11/01/2012 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. The stand-off


between Westminster and Edinburgh. Scotland's First Minister wants a


referendum on independence in the autumn of 2014, the 700 for


anniversary of Bannockburn. What will the question or questions be?


Can the Government meet its net migration targets?


2011 did not end well. 2012 has not begun much better. Can the Labour


leader win over his doubters at the first Prime Minister's Questions of


the year? Add to the's favourite physicist on


why it is time to go for the nuclear option. -- and television's


favourite physicist. I am a professor of nuclear physics and I


have always believed that nuclear power is a good thing. I am not


paid by the nuclear industry or any environmental movement and so I


have no agenda. All of that in the next 90 minutes


of public service British broadcasting at its finest. Yes, we


are still the British Broadcasting Corporation, for now at least. To


help us through this constitutional morass, we plucked a pair of


politicos from the furthest corners of the United Kingdom. We have


Labour's Douglas Alexander, a Scotsman, he does not mind popping


down to Westminster every now and then. And an Englishman, Damian


Green, the immigration minister. He may have a new body to police in a


couple of years if Alex Salmond gets his way. He may also have to


rebuild Hadrian's Wall to keep out those pesky Celts. Only a Scotsman


could use that kind of language, and through. As an independent


Scotland moved one step closer? Alex Salmond announced yesterday


that he wanted to hold a referendum on independence in the autumn of


2014. That was in response to calls from David Cameron for the Scottish


leader to come clean on his intentions for the proposed poll.


He has been talking to BBC Scotland about what he wants from the


referendum. We need a referendum which is built and made in Scotland,


produced by the Scottish Parliament and offered to the Scottish people


for decision. Those are our conditions. When you see the


discussion paper that we put out, everyone in Scotland virtually,


certainly reasonable people in England as well, will say that is


fair enough. Why on earth should the Prime Minister want to trample


over Scotland in his side's 10 boots? That was Alex Salmond. I am


joined by our Scotland political editor, Brian Taylor. Welcome to


the programme. The question on the ballot paper will be crucial. Alex


Salmond does not want it to be a straight yes or no because he


presumably does not think he can win it on that basis. He says he is


not averse. He says his preference is for the question on independence,


yes or no, but he is open to the idea of having also on the ballot


paper devolution Max, whereby all spending would be controlled in


Scotland, but defence and foreign affairs would be across the UK. He


favours that because he favours a range of options, he says, but


strategically and tactically he is trying to divide Unionist opinion.


That option of devolution Max is pretty close to what the Liberal


Democrats would find appealing intellectually. He is trying to


prise them away from their Tory coalition partners and prise apart


the Unionist perspective on this, more generally. We saw that from


the Commons coming from the UK Government. Alex Salmond was


critical of David Cameron and then very co-operative towards the


Liberal Democrats's Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore. The Prime


Minister's spokesman has made clear that David Cameron will be


personally involved in Scottish independence issues with other


parties. There will be a battle over this. Yes, and at the moment


there is a battle between two parliaments and two governments


about the nature of the referendum. That sounds like it is just process,


but it is not. It is so that the outcome would be accepted as valid,


because independence is a matter for the wider UK. Alex Salmond is


seeking for a mandate to open negotiations with the UK Government,


with the aim of Gordon becoming an independent country. In that regard,


of course the UK Government has an interest. But the perspective have


to be made in Scotland and designed in Scotland, according to Alex


Salmond, and above all held in Scotland. I am sure we will return


to Edinburgh over the coming days. We will return in a few moments


because we will be joined by Bruce Crawford from the SNP. If Alex


Salmond says that he is the Scottish First Minister ante has


majority in the Holyrood Parliament, we are having this referendum in


2014, what do you do? He introduced me as an Englishman and I am


actually blush. I was born in Paris. -- I am actually Welsh. I was born


near Cardiff. What is the answer to your question? He should read the


law. The law says that the devolution settlement means that


constitutional matters are reserved for Westminster. It is absolutely


clear that it is for the Westminster Parliament to do


constitutional matters. understand that, but what if he


says this is a consultation referendum and we are just getting


Scottish opinion? Then if he gets the result that he wants, I do not


know if that is Scottish independence or devolution Max,


that becomes unstoppable, doesn't it? In a democracy acting outside


the law does not mean it is unstoppable. That would be very bad.


The law does not recognise the difference between a consultation


referendum and a decision referendum. It is clear that Alex


Salmond is playing Grandmother's footsteps and moving gently towards


what he wants. We do not know what he wants. It has the air of


somebody talking a big game, wanting independence, and now


backing away from it because he is frightened of what the Scottish


people will say. Do you welcome David Cameron's decision to


basically put this on the agenda? It was put on the agenda by the


Scottish people and the decision that they reached in May. The truth


is that there is a gap between a political mandate and the legal


authority. There is no doubt that the SNP won an overwhelming victory.


They campaigned to have a referendum, but they were silent on


when that would be. The Scotland Act, which established the Scottish


Parliament, made clear that constitutional matters were


reserved for Westminster. I always believe that the sensible approach


is to align the political mandate with authority. Let's not have


Scotland's future dictated by legal wranglings in the court and


arguments about process. The central truth is that Alex Salmond,


despite a lifetime committed to independence, is looking to fix the


question first of all, secondly to fix the timing, and thirdly,


despite all of the bluster, to put the question immediately to the


Scottish people for a decisive answer. We all know that a


referendum is coming. Right now Scotland is pause. The one person


that most is the verdict of the Scottish people is Alex Salmond. He


knows that the most recent opinion poll published on Monday in the


Glasgow Herald showed support for Scottish independence running at


29%. That is higher than it has been. For the last 40 years it has


been somewhere around 35% support for independence. Of course the SNP


are popular in Scotland but they have not managed to close the gap


between how they do in Holyrood and how much support they have for


independence. Let's go to Bruce Crawford, Cabinet Secretary for the


SNP. Thank you for joining us. What official legal advice had you had


in Edinburgh about the legality of a referendum? There is lots of


legal advice available to us about the legality of an advisory


referendum. What have you had? me tell you what is currently


available. Hemsworth and O'Neill, the leading constitutional lawyers,


they have a legal textbook on that, and they are clear that an advisory


referendum can be held by the Scottish Parliament. It is also


quite clear from Stephen Tierney, the leading professor at Edinburgh


law school that that is the case, provided we craft the question


properly. Let me add 1 point. just want to put this to you. I


understand these are published works by professors, that have been


in the public domain for a while. But have you, as the Scottish


Government, consulted your official legal authorities and got official


advice? We would not have published a consultation February 2010 paper


without that advice. We do not publish legal advice. Apologies for


interrupting, but I am actually seeking facts. I am not arguing


with you, I just want the facts. You say that you will not publish


it, but do you have an official document by Scotland's official


legal authorities, giving you advice on the legality of a


referendum? Our advice is very clear. We are completely able to


hold an advisory referendum. Where we do not have an argument with


Michael Moore, who handled this reasonably in the House of Commons


yesterday, unlike David Cameron he wants to come in with his side's 10


boots all the time and dictate to Scotland, where we do not have an


argument with Michael Moore is that we do not have the power for a


binding referendum. If they want to bring in legislation in that regard,


so be it. Would you be happier to have an early referendum Van Orton


2014? We made it very clear in the election campaign exactly when the


referendum would be. It is for all of the sensible reasons. We will


bring forward the legislation in 20th January 13, -- in January,


2013. Then there are issues like the gold report, which said there


must be six months between are the passing of the legislation and the


holding of the election and the European elections in 2014. We said


we would do it then and that is exactly what we will do. I am still


not quite clear whether you have a document with official legal advice


on it as opposed to a professor here or there. He seems to think he


has legality. He is quoting a professor at Edinburgh University.


