Andrew Neil has the top political stories of the day.
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Afternoon, folks, welcome to the Daily Politics on Friday.
David Cameron arrives in Australia for the Commonwealth summit with
women - but don't worry, not in a Berlusconi way - on his mind. This
morning he's won approval to change the rules for Royal succession.
Progress or unnecessary tinkering? Fancy an extra hour of daylight in
the evenings? Britain tried it back in the '60s and the Government is
considering trying it again, putting us in line with Central
European Time. We'll hear from the Tory MP behind the bill.
And with new figures showing our top bosses are getting 50% more in
pay and perks in the last year, are we really all in this together?
And it could be you. Though, let's be honest, it probably won't be.
But we'll hear the story of how one And with me today are Rowenna Davis
of the Guardian and Isabel Oakeshott of the Sunday Times.
David Cameron arrived at the Commonwealth summit in Perth this
morning announcing that he has won unanimous approval from the
Commonwealth realms for reform of the rules of Royal succession. The
change will allow the eldest child, whether a girl or a boy, to ascend
to the throne. The ban on the monarch being married to a Roman
Catholic was also lifted. The changes will require amendments to
legislation including the Bill of Rights of 1689, the Coronation Oath
Act of 1688 and the Act of Settlement 1701. Speaking a short
while ago, this is what the Prime Minister had to say. We will end
the male rule so that in future the order of succession should be
determined simply by the order of birth. And we have agreed to
introduce this for all descendants from the Prince of Wales. Put
simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little
girl, that girl would one day be Queen. Or even if she would be a
big girl! I guess it is a change that had to come. It is an open
goal for Cameron at the moment. There are a lot of complicated
problems at the moment, but let's do this nice and easy thing. I am
massively in favour of it, telling you that as an older sister. If I
thought my younger brother would get on the throne before me, we
would not be having any of it. life could be in danger! Will
anybody oppose this? I really don't think so. What amazes me is how
long it has taken full pub I wrote to netbook -- an editorial in 1986.
That was how many years ago? You would have thought Harriet Harman
would have done it. This was something she would have backed. It
seems incredible it has taken so long. The anything funny about it
is we don't know what the Royal Family themselves think about it. -
- the only thing. We are told the Queen let it be known she did not
object. That is the way these things work. The argument against
it is that the monarchy is a special institution, it is a
hereditary principle. You don't hold it to the same rules. Please,
come on! If you are saying we are going to trump tradition for
equality and venues we hold deer, we have to question you have so
much political power on the basis of your birth. Does the Queen have
political power? She has political influence. We are not in the era of
Downton Abbey. If Kate Middleton was able to tell us, the Duchess of
Cambridge, and what she really thinks, I'm sure she will be fully
behind this. But she doesn't talk very much, it is mostly about her
outfits. But even that! Since I can't get involved in this argument,
we will move on. Two girls. Could we be about to start marching
to 'Berlin time'? The Government has announced this morning that
it's considering advancing time by one hour. That could mean the UK
adopting Central European Time, putting us in line with the rest of
Europe. Except Portugal and Ireland. Now, it's not the first time we've
fallen in with Berlin and Paris. In 1968, a three-year trial started
which kept the clocks in advance of GMT all year round. It meant darker
mornings for early risers like postmen, newspaper delivery people
and schoolchildren. And before that, Winston Churchill introduced single
and double summer time during the war. Why? To save fuel and let
people get home safely during the blackout. But while it might be
nice for those in the South of England to have longer, lighter
evenings, what about people in Scotland where some might not see
daylight until nine o'clock in the morning? Well, the Government plans
to consult all devolved parts of the UK before it decides to support
the plan and if there is clear opposition in any part of the UK,
the trial won't go ahead. So are we about to return to watching the sun
rise at nine o'clock in the morning? Is changing our time a
good idea? We are joined by two people who should know. You are the
MP proposing this. Peter Hitchens has written a cover story on the
Spectator revealing the government is now behind this. Explain to us,
before we get into the argument, tell us what will happen. If I get
my way, we will have a very comprehensive government review
across government departments to find out whether the people
enthusiastic about this are right or if there are compelling
arguments why Richard Nott. You are in favour of it? I am convinced
there are enough good arguments about creating jobs and saving
lives on roads. Supposing it became law today. Tell us what would
happen. The clocks are due to go back next weekend. He if the
government review it and found it was a good idea... Just assume it
is law now. We would not change the clocks this autumn and we would be
on British Summer Time in the winter. We would have an extra hour
of daylight throughout the year. if our clocks don't go back next
week, we would be on the same time as Europe. They would put their
clocks back? They are ahead at the moment. We would stay where we are,
they would bring their clocks back. We would then be in zinc and next
summer, we would go forward an hour in tune with the rest of Europe?
