Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

tv   Q A  CSPAN  February 10, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EST

6:00 am
>> this week on "q&a," bernard tate, former c-span producer in london. he discusses his 25 years with the network and his career in journalism. >> the man on your screen is named bernard tate. most of you in the audience have not seen him before on c-span, but he has worked at c-span for over 25 years, just retired as our london producer. when you look back at the last 25 years and the relationship between great britain and the united states via c-span, what comes to mind? >> i think the great period of closeness between britain and the united states. the relationship has fluctuated.
6:01 am
of course, we were particularly close in world war ii. it was revived under margaret thatcher's premiership. there were some rocky patches before that, but she had a close ideological relationship with ronald reagan. they were very fond of each other personally. so that was the beginning of a long stretch -- it was not quite so warm under her successors. tony blair became extremely close to bill clinton. and to president bush. i would say that that was a particularly interesting time of the transatlantic relationship. british politicians were sometimes embarrassed at what the public like to call the special relationship.
6:02 am
when the prime minister comes into town, some of those things are little unnecessary. >> you have watched our government over 25 years and your own government. what is the main difference for someone who has never thought about it, between the two democracies? >> you cannot have logjam the same way under a parliamentary system that you can have and do have under your system. the government cannot shut down. if the government cannot get its business through the house of commons, it has to call a general election and let the people decide. >> what is the main difference between the house of commons and the house of lords? >> the house of lords is a very dignified chamber. if you want to see what the house of commons looks like once you look at the house of lords, there is a lot once it is their
6:03 am
time to leave the house of commons. voluntary or at the hands of the electorate. not all of them, but a lot in the house of lords also have a number of members who are very distinguished and professional. i should remind people that the house of lords, there are very few hereditary peers left. they are also known as life peers. >> when we started, i think the number was 1200 members of the house of lords. what is it now? >> i think it is about 800. the hereditary is all gone. tony blair started to reform the house of lords and kind of lost interest. everybody agrees that the house of lords should not exist as it does.
6:04 am
it ought to be mainly, if not exclusively, and election chamber. nobody can agree precisely what that form should be and what its powers of the elected upper chamber should be. concern that it might be a rival for the house of commons and they do not want a rival. >> we have some edited tape from a number of times where black rod, and i want you to describe who he is, comes into the house of commons the day the queen is speaking to both houses. there is a man sitting on the front bench by the name of dennis skinner. he has been there since 1970 and he always says something that usually gets a chuckle out of people when blackrock comes in.
6:05 am
>> he is the sergeant of arms of the upper house. >> who chooses? >> he is chosen by a committee of the house of lords. >> he is a civilian. >> a lot of them are civilians in the sense that a lot are ex military people. he is chosen by a committee of the house of lords. and that is it. >> so he comes over from the house of lords as the queen is arriving and what does he do? >> he comes to the emissary of the queen to summon back from the house of commons to attend the house of lords.
6:06 am
as he arrives, the door is slammed in his face and he bangs on it with his staff. this dates back to the reign of charles i, when the king and parliament were at loggerheads. the king sent a message down to the house of commons at one point to arrest five members and they slammed the door. in the face of the monarchy. >> dennis skinner has been in parliament since 1970, was a coal miner. people should turn their television sets up to hear this. what is the purpose of what he does? did he start this? the comment that he makes? >> the little heckle.
6:07 am
his own thing entirely. he is a republican in the american sense, but he does not believe in the monarchy. he will have no truck with members of the commons being summoned to the house. he does not go to the house of lords elections. his colleagues go, but he sits there. one year, he occupied part of the speakers chair while the speaker at the house of commons was at the house of lords. >> when he started, he was chairman of the labour party for a couple of years. >> of course, he was a very distinguished chair, but that only lasted for a year or so. it was a short-term thing. >> this is about three minutes. i want everybody to listen closely. i have them written down so we will be able to repeat them. here's the video.
