tv Dateline London BBC News October 8, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm BST
dif-year-old man arrested yard. the 47—year—old man arrested after the car collided with pedestrians outside the national history —— natural history museum has been released according to scotla nd has been released according to scotland yard. now on bbc news, it's time for dateline london. hello and welcome to dateline london. i'm shaun ley. is spain's prime minister still in charge of catalonia and is britain's prime minister still in charge even of her own party? and will the mass shootings in las vegas dent americans‘ confidence in the right to bear arms? joining me today are alex deane, london correspondent of madrid's la razon. celia maza de pablo, and the belgian writer and broadcaster. marc roche of le point. and the american writer and broadcaster, jef mcallister, former london bureau chief of time magazine.
a warm welcome to you all. it is good to have you here and it will be a busy programme. the "f" from the conservative party conference stage set, which fell down during theresa may's leader's speech, seemed horribly prescient in a week which ended with calls for her to quit. by contrast, the annual meetings of party activists and corporate sponsors for the labour and liberal democrat opposition parties passed without much controversy. alex, things had seemed to have settled down for theresa may a little bit in the run—up to conference. consensus that she was going to stay until at least brexit. after this week, what has happened to those prospects? i think that consensus still holds. there was undoubtedly — i put it in the past tense — an attempt by some members of the parliamentary party to question the leadership. it really has fizzled remarkably quickly. apart from anything else, it's a demonstration of the quality of the whips‘ operation, that they... the people who control government business, who occupied a more neutral position in government, they are now enforcers for the occupant of no 10. enforce they haven't done very well.
to be clear, this attempted putsch was run by a guy called grant shapps. if you were picking the opponents you were going to face as a prime minister in the conservative party, that is who you would pick. i am sure he has other qualities. but he does not have a following in the conservative party. is that a reflection that people who share the views who are perhaps more senior don't really have the guts to strike the blow? no, i think there is genuine support for theresa may to see out the brexit process. that is two years away. anyone making political predictions after two years is daydreaming. she predicted she would fight the next general election in 2022. i think every leader should make that commitment because as soon as you saw with tony blair and david cameron, as soon as you give a time limit to your time in office, you fatally undermine your ability to perform. what did you make about the week's events? i made a joke about the sign falling off. that wasn't the worst of it.
a comedian offered a p45, what you get when you're sacked by your employer, saying it had come from borisjohnson, her foreign secretary, who had kept a low profile in terms of support for the prime minister and then the poor prime minister was struggling with such a terrible cold that it completely distracted from the speech. i feel very sorry for theresa may and i think the public do, but as a leader you don't want to be sorry. you want to be respected and have authority. theresa may does not have those qualities right now. in normal circumstances... but these are not normal circumstances. we have brexit and that is very important. i think that... the tory party is completely split right now but they don't have a clear leader to replace theresa may and they are very aware they have a deadline with brexit.
on the brexit question, this is increasingly important. we are coming up to a meeting of the heads of government. there had been hopes in britain that perhaps europe might be willing to speak about the post—brexit relationship. how do you think what happened this week will have been looked upon? they will have been watching. it is a disaster. she lacks the political clout to clinch a deal. for europeans, it is astonishing. they still don't know what the british position is. the british want to discuss the future, which is trade, without discussing about the past, which is unheard of in multinational negotiation. the past being, you have to settle the northern ireland frontier, to settle the eu citizens and settle the money owed. the problem for the british is that the position is hardening, because you have a weak british government. on the continent, with the german confederation of industry,
they have talked, which you have seen with emmanuel macron, who opposed that one discusses trade without first discussing the other things. and your friend the president of the united states on trade is opposing the only deal which has been done at the moment on brexit and trade. it is astonishing that britain is completely isolated. hang on... what you say about trade is not true. in all trade negotiations, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. if you find something that's hard, you move around it and negotiate other things, so you can come back to the sticking point. the reverse is actually the case. the europeans are currently saying, we cannot talk about our future engagement until we have reached a position on the settlement for the so—called divorce. of course, pragmatically, britain's attitude on that divorce will be influenced by the settlement for the future. no, absolutely not. first you have to do settle your bills. no, no. settle bills first,
because you are demanding, you are the one getting out. you have to settle your bill first and then we discuss trade. give me one example, ever. pick one example. any trade negotiation ever. what we are getting here, is a sort of recreation of the barnier—davis conversations that have been happening! let's bring you in. you can't all talk at once or nobody will hear anything. i had been told always you settle the past first. that was marc's claim, always. i said name one example. when you say always, you mean never? 0k. that one is the biggest of them all. if i can try to unite both parts of this conversation, the ups and downs of theresa may this week are interesting or not,
but what is fundamental is that brexit is still the third rail or the main thing in the british conservative party and british politics and there is no obvious good solution. the fact it is a multilateral negotiation with 27 countries which have the veto and britain is weak and divided and even in the conservative party, it isn't clear how... hold on a second. at the conference, you were there, i only read about it, i understand that jacob rees—mogg was the kind of heart—throb of the fringe meetings. he's a distinctive... with19th—century dress, etonian, against gay marriage, against abortion in all circumstances, who likened brexit to waterloo, the battle of agincourt and all these emotional ideas of british greatness, rather than this is a tough, complicated problem that britain is bringing on itself, where the economy is growing the slowest in europe. together...
