INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
BBC JULY 8, 2005 - by Jonathan Dimbleby
PRESENTER: Jonathan Dimbleby PANELLISTS: Alan Johnson, Brian Eno, David Cameron, Simon Hughes FROM: The Windmill Centre, Deddington, Oxfordshire
Dimbleby: Welcome to the enchanting village of Deddington, which is deep in the countryside some fifteen miles north of Oxford. Replete with a market place and a parish church, not to mention its own coat of arms, Deddington has a population of some two thousand and a parish council, which is our host here at the Windmill Centre, which serves the community with a range of sporting and other facilities for all ages.
On our panel: Alan Johnson, who was once a postman, then a union leader, is now Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
David Cameron has rocketed into prominence since he came into parliament in 2001. Formally a special advisor to Michael Howard, then responsible for the Election manifesto, he's now Shadow Secretary of State for Education and one of the likeliest of the likely lads to be in at the finish of the Tory leadership race.
Simon Hughes is one of the founder members of the Liberal Democrats. Formally his party's spokesman on home affairs, he was elected president last autumn with a seventy-one percent share of the vote.
Brian Eno is famous as a musician and as a producer. A member of Roxy Music in the '70s, his latest album of many is Another Day On Earth and it came out last month. He's produced a host of albums for among others U2, Talking Heads and David Bowie. He is twice winner of Grammy awards for the Record of the Year in 2001 and 2002. Nicknamed Professor Eno by his admirers, he lists among his hobbies thinking and he has indeed lectured on Einstein's theory of relativity. As a leading campaigner for Make Poverty History, he's the fourth member of our panel. [clapping]
Our first question please.
Richard Syms: Are we starting to reap that which we have sown?
Jonathan Dimbleby: No doubt about what you refer to. Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: Partly yes. Nobody can ever justify people acting in such an evil way that they take the lives of many people for life, which is what happened yesterday in London and has happened in many great cities of the world recently. And whatever your faith, whatever your conviction to your faith, whatever your political views in my view I've come to the view a long time ago that nothing can justify using violence to achieve that. But Britain, although always a probable target, is clearly a more likely a target in the eyes of certain people now than it has been because of the view we took and the position we took and the position Parliament took - I voted against it - but the position Parliament took in going against what was perceived to be the international forum and going without the United Nations agreement. Just one other thing - of course it's a paradox because the real - if it turns out that it's people connected with al-Qaeda - the real target of their efforts are people like the Saudi Royal Family, who they regard as having sold out on fundamental Islam, it's not people like this country's government who have never pretended to speak for Islam. So in a way they're aiming to destabilise the West - the establishment - but actually their main target is elsewhere. So we're an accidental by-product, but yes we're now certainly in the firing line but nothing justifies doing what some of us saw yesterday.
Jonathan Dimbleby: David Cameron.
David Cameron: I don't think - I don't think that's the right way to look at it. As Simon said nothing can justify what happened yesterday, the fact that people's mothers and fathers, sons and daughters were murdered brutally in London with those bombs and watching on the news tonight relatives and family members posting up posters of their loved ones and trying to find them and hoping beyond hope that they're still there is just the most heartbreaking thing to watch. But we've got to be clear about this - the 9/11 attacks, the bombs at the Kenyan embassy, the Tanzanian embassy, the first World Trade Centre bomb, the attack on the USS Cole - all happened before the Iraq War. And this attack on our way of life and our values and freedom in the West - the attack on London wasn't just an attack on London or even an attack on free people in London, it was an attack on freedom everywhere. And we have to recognise that. And we have to be clear that this - there aren't a group of people that we can negotiate with, there aren't a set of things that we can do to stop these people doing what they want to do...
Jonathan Dimbleby: Do you believe...
David Cameron: After - just let me finish making this point. After 9/11 one of them was quoted in the newspaper saying we don't want to negotiate with you, we want to kill you. And we need to recognise that we are up against evil and we have to confront it and we cannot appease it.
Jonathan Dimbleby: We might come on - we might come on to that, in fact we will come on to that in a - I think in a later question but in answer to the question you sounded as if you were arguing that the Iraq issue was irrelevant - do you believe that?
David Cameron: No I don't believe it is irrelevant but what I'm saying is that there were a whole sequence of attacks and murderous attacks, like the 9/11 attacks, that happened way before this and we sometimes forget that those other attacks on the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, the attack on the USS Cole, all those attacks were before anything happened in Iraq. And so we have to be clear that what Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are doing is an attack on our way of life and they're also actually trying to divide us amongst ourselves, to divide Christians and Jews and Hindus from Muslims in this country and we mustn't let that happen and so I think we've got to be very clear about this.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Brian Eno.
