Andrew Neil reviews the political week with Michael Portillo and Lisa Nandy, plus Liam Halligan rounds up the headlines. Studio guests are Alexander Nekrassov and Jerry Springer.
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This Week was born with a silver
spoon in its mouth.
spoon in its mouth. We trained
alongside the snowflake Yentobs at
the BBC. We ran our own independent
television programme out of a broom
cupboard in Westminster. We liked
the way it was. But this week, has
everything changed? There is a
distinct chill in the air, so are we
heading for a new Cold War?
British government wants you to
think you are not safe from Vladimir
Putin. This is straight out of a
Cold War play, but it is all hot
And is the economy safe under
says he feels like Tigger, and at
least his non-statement had some
These are topsy-turvy
times, but are we seeing a fightback
from those who find themselves on
the wrong side of history?
has a President on the wrong side of
history. We've got to fight back.
There's only one way to fix it.
Endure tonight's edition of this
Welcome to This Week,
the week in which McMafia went
from expensive BBC Drama to scary
lead on BBC News.
The British Government,
its major allies and pretty much
all chemical weapons experts
are in little doubt that the use
of the deadly nerve gas Novichok
in the attempt to assassinate
a former Russian spy now living
in Salisbury clearly puts
President Putin's Russia
in the frame.
The Maybot managed two statements
in the Commons this week saying
as much, without malfunction.
She even managed a fist
bump with an onlooker
when she visited Salisbury today.
That new people-friendly software
seems to be bedding in nicely.
But Dear Jezza was widely
criticised, not least
by his own side, for being less
than convinced about Kremlin
culpability and for seeming more
angry about rich Russian emigres
making donations to the Tory party
than a foreign power sanctioning
murder on British soil.
But that's unfair.
I can see where Jezza's coming from.
After all, in almost every major
foreign policy issue for the past 40
years you've unfailingly taken
the anti-Western line.
You've rarely said anything hostile
about the Soviet Union
or the Russian Federation
which succeeded it.
You even went on a motorbike holiday
to one of its colonies.
With Diane Abbott.
That's sacrifice for you.
You've never mustered your Stop
the War mates outside
the Russian Embassy
to embarrass those within.
You've toiled under the studio
lights of Russia Today,
even when only three conspiracy nut
jobs and your cat were watching.
You've even hired a chief spin
doctor who's opined that
old Uncle Joe Stalin wasn't such
a bad chap and the Soviet Union
not such a bad place.
And yet still these damned Ruskies
give all their ill-gotten gains
to the bloody Tories!
I mean, I can see why he's miffed.
I'll bet you would be too.
Speaking of those who never
get their just desserts,
I'm joined on the sofa tonight
by two lost causes who've never done
anything to deserve any payback
whatsoever and to whom no sentient
Russian oligarch would dream
of donating a single kopeck.
I speak of course of Michael
#choochoo Portillo and Lisa
Welcome to you both. Your moment of
It came this morning, or
at the end of yesterday, when the
United States, Britain, France and
Germany issued a joint statement
condemning the Russian action. The
reason it was the moment of the week
was that I fear that Putin had
succeeded in splitting Nato apart.
At the beginning of the week, Donald
Trump could not find words to
condemn Russia. There was an
irresponsible statement from a
French diplomat yesterday talking
about fantasy politics being
practised in Britain. I thought,
this is what Putin wanted, to show
the West split asunder, and he has
succeeded. Luckily, at the last
moment both France and the United
States have recognised the danger
inherent in that. If we do not stand
united we are in great difficulty
and he will have won an enormous
victory, Putin, so thank goodness
even the Trump White House and the
Macron presidency have rowed in
behind and there was a strong
statement, backed up by the
Secretary-General of Nato. This is a
moment where one says a disaster has
This is why we
shouldn't just sit and gossip about
what we had 30 in the Green room,
because I was going to say the same
thing. We had these moments of
hydrometer or week in the House of
Commons with a big clash over the
spring statement, free school meals.
