07/03/2018 Newsnight


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07/03/2018

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.


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This is being treated as a major

incident involving attempted murder

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by administration of a nerve agent.

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Confirmation that a chemical

weapon has been used

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on the streets of Wiltshire.

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Not just a spy and his daughter

suffering the effects -

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a police officer is also

in a serious condition.

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The stakes have been raised again

diplomatically today,

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not least because the use of a nerve

agent suggests

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a sophisticated attack.

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And easy as it is to speculate

on Russian involvement,

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what does that actually mean?

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An underworld connection may not

preclude the involvement of people

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with influence in the Kremlin. And

rival factions inside the Kremlin

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operating without direct orders

might still be doing so with the

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knowledge of those at the very top.

Also tonight...

Trade wars aren't so

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bad. Do you understand?

The truth is

quite the opposite. Trade wars are

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bad and easy to lose.

So we will see

what happens.

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Trump threatens a new world

war - a trade war.

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And the EU don't like it.

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Is this likely to be

a significant retreat

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from the globalised world order?

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Word is the age of identity politics

leave people of mixed race?

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I am black but I am also white.

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And just because I have one parent

that's black and one

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parent that's white,

doesn't mean that for me I have

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to pick.

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And a love letter to NME

as its printing presses stop.

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You've filtered people into those

that read the NME, those that read

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Melody maker and those that didn't

read either. People you didn't need

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to waste your time with.

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Hello.

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So we now know, it was a nerve agent

that was administered

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to Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

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The case is obviously being

treated as attempted murder,

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but also as a major incident.

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A nerve agent, a chemical weapon,

used on our streets.

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There's the threat to public health

there could have been.

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That's thankfully

considered low risk now,

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but also a police officer

is seriously ill with the effects.

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Now these chemicals

are hard to manufacture.

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They are not remotely

something any ordinary

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criminal could muster.

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And that makes it more likely

that a state entity was involved.

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It was a nerve agent used to kill

Kim Jong Un's half-brother last year

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at the airport in Kuala Lumpur.

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The Americans attribute that murder

to North Korea for example.

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Mark Urban is with me.

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Take us through what we learned

today?

The key thing is this

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determination that it was some kind

of nerve agent. I'm told they still

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don't know what the nature of this

poison is, but we can come back

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through that in a moment. -- to

that. The other key fact was the

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officer being seriously ill. This

hardens the sense that you are

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either extremely well organised

people or a state. It being a police

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officer who is now also among the

victims of this raises the game

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diplomatically.

Everybody has heard

the phrase nerve agent but no -- but

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most of us don't really know quite

what that is and what the

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imprecations are?

We have to think

outside the box. The obvious ones,

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sarin etc, would have been tested

already. The chemical agent

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detectors and other monitors that

would have been applied at the scene

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and to the victims, they have come

to the determination it is not one

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of those. They are typically betide

that work by interrupting the nerve

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connections in the body and breaking

them down. It is not a

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straightforward one that the

military kits would easily find. So

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what is it? They don't know yet. It

is something more exotic. It could

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be a specially developed type of

poison specifically for

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assassination. It could be something

even like a synthetic form of snake

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venom or shellfish toxin which is a

naturally occurring thing which can

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interrupt how the nervous system

works, but could be synthesised as

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an assassination weapon.

What

happens now?

Well, self-evidently

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the key thing is whether or not

these people survive, whether they

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can determine how to treat them. The

EU usual stuff, -- the usual stuff,

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chemical substances which are used

when somebody has organophosphates,

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as presumably already been tried.

That would've been the immediate

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reaction. Can they be saved? Clearly

a lot could be learned if they could

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be. Attention also focusing on who

was around them in the minutes and

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hours before they fell ill.

We were

talking earlier. We have had a rice

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in attack in this country. That was

back in the 70s. We have had a

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polonium attack. Hard to think of a

chemical attack, in nerve agent,

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being used on British soil.

It is.

Although I will backtrack to the

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previous answer and say that because

this might be some unknown,

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extremely exotic form of poison for

assassination, self-evidently then

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it would be an unprecedented use of

that type of agent.

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Mark, thank you.

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Now it's all too easy to jump

to some obvious conclusions

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about who's behind this.

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And no doubt most of us

are thinking Russia.

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But there is some nuance here -

Russia is not one single agency,

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nor is it synonymous

with Vladamir Putin.

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Gabriel Gatehouse knows the country

well, and reflects now

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on the complexity within.

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When enemies of the Kremlin are

poisoned in Britain...

Members will

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have their suspicions.

The finger of

blame is quick to point...

Have

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their suspicions.

To Moscow, and

with good reason.

