tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 14, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT
said i don't want my children involved in a european war. i don't want the tingss, the ethnic and national tensions that have torn the continent apart twice in a century to re-emerge. i think they are remerging now because what i regard the sclerosis. and the fact that the leaders in europe are intent on following a blueprint set down in the 1950s, which is not relevant for the world around us today. for this democratic european parliament who want to either leave the european union or effectively destroy the european uni union. how will you deal with that trend? the answer means 2/3 are not, therefore will continue in the same direction. they're not seeing these trends in unemployment and social
stability and ethnic tensions. the rise of extreme parties across europe and the leaders of the european union are behaving as if nothing is happening. >> the foreign secretary said none of the allies, not austral australia, not new zealand, not canada, not the u.s. >> we are here to do what is in british national interest. >> no american politician would ever tolerate. >> so while all our friends run the world entitled to their view, but when it comes to some of this, particular with the united states, when they've got
a border with new mexico and the ultimate authority for federal law, maybe question can take more note off of them. >> thank you. your partner in crime, so to speak, sir malcolm talked a great deal. >> we talked about world war i and ii and this collective response to those threats. >> we are members of nato and as dr. fox said with permanent members of the u.n. security council, we're leading members of the imf, the g-7 and the g-20, why is it that given our unique particular role in the world and our membership of all these bodies, why do we need that extra tear, the european union.
>> i thought they made a fair point. the development in western europe of first the european community and the european union has had a significant role in keeping the base. it wasn't seen as a strong argument for voting for the european union at that time. he made a point about the concession of sovereignty to nato in many ways is much greater than the concession of sovereignty at least to the european union. after all, it's poofrt
concession. we are obliged to go to war against turkey, for example. the point malcolm makes is tlier comfortable with that huge extension of release of sovereignty. >> we talked about our own experiences. i'm the first polish born british member of parliament. and what has pushed me is the extraordinary intransjens of a country like poland, despite everything we've done for them over many years.
if you could see the intransjens, you would be startl startled. my argument is this really isn't an entity. to maximize what they can help get out of the system rather than this utopian version of all of us working together. let me give you an example. spain has stated that it will do everything possible to prevent an independent szott land joining the european union because, of course, it doesn't want to give the green light. how would you r respond to that? >> that's not a reasonable description. the official statements of the spanish government, we were very careful to point out the differen
differences betweens cases of catalonia and scotland. we shall conducting a referendum. they weren't making point that they were the same, an opposite point. they were dragged in because the prime minister went across and asked them to do so. i'm not sure this referendum is going to be less than what other people think about this decision as deployed, what's in the best interest of this country and its people.
>> the euro is never going to work properly, sir malcolm. i remember writing that. he said the euyou'reuryou'reuro to work properly. that's quite an astounding remark to me. >> i said without a european government. >> so he is against the euro. but he say said the rur owe is never going to work properly. i don't believe there will be a single government with the euro. the rational extension is it's never going to work properly. poland and others are obliged to join the euro, ask it wise for us to continue this project, which sir malcolm says is doomed for failure.
>> we have to fist as a condition of being with the euro have to joan the exchange rate mechanism. it's a voluntary matter. and that's why these other countries, not just the ones you mentioned are much more prosp prosperous economies. are not in the euro. in that sense, you will not be compelled to join the euro. >> in terms of the issue, you and i have always got along very well. >> i was hoping you wouldn't reveal that. >> you have spent a lifetime fighting for the independence 06 scotland and being accountable for the scottish people.
i have to tell you there are real concerns if you go to a country like poland, which i visited frequency, a country that lost its independence for over 50 years because of communism. they are really concern ed this of the increasing interference of domestic appears by the european union. and one of the points is the changes made over the constitutional court. they don't want to accept the quota because they simply think they can't cope with that. with all your passion for independence and therefore accountability to the people that you represent, how can you justify the fact that a sovereign nation like this will a government that has been
democratically elected, and by the way, this is the first time that any party has got a majority of its own in poland since the fall of communism, that they are seeing this level of interference in their domestic apairs? >> as you pointed out, there were economists enough to try to block aspects of the reassociation of the prime minister. let me just say, you're one of only two conservative friends i' got in this place. i want to make that absolutely clear. o. >> are you going to name the another one? >> it's you. >> a number of us, a number of you witness have talked about their personal journey of the european union. i voted no in 1975. and the most important argument i have to have change may mind is from the former press of
ireland, which made a speech in glasgow in the 1990s. what she said was ireland, up until 1973, ireland was an island behind an island. by joining the european experiment, we rediscovered a european roots and our place in the world. and that speech argued that for a country such as ireland, the process of join iing the europe experiment gave them more sovereignty rather than less sovereignty. every country are going to have frustrations from aspects of european policy from time to time. i was a militiaing mp for all aspects of the european policy. but for most people, the
concept, most of the people i represent would favor the view that may robinson met for a small country, it opened up more possibilities, more dimensions, more practical delivery of influence and sovereignty than it restricted. europe if for many, many people in scotland, everybody moans about it, but not that many people want to apolish it. we've got perfect institution, arguing that one that delivers more freedom, more prosperity, more about to influence the environment. img it applies to the uk as well.
mr. stewart, thanks to you. i think in the past you've talked up norway. >> you talk about a norway model. >> comment on this, the prime minister of norway has said that norway didn't work for the united kingdom. >> norway is not the world's fifth larnlest economy, and norway is not the fit largest defense budget. and it doesn't have a permanent seat in the u.n. and it doesn't have a seat on the imf and all the other things.
i think if you may have heard me talk about norway in the sense that i said if you were to do a mind test on intervention, it's more integrated. my point is that when you make these comparisons, you need to be careful because this is a situation where size does matter. these are three big countries and we have influence. once we go down the road of
political infiltration that you can become integrated and not integrated and it would still work. now malcolm rifkin has made it quite clear that has come to an end with the euro. you require a european government. and if the euro doesn't work, i quite frankly wouldn't like to be around as we find that out. a mod el that's appropriate for us will be different from switzerland and norway. but it will be a different model. >> where do you see the difference lying between -- you talked to nato, why is it okay to be part of nato but not have
cooperation of the european union where the united kingdom continues to have a veto. >> define some ground rules here. incorporate very as low asly the united kingdom over defense. there are bilateral arrangements and not european union arrangements. so nato is a voluntary alliance where countries have agreed to aspire to a level of spending.
