30/09/2011 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics. Britain is basking in


autumn sunshine and Tory ministers are showing a bit of leg ahead of


their party conference. They are saying that the speed limits on our


motorways could go up to 80 miles an hour. That will please Mondeo


Man! But the green lobby is angry, saying carbon emissions will soar.


We are also told the weekly bin collection is back. There will be


extra money for councils if they take our rubbish away every seven


days. So, are fortnightly collections a thing of the past?


Meanwhile, Adam is on his travels, almost exactly half way across the


Irish Sea. I am in the Isle of Man for the island's slightly less


famous race - the general election And with me throughout today's


programme, Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror and Rachel Sylvester


of the Times. We are just looking ahead to the Tory conference. It


has already started, hasn't it? When you think there are huge


things going on that the economic crisis, the eurozone in meltdown. I


think they will have to come up with a bit more. It will set the


agenda of the weekend. Ministers will hope they are popular.


Rachel says, is it also an indication they have not got any


money? They have to do this populist thing that does not cost


any money. Is there anything else left in the magic box? They are


talking rubbish before they meet in Manchester. Both very populist


issues. I believe with them on both. It is fair to deflect the attention


from austerity and the fact they do not like the Liberal Democrats.


Europe has to rear its head. This Conservative Party is as Euro-


sceptic as it was. You can see them frothing at the mouth. What an


image! If this is window-dressing, what do you think will be the


messages from David Cameron and George Osborne? They need to come


up with a package on growth. We have interviewed Philip Hammond. He


is saying it is good for business and good for growth. The Transport


Department is an economic department. I'm not sure how you


get bins into Kriss Akabusi. There is no Plan B but there is a gross


in Plan A. -- growth. The pressure is building internationally from


the IMF and others. This plant is not working. -- plan. How can a


shift and do something else when they say it our original plan is


right? How can you do that while shifting? It is a tricky position.


They want to take credit for responding to the growing economic


crisis but they do not want to say they were wrong. They cannot do


that because they do not want to lose credibility. George Osborne is


a politician. He is good at strategy. He will have an icon what


the opinion polls are saying and what people are feeling. -- an eye


on. He is feeling the pressure, when you look at him. He has aged


visibly. We were talking about this a few days ago. I'll do it under a


lot of pressure or are they relax because there is no real challenge


from Labour? -- are they under a lot of pressure? They have not got


that much political pressure. have the Liberal Democrats on board.


They can see those figures. They are terrified of the double-dip


recession because they will get the blame. That could change the whole


political atmosphere. Will there be aid David Cameron moment? He will


make a point of mentioning Margaret Thatcher. He will emphasise it.


internal government battles go, this one was supposed to have been


an epic! It will, no doubt, come to be known as the Battle of the Bins.


And now, it seems, we have a winner. Today, the Local Government


Secretary, Eric Pickles, is trumpeting the return of the weekly


bin collection. More than half the local authorities in England no


longer pick up the remains of your chicken tikka masala every seven


days - something Mr Pickles once declared the basic right of every


Englishman. Weekly collections had been around since 1875 but they


started to disappear under the last government, for reasons of cost and


in order to encourage recycling. The Tories fought the last election


promising to bring them back with householders complaining of


horrible smells, fly-tipping and rats. But back in June, the


Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, stepped in. She said this


would all cost far too much, at least �130 million a year. And


things rapidly got a bit unpleasant. Why don't you spend less time


speaking to your officials and more time listening to the electorate?,


Mr Pickles apparently said. And the two ministers stopped speaking. So


today we hear that 250 million of new money has been found down the


back of a sofa somewhere. Weekly bin collections are back. The


horrid smells and rats are banished. And the worries about extra costs


are simply rubbish. Or are they? And joining us is the Local


Government Minister, Bob Neill. Was Caroline Spelman wrong when she


said weakly bin collections cost too much? You have been listening


to too much Westminster gossip. They have been working jointly on


it right the way through. Both of them supported the announcement


that we said we would have a review and where Catt a way to go with


local authorities to encourage them to bring back weekly bin


collections. -- work out. Are you really trying to tell me and tell


the viewers that there has been no rift over this? It is a


departmental victory for Eric Pickles. It is in the nature of


journalists... And it is in the nature of politicians... It is a


case of two government ministers working well together. We have been


making economies consistently in the running cost of our departments.


