13/10/2011 This Week


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13/10/2011

A political review of the week presented by Andrew Neil, with Michael Portillo and guests.


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Tonight, This Week presents political Autumnwatch. Will the

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blue fox survive? The Defence Secretary, fobg Fox is under

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pressure over his relation -- Liam Fox is under pressure over his

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relationship with his best man. Anne McElvoy has been waiting for

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him to break cover. That crafty old urban fox has been causing mayhem

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in the Tory chicken coup. We're on his tail. Job spotting has become

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more difficult as unemployment rises to a 17-year high. Music

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superstar Wyclef Jean tells us why politics matters more in tough

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economic times. Politics matters, because politics is the only way to

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get things done. Keeping out of sight - the art of

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the political adviser. Nigel Planer looks for comedy in

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the hedgerows. One thing I have learnt by playing Peter Mandelson

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is keep your friends close, keep your advisers closer. Binoculars at

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the ready! Evening all. Welcome to This Week.

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A week of improbable stories like the one about the car salesman from

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Texas known as scar face who tried to hire a Mexican drugs cartel to

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blow up a restaurant in Washington, DC where the ambassador ate his waf

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fells. It almost sound believable, compared to the one about the self-

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styled political adviser to the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox. Known

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to his only friend as Adam Werritty, whose entire career has mirrored

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Liam Fox's every professional move. He printed up his own make believe

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business cards, appearing to operate on an off the books policy.

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Passing himself as a go-between, gaining access to Fox's

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departmental diary. Jetting around the globe to meet up with him on 18

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occasions since the election. Paid for by a motly collection of

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ideological fill lan introduce pists, who ever they are. And why

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and this is the killer line, being not a dependant on any

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transactional behaviour to maintain his income.

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What does that mean in English? Clearly drafted by a very well paid

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lawyer. Liam Fox now regrets he allowed the impression of wrong

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doing to arise. The Secretary of State stood by and gazed into the

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middle distance as the impression of wrongdoing went about its own

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business. Speaking about those who use words to get themselves off the

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hook I am joined by two of Westminster's least convincing

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witnesses, the deaf, blind and drunk of late political chat. It is

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Michael Portillo and Alan Johnson. Good evening. Very dumbed down

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shirts. Do you mean toned down, rather than dumbed down?

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OK then, give me a moment. The Care Quality Commission looked into the

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care of the elderly in NHS hospitals. They looked at 100. 55

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of them failed. One in five, the treatment of the elderly was

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outside the law. It was against the law. They had neglected the

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patients. It struck me this follows a recent report about the failures

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of abdominal surgery in NHS hospitals. The death rate is four

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times as high as in the United States. Of course we have the Mid

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Staffs things where 1,000 patients died, surplus to what was the case.

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Horrendous. If you look at cancer survival rates they are worse in

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this country than other countries. I tell you what strikes me, the

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Government, I saw it in the Prime Minister's speech. It goes on

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saying more and more money nor the NHS, yet they are trying to reform

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it. You wonder if it would not be better to say, look our NHS is not

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doing the job. It is doing worse than other health systems in

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continental countries that is why we have to reform it. Someone on

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Question Time said tonight, get it real, it is not the envy of the

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world. I think your catalogue of wows may be the reason why it isn't.

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My moment, I think a step forward for grown-up politics. Yesterday

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was opposition day, which means we laid the motion. Our motion drew

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attention to the mess the Government are making of the

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economy. What the Government generally does to one of these

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amendments we put down they have cocked up the economy. The

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Government put down an amendment which says is the most fantastic,

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wise Government ever in the history of Parliament. Do you know,

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yesterday the Government didn't do that? They allowed us to debate,

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not end up with a North Korean amendment. I think, good for the

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Government. They may not do well on the economy, but they are doing

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very well on making Parliament a much more mature debating place.

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Maybe they were hoping to pick up ideas. Now politicians often have a

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bit of rough. Sorry, often have a bit of a rough time. And not just

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from me. The Troubles of the world are laid at their feet. When there

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is no-one else to blame we pile it at their door. I know, your heart

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is bleeding now into your little glass of Blue Nun. Politics is a

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mug's game. Why, you might ask, did Wyclef Jean decide last year, when

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his native Haiti was in trouble, to run for President? Surely he had

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better things to do than get embroiled in politics? No, here is

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# Election time's coming # Politics matter. If you want to change

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something around the world, no matter how much you want to sing

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and talk about it has to go through a Parliament, a Congress.

