tv After Words CSPAN July 4, 2014 10:45am-11:46am EDT
it's important if you want to marry a billionaire that you talk to his left hand side because his more emotional side. i'm sure your viewers need to know this. sitting on the left. >> one more we thought we should come back to states on this one. adam tanner is a journalist of many written for reuters and ford said he wanted to look at what the data and marketing is doing to american business. he's got a terrific book that we have called what stays in vegas and the focus of the book is on the casino industry, which uses as a jumping off point to show how much corporations and commercial companies of all kinds are relying on big data now and how much they know about us, whether we wish them to know or not. i know nothing about casinos.
i'm excited about this book because what's clear is he takes us through a wild ride of this new data copied into your information who is walking a line of legality on the wood is green all around us has the beat. >> how long was he working on the book ended the casino industry cooperate? >> he's been working for about three years and he is absolutely where but the access corporation of one particular casino chain, seasons or harris. so they know about it. the chief executive has been interviewed many times. they have not asked for approval. we may not like the book, but they certainly know about it. >> clive priddle, publisher of public affairs of some of the books coming out this week.
words" with guest host toby toby harnden. this week, kwasi kwarteng and his new book "war and gold" new book survey. new book survey. in it, the member explores the history of money which is a relationship to war the resulting impact he believes the interconnection has some present-day free markets worldwide. the program is about an hour. >> welcome to "after words." i am toby harnden. today is kwasi kwarteng, you can ever get mp who was born in conservative london and easier to discuss his superb new book, "war and gold: a 500-year history of empires, adventures, and debt." it has received rave reviews already. my own paper described it as readable into a rollicking narrative. it's great to have you here.
it's not usually the description you get for politicians. this strikes me as not a politician spoke. this is an designed to you further out. why did you write it? >> i've always been interested. that's what my major was in. i think what we look at what happened in 2008, the financial crisis, huge amounts of debate, loads of books, but they all looked at short-term respect to. they were looking at the banks, hedge funds, cbo's credit derivatives. but i found that take a step up and understand something about the global financial system, said it about the currencies we have, the dollar comes early in gold as well because one of the features of this book is to remind all for 400 years, over a 500 year.
we had to go back. c. his 1971 when richard nixon famously went off gold beauty shop the gold window. >> you have an eye for the dramatic moments. it's sort of a dry subject, money. but tommy 1996 when the program was interrupted. >> guest: there's key moments in any historical narrative. people think my god, this is what happens. it was very much one of those moments when richard nixon essentially appeared on national television has featured an answer, which is discrete cowboy show. not really my type, but there were many viewers of the show. he interrupted to say we're not going to allow the dollar to become ergot. this in many ways was one of the most significant things to have happened in the history of
money. it is a very decisive moment for essentially shut the gold went though. that's the term where people could not simply come into fort knox metaphorically of said $100 i want to get the gold value now as a consequence of the bad problems the american federal government got into with the vietnam war and also to pay for the great society and it just didn't work out in terms of deficit people like the french and bad people in every were coming as a richard nixon decided to stop that. interestingly enough the federal chairman at the time of the head of the federal reserve, arthur burns, was very skeptical about that. he was an old-school balanced-budget conservative guy and he was weary of actually stopping and decoupling the dollar from goldeneye way. >> host: and other. >> host: another key moment is
lloyd george in the house of commons. >> guest: the great egg about british public finance at the hundred years before 1914 was essentially they written ballot budgets. it difficult to imagine that you double victorian era in the 19 century was very stable interest rates, very fiscal policy and one of the key things in the book is that i went to pieces. in order to defeat germany, the british parliament essentially had to vote or amasses the name. he stands up in the us is an extraordinary thing we've done. we will now borrow billions of sterling. hundreds of millions in the budget up to that point. the national debt when it 10 times. so from about 700 million sterling two over 11 billion. in the house of commons would do
whatever it took to defeat germany. >> host: i don't see a threat right the way through you're the sort of push polling site of war and money. you contemplate ordering chaos. >> guest: that's right here they'll tell you order is represented at the gold standard or buy a commodity standard or you can see this is how much my dollar or pound is worth in his sleep to some external value. chaos of one of the arguments they put forward in the book is when you don't have any kind of commodities. you have what is money, paper money in essentially the printing press. you can keep money. there is a strand of opinion is more than any other essays that
was a mistake and we should get back to the gold standard. this isn't a polemic. i'm not trying to run a really good narrative to explain how he got to where we are, but there was some force of the argument that we need something more structured than the ability of governments to print money. >> host: the quotes from ron paul and his co-author in 1981, the ten-year experiment has failed. that is an argument that is very, very resonant for ron paul in 2012 and it's probably going to run for president in 2016. do you think he showed? >> guest: it's different than i'll talk about that issue. the only way we could get hacked is for the chinese essentially to decide. that degree of statistical after tomorrow. they say it's going to equal x amount of gold and they've got
enough reserves to back that. the only problem is they did that. you become a very, very strong current eternal should be complete user to keep the guys are and we combined them essentially. that would be a reversal. in terms of introducing, they can do it because they've got the reserves. one of the points i make about the gold standard is if you look at the 19th century britain who lashley guaranteed to. britain was the manufacturer of the world. reddish good were floating essentially global market, south america and the reserves brett acquired never could keep the gold standard. the british themselves never had that much gold, but everyone relied on the stability of the export strength to britain.
