tv Political Thinking with Nick... BBC News October 31, 2022 2:30am-3:01am GMT
this is bbc news. the headlines: brazil's left—wing former leader — luiz inacio lula da silva — is making a dramatic return to power after narrowly beating the far—right incumbent jair bolsonaro in the presidential election. lula da silva described his win as a victory for democracy. he urged peace and unity. a period of national mourning has been declared in south korea where 153 mostly young people celebrating halloween were crushed to death on saturday in seoul. the president, yoon suk—yeol, has vowed a full investigation into one of the country's worst ever disasters. the authorities in the indian state of gujarat have promised a full investigation into the collapse of a pedestrian suspension bridge.
at least 80 people are known to have died and it's feared that number will rise. divers are continuing to search for survivors in the machchhu river. now on bbc news, political thinking with nick robinson. hello and welcome to political thinking. thinking about politics isn't easy these days because we seem to live in an era of permanent revolution and constant chaos. i was due to interview angela raynerjust seven weeks ago, it was the day after liz truss first pmqs it was the day of liz truss' energy price guarantee. it turned out to be the day that her majesty the queen died, and so much changed.
seven weeks later, we are now in a week of rishi sunak�*s first prime minister's questions and angela rayner is back on political thinking. welcome back. i made it. how are you finding this roller—coaster, because that is what it is. i thought when i was elected in 2015 that the wheels fell off politics then we had the eu referendum, we had ourfront bench suddenly became the backbench, the backbench became the front bench, we had numerous challenges in the labour party, it was an incredibly surreal fast paced time and of course the last seven weeks, as you say, have been a roller—coaster in itself. you have been in the commons since 2015, you have had all tory, i might say. yes, and quite a lot has happened. i wouldn't predict the next month, the way things are, we have had three prime ministers in three months,
i thought it would slow down but it has got more chaotic. when you are in opposition, that slightly changes how you picth yourself because you are pitching against the personality of the tory leader of the day. it was very noticeable at the beginning of pmqs keir starmer, and i thought he was sending a message to his own party as well as to the country, congratulated rishi sunak as the first british asian to become prime minister. i think the whole country, then it was diwali as well, the whole country was just, this is a historical moment, and it is a historical moment but i think one of the things i talk about a lot is that people, i get a lot of abuse because of the way i speak and my background but i also get a lot of people saying it is so refreshing and inspiring to see someone like you in politics that i can look to who reminds me of me so i am sure that is exactly the same for many people who saw rishi sunak become prime minister, at the door of number ten, thinking wow, this is something i can do, and were inspired by that, i think that is
something to celebrate. but nadia whitham, leading labour mp, said it wasn't good for relations and she had to take the tweet down, why are there people in the labour party who can't welcome it? i think, there are issues around rishi sunak wealth and obviously he was a chancellor who was increasing taxes for working people at the time when obviously he has great wealth and his wife and the family were avoiding tax through non—dom status but it wasn't the time of the place for that, you can congratulate and see a prime minister of asian heritage getting into number ten and seeing how amazing that is and congratulating them on that basis without bringing everything else into it. and i think sometimes, especially with the fast pace of politics, you know, it can get ahead of itself where it sometimes it is nice to stop and look at something for what it is and say this is a good thing.
you might not like everything that person stands for but this is a good thing, and conservatives do that for me as well, you know, they don't agree with where i am politically. when you were on here at last, we talked a lot about your life story, your personal story, what people will also know is you have now seen two women prime ministers, both conservative, the first one was a conservative, there is something that the labour party, isn't there, which is they broke the ceiling in many ways to get black and ethnic minority people and department, to get many more women into parliament, but not in leadership positions. as you say, we are the most diverse bench we have got in a moment clash in the labour party but we haven't had a female black asian
minority ethnic leader of the labour party, i think that will change but at the moment we have elected keir starmer, i think he is doing an exceptionaljob, we have a more diverse shadow cabinet, i would be deputy prime minister under the next labour government and we will keep championing and challenging that, we proffer landmark legislation on and the all women's shortlist to enable us to get the position we are at. i think we are making great steps but i agree, i think it comes also from our membership that there is that kind of push now, that surge towards when kier is no longer leader, then we do want to have a different leader, you know,... who think they realise they are behind the tories? and that's why some labour people weren't willing to celebrate rishi's success is because he is as wealthy as he is and he has married into wealth as well. it is a problem being too rich if you are pm? i don't think it is but i think
one of the things that was infuriating, i suppose, and the hypocrisy that people felt was that rishi sunak when he was chancellor was putting taxes up for working people and saying again there are going to be difficult choices but as we know now, his family were avoiding tax through non—dom status... i could take you through the arguments about how his wife now pays tax here and in america. yes, because that was exposed, but the point is people listening to that, people that hear that would say, hang on a minute, i don't mind you being wealthy but don't preach to us who are struggling... if you are not paying taxes and doing the right thing when you are the chancellor. you could celebrate rishi sunak as a british success story, that is a success story for our country, that is a symbol of what we want to aspire to.
