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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  July 13, 2016 9:00am-2:31pm EDT

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in 2001, my grandmother 65 years old lived in her car for a year due to her home getting flooded. she struggles daily with various health issues and limited income, even though my grandfather was a coal miner. she has done her very best to be a successful businesswoman. a successful businesswoman. captioning performed by vitac plac last month west virginia was flooded 35-feet high in some places and homes were picked up and carried down the river and some caught on fire because of natural gas. many businesses are gone. many roads no longer exist and 23 people died. we had displaced communities and we need systems to put in place to protect our people, their homes and environments. we have been forced to be west virginia tough and grateful for not -- >> one minute. >> my life has been so hard dealing with these problems.
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i don't even have kids yet. our miners dug the coal that created the steel that built this country. it's time we get rewarded for working so hard to keep the lights on in america too. it's our turn to get safe jobs that pay a living wage and to get adequate funding for education and retraining so appalachians and other coal mining communities can economically make progress together. thank you b thank you bernie sanders to make sure this girl was includeded in this. [ applause ] >> thank you. [ applause ]
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>> are we ready to vote? indicate by your card all in favor, show your hand with your card. all opposed? the ayes have it. unanimously passed. thank you very much. our next amendment. >> amendment 116 has been withdrawn. amendment 118 has been withdrawn. amendment 150 has been withdrawn. amendment 171 has been withdrawn. amendment 176 sponsored by mara ke ke keesinge on page 19, the proposed amendment is to have this section read as follows. democrats believe we must make it a national priority to ir rad
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indicate lead poisoning which affects low income children and children of color and can lead to educational challenges as a public health threat. we're prioritize training workers to clean up toxic brown fields and expand clean energy and energy efficiency an resilient infrastructure. >> thank you. sponsor like to speak? >> thank you. we all know what was done to the people of flint, michigan. how a city where 40% of people live below the poverty line and more than 50% of the population is african-american. we know that the drinking water was poisoned for nearly two years while the state ignored their complaints. but lead positioning is a national issue, an estimated half a million children have lead poisoning. countless more have been exposed through lead paint and dust, lead in the soil and lead piping fixtures usually in older homes, they are disproportionate low
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income children and children of color. there is no safe blood level -- lead blood level in children. the lifelong consequences are well known and well documented. but we have the tools and solutions to mitigate lead in paint, soil and pipes. communities like baltimore, that prioritize reducing lead exposures have seen incredible results. cases of childhood lead poisoning in maryland dropped 98% in the last years -- >> time is up. >> your one minute is up. seconds? you have seconds. would you like to speak in favor? take the time. >> i would. thank you. >> cases of childhood lead poisoning in maryland dropped 98% and what we need is a national effort to eradicate lead as a health threat.
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if you waush barbara karr testified about her flight in mint flint about the people with disabilities to have the support they need to live with dignity and for racial justice and for water that's not poisoned, are all connected. i'm so proud this platform includes the strongest language this party has ever had condemning environmental racism. i'm proud to support this amendment which will make it even stronger. >> thank you. >> anyone else to speak in favor? opposition? we're ready for the vote. all indicate with the sign of your card if you're in favor. opposed? the ayes have it unanimously. next amendment. >> amendment 179 has been withdrawn. amendment 181 has been
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withdrawn. amendment 118 has been withdrawn. amendment 183 sponsored by jeff hess on page 20, line 15, the proposed amendment is that this section read as follows. democrats will work to expand the amount of renewable energy production on federal lands and waters ten fold within the next ten years, from wind in wyoming and solar in nevada. >> is someone prepared to speak to this amendment? >> thank you madam chair, i'm jeff hess from idaho. i've been working in solar energy for over 40 years. as a matter of fact i was one of the first licensed general contractors to hold a solar license in california in the early '70s. and i would just say that we
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have a huge resource in our federal public lands for clean energy and it's important that we allow this to happen in order to meet our clean energy goals that we've set in this platform. so i would urge approval of this amendment. >> thank you. >> are there those who speaking in opposition? a second? seconds? those speaking in favor, those in opposition? go right ahead. >> i'm christine cramer from the state of nevada. i want to thank the amendment writer for including my state of nevada that we have an unlimited supply of solar, 365 days a year and let's make it happen in nevada. thank you. >> thank you. >> are we ready for the vote? go right ahead. >> actually, i'd like to have the chair take a look at the technical amendment rather than the word from in front of wind, such as wind in wyoming --
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>> such as -- >> instead of "to" insert the word "and". >> such as -- okay. thank you. >> thank you. we're ready for the vote? all in favor indicate with your cards. all in favor, all opposed? the ayes have it. are there any objections? no. next amendment please. >> amendment 189 has been withdrawn. amendment 200 has been withdrawn. amendment 208 has been withdrawn. amendment 213 has been withdrawn. madam chair, there are no more amendments in this section. >> thank you, congratulations. [ applause ] >> next section is ensure health and safety of all americans.
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greg? >> thank you, mr. chair. the democratic party believes accessible affordable high quality health care is part of the american promise. that americans should have the security that comes with good health care and that no one should go broke because they get sick. social security and medicare are solemn generational promises that we have made to our seniors. america's success depends on continued innovation to fight disease and treating men and women with respect and dignity when it comes to their health and their health choices. we need no more reminder than this week's events that there's no place in our society for violence regardless of who it is directed against or by what means. but especially violence against women and senseless gun
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violence. >> mr. chair. >> thank you. further amendments? >> okay, amendment 78 has been withdrawn. amendment 9 0e sponsored by michael lighty on page 22, line 34, the proposed amendment is to insert after the words public option the following, the best way to achieve this goal is through a medicare for all health care system that builds upon the aca and gives everyone in the country the freedom to get the medical care they need when they need it. >> one minute of introduction. >> all right, i think this crowd might be familiar with the issue of medicare for all since it has been the legacy of the democratic party since franklin
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delano roosevelt. from the great state of california where leader pelosi supports medicare for all. lieutenant governor newsom, a hillary clinton delegate signed a letter supporting medicare for all. the members of every union in this hall support medicare for all, including the aflcio -- >> that's your minute. do we have 15 seconder? >> do we have 15 seconders? your five -- i take it you want to use your five minutes. >> i do. >> we'll let you use your five minutes and you've got a bunch of people behind you, number one. and would you identify yourself? >> michael lighty for the great state of california. >> here we go. start the five minutes. >> we need to start thinking big not small. and when we think big, we think outside of the status quo and
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ask ourselves a very simple question. how can every other industrialized country on earth guarantee health care for all our citizens and the u.s. has not? the affordable care act has done very good things, no preexisting conditions, 20 million more covered, mainly through medicaid which expend expanded in 32 states. there are 30 million people uninsured. young americans can stay on the health insurance but do you get the care that you need when you need it? senator sanders has expanded access through community clinics, secretary clinton has adopted that approach with her latest health care proposal. it is good but not enough. a quarter of all americans report they or family members skipped a dose or not filled a prescription because of health care cost. in the richest country of the world we can make sure every american enjoys health care as a
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right. this is the -- this is supported by 58% of americas and supported by 81% of democrats. if this is controversial in this room, it is the only room of democrats in which it is controversial. [ applause ] 185,000 registered nurses will not give up on their patients. they will not give up until we guarantee health care for all and they will not give up until we have medicare for all. we ask you to join us in the legacy of what this party represents. it is our time. it is our responsibility and it is our moral calling to deliver the care that patients need when they need it without interference of insurance companies. >> thank you. >> my dear brother michael lighty speaks eloquently because he understands that there's a
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moral right to health care. it is not market driven. in a capital system you can have sick markets and those are markets that do not deliver and we're concerned about each and every citizen no matter how old or young and no matter what color, general or sexual orientation and that's what the bernie campaign was all about, how do we elevate rights as opposed to privileges. that's why we're still fighting for this issue. there's too much greed in the pharmaceutical companies and too much greed in the insurance companies. there's too much greed in the health industries. we want all of our citizens to be able to work but not at the expense of the weak and even given the breakthrough of our dear brother president barack obama with the affordable care act, we still got 29 million fellow citizens who don't have access. that's what we're talking about.
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>> i'm pam grown mir, lifelong democrat. >> we're going to go live to the british house of common as members are discussing the report on britain's development in the war in iran. >> on 18th of march 2003, never put justification for action as regime change. only to find just a week later on the 26th of march, that's why weapons of mass destruction, the immediate justification for action is ridding iraq of saddam and that is -- >> mr. speaker, it goes without saying that ministers indeed or members should be completely truthful in their utterances to parliament at all times and the ministerial code makes that clear. specifically on the reconstruction effort, mr. speaker, finds that the uk failed to find or prepare for the major reconstruction program
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required and that lessons that have been learned through previous reviews of post conflict reconstruction and stabilization were not applied in iraq. on the issue of sir john finds early justifications of the implementation had a significant and lasting negative impact on iraq. limiting to the top three tiers rather than four of the party would have had the potential to be far less damaging to iraq's post invasion recovery and political stability. and that the uk chose not to act on its well founded misgivings about handing over implementation of the policy to the governing council. mr. speaker, turning to the equipping an resourcing of british trips, sir john finds that the government failed to match resources to the objectives and records by undertaking concurrent operations in iraq and
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afghanistan, the government knowingly exceeded the defense planning assumptions. at least in part as a consequence sir john concludes that the military role ended a long way from success. furthermore, he finds that delays in providing adequate medium weight protected patrol vehicles and failure to meet the needs of uk forces for helicopters should not have been tolerated and the mod was slow in responding to the developing threat from improvised explosive devices. at the end of this analysis, sir john finds plainly that the iraq of 2009 certainly did not meet the uk's objectives. it fell far short of strategic success. these findings relate to decisions taken at that time and the arrangements and processes. it is therefore for those who were ministers at the time to
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assert for their actions, this government's role is not to seek or revisit those actions. it is to ensure the lessons identified are learned and that they have either already led to changes and will lead to changes being implemented in the future. mr. speaker, the government including previous administrations has not stood still while waiting for the findings that we have before us today. there are a number of important reviews relating to the invasion and occupation of iraq before including the but lir's review of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and circumstance s surrounding the death of dr. david kelly and common affairs committee and intelligence and security committee of both houses. as a result of each, lessons have been identified and changes have been implemented. a good deal of the work has already been done. i give way one more time. >> i hear about processes would
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he judge that the post war conflict reconstruction in libya would give us any confidence that lessons have been learned from the post war reconstruction of iraq? >> mr. speaker, i think the two things are completely different. in iraq, at the end of the war, britain was a joint occupying power and shared joint responsibility for the occupation commission. we were in control of the territory exercising all of the functions and responsibility of government. as a result of the decisions that were taken around libya, british boots were never on the ground. we were never in control of that country. never an occupying power and therefore did not have it within our capability to take the actions that we did or should have done in iraq. >> mr. speaker, let me summarize the most important lessons that sir john has drawn in this report. first, taking military action should always be a last resort.
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only after exhausting all credible alternatives should we consider taking the country to war. i believe the political price -- this is my personal belief, that the political price that is made for apparently neglecting this important principle will ensure that future administrations are unlikely to overlook it. secondly, how government is conducted matters. the failures of process, of challenge and even of proper record keeping identified by sir john were serious and widespread. in part, to prevent such fail e failures in the future the conservative led coalition government established the national security council in may 2010 to make sure there is proper coordinated strategic decision-making across the whole of government. the nsc includes the chief of the defense staff and heads of intelligence agencies and chairman of the joint intelligence committee and as well as relevant ministers and now the attorney general alongside senior officials.
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it is properly supported by a dedicated secretary at, ensuring all parts are properly joined up across and beyond. mr. speaker, we now have a system that ensures decisions on serious security issues are taken on the basis of full papers, proper challenge and discussion with legal advice fully explained and considered and proposals stress tested by departments with decisions formally recorded. having sat on the national security council for six years, first as an occasional member as transport secretary and permanently as defense secretary and now as foreign secretary, it seems to me highly improbable that the process of conduct of business in relation to this matter through 2002 and 2003 as set out could be repeated now. >> i will. >> i'm grateful because i do
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think that last comment was particularly come placeant if you look at the example of the attorney general, why is that not an independent appointment. why do we allow the attorney general an appoint of the prime minister, it should be somebody legally qualified in the area and that certainly wasn't the case during the iraq war. >> i mean, the attorney general's office is of course filled with expert lawyers. the attorney general produces his advice on the basis of the advice provided to him by his expert lawyers. i have no doubt from my extensive experience of attorney general advice both as defense secretary and foreign secretary it is impartial and it is fearless and quite often it gives us advice that we perhaps don't like. we have to change course accordingly. and that is appropriate. no, the honorable lady's conspiracy theory too far.
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if we get advice from the attorney general that steerz us away from a course of action we move to a different course of action. i can tell her fromny own direct experience and my friend the defense secretary will have similar examples from the relatively recent past of advice from the attorney general causing us to think again and go in a different direction. mr. speaker, the third lesson to draw from the -- >> i thank my honorable friend for giving way. it is important to note, isn't it, when sofa government takes place, officials from the legal service and attorney general's office aren't present to hear those conversations and give advice where that's necessary. >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. that's one of the purposes of a more formal process of decision-making, but i can also say from personal experience, attorney general advice is often complex. it's necessary to have it in
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advance of the meeting of which decisions will be discussed and taken. so that one can absorb it and consult one's own departmental lawyers as a departmental minister to challenge it or review it further. the third lesson to draw, the culture at the heart of the government that welcomes challenge to the conventional wisdom of the system or the strongly held convictions of ministers is essential to avoid the sort of group think that led to what they describe as the engrained belief that saddam hussein's regime contained biological warfare capabilities. it is the production primarily of the climate established by the prime minister of the day. ensuring that people around the nsc table feel free to speak their minds without jeopardizing their careers is the greatest contribution a prime minister can make.
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i pay tribute to my honorable friend in the way he has done that over the last six years. forth, proper planning for the aftermath of any intervention in another country is vital to successfully delivering the overall obtdive. the failure in london fatally combined with the flawed assumption that the americans must have a plan when they didn't, led to the chaos that we saw on the ground in iraq. as we know will be the case in syria, libya and yemen and again today iraq when the current conflicts in each end, the challenge of rebuilding effective governments in conflict torn countries is enormous. under this government, we've created the conflict stability and stabilization fund with a billion pounds a year and now rising to 1.3 billion by the end of the spending review period, building on the success of the cross government stabilization
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unit to ensure proper planning and preparedness for post conflict situations and the capacity for rapid deployment of expert staff anywhere in the world. mr. speaker, the fifth lesson we draw and one that i feel particularly keenly as a former defense secretary, is that our armed forces must always be properly equipped for the tasks we ask them to do. that is why we have instituted the strategic defense and security reviews to ensure that we commit the level of resources necessary to meet the ambition set out in the national security strategy. since 2010 we've eliminated the 38 billion pound black hole we inherited in the defense procurement budget and continued to meet the nato commitment to spend at least 2% on defense and set out a 10-year plan planning to invest 178 billion pounds on new military equipment over the next decade.
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i'm proud of these decisions but we should be clear today that the decision to send our troops into a pre-planned engagement without the right equipment in both iraq and later in afghanistan, was unacceptable and something that no government should ever allow to happen again. mr. speaker, there are of course, many more lessons to be drawn from the report of the iraq inquiry, too many to fit into a single speech and some of them i'm sure will be drawn out during the course of the debate today and tomorrow. as the prime minister said in his statement last week, there are also some lessons and conclusions that we could but should avoid drawing. we should not dismiss the importance of solidarity with our close friends and allies, the united states when our common security interests are threatened. as both president obama and secretary of state kerry have reaffirmed in their respective recent visits to london, the
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relationship between the united states and the united kingdom is special. we share not only culture and history but fundamental values. america is our principle ally and partner around the world. and our partnership remains vitally important for our continued security and prospect. now, of course, that does not mean we should blindly or slavishly follow u.s. foreign policy or fail to speak frankly and honestly as close friends should. but we must be clear about the value of of the relationship between our two countries and that that value is a legitimate factor to be taken into account in british foreign policy decisions. protecting and enhancing the special relationship in itself makes britain safer. secondly, it would be wrong to conclude that we cannot trust the analysis and judgments of the uk intelligence community. as foreign secretary i know as well as anyone the vital
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contribution our intelligence agencies make to keeping britain and the british people safe. i know the risks they sometimes have to take in order to do so. intelligence is never black and white and comes with a calibrated health warning as to the confidence level the user should attach to it. that places a burden of responsibility on the user when decisions or indeed strategic communications are based on intelligence. the reforms that were put in place following the butler report have separated the processing intelligence from the policy making that flows from it. our intelligence and policy making machinery today is in much better shape than it was in 2003 as a result of this and other reforms. thirdly, we should not conclude that our military lacks capability to intervene successfully around the world. as the report highlights, the
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military invasion of iraq despite the problems of planning was successfully and swiftly completed. rather it was the failure of policy makers to plan for the aftermath that led to the subsequent deterioration in the security situation. and fourthly and perhaps most importantly, we must not conclude that military intervention in another country is always wrong. as nato intervention in kosovo in 1999 and britain intervention in sierra leone and mali next r in 2014, there are circumstances in which it is absolutely right and appropriate to intervene. having commemorated just two days ago the 21st anniversary, we must also acknowledge that there have been times in our recent history when the international community should have intervened but did not.
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rwanda being the most prominent examples. britain must not and will not shrink from military intervention as a last report when our security is threatened, nor will it rei'll from the proper role on the world stage. our commitment to the campaign against daesh in iraq and syria is testament to that resolve. and today the united kingdom stands united with iraq in the face of continued terrorism. and we will continue to help the iraqi people as they defeat daesh, reassert the territory of integrity of their country and seek to build a better future for their children. mr. speaker, there is no greater decision that a prime minister and cabinet can take than to commit this country to war, to ask our troops to put themselves
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on harm's way on our behalf. the decision to invade iraq in 2003 was among the most controversial in our nation's recent history. it is right therefore that we should seek to learn the lessons from the mistakes that were made to ensure that they are not repeated in the future. the report of the iraq inquiry has been a long time coming. but i think most agree that it is a thorough independent and exhaustive piece of work. it does not pull its punches in its analysis and its conclusions and lessons are clearly drawn and unambiguous. as i set out earlier, i'm confident that many of the most important lessons identified in the report have already been learned and the necessary responses already implemented. but in the weeks and months ahead, as we examine the report in greater detail, the government will look further at whether any additional steps are
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required. mr. speaker, a decision to wage war is not easily reversible. so it must be carefully and diligently made with proper regard to due process and legal obligations, war itself is of course intrinsically dangerous. it must be properly prepared for and people fighting it must be properly equipped and protected. the aftermath of war is unpredictable but usually ugly. so it must be met tick housely planned for and systemically executed. but subject to these conditions, we should be clear as a nation that we will not resile from the use of military force to protect our security where all other options have failed. john has done the nation a great service in pointing the way to ensure the proper, safe and legal use of military force. the rest, mr. speaker, is up to
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us. >> order. question that this house considered the report of the iraq inquiry. i call the shadow secretary of state emily thornbray. >> thank you very much. if this is the foreign secretary's last appearance in his current role, he has made it typically serious and thoughtful speech in his farewell. mr. speaker, for us to respect thoughtfully on the report and to apologize for the mistakes made to all of the families of the british servicemen and servicewomen and civilian personnel who lost their lives to all of those and suffered life changing injuries and hundreds and thousands of iraqi civilians who have died and still dying today. the leader of the opposition has rightly done that. if there is one grave danger we face, it is to assume all of the lessons have been learned. and i listened carefully to what
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the secretary of state said about this. i am concerned from the statements that he's made because it concerns me because what one has to draw from that, he is assuming that the mistakes made in iraq couldn't be made again. and indeed listening to the prime ministers, the outgoing prime minister's statement last week, he seemed to pick out the same five lessons as exampled today by the secretary of state. and again said that he felt that the lessons had been learned and seemed to be saying that the actions that had already been taken, such as setting up the national security council or creating the conflict and stability fund had effectively fixed the kind of problems that arose as a result of the war. >> if you'd allow me to read out what i actually said. i'm confident that many of the most important lessons identified in the report have already been learned and the necessary responses already implemented. but in the weeks and months ahead as we examine the report
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in greater detail, the government will look further at whether any additional steps are required. >> i'm grateful to the honorable gentleman. i think the emphasis is important that i do believe there are further lessons that need to be learned and what i hope to address during my speech is the further lessons that need to be learned. i will not be spending any particular time repeating any of the factual findings made because looking into the future what we need to do is need to be looking at the lessons and making sure we do not make any of those mistakes again. secretary of state of defense will speak about operational lessons that the military must learn but it seems to me there are more than the five lessons that ministers have been outlining so far. so in the time available to me, what i would like to do is outline the things which i believe jump out at the report at us. and it seems to me that we have been continuing to make mistakes
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and we have been making those mistakes during the current prime minister's time in office and i'll explain why. i turn first towards intelligence. first, mr. speaker, while the report finds there was no deliberate attempt made to mislead people. the intelligence on which the war was based was clearly flawed and did not justify the certainty attached to it by the government. has that lesson been learned? last year the government asked this house to authorize military action in syria, in contrast to iraq in 2003, the military action was not to include the deployment of ground troops -- yes, of course. >> can i ask whether she's aware of an attempt to call the contempt of motion for the house to consider against tony blair? does she agree with me that whatever else is in the chocot report it does not give grounds
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for such a motion? >> i'm grateful to the honorable gentleman and this is a serious point and one that i hope that members will consider. in my view, the question is whether or not the house was deliberately misled and the report says said although the intelligence may have been flawed and the house was misled, he did not conclude that the house had been deliberately misled. in my opinion therefore, my opinion, if this house was to try to make any findings as to fact and therefore to act on findings as to fact, they would be moving away from previous times when this instrument has been used and this attempt has been used because in previous times when it has been used there has been a finding of fact upon which the house is able to act. either found guilty or admitted offenses. there has been no admission of deliberately misleading this house. if i may just finish.
