tv Newscast BBC News September 24, 2021 9:30pm-10:01pm BST
this is bbc world news, the headlines us prosecutors have struck a deal to allow a top huawei executive to return home to china. meng wanzhou has been fighting extradition from canada to the us for nearly three years. german political parties are holding their final rallies ahead of sunday's elections, in which a successor to angela merkel will be chosen. the chancellor herself urged voters to choose her conservative alliance to "keep germany stable". tens of thousands of people have marched in global cities calling for greater action on climate change. swedish activist, greta thunberg, told crowds in berlin that no political party there was doing enough. president biden has been meeting the leaders of india, australia and japan at the white house. the so—called quad group is seen as part of a continuing american effort to counter china's growing influence.
at ten o'clock reeta chakrabarti will be here with a full round up of the day's news. first, it's newscast. you know how politicians are sometimes criticised and people go, oi, you muppet, why did you say that? yes. hmm. you know that phrase—du—jour at the moment, "lean in"? well, borisjohnson sort of leant in to that by actually quoting the muppets when he was at, i can't believe i'm saying this, the united nations general assembly. here's how it went. when kermit the frog, kermit the frog sang l it's not easy being green... do you remember that one? i want you to know| that he was wrong. he was wrong. it is easy. it's not only easy, it's lucrative and it's right to be green. - do you remember that one? it wasn't met with an
overwhelming wall of noise. well, you have to also remember, at the united nations meetings, lots of very august leaders who are sitting there have got simultaneous translation, and the next sentence some went on to talk about sophocles, and ijust kind of wonder, you know that phrase "read the room"? yeah. er, while making a speech, and the central message of the speech was, world, grow up, climate change is here, it's real, it's dangerous, you have to do more. grow up... here's a gag about kermit. yeah. i wonder if kermit's ever featured... i merely put those things on the table. i wonder if kermit's ever featured at a un general assembly before. well, bts were there, so it was all a weird mixture. the korean boy band, for those who aren't familiar with their oeuvre, adam.
so what's interesting, i had a bit of time this afternoon, and you know i always like to go back to the original text of things... oh, you love a document. so i went to the original lyrics of being green, the kermit the frog song... oh, wow. and actually i think borisjohnson is perhaps slightly guilty of selective quotation. so kermit's song starts off with kermit saying, it's not easy being green, but by the end he said, but green is the colour of spring and green can be cool and friendly, like, green can be big like an ocean or important like a mountain or tall like a tree. when green is all there is to be, it would make you wonder why, but why wonder, why wonder? i'm green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful and i think it's what i want to be. go, kermit, go green. i haven't had very much sleep and i'm not sure this is really happening. is it really happening? next week, we'll be discussing the meaning of the rainbow connection. hopefully, keir starmer would be putting that in his conference speech. more high quality textual analysis in this edition of newscast. newscast from the bbc. hello, it's adam in the studio.
and laura in the same studio, and we are still two metres apart. and chris in the booth of news, having elbowed john whittingdale and adam out of my chair. well, you say we're two metres apart. we've literally been an ocean apart this week. oh, so smooth. and people listening to the podcast edition of newscast earlier this week would have heard our budget remake of planes trains and automobiles, as you tried to make a news programme on a train with borisjohnson... how nostalgic it felt. and there's this great bit where it's like, i could almost see borisjohnson and liz truss, the new foreign secretary, carrying their bags past you going, excuse me... i had the wheelie cases as well, and i was trying to get off the train with wheelie cases and get out of the way, because borisjohnson was walking down the platform. yeah, it was redolent of some of our more chaotic days of trying to cover brexit from different countries. when you got back on the plane, and i am sure perhaps a little drink was served, do you think the number ten lot looked really pleased with how it had gone? yes. downing street believe that this was a really good, if kind of frantic trip for them, for a couple of reasons. i think the biggest reason
is that they got president biden to put his hand in his pocket, to double his promise of wonga for the $100 billion target for the c0 p26 climate conference in glasgow. that sounds very complicated, but a massive priority at the moment is for the uk government to be getting countries around the world to say, we will give more cash to developing countries in time for that big conference in november. president biden came to the wicket this week and, when we were on the plane on the way over, downing street was not expecting that to happen, so that was a big win for them and they hope it will unlock actions for lots of other countries. other things they are pleased about, lifting of the travel ban from next month, from november, so brits, like people from other european countries, but double—jabbed brits will be able to go backwards and forwards, and they were also pleased with the discussions around security and the new pact with australia and all those kinds of things. but i think, more than anything else, there was a sense for the number ten team that joe biden and borisjohnson are not necessarily logically politically going to be mates but i think
