260:21:32

Now I'll speak to Suzanne Evans,

former Deputy Chairwoman of Ukip

0:21:320:21:34

and a former leadership candidate

for the party.

0:21:340:21:37

Good evening to you. What happens if

Henry Bolton doesn't go, do you

0:21:370:21:43

think?

I really wish he would, as I

think do the majority of members in

0:21:430:21:52

Ukip. He really has brought the

party into disrepute, and it's not

0:21:520:21:56

just about the fact he left his wife

and very young children, the fact

0:21:560:22:01

that he's taken up with a woman who

is younger than his eldest daughter.

0:22:010:22:06

There is actually a little bit more

to it than that. The membership

0:22:060:22:10

feels very strongly that they've

been misled from the start about the

0:22:100:22:14

nature of this relationship, and NEC

members, too, have pointed out that

0:22:140:22:17

it wasn't just about his personal

life and the chaos that is brought

0:22:170:22:21

to the party, but it is about other

things as well. One NEC member today

0:22:210:22:26

saying it was about his mishandling

of events, his political naivete,

0:22:260:22:31

negligence in his role, Mr deadlines

and political ineptitude. So I

0:22:310:22:37

really do wish he would go, as do

most other people, I think. This

0:22:370:22:40

whole farce that we are now going to

have an emergency general meeting

0:22:400:22:44

which is going to cost time and

money, at which I fear he is going

0:22:440:22:48

to be humiliated, just seems like a

pointless attempt to cling on to

0:22:480:22:53

what, really? He has lost the

support of a robbery.

Why don't you

0:22:530:22:57

leave Ukip has joined the

Conservatives, active interest?

I

0:22:570:23:02

think there is very much a role for

Ukip in public life. I think people

0:23:020:23:06

today have been very keen to try and

say that Ukip's finished, but this

0:23:060:23:11

is its 25th year, and there hasn't

been a single year in which someone

0:23:110:23:15

somewhere hasn't said, Ukip is

finished, it's all over, probably.

0:23:150:23:21

We are still polling above the Green

party. Just last week we had triple

0:23:210:23:25

the Lib Dem vote in a local election

by-election in Bolton. I don't think

0:23:250:23:31

anyone's talking about the demise of

the Lib Dems all the greens.

But you

0:23:310:23:39

don't seem to get on with each

other. I can't find any policy

0:23:390:23:43

difference between you all. It seems

to be totally personal. What is it

0:23:430:23:47

about Ukip people that has made this

party so dysfunctional over the last

0:23:470:23:51

couple of years, do you think?

My

first years in Ukip were actually,

0:23:510:23:57

it was a honeymoon period I suppose

if you like, and I really do trace

0:23:570:24:02

this back to 2015 when Nigel Farage

failed to get elected in Thanet

0:24:020:24:06

South as he desperately wanted to

do, seemed to throw all his toys out

0:24:060:24:10

of the pram. There was this

disastrous

0:24:100:24:19

disastrous resignation and

unresignation which again seemed to

0:24:190:24:25

bring disrepute to the party, and I

think from there it has been

0:24:250:24:28

downhill all the way. And I think it

is a bit rich of Henry to talk about

0:24:280:24:35

kicking and people who have been

involved in infighting, he could

0:24:350:24:38

probably be kicking out quite a few

people including Nigel Farage and

0:24:380:24:42

himself.

It will make a great

episode in the reunion one-day!

0:24:420:24:47

Suzanne, thank you very much indeed.

0:24:470:24:50

There is someone you really

need to know more about.

0:24:500:24:52

He is Olly Robbins, the Prime

Minister's Chief European Advisor.

0:24:520:24:54

Her sherpa, to use

the European language.

0:24:540:24:56

He is a public servant,

and his job is basically

0:24:560:24:59

to help deliver Brexit.

0:24:590:25:00

As far as that's concerned,

you might say he's the second most

0:25:000:25:02

important person in this country

after Theresa May -

0:25:020:25:05

although David Davis

and Boris Johnson might

0:25:050:25:06

beg to differ.

0:25:060:25:07

I suspect if you don't know

Olly Robbins' name already,

0:25:070:25:10

you'll get to hear it this year.

0:25:100:25:11

But don't wait.

0:25:110:25:12

Our Political Editor, Nick Watt,

has been scouting around looking

0:25:120:25:15

at what Mr Robbins is up to.