I am a graduate of Law at Edinburgh University. The fact is that the


British Government has legal advice that confirms the position, we


understand from what Michael Moore held in the Commons yesterday,


which is widely held, that Westminster holds the constitution


when they devolve powers to the Scottish Government. That does not


mean they cannot be a referendum and I would like to see one. That


is why Michael Moore did something reasonable, aligning the political


mandate with the authority. Bruce Crawford has been a lifetime a


stylist and he cannot give you a credible isolation as to why it


should be in 2014. -- lifetime nationalist. It should be 2013. Why


delay? We have had this argument for 40 years. Bruce Crawford?


said during the election campaign that we would hold it in the second


half of the Parliament. I think it would be strange if we suddenly


decided not to do that. It might be for others to change their minds on


the basis of what they have said in election campaigns but we stick to


that. You did not but the time in your manifesto. -- put the time. I


do apologise for interrupting you. I want to get my point across.


viewers are short on facts. They do not follow this every day. Can we


establish that the time of the referendum, that to claim a mandate


for, was not in your manifesto? True? Yes, but... Yes? But Alex


Salmond said that was when it would be throughout the campaign.


have been interrupting me quite a lot. On you go. I apologise. This


is one of the most important decisions in Scotland's history. It


is right that we give the people of Scotland time to consider the


matter properly, in an orderly fashion, with the proper


information in front of them so they can make their decision about


the future of their own country. Can I come back to a factual issue?


You said you made it clear throughout the campaign for the


timing of the referendum. My journalistic colleagues in Scotland


who covered the campaign so that did not come out until four days


beforehand. There was a seven-week campaign and Alex Salmond did not


give them the timing until four days before. Isn't that true?


anyone disputing... Is that true? Four days before. Is anyone


seriously disputing the fact that in terms of the process in which we


are involved currently, in terms of what the people of Scotland


understood when they went to the ballot box, when we were talking


about an election campaign for referendum but it would be in 2014?


Is it or is it not true that Alex Salmond only gave us the timing of


the referendum four days before Scotland went to the polls? I will


repeat that... No, answer the question. I would need to go back


and look at the detail. What is absolutely clear here is that


everyone understood exactly what they were doing on the day of their


particular election campaign in 2007, when they gave the Scottish


National party a clear mandate to run the referendum. Even Jim Murphy


said in the New Statesman in November last year that this should


be built in Scotland and for once I agree with him. We know it is a


busy time for you up there so I thank you for joining us and


putting up with my interruptions. I will be in Edinburgh tonight so if


you are around I will buy you a What would you say to Alistair


Darling, a man of huge credibility who saw the country through the


banking crisis, heading up the pro- union campaign against Alex


Salmond? I hope he will have a prominent role in the case


defending Scotland's interests in the UK. I don't think we need to


assign jobs yet, but it is clear this will be a cross-party campaign.


I got that, but what about Mr Darling heading up the people


against it? It has to be a very credible figure and Alastair


Darling is, but I will not pick the leader of the campaign. I will take


that as an maybe. Not ruled out. Now, immigration to Britain from


outside the European Union is linked to unemployment in these


depressed economic times - that's according to the Government's


Migration Advisory Committee. "No, it's not" says another report


published yesterday - this time by the National Institute of Economic


and Social Research which found no correlation between immigration and


unemployment. Oh well, you pays your researcher, you takes your


choice, I suppose. But whatever the truth about the impact of


immigration this government has committed itself to reducing it. So


how's it going, and are they anywhere near hitting their target?


Here's Jo. Yes, Andrew. Now net migration - the difference between


the number of people entering and leaving the UK - hit a peak of


252,000 in 2010. David Cameron has pledged to reduce it to the 'tens


of thousands' by 2015 and it was a key part of his party's manifesto.


To achieve this, the government have so far imposed restrictions on


non-EU workers, overhauled the student visa system and will


announce reforms of the family migration and settlement routes.


But many critics don't think it's Oxford University's Migration


Observatory found the biggest issue is that we cannot control or limit


British or EU migration, so all cuts need to be made to non-EU


immigration. And even the independent Office for Budget


Responsibility, the Coalition's fiscal watchdog, has estimated that


average annual migration will be 140,000 until 2016, saying "there


is insufficient reason to change our average net migration


Well, as chance would have it, the immigration Minister Damian Green


is still with us, along with Douglas Alexander. Damian Green,


the net migration in 2010 was over 250,000, nearly quarter of a


million, and last year it looks like being just under 250,000, so


basically No change. Are you sure you're going to get it down to tens


of thousands in three years? seems to peak in 20th September 10.


We note that in the last three years of the Labour government the


migration was going through the roof. In 20th September 10, he was


slightly up, and 20th March 11 was down further. You cannot go from a


quarter of a million to under 100,000 in three years. That is why


we have taken the longest of measures that were just detailed


and why we took them early on. you expected to be this year?


will be lower than 250,000. It will be in the tens of thousands.


the 100,000? -- under 100,000? Yes, that is the same thing. That is why


we took the action early on. We knew it would be a huge job, and it


was turning round an oil tanker. Almost everyone agrees, even Chris


Bryant and he agrees net migration is too high. We all know we have to


bring it down. And you will do that without any further action? You'll


get from 250,002 down to 80 or 90,000 that the most in three


years? There will be further action. We have had to consultations in the


last part of the year which will make announcements in the coming


months, the first on breaking the link between coming into work and


stain and settling permanently, and then the family migration. But also


the point is often lost in the debate is that we announced all of


our student measures last year that they actually come into place bit


by bit so some have been in place since last April, but another a


huge slice will commend this April, so there will be new, effective


measures. We have abolished the automatic right for students who


come here to come in and that only comes in in April. Britain's future


to be a creative hub for the world, to develop our creativity, and at


one of the ways of doing that is to get the best and brightest Dudus


from around the world to come and study here. They have to pay fees -


- brightest students. If they get good degrees and they work hard,


why would we not want them to stay here and get jobs? We do want the


best and brightest to stay here and that is the key to a successful


policy. First or getting the numbers down, that is the bedrock,


but also making sure that we are much better at being selective if


the that not just to we allowed to stay that encourage, amid all the


measures we have taken to cut the numbers, we have taken measures to


increase some routes. We have set up an entrepreneur's route and have


twice as many coming in. In London, and the number of leading


universities in the country, they are complaining that it is


difficult for them to attract the best and the brightest.


transition causes people to worry. We found with the work is a limit


we put on and with the student changes that in anticipation of


change, everyone predicted the -- doom and gloom. But we did find the


system was perfectly efficient and as a hard example we introduce the


limit which was supposed to stop the doom-mongers saying that we


would not get skilled workers, but that limit has been under


subscribed every month since we brought it in so it is not stopping


a single valuable worker from coming to the country. I have


details of software engineer companies find it difficult to


attract people, but I cannot go into the details because of time.


