tv Dateline London BBC News May 6, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST
the most successful manager in british football, sir alex ferguson, has undergone emergency surgery after a brain haemorrhage. his former club manchester united says the surgery went very well, but that the 76—year—old now needs a period of intensive ca re to recover. almost 1,600 people have been arrested across russia, including opposition leader alexei navalny, during protests against president putin. police used teargas to disperse protesters, some chanting "down with the tsar." the rallies come just two days before vladimir putin is inaugurated for his fourth term in office. donald trump's caused outrage in france after telling america's nra gun lobby that the 2015 attacks in paris could've been stopped if people had guns. former president hollande called it ‘shameful‘ while the former prime minister said mr trump was "indecent and incompetent". it follows controversy in the uk after the us president used the level of knife crime in london to defend us gun laws. the french foreign ministry's criticised donald trump for telling the nra gun lobby in the us that the 2015 attacks in paris
could've been stopped if citizens had guns. he also used the level of knife crime in the uk to defend us gun laws, prompting british doctors and politicians to call his comments ‘ridiculous' and a ‘disgrace‘. youtube has removed hundreds of videos following a bbc investigation. they contained adverse for a ukrainian course and essay writing service and has been criticised for promoting cheating on an industrial scale. a nasa mission to study the composition of mars has begun its six—month journey to the planet. the rocket, which blasted off from vanderburg air force base on the californian coast, is carrying a probe designed to help scientists find out about what's inside mars' crust. it will take the planet's temperature and analyse the structure of its core. now on bbc news, it's our look back at the week's
news through the eyes of the world's correspondents — in dateline london. hello and welcome to dateline london, i'mjane hill. this week we discuss just how welcome donald trump will be in the uk in a few weeks' time after his inflammatory comments about knife crime in the capital, and how strong is theresa may's position going into the next brexit talks, given the election results in england this week? my guests this week — the times columnist david aaronovitch. .. the north american writer and broadcaster jeffrey kofman. .. marc roche from le point, formerly london correspondent of le monde... and the italian writer and film maker analisa piras. welcome to you all. good to see you.
president trump has been defending the use of guns in america — that in itself, not surprising. but this time he's done it by comparing a london hospital to a war zone because of knife crime. he told the national rifle association that the restrictive gun laws here in the uk have failed to stop a spate of stabbings leading to "blood all over the floors". he also said the terrorist attacks in paris in 2015 could have been prevented if more people had been armed. donald trump is due to visit britain injuly. jeffrey, he was talking to the nra, very much appealing to his base. well, he doesn't have any voters here, at least not a consequence, a few americans over here. we can deride him as much as we want, but trump does know that if he plays to his base, that is his best chance of having a strong turnout in the midterms. we will come onto that. there has been consternation about donald trump visiting the uk
in some quarters ever since it was proposed. do comments like this, are they likely to make a difference in a run—up to a visit in a few months? they don't help. people would be struggling to forget the time he had a run—in with sadiq khan, a one—sided run—in with the mayor of london, effectively insulting him after one of the attacks on london bridge. i think it also reminds people in britain of the manifest absurdity of the president, and his stance. the idea that, somehow or other, if you had guns you would not have knives. the problem here is not that people don't have knives to defend themselves with from knives, the problem is that they do have knives to defend themselves from other people with knives. that is almost our knife problem in a nutshell. in terms of british reaction to it, i think watching macron in washington, people manage to say to themselves, ok, this is what you have to do with the president, in the end coming up to deal with them. and then he comes out with at a few weeks before he is due to come to london and set it all back again.
