22/06/2011 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks, this is the Daily Politics.


It's one year since Boy George unveiled his emergency budget.


We'll be looking at how "austerity Britain" is shaping up. The


Chancellor is spending more than his predecessor and he's racked up


a record deficit for the first two months of the new financial year.


You'd better shape up cos you need a loan. Greek jokes aside, things


are looking serious in the eurozone. We'll have the latest.


Order, order, in the House of Lords! The Upper House is looking


for a new speaker. If you want the job, you propbably need to be posh


and you have until tomorrow to apply. -- probably.


And just how sexist is the beautiful game? We'll be talking to


one MP who's not happy with the FA. Maturity and common sense go hand


in hand in the adult game, and me playing for the parliamentary


football team, or any other lady playing in a park match, should not


be caught up in rules designed to Yes, all that and more coming up in


the next 90 minutes of cartoon capers. And with us for the


duration, Westminster's answer to Statler and Waldorf. They're a


couple of Muppets, you know! The former Conservative Leader, Michael


Howard - he's now a Lord. And the former Chancellor, Alistair Darling.


He's still a humble MP. Welcome to you both. Now first this morning,


we're not one to labour a point, but we know a U-turn when we see


one. And yesterday, despite bluff to the contrary, the Government


announced yet another U-turn, this time over sentencing policy. We


covered it on the programme yesterday. This is what the Justice


Secretary, Ken Clarke, had to say I have done many U-turns in my time


and they should be done with purpose and panache when you have


to do them. I actually don't think this is a U-turn at all. I don't.


Let me explain. The opposition front bench has taken some sort of


tickling powder! I have been listening with bated breath for the


best part of 20 years to the Secretary of State. Michael Howard,


did you feel a tiny bit sorry for him? Well, I don't think... He


doesn't need... Good question! doesn't need people to feel sorry


for him, that would be the last thing he wanted. I welcome the


changes, I think they are good for the victims and potential victims,


and good for the integrity of the criminal justice system. Do we


resigned ourselves to having jails that are stuffed to come as a day?


It doesn't. A -- stuffed to capacity. When I said prison works,


we build more prisons and build more capacity. One of the problems


now is that although Labour talked tough on crime and the prison


population continued to increase, the capacity was not increased.


There seems to be a game going on between the two camps, tougher and


tougher, who is the winner at the moment? Crime did fall by the time


we left office so that was good. Prison is part of that. I think


what matters is what works and Ken Clarke did come up with some


interesting ideas when he first announced this policy. If we can


stop people going to prison in the first place, there is a lot of


evidence that once people start going to prison, they will go back


again and again and again. This isn't about -- this is an about


turn. David Cameron said yesterday it was a U-turn. What is more


interesting in some ways, certainly as we are about to discuss the


economy, if I was in the Treasury at the moment, I would say that is


�100 million gone. If you add that to what has happened on the NHS,


where there has been a spectacular U-turn and we have a dog's


breakfast of an administration, or the Forestry sell-off, the Treasury


must be worried that the savings they were promised a few months ago


will be increasingly difficult to get. I get the sense that you feel


it was a missed opportunity, you were quite sympathetic to the


points of view put forward by Ken Clarke, am I right? Back in the


days when I used to practise law, when you were in the High Court and


someone was found guilty and the convictions were read out, you


would cost -- often find this person would start defending in


their teens, they were sent to young offenders' institution...


you bring yourself to say Ken Clarke was right? No, he made a


mess of what he was doing in the sense of the way he presented the


policy. Substance was fine, presentation was clumsy? If people


have offended, if they have done something wrong, they need to go to


prison and we need to be tough. There was tough on crime, and also


tough on the causes of crime, and trying to divert people out of that


prison system makes sense. On the issue of savings, he still has to


come up with a substantial saving. Where will he get it from? I think


there are things that can be looked at. He is making some changes to


the legal-aid system. I think there are certain areas where it would be


possible to save more money on legal aid. The practice of giving


legal aid for criminal proceedings in Scotland is a bit more stringent


than that which exists in England and there are different


interpretations... Will that balance the figure? It would help.


There would be other efficiency savings that could be produced. I


am not sitting with the Justice Department's budget. You know the


terrain very well. �100 million is a lot of money. We will leave it


there. Now, this time last year, the


Chancellor, George Osborne, was dusting down his red box and


preparing to deliver his emergency Budget. The economy one year on is


the topic of the opposition day debate in the Commons this


afternoon. So how is Boy George's austerity plan shaping up? Over to


you, Anita. Exactly one year ago today, George


Osborne delivered the coalition government's emergency Budget. He


warned that it was happening at a moment when "fear about the


sustainability of sovereign debt was the greatest risk" to economic


recovery. He needed to be "tough" to get the deficit under control.


But how strong has he really been? At the time of the emergency Budget,


the forecast for public sector borrowing in 2010-11 was �149


billion. And the outcome - �143 billion. So on that score the


economy looks on track. But what about public borrowing this year? A


year ago, the forecast was �116 billion. That was subsequently


increased to �122 billion. And with figures for two months of the


financial year in so far, it's by no means clear that even the higher


figure will be right. Net borrowing in April and May last year was


�25.9 billion. And in the same months this year, �27.4 billion. So


borrowing is actually higher so far this year than last year. And in


the medium term, getting the deficit down requires economic


growth. The emergency Budget forecast growth in 2011 of 2.3%.


The forecast now, 1.7%, according the Office for Budget


Responsibility. And even lower according to some independent


forecasters. The Chancellor says he has no Plan B, but is his Plan A


Thank you. We have got a former Chancellor and the former Shadow


Chancellor with us. Let me start with Michael Howard. Spending is


still rising, the deficit is increasing and the national debt is


soaring, what is going right? Everyone agrees the cuts have yet


to be put into effect and yet to make an impact. I don't think you


can make judgments on a month-by- month basis. This is a five-year


project and I think you only have to look at the way in which the


markets are treating British credibility to see that it is on


track. How borrowing rate is 0.25% above Germany's. In terms of


credibility in the markets it is working. We have had very good


employment figures, half a million extra jobs created in the last year.


There is much to be pleased about, but we had the most awful


inheritance, as you know, and I think it was necessary to take the


action which the Government is taking to deal with that. He has


been chancellor for 12 months and every month during that 12 months


he has spent more than the preceding year and are Gordon Brown


and Alistair Darling. Be Kizzy it takes time for the measures to be


put into effect. -- because it takes time. Many require


legislation. You can't expect but I ducked the pain is still to come?


