In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.
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Just when they thought
the world economy was safe...
Stock markets have tumbled
and bond markets too.
Is it time to hide under
the blanket again?
We are told rising interest rates
are causing the commotion, but rates
are still at incredibly low levels.
Imagine how difficult things
will be when they go
back to the old normal.
We'll discuss with a pair of doctor
doom economists who both say
they predicted the last crash.
You'll have heard much this week
about women getting the vote
a hundred years ago.
Not so much about the working class
men getting the vote
at the same time.
We'll ask if the fight for class
justice has been eclipsed
by other cultural battles.
And meet the member of the Germany's
far right AfD party...
who's converted to Islam.
Yes, I was born three months ago.
I am Ahmed.
This is your new name?
The FTSE was down 2.5% today,
that's hardly a crash and certainly
nothing to compare
to recent fluctuations
in the price of bitcoin.
But it still wipes 50
billion off its value.
And it came as turmoil in the US
sent markets see-sawing too -
finally closing an hour
and a half ago around 2% up
on yesterday's record fall.
Although the day ended more
positively than it began there's no
doubt that this has been
a wobbly few days.
So, how worried should you be?
The basic explanation of
the volatility is interest rates -
rates potentially going up faster
than expected makes profits
harder to earn, and shares
relatively less attractive.
And the good news spin
is that higher rates
are the result of growth,
so these are problems of success.
Which is all reassuring.
But there's a bigger
way of looking at this:
that this is a turning point.
We had a crash ten years ago;
we still haven't got back to normal
and this kind of disruption is just
a starter as to what
to expect as we do.
The banking crisis of ten years ago
has spread across the West and was
like in a comic heart attack -- and
was like an economic heart attack,
leaving banks slow to lend so
companies couldn't get credit to pay
for new investment and too many
households were stranded with big
debts and couldn't afford to spend.
Across the West, grows inevitably
For the time being at least,
the nice decade is behind us. The
credit cycle has turned.
banks had to step up to stop the
economy is falling down even
further, printing money and slashing
interest rates to nearly zero. In
normal times with everything under
control and inflation low, you might
expect the main interest rates to be
about 5%. That is the UK historic
average but for the best part of a
decade the West has got used to
rates at or below 1%. Time after
time people prematurely predicted
that growth would return and rates
It would not seem
unreasonable to me to expect that
once monetary policy normalisation
begins, interest rates would proceed
slowly and rise to a level in the
medium term that's perhaps about
half as high as historic averages.
In fact the year's recovery was
slow, economies were lacklustre and
rates stayed low. Now, solid growth
looks to have returned by the
looming question is how we get back
to normal. Everybody has got used to
to normal. Everybody has got used to
easy money. The US Federal bank has
started normalising rates but they
are still only 1.5%. The expected
path is for three quarter point rise
is for a year but this isn't an
path is for three quarter point rise
is for a year but this isn't an
exact science. And for investors who
famously vulnerable to overreacting
to everything, small changes to the
expected trajectory of rates can
make a big difference to the value
of bonds or shares. The path into
the era of low rates was
unprecedented and the path out of it
is also uncharted. Who knows how
painful it may turn out to be?
So what should we expect next -
and what does all of this mean
for finance ministers,
investors and for the
likes of me and you?
Gillian Tett is the managing editor
of the Financial Times
and joins us from New York.
Ann Pettifor is an economist
who for a while was an advisor
on financial matters
to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.
Good evening to you both. How
worried should we be, Gillian?
in the short term, moderately
uneasy, not too panic stricken but
in the long term we should be
concerned because there is a big
dislocation in the global economy
and we need to address them.
on that, what are we talking about?
Very simply, there is too much debt,
there is 40% more debt per GDP in
the global system than there was a
decade ago just before the crash and
the only reason we haven't noticed
it is because interest rates are
very low. The question is what will
happen when interest rates go up.