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with good reason. Mark Gough was

poisoned your own Waterloo Bridge in

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1978 by a panel of -- pellet fired

from a specially constructed

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umbrella. The KGB organised the

assassination. That is the same

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organisation that nurtured and

trained the man who is now president

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of Russia. Clearly, the practice of

killing its enemies abroad has

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survived the collapse of the Soviet

Union. So if today's revelation

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about the possible use of a nerve

agent is correct, and there is a

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Russian connection, then who gave

the order? There are three possible

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options. Option one is Putin. Under

this theory nothing happens without

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his say-so. Intriguingly, in 2006

Russia adopted the law that allows

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the president and the president

alone to order the killing of its

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enemies abroad.

Putin has two types

of enemies. One group, one faction

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is outsiders, those who challenge

the system from outside. And the

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other group are those who were part

of the system before. And if they

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defect, if they change sides, that

is treated as treason. And they are

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treated as traitors.

Surrogate

script would belong to the latter

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category. -- surrogate Skibo. So did

Alexander Litvinenko. The

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investigation into his death

included the killing was probably

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approved by the head of the FSB and

by Mr Putin himself. Option two is

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organised crime. This is essentially

the Mac Mafia theory, people who

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deal in the murky world of secret

information are likely to find

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themselves mixed up in dodgy

business. The Mac Mafia drama

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series, in which Russian gangsters

used London and Britain more

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generally to launder money and

settle scores, is, according to a

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minister last month, very close to

the truth. But no evidence has yet

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emerged that surrogate script was

involved in such activities. And

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poison seems like an unlikely method

for an underground hit. Option three

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is it is complicated. The Kremlin is

not a monolith.

There are different

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weaponised factions, armies, groups

connected to the Russian state, to

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the power, that use this force,

which used this force, to intimidate

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their own opponents.

With the

opposition politician and Putin

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critic Boris Nemtsov was murdered

just yards from the Kremlin walls,

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many in the West assumed Putin

himself must have been behind it.

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But in Russia they know things are a

little murkier.

The tragic story of

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Boris Nemtsov at least suggests that

not every

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not every badly -- every order comes

from straight broth. -- above. Putin

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was not directly involved. He even

most likely didn't know about it

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until it had happened.

Could Sergey

Sirotkin Arles, who didn't seem to

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pose any immediate threat, have

fallen victim to similar power

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games? The truth could be more

complicated still. And under world

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involvement might not preclude

people from the Kremlin, and rival

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factions inside the Kremlin

operating without direct orders

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might still be doing so with the

knowledge of those at the very top.

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Details of the type of poison used

may give investigators some clues as

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to the identities of those

responsible. It still won't tell us

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why or why now.

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So where does all of this leave

Britain's diplomatic

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relations with Russia?

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What, if anything, could or should

be done if Moscow was found

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to have been involved?

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I'm joined from New York

by Alex Goldfarb.

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He's a Russian microbiologist

and was a close friend

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of Alexander Litvinenenko,

the Russian defector

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who was believed to have been

murdered by the Russian state

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here in London in 2006.

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With me here is Sir Tony Brenton.

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He was British ambassador

to Moscow at the time

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of the Litvinenko affair.

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Alex Goldfarb, let me start with

you. Which theories of the different

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kinds of accounts, which would you

be focusing on?

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be focusing on?

I do not have any

evidence. I would pick the Putin

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theory for the simple reason that he

is the only one who had a motive and

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an opportunity, and has been he

shown beyond any reasonable doubt to

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be involved in the previous

assassination of Little Billing go,

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who was my friend. He has a motive.

-- Alexander Litvinenko. Is motive

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is the elections which are coming in

about ten days. There is a very low

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turnout expected. And he needs to

energise his nationalistic

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anti-Western electorate. So he wants

to portray himself as a tough guy

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who can get his enemies anywhere in

the world, and who has been

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presenting himself as the only thing

that is protecting Russia and the

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Russians from the plotting and

scheming of the West.

I understand

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why you are positive in that theory.

Interestingly though, is this

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attempted murder playing big in

Russia? Are all talking about it in

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a election way, or are they

basically ignoring it?

Well, it's

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bound to play high because it is

being reported on national TV and on

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the Internet. And the official

response that this is the West

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plotting against Putin, and that is

why they killed this guy, MI5 MI6

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have killed this guy, that is what

they said about Alexander Litvinenko

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as well. The other half Russians

will think that it serves the

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traitor right.

What are the lessons

you took from the Alexander

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Litvinenko case as to how Britain

should respond to something like

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this happening on its soil? If it

does have two -- Turner to have a

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Russian connection, it is

outrageous. Too big to ignore and

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yet it is hard to know what to do?

Well, it is a strong sense of deja

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vu. For ten years the British

government refused to admit that the

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Alexander Litvinenko murder was a

state-sponsored crime. Up to the

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very public enquiry which happened

in 2016, ten years after his death,

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they maintained this is a regular

criminal matter. The moment an

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English judge ruled it was

state-sponsored murder in all

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probability ordered by Putin, David

Cameron went on TV and said, "We

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knew it from day one. " There were

trying to keep it quiet, not to

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annoy Putin. And they invited other

attacks like this. If the response

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now will be the same, only words

without any actions. There will be a

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third and fourth attempt.

