tv Dateline London BBC News June 11, 2022 11:30am-12:01pm BST
hello. it is unusually windy out there for a june day, particularly in northern parts, where we have some pretty heavy showers around. not as many showers further south and some good spells of sunshine. the further south and east you are, mainly dry, sunny spells, just the odd shower. some more showers through wales, northern england. certainly some showers for northern ireland and some heavy ones, even spells of persistent rain in parts of scotland, where we will see wind gusts in the north—west touching 50mph. temperatures just 1a degrees for stornoway, 22 the high in london. through this evening and tonight, some showers will continue. many will fade. we will see some clear spells to take us into the first part of sunday. temperatures around dawn 10, 11 or 12 degrees. it should be a brighter start than we had today across scotland. some good spells of sunshine elsewhere. still some showers in the forecast, but not as many as we have today. still quite windy, but not as windy as it is today, and temperatures ranging from m
in glasgow to 21 degrees in norwich. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... prince charles is reported to have described the government's rwanda asylum scheme as "appalling". his office say he remains politically neutral. police in brazil searching for a missing britishjournalist say they've found possible human remains in a river. borisjohnson urges ministers to do "everything in their power" to secure the release of two british men sentenced to death for fighting russian forces. the maximum interest rate on student loans in england is being cut by almost 5%. ministers hope it will provide "peace of mind" for graduates. a father and son have been killed in a crash at the isle of man tt. five riders have died in this year's event. as you can see, this eye is not blinking. and singerjustin bieber reveals the reason he cancelled his
performances this week — he's experiencing facial paralysis. now on bbc news, dateline london with shaun ley. hello, and welcome to the programme which brings together leading uk commentators with the foreign correspondents who write, blog and broadcast from the dateline: london. this week, political apologies and their consequences. 40% of borisjohnson�*s mps say it isn't enough to say sorry — he should quit. we'll be discussing why history
may be on the british prime minister's side. and in africa, the king of belgium voices his "deepest regret" over the "abuse and humiliation" caused in what is now the drc by his family and other belgians. why do those who colonised find it so hard to say sorry? in the studio are stefanie bolzen, uk and ireland correspondent for the german media group die welt, marc roche, who writes for the french news magazine le point, adam raphael, who began reporting on uk politics in 1976, the last year to date in which a british prime minister left office by choice. thanks very much forjoining us, and welcome to everyone. let me start with you, adam. on the question of boris�*s apparent survival and certainly survival for now. he says he is getting on with thejob. is this just a display of what one might call boris bravura, or is he right to think that his enemies perhaps moved a bit too soon? they may have moved too soon to kick him out,
but actually i think his position is unsustainable. my own view is that he will be out before the end of the year. the fact is if you look at the simple mass of it, 211 voted for boris, but of that 211, 170 no less are the payroll vote. so he has a0 or 50 independent votes. the people who voted against him, they got 148, three times as many. three times as independent tory mps voted against him. that is unsustainable, and if you look at what happened in the past, iain duncan smith, theresa may, john major they all were out very soon after confidence votes. and of course mrs thatcher was challenged for the leadership as well and she was out as well. once a party is totally divided, as the conservative party is now, it is externally difficult to recover. the other interesting thing, and this sounds hostile to boris, who i've known for many years
and find charming and funny, like many others — he always has lied himself out of trouble, and he continues to lie. but what worries me about him now is it's notjust lying, it is almost fantasy politics. he describes this result as extremely positive, decisive, conclusive, as though it was some kind of triumph. well, successful liars, at least you've got to have a plausible story. you mustn't be found out immediately. i think he is beginning to lose his touch. quite apart from any of that, he is faced by how horrendous a political situation — two by—elections which he is capable of losing coming up in tiverton and in wakefield, and he has got a cost of living crisis in this country which we have not seen since post—war britain. so i would be really very