In many respects a package right. It is interesting, isn't it, that


what the opposition are saying is borrow more. It will be interesting


to see whether Alastair agrees with Ed Balls's latest proposition,


which is that the VAT increase should be reversed. Are you taking


away my gunpowder? Teeing it up for me. I want to come to that in a


minute. If, as we know from the figures, I have them here, as I


said to Michael Howard, spending is still rising, up 5%, the deficit is


still increasing and the national debt is going through the roof, the


Ed Balls criticisms that the economy slowed because we are


cutting too fast too soon isn't borne out by the figures. I think


there is something bigger at play. Ever since the new government was


elected from last May, they have been saying that there will be


substantial cuts and it is probably the fear of what is about to happen


that is depressing economic activity. Why? If you are a


businessman, would you think about taking on more people at the


moment? You probably wouldn't because you would say everybody is


telling me how bad it is going to be, there will be less spending


power in the economy. A lot of commentators have made the point


that you can actually talk down activity. Michael is right, when


people say one or two commentators uttering the review of what has


happened over the last 12 months and they are saying it has not been


so bad. A lot of the actual cuts were only supposed to come in from


this April and they will gradually build up. I do agree with Michael,


and if the figures had been the other way I would make this point,


you have to watch month-by-month figures. But there is now a growing


consensus that growth will be less than George Osborne said 12 months


ago, the IMF has said if this carries on, a Plan B will have to


be looked at. If you get low growth, you will get higher borrowing and


higher debt and that is now a real possibility. But this year, 2011-


2012, George Osborne plans to cut public spending by the 0.6%. How


much less... How much less would you have cut it by? As I have said


you, it is a matter of judgement as to how fast you bring down the


deficit. 0.6% is not fast. Expressing it percentage terms it


might not seem that way. Let's go back ticking clock's problem. He


has to find another �100 million. He will not find it through getting


people out of prisons. A government and it spends on pensions, public


services, defence and so on. As anyone who has ever run a


department will tell you, �100 million... The big problem is the


Government's strategy from the start was to eliminate the


structural deficit during the course of this Parliament. The risk


is if you go too fast -- too far too fast, you suppress growth and


it becomes more difficult to get your borrowing ground -- down.


you agree with Ed Balls that VAT should be cut temporarily back to


17.5%? What he is doing is simply giving an example of the sort of


thing the IMF was talking about. He is talking about tax breaks for


people as well as perhaps more quantitative easing if that is


necessary. He is not alone in that. Does he have your support been


saying VAT should be cut? He has my complete support in saying that


George Osborne's approach runs the risk of derailing the recovery.


Come on, you're just an MP now, you are not in government. An honest


answer would be appreciated. Do you agree with Ed Balls that VAT should


be cut to 17.5%? It is a matter of judgement as to what you actually


do. I will not second-guess everything Ed Balls does. I am not


asking you to second guess, I am asking whether you agree or


disagree. I am surprised by your reluctance, it is a simple question.


I agree with his analysis that if you take too much money out of the


economy, you run the risk of developing the economy. That has


always been my position. He is not alone in that, other commentators


are making the same point. You seem reluctant to support Ed Balls on


this full up I am not. Then support him! I do support him... He he will


not saying you support his specific plan to cut VAT to 17 were 5%.


is a matter of judgement as to what you do to support the economy. I


support the critique he has mounted in relation to that and I will not


second-guess the individual judgments. It sounds like a no.


It sounds like that to me, but viewers will make up their minds.


The Office for Budget Responsibility has downgraded the


growth forecasts for this year and next year. One of the main reasons


why it is the incredible squeeze on living standards at the moment. The


poorer you are, the tighter the squeeze. There is a danger that


this is a vicious circle and you won't get the growth that you need.


You have to take tough action to deal with the problems we inherited.


No doubt you are going to ask about Greece later on in the programme.


Greece is an abject lesson in what happens if the Government spends


more than it can afford. You then have a horrible consequences, which


we can see. Back in 2005, in the 2005 general election, I warned


that the Labour Government was spending too much. More than the


country could afford. I spelled out exactly what cuts in spending


should take place. I want to move on. You mentioned Greece, so let's


move to my favourite musical. won't start singing. As you have


been hearing, whatever the trials and tribulations have been it for


the UK economy, spare a thought for Greece. Last night, George


Papandreou won a confidence vote in the Parliament. The struggle has


started. He is seeking to push through further unpopular austerity


measures to avoid defaulting on a country's debts. As MPs cast their


votes, thousands of protesters gathered to show their disquiet,


putting it mildly. Tim Willcox is in Athens. He survived that touch


and go vote. That does not guarantee that he will be able to


pass the austerity measures. are right. Most commentators


thought that he would pass the confidence vote last night and in


the end he did with the majority of 12. Far more difficult for him and


a far more difficult thing politically is to push through the


latest austerity package next week. 28 billion euros worth of austerity


measures, involving the selling-off of state assets, utilities like


electricity and water and this caught behind me. -- Court. There


will be more job losses and higher taxes as well. The protesters were


accepting that the vote would go his way, but they are adamant that


they don't want to sue the state crown jewels being sold off to the


highest bidder just to pay the interest on the debts that they


blame the eurozone for. normally see protests, and


sometimes they are a vocal minority, but does this represent the mood in


Greece at the moment? Not entirely. Having been here just a couple of


days it is interesting. A lot of private sector workers have taken a


lot of pain in the last couple of years. They have been told their


salary will be hard, take it or leave it. Many people have suffered


a lot. They have looked at the public sector workers and thought


they have a cushy number, and that there are too many people doing not


quite enough for the country. There is a divide between public sector


and private sector workers here. Last night it was interesting. It


was not the fat cats of the public sector losing their cushy jobs,


paid well with good pensions. There were more middle-class people there,


very worried about what the austerity package would mean for


them. A real cross-section of people last night. No real violence,


none of the anarchy that we have seen in recent weeks. The police to


disperse them with tear gas. I think that George Papandreou will


have a tough job on his hands to get this through. I have been


speaking to the Finance Minister who took Greece into the euro in


2001. He said he had no regrets about doing that. He said it was


like giving a family first class tickets and I asked if they could


afford it and he said they did have bought it for a while with great


growth. He said that the bail out package from the IMF and the ECB


was too much pitched towards austerity and not growth. That is


why he thought the latest austerity package would be good for growth.


Thank you very much. Very clear. While Anita was on the line to


Athens, the Associated Press have reported that the German Chancellor,


of course they will be the ones putting up the money if there is


another bail out, Angela Merkel is warning that full-scale


restructuring of Greek debt would have an controllable consequences


on the financial markets. -- uncontrollable. Berlin are still


holding out. We are joined by MEP, Daniel Hannan. We also have our


guests of the day. Regardless of what the Chancellor is saying, is


there not a widespread expectation that at the end of the day, after a


second bail out, or a third, that Greece will default? An almost


universal expectation. The only people that deny it, or pretend to


deny it, of the eurozone finance ministers. Unbelievably they are on


the verge of committing another 80 billion on top of the 110 billion


euros committed 13 months ago, which we were told was a one-off to


get Greece through the liquidity crisis. Those bail out have not


been useless, they have been actively harmful. The result is


Greece now owes more money. The debt has been spread from a small


number of bankers to the taxpayer is in general. The more we defer


this problem, the worse the reckoning when it comes. Greece got


a massive bail out last year, 110 billion euros. Since then, the


price of Greek debt has been through the roof. Greece still


cannot borrow. The only people lending to the Greeks of the


European Central Bank and the IMF. The price that they had to pay,


cutting the size of the state, not once there was servant has lost a


job. The privatisation programme, nothing has been privatised. Is it


time to get real and realise we have to bite the bullet? There are


two things here. Firstly, Greece has to make fundamental structural


changes to the economy. The balance between public and private sector,


competition and so on. It is not as simple as saying, OK, let's cast


them adrift. Let the eurozone put them out. I was not saying that. I


was simply saying they would have to default on the debt. As things


are going at the moment, at the likelihood of practical default, in


terms of running things over and extending the repayment, that looks


inevitable. That is why I think it would be far better... Firstly,


Greece have to play their part, but the eurozone in particular has to


realise that if you have a single currency, it comes with


consequences. The stronger people have to help restructure the weaker.


