01/11/2012 Question Time


In the week before the US presidential election, David Dimbleby is joined in London by David Miliband, Jerry Springer, Kwasi Kwarteng, Colleen Graffy and Shami Chakrabarti.

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Good evening. Tonight, Question Time comes from London.


A big welcome to our audience here and our panel. The Foreign


Secretary in the last Labour Government, David Miliband. The


Conservative MP, Kwasi Kwarteng, newly elected to the House of


Commons in 2010. The Director of The Human rites pressure group,


Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti. The former chairman of Republicans


abroad, Colleen Graffy, who worked for Condoleezza Rice in the State


Department. And a Democrat politician who was Mayor of


Cincinnati and Ohio, then became host of his own controversial


television show, Jerry Springer. APPLAUSE


Thank you very much. The American elections are coming up and our


first question is from Mark Weaver. Hello. As a US citizen, I voted for


Barack Obama in 2008, optimistic about his mandate for hope and


change. The reality has been very different. Does he deserve another


four years? Well, of course, the race is getting closer and closer.


Does Obama deserve another four years? Jerry Springer? Yes.


APPLAUSE I like a man who gives a short


answer. I would suggest that the reality is that what he has done, I


think, is an excellent job. When he came into office, the financial


system in America was cray tering. People were losing half of their


life savings -- cratering. He came in, saved the financial community,


made it stable, people's life savings have now been in a large


part restored. Secondly, he saved the auto-industry. Thirdly, he when


he came in, he had several months in a row of losing 730,000 jobs


every month. Now, we've had 15 straight months of growth between


100,000 and 300,000 jobs per month. So why is he having such an uphill


struggle? Well, I think it's because the nation is deeply


divided. He said he'd get us out of Iraq. He got us out of Iraq. He's


getting us out of Afghanistan. He got us Osama Bin Laden. For the


first time in American history, we have health insurance that you all


enjoy here in Great Britain. I mean, you put that together, what else do


you want from this man? He's got us out of wars, turned the economy


around, the housing market is improving, the employment figures


are improving, the private sector is improving. So why is it so


difficult for him to... Because much of the country, half of the


country is... Not persuaded by what you say? Is Conservative. There are


many people that don't believe all Americans should have health


insurance. I'm not suggesting that my opinion is necessarily popular,


but the question was, from someone who supported Obama, why he should


be disappointed today and I'm saying, don't be. You've lost the


tingle that you had the first time you voted for him, but that's not


unlike a marriage. When you first get married, you just love the way


she looks and smiles and it's all the heart strings and the banjos,


but after years and years of a marriage, there's a deeper love but


it isn't like every time she walks into the room, you gasp because oh


my God, she's gorgeous, you love her because it's deep and there's a


performance there. Does this have resonance for you? No, I think he


lurched way far to the left, he wanted to build a bigger Government,


spend tonnes of money and I don't think frankly building bridges and


roads is the way out of this economic crisis and I think he's


taken the wrong path. Do you think it's OK that not all Americans have


health insurance? But again that was incorrectly implement and my


health care premiums have quadrupled in the last two or three


years since this came out. Instead of paying excess on my insurance


any more, I now have to co-insure myself so Obama care's failed. The


intent was good. It's not even started until 2014, how could it


have failed? We are already seeing the effects of that legislation.


You two just go aside for a second. Colleen Graffy? Let me first start


by saying that even though obviously I worked with the


previous administration, I was in Washington DC at the time of


Obama's inauguration and I thought it was fabulous for America, I


really did. I got up at 4am and I stood in line for five hours, my


feet are still defrosting it was so cold, but it was really magnificent


for the United States that we had elected our first African-American


President and nothing takes away from that. He's still likeable,


everyone loves him, but the fact is, he's been a disappointment. Not for


Republicans - we would say that wouldn't we - but for independence


and Democrats alike. It's not just that he promised to cut the deficit


in half and it's doubled. It's not just that we have 23 million


Americans out of work and struggling for work. It's some of


the things that took place at the beginning of his term. What strikes


many of us is, he didn't meet the Dalai Lama. The first President of


the United States not to meet the Dalai Lama when he came to


Washington DC. He had his reasons, he hadn't gone to China yet, he


didn't want to cause any problems there, but as a candidate, he had


told President Bush that he should boycott the Beijing Olympic Games


because he should have solidarity with Tibet and Darfur. Yet, as


President Obama, he doesn't want to meet with the thrarm. The reset


button with Russia not supporting the green revolution in Iran, there


is a whole host of things that have been disappointing -- he didn't


want to meet with the Dalai Lama. That's why you see double digits


turning to Romney. You see newspapers that endorsed Obama in


2008 and they are now switching and endorsing Romney. So again, great


moment for America but disappointment and whether that


results in a Romney win or not, it's very close to tell.


The woman on the right? I think regardless of who the democratic


candidate was, I think it would be a real disappointment from a


woman's perspective for Mitt Romney to be elected. Romney? Yes.