6:08 am
>> this is his last go, the general said. he has to knock for entrance. you could be doing this job next time because they advertise for it in the newspaper. equal opportunity, man, woman, does not matter. as long as you have the authority and the administer-ship experience to do the job, which is listening to the house of lords and their complaints. there is dennis skinner, who normally has something to say at this stage. >> mr. speaker. the queen commands its honorable house to attend her majesty immediately. >> tell her to read the guardian. [laughter]
6:09 am
>> to attend upon her majesty immediately. >> it tolls for thee, maggie. [laughter] >> you have heard there, dennis skinner saying, "it tolls for thee, maggie." >> to attend immediately in the house of peers. >> i do not need to say to experience viewers, that was probably the labor mp dennis skinner. therefore the royal family.
6:10 am
>> the queen commands the honorable house to attend her majesty immediately. >> royal expenses are on the way. >> mr. speaker, the queen commands the honorable house. >> no royal commission this week. >> immediately in the house of peers. >> thank you. [laughter] >> to attend her majesty immediately.
6:11 am
>> jubilee, double-dip recession, what a start. >> to attend her majesty immediately in the house of peers. >> royal mail for sale, the queen's head privatized. [laughter] >> contribution from dennis skinner. >> some of those were hard to hear. repeating a number of them, telling her to read the guardian. why would you want to read the guardian? they do not like the monarchy, i assume. >> i would not call the guardian republican. there was a story about the royal family that was drawn to her attention. >> it tolls for thee, maggie.
6:12 am
>> before she was ejected by her party from the premiership. >> referring to the queen, said she brought camilla with her. >> that was when the prince of wales' now wife was a more controversial figure that she is nowadays. >> the next year, who shot the harriers? >> i do not know what that was. >> there is an aircraft called the harrier. and the next one, royal expenses are on their way. >> she has always been concerned about the expenditure of the royal household. one year, he simply shouted, "tell her to pay her taxes!" >> no royal commission this week. and then, jubilee year, double recession, what a start.
6:13 am
>> this was a common on what he regarded as the unnecessary expenditure of the diamond jubilee a couple of years ago. taking place during a recession, when probably he felt that his constituents were suffering. >> last year, royal mail for sale, queens head privatized. >> the government privatize the royal mail and it was always said that margaret thatcher would not privatize the royal mail because the queen's head was on the stamps. and it would be inappropriate for a queens head or the queen's image to be involved in any commercial activity. >> back to the beginning. the first day, i believe it was, november 28, 1989.
6:14 am
neil hynek and margaret thatcher, can i get you to explain this? >> when is the government going to stop? >>no, mr. speaker. they have not made a profit at all. this is the year when it sold jaguar. it was only able to carry on at all because of a government guarantee to its creditors and a government guarantee to the banks. the liability building up on the british taxpayer was enormous. it was a very good thing to be able to privatize under those circumstances. >> mr. speaker, does the prime minister think that that, in any way, excuses pawning off her company for 60 million pounds less than it was worth?
6:15 am
>> well, mr. speaker, if it was such a good bargain, why did the unions not try to buy it first? >> what was the reaction in great britain to televising the house of commons? >> i think it was generally accepted by everybody. it is amazing how quickly it settled down. there were all sorts of arguments put forward, as they are here, the televising of the congress, that this would lead to all sorts of dire consequences. in fact, thatcher herself was strongly opposed to televising the house of commons. the house of lords did not worry her at all. she did not want the commons to be televised. she let it be known that she expected conservative members to vote against it.
6:16 am
it was the very first crack in her authority. the house voted against her and decided to let the cameras in for an experiment. once it started, there was no way it was going to stop. >> here is another clip of her with an unknown member of parliament questioning her. >> does the aspiring president for life and prime minister except the extensive anger and resentment against walter privatization? these are the people who bought and paid for a system of water supply and disposal. and when items are sold off that people already own, it is legalized theft. and if the honorable member henley has the gumption to stand against her --
6:17 am
>> as the honorable gentleman is aware, 25% of the water supply industry is already privatized. even socialist plants is a better deal than nationalized water. the water privatization, i believe, will go very successfully indeed. and perhaps therefore we ought to wait and see it so that we can pontificate the likes of the facts. >> the shouting back and forth, this country got upset when one member of congress called the president a liar. it sounds like nothing is barred in the house of commons. >> that is not true. there is a whole list of what is unparliamentary expressions. a few weeks ago, the prime minister was required to withdraw a remark he made
6:18 am
because the leader of the opposition was -- i do not remember it now, but it was said that he was constructed to withdraw and activation of lying. instead of accusing whoever was instead of telling a lie, he said, "i will call it a terminological inexactitude." it is probably a myth. >> jon stewart has often used our video to make fun of the parliament. here he is. it is an interesting thing that comes up in this video. >> if you recall, parliament held an inquiry into the incident, even dragging prime minister david cameron in front
6:19 am
of parliament for a right cross roger and square in the bumshires. we talk about it on this very program. >> did the prime minister be want to be kept in the dark? >> i am still waiting for a reply. >> he cannot smell a rat when he has one in his midst. >> england is awesome. that is the segment that you saw if you were watching our show in america or one of the 85 countries where free-speech havens are. including, chad, syria, yemen. i am huge in yemen. if you are in great britain, here is what you saw that segment. ♪ you did not see it. they censored it. why?
6:20 am
we were praising them. are you not allowed to praise england? is that a result of the 1683 edict of false modesty. is it because praise from america makes you feel dirty about yourself somehow? it turns out our show was censored because we aired footage of their parliament on a comedy program. >> true? >> yes, there is a rule that parliamentary material may not be used in entertainment programs, including news programs, public affairs programs, educational programs. that section of jon stewart's show, i suppose, could have been banned. i am not aware of what particular channel did not show it, what they carry it on.
6:21 am
i am not sure it is carried. i am sure you could find it somewhere on your cable system. >> they made fun of the parliament with the puppets and all of that over the years. >> that was not using actual footage of the house of commons. you can say what you would like and comedians do so. extremely disrespectful to senior politicians. you cannot illustrate it with material from the house of commons or the house of lords. >> is there a fine? >> i am not aware of one. >> what do they do? >> they would be reprimanded. there is a system whereby, if journalists do something regarded as in contempt of the house, they can be summoned to the house of commons to be
6:22 am
severely reprimanded by the speaker. indeed, i can remember some years since it happened, but the idea of one of our distinguished news anchors was in contempt of the house, where she accused, at the time, in 1956, a crisis which i will not elaborate right now, but as a result of that, a rationing of gasoline in the united kingdom. he accused members of parliament of fiddling with their gasoline allowance. he was called in to be severely reprimanded and to apologize. >> here is another clip, this one with prime minister john major. >> will the prime minister join me in condemning the salary increase of 58% which has been awarded to the chief executive
6:23 am
national power? >> yes, sir. [laughter] >> order. >> in this matter and in so many others, the prime minister said one thing but is not prepared to act to back it up. >> what are both sides trying to accomplish and how much influence does it have on the british society? >> to answer the second, but the first, probably not much influence. not many people watch it. it is not at a convenient time of day. it is midday in the u.k. most people are at work or doing other things. there is no occasion except on bbc parliament, when they can
6:24 am
naturally see it. i think influence is committed, but it is point scoring. straightforward point scoring, trying to make the other person look bad. >> what would happen -- the difference between the prime minister's image in great britain and the president's image in this country after he or she gets beat up during "question time" compared to -- you watch the president's day conversation. does it ever come close to what happens and do people think less of her or him because they are beat up during "question time"? >> i do not think so. it has to do with the difference between the president and the prime minister. the president is not just the head of government, but he is also the head of state, commander-in-chief of the armed forces. the prime minister is the leader who is the head of the government, that he is not the commander-in-chief or the head of state. he is not reckoned with quite
6:25 am
the same respect as the president. he or she has to be a member of the house of commons. >> our audience do not know this, but you, for 25 years, were our man in london. where did it all start for you? where did you grow up? >> i grew up in the middle of england. i was born in the county of warrickshire. now it says shakespeare county, especially for the visitors, but it was a reorganization about 40 years ago. i spent most of my education away. i was notorious for a couple of those boarding schools. >> you find him puzzling? which ones did you go to? >> i went to a proprietary
6:26 am
school, different from a prep school here. it was to prepare you for the school that you would go to at the age of about 13. which will see you through until you are perhaps 18. >> where did you go when you were 13? >> i went to a school just on the edge of london and spent five enjoyable years there. it was called harrow. >> and then oxford. back in those distant years, what did it take to get into oxford? >> you had to achieve certain levels of examination success, the exams you took at approximately 16 and again at 18.
