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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  August 27, 2022 11:30am-12:01pm BST

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said that the situation at the zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which is occupied by russia remains dangerous. the plant was temporarily disconnected from the power grid on thursday for the first time. the uk chancellor has said that middle income earners will need help in the government to pay their energy bills, notjust the poorest. now on bbc news dateline london with shaun ley. hello and welcome to the programme. it brings together some of the best—known british
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commentators and correspondents who write, blog, podcast and broadcast to audiences back home from the dateline london. this week, britain's elusive prime minister turned up... in ukraine, as the country marks the six months since the war there began. we now know in the uk how much energy bills will rise in the uk, in october, but not what the new prime minister will do when they take over from boris johnson. where is power going in the uk? where is it going in the united states and, in australia, how come much of it ended up in just the hands of one man and even his friends aren't happy about it? to discuss all of that in the studio, we have latika bourke, correspondent for the australian newspapers, and the sydney morning herald, polly toynbee, a writer who has been writing a weekly column for the guardian since 1987, aand michael goldfarb a renowned foreign correspondent for public radio in the united states. his podcast is called the first draft. the first draft of history.
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lovely to have you all in the dateline studio. this is ourfinal month on air, so we'll make it a good one. polly, let me start with you. when we left of the voting, how confident and at liz truss�*s how confident are liz truss�*s supporters, that she will be in at downing street at the beginning of september? every poll puts her further and further ahead. it is the funny little electorate, just 160,000 people for all of the rest of us, it is very bizarre. but she certainly seems to have captivated them. she has played absolutely to the core of the conservative party. it is very particular and also not necessarily very much like conservative voters. far more extreme and we have seen her putting out one policy after another every day, really playing to the right. the question is whether, when she gets in, she is going to have to swerve back again. i think she'll find it quite difficult because she has really put herself out there, and she seems to be about to choose a cabinet who are going to keep her
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strapped to the mast. the curious thing about this is that, as you said, there is a policy initiative every day to grab the newspaper headlines. we have effectively a manifesto from these guys. they're also both saying there are things in the manifesto that were elected on by the general public in 2019 and that they still want to implement, but when you ask about energy bills, we gets told, come back to us in two weeks. here we are, in the middle of a great national emergency, really serious, energy bills up 80%, millions of people destitute, they will talk about anything else except the one else except the one thing everyone knows. they are not telling their own party and i would have expected those conservative party people who won't be affected, to say, but tell us, but some reason they have slipped off. today, not one single government minister or any of the candidates has come out and spoken on this. 0n the day of a great national emergency. we had some clips from the prime minister saying we are already offering some help that will come through and the chancellor saying, watch this space. but not proper interviews where they are saying
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what the policy will be. not willing to talk anyone. they dare not say anything. the two candidates are terrified because what they would have to say i think that they think wouldn't please the conservative party. they will have to say, we are going to put out a lot more money. they have hinted they will put out more, they will have to do, but they dare not say how much it has got to be because it will have to be a lot, unless they want children starving on the streets. unless they want old people dying. either they will have to put a lot of money out there, or they will had to push up borrowing a huge amount or think that would be the right thing to do, would be to put up taxes. international viewers, we're talking about bills as may 300 british pounds — £500. initially, maybe £500 as the maximum, as the regulator looks again, in a month, on average. but that is on average. in the proportion of people's income, that could be that people are paying 20 or 30%
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of the money that they have got. people living on fixed incomes are lower incomes, and there is a greater proportion than they are paying on housing costs and even coming up to the levels they may not be able to afford. exactly. i hate this cost of living. it is it too easy a catchphrase. the thing about this news that has come out today, we have known it is coming. it underscores how these last weeks, months and a half, almost, there has been no effective government. this government which has been in power since 2010, they talk about the blob, the blob being civil servants, in a functioning government, the department of energy's top
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civil servants would be take the energy minster aside and say, in a 90 days, 0fcom is going to have to deal with these price increases, remember that prices are going up because russia's got its thumb on europe's natural gas supply, and that affects us. the secretary of state would then come in a conversation with the pro—minister, if there wasn't one with the prime minister, if there wasn't one who was on holiday in greece or another country getting adulation, he would say, we had better get a policy pronto. on this day, there would be a response. it doesn't exist. other things... functioning government— it isn't having one! last time i was on the show we were talking about this. you should never look inside the sausage factory to see how sausages are made, and one should never look inside the conservative party to see how they select their party leader. and they should do it more quickly, but leaving that aside, the other thing that is happening is just want to get this out. ijust want to get this out. the financial times this week has an excellent data analyst in john murdoch.
