tv Dateline London BBC News October 6, 2018 4:30pm-5:01pm BST
president trump's supreme court nominee is expected to be approved by us senators later — despite allegations of sexual assault. meanwhile, during a visit to egypt, the first lady said she was against abuse and put her support behind brett kavanaugh. i think he is highly qualified for the supreme court and i am glad that doctor ford was heard. toxic air pollution is much worse in eight areas of england than previously thought — as a government review reveals. ray galton — one half of the writing duo behind hancock's half hour and steptoe and son — has died at the age of 88. now on bbc news it's time to join jane hill and her guests for this week's dateline. good morning and a warm welcome
to dateline london, i'mjane hill. this week, we ask how theresa may fared at her party's annual conference. was there enough talk of domestic policies alongside the brexit hubbub? there's been a few positive murmurings about that this week, from elsewhere in the eu, we'll discuss. and, as the us senate prepares to vote on the next potential supreme courtjustice, we'll reflect on what this ugly period might mean for the midterms, and the metoo movement. with me is the columnist for the i, here in the uk, yasmin alibhai—brown, the american writer and broadcaster jeffrey kofman, the specialist on middle eastern affairs rachel shabi, and thomas kielinger, for many years correspondent for germany's die welt. mamma mia, theresa may
was widely considered to have given a good speech to the conservative party conference. she shimmied onto the stage to abba's dancing queen, making some self—effacing moves. she told delegates that the chequers brexit proposal is the only one possible. she also talked of an end to austerity, and an immigration policy that focuses on people's skills not their country of origin. also this week, ireland's prime minister leo varadker said a deal could be done between the uk and eu within a fortnight, and the president of the commission jean claude juncker is now also making positive noises. yasmin, let's start with your reading of the conservative conference. widely regarded as a very strong performance. it was. it was very clever. she kind of demolished boris the night before. and i think it was very clever,
although i hear that abba have objected to their music being used for political purposes. but the show was good. a lot of what she said, you know, needs to be questioned. i mean, for her to say end of austerity, it is not going to end and you voted for this thing over and over and over again and now it is like mark steel, the comedian, wrote in the independent, it's like an arsonist who has been burning down barns, saying i will stop and we're applauding. there was a lot of spin and the immigration thing is the one that really gets to me. this was a woman who created the hostile environment, who made it. because she was the home secretary. and some of the terrible
things that have happened to the windrush generation, the indefinite asylum detentions and so on, and ijust, that was a good dance, a really good way of demolishing boris. i don't trust you at all over austerity. she was talking about austerity, immigration, a bit about housing, was she deliberately mentioning those topics in her speech because there is an awareness that one day brexit will be over and we have to talk about domestic policies? the domestic agenda is the one and only subject. she made a good speech when she became prime minister. she talked about injustices in society and so forth. what made me laugh was that she thought that the missing skills can be provided for by people in britain who will now flock to the companies for those jobs.
we know from the past the companies have been asked to fill hospitality jobs with local people and local people are not applying. to cut off immigrants from europe, it does not add up. she is a little bit with her back against the wall. and also thejeremy corbyn effect was very clear. the policies from labour conference turned out to be quite good and she has just stolen some of the stuff from them and i don't think they mean any of it. that is the trouble. people keep saying that theresa may gave a good speech for theresa may and that is a low bar. relative to that, she did well. others who do not like her said it was well crafted. i think relative to her own track record, she did well. but that is an aside. the conservative party don't have the answers that match the mood
of the nation at the moment and the labour party does and they are terrified. you had lord o'neill, a former conservative treasurer writing a column in one of the national newspapers, in the guardian, this week, saying, i hate to admit it but actually the labour party has more economic solutions that chimes more with the rest of the country than the conservatives do and that is a huge problem. it is notjust former tory treasurers that are saying that, polling suggests that. last year, a radical socialist think tank, not(!), showed that overwhelmingly the national mood supports renationalisation of rail and utilities, overwhelmingly supports higher rates of tax for higher earners and investment in infrastructure. we are looking at a lost decade in the uk, that is down to the economic crash, followed by austerity cuts,