every party has conference darlings and that shouldn't distract you from the main point. where you are right — this demonstrates how wrong it would be to change leadership right now in the difficult circumstances. wrong to suggest my country is weak. the administration! they are not together. they can't find people. they are useless in brussels. useless country. did you say useless country? useless country. you want to get out and don't know how to get out! we have to pay for you? no way. talking about an entire country? some would call that racism. come on. i am going to interject and ask you about the other political party conferences. i don't know.
what does that mean? you can't ask questions when i'm asking questions. hejust called me racist! i am not calling you a racist. i said you are a useless country on brexit! let me ask you how it compares with the other party conferences. the labour party? which brussels has started negotiating with, because the conservatives are so useless. it is perceived as better to get a deal on brexit. the liberal democrats said you better vote for... regarding the labour party, i thinkjeremy corbyn is in a very easy position right now. but if we finally see jeremy corbyn as prime minister, who knows? one thing is clear, over the last two years, in british politics anything could happen. we will have the same problem — a party completely split and without any connection with supporters. it is worth remembering most
of the members of parliament, of labour, support remain. but in the brexit referendum we see a lot of labour supporters support brexit. if finally we are going to see the labour party, it is going to have the same situation. alex, it would be naive of brussels to think things would be any different with a change of government? jeremy corbyn before he became leader was a profound eurosceptic. he thought brussels was an arrangement done in the interests of big business and big banks. he is probably not entirely wrong on that. but they did have a better conference. they had an upbeat conference full of young people with a party, festival atmosphere, but it seemed a bit more based around a personality cult around their leader rather than a genuine platform for government, and it is when they put that forward, nationalisation and so forth, they start to run the gauntlet of credibility. i think the support ofjeremy corbyn
as a rock star is just an illusion. i think he has now the full support of the party. it doesn't matter who it is for brussels. the british have been useless. we have lost 18 months to bickering and we don't know what they want, until we know what they want, we can't go further forward. you read the papers that came out? of course. on tuesday, the regional parliament in catalonia will meet and perhaps declare itself the parliament of a nation. spain's constitutional court says all such moves are unlawful, spain's government threatens to impose direct rule. violence marred last sunday's independence referendum, with a big ‘yes' vote but a disputed mandate. celia, is it clear after the events of the last few days if anyone is in charge? let me say that i am extremely worried and deeply sad about what is happening in my country. the pictures are horrendous and for the parties, it's easy to say to the international community, look what happened
when we went to vote, but i think it's worth remembering the whole picture. and the whole picture is that we have parties who want to declare unilaterally the independence of catalonia against spanish constitution, against catalonian law, because the law to hold this referendum was illegal. but the most important thing, against the will of the majority of the catalan people, because we have to remember these... not a majority voted. these are parties who won just 40% in the last catalan elections in 2015. is that why the prime minister has suggested perhaps another election is the solution in catalonia? if we have another regional election in catalonia and a different result, it would be very clear, but at that point, what is the fact is that the parties had just 48%
in the last regional election and they want to unilaterally declare independence. finally, if next week, the president of catalonia is going to declare, though i doubt that will happen, because the parties are split right now, the tension will escalate. so obviously we have a problem right here. we need to fix it but under a legal framework. alex, there is a difference in how this has developed and the issue for independence in scotland and the relationship between the central government and the regional government. i appreciate britain doesn't have a written constitution which has perhaps made things easier. we were quite self—critical about the way we conducted our referendum. the language of politics became quite harsh. retrospectively, i think
we can feel credit of it compared to spain. it may not be right, celia, that the referendum was lawful... unlawful. it wasn't, it was illegal. may or may not be true, parties granted a majority. but it is unquestionably right that the spanish national government has behaved appallingly in batoning its own citizens away from an election and in seizing ballot boxes. if they wanted to say this was without credibility and should be dismissed, say that, ignore it, don't send in police to beat citizens and have fireman. this either has no credibility and it doesn't matter or it's so important that we have to stop it? i want to be clear about this point. i condemn the violence, but if we talk about the violence, and i don't want to focus on the violence, i want to focus on the politics and democracy. can't take it back.
