Ash meets Shami Chakrabarti | The (Former) Most Dangerous Woman in Britain

Ash meets Shami Chakrabarti | The (Former) Most Dangerous Woman in Britain


So we are very lucky to be joined by
none other than Shami Chakrabarti thorn in the side of the war on terror, the
first Baroness ever on the Novara Media set– We’ve had to settle for Dr Bastani
all this time so this is an upgrade title-wise I don’t think it is because
doctors tend to earn their titles but thank you Ash It’s lovely to be here Thank you so much for coming on and of course you are also shadow Attorney General and this is where I want to kick off because one of the things I’ve never seen you get asked about is what the role of Attorney General would be like for a socialist government because one of the roles of Attorney General is you have to advise the government on the legality of their policy proposals, of their legislation and their use of crown powers and so you had you know poor old
Mr Cox getting in a bit of hot water over his legal advice to the government
over prorogation and there might be some squeaky moments for a socialist government. John McDonnell says that if he’s nationalising rail, mail and water it might not be at market rates which would bring him into conflict with international treaties and the like. What would your advice to him be? I’m absolutely clear and by the way this is as both Jeremy and John McDonnell want it to be that we will comply with the domestic and international rule of law. Now you’re quite right that Article 1 of protocol 1–a 1 p1 as we call it in the trade– of the European Convention on Human Rights does protect people’s property rights but it’s not an absolute right. So you can interfere with people’s property but you have to act in a way that is not arbitrary, that is proportionate, that’s justified in the public interest and there are ways to– yes we distribute wealth and power but to do it in a way that doesn’t conflict with the law. But let’s talk about the partial nationalisation of BT to deliver free fiber-optic broadband for everyone in the country. You’ve got the estimate from Labour being put at 20 billion. You’ve got the estimates from BT being put at 80 to 100 billion. and there will be a process of
negotiation and conflict– There will be debate there will be debate and of course Parliament is sovereign and that’s and that’s really important. this isn’t just going to be John McDonnell or Shami Chakrabarti deciding what appropriate compensation is. There has to be a proper process but we can we can achieve all of that. As I say property rights are not absolute and the European Convention on Human Rights which we are all completely committed to– and one of the best things that the Labour government did in the late nineties was to incorporate that convention via the Human Rights Act– does not create an absolute right to property because that would mean the status quo forever and of course that’s not the intention. So we will we be a radical transformative socialist government but we will also act responsibly and preserve the rule of law. Let’s talk about this new story which came out I think last week about the CPS setting targets for successful convictions of rape cases. What’s wrong with that? Because to my untrained eye setting targets for successful convictions for a crime like rape–and those conviction
rates have historically been very low– that seems like a good thing. Well in principle of course it’s a good thing for any organisation to be to be motivated to do its job well but the danger is of targets that create a perverse incentive to only take on easy cases. So here’s how it goes: rape is one of the most serious crimes–we know this– after murder and attempted murder. Rape is right up there amongst the most serious offences but it’s also one of the hardest to prove. Now generally speaking when you’re deciding whether to bring a prosecution you want to know that it’s more likely than not that you will succeed. There’s no point investing resources and frankly upsetting complainants and and everyone else by charging offences where there’s a less than fifty percent likelihood of succeeding but if you start saying that your target is that you’re going to have 60 percent success rates, by definition– because rape is more difficult than other crimes to prove–you are you were almost decriminalising rape in a whole raft of cases and that’s what seems to have happened and worse still this was a secret policy and we believe now that it was operating the two years between 2016 and 2018. It was being denied that such a target existed and it was grassroots women’s organisations, victim support groups that suspected that such a policy was in practice and finally investigative journalists working with those campaigners outed the policy just a few days ago. So if you get rid of those targets for successful convictions of rape how do you propose pushing up that conviction rate? So what I’m saying is it should be when you’re deciding whether to bring a charge it should be because you think you’ve got a 50% plus likelihood of succeeding and that you think that it’s in the public
interest to bring this prosecution and I think it is certainly in the public interest to bring rape prosecutions because of the seriousness of this crime. And the other thing that we need to do is we need to change the culture around sex offences and rape, we need to better support victims, we
need to to offer them proper counselling and support throughout the process–that
hasn’t been happening. We need to not treat them like suspects by taking their mobile phones en mass in the police station. We need to invest in in better
trained police officers and prosecutors. There’s so many things like that that we