Indeed so. Ann, how worried should
We should be very worried
because we have a new crowd at the
Fed who want to raise rates and
tighten monetary policy which
represents a big shift from what
we've been through over the last ten
You agree that this is a
transition, a turning point?
turning point and I'm not sure
they'll get it right.
It's very hard
to get it right but Ann you accept
that they can't sit around, in the
UK it is half a percent and the US,
1.5%, should they sit around?
our point is that the economic model
out of the crisis is deeply flawed,
it is about injecting trillions of
dollars into the financial system
come into markets and property, bond
markets, and at the same time
imposing austerity. The model has
not led to recovery and in fact I
would disagree, we aren't really
seeing growth, we are seeing a
little uptick in wages here and
there but actually we aren't even
seeing real inflation in the US. My
worry is that we are shifting into
the mode of tightening monetary
policy while there is massive fiscal
expansion by the club
So this is another
false alarm where people are seeing
rates going up but not the real
recovery we need?
There isn't a real
recovery so we have to be careful.
Wary about raising. On that point,
Gillian, do you believe the global
economy has turned around to mark
most of the world is enjoying what
would be regarded as OK growth.
be a bit more optimistic than Ann in
terms of their being growth going on
but the problem, the image use is
that you have a financial system
before 2007 that was addicted to
cheap private-sector debt, heroin if
you like, we were weaned off that by
becoming addicted to morphine,
government help and what we are
seeing is an explosion in government
borrowing around the world which
will eventually create problems.
What has rocked the markets over the
last few days in America has been a
very funky project linked to
something that is complicated, I
went to describe it -- I won't
describe it, it is like the
sub-prime mortgages of a decade ago
but it is the symptom of the
problems in the system as people
have responded to free money from
the central banks by doing some
weird things to try and get yields
and returns and that eventually
comes back to bite everybody.
you saying that you can't raise the
rates now because in many respects
this is a problem of the methadone,
whatever the drug substitute is? It
is the withdrawal from that that is
the problem but you do want to get
people off it, right?
agree more, I am in the cab of
people who say that we should have
started the withdrawal process a bit
earlier and there is going to be
inevitable lurches like this as the
system goes through withdrawal.
That's part of the process. I'd
argue that the Fed and other central
banks must press ahead with what has
been a pretty rocky ride so far.
we've seen any growth, as Gillian
has suggested, it is because last
year the central banks pumped in $3
trillion. When the economy is meant
to be recovering they had to pump in
$3 trillion of liquidity to keep it
The growth of debt and
pumping it up but you can't have
growth without that and you can't do
it for ever.
Exactly come at the
point is that there is something
wrong with the actual model is the
problem and the colour mists haven't
come up with a solution to the
crisis that was caused in 2007 and
what's going to happen -- and the
economists. We have a president who
is going to spend money on tax cuts
and so on and putting people onto
the board of the Fed who are going
to tighten monetary policy and we
know aren't going to work. We don't
have an answer to the thing that
will satisfy the people who voted
for Donald Trump, they voted for him
because their living standards
How do you think of the
politics of this is going to play
out? Donald Trump tied himself to
the rises in the stock markets, does
he have to eat humble pie?
ever eat humble pie? He's not going
to say get is what, I was wrong. He
was pretty nutty to tie himself to
the fate of the stock market in
terms of using it as a scorecard for
success but what he's going to do,
he'll distract everyone with
something else going forward and he
probably won't talk about it again.
People are talking about tax cuts
and deregulation instead and there
is quite a good feel-good sentiment
Thanks very much indeed.
The Tories were ahead of Labour
in an ICM opinion poll
for the Guardian today.
One point ahead.
That might seem surprising given
Conservative divisions -
ably demonstrated last night on this
programme when Anna Soubry urged
Theresa May to sling Boris Johnson
and Jacob Rees-Mogg out
of the party.
Those Europe sparks will likely fly
again tomorrow when Mrs May
convenes her Brexit 'war cabinet'
to hammer out her next moves.
Our political editor
Nick Watt is with me.