Brian Eno: I kind of agree with the sentiment of the question, I think that by allying ourselves with the United States, with a country which has done more to disband civil liberties and done more to irritate and infuriate Muslims over the last few years than any other American government for a very long time, we sort of threw our hat into the wrong ring, I believe. Now of course I don't excuse what these people did, but I think the way it works is that those people require at least the support or the tacit permission of a community to do what they did - terrorists don't act alone, people know who they are, as they did with the IRA - everyone knew who the lads were. And the fact is that that community is fed up enough at least not to turn them in. I think it's really time that we started thinking about stopping making more enemies basically.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Thank you. Secretary of State.
Alan Johnson: The answer is no. And I think if the proposition is that had we left bin Laden in his Afghanistan stronghold, had we emboldened and strengthened Saddam Hussein by yet again allowing him to cock a snoop at a UN resolution would Londoners be any safer or people actually in this country, in Europe and the world be any safer now? My answer would be no. At the weekend we have a commemoration because it's sixty years since the end of the Second World War and an argument that said had we appeased Hitler, had Chamberlain come back with his piece of paper and actually that had led to the UK being outside of the Second World War then Londoners and people all over this country would have not reaped what they sowed - I think that proposition is wrong. And I think where we all agree...
Jonathan Dimbleby: We hear quite a - just on this week - we hear quite a lot of Muslims saying - we've heard it on the radio today, on Question Time last night and South Africa we heard this voice coming through quite a lot - to the effect that what had been achieved, accomplished, in Iraq was one thing but what is called collateral damage, namely the killing of lots of civilians, was another, that must have - or was likely to have encouraged a lot of young people to say I am sympathetic to and I will fight for if necessary anything that will say no to this violently in London or anywhere else.
Alan Johnson: We don't know who the perpetrators are of this outrage but they will be - whoever they are I am almost certain they will be saying just that, you are reaping what you sowed, and they will try to get some justification for that. And what we must say is there is absolutely no justification for that outrage and that horror perpetrated on people yesterday. And we took a parliamentary decision to go to war in Iraq and the Muslim Association of Britain and all the other Muslims associations that I've listened to today have made the point unconditionally condemned that outrage. And I think once you get into the road of saying or go down this route of saying we are reaping what we sow that is actually - that is actually I think an outrage against the people who tonight are even wondering whether their loved ones are still alive.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Quick in and we must move on - Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: There's a lot of agreement and obviously nobody justifies what happens and Alan and I and the rest of the panel I guess would also agree that nobody wanted Saddam Hussein to stay there - he was a tyrant, he was an evil man. The question that we were faced with two years ago when Alan and I were on the different side of the argument was whether we took a decision to go it alone without international authority, whether we waited for international authority and I think once you go outside international authority you put yourself in the position that people can say you were acting outside the law and it becomes easier for other people who are able to justify what they're doing.
Jonathan Dimbleby: We'll leave that question there [clapping] and go to another question in this related area.
Kate Pits: We've been told that identity cards will help to prevent terrorism. How would they have done anything to prevent yesterday's events in London?
Jonathan Dimbleby: Alan Johnson.
Alan Johnson: They probably wouldn't and indeed the issue of identity cards - and I wouldn't say that anyone who opposed identity cards was in any way believing that an outrage like that was justified or more likely to happen, I think that's a perfectly - there's perfectly rational arguments against identity cards. The reason why we argue for identity cards is not just linked to terrorism, it's a matter of identity fraud, tackling illegal immigration, tackling illegal workers. We believe that there is an argument now that with the change to biometric passports that it's a good opportunity to introduce a single and authoritative system of identification. We do think that would help in lots of ways to counter international terrorism. I don't say for one second that that would have been a factor yesterday but I do say that the issue of identity cards and how we can better secure our borders, for whatever reason, against illegal immigration, against criminal gangs is something that needs to be addressed. And what this government is determined to do and any government would actually is to be absolutely sure that we're taking all the measures we can to have greater security in a very, very threatening world.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Do you believe that what happened yesterday, even if it couldn't have been stopped by identity cards, will make it easier for the government in this very controversial area to persuade people that ID cards should be introduced?
Alan Johnson: I don't think - I don't think we would even want to make the political point. I mean I think one issue was the...
Jonathan Dimbleby: You wouldn't?
Alan Johnson: Well there were - no - no...
Jonathan Dimbleby: This government's not beyond making political points like any government.
