15/03/2018 This Week


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15/03/2018

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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LineFromTo

This Week was born with a silver

spoon in its mouth.

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spoon in its mouth. We trained

alongside the snowflake Yentobs at

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the BBC. We ran our own independent

television programme out of a broom

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cupboard in Westminster. We liked

the way it was. But this week, has

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everything changed?

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everything changed? There is a

distinct chill in the air, so are we

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heading for a new Cold War?

The

British government wants you to

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think you are not safe from Vladimir

Putin. This is straight out of a

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Cold War play, but it is all hot

air.

And is the economy safe under

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spreadsheet Phil?

Spreadsheet Phil

says he feels like Tigger, and at

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least his non-statement had some

good jokes.

These are topsy-turvy

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times, but are we seeing a fightback

from those who find themselves on

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the wrong side of history?

America

has a President on the wrong side of

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history. We've got to fight back.

There's only one way to fix it.

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Endure tonight's edition of this

week.

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Evenin' all.

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Welcome to This Week,

the week in which McMafia went

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from expensive BBC Drama to scary

lead on BBC News.

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The British Government,

its major allies and pretty much

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all chemical weapons experts

are in little doubt that the use

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of the deadly nerve gas Novichok

in the attempt to assassinate

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a former Russian spy now living

in Salisbury clearly puts

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President Putin's Russia

in the frame.

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The Maybot managed two statements

in the Commons this week saying

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as much, without malfunction.

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She even managed a fist

bump with an onlooker

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when she visited Salisbury today.

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That new people-friendly software

seems to be bedding in nicely.

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But Dear Jezza was widely

criticised, not least

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by his own side, for being less

than convinced about Kremlin

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culpability and for seeming more

angry about rich Russian emigres

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making donations to the Tory party

than a foreign power sanctioning

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murder on British soil.

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But that's unfair.

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I can see where Jezza's coming from.

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After all, in almost every major

foreign policy issue for the past 40

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years you've unfailingly taken

the anti-Western line.

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You've rarely said anything hostile

about the Soviet Union

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or the Russian Federation

which succeeded it.

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You even went on a motorbike holiday

to one of its colonies.

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With Diane Abbott.

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That's sacrifice for you.

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You've never mustered your Stop

the War mates outside

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the Russian Embassy

to embarrass those within.

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You've toiled under the studio

lights of Russia Today,

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even when only three conspiracy nut

jobs and your cat were watching.

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You've even hired a chief spin

doctor who's opined that

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old Uncle Joe Stalin wasn't such

a bad chap and the Soviet Union

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not such a bad place.

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And yet still these damned Ruskies

give all their ill-gotten gains

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to the bloody Tories!

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I mean, I can see why he's miffed.

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I'll bet you would be too.

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Speaking of those who never

get their just desserts,

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I'm joined on the sofa tonight

by two lost causes who've never done

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anything to deserve any payback

whatsoever and to whom no sentient

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Russian oligarch would dream

of donating a single kopeck.

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I speak of course of Michael

#choochoo Portillo and Lisa

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#northernsoul Nandy.

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Welcome to you both. Your moment of

the week.

It came this morning, or

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at the end of yesterday, when the

United States, Britain, France and

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Germany issued a joint statement

condemning the Russian action. The

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reason it was the moment of the week

was that I fear that Putin had

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succeeded in splitting Nato apart.

At the beginning of the week, Donald

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Trump could not find words to

condemn Russia. There was an

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irresponsible statement from a

French diplomat yesterday talking

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about fantasy politics being

practised in Britain. I thought,

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this is what Putin wanted, to show

the West split asunder, and he has

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succeeded. Luckily, at the last

moment both France and the United

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States have recognised the danger

inherent in that. If we do not stand

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united we are in great difficulty

and he will have won an enormous

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victory, Putin, so thank goodness

even the Trump White House and the

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Macron presidency have rowed in

behind and there was a strong

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statement, backed up by the

Secretary-General of Nato. This is a

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moment where one says a disaster has

been averted.

Lisa.

This is why we

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shouldn't just sit and gossip about

what we had 30 in the Green room,

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because I was going to say the same

thing. We had these moments of

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hydrometer or week in the House of

Commons with a big clash over the

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spring statement, free school meals.

But this is the moment where it felt

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like we stopped talking about who

was responsible for the attack on

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British soil and started thinking

seriously about how we would deal

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with Russian aggression collectively

rather than as individual nations

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which is not productive. It was a

good thing for the country.

Two

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similar moments, with a different

nuance.

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Britain's major allies,

from Canada to Germany

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and including Mr Trump's America,

rallied behind the country

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today, less than 24 hours

after the Prime Minister unveiled

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a range of retaliatory

measures against Russia,

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in response to the attempted murder

of a former Russian spy

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in the genteel cathedral

city of Salisbury.

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The British government believes

that the deadly nerve gas used

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was Russian and that it was deployed

on British soil by the Russian

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state or its surrogates.

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Nato in general and America

in particular agree.

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Washington today announced fresh

sanctions against major Kremlin

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figures in response to hostile

and illegal Russian

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activity in the US.

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Britain is braced for a Russian

response to its sanctions

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by the weekend and I'm told tonight

that the UK has further measures

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to announce when that happens.

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Even the Leader of the Opposition

says the evidence now points

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to Russian complicity.

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But, of course, the Putin

government denies it.

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Here's former Kremlin

adviser Alexander Nekrassov

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with his Take of the Week.

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There's a chill in

the air in Britain.

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Theresa May, the ice queen, has sent

a message to President Putin.

