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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  November 5, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm GMT

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a few showers in the next few hours. a few showers in eastern coast —— eastern coastal counties of england. if you are off to fireworks displays this evening, there will be a frost developing quickly across the country. one or two spots of rain lifting the temperature. temperatures across rural parts of scotland and england could get down to minus 4——6dc. at the start of the week, it will be sunny the start of the week, it will be sunny summer on the start of the week, it will be sunny summer on this team eastern parts of england, clouding over in the west. some rain, strengthening breeze. the worst rain will be in the north—west highlands of scotland. still feeling cool tomorrow. hello, i'm shaun ley and this is dateline london. they do say politics
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is showbiz for ugly people... this week, british politics was found to have something in common with hollywood, sexual sleaze. in washington it was financial sleaze under the spotlight. the special prosecutor investigating whether donald trump's presidential campaign was influenced by the russians laid his first charges, but is he any closer to proving a link? with me to discuss all that are: marc roche, of le soir, a belgian daily newspaper, and the french magazine le point; bronwen maddox, director of the institute for government; the portuguese writer eunice goes; and henry chu, international editor of variety. good to have you with us today. michael fallon was britain's defence secretary in more ways than one. the minister in charge of the armed forces was also the first man over the top when political flak started to fly, the "safe pair of hands" when the government needed a reassuring presence at the microphone. those hands and that voice cost him his job this week. he resigned abruptly because, he said, his behaviour towards women had fallen short
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of what modern life dictates. he's the most prominent political casualty of the campaign against men using power to extract sexual favours which began with claims against harvey weinstein, one of the most powerful figures in hollywood. he is under criminal investigation. michael fallon faces no such allegations. the only thing he said he had done wrong was repeatedly put his hand on a woman journalist's knee until she told him she would slap him if he did not stop, and that was 15 years ago. she says it was not a problem to her, she says it is no reason for him to resign. is this a nervous breakdown at westminster? there is more in the newspapers about what he may have done, in different circumstances, westminster isn't the one of the places where the harvey weinstein allegations have triggered a whole... they have empowered people, mainly women, not entirely, to say, inappropriate behaviour that happened in the past, i was a victim of this,
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it is unleashed all this. to me, some things make it particularly feverish in westminster. one, the very nervous state of politics at the moment. a very weak government, finding it hard to maintain discipline. this is notjust about conservative but labour as well. but it is a febrile atmosphere and mps themselves are very afraid. boiling up and away but it also has something to say about the very peculiar working conditions at westminster. the abuse of power within very undefined and old —fashioned working relationships. there is not recourse in a lot of these cases, if you have a complaint against an mp, who do you make it to, they are like little fiefdoms, and the parties are not very good at policing this, i want to keep reputations as clean to the outside world as they can be. all that is boiling up.
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it is a legacy of some quite old—fashioned, distinctly weird employment practices, when you look at it. the complication has been, this is the power of patronage, so intertwined. yes, and in the past, this has been used, the list we have been talking about, this was drawn up by chief whips and they were using this information to discipline mps, to twist their arms, make them vote in the direction the party leadership wanted rather than using the information to say, this behaviour is not on. there is really a culture, a profoundly disturbing culture, masculine, some scholars would say, referring to a really distasteful abusive culture towards women, towards younger employees, because it is also affected young men, young researchers.
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that reflects the wider culture in which we live. as bronwen mentioned, this is a result of the lack of rules, there is no recourse, there is no hr department in the house of commons. that can issue guidelines. and it is also the result of not enough women in the house of commons. when you have more women, when you have gender parity, within a chamber, the culture of the chamber changes because women feel far more emboldened to say, this is not on. but men also behave better, they know that actually very certain behaviour that cannot be accepted. is that something unique to the british political system, how would this compare with what has happened in france? exactly to the same in france but in france, you had people not saying anything because no one will listen. you had a privacy law instead.
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that privacy law allowed people to do terrible things. i remember, when i was at le monde, the main job was to cover the minister of finance. there was a sexual predator, they reported constantly to the editors, and they said, can't do anything, he is a friend of mine. he is a friend about. that was dominique strauss kahn. if something had been done then, we would not have had that incident. the incident in new york. so it is exactly the same. it creates a culture in which you cannot say anything, is that case because the law potentially protects you, but in the case of westminster, actually, it has sometimes suited the political organisations not to have this exposed. and they have been discussing using it for internal purposes but not exposed publicly. does that make it credible when they now say, we will now have... there needs to be independent procedures, meeting on monday to discuss potential code of practice.
