19/03/2017 The Andrew Marr Show

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Andrew is joined by leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson MSP, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson and actor Griff Rhys Jones. With music from Madness.

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Theresa May now has her finger hovering over the button


which will take us out of the European Union.


As she prepares to hit it, all four of her living predecessors


are standing in the wings watching on in horror.


But, of course, it's far too late for any of them


to do anything about it. Or is it?


And that's really the central question.


Tony Blair is back making a new intervention in British politics.


I'm also joined by Britain's most popular political leader,


after a week which has seen Edinburgh and London in a fierce war


of words over Scotland's next independence referendum.


But we're not forgetting the wild dramas of American politics.


I'm joined by Mark Thompson, one time Director General of the BBC,


but now the Chief Executive of the New York Times.


What's it like being on the receiving end


You might think this all needs satire rather


than conversational examination, but the political comics are thin


on the ground compared to the Thatcher years.


I've been talking to Griff Rhys Jones, 35 years


on from Not The Nine O'Clock News, about his old comedy


partner, Mel Smith, and about his return to the stage.


And we'll be ending this week's show - as usual -


Reviewing the news this morning, the Scottish commentator


The man responsible for nailing the Conservatives over


their election expenses scandal, Michael Crick of Channel 4 News.


And attempting to keep us all in check, Amanda Platell


That's all after the news read for us this morning by Tina Daheley.


Tributes are being paid to the rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry,


who's died at the age of 90 at his home in Missouri.


David Sillito looks back at his life.


# Deep down in Louisiana close to new Orleans


# Way back up in the woods among the evergreens


# There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood


# There lived a country boy called Johnny B Goode.


# There's a jumping little record I want my jockey to play...


If any one person could claim to have invented rock and


Take rhythm and blues, mix it with country and then add


electric guitar and sing about the stuff that


Half of the young people go to school.


And I wrote about the life. Half of the people have cars.


And mostly all people, if they're not now, they'll


Charles Berry was born in St Louis, Missouri.


As a teenager he spent time in prison for


He married young, trained as a hairdresser.


It was Muddy Waters who suggested he record a


Of course he was only one of many rock and roll pioneers.


And another spell in prison, a conviction for


immorality with a 14-year-old girl, halted his career.


# Up in the morning and out to school...


When he re-emerged, he discovered that his sound was


America. He was though something of a loner.


He would often turn up and play with whoever was around.


Sometimes he wouldn't even hand out a set list.


He knew everyone would know the songs.


And he wasn't always easy to get on with.


But as John Lennon said, "If you wanted to give rock


and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry."


NHS services are facing a 2mission impossible" to meet the standards


required by the Government - that's according to the organisation


NHS Providers says the money allocated for the next financial


year is not enough to meet growing patient demand, and targets like


And you can see an interview with the chief executive of NHS


Providers, Chris Hopson, on the Sunday Politics


Victims of sexual assault won't have to go through the ordeal of giving


evidence in court under changes being brought forward


From September, the cross-examination of alleged victims


will be pre-recorded and played to the jury.


It follows a trial involving child victims who said the system made


them feel less pressured and better able to recall events.


North Korea's state media says its military has tested a new


The announcement came during a visit to China


by the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.


Mr Tillerson told China's President Xi Jinping that President Trump


looks forward to "enhancing understanding" between


The Parliamentary Committee on Standards in Public Life


is to examine the practice of MPs taking other jobs, at


The committee will discuss whether the rules need to be


tightened after the former Chancellor, George Osborne,


was announced as the new editor of the London Evening Standard.


Mr Osborne says he intends to stay on as MP for Tatton in Cheshire,


The next news on BBC One is at one o'clock.


And I'm sure many Tory MPs are issuing warm Private banks to Mr


Osborne for that change. A disturbing story about a new drug


being linked to birth defects and the shadow of the word thalidomide


is hanging over that story. Also, the Chancellor in trouble from


Brexit ministers. The Sunday Times has a story about changing the law


to allow rape victims to give evidence by video rather than in


court. And George Osborne scuppers second jobs for MPs. The Observer


has a cross-party alliance forming to fight Theresa May on grammar


schools. She is in a bit of trouble from Tory backbenchers. Another


picture of the great Chuck Berry. Finally, The Mail on Sunday, and


abortion story saying let mothers abort babies of the wrong sex. A new


scandal, they say. Lots of pictures of the Duchess of Cornwall in all of


the papers. Let's start with the big political news of the week, the


fight between Edinburgh and London over the second Scottish


Independence Referendum. Nicola Sturgeon saying, here is my


timetable. Theresa May saying, no, you can't do that. It has become


personal quite quickly. It is quite extraordinary. Handbags at dawn.


