Andrew Neil presents a special This Week on location from a ballroom with special guest Molly the Dog. They are joined Michael Portillo, Liz Kendall and Miranda Green.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and
girls, and anyone still up at this
ungodly hour, we are not live and
it's cheap as chips. With a
washed-up cast of political has-been
Do you know what we are doing?
Have you been trained in this?
line-up no one has heard of.
sorry, but who are you?
audience who should know better.
we queueing for Graham Norton?
is only one reason to watch.
But where is Molly the dog?
Molly is the story of a dog,
a presenter and a TV programme.
It isn't a pretentious
picture or an epic.
It is too real, to human for high
It is too real, too human for high
This Week was poor, so poor
it had to sell Molly.
She was shipped hundreds of miles
away to the French Riviera.
Yes, she lived a dog 's life.
She enjoyed the sunshine,
french fries and champagne.
But Molly never forgot
the presenter, her home,
her people, for a sniff of fame.
Finally, one day she ran away.
She was going home.
Nothing could stop her.
Not President Macron.
Molly's story is a magnificent one.
You will love every bit of it.
Molly, come home.
Please welcome your host, Andrew
Welcome to This Week,
a week when the Beast from the East
blew unwelcomed into our country,
causing widespread disruption,
confusion and chaos across the land.
But enough about Boris Johnson.
The weather has been
pretty grim too.
Speaking of the Foreign Secretary,
his former Brexit best friend,
Environment Secretary Michael Gove,
was back at his back-stabbing,
duplicitous best this week.
He announced he planned to ban
plastic straws, thereby leaving
Prime Minister Maybot
with absolutely nothing
to clutch at whatsoever.
We know a leadership bid
when we see one, Govey.
Over in the colonies,
President Trump, attacking armed
police for failing to tackle
the Florida school shooter,
said he would have taken him
on with his bare hands.
Those of you who've seen the size
of his hands will realise
the shooter is unlikely
to have been deterred.
But nothing deters The Donald.
He's announced he'll run again
in 2020, after a Mr V Putin c/o
the Kremlin signed his nomination
papers and said he'd agreed
to be his campaign manager...again.
Back in shivering Blighty,
Dear Jezza's Labour Party showed
just how all-inclusive and diverse
it is when Deputy Leader Tom Watson
refused to hand back
the half-million quid in donations
handed to him by a former fascist
by the name of Mosley.
And Shadow Equalities Secretary Dawn
Butler appointed an advisor who says
all white people are racist and that
even white people who're homeless
are still privileged.
Yes, with that sort of advice,
I think we're all going
to get along just fine.
But the real news of the week
is that, despite every impediment
a fierce and unforgiving mother
nature could put in your way,
you have all made it tonight
to the beautiful Rivoli Ballroom
here in south London.
What in Paris would be
called the Rive Gauche.
Or in our case just gauche.
What Donald Trump, when he learned
the US embassy had moved south
of the river, called No Man's Land.
Well, there are plenty of men
and women here tonight.
Give yourselves a round of applause.
In recognition of this historic
occasion, our 15th anniversary,
we've put together a trio of talent
unrivalled in the annals
of late-night TV.
You'll soon see that they really
do have no rivals.
Please welcome, fresh
from their sell-out performance
at the Golders Green Branch
of Hezbollah, Michael #choochoo
Portillo, Liz #fourpercent Kendall
and Miranda #she'slovely Green.
And by special permission
of the Cannes Film Festival,
all the way from the Cote D'Azur,
the star of our show, Molly the Dog.
Come on, Molly. Molly, Molly. Molly,
Molly, Molly. Sit, Molly. What a
star! I hate being upstaged.
And if all of that wasn't
enough, we have a band!
The incredible Swing ZaZou.
Take it away.
# She's got work and money
# She's got the job and money
# She's got fears and money
# Because she's one of the many
# She's got coffee and credit
# She's got debt to pay
# But she's got money in your pocket
at the end of the day
# She's got money, cabbage, cash
# She's got scratch, rhino, Jack,
# She's got spinach, sugar, blues
# She's got berries, Kush, gravy,
We will hear more from them as the
programme goes on. Your moment of
The intervention of Sir
John Major during the course of this
week. My old mate, who called on the
government to give a free vote to
members of Parliament on Brexit. You
may remember that when the boot was
on the other foot and that we were
busy integrating ourselves with
Europe, there were no free votes
whatsoever. Indeed, there was
persecution and ostracisation and
banning and suspension from the
party. I thought it was marvellous
to see Sir Bill Cash this week on
Newsnight saving with great
magnanimity, recalling that Sir John
had put him through all of this, but
not in any way being bitter. He is a
great parliamentarian, Sir Bill
Weren't you one of Mr Major's
There was some dispute
Not in my mind!
talked about three. There were four
candidates, Redwood, Lily, Portillo
and Howard. So it's not entirely
clear which of these four was left
Well, I'm pretty sure it wasn't
you, but anyway!