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therefore, if this house was to attempt to make a factual finding in my view, it would be a kangaroo court and in my view it would not be allowing the person accused to be able to represent themselves or be able to speak and in those circumstances it would fly in the face in my view of the established principles of justice that we have this this country and for those of us on this side particularly interested in the human rights acts particularly, particularly law 6, the right to a fair trial. >> i'm grateful to the humble lady and she has preempted what i was about to say. it did seem somewhat strange that some members of the house who pro claimed the importance of the european convention and human rights and need to adhere to it should suggest a process which cannot meet article 6 requirements under any circumstances. >> i always get worried when i agree so thoroughly with the
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right honorable gentleman but i find myself agreeing with him on many occasions. and i hear from people saying you lawyers are all the same but when it comes to certain principles we agree and they cut through and frankly sometimes our concern is that to ensure our colleagues not lawyers understand the little principles as well. >> you should be worried about disagreeing with members opposite -- should be worrying about disagreeing with the leader and his comments in these matters. but my request, i actually read the private notes that the former prime minister sent to the president of the united states america and compared them with his public and parliamentary reports to this parliament and people and actually find these things consistent. >> those -- the notes and the statements were considered by
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cho cot over a long period of time. i feel the report, a man of great standing and the report is a thoughtful one. i'm not going to again say any further than that. my view is that there are plenty of lessons to learn from this report and in my view, in my view the lessons to be learned go much further than simply focusing on one individual and what may have happened -- on what may have happened many years ago. what is important in my view is what is happening now and to make sure that the government makes correct decisions before intervening in other people's countries and losing lives of others. of course. >> is it the lady's position that someone can only be found in contempt of this house if they met that contempt? that's what she seems to be saying earlier on. is that her position? >> no, my -- what i'm saying to this house is that there should be standards that we have always
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upheld and -- for example, i think hastings may have been trieded by this house 200 years ago but tried by judges and represented and given an opportunity to come along and say what he said. i do not think that for us to draw conclusions in a way that chocot was not able to without a person involved having an opportunity to speak or be represented is the right -- if i might -- one more. >> in that case, could the honorable lady tell us which court could the former prime minister be tried in? >> the speculation i appreciate about what may happen or may not happen to the former prime minister. this is not within my grief today and attempting to draw the lessons in my own view is that it is important that i address
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that this afternoon in the time available to me. and leave it to others to take such legal action as they think is appropriate and it will be for them to take it to the proper courts and for the proper courts to decide it. but i do not think that we can constitute ourselves as a proper court within the great traditions of our country. >> and so i can't remember where i was but -- the last year the government asked this house to authorize military action in contrast to 2003, the deployment of ground troops was ruled out and that meant a reliance on local forgss instead. i was talking about flawed intelligence because we were told at that stage that there were 70,000 more rebels in syria. rebels that would help defeat daesh which in turn would force assad to negotiate a peace agreement and step down. many of us were skeptical about that 70,000 figure. i know i was certainly one of them. and the 70,000 figure was
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produced by the joint intelligence committee and the government declined to say which groups were included in that figure, where they were, what the definition of moderate was or how we should be sure that all of these rebels were signed up to the coalition's military strategy or how they were going to get to the battlefield to fight the battles. all of those questions mattered and as the government itself acknowledged no military faction could succeed without forces on the ground. now time will tell whether or not those 70,000 moderate sunni rebels existed and whether they are in a position to be able to fight the battles which it was claimed they were going to be able to do. but i have to say that it does seem to me that there is a -- drawn between the intelligence relied on in the 70,000 figure and flawed intelligence in the past. it seems to me it is important for us to learn the lesson from
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iraq, serious questions have been raised about intelligence which underpins decisions that we make to take the mill friday action and in my view, once again, parliament is simply been asked to take on trust while the government says about intelligence. there are further issues, the lack of the ability to challenge internally, second it made clear that civil servants and cabinet members lacked the opportunity and lacked the information or the encouragement to challenge the case being made to the prime minister says -- if that is right, then why is it that the joint committee on national security strategy says that the nsc has so far proved itself to be and i quote, a reactive body rather than a strategic one which seems to have lost us an opportunity. that is important and that criticism is important. we should not be kplasant in the face of such criticism. the nsc certainly did not
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challenge the short sided and highly damage it caused to the armed forces in the last parliament, despite the huge misgivings about the impact on defense capabilities or nor any evidence nsc doing anything to challenge the inadequate planning for the aftermath in the intervention in libya. ultimately, while making progress in small ways the nsc has failed to address the fundamental problem, which is this, there is a culture i still believe of overly optimistic group think which exposure to independent views could help us to challenge. it is not good enough to say it has been fixed because it has not. and if the nsc has the honorable gentleman says how do i know, i'm giving the honorable gentleman some evidence as to how i know there is. because of the results of decisions and i had more that
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i'll go into during this speech, of course i will. >> mr. speaker, the honorable lady is completely wrong in her analysis fl how the nsc approached the strategic and security defense rescr screview. we spent weeks reading the best possible advice and in light of the difficult situation it found itself in and 38 billion pound black hole in the defense budget led by the last labor government, we made our decisions. the idea that some expertise was lacking is completely wrong. >> it is certainly my view and not -- i spent six months doing defense, i spent a great deal and mercy in it, i don't rely just on my own reviews as to what a disaster the first review the coalition chose, not just me. senior military figures not just
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in in country but amongst allies as well very concerned about what the cuts to the military budget was doing to our capability. and indeed it is my view that the second strategic defense review spent a great deal of time patching up the holes by the first strategic defense review. >> very generous in giving way but once again she is wrong, mr. speaker. at the table for the first security and defense review were the most senior military officials and soldiers in the country. they were part of the discussion, not locked out. >> the honorable gentleman had his opportunity to put his views on the record and i'm sure he'll speak later but it is my view that if it has been fixed in the way in which the honorable gentleman has stated we would not be getting ourselves into a situation where we swing backwards and forward on the military budget and we make holes in our defense capability and spend the next time trying to patch it.
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if i may -- yes. >> finally, and i'm very grateful. as well as defense ministers at the time, the most unpleasant experience as a conservative having to make cuts in our armed forces but the truth was the budget deficit 156 billion pounds which we inherited was itself a threat to our national security. we had to take action. sadly defense had to take some of those cuts. where would the right honorable lady have made the cuts if not in defense? >> moving along way from lessons that need to be drawn and if i may i'll return to my speech. the honorable gentleman and i have discussed defense on many occasions and i always enjoy the discussions i have with him and happy to take this at another time but i don't want to expesp the entire afternoon discussing defense as much as i'm tempted to. if the nsc had brought in
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perspective from time to time it clearly hasn't done so enough to deal with the underlying problem. i think there's another issue which i think it comes out and i don't think has been fixed, which is the lack of lack of challenge in parliament. the other potential source, you know, of challenge to the government was our parliament and was there were vigorous debates in the house. those debates and the 217 mps who voted that the case had not been made were ultimately not enough to stop the march to war. i was not in the house myself. i was outside the house. and i was on the demonstrations, but the -- though there were more labor mps that voted against the war than mps from any political party, there was not sufficient numbers of us to be able to stop it. but how we moved on since then, if we look at the 2013 vote, against taking military action in syria, many people have said that was a watershed moment. it cemented the convention that whatever the views of the executive, it is this house that
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has the final say. and asked to approve a broad mandate for the use of military force with whether there is no coherent strategy, no clear objections and no long-term plan. it was all too reminiscent in my view to the approach to iraq, and members of all sides of the house exercised the healthy degree of skepticism, however, at the same time, the government has -- it was -- the house exercised a healthy degree of skepticism and they were right to do so. however, at the same time, the government increasingly has taken advantage of loopholes in the existing convention to intervene in more conflicts with less oversight. it developed in military capability in cyberspace, which they refuse to say in what circumstances it might be used or when parliament might be informed. increased investment in drones and special forces at a time when there has been so much cuts to other parts of the armed forces, it has shown a willi willingness to use both as a way to intervene in conflicts in
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which the uk is not a party, including the use of special forces and quasi conventional combat roles and in doing so, the government seeks to bypass not just parliamentary support of these interventions, but any form of parliamentary oversight as well. the development of -- let me finish this point and i will take another intervention. the development of hybrid warfare in my view develops new demands, new mechanisms to ensure the executive is held to account. and all parties on both sides of the house should be working on how we develop these new mechanisms in order to ensure the executive is held to account because hybrid war far is liir all know is likely to be the future. >> there is an argument that using the system to secure a parliamentary majority for a predetermined war, in fact, rather than pairing it, it emasculates it because it holds the government into account.
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>> i think there is a continuing debate about this and i think there is -- i think so long as we can be confident that the -- that a decision made in this house will not then need to be taken after the courts and for the judges eventually to make a decision about whether or not we go to war or not, which is entirely inappropriate, so long as any legislation which is introduced can be -- we can ensure that we keep control of, and that therefore it ensures that the parliament, when it is possible, will be -- will be -- will become to in order to express our view, i think that's right. i don't think -- i understand that it is the system that we have at the moment, but what i am concerned about is that in a way, though the convention continues to develop and strengthens as time goes on, it is still in the gift of the executive to decide whether or not we bring this matter to
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parliament. i know as time goes on, as i say it, it strengthens, but there is an argument to make it -- to put it on to a more formal basis, but there is the danger about court intervengtion. i think it is a moot point and one we need to continue to look at. i will take another. >> i am very grateful for the honorable lady's strategic lesson in modern combat capability of her majesty's armed forces. i'm interested in her description of the use of special forces in almost combat capability having served with various -- her majesty forces in the past, most foreign deployments are considered near to combat, even if a training role because of the pressures on them. it is a very novel interpretation that hybrid warfare is somehow something that may not continue to exist. we're getting into a rather bizarre discussion, if you'll forgive me, on -- sorry, if the honorable lady will forgive me, on the strategy and use of armed
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forces which surely the focus should be on the legality and the appropriateness of the deployment. and one does sort of feel that it might be best to stick to the areas that this house is qualified to talk about rather than to address as armchair generals and pretend we know what is going on in different areas. >> i think it is very important that we look to tomorrow's problems. i think that it is likely that the special forces will be used increasingly. i think that the -- the idea that we will be sending, for example, special forces into libya, in a training capacity, i agree with the honorable gentleman to exactly how that might end up being a quasi combat role, presumably if these training forces are to be in libya, they will be in a camp, they may be in a part of libya that is supposed to be safe, they will need to be guarded. who will be guarding them. we can see how these -- how a slippery slope can begun to slide down. and therefore, it does seem to me at the moment, though it
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would be inappropriate for a decision to send special forces or trainers into a particular area that if we can have -- if we can have parliamentary scrutiny of the -- of our secrets, and there is a way in which there is a -- that the -- that the behavior of mi 5 and mi 6 is honorable to the house, it seems to me not beyond our wit to allow there to be a similar form of accountability when it comes to special forces and i have written about this issue. yes. >> i just on a very important point here, the oversight that the isc and their prominent members of the isc present, but the oversight of the isc exercises over the intelligence community is always post the fact. the only kind of oversight that would be meaningful over special force deployment of the type she's talk ing about would have to be before the fact. that would be a very, very different proposition.
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>> i'm glad the honorable gentleman for his question. i'm not expecting that before special forces are used that they have to go before a committee of parliament and get permission. but i do think, but i do think, i do think that there should be some form of accountability and that there should be some explanation. i felt that it was embarrassing, and showed the democratic deficit that we have in relation to hybrid warfare, when one read in the papers that the king of jordan was gossiping with congressmen in america about our special forces in a way that we haven't even been told about, and no one in this house had officially been told about. that seems to me to highlight the deficit that we have in this country and i think that we should learn lessons from chilcot, we should learn lessons about accountability, we should learn lessons about not simply trusting the executive to get a decision right, and we should make sure that there is more
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accountability and that we are on our toes and prepared to modernize our structures as necessary in order to reflect the changing nature of warfare going into the 21st century. if i can go back, perhaps, i'm so sorry, mr. speaker, let me go back to the speech. i was talking about the development of hybrid warfare and new mechanisms and different ways in which the executives should be held to account, and i do believe that all parties should be working together on that, and another point raised about was american british relations. and chilcot made it clear that american british relations would not have been harmed had the uk joined the -- had had the uk not joined the u.s. led coalition. chilcot argues there was -- that was not a basis to join the invasion and indeed, in my view, that is another lesson that we have not learned. in 2013, there was pressure from the united states, playing a major role in the government's -- the pressure from the united states played a major role in the government's rush to intervene in syria.
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and indeed it became obvious that the u.s. administration's own efforts to persuade congress to back intervention hinged on the success of the prime minister and persuading parliament. speaking after our house declined to support the action in syria, the then defense secretary, now the foreign secretary, said that the vote would, quote, certainly damage the anglo american relationship. in my view the relationship has endured, we got over it, without any adverse consequences and it serves as a reminder, it serves as a reminder that our alliance with the united states rests on stronger foundations than an expectation of unquestioning british compliance with american wishes. >> i would be the first to acknowledge that. but it is not always -- also valid to listen to the words of various american generals including general jim matz,
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commander of centcom, who pointed to the damaging relationship -- sorry to the damaging impact that vote would have on the enduring commitment and enduring understanding between the u.s. and british militaries, which not also recognize that just as there are many threats that build up that special relationship, undermining it threat by threat also weakens it. >> i'm quite sure there are american generals who are very disappointed that harold wilson would not agree to the british being involved in vietnam. but we got over it. and our relationship is strong enough to endure differences of opinion. and if we are to be good friends, then good friends trust each other and trust each other to be able to disagree at times. and i think that it is important that we do that. and the 2013 syria vote made clear that parliament understood this, and it also suggested that the government did not. this is one of the reasons that it is such a tragedy in my view that cuts to the foreign office budget has weakened whitehall's
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institutional knowledge of the world because in my view, it is very important for our leadership role in the world for us to have a proper understanding of the world and we have had for hundreds of years have had an insight into worlds in other countries have not and we have a leadership role and can have a different voice than the americans because we will have a different understanding. for us to have 16% cuts in the foreign -- year on year and hollowing out the institutional knowledge has been in my view a tragedy. i'm sorry, i -- the honorable gentleman intervened twice, i'm taking a long time and i ought to get on with it. so, fifth, chilcot says that tony blair ignored warnings about the sectarian violence that would sweep iraq. after saddam fell, with an pauling loss of life that followed, both in iraq and surrounding countries, we're still very much living with that. but has that lesson been
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learned? looking at the intervention in libya, it is clear it has not. during the uprising against gadhafi, the british government later seemed almost surprised that once the goal was achieved, they then turned their fire on each other. and while the divisions in libya were always more tribal than the sectarian divisions in iraq, the result has been the same. and the belief that democratic elections would help fill the power vacuum proved to be hopelessly overoptimistic. as factions which found themselves in the minority refused to accept the result, had those with knowledge of the country been consult at the time, they would have warned the government that this would have happened. they had informed an impartial advice been sought out in the same way, it was clear to many experts in the region that if gadhafi was toppled, there was a huge risk of instability as well armed, highly trained
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mercenaries return to their native countries like nigeria and chad. again, the warnings were there. such advice was either not heard or not listened to until it was too late. again, there is a power line to be drawn between our intervention in libya, and our understanding of what would happen next and our listening to experts and what happened in relation to the first intervention in iraq and not listening to expertise and not paying attention to what was said. if i -- i want to take an intervention from the secretary of state and then of course i will. >> wanted to say two things, first of all, the intervention in libya was at the request of the arab league, who i would suggest would have an insight into the region, would count as people who knew what was going on. and while i understand the analysis she's making, doesn't that lead her to the conclusion that toppling any despot always runs the risk of creating chaos
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and confusion. that is the nature of despottism. we're five years down the line from ending a 40 year rule of a brutal dictatorship in libya. and this game isn't over yet, but i predict that libya will end up a better place than it was under gadhafi. >> i think it is interesting to hear what the right honorable gentleman says. i think that's an issue of speculation. it is my view that it is not legal to intervene in a country in order to topple a regime, that the -- and that we should not in any event morally be intervening in a country unless we can have some form of strategy that will ensure that the country that we leave is in a better state than when we first arrived. >> obviously i was in government and had some involvement in libya and intervention. firstly, i have to say to her i don't think there was a blinding of one's self to the potential problems that might come from
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that intervention. i really don't think that at all from my memory. and the second thing i've got to bear in mind, the trigger was that colonel gadhafi was about to kill tens of thousands of his own citizens and it was that which prompted the u.n. resolution which actually provided the legal basis for the intervention. and if i may say to her, i think this highlights, i've come on to speak about this later, some of the difficult decisions we have in these areas, even questions of legality don't come into it. but i certainly wouldn't be willing to characterize that intervention as having been wrong in the circumstances that prevailed at the time. >> i think -- i hear what the right honorable gentlemen says. i think the point i'm trying to make is that it was again about information that was about available that could have -- that could have informed the way in which the intervention was made and then once the initial intervention was made, what happened there after and how the
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dangers that were manifest and obvious were protected against and that, i think, is important and i don't think that happened and, again, i think that is a lesson that we can get from chilcot, that we can get from iraq, that is so much more important than any former soap opera in relation to tony blair or not tony blair. if i may move on, the other issue which i think is important is about post war planning and there has been some touched on as well. this is my final point, mr. speaker. so finally, chilcot highlights the total absence of adequate planning for what would happen after the war. and what the long-term strategy was for iraq. if ever there was a mistake that should never be repeated, it is the idea that we go into another military intervention, with no idea of its consequences, no plan for the aftermath, no long-term strategy, and yet, and yet it is the exact hallmark of
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all the outgoing prime ministers interventions. and, again, again, we can see the evidence in libya, the prime minister in the words of president obama became, quote, distracted. once the gadhafi regime had been overthrown and the lengthy arduous task of post war reconstruction, supposed to be started, all but ignored. and the years since libya has been driven with factionalism and violence, experiment with democracy was brief with the power in the hands of rival militias and ungoverned space that this created was an invitation to diet to establish a strategic foot hold on the libyan coast. it is a stain on this government, that only began to pay any real attention to the mess it left in libya once that terrorist threat from daesh became too urgent to ignore. >> i'm not sure she said
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anything about chilcot's finding about the circumstances in which it was ultimately decided there was a legal basis for uk participation. but he says they were far from satisfactory. i'm sure she will agree with me and endorse of you given earlier of the attorney general should give independent and impartial advice. chilcot details how according to the then attorney general's evidence to the committee his initially he resisted the legality and acquiesced in the view that the use of military force against iraq could be legally justified. has she been able to form a view as to what it was that then changed the attorney general's mind? >> tempting though it is to debate this aspect with the honorable lady, it is important that anyone taking the role of attorney general knows that they're the only person in the cabinet who can say to the prime
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minister, no. you can't do that. it is not legal. you are not allowed to. no. anded burden of that is a heavy burden and is one that needs to be exercised by people of courage and substance. and it is about the rule of law. and it is about the fact that no one is above the law. and i think that that is a lesson that all ags need to learn and need to be -- they need to be confident and capable of being able to stand up to their leader because i think that is an important point. and, again, perhaps another lesson. one thing i would say is that britain has always been a leading light in the development of international law. much of international law is as a result of documents we drafted and adherence to international law has been a upon part in the development of it. one thing that has been clouded
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as a result of the intervention in iraq and indeed intervention since has been that the law we do need to have and we need to have a clear law in relation to in what circumstances you can intervene and what circumstances you can't has not developed as well as it might have. if there had not been a temptation to try to press the facts into what is understood of the law. i know my honorable friend sitting behind me, the right honorable member for lee central is a big fan of r 2 p. i think it is very sad, the effects the iraq war had had on the development of r 2 p which was something that cook was attempting to develop at the time of the iraq war and held up as a result, i think, of the
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intervention in iraq. but if i may go back, the central lesson is this. you cannot bomb a country from 30,000 feed into a western style democracy. we cannot turn the clock back. we cannot correct the mistakes that were made. we cannot bring back the lives of those who were lost, we cannot undo the chaos we created. we can and we must stop the mistakes being repeated. as i pointed out today, whatever his rhetoric and well meaning intentions, too often the outgoing prime minister has repeated exactly those same mistakes. relying on intelligence, keeping parliament in the dark, and failing to plan for whatever happens afterwards. it is hoped that the new prime minister will study the chilcot report, not as a commentary on decisions made in the past, but as a guide to future decisions
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she will have to make. let us hope she does. let us hope she does so, and that -- as she takes on her new and onerous responsibilities, we wish her well. >> mr. speaker, the decision to invade iraq was in my opinion the most disastrous foreign policy taken by this country in my lifetime. and it greatly contributed to the extraordinary problems that persisted in the middle east and the wider world ever since and will continue to have tragic consequences, i fear, for some years to come. i think we all owe a debt to sir john chilcot for the most authoritative analysis on how such an appalling blunder came to be taken. i certainly haven't had chance to get much beyond the executive
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summary and to just a little bit of the rest and i think a long time before anybody in this house gets through all of the millions of words we had produced. but i think the lesson from this inquiry based on the iraq war will in fact be a benefit to specialists in particular, those in the military, those in the intelligence service, and politicians, and those of all of the government for many years to come. as too soon to follow up on his extremely formidable findings, which i'm sure are correct, but there is a role for this house to begin to consider as we are the political aspect to all this. sir john chilcot examined the formal records, the meetings, the processes, and he's analyzed those in terms of looking at what happened and why it arrived at, but he's not a politician. and i think this house of
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commons and the ministers involved can look at this from a slightly different eye as to why do people do things -- we reach decisions. where did it go wrong, particularly so far as the collective system of cabinet government is concerned, and the accountability through parliament to the wider public is concerned. i'm not sure john chilcot can on his own answer that wider perspective for the future. now, may i begin by just agreeing briefly with one point that the right honorable lady made, in saying how irrelevant i think it has been to try to turn all this into a witch-hunt, against celebrity individuals who revolved at the time.