Your interview with Anna Soubry
yesterday kick-started a bunch of
extra troubles for the Conservatives
Quite a wee action on the
Leave side -- a reaction. One person
said, Anna Soubry is doing a great
job for Brexit and on the
pro-European side there is strong
sympathy for Anna Soubry but not
total agreement. On this point about
whether she could remain in the
party run by Jacob Rees-Mogg, she
said no. Justine Greening, former
Education Secretary, expressing some
sympathy for that view. I understand
a handful of Conservatives would
leave the party of Jacob Rees-Mogg
became the leader. An Anna Soubry's
point about slinging the likes of
Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg
out of the party, no agreement among
the remains of porters on that but
there is sympathy for her view that
the main Eurosceptic group is overly
influential to which the ERG say
thank you, you are over influential
because your mindset is running the
Treasury. -- remain
Treasury. -- remain supporters. I
have heard from Anna Soubry who said
she has at hundreds of e-mails from
supporters and she has had some very
private agreement from Conservative
colleagues. But then she said, of
course I have received a number of
critical e-mails and some unpleasant
phone calls including one death
threats to me and my constituency
manager, who takes the calls. Now,
Anna Soubry has reported this call
to the police.
And on the day that
the Prime Minister was talking about
a more decent civic discourse. Where
does it go from here? Tomorrow there
is this big meeting when they are
going to hammer it out, the
compromise, whatever it is.
Cabinet Brexit subcommittee meeting
tomorrow and Thursday. Tomorrow they
discussed Northern Ireland and then
it is the economic relationship with
the EU and trade the following day.
These talks are going at two levels
to the EU summit in Brussels in
March. Level number one, the
political agreement on the
intimidation phase in December,
which must be put into a legally
binding text. The second thing, the
UK Cabinet must agree what it wants
for the future economic
relationship. So, by the end of
February, beginning of March, there
is a month to try and influence the
guidelines of the commission
Look forward to that,
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling
was accused today of misleading
parliament in his statement
to the Commons yesterday,
about the problems of
the East Coast Mainline.
Lord Adonis, former transport
secretary, was the accuser,
and he has been tormenting
Mr Grayling for weeks over his
handling of the problems of the East
coast Virgin-Stagecoach franchise.
The franchise is on the brink
of collapse, but Mr Grayling
is allowing Virgin Stagecoach
to carry on winning train contracts;
Lord Adonis thinks the companies
have been bailed out and need
to face a penalty, and in effect,
be restricted in bidding
for future franchises.
It's quite a challenge to the case
for privatised rail.
Here's our business
editor Helen Thomas.
The three railway line that link
London to the North were built over
100 years ago by private companies.
London ended up with three separate
stations nearly next to each other.
What role if any that Stagecoach
should be playing in the running
of those same three line today
is the latest battlefront
in an acrimonious debate
about the future of our rail.
Slowing passenger growth has put
the squeeze on Britain's rail
operators and senior industry
figures privately concede
that the franchising model just
is not working very well.
Big complicated rigid contracts
are not good for operators,
who cannot control many
of the factors that
determine revenue growth.
And the latest fiasco over
the East Coast franchise suggest
that those contracts might not be
for government either.
It has now been confirmed that
the situation is much more urgent.
It is now clear that this franchise
will only be able to continue
in its current form for a matter
of months and no more.
I need to put in place,
in the very near future,
a successor arrangement to operate
this railway and to end
the current contract.
But Stagecoach's business
could stay on track,
with partners, Virgin,
the company could still continue
running the East Coast
on a not-for-profit basis.
Next door, Stagecoach has short
listed for the East Midlands
franchise and on the West Coast,
where Virgin is a majority partner,
the companies had just been
given a new franchise
until potentially 2020.
Stagecoach is short listed
for other franchises as well.
The Transport Secretary
said that he cannot
borrow them from bidding.
Not so, say some.