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he has figured out, going through data, he has got no axe to grind, that in the month ofjune, there were 2,000 excess deaths in britain, and he has gone to all the numbers, it has nothing to do with covid—19, it has to do with the fact that the systems are near to collapse, people are dying on trolleys, of cancer because they can't get seen, because of the backlog of the last years, again, a functioning government hits this stuff off at the pass and at the moment, we do not have one. it is curious this is happening because michael gove, one of the cabinet ministers who left when borisjohnson was got rid of, he was sacked, he gave a policy exchange speech where he said, the truth is, quite a lot of government at the moment is not functioning. in other words, somehow, they have created a situation, partly because of the political crisis, but more generally, with things like passports,
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and with some how the political leadership did not seem to be focused on making the machinery operate. it was quite striking to hear- a cabinet minister who has been in the government . for how long it now? that he basically admitted their own failures in - supplying basic services. he is right, it doesn't feel. like this has been circa 1970. i'm not old enough to remember that time, clearly! _ 38, i've never lived| through a recession because they grow in australia. you don't have them? thanks to our digging up of fossil fuels and selling them _ to the rest of the world. this is a very alarming time and it does feel like the government - here isjust not in control. worse, the government is not interested in listening - and talking to the communityj about the very genuine fears. i'm not a journalist - who likes to sensationalise or alarm unnecessarily, but i do feel like todayl was a real line in the sand i where people are frightened. and those things will have to be addressed come the 5th, 6th of september when the new prime minister takes over.
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on this campaign, what is fascinating about how liz truss has positioned herself as she is the longest serving cabinet minister but she seems to have defined herself as the outsider. rishi sunak has been a bit left behind in that. the great and in that conservatives talk about, almost in hushed tones, is so crosby, the australian strategist, do you detect his hand in this? is he one of those people influencing these sparring political strategies? not linton crosby himself, . but linton was in partnership with a couple of gentlemen, one of which is running - liz's campaign. i think you could say- that there is a legacy there.
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mark is destined to go into no. 10 as chief of staff, _ should liz truss be victorious. i think sometimes though there is a little bit of exaggeration... | about the wonderful wizardry effects of linton crosby. - he basically made a political kind of strategy out - of awaiting a community, seeking division lines - and relentlessly prosecuting them. i haven't seen a liz truss do i as much of that this campaign. but she has been quite good at defining her opponent and putting him on terms that are not flattering to him, but then he ends up having to defend his reputation. i i think this is where crosby may. come in, because that damage has been mainly done by borisjohnson and his supporters _ who are quite shirty. if i was crosby i'd be steering well clear of this one because she is not at all popular. she is going to win because of her tiny conservative party choosing her, she not
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popular with her own mps, only 50 of them chose her. she is not popular with conservative voters and her lack of policy on this critical question. so i think nobody wants to say, i ran this campaign because it has not been a very good one. a mark of valediction for borisjohnson, hinted at it, michael, and i mentioned it at the top, his farewell tour of kyiv, where he was given a presidential award, most likely hollywood walk of fame. he got a flagstone on the pavement. in his farewell remarks there, he made the point is that we are paying high energy prices because of this war, but the sacrifice by the ukrainians is greater, of course it is, it is a blood sacrifice. it is the fundamental existence of the country, or not, but i wonder whether at some point, that problem is going to become more acute, where people actually, where people actually say, yes, we are paying the higher bills, we have the sanctions,
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but it doesn't seem to be bringing the war to a rapid conclusion. going to kyiv is a good idea, it's the one place sitting on earth, where he will have a monument to himself... and there are these bloodlines that go deep into... he might one day clean, well actually, my grandmother the slave girl, that he was talked about, actually did time in crimea, so i'm a ukrainian citizen. he will challenge zelensky for the presidency! no, i'mjustjoking. what is happening now is it is clear that we are heading into a world war i situation. this will not be resolved. it simply isn't, russia can empty its presence and gets two weeks of training with the wagner group, they still can't take the country. it's a big country and they don't have enough men under arms, they don't have enough elements to take the country. we are going to see this stalemate.
