16/12/2011 Daily Politics


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16/12/2011

Andrew Neil presents the last Daily Politics of the year, with a special Christmas quiz featuring Jacob Rees-Mogg, Charlie Falconer and Chris Rennard.


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LineFromTo

Afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics.

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Labour hold the Feltham by-election. The IMF warn of a 1930s type

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Depression. And the French have got it in for us. Again. But more

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important than any of this, it's the final Daily Politics of the

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year. Ah! But fear not, because it's our

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annual festive quiz. Hurray! It's that time again where

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we take stock, and look back over the events of the past 12 months.

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Well, that's going to cheer us all up! Maybe we should look to the

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future, at all the things that could happen next year. This could

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be a long programme. But fear not, because joining me today to battle

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it out for this brand new Daily Politics mug are the three wise men

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of politics. Labour's Charles Falconer. Chris

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Rennard from the Liberal Democrats. And, seeing as we've got two lords

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a leaping, we felt we needed a commoner. So we plumped for the

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Conservatives' Jacob Rees-Mogg. Welcome to show.

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And, like all good quiz shows, we've got buzzers. So let's give

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them a try. Calm down. A pygmy. I'm not Tony Blair.

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We'll split the quiz into three parts. Labour, Lib Dem. And first

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the Conservatives. Questions in a moment. But to kick us off, let's

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take a look back at their year. I should warn you, there's flash

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photography right from the start. And tonight, British forces are in

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Colonel Gaddafi said he would hunt you down like rats, but you showed

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the courage of Lyons. Any money in the box, Chancellor?

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If the rest of Europe heads into recession it may be hard to avoid

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one here in the UK. This is criminality, pure and

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What is on offer it isn't in Britain's interests so what did not

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Jacob Rees-Mogg, you are renting a better than you thought you would,

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but 2012 looks grim. The economy is in a difficult situation and the

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euro remains in crisis. There is no solution to the crisis, the thing

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they recommended last weekend amounted to nothing. Since the

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Chancellor has said that the biggest drag on the economy that is

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the uncertainty of the eurozone crisis, events are out of your

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government's control. Economic events often outside government

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control but the government cannot expect the economy to react

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immediately. They can set the framework where business can do

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business which is what this government is doing. Do you get the

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feeling, the official forecast does not say it, but there is an

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expectation of the session. clearly is difficult, but we are

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not in the position of Greece, or Ireland, where they are cutting

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public sector salaries by 6% in Ireland. There is a sense, it

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doesn't matter who would be in power now, it would be heavy

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pounding for any government. sense that the politicians have any

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control over events is huge at the moment. George Osborne has had to

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come back to the despatch box to revise his forecast. We have no

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control over Europe, I don't mean just the failure to agree. The

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eurozone, they cannot get that right. Politicians are looking to

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the public as a whole, as very diminished figures. In a way, I was

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struck by the way George Osborne had to rip up his economic policy

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effectively, he won't get the structural deficit down by 2015,

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the growth figures were wrong. And the country said, what do you

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expect? The idea that government is in control, what Chris said was

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admirable, but hopeless. It is whistling in the wind. The one

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issue the coalition thought its part of them in the agreement, was

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Europe, and Europe has come back to dominate politics. They are already

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planning for a summit at the end of January, it continues to be an

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issue. It clearly divides the coalition, does the coalition

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divide -- survive? There are large differences in the coalition, on

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how the health service might be changed, on Europe. It is not wrong

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in a coalition to have differences. No one country controls its own

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economy. If this country's economy and every other is to avoid

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problems, we need to work together more closely. An interesting answer.

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Could you answer my question? Does the Coalition survive? It is stable

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and strong. Will it remain so? next general election will be in a

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2015. You are tap-dancing around the Christmas tree. Suddenly for

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the first time, David Cameron is a hero among his own backbench MPs.

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He has always been, since the day he became leader. A hero to us and

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the country. He has done the right thing on Europe. And now? To ensure

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any agreement that comes through does not use the commission, that

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it has to be outside the framework. That is what is being discussed at

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the moment. If other treaties come through which they probably will,

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that is the time to renegotiate. The Conservatives are committed as

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a party to a renegotiation of our terms of membership, the coalition

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is not. I ultimately want a renegotiation of the treaties, but

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that comes with a majority Conservative government. Let's get

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on with the questions. Question one. Which of these pairs of shoes do

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Is it the gumboots? It is not. sparkling ones. It is. Who do these

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belong to? You were second in. You have to get this bit right. To a

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film star. They were from the Wizard of Oz Question two. Who's

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the tallest? Jacob Rees Mogg. Give me a chance

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to read out the names. Daniel Kawczynski it is the tallest MP in

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history. 6 ft 8? 6 ft 9. The average national height is... 5 ft

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9. He is the tallest MP ever. for Shrewsbury. Still no points!