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# They go back to work on Monday # I ran for President because over

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51% of the population is a youth population. So, if we're talking

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about a reconstruction of a country. The youth population should be

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included in that. When I myself decided I was running for President,

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I was like, Wyclef don't do it, you can do much more than not being

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President. We cannot sit around and sing songs. If we keep doing that

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the Parliaments, the Congress, they're going to do exactly what

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they want to do. And not listen to the voice of the vit Seines.

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-- citizens. What I learnt when I ran for the

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presidency of Haiti is it's more popular to be a rock star than to

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be, than to run for President. The kind of people that we need as

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politicians are thinkers that are thinking for the future when it

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comes to energy, when it comes to job creation, technology, but how

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can we do it differently? I think we need new thinkers for a new way

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of politics. The first things the politicians

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must learn is how to get their swagger up. You know, and swagger

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means you have to have that certain charm about you, that certain

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charisma about you. Do you know what I mean? For example, President

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Barack Obama, at times when he was running for the first term, I am

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sure you saw him do this. Now this is swag. He got it from Jay Z.

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What turns people off politics is basically the citizen feels that

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every politicians do exactly what they need to do to get elected.

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They say exactly what you said and once they get elected the

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population feels there's no change. If you want to get things done in

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the sense of stamping it, you want to get legislation. You want to

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change policy. You have to be part of a political structure to make

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that happen. Wyclef Jean joins us here in our

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studio. Welcome to the programme. Thank you. It is refreshing to hear,

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I mean musicians have got involved in politics, it has either been

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single issue or eeg go led. It is interesting to hear that you say it

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is political process. I still have my musician eye. Looking at you

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three I think I could recreate the Fujis.

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He doesn't know who they are! You think it's important to get

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involved in the process. I think we, as musicians, what we do is we sing

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policy all the time. Artists like John Lennon and different artys and

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Bob Mali. -- Marley. You have to engage in the politics.

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Why at the time you choose, why did you get in, particularly Haiti

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politics, it is a murky world. is a murky world, but looking at

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Nelson man del da and Martin Luther King, at the time when an

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earthquake are buried under rubble and we are talking about

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reconstruction of a country. I say 52% of the population is a youth

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population, I felt they had to be included in the reconstruction.

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This was an opportunity for job creation. Some musicians get

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involved in raising money for charities, Band-Aid being famous.

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Others have their own axe to griepbld. This was different for

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you though -- grind. This was different for you. You running for

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office, I assume would have to have a set of policies a platform to run

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on? Definitely. A lot underestimated me, just to be frank

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with you. I didn't get a chance to make it. I got taken out of the

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residency, the fact they said you need five years residency. I did

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have a policy plan. I didn't get to that point where I could share the

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future of the country. They were scared of you? I think what happens

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is when it comes to real change and real things to happen, I thought

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that the fear came from the fact that I have enough allys in the

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world that actually I could have rallied up to actually make a

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change. I can see that. Surprising for a musician to get

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involved in the process rather than the Grandstanding? Yes, I entirely

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agree with you Andrew that it is really refreshing. A lot of people

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are pretty intellectually lazy about this and say, all politics is

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correct. Actually, you know there have been many attempts in the

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world to change things, avoiding political processes and avoiding

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political parties. For example, when the United States was first

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established they did not have political parties. No, they thought

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they were a bad thing. They thought they were terrible things. Within

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20 years they had to have political parties. There is no other way to

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get groups of people around a programme which will be effective.

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I was reading today the last royal governor of said the easiest thing

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in the world is to convince people that their Government is bad. It is

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very, very toz make people despondent and cynical about

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politics. If you are going to have change and believe in democracy,

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then the only thing to do is get involved. If you think that the

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politicians you have today are a group of people, then by all means

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:13:24.:13:28.

You mentioned John Lennon - this naivety was frustrating for me as a

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postman on a council estate. You could see you had to join the

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political system - it demanded that you had to get power. You had to be

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in Parliament. You had to have a programme. It seemed as if it was

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too much trouble to do that. It is amazingly encouraging. I wonder

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about this point that you have to have swagger. That is the view of

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Obama, Tony Blair. You can't get elected unless you have got this

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charisma. I wonder, there's lots of very good people who could do very

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good things but won't past that -- won't pass that swagger test.