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clearly, vladimir putin is betting notjust on britain but also of western europe to get its natural gas from russia. sometime in december, saying, ouch. a demanding that ukrainian government somehow come to an accommodation. i'm not sure. i'll tell you why, there are two things, firstly, me being hopelessly naive, i think there are enough stories out about the grotesque atrocities that the russian forces are creating and i think it does offend western liberal sensibility, if there is such a thing, the same liberal sensibility, that might still return the conservatives to government in 2024. when i say liberal sensibility, people just don't... you can't take 1,000 children and stick them deep into siberia
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as hostages, which is... you can't do that. the other thing, it is more recent and dangerous, is the situation of the nuclear power station. if anything goes wrong there, and a few days ago, there were reports that there was no electricity getting in, if anything goes wrong there, and a few days ago, there were reports that there was no electricity getting in, you need to get in to keep the fuel rods cooled down. to get fuel. than it overheats and explodes? this is something no one wants, but it happens, russia will carry that. i think come december, come january, when putin would hope... western leaders, back and say it is cold, it is too expensive, we can't pay the cost. then whether they go? what do they do next? today put pressure on the ukrainians to give up donbas?
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how do they account to their own voters? i think it is unthinkable. i think so too. it may be the ukrainians themselves at some point decide to settle but i don't think that it will be that the west or europe will pull the rug from them. this week, joe biden has been getting some stuff done, announced that he was committing to several billion dollars in aid, that is a lot of aid to throw forward and commit the next congress to when he is not sure he is going to have control of congress. but this is him putting a marker down to the western alliance as well. i agree with you polly. but i very much doubt that the pain reported from ukraine. i have reported from there a couple of times men as a nation being born, which is the amazing thing.
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i cannot imagine them ever suing. they will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming and that might happen, but the ukrainians themselves want russia out. even russian—speaking people... they don't want this. they don't want the aggression that has visited them and they do not want the destruction of their cities. it has to end sometime, one way or another, whether in five years or, god help us, in a ten years. they will have to end somehow, as you say, it is a stalemate. it could be for a very long time. i think there is another - conversation to add to this mix, though, and that this energy crisis did notjust happen— because of putin. this energy crisis happened because we have failed - to transition our economy - to renewables where we could have actually had some independent energy security right now. - i think you'll see two things - happen, i think the short term, you will see countries like mine, australia, just opening up underj new labour government, - after another climate change election, just opened up ten - new sites for offshore gas drilling, so in short time, i think
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you will see, maybe, i just a bit more fossil fuels, until we can get to things l like green hydrogen. and so, i think you're - going to have two different conversations happening, parallel, in tandem, - because of the same crisis. so let's talk about your country and these political events. i saw, thursday, i think it was described as a mini constitutional crisis, not about the current prime minister, but the last prime minister and what he was doing during covid—19. it is the most wild| story to come out. scott morrison decided - at the beginning of a pandemic to sign him into another couple of ministerial portfolios, - not telling his colleagues i that he had signed them in. the health ministry, - the ag and then, a year later, l he decides to go and secretly sign| himself into a few more ministerial jobs without telling those ministers who onlyjust learnt a couple -
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of weeks before, when scott morrison decides to buddy up with one - of his favourite journalists i for a new book, telling him about how great he was, and about how he managed the pandemic so well! - that was a bombshell in australia, as you can imagine. _ it was completely unprecedented. but what does it matter? they were all on the same side. the secrecy that must have been involved?! absolutely. don't people talk when they have a few beers in canberra?! australia was very locked down. people did not travel for two years. so he was allowed to get awayl with this incredible power grab. in context, he is very disliked byj his own colleagues and you have seen lots of those colleagues, including one minister, - he belatedly found out. he was also her position, calling for him to quit the _