which were avoidable. they were ideological cuts that we did not have to go through. even the imf says that they were too harsh in the uk. we have lost a decade. in terms of productivity. we look at things like brexit, the ft said last week that last decade, that is 15—20% lost productivity growth, that is way worse than anything in any brexit scenario and that is the trouble with the conservatives. it is not just that they are bungling brexit, they have bungled the economy, which cannot withstand brexit. we had a very healthy debate here at last week about labour and its economic policies but also about the reaction from some businesses. your assessment of the week that has gone on for the conservatives in birmingham? whatever your politics, you want the best solution to come out of this mess and i think that we have so much... we have seen theresa may come up
and offer solutions, she is going to come back, we said at chequers, she has a workable compromise and it has been demolished. i give her marks for resilience but not for accomplishment. we have seen almost two years squandered in squabbling, indecision, jockeying, posturing, and this cabal of brexiteers on the right saying, just trust us, this is all going to be fine. and i think that people are going to very quickly find that if there is no solution... i think we are used to indecision leading to muddle and we will work it out but this is an epic change for this country and they don't come to some sort of resolution, i am not by nature a chicken little, i do think that we can muddle through most indecision but this has catastrophic consequences and we keep hoping that this woman
can bring people together. but we have the festival of britain. we are going to be so happy(!). that is one of the things mentioned in the speech. jean—claude juncker is now in the last two days giving interviews to various european newspapers saying actually things are a bit more positive, something may well emerge in the next couple of weeks, to be fair. people today are a lot stronger than that. what do you make of the more positive noises? we have to wait for the compromise to emerge and whatever happens, theresa may will find such a huge bill to pay after brexit that makes her statement that austerity is over a laughing matter. the cuts in social... contributions and so forth will continue before we reach the end of austerity. and she said tax cuts.
and end of austerity. how does that figure? a senior civil servant today in one of the national newspapers has said how this switch to universal credit has totally devastated families, totally. how was she going to do this? that is why her prediction of austerity being over soon... let's think about the next couple of weeks. we have said this a few times before but we are genuinely coming into a crunch few weeks. and your sense, some positive noises from jean—claude juncker and leo varadker saying he thinks a deal can be done. the irish border problem does not go away. the things stopping a deal being done is the conservative government. that is the obstacle. it is not europe, ireland, it is the conservative party in a sort of toxic soup
of its own making. it is the fact that nobody wants a hard border. it is the conservative party tearing each other apart over brexit, doing it while they are in government. obviously no one wants a hard border in northern ireland and that is the bit that the hard element of the conservative party, the right—wing, the fundamentalist brexiteers, that is the bit that they cannot reconcile. that is the bit of reality they cannot engage with that to avoid a hard border between the island of ireland and northern ireland, they have to accept that britain stays in a customs union. that is it. there is no other way around it. everybody knows that. i think the labour party has to shoulder some responsibility. for brexit? jeremy corbyn has not taken a strong position on this and he has sat back and said, let's watch them burn the house
down and i will come in as prime minister. instead of saying i have a clear vision, he sits on his hands and he lets the conservative party tear itself apart and the country in the process. but where exactly is the leadership of her majesty's loyal opposition all of this? i don't know what he really wants. i suspect he would like to see britain leave but he is not coming up with alternatives. i think this country is in, much like the united states, in this state, although it is different in this country because you have two political parties here that don't actually represent, i would argue, the majority of voters' sentiments. it is hold your nose here and hold your nose here. but there is not this centrist option. there is no constituency for a centrist alternative. underthe lib dem...
i would agree with that. we are coming up to a crucial few weeks. this is what the eu has to deal with. something has to be done. i am worried about the conservatives being so much up in arms about themselves because they want a positive outcome and it is in the interests of the eu not for this business to fail. they must wish for us to just go now. they must be so tired of us. just go! i think the rational sentiment... it wants to continue trade, frictionless or not, that remains to be seen in ireland, but they want a continuation of a trade relation with great britain which is after all one of the most important economies in the world. a cliff or no deal is not an interest for brussels
and they will do everything to event it, mark my words. and theresa may is now talking to centrist labour party mps. it is interesting that she said in her speech, it is an indication she knows more than you and i know that there is something going on in brussels, you might call it a fudge but there we are. how is she going to fend off the powerful right—wing? we don't know whether the government, third party, will support her, will support the eventual compromise. compromise for brexiteers is a dirty word. they are not going for compromise. they want a clear break or whatever. in the national interest, compromise is the only way through on a decision that there is so much division.