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i think she is right, there needs to be an independent body of standards, and a body for complaints. there is something, the ipsa, that was set up after the expenses scandal, that deals only with pay and expenses, the standards bit was taken out of the remit at the last minute by mps. now i think we need an independent body on behaviour and on this hr function. and working practices, things have changed tremendously in the last 20 years, the late nighters, where staying late at night, drinking and so on, that led to really unsavoury things happening. and so, the working practices, the working culture of the house of commons, the way it should work it should be more like a normal place of employment, where actually, that encourages good practice. this is an interesting intersection between politics, the world of westminster and the world of hollywood, two sectors where
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these are hothouse environment, the gatekeepers to power are very few, and so, potentialfor abuses of that power are very great, and the mechanisms for reporting are very faulty or nonexistent in some case. your magazine has been reporting the entertainment industry since the days of vaudeville. the criticism is journalism is complicit in some of this, the culture has been known about, hollywood coined the phrase the casting couch, and yet the unsavoury side of this has not been exposed. journalists bear responsibility but it was very hard to get people to go on the record with these accusations, you do not want to come forward with unsubstantiated stories. what i find discouraging about these scandals in politics and entertainment is they are nothing new, in the us, i remember the clarence thomas anita hill hearing and he subsequently was appointed to the supreme court.
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we had dominique strauss kahn. over the years... they seem to burst into the national conversation, you think there will be measures taken to combat and there is not. as the hashtag metoo gone too far? speak to any young teenager, female teenager, and they will tell you that this kind of behaviour is part of their daily lives, and this is not on, it is not pleasant, it makes people feel devalued. and in this... it is part of culture where women are seen as objects, not real persons, who have rights and their own integrity, where their bodies are discussed and at the disposal of the public. this is part of a very strong and pervasive culture. it has not gone far enough and it needs to extend... the french presidents have
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all been sexual predators, they have all been elected, and nothing came out except when they were dead. i think it can go too far, in the sense of accusations against people who... in circumstances where there is not really power or employment or something involved, look, ifeel oppressed by this. the nature of this, there is going to be exaggeration. i don't think that in itself it is a bad thing compared to the huge value. taking this to westminster, we have at the first signs of a pushback, one conservative mp who has not been accused of anything, one of the veterans, saying, there is a danger of a witchhunt, other mp5, a conservative mp, who had the governing party whip withdrawn, otherwise he cannot sit as a party representative, because of serious allegation that the party passed to the police, he said, the media told him, he was not told. there is a potential problem here.
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talking about duty of care, there is a potential problem. yes, i think there is, you do not want to see a political career, and a lot of stress and risk over the years, going up in smoke because of something that is not proven and may never be properly tested. i think this is where procedures really matter, whether it goes to the police. you want something else, short of the police, to investigate these things and set some of them aside, because it is in the nature of that. that is where it is important to have procedures in place, also to protect the people who are falsely accused. i think there should be a right organism in this. is there a danger for the prime minister in this, if she is seen to readily to hand over her mps to this kind of environment, some will have done things where they deserve to be handed
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over, but some mps are contesting claims against them, this becomes another problem for her as a prime minister perceived as weak. now people saying, she is not even on our side. the greatest danger would not be seen to be responding properly. the second greatest danger is to lose key people, that she really needs, she is in a weak position but having said that, this is a scandal that goes right across all parties, equally balanced allegations. she has done the right thing by saying, we need a body in parliament and we must meet next week. we all are what happened with the expenses, where, as soon as it was set up, mps will start complaining, that is what happened with the independent expenses body. and that is equally a danger here, but we need a political earthquake for these institutional cultural changes to happen, they do not happen incrementally, you need trigger offence to fall smack of force these changes.
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will it happen in hollywood? i think it is, the snowball effect of the allegations has wrapped in so many other figures, no longerjust harvey weinstein, kevin spacey, also brett ratner, another producer, so i think these are really beginning to emerge. and the understanding that this is no longer a way to keep operating in hollywood. the rise of the chief whip, the arch fixer in politics, is the story arc for the american tv series house of cards. sex allegations against kevin spacey, who plays whip turned president frank underwood, appear to have brought that show, and its fictional presidency, to a premature end. the prospects of donald trump seeing out his real—life presidential term had looked threatened by the appointment of robert mueller. the special prosecutor has spent months examining allegations of russian collusion in the trump campaign. on monday he filed charges against former members of the presidential campaign team, allegations of money laundering unrelated to the us
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presidential election. henry, donald trump was quick to point out that this all dated two before he even entered politics, it is to do with money from ukraine. can he relax now? no. first of all, he's right in saying this had nothing directly to do with his campaign but he ran on a platform of saying, i know how to pick good people to be surrounded with and we are going to drain the swamp, we have a swamp creature who has emerged from the mark. what has happened is significant in two ways: paul manafort, formercampaign chairman, and anothercampaign person, rick gates, and... they are done up on charges that are quite grave, they carry the threat of heavy prison sentences. robert mueller is putting out the signal that, look, i'm going after the big fish, too, and the pressure that is now on them, to sing, in jailhouse parlance,
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is now far greater. and now we have george papadopoulos. he has admitted to lying to investigators, pleaded guilty to that. he has done a deal, a lighter sentence. yes, and he has said that he met with russians who promise to give dirt on hillary clinton. beyond that, senior campaign officials encouraged him to have these meetings. again, robert mueller is saying, i know what you did last summer and it is time for you to start talking! you have worked in washington, you know how the system operates there, it is still a long time from saying there is a smoking gun that proves there was a conspiracy involving the trump campaign and the russians. yes, it is a long way but i think this matters for several reasons: one, these prosecutions, these investigations will be going on next year, through the spring and summer, right as the midterm campaign for congress are getting underway,
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and i think that could hurt republicans and hurt trump's own standing, republicans may want to distance themselves even more, it will do nothing to help him get things through congress, like tax plans. and, it does make to me impeachment that bit more likely. the possibility of it. very hard in the us system to stop these legal wheels grinding, this investigation is not going away, he will be dogged by it. the threshold for impeachment is so high. yes but, this legal process, it is not going to disappear. there will have to be a lot of steps. what i find interesting, nigel farage, quite close to him... former leader of ukip... back from washington. all this russian thing... saying it is a jewish conspiracy...