APPLAUSE Briefly, why do you think that?


His policies towards abortion... What are those policies? There


was... You may well ask. They change every day.


The fact is that abortion is not an issue. It's precedent in the United


States under Wade and Casey, no-one seriously suggests the Supreme


Court is going to overturn abortion. I know we bring this... No, it's


Conservative... One vote away from the Supreme Court and the next


President will choose. You are a lawyer, it's considered precedent.


The abortion issue is a scare tactic. Women care about the fact


that they are higher unemployment than men right now under this


economy, they care about the fact they don't make a wage that's going


to support them and their families and that's why women are now


turning towards Romney because they think I'm going to have a better


future under this President to have my career and my job. And the


Republican platform is opposed to the Ledbetter Act You know the


platform means nothing. It's not like the party manifesto here.


it has to be said that... I'm sorry. It's true nevertheless that he does


have difficulty getting the support of women. But that's changing as


people are realising they are all scare tactics coming out. David


Miliband? I think he's been a good President in remarkably difficult


circumstances. APPLAUSE


He's been calm, progressive, determined, rational, all the


qualities that you see actually in the last four days actually in the


context of the floods. Now, I think it's also very important to say, at


the moment we have been talking about domestic policy really, I


think he's the best choice on domestic policy. He rejects


simplistic slogans on foreign policy as well which is very, very


important. We have been through the era of the


"Axis of Evil" that North Korea, Iraq and Iran in the same context.


That was a dreadful mistake by President Bush. Anyone who knows


anything about the Middle East knows that Iraq and Iran are not


friends in an "Axis of Evil". On foreign policy, there are three big


issues facing the world - how you deal with China - not by declaring


trade war on day one. Second huge issue, Iran. You will never get a


diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis by threatening to


bomb them to kingdom come. What you do is actually engage with that


country and make absolutely clear that if they get a nuclear weapon,


then they are risking an attack. But until then you don't get Shia


to compromise by threatening to bomb them to hell. Third, we still


have 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. That's the forgotten war in both


the American election and too often our own domestic politics. We need


someone who understands that the only solution in Afghanistan is a


political solution. That does mean talking to the Taliban and engaging


with Pakistan. Those are essential qualities. One other thing which I


think the important on the foreign front. Look, the biggest diplomatic


failure for 40 years has been the failure to create a Palestinian




It's not that the failure to create a Palestinian state is fuelling Al-


Qaeda. That's not the point. It's an injustice for the Palestinians


and an insecurity for the Israelis. There's only one candidate who has


the slightest intention of trying to prosecute that case. I think for


those foreign policy reasons, as well as for the domestic policy


reasons, he's a compellingly strong alternative to Mr Romney.


APPLAUSE Just before we go back on that, I


want to ask you one caveat. Have you noticed a change in what he


said from when he was winning the nomination to now in the campaign


and to the last debate in the things that he said? Romney? Yes.


Yes, look, Romney will usually - admittedly when he came to London


and said we were a bunch of useless people who couldn't organise the


Olympics, he wasn't playing to type - but generally he'll say what the


audience wants to hear. That's not what he said. In the Republican


primaries, he ran on a tea party platform. My fear is that actually


if he got into office, he's too in hhoc to the tea party to get away


from them that.'s a danger to the American economy where the tea


party is not being about a fiscal hawk, it's fiscal incontinence with


tax cuts that can't be afforded. Internationally it's dangerous.


He'll never veto tea party congress because he does, let's say in the


first term, he'll have opposition in the Republican primaries by the


President for the tea party. For the first four years, he has to do


whatever the tea party says. Let's hear the voice? How are you saying


that Romney is saying he's going to bomb Iran to smithereens, no-one's


saying that. Every President's said they don't take use of force off


the table. To suggest he's talking about bombing Iran, incorrect. How


can you bring up the Middle East when all of candidate Obama's


criticism of Bush on the Middle East and Obama's done nothing,


there's been two weeks of high level meetings and nothing else, so


there is no... People are very disappointed on the Middle East


with Obama. That's one of the biggest criticisms. The man from


the front row? I think one of the problems with Colleen and her side


is they have Romnesia about how bad things were getting in 2008 and


they were getting bad because of the take-over of the US with what


is called the plutocrisy, the elite, which is monopolising the wealth in


the US. That will continue under Romney with the tax proples. He


paid 14.1% in the money he earned last year. When asked in 60 minutes


he - if he thought that was fair he said yes. They don't work in the


same world as us. Obama is coming in again and we'll speak next


Kwasi Kwarteng? I want to get back to what Mark said. Sorry, my poppy


has fallen off. You can put it back on. I think what Mark said hit the


nail on the head. He suggested that the deficit had doubled and that


admittedly Obama came in with a huge fund of goodwill and people


were supporting him, cheering, they realised it was an historic moment


in America's history with the first African-American President, as


Colleen suggested. But if you look at the last four years, what's


happened to the American economy, the idea that you could spend your


way out of a recession, that you could borrow more money. That's


what has caused Obama's problem. He hasn't delivered on the economy.