for much of the 20th century, the united states ran current accounts. it's unbelievable to think that. really until 1970, from 1900 to 1970, the u.s. was exporting more than ever supporting. it was building up reserves, building of gold. the united states guaranteed the gold standard search after the first world war and the whole britain website on the first based on this tyler's manic value of the dollar at $35 an ounce. that was an ounce of gold. that was the relationship that lasted from 1944 to 1971. >> host: sounds like you don't anticipate that doing this. >> guest: given where they have come from in the last 25 years, the first or currency to be much lower and i outlined that in the book.
in 1980 it was one and a half to a dollar and over 20 years it went down about eight and a half and out six and a half. but they deliberately had a very cheap money, a low value for the currency so they could drive up experts. your right to suggest that they went for gold that would be a complete reversal of how they were building their economy through this expert wrote. >> host: article is part of gold. what i am saying is the current system is very vulnerable and in no way explains what happened in 2008. i mention the fact that many economists predicted this would happen when you have a system where you just got currency and banks that are essentially pushing entered printing money, you are going to get a very
vulnerable and unstable system. >> host: what about the effect of war in 2008? your argument does it wasn't just about 9/11. it was about some a much bigger. >> guest: wasn't that complicated. if you remember us on the the trading floor 2001. i was at jpmorgan. i was a banker. the first thing that happened was obviously it went down 10%. the dow jones went down an appreciable amount. and the response of the central bank was to lower interest rates. the interest rates had been coming down all through the year. they went down to 1% and this is really, really cheap money. you followed what happened as a consequence of leverett ranches street to such a degree, what
happened was people want to yield. there is a search for yield. the money at 2% with some banker in the midwest, you think i need to get more than 2%. >> host: that pushes you to the margin? >> guest: that's absolutely right. i can only get 2% buy treasuries. i got to get some interest rate. i've got to search for yield. that was the phrase used at the time and the search for yield drove a lot of the subprime aid, a lot of the poor credit and to touche and in terms of expanding credit, in terms of getting people huge loans which they could never afford to pay and that was what caused this in stability. this is where the long view is very interesting because i found exactly the same thing happen in a land in the 1820s. it is south america. what happened after the napoleon
war, and the defeat of napoleon with rifles is a popular tv show. after that it went back and as a consequence of that government spending went down and there is again the search for yield. were only going to get small interest rates. let's look for something that will give us more interest rates. there is a search for yield, were paid 7% of crazy, very speculative stocks, all that kind of thing. ..we talk about gold now how do we more the current sequence how do we stabilized and stop another bubble? >> guest: i think the main thing that is missing from this and this is what people in the markets feel and i think people generally feel, is that there
should be more leadership. there should be more international coordination. if you look at bretton woods that lasted three weeks. it was two years of preparation before that but essentially you had delegates from 50 countries that came to bretton woods resort in new hampshire and they decided what the special architecture would be. there was a responsible and very effective and blessed from 44 to 71. in this current crisis we have not really been able to reach the level of international cooperation that has been a slight lack of leadership or hats. people are stealing less confident and there was less of an idea of what can be done. and i ink one of the things about that is in a way i think from a 2008 crisis came at a time when global leadership, feeling perhaps less sure of itself, the was itself is running a huge deficit. which we can talk about later.
and the u.s. has been slightly burned by perhaps overextension in foreign affairs, foreign commitments. so the capacity of the used to provide that kind of global leadership is much lower now than perhaps was the case in 44. when all the postwar period. >> host: you're not a bash bankers? >> guest: not at all. i'm always telling the house of commons i'm always very robust defender of the free enterprise system, defender of finance. look in my hometown, london. london has been the center of international finance for 300 years. arguably today. and apologies to new york. it is still the leading international center of the number of international banks, time zones and the idea that british politicians should bash bankers and try and close down the city of london. it's insane. that's been a great strength of the british economy. that's what i would argue. i think it's more not by the historical record.
