tv Dateline London BBC News September 4, 2022 2:30am-3:01am BST
this is bbc news. the headlines: nasa has called off the planned launch of the artemis mission to the moon for the second time in a week. the lift—off of the giant rocket was postponed after the discovery of a much larger fuel leak than the one that prevented the first launch. ukraine's president zelensky has urged europe to remain united in the face of russia's use of energy as a weapon. his wife has told the bbc, the economic impact of the war is tough on the allies but ukrainians are counting casualties rather than pennies. donald trump has accused joe biden of being the real enemy of the state days after the president branded him a threat to american democracy. the former us president, was holding a rally in pennsylvania — the first since the fbi raided his mar—a—lago
residence. those are your world headlines. now on bbc news, dateline london with shaun ley. hello and welcome to the programme that brings together distinguished british commentators and foreign correspondents who write, blog, podcast, and broadcast from the dateline: london. it's been a week for recalling the world's unfinished business — sectarian violence on city streets in iraq as one of its most influential figures bows out in a country which has endured nearly 20
years of instability. mikhail gorbachev, the last leader of the soviet union is being buried this weekend, in a country still struggling with his legacy. the british are still waiting for a new prime minister. in the studio to discuss all that are — bronwen maddox, director and chief executive of chatham house, an independent organisation, which under its royal charter exists "to advance "the sciences of international politics, economics, "andjurisprudence". the charter dates from 1926, bronwen maddox from last month, but her appointment is the culmination of a distinguished career reporting the world. michael goldfarb has been a foreign correspondent for npr, national public radio, in the united states. his podcast is the first rough draft of history. the latest episode features the story of mikhail gorbachev. stefanie bolzen is uk and ireland correspondent for the german media group, die welt, including for its newspaper of the same name — a paper established in hamburg by the british army of occupation, one month after winston churchill delivered his speech warning that an iron curtain was descending and dividing europe.
let's talk about the unfinished business. let's begin with the unfinished business with the choice of a new prime minister. the voting is over, they have got to do the counting and we will know on monday whether it is liz truss or rishi sunak. do you think it has been illuminating about what we can expect of what is likely to be a liz truss government? i think it does seem that liz truss has got it, it would be quite a shock if after all the polling we have had so far. let us talk on that basis. i think we have learned quite a lot, but not central things like what she might do to support people through the cost of living crisis. we have learnt important fragments, an uncompromising position, no surprise there, towards europe and the northern ireland protocol. that word from the past that are still with us. and she wants to have defence spending at 3%, although we don't know
where the money is coming from and she declared china threat. the phrase that resonates over her whole campaign, it is the jury is out on whether or not france and president macron are ourfriend orfoe, which alarmed friends and foes of britain all round. we have learnt some fragments but we have learnt about her style, she prides herself on being a disrupter, but in very a disrupted world it is hard to work out how good that will be. it will be interesting to see the so—called special relationship. every country likes to talk about its special relationship with the united states. she did say to all the busy and the bulging intro she will have when she becomes prime minister next tuesday, she will make time for a call to the white house for a conversation withjoe biden. how enthusiastic do think the administration will be about taking the call? i don't think they have a problem with it. in the 25 years we have been doing this programme, every time there is a new british prime minister,
is about the call to... i wouldn't mind if she was seen walking down the backside of the white house, taking the elbow ofjoe biden. the way theresa may did with donald trump, she seemed to have a hard time finding where the next step was. they have one thing to talk about and bronwen mentioned it, the northern ireland protocol is something that concerns, notjustjoe biden, because he is irish—american, but also congress. so that will be a key topic, but the other thing is, it is a time of crisis. the last thing that an american president wants is to have his core alliance, which is with europe, splitting apart over trade issues and foolishness. is macron friend or foe? don't play these kinds of games for domestic politics with diplomacy. i don't think president macron takes it seriously,
to be honest. that is what they will talk about, but whether that call happens on wednesday or three weeks from wednesday, because he has got a pretty full in tray, is not clear. stephanie, one thing she has been explicit about and people have been critical of, her lack of detail, particularly on the cost of living questions and help with energy bills. liz truss was asked at the last hustings and she said they will be no rationing of energy this winter. the debate is different in germany. they have been talking about rationing at least since the summer? i happened to attend that last husting here in london. - i was surprised when she said that, because i had just come back from germany where all the talk is about rationing - and we have the breaking news that nord stream 1 will not -
deliver any more gas. it is really urgent in germany and already in the spring - there was a gas emergency plan being launched - and the government has also introduced legislation - and in public buildings, - the temperature has to go down to 19 celsius, no more public lighting of monuments - and so on. and that is all people i in germany talk about, it is about cold showers. it is nice in the summer, but in the winter, it will be hard. i but 20% of energy needs l to be saved to compensate the delivery not coming from russia any more, i it is going to tough. it is hard not to draw the parallels, there enormous differences, about the energy shocks we went through in the 1970s. i was listening to one on the radio reminiscing about the fact she had three hours of electricity, three hours off and three hours on again in 1973, 7a. i was one of the school books by candlelight brigade.