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one of the great failures of political debate of our day. so far as the wider media, the world is concerned, the recent referendum debate was largely the -- the show. i think it is pointless to say let's prosecute tony blair, he was in charge, are we going to censure him, be prosecuted as a war criminal, all the rest of it. as true of the other individuals involved. the one thing quite clear is nobody committed any crime and as one who was present at the time, i have absolutely no doubt that nobody acted at the time on any other basis and they believe passionately they were acting in the public interest. one of the great things about tony blair is he did believe fashion natalie about what he was doing at the time. very evident on the floor of the house. never had a doubt about what weighs doing. i'm not surprised. he continues to protest as
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strongly as he does. hasn't changed his mind. he did believe that he was impacting the -- cementing the american -- the alliance with the americans. we thought it was absolutely key to our security. he thought british contribution, we got to help the americans with the planning and the advocacy and so on. he firmly believed that just removing saddam hussein was a virtuous act to make the world a better place. he still does. then, as now, that's the bit where gets most passionate, the regime change, because he thinks and he's probably right, i agree with him, he got rid of an evil regime. i agree with those who say that wasn't actually in itself totally adequate. he said to believe they got weapons of mass destruction. i faced him in the house.
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i remember one day thinking this is the last man still living. weapons of mass destruction in iraq. because everybody else makes it ip creasingly obvious that no such material was going to be found. they're pursuing tony blair is of irrelevance to what the house should be looking. >> i'm grateful for him giving way and i think we need to focus on him and also focus on the system. i worry about the way in which he appears to be letting off the one person from any real responsibility to misleading the house. blair misled the house about the position of the french. in that motion to the house, he said it is not proof possible to secure a second resolution
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because one permanent member may claim its intention to use its veto no matter what the circumstances. time and again, this is happening in the chilcot report. while we shouldn't focus on one man, let's not let him off the hook completely. >> tony blair is not the first politician to make a mistake. won't be the last. i'm being diverted. if she believes the french, she believes the french. the french were able to get a veto in the security council. it was a mistake at the time to try to blame the french entirely. they would not get a majority, but the french were -- no, no, no, no. i'm not going to give. >> house must come to order.
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he's not giving way. the house must listen to the development of his argument. >> i've already taken more time than i intended on tony blair. and members who wish to argue about the french the reo in 2003 can argue among themselves. the political background, which was being decided. what the politicians want to do was key and i was at that time a back bench and p.a. officer. but i followed the events with some care. i had one advantage. not the access to what was going on the other side of the country, but i knew many american americans. i knew a lot of the key americans. on friendly terms. i was arguing the merits of the invasion of iraq sometime before the debate ever started here. that's an important background
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to this question. in the bush administration, the key policymakers wanted to invade iraq immediately after 9/11. by 2001, they were going to invade iraq. wane the slightest doubt about it. they thought the previous administration had not used american military power for all the benefit it could produce in the world. military power for good. they thought they would be greeted as liberating heroes and be able to improve better regime. they actually thought chalabi would win the election held thereafter. i met chalabi once or twice and once got about 2% in the iraqi
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election. but he was going to be in charge, but he would need supervisi supervision, there could be a u.s. general, a constant comparison made with general mcarthur, imperial japan into democracy of the war, the importance of denazifiction which followed the fall of hitler. i won't go on. i fiercely disagreed with this. i like these people. my thought was one of us aren't on the same planet. but i formed a hostile view to it. the point is moving on, if i knew enough in 2001 to know the bush administration was going to
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invade iraq, i'm quite certain tony blair knew and quite sure the british military knew, and that a long-term time to work out how they were going to join in. and that is the explanation pf a lot of these things. our special forces and our intelligence they thought were very good. but we were a very, very valuable political ally. the presentation of what they were doing would they thought would be greatly improved if the british of all people could be the heart of the alliance. as i said, tony blair was very enthusiastically keen to join them.
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i doubt he bought all the neocon theories, but he thought getting rid of saddam hussein's regime was one of the best contributions he could make to the future of the iraqi people, that was available. and he intended to join in. you ask what was the snag for tony blair and the government and i feel confident. i knew what was going on at the time through my various contexts to feel confident about this a snag for tony blair who wanted to take part who already told george bush he wanted to take part. it wasn't legal to take part in a war being launched in order to change the regime in another country.
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he received that advice. somebody said that wasn't the view that americans took. american neocons are not so impressed with international law. institution doesn't constrain them. we have a large majority in both houses of congress. that was it. but, of course, they were so keen to have the british that they were prepared to give some time to tony blair to tackle this problem of whether it was lawful for him to take part and to work out some basis on which the grirb could join.
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i think the motives were virtuous. they were making the world a better place by removing a tyrant and installing a western, proamerican, prowestern, proisrae proisraeli. they were going to chase a regime. we were going to do it lawfully and had to turn to the whole question of the dreadful weapons, which saddam hussein undoubtedly had used against his own people years before. whether they had all been disposed of and whether you could demonstrate he was a continuing threat. they were a threat to british interests, neighbors, and that he was not cooperating with weapons inspections and so on, then, and if you got a u.n. resolution, then you had a legal
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base for invade iing. one realizes that was the perfectly worthy well intentioned mind set of most of the british people taking part in this process to intervene. one can understand why the extraordinary processes took part. i believe they actually delayed the invasion for a month or a few to give the american -- >> two months, my honorable friend. to give the british more time to get through this convoluted legal stuff that i use sarcastic words. they got to get through before
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they could join in. then the problem occurred, the americans, they went to the u.n. resolution 1441 they were going to invade in march 2003 and they couldn't wait any longer. they had to speed the thing up a bit because they realized if they weren't careful, they were going to fail to get there in time. one thing that surprises me in chalabi is the report of the -- we got from the jic, which surprises me, but they actually did eventually produce enough
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intelligence that was broughtable, believed in no doubt by putting it in the report, for the attorney general. i think it is obvious reluctant to be persuaded. the urge ept debant debates to e in this house, two days, before everybody knew they were about to go ahead with the whole operation. we should learn the political lessons. one of the first lessons was, and i think an ever increasing rush to get into the position where you could lawfully invade, want to be persuaded, but various things would correct, various steps have been taken,
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which if they smited themselves to slow slower, more challenged and considered consideration would have led to a different conclusion. what is the outline to the political lessons from it. the american alliance should not be entered into blindly. only briefly say i think i'm a passionate believer that our alliance with the united states is crucial to this country's future security as tony blair is. it is some of the most valuable features of our foreign policy. that doesn't mean that blindly always right or wrong that you can let yourself go along with what the american president of the day wishes to do.
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we might have president trump. it is a question worth bearing in mind and i do agree who the right honorable lady, you don't destroy the american alliance. you may damage it for a month or two if you don't go along absolutely with what the president wants you to do. the other thing the device of our defense chiefs is not hugely important i share the support for them and the pride in them that keeps me in the debates. subconsciously i'm sure, they always want to take part of any military activity in which the americans want them to join. it may be very considered advice. we must ask the americans to let
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us make a bigger contribution. if you're a trained military man, you believe that you -- you're trained for the purpose of using your military force and the national interests, further worthwhile objectives, you can't help but think this is our moment, this is the great action, i've got to take part in. with the intelligence services, that they always -- they prize their relationship with the americans, above all relationships they have with the outside world, and so dependent on cooperation, they do very much -- they depend in some ways but they're anxious to please and anxious to do what they think their american colleagues wish to do. and when you have a prime minister and a government that wants to enter the war, everybody is extremely anxious to find the facts, to be convinced of the situation, to enable the prime minister to do
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what he wants. and to go ahead. i think that is an essential point. it doesn't appear in the pages of chalabi, the report. when you raise your eyebrows going through what happened, it answers a lot. i do think the time we're talking about and sometimes, but particularly then, there weren't enough diplomats involved. wasn't enough looking at the expertise or the foreign -- we had a lot of -- the americans got rid of most of theirs and brought people who had been involved in the nicaraguan episode because they were more sound. americans did not like the -- we got in the foreign office because they kept complicatie i things by talking about tribes.
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i won't go on by adding the stricter -- the attorney general, but the attorney generals would giving the right advice. sitting alongside the tough attorney general who would not give the advice that the prime minister sometimes wanted like now -- quite a few others are -- i agree with what the honorable lady said. that's what the attorney general's for. and i know -- he's -- again, he just must have been felt so exposed in the event he gave into the temptation to say, well, just about. i suppose what we know and say proves that you must -- i made my point. i've taken a little longer than i intended. but the big thing that matters, change of government today, is
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how does cabinet come into this. actually government process. what about accountability to parliament. i must say it was obvious at the time, obvious if you listened to the foreign secretary, publicly, it was obvious to half the labor party said, obvious if you listened to officials that cabinet government was not working properly in the government of tony blair. he went in -- which someone just -- margaret thatcher got keener on softer government toward the end of her time and tony blair had taken it to an art form by the time he got into things like iraq. parliament, same thing. there was a rush to come to parliament. both were essentially seen as
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hurdles. when you got your policy, how are you going to get it through cabinet? how will you get it past parliament. i suggest for the future, we should all agree that is not the mind set that people should be in. they should be setting the propositi proposition, advocating it, and then listen to it being debated and examined by people who got time to do so. parliament should be consulted given proper information and you shouldn't rely on clever timing of the debate, and the work of the whips to get yourself through to say afterwards that you have a democratic endorsement. and i haven't got time to apply all my strong -- the circumstance at the time, but the facts are, if you read it, my arguments in mind, the chalabi report, i think, just
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feeds the impression i had as someone who participated in debates. military action -- no point politicians being light heartedly irresponsible, there will be occasions you can be. occasions when someone who attacked british interests and got to fight back. you can tell cabinet you can tell parliament afterwards. and any sensible cabinet, any sensible parliament will, of course, endorse it. this wasn't an emergency. for two years our allies had told us they were going to invade iraq. it had been planned, it had been worked on. it had been discussed. the reason that there wasn't full cabinet discussion and the reason there wasn't timely parliamentary debate was because you might not get it past them if you did that. we didn't start debating it in
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parliament until february 2003. and the actual final key vote, as i say, when the troops were in the field, which put a lot of conservatives off voting against it, who might otherwise have voted against it, they br abowe about to go into action the next day. some of that has been addressed. the national security council is a hugely beneficial innovation to my friend, my right honorable friend, outgoing prime minister, now probably already the ex-prime minister. it still needs to be improved. it is a lot better than it was. cabinet government, i think my right honorable friend should ask himselves, still in office, under the next prime minister, can they ensure that adequate time given to discuss things.
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adequate information is given in advance. cabinet government isn't moving quickly from item to item, that you actually had some papers beforehand to allow you to consider it and the national security council certainly very valuable there, i genuinely c congratulate the prime minister, some of the discussions i took part in were in the national security council with my total approval, but i personally think it could be improve d. there are times when it is brought there and every --
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as you can see, we're having technical difficulties here on
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c-span. as we work them out, we'll move on to our next program. thank you for your patience. and we seem to have resolved our technical difficulties. so we will return to our program. >> -- organizing some of the opposition on the day i spoke in february. so we voted against it. we spoke against it. i looked at my speech. i'm sad to say i predicted a lot of the consequences of what was going to go ahead. we all agree never again if we can avoid it, but the big, big
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subject and no good leaving the report and saying we should have a look at the intelligence arrangement, we should have a look at the arrangements the way our government is run, the way this parliament organizes itself and how we get sensible accountability to the house of commons the next time the government has to engage in such difficult decisions. >> mr. alex sammond. >> the parliamentary wounds on the iraq war are still -- in this debate today. we should remember eyes off nothing compared to the wounds of the 179 families who lost service people in the civilian staff who were killed, 200,000 iraqis, the thousands of american soldiers, the college in the middle east, which is with us today. these wounds are still raw and open and continuing.
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i went back and looked back at the debates on the 18th of march, 2003. and i was struck by a number of things that we don't always remember. we all remember robin cook's brilliant speech the day before. john denim's distinguished and measured contribution on the day of the debate. rushcliff reminded us of public opinion that that stage was in favor of war and those that spoke against, wasn't given a particularly easy time. i look at the contributions of charles kennedy. there were suggestions of chamberlain charlie, one of the more principle epithets of the toast at baghdad for some of us that opposed the war.
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it is not just to say that others have been vindicated. but also to remind people of the nature of context of the debate we were in. there are only 179 members in this parliament who are members of that parliament on the 18th of march, a little over a quarter of members of this parliament were actually present and voting in that particular debate. so well that people just remember and understand the context if we're to understand the feelings of parliament and democracy, not referendum. but of parliamentary democracy that the votes on that day illustrated about iraq. i also have been checking the record and i think i can honestly say that i don't think i've ever quoted the times newspaper ever in 30 years in this place off and on. i'll quote it today.
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i thought their headline and first paragraph in the report last thursday hit the mark absolutely. under the headline, blair's private war, they wrote britain fought unnecessary and potentially illegal war in iraq because of tony blair's personal sxhimt to george w. bush, the chilcot report concluded the rest of it. it will be impossible in reading the chilcot report, not to look at that personal level of accountability as well as the wider context of the legality. >> this is not all about tony blair. the rest of his speech illustrated why it is very largely about tony blair and the chilcot report more importantly, let me quote from the exact summary, but believe me it backed in the full report on page 58 and 59. goes for the sequence of
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decision-making that was made from december 2001 through to the immediate onset of war. it wasn't just softer government. it was a very, very small -- indeed because the decisions were crucial decisions about the strategy and alliances of this country. made with the prime minister and very, very view of his advisers. chilcot finds not even a cabinet committee according to chilcot discussed the crucial decisions which are listed on pages 58 and 59. the decision at the beginning of december 2001, despite the fact there was no evidence of any iraqi involvement with the attacks in the united states or active links to al qaeda. right through to our view of the policy at the end of february 2003 with the inspectors found
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new evidence of weapons of mass destruction and there was only limited support for the second resolution in the security council. all of these crucial decisions made without reference to a cabinet subcommittee, what consultation with a range of colleagues in the cabinet. when the deputy prime minister concluded this weekend in a way that chilcot wasn't allowed to do, either because of his agreement or lack of specialism, but he should have been apologizing as deputy prime minister that this was allowed to happen over a sequence of 50 months where individual -- one individual, the prime minister, with his advisers was able to take the decisions without any account of any sort or kind of collective responsibility. >> very grateful to the honorable gentleman. doesn't chilcot also see, though, that this form of
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government should be -- as a professional forum and that it shouldn't be regarded as just advisers and cronies. isn't that the specific point of evidence that they gave to chilcot? >> i'm dealing with findings of chilcot. there should have been a collective discussion by a cabinet committee or small group of ministers on the basis is of advice agreed at senior level between girls and number of decision points. that is page 58 if it helps the honorable gentleman paragraph. >> to answer the honorable gentleman, let me continue and perhaps i'll give way later. >> i cannot conduct debate with people yelling from a sedentary position in a disorderly manner. if the right honorable gentleman wants to give way later, he
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will, and if he doesn't, he won't. >> to give evident to chilcot, the report would have concluded otherwise. we have the report as it is concluded, not on individual pieces of evidence, but the conclusion of the chilcot inquiry itself. in terms of what this place -- this place is collective responsibility, i disagree with the right honorable member, if a parliament is to hold future executives, it is not just a question of changing the process of decision-making, and i accept some changes have been made. i don't accept the confidence of the foreign secretary that mistakes could never be repeated again. and i don't believe his
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distinction between the campaign in iraq and aerial bombardment in libya fully explains, for example, why this country, never mind the allies, spend 13 times as much bombing libya as we don't in any budget for reconstruction and that might be a lesson which hasn't been counted forward. the changes that must be made are not just in terms of government processes, they're changes in terms of parliamentary accountability and the most fundamental point of parliamentary accountability is a parliament saving whether it has been misled or not. my contention is -- i'll give way in a moment. >> just on this question of libya, the fact is that the libya was in a brutal civil war before western air forces prevented gadhafi slaughtering innocent people, women and children in benghazi. that's what was happening. the question he's got to answer is, what would he have done to help those women and children in
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benghazi? what would he have done to help them? >> probably as my humble friend says from a sedentary position, probably not giving arms to people like that, doing oil dea of gadhafi might be a second, but that was the point. let me make my speech. but that wasn't the point i was making. i was talking about the lesson of reconstruction. not about the argument of the conflict, but the reconstruction. i think there's a very fair point to make. the fact that this country spent 15 times as much bombing libya as we did in our budget for reconstruction of libya. that might be the lesson about the authority given to the aftermath of conflict in which i'm not certain that the informed secretary took on board, but the point i was going to make is this is not just about the processes of government but about
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parliamentary accountability, the most fundamental point, and in the past, we have held people accountable. in the recent past, a scandal. steven byars, accused of misleading parliament because he was nationalizing a railway company, if i remember correct. these are things that which no doubt are very important, and that is crucial, but how much more important is a lane of defensibility on peace or war? for thousands or hundreds of thousands of people lose their lives as a result of decisions that are may by the executive. my contention would be that chilcot gives a huge array of evidence of that lack of that parliamentary fruitfulness. and one thing was being said to the president of the united states and quite a different thing was being said to parliament and to people. and that doesn't take place over a single speech or a single
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parliamentary statement, although the major run-up to the war gives ample and detailed examples, for example, as my own green party indicated, the total misrepresentation of the situation in the united nations, how do we know it was a misrepresentation, because chilcot published what was said in the government, and we can compare that directly to what was being offered to this parliament as an explanation. but the process of parliament being told one thing while george w. bush was being assured of quite another didn't take place over a few weeks or a single debate. it took place over 15 months. and it's amply demonstrated in the evidence presented to chilcot, and we know now why chilcot fought so strongly to have these private memos as part of the overall review of the report. the right honorable gentleman rightly pointed to the
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motivations about regime change. and the difficulty that regime change could not make the war legal and generally understood national camps. that's amply demonstrated in the private memos from tony blair to george bush. in december 2001, any link to 11 september and al qaeda is at best very tenuous. and at present international opinion would be reluctant outside the united states or the uk to support a major military action. people want to get rid of saddam, so we need a strategy for regime change that builds over time. that was december 2001. however, at the same time, charles kennedy, in pursuing the prime minister in question was told that the two phases of war included secondly, the pursuit
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of international terrorism in all of its different forms. that is a matter for investigating the finances of terrorists moving across frontiers. the house is told stage two of the war on terror was not an assault on iraq. far less a regime change in iraq, that was a pursuit of international terrorism. the two things areally incompatible. one thing to george bush in private. another thing to this parliament and the people of the country. and that, of course, is the issue in moving into 2002. which was amply picked up in the press after the chilcot report reported. i will be with you, whatever, in the memo of 20 july, 2002, to george bush. i have the former prime minister explain this to john humphries
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as the idea meant somehow whatever and didn't give an unconditional commitment to stand with the united states in a war. i'm not sure i fully understood that explanation. but crucially, neither did john chilcot. and neither did jack straw, a crucial member of the administration. jack straw's memos to tony blair were also published and the 11th of march, 2003, in the report, straw wrote to blair, when bush graciously assessme lly accepte to be with him all the way, he wanted your alive, not dead. referring to not the danger to troops or civilians in the baro, but prolifically, whether the prime minister would be alive or dead. jack straw was under no illusions whatsoever about the commitment that had been given to george bush, and neither were
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tony blair's own advisers who advised him to take it out of the memo, and neither certainly it was george bush or his advisers or secretary of state colin powell. so john chilcot concludes that the meaning of this, mr. blair's note, which had not been discussed or agreed with colleagues set the uk on a path leading to diplomatic opportunity in the u.n., and the participation in military action in a way that would make it very difficult for the uk subsequently to withdraw its support from the united states. but that was not what was being told to parliament at the same time. parliament was not told of assurances to george w. bush. they said they were striving for peace, he was trying to find any way to avoid a conflict, that it was all about to saddam whether he chose peace or conflict.