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Einstein had real cool swagger. We rate Einstein. When I say "swagger"

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- swagger is not necessarily within just the charisma. Swagger is if

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you are a politician, you have to be able to communicate with the

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citizen. The citizen has to just feel that what you are giving out

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is not bogus. Yeah. In that term, that is where the politicians lack.

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They are not connecting with the public. This is where the trouble

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starts. Isn't it true that in general, on both sides of the

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Atlantic, there is a general increased cynicism about politics

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and politicians and real belief that not - it doesn't matter who

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you thought for that not much will change? Yes. That comes from a view

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that politics is about politicians. Politics is about the people. If

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you think it is simply - there is a group of people who do politics and

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you have no way of influencing them, then the game is over. In a

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democracy, anybody can be a politician. I mean, he began as a

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postman and I began - I don't know what I began as. A politician!

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didn't come from a political dynasty. My father was a Spanish

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immigrant. We are both people who came into it. Anybody else, you

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know, potentially can come into it. Politics has to be about the people.

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I would suggest the lesson from your experience - you decided to

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get involved in your country's politics as a time of great crisis

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in the country. You could argue that although it is very different

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that on both sides of the Atlantic this is a time of economic crisis.

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Rather than people being switched off, they ought to get more

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involved? Definite I will have to get more involved. We need to stop

:16:08.:16:18.
:16:18.:16:18.

fighting. We need a bi-partisan front. We have financial crises

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through the entire world. Starvation rate, you see what is

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going on. Once again, if you are getting into politics, you want

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things to change. Remember, there is a group of people that elect you

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to do a job and that is why you get into politics. You can never think

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that you are bigger than these people. Now, if you two had your

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chance to do it again, would you go into politics again? I would, yeah.

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I was reflecting there about the world trade, the way that people

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are kept starving in poorer countries because Japan has a huge

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tariff on rice imports. We tried to change that. So many young people

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got involved with Make Poverty History. And the fact it dragged on

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probably meant that many of those turned away from politics. If we

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could only instead of it being a single issue, get people engage and

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see the process through. Would you, Michael? I certainly would. There

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is a lot of stress in politics. The press gives you a very hard time.

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Your political career will end in tears. It is such a privilege to be

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involved. The canvas is so broad. You are dealing with such big

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issues. It is a great honour to do it. Why are you in Britain?

:17:38.:17:44.

here for Party in the Pink and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Zumba

:17:44.:17:49.

is very important. I suggest you all get into it. It is dancing

:17:49.:17:53.

fitness, it keeps you in top shape and on Sundayly be performing. The

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cool thing about fitness is there are -- on Sunday I will be

:17:58.:18:03.

performing. The cool thing about fitness is there are fun ways to do

:18:03.:18:11.

it. If you need help forming a group, we are available.

:18:11.:18:14.

# One time # Two time... #

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We could do that! Speak to my agent! Now, it may be later than a

:18:20.:18:25.

knighthood for Bruce Forsyth, because coming up actor, novelist,

:18:25.:18:31.

playwright, all round showbiz polymath Nigel Planer telling us

:18:31.:18:35.

why Peter Mandelson deserves some overdue affection. For those who

:18:35.:18:45.
:18:45.:18:45.

like to spread the love wider, there is our interweb site. We have

:18:45.:18:52.

now signed up to some new-fangled thing called the Facebook! Now, we

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are a caring bunch, after all who else would give so many former MPs

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a break? Yeah, exactly. So we are troubled here that our current

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bunch are dealing with severe psychological stress. The cause?

:19:09.:19:14.

Having to answer constituents' e- mails, coping with the new expenses

:19:14.:19:22.

system and listening to jokes about themselves. Bet you Dr Fox thinks

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he's got an easy week this week. We sent Anne McElvoy to the This Week

:19:31.:19:41.
:19:41.:19:54.

garden. It is time for Westminster Autumn is nearly here. There have

:19:54.:19:59.

been some wild goings on in the Westminster garden. Fortunately,

:19:59.:20:07.

there's always a record of who's been about and what's been going on.