>> host: in terms of debt and deficit, your fascinating chapter on thatcher and reagan, what went out of the window was that balanced budget and your word almost a fetish, and in the end itself. i think of this extent reagan talked about fiscal responsibility but in the end -- >> guest: reagan was a great figure. his idea, he was very much, great metaphor about government spending related to alcoholism. you look at his speech asserted from the early time, we been on this massive bench him we've got a terrible hangover, we need to sort ourselves out.
that was the rector, the metaphor to use. when you look at his record throughout the '80s, and yet you're right, because a defense spending, because of the cold war, there was this deficit. that was a time i think we certainly people on the conservative side of the argument here in the american worker focus on tax cuts regardless of expenditure might argument is really to the '60s the u.s. conservatives were balanced budget people. what they did if you look at the korean war, that was truman, jimmy carter present but certainly eisenhower, they were reluctant to cover, to raise income, raise taxes to cover expenditure. so thinking the korean war, the president went to congress and raise taxes and paid for that because they wanted to balance the budget. that was a much us are old school conservative approach on
both eisenhower and truman stuck to the. it was only in the '60s when started getting these endless deficits but in a way my argument is at the conservative movement in america, endless tax cuts because they said tax cuts would increase revenue. they didn't focus on the expenditure side. i think if you're going to reduce taxes got to reduce expenditure. reducing taxes hoping you will get more money from the. keeping expenditure rising. this argument, sort of supply-side argument, people like jack kemp in the late '70s focus on tax cuts but in order to balance the budget you've got to address expenditure. you cannot just balance the budget on tax cuts alone. even though, in an ideal world i would reduce taxes and reduce expenditure. the two have got to go together. >> host: and george w. bush, he was described fiscally incompetent.
>> guest: it wasn't my words. which is an extraordinary president anyway because he is attacked from the left and from the right. because of his fiscal incompetence. if you look at that period from 2001 come use to start running deficits quite aggressively. and those deficits were compounded by the foreign affairs, foreign wars that the bush government went into, and i think people on the left and certainly from the right was saying what happened to this? we are supposed to be a hoax on public expenditure. we want to reduce the federal government and its impact in terms of spending. but the spending was out of control. it wasn't me. it was a lot of the guys from the think tanks, the heritage foundation, cato institute, were always even at the time and before 2008 were criticizing bush for spending to much money. that was one of the things that
led to the tea party movement. >> guest: that's right. so the tea party i think was a legitimate protest at this endless cycle of deficit expenditure. debt was going through the roof, the deficit was going through the roof and you forget, people forget that in america the budget was balanced. in my country and britain as well. the budget was balanced in the late '90s. i remember when i started work in the late '90s they were saying the 30 year bond, the 30 year bond would be abolished because the government was in borrowing more money. so in 50 years we've gone through a complete reversal of that position. i think in my book i argued that the bush administration had a part to play in that. >> host: so how do you do the clinton era? >> guest: certainly clinton was, just look at the numbers. you could look at where the
budgetwise. it was quite a responsible time in the sense that public expenditure didn't rise but it was a little bit but not as fast as it subsequently. revenues were increasing, and the budget was largely balanced. a lot of people say a lot of the problems were deep-seated, but he didn't address in terms of entitlements and social security and that sort of thing. but year on year the budget was very balanced, and i quote greenspan when he came to congress in 2001. and if you read what he was saying, it's extraordinary. using essentially were going to abolish the national debt. >> host: bring it down to zero. >> guest: that's right. that was the environment. it was very much the view, this was pre-9/11 and some of we discovered perpetual motion and the us economy was growing at three to 4% every year. expenditure wasn't going up very fast. >> host: that was based on very, very optimistic estimates