It is savings within our current budgets. We can use them for an


initiative which will be very popular with people. Nothing wrong


with that. It will make a difference to the quality of


service. Why don't you let local councils decide what to do? It


flies in the face of your localism strategy. That is what we are doing.


We are letting local councils decide. Eric Pickles has already


said, we will encourage them, otherwise there will suffer at the


ballot box, to bring back weekly bin collections. Encouraging is not


the same as telling. Under the previous government, local councils


were being very directly financially penalised if they did


not go down a one size fits all model. We are saying we do not want


to have a financial obstacle to going back to weekly collections,


if that is what you and your residents think is the right thing.


We are giving them the choice. All the evidence suggests that most


people particularly want the smelly stuff taken away on his weekly


basis. I think they will listen to the electorate when it comes to


election time. Why not just give them the money? Let them make the


decision about where they would like to spend part of that �250


million, if they want to spend it on mental health strategy, why


don't you do that? The department has been able to provide some money


and we are determined we are keeping a promise. That is a shop


with some politicians. We made a promise we will find a means of


helping local authorities to move back to more weekly collections


where they thought it appropriate. That is what we are doing.


Government made such a big deal about saying, we will distance


ourselves from decisions being made at a local level. They are


dictating from the top. It is populist and popular as well. He


kept the great straight face when he said there were no rows between


Eric Pickles and Caroline Spelman. Can anyone afford to buy anything


to put in the rubbish anyway? It is popular. I hope the sums are being


done right. If it is �250,000,000.18000000 households do


not get weekly collections, it means about �30. Can you get an


extra 26 collections out of that? think you can if you use it


cleverly. The median cost of four likely as opposed to weekly, it


does not cost any more. A lot of councils are caught in clever


contracts. Part of the tests is, are you going to encourage


recycling and get better value for money? Can I just clarify? When you


talk about weekly bin collections might have come up all the rubbish


or you collect the main rubbish but all the recycling is still done on


a fortnightly basis? What we're saying is they should have the


opportunity to go back to weekly. That should vary from place to


place. Her all the rubbish? It will be a local decision. If you think


about it, the City of Westminster has a huge volume of rubbish. They


collect the rubbish several times a week. In my area, like cures, they


take fruits double wave weakly. -- like yours, they'd take the rubbish


away weekly. Most of these councils will be Tory councils who want the


fortnightly collections. They are going to tell them when Tory


councils what to do. Want to make of it? There is a wider thing about


localism. -- what do you make of it? You realise you will get the


blame for every local decision. You realise the idea of letting


everything go and letting people make the decisions is a nightmare


if you are going to take responsibility. It is going to come


across on other issues as well. They need to control it from the


centre. What if local councils make the wrong decision?! Are you saying


that on some issues you're stepping in because the timing is good? You


keep -- you need something to give to your party faithful.


understand the point from Rachel. It is very much compatible with


localism. We are reversing the situation we inherited from the


previous government. They were marked down if they did not move to


fortnightly collections. They were being obliged through various


directives which were being scrapped. We scrapped a lot of the


directives which said to have to move to smaller been sizes and


fining people -- bin. What about rows and rows of unattractive


wheelie bins being left out? thing we're keen to use this money


for is to encourage new technologies. One particular


technology is about the Cannich ingestion. In one of The bin, it


gets taken away to separate the recyclable things from the non


recyclable. You are still going to get these things. At the moment


local authorities do not have any incentive to move away from that.


The technology needs to be there were one bin takes the lot. It is


said to be another dad get in the heart of local decision-making.


think they ought to be listening to the electorate. In Windsor and


Maidenhead they have done it locally. Recycling has gone up 35%.


We will see you at conference no doubt. So, did you stay up all of


last night for the results of the most nail-biting general election


in a generation? Don't worry, you have not fallen in to some weird


time warp. Our neighbours on the yesterday. We sent Adam to


# This is my island in the sun... Besides motorbikes and low taxes,


what do you know about the Isle of Man? It is a British Crown


dependency, like the Channel Islands. That means the united


Kingdom is responsible for defence and foreign affairs. The government


here is responsible for pretty much everything else. You will notice


from their own money that the Queen is still head of state. This week


we have had election fever here. More than 60 candidates have been


competing for 24 seats here at the oldest parliament in the world.