6:27 am
you also had to pass an entrance exam for the college that you applied to join. >> which college? >> it was called -- college. >> how big was it? >> about 500. >> what did you major in? >> law. >> what does that mean? what did that compare to? >> it was about the same. it was the first degree. i am not sure you have first degrees in law in the united states. it is different when you reach the age of 18 and pass these exams, that is the end of your general education. you probably read a single subject and broader courses. >> when did you go to work for the bbc and what did you do? >> i went to work for the bbc in 1964. before that, i spent 2.5 years at a newspaper.
6:28 am
the art of journalism on the job. i had always hankered after broadcasting. i tried to get a job with the bbc directly, but i was not successful in getting what i wanted, so i had to wait until they advertise for something, which was appealing. >> 25 years with the bbc, doing what? >> public affairs programming, and radio. very much like a souped-up npr, bbc radio. they are very well-resourced still. a lot of serious public affairs programming. which i very much enjoyed. >> over the 25 years that you have been our producer in london, you have provided us with all kinds of opportunities to interview people in london.
6:29 am
i look up on the screen a couple of months ago and saw this interview, did not remember doing it, cannot believe we had these two people in our studio at a time when they were not even involved in the leadership of the country. we will show you the clip and you can comment on it. >> why did john major win and george bush lose? >> you have got to be careful, obviously. and you got to be careful with things than might be glib and not really stand up, and i think in the end john major benefited from the fact he took over from margaret thatcher and people thought there was a change in government before the british election. >> what tony is saying is john major wasn't and tony was.
6:30 am
people knew over the years from which he was vice president to ronald reagan, and there is a time in the administration, and there was a sense we couldn't solve the big economic problems. >> both of those went on to be prime minister. did you know they were on their way? >> blair was the shadow home secretary. it is a bit like homeland security and parts of the justice department. he was a front venture, as was gordon brown at that point. to tell you where we came from
6:31 am
and the accident of death. the leader of the labour party michael john smith died wholly unexpectedly. he was apparently a youngish man in his 50's. he might never have been prime minister. it's about being at the right place at the right time. gordon brown was the shadow chancellor. he was in charge of the economic policy. he was also in charge of the election machine. he was into election strategies. >> gordon brown went out to be prime minister for how long? >> over three years.
6:32 am
>> here is a famous name for people who can remember 20 years ago. here is ian paisley. you can explain after we see it. >> if he wants a settlement the only honorable thing he can do is resign. >> order. i really must seek a withdrawal from the honorable gentleman about the use of the word falsehood. i am sure he has tried to use his words very carefully this afternoon, but i would ask him to reflect for a moment while i am speaking so he may withdraw so we can have copper order in our exchanges and are questioning in this house. just the thing i am sure he would have liked. >> madam speaker, there are far too many issues in northern
6:33 am
ireland that way on me at this time, and people of northern ireland would say to me why did you not stand by, and i stand by what i said. it was a falsehood. it was a lie. >> put ian paisley in context. >> ian paisley was around for a long time. i can remember seeing him on television in the 60's. he was a young firebrand presbyterian teacher. he had his own independent branch of presbyterianism, and he was saying uncomplimentary things about the pope, and he was a very considerable figure in northern ireland for many
6:34 am
years, a staunch loyalist or unionist who was determined to preserve the link of the counties of northern ireland with the rest of the united kingdom, and there was one famous speech where he made some suggestion of cooperation i think with the republic of ireland, and he said, never, never, never, something like that because he knew after the belfast agreement he settled down to be first minister of northern ireland. he was a former leader of the ira's deputy. they used to travel around together. they came to the united states and were trying to promote trade deals in northern ireland.