Exactly. In perpetuity we would be an hour ahead. An extra hour of
daylight in the evening. Peter Hitchens, I can see a wry smile.
All of this stuff about extra hours, and the amount of sunshine you get,
you can shifted about from one place to another. Those of us who
get up early, almost everybody with a job, Mrs Harris may not have this
problem, but I was on my way to the station at 7:30am in twilight. If a
Bill were enforced, that would be a 30 -- 8:30am. So that is in October.
This is not a Scottish problem, it is an English problem. If we have
this imposed on us, we will be an hour different from us. We will
have darkness until very late in the morning. We would all have
breakfast in the dark. In the summer, you would be watching
Newsnight and it would be light outside. Who watches Newsnight?
That is another question. There would be more reasons not to do so
because it would be light outside. This is nothing to do with shifting
time to anyone's benefit. There's masses and masses of statistics
claiming we will be billionaires, but the truth is, and the reason
why Nick Clegg is pushing the Prime Minister, visited the European
Union project to put us on Central European Time? Absolutely ludicrous
and fanciful. It is nothing to do with the European Union, it is to
find out whether we are setting our clocks to the best time zone for
the way we live our lives. This is the 7th attempt to make this change.
Under European Union rules, we could not do the 1960 it experiment.
The European Union now main dates if... Are there as it meant --
there's an insecure -- interesting argument in Ireland this week. They
would like to be up to keep some time in Ireland. They were planing
they couldn't do it because Brussels and wouldn't let them. --
complaining. This is another interesting thing about the EU. We
are not allowed to decide whether or when to put our clocks back.
This Bill has been before Parliament seven times in the first
25 years, always put forward by Europhiles, never openly
acknowledged as being in the you measure because they know it is
associated with the European Union and people will spot it for what it
is. People have little imagination about what will happen. It is not
just Scottish people who will suffer, it is everybody. The last
time it was half tried in 1968 and 1971, road deaths rose considerably
during that period despite the fact it was the time when the
breathalyser was introduced and speed limits... Peter, you are a
superb journalist but when it comes to analysing road accidents I would
rather take the advice of the people whose job it is to do it.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of accidents have been
campaigning for this measure for 60 years. They know making the
afternoon rush-hour lighter will save lives. I lived in Scotland at
the time and it was very unpopular. And in the south. I can assure you
it was very unpopular in the north. What I don't understand are the
politics of this. You would think David Cameron had enough trouble
us on European time. It seems a bit of a sideshow at the moment. I grew
up about a mile away from the nearest street light in Scotland.
Which of us really likes getting up in the dark? The thought of having
to get up in the dark for longer, where I grew up, you would be
getting up in the dark even if you got out of bed at 10am. I think it
is pretty unappealing. I agree with Peter when he says we have a
limited amount of sunshine so we will be debating where we put it
and there are costs and benefits on both sides. Because those have been
reviewed over and over again in the past, I end up feeling a little bit
apathetic towards it. If you are going to introduce any motion into
Parliament, why are we talking about this now? We just had a whole
week wasted debating whether we should be reviewing whether we are
in or out of Europe. And the economy is tanking along the bottom.
Why are we doing it? The reason is it is a concession by
David Cameron to Nick Clegg. It establishes... It re-emerged having
been killed off by the relevant department in June. It emerged a
few weeks ago as a result of this. If Rebecca harasses right that it
is so beneficial, why are the people of Berlin not adopting Minsk
time? If it is so wonderful to be getting up in the dark? Minsk time?
In it would be the equivalent of Berlin time for us. It would mean
Berlin would do everything... you now have the backing of the
government for this motion. Otherwise you would not get the
time in Parliament. It comes from Nick Clegg. It is also part of the
parliamentary process. Does it have the backing of government? They are
minded to back it. Is that the same as backing it? What they said in
the press release is they are considering backing it.
The lobby groups for this have been doing quite a good job on pointing
out the potential economic benefits. The tourist industry in Britain
think it could give us an 80 -- an extra 80,000 jobs because it makes
us compete better with Europe in terms of attractions. It widens the
British tourist season. A will Rebecca Harris stake her salary on
these claims of economic advantage? David Cameron has told us on
numerous occasions that we are all in this together but the pay roll
figures show a different story with top director pate jumping by almost
50% in a year. That is based on an analysis of what the top 100 FTSE
companies take. These directors had an average income of �2.7 million
last year. That includes salary benefits and bonus payments, which
rose by 23%, from �737,000 in 2010, to �906,000 this year. The 49% rise
follows an increase of, wait for it, 55% in 2009-10. The report by
Income Data Services is based on averages. With the median figure
being used, it is a more modest 16%. Whichever way you calculate it, it
dwarfs the average 2.3% rise in average earnings across the economy.