they felt actually this time that they had sort of deepened their understanding and their bond and actually showed that they could do business together, they can get things done, and i think also they were able to fill in some of the blanks of the global britain thing, where people quite often go, what does that mean? they've got things they can point to this week. i was going to ask you about that, laura, because inevitably after these kind of shindigs there is a chalking up of wins and things that weren't quite won and there was the stuff about lamb, wasn't there, versus not getting a trade deal any time soon but, as you say, so much of geopolitics is about individuals and how well individuals get on, regardless of political differences, and they've had very little time in recent years to spend time physically in each other's presence, and obviouslyjoe biden is relatively new in office, so that kind of immeasurable human thing actually matters, even if you can't quite, as i say, measure it. that's right, and i think, you know, i don't think they are going to go down in history as, you know, two of the great transatlantic partnerships, a sort of thatcher and reagan
or churchill and fdr. 0r bush and colgate. right, but they are both pragmatic politicians and, being in the oval office — i get to say that, where they were sitting next to each other and we were all packed in there, they looked pretty easy in each other's company, and the uk side certainly felt that their meeting had gone really well. you know, they thought it went really well, it was very friendly in tone, although i think the prime minister did look a bit bemused whenjoe biden was telling his very long anecdote about trains. longer than a train journey. but even that was interesting because borisjohnson had joked on the way over, oh, welljoe biden�*s a train nut like me, maybe we can bond over trains. and then, lo and behold, in the oval office, the first thing joe biden does is tell a story about amtrak. that sounds completely random, but actually that's a little bit of diplomatic cuteness there, being woven in, and as ever america gave the uk just enough, just enough, here's some bits and pieces, we show we can do business together, this is all looking pretty good, but it was also very plain that long—promised trade deal that
donald trump used to say was going to happen, borisjohnson promised lots of times it is just way, way, way down the priority list for the biden white house right now, and it's not a surprise, but, my goodness, it became really, really clear this week. there were a few things though where, as an observer of the other side of the atlantic, i was a bit confused. for example, borisjohnson was asked, oh, did the northern ireland protocol in the brexit deal come up in your discussion with biden in the white house? they were there for about 90 minutes, once the cameras had gone. but then you read the readout from white house, the statement they put out, the summary of what the two then discussed, and the last sentence says, they discussed northern ireland. and the uk official readout also said that they discussed northern ireland. so we had three different accounts of what actually happened. two of which came from number ten, downing street. yes, but because of this i asked a couple of other people who were in the room who were not either borisjohnson orjoe biden, or the people sending out the official readout, so this is apparently what i've been able to piece together. when the reporters, when we were in the room, joe biden talked about the protocol, but he talked about protocol plural and it wasn't really
clear if he was talking about the good friday agreement or the tensions with the european union. what apparently happened when the reporters left the room and the talks carried on is an official said, president biden, do you want to have another big conversation about this? do we want to have this in the meeting? and he said, no, we've mentioned that when the press were here, and that was basically it. so it was not, well, as an official person said, it was not something that was not mentioned at all, but it was not substantively discussed, which is why there are these varying accounts of it out there. 0k. and another thing that was slightly confusing for me as an observer, you had borisjohnson saying, oh, me and joe biden talked about how astonished we were at emmanuel macron�*s annoyance at the uk—us—australia submarine pact, which was basically done at the expense of an existing french deal, but then a few hours after that, joe biden puts out a joint statement with emmanuel macron saying, oh, we acknowledge that this whole process could have maybe been handled better if we had shared more information with you, how do those two things reconcile. well, those two things can be true, so i think borisjohnson and joe biden, the us and the uk were both surprised at how the french took it, they were surprised at the sort of level of outrage, but what also emerged
