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tv   Newsnight  BBC News  September 1, 2017 11:15pm-11:46pm BST

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doggedly chronicled london is writer ian sinclair. he says his days of footslogging across the capital are atan end. footslogging across the capital are at an end. steve smith take them out ona at an end. steve smith take them out on a high. closed against the rest of england, london was now an island open for business only if your business is business. good evening. texas needs levies, not waltz, said one us congressmen tonight in the wa ke one us congressmen tonight in the wake of hurricane harvey. will the president have a change of heart over plans for his border war with mexico, the ultimate soundbite of his election campaign? on the surface it seems unlikely. trump released images of the structure he wa nts to released images of the structure he wants to build and has vowed to shut down government if need be to get the funding through congress. but trump's when legislators have other plans. senior republicans are resisting spending on the
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controversial wall, when the money they say should be spent on disaster relief. the wall was meant to separate america from mexico but the divide so far has been between the president himself and his legislative party, division that points to a gulf of differences on other issues between those who are broadly internationalist and those who cry america first. gabriel gate —— gatehouse has sent this report. there is trouble brewing in arizona. donald trump is feuding with his own party. at odds over trade, healthcare, and order, and the president's abrasive style. and then there is the wall. we are building a
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wall on the southern border, which is absolutely necessary, believe me. we have two close down our government, we are building that wall. —— if we have to close down oui’ wall. —— if we have to close down our government. that would be an awful decision that would backfire badly notjust on awful decision that would backfire badly not just on the president awful decision that would backfire badly notjust on the president but all the republicans who are in office. donald trump said mexico would pay for the wall, but that is not happening. so now the president needs tens of billions of dollars from congress, and he is likely to face opposition notjust from congress, and he is likely to face opposition not just from democrats but from republicans as well. the battles being within the republican party, much like the tensions inside the trump white house, can be seen as a fight
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between the globalists and the nationalists. and the wall has become a symbol of that. it has become a symbol of that. it has become the totemic issue at the heart of this battle. arizona, like america, is divided on the issue of the war. those who want sea opposition to it as part of a wider pattern of pattern of obstruction of donald trump's america first agenda. the wall represents a symbol of trespassed. it is a symbol of don't come across here, we stand for who we are as americans, and by not having anything there it is open transition. it is very frustrating for me. if i behaved like they are doing in washington, dc, iwould not be sure. so what is the difference? people have hope in this president. donald trump one arizona in 2016, but by a far smaller margin than the republican candidate in 2012.
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america has not made its peace with the fact of his presidency, and that includes much of the republican establishment. arizona's two republican senators, john mccain and jeff flake, have been some of the most outspoken critics of the president. as we know, donald trump does not take criticism well, and he is hitting back. he is looking for candidates to challengejeff flake, a senator from candidates to challengejeff flake, a senatorfrom his candidates to challengejeff flake, a senator from his own party, candidates to challengejeff flake, a senatorfrom his own party, when his seat is up for re—election in midterms next year. during a recent visit to phoenix, the president met with robert graham to sound him out asa with robert graham to sound him out as a possible challenger. he is a former chair of the state republican party and ran the president's campaign in arizona. trump, he says, was elected to shake things up and thatis was elected to shake things up and that is exactly what he is doing. he
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isa that is exactly what he is doing. he is a disruptor. so disrupters generally get effective, positive change if they can endure through the change. and so right now the politics as usual people, when he talks about draining the swamp, is disrupting the universe. he is not concerned with the optics of politics, he is concerned with the outcome. it has been a chaotic summer outcome. it has been a chaotic summer in the white house. five senior staffers have resigned or been forced out in as many weeks. you can think it is chaos but it is organised an intentional. he is behaving like a ceo. when i see people like reince priebus go out, i think that was somebody who didn't have his best endgame in mind when he was in the white house, and even before the white house, given discussions i had with reince priebus beforehand. in the
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nationalists versus globalists narrative, one of the biggest rifts is over trade. donald trump has said he will probably pull america out of the us china free trade agreement. classical republicans including jeff fla ke a re classical republicans including jeff flake are appalled. i don't believe there's any more articulate champion of free trade and conservative values than senator flake. it's a very odd political strategy to me but it seems he's doing everything possible to settle scores within his own party, then expanding the playing field in terms of available seats. the president would most likely find it a lot easier to pass his agenda, whether it is health care or any other issue if he had some more votes to spare in the united states senate. donald trump promised his voters he would make america great again. the implicit reference to a bygone era has sparked a battle for the soul of this country.
