No longer a United Kingdom: the history and politics of Britain’s identity crisis



thank you so much everyone for coming to our public lecture tonight I really appreciate it I know it's the beginning right after the inter semester break and everyone's very busy and whatnot but win for what I think is going to be a very exciting evening and we have a little bit of time for questions and answers afterwards so my name is Julie MacArthur and I'm a lecture in politics and international relations and the masters of public policy program here at the University of Auckland one of the reasons I'm so excited that the New Zealand rhodes scholars association has actually brought the cruise to New Zealand and host of their visit is because a lot of what we do obviously in politics and I know some of you aren't in this field is look at the constitution of political units how they change the dynamism the evolution and whatnot and so what with what's been going on in the UK over the last number of years and particularly with the referendum earlier this year I think this talk is really going to stimulate some discussion so I'm very excited about that so I'm going to keep these opening remarks short so we put the twitter feed up on the powerpoint slide so for any of you who haven't come to our speaker series before i would like to be notified you can also come and talk to me after if you're not on Twitter which is absolutely fine no judgment there at all and give me your email address so without further ado I'm also delighted that the Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland has also actually come to introduce us her ivers talk this evening so bit further ado Stuart McCutchen Thank You Julian good evening ladies and gentlemen I sure probably forgetting in the spirit of openness by admitting that I'm not on Twitter or Facebook thank you see I appreciate the applause that's very much appreciated it's my pleasure tonight to introduce our speaker saraiva crew Master of University College Oxford and to welcome you with Julie to this public lecture hosted by politics and international relations and the Faculty of Arts sir ivor is the chairman of the Higher Education Policy Institute and advisor to the office for fear axis he's written extensively on elections public opinion and party politics in the United Kingdom his books include decade of D alignment SDP the birth life and death of the Social Democratic Party and the blunders of our governments and reviewing the most recent of these the blunders of our governments which was written with Anthony King the Guardian commented as follows this book will make you gasp in disbelief and stamp your feet and rage and quite frequently reduce you to help us laughter it will also make you tremble and terror at the realisation the people in charge of our destinies are in many respects idiots I'm happy to be able to assure sir ivor that none of that applies in New Zealand it is a dress tonight sir ivor we'll discuss why one of history's most successful political unions is under threat and what could be done to restore it and if I can quote from the flyer that accompanied this program the may 2015 general election in the UK revealed a country more divided about its national identity and destiny that in any time since the rise of Irish nationalism over a century earlier each of the 4 nations of the United Kingdom is dominated by a different party and the winners of the election the Conservatives have a significant presence only in England they must resolve to challenges the prospect of an independent Scotland and the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union and it's suggested by the next election and 2020 the united kingdom may be unrecognizable as such survivors address is less entire hood as you'll see on the board no longer a united kingdom the history and politics of Britain's identity crisis that isn't give him and the please join me in welcoming so I've approved Vice Chancellor ladies and gentlemen thank you it's a is a great pleasure to be here and to have an opportunity to give this lecture at about eleven o'clock in the evening on the twenty-fifth of October 1951 Winston Churchill settled down with a brandy in the study of his Hyde Park home it was the knowledge of the general election at which he had led the Conservatives in a bid to return to power he switched on the radio and soon after the first declaration of the night came in from the marginal constituencies billericay a commuter town north east of London the Conservatives had taken it from labor with a small swing Churchill then went to bed we are back he told clementi he was right they were he knew that they were because he knew that as went billericay so would go bristol in the south Birmingham in the Midlands Radford in the north and barrick sure and bam sure in Scotland he knew that there would be what political scientists call a uniform national swing the country would vote as one nation in the 1950s the conservative and labour party's book over ninety percent of the vote and all but six of the 630 seats across the country they were serious contenders for election in every nation region of the United Kingdom and they were the only serious contenders in that same here in the 1950s the different constituent nations of the UK retained strong separate identities shaped by their particular histories and institutions and social make up the peoples of these nations thought of themselves as both Scots or welt or else Thurmond and British Northern Ireland had its own Parliament the Stormont with devolved paths with administration but not of revenue or spending as a result of the 1920 Act following the petition of Allen their relations between the minority Catholic and dominant Protestant communities were marked by segregation suspicion discrimination and occasional violence Scotland kept its own legal and educational systems after the 1707 Act of Union and presbyterianism as distinct from Anglicanism remained the established church a Protestant Catholic cleavage originating in the savage suppression of the Jacobite rebellions and reinvigorated by Irish immigration in the late 19th century was important in Scotland but it took a weaker form than that in northern ireland wales welsh was the first language for a significant minority and the basis of a distinct culture the predominance of heavy industry in both the Scottish and Welsh economies created a large and militant trade union movement which coloured the political cultures of both those countries but none of this with the important exception of the Catholics in Northern Ireland found expression in separatist nationalism anti-english sentiment was reserved for rugby and football matches when a tartan or taffy army of well-lubricated supporters descended on London for the day all the nations were content with United Kingdom's England dominated and London centred arrangements now fast-forward more than 60 years through the recent general election held in may this election determined who would govern the United Kingdom turned out with the Conservatives with a slim but unexpected majority but not and whether they would still be united kingdom to govern by the end of the Parliament elections held in mirror to the body politic and may 2015 revealed a country less United than at any time since at least the armed insurrection zin Ireland before and during World War one the party system has fragmented 2015 five parties each commanding at least a fifth a five percent of the national vote contested every constituency the conservatives and labour of course the Liberal Democrats who were the conservative current partners the greens and the recently formed United Kingdom Independence Party you kick an English nationalist party campaigning for withdrawal from the EU tank controls an immigration and an English Parliament with the Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties Scotland and Wales were contested by six parties one voter in three chose a party other than the conservatives and labour and elected 87 MPs from outside the two main parties and a further third of the registered electorate chose not to vote at all in the 1950s when turnout was much higher three-quarters of the total registered electorate voted conservative or labour in 2015 well fewer than half or two four percent this is the electoral expression of profound social changes from a society block a of organised occupational classes to a culturally and geographically splintered society in which entrenched tribal party allegiances have been replaced by volatile dual choice the bridden of the 1950s influenced Maurice de vache the French political sociologist who formulated what for decades was widely regarded as one of the very few iron laws of politics plurality look rule elections held in single-member constituencies or what you call it Lecter 'it's tend to produce a two-party system and single part in the douro Therrien government proportional representation in multi-member electorates tends to produce multi-part ISM and coalition's everybody who took political science 101 knew that so how's the iron law rusted to nothing well not quite in recent British elections to party competition has continued but with different pairs of parties in different nations and regions conservative and labour still in much of middle England conservative and liberal Democrat in rural and affluent suburban areas Labor and Liberal Democrat in inner metropolitan areas labour and you Kip in poor white economically disarmed disadvantaged areas and most important of all labor and the Scottish nationalists in Scotland so there is no longer a single front but a number of battles in regional enclaves fought by different armies as a result different parties are predominant in some nations or regions and almost entirely absent from others in 2015 each of the 4 nations was for the first time in British electoral history dominated by a different party in Northern Ireland by the Ulster unionists representing the lawless community in Wales by labor the ascendant party for a century in Scotland the first time by the Scottish nationalists and in England by the Conservatives moreover each of these parties lack presence in a number of other nations and regions within England for example the geographic cleavage with wider than ever before the servitors failed to win a single seat in any major city outside London labour failed to win a small town suburban or rural seat and only 8 of the 200 seats in the south east and south and southwest of the country the outcome in Scotland was momentous at the previous election the Nationalists 16 of the 59 seats on twenty percent of the vote in Scotland this time they won 56 of the 59 seats on just over fifty percent of a nationalist tsunami washed away the granite labour citadel of the dorf label was left with a single seat all of its leading Scottish politicians were felled on huge swings by young near facts there had already been signs of movement in Scotland's tectonic plates in the independence referendum held the previous September and in the Scottish Nationalist gaining of an absolute majority in the Scottish parliamentary elections of 2011 on which more later the current indications and that's all they are are that they will sweep to victory again in next year's Scottish parliamentary elections Scotland has become a democratic one-party state and the SNP is the hagerman now how did this transformation in Scotland's politics and by extension in the future of the united kingdom come about most nationalist movements seeking independence and either secession from or the overthrow of the existing sovereign power derive their energy from the cultural distinctiveness of the nation differences of language religion and ethnicity are the basis of nationalist movements economic inequality and exploitation provide reinforcement advances in literacy and mass communication accelerate the mobilisation of popular support and the organizing and rhetorical skills the movements leadership in combination with the response of the sovereign power are the contingent factors that determine the historical course of the nationalist program that has been free work for understanding most European nationalist movement in the 19th and 20th century the nationalist eruption in Scotland cannot be explained in these conventional terms the cultural particularity zuv Scotland are today by historical standards week the number of Gaelic speakers is tiny fine for the western islands and highlands Scotland like the rest of the UK is largely secular Protestants and Catholics are increasingly integrated and the old orange green conflict has not translated into a contemporary unionist nationalist division it is true that Scotland was particularly badly hit by the decline of heavy industry in the 1970s and 80s for which the predominantly Conservative government's of the time were widely blame but that was 40 years ago and labour not the nationalists were the political beneficiaries since then energy financial services and high tech have revitalized the economy Scotland is not in particularly bad economic shape GDP per capita even excluding oil receipts is closer to that of london and the south and it is to its neighbouring english regions in the north this urgent Scottish nationalism can only be understood as a civic and political phenomenon and by that I mean two things firstly the Nationalists objective is self-government for the purpose of better closer government not for the furtherance of the idea of a nation nor for cultural revival or religious rebirth or ethnic dominance and secondly its impetus and power comes from the political constitutional arrangements that have been put in place for the governing Scotland since the 1990s and from the political dynamic that has resulted from that the design of political institutions of electoral systems of referendums of Parliament's of devolved powers matters one political institution which has unexpectedly promoted Scottish nationalism is the electoral system for UK general elections first-past-the-post as it is very inaccurately because in fact there is no fixed post or more accurately the single member simple chirality system which Zealand used to have and has reformed first-past-the-post I'll still call it that as is well known does not produce proportional outcomes it own rewards parties who support is geographically concentrated and under rewards parties whose support is geographically dispersed and this disproportionality can be very marked and very arbitrary as the 2015 elections showed for example you Kip took twelve percent of the UK vote but elected only one MP the Scottish Nationalist took four percent of the United Kingdom vote and elected 56 MPs in Scotland itself this translated into ninety-five percent of the seats for fifty percent of the vote the Conservatives who have regularly when a sixth of the vote in Scotland since the 1990s which under a PR system would have delivered about ten seats have never produced more than one MP since that time they were the local joke went and more endangered species in Scotland than giant pandas of which there were two in Edinburgh Zoo more seriously from Westminster they governed a nation in which they had virtually no presence so in a unitary state governing one nation of different peoples a first-past-the-post system nudges voters across the land to fall in and cluster behind the two large governing parties but in a quasi federal state governing a union of different nations each with its own identity in institutions first-past-the-post distorts political representation exaggerated split achill differences exacerbates conflict and threatens national youth to understand how the Scottish nationalists pole vault it's so high above the other parties were need to go back to the 1970s when oil began to be extracted from the North Sea off the Scottish coast in October 1974 when both main parties were unpopular in the global downturn the Scottish nationalists campaigned on the slogan it's Scotland's oil and took thirty percent of the vote and 11 seats the then labour government taking fright at the prospect of losing its Scottish base introduced proposals for a limited devolution of powers to Scottish and Welsh assemblers but these were heavily defeated in a referendum in Wales and supported by two slimmer majority in Scotland that passed the threshold of forty percent of the electorate the Scottish nationalists bitterly blamed labor for the forty percent threshold proviso and allied with the opposition in a successful vote of no confidence Parliament was dissolved and the subsequent election ushered in 18 years of conservative government and the Margaret Thatcher and Dawn major who opposed any measure of devolution and I think it's fair to say showed little understanding of Scottish sent him during those long wilderness years in opposition in the 1980s and 90s the Labour Party both at Westminster and in Scotland and Wales gradually committed itself to a major measure of devolution in Scotland and Wales as always the momentum behind its embrace of constitutional reform was not Democratic principle but maneuvering for party advantage it needed to blunt the Nationalists appeal so on returning to office in 1997 the new labour government led by tony blair held pre-legislative referendum on the establishment of a parliament and an assembly proposals passed by a large majority in Scotland and a very small one in Wales the conversion of so many to the cause of devolution since the 1970s owed much to its endorsement by the Scottish Labour Party but also to the unpopularity of conservative governments in particular the unpopularity of the quintessentially southern English Margaret Thatcher in particular her anti-state free-market policies and her experiment with a flat rate property taxes so-called poll tax in Scotland the 1998 scotland act that was instituted by the Labour government constituted in the words of one of the magnet England's foremost constitutional authorities the greatest voluntary handover of power by a national government to a sub-national body within its own borders in modern times the Act established a unicameral Scottish Parliament elected by the additional member system of PR with the First Minister a cabinet and an executive administration but what powers would they have well a critical test of how much central power is shed in any legislative measure of devolution is whether the at lists and thus limits the powers reserved the devolved parliament or lists and thus limits the powers reserved to the central parliament in this case a limited number of power admittedly critical powers over foreign policy and national security macroeconomic policy and Social Security benefits were reserved for the Westminster Government but everything else health care all levels of education housing transport lease courts local government economic development the environment agriculture fisheries and much more were ceded to Edinburgh Scotland's government would have the power if it wished to abolish the National Health Service to build airports and motorways to sell or spam public housing to raise or abolish University tuition fees to subsidize or neglect none carbon energy generation and a great deal else the act effectively made Scotland semi-independent another critical test is whether the devolved government is fiscally autonomous does it raise its own revenue through taxes and borrowing and take responsibility for balancing its budget or does it rely