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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  October 24, 2021 11:30am-12:01pm BST

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temperatures typically 14—16 celsius. but it is quite strong in the north—west, and it will continue to blow strong through the course of the night, blowing in further atlantic showers into western scotland, parts of northern ireland, but for many of us the skies will be generally clear overnight. despite that, it is still going to be mild. 12 celsius in the south. maybe nine celsius, no lower than that, in some of the northern towns and cities. again a blustery day in the north—west tomorrow, with further heavy showers. just a scattering of showers elsewhere. and another mild day in the south. this time only 15 celsius. hello this is bbc news. the headlines... the chancellor, rishi sunak, is promising "investment across the board in public services" in his budget on wednesday as part of a plan to rebuild the economy. strong investment in public
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services, driving economic growth by investing in infrastructure, innovation and skills, giving businesses confidence and then supporting working families. labour say it will not raise income tax at the next election. colombia's most wanted drug trafficker is captured after a joint operation by the armed forces, and the police. a candle—lit vigil to remember halyna hutchins, the film—maker killed on the set of an alec baldwin movie. and gone for $110 million — a las vegas hotel auctions off its collection of picasso artworks. now on bbc news, it's time for dateline london.
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laughter. hello and welcome to the programme which brings together leading uk commentators with the foreign correspondents who write, blog and broadcast from the dateline london. this week: the british led the world in vaccination. why is it now leading europe with the highest rate of covid? why in the climate battle, net zero is too high. and 12 angry men and women fear being poleaxed. joining us, maria margaronis, editor—at—large for the us magazine, the nation, is just completing work on a documentary about greece's summer of heat and fire. henry chu has reported from all over the world for the la times, where he's how part of the editorial team. here in the studio, the british author and columnist yasmin ala—bhai brown. a very warm welcome to all of you. only if pressure on the health service from covid is "unsustainable" will borisjohnson�*s government impose restrictions.
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we learnt on friday that scientists advising him and other ministers think a spike like the one we saw injanuary is "increasingly unlikely". however if the rate of infection grows, "earlier intervention would reduce the need for more stringent, disruptive, and longer lasting measures", they say. still, sustainable means different things in different places. in cornwall, the uk's most southwesterly county, the hospital — there is only one — declared a "critical incident". ambulance waits of up to 12 hours. 100 patients seeking treatment in an emergency department with space for fewer than half that number. 44 people hospitalised with covid in a hospital with a0 beds. henry chu we seem to be in a moment of decision with the government. henry chu, we seem to be in a moment of decision with the government. thus far saying it is sticking with plan a, but when you compare us to other nations, how comfortable should we be at the moment? should we worried, and if we should be worried, how worried?
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i don't think there is any cause for comfort at all right now in infections with the coronavirus here in britain are triple combined that of germany, france, italy and spain. there's no reason for complacency even there there was a very good and speedy vaccine roll—out at the beginning of the year. of course now we're into the fall and a lot of those shots might be waning intent of the immunity we are experiencing. deaths still at about 100 or more a day. when you put that together we are talking about nearly 1,000 a week and if you were saying that about any other disease we would be talking about a crisis. and yet some people, including the government, seem to have now concluded that this an acceptable level and that we just need to learn to live with the coronavirus which is true — in a scientific sense. but there are certainly ways to minimise its impact, and right now the government which prides itself on saying that it goes with the science, follows the science, while so many scientists are saying that we do need some kind
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of new measures or re—imposition of some fairly easy low impact measures that can help mitigate what's happening and keep the infection from spreading. i think right now the government seems to be putting all its eggs in the vaccination basket. and the vaccines definitely are a miracle of science or some people might even say from god. but when a miracle throws you a lifeboat it's on you to keep it inflated. i'm not sure the government is doing that at the moment. we have prided ourselves in the uk on the success of the vaccination programme, and on its reach. though it has hit bit of a plateau now because a certain portion of the population seem to not want to get vaccinated. the booster programme which is the third jab to put it simply, it has been left that that is not going quite so well. what is the problem? well, i'm not sure. i have just been offered my booster,
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which i am thrilled about. i think the role out was run mostly by the nhs and gp surgeries, and i don't know quite what has happened there. i'm being called by my gp and was for my previous jabs. there's a sort of falling off of take—up, i think. i think people have become complacent and there's a weird kind of split in the country which is the same as or more related to a split we have had a long time over many issues. there is, on the one hand a sort of loss of trust in the government which has changed tact many times during this pandemic. we had the prime minister saying "let the bodies "pile up" which has itself been very complacent and at odds with itself about how to proceed. and on the other side there's this kind of cavalier defiance like, "i'm ok, it's not going to be a problem." so if you take the tube in london these days fewer than half the people on the tube are wearing a face covering.
