11/01/2012 Daily Politics


11/01/2012

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn have live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions. Their guests are: Douglas Alexander, Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Damian Green, Immigration Minister.


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

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

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

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

:01:02.:01:07.

Can the Government meet its net migration targets?

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

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

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the year? Add to the's favourite physicist on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Scotland moved one step closer? Alex Salmond announced yesterday

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

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

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

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

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

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produced by the Scottish Parliament and offered to the Scottish people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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paper devolution Max, whereby all spending would be controlled in

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

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

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strategically and tactically he is trying to divide Unionist opinion.

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

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Democrats would find appealing intellectually. He is trying to

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prise them away from their Tory coalition partners and prise apart

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

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the Commons coming from the UK Government. Alex Salmond was

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

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

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

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personally involved in Scottish independence issues with other

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

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there is a battle between two parliaments and two governments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Salmond says that he is the Scottish First Minister ante has

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

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

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:06:16.:06:16.

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

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

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law. The law says that the devolution settlement means that

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constitutional matters are reserved for Westminster. It is absolutely

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clear that it is for the Westminster Parliament to do

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constitutional matters. understand that, but what if he

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says this is a consultation referendum and we are just getting

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

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know if that is Scottish independence or devolution Max,

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

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

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The law does not recognise the difference between a consultation

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referendum and a decision referendum. It is clear that Alex

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Salmond is playing Grandmother's footsteps and moving gently towards

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

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somebody talking a big game, wanting independence, and now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Parliament, made clear that constitutional matters were

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reserved for Westminster. I always believe that the sensible approach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Glasgow Herald showed support for Scottish independence running at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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legal advice available to us about the legality of an advisory

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

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

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

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

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quite clear from Stephen Tierney, the leading professor at Edinburgh

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

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

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understand these are published works by professors, that have been

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

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Government, consulted your official legal authorities and got official

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:10:35.:10:39.

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

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

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

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

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

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legal authorities, giving you advice on the legality of a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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British Government has legal advice that confirms the position, we

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understand from what Michael Moore held in the Commons yesterday,

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which is widely held, that Westminster holds the constitution

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

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

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is why Michael Moore did something reasonable, aligning the political

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:13:48.:13:51.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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matter properly, in an orderly fashion, with the proper

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

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

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You said you made it clear throughout the campaign for the

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timing of the referendum. My journalistic colleagues in Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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particular election campaign in 2007, when they gave the Scottish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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outside the European Union is linked to unemployment in these

:17:06.:17:09.

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

:17:09.:17:12.

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

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published yesterday - this time by the National Institute of Economic

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and Social Research which found no correlation between immigration and

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

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

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immigration this government has committed itself to reducing it. So

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

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

:17:41.:17:45.

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

:17:45.:17:50.

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

:17:50.:17:56.

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

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

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

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announce reforms of the family migration and settlement routes.

:18:05.:18:15.
:18:15.:18:34.

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

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

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

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immigration. And even the independent Office for Budget

:18:42.:18:44.

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

:18:44.:18:47.

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

:18:47.:18:49.

is insufficient reason to change our average net migration

:18:49.:18:59.
:18:59.:19:04.

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

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

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

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

:19:21.:19:26.

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

:19:26.:19:32.

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

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

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

:19:41.:19:46.

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

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

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we have taken the longest of measures that were just detailed

:19:55.:20:01.

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

:20:01.:20:09.

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

:20:09.:20:17.

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

:20:17.:20:23.

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

:20:23.:20:33.
:20:33.:20:34.

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

:20:34.:20:38.

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

:20:38.:20:48.
:20:48.:20:50.

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

:20:50.:20:53.

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

:20:53.:21:01.

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

:21:01.:21:04.

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

:21:04.:21:08.

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

:21:08.:21:14.

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

:21:14.:21:18.

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

:21:18.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:26.

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

:21:26.:21:30.

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

:21:30.:21:34.

measures. We have abolished the automatic right for students who

:21:34.:21:44.
:21:44.:21:46.

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

:21:46.:21:52.

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

:21:52.:21:56.

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

:21:56.:22:01.

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

:22:01.:22:05.

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

:22:05.:22:11.

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

:22:11.:22:14.

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

:22:14.:22:18.

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

:22:18.:22:26.

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

:22:26.:22:30.

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

:22:30.:22:34.

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

:22:35.:22:39.

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

:22:39.:22:48.

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

:22:48.:22:50.

universities in the country, they are complaining that it is

:22:50.:22:54.

difficult for them to attract the best and the brightest.

:22:54.:22:59.

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

:22:59.:23:04.

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

:23:05.:23:10.

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

:23:10.:23:15.

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

:23:15.:23:19.

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

:23:19.:23:22.

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

:23:22.:23:28.

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

:23:28.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:37.

details of software engineer companies find it difficult to

:23:37.:23:41.

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

:23:41.:23:44.

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

:23:44.:23:49.

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

:23:49.:23:55.

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

:23:55.:24:00.

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

:24:00.:24:04.

decisively and we introduced an Australian points based system to

:24:04.:24:08.

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

:24:08.:24:13.

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

:24:13.:24:17.

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

:24:17.:24:21.

