Andrew Neil reviews the political week with Michael Portillo and Alan Johnson. Plus Kate McCann looks back at the headlines and Tim Shipman examines political chaos.
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When I found you, I saw
raw, untamed power.
And beyond that...
Something truly special.
Tonight on This Week: War
and conflict is tearing the
Tim Skywalker Shipman dusts
off his light sabre, and tries
to cut through the mystery
May, Corbyn - can anyone
save us from the dark side,
whatever that is?
Princess Kate McCann
travels through hyperspace
for this week's round-up.
On planet politics,
peace and harmony seems a
long time ago in a
galaxy far, far away.
And Jedi John Culshaw wonders
if This Week will even make it to
the next sequel.
I sincerely hope not, Darth Neill.
The show's already gone
on for a long time.
There can be only one
winner on This Week
Which one of us is the bad guy?
May the Force be with you.
Welcome to This Week -
the week in which Theresa May
finally discovered what the "U"
in DUP stands for.
Who'da thunk it?
Though you might have
thought the Leader of
the Conservative And Unionist Party
could have guessed.
Perhaps there's a certain
metropolitan snobbery -
a Home Counties hauteur -
when it comes to dealing
with the Democratic Unionist Party.
The London political and media
establishment tends to regard
the DUP with all the affection it
accords Red Necks from Alabama.
provincial hicks with strange
accents, obsessed with identity
and possessing unfashionable,
even antediluvian, social views.
It's a point of view, I suppose.
But just because you disagree
with them is no reason to disrespect
them, especially if you're a Tory
and they're keeping you in power.
These are folks who've
come up the hard way.
The party's leader, Arlene Foster,
saw her father gunned down
by the IRA when she was a child.
A few years later terrorists
blew up her school bus.
A rather more testing political
genesis than the one experienced
by your average shire Tory.
So it's probably not wise
to underestimate the DUP or assume
it can be dragooned into line
at your convenience
and at the last moment,
as the PM discovered,
to her peril, this week.
Tonight the DUP is subjecting her
to Belfast's version
of Chinese water-torture,
even as the mood music
turns more positive.
Speaking of those who've been
throughout their modest careers,
I'm joined on the sofa tonight
by two pundits who between them
constitute their very
own Coalition of Chaos.
I speak of course of Michael
and Alan #sadmanontheleft Johnson.
Michael, your moment of the week?
Well, I suppose the moment that will
live the longest in history is the
decision by Donald Trump
live the longest in history is the
decision by Donald Trump to move the
American embassy in Israel to
Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city of
profound importance to Muslims,
Christians and Jews. It Tel Aviv is
a much larger city with an
international airport and the
seaside. In Jerusalem, you are aware
of how stressful situation is. It
will be more stressful now. There
wasn't much hope for peace in the
Middle East, I think, but they're
sure isn't any now.
It may not
happen, because the move won't
happen until after 2020, but
An important symbol.
A very important symbol, and it has
caused a lot of anguish. Alan?
Theresa May had a bad week over
Brexit so far.
Not over yet!
had a terrible week on the social
issues, the burning injustices.
social mobility commission.
have resigned en masse. It was a
juicer rowan tree foundation report
that said that 400,000 more children
have fallen into poverty since 2013.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies
that might be jealous of Rowntree
foundation. On top of the social
policy -- the Joseph Rowntree
foundation. A report has been with
Government for a year and nothing
has been done about it. There seems
to have been complete in action from
what was her stated priority on the
steps of Downing Street.
that it looked like Brexit was
taking up all the bandwidth.
Politics has never seemed more
unpredictable - or precarious.
For months we're told
that the Brexit negotiations
will come unstuck over the money -
only for that largely to be
resolved and for them to be
scuppered, at least for now,
by the Irish border.
Expectations of Theresa May's demise
grow by the day but she ploughs
on in her very own version
of the Bataan Death March,
leaving behind casualties
strewn by the wayside.
Recent polls give Jeremy Corbyn
a comfortable lead but Corbynistas
fret that he may yet be denied
the early election that they think
would guarantee his victory.