Alan Johnson: Well, all governments make political points but this disaster yesterday was of such an extent that for any politician to suggest that it puts you down on one side of a very controversial argument about identity cards. I think what it does do - I mean many people said that we were exaggerating the threat from terrorism because we wanted to get through measures like identity cards, I don't think that threat was exaggerated at all, I think it was very real and it remains very real.
Jonathan Dimbleby: David Cameron.
David Cameron: I'm very glad Alan said what he said, I think that's right, I mean the Home Secretary as well said on the radio this morning that ID cards would never prevent a particular act. And I think you only have to ask yourself, I mean if you look at the government scheme, would a terrorist posing as a tourist need an ID card? No they wouldn't. Would a terrorist posing as an asylum seeker need an ID card? No they wouldn't. So clearly I don't think ID cards would have had an impact on this event, nor do I necessarily think that they would be effective in the fight against terror.
Jonathan Dimbleby: You used the word necessarily there and Alan Johnson said - I don't want to misquote him - but said that it would help or might help in general against the war against international terrorism. Do you - hold on, hold on - can I ask you - if you felt that there was any possibility it would have a marginal role to play, even marginal, would that shift your view about identity cards or not?
David Cameron: I think you've always got to look at the arguments and when the police and the security services argue for ID cards of course you've got to listen to that. But I have an instinctive distrust of ID cards, I think they reverse the role between the state being what it should be - which is our servant - and makes it our masters. I have a distinctive distrust of it and for the reasons I've just given - that tourists and asylum seekers and many others wouldn't need ID cards, I can't see how they would be effective. And what I've found in the whole debate about ID cards is when you try and pin the government down one minute they'll say well it's about crime and you examine the arguments and it's not really about crime, then it becomes about benefit fraud, you examine those arguments and they move into another area. And I think it would just be a gigantic waste of money. But I'm very glad with what Alan and the Home Secretary have said - that they're not going to use the outrages that happened yesterday to justify the ID cards, we should look at those on their merits and as I've said I don't think they have any merits and I'd rather we used the money that the ID card system will cost - many, many billions of pounds - for things like proper border security and for funding our intelligence services, putting police on the streets and making sure that we have those protections against the dreadful things that happened yesterday.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Brian Eno. [clapping]
Brian Eno: I've always been rather proud of being English because we have policemen who don't have guns and we have citizens who don't have identity cards. I thought that showed a sort of strength of civil society that I know other countries envy. The question of identity cards is if they don't improve security, if they don't stop crime, if they don't help much with credit card fraud what exactly are they for? Secondly, how much will they cost? Well, the estimates we've been given are already quite high and the company that gave them famously has failed to meet its estimates many times in the past. Who will benefit from them? Well, I suppose the government will feel that they benefit because they can use them as some form of social ordering device. Who will pay for them? Well, we will and it seems like we'll pay a lot. I...
Jonathan Dimbleby: But if the police ask of you - you just said what you like about this country is that the police don't carry - if the police are saying this will help us in securing freedoms, why would they do that if they didn't genuinely believe it on the basis of the judgement and intelligence that they possess?
Brian Eno: Well, I have to say I'm not in principle against identity cards, I don't feel that they're quite the infringement of freedom that other people often suggest but I just don't think they actually make much difference to anything. So I think that the police probably marginally would prefer them. I don't think they'll make much difference to anything except that they'll be very complicated and very expensive and people will keep leaving them at home and getting into trouble for doing it. [clapping]
Jonathan Dimbleby: Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: The answer to Kate's question is no, I don't think they would have prevented anything that happened yesterday. We've had recent examples elsewhere, in one country - the United States - there are no ID cards, indeed there are no ID cards in any common law country - Australia, Canada, United States - any of that British tradition. In one country - Madrid - it's one of the four European countries with compulsory ID cards, it didn't stop that happening. So the evidence isn't that they make that difference and indeed if you're a terrorist who believes that being a suicide bomber is going to give you salvation or redemption then of course self-evidently you're not going to mind that. So no it won't make a difference. I have a different view from Brian, I absolutely fundamentally to the root of my being oppose ID cards. Why? Because I understand the argument for their practicality, I'm perfectly happy that if people want them they should have them as a matter of choice because it's convenient. I was born in this country, I'm a free citizen of this country, now I have nothing to hide but why should I have to hold myself to account, have my details to present when required? It's unacceptable for me, the balance, as David said, between the citizen and the state is quite wrong. All the practical arguments, David's right, it doesn't work for practical reasons. The problem is never...
Jonathan Dimbleby: Social security cards, the passport, driving licence?