The report comes as Vince Cable, the bad man's favoured man, has
been consulting on proposals to climb down on the escalation of
awards. Mark Field is a member of Parliament for the City of London
and a former recruitment consultant so he knows about salaries. When
top businessmen, and they are mainly men, and getting a rise of
50% two years ago and 50% this year, we are not all in it together.
would all agree we are living in a global market and we want to get
the brightest and best people from across the globe into our top
companies. But I do accept that this does not look like a free
market at all, it looks like a club that goes on with committees made
of the same people being recycled. The furore about Cedric Brown from
British Gas, when he had that package of �300,000, the current
going rate would now be 10 times that. Let's look at the global
market argument. I can understand that the chief executive of BP
needs to be paid a lot because Chevron might come and get him and
he is very good. But this survey shows that the biggest rises were
the lower down directors, not the very top. Not the rock star
managers. And also, for your argument to work, you would have to
show me that the top pay in Germany, France and Italy went up by 50%.
Ilott and it did not. It did not. - - I have looked. I do not entirely
disagree, obviously. But I do not think we should just look at the
issue of globalisation. We do need to get the best boat around.
have just agreed with me. I think there is a more genuine concern
here, which is the sense that capitalism, well, global capitalism
now seems to be an unfair bargain in recent years. People are
campaigning about this. What is interesting about St Paul's, and I
have been down that this week, it is not just the usual suspects, the
people on the left of politics, but increasing unease from middle-class
people that capitalism is skewed against them. I have been told that
the Corporation of London, the governing area they your
constituency, is going to take legal action to get rid of the
encampment. What do you think? is interesting that we have a
Conservative MP on the show acknowledging that there are
serious problems with bonuses in the City and something needs to be
changed. And that it is not just immoral but economically unsound.
The question I ask is why do we have David Cameron consistently
coming out, as he did this morning, saying that City bankers are
continuously being bashed in an unfair way, and offended those
practices. He is not defending the salaries, but he says we do not
want more regulation in the financial services industry,
without whom we would be in trouble. Like now? If we lost the banking
income then we would be in more trouble. I find that argument naive.
We are negotiating to millions of pounds of banking bail-out so again
and you are sitting there saying we do not need more regulation. You
have just acknowledged it a second ago that we do. I do not want to
see Vince Cable spending an inordinate amount of time in his
comfort zone, utilising the idea of how we control industry. He should
be spending his time making sure that we deal with unemployment and
growth that has stalled, and the message that this country is open
for business. What do you make of this? Vince Cable looked at this
question this summer. The question is what can the Government do and
is it right for them to intervene in the market in something like
this? Vince Cable said he was surprised at the number of round
table discussions with private companies and he was surprised at
their willingness to move on this. With 50% pay rises? I want to get
your reaction to the statement from the Corporation of London. We have
had endless discussions about this and every time we talk about it,
nothing happens but their pay continues to rise and rise and rise.
It is way ahead, so that the gap now between the top paid in a
company and the average is 10 times bigger than it was in the 1950s.
What are you going to do about it? Well, I think transparency is
important. What we need, therefore, within public companies is more
activist shareholders. Government is trying to do that.
think we have a tipping point. What is happening in Wall Street and St
Paul's, it is not just the usual suspects. They are middle-class,
Tory-voting people that feel they have done the right thing and they
have got savings and they are losing out. Vince Cable jumping on
this particular bandwagon and spending an inordinate amount of
time solving what he regards as a problem makes some sense but we
have to make sure the country is open for business. Our economy is
bumping along the bottom and still we have companies awarding
themselves 50% extra this year compared to last year. That is
phenomenal to me. It is not economically sound. It is rewarding
failure. Shares have not gone up by 43% in the past year. The people
that own the companies do not get that, the dividends do not rise,
the pension funds do not go up. We have run out of time, but what is
your reaction to the news that has just come through that the
Corporation of London will begin legal action to remove the protest?