At uncertain times like these,
psephologists, pollsters and pundits
are proving to be pretty useless.
Perhaps what we need
versed in chaos theory.
Of course here on This Week
we cannot afford that
sort of expertise.
So here's cheap as chips
Tim Shipman of The Sunday Times
with his take of the week.
So the DUP torpedoed phase one
of Brexit talks on Monday.
"Couldn't run a piss up
in a brewery", Ed Miliband tweeted.
But it's very difficult to do
anything properly as Prime Minister
when your squabbling Cabinet is out
to get you, you're personally not
great under pressure,
and you're at the mercy
of the ruthless DUP.
It's not just the heavy lifting
of Brexit that looks chaotic.
The Tories can't even get
the simple stuff right.
We were left to EU sources
to explain the draft deal that had
been proposed on the Irish border.
Why didn't the Brexit
department quickly communicate
what they thought it meant
to British journalists?
And why can't the Cabinet
keep their conflicts under wraps?
Charging the Chancellor to use
RAF planes and calling
the Defence Secretary Private Pike
doesn't look like a strong
and stable government.
But is it time to stir rumours
of government collapse?
Concerned that her Brexit red lines
need an extra coat of paint,
as Jacob Rees-Mogg put it,
the Eurosceptics are revolting.
The best hope for May is that they,
the Cabinet and the DUP
all remember their shared objective,
keeping Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party
on the opposition benches.
May's chances of clinging
on and fighting the next election
are helped by Labour's incompetence.
Corbyn and his team failed to rub
salt in May's wounds on Monday
after her embarrassment.
Because Labour is just as divided
and confused on Europe
as the Conservatives,
and they always miss
an opportunity to twist the knife.
So amidst all this chaos,
is there an opportunity
for the Remainers to block Brexit?
Don't bet on it.
In an age without effective
are led by public opinion.
And British attitudes
to the European Union show
no sign of changing.
Deal or no deal,
we're leaving Europe.
Thanks to the Bianca Road
Brewery in Bermondsey.
Tim is here - as sober
as a judge, of course.
At least, he told me to say that!
Good to see you. Michael, is it all
as chaotic as Tim claims?
pretty chaotic, but I think Brexit
is advancing fairly well. Despite
the famous splits in the
Conservative party, amazingly, the
money went through the Conservative
party with hardly a murmur. The deal
that was scuppered last week was
scuppered by the DUP, not the
Conservative party. They have
accepted the sort of Irish solution
there was going to be. Even the EU
Commission seems keen to move onto
the next stage, and I think the
Irish question will be settled,
probably in the next few hours, but
anyway, in the next few days, and we
will get onto talking about the
trade deal. Despite experience of --
despite the appearance of chaos, I
think it will work. The chances of
there being a deal are much better
than 50-50. It is becoming what we
expect - there was going to be a
Allen, as we broadcast
tonight, the Prime minister's plane
is on the runway ready to take her
to Brussels, and there was talk of a
press conference was Jean-Claude
Juncker, the president of the
commission. There is a Chinese water
torture going on with the DUP, but
when we wake up, it could be that
Brexit does mean breakfast, after
all, in Brussels.
Yes, and I think
Tim is wrong in thinking there is
any hope of pulling the fat out of
the fire on leaving the EU. The big
question is whether we stay in the
single market and Customs union.
This deal, part of it of course is
about EU citizens, so we don't know
the role of the ECJ yet.
almost, because I've seen the draft.
It may have changed. What it says is
that the British courts,
particularly the Supreme Court, will
be free to consult the ECJ. And that
will be time limited, I have,
tonight, to ten years.
is the author of her own problems.
Apparently, she decided, with her
advisers, with no reference to
Cabinet even, that our policy would
become out of the single market and
Customs union without keeping
options open, and now she is running
into reality. It is either a
separate deal for Ireland and a
border in the Irish Sea, or there is
a hard border in Ireland, or they
remain part of the customs union,
and that solves the problem.
don't we in the media spend too much
time chasing ghosts? We get far too
excited about matters that end up
being quietly resolved.
be the argument Downing Street is
trying to make this week. The Berlin
there are saying, this will blow
over. As Michael says, we will get a
deal and everyone will be happy. I
think what has upset members of the
Parliamentary Conservative party is
the way it has been handled. They
think it has been chaotic and
They are quite grateful
to the DUP.