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parliament because now he has been asked out of government, - he is still an mp on the back bench. i saw a quote from the sister general that stephen donoghue, speaking in the week, and that it is impossible for the pilot ministers to account if it does not know which ministers are responsible for which department. that kind of sums it up, doesn't it? we can kind of imagine borisjohnson saying, i'll have that one and this one... and liz truss, saying, why do i have to have these other cabinet ministers, i can do it all?! there is that power grab instinct around in the air at the moment, you can imagine donald trump doing it. constitutionally, there are issues, because the government in general, the queen's presented in australia, appears to have signed off on these changes but again didn't tell anyone. he was secretly sworn in, there were secretl ceremonies that took place. it isjust so bizarre, | the whole situation. now, it is important to stress- that he did not do anything illegal. he acted completely legally, he is allowed to do that, - signing himself intojobs,| of course there is a public
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expectation that you would tell us this, and of course, _ if not the prime minister, i then maybe the government general should have. this is worrying territory— because we have a different climate, different landscape in australia - now, under the new labour government that pointed the first ever public minister, in the second time, - they would definitely push forward for a republic. the reason the monarchy stays in australia is not. because they really love the monarchy so much, | it isjust because it is a system that for now is not broken. - so why fix something that is not broken? . the queen's representive and his_ ultra—neutrality's beginning to be questioned or the acquittal- of hisjob, you are into some really fertile territory. - very interesting, it is exactly the same here. we have had a prime minister absolutely going rogue, prorogued parliament without. .. against the constitution,
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we suddenly realised as well that we have a queen, there is nobody that stands there as an authority, an elected figure to be the protector of the constitution. who does the queen turn to for advice? the prime minister! and it is the prime minister has gone rogue. we know that we are going to realise we need a written constitution as a guarantor of it, a president, as most european countries have... the the australians, the government general signing off on something elected prime minister does, it is not in the league of say, excuse the noise in the background, it is not on the same level as the then governor general dismissing the elected government, it is small beer in those terms. yes, in the sense of what borisjohnson did is relatively small beer, but he did prorogue parliament against the law, and told the queen it was the right thing to do and told the queen to give him permission to do it. and so, you really do feel you need somebody to be in charge.
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you are used to politicians sort of riding roughshod over political... donald trump set the template. i think what is interesting is that it does seem that in the anglosphere, not in canada, but in the anglosphere in general, we have come to this remarkable confluence where hard right wing goverments have a shred of normal customs. it was a written constitution and a flawed document but one that can be amended by men and women of goodwill, but there is no goodwill any more. we have seen what donald trump did in the period of his presidency, we saw what britain, as donald trump called borisjohnson, and now the story
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about scott morrison. written by trump, there is a sense of decency of, we can't do that,... the system that has run from 1980, from reagan, across our country's economies, it is coming undone. it does not work any more. politicians going for- the jobs have changed... that is absolutely... it is a naked ambition, _ rather than an ambition combined... and our great constitutional historian has always called it a fear of governmental good chaps. they would follow good constitution, don't need something written because everyone knows that the system works, but now we have politicians who call the good chaps, the blob, the people who are meant to keep the show on the road
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behind—the—scenes and no longer any respect for any traditions and conventions. be careful what you wish for in a written constitution, polly, l because it requires a double majority in australia, - and they are almost impossible... you have to have every state and territory agree, and by a majority and then you have to have the national vote to say yes by majority. only a handful of referenda in australia have passed. briefly on a donald trump, this document goes on, we have the affidavits on friday, it didn't really tell us much new, but it reinforced this concern about doctors being removed... about documents being removed... it is political because he is about to declare or may declare for 202a. is he going to go for it? i think that think that he probably will. he doesn't listen to anyone any more, he has no one to tell him... he everdid?! people that weren't much help from our point of view, but from within the white house, all these memoirs coming out, making it clear that there were people saying, no, you really can't do that, and then he would throw his