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

:24:21.:24:26.

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

:24:26.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:35.

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

:24:35.:24:39.

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

:24:39.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:50.

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

:24:50.:24:54.

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

:24:54.:24:58.

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

:24:58.:25:02.

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

:25:02.:25:07.

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

:25:07.:25:13.

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

:25:13.:25:17.

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

:25:17.:25:21.

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

:25:21.:25:27.

compared to the rest of the European Union broadly matches,

:25:27.:25:34.

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

:25:34.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:41.

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

:25:41.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:48.

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

:25:48.:25:58.

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

:25:58.:26:08.
:26:08.:26:08.

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

:26:08.:26:11.

loyal education secretary, Michael Gove, has announced this morning

:26:11.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:17.

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

:26:17.:26:27.
:26:27.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:34.

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

:26:34.:26:43.

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

:26:43.:26:53.
:26:53.:26:53.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 56 seconds

:26:53.:27:49.

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

:27:49.:27:59.
:27:59.:28:14.

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

:28:14.:28:16.

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

:28:16.:28:19.

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

:28:19.:28:22.

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

:28:22.:28:32.
:28:32.:28:40.

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

:28:40.:28:43.

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

:28:43.:28:50.

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

:28:50.:28:56.

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

:28:56.:29:02.

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

:29:02.:29:07.

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

:29:07.:29:11.

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

:29:11.:29:14.

a way of expressing solidarity amongst Unionist parties. Clearly

:29:14.:29:19.

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

:29:19.:29:22.

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

:29:23.:29:27.

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

:29:27.:29:31.

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

:29:31.:29:35.

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

:29:35.:29:44.

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

:29:45.:29:49.

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

:29:49.:29:54.

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

:29:54.:29:58.

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

:29:58.:30:05.

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

:30:05.:30:07.

uncharacteristically rude to them personally in a way he is not

:30:07.:30:10.

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

:30:11.:30:19.

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

:30:19.:30:21.

get the impression that the Westminster Establishment is

:30:21.:30:26.

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

:30:26.:30:33.

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

:30:33.:30:39.

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

:30:39.:30:42.

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

:30:42.:30:47.

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

:30:47.:30:51.

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

:30:51.:30:54.

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

:30:54.:31:01.

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

:31:01.:31:04.

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

:31:04.:31:10.

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

:31:10.:31:13.

Anthony Downing from the Royal applause. Private John King from

:31:13.:31:23.
:31:23.:31:24.

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

:31:24.:31:30.

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

:31:30.:31:32.

selflessness will never be forgotten. They gave their lives

:31:32.:31:36.

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

:31:36.:31:40.

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

:31:40.:31:43.

colleagues and others this morning and I will have further such

:31:43.:31:49.

meetings later today. The whole House would wish to associate

:31:49.:31:54.

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

:31:54.:31:59.

the Prime Minister in joining me in congratulating crowns which country

:31:59.:32:03.

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

:32:03.:32:13.
:32:13.:32:13.

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

:32:13.:32:18.

employing 1200 people. Unfortunately the Food Standards

:32:18.:32:21.

Agency is blocking exports from this excellent plant to the Far

:32:21.:32:30.

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

:32:30.:32:33.

necessary regulation will not be tolerated by this Government?

:32:33.:32:41.

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

:32:41.:32:45.

that we balance our economy with greater emphasis on business

:32:45.:32:49.

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

:32:49.:32:53.

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

:32:53.:32:59.

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

:32:59.:33:07.

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

:33:07.:33:12.

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

:33:12.:33:15.

Captain Tom Jennings from the Royal Marines, Squadron Leader Anthony

:33:15.:33:19.

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

:33:19.:33:23.

Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, and the riflemen from the Gurkha

:33:23.:33:31.

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

:33:31.:33:36.

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

:33:36.:33:41.

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

:33:41.:33:44.

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

:33:44.:33:48.

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

:33:48.:33:51.

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

:33:51.:33:56.

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

:33:56.:34:06.
:34:06.:34:07.

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

:34:07.:34:13.

Prime Minister is wrong. The last Labour Government stopped them

:34:13.:34:18.

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

:34:18.:34:24.

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

:34:24.:34:28.

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

:34:28.:34:32.

travelling from Northampton to London will see a rise on the

:34:32.:34:36.

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

:34:36.:34:43.

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

:34:43.:34:45.

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

:34:45.:34:50.

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

:34:50.:34:55.

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

:34:55.:35:01.

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

:35:01.:35:09.

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

:35:09.:35:13.

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

:35:13.:35:16.

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

:35:16.:35:20.

going to put money into railway investment and that this Government

:35:20.:35:26.

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

:35:26.:35:29.

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

:35:29.:35:35.

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

:35:35.:35:41.

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

:35:41.:35:44.

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

:35:44.:35:48.

taking advantage of consumers, ripping them off by increasing

:35:48.:35:53.

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

:35:53.:36:00.

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

:36:00.:36:04.

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

:36:04.:36:08.

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

:36:08.:36:14.

this money would result in increasing train operating company

:36:14.:36:21.

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

:36:21.:36:27.

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

:36:27.:36:32.

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

:36:32.:36:37.