That's why he's under so much pressure in the next week. On


foreign policy, I, like many people here, watched the third debate on


foreign policy. I think Obama did well. He recovered from his first


debate. But what struck me and many people watching the debate is how


similar their foreign policy platforms were. I think there was a


broad range of agreement. The number of times in which each


candidate said, "I agree with Mr Romney, with Governor Romney, I


agree with the President" is what was striking about that debate. I


don't think foreign policy is going to be an issue in this election. It


boils down to the Reagan question, "Are you better off today than you


were four years ago?" From Obama's point of view I think too many


people would answer in the negative to that question. He's under a lot


of pressure. For that reason Romney deserve as really good look at.


you would support a Romney presidency? I'm not an American, so


I have the luxury of not having to decide. But on balance, looking at


the economy, and I make my position clear, in Britain and the British


debate, I'm very much in favour of what we call budget consolidation.


We've got to look at the deficit. I don't believe you get out of a debt


crisis by borrowing more and spending more. On that bases I


would probably vote for Mitt Romney on economic grounds. The woman on


the left. We heard that Obama is a progressive President, that he has


ended wars, but what about the escalation of the drone war. I


would say he hasn't been left enough. He's escalated the war.


He's taken over from Bush and gone to town on it. In terms of the


financial crisis perhaps it is a case of kicking the can down the


road. Have we really engaged with the critical issues on the economy.


So you would say he doesn't deserve another four years on the basis of


the past four? I would never vote for Romney, never in a million


years. I'm not appearing for him, that's for sure. There's a


challenge for regressives, who are like, we don't want Romney in


office. But we are not seeing much progress in terms of Guantanamo Bay


either. So Liberals have a reason to be disappointed in this


President. Shami Chakrabarti? spoke for me eloquently. I remember


that great move day too and I had hope. How could you not be inspired


by Obama who said Obama as elected as the President of the United


States? He was a constitutional lawyer who promised to shut down


Guantanamo Bay and didn't deliver on that promise. He did nothing


about the Patriot Act, which has so intruded on the personal privacy


and freedom of conscience of Americans. He hasn't ended


detention without trial. And the drones. Not just allowing that


terrible policy but having a kill list and leaking to the newspapers


that he's personally responsible for every person who is


assassinated by the drones. That is a terrible disappointment. On the


other side of the balance sheet, on equality and non-discrimination,


he's been good for women with fair pay and for gay people in terms of


repealing some very discriminatory legislation. That's important to


too. In tend it is about chairing choices so the voters get what they


deserve. I'm afraid what I can tell Mr Romney isn't going to help with


Guantanamo Bay and drones either, but he is going to be bad for women


and bad for gay people. APPLAUSE too voted for Barack Obama four


years ago. I was a little less likely to vote for him but did two


weeks ago with my absentee ballot. But there is very little difference


between the two based on their record. The reason I chose Obama


was Paul Ryan. LAUGHTER The candidate for the vice-presidency?


Of the Republican party. You say there is very little between them.


Their record. Let's start with Obamacare. It's the single most


powerful piece of legislation I would argue since... They stole


Mitt Romney's Massachusetts plan. Exactly, but now he says on day one


and I'm quoting him, I will repeal Obamacare. I think it is just


morally, how dare you run for President of the United States to


be leader of the whole nation and to say that the first thing you're


going to do, the thing that will put your face on Mount Rushmore, is


that by God we will repeal that legislation, which gives healthcare


to 30 million Americans. It is so easy for the rest of us to say,


"Don't worry about it. Jerry, what about the deficit? Here's the


deficit. One person raised the issue of the deficit when we went


to war in Iraq. Don't worry, we are not going to raise your taxes...


not going to raise your taxes... APPLAUSE You are a British


politician who lovers his NHS. Don't tell the Americans they can't


have a little bit of health insurance. APPLAUSE Your issue with


the Iraq war. I'm not saying what the second President Bush was right.


He was terrible for the finances of America, I completely accept that.


But when you are facing a $16 trillion deficit -- a debt, forgive


me. Over time you have to deal with the deficit. But the time for


spending is not in a recession. You have to have people who can spend


money, or no company will do well. On this point of the NHS and of the


Obamacare. Do you believe that, as Jerry says, it is the thing he does


on day one? I thought there were problems on doing it at all.


big issues are the jobs, deficit and the economy, and Obamacare is


going to cause huge problems for the economy. You talked about is


there a difference between the two? There's a huge difference. Just


look at the background of Romney. Obama talks about the fact he was


going to be a healer. Romney worked with a legislates ture in


Massachusetts which was 87% Democrats. He changed a $3 billion


deficit into a $2 billion surplus. This is a man who came from a rich


family and he gave away his inheritance to say, "I want to make


this on my own" and he did it. He built up as a successful


businessman without taking a penny from his parents. He's a successful


politician in a Democratic state. And he goes on to the winter


Olympics in Utah, scandal-ridden and in debt, and turned it around.