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Now for the final question in this round. Time for a bit of popular

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culture. Who came second in this year's X Factor? Misha B. Marcus

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Collins. Amelia Lily. Or Two Shoes? It was Marcus he was second.

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you watch it? No, but I had spies giving the posts on what was going

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on. What are these cause? -- the scores?

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Let's move on to the Liberal Democrats. It's been quite a year

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for them. Let's take a look back. It was my turn tonight to get a

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Cause to listen and to engage. you not just have a slight argument

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This has become a deeply, and appallingly, personalised campaign.

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That is a new low in British It is not going to happen for three

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years but divorce is inevitable. am bitterly disappointed by the

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outcome of last week's summit. So, or Chris Rennard, you've lost

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the vote, you did terribly in the polls, you are now in cahoots with

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the most Euro-sceptic government in the history of this government --

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country. I long for the day when we could blame unpopularity on mid

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term. Used to benefit from it. have a few years to show it was

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worthwhile and people are better off because we are there. The

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Liberal Democrats have suffered but the country is better because we

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have done what we have done. country is heading back into

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recession. We are not in a situation of Greece, Ireland or

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Italy. We are better Ross, because the Lib Dems are here. Lower income

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families are paying lower income tax. And there is more free child

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care because of the Liberal Democrats. It would be worse if the

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Conservatives had overall majority. Do you like being in a coalition

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where you are portrayed as the nasty evil blood-sucking party and

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they do the cuddly things. I am sure they don't mean it. I think

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there is some validity in that argument. The vulnerable are now

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being protected. If it wasn't for the Lib Dems, you would have

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brought back the workhouse, kids would be going out in days.

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This isn't a realistic analysis of the coalition. The deserved his

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could have done a large number of things they have done through the

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coalition. The great thing the Lib Dems have brought is raising the

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Thresher -- tax threshold. There are good bits of the coalition.

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Politicians have to work with what the electorate gives them. Do you

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think Nick Clegg will survive as a Liberal Democrat leader?

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Liberal Democrats, the reason why the coalition is working is because

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stepping outside the coalition represents political disaster. The

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Liberal Democrats are bound in their own interest to get rid of

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Nick Clegg in 2014. To fight a new election? Precisely. It is unlikely

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on the basis of what we are seeing, they can say we supported the

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recovery of the economy. They have wrecked the position in Europe,

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what did they achieve? What is the answer? Labour can't say what they

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would do? I elected Nick Clegg as leader. He was then working in the

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European Commission. In trade talks with China. The answer to the

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question? The ambition of the party was to move from protest to power.

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Nick Clegg has achieved that. Charlie has a long memory and

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remember the Government's doing, do things which are popular,

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popularity can recover. He is formidably strong in TV debates.

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That could have been a one off, novelty value. There was a

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remarkable admission by Nick Clegg when he said to the Liberal

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Democrat MPs, I am not going to go down in history as the last leader

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of the Liberal Democrats by forcing a general election. If we went to

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the country now, we would be wiped The party will not end with the

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leadership of Nick Clegg. But he would be wiped out in a General

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Election now? I think people vote for individual MPs as much as for a

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government. If you look at the strength of the Bull Democrat MPs,

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many times you and others have forecast the demise of the Liberal

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Democrats. I never have. It's been pretty good. Can we get into the

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text? I'm sure we can, but I have had different questions with you,

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at many party conferences. When you said it will be so difficult for

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to fail, we have always bounced back. Our MPs will do well again.

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If you can't find it, we will have a blank space. What would you say

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if David Cameron said, Europe is such a big issue, we've got to go

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to the country, let's do it and fight over this issue? I do think

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it is more important than the coalition. If the Lib Dems were

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saying the price of coalition is that we signed up to the treaty,

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the Tories could not accept that. It would be impossible to go to an

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election. It is in the hands of the Lib Dems. If they want the

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coalition to work, it can be made to work. Are you tempted to take

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advantage of the politics of the moment? I am not. The Prime

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Minister gave a commitment to make it work for five years. We would be

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damaged at their electorate if we Let's get back to the quiz. The

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:16:53.:16:56.