significantly on subvention from central government the arrangement in Scotland's case was that its government would have significant powers to spend but his powers to tax would be limited to varying the england pats raped by three percent in other words Scotland's government could decide how to divide the cake but the UK government decided how big the cake would be now the Westminster Parliament retained these powers for reasons of macroeconomic management it didn't want the UK economy to be distorted by uncontrolled and potentially higher levels of taxing spending and borrowing in Scotland but less recognized is that it also wanted to ensure that it could attend to the social needs of Scotland and indeed Wales and Northern Ireland Scotland tax base was insufficient to support the historic levels of public expenditure in Scotland which reflect the particular needs both of its impoverished old industrial areas and of the sparsely populated Highlands and Islands the UK government determines the amount of public money spent on the devolved nations by a formula known as the Barnett formula after the Treasury secretary who invented it in 1978 I when I was writing this letter I wondered whether there was any way in which I could avoid having to tell you what the Barnett formula is because I knew that I did it would make me sound like a really nerdy anorak but I have to write you cannot understand the politics of Scotland unless I evening drastically simplified form tell you about the Barnett formula because it is central it's hideously complicated it lacks any coherent rationale and it has nothing to commend it other than the fact that nobody can agree on any alternative but simplifying drastically it does two things firstly each year taking 1978 the year of its invention as a baseline it adjusts public expenditure per capita in Scotland by the percentage change in per-capita spending in England so if it goes up two percent of England it goes up two percent the capital stock but secondly because in 1978 per capita public spending in Scotland was so much greater than anywhere else in the United Kingdom the Barnett formula aimed to tweak this protractor adjustment so that per capita expenditure very gradually converged to the same across the United Kingdom over the long term well we should return to the Barnett for the 1997 devolution of power to Scotland was intended to tame the nationalist beast but instead it fed and emboldened it as the independence referendum a year ago and general election in May amply demonstrated the assumption was that proportional representation would prevent any party with a possible exception of labour from forming a Scottish government on its own and as it would forestall an SNP administration from holding and winning a referendum for independence but in the event the Scottish nationalists won a small but absolute majority in the 2011 parliamentary elections the assumption was that the devolvi significant powers and the generous financial settlement was too good a deal to risk by taking such a leap in the dark as of dependence survey after survey suggested that only a quarter and never more than a third of Scotland's voters wanted full independence the majority wanted Home Rule which is what the Scotland that gave them but in the event forty-five percent voted for independence and were a second referendum to be held now there is a distinct chance I would say a probability that a slender majority would prob would vote for it back to an outside observer the home rule that was brought in by the 1998 act was and remains a jolly good deal Scotland's government controls fifty percent of all public spending in the country and public spending per head has consistently been about twelve percent higher in Scotland than the UK overall Scotland is permanently subsidized by the taxpayers of London and the affluent South Scotland's administration's that were first led by labor from nineteen nineteen ninety 2007 and then by the SNP from 2007 until now have had the freedom to governor well to the political left of the labor and conservative governments at Westminster for example they have left the old struct of the health service intact while in England the National Health Service has been subject to two major structural changes to incorporate an internal market Social Care the elderly is free in Scotland but not in England so our university tuition fees in contrast to England where government grants for teaching have been replaced by tuition fees and loans of up to 9,000 pounds a year the scottish government spends a great deal more on economic development and inward investment and so forth i could continue the list so none of this would appear to be particularly fertile ground for the flowering of an independence movement scotland was getting most of the benefit of independence without the economic risks of full sovereign state but for the first eight years until 2007 the parties an alignment of Labor Government's in Scotland and at Westminster defused the inevitable conflicts between Edinburgh Westminster especially over central funding it helped that so many of Labour's leading ministers at Westminster the chance of the expected Gordon Brown the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook the Home Secretary John Reid they all represented Scottish constituency's it couldn't be said that they didn't understand or know or care about Scotland new labors of debt adoption of market-based reforms of public services was less readily accepted in Scotland and England but then Scotland's government didn't have to copy them only one major decision made at Westminster planted seeds of nationalism and that was the invasion of Iraq which was more widely opposed in Scotland than elsewhere some argue that they didn't wish to belong to a state it was a poodle of the United States this was enough together with the inevitable short-term dissatisfaction with the incumbent party to catapult the SNP into office as a minority government in Scotland in teeth out and 7 an important step in the growing credibility of the nationalist position was the record and the deportment of the SNP administration of 2007 the SNP MPs who became ministers were completely untried it turned out to be in the main more competent than their labour predecessors more accommodating to other parties until the organized lobbies less prone to personal scandal or petty corruption they were younger better educated more sympathetic to business and without ties to the trade union movement the quality of their leaders was higher because they were politicians whose primary interest was Scotland not the UK labour by contrast always fielded their second 11 for the Scottish Parliament because their best talent was bound for Westminster the second boost to the nationalist position was the formation of a conservative-led coalition with the Liberal Democrats following the 2010 general election in the midst of the global recession the Conservatives came back to office on the back of a huge swing from labour in England 7.4 percent but Scotland moved in the reverse direction and the Conservatives still toxic in Scotland barely lifted their vote they were the party of England in particular of the South of England only one minister in the conservative cabinet had any Scottish antecedents of any kind Scotland was already taking a distinctive position on how the government should respond to the UK's fiscal deficit and level of boro now the coalition government's austerity strategy for dealing with the budget deficit comprised 80% public spending cuts twenty percent tax rises here comes the Barnett formula this was converted by the Barnett formula into reductions in the Block Grant allocated Scotland no matter that Scotland was still heavily subsidised by England the subsidy would be less the SNP administration in Edinburgh could blame any cuts it made to services or grants on the Conservatives in London who having virtually no representation in Scotland had they claimed no mandate to dictate to Scott the government of an independent Scotland untrammeled by Westminster the nationalist claims would have dealt with the financial crisis by job generating investment in infrastructure and better protection of the vulnerable from welfare cuts in other words by a traditional Keynesian Social Democratic program a year into the coalition government in 2011 the SNP won an absolute majority and its manifesto included a referendum on independence if it won a majority the ensuing negotiations about the referendum between the SNP administration and the coalition government which was handled personally by David Cameron demonstrated two things firstly repeat my earlier point the design of institutions matters critically and secondly that the conservative leadership so geographically and politically removed from Scotland were profoundly ignorant with the Scottish impulse to self done David Cameron had read the polls and assumed that no more than a third of Scots supported independence the majority hadn't the heart for it and would balk at the large risks entail he would call Alex Salmond Bluff Alex Salmond was the leader of Scottish nationalists salmon suggested a tripartite question voters would be asked to choose between full independence an extension of the existing devolution to include fiscal autonomy and the status quo he assumed that the plurality would plump for devo max the middle option which would be a stepping stone to eventual independence Cameron refused and insisted on a straight choice for or against independence he called Salmons bluff but he accepted as the wording of the question should Scotland be an independent country arguably slanted more positively than some plausible alternative verdicts of the questions such as should Scotland leave the United Kingdom to become an independent country or should Scotland remain a member of the United me well Scotland did not as you know in the end vote for independence but the yes vote at forty five percent was very much higher than expected a buoyant campaign succeeded in converting large numbers of skeptics and doubters particularly labour supporters the late campaign pearls portrayed such a tight race that the three Westminster party leaders pledged out of panic to introduce the devo map that had been left off the ballot paper Scotland remained in the UK after the result the yes campaigners act as as if they had one not lost it was if the runner-up in the Olympics marathon went on to run a lap of honour around the stadium to thunderous applause before stepping up to the podium to receive the gold medal membership of the SNP double its supporting the polls cert at Labour's expense and it went on to its clean sweep of Scotland at the general election now some have characterized the relative success of the S campaign as another populists insurgency against the political establishment struggling to deal with the 2008 recession a bit like podemos in Spain or thigh Riza in Greece certainly protest against austerity strategy of a distant Conservative government played a part but protest does not capture the style and appeal of Scottish nationalism it has developed since it came to office and was on display during the referendum campaign at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 the then First Minister Donald Dewar who was on a nationalist quoted the opening lines of Walter Scott's patriotic poem breathes there the man readers there the man was soul so dead who never to himself has said this is my own my native land whose heart is there within him burn as home his footsteps he of turn a poem a lot of Scottish children but contemporary Scottish nationalism is not the nationalism of blood and soil of Abraham Lincoln's mystic chords of memory it is inclusive own devices and ecumenical based on residents in Scotland not on DNA in the referendum negotiations salmond made no claim those of proven Scots heritage resident outside Scotland who I imagine there are large numbers in this country should be entitled to vote much to the dismay of the Scots diaspora in the rest of the United Kingdom so a recently arrived Polish plumber could vote a tenth generation Glaswegian plumber who'd lately moved to London could not in the referendum it offered national self-belief the conviction that Scotland had the capacity to prosper the politics of Hope or as the doubters argued of fantasy but if it was fantasy it was a modest and moderate one moral Don the small social democracies of northern Europe Iceland Denmark Norway Sweden open and modern rather than protectionism traditional the pro unionist campaign appealed to voters caution and aversion to risk project fear the Nationalists calling it asked legitimately and reasonably how Scotland could sustain itself without the English subsidy whether it will retain sterling at its currency and if so how this could be squared with independence how it would manage as nationalists appear to promise to combine Scandinavian levels of welfare with Irish levels of business taxes necessary to attract foreign investment what contingency plans it had for a plunge in oil prices or the exhaustion of the oil fields and how it would cope with its initial and perhaps long-lasting exclusion from the EU in other words it made the negative case against Independence that Scotland is incapable case brushed aside is humiliating rather than the positive case for Union yes voters were passionate positive and confident no voters were pragmatic and skeptical but few had a visceral belief in the Union itself a second referendum before the end of this Parliament in 2020 cannot be ruled out if a seems very likely the government of Scotland remains firmly in atlas hands it will demand another referendum if the constitutional status of Scotland has changed if for example the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in the referendum promised on that no later than 2017 but the majority in Scotland voted to stay in which is quite a possible outcome in what is expected to be a closely balanced vote a second referendum on Scottish independence would be triggered and quite probably one latest polls put the vote fifty three percent to forty seven percent in favor irrespective of the EU referendum result if the Conservatives are returned to office in 2020 but the SNP a game sweep Scotland a second referendum would be impossible to resist the leadership of the established UK parties do not wish the United Kingdom to lose Scotland despite the cost of the subsidy and in the case of conservative electoral advantages a diminished united kingdom would carry less weight in the EU with united states and in the united nations where its permanent status on the Security Council would be in jeopardy it would lose its nuclear submarine base in Faslane and have a 400-mile land border to maintain with a difficult possibly hostile nation to its norm labored would lose permanently it's past power base which it still believes to be retrievable in the long term and it would lose a prospective coalition partner in the SNP the Welsh might start to get ideas of their own no government wishes to be remembered for the loss of territory so prospects were a Velvet divorce of the kind the checks agreed with the slow backs in 1993 are slim so what might the government do to mobilize support for the union on both sides of the border what is the positive case for a united kingdom in the 1950s when the tiny numbers of Scottish and Welsh nationalists were regarded as romantic cranks the answer was simple and stop it was global power Empire welfare and still then the Protestant descendants the united kingdom was a bulwark against fascist and communist totalitarianism the British Empire provided a market for Scottish business bitches state needed Scots recruits for its Armed Forces and overseas administration the UK offered opportunities for impoverished workers for bankrupt farmers and for ambitious professionals alike the post-war welfare state created equal rights to health care pensions and benefits to all citizens of the Union it was a club worth belonging to an independent Scotland let alone Wales could not have provided the same security opportunities or benefits these advantages have largely faded away or at least are perceived to have done the UK is a diminished power even if it still punches above its weight the EU of which it is a semi-detached member as we placed the Empire over at which it once presided as trading area and labour market the welfare state has been contracting since the Thatcher years and at an accelerating pace since the global recession the benefits of the Union are less obvious the government's response to the nationalist insurgency is the offer of full devolution of tax raising powers and greater control over some welfare benefits and this might by itself be sufficient to postpone another referendum in Scotland for a few years but it is stirred up a the growing resentment among English MPs against the anomalously privileged position of Scotland in the Constitution the problem is known as the West Lothian question so called because it was the Labour MP for this Scottish constituency that first persistently raised the issue in its modern form the granting of devolved powers to a Scottish Parliament means that a Scottish MP at Westminster for example the mp4 West Lothian may vote on legislation that affects England such as the health service while an English MP cannot vote on equivalent legislation that affects Scotland it means that Scottish nationalists MPs can vote on laws that apply to a country in which they have no representation and from which they wish to separate but cannot vote on laws that affect Scotland which they represent when do evolution was of limited scale objections to the anomaly were muted it was just one of those things that you have to accept in the Constitution but the commitment to extend the devolved powers to Scotland has turned it into a major constitutional question after the referendum the Prime Minister mindful resentment amongst his own backbenchers under swelling of English now represented by you kit promised to change parliamentary practice and guarantee english-only votes in Parliament for English laws the idea was that the speaker or a parliamentary committee established for the purpose would determine which laws apply to England alone and a grand committee comprising all English and peas or smaller standing committee representatives the party strength of English mp's meeting in the Westminster Parliament would debate and vote on the bill this is a Pandora's box it will not work but it'll have far-reaching and detrimental consequences for one thing England only laws are fearsomely difficult to define there are very few laws about England that do not involve a cut or increase in public expenditure that any such change with feed through to the government's invention to Scotland via you've got it the Barnett formula and thus not be English only laws MPs would not have equal rights nor know for certain when they could or could not vote well why not instead significantly reduce the number of Scottish MPs on the grounds that with so many significant powers devolved to Scotland the nation of Scotland doesn't need proportionately as much representation as in the West no lothian anomaly would remain but it would be to in sequential inconsequential to bother about but the week of the representation of Scotland at Westminster when Westminster retains control of foreign affairs defense and macroeconomic