You blame

the inaction last time for

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effectively Russia thinking they can

do this again?

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Of course, there is no price that Mr

Putin has paid for the murder of

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Litvinenko. This time, Britain can

do a lot to respond. For example, in

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my view, they should not recognise

the legitimacy of the elections.

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Everybody knows that these are fake

elections. The two major opponents

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of Mr Putin, one of them was killed,

and another was deprived from

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running. And he is running

essentially unopposed. So, everybody

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knows it's not a real election.

Every observer for the past 15 years

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said that the Russian elections are

not fair and honest. I don't

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understand why... Why you recognise

Mr...

Sorry to interrupt, but I have

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to move on. Do you yourself feel in

danger? Do you think the Russians

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would try something like this on

American soil?

Well, ironically, I

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don't think that they would put

their friend Mr Trump in such a

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precarious position, but that might

be wishful thinking - who knows?

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Thank you very much. Let me turn to

Sir Tony Brenton. We got the first

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idea for what we do, which is not to

recognise the legitimacy of the

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Russian election.

We don't recognise

elections but governments. We have

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to deal with the Government that

this election produces, whatever you

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feel about the quality of the

election.

We have all jumped on

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Russia. Russia, of course, says, you

are jumping to conclusions, it's not

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fair. You've jumped to the

conclusion as well.

I resist the

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suggestion that I have jumped to the

conclusion. I was cautious two days

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ago, but us the bag as the evidence

has accumulated that this is a

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sophisticated nerve agent, it points

more and more clearly to Russian

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state action. They have both

motivation, the victim had already

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been accused personally by Putin of

being a traitor, and they are one of

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the very few agencies in the world

who deploy this sort of poison,

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actually, as a matter of routine.

You were in Moscow at the time of

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the Litvinenko killing. What was

going on? I mean, did you feel

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anything worked, or did you feel

that kind of, oh, it's not us, how

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dare you suggest we would do such a

thing?

From the Russians, there was

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a... Once we made the accusation,

what we got was denial, but

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following that, a whole spate of

false stories - it was the British

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state, it was someone else, enough

to muddy the atmosphere quite a lot.

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I would expect, if we come to make

the accusation against the Russians,

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we will get exactly the same.

It did

take a long time. We took the right

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amount of time to do anything,

because we have to go through

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process, and we don't jump to...

It

is not just about process. We wanted

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to be absolutely sure we had very

strong evidence of Russian

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involvement.

Week created the case,

the CPS said they thought they knew

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who it was, try to extradite him and

they wouldn't. And we impose

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sanctions. We didn't

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sanctions. We didn't really say it

was a state-sponsored killing in

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London until 2016.

We did not have

slam dunk evidence.

But you look for

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evidence.

We got what we got, and we

made that accusation through the

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sanctions we impose. I think the

claim that we acted insufficiently

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following the Litvinenko murder is a

Miss construction of what happened.

0:18:340:18:39

We chose the sanctions rather

carefully, with a view to

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discouraging Russia from doing

anything similar again, any kind of

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work for the next 12 years. Of

course, in the 12 years, the

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situation has changed dramatically

between us and Russia.

We have used

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up much of the armoury, so it is

much harder now. Looking at it, you

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would think, it can't be Britain on

its own boycotting the World Cup or

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anything like this. It's hopeless.

It has got to be... The West has to

0:19:050:19:09

say, this is not acceptable. Did you

try that?

We did at the time of

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Litvinenko. We were keen to get as

much Western supporters we could

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get. The Americans were a much

better state than they are now and

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were ready to be supported. Our

European partners, I regret to say,

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couldn't be seen for dust. They

weren't going to have a row with

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Russia about what they saw as a

purely British concern.

Seriously?

0:19:300:19:34

They did not see this as an attack

on an international statement?

They

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made statements. We were playing

with the idea of excluding the

0:19:390:19:43

Russians from the G8, which happened

subsequently, and the Germans were

0:19:430:19:46

entirely negative.

What does this

tell us about how to deal with thugs

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and bullies that parade around the

world at the moment, do stuff that

0:19:500:19:54

is unacceptable? You've got to deal

with them because they run big and

0:19:540:19:58

important countries...

That's a very

big question. Just focusing on

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Russia, we now have what looks like

this outrage by Russia and we will

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have to be seen to act as powerfully

as we can, but we know that our

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reaction is almost certainly going

to be in effect. Russia is enough of

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a rogue elephant and enough

unaffected by what the West does to

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go its own way. We will have to act

in a tough way, but in the longer

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term, the only way to get Russia

back behaving rationally is to begin

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to really incorporate it into

sensible international discourse.