which are not sure that everyone at the time. >> guest: it was shared by everybody at the time but the fact that the chairman of the federal reserve would come the congress and speak as you mentioned of the glide path to zero dead in 2001, summer before 9/11, is extraordinary given where we are now. it is extraordinary that 15 is good people actually thought they would have abolished the national federal debt certainly by 2014. >> host: what is your view of alan greenspan? >> guest: i think the most important thing about him, i'm historian so look at what people do, sort of the personality. i think that's important. one of the most interesting things about them was a loved jazz music. he was a jazz player, clarinet and saxophone in the '40s. i was suggested to a jazz players approach to managing the economy but it was a very
improvised. i quote people who worked with him who said the plan was there was no plan. he was very, very savvy about what he felt himself, very savvy about markets. and he responded very quickly to what the markets were doing. the most important thing about him in terms of his career was early on in 87, early on in his tenure as chairman of the federal reserve. the essentially in his own mind saved the western world because of the crash of 87. big wall street crash. >> host: there was a crash and self-confidence. >> guest: that's right. very, very cheap money, lowered interest rates, pumped huge loss of liquidity into the system and he averted a 29 style disaster in 87. and so once you do that very early on in your career and you play those tunes again, if you're successful doing one policy very early on, the temptation is to keep repeating it which is essentially what he
did. and a i would argued by 2002, 2003 very, very cheap money policy stood up its own problems as we've talked about. love interest rates, search for yield and people were investing in very high risk products to give that yield and that's what created the instability. >> host: ben bernanke i think you describe, he comes across as an excessive interventionist. >> guest: yes, that was a much bestow. i think greenspan set the ball rolling in 87. one thing you've got to learn about all these people running the federal reserve is that they are obsessed with 1929, and the one lesson they learned from 1929 is -- >> host: bernanke had written a -- >> guest: and done research on the obsessed with the idea that in 29 the federal reserve, the authority if you like didn't do enough. and they contacted the money supply at the wrong time and all the rest of the. endless liquidity pumping liquidity into the system is very much their response and
what they learned. >> host: do you think it was the right response? >> guest: i think to do it willy-nilly as they did was perhaps slightly risky. i think they perhaps overload, perhaps with some of the long -- wrong lessons from 29. like friedman pointed out in 29, they made it worse by shrinking the money supply. they didn't need to do that, but these endless bailouts, in less huge amounts of money that people can't even comprehend, i think created potentially its own instability and also alienated the middle america. the tea party revolt was very much initiated or given fuel by this endless bailouts, endless printing a bun and this endless spending. that's what people really got cross about. we are still seeing the ramifications of that.
>> host: you talk about rhetorically a lease in the reagan thatcher era a lot of talk about the household budget and putting things in a very simple, not simply stick but simple manner, although you say kind of diverted perhaps from the balanced budget. but now we have this sort of system we have a currency that is sort of untethered, jazz approach to managing it. and these huge as you say trillions come yet the google to begin to comprehend. i guess for the average american, i think how do we get back to some sort of sanity and something that people can understand? >> guest: what i argue in my book and what i think people from all sides of the political spectrum are looking at is you are going to have to at some point. the same with uk in my country, the argument isn't about whether would balance the budget to its
how quickly we get to balance. because endless deficits isn't sustainable. there's more of a consensus about that than people might realize. how you balance the budget and over what time frame, these are political discussions. >> host: entitlement reform. >> guest: all that is important but i think certainly if we're going to get back to stability over the next 10, 20 years, i think a balanced budget approach is something people are beginning to focus on. even though the rhetoric might not, might suggest otherwise. endless debates in congress which i followed about budget and all the rest of the. even the most extreme democrat is suggesting we run deficits from now on into kingdom come. i don't think anyone is suggesting that. talk to american politicians about this. i would imagine someone like paul ryan or anybody. >> guest: they should. it's getting as you say rave reviews but i think it's an important book because it's