we are not talking about this, we are not even engaging the question? we are beginning to engage with it, at least with the cost of it and that is where you can feel the fear in british politics and other countries at the moment. bringing in what michael said about the northern ireland protocol, you begin to see the cost, squeezing out all of these other discussions about ukraine, about what on earth europe, and i include in that britain, what are they going to do about their energy suppliers. we are tied up in some of these old arguments as well. and it is presumably the kind of thing which, in theory, could provide a tremendous bond between the uk and europe. given she has been a disruptor, is it possible this is one of the things she will choose to disrupt, in other words, the hostility? she might say that is very old government, i want to be fresh and new and because my reputation and where i position myself, i am the person who could rebuild those links? she could and there is a huge
opportunity for britain outside the eu at this moment of crisis, to talk to the eu about energy, migration and science about all of these things. and britain is really in a good position for that. but then you come back to these words, the northern ireland... the bitterness of that, the legislation and as far as we know liz truss backs controversial legislation about to come back to the house of lords in early october. until she has settled that, all this other stuff isn't accessible. and as far as we know she will take an uncompromising line which could pictures into us relations with the eu. they are looking at britain - and they are not sure how long she will be there. since brexit happened - there have been three prime ministers, so why would - they agree something of a deal if they don't know how long she is going to stay? - a really good point. let's move on to talk
about ukraine, if we can. stephanie, what do you think is the potential significance around kherson, is it about morale? i think it's both. and it is strategically important. _ if the ukrainian army, | trip succeed in taking, getting kherson back, - which i think it is not likely to happen quickly, but they are making very slow progress. - it is morally very important for the ukrainians, - but strategically, - it is to show that thanks to the weapon deliveries and the equipment- that is now deployed, - the ukrainians are very smart and they are using it - and driving the russian forces back and the russian forces have had significant losses. i it is a very important thing to watch, but they say - they want to grind down - the russian troops in kherson and it is going to take a very long time. - michael, this doesn't seem
to be a war of attrition, but of war that has reached a point which we can expect little progress for quite a long time? yes, and we also have to remember the weather, which we are in the first week of september and by the end of october, things become a bit more difficult for taking ground, even in the southern part of ukraine. it still feels like attrition. i note that sir lawrence freedman, who i follow religiously and people who watch the programme have looked him up, military security analyst, doesn't see this going on for years and years. it is a stalemate and it will ultimately end sooner rather than later, be negotiated out. but it is incredibly important to take as much territory on the far side in that area, heading towards kherson city. but it is for morale, if nothing else and to get the territory captured before the bad weather makes any kind of on the ground
fighting impossible. it is more than just morale, it is more than symbolic. they having a disruptive effect on russia, but i find it hard to call it strategic, in a counter offensive. they are not going to get very far. the other thing is, there is an urgency as well. russia keeps threatening to hold these platter sites, to ratify new russian dominated governments in the area and i think they are trying to disrupt that. make it seem like, you can hold an election if you like, putin, but we are just ten kilometres up the road and we are coming. this will be a disrupting effect on those planned elections. my question is, what effect it might have on european morale
and european solidarity over the winter and that is one of the audiences they are playing for. potentially a very fickle audience. that is the big thing, isn't it? a very fickle audience. even more fickle, it was interesting in the economist last week, trying to assess the impact of sanctions saying, yes, they have had an impact and they will have a dramatic impact in two, three years�* time but that will not be enough to get russia to abandon its military operation? yes, of course. if people are paying huge price for it and i have asked this question, but it is still alive question, will the kind of unity hold in those circumstances? yes, of course, you see it reflected in the polls. - in germany, - the opinion was split. of course, there was support of delivering weapons - and the sanctions, - they take a very long time. as you say, it has effectsj on the german economy, jobs, people's standard - of living and how they can get over the winter. but you look at austria, | for example, there polls are going in the opposite -