If the company is deemed to be
unsatisfactory and doubtful in terms
of economics, it can be stopped from
Stagecoach were committed
with Virgin to deliver
services until 2023.
They were made to do so.
And if they walk away from it,
it should be banned from future
franchises and if the Department
for Transport then runs
the service at a loss directly,
Stagecoach and Virgin should be
built for the cost of that.
The problems with the East Coast
will cost Stagecoach 106
£5 million under its contract.
Rail operators argue that they have
no incentive to gain
the system and over a bed.
the system and over bid.
They are on the hook for potentially
hundreds of millions
of pounds to the government.
There is another reason
the government might want to keep
Stagecoach on board.
They need them.
As franchises have got bigger,
there are fewer big experienced
players to bid for them and the rule
of thumb is, you need at least three
bidders to ensure value for money.
Knocking someone like Stagecoach out
of the proceedings could reduce some
short lists to only two.
There are clearly not enough
companies. What we have had since
2012 we have had as many contracts
that have been directly water, than
those that have come about as a
result of a franchise competition.
The whole system is flawed and it
simply needs to be replaced.
would get rid of the Private firms
altogether but other critics of
franchising argued that the system
is already largely government
control. What has not worked is
forcing risk onto the private sector
and they are better kept as low
margin managers. In terms of rail
travel, the results of the model are
This is showing real
problems. It has not yet worked.
Delivered some things, a lot of
investment and it has delivered much
more passenger journeys in the
jargon that many more people are
taking train journeys. It has also
delivered very high prices compare
too much of Europe and it has not
really deliver the improvement and
efficiency that were part of the
rationale for the whole thing.
Slower passenger growth means other
operators are struggling. The threat
to the model is not just a worry
that companies are somehow being let
off the hook, it is also private
operators going cold on bidding for
these large and risky contracts.
Helen Thomas there.
We asked the Department
for Transport to join us
but nobody was available.
In a statement the Stagecoach group
said the company had neither walked
away from the East Coast franchise
nor asked for any special treatment.
It added that the firm had operated
trains for the government for 21
years, raising billions of pounds
for the taxpayer - and
that the government is clear
there is no basis to preclude them
from bidding for future franchises.
The nation has been celebrating
the hundredth anniversary
of the 1918 Representation
of the People's Act today -
and with it, women getting
the vote for the first time.
But actually, that's
not quite the case -
a few women did have the vote
in local elections
decades before that.
And a very few had been voting even
before 1832 as well.
Those were some
But for many more women to vote
in national elections
is obviously a big thing,
which is why today is marked
as the real birthday
of women's suffrage -
and if you were watching yesterday,
we devoted half our programme
to that milestone.
However, it has not escaped
the notice of some that February
the sixth 1918 also marked the day
that many working class men,
got the vote too.
A fact far less prominent
in today's festivities.
For some, this is a metaphor
for identity politics -
we are so preoccupied
by the traditionally defined
underprivileged groups -
based on colour, gender,
or sexuality - we forget just
how many white straight
men have been, or are -
or at least feel -
underprivileged as well.
Has class got lost?
We'll discuss in a minute,
but first here's John Sweeney.
100 years ago today,
women under 30 who owned
property got the vote.
100 years ago today,
women over 30 who owned
property got the vote.
And working-class men too.
Since then, some
working-class men might be
forgiven for thinking things have
got better for women than for them.
To begin with, working-class
men got a Prime
Ramsay MacDonald in 1924.
James Callaghan and John
Major followed suit.
Women have Margaret
Thatcher and Theresa May.
There is little prospect
of a working-class
hero in Number Ten now that
Jeremy Corbyn nor Vince Cable are
horny-handed sons of toil.
Still less Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Back in 1918, most people
Free State education helps catapult
millions out of poverty and
Today, only four in ten
are working class but what is
striking is how the privately
educated rich, less than one in ten
of the population, still do so much
better than the working class.
As the liberal elite's
growing focus on
race, gender and sexuality left
working-class people overlooked in
favour of identity politics?