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"Take back half of your diplomats

and get ready for your oligarchs

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"in London to get frisked.

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"And no Prince William or Boris

Johnson going to your World Cup".

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But jokes aside, the situation

is serious, with three people,

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including the ex-Russian spy

Sergei Skripal, in a critical

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condition after a suspected chemical

attacks in Salisbury.

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The British government thinks

Russia is behind it.

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Moscow is denying it,

but London isn't buying it.

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Let's make one thing clear.

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Mr Skripal ended up in the UK

in a spy swap nearly ten years ago,

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and security services never go

after spooks who've been exchanged.

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It's naive to assume that only

Russia has access to the nerve

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agent dubbed Novichok,

which had first been produced

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in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

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It is very probable that most

laboratories, like Porton Down,

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have possession of it.

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Rogue agents and terrorists

could have got their hands

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on the nerve agents,

not forgetting groups

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and individuals that

have an interest in framing Russia,

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like Isis or some oligarchs

living in London.

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Theresa May has allowed herself

to be dragged into the media's

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anti-Russian frenzy,

so she had no choice but to act.

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And she sent an ultimatum to Moscow.

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"Explain yourself,

or your diplomats get it".

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Moscow ignored the ultimatum and 23

Russian diplomats were told

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to leave, and no British officials

are going to the World Cup.

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Make no mistake, the incident

in Salisbury is a grave one.

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But Russian gas will continue

to heat British homes and BP

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will continue to make

billions in Russia.

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While politicians

argue, life goes on.

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I know it's Machiavellian,

but that's how it is.

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And Alexander is with us now.

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Welcome to the programme. Michael,

how sure are you that Russia is

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behind the Salisbury attack?

I am

behind what the Prime Minister said,

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it is either that Russia has

attacked us, or it has lost control

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of this agent. And the Russians were

invited to give an explanation. Can

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I say broadly I think this week has

made me so thankful that I live in a

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Liberal democracy with an

accountable government whose main

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purpose is to protect its citizens,

and Russia, I'm afraid, is a

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kleptocracy which has turned into a

Mafia state. The Russian state has,

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for centuries I would say, murdered

its own citizens. It did so under

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the Czar, under Stalin on an

industrial scale, and it continues

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today.

It is not murdering its own

citizens on an industrial scale

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today.

Why don't you listen to me, I

said Stalin did it on an industrial

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scale, and it is continuing to

murder its citizens today but not on

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an industrial scale.

How sure are

you that Russia is behind the

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attack?

I think it's fairly clear

that all roads point to Russia. It's

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not just a question of the nerve

agent that was used. It's also that

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this fits with a pattern of

behaviour we have seen from Russia

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across the world, but including in

Britain in recent years. And it is

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also the fact that there is a fairly

clear motive. It is not just the

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identity of the person targeted,

alongside his family, but also that

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we have presidential elections on

Sunday in Russia and it seems there

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is a very clear reason why the

Russian government would want to

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see...

What would the reason be?

It

seems fairly obvious to me that

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Putin is very, very keen to see

turnout increased. And that provides

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a motive. It says to me that when

Theresa May said, we want you to

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come and explain yourselves, we

should have seen a much better

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reaction from the Russian government

if there wasn't a clear motive.

All

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roads lead to Russia.

I don't see

that. First of all, why would Putin

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wants this before the election? Do

you think Russians are keen on

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seeing chemical weapons used to kill

somebody abroad?

All of the state

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media organisations immediately

started pumping out a message about

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Western conspiracies, the sort of

thing you were repeating on that

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screen, to be honest. It suits

Putin's agenda to have some kind of

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alliance of Western powers being

tough about Russia, because it works

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with his narrative.

Most Russians,

you don't have to be a supporter of

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Putin, will regard the victim of the

attack as a traitor.

Yes, but he was

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exchanged in a Speidi swap and

security services do not go after

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these people, because the whole

concept -- concept of a spy swap is

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that you don't go after these

people. It is a sort of immunity

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from attack.

Remake it sounds as if

Russia plays by the rules but it

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does not.

Security services have to

play by the rules about -- otherwise

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they kill each other randomly.

One

of the reasons why British

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authorities, particularly chemical

weapons experts, are sure it is

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Russia is because of the Novichok

nerve gas, which only Russia has

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produced. Russia did not tell us it

was producing it. It was only when

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the Soviet Union broke up that we

discovered it. The idea, as you

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said, that Isis or other terrorists

could use it, it is a really

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dangerous thing to use and has to be

done in a skilled way. If you make a

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mistake preparing it, not only would

you kill yourself but everybody in

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all of the streets around you.

You

went further and said it might be a

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Russian dissident or plutocrat.

First, let me give you some facts

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which point to other countries and

groups. The inventor and creator of

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Novichok lives in America since

1996. Do you really believe that the

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Americans did not talk to him, did

not find out his secrets, what he

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invented and so on?

So the Americans

are behind it?

No, I'm telling you

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about the spread of Novichok.

Under

the international chemical

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agreements, to which Russia is a

party, Britain, Russia and America

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are allowed to hold minute

quantities of this, so they can work

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on antidotes, if it should appear,

as happened in Salisbury, and so

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they can keep an eye on whether it

is spreading around the world. That

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is not in doubt. The question is,

the only country that has produced

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it as a weapon is Russia.

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Why do you think it could have

disappeared from other laboratories

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in the world?

Other than Porton

down, an American one and Russian

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one, it has not been in other

laboratories in the world that there

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was one major laboratory in central

Russia that produced weapons grade

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stuff that was found in Salisbury.