trying to bring back this idea of the balanced budget straight into the political mainstream. i'm trying to show that balanced budgets are what made britain and america very, very powerful countries over the time in which they held power and global affairs. so i think it's a very, very timely and important. and i have spoken to would've to people about this. i think that the conservative politician to i tend to be more hawkish of public spending than perhaps some of my other college. but this is something which is being talked about. >> host: so broadly speaking as the terms used in simplistic terms in the public debate, growth versus austerity. i mean, is that a useful way of looking at things? >> guest: a slightly crazy way of looking at it. the argument about the growth which was first a very new argument in the context of five integers. in the '60s people started saying, and do a sort of lyndon
johnson, jfk towards the end of his brief, tragic tenure they started saying we shouldn't worry about balancing the budget because if we run a deficit will get more growth and, therefore, we will be able to balance the budget. what don't you? i've got a deficit to let me run the deficit more so i get more money in and then pay off the deficit to pay off the debt. it's a second argument. you didn't hear it until the early '60s, and that's the point i make in the book. associated with the names of games, came to this end change that but keynes himself realizes the deficit spending was an exceptional thing. window was a slump he said you can spend more money, but he never dreamt of people running deficits year in year out. that only really came in the '60s when they adopted the
thing. we need to run a deficit. it's a slightly crazy argument and you hear it now a lot from people on the left. but it's not a teensy an argument. keynes himself grew up in a victorian area. he was 31 when the first world war broke out so his whole childhood and his use was conditioned by this balanced budget framework. that he thought was the norm and he said look, in exceptional times you can borrow more money. he wasn't envisioning that all the time. the analogy i use, if you have kids, the victim and approach is if they had tv which is a big think of you can't watch television either. keynes view was okay, you can watch two hours when you need you, and now we've got tv on all the time. so you know, in the keynes both
for the sort of deficit, keep growing the deficit in order to get growth ideas i think is wrong because you've got to understand him in his historical context. and that the struggle context as i have outlined in this book, "war and gold," the uk government balanced the budget, balance the books and that's what the government, those are the key function of government. that was agreed by both sides, both the liberals and the conservatives. >> host: tell us about china. where is china in all of this? described as america's banker. you talk about some of the rhetoric from republicans politician, mitt romney talking about naming, sort of shaming china on day one of his presidency, which never happened. he talked about economic nationalism. >> guest: economic nationalism has always been a theme in america. people like pat began to talk of
this on the fringes of the debate in many ways, but if you look at the 19th century america was the great protectionist country. that's a who struggle fact. we can argue about whether it was the right thing or the wrong thing. the fact is that someone described to me the american industrial base was built behind a high tariff wall. that's just what happened. the argument on the right is very much, has been about, or shared and as you said economic nationalism. and actually it's not just about economic nationalism. it's also about having a level playing field. if i'm exporting cars to china i would probably have a 15% tariff to get my goods into china, where as if i'm a chinese exporter you get a 15% subsidy. so a lot of the a lot of the trade are you it's about equalizing the playing field. >> host: harley-davidson.
>> guest: right. again, these things are always more complicated. reagan is portrayed as this great free trade, but he said harley davidson, i think 30% tariff. in the early '80s people remember all this japanese motorbikes were flooding america. harley-davidson was going bust and he slapped a tariff on these japanese motorbikes and saved the domestic industry. >> host: so if china had been named engine in the way what would be -- with that just be basically domestic populism treasury also the problem is there are still enough submit for chinese goods. i suppose you could slap tariffs but the naming and shaming, this is the greenspan argument, if we imposed tariffs on china, malaysia and southeast asian industrial base if you like it, we provide goods anyway.
it wouldn't help the u.s. manufacturers. that was his argument, but if you look at where china started from, and we mentioned this earlier, in 1980 room and he was 1.5 to the dollar over about 20 years. that rate went up to about 8.5. this was not an exit. this was a something that just happened because of that but it was an act of deliberate policy. the chinese, the strength of the chinese compared to ourselves in the west and bring in america if you like is a very long-term view. so american politician work using china, the chinese of current human evolution in the early '90s. in about 91 was saying you guys are inflating your country, driving your currency down to flood our markets. but, of course, as a new president, there's always a new cycle. the chinese kept doing the same thing.