calls on you to take the appropriate actions to take action. and interestingly, article five was only other once invoked by nato and that was in the wake of 9/11 in the united states. the one thing which we had not anticipated. but it's inyesterdayably important in terms of having secured peace on mane land europe. it was the two together, but it was kind of different nations. >> the united states, canada, being very enthusiastic about the remaining part. >> in unusual circumstances, you can see when article five was invok invoked, that's the very
opponent. but why do you think our nato partners want us to remain part of the european union, which has been the overwhelming evidence of this committee has taken when we interviewed, when we took evidence from partners across nato in brussels and elsewhere. why do you think we want to stay within the european union? >> in 2003, i traveled extensively amongst succession states, so extensively, i would make myself notes like tuesday, latvia, to remember which country i was in. and what was quite interesting was in the run-up the year before, which would decide on the expansion of nato where poll land was already a partner and the expansion of the eu, talking to the astonians and latvians, nato was infinitely more important than the membership of the eu. and i think there's this
continued confusion which was explained on the subject of poland. there are quite a few countries did not fully appreciate to begin with the depth of the political integration because they thought this was a membership organization. now let's talk why do nato member states, why do big businesses want us to stay in? they like big things. in nato, you don't actually make a constitutional differentiation between bilateral relationships and eu relationships. you just like big units. where you just have to make one phone call. but as i said in my introduction, i also happen to think that democratic accountability is really important. >> i'm glad you raised democratic accountability. >> none of those states are looking to leave the european union, but when you talk about -- you talked about democratic accountability in your opening statement and you
talked about when the government used to have d ed baits when the prime minister went off to eu councils. is it the fault of the european union we're no longer having these debates? >> no it isn't. i used to raise it regularly with the speaker -- the leader of the commons on thursday question time. i kept being told, this is back to big business. the reason i actually mentioned it, and i'm glad you're raising it. if i go back to the great achievement the prime minister brought back for this reform european union, except the you're yoen union hasn't shown any sign of having reformed itself, was this increased power to national parliaments. now is not the forum, but i first negotiated that 12 years ago and it wasn't deemed to be a good shot at that time. the prime minister weakens the house of commons and continues
to do so in the way it takes part in decision making. he suddenly comes back and claims he's given us new powers from europe. really? >> a lot of this goes down to the way uk has wielded its power as a member state. do you think uk as a member state has wielded its influence well. >> i think there was one period in british history in my lifetime when you had a british government that genuinely deeply engaged in the european union processes in wishing to shape it. and that actually was the tony blair government in the first years. all the others, you have this view that as long as we we did our best and we were kind of these reluctant companions.
with the introduction of the euro, all to changed. you could only go one way or another. and for the united kingdom, if you go to the five presidents reports, which charts out the plan for the next 15 years it says in the introduction, those countries who are not yet members of the euro are invited to join. there's no recognition that there will be in for the foreseeable future a number of countries who are neither part of the euro. it's matter of simple arithmetic. if you're one versus 27, if you wish to engage in some states you're just left behind. >> i know my question time has come to an end, let me just ask you one further question then.
what benefits unquestionably come. given it's unlikely your government will be in parliament for another decade, what do you think will happen to some of those advances that we've made as part of the european union in the past 20 or 30 years? it is undeniably true that a major reason the labor party came from a highly euro skeptic party -- remember, the first election tony blair fought, he fought to leave the common market. it became positive for it because the law commission believed in social europe and gave us equal payment for women, all those things. that was more than 30 years ago. we you will only have a social europe parliament if you've got a majority of left wing
governments in europe. if you look at the current figures, you have 50% is epp. the left wing party is 28%. the council of ministers, you've got an alliance, a blocking minority. and the european parliament. the right wing parties have 50%, left wing have 58.5%%. you're making the most articulate and powerful face for voting labor back home. >> you are well out of time. >> mr. holloway will begin his questions to you. >> thank you very much. sir malcolm, how do you respond to the point about the u.s. urging thurg urging for things they wouldn't
accept themselves. >> the united nations is not act choolly eligible for the european union, but each country has to work out its national interest. america is the world's sole super power. i started off by talking saying that if it's the advance of your foreign policy, it's about power and influence. there is no country that has comparable power and influence to the united states. we' an important country. so is germany, so is france. but when we were told earlier it's not going to be blocks anymore, i wasn't talking about blocs. i was talking about china, the united states, russia, india each with 500 million or more population, or thereabouts. we're at 65 million. it's obviously the case will not go for a supernational union.
it doesn't need to have one. we're in a very different starting point. >> i don't think it's a question of our size. i think it's a question of wanting to gorchl ourselves. the reason the united states wouldn't ever join something like the european union is not because it might dilute its influence, because it simply wants to maintain its concept of self-government and of sovereignty. i don't say that there are no potential benefits that could accrue in terms of size or being in a larger grouping. just for me, it is outwayed by the fact that there is a supremacy of law that lies beyond our own borders. >> this session is about britain's role in the world. it's how we might have power or influence in the world. it's not just about whether we govern ourselves or not and don't agree to supernational
treaties. we have to hear arguments that suggest we have more power or more influence, at least by just as much, by not being in the european union as we do in the moment. >> i'm sorry? >> i used to work as someone who thought it was perfectly proper to trade influence for interest. >> i still do. i still do. you're absolutely right, chairman. i think the interests of this country do mean from time to time we should be willing to say there's something more important. if the position is he's prepared to have less power in the world for complete independence, that's an entirely logical position. but that's not what the committee is addressing. the committee is asking would our power even influence by more or less if we left the european union. >> i was astounded out the number of people from different parts of the world who were
there. i left there thinking that the syrian border now is basically 56 call lay. do you think these they've handled migrant crisis well? >> i don't think it has handled it well, no. of course it hasn't. it would be absurd to suggest otherwise. i think the original mistake -- and this is one reason why i did not support uk joining. there were no secure from any challenge. i don't pretend i anticipated the particular challenge that emerged. the problem itself would have arisen even if we had 28 states not in a european union. the you'european union didn't e exist, there would be the same number of people flood into europe. >> when these migrants accept german passports, they'll be
able to move to britain? >> it takes about 10 to 15 years to get a german passport. but whether they wish to flood into britain depends first of all on whether or not they have made home homes in germany, whether they have jobs in germany. i suspect they will put down roots in what is one of the most prosperous countries in europe. that will be for individuals to decide. >> can i give you an opportunity to -- if we do vote to leave, what do you think it will look like for the country over the following year? and do you think the europeans will give us a hard time? >> they won't give us a hard time for doing so, no. i mean, the initial reaction in the first couple of weeks will be one of anger and frustration and irritation. we will then have to embark on a series of extremely difficult and complex negotiations, not just for the european union, but
with every other country the eu has a treaty with which we are part of at the moment, in which we would have to negotiate separately as an individual independent country, not being able to use the treaty the eu negotiated on our behalf. we haven't negotiated treaties with 14 other countries over the last 40 years on trade issues. so there will be a whole series of treaties, none of which do we know at the moment how they would work out. we would get agreements at the end, but in any negotiation, the secret of a negotiation is to get the most important things you want. no need to concede things you don't mind very much about. and every other country is going to be applying the same criteria. when we're negotiating with the european union, they will be saying yes, we will let you into the single market at the end of the day, but they will determine the terms and they'll say take it or leave it. you can not be part of the single market without free
movement of labor. i have yet to hear a coherent explanation how migration will be help by leaving the european union when as regards to immigration from every other part of the world, we have complete control over that at the moment. the only thing we don't have control over is two things, first of all, free movement of labor in the eu, which we would still have if we were part of a single market. and the european convention of human right which has nothing to do with the european union, in which we will still be part of unless we leave that as well. >> if we leave the eu, will we still have to have freedom of movement? >> well, this assumption that everything is up in the air apart from the internal market and free movement of labor have to go together, no, they don't. why are you assuming they're the same? the second thing is, i keep
hearing this thing we've got control over our border. we have control over our boarder to know who comes in, but actually enormous number of people from mainland european union, we cannot stop them from coming in. and to the point about the german passport, he's absolutely right it's difficult to get ahold of. but if you were to read last week's report, it tells you that a significant increase of albanian nationals often misusing italian and greek id cards, folg lowed by ukrainian nationals are abusing cards. this idea that it's under control is mistaken. >> in order to get relatively rapid arrangement, an eeee arrangement like norway or an
arrangement like switzerland, it's going to come with conditions, one of which might be free movement of labor. and if we take the stance that none of these arrangements are suitable for britain, then you are into the territory of unilaterally renegotiating, not just the trade agreements with the european union, but individual trade agreements with the rest of the world, which -- i mean, i'm carefully prepared to accept that people exaggerate the difficulties of a negotiation where you basically say nothing is changing. yes, you could probably do that. but to negotiate an arrangement where you say unilaterally we're going to negotiate our trading relationships on a separate basis both with each european country and with the rest of the world to argue that can be done in a short period is heroic. that is the dilemma. to do it quickly, you have to accept things that people don't like. if you don't do it that way it's going to take forever.