0:20:290:20:35

Isolating, threatening and

sanctioning it doesn't work. We have

0:20:350:20:38

to begin to rebuild relations. I

know that is not what people want as

0:20:380:20:43

a response, but that is what we have

to do.

Thank you, both.

0:20:430:20:47

It's been a chaotic debate

within the White House -

0:20:470:20:49

nothing new there.

0:20:490:20:50

But President Trump is clearly set

on pursuing his idea of slapping

0:20:500:20:53

penal taxes on steel

and aluminiuim imports.

0:20:530:20:55

He's lost his top economic adviser,

Gary Cohn, as a result.

0:20:550:20:57

And he threatens a trade war -

the EU today spelt out how

0:20:570:21:00

it might retaliate,

hitting US exports of bourbon,

0:21:000:21:02

peanut butter, cranberries,

among other items.

0:21:020:21:06

Who knows where it will end?

0:21:060:21:10

Which is one reason why

most economists hate

0:21:100:21:12

Trump-style protection.

0:21:120:21:15

Whatever the problem,

it's not the solution, they say.

0:21:150:21:18

But in this age of populist

disenchantment with globalisation,

0:21:180:21:20

on the left and right,

Trump's logic may appeal

0:21:200:21:22

well beyond the US.

0:21:220:21:25

Take his tweet:

0:21:250:21:27

"We must

protect our country and our workers.

0:21:270:21:29

Our steel industry is in bad shape.

0:21:290:21:31

If you don't have steel,

you don't have a country!"

0:21:310:21:36

It's a logic most countries apply

to farms, which would

0:21:360:21:38

die without subsidy.

0:21:380:21:44

Are we about to see it

apply to heavy industry?

0:21:440:21:47

Here's our business

editor, Helen Thomas.

0:21:470:21:54

When you think about trade

and international economics,

0:21:590:22:01

you don't generally think of this.

0:22:010:22:05

But a Trump policy

with its roots in America's

0:22:050:22:09

rust belt states has quickly led

here, a threat against classic

0:22:090:22:12

symbols of Americana.

0:22:120:22:16

President Trump wants

tariffs of 25% on steel

0:22:160:22:19

imports and 10% on aluminium.

0:22:190:22:23

When we're behind in every single

country, trade wars aren't so bad.

0:22:230:22:27

These, very unusually, would be

imposed in the name of national

0:22:270:22:30

security.

0:22:300:22:31

But would hit friend and foe alike.

0:22:310:22:34

The European Union has

not treated us well.

0:22:340:22:36

It's been a very, very

unfair trade situation.

0:22:360:22:41

I'm here to protect,

and one of the reasons I was elected

0:22:410:22:43

is I'm protecting our workers,

0:22:430:22:45

and protecting our companies and I'm

not going to let that happen.

0:22:450:22:49

Today came the start

of the official European response.

0:22:490:22:53

If a move like this

is taken, it will hurt the

0:22:530:22:55

European Union.

0:22:550:22:56

It would put thousands

of European jobs in

0:22:560:22:59

jeopardy and it has to be met by

a firm and proportionate response.

0:22:590:23:04

From what we understand the

motivation of the US is an economic

0:23:040:23:09

safeguard measure in disguise.

0:23:090:23:10

Not a national security measure.

0:23:100:23:16

If President Trump acts,

Europe has said it will

0:23:160:23:18

respond in three ways.

0:23:180:23:19

First, it will appeal

to the World Trade

0:23:190:23:21

Organisation, which will take time.

0:23:210:23:23

Then it will act to protect European

markets from a surge of steel and

0:23:230:23:25

aluminium imports

displace from the US.

0:23:250:23:30

And it would take other measures

against US peanut butter,

0:23:300:23:32

cranberries and orange juice,

as well as tariffs on Levi's jeans

0:23:320:23:37

and Harley-Davidsons.

0:23:370:23:40

The trouble is that

President Trump has already

0:23:400:23:43

reacted with a threat to slap

a tariff on European cars.

0:23:430:23:46

It's exactly the kind

of tit-for-tat that

0:23:460:23:49

economists fear, a trade war that

leaves everyone worse off.

0:23:490:23:56

The policy started here, America's

beleaguered steel industry.

0:23:560:24:00

The aim is to fire up

the sector, getting to

0:24:000:24:03

levels that are

sustainably profitable.

0:24:030:24:07

But the main problem,

a glut of cheap Chinese steel, has

0:24:070:24:09

already improved.

0:24:090:24:13

And gains from previous more

targeted steel tariffs

0:24:130:24:15

like in 2002, were short lived.

0:24:150:24:17

Steel mills reopened,

new money came into the sector.

0:24:170:24:21

Prices and profitability fell again.

0:24:210:24:24

Tariffs could bring

economic costs for the

0:24:240:24:26

US, too.