is aspiration something labour believe in? absolutely, and we have many wealthy labour party members and supporters out there because people that have come from humble beginnings that to create great wealth, they understand, people that haven't had wealth bestowed upon them because relatives weren't wealthy, people who grafted from the shop floor and got their wealth, they absolutely get it may the challenges that others face and is not pulling that ladder up, it is about making sure you give opportunities to others, you understand and recognise... one of the things that frustrates me, people say to me you should be a tory because you have done well for yourself, you have worked hard and done well, but it fails to understand that there is opportunities that are snatched away from people and therefore it doesn't enable them to get on, you know, when people said we have had conservative ministers saying to people work a bit longer, get a betterjob, they are not truly appreciating the difficulties that people have. just before we move on to that
point at being out of touch which you described, even before he became prime minister, you gave a speech saying that far too many politicians and influences in power don't have an understanding of what it is like. are you agreeing with that famous quote from peter mandelson, are you saying you are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich? as long as they pay their taxes. which peter of course said. yes, we do want people to be able to get on in life. to be filthy rich? yes, if they're going to be filthy, i wouldn't use that term, but people who are going to have great wealth, it is about showing that wealth and understanding when that wealth comes from. so you won't attack rishi sunakfor being rich? i won't attack and for being rich but i will attack him if he doesn't use the wealth in a way that is responsible, we talk about rich people
paying a bit more and try to push the burden of what was a couple of weeks ago and a budget that absolutely decimated our economy and now there is a black hole, do not make working people who are already paying more through their mortgages and through the cost of living, pay for that mistake. it is about what he prioritises as a prime minister and shows that he understands what it is like for other people. i don't expect him not to be rich. so, it's clear, he's rich, but not to be targeting the poor. let's go back to the speech you made that too few people understand what it is like. you, clearly, given your background, do understand what it is like. i was reading something you wrote about your mum, who of course had mental health problems as well as being in poverty. yes. coming home with a tin of dog food was, thinking she was bringing a treat. my mum can't read or write, still can't, so she used to look at the pictures when she was to go around the supermarket, and she once
came home with about 15 tins of processed peas because they were in the reduced aisle didn't have a wrapper on them. she thought the dog stew was steak —— she thought the dog food was stew. because of her inability to read and write, she never went to school, she was bullied at school so as she says in her own words, ifollowed the fear, and she went around and did that, she grew up in wythenshawe with 12 siblings and they were very poor. i would say even more poorer than what my upbringing was and i was, i was on benefits, my mum and dad were on a gyro, fortnightly, and we struggled as kids,... so you have some memories, for people worrying if they can't pay their energy bills, does that bring back memories? we had an immersion heater that never went on because it was too
expensive, and we had concrete floors and threadbare carpet. what did you do if you didn't hit the water? we boiled the kettle for things that were needed, we went to my nana's, we had a deep fat fryer that everything went in to cook, and we went to my nana is on a sunday because my nana lives in a high—rise block of flats so the heating was continuous and it was part of her rent, so my nana used to have a twin tub washer, wash our clothes for us on the sunday, make us katty ash, corn beef hash, with a big loaf of fresh bread which was amazing because we got to eat as much as we possibly want their meal had a bath with air. we had a rank order of who went in the bath, my brother first, me and my sister.