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it's a battle that is also being played out in the white house, among staffers in the nationalists and globalist camps. the republican establishment is pinning its hopes on the latter to try to wrest back some control of the administration. i think there is a battle going on in the white house in terms of control over how the president moves forward. i would like to see that the good people on the administration stay. i do believe the country is better served with them being in key positions and continuing to fight, to try to turn the ship around. the drive from the mexican border towards the state capital phoenix takes you through the town of tombstone. the gunfights of the old wild west were a mixture of the personal and the political. hard bitten local ranchers versus northern newcomers, looking to impose law and order. we got talking to mike, owner of the doc holliday saloon. tombstone today is a theme
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park shadow of its once edgy self but still old habits die hard. take care of business, mike. a snarky remark from a neighbour sparks off some long simmering feud. can i have a minute? be a man and stand up to what you want to say. you know about that. you're a big trump fan. free speech. he was the one who walked by — take care of business. he keeps running his mouth and i'm tired listening to it. is it about politics? no, it's about what's going on in the bar. and we are building a wall on the southern border which is absolutely necessary. it turns out mike was at the rally in phoenix last month, standing directly behind the president. mike can tell us something very important about donald trump. something his detractors often fail to understand. with his base, his popularity is pretty much
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unshakeable, no matter what he does. it's like you're talking to your buddy. it's like you're talking to somebody you know. it's not like talking to a politician. i'm from an italian family. he turned around a couple of times and he like puts his hands out and he goes, he goes... what am i going to do? what have i got to say? you know what i mean? like, hey, what have i got to say? and itjust reminded me being at home with my uncles and stuff. and i agree with pretty much everything he said. in fact i agree with everything he said. and so the battle for the republican party continues. in the cities, the metropolitans are chipping away at the jagged edges of this presidency. trump calls that the swamp. out here in the desert, they like their politics a little rougher. joining me now is priscilla alvarez
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— politics editor of the atlantic magazine. nice of you to join us. do you think that donald trump is having a change of heart about the wall? to some degree, yes. we are seeing reports that he is backtracking. white house officials are telling republicans fear backtracking on the $1.6 billion they are asking for. he has threatened the government shutdown if he does not get funding for the border wall. he has done that in the past. this is the second time the white house has seen difficulty getting this through and would backtrack from the initial decision. this is presumably because donald trump's defining policies are nativist. he is looking quite isolated in the white house, isn't he? it goes further than that.
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the republicans have a lot of items on their agenda. we are talking about raising the debt ceiling and relief for harvey. they want to get the border wall funding through those that they do not see it as a possibility. paul ryan, when he was questioned about the threat posed by trump, he also did not see it as something that should happen. the government shutdown should not happen for border wall. other agenda items are taking priority goes up to your point, donald trump has always surrounded herself with people who hold the nationalist agenda for the a lot of is used have to do with who he surrounds himself with. whether we see a change in coming months as to be seen. it is fascinating. one point is, the people who are so strongly behind the wall are his supporters like the voices we heard in arizona and beyond that.