>> i want to get one more question before my time is up. >> it's the beginning of a process. and that process, a british prime minister just four months ago thought was perfectly acceptable when he first called a referendum and then told us that, of course, we would be a very strong country outside of it. if a british prime minister four months ago thought this was manageable, then surely it is still manageable today. >> what would it look like for us if we vote to stay in? aren't we then, you know, up for everything? >> no, we're not up to everything, for several reasons. first of all, we are no longer committed to the union. 9 nan concern is the ratchet drawing some sort of united states and europe. it's been expressly set from the
united kingdom, you will integrate in new proposals if you don't want or need to. by can veto what we don't like and we can agree on a policy matter if we don't agree to it. that we would give up if we left. dpung david cameron will be the right person to conduct negotiations if we vote to leave? >> that's known as a hypothetical question.
>> begin directing your question to drchlt fox. >> good afternoon. i'm going to start by saying i'm not one of those who thinks if we left the european union, it's all zoom and gloom. i'm not a believer of the fear project, but i'm not a believer of the fact either if we stayed in, somehow -- sorry, let me rephrase myself. the outside world is going to be land of honey and paradise because somehow we're out of the european union and we're free to do things. i don't believe in the fancy project. but i don't believe in the fear project either that if we stayed somehow that, you know, a lot
are genuinely confused on how to vote. we talked about security issues. the argument has been used by those who say we should leave is that it we will be free to have treaties with the countries and business arrangements with many other countries. that's what i wanted to explore. you said in your opening statement -- and i was a bit concerned about it. that's the kind of arguen't that's been used by some people
on the leave campaign. and it's sort of rhetoric that donald trump has been saying as well in the usa. somehow if mie grants came in, they would cause mayhem. on what basis do you actually say because there's migration going on, especially at this moment in time, somehow migrants coming in here or germany or anywhere else are going to be causing mayhem and threats to our country? >> the point i would make is
that the mie grants who arrived in germany from pakistan, afghanistan, iraq, syria and others, the german themselves don't know if they are genuine refugees, economic mien't gras, sympathetic to more extreme political and religious views or if there might be infill strags. there are genuine concerns about security out there. my point is we wouldn't know. and to get a huge number of people coming -- now, is it itself a risk? we at the moment, of course, are admitting them under a different policy set out by the prime
minister. but it takes ten years to get a german passport. but you can get a belgian passport under three. my objection is the fact that we have no control over comes. >> that makes sense if, for example, this is linked with the issue of the european union or not. shengen has been going on for how many years. that's been existence for many, many years. migrants are now being seen as a security risk. why is that part of the argument of whether we leave the european union or not? that's really your borders. the issue of migration could arise at anytime in the history of europe or anywhere else in the world. i find that puzzling.
>> any of them can come here. it's perfectly true they could have come at anytime in the past, but we have seen this pass wave of migration, and my contention would be that we have -- we don't know a great deal. the only other way to stop european union is stop the european union. that's merely a security and policing issue, intelligence issue as opposed to being linked with whether you come out of europe or don't come out of europe. >> but we need to allow people to come into the united kingdom.
>> the refugees in many senses coming into europe because they've been pushed out of countries because of a war and a conflict, in many regards, i have seen talented, skilled and in many cases, middle class people will offer, if they decide to stay, they will offer tremendous things to those countries. you present these arguments as constant negatives. >>. >> you can argue that migration is a good thing. but my argument is that it
should be our choice. let me give nit a slightly different way. we had 1.64 million settle in britain in the last several years. that has a lot of pressure on school places. i'm saying we may decide that it's good for us to have more or less migration into the country. as i said in the opening remark, it's about me having control of our borders, of our money. >> you want to control that. what i'm trying to say is that some on in argument, not all, are sort of using the migration
crises which to be honest is the world making, and they sort of are bringing the fear factor to that and suggesting somehow this migration, if we're not part of the european union, we wouldn't have all these mie grants coming in. that fear argument, in my opinion, i'm sorry, is not a very helpful or productive argument to have. if you want to talk about the fact that you don't want people coming in, that's a different issue. but to suggest people coming in, migrants are going to start killing people, that's not the right approach to take. >> i think right is a matter of opinion. but i think it would be irresponsible not to look up the full consequences.
>> one suggestion is if we're part of the european union, over the last couple of years, there has been now a rapid number of free trade agreement set up by the european union with many of the commonwealth countries. >> by need a question. >> the question is that those who say that somehow if either the commonwealth and the rest of the world or european union, who what would you say to the fact that over the last number of years, europeans have been moving in a different direction. we can engage in trade with
other countries and being a part of the european union. >> my argument is i can't desegregate things that might be of benefit to us from the things that i am fundamentally opposed to with the loss of sovereignty. on the question of trade, why do trade agreements get made? >> they get made because of where it's mutually beneficial. >> that trade agreement would come about. i totally agree with what malcolm said. the dire consequences and partners will gang up on us. it's simply not credible. when trade is mutually beneficial, that's how trades will come about.
