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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  May 22, 2022 2:30am-3:01am BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: anthony albanese has won the australian general election, beating scott morrison to become the country's first labor prime minister in almost a decade. addressing supporters, he pledged to transform the country into a renewable energy superpower and to work towards lifting wages and profits. as russian attacks in eastern ukraine intensify, president volodymyr zelensky has said diplomacy is the only way the war on his country will end. the british foreign secretary, liz truss, has said that ukraine's neighbour, moldova, should be armed with nato military equipment to help guard against the threat of a russian invasion. switzerland and the netherlands have become the latest countries to report cases of monkeypox, with doctors warning the outbreak could badly affect access
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to sexual health services. at least 90 infections have been confirmed in a dozen countries. now on bbc news — dateline london. hello and welcome to the programme that brings together leading uk columnists, bbc specialists and the foreign correspondents who write, blog and broadcast to audiences back home from the dateline — london. it's been a week either of sequels — or of re—runs. in the uk, we?re waiting for sue gray — again — and her reporting on partying in government whilst the country was in
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covid lockdown. borisjohnson and the european commission are wrestling over northern ireland post—brexit — again. covid surges and an authoritarian government in asia locks down — again — and polling made australia?s politicians nervous about the outcome of this weekend?s election — yes, you guessed it — again. in the studio are janet daley — american by birth, british by choice — whose weekly column appears in the sunday telegraph, the irish journalist suzanne lynch, who writes for the politicos brussels playbook and newly returned from filming in cambodia, the bbc�*s asia—pacific editor, celia hatton. welcome to all of you. thanks for coming in. let's begin with party gate. the fines are in and they're over, they won't be any more now. is borisjohnson�*s leadership secure, do you think? for the moment yes, but that's heavily caveated. i don't agree with the people who say this is all about 0k, why are we talking about
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cake when there's a war on and an energy crisis at all that. i don't think that's very convincing. there are people who will never, ever forget this incident because they had life—changing bereavement, people whose parents died without being able to visit them. grandparents who died before they seen newborn grandchildren terrible, terrible things happen. those people will never forget. there's a wider sense in which there's a impression of shambolic irresponsibility in downing street. that's going to lie there quietly until it revives again. i think they are going to have to be very careful to see to it that that impression of jocularity and irresponsibility, of having laid down rules which were... i dislikes most of those rules anyway, they were incomprehensible, contradictory, incoherent but a lot of people obeyed them. and they didn't, apparently. and it's notjust about the birthday incident either. there is talk, we know that borisjohnson and his wife held social gatherings
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at their apartment. the idea that the people that made those rules were cheerfully, perhaps in a jocular mood, disobeying them, that can easily come back to bite him again. could that be the big thing out of the sue gray report? not the parties and the names, warning people whose they have to respond before the end of this weekend or she's going to name them or give a reason why they should not be. could it be that that's more damaging if this report paints a picture of a kind of dysfunctional number 10? a place where there was chaos, lack of organisation and ultimately a lack of leadership. it is showing up a lot of the characteristics that critics of boris johnson have been saying for years. that's why i think it's politically difficult. i think some of the heat has been taken out of the situation.
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this is going on for so long, in a sense, voters have already banked the fact that this is happening. ultimately, the way the political wind seems to be blowing is that within his own party boris johnson looks like he's going to survive this. there is not to be that push again soon. i think the timing of this has been very interesting and it's been very fortuitous for borisjohnson, we need to see this report is coming during next week. lots of speculation about who will be named, how damning will it be be or will it be dull? i think that might also have an impact on how this ultimately plays out. bear in mind that keir starmer has his own problems and he has made this perhaps a rather foolish unforced error of saying he will resign if he gets a fine. now he either gets a fine and he doesn't resign or he gets a fine and does resign or there's a suspicion that police holding back because they don't want to be in the invidious position of putting him out of hisjob
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by giving him a fine. it's not a very happy situation for him. no. the international ressonance, ireland had his problem in lockdowns? it did. exactly, the public felt this and it's politically difficult territory for politicians in ireland. there is a controversy about politicians at a golf dinner and led to a resignation of an eu commissioner. it's very politically difficult. internationally, the story got a lot of legs but more back in february, march when it came on the scene. we have pictures on international media, old pictures of boris johnson in unserious poses. it hasn't... are there many of those around? there are a few. they can be found. this was again feeding
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into a narrative, rightly or wrongly about boris johnson. so far there has not been a huge media interest over the last few weeks as this is drag on but again with the report, let's see, it may come back onto the headlines. has it played internationally in your region? is there an awareness of it? in some countries there's been comment on it _ chinese media have been playing a little bit more attention- to borisjohnson and rules that have been broken. i using that to point out, - we are enforcing our zero covid strategy, which has made a lot of people miserablel but at least we are sticking with it. . you not got any government. officials breaking those rules. that's been politically useful. for some government officials. ican imagine. let's talk about brexit again. it's been a while since we talked about it, the protocol. here we go again. there is so much noise and drama attached to this. trade agreements are renegotiated all the time, nothing new about that.