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Look at that. It is that crafty urban fox. Must be about the 40th

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time he has been creeping around here. I accept it was a mistake to

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allow distinctions to be blurred between my professional

:20:24.:20:29.

responsibilities and my personal loyalties to a friend. Friends are

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a wonderful thing, but Dr Fox does seem to have taken it a bit far

:20:33.:20:42.

with Mr Werritty. He ended up talking his language somewhere

:20:42.:20:52.
:20:52.:20:53.

between a lawyer and a thesaurus to get him off the hook. One rarely

:20:53.:20:59.

spotted Scottish woodland creature had him in his sights. It is not

:20:59.:21:04.

part of the rules you can ask your friends to fund your advisers and

:21:04.:21:08.

then your advisers can travel the world claiming to represent you.

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Liam Fox is thought of as a lone wolf in the Tory tribe. There is at

:21:17.:21:22.

least one good reason why they rallied around. Dr Fox has another

:21:22.:21:28.

close friend. She's the former matriarch of the Den, Lady Thatcher.

:21:28.:21:32.

Dr Fox accompanied her in public. He's a Standard Bearer of the right

:21:32.:21:35.

and that's a good reason why David Cameron doesn't want to pull the

:21:35.:21:40.

trigger at the moment. I think the Defence Secretary has done an

:21:40.:21:50.
:21:50.:22:00.

excellent job clearing up the mess that he was left by Labour. Fox-

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hunting has overshadowed some of the quieter rural pursuits this

:22:05.:22:15.

week. Everyone forgot about the Labour reshuffle. Now he's got

:22:15.:22:19.

quite a young brood and the female of the species is well represented

:22:19.:22:24.

in the pecking order. With the exception of the greater crested

:22:24.:22:29.

Harriet Harman, there are a lot of fledglings here. Ed must be a bit

:22:29.:22:32.

nervous about well they will do in the Darwinian struggle at

:22:33.:22:36.

Westminster. Are they ready to fly the nest? These are young people,

:22:36.:22:40.

people who have not been in Parliament long. I hold to the view

:22:40.:22:44.

that if you are good enough, you are old enough. Deep in the

:22:44.:22:50.

undergrowth these days are the lesser spotted Lib Dems. Oh look.

:22:50.:22:55.

Even these peaceful places are full of fights and flurries in the

:22:55.:22:59.

hedgerows. Chris Huhne admitted to briefing against the Home Secretary

:22:59.:23:04.

Theresa May. What was her reaction? Well, I haven't - I have left a

:23:04.:23:14.
:23:14.:23:21.

message for her. I haven't managed to speak to her. I left a message.

:23:21.:23:25.

We've had mild weather, most of the leaves are still on the trees. But

:23:25.:23:33.

maybe the animals should be getting ready for a long hard winter.

:23:33.:23:37.

the day of the worst unemployment figures in 17 years, the Prime

:23:37.:23:40.

Minister is fiegtding to save the job of the Defence Secretary --

:23:40.:23:43.

fighting to save the job of the Defence Secretary. He is doing

:23:43.:23:47.

nothing to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people up-

:23:47.:23:52.

and-down this country. Ed Miliband is predicting a bleak midwinter. He

:23:53.:23:55.

is looking more confident as his emphasis on the woes of the economy

:23:56.:23:59.

is going to pay off. Still, David Cameron's got some tiger in his

:23:59.:24:03.

tank, too. You are the party that borrowed too much, that spent too

:24:03.:24:06.

much, that left us with the unregulated banks that has left us

:24:07.:24:11.

with the mess that we have to clear up. When you see those two sitting

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on the frontbench who worked for so long in the Treasury, you have to

:24:15.:24:19.

ask - you wouldn't bring back Fred Goodwin to sort out the banks, why

:24:19.:24:29.
:24:29.:24:36.

would you bring them back to sort It's time for a bit of hibernation

:24:36.:24:40.

around here. It's good to know the wild creatures are still up for a

:24:40.:24:50.
:24:50.:24:54.

fight. Who let him in?! We will see her again in the spring! We are

:24:54.:25:02.

joined by journalist, former Lib Dem adviser, Miranda Green. Let me

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ask you in the words of a famous song, Dr Fox, should he stay or

:25:06.:25:13.

should he go? Should go. Because? He should go. He said I know it

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looks bad. If it looks bad, it is bad. If half the things that he's

:25:20.:25:25.

accused of have any substance to them, he's a goner. He met Harvey

:25:25.:25:30.