6:35 am
they were always grinning and laughing together. they seemed to be the best of friends. >> weren't there 3000 killed in the u.k.? >> the british or northern ireland people who were british citizens, yes. >> i am talking about some of the bombings that went on. >> they were in the u.k. and london and manchester. they killed quite a few people, but most of them were on the island of ireland. >> i remember ian was killed by a bomb outside his house. was that ira bombing? >> that was an ira bombing. i remember one who was killed by a bomb that blew up as his car was going down the ramp
6:36 am
underneath the house of commons. that was not the ira. that was a splinter group called irish national liberation army, who killed a number of people, and margaret thatcher and her government were very nearly blown up. one or two of her associate were killed when someone blew up the hotel. >> the woman in the last clip was speaker between 1992 and 2000. i remember her saying she was recognizing naples, florida, while she was still on vacation. there was an interview in her chambers.
6:37 am
let's watch betty bruce roy. >> i have much more with the protestant than the advent. you know there is a resistance of when you are elected and your sponsors come and pull you to the chair, and you have to show signs of not wanting to go. you are back to the chair. this is part of the tradition of speakers being reluctant to take the chair. >> madam speaker. >> the question she was asked was about sir thomas more with his head cut off. she refers to nine other speakers who had their head cut off.
6:38 am
>> a number of them. that is untimely. >> is she called a baroness? is she in the house of lords? does that automatically happened after you have been bigger? -- speaker of the commons? >> yes. it is on the recommendation of the prime minister, but i cannot speak -- cannot think of a speaker who has not been elevated. >> how do you get to be speaker, and how important is it in the house of commons? >> it is extremely important and different from the speaker here. your speaker is the leader of a majority party in the house. the speaker is purely a referee, and when you become speaker you give up all policy statements. you become nonpolitical. >> forever. >> forever. one or two speakers do this when they get to the house of lords, but that is rare.
6:39 am
they do make speeches on things they are interested in, but they are not supposed to do anything that is in contention between the political parties. it is extremely important. you are supposed to be dragged reluctantly into the speakers chair because of the history of what happened to a number of speakers. if i remember rightly betty was the first elected speaker to the house. prior to that there were consultations between the government of the day and the opposition and smaller political parties and the consensus would emerge of where your party headed last time or this time and the other way around, but she was actually elected to the house of commons in an open election.
6:40 am
>> here's an interview with the first speaker we were introduced to. he became a barren, and here is an interview with him that americans will find interesting i think. >> is this virtually the same type of gown that is worn for how many years? >> since the early days of the 18th century. you will see all speakers wearing wigs, sometimes more old-fashioned than this one. that goes right back for at least 600 years.
6:41 am
>> how do you feel about wearing that every day? >> i get used to it. it is often said speakers need to have selective lightness and selective deafness. you could perhaps hear everything that goes on. i am at risk of losing some of it, but i decide to disregard it. >> lived to be 87. what is your memory of him? >> he is a very charming individual, and extremely nice man with a deep love for the house of commons. >> what about the wig? >> the wig is gone. it didn't come back. >> we have a clip.