levers the week of the incentives for Scotland to remain in the UK alternative more thoroughgoing constitutional reforms have been proposed for incorporating extensive devolution to Scotland while addressing English concerns one model is home rules for the Four Nations Parliament's and devolved powers not only for Scotland Wales and Northern Allen put for England with powers over foreign policy and defence and currency and interest rates in other words strategic powers reserved through a UK parliament meeting in a second chamber and for disputes between the UK Parliament and the Four Nations settled by a constitutional court the drawback is that unlike the federal systems of the US and Austria Canada and Germany one of the constituent elements England with eighty-five percent of the UK population on an even larger proportion of the UK's GDP overwhelmingly dominates the others and given that different parties are in the ascendant in the different nations it would be quite possible in a closer and election for one party to command a majority in the English but for another party the commander majority in the United Kingdom pub for example the Conservatives in England and labor with SNP support in the United King and this would produce two prime ministers leading different parties and different governments the second model designed to circumvent these problems is a Federation of regional Parliament's so that England does not dominate but in England regional identities are generally weak and there is no appetite for regional Parliament's in a referendum held in 2004 in the Northeast bordering Scotland and conscious of Scotland's privileges the proposal to establish a regional Parliament with heavenly defeated by four to one for seeing the breakup of the United King that the community of constitutional experts and political commentators are calling for a national constitutional convention which would head off Scottish independence by entrenching devolved powers across the UK in a written constitution with an elected UK Parliament replacing the unelected House of Lords radical constitutional reform on this scale is unlikely constitutional change is usually the outcome of incremental changes the part is an advantage lot of a grand national design and even if it did occur it would not by itself address the challenge posed by Scottish nationalism namely the purpose and benefits of the union it would be putting the constitutional horse before the political car what is needed is a coherent vision of the advantage of union in the 21st century based on values common to the Four Nations and whatever solidarity can be created between them that defines the union's place in the world the union would need to be instituted in the formal constitution which devolved power and guaranteed rights and fair representation under the crown but it would need to guarantee social and economic and digital rights not just civil and political rights and reserved to the UK those elements of the welfare state and of the redistribution of wealth that are deemed so fundamental that they cannot be decentralized this will be a very difficult feat to pull off and I am not holding my breath there's been a debate about electoral reform well as long as I can remember in the United Kingdom and it is being confined to supporters are or largely confined to supporters of those parties that were benefit from it and they inevitably are at the moment out of power I don't think there's any that that debate will continue and it will fill the small journals of constitutional experts and political scientists and supporters of minority parties but there is no interested portal representation on the part of the Conservative Party which after all mandas quite nicely under the current system and there has never been more than minority support for it in the Labour Party even when the Labour Party has been in opposition for a long period of time in the coalition government of 2010 2 2015 the Liberal Democrats did extract as part as part of their agreement to serve in that government a referendum on the introduction of the alternative vote the alternative voted not assisting with the portal representation it's the it's the transferable vote within a single member constituency but it probably would have made the results less disproportional than under the first part of her system that referendum was lost by two to one with all of the Conservative Party virtually and significant parts of the Labour Party and their press supporters most of their press supporters campaigning against it I think the Liberal Democrats missed a trick which was not missed in New Zealand they should have in fact asked for a referendum on the principle of the fourth Loretta not a referendum on a particular system electoral system and if the country had voted for the principles of corporal representation I'm not saying it would have done but i think the vote would have been more balanced then it could have set up a commission to examine various forms of proportional representation there is proportional representation in the in the elections for the national parliaments Northern Ireland Scotland and Wales a formal representation for London election for representation Scottish local election and a proportion and a transferable vote system for the election of the London man impede for the mayors of those other cities that have got so proportional representation is beginning to seep into the body politic but I see very little prospect of it being introduced for Westminster elections until such time as a major political party has lost so many elections in succession that in order to win a Westminster election it puts it in its manifesto I my rule of thumb is that are that a major political party has got to lose something like five elections on the top before though stop doing that well as you've probably read in the newspapers or seen online very recorded has been elected leader the Labour Party I think this is the most bizarre extraordinary election of the leader of a major political party in the history of the UK if the story of his election had appeared in a novel I think the publisher would have spiked it before actor publishing it because it it's such an unlikely sequence of events but he has been elected and he's been elected by a very large majority of not the parliamentary Labour Party almost none of whom supporting but of the Labour Party in the country that is to say labor labor party's members its trade union affiliated members and a new category called registered supporters these are people who claim to support the aims and values of the Labour Party and who pay approximately eight new zealand dollars for the right to vote in the election of a labor leader and the result of this has been the given me if i am telling you what you already know the election the of as leader of a member of parliament whose 30-year korean parliament has been on the extreme left fringe of the party he is an old-fashioned I mean he's his politics and his rhetoric and his outlook of those of a can student socialist radical of the 1980s and it's as if he still that man so he leads in socialist economics he's an admirer of the economies of Venezuela and Cuba he's a pacifist he what you think NATO should be dismantled he think Britain should be later he is vehemently fiercely anti-american garden activators great and fearless Satan he believes in central economic planning large-scale public ownership and nationalization very much higher taxes printing of money he is the old socialist other things quite rightly neo-marxist but the old socialist father now and he is appointed to his shadow cabinet we see today and a number of the very small rump in the parliamentary Labour Party who have like-minded views he also carries a lot of embarrassing I think to the advancing baggage in his apologia for organizations that are generally regarded as terrorist organizations around the world IRA Hamas Hezbollah answer on the grounds that they are engaged in an antique through this struggle um I do not think there is the remotest chance of the Labour Party winning an election under very important I very rarely make statements quite as emphatic as that over the years I've learnt to qualify everything I say with words like with the weasel words like probably normally I would not expect and I would be surprised if I'm quite happy to go on record and say Labour Party cannot possibly win an election with a leader whose only appeal will be to student radicals public sector trade unionists and some organized ethnic minorities the Muslim minorities that's those three constituencies are not big enough to win an electrical come anywhere close to winning an election I it's very difficult to see how the positions that Gordon takes assuming he takes a Labour Party Labour Party moves towards these positions can win an election in a country that it does not have a socialist culture or does not really have a service not a sponsored less traditional it is a England have a conservative moresee conservative political culture so what will the impact of this be on the 10 things I've been talking about well the SNP will be thrilled because what it means is that Conservative government's about much more likely in 2020 and to that matter 2025 and those are the grounds on which the SNP and appealed and Scottish people and say are going to be conservative governments for the foreseeable future the Conservatives do not represent Scotland they have almost no representation Scotland why be continuously ruled by Conservative government's we have collected for that be very pleased you Kip will also be very pleased because you clip appeals to small see conservative socially conservative nationalistic white working-class on the whole not very well educated or highly educated i should say people living in the more disadvantaged economically large areas of the country it appeals to those who resent immigration both white immigration from eastern europe as part of the new and immigration from further afield and who on who don't have what you might call metropolitan london liberal and socialist values and i would have thought that this is an opportunity for you kit which is now the main challenger to labor in in white economically disadvantaged areas of the country with a large number this is an opportunity for you clip to make inroads and it will of course thrill the Conservative Party because it will make them more confident that they will have time to implement they're really very ambitious strategy of shrinking the state cutting public expenditure to pre World War two levels and lowering taxes um even if the Labour Party was to replace Corbett of the leader before the next election I think the fact and manner had his election will have any way done considerable damage to the Labour Party's reputation round if you like you've network in the short and medium term Labour Party won three elections in the 1990s and 2000's under Tony Blair because he succeeded in persuading the public moderate central opinion that the Labour Party was a different party from the party that they haven't voted for before that has been modernized and that is replaced 1970s socialist ideas with a so-called third way which balanced market forces with targeted state intervention to address the those consequences of market forces that for particularly heavily on relatively vulnerable insecure and low-income citizens that new labor brand was destroyed this weekend and people would not think that the Labour Party is that or could be that in the foreseeable future and I think that will make it much more difficult it would anyway have been very difficult for label to win the next election but they're so far behind the Conservatives because they don't be boundary changes which will work very much against them because the demographics are beginning to work against them though all kinds of reasons why it would anyway be very difficult for them to win the next election but this makes it I think impossible of course hope the arts events and I

How To Be a Politician



hello my fellow Americans and other countrymen I'm beg flatly did you ever wonder how politicians become so successful I've determined the key factors to turn virtually anyone into a political Messiah now before we get started I have to tell you I really think you have what it takes to make it in politics and I don't say this to everybody you're like Jesus and Richard Nixon rolled into one and that's good real good before you go proposing to me that was just an example of the first method in politics you kiss as much ass as you can and you give the same compliments to everybody you come in contact with that way you only have to remember one set of responses to go with the compliments I mean it'll start off small by telling people that they're good-looking or smart but once you wrote the latter of it you'll be able to tell entire countries that you value their existence with a straight face Oh first let's talk about gestures it is a proven fact that's strong gestures lure unsuspecting strangers into thinking you're more capable than you actually are you'll have to try different ones out to see what works best for you but some of the more common ones are the reserved thumbs up not to do this just pretend like you've got some shit on your thumb from all that ass grabbing you've been doing you don't have a wife handy so you have to conceal it this is also pretty symbolic of all the shit you'll be concealing during your career the controlled karate chop now you're going to want to do anything to move up the ladder in politics so you kind of have to let people know you're cutthroat but you don't want to look reckless now the karate chop implies that your discipline but you always did chuck bitch in the throat if you add to the lip purse now this move makes it look like you're thinking of a good response so use it when you get a difficult question now in reality you're just going to be regurgitating the slop a team of writers constructs for you but if you look like you're thinking people will actually believe it they will have no idea that you're just focusing on pinching the fork and your tongue together before you open your mouth again oh now let's move on to statements now most of your career is going to consist of reading teleprompters contrary to popular belief only educational prerequisite to becoming a politician is that you can read but preferably at a second grade level so you don't miss pronounce the hard words like a new killer in jessup it there's only three statements that you actually need to memorize the be a success one I was not aware of that too let me look into that and three I did not have sexual relations with that woman or man less likely though go ahead and test it out these statements will get you out of anything hey Bob a couple of staff members saw that in turn going to your office after hours I was not aware of that well did you know she was in there were you in there let me look into that actually Bob I was just trying to see if you would admit it the security cameras caught everything so I did not have sexual relations with that woman pop we have a recording of it cleaners fucking babe do you want to see it let me look into it now this cycle can go on and on forever but usually people just lose interest and give up just like all the voters in this country oh and now for a speed round of bonus tips if you feel like you're just not climbing the ladder fast enough here are a few exercises you can do to boost your politician points if you haven't yet landed a job in a government establishment you can still practice your technique just go to a park and set up a collection bucket and bring a poster with possible renovations that could be made with the public's help once you've collected a shit ton of money throw a raging private party in the park at night but make sure they're not invite any of the people that donated money because you don't want those kind of suckers pooping up the party and could have made the park better by rebuilding it or you can make it fucking awesome with this kick-ass rager you never specified how you were gonna make it better so that makes it okay now always keep the cell phone handy just in case you run into a situation where it's imperative that you send an urgent dick pic you wouldn't want to miss that golden window of opportunity with the girls pretending that she actually likes that shit her attraction to you has absolutely nothing to do with the ocean of taxpayer money she's planning on siphoning out of your well-documented dick hole and now it is sometimes you just got to get a little wacky to get notice in this donkey elephant world if you're still not crushing your competition under your hooves fast enough you could always resort to smoking crack on camera people will actually feel like they can relate to you more and get the media involve you could like drum up publicity with extreme trap house makeover not only will you be high as fuck but so will the polls you really want to look like a politician log on to Beck's teeth calm and by the collectible shirt I designed specifically to get some interaction you're welcome

Leader – Motivational video



ترجمة: فريق Magma
facebook.com/magmacoteam "يوماً ما" ليس على التقويم… هذا درس مهم لنا جميعاً البشر هنا اليوم.* جميعنا تعلّم أن الحياة صعبة، الحياة حقيرة الحياة قاسية لكنها ليست كذلك إنها سهلةٌ جداً. أليس كذلك؟ فمن السهل جداً أن تأخذنا بواسطتها** ونجتازالحياة. أليس كذلك؟ نستيقظ كل يوم، والكثير منا في العالم مع وجود سقف فوق رؤوسنا سرير كبير ومريح تحت ظهورنا، ثلاجة ممتلئة بالأطعمة لا داعي للقلق بخصوص الجوع أو التشرد لدينا أصدقاء وعائلة الذي من شأنهم مساعدتنا عندما تأتي تلك الأمور تلك هي الأمور التي جعلت الحياة خطرة منذ 100 عام والآن نشكوا أن الحياة ليست سهلة هذا ليس كلام في المجتمع الحديث. هذا كلام حول الدافع الحياة سهلة. إنها سهلة لنجتاوزها.** حتى أنه لا يبدوا بهذا السوء، يُدعى التزلج التزلج ممتع! من لا يحب التزلج؟ انا أحب التزلج. من لا يحب التزلج؟ من السهل جداً أن تكبر، ضع أحلامك جانباً، أترك شغفك وراءك، خذ عملاً إن كنت حقا لا تمانع، إجمع بعض الأطفال التي ستكون مصدر إلهام لتفعل نفس الشيء بالضبط. انتقل من النقطة A إلى
النقطة B إلى النقطة C حتى ينتهي بك
المطاف إلى النقطة Z. عندما تتوفى و وهنالك خط من الأشخاص ينتظرون لإخبار الآخرين من يعرفك،
كم كانت حياتك جيدة. لا شيء سيء في ذلك. لا شيء محرج في ذلك ولكن لا شيء عظيم في ذلك. لا شيء ملهم في ذلك. الحقيقة الفظيعة هي، هي أن الحياة سهلة. الحياة… الحياة الحقيقية، مطاردة حلم و الحياة الحقيقة صعبة… الحياة حقيرة… الحياة قاسية، خاصةً عندما تبدلها عليك أن تسأل نفسك ما الذي أعددتَهُ للموت؟ ما الذي يضع هذه النار في قلبي؟ الإجابة على هذا السؤال ليست النهاية،
اعتقد. إنها حقّاً مجرد شرارة. لأنه ما أن تحصل على تلك النار المشتعلة
عليك أن تغذيها. تحتاج إلى الإستمرار بتذكير نفسك، وضع الفحم الجديد فيها، ذكّر نفسك يوميّاً