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with they forgive him if you let that core policy go? it is interesting. i think his base is very gung ho about the wall. it is tangible and they want to see it go up. there are parts of the border that are already friends. they want to see happen. some of the immigration restriction —ists see other things as more important. they want to see legislation to cut illegal immigration to the united states. they have other policies. whether they reconcile some immigration restriction is to groups who want legislation passed and the base that once the border war built, that would be the interesting thing that will happen. what is fascinating is the journey between donald trump and the republican party. do you think he is more aligned with them now or do you think the splits that we are seeing, whether over immigration policies, the wall or spending are getting bigger?
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i think this month, september, will be a big month to answer that exact question. he has spent the summer months criticising leadership and republican senators. he has blamed them for several things like health care. there have been reports that he has been in a feud, an ongoing feud. i think that now, as we look at tax reform and the budget, ill be the tell tale sign. will he push for this funding? if he does so, will the republicans follow him? steve bannon followed shortly after by the hungarians advise as well last week. they have promised to make america great again from outside the white house. how does that work? how do you, in the lobby, explain that? are they supporting donald trump or undermining the white house? steve bannon was editor
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at breitbart and he is back there and it is likely he will push the same thing they are pushing which is pushing these agenda items and pushing for an thai immigration laws and immigration is a big part of this. what that is going to do is continue. they will get louder. it is going to be trump who has to face that and it will be his white house that decides how they react to it. thank you very much. thank you. childcare in this country is just about the most expensive in the world. a full—time nursery place costs, on average, more than £150 per week per child.
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so there should be plenty of parents of three and four year olds in england today celebrating the news that, from today, they're eligible for an extra 15 hours of free childcare at an ofsted—registered nursery. that's on top of course of the 15 hours they already get. but are we funding free childcare the right way? should it be for everyone? only for working parents? or only for those who need it most? is it time, in other words, for a radical rethink on what free childcare is for? for years, all three and four year olds have been eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare a week. that's regardless of whether their parents work, or how much they earn. from now on, that will double to 30 hours a week during term time. for the extra entitlement, both parents have to work and earn at least £120 a week, although if either mum or dad earns more than £100,000 a year, they no longer qualify. some think the whole system pumps too much money
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towards the relatively well off. they say it should be scrapped completely, with the money redirected to the poorest in society. this policy is unlikely to benefit the poorest children because either their parents don't work or they don't work long enough hours to qualify. instead, what we could find is that they're even more disadvantaged by the policy because nursery providers might have to prioritise those children who are eligible for the 30—hour entitlement and whose parents do earn more money, or they don't get enough funding from government and therefore don't have enough money to invest in high—quality, well—staffed provision for all of their children. there was a time when not only was childcare inaccessible to the poor, but a chimney sweep could take his three year old to work with him, as in this clip from 1933.
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parents don't always know best, but it used to be taken for granted that they were the best people to bring up children. why now, in an age of austerity, are we spending so much money having other people bring up our kids? well, schools often argue it's good for very young children to experience playing in groups, so perhaps a social benefit. it's also argued that people who want to go back to work, but couldn't afford to without the free places, need financial help. evidence for this is mixed. our research suggests that if anything at all, it will increase parental employment, but only slightly, and only for mothers who have no other younger children at home. one reason why this is the case is that when offered with free childcare, parents don't use a lot more childcare. instead, they reduce the number of hours of childcare that they pay for, orthe number of hours of informal childcare provided by relatives and friends.
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for many parents, it's a make—or—break issue. the cost of childcare — along with mortgages — the biggest outgoing in their family budget. but is this the right way to be going, is the money getting to the right people, is it benefiting the kids? joining me now from manchester is the labour mp and former shadow education secretary lucy powell, who is calling forjust such a complete overhaul of the system. and with me is david simmonds, the conservative vice chairman of the local government association. lucy powell, you would tear up the new system and start again, targeting just the poorest families. well, notjust the very poorest. i think what we have got to have with the early years is some really clear policy objectives and i think what your film showed as the myriad of schemes that we have are failing many objectives at the same time. there are two reasons why the state should invest in early years and childcare. one is to support working families to go back to work, to boost maternal employment rates.