need to do I really do think that austerity is a feminist issue in general but it’s a particularly acute problem in the criminal justice system Do you think that #MeToo achieves that kind of culture change in terms of changing perceptions of what sexual thought looks like, who it happens to and who perpetrates it. I think #MeToo has perhaps started a process but it’s the beginning, it’s nowhere near the end. Goodness me, just–what was it?–a few weeks ago, maybe a little more, maybe it was late September Charlotte Edwards wrote in the Sunday Times about an experience she had with Boris Johnson where he basically put his hand under the table up her skirt. And that was a big story–her comment piece in the Sunday times up for a day–but where is the follow up? Her testimony, if proven, would amount to a sexual assault by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Where’s the follow up? For #MeToo to make the real difference that it must going forward we need to be more tenacious about about these things need to call these things out again and again Now understandably people are
very interested in Ms Arcuri and she’s out there on the TV, she’s going to be ghosted no more and people
find that very interesting and amusing and there are you know financial
questions and the Boris Johnson needs to answer about that relationship but I am particularly concerned about this alleged sexual assault and why it hasn’t been followed up But don’t you think that the problem is is that Charlotte Edwards’ account of– I agreed that would be a sexual assault– is that it was treated like gossip–and the same with Jennifer Arcuri– is that the key issue about use of public funds and conflict of interest not being declared by Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London that’s been superseded by a kind of
salacious interest in gory details. She gets put on GMB because the hosts are hoping that she’s going to say, ‘Yeah we had an affair we did
it XYZ many times’. You’re quite right. We’re seeing a trivialisation of things that are really quite serious issues of conduct character and even the criminal
law and that’s a serious problem. and until we and start being a bit more clear-eyed about this then #MeToo will be the beginning but nowhere where it’s got to be. I mean look speaking of
trivialisation you’re a brown comrade I’m a brown comrade let’s just put it on
that level and your work with Liberty in particular made you a real thorn in the
side of those who wanted see more surveillance more infringement of civil
liberties all in the name of national security that’s why the Sun newspaper
once called me the most dangerous woman in Britain at that was that was a no-no
I have to admit I mean I dined out on that for some time you know Matt you can
imagine you go around the country speaking to people about civil liberties
and you’re saying be afraid be very afraid the Sun newspaper once called me
the most dangerous woman in Britain and it’s really interesting because you can
tell a lot about a part of the country or a particular audience by their
reaction get us some parts of the Home Counties
and people a little nervous you go to other places and they give you a
standing ovation before you’ve even begun Liverpool being an obvious play
then the Daily Mail spoilt it for me because they they took my title away and
they gave it to Nicola Sturgeon I mean that’s the same fair you should you
should say I should say look most dangerous woman in Britain and we’re
slap-bang in the middle of a culture war where in particular
Jeremy’s personal polling or national security issues is very very low now
you’re out there in a general election making the case for a Labour government
do you ever sometimes wonder if women like me and you are not the best people
to make the case to certain parts of the country because of that culture what do
I think that I should sort of sort of be quiet because I might offend certain no
I think I think that the culture war as you put it is is good old-fashioned
divide and rule and it’s you know it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a right-wing trick
it’s a far-right trick Trump does it Johnson does it bit but I have to
believe and I do believe that in the end people are slightly better than that and
that if you speak to your values the chances are there are a lot of people
who share those values even people who were different to what who looked
different to us you know our humanity is it is really what’s going on there’s one
race and it’s the human race now course it’s easy for me to say that and
sometimes it’s harder to to cut through but but I’ve in my life I have
experienced more fairness more kindness than I have of the bad stuff I mean I
think one of the things that I’ve learned through this campaign is that
places are very rarely as they have been described by a Westminster dominated
media so simplifies everything expectations of what a levering area
will be like and that is simply not how it feels once actually exactly you know
and if you show people a little respect quite often they’ll they’ll reciprocate
not always but quite often they’ll reciprocate this point about Westminster
pundits okay I mean too many political journalists in particular forgive me
treat politics as if it’s sort of them as if it’s sport or drama they’re more
like drama critics or sporting correspondents who’s up who’s down who
landed a blow you know it’s it’s a boxing match not a political debate and
then there are these patronizing suggestions for example that oh no one’s
going to come out and vote in December people go Christmas shopping in December
people go to work in December particularly working people who get up
4:00 in the morning to go in and clean offices and factories they do that in
December I believe people will come out this December for what will be the most
important general election of my lifetime you’re a fair bit younger than
me ash so you might have another big one in you but for me this is the most
important general election of my life no no I mean this better be the only big
one I want socialism now a green Industrial Revolution cheap housing then
I’m just gonna clear off and have some babies I mean I’m out I’m checking out
but I want to press this idea about the culture war and in particular how you
become a signifier of something else so one of the things that the BBC loves to
do is that they keep trying to get me to debate Douglas Murray and the reason why