Both of these women you thought were mild-mannered. Now we have a war of


words. It's quite interesting if you look at it from a north of the


border perspective. Newspapers just can't stop defining women by their


footwear. The Sunday Times has put together a rather nice one. Probably


the more relevant one is the Sunday Herald front page. It refers to


Nicola Sturgeon's speech yesterday and it says there will be a second


referendum. Most people agree there are now well. Timing is everything.


Does it happen after we have left the EU or before? Is this because


the Scottish government want for there to be some possibility of a


back door re-entry to the EU if they have the area referendum? Whereas


once we have left, that is it. Absolutely. It wasn't an accident,


that window. At that point, according to Nicola Sturgeon, we


will know pretty well what the shape of Brexit will look like. But


crucially the UK would not be outside the EU. She hopes that gives


her enough wiggle room to stay within, maybe not within the EU, but


access to the single market, perhaps. Andrew Roberts the caught


your eye in the Observer. He is interesting. It makes the point that


here are two women who have the Dial set to caution. Both have taken huge


gambles not just with their parties and the union, but with their own


career. None of them can afford to lose a Scottish referendum. Very


interesting. We now have on cue, Gordon Brown. John Major writing in


the papers. Tony Blair on the programme. Gordon Brown with a new


proposal for a new federal system of Britain? Sounds like we have been


here before. Gordon Brown basically saying that rather than


independence, Scotland should have more devolution. I think Gordon


Brown has said that the number previous occasions, notably the Val


just before the 2014 referendum. -- avowal. This time he says further


powers to be transferred to the Scottish government might be the


setting of VAT rates, the power to set international treaties and


control over fisheries etc. There will be hardly anything left,


really. I must ask Ruth, is this a flyer? Della Mark Wright don't think


so for a moment. This is on a loop. We have had this before. The other


thing to bear in mind is if these ideas were to be enacted, they would


have to be enacted by a Labour government. Reading the polls there


doesn't seem to be one coming along very soon. Can I just say that it is


quite bizarre and quite ironic that the people who brought us Brexit are


talking about how divisive referenda are, how they bring uncertainty. I


mean, please. Amanda, you have a story from the Sanaa. -- the sun


newspaper. This is Ruth Davidson saying she -- showing she wants to


remain in the European Union. Best line of attack was that Nicola


Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have been storming the barricades but not


minding the shop. She claims Nicola Sturgeon has overspent by ?1


billion. They are struggling with schools, hospitals, farmers, all


these key areas that she -- that part of what she's doing tactically


is trying divert attention away from domestic chaos. Michael Crick, you


are a bad man, you have caused a lot of trouble for the government in the


past weeks and months, and you lead the way on the battlebus macro


story, which has resulted in this large fine. There is a big spread in


The Mail on Sunday. This was a story about how, at the 2015 general


election, and in three by-elections, the Conservatives spent a lot more


than the rules allowed them in winning certain constituency


campaigns. In the 2015 general election, that applies in South


Thanet, where they were trying to stop Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader,


becoming an MP. And in a couple of dozen marginal seats around England,


sometimes against the Liberal Democrats, sometimes against Labour.


They went around the country with these battle buses, with volunteers


on board, Nottingham up on hold -- in hotels. The real expense wasn't


the bus but the Hotel bills. They claim it was nothing to do with the


campaigns. If you promote a local candidate, tell everybody what his


policies are, that counts as a local expense. They tried to claim it was


a national expense. This week the electoral commission have said the


local expense claims were not high enough and they find the party


nationally. In the past there have been transgressions but nobody has


done battlebus was on this scale. In the past they have just taken the


leaders around or the deputy leader. What has never happened before is


taking vast numbers of activists around the country and putting them


up in hotels, in some cases booking two hotels. We have had the fine


from the electoral commission. Police forces are investigating. Do


you think this will lead to by-elections? Theresa May's majority


is not enormous. It could lead to a few by-elections. 12 police forces


have said -- sound files of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service is.


They cover a couple of dozen MPs. In some cases you may see a


prosecution. South Thanet must be a big candidate. The evidence is


compelling. And interestingly, today The Mail on Sunday have done more on


South Thanet. They say one of Theresa May's key advisers, Nick


Timothy, they say that he was rewarded for his work on that


campaign by being allowed back on the Conservative candidates list.