David Cameron: There's a good argument for saying you need a passport for travelling, a social security card for claiming benefit but why should you have to have a piece of paper just to say I exist?
Jonathan Dimbleby: Alan Johnson.
Alan Johnson: The first point to make is in Madrid - it wasn't suicide bombers. And whilst the identity card didn't stop the outrage, the identity card did, according to all those involved, help the police to track down the perpetrators very quickly. Now the argument is - and I don't understand the - I understand Brian's argument and David's argument but Simon's argument of being fundamentally in principle against this, as if the four countries in Europe that have identity cards are somehow in some kind of dictatorship, the point...
Simon Hughes: They were.
Alan Johnson: Yeah, but they're not anymore, we had identity cards and we weren't in a dictatorship during the Second World War. The issue - the issue is this - would we have been bringing forward this legislation if we were not living in this 21st Century world with everything that's going on now, including identity fraud? The reason why the police are not marginally in favour, Brian, of identity cards, they are absolutely in favour of identity cards, is because they say in the kind of society we live in now, with the kind of terrorist threat we face now, and the kind of security problems with illegal workers, illegal immigrants etc., it would help them to an extraordinary degree if instead of having all these different systems of identification - social security cards, passports, driving licences - there was one easy simple authorisation.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Okay, let me - hold it right there - and let me just ask David Cameron back in on this - given that wouldn't a responsible party leader, as indeed the position was taken by Michael Howard originally in favour of ID cards, listen to what Alan Johnson says and say hang on we can't just say no we're not going - I'm totally opposed?
David Cameron: I tried to say in my answer Jonathan, I'm profoundly sceptical but I think when the police and others argue for them you've got to listen carefully to the arguments and I then outlined the reasons why I'm against them. And let me just respond to Alan...
Jonathan Dimbleby: So you are - you can be turned on this from your own volition can you?
David Cameron: I have an instinctive dislike of them for the reason I've given - the reversal of the state and citizen relationship, I have an instinctive dislike but I'm a factual person, I like looking at the arguments, and I haven't been convinced. And let me give you another reason why I haven't been convinced. I could sort of understand if it was compulsory to carry this paper, little paper, at all times then maybe it would help the police but if it's not compulsory to carry it at all times you'll just be able to say - well I'll bring it along to the station in a few days time and you'll never turn up. And do we want to have a bit of paper or a card that you are absolutely made to carry at all times? You're taking the dog out for a walk in Deddington and the policeman asks you - Where are your papers? I don't really want to live in that sort of country. [clapping]
Jonathan Dimbleby: Last quick word to Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: Of course there may be an argument for a common document as a passport for travelling around the world [indistinct words] - that's a different issue. But yesterday Tony Blair, responding to the tragedy, said this is a very sad day for the British people but we will hold to the true British way of life. It seems to me we need to hold true to the freedoms because if we give them up once we never, never, never get them back. [clapping]
Jonathan Dimbleby: You provoked that debate Kate Pits, what's your own feeling?
Kate Pits: My own view is that if you're not - if you don't have to carry it, it's not compulsory, if the police can't actually ask you to produce it, and if it's being used as a universal sticking plaster - it'll deal with terrorism, it'll deal with benefit fraud, it will deal with people coming into the country - none of these arguments when you poke them actually comes up with anything at all. I think there needs to be a lot more clarity about what we're actually going to use it for and how it would be implemented.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Thank you. The public opinion on ID cards has been shifting around all over the place. Just - this is just the people of Deddington and around here - who on the basis of all that you've heard favours ID cards here, would you put your hands up? Who does not favour them? Well there is an overwhelming number in this particular village in this particular hall opposed to the introduction of ID cards. We'll go to our next question.
Colin Cohen: How can we make terrorism history?
Jonathan Dimbleby: Brian Eno.
Brian Eno: Well, I think that's a very good question and I think we don't do it by dealing with the end results - we do it by dealing with the sources. As I tried to say earlier, terrorists are always nurtured by a community of some kind, even if it's a community that doesn't help them but simply doesn't turn them in - a sort of tacit approval. This happened with the IRA in Belfast that everybody knew who was doing it but they just didn't bother to report them because they felt they were kind of on the same side. What we have to somehow do is to make people realise that they're not on the same side, they're not on the same side as most people would want to be. And, unfortunately, because we've consistently made enemies abroad, particularly in the Arab world, with the Guantanamo Bay and the various humiliations and insults essentially to Islamic peoples, we haven't done very much in terms of cultivating that community to believe that we are on the same side as them. So I think there's a sort of tacit approval that nobody likes these guys for what they're doing but on the other hand we're not going to turn them in because at least they're on our side sort of thing.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: You'll never be able to completely do it of course because life for all of us and for every country in every age is a fight between good and evil and those of us who have strong faith do that personally all the time and the country we live in do it personally and people give in to evil and sin and...
