"That will spelt out in our manifesto". Photo: Getty
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Natalie Bennett's incredibly awkward interview with LBC

“Right, what – what we’re looking at, in terms of the figures here um – what we need to do is actually [silence] er… we’re looking at a total spend of 2. 7 [pause] billion…”

Today is the big day of the Green party campaign launch. So, naturally, the Green leader Natalie Bennett took part in a series of live radio discussions this morning about her party’s manifesto. What could have possibly gone wrong?

listen to ‘Incredibly Awkward Interview With Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett’ on audioBoom

Here’s a snippet of the interview, transcribed before this mole could listen no longer:

(Nick Ferrari – NF/ Natalie Bennett – NB)

NF - The third key theme is that the Greens will ensure everyone has a secure, affordable place to live – how would that be brought about?

NB- Well – a couple of things we want to focus on here. In terms of council housing we want to build 500,000 new social rent homes…

NF - Good Lord. Where will you get the money from for that?

NB- Well what we want to do is fund that particularly by removing the tax relief on mortgage interest for private landlords. We have a situation where private landlords at the moment… basically running away with the situation of hugely rising rents, collecting large amounts of housing benefits

NF- But how much would that be worth – the mortgage relief for private landlords?

NB - Erm, well, it’s, that’s part of the whole costing of all of this…

NF - The cost of 500,000 homes – let’s start with that – how much is that going to be?

NB - Right, well that’s erm... you’ve got a total cost um that will be spelt out in our manifesto…

NF- So you don’t know?

NB - [Inaudible response]

NF - No you don’t, right.

NF - So we don’t know how much those homes are going to cost but the way it’s going to be funded is mortgage relief from private landlords – how much is that worth?

NB - Right, what – what we’re looking at, in terms of the figures here um – what we need to do is actually [silence] er… we’re looking at a total spend of 2. 7 [pause] billion…

NF - 500,000 – 2.7 billion – what are they made of, plywood?

NB - Um, basically, what we’re talking about is 500,000 new homes and each £1 spent on these brings back £2.40

No – but what is the total cost of 500,000 new homes?

[Painful silence]

Painful indeed.

I'm a mole, innit.

Getty
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Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: How the inauguration speeches compared

We compared the two presidents on trade, foreign affairs and climate change – so you (really, really) don't have to.

After watching Donald Trump's inaugural address, what better way to get rid of the last few dregs of hope than by comparing what he said with Barack Obama's address from 2009? 

Both thanked the previous President, with Trump calling the Obamas "magnificent", and pledged to reform Washington, but the comparison ended there. 

Here is what each of them said: 

On American jobs

Obama:

The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

Trump:

For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

Obama had a plan for growth. Trump just blames the rest of the world...

On global warming

Obama:

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

Trump:

On the Middle East:

Obama:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 

Trump:

We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

On “greatness”

Obama:

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.

Trump:

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

 

On trade

Obama:

This is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.  Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.  Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year.  Our capacity remains undiminished.  

Trump:

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland