tv Dateline London BBC News June 18, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST
this is bbc news. the headlines: police say 50 eight people are now presumed to have died —— police say 58 people are now presumed to have died from wednesday's tower block fire in london. they warn it could take weeks to recover the dead and the number could rise. the british prime minister, theresa may has admitted initial support for victims "was not good enough". prosecutors in the united states say they seek a retrial in the sexual assault case against the entertainer bill cosby. a judge declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberations. bill cosby denied he assaulted his accuser thirteen years ago. portuguese officials say a fire in central portugal has killed 19 people and injured several others including firefighters. the secretary of the interior told reporters that most of the victims had burned to death in their vehicles full is not
now on bbc news — dateline london. hello, and welcome to dateline london. i'm jane hill. this week we discuss the fall—out from the british general election, political turmoil heightened by a man—made tragedy that hit london this week, and, of course, with brexit talks about to begin. also we're looking at the protests in russia, which have put hundreds of people in prison. my guests this week, ned temko the political commentator, annalisa piras the italian film—maker and broadcaster, stefanie bolzen of germany's die welt, and the russian journalist alexander nekrassov. welcome to you all. the british prime minister lost her overall majority
in the general election, and is having to do a deal with mps from northern ireland to stay in downing street. theresa may was criticised during the election campaign for not meeting real people, and within a week that criticism has resurfaced because of the government response to the grenfell tower tragedy. an entire residential tower block in london destroyed by fire in one night. but when theresa may first visited the scene, she spoke to members of the emergency services, but not to local residents. all this coming just before those brexit talks are finally going to get underway. let's discuss the state of britain, of british politics. ned, theresa may, specifically, can she and will she survive all of this? if we'd been having this conversation a couple of days ago i would have said two years, probably, yes. not least because her main strength is that anybody who wants herjob within the conservative party would have to have his or her head
examined, to want the job under these circumstances. you're going into brexit negotiations, which are going to be at least difficult and possibly more than difficult, so there is a communal self—interest among the tories in keeping her there for a while. what's changed is, as you say, the response, or the utter tone deaf nature of her response to this fire. it drew on a lot of the criticism she attracted during the election campaign, and it is utterly unpredictable. if she lasts, let's say, a week, i still give her two years, but it is all very fluid now. it reminds me a little bit of the atmosphere in the final days of maggie thatcher after the poll tax riots. politics is about a narrative, and once your narrative as a leader or a politician changes, that is a very difficult force to escape.
but more than anything, her narrative was i am strong and stable, instead she is showing to the people of britain that she is not strong, not stable, not even compassionate. she is unable to meet the people that have lived a tragedy and hug them, like jeremy corbyn did. not only has she lost her narrative, but she is unable to provide another one. they might not have wanted hugging, but people clearly want answers, and still, people clearly feel in that part of london that the answers haven't been given. the overall feeling in london is that the government is losing control of too many things. the brexit talks are starting on monday and we still have no idea, and in brussels they have no idea, what the british government actually wants to achieve in these negotiations. which is fine, because the government has no idea either, it would appear! everything has changed because of the election, everything is up in the air now. is it maybe a softer brexit?
will the very eurosceptic tories in the parliament still dominate the talks? at the same time, you might think the easiest things go wrong, which is show compassion. i was there, i spent the last three days actually near the tower, and i was there on thursday morning when she arrived, and i told the people that the prime minister was here and they said, where was she, we did not see her, why didn't she come to see us? she went again on friday to try to do it better, and it completely went wrong. her argument being that she met firefighters and emergency services. it is the easiest thing for such professional people in downing street, in terms of pr, to stage a visit. what's your reading of that? the criticism throughout the election campaign, and then there was this, by all accounts, very strong performance in front of her own party, we call it the 1922 committee, the committee of backbench conservative mps,
mps were coming out of that meeting saying, my goodness, if she'd behaved that well during the election campaign, we would not be in this position. they were really bolstered by that. but there were no lessons learned. that is when she can control the situation. the situation out there with people being devastated, helpless, hopeless, waiting for news for days and nights in the heat, outside, homeless, that is the situation she cannot control, and she could not handle it, that's why she did not go, she was scared. i do not agree at all with the effect of the grenfell tower fire on her position. unfortunately her weakness was in dealing with terrorist attacks. she was a former home secretary. she was actually in charge of dealing with terrorism. for six years. the russians warning the west, and britain as well, for many years after the first chechen conflict started, the dangers of islamic terrorism spreading quickly.