بذلك الهدف. لأننا أخذنا كل هواية أو هدف أو تمرين أن نتوقف لبضعة أيام ونحن لا نستعيدهم مرة أخرى. تحتاج إلى الإستمرار بتذكير نفسك أنك ستموت. وأنك تموت لفعل شيء ما، لأن اللحظة التي تنسى الحياة تعود لتزحف إلينا. * والحياة سهلة. الحياة… الحياة الحقيقية، مطاردة حلم والحياة الحقيقية صعبة. الحياة حقيرة… تخيل فقط لو أنك على فراش الموت، ويقف حول سريرك أشباح الأحلام الأفكار، القدرات، المواهب أعطيت لك من الحياة. وأنت لسببٍ ما لم تتابع تلك الأحلام، لم تعمل على تلك الأفكار، لم تستخدم تلك الهبات… لم تستخدم تلك المواهب أبداً وهنالك يمعنون النظر إليك، كما كنت مستلقياً على سريرك بعيونٍ كبيرةٍ غاضبة تقول "جئنا إليك! أنت فقط من أعطانا الحياة! والآن يجب أن نموت معك… للأبد.. والسؤال هو.. إذا مت اليوم… ما الأحلام، ما المواهب، ما القدرات، ما الهبات، ما الأفكار التي ستموت معك؟ أسوأ مكان في الكوكب ليس الغابة، إنها ليست في جنوب إفريقيا سواء كانت الأسود طعام…* المكان الأسوء في هذا الكوكب هو المقبرة، هنالك ترى إمكانيات لم تحقق أبداً، هنالك تجد كتباً لم تؤلف أبداً، هنالك تجد أفكاراً لم تنفذ. وربما هذا السبب قال هنري ديفد ثورو يا إلهي! لبلوغ نقطة الموت فقط لتدرك أنك لم تعش أبداً، فقط لتدرك أنك لم تخدُش سطح قدراتك دعني أقلها مرةً أُخرى حياة ممتلئة… موت فارغ… اعتقد ذلك الأهم الشيء الأكثر أهمية حول إدارة الشركة هو أن نتذكر طول الوقت ما هي الشركة. الشركة ببساطة هي مجموعة من الناس. وكقائد للشعب عليك ان تكون مستمعاً جيداً، عليك أن تكون محفّزاً عظيماً، عليك أن تكون جيد جداً في المدح وتبحث عن أفضل ما في الناس. الناس لا يختلفون عن الزهور. إذا سقيت الزهور، فإنها تزهر. إذا مدحت الناس، فإنهم يزهرون. هذه هي السمة الهامّة للقائد… تُرجم من قبل فريق Amara.org

David Icke: The Truth About Politics, How It Really Works & The One Party State



hello I made a video which was called essential knowledge for a Wall Street protestor I know maybe a couple of weeks ago and people have found it so informative that I've been inundated with requests to do a little bit more on this so this if you like is part two and what I'm going to concentrate here on is what I've uncovered over 21 years of research now about how a few people are manipulating the direction of the world and how they do it and when you say that people immediately ask an obvious question how do they do it it needs seven billion people now we've just passed apparently how does a handful of people a network of families control so much of the world like banking transnational corporations governments in terms of any major party that has a chance of forming a government controlling the pharmaceutical cartel the oil cartel the biotech cartel and so on well the first point to make is that this conspiracy which has become a dirty word is a conspiracy theorist as if conspiracies don't exist I mean unbelievable weapons of mass destruction in Iraq wasn't a conspiracy please anyway the point to make is that this is not been going on for a few years or a few decades even for a few centuries none of people find that hard to believe it hasn't done any research already anything about it but it's the truth and it can be it can be supported by the evidence big-time by very detailed evidence and thus they have had time to build a global structure which we have today that allows the few to control the many you know in a very simple way once the structures in position what they've done is create a secret society and bloodline family version of a transnational corporation if you take something for instance like McDonald's they'll have a headquarters in America and in each country they'll have their subsidiaries and the subsidiaries take their orders and what they do and how they do it from the central irritated headquarters this is why when you walk into a McDonald's if you feel the need in Moscow or Sydney or London or Johannesburg or wherever you're walking into basically overwhelmingly the same McDonald's and this global structure which allows this the center of the the spider's web if you like to dictate into every country works in the same way you've got the center of the web what I call the spider in Europe is in places like the City of London Rome Germany France Belgium to a certain extent in America United States but nothing like to the extent that you would think given the apparent dominance of America over the world for so long in so many ways the the center the spider in Europe loads the gun if you like and gets America to fire it and so everyone looks to America ah a big bad America and all the rest of it and I'm not saying that the government and establishment in America is not that like that like that it bloody well is but the real power is in Europe not in the European governments in the center of this secret society bloodline web so there's the center there's the headquarters there's the spider at operational level then in every other country whether it's South Africa or Johannesburg or Canada or or anywhere you have the subsidiary networks answering to the spider thus the headquarters in the center and these networks in the different countries are again bloodline families under different names and their agents in gophers and a secret society Network and web that is there to manipulate them and their agents in Gophers into the significant positions of power so that they control that country's government and political system banking big business all the rest of it media at ownership level and so the National subsidiary web in each country just like McDonald's carries out the policies of the spider at the center thus in the last 21 years I've been to something like 55 or more countries now researching this and talking about it and I see the same things being introduced using the same excuses in country after country after country at the same time or around the same time this is the structure that allows that to happen then there's another level which is that the national network subsidiary also has subsidiaries in the towns the cities the the regions and the communities and therefore they can dictate to the next level down and dictate what happens in cities and communities around the country and in this in this structure it means the spider at the center of the web can through this structure manipulate down into into local communities in country after country after country so the goal of this web is to change society in every country to create a global fascist communist dictatorship based on a world government that would dictate to every country a world a central bank that would dictate all world finance in every country a world currency just electronic not cash a single world currency a world army to impose the will of the world government and a microchip population which people absolutely laughed at when I came out with that oh I don't know 50 years ago or more but no they're not laughing anything like so much now because all these things are starting to happen so if we bring this down this structure down into a country and let's take the United States at the moment and up to this point people have been led to believe that there are two parties in America that have any chance of forming a government once the Republicans and the other one is the Democrats actually as in every other country they are not different parties they are masks on the same face and whenever they get into power they are carrying out the will of the spider at the center of the web to constantly follow the agenda that that network at the center is dictating so if you look at for instance George Bush boy George Bush and Barack Obama on the face of it you if you looked at their election campaigns and what they claim to stand for you could hardly come across to people who seem to be so different in their attitude to politics and economics and all of it but actually as we've seen with Obama and for all his lies and all is mended II he has done as a favorite in a sense because he was so extreme in claiming to be different in claiming to want to bring about change that the fact that he's been business and usual as usual and then some as really emphasized more than ever before perhaps for large numbers of people that actually there is no difference question is why how do they pull it off simple if you look at boy George Bush during the period of 9/11 the Iraq invasion the Afghanistan invasion etc he was demonstrably controlled one step back by a group of people that were widely reported even in the mainstream media which became known as the neo cons or neoconservatives these are people like Richard Perle William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz and all that crowd and therefore he had his policies and what he did driven by that network over on the Democrat side now Obama of course behind him or a group of people a kind of Democrat mirror of the demo cons who I call or they the neo cons which I call the demo cons and the demo cons are people like Rahm Emmanuel who was the you know White House chief of staff in the early time of Obama when the policies were getting put into place that have played out since they're people like George Soros the Rothschild bagman billionaire who is one of the major manipulators of people's revolutions through a network of trusts and organizations that he has like the Open Society Institute and the International Crisis Group there's another guy called sir big new Brzezinski in the demo cons who was Jimmy Carter's national security adviser and he's very very much a massive insider that's why when you read Rosinski z' books from 1970 and since you're looking at the world were in now because he knew it was coming this is the point however in the one-party state structure and that is that the neo cons that control the Republican Party and the demo cons that control the Democratic Party at the next level answer to the same masters the same network the same bloodline families and secret society networks thus whether a Republican is in power or a Democrat is in power bush or Obama this network is always in power no matter what this is why and this I'm describing the American situation here but I'm describing what happens in every other country whether it's Britain Nova or France or anywhere and what it means is that whoever is in power is controlled by this force and therefore they advance the agenda of this force which is the incessant centralization of power in every area of our lives for a simple reason that the more you centralize power the more power the few have over the many and when you concentrate it on a global level obviously you're giving power over everyone on the planet to this cabal this this network which is why they want world government world Central Bank world currency world army and so how it works is this you have an election campaign now this is a big thing that I suggest that these the occupation groups around the world fantastic but we need to understand what's going on if it's going to be most effective one of the things I would suggest they need to put on their agenda is the end of no contract government no contract politic politics and what I mean by that is this what happens at the moment is someone will come along and tell you in an election campaign what they think you want to hear to vote for them like Obama I'm closing Guantanamo I'm doing this I'm doing that none of which has happened because it was never intended and he knew it wasn't going to happen but he needs to tell you what you want to hear to vote for him I'm speaking at the moment just before I'm in Melbourne Australia's before I'm leaving Australia after a speaking tour here and the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard as she were coming into office said that she would definitely not introduce a car carbon tax what's happening now is she's introducing a carbon tax what how can she do that when she came to office saying she wouldn't how can a barman not close Guantanamo when when he said he would because there's no contract but until there is until there's a situation where if someone says for instance there will be no carbon tax there cannot by law be a carbon tax until there's been another election at which the person has said well actually if you vote for me there will be a carbon tax because at the moment this is how it works and it was done so blatantly by Obama you tell people what they want to hear and they vote for you then you get into government and you do exactly the opposite and this is not just Obama though is an extreme example this is a politicians and political parties all over the world it's happening all the time because there's no contract and thus we have this situation where we have an election people vote for people on the basis of what they're saying they get into power nothing changes so they have another election and then someone else comes along and tells people what they want to hear but they vote for them they come into power they do the opposite nothing changes and so it goes on time after time after time after time there must be some kind of contract that connects what people say they're gonna do or won't do with what they're allowed to do and/or not do when they're in power because at the moment because of this situation this is how it works to give people the illusion of political choice in almost any country at any point you have a party in government okay in government it has the power to introduce this centralization agenda the police state agenda and all the other things I've been saying were coming for a very long time at the same point that that party's in power this party is in opposition and a opposed the agenda overwhelmingly and criticized the government in power for doing what it's doing then we have a farce called an election and sometimes the governing party becomes the opposition party the opposition party because the government party now the government party that was opposing this agenda of centralization a police state and all the rest of it in opposition when it had no power to do anything anyway now starts introducing it and the people the party that we're introducing it in government now in opposition they're criticizing it and and opposing it and this is the scam that goes on being played again and again and again decade after decade after decade um where the common theme is whichever parties in government introduces the agenda why because opposition's have to oppose to give the illusion of choice you have no choice in politics their masks on the same face and also because they want the agenda introduced any any party in government introduces the agenda because go back again through the groups that control the individual parties they answer to the next stage which is a network that controls both parties party politics in general has been a cold calculated scam to allow the few to control the many because when people started to rebel against the overt dictatorship of Royal bloodlines and stuff like that although those bloodlines still exist lots of them now wear dark suits and run politics and banking and business and all the rest of it but there was a chance at that point where there was this rebellion against royal dictatorship where we might have a political system where people voted for individuals on the basis of their character on based the basis of their genuineness and on the basis of what they genuinely wanted to do for the benefit of people now this is the cabal's worst bloody nightmare so what they did was create a party political structure it's lit funny when you think about it that there's seven billion people on the planet there's all these different countries with all this potential for uniqueness in the way that the countries are run and governed and things are made to happen and yet everywhere you go you have political parties is that the only way we can think about structuring politics no it's not but it's the only way or the best way to control politics in every country because it works like this I talked about the spider's web the global spider's web but you can also symbolize this very very well and accurately as a pyramid a compartmentalized pyramid where at the the capstone at the top you have a tiny few who dictate to the whole pyramid and lower down in the pyramid where more and more people are the further you come down from that capstone those people although there are more and more of them they know less and less and less about what that organization's about what its goals are what its intentions are the only people that know how that whole pyramid fits together are the few at the top and these pyramids mean that within them are large numbers of people in ignorance of the real goal and intention of the organization they're involved in being a political party or whatever over a bit of Bank University whatever your government and through compartmentalization of knowledge you only allow to know as much as you need to know to make your contribution it means that people are making contributions to these sinister pyramids that wish to enslave humanity without having any idea that they're doing so because they don't know how what they're doing in apparent innocence connects with them and them and them and them all working in apparent innocence but when you fit it together it's anything but innocent only the few at the top know that this is how these pyramids operate and so political parties are pyramids compartmentalised pyramids and they're run by a very very few people that's the idea that's how you control political parties so what if you say you want to run for you want to be a member of parliament in Britain to do that you have to be chosen by the party to represent them at an election because if you if you stand as an independent very rarely someone might slip through but it's very rare if you're not a part of a political party with that structure that funding that access to publicity and promotion you've really basically got no chance this is how they've stitched up politics so to get into the political party to become a politician you have to pass the interview to pass the interview you have to confirm that you will follow party policy and that party policy is decided by the very few at the peak of the party pyramid so you get through that stage you stand for Parliament you then tell people what you think they want to hear in line with the centrally dictated campaign themes that you're told to to to promote and to emphasize and you get elected and you become a member of parliament like a member of Congress or any anywhere else around the world now if you are going to progress through that party into the hierarchy that runs it and if it gets into into government to become part of the government you have to spend your time voting in Parliament on the basis of what the party hierarchy the tiny a few are telling you you must vote for or vote against or or or whatever because if you don't then you are not going to progress in that party and it's during that in what we call democracy although democracy and freedom are supposed to be interchangeable words like hell they are but we we have this situation in what's supposed to be a free free politic political system where we have these whips and that the party whips are there to threaten cajole and sometimes bribe members of the party that don't want to vote with the party's dictate in in in a vote to do that to go against their their own convictions and what they feel is right and just go with the party line and the very fact that which exists show you that politics is an irrelevance in terms of being people openly voting for and against what they believe in it's what the party structure believes in that they are voting for and against very recently in in Britain we had a vote when I've been over in Australia on having a referendum over the European Union and lots of people in the Conservative Party the governing party were in their hearts wanted to vote for a referendum but a lot of them didn't enough for the government to win the vote because of the pressure and and all the rest of it from the party hierarchy so thus the party political system is not and it's very structure from the start has never been about representing the interests of the people it's about each party representing the interests of the tiny cabal at the top of the party hierarchy which let's go back again then answer ultimately to the same force this is why when David Cameron came in as Conservative Party Prime Minister of Britain he's