That has appeared in the United States. Yes, but that is one


country. That is right. But we have the fix that was adopted when the


euro was put in place. We just about got away with it in the good


times, but in bad times it is coming unstuck. That is why I have


argued in my article in the Times that the eurozone has to accept


that if you want a single currency to last, then you have to do


something and play an active part in making the necessary changes in


Greece, but not just in Greece, other countries, too. Michael


Howard in his article in the Times this morning, at he asked the


question of whether the eurozone could survive in its current form.


He did not quite answer that but he did raise the question. What is


your opinion? When you consider the future of the eurozone, you have to


take into account the extent to which there is an almost, and


perhaps you can delete the world almost, irrational commitment on


the part of political leaders, not on the part of the people living in


the eurozone, but on the part of many of their political leaders, to


keep the eurozone in being as it is, regardless of the consequences.


They see it as an absolute touchstone of their European dream.


I fear that their countries, their populations, will play a very heavy


price for this. It is the sort of thing that Daniel and I warned


about all those years ago, when we were opposing our entry into the


euro. One thing I want to say about what Alastair has said, he alighted


at the beginning of his response to you. First of all he said EU, then


he said the eurozone has to play its part. The eurozone certainly


has to but the EU does not. In my article I make it clear this is


about the eurozone. I have read it. 12.5 billion and all of the bail


out, the European stabilisation mechanisms, which is twice as much


as we saved in awe of the cuts. That is true, and also because of


our IMF commitment, and as I say in the article, it is in our interests


to have a stable euro. It is in our interests that European Union gets


through this crisis. It might have been better if we turned the clock


back 11 years, if there had been a smaller core of eurozone countries.


Then they could have got into a state that others might have wanted


to join. That did not happen. The problem now is that we have got


Greece on the edge of default, with huge exposures to French and German


banks, and other banks in Europe as well. The idea that if Greek --


Greece does default, but it will be confined to Greece, and not


spreading into Ireland and Portugal, that is like allowing human beings


to go bust and hoping for the best. We have drawn that analogy. Let me


ask you, Daniel, a lot of people is said that the single currency could


not work unless there were fiscal transfers. So a single fiscal


policy as well. Some people are now arguing for that. Does that put


Europe at a severe Crossroads? puts it at odds with its own


population, as Michael said. Rather than saying it has not been


successful for European integration increase, instead they are saying


it is successful and let's have more. We need fiscal union,


economic union. It would be nice to hear some acknowledgement from all


of the people in Britain that 10 years ago wanted to take us into


the euro, which would have put us into this precise as if not worse,


I have yet to hear it from Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, any


of the people that sat there telling us we would be finished if


we did not join. Free advice but don't hold your breath. Are you all


Euro-sceptics? I am not in that camp. You were prow not to take us


into the euro. -- proud not to take us into the euro. Yes, but I am not


in favour of joining it. Have you ever been? No. You were in the


Treasury when Gordon Brown said that everybody was in favour.


have to go to PMQs and we will talk about it during that. It is time


for the Guess The Year quiz. Worryingly, we have some


competition. President Obama is getting in on the act. Look at this


mug. That should put all of those Birthright doubts to rest. In case


it does not, look at the back. That is his birth certificate. What sort


of mug would not believe that? You don't want to waste your time


spending $20 on one of those. What you want is one of these. I am


afraid that my Paisley birth certificate is not on the back, and


neither is Anita's London one. We were both born in Inner Mongolia


and we will not tell you about it. And we don't want to tell you how


old we are! First, can you tell us # The time has come for me to hang


my head in shame. Their ashes have been piled up in


the amounts of Auschwitz and the fields. Their blood Christ to


heaven. But their voice cannot be # Just running scared.


# Age place we go. ICN by parachute, the rebels have struck along the


coast within Havana. -- by C and by OK, to be in with any chance of


winning the mug, please send your answers to this e-mail addressed.


For terms and conditions, please go to the website. It is almost no day.


Big Ben. That can only mean one thing, Prime Minister's Questions.


Kevin Maguire from the Mirror. What does Ed Miliband go on? Which U-


turn does he choose? I think you should choose military. Army, navy,


air force, all attacking David Cameron. He says you do the


fighting and I will do the talking. I would make David talk about


defence cuts today. That would be interesting from a Labour


opposition leader, arguing Tory weakness from defence. Take the


battle to David Cameron. We know there is a lot of unease on the


Conservative benches on those cuts. David Davies is saying that Britain


is no longer a military power. wonder what has happened to the


money, then. How much unease is there on the Labour benches about


Miliband's personal poll ratings? His opponents that have never


backed him have become more vocal and those that supported him are


going quiet. Would you agree with me that whatever happens, well, as


things stand at the moment, Ed Miliband will lead his party into


the next election? Likely but not I was unaware of that event, but I


wish you a happy anniversary. I'm sure the whole House would wish to


join me in paying tribute to craftsman Andrew Found that the


Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Corporal Lloyd Newell


from the Parachute Regiment and private Gareth Bellingham from the


3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment. They were talented, brave and