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and the second is for social mobility reasons, to close and narrowed that developmental and educational gap that exists already by the age of five. so why would you not wanted to go as widely you could? both reasons apply to nearly all families, right? yes, they can do, but what we are seeing under this government is the skewing of that money now very much focused on working families. and better off working families, not even lower income working families. a report i published yesterday with the social market foundation, the analysis found that of the new money the government is going to be spending over this parliament on the early years, 75% of that, £9 billion, is going on the top half of earners and the most disadvantaged families will seem less than 3% of that money. you just cannot justify that. david, it is hard to argue
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against focusing on the poorest in society, is it? there would be many disappointed parents if the scheme being rolled out where to be scrapped, including me. when the childcare for low income families was first introduced in 2013, the government gave a commitment that when it could afford to do it, it would expand that scheme so many more families including higher income families, could access it for the reasons outlined in your introduction, it is amongst the most expensive month dress childcare in the world. this is the fulfilment of a promise when childcare was introduced for lower income families that it would also be made available to others. so you are now, as an ethos, the party of working parents, of working mothers? councils are involved at the front line of making sure that children get the best possible start in life. we know the money you spend... go back to the question, that has been a difference between labour and the conservatives, the conservatives were never scared to say,
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we think parents that stay at home might be raising their children best, and you have said that mums that stay at home are raising their children best, has that gone from your floss survey? i cannot speak for the government on this but from the perspective of a conservative council, we see the benefits to our local economy of making sure good quality childcare is available. there is lots of research over many years showing the impact that has. whether we are looking at it philosophically or politically, it is right to make sure that is available to ask many people as possible. david says there will be a lot of middle—class families and this would disproportionately hit, i think, working women, who would say they cannot afford to go out any more to work. i think you have got to try and do both, but i think the government is now almost entirely focusing on the better off working families. my eldest child is about to start school in september so i have had seven, eight years of spending
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a huge amount of money on nursery fees and i am well aware of those costs. so you would do something more? should you not have been receiving any of that free childcare? your own circumstances, you work hard as an mp and you would not have been able to do half of that, would you come if you had had children at home you could not afford to send out? i got relatively little help really from the state and yes, it is very difficult for families to manage those costs, but it did not affect whether i was at work or not and that is one of the policy objectives we have got to look at here. it is about whether rewards work fundamentally. do you want to say, we are going to help you and help more families to have two parents going out to work, or is that not important? it is important, but it should not be the only policy objective and a fear over the coming years, that is now becoming principal policy objective.
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when we look at the developmental gaps at the age of five, they are dark. over half of children from disadvantaged families are not at the expected level when they start school and the single biggest indicator of how well you do at gcse is your attainment at the age of five. children from more affluent families will have heard 30 million more words by the age of three compared to those from disadvantaged families. we cannot afford not to do something about it. david, would you agree that the earlier children have any kind of schooling, any kind of interactive nursery, the better off they will be? you could say, as conservatives, we will give you the money, you can spend it on nursery care if you want or on children's shoes and clothes if you prefer.