gone against all the stuff that he said he would do a vast amounts of stuff he said he would do when he was come painting for office and he's just become a Tony Blair mark – as he were always going to be because like Blair he represents the same cabal and thus the same agenda unfolds so yeah what we're seeing is America being systematically destroyed and people would say then why would Americans like Obama and in the the Democratic Party and and that the bushes and the Republican Party why would they systematically destroy America because they're not representing America this is the thing to get over and it is so important that the Occupy protesters understand this this is not about representing America they're representing this cabal that dictates to both parties and that cabal does not want America to prosper it wants it to be destroyed for a simple reason when you are seeking a world government dictatorship to dictate to every country you cannot have superpowers that have the financial and military might to say no to you so what's happening systemically it's been going on for decades and more is the American economy has been targeted and this is why it's in catice catastrophic disarray it's because it systematically been made to be like that I mean is a quest few questions here why would governments that really wanted the best for America allow a situation where enormous numbers of American jobs particularly manufacturing but other areas too are out sourced to places like China using slave labor I mean first of all at both ends of the the situation you'd say if you were a government worth the name with with a heart you know involved at all we are not gonna have first of all American jobs taken away in this way because it's harming American people and we're not going to have them taken away to exploit in sweatshops and and and slave labor Chinese people and other people in the Far East but they do it and the irony is that having done it having destroyed so much on purpose of the American industrial manufacturing base America is now cap in hand to China for money to keep going because it can't pay its way why why would anyone who cares about America bring that situation about because they don't and then you look at what's happened in the financial situation where the privately-owned Federal Reserve Rothschild controlled privately-owned Federal Reserve through people like Bernanke have hosed trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars at banks and other financial institutions not just my goodness in America but around the world and and where is it it's just like disappeared abracadabra and America's now now stuck with this fantastic debt and the people are stuck with somehow paying it back which they never will curse the American economy will collapse before then exactly is supposed to do why would anyone who cares about American people be hosing this money everywhere well while people are in tent cities because that is systematically further destroying the American economy and that's the game another question when people are in tent cities when they're in terrible terrible financial trouble they're losing their homes in incredible numbers why would the American government be spending all added hidden costs in there too in excess of a trillion dollars a year on the military to go and bombed civilians been increasing numbers in other parts of the world why would they do that answer the American military is not the American military it's not serving the interests of America clearly not with more than a trillion dollars a year going out it's the cabal's military which is controlled through the Cabal controlled American government no matter which party's in in power that's why Bush goes to war abroad and then in comes Obama the so-called peace candidate and he goes to war abroad in exactly the same way because they're following the same agenda and what is happening is that the American military and that in excess of a trillion dollars is being used to advance an agenda in the Middle East in Africa or in other parts of the world but the cabal that controls both parties has been following for so long I mean if we do not get to that point where we understand that America is a one-party state Britain is a one-party state etc etc and in fact when you take the spider's web global construct that I started talking about right at the start of this we live in effect if you get to that level in a global one party one cabal state it is absolutely vital that we understand this and realize that politics is not the answer in its present form will never be the answer to what is going on we have to do it we the people have to do it because politicians are there to do the very opposite of what's good for people thanks for listening

How many levels of government should we have?



Australia like many countries has not just one but three levels of government but why what is it we think our state or local governments can do that our federal government can't or vice-versa we know from research that the vast bulk of Australians think we should have a better system but we've also found that about sixty percent of people think we should keep at least three levels in that system and very few would chop it right back to one most think it's good to have different levels if only so different governments can keep a check on one another about 80% of people like the fact that if we want to we can elect different political parties at different levels of government even though when it comes to how they'd vote only about 25% would actually do that so how many levels of government do you think we should have in our system and what should they each be there for after all it's your political system – and ultimately it's whether you trust it that keeps it alive

Grassroots Populism: Minnesota Politics



(upbeat music) – [Voiceover] At the
turn of the 20th century, Minnesota's entrenched
Republican Party was challenged by
the most successful, radical third party
in American history. From 1918 to 1944, the Farmer
Labor Party was strong enough to wrest control of
the state's government away from the established
political parties, forever transforming
Minnesota's political climate. (folk music) – [Voiceover] The midwest
had a one party system, because so many of the states
were brought into the Union as Republican states, and
that initial development of their parties
meant that it was hard for any kind of other
competition to grow up. The Democratic Party
basically had it's stronghold in New York City and
in northeastern cities and in the south. And the rest of the country
was a Republican stronghold. In a one party system, voters curiously are not
very loyal to one party. There's something
about competition that makes for part
of an identification. And the lack of
party competition and the fact that
the Republican Party didn't have to fight
to build an electorate, meant that a large
number of voters really were ready there for
being picked up by people who wanted to start
protest organizations, because these people
weren't particularly loyal to the Republican Party. States are laboratories
of democracy. That is to say that
one of the great things about American
Federalism is that you can have policy experiments
and political experiments and organizational experiments. So there's a kind of
dynamism and innovation that's built into
American politics. And for me, that's
what was so fascinating about the Farmer Labor party
was it showed the possibility for dynamism and innovation that American Federalism
makes possible. Farming is a very
insecure business. So that insecurity was
something that farmers in the 19th century and 20th
century, until the 1930s, were hoping to
politically fix somehow. Workers didn't have protections. They didn't have protections
for hours and more important, they couldn't organize. They would get stomped
on if they organized. So farmers were insecure,
workers were insecure in terms of their
organizational rights, or so it seemed to people,
because they were distant from banks and from cities
and from what seemed to be the centers of national
and economic powers. So they seemed to be
potentially at the mercy of other people making big
decisions about their lives. That created a context that was
very favorable in Minnesota. Between the strength of
the socialist trade unions and suddenly the
emergence and setting up of shop in St. Paul of
the Nonpartisan League, and then their organization out in the rural
areas of Minnesota, the two basic kinds
of economic insecurity created the potential
for a coalition. In the 1920s and 1930s, if you
were an aspiring politician, there were only two
places you wanted go. You wanted to
become a Republican or you wanted to become
a Farmer Laborite. There was a very talented
socialist trade unionist who is completely obscure today, who was actually very important in the development of
the Farmer Labor Party. A guy named William Mahoney. He was a person who threw
himself into this idea that we ought to
have an organization that would function
between elections, to keep the discussion going
about what they're all about and to focus on how we're
gonna get good candidates to run for the
different positions. And in the 30s it really
takes off as a third party. And it's really
the most successful state level third
party we've ever had. It's in that sense a unique
political organization. That's a growing
concern until 1938 when Harold Stassen takes over all the reasonable sections
of the platform and just says "If you get me, you'll get
a reasonable Republican "and just have to believe
everything the Farmer Laborites "have stood for." But the party limped along, and then in 1944 decided "Yep, we'll go in and we'll
move into a Democratic Party." And the democratic party said
"Come on over, we want you, "because we're trying to build
ourselves a Democratic Party "as now the new party,
it's the strong party, "and we want to
bootstrap ourselves "into getting the kind of
strength in the electorate "that democratic parties are
getting everywhere else." The reason that we don't have
state level third parties like the Farmer Labor
Party is that the new deal was a big success and it
permanently strengthened the Democratic Party. – [Franklin D.
Roosevelt] I recognize that the many proclamations
from state capitals and from Washington,
the legislation, the Treasury regulations
and so forth, couched for the most part
in banking and legal terms, ought to be explained for the benefit of
the average citizen. – [Voiceover] All the
prestige of doing good things in American politics moved
over to the Democratic party. So it's just very hard to start a plausible third
party organization. (surreal piano music) The Minnesota Farmer Labor
Party's success, failure. It fails because it's
not around, right? So we don't have Farmer
Labor politicians. Success, it's a
success in the sense that it created a political
tradition and it's encoded in the name of the Democratic
Farmer Labor Party. To that extent voters,
every election, get reminded that they
have a political tradition here in Minnesota
that is right there on the ballot in front of them. It created politicians who
were more open minded, I think, about social policy and
certainly much more open to organized labor than
Democratic Party politicians elsewhere in the country. Politicians who were heirs
to the kind of progressivism that the Farmer Labor Party
tried to institutionalize and make permanent. – [Voiceover] Prairie
Mosaic is funded by the Minnesota Arts and
Cultural Heritage Fund, with money from the vote
of the people of Minnesota on November 4th, 2008, the North
Dakota Council on the Arts, and by the members
of Prairie Public.

Mario Cuomo & Christine Todd Whitman: Restoring Faith in American Politics & Politicians



good evening I'm Jennifer Rob and I have the great privilege of being the president of this extraordinary institution Hunter College is a privilege today to welcome back our friends from the Aspen Institute and two again celebrate the legacy of an extraordinary New Yorker preston robert ish we are really gratified also to have his wonderful daughter Lori and his phenomenal son Jonathan with us tonight also great friends of Hunter College and wonderful New York citizens in their own right I can't be certain but today may be the first time that two former governors have held a public conversation in the house of a third how fitting to have Mario Cuomo and christine Todd Whitman in the home of Franklin Roosevelt all among the best governors we've had governors Cuomo Whitman have both been visiting professors at Hunter College inspiring many students to careers in public service so it is a great honor to welcome them home today to Roosevelt house and Hunter College to Roosevelt house of course the house that FDR's mother Sarah built in 1908 as a wedding gift for the newlyweds Franklin and Eleanor there was one stipulation however Sarah kept half of the house for herself that may have been the first New Deal you can tell by the layout that Sarah was not too fussy about the distinction between her half and the newlyweds have as eleanor was found too fond of saying you are never quite sure where Sarah would appear day or night so if any of you have bought think you have mother-in-law issues you have some competition it was no wonder that Eleanor often found yourself walking a few blocks uptown to spend some time with the hundred students and get out of the house a long and rich relationship developed between the Roosevelts and the hunter community and lasted even after they left 65th street for the White House after Sara died in 1941 the family arranged for Hunter to purchase the house Franklin himself donated the first one thousand dollars and Eleanor attended the dedication and remains an active friend of hunters till her death for many years this house was a popular student activity center but when I became president in 2001 I was dismayed to discover the house long closed and in sprint need of repair we were determined to have it faithfully restored and have so thrilled to welcome you all tonight to have it to see that we've made this dream a reality the building is hit rich in the history of one of the most important families of the 20th century stories come alive as we walk through the rooms where FDR recovered from polio and where Louie how moved in to help him get his career back on track how's hard work paid off but it didn't look that way the night they waited at the Biltmore Hotel for the results of the 1928 governor's race they came home to this house thinking that Franklin had lost it wasn't until four in the morning on the radio in a room upstairs that the numbers had shifted and that FDR was elected the 44th governor of New York four years later and exactly 68 years ago today which is very thrilling to be doing this program FDR again came home from the Biltmore on election night but this time he greeted Sarah on the steps as the newly elected president with her telling him this is the happiest day of my life that same day he sat in the parlor room upstairs thanking the electric and discussing his economic recovery plan / NBC radio and three months later in his library right upstairs again he convinced Frances Perkins to become the first woman cabinet member in US history after he agreed to allow her to create the program we still know as Social Security so all this extraordinary history happened in this house and the room that you're now sitting in is one of the only changes that we made this was the backyard you're sitting where there used to be dirt all of that dirt was taken out can't you get a backhoe in the backyard of a New York City townhouse all taken out with shovels by hand out the front door onto 65th street and then around the corner to Park Avenue where you could keep a dumpster because you can't put one on the 65th street through Street so this was quite a labor of love and we are so happy to welcome all of you here tonight to enjoy the home and to welcome you invite you back in a few weeks on November 15th when Secretary General of the UN Vaughn ki-moon will be officially cutting the ribbon the reopening of roosevelt houses the home of our new public policy has made all of this weight worthwhile the goal of the Institute is to honor the legacy of the Roosevelts and their commitment to equality and opportunity for all Mario Cuomo and christine Todd Whitman are living embodiment of that commitment as other members of the Aspen Institute who share our aim of fostering intelligent open discussion and finding solutions to today's most pressing issues so it is now my pleasure to introduce one of Aspen's great leaders the vice president and vice president the Aspen Institute former US congressman Mickey Edwards congressman Edwards served as a representative for Oklahoma for 16 years before going on to teach at Harvard and Princeton he's become a renowned political commentator and author and currently writes for The Atlantic and runs the Aspen Institute's leadership program for elected officials let us welcome a great public servant congressman Edwards dr. F thank you very much and thank you to Hunter this is a beautiful beautiful facility what you've done here is is really terrific my only job here is to thank you all for coming to welcome you on behalf of the Aspen Institute I do want to say there could not be a more fitting kind of a program for this time right after our elections and the the Tisha's I've really done something very very wonderful by allowing us to have this continuing series of programs this one in particular the title as you have seen in your program is about leadership in crisis fortunately we have a couple of examples here of people of whose leadership was not crisis but but leadership we could be very proud of let me just say in welcoming them to talking about restoring faith in American politics and American politicians when we started the rodel program at the Aspen Institute which was to reach out to emerging young political leaders in this country of both parties completely bipartisan way to focus on values and principles the first thing I had to do was to put together an advisory board where do you look for the kinds of people who would be the examples that we wanted to hold out to these new people rising up to high public office so two of the very first people i went to who agreed to be on the aspen rodel board where Mario Cuomo and Christy Todd Whitman and they have set a a real pattern here for us to see our young political leaders follow it's going to be I'm going to make it a personal note when I introduce Brian layer those of you who live in New York full-time don't need to have any introduction to brian lehrer's his radio program on WNYC is extremely popular his radio program his television program won a Peabody Award for promoting radio and programs that unites rather than divide which makes you the hero of the moment Brian and the personal the personal note was I had the experience a couple of years ago of writing a book when you write a book you try to make it sell it's not always easy but fortunately I was invited to be on the brian lehrer's show and since everybody listens to the show for at least a short time my book sold very well brian thank you very much Brian lair I never got my royalty check thank you and I appreciate the Aspen Institute inviting me to moderate this discussion with the two distinguished governors whose experience and expertise can certainly help us in these very challenging times