direction and they are saying, sit down and negotiate. the british government are saying, this is not. what should be done right now because putin must be - in the position of losing the war and then only. somehow you have to get to the situation where ukraine is in a position of strength and not the weakness of its allies? i am not going to call it wishful thinking, but a nice bit of improvisation. we may never get that, but i was very struck by the speech sarah but how back gave this week in which he said, what is fuelling german prosperity, a couple of decades of cheap russian energy has gone for now, may never come back. one of the cornerstones of the german economic success,
certainly that of the last couple of decades, it looks really in danger. that, politically, must be a risky moment for the government? yes, it is a fragile coalition already, only a year - after having - elections in germany. also, it is not only germany dependent on the gas. - bulgaria, romania, all of these countries, olaf scholz says - it is a turning of time. whether it is an economic. model, peace and security, 24th of february has changed everything. j there is two words, one is increasingly present worry about the cost of energy and not having enough energy. to what degree does the idea of this russia pushing westward and still inspiring a bit of fear in germany but also in places like romania and bulgaria? we know how it is in poland,
people are not having it and they are trying to drag the eu into a very strong sanctions position. but i wonder in germany, which is obviously the key country here, if that balance still is, we cannot allow putin to just send tanks through another country and get 700 kilometres closer to our own borders? which was, a few people had five months ago? that continues to be i a certain complacency. there is the idea that this could never happen. - there is also a certain - arrogance towards the fears in poland and the fears in the baltic states, - i wouldn't say a lack _ of empathy, but germany simply cannot imagine that might happen. - it has been a time l of peace since1945. it has been set aside, i wouldn't say dismissed but it is not even being thought about seriously in
germany. the economic model and keeping jobs and the economy flowing - is a danger that feels almost hypothetical. | it is kinda a reminder of the fact we are only 30 odd years since the soviet union dissolved after three quarters of a century. we saw the death this week mikhail gorbachev. from germany's point of view, stephanie, has significant a figure was he, given the whole debate about german reunification, people like margaret thatcher was dead set against? she was very critical - of german reunification, but mikhail gorbachev was crucial. _ i was a teenager in those days, but i do remember the 40 yearj parades and festivities - in east berlin in october 1989, and he was there and did - speeches and then allegedly set the sentence off, who decides, it will be punished by life. -
not quite what he said but he basically camel there until the regime i in east berlin, you have to change or people will make | you change and you will not be long here any more. in 1989, there was the fear if tanks would roll in, - but they didn't. because they had in prague and in hungary as well. it was a long time ago, - but there was a bit of security to note that mikhail gorbachev will not turn aggressive to us, | because he said the opposite. so that was pivotal- to the whole developer. that is to me, his whole significance, that he allowed, maybe not with joy, but allowed the dissolution of the soviet union and those countries to go away, more or less peacefully. i know the whole project and the reforms he wanted did not happen, and it ended with much disillusionment on his part, and a lack of support, as he saw it,
from the west but he allowed something enormous to happen and it had an enormous effect on modern europe, as we can call it now, and a critical effect on russia. at the west did not understand how big a moment and how big the change would be for russia itself. so we had the mess and the autocracy of the boris yeltsin years. one of the interesting things, i don't think anyone was prepared, certainly gorbachev wasn't. he was prepared to let the warsaw pact lives. i don't think it was important to him, the economy in russia needed attention. i say russia, i do mean in the soviet union, because he was a man of the soviet union. but the post gorbachev, which happened very quickly, he didn't expect to be the victim of a coup when he went
on vacation in crimea. it was a very, very difficult time for him and i think that no one has ever seen what happened to a society that has been a totalitarian society, in which everyone has turned on everyone else and you have this central kgb chequered history where anybody at any time can be denounced and sent away. that structure, political, economic and social disappears, i think it makes people a little crazy. and after a while they begin to want the comfort of what was, even if what was was really kind of awful. i think that what happened post gorbachev in russia, was that people gravitated