This is our parliament, which was established in 979. This is the


lower house. What is different from Westminster is that here, they do


not really do political parties. Most members are independent.


all about size. How our Yes. Works is because it is small. You could


not do it in a very large Parliament, like Westminster. Here,


it is very small, the constituency is small, generally. Which means


campaigns tend to be small, with friends and family mucking in.


just giving moral support. My uncle is running. My uncle is running as


well. Pieces of paper going through the post or delivered through


letterboxes, but more often than not, it is family who do it.


this fairly new party is rolling in with the island's first ever battle


bus. They have 10 candidates, and they want to break open a system


which they think is a bit too insular. The problem is, going back


to what it was when I was a youngster, as far as, it is not


what you know, it is who you know. It is the patronage of so many


aspects, as far as I have seen. There have been some changes,


though. This young man can cast a ballot because five years ago, the


Ireland gave the vote to 16- to 17- year-olds. That was quick. Yes, it


is a bit intimidating, but apart from that it was all right. I think


it is about time that the franchise was extended to our age group.


Because at 16, you do start to get that interest in politics. And what


was the biggest issue at the hustings? Us. The British


Government as we negotiated an agreement to share revenues from


VAT, which means the island is facing cuts of more than �100


million a year. All the results are coming in, and if you want to know


which candidates got in to the parliament on the Isle of Man, then


go to the website. The members will decide which one of them becomes


the chief minister next month. Earlier, we were talking about


bringing back weekly bin collections. The other hot


political story this morning, ahead of the Tory conference, is the news


that ministers are planning to raise the speed limit on motorways


in England and Wales to 80mph. I don't know if that means we will


have to slam on the brakes as we crossed the border to Scotland.


Starting with you, Sean O'Grady, where is the evidence that this


will actually have significant economic benefits? You just have to


think about it. If you're late for a meeting, if an important


component for a factory is late, or stocks for a supermarket, that


causes economic damage. The faster the goods move around the economy,


the more the economy generates income and wealth. Will it make


that much of the difference? It may well do, if you fall very late for


a meeting or a flight or something like that, it could well make a big


difference. But isn't safety the key here? Depending on the figures,


for example, Brake say there will be 10% more casualties. They claim


that, but nobody actually knows. The general trend in road


casualties in the UK and Europe I think is favourably downwards, and


in Germany, on the autobahn, I think they have a lower rate of tax.


The statistics we have got say the opposite, they say there are twice


as many fatalities in Germany, the same as France, compared with us.


The it is important that technology has overtaken the speed limit. Cars


nowadays are built to do far more than 70mph. In 1965, when it was


brought in, hardly any were capable of doing that speed. But now, they


are capable of doing it, and doing it safely. You have got can --


cruise control, regulating the distance from the current front.


These safety features were not in existence in 1965. Are you


convinced by these safety arguments? I am not a safety expert,


I do not know. Let us hear these arguments, if they have got them.


Appraisal of road schemes used to be done on archaic and silly


assumptions, and this decision seems to be done on the same basis.


Basically, those rules would say, if you have got a barrel of oil,


Burnet, it is good for the economy. Well, we are now importing oil, and


every extra gallon burnt on the motorways is something we will have


to import. We will have to do so either from unstable regimes or


from places where it is quite difficult to get it out. This is


why we think it is a bad decision, not the safety, we do not know


about safety at Greenpeace, but what we do know about is the


environment. Why would we want to try and make it worse, carbon


emissions? Speed and the environment are now the coupled,


because of new technology. If you take electric cars, for example...