The words highly possible applying

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to Russian involvement is not

definite. A follow-up on Twitter

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said that if you are told if

something is highly possible will

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open, you will not jump. It is not

dead certain evidence.

They said

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highly possible. We do not have

definitive evidence. I understand

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that. There seems to be a lot of

accumulating stuff. If not Russia

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then who? If it was Russia, what was

the purpose?

I think it might

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firstly be to see if Nato had been

split at a time when Britain is

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involved in Brexit and Donald Trump

by highly difficult to come out and

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condemn Russia. It could be to send

a warning to people who are involved

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in counterintelligence at the

moment. It may be that the British

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are having success in penetrating

Russian intelligence at the moment

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and then need to be people who

warned.

Russians who are helping our

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intelligence services?

I think Putin

might firstly to deny it but denies

0:16:440:16:50

it was such an arrogance that it is

difficult to take that denial is

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seriously. On the one hand he is

saying to the Russian people we are

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not murderers and on the other hand

he is saying, look, we can get

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people wherever they are in the

world. This traitor has died and we

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are a world power and we have

recovered from our humiliation. We

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are dictating terms to the west.

That is a popular message.

He

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manages to have it both ways by

these smug denials which no one can

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take seriously, in my view.

I think

you treat Russian people as if they

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are bloodthirsty.

I love the Russian

people.

The Russian government. They

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are saying, wonderful, our president

can order a hit and it is carried

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out. They don't like that. I don't

understand. Andrew asked a very good

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question. What is the reasoning

behind hit? They have the World Cup

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which is in danger. They have the

election, which causes a problem.

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The timing is already questionable

for Russia. I don't understand the

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logic.

It does not work. The only

credible alternative candidate in

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the election has been brutally

attacked and has been badly injured.

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All the other candidates have been

forced to withdraw from the

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election.

The election is a farce.

Why does he need to do this? Why did

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he need to do this.

I did not say it

particularly had anything to do with

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the election. To be fair to

Alexander, when we kill a terrorist

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with a drone, British people are

happy about that. I don't dispute

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that the Russian people might be

quite happy that the traitor is

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killed.

Was the response from

Theresa May robust enough?

I think

0:18:390:18:44

it was right. If you look at what

happened in Salisbury, there is... I

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think there is a real question about

the timing of this attack. As I was

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saying earlier, the question about

presidential elections, a president

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who was worried about turnout in

those elections and the level of the

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attack demanded a response from the

UK but not necessarily a collective,

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serious response that would

seriously frightened Russia. You can

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feel it from the sense of this

conversation we are having. If

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anyone sees the things that Russia

is upset we are not sending

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ministers to the World Cup then

think again.

Sanctions are hurting

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them.

The sanctions that would

really hurt Russia is if we went

0:19:330:19:38

after...

You have made that point

very well. I wonder if Mr Putin, who

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is clearly going to have a landslide

victory, is he in the long ones

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still dealing with a position of

weakness and does he need to do

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things like this almost in a bread

and circuses way because it keeps

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the population? He presides over an

economy smaller than Italy. He

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presides over an economy

overwhelmingly dependent on fossil

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fuels. It has an industrial capacity

which is crumbling. Many Russians

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have left the country in recent

years there is almost of third World

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standards in places. Is he not the

strongman we think he is?

We are

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discussing a very specific problem

about this incident in Salisbury and

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have Russia can be connected or not

connected to it. And I don't really

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see any connection. OK, here's a

weak leader. Let's assume that. I am

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just trying to balance this with the

problem. He is a weak leader. How

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does that help him? It does not. I

cannot see a logical explanation for

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Putin and his people to go after a

man who is not even known in Russia.

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Nobody knows about him. Very low

grade. There is no point.

Unless you

0:21:070:21:15

consider the point was to provoke a

response.

There are people here in

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Britain where there is damage,

serious damage.

0:21:210:21:33

serious damage. Litvinenko a small

fish as well. Why was he murdered?

0:21:330:21:37

In my opinion, the Russian state had

nothing to do with it at all.

We

0:21:370:21:42

don't have time for that.

I'm

grateful to you for coming in. Thank

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you very much.

0:21:490:21:51

It's late.

0:21:510:21:52

Mark Lynas late.

0:21:520:21:53

Who he, I hear you ask?

0:21:530:21:55

Well, Mr Lynas is a former

eco-warrior who has lately

0:21:550:21:57

repented his activist past.

0:21:570:21:58

He revealed, this week,

how he attempted to kidnap Dolly

0:21:580:22:01

the cloned sheep from her shed

at the Roslin Institute

0:22:010:22:03

in Edinburgh.

0:22:030:22:04

The plot was foiled

because the raiders found the shed

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so full of the little woolly

baa-baaing blighters that Dolly

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was impossible to single out.

0:22:110:22:14

It was probably then

that it dawned on Mr Lynas

0:22:140:22:17

what the word clone means.

0:22:170:22:18

One man who will always

stand out in a crowd

0:22:180:22:21

is the larger-than-life TV

presenter, lawyer, and former mayor

0:22:210:22:24

of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer,

who's putting "fighting back"

0:22:240:22:26

in the Spotlight.

0:22:260:22:29

And, if you'd like to get in touch

via the Tweeter, the Fleecebook,

0:22:290:22:32

and the jolly old Snapnumpty, well,

I await your missives

0:22:320:22:35

with all the enthusiasm

of a Scottish panda anticipating

0:22:350:22:38

an Edinburgh Zoo booty call

on a chilly March evening.