Ruth Davidson, you have got a story. Ruth Wishart, sorry! You did say


Ruth Davidson due too much caffeine! You wait for ages for one former


Prime Minister to come along, and this week we have three in quick


succession. John Major is feeling quite sore at having been sandbagged


by the Brexiteer is. He is saying, the deal offered by the holy Trinity


of Brexiteers is a very bad deal indeed and if we have to rely on WTO


tariffs and all of that, a lot of Britain's industries will go down


the tubes. He is saying it is time for Theresa May to get out from


under that kind of pressure from the right wing of the Conservative


Party. He has got a constituency to talk to.


Meanwhile Theresa May was under George Osborne in the Evening


Standard. This is the other amazing story. It is amazing. It is just


absolutely extraordinary. We have got almost immediately that the news


broke I was having all of these senior backbenchers texting me


saying this is George's vendetta against Theresa May. It has caused a


lot of amusement, partly because... It must be worrying the Tory party


as well. It is, a piece in the Sunday Times talks about this saying


it gives him an effective platform to attack her and attack her, he's


not a forgiving man and she did unceremoniously sacked him. A lot of


people are saying how on earth. Rod Liddle has done a brilliant piece in


the Sunday Times... He does divide opinion, but he is saying what on


earth does George Osborne know about editing a newspaper? If he thinks he


can do it before breakfast, then go off and do his moneymaking... I


remember being relatively busy! Maybe I would have been more


successful if I hadn't gone into the office so much! I have edited


newspapers myself, it is a seven day a week, 24 hour a day job. I think


he did edit the university magazine at Oxford. But only once! It is not


a heavily resourced newspaper, it will require a lot of ideas. And


have the advertisers kept onside? The guy in charge of MPs having


second jobs is now investigating this and will take second jobs away


from lots of other MPs who are not earning huge amounts of money like


George Osborne so he won't be popular at home. The Sunday Express


has a story suggesting the Tories are preparing for an early election,


do you have any faith in this story? Is it true? No, I don't, it has been


bubbling along Saint Theresa May became Prime Minister. They are


suggesting the row about election spending is one good reason why


calling an election would be in her interest, apart from the fact she


only has a Commons majority of 17. A bit more if you add in the


Democratic union is from Northern Ireland. And she will have Michael


Crick running after her! If she was to have a general election, what


would they do about these MPs being investigated by police? Would they


say, right, you cannot be candidates, which would cause an


outcry? Or carry on with them as candidates which would be equally


problematic. I don't see it happening. We have covered a heck of


a lot and run out of time so thank you very much indeed.


What does Donald Trump think about that famous American


They are the "enemy of the American people".


And that's on the mornings when he wakes up feeling chirpy.