6:42 am
>> one of my first approaches was to a particularly distinguished colleague i wouldn't dream of identifying. i asked if he would back me today. certainly not. you are not just too young. you are far too young. given that in my judgment the speaker ought to be virtually senile. [laughter] if you were elected, it would be disastrous for you, disastrous for the house, disastrous for the country. with that, he slammed it down. just in case this is a widely held view, i shall merely preserve that speakers younger
6:43 am
than me at 46 are actually quite common in times gone by. >> speaker in 2009? >> yes. 2009. >> what did he have that they liked about him? >> they had at that time, and they have changed it -- they had an electoral system for the speaker. he was elected quite considerably. he had once been a consultant -- a right-wing conservative, and he has become a left-wing conservative. he is also a labor supporter, which amused quite a lot of people. it was partly a labor maneuver. a lot of conservatives didn't
6:44 am
want him, because he had been a true thatcherite conservative and stopped being a true thatcherite. they didn't want him and didn't like him. it was a maneuver by the labour party. he still would restore tension between the prime minister and the speaker. >> if there was a labour party or a liberal party member a let it, would the speaker change? >> the speaker doesn't necessarily change because of change of administration. no. they tend to do just under a decade now, and it probably wouldn't alter it, though the speaker should sometimes be an issue where there was one
6:45 am
occasion like the general election in 1964 when labor had a hair breadth majority in the house of commons. the speaker died unexpectedly who had been a conservative and labour didn't want to put up a speaker because that would rob one of the three or four in the majority. there were certain shenanigans there. they did end up with the labor speaker. just because of the change of administration it wouldn't necessarily need to change the speaker, although if a political party really wants to get rid of the speaker they put a lien on him or her. >> a brief description of the three major parties and what they stand for. if you are a member of the tory party or conservative, what do you stand for? try to relate it to what we have here. >> i would say the conservative
6:46 am
party is to the left of the republican party. conservatives subscribe to national health service. they might criticize its operation all the time. politicians will have criticisms of him, but any suggestion you might fundamentally change a provider of medical services for all members of a population, irrespective of means, is beyond the pale. the right wing of the conservative party is not wholly invisible in the sense they are in favor of small government.
6:47 am
one of the particular gripes about government is not so much to do with the national government of the united kingdom, but the european union if they can. the prime minister indicated if he is prime minister and the elections due next year there will not be a referendum on whether or not britain should remain in membership of the european union after he has tried to negotiate our terms. >> how does the liberal party member differ? >> some not very much. i would say some liberal democrats would not be entirely partial if they were in the left wing of the conservative party, but there is a defection to the liberal democrats and the
6:48 am
defection to the labour party, and they have found cohabitation that they would find a coalition with conservatives uncomfortable. >> they not like being a member? >> no. >> if you are a member of the labour party, give us some small difference if you are a tory or a liberal. >> some would say there isn't that much difference. they would say is you have two teams of managers trying to persuade the country they would manage slightly more efficiently than the other. there are huge ideological divides. yes, the labour party is to the left of the conservative party, but under tony blair it was pulled very much toward the center. it remains there. there are those on the left and the labour party that have a
6:49 am
handicap. they ought to be offering a more profound critique of capitalism, but it is a capitalist party. it is business friendly, partly because it is afraid to be seen as unfriendly. conservatives were able to use that to persuade people it was a bad thing to vote for them. >> this brings me to the part of this interview i think i will enjoy the most. people that work at c-span will enjoy it the most, and that is that during your tenure here, and you can tell us a number of years ago you got married to an american. >> i did indeed. >> can you tell us that story? how did it happen? >> i was a widower at the time, and my wife works for the united states senate.
6:50 am
it is called the recording studio and broadcast operations, and she was visiting london and wanted to see how the televising and radio broadcasting of british parliament was done, and she ran to the international producer here in c-span and said could he guide her footsteps in the right, and he guided them towards me. we met for lunch, and i introduced her to the people she wants to be introduced to, and that was very agreeable. over the next few years, she came to london once or twice. we met and had a drink or a meal, and as i used to say, we became a critical mass over 10 years.