they may have a statement and that's what i've outlined in the book with regard to their own currency. it's easy to forget this but as late as sort of the late '80s, about 85, 86, a bit later than that, china was running a trade deficit, if you can imagine that. they were importing more than they were exporting, and i refer to various articles in "the new york times" from that period which was saying they've got a trade deficit. you could argue because the renminbi, they devalued the renminbi. the trade deficit became a surplus which it has remained. >> host: you are relatively unusual rich politician. you've got a sophisticated knowledge of the experience of united states historically, but you also spent a year at harvard? >> guest: i spent an excellent year in boston or cambridge, massachusetts. 96, 97. so i can look through a lot of that crazy but it was an interesting time because a lot
of my classmates, people who were my age, we're going straight into wall street on very big salaries. this was just before the dot com boom went a lot of them wouldn't do that. so those are kind of go-go years. cigar crisis and all that thing. consumption, high living to all of that sort of thing. it was kind of the wild west period i think in finance. and, of course, that all came to a grinding halt certainly after 9/11, and there was a very long their market which was short and sharp their marker when the top ticket the tech bubble burst in 2000, people forget that. that was a difficult time for the markets. >> host: give me your historical knowledge of american -- what strikes you as a big sort of differences in economic and political debates on either side of the aisle? >> guest: people in america are much more conscious of the spinning but i was amazed. i used to cover the debates for
newspapers in britain -- what amazed me about these congressional debates was i think one from 96 they were arguing about $309 which sound like a lot of money, but the budget was something like 1.6 drug 1.3 children and this was -- 1.3 trillion. i think that level about scrutiny doesn't quite exist certainly in britain and france in western europe. and the whole language and culture about pork, earmarks, although sort of terms. these are not terms that are used in europe. >> host: you said britain could learn from some of this? >> guest: i think we could have a more hawkish -- you could argue the debate was beloved because people talked about this
to put the continued spending money. you could argue all of that intense scrutiny on that didn't really amount to much. but i think having a conscious approach, very critical approach to tax dollars, that phrase tax dollars, i've never heard of the phrase tax viewers. i think people here have more fundamental sense of the idea that taxation comes from the people's work and is spent by the government whereas i think in your there's more kind of casual acceptance of government spending. somehow the government is spending its money, or they don't really make the connection. >> host: there's a sensor that this is our money. >> guest: that's right. >> host: and this anger. >> guest: absolute right. we the people on one side, and the government which is extracting money from the people through taxation and frittering it away. that's kind of a tea party view of life. whereas in europe i think, i
think europeans and british people have a slightly more benign view of government. and so that benign view means that the government spending money for us, and there is in that sense this is my money. >> host: was it the reagan idea, but joe, i'm from the government and i'm here to help. >> guest: that's what. there are probably deep seated reason for the. if you look at the birth of the origins of the united states, it was a revolt against the government. it was a revolt against -- absolutely, taxation without representation. that's very much more deep-seated i think in the american consciousness than it is in europe. >> guest: we've mentioned tea party a few times. of course, the big political story in britain at the moment is the rise of the uk independence party. what is your view on this? are we not in a three or four party system in britain that we haven't had before? >> guest: it seems we raised
that because we judge or being elections last week in which ukip, four party, came along and that's the first time i think since 1986 and 108 years when neither conservative or labour, the two main parties, have won a nationwide election. very significant. we didn't actually know where this would end up. ukip, the main reason is to try to get britain away from your. they want us to leave the eu, but it's a much wider sort of cultural revolt against the political class they feel is out of touch, that is elitist, that doesn't connect to ordinary people, that lives in its own bubble. is very much drawn from the same type of person, even though they're different parties, they are all pretty much the same. and it's very much a kind of antiestablishment, peasants revolt type situation which in america i think people are very
familiar with. >> host: do you see some parallels -- >> guest: there are clearly parallels. we are in washington now, and westminster is much more than washington but has the same sort of resonance. these are people who go to fancy restaurants, they wear fancy suits. they speak a language that we don't understand. they are completely cut off their constituents and the essentially, regardless of who's in power whether democrat or republican, spending goes up and there is no responsibility or accountability. the people on main street are saying we've had enough. there's a popular insurgent aspect to it. >> host: sort of smoking and drinking. >> guest: smoking, drinking, absolutely. in a way that no politician would dream or dare to do.
and so there is very much the view that these people are out of touch, and it's time for direct action, and he calls his army the people's army of his troops, his party calls it the people's army and that's very much the kind of peasants with pitchforks over the hill coming and they are saying they had enough. >> host: you think your conservative party to learn from ukip? is it going to be about going to bring them into -- >> guest: this is the $64,000 question. i suspect that the center-right, my own private view, the center-right in britain needs to have some sort of accommodation at some point with ukip but because his for difficult given our parliamentary system does have a conservative party can get an overall majority without a lot of those ukip voters coming back because the agenda are a conservative disposition to i know people are you about this but if you look at their