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the problem comes when one side is being uncooperative about those negotiations and, of course, britain would say that that's what the eu is doing. the whole thing has been so theatrical right from the off all those visits from eu officials, ireland was virtually ignored by the eu until that point except to be bullied into reducing its corporation tax because it was uncompetitive with the rest of the eu. suddenly leo varadker was the great star. he must�*ve been thrilled. and now we are in this position where were having, sorry to be so partisan about this, but the remain camp in parliament thought they had found the magic bullet. this was the immovable object, the unsolvable problem for the eu, the business about the hard border in ireland. it's perfectly true that you cannot create a hard border in ireland across from the republic. in other words, you can't have customs checks
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between northern ireland and the republic. we are talking about a tiny proportion of trade for most trade is with the uk and not the republic. the whole thing has become so overblown and so theatrical. now we have nancy pelosi marching in with her own theatrics saying congress won't approve of the trade deal with the us. but she won't be running congress. no, it doesn't look like it at the moment. the democratics lose control of congress. to be fair he's not in congress, using the us state department and he said on friday we want to see this issue resolved and we want to see temperature lowered and we don't want unilateral actions or in other words, they don't want the british tearing up as they are threatening to do. they are threatening. the idea that anybody at this point in time, with the war going on in the ukraine
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and with dreadful cost of living emergency occurring all over the west, notjust here, the idea that anybody would tear up and agreement and provoke a trade war is insane. it could happen. it's like a prelude to the first world war. why is the british government doing that? it isn't. not yet. i am not saying it will not at the moment it isn't. this is all noise. i'm in brussels, i was in washington for the last two years and the number one mistake some members of the british government make they think the us doesn't know anything about this. those figures in congress are following it very much in detail. they know what's going on in terms of the northern ireland protocol. in terms of brussels, over the last few months, nobody in brussels wants to talk about brexit. they have moved on, ukraine more, try to get their own coherent position on that. so the eu member states were happy to let the commission do the negotiations and then there was a truce before the northern ireland election now the last week this is completely changed. the eu commissioner, he briefed eu ambassadors
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on wednesday after the announcement by liz truss. his announcement that the government will legislate unless it can get renegotiated. they didn't actually legislate yet. the big question is this buying time? that was it. exactly. officials are saying what he does get series is when that bill is tabled and if and when it is passed, which could take months. there is a window of opportunity for more negotiation. customs are the main issue and customs are the main issue for the community. liz truss spoke about the european court ofjustice and that at all these other bigger issues there's prosperity finish. if i think the two sides can keep it on the customs issue, is a strong possibility that they'll... it has been already resolved on medicines, they will be no checks on medicine. it's perfectly possible and animals too. the importation of live animals. there's no reason why
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this can't be resolved, it's become a vanity issue. the other issue is the dup, the unionist party in northern ireland, are saying they won't go into power—share — that's a problem. i've heard people saying that the british government instead of trying to bring the dup along have kind of riled it up as an issue and that they are taking their side. that's one way of seeing that. the other issue about customs, it's only a few sausages, people say no big deal, the problem is in the longer term as britain, as years go on and britain diverges from eu standards and to sides with trade deals with america or australia, then you can have completely different products. that's when they'll be in issue for the eu, that these will get them to northern ireland and then across the border. that raises concerns for other countries that trade with europe around the world to get nervous about this kind of talk of divergence because they worry about if we doing trade with the uk, what are the implications for us in securing a trade relationship with europe?