it is good that he said it after the macron visit, because talking about the bataclan, it would have been worse if everybody was armed, you would have everybody killing each other. it is a very stupid remark. i don't think you would have have this kiss kiss if he said that before the visit of macron. it is quite clear that france is much better with people not being armed. the police are armed already. and you have less school shooting in britain or france than you have in the us. it goes without saying, this is trump's selective justification, rationalisation. if you look at the number of shootings, mass shootings in the us, yes, london has eclipsed new york in terms of murders this year, by a small amount, but if you look across the us,
even statistically based on population, it is astonishing the number of gun deaths in the us. it is in the tens of thousands on an annual basis. staggering. what we're talking about in london is 38 deaths because of a knife attack of one form or another so far this year. the numbers are not comparable in of mass. that is how trump works. he's not interested in the actualfigures. don't let the facts get in the way. in terms of appealing to the base, the nra was meeting in dallas, everything he says, is he already looking ahead to the midterms? his future really does ride on these midterms. if the republicans are hit hard, losing seats in congress, losing control of the senate, it does not position him well in 2020. he knows that. he knows that his most reliable, most passionate base is the hard right. he has decided that is what he is going to do. he is going to curry
favour with them and hope that during midterms, which traditionally have a lower turnout, he can mobilise them and help the republicans hold on to congress. we have talked many times about... many quarters have, about the possibility of protests in the run—up to the visit. interestingly, we don't have confirmation as to where it is doing to be. we know it isjuly the 13th, he will be in europe for a nato meeting anyway. you think there is a chance they are going to fly him in and out of northampton? make a sudden kind of appearance there and not bother coming to london and meet the queen in balmoral? that has been suggested! that will tax even the protesters of britain, and a large number of the press. i think people in edinburgh and glasgow would be able to muster a few. there will be big protests about it. it is always a difficulty, if they are big, peaceful protests,
they will make their point fairly well. if there is a kind of violent element of the protests, in that case we will all be concentrating on the violence and not the issues the protesters are talking about. i suppose that is a worry. i guess what is safe to assume is that at some point or another trump will visit britain and there will be big protests about it. those are the two things we can take for granted. and he will play golf! on his own golf course? only on very safely guarded golf courses. golf courses are pretty easy to get onto. my thoughts go to the queen. i mean, at herage, she should be spared this. i really feel sorry for her. but we will see what happens. do you look at it as a difficult moment? do you sense protests? absolutely. anything we have seen so far in america, if that's anything to go by, there will be clashes, there will be
expression of protests. but i think this is a good thing. i look forward to it. we will see where he ends up. we don't know where he's going, who he is meeting. it is a working visit, not a state visit. we do know that much. that is coming up injuly and that will be something that we will talk about nearer the time. well, let's turn to the results of this week's local elections in england. they have allowed the two main parties to each claim a degree of success. theresa may's conservatives and the opposition labour party both won or retained some councils they had targeted. while losing others they really should have taken. if there were a general election tomorrow, it puts the parties neck and neck in terms of the projected national share of the vote. that is projected, of course. the polls come in the week that the eu's michel barnier made his third visit to ireland since the referendum. he made a case for a goods border in the irish sea, something theresa may has said no
british prime minister could ever accept. so what does the current state of british politics mean for the continuing brexit negotiations? david, let's start with the domestic situation. did the conservatives do better than they might have anticipated? the first thing i will say is that you can read nothing into them whatsoever, it is pointless even trying. you are four years off a general election unless one of the major parties collapses, which could trigger an election, either because the conservative party sees the labour party collapse and wants one, or the labour party... and even then... that is projected. the projections, i am saying they are useless, it is pointless. all you can tell is that neither party is in great shape. that is the only thing. and we knew that anyway. the government is completely paralysed, still, by brexit, two years on from the vote and we don't know what we're going to do with it.
we talked about michel barnier. the labour party is, although it has a large membership, it is not a large appealing membership, it has a leader that is possibly the...he is possibly the most incompetent leader in labour history since george lansbury. and he can't get on top of a problem like anti—semitism in the party because he is part of the problem of anti—semitism in the party. these people that we are complaining about are his friends and so on. it caused a problem in certain north london seats? whether it will cause problems elsewhere... there is no opportunity or chance of a breakthrough. actually, the party that probably did slightly better than the others was the liberal democrats, who i think got a projection of 16%. that is fairly worthless, but it means they are building themselves up. we have a two party system which does not represent, i don't think, what the voters want or where the voters are. at the moment we are in a state of stasis in britain because we cannot get out of it, and we are looking forward to the biggest change in post—war history, coming out of the european union,