>> russia has a smaller gdp, a smaller economy an the uk. if countries as diverse as tunisia and canada, for example, can the agreements with the eu, very profitable agreements. you came close to it when comparing us to russia. >> you have to involve international negotiations. the issue is not whether you will at the end of the day get agreement. of course you get agreements. it depend on how many concessions you are prepared to make in order to get that agreement. and the question is what is your
negotiating strength? the european union will still have 430 million and 27 separate countries, including germany and france. the idea that this is two equals negotiating, that's not a real negotiation. >> there's no acceptance of free movement to labor. >> at the end of the day, they have free trade agreements. and the point surely is many countries, diverse countries far less powerful than ours have very profitable trading relationships with the eu. and there's a real danger, i suggest to you, very briefly, comparing us to russia which is a smaller economy than ours is complete and utter nonsense.
the logic and consistency of what you jt said, if i have not misunderstood you, you said let's forget about being part of a single market, let's go for a simple free trade agreement. and yes, you're quite right. if it's simply free trade which we have with many countries around the world, that's fine. don't tell the city of london it's going to benefit them. what we have at the moment are free goods and services. we have an open market. we can have british airways opening an air flight in paris to berlin. and the french can't stop us as they tried to do and failed. >> i would say in response to that, we have to look at the british economy as a whole. can i take you up on one or two issues. we compared nato to the eu and we could go to war to defend another country, but we know
what the down side is there. we know what our commitments are. isn't the fundment difference between nato and the eu is it's an open-ended possible sacrifice of sovereignty. the concession the prime minister gained, the so-called red card means that we have to gain support from 14 other countries before we can say no to a piece of unwanted tax directive or regulation. >> you have to go around and consult 14 other officials by which time the game is probably over. it's a nonsense. that's the fundamental difference. it's open-ended sovereignty that is at stake here and we cannot stop the erosion of that sovereignty. >> he's making the point that
there's much greater concession of sovereignty in nato. he amplified that you're obliged to go to war to defend another nato country. >> can i just say -- i'm asking you a question. >> that seems to me a rather important -- i mean, going to war, it strikes me as a hugely important decision and you have to accept the relative consequences of that sacrifice of sovereignty. >> you and i have been in the lobby -- you and i have been on the same side. >> at least when it comes to nato, you know what your equipment is. the difference with the eu is that it's open-ended. you accept possible loss of sovereignty. holds sway over your government. and that is the fundamental
difference. you don't know what's coming . up.. if you can't say no or stop in the unwanted taxes, directives or regulations, and at the moment we can't without leaving the eu, then we are -- that is why in many respects the sovereignty has been over a period of many years. that's the fundamental difference. >> nato was made to prevent russia from taking over the european union. it's become twiet different from the original organization. your second point, i would argue that essentially membership of the european union as currently composed, a member state controls pushing top 90% of its tax agent. you don't control the
contribution, you don't control the customs union elements. but you control the top 90s of your taxation. i think that's a very powerful, relevant exercise of sovereignty for a country with the european union. >> can i move on, if you don't mind. i appreciate your brevity of the answers on this. do you accept that there isn't one example in the world where you can have monetary union with the fiscal union? give me an example. the point i'm trying to make to you -- >> no, no. >> in the end, it broke up basically. >> well, yeah. but it lasted 70 years. >> but there's not been -- history -- >> it's a reasonable example,
john. >> but history would suggest there's been no long-term example. and if we accept the eu is not going to be the exception to that rule, we have to accept no going to be the exception to that rule, we have to accept that the european union is headed towards a fiscal union. we might have even extracted those words. economic logic forces us down that road. why is it then, given that the straight jacket that will impose, whether we're in or outside the euro, because the institutions will be forced to go down that road, why do you want to belong to an organization that has, for example -- unemployment rates are much higher than they are. youth unemployment is approaching 40% and 50% in
certain countries. why do you want to belong to that club? >> i have said publicly that i don't have the highest regard for many of the prime ministers renegotiation points. i think the importance has been exaggerated, but when it comes to being forcefully being brought into the euro, countries cannot be forced into the euro. it's not just because the u.k. is a large country. the small country is the same thing. they have the practical objection and the ability to object to members of the mechani mechanism, which is a voluntary decision of these parliaments. i see no sign of enthusiasm of forcing them into that position. >> i'm not saying we'd be
i have spoken to are going to say things in favor of the euro, but the practical reality issue cannot be -- >> it's a separate issue whether the institutions themselves. >> -- if the vice president of the european says something. >> do you think there's a risk that the government is playing with fire in the sense that the more it weighs in on the favor of row main --. the more. . >> there's a quite legitimate argument that the government has a an absolute right to put forward my view and its view through the government. we did that through the right paper mp in. in the zotish referendum there was a scottish office putting in that point of view. >> i think you've got legitimate grievance there. i wouldn't describe it as playing with fire. >> we've overrun. final questions i'll reserve for myself to mike. >> thank you. liam fox said that enlargement of the european union was right and welcomed the expansion to the central and eastern european countries. presumably you agree with that?
in which case -- no, i thought you also said to the european union. maybe i misunderstood. >> i thought it was a mistake to allow cypress in, but i think in terms of the enlargement process in principle it was right. but it may not have been entirely right. >> would you accept that the u.k. leaving the european union might actually lead to problems within the european union of those countries that are like us not in the single currency? and is there a danger of the disintegration of the european union following on a u.k. vote to leave? >> i mean, i come back to, i think, the moment we gave any country within the free european union a choice how to relate to its neighbors. i think there was a problem. and you allow me to make a very
important point. if the prime minister come back with a deal from brussels which had accepted in the institutional architecture that there will forever been some countries that are not part of the euro, i would have said, you know what, you may have been able to make that work. if you go to the five president's report, it is very important. because this vote is not about today. this vote is about 5, 10, 15, 20 years ahead. if in this whole document there would have been recognition, i would have had a bit of hope, but it says the process towards the eu is nonetheless open to all eu members. in other words, the church doors are open, but there's no possibility for dissent. and i think that is a problem. the other thing i've got a problem with in those areas in
eastern and central europe -- and you know them better than i do -- the council of europe has been really important because it managed to reach out to countries which were beyond the european union borders. it managed to reach out to them in a way that was not always offering secession. i find it deeply depressing that the ukraine deal ended up being voted down in the netherlands and it created tensions because we ran out of options on how to reach out to countries in the development of their democracy. >> can i take you on to that point? president putin clearly did all he could to undermine ukraine's association with the european union, and he previously succeeded with regard to armenia. doesn't the weakening of the european union by a u.k.
withdrawal undermine the democratic pillar which acts as a magnet for countries away from authoritarianism from the post-soviet era to a western model? therefore, you have other arguments why you're in favor of the leave position. is in practice your position seeking to undermine a democratic pole of attraction to people away from authoritarianism of the kind that you abhor? >> i share your concerns about this. when i heard about the attacks last week, i had a cold chill down my spine. but what you're saying to me i find quite extraordinary. it says the only way these countries can develop is by ultimately aiming to be part of
a super national institution, and if there was a failure of the european union, it did not know when to stop the deepening and widening. there came a point when to go further would overstretch the institution. >> are you opposed to the enlargement to the western balkans of the eu? >> well, at the moment i want the western balkans to actually be democratic states and functioning. the problem at the moment is not whether we have joined membership or not. we have got enormous problems with terrorism there. if at this stage for them it is still the only show in town, then probably i sadly would say they have to make the decision what the right thing is. >> my question isn't about whether kosovo joins next year or the other.
whether albania, whether serbia, whether kosovo, have an aspiration to join, which leads to a democratization and more modern approach to their politics, which worked in poland and elsewhere? >> you're making the assumption that you cannot become democracy and liberal and economically successful unless you have an aspiration to join the european union? >> no i, i'm not. >> yes, you are. you are conflating the two. >> i think they should have a right. >> i can't recall anything i've said which would deny them that right. if there are sovereign member states that fulfill the criteria, then they can apply and they will be accepted.