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even though when you walk down into the station there's an announcement saying you must wear a face covering on all london transit. this feeling of british people completely ignoring the rules is quite odd and new to me. you've experienced something that is a contrast in the enforcement of the rules in this country and the enforcement of the rules in france? we just got back from paris| and the french countryside, on eurostar, we use the metro all the and not once _ and not one restaurant, not one metro train did - we see an unmasked person. imagine that! and there was one moment _ when somebody was taking their mask off and we heard some security guy or whoever it was saying, _ 135 euros fine if you do that. and there seems to be a total understanding that this - is about society and we owe each other and ourselves, _
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and ijust thought i arrived . in a much more civilised place where people are taking care of each other a little bit more _ and here i don't necessarily blame the public. _ i think there are some - people who are completely immune to information, warnings and so on. - but the mixed messaging, and i'm trying very hard i because we have been instructed to so many times, to— try and understand why- the government is doing this. you are displaying empathy. and what maria said — _ this kind of not knowing which way to really come down on, - they are caught between social responsibility which is theirjob, - and the capitalism to which they are committed, which means business and profits and nothing... - they are torn between them. the health secretary said earlier in the week it would be a good thing if conservative mps wore masks
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because that would send a signal, reminder to people that this is still a pandemic and whether you think masks are a magical solution or not it is sort of symbolic. and the house of commons saying actually we don't need to wear masks because we all know each other and we are kind of friends. jacob rees—mogg — - if they don't do it how are the public supposed to follow? my grandson, who is ten, went on a school trip. - the kids, all seven, _ 11 or 12 of them and the teachers came back with covid. not him, thank god. because they were in a city- where nobody was taking care. i don't think we should bej allowing our citizens to be opened up to such risk. and yet, there is a difficulty here. 0n the one hand, these measures
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are the so—called plan b which would be facemasks, mandated and social distancing. people working from home, etc. there have been doing that in scotland and yes the figures are coming down, doing that in wales as well and the figures going up. this is not a magic solution. i had a look at the figures in wales and scotland and i don't think it is that clear. i think the figures in wales have been going up for some time. there is no magic solution but there are sensible things that we can do. it is not so difficult to wear a mask unless you are someone who really can't in which case you are exempt. and i have a feeling that people have so much lost faith that even if mask wearing was mandated, unless there were on the spot fines like the one yasmin is referring to in france, people aren't going to do it. you look at people in crowded places in london and say, there's this funny feeling of,
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"i am wearing a mask, "why are you not?" but you don't want to say anything because that feels awkward and like you are being bossy, and there are more people not wearing masks then wearing masks. so it's become so confusing that actually i think we have sort of lost the plot. i also think this government, as i mentioned before, it has been such a big deal of the vaccines, i don't want to underplay them, they are important in how we combat this virus but they are not the be—all and the plan b that we are talking about which you referred to and enumerated the elements resolve, this is not some draconian oppressive system that they want to inaugurate. it isjust saying that masks might be mandated, but they encourage you to work from home, encourages social distancing. it's not really putting in place anything very onerous. it's all very low impact and what the government refrained from doing that is kind of a mystery to me. imposing restrictions next week will not look good to register for more than 100 heads of government arrive for cop26.
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the 26th conference of the parties on climate change. australia's prime minister and india's will be in glasgow even as leaked documents show that governments arguing against an end to coal. borisjohnson set out plans for the uk to become a net zero by 2050, why is net zero not low enough, maria? let's start by saying what net zero means, it's important to understand it. net zero means that any greenhouse gases that we continue to emit are offset equally by greenhouse gas sinks like forests or peat bogs or technological means. that means the whole planet in a global way has to reach net zero by 2050. in order to at least slow climate change, the climate crisis down. that is a huge ask, right? but it is crucial.
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and it also, in terms of the uk and our own government's net zero project, and britain is the first i think highly developed country to actually enshrine a net zero target in law, that is we have to reach net zero by 2050, quite a lot of criticism of this plan. 0ne mainly saying it does not go far enough, it's a great thing so that goes on the table first of all. the main criticism is that it does not include a sense that we actually are going to have to change the way, notjust until 2050, but permanently. we can no longer rely on so much energy, we have to consume less. that's not in the plan at all. what is in the plan is changing over from gas to heat pumps for heating houses.
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domestic heating accounts for about a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the uk. that's a good thing but there's been a criticism that does not go far enough and there's not enough of the subsidy. and is not organised enough. there's also a question about are we talking about a real net zero that is where our imports also are net zero, and for example we are notjust producing less building materials here and importing them from elsewhere. we are effectively increasing the amount of carbon elsewhere in the world. so this has to be, so they not very good at all, a global cooperation. henry, what you reported on this summer, and what if you come to the conclusion for and the work you have been doing what happened in greece and southern europe?