There was a net migration of 2 million into the country during the


Labour years. Was it too much? said the transitional controls at


the time of the accession of the new countries to the European Union


should have been changed. We should have acted earlier and more


decisively and we introduced an Australian points based system to


get the skills you want, but not the unskilled workers you don't


want. In retrospect, could we have moved earlier, I think we could.


But in that sends you have to judge the issues dependent on the economy


at the time. The rules do matter. You want controlled immigration


that enforcement matters as well. And this is only a few months after


one of the biggest fiascos we have seen at UK borders for many years,


which was where the most generous description was that we did not


know what was happening on Britain's borders. It is now a


matter for the courts. Rules matter, but enforcement matters as well.


you think there is a link between the 600,000 people who came from


Eastern Europe after 2004, hard working, often well-educated,


picked up English quickly, became an asset to the country, and the


fact that youth unemployment rose by 450,000 in the same period?


There has to be something. There is contested evidence in terms of the


accession countries. Some suggest that the level of skills did not


impact on job creation at the time because they tended to be less a


skilled jobs, but is it the case that the net outflow of people


compared to the rest of the European Union broadly matches,


those were about equal. We hope you will come back and we don't have to


cheat by getting you in at the guest of the day. -- Getting Even


as the guest of the day. Now finally some good news on


government delivery. On Monday it was revealed that after some 20


months in office the David Cameron had completed every stage of the


application - or app. He has got to the end of Angry Birds on his i-Pad.


What will he do with his time? Fear not, Prime Minister, for your ever-


loyal education secretary, Michael Gove, has announced this morning


that school pupils will be learning how write new games for tablet PCs


and smart phones for the Prime Minister and the rest of us to


enjoy. But if you can't wait that long, we've got a real game for you


to play with a real prize. One of these in fact, a brand spanking new


Daily Politics mug. We'll remind you how to enter in a minute, but


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 56 seconds


let's see if you can remember when It what it in this quiet street of


detached Victorian houses that the To be in with a chance of winning a


Daily Politics mug, send your answer to our special quiz email


address. That's [email protected] And you can see the full terms and


conditions for Guess The Year on our website - that's


Feed in the oil. The sun shining and others look for, and I was


looking forward to only two things, Prime Minister's Questions and Nick


Robinson. I am just doing my Angry Birds. I wonder if Alex Salmond has


done all it? A I bet he has. What is going to happen? Westminster is


a buzz about Scotland but it won't necessarily come up. Angus


Robertson may get his chance to ask a question. Interesting to know if


Ed Miliband chooses to use any of his questions to talk about that as


a way of expressing solidarity amongst Unionist parties. Clearly


Ed Miliband needs to find a subject on which she is on Secure ground.


He has had a shaky few days since the start of the new year. The last


thing he wants to do is give David Cameron opportunity to taunt him


off for his backbenchers to look grim while the Tories waving order


papers, so it is the sort of day where people were last something


If you are cruel to Ed Miliband, and the last thing he said he


wanted do was dispatching as Labour leader, but we know that David


Cameron pays a price when he seems dismissive and arrogant. The truth


is he reserves enormous amounts of courtesy for everyone in the House


of Commons, except for two people, and they are both called Ed. He is


uncharacteristically rude to them personally in a way he is not


really with people. Even if he fundamentally disagrees with them.


He goes out of his way to question the wisdom of their points. Do you


get the impression that the Westminster Establishment is


running around now trying to get up to speed on Scotland? Absolutely,


on the legalities, how it works. is different for you. It was just a


question for me, and we naturally excluded you. He just excluded you


from the Westminster Establishment. Paisley lads don't have to rush to


get up to speed. They are looking at the legalities of it, what


unearth devolution maximum means. I am trying to find myself a nice


flat in Edinburgh. I will look for one tonight. Let's go over to the


I am sure the whole House will wish to join me in paying tribute to the


servicemen that have fallen in the service of our country since we


last met. Captain Tom Jennings from the Royal Marines. Squadron Leader


Anthony Downing from the Royal applause. Private John King from


first Battalion the rifles. And a member of the Gurkha regiment who


died after a long time in hospital. Their outstanding courage and


selflessness will never be forgotten. They gave their lives


defending our country and making it more secure and our thoughts should


be with their families and friends. I had meetings with ministers,


colleagues and others this morning and I will have further such


meetings later today. The whole House would wish to associate


itself with the Prime Minister's tribute to the fallen. Can I ask


the Prime Minister in joining me in congratulating crowns which country


food on a �15 million in best met in creating a state of the art


facility in my constituency? -- �50 million investment. They are now


employing 1200 people. Unfortunately the Food Standards


Agency is blocking exports from this excellent plant to the Far


East. Can the Prime Minister assure me that job-destroying and an


necessary regulation will not be tolerated by this Government?


joined my friend in welcoming them to his constituency. It is vital


that we balance our economy with greater emphasis on business


investment and exports. In terms of exports to China, they went up by


over 20% last year. I will certainly do everything I can to


help resolve the situation and I am happy to ask a minister from DEFRA


of to meet with my honourable friend to discuss this issue.


Miliband. Can I join the Prime Minister in paying tribute to


Captain Tom Jennings from the Royal Marines, Squadron Leader Anthony


Downing from the Royal Air Force, Private John King from first


Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, and the riflemen from the Gurkha