6:51 am
it actually occurred while we were celebrating c-span's 25th anniversary. >> that is when you propose to her? >> i propose to her shortly thereafter. i proposed to her in the summer. on a gondola in venice. the anniversary celebration was in march, as you remember. six months later, i propose to her. she decided it wasn't such a bad idea. >> where did you get married? >> we didn't get married for a little while after that. we were married in her home state of arizona. maricopa county. phoenix. >> c is in the senate recording studio, and you have been involved, and you decided you want to leave us and retire. >> i became very ill.
6:52 am
my wife and i would like to spend a bit more time together because when parliament is in session i have to be in london, and she has to be here, and we do a lot of commuting back and forth. my timetable schedules are a bit more flexible than hers. now i'm able to spend a bit more time in washington. >> how many trips back and forth have you made? >> since 10 years ago i would be in washington once a year. c-span would bring me over at their expense to brief and debrief for the year ahead and the previous year. since then i have been there
6:53 am
half a dozen times a year. >> everybody wants to know whether you're going to end up in great britain or end up here. >> we would like to know. we haven't decided yet. there are all sorts of complications, not the least, where you pay your taxes. >> back to the house of commons, this is from saturday night live. again, using humor, and it looks like they built a set. i don't have the dates on this. let's watch this and get your reaction to it. >> next on c-span from the british house of commons in london, prime minister's questions. this is a 15 minute period set aside for tuesday and thursday for prime minister tony blair to take questions from the house of commons. now, thursday's session. >> order, order please.
6:54 am
questions to the prime minister, mr. adams. >> on behalf of all irish citizens i would like to personally thank the prime minister for working with president clinton to achieve peace in northern ireland, but does one single document really make up for decades of suffering caused the british oppression? >> order, order. >> perhaps not, but i would like to see the right honorable gentleman from belfast make up to two years of british suffering caused by riverdance. >> order! >> what do you think? >> gerry adams was never a member of the house of commons. all of the sinn fein members elected were not taking seats. still, they have offices in london, and they look after the
6:55 am
interests of their constituents, but they will not take their seats in either house. in parliament you have to swear an oath of allegiance to her majesty, and they are not prepared to do that. the deputy first minister of northern ireland who is a leader of sinn fein along with gerry adams is technically her majesty's first minister, but he never took an oath, and he was allowed to avoid that. >> if you are british and you lived there all your life, can you pick up where people are from base on their accents like in the united states? were they know right away? what would they say your speech comes from? >> oxford might come into it.
6:56 am
>> i wonder why. what do people in oxford speak like? >> they speak all kinds of different accents nowadays, but a very small number of people were able to go there, and they tended to come from a single class. they tend to speak the same, but that was a long time ago. >> what did your parents do? >> i parents were both doctors, medical doctors. >> in the british world they don't make the kind of money they do over here. >> they do quite well. there are one or two who make over a million a year. that is mainly surgeons, but a family physician could make a couple hundred thousand. >> when you look back over your career and you talk to young
6:57 am
people about if they were the slightest bit interested in being a correspondent or whatever, what would you tell them is the best training? >> you need to train as journalists. when i went into journalism there was almost no journalism trade. there was one which was run by a scottish newspaper and magazine group in scotland, but people left school and joined a local newspaper and work their way in international journalism if that is what they wanted to do, and they were successful doing it. it was learning on the job. now i would strongly recommend journalist training. >> what do you plan to do in your retirement? >> i have no plans at present. my favorite response is as liberal as possible. -- as little as possible.
6:58 am
the certain people i know who have retired will say they don't know how they found time to work as they are busier than they have ever been. >> after 25 years i can tell you the folks at c-span will miss you, and the public has no idea how much you did for us by bringing it the british house of commons and british society closer and the difference between the two countries. i want to close why thanking you for that. >> thank you very much. i would like to thank you for letting me work for c-span all these years and you never found me out. >> the former c-span producer in great britain, thank you so much. >> you are welcome. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
6:59 am
7:00 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on