Jonathan Dimbleby: You sound a bit like President Bush waging something against evil. Do you find yourself, in that sense, identifying with him - good against evil?
Simon Hughes: I take a view that the people who did what they did yesterday can be redeemed but what they did was terribly evil and people - people are never beyond forgiveness and redemption, whatever they do. But they're evil and what they did was evil. And the answer is you have to try and reduce the opportunity for that and I'll just offer a very short list - international justice reduces the prospects, a state for Palestine would clearly be one of those examples; reduction of the amount of arms we sell around the world to make it easier - making profits for countries like ours; strong family leadership to bring up people to understand what respect for other people is and lastly there is a real obligation on the faith leaders and I say this advisedly today - the Muslim community, like all other communities, must reign in their fundamentalists. Fundamentalists in any faith are dangerous and fundamentalists who believe that the other person can't be right are dangerous and evil and we all have an obligation in our own faith and across the faith communities to say that's unacceptable and I hope the leaders of the communities where there are extremists in Britain are very clear that they have a responsibility for their faith groups too.
Jonathan Dimbleby: When you say that do - when you say in all religions, which could be just general cover for saying it about Muslims, do you actually believe that in the Christian faith and the Catholic church...
Simon Hughes: Look at the history of the world - absolutely and I have been outside places where people have shouted - Christians have shouted at me from an extreme position criticising my views, that's not the way you breed respect and understanding and tolerance and all faiths have an obligation to make sure they challenge and face down those who go for extreme positions and believe they can justify killing people as a result.
Jonathan Dimbleby: How do you make [clapping] ...how do you make terrorism history, David? - David Cameron.
David Cameron: I think Simon is right that in a free country where we value our civil liberties and freedoms we'll never fully be able to stamp out those who want to do us harm. But I do, as I said in answer to an earlier question, believe that we have to recognise what we're up against here, we have to confront this evil rather than try to appease it because there is no appeasement that we can offer that will actually make these people stop. Now that's not to say that we shouldn't try and drain the poison out of some of the problems we have in international affairs and Simon mentioned having a state for Palestine and I think that's right we should try to do that, we should try to tackle poverty which can sometimes lead to further problems. But we have to be clear - even if there was a state for Palestine I don't think al-Qaeda are going to pack up their bags and stop doing what they want to do, they want to destroy our values and our freedoms and our way of life. I think perhaps one thing we can do in this country and one thing we seem to be doing magnificently in the last 24 hours to make terrorism history is to carry on doing what we're doing. I was so struck last night cycling home from the House of Commons so many people who were walking home, determined to get on with their life, the attitude of everyone I've seen interviewed on the television and interviewed on the radio was we'll carry on going to work, we'll carry on using the tube, we'll carry on using the buses and we won't let these people spoil our life or change the way we live. The Queen has said it, Tony Blair has said it, Ken Livingstone has said it - I think they're all absolutely right and I think the response of people in London to the outrages that happened have been absolutely magnificent.
Jonathan Dimbleby: [clapping] Secretary of State.
Alan Johnson: I agree with Simon and with David, the one way you do not make terrorism history is by giving into it or seeking to placate the terrorists. The last terrorist outrage carried out on the people of London was from the IRA and it was only when the IRA realised that terrorism was not going to win that they understood that the political process was the only route to a satisfactory conclusion that those outrages finished. Now the reason why I agree so much with what David said there is because here it's very difficult to see a solution to people who just simply want to drive Israel into the sea, they believe incidentally that the Palestinian authority are selling out their cause, there is no end to this for them other than absolute intolerance of any other way of life or any other view. And if we don't hold firm against that, and I agree the people of London yesterday were magnificent and their response to that was magnificent, that's the only way to make terrorism history not by giving into it.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Brian Eno.
Brian Eno: I want to just pick up something you said because I think it's an important point. You said that the IRA stopped doing what they were doing when they realised they weren't going to win - actually they stopped when they realised they didn't have the support of their community and that's the point I keep trying to make - we keep feeding the community with actually very negative information, we keep supporting them in fact indirectly by, as I say, the humiliations that we're inflicting at the moment.
David Cameron: But the Muslim community in this country doesn't support what is happening...
Jonathan Dimbleby: You're talking about people internationally.
