15/09/2011 Daily Politics


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Good afternoon. Welcome to The Daily Politics. The Prime Minister


has arrived in Tripoli, along with the French President. It is the


first visit by world leaders since the fall of Gaddafi. We will have


the latest. MPs are more popular than ever. The expenses scandal may


have faded, but could party funding be the next scandal to hit British


politics? And it is in the midst of the biggest crisis since its


inception. But is loyalty to the European Union a patriotic duty?


And could Aref it nudge be enough, to save hundreds of millions of


pounds of taxpayers' money? We have just saved 100 million,


with that little nudge! Anyway, all of that to come. With us for the


duration, former MP, N e be, and almost as big a star of daytime TV


as some of us, Robert Kilroy-Silk. Yes!. The Prime Minister is in the


Libyan capital, in Tripoli, along with President Sarkozy. They regard


themselves as a couple of victors. It is an important moment for the


new Libyan administration, as it seeks to establish itself. David


Cameron is set to make a number of announcements, including the


deployment of a UK military team to advise the National Transitional


Council on security. He has also vowed to return �500 million worth


of Libyan assets currently held in Britain. The Libyans will regard


that only as a down payment, they're looking for billions and


billions. Obviously, President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron


believe they were in the front of this, they will believe they have


been vindicated. Are they a bit premature, going to Tripoli?


Probably, I would think so. What I would like to ask, they have


visited the Transitional Council, has Cameron visited any of our


troops? Because I think that should have been his first port of call.


Well, officially, we do not have any troops in Libya. Not troops, I


meant servicemen and women, on ships. And in the air fields, not


least in Cyprus. I would like to think that his first port of call


would have been to go and talk to them. But leaving that to one side,


was he right to go? I don't know, yes, if it is going to mean that we


get contracts, let's be hard-headed about this. We want to get as much


out of it as we can. Although we also want a democratic Libya. But I


do suspect it is premature. worried that... Do you think he was


right to intervene, and he has been vindicated by events? I think he


has been vindicated, but I would not have wanted to sacrifice one


British life. And we haven't, so far, touch wood. But I think


revolutions have to be built from the bottom up. The Libyans have to


deliver themselves and create their own society. That is the only way


we can have real legitimacy or permanence, to give them help, yes,


I'm in favour of that. But I would not have wanted to sacrifice any


British blood for that. I did not see any Libyan brigade helping us


out in Bosnia or Kuwait or Iraq or Afghanistan. I do not genuinely


feel we have an obligation to actually help any revolution, by


physical force. We made our own revolution in England, the


Americans made their own revolution in America. The security is


apparently incredible for the two of them, and I guess that will


limit their ability to do much other than be there. Have the they


have gone to a hospital. They are now going to give a joint press


conference. Where they will talk about those practical issues.


there are any major developments, we will bring them to you. Now, it


is time for a quiz. It is one for those of you with a literary bent.


We want you to match the political author to their novel. We have got


author to their novel. We have got these ones... Is there a theme


going on here? But who wrote them? The candidates are Iain Duncan


Smith, Ann Widdecombe and Robert Kilroy-Silk. At the end of the show,


we will give you the right answer. I know! Don't tell anybody, they


will all be on Google right now. It is a test of non-intelligence! Last


year's general election brought a record number of new MPs three of


the taint of the expenses scandal. Public confidence in MPs is at an


all-time low, according to a new report from the Committee on


Standards in Public Life. It says that while MPs were already


unpopular, confidence has fallen particularly steeply since 2008.


Then, 46% of people thought MPs were dedicated to doing a good job.


By last year, that figure has fallen to just 26%. It leaves MPs


well below other public servants, such as judges or police officers.


The only profession less trusted his tabloid journalists. So, what


is behind this? The committee says the 2009 expenses scandal


exacerbated the downward trend, and the election of a new government


has not made people any more positive. Are there any rays of


hope? Well, the survey was carried out at the end of last year, before


MPs were seen to be crucial in exposing the malpractices of those


same tabloid journalists. But the survey shows that party funding is


of major concern to the public, with most people convinced that


donations lead to special favours. The committee warns the issue will


not go away. Joining us now from Sheffield, the Labour MP John Mann,


and in the studio, a Conservative MP. Welcome to both of you. I guess,


given that people regarded this scandal as being on such an


industrial scale, one election is industrial scale, one election is


not going to change public perception?