0:22:380:22:43

In other words, not...at...all.

0:22:430:22:48

There is a saying, attributed

to sundry famous figures,

0:22:480:22:50

that "a lie can travel half way

around the world before

0:22:500:22:52

the truth puts its boots on".

0:22:520:22:54

This week, a study of more

than 120,000 rumours

0:22:540:22:57

and false news stories,

spread on Twitter,

0:22:570:23:00

seemed to bear this out.

0:23:000:23:01

Researchers from the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology found that

0:23:010:23:04

fake news travelled faster

and reached more

0:23:040:23:07

people than the truth.

0:23:070:23:10

In fact, false stories

were 70% more likely to be

0:23:100:23:12

retweeted than true stories.

0:23:120:23:17

Isn't citizen journalism wonderful?

0:23:170:23:20

The most common subject matter,

of course, was false political news.

0:23:200:23:22

But don't get too

downhearted, dear viewer.

0:23:220:23:24

Spring is a-coming,

despite this weekend's reprise

0:23:240:23:28

of the beast from the east,

and the truth is out there.

0:23:280:23:31

Somewhere.

0:23:310:23:32

I'm sure we'll find it one day.

0:23:320:23:34

We sent the Telegraph's Liam

Halligan to search for any green

0:23:340:23:38

shoots of recovery in our weekly,

100% trustworthy, political roundup.

0:23:380:23:46

The Chancellor says there's light

at the end of the tunnel.

0:24:090:24:11

He's feeling positively Tigger-like.

0:24:110:24:13

The economy's resurgent.

0:24:130:24:14

Spring has surely sprung.

0:24:140:24:20

If, in the autumn, the public

finances continue to reflect

0:24:200:24:22

the improvement that today's report

hints at, then, in accordance

0:24:220:24:27

with our balanced approach,

and using the flexibility provided

0:24:270:24:30

by the fiscal rules,

I would have capacity to enable

0:24:300:24:35

further increases in public spending

and investment in the years ahead.

0:24:350:24:42

That's a deluge on those hoping

for a springtime spending boost.

0:24:420:24:46

We'll have to wait till

the autumn at least

0:24:460:24:48

for the succour of state largesse.

0:24:480:24:52

So where are those

fabled green shoots?

0:24:520:24:58

Rummaging in the fiscal undergrowth

- a tribute there to David Bellamy -

0:24:580:25:01

it's difficult to spot any kind

of announcement in this hacked

0:25:010:25:04

back spring statement.

0:25:040:25:08

I won't be producing a red

book today, Mr Speaker,

0:25:080:25:10

but of course I can't speak

for the right honourable gentleman.

0:25:100:25:17

No mention indeed by John McDonnell

of his hero, Chairman Mao.

0:25:170:25:19

No chance in his mind a thousand

Tory flowers might bloom.

0:25:190:25:25

Does the Chancellor really believe

the NHS can wait another eight

0:25:250:25:28

months for the life-saving funds

that it needs?

0:25:280:25:32

How many people have to die waiting

in an ambulance before he acts?

0:25:320:25:40

Theresa May's convinced Moscow's

to blame for the attack in Salisbury

0:25:410:25:44

on double agent Sergei Skripal

and his daughter, Yulia.

0:25:440:25:47

She gave Putin a midnight deadline.

0:25:470:25:51

Either this was a direct act

by the Russian state

0:25:510:25:53

against our country,

or the Russian government lost

0:25:530:25:56

control of its potentially

catastrophically damaging nerve

0:25:560:26:00

agent, and allowed it to get

into the hands of others.

0:26:000:26:03

Jeremy Corbyn focused his ire

not so much on Moscow

0:26:030:26:07

as on the British government.

0:26:070:26:10

He cast aspersions

on Conservative Party finances.

0:26:100:26:16

There has been over

£800,000 worth of donations

0:26:160:26:19

to the Conservative Party,

to the Conservative Party

0:26:190:26:23

from Russian oligarchs

and their associates.

0:26:230:26:28

So...

0:26:280:26:30

So...

0:26:300:26:33

The Absolute Boy was scolded

by Matron May and some on

0:26:330:26:36

on his own backbenches.

0:26:360:26:38

And when it came to

dealing with Russia,

0:26:380:26:39

the Prime Minister was adamant.

0:26:390:26:43

Calling a spade a spade.

0:26:430:26:44

Under the Vienna Convention,

the United Kingdom will now expel 23

0:26:440:26:47

Russian diplomats who have been

identified as undeclared

0:26:470:26:52

intelligence officers.

0:26:520:26:55

They have just one week to leave.

0:26:550:26:58

This will be the single biggest

expulsion for over 30 years and it

0:26:580:27:01

reflects the fact that this is not

the first time that the Russian

0:27:010:27:04

state has acted against our country.

0:27:040:27:06

Corbyn has condemned these attacks,

but he says before expelling

0:27:060:27:11

diplomats, Britain should have

heeded Russian requests

0:27:110:27:15

for the nerve agent to be

independently tested.

0:27:150:27:17

America and France have

backed Britain, for now,

0:27:170:27:19

but they will want to see

test results, too.

0:27:190:27:25

How has she responded to the Russian

government's request for a sample

0:27:250:27:29

of the agent used in the Salisbury

attack, to run its own tests?

0:27:290:27:34

And while suspending planned

high-level contacts,

0:27:340:27:37

does the Prime Minister agree

that it is essential to maintain

0:27:370:27:40

a robust dialogue with Russia?