Brian Eno: Yes, I'm talking internationally and of course I understand that they don't support it and I'm very happy that they've made that clear.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Okay, we'll pause there and go to our next question, noting in passing that you - at least two of you have talked about draining the swamp or draining the poison, which may be apposite when it comes to our next question.
Chris Rose: Will the agreements made by the G8 at Gleneagles really solve Africa's problems for good?
Jonathan Dimbleby: While you think about that I must trail - because I've forgotten to do it - Any Answers on all these issues, the number is 08700 100 444, the e-mail address email@example.com, that's after the Saturday edition of Any Questions. The agreement made at the G8 - Africa, will it help solve the problems for good? David Cameron.
David Cameron: Well, the straight answer is no. I mean I think there is some good progress made and I think that it's been wonderful that a G8 has been so much in the news and that the pressure on the leaders of the world to come up with the right answers to poverty in Africa has been a subject that has been talked about in every pub and in every home and on every television channel, I can never remember a G8 having so much publicity or attention for the right reasons. And I think that the progress made over issues like debt, and trade and aid and governance is all very good news but it's just the governance issue I want to focus on for a second because in many ways Africa will only become wealthy when we answer a very simple question, which is what is the opposite of poverty? The opposite of poverty is wealth and we've got to ask ourselves how is it that countries become wealthy and become rich and governance is the key to that. In so many parts of Africa there is not only bad government or corrupt government but there's also no rule of law, there's no property rights, there's no ability to start a business and borrow against your home. In America last year I think it was forty percent of new businesses were set up because people were borrowing against their property. In Africa there's so little property ownership, so little property rights, so little of the ordinary things that we take for granted in this country and in other parts of the developed world that enable us to grow richer and we've got to look at that as much as we look at the vital issues of trade and debt and aid on which gratefully some progress has made but obviously not enough.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: Yes, like David the straight answer's no, it's a beginning, it's only a beginning. I pay tribute to Tony Blair and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who've made it absolutely clear that they thought this was fundamentally important, Hilary Benn and to the government, I unqualifiedly pay tribute and I think that at last we've begun to look over to a part of the world where we were the colonial power and where they are so much poorer and have been deprived of huge opportunities. Of course there are governance issues, huge governance issues, there are endemic issues - there's the need to get the agriculture sorted, there's the need to get rid of the malaria and deal with AIDS and HIV - there are huge issues - but we've begun. But it really is only the beginning. And it links Jonathan back to the last question. There's an injustice question here, the rich north west of the world, our countries, [indistinct words] 80% of energy consumption. This part of the world has all the assets and everything going for it and so we have to move it on. And the one thing that was missing, it was a great beginning, and it's not my phrase, it's a colleague of mine, he won't be able to solve the problems of Africa without the leaders of Africa being there round the table too, they have to be equal partners - equal partners - countries like Nigeria with one hundred and twenty million, South Africa hundreds - tens of millions of people and the phrase somebody gave me was you can't debate about them without them and you can't decide about them without them. And when we get them round the table as equals then we'll really make progress.
Jonathan Dimbleby: [clapping] Secretary of State.
Alan Johnson: Well, a propos what we were just talking about part of the deal at Gleneagles is to give three billion dollars to the Palestinian authority and I think as the Middle East is such a central issue in the questions we've been addressing that's good news. No, it won't solve the problems of Africa but if you look at those three issues - debt, aid and trade - the announcements today and a couple of weeks ago from the G8 finance ministers show that firstly there's a huge leap forward in tackling debt, secondly, in relation to aid - the Commission for Africa's recommendation that we double the amount of aid to Africa by 2010 has been met by today's declaration...
Jonathan Dimbleby: The Commission actually wanted 2008 - the Africa Commission wanted 2008 and in fact the [indistinct word] said he would have liked it to be 2008 but 2010...
Alan Johnson: Okay, two years after - two years...
Jonathan Dimbleby: It's according to the critics it's big money and many debts.
Alan Johnson: But it's very significant that we've achieved a doubling of the aid to Africa - that's twenty-five to fifty billion dollars - twenty-five billion dollars of which will go to Africa. The big issue is trade, that's the big central issue. Here we have a situation where in world trade you have something like a hurdle race with a difference because the weakest countries face the biggest hurdles because whilst we lecture developing countries about reducing their trade barriers and their tariffs we ourselves in developed countries have huge trade barriers for our special interests - mainly agriculture. And I think whilst there wasn't a date put on the declaration today in terms of where they want to be, I think that will give us the momentum to lead in to the Hong Kong ministerial discussions on the Doha development round in December to actually get an agreement in the World Trade Organisations - World Trade Organisation to actually rid all of the developed countries of all their trade barriers.