Mark Thompson was Director General of the BBC and is now CEO of this


Mark, sad. He came to lunch with us just before Christmas and that


morning it was the failing NYI several times. By the time he left


he told the media in the lobby that we were a jewel for America and the


world. I wonder why the New York Times has been so much in the cross


hairs of his anger. Is it because he is a New Yorker and he feels hurt


that New York's paper doesn't love him back? In the end you will have


to ask him, when you get the chance. I think the boy from Queens, very


eager to be accepted by the New York establishment and the New York Times


as this citadel in Manhattan, that is part of it, but also I think


there is a systematic... Steve Bannon has talked about the true


opposition being the media, and I think the New York Times is regarded


as the height of the establishment media as well. The personal


biographical push as well... In a says you speak to the liberal and


financial elites of the West Coast... Nowadays we are reaching


150 million people a month, tens of millions of Americans who wouldn't


regard themselves as the part of that elite. Is there too much tooth


sucking in the fact that so many Americans voted for Trump and your


newspaper never thought it would happen, ridiculed him all the way


through, and now he is president? The -- it is very hard to predict,


New York Times did not predict the trunk victory, virtually no wonder


it. Even people in his own circle believed he would lose. Rather like


Brexit in this country. Over the course of 2016 and now 2017 we are


growing our audience and growing the number of people deeply engaging


with us so the idea we are cut off from the whole of the country is


undermined by the facts. Are you trying to listen more acutely to


West Virginia for instance? We've got reporters across the country and


of course I think trying to understand the underlying causes for


what's happening and trying to understand the worldview of people


who don't live on the two coasts of America, and also trying to explain


what's happening in America to the rest of the world because we are


seeing a spike in international audiences, partly because so many


people in other countries are intrigued. Do you wake up every


morning and look at your phone to see what he's tweeted overnight? He


seems to be the reader of a physical paper and that seems to be the


witching hour. The first time the President-elect directs a tweet


which is a direct attack not just on the editorial but the business news


of the times... Your audience is collapsing, not true, it is growing,


the first time it was a big event but now it is routine. This you have


written a lot about fake news and political language, isn't it the


case that trunk is a very cute political communicator? He uses the


tweets, short sentences to the point, gets his message across and


is very good at pushing news he doesn't like to one side? I wrote a


book last year specifically about political language and the way high


impact incredibly short, very compelling language was winning out


over the language of explanation and depth. Donald Trump turned up


essentially after I had written the thing but he epitomises the very


powerful, informal spontaneous tweets. They are emotionally pitch


perfect but they don't tell you much about policy. When it comes to the


story about GCHQ accusing him of being part of the attempt to


eavesdrop on Trump during the Obama administration, he has not


apologised for any of that? Not apologised but not retracted despite


a categorical denial by the British. I think the key thing is Donald


Trump seems to have a view that he can make things true by saying them,


and if he says them, innocence they have a validity and he doesn't


really accept that there is a common reality with common facts that we


are all bound by. Most conventional politicians... And there is a


categorical denial by GCHQ but he simply presses on. So you think he


is more of a fantasist than a liar? I think he has a view that he can


make things true, and if they are not true today he can make them true


tomorrow so it is a demonstration of his immense wealth and also a kind


of self obsession which is also very clear when you meet him. You went


from one kind of journalism to newspapers, what's your advice for


George Osborne? It's a perfect time to join the newspaper industry! I


have been an editor, admittedly in television rather than the print


media. My experience is done properly it is energetic and


time-consuming. It might be tricky to be an MP and a full-time editor


at the same time. You would have thought so but he's a man of many


gifts so let's see. Mark Thompson, thank you.


And so, for those of you who think that America doesn't really


It was nice and spring-like, very pleasant, until we were hit


by the backwash of the icy storms that hit New York and the rest


That's the kind of American import we don't want any more of.


Good morning, that storm system from America brought rain and there is


more rain in the forecast through the rest of today. All courtesy of


this wiggling weather front, and because it is whittling it is not


moving through quickly so from Northern Ireland, south-west


Scotland, north-west England, we will see a lot of rain today,


particularly through Cumbria. There may be surface water flooding, and


that band of rain divides southern areas where we will see largely dry


but cloudy and windy weather, mild temperatures in London, from


northern areas where it will be cool with a mixture of sunshine and


showers. Through tonight the rain band will have slid its way


southwards, then it reinvigorates heavy rain pushing back in, all the


while turning windy up towards the north-west. With the gales, some


pretty hefty downpours. At the same time rain sets in across a large


part of England and Wales. Brighter skies to the north but with the


continued threat of showers, some of those heavy and indeed wintry over


high ground in Northern Ireland and Scotland, turning chillier in the


north-west and for the week ahead the cooler weather will spread to


all parts of the country with a mixture of sunshine and showers so


nothing particularly springlike on the horizon, Andrew.


It's been a terrible week for the Tories -


chunks of the Budget being torn up, enormous fines from


the Electoral Commission, and a very bitter row


between Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon


about Scotland's right to have a second


Ruth Davidson is leader of the opposition in Scotland


Good morning, Ruth Davidson. You said not so long ago that I actually


don't think Westminster saying no you cannae to a referendum would


play well and would damage the unionist cause, have you changed


your mind? Nicola Sturgeon said to have a fair referendum people in


Scotland need to know what they are voting for. It has got to be after


the Brexit situation has played out. I think it's astonishing that after


a two day conference, the SNP still haven't told us their vision after


dropping this bombshell on Monday. Nicola Sturgeon's timescale we will


know what the Brexit deal will be at that point so what's the problem


with the referendum? I don't accept that, on the grounds that we know


there will be a lot of powers that come back from Brussels, many


devolved to the Scottish Government, the same powers Nicola wants to hand


back to Brussels, so we won't know but we also don't know what


independence looks like. We have asked basic questions on things like


currency, the central bank, would we rejoin Europe as a full member, and


Nicola Sturgeon seems unable to commit to that. The other issue is I


don't think you can have another independence referendum if you don't


have public consent for it and the people of Scotland don't want it. We


have seen another poll today that shows the majority of people in


Scotland don't want this. I know it is hard, from 450 miles away,


Andrew, but I have to tell people at home, I know it is difficult because


I have read about it but we have to tell people the SNP is not Scotland


and they are acting for the wishes of people in Scotland and I have


read too many headlines saying Scotland reacts X or Y. Let me put


it to you that the SNP is nonetheless the Government of


Scotland and they were elected on a manifesto which said with crystal


clarity that if Scotland was taken out of the EU against her wishes,


that would be the material change which would signal another


referendum, and therefore whatever you think of Nicola Sturgeon, she is


sticking by him manifesto commitment.