A absolutely not, and I'm not remotely surprised. That episode


did us a great deal of damage. But equally, I don't think a great deal


has changed. People have always generally had a healthy disregard


and disdain for politicians - well, for party politics. There is a kind


of schizophrenia. If you ask people what they think about politicians,


rather like journalists, they will say they are rubbish. But then they


will say, of course, you're all right. There are 650 members of


parliament, most of the working very hard. Locally, that is


recognise, but nationally, it isn't. How long will be expensive scandal


-- expenses scandal overshadowed British politics? Oh, for a long


time to come. Until Parliament gets its act together and is totally


transparent, and shows it is willing to be transparent, it will


go on. This is a cynicism and apathy building up, and that's the


real danger. They treat us with suitable contempt, really. Looking


at the last few years, you cannot blame them. The one politician who,


in the election, claimed to be different, famously unsuccessfully,


was Nick Clegg, and he went in on one big policy, tuition fees, and


then immediately did exactly the opposite. I think that has


reinforced the cynicism, where the public believes that politicians,


you are meant to have cleaned up your act. You have invented all of


these new bodies, expenses online, and all the rest of it - what more


needs to be done, in your view? is a good job that the public is


not taking too much interest. Because if they listen to all the


whingeing in Parliament about the new systems, and having some


transparency and accountability, they will be even more apathetic or


hostile. What we need to be seen to be done is to be fighting for


people, for the things that they regard as important, being there


for them, and talking straight. I think the one big difference is


that politicians should be prepared to give honest answers, regardless


of the consequences. I think that would go a long way to restoring


some faith in the process. It would make my job a lot easier as well.


Are you one of the whingers? there is no point in whingeing,


nobody makes us do it. I'm not whingeing. I will tell you, I will


whinge about John. If we're going to look after people, the House is


sitting today, I chaired a committee this morning to do with


renewable energy. There is a debate going on about poverty in the


Chamber of the House of Commons, and he is in Sheffield. Do you


think what I'm doing in Sheffield? I'm trying to do something about


the care homes that your government has just privatised in my area.


Following that, I have a public meeting on people who have been


charged wrongly for accessing their own homes. So I have got a full day


of campaign activity today. I have also got to catch up on a meeting


on the closure of a doctor's surgery, where I could not be at


the public meeting because those in parliament yesterday. So, that is


the kind of whingeing... Point just made epitomises what people just


like about British politics. He had no knowledge of why you were in


Sheffield, you may have been there for a variety of good reasons. But


he makes that jibe, and it is exactly the kind of thing which


puts people off politics. Let's not be holier than thou about this. We


all know that politicians have to spend a considerable amount of time


in their constituencies. But beating each other up about this,


which is what Mr mam was doing, does not help at all. I'm simply


trying to make a book up. -- make a point. Nobody says you have to


stand for election, we do it because we choose to do it, and


mainly for the right reasons. I believe that out of 650


constituencies, by and large, people have a reasonable amount of


time for their members of parliament. Collectively, they do


not, but then collectively, they do not like bankers or lawyers or


journalists, either. This report seems to bring out a public


distrust of the way the parties are funded. This is deep disquiet about


how Labour is now incredibly dependent on the unions, probably


more so than ever. And there have been stories recently about the


Conservatives changing the planning rules, and there seems to be quite


a bit of money from property developers. Yes, people think that


all the political parties and politicians are so desperate for


money that they will be prepared to be influenced in order to get money


off people or organisations. And that certainly is a problem. It is


a difficult one to solve, and we are nowhere near as bad as, say,


the United States, in relation to that. But there is a problem there.


There is no simple answer to this. Probably what we have got at the


moment is about the least worst. I would not pretend it is ideal.


Members of parliament have to spend quite a lot of time fund-raising to


fight elections. You give me �12,000, which is what I am allowed


to spend on my election, and that's fine, it saves me having to


campaign for it. I thought the taxpayer pays. But there is a limit.


I know that. But you said, you give me... I'm saying, if the taxpayer


pays it, it would relieve me of that burden, but I'm not sure the


taxpayer would welcome that. They would be absolutely incandescent.


Everybody is having to be more careful, people are losing their


jobs, I have had a 20% production in my own private pension in the


last year. You went to do I'm a celebrity, while you were still


being paid to be an MEP. If you want to talk about that, which is


going off the subject... Can I come back to this first? I did not


fiddle any expenses. I did not say that. Like the former Prime


Minister, who found it acceptable that the taxpayer should fund a


summer house for his children. How could he believe that was


acceptable? The present Prime Minister thought it was appropriate


that he should have his flowers pruned by the taxpayer. How could


anybody assume that was right and proper? I do not think the taxpayer


wants to fund political parties. We have run out of time, thank you


very much to all of you. Moving on to a different subject,


Greece is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Confidence in Spain and


Italy is faltering. The euro is in crisis, if you haven't noticed. It


is all grist to the mill for our Euro-sceptic guest of the day,


Robert Kilroy-Silk. But we found a man whose faith in the EU has not


wavered, Liberal Democrat MEP Euro-sceptics from Enoch Powell to


Jimmy Goldsmith to Robert Kilroy- Silk, and their like-minded parties,


have always end live and chat shows and filled the pages of yellow


papers like there's, with their cries of Europe, retreat, retreat!


