tv Dateline London BBC News April 30, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm BST
both labour and the conservatives claim they'd improve worker's conditions — theresa may rules out a vat rise and promises to protect pensioners. we will also be introducing greater powers to take action against individuals if what they were doing was effectively about trying to destroy people's pensions for the future. madeleine mccann has been missing for ten years — but in an interview to mark the anniversary her parents say they still hope she'll be found. last time we talked, you said you we re last time we talked, you said you were still buying birthday and christmas presents for macklin. are you still doing that? we still do that, yeah. —— madeleine. anthonyjoshua produces the performance of his career to win the world heavyweight title with a knockout at wembley stadium. one of the most famous climbers in the world, ueli steck, has been killed on mount everest. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello, and welcome
to dateline london. i'm jane hill. this week we'll be discussing general elections — the campaign is in its early stages here in the uk, rather more advanced in france. we'll assess donald trump's first 100 days in office and look at the under—reported tensions between india, and china. with me today are ashis ray, the indian broadcaster the north american broadcaster jeffrey kofman, ned temko, the political commentator and eunice goes, the portuguese writer. just a few days, it feels like coming to a british general election.
ned, don't look bored at the start! it is low—key, isn't it? it might get even lower, you never know. the british press often talks about a phoney war before an election campaign really starts. what is odd about this is it is kind of a phoney election. despite the prospectus, theresa may saying i need this mandate to strengthen my negotiation position with the eu, even she must know that it has nothing to do with the eu. even if she were to get putin sized majorities in this election, it would not change the basic structure of the negotiations that britain has to have with 27 other european countries. ithink... i would disagree a bit. i think if she gets a commanding majority, it does give her much more authority than if she squeaks by and has to deal with a minority parliament.
i think she is looking for that mandate. she is also trying to squash dissent in her own party. the real mandate that she wants, this is true in a different way, for the anti—mandate that jeremy corbyn feels, it is about british politics. if she wins resoundingly, it is more a message to the borisjohnsons of this world. in a way, to the far right of the tory party. in other words, in theory, if she wants the so—called soft brexit... which she doesn't? well, we don't know. have you heard the phrase brexit means brexit? that is all we know. let's posit the possibility that she once a kind of lukewarm brexit. —— let's posit the possibility that she wants a kind of lukewarm brexit.
it is conceivable that if the ideologically rigid side of the tory party knew that they have a tory leader that just got a personal mandate to lead, it might change things. she was looking at the polls? of course. the opinion polls? yes, she was looking at the opinion polls. she was also looking at the economic figures. the economic situation is deteriorating, rising inflation, unemployment, maybe there might be some trouble ahead. also, we haven't felt the economic impact of brexit. that might take another two, three or four years to take place. she wants to have room for manoeuvre so that she was not going to be punished immediately after brexit with a terrible electoral result. so, she is factoring in all of this. of course, being so ahead in the polls, she is the most popular prime minister in 40 years. this is really something incredible.
she's trying to take advantage of this position. she is also creating one of the most boring elections and campaigns in living memory. i think it is up to the opposition parties, some of them in a sore condition, a really weak condition, to make it a brexit election. there are lots of questions that the government has not answered. even labour is confused about brexit, which makes it very difficult. there is a political calculus going on as well, she knows the polls, she knows she has extraordinarily weak opposition in corbyn, who a lot of people in labour cannot tolerate, or stomach — perfect alignment of the stars. but she is also looking at these very complex brexit negotiations, which are going to take a couple of years and thinking, wait a minute, if i wait until we run out of our mandate, we will be right in the middle of key brexit negotiations and we will have to suspend them for an election campaign. if i do this now, i have a good four year run and we can get this wrapped up before i have to go back to the polls. will she engage in this?
yes, i have been covering elections in this country since 1979. i see this as a situation where she saw an opportunity, nine months into thejob, she saw an opportunity, the opportunity being that jeremy corbyn is so far down in the polls that it gives her a chance to perhaps enhance her position, strengthen her hand. that said, it is also true that three years down the road, the economy in britain may not be as hunky—dory as it is at the moment. so, that was also a factor that played in. more than that, this was an election where she wants to talk about brexit, and brexit alone. the fact that she is the best person to negotiate with the 27 countries that she has to talk to. whereasjeremy corbyn, i think, will try very hard to focus on housing and health. those are the two areas that labour are seen to be stronger on, compared to the conservatives. a few more weeks to go, june the 8th. it is a little bit close in france.