surprised if he was able to sustain his position, because the conservative party, one thing it does do very well, it has a link and a range to power, and if they think boris is a loser, as i think they are beginning to realise that he will be at the next election, they will get rid of him. what did you make of this result? how do you try to explain it to your audience? i honestly have been a bit more cautious about announcing that this is now the last chapter. because they have been so many last chapters in the last two years. it is like a book of last chapters! it has felt a bit like groundhog day. you have seen this all before, you have seen the prime minister going to the cabinet and saying, "now we will really do this in the interest of the people." i am cautious and would not bet any money, i know the brits love betting, i always lose so i don't do it... there's a lot of historical
parallels, for example with theresa may — but that was a completely different circumstance. there was one faction of the parliamentary group that really wanted her out, they succeeded and were very targeted. while with this revolution or rebellion against boris, it was very difficult to describe, lots of wings standing up and saying, "we aren't happy with this any more." but he is an extraordinary politician, different to everybody else. maybe he still might be around for the next election. mark, do you have an explanation for readers in france and in belgium of the political phenomenon that is borisjohnson? the problem i face is that- the french are divided about him. on the one hand, they like his politics, he is funny, - he is a francophile, _ a francophone, he is the opposite of a stuffy french politician - like macron or hollande or sarkozy. so they like that.
on the other hand, they perceive him as a liar because of brexit, _ he is provoking a terrible crisis with the european union - by revoking de facto - the northern ireland protocol. that legislation will be published on monday, we will find out what is in it. and he is responsible for the worst crisis in bilateral relationships - between france and the uk since de gaulle refused the brits _ in the european community. so it is divided. but more and more people - are telling me, when they asked me about boris, they tell me, "he is dead, isn't he? - he cannot survive i being a serial liar." of course, in french - politics, one never lies! laughter. adam, there is a line, isn't there? precisely because this rebellion was so broad, that it lacked the depth and the focus. in a sense, the rebels have played their hand. any other mp who might oppose him may think, "what is the point of declaring it?
i'll simply be frozen out by number ten and we will not get rid of him anyway." he is so stubborn and determined and he could even, because he now has the power again, the fixed—term parliaments act has been revoked, if his party became really difficult, he could just take his appeal directly to the country, go to the queen and ask for parliament to be dissolved, she constitutionally would have to accept that, he goes to the country and basically defies his own rebels. he is that kind of risk—taker. he is a risk—taker, but that will be one risk too many, because to stage an election in defiance of his own party... i think we have to start listening to what the tory associations are saying all around the country. one of the reasons why this big vote against him was as large as it was, was because they had been back to their constituencies and they listened to their own loyal, true conservative members, and they frankly are horrified by what has been going on. if the situation in this country was better in terms of the economy,
in terms of other areas, it is just possible he might be able to, i think, survive it. the fact is we are in for a really, really rough situation now. i think the really valid point you make is that you are quite right that this was a very disparate opposition to him. there is not a focus to it, and that is why i think the next few months are going to be extremely messy but very interesting journalistically. plenty for you guys to write about. let's move on to the economy, because that is the one aspect of this he can't control, however he might wish to. we had the oecd report this week saying that the british economy will perform next year the worst of the g7 countries. except russia. and you could argue that russia has extenuating circumstances. the economy is effectively being frozen out of the world economy by sanctions and so on. that is not the uk's problem,
but what is the uk's problem? what do you think? you have been studying the british economy, its strengths and weaknesses, for many years. i wrote a piece of this week saying that britain is again _ the sick man of europe. this was the ottoman empire before world war i and - was also the situation before thatcher took over in the 19705. _ stagflation, inflation 10%, growth. down 5% in the last quarter of 2021. they are predicting no growth next year. no growth at all, i strikes repetitive, a commercial war with europe looming, if not already. there because of brexit. and the only thing he has to provide | is going back to imperial measures. | this delusion of grandeur, - of nostalgia, while the economy is going nowhere is quite typical of borisjohnson. _