during the talks, i understand, is that they both kind of said, wasn't scott morrison, wasn't he, like, meant to tell them? he told us he was going to tell the french. but they all agreed well, hang on a minute, france is an important ally, so we did not think they were going to be that cross! but we do need to try and kind of sort this out, because no one wants to fall out, so, lo and behold, ok, the french ambassador goes back to washington, biden makes it up to macron, so i think there was a kind of, oh, well, was the announcement of this really what it should be? but also, it has been suggested in my earshot, that some of the french outrage may have been to jack up the level of compensation that they may get, just suggested by someone in a position of influence, shall we say? that is the oldest excuse in the book, i thought you were going to call the french president! it was supposed to be me? at the end of the day, that issue around the contract between australia and france, there was a matter for those two, don't forget also for the us and particularly the uk, there are lots and lots of security and military cooperation and, you know, it is kind of a big deal that they did not know, and in quite a revealing way, i think, we asked borisjohnson about
this on the train yesterday and one of my colleagues in the lobby said, come on, you must understand why he was a bit, he had a right to be a bit sore, and he said, well, it is human nature to put off those really awkward conversations, isn't it? surely you lot all know that from your emotional lives, you know, you put it off until the last minute! it was a bit hard to know where to look and leading to, i think the mail splash, ioo%, boris suggests emmanuel macron is a jilted lover, it was the end of a very long few days and i thought, oh, that is rather a revealing quote! well, i love hearing about the diplomatic behind the scenes so much, i keep hitting my microphone in excitement. also, i did just think that un speech, when borisjohnson talks about leaving your irresponsible years behind you and starting to act like a grown—up, i was, like, who could he possibly, possibly be talking about? well, the other thing was there was a sort of passage about getting away with it and then thinking, you could just keep getting away with it, because you got away with it to start with, which pointed some labour wags on twitter to say, oh, he is talking about himself again! of course, when you go across the atlantic, you get chased by british news the whole time and the big british news this
week was the cost of living and, particularly what is going on with people's energy bills, which you tackled borisjohnson about at what looks like the very top of a skyscraper. if you look at our ten point plan... forgive me, prime minister, i think at the moment people would like to know how they are going to put food on the table in the next few weeks and months, rather than thinking about a long—term ten point plan. just on not, laura, j if i may, actually, i don't know quite what you were saying, but i don't believe thatl people will be short of food - and wages are actually rising now under this government, if that is what you - are driving at... prices are rising, but prime minister, but prime minister... sex and the city remake, not quite what i was expecting! laughter. yes, there were no martinis and fancy shoes, although i did have a new of trousers. it was really interesting, at the beginning of the week, i think downing street were in a sort of classic and this is a very delicate point, but forgive me but i think newscasters or perhaps as sad as we are, but i think they were in what i would describe as the real sort of classic trip bubble, where they are in this massive high—profile situation, they have got the white house visit,
the united nations, meanwhile, in a different time zone, there is a huge story of massive public concern going really, really hard and it takes them a little bit of time to catch up with that. this is a very, very real problem forfarmers, supermarkets potentially, for meat producers, for energy companies going under, for bill payers, this is a really big issue and, you know, the government, this week they have been struggling to keep up with what to do. whether to bail out companies or not, whether to prop up some sectors are not, or are theyjust going to say, as borisjohnson said on monday, oh the market will fix it, it is a temporary problem, don't worry about it. here is my ten point plan. it is a massive thing, isn't it? as you say, you put together the here and now and all of the headlines of the last week and the conversation that has gone on for a few weeks about universal credit on the loss of that £20 a week uplift in a couple of weeks' time, alongside those of bigger promises about, quote, unquote, levelling up, this is a huge moment. this is a huge moment for a government trying to prove it is delivering encountering reality. that is right, because if people feel skint and hard up and worried, that is awful for members of the public, of course, and politically, it is very, very uncomfortable and the government's