counselors can look at their activist, a lot of them have come from the conservative party. >> host: what we are seeing sort of at the moment, u.s. 2014 primary, there's a lot of tea party challengers losing but tea party -- the narrative has been about the establishment versus the tea party, but a lot of primary victors in the republican primaries our fusion candidates. >> guest: that's right. the difficulty we have with ukip is there not part of the conservative party. i mean, the tea party generally in the u.s. as far as i can see and follow it are within the republican party. they are fighting -- they are fighting primaries within the republican party. was ukip r. fielding of the candidates and separate policies but that may well be a beloved of the tea party. the tea party put into being i
suppose a party challenging the republican party but if that were the case i think the republican party would have a serious problem because essentially instead of contacting the primaries and deciding on one candidate, you would have either the democrats, the republicans and the kind of tea party representative. i think of ross perot. i was very much a similar situation where the third party, i think he killed bush in 92, and that's very much danger. >> host: we talked about the political class. do you use yourself as -- >> guest: no. i've done other things. i've been four years and i'm a writer, historian to work in a bank for 10 years but i've been different things. i think it's quite unhealthy to have professional politicians. i can cwia befalls but i think you need to have politicians with a wider perspective. that was always a great strength of the house of commons. house of commons drew on people from all backgrounds in many
ways. you have manual workers -- of that by the mid '20s century get people like winston churchill who is a journalist and writer, soldier, quite eccentric characters, people from different walks of life, different professions. you didn't just are the same voices. the nature of modern life, people are more specialized. there's a huge culture of special advisors or in the american case working on them. i think that that sort of bread its own, kind of got its own momentum. >> host: i think you say the three party leaders are all essentially special politicians ass well, look at them. this is a fact. they were all i think born within three years of each other, 1966-1969. all exactly the same age. that all went to either oxford or temperature, and they all as a first -- cop out of
university, worked in politics, and that's a fact. nigel, ahead of ukip, comes along, he didn't go to university. he doesn't have a degree. and so he can say look, i'm not like these guys. i've worked as a commodity trader. i've done this, you, i'm an ordinary bloke or an ordinary guy. that may befalls but he's been a politician is alive, remember, actually. but it has a sort of grain of truth. people who are angry, they're not looking for a forensic sort of truth. they are not looking for to analyze all the circumstances. we just want a story, and his story is quite convincing to be sure the. >> host: i'm always very struck, the sort of obsession anyway in britain or maybe just the bridge press with class and schooling.
you yourself -- >> guest: very famous school. i have a slightly unusual background because my parents were immigrants from, which are part of the old british empire. my first book was about empire. "ghosts of empire." i have an unusual relationship with british. came to the british in the city. i went through these elite institutions. i went to camp at university, and so i kind of got both sides. my parents were very much from the old colonial empire and. and so i could see sort of both sides if you like it but i think, and with the double hat i would say there was a problem i think. there is a potential problem, people from more marginal backgrounds do struggle to get a
voice. and i think it's fo the importat other political class we open presents up, people who are active in politics. should be more open and should be a much easier way for people to double to come and get representation, and maybe the representatives themselves. but the nature of the media, the nature of modern communications, modern life if you like me just to be quite specialized. yet to decide to do that. at a relatively young age. that creates this class i suppose. >> host: is a three book shivering in the last four years? >> guest: two big ones and a couple of others. >> host: i noticed you haven't tweeted since 2010 and you don't have kids. even so, how do you manage to write something as awful and wide-ranging? >> guest: very kind. i think the best advice, the two things about writing a book.
the smartest thing anyone ever said about writing the book was actually winston churchill. it's like building a house. you've got to work out how many floors the house is can you the house is committed to working with the external structure of the house is. you've got to work out how many rooms and bedrooms and all the rest of it before you worry about -- >> host: and churchill actually build houses. >> guest: absolutely. you have a structure before you work of what quilt or how your sofa is going to appear with patty would be like in the garden. you've got to work at the actual structure. once you've got a structure, then the second thing about writing a book is, i don't know if it's an african proverb, that if you want to eat an elephant you've got to chop it up into little pieces. once you have house, you can to take a gradual approach. people think you just rustle it up out of thin air. it took about six years. i was thinking about it even before. i had studied economic history
at cambridge university. i spent my year abroad in boston, and so these thoughts have been evolving for quite a while. i've always been interested in gold, and especially from being from the african continent my home country was the gold coast. there was always that bit of interest, and looking at politics in terms of work in the bank for eight, nine years. and all of that came together. and i very gradually, took a gradual approach in writing the book. when the book appeared, how did you do that? it must have taken you three months. actually it takes a much longer time. >> host: do you have a routine, a certain number of hours a day transferred certain moment in the week with monday mornings are quite good. saturday afternoons are good, then in the recess i tried to allocate a bit of time every day. it's the eating the of the thing, chopping it up and then you just to stay the, steady as
you go. if you got a clear idea of a sort of book you want to write, you can actually get there. the danger is you need to keep to the structure, and you need a plan. if you don't have a plan it's practically impossible to do something like that, given the pressures and the constraint you have, the amount of time you spend in the constituency. but my constituency is quite close to i'm struck, went up into national archives, bumped into constituents because they're interested in their family history, and it's a hobby. people have hobbies if they work very hard. so it's not something that i see as work really. >> host: although extreme irrelevant. >> guest: i tried to make it -- >> guest: i think a lot of politicians -- >> guest: i think it is key to trying to understand politics but on some way we have come from.