dedicated soldiers who made the bottom at sacrifice overseas for


the safety of British people at home. We send out our deepest


condolences to their families, friends and colleagues of Dr this


morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others


and I shall have further such meetings later today. Kerry


McCarthy. I thank the prime minister for that response and can


I associate myself with the moving tributes he has just paid. A year


ago with the Chancellor stood up to deliver his first Budget. Given


that on the Government's own assessment, the efforts will have a


statistically insignificant impact on child poverty, can I recommend


the prime minister watches the BBC documentary bought kits to find out


how the other half lives and can I ask him if he regrets allowing his


chance that to take money away from families with children rather than


the bankers who caused a crisis? High I will look at the programmes


each honourable lady mentions, but even at a difficult time, this


money put more money into the poorest families, we have frozen


council tax and we have taken steps to help working families and the


budget and the subsequent Budget, neither of them raised Child


poverty because of the steps we took. We inherited a complete mess


from the party opposite, but we are dealing with it in a way that


protects families. Can the Prime Minister confirm that this country


will not be contributing a penny towards the Greek bail-out other


than what we contribute to the IMF? The honourable lady is right, we


are senior members of the IMF, we sit on the IMF board, we have


responsibilities as members ofs of the IMF it. We were not involved in


the first Greek bail-out, we are not members of the eurozone and we


will not become members of the eurozone as long as I am standing


here. I don't believe the European financial mechanism should be used


for Greece and we don't think that is appropriate and I don't believe


that should happen. Ed Miliband. Can I join the Prime Minister in


paying tribute to craftsman Andrew Found from the Royal Electrical and


Mechanical Engineers, Corporal Lloyd Newell from the Parachute


Regiment and private Gareth Bellingham from 3rd Battalion the


Mercian Regiment. They all served their country with dedication and


bravery and our hearts go out to their family and friends. Armed


forces date is also coming up this Saturday and that is an opportunity


to remind us all of the service that is provided by the armed


forces in Afghanistan, Libya and all around the world. It is a


moment to recognise the service they provide with honour and


courage for our country. We support the mission in Libya, but in the


last week both the First Sea Lord and the Commander in Chief Air


Command have raised concerns over the prospect of an extended


campaign. Can the Prime Minister take this opportunity to assure the


House that sufficient resources are in place to maintain Britain's part


in the mission at the current rate of engagement? Can I join the right


honourable gentleman in paying tribute to our armed forces, I am


particularly looking forward to our Armed forces Day on Saturday, when


we will celebrate the contribution they make to our national life and


the enormous and that they do to keep us safe. In terms of Libya,


similar to the mission in Afghanistan, it is funded out of


the reserve so it does not put additional pressures on the defence


budget. I have sought assurances and received them from the Chief of


Defence Staff General Sir David Richards that we are capable of


keeping up this operation for as long as it takes. I think that is


vital and I would argue that the pressure is building on Gaddafi,


time is on our side, not on Gaddafi's side. When you look at


what is happening in Libya, you see a strengthening of the revolt in


the West, more people deserting Gaddafi's regime, growing


unpopularity of his regime and other coalition holding strong,


time is on our side, pressure is growing and I believe we will take


it to a satisfactory conclusion. am with the Prime Minister that we


should keep up the pressure on the Libyan regime and we do provide


powerful support for the mission. But don't the concerns that have


been expressed by members of our armed forces point to something


very important, the need to look again at the Strategic Defence and


Security Review precisely to make sure that we have the right


capability and we have the right focus. The Foreign Secretary


described the Arab Spring as a more important event and 9/11. But the


National Security Strategy published last year doesn't mention


Libya, Egypt or Tunisia. Isn't it right, in the light of the changes


we have seen, to look again at the Strategic Defence and Security


Review to make sure we can sustain the conflict in Libya? I am


grateful for the question, because it is important. One of the reasons


for having a National Security Council that its weekly is all the


time to ask if we have the right resources, do we have the right


strategy. We have had a review of the national security and Defence


Review over the last year. For point I would make is this. That


strategic Defence Review did actually put in place mechanisms to


say we may well be fighting two conflicts at the same time fault


but it also put in place the necessity of having a very flexible


armed forces say exactly the sort of operations we are fighting and


dealing with in Libya. The point I would also make it as it does seem


to be strange, having not had one for 10 years, to then want to have


two Strategic Defence Reviews within one year. We have got the


right flexibilities in our armed forces, they are performing


magnificently in Libya. If anything I would like to speed up the


implementation of the strategic Defence Review because so much of


the new equipment we are looking to have in terms of drones and things


like that, it would be helpful to have them now. Far from being the


wrong strategic posture, it is right and it is good we are putting


it in place. I think it will come as news to the wider defence and


security community that there has been a review of the original


Strategic Defence and Security Review. If there has been a review


since the Arab Spring took place, why doesn't the Prime Minister


publish the results of that review? Let's have a consultation with the


experts who know about these issues. There is clear concern across the


military about some of these issues. Let me ask the Prime Minister, and


let me say this to this in all sincerity. When our military chiefs


raised concerns and raised legitimate concerns about the


conduct of our operations, surely it is not the right thing to say


you did the fighting and I will do the talking. In retrospect, was at


that very crass and high-handed? -- wasn't that. I have huge respect


for the people that run hour armed services, they do in incredibly


good job, they are very professional and they are involved


in the National Security Council, they were involved in the drawing


up of the National Strategic Defence Review will but the only


point I have made is when you are at war, and we are in Afghanistan


and Libya, it is very important, whether you are a political or


military leader, to think very carefully about what you are about


to say. Can I ask the Prime Minister if he is aware of the


decision abruptly made to close the Passport Office in which, which has


obliged a six year-old boy to make 200 mile round trip to an interview


and another constituent to travel to Newcastle. Is this acceptable?


will look very closely at the point my honourable friend raises. But in


the modern age, we have all sorts of ways of carrying out interviews


that don't necessarily involve people having to travel to a


passport my office. Her what matters is having an efficient


service so people can get the documentation they need. Given the


number of U-turn as the prime minister has made, including on


sentencing, NHS reform, Forestry sell-off and school reforms, it is


a wonder that he knows which way he is facing. But will he now have the


Prime minister. I did not get all of that. That is the trouble but a


dark it is a reminder of the importance of government


backbenchers keeping calm and quiet, not least so that prime minister


Count hear properly. It would probably also help if you


didn't read out the whip's it at the start of the question. I think


the question was about the important point about women and


pensions. What I would say is this. I do think it is right to have the


equalisation of men's and women's pension age at 65 and that is going


ahead. I also think it is important to raise the pension age to 66


because the fact is people are living longer and our country, that


is a good thing, but we have to make sure we can pay for good


pensions for the future. It seems to me the alternative is to stick


your head in the sand, end up with a situation where you either end up


cutting pensions or building up debts for our children that would


frankly irresponsible. This government is taking difficult


decisions, but I think they are the right ones. Does the Prime Minister


agree there is still too much homophobia in sport, especially


football, and the event he is hosting later today in Downing


Street will go some way to tackling that prejudice. Her I completely


agree with my honourable friend and I am delighted to be hosting a


party for Britain's lesbian, gay and Trans ended community in


Downing Street today. One of the issues in sport is Hamp few out


players there are end all sorts of sports, and I applaud those who are


coming tonight, and I hope that will encourage schoolchildren to


recognise homophobic bullying is completely unacceptable. If the


Prime Minister is serious about tackling the issue of runaway


fathers, which he said last week, why is he making it harder for


single mothers to get maintenance payments by charging them extra


child support? We are going to go on funding a child support a


mechanism and it is right that we do. But I don't think it is wrong


to ask people to make a contribution to that. Taxpayers


currently are putting in a huge amount of money, they will go on


putting in money, but to ask people to pay the wharves -- towards the


cost does not reduce the impact of what I said. People that walk away


from their responsibilities and don't fund their children, that


should not be allowed to happen in Britain today. Next year, it is the


centenary of the death of Captain Robert Scott on the Antarctic. Does


my right honourable friend recognise that this brave, historic


son of Plymouth left a significant scientific legacy which is still


today helping to form the world's environmental agenda? I thank my


honourable friend for raising this issue and it is an important


centenary coming up and I am pleased so much is going on across


the country to celebrate that, particularly in Plymouth. I would


make a point that it is not just the scientific discoveries that are


important, it is the inspirational figure, the adventure -- adventurer


and and -- explorer, that incredible sense of adventure he


had that inspires young people today. The Prime Minister has been


forced to abandon his original plans on sentencing. Will he now


changed his mind on the proposal to prevent police holding the DNA of


those arrested but not charged with Per and he had we will look


carefully at the issues of DNA. I have to say to the right honourable


gentleman, we inherited an unacceptable situation with a DNA


database that had grown out of control and without proper rights


for people. We have put in place a better system, there is always room


to see if it can be improved, but we made a big step forward from the


mess we're at were left by the last government. It is a bit lace --


late to be looking at the proposal, it is in the House of Commons. Let


me explain his own policy to the Prime Minister. Around 5,000 people


each year are arrested on suspicion of rope and not charged. -- rope. I


know he wants some help from the Home Secretary. In certain cases,


these individuals have gone on to commit further offences and be


convicted as a result of the DNA being held on a national database.