There's always a conspiracy, but actually it's just part for Britain.


In my mind, real patriots have always believed that Britain should


have a leading role in Europe. I was born in the week in which


Winston Churchill made his famous speech and the United States of


Europe, but since then our capacity to lead has often been undermined


by the Euro-sceptics, or by cowardly nationalists, for neither


understand nor care about Britain's international role or the national


Now, the Conservative Party has forgotten the legacy of Churchill,


Macmillan and Thatcher, and David Cameron's content-free policy,


let's Not I'm on about Europe, is frankly a cover for his shilly-


shallying over the subject and his terror of the right in his own


party, and the right just beyond. Thankfully, the coalition has


forced a level-headed approach to Europe, but one day soon David


Cameron must decisively confront extremists in his own party, the UK


and the tendency. That is in Britain's interest. -- the UKIP


tendency. We are joined from the European Parliament by Edward


McMillan-Scott. Robert Kilroy-Silk is still here. Being patriotic is


to be a good European, and Britain's interests lie at the


heart of the odd. That is tendentious, and I resent that from


someone like Edward. I'm will not allow anyone to dispute my


patriotism, and I do not think it is a measure of patriotism that you


do not want to be governed by an autocratic organisation like


Brussels. My father and brother gave their lives so we can be true.


I'm not a nationalist. I want us to have good relations with Europe, I


want us to trade with Europe, I want us to have free travel, all


the things we do in co-operation. I have a house in Europe, I love you.


What I do not want to do is be governed by then, that is all. I


want to be governed by my own parliament, by my own people.


from the reference about being patriotic, that view that has been


outlined by Robert Kilroy-Silk is now becoming much more mainstream.


It is held by many, many people, and many people in the Conservative


Party also hold that view. Is it just out the window? I think the


problem is that people like David Cameron and the predecessor leaders


of the party, Iain Duncan Smith and so on, failed to lead from the


front. Now that Cameron is in power, he is finding that he has to


accommodate to Europe, do deals with Europe, but of course by


breaking with the mainstream, which he did in 2005, the mainstream PVV


party, he lost his alliance. So he has to do it like cold-calling. I


do not think that is in the national interest, that is my main


point. But also it is a fact that because of people like Robert


pushing from the sidelines, the Tory party has become, essentially


Euro-sceptic. Are they pushing from the sidelines? I am not sure they


are in the way that you describe. Robert Kilroy-Silk. We have


majority opinion behind us. Edward, how can you deny your own Prime


Minister, who has never had a vote on whether or not we should be


members of the European... Anyone under 54 has never been allowed to


have a vote on whether we should be part of this imploding European


Union. How can you deny as a vote? Panos... The vote might go in


favour... Five what good is it to its if it implodes? -- What good is


it too as if it implodes? It would be a disaster for the United


Kingdom. They are incapable of sorting it out! Let him answer.


them get on with it. I believe what will happen is not so much economic


governance but economic government, because what you have now needs is


much more decisive economic management. The euro was set up


basically on false pretences by governments who didn't really


reckon with the reality of the markets. Now they are finding that


the market is pushing it around, and they have destabilise it by


having a tighter and tougher regime at the centre. We may not like it,


but that is what is necessary. that politically palatable? Will


the British people agree to tie Britain's interests closer or even


the eurozone to be tied closer when we have the risk of Greek the vault


around the corner which could lead to contagion and another banking


crisis? If it doesn't affect the UK directly. What affects the UK is


whether the euro gets into trouble. It is our major trading partner. We


need the single market. It is in deep trouble. I cannot give a toss


about the euro... Or why should we want to continue to be part of the


EU if it cannot solve a problem like Greece? As you rightly say, it


is an important problem and it will have an impact upon all of us, but


it is very simple, small, straightforward, it can be sorted


out. The Germans could sort it out tomorrow. Cheshire County Council


could probably give them a loan to sort it out, but they do not have


the political will, the leadership, the strategy, any concept of what


to do. Robert, you are creating a Trefoil cell. They cannot run


themselves! You are creating a Trefoil self. The answer is that


you do not want more Europe, but you are going to get it. We are not


part of it, but it is important to us that it succeeds and continues


to do well. It has managed to hold inflation, create 40 million jobs.