Jonathan Dimbleby: What would be a reasonable timescale in your judgement, given the importance you attribute to it and the scale of...
Alan Johnson: Our ambition - our ambition is 2010, our ambition on that is 2010.
Jonathan Dimbleby: You were campaigning to make poverty history Brian Eno, what do you make of it?
Brian Eno: Actually, I have to correct you there. I was quite sceptical of the campaign to begin with - the Live 8 campaign - and I sort of became converted to it because I thought really the main message of Live 8 was this: the people of the world are giving politicians permission to think bigger than their nation, and longer than the next election. Now I'm sure politicians usually think that they have to operate in their immediate local interests and obviously they want to be re-elected. What I think the message of Live 8 was solving these global problems than these particular national and short term problems. So I think it was a message from people saying we're not thinking small and we're not thinking short-term. Now I would say I'm moderately disappointed really with the result. I think the really difficult issue to solve was the trade issue and I don't think any real progress has been made on that, so we're still rather in the position of it being kind white people helping poor black people, whereas the position we'd like to be in is black people able to run their own affairs. What David said at the beginning was very nice and very kind-hearted but in fact we're sort of asking these people to run this race with both their feet tied together because they're in such a disadvantaged position at the moment. So I'm hoping that politicians will start to realise that their constituents will regard them well and like them for thinking big and thinking long.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Let's ask our audience. [clapping] It got slightly squeezed, all the decisions by the G8, because of the horrors in London but in general on Africa do people feel that politicians were thinking big and bigger than the next election and were you gratified by that, who was please in general by what came out of the G8 on Africa, would you put your hands up? Who was disappointed by it? Those who were disappointed, which are in the huge majority, how many of you was because you didn't think it went far enough, would you put your hands up? Yeah, so most people here seem to think it hadn't gone far enough. Simon.
Simon Hughes: Just one little point to follow on from on Alan's point. The other big trade issue is that the World Bank and IMF must not go round saying this is the way you must run your water supply, it's got to be run by privatised company and you put in a privatised company which happens to be American or happens to be German or happens to be British and the profits go - guess where - to Germany or America and Britain. There's got to be the chance for people locally in Tanzania, Uganda, wherever it is, to make their decision as to how they run their public utilities, unless we get that right to be honest we're imposing our trade advantage - Brian's point - on them.
Jonathan Dimbleby: And Alan Johnson is the case [clapping] although the British government have said that those kind of conditions will not be imposed the World Bank, the G8, IMF still retain those conditions.
Alan Johnson: Well, hang on a second, you're right in terms of the UK government. What we've done unilaterally, including on debt, where we were well ahead of the decision with G8 ministers because we actually cancelled unilaterally the debt from Africa before this summit, but look the important thing here is - Simon's absolutely right - the only conditionality has to be good governance and it has to be African countries themselves and countries in other poorer - they have to set out their own plan subject to good governance. And that's the only conditionality that must apply. The final point is Simon's point about African countries being involved. As I understand it at today's declaration there were an awful lot of African countries involved, they were part of the deal, as was the IMF, as was the World Bank, as was various other organisations - they were there at Gleneagles and are party to the declaration.
Jonathan Dimbleby: And we will go to our next question.
Jenny Nice: Is America's refusal to comply with G8's requirements on climate change good economic sense or short-sighted stupidity?
Jonathan Dimbleby: Jenny, were you thinking of the fact that America doesn't sign up for targets to reduce CO2 emissions, is that what was in your mind?
Jenny Nice: Yes, and also George Bush's thinking that he cannot reduce their emissions and make up for it in other ways.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Okay because just to clarify because in fact there was a statement in which everyone - everyone signed up for. But in that context - has it gone far enough, has America been a drag on this process - Brian?
Brian Eno: Yes, one of the things that really upsets me is America talking about corruption in African governments and you have at the centre of American government a group of oil men basically, who are sending out spokesmen, who deliberately muddy the issue about global warming, who effectively lie and who are very highly funded by the government to do this and I think that's corruption, don't you? And it's corruption [clapping] and it's corruption that has very long term ramifications. I think that almost no scientist disagrees with the idea that global warming's happening. Almost no scientist thinks that it is from something other than human intervention. It's very complex, we know, but on balance what's the right decision to make? Is it better to say well it might not be us doing it so we'll let it carry on or is it better to say it might be us doing it so we'd better start reigning it in? It seems obvious to me we should err on the second course of action.
Jonathan Dimbleby: David Cameron, you were shaking your head and looking as if you rather strongly disagreed.