And did this neglect
help propel Brexit and
Claire Fox is the director
of the Academy of Ideas.
Faiza Shaheen is from the Centre
for Labour and Social Studies.
They both say they are from
the working classes.
I'll come to them in a moment -
but I want to start with a US
perspective, because in New York
is the political scientist
and author Mark Lilla,
who wrote a much discussed piece
after the Trump election victory,
arguing that Hillary Clinton
and American liberals had put too
great a focus on identity politics
around gender, race or sexuality.
Due to the success of that article
he has expanded his argument
into a new book "The Once
and Future Liberal:
After Identity Politics"
which is out in the UK in May.
Good evening. Do you want to explain
why you think that the identity
politics thread of liberal politics
has gone too far?
I think the shift
has really been from a politics of
interest and there can be interest
of particular groups, the vote is
one such interests, economic games,
the end of Jim Crow in the American
South. A politics of interest has
been substituted in this country by
a politics of recognition. And the
politics of recognition is about
being recognised as a member of the
group, not only the group being
recognised, but the individuals,
particular individuals feel
recognised and as we see in this
country, affirmed in their
identities. The shift from interests
to identity and to recognition has
meant that it has been harder to
build bridges among various groups
who share common interests are who
have overlapping interest, so when
you have a politics of interest, the
workings of the working class, women
together, then you can build a
Coalition, but when it is a politics
of representing yourself and fiddly
recognise, that tends to divide
Let me pin you down. We have
all seen videos of the American
police shooting black people over
the last couple of years. Black
lives matter is a result of that, a
classic piece of identity politics,
what can you say against that?
would not call it identity politics
in the way that I mean it or rather
that there are elements there in
their Black Lives Matter movement
that are concerned mainly about
recognition. If you are concerned
about actually changing concrete
conditions that have led to this
terrible situation of what we call
driving while in black and having
problems with the police, then you
have to think about how you govern.
The only way to change that is by
winning elections and governing over
the long-term. A politics that focus
on interests and shared interests
and overlapping interest can achieve
that. A politics of recognition
tends to fall into symbolic gesture,
so for example, Black Lives Matter
did not only worked to change things
on the streets of many of our
cities, activist showed up at the
rallies of Bernie Sanders and
Hillary Clinton and tried to stop
the proceedings in order to get
recognition of their movement and
their own conception of American
history. Politics of recognition can
divide people over what it means to
be recognise, what the nature of
history has been. Hillary Clinton
and Bernie Sanders were the allies
of these people.
of these people.
I want to take what
you have said and put it to my other
guests. Thank you for setting that
out. Do you recognise any of that
critique of the way identity
politics can divide as applied to
the UK, we have had here?
no. I am suspicious of an argument
that says that groups coming out
that have legitimate grievances
should not talk about them because
otherwise it hurts them from winning
elections and divides groups. What I
would say is that different equality
groups, we have not always been good
at connecting to broader issues in
the economy. We are not very good at
recognising that this is also an
There is the fight
for equality for the LGBT
communities as well.
There is an
element of discrimination and
prejudice that we have to address
but also if you look that feminism
and what has happened in terms of
the economy we have seen that
traditional women's work is lower
paid. Why is it that social care is
low-paid? We need to be doing much
more to understand back connection
with the system. The idea is not to
equalise misery. The aim is not to
say, my job is not done if I do not
say that white men are not as
affected by as dirty as brown women.
Do you think the identity politics
has gone has gone far stop am
affected by that.
I think what it
has led to is jockeying for position
in recognition and actually a
competition to play the victim and I
am concerned that when we talk about
class in this, what end up doing is
saying what about white working
class men, they are an identity as
well. That has happened in America
with Trump. It is the only place to
go. I am a victim who is suffering
and oppressed but I think that class
is not to be ignored. I have been
news today in relation to the vote
that in fact the celebration was of
women getting the vote and all hail
the celebrations, it is a big thing,
but I could not get over the fact
that the millions of working class
men who got the vote.
men who got the vote. It was not
hardly mentioned at all. I thought
that that was an interesting thing
and I think that we can see that
jockeying for position that what has
happened is, into sexuality and all
of this, is that there is a real
sense in which there is a snobbery
for a lot of working-class things
and Brexit has brought that to the
Was it a tactical mistake, if
you go on about minorities and women
too much, you create a backlash
amongst a group who feels they have
not been recognised and that is what
he thinks has happened in the US.