0:24:260:24:28

If you can increase the price

of steel by 20% for your economy,

0:24:280:24:31

then cars, and if it is aluminium,

beer cans, the price of them will

0:24:310:24:36

increase.

0:24:360:24:43

And this will reduce demand from

0:24:430:24:44

consumers because prices will be

higher, and this will mean

0:24:440:24:48

job loss.

0:24:480:24:51

President Trump's protectionist

instincts should not

0:24:510:24:52

be a surprise.

0:24:520:24:54

It was a key part of

his pitch to voters.

0:24:540:24:57

Could this be bluster, a negotiating

0:24:570:24:59

tactic?

0:24:590:25:01

Or is it a genuine threat

to the rules -based world order on

0:25:010:25:05

trade built over the past 70 years?

0:25:050:25:08

History teaches us that it's

a pretty powerful signal when the

0:25:080:25:12

United States unilaterally

announces tariffs.

0:25:120:25:14

When it did it in 1930,

some would say it caused the great

0:25:140:25:18

depression.

0:25:180:25:20

Not just because of the economic

effect, but because when

0:25:200:25:22

the United States says we are not

going to abide by the rules, then no

0:25:220:25:26

other country needs

to abide by the rules.

0:25:260:25:29

In the 1930s, when it broke

the trust of countries

0:25:290:25:33

to cooperate with one another,

it is the breaking of trust

0:25:330:25:36

that pushed the world

into the great

0:25:360:25:38

depression.

0:25:380:25:42

The WTO, 164 countries,

has been bound together roughly by

0:25:420:25:46

the notion that more trade can be

better for everyone.

0:25:460:25:50

The US now seems to be

striking out alone.

0:25:500:25:53

Helen Thomas there.

0:25:590:26:01

How seriously should

we take President Trump's

0:26:010:26:03

language on this issue?

0:26:030:26:04

And how much would it matter

if he followed through?

0:26:040:26:06

With me in the studio

is Pippa Malgrem, a former special

0:26:060:26:09

assistant on economic policy

to President George W Bush.

0:26:090:26:11

Joining us from Washington

is Jeffrey Schott -

0:26:110:26:13

he's a senior fellow

from the Peterson Institute

0:26:130:26:15

for International Economics,

and sits on the President's Trade

0:26:150:26:17

and Environment Policy

Advisory Committee.

0:26:170:26:24

Jeffrey, if I messed up the queue,

25% on steel and aluminium, it's not

0:26:240:26:28

such a big industry in the big

picture of American national income.

0:26:280:26:35

How serious would it be if President

Trump does this?

Well, the problem

0:26:350:26:41

of doing this will be that it raises

the cost of production of goods in

0:26:410:26:47

the United States, and the

downstream problems that that will

0:26:470:26:55

cause for US production and

employment, and the reaction from

0:26:550:26:59

our trading partners, as your

segment just chose. There would be

0:26:590:27:02

emulation by other countries and

possible retaliation, which would

0:27:020:27:05

affect US export.

0:27:050:27:10

affect US export.

-- as your segment

just showed. What would have to

0:27:110:27:14

happen for this to be if not the

1930s, to at least be a big reverse

0:27:140:27:20

to trade and globalisation?

I think

the 1930s example is a little

0:27:200:27:24

exaggerated. But I think your

segment, your reporter, laid out the

0:27:240:27:31

scenario is very well. There are a

couple of steps that the European

0:27:310:27:35

Union can take that are consistent

with WTO rights and obligations,

0:27:350:27:40

calling for consultations and

dispute settlement, and imposing

0:27:400:27:44

protections against the deflection

of trade back to the European

0:27:440:27:47

market. But taking retaliatory

actions without prior authorisation

0:27:470:27:53

from the WTO would be more clearly

illegal of WTO rules than what the

0:27:530:28:00

United States is doing. The

tit-for-tat can grow, and where it

0:28:000:28:06

stops, nobody knows.

Pepper, is that

the problem here? It's not just

0:28:060:28:13

steal, it's the world down of a

world rules -based order.

Possibly,

0:28:130:28:22

but I've just finished a job on

leadership, and he was the first

0:28:220:28:27

thing about Trump. First committee

throws a punch, and when his

0:28:270:28:30

opponent is thrown sideways, then he

says, let's talk. We are confusing

0:28:300:28:35

the style that he negotiates with,

and let's face it, he is a property

0:28:350:28:38

guy, so with him everything is

negotiable. On the day that this is

0:28:380:28:44

announced, no coincidence, you also

have the three most powerful men in

0:28:440:28:47

China in Washington, DC, and within

24 hours, the North Koreans agreed

0:28:470:28:52

to come to the table on the nuclear

negotiations, and I think there's a

0:28:520:28:55

chance that the way Trump is looking

at this is, he's connecting these as

0:28:550:28:59

all one thing. Again, who is he

throwing a punch at? It wasn't just

0:28:590:29:04

on steel, it was a message to

everybody.