Indeed, and not all the
MPs have spoken to have been relaxed
about some of the things suggested.
Iain Duncan Smith this week, a guy
who has been loyal to Theresa May
for months, and he has broken cover
and said he doesn't like the
direction things are going in.
Theresa May has been having crisis
meetings in the last two days with
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove to
Gove to try to get them on board. It
has not been straightforward, and
throughout, the Government has
failed to communicate what it is
trying to achieve.
I understand. It
is almost a self-inflicted mess,
again, by failing to square the DUP.
Doesn't this always happen with the
EU? I followed the Greek bailout
talks closely. That was endless
setbacks and walking away, but in
the end, it was bailed out.
know, the expectation is that she
will get there.
Do you agree with
I think it is likely they will
get there fairly soon. The problem
is, the way it has been handled has
unnerved people who think the Prime
Minister has shown again that she is
not fully on top of her game. That
has made probably what happens over
the next year more difficult. There
are people saying we should get rid
of her by Christmas, and that hasn't
happened since the party conference.
Journalists obsess about the latest
drama, but only because we are
getting calls from Conservative MPs
were obsessing about it themselves.
It is a function of Theresa May's
lack of authority since the
election. But she is still there.
Yes, we know why she is still there.
It is even acquiring a certain
amount of longevity or permanence,
actually. Part of the discussion is
slightly unfair. We did have at one
time to have reached this stage in
October, but since then, we have
expected to reach it now, in
December. What was unexpected was
the flurry early this week when
suddenly the briefing from the
commission was that we would have a
deal that day, which was unexpected.
We didn't expect to have it until
tomorrow. I think that caught the
British unaware and they were
bounced into a position from which
they were not ready, they didn't
have the DUP on board, but that is
because the timing had been changed
on the British. Now, we're back to
the timing we thought we were run
the first place, and it looks like
we will have a deal Friday.
monitored quite carefully, because
it is the Government, the Tory
chaos. Pinning Labour down on its
position on the single market of the
customs union is pretty difficult
too, depending on who you speak to.
I want to put this to you, Alan. If
Labour were to win a snap election,
and there could be one -- a snap
election, and there could be one, do
you think they would end up trying
to stay in the EU?
I don't think so. The policy would
change, much as they would seek
extra time to negotiate Article 50,
during which time we would remain in
the customs union and single market.
The Tories were talking about a
bespoke deal for that period and it
was Keir Starmer who said no. But
there are voices like John McDonnell
and Barry Gardiner who have said we
should be out of the customs union
and the single market. But me, they
have been good for Britain and you
can remain in them if you are
outside the EU, which is the
starting point of ensuring the
British economy does not suffer.
Labour did get into power, Tim and
others, we have all looked at the
divisions in the Tory party, but in
government, would there be the
danger of an almighty row between
the pro-Europe Social Democrats in
the Labour Party and the anti-Europe
Good question. I'm not
sure. I do know the vast majority of
Labour supporters are in favour of
Britain remaining in the European
Union. Two thirds voted to remain in
the European Union in every
constituency. So the position of the
party is clear. The people you are
talking about, they saw that and
shied away, even though their heart
is not in it, they still believe we
should be out of the EU and they
frankly don't give a toss about the
issues. Whether they are strong
enough, through their fan club to
create those divisions, you might be
Let's come back to the Tory
divisions, because they are the ones
in power. If there is no agreement,
supposing the plane does not leave
in the middle of the night for
Brussels, does not leave at all,
because they can't get agreement, if
they don't get to the next stage of
negotiations, will the Tory
Brexiteers become more vocal in
saying to the government, let's walk
Absolutely. Some have broken
cover. You have seen Owen Paterson
saying that and Nigel Lawson saying
much the same. Lots of people have
been phoning journalists this week
saying, she needs this deal, or
else. I have never seen why we need
it by the weekend. I would have
thought next Thursday at the summit
be adequate. But there are forces
circulating that if the Prime
Minister does not get this nailed
down she will have a distinctly
agree on the Friday Thursday point.