I hope it wasn't I
that was left out, because it is a
badge of honour.
Liz, your moment of
The terrible explosion in
Leicester, my constituency.
Unimaginable horror. The
people killed, more injured, people
evacuated from their homes. We
always praise the emergency
services, but I cannot believe what
they have seen and been through. And
also, the local community, who came
out, helped one another, helped the
emergency services, sometimes
despite what you think, most people
want to do good and pull together
and support one another. And I am
very proud of my constituents this
Annual constituency will be
very proud of you and how you have
handled it. Miranda, your moment?
Well, I think it has to be Boris.
Boris Johnson, our
fabulous Foreign Secretary, of whom
we are all so proud, particularly
Michael, who suggested that solving
the knotty problem of the Northern
Ireland border as we leave the EU
would be as simple as using your
smart card to travel from the London
Borough of Camden to the London
Borough of Islington, thereby
raising quite a few eyebrows.
Obviously with Boris, we are not
surprised when he says something
like this, but it was possibly a new
I may have missed it, but have
3000 people being killed fighting
over the Islington- can do in
I have also missed that,
Three moments of the week.
Now, here on This Week we pretty
much say what we like.
Not that anybody takes much notice.
Which, given the level of drivel
that's spewed forth every week,
is probably just as well.
But these days some folks
are frightened to say anything.
They worry that they'll
use the wrong words,
offend people they
didn't mean to offend.
Set off a Twitter mob,
or worse, against them.
In a world where so-called safe
spaces are spreading,
virtue-signalling is rife
and there's an epidemic of #metoos,
when even Jerry Seinfeld has
stopped doing his stand up
routine at universities
because the students are too
are we now in the grip
of a new Puritanism?
In these difficult times we turned
for guidance to someone
who is the epitome of balance,
courtesy, civility and charm.
Yes, it's historian David Starkey
with his take of the week.
The British political system
of monarch, Lords and Commons is now
almost 800 years old.
It has survived because behind
the fixed facade of Parliament,
it's proved astonishingly adaptable
to changing social realities.
In continental Europe,
the ancien regime had to be
pulled down by revolution.
In Britain, change came
by evolution, as first
the bourgeoisie, then the working
class, and finally women
secured a vote for and
representation in Parliament.
Our parliamentary institution
even survived the rise
of the Labour Party,
as the monarchy under George V
and the Tory party under
Stanley Baldwin went out
of their way to welcome Labour
ministers and trade unionists alike
into the corridors of power,
and Buckingham Palace itself.
This is the world
in the film Darkest Hour.
But everything in that world,
the patriotism, the shared values,
the importance of rhetoric,
is now as dead and buried
as Winston Churchill himself.
For, in the last 20 years,
we've had a revolution by stealth.
Not in our streets but in our
values, as a generation brought up
with no roots and no religion has
lurched with quasi-religious fervour
into a puritanical groupthink,
where debate is stifled
and difference of opinion
cannot be tolerated.
Everywhere, it's back
to the Middle Ages.
In the universities,
no platforming is a heresy
trial without a stake.
In law, the uncovering of historic
sex abuse has turned from due
process into a witch craze.
Accusation proves guilt,
every victim must be believed.
This is Salem.
In politics, too, there
is a new pseudo-religious intensity.
Pro-Trump and anti-Trump,
Remainer and Brexiteer confront each
other in a sort of holy war.
While in the Labour Party,
Jeremy Corbyn, JC, plays
the Messiah, and Momentum presents
itself as a cross between
the Jesuits and the Knights Templar.
This does not bode well.
The last time that religion
so dominated politics
was in the Puritan revolution
which led to civil war,
the abolition of Parliament
and military dictatorship.
Welcome to the millennials'
Our thanks to Westland
London in Shoreditch,
Welcome David Starkey back to the
programme. Are we in the group of a
puritancle group think which doesn't
tolerate difference or is that just
the Shadow Cabinet?
