25/10/2011 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Almost half of


Conservative backbenchers defy David Cameron to vote against the


Government and back a referendum on our relationship with Europe. We


will be assessing the fall-out from this massive Tory rebellion.


Nicolas is sick of being criticised by David. David says he will not


shut up about Europe. Silvio says he wants no lessons from Angela and


Nicolas. When the hissy fits are over, who will wield power in


Europe? It costs �4.2 billion per year, but


what are we doing to tackle the obesity epidemic? It is as stupid


to tell me to pull myself together as pointing at an alcoholic lying


in the street and telling them to quit drinking.


Coming up in the next half an hour, all of that. Derek Hatton is with


us for the duration. He supported the militant tendency when he was


leader of Liverpool City Council. I hear they were big in the 80s!


David Cameron also faced his big rebellion. How bad was it? Worse


than they thought. Let's look at what happened in closer detail.


David Cameron easily won the vote by 183 -- 483 to 111. 79 rebelled


against him, plus two tellers and two abstentions. Another 12 were


absent, giving 81 rebels. Even John Major never faced such a rebellion


over Europe when he was Prime Minister. The biggest he faced was


in 1993141 MPs voted against the Maastricht treaty. -- in 1993, when


41 MPs. 50 of the rebels on un peace since 2010, it so David


Cameron could have a rebellious party on his hands. -- 50 of them


are new MPs. People are saddened and disillusioned by being fobbed


off, as they see it, by the political elite, who always seem to


find a reason to stop them having their say. The eurozone is clearly


in crisis. To pile upon that uncertainty the further uncertainty


of a referendum on leaving the European Union, when half the


foreign direct investment coming into Britain comes from the


European Union and half of our exports go out to the European


Union, that is not responsible action for Her Majesty's Government


to take. I am not prepared to go back on my words to my constituents.


And I am really staggered, really staggered, that loyal people like


me have been put in this position. If Britain's future as an


independent country is not a proper matter for a referendum, then I


have absolutely no idea what is. This is about whether or not we


give the people, the hundreds of thousands of people that want to


have a chance to discuss this, whether we give them the chance to


have a debate. At the moment, to have a debate which might lead to a


referendum about whether Britain is going to go into the European Union


or leave it, that is such a massive distraction from the real issues


that this country and the rest of Europe has to address. It is for us


backbenchers to say to Her Majesty's Government, stiffen your


sign used, summon up the blood, imitate the action of a tiger and


that is how you should behave towards our European partners.


was the flavour of the debate. We're getting reports that the


Prime Minister is that a military base in Bedford. That is quite


ominous. Maybe he is following Gaddafi? If we hear anything from


him, we will give you the clip. We hear he is being interviewed about


the follow-up from the debate. We are joined by George Young, leader


of the House of Commons, Ann Tim Montgomerie, editor of Conservative


Home website. How bad is this rebellion? How significant for


David Cameron? I think it is very significant on two levels. Firstly,


to have 81 of your own MPs rebelling is a significant defiance.