Your scenario would be

0:29:040:29:09

that this is big talk, everyone is

going to sit around, it won't be as

0:29:090:29:13

bad as it sounds on the day.

Let's

face it, what we have so far is

0:29:130:29:19

nothing formal, no policy statement.

What we have is a tweet. You know,

0:29:190:29:23

until we have something substantive.

Let's face it, we announced in the

0:29:230:29:30

Bush administration steel tariffs

and it took one year from the formal

0:29:300:29:33

announcement until anyone had any

details.

Jeffrey, give some advice

0:29:330:29:38

to the Europeans so-called Islamic

State our last discussion on Russia

0:29:380:29:40

was about how to deal with a thug or

a bully -- gives some advice to the

0:29:400:29:47

Europeans - our last discussion on

Russia was about how to deal with a

0:29:470:29:51

thug or a bully. But that the

Europeans do? Do they just say,

0:29:510:29:55

though, have your silly tariff and

we will not play this game, or

0:29:550:29:58

should they retaliate?

0:29:580:30:03

There really is no good response.

Pippa is right about Trump wanting

0:30:030:30:09

to create a sense of

unpredictability. He prides himself

0:30:090:30:12

on that. And so a lot of people here

and abroad don't know what he is

0:30:120:30:18

going to do. But the rumours are the

expectations are that he will

0:30:180:30:23

announce an action tomorrow, and

that that action is going to be

0:30:230:30:28

effective in two weeks. So this is

not something that will be pushed

0:30:280:30:34

off for a long time, paper, this

will be implemented soon. What is at

0:30:340:30:39

issue right now, still under debate,

is whether some countries will be

0:30:390:30:44

exempted and whether some products

will be exempted from the coverage.

0:30:440:30:50

Very briefly, you found it very

difficult to try and get someone to

0:30:500:30:56

defend it on the programme this

evening, except the voters. The

0:30:560:31:02

voters are shying away from

globalisation. They may say, we

0:31:020:31:04

would like to pay more for steel and

have a steel injury.

What is more

0:31:040:31:09

ironic is that China still has

become more expensive and American

0:31:090:31:13

steel has been remarkably

competitive by comparison. In a way

0:31:130:31:16

what the president is doing is

fighting a fight that is ten years

0:31:160:31:19

out of date. The Chinese are

investing in US manufacturing

0:31:190:31:24

facilities. It is pandering to a

particular audience that is maybe as

0:31:240:31:28

out of date as the president. I have

my doubts that we will really go

0:31:280:31:32

down this road.

Thank you both very much indeed.

0:31:320:31:34

For several years now,

identity politics has been

0:31:340:31:36

dominating public discourse.

0:31:360:31:39

Whether it is race, gender,

or sexuality, the rights of,

0:31:390:31:44

and respect for, different groups

has been a prevalent

0:31:440:31:46

theme of our time.

0:31:460:31:47

But there are those who don't fit

into the most obvious categories.

0:31:470:31:50

Bisexual people are not gay

and are not straight, for example.

0:31:500:31:53

And then of course,

there are people of mixed race.

0:31:530:31:55

Now, that term didn't appear

on the census until 2001,

0:31:550:31:59

but it is now the fastest growing

ethnic minority in the UK,

0:31:590:32:03

with the number of people of mixed

race expected to rise

0:32:030:32:05

to 2.2 million by 2031.

0:32:050:32:10

So, how do they feel about the term

mixed race and the rise

0:32:100:32:13

of identity politics?

0:32:130:32:14

Do we expect people of dual heritage

to self identify as mixed race

0:32:140:32:17

even though that is

itself a mixed category?

0:32:170:32:20

Or do they have choose

one side of their ethnicity?

0:32:200:32:24

Newsnight producer Scarlett Barter,

who has a black mother

0:32:240:32:27

and white father, has been

examining her own mixed identity,

0:32:270:32:31

and reveals that it is much more

complicated than it may seem.

0:32:310:32:38

My parents met in Plymouth in the

'80s, when they were both studying.

0:32:380:32:43

I think they were very

awware that they

0:32:430:32:45

were maybe slightly unconventional,

being an interracial couple.

0:32:450:32:49

They really encouraged

us to embrace both

0:32:490:32:51

sides of our heritage and both

sides of their cultures.

0:32:510:32:56

I mean, I am black,

but I'm also white.

0:32:560:32:59

And just because I have one

parent that's black and

0:32:590:33:01

one parent that's white,

it doesn't mean that,

0:33:010:33:04

for me, I have to pick.

0:33:040:33:06

It means I can be both.

0:33:060:33:08

Congratulations from all of us...

0:33:080:33:09

But can't mixed race people really

navigate both sides of their

0:33:090:33:12

identity?