Tomorrow is another artificial
deadline. The other point is that it
isn't at the moment a failure to get
a deal with the European Union, but
a failure to get deal with the DUP.
That changes the context.
change this week is that Brussels,
the commission, wanted to get on
with it. That is a big change.
is a huge change. Some in the
Conservative Party will see the DUP
as important flag carriers for their
point of view, but others will see
this as a rather wretched result of
being stuck in a coalition.
pressure on Theresa May, from the
people who had been driving the
Brexit bus, the hard Brexiteers, and
she is to blame because she rode on
the bus with them, they are looking
to see how much we are paying, does
the ECJ have any role, does it mean
even a hint of us staying in the
customs union? That is her problem
and what encourages me this week is
the voices of the sensible
Conservatives who, I think, are
still the majority in the
Conservative Party, pragmatic, get a
deal, let's move on to trade, they
seem to be more emboldened.
almost at Christmas and it has been
the most remarkable political year
just in Britain alone, never mind
anywhere else. But the Prime
Minister calling the election
promised a strong and stable
government and we joked that it was
weak and unstable. But actually, it
has turned out to be weak and
unstable. We never saw that coming!
The thing that is keeping everyone
in line, the one thing that pulls
all these people together, is that
they do not want to see Jeremy
Corbyn as Prime Minister. That is a
significant factor which keeps the
DUP in line.
On the whole, we talk
about the possible general election,
that would normally follow a vote of
confidence. If there were a vote of
confidence, every Tory and DUP would
vote for the government, because the
DUP certainly do not want to see
Jeremy Corbyn in. In the context of
history, if we delayed by a week, by
a dispute in Ireland, in the
historical context, that would be
minimal. Ireland has been so
disruptive for the British and
Britain has been so disruptive for
the Irish, you have to put it in
context. Our policy has often been
determined, for water damned messed
up by our relations with Ireland.
The one major cause of future
uncertainty was alluded to at the
beginning, that we still don't know,
Brussels still does not know the end
state of what the government wants
in a new relationship with the EU,
and that is yet to be resolved.
still say the Prime Minister will
have that conversation with cabinet
before Christmas. That will be a
difficult series of meetings. The
one issue Alan did not latch onto
when he was talking through this is
how aligned we are with the European
Union going forward. What caused the
problem with the Brexiteers this
week was the suggestion that Theresa
May, in aligning with Dublin, would
put the UK in permanent alignment
with the EU.
Ireland brought the
alignment issue to the fore.
to be outside the EU and to have
free trade, and to know whether 50
billion is enough to buy that.
that noncontroversial point, your
book is out which catalogues this
amazing year. Every political
stocking should have won.
have a thick stockings.
It is a big
Doctor Who late.
We were shocked, this week,
to discover that the trans-gender
regeneration of our favourite sci-fi
hero, from gnarly old Scotsman
to feisty young Yorkshire lass,
was delayed for several years.
So what dark forces conspired
to bar a female time lord
from the police box for so long?
A Dalek invasion?
A Sontaran death ray
trained on Pinner?
Apparently the delay was all down
to Brexit voters being hostile
to the idea of a woman Doctor.
At least, that's what the show's
producer is claiming.
As excuses go, it's pretty weak.
But he's from Paisley.
Excuses are not our forte.
Someone who's not going to be phased
by the Doctor's sex change -
and has even done impressions
of the previous incarnations -
is impressionist Jon Culshaw,
who'll be putting "posturing"
under the Spotlight.
And if you're still insisting
on getting in touch via the Tweeter,
the Fleecebook and the
Snapnumpty, then beware.
I may have been lying
about the Sontaran death ray,
but I'm still capable of zapping
you right in the Dimblebys!
Now, we all like a bargain,
especially in the
run-up to Christmas.
America's purchase of Alaska
from the Russians in 1867
was clearly a snip at $7 million,
but not as big a bargain
as Michael's shirts,
which Primark will pay you to remove
from their shelves.