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

:36:37.:36:42.

supports the latter occasion of the Great Western main line and

:36:42.:36:48.

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

:36:48.:36:51.

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

:36:51.:36:54.

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

:36:55.:36:59.

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

:36:59.:37:03.

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

:37:03.:37:07.

defence secretary who wrote very candidly over Christmas there is a

:37:07.:37:10.

difference between populism and popularity, and that differences

:37:11.:37:16.

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

:37:16.:37:22.

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

:37:22.:37:29.

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

:37:29.:37:32.

policy of the last Labour Government and he is simply wrong

:37:32.:37:35.

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

:37:35.:37:39.

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

:37:39.:37:43.

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

:37:43.:37:48.

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

:37:48.:37:55.

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

:37:55.:38:00.

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

:38:00.:38:04.

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

:38:04.:38:10.

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

:38:10.:38:14.

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

:38:14.:38:24.
:38:24.:38:25.

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

:38:25.:38:28.

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

:38:28.:38:38.

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

:38:38.:38:43.

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

:38:43.:38:48.

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

:38:48.:38:51.

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

:38:51.:39:01.
:39:01.:39:04.

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

:39:04.:39:08.

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

:39:08.:39:13.

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

:39:14.:39:18.

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

:39:18.:39:23.

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

:39:23.:39:28.

In congratulating this Government in its courageous decision to

:39:28.:39:33.

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

:39:33.:39:36.

attention to a piece of unfinished business left by the last

:39:36.:39:40.

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

:39:40.:39:44.

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

:39:44.:39:50.

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

:39:50.:39:56.

Birmingham? I congratulate my friend for his well deserved honour

:39:56.:40:00.

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

:40:00.:40:04.

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

:40:05.:40:09.

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

:40:09.:40:12.

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

:40:12.:40:17.

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

:40:17.:40:20.

shortening commuter distances and helping change the economic

:40:20.:40:24.

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

:40:24.:40:32.

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

:40:32.:40:39.

winter following the Government cuts to winter fuel allowance. Will

:40:39.:40:43.

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

:40:43.:40:50.

are automatically put onto the cheapest tariff for gas and

:40:50.:40:53.

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

:40:53.:40:58.

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

:40:58.:41:04.

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

:41:04.:41:09.

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

:41:09.:41:13.

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

:41:13.:41:16.

introduced higher cold weather payments only for election year and

:41:16.:41:22.

we have made them permanent. Prime Minister will have

:41:22.:41:27.

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

:41:27.:41:31.

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

:41:31.:41:36.

country are receiving the highest possible standards of nursing out

:41:36.:41:43.

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

:41:43.:41:46.

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

:41:46.:41:49.

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

:41:49.:41:53.

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

:41:53.:41:57.

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

:41:57.:42:00.

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

:42:00.:42:04.

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

:42:04.:42:08.

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

:42:08.:42:13.

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

:42:13.:42:17.

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

:42:17.:42:22.

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

:42:22.:42:25.

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

:42:25.:42:33.

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

:42:33.:42:38.

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

:42:38.:42:44.

the house, believe that United Kingdom benefits the people of

:42:45.:42:48.

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

:42:48.:42:52.

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

:42:52.:42:57.

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

:42:57.:43:01.

simply against separatism, but the positive case about the shared

:43:01.:43:07.

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

:43:07.:43:14.

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

:43:14.:43:20.

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

:43:20.:43:23.

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

:43:23.:43:26.

passionately believe in the future of United Kingdom and I

:43:26.:43:29.

passionately believe that we are stronger together, rather than

:43:29.:43:33.

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

:43:33.:43:37.

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

:43:37.:43:40.

fact that Scotland voted for a separatist party at his

:43:40.:43:43.

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

:43:43.:43:48.

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

:43:48.:43:50.

honourable friend the Scottish Secretary has been doing. We have

:43:50.:43:54.

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

:43:54.:43:58.

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

:43:58.:44:01.

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

:44:01.:44:06.

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

:44:07.:44:11.

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

:44:11.:44:16.

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

:44:16.:44:21.

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

:44:21.:44:25.

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

:44:25.:44:30.

fight about process between the Westminster Government and the

:44:30.:44:33.

Scottish Government or between the British Prime Minister and the

:44:33.:44:36.

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

:44:36.:44:40.

immediate cross-party talks in Scotland about issues around the

:44:41.:44:43.

timing of the referendum, the nature of the single question

:44:43.:44:46.

referendum, and the vital involvement of the Electoral

:44:46.:44:53.

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

:44:53.:44:56.

beyond process and have a discussion about the substantial

:44:56.:45:02.

issues involved? This is a momentous decision that our

:45:02.:45:05.

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

:45:05.:45:09.

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

:45:09.:45:12.

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

:45:12.:45:16.

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

:45:17.:45:20.

deserve nothing less than that serious debate about the benefits

:45:20.:45:28.

I think the Right Honourable Gentleman is right on those three

:45:28.:45:32.

points. On the process of negotiation it is important that

:45:32.:45:37.

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

:45:37.:45:42.

for the UK government to speak directly to the Scottish government

:45:42.:45:46.

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

:45:46.:45:51.

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

:45:51.:45:56.