David Cameron: Well I just think Brian is slightly being blinded by an instinctive anti-Americanism, which I just - I mean yes I think they are being short-sighted...
Brian Eno: It's not instinctive. I learnt it.
David Cameron: They are being short-sighted but to somehow to compare a regime in America with a free constitution and freely elected with sort of monsters like Mugabe, and incidentally we'll never make poverty history until we make Mugabe history. [clapping] I do think the American's have been short-sighted but I think we've just got to be - we've got to understand that on Kyoto we have our position, which was we're in favour of it, we've met our targets, the Americans take a different position and simply grandstanding against them isn't going to get us anywhere. Kyoto in any way runs out in 2012. What we need is a new - we need a new process and a new deal to get us, actually, to a position where all countries can agree, including the emerging countries of India and China and others. And what was disappointing about Gleneagles...
Jonathan Dimbleby: Is that the same - is that the same - is that the same destination in the same time by a different route because the anxiety isn't it of those who are concerned about the appalling threat is that it will be postponed and postponed and only the lowest common denominator decision will be a unanimous decision with terrible consequences?
David Cameron: Well I hope it isn't going to be put off and we need to get on with it and it is disappointing in the G8 that really all they've agreed to is a dialogue - the Americans have now accepted that climate change is happening and it is partly manmade, so that's - but that's not really progress because they signed up to that, as I understand it, thirteen years ago at the International Climate Change Convention. But what's disappointing, I think, is we haven't got a new process or a new system in place following the G8, we've just got a dialogue and that is very vague and woolly so it is very disappointing. And it is something that we've got to deal with. Having said that it's not just for governments, I believe in the idea of shared responsibility - that we're all in this together - and this is an area which is absolutely true for it - if business doesn't do it, if we don't do it in our own ways, we've got to all make progress on climate change it's not something we can simply leave to our governments.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Alan Johnson.
Alan Johnson: I think the declaration today is significant and I think it's significant, incidentally, it's not just Bush that was against Kyoto, it was Clinton before him, and in terms of why not grandstand - grandstanding's no good. We have no control over the American policy, we have to try to influence their policy and this is why I think it's significant today because Brian's absolutely right - absolutely right - there seemed to be a denial of all the scientific evidence by America. But the declaration that Bush and the US have signed up to today recognises that climate change is happening now, that human activity contributes to it, that it's a threat to all parts of the globe, it puts the discussions into the UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal later this year but I think it's a significant breakthrough that we've actually got that recognition, of all the things that Brian mentioned because only by getting that can you then move on to the stage of reaching concrete agreements about how to tackle it.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: I think the answer to Jenny's question that two people will be very disappointed about this aspect of today's agreement, I think it's barely moved things forward, it's on the agenda - that's good - but it was, to use Jenny's phrase, more or less short-sighted self-interest. I'm not anti-American at all but I'm anti an administration in America that is not willing to take its responsibility for emissions and the climate as the richest most prosperous part of the world. And if it doesn't you can't expect China and India, who also have to follow the same route, to go down the right road either. [clapping]
Jonathan Dimbleby: Thank you. Any Answers on all of this, the number is 08700 100 444. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And we can squeeze in one more.
Johnny Campion: Regarding ability and age in what sport would the panel feel best suited to represent the country at the 2012 Olympics and why?
Jonathan Dimbleby: And you're not to say political leadership David Cameron.
David Cameron: Well, I was just thinking we could have all the contenders for the Tory leadership and do some synchronised swimming because I think there's about enough for a team. [clapping]
Jonathan Dimbleby: Simon Hughes.
Simon Hughes: Well, it will be something like the triathlon or the heptathlon because if you could do seven sports as well as those guys you would absolutely be the fittest, greatest, most wonderful athlete in the world and that's why sport's good, we can at least try - the rest of us.
Jonathan Dimbleby: Brian Eno.
Brian Eno: 2012 - I'll go for the over-60s hundred-yard sprint. [clapping]
Jonathan Dimbleby: And Alan Johnson.
Alan Johnson: I once had a head teacher who said to me: Johnson, if you don't buck up your idea you'll be in for the high jump in the long run. So I think I'll go for both in 2012. [clapping]
Jonathan Dimbleby: And on that moment of brief optimism we come to the end of this week's programme. Next week we're going to be in Bexley in Kent and the panel will include so far: George Galloway, the Respect MP and Professor Colleen Graffy who is US Republican Abroad supporter and a law lecturer. And there'll be a couple of others there if they dare get into the room as well. But don't forget Any Answers but from here in Deddington Hall - sorry the Windmill Centre in Deddington, thank you for having us here and good evening. [clapping]