It is in crisis today, we do not dispute that, but I hope it will be


resolved quickly. Looking at the wider questions about Europe, the


single market, environment, trade, transport, all these matters that


have to be worked out between our continental partners, ourselves and


the Irish, these things require a framework, and that is the European


Union. If it did not exist, you would have to invent it. Who should


Euro-sceptic voters back nowadays? The Conservatives? UKIP? That is a


difficult question. If the Conservatives gave a commitment and


meant it and did not remain on their promises, if they gave a


commitment to hold a referendum, and in the absence of that, the


defeat of that, to repatriate sovereign powers, people should


vote Conservative, absolutely, because they can get the deal. But


what is wrong with actually asking people whether we want to be


lumbered with it? Why don't they trust us? Why don't they accept


that it is our country and our community and we have a right to


have a say? People under 54 have never had an opportunity to have a


voice. Can I make it quite clear... Very briefly. I am not opposed to a


referendum, nor is the Liberal Democrat party, but, but, but on


what basis? Maybe it should also be about in and out, aside from the


question of the referendum ballot paper. Thank you very much.


while we were discussing Europe, the new leader of Libya has praised


the brave support of David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy for their help


end Libya. There is a report out today from


the Government's behaviour of insight team. -- behavioural. It


sounds vaguely Orwellian. It claims hundreds of millions of pounds can


be saved by nudging us out of our bad habits. Charles has taken to


the psychiatrist's Chair to make sense of it all.


And then of course my mother didn't really understand me. There is a


school of thought that things anyone who thinks psychology can


tell you anything about anything needs their head examining, but


frankly these days they are in a minority. Indeed, behaviour of


insights are now the very stuff of government, with, since July last


year, its own team. So what are they have they? They want to know


just, you know, nudge, minus the wink wink, say no more. The idea is


that to change behaviour without reward on centres, nor with fines


and punishments, but by making us think it was our idea to change in


the first place, persuade us that certain behaviours are simply not


acceptable and that he would feel somehow wrong doing them or better


if you change. Mergers that have worked, and you may have seen,


littering, signs saying, other people do not drop litter here. Tax


demands including explanations that most people had already paid, we do


believe, boosted repayment rates by 15%. Encouraging patients to read


back details of their appointments apparently boosted attendance by


30%. Nudging it as has entered the sphere of organ donation, food


choices and the environment. It is here to stay, although he does have


its critics, and there are those mumbo-jumbo. And there is one


question. If this is the GCap answer to changing the way we are


without being branded the nanny state, bare mind that analogy. The


matter may have changed, but Nanny is still in charge. My appointment


is 3pm next Thursday! The theory being that if you repeat


it, you are more likely to turn up. We are joined by the Government's


adviser on behavioural science. Professor Nick Chater, welcome.


Let's get this right, it is a way of cutting government spending


under the cover of American behavioural psychologist mumbo-


jumbo. Well, I think actually the main objective is not to cut


government spending but to employ what we know about the site of


human behaviour to design policies in a way that interact and


interface better with people. A good example would the road signs,


which we do not feel oppressed by off-field are much to do with


public spending. They are very carefully designed to help us


navigate our way around at the right speed and took part in


organised fashions rather than all around the car park. The general


spirit of that is that it should be applied more broadly in government,


all that is what the behaviour of insights seem things. And if you do


not follow those eyes, you get fined or go to jail! You need to do


research. One of the reasons that these insights are hard to come by


is that you need to try out different approaches and test them


out. The behaviour of Inside Sport inside steam. Insights. You have


got more than one inside? And not be represented to the team, I am an


academic on the board. The whole budget for the team is 500,000 per


year. Why are we smiling? Why are we taking this seriously? If it is


not a huge team. What have you achieved? Half a dozen nurses.


think there are two of three implemented acts, and one is


changing the way that organ donations are registered. When you


get a driving licence, you now have to make an explicit choice whether


you want to be on the register, whereas before you had to actively


say yes. In one case they put someone on without telling her.


is that a nudge and not just a change in the form? It is often


very subtle. One should not take nudges to exhaust everything that


behavioural insights cover, but they are very tiny changes that can


have a big impact. You can raise the number of people the register


by a factor of two earth by a subtle change of that time. We are


waiting to save. What is your view? I do not want somebody standing


over my shoulder nudging me for kicking me under the dinner table


to tell me what I should do or say. I have already got one of those, it


is called a wife. If charming. Leave us alone, please. Let's have


less government. We have only got a few minutes. Professor, has it got


a future? So I certainly, behavioural insights as a topic


have a large feature. Warwick Business School has a growing team


working on this. Every large corporate has a unit working on a


problem. If you take the scale of government in relation to the


amount of research in the corporate sector, we are under loaded in the


amount of behaviour is that we are trying to extract. Nudging you! The


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