0:27:400:27:48

More sobering news from MP

Lucy Allen, who highlighted

0:27:500:27:53

systemic sexual abuse,

often against white working-class

0:27:530:27:56

girls, in her Telford constituency.

0:27:560:28:01

These young girls are too often

white, working-class,

0:28:010:28:03

with multiple vulnerabilities.

0:28:030:28:08

And that is what the perpetrators,

that is why the perpetrators

0:28:080:28:12

are targeting them.

0:28:120:28:14

And it is also why,

so often they are miscast

0:28:140:28:17

as bringing it on themselves.

0:28:170:28:20

They are miscast as being indulging

in risky behaviour,

0:28:200:28:24

as being promiscuous,

as somehow being to blame

0:28:240:28:28

for what is happening to them.

0:28:280:28:31

What's that?

0:28:310:28:39

A lesser spotted Lib Dem?

0:28:390:28:42

Oh, it's Vince Cable,

using his party conference speech

0:28:420:28:45

to brand all Brexit voters racist.

0:28:450:28:48

Springtime, or a new yellow dawn?

0:28:480:28:52

Too many were driven

by nostalgia for a world

0:28:520:28:56

where passports were blue,

faces were white and the map

0:28:560:29:00

was coloured Imperial think.

0:29:000:29:08

-- pink.

0:29:090:29:14

Well, if none of the news can warm

the cockles of my heart,

0:29:140:29:17

I'll have to have a good

old-fashioned cup of tea and bask

0:29:170:29:20

in those lovely warm winds blowing

across the sea from Brussels.

0:29:200:29:25

It's time that we go

beyond what I should say

0:29:250:29:28

the slogans, the sound bites.

0:29:280:29:30

We present what I should call

a concept, a vision,

0:29:300:29:33

an architecture for the future,

because that is what is

0:29:330:29:35

lacking for the moment.

0:29:350:29:39

Then the time will come when you'll

regret your decision.

0:29:390:29:47

It's time to face up the hard facts.

0:29:470:29:55

Beware the Ides of March,

or a Belgian scorned.

0:29:570:30:06

Well, at least in Britain's Brexit

Phoenix must be about to hatch.

0:30:060:30:08

Any signs of life?

0:30:080:30:09

Something, surely, soon?

0:30:090:30:16

Our apologies to Camley Street

Natural Park in King's Cross

0:30:160:30:19

for the havoc Liam Halligan wreaked

on your shrubs.

0:30:190:30:27

Has Jeremy Corbyn misjudged the

Russian business or is he being true

0:30:280:30:33

to his views?

The problem is that in

the statement Theresa May made,

0:30:330:30:38

Labour were not clear about the

very, very strong probability, let

0:30:380:30:42

me put it that way, that Russia was

responsible, which diverted all of

0:30:420:30:47

the focus of the debate onto whether

Russia actually did it which seems

0:30:470:30:52

not really, despite the conversation

we have just had, to be a topic much

0:30:520:30:58

up for discussion, and diverted that

away from quite a serious point. It

0:30:580:31:04

wasn't very well received and it

shouldn't be party political, the

0:31:040:31:07

point about where the money years.

If you are serious about taking on

0:31:070:31:12

Russian aggression, you have to

think seriously about taking on

0:31:120:31:16

where Russian money lies, and much

of it is in London, laundered

0:31:160:31:19

through the UK. That means you have

to start thinking about doing things

0:31:190:31:24

like Labour has been doing, tabling

amendments to the money-laundering

0:31:240:31:28

Bill, which means we will be able to

clamp down on that money.

If you can

0:31:280:31:35

identify it as money from people

involved in human rights abuses,

0:31:350:31:38

corruption or close to the Putin

regime. The British have not gone

0:31:380:31:41

far enough on that, have they?

On

the money? No. You said earlier that

0:31:410:31:48

further measures are expected in

response to the retaliation.

That is

0:31:480:31:56

why they have kept some stuff back.

I think that is probably the case. I

0:31:560:32:01

think Corbyn did get it wrong. I

think he got it wrong basically

0:32:010:32:05

because he does not like the West.

He does not like the United States

0:32:050:32:10

in particular, does not like Nato.

So he is being consistent.

To be

0:32:100:32:19

fair, he has been cleared today.

He

is not a credible turn to Prime

0:32:190:32:25

Minister.

He wrote a piece for the

Guardian online today in which he

0:32:250:32:30

said clearly that Russia was

responsible.

He didn't, actually. He

0:32:300:32:35

said that the evidence points

towards Russia but that it could

0:32:350:32:38

have been Russian gangsters.

He

echoed a lot of Theresa May's

0:32:380:32:47

language today. I appreciate that

wasn't clear earlier in the week,

0:32:470:32:51

certainly not when his spokespeople

did a media briefing. But it has

0:32:510:32:55

been made clear. Not just in this

piece today but the Labour Shadow

0:32:550:33:04

Defence Secretary, the Shadow

Foreign Secretary and the shadow

0:33:040:33:07

Brexit secretary on Question Time

today have all been clear.

You are

0:33:070:33:12

talking over each other. People will

not be able to hear.

If you raise

0:33:120:33:16

the serious possibility that this

could be Russian Mafia, rather than

0:33:160:33:21

Mr Putin, then why would you support

expelling 23 diplomats?