one bath a week at your nan�*s? one bath a week at my nana is on a sunday evening, with our bellies full to the brim with this full food flash one third. you have referred in the past about sometimes when you tailor these stories people have this phrase for you, you know, poor little orphan but you think it is important to have that knowledge when you are taking political decision. poor little orphan angella. my friend who has seven children, she had six in the pandemic, most of them were at school age and she is a key worker, she works in a local supermarket, and overnight she literally had no means of getting to work or getting the kids to school so i gave her my car because we had two cars that were at the time as a family so i didn't use mind that often because i was in london
so i gave her, it wasn't an amazing car, it was an old golf, but i gave her the car and she was just in tears because it meant so much to her that she was able to carry on working and take the kids to school because she couldn't do it on the transport system at the time because everything was in chaos and she needed to continue to work on the children needed to go to school. i was incredibly lucky because my son rang me up and told me that the bailiffs had sent a letter and that they were going to be at the door and that it was a bill that his partner, they were in so much debt, so many debts come into the house that she thought she had put plans in place for all of those debts and then there was one that had missed that she hadn't seen and then it got to the bailiffs stage and shejust didn't have the money. this was recently? this was recently, they didn't have the money, they were panicking, they will come in to take the children's toys. he is a proud man, he doesn't want to ask his mum for support, but it shows the difficulty that people are in, and it reminds me of when i first became an mp in 2015 there was a young lad from my constituency,
kane, a care lever, he put the man in his bank account for his friend, his first cash first property and bonga had managed, had the ability to take that money that he owed in debt straight out of his bank account so therefore he didn't have the money for his rent that the social worker had given him and he hung himself, at 18. and ijust think, young people are under that much pressure now and people are under that much pressure now, people don't choose their poverty. it is not a luxury to be in, that poverty situation. and i hear people say their kids have got the best clothes. i remember scouring the charity shops when i was a young mum, i had ryan when i was 16, and i remember walking to the posh area of our area i would get my income support and i would walk for a couple of miles to the charity shops and it was like christmas to me, to the posh area,
and it was like christmas to me if i could get a nice outfit for ryan in the charity shop. ifelt i had done something, had been a good parent and made to achieve something. it's not whether people have lots of money, it is the way they provide for theirfamilies. do you sometimes have to do this with colleagues? the labour party has become a very middle—class party. and there aren't that many people who have got your stories or your experience. yes, but the truth is there is also across the whole of the house people that have come from working—class backgrounds, but for some reason, politicians don't talk about it, whether it is because they buy thing, i do get levelled at me it is and talking about her again, it is not about me, it is about the experiences people like me have faced. it is a good thing that people have talked about their experience and a background in that way, but for
politicians it is almost as if you are not good enough. you don't reach a bar. i get so much abuse from people saying pregnant at 16, no qualifications, she must be thick, well i'm clearly not thick because i am one of the most successful politicians of my generation, my ability and my tutors have been, by any measure, as good as anybody else. so i'm not stupid. i think the more people can see talent, notjust in terms of, �*you've got this academic qualification,�* the better it is. another thing they say is champagne socialist. dominic raab when he was deputy prime minister, he was up against you at your premises questions and because you had been seen as having some posh fears and going to the opera where people are in posh frocks, he called you champagne socialist.
again, that is quite comical because working—class people know that you spend your last time trying to achieve and get the best thing, yeah? you got a bit of money and you have worked hard for it, try and get the best you can, so again, it is the psychology of working class people that they don't understand. and that place is so much cheaper than glastonbury, and nobody would bat an eyelid if they saw me wondering around glastonbury in a field full of mud. yes, the hundred odd quid. i do think it is a bit of snobbery, to be quite honest with you. another quote, peter mandelson said recently the target voter for labour is what he called harrow man harrow woman, aspirational people, people who have made it good, small—town, and they don't want what he calls �*woke activists' or militant trade unionists looking down on them as saying they are too rich and not liberal enough and i'd logical and sound.
i think the most important thing for our party is about instead of going how we can divide people, based on whether it is these so—called woke arguments or whether it is these are you for against trade unions, these are distractions from what are you going to do to improve my life? that is what the voters ask me? �*what are you going to do?�* �*i have heard you don't like the tories, but what �*are you going to do to improve my �*life and can you have got ability in delivering it?�* they certainly have heard you say you don't like the tories. i want to play a clip of dead ringers. radio: first in the shop today is angela from westminster. i usually, when i see _ anti—knickknacks, i would think you were tory some and i would do you but you've got a flat - cap and i respect that. that was dead ringers on radio four which has you saying tory some
and by the sounds of it giving somebody a good punch. yes, that is stereotypical of northern people, we don't go around toughing people up. but you did say... i did say, and it was about senior tories at the time and it was about borisjohnson, and others at the time who had homophobic things if other people, if you were a bus driver, if you worked in some of the low level, low—paid jobs, you wouldn't work there again saying the comments the prime minister said. it is the hypocrisy of people. wagging your finger and saying "you are wrong for that," but then, criminality, their fraud, in terms of giving off contract and somebody who is struggling at the low level of income literally talked—down to and are criminalised, and they get
away with it, it isjust the hypocrisy of it. but i have said... you did apologise. and that was what i was about to say, i did apologise for it, and it is right that i did because in no way was that me inciting anyone to abuse a conservative mp. that is not ok, i get abuse myself, it is not ok to abuse politicians, it is part of our democracy. i was saying — it was about motivating members to understand we have to win elections, there is no point in us being there in opposition, if we want to change people's lives, we have to convince people and win the election. the other part of that dead ringers impersonation of you is that you are always telling keir starmer to get going a bit, "go on, give them hell, kier, stop being so dull," is that really what has to happen? no, i think keir has
to own who he is, like i do. i am who i am. some people will say they don't like the way i speak, they don't like what i say, and that is fine, that is their opinion, and that is healthy, and keir starmer has to own who he is and the way he articulates and presents himself. i think the country want somebody who is actually going to put the country first for a change. what you mean by �*own who he is'? because that is his personality, we have very different personalities. we have the same different aims and goals and values but we are completely different people and the way in which we express ourselves is completely different, doesn't make it wrong, but itjust means that we articulate ourselves in different ways. peter mandelson said keir starmer has made labour safe to vote for again, the question now is what for? you say you are confident of your programme. i put it to you that if you went out in your constituency
in stockport where you grow up, if you ask what they thought labour stands for, they wouldn't have much of a clue. i suppose the general election, you know, keywords and how we fight that is something that will be put together when we do it, but i suppose it comes from the bottom up and the work we do in between, so for example, my future work green paper, that is ready to hit the ground in the king's speech as soon as we get into government and we will transform the world of work. i announced in the conference around procurement, alanine around ethics said there is a lot of in—depth work that has been down that means that in all of our departments we know what we need to do from day one, we know how we will work together to tackle inequality and to make it, the country better for working people. you said the last time you are on this podcaster view you are sometimes treated like a trinket. what are you treated like now?