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

:45:56.:46:00.

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

:46:00.:46:06.

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

:46:06.:46:09.

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

:46:09.:46:15.

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

:46:15.:46:18.

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

:46:18.:46:23.

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

:46:23.:46:30.

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

:46:30.:46:35.

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

:46:35.:46:39.

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

:46:39.:46:42.

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

:46:42.:46:46.

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

:46:46.:46:50.

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

:46:50.:46:56.

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

:46:56.:47:00.

Nottinghamshire police surveys eight deep area of deprivation and

:47:00.:47:05.

faces high crime levels and have ambitious crime reduction targets,

:47:05.:47:11.

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

:47:11.:47:13.

biggest challenges on the front line forces and government cuts

:47:14.:47:17.

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

:47:18.:47:20.

police funding formula to give my local police the resources they

:47:20.:47:25.

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

:47:25.:47:30.

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

:47:30.:47:33.

chief constables for the steps they have taken to deliver the

:47:33.:47:37.

efficiency is without affecting frontline policing. And that the

:47:37.:47:40.

same time they should still be delivering a reduction in crime

:47:40.:47:45.

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

:47:45.:47:49.

working in back office jobs and trained police officers working in

:47:49.:47:52.

HR, finance and corporate development. There is still further

:47:52.:47:56.

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

:47:56.:48:02.

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

:48:02.:48:07.

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

:48:07.:48:12.

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

:48:12.:48:17.

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

:48:17.:48:21.

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

:48:21.:48:26.

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

:48:26.:48:32.

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

:48:32.:48:37.

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

:48:37.:48:40.

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

:48:41.:48:44.

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

:48:44.:48:47.

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

:48:47.:48:51.

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

:48:51.:48:55.

punishing offenders Bill creating the right of appeal to High Court

:48:55.:48:59.

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

:48:59.:49:02.

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

:49:02.:49:10.

satisfaction to the family he is The Scottish government was elected

:49:10.:49:14.

with an overwhelming mandate to deliver an independent referendum

:49:14.:49:21.

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

:49:22.:49:26.

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

:49:26.:49:32.

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

:49:32.:49:36.

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

:49:36.:49:40.

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

:49:40.:49:46.

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

:49:46.:49:49.

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

:49:50.:49:52.

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

:49:52.:49:56.

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

:49:56.:50:00.

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

:50:00.:50:09.

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

:50:09.:50:15.

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

:50:15.:50:20.

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

:50:20.:50:24.

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

:50:25.:50:29.

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

:50:29.:50:32.

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

:50:32.:50:37.

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

:50:37.:50:41.

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

:50:41.:50:45.

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

:50:46.:50:49.

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

:50:49.:50:53.

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

:50:53.:50:58.

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

:50:58.:51:00.

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

:51:00.:51:08.

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

:51:08.:51:17.

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

:51:17.:51:22.

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

:51:22.:51:27.

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

:51:27.:51:31.

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

:51:31.:51:37.

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

:51:37.:51:41.

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

:51:41.:51:44.

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

:51:45.:51:50.

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

:51:50.:51:54.

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

:51:54.:51:58.

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

:51:58.:52:02.

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

:52:02.:52:05.

make sure that people behave responsibly and the government does

:52:05.:52:12.

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

:52:12.:52:17.

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

:52:17.:52:22.

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

:52:22.:52:29.

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

:52:29.:52:34.

encourage the Post Office to use their general subsidy to insure

:52:34.:52:39.

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

:52:39.:52:46.

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

:52:46.:52:50.

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

:52:50.:52:54.

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

:52:54.:52:58.

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

:52:58.:53:02.

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

:53:02.:53:12.
:53:12.:53:14.

serve many communities and make They the Deputy Prime Minister is

:53:14.:53:19.

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

:53:19.:53:23.

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

:53:23.:53:28.

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

:53:28.:53:37.

The position is very straightforward. We did not sign

:53:37.:53:45.

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

:53:45.:53:50.

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

:53:50.:53:53.

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

:53:53.:53:57.

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

:53:57.:54:03.

should pay their taxes, keep their businesses onshore Switzerland and

:54:03.:54:07.

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

:54:07.:54:12.

stamp out these predatory business practices? A my Honourable Friend

:54:12.:54:16.

makes an interesting point. That all the lectures about predatory

:54:16.:54:20.

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

:54:20.:54:27.

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

:54:27.:54:31.

in the British Virgin Islands. funding for the United Kingdom

:54:31.:54:37.

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

:54:37.:54:40.

there are one million women unemployed and women make up only

:54:40.:54:44.

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

:54:44.:54:49.

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

:54:49.:54:55.

Britain as a leading role for science in this country which

:54:55.:55:00.

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

:55:00.:55:03.

Honourable Lady sets out. Despite having to make difficult decisions

:55:03.:55:07.

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

:55:07.:55:11.

in the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor provided a series of

:55:11.:55:14.

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

:55:14.:55:19.

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

:55:19.:55:24.

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

:55:24.:55:27.

Guantanamo Bay, a despicable institution which still holds one

:55:27.:55:31.

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

:55:31.:55:36.

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

:55:36.:55:41.

institution operates? Mike Wright on will Friend the Foreign

:55:41.:55:43.