the behaviour of the party and government, how will they look at this, compromise is essential. that is all that matters. we will see what happens in the weeks to come. we will be discussing that around the table to come as well. let's turn our attention is stateside. thousands of people protested in washington dc on thursday, a large proportion of them women. and many of them are still there, as we go to air. political divisions in the us have been laid bare, in the wake of president trump's nomination of brett kavanaugh as supreme court justice, with just weeks to go to the midterm elections. this week donald trump, at a campaign rally, mocked the testimony given by university professor christine blasey ford about her sexual assault. it now looks likely that the senate will decide saturday whether to appointjudge kavanaugh to the hugely powerful role, which is held for life. jeff, first, is his appointment a done deal? it does appear to be.
senator collins has said that all things considered, she is going to vote to support the nomination and that will tip it over the edge. wow! this is really the polarisation... this is the second american civil war, as one political commentator called it. you talked about compromise in the uk a moment ago, when i was a student at university in canada, one of the definitions of politics was the art of compromise. now it is the art of conquest. this is what we are seeing. you win at all costs. president trump has had a good week, in his eyes. he did the new deal on trade, the agreement is through, which is a triumph, you have got to give him credit, the unemployment is now below 4%, the lowest point it has been since 1969. he refuses to acknowledge that maybe eight years of president obama helped with that.
it is all — obama left a mess. it is extraordinary. it is hard to see how this country, the uk, but how the united states can be brought back together. we have lost consensus, we have lost pluralism, we have lost compromise, all in the name of conquest. you havejust made me suicidal, thank you! don't do that, not on air! isn't it about the tone of the debate now as well? if brett kavanaugh is being confirmed, i am sure he will be confirmed, you're right, it will be a victory for president trump because he will have come out
in this debate, and you mentioned this objectionable performance of his when he suddenly taunted the woman who two days before he had praised as a credible candidate. and he changes his mind in two days, which shows how hisjudgment is unreliable. the women of america will sort of not forgive him for this. i hope that they are going to... i would argue that may be wishful thinking. a lot of women will. but you cannot just blame donald trump. what about mitch mcconnell, lindsey graham, the entire republican congress? this is... these people now represent... president trump is the republican party and they are either afraid or they are true believers but they are supporting him and they are not challenging him beyond susan collins and the senator for alaska, who was going to vote against brett kavanaugh.
there are a lot of solid americans who support this agenda and this kind of rhetoric. trump may be saying it but his approval rating hovers around 40%, but that is a sizeable number. it appeals to his base? isn't he doing this because the language we saw, it appeals to his base? it does. 60% of trump supporters don't believe dr ford and think brett kavanaugh should be nominated. i find this conversation... for the past few weeks and months, we have watched a woman after woman come forward and explain in a calm, rational, reasonable manner way this is so wrong, why it is so wrong for politics to abuse women in this way and it is a blatant abuse of women. to have their suffering criticised in this way. and then disbelieved in this way.
and then mocked by the president. we are sitting here having a conversation about what it has done to american politics, what is it due to american society when you say that about women? when the highest law of the land says that about women, that your voice does not matter. your experience does not matter. but the problem is, you cannotjust blame donald trump and his men, his white men and his white nationalism and his macho... there are women in america who stand there, mocking other women. who vote for this man, who voted for him after his abominable stuff he has done, which we know he has done. and you think, what is wrong with other women that they cannot empathise with the suffering of women? i think that for those of us
over 35, 40, whatever, i don't think we could have known we lived through the golden age of liberalism where there was an effort to bring everyone aboard. that has died with brexit and some of the movements on the continent. and it has died in the us and i don't know what follows it. but there is this lack of respect that politics requires in order to be productive and positive, it leaves us in a real quagmire and i don't know where it takes us. i would say one thing about the message that kavanaugh says that is most disturbing, it says to all of the 17, 18, 20—year—old boys in america, whatever you do to a girl now, don't worry, you won't be held accountable when you are an adult and that is a frightening thought. i listened very carefully to susan dennis, susan collins
rather, who came out in favour of kavanaugh. we're talking about the case, the appointment, and i cannot say that the argument, the legal argument is convincing, but the argument she said continues about misogynist america, she made powerful indictments... she shouldn't support him. but she has committed to america being more misogynistic for decades to come by nominating him. that is what she did. i don't care how she dressed it up. i was impressed by her argument. she separated the argument of the legal case and of the cultural case, which she says the argument will continue and we will have to work for this country. it was an intelligent speech.