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and that deliberate misrepresentatn of what was being said to the americans and what was being said to parliament continued, of course, into the very onset of war itself. and when we -- the memrow quoo by my friend, when blair was telling parliament even in the speech and the war and peace debate, i have never put our justification for action as regime change, he was telling george bush only a few days later, that's why iraq's weapons of mass destruction, ridding iraq of saddam is the real prize. now, we heard earlier that this was not a mark-up of one man, but that one man was the prime minister. we were told it was about
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processes of government, that it was the prime minister who dictated the process of government and prevented processes of government in terms of checks and balances not working, and above all, it was the prime minister who prevented this house having the information that it required to take a reasonable judgment. i heard last week one of the defenses of intervention in iraq was an argument, what if sudaad hussein had stayed in power? what would he have done of damage in the arab spring, for example? there's another counterfactual argument i had in mind. what if the massive international coalition that was built to deal with al qaeda in afghanistan had been held together? what if the hundreds of billions of dollars which were then to be
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wasted in the iraqi desert, what if they had been applied to making a real success of the rebuilding of afghanistan? what if the justification for their totally legal international intervention which this country took part in had resulted in a genuine benefit and that massive coalition which extended incidentally even to approval from the palestinian liberation organization, that massive coalition had been able to demonstrate the legal war correctly applied to result in the construction, reconstruction of the country, the investment required to be a shining light of a genuine international intervention. and the united states of america, in a way, never stronger than it was in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, never more respected because it had suffered under the terrorist atrocity. never more broader coalition had
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brought that to fruition, instead of this meandering into iraq or a private vendetta from the president of the united states with his closet advisers of neocons that abetted the prime minister who took collective responsibility in government and prevented this parliament from having the information that it required to hold them to account. i once told the former prime minister that he would answer to the higher loaw than this parliament and i believe that to be absolutely true. in the meantime, this parliament at this stage should hold him accountable. not because it's a matter of pursuing the former prime minister, but because it will demonstrate and illustrate that even retrospectively, if a parliament systematically misled, they will say, we shall
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not put, and it's part of the change we're going to make, not just in the processes of government to enforce collective responsibility, not just, i hope, the lessons of reconstructing their country, but essential changes of parliamentary accountability which if we make, we will be able to say legitimately this could never happen again. >> agreed. thank you, mr. speaker. it's a pleasure to follow the rightful member, and indeed, my friend in this debate. and they have two very clear advantages over me in this debate in that both of them, of course, opposed the notion in the house in 2003 which initiated our military action in iraq. whereas i supported it, something which i have to say i have come to very much regret. i supported it at the time because i was indeed persuaded
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by the arguments put forward by the prime minister at the time, mr. blair, with great eloquence to this house about the fact that his view that saddam hussein was a real and present danger, in the immediate context, and this justified taking military action against him, even without going back for a further resolution of the united nations security council, relying on the previous resolutions, which i have to say, there was considerable evidence that saddam hussein had serially breached. certainly in terms of his noncooperation. and so on that basis, i voted for the motion, as did many other honorable members still present in this house today. sir john chilcot's report highlights how the decision making processes of government
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can become distorted under pressure of events. indeed, i would like to think that i'm always a little wary of this. that the distortions are so considerable in relation to the report that it highlighted this dysfunctionality in the heart of mr. blair's government which i hope may have been exceptional to him, but for all that, i think there are plenty of cautionary tales for us in this house today, which we can look at in current context just as much as they would have been looked at at the time. but the point seems to me to have been already rather well made, and i won't repeat it, that because mr. blair had formed in his view a very strong resolution that we should support the united states, including in remauving saddam hussein and effecting regime change, the entirety of the forces of government were skewed in order to achieve that aim and
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had the mischief of them disregarding all the evidence that might be available to contradict whether this was in fact the right course of action to take. whether it was intelligence information or for that matter whether it was the thorny problem of legality, both of which i want to touch on briefly this afternoon. so far as the question of the intelligence is concerned, those of us who have been in government or served on the national security council as i have or indeed in my current role as chairman of the intelligence and security committee, know perfectly well that intelligence often obtained at great risk and with difficulty, can only be what it is, which is a tool to decision making. it may be mistaken. you can't prevent that in a human society, and you cannot guarantee that the
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interpretation will be correct. i have to say that my impression during my time in government with the intelligence agencies and indeed the intelligence committee, now goes a very considerable lengths to point out the limits to which intelligence can properly be put. a lesson i suspect they derived from this experience. but the simple fact is that one can only reach the john chilcot report to conclude that the way in which intelligence was handled in the course to the run-up to the iraq war is in some cases, i have to say, truly breathtaking, and it makes very troublesome reading. i hope very much i'm not going to say anything more about this, but those within the agencies who now do the work will read and reread sir john's report in order to remind themselves of how, in fact, perfectly reasonable intelligence was skewed, and i have to say, misused for the purposes of
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justifying a series. and then, i'm afraid, was misused by mr. blair when he came to address this house in the defining moment before the war was sanctioned by this parliament. because the certainties that were engenders were never present, and indeed, if the intelligence had been looked at correctly, and my right honorable friend made a very good intervention last week about this, when he said that if we had actually taken the time and trouble to read some of the background information available, we might have doubted some of the certainties that were being expressed. i think he was absolutely right about that. that's another burden that members of the house who participated in the debate will have to bear. to the intelligence, what about the process of legal advice? well, mr. speaker, i have been at the heart of trying to provide legal advice to government when i was a law
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officer. my solicitor general was on the front bench and he, too, has been involved in those processes. legal advice can often and law offices know this, advice which cannot in any way be certain. legal advice is exactly what it said it is. in some cases, particularly when one's dealing with international law, the question as to whether or not you are on the right side or the wrong side of international law is an intensely gray area, precisely because there is no ultimate tribunal to determine those issues. yet at the heart of the british government's doctrine and ethics is that we have to act lawfully at all times. it's for the law offices to try to steer that course. what of course shines through to me reading the chilcot inquiry report is not as some critics
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have said, and i'll come back to this in a moment, that lord goldsmith, as attorney general, abandoned legal objectivity because i have to say, now i have read the chilcot inquiry and looked at these passages very carefully. it seems to me he fulfilled the criteria as best he possibly could, but he was drawn into a process which was utterly flawed because it cherry picked the advice he provided which suited those who want to present it and sold it in that way both to the cabinet who never properly inquired or scrutinized it at all and ultimately to the public. i live way to my right honorable friend. >> i thank my friend for giving way. does he really think that the attorney general met all his duties? the report itself refers to the final question to tony blair, which it said was answered
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perfunkeraly about whether the questions had been met. certainly, he should have been more pressing before changing his view. >> i quote from paragraph 810 of the summary. i don't have the executive summary. it's an essential part of the legal basis for military action, this was written by an official in the attorney's department, without a further resolution of the security council that there is strong evidence that iraq has failed to comply with and cooperate fully with resolution 1441. thus failed to take the final opportunity offered by the security council in that resolution. the attorney general understands unequivocally it's the prime minister's view that iraq has participated in further breaches. but as this is a judgment for the prime minister, the attorney would be grateful for confirmation that this is the case. now, mr. speaker, it's important to understand, i think, one of
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the very big changes which has probably taken place between 2003 and today, in the way in which the law officer's advice will be secured. my impression, but i hope i have got this right, reading chilcot, is that in practice, the attorney general was only provided with sketch backgrounds of the factual analysis on which his legal opinion was being sought. the big difference, which i can tell the house without giving away state secrets, is the law officers are now being asked to advise on a factual basis, which involves a serious or complex problem on international law, they will receive briefing as good as, and actually, potentially better, if they demand it, than that which would be provided to the prime minister himself, as to the intelligence and factual base that justifies it. so they have to make an independent assessment of their
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own. but i have to say, it's quite clear in 2003, and i suspect even before that, but i don't think it's peculiar to 2003, this was not the practice that was being adopted. it was not how government worked. so in practice, the law officer lord goldsmith was placed in a position where he had reasonably to take on trust the factual assessments made by others, and particularly the prime minister. i want to make clear, i cannot make a judgment on whether lord goldsmith's advise on the 7th of march was right or not, but he set out, correctly in my view, the alternative interpretations available for resolution 1441. and i simply make the point, as i made earlier in my intervention, that there are areas of international law which raise massive difficulties of interpretation. if, for example, i just give as an example to the house, if for
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example we stuck, as some jurists would argue, to the principle that no military intervention can take place without a u.n. security council authorization, then the united kingdom doctrine, which is a well established one, of intervening on the basis of humanitarian necessity, which led us to take action in kosovo, would never have happen said. i think we put that back into the pool of the debate the house has had in trying to understand some of the complexities, but of course, none of that gets away from the fact that the debate would have likely been very different within cabinets if lord goldsmith's advice in its original form had been properly presented, circulated, and discussed, because if any of us know who have been in
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government, the process by which you moderate each other's opinions is by challenging them. if you don't have a process of challenge, then we shouldn't be surprised that the end of the day people simply end up rubber stamping decisions because it appears to be convenient to do so. one of the interesting features, i might add, of being in coalition was that i quickly realize because there were some members of whether it was a national security council or cabinet who are not beholden to the prime minister at all, it raises the level of challenge in matters one might not necessarily have found when in fact it is single party government. a very interesting reflection on some of the problems that flow from it. and of course, when you have a prime minister who is a dominant figure, after seven, four, five years in government, and a triumphant second mandate, it becomes even harder. so, mr. speaker, those are my thoughts on looking on these two
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principle issues. there are lots of other issues in this report, but i think it is one of the most compelling reads i have had. i'm not sure i'm going to be able to get through the whole lot, but i'm certainly going to try to read much more of it. could i just say two final points? firstly, to the right honorable member and his desire that accountability should lead to somebody being held at least in contempt of this house that mr. blair has acted improperly for what he did, i simply say to him that just as some people were talking about impeachment last used in 1806, contempt proceedings in parliament, unless they're based on findings made in an external tribunal, which meets article 6 compliance, is going to be in practice very difficult.
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and i would strongly recommend that tempting as such a route might suggest itself to be, the practical difficulties are likely to make it impossible to foll follow. i give way. >> i would like to explore what the right honorable gentleman has just said. i'm not quite clear in what way the right honorable other gentleman considers that former prime minister's civil rights and obligations have been determined in contempt, as i understand it. it's a breach of privilege, not actually a determination of the former pm's rights or obligations. it's gnaw contempt of court. i'm just wondering if you could say what basis he said for that article to be engaged. >> it depends, i suppose, if i may say to the honorable lady, what sanction this house wishes to follow. in addition to that, i think there is a second issue.
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you may have examples where somebody says one thing to this house and in front of a tribunal or court of record on evidence on oath says something different. and the house can look at those two things juxtaposed and conclude, for example, that the house was misled in evidence that it was given. that, if i may say so, may well found a finding of breach of privilege for contempt. although that still leaves the question unanswered as to sanctions. but i do understand her point. but in this case, if i may say, i'm not giving some definitive statement. i'm simply saying what to my mind appears to be the difficulties, if they're likely to come, from trying to pursue this particular course of action. and as on the whole, i would like the reputation of this house to stand enhanced by the way we approach the chilcot
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inquiry report and its aftermath. i'm always wary of suggesting or counseling or recommending a course of action that might lead to the very opposite of what's intended. i give way to the honorable lady. >> i ordered legal expertise in the highest regard. but he has said that it's important that the reputation of this house is enhanced in the way it deals with the outcome of this report. surely, the reputation of this house will not be enhanced if there is not any attempt to hold the former prime minister to account. >> i listen to what the honorable lady says. and this is a matter that could perhaps be debated or indeese discussed at greater lengths. i simply counsel caution. the prime minister has been examed, mr. blair, has been
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examined at the court of public opinion and i suspect the judgment of history, and i think that it is likely that that judgment is going to be pretty unkind to the way in which this was carried out. whether this house feels that it wants to do more immediately is a matter of course that we can debate at another time. can i then just turn finally, the point has been made that the outcome of this process in the middle east has been on the evidence lamentable. of course, the middle east is a place of massive dysfunctionality, and it may be even if we hadn't intervened in 2003, mr. speaker, we would find ourselves with another pattern that would have occurred of war and bloody conflict based on a whole series of disintegrations of the social fabric of that area, which has been going on for some time, and we can see manifested in the current conflict in iraq and syria, which i have to say, i don't
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think is necessarily entirely due to our intervention in 2003. but has elements inherent of a society -- both societies themselves. but i do worry, and worry very much, and it's colored my view as a politician ever since, that it's also had a terrible effect in public trust in us and our institutions in this country. something which in fact rather agreed with the article about mr. speaker, carries itself all the way into the brexit referendum and its aftermath. so i do think that we have much to learn from this very sorry episode. and what i have -- the nugget i derive from it is that we have to have open debate, and that we must avoid simply treating politics as presentational gimmicks, because if we continue doing it, and it's become a sort of habit in modern western
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society, because of the development of social media, the development of the press and the way in which we communicate ideas. if we continue doing it, we are going to ruthlessly undermine sensible decision making and the ability to come to the right conclusions by debate, which is absolutely the heart of what this house should be about. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to begin where the right honorable gentleman has just spoken. and eloquently ended by saying that i entirely agree there is much to learn from the chilcot report. one of the things that concerns me most is that, and it's very early to say, i know, but it is far from clear to me that we're actually going to learn the things that we should. in the morning of the chilcot inquiry publication, i listened to the radio, and i heard a
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number of commentators and members of the house. saying one after another, well, of course, we all know what happened. it was a simple script, a familiar one. tony blair knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. he deliberately lied to the house of commons about whether there was intelligence to suggest there were such weapons. he had a secret pact made with george bush long before to commit us to war, so all of it went in between was irrelevant and almost didn't happen, and that the war itself was illegal because there was not a second united nations resolution. it does seem to me that this is the right moment to point out that i think this is the inquiry into what happened in 2003 and before and after invasion, as
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far as i recall, none of them have actually verified that incredibly simple script, nor does it seem to me that the chilcot inquiry either simply confirms it. the inquiry team accept as the right honorable member, that when the prime minister told this house that he believes that saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction, he believed it implicitly to be true. he was not making up the intellgents. he was not telling the house anything other than what he believed to be true, let alone sort of incentiventing a lie, w seems to be implied, and indeed, the report points out that the basic case that saddam hussein had obtained weapons of mass destruction and he had the intent to develop more given the opportunity, is what the intelligence community itself
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believed. and one of the most important things that comes out of chilcot is the degree to which the people whose professional judgment was involved were indeed mistaken. that continued to be the case right up to and indeed beyond the invasion and what is clear is that is what the intelligence committee had reported, both to the prime minister and the cabinet. i note that there is no evidence, they say, the intelligence was improperly included, influenced the text and says in turn, this inquiry is not questioning mr. blair's belief, which said, or his legitimate role in advocating government policy.
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i think it's really important to bear in mind, especially as one listens to some of the details and very determined attempts to create a different impression. so john chilcot also pointed out that along with the dangers that the intelligence community believed saddam hussein presented, they believed, and again, i'm quoting from what john chilcot said, that saddam hussein could not be removed without mobilization, and that also, they thought to be relevant. of course, in hindsight, we all know that the intelligence community and the then prime minister were wrong. but we didn't know it then. and what's more, it's what our intelligence officers believed, believed by almost every other -- almost every other intelligence service in the world, including the french and russians, which we have no doubt
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why security council resolution was carried unanimously. >> the jic on the 15th of march, 2002, said the intelligence on iraq's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs is sporadic and patchy. three weeks later, tony blair in texas says we know he has been developing these weapons. we know they're a threat. how is that consistent? >> i'm familiar with this exchange and this resistance in which way is hugely important. this is not the impression that the public are being given. if i may say so, that the right honorable gentleman is striving to give them. not that it was sporadic and patchy that it was there, but that the intelligence services
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knew there were no weapons of mass destruction, and the prime minister knew there were no weapons of mass destruction and misled the house. that is not true. no. to read that into the record seems to be can't possibly be justified. we did not know it then. no one knew it then, and most people very firmly believe in saddam hussein's intentions. the further allegations, the one about the secret commitment, d and -- which is quoted in the background notifications, and i agree with him entirely that it was a mistake for the former prime minister to use that, however, i do read into it the sinister feeling that he reads into it. more indeed, it seems to me the
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chilcot inquirely, to my mind, if this had been a conversation rather than a written memorandum, something along the lines of, i'm on your side, but. but, all these things have to be addressed. we have to go to the united nations and so on. and certainly, chilcot -- certainly, chilcot acknowledges that it wasn't blair's intent to get the president to go through the united nations route with determination and that he had success in doing so against the advice of president bush's own allies. >> you will find in the report that chilcot found it much more significant, that's why he said it would make it difficult for the uk to withdraw its support for the u.s. how does she explain her colleague's memory to tony blair, which bush graciously accepted your offer to be with
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him all the way. can you give us an explanation for that? >> you would have to ask my former colleague, but having been the recipient of his notes, i would suggest what he was doing was ironically quoting back to the prime minister words he didn't think the prime minister should have used and he was right about that. i have no doubt the honorable gentleman would agree. then there's the question of the legality and it's been said here before, it might be again, that chilcot does not pronounce on the legality of the proceedings. he criticizes the processes. he doesn't say that a second resolution was needed, although i septembaccept that he doesn'to that territory. there's an enormous amount of dispute about this matter and the former attorney general touched on it a moment ago. and it's led to the query, why there were so few questions from the cabinet to the attorney general when he voted his
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advice. one of the things i'm pretty sure i have said before, but i don't suppose anybody has paid attention and they probably won't now, but it's quite simply the case the issue of whether or not we needed a second resolution had been gone over ad nauseam, had been discussed at length. the cabinet had extensively global reports from the then foreign secretary and prime minister about the process of discussions in the security council, but the desire to have a seconds resolution, about who was objecting, very much in detailed taerms about how that process of negotiation was taking place. and the views, of course, of the then-foreign office legal adviser in london have been very much quoted and evidence was given to the chilcot inquiry about that. that's absolutely right and wholly understandable that all of the focus has been on that
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advice of the foreign officer people in london. i was interested in the remarks of the former attorney general about how unclear international law is and how it's not always an easy matter to interpret, which it's certainly not, the impression the public has been given. what i have rarely seen quoted at all, or referenced anywhere, is that someone else gave evidence to the inquiry about legality about resolution 1441 and whether a second resolution was required. that leaves the head of the foreign office legal team at the united nations. the team whose day-to-day dealings are with the security council who advised the government on the handling of the negotiations and who gives them legal advice about the detail and what resolution meaning import they were having thought, and he confirmed what
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indeed consistently the former foreign secretary had told the cabinet day after day that the russians and the french in particular had tried to get an explicit reference into resolution 1441 to the need for a second resolution before any military action could be undertaken, even though 1441 has drafted used the word this is a final opportunity to comply with the u.n. resolution and talked about serious consequences if saddam did not comply. we were told, and this legal adviser told the chilcot inquiry those discussions were exhaustive. there was a very strong attempt made to insist that a second resolution was carried, but in the end, the russian and french accepted that a second resolution was not referred to and the resolution was carried
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unanimously, including, if i recall correctly, with the vote of the syrian government, which is remarkable in today's circumstances. the accusation has also been made in all of these discussions that the attempts to get to conforming with the resolution was false, there was no risk for saddam hussein to conform. the intention from the beginning was military action. as i said earlier on, intervention on part of the foreign secretary, the prime minister repeatedly warned the cabinet if saddam hussein did indeed choose to comply with the u.n. resolutions, he stays. and reminded us that in itself would be an outcome that many, not least for example, many in the house who campaigned on behalf of the kurds, would deplore and would regret, but it was repeatedly pointed out to us, if saddam complies military action, he stays in power.
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yes. >> i wanted to point out the fact that in the chilcot reports, he quotes richard deerlove, telling tony blair that the u.s. were deliberately setting the bar, and i quote here, so high that they would be able to comply. the idea that when tony blair was standing in the house of commons on the day of the vote, it was still a case somehow for saddam to comply, there was still time, is simply wrong. he was already told that the bar had been set deliberately high so that saddam cannot comply. >> i think that is -- i accept i know that reference -- and i know that was what was expected. i recall quite some time before. because richard deerlove wasinate in place at the time we're speaking of. and i accept that it was difficult, but if saddam had
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shown any intention of complying, and had given any willingness to the inspectors, that saddam could meet to show whether or not he was complying, all that was rejected, by the french, by the way, and also by saddam. so that's where we are. there was, indeed, a warning that if saddam complied, military action would not occur. that's the original fourth point, series of accusations. but back to the oerm storiginal one coming from the chilcot report itself, that actually was taken when it was not a matter of last resort. a second, that we could have held back longer and that could have been addressed by inspections, and the third, that the event would have taken place in the middle east and all as a
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result of the iraq invasion and consequently that that, too, should land the consequences of all of us who voted for the invasion. on this question as to whether or not it was a last resort, it's a point that was also made by my late ronerable friend robin cook, and those who make that case rest their argument on the continued effectiveness of containment backed by sanctions. one of the things that nobody seems to mention anymore is at this time, it was very widely and seriously believed that containment was weakening. containment was saking to be effective, and certainly, anyone who is around will recall that there was an enormous and great campaign against the sanctions which were helping to keep in
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place the hoped for containment. in fact, many honorable and right honorable members will recall the process that used to take place on a continual basis across the road in parliament square, but i think nearly everybody has forgotten that was not the beginning of the protest against war. it was the protest against sanctions against saddam hussein. on a perfect lly legitimate bas, because to them, it was stealing money to be given to feed the iraqi people, so it was government property and hardship in iraq. it was understandable that people should be against the sanctions on that basis, but they were, and the campaign against the sanctions was itself growing. >> does she fully understand the significance of chapter 20 in the executive summary, which says quite clearly that this was
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not a last resort? now, the importance of that is of course it's absolutely fundamental to the definition of a just war. and if we accept that assertion by chilcot, the kraubry is that this was not a just war, with all the consequences that followed from that, so all of this volumes of stuff, it's that simple sentence in the executive summary that bears a whole lot to write. >> i did realize that's what they meant. i had the impression, maybe mistaken, i'm not actually a lawyer, but i that was rather than a military or legal concept, although i do understand it in those terms. but apart from the question of whether or not this was just because it was a last resort, can i also say on the matter of containment that after the
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invasion, evidence was found that indeed saddam hussein had been in further breach of u.n. resolutions more than we had understood at the time of the invasion, breaches of which we were unaware, and the impression was clear that the containment was working on missile development, which had been forgiven -- forbidden, and which, as i say, people were not aware, and the butler report, they quote, iraq was developing ballistic missiles with longer range that permitted under the u.n. security council resolutions and he clearly intended to reconstitute long range missile systems and those systems potentially were for use with weapons of mass destruction. so it is not a simple matter. containment was working. there weren't breaches. we're not trying to take things forward in terms of weapons
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development, as we discovered once invasion had taken place. the second point on this is the argument that we could have held on. and there i have to say, i have to accept the verdict of chilcot, that it was not impossible, but again, a difficulty that to on which no one now touches. the circumstances in which by then everyone found. so we have troops in theater, troops in theater in very, very difficult, unpleasant, and incredibly dangerous circumstances. troops, indeed, who were expecting daily center central attacks by chemical or biological weapons, which everyone believed saddam hussein possessed and they were equipped, one hopes, to resist. it wasn't a simple matter of saying there's no need.
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if you're going to take action, you have to start with preparations. by that point, they had gone to such an extent that our troops were in theater. ultimately, you could argue, and no doubt people will, that those troops could have been withdrawn, but what kind of signal would that have sent to saddam hussein or the rest of the world? it seems to me it would have given saddam hussein a signal that he was perfectly free to resume the operations he had done in the past wlrx it be against the kurds or indeed as he had done against iran. these are not as simple as it is sometimes assumed, although i can completely accept the argument made in chilcot that one of the lessons we could learn is we should be wary of letting military concerns drive political decisions. that brings me back to my principle thesis, which is that there is much in chilcot from which we could learn, but only
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if we do not divert ourselves on things chilcot does not say. that brings me to the final issue, mr. speaker, that i want to address. the final accusation, if you like, which is the accusation that everything that has happened in iraq, syria, or across the middle east since has all stemmed from the invasion of iraq, that is all down to miscalculation, as the right honorable man called it the worst mistake. let's accept his premise, but i don't think he argues and i certainly do not for once accept that everything terrible that is happening now or has happened since in the middle east is as a result of that invasion, and i think it is grossly irresponsible in order to satisfy the clear very real anger and passion that people
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feel against the then-government, against the then-prime minister, against the war in iraq, it is vastly irresponsible to say to the evil men of isil, daesh, or al qaeda, that they're off the hook for the blame for any of the terrible things they do because it's our part and it's no good people making noises after because we all know that is exactly the kind of assertion that very many people make. all this stuff is down to the stakes is all down to the evil doing of the west and everyone else is absolved. no one should be absolves for responsibility for the things they themselves advocate or they themselves do. i do not seek to -- from the responsibilities i exercised when i voted in cabinet and voted in the house for the iraq war. i regret bitterly the events that have occurred since. as any sensible person would, but i do not pretend that the
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decision i made was not my decision and it was somebody else's fault. >> order. i'm sorry to have to announce this to the house, but on account of the number of would-be contributors, there will now be a ten-minute limit on speeches with immediate effect, that limit may have to be reviewed, but it's ten minutes for now. >> thank you. a privilege to follow the right honorable lady. i felt at the end she destroyed her own argument by contributing to people the views nobody else holds, that i.s. is somehow off the hook for failures of the british government. let me be clear what those failures are. 150,000 deaths by violence. many of them civilians. over a million deaths as a result of the war. a destroyed country, and of course, it was a nasty dictatorship, but containment was broadly working.