regiment? All of them showed enormous courage and bravery. They


are making sacrifices on our behalf and our deepest condolences go to


their family and friends. Mr Speaker, the Chancellor said in the


Autumn Statement that train fares would only rise by 1% above


inflation. Can he therefore explain why railway companies this month,


on some of the busiest commuter routes, have increased their fares


by up to 11%? The power was given to them to do that by the last


Labour Government. Ed Miliband. Mr Speaker... No, Mr Speaker. The


Prime Minister is wrong. The last Labour Government stopped them


doing that and this Prime Minister, when he came to office, reversed


that policy. The policy that we introduced. That is why the


companies are able to rake the fares. That is why someone


travelling from Northampton to London will see a rise on the


season-ticket of over �300. Will he now stand up to the train companies,


get a better deal for commuters and change his policy? I know the


honourable gentleman has had a difficult start to the year. He has


made it worse by getting it wrong. Labour allowed in 2009 fare


increases of up to 11% because they introduce this idea of flexibility


of 5% over and above the RPI plus 1% which was the case. And what was


the case in 2009 is the case today. The key issue is this. There are


only two places that money for railways can come from, the


taxpayer or the traveller. What really matters is whether we are


going to put money into railway investment and that this Government


is doing that. We are electrifying the Great Western main line. We are


building CrossRail. We are led to find the line between Manchester


and Liverpool. We are putting millions into CrossRail and we are


building HS2 as well. I am afraid the Prime Minister is just wrong


about the facts. The last Labour Government saw the train companies


taking advantage of consumers, ripping them off by increasing


fares more on the busiest routes. We stopped it. We took a way that


power from them. He came to office and he brought the power back. He


made the wrong decision. As for the idea that this is all to help the


passenger, the Audit Office warned last month that the problem was


this money would result in increasing train operating company


profits. Will he now go back and reverse his policy? We originally


set out an RPI plus 3% policy the train fares. We found money in the


Autumn Statement to reduce that to RPI plus 1%. I have to say to him,


if you want to see more money going into our railways, presumably he


supports the latter occasion of the Great Western main line and


electrification of the railway lines in the North West, he will be


touring the country saying that his support these things but he is


never prepared to take difficult decisions in order to support them.


But it is time... The answers from the Prime Minister will be heard.


The Prime Minister. I think it is time for him to listen to his


defence secretary who wrote very candidly over Christmas there is a


difference between populism and popularity, and that differences


called credibility. Time to have some, I think. Instead of his pre-


prepared lines, he should get his facts right about his own policy.


He is just wrong. He is wrong. He says that he is continuing the


policy of the last Labour Government and he is simply wrong


on the facts. The last Labour Government saw what the train


companies were doing and said we were going to put an end to it. The


Prime Minister said at the weekend that he wanted to take action


against crony capitalism and he has failed at the first hurdle. I ask


him for the last time, Mr Speaker, will he now reverse the policy?


are now on to the issue of how people are paid. On the issue of


the rail fares, let me be absolutely clear. Labour introduced


the policy of 5% flexibility. They changed it for one year only for an


election year. But they had no intention of making that permanent


and if he does not know that, he should. If he wants to get on to


the issue of executive pay, I think he is entirely right to raise this


issue. Order! I want to hear the answer and however long... Order!


Order! However long it takes, I will. The Prime Minister. Thank you,


Mr Speaker. I think he is right to raise the issue of executive pay,


and unlike the last Government that did nothing for 13 years, this


Government will act. Roger Gale. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I understand


that my right honourable friend has recommended me for one you present


and I am about to ask for another. -- new present. He is talking


drivel, I am afraid. My constituents have been paying up to


10% increases under the last Labour Government for the last four years.


In congratulating this Government in its courageous decision to


pursue HS2, can I ask my right honourable friend now to turn his


attention to a piece of unfinished business left by the last


Government? High-speed one at present only runs effectively from


St Pancras to Ashford. Can it be driven through to Thanet so that we


can enjoy the sort of benefits that in the future will be enjoyed by


Birmingham? I congratulate my friend for his well deserved honour


for his service to his constituents over many years. He is entirely


right. Regulated fares went up by over 18% and unregulated fares by


over 23% under the last Government. On the issue of high-speed one, I


will certainly look at what he says, but I think it is an advertisement


of what you can get by linking up our country with high-speed rail,


shortening commuter distances and helping change the economic


geography of our country, so that we can actually build a stronger


economy. Over 80,000 pensioners in Liverpool will lose up to �100 this


winter following the Government cuts to winter fuel allowance. Will


the Prime Minister a Dock Labour's policy so that elderly customers


are automatically put onto the cheapest tariff for gas and


electricity? Rather like the leader of a party, there seems to be an


outbreak of collective amnesia on the potty benches. What we have


done is keep the last policy on the winter fuel allowance. -- on the


party benches. We are keeping all of our promises about the winter


fuel allowance what we have gone one further than that. They


introduced higher cold weather payments only for election year and


we have made them permanent. Prime Minister will have


experienced first-hand the quality of nursing in my constituency. What


steps are being taken to make sure that the patients throughout the


country are receiving the highest possible standards of nursing out


from the NHS? The honourable lady is right because I will never


forget the time that I spent at the Royal Cornwall Hospital and the


happy days that I had there. It was a privilege to go back last year.


We do have high standards of nursing care in our country. The


overwhelming majority of nurses do a great job. I do not think we are


serving a constituent properly if we highlight the few cases where it


does go wrong. As we have seen in the reports, there are areas where


it does go wrong. It is incumbent on Government to remove the


bureaucracy that can get in the way of nurses. It is also important to


higher at best practice in the best hospitals in our country. -- to


highlight the best practices. I saw a wonderful hospital in Salford and


I want to copy that so that we look after the nutritional and care


needs of people that are vulnerable in our hospitals. Ed Miliband.


want to ask the Prime Minister about Scotland. We, on this side of


the house, believe that United Kingdom benefits the people of


Scotland and the people of the rest of the United Kingdom in equal


measure. We are stronger together and weaker apart. Does the Prime


Minister agree with me that we must make the case for the union, not


simply against separatism, but the positive case about the shared


benefits to us all of Scotland's part in the United Kingdom? The


shared economic interests, the NHS, the Defence Systems, at the BBC,


and above all the values that we share together? I am happy to say


that the honourable gentleman and I will be 100% in agreement. I


passionately believe in the future of United Kingdom and I


passionately believe that we are stronger together, rather than


breaking apart. I am sad that we are even having this debate because


I support United Kingdom so strongly. We have to respect the


fact that Scotland voted for a separatist party at his


parliamentary elections. The first thing that it is right to do is to


make clear the legal position about a referendum. That is what my right


honourable friend the Scottish Secretary has been doing. We have


made the offer that we will devolve the power to hold that referendum


so that a referendum can be held and made in Scotland. I look


forward to having the debate, friendly, because I think there


have been too many in the SNP that are happy to talk about the process.


-- frankly. They want to talk about the process but not the substance.


When I listen to them, it is not a referendum that they want, but then


never-referendum. Let's have the debate and keep our country


together! Can I agree with the country and say that this is not a


fight about process between the Westminster Government and the


Scottish Government or between the British Prime Minister and the


Scottish First Minister? I think the way to tackle that is to have


immediate cross-party talks in Scotland about issues around the


timing of the referendum, the nature of the single question


referendum, and the vital involvement of the Electoral


Commission. Does the Prime Minister also agree with me that we must get


beyond process and have a discussion about the substantial


issues involved? This is a momentous decision that our


children and grandchildren will have to live with if we get it


wrong. We need a serious, thoughtful, and inclusive debate on


what the choices are other benefits to Scotland of staying in the


United Kingdom. On this important issue, the people of our country


deserve nothing less than that serious debate about the benefits


I think the Right Honourable Gentleman is right on those three


points. On the process of negotiation it is important that


the SNP have made clear what it is they want to do. I am very happy


for the UK government to speak directly to the Scottish government


and let's come to a conclusion about the best time and wait to


hold this referendum. It must be clear, legal, decisive, he must be


fair. Those are the absolute keys. I agree with the Honourable


Gentleman. As soon as those processes are settled, we need to


get on to the substance. The only point I would make about the timing,


as the animal gentlemen who are so keen to leave the UK, I don't


understand why they wanted put off the question for so long. What


action will the Prime Minister take to tackle the appalling issue of


false marriage both in the UK and globally? I think the Honourable


Lady is right to raise this issue. We have taken some steps to crack


down on the practice of false marriages which takes place is in


too many communities in our country. We are looking specifically as to


whether we should take further legal powers and make it it a


criminal offence. We're taking a personal interest in this and we


should take every available step to say it is an acceptable in 2012 in


a civilised country like ours to have such a barbaric practice.