0:33:120:33:15

Meghan Markle identifies as mixed

race, but many have still

0:33:150:33:17

tried to pigeonhole

her as white or black.

0:33:170:33:21

Is it time that society just

accepted that some people feel both?

0:33:210:33:26

I definitely feel

very other at times.

0:33:260:33:31

I definitely feel like I'm quite

unplaceable in people's minds.

0:33:310:33:35

And I think that that makes people

quite uncomfortable.

0:33:350:33:37

People...

0:33:370:33:38

Lots of people, not

everyone, feel much

0:33:380:33:41

more comfortable when things

are much more sort of clear-cut -

0:33:410:33:44

you know, you're gay,

you're straight,

0:33:440:33:46

you're white, you're black, and I've

0:33:460:33:47

never really felt

like I can be so easily

0:33:470:33:54

defined, and I think that people

do struggle with that.

0:33:540:33:58

But no two experiences

of being mixed race are

0:33:580:34:00

the same.

0:34:000:34:01

1.2 million people were recorded

as mixed race in the last

0:34:010:34:04

census.

0:34:040:34:07

That's 1.2 million different ideas

of what it means to be mixed race.

0:34:070:34:10

Even people within the same family

can have totally different

0:34:100:34:13

feelings about their identity.

0:34:130:34:19

So, you guys are twins.

0:34:190:34:20

You know, you have the same

background, the same

0:34:200:34:22

parents, - why is it that you think

you identify so differently?

0:34:220:34:25

I personally identify as mixed race.

0:34:250:34:27

I know that some people try and

identify as black or white, one or

0:34:270:34:30

the other, but I think it's quite

hard to determine, especially at a

0:34:300:34:33

young age, where you fit

in and who you are.

0:34:330:34:36

And I think some people try

and categorise you as one of the

0:34:360:34:39

other, or you feel like you need to

make a decision, but I think I got

0:34:390:34:43

to the stage where I thought,

I'm mixed race, I am both black and

0:34:430:34:46

white.

0:34:460:34:47

I'm slightly different.

0:34:470:34:48

Whilst I know I'm mixed race, that's

what I tick on forms, I think it's

0:34:480:34:52

too broad a term for me,

and I identify mainly as black.

0:34:520:34:55

I think what's probably

caused it is, we went

0:34:550:34:57

to very different schools.

0:34:570:35:00

I think there were less

than ten people of

0:35:000:35:02

colour in my whole school, and so,

it's kind of a cycle, coming to

0:35:020:35:06

terms with who you are.

0:35:060:35:09

I always stuck out like

a sore thumb, really.

0:35:090:35:11

And I was always "the black one".

0:35:110:35:15

So, that's what I've grown up with,

and I'm embracing that now.

0:35:150:35:18

I'm happy to call myself black

rather than mixed race.

0:35:180:35:20

I had a different experience.

0:35:200:35:22

I went to a different

school to my sister, but

0:35:220:35:25

it was predominantly white

and Asian, but I felt that I had

0:35:250:35:28

a lot...

0:35:280:35:29

Rather than feeling very much black,

I think there was a lot of,

0:35:290:35:32

but you're not black,

and you're not white.

0:35:320:35:34

You're kind of somewhere

in the middle.

0:35:340:35:36

It was quite weird.

Sometimes it's based on...

0:35:360:35:38

People base those judgments on not

necessarily the heritage of your

0:35:380:35:42

parents - it's more

about who they perceive you to be.

0:35:420:35:44

I've always had my

blackness questioned.

0:35:440:35:49

And that's always hurt quite a lot

because I feel like you're

0:35:490:35:51

questioning my relationship

with my mum, and a part of who I am.

0:35:510:35:59

Lots of times, I've had people come

up to me and say, oh, you're not

0:36:000:36:04

black really.

0:36:040:36:05

Or, you're not really white,

or whatever it may be.

0:36:050:36:09

And that, that can be painful, yeah.

0:36:090:36:11

It feels like I'm being forced

by people to pick a side.

0:36:110:36:19

Some people do just

identify as white or black,

0:36:190:36:23

and that can make the term

mixed race difficult.

0:36:230:36:27

I don't like the term

mixed race at all.

0:36:270:36:29

I don't identify as

mixed race, but I also

0:36:290:36:32

think it's a really problematic term

generally, because it kind of...

0:36:320:36:37

It reinforces the idea

that both black

0:36:370:36:44

and white, if we're

talking about black

0:36:440:36:48

and white mixed raceness, are kind

of neutral and natural racial

0:36:480:36:52

categories that exist.

You can't be half white.

0:36:520:37:00

The racial construct white

was not invented to allow

0:37:000:37:04

entrance to people

who are half white.

0:37:040:37:07

You're either white

or you're not white.

0:37:070:37:11

So, I often find it...

0:37:110:37:14

Interesting and slightly irritating

when people ask about, um...