You have shouted out for every group
and you have and shouted out for me.
It is weird to argue to silence
groups that have legitimate
grievances. You cannot say to black
men that they should be quiet. This
is where the argument goes. There is
a real thing about class identity,
it annoys the vet every time we hear
working classes, multiethnic, women,
we should build solidarity but if we
were arguing here that class is
really important and we should go
back to class identities we will be
arguing for a trade union movement.
I do not think that the point is
whether your white working class,
because of the emphasis on identity
and the fact that people stress
ethnicity, gender, LGBT, we have
campus politics, and people
jockeying for their identities and
there are certain groups that get
left out and the white working class
have fared badly. It is not that I
want them to become the white
working class. What is wrong with
politics is it has to be organised
around ideas and not identities.
could continue this discussion but
we have to stop there. Thank you
Talking of identity,
the far right Alternative
for Germany party,
or AfD, took third
place in the elections
to the Bundestag last year.
Their success came, in large part,
thanks to their unequivocal
messages about identity,
immigration and Islam.
Germany had been swamped, they said,
by a tide of migrants
during the refugee crisis of 2015;
Germany was under threat,
they believed, of "Islamization".
Their success at the ballot box sent
into confusion, and out of it,
the traditional parties have
still so far been unable
to form a coalition.
If and when they do,
AfD could become the main party
of opposition in the Bundestag.
But now, a member of the AfD
in the state of Brandenburg has sent
shockwaves through his own party.
He's announced that he's
converted to Islam.
Gabriel Gatehouse went to meet him.
This is a journey into the world
of identity politics.
We're off to meet a man who's just
taken a pretty big decision.
I had a vision.
A man who's crossed the line.
I have understood I will be Muslim.
It's six o'clock in the morning.
He's already texting me saying,
"I'm ready, waiting for you."
Not really sure what to expect.
Wonderful, good morning, gentlemens.
Hi, how are you?
A pleasure to see the BBC.
I'm fine, thank you.
Very nice to meet you.
Very interesting now.
You're going to tell
us all about it.
Arthur Wagner was born
in the Soviet Union.
An ethnic German, he moved
to the country of his ancestors
after the collapse of Communism
and settled in this
quiet Berlin suburb.
You see, I do not eat schwein,
pig fleisch nine months.
We meet him the day after he's
announced to the world
he's converted to Islam.
I do not know how they are happy
with me, my children.
My daughter is very,
Very conservative, yes.
a conservative Christian?
So how is your conversion going down
around the breakfast table?
We speak to it sometimes
but we have found a solution.
It is difficult, yes.
But if you have trust
to God, you can speak.
Around the time he joined the far
right AfD party, Arthur commissioned
a Wagner family crest.
It says "the good country family."
Values he says he still stands by.
And this is important
for all conservatives,
Muslims or not Muslims.
And now I go to my...
Mr Wagner is on his way to work.
He's a driver at a local children's
centre and he's worried
about how people will react
to his religious conversion.
How can I explain to my colleagues
that I'm at the same?
I'm a Muslim since three months.
I'm a Muslim in my soul since two
or three years and I have not
changed the negative,
I am the same.
But they have changed,
in one minute, in one minute,
50 people do not like me.
Bit of a character!
His workmates are one
cause of anxiety.
His friends in the AfD are another.
This is, after all, a party that
campaigned against what it calls
the "Islamisation of Germany."
Arthur Wagner was actively
involved in that campaign.
I've been trying to call the local
party for the last two days now
and there's simply no answer.