without the faintest idea of how we are still, two years on, going to do it. that is not completely true, in brussels, we are entering the real matters, the commercial, the trade, the future of trade negotiations, and it appears to be stronger because of the negotiation for theresa may, the power for negotiating with brussels is in downing street. there could be some cracks in the unity of the european union because now you are entering into commercial deals. the dutch and the belgians want to protect their ports. the germans want to protect their car exports to the uk. then luxembourg and others want to protect dealing to the city. there will be an agreement at parliament in the uk, and they will accept it. i want to go back to what david said. it is true that we can't predict an election four years down. but picking up on that, what we can say is that there was a clear sign that the people
of this country have no faith in the two main parties, there is no momentum of leadership carrying the people forward, that you have two incredibly unappealing alternatives. you've got the disarray of theresa may, or the righteous, wilful blindness ofjeremy corbyn. people don't like either. i get the sense that the minor gains of the liberal democrats suggest that there is a yearning for a third way. the liberal democrats aren't able to get attraction to offer that alternative. and still paying the price of a coalition, being in a coalition with the conservatives? probably, that's right. i think both parties have a problem. ultimately, that problem becomes
the nation's problem. analisa, you might see cracks, what is your reading of the state of britain today and what it does to the brexit talks? it has been said the most important questions in life are who you are and what you want to be. if you look at britain, the britain that came out of the local election, it is a country in a profound identity crisis. it is a country that doesn't know what it is now, nor what it wants to be. the windrush scandal, the way that it treated its own immigrants, that have been here for generations, the anti—semitism, the kind of crisis in political participation. this is a country that is very confused. it is not the only one, you know, italy is even more confused. laughter. there are other countries that are confused. in all of this, what is emerging
is that actually the european union is a force for stability. the european union knows what it stands for. if you look at what is going on at a macro level, the european union is becoming a champion of free trade. if you look at the nuclear deal with iran, that trump might disrupt and get out of on the 12th of may, the european union is trying to defend the nuclear deal. i think if you look at this situation now, yes, britain is going out. but the power of europe as a stabilisation force is quite remarkable. and the british, when they are out at last, and we don't have this delusions of grandeur, the european union will be able to go further, deeper into political union,
reform of the eurozone. i think it will be a good thing for europe. and president macron is the only one with a stable majority. can i say one thing about what you said earlier, marc, i think you are altogether too sanguine about theresa may's strength. there is no majority for any single position or conclusion anywhere in this country. that holds true of the conservative party at the moment. actually, it is not as if she has now identified a clear position to go forward on and there is a big discussion this morning, a different section of the conservative party, about whether her position is simply now to wait it out and have events happen to us, and then respond to them as they happen, essentially to be given a kind of position that they will accept and that britain, effectively, has to turn around and say, we will go for that. the british have a situation, the european union have all of the trumps in hand.
she has no trumps in her hand. they do not ask for anything. she has no trumps. that being the case, i think the european union knows very well that there is an absolute need for an agreement on brexit, because we have to move forward. we have to move forward without the british. but, marc, you have to agree with somebody and you haven't really got anybody to agree with in britain. the thing she might want to agree, we have had 60 tory backbenchers and others say they would not go for that under any circumstances. i don't know if they mean what they say when they say they will take it to a final revolt, but i think they do. for example, theresa may is talking about, and david davis, a specific, unusual and a new kind of customs arrangement. david, you are laughing already! we have innovative new technological solutions to deal with the irish border, that kind of thing. we have an innovative new thing, but we just can't quite
put our finger on what this innovative new thing is yet. wait and see, it will be such things as you have never even dreamt of before(!) you know what, we have had this for two years now and there is no new big thing coming down. we know what this consists of. we know what the bits are, by and large. there isn't a magic way out of this. you either stay pretty close to the european union or you move away from the european union. it's one or the other. this reflects the british version of american politics, particularly with the customs union. there is this entrenched, dogmatic, powerful minority within this conservative party that says there will be no customs union at all, there is no compromising. and yet you have this very large group who say, well, wait a minute, how do we actually navigate this without a customs union? what's the pragmatic approach, beyond cameras and some sort of 22nd century technology that is never going to actually exist? it does feel like we are, as david said, kind of muddling
on with the hope that something will be dropped upon us that will actually resolve it. if you look at it and say, ok, how would that work? you see these entrenched brexiteers saying no, no, no. it is hard to see how we will do this. the european union is also muddling through with no government in italy, very weak government in germany. both sides are muddling through. the difference is that the european union has a set of rules that work, and britain is trying to create another set of rules that cannot work. i think there will be a reality check and it will be very painful. we are just muddling through, through there. but one side knows what works, and the other one doesn't. there will be a very brutal awakening. how do you read theresa may's strength or otherwise?
