01/11/2011 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


The City of London is telling the anti-capitalist campers they've got


48 hours to leave, or face eviction. Could this lead to running battles


on the steps of St Paul's? The UK economy grew by 0.5% between


July and September, a surprise for many, so is it proof the


Government's plan is working? Meanwhile, the Greek Prime Minister


has stunned the rest of Europe by announcing a referendum on the


latest bail-out deal. So, does the whole future of the eurozone now


hang on the result? And, the Prime Minister has always


vowed to protect Britain's aid budget, but a lot of his own


backbenchers are sceptical. So is it time to look at where the money


is going? All that in the next half hour. Jo


and Andrew are off today, so joining me for the whole programme


is Dame Barbara Stocking, the chief executive of Oxfam. Welcome to the


Daily Politics. Hello. I'd like to get your thoughts on what's


happening down at St Paul's today, where the protesters look as if


they're going to be served with legal papers giving them 48 hours


to pack their tents. But first, let's get the latest from our


correspondent down there, Tamsin Smith. There's a real sense that


anticipation is building here. We know there's a meeting ongoing at


the Guildhall, where they are hammering out the details of an


eviction notice that is going to be served to the protest camp. You can


see the camp behind me. They've set up a university, where they are


having elects tures, and debates. There are portaloos, a media point,


and so they are very much bedding down to stay. It's been a very damp


night. There are lots of duvets out airing, but they say that, despite


they eviction notice which is going to be served by the City of London


Corporation, they will not be moving. They say that, in fact,


more protesters will be coming to join them. Interestingly, they say


they are also getting lots of funding as well. �1,000 a day, we


hear, is pouring in to help fund the protest camp here. And it


continues to be an embarrassment, an acute embarrassment for St


Paul's Cathedral, who want to stress today that the eviction


notice is not being served by them but by the Corporation of London.


Do you think there's a risk that the protest might become


confrontation as a result of all of this? Sorry, I missed that question.


Do you think this protest could become confrontation as a result of


this eviction notice? Well, there is not a sense of that. Certainly


it is very peaceful at the moment. I've been speaking to some of the


protesters, asking them about how long they think they will stay.


They say they are happy to stay here until Christmas. Interestingly,


they say that this whole debacle, the dilemma it has put the Church


in, they say it is positive for them, because it is helping to draw


attention to their cause, which primarily is one of anti-capitalism,


but you might have seen behind me some of the banners here. There's a


raft of disparate cause, very disparate me messages. There isn't


a huge sense of cohesion, in terms of the message they are putting


across at the moment, but they are riding on the back of the dilemma


that's engulfed the St Paul's Cathedral at this moment. Thank you.


Dame barb remarks what do you make of what's going on at St Paul's?


is going on all over the world. I was in America last week, in


Washington and New York, and you've got people camped out there. They


are the tip of an iceberg of a lot of people who are really worried


about the way the free market system works, and what's happened


to banks and the financial system and so on. So they are a small


group but they certainly represent a lot hor of the thinking and


concern that there is. There are protests two a penny day in and day


out, yet why is this one getting the coverage and the impact that


others don't? I guess it is because it is global. Also because I think


it hits this core that people have, that's what has happened in the


last few years in the economy is not fair, not fair for the poorest


people in the UK, not fair for the middle income groups who are seeing


all the jobs going. People genuinely feel that something is


happening here that is not fair. They are not against the Government


dealing with the debt crisis but they are saying, "Why is it us?"


you think the reason it is making an impact is, in your view, the


rightness of the cause, not the tactics they are using in terms of


the occupation and the taking on the Church in the City of London?


It is a bit of both. A lot of people fundamentally agree with


their concerns. They may not agree with camping outside St Paul's. But


as they've said on reporting from St Paul's, they've been given a


media blessing by the sense of the eviction and all the concerns. Can


I understand why the protesters are saying this is getting us into the


media and that's good news, it is amplyifying our voice now. Is Oxfam


going to learn there from this in the way you campaign? I don't think


there is anything wrong with what they are doing as long as they are


peaceful. The worry is you might get into a violent situation now.