But his proposal is that for those arrested and not charge, the DNA


will be disposed of straight away. discard the DNA of those arrested


but not charged? By Nova mack is some concern -- I know there is


some concern. The more noise, the greater the difficulty in getting


Order. I understand, Mr Speaker, there is some worry that in this


Government we actually talk to each other! This is clearly not the case.


The Shadow Chancellor raises this issue. It is perfectly clear that


the Shadow Chancellor and the leader of the Labour Party don't


speak to each other at all. And I have the proof, Mr Speaker. Because


this week he made a huge announcement on a massive VAT cut,


and yet it was only... JEERING. us focus on an answer to the


question and then we will move on to the next question. Mr Ed


Miliband. Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker... Let me give this lesson to the


Prime Minister... STEERING. It will be better to talk to his colleagues


before they perform the policy, not afterwards. Instead of listening to


the Home Secretary, why not listen to the rape crisis representative?


With the reporting of rapes on the increase and conviction rates still


shockingly low, the evidence this database provides is vital. The


more of this data we hold, the more chance we have of catching rapists.


Sue says this really is a no- brainer. Mr Speaker, this is


another policy on crime that is callous, not thought through and


out of touch. Why doesn't he think again? First of all, if he actually


understood the policy, he would no... If he understood the policy


he would know that the police are allowed to apply to keep DNA on the


commuter, not something that he mentioned. -- computer. He comes up


with some idea, gets it completely wrong in the House of Commons, and


we will find afterwards that he has given us a partial picture. That is


what his questions are all about. Not surprising he does not want to


talk. The hands of the Prime Minister must be heard. The Prime


Minister. -- the answer. I am not surprised that he does not want to


talk about the issues that his party has been putting forward this


week because I don't suppose his party have talked. Order. We need


to simmer down. As a parrot, I am appalled at the party opposite


burgeoning our children with ever more unsolicited debts. The party


opposite of putting fees for word with their tax cuts and spending


commitments, on which the VAT cut is the latest. Order! The


honourable gentleman will now resume his seat. Thank you, Mr


Speaker. There are 400 avoidable deaths of people with epilepsy and


other conditions. I ask for an immediate referral to the tertiary


specialist, and in education support for children with an


assessment so that they can fulfil their potential. Could the Prime


Minister and meet with me, the Joint Epilepsy Council and


Professor Helen Cross, to progress these provisions which will not


only save costs but also lives? I would be delighted to meet with


her and Helen Cross, who I know well. She works at Great Ormond


Street and is an absolutely brilliant clinician, and someone


that I know well. I am keen to improve the support that we give to


people with epilepsy. One of the steps that we are taking is putting


in place more personal budgets and more single assessments, which I


think will help with epilepsy. My understanding is that there are


many good things in her bill, but there is some concern that it could


have too much of the medical approach to special educational


needs. I have some sympathy with that but I know many professionals


have their concerns about we could talk about that when we meet.


my honourable friend tell the House what the results have been? What


would a proposed cut in VAT do to the British economy at this stage


in the cycle? I do think my right honourable friend raises an


important point. Making a uncut to VAT right now, when the concerns


are about deficit would be insanity. -- unfunded cut. Labour's Plan B


stands for bankruptcy. The Prime Minister frequently tells us that


we are all in this together. Can he explain why banks are being


rewarded with a �2 billion tax cut on their obscene bonuses and


parents of disabled children are being penalised with the benefit


cut of �1,400 per year? How is that fair? I tell you what this


Government has done, which has put in place a �2.5 billion bank Levy,


raising more than Labour's bonus tax, every single year. If members


opposite want to see irresponsible people are earning a lot of money


paying proper taxes, perhaps they can explain this. Why did they


voted in as the measures on disguised earnings in the Finance


Bill that would raise �800 million from people that are giving loans


to themselves to dodge taxes? I think that is probably a detail but


the leader of the Labour Party was not really aware of. While of


course we should not be making a unilateral contribution to the


Greek bail-out, does the Prime Minister not agree that we have


something that would help regenerate the Greek economy and


put right a 200 year wrong, and that is to give the marbles back?


am afraid I don't agree with the honourable gentleman. Order. I want


to hear the Prime Minister's views on marbles! The short answer is


that we are not going to lose them! Is the Prime Minister aware that


670,000 people, two-thirds of home according to his Government


equality impact assessment have a disability, will lose up to �13 per


week because of his changes in housing benefit and occupancy


roles? This is a complete betrayal of his Chancellor's promise not to


balance the budget on the backs of the poor. I have looked carefully


at this issue and I know there are concerns. The point and make his


first. It is right that we Reform Housing Benefit. The cost of got


out of control, raising two 22 billion. The cost of housing


benefit should reflect the size of the family not the House. But we


have made an exception to people that have carers so that an


allowance is made in the housing benefit. It is no good saying you


are in favour of welfare reform and cutting the costs of welfare but


never being able to find a single part of the bill that you agree


with. Will the Prime Minister join me in welcoming a new report by the


mobility Reform Group? They show how through partnership working


they can deliver wheelchairs that transform young people's lives.


Will he meet with me and the ambassadors to discuss how the


Government can take this forward? know that charity well, they are


excellent. I will certainly arrange a meeting for him. The point we


want to make on wheelchairs is that we want to the health care reforms


to give greater choice for GPs and patients so people can get the


wheel chair of their choice, at the time they needed, rather than just


having to take what you are given. Over five years there have been no


mistakes made in the setting of school examination papers. Since


the 16th May this year there have been 10 mistakes made. What does


the Prime Minister intend to do for those among the 250,000 young


people affected, who lose either the University of choice or the


university at all because of this staggering incompetence?


honourable gentleman is right and this is not an acceptable situation.