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sanctions, inspection, when it was allowed and, indeed, no fly zones. damage stunt in the middle east. of course, it's not the entire story, but let's not forget that i.s. started an american prisoner of war camp in iraq. that's where their high commander comes from. let's not put that to the side, either, and a significantly increased terrorist threat worldwide, something that was known and told of before we took this action. that's what we're talking about. that's what the worst foreign policy mistake in the world, in our modern history, means. for many, many innocent people in this world. now, before this happened, i had in the '90s, responsibility for camp proliferation in the conservative government at the time. and i accept that the behavior of the saddam hussein regime was peculiar, to say the least. as far as we can tell from inspections and from our
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intelligence, they were -- did not have wmd and had no workable wmd program, but they were deliberately, deliberately trying to create confusion about the fact by not cooperating from time to time, by moving trucks from one site to another before inspections arrived. why probably? because they were trying to keep iran convinced they had weapons of mass destruction regime. that's what they were worried about, not us. their next door neighborhood against whom their own massive war -- so that does explain some of the strange behavior of the saddam regime. at that time, and indeed, i guess, up until just before 2001, the general belief was that this was a moderate and controllable threat. indeed, our representative to the u.n., the specialist, middle east specialist amongst our delegation's u.n. said this, when i took the job, i was
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briefed. basically, we don't think there's anything there. we're justifying sanctions on the basis iraq has not answered questions about its past stocks. since then, all the jic reports, all the sis reports, kwauberate this. so a moderate and controllable threat at that point in time. then what happened? we have 9/11, and of course, that shocked the world quite properly. 3,000 deaths in a hideous terrorist spectacular, and of course, tony blair justified his actions on the basis of that, but i have to say to him that this is the reason for getting it right, not an excuse for getting it wrong. and it's understandable that th there was a paranoia that something else like it might happen again, either here or somewhere else. and then at that point came a dangerous and simplistic conflation between the real
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threat from al qaeda, the real and present and continuing threat from al qaeda, and iraq. and the axis of evil nonsense president bush generated at the time. this is re-enforced in february 2002 when the americans rendered to egypt something called sheikh allibby, who was tortured and asked whether there was a cbw relationship between iraq and al qaeda. he was tortured essentially until he said yes. that was the evidence that colin powell cited, members of the house may remember, in the united nations when he said we have substantial evidence of this case. of course, it was aviction obtained under torture. and i am quite sure that that intelligence was shared with mr. blair. and he would have found it, because he probably didn't know the source, persuasive. that this had been told to them by an al qaeda commander.
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and so at some point between december 2001, in what's in the chilcot report, certainly by july of 2002, mr. blair effectively signed up britain to the american military effort. i think the issue was not our soldiers, it was our reputation. it was our involvement that legitimized the american action. but this produced a problem for our prime minister. under american law, if you go to war on the basis of regime change is entirely legal. they do not recognize international laws that render it otherwise. and so for them, regime change is a perfectly legitimate aid. and from what is said in the comments and member jordan has
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referred to in his speech, he has a problem because our law doesn't allow it. international law doesn't allow it. he saw his role as building a coalition to support the americans. nothing dishonorable in that. nothing dishonorable in that if he believed it, but to prove it, he had to achieve a number of things. he had to create -- under international law. he needed proof of weapons of mass destruction, proof of a terrorist threat, a u.n. resolution, and with that, therefore, proof of the legality. and as a result, they put in place u.n. 1441. this was the final opportunity for iraq to comply disarmament all together, obligations all together, a 15-0 vote for that, as the honorable lady said, it didn't include a deliberate
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trigger to war. it required a further resolution. and u.n. inspector went in. they did 700 inspections, over 500 sites. interestingly, they went to three dozen sites given to them to them by the cia and mi-6 because we thought that's where the weapons were. and they found not a thing. of the three and a half months, they found nothing whatsoever. and then the american president set a timetable which then created a real problem. over and above united nations. war by march. and that's why that he said what he did. france, russia, it was incomplete. of course it was. of course they lost the u.n. vote 11-4. so when he came back here to united kingdom, he had to win a vote in the house of commons.
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a debate in the house of commons. he made what some think was the greatest speech of his life. but in order to persuade house of commons, he had to say three things which were clear -- sorry, five things which were clear misrepresentation. he accused france of saying they would never vote for war. that was simply not true. not only is it not true, he knew it wasn't true. and i've heard through an interview given by radio 4 in the last year by sir stephen wall. one of his foreign officer advisors in number 10 who is hiv privy to some of these things. he said what he really said is at now france was against. so downing street deliberately lied about chirac's statement. he said yes, deliberately lied about chirac's statement. two other things that were misrepresentations were quotations from the u.n. insp t
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inspect inspector's reports. since i've got no time i'll very quickly read what hans blix, the head of the inspector said. if they they had done to the british government in 2003 and said we think it is safer to invade them, would the british parliament have dreamt to say yes to such a thing? i don't think so. i think in order to go ahead they need to make allegations which they made and were not sustainable. in substance, yes, they misrepresented what we did and they did so in order to get the authorization they shouldn't have had. that was what tony blair said -- did in the house of commons, and that was hans blix's view of it. mr. blair also said that hussein kamal, saddam hussein's son-in-law, had told the allies that the weapons of mass destruction programs -- i'm
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sorry. >> just going back to the point you made before, does he think with hindsight that hans blix was perfectly willing to carry on with the inspections actually if the americans could have been persuaded to delay for another month, then possibly this could have been avoided. but the americans were dismissing blix and regarding him as a waste of time, were actually trying to get him you the of the way. >> that's exactly right. that should have been the steps that mr. blair took but he didn't. he came instead to parliament to misrepresent the case. he also misrepresented the line of thought by mr. hussein kemal, later killed by saddam hussein, by saying that the weapons of mass destruction programs are continuing. what he in fact said in an interview with the inspector was that the weapons of mass destruction had all been destroyed by 1991. finally, mr. blair was asked what would be the risk to -- the
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risk of terrorism arising from this war. and the prime minister did not give him an answer, despite having been told by the jic and by mi-5 that this would increase the international risk of terrorism and the domestic risk of terrorism and would destabilize the states in the area. so on five counts he misrepresented the substantive aspects of the argument for this war to this house. and if this house is to give decisions on war in the future, it must be able to rely on being told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth by our prime minister. >> hear, hear. >> mr. speaker, for those of us who took that fateful decision on the 18th of march, 2003, the chillcotte report makes difficult and uncomfortable reading and our thoughts above
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all today should be with the families, iraqi and british, who lost loved ones in the conflict. but members who voted for war -- and i was one -- did so in good faith and i agree with my friend. i do not think that we were misled or lied to, more importantly, nor does the chillcotte report conclude that. but we must take our full share of responsibility for that decision, and indeed as we now know the intelligence was wrong, even though my friend made the point many countries, many people, including iraq's neighbors, some of his own military and the united nations, all thought that iraq possessed them. and had we known the truth at the time, the house would never have voted for war, nor would i. and for that, we should apologize. and i certainly do. but we could only decide at the time on the basis of what we thought we knew. i also, however, mr. speaker -- wish to say this. if i am asked do i regret the
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fact that saddam hussein is no ng loer longer in power, my reply is no, i do not. because he was a brutal dictator who had killed hundreds of thousands of his own citizens, and had used chemical weapons upon them. and i want to reflect very briefly on three issues, the task we face to reconstruction, why iraq was as it was and some of the wider lessons. now the problem faced in basra and surrounding provinces in 2003 was not the humanitarian crisis that we had anticipated, but a different set of circumstances all together. the dysfunctional nature and failure to plan, the laegegacy dictatorshi dictatorship. while we were trying to persuade the authorities in the south had to talk to baghdad, the last thing they would do was that because they remembered what dealing with baghdad had been like in the past. the legacy of the repression of the shia and the maligned
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neglect of infrastructure and the absence of the united nations. no one has mentioned thus far in this debate. the bomb that killed sergio dimello and 23 of his staff in august 2003 in the canal hotel which was the beginning in truth of the insurgency which grew stronger with each passing month. and the problem faced by reconstruction was not one of money, mr. speaker. the report itself concludes, and i quote, there are no indications that activities in iraq were constrained by a lack of resources. iraq was, and is still, a middle income country with oil. the truth is the problem was spending it, including from the world bank, because of rapidly deteriorating security. no sooner did we try and fix something and we made a real contribution to improving water supply and electricity in the south of the country, but people would try and blow it up. and i want to place on record in
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this debate my thanks to the huge contribution made by many courageous individuals that i had the privilege of working with, british around iraqi, military and civilian, ngos and humanitarian staff who tried to help the people of iraq in the most difficult and dangerous circumstances. they all acted in the best traditions of public service and we should thank them for what they do. i will give way. >> i'm grateful to the right honorable gentleman for giving way. while i certainly 100% endorse the thanks and tribute he's just paid to the officials, he has passed rather rapidly over the months afterwards in which there appeared to be no planning for reconstruction at all. >> i will freely acknowledge one of the failures is laid out very, very clearly in the report was indeed the failure to plan in advance of the decision taken on the 18th of march, 2003, and
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those are lessons that indeed we must learn. but the truth is that iraq was a suppressed, repressed and a brutalized society in which saddam was the lid on the pressure cooker. and when he left, the lid came off. and we have seen it in other countries, too. libya has been mentioned in the debate so far. now my right honorable friend was right when she said that those who do seek to blame all of the subsequent events on the decision to invade miss the responsibility that others had for what has gone on. now, we have to take our share for the responsibility and to disband the iraqi army which meant that thousands of men had no salary, no income, but they had a gun and a grievance, was a profound mistake. but iraqi politicians also have to bear a responsibility for the sectarian policies that they have pursued, and those who are
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still letting off suicide bombs cannot look to us and say, look what you made me do. they must bear responsibility for what they themselves have chosen to do to their fellow citizens. and the best evidence for the difference that good politics and good governance can make in iraq is shown by the kurdish region which, let us not forget, was, as it was, in part because of the support that we had given them through the no-fly zone. and as a result, they are now the most stable and relatively prosperous part of iraq and i pay tribute as others have done to the roll that the peshmerga have played, and still play now, in trying to defeat daesh. the kurds regard the 2003 invasion as a liberation, as the kurdistan regional government representative to the uk wrote this week about the report. and i quote.
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"there was an iraq before the 2003 invasion, an iraq that for millions was a concentration camp on the surface and a mass grave beneath." and you only have to go back, mr. speaker, to read the reports of human rights watch to see what they had to say at the time about the mass executions, the mass disappearances, the use of chemical weapons, the suppression of the shia majority, particularly after the 1991 uprising, and the attempt by saddam to eradicate the population and culture of the marsh arabs who had resided continuously in the marshlands for more than 5,000 years. and that is what life was like and we should not forget it. now, at least today iraq has a fragile democracy. and whatever our views on what happened 13 years ago, we have a continuing responsibility to
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assist, especially when the democratically elected government asks for our help. and that is why this house was right in 2014 to provide support in helping them to defeat daesh. and we have seen the benefit of that support in the progress that has been made in the months since. we have also discovered more about what daesh do as towns have been liberated, which is why this house was right to vote unanimously to describe what's being done to the yazidis, christians and other religious minorities in iraq and in syria as genocide at the hands of daesh. and i wish the government would do what the house asked and take that to the u.n. security council so it can be passed on to the international criminal court. finally, for too long in foreign affairs governments have often argued better the strong man we know than the chaos we fear, even when that strong man is a
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brutal murdering dictator. look what happens when the strong man falls? in libya, in egypt, and indeed in iraq. now three years after the end of the second world war the u.n. general assembly adopted and proclaimed the universal declaration of human rights. article 3 states everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. article 28 states everyone is entitled to a social and international in order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration can be fully realized. and yet for millions of people in the world, those rights nobly expressed have remained just words on paper and they certainly remained words on paper during the time of saddam's rule. now surely, mr. speaker, this will not do. so having created the united nations, why do we not have exactly the same responsibility internationally to ensure that the principles of the universal declaration of human rights are given universal expression and
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we have managed to achieve, for example, in our own country over many, many years. now it is the responsibility of the u.n. security council to do it. it is why we created the u.n. it's why it has a moral responsibility and a legitimacy to act and it is why i am indeed a strong supporter of the responsibility to protect. because that principle says that state sovereignty is not absolute and the international community has a responsibility to act in certain circumstance. and finally, what i think chillcotte forces us to consider even though it is unspoken in the report is that while there are always consequences to taking action, and we meet here today to discuss them and their legacy, there are also consequences always of not doing so. and for me, this is the most important lesson of iraq.
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before, as well as after 2003. well, i'm going to bring my remarks to a conclusion. i will bring my remarks to a conclusion because so many others wish to speak. is that as a world, we have a responsibility to be much more effective and determined to deal with conflicts and countries in circumstances such as this before they turn in to brutal and bloody civil wars. and i believe that the best way to do that is to demonstrate that multi-lateralism -- countries working together -- can provide the answer to that uncomfortable question -- what is to be done? because the more we do so, the stronger will be the argument to those who would act unilaterally, and at times we have to do so. we were right to act in kosovo. we were right to act in sierra leone. but the stronger the argument we can make that there is another
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and a better way. but for that to happen, the united nations has to do the job for which it was created. >> after the next speaker, i'm trying to accommodate as many colleagues as possible, it will be necessary to reduce the limit. i'm sorry but it is inevitable. to six minutes. mr. andrew mitchell. >> well, bl speak emr. speaker, pleasure as always to follow the right honorable gentleman who i used to follow regularly when we were both on our respective parties' front bench. mr. speaker -- while the aim of this debate on the report should be to heal wounds and learn lessons, i very much fear that the debate will be characterized by a discussion of whether mr. blair is guilty or very guilty. and it seems to me that such a discussion would betray the interests of all those whose loved ones were placed in harm's way and who paid the ultimate price in iraq as well as the many thousands of iraqis who have lost their lives. it is the whole system of governance which we need to hold to account, and not just the prime minister, if we are to
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achieve resolution and benefit from this. i sat over there in 2003 and heard what the prime minister said and supported his judgment. that judgment could not have been reached and acted on by the prime minister without the active support or at least the passive acquiescence of the machinery of government. before we come to the lessons of the future, it seems to me that the central allegations boil down to two first, that the intelligence was wrong and secondly that a culture of sofa government, a lack of accountable structures for decision making and inadequate procedures prevailed. having use the product of the three intelligence agencies while i was on the national security council and cabinet i yield to no one my admiration and rcespect for those who carr out often difficult work.
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people could make ten times by what they are paid by the taxpayer, yet they choose to serve their country instead. we should honor and respect them for that. i have no hesitation saying in my experience if those who worked in the agencies asked to do something proper by their political masters, they would certainly refuse to do so. intelligence by its very nature is difficult to hold to account. the normal rules of transparency and openness simply do not apply. the sourcing of intelligence is, by definition, complex and we can't talk about it in any detail. in one instance while i was development secretary, intelligence that we received on a particular situation in africa turned out to be wrong. but the fault for this error did not lie with britain or british intelligence. on the issue of sofa government and informality, it is clear that there was a lack of cabinet structure and accountability and a quite extraordinary informality. and let us say, flexibility in
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the use of the attorney general and his legal opinions. but critical lessons have been learned and crucially resulting, as has been said in this debate in the setting up of the national security council. and here i come to a point that was made about the libyan campaign. but before i do so, i give way. >> -- brother served in both gulf wars. one of the -- you talked about sofa government and the license of pro-government structures. page 121 and 122 of the executive summary details the delay in allowing the military to prepare and the resulting lack of equipment and preparedness for our armed forces going into iraq. does he believe, as i do, as others do, that that unnecessarily cost some of our forces' lives? >> i think the honorable gentleman makes a point about the absolute importance of having proper accountable
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structures and not informal machineries of government, as i was saying. i came to the libyan campaign. first of all, there was a proper process by which legal advice was given to the cabinet. britain's humanitarian responsibilities in the conflict were made clear at the first cabinet meeting which authorized military action. the national security council met on numerous occasions, as well as an inner subcommittee of the national security council on which i sat. and as well as conduct of the campaign, we discussed the humanitarian situation and preparations for stabilization on a daily basis. of course, there was no invasion, as such, but the defense secretary took personal responsibility for targeting to ensure that collateral damage was minimized and the loss of civilian life was mercifully extremely limited. on discharging its humanitarian responsibility, lessons were carefully learned, and as the
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foreign secretary cites, britain frankly did a very good job indeed. we organized the planes with the ships which successful transported thousands of migrant workers home to places of safety as far as the philippines and baghdad and removed them from harm's way. the evacuation of 5,000 migrants from one site was a feat greatly assisted by britain and for which the international community deserve the highest praise. when tripoli was in danger of running out of water, we and the united nations successful planned to prevent that emergency. and to point out very specific lessons from the failures in iraq were understood and lessons implemented in respect of our humanitarian responsibilities. but it is the issue of post conflict stabilization which attracts strong criticism in
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respect of iraq and in libya where it is clear today that stabilization is currently a failure. i want to make it clear, mr. speaker, that lessons were learned and immediately military action in libya started. our focus on post conflict stabilization was absolute. britain set up an international stabilization unit and worked very closely with the united nations who were to have the lead responsibility for stabilization when the conflict ended. britain supplied expertise, officials, funding, on the lessons of iraq. we gave advice to the central bank and to such organs of state as existed. indeed, by contrast with iraq, where the police and security services were simply abolished, we took significant steps to ensure the police in libya who had not been engaged in human rights abuses could be reassured, for example, by
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direct text messages that they still have a job and should report for duty when the fighting diminished. we prepared extensively and in particular through the support we gave to the united nations institutions to help stabilize libya's future. but the simple problem we faced was that there was no peace stabilize when the war was over and different factions in a country with very limited structures outside the gadhafi family fractioned and splintered. you can make, mr. speaker, all the plans you like for post conflict stabilization, but if there is no peace to stabilize, the international community's non-military options are severely limited. lessons learned from iraq. and then applied in libya have continued in respect to the british efforts in syria. we have already made a huge commitment in terms of funding to stabilize that country when peace finally comes.
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we have played a more comprehensive role in humanitarian relief in and around syria than the whole of the rest of the european union put together. we were the first country to put significant sums of our taxpayers' money into the z amplt tari refugee camp in 2012 precisely because we understood the approaching calamity. the lessons, mr. speaker, we learn from the chilcot report will shape our understanding of our place in the world. will we continue to support the cause of liberal interventionism as we so successful did in sierra leone and kosovo, or will the house turn its back on discretionary intervention even under u.n. auspices and be idly stand by. the post-chilcot era will i hope see the right lessons learned and make sure britain remains a key influence for good
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internationally, willing to take military action as last resort certainly when the situation requires it. >> mr. speaker, the decision to go to war is undoubtedly the most difficult one that any prime minister, any leader, any member of this house will ever have to take. the liberal democrats are not pacifists. i am not a pacifist. we do believe that military action though should only be used as a last resort following the failure of diplomacy and only in accordance with law. the invasion of iraq in 2003 did not meet these tests which is why, led by charles kennedy 13 years ago, liberal democrats opposed the war, and this reasoned opposition was met with vile derision by both the government and the conservative opposition at the time. 13 years and two million words later, those voices have been silenced and charles kennedy is
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vindicated. it is a tragedy that he is not here to experience that vindication, and it is equally a tragedy that neither is robin cook. >> hear, hear. >> clilcot concludes what so many of us have known for over 13 years. there was no legal or strategic case for the invasion of iraq. it was unnecessary. a military action was not a last resort. instead of improving our security, it in fact made our country, their country, and the world that we share less safe. in the case of iraq, mr. blair appeared to be more concerned with supporting american president george bush than he was in pursuing british interests and the interests of the iraqi people. the most -- well, indeed infamous now quote, i will you will be whatever was not written to it the iraqi people suffering under their undeniably cruel regime of such a brutal dictator, nor was that letter written to the british public as
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a clear display of the priorities of our elected leader. instead, it was written to a neoconservative u.s. president, intent on proving american superior or the by waging war against an abstract noun. a president who was failing to make dramatic advances in afghanistan so instead settled his sights on iraq despite the fact that chilcot stressed on a number of occasions that the overall threat from iraq was viewed as less serious than those threats from other countries of concern -- iran, libya and north korea. mr. blair was clearly determined to follow the u.s. into war no matter the consequences, and effectively committed us to the americans no matter the evidence. we had, we have, and i hope that we will continue to have an intimate and rewarding relationship with the united states but we cannot allow our foreign policy to be defined by that relationship alone. my ally, right or wrong, is not a sustainable independent foreign policy. and the strength of this
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unwavering commitment gave rise to the era of making the evidence fit the judgment rather than judgment fit the evidence. nowhere is that clearer than when it comes to the legal basis of war. the attorney general's final view wias little more than lukewarm and on balance the better view. well, i believe if we are to commit thousands of our young men and women to circumstances where their lives will be put at risk, we need something a little bit better and more certain than "on balance." going forward we must ensure there is no ambiguity in the legal advice provided to the government, parliament, on matters of military action. we should also be clear on what the end goal or exit plan is for any intervention. despite it being very clear very quickly there were no weapons of mass destruction in iraq, the uk found itself assuming leadership of a military area of responsibility. not only that, but despite being a joint occupying power -- it is evident that the uk had little or no influence on the overall strategy of the americans
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leading us blindly following their flawed lead. the u.s. strategy included debathification. it created a disenfranchised and being a g angry group of well trained military leaders many of whom went on to join the organization and daesh. this is directly contributed to the following six years of chaotic disruption which saw so many of our armed forces put on the front line without a proper strategy. i hope that the iraq inquiry, the chilcot inquiry will bring some comfort to the families of the 1 79 servicemen and women killed in iraq. but there can be no justification being deployed to fight on a battlefield in which the proper preparation was not doubt. no doubt the invasion and occupation of iraq in 2003 has directly contributed to the threat the world now faces in fa daesh and instability in the middle east. last week we remembered the
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lives of those lost in the most recent attacks in baghdad, and it was clear to me what legacy has been left. just last week over 300 people died in suicide attacks in baghdad. on top of the tragedies we've seen? istanbul, paris, and elsewhere. terrorists are responsible for these horrific events. for the iraq war is responsible for creating the vacuum in which terrorism and daesh in particular were formed and through which anti-western sentiment thrived despite being advised at the time that this was a risk. mr. speaker, liberal democrats are outward facing internationalists. we believe britain should engage in the world, not turn our backs on it. we believe our country has a strong role to play in promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law across the globe. sometimes, rarely, that will mean taking military action. but the iraq war has tarnished our reputation, ignored international law and undermined international institutions like the united nations which we worked so hard at building in the aftermath of two world wars. it destroyed public confidence
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in our leaders and in parliament. and it made it infinitely more difficult for a government to make the case for war by making the prospect of humanitarian intervention all the more unpalatable to many. >> thank you, mr. speaker. on the 18 of march, 2003, mr. blair told the house of commons that he judged the possibility of terrorist groups in possession of wmds as a real and present danger to britain and its national security. when chilcot presented his report to the families of some of those killed in the iraq war, and those families include the parents of mark lawrence, a young naval aviator, one of my constituents who was killed in a helicopter. he was rather more robust than he was in the conclusions in the actual report. and he said that the judgments about the severity of the threats posed by iraq's wmds were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
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mr. speaker, on the eve of the vote on the iraq war, there were a number of us on the opposition benches who had grave concerns about what we were top undertake and what we were going to ask our young men and women in our armed services to undertake. we were called into an office by my right honorable friend, then the leader of the opposition. and by the shadow foreign policy, then the member of parliament. we were told by the right honorable member chainford that he had been informed on privy council terms that there were weapons of mass destruction, that the united kingdom -- or the interests of the united kingdom face a 45-minute threat from those weapons, and that it
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was imperative in the interest of our national security that we should support the motion that was going to be put before the house. i think i'm right in saying that all but one of us on that basis concurred. mr. deputy speaker, i believe that -- i don't doubt the information given to me by my right honorable friend, but i believe that he was misled on privy counsel terms. you have heard, the house has heard from my right honorable friend price. of the five reasons, the five items, upon which mr. blair misled the house. yes, we do have to learn from this. i have to take responsibility because i voted that way, for the death of my young constituent and my implication for the deaths of hundreds of armed personnel in the armed
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forces and many, many, many civilians. but i do believe, mr. speaker, that if a motion for contempt is brought before you, you should look favorably upon a hearing for it. because i believe that we owe that to the families of those who have lost their loved ones in this conflict. >> hear, hear. >> pleasure to follow the honorable member. i'd like to say at the outset that i very much want to share the comments that were made that the secretary of state has made and others have since about the heavy price that has been paid by those who lost their lives, who have been seriously injured and all of the consequences from that to those families. as somebody who is a member of this house in march 2003, i welcome the chilcot report and i want to concentrate my remarks on two specific issues.