I think there is
now a kind of moral or religious
fever about a lot of the different
positions, particularly around
Brexit. In the end, I don't think
that you win arguments by just
shouting louder and louder. You have
to try to understand. You are never
going to - I'm never going to
convince Nigel Farage that Brexit is
wrong. But the reason that you
engage in debates is to try and
persuade the undecides to understand
where people are coming from rather
than just shouting people down or no
David was probably exaggerating. The
divisions over Brexit can be
compared with the divisions over
appeasement and the divisions over
the reform of the House of Lords
just before the First World War or
indeed the divisions over Ireland
just before the First World War. I
think we've been here again and
again. I think there are dangers. He
takes an interesting idea that blows
it up. Of the things he mentioned
what bothered me the most is the
idea that if you accuse someone,
their name can be plastered over the
newspapers. They can be arrested.
They can be put on bail for a very
long period of time. It takes very
long time toll resolve the case. It
is as though that person had been
found guilty because in the year or
two that that takes, their name has
been all over the press and the
The first bit of the new
puritanism. We come to sex abuse
allegations later. Michael said you
are exaggerating. We have had this
He is right in one
sense. In all the instances he
mentioned. What I think is new now
is the depth of this phenomenon. In
other words, appeasement, the Irish
question and so on. They weren't
underpinned by new structures. We've
now got new structures in the
internet. Which prioritise extremes.
The fact that you've got opinion
expressed anonymously. This is the
most dangerous of things. The whole
internet seems to me to be founded
on a complete misapprehension of
human behaviour. It's founded on the
notion, human beings are good. Where
if we were allowed to behave badly
and get away with it, you and I know
we do. We do.
There are people watching.
I hope one or two. I hope one or
two. I don't know.
There won't be
unless you get to the point.
got to the point. Where Michael -
Where Michael is wrong is
there are new structures
underpinning this. This seems to me
to be profoundly important. I think
it's under cutting politics as we
know it. This programme is nice and
civilised people watch it. It's
absolutely nothing to do with the
fundamentals of what are going on
onside. Liz has made the point, when
she said, "we want reasoned debate."
There is no reasoned debate.
Reasoned debate has died in public.
Let me bring Miranda. What did you
make of what Michael had to say
about the sex abuse and the sex
harassment claims that is in a way
what Michael was saying has gone too
I think it's always difficult
to know which is the movement and
which is the backlash. You get a
backlash against the backlash. We
are having a huge cultural
discussion taking sides, some people
changing their minds. I don't know
where we will end up. I think it
will be a different place from
before the Weinstein scandal.
Probably a better place.
That is to
No, revolutions on the
whole lead to worse. The history -
Not a revolution.
Oh, it is. You are
wrong. It's a moral revolution.
Where I would agree with you, David,
I do think that there is a sort of
obligation on people at the moment
to kind of express moral certainty.
That is exactly right.
issue Raith rather than debate it.
That is damaging to the quality -
There has been a moral
revolution. I'm gay is now
practically compulsory. 40 years
ago, seriously, let's look -
the secret about me you are trying
to tell the audience?
to tell the audience?
The I wonder!
This civilised discussion
is going well.
Molly the dog as
You keep Molly out of it.
There has been a complete revolution
of values between the sexes. I mean,
look again at the whole business of
transgendering. Am the unmentionable
has become enforceable. There has
been genuine inversions of moral -
in our lifetimes, your lifetime and
mine, because we are ancient, moral
values use have inverted?
it's true moral values have been
inverted. I don't think the process
has come to an end.
What is a moral
value that has been inverted?
view of homosexuality has changed
Isn't that a plus?
think it is a plus, but I would also
say that I think it leads us to...
It should lead us to believe that no
moral position is absolute or even
to be relied upon for any period of
time. Moral positions are changing
now a days like fashions. Constantly
changing. Max Moseley apparently was
the agent for a leaflet published in
1961. In 1961, the racism that was
addressed in the leaflet was not
illegal, but homosexuality was. That
is an example in how 50 years the
world has turned absolutely upside
I am struggling to see the bad
news that racism is not acceptable
and the homosexuality is acceptable.
There has been a revolution.
been a hugely welcome one. I would
really like to have grown up not
being groped when I was a waitress
and being told by the boss, "just
get back out there and serve them.
You are fussing about nothing". I
think it's good if we get to the
situation where that's not happening
Those things are good. I
think the suspension of due process
in law is not good and even
organisations like the BBC are
complicit in the suspension of due
process by having helicopters
hovering over Cliff Richard's house
when he is being raided and
arrested. There are things in this
which are very, very worrying and
the non-platforming of people in
universities is extremely worrying.
I agree with that.
I don't think
David meant to say that everything
in this revolution is bad.
I just said it was a revolution.
Revolution just means turning things
been turned upside down.
attitudes towards sexual harassment
and worse, that may not be a
revolution, but it is a watershed in
attitudes. Perhaps, as in all of
these things, I mean to put it blunt
ily, for years men got away with
Yes they did.