But this is the moment where it felt
like we stopped talking about who
was responsible for the attack on
British soil and started thinking
seriously about how we would deal
with Russian aggression collectively
rather than as individual nations
which is not productive. It was a
good thing for the country.
similar moments, with a different
Britain's major allies,
from Canada to Germany
and including Mr Trump's America,
rallied behind the country
today, less than 24 hours
after the Prime Minister unveiled
a range of retaliatory
measures against Russia,
in response to the attempted murder
of a former Russian spy
in the genteel cathedral
city of Salisbury.
The British government believes
that the deadly nerve gas used
was Russian and that it was deployed
on British soil by the Russian
state or its surrogates.
Nato in general and America
in particular agree.
Washington today announced fresh
sanctions against major Kremlin
figures in response to hostile
and illegal Russian
activity in the US.
Britain is braced for a Russian
response to its sanctions
by the weekend and I'm told tonight
that the UK has further measures
to announce when that happens.
Even the Leader of the Opposition
says the evidence now points
to Russian complicity.
But, of course, the Putin
government denies it.
Here's former Kremlin
adviser Alexander Nekrassov
with his Take of the Week.
There's a chill in
the air in Britain.
Theresa May, the ice queen, has sent
a message to President Putin.
"Take back half of your diplomats
and get ready for your oligarchs
"in London to get frisked.
"And no Prince William or Boris
Johnson going to your World Cup".
But jokes aside, the situation
is serious, with three people,
including the ex-Russian spy
Sergei Skripal, in a critical
condition after a suspected chemical
attacks in Salisbury.
The British government thinks
Russia is behind it.
Moscow is denying it,
but London isn't buying it.
Let's make one thing clear.
Mr Skripal ended up in the UK
in a spy swap nearly ten years ago,
and security services never go
after spooks who've been exchanged.
It's naive to assume that only
Russia has access to the nerve
agent dubbed Novichok,
which had first been produced
in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
It is very probable that most
laboratories, like Porton Down,
have possession of it.
Rogue agents and terrorists
could have got their hands
on the nerve agents,
not forgetting groups
and individuals that
have an interest in framing Russia,
like Isis or some oligarchs
living in London.
Theresa May has allowed herself
to be dragged into the media's
so she had no choice but to act.
And she sent an ultimatum to Moscow.
or your diplomats get it".
Moscow ignored the ultimatum and 23
Russian diplomats were told
to leave, and no British officials
are going to the World Cup.
Make no mistake, the incident
in Salisbury is a grave one.
But Russian gas will continue
to heat British homes and BP
will continue to make
billions in Russia.
argue, life goes on.
I know it's Machiavellian,
but that's how it is.
And Alexander is with us now.
Welcome to the programme. Michael,
how sure are you that Russia is
behind the Salisbury attack?
behind what the Prime Minister said,
it is either that Russia has
attacked us, or it has lost control
of this agent. And the Russians were
invited to give an explanation. Can
I say broadly I think this week has
made me so thankful that I live in a
Liberal democracy with an
accountable government whose main
purpose is to protect its citizens,
and Russia, I'm afraid, is a
kleptocracy which has turned into a
Mafia state. The Russian state has,
for centuries I would say, murdered
its own citizens. It did so under
the Czar, under Stalin on an
industrial scale, and it continues
It is not murdering its own
citizens on an industrial scale
Why don't you listen to me, I
said Stalin did it on an industrial
scale, and it is continuing to
murder its citizens today but not on
an industrial scale.
How sure are
you that Russia is behind the
I think it's fairly clear
that all roads point to Russia. It's
not just a question of the nerve
agent that was used. It's also that
this fits with a pattern of
behaviour we have seen from Russia
across the world, but including in
Britain in recent years. And it is
also the fact that there is a fairly
clear motive. It is not just the
identity of the person targeted,
alongside his family, but also that
we have presidential elections on
Sunday in Russia and it seems there
is a very clear reason why the
Russian government would want to
What would the reason be?
seems fairly obvious to me that
Putin is very, very keen to see
turnout increased. And that provides
a motive. It says to me that when
Theresa May said, we want you to
come and explain yourselves, we
should have seen a much better
reaction from the Russian government
if there wasn't a clear motive.
roads lead to Russia.