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absolutely. i think that is an ongoing issue~ _ it's really — we're i going to have to see how this unfolds. as the uk starts to talk- to more countries and starts to try to hash deals. with more countries, of course it's going to be a big issue. i i think the long—term, it is a conundrum of this border issue for the people have been telling me this week why they are particularly annoyed is because it's not like there's a new government in britain, it's who signed the deal. their view is that the prime minister was cynical, he wanted to deal, wanted brexit done and knew that these problems are there and he just put his head in the sand. crosstalk. it wasn't so much a head in the sand. the alternative was a no deal leaving without a deal. that was the impossible choice that this kind of remainder eu alliance presented him with. so he took what he did regard as an unsatisfactory deal, hoping that it could be renegotiated afterwards and that may yet come to pass.
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theresa may had another proposal. which could have been... that was hepeful- _ there was another option but the people are saying we cannot sign an agreement if somebody says actually, in a few years we don't agree with us. who knows, maybe it will be third time lucky. let's talk about covid. it's back with a vengeance in north korea. absolutely. this is only one of two - countries in the world that has no vaccination program. it's also the first country in the world that closed i its borders completely - when china first announced that it had had a mysterious flu virus spreading - across the country. so it went through this course . were trying to shutdown almost all trade, shut its borders and then it relaxed. - and a few weeks ago it had what is now thought to be. a super spreader event, - military parade, many people were not wearing masks. now we are seeing more than 2 million cases of fever. - what's heartbreaking -
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is that we really don't know how many of those cases - are covid, how many are measles or typhoid, which is a massivel problem north korea right now because they're simply not that many tests. i why did kim jong—un suddenlyi decide to announce after many theoretical outbreaks, and outbreaks - of covid in the past? all of which were denied. why now, why is he . announcing this now? very publicly going - on television attending emergency meetings every day. it's really felt that this is - going to be a massive crisis. this is a country where around 40% of the population - is already malnourished. we knew that the koreans were reusing syringes. - reusing medical equipment. reusing _ reusing medical equipment. reusing syringes?! - apparently becoming rusty, they were used so often. i so think about covid - ripping through that kind of population, it - really is quite scary. they've had offers from china and south korea and they are saying no so, what are people
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being advised to do? we think now they have accepted some help from china. _ 0h, right. we know of three flights that are going between china - and north korea just - in the past couple of days, taking medical supplies over. but that's just three - planeloads for a country of around 25 million people. so, what does kim jong—un do? does he allow ngos backl into the country, allow aid on massive basis, allowed vaccines to come in? - or does he allow covid to rip through the country? - i think right now, he's trying i to take a shaky middle ground. he's allowing china to get involved a little bit, - which is a little bit more politically palatable, - he is deflecting blame - and placing a lot of on local officials and sort of mid—level officials. j and i think he'sjust waiting and seeing and trying - to prescribe - traditional medicines. there's also the possibilityl he'll have a another nuclear test while joe biden is in the region. - they say preparations j are completely ready. so, he'll try to i deflect attention. but how long he can continue
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on that shaky middle groundl before he really has to make a choice between opening i the borders orjust- letting covid rip through? and meanwhile... he doesn't have much time. meanwhile, what advice of people been given? well, they are being told — i mean, we don't know. exactly what's happening in the hinterlands, but we know they are being advised to gargle with saltl water, for example, or they being advised that - traditional medicines are best. but, frankly, that's - because north korea doesn't have a lot _ of other alternatives at the moment. what's going to happen whenl they decide that they really do need — to vaccinate the country? is it too late? probably. and that's really what's difficult. i because apparently, - kim jong—un has repeatedly turned down - offers from the who, the covax programme to come in because they wanted - to dictate exactly where i the vaccines went for that and the north koreansjustl
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really didn't want that much intervention inside their own country, j so they really shut their borders and i it seems probably| relaxed too much. there was a big debate in the start of the pandemic about which forms of government will work best. some say maybe actually, authoritarian regimes will do a betterjob simply because they have control. but actually, as china has proved with its zero covid policy, it ain't necessarily so. no, you get lots of authoritarianism, the authoritarianism gets ramped up, but it doesn't necessarily work. it is extraordinary, that resurgence in china. also, with the authoritarian regimes, you have a lack of information. you don't actually know it's happening in these places and that is part of this problem — when you're not getting the full facts, it's very hard to gauge what's actually happening, how best to help people. it is extraordinary how democratically accountable governments were able to bring in very successful vaccination programmes like this country. it means that the democratic