very pessimistic about the economy — that could bring him down. _ i agree with you. i think you have summed it up very well. i think the economy is in a terrible state, the difficulty forjohnson, he is not really, and i think the conservative party begin to realise, he is not really a conservative. he is a johnsonian. that is one of the reasons for this degree of great distrust of what he is up to. there is no trust for him and he is confronted by some incredibly difficult decisions. the conservatives are traditionally a tax—cutting party, they cannot cut taxes at this moment unless they started borrowing huge sums of money, which in itself would be profoundly un—conservative. there is no way out of this cul—de—sac that he finds himself in. that is through no fault of his own, but his character defects, i'm afraid, plus the fact this is probably
the weakest cabinet i have seen since post—war britain, it doesn't really help. i have no confidence that they are going to get out of this mess. i mean, i have not been here as long reporting, but if i may say, one of the first things i was reporting was going to the north and being taken by the british government to see the northern powerhouse, that was the key word of the day. every new government, and don't forget the conservatives are now in power for 12 years, and every new prime minister has a new idea for how to do real structural reform. there is a lot of nice slogans, with borisjohnson it was "let's get brexit done" and level the country up, especially the north, but they haven't done anything. here in london, we live quite well. but if you go further north, there is real poverty there. children who do not have to eat now with the energy prices, parents have to choose whether to heat their house or give their children food. many children get to school in the morning and are hungry. this is the real avalanche that is
coming, and now we are in summer, let's to autumn and winter, and it is a very wasted word, but the autumn or winter of discontent. but i am worried about what is coming. in terms of the economic options, the oecd effectively have given i the british government cover, haven't they? if he wanted to back away from some of his policy choices already, like the increases in taxation planned for the next few months, he could do it. but one wonders whether he has, whether his party would tolerate that, given the divisions on display in the last few months. the problem is the governor- of the bank of england said 80% of the factors of this inflation is external, with _ absolutely no control. so he has control of 20%. so he could do on this 20% something. - the problem is that what sort of conservative is he? -
he wants to promise a tax cut, which is ridiculous, _ because we know i that it doesn't work. the only way i think he could get a bit out is helping the people i most affected by it, by giving money. i printing money. get inflation more. the prime minister not only said this week on his visit to blackpool, "you can't spend your way out of recession, you can't tax your way to lowering inflation." he is starting to revert, in terms of his language at least, to more thatcherite slogans. it is clear that rishi sunak the chancellor takes a more traditionally conservative view. these tensions have the potential to explode and be quite damagingly for the government. i think he couldn't take the resignation of his chancellor. i think that would be one of the things, so he has to go along. boris is a really opportunistic politician.
i did once ask him, "boris, how do you come to your views?" because they were a mixture. he said, "it is easy, i just find out what the wheelers are thinking," that was his second wife, "and i go 180 degrees opposite and i can't go wrong." that is a typical boris joke, but he is veryjournalistic. journalists, maybe mark has firm views, mostjournalists are very floating voters, they go all over the place on policy. so does boris, he is a total opportunist, he doesn't have really clear, deep beliefs. the conservative party, certainly they are beginning to understand this. it is perhaps why none of us have gone into politics, because imagine the damage we would have done with our inconsistent views. talking about opportunism, he reminds me of david lloyd george, the great liberal prime minister who ended up leaving a conservative coalition government until conservative mps threw him out
100 years ago this year. let's talk about belgium, in particular, and this question of imperial legacy. the king of the belgians, or king of belgium as i should probably style him, was in the drc, the democratic republic of congo this week. why, and what was different about this visit? it is the first time _ you have a king of belgium... belgium was a terrible coloniser. not that there were good ones, but they might have been - among the worst ones, _ with the exploitation of the people of the congo and the wealth - and the minerals of the congo that built belgium as a superpower at the end of the 19th centuryl and beginning of the 20th century. he went there to apologise. but he said exactly, _ "we denounce unacceptable regime based on paternalism - and discrimination and racism." well, he didn't really apologise.