I don't see
that. First of all, why would Putin
wants this before the election? Do
you think Russians are keen on
seeing chemical weapons used to kill
All of the state
media organisations immediately
started pumping out a message about
Western conspiracies, the sort of
thing you were repeating on that
screen, to be honest. It suits
Putin's agenda to have some kind of
alliance of Western powers being
tough about Russia, because it works
with his narrative.
you don't have to be a supporter of
Putin, will regard the victim of the
attack as a traitor.
Yes, but he was
exchanged in a Speidi swap and
security services do not go after
these people, because the whole
concept -- concept of a spy swap is
that you don't go after these
people. It is a sort of immunity
Remake it sounds as if
Russia plays by the rules but it
Security services have to
play by the rules about -- otherwise
they kill each other randomly.
of the reasons why British
authorities, particularly chemical
weapons experts, are sure it is
Russia is because of the Novichok
nerve gas, which only Russia has
produced. Russia did not tell us it
was producing it. It was only when
the Soviet Union broke up that we
discovered it. The idea, as you
said, that Isis or other terrorists
could use it, it is a really
dangerous thing to use and has to be
done in a skilled way. If you make a
mistake preparing it, not only would
you kill yourself but everybody in
all of the streets around you.
went further and said it might be a
Russian dissident or plutocrat.
First, let me give you some facts
which point to other countries and
groups. The inventor and creator of
Novichok lives in America since
1996. Do you really believe that the
Americans did not talk to him, did
not find out his secrets, what he
invented and so on?
So the Americans
are behind it?
No, I'm telling you
about the spread of Novichok.
the international chemical
agreements, to which Russia is a
party, Britain, Russia and America
are allowed to hold minute
quantities of this, so they can work
on antidotes, if it should appear,
as happened in Salisbury, and so
they can keep an eye on whether it
is spreading around the world. That
is not in doubt. The question is,
the only country that has produced
it as a weapon is Russia.
Why do you think it could have
disappeared from other laboratories
in the world?
Other than Porton
down, an American one and Russian
one, it has not been in other
laboratories in the world that there
was one major laboratory in central
Russia that produced weapons grade
stuff that was found in Salisbury.
The words highly possible applying
to Russian involvement is not
definite. A follow-up on Twitter
said that if you are told if
something is highly possible will
open, you will not jump. It is not
dead certain evidence.
highly possible. We do not have
definitive evidence. I understand
that. There seems to be a lot of
accumulating stuff. If not Russia
then who? If it was Russia, what was
I think it might
firstly be to see if Nato had been
split at a time when Britain is
involved in Brexit and Donald Trump
by highly difficult to come out and
condemn Russia. It could be to send
a warning to people who are involved
in counterintelligence at the
moment. It may be that the British
are having success in penetrating
Russian intelligence at the moment
and then need to be people who
Russians who are helping our
I think Putin
might firstly to deny it but denies
it was such an arrogance that it is
difficult to take that denial is
seriously. On the one hand he is
saying to the Russian people we are
not murderers and on the other hand
he is saying, look, we can get
people wherever they are in the
world. This traitor has died and we
are a world power and we have
recovered from our humiliation. We
are dictating terms to the west.
That is a popular message.
manages to have it both ways by
these smug denials which no one can
take seriously, in my view.
you treat Russian people as if they
I love the Russian
The Russian government. They
are saying, wonderful, our president
can order a hit and it is carried
out. They don't like that. I don't
understand. Andrew asked a very good
question. What is the reasoning
behind hit? They have the World Cup
which is in danger. They have the
election, which causes a problem.
The timing is already questionable
for Russia. I don't understand the
It does not work. The only
credible alternative candidate in
the election has been brutally
attacked and has been badly injured.
All the other candidates have been
forced to withdraw from the
The election is a farce.
Why does he need to do this? Why did
he need to do this.