You have an individual who is a problem solver, a pragmatist. Who


has been faced with problems and has turned them around. This is why


it is so close. People think he can make a difference. On day


Washington in addition reducing the corporate tax rate in addition to


solving the entitlements. There are not many voters here so we can cut


the message. The audience is completely anti-Romney and they


don't know anything about him. Look at the first debate. You have the


stereotype that many Americans have. I want to steal a question which


isn't fair of me, from David Mummery and put it to you. Will the


world be a safer or more dangerous place if Mitt Romney becomes


President? If he follows through on declaring China as a currency


manipulator on day one, that's dangerous. If he follows through on


what he said on his approach for the Iranian issue before the last


debate, the world will be a more dangerous place. If he follows


through on abandoning the Palestinian issue... Let me pick up


on an important point that Kwasi made. You have to be serious about


the deficit and he is right. Kwasi and I know that you cannot get rid


of a deficit unless you are willing to raise taxes as well as clear


spending. Mr Romney has said there'll be no tax rises on anyone.


He's also promised 20% tax cuts and said he will make up the difference.


You know as well as I do, Kwasi, come on, you can't run and say you


will limb that a deficit but by the way no-one is going to pay a penny


in taxes. That is just not honen honest. APPLAUSE A couple more


points from the audience. Thank you. I was just going to refer to


Kwasi's point about the deficit reduction. That is irrelevant. I


would much more prefer Obama to Romney. The deficit is supposed to


be reduced in this country but hate gone up. Everyone is quoting it has


gone down by a quarter. The share of GDP has gone down. No, in


absolute terms the deficit has gone down. The annual borrowing is


increasing at the moment. I think Romney is a dislikeable character,


he doesn't seem to stand for very much, but he ran the winter


Olympics well, he has a good record in Massachusetts. Unlike a lot of


politicians in the UK, he's done other things in his life. He hasn't


joined the Conservative Central Office or the Labour Party and


worked his way um as a researcher. Are you speaking to these two?


specifically but people in politics. He's been in business, delivered


for big organisations. And you think that's a deciding factor?


you are choosing someone as an executive you need experience.


must move away from the American elections. We have the result on


Tuesday night. We've got other Another question please. This one


from Rebecca Ellis. Is Nick Clegg right to claim that bringing powers


back from Brussels is a false promise wrapped in a Union Jack?


This was a quote from Nick Clegg today, the claim that powers could


be repatriated was a false promise wrapped in a Union Jack. He was


critical about the proposals for going to Brussels and trying to


reduce the amount we paid into the EU. David Miliband? I think that


the fact that no other country supports the repatriation of powers


from the European Union means that it is impossible to get powers back.


The fact is you need all 27 European countries to agree to


treaty change and not one supports that. The priority they've got is


sorting tout eurozone mess, and my God they should have sorted it out


two or three years ago. That's the overwhelming priority. Secondly, to


pick up David's second point, we have a desperate need for reform of


the EU budget. We have to get it out of supporting cows, sheep and


goats and into supporting skills, universities and innovation. We've


got a Government that declared its intention at the beginning as


focusing on the sum total that's being spent, not what it is being


spent on. Secondly, they have forsaken our allies in northern


Europe, in Germany and Holland and in the new Eastern European


countries. That's why we've found ourselves completely isolated in


the case for reforming the EU budget. It is important for a


British audience to know that the way to get our net contribution


down is to reform the EU budget. Because the Common Agricultural


Policy, which consumes a lot of the EU budget, because of the Common


Agricultural Policy that we end up having to have a rebate in the


first place. Reform the budget and then you can get on with a lower


net contribution from Britain. I think that's why Nick Clegg is


right to say Britain is weak in the negotiating chambers of the


European Union today. We are in this third tier. The danger is we


are going to end up in the fourth tier as well. I don't want to see


Your Government gave up some of the rebate we had in Europe and last


night you went into the lobby, did you? I always vote Labour. Exactly,


regardless of the question. Let's pick up the point. Saying our


contribution should be... Let's pick up both those points. First of


all, we negotiated in 2005 for the first time ever, instead of Britain


paying three times as much contribution as France, we would


pay the same as France and secondly we negotiated the enlargement of


the European Union which the Conservative Party and the Liberal


Democrats both supported and the budget went up to pay for the


historic enlargement of the European Union. David... Let me


finish the point then take me on. The world's changed since 2005-06,


we have had a financial crisis, we need to cut our deficit at home and


to make sure we reduce spending in Europe as well. I think there's


been a real problem for pro- Europeans like me. We've seemed


like we'd always wanted more spending and seemed like we were


sort of soft he-headed about more spending. You have a repositioning


in the Labour Party to take on this idea that to be pro-European you


are always more more spending but we are not, we are more more


effective European Union. What happened last night, and I just


wanted to two back to Rebecca's question first of all, it's not


true to say that it's impossible to get back powers. People said it was


impossible when Margaret Thatcher got back some of the rebate. They


said she wouldn't bother and she wouldn't get agreement. But she


managed through tough negotiation to claw back some of that money.