>> can i move on to the vote leave document, which said to us, which i assume you had something to do with? it makes the case for some countries which have supported everything would be very smooth after we left, and it quotes two prime ministers. one the discredited former prime minister of iceland, who represented a country of about 300,000 people, and the other the prime minister of new zealand, which is in global terms a rather small player. it doesn't quote any others. given what we've just heard about the united states, major commonwealth countries like india, even china, don't you recognize that there is in reality a major difficulty for
the u.k. leaving and that the international climate afterwards, not just our relations with our eu neighbors, but the complexities in our relationships with global countries could be significant? >> i will make two observations. in my years of negotiation, i've never come across anything as hard nosed as trade. if the trade deal cuts the ice, it will be cut. there will be some people who draw their pensions and salaries from the commission who will be displeased for a bit. the rest of the world will deal with whatever the situation is. just like the united kingdom may have a view on who they think should be the next president of the united states. whoever is elected, we work with. that is the world. if the british prime minister had not called this referendum
at will, i would have not joined. he has called it. i am asked to look at my experience of what i think the best interest of the united kingdom is, a once in a generation vote, and i arrive at the conclusion it is in our best long-term interest to now leave. >> what about the joint remarks made by imf today that it could cause regional and global damage? how do you respond to that? >> i respond to that twofold. i think they are underestimating the united kingdom. there is a fair amount of a groupie sentiment among some world leaders of just supporting each other. but the other point is there are
moves that the european union should take over a collective place on the imf. of course they'll find it easier to not have the united kingdom there and just deal with the eu. >> well, your document says that the eu is attempting to silence the u.k. and the imf. clearly, that hasn't worked. george osbourne has had influence with the imf to get this statement today. you can't have it both ways, can you? >> i'm not supporting what the government's position has now become. the government has -- there's another very important point. when we sit at the international negotiating table and when the eu negotiates on our behalf, we are limited in our influence and power unless the eu does what we want them to do. they're making a lot of noise about we're strong collectively and we can stop things, but
occasionally if we have our own seat we can make things happen and they don't. >> the overseas territories, clearly gibraltar, has made it clear that a british withdrawal would embolden spain and it would no longer have a voice to protect its interest within the european union. the question of the falkland islands, the european has not taken positions collectively. aren't you considered about the impact on our overseas territories? >> the united kingdom successfully defended the falklands on its own. it has defended gibraltar on its
own. >> about the defense dilemma and the development of the defense dimension within the european union, which isthis is on the b the joy of being in the hague, where yet again we were invited to endorse conclusions an operational headquarters for the european union military. there's 50 years of background of the attempt to create the union defense identity, and you've got the president of the commission wanting introduction of the european army. that being the position of the
german and the spanish governments. at one level there is part of me that thinks it might be a good idea if the europeans got their defense act together and had much more defense product for the size of the economies that they have. then there's part of me that goes they're reinventing the wheel by trying to push a european union within nato, and i find myself as the lone voice taking exception unless they were within the berlin plus arrangements, which tie them into nato. but this is a ratchet. it is only going in one direction. the pressure is constant. the moment we drop the ball, the european union will be collecting -- there's enough forces in the european union for it to want to have its own defense identity. if we weren't in, would that be a good thing?
if we were in, how do we get them to focus on nato instead of this constant pushing for a european union defense identity? >> well, i think you made a very crucial point, which i'm very happy to respond to. first of all, under current arrangements the united kingdom has a complete veto. in fact, we're not alone. there are individual countries that give priority to nato in regard to all defense policy issues and do not see it being desirable. >> if i was the only one who was prepared to veto and behind that were the danes who didn't want to upset the process because there is a problem if you're not powerful enough or large enough to overwhelm the common will. >> that goes to the heart of the point. within the european union, there are a number of states that agree with the united kingdom and prefer to shelter behind us knowing we will veto an issue of that kind. you asked what would happen if the united kingdom left the
european union. it would mean the single most important country that will always give priority to nato would no longer be there. that means those forces within the eu who would like to union to move towards a european army, that's a very important reason the united states is unequivocal in saying for god sakes, britain, stay within the eu. >> i partially agree with some of that analysis, but i think the u.s. view is mistaken because i think the eu's defense pretensions actually undermine nato. i think they duplicate and divert scarce resources at a time we can hardly allow or afford that to happen. i think it allows some european countries to believe that they
have a soft peacekeeping alternative to the more war fighting of nato. in fact, a former prime minister told me he thought his country was more suited to peacekeeping than war fighting and that's why he thought that the eu defense arrangements were so attractive. i pointed out to him you can only be a peacekeeper if there is a peace to keep. that would require you to fight for and to die for and certainly spend for it. of the 900-odd-billion dollar budget this year, the united states is contributing 65 billion. the european countries within nato contribute 24% despite the fact that's 500 million people out of 900. if you take the u.k.'s contradiction out contribution out of that, it's only 17% of countries that
contribute. why do so many european members of nato want britain to stay in the eu? they want to keep britain's budget in because it adds to the eu's pretensions. >> if the british veto was removed by brexit, would it save it getting its fiscal act together? >> on an extraordinary day, i might hope that that a british exit would cause them to change their direction of travel and update their map to today and that the european union might realize if they want to have any sort of defense, then they have to put their hands in their pockets. i'm afraid that the experience in recent times suggest that far
too many of our continental european partners are taking a free ride on the american taxpayers, which i'm afraid must have a finite life span. >> one final question. please rank these in order of priority. scottish independence or membership to european union. >> scottish independence first. then membership to the european union. >> i'm not surprised. i just wanted that on the record. is there anything you want to say to pick up on the points that are being made? >> it wouldn't just be russia that would welcome brexit. donald trump would welcome it as well. >> there was the importance of
the removal of the union. he said he would write to me. he did write to me, but he couldn't name one. >> i want to add that scottish independence and membership to the european union are not mutually exclusive. among the many things mr. trump has been saying is that he was going to have a 40% tariff against all countries. in that appalling scenario of him having the ability to do that, i suspect i would rather be negotiating the marketplace of 600 million people than negotiating a bilateral agreement with somebody who is
talking about 40% tariffs. >> i was quite keen to answer mr. gates' question. if the united kingdom left the european union, would that provide a risk that other countries who were similar outside the eurozone, would they follow suit? i think the answer to the question has to be yes initially. without fundamental reform, without a change in direction, without consideration of the next generation of young europeans, there will be a continued risk that in britain were to leave, other countries might decide to follow suit. i don't want the european union to fail. i don't want to be within its judicial remit, but i don't want it to fail. even if we're not a member, we'll still be affected by its failure. i'm hoping that a british exit would be a historic wake-up call to those in charge of the european union before it's too late. >> thank you all very much indeed. it's been an excellent session.