It is perfectly sensible for people to want to demonstrate about things


that are wrong in their own society. We would absolutely back that. The


tricky bit is it is not entirely clear which bits they are really


campaigning against, but that general sense of unease with the


economy. Barbara, for now, thank you.


So, the latest growth figures are out, and for once the Government


may well have let out a sigh of relief. The figures are the first


estimate of the third quarter of 2011 and they show that Britain's


economy grew by 0.5%, a little better than the 0.3% many expected.


However, to give this some context, growth in the last quarter was 0.1%,


so some rise was expected. Ed Balls argued earlier in the week that


growth would need to be 1.3% for the Government to meet its targets.


What's more, separate figures out this morning show that the


manufacturing sector shrank by the sharpest rate since June 2009, when


Britain was still in recession. Speaking earlier this morning,


however, the Chancellor, George Osborne, welcomed the growth


figures. I think this is a positive step forward for the British


commitment it's a better figure than some were expecting this week,


given what's happening in the world. And, of course, the British economy


has got a difficult journey to take from its debt-fuelled past. That's


a journey made more difficult by the kind of problems you see today


in the eurozone. But the important thing is today we took a step down


that road the road will lead to recovery and prosperity. As the


Chancellor said, across the Channel things aren't looking good.


Yesterday the OECD downgraded its growth predictions for the eurozone


in 2012 from 2% to 0.3%. And this morning the markets took a tumble


as they digested the news that the Greek Government has decided to put


its latest austerity plans to a referendum. Most opinion polls show


a majority of Greeks don't support the measure, and if the vote is


lost, it could derail the EU's recovery plans. With us now is the


economist, Vicky Pryce, who is Greek herself. Welcome to you. From


the Labour frontbench, Chris Leslie, and for the Conservatives, Matt


Hancock, a former Bank of England economist and adviser to George


Osborne. Welcome to you all. Vicky Pryce, can I begin with you? �0.5%,


what can we take from that, what does it mean for the economy?


of all it is better than expected, so that is good news. Everybody


indicator we've seen in the last couple of months suggests that in


fact we are moving into a slower pace of growth, with manufacturing


being hit. And the services sector, which did so well in the last


quarter it is now also slowing down. Europe is very significant for us.


Manufacturing itself, which had done rather well because of Germany


in particular, having become a locomotive for growth, is going to


suffer, because Germany itself hurts now, showing signs of not


growing at all. So a glimmer of positive news for the last three


months but it is looking pretty grim for the next three? It does.


We had recovered from the previous three months. We had a series of


accidents like the bad weather, and then the Royal Wedding. The


problems in Japan with the tsunami and the nuclear explosion that we


had. There was a serious slowdown in demand for goods in the whole


region really, because basically we were exporting quite a lot to them


as well. That's recovered. It had to recover, but it is not


sustainable, given what's going on around the world. The OECD figures,


the forecasts now which are so low, suggest that the problems are going


to be significant in 2012 as well. Matt Hancock, how do you tackle the


criticism that the Government's policies aren't working enough


simply because there is not enough growth in the system, there is no


sign of it to come? I'm not sure that's the criticism. I agreed with


almost everything that Vicky said. These figures are better than


expected, so they are positive, and positive news in that sense. But of


course the world economy is in a very difficult place. We learn that


Italian Government bonds for instance, interest rates in Italy


are now over 6%, which is crippling for them. I look at that and I


think, thank goodness that isn't us. So, of course it is very difficult,


but the best thing that we can do is make sure that we have the UK as


a port of stability in this great crisis that's going on around the


world rather than itself facing the wrath of the markets, who are after


all the people that we borrowed all this money from. So Chris Leslie a


port of stability? I worry there's a bit of complacency creeping in


here. I think the idea that 0.5 % growth is a great triumph or even a


sign of recovery moving forward, as the Chancellor seems to have


sometimes suggest is completely out of touch with reality. The


Government shouldn't be taking any comfort from these statistics.


Particularly when all the for tents are in terms of manufacturing we're


back into contraction, according to the PMI index today. The


construction sector has fallen back by 4% in the last year. This is


0.5% growth since the Chancellor's great Spending Review. The previous


year before that, 2.6%. We really have had a recovery that was


completely choked off by the decisions that the Chancellor has


made. They are going to try to use this eurozone crisis as an alibi by


the export situation doesn't stand up to that story. This is a move


backwards because of the choices, the idealogical choices that the


Chancellor of the Exchequer has made. A lot of the Treasury


background today has been, look, we are in a global crisis, there was a


crisis in the eurozone, we are not an island, the politics of John


Dunn. How do you respond to that criticism? The policies the


Government are mer suing have an impact on growth at the moment.


This is an international very difficult situation. The idea that


any of the tone of what I've been saying is anything other than that


we are in this difficult situation and we are trying to get Britain


through it. But what you don't do to get through it is to borrow more,


when the problem is that we are in a debt crisis. So, it is, it is


serious, it is difficult. What we need to do, I think actually, is on


the growth side we need to do more to get growth growing. So for


instance, let me give you an example. Make it easier to employ


people, by changing from one year to two years the merd that you can


employ them -- the period that you can employ them. You can make all


the supply-side changes, but if demand isn't there it doesn't


matter how much you change employment law. That's why I


thought it was right that the Bank of England engaged in another round


of qeezing to get money flowing. And we are going to go into credit


easing, which is about getting that money into small businesses. The


question for people like cries, you can't borrow your way out of a debt


crisis. Are they going to support the other measures we are taking to


get growth going? You can't cut yourself out of this situation


either. Cut sog far and so fast as George Osborne has done has caused


problems. It is important that you listen to the people of Britain,


who are compass rated by this Government's failure to do anything


on growth. The idea that removing employment rights is going to be


the salvation for our economy is completely off the planet. It is


time you started to take serious measures to boost growth, cutting


VAT or putting a banker bonus levy. We've got a five-point plan. What


do you make of this debate and are you in Oxfam getting some impact?


What impact is it having on organisations like your known


the moment, not too bad that. Comes -- not too bad. People are


concerned and generous about people internationally. Our income from


the public has stayed the same. The thing it does do is nobody will


commit to the future. Everybody knows that something may happen to


their job, so we don't get new people signing. What do you mean by


that? We have 400,000 people who commit to giving to Oxfam regularly


a fixed amount on direct debit. We can't get new people to sign up to


that. They are too uncertain about what will happen to them in future.


There is plenty of uncertainty about but for us people have


Minimising that uncertainty is so important for the future. We need


to minimise that rather than borrowing further. Talking of


uncertainty, Vicki - a referendum in Greece. How much uncertainty in


the short term has that placed over the whole eurozone packet? Huge.


Everyone was shocked to hear that they have called for a referendum,


and a very interested to hear why they should have done it. Whatever


happens between now and when the second bail-out package comes in


and then austerity measures for the next couple of years have to be


passed, he needs to know he has the backing of his parliament.


isn't the risk enormous? It is huge. First of all, we are not sure


whether a referendum will take place. He has to pass a confidence


vote first of all this week, which includes the referendum. If he


doesn't pass that, we will have elections. And what that means is a


huge uncertainty over the coming few months anyway. But in addition,


what it has shown is that we cannot rely on the deal that has been


agreed just a few days ago. It may all be reopened. The uncertainty


about the situation is very worrying, and they think if we were


genuinely worried, we would have a stronger economy that could


withstand some of these international wobbles.


Unfortunately, because we are so flatlining in terms of this


negligible growth, any internal event destabilise the market and


put our economy in jeopardy. This is why we have to have a strong and


positive efforts, not just here at home for growth, but the Chancellor


and a prime minister who will argue for growth and jobs in Europe. That


was the missing factor and a lot of the euro-zone arrangements.


Do you think as some Euro-sceptics in your party believe, that this is


the moment, if a referendum takes place, that could see the


withdrawal of Greece from the euro, and that could bring the whole


house tumbling down? They are lobbying with glee about this.


the referendum is past, that will give the Greek Prime Minister a


strong mandate to drive through the changes to deal with their debts.


At the end of the day, at the heart of this crisis, it is a debt crisis.


In Greece, in Italy, across the eurozone and here in the UK. That


is what the Greek Prime Minister is having a referendum, in order to


get the mandate to deal with it. And the problem? Some people may


say that a disorganised downfall would be a good idea. I think it is


in Britain's economic interests that the euro is strong. Thank you


very much indeed for joining us all here today. This debate is clearly


one that is going to go on and on. This weekend, the Prime Minister


was promising to get tough when it comes to which countries should get


aid from Britain, and warned regimes with bad rates on human


rights that they might not get cash. But Tory backbenchers are still


worried about the size of the Budget at the Department for


International Development. Adam has investigated.


On a visit to Kenya, then Development Secretary Andrew


Mitchell, the only Cabinet minister whose budget is protected from the


cuts. It is part of a pledge to eventually bring spending on eight


up to 0.7% of national income. -- spending on aid. It will go up from


�5 billion a year in 2006 to �7.7 billion now. Earlier this year,


there were a couple of big reviews, which saw the number of countries


receiving aid from us from 43-27. Places like Russia and China came


off the list. There has also been a change in priorities, with an


emphasis on helping countries develop economic Klee, and helping


places affected by conflict. This has raised concerns even among the


Department's supporters. They are cutting back room staffed by one


third. They are going into more fragile states, places like Somalia


and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and therefore the dangers of


corruption become greater. And the temptation will be to put more


money into multinational organisations like the World Bank


for Unesco, where the British taxpayer will not be able to


monitor of where their money is going. At this weekend's


Commonwealth summit, the Prime Minister repeated his message that


aid is going to come with more strings, especially when it comes


to human rights. But he has still got to convince some sceptical Tory


backbenchers like Caroline Dinenage, who took these photos on a recent


fact-finding trip to India. Some of the politicians we spoke to had a


sense of almost arrogance about their position on the world stage


at the moment. It is almost as if they are the pretty girl at school


that everybody now suddenly wants to go out with, and almost an


ignorance of the fact that this incredible economic position that


they find themselves ent has been built on the back of a population


for whom the average wage is a quarter even of China. And then


there are those who are question whether any of our aid makes a


difference. We are still stuck in what I think of as the 1984 mindset,


where yes, there are starving people, and we have got to help and


teach them and inoculate them, and we have to do stuff to them.


Actually, it should be a partnership where they are doing it


and we are helping to enable that. The aid pledge is completely non-


negotiable for this government. Future arguments will be about how


Adam Fleming reporting there. Barbara Stocking, why should the


government protect it international aid budget more than its budgets


for health or education? Defend the basic position. First of all, the


government made the commitment, and this was a pledge given several


years ago. I do think the British people think it is a good thing


which governments do what they say. They don't always. No, but that is


generally a good thing. The British people are generally committed to


aid and to make sure that something happens for the poorest people. We


see that in the way people come and give money to ask. But will that


continue as the economy continues to stagnate? People have given


money towards trying to make other people's lives better three times


when they have been at their poorest, so I don't think that will


be dramatically changed. It is in Britain's interest to do this. When


I was over at the UN, it is amazing to see the influence that Britain


has. Generally, Britain does this rather well. We have a lot of


influence, and we will have a lot of influence in the countries where


aid is currently going, because in future, they will be our markets.