I did not say it
particularly had anything to do with
the election. To be fair to
Alexander, when we kill a terrorist
with a drone, British people are
happy about that. I don't dispute
that the Russian people might be
quite happy that the traitor is
Was the response from
Theresa May robust enough?
it was right. If you look at what
happened in Salisbury, there is... I
think there is a real question about
the timing of this attack. As I was
saying earlier, the question about
presidential elections, a president
who was worried about turnout in
those elections and the level of the
attack demanded a response from the
UK but not necessarily a collective,
serious response that would
seriously frightened Russia. You can
feel it from the sense of this
conversation we are having. If
anyone sees the things that Russia
is upset we are not sending
ministers to the World Cup then
Sanctions are hurting
The sanctions that would
really hurt Russia is if we went
You have made that point
very well. I wonder if Mr Putin, who
is clearly going to have a landslide
victory, is he in the long ones
still dealing with a position of
weakness and does he need to do
things like this almost in a bread
and circuses way because it keeps
the population? He presides over an
economy smaller than Italy. He
presides over an economy
overwhelmingly dependent on fossil
fuels. It has an industrial capacity
which is crumbling. Many Russians
have left the country in recent
years there is almost of third World
standards in places. Is he not the
strongman we think he is?
discussing a very specific problem
about this incident in Salisbury and
have Russia can be connected or not
connected to it. And I don't really
see any connection. OK, here's a
weak leader. Let's assume that. I am
just trying to balance this with the
problem. He is a weak leader. How
does that help him? It does not. I
cannot see a logical explanation for
Putin and his people to go after a
man who is not even known in Russia.
Nobody knows about him. Very low
grade. There is no point.
consider the point was to provoke a
There are people here in
Britain where there is damage,
serious damage. Litvinenko a small
fish as well. Why was he murdered?
In my opinion, the Russian state had
nothing to do with it at all.
don't have time for that.
grateful to you for coming in. Thank
you very much.
Mark Lynas late.
Who he, I hear you ask?
Well, Mr Lynas is a former
eco-warrior who has lately
repented his activist past.
He revealed, this week,
how he attempted to kidnap Dolly
the cloned sheep from her shed
at the Roslin Institute
The plot was foiled
because the raiders found the shed
so full of the little woolly
baa-baaing blighters that Dolly
was impossible to single out.
It was probably then
that it dawned on Mr Lynas
what the word clone means.
One man who will always
stand out in a crowd
is the larger-than-life TV
presenter, lawyer, and former mayor
of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer,
who's putting "fighting back"
in the Spotlight.
And, if you'd like to get in touch
via the Tweeter, the Fleecebook,
and the jolly old Snapnumpty, well,
I await your missives
with all the enthusiasm
of a Scottish panda anticipating
an Edinburgh Zoo booty call
on a chilly March evening.
In other words, not...at...all.
There is a saying, attributed
to sundry famous figures,
that "a lie can travel half way
around the world before
the truth puts its boots on".
This week, a study of more
than 120,000 rumours
and false news stories,
spread on Twitter,
seemed to bear this out.
Researchers from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology found that
fake news travelled faster
and reached more
people than the truth.
In fact, false stories
were 70% more likely to be
retweeted than true stories.
Isn't citizen journalism wonderful?
The most common subject matter,
of course, was false political news.
But don't get too
downhearted, dear viewer.
Spring is a-coming,
despite this weekend's reprise
of the beast from the east,
and the truth is out there.
I'm sure we'll find it one day.
We sent the Telegraph's Liam
Halligan to search for any green
shoots of recovery in our weekly,
100% trustworthy, political roundup.
The Chancellor says there's light
at the end of the tunnel.
He's feeling positively Tigger-like.
The economy's resurgent.
Spring has surely sprung.
If, in the autumn, the public
finances continue to reflect
the improvement that today's report
hints at, then, in accordance
with our balanced approach,
and using the flexibility provided
by the fiscal rules,
I would have capacity to enable
further increases in public spending
and investment in the years ahead.
That's a deluge on those hoping
for a springtime spending boost.
We'll have to wait till
the autumn at least
for the succour of state largesse.
So where are those
fabled green shoots?
Rummaging in the fiscal undergrowth
- a tribute there to David Bellamy -
it's difficult to spot any kind
of announcement in this hacked
back spring statement.