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what became clear to me reporting on the fires in northern evia is that already the climate crisis is hitting very hard all over the world in local places and that the response, the reaction is local. when you talk to people in northern evia they don't say, "oh, it's climate crisis crisis, climate change," they go, "the government let us down. "there weren't enough things. "the fire brigade wasn't competent." there's this local response which comes way before an understanding of the global situation. and so we have to, it's that old slogan, think globally, act locally. henry, i was just really interested in the point she's making because this is a problem presumably forjoe biden. he's going to come to glasgow, he is doubtless going to sign up
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to whatever is agreed, i'm not presuming anything but i think he is on the side of those who want to deal next week. but then he is going to go back to people who remain sceptical about climate change even as they watched parts of their world kind of evaporate around them in flame. in fact, california, my home state, went through a very brutal summer where we had another year of a single fire burning nearlyi million acres. that'sjust phenomenal, the amount of damage and destruction that has wrought. then you had fires in oregon and edging into canada as well that were so large they created their own weather systems. some of which perhaps spawned other fires through lightning strikes. it's an incredible problem now hitting the us and affecting millions upon millions of people. the biden administration actually has talked a good talk about climate change, he has often been saying what an important priority it is for notjust the us but the world to tackle. no doubt as you say in glasgow he will continue to talk the good talk. it is at home where you have lawmakers holding up that agenda where it's really going to come down to the crunch.
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in fact its a democratic senator, i mean the republicans are uniformly against it almost, but it's a democratic senator who has himself gotten rich from coal is holding up the idea of converting more and more to clean energy. so that's really going to be a problem. when it comes to the public support it does deserve to be said that in the us there have been denialists over climate change. right now a new poll this month shows that 75% of people in the us actually do agree that global warming is a problem. only 12% deny it. it's just that the lawmakers themselves have not caught up with public opinion. and the 12% are quite noisy. yasmin, henry was making the point about coal and the political influence of coal. we see in these leaked reports in countries like india, they are saying hang on a minute, don't talk about moving away from coal quite so fast but to be fair to a country of india's size, it could not eliminate coal
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on the scale that would be quite comfortable for us. this is one of the biggest problems. we are talking about nations that are deeply unequal in terms - of global influence and, | china could and does do more because it is notj a democracy basically. this is the sad news. i was at the rio summit... all those years ago. - the earth summit as it was called. one of the most interesting moments . was an activist stood up and said, . "here we are at this grand place in rio talking like we are, - "and they are, it's genocide of trees in brazil. _ "and nobody is stopping it." and that has not changed. the genocide of trees — - there's a very interesting paper i read today which said we cannot
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plant enough trees to offset - the tiny amount that we think i we can, we will never have that, and my other big anxiety, this big talk is all- about future technology. it's all going be solved - by entrepreneurs and these solutions will fall upon us. stop and think. we are really, really now drifting towards the end of the planet. and one hopes he is right, but he's not entirely... . ..realistic. we will talk more about this next week as the summit begins next weekend. did brussels witness a changing of the guard this week? angela merkel may have attended her final meeting of europe's council of ministers. her 16 years in the german chancellery is ending with an all—mighty european bust—up after poland's most seniorjudges decided that the country's constitution trumps european union law, breaking the most basic building block of the eu. a dozen countries lined up to oppose poland's defiance. "ridiculous!" said one eu leader.
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step forward viktor orban. the prime minister of hungary, now europe's elder statesman, declared "the polish are right". yasmin, poland's constitution is not the first to say "we are not happy about eu law", the german court said it about the ecb, bond buying and the european court ofjustice saying... these are 27 nations. trying to make it. work is never easy. but, you know, i do not give up on good liberal values. - look at ireland and abortion. for the longest time, - the irish law was actually a direct kind of repudiation - of what all the other eu countries, most of them, not all of them, look what happened next. - the liberal people pushed the liberal law that was i absolutely needed, and... isn't the point that... that's exactly the point,
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that came from the nation state, not from brussels saying, "no, this is not european." the ecj is a very important institution which is - why it is resented. because people don't - like itsjudgements and often they are based on things that - are above nations and all of that. one of the things that. needs to be remembered is that there is a younger population in poland. - we have met some polish people in france who live in france - although earning less - because the polish economy is extraordinarily- successful at the moment. we asked them why, and they said, "because here we have rights. - "and we like having rights." so you see, the young will change things. - so don't be too pessimistic. maria, michel barnier, who a lot of people in brussels
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would say is a good european, interested in running for french president, they say that france must quote its legal sovereignty unless all could be subject to thejudgements of the european court ofjustice. is there now a growing consensus that actually the european authority has gone a bit too far, even in member countries that are at the heart of europe? jasmine is right that making it possible for 27 different nation states to work together is an absolutely utopian project, but i think what we are seeing now is the tension between those two ideas of europe. europe as a capitalist club or social europe. the french issue and polish issue and hungarian issue are extremely important because they are a challenge directly to the idea of social europe. the polish government and hungarian government want to be able to run authoritarian governments.