Nottinghamshire police surveys eight deep area of deprivation and


faces high crime levels and have ambitious crime reduction targets,


but HMI see say they are one of five forces facing some of the


biggest challenges on the front line forces and government cuts


will impact on frontline policing. Is it not time to implement the


police funding formula to give my local police the resources they


need? I will look carefully at what the Honourable Lady says, but all


police forces are having to make efficiencies. I would raise the


chief constables for the steps they have taken to deliver the


efficiency is without affecting frontline policing. And that the


same time they should still be delivering a reduction in crime


levels. In terms of Nottinghamshire police, there are still 47 officers


working in back office jobs and trained police officers working in


HR, finance and corporate development. There is still further


work to be done to civilian eyes those parts of the police force and


make sure we get all of our officers on the front line.


Following the murder of my constituents, Jane Clough, by a


former partner and a rapist, I presented a bail Amendment Bill to


the house. In October, a justice team agreed to change the law.


Could the Prime Minister confirm to the house, and to Jane's parents,


who was at in the gallery today, when that will happen? On behalf of


the house can I pay tribute to my Honourable Friend on what -- on the


work he has done on this case, and our sympathies go out accordingly.


We accept there should be a right of appeal against Crown Court


decisions allowing bail. There is that right in magistrates' courts.


So there is a strong case for changing the law and we will be


tabling an amendment in the Lords to the legal-aid sentencing and


punishing offenders Bill creating the right of appeal to High Court


judges against the granting of bail by a Crown Court. I hope this will


improve the law and be more helpful to victims and give some


satisfaction to the family he is The Scottish government was elected


with an overwhelming mandate to deliver an independent referendum


in the second half of the parliamentary term. It is a fact.


In contrast, the Conservative Party has less Members of Parliament and


there are giant pandas in Edinburgh Zoo. -- then there are -- than it


there are giant pandas. Why is the Prime Minister tried to emulate


Margaret Thatcher by dictating to Scotland? Why the opposite, we want


to give the Scotland took hold a lead -- hold a legal referendum.


That is the power we hold and right across this house there is a


uniform believe it needs to happen. Discussions can now be entered into


about the timing of the referendum, about the precise nature of the


referendum so we make sure it is fair, decisive and the people of


Care of our elder people is one of the most pressing issues facing


this country today. Will the Prime Minister join me in welcoming page


UK's Care in crisis campaign launched on Monday and will he


commit that the White Paper due in the springtime will represent a way


forward on this vital issue? Can I pay tribute to my Honourable Friend


for the work he has done on this issue and also to the Age Concern


campaign. We have a huge challenge to rise to this agenda and we want


to do so through the white paper. There are three elements. We have


to make sure we do something about the rising cost of domiciliary care,


we have to improve the quality of care people receive and we have to


address the issue of people having to sell their homes and assets to


pay for care. So we are looking hard at all of these issues and


working out a way forward that will be right for our care system and


that the country can afford. Since the Sunday Times showed that in the


last two years but 1,000 richest persons in Britain by �137 billion,


enough to pay off the entire deficit, will he therefore tax them


to fund the creation of one million jobs which is a far better way of


cutting the deficit than prolonged war austerity? For a minute I


thought he was talking about the Prime Minister he served under. I


think it is absolutely essential that as we reduce the deficit and


take difficult decisions that we are fair and seen to be fair. The


fact is, what we have done so far is having the top 10 % of the


country Payne 10 times more than the bottom 10 %. And crucially, the


top 10 % of earners are not paying just more in cash terms, but as a


percentage of their income. As we go ahead with the agenda I want to


make sure that people behave responsibly and the government does


as well. The I am sure you and the Prime Minister both want to


congratulate Tony wattling here has served as a postmaster for over 60


years and has still not retired. He is carrying on. However, residents


have been let down by no post office out reach position. Can we


encourage the Post Office to use their general subsidy to insure


that villagers are served and not left stranded? I joined my friend


in paying tribute to the postmaster, and it is people like that who keep


our country going. In terms of the government, we have committed �1.3


billion to improving the network. As a condition of the funding, the


Post Office must maintain at least 11,500 branches but the point she


makes about mobile post offices is a good one. This is a way you can


serve many communities and make They the Deputy Prime Minister is


reported to have said in the last few days that, in due course, the


United Kingdom will sign up to the same EU treaty that the Prime


Minister rejected only a short time ago. Was the Deputy Prime Minister


The position is very straightforward. We did not sign


the treaty because we were not getting the safeguards, so that


situation will not change. What coalition partners what to put in


their manifesto for the next election is entirely up to them --


want to put in. Does the Prime Minister agreed with me that people


should pay their taxes, keep their businesses onshore Switzerland and


leave pensioners high and dry. What is the Prime Minister doing to


stamp out these predatory business practices? A my Honourable Friend


makes an interesting point. That all the lectures about predatory


capitalism and different taxation, that the one person that the leader


of the opposition chose to advise him on this basis or his companies


in the British Virgin Islands. funding for the United Kingdom


Resource Centre in the technology sector has been cut. Given that


there are one million women unemployed and women make up only


12.3 % of people in science and technology, could the Prime


Minister look again at funding and then look at Ghent to restore


Britain as a leading role for science in this country which


nurtured the talents of Rosalind Franklin. The I will look THE


Honourable Lady sets out. Despite having to make difficult decisions


across of spending areas, we did not cut the science budget. Indeed


in the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor provided a series of


enhancements for specific science- based projects. I would have a


specific one she mentioned and get back to her. -- I will have a look


at the specific one. Today is the 10th anniversary of the opening of


Guantanamo Bay, a despicable institution which still holds one


UK National to this day. Will the Prime Minister commit to do all


that he can to make sure that 2012 is the last year that that


institution operates? Mike Wright on will Friend the Foreign


Secretary is working hard much - my Right Honourable friend the Foreign


Secretary is working hard with the US to bring this chapter to a close.