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

:55:43.:55:47.

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

:55:47.:55:52.

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

:55:52.:55:58.

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

:55:58.:56:01.

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

:56:01.:56:06.

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

:56:06.:56:14.

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

:56:14.:56:19.

Minister was clear that his government economic policy should

:56:19.:56:24.

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

:56:25.:56:29.

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

:56:29.:56:36.

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

:56:36.:56:38.

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

:56:38.:56:42.

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

:56:42.:56:46.

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

:56:46.:56:49.

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

:56:49.:56:59.
:56:59.:56:59.

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

:56:59.:57:02.

congratulate the Secretary of Transport and the good workers of

:57:02.:57:08.

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

:57:08.:57:11.

and the announcement on the Toronto stock exchange that was so

:57:11.:57:15.

important to the workers in Derbyshire? I congratulate everyone

:57:15.:57:19.

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

:57:19.:57:23.

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

:57:23.:57:26.

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

:57:26.:57:31.

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

:57:31.:57:40.

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

:57:40.:57:45.

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

:57:45.:57:49.

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

:57:49.:57:53.

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

:57:53.:57:59.

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

:57:59.:58:03.

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

:58:03.:58:07.

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

:58:07.:58:11.

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

:58:11.:58:15.

government has shown some leadership, not least by cutting

:58:15.:58:19.

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

:58:19.:58:23.

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

:58:23.:58:29.

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

:58:29.:58:34.

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

:58:34.:58:37.

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

:58:37.:58:40.

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

:58:40.:58:43.

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

:58:44.:58:53.
:58:54.:58:55.

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

:58:55.:59:01.

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

:59:01.:59:05.

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

:59:05.:59:11.

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

:59:11.:59:15.

nothing culture in this country, because frankly we inherited and

:59:15.:59:19.

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

:59:19.:59:22.

thousands of pounds in housing benefit, and out of control

:59:22.:59:26.

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

:59:26.:59:30.

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

:59:30.:59:37.

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

:59:37.:59:40.

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

:59:40.:59:45.

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

:59:45.:59:50.

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

:59:50.:59:53.

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

:59:54.:59:58.

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

:59:58.:00:02.

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

:00:02.:00:04.

more on the public health and health promotion agenda because

:00:04.:00:09.

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

:00:09.:00:13.

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

:00:13.:00:17.

alcohol and crime and alcohol and hospital admissions which is

:00:17.:00:21.

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

:00:21.:00:31.
:00:31.:00:34.

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

:00:35.:00:40.

evil. Sadly, successive governments have supported a country where

:00:40.:00:47.

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

:00:47.:00:53.

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

:00:53.:00:57.

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

:00:57.:01:02.

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

:01:02.:01:06.

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

:01:06.:01:13.

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

:01:13.:01:17.

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

:01:17.:01:21.

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

:01:21.:01:24.

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

:01:24.:01:30.

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

:01:30.:01:32.

international relations. On the issue of settlements, this garment

:01:32.:01:36.

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

:01:36.:01:39.

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

:01:39.:01:43.

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

:01:43.:01:45.

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

:01:45.:01:54.

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

:01:55.:01:59.

has leukaemia and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Despite

:01:59.:02:03.

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

:02:03.:02:06.

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

:02:06.:02:10.

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

:02:10.:02:14.

to improve public awareness about this vital issue and increase the

:02:14.:02:19.

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

:02:19.:02:24.

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

:02:24.:02:27.

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

:02:27.:02:31.

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

:02:31.:02:34.

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

:02:34.:02:38.

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

:02:38.:02:42.

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

:02:42.:02:48.

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

:02:48.:02:53.

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

:02:53.:02:57.

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

:02:57.:03:03.

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

:03:03.:03:06.

more military personnel into schools as teachers on the other

:03:06.:03:12.

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

:03:12.:03:16.

communities military academies and free school administered by the

:03:16.:03:20.

Reserve forces and cadet associations. Let me pay tribute to

:03:20.:03:24.

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

:03:24.:03:27.

forces and for our cadet forces which I incredibly valuable assets

:03:27.:03:31.

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

:03:31.:03:36.

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

:03:36.:03:40.

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

:03:40.:03:44.

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

:03:44.:03:48.

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

:03:48.:03:51.

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

:03:51.:03:54.

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

:03:54.:04:04.
:04:04.:04:08.

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

:04:08.:04:15.

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

:04:15.:04:19.

forced on to housing benefit because of redundancy. That benefit

:04:19.:04:28.

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

:04:28.:04:34.

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

:04:34.:04:39.

constituent will be made homeless? Can I congratulate the Honourable

:04:39.:04:43.

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

:04:43.:04:46.

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

:04:46.:04:52.

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

:04:53.:05:01.

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

:05:01.:05:07.

the question directly. All parties are committed to reform housing

:05:07.:05:11.

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

:05:11.:05:14.

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

:05:14.:05:19.

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

:05:19.:05:26.

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

:05:26.:05:32.

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

:05:32.:05:41.

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

:05:41.:05:46.

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

:05:46.:05:50.

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

:05:50.:05:55.