please welcome governor Mario Cuomo and governor christy whitman and and I guess history is repeating itself New York once again has a governor named Cuomo and New Jersey once again has a governor named Christie and we will talk a bit this evening about some specific I'm glad you like that my wife took my wife told me not to use it we will talk a bit of this evening about the some specifics of new york and new jersey and of course the current generation of governors but the title of this event is leadership in crisis restoring confidence in american politics and politicians and i just want to say a brief word about it to set it up this confidence deficit is a bipartisan problem President Obama's approval ratings are down to forty five percent or so President Bush left office with approval in the low 30s Vice President Cheney in the 20s in some polls in September in a gallup poll approval of the democrats in congress was just thirty three percent approval of republicans in congress at thirty two percent so a statistical tie the tea party was born as i think we all know to challenge leadership in both parties now a gallup poll in of confidence and institutions this summer and it measured all kinds of institutions found that confidence in congress as an institution was at eleven percent which is the lowest of any institution that Gallup has measured at any time in the 37 years that they have been asking that question that's Congress luckily for the new york and new jersey state legislatures I couldn't find those so let's talk about it and audience if you have an immediate follow-up question as we're talking up here feel free to raise your hand and maybe we'll be able to call on you to deepen the conversation or we can just wait for questions until the end but I'm going to kind of leave that up to you if you want to follow up feel free to raise your hand so governor Whitman do you think confidence in our political leaders and institutions is in crisis and if so how would you begin to answer why well confidence certainly is in crisis those statistics prove it and it's not surprising I mean the Tea Party movement they keep calling it a party it's not a party it's a movement and it has people from both sides I've talked to people who voted for Obama as well as people who voted for George Bush you just said we're fed up neither party is addressing the issues and and we don't like what Congress is doing which is not much of anything although unfortunately part of what people are looking for with the new Congress they think it wouldn't be a bad thing to have gridlock it's a nice thought if you don't like what Congress was doing the problem is this country has some very serious issues that need to be addressed and we cannot afford to have gridlock that's not where we want to be but the first thing you know I get this question a lot what can you do and the first thing is people have to look in the mirror because quite frankly this is a democracy and the place where change starts is with us we're the only ones who can do it and whether you like the Tea Party or don't like the Tea Party it did get people engaged who hadn't been before the voter turnout in this election was about forty percent now that's a miserable number but it's up from what it usually is when Congress is the top of the ticket it's usually about thirty two percent and that tells us we're part of the problem is the part of the problem is we don't engage enough and we don't engage in a regular enough period we will go out and vote and think gee we've done a great job because we actually voted it was cloudy out so you know I made a big sacrifice to go and vote but that's it then we don't engage any further if we could take it that far and we have to understand it starts with us because if we keep reelect election rate stays the way it's been in many states and obviously this time around we saw some change people were finally figuring it out the power of the ballot box if we don't do that if we keep real acting them we're just reaffirming the behavior that we say we don't like and so what I hope is that after this election one of the messages that people have to continue to send to Congress and Lord knows it's easy enough to communicate these days is to tell the leadership that what they don't want is two years of either trying to make sure that that Barack Obama doesn't get reelected president so all you want to do is have hearings and stop everything or on the other side saying what we really what really messed us up was the Blue Dog Democrats because they didn't let us go far enough to the left and we're going to spend the rest of the time trying to marginalize them we've got to continue to send that message though it's up to us if we don't do it nobody else is going to in Governor Cuomo where what you began you want to restate the question the question being why leadership in politics confidence in leadership in politics and government is in crisis the the crisis is in people's minds they they're reacting to what's happening to them in their own life I think to get a real perspective here you ought to think back to the last time we had a government that succeeded and it wasn't so long ago as a matter of fact it was so so fresh still in my mind that I'm shocked people haven't talked more about it in the beginning of the 21st century you had a very good governor in New Jersey and she's with us tonight and you had Bill Clinton I nominated him in 1992 his first year was nineteen ninety-three if you go back to his period 1993 until 2001 they produced 22 million new jobs an upwardly mobile middle class a shrinking poor population the best best years of market in the history of the United States of America and left with a potential surplus of one point about five point four trillion dollars now I think it was there was question about that number but it's an astoundingly successful story and if you look much more closely you find out that Clinton did very poorly in his first term that as a matter of fact midterm he was about where obama was in popularity so was Reagan incidentally midterm for him so now the perspective begins changing what is it that they did that we can't do they collaborated he he got together with Gingrich and with the Republicans why because he had to in the beginning he had a Democratic Congress with him by the time he got to the end of his term the Congress was all dominated by Republicans and so he thought up this interesting idea called triangulation he didn't call it that but all it was was old-fashioned bargaining and collaborating that's what we need most of all is getting people who are intelligent about being able to compromise as some of the people now are talking I think it's mostly Republicans but certainly not exclusively talking about you know conceding that they would have to cooperate and give something up in their position is sinful that I hear some Republicans saying in effect we won't do a damn thing for this president why because we want to have the presidency and so their whole mission appears to be at the moment for them not to make the country better not to do something about too many people in prison and not enough people graduating from high school and colleges not about the middle class you know shrinking and the poor population growing which it has by six million people over the last several years what they're talking about is just stymieing the situation so that the democrats can't take credit for any progress that's that's an absurdity it's a sin it's a political sin but unfortunately there's no way to force them to to a different point of views so where are we where we we should not be surprised at what happened in the election why because after the Clinton years which were magnificent very quickly a whole series of things happened that made people suffer and made them frightened well what happened immediately it was 911 that's the beginning of the the new century 911 happened and it's we're still living with 911 and the wars that came out of it the war in Afghanistan the war in iraq and the war against terrorism which is a war against people who don't wear uniforms and don't live in any one place but are all over the globe now you know dressed in their own attire like everybody else but ready to give up their own lives to get yours now that that's one of the problems the same time we had an economy that suddenly weekend starting in 2007 they say the recession 2008 Obama is elected everybody is up expectations are high it's a wonderful glorious new moment but the what was getting worse and worse at that time was the economy well not why did the economy get bad well there were a lot of reasons we spent too too much money we gave the biggest tax cuts in history even bigger than the reagan tax cuts when we didn't need that because we had deficit problems already and the recession the recession got stronger and stronger ironically something that is held against the current president was a helpful device very early on Bush thought up the bailouts for warning for the bailouts we really would have been in trouble and Obama agreed with President in the bailouts and joined with him a collaboration and if you look very closely the bailouts worked beautifully and the money is back and it was a hell of a good deal you can't convince the American people of that so in a nutshell why they opposed the why of the people saying that the leadership is lousy etc it's because of their lives their middle class people are getting closer and closer to being poor people the rich people are doing very very well and that makes it even worse psychologically that the rich are getting richer while they're getting poorer the bank's survive very nicely thank you a couple of them went down but for the most part Wall Street's not suffering they are there there without jobs that's a terrible terrible thing to be there without hope in a lot of cases only seventy percent of their children are getting through high school in a world where if you're not high skilled you have very little chance to compete in making things we have if you want a really strong economy you have to do what you did the first time around to be it's the biggest economy but to be the greatest economy and what was that we made everything that counted the big stuff the heavy stuff to steal stuff we made it and sold it to the rest of the world and if they needed money to buy it we lent them the money doesn't that sound familiar yeah that's where China is now now we don't make anything come on everybody from Shia if I could jump in for just a minute and I know governor Wittman wants to respond to to something that you said but are you saying that the reason that government is perceived to be failing details objective conditions that are out of their control our or bad or not as good as they would know where is that letting them off the hook too much no no it's not out of their control I mean these forces are not out of the control of the government they choose to not to collaborate and if you don't collaborate then you get this problem of course you can't agree on cures there are about 400 bills that the Democrats passed that they couldn't get the Republicans to deal with 400 well will that happen again well it happens again in this new go around then the problems will be uncurable and if that's true the country will go into a deeper ditched and it's in now but no it's wrong I think to say that this is this was uncontrollable how did Reagan how did clinton do it how did he get it done he's a very smart guy but he's not a genius and he's not a magician he did it the old-fashioned way by getting them to collaborate and he had Republicans who did it with him they Republicans who agreed agreed for example on a pay-as-you-go plan that helped with the spending incidentally one other thing just to confuse us a little bit more profoundly another thing that's that's that's gone wrong I think with our politics is our misunderstanding the people's missing I want to agree with Governor Whitman on the people were at fault for a lot of this to you had 33 burst balloons one of the more subprime mortgages whose fault was that well it was bankers who lied it was appraises who lied was whole string of people who lied it was securitization that covered the lies and it was people who knew that they couldn't afford the house they were buying and people who fell in love with their credit cards and overspent and so the public has as a problem to bottom line the the government is failing the government has failed to cure the current problem and so the people are angry the people of frightened and the people don't like the government it happens a lot it happened in 1994 and they did exactly what they did a couple of weeks ago week whatever it was it's very simple but it can be better and that's the Clinton years experience and I think we should be concentrating we'll see what happens over the next couple of years if it repeats after 1994 governor whitman well i mean i don't disagree with Governor Cuomo and saying that compromise is what helped make us better and stronger as a country i'm not sure i'd go quite as far as saying the clinton years were all the house on days but i can remember that when one of the things that happened on welfare reform which is a big undertaking during the Clinton years as the governor's came down and the governor's came down and they spent time with the Congress and they spent we spent time with the present there was a small group of us that did it on a regular basis to get the compromises the president vetoed the bill twice and finally was in a position where he just couldn't do it a third time and that compromise is born but again it's it's both sides of the aisle I can remember when I went for my courtesy meetings before my confirmation hearing at EPA and I met with a lot of Democrats who said you know we're just waiting we're waiting to see what you guys do wrong because we know you're going to do wrong and the American people get let down when there's that attitude for instance very early on the president sent a bill to the hill that would have put for the first time a cap on mercury emissions it was a three pollutant bill neither side wanted to discuss it and the Democrats particularly made it a they just they wouldn't allow it to go forward they didn't they made it into a political time bomb so there unfortunately there are problems on both sides of the aisle this is not just one party we've gotten into this habit of looking at every issue through the partisan political prism not the policy prism it is what is going to get me another vote in my caucus what's going to get me a bigger plurality in my election not about what's really solving this problem and I see it again and again and a classic example of how bad and pervasive this political attitude has gotten came when we early on we did a regulation on non-road diesel engines those are backhoes and tractors and things which actually are more problematic for human health and their on-road cousins the buses and trucks and things and we put together the environmental community with the manufacturers of the engines with the government people and we actually hammered out a regulation that reduced the pollutants by ninety percent currently in force it's happening now we reduce those balloon by ninety percent well the NRDC which is one of the largest and most respected of the environmental groups in Washington said and put out a statement that said that this is possibly the best thing for human health since we take and let out of gasoline I thought that was really great because it showed we can bring the disparate people together we can actually work in good faith and get something done well two days later I open the Washington Post to see that the other environmental groups were apoplectic at the NRDC for having given us this quote they demanded they take it back actually the executive director almost lost his job because they said it would it would hamper their ability to attack the president's otherwise far from perfect record in the environment and with a day after that I got a letter from the NRDC saying well we've looked at the Clean Air Act and maybe there's something else that's more important so please stop using the quote well the problem is when it's gotten that deep I mean here was a regulation we crafted for them I made a lot of changes to it because they had very legitimate concerns to what it originally come through if you can't even when it's something that you have worked on and you got what you wanted in it and it was a good regulation if you can't even give credit at that level it gets very hard when you get to the hard issues I can't remember and a governor I don't know whether you remember or making you remember a time when you had a major issue facing the country and this is the issue of immigration you had an administration bill a Senate bill and a house bill and what happens then is you point a conference committee and you iron out the differences they never even appointed the conference committee why it was an election year and each side wanted that issue to beat up the other side and both sides were culpable on this and now real people are being hurt and that's where we've got to stand up and say enough of this already this is about people you've got to separate some of these issues from the politics and look at the partisan look at the policy and what's right for the people so governor whitman do you think it's worse today then when you were in office as governor or even as EPA Administrator but particularly in your days as governor I mean it's easy to forget that in the late 90s President Clinton was being impeached and everybody was running around saying they've never seen polarization like that now people in Washington I think I hear them saying quite frequently it is even worse do you think it is I think it's even worse yes I mean when you have people saying after the election that the thing we're going to do with next two years is make sure Barack Obama doesn't get elected and the other side saying well we're really going to go after the Blue Dog Democrats because it's their fault we lost the election because they wouldn't let us go far enough to the left you're creating a situation you know in this country you always it was taken for granted that Republicans ran to the right during primaries and Democrats to the left and then they both ran back to the middle when the election for the general election and that worked when right was here in the left was here but when the rights out there and the left's out there you can't come back to anything that looks like the middle at all and that makes it very hard to compromise the other thing that's changed just the last little thing that's changed is we now look at all these issues as a moral issue I mean its moral and if if you think about it if you have a moral position and someone disagrees with you you're not just disagreeing with an issue that other person is immoral you don't compromise with someone who's immoral you can compromise with someone with whom you disagree but not with someone who's immoral I think we have a question right down there wait for the microphone let's get the microphone to you go ahead I have two two themes seem to be coming here one is collaboration and one is the people are not active enough collaboration I can think of two cases of collaboration that have created the mess for this country one was the war in Iraq there's major collaboration