Daily Politics Christmas quiz. There is a cat, there is Ekaterina

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Zatuliveter. Which one? Is it the cat? Criminal proceedings? It is

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not. You get a penalty point for interrupting with the Ronan said.

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We have had Ekaterina Zatuliveter, Chris Huhne, or some election

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literature. Which is the wrong one out? It's pretty easy, really.

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was found not to be a Russian spy after all. Do you think Chris Huhne

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is a Russian spy? I was being flippant. I cannot work out between

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the four of them. Could it be it... No, forget it. I was going to say

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the cat again. You just said that the cat! No wonder you don't get on

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to proper quiz shows. The answer is Chris Huhne. Why? All the others

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have been in front of a judge so far. The Liberal Democrat wife

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stole the cat. The Russian was in front of a judge. Dodgy election

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literature from the Lib-Dems, that had to be in front of a judge. But

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Chris Huhne has not been in front of a judge. In 2011. Neither has

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the cat! That is a terrible question. You are obsessed with

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:18:27.:18:27.

that cat. He was the shortest of these people? John Bercow... Sarah

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Teather. The correct answer. You have got to be quicker, you two. A

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soft life in the Lords has made them slow. Jacob has a Razorlight

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What does TOWIE stand for? What a useless shower! It is a television

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programme. It stands for... Because it is such a long name... The Only

:19:02.:19:07.

Way Is Essex. It is one of the scripted reality programmes. You

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have clearly not CNET. What does MIC stand for? Made in Chelsea.

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Have you seen that? You see, it is the posh version of TOWIE. They

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have really got their fingers on the Bozo of popular culture. Let's

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look at the scores. -- bowser. Charles and Chris, one. I think he

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has zero, actually. Charles, you are on 0. Chris is one, Jacob is

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three. Pulling away, I would say. Poled away! Being the politically

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neutral BBC, I am advised to say that we should take a look at

:20:00.:20:10.
:20:10.:20:43.

Can you tell us why you have You must be the first Mafia boss in

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history that didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.

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steps that the Government could take tomorrow. I'm not Tony Blair.

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It is not the job of politicians and we do not support strikes.

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Nobody wants to see the strike happen, in fact. But both sides

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:21:15.:21:16.

So, Charlie Falconer. Unemployment is rising, heading towards 3

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million. Living standards have been squeezed more tightly than at any

:21:20.:21:27.

time since 1925. The economy is not growing. We stare recession in the

:21:27.:21:31.

face and the Labour opposition is behind in the polls. Explain.

:21:31.:21:37.

think no political leader is emerging with solutions. I think

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the situation is incredibly difficult. It's not surprising that

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we are not emerging. 18 months ago we lost a General Election. You are

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not surprised? I would have thought you would be 20 points ahead.

:21:48.:21:53.

Everybody recognises it is a very dire situation. We have just lost a

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General Election, 18 months ago. The other parties are being given a

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chance and it is very difficult. We got considerable advantages. We

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have remained united. We have not gone off the page as far as the

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public are concerned. There is still the choice to be made, is my

:22:09.:22:16.

feeling. If your party watches PMQs, do they think, we chose the wrong

:22:16.:22:22.

brother? I don't know what they think about that. There was a smile

:22:22.:22:26.

coming on your face. I was going to make a little quip. I'm not sure if

:22:27.:22:31.

they watch PMQs, even on your marvellous programme. I am sure

:22:31.:22:35.

there are people that do. But I don't think that is the medium that

:22:35.:22:38.

is influencing people on which leader to go for. The traditional

:22:38.:22:41.

view about what was going to happen in British politics was that it

:22:41.:22:46.

would depend on the economy. That view has been replaced by a sense

:22:46.:22:50.

of powerlessness of politicians. The one who appears most to have

:22:50.:22:53.

caught the mood over the next year or two is the one that will win.

:22:53.:22:59.

That is why I am not as surprised as you, obviously. No mainstream

:22:59.:23:02.

commentator thought Michael Foot had any solutions. At this

:23:02.:23:06.

particular point, he was doing much better in the polls than Ed

:23:06.:23:13.

Miliband. Michael Foot was doing better. What were the mainstream

:23:13.:23:16.

commentators say -- saying? Margaret Thatcher does have a way

:23:16.:23:20.

forward. Before the Falklands war, we thought she was going to lose

:23:20.:23:26.

the election. I was not around them. But it is because... You were not

:23:26.:23:33.

around? I was alive! You were living with Tony Blair. But I was

:23:33.:23:43.
:23:43.:23:44.