We have discussed this and we are taking a strong course to make sure


this does not happen again. former Labour Secretary of State


Lord Hutton has described current proposals on pension reform as the


best chance we have to deliver sustainable system which is fair to


both scheme payers and the taxpayer. Does my right honourable friend


agree with me that when it comes to these major long-term issues, we


should build the broadest possible consensus? Will he seek the support


of both sides of the House for the proposals? I thank my honourable


friend for the question and for the way that he puts it. The point is


this. The Hutton Report is a good report. It is not about attacking


and downgrading public sector pensions. It is a way of making a


big public sector pension affordable into the long term. It


is respecting all of the accrued rights that people have. We need to


win the argument here on the basis of fairness. It is right for the


taxpayer to put money into public sector pensions, but we do need to


know they are affordable for the long term. The steps that Lord


Hutton puts forward are absolutely right and I hope the party opposite


will take a responsible view and recognise that we need to make this


change for the long-term good of our country. 18 months ago one of


my constituents required knee surgery and was pleased to hear he


only had to wait six weeks. In our needs another operation and has to


wait 10 months. He is in agony and unable to walk. He is angry and


wants to know if this is what the Prime Minister meant when he said


the NHS was safe in his hands. you give me the case, I will look


at it. We have not changed the waiting-list targets which have


been in place in the NHS for a long time, in particular the two week


target which is part of the NHS constitution. -- 18 week target.


Waiting times have come down. The lesson is this. If it was not for


this Government putting in �11 billion extra, money that the party


opposite does not support, all waiting times would go up. On July


18th last year, the economic Secretary to the Treasury stated


with regard to the decision to sign Britain up to the eurozone bail-out


mechanism that, and I quote, where these decisions were taken by the


previous Government, this Government judges them to be an


appropriate response to the crisis. Does this remained a Government's


position? I know my honourable friend is pursuing this issue with


his normal boggart tenacity. The facts of this case of very clear. -


- are very clear. The Government signed us up to a European


financial mechanism which we are having to pay out under. This


Government has got us out of it by tougher glaciation in Brussels so


that we don't have to contribute after 2015. -- tough negotiations.


Can I express condolence for those soldiers that have fallen in


Afghanistan? Those that serve are the lines of our country and we


must do everything we can to repay the debt of gratitude that we owe


them. The October, 2010, STS are has been overtaken by events and


the world is a different place. Will he do the right thing for the


armed forces and the country and order a new chapter to this


outdated review? I respect of the honourable gentleman said, and


particularly his fitting tribute to the armed forces. I think the idea


of totally re- opening the defence review at a time when our armed


forces are engaged and doing such a fantastic job is actually the wrong


one. I make this point. What the defence review was all about was


making sure that we have flexible armed forces so they can be


committed to different parts of the world and they get the backing they


need. It was about getting rid of the main battle tanks in Germany


and Britain money into the enablers and the forces of the future. That


is what the defence review is about. Libya shows that it is working and


we should stick with it. Will my right honourable friend welcome the


campaign for high-speed rail campaigning outside Parliament


today to bring thousands of much- needed jobs to the Midlands and the


North, to help address the North- South divide? Will he confirm that


it will come to Yorkshire? I can happily confirm all of those things.


I do believe if we really are serious about trying to rebalance


our economy, make sure we get growth across the country and not


just in the South East, then the time for high-speed rail has come


and that is why it has my strong support. The Secretary of State for


Wales has said she is prepared to be sacked because of opposition on


high-speed rail. I prefer to focus on the fact that in one year as


Welsh Secretary, she has secured something that 13 years of your


Welsh Secretary never achieved, which was the Elettra vocation of


the line between Paddington and Cardiff. -- electrification.


agoraphobic man from Middlesbrough received so much money from state


benefits that he set up his own illegal loans company. He received


a staggering amount of money in benefits, according to the judge at


his trial. We should reform the benefits system. You are absolutely


right. The people that sent us here what us to sort out the welfare


system so that it is available for people that genuinely need help,


but if you can work and you are offered a job, you should not live


your life on welfare. We voted for it but what a pity that the party


opposite talked about it but did not have the guts to back it.


people know that Rochdale is the home of co-operation. Next year is


the United Nations International Year of co-operatives. Will the


Prime Minister consider visiting Rochdale to show support for mutual


isn't in the 21st century? I know the Prime Minister's record of


visiting Rochdale and what can happen when he gets there. I am a


strong supporter of co-operatives and mutuals. They have a huge role


to play in our economy and in the provision of public services, and


we will be making some announcements about that, maybe in


Rochdale, in the months to come. Earlier this year, the Prime


Minister demonstrated strength of character to talk about the issue


of multiculturalism. In view of the fact that I have a Christian first


game and seeks surname, I try to combine the best of my traditional


Indian values with my English values. We can learn a lot from our


Indian partners, many of whom define themselves by their


nationality first and foremost, regardless of religious and ethnic


background. I pay tribute to my honourable friend and the work that


he does on this issue. It is vital as a country that we build a


stronger national identity. People clearly feel that of course you can


have all sorts of different religious identities and cultural


identities, but it is very important that we build a strong


British identity and he is living proof of that. Tomorrow the


European Parliament will decide whether to reduce the EU carbon


reduction target by 30% in 2020. According to reports, the vote will


be very close but it will not pass because one Conservative MEP out of


25 will vote to for the 30% target alone. Will they honour the


agreement and vote for the target tomorrow? We are committed to the


30% target and nothing will change that. I will do a deal with the


honourable lady. I will work with my MEPs if she works on hers. In


recent months that they have voted for a higher its EU budget, you EU


taxes, and they even voted against scrapping first class air travel


for MEPs. Perhaps she would like to fly over and give them a talking


to? Last but not least. With the National Audit Office estimating


the cost of criminal reoffending to the economy at �10 billion per year,


does my right honourable friend agree with me that the need to


reduce offending levels on the unacceptably high rates we


inherited from the last Government must be the focus of a penal


policy? My honourable friend has considerable experience because of


his career before coming to this place. We inherited a system


whereby each prison place cost �40,000, half of prisoners reoffend


within a year of getting out, half of prisoners are wrong drugs, and


10% of foreigners that should not be in this country in any event.


The key is to make sure that we reduce costs and reform prisons,


He went on the military and the complaints of the top brass in


Britain. Then he came back and almost an issue from left field


because no one was expecting it, on keeping their DNA of those who have


been arrested on rape, but not convicted. We will come back to


that issue in a moment. Before we do that, let's hear what you


thought. By and large, more positive about


Ed Miliband than I can remember for a long time. Last week it was due


to a good performance, and this There are tweets from political


correspondent and they have been quite positive. As for your


comments, very thoughtful. Charles says David Cameron was equivocal


about when that Britain would pay for the Greek bail-out, he should


be much clearer about whether there is a possibility on Britain being


made to contribute. Colin, when our scoring the first question, did


Cameron never categorically say the UK would not give money to Greece


in future bail-outs? Gym, last week Miliband had to prove he was a


bruiser to silence the critics, this week he is using Libya to show


he is a statesman and the Tories are not necessarily the natural


party of the military. Jacqueline says, I am disgusted at the


absolute weakness of the Labour MP talking about U-turns, this


government listens. What is the point of having green papers if you


don't debate them? Charles, why do the gunman shout and yell if there


is an awkward question on new terms and pensions, it is an obvious


stage-managing tactic. The Prime Minister stated we were at war with


Libya, I thought it was humanitarian action. Was it just a


slip or can we expect something else next?


