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Afternoon, welcome to the Daily Politics.
Labour hold the Feltham by-election. The IMF warn of a 1930s type
Depression. And the French have got it in for us. Again. But more
important than any of this, it's the final Daily Politics of the
year. Ah! But fear not, because it's our
annual festive quiz. Hurray! It's that time again where
we take stock, and look back over the events of the past 12 months.
Well, that's going to cheer us all up! Maybe we should look to the
future, at all the things that could happen next year. This could
be a long programme. But fear not, because joining me today to battle
it out for this brand new Daily Politics mug are the three wise men
of politics. Labour's Charles Falconer. Chris
Rennard from the Liberal Democrats. And, seeing as we've got two lords
a leaping, we felt we needed a commoner. So we plumped for the
Conservatives' Jacob Rees-Mogg. Welcome to show.
And, like all good quiz shows, we've got buzzers. So let's give
them a try. Calm down. A pygmy. I'm not Tony Blair.
We'll split the quiz into three parts. Labour, Lib Dem. And first
the Conservatives. Questions in a moment. But to kick us off, let's
take a look back at their year. I should warn you, there's flash
photography right from the start. And tonight, British forces are in
Colonel Gaddafi said he would hunt you down like rats, but you showed
the courage of Lyons. Any money in the box, Chancellor?
If the rest of Europe heads into recession it may be hard to avoid
one here in the UK. This is criminality, pure and
What is on offer it isn't in Britain's interests so what did not
Jacob Rees-Mogg, you are renting a better than you thought you would,
but 2012 looks grim. The economy is in a difficult situation and the
euro remains in crisis. There is no solution to the crisis, the thing
they recommended last weekend amounted to nothing. Since the
Chancellor has said that the biggest drag on the economy that is
the uncertainty of the eurozone crisis, events are out of your
government's control. Economic events often outside government
control but the government cannot expect the economy to react
immediately. They can set the framework where business can do
business which is what this government is doing. Do you get the
feeling, the official forecast does not say it, but there is an
expectation of the session. clearly is difficult, but we are
not in the position of Greece, or Ireland, where they are cutting
public sector salaries by 6% in Ireland. There is a sense, it
doesn't matter who would be in power now, it would be heavy
pounding for any government. sense that the politicians have any
control over events is huge at the moment. George Osborne has had to
come back to the despatch box to revise his forecast. We have no
control over Europe, I don't mean just the failure to agree. The
eurozone, they cannot get that right. Politicians are looking to
the public as a whole, as very diminished figures. In a way, I was
struck by the way George Osborne had to rip up his economic policy
effectively, he won't get the structural deficit down by 2015,
the growth figures were wrong. And the country said, what do you
expect? The idea that government is in control, what Chris said was
admirable, but hopeless. It is whistling in the wind. The one
issue the coalition thought its part of them in the agreement, was
Europe, and Europe has come back to dominate politics. They are already
planning for a summit at the end of January, it continues to be an
issue. It clearly divides the coalition, does the coalition
divide -- survive? There are large differences in the coalition, on
how the health service might be changed, on Europe. It is not wrong
in a coalition to have differences. No one country controls its own
economy. If this country's economy and every other is to avoid
problems, we need to work together more closely. An interesting answer.
Could you answer my question? Does the Coalition survive? It is stable
and strong. Will it remain so? next general election will be in a
2015. You are tap-dancing around the Christmas tree. Suddenly for
the first time, David Cameron is a hero among his own backbench MPs.
He has always been, since the day he became leader. A hero to us and
the country. He has done the right thing on Europe. And now? To ensure
any agreement that comes through does not use the commission, that
it has to be outside the framework. That is what is being discussed at
the moment. If other treaties come through which they probably will,
that is the time to renegotiate. The Conservatives are committed as
a party to a renegotiation of our terms of membership, the coalition
is not. I ultimately want a renegotiation of the treaties, but
that comes with a majority Conservative government. Let's get
on with the questions. Question one. Which of these pairs of shoes do
Is it the gumboots? It is not. sparkling ones. It is. Who do these
belong to? You were second in. You have to get this bit right. To a
film star. They were from the Wizard of Oz Question two. Who's
the tallest? Jacob Rees Mogg. Give me a chance
to read out the names. Daniel Kawczynski it is the tallest MP in
history. 6 ft 8? 6 ft 9. The average national height is... 5 ft
9. He is the tallest MP ever. for Shrewsbury. Still no points!
Now for the final question in this round. Time for a bit of popular
culture. Who came second in this year's X Factor? Misha B. Marcus
Collins. Amelia Lily. Or Two Shoes? It was Marcus he was second.
you watch it? No, but I had spies giving the posts on what was going
on. What are these cause? -- the scores?
Let's move on to the Liberal Democrats. It's been quite a year
for them. Let's take a look back. It was my turn tonight to get a
Cause to listen and to engage. you not just have a slight argument
This has become a deeply, and appallingly, personalised campaign.
That is a new low in British It is not going to happen for three
years but divorce is inevitable. am bitterly disappointed by the
outcome of last week's summit. So, or Chris Rennard, you've lost
the vote, you did terribly in the polls, you are now in cahoots with
the most Euro-sceptic government in the history of this government --
country. I long for the day when we could blame unpopularity on mid
term. Used to benefit from it. have a few years to show it was
worthwhile and people are better off because we are there. The
Liberal Democrats have suffered but the country is better because we
have done what we have done. country is heading back into
recession. We are not in a situation of Greece, Ireland or
Italy. We are better Ross, because the Lib Dems are here. Lower income
families are paying lower income tax. And there is more free child
care because of the Liberal Democrats. It would be worse if the
Conservatives had overall majority. Do you like being in a coalition
where you are portrayed as the nasty evil blood-sucking party and
they do the cuddly things. I am sure they don't mean it. I think
there is some validity in that argument. The vulnerable are now
being protected. If it wasn't for the Lib Dems, you would have
brought back the workhouse, kids would be going out in days.
This isn't a realistic analysis of the coalition. The deserved his
could have done a large number of things they have done through the
coalition. The great thing the Lib Dems have brought is raising the
Thresher -- tax threshold. There are good bits of the coalition.
Politicians have to work with what the electorate gives them. Do you
think Nick Clegg will survive as a Liberal Democrat leader?
Liberal Democrats, the reason why the coalition is working is because
stepping outside the coalition represents political disaster. The
Liberal Democrats are bound in their own interest to get rid of
Nick Clegg in 2014. To fight a new election? Precisely. It is unlikely
on the basis of what we are seeing, they can say we supported the
recovery of the economy. They have wrecked the position in Europe,
what did they achieve? What is the answer? Labour can't say what they
would do? I elected Nick Clegg as leader. He was then working in the
European Commission. In trade talks with China. The answer to the
question? The ambition of the party was to move from protest to power.
Nick Clegg has achieved that. Charlie has a long memory and
remember the Government's doing, do things which are popular,
popularity can recover. He is formidably strong in TV debates.
That could have been a one off, novelty value. There was a
remarkable admission by Nick Clegg when he said to the Liberal
Democrat MPs, I am not going to go down in history as the last leader
of the Liberal Democrats by forcing a general election. If we went to
the country now, we would be wiped The party will not end with the
leadership of Nick Clegg. But he would be wiped out in a General
Election now? I think people vote for individual MPs as much as for a
government. If you look at the strength of the Bull Democrat MPs,
many times you and others have forecast the demise of the Liberal
Democrats. I never have. It's been pretty good. Can we get into the
text? I'm sure we can, but I have had different questions with you,
at many party conferences. When you said it will be so difficult for
to fail, we have always bounced back. Our MPs will do well again.
If you can't find it, we will have a blank space. What would you say
if David Cameron said, Europe is such a big issue, we've got to go
to the country, let's do it and fight over this issue? I do think
it is more important than the coalition. If the Lib Dems were
saying the price of coalition is that we signed up to the treaty,
the Tories could not accept that. It would be impossible to go to an
election. It is in the hands of the Lib Dems. If they want the
coalition to work, it can be made to work. Are you tempted to take
advantage of the politics of the moment? I am not. The Prime
Minister gave a commitment to make it work for five years. We would be
damaged at their electorate if we Let's get back to the quiz. The
Daily Politics Christmas quiz. There is a cat, there is Ekaterina
Zatuliveter. Which one? Is it the cat? Criminal proceedings? It is
not. You get a penalty point for interrupting with the Ronan said.
We have had Ekaterina Zatuliveter, Chris Huhne, or some election
literature. Which is the wrong one out? It's pretty easy, really.
was found not to be a Russian spy after all. Do you think Chris Huhne
is a Russian spy? I was being flippant. I cannot work out between
the four of them. Could it be it... No, forget it. I was going to say
the cat again. You just said that the cat! No wonder you don't get on
to proper quiz shows. The answer is Chris Huhne. Why? All the others
have been in front of a judge so far. The Liberal Democrat wife
stole the cat. The Russian was in front of a judge. Dodgy election
literature from the Lib-Dems, that had to be in front of a judge. But
Chris Huhne has not been in front of a judge. In 2011. Neither has
the cat! That is a terrible question. You are obsessed with
that cat. He was the shortest of these people? John Bercow... Sarah
Teather. The correct answer. You have got to be quicker, you two. A
soft life in the Lords has made them slow. Jacob has a Razorlight
What does TOWIE stand for? What a useless shower! It is a television
programme. It stands for... Because it is such a long name... The Only
Way Is Essex. It is one of the scripted reality programmes. You
have clearly not CNET. What does MIC stand for? Made in Chelsea.
Have you seen that? You see, it is the posh version of TOWIE. They
have really got their fingers on the Bozo of popular culture. Let's
look at the scores. -- bowser. Charles and Chris, one. I think he
has zero, actually. Charles, you are on 0. Chris is one, Jacob is
three. Pulling away, I would say. Poled away! Being the politically
neutral BBC, I am advised to say that we should take a look at
Can you tell us why you have You must be the first Mafia boss in
history that didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.
steps that the Government could take tomorrow. I'm not Tony Blair.
It is not the job of politicians and we do not support strikes.
Nobody wants to see the strike happen, in fact. But both sides
So, Charlie Falconer. Unemployment is rising, heading towards 3
million. Living standards have been squeezed more tightly than at any
time since 1925. The economy is not growing. We stare recession in the
face and the Labour opposition is behind in the polls. Explain.
think no political leader is emerging with solutions. I think
the situation is incredibly difficult. It's not surprising that
we are not emerging. 18 months ago we lost a General Election. You are
not surprised? I would have thought you would be 20 points ahead.
Everybody recognises it is a very dire situation. We have just lost a
General Election, 18 months ago. The other parties are being given a
chance and it is very difficult. We got considerable advantages. We
have remained united. We have not gone off the page as far as the
public are concerned. There is still the choice to be made, is my
feeling. If your party watches PMQs, do they think, we chose the wrong
brother? I don't know what they think about that. There was a smile
coming on your face. I was going to make a little quip. I'm not sure if
they watch PMQs, even on your marvellous programme. I am sure
there are people that do. But I don't think that is the medium that
is influencing people on which leader to go for. The traditional
view about what was going to happen in British politics was that it
would depend on the economy. That view has been replaced by a sense
of powerlessness of politicians. The one who appears most to have
caught the mood over the next year or two is the one that will win.
That is why I am not as surprised as you, obviously. No mainstream
commentator thought Michael Foot had any solutions. At this
particular point, he was doing much better in the polls than Ed
Miliband. Michael Foot was doing better. What were the mainstream
commentators say -- saying? Margaret Thatcher does have a way
forward. Before the Falklands war, we thought she was going to lose
the election. I was not around them. But it is because... You were not
around? I was alive! You were living with Tony Blair. But I was
Given that if it was a Conservative government there would be a protest
vote, the anti-government vote would go to the Lib Dems as well,
that would not happen. If you don't like this government, there is only
one place in mainstream politics to go to, Labour. Doesn't it make it
more surprising? Labour do not really have the benefit -- Lib-Dems
do not have that benefit of protest. Before 2010, during the course of
the campaign, people had lost confidence in Labour's policies on
the economy. Since they have offered nothing difference in 2010,
they cannot recover their position. Jacob Rees-Mogg, you are something
of a specialist. What advice would you offer Ed Miliband to improve
his appeal with the masses? Resign. I don't understand why they haven't.
Ed Balls is so much more impressive. I don't think he's got any appeal.
If you look at the Tory party, Howard went through leaders, when
our leaders do not work out, we get a new one. It's a bit more ruthless.
I'm becoming an increasing fan of Ed Balls. I think he is capable and
an incredibly strong performer will stop you say that in an entirely
Your party doesn't want Ed Miliband to fall on his sword? From our
point of view, it's great. The longer the better. Does he survive
until the next election? He does. You don't do regicide? There was
quite a move to try and get rid of Gordon Brown in the build-up to the
2010 election, when he was very low in the polls, very unpopular. The
Labour Party would not budge. I think he will fight the next
election. Since you are also good at this quiz, let's go back to it.
Time for your final set of questions. Do since you like Ed
Balls, Jacob. Ed Balls cries at which programme? You know before I
had even mentioned the name. I know what he cries at. Is it the
Antiques Roadshow? It is. The other choices were Question Time, some of
us do cry at that. Downton Abbey. Or Lassia, I always cry at that.
Which of these is the odd one out, Ken Mackintosh, Tom Harris, Johann
Lamont. Kate McIntosh, the only one not running to be leader of the
Scottish Labour Party? No. Macintosh? Ed Miliband couldn't
remember his name? Correct answer. Let's see this clip. Can you name
three of them? There is Tom Harris, Beria's Johann Lamont and a third
candidate, who has also put himself forward. The front runner, Ken
Mackintosh. Yes. The front-runner, but you can't made him?
Mackintosh will be an excellent candidate.
There, but for the grace of God, go close. I bet you would not have
known? I have made worse mistakes than that. Let's have the final
question. It is another popular culture one. Pop star Justin
Bieber's plans are known as what? Bieberheads, Beliebers,
Biebermaniacs. No! You just guessed. Yes. It is great route. From
-- it is Beliebers, from the song, I am a Beliebers. You had a chance
to get it right and you were wrong. I can't believe not one of them
knew about TOWIE. To think Essex used to dominate the political
culture. Time to find out who is the lucky winner. Charles has got
two. Chris has got two. Jacob has got two. I went down! You took one
away. No, I think I took one away from you. I think we need a recount.
It's a bit like elections in Glasgow. I think Jacob won, myself.
You get the mug. That is it for this week. We thank our three wise