I won't be producing a red
book today, Mr Speaker,
but of course I can't speak
for the right honourable gentleman.
No mention indeed by John McDonnell
of his hero, Chairman Mao.
No chance in his mind a thousand
Tory flowers might bloom.
Does the Chancellor really believe
the NHS can wait another eight
months for the life-saving funds
that it needs?
How many people have to die waiting
in an ambulance before he acts?
Theresa May's convinced Moscow's
to blame for the attack in Salisbury
on double agent Sergei Skripal
and his daughter, Yulia.
She gave Putin a midnight deadline.
Either this was a direct act
by the Russian state
against our country,
or the Russian government lost
control of its potentially
catastrophically damaging nerve
agent, and allowed it to get
into the hands of others.
Jeremy Corbyn focused his ire
not so much on Moscow
as on the British government.
He cast aspersions
on Conservative Party finances.
There has been over
£800,000 worth of donations
to the Conservative Party,
to the Conservative Party
from Russian oligarchs
and their associates.
The Absolute Boy was scolded
by Matron May and some on
on his own backbenches.
And when it came to
dealing with Russia,
the Prime Minister was adamant.
Calling a spade a spade.
Under the Vienna Convention,
the United Kingdom will now expel 23
Russian diplomats who have been
identified as undeclared
They have just one week to leave.
This will be the single biggest
expulsion for over 30 years and it
reflects the fact that this is not
the first time that the Russian
state has acted against our country.
Corbyn has condemned these attacks,
but he says before expelling
diplomats, Britain should have
heeded Russian requests
for the nerve agent to be
America and France have
backed Britain, for now,
but they will want to see
test results, too.
How has she responded to the Russian
government's request for a sample
of the agent used in the Salisbury
attack, to run its own tests?
And while suspending planned
does the Prime Minister agree
that it is essential to maintain
a robust dialogue with Russia?
More sobering news from MP
Lucy Allen, who highlighted
systemic sexual abuse,
often against white working-class
girls, in her Telford constituency.
These young girls are too often
with multiple vulnerabilities.
And that is what the perpetrators,
that is why the perpetrators
are targeting them.
And it is also why,
so often they are miscast
as bringing it on themselves.
They are miscast as being indulging
in risky behaviour,
as being promiscuous,
as somehow being to blame
for what is happening to them.
A lesser spotted Lib Dem?
Oh, it's Vince Cable,
using his party conference speech
to brand all Brexit voters racist.
Springtime, or a new yellow dawn?
Too many were driven
by nostalgia for a world
where passports were blue,
faces were white and the map
was coloured Imperial think.
Well, if none of the news can warm
the cockles of my heart,
I'll have to have a good
old-fashioned cup of tea and bask
in those lovely warm winds blowing
across the sea from Brussels.
It's time that we go
beyond what I should say
the slogans, the sound bites.
We present what I should call
a concept, a vision,
an architecture for the future,
because that is what is
lacking for the moment.
Then the time will come when you'll
regret your decision.
It's time to face up the hard facts.
Beware the Ides of March,
or a Belgian scorned.
Well, at least in Britain's Brexit
Phoenix must be about to hatch.
Any signs of life?
Something, surely, soon?
Our apologies to Camley Street
Natural Park in King's Cross
for the havoc Liam Halligan wreaked
on your shrubs.
Has Jeremy Corbyn misjudged the
Russian business or is he being true
to his views?
The problem is that in
the statement Theresa May made,
Labour were not clear about the
very, very strong probability, let
me put it that way, that Russia was
responsible, which diverted all of
the focus of the debate onto whether
Russia actually did it which seems
not really, despite the conversation
we have just had, to be a topic much
up for discussion, and diverted that
away from quite a serious point. It
wasn't very well received and it
shouldn't be party political, the
point about where the money years.
If you are serious about taking on
Russian aggression, you have to
think seriously about taking on
where Russian money lies, and much
of it is in London, laundered
through the UK. That means you have
to start thinking about doing things
like Labour has been doing, tabling
amendments to the money-laundering
Bill, which means we will be able to
clamp down on that money.