there the other one I'm going to take issue with Governor Cuomo and this was the bailout the bailout ultimately worked but at an enormous expense to the taxpayers and an enormous expense to people banks are not lending right now those were two cases of collaboration two major cases of serious problems of their country the other thing is people aren't getting involved well maybe there's a reason I mean a lot of people just don't think it's it makes sense anymore we it feels like the latest Supreme Court ruling people don't really have much of the say right now this is it this is like this is a blue corporate plutocracy we live and the government the congressman out i have lapels thats a Goldman Sachs or Aetna that's there's a reason for that there's a reason why we're not collaborating actually people are suffering right now and there's a reason why we're so divided it isn't just about hitting the middle it's sometimes making a point I mean this isn't a question this is a statement I'm sorry but you can respond so Governor Cuomo let me turn that into a question is it not just the polarization but the fact that the policies that are taken I think what he's saying is maybe the two biggest policies of the last ten years the war in Iraq where the Democrats went along the bailout President Bush was just on NBC yesterday talking about how yeah I'll take responsibility for the top yes that was my administration's idea don't blame President Obama those two big things are seen the illegitimate is not a Rhodes pop yeah I disagree on the bailout the bailout has proven to be good the money is coming back it it worked what they were trying to get done work we got a lot done this has been lost i think we got a lot done because we did have democratic majorities you got a health care bill now the health care bill is unique I think I i I'm not sure there was historically a another ledges piece of legislation that was so complex that was so so completely not understood by the American people and I suspect the Congress I it's hard for me to believe that any congressman sat down and read the whole bill and if they did read the whole bill it's even harder to believe that they understood it all because it was very complicated but it did make advance it did cover thousands and thousands more millions of people that that needed to be covered and it was done now the Republicans are challenging it then fine they're going to try to have it repealed that won't happen and so that will be done you do have a new law regulating finances again and how to deal with penis now we've been through that and because we relieved the pressure on regulation we got into a lot of trouble but we do have a new law there we do have a new law that helps students who were making loans so they're all of these things happened and nobody even noticed why because the problems are so great and the problems are great people are suffering these problems can be dealt with we've dealt with them before but you're going to have to have collaboration of some kind now the political issue is really in the hands none of the the Democrats Obama there's a lot of things Obama has to do differently I think but Obama is going to make the effort as a matter of fact sometimes I think he's trying too hard to make the effort now he's he's acting a little bit too soft but you're going to have to look to the Republicans they have a choice they can say we're just going to see to it that he doesn't get any big legislation through and because we're looking forward to 2012 which is tomorrow and we want to win tomorrow if they do that then it's interesting I think that will be a mistake for them politically I'd love to hear what what you think governor about it politically or they can take a position no we we have differences with the with Obama but we will do business and we'll compromise you have to compromise on these issues that's the only way you get anything done I lived for 12 years as a governor without ever having a legislature that was all mine you know that agreed with me as a Democrat they were Republicans but we got a lot done Hugh Carey got a lot done with a republican government to help save New York City so it can be done Clinton did and only yesterday Clinton did that you know that was just before George Bush the second George Bush so it it can be done governor women I was just going to say one of the interesting things is I think if you brought up the health care bill and to me that is one of the areas that has fueled people's frustrations in that when you say because I think people were slightly misled when you say you're going to expand coverage to 32 million people which is important and they needed it but say it's not going to cost any more I think American people are saying a wait a minute how does this happen how do you expand a program to include 32 million more and not cost more and now you have small businesses i was in montana recently with a business owner had about 250 employees she said her healthcare costs have gone up 35-percent her employees pay fifteen percent so there's one up thirty one percent and that's where the political rhetoric gets in the way of what's the real policy is and that's why people start to distrust their government that's why they start to say now wait a minute who's lying to me now because I'm not now I had no I don't know who to believe because what I was told on the one hand isn't exactly what's happening I absolutely agree with you that I think it would be a terrible mistake if Republicans just say we're going to say no and I don't think the American people will allow them to do that or if they do do what they're going to be out on their ears in two years I understand what you're saying about people being angry and frustrated and upset and I understand that believe me we're all a little bit angry frustrated and upset by what we've seen as a lack of leadership in our elected officials but there is nobody else but us that can hold them account and I hear a lot of people say I can't do anything on one person they don't listen what difference am I going to make well there are a lot of people that are looking for new jobs now who thought that they could get away with that and and in their their constituencies stood up and said you know what we want something different now they haven't been terribly articulated about what that difference was other than some broad we want to stop the spending and stop the deficit stop the debt and stop the taxes we don't want more taxes they have certainly said that pretty clearly but if you think back to a case where a small group of people or a minority and we're able to influence policy all you have to look at as a Terri Schiavo case I mean that was a case where nobody won I mean on the merits of the case it was it was a terrible thing but the people who felt that disconnecting Terri Schiavo was murder were absolutely focused on communicating that to Congress and they inundated with emails with faxes telephone calls letters everything to the point where Congress acted within four days and it was bipartisan you had Democrats who were pro-choice Democrats who voted for the intervention you had Republicans particularly people who are running for office that year who were up that year who voted for that intervention and the president came back from vacation early in signed the bill the next day depending on which poll you looked at they said between seventy and eighty percent of the american people did not believe whatever they thought of the merits of the case they did not believe that Congress had the authority or the right or should have acted that means twenty to thirty percent of the american people were able to get Congress to act in four days and the president to sign a bill so it comes back you can make a difference we're the only ones who can do it and the angry or we get maybe the better we are at it at pulling up people short and saying we got to change this it we brought the elected officials brought it on themselves but I will also agree with the governor one of the best things about being a governor and you'd go to national governors association meetings you didn't know whether the governor next to you as a Republican or Democrat didn't make any difference you were talking about shared interest you had to get things done for the people and you didn't do healthcare you didn't plow the roads you didn't have a prison system for the Republicans or for the Democrats you had it for the people and you had to make it work let me follow up on that Governor Cuomo and asked if you think there is a democratic or a Republican way to lead as a governor in 2010 is that is you know Democrats many of them look at chris Christie and say whoa he's really getting out there with the Republican agenda in state office I don't know if they're going to look at the incoming governor of New York and say they're on the Democratic side is there a democratic and a Republican way to lead at this time of state fiscal crises and to rebuild confidence in government the thirty percent of the people theoretically are Democrats thirty percent of the people theoretically are Republicans that sixty percent that leads forty percent or in the middle okay who were not declared Democrats or Republicans those forty percent go to vote and a lot of them will vote Republican a lot of them will so what you really have is I think a population of theoretically thirty percent of people who are zealous about their their the rules and regulations of their politics but basically the country is somewhere in the middle I think one of the problems is an ideology people committed two ideologies to rigidly is there a place for is there a place for ideology and policy making political policy making yes but it's not first place first place should go to common sense and benign pragmatism now I say benign pragmatism because what I just say pragmatism with a name like Mario Cuomo people think you're talking about Machiavelli and Machiavelli Machiavelli's bad and active le was really bad the princes he worked for were bad and she was telling them how to do it but so so so so see and and there is there I think that they shouldn't be an all an all-out commitment to a certain bunch of precepts that you think are magical and will work perfectly the the that's why washington i think was smarter than the rest of the founding fathers when he said don't make parties because if you make parties you're starting by dividing them immediately is saying you're going to be a furnace and you're going to be that the heck with that is what we should do is throw all the politics out and look to lincoln for guidance but do not be a look let me just make one point about it because i think this is essential but one of the things we're running into is we need we need more clarity in our language well I said a long time ago at Yale University you can't paint in poetry you govern in prose and the prose is more important than the poetry and that's particularly apt I think with respect to Obama his his poetry was magical and is he's a great great speaker but his prose was not as clear and do and we have to be more clear in our language people don't understand the health care bill and and the governor is absolutely right there are parts of it that even the Democrats if they understood it wouldn't like and that's going to happen and it's a good thing it'll be reviewed and they were believed Republican saying this is bad that's better and it probably will produce a better a better bill in the long run but but Obama has to be clearer on the the pros and he has to tell the United States of America more more more closely to the hard truth what's going on now let's take one subject that nobody talks about it all except you you pointed to it at least tangentially and that is we collaborated all right on the war in Iraq and that was a travesty because Democrats voted for the war by saying that well if if the president thinks we should have this war in Iraq it's all right with me that's a sin it's a sin against the Constitution the Constitution makes it very very clear that war has to be declared by the legislature by the Congress and not by the president that now was standing ever since Vietnam we have had war after war that indulgent people in the Congress who didn't want to make the decision although the Constitution says it's up to them left it to the president the presidents are always eager to you know grab hold leadership etc but it's unconstitutional everybody knows that the Supreme Court knows it well how does the Supreme Court handle it they won't handle it they say it's a political issue it's a political issue what the hell was the case that made Bush president except the political issue how did you how did you cope reach down and effect Florida and the whole election and give it to Bush when it belonged to Gore that was the Supreme Court I'm sure Sandra Day O'Connor wishes she had a rebuttal to that tonight but we have a question I think over here who had their hand up over here sir go ahead you both talk about collaboration so I'd like to ask Governor Cuomo first do you think it's a mistake for the Democrats to choose Pelosi as minority leader in the house given that she has been a fairly divisive person in at least in the in the mindset of various politicians and governor women do you think that Senator McConnell's comments about wanting to gut health care and these senators view that 2012 is a great opportunity for the Republicans especially if they stand pat right now do you think they're the right people be leading the various party they're the two parties as we try to collaborate you're there so nice to I'll go first I'm happy to go first I think that kind of rhetoric is very very unhelpful and it's divisive and it doesn't serve any purpose what they need to do what the American people said in this election is start solving the problems it's about jobs it's about the economy it's about our ability to live to pay our bills to make our rents to be able to move forward when you have somebody who says we're just going to spend the next two years making sure that we get the presidency and you have somebody else who in the history of particularly in getting the health care bill says we have to pass the bill first then you'll know what's in it you have two people that very clearly are not listening I don't believe to the American people and aren't a tune in the way they should be to their roles and responsibilities as elected leadership and I wouldn't be at all surprised I wouldn't mind seeing a change because I haven't I will say though that that the leader I guess Bonner will be the leader in the in the house at least he's been making some moves that I think are very good he said look I'm gonna I'm not not every bill is going to be a leadership bill I'm not going to be the one who's going to round up the votes it's going to be left of the committee chairs and you members if you have a bill you want to get through or you have an amendment you think it's a good idea you don't get Vince the others you don't look to me to crack a whip and get it done the way it's been done over these last few years and I think that's a healthy thing I hope it works out that way but we have to see more of that and right now I'm not sure with either of that the leaders that you mentioned we're going to get the kind of collaborating pneus to collaborate that we're going to need and to get back to your point about how collaboration is has failed us let's put it that way into big instances we wouldn't have a constitution we wouldn't have a declaration of independence we wouldn't have a united states of america if some very principled people hadn't been willing to compromise I mean if you don't think our founding fathers didn't have violent differences up right from the very beginning about whether or not to declare independence from great britain that's we've missed some of our history book and they compromised because they knew there was something bigger and that's why we need to see that happen today because there's something bigger out there and it's about our future of this country and cover Nicola on speaker Pelosi the young the question is should the Democrats appoint her as minority leader that's up to them i think the the the whether or not she I think you refer to her as divisive did you is that I I'm not sure I know what that means she well she polarized by passing a number of bills and the health care bill being the principal one among them she without her leadership it wouldn't have happened now she thinks that's a very good thing so to all the people who voted for it a lot of the people on the outside looking in don't like the bill and that's fine but nobody really understands it nobody really understands it the people I talked to I know Pelosi and I know a lot of the people in the in the house the Democrats and they regard her most of them regard her as one of the best speakers ever in terms of her ability as an insider she's she's another individual who you know poetry and prose she she's not as strong talking to the public as she is talking to her brothers and sisters in the Congress she really isn't a great communicator that way but I think she's proven to be an extremely effective legislator and let me let me get back to something else that point I wanted to make with with Lincoln and language and the simplicity of that issue languages is very very important this argument about big government little governess is so aggravating to hear intelligent people say well the government's too big the too little and they say this government too big and I want you to cut workers ten percent to the states I think Ron Paul said the state should cut their work is ten percent and because the workers in the public area make more money than the work is in private area and really where did you get those numbers and did you judge it by the work that's done I suspect that government has more people that do high skilled work than the private sector does because government doesn't dig ditches they don't have a lot of cheap labor in in government but the private sector does big government little government what are you talking about when you say you're against big government what part of government would you take down would you take the military down oh no god forbid interfere a Republican or old-fashioned Republican know you wouldn't do that but what would you take down every governor that I am aware of in modern history including all the Republicans like Reagan left the biggest government alone like social security and medicare etc when you say big government is bad what are you talking about you say you're the spending is too high terrific it is too high because we have a terrific deficit but what you have to do is define what part of the spending you want to give up where do you want to cut you get nowhere making a case simply in generalities and it's frustrating see the people think in generalities because they're not they're not educated the way our leaders are but our leaders at least should be helping by being specific yeah we want we want cuts where should the cuts be in the deficit there are two deficits there's the immediate deficit you have with the budget and there's the longer term deficit with Social Security and Medicaid Social Security Medicare you can push off and you can do a lot of things Social Security Medicare if you just change one thing in the social security law which is to say it ends now I