ultimately towards the strong man, the strongman being the guy who was in berlin when he didn't send the tanks in and not even as the head of the kgb, just a junior officer. now he is one of the most important people in the world, a dictator and trying to create a cross between a is an stalinism and that is vladimir putin. and it seems many in russia are ok with that. because the trauma, and i don't know what the west could have done ? in my podcast this week, my guest wrote an article on gorbachev. who knew there would be recession in western europe and great britain, we needed a marshall plan and who knew what was needed would be outside governance instead and of an alcoholic name boris yeltsin ran the country into the ground
and gave it away. it was very idea logically tinged on the west side that the free market would win and sort out russia and you just needed the anointing of the country. instead, it was a form of asset stripping not back that up by institution building. which has laid the foundation of some of what we are seeing in ukraine and in putin's rain, i guess you would call it. just leaving that aside, let's talk about something else which is unfinished business, michael, over to you, iraq. this is a massive over simplification so shoot me down in flames if you like, but to what extent, the violence, the power of the malicious and the straightforward legacy of the way of not so much the way the invasion was conducted but the occupation was conducted ? you can trace it all the way back. when i was talking about totalitarianism, what i can say with real
conviction, i was in the country when the saddam hussein regime disappeared, i'm talking about people who had lived the previous decades under saddam hussein and they did not believe he was gone, they actually didn't believe it. there was never a plan and it has been the curse of that country. some of this goes back... you cannot date it all to the invasion, the mistakes and all of this, it partly reflects the sheer complexity of iraq? it was a wonderful words, intelligence, there was intelligence in russia as well. they need help because most intellectuals want to read poetry and think about politics, they don't want to have to do politics.
if there had been a well—organised governance structure for the first five years after the overthrow of saddam hussein and easing the country towards some kind of political stability, we would have been much better. that is what i'm talking about, yes the complexities of iraqi society and what we are seeing today, very specifically, is that sheer majority, basically two factions and iran used to have its chips down on muqtada al—sadr and he said, lam iraqi nationalist and no, i will find other shi'ite politicians to back. there was an election four years ago, i think. they have never been able to seek that parliament. my point is, i do disagree with you, bronwen, these problems could have been... put into a less extreme, i think, if there had actually
been governance as part of the post—saddam hussein occupation. there has been five years of this word you call governance, it is a phenomenally complicated country and to try to create a democracy or something that will allow the minorities there to be protected, while others win. you have got decades, generations of work. the five years were bad and... civil war that began at exactly the time those horrible pictures came out of abba grape and those people in abba grape, were sent into al-qaeda and iraq, that became isis and the country is still
recovering from that. i am not disputing that, i am talking about the use of the word governance to solve its problems. we don't have much time left, nobody has walked away? the nuclear deal. we cannot call that progress, but it is not bad. it may be within reach. a lot of this depends on what happens in america. america is heading for an unpredictable time, but nobody has walked away. that is the best hope in the situation, so germany is still part of the process along with the members of, the permanent members of the un security council? it is good if there is not too. much attention on these talks. we will have attention on more of it next week, but for now, thank you all very much. same time next weekend, join us then. in the meantime, goodbye.
warm sunshine for some, heavy rain for others, heavy rain tied into the low pressure to the west of the cake, slow—moving. notice the squeeze on the isobars, gusty winds for the roc cause. sunshine behind this, extending north and east words, the rain, through scotland and england. a mixture of sunny spells and locally shallows in wales in south—west england through the afternoon. dry and warm for east anglia and south—east england where we
see the highest temperatures. through sunday evening, overnight into monday morning we see another spell of rain pushing north across the uk, likely to be heavy and foundry in places. again, a warm, muggy night, temperatures not lower than 1a, 15. the week ahead looks unsettled, showers or longer spells of rain for many, and slowly the temperatures come down.
welcome to bbc news. i'm rich preston. our top stories: president zelensky of ukraine urges europe to remain united in the face of russia's use of energy as an economic weapon. his wife tells the bbc about the continuing impact of the war on the ukranian people. translation: the prices are going up in ukraine i as well, but in addition our people get killed. so when you start counting pennies in your bank account or in your pocket, we do the same and count our casualties. donald trump accuses joe biden of being the real enemy of the state, days after the president branded him a threat to american democracy.
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