nobody paid any attention, russia was pilloried and criticised by dealing with this threat. this problem basically swept into the west. instead of uniting with russia and dealing with this threat, because russia was dealing with the threat in the sense that it was banning the ngos that are helping finance terrorist activity, they were banning charities, which prosper here. look at them, they are collecting money from disillusioned people, and then fund them into organisations like the muslim brotherhood. specifically in the uk? everywhere across the west, it is a major issue. we are seeing that she did not respond, and the police, well, in the pr sense to this terrorist attack. why? for example, in manchester,
a devastating attack, children are blown up. what do we have? the cop who runs everything in manchester says the next day, we will not tolerate hate crimes. it is a fair point, but not at that time. you do not say things like that. this is offensive to people. but in terms of the unexpected general election, theresa may and the conservatives came out with a reduced majority, not what was expected at the beginning. nothing to do with corbyn, by the way. the vote was not to do with terrorism, it is people having had enough of austerity? terrorism is a major issue for the west now, because the west has not been dealing with it. alexander, you're saying the west should do it the putin way, and then they would tackle terrorism? are you serious? i am serious about adopting some of the strategies. you just had a major conflict between western allies, the arab countries, that have turned against qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism in the west as well. this shows us that the western
governments do not have a national security policy which works. what they are doing... italy has not had one single terror attack. italy is one country. and they are applying a different attitude to security, which is probably needed. italy is an exception. it is not an exception. explain why you feel italy has managed that? i do not feel, it is a fact, that italy is the only major european country which has not suffered a terror attack. there are theories why this is happening, one is that because italy has been through the 705 and 805 in dealing with terrorism in a very constant, daily way, they have found a way of controlling the territory, which means that possible suspects are identified and removed, and even deported even before they start becoming radicalised, which is different from what they are doing in france
and britain, where they tend to have a surveillance. you cannot surveil people like that, because there are too many. you need to have something much more preventative, and at the start of the process of radicalisation. they are terrified of touching them here in britain, that is the problem. can i intervene very quickly? in defence of the british security forces and the american security forces, it is always difficult in a democracy under the rule of law to control terrorism. the miraculous thing, and i've covered this for a long time, is not how many major terrorist attacks that have been since 9/11, but how few. the security forces don't get everything right, but it is not... this portrait of utter, hapless inability to deal with terrorism isjust not real. we will continue to debate
the reasons why the conservatives have that reduced majority, terrorism may be a factor, but we are where we are, as politicians are fond of saying, and we are a matter of days away, depending on when you're watching this programme, of those brexit talks finally getting under way. stefanie, your reading of this? interestingly, i talked to some people yesterday in brussels, senior officials, and the mood in brussels is very conciliatory. the first thing on the agenda is the very difficult question of eu citizens‘ rights, what will happen with the 3.5 million european citizens currently living in the uk, and more than a million living on the continent. who's going to guarantee their rights? from the european perspective, it has to be the european court ofjustice, from the perspective of mrs may this is non—negotiable. interestingly, i have not heard
anybody in brussels saying loudly that this is a red line, i think what they are saying is we need to get this done now, just sit down and let's negotiate. there is an urgency in this, there needs to be a settlement on the money and the people as soon as possible, because we are already in a state in europe, there's a lot of problems, but especially in the uk, that is very dangerous. the great political news of the week was that both france and germany have said something very important. they have said the door is open, if you want to do a reflection, a reversal, as they are starting to call it, the door is open. this is the key news of this week, because... is it not wishful thinking? if there is a possibility of rethinking again, it has to be done before the end of the two year process. the window of opportunity is very, very small. once you have dismantled everything, there is no way you can reopen it. there is a thinking that says, 0k,
britain is in chaos, they are now calling london chaos—on—thames. it is serious on the economic front, it's become the slowest growing economy in europe, inflation is rising, prices are rising, wages are going down, investment is going away... you are describing france, by the way, word for word. france, politically, is the most successful political landscape at the moment, 0k? economically, it is a disaster, meltdown, it is bankrupt. there is a strong political landscape and a strong president, in britain we have a hung parliament, no majority, a leader angering the entire country. in france they've got a nobody president... my point is, there is a lot of thinking in europe that we might
get very fast to a point in which britain should show that pragmatism sometimes can trump pride. do you mean not going ahead with leaving the eu? there are people inside the eu who have always wanted that, it does not mean they will get it. people are expecting britain to show realism. it might be that two years down the line, when the deal is on the table, and it is clear that it is a disastrous deal, because there is no way of making brexit a success, if the deal is really disastrous and in the meantime the economy of britain has crashed, is it wise and pragmatic to say to the people, do we really want to do this? i think you are absolutely right, it is politically probably impossible to reverse brexit.