But they have put out
a press statement online.
They say the press should be
made aware that a member
of the AfD in Brandenburg has
converted to Islam.
And then it goes on to say,
"We've taken note of this fact."
"Not without surprise," I bet
you can say that again.
They say it's a private
matter for Mr Wagner
but they maintain that,
as they put it, "Islam does
not belong in Germany"
and that the religion is a grave
danger, as they see
it, to the country.
I caught up with Arthur Wagner
on his lunch break.
He told me about his
It seems like you're
searching for something.
First you said you had
a midlife crisis.
Then you found the AfD.
And then I have found this.
They helped me.
And now you've found Islam.
What are you searching for?
Today changed the whole world
and I need, I must find
the solution, how can we work
conservatives and Islam.
This is my target.
Lunch break over and Arthur has
a meeting with his boss.
He is convinced that
he's about be fired.
But this is Germany, people don't
get fired for their religious
or political beliefs.
His boss tells him
to take some time off.
Tell us where we are going now.
I'm now a really happy guy
because I have a holiday, one week,
and I can plan my life now,
how I would like to do it.
You've undergone a transformation.
I'm another guy, yes.
I was born three months
ago, I am Ahmed.
This is your new name?
Suddenly the whole world
wants to talk to Ahmed.
There are endless requests
for interviews with radio stations,
newspapers, and a Russian language
TV station in Berlin.
In the evening, Ahmed is the guest
of honour at a lecture on Chechnya,
organised by a group that helps
into German society.
This is about the least likely
place you'd think to find
a member of the AfD.
This may be a den of lefty liberals
but Mr Wagner has been helping out
here as a translator
for a few years now.
I'm a little bit shocked because...
It's so weird.
At the positive side,
in a positive way.
It's nice to hear that people
can change their minds.
Arthur has become Ahmed
but he hasn't in fact
changed his political worldview,
especially on the subject
of the refugee crisis,
one of the most important topics
for the AfD.
I have understood what kind
of problem we have since September,
2015, in our land and I'm very clear
I'm right national and I would
like to lose this problem.
I must understand, this is very
important, I must understand.
I returned the following day
to Mr Wagner's Berlin suburb.
After the whirlwind following his
announcement, I wanted to know
what was really driving him.
I would like to show
you my old flag.
But in the attic, Wagner showed me
the souvenirs and knick-knacks he'd
collected over a lifetime
in search of belonging.
This is about the Wehrmacht.
The German military.
And this is the Russian military.
This is a fake.
Fake ID of Russian special forces.
This is you?
This, I am.
At some point Wagner had acquired
a bit of memorabilia with national
something he was keen not
to show the cameras.
What about the knife that
you didn't want to show me?
Cannot, I can't do it.
It's not allowed, it not allowed.
It's not allowed, it's German.
It's not allowed.
It's almost as if his conversion
to Islam is an attempt to escape
a decades-long identity crisis,
rooted in his Russian past.
The German guy didn't know,
am I Russian or am I German?
And Russian guy didn't know,
am I am Russian or am I German?
And because of this,
I never will be success,
I never had the chance
to be success.
If there is a common thread that
runs through Wagner's improbable
journey then it is this.
A love of authority and fears
about the erosion of conservative
values in a changing society.
This is changing in our society
comes not from Islam.
It comes from the left people,
which, they do not trust in God.
They would like to turn around.
This is like a ideology.
I hate it.
So, do you see Islam as an ally
in your conservative
against the liberal left?
Against liberal, 100%, yes.
Have you spoken to your AfD
colleagues about this?
What do they think?
They think that I'm crazy.
I will speak, in one ear, maybe.
Arthur Ahmed Wagner wants to remain
a member of the AfD.
He may have some trouble
persuading his party
that there is no contradiction
between his politics
and his new religion.
Gabriel Gatehouse on a man in search
for his identity.
That's all we have time for.
I'm back tomorrow.
Till then, goodnight.