What happened last night in the House of Commons was a spectacle,


if you liex, of sheer opportunism on the part of the Labour Party --


if you like. They are playing Parliamentary games, they see there


was a significant portion of the Conservative Party that was going


to oppose the Government and they did what oppositions do, they used


their numbers to defeat the Government. It has nothing to do


with Labour's actual position because, as David was suggesting,


they actually increased the amounts of money they gave to the EU budget.


So for David Miliband now to pirouette and suggest this is a


real struggle and now he's supporting cutting the budget, I


think is completely disingenuous. I think the Labour Party is very


consistently for the EU, they want the closer I think integration,


they still haven't ruled out joining the euro currency and so


for them to pretend that they were more Euro-Sceptic and willing to


cut the budget was purely opportunistic.


You, Sir? Doesn't the dispute last night in


Parliament actually represent what the majority of the British people


feel that we should be reducing costs in Europe by actually having


a referendum on our membership of Europe?


APPLAUSE I think the referendum issue... The vote in Parliament,


did it represent the views of the British people? The opportunism of


the Labour Party. I disagree. It shows that a lot of people in the


country are unhappy with our relationship in Europe. Thing's


true. I think Labour and Conservative do not do us justice


as a democracy of offering us a referendum, years ahead, always


after the event. I think that the Conservative Party, a section of


them, was against it, wanted to cut the budget that we were spending or


the amount we were paying, which was right. The Prime Minister's


view was that this was not a position which we'd be able to get


support around and it was very unlikely if he went there, he'd


unlikely get support there. He was arguing that we should freeze nit


real terms. Doesn't the problem come back to the British people as


a whole, we are very unhappy with our relationship? I agree. The vote


was 74-75... You, Sir? I agree with that gentleman. Last night it


showed our politicians have completely lost faith in Europe. I


just think it's laughable that David's party last night had the


opportunity to say you have been so pro-up for the past 13 years,


suddenly in one night to go, actually I think maybe not, is just


opportunistic and a chance to have a go at the Tories in the last


three years. That's all you've done with no real alternative whatsoever.


Colleen Graffy? Well, I take my law students on a field trip every year


to see the European Parliament and we go to Brussels and we also go to


Strasbourg to see the European Parliament and if you've not


witnessed that, it's something to behold. The building in Strasbourg


is absolutely magnificent, but the idea that you have all of these


members of European Parliament that are decampling from Brussels to


Strasbourg and from Strasbourg to Brussels and the hotels and the air


fares and the carbon, it's just a scandal. So I...


APPLAUSE So I actually Laud the 53 Tory


rebels because I think that their heart was in the right place


because they really do believe there needs to be cutbacks on the


EU. I also have to say that we know for 13 years that Labour did


nothing to cut the costs in the EU and it was cynical and


opportunistic, sorry, David. Sorry. Chakrabarti? I wonder if it


would ever be possible to have a different kind of debate about


Europe that doesn't turn everybody in this room or everybody in Europe


into either a rampant xenophobe on the one hand or a fat cat


complacent bloated bureaucrat on the other hand. Is it possible,


instead of saying are we for or against Europe and the ocean, is it


possible to say what kind of Europe, what kind of Europe, who is it


working for, who sit - who is it working against, what values should


it protect, what priorities should it have, who is it accountable to?