presidential candidates speak at the state republican party gala. that's held a week ahead of the state primary tuesday, april 19th. we'll bring you live coverage of the dinner tomorrow on c-span 2. every year harvard university presents the goldsmith prize for investigative reporting. here's a panel discussion with this year's winners and finalists talking about their investigations and stories. this is about an hour and 40 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. i'm tom patterson. i'm the interim director of the shorenstein center, and this is the follow up to last evening's
goldsmith awards program. i love this part of the event where we have the finalists for the goldsmith investigative reporting award take us a little bit behind the story, how they came to it, some of the difficulties they faced, and then we can all have a conversation about these stories and investigative reporting generally. again, ooii'd like to thank, as did last night, the greenfield foundation. they have supported it through its 24 years unfailingly, and it wouldn't be the type of program that it is without that marvelous, marvelous family. so what i'm going to do -- and i'll introduce each of the panelists, but i think i'll do them one at a time when you're up rather than kind of going down the line because by the time they come up you sometimes
forget which one they were. so i'll attach a little bio to the introduction. so we're going to start with robin mcdowell, who was the goldsmith -- part of the team that won the goldsmith investigative reporting award last night from "the associated press" for their terrific story "seafood slaves," which documents the extensive use of slave labor in the harvesting of seafood in an area of southeast asia that resulted in the freeing of more than 2,000 enslaved fishermen as well as legislative action. and robin is representing that team of four. 20 years in southeast asia covering virtually every country in that region not only looking into abuses of this kind, but
also the difficulties of -- for instance, myanmar, the transition from military rule to civilian rule. a whole range of things in that region of the world. robin, please. give us some insights on "seafood from slaves." >> i guess as part of living in that region for such a long time we had heard stories and seen stories for a long time about these fishermen who had gone, you know, basically been abused at sea. and it was so common to hear these stories that it was something we almost didn't even want to look into because it is like looking into the mafia or something. okay, everyone knows this. it's been written about. but at a certain point when we -- at a certain point, we
decided, okay, this is such a common story, and everyone in southeast asia knows about it. why is there no outrage? so that's pretty much where we started. we, ourselves, felt like if we didn't at least look into it and try to make the rest of the world care, then we weren't doing our jobs as journalists, so that's where it really started. my colleague said, you know, well, what if we linked it to the americans at our table, and that seemed like a really easy, obvious way to do it. as soon as we started talking to the ngos and labor rights groups that had been working with these fishermen for years and years and years, they basically just said it really is almost impossible. everybody knows this is probably linked to the u.s., but because all the documents are falsified, there's transshipment at sea.
so if you found someone who is a slave ship, that gets mixed with clean fish. then it goes to port and then it goes to market. fish gets auctioned off in bits and pieces. it is hard to find one fish and say, okay, that fish is actually -- so it was kind of a slow process of just keep trying, keep trying. i don't know how much more you want me to go into this, but in the end what -- we found an american company who said there was a specific species of fish while they pretty much felt they controlled the product that was ending up in america, they were really concerned about this one particular species of fish because the thai fishing fleets, which were notorious for their use of slave labor, had control of the waters where the fish was -- the migratory pattern of
that fish. so our goal at that point was let's find someone who is catching that fish, then we can probably make the link. that kind of fell to the wayside when we found the island. i spent the first four days interviewing guys who had been horrifically abused and my main question was did you catch this fish. but at a certain point, we realized they were pretty much, a, catching every fish. eventually we were able to track it through satellites to thailand and then through custom records to america. >> robin, thank you. another of the finalists last night -- one of the finalists last night was "guarding the u.s. for the counted" aft." after the killing at ferguson,
it became clear that coming by data information on police killings was very difficult, that the official records were spotty, and there was not in fact a good record on these killings. and "the guardian" began to put the data together and created an enormous database to document these killings, the circumstances of them, and that reporting, along with similar reporting by "the washington post," prompted the fbi and the justice department to change the way that they're collecting data in this important area. representing "the guardian" team is jon swaine, who joined "the guardian" two years ago. before that, seven years with the "daily telegraph" mostly reporting in the u.s. and
washington. >> i arrived in ferguson a couple of days after michael brown's death and reported through the weeks of unrest and demonstrations. the editor and chief of the guardian was struck by this fact there was no comprehensive records of these deaths. it seemed extraordinary that there was not. she said if the government was not going to do this, we should. it was a pretty daunting task. i really didn't think we could do it, but we set off at the start of 2015 recording all these deaths and the project become much, much bigger. the problem was wider than they're not just being a database. claims by protesters becauof ra bias by police officers couldn't be tested. this debate that was going on,
which seemed to be of great national importance, was reduced to speculation and wild claims from either side. so we started this project. we called it the counted. by the end of the year, we feel we had given readers an accurate rate of deaths caused by law enforcement in the youth. we told stories of people who died in troubling circumstances and of the officers who killed them. then we presented analysis of the data. by the end of the year, we had a tally of more than 1100, which was about two and a halftimes greater than the 2015 presented by the fbi's voluntary reporting program, which was sort of the best record previously. fbi director james comey october in light of these findings said it was unacceptable that we and "the washington post" had better data than government officials and we agreed. he and his senior staff announced by the end of the year
they would overhaul their system, that they would begin counting more than just shooting deaths as they had been, but a little known division of the department of justice said they would start a second program, which had been shuttered in the months before michael brown's death, which would draw on our data and "the washington post" data and follow our methodology, which differed from what the government was doing before. the fbi system as it had been was voluntary. it relied on every department in the country reporting deaths caused by their officers every year. instead we had a proactive system. we found cases as they cropped up in local media. we searched records, thousands of public records. we made calls to coroners and to
police departments and found these deaths ourselves. and this new restarted program in the department of justice is going to follow that methodology. they're going to proactively contact these regional authorities to confirm deaths that they themselves have spotted rather than rely on this voluntary system, which just wasn't working. beyond the headline finding of 1100 deaths, we produced a series of investigative articles to go with the project analyzing the findings that we'd found. there were pretty troubling trends to come out of the data. there were 30 people by the time we reported that had been shot dead in moving cars despite contemporary policing theory and the department of justice and experts saying that's just not what you do. there's no need to shoot into a moving car if you're a police officer. you can get out of the way. it's not worth shooting a burglar or a car thief. seven killings at the time we
reported had officially been ruled suicides despite having been shootings by officers. it wasn't really being explored properly. 48 people died after they'd been shot with tasers or similar electric shock weapons. despite the manufacturer's insistence it's almost impossible to die from the electric shock from these weapons. we thought all these issues around the use of lethal force by police were worthy of much more examination than had been given before. as well as these trends, there were stark racial disparities in our data. young black men were killed at nine times the rate. once you adjust for population size of other americans. african-americans who were killed were twice as likely as white people in the database to have been unarmed.