Or volume 47 of Alan's memoirs,
which is not just being discounted.
It's being remaindered.
And what about Momentum's election
spending, which has been logged
at just over £38,000?
Yes, Jezza's imperial stormtroopers
very nearly pulled off the political
coup of the century for less
than the price of a
high-end Volvo estate.
I can't believe those grumpy
mugwumps at the Electoral Commission
are investigating the expenses
of the Corbynista
They should be put in
charge of the Treasury.
Anyway, here's Kate McCann
from the Telegraph with her
round up of the week.
After some pretty heated Brexit
negotiations, what could be more
refreshing than Alpine air? Time to
replace red lines with red runs. At
the beginning of the week, it seemed
the PM was on a home run. We were
braced for a historical day on
Brexit, agreement on a crucial
sticking point, the Irish border,
had been reached. But not so fast,
what about the DUP?
We have been
very clear. Northern Ireland must
leave the European Union on the same
terms as the rest of the UK and we
will not accept any form of
regulatory divergences which
separates Northern Ireland,
economically or politically, from
the rest of the UK.
And with her
boot firmly in, snowy optimism
turned to slush and the Irish PM
said he might even veto trade talks
meant to start in Brussels next
week. The PM's phone call with the
DUP leader on Wednesday morning
failed to produce results in time
for PMQs. An opportunity for Jeremy
Corbyn, but one he let slide.
months after the referendum the
Prime Minister is unable to answer
the question. And on Monday, as she
thought she was coming here to make
a statement, it was vetoed by the
leader of the DUP. The tale really
is wagging the dog here.
ensure we leave the European Union
in March 2019. We will leave the
internal market, we will leave the
customs union at the same time, we
will ensure there is no hard border
between Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland when we do it.
At least the PM had her backbenchers
Will she apply a new
coat of paint to her red lines
because on Monday they were
beginning to look little pink.
it help if I came over to Brussels
with you to sort them out?
did not shed light on our departure,
MPs were stunned when David Davis
tried to explain the impact
The government has not
undertaken any impact assessments on
the dangers of leaving the EU for
the British economy. So there isn't
one, for example, on the automotive
Not that I'm aware of.
No. The answer is going
to be no to all of them.
Brexit was also blamed this week for
leaving the government without the
bandwidth to help those left out in
the cold, after the social mode to
Czar quipped. Emotions ran high in
Parliament as Labour MP Frank Field
explained the impact of universal
credit on one of his constituents.
For the first time, a gentleman rose
after we had spoken and I tried to
persuade him not to commit suicide.
Such was the desperate mess that he
saw in the future for himself. And I
realised that the hand that shook my
hand was wet. He had been crying.
don't know where to start after
that. I am humbled by the words from
my honourable good friend. No
government is perfect, no benefit
system is perfect, no debate, no
motion is perfect but we work
together and make this better.
Parliament at its best. Speaking of
which, Damian Green's colleagues
rallied round this week after a
former police officer, himself
perhaps a little guilty of staring,
said he was left in no doubt that
the first Secretary of State had
accessed pornography on his
parliamentary computer. As
accusations of vendettas flew, the
Met Police said the former police
officers can be prosecuted.
a case from nine years ago. Police
officers know they have a duty of
confidentiality, a duty to protect
personal information. That duty, in
my view, clearly endures after you
leave the service. So it is my view
that what they have done, based on
my understanding of what they are
saying, what they have done is
wrong, and I condemn it.
and the chance to catch up with a
magazine while Alan and Michael are
in the hot tub. What is a hostile
takeover? As Labour councillors
complained of purges, there is a
more positive narrative.
about democratisation of the Labour
Party and there is a correlation
between that and improved electoral
performance, empirically. It is
observable. I would say this is
instrumentally vital to a
reinvigorated party membership.
Speaking of invigoration, it is time
to hit the slopes. I hear Philip
Hammond needs a new mode of
transport. These are strong and
Merci beaucoup, Apres London
at the Flat Iron in London.