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handbag against the wall, as they say. everything that is leaked to the press, saying, yes, he will go for, that will allow him to mobilise his shrinking base at... before the midterms, do you think? yes, because he no longer cares about this. plus the greatest threats to him running in a 2024, lives at the road from him in the governors's mansion, ron de santos, who sees the world as trump does, but is everything that he is, he is disciplined, he is intelligent, shockingly, that intelligence can be so wasted. he is ruthlessly focused which is something... but trump on the party, no one can get selected. looks what might... look what happened
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to elizabeth cheney, no one can get selected as a republican candidate without... yes and no, because in the midterms, what will happen is quite a few trump endorsed candidates, for example, this guy, doctor oz, the celebrity from cnn, he is going to lose, come back to him. herschel walker, star football player, is going to lose what was a winnable senate seat for the republicans. so when the dust has settled... people will turn around and say, no. and i'm going to say at this point, no! thank you all very much as ever, thank you to come as well, stay with us for more dateline london every weekend between now and the end of september. goodbye. hello, there. for many of us, it's a bank holiday weekend. what's the weather got in store? well, it's going to be essentially largely dry. we started off with a lot of sunshine this morning, and that's the way the weather's
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going to stay for most of us, with high pressure in charge. the only real exception is across northern ireland, where we've got this thicker cloud working in — that's bringing some patchy, light outbreaks of rain to western counties. otherwise, as we go on through to the afternoon, there will be one or two showers bubbling up across parts of the uk, but not many around — so even in the areas that i'm going to mention showers, there won't be many. now, there'll be a few popping up just inland from the south coast — the south coast itself should stay entirely dry. the west midlands could see an odd shower, parts of northwest england, running up to northumberland and into eastern areas of scotland. but, as i say, even for these areas, there will hardly be any showers today, so the emphasis is on a lot of dry weather through the afternoon, and it will feel warm in the day's sunshine with temperatures widely into the low 20s, reaching around 2a or 25 degrees in the warmest spots of england and wales. 0vernight tonight, clearskies for england and wales. always thicker cloud for scotland and northern ireland, with outbreaks of rain. becoming a bit heavier, a bit more extensive across the western isles and into the highlands. temperatures overnight
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about 10 to 1a degrees. and tomorrow, again, it is a largely dry picture — although, that said, we start off with this thicker cloud, still some patches of rain affecting the northwest of scotland. perhaps an odd shower for northern ireland — maybe an odd one for england and wales — but for most it's another dry day with sunny spells. temperatures not really changing that much — 21 in glasgow, a 20 for belfast, up to 23 or 2a in the warmest parts of england and wales. and this area of high pressure�*s going to stay with us for what for many of us will be bank holiday monday. bank holiday monday. now, around that area of high pressure, we're going to get some slightly stronger north—to—northeasterly winds blowing in across the north sea, and that will bring some slightly fresher air in to parts of eastern scotland, eastern england. and, after a sunny start, cloud will develop and it probably will turn quite cloudy for a time towards the middle part of the day. so temperatures easing a little across these eastern areas — the warmest weather for southern parts of wales, with highs of about 24. and, of course, it's the return of the notting hill carnival, which is on throughout the weekend and into bank holiday monday.
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and into bank holiday monday. a tiny chance of a shower. essentially, it should stay dry throughout. and a lot of dry weather next week, as well, with that high pressure going nowhere very far, very fast — although we could see some rain towards the end of the week in the north.
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this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. in pakistan — a national emergency is declared — as millions are forced from their homes, by the heaviest monsoon rains in decades. it's been more than ten days of heavy rains and yet the streets of sukkur are still flooded. this is one of the main roads linking this community to the outside world. the uk chancellor has said that middle—income earners will require further help from the government to pay their energy bills, notjust the poorest. police investigating the fatal shooting of nine—year—old 0livia pratt—korbel at her home in liverpool, have arrested a second man on suspicion of murder. scientists are trying to identify why thousands of fish have died in a river between poland and germany.


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