we included whether the person was armed and what threat they posed. we decided this needed to outlined to readers that the challenges faced by police are considerable. one in five people in the database was unarmed. obviously those stories gather more headlines. while six innocent bystanders were killed, eight police officers were killed who were subsequently killed by the officers' colleagues. we identified a county in california with the highest rate of killings by law enforcement. another examination of how killings by police were being investigated, 87.5% of cases were being investigated by
prosecutors who work with the officers involved. we presented to the district attorney to omaha, nebraska, to open his system to the public. we just wanted to provide solid information, facts and proper findings, to a debate that was heated and that was ongoing and that had reached the top of american policy making. as i said the fbi and the department of justice has promised to implement reforms. while we're waiting for those, we're going to continue to hold them to account. >> jon, thank you. inside climate news was a finalist for series "exxon, the road not taken." they report exxon found evidence confirming or supporting the climate change thesis, but what
it did publicly was quite different from that in its advertising campaigns and funding of other organizations helping to create doubt about climate change. representing the inside climate news team will be lisa song, who has been with that organization for five years. she reports on climate change, environmental health, natural gas drilling, and she was part of the team that won the pulitzer in 2013 for work in this area. lisa, please. >> so this story idea came about at the beginning of 2015. we were at a staff retreat when our publisher was very excited and decided to pitch us a story idea. and his idea was to look at oil companies and to see if any of them had known about climate change science before they started funding various efforts to undermine the certainty of
that science. he wanted us to see what oil companies had known about climate science and when did they know it. and the way he got the idea to do this was back in 2014 he had been to a conference where daniel elsberg was a speaker. he wasencouraging the journalists in the room to look for whistle-blowers. but the time david pitched this idea to us, we thought it was impossible. we had no idea where to start. we didn't have deep connections in the oil industry, but we sort of went out there and tried to see what we could find. eventually we figured out that exxon was the best place to start. my colleague david had found a retired federal sicientist who said the federal government had worked with exxon in the early 1980s on climate research.
this was pretty puzzling to us because the general public had never even heard about climate change until the late 1980s. then another found a document showing that an exxon scientist had appeared at a conference of aas, which is the american association for the advancement of science, in 1979. that was a meeting about climate science and the point of the meeting was to get top experts together and try to understand the current state of climate research. this exxon scientist henry shaw was the only representative from industry. everyone else was from a university or a government. with those two clues, we started to see what we could find about exxon in those years. it was a lot of shoe leather reporting. one was calling people, driving
around, meeting people at their homes. she tracked down a lot of former exxon employees at that time. there were some they were still alive and were willing to talk. she found the key documents. we got thousands of pages of internal exxon memos and letters from about 1976 or so through 1986. and those documents showed that in the late 70s and mid 80s exxon had a really good in-house climate research program. they started out by putting sensors on one of their super tankers so they could measure co2 in the oceans and the air as the super tanker was going around the world. after a while, they partnered with colombia university on that project. that really wanted to do good science. eventually, they cut the funding
for that research. then they started doing their own climate modelling, which was a lot cheaper. and they again recruited scientists from academia. they recruited a scientist from harvard and several from new york university and they were doing computer modelling. they got the same results as the scientific consensus at the time. while independent scientists were predicting that doubling co2 in the atmosphere, would lead to a one or three degree warming, exxon's experts saw the same results. there was a letter from their manager saying our research shows the same results as that of independent scientists, but if we publish our results in the peer-reviewed literature we might get some bad media
attention. then he told his scientists we have to publish anyway because scientific integrity and honesty is very important. this is what the exxon research team was like back then. they were doing quite good research, and then by the mid 1980s that program -- again, they cut funding. a lot of the people left. by 1989, the company had turned around and was funding efforts to undermine the certainty of the science. they started out one way and then turned around and did something totally different. >> lisa, thank you. another finalist was "beware the fine print" a "new york times" series that looks at the fine print in consumer and employee contracts that seriously disadvantage those who sign those contracts, that forces them into arbitration, often
loaded arbitration, and also prevents class-action suits. that particular series has led to legislation being introduced that will stop some of these practices. representing "the new york times" team is jessica silver-greenburg, who covers banking and consumer finance. she was a pulitzer price finalist for a series on debt collectors and a finalist in 2014 for a series on how the nation's largest banks prey on older americans. jessica. >> so -- sorry. so our story started when my colleague mike and i were working on a story about how military members whose homes and cars had been illegal seized by banks were finding when they went to sue under this key federal law.
they were being blocked from court and sent to this system which at the time we had no idea about this thing called arbitration. it seemed harmless enough. seemed a little boring in fact. you say you want to do a series on arbitration and people literally kind of go to sleep in front of you, and so we started trying to look at what this private system was, what this alternative to court was. at the beginning it was extremely challenging just to figure out kind of what happened in arbitration in part because the system is designed to be incredibly secretive. it's one of the advantages for the companies who bring cases there. it's nothing they do or happens there ever makes it out to the public. so even if it is a case of wrongful death, which we found cases that went to arbitration over wrongful death, people dying in nursing homes over neglect or someone who was murdered in a nursing home by her 98-year-old roommate, that even those cases don't make it
out. and so michael and i started looking around, trying to figure out what happened in arbitration. by doing a lot of legal research to see who was trying to appeal decisions that happened in arbitration, we started to get a glimpse of the nature of the cases that went there. what we found initially was really shocking to us. there were things like nfl cheerleaders who were bringing labor cases against the nfl for unfair working conditions who was case was in arbitration going to be heard by the commissioner of the nfl. we heard of plaintiffs who brought cases who lost and were told to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in the other side's legal fees for things like private plane travel and hotels. but then there was a story that developed simultaneously, so we wanted to assess -- it wasn't enough to just do an anecdote
look at arbitration. because they're not really public arbitration records, we went to all the arbitration providers and asked them for the data, which of course they wouldn't give us. so that took a lot of calls. we would be shuttled -- someone would be like we'll get that to you right away. then i would get a telephone number that wasn't legal counsel at all. one was a fishing company. we got what amounted to 25,000 arbitration records. we had no idea what to do with them at that point. that's when my other colleague rob stepped in and started analyzing how many people went to arbitration against various companies. that's when a second story started developing.