Now they don't.
Called to account. In that change
the pendulum in all these things it
sometimes goes too far the other
way. I've talked about the lack of
due process. At some stage it will
settle down somewhere and it will be
a Bert place.
I think that's true.
Part of what David is warning about,
if I understand him correctly, is
against a change that would resemble
something that that they have in
America, were you end up dividing
peopled and you end up with culture
I don't think we have
it quite yet. Like Michael, I think
it's slightly over stated case. I
think we can move on on this issue
and others and avoid America's
culture wars. If you are too certain
that things changing... The fact
that things are changing is bad you
are actually taking a position in a
culture war. You are sort of
starting one of your own.
American identity wars have come
here. Is it really true, a lot of
students now, this will give you the
fine Allera word on, this they don't
want to be exposed to opinions that
trouble them or with which they
Yes. I think it is
absolutely true. We are also getting
a determination to rewrite the
historical past. We are getting a
shyness about any form of genuine
national identity. One of the things
that I worry about most is, without
a clear notion of a national
identity and a national story,
there's no possibilities of genuine
democratic political action.
Political action depends on the fact
we all recognise certain things in
common with each other. If we're to
be divided into tribes, if we are to
be divided into genders, if we are
to be divided into races I'm afraid
there is only one form of government
that can hold the balance and it is
in a throne like you who exercises
imperial authority. Which you do so
Pleasure. Thank you.
Now it's late.
Saint Michael of Assisi late.
Yes, as we mentioned
earlier, our greener then
the Greens Environment Secretary,
the Sainted Govester,
wants to ban plastic straws
to reduce pollution in our oceans.
He's even opined that said
ban would prove easier
once we leave the EU,
provoking the Vice President
of the European Commission to snap
back that "EU legislation
"on single-use plastics
is coming before the summer.
"#eudoesn'tsuck, ya green numpty".
And we thought the Irish Border
might be the final
straw in the Brexit
negotiations, when it actually
turns out to be a straw.
Someone who's never been accused
of being a straw man
is the mighty Brian Blessed,
star of stage, screen and shouting,
who'll be putting "charm"
under the spotlight.
And if you'd like to get
in touch via the Tweeter,
the Fleecebook, the Snapnumpty,
my blunt advice is don't bother.
You'd be better spending your lonely
nocturnal hours preparing for that
visit from your probation officer
in the morning because I can
assure you that parole
is by no means a done deal.
Take it away, Swing Zazou.
# But he takes it slow
# He's got no need for them highs
# He's a happy cat
# Head held high
# Ain't no people going to catch his
# Ain't no jitterbug going to get
# Ain't no flat boot going to make
# Ain't no dropper going to make
# Me's a wide boy
# Would he do what he wouldn't say
# He's a wide boy
# Lapped it up and run away
# He's a wild, wild boy
# He's wide, wide boy
# He's a wide, wide boy
# He's a wide, wide boy... #
And there's more where that came
The Siberian snowstorm currently
enveloping our islands has brought
with it a distinct chilling
of our politics.
The Tory rebels are more
revolting than ever,
Labour moderates are checking
into the gulag before they find
themselves hanging from the nearest
lamp post, and Barnier of Brussels
thinks if he huffs and puffs often
enough then he can blow us all down.
Which, when you look
at the fragility of the government,
might not be that far fetched.
So in these bitter and bitterly cold
times we turned to Andrew Rawnsley,
the Hack Who Went out into the Cold.
This is his roundup of the week.
It is very cold in Moscow, it is
even colder in Mrs May's Cabinet.
Ah, there you are.
Our friends over the river have
given me the most difficult mission
of my career in political
intelligence - to penetrate
the British Government and discover
the Prime Minister's greatest
What does she really hope
to achieve from Brexit?
This is from one of my moles
at the heart of the Cabinet.
The cunning plan is "ambitious
It must be some kind
of fiendish code designed to be
impenetrable to Brussels,
and to the British public.
I'm not sure even the wizards
at GCHQ will be able
to make sense of this one.
Jeremy Corbyn, the rebel
who came in from the cold,
hopes to exploit Tory divisions
by switching Labour's position
on membership of a customs union.
Labour would seek to negotiate
a new, comprehensive UK-EU customs
union to ensure there are no tariffs
with Europe and to help avoid any
need whatsoever for a hard border
in Northern Ireland.
Does this mean that the Labour
leader, a career long
eurosceptic, has been turned?
Nyet comrade, he sees a juicy
opportunity to defeat
and damage the government.
Five Conservative former ministers
and two of the party's
Select Committee Chairs have already
declared that they'll defect
to the opposition lobby over
the issue of a customs union.