i think i have earned respect, i think i have definitely managed to grow. don't forget, in 2015, i came on as a brand—new politician, i wasn't a special advisor of anything like that, i wasn't in the westminster bubble or anything like that, i had only been to london for a handful of times as a union rep, so i came in very naive to the political process, and was thrust onto the front bench within a couple of months that have been there for seven years, so i think the public have noticed meet grow. we mentioned your mum earlier, does she have good politicaljudgment? she has a judgment. �*my daughter could be running the country in a few years' time.�* what mum wouldn't say that about their kid? my mum is like my biggest fan. she met paul brand when i said
that she could interview her as long as i could help him edit it because my mum doesn't have a filter button the media, and now as she thinks paul brand is her best mate, so every time she sees on the telly, she says, there is your friend. for people who only listen to the bbc, paul brandt is a journalist on itv. you need to meet my mum, and she listens to the radio now and she watches prime minister's questions, and she says things like, i don't see you there the other day, or i saw you the other day, so she is much more political than she used to be. you are only 42, is that right? same as the pm. 18 years younger than your leader, there is plenty of time for you to be the woman that proves labour can ever woman leader. possibly, or i can help the next leader be a fantastic woman leader. ijust want us in government, nick. i know that sounds like
a cliche, i could have stood for leader, i chose not to. i didn't feel i was ready for that and i wanted to learn a bit more and have a bit more experience. i do think i have had to prove and earn the respect and i still think i have got that to do to some voters, i have still got that learning to do but ijust want to do what is right by the country and get us into government. i know what a labour government can do for people. i have seen it, it has changed my life, so being in opposition is not the place to be. i will do whatever it takes for us to listen to the public can gain their confidence and be in power and change things for them. thank you for coming on to critical thinking. we'll try get you before another pm change. next month then! labour's challenge in some ways parallels the challenge rishi sunak has, how to hold together a coalition of activists, of mps, voters that can get them to power.
the divisions are starker in the tories, they are much more obvious, but there are going to be people on the labour side, in the months, maybe a year or two to come, who desperately want to attack what you see for being a millionaire, who want to say that he isn't really a symbol of black and asian people making it in this country, and who want to get out on the streets are on lines to protest against tory cuts. angela rayner and keir starmer are trying to hold them back to appeal to what they think our middle ground voters. it is going to be quite a challenge. thanks for watching.
monday will be mild. bring in the forecast for the trick or treaters. rain will be later today for most, some will have it early in the morning. for example in northern ireland. you can see the extent of the warm hour of the many parts of europe so temperatures once again will get into the high teens in some areas. early in the morning, around 1a on the south coast of england, double figures for glasgow, edinburgh and aberdeen. the rain reaches northern ireland in the morning, wanted to showers elsewhere. elsewhere, right, even sunny start of the day. in the afternoon class will increase in the south of the country where showers are expected. look at how mild it is, 18 in london, around 15 across scotland, northern england and northern ireland. come the evening, the showers will become more expensive across england and wales. ——
welcome to bbc news. i'm gareth barlow. our top stories: lula's big comeback. the left—of—centre challenger, luiz inacio lula da silva, narrowly wins brazil's presidential election. translation: today we are telling the world that brazil is back, that brazil is too big to be relegated to the set role of pariah of the world. disappointment for followers of the incumbent president, jair bolsonaro. the question many are asking — will he concede defeat? national mourning in south korea after more than 150 people are crushed to death at a halloween event in seoul. at least 130 people have died after a pedestrian suspension bridge collapsed in western india.