he just condemned it. and did he bring...? that almost makes him sound like he's like a third party, like he was looking from the outside. and it was his family, it was initially... it belonged to leopold ii, who was his family, - saxe—coburg and gotha. what did he bring to the congolese? he didn't bring money as compensation. - no, belgium can't afford that at the moment. - he brings a few artefacts - from the museum of the congo in tervuren, and a tooth of lumumba! the first democratic prime minister... killed by the belgians _ and the americans, because he was... | so he brings these few things, a few| artefacts and the tooth of lumumba, and says it's done — l he hasn't apologised, he has condemned.
i went recently to brussels. the statues of leopold ii - are everywhere and there is not a plaque on this marvellous building in the centre of brussels, _ which has been built. because of colonialism, not an explanation. nothing has changed. i think belgium, like most - countries, with some exceptions, cannot cope with its colonial past. but you think money is quite a big part of this? the fear that it would somehow open the gates to massive compensation? yes, and the compensation will be massive, _ because the minerals, - you know, gold, diamonds... rubber, everything, all the resources. everything, so the - compensation can run. the problem is the congolese are not very well equipped i to get this compensation. they won't go to court - and so at the end the belgians will get away with it. germany faced this dilemma and it
took a different route. can you explain the background to this? it's only a couple of years ago. it's not long ago, i think it was spring 2021 that the government in berlin, it was still angela merkel, agreed with the government of namibia for compensation and also gave an official apology. they had been negotiating for quite some years about the money that germany was going to pay and i think it was more than a billion euros, which goes into lots of projects in the country. but i think, in a way, germany is a bit of a unique case, if i may say, in europe, and for good reason, because of our history, the nazi history and the holocaust. so i really think... i'm one of the germans of the generations who really grew up and was educated with knowing, almost sometimes i think for children, too harshly, in too much detail, what germans did to the jews, to the russians, to the ukrainians and millions of people in europe and beyond.
so i think we don't find it difficult to say sorry, because we know there have been atrocities. while it is difficult to acknowledge what you have done, but then you can move on. if you don't do this, if you don't honestly say, "this was so wrong and we're sorry," your country cannot move on. i am conscious of the fact we are four white europeans sitting around this table, all from what were colonising nations. this is a live issue for the british, isn't it? we saw it with the royal visit to the caribbean by the cambridges early this year which was supposed to be about marking the queen's jubilee but actually turned into an argument about legacy, and their response was thought to be a bit tone deaf, frankly. we've had some countries now saying they will leave the commonwealth and ending links with the queen as head of state, in part driven by this issue. have the british yet to find a way to address this, do you think? i'm not sure they have.
but i suspect i'm tone deaf on this issue too. i am not sure the word sorry is a very helpful word. the vikings weren't sorry when they plundered this country in whenever it was. countries have their history, and parts of british colonial history are undoubtedly reprehensible, we did some terrible things. parts of british colonial history we can be proud of. and i think one has to face up to the facts of what one did and what one didn't do and where the failings were, but it is a terrible mistake tojudge everything in retrospect from the standards of today. that doesn't mean to say you hide what you have done or it shouldn't be acknowledged what was done at the time, but i am wary of sorry. i'm not wary of reparations if they can be shown that you need to make good, in terms of relationships, what has happened in the past. but this word sorry is just too easy a word. i think you just have
to face up to your history. just a correction, and it. shows how strong the link still is with the commonwealth, because the countries _ who are getting rid of the queen as head of state stay _ in the commonwealth, - and that shows how strong a link this colonial link is. because what is the commonwealth? it is the remnants of the colonies. i'm interested in this, because i think, certainly when i was growing up in the 1980s, we weren't taught about the other side of colonial legacy. we weren't taught much about colonisation, we were taught about the scramble for africa as a historians' debate, but this is from a book called legacy of violence by caroline elkins, an american professor. she did some research on actual british government documents, and this is a quote, not a pleasant quote but important in the context of this, about some of the violence that was used against those who suffered as a result of this