the violence is around catalonia and that is very sad, because if we talk about violence we talk about violence with the police as well and we talk about violence from radical separatist groups against the families of those who support spain. i think it is terrible because as far as europe is concerned, we can't do anything, squeezed between quite in transition parties, in transition government in fear of the flemish and lombardi going their own way, because like catalonia they are fed up of paying for a poorer part. the only solution, and for once i agree with you, is a scottish type of referendum. but... let me finish, because a scottish type of referendum, the moderate had the upper hand, saying that at the end of the day, independence will be a disaster. how else do you determine? it is only because catalonia will be out of the eu
and they have to reapply. like scotland. i think we all have a very strong interest in this. it's important. europe spilled a lot of blood in the last century focusing on nationalism and micro nationalism, my rights and my laws versus yours. it has to be an oozing political process, where maybe now the shock of the violence will make the central government retreat and the shock of the violence will make the separatist movements think, maybe we can figure out a way to have a federal system that gives us 98% and that's good enough. i think for the structure of europe, we don't want another european country focusing inward on its own and its own problems again. we need to think about problems. but it's notjust the europeans. everyone remembers lincoln suspended habeas corpus. tend to forget what he did. he tried to suspend voting in maryland.
we are still paying the price of the yugoslav dismemberment, of the ussr dismemberment. i think it is very important to say that the catalan issue is completely different to the scottish situation, so please don't compare them, because they are completely different. but isn't that because politicians have made them different, not because the instinct is any different? in scotland, we saw a legal referendum. let me continue. in catalan, we have an illegal one. is that because it is not possible to have a legal one? i'm not being provocative, i am just asking! if we have this situation... maybe time to look up the constitution and if we have to change the constitution,
we have to talk about this, but in the legal frame again. 0k, it is not possible that against the will of the majority of the catalan people these parties want to declare independence. right now, we have very important companies and banks moving their headquarters out of the catalan region to other places in spain. obviously, we have a problem to fix, but the problem has to be fixed in the legal framework. but like in scotland, after the referendum, there was a deal to give more autonomy, fiscal and economic. it worked perfectly well. and the basque region already has greater autonomy. there is a model in the spanish for that kind of thing. i don't understand the need to stress so much whether or not this is legitimate under the current constitution, because it seems it can never be legitimate for the region to seek self—determination and that can't
be right in democracy. more to the point, if it is against the will of the majority, why are you afraid of the referendum? the majority would vote no. good question. i think this is important as well. we have discussed so many figures from the catalan government because that was an illegal referendum, 90% of the support, 43% turnout. i think we should take that figure with a pinch of salt. it might have been higher if people weren't turned away and beaten. let's discuss it in a legal way, legal frame, not in this way. can i ask how much you think this is unfinished business from the establishment of a democratic spain? because one of the things we associate with general franco's time from the 30s to 70s is that he suppressed separate identity because he was worried about spain breaking up. is this still the legacy
of the unfinished business of that or it is entirely unconnected with that? well, obviously the history is history and without that, we couldn't understand what happened in catalonia, what happened in the world, ok? but i think one of the greatest things of spain is that diversity. 0k? and obviously catalonia is a great region of spain. if people are not happy with the current situation, maybe it's time for a debate, but again, in the central parliament, in the parliament of catalonia as well but in a legal framework. you need to change the constitution. but in a legal framework. but if the government don't want to do anything... or they sign to it, what can they do? poor catalan. they are squeezed into a spain that
refuses to negotiate. now, it's a measure of how frequent multiple gun murders in the united states are in the headlines that many people were more shocked by the number of injuries than by the number of dead. the one—man carnage wreaked by stephen paddock from his hotel room high above the country music concert crowd took at least 58 lives — many among those being treated have life—threatening wounds. more than 500 were injured because paddock had altered his weapon. tell us about the bump stock and why this could potentially be a catalyst for change? a bump stock. . i didn't know until this week, too. it is a kind of home—grown device you can get from the internet for $100 that allows you to use the recoiling of the gun to essentially automate the trigger pull so that it can go very fast. it makes a semiautomatic weapon into a kind of automatic weapon, a machine gun. isn't it fantastic what
technology can accomplish(?) now, the national rifle association, in all of these previous mass killings, it tends to go to ground for a little while and they say, oh, we are sorry, let's pray for the victims and their families, it's terrible that there are bad people in the world, mental illness is terrible, and then they don't change anything. now their concession is that they are going to maybe regulate bump stocks. as if anyone really cares! there were 740... many do care. i'm sorry, of course i do desperately care that that tiny addition to the lethality of weapons is reduced, but there are many other things you can buy to make your guns more lethal too. the legislation the nra was pushing last week was to make silencers easier to buy. that will probably go off the boil for a little while because the mechanism is always to do more and to make guns more available. there are now over 250 million guns in the united states with a population of 300 million. the murder rate by gun is 25 times
higher than the average of any other industrialised country. 740 mass killings already this year. more than four killed at one time. it just doesn't. .. it has become part of the background noise in america. i have a badge from the national rifle association when i was in summer camp at age 11 and i was taught to shoot a rifle safely. then it was a rifle shooting safety association. now it has become a very lucrative, very powerful lobby. the way the country is split up... most blue states want regulation. most red states wouldn't. in blue states, big cities, nobody really wants to do it, but you can't get the regulation. we are still having gun murders, 13,000 a year, seven children a day, and you don't see much room pushing for effective regulation because most people have given up already.