Bolton, a businessman looking for MoD contracts, just him and this

:25:31.:25:38.

guy. Werritty he met. General John Allen, he met him alone with Adam

:25:38.:25:43.

Werritty. Leaving aside the fact Werritty had an office in the MoD,

:25:43.:25:48.

this is extraordinary. He had an office? I missed that bit. OK.

:25:48.:25:54.

Should he stay or should he go? think it is very bad. He is

:25:54.:25:58.

determined to fight to stay. It seems the massed ranks of the Tory

:25:58.:26:05.

benches are determined to fight to keep him. They are waiting on the

:26:05.:26:10.

Cabinet secretary's report? They are fighting hard. You think he

:26:10.:26:15.

should go? I think he is doomed, yes. Doomed. We are all doomed.

:26:15.:26:20.

are all doomed in the long run. Former Defence Secretary, Michael

:26:20.:26:26.

Portillo, should he stay or should he go? I think it is all about the

:26:26.:26:30.

money. Where has the money come from for Mr Werritty and has he

:26:30.:26:36.

made any money out of his position? The story in the Times this

:26:36.:26:43.

morning... The Friday Times? Does not look good. It appears that his,

:26:43.:26:48.

that Werritty's air fares and hotel bills have been funded by a group,

:26:48.:26:54.

what did you describe them as? are basically people, there's some

:26:54.:26:59.

hedge fund people, lobbyists, property developer, they are people

:26:59.:27:06.

who are very transatlantic, pro- Israel, Thatcherite? I take it this

:27:06.:27:12.

has not been registered anywhere? No. Here is a man travelling

:27:12.:27:15.

alongside the Secretary of State, a lot of money involved, has not been

:27:16.:27:20.

registered anywhere. I would have thought that would prove fatal.

:27:20.:27:24.

Could you imagine as Defence Secretary having someone who would

:27:25.:27:32.

meet you abroad regularly, went to meetings, fixed meetings for you?

:27:32.:27:38.

Is that conceivable as a Minister of the Crown? I think it is

:27:38.:27:42.

inconceivable. More particularly... Unless it was your official

:27:42.:27:50.

adviser? Of course, that is completely different. I always

:27:50.:27:53.

think it inconceivable that you set up this arrangement and not imagine

:27:53.:27:58.

one day it would come out. Do you think - isn't it possible that at

:27:58.:28:04.

some of these meetings, which involved generals and other

:28:04.:28:09.

important people in the British governance, that they thought that

:28:09.:28:13.

this chap, Mr Werritty was more than just a friend, they probably

:28:13.:28:17.

assumed he was some kind of official? Or Special Adviser?

:28:18.:28:22.

you are talking about British generals, that would be

:28:22.:28:25.

inconceivable. Surely anybody in the Ministry of Defence would be

:28:25.:28:28.

very clear about the person's status. I think that is hard to

:28:28.:28:35.

argue. Pretty damaging that he had business cards, saying that he - he

:28:35.:28:40.

didn't say he was adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence, but

:28:40.:28:50.
:28:50.:28:57.

it said he was adviser to the Also he changed his area of

:28:57.:29:03.

expertise as his chum moved. That is not unusual.

:29:03.:29:08.

He's not a special adviser. didn't he make him a special

:29:08.:29:13.

adviser. For Cameron Her Majesty's Government has a foreign policy

:29:13.:29:15.

articulated by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and they

:29:15.:29:22.

have Liam Fox, foreign policy. Parallel operation. Because he

:29:22.:29:27.

thought that Cameron and the Civil Service were too soft. It's quite -

:29:28.:29:33.

these are people, as I understand it, who helped to bank-roll Liam

:29:33.:29:38.

Fox's campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party. He didn't

:29:38.:29:46.

succeed but he didn't have a bad campaign. They like what Dr Fox

:29:46.:29:51.

stands for, as compared to what David Cameron stands for. Dr Fox

:29:51.:29:57.

doesn't trust the Tory establishment or the Ministry of

:29:57.:30:04.