These Tory dissidents say they'll be
doing Mrs M a favour,
by helping her to stand up
to the Brexit ultras.
She'll then be able to turn around
to the 62 who are sort
of threatening to sort
of force her into
a leadership contest.
It would enable her to
explain the reality.
The simple reality is this,
that there isn't a parliamentary
majority for a hard Brexit.
Given a free vote, what would be
the majority for a customs
union, do you think?
She's right to suggest that quite
a lot of ministers will be secretly
toasting the Tory rebels,
and quite possibly some
Whitehall mandarins too.
Sir Martin Donnelly, who used to be
head of the Department
of International Trade,
suggested that life outside
the single market and the customs
union will be all salt and vinegar.
You're giving up a three course
meal, which is the depth
and intensity of our trade
the European Union and partners now,
for the promise of a packet
of crisps in the future
if we manage to do trade deals
outside the European Union,
which aren't going to compensate
for what we're giving up.
Staying within a customs union
would mean they'd be no
further point to Liam Fox,
no more long-haul globetrotting
to exotic locations in search
of independent trade deals
for our man in Business Class.
Funnily enough, he's
not keen on that idea.
It's unsurprising that those
who spent a lifetime working
within the European Union would see
moving away from the European Union
as being threatening.
As rule takers, without any say
in how the rules were made,
we would be in a worse position
than we are today.
It would be a complete sell-out
of Britain's national interests
and a betrayal of the voters
in the referendum.
Now, if you were looking for signs
that foreign powers had placed
sleeper agents at the heart
of our government, with a design
to disrupt the economy,
undermine our alliances and make
Britain look like a laughing stock
in the world, who might
fall under suspicion?
The issue of the Northern Ireland
border is being used quite a lot
politically to try to keep the UK
in the customs union,
effectively the single market,
so we can't really leave the EU.
That's what's going on.
Boris, a bit un-British
that name, not very red,
white and blue at all,
a bit Ruski.
We certainly have to ask which side
is this confusion agent playing for?
Mrs May's insistence that there'll
be no hard border in Ireland
was undercut by a leaked letter
from the alleged Foreign Secretary,
arguing the opposite.
Jeremy Corbyn used to be mostly
cloak and not much dagger at PMQs,
he's improved his trade craft lately
and attempted some
The Prime Minister emerged
from her Chequers away
day to promise a Brexit
of "ambitious managed divergence."
Can the Prime Minister enlighten
the rest of us as to which sectors
of the Government wants to remain
aligned and which
they plan to diverge?
He talks about people
not having a clue.
I'll tell him who hasn't got a clue
about business and jobs,
that's a Labour Party who wants
to borrow £500 billion
and bankrupt Britain.
When sorrows come for a leader,
they come not single
spies, but in battalions.
The former Conservative Prime
Minister John Major was reactivated
to issue a barrage of bleak
and blunt warnings and to call
for MPs to have a free vote
on the ultimate Brexit deal.
No one voted for higher prices
and poorer public services,
but that's what they may get.
The emerging evidence suggests
Brexit will hurt most
those who have least.
If Brexit is whipped
through parliament, at a time
when the public are so divided
about it, voters will know
who to blame if they end
up poorer and weaker.
So both democracy and prudence
suggest a free vote.
This operation is all a bit sideways
at the moment, isn't it?
Mrs May is scheduled
to give a definitive speech
on Brexit on Friday,
the latest in a long line
of supposedly definitive speeches.
Have the codebreakers on stand by.
Andrew Rawnsley joins us.
As we were coming on air, we learned
they are still arguing about the
contents of the parts of Mrs May A's
speech, so I'm glad that has been
There is loads of time! It
is not like it has to be resolved by
October and yet the government is
still go shaking with itself.
Michael, do you think Mr Corbyn has
come out for a customs union because
he believes in it, or because it's a
clever way of putting the government
on the spot?
The latter. I don't
have a great insight into his views
but I assume he is pretty thoroughly
Euro-sceptic, about as Euro-sceptic
as I am, and I think he would value
the opportunity of making trade
deals outside the European Union,
which would not be consistent with
the customs union. But it does put
the government on the spot. The
arithmetic on bad vote looks very
tight. I suspect the government will
win the vote, because I think as MPs
reacted to the emerging arithmetic
there will be a couple of Labour
rebels who will come over and vote
with the government. But as we see
at the moment there is only a vote
or two in it.
What do you think? Is
it a principled position or a clever
He has probably
listened to trade unions, party
members, Labour supporters.
