15/12/2011 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. In the aftermath of


the summer's riots the Government promises to turn around the lives


of Britain's 120,000 troubled families. Will their �450 million


scheme do the trick? It's supposed to be the pupils who cheat, but,


now, apparently the examiners are up to it. Can parents, pupils, and


employers trust out exams system? Advent's a busy time for Santa and


his elves. But not for MPs - the Government's not given them much to


do. Still plenty of time to make the mincemeat, steam the puddings


and stuff the turkey. And can pop music and politicians ever be a


good combination? It is too dangerous for politicians to get


involved in youth culture. They end up looking so old! Not sure if that


was stiff or stuff the turkey! This is not one of these endless baking


cooking programmes, this is the Daily Politics! All that in the


next half-hour. And with us for the whole programme today is Baroness


Sally Morgan, a Labour Peer, former advisor to Tony Blair, and now


chair of the schools' inspectorate Ofsted. Welcome to the programme.


Morning. And it's on a school- related matter that we begin.


Because this morning the Education Select Committee have been hearing


from the exams boards over allegations of cheating. The


Telegraph newspaper recorded an examiner working for the Welsh exam


board, WJEC, giving teachers prior knowledge of the content of exam


papers and apparently admitting to cheating. The story comes amidst


concerns that competition between exam boards has led to a dilution


of standards. We have not cheated. We have not told them anything at


all. Every individual in front of them achieves their best... We are


not talking about teachers in the classroom. We are talking about


examiners in an Examining Board, teaching the exam to teachers.


are not teaching the exam to teachers. I mean, I quite... We are


explaining a specification which is a number of words which some


teachers will immediately pick up, grasp and get a hold of and others


would say, you know, what does this particular statement mean? We have


chosen to do this subject on the day Sally Morgan is here! A lot of


people who read the Telegraph stuff and watched the secretly-taped


video and so on, in addition to the details, teachers paying up to �230


a day to attend seminars with chief examiners. It doesn't pass the


smell test? I am pleased there is going to be a full investigation.


That is not Ofsted, it is OFQAL. All of us... You don't regulate it?


We don't regulate exams. So we have the wrong person?! Send her home!


You are happy they are going to do it? On a personal basis, many moons


ago I was a geography teacher so when I read the stuff in Telegraph


about the geography teacher, I found it incredibly depressing. You


want education to be as wide as possible and we have to see what


OFQAL come up with. I hope there is a pretty radical look at the system.


The exams system is now discredited, would you go that far? There is a


real level of concern about it. We all know, if you have had kids who


have gone through exams you know how much they put into exams and


you know how much teachers put in to helping children prepare. So


there's got to be a situation where there is real assurance for


children, teachers and employers that the exams mean something.


remember there was loads of discussion about past exam papers.


Hasn't there always been a bit of it is more likely this is going to


come up than that? Maybe not as we saw in that secretly-recorded film.


But this idea that there is no communication... You are right. I


can remember that, too. I can remember saying, "If volcanoes came


up last year, maybe it is not going to come up next." I remember at


school and at university, you could go into the library and look out


the exam papers... It is whether or not this has gone over a line. I


think it's commonsense. Everybody recognises there has to be - there


is going to be guesswork and intelligence about what is likely


to come up in an exam. It is about whether this has crossed the line.


Does it play into a widely-held view beyond the teaching unions,


who don't agree, that the exams have got easier? I don't buy that.


Let me ask you this. Why is it now that the private schools who do the


same A-levels as the state schools they are getting incredible pass


rates like five times better than 30 years ago? They are not three or


five times better. Standards have come up. I know there is


controversy over that. But standards in schools have come up.


Coursework has had an impact. I am sure there will be a longer review


about the role of coursework. There is coursework. When we did exams...


They were three-hour exams. It is very different now.


universities say that an A in an A level no longer allows them to


distinguish between good and bad. Those getting A-level maths to go


to Cambridge have to do remedial courses. The other thing is...


some of us went to university, you were interviewed by universities


and that was an additional way of making an assessment.


There were a lot of universities that did interviews at that point.


Even though you are not from OFQAL, we are glad you are here! Now, how


can Government turn around problem families? The cost to society in


benefits, public services, policing and even prison is well documented.