Plus the abstentions. And the abstentions. Once you have rebelled


once, you get into the habit of defying your Government and you can


do it more easily the second or third time. I think it is about


Europe as well. Some people say the Conservative Party is more united


on Europe than it has ever been but that is not true. You could have


fooled me! The centre has definitely moved into a euro-


sceptic direction. With the new intake? We used to have Michael


Heseltine on one side, the enthusiasts, and then the euro-


sceptics on the other side. The new division is a majority of euro-


sceptics wanting fundamental and partial renegotiation. But a


significant number want to leave the European Union altogether. That


division is as big as the old one, but different. It can only be


resolved by a referendum. David Cameron cannot resolve it. You can


manage it better but it has to be resolved by a vote from the British


people and only then will they stop talking about this issue. If you


add up the abstentions, 50% of the non- pourri role Tories defied a


three-line whip. -- non- pay roll Tories. David Cameron always knew


that there would be a spread of issues on this issue and it got one


defy last night. -- has spread of opinions on this issue and it got


quantified last night. Opinions have shifted. David Cameron always


said he wanted fundamental reform of the EU, refashioning our


membership and bringing back powers. To that extent, I think the party


is united on the broader objections. What there is disagreement on is


the means. The House of Commons last night said that the concept of


a three-way referendum now was not the right way to reach the


objective that most Conservative share. Let's get this straight. How


many people wake up this morning, really giving a damp about being in


Europe? It is weighed down on anybody's priority list when they


wake up. In real terms, if you said to people... If you said to people


about Europe, they would side what I say. Either we are in, or we are


out. The problem is the mish-mash in the middle which we have had for


20 years which is so counter- productive. I think where you are


wrong is that European issues are way down the pecking order when it


is expressed in abstract terms, but when we connected with the economy,


we cannot control our borders, human rights laws, then people


actually care a lot. The idea of the European Union does not excite


them but the way it affects our future does. I want to look at the


Tory party but we do have footage of the Prime Minister are reacting


to the vote this morning. politics you have to confront the


big issues, rather than trying to sweep them under the carpet and


that is what we did yesterday. This has always been a difficult issue


for my party and it always will be but the important thing is doing


the right thing for the country and it would not be right for the


country to have an outright referendum and all the rest of it.


What I would say from last night, on my part there is no blood but, -


- no bad blood. I understand why people feel strongly and we will go


forward together and tackle the difficult decisions that the


country faces. The Prime Minister with his military escort in the


background! And some big military hardware! Maybe things are


happening and we do not know about! Tim Montgomerie, you wrote in the


Guardian this morning. You think this goes beyond Europe. You think


that David Cameron has very few favours in the bank with his


backbenchers. Talking-to the rebels yesterday, lot of them were divided


and found this difficult. But some of them took relish in poking the


Prime Minister in the eye. Lot of Conservative MPs do not feel part


of the Government. You said they enjoyed the rebellion and actively


distrusted him. They do not trust him to repatriate any powers.


did an opinion poll of grassroots members and Conservative MPs are


Conservative Home. We asked whether they thought to the Prime Minister


was serious about repatriating powers and 64% said they did not


think so. That is why people were voting for this motion to put


pressure on the Prime Minister. party does not trust the leader.


that issue. He this is a rebellious Parliament, firstly. There have


been more rebellious, especially among the newer MPs. Lots of the


MPs that I have listened to, those that voted against the party last


night, it did so with reluctance, thinking long and hard about it.


64% of the Tory MPs do not trust the Prime Minister to deliver the


bacon when it comes to Europe. back to what Derek has said. The


majority of the party is worried about other issues. They are


delighted the Prime Minister is putting grows on the agenda. If you


look at the opinion polling of the Prime Minister, he is way ahead of


his party but Ed Miliband is way behind. The standing of the Prime


Minister is robust. Let me ask you this. The Conservatives... There


was no mention of repatriation of powers. We got it wrong on the


Daily Politics. There was no mention of repatriation of powers


in the Tory manifesto. What it said was that if there was another


Lisbon Treaty, another move of giving more power to brothels, then


you would call a referendum on that. -- to Brussels. If the Germans used


the eurozone crisis to create a fiscal union, deeper integration,


which will require changes to the treaties, would you use that as a


window to repatriate powers? Prime Minister was asked this


yesterday in the House of Commons and the answer was that we do not


know what the Germans will propose. Also we do not know if there will


be total agreement between the European countries and it is simply


too soon to pose that question because we do not know what the


treaties will do. It is your party's policy now. Your party's


policy is to have a more deeper, integrated fiscal union for the


eurozone. That is what you are pushing and it is what the Germans


want. So if that happens, will you use that all were you not use that


as an opportunity to attend to repatriate powers? -- or will you


not? If there was an attempt... are kidding yourself. I need to pin


him down on this. That is not what I am asking. I know about your


policy. I am asking if there are treaty changes to accommodate your


Government's policy and the aspirations of the Germans, to


create a fiscal union within the eurozone, is that an opportunity


for you or is it not to repatriate powers? The Prime Minister answered


that question. It depends on what is proposed, how far it gets and


whether that is the right time to press our agenda, or Wetherby Road


priority is sorting out the eurozone crisis, which everybody


wants to do. -- or whether it the priority. Nick Clegg has said there


would be no repatriation of powers and renegotiation is not on the


agenda. Is that true? Look at the coalition agreement. It looks at


the balance of competencies within the EU. You of a Cabinet minister


that we have here. Can renegotiation happen or not happen


this side of the next election? could happen depending on what is


proposed in the treaty. Do you think it will? It depends what the


Germans propose, whether people agree and whether it is the right


time to push the issue. I know what I am defeated and will not get an


answer. Thank you. While Parliament is squabbling over


how closely we should be involved in Europe, the eurozone continues


to flounder. There is another summit in Brussels on Wednesday.