but i think a fudge becomes possible for the first time, and it depends on how the two years of talks go. with respect, alexander, all the polling done about the election so far doesn't suggest this was about terrorism, it suggests it was about the disproportionate participation of young people, including young people who are angry and a little bit remorseful about the brexit vote. the economy is shifting, the political landscape has shifted a bit. you are living in la la land, britain is one of the strongest economies in the eu. italy is nearly bankrupt. france is in meltdown. portugal is... thank god for russia! how can we sit here with straight faces and talk about britain in meltdown, when the eu is supported by 80 billion of newly—made money every month. it would go down at once.
the reason why theresa may is not able to start the process properly, she does not want to. the people feel she is reluctant. the only way to deal with the eu is to walk away and say, if you don't go with our terms, we are walking away, and you are finished. you are living in la la land, alexander! the eu is desperate for britain to stay. who do you speak to in the eu who tells you they are desperate? every signal they make, please come back! this week, michel barnier was expressing frustration, and was saying effectively, hurry up and get on with it. they are desperate because the eu is crumbling, financially, it is finished. actually, the eu is stronger than it was a few months ago. they eurozone is growing, and britain is not growing... it's growing because they are pumping 80 billion every month into the markets. the ecb, if it stops
the quantitative easing... this is fake news! don't take us down that route! as we approach the beginning of these talks, one way or another, what do you pick up on? annalisa talks about chaos—on—thames, what do you pick up on in terms of, if we have a leadership election later this year, if the conservative party changes its leader, if we have a new british prime minister, does that play into this? what do people in europe say about this? i can only speak for people in germany. they see it is a problematic situation politically, because as you said, politically reversing brexit is very difficult. both big parties, the tories and labour, have said, we want brexit. it has to be implemented, because it is the will of the people, and this is democracy. within the next month, turning around and saying, it is democracy but we're not going to do it, that is a very difficultjob to do politically. we approach the coming week,
the beginning of the talks. you're saying the first stage might not be so bad because you touched on the issue of citizens‘ rights, but thereafter it gets tricky? yes. the eu has very clear guidelines. they are very unified on this, for the time being. first the departure, then the future framework. first, they have to find an agreement on eu citizens‘ rights, on the money, and the northern irish border. all these issues are very, very sensitive. they have only a couple of months to sort them out, and only then will they start talking about free trade. there has to be big political will from both sides to compromise, otherwise it will fail. and complicated by the fact that there is not a settled view within a very vulnerable british government. there isn‘t, but at the same time, but they have put out a lot of red lines. they don‘t have a strong view, but they have a lot of red lines. yes, but red lines which were posited on her landslide victory
and her having a strong hand. their position has changed. that is true. we will see what awaits us in the coming weeks. let‘s turn our attentions to those continuing anti—corruption demonstrations across russia this week. hundreds of people have been put in prison. president putin seems determined to stamp out protest, but the calls for him to stand down, and for an end to what many see as blatant corruption by those in authority continue. alexander, what exactly is going on in your country? well, the protests are against corruption, and corruption is an issue in russia, but it's an issue everywhere across the world. in india, in china, everywhere else. the problem is, there's a perception that mr navalny, who was detained,
is some sort of a leader of an opposition, which is not really an opposition, it's a tiny group of people. the reason why he was detained, that was not mentioned here, what they did, they were given official permission to stage a demonstration in a specific area of moscow, in central moscow. he was detained during a protest in moscow. no, before the protest. hours before the demo, he announced to his supporters, let's hijack a celebration of russia day, smack outside the kremlin. so what happened, these people infiltrated this celebration, which was massive, in the centre of moscow. children with their parents and grandfathers and grandmothers were celebrating this party. suddenly, these people appear in between them and started shouting, down with putin, down with corruption. the police had to interfere. it was turning into chaos. the interesting thing is, the reasonable and actually very respected member of the opposition,
grigory yavlinsky, denounced this, and denounced navalny and said, you cannot do this, you cannot hijack peaceful manifestations with violent thugs, and put these people in danger. that's grigory yavlinsky, who is a critic of putin, by the way. but we have seen protests all over the country. they pose no danger to the regime. then why are hundreds of people in prison? they are all out already. tiny numbers were kept for a day or two. under what charges? there were attacks on police and so on, the usual stuff, like when the students rioted here, there was a problem and they put 200 in prison. they were young protesters, and you can see from the pictures who they are. they were not thugs. some of them were 17. no, they were thugs... they have lived all their life under putin. 17 years in power, since 2000. these kids were 17, and they were saying "enough". listen, in france