He will know we have also taken steps as a government and country


to achieve some closure about what happened in the past as a


settlement of those people, and setting up a proper inquiry to make


sure that the British government was not complicit in any weight in


terms of torture to those people or elsewhere. A moment ago the Prime


Minister was clear that his government economic policy should


be fair and seen to be fair. Could he therefore confirm that the 50 %


tax rate on incomes above �150,000 will remain in place for the


duration of the Parliament? We take the view of the former Shadow


Chancellor when he introduced it, saying it should be a temporary


measure. We should also take a judgment on how much money this tax


is actually raising. The purpose of the tax system is to raise money


for the funds we need to put into the public services, and I think


it's important we look at how it Would the Prime Minister


congratulate the Secretary of Transport and the good workers of


bombarding a for securing a �188 million contract on 28th December


and the announcement on the Toronto stock exchange that was so


important to the workers in Derbyshire? I congratulate everyone


for winning that contract, and as I said from the dispatch box before,


I want the government to be a good customer of British firms and to


work with its supply chain, and not to make the mistakes that the last


government made, which drew up the contract for the railway service


The Prime Minister will probably be aware that the chief executive of


the Stock Exchange top 100 companies is paid 35 times much as


a hospital consultant who keeps saving lives. If he is going to act


tough on high pay, can he give a date, a year from now, in the


lifetime of the parliament, when we will see that obscene 35 times


multiple can't cover -- come tumbling down? On the issue of pay


ratios, we should make progress. We can start with the government


setting out its own pay ratios as an act of leadership. I think this


government has shown some leadership, not least by cutting


ministers' pay or freezing them and by having total transparency across


government on pay. On the issue of the specific case, the point of it


make is this, if this year we have seen a 49 % increase in pay but


only a 4% increase in the FT-SE 100 index. I am not against people


running great companies being paid lots of money if they are growing


and expanding them, but what we shouldn't have his rewards for


failure. Frankly, the last government had 13 years to deal


Does the Prime Minister think that it can ever be fair for a single


family to receive �100,000 per year in housing benefit alone? I think


my Honourable Friend makes an important point. The top people's


pay issue and this issue are linked. We need to get rid of something for


nothing culture in this country, because frankly we inherited and


out of control benefit system way you did get families on tens of


thousands of pounds in housing benefit, and out of control


immigration system where it paid to cheat, and then out of control


banking system where reward was not linked to success. Unlike the last


government, we will deal with all these things. Prime minister, the


Cumbrian healthy economy is in crisis, a real crisis. How does he


propose to deal with it? The first and most important thing is that we


are committed to year-on-year increases in NHS spending. That is


not a position backed by his own party. Alongside the extra money,


we also need to make sure there is reform so we give clinicians a


leading role in the health service and also, frankly, we need to do


more on the public health and health promotion agenda because


that is the best way to reduce demands on our NHS. But there is


one extra thing to achieve, which is to look at the links between


alcohol and crime and alcohol and hospital admissions which is


putting massive pressure on our NHS and is an issue Y one the


government to deal with. -- I want Ethnic cleansing and apartheid are


evil. Sadly, successive governments have supported a country where


these vile actions are inflicted on indigenous people. We welcomed the


Arab Spring, but the longer Arab winter continues for Palestinians.


Prime minister, on Tuesday last week, the Israeli government said


it was to recede the forced evictions of -- proceed with the


40,000 evictions of Bedouin Arabs. Is it not time we treated Israel as


we did apartheid South Africa? I would say to my Honourable Friend


is, first of all, we should respect the fact that Israel is a democracy,


a country that has a right to exist and the country frequently


threatened by its neighbours, but we are also a country that should


stand up for Clear human rights and for clear rights and wrongs in


international relations. On the issue of settlements, this garment


has been very clear that it does not agree with the practice -- his


government has been very clear he does not agree with the practice. I


raised the issue with the Israeli Prime Minister in a new year


telephone call and the government will continue to act and vote on


the issue of illegal settlements. 14-year-old girl in my constituency


has leukaemia and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Despite


an incredible campaign by her family to get more people to join


the blood stem cell register, Bethany still does not have a match


and is having to look overseas. What plans does the government have


to improve public awareness about this vital issue and increase the


number of potential bone marrow donors in the UK? First of all, the


Honourable Lady is right to speak up for Bethany specifically, but


also for all bone marrow cancer sufferers. It is not widely


understood enough about the need to get more people on to the register


because of the importance of trying to get a match and the government


will be spending about �4 million this year to help promote that and


make it happen. But all this in our own constituency and way can


promote the idea and encourage people to do what she says. Could I


draw my Right Honourable Friend's attention to the excellent paper


published this morning which seeks to build on the government's


initiatives in building up Cadet forces on the one hand, and getting


more military personnel into schools as teachers on the other


hand, and proposes that we set up in some of our most deprived


communities military academies and free school administered by the


Reserve forces and cadet associations. Let me pay tribute to


my Honourable friend who does so much to speak up for our reserve


forces and for our cadet forces which I incredibly valuable assets


in the country. It is worth noting that this year the cadet force will


be doing a huge amount to save and preserve our war memorials from the


appalling crime they have been suffering in terms of metal theft.


I will look very carefully at the report suggests. I think we should


be empowering our cadet forces to expand and maybe go into parts of


the country where they have been present in the past, and I think


the link he makes between cadet forces and schools is one that is a


very, very good idea and one we Thank you Mr Speaker. My


constituent is 32 years of age, has lived alone for eight years and was


forced on to housing benefit because of redundancy. That benefit


has just been cut by nearly 50 %. Which does the Prime Minister think


is most likely? That her landlord will reduce the rent by 50 % or my


constituent will be made homeless? Can I congratulate the Honourable


Lady before her conferment in the New year's Honours List. Although I


disagree with many of the thing she has tried to do over her political


career, mostly disarm Britain at one decidedly, I praise her for her


persistent efforts and she quite rightly... I'm sorry, let me answer


the question directly. All parties are committed to reform housing


benefit. That was Labour's commitment before the last election.


The housing benefit bill is completely out of control. Labour's


own welfare spokesman said last week that at �20 billion it had to


be -- be changed. As we have seen housing benefit reform, we have


seen rent levels come down. We have stopped riffing off the taxpayer.


The first PMQs of 2012 have finished. The Prime Minister had to


deal with questions first from Ed Miliband on rail fares. We do not


hear much about that at PMQs, but if you are commuter paying those


increases, then it is a big issue. He used his final two questions to


ask about Scotland, where there seemed to be almost complete


agreement on a two front benches about the union. But not


necessarily about how to handle Alex Salmond. We will hear from our


experts in a minute. They have just downgraded eurozone growth in the


third quarter of last year to 0.1%, which is pretty much flat. It looks


like the eurozone is in the process of entering recession. What other


viewers saying? There was basically a debate about whether Ed Miliband


was right to go on railway fare to begin with. "Of all the big issues,


Ed Miliband chose rail fares, and they are increasing to support


investment. You can agree or disagree with the policy but the


money has to come from somewhere. He is trying to look serious." "He


failed to address the issues of rail fares properly." "Who was


right on the welfare question when they both said each other was


wrong?" To "I thought Ed Miliband's performance was flash on rail fares.


Going on Scotland was a way not to take a kicking." And on Scotland, ",


--"Why can at the whole of the UK not have a vote on


Scotland?""Imagine if we had a referendum on leaving the European


union only to hear that the European Parliament said that it


would be illegal and would have to be held on their terms. I hope this


gives you an idea of the feelings in Scotland."That is not actually


the issue. The question is the question and the timing. And also


the question is if the Scottish Parliament does it without coming


to an agreement with Westminster whether it is then legally binding,


and if not, would it be open to challenge in the courts? Not just


the referendum results, not just a holding of the referendum, but even


the decision of Holyrood to pass a built to call for a referendum, it


is blamed in Westminster, that would be open to legal challenge. -


- it is claimed in Westminster. Alex Salmond look for a referendum


on his own terms, and not those laid out in the Scotland Act? If he


does that, it will be challenged, as night follows day. There will be


a legal challenge, and a legal challenge long before they get to


the vote. It will end up in the Supreme Court in London. It seems


inevitable that somebody will challenge it. What was incredible


was the lack of clarity as to whether the Government itself would


want to challenge it. I heard on the news last night that they were


open to negotiations or see you in court. I got calls afterwards to


say hold on, they were not threatening to take the Scottish


Parliament to court. I asked if they were promising not to take


them to court and of course the answer did not come. There is an


implied threat, but no explicit threat, that there would be legal


action and a chance of success. What do you think the way forward


should now be? Everybody has agreed there should be a referendum. Alex


Salmond got erected on the basis of one. -- elected. There is an


argument about what the question should be and how many there should


be. And should it be the Electoral Commission that holds it? One of


the founding fathers of modern Scottish nationalism sits on the


Electoral Commission. Or should it be something else which would not


be quite so impartial? What is the way forward? I think the way


forward is for raised more people to say this is a momentous choice.


We want a fair, clear and decisive outcome. It is in nobody's


interests for the prospect of a referendum to be subject to legal


wrangling. Let's get back to basics. If Alex Salmond does not fear the


verdict of the Scottish people, what is stopping him getting on


with it? What does he fear about letting the franchise being exactly


the same franchise as saw him elected as First Minister last May,


and David Cameron are elected as Prime Minister of the United


Kingdom last year. Let's deal with the basic issues. Affair franchise,


fair rules for funding the campaign, make sure the question is fair and


the outcome is decisive. People of common sense have a strong interest


in that happening on both sides of the border. What we saw in a panic


response of the First Minister yesterday, jumping into a


television studio in front of the camera, when Michael Moore was


speaking at Westminster, that rather gave the game away that


despite the fact as First Minister you cannot call the date, as Prime


Minister you can no longer call the date for a general election, he


regards this as his private placing. This is way too serious and


important to be the plaything of anyone at Holyrood or Westminster.


Do you think the question should be a simple yes or no to independence?


Absolutely. There are two options. Scotland can be a separate


sovereign state, which I did agree with that Alex Salmond has spent


his life fighting for that. He is only floating devo max as a get out


of jail card. He wants to claim that somehow Scotland is still on


the march. What we heard from Nicola Sturgeon and the deputy


leader of the SNP was very clear. A one question referendum is the


position of the Labour Party North and South of the border, the


Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. There is a cross-party


consensus to resolve this with a single question. The reason Alex


Salmond keeps talking up devo max is, for all of his bluster and


claims to be brave heart, he is scared. I thought that devo max was


going to take over from the Angry Birds and I was looking for the app.


I can't find it! You wanted to make a point? Douglas himself gave a


speech recently talking about whether it would be sensible to go


further and give more powers to the Scottish Parliament. Some people


read that as suggesting that Labour would back devo max in the future.


What is devo max? The truth is that nobody is agreed on what it is, but


the concept is clear at least, lots more powers than now. Many people


are saying that it needs this will independence, in other words spot


and responsible for tax and spending policies. -- Scotland


responsible. The Labour Party are interested in devo max. They point


to Sir Menzies Campbell, preparing for the Liberal Democrats, and says


they will go down that route. difference between Ming Campbell


and myself on one side of the argument and Alex Salmond on the


other, he sees devolution as a staging-post to independence. I


have never bought that. I see it as a fundamentally different


destination for Scotland within the United Kingdom. There are ways in


which devolution can be improved but that is wholly separate from


the fundamental question, which is should Scotland remain part of the


United Kingdom? I think there is a really important point about the


integrity of the process. We all agree that this is a decision that


could have an impact for hundreds of years. The devolution settlement


was three years ago and people have been talking about Bannockburn


seven centuries ago. This is really big stuff. The fairness us to be


beyond reproach. It will be bad enough if we end up with court


cases in the run-up to a referendum. Imagine if we had a referendum with


three or four questions, several options, no to get more than 50%.


What do you do? You would have court cases after the fat, which


would be disastrous. Bringing it back to the South of England, where


rail fares are particularly important if you are commuting into


London, then I have something for you, Mr Alexander. We have


Munchkins beavering away in the darkness, it never allowed out, and


they have come up with research from House of Commons library. It


shows that David Cameron was right when he said that there were rises


of 6% under Labour. He was also right about the train fares being


waved the year before the election. But it was only for one year.


and we said that because economic circumstances had deteriorated it


was right to remove from the railway companies the power to


adjust, so that some fares went up significant link. When he came into


office, he gave the power back to the railway companies to fiddle the


figures, if you like, to make sure that the fares could be


significantly higher in some areas. Either the taxpayer pays for it or


the fair player. We saw a significant report last week saying


that the money does not find its way back to the Department of


Transport. I should not have brought that up at all! I was just


thinking of our English viewers that were bought with its Gotland


and wanted something that matters. I was going to go home and play


angry birds but there is something else to do. You have to listen to


Radio 4 when a new programme will be on where it shows you how


decisions are taken and it looks at the question of Scotland. And the


man he used to be the top official for Alex Salmond in Scotland, in St


Andrew's House, two former Secretaries of State for Scotland.


We have someone who was a political adviser to Alex Salmond, all


discussing at 8:00pm, BBC Radio 4, because this is an exploration of


the way it works, what are the legalities and how this might be


decided. I can still play Angry Birds at the same time. But is the


joy of radio. 8pm tonight, do not miss it. Until recently it look


like Britain was on the brink of nuclear renaissance. Nuclear power


seemingly has it all, low carbon, abundant, relatively cheap. But a


new era of nuclear power has not a lot -- arrived, because in the wake


of the Fukushima disaster in Japan the industry has something of a PR


problem. So can at nuclear ever live up to its early promise? One


professor thinks it can. He will join us in a moment, but first


I am a professor of nuclear physics and have always believed that


nuclear power is a good thing. I am not in the pay of the nuclear


industry, nor any environmental movement, so I have no axe to grind.


I have no agenda, but I firmly believe that if you want an energy


supply that is affordable, secured, reliable and isn't going to destroy


our planet's climate, then we cannot afford to live without it.