Defence. He has tried to build a small parallel, think-tank adviser

:30:04.:30:12.

operation. Isn't that enough? not transparent at all.

:30:12.:30:16.

To build a think-tank is perfectly all right in ministerial terms. The

:30:16.:30:26.
:30:26.:30:28.

Prime Minister might not think it an adviser who is funded by that

:30:28.:30:35.

and for it not to be declared, that is very difficult. So you form,

:30:35.:30:40.

there's union nimty here, you don't think he will survive and shouldn't

:30:40.:30:44.

survive? This is the first time I have said this. I have tried to

:30:44.:30:49.

keep off the subject. If it is true he has flown around the world and

:30:49.:30:54.

it has not been declared anywhere that seems unsis tainable. Do you

:30:54.:30:58.

think David Cameron -- unsustainable. Do you think David

:30:58.:31:03.

Cameron has made a mistake by letting it go on for so long.

:31:03.:31:07.

doesn't want to lose his Defence Secretary and in a coalition,

:31:07.:31:10.

reshuffles are difficult. There's no love lost between the two of

:31:10.:31:14.

them. I don't think he wants a reshuffle at the moment. He doesn't

:31:14.:31:19.

want a reshuffle in a coalition. They are more complicated. He

:31:19.:31:23.

doesn't want Liam Fox, with these supporters around him, particularly

:31:24.:31:28.

on the backbenchers doing unimaginable things into the tent.

:31:28.:31:32.

Very diplomatic of you. Just stopped myself in time. We are

:31:32.:31:38.

grateful you did. Ironically I think Liam Fox has

:31:38.:31:43.

cemented his position this week by a lot of tittle-tattle about him.

:31:43.:31:46.

Real gossip which has nothing to do with the case at all. And you have

:31:46.:31:51.

noticed we have not mentioned a word of that. You have now.

:31:51.:31:55.

It has put the Prime Minister into an impossible position because to

:31:55.:32:00.

get rid of Fox, you know, on the back of that gossip, would risk the

:32:00.:32:04.

appearance that he was kind of allowing gossip to ride the man out.

:32:04.:32:08.

What he's got to wait for, apparently is for the facts to come

:32:08.:32:13.

out. What I think is embarrassing now is the Times seems to be going

:32:13.:32:19.

for the facts quicker than civil servants. The unemployment figures

:32:19.:32:24.

out, dreadful. So far the coalition has not been blamed. Are we close

:32:24.:32:31.

to turning upon it. How long that - - can that worse? I think we are in

:32:31.:32:36.

for a bleak winter. I think we're in for several bleak winters. I

:32:36.:32:40.

don't think the coalition has the opportunity of changing its policy

:32:40.:32:46.

because its commitment to reduce the deficit at the rate at which it

:32:46.:32:51.

said it will is to secure the markets F it altered that we'll

:32:51.:32:56.

have all the problems, plus it will cost us much more to borrow. We may

:32:56.:33:00.

not be able to fund that. We will lose our triple-A credit rating and

:33:00.:33:06.

the pound will sink. The worse it gets for the country the better it

:33:06.:33:10.

is for Labour. Politicians are often in this position? Ed Miliband

:33:10.:33:15.

was making the right points. If it had not been the hum bris we have

:33:15.:33:19.

seen last year, unemployment will fall in each of the next three

:33:19.:33:22.

years. The absence of any acceptance there was a global

:33:22.:33:26.

economic problem that started in 208 and now everything is the

:33:26.:33:29.

result of the global problem. They have left themselves pretty

:33:29.:33:34.

vulnerable by the kind of statements "We are out of the

:33:34.:33:40.

danger zone." Actually they didn't have to dig that hole for

:33:40.:33:48.

themselves Maybe put a floor under this. And given a much morale lis

:33:48.:33:55.

tick view to the British -- more realistic view to the British

:33:55.:34:03.

public of how things were. You weren't tempted? No. They

:34:03.:34:09.

didn't approach you because they knew the answer would be, "No?"

:34:09.:34:14.

Absolutely. We are grateful for this. Otherwise we could not have

:34:14.:34:23.

had you. I hope Miss Abbott is watching. Who to you rate? I think

:34:23.:34:27.

Rachel Reeves is an important appointment. I once tried to get

:34:27.:34:32.

her as my paid special adviser. is the one everyone is tipping.