think at a hundred thousand dollars or so they stopped taking the money away from you if you let CC Sabathia who makes I don't know billion dollars of pitch or what the hell ever get paid if you made him pay Social Security on his entire income is earned income there would be no social security deficit problem it would vanish that those are the numbers so we have to insist on more clarity more common sense better pros from our politician now every guest in this Aspen series on leadership is being asked how do you hope the world will be different because of your work will you each take a minute or two and talk about that Governor Cuomo why the world be better by my work how do you hope the world will be different because of your work by my work well I'm going to need a little bit of help on this but I have given the world the next governor governor whitman huh snow fair my daughter got defeated in her primary for congress so but she'll be back at it and that may be the best i'm seriously i mean i think the one thing you hope you can do by being someone like Governor Cuomo or someone myself who have been a governor and been in a position where you at least have had an opportunity to serve is to encourage other people to get involved and also to raise the issues about which you're passionate and that you care about the most whether it is ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to support themselves and their family making sure every child is a good education or ensuring that we preserve the environment for the future generations those are the issues that you can raise up by speaking but it's going to take a lot more than just two people to make sure we change the world but you can hope you can sure can I of course give you a footnote to my getting Siri half serious for a moment be I think maybe one of the things I did that had a real significant impact and a good one and one that could be measured is the first seat belt law in the history of the United States of America which was very very hard to get it was extremely unpopular it's still unpopular with a lot of people believe it or not and but it produced a funny story about Tim Russert Tim Russert worked for me and Tim Russert died much too early as we all know and Tim Russert was there when i passed the seatbelt law i think was 85 and it was for us a very big deal i had been working on it for years and the morning after it passed we were in Buffalo what Tim lived and we had a cavalcade of automobiles and the media car was behind mine I had Tim get in the I said you get in the back I'll sit in the front of this little k car and he says well why you sit in the front I said well they shoot at the back I'm going to get in the front and and what what happened is a there was a big jam up the car behind us hit us I went forward and my hands hit the dashboard I had forgotten to buckle the dance now this is the first day of its of its being active as a law the media jumped out of the car Timmy jumped out of the car because he was my communications guy and the first thing I heard was me to say is the governor ok and Timmy looked at them and said thank God for the seat belt no go see how he never he never lied but he was taught by the Jesuits the Jesuits are political and the Jesuits teach that a lie is the distorting of the truth to someone who has the right not to be deceived Timmy figured these bums do not have the right we had a question over there who had your hand up a man right on the aisle yes right there right there right there I was going to ask you a governor cuomo when you were talking about you know where are they going to cut when are we going to have leaders that talk about the fact that Social Security and Medicare are now more than fifty percent of the budget we're investing all this money in people who are 65 and older as opposed to people who are 18 and younger which are the future of our country that's the type of leader that I want to hear from and I'm wondering if you think we are some time soon going to have that type of leadership in either party well I what what are you asking be done with the seniors and Social Security okay there you said something about right look right now I'll say oh I think that there are numerous proposals from both Democratic and Republican sides for how we can reduce benefits in a meaning a small way like two percent over multiple years or raise the retirement age there are compromises to be had hopefully they'll be had soon and take that additional money and put it into investing in the future of the country so that we can actually compete with China and India and continue to be the greatest country on the earth now the Commission has been appointed as you know by the president and the grey old Republican is is on it too how from Wyoming and and there I'm sure they're going to deal with that and and and here's something about the richest people in our country on an issue that we're not talking about a lot and that's the death tax so-called we have to do something on that because this is a critical year and after this year you know it's going to be a killer that tax the the richest people the richest people in America showed up at the hearing in the Senate and the spokesperson for them was mr. gates now I've had the great privilege of meeting him and this is the dad I met the whole family I did a speech for him out in Washington because he he gave 30 million dollars to his law school and they were announcing that the that whole situation now and he said this he had Buffett with him and other billionaires and millionaires and he said it's an outrage to suggest that this wealth not be taxed and taxed a lot the theory that says we earned this money you know and we pay taxes on it already and we shouldn't have to pay taxes on it we can leave it all to our heirs he says that's in a cerda t we without the United States of America without its army without its laws you know we would not be these super wealthy people now I think there's a lot of that you've heard Buffett recently say things like that people say it's a class warfare the poor against the rich and he says it is and the rich of winning you know and so I think it's entirely possible to to say about Social Security and Medicare see Medicare I'm confused about how it happened that the Medicaid was before for poor people and Medicare was you didn't have to be poor he's just had to be old to get Medicare you didn't even have to be sick to get Medicare you got it because you were 65 years old or whatever and I I can see the the Congress both houses at both the Democrats and Republicans agreeing look we have to do something about that we can't afford that kind of generosity now when they pass the Medicare bill they didn't want to have to argue about where to cut off and who qualifies and who doesn't say so so the hell whether everybody who gets to be old whether they need it or not we'll get these benefits because I suspect something up there will be done and that the richest people in this country will not object to it they will probably supported I think also you're saying where are the leaders where are people are going to talk about this we do the bipartisan Commission it's going to be interesting to see how people react to it but even Rand Paul who the governor referred to I heard him on Sunday saying look we gotta look at social security there are things we can do with social security we have to look at the military and that's a Republican saying we've got to look at the military and he comes from a branch of the party that's a little different than where i find myself most of the time but those are the kinds of things that we want to hear from leaders that we've got to put everything on the table we are in a position now and with our deficit and with our spending with our tax structure that we have to look at everything if we're going to get this under control clear that I'm sorry were you doing I was just going to say that so you're hearing that now from some of the leaders whether they follow through on that that's something else and we have to keep the pressure on them to make sure they do but they're saying it anyway a follow-up question Governor Cuomo in New York State a small business owner who makes $250,000 pays the same state income tax as CC Sabathia and yet the governor-elect just yesterday was saying that he will not consider new taxes or changes in the tax structure at the upper level to deal with the fiscal crisis in New York City do you have a problem at home the the I want to be clear on what you're saying that his position as I understand it is he will not raise taxes on the rich people or anybody else and i think that's that's a proper position at the moment the taxes are another subject that needs explanation people some people some politicians have gotten away with the notion that if you raised raising taxes is always a bad idea and it's usually a bad idea by democrats in charge here's some history and it's going to be very relevant because we haven't discussed it tonight but they're going to be discussing a lot what you do with the bush tax cuts before the end of the year and we're getting very close to the end of the year and the bush tax cuts of course four trillion dollars involved in those tax cuts and and how do you handle that well reagan and george bush okay george bush won reagan was known as the great tax cutter and it my years as governor part of them were his years as president and i got to know him very well for in a whole lot of ways and he gave the biggest tax cut in history he dragged us down to twenty-eight percent i think was the the top under him and his argument was supply-side George Bush had run against him in the primaries and said supply side is voodoo economics but he married the witch doctor and became vice president so you got Reagan and Bush Reagan gave that big tax cut and then discovered that the deficit was terrible and raised taxes six times after that so that the total of his raises in taxes was equal to the tax cut and nobody seems to remember that George Bush was his vice president had decided during the vice presidency to read my lips no new taxes if I become governor president no new taxes and Reagan told him you're wrong you're going to have to do it and he had to do it and he raised taxes almost a billion dollars and brought it from 28 back to 32 then comes Clinton Clinton now promises Jesse Jackson and me in a march on Washington that if I win we're going to do 200 billion dollars in infrastructure great job we needed the governor's all need infrastructure all the time and but Bob Rubin calls in about the ninth month and says the president can't do that he'll do a little bit of infrastructure but he's got to do another tax increase like the one that Reagan and Bush did before him and that's how he mounted up balancing the budget eventually okay because this goes reigned in Albany ya know so well no the point is this to say that tax increases are always bad is foolish Republicans have proven that there is a time for tax increases this is not the time for tax increases this is the time for stimulating the economy this is the time for taking whatever wealth you can and get it into creating jobs and now we should all keep our fingers crossed that Bernanke knows what he's doing when he spends eight hundred billion dollars buying bonds from the government and turning that you know creating new dollar bills in fact because we desperately need the stimulation I hope it works a lot of people think it won't but 800 billion dollars is being pushed into the and to say now that you're going to leave the tax cuts that Bush gave and remember when Bush past those tax cuts if he thought that they should they were permanent things that were good for this country why did he put a limitation on it because he knew that you know that helped him get it passed at the time was well it's not forever it's only for this period of years and let's face it when you get to it nobody will have the guts to undo it but it's like but I thought by your logic in effect a tax increase today in today's to let it rise back up for that well it is because that's what Bush gave us yes Bush gaves us a tax that dies this year and it dies and you let it die so you if you're going to tell me I'm responsible for letting it die yeah then then I'm responsible but if you want to be truly accurate the guy who passed it is responsible for letting it die this year cover living obviously I have a slightly different opinion on the relative benefits of tax increases in tax cuts and one of the things that we have to remember while there is i agree with you there's with the governor and saying there is a time for them i do agree that this would be the absolute worst time to raise taxes because of the need to stimulate the economy when when i became governor one of the things i ran on was cutting the income tax thirty percent over five years and started retro actively in my first inaugural address too five percent we saw because my predecessor had raised taxes on everything I mean literally down to toilet paper which had what really infuriated people and over the four years we had lost that he'd been governor we lost 350,000 jobs because we were not competitive from the tax structure point of view that was the reality it took seven years but by the time I left with the tax cuts we had four hundred and fifty thousand new jobs created I didn't create them private sector created them government government can create jobs but not the long lasting ones that that people are looking for to support their families and where you get into a problem with the increase in in the public sector jobs because most of our budgets at least I know in New Jersey and I probably true in New York you only have about seventeen percent that's discretionary the rest is all formula driven it's all the benefits it's a contract it's a health care and those are the things that are going to be the ones that we leave for our children and our grandchildren to pay because they become enormously expensive so it is important to watch how government grows and I always looked on tax cuts as a way for me to say to the legislature we can't spend this money on that program gang we don't have it anymore we're not going to have it but also to send a message to the private sector that we wanted them here we were going to be competitive without putting ourselves in a position where we couldn't afford anything and and we left with a balanced budget and a billion dollar surplus we're almost out of time I asked you the aspen softball question before about how you think your work left the world a better place do either of you look back and think there was anything you did as governor's that inadvertently helped set the stage for today's fiscal crises for example critics in both states say too much borrowing was a failing of both states going way back to defer costs with the benefit of hindsight is there anything like that that you would identify go to Whitman you know it's it's hard because I get blamed a lot for the borrowing because one of the things I did very early on was bring onto the books debt that was being carried off the books and I just thought we ought to look at it as being dead is dead so that was the debt we borrowed I believe appropriately we borrowed for capital programs not for operating my successor did that he borrowed for operating costs and got taken to court and it was deemed unconstitutional because that's not what you borrow for but borrowing if it is for a program i don't see why today's taxpayers should have to bear the full burden of building a bridge or fixing a road that is going to be enjoyed done right for generations to come you can't afford to spread that over time and that's an appropriate way to use it so I'm not sure I would say that that was the the big I mean it is a big problem there's no question that the borrowing is a big problem but a lot of that has occurred I like to think that I wasn't the one who did it all Governor Cuomo same question for New York and you it's a very elusive question for me I'll need more time to study at I think it's politics more broken in new york and new jersey than it is in other states we always hear about these surveys that come out and say New York is the most dysfunctional state in the nation in Albany and things like that governor briefly very hard for me to comment on all the other states you know I really don't know New York New York is New York and so everything that happens here is larger than you know it happens elsewhere and we just get more publicity than the rest of the the rest of the world I think frankly right now for the last couple of you years it's been worse than at any time in my history and that's very long indeed i came in in 1975 so just measured against ourselves in our own history where this is the worst period i can think of and i think frankly the job at the next governor is going to be the hardest governor's job in the i can't imagine not even during the Depression the governor having a more difficult job in hand was going to have trying to deal first with a budget that's I think nine billion dollars out of whack or something like that but yet very bad and maybe the worst ever for New York i'm not going to compare it though to jersey and a witness that well we get the budgets done on time so that's a good thing that would make New Jersey a little bit more functional and actually in fact this governor if you notice he has a Democrat Democrats control both houses of the legislature and yet he's gotten a lot of things done with them so i would have to say that I think we're getting to be in a pretty good place in the state of New Jersey that can all fall apart in a heartbeat it's easy for it to happen but right now they seem to be working together he's got a good working relationship with the Democrat leadership and that's enabled him to get some things done that might not have happened otherwise and Governor Cuomo I just want to give you the opportunity to tell us are you proud one week after the election of your son uh you know that's that's a that's the toughest question of the night for me be personable I Iowa my comfort I won't speak for Matilda but there where I'm not comfortable but you're proud I think I think we're grateful you know you have to be grateful for the good luck of having a good strong family and the gifts that and who has or all a matter of good luck they're all from source that goes way beyond us and we we admire what he's done a great deal because of the way he's using those gifts he is spectacularly gifted i mean i can say that as his father I know door he is he really is but and he could have he could have gone and got and made himself wealthy and that wouldn't have been hard for him he knows how tough the problems are going to be and still he wants to do it so you've got to admire that I think frankly without being cornball about it given that we have in our marriage for immigrants for immigrant parents who came here from another part of the world without any skills without any money without any friends and one was a labor of my father and the other was a carpenter Matilda's father and to think that in one generation they produced a governor and then in a second generation that produced another governor you got to say only in America and so if there's anything to be proud of its proud of this country and allowing this kind of thing to have well you so on that note please thank Governor Cuomo and you