Obviously, it does put the
government under pressure, but I
think it is a hugely welcome change
in Labour's approach. It comes very
close to solving the Northern
Ireland issue and is obviously right
in terms of jobs and the economy and
money for public services. People
have been making a strong argument
that you cannot be anti-austerity if
you are going to come out of the
single market and Customs union,
your economy takes a hit and you
cannot invest in the NHS. I think it
is growing number of reasons but it
does put the government under
Is at the right policy?
Would the EU agreed to a bespoke
customs union for the UK?
there are almost as many but not
quite as many problems with the
Labour position in terms of whether
it is realistic in terms of striking
a deal with Brussels, as there are
with the government position. Both
sides have been playing this game of
playing voters against each other
with a lot of constructive
ambiguity. Clearly this was a huge
move from Jeremy Corbyn and that
action inside the Labour Party,
frantic lobbying on both sides,
particularly from the pro-EU faction
in the Labour Party, has resulted in
this quite significant change. But
the question about whether he is
sincere, Andrew's spying metaphor,
has he been turned, of course not.
When it comes to the crunch, will it
make enough difference in terms of
the deal that Britain can get? I
have my doubts. Particularly because
he seems to believe the caveats more
than the offer. On the customs
union, he is desperate to talk
about, but we don't like European
rules state aid. That will not
He comes out of a customs
union but once the freedom to do
Very important to
him and John McDonnell.
wrong with that but it is the sort
of thing the European Union does not
like. He talks about having a say in
EU free trade arrangements. That is
difficult, since even individual
countries do not have much of a say
within the EU. I come back to my
original question. Is it really a
clever tactical ploy, because he has
seen that the government is weak?
think we all agree that he has been
a career long Euro-sceptic, founded
in the old left-wing belief that the
EU is a capitalist club, compounded
by him and McDonnell thinking there
are things radical Labour government
would want which they might be
prevented from doing by Europe. So
they are thinking this is a juicy
opportunity to potentially defeat
and damage the government. I think
Liz makes a good point. Jeremy
Corbyn distrusts opinion polls and
distrusts most of his parliamentary
party, if we are honest. But he will
have noticed that the polls say by
big margins most Labour supporters
want to remain not only in the
customs union but also the single
market and so do most MPs. One thing
where there is a dislocation between
Mr Corbyn and his devotees among
Labour Party members, particularly
the young ones, the Glastonbury
crowd, they do not want to do Brexit
at all and would certainly want a
softer version of Brexit. He cannot
allow to big a chasm to open between
him and his members.
government loses a vote on the
customs union, what would happen to
It would be a very
important defeat and the government
would probably go back to the House
of Commons the next day with a vote
of confidence, which it would win,
because the rebels, I assume, would
not want to bring down the
government. So as long as the
government does not make the vote a
vote of confidence, it will win a
vote of confidence the following
Which they cannot anyway. When
your time with John Major, he had a
problem with the paving bill and the
Maastricht Treaty and had to turn it
into a confidence motion to get it
through. But the Fixed-term
Parliaments Act separates confidence
from bits of legislation. One thing
Mrs May could do if she loses on the
customs union is say, I am listening
to Parliament and they say they want
it as a negotiating objective, so I
am sorry, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the
majority of parliament has spoken
and I will embrace that.
Minister would be holed below the
water line on that, surely, because
she has said she is against the
customs union, against Britain being
part of it. To say, I lost the vote
so this key part of my strategy I'm
going to abandon...
She has set the
red lines which may bring her down,
and she did not have too. There is a
majority in parliament, I believe,
for leaving the EU but along a
Norway- style deal, which has high
market access and high obligations.
Norway is not in the customs union.
But if there were a Norway plus with
the customs union option...
are in the single market and the
customs union, you are in the
European Union. What bit are you not
There is a choice.
took that choice, rightly or
We can go round and round
with this. The type of Brexit was
not on there. There is a way through
for her which is to accept where the
majority of the house would be and
that would keep as much closer to
Europe, but I don't think she will
have the guts to take on the
hardliners on her backbenchers.
she loses a vote along the way but
eventually there will be a
settlement with the European Union
and that will be brought back to
Parliament, and that would override
whatever votes have occurred before
Has Michel Barnier leading the
negotiations on the Commission's
behalf, coming out this week with
the document which the Brexiteers
claim is an attempt to annex
Northern Ireland from the United
Kingdom. Has he overplayed his hand?
There were a few statements coming
out of Brussels today which made it
seem that they had realised they'd
trod on some sensitive toes here in
the UK with this document. On the
Northern Ireland issue.
Prance I should retrain.
A government with an overall Tory
majority could never agree to that.
A government dependent on the DUP
could certainly never agree to that.