Given that if it was a Conservative government there would be a protest

:23:44.:23:47.

vote, the anti-government vote would go to the Lib Dems as well,

:23:47.:23:51.

that would not happen. If you don't like this government, there is only

:23:51.:23:55.

one place in mainstream politics to go to, Labour. Doesn't it make it

:23:55.:24:02.

more surprising? Labour do not really have the benefit -- Lib-Dems

:24:02.:24:06.

do not have that benefit of protest. Before 2010, during the course of

:24:06.:24:12.

the campaign, people had lost confidence in Labour's policies on

:24:12.:24:15.

the economy. Since they have offered nothing difference in 2010,

:24:16.:24:21.

they cannot recover their position. Jacob Rees-Mogg, you are something

:24:21.:24:25.

of a specialist. What advice would you offer Ed Miliband to improve

:24:25.:24:32.

his appeal with the masses? Resign. I don't understand why they haven't.

:24:32.:24:39.

Ed Balls is so much more impressive. I don't think he's got any appeal.

:24:39.:24:43.

If you look at the Tory party, Howard went through leaders, when

:24:43.:24:48.

our leaders do not work out, we get a new one. It's a bit more ruthless.

:24:48.:24:53.

I'm becoming an increasing fan of Ed Balls. I think he is capable and

:24:53.:24:57.

an incredibly strong performer will stop you say that in an entirely

:24:57.:25:06.

Your party doesn't want Ed Miliband to fall on his sword? From our

:25:06.:25:10.

point of view, it's great. The longer the better. Does he survive

:25:10.:25:17.

until the next election? He does. You don't do regicide? There was

:25:17.:25:21.

quite a move to try and get rid of Gordon Brown in the build-up to the

:25:21.:25:25.

2010 election, when he was very low in the polls, very unpopular. The

:25:25.:25:28.

Labour Party would not budge. I think he will fight the next

:25:28.:25:35.

election. Since you are also good at this quiz, let's go back to it.

:25:35.:25:40.

Time for your final set of questions. Do since you like Ed

:25:40.:25:47.

Balls, Jacob. Ed Balls cries at which programme? You know before I

:25:47.:25:51.

had even mentioned the name. I know what he cries at. Is it the

:25:51.:25:57.

Antiques Roadshow? It is. The other choices were Question Time, some of

:25:57.:26:06.

us do cry at that. Downton Abbey. Or Lassia, I always cry at that.

:26:06.:26:12.

Which of these is the odd one out, Ken Mackintosh, Tom Harris, Johann

:26:12.:26:17.

Lamont. Kate McIntosh, the only one not running to be leader of the

:26:17.:26:23.

Scottish Labour Party? No. Macintosh? Ed Miliband couldn't

:26:23.:26:29.

remember his name? Correct answer. Let's see this clip. Can you name

:26:29.:26:37.

three of them? There is Tom Harris, Beria's Johann Lamont and a third

:26:37.:26:41.

candidate, who has also put himself forward. The front runner, Ken

:26:41.:26:47.

Mackintosh. Yes. The front-runner, but you can't made him?

:26:47.:26:49.

Mackintosh will be an excellent candidate.

:26:49.:26:53.

There, but for the grace of God, go close. I bet you would not have

:26:53.:27:00.

known? I have made worse mistakes than that. Let's have the final

:27:00.:27:05.

question. It is another popular culture one. Pop star Justin

:27:05.:27:11.

Bieber's plans are known as what? Bieberheads, Beliebers,

:27:11.:27:21.
:27:21.:27:29.

Biebermaniacs. No! You just guessed. Yes. It is great route. From

:27:29.:27:39.
:27:39.:27:43.

-- it is Beliebers, from the song, I am a Beliebers. You had a chance

:27:43.:27:49.

to get it right and you were wrong. I can't believe not one of them

:27:49.:27:52.

knew about TOWIE. To think Essex used to dominate the political

:27:52.:27:57.

culture. Time to find out who is the lucky winner. Charles has got

:27:57.:28:06.

two. Chris has got two. Jacob has got two. I went down! You took one

:28:06.:28:13.

away. No, I think I took one away from you. I think we need a recount.

:28:13.:28:21.

It's a bit like elections in Glasgow. I think Jacob won, myself.

:28:21.:28:27.

You get the mug. That is it for this week. We thank our three wise

:28:27.:28:32.

Andrew Neil has the top political stories of the day and presents the last Daily Politics of the year with a special Christmas quiz featuring Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg, Labour's Charlie Falconer and Liberal Democrat Chris Rennard.