David Cameron is trying to come up with the big enough package to


tackle the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. They are running out of


time and the solution has to be found before the G20 meeting on


November 3rd and 4th, including a Barack Obama. An important


confidence indicator came up this morning showing that Europe is on


the brink of another recession, no more than in France. They have real


problems. When the dust has settled, we could be looking at a radically


different EU. We thought it was time to bring out the Daily


Politics wedding cake, this time at the prospect of a two or three-tier


Europe. Sitting on the top of the cake, Angela Merkel and Nicolas


Sarkozy. But he clashed with David Cameron, saying that he was sick of


being criticised and being told what to do. Nicolas Sarkozy had


tried to insist that the meeting should be restricted to the 17


eurozone leaders. But David Cameron won has battled to make sure that


all 27 member states would attend, but only for one-hour meeting


before the 17 broke away separately the final negotiations. Angela


Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have also looked down from their lofty


position to tell Silvio Berlusconi to take more radical measures to


tackle Italy's huge debt. He hit back after being humiliated in this


way. Now there are suggestions that the two or three-tier Europe could


be formalised as soon as December with a soupy eurozone excluding


members like the UK. -- Super eurozone. Some members might like


to join this but it could leave the UK with less influence. Nick Clegg


I have always advocated a vote on Europe. We don't know what the


Germans are proposing. If you listen to them talking, it is a


very technical tweak in the treaty, many other countries oppose it. We


should stop tilting at windmills about threats and challenges which


simply are not there right now. Nick Clegg, quite categorical that


for him it is not on the agenda this side of the election, which


may be why David Cameron doesn't really want to create a big fight


about this because he knows it may split the coalition apart. We are


joined by the Conservative MP george, who tried to table a


conciliatory amendment to last night's vote. In the end the


government said they were not doing that. Therefore he abstained.


Welcome. Are you comfortable with your government pours policy now,


urging a deeper fiscal integration for the euro-zone? I think it is


more of a decision for those countries in the euro-zone. They


understand that but are you comfortable with the government?


They are right - if the Euro is to succeed, they need to integrate


more deeply. We knew that, it was one of the main arguments against


Britain joining the euro. Unless there is a political acceptance of


that within countries like Germany and France, it will cause future


problems. It was one thing for the German public to integrate with


East Germany and take on board the liability, but will they want to


have mutual liability with countries like Italy and Greece.


That is not what I want to get into this morning. Are you comfortable


advocating an approach for the 17 of the euro-zone that we would not


be part of ourselves? We are really saying, you go for it but we will


not be part of it. I think we should not be telling them what to


do. You agree with Nicolas Sarkozy? I wouldn't put it the way he does,


but it is a big political decision for them to have a fiscal union.


is a joke, he is sitting there.... I am saying you are either in or


out. He will have no influence whatsoever, it is a gesture.


don't need it because we have control of our own economy. How can


we have control of our own economy? It turned out it was a good boat to


miss during the euro, we did the right thing. There is only one


interviewer when I am doing these things. George Eustice, are you


clear in your mind that if the euro-zone comes to an agreement


over sovereign debt involving the 17, does that agreement have to be


approved by the 27? I think it does. I think we do, and we have to stop


trying to find a way to not talk about this and confront the issue.


The reason we are in this mess is because deeper integration has been


a failure and we need to have this debate. Rather than saying there


won't be a treaty because no other countries want one, Britain should


be saying we want the treaty and we want to confront this issue. It is


tied up in getting the economy going again. We have the burden of


new EU laws every week. A let's assume for this discussion that is


true, all the more bizarre that it is almost impossible to work out


what your party's policy is now. was trying to find out from George


Young, what is your understanding of the policy? If the Europeans go


down this road, isn't that an opening to start repatriating past


London? It is clear in the agreement that we would examine the


competences of the European Union, that is why my amendment called for


a White Paper to fulfil that commitment. But the coalition


agreement refers to powers going to the EU as a whole. That is not what


is on the cards at the moment. What is on the cards is at the euro-zone


getting more powers for itself. I asked again, if that happens, is


that the Government's opportunity to repatriate power or not? What


the coalition agreement says is that it would examine the existing


competences of the EU. So what is the answer to my question? That


that is our policy. The government should be producing a white paper.