As are the grand gestures of past politicians. Now, David Cameron has


unveiled his plans. Jo has more. Yes, Andrew, the aftermath of the


summer riots refocused political thought on the UK's problem


families. Now, the Government wants to use troubleshooters - a mixture


of charity, council and private sector workers who will receive


almost �450 million in taxpayers' money to help 120,000 troubled


families in England. They will be expected to produce plans which


could include targets to return parents to work, stop them from


drinking or taking drugs, and ensuring children go to school. The


troubleshooters will be paid an average of �3,750 for each family,


with 60% of the money paid upfront and the remainder "on results". The


Prime Minister explained how troubleshooters will help. They


will see the family as a whole and get a plan of action together


agreed with the family. This will be basic practical things, like


getting the kids to school on time, properly fed. They are the building


blocks of any orderly home and a responsible life. These things


don't always cost a lot, but they make a big difference. Then they


will get on top of the services, sorting out and sometimes fending


off the 28 different state services that can come calling at the door.


Not a string of well-meaning disconnected officials who end up


treating the symptoms and not the causes. But a clear hard-headed


recognition of how the family is going wrong and what the family


members can do to take responsibility. We are joined by


the Communities Minister and for Labour, Jack Dromey. Minister,


these problem families already cost us �9 billion a year, �9,000


million, there's still 120,000 of them. So why will another �450


million make any difference? have a programme that has already


begun. We have to accelerate that, make it happen all over the country.


This is pump-priming money to tackle a deep-seated problem that's


been going on for generations. do you pump-prime? You have heard


the Prime Minister say we are going to place in each local authority


area a troubleshooter, we will be working very closely with local


authorities, the Probation Service, with education, with Criminal


Justice System, social services take a tremendous hit from families


and particularly young children who often for generation after


generation are in a cycle which simply repeats itself. Is this


troubleshooter going to knock on the doors and say, "Why are you not


at work? Why is your kid not at school?" Is that what they are


going to do? The most important thing is to co-ordinate...


process? No, it is about real action to bring things together.


is an interesting initiative. Tell us how it will work. There is a


problem family - Jo's. Troubleshooter goes to Jo's door,


if they can get through the debris, what will happen? The key thing is


to make sure the children are at school and the opportunities for


the family to develop their skills to get into work are there.


understand that. We have to tackle the anti-social behaviour...


Understand all that. Sorry to interrupt you. I understand the


problem. I know about the problem. I'm just anxious to know what this


person will do when faced with a troubled family. He won't go, or


she won't go with a blank sheet of paper. They will have been the work


with the Probation Service, with the education service, the social


services beforehand so that it is clear for that particular family


what needs to be done. So the people... It will be different in


different places. The people aren't working, the kids are not at school.


What does the troubleshooter do? The first thing is to get those


children back into school. How does he do it? Can they force them to


go? What we have got at the moment is a system where there are


punishments and rewards but it is difficult to enforce them. So the


troubleshooter's job is to make sure it is pulled together and it


really does happen. It's some stick but also some carrot to make sure


that those children are drawn into the system, the adults as well and


the anti-social behaviour. We have seen it in examples across the


country that you get a reduction in anti-social behaviour when there is


that one-to-one engagement. You get children back into school. I can


understand how one the one will help. Putting aside my inability to


find out exactly how this will work, I assume that Labour supports the


principle? Labour in power was always on about early intervention,


getting in there. I was looking back at Gordon Brown's speech to


the Labour Conference in 2007 - that is what my life is reading his


old speeches! New one-to-one support led by the voluntary sector


can make all the difference. That's what the Government's doing?


are right. We acted in Government. The notion of early intervention -


I see some of those families in my own constituency, deep-seated


problems. Intergenerational? dad I know who lost his job four


times in the 1980s and then lost his confidence, never worked again


and no-one else has ever worked in that household for the 25 years


subsequently. It is absolutely right that what you do is to have a


focus on those families because they are not just a problem for


themselves, they are also a problem for the communities in which they


live. It's the people around them who are troubled? Sure. Is this a


consensus I am seeing here? principle is a good one. We


pioneered it. They also abolished Total Place, that brought together


all the different agencies in areas where you get... Can I come to the


practical problems? You asked how does it work? The idea of having a


trusted person working with a family, helping that family and


challenging that family is a good thing. I have seen it in my own


constituency. There's three problems... A tough job. I wouldn't


like it? Very tough job. There are three problems. Briefly.