the french election is fascinating. who thought we would be where we are today, and we build up to meder seven? —— and we build up to may 7th? that is true, i think it is going to be very close. we have macron, the most devoted candidate. 54% of his voters were voting tactically. that means he is not somebody who has a lot of enthusiasm behind him. the french electoral system has been designed to give the opportunity to voters to come in the first round, vote with their heart, and the second round is to vote with your head. tactically. so, they are already doing it in the first round,
which means some people are very alarmed. his main problem is going to being enthusing those voters on the left and right, convince them that marine le pen is a real danger. he has been working on that, he has been campaigning in areas where the front national is very strong. he has been employing tony blair masochistic tactics, getting engaged in dialogues, some very vivid conversations with voters. i don't know if, in two weeks of the campaign, it will be enough to convince voters. marine le pen, on the other hand, she is clearly targeting voters on the left. she keeps making references to the banking background of macron, using the language of the candidate of the radical left. she might get around 15% of those radical left—wing voters. it will be much tighter and extension is going to be the greatest enemy of emmanuel macron. what do we think of marine le pen standing back from her leadership of the front national? and her leader, who has been exposed as believing...
the holocaust denier? the interim leader. she is chasing her own shadow. having played this punditry game for a while, i am reluctant to predict any margins, any victors, given the outcomes we have seen in brexit and trump. i will predict that corbyn will not be prime minister! yes, well... that an exception. i think it is hard to see marine le pen, she is such a polarising figure and has a solid base, but when you look at how the votes played in the third and fourth position in the first round of the election, it is very hard to see how it works. the real danger is people staying home. if you rememberwhen marine le pen's father went through this ballet, you know, they defeated le pen, but they did it with people on the left holding a nose and saying they would vote for anybody apart from him.
exactly, the voters that supported francois fillon, the centre—right candidate, are very hesitant of voting for macron. it's a problem, because fillon was campaigning on the margins of the radical right. i think there will be a lot of voters of fillon who will vote for marine le pen. interesting, it is a new phenomenon that the two major parties have been knocked out. effectively you have an independent candidate emerging from the centre. and, of course, a well—known right—wing candidate. i suspected to be closer than what people have been predicting. but we are into new politics these days. an independent could become president. and the youngest president ever?
a situation, a country like america, the position of president of france is a hallowed position in the eyes of the french. for a man of that age to become president is extraordinary. it would be another thing to have legislative power behind him, we would not know that untiljune. it's an interesting point, when you look at trends globally, trump being the guy that is going to time to clean out the swamp, brexit being a vote against the old order, macron very much fits into that trend. he is not from the traditional old line parties. his ideology might be different, he is much more conservative mainstream than trump, much less disruptive than brexit, but it is this trend of people saying, i'm fed up with the old order. there is also this trend of the working class people, who traditionally vote for left—wing parties, veering towards parties which are very much to the right. it has happened in britain, in the shape of ukip, it has happened in the case of trump, and now also, perhaps to a certain extent, in france. we may have proved that the french
election is a little more interesting than the british one. let's turn to india. tensions between india and china have been growing recently. cross border skirmishes, bellicose rhetoric, all making for a very uneasy state of affairs. ashis, bring us up to date. it has been growing and worsening for some time. explain what your assessment is where tensions are? there was a lot more tension between india and china these days than what was the case three years ago, lets say. there was a different government them. there is an element of bellicosity between the two belligerents, if you like. more on the behalf of china. the situation is like this.
the former ruler of tibet, he went to india, he got sanctuary, and has been in exile in india for more than 60 years, he is a person that china is ultrasensitive about. there is a long—standing border dispute between india and pakistan, sorry, india and china, arunachal pradesh which is described by china as south tibet, which india claims as part of india. that was put on the back burner in 1993, in the form of a treaty which was called the peace and tranquillity treaty. discussions would continue, but in the meanwhile, economic relations in particular would forge ahead. and they have. trade between the two countries runs into tens of billions, 100 billion. having said that, every time the dalai lama visits this sensitive area, which is claimed by china to be south tibet, he goes there specifically to visit a monastery. it is of tremendous importance to buddhism. he was there in 2009, when china raised objections.