That's the tkpe bait -- debate I would like to have if it's possible


in any party. I would like to see some powers seriously looked at


again. The euro arrest warrant that treats Europe as if it's one


country when the standards in the police stations and courts are so


different. We shouldn't be carted off from one part to another


without protections. Yes, the budget ought to be looked at, but


opportunism isn't the monopoly of any particular party. Hang on, one


of the things I've been most concerned is about the way that


some people in Kwasi's party have deliberately pretended that the


Council of Europe is the same as the European Parliament. They


haven't done that. They have because they want to rip up the


convention on human rights that's protected people from arbitration


and it's Churchill's legacy and some people in your party want to


rip it up a. That would be a disgrace. Thank you. We haven't


done that. Where is the xenophobia you talk about? What I'm saying is,


you don't have to be a xenophobe to be concerned about the budget and


you don't have to be a bloated bureaucrat to think that Europe has


done good things for peace and prosperity in Europe. Swrecked a


more intelligent debate. -- we could have a more intelligent


debate. You, Sir? Picking up on what Chakrabarti just said, is


David Cameron and the Conservative Party responsible for misleading


the public about Europe by highlighting cases that are quite


rare like cases which people disagree about human rights when


he's actually quite clearly pro- Europe because he doesn't want a


referendum on it and he knows the economic benefit of it? That's a


really interesting point. People are worried about the economy and


budgets and it's so easy a distraction to say two fingers to


the Court of Human Rights and we'll pull out of the convention on human


rites. You are saying it's not the same thing. We'll leave that point


and come back to the EU and whether we are wrapping ourselfs in the


Union Jack by promising to repatriate powers. What is your


view?, Jerry Springer? I'll have to check with President Obama. I'm


least qualified on this panel to speak of this issue, I don't live


with it every day as you do. you see Europe as a force in the


world? I absolutely do. I think what will happen, and I can say


this because I won't be alive by then, but the next 20, 30 years,


nations will be less relevant. We are already seeing in this


globalisation in the way we communicate with each other, our


economies, our values, what we think is important. I think


countries at some point will have the same relevance as various


states have within the United States. In other words, we no


longer will have this. What would what would you say about China, the


emergence of that, it's a nation state. You don't think it will be


an election state? No, again you will have to find me if you are


willing to go to hell and you will find me! I hope you last more than


20 years, Jerry! You are only 68. Well... What have you done? Have


you not seen my show?! Iex China is not going to be this country in 20,


30 years from now. Individual Governments are having less and


less power over their people. With technology what it is today,


Governments can no longer control people, they don't want to be cold.


They can get information on their own and they are going to get


interests on their own and it isn't going to matter as much to people.


This is inevitable. The flag waivers of any particular country


30 years from now will be in the minority. Take a look at America.


20 or 30 years from now, whites will not be 50% of America any more.


It will be the majority of Hispanic, African-American and other


minorities. The complexion of every country in the world is ultimately


going to strange. This is straying a bit from the EU. No, you ask me...


It's the big picture. Go for the big picture! I'm going to defend


Jerry because you are being naughty and sarcastic here. The big point


is this - this is a shrinking interconnected world and there's


going to come a point where we have to decide whether we want to be,


you know, foreigners in most parts of the world or human beings


everywhere and I think that's a point he's made very well. Hold on


a second. Very briefly. David you first then you Kwasi? A massive


leadership transition is going on not just in America next week but


in China.Ership is changing. The first generation of Chinese leaders


who've grown up in a China that was opening up to the rest of the world,


the new leadership will have been in their teens in 1978 when China


started opening up. My belief is, not like Jerry, that somehow China


is going to fall apart, but that group of leaders do understand that


China needs radical change to continue to engage with this


interconnected world. There's a very important point for us. The


truth is that there's an option for countries like ours. You can say,


and I don't know whether Kwasi would say this, but the Prime


Minister has - the world and future is going to be about flexible


networks and that somehow we are going to have close relations with


Vietnam, 80 or 90 million people, as we do with Germany. The


alternative view is that the world is becoming smaller but the


neighbourhood in which you live is going to be incredibly important


and we'll always have more in common and rely on our partnerships


with Germany than we will with countries like Vietnam. The reason


is this - if you are China and you have Britain as a strong part of


the European Union knobing on your door about trade or the environment


or human rights, we are going to take far more notice of a country


like Britain if we are part of the EU than if we are separate. That is


the whois we face. Do we go for a world where we have bilateral


relations one-on-one, or do we say, those bilateral relations should be


strengthened by strong, regional associations that respect national


identity but also bring to bear the power that come through being 27


together. I put myself in that latter camp because I think that


around the world you are going to see in South America, Africa,


actually in Asia itself, regional alliances growing that are going to


shape the modern world. APPLAUSE


I have a slightly different view from David in the brief time that


I've followed and been involved in British politics, the attitude


towards the EU, that's specifically what we are talking about, as moved


away. People did share the internationalism that you talked


about, certainly in the '70s and '80s. I was a week old when that


referendum took place in 1975 and I can assure you, I don't remember


anything about it. People under if age of 53 have never had a say. If


you look at the climate today in Britain, the attitudes towards


Europe, I think people are very proud of their country and they


want to have independence, they want to have a sense in which they


are in charge of Britain's own destiny. I don't see the world


moulding into this big global Government in the way that people


on the panel have described. I think people are very conscious and


proud of being British. Doesn't mean they are not international


focused but they want to preserve a degree of independence.


Thank you. I have a problem because there are


a lot of people with their hands up and we could go on talking about


Europe for the rest of the programme but we have other


questions. I want to take this one from John Lamb. Just before you put


it, this is one that's of a local political issue with worldwide


implications. John Lamb? Is the Energy Minister right in saying


there are enough onshore turbines, or is he tilting at windmills?


new emergency minister, John Hayes, who came in and said that enough is


enough, we've got enough windmills and by implication, wind power,


send it packing because of the disturbance and trouble it causes.