I am not

0:33:210:33:29

completely sure we are disagreeing

with each other here. My point is

0:33:290:33:33

that that is the problem, that we

shouldn't be discussing who was

0:33:330:33:37

responsible for this attack. We

should be discussing how the UK

0:33:370:33:43

responds, and particularly the

importance that we both opened the

0:33:430:33:46

programme with, making sure Russia

cannot divide the UK, the US, France

0:33:460:33:51

and Germany in responding in a

united way.

Labour's Social

0:33:510:33:56

Democrats have found their voice on

this. For how long?

For how long

0:33:560:34:01

what?

Do they continue to speak up?

I think what you have seen emerge

0:34:010:34:09

over the last few days is the social

Democratic position, and a fairly

0:34:090:34:13

clear position. If you look at the

range of voices across the Shadow

0:34:130:34:18

Cabinet and the backbenchers, there

has been much made of the split

0:34:180:34:21

between the front and back bench in

the Labour Party in recent years,

0:34:210:34:25

but actually you are hearing us

speaking with one voice. That has

0:34:250:34:29

been very important, not least

because if we are serious about

0:34:290:34:33

going after, standing up to Russian

aggression, we have to go after the

0:34:330:34:37

money and there has been far too

little debate about that.

I am not

0:34:370:34:41

sure you are speaking with one voice

at all, because I have three

0:34:410:34:46

different voices down here from Mr

Corbyn to Emily Thornbury to Seamus

0:34:460:34:51

Milne, saying different things. Then

they come to the Tories. When you

0:34:510:34:56

look at our growth prospects as

outlined by the OBR, why did Philip

0:34:560:35:00

Hammond have any right to be

cheerful?

Well, the deficit

0:35:000:35:07

reduction has been quite impressive

so he has the right to be cheerful

0:35:070:35:10

about that.

At last.

Well, yes, it

has taken a long time but it was the

0:35:100:35:16

point of the whole thing. We could

not go on having the largest deficit

0:35:160:35:20

in the European Union, adding to

national debt that has reached 85%

0:35:200:35:26

of GDP.

If you look at the forecast,

it forecasts an average of 1.5%

0:35:260:35:32

growth per year for the next five

years. There is no appear reared in

0:35:320:35:38

post-war British history when there

has been five years of growth that

0:35:380:35:42

low. Never. If it was to happen, I

would suggest to you the Tories have

0:35:420:35:47

no right to be cheerful at all.

One

reason he would have been cheerful

0:35:470:35:53

was that the OBR forecast in

November was inverted by the

0:35:530:35:58

forecasted produced in time for the

May statement. So he probably

0:35:580:36:03

thinks, as I think, that the OBR

forecasts are not worth the paper

0:36:030:36:06

they are not written on.

The OBR

changed its forecast this year by

0:36:060:36:13

0.1%.

On growth. It got the

productivity figure madly wrong. I

0:36:130:36:19

think he probably thinks there is

better ahead and he will not be too

0:36:190:36:24

depressed by OBR forecasts.

He must

be worried about the trend in

0:36:240:36:27

household debt, because in recent

years we have seen a government very

0:36:270:36:31

determined to get debt of the public

balance sheet but instead it has

0:36:310:36:34

been pushing it to families,

individuals and institutions. We

0:36:340:36:39

have hospital trusts now across the

country £1 billion in debt, families

0:36:390:36:44

whose debt levels have now reached

almost 50% of household income. And

0:36:440:36:48

this is a real economic problem,

because as we leave the EU, the

0:36:480:36:54

resilience in the country is not

there.

I want to come onto one other

0:36:540:36:58

thing which is really important.

Rochdale, rather, Oxford, now

0:36:580:37:05

Telford. Everybody knows what I'm

talking about. Why is this so

0:37:050:37:08

widespread? And if it has been

revealed in these towns, it must, I

0:37:080:37:17

would suggest, still be happening in

other places in this country, to our

0:37:170:37:22

national shame. Do you agree?

Completely. And what is worse about

0:37:220:37:28

it is that what we are learning

coming out of Telford is repeating

0:37:280:37:32

exactly the same patterns and

messages we have seen coming out of

0:37:320:37:35

those other areas. You have a

pattern of grooming gangs preying on

0:37:350:37:41

young people, not just young women

but young men as well, variety of

0:37:410:37:45

backgrounds, who are particularly

vulnerable. And then you have a

0:37:450:37:51

pattern of people in authority

either not recognising it, or seeing

0:37:510:37:54

those young people as part of the

problem.

Final thought from you on

0:37:540:37:59

this, Michael?

Which bit?

The whole

pattern of Telford.

I would endorse

0:37:590:38:05

what Lisa has said.

0:38:050:38:11

what Lisa has said. Failure to

investigate, obstructed by political

0:38:110:38:13

correctness and unwillingness to

look into the thing in case they are

0:38:130:38:15

accused of racial bias.

Sometimes

blaming the girls.

Certainly, but

0:38:150:38:23

Lisa made that point already. All of

this is terrible and it has to

0:38:230:38:27

change. Let's hope it is changing.

But I think the MP that we saw there

0:38:270:38:32

raising the issue has raised it

extremely well and has put it

0:38:320:38:35

absolutely back in focus. And police

forces and other agencies need to be

0:38:350:38:40

very aware of this now.

Thank you

both.

0:38:400:38:43

These days politics increasingly

resembles an episode

0:38:430:38:45

of the over-the-top cult tabloid

shock-fest which once

0:38:450:38:46

was the Jerry Springer Show.