There are so many different reasons why it is good to stick to the aid


commitment. And are you happy for aid to be used as a tool of policy


to combat terrorism, create future markets, reduce instability?


not directly. It must be directed at the poorest people, and the


countries that came out of the bilateral review are in fact the


countries which are the poorest and most unstable, and instability is


actually one of the things that poor people are mostly concerned


about in their countries. Being in an insecure country is just hell on


wheels. We are watching that very carefully, because we are worried


about whether it were just going to security. The UK NGOs are concerned


about where this money is going, and we will continue to watch. But


money that goes to countries like Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan,


where there are huge numbers of poor people. And India, with its


space programmes? India is interesting, because they have so


many poor people, but can we use the aid tactically to make sure


that it reaches the poor people? With Oxfam, we now have an Oxfam


India. That is fantastic because it is saying to Indian middle classes,


you have a responsibility for your own poor people. Very quickly,


should British policy be discriminating, or should it


withhold aid from countries that banner, sexuality? I think you have


to be very careful with that. ban homosexuality? If you go to


local NGOs and onwards, you don't have to pull out just because you


don't approve of the government, you can take different steps. We


would be nervous about taking money away from the poorest countries


because their governments don't have policies we agree with.


you detect no change in government policy on this? We think they will


stay committed, and we will hold them to that. Thank you very much.


Have one organisation making quite a big difference to how Parliament


works is the backbench business committee. The green benches were


packed as huge numbers of Conservative MPs defied David


Cameron's pleas not to vote for a referendum on our relationship with


the European Union. That came about because the backbench business


committee made it happen. Today, they will be considering whether or


not to have a similar debate about the extradition of British citizens


to face trial in foreign countries. 1 K is often cited is that of Gary


McKinnon, who suffers from an autistic spectrum disorder. He


broke into an American computer network and claims he was just


looking for UFOs. His mother claims he would not survive the prison


system. The US wants him extradited. Dominic Raab is pushing for this


debate. Why do you think the extradition system is unfair?


had a big drive for enhanced Corporation on counter-terrorism


after 911. I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Also


under the European arrest warrant, we have fast track extraditions


tainted with evidence of spurious grounds. We need to rebalance, put


in a bit more common sense, and basic judicial checks and


safeguards. I think it is important to have this debate, because it is


the job of Parliament to protect British standards of justice.


former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Scott Baker, came to a different


conclusion, and he said the system was adequate. Yes, and they read


all 486 pages of his report. There were a few flaws in it. They ducked


the big issues. Take the Michael Turner case, the case of fast-track


extradition, not for a prosecution but a police investigation. That is


the kind of case that shouldn't be happening. The Baker report denies


it happens, and Michael Turner's case is confined to a single


footnote in the report. The second major flaw in the report is that


they didn't interview any of the victims, and therefore it is that


of shorn of all human dimension. If you are subject of this extradition


and you are innocent, it turned your life upside down. What impact


you think a debate would have? have the Joint Committee on Human


Rights report as well. Lawyers can give their legal opinion. But I


think ultimately it is up to elected lawmakers to stand up our


justice system and our citizens and to have their voice and they say


before the government response than this. How much support you think


you will get? At the moment, we have cross-party support. So Ming


Campbell, how Francis, -- Sir Menzies Campbell. Particularly


constituency MPs for constituents who have suffered under the


European arrest warrant. Barbara, due think this new development of


the backbench business committee and more backbench power is a good


thing? Definitely. The more that people's voice can be heard, and


that is a better way of more people being engaged in the debate.


Lobbyists feeding into the debate? Yes, we do, and we raised full


parliamentary sittings. But that wider view of what the British


people are wanting and the debates they want to have held has got to


be good for democracy. And in the wake of expenses and the


downgrading of Parliament, you think it is a good thing?


Definitely. There is a bigger issue here as well. We tend to assume


that politicians are all the same, but there is a difference between


Parliament and legislature, and the executive. There is also my job as


a backbencher and a lawmaker to hold the government to account and


scrutinise policy. Thank you both very much for being with us here


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