but i think that... i have lost my train of thought. i was going to ask you, it is worth reminding ourselves of the importance of this because kavanaugh, only 53 years old, this is a job for life. this will be president trump's second appointment, assuming he goes through, to the supreme court. the point i wanted to make is that susan collins took a legalistic view. this is not a court case, this is a job application. someone who runs a company and hires people, it is not a question of the law alone, it is a question ofjudgment and character and if brett kavanaugh was not suitable before, we all saw that extraordinary testimony he gave a week ago, it he wrote a piece this week saying, i said things i regret. that is an extraordinary admission. from a judge. i think that susan collins does not get a free pass on that. a man can behave in that way
and still be considered suitable for one of the highest offices in the country. a woman would never be allowed to behave in that way. a black woman? forget it! she would be demonised and ridiculed. if the allegations are true, he was not doing it for any other reason but that this is the only thing to do, the man thing to do, with his friends. and you think actually, it is so deeply macho and so unacceptable, that i was actually angry with the speech that impressed you. i was furious with her. what i found interesting is she quoted from previous legal arguments, legal statements, that appeared to be quite middle—of—the—road. he made some very interesting judgments about gay marriages in america. and he pleaded for the divide to be healed and for everyone in this
country to come together. he was very much sort of the person who i don't think is going to now spend the rest of his life with right—wing arguments. she studied his record as a judge and she came to the conclusion he is not quite as right—wing as people make out. that is interesting. a quick final thought, we are only a matter of weeks away from the midterms. your assessment... to what extent this will impact and what we should be looking out for now in terms of the result? the question is what is this week of donald trump galvanises the base? i think kavanaugh's nomination could well galvanise the democratic base because i think there are an awful lot of people appalled and angry. but the sense ofjubilation with donald trump's look what i have done in the last week. i think it is up in the air.
if you look at the numbers. this we could change them. things are looking favourable for the democrats in the house, possibly in the senate. it is one to watch. i have learnt around this table, don't forget. much more passionate debate next week, i am quite sure. we will see one of those topics come in the week to come. we'll be back at the same time next week. hello. different sort of weather on
the way tomorrow. good news for those of you has a grey and wet day like our weather watcher here in kingston. if you are in belfast, you have enjoyed the sunshine today. expect more cloud to come. you can see clear skies this afternoon in northern and western areas. pushing south and east but most still under this zone of cloud. east anglia, south—east, channel islands. cool and to the day elsewhere but at least with light winds the sunshine probably feels more pleasant. top and tail of the country, more cloud and tail of the country, more cloud and breeze. rain for the south—east and breeze. rain for the south—east and channel islands gradually pushing away. arriving towards the hebrides. in between with the clear skies. temperatures widely down into single figures. in the countryside, many will wake up to a touch of frost. crisp and autumnal start a
sunday but it will be a day of two halves. scotland and northern ireland, a lot more cloud, hazy sunshine in the south—east of northern ireland and east of scotland. elsewhere, occasional rain. awindy scotland. elsewhere, occasional rain. a windy day with winds touching 40, 50, maybe 60 mph. england, wales and channel islands, and improved day. really bad light winds for most. blue skies, sunshine. the chance of a shower in korea but most will be dry. after that frosty start, temperatures up a little bit on today's temperatures. windy to the night and into monday. this weather fronts travelling part of scotla nd this weather fronts travelling part of scotland and northern ireland with further outbreaks of rain. minor flooding across the west of scotland. about 100 millimetres of rain over the next few days. at
breeze of rain pushing north. scotla nd breeze of rain pushing north. scotland dry through monday. much of england and wales stays dry as well. some hazy sunshine towards the south and east. temperatures back into the high teens. next week will feel a lot warmer than it has done this weekend. goodbye for now. this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at five. chanting: hey, hey! ho, ho! kavanaugh has got to go! division and protests across america, but senators are expected to approve president trump's supreme court nomination later despite sexual assault allegations. a government review reveals that toxic air pollution is much worse in eight areas of england than previously thought. the doctor will see you all now. gps trial a scheme where some patients share their appointments. one of the fathers of british sitcom, ray galton, has died at the age of 88. if we was to kill off all the dirty old blokes like you, we wouldn't have any