0:38:460:38:48

If it was still around,

this week alone would have given

0:38:480:38:50

us a robust exchange

on "The President Sacked Me

0:38:500:38:54

Because I Called Him

a Moron", a confessional

0:38:540:38:58

"Bad Vlad's Made Me Mad",

and a whimsical "My Chancellor

0:38:580:39:04

Thinks He's A Winnie The Pooh

Character".

0:39:040:39:09

Rowdiest of all, of course,

would have been "I'm a Porn Star

0:39:090:39:12

and I Slept with the President".

0:39:120:39:15

Obviously, I made that last one up.

0:39:150:39:16

At least that's what the White House

lawyers insisted I say.

0:39:160:39:19

Like the Jerry Springer Show of old,

these sorts of stories thrive

0:39:190:39:22

on a desire to grab control

of the narrative, set

0:39:220:39:25

the record straight,

right perceived or hushed up wrongs.

0:39:250:39:28

That's why we're putting "fight

back" in the Spotlight.

0:39:280:39:35

We have all been reminded this week,

it is tough at the top.

0:39:380:39:41

Just when you think you have

got your rivals licked,

0:39:410:39:44

they all fight back at once.

0:39:440:39:45

Across the country and further

afield, we saw that nobody

0:39:450:39:48

stays on top for long.

0:39:480:39:51

The Democrats snatched

a surprise victory after

0:39:510:39:53

going the full 12 rounds

in Pennsylvanian Trump territory.

0:39:530:39:58

We are still fighting the fight.

0:39:580:40:00

It's not over yet.

0:40:000:40:01

We're going to fight

all the way to...

0:40:010:40:03

All the way to the end.

0:40:030:40:05

It took a little longer

than we thought but we did it.

0:40:050:40:11

Down but not out, Steve Bannon

is still trying to fight

0:40:110:40:14

everyone and everything,

all at once.

0:40:140:40:15

Let them call you racists.

0:40:150:40:16

Let them call you xenophobes.

0:40:160:40:18

Let them call you nativists.

0:40:180:40:19

Wear it is a badge of honour.

0:40:190:40:23

And this week, animal rights

activists tried to fight back

0:40:230:40:25

on behalf of the underdog,

storming Crufts in an attempt

0:40:250:40:29

to steal, or should that be rescue,

the winning animal.

0:40:290:40:36

Angela Merkel showed the world

you didn't need to be taught any

0:40:360:40:39

new tricks as the German

Chancellor knocked out

0:40:390:40:41

the competition yet again.

0:40:410:40:43

Sort of.

0:40:430:40:47

And, after years of political

sparring, of gun violence,

0:40:470:40:49

the schoolchildren in the USA have

decided that enough is enough

0:40:490:40:52

as they organised mass walk-outs

across the country and took

0:40:520:40:57

the fight to Washington.

0:40:570:41:00

There has been a fight

for change for a long time.

0:41:000:41:06

But there's never been

a more powerful movement

0:41:060:41:08

than what the students of Brooklyn

and New York City in this nation

0:41:080:41:11

have done these last few weeks.

0:41:110:41:14

We will not sit in our classrooms

wondering why Congress is not

0:41:140:41:17

working as hard as we are.

0:41:170:41:25

I admire you and I appreciate you.

0:41:260:41:27

Keep fighting.

0:41:270:41:29

Thank you.

0:41:290:41:30

Jerry Springer knows a thing or two

about fighting back.

0:41:300:41:32

But can you always stay on top?

0:41:320:41:39

And Jerry is with us now.

0:41:410:41:48

Welcome back.

That was a great film.

That brought back memories, the

0:41:480:41:54

final shot. The big fight back for

you, in America, from your point of

0:41:540:41:59

view, are the Democrats. They had a

good result in Pennsylvania in the

0:41:590:42:04

18th district, a district that had

gone over the 20% lead for Mr Trump

0:42:040:42:10

over Mrs Clinton, and the Democrats

just got it back, they just won it.

0:42:100:42:16

It is quite Trump territory, but

overall how would you rate the

0:42:160:42:18

fightback.

I don't think there is

any question that in November the

0:42:180:42:24

Democrats are going to do very well.

Will it be enough of a wave to take

0:42:240:42:29

control of Congress again? That, we

don't know. But clearly right now

0:42:290:42:35

the resistance to Trump, President

Trump, is significant. In every

0:42:350:42:40

poll, you never gets above 40%, and

that is unheard of for a sitting

0:42:400:42:44

President in his first year.

So

shouldn't you be more confident that

0:42:440:42:49

you would at least take the House

and maybe the Senate?

The reason you

0:42:490:42:54

can't be totally confident is

because we have a system where the

0:42:540:42:57

congressional districts are drawn

every ten years by state legislature

0:42:570:43:02

laws. So the way they are drawn,

they favour the Republicans, because

0:43:020:43:06

what the Republican state houses

did, they piled the democratic

0:43:060:43:12

population all into one district and

then spread the Republicans out so

0:43:120:43:15

they would win more. So even though

more Americans vote for Democrats

0:43:150:43:20

than Republicans, we have more

Republican congressman than

0:43:200:43:24

Democrats.

Who is leading the fight

back? This is the thing I find

0:43:240:43:29

interesting. Every time I look at

the Democrats and, we are on our way

0:43:290:43:34

back, the people saying this, their

combined is about 350.

Well, yes.

0:43:340:43:40

But here is the deal. The person who

is leading the fight back, in a

0:43:400:43:47

sense, is Trump. It is the reaction,

America's reaction to the fact that

0:43:470:43:51

we have Trump as President. And I

think it's important to say, when we

0:43:510:43:57

are in another country, for example,

when people make fun of us because

0:43:570:44:00

we have Trump as President, it's

important to remember that Hillary

0:44:000:44:05

Clinton got 3 million more votes

than Trump. I understand Trump is

0:44:050:44:10

the President, but let me just say

it is not a reflection of America to

0:44:100:44:14

say that Trump is the President,

because America voted for Clinton.