She also lost her majority. And at that election campaign, she also


told the people of Scotland, directly, that if I don't change


people's minds on this, if I don't get people across the line to


independence, I will have no right to hold on. She looked down the


camera lens and said those words to the people of Scotland. She said if


she hadn't changed public opinion in Scotland she would have no right to


call it. What is your message to those people in Scotland who look at


the prospect of leaving the EU and agree with crashing the Scottish


economy and it been devastating for jobs and prosperity and the future


of the Scottish economy, and who wants to stay inside the single


market and 11 last chance to say, we don't agree with this, we want to go


in a different direction? You and your leader are taking the


possibility away from them. I would point to Theresa May's Lancaster


House speech were she said she wanted to pursue a free-trade deal,


to allow companies to trade within that single market as well as look


for a trade deals abroad. I would also point to the other 12 points in


Theresa May's plan. You wouldn't think it from the weight Nicola


Sturgeon is talking, but things like cooperation on crime and


intelligence, writes for EU migrants in the UK, these were things


specifically asked for by the SNP government that they will not


acknowledge were detailed in that Lancaster House speech by Theresa


May. Which haven't been included in the legislation that has just gone


through Parliament. Can you point me to a single actual change in policy


or direction that Theresa May has conceded to the Scottish government?


She said she would listen to Scotland, nothing would happen


without Scotland's say so. Since then there has been a deafening


silence. You have seen the joint ministerial Council meeting is going


on between the UK government and the devolved governments. I have


detailed four points out of the 12 point plan that were specifically


asked for by the SNP government. I know if Theresa May wrapped a pony


in a big bow and gave it to Nicola Sturgeon for her birthday, for some


reason that would not be enough. Slightly strange thing to do! These


things were specifically asked for by the Scottish government that have


been delivered and laid out by the UK government. Nicola Sturgeon may


not wish to acknowledge that but there is a reason for that. She is


hell-bent on the separation of this country. She wants to do it against


the majority wishes of the Scottish people. Let me move on... One more


point. We know that Brexit is only this week's excuse and they have


been plenty of excuses in the past. When Nicola Sturgeon was asked if


she would take an independent Scotland directly back in as a full


member of the EU if she wins independence, she refused to confirm


it. This is not about Brexit. This is about utilising whatever is to


hand to break up the UK. That has been her political mission for


entire life. She is leader of the SNP. It is not surprising. She is


also be First Minister and has a responsibility. She is the First


Minister of Scotland. She has a responsibility to all of Scotland


and she has renege on that responsibility. She followed the


narrow party objective, not the view of the people of Scotland who have


said time and time and time again they do not want dragged back to the


divisions of three years ago. They haven't changed their view on the


question they were asked and gave a clear answer on just three years


ago. It seems binary. Full independence or the status quo


inside the union. Gordon Brown has suggested a sort of third Way,


whereby a lot of those powers coming back to Westminster aren't grabbed


by London board are given to Edinburgh. Is this a way forward?


Gordon Brown is full of thousands of good ideas. It is ashamed that he


couldn't have implemented some of them as Prime Minister. Theresa May


has already made it absolutely clear there is no power that is currently


residing at Holyrood that will go anyplace else. And as powers are


returned to the UK Parliament from Brussels, they will be further


devolved. Asymmetric devolution I would expect. Scotland already has


competency over a wider range of issues than Stormont and the Welsh


Assembly. That is something we have to discuss and make sure we do in a


way that doesn't practically impede our own internal market in the UK.


That is why I'm talking about Brexit process, not just a date on which we


actually leave the EU. It has been a difficult week for your party. Some


high and low moments and some surreal moments. What did you think


when you saw George Osborne would be editing the London Evening Standard?


He is a better man than me. I spent ten years as a journalist and six


years as a politician. I'm not sure you can combine both. I work a busy


week as it is, this week in particular. I'm not sure you can do


both at the same time. John Major as one Theresa May not to become


captured by the so-called hard Brexiteers. Clearly the Chancellor


is having a pretty torrid time at the moment. You concerned there is a


growing war inside your party to push out anybody, including people


like you, who are not as hard as hard can be on Brexit? No. I don't


think there is anybody pushing me, and they would get shoved back


pretty hard if they tried, and I think the idea that anybody could


capture Theresa May is probably someone who doesn't know to reason


may very well. She knows her own mind. Thank you for talking to us.