0:37:140:37:20

People ask about choice,

and they say, oh,

0:37:200:37:23

like, you are choosing...

0:37:230:37:26

The idea that you're

kind of choosing the

0:37:260:37:30

black side and you are

erasing your white side.

0:37:300:37:32

You're not given the choice.

0:37:320:37:36

Mixed race people are held up

as sort of this example of a

0:37:360:37:39

post-racial society, but actually,

the reality is is that mixed race

0:37:390:37:42

issues and mixed race people

can often be very much

0:37:420:37:45

overlooked and misunderstood.

0:37:450:37:51

The rise of identity

politics can mean that your

0:37:510:37:54

background is becoming more and more

important, but so much

0:37:540:37:56

about forming your identity

is about where you

0:37:560:37:58

grew up and how you are perceived

rather than your ethnic mix.

0:37:580:38:05

Certainly, when I was growing up,

there were like a handful of other

0:38:050:38:08

mixed people that I knew,

but whereas I was quite happy to

0:38:080:38:14

identify as black and felt really

proud of being Nigerian and stuff,

0:38:140:38:18

some of the other people, they were

trying to distinguish themselves

0:38:180:38:23

from just an ordinary black person

and be like, no, no, no, but I'm

0:38:230:38:27

half white, like, I'm better

than these other black people,

0:38:270:38:29

and that's something that just

makes me feel...

0:38:290:38:33

That's something that makes me feel

like really uncomfortable.

0:38:330:38:35

I don't want to try

and distinguish myself

0:38:350:38:39

from blackness, to put myself that

little bit closer to whiteness,

0:38:390:38:42

and I think that's one

of the reasons

0:38:420:38:48

that I so emphatically like

identify, identify as black.

0:38:480:38:50

I think that sometimes

it can feel like, if

0:38:500:38:53

you're mixed race, sometimes it

feels like people don't...

0:38:530:38:57

Don't understand what

that means, and they

0:38:570:38:58

don't sort of engage

with it in the way that

0:38:580:39:03

maybe you'd want them to,

so sometimes it can feel like you're

0:39:030:39:06

not really anything because you're

not really seen as black and you're

0:39:060:39:09

not really seen as white.

0:39:090:39:15

But I would like to be seen as both,

because that is what I am.

0:39:150:39:19

As the number of people with dual

heritage grows in the UK, will we

0:39:190:39:25

become more accepting

of those, like me,

0:39:250:39:27

who want to be seen as mixed

race?

0:39:270:39:35

Reflections from Scarlet Bartra.

0:39:370:39:38

There was something

of a cultural moment today.

0:39:380:39:40

NME, the New Musical Express

magazine, announced it

0:39:400:39:42

will publish its final print

edition this Friday.

0:39:420:39:49

so we brought together two people

this evening who loved the magazine

0:39:490:39:52

- writer David Quantinck and former

editor Connor McNicholas -

0:39:520:39:54

to bid it farewell.

0:39:540:39:55

Goodnight.

0:39:550:40:03

I grew up in Bradford and the NME

and Melody Maker were my only access

0:40:040:40:09

to the world of music. It was so

precious when it turned up on a

0:40:090:40:14

Wednesday. When I was looking after

it I had a mental thing -- picture

0:40:140:40:18

of some poor sap who had a Saturday

job in Doncaster and this was their

0:40:180:40:23

only contact with the outside world

of music. That is the person I wrote

0:40:230:40:26

before.

The NME filled a gap.

Records were pressed and deleted,

0:40:260:40:34

you couldn't get old records.

You

filtered people into those that read

0:40:340:40:39

the NME, those who read the Melody

Maker and those who didn't read

0:40:390:40:41

either, the people you didn't need

to waste your time with.

For me the

0:40:410:40:47

enemy has always survived when there

is a popular white guitar book. --

0:40:470:40:50

NME.

All bands would say it didn't

matter if they were featured but it

0:40:500:40:57

did.

The cool bands hated doing an

interview. You felt like saying, you

0:40:570:41:04

are getting free advertising for

free. It was like being on top of

0:41:040:41:07

the Pops. It was the thing you did.

It was a rite of passage for a band.

0:41:070:41:13

Anybody in a band read the NME when

they were younger.

0:41:130:41:18

What was great about the NME is it

was a conversation, people talking

0:41:180:41:22

to other artists every week about

politics, music, everything. The NME

0:41:220:41:27

did die years ago. It has kept going

in loads of different forms. But

0:41:270:41:31

what it was hasn't existed for a

very long time.

Everybody knew at

0:41:310:41:37

some point the paper publication was

going to go. I knew that in the

0:41:370:41:40

years that I was there. You could

see it was going to happen. But

0:41:400:41:44

publishing in the digital space is

inevitably just a completely

0:41:440:41:47

different experience than what the

NME was previously, and in a way I

0:41:470:41:53

suppose we all get the

0:41:530:41:54