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first, my own vote for supporting the motion authorizing force. and secondly, post conflict planning. chilcot offers an interesting detailed analysis of processes within the government the a the time and also on the status of intelligence that was used to justify the action that was followed. given the exhaustive detail and the time invested in arrivingality the conclusions in the report, i do not intend to criticize what it has to say. up until the time of the vote, my own position had been that although i accepted u.n. security council 1441 provided sufficient authority for any action, it would have been better to have secured a second security council resolution. i say that even though there had been 14 previous security council resolutions which had been passed on the widely held
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assumption that saddam hussein did have the capacity and was prepared to use weapons of mass destruction. indeed, it was well documented that he had in the past used such weapons against the iraqi people. although when president chirac effectively retoted any u.n. security council resolution, it seemed to me -- i'm not giving way to the honorable lady because i have a very limited time. it seems to me that resolution 1441 and all of the previous resolutions had to be upheld. otherwise, international collective will would have been meaningless. there was, however, another important humanitarian reason why i felt compelled to support the proposed action. having spoken to many iraqis who were on the receiving end of vicious attacks and repression by saddam hussein's regime, particularly iraqi kurds, i strongly felt that the course of non-action would be an
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abdication of humanitarian responsibility. that viewpoint was very much influenced by my right honorable friend, member for common valley who had unrivaled knowledge about what was actually happening in iraq at the time and the appalling abuse of human rights that, by then, was beyond question. following the action in iraq in 2003, i visited both baghdad and basra in march 2005, together with the honorable member for oxbridge and south islip who at the time was a member for handley. the purpose of that visit was to return the inauguration of the transition national assembly. in an article following the visit in "the spectator" of 19th march, 2005, he concluded, "it could still just about work, and if it does, i think it will be possible to draw a positive balance." in an interview in the north wales edition of "the lady po d
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post" on the 18th of march, 2005, another member said that although he had opposed the action in iraq, politicians across the spectrum do not want us to withdraw immediately. and the then honorable member for handley concluded with the words of the iraqi prime minister. thank you, people of britain, for what you have done. we give you our thanks and our praise and our love. you built this country eight decades ago and it didn't work. now you are rebuilding it and it has to work. the point of those two quotes is that there was still -- although there was still massive problems of sectarian violence and the challenge of restarting vital public services, the political outlook at that time was moderately hopeful. and it was clear from talking to people from different parties, different religions, and
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different backgrounds that that hope existed. during the following two years i visited iraq on a further two occasions. first of the return of the armed forces bill, and on another occasion with my right honorable friend for conan valley. two things became apparent during those visits. first was that progress toward stability was painfully slow and that the optimism that had been there in 2005 was ebbing away. and secondly, that the post-conflict planning hadn't been successful. and indeed, the secretary of state referred to the failure of the de-baathification program. condoleezza who was the then national security advisor quoted she nor the secretary of state at the time colin powell were even quoted about that decision.
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so there is another failure of process. for those of us who voted for action are often asked legitimately do we regret it, like my right honorable friend. i can't regret the overthrow of saddam hussein. what i do regret is the fact that the post-conflict planning was not successful. >> dr. andrew mirason. >> mr. speaker -- always a great pleasure to follow the right honorable gentleman. i was listening with great interest to my right honorable friend from beckinsale's account in particular. he says compelling. i have to say i didn't find it so much of a page turner as he evidently did. but i did get as far as volume 12 which deals with the welfare of those who participated in the iraq war. it brings out a number of key findings. of course, today is particularly important since we've had the
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pacs report which is less than obliging. but in the key findings a number of issues are of particular importance to my constituents. and in particular, in relation to inquests held on those who sadly deceased during this conflict. it points out, as was very evident at the time, the huge backlog in these things. and if we are going to honor the military covenant, we really have to understand what the implications for these kinds of things are for the welfare of families in particular. but i'm very pleased in this tone, in this volume, volume 12, to find that there is some good news in had all of this. and that has to do with the way that are medical services configured themselves and prepared themselves in the run-up to this conflict. i say that because of course i have to declare an interest as a member of the defense medical services and the fact that i
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served in iraq in 2003, late 2003, in a medical capacity. so this volume, this particular volume, very much mixed blessing as far as the account it gives of the way that we were prepared and the way that we prepared for and executed our duties under the military covenant. mr. speaker, i voted against the iraq war in 2003. it seemed to me at that time that the case had not been made. but i understand full well that members across this house voted in good conscience one way or the other. in truth, very few of us here were in full possession of all the facts at that time, and most of us made a judgment call. but i have to say, of all the many, many divisions that i participated in over the past 15 years, that is the one that i feel best about, the one that i feel most comfortable about.
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in my opinion, the situation we found in 2003 stemmed from 1998 and the strategic defense review of that year and the new chapter to that review two years later of the 9/11 attack. in that review we saw a recon figuration of our armed forces to be what was called a force for good. in other words, our armed forces wouldn't simply be there for national defense and security. they would be there for something much beyond that. they would be there for expeditionary things. we saw subsequently in kosovo, sierra leone, to good effect. the problem is it was extrapolated to iraq, a much bigger deal. it came up for government this conspiracy of optimism and group think. together with this engrained idea that saddam must have both weapons of mass destruction and the intent to use them despite evidence to the contrary and despite wise counsel being
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applied at that time from a number of sources. crucially for knee the no hypothesis was never constructed. that is to say the idea that weapons of mass destruction did not exist. it was neither constructed, nor tested. that is a huge failing which i hope the structural changes have been put in place subsequently, particularly around the national security council, will now make impossible -- unlikely for the future. right honorable lady for darden south suggested that the concept of a just war, this idea is some sort of religious thing. it fundamentally isn't. it underpins much of lore in this area. it is absolutely vital to establish this idea of a just war and to discuss whether in fact this was a just war. and chilcot tells us very clearly, absolutely clear on this point, military action was not a last resort. now last resort is a fundamental
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underpinning precept of just war. you can't have just war if you could have achieved your objectives by other means, means falling short of out and out warfare. that means for me that the iraq war was not a just war and that matters. it really matters. because we ask our men and women in uniform to do quite extraordinary things. we authorize them to do remarkable things. they have no choice in the matter. but they have every right to -- that we should make sure that they are not being sent on a fool's errand or, worse, one of questionable legality or legitimacy. instead, in march 2003, my constituents and others were dispatched to an expeditionary war that chilcot painstakingly takes apart as disastrous and unnecessary, a war that was waged despite intelligence and other evidence that was not clear, a war whose lack of planning and provisioning cost brave men their lives, a war that was, in short, sheer bloody
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chaos. the biggest disaster, the consequences of which we are living with today and will for decades to come. and the offer of our part in this believes -- the author in our part believes he is responsible but not to blame. mr. speaker, i don't believe that's good enough. we need to be accountable for our actions and it is not clear to me that the right honorable gentleman in question has yet to be brought to account. >> sir jeffrey donaldson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i was a member of this house -- we will leave this discussion of britain's involvement in the iraq war and, by the way, if you want to see it in its entirety, you can go to our website where you can see all of our coverage of the british house of commons at slide picture from springfield, illinois this afternoon where we are awaiting remarks from democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton. she's expected to talk about the importance of uniting the country in a speech at the old state house here in springfield. it is the same place abraham
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lincoln delivered his house divided speech. it is also the place where president obama announced his candidacy for president. it is expected to start in just a couple of minutes. we will have it live when it gets under way here on c-span3. while we wait, remarks from this morning from vermont democratic congressman peter welch where he talked about yesterday's support and endorsement from bernie sanders of hillary clinton. >> congressman peter welch from vermont is not only a delegate to the democratic national convention, super delegate for bernie sanders. senator sanders making his endorsement yesterday of hillary clinton. what did you think when that happened yesterday? >> well, bittersweet for vermonters. bernie is wildly popular in vermont. he got only 86% of the vote. but he ran such an extraordinary campaign. he came out of nowhere. everybody thought it would be impossible for him to get any traction. he got over 12 million votes, raised over $200 million, in
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contributions of $3 $27 a piece. i think it is fair to say, and i think hillary folks will acknowledge, that bernie sanders campaign had the biggest impact on the defense inition of the democratic platform with his singular focus on income inequality and trying to make the economy work for every day people. so he is supporting hillary clinton now. that was a hard decision i think just because he did so well and came so close. but he's putting the country first. so there is a lot of sadness because we're proudf bernie and how well he did. but he did the right thing and he did it in a gracious and forceful way and i think he is going to be a huge factor in bringing the party together. >> he's come on board. what has senator sanders done to delegates, super delegates like yourself in bringing you aboard for hillary? >> well, it is what he did yesterday when he gave that speech. he was speaking to all of us in making the case as to why it is time to support and unify behind
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hillary clinton. so i think we all saw his speech. we all admired his campaign and he is saying he's putting -- by the way, what he's doing is he's taking the action of putting his arms around hillary clinton and saying, look, she did win this race. we've got to win this election. we've got to beat donald trump. and there is disappointment for a lot of the sanders supporters. but keep in mind, lot of disappointment for bernie as well. there is a lot of heartbreak in politics because you aspire for the brass ring and you came up just a little bit short. but what he's helping all of us understand is we've got to win this race. >> congressman peter welch with us to talk politics, particularly democratic politics with bernie sanders now endorsing hillary clinton. 202-748 202-748-8000 is the number for democrats. 202-748-8001 for democrats. all others, 202-748-8002.
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we'll take your tweets as well @cspanwj. if you look back to the beginning of bernie sanders' campaign, how early were you on board? >> i was watching the campaign, and i got on board just before the vermont primary which was march 1st of this year. >> why? >> why did i get on board? >> yeah. >> there's two reasons. one, bernie sanders was electrifying the country with the effectiveness of his message about attacking income inequality. he was a different kind of candidate. and his ability to bring in young people, new people really across, to some extent, demographic lines was very powerful. so that message that bernie was delivering and the way he was doing it was extremely effective. second, he's a hometown person. i mean this is vermont. he and i got into politics the same year. i've known him for years. so a lot of us in vermont were pretty proud of him. we want to let our vermonter -- give him a shot.
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>> what do you think that his candidacy will mean for -- in the short term -- we'll talk about some of the platform issues -- but in terms of the nature of the party. let's look long term. four years down the road, how has he changed the party? >> well, i think he's getting us back to our roots. the democratic party traditionally has stood up for the aspirations of working americans. every day people who are trying to get ahead. they've been under challenge. it is true and everybody knows it that the economic growth that we've had in the past 20 years has largely been concentrated in the top 1%. most americans who have been working hard have taken a pay cut in the past ten years. when you adjust for inflation, people are sliding back, not moving forward. and that didn't happen without policy promoting those redistribution mechanisms that started making rich people richer and making it tough on everybody else. affordability of college, the
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cost of health care, the outsourcing of jobs. all of those things have been happening and been very punishing on every day people. bernie attacked them directly, bluntly and forcefully and i think the party has embraced that message. >> you mentioned the tuition and pointing out a couple of others, too. "wall street journal" saying in trying to win mr. sanders' backing, mrs. clinton rolled out new policies that he had embraced on the campaign trail. she moved closer to a sanders plan that would elimination tuition at public colleges. mrs. clinton called for free tuition at public schools. over the weekend they write that she released a plan to increase spending for community health centers, a sanders priority. how else do you see him influencing the clinton campaign from a campaign point of view and also possibly from a policy point of view? >> to some extent you just answered the question because hillary has largely embraced many of the sanders campaign
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items. you left off that list the $15 minimum wage. the deshire to break sire to br to fail banks that's in the platform as well. health care reform with community health centers and getting that to be accessible all around the country for every day folks. he's had this huge impact on it and it reflects where the party i think is going. you see elizabeth warren who's going to be a prominent speaker at the convention. is also in that part of the party. his focus on infrastructure. i think this is where you're going to see hillary clinton really be energetic, hopefully when she's elected, to have a major, major infrastructure program that's going to put a lot of folks to work and finally fix up our roads, bridges, br d broadband, all the infrastructure needs that need to be attended but unaddressed. >> do you think elizabeth warren is the campaign's top pick for vp? >> i don't. i have no clue.
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but i like elizabeth warren and she'd be fine by me but we have a lot of people that are in the mix. senator kaine. senator brown. tomorrow perez. i think you will a he see somebody who is a good fit and embody the progressive orientation of the democratic party. >> lots of calls waiting for congressman peter welch. barbara is in west palm beach, florida. independent line. >> caller: yes. i think bernie has betrayed all his supporters in light of all of the controversy and all of the facts about hillary clinton. i think he betrayed his supporters by caving in at this point in time. also, we aregarding the previou segment when we were talking about black lives matter, under the black lives matter, the black caucus, the black history month, all of this, isn't that separating people even further? >> barbara, i'll let you go there. congressman, you want to respond perhaps to her first point? >> two things. it is heartbreaking in politics
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when you come up just a bit short. bernie came up a bit short. as he mentioned. hillary through the contest won more elected delegates and of course had more pledged delegates and she got more votes. and bernie didn't quite make it. so what's the option? do you hang in and be a third party and do a ralph nader type of thing? bernie made it very clear from the very beginning he wouldn't do that. or do you try to pull together, make negotiations as he did with the hillary campaign? he has enormous impact on platform, and he's not going to be our standard bearer. but his standards are just embraced by our standard bearer and we are all in this together. so i think bernie did the hard thing but i think he did the right thing. >> let's hear from lori next in west virginia, milton, west virginia. democrats line. >> caller: hi. yeah. i'm having a hard time with it because i was a big bernie supporter. it's not that i don't like
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hillary. i've always liked hillary clinton. but in light of the things that have happened, you know, i'm a little bit younger than her but, you know, i could see myself having an e-mail, not knowing about it, that it was not -- because i'm not computer savvy but she had people around her that should have told her. now then that makes me distrustful of her because of the people around her. they should have -- i feel like she's got to get people around her that are not "yes" people, people that can tell her the truth and she will listen to the truth. so i have a hard time. there's no way i can vote for trump but i have been looking at gary johnson. it's very difficult, like i say, to go until she says something to let me know that people she puts around her are not just
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going to be "yes" people and people that stand up and say, uh, mrs. clinton -- or president clinton, you know, there's something wrong with this. you know, i don't know. it's difficult. it is a difficult choices this time. >> we'll get a response. >> well, this is what's so hard about politics, when you put your hopes behind somebody like bernie and you're all-in. and it sounds like you really admired him and saw him as the hope of the future. and he doesn't quite make it, where do you go? how do you wrestle with those emotions that you have? and that's a process i think all of us are going to have to go through, all the bernie sanders supporters, before we can come to the decision of what we're going to do. bernie's made his decision. i've made my decision. you've got to wrestle with it. at the end of the day, it's going to be an option among who the major party candidates are. really it is going to come down to clinton or trump. when you think about hillary clinton and how -- all the
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issues you raise she's going to have to contend with in the race. but she's really embraced the platform that many of us, including bernie, have been advocating. and that's a much better platform, from my perspective, than anything donald trump or the third or fourth party candidates are offering. so that's your decision, you're going to have to come to it. bernie's made his. he's given his advice and recommendation. and i think it is good advice for all of us who want to have a more progressive democratic party and nation. >> on her comments, the caller's comments on trust, what does hillary clinton have to do to sway or sway back callers like that, particularly in light of issues like paul ryan, speaker of the house, calling on the director of national intelligence not to give these classified briefings to hillary clinton here in this pre-election period. >> well, hillary's challenge is the challenge that anybody running for office, whether it's congress or the presidency, has in making a relationship with the voters and showing that
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voter why it is you can trust me to be your president. that's the challenge for her. the e-mail controversy, she acknowledged she made a mistake and she did. and she's going to -- the republicans obviously are going to continue to hammer away on that. and she's going to have to look the american people in the eye and explain how she made that mistake and why it won't be a mistake that she makes again. >> here's a caller on the independent line. >> caller: hey, good morning. i appreciate you taking my call, first of all. i really liked bernie sanders right up until he gave her a hug. i just -- he was the only one in the race with any integrity, then he threw it all away. as far as i'm concerned, i'll never vote for hillary clinton. ever. she is really showed herself to be dishonest. and i guess i'm going to vote for either -- i'm going to hold
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my nose and vote for trump or johnson but never hillary clinton. and bernie sanders got screwed by the democratic party, right off the get-go with all of the delegates that weren't supposed to announce until the convention. they were in the bag already and it really swayed people's vote, i think, during the primary. and that's all i got to say. >> congressman welch, you're a superdelegate. tell us what that means, exactly. >> the way the democratic nomination process works is there is three things -- >> and we will leave this morning's "washington journal" to go live to springfield, illinois, for democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton, about to talk to supporters this afternoon about unifying the country. ♪ i'll be strong i'll play my fight song ♪ ♪ i don't really care
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nobody else believes ♪ ♪ because i still got a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ this is my fight song take back my life song ♪ ♪ prove i'm all right song [ applause ] >> hi. thank you, all, very, very much. please be seated. it is wonderful being back here. it is always a special privilege having grown up in chicago and the suburbs to be here in the state capital. and especially here in this great historic place, filled
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with so much meaning, not just for illinois, but for our country. and i'm delighted to have this opportunity to talk with you about the state of our country today. nearly 160 years ago, abraham lincoln gave a speech in this state house that marked a turning point in the political life of our nation. the question of slavery was being fiercely debated across america. roughly half the states allowed it, half abolished it, and some people, including lincoln, believed that until it was gone entirely our country would never be truly united and at peace. so on june 16th, 1858, when mr. lincoln kicked off his campaign
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for the united states senate, he delivered an address on how slavery was tearing our country apart. and that it must go. some thought that he ended up losing the senate race because of that speech, but then he won the presidency and some thought it was because of that speech. president lincoln led america during the most challenging period in our nation's history. he defended our union, our constitution, and the ideal of a nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated the proposition that all men are created equal. his legacy included laws and amendments that enshrined those
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values for future generations. they protect and guide us still. i'm here today in this place because the words lincoln spoke all those years ago still hold resonance for us now. remember he said a house divided against itself cannot stand. i believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. i do not expect, he went on, the union to be dissolved. i do not expect the house to fall. but i do expect it will cease to be divided. it will become all one thing or all the other. the challenges we face today do
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not approach those of lincoln's time. not even close. and we should be very clear about that. but recent events have left people across america asking hard questions about whether we are still a house divided. despite our best efforts and highest hopes, america's long struggle with race is far from finished. in the past week, we saw black men killed by police and five police officers killed by a sniper, targeting white police. there is too much violence and hate in our country. too little trust and common ground. it can feel impossible to have
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the conversations we need to have to fix what is broken. and despite being the richest country on earth, we have too much economic inequality. and that also undermines the foundation of our democracy. lincoln understood that threat too. he deeply believed everyone deserved in his words a fair chance in the race of life. he saw it as a defining feature of the united states and believed it was vital that hard working people be free to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. it is one of the reasons he was so strongly against slavery because it violated that entire notion. and as president, he took pains
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to use the tools of government, to create more economic opportunity for americans at every level of society. so too must we fight inequality and create opportunity in our time, not just for some americans, but for all. so i come today as a mother, and a grandmother, to two beautiful little children, who i want them and all of our children to glow up in a country where violence like the kind we saw last week doesn't happen again. and where the american dream is big enough for everyone. i'm also here as a candidate for president who is deeply concerned about the divisions that still hold our people apart, and our nation back.