defence is, look, well, wages are rising, ok, the labour market is really tight, unemployment is low, we want to help people intojobs, rather than sort of propping things up, but it is not clear what kind of interventions they are really prepared to make. they did put in a temporary subsidy, forgive me, i cannot remember the names. cf industries, the people who make fertiliser, of which the by—product is c02, which is used for literally everything, as it turns out. yeah. there is no question here, it should not be a surprise to the government that the uk supply chains when it comes to energy are pretty tight. now, laura, how many nights will you get to sleep in your own bed before you have to pack your bag again to go to brighton for the labour party conference? three. that's quite a lot! that is more than i was expecting, actually. yes, it will be back to a full on party conference. yes, the first time in two years. which will be really interesting, actually. and, already, in classic labour party style, there is a big bunfight over what is going to happen at the conference, because it is the time of year when they can change the rules and we all know how much the labour party likes to discuss whether or not to change their rules, because it is really important, because it is basically
about who is in charge and controlling the party. and there are few people who know the rules better than the former shadow chancellorjohn mcdonnell who is here now. hello, john. hiya. do you know what, before we dive into the labour party rule book, which is always a fun conversation, labour is talking about this cost—of—living crisis, i mean, how would you describe the situations facing your constituents or the situation that might be facing them in the next few months? pretty tough. really tough, actually. in my constituency, i have got heathrow airport, - so we have had a large number of people not working - for a long period of time. when the furlough ended, a fair number of them - were laid off as well, so it has been reallyl tough and even those not l associated with the airport, a lot work in the public sector, so public sector pay freezes i have been hitting them, energy prices going up, | inflation going up, - and for other constituents, the cut in universal credit is really, really tough. - i am worried. we have had a really hard time and i am worried that a lot- of people are on the edge at the moment, under- an awful lot of pressure. so, yes, it is hard, - it is really hard and i feel for people at the moment. we just need more support. the universal credit cut has got to be halted in some form -
and we need to know that soon, | because it is putting an awful lot of pressure on people. what more do you think that labour should be doing as far as this argument is concerned, given it could be one of the big political dividing lines in the coming months? first of all, i think we need to get a bit angrier- about what has gone on, the mismanagement, i the whole process. you know, the energy prices and the mismanagement, i ed miliband has come out slogging over the past few days, _ which is quite good, i i am pleased with that, but we just need, one, _ we need to make sure that people know that this is a mess created by the government itself- on a whole range of fronts, but in addition to that, - we just need to be clear. about what we are doing. in terms of the universal credit, we have made it clear, - the 20 quid should not be cut, - but we also should be going much further than that in saying that we really do need - to have a system where people are not living in poverty- or on the edge of poverty. my view is that johnson is incompetent at basic| administration, but when you do push him alone, he will seize . upon something, you know, claims, i don't care about that, _ but you can get some movement if you push him along, _ but you have to be both angry and skilful about it. _
do you think they are going to shift on universal credit, then? yeah, they are. they will do it in some way. it looks as though they will shift on the type. i it will be a face—saving exercise. the amount of universal credit is taken away from you as your work more. they are going to have to dol something on energy as well, to assist people and the reason i am saying that is, you know, i talked i to people in the house of commons, there is a depth of anxiety— on the tory backbenches and, you know, there is a build—upj of frustration with johnson - and a bit on sunak, less on sunak, because he is hiding at the moment, i but there is a build—up of anxiety, i some of it in what you described as the red wall seats, - there is a bit of anger as well and i thinkjohnson will have | to move on some of these issues. now, john, you talked about that keir starmer has to get angrier at the government so they will change position and that is one tactic, what do you think about the tactic of writing an 11,000 word pamphlet or the fabian society, is that not a good tactic? that is what keir starmer did. i described it, i have read it, i described it... - all of it? well, fair dues, you have to read the thing if he has put it out-
there, so i described it as a sermon on the mount written _ by focus groups. to be honest, it does not do it for me, idon't think it- would convince many people - about the labour party as a vision. so, john, do you actually know, though, that this pamphlet has been put together with the help of focus groups? it is a great line, but do you actually know that or are you assuming that from having read it? i have no idea, but now that deborah matheson is head of strategy,... - prominent pollster, yes. yes, she is the focus group queen from the blair days, _ if you remember, so i am sure that there has been a fair- amount of involvement, you know, fair enough, i it is a technique to be used, - but focus groups are techniques that we use about the language and how you win an argument, i it is not about how- you design your policies. as ever, no one in the labour party is really talking about policy at the moment, actually the big row before conference is about changing the rules, changing who would be allowed to pick the leader, keir starmer sort of got into a bit of a pickle over this.