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societies on the whole seem to produce well—behaved people — people who have social responsibility and who behave as they should in those circumstances. i suppose interesting as well as the french presidential result. a lot of people thought emmanuel macron would suffer for his quite strong covid line, saying no, you can't go into a theatre without this — it didn't appear to be the case that people punish them. i think maybe that choices were not good. macron or a fascist? also the timing. i mean, again, ge was quite lucky. by the time the election happened, we had macron the statesman with a war in ukraine. even though people were critical of his overtures or his dialogue with putin, it seemed to play well in his own country. the news agenda had moved on and that point and it benefited him. let's talk about another election happening this weekend, butapparently, half of the votes already been cast because voting is compulsory
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in australia and a lot of people vote in all thwe ways — postal votes, and apparently they've been allowed to vote by telephone if they have covid which is a new innovation. three years ago, it was a tight race and everybody thought bill shorten�*s labor party was going to depose the national coalition but then scott morrison won what he called a miracle election. is he hoping for another miracle? i think he is hopingl for another miracle. the pollsters were wrong before, it's unclear, - we are really not sure what can happen now. i think what's fascinating - is the debate in this election. you would think that it i might have turned more towards climate i change than it has. given everything that's happened over the last three eya rs. exactly! we've seen epic forest fires in australia. - and some polls show that this is the number one issue - for voters — that they really care about climate change. | but both of the major- leading parties don't seem to want to discuss it in any great — l or they haven't come
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up with that huge... i presumably labor think they got punished on those policies and were punished in some of the the mining states in australia. perhaps. what's really interesting is the emergence of - the so—called teal independents. - around 20 women who are running as independents who are _ fiscally conservative - but really are running on very strong climate change agendas. they have a huge amount of grass roots support, i a huge amount- of financial backing. and i think it's really- going to be interesting to see if they want to turn the tide in - australian politics. the other issue i think will be interesting to watch is the geopolitical aspect of what's happening. in particular of china. i think is getting a lot of criticism and his foreign minister as well for taking their eye off the ball when it comes to solomon islands. obviously china, there's now a pact between the solomon islands, they snuck in. even at the same time as australia did this
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aukus defence deal which which really annoyed europe. really annoyed france. that was great! really annoyed france but it was uk, us and australia and great, scott morrison looked like a great global leader and yet, in their own backyard, they took their eye off the ball. i think there are questions now about leadership they are in terms of the big geopolitical issues at a time where it's a very important issue for australia. one thing, though, it's really been interesting to watch - the chinese debate, watching the australian election _ so, we've heard some signals this week that china has been saying this — might be a time for us to turn the chapter. we might be able to — after the election... . ideally with a new prime minister? and yeah, open to starting to... i wonder if this has something to do with the fact that china. and australia are such key trading partners. i the chinese economy- is really hurting right now. are they really starting to think, actually... . presume all those covid lockdowns must have hit — as people can complain
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about supplies from china not getting through, the reality is at home, it must�*ve been really painful. new economics figures this week really showed retail— sales way down, exports wayl down, so it's really a shocking time for chinese economy. so maybe that will affect relations _ so maybe that will affect relations with _ so maybe that will affect relations with australia. i the chinese social relations as well it's a communist state, marx would not recognise it, they positively encourage the growth of a very wealthy bourgeoisie, what can happen if they are economy tanks? just on the question of a possible reset with australia — some criticism, i'm surprised even on the political right but perhaps more broadly on people worry about china, about the approach of jacinda ardern in new zealand, that she's been a bit too reluctant to criticise china and a bit too cosy, perhaps, with beijing. presumably beijing would quite like a relationship like that with an incoming anthony albanese government