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i remember, my first beat was washington, watergate, the same thing that nixon was saying. i think that shows that the thing is not only in the us, this despair, in the white house, going with this conspiracy theory, but also, europe, european angle to the russian thing. the role of russia in the brexit campaign, the role of russia with marine le pen against emmanuel macron, fake news. we need an enquiry about the russian lobby in europe. the former chancellor gerhard schroeder, the former prime minister dominique de villepin, what was the role of russia in "brexit" and wikileaks. also, julian assange, perhaps, sharing many of the e—mails that wikileaks had hacked. there is a connection there in the ongoing... in the investigation that just started in the united kingdom about the role of russia.
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the possible role of russia in the leave campaign, the european referendum, in 2016. this is quite massive, but in terms of the american implications, the idea that this administration would drain the swamp and change politics, that is an illusion, and the longer the investigation drags on, the more the reputation... because we also see the links in the distillation of the entire trump family and how they are all involved. interesting, donald trump, this has been about financial charges, at this stage, principally, financial misappropriation of funds, illegally moving money around, lying about it. donald trump said very early on, when robert mueller was appointed, keep well clear of my family's finances. if he takes the view that was indicated there, that he will look at this, is that legitimate or inappropriate? finances applies to paul manafort and gates,
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but not george papadopolous , that was about talking to russian operatives who were promising a political score over an opponent. now we are looking at jared kushner. the son—in—law of donald trump. yes, in an investigation about the russians, not about family finances. this is where you get more dangerous for donald trump. it is not facing his supporters, which is remarkable, his support among his base and many republicans remains strong. they seem to dismiss this in a way that, if we performed a small thought experiment, if the same array of people around hillary clinton were accused of these contact with the chinese, let's say, that promised dirt on donald trump, would we not see a huge outcry from the republican side, absolutely. you were in washington, at the time of watergate, presumably the temptation for some of donald trump's allies and supporters will be to say he should fire the special prosecutor, you know... when nixon fired richardson,
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was done, you do not fire the prosecutor. i remember, the night of the long fight, and so... we may arrive at the same situation. i think the only problem is that the vice president is hardly any better! we will have an evangelical. but he is a predictable one. donald trump is off on this specific tour, 25 years since a us president last spent this long in the pacific, how important do you think this is going to be to his foreign policy director. it is a long trip, 11 days, his longest trip, it comes as he has been saying all these things, mainly on twitter, about north korea, leaving the world, notjust asia, very unclear how far he would go. china, really, struggling to know what to make of him, and indeed,
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to be polite about him, in a way, all really doggedly trying to treat him as a conventional us president, finding that increasingly hard. japan very worried about how much the us alliance can really be counted upon. japan, interesting debate about whether it should build up its own armed forces, explicit debate there, and so... a lot of asia recalibrating relations between these countries, and wondering how much to change their own perception of relations with the us, regardless of what donald trump says. so it matters a lot. we may not get anything much more consistent out of him in terms of what he says but everything he says or does not say is going to be pored over. in terms of the president, almost does not matter who is in the white house, washington and the us matters hugely in that part of the world. barack obama talked about a tilt towards the pacific. has that been delivered in practical
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terms, leaving aside the grand talk and the change of the faces at the top, in terms of the engagement with the region, has that happened ? it happened underobama, you have the pacific partnership, the free trade agreement, that has been scrapped by donald trump's administration. with his bellicose rhetoric engaged in with north korea, that has contributed to uncertainty. he is going there for trade, not just nuclear policy and north korea, and the fact there are large deficits with south korea, with china, obviously, and so he needs to score some success on that front, both in terms of finding new markets for us companies and also getting china on board with the north korea policy. whether he can deliver that, with this robert mueller investigation hanging over him... if more allegations came out during that trip, he would be weakened, the leveraged you would have in any negotiations in asia—pacific