they do that is because I’m young cuz I’m brown and some left-wing so the
minute you’ve got that visual it’s already fulfilled his central thesis of
what the main conflict is in society so as someone who is also has debate
I have debated Douglas Murray and you know this um there are people who want
to people who want cartoon cutouts and there are people who allow themselves to
become cartoon cutouts or you know pantomime villains and whatever and you
know you can make a whole career out of it and an you and I are not pantomime
characters and we don’t need to go out looking for for other pantomime
characters I think what you’re doing here it is having a discussion right
even I have so much in common but we don’t necessarily agree about everything
but but you know the business of politics should be about putting our
values out there and then and then developing policy and and having a real
discussion about ideas rather than just Punch and Judy one of the things that
the Conservative Party hasn’t really grappled with is this wellspring of
support they found from the far right in recent months because even though Boris
Johnson claims to be you know the socially liberal mayor of London or one
nation conservative they’re all these Tommy Robinson fans who are out in for
throat support a little bit let’s be clear about this you know in his career
Boris Johnson has played both sides you know he’s you know tried to be a
chameleon and went you know when he was you know getting elected in London and
suddenly his Little Crow immigration and liberal and civil libertarian and I
remember that Boris Johnson from and from my time at Liberty and and then in
the brexit campaign he’s dancing to a different tune and now you know he’s
gone to the far right and I’m really sorry to say that I am someone who has
conservative friends I’ve had I’ve worked with conservatives in Parliament
on civil liberties issues so I’m not somebody who says I can never do
business with conservatives but Boris Johnson is now not even playing to a
traditionally conservative playbook he is playing to a trump Bannen
far-right playbook and these uneven dog whistles these uneven dog whistles with
regular degler whistles they’re just you know they’re foghorns right let’s not
whistles and I think you saw it with the shutdown of Parliament with this whole
Harlem and versus the people vibe which I’m glad to say our Supreme Court dealt
with 11 nil pretty robustly so I don’t think I don’t think it’s a socialist
government that has to worry about the rule of law I think it’s these people on
the far I and I’m really sorry to say it but Boris Johnson is now amongst them
but you caught some harassment yourself outside the court by far right
demonstrators what do you think happens to those people after this general
election if Jeremy Corbyn wins do you think that that organized far-right
contingent is going to go away or will they transform into something it’ll
always be you know if there’s always been an organized far-right contingent
you know I grew up in the 70s and the 80s I remember the National Front so
let’s not pretend that there hasn’t always been an organized far-right
contingent but what we can do with a Democratic Socialist government is take
away people’s pain and people’s you know legitimate grievances that have been
ignored for too long and then the far-right contingent will be there but
it will dwindle and they won’t be able to play on people’s pain and they will
not be able to divide and rule in this country anymore so in the spirit of last
night’s leadership debate I thought I would do a quick fire round for you ash
okay are you up for it all right this could be the make-or-break of your
career it’ll be the break I’m sure but nothing minds all right let’s see some
nice easy ones what would you get Boris Johnson for Christmas would I get a new
job I was gonna say an at-home paternity test but new job even better
Keir Hardie or kiss Dharma Hardy would you prosecute Prince Andrew um I would
need to look at the evidence oh very good answer well you know what’d you
expect very slick answer um sweet or savory
savory oh yeah you know what you’re like me abolish all private schools yes or no
no no oh how come and I I think that there are human rights implications if
you actually if you actually say to parents you cannot privately educate
your child and there is also issues in relation to two children
with certain special needs and so on but I think we need to tax them because
these are businesses that are making huge profits and they need to be taxed
and I think that we need to regulate them far more than they’re currently
regulated and I think we need to invest so much in the state system that you
would have to be absolutely silly to think of wasting your money on a private
school and last one I promise tell me about the first general election
you ever voted in first information I ever voted in I’m so old – that’s so
unfair like I remember yes I mean something
like I said what I’ll tell you about the first election that I really remember
being engaged in and that was 1979 when I was 10 years old and I remember Sacher
being elected and I remember how concerned my parents were I remember the
concept of the milk snatcher I remember the implications that
followed for communities and for our schools I was becoming political at that
time for me my first memory of a general election was 97 well sweetheart because
my mom took me into the voting booth and let me do the X and then very cleverly
she took us to the Turkish shop and got like a big beautiful watermelon so I
always associated labor with this delicious watermelon this sort of like
Pavlovian response that’s a really good that’s a really good memory and and also
the watermelon will be cut up into slightly more equal portions and at the
moment but also green and red greeny deal in it green you – and you know I
spoke to someone the other day who said please please show me can we have a
Labour government I’ve had enough of this trickle-up economics I mean I hope
it will be 1945 1997 2019 inshallah inshallah thanks for joining us cheers
Cheers you you