Of course it goes to the heart of the I have been yew about green


energy and all of that -- heart of the issue about green energy and


all that. Jerry Springer, you are in favour of that and Barack Obama


is, I'm told? So therefore it's So therefore it is good! Yes, we


have to have them. It is not the only answer. We've got to find all


kinds of sources of energy. Yes, we are still going to have oil and


rely on gas. But we have to go green as well. Do you think wind


power works? Is it efficient? some places yes, to some degree yes.


Over time perhaps more. With more innovation, more. It's absurd I


think to believe that we can just continue to say oil is the answer,


oil is the answer, oil is the answer. We can't. Time is not on


our side. Speaking of China, as we have more and more consumers of


this energy, it's going to become less and less available. No country


in the world is going to be able to dig its way out of the energy


crisis by just getting more oil under its land. Which by the way it


is not even a moral answer. Would we be OK to say that if oil is in


Iraq and Iran they get to keep all of their oil and to hell with the


rest of the world? No, we want to be able to trade and share. The


whole world is going to need energy, so yes we are going to need


windmills. No-one is going to want a windmill I'm sure in the middle


of Hampstead heath, but at some point we are going to have them


some place. There are a lot of people for green energy that want


it over there. Colleen Graffy? you impressed that I said hatch


said heath? It was very impressive. I think wind farms are an


interesting topic because you have environmental issues on both sides.


You have those who want wind to be part of our National Grid. Wind


energy. It also is a blight on the horizon to have these huge


stretchers. So for the United States, America is I think the


second largest provider of wind energy and Texas is the number one


state providing it. But it is only 3% of our energy. America is huge,


so we've got about 84 people per square mile in the United States


and you have 640 per square mile. So if you are going to try to have


renewable energy, as I believe the European directive is 15% of your


national power, I'm not sure you are going to do it all with wind


power. I think that John Hayes was tapping into something. Perhaps he


was off script, but he was tapping into something in recognising that


people feel that perhaps the capacity for wind power has been


met. It also Costas lot of money. It's expensive. You, we, are the


ones that are subsidising it. The Government is not subsidising it.


We want to keep the lights switched on but we want them switched on at


a price that we can afford. OK. windmills are aesthetically not


pleasing. That's undeniable, but more than that it is completely


inefficient. We live on an island, surrounded by water. Surely we need


to be able to harness that power and recognise that there are other


methods, other green methods, that aren't oil - obviously - which mean


we can live sustainably and provide enough energy that we need. Kwasi


Kwarteng, I'm puzzled, have we got a new Government policy from this


Minister? I think he was slightly off script. He's only just taken on


the job He was making a broads point, that we are not going to


cover... Enough is enough. That's not a broad point. It was part of a


broader debate. Where he was coming from, I think, is that we are not


going to cover every square metre from Land's End to John o'Groats


with windmills. There'll come a point where we'll be saturated with


windmills. What Jerry said about diversity of provision is key to


this debate. Will you stop - not stop talking - when you've done the


present proposed number? I'm not sure what the limit will be.


Chancellor seems to be against them.. There is scepticism about


the capacity, that windmill will be the solution to our energy problem.


Why not put the windmills in front of Parliament and open the windows?


APPLAUSE Actually we could have one on Question Time. Not facing the


audience, the panel. David Miliband? Look, we've got an


environmental vice is of overwhelming proportions. We are


going to need every conceivable source of low-carbon energy that we


can find. As it happens this country, and to pick up the lady's


point, a really good point, this country is a world leader in


offshore wind. We are going to need onshore wind as well. But honestly


you've got the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State arguing with the


Conservative Energy Minister about 1% of our energy. The truth is if


you care about the energy mix and about low-carbon, 30% of our energy


comes from coal at the moment. It comes from coal that isn't dug from


this country. It is imported from Russia. The biggest thing we can do


to contribute to a global challenge as well as ensure cost of supply is


to switch from having 30% coal to having putting that 30% into gas.


Gas is being discovered all around the world, including in America,


shale gas, and we are going to need the wind. But the truth is to


debate 1% when you've got 30% coal, we are not doing justisto the


environmental challenge, never mind the energy challenge. I don't see


how wind energy is going to help us in the future. I don't understand


why everyone is so anti-nuclear. You can look at Fukushima, but


there's nuclear plants all over the world. Fukushima was old anyway. It


was an ancient bit of kit The future, inside this country, to me


wind farms is a propeller and nuclear is a jet engine. I don't


understand why everyone is so anti- nuclear now. Alright. Shami


Chakrabarti? I think we've got a real problem here in that we need a


long-material, sustainable policy for sustainable energy, in terms of


the environment and in terms of energy security, as David Miliband


indicated. We need to develop a consensus that is informed by the


science and that is a consensus that deals with different parts of


the country, where people live and maybe don't want certain things in


their back yard. You can't achieve consensus in one department between


two Ministers, how on earth are we going to begin to build a


sustainable policy and long-term consensus that we need throughout


the whole country for decades ahead? OK. We have four minutes


left. One more question, from Rosie McTaggart please.