I think it has been absolute pantomime over the past couple of
weeks. It is like a Third World shanty town outside St Paul's,
which is a world heritage site. We have Remembrance Sunday, the Lord
Mayor's Show within a fortnight, and on that basis I think they are
doing the right thing to try to remove these people but it will be
a long process. They will be lucky if they can remove them for that.
and a parrot to they are Tory voters! -- and apparently they are
Tory voters! Parliament Square has been there for 10 years, so do not
hold your breath. We are grateful that Mark Field has
come on the programme. What do you think when I say John
Major? Do not fall asleep! Traffic cones hotline, Black Wednesday, or
positively maybe the National Lottery. The former Conservative
Prime Minister did indeed introduce the national lottery in the 1990s.
The original idea was promoted by a far more obscure politician. We
The National Lottery, it feels like it has been with us forever. The
irony is that the man that actually got those big-money balls rolling
is not the man that a credit for it when they finally dropped. -- that
took credit for it. The lottery was only in his mind because he won the
parliamentary version of the lottery, the ballot for Private
Members' bills. I was not there. The first I knew about it was when
the phones rang and people kept saying to me, what is your subject?
I am from this newspaper, the TV, and I said I had not thought about
it. Colleagues loaded him with options but the two that he steered
away were the National Lottery and a Government hand-me-down that
would please the shipping industry but few else. The bill of carriage
of Goods by Sea was not going to up the credibility of somebody that
had been in Parliament for 18 years without making much of a hit. But
the National Lottery is another matter. What was the opposition to
this? It all stretches back to Margaret Thatcher. She was very
puritanical. Actually, I think she did believe that the feckless might
be trapped into more feckless behaviour with the lottery. So she
was very far from enthusiastic. Then the real reason was the
Treasury had done the deal with the Football pools. That is why when we
have the second reading vote, the Government was kept out of the
lobby. After the debate, a journalist came up to you and what
did he say? He said, that is it then, it is finished. I asked why
and he said that Number 10 had told him. I said that Number 10 had
better think again. I said we are going places with this. This will
be immensely, immensely popular in the country, because it will bring
lot of pleasure and report to thousands of people every week.
after adopting it in the manifesto, pulling a surprise jackpot victory
out of the bag in 92, John Major did indeed launch the National
Lottery, but he would not keep his fingers crossed. I know exactly
what you will do with that! name is now attached to its
creation but not everybody has forgotten the man that first put it
in the public and the Prime Minister's mind. People still come
up to me. I was on the Queen Mary during a speaking tour recently and
somebody came up to me to thank main. He said he would not be on
the Queen Mary but form what I had done because he had won the lottery.
-- but for what I had done. They still do it. Europe has dominated
the news agenda this week in more ways than one. It is time to look
back at the events over the seven days of the week. David Cameron
endured the biggest Tory rebellion over Europe ever this week, with 81
of his MPs defying him by voting in favour of a referendum on British
membership of the EU. I have to say to the front bench tonight, shame
on you. After that, the Prime Minister cleared his schedule and
headed to the EU summit. But it was left to the leaders of the 17
eurozone countries to secure a deal. Vince Cable found himself in a spot
of bother over an unpaid tax bill. The Business Secretary was forced
to pay a �500 penalty for late payment on earnings from media work.
An embarrassed by the fact that an honest mistake was not spotted.
However I make it absolutely clear that I did not avoid paying tax.
And Ken Clarke was forced to changed his sentencing bill
conceding to demands that 16 and 17 year olds who commit knife crimes
should go to prison. Asked if he and the government were running
scared over the threat of another backbench rebellion, he said: That
Honest Ken Clarke. Now it turns out that this trillion pound bail-out
fund, the money does not exist. So the eurozone is cap-in-hand to
China. What will the Chinese ask for in return? That is the key
question. The art of politics over the next 40 years will be how we
learn to negotiate with the rising powers like China and India. Let's
face it, Europe is not what it used to be. We will have to learn how to
do that, but the question is how we can do that while also keeping true
to our moral standards and not being beholden to powers that we
disagree with. As they say, it shut up! They will say that about human
rights in Tibet. No doubt. I find this situation and embarrassment.
It is the direction that things are going in and we will have to get
used to it. We are not going there. Not Britain, but the eurozone.
Chinese could come up with some money but they are very smart
people. They will exact a price. They will love the idea of being
centre-stage and being brought in, and complaining about their
currency being too weak. True, but there are lots of opportunities
that come with that process. It is just about being very clear what
your boundaries are and what you will work with and what you will
not. David Cameron is meeting with members of the Commonwealth today
and you should also be talking about building better links with
our Commonwealth partners. Thank you very much for being with us.
That is it for this week. Jo will be here on Monday and you can join
Jon Sopel for the Politics Show on Sunday. In the meantime, we leave
you with images from the Brussels summit, which eurozone leaders hope