With he have a series of
unreasonable negotiation position.
The UK Governments unreasonable
negotiating position and Brussels,
let's hope they see sense. What they
row posed was moving a border into
the Irish Sea which is intolerable
in terms of the UK.
Because they are
so frustrated -
Michel Barnier you
So frustrated to try and get
clarity on what the British
Government's position is, that he's
done this, knowing that that
couldn't be allowed to happen, but
it sure grabs the British
I think you
are on to something there, Andrew.
Ever since we triggered, or Mrs May
and her Government triggered Article
50, which is going back some way
now, the constant complaint you hear
publicly and you hear more in
private from European politicians
and officials is - just tell us what
you want? We can't negotiate with
you sensibly until you spell out
what you want. I do think it was...
Give you a prod, we might find out.
We might find out more from Mrs
May's speech tomorrow in Newcastle.
Briefly, I want to hear from all of
you. As things stand, there has to
be a deal done to get into the
transition period by October at the
What are the
chances, as things stand now, you
may not like the deal, it may be a
bad deal, a good one, will it be
done? What are the chances. Liz?
think it will be done because
Conservative MPs will look over the
precipice of no deal and think we've
got to keep things as we are to
protect the economy.
It would be
done but it's because the commune
will look over the prep sis and
think, it's got to be done.
They are both being rational. A deal
must be done it's not in the
interests of EU and Britain for this
to be a disaster. The rational's
person mistake to forget that
sometimes Mmm beings and politicians
can be very irrational. If you were
to chat characterise this process
would you say it's been rational or
a lot has been irrational? I hope
you are right.
. Don't wish a disaster on Britain.
We have to account for the fact that
human beings aren't always rational?
There is a group of nations, not
least Sweden, the Netherlands etc
who would like to not go down the
Franco-German route in terms of the
future Europe route. We are living
in strange times where hotheads
We have them on tape with
their predictions. In this programme
they are invariably wrong. I take it
from that no deal will be done if
they all think it will be. You can
hot foot it back to Moscow, Andrew
Rawnsley. Let us hear some more from
# She arrives with a certain smile
# Turns her head and stops the
# Not one for laying low
# She spreads her wings right out
# Kiss my feet
# I'm on the way
# Let me go
# I wish that I could say a friend
in need, a friend indeed
# Oh, no
# It makes me
# It makes me low
# Oh, no
Come here, Molly. Come here Molly.
Have a treat because you deserve it.
It was Albert Camus who said: "Charm
is a way of getting the answer 'yes'
"without having asked
any clear question".
At least I think
it was Albert Camus.
It could have been the pub
bore in Albert Square.
Anyway, though it's clear that charm
in politics isn't everything -
I mean just look at the careers
of Liz and Michael -
obviously it's better
to have it than not.
So we've called on our very
own Prince Charming,
the mighty Brian Blessed,
as we put charm in the spotlight.
It's snowing, and the
kids are enchanted.
Is winter's charm lost on adults?
It's the worst winter that we've
had for quite a while.
Hope it doesn't last too long.
And what about MPs?
As frost descends on Westminster,
Big Bad John's usual
charm has chilled.
Resume your seat, Minister.
End of it.
You answer for government policy.
You don't waste the time
of the House by launching into rants
about policies of other parties.
I've made the point,
and if the Chancellor
is confused about it,
he really is underinformed.
I say to him, stick
to your abacus, man.
who is going to blink first?
Is snow making the Maybot's
manners malfunction, too.
Just calm down.
Maybe MPs are just more agreeable
Charm us, Rebecca.
The gentleman with the blue tie
and the lovely blue jumper there.
I love your blue sweater.
It's very nice.
Matching scarf on there.
Trendy beard there.
But can charm be creepy?
Spare a thought for New Zealand
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Jacinda Ardern, what a great catch.
Perhaps we can go fishing sometime.
What exactly is the date
the baby is due?
It's interesting how much
people have been counting
back to the conception,
as it were.
And are some people
just totally charmless?
I got to watch some deputy sheriffs
performing this weekend.
They weren't exactly
medal of honour winners.
I really believe that I'd
run in there, even if I
didn't have a weapon.
This Week's alive!
Brian Blessed's the
So, Brian, is charm the secret
to political success?
Brian joins us now. Bless you for
I've only one to say to
you - Gordon's Alive!
Congratulations on the show. Hello.
Two lovely ladies. Please speak.
I go, ask a question.
You can speak
Very well. You are a modest
unassuming. Barely say a word in a
room. Would you describe yourself as
I think I'm totally
charming. Absolutely. I'm the most
charming man in the world without
doubt. Now I, I will prove it. I
will use the audience here. When I
raise my hand in a while I want you
all to go gsh oh-oh. I will charm
Michael Portillo. He has a charming
face and a lovely smile. Here we go.