Thank you. For almost four decades,


Griff Rhys Jones has been one of the best known faces on British


TV, whether in comedy - alongside the much-missed Mel Smith -


or as the presenter of hugely He's back on stage in London


starring as The Miser As Harpagon, the penny-pinching


father, Griff plays an outrageous But given your respective ages,


Papa, should you not marry Anne and I shall marry Mariane


and he will marry Anne. No, I shall marry


Mariane and he, marry, And marry, if he won't marry Anne,


you can't marry Mariane Apparently it was a sort of try


out, and his intention was to take this comedy


and turn it into a more classically oriented piece,


to write it in verse. But it went so well, it was so funny


for the audience that watched it, that he started


basically to leave it be and not In one sense what you do


is you take Moliere There's bottom jokes and things


falling off the wall jokes. Yes, but I have to say


this, which is really weird, when you come down


to say it's freely adapted and that sort of thing,


all the silliest jokes are Moliere. The wine stuff, the wine


being thrown over everybody, that's Moliere.


That's absolutely as it is. The money on a string,


that's Moliere. The money buried underneath


the tomato plants, that's actually So there's a sense that almost


all the silliest jokes In terms of the message,


your character, Harpagon, he is the man classically more


in love with his money and presumably all that means,


than with his family or other And the really hard thing


for you is we have to have sympathy for Harpagon, your


character, but he is disgusting. He's the old hunched man


who figures in a lot of his plays and was usually


played by Moliere himself. Now this character, as it


were, presents the idea of the problems and the beliefs and


the assumptions that a lot of late That everybody's out to get hold of


their money, their children are wastrels, not doing anything


with themselves. And as I say, Harpagon is quite


a grotesque character. You pull out the false


teeth, you don't quite turn out your eyes,


but he's pretty hideous. Just explain why you are wearing


that little beanie at the moment? Well at one point


we talk about wigs. He has a wig which he


made himself when the At another point he's asked to talk


about his hair and he takes off his wig to reveal


that he has a very... When we discussed this, at one point


they suggest, "Why don't we put on a bald wig and then you can put


the wig on top of that, then you can be bald and spend two hours


every day in make-up?" I said, "No, it's all right,


I'll shave it and go around So I have to wear a hat


to avoid giving the Now we've seen you a lot


on telly and so forth. Last year you did a one-man show


talking about your own life, and you talked


about Mel Smith. It's four years now,


I think, since he died. Again, will you ever,


do you think, have somebody with whom you work so closely,


with that extraordinary I have to say that Mel


was the most fantastic person And I'm by nature,


a little bit hyper. But Mel was always the most


steady and wonderful He was always the most


generous of actors. Oh, come on, you've got some


lovely kids, haven't you? I hear the oldest one


has got into Oxford? If I wanted to say to Mel, "Well,


if you'd did that it would make it funnier", or if he wanted


to say to me, "I think we should do this", or whatever,


there was always a sense that it was able to be done


with absolutely no forethought at all, that we would talk about


what we did. So ruthless immediate


mutual criticism? Sort of like that sort of sense


of being able to work with It's very strange when


you walk into a play, you have to be careful


when you approach other actors, just to say, "I wonder


if you did this..." Everybody, it's not that nobody


doesn't really wants to do it, they do sort of,


they do walk around... But I tell you what's


interesting, my main servant is And Lee is a disruptive


force in the play, Well, they do say how


you got a padlock on your purse and that you have


deliberately lost the key. And about how you took a mouse


to court for nibbling on a And how you re-plastered


the whole of your house in porridge, which is true,


and accounts for that bit of jam His sort of naughtiness,


that's the most important thing. That sense of naughtiness


that carries through Lee all the way through the play,


actually really enlivens the play Griff Rhys Jones, thanks very


much for talking to us. And that new adaptation of The Miser


is at London's Garrick Theatre Now, coming up later this morning,


Andrew Neil will be joined by Nick Clegg, the former leader


of the Liberal Democrats. And he'll be discussing claims


of a health crisis with the senior That's the Sunday Politics


at 11 here on BBC One. Tony Blair is launching


a new policy institute. He argues that globalisation -


frankly, the world we are living in right now -


has produced a backlash of angry And he wants to do


something about it. Just saying that raises so many


questions, Mr Blair. Can we start by talking about


globalisation itself? Many people would say that is a series of


decisions which happened at least on your watch, the deregulation of


international banking and so forth, the deregulation of labour markets,


mass immigration, and that people are making a justified kickback to


things they find very disturbing and change that has happened in many


communities simply too quickly? Yes, and I think this is exactly the


context for having the debate. Globalisation in my view is not


ultimately a decision by government. It is an unstoppable force that is


driven by technology, trade, travel, migration. And it's going to carry