:34:33.:34:37.

Briefly, for you, these atrocious stories about the care of the

:34:37.:34:41.

elderly, these big NHS reforms which have caused the coalition

:34:41.:34:45.

problems, just a yes or no, is there anything in these reforms

:34:45.:34:48.

which will stop these atrocious things from happening? The quality

:34:48.:34:55.

of care is not the same as the structure of this organisation.

:34:55.:34:58.

Andrew Lansley did look to be cheered up to be given bad news

:34:58.:35:05.

about the state of the NHS. Does anybody like Chris Huhne? Well,

:35:05.:35:10.

he's a carnivore in the Lib Dem party which is seen as herb vor. He

:35:10.:35:16.

is an unusual man. That was not a yes or a no? It wasn't, was it?

:35:16.:35:21.

Thank you very much. Beautifully done. There's an old sailing in

:35:21.:35:25.

Westminster, never work with children or animals or Diane Abbott.

:35:25.:35:29.

A lesson we learnt the hard way. One Labour's crack shadow health

:35:29.:35:33.

team, I am sure you can name them all, are now learning to their

:35:33.:35:38.

political cost. But alongside children and animals and Labour's

:35:38.:35:42.

own Florence Nightingale you can add a certain Adam Werritty to the

:35:42.:35:50.

list of emphatic no nos, if only Liam Fox had a trusted confident, a

:35:50.:35:56.

person he could turn to, a best man, say, who could warn him. If only!

:35:56.:36:06.
:36:06.:36:21.

That is why we decided to put Peter, Peter, are you there? It's

:36:21.:36:31.
:36:31.:36:32.

Tony. You've got to let me in. Look, please, Peter. It's urgent. Help me.

:36:32.:36:41.

The comic strip team are back, with a film sat tier of new Labour and a

:36:41.:36:43.

scene- stealing performance by plane plane plane as Peter

:36:43.:36:48.

Mandelson. -- Nigel Planer as Peter Mandelson.

:36:48.:36:51.

What makes a political adviser so special? What are the dangers of

:36:51.:36:56.

getting too close? Liam Fox is finding out to his cost. I accept

:36:56.:37:00.

that mistakes were made and I should not have allowed the

:37:00.:37:05.

impression of wrongdoing to arise. And I'm very sorry for that.

:37:05.:37:11.

Meanwhile, the top civil servant, chief councillor to the Prime

:37:11.:37:15.

Minister, Gus O'Donnell announced his retirement this week. He was

:37:15.:37:21.

not nicknamed God just because of his initials. As Margaret Thatcher

:37:21.:37:25.

once said, advisers advise, ministers decide. So, maybe we

:37:25.:37:34.

shouldn't feed our fear of the power behind the throrn. Right you,

:37:34.:37:44.
:37:44.:37:44.

get your hands up. Who are you? Peter Mandelson.

:37:44.:37:50.

After he was released on jail he joins us now. You had to do a lot

:37:50.:37:54.

of research I assume to get to play this part. In the cause of that did

:37:54.:37:59.

you have views on -- did your views on Mr Mandelson change? They did.

:37:59.:38:05.

My main source of research was the wraths child film, which I watched

:38:05.:38:12.

again and again. She took a camera. Half the time he was not away she

:38:12.:38:16.

was filming. The camera angle is low quite a lot of the time. She

:38:16.:38:20.

took the camera right through the campaign when he was Gordon Brown's

:38:20.:38:26.

campaign manager. It's quite, it's quite revealingment and I did end

:38:26.:38:31.

up rather liking him. I think he came out of it rather well. Do you

:38:31.:38:37.

think, do the media play up this power behind the thrown business?

:38:37.:38:47.
:38:47.:38:48.

Or was he the power -- throene. was more -- throne. He was more

:38:48.:38:56.

preoccupied with whether the tie was straight. However many times I

:38:56.:39:01.

straighten it, once he gets in front of the camera his tie is

:39:01.:39:07.

crooked. I listened to his memoirs every day as well. He read them on

:39:07.:39:14.

an audio book. His voice picked up that. Special advisers, which

:39:14.:39:19.

didn't really exist in the '50s, until the mid-60s, now more

:39:19.:39:25.

important than ever, aren't they? Yeah, I mean, when I became a

:39:26.:39:30.

special adviser in 1979 we were five in the entire fofplt. I think

:39:31.:39:35.

when I -- in the entire Government. I then when I was Secretary of

:39:35.:39:38.