Government says this is what we want to do, we want to put in 40%,


local government you put in 60%. The only problem about that,


Birmingham cut �212 million from Birmingham City Council... This


Andrew! The second thing is that early intervention in areas like


children's centres, childcare, mental health, all of the things


that matter to - you invest �1 now, you save �10 later on. Those


services are being cutback by the Government. The third point is get


people back into work without hesitation. Work should be central


to people's lives. But just yesterday's figures that came out,


Andrew, 500 extra people on the dole in my constituency. The floor


is yours. Indeed. Listening to the chair of the Local Enterprise


Centre for the West Midlands, they have vacancies they can't fill


because they haven't got the skills. There is mass unemployment in


Birmingham. I think Jack and I agree, but for the sake of this


programme, he has to disagree! LAUGHTER The community budget


programme has been running all year. What we have done is to give extra


impetus beyond the pilot areas including Birmingham. Do local


authorities have to chivvy up some of this �450 million? They will be


saving as well. Some of the money they are putting into Children's


Services, putting children into care, they will be able to save.


it right you are saying to Birmingham, we will put in 40%, but


you have to find 60%? No, the police service, the Probation


Service, the budget is drawn from Government departments, nine


Government departments, across Government. All right. We want to


monitor this very carefully. It is interesting. This 120,000 troubled


families, they do cause a lot of the crime, a lot of social unrest


and they make life miserable for those around them. I think people


watching this will only be convinced if this 120,000 figure is


a real figure and whether it is Labour or Conservative, or Lib Dem,


come back to us in five years' time and say, "It's now 90,000. There is


still a way to go but we can say to you, we have moved 30,000 off the


troubled list." I'm not sure they will be able to do that? The real


issue for me is the children in those families. Some of whom


obviously in the end are children who end up causing a lot of


problems in schools for other children. In the end, they are very


vulnerable. My question is whether or not really there is sufficient


resource going into this. I'm convinced about early intervention.


Have any of you seen the scheme? have seen what a real difference...


No, have you seen the TV programme? None of you have? Correct.


should all watch it. It should be compulsory viewing in the Lords and


the Commons. It is on BBC Scotland. It's a documentry where they went


into a real scheme full of troubled families and watch that before you


think you have any answers. I am sure it is on iPlayer. Thank you.


Jo. Twas the week before the Christmas break and all through the


House not a creature was stirring, not even an MP. Well, not quite.


MPs have been holding backbench debates, but the legislation


workload has certainly dropped off throughout December. A number of


MPs have also taken the opportunity to start their foreign Christmas


breaks early, jetting off to warmer climes as the temperatures in


Westminster fall. So, is this a well deserved rest for our members


and chance for the Lords to get their heads around legislation, or


valuable debating time lost? Two MPs that haven't taken off are


Labour MP Thomas Docherty and, back by popular demand, Conservative MP


Peter Bone, who both join us now from the Commons. I hope you have


left that spot since we saw you last, Peter Bone?! Oh yes. Is the


Government slacking off before Christmas? It is unusual not to


have anything to do? I don't think so. We have come from the Chamber


where business questions are being discussed and there are demands


from lots of MPs for more and more debate. I think it is rather good


that the Government is enforcing more legislation through. We should


have less legislation, better scrutiny and better Acts of


Parliament. In terms of serious legislation, the Commons isn't and


hasn't looked at anything particularly meaty for weeks?


Government got it wrong? They had in a sense, that they rushed all


their stuff through at the beginning to make an impact. We


should have had more times to scrutinise that. We wouldn't be in


the situation where we are now where the Lords is having to do


most of the scrutiny. That is because the Government controls the


business of the Commons and when we get to a House Business Committee,


I think Parliament will improve. That is the reason for it. This is


really just a screw-up in terms of timings and calendar, isn't it? The


legislation has been looked at by the Commons and is now in the


Lords? The Commons did not get enough time to do due diligence on


these bills. Because the Government railroaded them through, they have


gone to the House of Lords who are taking a part in the most badly-


drafted bills. The Welfare Reform Bill was defeated and was led by a


former Secretary of State for Social Security. Given Peter has


nine bills that he is trying to introduce in the House of Commons


in the week ahead, I think if anybody needs to look at their own


regulation, it might be Peter. do you say to that? The Government


was really poor in allowing Private Members' Bills. One of the things


we have to do is to reform the House so a Private Members' Bill


can be debated. Can I come back to this point? Ill-judged and badly-


drafted legislation. That makes all of us cringe with the idea it is


going to have to be redone, it will have to be re-debated? We are


expecting some badly-drafted legislation to be passed here?