on. However, governments can respond. You say unstoppable. It's


not an act of God. These decisions are taken by human beings. If people


don't like it they can presumably slow it down? Absolutely. But it is


a decision taken by human beings and not just governments. This is


important. If you look at the last 30 years of human history, more


people have been lifted out of poverty than ever before, there have


been enormous advances in how we live and how we work, and how we


operate. But there have also been real stresses and strains. You can


see that economically through the displacement of jobs. And you can


see it culturally through anxiety over issues like immigration. My


view is simply that the best way of dealing with this and pushing back


against the populism left or ride is for the central round to renew


itself as the place where you protect yourself against the dangers


of globalisation, and allow people to access the benefits. If you go


into anti-globalisation mode, you will do immense damage economically


and culturally. I think it is fair to say that you were a cheerleader


of globalisation in the old days and when it came to things like the


failure to regulate the banking system, opening the gates to very


fast and big EU immigration, a lot of people will look at you and say,


that is the person responsible for a lot of things going wrong with my


life now? The financial crisis was a crisis in the financial markets that


came about principally because as globalisation took root, there were


new financial instruments. People didn't understand their


interrelationship. After the financial crisis, which happened


worldwide, all governments have taken steps to regulate the


financial sector more effectively. You must have thought, I wish we


understood what was going on then? Absolutely. If you want to pin the


failure of what happened at the time on people like me, do. It doesn't


invalidate the process of global immigration. Can I ask you about the


immigration decision, which was important around Brexit? Did you


know as Prime Minister when you allowed so many people to, growing


so quickly, how many people would come in and the effect it would have


on communities in the UK? No, we didn't know the numbers. It is


important to realise two things. When these countries joined the


European Union, and very important for us that they did join, imported


for Security and the economy. There was freedom of people immediately.


We could have delayed for four years their ability to come here and work.


We didn't. It's true. The economy was in a different position in 2004.


The majority of EU immigration came after 2008.


One of the tragedies of Brexit is that we think the enlargement of the


European Union was some sort of error. It was a bipartisan policy of


both governments that has done great benefit to this country overall. The


other thing about that whole period of New Labour politics and what


followed was there was a lack of trust in politics. We saw the 2008


crash and people are still suffering hard after that but also a whole


series of scandals, weapons of mass destruction and so forth. I was a


journalist at the time and I felt misled by that, do you think your


government was partly responsible for what has been called the


collapse of the centre? We can go over the individual issues around


trust and so on and we have many times but I don't think that's what


has collapsed support for the centre ground. I think the centre ground


has got to be more critical. Why then in that case? Because we have


got to be managers of the status quo. If we don't provide answers,


others will ride anger... Just before we do, do you acknowledge


there was damage done to the body politics during your period and that


people who are suspicious of the elites, the Metropolitan elites, are


partly looking at what happened during your years in Government? I


accept that to a degree but I think this is often used as a reason for


advancing policies that are really nothing to do with the so-called


issue of elites. If you take the question of Brexit, there are people


who are elite on either side of the argument. They use the issue of


elites to say this is why you have got to vote for this particular form


of politics. The important thing I want to do with this institute is


developed a modern policy agenda for the centre ground which can be used


by people in the front line of politics, I'm not in the front line,


I'm not back into the front line, but to save these other types of


things we should be talking about. For example on jobs how do you deal


with the new wave of technology? This is the big question for the


British economy in the years ahead. I would like to talk more about


Brexit because they say the elites and you say populism, what is wrong


with populism? There is nothing wrong with populism provided it is


giving answers. What is the real tragedy with Brexit? If you take the


issues that will define this country in the future, and there were


stalking a moment ago about technological change, and this is


directly relevant to Brexit, that is what you concentrate on. We have


fresh news the NHS is teetering on the point of collapse, we are not


dealing with this issue. Even if you want to deal with immigration,


Brexit doesn't deal with the main issue of immigration which is non-EU


immigration. If you want to push back against this populism you have


got to address the people with a policy agenda that convinces them


you have answers to the accelerating pace of change. A lot of people you


say are the victims of populism are voters making rational decisions.