in terms of the violence that was used against them. i willjust try and find, if i can find the right bit of this... i don't think i can, but essentially what she was saying was that there was real violence used and some of the violence was things that would be shameful to many people in this country if they knew the violence, some of those documents were hidden away in a government building and only appeared about ten years ago. this is mau mau, is it? the mau mau rebellion. this is an example of the british establishment burying its legacy. look, i think nations do want to hide things at times. but i am just wary of this total sweep of colonial... that all colonialism is bad, which there is a movement on that now. i don't think it is true, i think there were some very good things done in that period. it is easier to celebrate the achievements if you acknowledge the flaws? i think mark's point,
the commonwealth would not exist if britain's record was so poor as is sometimes portrayed. i'm not quite sure, i find it hard to say there have been good things done by colonialism — what do you mean for example? in terms of education, commercialisation, in terms of trade, living standards. that is fine but... in terms of british law. i don't think one can totally ignore some of the things. it is not about ignoring what has been achieved but it is also about acknowledging what was wrong what you have done. especially here, you don't have to go very far, you only have to go to ireland and understand and have some empathy with the irish, who now again feel they almost go through a trauma of being let down by the english again, where does this come from? there is something in the collective memory that you have been let down. but the queen apologised - to the irish in 2011 when she went — why can't she apologise to the commonwealth? j
i disagree with you, i think now. we have in britain a multicultural, multiethnic society, _ and we cannot continue to have these statues of slavers. one should get rid of them. it is another good point that britain has changed and perhaps our attitude needs to change with it. i think it is a fair point, and i'm not against discussion or indeed acknowledgement of what is happened — i'm all in favour of that. but the idea of tearing down cecil rhodes' statue for my old college in oxford — ridiculous. of course in the end they flunked it... don't symbols matter? symbols do matter, but the idea you tear something down and something is achieved by this... my granddaughter was partly responsible for tearing down the statue in bristol. this divides families. i bet you have some very lively discussions.
in the debate over statues in the southern united states, and over the union and the confederacy, it turns out a lot of the statues weren't that old. they were set up at a later stage because people felt they wanted to be reminded of something that for them was a more glorious past. they were contemporary. a lot of statues are being kept but with plaques and explanations. i am all in favour of that, of trying to explain some of the background of what was going on. thank you all are very much. thank you very much, more dateline: london next week. goodbye. hello.
it is unusually windy out there for a june day, particularly in northern parts, where we have some pretty heavy showers around. not as many showers further south and some good spells of sunshine. the further south and east you are, mainly dry, sunny spells, just the odd shower. some more showers through wales, northern england. certainly some showers for northern ireland and some heavy ones, even spells of persistent rain in parts of scotland, where we will see wind gusts in the north—west touching 50mph. temperatures just 1a degrees for stornoway, 22 the high in london. through this evening and tonight, some showers will continue. many will fade. we will see some clear spells to take us into the first part of sunday. temperatures around dawn 10, 11 or 12 degrees. it should be a brighter start than we had today across scotland. some good spells of sunshine elsewhere. still some showers in the forecast, but not as many as we have today. still quite windy, but not as windy as it is today, and temperatures ranging from 1a in glasgow to 21 degrees in norwich.
this is bbc news. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. prince charles is reported to have described the government's rwanda asylum scheme as �*appalling'. the first flight is scheduled to leave on tuesday. prince charles was overheard saying this, he hasn't said it or declared it, his office has made it clear that he is staying politically neutral. police in brazil searching for a missing britishjournalist say they've found possible human remains in a river. borisjohnson urges ministers to do "everything in their power" to secure the release of two british men sentenced to death for fighting russian forces. the maximum interest rate on student loans in england is being cut by almost 5%. ministers hope it will provide �*peace of mind' for graduates.