You get the electricity from wind power or nuclear power, it is


completely green, no matter what speed they go at. Cars are far


cleaner and more economical and environmentally friendly than ever


before. Sure, the direction of travel is towards cleaner cars,


which is great. But if we're going to be predominantly dependent on


the internal combustion engine for another decade, possibly two, the


figures are roughly that going at 80mph compared with the money, you


will burn 20% more fuel. More research says that if you just


enforce the existing speed limit, then you get about a million tonnes


of carbon saving. When you put that through... And you criminalise half


the drivers on the motorway. We do not say that because loads of


people are using drugs, we should decriminalise them. On drugs and


Speed, that is probably not true, actually. I do not see any evidence


that this government is looking to treat -- to decriminalise drugs.


The point I'm trying to make is about whether this is a good


decision in the current context, and whether government should be


setting standards of performance and behaviour which contributes to


a good society, in the round. And this is a bad decision. That is the


key, it is it a good decision in the current context? If you look to


the future, in the end, might it be a decision with foresight, really?


The law has to keep up with the reality. Philip Hammond's most


persuasive point is that more than half of drivers actually go at


80mph. In Denmark, when they raised the speed limit by 10mph, in fact,


the speed only went up by 2.5mph, because people were already going


at that speed. But will it not make it de facto 90mph? They say not.


The police could decide not to raise that higher. And most people


actually drive at a level which they believe to be saved, I think.


It is not really to do with technology or business or the


environment. It is personal behaviour? People will not drive a


huge amount faster. Is this going to be a fight between two


departments, the transport department, and the Department for


Environment, Food and Rural Affairs? It could be, but I think


David Cameron has come a long way since he was trying to put


windmills on his house. The Department of Transport will win,


because it will be popular. There are drivers in cars which are safer,


cleaner and on nice clear roads in good weather, and they're having to


go along at 70mph. Are you were read you have lost this argument?


Well, it is not about being popular. It is about being responsible.


Weariness situation where we have a carbon budget, a legally-binding


carbon budget. If we increase the emissions from roads, we have got


to decrease them from other areas. If you increase the emissions from


cars, which you do not have to do, he did not have to do this, you


have got to reduce it from somewhere else. Why don't we all


just get her horse and carts? have got to thank our guests are


very much for coming in. Before we go, let's have a quick speed


With the country basking in an Indian summer, it was Labour's turn


to shine at their party conference. Ed Balls was in bullish form the


football field. But the Balmy weather must have affected his mood,


as he apologised for Labour's failure to regulate the banks. But


what of Ed Miliband? There was plenty of red meet for the left of


the party in his speech, as he attacked predator businesses. But


he seemed keen to emphasise who he wasn't. I'm not Tony Blair. Have


they already forgotten who won them three elections? Away from


conference, the eurozone crisis rumbled on. Angela Merkel won a


crucial vote in the Bundestag. In Liverpool, a reminder that it is


tough at the top. How could eight macro be expected to remember the


name of the front runner to become Labour leader in a little country


called Scotland? Ken Macintosh, yes. There for the grace of God go I.


Just quickly, intelligence on Shadow Cabinet reshuffle? Either he


does it in the next 10 days, during the Tory conference or just after.


Who would you like to see? I think Rachel Reeves has done very well,


Tristram Hunt has done very well. Some of the new MPs I think he


should promote. This is the stage at which he has still got a few


years till the election, so he could experiment. Yes, but you want


a bit of momentum. I thought he took a step forward at his


conference, but not a big step. He needs to be doing better,


unquestionably. So, get that team together, and hope it works. You do


not want to experiment too much. Next week, what will they be doing,


do you think, in the Shadow Cabinet, trying to think of ways to get the


attention of the electorate? think they should not worry about


next week. They have had their week in the sun. When Parliament comes


back, then they should think about what to do. Do you think they were


cheering in Tory Central Office when that speech was going on?


actually. It was idealistic but there was the risk of looking


really naive. How do you differentiate between good business


and bad business? It is the argument, don't give the


corporation tax cuts to banks, who wrecked the economy, give it to


manufacturing, people who make things. But he had not thought it


through, it was difficult for Labour people to come up with


specific examples on the spot. Maybe you need to give them some


coaching. I have got enough problems. That's all for this week.


Don't forget to watch Jon Sopel and The Politics Show on Sunday, when


he will be speaking to the chairman of the Tory Party, head of their


conference. Andrew and myself will be back next week. Just time for


one last look at one other highlight from the Labour


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