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

:05:55.:06:00.

ask about Scotland, where there seemed to be almost complete

:06:00.:06:03.

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

:06:03.:06:08.

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

:06:08.:06:12.

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

:06:12.:06:17.

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

:06:17.:06:24.

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

:06:24.:06:28.

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

:06:28.:06:33.

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

:06:33.:06:38.

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

:06:38.:06:43.

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

:06:43.:06:52.

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

:06:52.:06:59.

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

:06:59.:07:02.

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

:07:02.:07:10.

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

:07:10.:07:20.
:07:20.:07:21.

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

:07:21.:07:31.
:07:31.:07:32.

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

:07:32.:07:37.

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

:07:37.:07:40.

union only to hear that the European Parliament said that it

:07:40.:07:44.

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

:07:45.:07:54.

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

:07:54.:08:02.

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

:08:02.:08:05.

the question is if the Scottish Parliament does it without coming

:08:05.:08:09.

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

:08:09.:08:13.

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

:08:13.:08:17.

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

:08:17.:08:22.

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

:08:22.:08:28.

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

:08:28.:08:34.

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

:08:34.:08:40.

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

:08:40.:08:45.

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

:08:45.:08:48.

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

:08:48.:08:53.

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

:08:53.:08:56.

inevitable that somebody will challenge it. What was incredible

:08:57.:08:59.

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

:08:59.:09:04.

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

:09:04.:09:08.

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

:09:08.:09:12.

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

:09:12.:09:15.

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

:09:15.:09:22.

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

:09:22.:09:30.

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

:09:30.:09:34.

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

:09:34.:09:38.

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

:09:38.:09:47.

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

:09:47.:09:50.

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

:09:50.:09:58.

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

:09:58.:10:02.

the founding fathers of modern Scottish nationalism sits on the

:10:02.:10:08.

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

:10:08.:10:12.

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

:10:12.:10:15.

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

:10:15.:10:21.

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

:10:21.:10:25.

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

:10:25.:10:30.

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

:10:30.:10:36.

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

:10:36.:10:41.

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

:10:41.:10:46.

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

:10:46.:10:49.

and David Cameron are elected as Prime Minister of the United

:10:49.:10:55.

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

:10:55.:11:01.

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

:11:01.:11:05.

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

:11:05.:11:09.

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

:11:09.:11:12.

response of the First Minister yesterday, jumping into a

:11:12.:11:15.

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

:11:15.:11:19.

speaking at Westminster, that rather gave the game away that

:11:19.:11:23.

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

:11:23.:11:27.

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

:11:27.:11:34.

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

:11:34.:11:38.

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

:11:38.:11:45.

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

:11:45.:11:50.

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

:11:50.:11:57.

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

:11:57.:12:02.

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

:12:03.:12:08.

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

:12:08.:12:11.

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

:12:11.:12:18.

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

:12:18.:12:22.

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

:12:22.:12:25.

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

:12:25.:12:29.

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

:12:29.:12:32.

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

:12:32.:12:37.

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

:12:37.:12:42.

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

:12:42.:12:49.

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

:12:49.:12:51.

speech recently talking about whether it would be sensible to go

:12:51.:12:55.

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

:12:55.:13:01.

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

:13:01.:13:06.

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

:13:07.:13:14.

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

:13:14.:13:20.

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

:13:20.:13:25.

and responsible for tax and spending policies. -- Scotland

:13:25.:13:32.

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

:13:32.:13:36.

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

:13:36.:13:39.

they will go down that route. difference between Ming Campbell

:13:39.:13:43.

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

:13:43.:13:47.

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

:13:47.:13:51.

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

:13:51.:13:54.

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

:13:54.:13:58.

which devolution can be improved but that is wholly separate from

:13:58.:14:03.

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

:14:03.:14:09.

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

:14:09.:14:12.

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

:14:12.:14:15.

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

:14:15.:14:18.

was three years ago and people have been talking about Bannockburn

:14:18.:14:22.

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

:14:22.:14:27.

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

:14:27.:14:32.

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

:14:32.:14:37.

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

:14:37.:14:43.

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

:14:43.:14:47.

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

:14:48.:14:50.

rail fares are particularly important if you are commuting into

:14:50.:14:59.

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

:14:59.:15:03.

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

:15:03.:15:07.

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

:15:07.:15:10.

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

:15:10.:15:15.

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

:15:15.:15:23.

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

:15:23.:15:26.

and we said that because economic circumstances had deteriorated it

:15:26.:15:29.

was right to remove from the railway companies the power to

:15:29.:15:35.

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

:15:35.:15:39.

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

:15:39.:15:42.

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

:15:42.:15:52.

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

:15:52.:15:58.

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

:15:58.:16:02.

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

:16:02.:16:06.

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

:16:06.:16:10.

thinking of our English viewers that were bought with its Gotland

:16:10.:16:20.
:16:20.:16:23.

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

:16:23.:16:26.

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

:16:26.:16:31.

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

:16:31.:16:34.

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

:16:35.:16:39.

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

:16:39.:16:42.

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

:16:42.:16:48.

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

:16:48.:16:55.

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

:16:55.:17:00.

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

:17:00.:17:05.

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

:17:05.:17:11.