Was Dame Helen Ghosh right to accuse David Cameron of freezing


women out of senior Government positions in favour of an old


Etonian clique? She is the first female Permanent Secretary at the


Home Office, talking to students it's a Cambridge University, and


said women didn't get into Government, and David Cameron froze


them out in favour of old Etonians. One of which is sitting on my right,


except he is not in Government. not in Government. I'm not part of


the clique. How many old Etonians are there? Not as many as people


say. When Margaret Thatcher started in 1979 there were six old Etonians


in the Cabinet. I think the number now is probably one. It is easy to


mock and it is quite a funny story, but I don't think it is a


reflection of where we are coming from. What about four women in


Cabinet? I think we could have more, but the parliamentary party didn't


have that ma historically. I'm not sure whether David Cameron has


binders full of women. But the issue, as Romney suggested, that


some very capable women have come into the parliamentary party on the


Conservative side in 2010. A number have been made undersecretaries in


the last shuffle. I'm sure that by the end of the Parliament and going


forward there'll be many more Conservative women serving in the


Cabinet. The trajectory is in the right direction. The Conservative


Party, did they do everything right on the last 20 years on this?


Probably not. There were failings, but the movement is in the right


direction. I think there is improvement. I think we'll be in a


much stronger position in the years to come. Did the number of women in


the Cabinet rise or fall in the It stayed the same Fell actually. I


think it stayed the same. shouldn't be staying the same. Dame


Helen Ghosh is an extremely careful and judicious person. For her to


lay into the Government in this way is pretty extraordinary. What about


the old Etonian element? What I do think, after 13 years in Government,


one of the big problems with the Brown Government at the end was it


was closing the shutters. It was not opening up the debate. If this


is happening in the new Government after two years, that's a real


problem. It's a real problem for the Tories. Shoe worry about it. We


in Labour can't rest on our laurels. None of news the political class


can sit here and say our parties are representative enough of the


geography of the country, of the different social classes in the


country, of the different ethnicities, never mind the men and


women in the country. I hope while Labour people enjoy the discomfort


caused to the Tories on this, we need to make our party more


representative and change the way we do politics. That's only way to


make sure it matters for ordinary people. APPLAUSE


Colleen? Well, I think, I worked for con least ska rice. She was


fantastic -- Condoleezza Rice. If you want to change a country you


need to work with educating women. So across the board of course we


want women in politics, but not just to have a woman there. So I


really would want to say, hopefully they are all qualified but we just


don't want woman there because you want a female. Can I speak? Yes.


That's the general idea. As a woman. I'm not going to make the Etonian


point, because quasi-is a young Etonian here, and it is in his own


way is saying something very important by being here tonight. He


will send a signal to lots of black men in the country, and and that's


is really important too. There simply are not enough women in


Government. Yes, not enough in Parliament but not enough in


Government. Liberty is a cross- party, non-party organisation. I've


met lots of brilliant young women in your party and they could have


been promoted by now. This is good politics as well as an equity issue.


You want people to identify with you. You want people to vote for


you. It says something about your values and who you are. I agree.


APPLAUSE Briefly if you would. is clearly been a problem in


America, where often times we have a Government, a political party,


that doesn't believe that women are equal, no matter how many you put


in Cabinet positions, that they don't permit women to make


decisions about their own personal lives and health, that it is


condescending that the way we even talk about this issue, "Let's bring


the women in, they're really good." Men should just shut up when it


comes to women's issues about their own bodies, their own health, what


they want to do with their lives. We've grown up in a culture that is


so male oriented, we got a lot of work to do, but the best thing we


can do is total, total equality for women, not because men are giving


it to them, but because by birth they are equal. And a woman


President in 2016? Yes. APPLAUSE And I think a woman President. In


fact, someone with the last name Clinton. That's very representative.


APPLAUSE That's the equivalent of having old Etonians in Cabinet


having another Clinton. We've got to stop. Our time is up. Apologies.


We only have an hour. I would like an hour and a half. I would like


two hours, but they will only give us one hour. Next week we are going


us one hour. Next week we are going be in Bexhill. We've got David


blunt on our panel, with Shirley Williams and Chuka Umunna. The week


that have we'll be in Corby. Visit our website. Or call us if you


prefer that. Before that, American election night. I will be in


Washington. We've got panellist there is, reporters, experts for


the BBC results programme, US election night 2012. It is here on


BBC One, 11.30pm on Tuesday evening and throughout the night. It has


David Dimbleby presents from central London in the week before the US presidential election. On the panel are former foreign secretary David Miliband, US television presenter and former Democratic Party mayor of Cincinnati Jerry Springer, Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng, Colleen Graffy, former chairman of Republicans Abroad, and Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty.

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