wasn't that his first landing spot when he came from exile? he came through that area. he fled tibet. he came through, and settled in india. he is a person that raises china's heckles. china tends to go over the top on this matter. india has tried to keep a lid on it. the previous indian government, ithink, did better than the present one. there is certainly an element
of rhetoric going on, which i dare say will not lead to war or any of that kind. but you find the border violations are taking place all the time. i think it reflects the aspirations of india to be a global superpower. the two most populous countries, as neighbours, india in the shadow economically and geopolitically, of china, which is much wealthier, much more powerful, has a much stronger army. india, with its own internal issues of extreme poverty and corruption cannot be an equal player with china. but this bellicosity, as i think you rightly call it, reflects this desire to be seen as not being taken advantage of all taken for granted. —— of or taken for granted. there is also rising nationalism in both countries. the ruler in china, the ruling party in india, we have seen nationalism in both countries. i tend to agree, this has been going on since the 1960s. no major uproar, skirmishes, episodic skirmishes that are taking
place when something more controversial takes place. india's economy, under the shadow of china, it is interesting because it has a much more dynamic economy in some places, certainly more high—tech. it is more malleable and adaptable, in theory. it is against that background where china is not only asserting itself with better ties with pakistan, but also east africa, development projects, trade across pakistan. you can understand india's reticence about this. the wild card, again, is our friend donald trump, who, despite the previous administration and the trans—pacific partnership, the tilt to asia, is basically in a bromance with the leadership of china now, because of north korea.
one of the reasons why tensions have risen between india and china is because india has moved closer to the united states. it certainly did under the 0bama administration. what will happen at the donald trump, one doesn't know. this has offended china. it is india and the united states ganging up against china. that is one of the reasons why tensions are higher today than they were a couple of years ago. and your anxieties as well, about kashmir, why we should be more concerned, even more concerned 110w than we have been in the past? the united states and india, going up against china, china has forged closer and closer to pakistan. it is a counter ganging up against
india, with china and pakistan. what has happened is that this economic corridor, as it is called, a massive highway through disputed territory, as mandated by the united nations. the entire area of kashmir is disputed, as far as the united nations is concerned. so, driving a highway, and economic corridor through territory which is disputed, is something which obviously india is not happy about. he has been mentioned already in the last couple of minutes, you can't avoid that, we must talk about the united states. you probably know that president trump is completing his first 100 days in office. jeffrey, you are not too long back from the us. i was very struck that donald trump said he was finding thejob harder than he anticipated ?
go figure! isn't that a revealing comment? he told reuters news agency that thejob is much harder than anticipated. he had a good life beforehand, he enjoyed it, maybe he is suffocating? maybe we should have a whip round and give him his old life back? exactly, the cocoon, he finds it quite airless, and he misses being able to drive. he ran his business empire by decree. by bullying. it just doesn't work. when you run a business the way he does, it is all about money. it is all about profit. everybody sits at the table going, how can we make more money? congress doesn't work that way. you have so many competing interests. people with regional interests, political interests, ideologies, power bases. has that been a shock to him, because he didn't come up with the political experience? we saw massive failures, trying
to kill 0bamacare, it didn't work. two efforts to ban muslims from seven, then six countries, overruled by the courts. the courts have overruled his attempts to be an emperor. the question really now is how much he is learning on thejob and can he... he almost as four years to go, 100 days is not much. it hasn't been great. he has moved some of the far right fringes, steve bannon and others out of the centre of power in the white house. he has this more pragmatic group in the white house advising him. you say it hasn't been great, his administration would say, you mentioned it, the us has come out of the trans—pacific partnership, all of the things he wanted to do. he has a new supreme courtjustice as well? that is an achievement for his administration? his only concrete achievement.
if you can call it an achievement. but it is. i wouldn't like to state the obvious, his failures. but one thing disturbs me a little bit. i think he might be trying to raise his ratings by going a little ballistic externally. 0n the international stage? absolutely. he has tried the missiles in syria, he has tried a heavy bombing in afghanistan and he has now started being quite provocative in the korean peninsular. it is a dangerous game, but i think it is one way of trying to raise his ratings, which i suspect is what his try to do. for 2a hours he was going to kill the north american free trade agreement, and then backed off. the reassuring thing, and you are more certain than i am that steve bannon and the alt—right are exiled, the white house still seems to be not fully functional.
i think that is fair. the exception seems to be his national security team, by and large adults, so there is likely to be a check on a lot of this foreign adventure instinct, if it is there. the real problem is that he keeps tweeting and talking. in this reuters interview, half of what he said was presidential, we want a negotiated resolution, if at all possible. in something that is startling for an american president, he says, we may be headed towards a major, major conflict. that is fine if you are an op—ed writer, but if you are dealing with one of the only world leaders that is more unstable than you are... he makes bizarre comments about mixing national security issues with... i don't know, eating delicious, beautiful chocolate cake. it is disconcerting.