Fresh from the winter sun
we are joined by Kate McCann.
Welcome. Have you managed to
discover why the DUP was so
Know, and I think it's
one of the biggest questions of the
week. It goes to the heart of what
Theresa May's problem is, because if
you look at the issues she has had
as a Prime Minister of her short
leadership, a lot of them come back
to the inability to control the
media narrative. While you might not
think that is important, at the
start of this week, she let one
story run away with her without
trying to control it at all. The
Government could have got on the
front foot when the Irish Government
came out and said, we have a great
deal and it will look really good
for us, that was obviously
frustrating for Arlene Foster and
that is what scuppered it. Theresa
May could have done something to
prevent that from happening. She
could have tried to rein it in, and
She is leader of the
Conservative and Unionist Party.
What bit of that didn't she get?
she is in a coalition with the DUP
as well. At the risk of repeating
myself, I think the speed of events,
we were all very surprised. I
remember the surprise in the voice
of the BBC correspondent when they
suddenly said, we are getting all
these positive noises out of the
commission and it looks like we will
get a deal today. The commission was
ready but the British won't. The
British hadn't squared it. Settling
the two halves of the island of
Ireland is very difficult. You like
the point is, she knew she was going
out on an issue did with Ireland,
and she relies on those ten votes
for confidence and supply. You would
have thought she would have made
absolutely sure she had nailed this
down. You may be able to tell us
Kate, but she didn't even need
Arlene Foster rendered DUP. She left
it to an inexperienced chief whip on
the Sunday together and talk to
them. And then there was the leaking
to the Irish media and all that. She
is maladroit. She is the author of
her own problems. She would have had
a triumph on Monday, instead of
which, she may have a triumph
tomorrow, but it will be diminished
by the farce.
That may be true, but
she also is almost like the Arnold
Schwarzenegger in the terminator. It
doesn't matter what happens, you
press it into a little metal ball,
it melts, then suddenly it all comes
together again and she is still
Nobody else wants it. Brexit
is a poisoned chalice. Whoever was
in Theresa May's position now would
have to grapple with these issues.
There are people on the backbenches
who talk a good game, but they don't
want it until this is over and done
with, because it won't look good for
whoever is holding the baby when we
leave the EU, because of things like
Northern Ireland and the border and
because they are so complex. You're
right, there are grumblings about
her, and she seems to be getting it
wrong frequently, but I still think
she's not going to be.
your view, does it look more likely
than not that she won't get through
I have been dining out
on saying she will be gone by
Christmas. I thought David Davis,
who has one chance and really wants
it, would be the main protagonists.
What Michael said earlier on about
the one wanting a general election,
including the public, by the way, is
right. That is why the Conservatives
will probably there until 2022. --
will probably be there. Everyone
thought she was toast and it was
just about when she came out of the
toaster. Maybe they will leave it
until after March 20 19. I think she
will definitely be gone. You are
right, Andrew - the more she goes
on, the more she seems to be
stoical. It might well be that she
It is like the first tack-mac
terminator movie. What has happened
to David Davis?
At the committee
He looked a rather
forlorn underpowered figure.
Somebody said to me he has been cut
out of the loop quite a bit now.
think he is an interesting one,
because there are people who say he
wants to be the next leader of the
party and wants to be prime
minister, and I'm not sure that is
the case. If you look at the way he
behaved that the committee this
week, and that previous ones, he has
not got the full grasp of the
detail. People asking questions he
should know the answer to, and he
doesn't. I don't feel like that is
because he's not capable, I think it
is because he's coasting. I think he
is grateful to be in the position he
is in, and I think he enjoys it, but
I don't get the impression he thinks
he's going to be the next prime
minister. What could
happen, and what may happen, is that
he could end up being the interim
and handing over to someone you from
annual intake at some point later.
That would only be the case, I
think, if Mrs May went in the near
If there were some crisis.
What do you make of his performance
I agree that he doesn't look
very hungry for it. I think he has
wisdom. I think he has gravitas. He
looks stable coming has a sense of
humour and a lot of qualities, but
he doesn't look to me like he is
going for it.