0:25:150:25:22

Brexit is the most radical change

of direction for this country.

0:25:220:25:28

The idea that any bureaucrat

could be in favour of radical

0:25:280:25:30

change is a nonsense.

0:25:300:25:34

The civil service may well

have its own agenda.

0:25:340:25:36

But ultimately, with

a strong government,

0:25:360:25:38

it should be the Goverment's

will that the civil

0:25:380:25:40

service implements.

0:25:400:25:45

I don't think that, watching him

with three Prime Ministers,

0:25:450:25:47

there'd ever be a moment

that he would be in any way be

0:25:470:25:50

patronising about the fact that he,

you know, has more information

0:25:500:25:53

at his fingertips.

0:25:530:25:55

He's one of the tallest men

in the British Establishment,

0:25:550:25:59

with one of the lowest profiles.

0:25:590:26:03

Yet he wields some of

the greatest powers.

0:26:030:26:05

He's never at the

centre of attention.

0:26:050:26:08

But he's always in the room,

by the Prime Minister's side.

0:26:080:26:12

Olly Robbins, Theresa May's

Chief Adviser on Europe,

0:26:120:26:15

is being dubbed 'the real Brexit

Secretary'.

0:26:150:26:19

Possibly eclipsing David Davis.

0:26:190:26:24

Beyond the world of Whitehall,

most people have no idea

0:26:240:26:26

who Olly Robbins is.

0:26:260:26:31

But, day by day, he is shaping

the nature of Britain's departure

0:26:310:26:34

from the European Union.

0:26:340:26:35

He has the Prime Minister's

ear in Downing Street,

0:26:350:26:38

and he's in the engine room

for the nitty-gritty of the Brexit

0:26:380:26:41

negotiations in Brussels.

0:26:410:26:48

Well, every European Prime Minister

or President has an Olly Robbins.

0:26:530:27:00

Has someone who works closely

with them, whom they trust,

0:27:000:27:02

who is in permanent contact

with all the others.

0:27:020:27:04

These are people who telephone

each other, e-mail each

0:27:040:27:06

other, text each other.

0:27:060:27:11

The actual formal meeting

where we all see people sitting

0:27:110:27:13

around a table for a split second,

that's the tip of the iceberg.

0:27:130:27:21

A recent adviser to Theresa May says

Olly Robbins has a knack of winning

0:27:220:27:25

the confidence of Prime Ministers

and senior mandarins.

0:27:250:27:33

Olly was somebody who really had

the full trust of that team.

0:27:330:27:36

Had the full trust

of the Prime Minister,

0:27:360:27:38

had the full trust of Jeremy Heywood

as well, and was able to really sort

0:27:380:27:41

of on meetings and run meetings

in a way that made the process very

0:27:410:27:45

smooth and very effective,

and probably one of just a few

0:27:450:27:47

officials who actually had that

level of trust and access, I think.

0:27:470:27:55

So, what are the instincts

of the man shepherding us

0:27:570:28:01

through this defining moment

in British history?

0:28:010:28:04

A good starting point

is the place where his worldview

0:28:040:28:06

began to take shape.

0:28:060:28:14

Olly Robbins embarked on the first

steps of what must have looked

0:28:140:28:17

like a classic journey

through the Establishment

0:28:170:28:19

when he studied politics,

philosophy and economics

0:28:190:28:20

here at Oxford in the 1990s.

0:28:200:28:26

But there's a twist.

0:28:260:28:28

He chose Hertford College, which,

despite the wooden panelling,

0:28:280:28:30

has pioneered a much more

inclusive admissions policy.

0:28:300:28:37

An Oxford contemporary who later

worked with Olly Robbins

0:28:370:28:39

in Downing Street had an inkling

he would go far.

0:28:390:28:45

Even at university, it was already

clear that this was a guy

0:28:450:28:48

who was going to make a success

of whatever he did.

0:28:480:28:51

I think it was fair to say he's

the sort of person you'd be more

0:28:510:28:55

likely to see in tweed

than in a football kit.

0:28:550:28:59

You know, but that phenomenal brain

was very much there.

0:28:590:29:01

But also that sense of humour.