If you can
identify it as money from people
involved in human rights abuses,
corruption or close to the Putin
regime. The British have not gone
far enough on that, have they?
the money? No. You said earlier that
further measures are expected in
response to the retaliation.
why they have kept some stuff back.
I think that is probably the case. I
think Corbyn did get it wrong. I
think he got it wrong basically
because he does not like the West.
He does not like the United States
in particular, does not like Nato.
So he is being consistent.
fair, he has been cleared today.
is not a credible turn to Prime
He wrote a piece for the
Guardian online today in which he
said clearly that Russia was
He didn't, actually. He
said that the evidence points
towards Russia but that it could
have been Russian gangsters.
echoed a lot of Theresa May's
language today. I appreciate that
wasn't clear earlier in the week,
certainly not when his spokespeople
did a media briefing. But it has
been made clear. Not just in this
piece today but the Labour Shadow
Defence Secretary, the Shadow
Foreign Secretary and the shadow
Brexit secretary on Question Time
today have all been clear.
talking over each other. People will
not be able to hear.
If you raise
the serious possibility that this
could be Russian Mafia, rather than
Mr Putin, then why would you support
expelling 23 diplomats?
I am not
completely sure we are disagreeing
with each other here. My point is
that that is the problem, that we
shouldn't be discussing who was
responsible for this attack. We
should be discussing how the UK
responds, and particularly the
importance that we both opened the
programme with, making sure Russia
cannot divide the UK, the US, France
and Germany in responding in a
Democrats have found their voice on
this. For how long?
For how long
Do they continue to speak up?
I think what you have seen emerge
over the last few days is the social
Democratic position, and a fairly
clear position. If you look at the
range of voices across the Shadow
Cabinet and the backbenchers, there
has been much made of the split
between the front and back bench in
the Labour Party in recent years,
but actually you are hearing us
speaking with one voice. That has
been very important, not least
because if we are serious about
going after, standing up to Russian
aggression, we have to go after the
money and there has been far too
little debate about that.
I am not
sure you are speaking with one voice
at all, because I have three
different voices down here from Mr
Corbyn to Emily Thornbury to Seamus
Milne, saying different things. Then
they come to the Tories. When you
look at our growth prospects as
outlined by the OBR, why did Philip
Hammond have any right to be
Well, the deficit
reduction has been quite impressive
so he has the right to be cheerful
Well, yes, it
has taken a long time but it was the
point of the whole thing. We could
not go on having the largest deficit
in the European Union, adding to
national debt that has reached 85%
If you look at the forecast,
it forecasts an average of 1.5%
growth per year for the next five
years. There is no appear reared in
post-war British history when there
has been five years of growth that
low. Never. If it was to happen, I
would suggest to you the Tories have
no right to be cheerful at all.
reason he would have been cheerful
was that the OBR forecast in
November was inverted by the
forecasted produced in time for the
May statement. So he probably
thinks, as I think, that the OBR
forecasts are not worth the paper
they are not written on.
changed its forecast this year by
On growth. It got the
productivity figure madly wrong. I
think he probably thinks there is
better ahead and he will not be too
depressed by OBR forecasts.
be worried about the trend in
household debt, because in recent
years we have seen a government very
determined to get debt of the public
balance sheet but instead it has
been pushing it to families,
individuals and institutions. We
have hospital trusts now across the
country £1 billion in debt, families
whose debt levels have now reached
almost 50% of household income. And
this is a real economic problem,
because as we leave the EU, the
resilience in the country is not
I want to come onto one other
thing which is really important.
Rochdale, rather, Oxford, now
Telford. Everybody knows what I'm
talking about. Why is this so
widespread? And if it has been
revealed in these towns, it must, I
would suggest, still be happening in
other places in this country, to our
national shame. Do you agree?
Completely. And what is worse about
it is that what we are learning
coming out of Telford is repeating
exactly the same patterns and
messages we have seen coming out of
those other areas. You have a
pattern of grooming gangs preying on
young people, not just young women
but young men as well, variety of
backgrounds, who are particularly
vulnerable. And then you have a
pattern of people in authority
either not recognising it, or seeing
those young people as part of the
Final thought from you on
pattern of Telford.