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

:17:11.:17:14.

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

:17:14.:17:20.

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

:17:20.:17:23.

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

:17:23.:17:26.

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

:17:26.:17:33.

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

:17:33.:17:36.

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

:17:36.:17:46.
:17:46.:17:48.

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

:17:48.:17:52.

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

:17:52.:17:57.

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

:17:57.:18:01.

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

:18:01.:18:06.

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

:18:06.:18:16.
:18:16.:18:21.

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

:18:21.:18:27.

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

:18:27.:18:30.

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

:18:30.:18:35.

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

:18:35.:18:43.

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

:18:43.:18:47.

still retaining standards of living with reliance on energy than we

:18:47.:18:52.

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

:18:52.:18:56.

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

:18:56.:19:01.

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

:19:01.:19:06.

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

:19:06.:19:10.

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

:19:10.:19:18.

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

:19:18.:19:22.

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

:19:22.:19:25.

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

:19:25.:19:29.

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

:19:29.:19:35.

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

:19:35.:19:39.

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

:19:39.:19:44.

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

:19:44.:19:51.

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

:19:51.:19:55.

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

:19:55.:19:58.

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

:19:58.:20:01.

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

:20:01.:20:06.

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

:20:06.:20:12.

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

:20:12.:20:17.

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

:20:17.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:26.

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

:20:26.:20:31.

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

:20:31.:20:34.

but looking at Chernobyl and Fukushima, these are things we

:20:34.:20:40.

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

:20:40.:20:44.

disaster in India, in the wake of that we did not say we would stop

:20:44.:20:49.

all chemical industry. Accidents happen and we have to try and avert

:20:49.:20:53.

them. It does not mean we go and live in caves. Were you surprised

:20:53.:20:57.

that after decades of the promises of nuclear power that it hasn't

:20:57.:21:01.

happened? Certainly in the UK successive governments have dilly

:21:01.:21:06.

dally over what we are going to do. Either it is not happening or of

:21:06.:21:11.

something is happening there is a lack of transparency. Damian Green,

:21:11.:21:15.

would you be pushing ahead with this more quickly with nuclear

:21:15.:21:18.

power and a new range of generators if it were not for the Liberal

:21:18.:21:23.

Democrats? I am not sure. Fukushima was such a future event that any

:21:23.:21:27.

sensible government will have looked at it. We got the chief

:21:27.:21:29.

nuclear inspector to look at both the weight we produce nuclear power

:21:29.:21:34.

in the country and also the government arrangements to stop

:21:34.:21:39.

disasters happening and he has given the industry a clean bill of

:21:39.:21:42.

health. There are projects on the go and people planning to build new

:21:42.:21:47.

reactors. There was a delay under the previous government where there

:21:47.:21:52.

was a gap, but we are pushing ahead. He does have to play a role. If you

:21:52.:22:00.

want clean energy in the future, Nuclear has to play a part. Is a

:22:01.:22:05.

big part the subsidy issue? If you do not provide a subsidy for new

:22:05.:22:08.

nuclear power it will not happen quickly because people will not

:22:08.:22:16.

come forward and pay for it. Clearly we are not in an era of

:22:16.:22:19.

subsidies available for big energy companies, but there are companies

:22:19.:22:24.

coming forward with proposals for new reactors. Would Labour have a

:22:24.:22:29.

subsidy? We need to see what the energy companies can do in terms of

:22:29.:22:31.

financing this. But Labour was clear that by the time we left

:22:31.:22:36.

office there was an important role for a new build nuclear, but the

:22:36.:22:43.

financing is complex. About 15 % of the energy mix is contributed by

:22:43.:22:47.

nuclear and all of them are going to be decommissioned by 2027. So

:22:47.:22:51.

that is why we were moving when we left office not just to say in

:22:51.:22:55.

principle we wanted a new-build of nuclear weather complex policy and

:22:55.:22:59.

finance issues, but making sure could be British workers and jobs

:22:59.:23:02.

generated as a result of the construction of the new facilities.

:23:02.:23:06.

Do you think we will see a new range of them? The other point is

:23:06.:23:12.

that without subsidies, certainly Nuclear will become competitive

:23:12.:23:14.

economically long before other renewable energy sources. But there

:23:14.:23:18.

is also the issue of whether we want to impose some sort of a

:23:18.:23:22.

carbon tax on fossil fuel burning. It is not so much worrying about

:23:22.:23:25.

nuclear, people worry more about climate change which is more

:23:25.:23:30.

immediate. Thank you for coming on to the programme. When that they

:23:30.:23:34.

were leaders did Gordon Brown's awkward smiles all William Hague's

:23:34.:23:37.

baseball cap become more memorable than anything they said?

:23:37.:23:43.

Politicians spend a lot of effort telling us about their policies

:23:43.:23:47.

because they save their hot air for something more useful and focus on

:23:47.:23:51.

their image instead. We have been taking a look at whether style is

:23:51.:24:00.

just, or even more, important than At his relaunch yesterday Ed

:24:00.:24:04.