0:29:010:29:09

The intellectual clout of this

modern college in an ancient setting

0:29:100:29:13

was shown when Olly Robbins

and three other graduates

0:29:130:29:15

of Hertford controlled intelligence

at the heart of Whitehall.

0:29:150:29:17

The Hertford Gang say it was

a conspiracy that never existed.

0:29:170:29:20

I've spoken to one Tory Brexiteer

who went to a grander Oxford

0:29:200:29:25

college, and is wary of Olly

Robbins.

0:29:250:29:33

"They're all commie geographers",

this Tory told me of

0:29:350:29:37

the Hertford College alumni.

0:29:370:29:40

Brexiteers were delighted when it

emerged that at Oxford,

0:29:400:29:43

the young Olly Robbins had written

that the Soviet Union

0:29:430:29:45

wasn't all bad.

0:29:450:29:53

I understand that David Davis,

the actual Brexit Secretary,

0:29:530:29:56

who has something of a prickly

relationship with Olly Robbins,

0:29:560:30:01

has a habit of opening meetings

with him by welcoming colleagues

0:30:010:30:04

to the Olly Robbins People's Soviet.

0:30:040:30:08

Everyone reportedly has a chuckle.

0:30:080:30:12

But some Leave ministers

are suspicious of him,

0:30:120:30:14

and regard him as a classic civil

servant who sees Brexit is a crisis

0:30:140:30:17

to be managed rather

than an opportunity to be seized.

0:30:170:30:23

I was, as you know, a member

of the Thatcher government.

0:30:230:30:26

We came in and introduced a radical

change in economic policy.

0:30:260:30:29

And all the officials were aghast.

0:30:290:30:30

They thought it would be a disaster.

0:30:300:30:34

But at that time we had a strong

Cabinet, led by an outstanding

0:30:340:30:37

Prime Minister, and they accepted

the leadership, the

0:30:370:30:39

political leadership,

as is constitutional duty.

0:30:390:30:47

If a soft Brexit is being

negotiated, it must be

0:30:490:30:52

the will of the Prime Minister

and her Cabinet.

0:30:520:30:54

How can we possibly be

in a position where the Cabinet

0:30:540:30:57

and the Prime Minister has a certain

direction and the Civil Service

0:30:570:30:59

is taking it a different way?

0:30:590:31:02

That surely is a sign

of a weak government.

0:31:020:31:10

Olly Robbins fears that

the Cabinet Brexiteers,

0:31:130:31:16

notably Michael Gove

and Boris Johnson, are on his case.

0:31:160:31:20

He worked hard to win

them over in the run-up

0:31:200:31:22

to the Prime Minister's EU speech

in Florence last September,

0:31:220:31:25

making changes on the way.

0:31:250:31:30

But in the tense week in December

when the phase one Brexit

0:31:300:31:33

negotiation deal appeared to be

on the verge of collapse,

0:31:330:31:35

there was some frustration

in the Cabinet Office that those

0:31:350:31:38

ministers were less supportive.

0:31:380:31:43

Well, I think, inevitably,

because of the role that Boris

0:31:430:31:46

and Michael played during the Leave

campaign, clearly they are big

0:31:460:31:48

figures who need to be part of this

process and brought into it.

0:31:480:31:51

And from what I've seen,

I think Olly deals with them

0:31:510:31:54

and their offices very effectively.

0:31:540:31:55

And again, brings a level

of diplomacy to the whole thing.

0:31:550:32:03

Deep in the basement of the Guardian

newspaper lies one final clue

0:32:080:32:11

to the character of Olly Robbins.

0:32:110:32:13

Ruthlessness tinged

with impeccable manners.

0:32:130:32:14

Angle grinders and drills

were wielded by senior Guardian

0:32:140:32:22

editors to destroy files which had

been leaked to them

0:32:240:32:27

by Edward Snowden.

0:32:270:32:30

Olly Robbins had issued a stern

warning to the Guardian

0:32:300:32:32

that its continued possession

of the files marked a threat

0:32:320:32:35

to national security.

0:32:350:32:40

He brokered a deal where the files

were sawn to bits in an operation

0:32:400:32:43

supervised by Government agents.

0:32:430:32:46

"Punctiliously polite"

was the Guardian verdict

0:32:460:32:48

on their Whitehall adversary.