I would endorse
what Lisa has said.
what Lisa has said. Failure to
investigate, obstructed by political
correctness and unwillingness to
look into the thing in case they are
accused of racial bias.
blaming the girls.
Lisa made that point already. All of
this is terrible and it has to
change. Let's hope it is changing.
But I think the MP that we saw there
raising the issue has raised it
extremely well and has put it
absolutely back in focus. And police
forces and other agencies need to be
very aware of this now.
These days politics increasingly
resembles an episode
of the over-the-top cult tabloid
shock-fest which once
was the Jerry Springer Show.
If it was still around,
this week alone would have given
us a robust exchange
on "The President Sacked Me
Because I Called Him
a Moron", a confessional
"Bad Vlad's Made Me Mad",
and a whimsical "My Chancellor
Thinks He's A Winnie The Pooh
Rowdiest of all, of course,
would have been "I'm a Porn Star
and I Slept with the President".
Obviously, I made that last one up.
At least that's what the White House
lawyers insisted I say.
Like the Jerry Springer Show of old,
these sorts of stories thrive
on a desire to grab control
of the narrative, set
the record straight,
right perceived or hushed up wrongs.
That's why we're putting "fight
back" in the Spotlight.
We have all been reminded this week,
it is tough at the top.
Just when you think you have
got your rivals licked,
they all fight back at once.
Across the country and further
afield, we saw that nobody
stays on top for long.
The Democrats snatched
a surprise victory after
going the full 12 rounds
in Pennsylvanian Trump territory.
We are still fighting the fight.
It's not over yet.
We're going to fight
all the way to...
All the way to the end.
It took a little longer
than we thought but we did it.
Down but not out, Steve Bannon
is still trying to fight
everyone and everything,
all at once.
Let them call you racists.
Let them call you xenophobes.
Let them call you nativists.
Wear it is a badge of honour.
And this week, animal rights
activists tried to fight back
on behalf of the underdog,
storming Crufts in an attempt
to steal, or should that be rescue,
the winning animal.
Angela Merkel showed the world
you didn't need to be taught any
new tricks as the German
Chancellor knocked out
the competition yet again.
And, after years of political
sparring, of gun violence,
the schoolchildren in the USA have
decided that enough is enough
as they organised mass walk-outs
across the country and took
the fight to Washington.
There has been a fight
for change for a long time.
But there's never been
a more powerful movement
than what the students of Brooklyn
and New York City in this nation
have done these last few weeks.
We will not sit in our classrooms
wondering why Congress is not
working as hard as we are.
I admire you and I appreciate you.
Jerry Springer knows a thing or two
about fighting back.
But can you always stay on top?
And Jerry is with us now.
That was a great film.
That brought back memories, the
final shot. The big fight back for
you, in America, from your point of
view, are the Democrats. They had a
good result in Pennsylvania in the
18th district, a district that had
gone over the 20% lead for Mr Trump
over Mrs Clinton, and the Democrats
just got it back, they just won it.
It is quite Trump territory, but
overall how would you rate the
I don't think there is
any question that in November the
Democrats are going to do very well.
Will it be enough of a wave to take
control of Congress again? That, we
don't know. But clearly right now
the resistance to Trump, President
Trump, is significant. In every
poll, you never gets above 40%, and
that is unheard of for a sitting
President in his first year.
shouldn't you be more confident that
you would at least take the House
and maybe the Senate?
The reason you
can't be totally confident is
because we have a system where the
congressional districts are drawn
every ten years by state legislature
laws. So the way they are drawn,
they favour the Republicans, because
what the Republican state houses
did, they piled the democratic
population all into one district and
then spread the Republicans out so
they would win more. So even though
more Americans vote for Democrats
than Republicans, we have more
Republican congressman than
Who is leading the fight
back? This is the thing I find
interesting. Every time I look at
the Democrats and, we are on our way
back, the people saying this, their
combined is about 350.