I think the move of
Ollie Robinson, the senior civil
servant with whom you didn't get on
in the Brexit Department, his move
to the Cabinet office next to the
Prime Minister, I think power has
moved that way as well. Damian
Green, Michael, will he survive?
Should he? What do you make of this
I don't know the will, but
I think he should. David Davis said
he will resign.
I think he rode back
on that quite quickly.
the police officer who gave the
interview to the BBC last week, I
was disturbed that the BBC broadcast
this interview. We have heard from
Cressida Dick on the programme
saying she thought it was
disgraceful and there may be grounds
for a prosecution. It is worth
remembering that the alleged
information was gathered by the
police during a raid in which they
used anti-terrorist powers
investigating a leak. They happened
to attack, as it were, a member of
the Parliament, but it could have
been in this building on any of the
There was outrage in
There should have been
outrage in the BBC. For the BBC then
to broadcast this fellow's interview
in order just to make trouble for a
But this is
news. The BBC is just the messenger.
It was illegitimate news because it
was gathered in a fishing expedition
in Ammancomputer. -- a man's
computer. There is an issue of some
policemen behaving as this if -- as
if this were a police state.
the point Michael is making about
evidence gathered in a particular
operation suddenly, years later,
comes out in an area...
I agree with
I agree with that completely.
Here is the parallel: I was Home
Secretary and came in just after
they got that information. It was
passed by a civil servant who
disgracefully took home office
documents and pass them over to the
opposition front bench. I'm not
criticising Damian Green and David
Davis for taking that.
What do you
make of the role of the police?
You're criticising the BBC for
taking a piece of news.
I am more
interested in your view as a former
Michael is right, it
was disgraceful, and Cressida Dick
was absolutely right to condemn it.
I have a deep affection for the
British police, and how they have
always operated. As Michael says,
this takes us too much down the
police state line.
Cake, in the
final few seconds, we have been
saying the prime minister's plane is
on the runway ready to go. What is
the latest in your view? Will she
make it in time for Brussels
breakfast? A Brexit breakfast?
are poised to get on the Eurostar in
It will be too late by
then. Remit but we will be there in
time to catch the press conference,
if there is one. The thinking at the
moment is possibly that she may go
early, and there might be a later
statement if she does go. Fingers
Lets hope they have paid
the RAF bill, or she won't be
Like the Chancellor.
Some unkind soul once said politics
was showbiz for ugly people.
But I think that
unfair to ugly folks.
It's also demonstrably untrue -
just look at these two
posturing political peacocks.
Handsome as the day is long.
And watching them in action can
sometimes make the day feel really,
really long indeed.
But most politicians have been
guilty of posturing at some
stage in their careers,
which is why we're putting posturing
in tonight's Spotlight.
The winner of the Radio 1 Teen Award
for Best TV Show is...
Good news for the BBC
this week as Towie star
Gemma Collins backed down
from threatening to sue
the corporation over her dramatic
centre, at the Teen Awards.
But as one celebrity
falls off the runway,
another falls onto it.
Jeremy Corbyn struck a pose
for GQ magazine this
But did the camera love Jezza
as much as his voter base?
The shoot itself was quite tortuous.
It was as difficult
as shooting any Hollywood
It seems, then, that
everyone has had
enough of PR stunts.
After all, Emmanuel Macron...
Not all babies want to be kissed.
Meanwhile, Labour MP
John Healey says politicians
should stop talking the talk and get
back to the job in hand.
100 more homeless children for every
Conservative press release.
And what's needed now
is action to deal
with the root causes of this
not more warm words.
And what of Donald Trump's
posturing in the Middle East?
The US President's
decision to recognise
Jerusalem as the Israeli capital
this week provoked a diplomatic
This decision by President Trump
is clearly one of the most
taken by American
Presidents vis-a-vis the
region and the chances of peace.
Given his track record on calming
international disputes, we shouldn't
have too much to worry about.
Very sad, this is nothing like me.
They have made me
into a giant terracotta
That's a disgrace.
Impressionist Jon Culshaw knows
a thing or two about political
But is there just too
much of it about?