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viktor orban has said he is leading an illiberal democracy, in poland women have fought very hard to regain the right to abortion and most polish people want to stay the eu. so the union has a very difficult challenge ahead which is how to keep poland in while protecting the rights of people in poland who looked to the european union exactly for that. henry. when we say social europe we are citing some social policies for example on abortion or the treatment of lgbt people but let's remember when it comes to poland specifically we are also talking about a pillar of democracy, not just social policy and that is the judiciary, which in poland has now become subordinate to the ruling party, to the law and justice party of the prime minister. what we are talking about now is not just social policies, but rather the very essence of democracy itself, and that's where the eu has come down on this.
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it was quite interesting hearing viktor orban, because he posed the argument on the basis saying, "look, "it's very reasonable where we have transferred powers of course "european law is supreme but where we have not the national "law should stay supreme." "what is the problem?" what you're saying is problem is that the government chose the judges and then told the judges know we want a judgement that will effectively say, "we make the decisions not europe." i suppose that's where brussels is starting to get so alarmed. there have been other laws in other countries that are not necessarily constant with eu views or the eu constitution and there are ways to work that out. as you say what's happening now is you have an illiberal government ordering the judiciary to fall in line with its views. that's very different from the democratic states that helped found the eu. the tension between whose laws reigned supreme, is it the nation or is it the supranational institution of the ecj? that has been a fundamental tension
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within this block almost from its founding time. over the last 60 years there's been an informal agreement that indeed ecj rulings reigned supreme. that they take primacy over national law. this was long before poland ever had eu membership as a twinkle in their own eye. this is what it signed up to even though it had other exemptions and these are the rules that it knew were in play. the eu also stumbled on its own when it went about it maybe 13, 14 years ago, they had a chance in the lisbon treaty to write that in explicitly. that eu law took precedence over national law. and they baulked. so they're now unfortunately reaping some of the quandary... what they have sowed. thank you all very much. we will be back next week looking ahead to what is coming on the cop26
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summit on climate change. from all of us on the programme, goodbye. hello. another mild day out there today with a good breeze blowing about the autumn leaves. that's how it's going to stay over the next few days, quite breezy at times, mild, and we've showers in the forecast for today and tomorrow. here is the satellite picture, and a weather front has been crossing the country, so it was quite wet, quite cloudy at the very least across many western parts of the uk. really quite wet in the south—west of scotland overnight. but i think by the time we get to lunchtime the weather front�*s here, so cloudy for a time
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across england and wales before that cloud breaks up to allow some sunshine and certainly sunny spells in the west of the uk here. most frequent showers in the north—west of the country and some hail and thunder possible as well. through tonight the atlantic breeze continues to blow in the showers. there will be clear spells around too but thanks to the wind and the mild air that's over us, those local temperatures will not drop off too low. in fact, 12 degrees in london, nine degrees expected in belfast, glasgow and edinburgh. onto the forecast for tomorrow. starts off quite sunny for many parts of the uk but showers continue right from the word go in western scotland and northern ireland. there will be showers scattered elsewhere. some will move deeper inland but i think the further east and south—east you are, the drier the weather will be through tomorrow. 15 in london on monday. 11 in the north, so temporarily cooling off in the north before temperatures rise again as we head into tuesday. it's brought in by this next area of low pressure, you can see quite strong south—westerly winds drawing on that
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warmth from the southern climes and in fact that mild air spreads all the way across scotland as well. so early in the morning, some rain across the western isles and central scotland eventually too. perhaps some wet weather for northern ireland. much of england and wales stays dry on tuesday. maybe a few spits and spots around the lake district. look at the temperatures, 16, 17 degrees in some spots, way above the average for example in belfast. how about the rest of the week? quite a strong jet stream out in the atlantic, this big dip here spawning an area of low pressure. that means weather fronts will be heading our way. further heavy rain expected towards the end of the week. at times it could even turn very, very windy, but i think the real message for this week is how changeable at times the weather is going to be, with those showers coming in and those particularly high temperatures, up to 18. goodbye.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. britain's chancellor, rishi sunak, is promising "investment across the board in public services" in his budget on wednesday as part of a plan to rebuild the economy. strong investment in public services, driving economic growth by investing in infrastructure, innovation and skills, giving businesses confidence and then supporting working families. the uk's opposition labour party says it will not raise income tax at the next election. colombia's most wanted drug trafficker is captured after a joint operation by the armed forces and the police. a candle—lit vigil to remember halyna hutchins, the film—maker killed on the set of an alec baldwin movie. it's yours, sold, congratulations. and, gone for $110 million — a las vegas hotel auctions off its collection of picasso artworks.

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