State, there were 20 in the Government. It has grown vastly

:39:38.:39:43.

since then. When I was a special adviser I was in touch with the

:39:43.:39:50.

adviser to the Prime Minister, who later was the Chief Whip, many

:39:50.:39:55.

years later. I called up to say if he could fix something. He said it

:39:55.:40:00.

is not appropriate for us to have this conversation. Special advisers

:40:00.:40:04.

never spoke to the press. Whereas now that is one of their biggest

:40:04.:40:11.

jobs, dealing the press. Did you feel in Government there was a time

:40:11.:40:15.

when Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson were more important than

:40:15.:40:19.

the Cabinet? I would not describe him as a special adviser. Before

:40:19.:40:22.

that. He was head of communications for the Labour Party. No, I think

:40:22.:40:27.

what we did, my experience of them, I took mine to five different

:40:27.:40:33.

Cabinet departments. It was the same and I saw how skillfully they

:40:33.:40:37.

intertwined themselvess with the private office of the Civil Service.

:40:37.:40:42.

A skill to doing that. I saw where others were not as good as doing

:40:42.:40:46.

and therefore created the resentment. They liked good,

:40:46.:40:49.

special advisers who knows the ministers mind and who can ensure

:40:49.:40:54.

in a sensitive way that they do the job they are supposed to do.

:40:54.:40:58.

There is a cross over there between them and the press officer. You

:40:58.:41:02.

were saying, the press officer, I think there's a muddle in the

:41:02.:41:08.

public's mind. Alistair Campbell, he was a press

:41:08.:41:13.

officer wasn't he? A press office. He was more than that too.

:41:13.:41:17.

Exactly. Where to you draw the line between the two? We speak to

:41:17.:41:21.

special advisers all the time to get information about ministers.

:41:21.:41:27.

That used to be not the case. there is a special adviser. I had

:41:27.:41:33.

one who dealt with me and I had one who didn't go anywhere near the

:41:33.:41:37.

media. Are you portraying them as shade you characters in this

:41:37.:41:47.
:41:47.:41:47.

programme? Everybody in the... It aets definitely more fun having --

:41:47.:41:53.

it's definitely more fun having to play shady characters. What struck

:41:53.:41:59.

me about the Mandelson-Brown relationship, is the concealed

:41:59.:42:04.

hysteria. Peter loves all that. tears and screaming fits.

:42:04.:42:08.

target of the sat tier is all the plethora of memoirs which came out.

:42:08.:42:11.

We quote the page numbers of some of the quotes because they are

:42:12.:42:18.

funny. And, as you saw, it's set in a black and film, 1950s setting.

:42:18.:42:24.

thought it was our colour had gone off. It is black and white, like

:42:24.:42:29.

the 39 Steps, which somehow suits the mellow drama. All the emotions,

:42:29.:42:33.

yes, they are very raised in it. Nigel, here's a suggestion. I

:42:33.:42:40.

suggest you ought to mug up on Andy Coulson now, or Adam Werritty?

:42:40.:42:46.

Prince of Darkness I fancied. It's in the past. Michael Howard. He had

:42:46.:42:52.

something of the night. I think I could do a good Michael Howard. I'm

:42:52.:42:56.

not sure about Werritty. It is early days. There'll be programmes

:42:56.:43:01.

about them one day. You are looking for your Ann Widdecombe, aren't

:43:01.:43:09.

you? It is on tomorrow night. The show is tomorrow night. 9pm on

:43:09.:43:16.

Channel 4. Great. I've set my sky plus for it. That's your lot

:43:16.:43:23.

tonight. We are off on the Holloway Road for one of their puppy donor

:43:23.:43:28.

specials, with Hugh fernly. He said it is OK to eat them, so long as it

:43:28.:43:34.

is after midnight. And they are washed down by Blue Nun special

:43:34.:43:44.
:43:44.:43:46.

vintage. Known as vina collapso. Michael Portillo, soon to be Lord

:43:46.:43:52.

Portillo, I think, revealed to those that his famous quiff is kept

:43:52.:43:59.