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in australian labor in canberra, but presumably it's a bit more complicated. i should think so. yes. australia is in this pivotal position geographically, they could pivot to east, as they always say in america, america, like california. they are basically british in their mentality and they are very strongly democratic. how can they possibly come to terms with a close relationship with a state — as a totalitarian country? it could be done but it would be very uncomfortable politically and culturally. but i think that's one of the big themes of the last decade, has been a change towards china. as you say, in australia — look at america, before the ukraine war, joe biden's absolute foreign policy priority was china. he said we need to get he said we he continued that after donald trump and said we need tough in terms of trade, etc. europe as well, it was a bit too close to beijing, certainly washington did. but now, divisions are there but people are beginning to question that they
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put economic growth, ecoomic possibilities a concern about human rights abuses, etc. so, you know, there has been, i think, a global western shift towards china and it's gone from being an economic place of opportunity to a being threat geopolitically in terms of human rights. i think it'sjust interesting i when we think about china — and yes, i think australia has l been criticised from the people i've been speaking tto| with just going too far. they unilaterally came out. and said we need an inquiry into how covid - really came about. quite a confrontational approach. quite a confrontational approach when you - contrast that with singapore's relationship with china, - and evenjapan's relationship with china is a little bit more| nuanced and how they. deliver their messages. i think now that we are in a position where a lot - of countries are looking. to china to think they have a pivotal role to play- with china and how russia deals with ukraine. and so, a lot of countries are thinking actually, - maybe we do need - to improve our relationship with china in order to use that
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leverage with russia... - and on climate change. on climate change, the idea that you need to work — i hearjohn kerry saying this, we need to work with china as it is a global issue. that's one of the issues l you hear again and again. there are quite good _ relationships between americans and chinese scientists. there are quite good relationships when it comes to climate change — that usually the only i issue that's pointed out as being the thing that the two countries can agree on. - some cause for optimism. thank you all very much. thank you, too, very much for your company. we'll be back next weekend with more dateline. goodbye.
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hello there. there was a north—south divide with the weather for the start of the weekend. yes, weather fronts across scotland and northern ireland brought certainly more cloud, a bit more of a breeze, some showery outbreaks of rain as well. high pressure, though, hanging on in across england and wales. the cloud did develop as we went through the afternoon with some warm sunshine. london saw a high of 22 degrees — 72 fahrenheit. but where that cloud and the rain lingered across the highland, where we had around half an inch worth of rain through the day, it was a fairly grey affair at times. and that rain is still sitting there, chiefly to the north—west of the great glen but certainly, more cloud along western fringes. quite a murky start for the day with a few isolated showers here and there as well. so, the best of the sunshine, the best of the warmth, if we draw a line, really, from cardiff over towards norwich, anywhere south and east of that could potentially see highs of 23 degrees with the wind direction light and coming from a southerly. a little more cloud, a few spots of rain across north wales, northern england as well. a few more nuisance showers
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into northern ireland and once again to the north—west of the great glen, so here, a little bit fresher — 13—17 degrees the overall high. those weather fronts will ease away as we move through the latter stages of sunday, weakening all the time. but something worth bearing in mind is this weather front that's going to push up from the near continent. mightjust bring some sharp showers across the far south—east corner as well. and also worth bearing in mind, the wind direction changing to more of a north—westerly, so a cooler feel, and that's going to push the warm air that we've seen away from the south—east corner as well, so a noticeable difference to the feel of the weather potentially on monday. so, we need to keep an eye on those showers. there is a level of uncertainty of how far west those showers are likely to be, but there could be some sharp showers, maybe even a little bit of saharan dust mixed in there as well. a cloudier day on monday with a few scattered showers elsewhere and noticeably cooler as well. top temperatures 12—18 celsius. now, as we move out of monday and head into tuesday, that low pressure eases away
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and we see through the middle part of the week, after sunshine and showers on tuesday, more wet weather moving in, so things stay on the cooler side and a little more unsettled tuesday into wednesday, but high pressure then set to build once again and those temperatures will start to recover for the start of the weekend. of population, it - really is quite scary.
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hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm lucy grey. the australian opposition labor party leader, anthony albanese, has said he is humbled by his party's victory in australia's general election. addressing supporters, he pledged to transform the country into a renewable energy superpower and to work towards lifting wages and profits. it still isn't clear whether labor will lead a majority government or a coalition. our correspondent, shaimaa khalil reports from sydney. chanting: albo! albo! albo! this is the labor party's first election victory in almost a decade and it will be led by one of australia's longest serving politicians.


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