he is considering whether or not this conference to try and change the rules that gotjeremy corbyn elected as a labour leader, you and your colleagues on the left are not very happy about it, what is that all about? well, we could do with an argument or a row at this labour party- conference about our constitutional rules, like a hole in— the head, to be honest. why are you picking it, then? or is keir starmer picking it? what do you make of him using this moment to do it and people on the left are picking an argument, aren't they? i think it is a real mistake to even bring it forward. i kier has only been elected, what, 18 months ago? - at no time in his candidacy— or his campaign to become leader did he raise anything around this, i apart from the one thing he said, he would give members more power, so people feel a bit, _ actually, he is open to charges of dishonesty, to be honest, . that is the problem for him. why didn't he set this upl when he stood as leader? now he is bringing it forward, he knows this will provoke . an argument and it will be left and right and all the rest, -
what we need at the moment, i for this conference is we just do need a bit of unity and we need . to focus on the tories and we need to focus on the policy programme| and kier said we have got to focus outwards and this isjust making us focus inwards again and it is, - i think it is unnecessary. well, just ignore it, then, john! if you ignore it, there isn't a row and then the party can focus on the outward stuff. yeah, it is too important, _ because it means that it undermines the democracy in the party that we have settled on, . i so it is too important to ignore i and a lot of our members are very angry about it, so the best thing, i have said to kier, _ the best thing to do on things i like this is, when we have done things like this in the past, i you do a proper consultation,
ed miliband even had a special conference, j you take time over it, _ to try and bounce it through three days, announcing it three days . before a labour party conference and then to try and bounce it - through, people just get frustrated and angry about that and then you have a row which spoils i the first few days of the conference and also, to be frank, _ even if kier gets his proposal through, it will cause quite . a lot of bitterness, - we will lose more members, we have lost 150,000 l already in the last year. what i am saying is it will spill over for the next few months, j not just in conference. clearly there are people who are really unhappy and of course, they are entitled to be unhappy, but when you and jeremy corbyn were running the labour party, there were lots of times when people thought, you were going to change the rules and, isn't he entitled...
didn't you nearly get rid of tom watson as deputy leader while he was sitting in a chinese restaurant on a saturday night? that is a very good example! that is the best example _ you could use, because part of this, sometimes it is not the politicians, sometimes it is the courtiers that i might cause you the problem. so, are you going to go along with trying to get rid of david evans, the general secretary of the party? when it came to the example you just used, that was around them trying - to get rid of tom watson, - when jeremy found out about it, he put his foot down and stopped it. that was it. that is what i would say to kier, you need to do that now. - yeah, becausejeremy corbyn did not have enough control of the party and it stymied him and he would have benefited from having more control, which is what keir starmer is trying to do. well, the way you get control. is that you ensure that you win elections and the party and kier has got control of the nec, _ he has got a majority of the nec and in terms of the structural. arrangements, we were settled on one person, one vote, - that was settled by ed miliband and now, to raise it again, - within 18 months of a general- election and you have a row over it, it is absolutely pointless. it would have been better
for him to say, look, - this is what i am thinking of, - let us have a proper consultation, take a bit of time over it, - he most probably would have got a compromise settlement anyway and people would have _ been relatively happy. to do it this way has - just provoked everyone. john, there is a bigger thought though here, isn't there, which on newscast, a labour party activist might even be thinking of, which is that you and jeremy corbyn led the party into two general elections, you lost them both, lost the last one, biggest defeat in terms of parliamentary seats since, what, 1935. what do you say to people who mightjust say, look, the best thing you could do for the labour party isjust disappear off into retirement? actually, sometimes you can provide advice and assistance _ because you have been through that experience and that is what i am trying to d0~ _ when kier got elected, we agreed that when kier becomes leader, . because towards the end - of the campaign, it was fairly obvious, we said we will not allow to happen to him what happenedl to us, whenjeremy was elected leader, we hadl