0:44:140:44:20

If you were not fighting an

electoral college election, it you

0:44:200:44:24

would fight it entirely different,

so I am not sure of the comparison.

0:44:240:44:28

I am more concerned about the future

and I don't know how you fight back

0:44:280:44:31

unless you have a leader. And is

Bernie Sanders the leader again?

0:44:310:44:38

Probably not.

Who would it be?

It's

not a personality thing. I'm telling

0:44:380:44:44

you, right now the women's movement

is very significant in America. And

0:44:440:44:49

then on the issue of race and

multicultural America, this is the

0:44:490:44:53

first time in American history we

have had a President who is opposed

0:44:530:44:57

to the idea of a multicultural

America. We are the only country in

0:44:570:45:01

the history of the world to have

been created by an idea. Most

0:45:010:45:05

countries start out either as a

religion, a race, ethnic group. We

0:45:050:45:11

started out, first there was the

idea, let's have one place on earth

0:45:110:45:15

where it would not matter where your

parents were from. That's the dream,

0:45:150:45:18

the goal, and Trump is opposed to

that. And then the Muslims, the

0:45:180:45:22

Mexicans.

I know you don't like

Trump, that's not the point.

He's a

0:45:220:45:30

nice person, he shouldn't be

President.

I would not even go down

0:45:300:45:34

that road with you. On fightback, I

still don't see, given that the

0:45:340:45:40

Democrats have the demography in

their favour, they have young people

0:45:400:45:43

in their favour as well and more

increasingly they have women, too.

0:45:430:45:48

But I don't know of any fightback

that works unless you coalesce

0:45:480:45:53

around one or two people who

represent all that.

The presidential

0:45:530:45:57

election is in 2020. The primary 's

will start towards the beginning of

0:45:570:46:04

2019. Excuse me, 2020. Once the

primary 's start, the candidates

0:46:040:46:12

that will enter the race, someone

will emerge.

Who is your person?

I

0:46:120:46:17

don't have one yet.

I understand

that but a moment ago you said it is

0:46:170:46:24

not a personality thing, but it is.

We are not so concerned over here

0:46:240:46:29

about congressional elections. We

are worried about the presidency

0:46:290:46:33

because it affects people outside

the United States. And of course you

0:46:330:46:36

need a candidate. Last time, you put

up a candidate said Nick -- 70% of

0:46:360:46:42

Americans disliked, and that is why

you lost.

Most of them voted for

0:46:420:46:47

her. They might not have wanted to

date her.

Everybody knows the rules

0:46:470:46:52

of the American system and Hillary

Clinton for the bad campaign because

0:46:520:46:55

she was fighting in the wrong places

under the rules of that election.

0:46:550:46:58

She lost fair and square, firstly

because she was incompetent and

0:46:580:47:03

secondly because Americans disliked.

So you've got to find a candidate

0:47:030:47:08

better than that.

I understand but I

don't agree with your assumptions,

0:47:080:47:12

with all Jura Specht. In terms of

competency, it wasn't even

0:47:120:47:18

competition.

Competency in fighting

the election.

It ignores the

0:47:180:47:24

structural problems the Democrats

have, which you see for centre-left

0:47:240:47:27

parties across the world. One of the

problems the Democrats had when I

0:47:270:47:31

went to visit after the EU

referendum, they were talking very

0:47:310:47:34

much about the same thing Labour is

grappling with, about younger people

0:47:340:47:38

in cities who have a different

outlook from older people in towns.

0:47:380:47:43

I have to interrupt because we have

overrun. Briefly, what are you doing

0:47:430:47:48

here, other than being with us?

Everyone always says that, what are

0:47:480:47:52

you doing here? I am appearing on

some programmes, but none as good as

0:47:520:47:58

yours. And I am going to Dublin on

Saturday night.

I am glad you found

0:47:580:48:06

time to be with us. Never come here

without visiting us. I can reveal

0:48:060:48:13

that CBS News is going to run the

Stormy Daniels 60 minute interview

0:48:130:48:17

on the 25th of March. Stormy Daniels

is the pawn star.

0:48:170:48:23

That's your lot for

tonight, but not for us.

0:48:230:48:25

Because, inspired by news that

humans survived a super-volcano

0:48:250:48:27

eruption 74,000 years ago by hiding

out in South African caves,

0:48:270:48:30

we're off to Loulou's,

which is as close as you can get

0:48:300:48:33

to a cave in Mayfair.

0:48:330:48:34

Lisa is bringing her

ethically-sourced Camden Market

0:48:340:48:36

black-out curtains and Michael

has his SAS survival

0:48:360:48:39

guide, signed by Mrs T,

as well as his souvenir

0:48:390:48:41

Bluebell Railway penknife.

0:48:410:48:45

We're going to hole up in the bar

until all this nerve gas

0:48:450:48:49

and depressing news blows over.

0:48:490:48:50

And, if the months go by and we have

to subsist on pork scratchings

0:48:500:48:54

and Molly's dog biscuits,

well, at least they'll take

0:48:540:48:57

the taste away from the Blue Nun.

0:48:570:49:00

Nighty-night, don't

let Vladimir Putin's

0:49:000:49:01

election memorabilia bite.

0:49:010:49:09

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.