44 Comments on "Ash meets Shami Chakrabarti | The (Former) Most Dangerous Woman in Britain"


  1. I love Shami. She was a regular at a restaurant I used to work at in Westminster. She'd regularly stick her head in the kitchen to say hello and thank you. We always massively appreciated it.

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  2. You can't have very high conviction rates and also prosecute as many rape (or other criminal offences) cases as possible. If you want a 100% conviction rate, just prosecute three cases year where the rapist pleads guilty. Or teach the public that it's better to take as many cases to court as possible, but this will inevitably mean a lower conviction rate. Yet that lower conviction rate does not mean fewer rapists were found guilty, because you were prosecuting a lot more cases – and some victims would rather have their rapist walk free because there was reasonable doubt than be told that they couldn't take the case to trial at all.

    This applies to other crimes, more cases should be put through court because justice is more important than the costs involved in putting a case through court.

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  3. Appreciating Shami since her Liberty days. The position of Attorney General would be safe in her hands. If The Scum call her dangerous it means the billionaires are worried. Good job, Shami! You embody British values. Xxx

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  4. Labour today has so many great politicians it is frustrating that the whole focus is on Corbyn. One target to pour hatred into akin to the one ring in LOR which is why I do not like this leader stuff. A leader takes its members where the members want to go not where the leader demands. Corbyn is a leader guided by his members and yet we never point that out to a nation that has been sold on the concept that a leader is the king and his members surfs to be led.
    Great interview, great people.