It should have been the Commons? This started up under Blair and


Brown when they introduced timetabling in the Commons. I would


like our guest here to my left to support the idea of getting rid of


programme motions because that's the problem, the Commons is


restricted on the time it has for debate. That doesn't happen in the


Lords. It was brought in by Labour. I would like to see that scrapped.


We will talk to Sally Morgan about that in a minute. This is all


fascinating for all of us in the Westminster village. Does the


public really take an interest in terms of the sort of process of


legislation and the timing that's devoted to it? The public has a


right to know that why is it the Government's whips collapsed the


business yesterday at 5.30 so they can go to a carol concert. Why did


we finish last week at 5.00 so they could go to a Christmas party? It


is not good for the taxpayer. that note, thank you both very much


in the House of Commons and Happy Christmas. Happy Christmas.


Lords seem to be coming into their own having plenty of time... We are


not finishing at 5.00! We are starting at 10.00 and working


through till 10.00 at night. We are doing detailed scrutiny of both the


Health and Welfare Reform Bills. it badly drafted? There is real


concern about the drafting. will be working right the way


through? We are working through to the end of next Wednesday. Glad to


hear it! That is great. We are not! Don't tell them! France could be


losing its AAA status. Am I looking at the right camera? Remember Cool


Britannia? A certain Prime Minister getting down with the kids,


entertaining BRIT popstars at Downing Street? I'm sure Sally


Morgan does. But does it work? Does a little bit of the stardust rub


off on the politicians? Can a good tune change the way we vote? Here's


The music studios in London. Some of the biggest names in pop have


prepared here. For a rock fan like me, I'm living the dream. There is


nothing worse than gentlemen of a certain age pretending they are


down with the kids and politicians are some of the worst offenders.


Gordon Brown and the Arctic Monkeys? Really? There has always


been the strong bond between music and politics. How powerful can a


song be? Who better to ask than Professor John Street. He's written


a book called Music and Politics. If you think about music and


musicians, you do see the use of music to drive political movements


of some considerable significance and produce an effect.


# Things can only get better. # Take this. Remind you of anything?


Me, too. A catchy tune can be a double edged sword. People point at


Things Can Only Get Better so when ever you see a New Labour story


clip on the TV, that will be the backdrop to it. It is easy to


overplay the impact that those things had at the time. The trouble


with that song is it is pathetic, it is an awful song. Ouch! Yet,


politicians are drawn to pop music and musicians like moths to a flame.


Do we like it? Politics is so desperately uncool at the moment.


Even more so than it ever was. It is too dangerous for politicians to


get involved in youth culture. you are not making any friends at


Westminster! Professor Street and I may not be getting backstage at the


next U2 gig. You can get pop stars that will put you off. Can we name


names? Bono could put people off, the causes he was advocating,


because he was almost too familiar, too much of a man who is always


advocating causes. Sorry, Bono. If there is one song which shows the


power of music can have over politics, it is this one:


# Feed the world. # We were all young once! We're


joined now by the Conservative MP and rock music fan who used to work


in the music industry, Mike Weatherley. Welcome to the


programme. Can you think of a song that has changed politics?


necessarily a song. There are musicians that have. Frank Zappa


campaigned against censorship. you think of one? Feed The World


captured the public mood. You don't see much political protest songs in


The X Factor? Music is about fun. This is true. That is what people


want to hear. They don't want to be preached at quite often. You agree


with that remark about Bono? A lot of people don't want to be preached


at. They want to have fun with music. Creative people do want to


give a message. Whose idea was Cool Britannia? Not mine! LAUGHTER Thank


you! Dry your hands. You made a pledge to the people of Hove that


you would wear your Iron Maiden T- shirt in the Commons, have you done


so? I have. Westminster Hall I have. I asked the Speaker if he would


give me permission, he said "no". They are very noisy! That's a genre


that I particularly like. You don't often hear that word on this


programme! Music is very important to our overseas earnings. We are


world beaters at it! It would make it uncool. All right. Stand up for


British music! We are the best! Time before we go to give you the


answer to yesterday's Guess The Year competition. It was 1987. The


first name gets one of our brand- new mugs. 11 more runners-up will


get one of the old ones! You can pick the winner of the brand-new


mug. This is the first-ever mug. Adam Williams, County Durham.


get the first new mug. Thanks to all our guests. I'll be back


tonight for This Week's Review of the Year with Michael Portillo,


Diane Abbott and Charles Kennedy. And George Clooney! And tomorrow at


noon, I'll be here with the final Daily Politics of 2011 and, as


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