i think that's true. >> host: what is it that struck me, at the beginning, this is not the politicians book. you are not judgmental. how does david cameron via? >> guest: i didn't write it to get a rebuttal. but history and understanding history is more of a medium term, medium to long-term thing than trying to get appointments week by week. but i think in the long world you've got to clear to set out what your beliefs are, where you're coming from, coming from intellectual hinterland if you like. i think that's got to help our political career in the end. and i think certainly in britain, i'm not sure about the united states, but there's always been a big connection between understanding history and politics. we've had a long tradition as
historians in politics and politicians who write history. churchill who i mentioned in the times was probably the greatest example of the. he wrote reams and reams of history throughout his career. if you saw the show he wrote a history of the first world war in six volumes. how he was -- people like billy jenkins was a writer, william hague has written an excellent biographies of british politician. it's something that is quite connected in britain, yeah, this link between history and politics. and i think that's quite healthy actually. >> host: a great quote from norman lamont who said politicians don't have the luxury of expressing it out. but i sense from here you use the word nuance quite often. you do have a nuance approach. are the things that surprised you, things that you studied that actual change of you? >> guest: figured. i think if you look at this
whole idea of government spending. what i was amazed that was the extent to which we're living in completely uncharted territory. as i say from hundreds of years before 1971 is a gold standard. it was really in the '60s had a challenge britain and america, challenge the psyche we've got to balance the budget every. so this idea where we are running continual deficit and we have a paperback currency for money is quite new. this just wasn't, this is something that happened. certainly after 1971, the extent to which we were spending more money wasn't as pronounced as it is today, these bailouts. >> host: new normal but it doesn't have to be. >> guest: it's quite new. qb, who murdered that? more than 10 years ago who ever heard of that? i think i first heard it in 2007, that phrase and it became kind of one of these received
phrases that you would think that existed since he was a boy. to the extent today's situation, today's circumstances relatively new with something that struck me. >> host: what of your political career, the term -- i think you been floated as a british -- >> guest: every politician of color i think, black, ethnic and whatever in britain is touted as the british obama which given obama's poll ratings is about the something one would necessarily aspire to be. i mean, we've got to get to the 2015 election. i'm not going to hold my seat which i'm able to do. majorities can come and go and this ukip thing that's something i've got to keep an eye on. let's see where we are after 2015.
the whole political sort of everything, debate in terms of where people are going is dependent on your party's success. obviously, i'm hoping the conservative party wins resoundingly and my career will go in a different direction. if we are out, you know, who knows what will happen? >> host: you wrote another book. >> guest: well, i'm toying with a few. i'm very interested in margaret thatcher. she was a key figure in the book, charles have been working on a4a long time. but after i think was one of those figures certainly in british life who immediately became a kind of iconic figure. when she died you she was so when people argue about for decades to come, and i'm nearly 40 but very few people in my lifetime in britain who have that sort of iconic status.
i mentioned churchill. he died 50 years ago. this was before my time. thatcher for my generation whether you loved or loathed her was a key figure. i'm very interested in her leadership style not just that she was a woman but she had a nonconformist methodist background. she had lots of imagery which she used pictures almost like a sort of preacher in terms of her stop. >> host: she was a big inspiration to you. >> guest: she was. i mean, she was an inspiration. she became prime minister when i was four years old so i don't remember that. i remember the day she left, i was probably 15 and have. so that was a very long time where she was the dominant figure in british politics, a whole decade where she was prime minister. i like your style of politics. i liked conventional politics. i like the fact that she stuck to her guns. i was doing a bit of research of doctor, she said i'm not a
consensus politician but you can imagine someone saying that three months before an election. i'm not a consensus politician but if you want to cover m minds and all that stuff, vote for someone else. i have pencils and to think there was something very attractive about that. and i could see it creeping in american politician because there's a feeling that they were trying to trim their sails to whatever wind is passing. it's very difficult for many people to see what the republican party is about. we need principle, some kind of clear conviction. the danger of that is that people might not like your conventions -- convictions. they were certain ways in which, and she had incredible communication skills. i already mentioned reagan. they did have great communication ability and i think those are attractive. i am sure you will renew as long as this book. it would be a much