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would be decreased. he has been obsessed with europe, came to france for the 14th ofjuly, uk, "brexit", russia, there has been a change. the future of the us is in asia, barack obama said, but donald trump has not saying that, so it'll be interesting to see what this trip is going to be like. in terms of practical effects of this, a lot of talk about what he might say about north korea while he is touring around the region, even if he does not say to the cameras, how he may try to reassure japan and south korea. this is the problem, how unpredictable he is, how inconvenient it may become. so far the world has been safe because the state department has more less controlled diplomacy and has come back every time donald trump makes a controversial claim about north korea. but let's see for how long
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the secretary of state will be able to be in charge of that part of diplomatic affairs. do we overstate the ability of china to influence affairs in north korea, do you think? no, we do not, in fact, we understated! i think this is china's problem to solve, the point is that china does not want to solve it in the way that we would like it solved. china has been a protector, in a way, of north korea, it does not want north korea to fall, either because of the refugees but more importantly because that would create probably a kind of unified korea, sympathetic to america, with american troops with access to the chinese border. so north korea is a better option, even with an unpredictable figure. they do not think he is as unpredictable as we do, and certainly, they are aware they control pretty much everything going in and out and in terms of resources and trade for north korea.
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it is probably more unpredictable than they would like at the moment but they have not really taken many steps that we can see to arsenal career to come back in line. ——ask north korea but they have the power to do that. you are right to a large degree, the historic phrase they use is that china and north korea are like lips and teeth, that is how close they are, i heard that a lot when i was based in beijing. they could be working a little bit more together to create a smile! as opposed to something else. china has its own domestic problems, in terms of economy and corruption, xijinping is emerging as an incredible power, strongest since mao zedong, working his own philosophy into the constitution. we could see some benefit. this would help china to promote itself as a global power, the way that china wants to continue
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to do business, as they have always done, but without any consideration for the global indications of their actions. to be seen as there are global actor, perhaps, perhaps a different tact using north korea, just maybe a tiny tweak would help. in those global ambition. there is a lot about this which suits china, south korea has to distance itself from america, we really don't want a war here! that helps china. we certainly do not! thank you very much forjoining us. that's all we have time for this week. do join us again next week same time, same place, but for now thank you for watching and goodbye. what hello. there was a lovely
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autumn afternoon on the way for many. some sunshine, but a bit of a cool breeze. we have seen some showers today and will continue for some in the afternoon. the midlands showers are fading, they are becoming fewer in number and not as heavy as this morning. a lot of those should get tried this afternoon. the north sea coast will see one or two showers, pushing into lincolnshire and eventually norfolk. these are the afternoon tempters, down on what we have seen of late, some sunshine to compensate. but as the sunset it will turn chilly quickly indeed. they're that in mind for fireworks displays. shetland could see one or two showers, and
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there will be showers for coastal parts of yorkshire, lincolnshire and developing widely in norfolk and north suffolk in the evening. but inland has clear conditions. there is still a breeze towards wales, at fewer showers. the breeze will be lighter tonight, we will see a frost develop wildly. the temperatures in towns and cities will be just above freezing, imrul parts they could be as low as minus four. it will be a monday groaning as the ice scrapers come out. the breeze strengthens ahead of a weather front coming into the hebrides in the morning. most of the hebrides in the morning. most of the day will be dry, bright and frosty. the sun will be in eastern parts of england. it is turning cloudier and wind in the west. some rain in the north—west highlands and islands of scotland. overall, a cool day when you have sunshine or cloud.
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monday evening, it is turning wet across scotland and northern ireland. snow over the higher ground in scotland. that heavy rain will spread eastwards into tuesday. tuesdayis spread eastwards into tuesday. tuesday is a different day altogether for england and wales. it sta rts altogether for england and wales. it starts off wet and friends breads eastwards. but many become brighter later in the west. it is feeling cool as well which will lead into another columbine, a frosty start into wednesday. wednesday, a window of fine weather for most, but more rain arrives in the west later. goodbye. this is bbc news.
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i'm shaun ley. the headlines at midday: the prime minister's deputy, damian green, strenuously denies claims pornography was found on a computer in his commons office in 2008. it's among several further allegations about the conduct of mps — the home secretary says wholesale change is needed. if there are rumours or allegations, we need to bring them out, find out what is going on and deal with them in a transparent way so they don't happen again. donald trump sends a veiled warning to north korea as he kicks off a marathon tour of asia. no dictator, no regime,

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