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  5. ''we will be a radical government but will be a ''responsible'' government …''parliament is sovereign'' . All the bullshit that implicitly contradicts and defines ''the radical''. The fact that Ash straight out of the box , bowed to class rule with her fawning over ''having their first Baroness'' …gush gush, says it all .
    Once again Novara Media reveals its real credentials . That as world capitalism toboggans from crisis to crisis , they will give the capitalist system and its Parliamentary institution a pseudo left cover.
    How ''the radical'' travels . Working class 'buyers beware' for they will attempt to hoover you up and head you right back to where you are objectively trying to escape from… the capitalist system.

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  6. The human rights Saint ? Let's discuss abortion ? Labour want to extend the deadline for abortion up to BIRTH WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ABOUT ?? YOU LOT SHOULD BE FORCED TO BLOODY WATCH IT !

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  7. God this is so cringeworthy. "Socialist", "Brown Comrade", "I make some people in the home counties a little nervous". No Shami, you don't make them nervous, you represent middle-class home-counties / Islington values to a T. Its no wonder that Labour is losing the north and the midlands – they're not fooled by champagne socialist like Shami who talk about criticise Jacob Rees-Mogg for being posh while sending their kids to £18k / year public schools.

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  8. I really liked Chakrabati's descriptor that pundits treating politics like sport or drama "Who's up, who's down, who landed a blow… as if it's a boxing match". Mostly because it's a direct criticism of both Novara and Ash herself recently. On a cast coverigng the debate Ash made complaints mirroring exactly what Shami Chakrabati described.

    Do better next time, Novara…

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  9. I've not always had nice things to say about her, but that was great.
    You cheery optimistic bastards almost brought a year to my eye.

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  10. She should not do interviews she really isn’t a great representation. She was on question time many times and was so meek and weak. The amount of times she used to get talked over and not get her point across. Interviews like this are ok but keep her away from debates

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  11. It's so satisfying to see two progressive Indian origin women discussing issues that matter for not only the UK but also the world 🙏

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  12. Labour says it will be radical and transform system, how Exactly will you reform and shift power from London and South East to Real North, Wales, Scotland, North off Ireland

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  13. Douglas Murray, Conflict ??? Really I see brown girl as part off the soluton, English people tieing themselves to false race constructs annoys me, Natives know the truth and Wiser Heads Among Poor so called English in North will tackle Anglo English Far Right Views

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  14. Rape is one off most serious Crimes and Should be higher sentence, Wow Grab them by the pu**y again, I dunno certain situations, Jeremy's Low Rating because off seeking Good relations with internal and external threats is a false view really, From Russia With Love The Saying Goes

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  15. Another cutting edge piece of political insight from Novara media interviewing someone with a differing worldview… Oh wait.

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  16. Shami knows what's going on. Personally, I'd like to think I'll always keep the faith but it's one of those things where you can be right and wrong at the same time when division is being sowed. Would like to hear her speak about how human rights will protect against a convergence of psychology, big data and big platforms.

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  17. Hang on ash…..if your saying we need quotas for rape cases being convicted but can't see that it will wind up people being charged for the sake of it then don't speak on stop and search or racism….

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  18. I personally think rape is worse than murder, when your are murdered, your pain has gone, with rape, these poor (mostly) women and their families have to deal with it for the rest of their lives, they are punished every single day. Rape should have a life imprisonment sentance, no negogtiations, no time off for 'good' behaviour.

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  19. I thought I would watch a bit of Douglas Murray seeing as you guys brought him up (and he is in the video suggestions for literally every novara media video on YouTube). I thought, y'know, interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer – how bad can it be? LOL – I only got 1 minute and 25 seconds in before I just had to stop. I mean A) He is not even half or a quarter of the emulation of Ralph Fiennes that I thought he would be, and B) Just start the video with a whole load of victim blaiming I guess.. …Yeh but no.

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