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that was the old—style tory policy. you now saying every child should get into education in whatever sense that is as early as possible? we feel every child deserves the best start in life and the early years curriculum... that is a slightly different question, the best start in life could be whatever the parent thinks is the best start for them, so you are pushing them down the line. the research is clear, it shows good early education is a fantastic indicator. if you get that right, children do better at primary school and secondary school and they go on to university and college. so we know the money spent in this way is the most effective use of that money and that's why the government is committed to this and why councils are supporting this. we have issues with the small print of the policy, it's clear it can be too complex and many nursery providers have valid concerns. but the early years curriculum and the access that offers and the balance it brings is undoubtedly the best way to spend the money. we're wout of time. thank you very much. these are fractured times, when everything from brexit to the grenfell tower tragedy seems
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to show up just how divided and how complex our country and capital city can be. one man who has been doggedly chronicling london, and londoners, at ground level is the writer iain sinclair, whose 2002 book london orbital had him walk the whole of the m25. after a0 years or so, he's announced that his days of slogging across the capital are at an end, with a final book called ‘the last london' and an accompanying exhibition at gallery 46 in whitechapel, east london. before he hangs up his boots, sinclairjoined stephen smith for one final trip to discuss how the city has changed. i feel i am cheating. everything that i try and get is earned by long, grinding walks. after all that foot slogging, we thought we'd let you take your ease a bit. well, thank you. the foot—sore chronicler of london, iain sinclair, says he's calling it
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a day, so we thought we'd give him one last spin across the capital in comfort. one thing he won't miss are artisan coffee outlets. i hear these conversations in hackney where people are discussing the making of coffee, as if it was now a chemicalformula. and they can't actually sell it because they're too busy finessing their own genius in this field. 0h! and the moment when really it came for me is that, having walked around london all through one long night and arriving back in bethnal green, there's a sign pasted up in a window — ‘no coffee kept on the premises overnight‘. i thought, oh, my god! this is what builders used to put up on their vans about their tools, and now the gold dust is coffee. from his vantage point at street, or rather, bridge level,
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sinclair has perhaps picked up more of what's really going on than other observers. london moves on. it always does. but this time, it felt different. that invisible cockpit of pollution rising from the loop of the m25, the orbital motorway, had closed against the rest of england. london was now an island, open for business, only if your business is business." london is a kind of gigantic cruise liner. it's doing its best to sail away from the rest of britain, who is lost in another kind of world altogether. and much more related to a world of corporate cruise liners, with a third—world class slaving away to keep the thing running, in appalling conditions. one reason sinclair is hanging up his boots, he says, is that the old cultural givens about london no longer obtain. there are cities within cities within cities, but they don't connect, unless there's some horror like grenfell tower, a sudden crematorium chimney erupts
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and human lives are lost. nobody knows who those humans are. and we then fall into a thing of public mourning. we don't do anything very useful. it was horribly predictable, in lots of ways, in that the public gaze has not been on these sites. there are sites that are almost like dumping grounds, that are hidden and pushed and starved of funds until the worst things happen. london is so severely fractured and atomised now, in a way that i've never seen before, that references the victorian period. in that, you have these groups. as you move through london, you can't help noticing them. the numbers of people who are sleeping under bushes, under railway bridges. plenty of people do seem to manage not to notice. i mean, you document them in your books. you only kind of notice them if you're moving fairly slowly on your feet. for sinclair, his fellow londoners often miss what's around them, preoccupied with their bikes or smartphones, or both. like the cyclist he rescued from a canal. "the bike weighs nothing when i pull it out.
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it must feel like riding on an idea, a line drawing. he seems like a decent chap, in shock to be grounded. he shakes his head to get the water out. the bike is undamaged. the man is most concerned about his phone. he pats lycra padding, with multiple pockets, to find where it is lodged. the glinting wafer didn't appreciate the sudden baptism, but it still works." time for a souvenir of the writer's last circumnavigation of his great subject. remember to smile. i think you've got to face that way. i was mad enough to feel this personal connection with the city, as if the molecules were exchanged as you walked. it feels very odd to have come to the end of that system, which began in 1975, and i've been following one way or another until now.
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steve smith. before we go, it's that time when we traditionally call upon you to feel nostalgic for the departure of something you haven't actually thought about for over a decade, but suddenly remember with love. this time, it's the yellow pages, which will cease publication — as a paper copy, at least — after more than 50 years. as much a metaphorfor heft and anonymity as a phonebook, the yellow pages will perhaps be most fondly remembered for the hard journalistic sleuthing of one author — a certainjr hartley. goodnight. i don't suppose you have a copy of ‘fly fishing', byjr hartley? no, we don't, no. it is rather old. i'm sorry. it's byjr hartley.


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