it wasn't just about what happened in arbitration. it was also about the nature of certain claims weren't going to arbitration at all. so we started looking at, say, sprint, a company that has 65 million customers. in four years, only four people went to arbitration against sprint. we thought there's got to be more people that have had problems with sprint than just four people. that's when we started realizing that arbitration while it was a system that was very slanted against plaintiffs was almost beside the point. arbitration clauses, which are the fine print that if all of you pulled out your credit card agreements -- you have signed away without realizing your constitutional right to a civil trial. in that clause there is an even
more powerful thing. it's a vehicle. the clause says you cannot file a class-action lawsuit. for any of you that have gotten in the mail that coupon that says you have been enrolled in a class-action lawsuit, you have $25 because of your checking account. you might not realize what the real power of eliminating your ability to file a class-action lawsuit is, but all the corporations that put those clauses in there do. what they realized, what a team of corporate lawyers realized, was by banning class actions you pretty much disable lawsuits in general because most people won't go to court over -- certainly not over a $10 fee or a predatory practice. they just will abandon their case all together. once you get rid of class
actions, you disable all threats. what we saw was and what we had to go about trying to figure out was how these businesses, how corporate america, had basically written themselves out of the legal system all together. they had done it with these seemingly innocuous clauses that are in everyone's wallet. we basically had to go to law school to try to figure it out. my colleagues and i puzzled about it for days and weeks because what we started to realize was without really anyone noticing this group of lawyers working for credit card companies had engineered what we think amounted to one of the most audacious coups in america. they did it in such a complex
legalistic way that anyone who tried to figure out what they did had been desueded from going into it at all because it was not drama on the high seas. the coup they did, it didn't happen on a battlefield. it happened in a bunch of boardrooms starting on park avenue and then in washington, d.c. so we then set about trying to get people to tell us on the record how they had done it and how they in trying to exempt themselves from the court system gotten all the way to the supreme court and gotten the blessing of the supreme court in 2011 and then again in 2013 and almost no one noticed. so we set about trying to do that. that's it.
yeah. there's a lot more. you can ask me questions. >> jessica, thank you. another finalist was "failure factories" the tampa bay times, which discovered that pinellas county, florida had starved its black schools of resources to the point where they were awash in violence and academic failure. and that reporting led to substantial changes in the handling of schools in that county in more resources and special oversight. representing that time will be michael laforgia who was a reporter at the tampa bay times. he was part of the team that won the pulitzer price for local reporting. michael. >> so our story really arose from questions that came out of
the education beat and principally questions that were surfaced by my wife who was the education reporter at the newspaper. she was going on standardized test scores year over year since 2012 when we started at the paper and realized that african-american kids in our county, pinellas county, were doing worse at reading and math than any other county in florida. she had never seen anything like the rates of failure that were happening there in pinellas county. it is a large, relatively affluent county. the crime rate is about average. the rates of poverty, single parent homes, food stamps, it is all about the middle of the road when it comes to florida counties, so there was no good explanation as to why this was happening. it made us want to dig in as a
team into this story with the other education reporter. i've got to tell you if you've never teamed up with your husband or wife on an intense 18-month long reporting project, i don't know what you're waiting for. [ laughter ] >> it's not to be missed. we're still married, by the way. one of the things that made what we did a little different from how other people had approached this story in the past is we focused not on the phenomenon itself, but the policy decisions that led to the phenomenon and the people who made those decisions. there was a vote shortly after federal oversight that had stemmed from a desegregation lawsuit dating to the 60s expired. there was a moment when the school district and the school
board had to decide how they were going to assign students to school, how do they dictate the enrollment patterns. previously, there had been racial quotas and bussing. they had a decision to make. they could continue doing a system of choice and make an effort to keep these schools integrated or they could revert to a neighborhood schools model, which would amount to de facto resegregation, so they opted for that. that's where we decided to begin our story in that moment in 2007. then we traced the different decisions and policy failures that the school board made over the subsequent years. some of the challenges there, it's a big, broad topic. we went from school zoning and
the intricacies of analyzing student test score data to discipline, rates of suspensions for african-american kids versus non-african-american kids to teacher personnel records. we at one point pulled from the state of florida the results of every single teacher certification exam in the state, so we knew how many times the teachers in our schools failed the basic teaching test. we were able to use that as one measure of the quality of teachers that the kids were getting in these schools. we also looked at the data that was generated as a result of assignment to special programs like magnets and some of the most desirable schools in the county. and we found that african-american kids were basically being shut out of the best schools in our county.
as a result of our reporting, three of the five schools have been singled out to be turned into magnet programs. the u.s. secretary of education at the time arne duncan came down and accused the school board of educational malpractice. they hired an administrator and put him in charge of the five schools that we focused on in an effort to turn them around. there's a state department of education investigation into their use of federal funds and whether they were spending the money properly or using it to supplant local money that they should have been spending. so that's about it. >> good. thank you. the last finalist is "the washington post" "fatal shooting by police." the ferguson shooting as it did the garden trigged the post into action pretty much on the same
mission, which was to tabulate these killings. one difference with the post is they made an effort to capture them in realtime so that the data would be as accurate and complete as possible and the reporting of the two news organizations prompted the fbi and the justice department to alter the way that they're collecting this data. kimberly kindy from "the washington post" will talk for that team. she is a national investigative reporter for the post, has been there since 2008. we have one of the billionaire owners of newspapers here in boston, john henry. kimberly kindy has worked in newspapers associated with two of them. one is the post obviously, but before she was at the post she was at the orange county register. kimberly. >> thank you, wolf. by now you know what our project
was about and what the results were as a result of us doing it, so i think what i'll do is just cut out some of what i was going to say and just skip right to how we did it and what some of the challenges were. so as was mentioned, one of the things that we wanted to do was do it in realtime. and i should start with what the biggest challenge was. no one had ever done this
they started searching every single day websites and other places to try to learn about every fatal police shooting. fortunately we live in an era in which an officer shoots and kills somebody there's usually some sort of media mention. one of the big channels here is things didn't just like come rushing out. there wasn't all this information out there, so one of the things they had to do was they had to keep going back because information would kind of get leaked out a little bit at the time. was the person armed. sometimes they'd say and sometimes they wouldn't say. that was something that we wanted to know. sometimes they would say they were armed with a gun and then it turned out sometimes it wasn't a gun. it was something that looked like a gun, a replica gun, a toy gun. those researchers were continuously going back and checking the record and seeing what new things were coming out at the same time on average three new shootings were happening a day. imagine this. you're building a database constantly going back and trying to back fill it. at the same time things are marching forward and you're like holy crud, we didn't know this because the fbi wasn't doing it. there's really an average of three fatal shootings a day. while they're doing this, the reporters are taking a look at what they're tracking. and ultimately they track more than a dozen details comprehensively about every single fatal police shooting.
but as we would go along, one month, two months in, three months in, julie reminded me last night or this morning or last night -- it's all a blur -- that we would see things. looks like a lot of mentally ill people are dying. we really should be tracking that. by killing 300, when we were like we should be tracking that in a comprehensive manner, they have to go back and check and see with each of those old cases whether or not the person was mentally ill. they did this for every single thing we thought should be a major finding, so that was one of the greatest challenges, doing that. overcoming the obstacle that