they elected a nobody. nobody knew who he is. we have covered that ground. no, let me compare. they didn't allow any protests in france, because they stated, we have a state of emergency, so let's not say... which you were in favour of, you want tougher anti—terrorist. anti—terror, by the way, is navalny's major point to the people of russia. navalny criticises the west for allowing this flood of people with alien cultures. that is his words, not mine. can i come back to the word "hijack" for a second? this is an important thing. you know what navalny said about muslim immigrants coming to russia. we all know this already. let‘s hearfrom ned... he is not in a position... he is also a former moscow correspondent. you lived in the soviet union. how do you know russia? russia is different now. i know. luckily, putin had nothing to do with the soviet union, and, let the record show, not with the kgb either(!) one of the wonderful things
about discussions like this is how familiar it is to living in the soviet union for three years, because... i willjust ask a respectful question. do you think one reason for the size, you say these are very small demonstrations, might be because there is a proven record, and forget this particular demonstration, that if you show public opposition to vladimir putin, you are almost certain to get arrested, you‘re likely to suffer economically, you may even lose your life? that‘s probably a disincentive to public opposition, one would have thought. that is a cliche that you, as a former correspondent in the soviet union, would say on and on and on. times have changed completely in russia. there is an opposition in the newspapers, there are oligarchs are being sent to prison. you show me a banker
in america who went to prison? why is the russian paper that reported on the panama papers, and reported on russian people very close to putin involved in corruption, why is that paper, the editor—in—chief was fired, and now it has been bought by an russian oligarch? so what? you have oligarchs in europe. if you are critical, you won‘t last very long in russia. so what are you telling me? exactly what you‘re saying. the press in every country does what it is told. that maybe news for you, but that's how it is. maybe the bbc is the only one left, but... if you have an owner like murdoch, you do what he tells you, you do not write wonderful things about something that you think about it. there is a difference in the freedom of the press in britain and in russia. russia is a huge country. you can't hold it together with a pussyfooting president. it is an enormous country, under attack from all sides.
what does this mean for next year, for putin, back to you? i predict putin will win. laughter one way or another. it‘s interesting, on the one hand, alexander, you say navalny is a nobody. for a nobody, the russian authorities, and putin personally, do try awfully hard, for instance, to prevent him from standing against putin at next year‘s election. if he is such an irrelevancy, who cares? you're forgetting one thing. navalny, in a sense, suits the kremlin. he is keeping all those oligarchs and those corrupt officials on their toes. show me one person in america who will be allowed to show a film about a corrupt minister, senator, and accuse
him of corruption? only one? you have no one, not a single one. you‘re kidding. your papers are quiet. they are just saying things that are not really important. whatever. in a sense, navalny suits putin. putin will obviously win the election... michael moore and 9/11, a documentary about bush, when bush was in power. but anyway, this is very entertaining. laughter well, it should be entertaining, it's saturday. when someone says the freedom of the press in russia is the same as in britain, that is very, very funny. it is so outrageous, you should just laugh at it. you should see the opposition papers who are bashing ministers... in britain they don't kill journalists, in russia they do. here, i don't see ministers being bashed at all. anna politkovskaya was killed because she was being an independent journalist, and that was in russia. regrettably, on that sad reminder, we will have to leave it for this week. thank you very much indeed to all of you. do join us again next week if you possibly can. thanks for being with
us today, goodbye. hello there. yesterday, temperatures reached 30 degrees in teddington which was hotter than teneriffe. yes, it was the hottest day here in the uk so far this year. after such a hot day, temperatures have been very slow to fall away over recent hours. so we‘re looking at a warm start to the day on sunday. 20 degrees or so for the early risers across parts of eastern england. as well as that, it‘s also going to be a a sunny start the day too, particularly across
england and wales. after a cloudy start to the day for northern ireland and scotland, there will be sunshine nibbling away at the cloud. it is the thicker cloud across the north—west of scotland where we will see rain. an outside chance of a shower late in the day for east anglia and south—east england but for most across the country, a dry and hot day. hotter than yesterday, highs of 31 in london, 26 for newcastle and into the mid—20s for edinburgh. over the next few days, it is forecast to get a bit cooler and fresher across the north but staying on the hot side across southern parts of the uk. that is your weather. hello. iam duncan i am duncan golestani. the british prime minister has acknowledged shortcomings in the response to the devastating grenfell towerfire in london. police say at least 58 people died in the disaster — and that number could rise further. our correspondent, jeremy cooke, reports. in the midsummer heat, grenfell tower casts a long shadow. a new dark reality on the london skyline,