0:32:480:32:54

So, a consummate Whitehall operator

with experience in the smoke

0:32:540:32:56

and mirrors world of intelligence

is guiding the Brexit process.

0:32:560:32:59

But in his mind, the painful

business of cutting deals and making

0:32:590:33:02

compromises lies in the hands

of his political controller.

0:33:020:33:10

Nick Wood what is with me. It was

interesting to hear Lord Lawson --

0:33:220:33:28

Nick Watt. He is so wary of the

civil service's role, their mindset

0:33:280:33:34

and ability to thwart all of this.

Civil servants were frustrated

0:33:340:33:37

because it goes against the grain,

but those remarks have clearly

0:33:370:33:42

struck a raw nerve in Whitehall,

because the Cabinet Secretary Sir

0:33:420:33:46

Jeremy Heywood has this evening

rally to the defence of the civil

0:33:460:33:49

service. He doesn't speak out that

much, but he issued a statement the

0:33:490:33:54

Newsnight after the comments by Lord

Lawson about the civil service in

0:33:540:33:59

general. Sir Jeremy says the civil

service take great pride in

0:33:590:34:04

supporting the elected government of

the day, and the mission is to

0:34:040:34:08

deliver Brexit. He says the civil

service is putting enormous effort,

0:34:080:34:12

and many of its very best people

into making a success of the

0:34:120:34:16

project, that is Brexit. He says,

interestingly, it is being tested on

0:34:160:34:21

a daily basis and I'm very proud of

what we have so far delivered.

OK,

0:34:210:34:27

it is a sensitive point, but the

civil service strikes back. Nick,

0:34:270:34:31

thank you very much.

0:34:310:34:33

Now, have a look at these images.

0:34:330:34:34

These show something pretty everyday

in parts of Africa: a woman kneeling

0:34:340:34:37

at the feet of an elder.

0:34:370:34:40

It is a traditional way in some

cultures of a woman showing respect.

0:34:400:34:43

In some, you might find men doing

the same, but it's not as common.

0:34:430:34:46

Now, of course, for years this kind

of greeting has been taken

0:34:460:34:49

for granted in certain African

cultures, just as curtseying

0:34:490:34:51

to the Queen is here.

But we now live in a globalised era,

0:34:510:34:54

where news, culture

and people travel.

0:34:540:34:56

And clearly, from a Western

perspective, kneeling can be seen

0:34:560:34:58

as an undignified reminder

of women's low social status imposed

0:34:580:35:03

by a male-run society.

0:35:030:35:05

So, it was just a matter

of time before the practice

0:35:050:35:08

came to be challenged.

0:35:080:35:08

And it was the Head

of Oxfam International,

0:35:080:35:10

Winnie Byanyima, who was born

in Uganda but lives in Britain,

0:35:100:35:14

who sparked a row about it,

tweeting, "How do we stop

0:35:140:35:17

this humiliating practice?"

0:35:170:35:20

Well, this may sound like just

another debate about gender

0:35:200:35:22

and identity politics,

but it cuts across the usual lines.

0:35:220:35:25

For some, Byanyima is

speaking up for women.

0:35:250:35:29

For others, she's disrespectful

of the cultural heritage

0:35:290:35:32

of the African societies

that practice kneeling.

0:35:320:35:34

I'm joined by Dami Olonisakin

and Nicky Olatubosun.

0:35:340:35:39

I am joined by two women from

cultures where kneeling is common.

0:35:390:35:44

Dami, tell us about the kneeling,

when do you kneel, or what form does

0:35:440:35:49

the kneeling cakes, why do you

kneel?

Kneeling is a form of

0:35:490:35:53

respect. When you greet someone who

is older than you, you do this to a

0:35:530:35:58

family, you do this to relatives. It

is a very popular part of Yoruba

0:35:580:36:04

culture within Nigeria. It is

something that both men and women

0:36:040:36:07

do. It is not just one-sided. It's

something that everybody does.

It is

0:36:070:36:15

actually your need touching the

ground, it is not just bending down.

0:36:150:36:19

It can be, depending on how old the

person is, the last time you saw

0:36:190:36:24

them, if it was someone quite close

to you.

The further down you go, the

0:36:240:36:28

more respect?

You could definitely

say that, yes.

I understand, Nicky,

0:36:280:36:34

that of course men and women do do

it. But it is a gender element or

0:36:340:36:39

not?