Miliband wanted to talk values, but pesky hacks wanted to discuss

:24:04.:24:07.

whether he is too gawky to the Prime Minister, an accusation he

:24:07.:24:12.

brushed aside. We had a terrible result in the 2010 election. I

:24:12.:24:17.

think people forget about this. We got 29 % of the vote. That is our

:24:17.:24:22.

second lowest result since universal suffrage was introduced.

:24:22.:24:27.

That is pretty bad, right? I don't think anyone is saying we are in

:24:27.:24:32.

that opinion in the opinion polls. I want authority and conviction.

:24:32.:24:40.

Dennis! Dennis! You look How to look and sound like a leader

:24:40.:24:44.

is one of the film's -- themes of the new Margaret Thatcher, has

:24:45.:24:48.

cinemas packed, although she did not always get the photocalls quite

:24:48.:24:53.

right. But, she looked like a superstar compared to Michael Foot,

:24:53.:24:57.

whose brilliant brain was often overshadowed by his dishevelled

:24:57.:25:02.

donkey jacket. Labour had cottoned on to the image thing by the time

:25:02.:25:07.

Tony Blair became Prime Minister, so much so that it is reported

:25:07.:25:11.

advisers agonised over what kind of spectacles he should wear. Though

:25:11.:25:15.

his successor could not quite translate private charm into public

:25:15.:25:20.

poise. One American pollster reckons the best way of spotting

:25:20.:25:23.

leadership potential is to show voters clips of politicians

:25:23.:25:28.

speaking with the sound turned off. Which, luckily, is again we can

:25:28.:25:38.
:25:38.:25:45.

play at home. What do you think These are the best dancers I have

:25:45.:25:55.
:25:55.:25:57.

ever seen in my interview career! Mac -- best answers. His style is

:25:57.:26:02.

as important as substance. For the first time in 2010, people said

:26:02.:26:05.

they were voting on the character and personality of the leader as

:26:05.:26:11.

for the policies they were exposing. In an age of televised debate. When

:26:11.:26:16.

there is less ideological differences than they might believe,

:26:16.:26:21.

people make judgments about character. So why bother saying

:26:21.:26:24.

anything at all? Just renewing silence? That might have been the

:26:24.:26:30.

best answer I could have given. I think the issue is authenticity.

:26:30.:26:33.

You talk about Alastair Darling. The reason he is seen is a serious

:26:33.:26:37.

figure is not because of the suits he wears all the way he combs his

:26:37.:26:41.

hair, it's the suggestion that people get him. Kenneth Clarke is

:26:41.:26:46.

the same on Conservative benches. But at some level voters reach a

:26:46.:26:49.

basic judgment about individuals in politics and that is partly about

:26:49.:26:53.

image but more, I would argue, about the longer judgment they

:26:53.:26:58.

reach about character and values. But it does not change easily. Is

:26:58.:27:02.

that the problem for Ed Miliband? It is difficult to shift it.

:27:02.:27:05.

Somebody like Kenneth Clarke, I remember the time of the ambulance

:27:05.:27:09.

drivers' strike, he was hardly cuddly at that point. Many of us

:27:09.:27:13.

were deeply aggrieved with how he conducted himself. But over a

:27:13.:27:17.

lifetime in politics, even his harshest critics would say this is

:27:17.:27:20.

a substantial, serious politician who graces politics with his

:27:20.:27:26.

presence. The danger is trying to create an image. If you're a

:27:26.:27:29.

politician you think you need to create an image and you need

:27:29.:27:31.

something just to do that, then voters will smell you as in

:27:31.:27:37.

authentic. The image of the women in 1975 is very different from the

:27:37.:27:42.

ones we have seen now. But the substance was the same. Does Ed

:27:42.:27:46.

Miliband have an image problem? Do the polls tell us that? He does,

:27:46.:27:50.

but I was listening to the point about him changing. He is less well

:27:50.:27:53.

regarded and David Cameron was when he had been leader of opposition

:27:53.:27:56.

parties for 18 months, but David Cameron became Prime Minister

:27:56.:27:59.

because his position changed dramatically with the public at

:27:59.:28:04.

some point after that. Ed Miliband is not down-and-out but he has a

:28:04.:28:09.

serious problem. People do not quite get him. On three

:28:09.:28:12.

characteristics that you have to have to be prime minister, he is

:28:12.:28:16.

much behind his opponents and some of it is about your opponent. He is

:28:16.:28:20.

well behind on been seen as a capable leader, good in a crisis or

:28:20.:28:24.

having a clear vision for Britain. Put that with the economy, and

:28:24.:28:28.

understanding his position, we do not know. It is almost 1 o'clock

:28:28.:28:32.

and we have to leave it there. Time to but to add your misery for the

:28:32.:28:36.

guest beer competition. It was 1966. But we are still printing out all

:28:36.:28:42.

the answers, so we will pick a winner tomorrow. Right, that is it

:28:42.:28:46.

for today. Our first PMQs of 2012. Thanks to all the guests. We will

:28:46.:28:52.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn have live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and the latest political news, interviews and debate.

The Guests of the Day are: Douglas Alexander MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Damian Green MP, Immigration Minister.

Plus, Professor Jim Al-Khalili on why we need nuclear power and, from Edindurgh, Bruce Crawford MSP of the SNP talks about the Scotland referendum.


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