the parliamentary labour party, - we had people resigning on the day, we had coup after coup, . almost on a monthly basis and we said that would not happen land i have done everything i can. to support keir starmer for this period. - i have had a fair amount of flak as a result of it, i but sometimes when you get into situations like this, - you have to be straight about it and i just think this _ was a huge mistake. in the background of this video conferencing shot, there is something that looks like a trombone. have you become a trombonist? during covid, i felt i needed something to do and seized| the opportunity to learn i a new skill, so i decided... do you want to give us a go? give us a blow! hang on, i decided to learn- the trombone and i have done it for about nine months now and i am dreadful. - you don't want to put your viewers off. - oh, we do! are you taking it to conference? the labour conference, at the end, everyone always sings the red flag,
sojohn, you could reveal here that you have been practising the red flag on your trombone and you're going to take it down to brighton and you could give us a blast, a preview. do you know, surprisingly, l no one has asked me to play the red flag at conference, - possibly because some people might have heard me already. john mcdonnell, former chancellor and current trombonist, thank you very much. shadow chancellor, sorry, you wish you had been chancellor. nearly made it. thanks, john. we will see you in brighton. i am off to do some - busking, see you later! see you, john. now, of course labour is not the first party conference, because the liberal democrats had theirs and it was semi—real and semi—virtual, but sir ed davey was definitely there and he came on newscast, on the podcast, on monday, and we had a quick chat about insulation. we insulated well over a million homes and, by and large, - had a pretty good record. the government's insulation i programmes have been a joke. i mean, you remember, lam sure, the greenhouse grant fiasco, -
which was supposed to be thisi new part of the covid recovery, but it failed, hardly anyone took it up and it has been a disaster. - and, of course, they did their favourite gag, which was to have a bunch of people bursting through a blue wall on stage, to represent their victory in the chesham by—election, which they thought showed that the tories were vulnerable to the yellow surge. did he bring his hammer when you did the interview? sadly not. that tiny hammer that he had. i know there was a frantic search to try and find a bigger one, on the day they did the photo stunt and i heard afterwards that they thought, you know, as a photo op, whether people thought it was cringeworthy or whether they thought it was great, it was a big tip for the firstjob of a photo op, which is to get noticed. there was apparently a bit of anxiety about the size of the hammer, but it was the biggest they could find at short notice. they could have used john mcdonnell's trombone! well, anyway, one of the features of party conferences is everyone getting hammered. that is all from us! speak for yourself, adam fleming! i will be doing the early shift
for the first time ever, so my socialising is going to be tiny. right, thanks to everyone who has been on newscast tonight and thanks to you, too, for watching and listening. we will be back with another episode very soon. bye. goodbye. bye. newscast. newscast, from the bbc. good evening. it's been anotherfine drive reasonably warm day across many parts of the uk and that story really continues into the weekend as well. mostly dry warm weekend ahead with some sunny spells before things turn more unsettled and next week but before we go, for the rest of the evening, things looking predominantly dry and quite a lot of cloud around and the bit of nastiness here and low cloud first thing tomorrow morning. and generally in the teens comes us to start for saturday the northeast of
scotland. a letter dry weather was some sunshine breaking through and sunday for the likes of north wales, parts of the midlands, eastern england in eastern scotland and church spots of rain for the rest of scotland to the day. temperatures doing well in the high teens or even the low 20s or 23 degrees at best. find dry weather for many of us in the sunday before things turn more unsettled and next week. bye for now.
the government plans a temporary visa scheme to make it easier for foreign lorry drivers to work in the uk. this is the third petrol station we have seen cusack. —— it follows queues for fuel because of a shortage of hauliers — despite motorists being told to buy petrol normally. if people adhere to their normal buying patterns there is more than enough resilience in the service station network as a whole to deal with that. there's no need for people to rush out and fill up their cars with fuel, the country is not running out of fuel. final details of the government's plans will be unveiled this weekend. also on the programme. a candlelit vigil for the london
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