Interesting. He certainly did say we were at war. Two walls. Michael


Howard, we have had the First Sea Lord speaking out, we have had the


air Chief Marshal speaking out, head of the RAF, and we have had


the Chief of the General Staff speaking out, head of the army. As


the Telegraph says, that prime minister surely must accept


something is going badly awry when such a senior officers feel obliged


to vent their so far -- have done their frustrations. It is easy for


senior officers to in effect ask for more. That is what they are


doing. The challenge for anyone who is saying we ought to redo the


Strategic Defence Review is where are you going to find the money? We


know we have to tackle the deficit. Every department has to play its


part in achieving that objective. The defence department is one such


department. As I have heard Liam Fox say many times, if you accept


the amount of money which is available for the defence


department and you do a strategic Defence Review, you come up with a


Defence Review which the Government announced an published and is


implementing. That is the challenge for those who seek to criticise,


where is the extra money going to come from? As one Labour MP pointed


out, not Mr Miliband, the Defence Review did not mention Tunisia or


Algeria or Egypt or Libya. Yes, but that doesn't mean we haven't been


performing our role in accordance with the limitations imposed by the


United Nations Security Council resolution very effectively in


Libya in partnership with other countries. We are not doing it on


our own and we are doing it pursuant to wait Security Council


resolution and we're doing it effectively. The Air Chief Marshal


says these huge demands on the RAF and in the morale among MN is


fragile. The RAF's ability to conduct future operations will be


compromised if the Libyan conflict lasted be on September. Well, let's


hope there aren't any unknown future operations. We didn't think


there... I remember when the prime minister was Leader of the


Opposition, he told us you could not impose democracy from 30,000


feet. Within a few months, Eurofighter jets are dropping bombs


from over 15,000 feet. Not seeking to impose anything on anybody, we


are seeking to protect civilians. I believe that if his action had not


been taken and we had seen a bloodbath in Benghazi, as we


absolutely would have seen, public opinion would have been horrified


and would have said to the Government, what did you do to stop


it? It was noteworthy that Ed Miliband, in the course of his


questioning of the Prime Minister, maintained his support for the


mission in Libya. If you maintain that support, certain consequences


flow from it. Alistair Darling, would it be fair to say that if


Labour had won the election, and he had remained as Chancellor, as you


had agreed he would, Labour would have had to have done a Defence


Review which, in strategic terms, would not have been that different


from the one the coalition has done. Of course we would. There are long-


term problems in the MoD particularly in relation to


procurement. Also, successive governments have always anticipated


that we would be doing less in defence, not more, but then events


come along, whether it was Iraq or Afghanistan, now Lydia, which means


we are committing troops and there is a cost to that. Like Michael, I


agree that we could not have stood by and let a bloodbath occur in


Libya. However, interesting listening to David Cameron, there


is no doubt that our policy has moved from that. He was talking


about time being on our side and it was only a matter of time before


Gaddafi when. We will be pleased when Gaddafi goes, but that


suggests we might be in this for quite a long time, which brings me


to the Chiefs of Staff, who are saying that if you commit British


forces, whether they are unable or air forces, for a long period, that


comes that is a - at a cost. There is no saying it comes from the


Reserve, that his public expenditure, just as much as if it


came out of the MoD Leger. There has been a degree of mission creep.


The other thing that worries me is that every time we say we should


not be and this alone, if you look at who is engaged in Libya at the


moment, it is basically as and the French. We can't carry on becoming


engaged that way. That is not to say we stand aside, if we are faced


with another similar situation, nobody can put up with that, but I


think that chiefs of staff are making good boy. If Gordon Brown


had said you did the fighting, I'll do the talking, he would have been


pulverised. That was a silly thing of David Cameron to say. The second


three questions were on the issue of the DNA samples. Do you think,


given that he went on a specific problem with cancer patients last


week as a result of the welfare reforms, is it now his tactic to


pick something quite particular that involves a detailed knowledge?


He is operating on the assumption that the Prime Minister is


sometimes not so good on the detail. No, it is David Cameron's Achilles


heel. We saw it the previous week with 7,000 cancer victims who would


lose money, David Cameron was not on top of it, and he was struggling


to date. He is very stylish, but sometimes this substance is more


difficult. I think Ed Miliband, who is not always stylish but knows the


detail, is going to work away at that. He got under the prime


minister's skin. I suspect, before Prime Minister's Questions, David


Cameron will be breaking out into cold sweats, worrying about those


details. I want to pick up before we left off before PMQs. I said,


would you accept that from what we know now, despite the criticisms,


it is as certain as it can be that Mr Miliband will lead Labour into


the next election? You were not quite as certain, explain what you


mean. I think it is likely he will, but I don't think it is certain.


There is so much background noise in Parliament about it, right from


the beginning. A majority of MPs did not support him. I know some


who supported him who now regret it. Some quite senior, some people and


the Shadow Cabinet. He is on a kind of Probation, really. The Labour


constitution in opposition is very different. In power you need 20% of


MPs to sign for somebody else. It is only 12.5%... Let me get


Alistair Darling's reaction. I think he will lead us into the next


election. I supported his brother, but I have been very clear that


once we had the election result, it was elected and he deserves to be


backed. As Michael will testify, once a leader is elected, he is


entitled to get the support of his whole party. I don't have time for


people going around murmuring in the background. It would put us out


of a job! I am not necessarily against that! Do you think


unemployment is high enough? sure you could get a job somewhere.


We need to move on. Kevin Maguire, thank you.


Now, here's a question - is the beautiful game sexist?


Cricket is not! Up Well, one female MP certainly thinks so. She's been


booted off the parliamentry football team because she's of the


fairer sex, and she ain't too happy about it. Here's Tracey Crouch, the


MP for Chatham and Aylsford, with Today's grassroots football


promotion for boys and girls is incredibly successful. Youth


development forming a key part of the County FA's development


programme so more and more girls than boys are playing organised


football every weekend. -- girls and boys. However girls growing up


in the 1980s were not supposed to play football. Except I did, I love


football, I played it in the garden, in the street and against the shop


wall. The only time I did not play it was at school when I was not


allowed to play football. At primary I would try to play at


break time, but I was told it was not ladylike. Then I went to an all


girls' secondary school where it was all hockey and netball. It


wasn't until I went to university that I played my first 11 aside


match competitive league and then when I graduated I continued to


play 11 aside, including, an occasion, for the parliamentary


football team. But since I got elected last May, I have been


unable to play for the 11th azide team and have been limited to five-


a-side. It is still good fun and good exercise, but it is not great.


I support age restrictions, the walls are there to protect


youngsters. At 13 girls and boys are physically different and they


haven't developed the skills to play football maturely. However I


do think that once you get over 21 and you are a more mature


footballer, the rules should be reviewed, especially for amateur


Immaturity and common sense go hand-in-hand in the adult game.


Knee playing for the parliamentary football team or any other lady


playing in a pub or a charity match should not get caught up in roles


that are designed to protect 13- year-old girls. -- and rules.