The train goes running along the
line. I wish it were mine. I wish it
were mine. The engine driver stands
in front. He makes it run. He makes
it shunt. Up to the towns. Over the
bridges and up to the sea.
bridges and up to the sea.
That is for you Michael.
so much, Brian. Thank you.
I look in the mirror in
the morning, ladies and gentlemen, I
think - bloody hell, I'm gorgeous.
We think the same.
I look down at my
fellow actors and they are down
there compared to my talent and
beauty I. I know I look like a Yeti
and a gorilla. You know that the
strength of mankind is its women. So
I'd like to say to our two young
ladies here. Shall I compare they...
What Michael and Liz? !
compare thee to a lovely day. Thour
more lovely and more temperate. They
do shake the darling buds of May.
That's charming I think...
I'd like to apologise to the
researchers for writing all these
questions because they are clearly
going to be a complete waste of
time. Do you find any politicians
I find them all charming.
Find them all charming? That can't
No, no. I'm not a political
animal in any shape or form. What is
Brexit? It sounds like a bloody
chocolate biscuit. I want to say. In
protest from the people from New
Zealand. We went into Europe many
years ago and we abandoned New
Zealand. New Zealand butter, New
Zealand lamb when we come out again
they will be waiting for us, won't
Struggling to get to grips with this
interview. Liz, is... Hold on, I'm
going to ask Liz. Is Mrs May
charming, is Mr Corbyn charming?
don't think Theresa May's very
charming. I don't feel that she has
You need warmth to be
charming, don't you?
You do. You
need some sort of connection.
about Mr Corbyn?
He can be very
Really? You can be very
Michael. Mrs May or Mr Corbyn,
Michael Gove is an
extremely charming man, they are
both put in the shade.
You have been at the
Blue Nun again, haven't you?
Miranda, either of the two main
party leaders charming, do you
think? Does it matter?
know there is a sort of puritancle
view that it ought not to matter and
politics shouldn't be about
charisma. Of course it is. People
like to feel a connection with
somebody who wants their support.
That is what politics is, right? I
mean it's more than a personality
You have to a bit of charm?
Have you to do a bit of charm,
particularly in the modern era.
People can tell when it's not
People wouldn't get away
with being Clement Attlee now.
with being Clement Attlee now. If
somebody has something to offer they
won't get far.
Do you think Michael
was more charming as a politician or
more charming now?
I think he's got
the eternal flame. I fancy him like
mad! He's absolutely gorgious.
Gorgeous. I love his jackets. I'm
envious of Mrs May turns me on. I
hate her husband.
All right. You
have said enough.
I'm so sorry. .
Before we are taking off the air I
think there's a goodbye. Thank you
for that. I haven't talked about
You are not going to. You
might bring Mrs May back into it.
It's our 15th anniversary programme.
It could well be our last! That's
your lot for tonight.
We're heading north of the river
to Lou Lou's, where it's
the European Commission's
weekly Bash-a-Brit night.
But we don't intend to take our
punishment beatings lying down.
Inspired by the government's plan
to use our young royals to win trade
deals around the world,
we intend to do our bit as well.
So Michael is off to
Paraguay to sell shares
in his model railway set.
It's so big it fills most
of his bedroom, you know,
so no doubt it will fetch
a pretty penny.
And, Liz, who has plenty of time
on her hands these days,
is on a slow boat to
East Timor with a consignment
of Turkey Twizzlers.
As for me, well, naturally I'm off
to the States to take this load
of old broadcasting bollocks
and sell it to Trump TV.
I'm not sure whether it's good
that's popular or not.
I'll have to think about that.
Anyway, nighty night,
don't let the Barniers bite.
Take it away, Swing Zazou.
# The judge, the priest,
the lawyer, the governor
# The leader, the switch,
# The printing press,
the telephone exchange
# It's all hooked up, it's all done
# I said the banker, the broker,
the health and safety
#The ratchet, the meter...#
Thank goodness that's over.
Andrew Neil presents a special This Week on location from a ballroom with special guest Molly the Dog.
They are joined Michael Portillo, Liz Kendall and Miranda Green, with a film rounding up the headlines from Andrew Rawnsley. The studio guests are David Starkey talking about the new puritanism at the top, while Brian Blessed is putting charm in the spotlight, and Swing Zazou will provide the music.
There is a Facebook live event on social media from the filming location, early in the evening, as the programme makes a rare visit away from its usual Westminster studio.