They say there has been too much migration, my community has been


changed to quickly, too fast, the differential pay gap in this country


has become too much, I want more control, stronger borders and this


is how to get it. It is a rational decision if it's true that getting


out of Europe will solve those problems. The issue on Brexit is


this, there has been a referendum and that is the will of the people,


but here is the issue, if you analyse immigration from Europe,


according to government ministers, we want to keep the majority of


those people coming in from Europe. We want to keep the people who have


come here with a job, their dependents... So you feel voters


will feel let down? We cannot tell what will happen. A few weeks ago in


the House of Commons David Davis said they were going to deliver a


deal with, and I quote, exactly the same benefits as we now have from


the single market and Customs union. We should hold them to that and my


view very simply, I agree at the moment the argument for many people


is over, but if as you go down this path the British people realise


three things than I think it could change. One, that the gain is


illusory, two that the pain is substantial, and three that the


destruction of the Government and country in the meantime is enormous


when there are these big real challenges on the economy, in health


care, education, immigration that aren't being dealt with. But there


isn't at the moment the mechanism to deal with the change of heart. You


are not suggesting having another referendum, or are you? I'm not


suggesting that at this point. This will all depend on whether members


of Parliament are going back to their constituencies and noticing


real pressure with people saying, hang on, I didn't know this is what


it meant. For the last few months I have spoken to a range of people, if


it is permissible to still talk to experts, a range of experts on the


trade issue, I didn't understand how complicated this is going to be. If


they are going to try to deliver exactly the same benefits as we have


now on the single market and Customs union, this is an endeavour of


unparalleled complexity. What people have explained to me is that


normally in trade negotiations you talk about how you liberalise trade.


This is about how you dealer belies over 40 years of complex trading


arrangements -- how you de-liberalise. I think it is


possible... There will be a rebellion in Parliament which


changes direction. People will start saying, is this the thing that is


going to be important? You have been hostile to Jeremy Corbyn's


leadership of the Labour Party but don't you acknowledge that even if


Clem Attlee was leading it he would have had the same problem with


voters who were pro-Brexit, and therefore he took the right decision


in the House of Commons not to stop Article 50? I think the Labour Party


should have a simple position on Brexit and I don't think it is


difficult at all. I think what the Labour Party should say is we


believed in Remain, we acknowledge the people voted against that, we


acknowledge the Government have a mandate, but we will hold them to


the test they have set and if they do not pass that test, then we are


going to retain the right to represent the people of this country


should bear will change to offer them the option of staying,


particularly in the reformed Europe which should be the other part of


what the Government and opposition are doing, which is to investigate


with the rest of Europe the possibilities of reform. I don't see


what's difficult about that. You have launched effectively a think


tank. There's a lot of people out there, the 48%, the liberal minority


at the moment, people in the centre ground, very confused about what to


do. They don't feel they can vote for Jeremy Corbyn, they certainly


don't want to vote for the Conservatives, they don't have a


mechanism and you are not going to give them one. I am not interested


in... It is not for me to start... The way this start in my view is


with ideas and Brexit in truth as you rightly say in the context of


the interview is really part of the bigger issue about globalisation and


about what I think is the biggest political distinction today which is


open-minded versus closed minded in the light of globalisation. I think


we need to focus yes on Brexit but it's a much wider policy agenda and


it's really about saying how do we make sure that these economic and


cultural strains are best dealt with? Very briefly, any advice for


George Osborne now he's being a newspaper editor and an MP at the


same time? Is it doable? I don't know, but I think it's a great thing


for the Evening Standard, why not? He's a highly capable guy and it


should make politics more interesting. It certainly will.


Thank you for talking to us. Now a look at what's coming up


straight after this programme. In Cardiff at ten o'clock we are


debating populism, our Europe 's powerless taking control? Should


governments care how happy we are? And for giving and forgiveness, does


it set you free? Ten o'clock on BBC One.


Some of you will have been choking over your cornflakes,


others feeling a warm glow of nostalgia listening


If Mr Blair's looking for advice on how to mount a comeback,


Madness have a new album which has tickled the critics


Before we hear a song from it, here's a reminder


of the Nutty Boys in earlier years.


# Headmaster's breaking all the rules


# We talked and talked until it was light


Almost out of time. Thanks to all my guests.


Join us again at the same time next Sunday.


Don't forget, the clocks go forward next weekend.


From their twelfth studio album, Can't Touch Us Now,


# I've got another version of me


# I've got a car with a hands-free phone


# Oh well, I'm never free when somebody bothers me


It took us once to get through the novel Anna Karenina.


Interviews with political and cultural figures and a look at the Sunday newspapers. Andrew is joined by leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson MSP, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson and actor Griff Rhys Jones, with music from Madness. Reviewing the papers are the Daily Mail's Amanda Platell and Michael Crick from Channel 4 News.