in australia after tremendous gun violence, in england and after dunblane, effective regulation came into into force, but americans don't really know that or think it applies to our system. well, john howard in australia, the example after the port howard massacre... he took away the right to bear arms not in anything like your sense. we still have farmers with shotguns. then he fought an election. that was an exceptionally brave piece of leadership. that is what they need in the united states. the answer is to amend the constitution. it is a constitutional issue, in the end, and if you wish to have these things interpreted differently by your courts and in law, you amend the constitution. i would actually argue that the current interpretation of the constitution by 5—4 decision is incorrect. i am a lawyer.
i would say the minority had the better end of the arguments with the regulation. this is not militia, this is not muskets in the 18th century. it's a cultural thing. you are absolutely right. either you have a change in the supreme court and they vote it out and people will say black helicopters are going to come and take away my guns... it has got to be cultural and political. it is a 50—year problem, if that. americans love guns. the crime is high and hollywood is making lots of money with its movies on guns and all that. actually, most americans don't own guns. it's a quite small minority that own a lot of guns. but it is for them, very, very important. do you think aside from the bump stock and whether or not that gets banned, this terrible tragedy on top of many others will have an effect?
no, i don't see any dynamic that can really change it. it's been this way for a long time. it is actually getting worse. more people are getting killed in the mass shootings and the technology is getting better. people learn from it. all the tricks he used to keep the police away, cameras, to have two shooting points in the hotel... people will read about that and the next guy will do even better. so you think this is a debate about stopping a device to stop guns to be automatic, is the answer? it is a small change, it might help a little, but i don't think it will make a fundamental difference. thank you so much for very lively and informed debate, for keeping us up to date on dateline. that's all we have time for this week. dojoin us again at the same time next week. from me, shaun ley, and all of us, goodbye. we have plenty of spells of
sunshine. cloud towards the north—west. across parts of scotland, reviews like this taken by a weather watcher. we have sunny spells but more cloud working in across scotland and northern ireland. further south and east, where you are further away from the frontal system you are more likely to stay dry and bright. showers in northern ireland and north—west england and western scotland but southend east, drier and brighter. in the east most places dry. feeling
pleasa nt in the east most places dry. feeling pleasant with light winds. the chance of showers in cheshire up towards cumbria. in northern ireland, fairly cloudy with showers, but there might be brightness. more cloud and rain in the western half of scotland. eastern scotland should keep dry and bright weather into the evening. tonight the cloud thickens in the north of the country with outbreaks of rain. further south, drizzle, but a mild night with the blanket of cloud. we start monday with a fair blanket of cloud. we start monday withafairamount blanket of cloud. we start monday with a fair amount of cloud. the cloud will break through the day, the breeze picking up. showers in the breeze picking up. showers in the western half of the country in the western half of the country in the morning, shifting eastwards into central parts later in the afternoon. across eastern england and much of eastern scotland, sunny spells. rain pushing into northern
ireland in the afternoon. things are turning more unsettled into the working week with low pressure moving in from the atlantic. it will bring outbreaks of rain particularly in the north—west later on tuesday. showers drifting south and east across the country. breezy conditions. when it clears, sunny spells return and temperatures around 18 in the south, but further north cooler with the arrival of wet weather, which sets us up for the week ahead which will often be breezy with some sunshine. wettest in the north—west. things are looking brighter in the south. this is bbc news.
the headlines at midday: after leaving a trail of devastation across central america, hurricane nate moves further inland across the us‘s south east coast. after her difficult party conference, theresa may says she's resilient and won't hide from a challenge. nicola sturgeon says she will commit to exploring all options to secure eu citizens‘ status in scotland ahead of her party's annual conference. the case for decisions that shape ourfuture being in our hands and not in the hands of this disfunctional goverment in westminster is probably stronger than it‘s ever been. spain‘s prime minister says he won‘t rule out suspending catalonia‘s autonomy as tens of thousands of people take to the streets to call for talks. this is the scene live in barcelona as people march through the city