"Radioactivity" - Kraftwerk. It is a source of concern to me that


people think we can get rid of the reliance on coal and gas by moving


to renewables. Solar, wind and wave power will be very important in the


future, but if we are to avert the catastrophe of climate change while


still retaining standards of living with reliance on energy than we


have to change our views on nuclear power. The mood around the world


turned against nuclear in the wake of the Fukushima disaster back in


March. It is an understandable reaction. But as I learned when I


visited Japan, no one died as a result of the meltdown. And,


thankfully, so far, there have been no radiation associated health


risks. Human civilisation has only been around for 10,000 years. And


look what science and technology have achieved in the last 100 years.


So to worry about how we are going to deal with nuclear waste


thousands of years in the future is utterly irrational. That is


assuming, of course, we survive climate change. Nothing is perfect.


There are, of course, consequences when things go wrong, and we do


seem to have a special fear of radiation. But whatever we decide,


it has to be based on a careful assessment of the science. And Jim


it joins us now. Thank you for coming onto the programme. You said


nobody died in the incident, but tens of thousands of people were


forced to leave their homes and many of them will not ever return.


It is more than just a PR problem. Absolutely. We should not downplay


the effect it has had on 80,000 or so inhabitants who had to be moved


out of the exclusion zone. And, yes, it has turned lives upside down.


The point is we are not trying to say that this is wonderful and


beautiful and safe. Accidents do happen, but they happen in all


industries. So it is a price worth paying? They may be fairly rare,


but looking at Chernobyl and Fukushima, these are things we


might have to risk. The example I always say it is if we think of the


disaster in India, in the wake of that we did not say we would stop


all chemical industry. Accidents happen and we have to try and avert


them. It does not mean we go and live in caves. Were you surprised


that after decades of the promises of nuclear power that it hasn't


happened? Certainly in the UK successive governments have dilly


dally over what we are going to do. Either it is not happening or of


something is happening there is a lack of transparency. Damian Green,


would you be pushing ahead with this more quickly with nuclear


power and a new range of generators if it were not for the Liberal


Democrats? I am not sure. Fukushima was such a future event that any


sensible government will have looked at it. We got the chief


nuclear inspector to look at both the weight we produce nuclear power


in the country and also the government arrangements to stop


disasters happening and he has given the industry a clean bill of


health. There are projects on the go and people planning to build new


reactors. There was a delay under the previous government where there


was a gap, but we are pushing ahead. He does have to play a role. If you


want clean energy in the future, Nuclear has to play a part. Is a


big part the subsidy issue? If you do not provide a subsidy for new


nuclear power it will not happen quickly because people will not


come forward and pay for it. Clearly we are not in an era of


subsidies available for big energy companies, but there are companies


coming forward with proposals for new reactors. Would Labour have a


subsidy? We need to see what the energy companies can do in terms of


financing this. But Labour was clear that by the time we left


office there was an important role for a new build nuclear, but the


financing is complex. About 15 % of the energy mix is contributed by


nuclear and all of them are going to be decommissioned by 2027. So


that is why we were moving when we left office not just to say in


principle we wanted a new-build of nuclear weather complex policy and


finance issues, but making sure could be British workers and jobs


generated as a result of the construction of the new facilities.


Do you think we will see a new range of them? The other point is


that without subsidies, certainly Nuclear will become competitive


economically long before other renewable energy sources. But there


is also the issue of whether we want to impose some sort of a


carbon tax on fossil fuel burning. It is not so much worrying about


nuclear, people worry more about climate change which is more


immediate. Thank you for coming on to the programme. When that they


were leaders did Gordon Brown's awkward smiles all William Hague's


baseball cap become more memorable than anything they said?


Politicians spend a lot of effort telling us about their policies


because they save their hot air for something more useful and focus on


their image instead. We have been taking a look at whether style is


just, or even more, important than At his relaunch yesterday Ed


Miliband wanted to talk values, but pesky hacks wanted to discuss


whether he is too gawky to the Prime Minister, an accusation he


brushed aside. We had a terrible result in the 2010 election. I


think people forget about this. We got 29 % of the vote. That is our


second lowest result since universal suffrage was introduced.


That is pretty bad, right? I don't think anyone is saying we are in


that opinion in the opinion polls. I want authority and conviction.


Dennis! Dennis! You look How to look and sound like a leader


is one of the film's -- themes of the new Margaret Thatcher, has


cinemas packed, although she did not always get the photocalls quite


right. But, she looked like a superstar compared to Michael Foot,


whose brilliant brain was often overshadowed by his dishevelled


donkey jacket. Labour had cottoned on to the image thing by the time


Tony Blair became Prime Minister, so much so that it is reported


advisers agonised over what kind of spectacles he should wear. Though


his successor could not quite translate private charm into public


poise. One American pollster reckons the best way of spotting


leadership potential is to show voters clips of politicians


speaking with the sound turned off. Which, luckily, is again we can


play at home. What do you think These are the best dancers I have


ever seen in my interview career! Mac -- best answers. His style is


as important as substance. For the first time in 2010, people said


they were voting on the character and personality of the leader as


for the policies they were exposing. In an age of televised debate. When


there is less ideological differences than they might believe,


people make judgments about character. So why bother saying


anything at all? Just renewing silence? That might have been the


best answer I could have given. I think the issue is authenticity.


You talk about Alastair Darling. The reason he is seen is a serious


figure is not because of the suits he wears all the way he combs his


hair, it's the suggestion that people get him. Kenneth Clarke is


the same on Conservative benches. But at some level voters reach a


basic judgment about individuals in politics and that is partly about


image but more, I would argue, about the longer judgment they


reach about character and values. But it does not change easily. Is


that the problem for Ed Miliband? It is difficult to shift it.


Somebody like Kenneth Clarke, I remember the time of the ambulance


drivers' strike, he was hardly cuddly at that point. Many of us


were deeply aggrieved with how he conducted himself. But over a


lifetime in politics, even his harshest critics would say this is


a substantial, serious politician who graces politics with his


presence. The danger is trying to create an image. If you're a


politician you think you need to create an image and you need


something just to do that, then voters will smell you as in


authentic. The image of the women in 1975 is very different from the


ones we have seen now. But the substance was the same. Does Ed


Miliband have an image problem? Do the polls tell us that? He does,


but I was listening to the point about him changing. He is less well


regarded and David Cameron was when he had been leader of opposition


parties for 18 months, but David Cameron became Prime Minister


because his position changed dramatically with the public at


some point after that. Ed Miliband is not down-and-out but he has a


serious problem. People do not quite get him. On three


characteristics that you have to have to be prime minister, he is


much behind his opponents and some of it is about your opponent. He is


well behind on been seen as a capable leader, good in a crisis or


having a clear vision for Britain. Put that with the economy, and


understanding his position, we do not know. It is almost 1 o'clock


and we have to leave it there. Time to but to add your misery for the


guest beer competition. It was 1966. But we are still printing out all


the answers, so we will pick a winner tomorrow. Right, that is it


for today. Our first PMQs of 2012. Thanks to all the guests. We will


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