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i believe that our future peace and prosperity depends on whether we meet this moment with honesty and courage. that means taking a hard look at our laws, and our attitudes. it means embracing policies that promote justice for all people and standing firm against any attempt to roll back the clock on the rights and opportunities that so many sacrificed so much to secure. and all of that starts with doing a better job of listening to each other. we need to listen to the families who loved ones have been killed in police incidents. alton sterling and philando castile are the latest of a long and painful litany of
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african-americans dying after encounters with police offices.s we remember laquan mcdonald killed in chicago a year and a half ago and sandra bland who grew up in illinois who died one year ago today. time after time, no one is held accountable. and surely we can all agree that's deeply wrong and needs to change. and yes, we do need to listen to those who say black lives matter. too many black americans, especially young men, feel like their lives are disposable and they worry every single day about what might happen. they have every reason to feel that way and it is absolutely unacceptable. everyone in america, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
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surely that is something we can all unite behind. we need to acknowledge the five latinos who also lost their lives in police incidents last week. their stories didn't get national media coverage, but their families and communities are mourning too. and at the same time we need to listen to the dedicated, principled police officers working hard every day to rebuild trust with the communities they serve and protect. our men and women in blue put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe and keep our democracy strong. remember what michael krol, michael smith, lorne ahrens, brent thompson, and patrick
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zamarripa were doing when they died. they were protecting a peaceful march. they were people cloaked in authority, making sure their fellow citizens could exercise their right to protest authority. and there is nothing more vital to our democracy than that. and they gave their lives for it. david brown, the dallas police chief, said that when it comes to overcoming systemic racism and so many other problems in society, we ask too much of the police and too little of everyone else. i think he's absolutely right. this is our problem. and we all need to work together to solve it. we also need to listen to the families crying out for relief from gun violence.
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president obama's trip to dallas yesterday was the 11th time he has spoken to a city in mourning after a mass shooting. the wrong people keep getting their hands on guns. and not just any guns, military weapons, like the kind that the dallas killer had, which allowed had him to outgun the police. and the vast majority of gun owners agree, we have to come together around common sense steps to prevent gun violence. if we're looking for common ground, this is common ground. and i hope that we will, from washington to springfield to everywhere across america come to agreement about that. now, i understand that just saying these things together may
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upset some people. i'm talking about police reform, just a few days after a horrific attack on police officers. i'm talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer involved shootings in louisiana and minnesota. i'm bringing up guns in a country where just talking about comprehensive background checks and getting assault weapons off the streets gets you demonized. but all these things can be true at the same time. we do need criminal justice reform to save lives, and make sure all americans are treated as equals in rights and dignity. we do need to support our police departments that are trying to get it right and honor the men and women who protect us every
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day. we do need to do more to stop gun violence. we may disagree about how to do these things, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises and i hope and pray the past week has showed us how true they are. now these are the issues on many of our minds right now, and if we stop there, that would leave us with plenty of work to do. so i wish i could say that was everything that we must address. but these events are taking place against a much broader backdrop of fear and anxiety. so i think we have to face all of it. we do need to make sure our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. the changes that have roiled our economy over the past few
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decades are not just numbers on a page that economists study. they are real forces that families are dealing with, up close and personal, every day. not long ago, i met with factory workers, here in illinois, whose jobs are being sent abroad and heard how painful the consequences have been for them and their families. i've talked to workers across our country who have seen good jobs lost to technologies, who keep being told to get more training, even though that often doesn't lead to a good new job on the other end. these economic disruptions have stripped too many people of their sense of security and dignity and that can have devastating consequences. we have to ask ourselves, why are drug addiction and suicide
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on the rise in parts of our country. that's not just about economics. it is about something deeper that is connected to economics. a sense of dislocation, even a pessimism about whether america still holds anything for them or cares about them at all. that's why i pledge that in my first 100 days as president, we will make the biggest investment in new good paying jobs since world war ii. we need more jobs. you can support a family on, especially in places that have been left out and left behind, from coal country, to indian country, to inner cities, to every place that has been hallowed out when a factory closed or a mine shut down.
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because everyone in america deserves that fair chance in the race of life that president lincoln described. now, i realize that our politics have contributed to the sense of division that many americans feel right now. and as someone in the middle of a hotly fought political campaign, i cannot stand here and claim that my words and actions haven't sometimes fueled the partisanship that often stands in the way of progress. so i recognize i have to do better too. i'm running for president with the belief that we need to face up to these challenges and fix them in order to become a stronger, fairer country. and in times like these, we need
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a president who can help pull us together, not split us apart. [ applause ] and that is why i believe donald trump is so dangerous. his campaign is as divisive as any we have seen in our lifetime. it is built on stoke iing mistr and pitting american against american. it is there in everything he says, and everything he promises to do as president.
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it is there in how he wants to ban muslims from coming to the united states and toyed with creating a database to track muslims in america. it is there in the way he demeans women, in his promotion of an anti-semitic image pushed by neo-nazis, and in the months that he spent trying to discredit the citizenship and legitimacy of our first black president. last night, in an interview, he said, that he understands systemic bias against black people because and i quote even against me the system is rigged, unquote. went on to say, i can relate to it very much myself. even this, the killing of
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people, is somehow all about him. it is there in his proposals on immigration. he says he'll round up 11 million people and kick them out. he's actually described a special deportation force that would go around america, pulling people out of their homes, and workplaces, pulling children out of school. i got a letter from a mother the other day who said her adopted son asked her with a shaky voice if president trump would send him back to ethiopia. when kids are scared by political candidates and policy debates, it is a sign that something has gone badly wrong. and we see it in the violence that donald trump encouraged toward protesters at his rallies
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and the strange things he has said about the violence that will occur if we don't elect him. he says that if he doesn't win in november, we, and again, i quote, won't even have a country anymore. america's not going to continue to survive. i do not know what he's talk ing about. but -- [ applause ] i do know we don't need that kind of fearmongering, not now, not ever. and he's gone even further than that. he has taken aim at some of our most cherished democratic values and institutions. he wants to revoke the citizenship of 4 million americans born in this country to immigrant parents and
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eliminate the bedrock principle enshrined in the 14th amendment that if you're born in america, you're a citizen of america. he said that a distinguished american born in indiana, a judge, can't be trusted to do his job because his parents were mexican. he called him a mexican judge over and over again. he knew the judge had been born in indiana. but it was a cynical, calculated attempt to fan the flames of racial division. and designed to undermine people's faith in our judicial system. why would someone running for president want to do that? and even that's not all. he says as commander in chief,
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he would order our troops to commit war crimes and insisted they would follow his orders even though that goes against decades of military training and the military code. he's banished members of the press who criticized had him. is there any doubt he would do the same as president? imagine if he had not just twitter and cable news to go after his critics and opponents, but also the irs, or for that matter our entire military. given what we have seen and heard, do any of us think he would be restrained? and he has shown contempt for and ignorance of our constitution.
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last week he met with house republicans in washington to try to assuage their serious concerns about him one member asked whether he would protect article one, which defines the separation of powers between congress and the executive branch here's the answer he reportedly gave. i want to protect article one, article two, article 12. well, here's the thing. there is no article 12. not even close. that was a serious question from an elected representative and he either didn't care enough to answer it seriously, or he didn't know where to begin. even the most stalwart republicans were alarmed by that. and well they and we should be. the very first thing a new
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president does is take an oath to protect and defend the constitution. to do that with any meaning, you've got to know what's in it. and you are to respect what's in it. [ applause ] i do wish donald trump would listen to other people once in a while. he might actually learn something. but he's made it clear that's not his thing. as he has said, he only listens to himself. this man is the nominee of the party of lincoln. we are watching it become the party of trump.
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and that's not just a huge loss for our democracy, it is a threat to it. because donald trump's campaign adds up to an ugly, dangerous message to america. a message that you should be afraid, afraid of people whose ethnicity is different, or religious faith is different, or who were born in a different country, or hold different political beliefs. make no mistake, there are things to fear in this world and we need to be clear eyed about them. but we are each other's country men and women. we share this miraculous country. this land and its heritage is
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yours, mine, and everyone's willing to pledge allegiance and understand the solemn responsibilities of american citizenship. that's what indivisible means, that big word that every grade school student knows. that we're in this together, even if that's not always easy. so let's think better of each other. let's hold together in the face of our challenges, not turn on each other or tear each other down. let's put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses good-bye every day, and heading off to a dangerous job, we need them to do. let's put ourselves in the shoes of african-americans and latinos and try as best as we can to
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imagine what it would be like if we had to have the talk with our kids about how carefully they need to act. [ applause ] how carefully they need to act because the slightest wrong move could get them hurt or killed. and, yes, let's put ourselves in the shoes of donald trump's supporters. we may disagree on the causes and the solutions to the challenges we face, but i believe like anyone else, they're trying to figure out their place in a fast changing america. they want to how to make a good
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living and give their kids better futures and opportunities. that's why we have got to reclaim the promise of america for all our people, no matter who they vote for. and let's be more than allies to each other. let's take on each other's struggles as our own. my life's work is built on the conviction that we are stronger together. not separated into factions or sides, not shouting over each other, but together. our economy is stronger when everyone contributes to it. and everyone can benefit from the work they do. our communities are stronger when we all pull together to solve our problems and restore our faith in each other, and by doing so, in the promise of america. our country is stronger when we work with friends and allies to
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promote peace, prosperity and security around the world. this is an idea that goes back to the founding of america, when 13 separate colonies found a way despite their differences to join together as one nation. they knew they were not stronger on their own, and neither are we. i've had the great delight of seeing the musical hamilton. and i hope more people at least get a chance to listen to the score and to hear the words. there is a great song by the character playing george washington, who sings history's eyes are on us. that was true then. and that's true today.
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if we do this right, and if we have the hard conversations we need to have, we will become stronger still, like steel tempered by fire. don't get me wrong. fierce debates are part of who we are. they started at my dinner table with my father. and have continued ever since. it is who we are. you're reminded of that when you read history, when you think about the lincoln douglas debates, debate over the right way forward, and sometimes we have to balance competing values like freedom and order, justice and security, these are complementary values of american li life. that isn't easy.
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previous generations have had to overcome terrible challenges and no one more so than abraham lincoln. but in the end, if we do the work, we will cease to be divided. we, in fact, will be indivisible with liberty and justice for all, and we will remain in president lincoln's words the last best hope of earth. thank you, all, very much. [ applause ] ♪ this is my fight song take back my life song prove i'm all right song ♪ ♪ my power's turned up i'll be strong ♪ ♪ i'll play my fight song and i don't really care if nobody else believes ♪
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♪ because i've still got a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ losing friends and chasing sleep ♪ ♪ everybody's worried about me ♪ ♪ in too deep say i'm in too deep ♪ ♪ been two years i miss my home ♪ ♪ fire burning in my bones ♪ ♪ still believe yeah, i still believe ♪ ♪ all those things i didn't say ♪ ♪ wrecking balls inside my brain ♪ ♪ i would scream out tonight ♪ ♪ can you hear my voice this time ♪ ♪ this is my fight song take back my life song prove i'm all right song ♪ ♪ my power's turned up starting right now i'll be strong ♪ ♪ i'll play my fight song and i don't really care if nobody else believes
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because i still got a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ like a small boat on the ocean ♪ ♪ sending big waves into motion ♪ ♪ like a single word can make a heart open ♪ ♪ i might only have one match but i can make an explosion ♪ ♪ this is my fight song take back my life song prove i'm all right song ♪ ♪ my power's turned up i'll be strong ♪
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♪ i don't really care if nobody else believes because i still got a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ and i still got a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ this is my fight song take back my life song prove i'm all right song ♪ ♪ my power's turned up starting right now i'll be strong ♪ ♪ i'll play my fight song and i don't really care if nobody else believes because i still got a lot of fight left in me ♪ ♪ losing friends and i'm chasing sleep ♪ ♪ everybody's worried about me ♪ ♪ in too deep saying i'm in too deep ♪ ♪ been two years i miss my home ♪
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♪ a fire burning in my bones ♪ ♪ still believe yeah, i still believe ♪ ♪ all those things i didn't say ♪ ♪ wrecking balls inside my brain ♪ ♪ i will scream loud tonight can you hear my voice ♪ ♪ this is my fight song take back my life song ♪ ♪ remember me remember you and me ♪ ♪ remember everything we shared ♪ ♪ the way we cared remember hearts remember unity ♪ ♪ remember laughing without excepting favors ♪ ♪ why be afraid to make an honest mistake ♪ ♪ if you acknowledge
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the pain ♪ ♪ and you want to change you can get through anything ♪ ♪ do you remember at all ♪ ♪ people walking hand and hand can we feel the love again ♪ ♪ can you imagine at all if we all could get along ♪ ♪ and we all could sing this song together ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ singing oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ look at me look at you ♪ ♪ i look at me again we're not so different ♪ ♪ look around things outside our window
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we don't care ♪ ♪ i had a dream we were in deep ♪ ♪ if we all just believe all we need enough can set you free ♪ ♪ do you remember at all ♪ ♪ people walking hand and hand can you feel that love again ♪ ♪ can you imagine at all if we all could get along and we all could sing this song together ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ singing oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ oh, yeah ♪ if we could throw away the
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hate and make the best of another day ♪ ♪ don't give up life could be so simple ♪ ♪ they may talk about us they will never stop us ♪ ♪ we'll keep singing ♪ oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ do you remember at all ♪ ♪ we were walking hand and hand can you imagine at all ♪ ♪ if we could all get along and sing this song together ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ come on, come on, come on
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♪ oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ together, together ♪ >> ooh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ sing it ♪ oh, oh, oh oh, oh, oh ♪ ♪ time for me to take it i'm the boss right now ♪ coming up this afternoon here on c-span3, dr. tom frieden, head of the centers for disease control and prevention,
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he's testifying before senate foreign relations subcommittee about efforts to combat the zika virus, that starts at 2:30 p.m. eastern, see it live here on c-span3. a road to the white house coverage continues thursday and friday as republicans determine the rules for next week's convention in cleveland. live coverage on c-span. the c-span radio app and the hard fought 2016 primary season is over, with historic conventions to follow this summer. watch c-span as the delegates consider the nomination of the first woman ever to head a major political party. and the first nonpolitician in several decades. watch live on c-span. listen on the c-span radio app or get video on demand at you have a front row seat to
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every minute of both conventions on c-span. all beginning on monday. david cameron today stepped down as prime minister of great britain. this morning was his last prime minister's questions and we'll show you that up next here on c-span3. >> order. questions to the prime minister. mr. danny killohorn. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i know the whole house will join me in congratulating andy murray, gordon reed and alfie hewitt on their stunning success at wimbledon. mr. speaker, this morning i had meetings with minister, colleagues and others, other
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than one meeting this afternoon with her majesty the queen, the diary for the rest of my day is remarkably light. >> danny. >> thank you. thank you very much. mr. speaker, may i echo the prime minister's congratulations to andrew murray and the other winners. but may we thank the prime minister for all his hard work and his leadership and particularly his commitment to the union and to northern ireland, and swimming in lockhearn and maybe he would like to come and swim in lockny. we look forward to working with the next prime minister, and i'm told there are lots of leadership roles out there at the moment. there is the england football team. there is top gear. there is even across the big pond a role that needs filling.
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but if i can go to my pet subject, brexit really threaten s, brexit really threatens the union. will the prime minister work with his successors to ensure we have some body that is going to pull together all the countries of the union and the overseas territories and make it also that we all work and thrive together? >> first of all, let me thank the gentleman for his kind remarks and fascinating suggestions for future jobs. i think most of which sound even harder than this one. i think i'll pass. i do believe northern ireland is stronger than it was six years ago, 58,000 more people in work. the full evolution of justice and home affairs under this government, the salvo report published and record investment and creating jobs in northern ireland, i care passionately about our united kingdom as i
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know he does. we need to make sure as we leave the european union, we need to work out the benefits of the common travel area, hard work is being done now with civil servants. and the pace needs to quicken. >> jack lopresti. >> thank you mr. speaker. i would like to pay tribute to my friend for all the hard work he's done. the lasting legacy will include supporting the kurds whose peshmerga are fighting daesh in our interest. having visited the front line, air strikes, weapons and training are crucial, but it could be reduced with additional equipment like body armor, respirators and front line medical facilities. we could possibly provide some beds in our specialist hospital in birmingham to the most seriously injured. this is a small investment that
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will mack a huge difference to our allies in the common fight to defeat the evil of terrorism. >> thank you for his kind remarks. also, he's slurtly right, the kurds are brave fights and doing valuable right against daesh in iraq and syria. i'll look carefully at his suggestion of using the birmingham hospital. it has excellent facilities for battlefield casualties. our army is providing medical instruction to the peshmerga to help them deal with the situation, but we will see if more can be done. the strategy is working, daesh is on the back foot, its finances have been hit. more than 25,000 daesh fighters have been killed. desertion increased and the flow of foreign fighters is up -- has fallen by 90%. i always said, this will take a long time to work in iraq and syria. but we must stick at it and must stay the course. >> jeremy corbyn.
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thank you, thank you, mr. speaker. can i pay tribute to the british winners at wimbledon. also i think it would be nice if we congratulated serena williams on her fantastic achievement as well. it is only right that after six years as prime minister we thank the right honorable member for his service. i often disagreed with him, but there are some achievements i want to welcome and pay recognition to today. one, helping secure the release from guantanamo bay and legislating to achieve equal marriage within our society. i'm sure he would like to acknowledge it was labor votes that helped to get it through on that occasion. would he also perhaps for a moment express some concern at the way homelessness has risen for the past six years and looked like it is going to continue to rise in this
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country? >> i'll join him in paying tribute to serena williams, i think steffi graf's amazing record of 22 grand slams, she's overtaken that. can i thank him for what he said about shaker armor. that was a case that the government raised again and again with the u.s. government and i think it has been resolved. i thank him for what he said about equal marriage. i'll never forget the day at number ten when one person who walked close to the front door said i'm not interested in politics, but because of something you have done, i'm able to marry the person i loved my whole life this weekend. there are many amazing moments in this job but that was one of my favorites. as for homelessness, it is 10% below the peak we saw under labor. the key is building new homes.
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we need to quicken the pace on that the key to building more homes is programs to help buy, and a strong economy. >> she said it is harder than ever for young people to buy their first house. so does the prime minister think that is because of record low house building or his government's apparent belief that 450,000 pounds is an affordable starter home? >> let me say, how warmly i congratulate the home secretary. i'm very pleased to be able to say pretty soon it will be 2-0. and not a pink boss in sight. on the issue of housing and
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homele homelessness, he asked about this issue of affordability, which is is absolutely key. when i became prime minister, because of what had happened to the mortgage market, a first time buyer needed to have as much as 30,000 pounds to put a deposit down. because of the combination of help to buy and shared ownership, some are able to get on the housing ladder. the now houses we're building, we're making good progress. >> the malaise seems deeper still. the home secretary said talking of the economy, said so that it really does work for everyone, because it is apparent to anyone in touch with real world that people do not feel our economy works that way. isn't she right that too many people in too many places in
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britain feel their economy has been destroyed in times they're in because the industry's have gone. don't we all need to address that question? >> if we talk about the economic record, let's get the facts straight. we cut the deficit by two-th two-thirds. there is almost a million more businesses. 2.9 apprenticeships have been trained under this government. when it comes to poverty, fewer people in poverty, 100,000 fewer children in relative poverty and to be accused by the right honorable gentleman, let's take the last week, we had resignation, competition, coronation, and they haven't decided what the rules are yet.
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if they ever got into power, it would take a year to figure out who would sit wear. >> democracy an exciting and splendid thing and i'm enjoying every moment of it. >> home secretary, mr. speaker, i was talking of the economy. the home secretary said many people find themselves exploited by unskrupless buses. i can't imagine who he's referring to. but in his discussion, mr. speaker, in his handover discussions with the home secretary, could he enlighten us
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as to whether or not there is any proposal to take on agency britain by banning zero hours contract, clamping down on umbrella companies, repealing the trade union act or all three? >> well, he's right, democracy is a splendid thing. i have to agree with him about that. let me answer very directly. on exploitation in the work place. it is this government that is massively increased the power, the masters licensing authority. all of those things have changed under this government. is for zero krds, they account for less than one in 40 people in work. it was this government that did something the labor party never did, to ban exclusive zero.
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13 yores of labor, but took a coalition conservative government to do it. let me say something about the democratic process of leadership election. i'm beginning to admire his tenacity. he reminds me of the black knight in monty python's holy grail. he's been kicked so many times, but he says keep going. it is only a flesh wound. i admire that. mr. speaker, i would like the prime minister to address another issue that the house voted on last week. i got a question from nina who -- no, hang on. it is a question from somebody who devs an answer. she says, i would like to know if there is any possibility that
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a european union citizen can have the right to permanent residence. there has been no clear answer to this question. it is one that worries a large number of people. it would be good for the question time. he could offer assurance to those people. >> let me reassure, there is no chance of that happening to someone of those circumstances. we're working hard to do what we want, to give a guarantee to eu citizens they will have their rights respected, all those who have come to this country. the only circumstance i could see a government trying to undo that would be if british citizens in other european countries diabete have their rig didn't have their rights respected. the new prime minister working to give that guarantee as fast as we can.
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i'm glad he mentioned e-mails. i got an e-mail as well. i got this. i'm not making this up. i got this on the 16th of september, 2015, from somebody called judith. she said, please, please keep dignity. she gave this reason. she said, tom watson, who may oust jeremy corbyn, is a different kettle of fish. he's experienced, organized and far more dangerous in the long-term. let him create his own party of disunity. after this is over, i have to find judith and see what happens next. >> mr. speaker, i had the pleasure of asking the prime minister 179 questions.