# We'll still have fun!#.
John Culshaw joins us. Welcome back
to the programme. It has been too
long. Let's be honest, political
posturing is a dream for you because
it emphasises and builds everything
up, doesn't it?
It gives us more
clues. Armando Iannucci said that
reality outperforms comedy in many
instances, but it never fazes the
comedy writers. It just empowers
them even more. It is so interesting
watching the bluster of Donald
Trump, because he seems... Well, he
is clearly so miscast and out of his
depth. The way he gets himself out
of things, just with plaster, and if
at any stage she gets founder, fake
news, that's terrible, get it out of
the. If you would reported
It is always our
fault! When is saying things like,
this is going to be so great, he is
looking for the ward often.
believe how great it is, it will be
so fantastic so I will say it is
going to be great again until I
found that, I found it, I forgot it.
Is that posturing, though?
Posturing, to me, is someone trying
to be something they're not, and
that seems to me to be entirely what
It is interesting with Trump.
In front of audiences, you can only
do two or three jokes. State visit,
I'm going to Stratford-upon-Avon,
the birthplace of William Shatner,
to witness the wedding of Prince
Harry and Angela Merkel, is going to
be beautiful. You can have a few
jokes and then the audience go, will
you stop that now, please?
May is involved in posturing?
controlled, clenched, cautious and
uneasy, scripted, and Deborah
Stevenson does a good impression of
her too. That catch in the back of
the voice, the fear of tripping up
at any moment.
Jeremy Corbyn, he has
never been thought the posture, but
the GQ magazine cover was a kind of
His form of posturing is
often to be much quieter, to be
sitting back, to be nodding rather
like an ornament on the parcel shelf
of a Morris Minor, in this way, very
laid-back, controlled and
understated. If you want to know my
policy statement, it will be made
available on Betamax and as a mix
tape will stop
not an eight track?
We will look into that and reach
that advanced stage in due course,
I suppose Trump overwhelms
everything. It is a character than
not even Central Casting could have
Tom Jamieson, one of the
Dead Ringers writers came up with
the joke that sums up the feeling:
We are working our way through the
worst crisis in American history
since the 110 minutes ago. And so it
goes on. Than the crisis ten minutes
Does the news cycle encourage
posturing, if you want to break
No, I think here is another
reason for a Brexit. British
politicians on the whole do not
posture, and politicians on the
continent do. All this stuff about
the great European vision about
where they were going to arrive in
20 years, this is one of the
culturally completely different. --
he is off again.
Michael, if you go
too far, becomes Dale Winton. Keep
it just here, just right.
you up to?
I have voiced an audio
book called the beautiful poetry of
Donald Trump, which pulls together
his quotes into problems. They form
algorithms bizarre nonsense.
Ring is coming back?
Were recorded a
special on Saturday.
Thank you for
That's your lot for tonight, folks.
But not for us.
Inspired by the runaway success
of Vladimir Putin's new calendar
and Jezza's striking makeover
on the cover of GQ,
we're off to our very
own photo shoot at Lou Lou's,
where the DG has promised to whip
out his old Box Brownie and give us
the full Annie Leibovitz.
Choo Choo plans to channel his inner
Putin by stripping to the waist
and pretending to shovel coal
into the engine pulling the London
to Glasgow night sleeper.
I haven't the heart to tell him
it was electrified years ago.
And Sad Man will pose in his best
Samuel Pepys outfit as he writes
Volume 48 of his memoirs
with his favourite quill pen.
He's very high tech, y'know.
don't let Arlene bite.
All I want for Christmas is...
Leaving the European Union as a
# I don't want a lot of Christmas
# There is just one thing I need
# I don't care about the presence
# I don't need the Christmas tree
# All I want for Christmas is you #.
Northern Ireland must leave the
European Union on the same terms as
the rest of the United Kingdom.
Andrew Neil reviews the political week with Michael Portillo and Alan Johnson. Plus there is a film looking back over the headlines from Kate McCann, Tim Shipman looks at political chaos, while Jon Culshaw examines posturing in the spotlight section.