what i find most disconcerting about the trump administration, and i think from a democratic point of view, if we are to reflect on it, the growing blurring of the lines between his function and role as president, and his promotional business interests. to a certain extent, only 100 days have passed, and it has become more or less accepted. it shouldn't be accepted. there will be him and his family, using the pulpit of the american presidency to promote the trump brand. for example, ivanka showing her collection on stage? there is this talk about her trademark, getting registered in china. coincidentally, they were having dinner together with the chinese president. what is happening there? what we are facing, the recent polls in the us show this, he has the highest disapproval rating since eisenhower, at this stage, 0bama was 56%,
which was to be accepted. at the core of people that elected him still love him and forgive his sins. you have these two americas. only 2% of people that voted for them say they would have done differently? you rightly point out who will be here for four years, in theory. one of the interesting aspects of the american political system is the separation of powers. you have senators elected once every six years. the house of representatives, 400 people in the lower house of congress, they have to face the electorate in 18 months' time. one of the interesting aspects of the american political system is the separation of powers. you have senators elected once every six years. the house of representatives, 400 people in the lower house of congress, they have to face the electorate in 18 months' time. so, even though the first 100 days
is an artificial benchmark, 200 days is really serious. that is the time at which individual republican party congressmen have to decide, is this guy worth my political capital? then we see, can he get anything done? again, that comes back to the base. with all the tax cuts he is announcing, he will have the support of wall street and the tech industry. i think he is going to have a much smoother ride than you are anticipating. i think he will live and die by whether he can create jobs. it is as simple as that. success or failure will be aboutjob creation, employment creation. that said, if i am not mistaken, i think more than 500 executive positions in the administration require senate approval. he has got to only 60 at the moment. at this time, 100 days, 0bama had
succeeded in appointing 190. he is rather behind the curve in terms of appointments. how he's go to handle this, i don't know. i suspect his russia connection is still a time bomb which is ticking. 0ne doesn't know what will happen there. thank you very much. great to see you all. thank you very much indeed. that is all for this week. join us next week if you possibly can. thanks for watching. goodbye. mixed fortunes in terms of the
weather forecast through the remainder of the banqueting weekend. for some, seems like this, this was taken in dorset recently. 0utbreaks of rain and winds picking up, particularly across the south—west of the country. further north—east it looks like this, blue skies and sunshine around. this was taken by jackin sunshine around. this was taken by jack in northumberland a couple of hours ago. it is a south west north east split our weather. down to the fa ct we east split our weather. down to the fact we have this frontal system moving into the south—west. ahead of that, tight isoba rs, moving into the south—west. ahead of that, tight isobars, which means a blustery spell of weather. winds picking up. the satellite image shows there is some time in the north and east. more rain piling in across the south—west. pretty soggy across the south—west. pretty soggy across devon, cornwall, the south of wales, in towards the isle of wight, too. brisk south—easterly winds. elsewhere, decent weather this afternoon. blustery wherever you are. some brightness in between these outbreaks of rain across the south—west of england, south wales, too. a few splashes reaching the
south—east of england as the head into the latter part of the afternoon. some sunshine of east anglia, up towards northern england and northern ireland holding onto some brighter spells. it will cloud over here late in the afternoon. scotla nd over here late in the afternoon. scotland having a decent day. 17 degrees towards the north—west. we will have that brisk breeze, as well. if you are exposed to the breeze across the east coast it'll feel cooler. 0vernight, the northern half of the country remains dry. 0ver half of the country remains dry. over the south, low—pressure drifting to the east, bringing showers which will circulate around the low pressure across much of england and wales. clear spells to start off the bank holiday monday. it is across scotland and northern ireland where we will see the brightest and driest of the weather. england and wales continuing u nsettled. england and wales continuing unsettled. a day of dodging showers. ten which is the most in the mid teens. it will feel cooler over north—east england and north—east scotland. we will see that easterly breeze blowing in a sweet look to tuesday. more cloud and showers
towards the east. most of us having a decent day with temperatures in the sunshine up to 16, 17 degrees in the sunshine up to 16, 17 degrees in the west. high—pressure holding on through the west of the week. the tried team will continue. it will be cooler with a few showers at times in the east. —— high—pressure holding on through the rest of the dry theme will continue. this is bbc news. the headlines at 12pm: theresa may rules out a vat rise and promises to protect pensioners from unscrupulous employers. we will also be introducing greater powers to take action against individuals if what they were doing was effectively about trying to destroy people's pensions for the future. madeleine mccann has been missing for ten years but in an interview to mark the anniversary, her parents say they still hope she'll be found. last time we talked, you told me how you were still buying birthday presents and christmas presents...