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and before i ask him the last question, could i just put it on the record and wish him well as he leaves this office and to issue his family well. i think we should all recognize that while many of us do enjoy our jobs and our political life, it is the loved ones nearest to us, familiesing that make -- she's extremely -- it is extremely kind of her. i would be grateful if he passed that on to her personally. i'm reflecting on the lesson they offered. but i've got one rumor i want him to deal with. as a rumor going around that his departure, his departure has
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been carefully choreographied, so he can slip seemlessly in the vacancy created this morning by len goodman's departure. is that his next career? >> i don't have a paso doeb dob i can promise that is not the case. thaurk for the kind rorkz and good wishes from my wife watching. i've done a bit of research, mr. speaker. i have addressed 5,500 questions from this dispatch box. i'll leave it for others to work out how many i've answered. because of your belief in letting everyone have their say, i think i've done a record of 92 hours of statements from this dispatch box as well as some tremendous enjoyable liaison
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committee appearances and other things. i will certainly send his good wishes back to my mother, he seems to have taken her advice sean looking splendid today. it gives me an opportunity to put a rumor to rest as well, even more serious than the come dancing one. the rumor that somehow i don't love larry, i do. i have photographic evidence to prove it. sadly i can't take larry with him. the staff loves him too much. >> mr. peter lilley. >> is my friend aware in 33 years in this house, watching five prime ministers and several ex-prime ministers, i see him achieve a mastery of the dispatch box unparalleled in my time. not just because of his command of detail, of his whit, but
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because he commands the respect of friend and foe alike, who know he is driven not just by the legitimate political ambitions and and ideas, but by a sense of duty which he always leads him to try to make this country more prosperous, more solvent, more tolerant, more fair and more free. and he will command the respect of generations to come. >> those words mean a lot from my friend who spent so much time in this house. it is a special place. i think prime minister's questions, everything going on and often you find out things that you want to stop pretty quickly before 12:00 on a wednesday. i believe politics is about public service and that is what
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i have always tried to do. this session does have some admirers around the world. i know when i did his job and everyone knew mike bloomberg. no one had a clue who i was until someone said we love your show, prime minister's questions. >> thank you very much. i join the prime minister and the leader of the labor party in paying tribute to all winners at wimbledon. this week we mark the 21st anniversary of the genocide. it is one of the few political causes that the prime minister and i both whole heartedly support. i hope he will be impressing the importance of supporting the remembering organization and all of the good work that it does not withstanding our differences
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i extend my best personal wishes to the prime minister and to his family. i wish them all the best, however, the prime minister's legacy will be that he has taken us to the brink of being taken out of the european union. what advice has he given his successor on taking scotland out of the eu against the wishes of scottish voters? >> let me join the gentleman in paying tribute to those who lost their lives and making sure we commemorate this event properly. this year there will be a service in the foreign office where testimony will be read out and we should think of it along side the terrible events of modern history such as the holocaust. it also i think reminds us as we often debate in this house there is a price for intervention and
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sometimes a price from nonintervention. in terms of what he says about scotland and the united kingdom and europe my advice to my successor who is a brilliant negotiator is that we should try to be as close to the european union as we can be for benefits of trade, cooperation and security. the channel will not get wider and that is the relationship we should seek good for the united kingdom and for scotland. >> the successor is known in scotland at the present time because of the threat to deport the very much loved and liked brain family from the highlands. the first is likely to be imposing trident against the wishes of almost every single mp from scotland meanwhile she says she plans to plow on with brexit regardless of the fact that scotland voted to remain in the
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eu. how does the outgoing prime minister think that all of this will go down in scotland? >> specifically on the brain family came to this country to study. she completed it and husband and son came as dependents. we have given them extension to put in application for work visa in the normal way. i very much hope that will happen. many people in scotland support nuclear deterrent maintaining their time. he asked about the record. 143,000 more people in work in scotland. massive investment in the renewable industries. two biggest warships built in scotland. a powerhouse parliament, a referendum that was legal,
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decisive and fair and winning wimbledon twice while i was prime minister. >> i would like to thank the prime minister and leadership he has shown particularly with support for women. the prime minister's legacy for me and for fellow conser survivors is the personal support he has shown for cancer drug fund. however, today i would like him to ask him to show that same support for those who have been affected by the contaminated blood. please update the house as to whether they, too, will have a legacy. >> can i thank my honorable friend. it has helped many families and many people in our country. she is absolutely right to raise the issue of contaminated plood.
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i can announce we will be spending extra 125 million pounds identified in a much fairer and comprehensive scheme. we guarantee those will receive regular annual payment. this would include all of those with hepatitis stage one who receive per year. for those with hepatitis c stage 2 annual payments increase over the lifetime of the parliament and will enhance the support for those who have been bereaved or will be in the future significantly boosting money for discretionary payments. i apologized to victims for something that should never have happened. i am proud to provide them with support that they deserve. i think people should know that coming to constituency surgeries, campaigning as these sufferrors have done coming to
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my surgery and saying this mustn't stand yb that not everyone would be fully satisfied with what is being done but it shows our democracy working. >> the prime minister came to office promising to keep aaa rating and to stop his party banging on about europe. how would you say that has gone? >> i think in terms of the economic record 2.5 million more jobs, a million more businesses, growth rate at the top of the developed world, all of that because of the choices that we made and because we did that we have been able to back our nhs with 10% funding increase, over 10 billion in real terms in this parliament. as for europe we have to settle the issues. i think it is right when you try to settle a big constitutional
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issue you don't rely on parliament. we made a promise and kept a promise. i'm very sorry this turns out to be my last question to the prime minister. every school is good or outstanding. as he prepares to leave can i encourage him to return to big society? can i ask him if he remembers saying politicians are a mixture of egotism and aul truism and you hope the right one wins out. it seems to me that he stayed on the right side of that divide in the last six years not least in the manner of his departure and i think this country is going to miss him a great deal. >> i thank my friend for his very kind remarks. i think when it comes to education there is a strong record to build on. we have 1.4 million more
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children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. we have seen free schools movement take off. i visited one yesterday that is outstanding. a quarter of them are outstanding which is an amazing record when you think how little time they had to get going. i think we should build on that record. we should use a stronger economy to build a bigger and stronger society. one of the things that we are doing is introducing national citizens service, 200,000 young people have taken part in that program. i hope by the end of this parliament it will be the norm for 16 year olds to take part. we talk about soft skills that are necessary to give people real life chances. many people don't get those chances. >> can i thank the prime minister for the courteous way he has always answered questions. i wish him to carefully choose
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answers. until i had two eye operation yz wasn't able to see him clearly. is he as concerned as i am about the newspaper reports that people long entitled to nhs are stopping people who are entitled to nhs operations having that treatment? >> can i thank him for his kind remarks? try to answer questions. it is difficult sometimes when you haven't seen the specific story and i haven't seen the story here. i recall from previous occasions that we are still investing in these cataract operations and the number receiving them are going up. i will look carefully this afternoon at the question he asked about the danger. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my right honorable friend in my
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constituency unemployment has dropped from 5.1% in may 2010 to 1.9%. a lot to be proud of and one i would like to thank him for. does my friend agree this is only possible thanks to firm focus on jobs, strong economy and investment? >> figures are remarkable. when a constituency is getting to 1.9% in terms of unemployment that is close to full employment and it is a remarkable record. what we have done with apprenticeships is 2.4 million in the last parliament towards the target of 3 million in this tarlment which i'm confident if we work hard we can achieve it. these are not just numbers on a page. they are real people who have experience, learning a trade and taking first steps in their career. what i want is when they get the career not only have the national living wage but make sure people don't start paying
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income tax until they are earning a good wage. that is a record to be proud of. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this week is black country week. yesterday black country manufacturers were in parliament demonstrating the high quality products that are exported world wide. will the outgoing prime minister impress upon the incoming prime minister the huge importance of maintaining access to the eu single market during brexit negotiations in order that we can maximize the black country contribution to export, productivity and jobs? >> i absolutely agree with the honorable gentleman. what we have seen is 173,000 more people in work under this government and we have seen
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something of a source in manufacturing particularly in the automative sector. it is vital for that industry that we have proper access to the single market. this is a thing we absolutely got to focus on. i want automotive, high quality manufacturing firms to go from strength to strength in our country and making sure we get that vital access to europe will be vital. >> as my right honorable friend was uniting and preparing it for government. i entered this house in the week that he first became prime minister. since that time unemployment halved. we are beginning to receive fairer funding. wages are up and taxes are down. can i thank my right honorable friend to his service to our nation and legacy of improved life chances he will leave
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behind? >> i thank him for kind remarks. we are seeing unemployment fall in all of these constituencies. i think more important we see 450,000 fewer children in households where nobody works. the effect of having a parent or a loved one in work helping to put food on the table and provide a role model for their children. that is what this is all about. i thank him for kind remarks. >> between broken vows, brexit and weapons of mass destruction the prime minister has done more for scottish independents than many of us.
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so as he con templates could the prime minister commitment to scottish independence official by visiting the website to join. >> what would i say to all members of parliament is when you have lord smith himself saying that the vow to create a powerhouse parliament was kept the smp should pay attention to that and recognize a promise was made and a promise was delivered. i have talked many times about creating this powerhouse parliament. can i join all those in thanking the prime minister for
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the statesman like leadership given to our party and to the country for the last six years and to thank him particularly on this occasion for the debating eloquence but also the wit and the humor that he has always brought to prime minister questions on wednesday. and can i ask as he will have some plans for slightly more enjoyable and relaxed wednesday morning and lunch time nevertheless he will still be an active participant in this house as he faces a large number of problems over the next few years as no two people know what brexit means at the moment we need his advice and statesmanship as much as we ever had. >> can i thank my right honorable friend for kind remarks. i remember one of the toughest condition conversations i had i was trying to get him to join my
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front bench. he was on a bird watching holiday. it was almost impossible to persuade him to come back. not many people know this but his first act was to fire me as special adviser. i am very proud of the fact that one of my first acts was to appoint him to my cabinet. i know that then deputy prime minister will join me in saying that he provided great wisdom, great thoughtfulness at the time of national difficulty in the advice that he gave us. he is not always the easiest person to get hold of. we tried to get him to carry a mobile phone. he did briefly have one but he said people keep ringing me on it. we had to move our morning meeting to accommodate his 9:00 cigar. i will watch these exchanges from the back benches.
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i will miss the roar of the crowd. i will miss the barbs from the opposition. but i will be willing you on. when i say willing you on, i don't just mean willing on the new prime minister or just willing on the front bench, defending the manifesto that i helped to put together, but willing all of you on. people come here with huge passion for issues their care about. they come here with great love for constituencies that they represent and also willing on this place because we can be pretty tough and test and challenge our leaders perhaps more than some other countries but that is something we should be proud of and should keep at it. i hope you all will keep at it. and i will will you on as you do. you can achieve a lot of things in politics. the public service, national interest is what it is all about. nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it. as i once said, i was the future once. [shouting]
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dheers [ applause ] applause] [applause]
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[inaudible road to the white house coverage continues thursday and friday as republicans determine rules for next week's convention in cleveland. live coverage on c-span, the radio app and the 2016 primary season is over with historic conventions to follow this summer.
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>> colorado. >> florida. >> texas. >> ohio. >> watch c-span as delegates consider nomination of first woman ever to head a major political party and first non-politician in several decades. watch live on c-span. listen on the radio app or get video on demand. you have a front row seat to every minute of both conventions on c-span all beginning on monday. coming up in about 20 minutes it's cdc director tom frieden. he will appear before the senate foreign relations committee due to start at 2:30 p.m. eastern live. now to take us to the bottom of the hour here is a discussion on bernie sanders recent endorsement of hillary clinton. we'll show you as much of this
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washington journal segment as we can until the zika hearing gets underway. >> congressman peter walsh from vermont is not only delegate but superdelegate of bernie sanders. what did you think when that happened yesterday? >> bitter tweet for vermonters. bernie got only 86% of the vote in vermont. he ran such an extraordinary campaign, came out of nowhere. everybody thought it would be impossible for him to get any traction. he got over 12 million votes, raised over $200 million. and i think it is fair to say and i think the hillary folks acknowledge that bernie sanders' campaign had the biggest impact on the definition of the democratic platform with his singular focus on income inequality and trying to make the economy work for every day
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people. so he is supporting hillary clinton. that was a hard decision i think because he did so well and came so close. but he is putting the country first. so there is a lot of sadness because we are proud of bernie and how well he did. he did the right thing and did it in a gracious and forceful way and i think will be a huge factor in bringing the party together. >> what has senator sanders done to delegates, superdelegates like yourself in bringing you aboard for hillary? >> what he did yesterday when he gave the speech he was speaking to all of us and making the case as to why it is time to support and unify behind hillary clinton. so i think we all saw his speech. we all admired his campaign. he is saying he is putting -- what he is doing is taking the action of putting his arms around hillary clinton and saying she did win this race. we've got to win this election. we have to beat donald trump. there is disappointment for a
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lot of sanders supporters but keep in mind a lot of disappointment for bernie, as well. there is a lot of heartbreak in politics because you aspire for the brass ring. you came up just a little bit short. what he is helping all of us understand is we've got to win this race. >> with us to talk politics particularly democratic politics with bernie sanders endorsing hillary clinton. 202-748-8000 is the number to call for democrats. 202-748-8002 for republicans. we will take your tweets. if you look back to the beginning of bernie sanders campaign how are you on board? >> i got on board just before the primary and there are two
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reasons. bernie sanders was eelectrifying the country with effectiveness of his message about attacking income inequality. he was a different kind of candidate. his ability to bring in young people, new people and really across to some extent demographic lines was powerful. that message that bernie was delivering was extremely effective. second, he is a hometown person. he and i got into politics, i have known him for years. a lot of us in vermont were pretty proud of him. wanted to give him a shot. >> what do you think his candidacy will mean for in the short term some of the platform issues, but in terms of the nature of the party four years down the road. how has he changed the party? >> i think he is getting us back to our roots. the democratic party has stood up for the aspirations of
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working americans, every day people trying to get ahead. they have been under challenge. it is true and everybody knows it that the economic growth that we have had in the past 20 years has been concentrated in top 1%. most americans who have been working hard have taken a pay cut in the past ten years. when you adjust for inflation people are sliding back, not moving forward. that didn't happen without policy promoting those redistribution mechanisms that started making rich people richer and making it tough on everybody else. they call it affordability of college, cost of health care, the outsourcing of jobs. all of those things have been happening and have been very punishing. bernie attacked them directly, bluntly and forcefully. the party has embraced that message. >> you mentioned the tuition and pointing out a couple of other
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others. mrs. clinton rolled out policies he had embraced on campaign trail. mrs. clinton called for free tuition of public schools. they write that she released a plan to increase spending for community health centers. how else do you see himfluencing the clinton campaign from a campaign point of view and possibly from a policy point of view? >> to some extent you answered the question because hillary has largely embraced many of the sanders campaign items. the $15 minimum wage left off the list, the desire to break up too big to fail banks in the platform, the health care reform that you mentioned with community health centers and getting it to be accessible for every day folks. he has had a huge impact and it
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reflect reflects where the party is going. you see elizabeth warren in that part of the party focussed on infrastructure. >> this is where you see hillary clinton really be energetic and hopefully elected to have a major, major infrastructure program that will put a lot of folks to work and fix up roads and bridges, broadband, all the infrastructure needs that have been unattended and need to be addressed. >> you mentioned elizabeth warren. do you think she is the clinton campaign's top pick for vp? >> i have no clue. i like elizabeth warren. we have a lot of people in the mix. senator brown, tom perez. i think you will see somebody who will be a good fit and embody the progressive orientation of democratic party. >> lots of calls in waiting. let's hear from barbara in west
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palm beach, florida, independent line. >> caller: i think bernie has to trade supporters in light of controversy and facts about hillary clinton i think he betrayed his supporters by caving in at this point in time. also, regarding the previous segment, when we were talking about black lives matter. the black lives matter, black caucus, black history month, isn't that separating people even further? >> i will let you go there. >> two things. it is heartbreaking when you come up just a bit short. bernie came up a bit short. hillary won more elected delegates and got more votes. bernie didn't quite make it. so what is the option? do you hang in and be a third party and do a ralph nadir
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thing? bernie made it clear he wouldn't do that. do you try to pull together and make negotiations as he did with the hillary campaign. he has enormous impact and will not be our standard bearer but his standards are embraced by our standard bearer and we are all in this together. i think bernie did the hard thing but i think he did the right thing. >> laurie next in milton, west virginia. democrats line. >> caller: i'm having a hard time with it because i was a big bernie supporter. it's not that i don't like hillary. i have always liked hillary clinton. in light of the things that have happened i'm a little bit younger than her. i can see myself having an e-mail and not knowing about it, that it was not because i'm not computer savvy. she had people around her that
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should have told her. that makes me distrustful of her because of the people around her. i feel like she's got to get people around her that are not just people but people who can tell her the truth. i have a hard time. there is no way i can vote for trump but i have been looking at gary johnson. it's very difficult, like i say, to go until she says something to let me know people she puts around her are not going to just be yes people and people that stand up and say mrs. clinton or president clinton there is something wrong with this. i don't know. it's difficult. it's a difficult choice this time. >> we are going to respond. >> you know, this is what is so hard about politics when you put
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your hopes behind somebody like bernie and you are all in. it sounds like you really admired him and saw him as the hope of the future and he doesn't quite make it where do you go and wrestle with those emotions that you is? and that is a process i think all of us are going to have to go through before we can come to the decision of what we are going to do. bernie made his decision. i made my decision. you is to wrestle with it. at the end of the day it will be an option among who the major party candidates are, really clinton or trump. when you think about hillary clinton and the issues you raised she will have to contend with in the race. she has embraced the platform that many of us including bernie have been advocatinadvocating. that is much better platform from my perspective. so that's your decision. you are going to have to come to it. bernie has given his advice and
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recommendation. i think it is good advice if all of us who want to have a more progressive democratic party and nation. >> what does hillary clinton have to do to sway or way back callers like that particularly in light of issues like paul ryan, speaker of the house calling on director of national intelligence not to give classified briefings to hillary clinton here in the pre-election period. >> hillary's challenges is challenges anybody running for office whether congress or presidency has in making relationship with the voters. and showing that voter why it is you can trust me to be your president. that's the challenge for her. the e-mail controversy, she acknowledged she made a mistake and she did. she is going to -- the republicans obviously will continue to hammer away on that. she will have to look the american people in the eye and explain how she made that mistake and why it won't be a
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mistake that she makes again. >> good morning to noel independent line. >> caller: good morning. i appreciate you taking my call, first of all. i really like bernie sanders right up until he gave her a hug. he was the only one in the race with any integrity and threw it all away as far as i'm concerned. i will never vote for hillary clinton, ever. she has really shown herself to be dishonest. and i guess i'm going to vote for either -- i'm going to hold my nose and vote for trump or johnson but never hillary clinton. bernie sanders got screwed by the democratic party by right off the get go with all of superdelegates that weren't supposed to announce until the convention. they were in the bag already and it really swayed people's vote,
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i think, during the primary. that's all i got to say. >> congressman, you are a superdelegate. tell us what that means. >> the way the democratic nomination process works is there are three things. there is a caucus state where generally the turnout is very small but very committed people. there are elections, primaries where voters vote and then in proportion to the vote that hillary got or bernie got are allocated delegates and then party officials, governors, members of congress, senators and they're superdelegates. we get a vote and we can vote for whoever it is we want. >> your vote doesn't count more than a regular delegate does. >> that's correct. the caller is speaking for a lot of bernie folks who so admired his integrity but the fact is
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that i do not believe primary process was rigged because hillary, as bernie said, got more elected delegates than bernie did. it didn't come down to superdelegates making the difference. the elected delegates were over 300 more for hillary. so it's hard to say that if you are a strong sanders supporter. bernie acknowledged that's the way it worked out. >> that caller saying he wouldn't support hillary clinton. a piece here in the washington post writing does hillary clinton need bernie sanders? he writes of course clinton would prefer to unite her party and have sanders long held support to ensure against his supporters staying home or perhaps supporting donald trump. in recent weeks it has become clear they were very unlikely to do that. two polls showed sanders supporters rallying to clinton
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quickly with eight in ten saying they would support clinton in the general election. would you say that is about the way you hearing it? >> i think that will work out that way. there is another issue where bernie will be extremely helpful especially with young people who for the first time got involved with politics and that is turnout. we have a lot of challenges in many states where it is going to be a toss up kind of election. bernie going into those states on behalf of hillary and answering questions like the caller who had a hard time, totally committed to bernie but now may be resisting going with hillary i think bernie will be able to mobilize those folks by his presence and by his advocacy and explanation about why tough as this choice may be it is the right thing to do. >> that caller wasn't one of them. here is 538 says sanders endorsement may help among most anti-clinton supporters. let's hear from matt on our
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republican line in naples, florida. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i called and i will tell you this. i never supported bernie sanders but i did respect him. conventions, principles and well spoken. only as an on looker i can't imagine how it is to be part of this crowd. only as an on looker it is a tremendous disappointment to see him ultimately place his loyalties with the party rather than the people. >> see, i think he would dispute that. that was hard for him to formally end his campaign and support hillary clinton. as bad as you feel you can imagine he has been out there for 14 months. he really turned the political world upside down.
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he came very close. california was when he came up short really. but he is doing this in order to put the country first and put what his goals are first. and it's going to be much better for achieving some or all of bernie sanders' goal if we have a democrat hillary clinton in the white house rather than donald trump. that is the judgment he made. a lot of folks who are bernie sanders supporters will have to mull that over, hear what bernie had to say and then make their decisions. i agree with bernie it is the right decision. >> a couple of comments on twitter. senator sanders telling people he would take it to the convention. platforms talking about the democratic platform, platforms are rarely enacted. clinton will do nothing of consequence related to bernie's ideas.
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how do you think bernie sanders will stick around to make sure that those ideas are indeed carried out if she is elected. >> i think platforms generally don't make that much difference. i think what does make a difference is how bernie's moved the party so democrats embraced principles and politicians embraced the principles. the platform is being written as a conclusion about how powerful bernie's message was. i do believe what bernie promoted is incorporated into the platform about attacking income inequality. that is a powerful ongoing force and hillary clinton as president will embrace it because that is where the support is. >> we hear from fairfield, connecticut. tim is on the independent line. >> caller: i think this is great for the democratic party. this is like what happens to the republican party, the


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