as you watch it from an italian perspective, what do you see as her situation here, in the wake of these results, in the wake of her standing in the party, the erg in the conservative party, does she go into this with any strengths? we have a summit injune, just a few weeks away. i don't think anybody in europe thinks theresa may has any strengths. she has shown time and time again that she does not control her party, she does not have an idea, a concept that can work. i think she is a very weak leader and everybody knows that. it is a very strong british high bureaucracy in whitehall, which is working very well with the bureaucracy of the european commission to try to find an agreement on technical terms. i think there will be an agreement. you have these two bureaucrats speaking to each other. but the gap between what the experts, the technical people, the people that know how this works are working on, and what is the political discourse is so huge that i cannot see which way
you are going to reconcile this. this is true, we had this discussion, to put it in the animal kingdom, fox versus robins. liam fox, and the guy in the civil service that is responsible in the technical way you are talking about. and the tory right and the brexiteers have been briefing against robins like anything. they are not signed up to this. but we have been hearing this for a while, what are the tory right going to do? are they ultimately going to revolt? do they think things would be better with a different leader? we have touched on that a few times. they have a real problem. the big believers really believe that the only way in which a brexit can work is by being fully outside the customs union and so on. that is what they genuinely believe. therefore, it follows that their belief about what the country has to have, and what their position should be, is to push for that,
no matter what the party ends up being. that is what they have set out as their stall. they cannotjust row back on it and say, you know what, we know we said all of these things, we know we believe all these things, we believe them passionately, but we can see that we will have to bodge through to stop jeremy corbyn getting in. i don't see it. i think there will be a fracture at some point in both political parties, major parties, about this. it's coming. does this mean that we, britain, as a nation, we end up in a even longer transition period than we thought? life has to keep going, no matter what happens. no. transition is in 2021, that will not be changed. that gives us time to get some problems solved, not all of them. but britain is still a military power, a very important member, a permanent member of the security council,
a nuclear power. a very strong relationship with france. they could also advance, not only the social and economic strategy, with the world in the state that it is. all of this could make everybody, putting it in brackets, i agree with david, in the political situation, everybody needs an agreement. security particularly? the scenario that david paints, perfectly plausible, that between now and next spring we are going to embark on some form of parliamentary chaos. you asked about the consequences. of course, when you enter an era such uncertainty and instability, it is impossible to know whether, somehow, a solution will appear and, ultimately, as marc optimistically says, this will be resolved. i think the problem with uncertainty and the problem with chaos, you can't control it and predict. it is a dangerous time because the clock is ticking. the solutions are not being found. yes, on a bureaucratic level, some important agreements have been made. the issue of the irish border, the customs union, it is one that does not seem to have a resolution that can bring parties together. so, stay tuned. these are going to be very interesting times
for the next nine months. 0n the name of an agreement, the eu might drop the irish. it is so important that we have an agreement, that the question of the irish... the border? yes. i don't think the irish will drop the irish! there are 26 countries who want an agreement, if the irish don't want it, too bad. something else you've touched on, all the while this is going on, and we will be endlessly debating this, you're making a valid point
that there are many other countries that while britain is trying to escape, some try to do the opposite? a fact that went completely undetected in britain a couple of days ago, there was a big conference, an enlargement conference in brussels. yes, britain is checking out, but there are ten countries that are pushing to check in. one of them, ironically, could be scotland after brexit. so, there is a strong compulsion to join what is seen as a community of stability and certainty, of a rules—based system, especially in the western balkans, where the vacuum that the european union left in the last few years because of its weakness has been filled by russia. in the current instability, there is still an awareness that, with all its faults and problems, the european union is holding on. but if it is like this at 27,
how will it work at 37, 47? the question is what president macron is calling the coalition of the willing, which is going to be very, very important in the months to come, if international security keeps deteriorating. so, europe could move, especially for security reasons, towards a smaller coalition. so, a two speed europe. this is a very likely possibility. a bit of a reality check on the eu, all is not cheery in the eu. you have hungary, poland, moving to the far right. really challenging the liberal centre that is at the heart of the eu. these are serious, serious problems. serious challenges. but at the same time, they are pushing forward an attempt to find solutions, that will regroup more countries. that will be a delay for us in future years. thank you to all of you. we will see what happens after next eu meeting injune. join us again next week, same time, if you can. thanks for being with us. goodbye.
hello there. saturday was a glorious day for much of the country. we saw some fine sunsets up and down the uk, like this one here in wakefield in west yorkshire. not all areas, though, were sunny and warm. coastal parts along the irish sea were disappointing, around cornwall and devon and into western wales, south—western parts of scotland as well. this weather front has been plaguing the north—west corner of scotland, bringing strong winds and outbreaks of rain. as we start sunday morning, there should rarely be any rain here, just a bit of cloud. elsewhere it is a clear start, quite chilly across eastern parts of england. sunday promises to be another glorious day for much of the country once again. sunshine from the word go. a bit of cloud across scotland.
i think we are looking at a better day through the central belt on sunday afternoon. top temperatures reaching 2a or 25 celsius, so another warm day on the cards. even warmer air is imported off the continent on bank holiday monday. temperatures typically 20 degrees. but a much cooler and fresher feel out west. hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm nkem ifejika. us president donald trump has caused outrage in france by suggesting the 2015 attacks on paris could have been stopped by giving people guns. he mimicked gunmen summoning and shooting victims one by one, using his hand to imitate a gun being fired. the former french prime minister manuel valls called the comments ‘indecent.’