Tracey Crouch is with us now. Without meaning to be dismissive at


the marvellous players in Parliament, why have they even


registered on the FA's radar? FA provide the opportunity for him


pays to plead that play football on a regular basis. A maybe begins


legend teams or charity teams. They provide the venues and referees so


they have to abide by the FA rules. Has it always just been the boys


that les? No. When I was a researcher for Michael Howard, I


used to play for the parliamentary football team. It is ironic that


now I'm an MP, I am not allowed to Why have they changed it? Do they


explain the discrepancy? The rules around mixed football are set by


FIFA and the FA have to abide by them. There are rules for mixed


football which protect young people playing against each other, and


those rules are right. It is right to protect 13 year-old girls and


boys. The fiscal differences mean that you have to use those rules.


You are not a burly bloke, aren't you worried that they will flatten


you? No. It is a competitive game but it is one of skill. You don't


need to be burly to play well. know that you are a big football


fan. Is this that Raiders of right and proper? At raiders. I am


totally on her side. -- outrageous. The don't sit on the fence!


there anything you can do about it? Why is that Blatter setting the


rules? It was the first time that I heard it was FIFA in charge. That


hardly encourages you. The parliamentary football team started


off as fun, and now it has reached the situation where it is


nonsensical that Tracey cannot play. The ride them to change the rules.


That always works. -- bribe them. And you could wear tighter shorts?!


Who takes up your position? Where do you normally play? The right


wing or centre forward. So you are fast? I used to be. Who does it


now? One of the chaps, I suppose. I have not been able to play since I


was MP. Since the election I have not been able to. Is there anything


you can do apart from coming on the programme and telling us it is


rubbish? I hope that the FA see sense. It is not an association


football match. It is a charity match or a friendly. I don't think


the FA rules should apply to those games. Speaking of FA rules, it


stay with us. There is another thing going on at the moment,


football-related. What about nationalism? Yesterday they


announced that there would be Team GB football teams competing at


London 2012. Not greeted with universal pleasure. Phil Pritchard,


you are not doing cartwheels? was historic agreement between all


of the Football Association's, but nobody had told the Scottish and


the Welsh. It would be a disaster. It sets an example that we do not


want to be replicated for World Cups and European football. I urge


the Olympic Committee to forget this and to leave Team GB alone.


When did you last qualify for World Cup? We are going back a few years


but we are hopeful for the European Championships. Scotland has not


made that bad a start. We are looking forward with positivity


with that one. Apart from making you feel sad, at my point is that


there could be some Scottish players that would like the chance


to play on an international stage. Kenny MacAskill once called England


football team the Great Satan. There is fantastic rivalry between


four of the home nations of the United Kingdom. I think that most


Scottish footballers accept it is all about independence of the


football teams. Scotland being able to compete in Europe, that is the


pinnacle of our game. Maybe a few administrators and nations care


about football at the Olympics. But nobody else really gives a fig.


am glad you said fake. Thank you. Let's turn to our Scottish


representatives. Team GB? I think there is an important point here.


There are people that would like to stop Scotland and Wales and


Northern Ireland competing and just to have the British team. There is


a philosophical argument. All things British. Listing to the guy


from the Olympics this morning, he sounded unconvinced about whether


or not there was an agreement to do this. I am Welsh. I have long


thought we should have Team GB. There are so many brilliant players


from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that have never had the


chance to play in a European Championship or the World Cup. I


think that Team GB could win it. don't think that football should be


part of the Olympics, actually. That is another debate. If it is


going to be part of the Olympics, it should be Team GB. Hold the


front page. The House of Lords is having a busy week this week,


believe it or not. Yes, Peers have been debating their own future.


They are always interested in that. Nick Clegg wants to turn it into


the senate of 300 members. Their rapid hundred at the moment. Peers


have also been mulling over who would be the new Speaker. -- there


are 800 at the moment. What does the job entail? Tension is rising.


No, it is! Did you know there was an election in Westminster soon?


You would be forgiven for not having heard of it. It is a done


your contest. Nominations close for the post of Lords speak of. What do


they do? This is Mr Bercow. We know his job and his famous cry of order.


You will not hear much of that from this lady. Baroness Hayman's role


as the current Speaker of the House of Lords is rather different to


demand that sits in this chair. That is not just because he sits in


a chair and she sits on a Woolsack. Yes, a sackful of wall. In the


Commons, the Speaker can call members to speak, he can rule on


points of order, he can select amendments on bills to be discussed,


and he has the power to chop a member out of the chamber. The


Lords Speaker can do none of that. The idea being they do not need


such robust hand on the tiller. Here, she is limited to chairing


debates, offering advice on procedural matters, acting as


ambassador to the work of the house. You will not hear her doing this.


Or do. The Government Chief Whip as no business what forever shouting


from a sedentary position. Order! The Honourable Gentleman will


remain in the chamber. That is because in the Lords the Speaker


cannot discipline any of the members. I am not entirely sure she


is even allowed to wake them up. history teacher used to sound like


the Speaker. Rupert Redesdale, Liberal Democrat peer, and


crossbench peer Lady de Sousa join us now. I am running but I am not


going to vote for myself. I do not believe the Speaker should have any


power. I am running to make sure that my fellow peers don't forget


that the House of Lords is self- regulated and should remain so.


Your campaign is to get no votes. I expect it is going pretty well?


can say it is almost 100% successful. I was standing in the


lobby and somebody said they were going to vote for me precisely


because they are not happy with the idea of a speaker getting power,


because that is a route for the executive to get power in the House


of Lords. Frances D'Souza, what do you think the job should entail?


feel passionately that the job is to do without reach. A lot of


people out there don't know what the House of Lords does. I think


there is a sterling job to do. An ambassador role, but really a


representational role. If you want to talk to Europe, who do you call?


That sounds a bit grand, but in the case of the House of Lords and you


want to talk to them, who do you call? Actually you need the Speaker


because they are the link with the outside world, a link to you, the


other parliaments and the House of Commons. I think that is worthwhile.


Who would you like to vote for? will not tell you who. I will give


you a clue. I am standing. One vote will go to me at least and it may


well come from me. Just because you are standing, that is not a clue.


It is not a clue with Rupert Redesdale. I have just been trying


to persuade my colleagues on my right that what he might be able to


do with his second vote is vote for me but he is not that convinced.


am clear that I will vote for you if you save that you will not take


any further powers as Speaker. house will decide on powers but I


have Furness said and I firmly believe that the job is an outward


facing one. -- firmly said. Will Nick Clegg get Lords reform?


question is whether we will get Lords reform? No. I think that his


way will be got in maybe about 10 years' time. I am not saying that


he won't get it, but it will take more time, I suspect. He will


probably be commissioner in Brussels by them. What do you


think? I think they could debated. I will be voting for reform but


whether it takes place, I doubt it. That option would not win. You want


his vote, don't argue! Thank you to both of you for being such good


sports and for joining us from the House of Lords. That is it. Have


you got a candidate? I don't know yet. The names are not in until


tomorrow. And you have not got a vote. Only a matter of time. Lord


Darling, that has got a ring. We will give you the answer to Guess


The Year tomorrow because we ran out of time, for a change. Thank


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