But here is the deal. The person who
is leading the fight back, in a
sense, is Trump. It is the reaction,
America's reaction to the fact that
we have Trump as President. And I
think it's important to say, when we
are in another country, for example,
when people make fun of us because
we have Trump as President, it's
important to remember that Hillary
Clinton got 3 million more votes
than Trump. I understand Trump is
the President, but let me just say
it is not a reflection of America to
say that Trump is the President,
because America voted for Clinton.
If you were not fighting an
electoral college election, it you
would fight it entirely different,
so I am not sure of the comparison.
I am more concerned about the future
and I don't know how you fight back
unless you have a leader. And is
Bernie Sanders the leader again?
Who would it be?
not a personality thing. I'm telling
you, right now the women's movement
is very significant in America. And
then on the issue of race and
multicultural America, this is the
first time in American history we
have had a President who is opposed
to the idea of a multicultural
America. We are the only country in
the history of the world to have
been created by an idea. Most
countries start out either as a
religion, a race, ethnic group. We
started out, first there was the
idea, let's have one place on earth
where it would not matter where your
parents were from. That's the dream,
the goal, and Trump is opposed to
that. And then the Muslims, the
I know you don't like
Trump, that's not the point.
nice person, he shouldn't be
I would not even go down
that road with you. On fightback, I
still don't see, given that the
Democrats have the demography in
their favour, they have young people
in their favour as well and more
increasingly they have women, too.
But I don't know of any fightback
that works unless you coalesce
around one or two people who
represent all that.
election is in 2020. The primary 's
will start towards the beginning of
2019. Excuse me, 2020. Once the
primary 's start, the candidates
that will enter the race, someone
Who is your person?
don't have one yet.
that but a moment ago you said it is
not a personality thing, but it is.
We are not so concerned over here
about congressional elections. We
are worried about the presidency
because it affects people outside
the United States. And of course you
need a candidate. Last time, you put
up a candidate said Nick -- 70% of
Americans disliked, and that is why
Most of them voted for
her. They might not have wanted to
Everybody knows the rules
of the American system and Hillary
Clinton for the bad campaign because
she was fighting in the wrong places
under the rules of that election.
She lost fair and square, firstly
because she was incompetent and
secondly because Americans disliked.
So you've got to find a candidate
better than that.
I understand but I
don't agree with your assumptions,
with all Jura Specht. In terms of
competency, it wasn't even
Competency in fighting
It ignores the
structural problems the Democrats
have, which you see for centre-left
parties across the world. One of the
problems the Democrats had when I
went to visit after the EU
referendum, they were talking very
much about the same thing Labour is
grappling with, about younger people
in cities who have a different
outlook from older people in towns.
I have to interrupt because we have
overrun. Briefly, what are you doing
here, other than being with us?
Everyone always says that, what are
you doing here? I am appearing on
some programmes, but none as good as
yours. And I am going to Dublin on
I am glad you found
time to be with us. Never come here
without visiting us. I can reveal
that CBS News is going to run the
Stormy Daniels 60 minute interview
on the 25th of March. Stormy Daniels
is the pawn star.
That's your lot for
tonight, but not for us.
Because, inspired by news that
humans survived a super-volcano
eruption 74,000 years ago by hiding
out in South African caves,
we're off to Loulou's,
which is as close as you can get
to a cave in Mayfair.
Lisa is bringing her
ethically-sourced Camden Market
black-out curtains and Michael
has his SAS survival
guide, signed by Mrs T,
as well as his souvenir
Bluebell Railway penknife.
We're going to hole up in the bar
until all this nerve gas
and depressing news blows over.
And, if the months go by and we have
to subsist on pork scratchings
and Molly's dog biscuits,
well, at least they'll take
the taste away from the Blue Nun.
let Vladimir Putin's
election memorabilia bite.
Andrew Neil reviews the political week with Michael Portillo and Lisa Nandy, plus Liam Halligan with a film rounding up the headlines.
Studio guests are former Kremlin advisor Alexander Nekrassov looking at why he thinks the UK is wrong to blame Russia and Theresa May is taking on Vladimir Putin to cover up her own problems, while Jerry Springer puts 'fighting back' in the spotlight section.