Personally I feel like it is to

do with both genders. Men are

0:36:390:36:44

supposed to prostrate, my done on

the ground, and women are supposed

0:36:440:36:48

in Neil Stubley but the men don't

always prostrate themselves. No,

0:36:480:36:53

they don't.

It is no different to

how women gently bend down

0:36:530:36:57

sometimes. I feel like as long as

you are signalling that type of

0:36:570:37:02

respect, you are still acknowledging

that somebody is older than you and

0:37:020:37:05

your store greeting them. Nobody is

asking you to plank on the floor!

0:37:050:37:10

The traditional serving your

husband's meal, how does that go,

0:37:100:37:13

Nicky?

You are meant to hold it out

to him like he is a king.

That

0:37:130:37:22

sounds like quite a gender thing.

Most definitely, especially within

0:37:220:37:27

Nigeria and culture, we believe that

the man is the head of the house,

0:37:270:37:30

but it is not necessarily something

that all cultures do.

It is

0:37:300:37:38

interesting and complicated. Nicky,

you are not keen on it and think it

0:37:380:37:41

is past its sell by date.

Well,

basically... I feel like I shouldn't

0:37:410:37:46

have the kneel down, like, I

understand, OK, it's about the

0:37:460:37:50

respect part of it. I'm respecting

my elders. I feel like you can be

0:37:500:37:55

verbally respectful. I can do a new

balance, a Coetzee, I shouldn't have

0:37:550:37:59

the kneel on the ground to greet

you. Especially when my parents

0:37:590:38:03

don't

0:38:030:38:10

don't require it. -- a curtsy. I

shouldn't have to kneel down to

0:38:100:38:12

someone else.

You know, I feel like

in different cultures all over the

0:38:120:38:15

world there are different ways that

we use nonverbal actions to display

0:38:150:38:17

a form of greeting, I don't feel it

should be scrapped. It has been done

0:38:170:38:20

for centuries. Just being able to

greet someone who is older than you.

0:38:200:38:24

In my culture...

I feel like it

should be more of a formal thing

0:38:240:38:28

rather than informal as well. Every

time you see someone, you are meant

0:38:280:38:32

to greet them that we.

You would

reserve it for state occasions,

0:38:320:38:37

weddings, things like that.

If you

came to a traditional wedding, if I

0:38:370:38:42

was marrying a you read the man, I

would kneel down for his parents as

0:38:420:38:46

required. -- eight you read the man.

We have changed lots of things in

0:38:460:38:50

the world...

That's the thing, you

can really compare other things the

0:38:500:38:56

kneeling down, that is problematic.

Tribal marking is automatic, and we

0:38:560:39:01

acknowledge that. Showing respect by

kneeling down to someone is showing

0:39:010:39:05

that you come from a good

background, when you are doing it,

0:39:050:39:09

we are thinking, your parents have

raised you write. It is a reflection

0:39:090:39:13

of your upbringing. That is how

Yoruba people see it.

If you don't

0:39:130:39:21

do it, do people think you are being

disrespectful?

I have never come

0:39:210:39:24

across that. I don't believe in

kneeling down, I honestly don't, my

0:39:240:39:29

mum doesn't require it of my friends

and people she meets, therefore I

0:39:290:39:32

don't feel that I should have two.

Thanks for giving us an insight into

0:39:320:39:36

the debate about it.

0:39:360:39:37

That's it for tonight.

0:39:370:39:38

We end with proof that Germans

are not after all a nation

0:39:380:39:41

of humourless engineers.

0:39:410:39:42

They are, it seems, a nation

of very silly engineers.

0:39:420:39:45

So we leave with the alleged

creation of Johannes

0:39:450:39:47

and Phillip Mickenbecker

- the bathcopter.

0:39:470:39:48

Goodnight.

0:39:480:39:51

WHIRRING SOUND.

0:39:510:39:58

MUSIC: Mars Theme by Nick Cave.

0:40:000:40:03

# We're coming in too fast and.

0:40:030:40:06

# Everyone is burning bright

0:40:060:40:09

# 182 seconds, baby

0:40:160:40:18

# And heaven is a trick of the light

0:40:180:40:21

# We're coming in too fast,

and

0:40:300:40:33

# Heaven is a trance unknown #.

0:40:330:40:36

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS