04/09/2011 The Andrew Marr Show


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He Good morning. It is great to be back. I gather nothing happened in


August, locally. This morning, the bad news is of my guests include


the man twice voted, he reminds us, Britain's most boring politician.


The good news is, after what he has written about life in Gordon


Brown's Government, Alastair Darling won't be winning that title


this year. The newspapers are bubbling about the coalition


Government, about Libya and connections with Colonel Gaddafi.


To review them I am joined by the Times Defence Editor Deborah Haynes


and the Daily Telegraph novelist Alison Pearson. Another award


received by Alastair Darling was a survivor of the year. His account


of the last years of the Labour Government is one of exasperation


and private fury about the behaviour of Gordon Brown. But also


of future decisions taken as Britain struggled to cope with the


breakdown in the banks and the recession. We will hear about his


book and what he thinks about the economy now on the Bank of


England's future. We will hear from senior representative of Lydia's


transitional council to make sure the country does not descend into


the kind of chaos that engulfed Iraq after the fall of that regime.


And about Colonel Gaddafi's fate if and when he is caught. Some


children it will be heading for the very first 24, free schools amid


stories of the coalition arguments about them. Michael Gove, the


Education Secretary is here to talk about free schools, academies and


disciplined. Finally, music. # We are listening and we are not


blind. Born in Dundee and followed around


the world, Snow Patrol are here with their latest album.


Before that, the news. The former Chancellor of the


Exchequer, Alastair Darling has said there was a permanent air of


chaos and crisis when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister. In extracts


from his memoirs published in the Sunday Times, he accuses Mr Brown


of sometimes appalling behaviour during the banking crisis.


It was a relationship strained beyond breaking point, that has


left the former Chancellor scarred. That is according to Alastair


Darling, who describes how difficult his dealings were with


Gordon Brown in a new memoir, serialised in the Sunday Times.


Alastair Darling does not hold back in his denunciation of the former


Prime Minister. He accuses Gordon Brown of sometimes appalling


behaviour during the three years they grappled with the banking


crisis. Mr Darling says at first Gordon Brown believed the economy


would recover within six months and did not trust his Chancellor's


advice. He describes the dysfunctional Downing Street and


calls it a brutal regime. In 2009 Gordon Brown tried to replace him


with Ed Balls which resulted in angry exchanges with Mr Dorrell


refused to be reshuffled within the Cabinet. Alastair Darling


criticises the banks for their ingratitude an air of disdain after


they were bailed out by the Government. For Labour's new


leadership, this the memoir is an awkward reminder of the recent


poisonous past. Gordon Brown could not be reached for comment.


The front-runner for the leadership of the Scottish Conservative says


he will disband the party in Scotland if he wins the contest. Mr


Fraser says the Conservatives carry too much baggage and wants to set


up a new centre-right party to attract more voters.


Libyan fighters loyal to the National Transitional Council are


preparing to advance on a desert town other Bani Walid, one of the


last strongholds of pro Gaddafi forces. They have issued an


ultimatum for them to surrender or face an attack. Thousands of


fighters are said to be moving in from three sides and its is thought


many of the family may have fled through Bani Walid.


As many as 400,000 people have joined demonstrations across his


round in protest at the high cost of living. The largest protest is


in Tel Aviv. The protesters have been demanding cheaper housing, tax


cuts and improved access to free education.


Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary


Fund has a right back in France. He was once seen as a possible


contender for the French presidency, and has been in the United States


since May, when he was accused of attempting to rape a hotel


chambermaid. The charges were dropped but he faces a sexual


assault charge in France. That all from me for now and I'll


be back just before 10 am with the headlines.


The front pages as expected. The The front pages as expected. The


Mail on Sunday, secret files, Labour lied over Gaddafi. Lots of


files turning up in Tripoli at the moment. People poring over them.


The Sunday Times has the Alastair Darling, Gordon Brown's story.


Browns of the world's worst financial crisis would last only


six months. Another Libyan related stories saying MI5 espied on Libyan


torture victims and dissidence against Gaddafi. Speaking of


Scotland, the Sunday Telegraph, interesting story. Tory set to


disband in Scotland. They are going to get rid of the name, or one of


the potential leader said they should. They will call themselves


the Jacobites, maybe it is just rebranding?


New coalition splits over schools, banks and health, as well. A lot


about coalition problems in the papers this morning, including in


the observed there. Baroness Williams plunges NHS reforms into


fierce turmoil. As promised, Deborah Haynes is here


and Alison Pearson is here. A lot to talk about and I think we will


start with a bit of Tripoli, Libya? The two papers that are leading the


way this morning on the latest from Libya, are the Sunday Times and the


Daily Mail. -- Sunday Mail. They have managed to find a bunch of


documents that show the cosy relationship the British Government


had it with the previous regime, which will prove embarrassing


reading, given what has happened. Let's talk about this. One of the


allegations is Abdelbaset Ali al- Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber was


got out of jail by the Labour Government because they were


worried about what Colonel Gaddafi was going to do if they didn't.


From what I have read there is lots of worrying e-mails and letters


from British diplomats and others to the Government saying we are


worried about Gaddafi in this issue. But there is nothing hard coming


back from the British Government at that time saying, OK let him out


then? That is the smoking gun and nobody has found by yet. I imagine


it is what people are looking for right now. I am sure the Government


will have sent somebody in encase if it does exist, it does not get


fan. Bill looks like there was lots of cosy help for the regime? To a


civilian it is deeply compromising and sordid. We have got the SAS who


had been training the people in Libya, is that right? Now going


back to train the other people. They were our friends, now they are


our enemies, they were our enemies, now they are friends. That was her


HND's policy at the time. What is interesting is the revelations in


the UK, the secret intelligence services, MI5 passed on names of


dissidents in the UK who are now the ones leading this revolution


and will be leading the country. It does smack a bit of hypocrisy, but


it is just politics. Pity grim. We passed on names of dissidents who


now we will be supporting RS the new leaders. They will count the


fact we supported them over the fact we snitched on them, I don't


know? Meanwhile the hunt for Gaddafi goes on? There is not much


about where he is in the papers this week. People saying he has


managed to get out of her Bani Walid, if he was there, and is


still on the loose. And also there is this naff about Tony Blair's


helping Saif Al-Islam with his P.H. D! The single worst fact, the now


infamous photocall of Gaddafi and Tony Blair, apparently Number Ten


requested the tent because they thought it would look more


authentic. Odia! Speaking of the old days, you have also picked the


other Alastair Darling story? a bad day for the Government, the


previous Government because there is stuff all over the place and


Alastair Darling has written a shocking but very interesting


memoir. Alastair Darling, I know he is in the studio, but perhaps the


only man to emerge with any real credit and his reputation enhanced


on the last Government. And because you said he was the most boring man,


this is quietly devastating stuff. And the description of the Gordon


Brown Cabral was a brutal regime and many of us fell foul of it. It


makes Colonel Gaddafi's family look like the Waltons. The have picked


out a story out of the Independent on Sunday? Yes, it is a picture


being built up about Gordon Brown, about Mangalsen, and now Alastair


Darling. We have now built up a picture of Gordon Brown, a man


unfit to hold the highest office. If he put together these pieces are,


terrible temper, the Budget that was deceitful and he is saying all


of these men making money out of their memoirs now, why didn't they


say so at the time. Not all the trouble in the papers is trouble


for the last Government. The Conservatives having trouble?


has been an interesting story that has been going this week and it is


all over the papers today, with various different names coming in.


You have the head of the National Trust who is dealing in this


campaign to get some changes. got a lot of stick, they went for


her? She gives a really good defence of her position in the


Sunday Telegraph when she talks about how it is a debate, the paper


has opened it for consultation and it is not about who is right or


wrong, it is about compromising on something that has clearly upset a


lot of people. You have this ludicrous position of where the


Telegraph is now running a campaign on the countryside to prevents too


much building. This is the party that is meant to be supporting the


Conservative Party, so we have a flip where the Tories have turned


against their natural constituents, and Labour has become a party of


the shires. I will show you this, among us into the radio, farming


Today has been replaced by builders world. Brilliant cartoon.


9/11 is coming up next week. Already lots in the papers and no


doubt plenty more in the week to come about the aftermath of 9/11. A


lot of focus on the victims. Independent has a nice feature


today about the children that were left behind. It says there were


more than 3,000 children under the age of 18 who were left orphaned by


minor -- 9/11. The average age was 9th. It is a moving idea of it and


they have this interesting poll that was taken which says about


35,000 people in 66 different countries have been convicted of


terrorist charges since 9/11. And 119,000 people were arrested.


Turkey been the country that convicted the most. It is an


interesting aftermath on the war on terror. I am flying to New York at


the weekend and you can easily get a flight this weekend because


nobody wants to fly on the anniversary. We will come on to why


you are flying to New York. We have cleverly found a story which


connects to the reason. Not just shameless plugging, there is a link.


The papers again, quite a few stories about this new book which


claims testosterone was to blame for the banking crash. George


Osborne is hosting a reception at Number 11 for the Matthew Hancock


who have written a book, Masters at nothing and how the crash will


happen again unless we understand human nature. They say the


dominance of men in the financial sector led to too much risk-taking


and drove the world economy over a cliff. And I think Christine


Lagarde said, if it had been a lean and sisters and knock the brothers,


it would never have happened. Next week, coming up the film of my book,


which is about a woman hedge fund manager in the city. Tonight don't


know how she does it. In the film Piers Brosnan turns to Sarah


Jessica Parker and he says, women just make better Investment


Managers. So 10 years after the book was written, the issues of


women in the city, George Osborne now lending his name to a campaign


to get 30% of board directors to be women. It is timely. And Sarah


This is also a film topic really. The papers are covered with


pictures of the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow, who is promoting her


latest film, a medical thriller. which everybody knows, a


catastrophe film about a global virus. Yes, she plays patient zero


or something and she ends up with hatch of her head being cut off for


an autopsy. She said she quite likes the gory aspect. Apparently


all the critics were coming out of the screening and nobody wanted to


touch their hands. On a more homely or local note you have a story


about a maternity unit. This is in the Sunday Mirror, who are running


a campaign for a fair deal for midwives. Babies are dying because


we have a grave shortage of midwives. This journalist spent 24


hours in a maternity unit in which five babies died. Midwives are


horrendously overstretched. If we take as a barometer of our society


how much care we take of the most vulnerable, babies who are coming


into the world, mothers are not given enough attention to give


birth properly, a huge rise in the number of C-sections and anticipate


duerls are going wrong. It's a really strong piece. The Government


came to power promising 4,500 more midwives of whom we have I think


none. It is more unusual to have a friend who has an uncomplicated


birth than one who doesn't. I had an epidural and think couldn't put


nit properly. At first they put nit properly and I thought, "Thank


goodness" and I was in agony. Nobody noticed for five hours.


preparation for your time in Tripoli I would have thought.


Exactly. Because we only cover serious stories we have to finish


with Pippa's bottom, is that right? This is in Bedfordshire, it was the


Queen's Head, but then it became Pippa's Posterior. But local people


were upset about it. A quote from a local resident, "We don't want


disgraceful pictures of ladies's posterior s on our signs." And this


Friday is apparently Pippa Middleton's Bottom Appreciation Day.


This is the show on which you get the news which really matters.


Thank you both. Now on to the weather. Unfortunately in Britain


summery means it will be raining frogs, icebergs offshore and


plagues of boils. Liam Dutton is in the weather studio with further


details. Thank you Andrew. Good morning. We


can forget summer for the week ahead. Very autumnal, bringing


outbreaks of rain, and the winds picking up. For most it is a cloudy


start. Some places turning brighter. Others holding on to rain. Central


and eastern England, outbreaks of rain. Brighter for a time in the


west. Rain returns to south-west England and Wales and the wind


picking up. Feeling cool. Temperatures firmly fixed in the


teens. Overnight tonight there'll be another band of rain running


north and east across the UK, locally heavy. Showers for Wales


and south-western England but not a particularly cold night for many of


us. Temperatures staying in double figures. Monday, a breezy if not


windy day for England and Wales. There'll be sunshine and showers


around too. Those could be heavy, particularly for northern England.


But for Scotland and Northern Ireland largalities of cloud, the


odd shower there. Largely dry. Temperatures around 17-18.


Tuesday, an autumnal day. Wet and windy for all parts of the UK.


Heavy rain spilling eastwards. The Education Secretary, Michael


Gove, once promised a "superb new school in every community". Not


something which can be delivered overnight, of course. But the first


wave of the new free schools are opening this week. Whether they


measure up to Mr Gove's ambitions will take time to judge. Centrally


funded, outside local authority control, the schools have a lot of


freedom over what they teach and how they teach it. But their


critics say free schools are an ideological distraction. Michael


Gove is with me now. Lots to talk about on free schools but I know


that you silt for ar English seat but you are Scottish and you are a


Conservative and therefore I must ask you about this interesting


Sunday Telegraph story. Tories set to disband in Scotland, saying that


the name Conservative may go in Scotland. Is this something that


you recognise or would welcome? Well, it is a while actually since


we've had in the same sentence the words exciting intellectual debate


and Scottish Conservatives. The Scottish Conservative Party is


where the action is now in terms of opposition to the SNP. Why are they


abolishing themselves then? Well, inevitably when you've got a


newspaper as el gently composed as the Sunday Telegraph they will put


a bit of hype into the headline. We are not talking about the


disillusion of the Conservatives north of the border. Only one of


the leadership candidates, a bright guy, Murdo Fraser, look at the fact


that there are more folk that have Conservative values who vote for


the Conservative Party. One of the things I've learnt as a politician


from Scotland but representing an English constituency is that the


reality of devolution means that you should allow the party in


Scotland to determine its own destiny. Critically we do need to


have an effective force north of the border challenging the danger


of separatism that we get from the SNP, and making sure you have a


party that's championing high education standards, lower taxes


and the broad set of values that the majority of mainstream Scotland


would like to see championed in opposition to a high-taxed social


assist SNP. So you could see a different party, not the


Conservative Party, not the Scottish Conservatives but


something called something entirely different in Scotland, with no


doubt lots of Scottish Conservatives inside it? It is a


decision for the Scottish Conservative Party. What shoot the


name be? By definition given it is their decision it would be wrong


for me to say, "I'm your fairy godfather and this is the name I'm


bestowing on you." On the right of the spectrum of Scotland we are


seeing a revival intellectually and individually led by Murdo Fraser


and other impressive politicians. I think we should welcome the fact


that it's the Conservative Party north of the border as it is the


Conservative Party in England where the action is. Is this just


rebranding? No, what you are seeing in Scotland is an examination of


the policies, we have a majority SNP Government potentially


threatening the union, we need action. How does it help to break


up the Conservative and Unionist Party then? If you look at what


Murdo Fraser is saying, he wants to put the argument for the United


Kingdom in the context of the changes that the SNP are attempting


to make and in the context of a devolutionary settlement. You've


got to ask tough questions about what we can do to better put the


message for the majority of people in Scotland who are, as we know,


having grown up there, keen to be part of the United Kingdom, keen to


make devolution work, but keen, above all, to make sure that


economic growth returns and we get the educational reforms in Scotland


that we are enjoying in England. You said you weren't the fairy


godmother of the Conservatives but you are the godfather of the


schools in England. 24 free schools are starting up, a tiny number to


start with. Is it the case that these schools are going to be


obliged to mirror the social make- up or pattern of children in their


area? There will they have to have the same proportion of children on


free school meals as other schools around them? No, they are going to


do better in most cases. What we've seen so far with free schools is


they've been overwhelmingly located in the most disadvantaged areas and


in many cases they've exceeded, even though they've only been set


up in the last year, the number of children from kiss advantaged homes.


Take Toby Young's West London Free School, it has more people eligible


for free school meals than the rest of the borough. Nearly two thirds


are in Labour areas. More than half are in the poorest parts. Are you


going to put rules and limits on them from the centre or are they


free to do that? They are free. the freedom aspect of it, they are


free to teach broadly speaking what they want, in terms of a wide


curriculum and the rest of it. They don't have to have teachers who are


actually trained as teachers. What about schools that perhaps go down


idealogical routes? What about schools that decide that Darwinism


is all nonsense and they are going to teach Cretanism? What about


schools that are Islamic and while staying just about within the law


preach very hard core Islamist values to union children, are they


going be allow? I've been crystal clear we should not have schools


set up by extremists, whether Christian or Islamic


fundamentalists or outrageous organisations. We've said up to


monitor anyone who comes forward with a proposal for extremism. It


is more rigorous than any previous Government department has been. In


the last Government we had money going to extremist groups, as we


now know from a review of the money allocated which was supposed to


fight terrorism. Using MI5 I read? Correct. We've been working with


people who've been in the intelligence services in order to


ensure that there is no-one from the wrong sort of background


involved in education. And, shy add, not just with the free schools.


There have been one or two disturbing cases with existing


state schools where people have been trying to subvert them. I'm


passionate about science and I'm determined to make sure our country


becomes more cohesive. As a result, I've said that we will not sign any


funding agreements with these organisations. More than that, we


are reviewing the science curriculum, the National Curriculum


overall, to make sure there is no space for the teaching of


whackoidal theories and I want money spent on people who are


seeking to help the poorest. We've got a school open ing in Bradford,


an amazing guy who whose dad was a bus conductor. Children from Muslim


and other backgrounds will now have the chance to go to great nuefrts


an area deprived of great schooling for far too long. Sounds like a


great story but to really change the system you need hundreds of


these schools. It is going to be very hard for you to do that if


people are not able to make profits out of running schools. Are you ide


yo logically opposed to people coming into this market to do the


same here? If so, why? I'm a practising ma tist not an ideolog.


I don't have op opposition to involving any organisation that is


going to improve our education. However, we don't need profit-


making organisations involved at the moment as we have organisations


that are philanthropic. Are there enough people coming into the


market fast enough to make change without making a profit? There are


24 schools opening after only a year and a bit of our coalition


Government. It took Blair, great man though he was, five years to


get the same number of academies. Margaret Thatcher and John Major


didn't have that number of city technology colleges after 9 years.


You've elegantly moved off the question of academies, which are


different. It is said that the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Nicholas


Clegg, has said he will not accept free schools if there is any kind


of profit motive involved and that you have had to back down and allow


him that concession. Nick Clegg and I are agreed on this. The


Conservative manifesto said we didn't need to have profit at the


moment. Nick doesn't believe we need to have profit at the moment


and we don't. And in the future? Well, we are in a coalition now and


we are working to ensure we get more free schools. We've had more


than 280 applications for the next round. I'm expecting we'll have


significant numbers of free schools. The real barrier is not profit


making. It is planning laws that we have at the moment which restrict


the necessary growth, both of the education sector and also of the


new homes that we need. That's why the planning reforms that Eric


Pickles is putting forward are so important. It is why it is so


regrettable that some people can't see the wood for the trees. Shire


Normally when you have planning issues you have Tories and Lib Dems


seeking advantage. Saying we will stand up for this part of the shire.


A coalition is a golden opportunity to create the sort of planning


reform that means not only can we have more environmentally sensitive


planning, we can have more homes and more schools. I must ask you


about one of the other things which is discipline in schools. He had


said the regime has changed, the world has changed and the notion


teachers can exert no physical involvement with children has gone?


Totally. But does this mean? For instance a teacher sees two


children fighting, now the teacher can go and physically separate the


children, I presume? What if one of the children is fighting back, is


the teacher allowed to take the child and pushing up against a wall


to restrain him? Decides on that kind of thing? The critical


question is, I presume you can restrain them at the moment. In all


too many cases people don't. saying under the new racing, the


teacher will be able to push the children decide? They certainly


will. What I'm asking is the exact amount of physical restraint used


by the teacher is going to be something argued about. It may end


up in court. How will that be resolved? At the moment the problem


is that there are far too many occasions teachers believe they


should exercise physical restraint and they are not able to. And the


natural common sense restraint we would use as an adult, isn't


capable of being deployed. The last Government was going to bring in


provisions which meant any time there was physical restraint, the


hat to be bureaucratic records. Now of course, you cannot engage in a


physical abuse which will be criminal in any context. Use common


sense is what you're saying? restoration of commonsense. Thanks


for joining us this morning. Now to Libya were the new


leadership has said they were laid siege to those areas still under


control of pro Gaddafi forces and they have given those forces until


Saturday to surrender peacefully. Colonel Gaddafi himself remains a


fugitive and there have been conflicting reports on where he is.


We strongly believe Gaddafi and his sons, apart from the two who have


already moved to Algeria, all the other sons are still in Libya. And


they are in that region between Sirte and sat there in the south.


What happens if and when he is caught? Will it be the Libyans


putting him on trial in Libya or will the international criminal


court be involved possibly in Libya as well? Our understanding is the


ICC will only put Colonel Gaddafi on trial for crimes committed over


the last six months. As we know, he is responsible for horrific


catalogue of crimes committed over the last 42 years, which he stood -


- should stand for an answer for. He can only answer for those in a


proper trial in Libya itself. Colonel Gaddafi and his sums


offered to give up now, how would the transitional council react? If


he wanted safe passage to another country for instance, is that kind


of deal still available or has the time passed? I think the time has


passed for that. This was offered to him months ago. Three or four


months ago, and he did not take it up. Also it is going to be


difficult for him and his sons to find a safe haven or a country who


will take them. Neighbouring countries like Algeria, Chad, have


made it clear they won't allow Gaddafi or his sons or any of his


top aides to come into their countries. And if they do they will


probably hand them over. The ICC has issued two warrant arrests for


his son, Saif Al-Islam, Colonel Gaddafi and one of his top aides.


If they are apprehended they will be arrested and treated humanely.


They will be kept safe and they will have to face a trial an answer


for all of the crimes they have been responsible for. How would a


Libyan court do with Colonel Gaddafi, would he be jailed or


would he be executed if he was found guilty? That would be up to a


court in due time, but I can us your youth the court will be just


and will meet all international standards from human rights


organisations and other organisations and the UN will be


allowed to monitor things. It will be a fair trial, something Colonel


Gaddafi has never offered any Libyans who criticised him over the


last 42 years. There are many problems for the newly Libyan


authorities, not least getting money back into people's hands,


getting money back into the banks. How is it going? It is going quite


well, the crucial decisions have been made and requested the need to


on freeze assets and pay money back so they can start spending it on


salaries, food, fuel, health care, medicine, humanitarian aid. Britain


have been very helpful. Britain started releasing a total sum of


1.86 billion of Libyan currency which it held back six months ago


and did not send to Colonel Gaddafi, wisely. Now Britain has already


started sending this to Libyan currency and this is going to be


very, very handy. It is already in circulation in the Libyan central


bank and it will be used to pay salaries straight away. There has


been a bit of confusion about whether countries which have helped


overthrow Gaddafi like France and Britain will get special


preferential deals when it comes to oil, or whether it will be an open


and transparent process. Can you clear up that confusion? Andrew,


the new Libya is going to be a Democratic Libya. It is going to be


all about transparency, accountability and fur practice and


competitiveness. In that sense, any contracts will be awarded based on


transparent processes and mechanisms. That means any


contracts it shall be awarded based on merit and competitiveness and


not on any political favouritism. Finally, you have set out a clear


timetable for the move to Democratic elections, but Libya has


only had one election in its history. It does not have a history


of Democratic structures and political parties. How will you be


able to create those parties and those structures? Obviously, people


will have to be educated and educate themselves very quickly. We


need a Democratic culture to start taking shape and take root. But his


true, for the last 42 years we never had political parties. Libya


has never experienced voting, they don't know what a ballot-box looks


like. We have a transition period of 20 months and we think it is


sufficient to allow people to understand how they can set up


political parties and debate and resolve things peacefully. I think


people are looking forward to practise this right. Political


participation has been denied to Libyans for a long time. Everybody


is keen and eager to participate in the political process through


peaceful means and that is through elections and voting and so on.


have a very busy and exciting time ahead, thanks for joining us.


The latest piece in the jigsaw of Labour memoirs arrives with the


publication in the Sunday Times of the first official extract of


Alastair Darling's time as it Chancellor of the Exchequer. But


his 1000 days as Chancellor were to prove unimaginably testing as he


bought the fires of the banking crisis and the recession. And then


there was Gordon Brown as well, which the relationship became so


fraught which led to dysfunction in the Government at the top. Alastair


Darling joins me now. Before we talk about the book directly, the


other Libyan related story in the papers are allegations the Labour


Government, which you are part of at the time, was doing some secret


deal with Colonel Gaddafi to free the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset


Ali al-Megrahi. That has caused an enormous international storm, as


you know. It is shown the Government must have been worried


about Colonel Gaddafi's reaction if he wasn't freed. Although we


haven't got any clear evidence anything particular happened


afterwards. What is your view of this? There is no doubt, from the


British Government's point of view, we wanted to bring Gaddafi in from


the cold. At that time it was thought it was going to be possible.


There was no doubt Gaddafi wanted Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi out. But


this hangs on the willingness of the British Labour Government doing


a deal with a Scottish Nationalist Government and anyone who knows


anything about Scottish politics will know there is such a visceral


dislike between the two. The idea there was some collaboration is


nonsense. It is true to say the British Government wanted


Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi at. It is true to say Alex Salmond fancied AA


wander onto the international stage. The whole thing ended in tears,


Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is still with us and was and at death's door.


There is no doubt at the time, I can understand there was no other


way to try to bring Gaddafi under control. They were trying to bring


him in from the cold. It did not work, and it now looks finished.


Talking about warm relationships between the Scottish politicians


takes us on to your own books. The picture you portrayed over the


relationship between yourself and Gordon Brown, you had known him for


a very long time but it started in a chilly way and got worse very


fast, to the point where I think in your 2009 Budget, days before you


were due to stand up and House of Commons, you did not have a budget?


First of all this book is essentially about the banking


crisis which led to an economic crisis and I wanted to describe how


we handle that. But there is a political overlay, because the


relationship between myself and Gordon got progressively worse. In


2009 we had this argument about what you do about the deficit. But


I could not tell the story without having to explain. The object


lesson here is, for any Government to operate effectively, there has


to be complete unity at the top, especially between the Chancellor


and the Prime Minister. It isn't the first relationship that went


wrong, Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson. These things have happened


before. This is crucial because you and he had a fundamental


disagreement about the seriousness of the situation? He was livid


about use saying it was the worst recession in 60 years. It wasn't


just a disagreement, it was going to affect everything in terms of


your future planning on tax, spending on the rest of it?


frustration is, we could have got through this, we could have charted


a political way through it. Actually, we did get some kudos


from the fact we managed to stop the banking system from collapsing.


We could have dealt with the recession. BM point is, you have


done all this, you have to get it your borrowing down. Ignoring the


problem is as bad as the present Government's policy which seems to


be squeezing the life out of the economy. We could have come through


this, we didn't. Why not? Because there was a disagreement at the


very top. I was at one with Gordon on this, we have to stop the


banking system collapsing we had to put money into the economy. The


results of course, like any other economy like -- that has high


levels of borrowing, the disagreement was how to get it back


down. I thought we could halve it over a four year period. We have to


say to people this is what we will be doing less, and he disagreed.


only such what you call the forces of hell on you? That was after my


interview with the Guardian three years ago. Making it clear that


there was this disagreement, how unpleasant was that? I relish


attacking Tories, and then attacking me, it is politics. But


when you're a lot are doing it to you, it is not new in politics but


it left a mark on me you cannot erase. Gordon Brown wouldn't


actually have the argument with you face-to-face? We had lots of


arguments, very healthy arguments. That's fine, what I do mind it is


when you have got people briefing all over the place that you have


made a fool of yourself, your days are numbered and you have the


judgment wrong. Describe the decision-making system, or the lack


of a system when you were trying to get agreement on what you both


thought about the economy and way you're going? As I said, throughout


2008 argues parted. Everything eyesore into 1008. It too was


heading for a meltdown. The banking system was freezing up. If that


happens, it is only a matter of time before the economy goes as


well. It was happening all over the world. He took the view I was being


too cautious. I am naturally cautious. Every Treasury in the


world is cautious. He thought the recession would be over in six


months? He took the view I had been misled by the advice I had received


and I was exaggerating it. The Guardian was one of three, ice at


the same thing. There was a disagreement then. We were pretty


much at one on the banking crisis. What happened? In practical terms


what happened? He would expect if there was a disagreement between


the Chancellor and the Prime Minister, the Cabinet would sit


down, thrash through these things I knew would come as a collective


Government to a decision? It wasn't There is history here, in that when


Tony Blair became the leader in the 1990s, and the Labour had been out


of power for a long, long time, we badly needed some strong Government,


almost dictatorship, and that's what we got. Gordon and Tony


together reformed the Labour Party, but unfortunately as the Government


went on, that decision-making process changed. As I say in the


book, there are a number of issues, whether it was on tuition fees,


conflicts and so on, where a Cabinet discussion would have


benefited it. This book is full of mea culpas. One big one is I should


have forced this issue on to the Cabinet table. This was all done by


early morning or late-evening ad hoc meetings which ended quickly.


Indeed. I'm not interested in the sort of kiss and tell political


story. It is incidental to my story. The far bigger picture, and the one


where I think any political party needs to draw a lesson, you need to


be united at the top but you also need a credible economic policy. If


you don't have a credible economic policy you were simply not at the


races. Our problem was it was so blindingly obvious to the outside


world that the two of us, Gordon and I, were at odds, that it


hampered things. I have to say that, collectively, you weren't fit to


govern. I think we could have done a being job than we did. Can I pick


up on the "we" there. Everybody is talking about Gordon and yet the


rest of you were grown up, adult, powerful political players why. Did


you not go in, not necessarily and get rid of him but say, "You've got


to change, you can't carry on like this?" Was he fright something


There were lots of discussions like that. With limb? You have a


discussion with somebody with a tempestous relationship and they


say they'll change but two days later you are back where you were.


If you want the criticise us correct collectively, perhaps we


should have done something. As I say in the book, why did I do it?


I'm afraid for me, despite everything, and if Gordon is


listening to this, he may find this difficult to believe, but I had a


loyalty to him, and we go back a long, long way. This is very


unpleasant. Frankly for the wider audience, and I hope people when


they read the book will think of the bigger issues still with us


today. I want to talk about the Governor of the Bank of England,


Mervyn King. You considered at one point not reappointing him as


Governor and you felt that his understanding of what was going on


in some of the big banks was poor? Back in 2007 when Northern Rock hit


us, there were two problems with the Bank of England. One, I don't


think the bank had anywhere near an adequate understanding of what was


going on in the banking system, despite the fact it had


responsibility and had done since 1997. All energy went on the


monetary policy side. I disagreed with what I thought needed to be


done. I felt it essential to get money into the system to stop it


freezing. He was more concernedant solvency of the banks, which of


course the two are related. We did not deal with this as effectively


as we should. Had there been a better candidate you would have


dealt with it wouldn't you? Later on clearly you had disagreements


about a macro policy and you felt he had come pretty close to


crossing the line and coming out on the Conservative side of the


argument over tax and spend. bigger complaint was more about


what he was saying about the regulation of the banks, which was


the Conservative policy not the Government's policy. I do think


governors of the bank need to be terrible before they openly cross


the Government of the day. He could see we were going and he felt


emboldened, I think, to say what he wanted. This is a live topic at the


moment. There seems to be a big argument inside the coalition about


whether or not to enforce the break-up of the banks into retail


banks and investment banks. What do you think should be happening now?


Well, the whole basis on which this argument is being conducted is


false. The idea that you could let an investment bank collapse and


walk away from it in times of crisis is nonsense. That's what the


American Government did with Lehman Brothers and that presip at a timed


the worst crisis ever -- precipitated the worst crisis ever


seen. Sit wrong for Vince Cable to be pressing for the break-up of


banks? If it is about banking activities that's a useful tool. It


is not going to stop it happening again. If you are going to make


those changes in ring-fences, frankly you should get on with it


and not leave it until 019. If you impose it now on banks, then you


will so hit bank profits that you endanger what stultering economic


recovery you've got. This isn't going to stop the problem, it will


be a useful tool. Secondly, anything you do in rorging banks at


the same time as it will require them to hold more capital and so on,


lit mean there is less money to lend. You need to be aware of that.


The third thing, again I mentioned this in my book, we are the world's


largest financial centre. That brings huge risks but huge


opportunities. We need to be careful about doing something which


doesn't solve the problems that we face, and then the double whammy is


you start losing banks because they won't go tomorrow morning or


anything like that but they start moving away. And the Bank of


England, you say, is an old- fashioned autocratic institution


which badly needs radical reform? Yes, the present Government wants


to make the Bank of England not just responsible for interest rates


but for the supervision of banks. Where its track record is mixed.


And also it has got this overall responsibility for trying to iron


out if peaks and troughs of the economic cycle. That's a lot of


things to invest in one person. I think the governance of the Bank of


England needs to change. Legislation needs be reconstruct


sod the Governor has to be the first among equals. You need a


board of directors. Not an advisory economy. Not a court. It is an


adornment in every sense. If you are going to do this reform, for


goodness sake do it properly. do you think about the current


economic outlook? Bad news from America at the moment. I'm very


pessimistic now. Our economy was growing for several months after we


left office. I think the present Government's policy of almost


squeezing the life out of the economy is going to be very bad for


us, especially when you look at what's happening in Europe, where


you have the same austerity approach imposed on Europe. The


picture in America, as you say, is very missed. We have to rediscover


the spirit of 2009, where countries have the meet urgently, yes to get


your deficits down, but for goodness seek we need growth.


you still speak to Gordon Brown very much? Of course, and I hope


we'll continue to speak to each other. I'm not interested in living


in the past. Indeed. Alistair Darling, thank you for joining us.


And now over to Naga for the news headlines. Alistair Darling has


said there was a permanent air of chaos and crisis when Gordon Brown


was Prime Minister. Speaking on this programme he referred to a


deeply unpleasant atmosphere in Government and said perhaps he and


other Cabinet members should have done something about Mr Brown's


leadership. The next news on BBC One is at


midday. MPs say independent counselling


would cut the number of women having terminations. Should we make


it harder to get an abortion. Stand-off at Dale Farm. Is evicting


Now, Snow Patrol are one of the most successful British rock bands


of the past decade. Their albums sell millions of copies here and


all over the world, and their music has featured on the soundtracks of


several popular American TV series. Not bad, considering they once


played a gig to just 18 people. We're going to hear the first live


TV performance of the new single from their sixth album, Fallen


Empires, in a moment. But first, a quick word with their frontman,


Gary Lightbody. You started off at a time when you could still get


money from the big record companies and you could sell albums. It's a


difficulty world now. What about the young bands trying to make it,


as you did? We started off at a time when yes it was possible to


make money from music, but we didn't for a decade. So we were


struggling. Right now, we had two chances. We had a first career of


ten years of playing to 18 people. In some very shady places. And we


had a second career when we released Final Straw and it took


off for us. Not too many people get two bites of the cherry. This is a


slightly more retro feel to the album, is that right? Not so much.


We've got, we've let our electronic side out and the songs are bigger


and bolder. This is called Calling Out In The Dark? It is a tribute to


Alistair Darling, which we'll be hearing in a second.


That's almost it for this morning. Thanks to all my guests. Do join me


again at the same time next week, when it's the 10th anniversary of


9/11. We'll be reflecting on that event, and all that flowed from it.


But we leave you now with Snow Patrol and their new single,


"Calling Out in the Dark". Goodbye. # It's like we just can't help


ourselves. # 'Cause we don't know how to back


down. # We were called out to the streets.


# We were called out into the towns. # And how the heavens, they opened


# Like arms of dazzling gold. # With our rain-washed histories.


# This is your life, this is your time.


# We are listening and we're not blind.


# This is your life, this is your # I was called out in the dark.


# By a choir of beautiful cheats. # And as the kids took back the


parks. # You and I were left with the


streets. # Show me now, show me the arms


aloft. # Every eye trained on a different


star. # This magic, this drunken


semaphore. # And I-I-I-I.


# We are listening, and we're not blind.


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