If George Young could not tell me that, he said it depended on the


nature of the euro-zone renegotiation. My position is that


if they reintegrate more deeply, this is an opportunity to have a


fresh start. I am not here to speak on behalf of the government, this


is my personal view. At times of crisis, the future belongs to those


with a plan. It is a problem that cost �4.2 billion a year and


affects a quarter of the population - obesity is an urgent issue, but


have governments been taking the right step to tackle it?


Not according to Derek Hatton, who has a personal interest in


addressing the issue. We have been speaking to one woman who faces up


to what she describes as an addiction. I am in a lot of pain


are a lot of the time. It depends if I am having a good or a bad day,


but my back aches, my shins ached. Walking to the bus-stop is a chore,


and on top of that there is the emotional pain. People avoid


catching your eye and avoid sitting next to you on the bus. When I feel


bad about myself I get over emotional, and then I eat too much.


Emma Burnell has been struggling with food and her weight since she


was a teenager. Being fat makes her on happy and she is trying to lead


a healthier life. She is getting counselling, but public health


officials concerned about obesity don't even appear to understand the


problem. Most people will go out and have too much to read, or eat a


burger when they know they should be eating a sell land. -- a salad.


It is when it becomes over reliance, that is when you have a problem.


How common is that? In my opinion, I don't want to talk to everybody


who feels and looks like me, but inappropriate relationships with


food is extremely common but an extremely hidden aspect of our


society. At the government recently launched a new strategy to deal


with obesity, they want us as a country to eat 5 billion fewer


calories each day. In what has been dubbed as a call to action, they


want us to eat less and be more active. Most of it is really


patronising. Education is important, of course, but I am a very bright


woman. I have a university degree, I work in a high Lovell job, and I


know that basically the way to lose weight is through diet and exercise


but it is more complicated. When I hear people saying pull yourself


together, it is just diet and exercise, it is as stupid as


pointing to an alcoholic and telling them to quit drinking.


I am joined by the shadow health minister Diane Abbott and Derek


Hatton. She is saying it is an addiction, and illness. Obesity is


not the disease, it is a disgrace. People have choices, and if people


are obese, in the vast majority, it is either because they eat too much


or they don't exercise enough. That is true, but the worry I have when


you hear people like that is it is almost ignoring that as a fact.


What you do to get to that stage is a discussion we can have. At the


end of the day, the reality is you are eating too much and not


exercising enough. You listen to that goal, it is almost as if it is


a big addiction, there is no way I can get out of it. You can, stop


eating and start exercising. people need help in that sense. In


2010, a report said significant progress in cutting hospital


waiting times have been undermined by failing to tackle obesity. Not


enough was done - do you accept that? Yes, we could have done more.


It leads to diabetes, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, and


it cost the health service millions. What sort of public health campaign


should be done? Do they achieve anything? Some of the money that


was spent was wasted on leaflets and the rest of it, but I have seen


interesting programmes in schools where you work with individual


children and families around being more active and looking at what


they all lead. When you have a fat child, the family has bad eating


habits generally. Things like banning trans fats, which are no


good to anybody, and when the government says it is about


personal choice and control, that is wrong. What about the dependency


culture this government seems to want to tackle, do you think that


has led to high rates of obesity? I'd do. I think that over the years


people have sat back and thought people will do this for us.


they want gastric bounds. People have got to do it themselves. In


some ways it is against the political line I would have taken


before, but people have to realise they have power over them own lives.


I am involved in a campaign to get people to use their bicycle to go


to work. You talk to the employers of those people with bikes, and


they say they get a more diligent workforce, a much more keen work


force and a happier workforce. People have got to realise that


when they start getting healthier, they are in many ways ready to take


on the world. Do you agree with the government to use more stick and


less carrot? Jamie Oliver and others, all of those specialist in


the field say the Government's so- called obesity strategy is rubbish.


It is relying too much on multinationals and fast food


manufacturers to do the right thing, and not enough providing practical


help like schemes like Derek's. We need a proper strategy, people need


real help. Carrots for lunch, biking home?


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